Four Seasons Automotive celebrating 10 years of service
Running an automotive shop is something Greg Sprague has always wanted to do. And for 10 years, that's exactly what he’s done. Sprague, 42, began Four Season Automotive in Edgecomb in June 2009 after working several years at Midcoast service shops. In Topsham, he learned domestic automotive repair work at Brunswick Toyota. Later, he moved to Brunswick Ford with a specific goal in mind.
”I wanted to learn both domestic and foreign automotive repairs. I wanted to run my own shop someday, and knew I had to learn how to work on every kind of vehicle,” Sprague said. And at Four Seasons, Sprague and his two technicians Seth Nadier and Brandon Sprague are repairing a variety of vehicles whether it’s a 2012 Mercedes Benz or 2013 Duramax diesel truck engine. Nadier is in his second year at Four Seasons. He recently received his state inspection license. Brandon Sprague has worked in his father’s shop just short of two years. He is close to receiving his state inspection license, according to Greg Sprague who oversees all the work at the shop.
And whether it’s spring, summer, winter or fall, Four Seasons Automotive is well-prepared for whatever challenge the Maine weather brings. Sprague described his work orders as being indicative of the season. “In Maine, the weather is so specific to the season. In spring, you see a lot of mud-related repairs and damage caused by potholes. Summer brings a lot of convertibles into the shop. Fall and winter bring a lot of cold-related issues,” he said.
So Four Seasons Automotive seems an apt name for a repair shop which handles any challenge Mother Nature throws its way. But after a decade, Sprague isn’t sure how his business got its name. “Don’t really remember ... But each season in Maine has a specific impact on the work we do. So that’s how the ‘Four Seasons’ probably came about,” he said.
Sprague understands automotive repair, but rapid technology changes occur on a regular basis. So Sprague constantly keeps pace with the latest advances in auto repair. “The biggest challenge is keeping up with the technology,” he said. “But it’s gotten easier as most manufacturers use the same technology in all lines of cars.”
After years of working for someone else and doing occasional odd jobs at his home in Edgecomb, Sprague decided it was time to be his own boss. He entered the business world with a firm grasp of repairing vehicles, but he had no experience in managing a business. He surrounded himself with trained professionals such as an accountant advising him on business decisions and he follows successful automotive shops’ business practices.
He recently saw one shop using an old ambulance for roadside tows and accident recovery. This led him to buy an old Boothbay Region Ambulance Service for his business.
“We gutted the ambulance and put in equipment for attending roadside tows and accidents. The inside is filled with tools so it’s perfect for those types of situations because it has AC (air-conditioning) and heat. It really makes a lot of sense for that kind of work,” he said.
This spring, Sprague is expanding his operation. He will add three more bays to accommodate more space for tearing apart a car and diagnosing problems. A foundation has already been laid, and later this spring he plans on framing it.