C&J Collision says NSF certification has closed quality collision parts gap

Salinas, Calif.—Fit and finish of aftermarket crash parts has improved dramatically over the last six years, C&J Collision Parts & Glass Distributors Sales Manager Cesar Nunez said, adding that there had to be a change for aftermarket parts to continue to be a viable alternative to OE. “Product fitment issues were costing shops, insurance companies, the consumer, and us. The improved fit and finish of CAPA, NSF and even non-certified crash parts has helped everyone, from distributor to consumer.”

The industry is trending toward NSF certification, he said. “NSF-certified parts have the quality and price point the industry is looking for. Manufacturers receiving NSF certification have done a really good job of understanding the shortfalls and improving the products. We’ve seen it first hand with a difference in substructure and the use of high-strength steel. Techs and shop owners are becoming more accepting of aftermarket parts, and they’re more confident because they can see the quality.”

C&J distributes a variety of collision aftermarket parts including panels, lamps, radiators, and glass. It also carries a full line of CAPA and NSF panels and lamps as well as non-certified parts. A family business serving local businesses, Nunez said C&J backs everything they sell with a lifetime fit and finish warranty.

Owner Sal Jamenez grew up in Castroville and has lived in the community all his life, Nunez said. “His family was in the industry, so when he opened 20 years ago he knew what the shops needed and the type of service they wanted. Retail sales and auto glass keep us close to the community. They’ve been coming to us for years.”

Nunez said C&J is always looking for ways it can give back to the community. “For 2013, we’ve partnered with Joe Malone and Malone’s Collision Repair and the Recycled Rides program. Together we are refurbishing a vehicle that will be given away to a deserving member of our community later this year.

Auto glass, Nunez said, helps to build relationships with local shops. “We do a lot of windshield and back glass removal and replacement for the local shops. Our installers are all SIKA certified and their training includes the embedded electronics in many of the new cars. It is just another way local shops depend on us.”

He said with ever-increasing competition, it was important to emphasize the local and family side of the business. “Our customers mean a lot to us, we know them and their families. They are not just a customer number or a statistic to us. We value their business and their friendship. We work to identify issues and provide service on an individual and personal level.”

It’s a competitive environment with price matching by dealerships, eBay, Craigslist, and recycled parts, Nunez said. “You can’t just sit behind your desk. You have go out and get your hands dirty. Service is what makes the difference. You have to build and maintain relationships.”

Expanded reach is also part of C&J’s business model, which delivers south to Santa Maria and north to San Jose and offers same-day and next-day delivery thoughout the area. “Our 40,000-square-foot warehouse holds more than $1 million of inventory,” he said. “We have three parts advisors, with delivery handled by one of our five trucks or by freight when necessary.”

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.

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