Nearly a decade ago, a group of private equity investors discovered there is money to be made from investing in auto body repair shops. The reason for this is insurance companies pay for the repairs and that eliminates cash flow issues. Not to mention, consumers are always going to need collision repair.
These investment firms struck a deal between three large body shops who had locations across multiple regions. From there, the flood gates were open, and these investors went on a buying spree. They would approach smaller body shop owners who were on the way out of the industry to acquire their shops. This method would be known as “consolidation.”
Just last year, two of the biggest consolidators formed a high production body shop chain with over 1,000 locations across the country. Insurance companies caught wind of this purchase and saw this as an opportunity to save money on repairs. How? They would send more cars to these body shop chains. This would benefit everyone involved, except for the customers. Why? We’re here to explain the difference between high production body shops and independent shops, like Total Auto Services right here in Houston.
Your insurance company knows what an inconvenience it is for you to be without your car. They also want to spend as little money as possible for the repair. As a result, they put the pressure on the repair shop to perform faster repairs, but not without a price. Car repair is extremely complex nowadays, so corners often get cut in the repair process at these high production body shops to save time and money.
No More Personalized Attention
When you take your car to a high production body shop, you no longer have the personalized attention that you’d receive from an independent body shop. At one of these chains, you’re no longer a customer but merely a number in line. Are the days of someone caring about your car repair a thing of the past? The answer is no. They’re not. It’s all about where you take your car that makes all the difference.
Faster Doesn’t Always Mean Better.
As mentioned above, these national body shop chains are under a contract from insurance companies to perform faster repairs at a specific budget. As a result, these shops are notorious for sloppy repairs and incorrectness of the overall process. They’ll cut corners in the repair process to save time and money. They run on the philosophy that the faster the repair = more money from the insurance companies.
However, these high production body shops often have to buy back cars because of poorly performed repairs. The “repaired” vehicle is considered a total economic loss. This happens when the cost to repair the vehicle exceeds the overall value of the car. We wish we could say this only happens on rare occasions, but it happens more than you think.
Your Safety Is Our #1 Priority, Or Is It?
When an auto body shop cuts corners in the repair process in the name of saving time and money, they’re also putting your safety at risk. Your car’s manufacturer releases repair procedures known as OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) repairs. OEM repairs instruct the technicians exactly how a repair should be done. The way cars are manufactured today means more complex repairs, which will take longer. The best body shops know to look up OEM repair procedures for your vehicle because they are the safest and highest quality. A body shop chain will often neglect these procedures and will perform the same type of repair for every car that comes into the shop.
Where In Houston Can I Take My Car To Be Repaired The Right Way?
Here at Total Auto Services, we are committed to providing Houston drivers with the high-quality auto repair that they deserve.
Our team of repair technicians are all highly trained in auto body repair and know the importance of following repair procedures laid about by the car manufacturer. We never take any shortcuts in the repair process and keep your safety as our number one priority. Our goal is to provide Houston drivers with the best auto body repair out there for their car.
Our motto is, “we may not be related, but you’ll feel like we’re family!” Feel free to give us a call at anytime at (713)-433-7745. Or, if you’d like to schedule an appointment or to get an online quote, click any of the buttons below!