Autobody News reached out to Dustin Newman, the body shop manager at Apple Hill Auto & Collision, regarding the deal.
“I think the owner felt he took the business as far as he could himself and wanted to see about getting corporate to be able to further continue growing and getting bigger,” said Newman.
He said the business was sold in February and the logistics are not yet finalized. Autobody News asked LKQ about the recent purchase and was told that “At this time, we have no comment regarding this transaction.”
LKQ Corporation provides alternative and specialty parts to repair and accessorize automobiles and other vehicles. The company has operations in North America, Europe and Taiwan and offers customers a broad range of replacement systems, components, equipment and parts to repair and accessorize automobiles, trucks, and recreational and performance vehicles.
Newman said the new name of the shop will be Apple Hill Auto & Collision division of A&A. A&A is an auto parts store owned by LKQ. Apple Hill has a history of working with LKQ in the past, using the company’s collision parts as well as consumables such as sandpaper and plastics.
The small family-owned company was established in 1997 by Aaron Salvatori. The original garage was located outside of Muncy, Pennsylvania, on the top of a hill where the owner’s grandfather sold apples from his farm. He named his business Apple Hill 4x4 and specialized in mechanical repair and spray-on bedliners. In 2010, the company opened a collision repair facility in Muncy and Newman became the body shop manager. As the shop grew and needed more space, the decision was made to move to a new building near the mechanical shop.
In addition to collision repair, the body shop also focuses on spray-on bedliners and recently became a Line-X franchise.
“My hope for the future is that we keep expanding and getting bigger,” said Newman. “When you first find out that you are being sold, you have that nervousness about whether or not you’re going to be able to still have your job or what’s going on,” said Newman. “Now that everyone has had a chance to talk, it seems like it’s going to be very very good for us. It’s going to be good for keeping the business growing, the employees are all happy with what’s going on and I think it’s going to be a good change for us.”
In 1998, LKQ was initially formed through the combination of a number of wholesale recycled products businesses located in Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. The company has subsequently expanded through internal development and over 220 acquisitions of aftermarket, recycled, refurbished, and remanufactured product suppliers and manufacturers; self service retail businesses; and specialty vehicle aftermarket equipment and accessories suppliers.
One of LKQ’s significant acquisitions was Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc. in 2007. The company said that at the time of acquisition, Keystone was the leading domestic distributor of aftermarket products, including collision replacement products, paint products, refurbished steel bumpers, bumper covers and alloy wheels. In 2014, the company then acquired Keystone Specialty. LKQ said this expanded its product offerings and increased its addressable market to include specialty vehicle aftermarket equipment and accessories.
Two years later, it acquired Pittsburgh Glass Works (PGW), a global distributor and manufacturer of automotive glass products, further growing the company’s product offerings.
Autobody News will continue to follow this story and report on further developments.