The team that’s focused on giving caring and complete service to every customer.

Jim Krell

If you ever find yourself in the wide-open countryside of Western Montana, you may happen upon K-O Auto. Jim Krell’s shop has been in business for 28 years and counting. While the shop has grown tremendously, so has Jim as the owner. He’s proud of how far he’s come and what he brings to his town. He knows that the people there are great and “if there is a need, they will all help”. Helping his community is what it’s all about.

Jim on the mountain.

Ronan, Montana is a cozy town with just 2,100 residents. While the community is small and tightknit, there’s still an abundance of activities to do in the area. There’s every kind of outdoor activity you can think of: snowmobiling, motorbiking, boating, camping, hiking, and too many more to list! Jim says most of his free time is taken up by exploring the great outdoors with his family and grandkids.

K-O Auto’s motto is “we care”, from their employees to their customers they’re always going the extra mile. Their dedicated team of 7 uses the state-of-the-art technology they are supplied with to not only do their best, but be the best. The team’s customers know that they will be taken care of every time they step foot in the shop. They know the shop appreciates them and they appreciate the shop in return.

Jim’s morning view going to his shop.

Jim used to feel frazzled and overworked, “I was running around with my hair on fire.” He was in every section of the shop, working on cars, sitting at the front desk, and then going home to do paperwork. It wasn’t until becoming a DRIVE client he felt like he was in command. He says, “DRIVE gives you the tools to have total control of your own success.” Now, he hasn’t worked in the day-to-day operations for two years. He gets to focus on revamping his shop’s systems and spend time with his family. K-O Auto is in a state where it runs itself – and it’s a benefit, not a hindrance.

His advice for other shop owners is the best he’s received, “you can do it”. Self doubt can hold you back, but once you realize you already have everything you need to succeed you can start to change your life. Jim says, “The only person holding you back from what you want to achieve is yourself.” To him, communication is key. Once you know what you want, it’s time to advocate for it. If he can do it, so can you!

The K-O team showing off their new tools.

Jim’s achieved all of his goals so far. He has a great team helping him run a great shop. One of his favorite things is talking to other shop owners and discussing how they’ve conquered their past problems. Networking is one of a shop owner’s largest tool in their arsenal. Jim says it best, “The more we communicate the better off we’ll both be, we can learn from each other.” This is one of the many reasons he’s looking forward to the DRIVE EXPO coming up in August. To him, the best part of the EXPO is being with like-minded shop owners. The environment there is amazing. Everyone wants to become better in the industry and help others achieve their goals.

K-O Auto of Ronan, Montana.

One of the other highlights of the EXPO is seeing the latest news and technology DRIVE has to offer. As a AAA AAR shop, Jim understands the importance of staying on top of the latest information the industry has to offer. This is reflected in the “Top Shop” Award he was awarded by AAA in both 2019 and 2020!

K-O Auto is the place to go for caring and complete car care!






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Prepared by Chase Clough