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A&B German Car Care brings big-city experience to small-town business

New auto technician feels at home in Rocklin
By: Andrew Westrope,
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A&B German Car Care

Where: 5820 Pacific St., Suite 115

Info: (916) 672-6199

There was a time when luxury was no luxury to Michael Abelar.

Before he and his wife, Jayne, moved to Loomis and opened their own auto-care business in Rocklin, Abelar had been steeped in metropolitanism for years, training to fix, and then fixing, and then managing the fixing of, German luxury vehicles in large coastal markets — Cupertino, Stanford, Santa Barbara. A few of the cars in those shops belonged to people like Oprah Winfrey and Randy Jackson.

But after they opened A&B German Car Care in Rocklin on Jan. 1, Abelar and his wife used and reused the same word to describe how they felt about their new small-town scene: “right.”

Abelar said he’s been working primarily on German cars like BMWs, Audis, Mini Coopers and Volkswagens since the late 1970s, and that’s the focus of his shop in Rocklin. He cut his teeth working at BMW dealerships while German cars gained popularity in Silicon Valley through the 1980s and 90s, earning the titles of Master Technician and Shop Foreman by training and experience. He moved to Santa Barbara for a time and had a hand in managing BMW, Nissan, Audi and Porsche dealerships there, then moved his family to the Rocklin area in 2007, where he worked at a local BMW dealership and another repair shop.

All of this amounted to 31 years of experience at BMW dealerships and 10 at Audi/VW dealerships, and Abelar was ready for a shop of his own, and a place he could stay.

“It’s the type of area I was raised in down in the Bay Area. The Bay Area has changed quite a bit, but this area seemed to have that feel to it,” he said. “Demographically, for my customer base, it’s right in the middle and draws from all around, from both sides of Rocklin to Roseville to Loomis to Penryn. It draws in Lincoln, it draws that whole area pretty well, and Rocklin is really business-friendly compared to a lot of other towns.”

A&B German Car Care, at 5820 Pacific St, Suite 115, shares the initials of its neighbor, A&B European Motors, but not ownership. Abelar considers that business more of a partner than a competitor, as it services Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Land Rovers.

“It’s just to carry through with their name recognition, plus my last name starts with ‘A’ anyway, so that works for me,” he said.

Abelar’s wife, Jayne, said she found the Rocklin area to be a perfect spot for living and doing business in several respects — not only for its sizeable population of German cars, but for ancillary pleasures like mild weather and recreational commodities. She said the general friendliness of the place has become a defining part of her husband’s approach to business.

“He really takes the time to explain to people what’s wrong with their car, rather than just saying, ‘You need this, this and this’ … so they feel more comfortable and they know what’s going on. Some of the dealerships and the larger car repair shops don’t do that,” she said. “It’s kind of a homey feel. Everybody’s very friendly. It’s not always a pleasant thing, taking your car in for repairs, but they try to make it as pleasant and happy as possible.”

Abelar said his customers tend to stick around and find comfort in the kindness, as he found it here in Rocklin.

“I was at the BMW dealership in Roseville for a time, and clientele, they find you,” he said. “When you’re somebody that’s trustworthy, they seem to find you.”