Duke opens collision center

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, December 22, 2016

Duke Automotive has opened a new collision center at 3730 Pruden Blvd.

The center marks a return to the collision repair business for the dealership, which shut down its original collision repair business in 2004.

“We never wanted to get out of the collision repair business,” said dealership vice president Eley Duke III.

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Duke said the dealership closed its collision repair 12 years ago to make way for the expanding mechanical service.

“It was unfortunate,” he said. “We’re not required to have the body shop by Chevrolet or General Motors, but you’ve got to service the car. We have always wanted to get back to that.”

Earlier this year, Duke Automotive heard Larry Chavis of Chavis Collision Repair was looking to retire. Duke took over the building on Pruden Boulevard on Nov. 1.

“It was a great opportunity for us to expand into collision repair to become a full-service dealer again,” Duke said.

Paul Baines, collision center manager, and Richard Potts, the service and parts director, will be the hands-on managers at the shop.

Baines said the shop is certified by PPG, a major paint manufacturer, which ensures the shop is up to a professional level of repair.

“We wanted our dealership to become a full-service dealership for our customers,” Potts said. “They want us to be able to handle anything. That plays a big part in this.”

Beamon and Johnson helped the shop gain the PPG certification and get up and running, Duke said. The shop is also certified by ICAR, the highest standard in the collision industry, Potts said.

Duke added the shop can repair any make or model, regardless of whether Duke Automotive sold it. The shop works with every major insurance company, so customers can have repair done without having to meet with their agent or see an adjustor.

“We’re a one-stop shop,” Duke said. “We hate to see people’s cars get damaged, but we want to be here for them when it does.”