From a corner workshop in Vanderbijl Park back in 1983 to a South African national franchise with state-of-the-art workshops in every major centre…

Steve’s Auto Clinic has grown in leaps and bounds since its humble beginnings back in 1983 when Stephen Fischer founded what was essentially a one-man operation – tuning Alfa Romeos.

Business expanded, and Steve teamed up with Henk Viljoen. Together the new partners set about turning their dream into reality.

Realising that innovation equaled growth, innovation, new technology and thinking “out of the box” became a way of life at Steves Auto Clinic.

Highly skilled personnel, state-of-the-art tuning, specialised diagnostic equipment and outstanding customer service allowed Steves Automotive Clinic to set new benchmarks in the tuning and service sector.

A few years later, in the mid-80s – in the boom time of the “pocket rocket” or “hot hatch” à la Golf GTi in South Africa – Steves Auto Clinic was no longer just another corner garage. Steves Automotive Clinic had evolved into a high-skilled operation which offered high levels of technical expertise and service.

Their clients weren’t simply street racers – their services were in great demand in areas as diverse as the agricultural sector and the circuit racing arena.

Steves Auto Clinic was always one of the first non-manufacturing workshops following the latest trends, as proved by their innovative strategic planning for the acquisition of Steves Automotive Clinic’s first in-house dynamometer.

Steves Auto Clinic Growth

Growing at a pace matching the performance of their products, the Steves Automotive Clinic operation was expanded in 1987 to include a new exhaust shop that specialised in manufacturing and repairs.

In 1989 this was joined by a cylinder head remanufacturing and engineering division.

Key products included optimisation of 2,1-litre VW Kombi engines, which became especially popular in this era.

As the Steves Automotive Clinic reputation for service excellence grew, so too did the demand for its magic motoring touch.

In 1995 a decision to further expand the business led to the opening of a second branch at Kyalami Business Park in Midrand (Steves Auto Clinic Midrand), and with it came a new partner in the form of Heinrich Lategan, who brought a wealth of engineering and racing experience to the business.

By the second half of the nineties Steves Automotive Clinic was exploding, successfully spreading its wings from the northern to the southern tip of Gauteng.

Steves Auto Clinic Early Expansions

  • 1996 – a specialised diesel optimisation and tuning shop opened, and Steves Automotive Clinic became the sole importer and specialised fitment centre for a range of turbo chargers and intercoolers from Australia.
  • 1997 – branches in Cape Town and Bloemfontein followed, and thanks to its innovative franchising concept, Steves Automotive Clinic that year won the runner-up award in the SA Entrepreneur of the Year competition.
  • 1998 – separate diesel and petrol shops in Midrand.
  • Specialised diesel cylinder head development followed in 2000, in the light of strong indications that off-road and leisure vehicles were fast becoming a way of life for automotive consumers.

With five Steves Automotive Clinic shops up and running, supported by SAC Holdings and SAC Engineering, international suppliers have found the group to be an excellent distribution cog for their products.

This led to a formal Steves Automotive Clinic Distribution division.

Steves Automotive Clinic Manufacturing joined the support infrastructure in 1999 and Steves Automotive Clinic started developing and producing a unique range of products, including in-house developed intercoolers, essentially for the South African market.

The group also teamed up with the Gerotek Vehicle Test Centre and formed a unique “experiential” venture, the SAC Outdoor Experience, in association with Gerotek and Jurgens / CI Caravans.

A natural outflow from this remarkable growth was a decision to establish SAC Trucks, thereby allowing the owners of heavy commercial vehicles to benefit from SAC’s unsurpassed levels of service and technology as well as ongoing research and development in the power enhancement arena.

SAC Trucks

SAC Trucks was the obvious way forward for Heinrich Lategan, who had gathered extensive and valuable knowledge while at the head of diesel development at Steves Automotive Clinic.

The Steves Auto Clinic Midrand (Petrol) branch scored a massive scoop when well-known performance exhaust manufacturer Wildcat was wholly acquired by Marinus Kuyl of the Steves Automotive Clinic Midrand Petrol branch. Shortly after yet another milestone was reached with the launch of a formal Development Division.

Current Steves Auto Clinic Workshops include: