On the move – Motorcare Group profile
bodyshop’s Padraig Mallett travelled to Tunbridge Wells in Kent to catch-up with prestige car repairer Motorcare Group.
It’s been 18 months since bodyshop magazine last visited Motorcare and a lot has changed in that time for the luxury car repairer. In January 2015, the company bought and relocated to a new premises, the freehold facility now sits proudly on a one and half acre site that consists of a 25,000sqft bodyshop complete with large storage/parking facilities.
On my arrival, I was met by Giovanni Fattorusso who helps run the bodyshop, he welcomed me into Motorcare via the luxurious reception area which is similar to that of a first class hotel. The reception desk was made from granite and cut slate and looking beyond that, the luxury vehicle manufacturer approval plaques proudly adorned the walls, offering assurance to anyone who walks through the doors. Just to the right of the door that leads to the workshop floor, is a large window that allows customers to look straight in on what is going on at Motorcare at all times. Company director, Mark Humphreys, advised me that this was an intentional move to show that with Motorcare, you get what you see.
‘Some bodyshops will pay to have a nice website created for them, which gives a great impression to the customer but then when the customer turns up at the premises they get an entirely different picture to the one that was painted online.’
‘This isn’t the case at Motorcare, the business is run as seen and there is no airbrushing here, every fault has been taken for customer satisfaction and this also shows how confident we are in our work.,’ said Mark.
I was then guided through to the impressive workshop floor, which is sizeable to say the least. There were 50 cars parked inside the clean complex, ranging from a Pagani Zonda, to a McLaren MP4-12C to a Nissan GT-R. Motorcare is fully equipped to deal with all types of repairs from cosmetic to structural and the facility includes three large spraybooths, a huge aluminium bay, a decent sized parts department and outside is a secure yard filled with high-end motors.
I was advised that things weren’t always like this for Motorcare, the business started out in a very small rented unit, and gradually worked up to the huge premises it currently owns and operates from. According to Giovanni, director Mark likes to redevelop Motorcare every three to four years and the business is now in its third phase.
The company is an approved repairer for around 20 vehicle manufacturers and it is working to secure more, it also works closely with various dealerships in south east London and in Kent, which I’m told is key for the business, as is the insurance approval work it gets. Mark advised me that securing vehicle manufacturer approvals is a costly part of running a bodyshop, and that the overall running costs are continuing to rise for bodyshop owners, however at Motorcare it’s important that customers’ vehicles are always repaired correctly and to a high standard. Mark also discussed how the days of low labour rates are now long gone, though he feels there are certain insurers still not rewarding repair partners in the correct way and as a result are having trouble placing work. ‘The repair industry is all about customer service and retention and if you look after the customer, they will always come back to you,’ he said.
There are currently around 26 staff members at Motorcare and like many other bodyshops at the moment, finding good staff is an ongoing concern, although a new apprentice has just recently joined the team.
As Motorcare deals mainly with repairs on luxury cars and supercars, Mark informed me they are very keen to keep up-to-date with the latest vehicle technologies, as it is these cars that usually adapt new technologies first. Along with aluminium, composite materials such as GRP, Carbon Fibre and also various plastics are being used increasingly in the construction of motor vehicles and Motorcare believes it’s important to invest in the necessary training and tooling so it can take on any specialist repairs. Another area that Motorcare is extremely interested in is hybrid vehicles, which Mark believes will be an essential area for all bodyshops to specialise in going into the future.
So what’s next for Motorcare? Mark said, ‘Motorcare is focused on remaining at the forefront of the bodyshop repair specialist network, within the South East. As previously mentioned, we like to move in phases and although still in the early stage of our third phase our new facility allows for up to 50% more capacity, so who knows where the next three to four years will take us?’