The Tri-City Transmission Story

Tri-City Transmission Tempe Phoenix AZ ArizonaThe Beginning

Back on March 20, 1972, the partnership of Leon Bouchy and Michael Young realized a dream with the grand opening of Tri-City Transmission Service. They knew their strong work ethic and ability to communicate with people would serve them well in their new positions as local business owners.

Leon and Mike rented four bays of a seven-bay garage on North Hayden Road in Tempe, Arizona. It was behind the Gas-n-Go service station -- and you couldn't even see the front of the building from the street at that time! They were given their first stock order of parts on consignment and a $5,000 loan was secured with a handshake and a promise, using some used equipment as business assets.

Fortune smiled as Tri-City Transmission opened its doors that first day. There were customers! In time, the business attracted fleet accounts such as SRP, APS, the U.S. Post Office, and the Scottsdale Police. Leon and Mike worked long and hard -- and hundred-hour weeks were common. The increased business prompted the hiring of their first employees and the renting of the other three bays of the building.

Tri-City Transmission Tempe Phoenix AZ ArizonaGrowing With Our Customers

By 1977, we were looking for a larger facility when the adjoining property at 203 North Hayden Road went up for sale. With Hayden Road frontage, they had finally found the perfect site! The land was purchased and a 2700 square-foot building was built to keep up with the ever-increasing demand from customers of Tri-City. Doors opened on December 20, 1978.

Tri-City Transmission: Realizing the Dream with a New State-of-the-Art Facility

Tri-City Transmission has endured the flooding waters of the Salt River that washed out three bridges over a road that has been reconstructed at least five times. We have seen the construction of ASU Golf Course and the completion of the Town Lake. We were annexed into the city of Tempe as part of a redevelopment project called Tempe Marketplace. The redevelopment resulted in the relocation to our current 9000 square foot facility at 2005 E. Rio Salado Parkway. Ironically or through happenstance, we opened our doors at the new location on March 20th, 2006 - exactly 34 years to the day of opening our first location.

Tri-City Transmission Tempe Phoenix AZ ArizonaTri-City Transmission Through Transition

Mike and Leon had established a striving, successful business built on honesty, transparency and quality work- where a handshake meant something. They knew they couldn’t carry on forever and needed to find an exit strategy. While they could pick up the phone and sell the business to one of the transmission chains, or just about anybody, they weren’t willing to see a lifetime’s work and reputation go to just anyone. They hand-selected Dave Riccio. Leon and Rita Bouchy describe Dave as a younger version of Leon with some of the great qualities that Mike Young possessed- a perfect fit to carry the business into the new technology of the modern transmission. In November of 2006, Dave took the keys to the business. In order to make the transition successful, Mike Young stayed on staff to give the business and Dave the best chance of success. It was unique, after all.


Tri-City Transmission 40th Anniversary Party – Recognized by ATRA – Automatic Transmission Association
Left to right, Rodger Bland (gears magazine), Dave Riccio, Leon Bouchy, Michael Young

Tri-City Transmission 10 Years After the Transition

The business has carried the name and culture that Mike and Leon had started 45 years earlier into the new generation of transmissions. While Dave’s background before the transmission business was in general repair, he quickly adapted to the challenge of the modern transmission. Since then, Tri-City Transmission has been featured in several national transmission and auto shop trade publications. Tri-City Transmission recently received the Torch Award for Ethics by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Dave believes this is due to his four key ingredients: Show up on time; do what you say you are going to do; finish what you start and say please and thank you.

Tri-City Transmission and the Addition of Tri-City Auto Repair

For years customers have requested Tri-City Transmission to perform general repair services to their vehicles. Other than friends and family, we had traditionally referred this to an automotive generalist. 

With the massive integration of the transmission to the rest of the vehicle, as transmission experts, it was imperative to understand the whole vehicle because everything in the vehicle is connected. We realized the automotive generalist did not quite understand this in most cases, so in addition to our heavily experienced transmission technicians, we brought ASE master technicians onto our staff.

We found the best in the business because we didn’t want to run into anything we could not fix. We brought on staff who knew general auto repair to better communicate with the customers. As a separate department to Tri-City Transmission, we established Tri-City Auto Repair in 2016. We had done a soft opening on general auto repair since 2013 as we wanted to make sure we were adequately proficient before open marketing. We created two names for several reasons. We are very much transmission specialists who are able to save the customer thousands of dollars because we can perform targeted repairs. This is because most automotive generalists, and some of the modern transmission chains would rather replace the transmission. Second, we didn’t just add “total car care” to our name. We built an infrastructure that allows us to be good at not only transmissions but general automotive maintenance and repair.

Tri-City Transmission and Tri-City Auto Repair in the Media

Dave Riccio co-hosts Bumper to Bumper Radio a car talk show heard every Saturday morning at 11:00 am on KTAR, 92.3 FM. His goals are to create awareness for the consumer about auto repair and to help relieve the anxiety associated with it. It’s “To give the motoring public a better overall car experience”. The show educates the consumer and also educates the shops on what concerns consumers have. The idea is to help us all do a better job.

Tri-City Transmission & Tri-City Auto Repairs Commitment Today

To focus on good communication on what can be a complex product. To only provide a service where both party’s walk away satisfied that the transaction was fair -- a win-win.