Seth Thorson has specialized in the service of European automobiles since 1999. First, in Michigan and now at his current location in New Brighton, MN.
Seth was educated at a UTI in Chicago where he was at the top of his class. He then went to BMW Step to finish the master’s program. Thorson was hired in at a BMW dealership in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. From there he moved to an independent shop in Waterford Michigan and learned VW Audi. Seth’s passion remained with BMW and he was offered a chance to buy an existing shop in New Brighton, Minnesota near where he grew up.
Seth believes in specialization.
Eurotech (the existing shop Seth now owns) specializes in BMW, Mercedes and Audi cars. He is a firm believer in using factory tools to ensure proper repairs and coding. His team of highly trained and certified technicians are able to diagnose today’s complex vehicle systems! His second location, Green Garage, works on all makes and models.
Seth also owns and runs a BMW tech support company called LMV Bavarian that provides support and programming to a growing network of over 200 shops via remote diagnostics. He also teaches national seminars on BMW diagnostics. Seth has also partnered with SSF auto parts in their unique ‘hands-on’ training program.
Seth belongs to AASP in MN, BIMRS as well as NASTEF. He is also a member of Cecil Bullards (Institute for Automotive Business Excellence) 20 group. He believes idea sharing and networking with other shop owners has helped grow his business.
When he is not working, you will often find him hunting with his dog or on a snowmobile race track.
This episode covers Seth’s Scholarship Endowment for Century College.
Seth has provided a $25,000 endowment scholarship for Century College- Thorson Automotive Scholarship sponsored by Eurotech.
It all started with family gifting donations to college in Seth’s name for birthday’s and holiday’s.
Outreach department contacted Seth, realized there weren’t scholarship opportunities for the automotive department at school.
Based on principle and interest that’s available to pay out- $1,000-$1,200 per year for scholarships, lasts virtually forever.
Creator of endowment scholarship is able to dictate the criteria and terms for the scholarship.
Battling tech shortage starts at middles school and high school level.
Many schools are under-equipped with tools for teaching.
Community college challenges.
Attracting the right people, need to reach out and educate guidance counselors about an automotive career path. Attend school boards, meet with school superintendents.
Parents and students need to view an automotive career as a valuable opportunity. It starts with industry pay.
College is an important foundation for techs. The automotive shop can fine tune and take techs to next level with proper training.
We need participation from shop owners to join the advisory board as well to steer curriculum development.
Hiring techs out of college.
Don’t expect new techs to automatically know everything post-college. Assign mentors to help guide and train them.
Let new techs do various challenging tasks besides changing oil and brakes to keep engaged.
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