From Humble Origins to a Global Presence, at ECS Tuning, the Tradition of Excellence Endures.
Trying to escape religious persecution and a corrupt political class, Andrew Demrovsky set his sights on United States of America and the American dream. The dream of religious and Economic freedom was the driving force to immigrate with his entire family to the USA. In 1959 Andrew Demrovsky came to the United States with a family, a few suitcases, and 500 dollars. His exceptional talent and rigorous training as a machinist in his home country had earned him a sponsorship to the U.S., provided by a manufacturing company in need of his unique skill set.
When he had honored the employment agreement with his sponsor, he opened a small, two-bay auto repair shop in Norton, Ohio, in 1962, and Euro-Car Service was born. With his young son (and namesake) assisting him, Andrew worked exclusively on Volkswagen vehicles at a time before VW had become an automotive icon. Soon, his reputation as a skilled, honest craftsman with old world standards and a total commitment to customer satisfaction enabled him to develop a loyal and growing list of patrons.
Andrew was a product of the strenuous European apprenticeship program, a course of study so demanding that it took years to complete. All students started by learning that any job-no matter how small-was to be done the right way, with care and attention to detail. Raw apprentices were assigned a broom and cleaning supplies and expected to master their use before moving on to more formal training that included mathematics, welding, machine operation, and scientific principles commonly reserved for engineering students.
With little cash and a family to support, Andrew's skills as a fabricator and machinist were put to the test making special tools and shop equipment he could ill afford to purchase. "Improvise or perish" became the law of survival for the fledgling business.
His innovation and determination are legend among all who knew him. When a furnace for the shop threatened to break the budget, he bought army surplus truck radiators that were quickly converted into ceiling-mounted heat exchangers, fed by a handcrafted waste oil furnace. The nine foot deep holes for the in-ground post lifts were dug by hand, with a post hole digger. Some of his creations endure to this day: an air powered hydraulic press Andrew fabricated 50 years ago is still chugging away in the ECS Tuning assembly room.
And so it went, one step at a time, with dogged and unrelenting persistence, and an unfailing belief in his ultimate success, a set of values passed on to his son.
After a stint in the armed forces, Andrew Jr. returned full time to help with the increasing work load.
As the business grew, so did the building. In the 1970s, an addition to the original building made room for four new service bays. No longer a VW-only shop, the business took in other European makes.
Even then, vehicle performance was part of the mix. The shop started doing custom repair work and fabrication projects for enthusiasts and owners of exotic performance cars. For patrons with no plan of attack, Euro-Car Service helped devise custom design solutions, individualized by vehicle and customer preference. This unique ability to mix engineering expertise with precision machining created a niche market that enlarged the client base and set the direction for company growth for decades to come.
1980 was a transitional year; a second building addition created a dedicated parts department, keeping fast-moving items on hand for the service bays. Happily, the growth of over-the-counter parts sales grew more than anticipated, making the parts department a profit center as well as a convenience.
Another big change occurred in the 1980s: grandsons Tom and Brian joined their father and grandfather in the business. The young men took to the business immediately and made a lifelong commitment to it in their early teens. It was, after all, in their blood. The continued success of the repair and parts departments gave them the opportunity to learn all aspects of the business, and help grow it at the same time.
As Euro-Car Service prospered into the 1990s, a fresh interest in European performance cars became a central theme that would power the company into the next century.
By the mid 90s, the parts business was growing at a healthy clip.
In 1995 and 1996, Euro-Car Service decided to move beyond reselling parts, and make a product that would bear the company name. Designed in-house and built to order, the Audi S4 Big Brake Kit was a success. Initial sales exceeded expectations, starting locally, but soon spreading out of state. When calls arrived from as far away as Florida, there were smiles all around.
With proof that a market for Euro-car performance products was waiting and ready to be tapped, Euro-Car Service added new products like silicone boost hoses and stainless steel reinforced brake lines to the product line.
In 2001, a second company called ECS Tuning was formed, with a firm nod to tradition and a look toward a future that emphasized the sale and development of premium Euro-Car repair parts and performance products.
A website was set up to promote sales and generate phone orders for repair parts, performance upgrades, and accessories; again, all for German cars. While the first web site was crude by modern standards and did not accept online orders, it was quickly tweaked and polished in a series of upgrades, a process of refinement that continues to this day.
Soon, ECS was shipping worldwide to individual customers and developing a network of carefully selected distributors. In a few short years, a small local parts and service facility in Norton, Ohio had grown beyond national distribution into a global company, shipping to the four corners of the earth.
During this time, dozens of competitors came and went. Many other online and mail order parts companies that had shined brightly for a short time had failed in the long run because they kept irregular business hours and provided inconsistent (or non-existent) customer service. Having dealt face-to-face with service clients for years, Tom and Brian understood the potent and lasting marketing value of prompt, personal service, and the loyalty it instills in customers.
When the web site switched to a full service eCommerce site in 2001, they decided to maintain and enlarge the live phone service support team to provide personalized sales and technical assistance during and after the sale. Today, customer feedback is intensely monitored in an ongoing search for second-to-none customer service solutions.
A Customer-Centered Plan for Success
As the third generation prepared to take the reins at Euro-Car Service, several trends were emerging that could not be denied:
Sales numbers showed a unique opportunity for a company that could ship a turbocharger on Monday, then send fluids, filters, and spark plugs to the same vehicle owner on Tuesday. Patterns clearly indicated that customers smart enough to add a sophisticated performance accessory would demonstrate similar pride of ownership by doing common maintenance and repairs.
If one-stop shopping was a key to future growth, the catalog of available parts had to be large enough to please a larger customer base and fill orders quickly and efficiently. That meant making a standing commitment to growing the parts catalog. (Today, the ECS parts database contains over 1.3 million part numbers, with teams of specialists adding applications for all current product lines. All product descriptions are researched and written in house.)
If products were to be developed and sold under the company name, they had to be carefully designed and engineered, and then manufactured to the highest possible standards. ("Good enough" has never meant good-to-go at ECS Tuning.) Only carefully selected products, designed, manufactured, and tested for fit and performance would bear the ECS Tuning name.
THREE YEARS BRING BIG CHANGES
In 2006, the decision was made to close the still successful service business. After 44 years, Euro-Car Service would no longer accept or schedule service appointments. Instead, it would concentrate its energies on increasing the sale of parts and accessories, with ongoing improvements to customer service. More importantly, the company made a major commitment of time and resources to an all new research and development team tasked with developing a new generation of ECS-engineered products, adding value and performance to the product line. This forward-looking business model was a jarring departure from tradition, but the initial success of the new venture left little time for second-thoughts.
A fast growing inventory soon filled the old building to the point of gridlock, forcing the company to rent additional storage at outlying locations. During this time, a search for a new company headquarters began.The new home of ECS Tuning would have to be large enough to house sales, the support team, shipping, programming, marketing, research and development, and warehouse operations, and still leave room for future growth. A building was chosen in rural Wadsworth, Ohio, with three times the space needed to accommodate existing needs.
After its purchase, it took a full six months of planning and renovation to prepare the new facility. In 2009, the entire ECS staff showed up for a memorable weekend moving blitz that transferred the entire parts inventory, tools and equipment, and office furniture from multiple remote locations to the new Wadsworth facility. Remarkably, the entire move was made in two days, with the web site up and running again and the electronic doors open for business, bright and early the following Monday.
Since that hectic weekend in 2009, ECS Tuning has continued to thrive. The staff has grown fivefold. That extra floor space available on moving day? Filled long ago with parts, products, and equipment.
With over 1.3 million part numbers in our catalog and a modern facility, ECS Tuning is a truly unique company. An active and fully engaged management team closely monitors all business functions. The early business plan remains, with refinements based on statistical analysis of daily operations and customer feedback.
All operations are handled in house. Everything. Web design and programming, marketing and photography, inventory management and shipping, product applications, customer service and tech support, and research and development tasks are all performed by ECS Tuning employees.
As we move deeper into the 21st century, we cling to old values, remembering our roots, even as we embrace change.
That's why we still answer the phone, an increasingly rare service in a world of automated phone-bots (which would be cheaper for us, but a lot more aggravating for you). Our skilled and pleasant live support staff is ready to assist you from 8:00 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST (Monday - Friday) and 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST (Saturday).
That's why we tweak and polish the web site interface to improve navigation, and streamline the ordering process.
That's why we constantly monitor shipping policies and deliveries, tracking your order and solving problems if they arise.
That's why our staff of engineers makes a stringent quality control regimen part of our new product development cycle.
Working Hard for Today; Planning for Tomorrow
Many companies would love to have our impressive parts database, with over 1.3 million part numbers covering all German vehicle subsystems. Amazing, but for us, that is not good enough. Our database never stops growing.
Staying current with the explosion of part numbers caused by new models and increased vehicle complexity is a challenge we gladly embrace. To maintain and improve the size and diversity of our parts coverage, a large (and growing) staff of full-time product specialists researches, evaluates, and adds new products and part numbers, daily.
To make our product descriptions the best and most useful in the world, our staff photographers work full time adding studio quality product images of database items to help customers evaluate prospective purchases. We know of no other company making this commitment.
Our goal? To make ECS Tuning the best source for VW/Audi, BMW, MINI, Mercedes, and Porsche vehicles in the world.
In addition to ECS Tuning products and those from select aftermarket suppliers, customers can now search for genuine, original equipment parts by vehicle type, or by simply typing in the part number. That turns the ECS Tuning search bar into a virtual parts counter for each of our major European brands, allowing customers to shop from the convenience of their keyboards. How good is our parts catalog coverage for major German makes? Over 99% of all parts for German makes are available online at ECS Tuning; lists are updated monthly to keep them current.
Looking to the Future - Product Development
To better serve our customers, ECS Tuning is now the parent company to four house brands: Alzor Wheels, Ziza Lighting, Schwaben Tools and Bremmen Parts. Now customers can search these brand names for repair parts, accessories, and problem solvers, all available at affordable prices. Each of the four brands is evaluated continually to bring fresh, innovative products to a changing market.
Unlike some competitors that limit themselves to a market niche or a certain brand or model, we are never satisfied with yesterday's cars and twentieth century products. Ongoing research keeps us current on new automotive trends and emerging technologies. Instead of the empty marketing promises offered by many others, we have a large and growing Research and Development Department-a real bricks-and-mortar commitment-staffed by bright, energetic engineers who share our collective love for the German car experience, and performance products to make them better.
Our team works in a dedicated, hospital-clean department, complete with lifts and professional repair tools. Combining the power of human imagination, CAD, and 3D printing technology, dozens of new products are always in various stages of design, testing, and pre-production. From digital design to dyno, we are eagerly developing a new generation of exciting air intake, suspension and braking, and powertrain performance products bearing-and backed-by the ECS Tuning name. We're confident you'll like what you see.
Old Dreams, New Horizons
Today's ECS Tuning is the fruit of a fifty year old vision, dreamed boldly by a man who chose America as his home, back in 1959. For over five decades, that dream and an uncompromising dedication to excellence have been handed down from father to son and grandsons.
It comes as no surprise, then, to see the exciting company-wide changes taking place. As we grow, our new employees bring their skills and enthusiasm to the adventure, guided by the wisdom and experience of our current staff. Like all aspects of our business, the expectation of change is nurtured and tempered by the stability of a long-held vision that honors and rewards hard work.
From product development to web enhancements; technical support to shipping, marketing to product application, all of us at ECS Tuning are fine tuning our collective enterprise with our eyes on a bright future, remembering the honorable traditions that brought us this far.