Collision Repair 3#1
CSN CARS AUTO COLLISION AND CSN CARS EAST AND WEST
Nick DiLuca is the owner of CSN Cars Auto Collision and CSN Cars East and West — and not to mention one of the founders of the CSN Collision banner. DiLuca says over the past 20 years nearly “everything” in the industry has changed in one way or another.
DiLuca lists the amount of new technology, the difficulty of repairing newer vehicles and the shortages of skilled technicians as some of the largest shifts in the industry. “The amount of change has been huge.” DiLuca says training will have to be moved to the forefront, in order for shops to survive in this ever-changing industry.
“I think that were going to need higher skilled technicians and we’re going to have to focus on training more than ever,” he said. “There’s going to be less shops, but very skilled shops.” Despite, the challenges the collision repair industry brings, DiLuca says he is proud to be a part of it.
“It’s a great industry to be in and I’m looking forward to the next 10 years, really — I don’t know about 20 though, I might be too old,” he said with a chuckle.
Collision Repair 3#2
REGINA AUTO BODY
Regina Auto Body has been around for just short of a century. Starting off as a blacksmith’s shop, it soon transformed into a full-fledged auto body repair facility. Throughout the shop’s long history, giving back to the community has been a key theme.
This was demonstrated in 2019 when the shop celebrated its 95th anniversary by donating a portion of its October earnings to the Canadian Mental Health Association. “It started with tossing around the idea of having an open house to show the changes from the horse and buggy all the way to becoming a Tesla Certified Repair Facility,” explained Mike Mario, the co-owner of RAB. “Chad (another co-owner) and I started to look at the costs of putting something like that together and we heard about our neighbours down the street, Canadian Mental Health Association Regina Branch, and how it was in need of some renovations and we thought, ‘why don’t we scrap that idea and donate the money we may have spent on an open house along with our budgeted donations and do a month-long blitz using the $95 to coincide with the 95 years?’”
By taking $95 from every repair in October, Mario and his team raised more than $10,000 towards replacing worn flooring in the mental health facility.
Collision Repair 3#3
If you don’t know Larry Jefferies, then you have not been in the collision industry long. Co-founder of CARSTAR Canada and a trailblazer in the industry, Larry is well-known by many due to his incredible drive in the collision repair sector.
Since he was on the cover of Collision Repair Mag, Larry completed his term as AIA chairman on the board and also served two terms as chairman of CCIF the only person to ever do that, he says. When Larry left CARSTAR in 2015, he started up his own business called Collision Builders, helping longstanding collision owners prepare and achieve an exit strategy.
“Almost 50 years later and the businessmen I worked with are now coming back to me looking for an exit strategy. It has all come full-circle and I would have to say that is one of my proudest moments since being on the cover,” says Larry. In 2016, Larry was presented with AIA’s Distinguished Service Award, because of his years of strong support for AIA Canada and what he has done to help grow the collision industry.
“I could retire because I am old enough that I shouldn’t be working, but I am not sure I can stop,” he said. There is still a lot to be accomplished.
Collision Repair 3#5
Al MacPhee, the owner of MacPhee Ford, has been in the industry since 1961, and he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down just yet. Over the course of his career, MacPhee has many accomplishments under his belt including being the past Chairman of the Canadian Auto Dealer Body, the past President of the Nova Scotia Automobile Dealers Association, he has won awards and has been inducted into the Junior Achievement Nova Scotia’s Business Hall of Fame and has been known for his philanthropic work through his not-for-profit charity organization the MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning.
“I’ve been very involved in the community because I work in the community,” said MacPhee, who believes it’s important to give back to the people who have supported him throughout the years.
With a career as long as MacPhee’s in the automotive industry, he has seen a lot of changes, but he says there has never been a time in history quite like the present.
“Electrification is going to come about, and not immediately but autonomous vehicles are also going to make their way into the marketplace,” said MacPhee. “I’m in the business daily and it’s evolving more rapidly than ever before.”