According to Kouzounis’s son, Costa, “Demo opened the center because he enjoyed working on cars and liked the idea of running a business his way.” And Demo’s way incorporates “customer satisfaction” and hard work into every job, which Costa said are the keys to the shop’s success over the past half century. Demo’s also offers a free shuttle service that takes customers to and from their home or work to ensure a hassle-free appointment.
Their motto, “fix the problem, charge a fair price, and guarantee the work,” is the first thing viewers see on the Demo’s Automotive homepage.
Seventy-six year old Kouzounis’ four children all play a role in the shop’s success- Demo Jr. is the collision repair manager, Costa is the general manager, and both Margo and Katherine are in charge of accounting. Demo and Costa received business degrees from the University of Houston, and began as full-time technicians after graduation. The brothers’ roles at their father’s shop were determined by their strengths and effort.
Costa said his favorite part of working in this industry is “seeing a customer smile once they see their finished product.”
When asked about his fondest memories over the last 50 years, two particular instances stood out for Costa.
“On one occasion, I saw a customer approach our shop, looking very inquisitive as he walked around. I quickly walked over to him. He commented that he had no idea how many different types of cars we worked on and had heard how great we were. He saw the flawless detail work on our restorations, including one vehicle we were repairing that was a wiring cluster nightmare due to a collision, and asked why we used heat on the connections (which I explained to him). He also saw us using a soap bath to clean the brakes on a Mercedes before we disassembled them. Then, as I walked him back around to the front of the shop, he commented when he saw [one of the technicians] instructing our two apprentices. I told him about how we…mentor the next generation.”
“Many years ago, Demo [senior] and I were standing on the service drive and a customer came in and asked for the owner’s business card. That was their first visit. I gave him our company business card. The customer asked me who the founder of this business was. Demo pointed and circled out into the shop and told him all thirty-five of [the technicians] are the founders. Demo told him all of you carry the load of this business on your shoulders each and every day no matter what challenges you all may have. As it now turns out, each of you now have worked on his family’s cars many times over. …he is just one of our model customers you all have helped gain and retain.”
Costa says he looks forward to more memorable customer interactions, and making Demo’s Automotive “stronger and even better” for the 100-year anniversary.