Dodson-Williams Automotive relocated its new venture a year after selling its body shops to Chicago-area chain Crash Champions.
Business partners Keith Neal and Allen Holman opened Dodson-Williams Automotive at a new location at 2936 W. Republic Road on Aug. 1, said Holman. Shortly after the Crash Champions deal last year, Holman joined as a business partner to plan the relaunch of Dodson-Williams Automotive as a shop that performs mechanical repair work. The plans for the new store on Republic came after Dodson-Williams outgrew its former location at the intersection of Scenic Avenue and Bennett Street.
Holman emphasized that Dodson-Williams Automotive is a separate entity from Crash Champions and no longer does body work. The mechanic shop employs eight people in the 9,300-square-foot space.
“We don’t do body repair or paint repair,” Holman said. “We just do mechanical repair. That’s why I tried to change the design of the logo to a wrench and a gear to help people understand that we’re not body anymore. We’re mechanical.”
Dodson-Williams Collision Center was founded by John Dodson and Harold Williams in 1961 with the original location at 507 W. Walnut St. Neal joined the company as a high school senior and worked his way to becoming a co-owner of the business in 1991; he became the sole owner of the shop in late 2007.
After becoming sole owner, Neal expanded the business to a second location and opened a mechanical shop to allow the company to provide a full range of vehicle repair services.
Crash Champions purchased both body shops in September 2020, which marked the company’s first locations in Missouri.
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