ACG Auto has served Kraków’s car enthusiasts for over 26 years. We talk with Service manager Grzegorz Wierzba and discover the story behind the garage and how from its base near the city’s Stock Exchange its expert team has enjoyed both motorsport and commercial success.
What is the history of the garage, how did it start?
I’ve had a passion for cars ever since my childhood and starting the garage allowed me to combine this interest with a career. It opened in the early 1990s and began as a small business specialising in car sales, but it has grown to include a car wash and two workshops, one of which has full diagnostic facilities.
My son has also inherited my love of cars, having raced go-karts and high-performance sports cars. In addition to running the garage, we’ve enjoyed a lot of motorsport success. Having first-class facilities and an excellent team of mechanics has really helped with our racing and we won both the karting Polish Championships and Grand Final Championships in Portugal.
Is there anything unique or interesting about your garage? What does it specialise in?
We have a professional Sportbox karting simulator and encourage customers to try it out and enjoy some tuition from my son.
The garage offers a broad range of services, including diagnostics and repairs. We also prepare many race cars, with an emphasis on the mechanical side, which often includes the modification of the suspension, chassis, brakes or drivetrain.
Additionally, we can provide a detailing service and breakdown assistance, which includes recovery back to our garage. Finally, there’s the availability of our VIP taxi service and the opportunity for customers to rent a selection of luxury and sports cars.
Customers really appreciate our experience, our attention to detail and the fact we have the very best equipment.
What kind of culture does the garage have?
There’s a traditional, family-run feel, but there’s also a very big motorsport theme. We really try to share our passion for racing with our customers and this is something that’s likely to get even stronger in the future. We want to compete in a racing series and are currently in talks with one of the leading Polish race teams and sponsors.
Is there a funny or memorable moment in the garage’s history?
No two days are ever the same, so every day is memorable! However, there was one repair on an Audi A6 which I will never forget. It had had some work to the engine three weeks previously and on stripping it down we discovered that the crankshaft bearing had been screwed to the conrod! We had never seen anything like it and the customer couldn’t believe it.
What are the most technically challenging tasks that you encounter regularly in the workshop?
Working with race cars is the most challenging. We consider every component individually and with the pressures placed on a car during racing, there is no margin for error. With our attention to detail and advanced workshop facilities, we know that every race car we prepare will be able to perform at 100 per cent.
What is the most valuable characteristic in a technician or employee?
It is very hard to find good employees and, for us, it’s vital that they are conscientious and diligent.
Is there any advice you can give to other workshops regarding difficult customers?
Be calm. Often a customer does not have automotive knowledge, gets upset or tries to tell us how to complete the repair. We try to explain the problem in a clear and transparent way. It really works.
What do you think will be the major changes in the vehicle service industry in the next 10-15 years?
Electronics will continue to show the biggest advances, with electric and hybrid vehicles dominating the market. We’re slowly adapting to the changes in the market. For example, we’re currently looking at courses which will give our mechanics the skills and official qualifications that are required to work on electric cars.
Why do you like to work with the products/services provided by Federal-Mogul Motorparts?
We use many F-M brands, such as MOOG for suspension work, BERU glow plugs and Champion spark plugs and wiper blades. They work well for us and the customer. For example, we fitted Ferodo Racing brake pads to an Audi RS3 and the customer was very happy with the braking performance.
What experiences have you had with the Garage Gurus program?
Garage Gurus support, as well as frequent technical training, allows us to improve our qualifications. We strive to keep up with the ever-changing automotive repair industry with ongoing training and courses.
What changes, progress or goals would you like to see your garage achieve in the next five years?
We try not to stand still and aim for continual growth. Our plan is to eventually establish a network of our services under the ACG Auto banner.