By VERNON ROBISON
Two men from Eastern Europe came to Mesquite to start a business together. Darko Roskar from Slovenia and Dario Slukan from Croatia recently purchased the ACT Auto Care and Collision store at 546 Commerce Circle and are already doing a thriving business there and growing rapidly.
Although the pair hail from neighboring Balkan countries, they only met after both immigrated to Calgary, Canada several years ago.
Dario has worked as a bodybuilder and car mechanic since he was around 13 years old. Darko had a background in business and management. Both came to Canada separately to find new opportunities in their industry.
Darko worked as a manager in a large body shop in Calgary. Dario came in 2016 to look for a job there as a technician.
“I hired him straight away and I’ve never regretted it,” Darko said in an interview last week. “He was the best recruit of my life, really!”
“We haven’t been apart since – both as friends and as business partners,” Dario added.
Later, another friend purchased an existing store that was allegedly run rather inefficiently. He invited the Darkos and Dario to join him in trying to transform the shop.
“It was a bad store and we built it until it was very good,” Darko said.
“It’s become a ‘high society store’,” agreed Dario. “In less than a year, we went from a $100,000 a month business to a $400,000 a month business.”
The two men said the secret to this success was to organize the workflow of the workshop, to train the technicians well, to focus on the quality of work within an efficient turnaround time and to always treat well. customers. Both men plan to replicate this same model here at ACT Auto Care and Collision shop.
“Quality and customer service are of vital importance in this business,” Darko said. “You have to be polite to people, explain to them what you’re doing, and then, of course, you need well-trained technicians who do the job properly. The quality is at the top for us!
Eventually, the two men turned to buying a business in the United States. Darko said he and his wife have taken trips to visit Las Vegas in the past and loved the Southern Nevada climate. However, they had never made it to Mesquite on any of these visits.
“We always dreamed of living somewhere warm,” Darko said. “At least we wanted somewhere warmer than Calgary.”
They started looking for body shops and auto mechanics for sale in the United States. But most of the businesses in the cities they searched for were priced out of their range.
“One day my wife went to a website and she found this shop, can you believe it? Darko said.
It was in their price range and they were both interested.
Turns out Darko and his wife had just booked a trip to Las Vegas last summer. It was just a few weeks after finding the local store. So they planned to go to Mesquite and have a look.
“When we first came to Mesquite, we fell in love with the place,” Darko said. “Everything is close and convenient, people are polite and kind, and almost every day is sunny. It was perfect.”
They met with former owner Keith Browning and opened a negotiation process. By November, the men had resumed operations of the shop.
“When we took over the business, we didn’t change anything,” Darko said. “We kept all the employees in place. We have a very good staff who worked well. So we kept the same.
The company employs a total of 10 people.
Darko immediately began building relationships with the city’s insurance brokers. Body Shop works well with most insurance plans including Shelter Insurance, Progressive, State Farm, Farmers and others.
They have also worked to make the repair process more convenient for the customer. They offer transportation to customers: drive them home and pick them up once the repairs are complete.
They will also pick up the vehicle and bring it to the workshop for repair. Then they ship it back to the customer’s home when it’s finished.
“The customer doesn’t even have to come to the shop to have the repairs done,” Darko said.
Finally, the workshop even offers a courtesy car that people can drive while their vehicle is doing body work.
In addition to full body and collision repair services, ACT also offers full mechanic services. This includes tires, brakes, suspension, four-wheel alignment, electrical, heating and cooling systems, engine and transmission, air conditioning repair, engine service and more.
“We are a full-service store,” Dario said. “And we offer a lifetime warranty on our work to our customers, for as long as they own the vehicle.”
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call ACT Auto Care and Collision Center at 702-346-1917.