Dave Goddard knows his stuff.
With a wealth of experience as a master tech, he worked on Asian imports for years at a local car dealership. Twenty years ago, he and a co-worker decided to branch off on their own and opened The Import Doctors on North Clinton in Fort Wayne.
“I spent my entire career working on Asian imports and I knew there was a need in this market for that kind of service,” says Goddard. “Just like starting any other business, it was tough at first. Eventually, our client base grew and the word spread about our business.”
Goddard says he tries to save his customers money whenever he can. In general, his prices can be up to 40% lower than what a typical dealership would charge.
“Our labor rate is cheaper and the work we do does not affect your factory warranty. It’s definitely a good alternative if you want to try and save some money. We always guarantee our work.”
Specializing in Honda, Lexus, Toyota, Subaru, Acura and any Asian import, Goddard’s team can handle everything from transmission repairs to oil changes and brake repairs. Towing service is also provided if needed.
“We stick with what we know,” says Goddard. “The car industry has changed a lot over the years. It’s impossible to try to be an ‘all makes/all models’ kind of garage, especially with the latest technology. There are special tools for most of these cars, which basically means you would have to know everything about every car. There’s more technology in the average car today than there was in the Apollo spacecraft when it went to the moon. You can’t just be a mechanic any more, you also have to be a computer guru.”
Years ago, Goddard spent some time working on domestic vehicles, but felt they paled in comparison to the Asian imports.
“Asian imports are put together better and the way they are made makes more sense to me. The cars I service typically can last up to 300,000 or 400,000 miles.”
Scott Malcolm can attest to that. He’s been a customer of Goddard’s since the beginning.
“I’ve always had Acuras,” says Malcolm. “Dave has serviced three Acuras for me over the years and they’ve all gone well beyond the 300,000 mile mark. What I really like about Dave is that he gives me options. He’ll tell me about things I need to take care of now and things that can wait until later. He trusts me enough to be honest with me so, in turn, I trust him.”
Goddard is appreciative of the many longtime customers he has and realizes the importance of being upfront with them while also making sure they realize the importance of proper maintenance.
“Maintenance and clean fluids are the life of the vehicle,” he says. “Most people want to keep their cars for as long as possible, especially since new car prices are really high these days – even used cars are fetching a premium. People want to be able to get in their car and go on a trip and they don’t want to have to worry about the vehicle.”
“I like the personal touch they offer and their lower prices are great. Forty-percent less can make a big difference,” says Malcolm. “At other places I previously went to, I was never able to see a mechanic. Dave always takes the time to talk to me in person. No one else does that.”
In addition to providing repairs and maintenance, The Import Doctors can also help avoid making big mistakes when purchasing a pre-owned vehicle.
“We do pre-purchase inspections and I highly recommend that to anyone buying a used car,” stresses Goddard. “I had one case where someone was going to buy a used Honda Accord. It appeared to be a really good car, but when I took a look underneath, I found that it was actually two Accords welded together – a front end and a back end. I could see the weld line. You definitely don’t want to buy a car like that.”
As The Import Doctors celebrates its 20th anniversary, Goddard says the business is always growing and he is always looking for good help.
“It can be a very rewarding career that pays well and you’ll be in high demand on a winning team.”
Phone: (260) 471-9400