When Jerry Jagt opened his auto shop in 1965, not all cars had seatbelts, automobile airbags didn’t exist, Honda had only been making cars for 3 years and gas cost about 8 cents per litre. Of course, by 2012, all those things have changed drastically, but the shop that Jerry opened in 1965 is still going strong. Now operated by Ed Jagt, Jerry’s son, Pro-Tech Tire & Auto is approaching its 50th anniversary.
While there is much more emphasis today on training, proper tools and safety than there was when his father opened the shop, one thing has overwhelmingly stayed the same: “Cars still break,” Ed laughs. Whether it was a malfunctioning car in 1965 or 2012, another thing that hasn’t changed in the 47 years the Jagts have been in business is how they treat their customers. “We deal from the heart,” says Ed, noting that they often don’t charge customers as much as they should because they feel sympathy for clients who have hit a patch of rough luck. Jagt knows that a car breakdown is an upsetting experience, and he wants to make sure that Pro-Tech does everything they can to make the experience a little easier, including saving their customers money.
Pro-Tech’s motto is, We exceed our clients’ expectations. “With a touch of class,” Ed adds. For instance, a Rolls Royce is used to drive customers home, in addition to regular loaner cars and a convenient shuttle service. Pro-Tech is now even offering customers meals while they wait, through a food truck located on the premises. From the moment you pull in to the moment you leave, the Pro-Tech team works to give you the best experience possible.
As the first independent shop in Canada certified for Hybrid cars, Pro-Tech is preparing for continued longevity. After almost a half-century in the business, Pro-Tech has learned to adapt to the market; Ed saw customers becoming increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their vehicles and made changes to ensure his shop reflected his customers’ demands for “green” service. Another way Pro-Tech is investing in the future is through their participation in high school co-op and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship program. Ed believes it’s important to combat the shortage of workers in the trade, and has helped 8 apprentices go through Pro-Tech in the last 3-4 years.
One of these apprentices is Ed’s son, Kevin, who marks the third generation of Jagts at Pro-Tech. While Ed cheerfully admits that working with family is, “not without its problems,” he recognizes that a long-time family business provides invaluable credibility in the community. This, along with professionalism, integrity and knowledge are the things that customers can continue to expect from Pro-Tech for the next 50 years.
If you’d like to have your expectations exceeded (with a touch of class) by Pro-Tech Tire & Auto, head over to 570 Yonge Street in Barrie and take advantage of their current special: a free oil change with the purchase of license plate brackets.
Written by Janie Kuzmyk