Several 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.
It was just last year when two of the biggest consolidators merged forming one giant body shop chain with over 1,000 locations across the country. Naturally, this type of buying power caught the attention of insurance companies who saw an opportunity to cut costs on repairs to send vehicles to these body shop chains. This may be a win-win for the consolidators and the insurance companies. However, it actually puts you, the customer, in a worse position. Because of this, few body shops like to talk about it. We’re here to tell you the truth because that’s what you deserve.
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 and a place in line. Are the days of someone caring about your car repair a thing of a past? Are you only a transaction and nothing else to every body shop in the country? The answer is no. You’re not and the days of someone actually caring about providing you with high-quality auto body repair are not over. 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 at an auto body repair shop, these national chain body shops are notorious for bad reviews from customers complaining about sloppy jobs. 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. Auto repair should never be shortcutted in any way, regardless of any pressures insurance companies may give. Your car’s manufacturer releases statements known as OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Repair Procedures. These are guidelines set out by the manufacturer telling technicians exactly how your car needs to be repaired. 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 and risk of injury.
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. This is why it’s critical that you take your car to be repaired somewhere that knows what they are doing and will not sacrifice your safety in any way.
Where In New York Can I Take My Car To Be Repaired The Right Way?
Here at Mid Island Collision Center, we only give the highest level of auto body repair. We have seen too many times where these high production body shops perform low-quality repairs, simply because of the pressures they feel from the insurance companies. We refuse to repair any vehicle that comes into our shop any other way but the OEM way, because that’s the ONLY way cars should be repaired.
Our technicians are all highly trained in OEM repairs because they know the importance of these repairs. We feel quite confident we’d be able to provide you with the excellence in customer service and high quality that you deserve. If you’d like to schedule an estimate or to get a free online quote, click here to get started. Or, feel free to give us a call at anytime at (516)-766-0101. We look forward to hearing from you!