Middleton Auto Parts
Delivering A Better Part
Middleton Auto Parts, Fraser, Michigan
Photo: Middleton Auto Parts
Middleton Auto Parts in Fraser, Mich. is an auto recycling gem. The late-model used auto and truck parts business is clean, efficient and dedicated to providing top notch customer service. Its four-acre yard is half concrete and half asphalt. The sales and office building is newly remodeled with custom Formica desks and epoxied floors. Parts are neatly stacked and shelved - 70 percent of its vehicles are pre-dismantled. Everything shipped from the business is clean and wrapped. Being dedicated to providing a quality product is what owners Gordon and Donna Middleton have been doing for more than 30 years.
Gordon said the concept for Middleton Auto Parts took shape in 1981 when Donna was pregnant with twin boys. Gordon, a body man, took a part-time job at an auto recycling facility and got hooked on the industry. He quickly started his own facility. He worked out of an aluminum bread truck as an office and a field to store vehicles. Thirty years, and four children later, Gordon and Donna have moved locations, expanded and remodeled as business dictated.
“My sons (Todd, John and Jason) and my wife have been instrumental in us growing,” declared Gordon. “You know, I may have a great idea, but it wouldn’t get done without with the help and support of my sons, wife and daughter (Tara) and 16 of the best employees I could ask for.”
In 2010 Gordon and Donna purchased an Enterprise Rent-A-Car location next door. The buy doubled Middleton Auto Parts’ yard size and the structure provided a showpiece to sell used auto and truck parts. The building was gutted. Walls were torn out, ceilings raised and windows added. The floor was epoxied with large black, red and white flakes, like a dealership floor. Gordon said homework was done before remodeling.
“We took a long time,” he reiterated. “I looked at other salvage yards to see what they did. I would go on the Internet and look at web sites.”
The renovation took nine months to complete. It contains separate counters for retail and wholesale customers. The company’s sales staff wears headsets to help keep noise down.
"We give customers our undivided attention, listen to their requests and take care of them,” explained Gordon. “The remodel is important, but what is equally important is the way we do business,” added Gordon.
“Every part is washed, cleaned, wrapped and delivered on time. That’s how we make a distinction in this business, by delivering a better part.”
Middleton Auto Parts also prides itself on being industry stewards. During the remodel, Gordon said oil interceptor catch basins were installed to catch any contaminants.
“We have always cared about the environment and the land,” he explained. “If you don’t, it becomes contaminated. I don’t want that for my sons or my grandchildren. We’ve always taken care of the soil.”
The company is a member of the Automotive Recyclers of Michigan (ARM), MICAR Plus and the new Car-Part Pro, which designates the Michigan facilities that are dedicated to selling and delivering quality parts. Middleton Auto Parts promotes education too. On March 29, 2012, the business held I-CAR and Automotive Technology Education Group (ATEG) classes in its new conference rooms.
“I was a body man at a dealership so I have collision in my blood also,” said Gordon. “I strongly believe salvage yards, collision shops and insurance companies need to work together and educate each other. And, in doing so, we’re building relationships.”