By CRM Staff
Niagara Falls, Ontario -- May 7, 2018 -- Against the backdrop of the eighth wonder of the world, Steve Leal paid homage to the advances Fix Automotive Network has made around the globe. No longer focused on the country or even the continent, the company has spread over the far corners of the Earth. Could it, too, become a wonder?
“We have a vision that goes beyond borders. We are not bound by country, but by our mission,” says Leal, president and chief executive officer, Fix Auto World. “Our goal is to become a global brand, not limited to geography.”
Held in Niagara Falls from May 3-5, this was the first Fix Automotive Network (FAN) Conference. With the conference theme of "ONE Family, ONE Vision," more than 300 attendees representing 200 franchisees were present to see old friends and associates and, more importantly, to meet new ones.
On hand at the annual meeting in Niagara Falls, Ontario this past Thursday, was a contingent of delegates from China Automobile Maintenance Industry Association (CAMRA). Brought together by Desmond Chan, strategic global development for Fix Auto World, the group was thoroughly impressed by the event, the camaraderie and the network’s vision.
“Canada is known as the epicentre of collision repair franchisee operations and Fix Auto is at the leading edge globally,” says Chan. “Our Chinese delegation is thrilled to see the positive corporate culture that is being displayed and promoted at this conference. We are all excited and enthusiastic about being here.”
According to Leal, the network has responded well to massive shifts in the automotive aftermarket services environment.
“We have to be agile – make changes; look at different ways to do business. Our partnerships are key to our operations. On the collision side, we have built tools so we stay united and focused, delivering for our customers and our partners.
He went on further to explain Fix Auto Hub, a communication platform designed to give real time information and communication for franchisees.
“We have invested heavily in technology, bringing programming in-house, and developing proprietary software to further improve on mobile estimating for customers, estimators and fleet partners, resulting in quicker turnaround on estimates.”
The other brands in the Network, including NOVUS Glass and Speedy Auto Service on the glass and mechanical side of the business, were also discussed as a key component of growth moving forward with an end game of 10,000 locations worldwide.
On the two-day agenda were a host of motivational speakers including David Chilton and Patrick Leroux. AIA president Jean-Francois Champagne also took the stage to welcome the group and provide an update on the association and activities.
David Lingham, head of business for Fix Auto World gave his insight as to what is happening globally in the market. He says change is coming faster than ever, and predicts more especially in the next couple of years.
“Expect the unexpected. Consolidation is an extremely hot topic and we should expect to see more interest in other potential arrivals and competitors from other countries outside Canada and the U.S.,” he says.
Lingham mentions the possibility that the Fix Automotive Network model be transferred to others as they expand in Europe. “There are several things the repairers around the world can learn from the transparency Canadian consolidators have created including one-stop shopping, different models for insurers and high industry standards.”
Of course no event of this magnitude would be complete without an awards banquet, and this one was no exception. Please stay tuned to Collision Repair magazine as we release the full list of winners and runners up.
The next global conference will take place in Cancun Mexico in 2019.