DeLong Auto Group Provides Full-Service Experience at New Car Care Center
Writer / Seth Johnson
For more than a decade, DeLong Auto Group has provided Tipton County with a quality selection of used cars. With their newly opened DeLong Auto Care center, they can now give customers the best in auto service too.
“I don’t know if you’d call it our slogan, but we provide quality vehicles at a price you can afford,” says DeLong Auto Group Co-owner Dan DeLong. “We’ve taken that same motto, and we now provide quality service at a price you can afford. We’ve got the facilities to do that now.”
Located in Tipton, DeLong Auto Care held a ribbon-cutting celebration in September, complete with free food, raffles and more. As a full-service car care center, they can help with any auto repair needs a customer may have, according to Dan. If by any chance we are missing the parts to complete the repair, you can get the info here about an online car parts store.
“We do automobile diagnostics,” he says. “We do AC repair, tires, brakes, muffler and exhaust service. We kind of do it all, if you will. Basically, if you’ve got a problem with your car, we can diagnose and fix it.”
Born and raised in Tipton, DeLong and his son D.K. own and operate DeLong Auto Group and DeLong Auto Care together, making the business family-owned and operated. With lifelong roots in the community, the co-owners say Tipton is more than just a place of business to them.
“We worship here,” Dan says. “We coach here. We’re on different boards here, between my son and I.”
After opening the first DeLong Auto Group location in Tipton in 2010, the family then opened a second location in Kokomo, before eventually realizing the value a car care center would bring to the mix. Hence, DeLong Auto Care came to be.
“We were servicing our own cars and wanted a value-add for our customers,” Dan says. “We decided to add a service center to add to our portfolio, so we could become more of a one-stop shop and add more value to our customers by providing service after the sale.”
When it comes to their staff, the pair looks for the best in customer service.
“What I tell my guys is, ‘We treat people the way we want to be treated,’” Dan says.
Specifically, the DeLong Auto Care co-owners employ mechanics who are open and honest with customers about their car and its needs.
“I take pride in the honesty of our employees,” D.K. says, adding that dependability and integrity are also characteristics they look for in DeLong Auto Care employees. “With some service centers you go to, they’ll tell you to get stuff you don’t really need. We just want our employees to be honest so people don’t feel like they’re getting cheated.”
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, DeLong has experienced some product shortages, although Dan explains that the challenges they’ve faced have been similar to other industries.
“It’s kind of like everything, whether it’s toilet paper or whatever,” he says. “It’s very similar. We’re just a different industry.”
As essential businesses, Dan says all locations have been able to stay open through the past few years, with additional safety and sanitation measures.
“When we service, we’re wiping down cars and steering wheels,” Dan says. “That’s how it’s affected us more than anything.”
Since opening DeLong Auto Care, Dan and D.K. say they’ve received an overwhelmingly positive response from the Tipton County community. As a matter of fact, DeLong Auto Care is hiring more technicians just to keep up with the high demand they’ve received.
“We’re about to hire another mechanic, so we’ll be able to get more cars in and more cars out,” D.K. says. “That will also help us at DeLong Auto Group, to be able to get our cars out faster.”
In reflecting on the early success, Dan and D.K. simply wish to keep serving the Tipton County community with all of their auto needs for years to come.
“Everybody in Tipton County trusting us to work on their vehicles feels good,” D.K. says. “We hope to keep growing and keep serving the community.”
DeLong Auto Care is located at 1030 East Jefferson Street in Tipton. You can reach them via phone at 765-675-8833 or visit them online at delongautogroup.com.