Brandon Auto Service,
813-689-8131 • www.BrandonAuto.com
Auto Services, Inc. (BAS) may have started out as a typical
auto junkyard, but it is a little more diverse and a lot
more high-tech than what most folks would expect. Steve
Holland likes it that way. “You’ve got to change
with the world,” he said.
started the ball rolling, with a body shop, where Holland
worked before he went to college. While Holland was away
at college, his dad sold the body shop and bought Brandon
Auto Salvage. Later, Holland and his business partner, Kenneth
Anderson, bought the business and recently changed the name
to Brandon Auto Services to better reflect what the company
Besides doing auto salvage
work, BAS also services cars, including body work and collision
repairs. It makes perfect sense to Holland – after
all, he’s got the parts, and if he doesn’t,
he can find him through the network of salvage companies
he deals with. It was a natural next step to install those
parts for customers. “We’re creating a one-stop
business,” he said.
BAS works closely with
insurance companies, allowing them to use BAS’s resources
to price replacement parts and determine availability. That
way, BAS’s parts end up on the insurance company’s
estimate while it’s being written. According to Holland,
it only takes three to five minutes to find the parts, determine
delivery and warranty, and give the information to the insurance
Also high-tech is the
photo documentation of the salvaged cars. Photos are taken
of the interior and exterior of the vehicles, as well as
video of the engine running. All of that is available on
the Internet by the next day, making it easier for customers
close and far to see exactly what they’re buying.
“We also sell new parts on our website,” he
But Holland isn’t
tied to his desk. “You can’t just sit in your
office,” he said. “You have to learn from others.”
Holland takes that seriously. He belongs to both state and
national associations and takes time to attend conventions
related to his business. Holland said, “I love traveling
and looking at other businesses.”
Holland is on the board
of directors of FADRA (Florida Auto Dismantlers and Recyclers
Association) and belongs to the ARA (Auto Recyclers Association)
One thing Holland has
learned is that service is the key to success for him, which
is one reason he changed the corporate name two years ago.
For another, it made the insurance companies feel a little
more at ease dealing with a service company rather than
a salvage one.
“We can do the whole
process,” Holland said, and the name change reflects
that. “We can give better and quicker service,”
because his business has ready access to parts, where service-only
businesses may not have the same resources.
“The biggest challenge
today is buying the proper inventory you need, at the price
you need to pay for it.” He noted that there aren’t
as many car auctions as there used to be, and that often
he has to rely on photos that just show the best side of
Holland is being pro-active
in dealing with legal issues, having been involved in one
way or another with legislation dealing with the industry
for the past 20 years. One of his interests is in having
VIN numbers condemned when cars are scrapped. As it is,
it’s possible for multiple cars to be shipped out
of the country under the same VIN number.
He is also involved in
legislation regarding the mercury switches in vehicles.
He would like to see manufacturers forced to recover the
mercury, and the recyclers paid to remove the mercury. He
noted that BAS is a “green yard” and that he’s
serious about environmental issues.
Holland also wants to
change the regulations regarding re-use of airbags. He has
run tests of salvaged airbags and the ones he expected to
pass the tests, did, which proved to him that the bags could
be salvaged and reinstalled, saving consumers a lot of money
compared to the cost of new airbags.
As far as autos and parts
that aren’t needed for salvage, a car crushing company
visits BAS three to four times a year to crush the cars,
which are then destined for an auto shredder.