BODY SHOP – AUTO BODY SHOP – COLLISION REPAIR – HISTORY
What is a Body Shop, why it’s called that and what it can do
Body shops have evolved from the horse and carriage or buggy era when blacksmiths were primarily the body repairmen for damage and maintenance needs. The “coach was the part where people rode , the
dash was the part in front that mud and slush was caught as to not continue into the coach and the carriage was what “carried” the coach.
Next was the carriage, chassis or “frame” of the vehicle on which the coach sat. Most often made of iron or steel it would tend to crack or bend requiring the expertise of blacksmiths craftsmen able to fabricate or rework the part.
For the coach “Body repair” ,the skills of wood craftsmen and upholsterers was the preferred choice.
As you can tell, many of these body part names are still used today to describe parts of the automobile.
After the first automobile was arguably invented in 1769 by a Frenchman named Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot.
An “Auto Mobile” was a vehicle powered independently from a horse or ox. Steam was utilized as adopted from steam engines to propel the vehicle.
These steam powered cars were primarily for the transport of people as opposed to cargo.
As production of Cars became more efficient, stylish, accepted and affordable, accidents became a common reality and automobile body repair became a necessity. Many times, the well-heeled or wealthy upper class had staff to handle the mechanical
needs or to do basic cosmetic body repair. The heavier damages were left to the blacksmiths capable of repairing body parts as opposed to replacing auto body panels or replacing the vehicle completely.
Once the maintenance staff, butlers or blacksmiths realized they had valuable skills for collision repair, they opted to become independent businessmen
and offered their services to the general public. Being a “jack of All trades” was seen as a positive in the early history of auto body repair and for the mechanical portion know better known as just “Auto repair”. However, as the number of vehicles and values increased, specialization soon followed.
The first to distinguish themselves from auto repair mechanics was the auto body man. Often, he was referred by a trusted mechanic and worked on a buddy system.
Many opted to set up a shop in the back or next to the mechanics operation. Slowly they became known as the auto body shop as opposed to the auto repair shop.
Many of the body shops were a one man operation where the owner performed the collision repair , auto body work and painting.
Later as the shop grew and running the business became more time consuming, the owner would look for a trainee / assistant to handle and duplicate
everything he could. That trainee once trained would be known as a “combo man” and most probably would go on to open his own body shop.
Body shops began to get some attention in the late 1950’s as the government became aware of deaths, injuries , Insurance companies practices and general public
safety. There was no real jump in auto body repair practices until the insurance lobbyists became infested in the government and safety laws were actually being enforced through the automobile manufacturers. Just repairing vehicles to “good enough’ or delivered to consumers still out of specification became serious concerns.
In 1945 the McCarran–Ferguson Act was one of the first laws (congressional) that insulated insurance companies from anti-trust laws and began the trail to “control” over the auto body repair industry.
In the 1960’s late 1970’s Insurance companies had created a way to control body shops’ way of competing through creation of their own network of “Preferred” or “Direct repair body shops”. In addition, there was the threat of lawsuits due to collusion or “price fixing” attempts by body shops. Body shops do not enjoy the same privilege as Insurance under the McCarran–Ferguson Act.
By creating their own “special” network of “preferred shops” and steering their customers to those shops, they effectively have control over costs and auto body repair procedures costs. Ultimately, it’s your safety that is most important, but you must be able to afford that safety. About that later.
Realizing that constant training to keep up with safety laws and manufacturers requirements is just good business, being a body shop has to include customer safety as #1.
So that it’s easier to understand, auto body repair and collision repair are Not the same. Auto body repair can include, hail damage, scratches, paint work, customization and collision repair.
Collision repair requires just that… damage from a collision. While a body shop can repair all these situations, their body men have become more and more specialized.
Now that safety zones, aluminum, alloys, carbon fiber and exotics are utilized in cars and trucks increasingly, techs have to train harder and become specialists.
Not only have cars began using more exotic materials, that also includes sensors, fluids and calibrations so they work as designed.
With Hybrids and electric cars, now a tech could be seriously injured or even killed without the proper training.
Between 2020 and 2022, body shops without proper training will find themselves too late in the training cycle to equip themselves for cars and trucks from 2017 and up.
All this training and not to forget marketing costs will put the shop and consumer in a pickle if they have to choose a shop that’s Not controlled by an Insurance company.
A FAIR PRICE BODY SHOP:
A fair and reasonable price is the price point for a good or service that is fair to both parties involved in the transaction. This price or cost is based upon agreed-upon conditions, promised quality and timeliness of contract performance.
First of all, let’s go through the different categories, Prices and costs of body shops near you.
You need a Fair Body Shop near You? – How does one go about finding one. Fairness from a body shop is hard to find, but not for you. Any auto body collision repair shop that wants to offer you their best repair, but still get you in so they can show you their quality, will / should try to explain to you the end product, your choices the differences in costs/price and results.
The goal is to have you feel great about the repair, what you paid AND send your friends , family or coworkers that trust you or have seen the work of your good choice.
In the end , you will choose the level of quality, but may be disappointed you didn’t take the advice to upgrade a little.
HIGH QUALITY FAIR PRICE BODY SHOP:
This shop has probably noticed that if they let the customer choose by lowest price and they are Not satisfied, they will always blame the shop, Not their decision to decline the extras for quality.
Choosing takes some research. First you Must check their body shops near me reviews. Read Read Read them. Try to go back to at least 2 years. If the most recent body shop review is followed by several bad body shop reviews (or vice versa), look for a pattern. The reviews should be people first oriented and mention high quality customer service which can indicate that they have put forethought before the delivery to you all the way through the repair.
You are the focus and they will let you know if there are any necessary changes during the body repair process, which is normal and should be expected.
EXPENSIVE BUT FAIR PRICED BODY SHOP:
Let’s start with the most expensive body shop near you. There could be several reasons why they are so expensive. They may have located in a very high-priced location in order to have the best
chance on working on high-end cars and trucks nearby. If they have simply invested in their building and land (like the McDonald’s model), it could be they have a long-term real estate goal and are being managed by a trust or hedge fund type management company.
If they are an older established body shop, there is the “attitude” factor. They feel as though they have a loyal clientele and if someone does not question their higher prices, they will proceed to take advantage of the perception that higher prices mean higher quality. Although wrong-headed thinking, if you can afford to pay for perception or ignorance (Not Stupidity) don’t check elsewhere after you’ve paid too much.
LOW PRICED BODY SHOP:
A low price body shop with a good reputation is usually found through review research ,a friend or experienced associate.
IF low price is All that is important to you, say that clearly when you go in for the estimate. Based on what you want or budget, the body shop will be able to tell you what you’ll get.
Make sure you are interested in “Good enough” and to whom or what “Good enough means. There should be no misunderstanding that you will limit the quality without complaint unless it’s almost just as bad as when you dropped it off.
HIGH QUALITY LOW PRICED BODY SHOP:
This type body shop near you should be what you want to achieve. How this is accomplished is through using your insurance company AND the discount the body shops will give you for choosing them.
The auto body discount can be applied to paying, waiving or saving on your deductible. Since the insurance company will be paying 90% + of the cost and understands that there me be additional (supplemental costs that raise the price of repair), you only have to deal with little to no deductible cost or can ask for an upgrade from aftermarket parts.
You only pay your deductible directly to the body shop IF you there is a balance.
No matter how much excellent equipment a body shop has, it’s the attitude and training that gets the best collision repair or auto body work results.
Having your deductible saved, waived, discounted or paid is a Great deal as long as the auto body repair is of top quality. Call Now.
Find a high quality low priced Save Deductible body shop near you in Phoenix, Peoria, Glendale Surprise, Avondale Scottsdale or Tempe .CALL NOW. (602) 497-3006