RONY’S BODY SHOP
Family owned Rony’s Body Shop continues to serve the Downriver community for almost 60 years now. Although much has changed in the auto repair industry, the family roots of the business continue to hold firm.
We’ve been here a long time. Everybody knows Rony’s Body Shop, I started in 1964 when I was 7. After school and summers, I would clean the shop and run errands. Back then the cars were simpler, easier to adjust and built stronger than the cars today.
Anthony “Tony” Attard
Born in Malta, founded Renald “Rony” Attard trained in London to be an auto body builder working at Rolls Royce. In 1951, he decided to move to America to start his own business.
Rony arrived in Michigan in 1952, with $50 to his name and his wife, Carmen, who was pregnant with the first of their seven children. He worked for a body ship until he had saved enough money to open his initial body shop in Detroit in 1959, later moving the shop to Taylor in 1970.
Rony told a local newspaper in 1999, “When I moved the shop to Taylor, it was mostly farmland and Allen Road had only two lanes.”
This move was closer to his home and made it easier for Rony’s children to begin working in the business, learning from the ground up, even the girls. All started when they were still teenagers, working after school hours, weekends and summers. They often rode their bikes to work before they were old enough to drive.
Tony adds, “My brother-in-law Mike and I took over duties in the office in the early 80’s. It’s all family owned. We care how the jobs get done and how the customer is treated. It’s a matter of family pride to see that each job gets done right.”
Jennifer “Jenny” was the main secretary until she retired and then Monica took over her duties. Tony, Jeffrey, James “Jamie”, and Robert all have devoted their work lives to the business, each running a section.
“Though everyone has their own part of the business to run, they work together. Every day they meet before the workday starts and then they eat lunch together together and talk about what’s going on,” Rony said.
“We have a lot of repeat business here,” Tony Attard said. “Families that trust us. Generations come in because their dad or grandpa said this is the only place they trust to do the job right. They know that we will always treat them fair.”
Rony retired in 1985, leaving the business to all of his children, but he is often at the shop visiting with longtime customers in the office. Like old friends, sharing stories and pictures of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
With Yelp and Google reviews in the 5/5 star marks, prior customer Toni Caudill posted: “The people here are very friendly and family oriented. Their prices are reasonable and they do great work. You don’t have to be concerned about them talking you into work you don’t need, either.”
Tony attard said the secret to the shop’s success is simple: “We treat customers like family. We’re not the kind of place that if someone comes in and says ‘there’s something wrong with my car’ it’ll be $50 just to put it on the hoist. We don’t do that here. We also don’t add on work that doesn’t need to be done.”
“If we’re not too busy, we’ll put it on the hoist, fix it if it’s small and tell them they’re good to go. People remember that. They will tell others to come here because we’re fair. That’s the kind of people we are. We’ll tell you what looks like it’s wearing out and if it needs to be done now or can wait.”
To learn more visit ronysbodyshop.com