Activate Group Ltd (AGL) has opened its flagship Activate Accident Repair body shop in Birmingham, the first of five sites in a new division representing a £6 million investment over 12 months.
AGL, founded in 2015, specialises in accident management services and partners with fleet providers and insurers to service thousands of claims a year.
The new body shop division is part of a strategic growth plan that aims to meet demand for high-quality repair centres in historically underserved urban areas.
AGL chief executive officer Hannah Wilcox said: “We launched to the industry this week with an exclusive event for more than 50 customers and showcased the first Activate Accident Repair body shop with tours and a series of process demonstrations. Feedback has been amazing, and our customers seem as excited as we are about the direction we are taking and our ambition to set new standards in the industry.”
The Birmingham site, operational since early August, is housed in a purpose designed, 18,000 square foot site with the capacity to repair up to 16 vehicles a day.
A further four, 15,000 square foot sites are currently in development and will be able to process up to 12 vehicles per day, per site. Once all five sites are up and running, volume is anticipated to achieve 16,000+ repairs per annum.
All Activate Accident Repair centres will be equipped with the latest technology, including the ability to repair structural composite material. All sites will also have a fast-track repair lane for non-structural repairs to reduce key-to-key times on smaller jobs.
In addition, Activate Accident Repair is investing in comfortable, well designed customer waiting areas, courtesy cars, high-spec valeting and well-trained staff on-hand to assist customers.
The new division sees the creation of more than 200 jobs and the introduction of an apprenticeship programme next year that will see Activate Accident Repair develop fresh talent and equip people with the skills needed to excel in the industry.
Wilcox continued: “We are also putting technology at the heart of Activate Accident Repair by integrating its systems with our other businesses, to generate real-time reporting that enhances the overall customer journey.”
Activate Accident Repair is part of the AGL group of companies, which includes Motor Repair Network, Sopp+Sopp and Sopp Parts. Once operational, Activate Accident Repair will co-exist with AGL’s existing network of third-party suppliers.
Hannah commented: “The relationship we have with our network of 200 body shops is not altered by the creation of our own five site body shop division. AGL will grow significantly this year, with the number of claims we handle projected to increase by around 50% over the next twelve months. This means there is more than enough work for our third-party network and our own body shops too.”
The new division is led by managing director Shane Maybank, who said: “Work is well underway on the Glasgow and Leeds centres, which we expect to have operational before the end of the year. And in 2020, we’ll complete work on the final two sites in this tranche of development.”
He concluded: “The level of investment in both operations and people at Activate Accident Repair is second to none and we are committed to delivering the highest standards in accreditation, customer experience and technology-led reporting to our customers.”