Domenico Nigro explained that the shop’s goal is to help the industry and provide customer satisfaction, and he believes one important way to do this is by helping people and disseminating information to other shops. By showing customers that they care, Nigro’s plans to build their brand by helping people so customers know they can trust the shop to do what is best for them and their vehicles. By uniting with other shops, even nationwide, difficult situations become surmountable as another shop has encountered it and can share their experience, whether it be a technical, insurance or customer situation.
Nigro’s Auto Body is very active in their community in Philadelphia. Besides donating money to many charities, such as the Childrens’ Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and through setting up fundraisers for Holy Spirit Church and their Padre Pio Foundation, they also contribute to Italian-American organizations, churches and rehabilitation centers. One such center is De La Salle Vocational for youths on probation where Nigro’s assists with revitalizing the auto body program in particular as well as participating in the program in general. The family has also established the Nigro Family Foundation which benefits women, children and rehabilitation. Nigro’s takes the consumers needs seriously, becoming one of the first shops with “Green Technology” and most recently, becoming an ‘Ask Patty’-Certified Female Friendly Shop.
Recently, Nigro’s Auto Body began selling AutoTex Pink wiper blades which allow customers to follow the shop’s example of giving back as the proceeds benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The blades also have a motto: “Change A Blade and Change A Life.”
The shop participates in fundraisers and charity walks, as well as various food, phone and blood drives. They also are in the process of establishing sponsorship for annual awards for those who help the community and are often underappreciated, such as teachers, firefighters, police, doctors and so forth, in addition to offering scholarships for children’s education. Experts at restoring antique and exotic cars, the shop has also contributed efforts to restoring vehicles for the Simeone Foundation Museum.
Additionally, the shop works with a company to install equipment for disabled drivers, and the proceeds of this effort are donated to the Bonnacotti Fund. The shop has received a car seat certificate from Safe Kids so they can teach parents how to properly install their child’s car seat, and they plan to participate in a Child Safety program with CHOP to test car seats as well. They are also involved with the Boy and Girl Scouts, allowing children to earn auto body badges at the shop. Nigro’s hosts an Ask Patty-certified course to teach women about their vehicles, as well as driving safety classes.
They are also currently developing three phone applications. The first allows the user to contact medical care, the police and emergency contacts as well as sending information directly to the insurance company to help process their claim and show liability in case of an accident. The other two applications are focused on teen driving safety; the first monitors speed and emails parents speed and location information when the teen exceeds a specified speed limit, and the second blocks teens from texting while driving, responding to incoming calls and texts that the recipient is driving and will return the call when available.
Nigro’s also reveals a feeling of responsibility toward the environment. Besides being one of the first shops in the area to go green, they also sell Passchal handbags which are made from recyclable materials, the proceeds of which benefit the United Way, DuPont Hospital and the Nigro Family Foundation. They participate in the effort to preserve nature by recycling everything possible, including metals, plastic and fiberglass. They also use Sikkens waterborne paints, by AkzoNobel, and they are currently in the process of researching how they can adopt solar energy power sources.
The shop shows that they care for all aspects of the customer’s well-being by offering auto financing and a deductible program to help save money. Additionally, the shop is working on participation in a third-party program called Don’t Pay Us to Fix Your Car which basically allows customers, subject to credit approval, to use their insurance check to pay off high-interest, long-term debt, giving them up to a year to repay the loan without interest for a small upfront fee.
Visiting the shop’s website, potential customers can see further evidence that Nigro’s Auto Body truly cares about their needs. The site offers information about their many programs as well as resource articles with useful information such as the steps to take if involved in an automobile accident and how to save money on gas, among others. Adding to the site’s comprehensiveness is the option of translating it into English, Spanish or Italian, the three languages spoken in the shop.
Though Nigro’s typically utilizes standardized equipment, such as MIG welders, a Chart frame machine and measuring systems, one unique piece of equipment that they rely on is their handmade downdraft spray booth. Aniello Nigro hand-crafted his booth using a design from his uncle’s shop in Florence, Italy. The inside of the booth is covered with white ceramic tiles, and according to manager Wayne Simmons, their “multi-filter downdraft design provides a perfect airflow, virtually eliminates contaminants, and is heated for baking finishes, basically allowing our painter to create near-flawless finishes.”
Nigro’s Auto Body employs six workers and encompasses 3000 square feet where they complete approximately twenty-five cars each month. The shop has been certified I-CAR Gold, and by PPG, ASE, ASA, BASF and ADP, in addition to being Esco Institute EPA Certified. In addition to auto body work, Nigro’s also engages in some towing and accident-related mechanical repairs.
Nigro’s is determined to help unite the body shop industry and share some of the wealth of information they have gleaned from doing business throughout the decades.
Nigro’s Auto Body
939-41 Washington Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19147