Wells Automotive under new ownership
December 06. 2013 10:22AM
The new owner of Wells Automotive & Sports Center isn’t necessarily a new face.
Brandon resident Guy Stizmann has consigned with previous owner Don Wells for years. He took over ownership of the company Nov. 1. When Wells decided to sell the business, which he opened in March 2011, he approached longtime collaborator Sitzmann.
“He came to me first, and I thought I might as well,” Sitzmann said.
Five years ago, Sitzmann took early retirement from Citibank, where he had done information technology work. He then started SD-SNIP (Sitzmann New and Improved Products). Wells Automotive will be a subsidiary of that.
SD-SNIP deals with frame-off restores of old cars. Sitzmann said he has done 14 or 15 rebuilders in the past five years and even sold two of them last summer at Automania in Brandon. One was a 1957 Ford custom 300, a Nascar car. The other was a 1969 GMC ¾-ton pickup.
Sitzmann plans to continue restorations at Wells Automotive, which he plans to rename GS Automotive. He will continue to do consignment auto sales, and also will sell Tonneau truck bed covers, running boards, mud flaps and window tinting, as well as other automotive and truck accessories. He is hoping to add remote start installation.
He plans to add new services such as body repair, and he wants to expand on his frame-off restorations. Right now, he is working on a 1972 Chevy and a 1955 Ford ½-ton truck.
Kim Cerwick, executive director of the Brandon Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, said changes in ownership can bring variety to Brandon.
“As different people have different skills, new ownership can breathe new life into a business,” she said.
Because of Brandon’s population growth in recent decades, space isn’t always available for a new or growing business. But for those looking to see what is available, the Chamber might be able to help.
“The Chamber actually has a place on our website, www.brandonvalleychamber.com, called MarketSpace, where members can post their commercial property for lease or sale.” Cerwick said.
Sitzmann and his wife, Nancy, have lived in Brandon 30 years. They have three children and five grandchildren. Sitzmann said he enjoys working on cars and trucks and is happy to be able to continue his hobby.
“It’s still not a job to me,” he said. “I’m having more fun helping people get into a nice vehicle.”