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Thursday, 18 September 2014 00:00

AZ Body Shop Connects With Customers and Community

When a Northern Arizona body shop owner heard that the local school district needed a travel bus restored for their students, he didn’t hesitate to help out. It took two months and 100 hours of work removing dents and painting the bus, but Jim Bachler, owner of Vince’s Auto Body, said it was well worth the time.

“I believe we should give back to the community. What you get in return is always more than you give,” said Bachler, who currently has two shop locations, one in Sedona and one in Camp Verde, and is planning to open a third within a year.

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One of Bachler’s employees in Camp Verde told him that the director of support services for the Camp Verde School District, Stacey Barker, wanted to convert one of their school buses to a travel bus for athletic trips. The district offers 13 different sports every fall, winter and spring. Barker had a vision for the bus, which included painting it blue, and worked closely with Vince’s Auto Body to plan what the bus would look like. One of his goals was to ensure that student athletes had a sense of pride when they stepped off the bus. He said that he has found that it elevates their performance.

“I believe in community involvement and bringing the school and community together,” said Barker.

During the past summer seven employees at Vince’s Auto Body shop worked on the project, which involved 50 hours of body work and 50 hours of painting. After the work was completed, Alvey Signs in Cottonwood took care of the striping for the bus, spelling out “Camp Verde Cowboys” on the outside, which is the district’s mascot.

“I didn’t grasp the magnitude of the project until we started,” said Bachler, who explained it was the equivalent of painting five small cars.

Bachler started working at Vince’s Auto Body in Sedona as a body and paint technician in 1986 when the shop first opened and he became general manager in 1993. When Vince Lansink put the shop up for sale in 2004, Bachler and his wife decided to purchase it. They realized there was also a need for a body shop in the Camp Verde area.

“The closest one was 20 miles away and we were already pulling work from that area,” said Bachler. “The opportunity presented itself in a good way and we decided to make an investment.”

The Camp Verde location was opened a year ago and focuses on RV collision repair.  Recently they started building another facility on Highway 260 that will concentrate on auto collision repair and is expected to be ready within a year.  Bachler has been active in the community for more than 25 years and often shows his support by sponsoring local charities and little league teams. The business donated a minivan to the family of David Zenot, a local police officer who worked in the area for more than 25 years and died in 2012 from brain cancer. Bachler said that he enjoys being able to give back to the community that has supported his business.

Vince’s Auto Body has been voted “Best Auto Body Shop” by Kudo’s Magazine every year since 1993 as well as by Red Rock News and Market Surveys of America since 2006.

“I attribute it to customer care and concern for the repairs we do for people,” he said. “It takes a lot in a small community to stay on top of the repairs. It’s not about the money, it’s about doing things right.”

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