Mercedes Benz Club of America, The Desert Stars Sponsor Spotlight
In this edition of “Sponsor Spotlight”, we are refocusing and repositioning our “spotlight” on Airpark Collision Center of Scottsdale, located at 7333 E. Butherus Dr. Suite A-200, Scottsdale, Arizona 85260 (just west of Scottsdale Municipal Airport, between Scottsdale Road and Greenway-Hayden Road).
Airpark Collision Center is a family-owned and operated by Gerald and Tina Small. They opened the shop in 2006, and their current motto is “Restoring Your Vehicle to its Pre-Collision State!” Airpark Collision has also been a host site for several MBCA Desert Stars “Tech Sessions” over the last few years.
Q: Gerald, and Tina, tell us a little about Airpark Collision’s history
A: (Gerald) I opened Airpark Collision Center in 2006 after working as a technician for over 25 years. I was striving to create a repair facility that had 3 goals in mind: a) pride in craftsmanship, b) serve customers honestly, and c) work we can stand behind. In 2011 Tina left her teaching position in Cave Creek and took a more active role in the business. “I feel that I brought a different perspective to the business and questioned things from a customer’s point of view.” For example, “Let’s explain the procedure, the time it takes, and why the cost is honest and justified.”
Q: What are the main products and services you offer at Airpark Collision?
A: (Tina) We are a full-service auto body paint and repair shop. That means anything from dings, dents, scratches, small parts replacement to major collision damage repairs. We service all makes and models, with a specialization in high-end makes like Mercedes-Benz. Regardless of the project size or vehicle year, our emphasis is ensuring a quality result and excellent customer service for every customer.
Q: Are there any special qualifications that Airpark Collision’s has?
A: (Tina) We pride ourselves on specialized training and equipment. Each year, the technicians attend recertification classes, which allows them to understand the new technology on vehicles, how to repair them, and learn the latest industry repair techniques. Collectively, the team has over 160 years of experience. We apply that experience to more than a 1000 vehicles a year! We are a certified repair facility for many makes, and recognized as an industry leader by many organizations. Additionally, Airpark Collision Center is I-CAR Gold Class Certified, meaning we have earned the highest certification in the collision repair industry. Only 10% of body shops nationwide have achieved this status. Also, we were one of the first shops in the valley to be aluminum repair certified.
Q: How has Airpark Collision changed over the years?
A: (Tina) The biggest change in the collision repair industry is responding to the advancement in vehicle technology. Auto body is no longer about “pounding out dents,” repairs are more comprehensive and must address other vehicle components besides the body of the vehicle. Upon impact onboard sensors and computers are shaken, we have to ensure everything is working properly if a future accident should occur. Newer model vehicles are pre-diagnostic scanned, the information from the scan tells us what needs repair that may not be visible. After the collision repair a post-diagnostic scan is performed and calibrations if necessary. Addressing all electrical and safety items in addition to the body of the vehicle extends the length of repair and the cost.
Q: How does Airpark Collision monitor quality?
A: (Tina) As each vehicle moves through the various departments: body, refinish, and detail, each staff member inspects the repair before beginning their phase of work. Once the repair is completed Gerald or one of the estimators will perform a final quality check before the customer is called. Occasionally, we find errors but the most effective measure is employing quality technicians who take pride in their work.
Q: Besides the collision repairs and other auto body projects, are there any other special products or services you provide?
A: (Gerald) We can add window tinting, clear bra protection, and fix curb rash on wheels. If you lease a vehicle, we can help with pre-return repairs before your inspection.
Q: You have been very supportive to the Desert Stars members over the last few years by opening your doors as host for Tech Sessions. What do you like most about these events, and is there anything that ACC takes away from the sessions that is incorporated back into your daily processes?
A: Gerald) We love hosting events and meeting the members! It gives us a good feeling to share what we know about repairs and insurance claims. This is something we work with every day and find sharing our knowledge very rewarding. The Q & A sessions also help us understand what consumers would like to know about our process. This information helps us when working with future customers or prompt topics for our monthly blog.
Q: Tell us more about yourselves, and what you like to do away from the shop?
A: (Tina) We have lived in north Scottsdale since 1999 (although we have moved a few times within the area). Gerald loves to play golf and we both like spending time outside. Most of our weekends include trying new restaurants and spending time with our 31-year-old son and his wife who have just moved back to Arizona.
Q: What are the most interesting Benz and non-Benz projects that you’ve worked on?
A: (Gerald) Each year we get our share of high-end vehicles, Maserati, Porsche and even a few Bentley, Ferrari, and Lamborghini. We recently completed some reconditioning work on a special edition black Mercedes-AMG C63 and collision repair on a 2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive refinished in flat black. Also, being located in the Scottsdale Airpark we are occasionally asked to paint small helicopter or airplane parts.
Q: What are your business hours?
A: We are open Monday thru Friday from 7:30am to 5:30pm. We can set up an off-hours appointment if there’s a special need. Call the office with as much advance notice as possible. We can also write simple estimates via email if good photos and a VIN are submitted.
Q: Anything else you want our MBCA members to know about Airpark Collision Center?
A: (Gerald) We want Mercedes owners to know that we really enjoy working with them and we strive to make their repair experience the best in the valley. We feel that we have a special niche in an area filled with national chain and dealership-owned collision centers. We know we have to earn our customers and that sets us apart. We also recognize that making a vehicle look great is not the whole repair experience. Treating people in a friendly manner and taking time to answer their questions leads to a more pleasant experience for all involved. Our focus has always been customer service and repair quality not speed of repair.
Airpark Collision Center can be reached at 480-922-3006, or by email at Gerald@airparkcollisioncenter.com. Be sure to also check them out on the web at http://www.collisioncenternorthscottsdale.com, and on Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and Nextdoor.
Thank You Gerald and Tina for your continued support of MBCA and Desert Stars!