AAMI/AP&P AUTOBODY REPAIRER OF THE YEAR REGIONAL WINNER (NEW SHOP) NSW
You’d expect to see something special when you walk into a manufacturer-backed repair facility, and Autohaus Prestige at Five Dock does not disappoint.
Fronted by general manager Neil Brooks, who has years of experience in repairing prestige vehicles, Autohaus Prestige is part of Ian Pageant’s network, which includes the Audi Five Dock dealership.
As the name of the business implies, this state-of-the-art repair facility is an Audi specialist shop, and according to Brooks, is the first Audi factory shop in Australia, affording it a special place within the auto repair sector.
Autohaus Prestige features the latest in equipment: Celette benches, Jolift bench, Pan spray booths, Wielander and Schill welding equipment, Unimig welders, and the Hercules ducted air system for sanding and suction. The list goes on.
Perhaps one of the greatest features of this modern workshop is the aluminium booth, which features a Celette Griffon 2800 Evolution in-floor bench.
This was installed to cater for some of the more low-slung Audis, like the A8 and R8.
The shop has three prep bays with Hercules hoists and two spray booths, (also with a hoist in one), which uses Glasurit paints. All the equipment is designed to take the weight of the Audi Q7.
While the paint shop is set up for Glasurit solvent-based paint, Brooks says the plan is to move to waterborne product once it has been proven in the field.
There is already The Solution filtering system in place once the waterborne paints are introduced.
Brooks says the installation of the equipment was made easier with the assistance of Sydney Automotive Paints and Equipment (SAPE), where all the equipment was sourced. And all the products are Audi-approved, he says.
Autohaus Prestige is a busy shop with three panelbeaters and three spray painters, and an apprentice in each of the panel and paint shops. There are also three fitters, three detailers, a shop manager, two office staff, a full-time cleaner and Brooks as general manager.
Quoting for repairs in done using an in-house system Brooks has developed himself, while the business management is done using Reynolds and Reynolds, an Audi-specified office management package.
The company enjoys QBE preferred repairer status, through the Audi affiliation. And the success of the shop is also evident. It had only been open for six months when the AP&P judging team visited – Brooks is still waiting for approval to finish the signage on the building – and already there is a six-week wait time to have an Audi repaired at the shop.
Plans are also in place to expand the shop, with a new building attached to the existing building and the installation of a covered area over the existing driveway, allowing more vehicles to be stored under cover.
Part of the ethos of the business is to repair vehicles, rather than replace parts, and Brooks places great emphasis on file finishing repairs in the workshop.
“We use the best of everything,” he says, including staff.
All the shop’s technicians are trained to Audi training standards in Germany, and technicians have access to Audi’s data and repair methods online in the workshop.
With Audi a growing brand in Australia, Brooks is confident of continuing growth for this specialist smash repair enterprise.
However, he says a challenge for the industry is to get through to “certain insurers” what needs to be done to fix cars properly.
“The time is ticking for all car companies selling vehicles in Australia to comply with the full requirements of the Heads of Agreement by December 2015."