About eight to ten years ago, a group of private equity investors discovered that there is money to be made by investing in auto body repair shops. The reason is repairs are generally paid for by insurance companies and that eliminates cash flow issues. Auto Body repair is also largely recession-proof as accidents happen every single day.
These investment firms struck a deal with three large body shops that had a footprint in multiple states, and then they went on a buying spree. They approached body shop owners who had built smaller regional multi-shop operations who were looking to retire or exit the business. As their footprint grew, so did their buying power and they continued to acquire shops. In the industry, this is called consolidation.
Last year two of the biggest consolidators merged forming one giant body shop chain with over 1,000 locations. This footprint and this buying power caught the attention of insurance companies who saw an opportunity to cut costs on repairs by feeding more cars to these chains. It is a win-win for the consolidators and the insurance companies, but not for the customers, and few body shops like to talk about it.
The reality is your Insurance company wants the fastest and cheapest repair for your vehicle allowable under insurance law in this state because they want to keep the length of time you are in a rental car to a minimum which is a big line item expense to insurance companies. But speed and size come at a great cost to you the customer. The increased complexity of cars built today doesn’t allow for the same speed as car repair of yesterday and often corners get cut in the name of cycle time at these large chain, high production auto body shops.
No More Personalized Attention
When you take your car to be repaired at a high production body shop, you may experience a lack of personalized attention that you are likely to receive at an independent auto body shop. Each time you call the national chain shops, you get transferred to an 800 number where you end up talking to someone who isn’t even at the shop. You’re no longer a customer, but merely a number. Are the days of someone caring about your car repair a thing of a past? The answer is no. They’re not. It’s all about where you take it to be repaired that makes all the difference.
Aside from not having the personalized attention that you should have when taking your car to be repaired, these national chain body shops are notorious for lacking in quality and correctness of repairs. You’ll often see complaints stating how the repair looks sloppy and poorly done. This is because these shops do the exact same type of repair for your car, often cutting corners in the process to speed up the turnaround time. After all, these chain body shops work on the philosophy of the faster the repair = more money from the Insurance companies. What you don’t see is how often these high production shops have to buy back cars because the repairs were so poorly done that the vehicle is rendered an economic total loss. This happens when the cost to fix the car again the right way exceeds the value of the car. This happens a lot, but very quietly.
When an auto body repair shop cuts corners on repairs, this means that they are also risking your safety. Your car’s manufacturer releases statements known as OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Repair Procedures. These are guidelines set out by the manufacturer ensuring your vehicle is repaired precisely the way it’s meant to. Not only is this the highest quality of repair for your car, but it’s also the safest. Anything less and technicians can damage or potentially ruin the structural integrity of your car. Thus, making you that much more susceptible to being in an accident.
Typically at these chain body shops, you’ll see repairs done with a more affordable option known as “aftermarket parts.” Aftermarket parts are a knock-off, imitation parts that have not been tested for safety or accuracy. Let alone, and they haven’t been approved by the OEM manufacturer of your car. Anything less than OEM parts can reduce the value in your car. Also, it can cause the advanced safety features your vehicle is built with to no longer work properly.
Where In Palmdale Can I Take My Car To Be Repaired The Right Way?
Here at Telesis Collision Center, we work with you to ensure you are getting the best quality of repair out there! Each one of our technicians is up-to-date on OEM repair procedures from your car’s manufacturer. We have been serving the Antelope Valley for over 25 years because we know what it means to give you the best repair out there. We understand how important your car is to you, and this is a stressful time. We’ll work with you and your insurance company to insure your repair is as stress-free as possible.Schedule An Estimate Get Online Quote