CCG nears 600-location mark with record 1Q shop add, says it's in a position to balance DRPs, OEM certification

The independent body shop banner Certified Collision Group this month announced it added 52 locations between January and March, bringing the consortium’s shop count near to 600 facilities across 39 states.

“As we've collectively navigated through the challenges of history 12 months, our type of supporting and amplifying independent, OE and I-CAR certified collision repairers is just growing stronger,” CCG Chief Operating Officer Marty Evans said in a statement. “Our growth is really a direct reflection and result of partnering with operators who're dedicated to and insistent on performing proper repairs while also being a committed and positive influence in their local communities.”

That’s a new CCG quarterly record — also it represents more shops than Gerber Collision put in the pre-pandemic first quarter of 2021.

CCG requires collision repairers be certified by an OEM to sign up in the network, that allows shops to pool their buying power and command discounts from 50 vendors.

“We aren't where we're today without the outstanding support in our vendor providers and insurance partners,” Evans said in a statement. “These strategic alliances position us to ensure that we can deliver a reliable, sustainable platform that levels the arena for our independent affiliates allowing them to compete and win in the marketplace.”

As Evans’ quote implies, CCG also seeks to line up direct repair programs because of its shops.

“The main focus remains supplying the insurance community having a sustainable alternative that is differentiated by 2500+ OEM badges and also the very best KPI results,” CCG wrote within an April 5 news release.

We asked if this focus was feasible. Insurer priorities for repair procedures and parts might be incompatible with OEM certification requirements. If the insurer expects a shop to make use of alternative parts as well as an OEM forbids it, that will seem to be an issue. If a DRP shop wishes to be paid for time spent on mandatory OEM procedures but some insurance company will not cover those charges, that will appear to be an issue.

But Evans was positive about his shops’ capability to be DRP and meet OEM standards.

“Rapid response is !” Evans said in a statement. “There does not have to be ‘unhealthy guy’ situation within the auto claims environment as some want to believe. Proper repair does require validation of repair procedures, transparency, and communication. A repairer simply stating their opinion isn't education or transparency; repairing vehicles to OEM standards via recommended/required procedures and communicating the information to any or all parties is imperative. Your question was about sustainability, our belief can there be isn't any option, repairing vehicles to OEM standards is the baseline, the ancillary customer service merchandise is in addition to proper repair.”

In fact, while CCG doesn’t require its facilities to become listed on DRPs, Evans said the newcomers are opting to do so.

We asked if CCG’s insurance focus was narrower compared to news release suggested. Was it only establishing direct repair program arrangements using the insurers willing to accept OEM parts and operations?

“We use all channels that believe in quality shops performing quality repairs with very best in industry performance,” Evans said inside a statement.