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PPG Collision Centers earn top Toyota honors

Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 06:00
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Two PPG collision centers—Karl Malone’s Body and Paint of Draper, Utah, and Puente Hills Auto Body of the City of Industry, Calif.,—have received the 2016 Toyota Certified Collision Center of the Year Triple Crown Award. The annual award is given to the three top-performing Toyota certified collision centers in the country. According to Toyota representatives, collision centers are evaluated on a point system based on customer satisfaction; manager, estimator and technician certification; facility and equipment requirements and other benchmark achievements. The award is highly competitive with nearly 200 Toyota certified collision centers nationally vying for the honor.

Left to right, Andrew Madsen, co-owner; Laif Ekberg, collision center manager; Karl Malone, co-owner; George R. Irving Jr., Toyota North America, national manager, Wholesale Parts & Collision; Ruben De Loera, Toyota senior analyst, Wholesale Parts & Collision; Jon May, general manager.

“We are extremely proud of these two fine collision centers and their employees,” said Tom Wolf, PPG director, refinish business development. “The National Toyota Certified Collision Center of the Year Triple Crown Award is one of the most prestigious honors in our industry and confirms the commitment each of these shops has made to its customers in providing quality products and service. Karl Malone’s Body and Paint and Puente Hills Auto Body can take great pride in what they’ve achieved. We are happy to congratulate them.”

Karl Malone’s Body and Paint has been a PPG customer since it opened in 2013. The facility has 25 employees with its two painters certified to spray ENVIROBASE® High Performance waterborne products. This is the shop’s first National Toyota Certified Collision Center of the Year Triple Crown Award.
 
“I’m grateful to the owners and managers. Their commitment has made the shop a first-class participant in the collision repair industry; they’ve built an exceptional facility for our customers and employees,” said Laif Ekberg, collision center manager, upon learning of the award. “It is gratifying to work with such dedicated professionals who strive for excellence in every stage of the process, in the office and the shop. Our consistent hard work has paid off in building long-term trusting relationships with our customers, insurers and the community.”

Front row, left to right: Anthony Salcedo, production manager; Leo Vazquez, estimator; Richard Carrillo, estimator; Mike Larrabee, assistant manager; Joe Guerrero, estimator.
Back row, left to right: Ruben De Loera, Toyota senior analyst, Wholesale Parts & Collision; Rob Huntington, collision center director; Nicholas Cardin, vice president/general manager, Puente Hills Toyota.

Puente Hills Auto Body, a part of Puente Hills Toyota, has been a PPG customer since owner Frederick Hitchcock opened it in 1978. It converted to the PPG Envirobase High Performance waterborne system in 2007. This is the first time the shop has won the award although it has finished in the top 10 every year since 2006. Puente Hills Auto Body collision center director Rob Huntington manages a staff of 30 employees, including two PPG-certified paint technicians, and credits the center’s entire team and Hitchcock’s support for the shop’s achievements.

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“Our employees are really excited about receiving such recognition,” said Huntington. “We have a terrific owner who genuinely cares about his staff and his customers. We hire the right people—people who like what they do, are good at what they do and are committed to customer service. And we have the support of PPG and its products. It’s a great combination, and it works for us. The award is a tremendous affirmation of our work.”
 
Huntington and Puente Hills Toyota vice president/general manager Nicholas Cardin and Hitchcock Automotive president Howard Hakes accepted the award April 8 at a banquet held in Newport Beach for the shop and its employees. Toyota representative Eric Mendoza, manager, Wholesale Parts & Collision, presented the award. Similarly, Karl Malone’s Body and Paint received its award April 19 at a gala dinner in Salt Lake City. Principal owner and former NBA Utah Jazz player Karl Malone, co-owner Andrew Madsen, general manager Jon May and Ekberg accepted the award for the shop. George R. Irving Jr., Toyota North America, national manager, Wholesale Parts & Collision, presented the award.

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