Industry Says Goodbye To Bob Greenwood – Editorial

Industry Says Goodbye To Bob Greenwood – Editorial

The Last Word, Doug Kaufman’s monthly editorial, pays tribute to a dedicated industry leader.

The automotive repair industry lost a mentor, an advocate and a friend recently. Bob Greenwood, president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket E-Learning Centre, died of a heart attack on September 9. He was 71.

As a business coach and mentor to shop owners and jobbers across North America, Bob was recognized for his engaging style and ability to discuss this industry in ways that made being part of it  less of a “job” and more of a profession.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Bob only a few weeks before his passing for a podcast episode of “Talking Shop with ShopOwner.” I had heard him speak years ago at a conference, but hadn’t officially met him until we spoke via Microsoft Teams.

Admittedly, he and I both were having trouble with our electronic connection that day. He could see but couldn’t hear me; I could hear but couldn’t see him.  Our struggles to communicate made both of us laugh because the topic we were discussing was “Changing Technology – Is This The Same Aftermarket It Used to Be?”

Bob explained to me that what has traditionally been a purely mechanical, “fix what’s wrong by replacing a part” job, is now a technical profession. “I always like to say, the trade days are done,” he explained. “This is a true profession today. The amount of knowledge you need in a shop today from management right through to the front counter to the back office over to the technician is incredible.”

You know that, of course, but Bob pointed out that not everyone does. Sure, customers may still think of you as a greasy-knuckled mechanic but, unfortunately, so do some of your peers. And, if there are some who have not embraced this, it’s got to make it more difficult for the rest of the shops who are working hard to grow their business and the industry.

“I’m greatly concerned about the aftermarket and where it’s going. It’s got to understand that education is a necessity today. An average technician now requires a minimum of 100 hours of development courses a year now. Management requires six to eight days of management development a year now,” Bob said. “This attitude of not staying on top of things is exceptionally dangerous.”

Bob was slated to present his management training session at AAPEX in Las Vegas this fall – he was excited to help build relationships between shops and clients – never customers.

“A customer isn’t loyal, just price focused. A client, on the other hand, sees that you bring value to the table for what you’re charging to make sure each job is done correctly. And, your client recognizes that difference – that you’re there to look after their vehicle properly, based on how they use that vehicle and their expectations out of it,” Bob said.

You can listen to my Talking Shop conversation with Bob online at or wherever you find your podcasts. If you knew Bob, you’ll smile at his memory. If not, you’ll learn from his wisdom. My condolences to his family, friends and coworkers on his passing.

AAPEX will still have great training – but we’ll all miss Bob’s perspective.

You May Also Like

Adapting To Enduring Expectations 

Where we once provided business and technical information in a monthly print magazine, we now have daily newsletters and on-call websites to help spread the message of quality service.

My last name isn’t Ford, Diesel, Kettering or Watt, so my contributions to the automotive industry may never be covered in the automotive classes of tomorrow (or even remembered past today).

Yet, I do take credit for one industry first, at least within the storied history of Babcox Media – I ushered the era of electronic communication into the pages of our magazines.

Do You Want The Bad News Or Good?

There are many ways you can help play the long game, and TechForce has free resources to help inspire and promote the profession. 

Timeless Quotes Teach & Inspire

Here are six quotes that every future shop owner should live by.

EV Charging

Charging will get better as technology improves and drivers change their behaviors.

Keep On Rockin’ Into The New Year

Nominations are still open for Vehicle Care Rockstars!

Other Posts

Being Happy Gets In The Way of Being Successful

Bryce Kenny says his greatest satisfaction comes from helping others to find the courage to chase their dreams.

Quality Triumphs!

We interact with our cars differently and today’s parts quality matters more than ever.

Putting Yourself First For Safety

Shop safety policies and procedures are only as good as those following them. Make sure you’re watching out for you!

It Ain’t Bragging If You Can Back It Up

For the great work they do, shop owners like Harrison Keyes talk less about “me” and more about “us.”