The owners of European Auto Garage, Rich and Cyndi DeFrancisco, have been in business since 2007 and have been operating at their new location since 2017. After visiting their state-of-the-art facility (and the cleanest shop we have ever encountered!) on Lovell Road just north of I-40, Everything Knoxville had the opportunity to find out more about their thriving business and where they are headed in future.

EK: How long has European Auto Garage been in business, and how did you become the owner/operator?

Rich: European Auto Garage has been a leading automotive service facility here in Knoxville since 2007, and we are dedicated to being the first choice for our customers when servicing their BMWs, MiniCoopers, VWs, Audis, Mercedes Benz, Volvos, Land Rovers, and more. Cyndi and I met when I was a Grayson BMW Master Technician. After we married, I left Grayson and worked at a few other independent service shops before the previous owners of EAG hired me to manage the shop.

Cyndi: The owners offered to sell us the shop when they decided to go in a different direction. It was a win-win decision – we wanted to stay in Knoxville, and Rich wanted to continue working with BMWs, so we agreed to buy the shop. After a few years, we purchased the five acre site off Lovell Road and were able to build our dream shop and eventually expand. We made the official move in July 2017 and just finished our newest endeavor, The Stables, last month.

EK: What services does EAG provide for its customers?

Rich: European Auto Garage specializes in maintaining and repairing European vehicles. Our factory trained and certified technicians are well equipped to perform diagnostics, manufacturer recommended maintenance, and complex repairs, whether large or small. Each customer also receives a complimentary 50 point digital inspection report, providing a detailed evaluation, complete with photos and recommendations if repairs or additional services are needed.

Our customers know they can rely on us and our state-of-the-art equipment to fix their vehicles right the first time. We back up all our repairs with our 3 year/36,000 mile nationwide warranty. Our warranty is one of the best in the industry.

We even offer expert, hand wash detailing and ceramic coating services.

Cyndi: We realize that there are many shops in the Knoxville area, so we need to set ourselves apart. The best way to do that is to treat our customers with honesty and integrity. We always think of how we would want to be treated if we were on the other side of the counter.

EK: What makes EAG stand out from other service competitors?

Cyndi: At European Auto Garage, the majority of our team are car enthusiasts who work with cars as a career choice, not just a job. When your goal is excellent service, it’s easy to do with our team – a great bunch of people – who look at every car like it is their own, starting with the front end all the way to the team member that cleans and maintains our shop. Everyone works to provide an exceptional customer experience.

We also took great care in creating a lobby that is welcoming, comfortable, and clean – just like our shop. We realize our customers’ first impression of our business would be very important in what they thought about us overall. Between that and our commitment to communicating with our customers, we feel that we have a competitive edge over our competition.

Rich: It is a priority for us to invest in training our team, state-of-the-art equipment, and the tools required to be the best European shop in Knoxville. Each customer is provided with their 50 point inspection report followed by a review conversation with one of our Service Advisors, whose vehicle knowledge and knowledge of the industry is superior. Most customers don’t leave our shop without a full and complete understanding of the “health” of their vehicle. Because our customers are happy, they do the best advertising by letting friends and family know about us.

EK: We noticed that there is a second “big red barn” on the European Auto Garage property. Can you tell us your plans?

Rich: We have been in business for more than 12 years now, and because we were fortunate enough to purchase the 5 acre lot for our business, we knew we eventually wanted to add more to our original shop. A storage facility seemed like a great idea. We are now getting ready to open our newest venture, “The Stables,” a 9,000-square-foot, secure, climate-controlled, state-of-the-art, concierge style, vehicle storage facility. We expect that our Horsepower Barn will house 50 to 60 vehicles, with available lease terms spanning from monthly all the way to a Founders space.

Cyndi: We have many customers that have multiple vehicles, whether they are racecars, collector’s automobiles, or a convertible they only use seasonally. Storage was a perfect expansion, that way we could also offer our other shop services (maintenance/repair/detailing) without having to add an additional team.

We have also recently installed Blink Electric Vehicle Charging Stations and even invested in a fully electric Ford Lightning. We understand that with the new federal vehicle mandates, we need to be innovative and always be looking at what the future may hold for the automotive industry.

EK: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Cyndi: We understand that car maintenance and repairs are not everyone’s favorite thing to spend money on. We also understand that cost is not the only factor when customers are deciding where to take their car for service. We believe people are looking for value, and that is why we offer our nationwide extended warranty, use OEM parts, and employ Master Certified technicians. EAG wants our customers to feel good about where and what they are spending money on.

Rich: We are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more insight into our company. Call us for a shop or Stable tour, and join us for our Cars and Coffee at the shop on the first Saturday of each even numbered month – October 1st is the next date. We look forward to meeting you!

European Auto Garage
1229 Lovell Road
Knoxville, TN 37932