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Activate expands body shop division with £15m investment and new CEO

Activate Group is driving expansion of its Activate Accident Repair division with a £15m investment and the appointment of a new CEO.

Victoria Turner has joined Activate Accident Repair as its new CEO

The group was founded in 2015 and specialises in accident management services, working with major corporate fleets and insurers. The launch of its body shop division, Activate Accident Repair, followed in 2019; part of a strategic growth plan to meet demand for high-quality repair centres in historically underserved urban areas.

The division already has sites in Birmingham, Glasgow and Leeds, and the second phase of investment, announced today (23 September 2020), will also see the division expand its offering to cover mobile repairs alongside onsite passenger car and LCV repairs.

Victoria Turner has also joined Activate Accident Repair as its new CEO. Turner brings extensive experience in the repair and insurance sectors, and will lead the Activate Accident Repair board, reporting to Activate Group CEO Hannah Wilcox at a group level.

The changes also see Peter McAninch switch over to the role of COO at Activate Accident Repair from his current role as director of network & engineering at Activate Group. McAninch brings substantial experience running multi-site body shop operations in the UK and Australia for fleet and insurers. He will join Turner’s leadership team working to deliver the rapid roll-out of new sites under the stewardship of Activate Group’s non-executive chairman, Paul Pancham.

Hannah Wilcox explained: “We’ll carefully select locations for new sites based on customer’s requirements for increased capacity. And thanks to several recent new customer wins, we’re continuing to grow, by the end of 2020 volume will have increased by 100% (YoY), which means there is more than enough work for our approved network and our own body shops too.”

All Activate Accident Repair centres will work to a set of green repair principles and be equipped with the latest technology, including ADAS reset and all safety features for conventional and alternative fuel vehicles. In addition, the sites will have a fast-track repair lane for non-structural repairs to reduce key-to-key times on smaller jobs.

Further changes will bring the integration of Activate Accident Repair’s systems with the other group businesses to generate real-time reporting, increasing customer visibility.

Wilcox outlined: “We are doing this to look after our customers. By investing and expanding we can deliver even better service outcomes. And with the greater visibility ownership affords, we can drive cost and service benefits through the repair journey offering a greatly enhanced customer experience.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.