Aramisauto factory restores beauty to used cars

At the gateway to Provence, this PSA subsidiary reconditions 70 to 80 vehicles a day, giving priority to repairing parts rather than replacing them, a fine example of circular economy.

The mechanics at the Aramisauto reconditioning site in Donzère in the Drôme region of France do a real job of art by reconditioning, both aesthetically and mechanically, nearly 400 second-hand cars a week.

They can be up to eight years old, or 150,000 km on the odometer,” explains Rémi Pigeol, the site’s director. “They come from France, of course, but also from neighboring countries, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium… Half of them from private individuals who have sold them to one of our 31 agencies, and the other half from professionals, corporate fleets and short-term or long-term rentals.”

Bodywork, interior, engine: everything has been carefully examined.

The route is marked out to the extreme: first, a quick passage through the on-site gas pump for testing purposes. An initial dusting at the car wash will then allow the naked eye to spot aesthetic defects, impacts and other bumps. The “Expertise” workshop then takes over in three stages: bodywork, road test and inspection of mechanical components (engine, steering, suspension, etc.).The parts needed for repairs (new or used, depending on availability) are listed. Repairs take place in the next workshop. Then it’s off to the “preparation” workshop, where all body and paint defects resulting from age and use are corrected.

“We have an extremely complete colour bank for this,” explains Jordan, one of the workshop managers. In his hands, a spectrometer allows us to identify the slightest nuance with the utmost precision.” With about 60 basic concentrates, we can produce several tens of thousands of variations,” he says.

A little marouflage, this technique which consists in isolating with adhesive tape the surface to be repainted, a front door for example, and the recalcitrant scratches and marks disappear as if by magic under the spray of the paint gun.

The “Finishing” finally allows to replace defective equipment: GPS, rear-view mirror, lights, etc. A new road test is completed by a last diagnosis with the help of a “suitcase”, these computers configured by the manufacturers’ codes, which every garage is obliged to have today. A final cleaning, complete this time, both inside and outside, and the photo session marks the end of this fighter’s journey. The sale on the site can be launched.

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