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Greatstate Transmissions shifts into high gear for customers

Greatstate Transmissions’ motto, “Honesty and Integrity Still Matter,” is so important to co-owners Rena and Mark Rittgers (third and fourth from left), they had it painted on the front of their building. Working with them in the Corpus Christi transmission shop are service advisor Terry Bowman (left), shop foreman Derek Rittgers and general manager Don Yocum. Photo by Jane Kathleen Gregorio

When it comes to transmission repair services, honesty, quality work and customer satisfaction have kept Greatstate Transmissions running smoothly for almost four decades.

"We're a Christian based and family operated local business," said owner, Mark Rittgers. "Our team of transmission experts are friendly, trained in the latest technology and put our customers' needs first at the most reasonable prices."

A Corpus Christi native, Rittgers and his wife, Rena, have owned Greatstate Transmissions since 2000. The business itself has been around much longer. Originally named Interstate Transmissions, it was founded in 1978 as a franchise. "I was told that there was a civil dispute with Interstate Battery over the name lead to the dismantling of the franchise. The independent owner changed the name to Greatstate Transmissions and it has been operating successfully ever since.

"It's a good name," said Rittgers. "We left it as is when we bought it because it is recognized all over. No Need to change it."

Having worked for several companies in the automotive industry for 30 years, Rittgers decided he wanted to operate his own business.

"I wanted to have a company owned by my family with many of us working together with the capability of providing jobs here in Corpus Christi, the city where I was born and raised," he told Corpus Christi Business News. When he and Rena took over the business, it consisted of one shop and four employees. Seventeen years later it has grown to include 14 employees including son, Derek, as the shop foreman and Rena's brother, Don Yocum, as general manager. They have also added a parts division that supplies many other transmission service shops around town.

Greatstate Transmissions services the Corpus Christi area specializing in rebuilding transmissions along with drive-train repairs such as: clutches, differentials, u-joints, drive axles, etc.

"We have a large and loyal customer base who trust us,” Rittgers said. The proof of that statement can be seen in a display just inside the waiting room entrance. The display showcases a plethora of thank you letters and handwritten notes and cards of appreciation from satisfied customers. "A huge part of our business comes from referrals."

As for the future, Rittgers is open to any new direction that may come in the field of transmission repair.

"The automotive industry is ever changing," he said. "We want to make sure we can continue to provide the best services to the customers and stay up-do-date with the latest technology. Our focus is doing the best quality job we can do."

Because honesty and integrity are deeply rooted in the company's business philosophy, these values are displayed in bold on the storefront, which is highly visible, even from the highway.

"The main thing we want people to know...we build our business around Christian values and take care of our customers," he said. "That's why our slogan is, "Where Honesty and Integrity Still Matter"

Greatstate Transmissons is located at 3487 S. Padre Island Drive in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 855-4637 or visit the company website at

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