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AAA buys long-time auto shop in Citrus Heights, eyes additional properties

File photo, Walt’s Auto Service, at 7549 Auburn Blvd., in Citrus Heights.

By Mike Hazlip—
Walt’s Auto Service on Auburn Boulevard is under new ownership after three decades of operation.

Walt’s Auto has been in business for 30 years since first opening March 9, 1992, and former owner Richard Hale says the new owners will keep existing staff.

Hale told The Sentinel in an interview Tuesday that AAA Northern California bought the business, although he still owns the property and has a lease agreement with AAA. The shop is now operating as AAA Citrus Heights Auburn Auto Repair Center.

Walt’s Auto is not the only automotive shop acquired by the insurance and roadside assistance company. AAA is also listed as the owner of Kniesel’s Auto Service Centers, according to the company’s website. Other area locations listed on AAA’s website include Citrus Heights Auto Repair Center at 7649 Sunrise Blvd., Roseville Riverside Auto Repair Center at 980 Riverside Ave., and Sacramento Power Inn Auto Repair Center at 49 Bicentennial Circle.

Michelle Donati, a spokesperson for AAA Northern California, said in an email Thursday that the purchase of Walt’s Auto brings the number of repair shops owned by AAA to a total of 21 locations. She said AAA membership is not required to have a vehicle serviced at AAA-owned shops, but said members receive a discount on labor.

AAA is actively seeking to expand their auto repair shop network, offering business owners flexibility with the transaction, according to information from the company. The organization now owns and operates 39 auto repair centers in Arizona, Northern California, and Nevada with plans to grow to 100 locations in the next five years.

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