DRIVE is happy to announce PEARL CITY AUTO WORKS of Honolulu, HI as its January 2020 SHOP SPOTLIGHT OF THE MONTH.

Owner, Erin Rodriguez, took over from her Dad in 2005.

PEARL CITY AUTO WORKS is owned by Erin Rodriguez who carries on her father’s legacy by being the second generation to own the facility. Her Dad, Dennis Nakamura, originally opened up PEARL CITY in the 1980s and now Erin carries on his love of cars and his priority of always offering great customer service. She grew up working at the shop and came to love the car world – learning everything from her Dad.

L2R Front: Erin, Shay (Service Writer) L2R Back: Raul (Erin’s husband & Co-Owner), Keoki (Front Office Manager), Troy (Tech), Gene (Lead Tech)

Dennis was a local legend in Hawaii’s racing community – not only was he a demon on the track but he could fix any repair issue. Fifty other mechanics could have looked at the problem and thrown their hands up, but Dennis could get to the root of the problem without breaking a sweat. It actually helped build his business.

Although Erin had been working at PEARL CITY since she was 12 and proved her love of cars to her family, Dennis was reluctant to have his daughter run the business. But his reluctance was actually the push she needed to take over. Erin took the reins in 2005 and has grown the shop to a thriving and successful business. Her two-bay shop exceeds the production and efficiency of any 5-bay shop on the island.

If asked, Erin says that she was “born in the car world. My father started it and I had to help my family as a 12-year-old. I knew that I would always love anything with a motor…and now here I am, the second-generation owner of PEARL CITY AUTO WORKS.”

Erin is proudest of her 6-person strong team – with a combined 100 years + in the industry, her employees are a family. And in turn, they treat all of their customers like family, too.

Erin’s shop was struggling nine years ago, but after coming onboard with DRIVE, “the business has grown to heights unimaginable” says Erin. She and her husband, Raul, now have time to spend together and ride motorcycles – just one of the activities she can do on the beautiful island of Oahu.

A major focus of PEARL CITY is technology. “We strive very hard to continuously learn new technologies to keep up with vehicle advancements. To be successful in this industry, the learning and training for both the owner and shop employees needs to be an ongoing priority.”

“I’ve learned from DRIVE and my Business Consultant, Andrea, that with proper planning and training, a shop can grow to be more successful than dreamed of. Thank you DRIVE for pushing me and giving me the tools to succeed,” adds Erin.


Published: SHOP OWNER Magazine, Motor Age