9550 Swanson Blvd.
Des Moines, Iowa 50325
Website Designed by: EDJE
Terry Aikin shed his white shirt and tie in 1983 to crawl under school busses, when he resigned as a vice president of American Federal Savings and Loan and purchased AUTO-JET Muffler Corporation, which, for much of our existence, was the single company in the United States that manufactured only school bus exhaust systems.
Aikin's success came after some poor times. After graduating from Northwest Missouri State University in 1968, he enlisted in the Army and was sent to Germany. When he came home he started looking for a job with about $2 in his pocket. He remembers: "My only shoes - Army shoes - had holes in them. I remember burning my feet through my socks when I walked up the stairs of the Bankers Life Building. “I was standing in a parking lot of what's now the Ruan Center and saw a bank across the street, what is now American Federal. I walked in and they must have had a soft spot for a down-and-out military veteran." Aikin worked at the bank for 13 years, finishing as a vice president.
Terry’s business philosophy is to grow strategically and employ talented people who make our business and our clients’ businesses go. Our building now covers about 65,00 square feet, where we have continued our focus on school bus exhaust systems and have added an OEM / Custom Tube Bending Division.
"Employees make the business, so recruit and maintain the best available. I can leave AUTO-JET anytime. Everyone does their job and I'm not missed, except Friday to sign paychecks."