Tuesday, 24 May 2022 12:40

70-Year Auto Body Shop Still Growing with Axalta

Written by Autobody News Staff
Since 1952, Kendrick Paint & Body has grown from a single-stall repair shop in Augusta, GA, to eight shops in Georgia and South Carolina. Since 1952, Kendrick Paint & Body has grown from a single-stall repair shop in Augusta, GA, to eight shops in Georgia and South Carolina.


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Kendrick Paint & Body was founded in 1952 by James Kendrick, as a single-stall repair shop in Augusta, GA.

Kendrick Paint & Body
Location: Augusta, GA
(706) 724-4071

Facebook: @kendrickpaintbody
Instagram: @kendrickpaintandbody


Company at a Glance…
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 175
In Business Since: 1952
Locations: Eight
Combined Production Space: 200,000 square feet


Seventy years later, it has grown to eight auto body shops---four in Augusta, where its corporate headquarters are also located, one each in the neighboring towns of Evans and Martinez and two more in Aiken, SC---repairing an average total of 850 vehicles per month.


The business also has locations to specifically handle glass, ceramics, frames and mechanics, so it can do all work in-house instead of subletting specialties.


All Kendrick shops are I-CAR Gold Class certified, and several employees have achieved Platinum certification. The business also has five DRPS and 10 OEM certifications, including Nissan/Infiniti, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Kia, Hyundai, Volvo, Volkswagen and Subaru, and is currently working on two more.


Axalta 2 Paint mixing

In 2017, all Kendrick Paint & Body locations switched to Axalta's Spies Hecker Permahyd Hi-TEC, a water-based refinish system that is both environmentally friendly and high-quality.


Keeping up with OEM certifications and I-CAR training and investing in new equipment and procedures has been a priority for Kendrick as the amount of technology in all cars – not just high-end luxury vehicles – has skyrocketed, making repairs more complicated.


The company grew along with Augusta, now home to industries ranging from health care to the military and federal government, which all bring in a lot of people---who drive vehicles and get into accidents.


James’ sons, Jimmy and Steve Sr., grew up in the shop, helping out on afternoons and weekends. When it was time for James to retire, Steve Sr. and Jimmy took the reins.


Now, Steve Jr.---son of Steve Sr. and grandson of James---is running the show, having also practically grown up in the shop, doing everything from sweeping floors to writing estimates. He still steps up wherever he is needed. When several employees were out due to COVID, he washed customers’ vehicles.


“We are fortunate to have an owner that knows every position in the company,” said Carson McLaughlin, a 13-year employee who handles marketing and recruiting. “There are not a lot of owners who will roll their sleeves up and pitch in where it’s needed. It’s great that he is always feet on the ground and ready to help.


“It helps employees to know we have someone who has been where they are,” she added.


Steve Jr. has also successfully led Kendrick through the pandemic. While the state and local area did not institute the extensive shutdowns that led to decreases in traffic congestion and, as a result, cars in need of repair in other parts of the country, the shops have still had to weather supply chain issues that have lengthened cycle times by weeks in some cases.


Steve Jr.’s daughter, Ansley Kendrick, is about to graduate from college and has been learning the ins and outs of the industry to one day step up and become the fourth generation to run it.


Relationships are important to a business like Kendrick---not only with its employees and customers, but also with...

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Last modified on Tuesday, 28 June 2022 08:13