In this era of longer hold times for vehicles in rental fleets, interior reconditioning is a good way for car rental operators to keep their vehicles looking good and increase their resale value.
Mokena, Ill.–based Creative Colors International (CCI) specializes in the repair, reconditioning, protection and color restoration of leather, vinyl, fabric, plastic and carpeting in the automotive, furniture, commercial and residential markets.
CCI President Mark Bollman says that for every dollar spent to refurbish and repair a vehicle yields at least $1.50 to $1.75 return on investment at resale.
CCI technicians can restore your damaged rental cars to like-new condition while providing significant cost savings versus replacement—sometimes as much as a 90 percent savings, Bollman says.
In an attempt to limit a vehicle’s downtime, CCI performs all repairs on-site at the rental location.
Where It All Began
CCI was born in 1980, after Jim and JoAnn Foster bought a license to learn how to dye vinyl. Through the years, the Fosters researched, practiced and refined techniques for vinyl, leather and plastic repair, and incorporated them into their fledgling business.
In order to strengthen the business’ marketability, the Fosters developed a demonstration-based sales technique that soon had dealers throughout their community calling for service.
As the business continued to grow, Jim and JoAnn’s children joined the family business and in 1991 they decided to begin franchising. “It was too hard to try and add technicians throughout the U.S. to manage,” Bollman said. “Plus they wanted to give people the opportunity to run their own business and have that kind of lifestyle.”
Today there are 70 CCI franchise locations in 23 states.
In It for the RACs
Creative Colors has been restoring rental vehicles since the mid-’80s—primarily in the Chicago area—for majors such as Avis Budget Group, Dollar Thrifty and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
Bollman says CCI’s repair work is warranty-quality and can significantly reduce costs versus replacement. RACs have a particular interest in keeping their fleet looking good and ready for the customer, says Bollman.
Typical repairs in car rental vehicles include cigarette burns on the seats, door panels and carpeting; carpeting discoloration due to wear; and scratches on hard plastic trim from luggage being put in and out of the car. Depending on the severity of the blemish, CCI charges anywhere from $35 to $75 for each repair performed.
“We want to minimize the amount of time those money-making rental cars are off-fleet,” Bollman says.
CCI does repair work on site. For instance, CCI has two repair trucks at Chicago O’Hare International Airport working nearly around the clock to recondition rental vehicles’ interiors.
CCI’s goal is to restore the rental vehicle interior to as close to its original state as possible.
“Our skilled craftsmen meticulously eliminate scuffs, scratches, gouges, scrapes, rips, tears and color fading that occur over time due to normal wear and tear,” Bollman says. “Even water damaged and fire-damaged pieces can often be repaired to like-new condition.”