An auto repair company based in Illinois has acquired three auto body collision repair shops in Spokane.
Matt Ebert, founder and CEO of Crash Champions LLC, says the Westmont, Illinois-based company has been focusing on expanding into markets in which other national collision repair companies haven’t established substantial foothold. He views the Inland Northwest as one such market.
On Feb. 22, Crash Champions acquired, in separate transactions, two auto body collision repair shops: Ed’s Body Shop Inc., doing business as Ed’s Premier Auto Body, at 2707 E. Francis in northeast Spokane; and River City Collision Center Inc., doing business as River City Body & Paint, at 34 E. Main in Spokane’s University District.
About two months earlier, Ebert says, Crash Champions acquired its first Spokane shop, Custom Body Collision Repair, located at 3104 N. Monroe.
He declines to disclose the terms of the acquisitions.
About 60 total employees work in the three Spokane shops, all of which will adopt the Crash Champions name and branding.
Crash Champions also has a presence in North Idaho, with one shop in Coeur d’Alene, at 6165 N. Sunshine, and another in Post Falls, at 3572 E. Mullan. Crash Champions established those locations in August with the acquisition of Coeur d’Alene-based Coachman Auto Body.
Most of Crash Champions’ acquisitions have been driven by an aging population of shop owners, Ebert says.
“A lot of older operators are at the point where they’re ready to retire,” he says.
In the case of River City, Ebert says former owners Rick and Juanita Schultz are remaining with the shop. The third-generation owners of Ed’s, however, have stepped away from the shop, Ebert says.
“We make opportunities for owners and their families to stay with the shop, as in the case with River City,” Ebert says.
Crash Champions has about 185 total locations in nine states. Ebert says the company intends to continue its expansion in the Pacific Northwest, though he declines to disclose specific plans.
“Ultimately, we would like to put several shops in a region together,” Ebert says.
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