Koob Auto changes name under new ownership

Steve Koob (left) passed on ownership of his long-time automotive shop in Monticello to Aaron Steuri (right). Koob operated the business for over 30 years. Steuri has worked for Koob since 2014. The new business will be renamed Aaron’s Automotive. (Photo by Kim Brooks)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

After 34 years owning and operating Koob Automotive & Towing, as of the new year, the local business has handed over ownership. 

Steve Koob took over the business from his father in January 1986. As of Jan. 1, 2020, Koob Automotive employee Aaron Steuri has become owner. Along with new ownership comes a new name: Aaron’s Automotive, LLC. 

At 69 years old, Koob said it was just time to step down and attempt to slow down in life. 

Despite taking over the business in the mid-‘80s, Koob actually purchased his first tow truck in 1978. He plans to keep his Koob Wrecker & Crane business going. 

“I always operated that business independently from my dad’s,” Koob said of starting the tow truck business. 

While a little less than half of the auto business entails taking calls for tows and the crane business, this allows Koob to slow down a bit since he’s not quite ready to step down completely. 

Steuri has been working for Koob since November 2014 when he was in high school. At that time, Steuri was working part-time as an intern. He graduated from Monticello High School in 2016 and started with the Auto Tech program at Kirkwood Community College. He went on to complete the auto program and became an ASE Master Certified Technician in May 2018. 

Koob will be on hand to assist Steuri when needed. 

Staying on with Aaron’s Automotive is Jake Clark and Cinda (Koob) Repsel, who like her father, grew up in the hometown auto business. 

When asked how long he’d been thinking about selling the business, Koob simply said, “Not long. It was always in the back of my mind. I knew the day would come; I can’t do this forever.” 

However, Koob admitted it was a hard decision to make. 

“I was 12 years old when this place was built,” he said. “This was my dad’s shop.” 

Despite the great memories, Koob said he knew he was handing things over to someone who was not just an employee, but a good friend. 

Steuri said Koob has been a great mentor over the years, teaching him a wealth of knowledge about running his own business. 

“A lot of our customers know him,” said Steuri. 

Of having the opportunity to own his very own business, Steuri said it’s always been a goal of his. 

“It all just worked out when Steve was willing to sell and I was willing to buy,” said Steuri. 

One thing Steuri wants to do with the business is expand the vehicle re-programming software. Right now, they have the full capabilities for GM, but Steuri plans to add other major vehicle brands such as Chrysler. He explained every vehicle requires various updates from time to time. 

Koob said the use of technology in the auto business is another reason why it was time to pass it on to a younger owner. 

“With the technology, you need a younger person’s input,” Koob said. “You tend to resist change as you get older.” 

The change in business name was something Steuri wanted to do, with Koob’s support as well. Koob Wrecker & Crane continues next-door (110 W. 11th St.) to Aaron’s Automotive (100 W. 11th St.). 

Koob said he’s looking forward to less stress now that the business is in good hands. But, as both business owners will tell you, their respective businesses are quite weather dependant. Koob stays busy in the winter season pulling vehicles out of ditches and medians. Steuri stays busy not just when vehicles need regular servicing, but after a weather incident as well. 

Koob left Steuri with some great advice: “Stay up to date as much as you can and be honest with the customers. Give them options, but don’t sell them what they don’t need. People take our word for it; they trust us.” 

“I’ve learned many lessons from Steve about running a business,” said Steuri. He said despite taking a couple of business classes at Kirkwood, 90 percent of his business savvy came from simply working in the business. 

“I’ll make sure our customers are taken care of,” assured Steuri. 

Both businesses have new phone numbers: Aaron’s Automotive, 319-465-9119; Koob Wrecker & Crane, 319- 465-3387. 

“Madonna and I would like to thank the community for their support throughout the years,” said Koob. 


Subscriber Login