|Dodge’s Omni captured top honors as Motor Trend magazine’s Car of the Year in 1978.|
Think back to 1978 for a minute. A first-class stamp was just 13 cents. Bucky Dent was the World Series MVP. Motor Trend named the Dodge Omni (wow!) its car of the year. And Dave Demarest, Sr. was discovering the best frame equipment his body shop had ever seen.
Recalls Demarest, “In the late ‘70s, the U.S. was moving towards creating lighter unibody vehicles, throwing a real curve at the repair industry when it came to how to fix them. When I was asked to evaluate Car-O-Liner at a European trade show, I was convinced on the spot that they were the future of body repair.”
Demarest began marketing the Car-O-Liner frame repair system — along with its unique universal measuring system — to other shops. “I did some market research and saw the value in using this system, and today it’s a world leader in the collision repair industry. I’m proud to say that we were the first to sell Car-O-Liner in the U.S.” This year, Metropolitan Car-o-liner, Inc. marks 30 years as the oldest U.S. distributor of Car-O-Liner vehicle repair solutions, serving auto body shops throughout New Jersey, Connecticut, eastern Pennsylvania, and eastern New York state. The family-owned company is the largest selling Car-O-Liner distributor worldwide.
|In 1978, Dave Demarest, Sr. envisioned a great future for the Car-O-Liner frame equipment.|
Demarest attributes Metropolitan Car-o-liner’s longevity to the quality of its products and equally top-notch support.
“Since my days as a repair technician, I’ve searched for tools to make my work easier. When a job is simpler to accomplish, then not only is it quicker to finish, but it’s also ultimately more profitable. The key is making the investment in the equipment work for you. Our products work for the people who buy them, and make their lives as repairers much easier.”
The same philosophy applies to training. That’s why Metropolitan Car-o-liner has taken a leadership role when it comes to industry education, serving as an I-CAR volunteer training site since 2003. Dave Demarest, Jr. was also recently named I-CAR New Jersey state committee chair, overseeing the activities of an approximately 50-person volunteer committee.
In 2007, Car-O-Liner Academy recognized Metropolitan Car-o-liner for reaching a significant milestone — training over 2,500 technicians, appraisers, and adjusters at its Upper Saddle River, NJ headquarters.
The training doesn’t stop with the customers, either. “Our staff undergoes training on a continuous basis,” says Demarest. “Even though they all have extensive industry experience, technology, repair process and materials are ever changing.”
“It’s a very exciting time in this industry,” says Dave Demarest, Jr. of the current state of collision repair. “With all the constant changes in technology, the repair of vehicles today is more of a science every day. If you’re not moving forward, you will quickly get left behind. And in the collision repair world, getting left behind can be very dangerous to business.”
As Dave Sr. and the staff of Metropolitan Car-o-liner continue to provide the collision repair industry with the most ground-breaking and modern information and products around, collision repairers will be able to turn their visions of success and efficiency into realities for many years to come.
In celebration of its 30-year milestone, Metropolitan Car-o-liner is rolling out a series of special promotions to thank its customers — including many shops that have been with them from the very start. Watch your mail for details!