If you’ve noticed some Maaco Hawaii commercials on TV lately, and wondered what’s new with the company, you’re not the only one. “Turn the car you drive into the car you love” is its new slogan, and the slogan isn’t the only thing that has changed with this familiar auto-body and repair company.
Since taking over Maaco Hawaii in December 2013, president and owner Ryan Thornton has made some big changes to this 30-year-old company. Thornton moved to the Islands 15 years ago, and loved it so much he never left. Now a Hawaii Kai resident, Thornton’s outlook is bright as plans are in the works for Maaco Hawaii.
Currently, Maaco has one establishment in Pearl City, but Thornton hopes to expand the company statewide to include locations on the Big Island (Kona), Maui (Wailuku) and Kauai (Lihue), as well as additional Oahu locations within the next three years.
“Our price point is perfect for those on the neighbor islands. This will help their cars look good longer,” he said.
Previous management issues have led to some negative Yelp reviews, but Thornton is working to repair the image of Maaco Hawaii, doing whatever it takes to make customers happy. “I don’t care if I make a dime — your car isn’t leaving until it’s right. You bring it to us to make it better,” said Thornton.
To regain loyalty, Thornton and his crew of 14 will continue to work hard to deliver exceptional customer service to their customers. Thornton also wants to treat his staff right, not only because they are like family, but because it comes across to his customers as well. “I’d like to be the employer of choice forever. (Work) should work for everybody. Everyone should come out ahead, and get closer to what they want to accomplish,” explained Thornton. His zeal for treating his employees right has translated into actions that have made for a happier staff.
Also on Thornton’s agenda is to give back to the local community by sponsoring local sports, adopting one non-profit organization per year and giving away an auto body “makeover” at every University of Hawaii Wahine Volleyball home game. Thornton’s intention is to wow kamaaina and military clientele, as well as to build upon his existing commercial client base.
Thornton proudly boasts the quick turnaround time for vehicles brought into the shop, saying that customers can expect total restorations to take up to one week. “There isn’t a week that goes by that we don’t have a 1960s muscle car in here for a total restoration,” he said. According to Thornton, Maaco Hawaii also provides free written estimates — something a lot of body shops won’t give you.
“We offer elective repair here at Maaco Hawaii. Your car is your investment, and depending on what you need done to your car, we want to take care of you, whether you are keeping or selling your vehicle.
“I know the steps and questions, and also what the realistic expectations are. I won’t let customers be led astray or have false expectations,” Thornton said.
Added to that, the company claims to love rust. What better place to take your car or truck? “We love rust — we attack it,” said Thornton. He explained the process of rust and your vehicle. “Once the clear coat on your car fades, the base fails and the metal starts to rust. It won’t stop unless you physically treat it,” said Thornton. Painting over it just doesn’t do it, and according to Thornton, Maaco Hawaii has no problem cutting out the rust, replacing it with new metal, and fixing and painting the affected areas.
Maaco Hawaii is located at 98-746 Kuahao Place. Hours of operation are 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, call 488-2222.