CARSTAR said it has consolidated its U.S. and Canadian R&D centers into one facility in Kanata, Ontario.
The facility, which features “state-of-the-art equipment for advanced-vehicle repairs,” will serve a number of functions, according to CARSTAR.
“It serves to test prototype equipment and repair processes, often in conjunction with equipment and product manufacturers,” the company said in a news release. “The R&D team also pilots CARSTAR standard operating procedures at the facility to ensure consistent, high-quality repair standards throughout the network. In addition, the CARSTAR R&D Center serves as a training facility for CARSTAR franchisees from across North America.”
CARSTAR has more than 500 franchise locations in the United States and Canada.
“As we have closer alignment in our U.S. and Canadian operations, policies and procedures, it makes sense to consolidate our R&D process in one location and expand our platform for developing the services, repair standard and solutions we offer our customers and insurance partners,” said Michael Macaluso, president of CARSTAR North America. “We are already seeing strong benefits as we evaluate new products and programs for the remainder of 2017 and beyond.”
As part of the initiative, the former CARSTAR Metcalf R&D facility in Stilwell, Kan., has become a franchise location, owned and operated by Steve Hahn, who previously served on the CARSTAR corporate field service team. CARSTAR Metcalf is an I-CAR Gold facility.
“We are proud to have Steve Hahn, with his 20 years of expertise in the automotive repair industry and long experience as a member of the CARSTAR operations team, become a franchisee in the CARSTAR network,” said Macaluso. “He brings a unique blend of industry experience and deep understanding of the CARSTAR model that will drive his success with this location. And the customers of CARSTAR Metcalf can be assured that the facility will continue to offer the highest-quality collision repair services.”