“There are a lot of smiles in the body shop” after expansion of 106-year-old dealership

Broadway Automotive Collision Center
📍 Green Bay, WI

For more than a century, Michael Cuene’s family has bought, sold and repaired cars. In the latest expansion of his flagship dealership, all signs pointed to Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) being the best fit for Broadway Automotive Collision Center. And in 2022, a massive rebuild — featuring four paint booths, a dual-bay prep station and two paint mix rooms from GFS, as well as 42 service bays and a drive-thru estimating station — has Cuene feeling good about the future of his business.

Please tell us your story and introduce your business.

“We are a third-generation business, run by myself and my brother, David. My father, Duke, and my uncle, Jim, were partners forever, and the business was started by my grandfather, Herb, in 1916. We have a Chevrolet and Volkswagen dealership at this location, a Ford and Hyundai dealership in Green Bay, a GM dealership in Manitowoc, and two Hertz locations at the airports in Green Bay and Appleton.

“It has been ingrained in us that fixed operations — service, parts and collision repair — are the key to a successful dealership. This is our third collision center at this location, now with 70,000 square feet. It was a bowling alley that was converted to offices, so it took a little while for us to rework it back into an open space suitable for the collision industry and our corporate offices. In my 36 years here, we have had only two collision center managers. It is important to try to grow our team, and we grow for the long term. It has been an adventure. From GM’s bankruptcy to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been a wild ride, but we are still here.”

How did you decide on GFS equipment?

“We talked to a couple different paint booth manufacturers, then took a tour of GFS. Seeing GFS’ facility and having an opportunity to interact with GFS’ people in person, it reinforced that GFS was the way to go for our capital equipment investment. Having the Center for Excellence in Osseo, and being able to visit and see the updated technology, the changes to the booths, the changes to the equipment inside the booth, the changes to the mix room, it was really beneficial to us. When our architect, Performa, heard we had selected GFS, they were also pretty excited, saying it would be easy to lay out the design accurately with the CAD drawings used by GFS.”

GFS equipment at Broadway Automotive Collision Center:

  • 3 Ultra XD Paint Booths
  • 1 Ultra XL Paint Booth
  • 1 Dual-Bay Ultra XD Closed-Top Open-Front (CTOF) Booth
  • 2 Ultra XD Paint Mix Rooms

How has your GFS equipment benefited your business?

“With our old setup, our crew was starving for space. It was borderline unsafe. We didn’t have enough room to store tools. We didn’t have a big enough area to prep parts. It was very, very confined. We were long overdue to make the investment in new equipment, and hopefully it will be a place that people want to take their vehicles for collision repair. We used to have two paint booths and a pseudo prep station. We have not been in the new facility that long, but our throughput with the new equipment better be awesome, just based on the mere fact we now have four paint booths and two prep stations. I don’t know what our potential is yet. I do know that there are a lot of smiles in the body shop. I’m banking on the growth, and I want to make our painters as efficient as possible.”

What is the plan for the future of your business?

“Collision repair is the backbone of our operations because somebody always needs their vehicle serviced. We live in Wisconsin, which is advantageous to the collision industry. Our industry has an aging technician force, but the majority of our technicians have been with us for more than 20 years. We want to reinvigorate our apprentice program on the collision side to match the fantastic job we do with our apprentice program on the service side. If somebody is thinking about joining the collision industry, we want to have a safe, clean, well-lit environment, with locker rooms, a break room — a place that you can work for a long time. I’m going to need that great culture and great people, along with great technology, in order to be here for the next 25 years.”

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