Lockdown-built bodyshop opens doors

Published:  21 December, 2020

A brand-new Thetford bodyshop built during the COVID-19 national lockdown has opened after a six-month fit-out.

The Norfolk outlet is East Bilney Coachworks’ eighth site. As well as being a bodyshop, it is equipped for general servicing– including for hybrids and EVs.

It is also fitted out with the latest bodyshop equipment including as ramps, dent pullers and welders, and features a sliding spray booth capable of painting seven vehicles at a time.

The design was created by the LKQ Euro Car Parts Workshop Solutions division.

Mark Baldwin, Director at East Bilney Coachworks, said: “This is the first time I’ve partnered with LKQ Euro Car Parts on a workshop fit-out, and it has been a completely seamless process from start to finish. After the initial meeting where the design was agreed, other than a weekly production meeting, I was able to sit back and let the team get to work.

“It has been a challenging few months for us, due to the impact of Covid-19, but the team has been able to guarantee safe, socially-distanced working practices throughout the whole fit-out process, to deliver my vision of a ‘space age’ workshop that’s fit for the future.

“We now have all the equipment we need to do anything the main dealerships can do – and we’ve got manufacturer approval to service a series of leading makes and models. This means we’re in a position to ensure every insurer and driver can send vehicles our way with confidence, knowing that they can expect the highest standards of service every time.”

Adam White, Workshop Solutions Director at LKQ Euro Car Parts, added: “As the vehicles on our roads become smarter, it’s vital that technicians across every discipline have the skills and tools available to service them.

“Whenever a car equipped with ADAS, for example, is involved in a collision, there’s a risk of its finely-tuned sensors being knocked out of calibration. Bodyshops must be ready to address this as standard in any vehicle repair, becoming a true one-stop-shop to help drivers get their vehicles back as quickly as possible.”

He concluded: “Working with Mark has been fantastic – he recognised the need to future-proof his workshop, and had clear goals in mind for the final design. The end result is a clean, efficient workshop that is ready to adapt and respond to the evolution of vehicle technologies, built with outstanding customer service at its heart.”

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