Brandon Collision Center
Photos courtesy of Jeff Mohnen & Rick Tauceda
SHOP: Brandon Collision Center LOCATION: Tampa, Fla. OWNER: Paul Levine
SIZE: 150,000 square feet STAFF: 25 MONTHLY CAR COUNT: 400-500 ANNUAL REVENUE: $12 million
Ask Ron Hogg, director of the new Brandon Collision Center, to describe the shop in one word, and there’s no hesitation: “Electric,” he says. “Customers are coming in that are just blown away by the size and the look.”
It’s no wonder why: Although the new facility, located in Tampa, Fla., has only been open since March of this year, the size and atmosphere are already creating a buzz.
“We weren’t originally thinking of doing something over 150,000 square feet,” Hogg says, “but we decided to take a chance and build something that’s never been built before.”
Being linked to one of the top Ford dealerships in the Southeast meant that the collision center had a lot to live up to.
“We didn’t want to be the norm. We wanted our collision department to equal our dealership,” Hogg says. “So we went out, we researched and did our due diligence and found the best that money could pay for. Pretty much everything we bought we researched.”
1) When a space opened up four driveways down from the original location, Brandon Collison made its move. The new facility allowed for state-of-the-art equipment and no expense was spared.
“If you can think it, we pretty much have it,” Hogg says.
There are dedicated aluminum rooms to handle 2015 Ford F-150s, lifts in the floor to create easy access to the undercarriage, window-tinting areas, a detailing area with ionized water and spot-free rinses, and a central vacuum system that keeps the air clean and dust free.
2) Located on 21 acres, the exterior of the shop is unlike that of a typical repair center. The landscaping is impeccable with exotic palm trees, lush green grass and flowering trees along with a paved parking lot.
3) The luxurious entryway sets customers up for the rest of their experience at Brandon Collision by greeting them with lush plants, a cherry wood desk, plush furniture and a giant round mirror that is the center of attention for every customer that walks in. Although the mirror was originally purchased because the general manager’s wife thought it would look nice, it has become a conversation starter because many customers think it looks like a gear.
4) The entryway leads customers directly into the waiting area, which could be mistaken for the lobby of a high-class hotel with two 72-inch TVs, leather couches and chairs, and a coffee bar with granite countertops and cherry wood cabinets.
5) For additional customer convenience, there is also an on-site Enterprise office, so customers can easily pick up a rental car after dropping theirs off.
6) The employee lounge is set up very similar to the customer waiting area with the same countertops and cabinets, a TV, refrigerator and vending machines.
7) The massive size of the building allowed for all new equipment, including six Nova Verta paint booths, the first of their kind in Florida. The paint booths have special lighting to mimic the sunlight, lifts to make painting easier for workers and infrared technology for quick drying. The amount of booths cuts down on overall cycle time and limits bottlenecks in the paint department.
“If you’re a body shop person, a painter or a tech, you’ve found your heaven. You’ve got the best of the best equipment, you have conditions where the lighting is perfect, you have plenty enough space to work, you’ve got employees that take care of the cleanliness of the shop so you’re not working in dust and dirt,” says Hogg.