Eve Knudtsen In the Driver’s Seat of Family Automotive Business Serving Idaho for Nearly 90 Years - BodyShop Business

Eve Knudtsen In the Driver’s Seat of Family Automotive Business Serving Idaho for Nearly 90 Years

Sponsored by Auto Body Repair of America

Eve Knudtsen has always had motor oil in her veins. And rightfully so. Her family founded the Knudtsen Post Falls Chevrolet dealership in 1939 followed by a collision repair facility, and a member of the Knudtsen family has been leading the business ever since, serving customers across Idaho and Washington State.

Knudtsen grew up in the business, first manually doing customer history reports then customer satisfaction calls. This was followed by working as the cashier, warranty clerk and ordering new vehicles.

After graduating from Northwood University – with degrees in automotive marketing and business administration, of course – she went to work for General Motors in the Electronic Data Systems (EDS) dealer systems division. She returned to the retail environment to sell cars and attended the NADA academy in 1987. Following that, she spread her wings in Los Angeles and focused on finance and insurance services.

When Knudtsen’s father called her to come home and run the dealership in 1995, she didn’t hesitate, first working as general manager then taking over as the dealer principal. Clearly in the driver’s seat, she has continued to grow and expand the business since then.

Today, they have three locations – the original Knudtsen Post Falls Chevy dealership, Knudtsen Foothills Lincoln in Spokane, WA, and Knudtsen Foothills Mazda – with two collision repair facilities to serve their customers.

Partnership with Abra Brings New Chapter of Growth

Abra reached out to Knudtsen as a potential partner, and in 2014, she united the Abra family with her own.

“They really brought a competitive advantage for us,” noted Eve Knudtsen. “They have helped guide us on our growth path as we acquire OEM certifications, implement standardized programs and pursue relationships with our insurance partners.”

Knudtsen recently opened Abra Foothills of Spokane adjacent to their Lincoln and Mazda dealerships, but it was a deal that took several years to complete.

“We acquired the Spokane Precision Collision location back before Covid, but put the location on hold for several years,” she noted. “We finally finished and moved into our new 18,000 square-foot facility. Ideally, we want to have five locations, so we’re on the lookout for our next opportunity.”

Building a Family Atmosphere One Employee at a Time

“Having a family environment is critical to our business – and always has been,” said Knudtsen, whose daughter Lauren Benedict has become her partner after her brother sold his share to her. “We stay close with our employees, even if they pursue a new opportunity, and recently had a previous general manager return as our director of support.”

Knudtsen is importing talented candidates to the lifestyle of the Northwest and opportunities to grow with her team, bringing a new estimator for her Spokane location from Florida. She is also working to grow her own team members, partnering with local trade schools and community colleges on an apprentice program.

Legacy of Philanthropy Drives Brand Awareness

The Knudtsen family has a long history of community involvement. Eve Knudtsen and Lauren Benedict have served on the Boards of the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce, Idaho Automobile Dealers Association, Coeur d Alene Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Co Chair. They are currently serving on the Boards of the Coeur d’Alene Area Economic Development Corporation, and by appointment to Governor Little’s State of Idaho Economic Advisory Council.

“We have always worked to be a good community partner,” said Knudtsen. “We were one of 15 organizations who helped build the local technical high school that serves three districts, and our focus is on providing education opportunities for every young person in our community to have a rewarding and satisfying career. We also give away a car to a student each year to help them further their education.”

Knudtsen also encourages employees to get involved and give back, with opportunities to partner with many local organizations, charities, and events with the goal of supporting the local community and those in need of a helping hand.

Knudtsen continues to accelerate the family business with her unique background and automotive expertise, and now with her daughter as her co-pilot, shows no signs of slowing down.

For more information, visit AbraAuto.com.

Sponsored by ABRA.

You May Also Like

Repair Planning Field Report: How OEM repair procedure changes affect your shop

Since publishing Field ReportV2, RepairLogic has been welcomed by nearly 1,000 repair centers looking to research OEM procedures more frequently and efficiently. Collision repairers are using OEM procedures more often, sharing RepairLogic reports to help claim reps and vehicle owners understand repair requirements, and taking advantage of features that make it easy to collaborate with

Since publishing Field ReportV2, RepairLogic has been welcomed by nearly 1,000 repair centers looking to research OEM procedures more frequently and efficiently. Collision repairers are using OEM procedures more often, sharing RepairLogic reports to help claim reps and vehicle owners understand repair requirements, and taking advantage of features that make it easy to collaborate with technicians without sacrificing touch time.

Long-Time Business Starts New Chapter with Second Generation Owners

Heather Cullaton learned the benefit of giving back from their father, Fred Haberl, longtime CARSTAR franchise partner in Lakeland, FL. She works with the Boy Scouts, her church, NABC Recycled Rides and other community programs. On this particular day, she finds herself at a 4H show, buying a pig for a student to grow and

Simplifying the ADAS Opportunity

ADAS Business Planning for Collision Centers – the Pros & Cons for All Options

Restoring Beauty to America’s Roadways

By Steve Calitri

Use Less, Make More in the Paint Shop

One of the challenges we face every day is how can we be more competitive in the marketplace. Collision Centers must be efficient and profitable if they want to remain in the game long term. It is critical that we identify the steps to becoming more efficient by using less to make more money. Step

Other Posts

From Truck Beds to RVs: How GLADIATOR™ XC Elevates Protective Coatings

Explore the all new matte extreme coating

NEGOTIATING WITH INSURANCE CO’S AT WRECKWEEK

By Steve Calitri

Encouraging Continued Education Through Your Trusted Distribution Partner

In today’s collision repair industry, it’s crucial to acknowledge the fact that vehicles have undergone significant changes. These changes have been so extensive that they can no longer be compared to our parents’ or grandparents’ vehicles. We were used to straightening metal, sanding, and spraying paint, but now we have to be computer technicians, metallurgy

Stop Subletting: Simplifying the ADAS Opportunity

In-house ADAS calibrations means safety, efficiency, and profitability for collision shops. Control the process and reap the benefits. Learn more in this six-part series. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is an umbrella term for the multiple vehicle safety and convenience systems becoming increasingly common on today’s vehicles. Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW),