When I asked Vesco Jolevski why he built such an enormous shop he said, “Because I need it. The insurance companies want volume and aren’t so eager to deal with small shops.”
Well he certainly should be able to push some volume through this mammoth facility at Deer Park .
The street presence of this shop is unparalleled. It seems to stretch out for miles. Although incredibly long it is relatively narrow. It is on a very busy road and the building itself is its own advertisement to the many passing drivers.
Step into the vast foyer/reception area and you could mistakenly think you’d walked into a five star hotel in Las Vegas. The reception area, one of the female staff sighed happily as she told me, has underfloor heating. There’s a lovely looking lift up to the next floor which houses the biggest staff lunch room I’ve even seen in a repair shop (and I’m including the massive NSW Riverwood facility) and one of the swankiest. There’s a board room, bathrooms, a bar area and other areas yet to be designated for anything.
The main workshop is flanked by two other workshops, one of which is for customer car collection and the other is where detailing, mechanical repairs, wheel alignments and regassing take place. The long thin main workshop is fed from each end into the middle. The measuring and alignment equipment is at either end (Jolevski designed them himself), the work bays run along the middle where strip and fit takes place and then there’s a long bank of prep bars and spray booths opposite. The prep areas do actually look a bit like a cocktail bar for cars. There’s just one large paint mixing room slap bang in the middle of the row. Whether or not Vesco will ever need all those spraybooths – eight in all – is debatable, especially with all the new fast-drying paints around, but they sure do look pretty. However, if he does have to have them all on at once, there’s a huge solar installation on the roof to power them.
The whole build costs close to $16 million which is probably about $10 million more than most folks would spend on a shop. The bar hasn’t just been lifted here, it’s skyrocketed. Does it have to be so high for a mum and dad car repairer? Probably not. However, Vesco had a vision for what he wanted to achieve and he realised that vision – the place is jaw-droppingly stunning.
For Jolevski it is: “the next evolution in automotive body repair, customer-centred and providing a leading retail experience”. It hadn’t been up and running long when we visited so we’ll be interested to see how productive it becomes once the teams get into their rythmn and all the start up wrinkles are ironed out.
Size: 7,000m2, five-acre site
Staff: 49 (including 14 panel beaters, 12 painters, 10 assemblers, four detailers)
Type of repair: All types
Avg cars repaired per week: 60