CARSTAR, North America’s premier network of independently-owned collision repair facilities, foresees a resurgence of collision repair facilities based in auto dealerships throughout the U.S. and Canada, following the 2020 NADA Show in Las Vegas.
This comes in response to changing dealership dynamics, as dealership owners look to improve their facility performance and profitability.
Today, nearly two of every five franchised dealerships operate collision repair centers, the National Automobile Dealers Association reports.
But CARSTAR forecasts that could grow.
There are several factors driving the renewed interest in collision repair services at auto dealerships, including:
* The advent of OEM certifications and the role these will play in collision repair standards going forward
* The opportunity for customer retention through comprehensive services, including collision repair
* The ability to capture more insurance-pay repair business
* The revenue potential for a robust collision repair business that offsets slim dealership margins
* The availability of dealership real estate and buildings that are vacant after dealership consolidation
That’s where CARSTAR comes in.
CARSTAR has created partnerships with some 50 automobile dealerships in the U.S. and Canada that combine the local dealer’s brand name with CARSTAR’s proprietary operating procedures, insurance relationships, training and procurement programs.
This allows CARSTAR to help deliver best-in-class KPI performance and the highest-quality repairs, while the dealership can focus on selling vehicles.
That high-quality repair and customer service experience also helps the dealership retain customer loyalty for future vehicle purchases.
For Randy Yockey, owner of Friendly Ford and CARSTAR Friendly in Roselle, IL, the decision to join CARSTAR was a no-brainer, and he encourages other dealerships to look at the partnership model as they evaluate their dealership opportunities.
“We knew we were suffering with our collision center at our Ford dealership,” said Yockey. “Our body shop was going nowhere, and after two fires, we had no customers. We knew we needed to do something.
"We were approached by CARSTAR, and joined for five years. I’m proud to say we just re-upped for 10 years.
"We went from no business to about $2.5 million in business in the first five years," Yockey said.
"We have some 30 DRPs, we’re hiring every day and our shop is filled with work. We’re looking for a better location because we’ve outgrown our current one," he said.
“For other dealership owners, I’d say the partnership with CARSTAR is a no-brainer, I definitely endorse it,” said Yockey.
“If you’re willing to work hard and invest in your business, improving your collision repair facility is a great opportunity. Take a look at CARSTAR, talk with local CARSTAR owners, talk to dealership owners like me.
"Frankly, you aren’t going to make it unless you are part of a MSO,” he said.