COLLISION REPAIR SPECIALISTS: V&R Auto keeps your vehicles and business moving
Over the past few years cars have become a lot more sophisticated and now require a very high level of skill and professional servicing – which is what your correspondent found on a recent visit to V&R Auto Collision Repair Specialists in Walmer, Port Elizabeth.
V&R Auto traces its history to 2002 in East London where it operated as Dockside Panel beaters and Spray painters (now also known as V&R Auto) before opening doors in Port Elizabeth in 2008. It has since expanded to Brakpan in Johannesburg where it is known as REV Auto Collision Repair Specialists.
“After starting out as a small business, we have grown exponentially in the past five years. East London has also become our largest operation and we are about to open a second shop in Johannesburg,” said Raven Rungan, Partner and Managing Director of the company.
V&R Auto services include minor and major structural repairs - paintless dent removal and spot repairs on any type of vehicle. Rungan said they were also specialists in bakkies and 4x4’s and offer a 36-month guarantee on workmanship done as well as a lifetime warranty on Paintwork. The company guarantees quality aftermarket service.
“We are the only AA Quality Assured auto-body repairers in East London and in Port Elizabeth,” he said. When a company becomes AA Quality Assured (AAQA) accredited it’s a recommendation that it provides high standards of work and guaranteed workmanship.
In a South African first, V&R Auto now offers a zero-interest repair payment plan for insured vehicles.
“We realised that our customers get into accidents which often leave their vehicles drivable but with small dents and damages. Since the insurance excesses are so high and they don’t have the money, they don’t claim and continue driving their damaged cars and devaluing the cars in process. Some even choose go to backyard shops and mechanics for repairs because of the high excess.
“So our First Offer Collision Repair Payment Plan means we will repair our customer’s vehicles now – in a reputable body shop, and give them three months to pay their excess - interest free! It’s our concept, we designed it and nobody else is doing it,” described Rungan.
This BEE Level 1 company currently has around 50 staff, artisans and technicians in its three branches.
“We have over 100 years of experience amongst ourselves – I have been in the industry for more than 15 years together with my wife… Our staff are all qualified panel beaters and painters and we consistently train them so that we conform to national standards and regulations – as testified by our AA certification,” explained Rungan.
V&R Auto customers also enjoy peace of mind when they travel between cities. Any work done at either branch is covered by the company’s group warranty which means a car serviced in East London is still covered when you drive it to Port Elizabeth or Johannesburg.
What stood out on our visit was that Rungan is passionate about his business and is very hands-on.
“Normally, you cannot get to the directors of a company but I prefer being available to my customers and people can call me directly,” he said.
V&R Auto is also the only body shop in the Eastern Cape with a state-of-the-art Fuzion chassis straightener with the fast anchoring system. It is the only approved 4x4 and bakkie chassis repair system and is the only approved bench for all US manufacturers.
As proof to the company’s workmanship, their growing client list now includes all major insurance companies, various government departments, fleet management companies, parastatals like Telkom as well as local municipalities.
“You will understand that since these institutions and companies, like Telkom, strive to maintain high service standards for us to work with them means we also have to maintain very high standards in our work,” said Rungan, adding that they were looking to open a branch in every city in the future.
“We are opening a second branch Johannesburg in September this year and another one in Cape Town next year.”
The company is also involved in a lot of community development initiatives locally including soup kitchens.
As far as Rungan knows, they are the only body shop that opens from 07:30 to 22:00 from Monday to Thursday and closing at 17:00 on Fridays.
“Because of the long hours that we work, our turnaround times are much quicker,” he said.
While accidents happen and businesses often have to put damaged cars back on the road, you can trust V&R Auto to restore your vehicle to its original form.
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