BIZNOTE: 2018 to bring ownership changes at Swedish Automotive, West Seattle Autoworks

(WSB photo: L-R, Dave Winters, Sandra Wanstall, Todd Ainsworth, Chris Christensen, Nathen Huie)

You might recall that back after Swedish Automotive moved into its bigger, greener location at 7901 35th SW seven years ago, its old location at 7501 35th SW – four blocks north – was taken over by West Seattle Autoworks.

The two businesses (both longtime WSB sponsors, and co-sponsors of the annual West Seattle Car Show) have retained close ties, and now they’ll be closer than ever: Early in the New Year, WS Autoworks co-founders Todd Ainsworth and Chris Christensen will become the new owners of Swedish Automotive, whose longtime owners Dave Winters and Sandra Wanstall are retiring.

With that change, West Seattle Autoworks will be co-owned by Chris and lead tech Nathen Huie, who has worked there with Chris and Todd since they all moved from Alki Auto Repair in 2010.

This has been in the works a while – Dave has been in the vehicle-repair business in West Seattle for more than 30 years, and when he and Sandra started talking about retirement a few years ago, they looked for the right people to take over, first talking with staff members, and then Chris and Todd.

With the ownership changes, Todd will be at Swedish full time; Chris will split his time between the two locations. Nothing else is changing, we’re told – both locations will remain open, and the makes/models of vehicles they work on will remain the same – at Swedish, it’s Volvo, Saab, Subaru, and Mini; at WS Autoworks, “everything else.”

And you are invited to come help celebrate everyone’s new roles at an open house/farewell event set for 5-8 pm Monday, January 8th, at Tap Station (35th/Kenyon, right across from Swedish).

6 Replies to "BIZNOTE: 2018 to bring ownership changes at Swedish Automotive, West Seattle Autoworks"

  • Chas Redmond December 27, 2017 (7:46 pm)

    Congratulations to Dave and Sandra – two people I’ve become super familiar with and who have provided inconceivably excellent service for my 1999 S70. I’ll miss them both but the staff and new owners are awesome so – again, Have fun Dave and Sandra. I’ll miss you. Y’all have been great.  Are they also loosening their connection to the car show as well?

    • David Winters December 27, 2017 (11:17 pm)

      Chas it has been a privilege serving you and the West Seattle community. We could not ask for two better individuals to hand the reins over to other than Chris and Todd. We feel very lucky and want to thank all of our wonderful customers who have supported us since we opened on a wing and a prayer in 1982.

      • Carrie Wilson December 29, 2017 (6:25 pm)

        Wishing you and Sandra every happiness as you start this new chapter!  Thank you for always making me feel like I was your most important customer and for taking such good care of my car all these years. Cheers!

  • Minnie Blue December 28, 2017 (2:44 am)

    Dave, this is a surprise! I will certainly miss you. I appreciate the way you made your building eco-friendly, too. The new owners had better keep the free candy and keyring flashlights for their customers!

    Enjoy your well-deserved retirement. And I’ll keep putting fabric softener sheets under the hood.

  • Ridge McCoy December 30, 2017 (10:31 am)

    I had the pleasure of working with these three guys for 3 1/2 years at Alki Auto Repair.  T hey are great technicians and more importantly just great people! I am so glad to see their continued success and am glad to be a customer of their’s! Enjoy your retirement Dave- has been great knowing you over the years as well and all the best to Todd, Nate and Chris- Ridge McCoy (Former Manager of Alki Auto Repair) 

  • Kathleen Park December 31, 2017 (6:58 pm)

    Dave, best of luck on your new chapter – can’t really tell you how much I have appreciated all your help all these many years! You were a constant in my life  that gave me a great feeling of security for which I was so grateful! Thank you!

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