By Jennifer McDaniel, for the Lincoln Sentinel
Bob Batchman wanted to retire, but didn’t want to completely get out of the auto parts business.
Auto parts had been a big part of Batchman’s life for more than four decades as owner of Lincoln Auto Supply. He couldn’t imagine just giving it all up.
But after talking to local businessman Jared Spear, the two eventually struck a deal and earlier this year, Lincoln Auto Parts opened under new ownership in the former Quik Way convenience store.
And while the decision didn’t come easily, Batchman said it was the right time.
“I just decided the time was now,” he said.
For 31 years, the business was in the former Chard Motor building across the street from the Lincoln County Courthouse. But in March 2015, Batchman moved Lincoln Auto Supply a few buildings to the west to 123 E. Lincoln. At the time, he downsized the business a bit by eliminating the service department.
Even though he’s no longer running the business, Batchman’s schedule hasn’t changed much. He’s still working six days a week, helping customers and answering their automotive questions.
For Spear, the business purchase just made sense. Spear already owns S&S Auto Body, which offers towing and recovery, a service center and body shop, and so buying the auto supply business seemed like a natural step.
Under new ownership, the business now offers an expanded line of the necessities as well as auto accessories, after-market products and heavy-truck and ag-based product lines. By offering customers same-day parts, after-hours service and 24-hour emergency parts, Spear said the business provides complete services from beginning to end.
“We want to make sure we can take care of the customer 100 percent,” he said. “It’s all about efficiency. If a truck breaks down, and there’s downtime, that driver’s not making money. We tailor our business toward that so we can get that driver rolling again.”
Lincoln County Economic Development Director Kelly Larson said she was thrilled to see Batchman was continuing to serve the community, and Spear continuing the business.
“Forty-three years to be in business is impressive,” Larson said. “Bob has been a staple of the community and has seen how it has changed. In a small community, every business that transitions to new ownership is just as important as a new business opening.”
The business is open from 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday-Saturday, and is closed on Sundays. The phone number is 785-524-4201.