CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts Offers Positive Outlook For 2015 And Beyond; Outlines Key Growth Initiatives At 2015 CARSTAR Conference
Jun 15, 2015, 09:00 ET
LEAWOOD, Kan., June 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a record year in 2014 for sales, growth and industry performance, CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts, North America's largest multi-store operator (MSO), offered a positive outlook for continued strong performance as it outlined its growth strategies and market opportunities for the year ahead.
Speaking at the 26th annual CARSTAR Conference in San Diego, CARSTAR CEO David Byers shared the company's financial performance for the year, and detailed the corporate and store-level programs that will continue to drive growth across North America.
Business Outlook Strong for 2015 and Beyond
CARSTAR had previously announced that it finished the first quarter of 2015 with revenue of $195.6 million, which puts it on track to outpace its performance in 2014. Last year, CARSTAR delivered North American revenue of $712 million, up nearly 10 percent from $649 million in 2013, a record for the company. It also reported same store sales growth of 12.5 percent for the first quarter, after ending 2014 up 11.3 percent over the previous year. This growth leads the collision repair industry among all other companies.
CARSTAR saw a significant increase in insurance work during the first quarter of the year. At the conference, Byers announced several new major MSO insurance programs with the top 10 carriers had recently been signed. In 2014, its insurance carrier volumes increased 11 percent over 2013, and it added 179 direct repair programs (DRPs) to its network, a trend continuing in 2015.
The vendor rebate program also continues to deliver strong results. In 2014, CARSTAR processed more than $7 million in total rebates, plus millions more in local and regional discounts. For a store owner using all of the CARSTAR rebate programs, that can equal up to 2 percent or more of a store's gross sales back in rebates and discounts.
"We are on the right track for continued strong performance, and confident that our key growth initiatives for 2015, combined with a positive market trends and an improving economy, will deliver another year of exceptional performance for our organization and our store owners," said Byers. "We've had a long-term plan for improving our KPIs, helping our store owners improve their operations through our CARSTAR EDGE Performance Platform and CARSTAR Operating Procedures, and building our network with the best operators in the industry. We're seeing this pay off, and expect to reap additional benefits in the years ahead."
Byers cited the hard work and commitment of CARSTAR's store owners in achieving this success. The past year saw many owners opening additional locations, expanding services to include aluminum repair and increasing their DRP relationships.
Business Strategies for Year Ahead
Byers detailed several key initiatives for the year ahead that will drive the company's performance and enhance its ability to serve customers, including a new partnership with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, an expanded CARSTAR EDGE Performance Group platform, further expansion into aluminum repair, and a continued national branding program to refresh its facilities and enhance its online presence.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car -- CARSTAR announced on Sunday that it had selected Enterprise Rent-A-Car as its preferred car rental partner throughout the United States. The Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand is part of the world's largest car rental provider – as measured by revenue, fleet and employees. Through the partnership, CARSTAR is able to leverage Enterprise's extensive network of neighborhood car rental locations, its low-mileage, well-maintained vehicles, and Enterprise's industry leading Automated Rental Management System (ARMS®) applications for customers in need of reliable transportation while their vehicles are being repaired. ARMS data helps collision repair centers increase operating efficiencies, enhance customer service and streamline communications with insurance companies and customers. Through ARMS, repair centers also can track, measure and forecast labor needs, and generate monthly reports.
CARSTAR EDGE Performance Group Program -- CARSTAR also is now offering a unique "Masters in Bodyshop Administration" exclusively for body shop owners in its network that is teaching leading-edge business practices and financial management through its proprietary EDGE Performance Group (EPG) training program. The program has helped many of its stores achieve the industry's highest KPIs, a measure of performance and operational efficiency, and industry leading customer satisfaction. For 2015, the CARSTAR Operations team has expanded its EDGE Performance Group platform, with the goal of continuing to raise the bar in the CARSTAR CCC initiative, which is Closing Ratio, Cycle Time, and CSI/NPS scoring.
Consumer Branding -- CARSTAR also is focused on how – and where – it interacts with its customers and is enhancing that experience. Across the country, CARSTAR stores have been conducting interior and exterior renovations to reflect the refreshed brand look and improve the customer experience while they are dropping off or picking up their vehicle. This includes comfortable waiting rooms, beverage stations, wireless service and more.
Aluminum Repair -- One critical need that CARSTAR leads the industry on is the ability to repair the aluminum-bodied vehicles of consumers, a growing trend with the advent of the new Ford F-150 aluminum pickup. CARSTAR remains the only MSO in the country that has an aluminum certification program.
CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts is North America's largest Multi-Shop Operator Network of independently owned collision repair facilities with more than 430 locations in 30 states and 10 Canadian provinces. CARSTAR delivers national scale, consistently high-quality vehicle repairs, repeatable outcomes and the industry's highest customer satisfaction ratings; all repairs are backed by a national warranty and service guarantee. For more information visit www.carstar.com. CARSTAR is actively seeking new franchisees. Interested parties should contact Scott Robertson, Vice President of Development at [email protected] or 888.505.6815.
Victory Management Group PR
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SOURCE CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts
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