Battlefield Service Center: Customer Focused – Community Driven
Although Todd Atkinson had been building engines and racing cars for most of his life, he and his wife Barbara took a big step last year when they bought Battlefield Service Center from its 77-year-old owner Cecil Vencill.
Vencill had been repairing cars for a half century and had run Battlefield Service Center at the Corner of Walnut Grove Road and Mechanicsville Turnpike for 21 years.
For most of his life, cars had been a hobby for Atkinson, who made his living in the printing and graphic arts business, a business that no longer had much of a future.
“I realized I’m in an industry that’s in a major decline. In a way, though, I’ve been in cars all my life,” Atkinson said.
Atkinson had raced his classic Chevy Camaros at drag strips up and down the East Coast for years and had been building racing engines for customers and friends as AMD Motorsports.
Adding in his business degree and experience in printing, he already had the basics necessary to operate a successful auto repair business.
His wife, Barbara, manages the business office, while still devoting a few days a week to her career in specialty printing for the hospitality industry.
With their service technicians Joey Henderson and Troy Allen (Allen and Atkinson have known each other since they were 10) the Atkinsons made positive changes in the car repair business.
The first step was getting four service lifts up and running and creating a clean, modern office and customer waiting room.
“With the previous owner, customers would sit around a little heater in the winter and a fan in the summer, listening to bluegrass music and waiting for their cars,” Barbara Atkinson said.
They made the operation more efficient and much more inviting for customers, many of whom are teachers and staff from Battlefield Elementary School, which is across the street.
“We are business partners with the school and support them in their activities. We want to be good neighbors, so they can concentrate on the children and we can help them with their cars,” Barbara Atkinson said.
Friends in the racing community who were already involved in automotive repair businesses came forward with helpful advice, she added.
The company motto is “Customer Focus – Community Driven,” and the Atkinsons believe in it.
“We want to take care of our customers, out vendors and our employees and to earn their trust and confidence,” Barbara Atkinson said.
“We are trying to have a hometown feel while offering the services for the larger facilities.”
Those services include State Inspections, transmission service and repair, engine diagnosis, tune-ups and electrical wiring troubleshooting, tire repair and replacement, batteries and oil changes and truck and diesel repair.
Battlefield Service Center is open from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. It is located at 8193 Walnut Grove Road, Mechanicsville. Call (804) 746-8894.