All Things Automotive: Rising to the top

EnCompass Magazine

Every year, AAA Colorado recognizes its 10 best repair facilities for being the “Best of the Best”: however, only one shop gets the honorary distinction of being named the “Top Shop.”

It’s a big deal to be named AAA Colorado’s Top Shop, as it’s a representation of how they run their business and take care of their customers. This year’s Top Shop recipient is Ellis Automotive in Aurora.

To earn this accolade, the Top Shop must have an overall customer satisfaction score of 98 percent or higher; they should show a high regard for the AAA brand and its members; they should be easy to work with and typically go above and beyond the call of duty; and they must show they’re involved with their community, as well as other criteria.

The owner, Rod Ellis, grew up in the small town of Holyoke. He built his reputation of running an honest business by utilizing his small-town values in the big city to take care of his customers. He prides himself on that, as well as making sure his technicians care for every car as if it were their own. “Our business is fixing cars, but you must take care of people,” says Rod.

Rod has been in the automotive repair business for more than 30 years, but semi-retired about four years ago and enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, Kinzley and Zoey. His son, Kiley, and long-time employee, Jim Marler, manage the store now. In fact, Jim helped open the store on Tower Road, in Aurora, in 2002. Jim says, “Walking into an empty building with no customers on day one, then seeing the changes over the years has been amazing.”

Ellis Automotive continually trains its staff on the latest in automotive technology, and uses state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose and repair its vehicles. They have been a staple in the Aurora community for the past 19 years. Not only do they support the National Kidney Foundation, after Rod’s transplant in 2009, but everyone who comes into their shop is somehow connected.

“We kid around about needing to make a customer family tree,” says Rod. “When we slow down and take a few minutes to talk with our customers and get to know them, we realized they are coworkers, neighbors, and even family members.”

Rod would like to extend his gratitude to all his customers over the years and AAA Colorado, “Without each and every one of you, we would not be here today.”

To learn more about Ellis Automotive, visit To find the nearest AAA Approved Auto Repair facility, visit