February 27, 2015
LEAWOOD, KS (February, 2015) – As CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts winds up its 25th anniversary celebration, it marks a record year for the company in sales, growth and industry performance. North America’s largest multi-store operator (MSO) announced that it finished 2014 with record North American revenue of $712 million, up nearly 10 percent from $649 million in 2013.
CARSTAR also announced that the year ended with exceptional same store sales in North America -- up 11.3 percent over the previous year. This leads the collision repair industry among all other companies.
In addition, CARSTAR’s insurance carrier volumes increased 11 percent over 2013, and it added 179 direct repair programs (DRPs) to its network. CARSTAR’s national insurance team continues to work closely with insurance carriers to ensure its network of store meet each carrier’s standards. CARSTAR also benefited from upwards of 50 national vendor programs that delivered to the CARSTAR system in 2014 nearly $6,500,000 in rebates, rental benefits and paint conversion/retention incentives.
“That growth is fueled by several key factors,” said David Byers, CEO of CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts. “We’ve seen increases in repair volumes from the top 25 insurance carriers, driven by CARSTAR’s EDGE Performance platform and continued KPI performance. We are seeing higher repair values as consumers continue to purchase new cars. And, weather has played a role, with numerous hail storms throughout the country, heavy rain in the coastal areas and early snowstorms through the Midwest and northeast.”
Looking ahead, CARSTAR remains the only MSO in the country that has an aluminum certification program. They are continuing to roll out their aluminum plan to their network. They are identifying specific CARSTAR shops in each major market that will be aluminum certified, then “load leveling” work to those stores as necessary.
“We are already seeing repair volume for aluminum repair grow in key markets, particularly in those areas with higher ownership of the Ford F-150 and more exotic cars like the Tesla,” said Byers. “As the auto industry evolves to meet CAFÉ standards, and more aluminum vehicles enter the marketplace, the shops that can deliver this advanced service will rise above those who don’t invest in training, technology and shop improvements.”
KPI Performance Improvements and Insurance Growth Key Contributors
CARSTAR’s proprietary EDGE performance system has helped many of its stores achieve the industry’s highest KPIs. Many of the CARSTAR locations repeatedly have a Net Promoter Score (NPS) exceeding 90 percent - a full 10 points higher than the industry average. The network driveable cycle time and closing ratio lead the industry.
The Operations team has expanded the EDGE Performance Platform for 2015. These include more substantial content in each Tier, a new Tier 5 focused on technical competence around aluminum, the addition of OPGs, or Operational Performance Groups, that will be held regionally to support GM training, and new MPGs, or Market Performance Groups, which are currently are in pilot with ADO training to release to the system by end of first quarter 2015.
Industry Groups Recognize Performance
The Romans Group LLC has published their rankings of the largest collision repair Multi-Store Operators in North America, and CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts came out on top. With more 430 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, CARSTAR continues to be ranked as the No. 1 largest MSO.
CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts has once again earned a spot in Franchise Times® annual Top 200™ ranking of the largest franchise systems in the U.S. CARSTAR is now ranked 112 on the list, compared to a ranking of 117 in 2013. The move up was due in part to increases in both sales and unit growth.
New Branding Programs, Community Involvement Drive Business
CARSTAR has been rolling out a new branding program in stores across the country, and much of the network is in process. The new store branding brings a fresh, modern look to the store, and emphasizes areas for customer service, amenities and comfortable waiting areas.
CARSTAR also completed a number of philanthropic programs in 2014. Across the country, CARSTAR stores have been raising money for their local Make-A-Wish chapters through community events, and this year that donation totals more than $135,000. They are a major participant in the NABC It Can Wait campaign to eliminate distracted driving, recognized the country’s active duty military members and veterans through the CARSTAR Military Month and repaired nearly 20 vehicles through the Recycled Rides program for deserving military members.