Looking to the future, owner Dominic Martino has predicted, "Vehicles will become more complex, requiring more specialized training, tooling, equipment and education - this will prompt many collision shops to become obsolete as they cannot, or will not, commit due to financial constraints or simply an inability to stay the course and fight for their own survival."
| Gold Coast Auto Body |
Type: Collision Repair Facility
Number of Locations: One
Years ago, Martino set out to distinguish his shop from the competition by obtaining OEM certification for several manufacturers' lines. The shop is certified through Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, VW, Honda and Acura, and through the Assured Performance Network, the shop is also certified to repair GM, Ford, Nissan, Infiniti, Hyundai, Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler vehicles.
These OEM certifications are what originally led Martino to invest in Celette's frame machines, required by Mercedes-Benz, over ten years ago. According to Martino, "The Celette and Celette XL have benefitted the business in terms of speed and the accuracy of the frame's alignment. Our technicians love the Celette and its fixtures. It is very easy to set up, and implementing the product posed no difficulty due to Celette's excellent customer service."
Martino added, "Our local representative, Bastien Dias Da Costa, offers excellent knowledge and customer service, and Greg Fritz, our Celette trainer, possesses the same qualities. They quickly address any concerns we may encounter, allowing us to avoid losing excessive amounts of time during the repair process. Celette always gets the job done, period!"
Recently, Martino provided a shop tour to Dias Da Costa and Celette President Pierre Nicolau. Dias De Costa explained, “We wanted to show our president a high-end shop in the Chicago area. Gold Coast Auto Body is a big, well-equipped shop, and Pierre was very impressed by what he saw.”
Gold Coast Auto Body is certified for 14 OEMs.
Gold Coast Auto Body has been very pleased with the customer service offered by Celette as well as the quality of the company’s products. With bench systems designed based on manufacturer blueprints, Celette promises duplication of the factory build process and 100% accuracy. They also claim that repair predictability is unsurpassed by any other style of straightening equipment. When asked how the Celette frame machines compare to products used previously, Martino praised Celette: "There's no comparison - Celette is simply the best!"
The shop predominantly uses Celette's equipment on Tesla and Mercedes-Benz models since those manufacturers require these frame machines, but Martino also utilizes the products during most of his other repairs due to the benefits derived, such as increased efficiency and ease of use. The shop is currently undergoing the application process to obtain Mercedes-Benz's new commercial vehicle cut, though they've been repairing those vehicles for a decade.
Gold Coast Auto Body was founded in January 1992 by Lorenzo Martino after the Mercedes-Benz dealership where he'd been employed for 28 years decided to close their body shop. Recognizing his loyalty, they offered him an opportunity to run his own business and gave the 54-year-old man a shop which became Gold Coast Auto Body. Lorenzo opened the shop with his brother, a body technician, and later that year, Lorenzo's sons, Dominic and Mario, went to work for their father, assuming responsibility for managing the shop. Around 15 years ago, Lorenzo retired from the business, leaving Dominic and Mario to continue his legacy as co-owners of Gold Coast Auto Body.
Repairing many high-end vehicles requires Gold Coast Auto Body to acquire the best training and equipment available.
The busy 50,000 square foot facility's 60 employees repair approximately 400 vehicles each month. In addition to participating in three direct repair programs, Gold Coast Auto Body acquires revenue by offering towing, storage, paintless dent repair, detailing, and cosmetic wheel repair services. Martino’s facility is equipped with the most technologically advanced products to ensure safe and proper repairs that adhere to OEM guidelines.
The shop is environmentally conscientious, spraying with BASF's waterborne refinishing products, and they also participate in community and charity organizations. Gold Coast Auto Body is a member of the local economic and employment development council and is also involved in charitable military organizations as a donor and supporter.
When looking at current industry trends, Martino made observations about some of the positive things impacting the collision repair industry. "The number of vehicles being sold has increased which means more work for us, and the increasing complexity of vehicle technology requires more training, tooling and equipment to repair today's vehicles - that's Gold Coast Auto Body's forte."
toll free: 1-800-CELETTE
To read more auto body shop profiles from the June 2017 Shop & Product Showcase, click here.