G&C Auto Body
Location: Sonoma County, Marin County, Mendocino County, Solano County, CA
Company At A Glance...
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 254
In Business Since: 1972
Number of Locations: 14
DRP Programs: 20
Combined Production Space:
200,000 square feet (combined)
G&C Auto Body, an MSO in California, believes in keeping up with these challenges by investing in the industry’s best available equipment, such as Car-O-Liner’s BenchRack™ with full EVO™ system and specialty attachments.
According to Patrick Crozat, COO of G&C Auto Body, “Our technicians are much more confident doing complicated repairs with the Car-O-Liner frame equipment, which increases productivity and profitability. It makes the entire structural alignment process faster and more accurate, giving guests a better finished product.”
G&C Auto Body began using Car-O-Liner’s rack in 2017 because “it is a superior product with a strong corporate backing and great local service,” Crozat shared. “I deal with the purchasing of equipment and setting up training classes for all collision staff, and Car-O-Liner has always been prompt and responsive to whatever our needs are. Our long-term relationship with Oscar Loscano, our distributor from Precision for Collision, was especially beneficial. We’re saddened by his recent passing and will miss his expertise.”
For a busy MSO with 254 employees repairing an average of 1,400+ vehicles each month, it’s also vital that new equipment be easy to train on and simple to implement into current processes.
Regarding the addition of the Car-O-Liner BenchRack, Crozat noted, “It wasn’t difficult at all. It was welcomed with open arms from our technicians. We installed the equipment in all of our stores in three months and were able to train all of our techs within five months from the beginning of the installation. They love it.
“Car-O-Liner’s frame machines are superior to the last product we were using. It takes longer to set up and take down, but the pulling and anchoring capabilities are way better as is the accuracy of the measuring. The ability to do upper body measurements is simple.”
Available in four versatile lengths of 4200mm, 5000mm, 5500mm and 6300mm, Car-O-Liner’s BenchRack features a powerful 10-ton draw aligner that pulls from nearly any angle, 360 degrees around the vehicle, while the ergonomic design and removable ramps allow better access to the vehicle. The EVO universal system allows shops to perform effective holding and clamping without specific vehicle fixtures. The BenchRack meets requirements for multiple OEMs.
G&C Auto Body was founded in 1972 by Gene Crozat and Leo Gassel, who decided to go into business after working together at a dealership body shop. Gassel sold his share of the business to Crozat when he retired a few years ago. Over the decades, the business has expanded to include 14 facilities in four counties in central California. Gene’s wife, Teri, and their children, Shawn, Josh, Jamie and Patrick, all hold key positions in the company.
Left: G&C Auto Body is a 14-shop MSO founded by Leo Gassel and Gene Crozat, whose wife and five children now help run the business. (Pictured: Pat Crozat, COO). Right: G&C Auto Body’s industry professionals and their focus on training make the MSO stand out the most.
When asked what makes G&C Auto Body different from the competition, Crozat shared, “Our people … Every business has equipment, frame racks and paint booths. We just have better people and top-ofthe- line equipment for them to use. We have, in my opinion, a superior training and mentoring program in all departments to homegrow our people.”
The Crozats are very involved in their communities, working with local food banks and volunteering with local charities. They established the Crozat Family Foundation through which they have donated 137 vehicles to community families in need.
Environmental consciousness is also of the utmost importance at G&C Auto Body.
Crozat explained, “We are very careful with making sure we handle all of our waste as required by our government agencies. We use a third party, GMG Envirosafe, to audit our stores for compliance, and we constantly perform internal audits and coach and train our staff.”
Regarding recent trends in the industry, Crozat said, “The economy has been very stable for nine years now, and we have seen consistent growth, usually in the double digits, every year. Business is great, and from what I have heard, the industry itself has been on a consistent growth pattern as well.
“Consolidators will continue to grow, and repairs on vehicles will become increasingly complicated, requiring facilities to need to continue to train and invest in equipment. I think cost per claim severity will continue to rise, leading to more vehicles not being repairable after a collision. I don’t feel autonomous vehicles will really affect the industry for a very long time. OEMs are going to push their programs and certifications to facilities, but there’s no reason to worry—there will always be room for smaller operators. There are fewer shops than there used to be, but the population is growing exponentially every year with more and more young people beginning to drive.”
What’s the key to G&C’s success? “The only thing constant in life is change. There will always be challenging customers, new vehicles that require different repairs, and shifts in insurers’ goals and focuses, but G&C Auto Body is always open to growing, changing and adapting to the current market.”
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To read more auto body shop profiles from the June 2019 Shop & Product Showcase, click here.