Passion for classic car resto leads to expansion into collision repair
Los Angeles, Calif.—John Avan and David Aryan purchased MAC Auto Collision a year ago, but they had been involved in restoring and selling classic cars for several years before deciding to expand into the collision industry, Manager Kacie Scott said.
“When it comes to restoration, John and David realized how important the quality of work is to classic car owners who have a sentimental attachment them,” she said.
After working with body shops that were just looking to get the job done and move on to the next job, Avan and Aryan realized they needed to buy a collision shop so they could take control of the entire process. So, after searching for the right shop, they purchased MAC and combined both businesses into Mac Auto Collision.
“Positive Yelp reviews are what first attracted Avan and Aryan to MAC,” Scott said. “Visiting the shop and seeing our great team of technicians and state-of-the-art tools and equipment are what convinced them it was the right shop to buy.”
The shop’s only form of advertising right now is word-of-mouth and the shop grows every day with the help of repeat business, referrals, and Yelp reviews, Scott said.
“We get repeat business because we ensure that customers are pleased with their repair from start to finish. Reviews and customer satisfaction are what keeps us busy.”
The shop uses CCC ONE Total Repair Platform. “The software allows us to keep track of every phase of the repair and even send notifications in real time if the customer opts in,” Scott said.
Established in 1995, the nearly 13,000-square–foot shop has eight I-CAR-recognized and ASE-certified employees, four bays, two lifts, a Binks Receptor HE spray booth, an AkzoNobel Lesonal computerized mixing system, two Car-O-Liner frame machines, a computerized Car-O-Tronic measuring system, and a Hunter HawkEye wheel Alignment system.
Scott said the shop strives to ensure customers’ vehicles are repaired with only top-of-the-line equipment, so they have recently purchased a matching Hunter tire changer and wheel balancing system for added service.
As vehicles become more complex, trouble code scanning is essential in completing a repair, Scott said. Even relatively minor collisions can damage sensitive vehicle systems, sensors, cameras, and other technology.
The shop used to have a mobile diagnostics technician perform their scans, but now they have an ASE-certified master technician on staff, so they purchased a Snap-on Verus Edge scan tool for pre- and post-repair scans, Scott said.
“We work with most major insurance companies and they reimburse us anywhere from .3 hours to .5 hours mechanical time,” she said. “And then we get the repair job on top of that.”
Currently, all collision technicians are I-Car Gold recognized, and they schedule classes immediately for any new technicians they bring on board who are not certified.
Keystone provides its AkzoNobel paint, she said, while the shop sources other supplies throough Costar Paint Supply. Collision parts are usually purchased directly through the dealership, though it occassionally also uses Keystone and LKQ.
“Our suppliers make sure our guys know exactly what they are doing and if they should ever have a question they are always close by to help,” Scott said.
Since opening, MAC has earned numerous industry awards and repaired, or “saved,” as they put it, more than 3,000 cars. And they have virtually the same number of satisfied customers, Scott said.
The majority of the shop’s business is divided between collision and restoration work, and about 10 to 15 percent is fleet work for government vehicles, L.A. Youth Mentoring, and the local O’Reilly Auto Parts vehicles.
“DRPs, OEM certifications, and drive-in claims are what we are focused on at the moment,” Scott said. “The previous owner was not interested in DRPs or OEM certifications. However, we are working with a couple of representatives to get this going.”
The shop offers free shuttle service, free vehicle drop off in some cases, and works closely with Beverly Hills Rental Car, Hertz, and Enterprise to ensure its customers are satisfied with their rental.
“Every day our shop grows with the help of referrals and Yelp,” Scott said. “Our average repair order is now about $7,500 and average car count is anywhere from 20 to 25 vehicles being repaired at the same time.”