Offering a better deal

Owners Jenn and Todd Flagg stand in front of their new vehicle repair shop, Flagg’s Automotive, 6611 S. M-52 in Bennington Township.

BENNINGTON TWP. — Corunna native Todd Flagg is bringing 25 years’ experience as a mechanic to the new vehicle repair shop he and his wife, Jenn Flagg, opened last week.

The Flaggs hope residents will check out Flagg’s Automotive, 6611 S. M-52, at the open house with light refreshments they’re hosting from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday.

The Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce will conduct a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon.

“We’re like the alternative to dealerships — offering the same services at a lesser price,” Todd Flagg, 43, said Monday. “And we’re going to pride ourselves on being honest and up-front with our customers.”

Services cover all auto makes and models, and include tires and tire repair, alignment, oil change, tune-up, major and minor engine repair, electrical diagnosis, exhaust repair and light recreational vehicle work.

Todd Flagg said he will personally perform a full inspection of every car that comes into the shop and make a list of needed repairs, rating each on a scale of 1 to 5. Which repairs get done will be completely up to the customer, with no hard sell, he said.

While he works on vehicles inside the 3,200-square-foot repair shop, Jenn Flagg serves as the office manager. She’s a Howell native who has been married for seven years to Todd Flagg, a 1994 Corunna High School graduate.

Believing they were at the right age to start financing their retirement, the couple explored opening their own business.

“Having our own automotive repair shop has been a dream of ours for five years,” Jenn Flagg, 36, said. “Things finally fell into place, and we made it happen. We work well as a team.”

The couple have a lot in common, including the five children they live with in Fowlerville and a fondness for cars. Jenn Flagg said she’s not a mechanic but has worked alongside her husband on the car she used to drive in amateur races.

“We both love cars,” she said. “We go to the car show in St. Ignace every June.”

The Flaggs purchased the building that houses Flagg’s Automotive from Bonner and Sons Trucking, but there is no other connection between the companies. The couple added an office to the existing large pole barn, and painted.

“I think it’s exciting,” Jenn Flagg said. “There’s a risk to having your own business, but anything worth having, there’s definitely going to be a risk.”

One thing that makes Flagg’s Automotive stand out, she said, is its commitment to fair dealing. She noted a lot of people are afraid to take their vehicles to a mechanic, worried they are going to be overcharged.

“This is not what we’re going to do,” she said. “We want a reputation of honesty and integrity.”

Another standout is Todd Flagg’s expertise as a mechanic. In addition to the experience he gained working at Young Chevrolet and other dealerships and shops for a quarter of a century, he graduated from the University of Northwestern Ohio with a two-year diploma in automotive business.

For the time being, Flagg’s Automotive is a two-person operation, but the couple hope to hire an auto technician within the next six months. They also plan to provide free loaner vehicles to customers in the future.

When these changes happen depends on how quickly the business catches on. So far, so good.

“We had a busy first three days,” Jenn Flagg said. “It’s been great.”

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