800 E. River Road
Belen, N.M., 87002
Owners: The Auge family, including Ed, Robert, Tim, Jeremy and Dave Auge
Type of business: Automotive sales and service
How long in operation: Since 1946
1. What are some of the unexpected lessons you’ve learned being in business?
“We have all learned that things in business are not always as they appear to be, and that change can occur without warning or without your permission. Also, the value of good employees make the value of your business greater.”
2. What advice do you have for someone starting a business?
“Do not expect things to be as easy and uncomplicated as you thought they would be before you got this idea.”
3. What is the most enjoyable aspect of your line of work?
“People, customers and employees, who really appreciate your service and concern for their problems. It is very rewarding to know you have good friends as customers.”
4. Who do you admire most in your industry and why?
“Industry leaders have come and gone over the years. The one that will always stand out in my memory is our experiences with Lee Lacocca. Some people stick out in your memory, and he is one that does. Our family experiences with Mr. Lacocca would take a lot longer time to tell than we have here, but he is my most memorable character.”
5. What is it about Valencia County that keeps you doing business here?
“Our family history goes back almost 100 years here, and the town and county have been good to us for a very long time. That kind of history keeps us here, and allows us to continue successfully here in Belen.”
6. How have you been able to attract and maintain customers or clients?
“Our best source of customers seems to be our customers themselves. It only makes sense that if you have a good experience at a business, you tell others. This seems to happen to us on a daily basis. We love our customers! The people of Belen and Valencia County have been good to us for many years, and we will continue to return the favor.”
7. What do you do on a daily basis to make your business better?
“Try to listen to your employees and your customers. They may not know your business, but they see things from a different angle, and that can make a big difference. We cannot always see the forest for the trees, and many times another viewpoint can solve a problem. Don’t think they are always just looking out for themselves.”
8. Where do you see your business in the future?
“We have expanded and contracted over the years several times. Expansion can be difficult, and we have learned that you better be sure of your footing before you take the step. Our current situation is comfortable and affordable, and at this time it is adequate. Expansion may happen again, but it will be done carefully.”