By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Business name:? Al Brodeur's Auto Body, Inc.
87 Mill St. Central, Marlborough
Al Brodeur's South Street Auto
412 South St. Marlborough
Owner: Al Brodeur
Contact Information: 508-485-0251
Al Brodeur's has just expanded into a second location?
“Yes, we acquired South Street Auto in October,” said Molly Brodeur, chief operating officer and daughter of owner Al Brodeur. The new location is right around the corner from the other shop. “Al Brodeur's Auto Body on Mill Street Central is our main collision shop, and South Street is our auto detail shop and towing operation.” The company has been in business for 43 years.
“The South Street property will be changed over the next year. Ultimately, it will become the hub for all of our customers. We can have a much bigger office space and parking lot, and the body shop won's receive daily customer traffic. All of that should happen toward the end of the year.
“When Dad and I were thinking about this property, the vision he had was to create a complete auto center so customers could have everything they need done with their car done with us.
“Right now, we are creating a fast- lane collision shop at South Street, retrofitting a Quonset hut to do small, one- to two-day repairs there and take some of the pressure off the main collision facility. We also do some mechanical work here for our collision customers. In the past, we'se had to sublet a lot of the mechanical repairs.”
How has your business changed?
“Vehicles are much more sophisticated today??”technology, computer systems, sensors all over the cars, anti-collision technology. Even the types of metals used are dramatically different than just 10 years ago. We insist on on-going training for all our staff to make sure they are educated about the latest technology and repair methods. When we do a repair, we make sure the sensors are reprogrammed and all that technology the consumer has paid for is working properly.”
Can you help customers with the insurance claim?
“Yes. When consumers call us first, we can guide them through the insurance process. Once the claim has been initiated, we take it from there. We negotiate with the insurer to make sure the vehicle is repaired properly. We follow manufacturer guidelines on repairs and replacements.
“And we have very good insurance relationships because 75 percent of our business is with insurers. They know that, when we prepare an appraisal, what is on that appraisal needs to be done and will be done correctly. They don's worry that we'se asking for things we'se not going to do.”
Do you arrange rental cars?
“We call Enterprise right down the street and set customers up with a rental. We update Enterprise, often daily, on the status of the repair. We don's want the customer to be bothered adjusting the rental car time. The next time a customer hears from us??”unless there's a huge problem??”is when the car is ready to be picked up.”
Can Massachusetts drivers deal with any repair shop?
“Consumers should know that they absolutely have the right to choose the registered repair shop that they would like to work with. No matter what their insurance company tells them, the law protects their right to choose any registered shop. By law, the insurer has to work with that shop, and they do.”
Editor's Note: The preceding is not an endorsement and is presented for informational purposes only.