When Jack Lyons moved his fledgling auto repair business to its present location in 1952, the 860 feet of frontage north of the village of Erindale was one and a half miles from the nearest main highway. In front of the building was a little-traveled concession road, while all around were hay fields occupied by grazing cattle.
Now, Lyons Auto Body Ltd. is in the middle of Mississauga, Canada’s seventh largest city. More than 600,000 people reside within a leisurely 20-minute drive of Lyons’ Burnhamthorpe location, just east of Creditview. The business has grown from its humble beginnings behind the house where Jack lived to become North America’s largest auto body operation.
A recent 8,000-square-foot expansion has increased the total size of the operation to more than 35,000 square feet, where about 100 employees and a fleet of tow trucks service the Mississauga area. His son John Lyons and daughter Valerie Lyons-Sala are both involved in the business. The company’s fleet of 25 yellow-colored wheel lift tow trucks — both light and heavy duty — is a familiar site in Mississauga. Each is radio dispatched and is available for either short or long hauls. Lyons also has flatbed trucks for severely damaged vehicles or transporting classic vehicles. Lyons is capable of tackling any towing or recovery job any time, anywhere, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Lyons offers “one-stop,” 24-hour collision assistance and state-of-the-art claims handling services, including computerized estimating and photo imaging technology, accompanied by online data transfer with insurance providers, a customer shuttle service and commercial truck repair and towing. Lyons has its own fleet of late model rental vehicles on site.
Lyons’ certified I-Car Gold Class technicians employ the GENESIS two-laser measuring technology to guarantee that all vehicles are repaired to manufacturer’s specifications. Lyons uses Sikkens Paint, applied in three downdraft spray booths to ensure a factory-baked paint finish. Certified mechanical technicians use state-of-the-art John Bean 3D Visualiner diagnosis and alignment technology to repair all suspension damage. All collision repairs receive a lifetime warranty for as long as the customer owns the vehicle. Many Lyons employees have been with the firm more than 30 years and a few have retired, never having had a job other than that at Lyons Auto Body Ltd. Employees are key to Lyons’ success, Jack says. “You concentrate on giving the customer quality work, treat your employees well, make sure they are well trained and keep up with the times. “A satisfied customer will come back the next time and will tell his friends and family. It’s really a partnership between Lyons, the insurance companies, our employees and the customer. We’re all working together to provide quality service.”