Brooklyn, NY, Auto Body Shop Proud of Its New Autel IA800 System

Pictured, left to right, are partners Chris Kalinowski and Sean Cusick at Knights Collision with tech Josh LaTouche.

They say things move quicker in New York, and people expect their cars back faster as a result. A demanding customer base wants it today---and don’t think about skimping on the quality.

That’s why Knights Collision & Auto Care Center in Brooklyn, NY, uses the IA800 Intelligent ADAS Optical Positioning System on roughly 100 cars every month. The crew has been using it for more than a year and is still raving about its accuracy, reliability and ease-of-use. It helps them get their discerning customers’ cars back fast---and earn top notch reviews as a result.

Knights Collision & Auto Care Center
Brooklyn, NY 718-963-4447
Facebook: @knightscollision&autocare

Company At A Glance...
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 16
In Business Since: 1948
Number of Locations: One
Production Space: 30,000 square feet

President Sean Cusick assumed control of this 75-year-old shop in 2013 after working his way up the ladder. He designed the company’s state-of-the-art workflow, integrating production, accounting and HR methodologies to build the business to where it is today. Acquiring top equipment like his Autel IA800 has been another big part of the formula for success.

Hiring and retaining talent has also been instrumental in helping Knights Collision to shine in a very competitive market.

LaTouche has become an expert at using the system at Knights Collision.

“I have people who have been here for 15-20 years and we don’t get them jumping to the competition,” Cusick said. “My partner, Chris Kalinowski, came here 25 years ago from Poland, and now he is a New York State licensed appraiser and I-CAR Platinum, for example. We create a family atmosphere and let them know they’re valued and it works well. We don’t have any vocational schools around here, so it’s not easy, but we actually have people all the time who want to come here. If I see someone who has potential, I will usually give them a shot, and we have hired a lot of people that way.”

One employee who Cusick gave a great opportunity is Josh LaTouche, an estimator who accepted the role of running the company’s ADAS department. He is the company’s go-to guy when it comes to the shop’s diagnostics, a position he is proud of.

“Josh was a tech and then he had to take off some time off ,when he got a knee operation and we discovered that he was very computer savvy,” Cusick said. “During that period, he became a certified state estimator and also began learning about automotive diagnostics.”

When customers come into Knights Collision, they can see LaTouche working on the Autel IA800 displayed in full view.

“Twelve years ago, we moved into this building that was previously a car dealership,” Cusick said. “We put the Autel machine right in the middle of what used to be the dealership’s showroom and the customers see it when they come in. It’s a beautiful piece of equipment and we want to show it off.”

LaTouche is already an expert at working on the Autel IA800 and learns more about it every day, he said.

“Our Autel rep is amazing and he is always available if I have any questions, but the whole system is very intuitive,” he said. “To get started a year ago, the rep came here for two days, and we covered everything during that time. Every once in a while, we have a tricky calibration and I will call him or he comes here. He’s very close [in New Jersey] and he is so knowledgeable, it’s great.”

The most common recalibrations LaTouche performs are on front radar and blind spots on newer vehicles. “I can safely say that Josh is a black belt when it comes to using this equipment and that’s why he is a valuable part of the team here at Knights Collision,” Cusick said.

Knights Collision is located in a former car dealership in Brooklyn, NY.

The Autel IA800 is well-known as the fastest and most precise calibration frame positioning without mechanical measurement. The Autel Intelligent ADAS Optical Positioning System features six high-resolution cameras to deliver three-dimensional adjustment for the most accurate frame centering and vehicle distance recognition.

Compatible with Autel’s existing Standard Calibration Frame, and designed for seamless integration, this system optically measures two-wheel clamp targets to significantly cut down setup time and increase placement precision. It features the most extensive camera, radar, lidar and night vision calibration coverage in the industry today.

“We can scan and calibrate any car we get here and that has been huge,” Cusick said. “The equipment is well-designed and sturdy and the codes are always updated with the newest OEM information, so we are never surprised by anything. When the car comes in, we are already planning the diagnostics, which makes the entire process seamless and timely.

“We get a lot of newer vehicles here all the time and we never have to job out any calibrations, so our Autel IA800 is making money for us. We can highly recommend this piece of equipment because we are stressing quality and safety with this machine. When the car leaves here, we have that piece of mind, and that is very important.”

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To read more auto body shop profiles from the June 2023 Shop and Product Showcase, click here.

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