by Sarah Einselen Pharos-Tribune
---- — Westside Transmission’s new management is gearing up to expand beyond transmission repair after the death of the shop’s founder.
Sean DeWitt, a 24-year employee at Myers Spring, quit this spring to take over management of his father Dick DeWitt’s transmission repair shop at 1131 W. Market St.
After the elder DeWitt’s passing in late January, ownership of his shop devolved to his wife, Carol DeWitt.
“My mom didn’t want to sell it, but she didn’t want to run it,” Sean DeWitt said, so he agreed to take on management of the shop.
Since the transition, the shop has undergone several changes, Sean DeWitt said, including taking on more general auto repair work and installing computer systems to manage the shop’s work.
Some bills are still written out by hand, Sean DeWitt said, but “at some point everything will be electronic.”
The shop also has a new Facebook page, Westside Transmission Repair, and an email address. Sean DeWitt characterized the computerization of the shop as “a major step forward for this particular facility.”
A new technician, Scott Hoch, has also joined head technician Junie Kilgore to aid the shop’s expansion into general auto repair.
“We’ve been known since day one as transmission repair specialists,” Sean DeWitt said. “Now we’re getting into all other forms of automotive repair, so it’s not just transmissions. That was the idea behind bringing on another mechanic.”
Sean DeWitt’s also planning to expand to the west of the current building within the next five years, adding two more lifts to the current two.
“The long-term vision is Westside Auto Center, where you can get it all done here,” he said.
Sean DeWitt plans to stick with the auto shop now that he’s switched from his career with Myers Spring, and says Carol DeWitt, who retains ownership of the shop, is satisfied with the direction the shop is going.
“Mom’s happy, so everything must be OK,” Sean DeWitt said.
Sarah Einselen is news editor at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-732-5151.