Michaelson takes over as owner of Morris Auto Repair

On February 1 of this year, Mike Michaelson became the new owner of Morris Auto Repair. Until recently, Michaelson has been living and working in Alexandria, but he was born and raised in Morris. “I moved to Alexandria due to Diamond Buick GMC formally known as Morris Auto Plaza moving to Alexandria,” he said,, but when his wife saw a career opportunity in Morris, they decided to return.

In addition to owning a business in the community, Michaelson serves the community through service. Having previously served on the Carlos Fire Department, Michaelson now serves on the Chokio Fire Department. His wife, Jade, has also started a new business operating a daycare in one of the pods in Morris.

The opportunity arose to purchase Morris Auto Repair, and the previous owner wanted and needed Michaelson to come and work in the shop [with the previous owner] for a little while before the transfer of ownership so he could get to know the customers and the business. This allowed him to see how things have been done for the last 37 years.

Michaelson says that he’s been in the industry for a decade, so he has much experience in the automotive industry, and working with the previous owner prior to taking over also allowed him to get a feel for the shop, and how the customers expected things to be done. “He [the previous owner] had a lot of lifelong customers,” Michaelson explained, and it was important to continue to do right by them.

Michaelson didn’t come alone when he took over the business. He brought with him his mother, Jeannie Michaelson, to handle the front office work and to be the smiling face who greets customers as they walk in. Jeannie has 30 years of experience in the reception field and previously worked at Midwest Machinery in their service department, so that has given her a leg up in knowledge of the systems they use at Morris Auto Repair. 

Also accompanying Michaelson is Tyler Erickson. Erickson is a master Ford certified technician, and has worked in the General Motors (GM), Ford, and independent fields, which include BMW and Audi brands. 

Michaelson is a gold-certified GM technician, and has over 1,000 hours of training, and is also an ASE certified master technician.

Michaelson has specifically worked in the GM field but has done a little work for different brands. 

Where he worked previously, he says, he gained experience working with Dodge, Ford, and Chrysler, which adds to the level of expertise that he and Erickson can offer. “I’ve had a good amount of experience,” he says, “we know what we’re doing back here.” 

Michaelson says that in their work, they strive to have as few vehicle comebacks as possible to make it convenient for the customer, and to provide them with peace of mind that their vehicle is in good working order. 

When a vehicle comes in, Michaelson says, they try to let the customer know how much it will cost to fix, and they want to get it done promptly. “Nobody wants their vehicle to go to the shop, but when it’s here we want to make it as smooth and easy as possible,” he says.

Michaelson says they are also working to get things computerized from the handwritten system that was previously used to streamline the business as much as possible. 

Customers will also notice a new logo when they visit the shop. “We wanted customers to know that it is still Morris Auto Repair, but also see the change of ownership,” he said, “the name’s been here for 37 years, it shouldn’t change.”

Along with their experience in several different fields of auto repair, Morris Auto Repair is fully certified in hybrid and electric vehicles. 

One unique service that is now offered at Morris Auto Repair is diesel service. 

As of now, Michaelson says, they are not offering any service with tires and alignments due to lack of space. 

Michaelson and Erickson have a good understanding of the electrical side of cars and have had a lot of experience working with newer vehicles. The understanding of the architecture of the electrical system is something that Michaelson prides himself on, and he feels that he and Erickson have a good grasp of how those systems work.

If there’s not something he knows off the top of his head, he says he is not afraid to figure it out. He has plenty of resources he can use, and Morris Auto Repair’s previous owner is one of them. 

In his years of experience, one of the biggest complaints he hears is how long it takes when vehicles are in the shop for maintenance and repairs, and he wants to change that. “I want to get them in and out,” he says, “we are not cutting corners to do that, we are doing it in a timely and efficient manner so the customer doesn’t have to wait.” He also adds that when it comes to cost, he will try to be competitive.

Michaelson wants customers to still experience the same great service that Morris Auto Repair has always had to offer, but continue to make it even better and more efficient, with the goal of delivering a better product. 

“We’re here for the community, we aren’t here to take anyone’s money, we want to help people,” Michaelson says, “I don’t like to let stuff leave until it’s fixed. I try to pride myself on not letting them leave until I have an answer for it.”