ATI, Making the Old New Again

See the sales office.
See the sales office.

I recently worked with a client whose business was coincidently next door to one I had a prior relationship with. The business Auto Technical Incorporated, was one I had done some volunteer work for years ago, so after my first meeting, I went next door to say hello again. The gang was busy doing what it does regularly at ATI, making the old new again.

Auto Technical Incorporated and ATI, are in the business of providing used automobiles to the public. Since 1994, ATI has helped hundreds of people get reliable transportation. I learned about ATI when I bought used cars from their St. Paul-based car lot. I would learn ATI is a local charity that provides refurbished vehicles to individuals and families in need. Recently, I was pleased to create a 360-degree online virtual tour of the ATI location. I encourage you to view it and see all of the fun automobilia inside here.

Founded by longtime Minnesota resident Richard Johnson and his wife Tia, ATI partners with several agencies throughout the state including Lifetrack Resources, Tubman, Minnesota Workforce Center and the Center for Victims of Torture. I’m extremely inspired by ATI as they truly help hundreds of individuals every year — and have for more than 20 years — find freedom from financial hardship through reliable transportation.

One of their clients, who was referred to ATI from the Center for Victims of Torture says:

“Dear ATI, I humbly write to thank you for the car given to me and my family; includes words of appreciation from my wife and kids. This car will help me maintain and also find me a better job which is important so I can help my large family. I also want to help my community by volunteering to help others like me and I have been riding a bike which is difficult to use when the season is very cold. Thank you all so much for your kind work. We love our car and I can get more hours of work and so get more money for my family.”

(You can read more ATI testimonials here).

Families who receive refurbished donated vehicles from ATI, they are provided with pro bono car care training, which empowers them with basic knowledge to maintain their vehicles, another effort “making the old, new again”.

There are certain vehicles that ATI would prefer to sell on their used car lot where all proceeds benefit the operation of their car donation program, which is known as Project Family Car. For every 10 cars ATI sells, they are able to donate one car to the community. ATI also prides itself in operating a business that promotes “going green” in MN as their mission helps to keep old cars out of the recycling yards.

In addition to benefitting the community through donating refurbished cars, those who donate their cars to ATI also receive higher tax valuations. This is thanks to ATI’s refurbishing process, which other car donation organizations don’t do, which means when they receive “old clunkers” from their donors, they have to go with the Kelly Blue Book valuation for the vehicle in clunker state. This benefit to the donor is one that Richard and his wife take very seriously. It is the reason they operate an auto repair shop as part of this 501(c)(3).

I encourage you to take my virtual tour of ATI and start making the old new again. If you have an old clunker sitting in your driveway, give Richard a call at 612-919-5526. He will drive to you with his trailer and bring the necessary paperwork to complete the transaction. Learn more at ATI at or view their used car inventory at

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