Automotive News 40 Under 40

Alex Bo

AGE: 34

POSITION: Assistant service manager, Courtesy Chevrolet, San Jose, Calif.

 
Alex Bo

As the lead Chevrolet Volt technician at one of the nation's highest-volume Volt dealerships, Alex Bo often works 60-hour weeks. Another 30 hours or more go toward his pursuit of electrical and mechanical engineering degrees.

And this doesn't help his free time: Bo frequently gives his cell phone number to customers, encouraging them to call at any hour, including weekends.

"This is new technology for people," Bo says of the Volt plug-in hybrid. "And I know what a pain in the butt it can be to come into the dealership. If it were me, I'd want answers immediately."

Bo has built something of a franchise for himself by providing answers to Volt owners in the San Francisco Bay Area. He developed and hosts quarterly Volt clinics at the dealership, during which he runs through a presentation and a technical walk-around and fields questions on topics such as the intricacies of the powertrain and pairing a Bluetooth phone.

The free events, open to any Volt owner, typically draw more than 100 people. Bo helps owners figure out how to eke out the maximum efficiency from their batteries. The clinics can stretch four hours for those invested enough to match Bo's energy level.

"I wanted to put together a program that was going to help the customer, provide business to the dealership and satisfy my nerdy technical ambitions," Bo says.

Bo, a native of Argentina who moved to the Bay Area at age 4, speaks fluent Spanish. He learned to fix cars out of necessity during high school, constantly tinkering with a "junky" 1972 Datsun 510. He says he gets his interest in technology and electronics from his father, who was a physicist and engineer who worked during Silicon Valley's formative years.

Says Troy Pelzl, Courtesy's general manager: "He is probably one of the most motivated and unique techs I've ever met."

-- Mike Colias