MotorOne Express Repairs, part of the larger MotorOne Group, has quietly been going about striking up relationships with car insurers and setting up new repair facilities. General Manager Dale Purdie talked to Paint & Panel about the MotorOne Group journey and roadmap for the future.
Purdie is a second-generation repairer originally hailing from Edinburgh. He started out in mobile repair and eventually had his own shop by his mid-20s, which he sold with the intent of jet-setting to America on a 12 month travel adventure. Those plans were put on hold as he received a job offer from BMW to help set up the new smart repair strategy at Bundoora, in Melbourne. The lure of the open road still strong, he then set up his own mobile repair business. Within two years of start-up, the business was rapidly expanding when he was approached by MotorOne Group who had a keen interest in mobile vehicle repairs and bought his business in 2017. MotorOne Group has had a strong presence in the automotive aftermarket for over 35 years. Specialising in car care products and services, it offers everything from vehicle tint and commercial film, to vehicle electronics, ceramic paint protection coatings and many aftercare products. Moving from scratch and dent into non-structural repairs was a natural progression.
Having proven the concept of mobile repairs after a trial with RACQ and NRMA, along with developing relationships with other insurers, FMOs and fleets, along came the flagship fixed panel shop in Brendale, Queensland (pictured). This was quickly followed by a site in Box Hill, Melbourne, tailoring mainly to non-driveable repairs. The newest site in Acacia Ridge, Queensland has also just become operational and plans are underway to build a further four sites: in Sydney, at Eastern Creek and Penrith; and in Melbourne at Keilor Park and Wantirna South. The group is focused on a hub-and-spoke model that sees multiple locations in each state within the next three years.
Purdie says that having a strong focus on creating a customer waiting area at each site that reflects a 'Qantas Lounge'style concept has been a real game changer for the business and has gone down extremely well with customers. "They come from a bad experience to such a good one and we're proud to say we have a 96% CSI score at Brendale. "
MotorOne Express Repairs says it has identified a massive opportunity for a new repairer to enter the Australian market.
"MotorOne is a safe option because we have such a large dealer footprint, and the backing and resources to build a network of sites at scale." MotorOne has the market advantage of being able to purchase parts at prices set to melt the heart of the sternest assessor. The company is not pursuing the acquisition route of buying existing shops, but instead intends to build from the ground up. "By the time you have paid for the business and updated the equipment it still probably isn't suitable for what you want to achieve. It 's cheaper and better to just build the site from greenfield," Purdie said.
"It's an exciting time in the industry at the moment, there are so many opportunities, and actually COVID-19 and lockdown have accelerated changes especially in the digital space with online quoting and assessing.
"MotorOne Group is an independent entity that is well funded and not aligned with any one insurer. The synergies of the group mean that we are well placed to offer extremely competitive repair outcomes," he said.