Shop Profile - Collision Repair

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Muscle Shoals trio of shops hits all the right notes for Alabama drivers

Monday, August 1, 2016 - 07:00
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Along with the Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and so many others, Aretha Franklin recorded some of her greatest hits in Muscle Shoals – and by showing respect to their customers and everyone else in the surrounding communities, brothers Johnny, Danny and Mark Simpson are drawing rave reviews at their trio of strong-performing body shops.

At a glance:
Simpson's Collision Repair
Florence, Ala.
Headquarters location
Johnny, Danny and Mark Simpson
Owners
3
No. of shops
46
Years in business
48
No. of employees
10
No. of DRPs
49,000
Total square footage of shops
16, 20, 24
No. of bays per shop
73
Vehicles per week at all locations combined
$1,895
Average repair order
$7 million
Annual gross revenue for all locations combined
Axalta
Paint supplier
Brewco, Chief
Frame machines used
CCC One
Estimating system used
www.bodyman.net
Website

With locations in Florence, Sheffield and Killen, Ala., and a fourth shop currently in the planning stages with assistance from industry consultant David Luehr, “many of our customers have dealt with three generations of Simpsons starting with our grandfather, who was in mechanical repair dating back to the 1940s,” reports Johnny Simpson, referring to a family philosophy of respectfully serving the automotive needs of their neighbors that began with the late John M. Simpson and his iconic Simpson’s Service Garage in the adjoining city of Tuscumbia, AL.

“Our granddaddy started in the automotive industry doing mechanical repair, then our father transitioned the business to auto body and glass,” he recalls. “We saw that it was a good business to be in. When we were growing up we always liked to be in that shop. We were sweeping floors and later putting in windshields, and if we did something wrong they’d tell us about it.”

Citing traditions carried forward with the body shop enterprise established by their father Gary in 1970 while he was still working as a control room operator at the Tennessee Valley Authority, Johnny points out that “customers realize that family, trust and quality are what our business is built on. Our extensive training, the quality of our work and our commitment to customer satisfaction have all been a huge factor in the success of our business.”

Johnny, Danny and Mark are intent on passing on this legacy to their own respective children – a boy and six girls. “Daddy started out in the back room of Grandfather’s shop, and I’m encouraging my daughters,” says Johnny.

“We’re building for the next generation.” Sophie at age 10, for example, loves joining her Dad Johnny at work and is already becoming observant of operational procedures. “You don’t want to force them. You want them to make their own choices, but we would like to pass this along to them.

“One of the biggest things that has helped our business is the fact that it is truly a family business. Today, our father is retired but still likes to visit the shops any chance he can. He regularly asks about how we are doing and we have customers who ask about him as well.

Each brother manages individual locations. Johnny’s I-CAR Gold Class 15,000-square-foot shop in Florence opened in 1992. Mark’s similarly sized Killen shop, in business since 2000, while Danny’s 20,000-sq.ft. Sheffield shop dates back to 1981.

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