Kelvin Campbell celebrates 30 years as owner of Chapman Auto Body


Thirty years. Three stores. More than 60 staff members. Countless lives changed—both customers and industry friends alike. In 1994, Kelvin Campbell was handed the keys to Chapman Auto Body. Former owner Bob Chapman told him to “go and make something out of it.” So, that’s exactly what Kelvin did. Now, three decades later, Collision Repair magazine is celebrating Kelvin’s commitment to his business and the overall betterment of our industry.

While Kelvin hails from a family of bodymen, his own journey in the industry began soon after he saw an ad for a 20-week autobody course at the College of Cape Breton. After 12 weeks in the course, Kelvin was the sole student left—and he remained committed to his craft, receiving eight weeks of personal one-on-one instruction during the latter half of the program.

Once he had graduated, Kelvin’s skills as a painter at a local facility were noticed by Bob Chapman, the owner of Chapman Volvo in Halifax. Two years into his new career in Halifax, Chapman Volvo shut down the collision centre at the dealership. Kelvin wasn’t going to let that happen. He put in an offer to buy the shop. Thus began the journey of this Maritime MSO.

Once Kelvin had conquered the feat of tripling his sales at the OG location, he expanded Chapman Auto Body beyond a 743 sq. m. (8,000 sq. ft.) shop to add a second location in West Bedford.

“Basically, we’d hit the ceiling at $4.5 million a year—and that was in a $3 million-a-year shop,” Kelvin told Collision Repair mag at the time he took on his second location. Under constraints at the original store, he was having to place his customers on a waiting list of four to six weeks.

When he decided it was time for an expansion, Kelvin set his sights on the suburb of Bedford, about a 15-minute drive from the Agricola St. space. Kelvin hired a design firm to realize his vision of a more efficient commercial space, and after three weeks of drafting, the builders were able to get to work.

Campbell drew particular inspiration from a trip he took to Europe in 2012, with his colleagues from the Collision Performance Group. The trip allowed him to put together a wish list of design features.

In 2021, Kelvin expanded again, taking over a shop from his trade school pal, Anthony Lewis.

“Anthony was running two facilities and decided it was time to take care of one instead of two. We’re good friends from way back, so it was just a great fit,” said Kelvin. The Harbourside team hit the ground running with renovations.

“We’re doing major renovations, adding paint booths, tooling up and getting certified,” he told Collision Repair in 2021. “Our main goal is to increase the footprint on the property and drive up production.” Today, the finished facility boasts 10,000 sq. ft. and a host of new tools.

The post CONGRATS TO KELVIN! appeared first on Collision Repair Magazine.


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