Two Shops Expand Despite Tough Economy - BodyShop Business
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Two Shops Expand Despite Tough Economy

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A restoration shop and a car dealership are both investing in collision repair shops to boost their businesses.

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When a Pottstown, Pa., Chevy dealership and its accompanying body shop went up for sale last year, Wheels in Motion restoration shop owner Mike Yannessa saw the body shop as an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

The 5,500-square-foot body shop, which Yannessa recently purchased with most of its equipment, seemed like a logical extension for his growing restoration business, he told the Pottstown Mercury, adding that part of the body shop’s appeal was its paint booth, a needed feature his restoration shop lacked.

“It was a turnkey deal,” he said. “It was a good deal for me.”

Yannessa said that Wheels in Motion had its best year ever in 2008, with detailing jobs tripling. He added that restoration jobs at his shop are backed up about two years, but should be turned around in about eight months now thanks to the body shop acquisition.

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Yannessa said the body shop will be dubbed “Wheels in Motion II: The Body Shop,” and the original Wheels in Motion will be used for oil changes, inspections and other non-body work.

In Athens, Ga., an auto dealership isn’t selling its body shop, but rather investing in it. The dealer, Nissan Volkswagen Mercedes Benz, moved its body shop to a new 35,000-square-foot, four-building location, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.

The shop, which employs 10 people, will probably double its workforce by summer, said Todd Wright, shop manager. Progressive and State Farm are also opening offices at the facility to perform on-site appraisals.

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