Since at least last summer, it’s rumored to have been in the works, and various outlets are now reporting that BMW of North America has announced an expansion of its Certified Collision Repair network to include independent facilities that have been sponsored by an area dealer. In place since the early 2000s, the Certified Collision Repair process offers numerous advantages over using a standard body shop, including the use of original BMW parts, factory-approved repair procedures, handling of the claim process, and more. Previously limited to dealer-owned shops, BMW centers will now have the option of sponsoring up to two independent entities in their local area.
According to Stephan Reiff, Vice President of Aftersales for BMW of North America, the “… ever-growing number of BMW vehicles on the road, including many that are ten years and older” represents a prime opportunity for growth. Previous stipulations for a shop to join the Certified Collision Repair Network included a minimum ownership stake of 51% by a BMW dealer; this limited many smaller operations from offering body-shop and paint services, forcing BMW owners in certain areas to use an out-of-network shop for repairs or touching up. This usually wasn’t an issue for those living in a major metropolitan center, but with over 300 dealerships set up across the country, the changes to the program greatly expand the reach of the Certified Collision Repair network.
According to BMW NA, in addition to advantages that include the use of original BMW parts, factory-approved procedures, and a specialized way of handling the claim process that ensures a top-notch repair, using a shop in the Certified Collision Repair network also guarantees the use of state-of-the-art equipment by technicians with a minimum of 120 hours of BMW vehicle-specific training. All of this comes with a certificate of repair which guarantees the work for as long as you own or lease the vehicle.
[Photos courtesy of BMW AG.]