Collision Repair 13#1
CSN CHAPMAN AUTO BODY
Kelvin Campbell rarely stands still. The dedicated owner of CSN Chapman Autobody in Bedford, Nova Scotia, always has his eyes keenly focused on the future, pondering new ways he can position his business to thrive. In 2015, just one year after his Collision Repair mag cover, Campbell began hosting international apprentices, offering them an opportunity to train and learn under Canadian repairers.
“We’re part of an immigration pilot project for Atlantic Canada,” beamed Campbell. “We’ve brought people from all over Europe to learn the Canadian way of collision repair: the United Kingdom, Poland, Greece, Romania. Right now, we have three guys from Germany that we’re working to get to Canada so they can work at Chapman.” Campbell’s demonstrated his clear skill when it comes to selling the Canadian collision repair spirit and teaching top-notch tactics. “I’ve retained three out of the seven techs we’ve had through the program.”
As for current challenges facing the Canadian aftermarket, Campbell says he’s prepared for profi tability shrinkage in the years following the pandemic. “That introduces a big problem when some shopowners look back at investing into their business. We invest a good amount of our net back into the business annually, whether that be in equipment, expansion, or so forth—but profi tability shrinkage could impede a lot of people from being able to keep with the growing technologies and skills required to repair the vehicles of today.”
Campbell also says the company you choose to keep will be a major key in the future collision repair market. “The most important thing any shop can do right now is align itself with quality partners,” he said.
Collision Repair 13#2
In 1990, Joe Visconti opened Auto Bugatti, a collision repair centre located in Dorval, Quebec, which specialized in repairing high end vehicles.
In 1994 Visconti, expanded the shop with special contracts from brands including Porsche, Audi, BMW and Ferrari. Then, in 1997 the company opened an exotic car dealership located on Côte-de-Liesse in Dorval.
This year, however, AutoCanada acquired the business. “Our goal is to complement our dealership network by aligning our collision consolidation strategy with the OEMs. It has been proven that certified collision repair not only improves brand loyalty but also increases both parts and vehicle sales,” said a spokesperson from AutoCanada.
Auto Bugatti is currently certified to make repairs on a number of luxury car brands, including BMW, MINI, LandRover, Jaguar, Tesla, Aston Martin and McLaren.
Collision Repair 13#3
John Scetta is a man who puts in the work, no doubt about it. General manager of Performance Collision and Restyling in St. Catharines, Ontario, John Scetta has been on an upward trajectory since he fi rst entered the industry cleaning cars at his father’s used car lot.
When he made the decision to pivot from managing auto rentals to the collision repair game, he wasn’t content with simply learning the management style of a different side of the industry—he wanted to get his hands dirty and fi gure out the trade for himself. John enrolled at Mohawk College as an apprentice, but before long, opportunity came knocking once more. “An opportunity came along to start at Budds Collision in Oakville in the front offi ce. So I took that leap from the fl oor back into the offi ce and that helped get me to where I am now at Performance Collision,” John said.
John carried on at Budds for the next 12 years before setting out on his own in the collision industry. “It was an opportunity to grow myself and to grow a business,” John said about his decision to open Performance Collision, in Collision Repair’s feature with John in May 2014. “By moving here, I have an opportunity to run my own ship, and possibly move into ownership one day.”
Finally with a space to call his own, John is free to pursue any avenue for training that he desires and has worked hard to equip his shop with top-of-the-line equipment from the most trusted brands in collision repair.
Collision Repair 13#4
FIX AUTO BARRIE NORTH
When Kim Roberts and her father Doug were on the Collision Repair magazine cover in 2014, they emphasized the importance of their family-oriented shop, and being part of a national banner network. These sentiments haven’t changed much since then, but they have evolved and grown to better fi t the ever-changing industry. “The way that Fix Auto supports us has changed over the years as well,” Kim says. “They’ve grown so much and they’re learning from the shops everyday about what we need, and how to connect with us and with the insurance companies.”
Kim rejoined the family business nearly 13 years ago after taking some time to explore who she was and what roles she fi t into after graduating college. At first, she was just doing marketing when she started back at the business, and since then she has taken on more of an administrative role, but still has a hand in the company’s marketing because that’s where her heart is. In regard to the future of the industry Kim tells us that one of the biggest challenges is going to be finding adequate technicians. With the surging of technology in not just vehicles, but the equipment used to work on these vehicles, the new generation of technicians are going to need to know past, present and future technology. Kim continues on to say that the biggest lesson she’s learned from the industry is to always keep learning and stay connected.
“The biggest lesson that I’ve learned is to just keep pushing through, keep learning, keep communicating and to stay involved in the industry,” she says. “Because the minute that you step back you lose that connection, and this industry is very social and very much connected.”
Collision Repair 13#5
To make an accurate comparison to how Pat Quinney became one of the biggest names in the Saskatchewan collision industry, one would have to imagine parents Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen driving their child, a young Steph Curry, to youth basketball practice—that’s the high degree of mentorship an already talented young tech had at his disposal—and it’s barely an exaggeration. Pat got his start in 1992 when he was taken under the wing of Lloyd Giles of Midtown Auto Body in Elrose, Saskatchewan. Here is Pat in his October 2014 interview with Collision Repair, speaking on the advantage of learning from a mentor like Giles: “He served a couple of presidencies with SAAR, so early on I saw the importance of being involved, and how it helped him keep ahead of the curve.”
Several years go by and Pat is in search of work, eventually ending up at another Saskatchewan collision shop that should be familiar to Collision Repair readers. Pat spent a year working at Parr Auto Body with Tom Bissonnette, steeping himself further in the wisdom of another of the province’s most influential shop owners. By the time March 2011 rolled around, Pat had been running Quickfalls Collision Centre for five years and was starting to reap the rewards of his years of listening and learning; Pat was named president of SAAR and served in the position until 2017.
“I feel like we’ve done a lot for the industry in this province because we have a strong association,” Quinney said back in 2014. “If you have concerns, you need to get involved with your association and voice them. It’s hard to change anything as individuals, but in a group you’re stronger.
Collision Repair 13#6
CHRIS AND MARGOT BIRECKI
CARROSSIER PROCOLOR MONTREAL OUEST
Chris and Margot Birecki of Carrossier ProColor Montreal Ouest are a rare example of entrepreneurs who built their shop from the ground up. When you look at the Birecki’s three-story collision complex in west Montreal, you’d never guess that the couple built all that success out of a humble car wash in LaSalle. The two took every opportunity that came their way right from the get-go, partnering with local dealerships for detailing work, and eventually offering paint touch-ups and minor dent repairs to help supplement the business. Before they knew it, Chris and Margot had brought on a painter and a body technician and were starting to outgrow their little car wash. The couple decided it was time for a move and found their way into the facility that they occupy today.
In Collision Repair’s feature with Chris and Margot in November 2014, Chris said that “Building a business is just like building a wall. Put one brick down after another.” And that’s how it went for the Birecki’s as their business quickly spread from the second floor to occupy the entire three-story facility. Versatility is another one of the core values of the Birecki family as Chris and Margot train their staff in multiple disciplines in order to never have to lay someone off; and it’s worked for them so far as they have managed to keep on the same 15 staff members for the whole run of the shop.
“Don’t just be a boss. Be a human,” said Chris. “Your staff have a lot of things going on in their lives, and you have to learn how to help them be successful in life. Do that, and they’ll be successful at work too.”