By Mike Davey
St. Catharines, Ontario — April 7, 2014 — Performance Collision & Restyling recently opened its doors for an open house and tour of its new location.
â€œWe really needed the room,â€ says John Scetta, the facilityâ€™s manager. â€œWeâ€™ve been aggressively growing the business over the last few years, and our old facility simply couldnâ€™t handle more volume.â€
The facility is now located at 342 Ontario St. in St. Catharines, Ont., just down the street from its previous location. Performance Collision & Restyling is part of the Performance Auto Group, a group of dealerships representing brands such as Acura, BMW, MINI, Chrysler, Dodge Jeep, RAM, FIAT, Hyundai, EQUUS, Lexus, Toyota, Scion, Mercedes-Benz, Sprinter and smart. The group is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The collision business has been part of the group for the last 42 years.
The expanded collision centre is a sure sign that the groupâ€™s management considers Performance Collision & Restyling a valuable part of the package they offer customers and as a profit centre in its own right.
The new facility is certainly largerâ€”18,000 sq. ft. compared to the old locationâ€™s footprint of 7,000 sq. ft.â€”but the differences between the new facility and the old are not simply a matter of size.
â€œWe took the opportunity to put in equipment thatâ€™s really top of the line,â€ says Scetta. â€œThe most obvious is our new Wolf Taifuno spray booth. Theyâ€™re not common in Canada, but theyâ€™ve got an excellent reputation in Europe. We expect it to increase production and efficiency.â€
The new booth has a number of technologically advanced features, but one of its most striking advantages is relatively simple. When the car enters the booth, it is placed on special rollers riding on tracks. When the car is ready to cure, the rollers activate and slide along the tracks resting in the floor, moving the vehicle to the attached bake oven. When the cure is complete, the rollers activate again, depositing the vehicle outside the booth.
The layout of the new facility is likewise designed with efficiency in mind. Brand new prep stations, also from Wolf, line the wall opposite the spray booth. This means as short a trip as possible from prep to paint.
Each of the repair bays is well-equipped and each has its own lift. There is enough space in each bay for technicians to work without bumping into each other.
The parts department occupies a very large top floor mezzanine area. Everything is set up for efficient product and continuous flow, with parts carts brought down to the floor by an elevator when theyâ€™re needed.
In addition, the facility includes a dedicated restyling area, offering a full line of 3M products including tint, paint protection film and 1080 vehicle wrap material.
â€œWe offer paint protection film in a variety of sizes, but what seems to be taking the market by storm is full front end wraps with paint protection film,â€ says Scetta. â€œWeâ€™re fully equipped to handle this trend. With our expel software and 65-inc plotter, thereâ€™s nothing we can’t cut or handle.â€
Itâ€™s not just restyling. There seems to be almost nothing the facility canâ€™t handle. Performance Collision & Restyling is the only BMW Canada Certified Collision Repair Centre in the Niagara region, and the facility is also certified under the Toyota, Lexus and Scion programs.
â€œMercedes-Benz manufacturer approval isnâ€™t too far off. We just have a few things left to accomplish to meet their strict program,â€ says Scetta. â€œAs soon as Acura completes their program, weâ€™ll work with them to attain that certification as well.â€
The new facility is much larger than the previous home of Performance Collision, and an impressive array of new equipment has been added as well. For more information, please visit performancecollisionandrestyling.ca.