Chad Bijou has managed repair and maintenance shops for major auto dealers like the Morrie’s and Lupient auto groups for more than 15 years. He has considered running his own business for the past five years, and had a serious eye on a location in Waconia to start an auto repair business for at least a year.

Last month, Waconia 1 Collision & Auto opened at 524 South Elm Street in a building that had been a long-time furniture store, but has been used largely for storage in recent years.

Bijou acquired the building a few months ago and in less than a year the space has been transformed into a state-of-the-art repair center.

There’s more to collision repair than pounding out dents, Bijou notes. It involves not only repair or replacement of external components, but also internal mechanical work to make sure the vehicle is repaired to manufacturer standards and returned to pre-accident condition.

Vehicles also have become more sophisticated these days with self-drive and camera assist features, which makes proper diagnosis and repair even more important, Bijou explains. Even auto glass has built-in features that must be considered in replacement.

So, while earlier collision repair estimates might have involved a walk around and look into and under the vehicle, today’s estimates are performed with online technology and a wireless diagnostic station that can be brought right out to the car. The estimating technology provides a detailed blueprint of the repairs that need to be made, Bijou said.

The newly customized Waconia 1 Collision & Auto facility is designed is to accommodate customers, create an efficient workplace for employees, and has the latest in equipment and technology to provide quality repairs and services to any vehicle, according to Bijou.

The Waconia 1 business is a family affair with wife Michelle Bijou and youngest son Micah, along with trusted friends and technicians from Bijou’s previous business associations providing great customer service, he said. They are: Mike Pomeroy, lead tech from Winsted; Chris Beckwith, manager, from St Bonifacius; and Gerad Jaques, painter and body tech, from Plato.

“We know having an auto collision accident can be a stressful and disruptive experience and we are here to help customers through the auto body repair process every step of the way,” Bijou said. That includes assistance with an auto insurance claim, auto towing, replacement vehicle, and restoration of collision damaged vehicle at competitive prices “backed by the best warranty in the industry.”

Waconia 1 Collision & Auto also provides auto detailing, keeping a vehicle’s paint, carpet, rubber, vinyl, and upholstery clean and conditioned, and services to keep up a vehicle’s mechanical condition with tune-ups, oil changes, brakes, tires, and more.

Call Waconia 1 Collision and Auto at 952-855-1192 to set up an estimate appointment or go to the website https://1collisionwaconia.com./

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