When a fire destroyed B&R Auto two years ago, the owners had a decision to make. Robert, Dennis and Nello lannelli decided to re-think their options and look at the loss as an opportunity for bigger and better things.
And we mean BIG.
Construction began a few weeks ago on a new 19,000 square foot facility on Great Northern Road, just south of Maitland Motors where B&R Auto was originally located. The brother’s new plan calls for three businesses under one gigantic roof.
The Iannelli brothers bought B&R Auto about 15 years ago. Dennis and Nello started Guy’s Auto in 1980 following in their Father’s footsteps. Gaetano lannelli (Guy) moved from Italy at the age of 16. After a few other partnerships in the auto body business, Guy and his family opened up their own shop, Guy’s Auto Body. Over the last 30 years it has become one of the largest and well known auto body shops in the city. It’s about to get a lot bigger.
The new building will combine three businesses now opened by the brothers. B&R Auto, Guy’s Auto and Apple Auto Glass. Dennis explains that the shop will have a “assembly line” quality to it. The cars being worked on will work through from one shop to the next.
They hope to move into their new location sometime in early 2015. Combined they have 24 employees. “The nice thing is it’s going to have all new equipment specially ordered from Italy at a cost of $500,000. “It will have seven spray booths” Dennis said. “It will be a $4 Million facility once its all done” Nello said.
“We want to improve the image of body shops from the grinding and bondo to what it will be, state of the art”
The auto body industry has changed quite a bit since they started, Nello told SaultOnline.com, “you have to stay on top of the changes and the way the work is done”
“There’s a lot more disassemble than there used to be, we have guys that that’s all they do is take cars apart, then it moves onto the next guy for whatever body work, then to the filler guy and another guy for the prep and another guy for the masking and that’s how you get efficiencies”
The shop maintains an average of 40 cars a week for body work, not including glass jobs. The brothers expect the new facility to handle more vehicles and efficient service.
“We’ve been here for close to 35 years, we’re still here because you have to change with the times” Nello said.