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Otsego grad opens auto repair business in BG PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 09:20
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Matt Shipley at his automotive repair business (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
After growing up with cars most of his life, and carrying a dream to have his own business, Matt Shipley has opened Shipley Automotive LLC in Bowling Green.
Located in the rear at 1051 N. Main St., directly behind Halleck Auto Sales, the repair shop offers "everything" in the way of services, including - but not limited to - basic maintenance, air conditioning, brakes, engine repair, engine and electrical diagnostics and more.
Shipley also services all makes and models of vehicles, including imports.
A 2000 graduate of Otsego High School, he started detailing cars while still in high school for a Rouen Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep in Woodville. When he graduated, the general manager asked Shipley if he wanted to sell vehicles or fix them.
"I had a history of working on race cars," ther explained. "I chose working on them." During his eight years at Rouen he became a Chrysler Certified Master Technician.
In 2006 Shipley transferred to Bowling Green Lincoln/Mercury/Jeep where he gained additional experience and training on all makes and models.
When he was ready to act on his dream of opening his own shop, Shipley worked with a local university student, Brad Diefenderfer, on writing a 25-page business plan.
He purchased the equipment he needed with his uncle's help and found a location that had previously been used for vehicle repairs.
Shipley stays busy with loyal clients who have followed him to his own shop as well as doing work for Halleck Auto Sales.
"I know a lot of people in the area," he said. "I started out being as busy as I can handle. It's a one-man shop for now."
"I feel pretty fortunate," Shipley added. "You have to be fair and honest with people, and they'll love you for it. 'Nobody trusts a mechanic.' I'm just trying to bring honesty back to the business."
Future hopes include a larger shop and adding employees as business continues to grow.
Shipley got into racing at 13, through the influence of a neighbor who raced, and was driving at 16.
"I actually ended getting hooked up with Aaron and (the late) Eric Walls. I worked with them for awhile in their contracting business and raced for them a couple years. Eric brought my first race car, and then I bought my own."
Shipley raced in Wauseon, Lima, Butler and other tracks, winning many races. In 2005, his last racing season, he won 13 heat races and five feature events.
But he found it an expensive hobby and gave it up to be a family man. His son, Colin, is 5, and Shipley coaches baseball in Grand Rapids.
Shipley Automotive is open Mondays and Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.;  and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon.
The phone number is (419) 352-8245. His Web site, shipleyauto.com, was designed by his girlfriend, Kara Higdon. The e-mail address is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 December 2010 14:59
 

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