By Celina Colby

VIP Tires & Service officially opened their new location at 128 Boylston Street here in Brookline on November 12. The New England-based auto repair provider hopes to bring a high level of service to Brookline and connect with the community personally.

“Brookline is an underserved market in terms of auto repair and tires,” says Tim Winkeler, President and CEO for VIP Tires & Service.For such a great community and all the residents of Brookline, oftentimes they have to drive out of town to go to a repair shop or a dealership,” Winkeler says they were familiar with Liner Tire, the business that operated in Brookline for over 100 years. The new VIP shop plans to carry on Liner’s community-based legacy.

The first step in doing so is in hiring locally. Store manager Jovani LeJeune is local and plans to hire as many Greater Brookline area employees as possible to create jobs locally and keep the staff rooted in town. VIP is also sponsoring the 2020 First Light Holiday Celebration, December 3-10, and will be hosting giveaways and connecting with neighbors on those days.

VIP is also hosting an initiative dubbed “Oil Changes for Education,” a program they run in every new location. Starting in January, VIP will offer any oil change for just $10 for 60 days. “Even a full synthetic oil change that’s usually $60 or $70, customers only pay $10,” says Winkeler. At the end of the 60 days, all the profits generated from the promotion are donated to the Brookline School System. The VIP team will work with the school system to determine where the money will be most productive. The initiative not only provides a great offer to drivers in Brookline, but it also underscores how serious VIP is about supporting the community.

VIP hopes to provide an experience that’s a cut above other automotive repair businesses. Their interiors offer WiFi, a laptop bar, and coffee to waiting patrons, and the service team makes sure clients are informed about every step of the process. “We see our business as a relationship business, not just a transaction business,” says Winkeler. He notes that their top priorities are creating lasting relationships and educating customers to feel they’re part of the process and understand what’s happening with their vehicle.

Winkeler emphasizes that VIP is run by New Englanders for New Englanders. “We’re not a nationwide chain. We’re a fairly small company, we’re privately owned in Maine, and we definitely get New Englanders,” he says. Whether customers want to prepare for winter with snow tires or chat about the Red Sox, the VIP team is ready to go.