Where would we be without class nerds? Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak make us more productive and well-informed, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg keep us entertained, and George Rode keeps our cars happily humming in tune.
President and owner of Autohaus, George started out as a self-described electronics freak at South Eugene High. He got his jollies by creating weird gadgets like audio oscillators and resistance substitution boxes. "I was the really annoying kid in class," he recalls. "Every time there was a weird noise in the classroom, everyone turned around to see what I was up to."
George earned his way through business classes at Lane Community College by doing auto repairs in his home garage. Although he never had shop classes or formal auto repair training, he diligently studied books and manuals. He recalls that instead of learning to do a particular auto repair, he'd study the relevant theory and from that, understand how to do the repair.
As a project for one of his business classes in 1972, George had to come up with an assumed business name and apply for it. The state of Oregon granted him the name European Auto Repair, and he promptly started a business in his home garage.
He then went to Idaho for a year, where he worked for an American Motors/Subaru dealership. He had free rein to do whatever repairs he wanted, and he covered the gamut: rebuilding automatic transmissions, front end alignments, installing windshields, air conditioner repairs--you name it. After only two months he became the dealership's head technician.
He returned to Eugene , where he worked for the local Subaru dealership for three months. In May, 1975, he hung out his shingle as European Auto Repair at 28th and Willamette . (Despite the name, he worked on Asian vehicles as well.) In 1979, George began teaching adult education auto repair classes at LCC, a pursuit he continued for 13 years.
After six years growing pains forced him to find a larger shop. On January 1, 1980, George took possession of and moved to the current location of EuroAsian Automotive at 1917 Franklin Boulevard . In 1991, he updated his business name to more accurately reflect the service his facility provides.
Pursuant to his extraordinary passion for business, in 2003 George took ownership of Autohaus where he continues to ford the way with exemplary business practices in the automotive repair industry.
"This is a very satisfying business to be in," George muses. "I really enjoy helping my clients with their automotive needs and concerns." He's also grateful that he's bucked the statistics for small businesses: 90 percent go belly-up in the first ten years.
Even after 30 years as a successful businessman, George still hasn't lost his old passion for gadgetry. Just look at the amount of computers in the office or ask him to demonstrate his high-tech Palm Pilot V or Home Automation sometime. If you've got an hour or two that is.
"This is a very satisfying business to be in," George muses. "I really enjoy helping my clients with their automotive needs and concerns."