Eurocars’s business model designed to meet high expectations of high-end car owners
Colorado Springs, Colo.—Eurocars Collision Center doesn’t feel like a collision shop and it wasn’t designed to. Much like the high-end, luxury foreign import vehicles that make up its main clientele base, everything from the waiting area to the tools, equipment and technicians are meant to project the image of “best of the best” - and follow through with high-quality repairs.
“Eurocars Collision Center was birthed out of the need we saw for a high-end collision repair facility in the southern Colorado market,” said Joe Brenner, general manager of Porsche Colorado Springs, which owns the shop. “Owners of high-end imports love their vehicles. I mean, love them. They inspect each repair diligently, ask questions about the parts used, and check the color match with a magnifying glass. We set out to create a collision repair facility in the area that could meet that level of customer expectation.”
But instead of limiting the vision to collision repair for just its Porsche customers, Brenner said there was a “greater vision” for the Eurocars Collision Center brand from the beginning.
“Our long-range goal has always been to develop our processes and people to the point that we can expand to different markets,” he said. “We want consumers to recognize the Eurocars Collision Center brand as a place they’ll be able to leave their $140,000 vehicle and feel assured that it’s going to be restored to pre-loss condition and have the most qualified technicians in the industry working on it.”
Building that reputation has required millions of dollars invested in tools and training. The shop is I-CAR Gold class-recognized and has earned OE certifications through the Assured Performance Network and sponsorships from franchise dealerships such as Bob Penkhus to become Volvo-certified, Winslow BMW for its BMW certification, Porsche of Colorado Springs, its parent company, for Porsche certification, and as recently as this month, investing tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and online training courses to become a Tesla-certified collision center.
Through its certifications, Eurocars Collision Center has access to OE information databases for most nameplates, which includes parts diagrams and OEM repair specs, which helps ensure each repair is done completely in-line with OE requirements.
“Our brand continues to build a strong reputation because of the quality of work coming out of the shop,” Justin Arnold, collision consultant, said. “We’re currently booked out until January 2019.”
Arnold and Henry Trujillo, also a collision consultant, use CCC One to track vehicles as they go through the repair process and prepare estimates. Its only DRP partner, USAA, was chosen because of the significant military population in Colorado Springs. It continues to focus on alignment with OEMs as a way forward, especially because the high-end European vehicles it specializes in are particularly complex to work on.
“A bumper job is no longer a bumper job,” Arnold said. “These high-end vehicles are loaded with ADAS technology - most have two or three cameras just in the bumper - so having the certifications, doing the training, and paying for access to the OE data and parts specifications is instrumental to getting the repair correct.”
Having the tools is vital as well. The company recently invested in a nitrogen welder for plastic welding from Dentfix which allows technicians to chemically bond plastic to repair a bumper instead of filling it with padding or material.
“We invested in a nitrogen welder because of the caliber of cars we repair. A shop that isn’t working as much on high-end cars wouldn’t need this, but, for example, we had a 2017 Porsche 911 GT 3RS that had front bumper damage come in recently and the bumper would have cost $6,000 just for the part,” Arnold said. “With this welder we were able to save the customer that money and still repair the vehicle back to OE specs.”
The shop is also considering investing in the Autel MaxiSYS scan tool to become fully capable of recalibrating ADAS sensors in-house, Arnold said, noting that it’s the only scan tool he’s found with the robust capabilities needed to work on today’s vehicles. It also invested in a Cellete straightening bench with RRT technology that pulses infrared light on bonded metal - something Arnold said European vehicle manufacturers are going to instead of welding - to cure it automatically with pre-set temperatures and cure times based on the vehicle’s make and model.
Eurocars Collision Center is also in the process of finalizing an expansion plan for 2019 that will add an additional 10,000-square-foot building next to the current 10,000-square-foot shop. It will install a second paint booth and add staff, which David Morrison, fixed operations director, said is the key to the shops success.
“Our goal right now is to train our technicians to ask questions about every job,” Morrison said. “Make no assumptions. Check everything and verify using the tools we’ve invested in - that’s the most important part. Some collision repair facilities focus on production and volume and do very well and are profitable. We want to focus on customer service and quality, which will inevitably keep us profitable.”