The Journey Begins
Located in historic Yorktown, Virginia, Auto Haus began operations in 1992 as a small German automotive repair shop specializing in Mercedes and owned by Hans Hohlrieder. Originally from Austria, a country no bigger in size or population than Virginia, Hans started Auto Haus as a two-man operation. Hans and Garry Stace, a technician and his first employee, offered expertise as Mercedes Master Technicians that was a welcome alternative to the area's franchise dealer service. Auto Haus' original building located at 101 Greene Drive was about 3,200 sq.ft. and consisted of a small reception area and a workshop with four vehicle lifts. The word about Auto Haus spread quickly through the local community and by late 2003, Auto Haus' business was booming.
1994 - 1999
A Season of Change for Good
Business was booming to the point where Hans was able to hire additional employees. Garry Stace and Hans now both working the shop were able to nearly double the service business. The increase in workload allowed Hans to hire a General Manager in late 1994 to run the day to day operations. As the service business grew customers began asking Hans to find them quality used German automobiles to purchase. So, in 1995 Auto Haus obtained it's DMV licensing to become an official Used Car Dealer in Virginia. Now known as a German Automotive Specialist, Auto Haus could offer sales and service to its ever-growing customer base. In 1995, a one-acre parcel of land adjacent to the current building was purchased for future expansion. In 1999, construction of a new dealership began on the expansion site. The original building was dismantled and donated to a local church.
2000 - 2001
Here We Grow Again
Auto Haus continued to grow and in January of 2000, a new 11,000 sq.ft. building was completed and Auto Haus of Yorktown began operations selling and servicing European brands like Mercedes and BMW, as well as, the Swedish brand Volvo. The new building featured a beautiful showroom, Service Writer area, administrative offices, and a large workshop complete with thirteen vehicle lifts. By this time, the business had 12 full-time employees, which included staff in sales, service, management, and administration.
Read this article from the Daily Press
2002 - 2006
Doubling Down and Success
Over the next few years, Auto Haus' larger facilities allowed it the room to begin servicing and selling additional import brands such as, Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche. Business was good, so in 2004 a vacant lot was purchased at 100 Greene Dr., which was located directly across the street from the current location. In 2006, construction began on a new, 18,000 sq.ft. facility that would more than double the business' current capacity for sales and service. In late 2006, Auto Haus purchased an automotive paint and body shop called Grafton Collision Center, which was located further down Greene Drive. This body shop further expanded Auto Haus' service offerings and customer base.
2007 - 2008
More of Everything
In the Spring of 2007, after nearly a year of construction, Auto Haus opened its new facility at 100 Greene Dr. This building became its headquarters for administration and Mercedes sales and service, while the 101 Greene Dr. location served as the sales and service center for all other brands. The new building added a large showroom, customer lounge, multiple offices, a service department, parts department and large workshop with eleven service bays. This brings the total service bays to twenty-four. It was during this time period that Auto Haus became a franchise dealer for Superformance and Beck brand replicas. Superformance marketed replicas of the Shelby MKIII Cobra, GT40 and Daytona Coupe, while Beck produced replicas of the Porsche Speedster and Spyder.
2009 - 2013
In a Class by Ourselves
Over the next several years, Auto Haus continued to grow in terms of revenue, number of employees and service offerings. In addition to the mainly German brands, Auto Haus now offered sales and service for almost all import brands. This allowed the business to move away from being known only as a German Automotive Specialist to becoming a more encompassing Import Automotive Specialist. In 2011, Auto Haus purchased a large building and land directly behind the 100 Greene Dr. facilities. After some minor rehab this build, located at 104 Greene Dr., became the Auto Haus reconditioning and detailing center for inventory vehicles. The business now had thirty service bays in total between the three buildings. It was during this time that Auto Haus became a franchise dealer for Columbia which markets personal, commercial and industrial electric vehicles for the street or work environments. The expansion of vehicle brands being sold opened-up a much larger potential customer base for Auto Haus and it wasn't long before the Yorktown locations were once again nearing capacity. By this time, Auto Haus was known as the area's premier destination for import automotive sales, service, parts, paint and collision repair. With numerous "Best Of" awards under their belt, Auto Haus was already larger than many local franchise dealers and was continuing to grow.
2014 - 2016
Making Historic Moves
In late 2014, an unprecedented opportunity for expansion arose in a city only 20 minutes from Auto Haus' current locations, historic Williamsburg, VA. After six months of extensive renovations to what used to be a full-service GMC dealership, Auto Haus of Williamsburg was born. This building allowed Auto Haus to nearly double its size once again by offering a showroom large enough for 10+ vehicles, a spacious service department housing ten service bays, a detailing department, expansive parts department, and a body shop. In addition, our Williamsburg dealership became the new home to Auto Haus Classics. Classic car sales, service and restoration has always been a mainstay of Auto Haus, but for the first time in its history, this business entity had its own name and its own work space. To accomplish this, the parts department was made significantly smaller and the cleared-out area was outfitted with six vehicle lifts and an office space. This brought the total number of service bays to forty-six. With a large customer base already residing in the city, Auto Haus of Williamsburg grew quickly.
Read Williamsburg What's Up Winter 2015 Article
Making Waves at the Beach
In mid-2017 Auto Haus seized upon a fantastic opportunity to expand the dealership into a whole new geographic market that was full of growth potential. First the first time in their history, Auto Haus purchased a building on the "Southside" in Virginia Beach and immediately began a major overhaul of the building and grounds. For thirty-three years prior, the facility had been operating as a European import service and repair shop, but was in need of major renovations. In a short three-month timespan, the new Auto Haus of Virginia Beach was completely remodeled and officially opened for business on January 2, 2018. This all-new facility has a large service department, customer lounge, office space, parts department, and a huge finished workshop with 7 service bays (plus an additional unfinished workshop for future expansion). By this time, Auto Haus had fifty-three service bays and over eighty employees operating in 3 different cities. Through the retention of the previous business' customers and the addition on new customers ever week, this new location has flourished from the start. The future looks very bright for Auto Haus!
Read the Inside Business - The Hampton Roads Business Journal Article
Since the beginning, Auto Haus has done more than simply work in the community, they have worked for the community as well. Their involvement in charitable and non-profit events and organizations is a hallmark of the way Auto Haus operates. Whether it's for kids, senior citizens, the less fortunate, or the indigent, Auto Haus is committed to making a difference. Here are just a few of the ways Auto Haus has had a positive impact on the community over the years:
Watch our very 1st TV Commercial