Activate Group to invest £15 million to expand vehicle repair division

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Activate Group is investing £15 million to expand its body shop division, Activate Accident Repair.

Activate Group says the investment will be used to open a further 15 Activate Accident Repair sites and create more than 750 jobs.

Launched in 2019, Activate Accident Repair provides high-quality vehicle repair solutions in urban areas. Activate Group chief executive officer Hannah Wilcox said: “We keep a close eye on the market and have taken the strategic decision to build rather than acquire so that our commitment to technology-led services, highly trained teams and focus on the customer experience remains at the core of our offering.”

To drive the expansion, Activate Group has appointed Victoria Turner to the role of chief executive officer of Activate Accident Repair.

Turner brings extensive experience in the repair and insurance sectors where she has held several senior-level business roles. She will lead the Activate Accident Repair board, reporting to Wilcox at a group level.

Peter McAninch will take on the role of chief operating officer of Activate Accident Repair, transferring from Activate Group.

McAninch brings substantial experience running multi-site body shop operations in the UK and Australia for fleet and insurers. He will join Turner’s leadership team working to deliver the rapid roll-out of new sites under the stewardship of Activate Group’s non-executive chairman, Paul Pancham.

Pancham said: “Hannah has a clear vision of what she wants to achieve for our customers and shared a compelling investment case with the board that we are in full support of. We firmly believe that expanding Activate Accident Repair and investing in technology-driven solutions, as capability and capacity in the sector shrinks, is the right thing for our customers, our people and a sustainable future.”

With sites already in Birmingham, Glasgow and Leeds, the second phase of investment will see the division expand its offering to cover mobile repair alongside on-site passenger car and LCV repairs.

Wilcox explained: “We are doing this to look after our customers. By investing and expanding we can deliver even better service outcomes. And with the greater visibility ownership affords, we can drive cost and service benefits through the repair journey offering a greatly enhanced customer experience.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk