Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – Lexington based Baker Collision Express has been sold to a company whose international headquarters is in Canada. Gerber Collision & Glass completed the purchase of privately held Baker earlier in September. Gerber’s US headquarters is in Elmhurst, Illinois.
Baker Collision Express had three locations, all in the Midlands of South Carolina. Their flagship location was on Riverchase Way off Corley Mill Road in Lexington. They also had locations in the St. Andrews area and another just off I-77 in lower Richland County. The company was founded by Larry Baker and much of the day to day operations were run by his son Steve who is also a member of the Town of Lexington’s town council. Other members of the family also worked in the business.
Baker led the way in many innovative techniques for repairing cars damaged in crashes. They used a system called blueprinting that allowed their computers to be tied in with systems at auto manufacturers. When a car was involved in a collision, that marriage of systems allowed Baker to return the damaged vehicle to its factory new state. If the same vehicle was ever involved in another crash after it was repaired, the engineered in crumple zones, airbags deployment systems, and other safety features would work exactly as they were designed. Baker also used parts matching and high-end painting systems to make sure a vehicle was as good as new when it had been repaired by them.
Larry Baker, founder of Baker Collision Express, is a respected industry leader in collision repair techniques. As he’s gotten older, he has become very involved in church and mission work. He also has been a strong supporter of Columbia International University in Columbia. The sale of his business will give him more time to do some of the things he enjoys including his philanthropic work.
Larry’s son Steve had been the comptroller at Baker, but through some reorganization, he had been managing the business. He has been retained by Gerber as a market director for the area. In that position he will oversee other Gerber locations across the region as more are acquired.
According to gerbercollision.com, Gerber was founded in 1937 by Phil Gerber. Gerber Collision & Glass has provided quality auto collision and glass repair service for more than 80 years. What started as a single auto glass and trim shop in Chicago has grown to one of the largest auto collision and glass repair companies in North America. They have locations on both coasts and in most states in between as well as locations in Canada. Both North Carolina and Georgia have multiple facilities and the acquisition of Baker provides them with a great start into an expansion in South Carolina.
To learn more about Gerber Collision & Glass, go to their website at www.gerbercollision.com.