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Friday, 02 May 2014 00:00

One Stop Shopping a Goal for Austin Body Shop After 60 Years in Business

There have been plenty of changes in the automobile industry since Ellis & Salazar Garage & Body Shop first opened its doors for auto body repairs in 1953, president Jack Nash told Austin’s

“It used to be a car came in, it was made out of heavy metal, and you’d pop the metal back out and put a lot of Bondo [auto-body filler] on it and repaint it and send it down the road. And now … it’s just technically advanced,” he said.

New technology in cars ranges from computer controls to frame-mounted machines equipped with collision repair systems that measure where every part is supposed to be inside a vehicle, he said.


Ellis & Salazar is a automotive repair business in Austin, TX, offering auto body repair, mechanical services, collision repair, and painting. Its owners grew up in Austin’s car business, working for body shops and dealerships.

Nash purchased the company along with co-owner Wayne Burklund in 1989 from Chester Salazar. Joseph Lewright joined the business in 1990 and became a co-owner 10 years later.

“We’ve always tried to stay true to our roots,” Lewright said.

The company now operates four Ellis & Salazar locations, including a shop in Buda, TX, that opened in 2013.

Competition from national chains has increased significantly during the past several years, Lewright said.

The company has survived, Nash said, because Ellis & Salazar has remained steadfast in its core values for the past 60 years—performing quality repairs, treating customers fairly, and taking care of employees.

“We’re not in the tire business, but if a customer comes in here and wants tires, we’ll find the best deal on the tires and get [them] put on for them because a lot of times they’d rather not have to go to three locations,” Nash said.

Ellis & Salazar aims to serve as a one-stop shop, Burklund said.

“I have customers that I’ve worked on their car back in ’83 that have followed me and are still doing business with me today,” Burklund said.

Nearly half of Ellis & Salazar’s business is repeat business, Lewright said.

“We try to develop a relationship with our customers... We want the customer to be here by choice,” Lewright said.

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