As a former baseball athlete, Vickash “Vick” Ramjit knows how to keep his eye on the ball.
True to his training, once he focuses his laser-like attention on something, he isn’t easily distracted. This very mindset is what prepared Vick so well for his role at, Miami’s number one body shop specializing in exotic and luxury vehicles.
Located at 6845 SW 59th Place in South Miami, European Collision Center opened its doors 33 years ago by Vick’s father, company owner and former CEO Ravi Ramjit.
Today, since entrusting the responsibility of running the shop and managing the diverse needs of customers to Vick, Ravi is at ease as he returns to his true passion of mentoring, training, and supervising the talented group of auto-body technicians who comprise the European Collision Center team.
Under Vick’s current leadership, many promising changes have been taking place within the company. Most recently, European Collision Center expanded to a second location, in Palmetto Bay at 9828 SW 168 St., and their impressive and dynamic repertoire of certifications and expertise continues to grow.
There are exciting developments in Vick’s own family, as well. In August, his wife Natasha gave birth to their second child, daughter Sanjana, who joins one-and-a-half year old son Yuvraj in the Ramjit household.
Vick’s eyes light up, as he nods his head in agreement, stating, “These are certainly exciting times for the entire European Collision Center family.”
Born in Miami, Vick was a student at Howard Drive Elementary, Ludlam Elementary, and then Palmetto Middle School. Ultimately, he went on to attend Christopher Columbus High School, where he was a three-year starter on the varsity baseball team.
“One day while in tenth grade, I got a call from University of Miami’s Baseball Coach Jim Morris. Naturally, because it’s every Miami kid’s dream to play for the ‘U,’ I didn’t need much persuading.”
By the end of his first year at UM, Vick had the highest batting average of any freshman. The next year, he was recruited by the University of Florida where he had the opportunity to play in two College World Series and won an SEC Championship. Upon graduation, he had set his sights on becoming a professional baseball career, but following a stint in the Frontier League, Vick realized that he had faced a turning point in his life.
“I knew I wanted to start a family and be a father, and I wasn’t sure I had a future in baseball. It was a very tough decision, but I chose to follow the path of my own father. I’ve wanted to be like him since I can remember,” he said.
In 2016, when Vick’s dad suggested he join European Collision Center to help him to take it to the next level, he was thrilled – and he agreed. “It’s one of the best choices I have ever made,” he says.
The story behind European Collision Center – and all the sacrifice, risk-taking, and hard work it took to build the company – truly embodies what the American Dream is all about.
At the young age of 15, Ravi emigrated here from Guyana, South America. Circumstances necessitated that he support his family in any way he could, and so he eventually landed a job sweeping floors in a local body shop. His tireless and dedicated work ethic did not go unnoticed, and so it was here he was given a chance to learn as much as he could through apprenticeship: from buffing to highly intricate body repair and painting.
In 1986, with confidence in his skill and a vision for the future of bodywork, Ravi and his wife Linda, opened European Collision Center together at the ages of 21 and 18, respectively – and they haven’t looked back since.
Alongside Ravi and Vick, Linda, and Vick’s sister Nakita, who is now CFO of the company, are key players in the family business. Vick’s older brother, Dr. Ravi Ramjit Jr., is owner of Smile Institute Miami in Kendall, where he practices general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. Their youngest sister, Laxhmi, is currently pursuing her second year of medical studies at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) in Bradenton, Fla.
Having achieved his dream of seeing all four of his children graduate from college and pave a way for themselves, Ravi believes this period in the company to be one of transition and development, allowing him to re-focus his energies and assist the growth of the company within more of a mentoring and hands-on capacity.
“Today, we’re proud to be one of the very few shops in the country that is certified to work on the finest luxury brands, including McLaren, Aston Martin, Maserati, Jaguar, Range Rover, Land Rover, Tesla, and Infiniti,” says Vick, adding they are also presently in the process of completing the Porsche certification.
FORMULA FOR SUCCESS
When asked what it is the key element in maintaining client trust and confidence in European Collision Center for so many years, Vick explains, “We have all of the specialized equipment and manufacturer training to handle any type of auto body work and paint job.”
He thoughtfully adds, “What sets us apart is our attention to detail and customer service.
We pride ourselves on the quality of our work and the way we communicate with our customers. In our line of work, the little things are important, which is why upon delivery, our customers’ vehicle is highlighted in an LED showroom. We also arrange for the delivery of rental cars to our shop so that customers can conveniently drop their vehicles off and leave in a loaner without concern.”
While these positive changes support their long-standing reputation of quality, excellent service, and craftsmanship, the future of European Collision Center Ravi and Vick can agree, is about giving back.
As they continue to drive the standards of the luxury car service industry forward, Ravi is hopeful that they may lay the groundwork for partnerships with local vocational schools, helping to give aspiring young people the skills and resources they need to become the next generation of auto mechanics.
Ravi acknowledges, “We are seeing a shift in our labor force and trade schools are on the rise again. Sometimes, all you need is someone to believe in you and to have opportunities available.”
In Ravi’s experience, “opportunity” is what made all the difference in the world for him, his family, and his business – all that he could have ever dreamed of.
ABOUT EUROPEAN COLLISION
As a family-owned and operated body shop, European Collision Center is committed to principles of quality and excellence. Services include lifetime warranty on all repair, insurance claims, concierge program, free estimates, rental car arrangements, and towing service. For information or to make at appointment call 305-661-2939 or visit www.europeancr.com.