David Ellis, owner of CARSTAR Ellis Brothers Collision in Milford, MI, joined the CARSTAR franchise network in 2019 “in order to keep up with the changes in the industry, to up my game and to have access to the tools, technology, training, analytics, metrics and nationwide warranty that will set me up for success in this rapidly changing industry.”
CARSTAR Ellis Brothers Collision
Location: Milford, MI
Company At A Glance...
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: Three
In Business Since: 2016
Number of Locations: One
DRP Programs: Five
Production Space: 11,500 square feet
Although his shop has recently joined the CARSTAR network, Ellis has more than two decades of automotive industry experience. In 1999, he founded Complete Automotive Restoration Inc. (CAR Inc.) and “grew the business to one of the largest mobile paint companies in the state,” Ellis said.
“That growth required us to expand our facility, so we figured why not go for it by building a gold-class body shop in 2016? We currently employ seven mobile technicians at CAR Inc., and that success eventually funded our CARSTAR collision business.”
Because of his previous experience in the automotive sector, Ellis quickly took note of some trends in the collision repair industry.
“OEM certifications are growing in importance, and there is lots of consolidation in our industry; the big are getting bigger by buying up MSO businesses,” he said.
“AV development continues to evolve and is rapidly altering how cars interact with their human interface,” Ellis continued. “The cars being produced today have many of the systems that must be perfected to make AV a reality for the masses, and they’re mastering this technology, hastening the arrival of AV. Most importantly, the body shop of tomorrow must be profi cient in researching all the new technologies as well as the repair methodologies.”
CARSTAR Ellis Brothers Collision facility was founded in 2016 and joined the CARSTAR network in 2019.
While seeking the most effective means for obtaining the training and OEM certifications necessary to make his collision repair business as successful as his mobile painting company, Ellis explored the CARSTAR franchise network opportunity.
“The training from CARSTAR is awesome! The depth of the material we have training modules for is simply amazing, and the processes and tools at our disposal allow us to compete at the same level as the big chain stores,” he said.
“CARSTAR is one of the biggest players in the collision repair market, and as a result, I-CAR has assigned a dedicated representative to assist CARSTAR franchisees with acquiring Gold status, and our representative was there for us every step of the way---to me, that’s very special treatment,” Ellis added. “We only needed six months with CARSTAR to become I-CAR Gold Certified. I’m so proud of our team because that is almost record time. Now, OEM certifications are on our list of top priorities.”
Change always elicits a variety of emotions, and transitioning to a CARSTAR facility was no different for Ellis Brother Collision.
“Everyone in the shop experienced something unique, but all of us felt a mix of excitement, anxiety, fear, hope and faith to one degree or another,” Ellis said. “I personally felt all of it in hi-def. Fortunately, the transition went smoothly, and we are off and running.”