By Jeff Sanford
Toronto, Ontario — August 24, 2015 — Craftsman Collision has opened its first US store, located in sunny Long Beach, California.
Craftsman Collision, of course, is well-known in western Canada. The company has 38 locations in markets throughout British Columbia and Alberta. The company’s owner, Bill Hatswell, is a well-known figure in the Canadian collision repair industry. The company has already stepped outside the borders of Canada, opening a new location in China in 2013. Now, apparently, it’s time to try to crack the big market south of the border.
Peter Allan, Chief Operating Officer in charge of US Operations and Sales for Wedge Clamp, says the Long Beach shop represents a new chapter in the company’s history. “Craftsman Collision and Wedge Clamp have come out of Canada and [have] expanded into the USA,” says Allan.
The new store will also feature an outlet of Wedge Clamp, an equipment supplier formed over thirty years ago. Bill Hatswell and Craftsman Collision recently acquired Wedge Clamp. Craftsman Collision utilizes Wedge Clamp equipment throughout every location, and the brand will be part of the new venture in California.
“We have built new Wedge Clamp offices within the Craftsman Collision facility, to accommodate myself and a sales team, so we can start expanding through California and into neighbouring States,” says Allan. “We have installed five bays of the in-floor anchoring system and will be demoing that to all visitors, as not many people will have seen it in California.”
The official opening day has taken place, and the first Craftsman Collision in the US is now fully operational.
“We had a variety of people here from local shops and car dealerships to insurance companies such as AAA, Mercury and Allstate, and also a representative from the GM design centre,” says Allan. “Mike Hanchett, the inventor of the Eclipse 3D Measuring System, was also on hand, and we were able to discuss potentially linking the Wedge Clamp Pivot Measuring System to the Eclipse system. This would effectively allow a 3D print out of the whole of the top and side of the car, as well as the frame underneath.”
For more information, please visit wedgeclamp.com.