Merchant Monday: Sunrise Automotive |

Merchant Monday: Sunrise Automotive

Kirk Caraway
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

The view from the windows of Sunrise Automotive has changed a lot in the past 20 years.

Back when Stan Gaworski and Tom Betterton joined forces and opened their repair shop for Hondas and Subarus on Highway 50 East, they were surrounded by a lot of empty space. Now there is a freeway outside their front door ” and a lot of new development.

But what hasn’t changed is their commitment to helping their customers take care of their cars.

“I don’t think of it as a job,” Gaworski said. “It’s what I’ve been doing since I was 13. I’ll be doing it until I’m at least 90.”

Next month will be the 20th anniversary for Sunrise Automotive.

“We both worked at the Honda-Subaru dealer here in town,” Betterton said. “I was the head Honda mechanic, and Tom was the head Subaru mechanic. We got together and opened this.”

Gaworski said one of the reasons they went into business for themselves was to be closer to their customers, and communicate to them about what repairs their cars needed.

After five years in business, Sunrise branched out from servicing only Hondas and Subarus to repairing all makes of Japanese cars. Now they have two other mechanics who work with them. Betterton said. “We specialize, we have all the special tools for the cars we work on. We send our guys to training every year or two, to catch up on the latest stuff.”

Sunrise can take care of all scheduled maintenance required under auto manufacturers’ warranties. They also only use factory parts on all of their repairs.

With repeat customers making up 90 percent of their business, Sunrise does a lot to keep earning their business. One thing they do is a diagnostic check on used cars their customers are thinking of buying.

“We try to keep people out of trouble,” Betterton said. “We’ve seen some bad ones, and we catch them before they buy them.”

With automotive sales in a slump nationwide, Betterton said they are noticing more people wanting to fix their old cars instead of buying new, which is good for his business. But the economic troubles has had an effect.

“It’s been up and down,” Betterton said. “A week ago, I would have said it didn’t, but then we had a couple of slow days this week.”

Sunrise Automotive

2765 Highway 50 East