CARSTAR was the first multi-shop operator to cross the 600-facility milestone when it opened in Sudbury, ON, in July 2018. It quickly then set its sights on accelerating this growth for the United States and Canada through strategic, targeted expansion.
“As the collision repair industry evolves, the national organizations with strong franchise partners who have the scale and expertise to adapt to advanced repair standards, changing technology and insurance carrier needs will be the ones with the best opportunities for success,” said Michael Macaluso, president of CARSTAR. “We are focused on growing strategically in target markets with excellent franchise partners and providing these franchise partners the operations and marketing support to help them perform and grow with the most trusted brand in the industry.”
In 2018, CARSTAR added more than 90 stores to its North American network. CARSTAR saw dramatic growth in San Francisco, Southern California, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia in the U.S. and across Canada. It expects to end the year with more than 650 locations.
“CARSTAR continues to be the best solution for an independent collision repair shop owner who wants to compete in their local market with insurance relationships, preferred vendor pricing and operational support while retaining their independence,” added Macaluso. “Backed by the Driven Brands family of 2,500 automotive repair retailers and their powerful resources, we already have the scale and scope to provide the best advantages to our franchise partners. We continue to be focused solely on our franchise partners to help them grow their businesses.”
For 2019, CARSTAR forecasts adding 120 locations to its network, with a majority of this growth occurring in key U.S. markets. CARSTAR has an analytical approach to growth based on the Driven Brands proprietary model, which allows them to identify targeted opportunities based on real estate, economic and demographic trends.
“Across North America, consolidation rates have yet to slow,” said Dave Foster, vice president of development for CARSTAR. “Knowing that the industry is continuing at this pace, having the support of CARSTAR is incredibly powerful in competing against the collision repair chains. We allow franchise partners to independently own and operate their facility, while we aggregate our entire network North America-wide to enable the store owners to leverage that national brand, strong insurance relationships and excellent purchasing power through our vendor partnerships. We are committed to putting our franchise partners’ profitability as our first priority.”