The expansion will allow for a quicker turnaround of damaged vehicles as well. The expansion will add 5,300 square feet to the existing west Lynden, WA, shop and nearly double the number of workstations from 11 to 21.
“I want our shop to keep pace with the best, and we are building something I hope can inspire others,” said Brent Maier, owner. ”Vehicles need so much more now, and it’s the collision industry’s responsibility to stay current.”
The expansion will include updated workstations and an aluminum clean room capable of handling repairs frequently seen in newer vehicles. With General Motors’ announcement of an aluminum-bodied truck, Maier expects the lightweight metal to become more common in vehicle manufacturing.
The new workstations are also designed to accommodate more of the larger vehicle types common in the area.
“Our community loves full-size trucks and SUVs, and unfortunately most collision shop designs only take into consideration a small handful of these vehicles at any one time,” Maier said. “Our new layout is designed to effectively handle a higher number of these larger vehicles as they come in.”
The 60-year-old Lynden company had been eyeing an expansion for some time. Maier was eager to decrease the turnaround time for customers and kept an eye out for inefficiencies in the repair process.
“I spent a lot of time and energy looking for our repair bottlenecks and exploring options on how we can better improve the process,” Maier said.
Part of his research included touring other repair shops in the states to learn their procedures and reading reports on the latest developments in vehicle repair technology.
Charlie’s Auto Body plans to wrap up the equipment portion of the expansion in May 2018, and will host an industry-only open house to showcase its facility this summer.