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Auto experience elevated

No.1 Collision Group offers bespoke luxury auto repair
Scott and Rob Walker

When brothers Scott and Rob Walker purchased a collision centre in Vancouver back in 1993, the two car enthusiasts knew they wanted to transform and elevate the concept.

“Most people think of a collision shop as dingy and dirty,” says Scott, 50, president of No.1 Collision Group. “We wanted to focus on luxury vehicles and become the ‘Chanel’ of the industry. We envisioned a luxury, concierge-type service with both a wow factor and a customer-oriented approach.”

The pair didn’t know it back then, but their timing could not have been better. Luxury brands—outside the very niche section of a market dominated by more common brands like Toyota, Honda and Hyundai—were on the cusp of exponential growth. In part that was driven by the arrival of Asian immigrants from Hong Kong and mainland China, who created a new demand for luxury vehicles.

“You had BMW growing, and Lexus and Mercedes entering the marketplace. And with their growth came our growth,” says Rob, 52, CEO. “The demand was there for high-end collision shops.”

Today No.1 Collision Group has six facilities—five in the Lower Mainland and one in Bellingham, Washington, with a seventh in Newport Beach, California opening in late 2024. All the shops are strategically focused on luxury automotive manufacturers, specifically Ferrari, McLaren, Tesla, BMW, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Range Rover, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini.

The company invests considerably in technician training, and collision repair technicians are instructed in specific luxury brands. That means there are no generalists at No.1 Collision Group.

“We want our technicians to know specific brands inside and out, because you can’t do every brand and still do it well,” Scott says.

The company’s flagship location in Richmond, built nine years ago, feels more like a showroom than a collision repair facility. Designed by Vancouver architect Christopher Bozyk, the building is composed of concrete, steel and glass, with modern, minimalistic decor. Multiple large television panels showcase the company’s work and reflect a professional, upscale ambience that inspires confidence. There are no partly disassembled, crumpled cars in view, nor are there any technicians in greasy overalls visible. All the automotive repairs occur in a different section of the facility.

“Branding and image is huge to us,” Scott explains. “We want all our buildings to be timeless so that 50 years from now, they are still relevant. We offer a repair experience that is truly bespoke, and where things are done quite differently from many of our competitors. Take communication, for example, a big downfall in the industry. We have a ‘body shop booster software,’ wherein we use personalized text and email messages to let our clients know exactly what is happening with their vehicles.”

The bottom line, he adds, is about giving the customer a good experience.

“Our customers like coming here because we give them good quality automotive repair. Rob and I are proud of what we do—but it all starts with us being car enthusiasts.”

The Walker brothers are excited about their Newport Beach store, and they are confident that the company’s growth lies south of the Canadian border.

Scott and Rob Walker. Lia Crowe


“We’ve saturated the Vancouver area,” says Rob. “But our growth model is slow because we want to do ground-up construction, which can take five to six years to complete—and that’s only after you’ve found the right site for a business.”

Proud of what they’ve accomplished to date, they describe No.1 Collision Group as the “Four Seasons Hotel” of the collision-repair industry, and are confident that among their clients, they’ve completely changed the image and perception of the industry. As they eye future growth, they admit their success has a lot to do with timing.

“We were lucky with our timing back in the early 1990s, when the luxury automotive market in Vancouver was starting its growth. We helped put some of the pieces together, and the result was magic.”