For CARSTAR North America President Michael Macaluso, 2017 will see the network set a goal for adding 100 additional new locations.
During a conference call on January 20, Macaluso said that 2016 had been very positive for the CARSTAR network both here in Canada and the U.S.
“The integration of the two entities is done, we’ve talk about it in the past and are now we’re resolutely focused on the future,” said Macaluso. “We added 52 new locations to our North American network in 2016 and are now aiming to an additional 100 collision centres this year. Our efforts on this will be primarily directed in the U.S. where we currently have locations in only 33 states. That being said, we have a lot of projects in Canada, not only where there is also great potential for growth with our franchisees, but also by encouraging acquisitions in sectors where we are currently less well represented.”
According to Macaluso, the benefits of the merger between the two CARSTAR networks on both sides of the border are already being felt. Not only has the sharing of a single management platform fostered the development of franchises but the merger has also enhanced relationships with insurer partners. For example, agreements are under development to allow Canadian travelers who have a collision in the U.S. to receive the same services at a local CARSTAR facility as a Canadian one with normalized exchanges with the insurer.
During the January 20th discussion, Macaluso emphasized that membership in the Driven Brands group, which holds franchises in mechanical and collision repair industries, could open the door to further synergies. “We are considering developing a program that will position us as suppliers of a full range of automotive services. ”
The CARSTAR President also underlined how its network of collision centres will continue to be part of the wave of repair certification increasingly requested by vehicle OEMs. “But we see this phenomenon with a broader perspective,” says Macaluso. “Our strategy encompasses a constant exchange with OEMs with the Automotive Industries Association, and also with our insurance partners directly challenged by this new reality. In addition, we want to ensure that our franchise locations are in tune with this rapid evolution. “