Auto repair

Kennewick auto repair shop prepares to expand

After growing his business from a mobile shop run by a Jeep, Nathan Goetsch is eager to open the doors to his new 5,600 square foot auto repair facility at 8504 W. Clearwater Ave. at Kennewick.

Goetsch, the sole owner and operator of Platinum Automotive, is taking the leap to fund his own $1.3 million building with the same risk-taking spirit that led him to start his own company a decade ago. .

“I’ve worked for a lot of people and a lot of different stores for many years, and when I left the last job I was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to do this myself or I’ll hate myself. my whole life for not trying.”

Goetsch began working in his garage, advertising on Craigslist, and using his Jeep to perform mobile service.

His workshop is now a large-scale operation that does almost any type of repair. Its current location is at 532 S. Steptoe St., Suite 110.

Platinum Automotive, 532 S. Steptoe St., moves to West Clearwater Avenue. (Courtesy of Robin Wojtanik)

“What we don’t do is fix glass and bodywork,” he said. “Like windshields or anything stuck in the car. Otherwise, we do everything mechanical, plus wheels and tires.

Goetsch didn’t expect it to be his job, although he says he’s always been a “hands-on person.” He got into the car by pure chance.

“At the start of high school, I was lazy and wanted to do robotics. When I went to do my electives, they said there was nothing left but the automobile. And I was like, ‘I don’t want to work on cars.’ But a few months after being in that class, I realized that was what I wanted to do, or at least that’s what I loved.

While in college, he was part of a Kennewick Tri-Tech Skills Center team that won first place in the state in a Ford-sponsored high school car competition.

They competed nationally and placed in the top 50, Goetsch recalled.

He dabbled in construction, but automotive work is his passion.

“I was sucked in because when you finish what you do, you have a sense of completion. You know you have something that you can look at and say, “I did this, and I did it well, and it works. ”

His technique and confidence have earned Platinum Automotive hundreds of positive reviews on the store’s website – an admirable feat in an industry where customers are often skeptical of honest repair work.

“We definitely try to make sure that we develop relationships with our customers,” Goetsch said. “Not only do they trust us, but they trust us enough to tell their friends and family, or someone at the gas station. Most of our business comes from referrals and word of mouth.

Over the years, its activity and role have expanded. He employs three full-time technicians and plans to hire a few more once the new shop opens.

He is proud of his team’s low turnover rate. “I don’t think I have an employee who’s been here less than three years,” he said.

The new store will be funded by a private business loan from Numerica that Goetsch obtained shortly after his mother’s death.

“The dream has always been to have my own house. So we’ve been trying to achieve that for a long time. When I received some inheritance, it was the force scenario to try to do something with it.

A foundation has been poured, and Nathan plans to open later this year or early 2023.

Business is strong and the pandemic has done nothing to slow that down.

“It’s still nearly impossible to get new vehicles, and that made older vehicles worth much more than they should be, so it made sense for people to keep the vehicle they already had,” did he declare.

The new location will include six bays for repairs, but Goetsch hopes to retain the small-store, family atmosphere he established.

“Having fewer guys means we might not be able to do as much in a certain amount of time, but everyone really cares about what’s going on here,” he said.

Platinum Automotive: 532 S. Steptoe St., Suite 110, Kennewick; 509-410-4080; Hours:
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.