Dolf Jonker founded Autotrust in 1983. Alongside his passion for vehicles, meticulous attention to detail, hard work, as well as customer service are core to business success. Autotrust has seen phenomenal growth since then.
The current home of Autotrust in Sydenham in Port Elizabeth was opened in 2001. This housed all the high-tech equipment that was needed for the many approvals that they obtained.
A speed shop was added in 2007 and the separate state-of-the-art aluminium shop was opened in 2015. Autotrust is the only body shop to have a stand-alone aluminium repair centre facility. Dolf designed the shop and layout and had help on the equipment side of things from Aer-O-cure and Celette SA.
Autotrust will also soon boast a 800 sq m drive-through section which should be completed by the middle of the year. Once again the decision to create this new section has been customer service driven as Dolf and the Autotrust team want to create the ultimate experience to an already traumatised client.
Autotrust has 7500 sq m under roof and employ 49 people. Staff are equally as important at Autotrust as customers, and as such their needs are met in a healthy, clean, working space that would rival most hospital ICU’s.
“Training forms a very important element in our industry where the technology and design of motor vehicles changes rapidly. Training is key to the sustainability of the future of collision repair and this is why we are actively involved in apprenticeship training,” says Dolf.
Staying abreast of customer’s changing needs as well as keeping up with the various insurance houses administration systems and their demands are the challenges that Autotrust face right now.
When asked the secret of his success Dolf said: “I am a very service and quality driven person and I’m on the shop floor 24/7 supervising and assisting a smooth flow of work through the workshop in a very hands-on way.”
The pictures accompanying this article speak for themselves. Every shot captures an organised, super clean environment that any employee or customer would gladly spend time in.
Dolf believes in using the best equipment, coatings and consumables to get the job done correctly the first time. When he decided he wanted Scholl Polish in his shop, he didn’t let the fact that there wasn’t a local supplier stand in his way. He merely imported it straight from Germany 15 years ago. Thankfully he’s able to source the product locally now, but his uncomprising attitude to quality doesn’t allow him to see problems. He just makes a plan to make it work for the business.
An ideal to achieve OEM plant levels of repair has seen a welder purchased and operating on the shop floor that is only seen at various manufacturing plants. Unbelievable lengths to go to ensure that each vehicle is returned to its owner in tip-top condition after an accident and that the company stay at the forefront of their game.
Autotrust will continue to set the benchmark in collision repair in South Africa – and globally for that matter – due to a well structured hard working team that keeps striving towards a customer service-centric vision that has excellence at its core.