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Hailing the convenience of mobile auto repairs

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“Hail damage is becoming more prevalent,” says Managing Director Marcus Kumeth. “It now hails in regions where it has previously never hailed. In Germany, Bayern and Baden Württemberg were always at the epicenter of hailstorms; today we see heavy storms in North Rhine Westphalia which emanate from France and Benelux. 2013 was particularly bad, with three times as much hail damage as in an average year.”

Douteil® is the market leader in mobile, mass-damage repairs following hailstorms. With its easily transportable workshop equipment, it is ready to set up operations in affected areas within 48 hours.

When there is massive vehicle damage in a particular area, Douteil® can undertake repairs on a scale that local workshops cannot deal with. “We hire huge halls providing thousands of square meters of space,” Mr. Kumeth explains. “Insurance companies can inspect the damage very quickly in our special light tunnel, and repairs can then be carried out very fast. We repair around 10,000 vehicles a year in this way. Last year, we set up mobile operations in 28 locations. Each deployment can last between six weeks and six months.”

For car owners, the service is comprehensive; Douteil® not only deals directly with insurers, it also offers a pick-up and drop-off service, and customers are offered a free rental car from the firm’s extensive fleet. Quality of worksmanship is central to Douteil®’s performance.

“We have very skilled and experienced technicians, many of whom have been with us for 15 years or more,” continues the Managing Director. “We have built up a strong reputation in the market over the past 20 years; we have many customers with long-term contracts. Our size ensures we can always provide a fast and efficient service whenever and wherever it is needed. It is, nevertheless, challenging. Alone the number of colours involved makes it complex. We always try to use original paint or to carry out a paint-free repair.”

Besides its mobile operations, Douteil® also has permanent workshops in Munich, Hamburg, Dortmund, and at its headquarter location in Kamp-Lintfort in northwest Germany. Here, customers can also take advantage of other services: automotive glass repair and replacement, collision repair, wheel rim restoration, and spot repair, all of which are carried out using the latest Smart Repair technology. The firm also has branches in France and Switzerland.

Douteil®’s unique mobility also enables it to operate in other regions of the world; it has fulfilled contracts in Turkey, South Africa, Spain, Italy, as well as a number of other countries. “In the past, I worked in export, and I want to take the firm in this direction,” Mr. Kumeth points out. “My goal is to repair hail damage across the whole of Europe. Digitalization plays a huge role in this sector. We are just about to launch our own new laser and scanner, which can identify the extent of the damage. This is a fast-moving sector and it has something of a gold-digger reputation. Our philosophy however, is to be there for our customers for the long-term.”

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