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Craftsman expands to Prince George, BC

BC’s leading auto body shop chain has expanded again, this time to the northern city of Prince George. Craftsman Collision’s friendly acquisition of Jack Schultz Autobody and Queensway Autobody has added two more locations to the fast-growing chain, which in Prince George will be known as Schultz-Craftsman Collision.

The expansion brings Craftsman’s new total to 42 shops under four names in BC, Alberta and California, including 35 in BC alone. The BC communities of Kamloops, Duncan, Vernon and Rutland are other recent additions. “I’ve always admired Craftsman Collision, and for some time it’s been my goal to become part of the Craftsman family,” says former Jack Schultz owner and president Lee J. Leslie, who remains shop manager and now wears the title of Regional Manager, Northern BC for Craftsman.

“Like us, Craftsman is a family-owned business, says Leslie. “President and owner Bill Hatswell runs the company with the help of his two sons, Rick and Greg, and his daughter Melanie, who are every bit as dedicated to excellence as we are. If they weren’t, we would never have joined them.”

“We’ve developed a significant presence in the Lower Mainland, and while we continue to look for opportunities here, we have recently been turning our attention elsewhere for growth in BC,” says Rick Hatswell, Craftsman’s Chief Operating Officer. “Prince George is a thriving northern community, and an important step forward for us. I can’t wait to show the people here what we can do.”

Queensway shop manager Mirsad Mujcin, who along with all existing Jack Schultz and Queensway staff will retain his position in the company, says the new ownership gives his shop the tools to do even better.

“Craftsman has access to the best systems, training and technology,” says Mujcin. “Our technicians and painters and I are looking forward to getting many of these systems into our shop. Things like Wedge Clamp’s NitroHeat spraypainting, NitroWeld plastic welding and dust-reducing anti-stat gun will help us raise the level of our repair and finishing quality – while quite possibly allowing us to get our customers’ vehicles back to them faster as well.”

Like all Craftsman BC shops, the Prince George locations will offer customers the opportunity to take advantage of Craftsman’s exclusive Air Miles rewards program. Card-holding customers will receive 1 reward mile for every $15 on their entire claim, and there is no charge to join the program.

Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, Craftsman Collision opened its first shop in Vancouver in 1977, and is today by far the largest independently owned, family-operated collision repair chain in Canada.

The two new Schultz-Craftsman Collision shops are located at 2065 1 Avenue, telephone 250.563.0883, and 2459 Queensway, telephone 250.564.8896.