EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Some jobs just seem to run in the family.
At a car repair shop in the Lower Valley, three generations of men from the Hinojos family have disproved the old adage that you should never go into business with relatives.
Their shop just off Alameda, now known as the Advanced Auto Collision Center, goes back more than four decades to a little auto center in Downtown El Paso that was founded by Tito Hinojos.
Tito’s son, Johnny, and now his grandson, Jason, have since taken the reins of this venture that is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau.
They take pride in their work on a five-acre lot in the Lower Valley, where they work alongside other employees who might not be related by blood, but are nonetheless now part of a large “extended” family.
“So a lot of these employees have seen me in diapers. That’s how long a lot of them have been here,” said Jason Hinojos. “You know, it means a lot to me that I’m here and they’re still here.”
The shop, which sits just down the street from Riverside High School, was opened in 1990 following a fire at their original downtown location.
“We had an incident downtown that at the time was nerve-racking,” said Johnny. “And at the time, we thought it was the end of the world. But here we are. It was a blessing in disguise, and we’ve been at this location since 1990.”
Being just down the street from a local high school has also given the collision center a chance to give back to the community.
“I also built a body shop inside Riverside High School – the vocational school career center. We also have young men and women, and we look forward to bringing them over here to us,” said Johnny, who also teaches students at EPCC.
While the business has remained a staple in the local community, the automotive industry as a whole has been changing rapidly over the last few years.
But this family says they are up for the challenge and ready for whatever the future brings in the industry.
“Right now is actually an exciting time because the cars are changing,” Jason said. “You know, there’s a lot of new cars with new technology. There’s a lot of new cars coming out, all-electric. He’s learning. I’m learning. We’re all learning here.”