Fletcher Jones Motorcars - Mercedes Benz
Type: Collision Repair/Dealership
Number of Employees: 70
Specializing in such a high-end brand requires products that represent the same degree of excellence so this facility exclusively depends on 3M to supply all of their allied products. According to Steve Dougherty, Manager of Fletcher Jones Motorcars - Mercedes Benz, "3M products are all we've ever used---all I've ever used in my 50 year career. 3M offers the best quality materials and the most innovative people in the industry. We could buy cheaper products, but they aren't worth it. In this industry, you definitely get what you pay for."
In addition to being one of few Mercedes Benz Elite certified shops in their area, Fletcher Jones Motorcars - Mercedes Benz is an I-CAR Gold Class facility, and since many of the manufacturer's vehicles are aluminum-intensive as OEMs strive to make lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles, the shop's technicians have undergone extensive training to acquire their aluminum welding certifications.
Dougherty notes, "We are seeing more aluminum components than ever before, and this requires a whole new technology in how we repair cars. Aluminum structural components require more bonding and riveting, plus we need special aluminum welders, rivet guns and other equipment to properly repair these vehicles. The aluminum process takes longer which can cause delays in cycle time."
With a 57,000 square foot facility that services 10 DRPs and employs 70 collision repair professionals who repair an average of 500 vehicles monthly, Fletcher Jones Motorcars - Mercedes Benz can't afford any delays in the repair process. "In order to be successful and meet customers' and insurers' demands related to cycle time, we need to use quality materials, and 3M makes the best quality products in the industry," Dougherty states. "Other products stick to the vehicle and cause problems that prevent an accurate repair, but 3M's products last longer and help us deliver the highest-quality repair. When it comes to tapes, abrasives, adhesives, paint cups, spray guns and all other allied products, we are nearly 100 percent 3M. Our techs love the products because 3M helps them do their job more efficiently."
Allied products manufactured by 3M help Fletcher Jones Motorcars - Mercedes Benz reduce cycle times because "they are the best part to put on a car and to work with."
Additionally, 3M provides support whenever Fletcher Jones Motorcars - Mercedes Benz needs it and has even enlisted the shop's help to test products in development. In March, 3M's Chip Foose and Kristen Felder of Collision Hub filmed a commercial in the shop, and Dougherty enjoys this close relationship with 3M.
"We really work hand-in-hand,” noted Dougherty. “They are constantly developing new technology and new ways to do business which is great because, in order to thrive in this industry, you need to be able to reinvent yourself. You can't do what you've always done---you have to step up your game."
Fletcher Jones Motorcars is no stranger to changing the game. The shop Dougherty manages is part of an automotive retail empire which includes 19 dealerships spanning four states. The first dealership was founded in 1946 by Fletcher Jones, Sr. who was joined by his son, Fletcher “Ted” Jones, Jr., two decades later. After his father’s death, Ted continued to develop one of the most successful luxury automotive dealership groups in the U.S. with Fletcher Jones Motorcars - Mercedes Benz opening in 1999.
Fletcher Jones Motorcars - Mercedes Benz is one of only two dealerships to boast its own collision repair facility. The shop's production space boasts three spray booths, six enclosed prep stations and two mixing rooms. Fletcher Jones Motorcars - Mercedes Benz is fully OSHA and EPA compliant. Painters spray with BASF waterborne paint, and the shop recycles all possible materials. They also recycle water from their car wash as part of California's water conservation initiative.
Fletcher Jones Motorcars - Mercedes Benz and 3M are leading the industry with superior service and quality driven by innovative ideas, and Dougherty emphasizes, "You get what you pay for."
In addition to being environmentally conscious, Fletcher Jones Motorcars - Mercedes Benz demonstrates their commitment to the community by supporting local cancer organizations and other charities, but most importantly, they recognize the value of investing in the next generation of collision repair industry professionals. According to Dougherty, "The new generation doesn't seem to be entering the collision repair industry - they are driven more to technology fields, and nationwide, we are seeing this problem of few young people wanting to enter the automotive industry. At Fletcher Jones Motorcars - Mercedes Benz, we sponsor local tech schools and mentor their ROP students as we try to introduce the next generation to the collision repair industry. We are inviting young people with automotive interests into our shop to help our technicians with their work, and we've been very successful. Many of our current employees started their careers this way, and we have six students current progressing through our collision training. We do this with estimators as well because we believe it's important to teach the next generation a lucrative trade."
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