Business Profile: KAT Automotive – Aug 2020

KAT Automotive is your locally owned and operated automotive repair shop servicing the Bragg Creek, Redwood Meadows, Foothills and Rocky View County areas. Having grown up in the Priddis, Millarville and Bragg areas, Kevin & Amber Den Hoed were very involved in community from early on with their families from Scouts, 4-H, church, Millarville Ag Society Fair & Races and many other community events. Both Kevin and Amber went on to volunteer in the Priddis/Foothills Volunteer Fire Department where Kevin was the Deputy Chief and Amber became an EMT/ Captain and Training Officer. Together they would serve the communities for over 10 years with Kevin working in the area as a mechanic and Amber going on to serving the community working for E.M.S. Fast forward several years and now with their daughter Tara they wanted to be able to give back to their communities again, this time deciding how they could best serve their friends, family and neighbours they knew instantly how they could do it and “K”(Kevin) “A”(Amber) “T”(Tara): KAT Automotive was created. Initially the intent was to make some extra cash to help pay for Tara’s hockey career but they soon saw that there was a great need for the type of business they offered because there weren’t any automotive repair shops in the area. They wanted to raise Tara with a well established sense of community and to know the importance of community: which meant supporting small businesses in order to help keep the community feel, treating people right, listening to them and having conversations with them, and working towards a common goal. To them that’s having that “small town” feel, they also feel it’s important to make sure that the business is respectful of nature and they love when the doe and fawns walk past the garage bay doors on their way to feed.

Kevin has worked in the industry for over 28 years, all of which was in the local area, gaining experience working at independent shops and at dealerships where he gained his certification as a Master Technician. For the last eight years he has been an instructor at S.A.I.T. teaching the final period (4th Year) in the Automotive Service Technician Apprenticeship Program. Working closely with AMVIC over the past 8 years, Kevin knows not just the required legality of, but also the consumer protection benefits of, being licensed with AMVIC. This was something that KAT was adamant about in ensuring that the shop is AMVIC licensed, insured and all legal. There are strict guidelines and policies that have to be met in order to be licensed with AMVIC, these are in place to protect both the customer and the automotive shop. In fact, legally all automotive repair businesses in Alberta must be licensed by AMVIC and that includes anyone who performs any of the following inspections:

  • motor/crankshaft/head gasket/manifold/piston/timing belt/valves
  • brakes/caliper/shoe/cylinder/clutch
  • struts/power steering/ball joints/shocks/sway bar
  • transmission/driveshaft/axle/bearings
  • air conditioning/heater/cooling system/radiator/water pumps/thermostat
  • mufflers/cruise controls/alternators
  • mechanical work performed on recreation vehicles

This AMVIC license helps to ensure that the manufacturer’s New Car Warranty and/or Parts Suppliers Warranty are honored.

Most “backyard”, “home”, mechanics or “curbsiders”, especially anyone who offers deals and “cash” jobs, do not have this license and therefore as a customer you have lost your protection and peace of mind and it can adversely affect your vehicle’s warranty and any parts supplier warranties.

When KAT Automotive started, they wanted to be the place that customers want to bring their vehicle to and who feel confident in sending friends and family as referrals. They hope customers choose to come to KAT Automotive not only because they strive to keep prices low, but more because they only have employees that are industry experienced, knowledgeable, with high standards, ethics & strict morals. KAT knows that sometimes vehicle repairs can be very expensive so they strive to make sure that they talk with our customers and try to prioritize repairs, starting with safety issues first, then on the basis of necessity so that it’s not so overwhelming. KAT provides estimates so customers can budget for the upcoming repairs. Whenever possible, Kevin tries to educate his customers so they feel that they have a good understanding of the repairs completed or required.

When KAT started, they knew there was a need for the type of shop they wanted to run, it was just a matter of taking that first step. Now that they’ve been operating for just over a year they have built up a fantastic customer base, started a Fleet Discount Program, the 10% KAT Loyalty Referral program has been very active with 10% off Labor for all referrals, and even had their first Emergency Services Appreciation Discount event, which will be wrapping up on Aug 31, 2020.

KAT hopes to be your choice when it comes to your vehicle whether it’s servicing and routine maintenance or diagnosing problems and ultimately the actual repairs. They have the equipment and knowledge to do most every type of vehicular repair, what they don’t have, they have established good business relationships to outsource to. KAT Automotive can compete with any independent, franchised, and most dealership repair shops. Because they have been growing steadily, they are always upgrading and learning new equipment and techniques in order to assist their customers.

They specialize in diesel, gas and hybrid powered engine vehicle repairs and as their ads state, can do everything from driveability, transmission repairs, steering & suspension, electrical, tire sales and service, to brakes, and can even work on trailers.

Most recently at KAT we are branching out onto social media as we try to stay current and available to our customers. Please check out our website or our facebook page KAT Automotive, and we just launched on Instagram @kat.automotive.

Bottom Line at KAT Automotive: We want our customers to feel like they have been treated right, that we have fixed their vehicle concerns, and that they feel they have gotten quality products and customer service at an affordable price. KAT Automotive looks forward to meeting more new customers as we expand our business to meet the community’s needs.

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