Tuesday, 16 August 2016 22:13

Shop Showcase: PPG Helps Car Craft Autobody After Stormy Days

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PPG Helps Car Craft Autobody after Stormy Days

Painter Marty Miller sprays PPG all day long and loves it at the Car Craft Autobody in Chesterfield, MO.

 

Garry Goddard got a very rude welcome from the collision repair industry when he entered it back in 2011. After taking over the operation at Car Craft Autobody in the St. Louis, MO area, two highly significant weather-related tragedies occurred.
First was the well-known “Good Friday” tornado, a thunderstorm that produced a tornado that left a 21-mile long path of destruction across northern St. Louis County in Missouri. It was followed a year later by the “Meteor Shower” hailstorm.

Car Craft Autobody
Chesterfield, Bridgeton and Oakville, MO
(636) 534-7000
www.Car-CraftAutoBody.com

Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 60
In Business Since: 1963
Number of Locations: Three
Combined Production Space: 108,000 square feet


“I had just been hired by the shop’s current owner Jimmy Mason and was still living in Kansas City, so I was on a plane to go back there for Easter when I got the news that the tornado had completely destroyed our shop in Bridgeton,” Goddard said.


The tornado was a tragedy, but it was also blessing in many ways, Goddard reflected. “None of our employees were hurt, and to be honest, we were getting ready to demolish that building anyway. It was an antiquated facility and we were actually drawing up plans for our new building, so in a way it did us a favor.”


Unfortunately, it also seriously hampered Goddard’s production process, especially when a huge hailstorm hit the area almost exactly one year later. “People were calling it a meteor shower, that’s how intense it was! With the Bridgeton shop still under construction, we were operating out of a 8,000 sq. ft. shop when it hit. For the next year, we were jammed with PDR work, shuttling 20-30 cars every week from our Bridgeton location to our Chesterfield shop to do all of the hail work. It was crazy, but we got it done.”


Almost two years after the tornado, Mason and Goddard as well as the Car Craft team re-opened the Bridgeton location after delays caused by FEMA and the insurance companies. Now he and his team were ready to do what Goddard wanted to do all along—perform the best quality repairs and strive to return each and every car back to its pre-accident condition.

 

PPG Helps Car Craft Autobody after Stormy Days

Car Craft Autobody paints roughly 450 cars every month, so they rely on their PPG Envirobase® High Performance waterborne basecoat big-time.


Since Goddard arrived, the Car Craft team has doubled revenues while adding an aluminum facility, as well as a third location in Oakville, MO. All three locations perform mechanical repair and have also earned a list of impressive nameplate certifications, including Tesla, BMW, Porsche, Maserati and Infiniti.


Mason said there has been a complete culture change at Car Craft since Goddard joined the team and became the company’s VP, “We’ve changed literally everything here,” he said. “We don’t just hope that the customers will show up, we give them a reason to come here now.


One of the biggest changes at Car Craft included a switchover to PPG’s Envirobase® High Performance waterborne basecoat, after being with the same paint company for 24 years.”


Switching paint companies is never easy, so Goddard thought long and hard before he decided to start looking around for an alternative. “It all started when we started having tinting issues on the luxury brands we repair,” he said. “Our former vendor tried to help us to get a color match with the Tesla red and they could not get it. They painted one vehicle for us themselves and four weeks later the paint started bubbling, so we knew that we had to change. We were getting comebacks and we were obviously very concerned.”

 

PPG Helps Car Craft Autobody after Stormy Days

The busy shop floor at Car Craft Auto Body's Chesterfield facility.

 

Goddard’s jobber, Cooper Color suggested trying PPG and its owner Dave Cooper gave it a glowing recommendation. “Try it first. Dave told us—so we did and we were immediately impressed,” Goddard said. “We were blown away, to be honest.”


In January of this year, Car Craft installed PPG Envirobase® High Performance waterborne basecoat into its production after trying it for almost six months. The shops also spray PPG’s EC530 En-V™ Performance Clearcoat, their high gloss 2.1 VOC clear engineered specifically for use over the waterborne basecoat.


Goddard appreciates the quality of the product and especially the support he receives from both his jobber and PPG itself. “Price is not always the main factor and the service and support from PPG is exceptional,” he said. “Their sales and service wowed me initially and it’s just gotten better since then.”


Without another big storm coming his way anytime soon, Goddard’s relationship with PPG will bring him sunny days for many years to come, he said. “PPG is now a big part of what we do here and I can say that it has helped us to achieve one of the best customer service ratings in the industry (97%).”


Car Craft is using PPG to paint approximately 450 cars every month and they haven’t looked back since. "It is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and every time I look at a pristine Tesla or a Porsche with a perfect paint job, it reinforces in my commitment to this paint. We haven’t had one single comeback and the feedback we’re getting from our customers is outstanding.”


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