Both companies stress the move is not a take-over with both parties retaining their autonomy and individual identity.
The deal means that Trevor Ferris, Ashford's managing director, will hand financial control of his business over to D&G financial director Hitan Savla. Ferris will also pass the day-to-day running of the site over to D&G, which is headed up by Gary Evans.
“While we may like to consider we are the best, we should keep an open mind and be honest enough to admit there could be better systems and procedures out there,” says Ferris.
Ferris says this alliance marks the starting point for a national network that will ultimately include other UK bodyshops.
“Our aim is to convince insurers, work providers and bodyshops that this type of forward thinking is the only way forward and a far cry from the 'them and us' scenario that currently exists,” he says.