Autobody News spoke to Steve Ranck at CARSTAR John Hine in California about the collision center’s decision to join the network in April 2015 and find out how it has benefited the business.
John Hine Sr. established John Hine Pontiac in San Diego, CA in 1957 and the John Hine Mazda franchise in 1971. He received the Time Quality Dealer Award in 1991 and his son, John Hine Jr., accepted the same award in 1994.
Two years later, Hine, Sr. passed away at 91 years of age. “He believed in hard work, equality and fair treatment of both customers and employees,” said Ranck, CARSTAR John Hine’s collision service manager, who has worked there for 37 years. “His legacy is our dealership's dedication to delivering complete customer satisfaction and employee goodwill. I know that the continued success of our dealership lies within every employee's ability to deliver his/her personal best.”
The collision repair shop is located at John Hines Mazda, which is in Mission Valley, CA and run by John Hine, Jr., who had worked with his father since 1971.
Q: What prompted the decision for John Hine Mazda to become a CARSTAR franchise in 2015?
A: Most insurance companies are now going to MSOs to do their business. I saw the trend moving that way about a year and a half ago and we looked at it as an opportunity to get involved.
The way I used to get my business is that I’d meet an adjuster and their boss and then I’d join their program. Everything is done at the corporate level now.
We have shops right next to each other that are in the same industry. Years ago, I never used to see that. It’s strange because what happens is that people will come in and shop you to see what you are going to do with their deductible.
We currently have seven DRPs with different insurance companies. I didn’t lose any of those since joining CARSTAR.
Q: What has the reaction been from your employees and your customers?
A: It’s an exciting new process. We have 32 employees and a lot of them have been here a long time. I have one employee who started with his dad as a helper 42 years ago. You worry about people when it comes to change. Anytime you rock peoples’ world and change it around, it’s not always easy for them.
When we took on this change, we started keeping our team involved in all of the processes. We let them know what CARSTAR is all about, and what they were going to bring to the table. They really got onboard with the change. Since the change, the moral has improved greatly.
With our customers, we explain that we are still John Hine with the same employees we’ve had. Then we tell them why we took this opportunity. It has been a positive reaction. We give a lifetime warranty on our workmanship anyway. Now that they see that we’re part of a larger organization it gives them a little more security. And our customers our just wowed by the way our shop looks.