Jim Becker serving Naperville automotive needs for 40 years
BY D.j. WANBERG For Sun-Times Media
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An obvious key to a long-term and successful customer-business owner relationship is seeing the owner each time the customer walks in the door.
Jim Becker has been such a familiar face to Naperville residents in need of things automotive for four decades.
He started his business career in Glen Ellyn in 1970. Just three years ago he opened an Arco station at the corner of Redstart Road and Washington Street, which later became a Shell station.
In 1989, he opened the Becker Service Center on 1421 Naperville-Plainfield Road, just south of 75th Street.
“Honesty, the way we’ve dealt with people and doing good work,” Becker said of the reasons for the longevity of his business. “We’re serving a lot of second-generation customers, the sons and daughters.”
Becker’s automotive career came to an end in 2008 when he was forced to sell his business after not being able to come to an agreement on a building lease.
Enter Mark Harris, a longtime Naperville resident, whose family had an automotive background. His grandfather was a Ford executive and his father owned an auto dealership. Harris knew of Becker and his business and met him through an auto parts supplier they both knew.
Harris bought Becker’s in July, 2009 and in November Becker returned as service manager.
Today Becker’s employs nine ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified mechanics. The business has 14 bays and 11 lifts. It can service all makes and models and is service center of choice for many amateur race car drivers and antique car owners. The shop recently worked on a 1956 Thunderbird.
Becker’s is active in Naperville Cares, inspecting cars donated to the CARES Car Program or arranging the donations to the program themselves.
Harris thought it crucial that Becker be part of the business.
“I was leery of not having him back. He came back and it’s worked out well. It’s a pleasure working with him,” Harris said.