Lexus of Pembroke Pines
Location: Pembroke Pines, FL
Founded in 1999 by Craig Zinn, CEO of the Craig Zinn Automotive Group, Lexus of Pembroke Pines is currently the number one Lexus franchise in the world for new vehicle sales. Lexus of North Miami, another one of the company’s five dealerships in Florida, is number two in the world.
“One of the biggest changes we see every year is that car manufacturers change the technology of the vehicles,” said Brian Martin, director of auto collision for Lexus of Pembroke Pines and Lexus of North Miami. “As the technology changes, we must stay at pace with that as far as training and equipment is concerned.”
The collision center first learned about Spanesi equipment in 2016 during the SEMA show in Las Vegas, NV. Martin had the opportunity to meet Orazio Spanesi, the founder of the company, and Orazio’s daughter, Cristina, the international marketing manager.
“After vast research and testing of the competition, meeting who builds the equipment and who is behind the company was the final reason I chose to purchase their equipment,” said Martin.
He arranged to have some of the collision center’s painters fly to Spanesi America’s headquarters in Chicago to meet Tim Morgan, managing director and chief operating officer (COO), and see the spray booths first-hand.
“They were very impressed with the filtration as well as with the airflow coming through the paint booths,” said Martin. “Spanesi’s products, with the filtration and airflow, and the technology of the booth far exceeded the spray booths we had and will prepare us for the future.”
As a result of that meeting, the dealership purchased four Michelangelo spray booths and a heated double prep station for Lexus Pembroke Pines’ collision repair facility to replace their existing booths. All of them are custom-designed with oversized glass and height compared to the older models they replaced.
He said the operation of the booths has been “excellent” and the painters really like using them.
“The jobs are coming out extremely clean,” said Martin. “The energy efficiency is saving us a lot of profit when it comes to the cost of natural gas and electricity. We were advised that it would be a savings, but seeing our natural gas bill go down is great.”
The technicians at the Lexus of Pembroke Pines collision center have also found that the booths have helped their efficiency with production, allowing them to move vehicles through the paint process more quickly. Martin said they are getting approximately two more cars painted per day, per booth.
“The filtration allows the jobs to come out a lot cleaner without dirt in the paint, and the efficiency of the paint booths has certainly allowed us to be more efficient with cycle time,” added Martin.
Left: Brian Martin, director of auto collision for Lexus of Pembroke Pines, shown with one of the custom double prep stations at the collision center. Right: Spanesi’s frame machines and technology enable the collision center to determine what is wrong with the vehicle and repair it to pre-loss condition.
The large project required a lot of coordination to keep production interruption to a minimum. There was also a hurricane they had to deal with.
“Brian and the Zinn team, along with our crew and trades, have worked closely to keep things moving at a pace that shop production has seen minimal slowdowns,” said Morgan.
In addition, when Morgan and Martin looked at the current maintenance costs and upkeep, they found it was cheaper long-term to upgrade to better, new, efficient equipment.
Martin said customer service has been outstanding. The nine painters have all been trained by Spanesi on how to utilize the products.
“It’s very simple,” he said. “A touchscreen operates all of the controls to the paint booths. They absolutely love the product.”
When they want to check on the maintenance of the booths, they are able to easily dial in from anywhere in the world and receive an update on the systems as well as any maintenance issues there may be.
The automotive group is building a new collision center in approximately one year.
“We’ll certainly put Spanesi as a preferred vendor in that location,” said Martin.
In addition to the paint booths, Lexus of Pembroke Pines and Lexus of North Miami also purchased Spanesi Multibench frame machines and Touch Measuring System.
“They are far better than the ones we bought in the past from the competition,” said Martin.
“The Bluetooth technology being utilized with easily recognized graphics allows for easier and simpler inspections. This is a game- changer for us. In our blueprinting process, we like to get a unibody measurement for an accurate account of the damages to the vehicle. It’s a lot easier set up for unibody measurements and unibody repairs.”
This helps the facility determine exactly what is wrong with the vehicle up front in order to repair it to pre-loss condition. The collision center is certified by Lexus, Honda, Acura, Nissan, Hyundai, Chrysler, Fiat, Kia and Infinity.
“The manufacturers understand there are certain equipment requirements that are necessary to be part of these programs, and the Spanesi equipment certainly meets the criteria of those manufacturers,” Martin said.
He said the team has been very involved with the purchase of Spanesi equipment, which has elevated morale in the shop.
“We’re here to provide good quality equipment for our customers and Spanesi is helping us do that,” said Martin.
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