Chad Bijou has managed repair and maintenance shops for major auto dealers like the Morrie’s and Lupient auto groups for more than 15 years.
He has considered running his own business for the past five years, and had a serious eye on a location in Waconia, MN, to start an auto repair business for at least a year.
Last month, Waconia 1 Collision & Auto opened at 524 South Elm Street in a building that had been a long-time furniture store, but has been used largely for storage in recent years.
Bijou acquired the building a few months ago and in less than a year, the space has been transformed into a state-of-the-art repair center.
There’s more to collision repair than pounding out dents, Bijou noted. It involves not only repair or replacement of external components, but also internal mechanical work to make sure the vehicle is repaired to manufacturer standards and returned to pre-accident condition.
Vehicles also have become more sophisticated these days with self-drive and camera assist features, which makes proper diagnosis and repair even more important, Bijou explained. Even auto glass has built-in features that must be considered in replacement.
So, while earlier collision repair estimates might have involved a walk around and look into and under the vehicle, today’s estimates are performed with online technology and a wireless diagnostic station that can be brought right out to the car. The estimating technology provides a detailed blueprint of the repairs that need to be made, Bijou said.
The newly customized Waconia 1 Collision & Auto facility is designed is to accommodate customers, create an efficient workplace for employees, and has the latest in equipment and technology to provide quality repairs and services to any vehicle, according to Bijou.