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May 17, 2005

Autodata moves to Rochester

Autodata
Autodata, an international company that creates auto and motocycle repair manuals and software, has moved its U.S. headquarters to Rochester.

Some people will recognize the top local guy at Autodata – Richard Gunderson – as the son of Lester Gunderson, a different type of vehicle expert. Lester at 81 is still a top vehicle seller at Lewiston Auto. Richard describes him as a "remarkable man."

Here's a little bit of the story about Autodata and Richard Gunderson that I'll publish in our print edition soon:

An international publishing company that focuses on nuts and bolts – Autodata Limited – has moved its U.S. headquarters to Rochester and is revving up for growth.

Autodata, which is based in England, publishes repair manuals for cars and motorcycles along with related software packages and databases. It has about 40 publications,including software titles in 14 languages.

Instead of focusing on specific models, the publisher creates manuals based on a subject like airbags and then its includes information for all vehicle model including those no longer being made. The manuals are updated annually.

Richard Gunderson, vice president and general manager for Autodata, says the U.S. office opened in Rochester on April after moving from Hudson, Mass. Autodata’s office, warehouse and distribution center is based in the 4,000-square-foot space in Suite 403 at 6301 Bandel Road N.W. He has four people on staff.

“It was a great move to a better business environment,” says Gunderson, who has lived in Rochester for 13 years and has worked for Autodata since 1999. The company has had a U.S. office since 1997.
Previously he managed the operation by phone, e-mail and trips to Massachusetts. “I spent a lot of time of planes,” he said.

Then the U.S. operation outgrew its facility in Hudson, which is just outside of Boston. Gunderson then took the opportunity to move the facility to Rochester in an effort to make things more efficient.
The timing is good as the U.S. operations gear up for growth.

Previously all of the manual writing was handled in England. That is changing and he plans to hire two people to write for two of the company’s top selling annual publications – “Timing Belts” and “Timing Chains and Gears.”

Gunderson also expects to soon add two people in sales.

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