Bill Sauer, Identifix founder, has retired after 52 years in the automotive industry.
The 77-year-old started as a Mobil service station dealer in 1962, which eventually led to him launching an equipment sales company, selling oscilloscopes, dynos, infra-reds and other test equipment.
He founded Autotech in 1976, which provided advanced technical training over a three-day, 24-hour course. It was successful and eventually went nationwide. In 1987, Sauer partnered with Owatonna Tool Co. (OTC) to create Autoline Telediagnosis, a technical hotline with specialists and original factory service information accessible through a computerized database.
Sauer and his team assumed majority ownership of Autoline Telediagnosis at the end of 1992 and renamed the company Identifix
Today Identifix, along with its sister company iATN, has become the largest source of diagnostic and repair information in North America, the company says. Identifix currently has 46 factory-trained ASE master carline specialists and receives up to 20,000 calls a month on its repair hotline. The hotline has taken over four million calls since its inception, and an average of 20,000 shops are accessing data through Direct-Hit at any given time.
Roseville, Minn.-based Identifix serves customers in the United States, Canada and Latin America, and operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Service Repair Solutions Inc., operationally controlled by Solera Holdings Inc.
Sauer ended his career on a high note as a record-breaking 46,000 Direct-Hit subscribers accessed information from the online tool on over 400,000 different vehicles in July.
“I started this ‘dream’ partly because I felt it was financially feasible, but more importantly, to do a little to improve the working conditions and image of an auto repair technician,” he says. “Jeff (Sweet, the company’s CEO) and I hope we have succeeded and thank everyone for all their years of support.”
Sauer plans to spend his retirement finishing his autobiography, spending time with his wife of 55 years, Duffy, working in his extensive flower garden, woodworking, dogsledding and doing animal rehabilitation
For more information on Identifix, visit the company’s corporate website at www.identifix.com.