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Dan Risley Talks to Autobody News about ASA by Chasidy Sisk
Only a month after beginning work with the Automotive Service Association (ASA) as their Executive Vice President, collision industry veteran Dan Risley was offered the position of ASA Interim Executive Director. With 26 years of industry experience under his belt, Risley intends to offer his expertise to benefit ASA and the auto repair industry as a whole. He took time out to share his goals for ASA and his stance on several industry concerns with Autobody News readers. See Dan Risley Talks ASA, Page 8
Wisconsin Introduces Anti-Steering Bill
that covers repairs to a motor vehicle from: 1) requiring that repairs must be made by a particular contractor or repair facility as a condition of that coverage; or 2) failing to initiate or conclude with due dispatch an investigation of a claim for repairs on the basis of whether the repair will be made by a particular contractor or repair facility. The state legislature’s Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) notes that under Wisconsin law, it is prohibited for an insurer that issues a motor vehicle insurance policy that covers the repair or replacement of motor vehicle glass from conditioning the coverSee Anti-Steering Law, Page 11
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Wisconsin Assemblyman Ed Brooks (R-50) recently introduced Assembly Bill 237 regarding steering by insurance companies. Current Wisconsin law prohibits an insurer that issues a motor vehicle insurance policy that covers the repair or replacement of motor vehicle glass from conditioning the coverage on whether the insured or a third party making a claim under the policy obtains services or parts from a particular vendor specified by the insurer. This bill provides that a consumer has the right to select the motor vehicle repair facility of his or her choice and prohibits an insurer that issues a motor vehicle insurance policy
VOL. 1 ISSUE 11 JULY 2013
Federal Anticompetition Lawsuit Against GM Program Dismissed Again but Amended Complaint is Allowed A federal judge in Louisiana has again dismissed an aftermarket parts retailer’s lawsuit challenging GM’s ‘Bump the Competition’ program designed to boost sales of original-equipment parts at dealerships, but he gave the plaintiff, Felder’s Collision Parts Inc., permission to amend its complaint. The initial complaint, filed in October 2012, was dismissed in April 2013 by U.S. District Judge James Brady. The complaint said the program, which requires dealerships to ‘sell OEM parts below dealer cost,’ is a violation of the Sherman Act, the Robinson-Patman Act (which prohibits
anticompetitive pricing) as well as the Louisiana unfair trade practices and anti-trust laws. Court documents describe antitrust, monopoly, and predatory pricing concerns. Felder’s Collision alleges that GM and original-equipment parts distributors such as All Star Automotive Group engaged in illegal “predatory pricing” practices to undercut aftermarket prices and drive aftermarket competitors out of business. The suit alleges violations of federal and state antitrust and state consumer protection regulations. It is believed to be the first such See Anticompetition Suit, Page 15
Judge Rules The Hartford Owes Connecticut Body Shops $20 Million For Unfair Labor Rate Practices
A Superior Court judge has ordered The Hartford Insurance Company to pay $20 million to Connecticut auto body shops for an unfair trade practice related to hourly labor rates for vehicle repairs. The judge’s recent decision for punitive damages is in addition to a jury award of nearly $15 million decided against the company in 2009. On Nov. 17, 2009, a jury hearing the case awarded $14.77 million to the auto body association, saying that the insurer engaged in a practice that resulted in a loss to the repair shops. Judge Alfred J. Jennings Jr. has now added $20 million in punitive damages in his ruling on June 5. The Auto Body Association of Connecticut alleged that The Hartford pressured its in-house appraisers to put artificially low labor rates in their appraisals. The jury found that the company’s practices regarding hourly rates paid for auto body repairs were unfair, and the judge said the company tried to cover up its conduct by instructing employees not to write anything down about labor rates in favor of off-the record conversations.
“The punitive damages award is intended not only to punish The Hartford for its unfair trade practices, including what the court cited as The Hartford’s intentional efforts to conceal its conduct from regulators and the public, but also to deter all insurance carriers in the market from engaging in the same unlawful conduct,” said David A. Slossberg, attorney for the Auto Body Association. Slossberg is with the firm Hurwitz, Sagarin, Slossberg & Knuff in Milford, CT. “The court has placed the entire industry on notice that forcing their appraisers to violate the code of ethics by writing estimates at unreasonably low labor rates must stop,” Slossberg said. Slossberg said he believes it’s the largest punitive damages award under the unfair trade practices law in state history. The insurance company is disappointed and plans to appeal, said The Hartford’s spokesman, Thomas Hambrick. The company contends its conduct was not improper. The case may apply to about 1,500 shops in Connecticut. See CT Shops to get $20M, Page 31
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2 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
COLUMNISTS Attanasio: Five Common Misconceptions about Websites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Franklin: Deciding on a Marketing Course of Action Using Referents. . . . . . . . . . . 26 Insider: Stop Obsessing about Parts Profit While Not Managing Profit Centers You Have . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Yoswick: CIC Discusses Forthcoming Changes to Standards Effort and MSDS . 24 NATIONAL 3M Gives $250,000 Worth of Tape to 312 Repair Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 ABRA Auto Body and Glass is NABC’s Newest Diamond-Level Member . . . . . 37 ASA Opposes PARTS Act—Coalition’s Letter Highlights Quality Concerns . . . . 13 ASA-AZ Meets on PartsTrader . . . . . . . . . 11 Automaker, OEM and Recall News . . . . . . 22 Automakers Reduce Summer Recess, Except Nissan, Honda, & Toyota . . . . . 34 Axalta to Invest $50 Million in Shanghai,
China, Facility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Boyd Group Acquires 61 Auto Glass Locations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Caliber Acquires Hank’s Auto Body Shops in Denver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Chief Automotive to Sponsor SkillsUSA Again . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Collision Foundation Hosts Golf Ball Drop Fundraiser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Dan Risley Talks to Autobody News about ASA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Denise Caspersen Joins National Autobody Parts Warehouse in Grand Prairie, TX . . 36 Election Results Announced for New SEMA Board of Directors . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Federal Anticompetition Lawsuit Against GM Program Dismissed Again but Amended Complaint is Allowed . . . . . . . 1 I-CAR Announces More Speakers for July Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 I-CAR Makes Changes and Updates to Steel Sectioning Qualification Test . . . . 39 I-CAR’s Margaret Knell Named Chair of WIN . 37 Judge Rules The Hartford Owes Connecticut Body Shops $20 Million For Unfair Labor Rate Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Legendary Customizer Barris Inducted into SEMA Hall of Fame . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Mac Tools Donates $10,000 to Collision Repair Education Foundation . . . . . . . . 32 Mike Stanton, CEO of Global Automakers Assn, to Retire After 35 Years Representing OEMs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 NADA Foundation Mobilizes Emergency Relief to Help Victims of OK Tornado . . 39 New App is Designed to Lower Shops’ Energy Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 OEConnection Earns ‘Top 20’ Call Center Distinction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Police Dog Helps Solve Body Shop Burglary in NH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 PPG Announces MVP Fall Conference in FL. 36 Progressive Gave 59 Vehicles to Military Veterans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Quality Parts Coalition Gets New Executive Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Ryan Collision Becomes First Nebraska ABRA Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 SCRS Says Insurer-Mandated Parts Procurement Still Shows No Benefits . . 35 SEMA Reaches Out to Young Entrepreneurs . 38 SEMA Receives Presidential Award For Export Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 SEMA Show Attendees Get Low Cost Rooms at Dozens of Hotels . . . . . . . . . 36 State Farm Continues Three Major Building Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Teresa Bolton Gets WIN’s 2013 Cornerstone Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Two More CA Body Shop Owners Plead Guilty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 U.S. Chemical and Plastics Receives Presidential Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Vandalism Charge on RI Body Shop Owner Dismissed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 We Asked Google: Will Self-Driving Cars Be Accident-Free? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
The Indiana Auto Body Association recently announced several I-CAR training classes available for its members. I-CAR has scheduled several programs for the Indianapolis area beginning in July. These programs are scheduled include Pro-Level 1 and Pro-Level 2 courses. The classes include Advanced High Strength Steel, Cosmetic Straightening Aluminum, Squeeze Type Resistance Welding, Structural Parts Sectioning Part 1 and 2, Color Theory, Application, Tinting and Blending, Plastic Repairs and many more. To see the full schedule of Indianapolis I-CAR classes this summer, go to www.i-cartraining.com. Register at www.i-car.com. Two additional I-CAR programs are scheduled for Evansville, IN, this summer. The classes are Level 2 Refinishing and will be held on July 11 and July 13 at Performance Refinish Supply, 315 W. Franklin Street. The July 11 class will cover Waterborne Products Systems and Application and the July 13 class is on Color Theory, Application, Tinting and Blending. To register, go to www.i-car.com and enter “47710” in zip code search. In other IABA news, the 2nd Annual Golf Outing is set for August 22.
Cost is $35 per player or $140 per team, and will include door prizes, hot dogs, drinks and snacks. Hole sponsorships are available at $75 per hole. The event will be held at Noble Hawk Golf Course in Kendallville, IN. Register online at: www.IABAmeetings.com by August 2. State labor rate survey results are in. The IABA state labor rate survey (by county) is posted at: www.INShopRates.com In addition, IABA’s “A Shop You Can Trust Program” is continuing to grow, with 34 members currently involved. The new program rolled out January 1 and is designed to deter and even eliminate insurer deceptive referrals, known as ‘steering.’ IABA Director Tony Passwater believes every shop in Indiana should be in the program, as ‘steering’ is one of the top issues affecting body shops across the nation. “We in Indiana are lucky enough to have a program that effectively eliminates steering,” Passwater said. A free information webinar on the program is available at: www.internationaltrainingsolutions.com in the Free Webinar Section. The consumer website can be reviewed at: www.aShopYouCanTrust.com.
Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Assistant Editor: Melanie Anderson Contributing Writers: Tom Franklin, John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, David Brown, Rich Evans, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Sean Hartman, Jay Lukes (800) 699-8251 Sales Assistant: Louise Tedesco Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia
REGIONAL AASP-MN Succeeds on Changing Sales Tax on Paint & Materials from Wholesale to Retail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 ABRA Moves Headquarters . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Andy’s Auto Body Holds Inaugural Car Show in Alton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Auto Body Man Dorsey E. Stowers Dies at Age 71 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Black Bear Visits Ohio Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Brett Penzkofer Joins MI Transtar as President. 10 Car-O-Liner Holds Classes in Wixon, MI this Summer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Chicago Shop Joins CARSTAR Network . . . 4 GM Invests $44.5 Million to Add Logistics Center to Assembly Plant in Lansing, MI . 6 G-Tekt Invests $28.6m in Ohio Manufacturing Plant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 IABA Hosts Several Upcoming Summer Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 IN to Allow E-proof of Auto Insurance July 1 . 11 Kitten Rescued from Wheel Well at Ohio Body Shop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Lamettry Collision Sells its Richfield, MN, Shop for $6.2M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Model A Museum Opens in Southwest MI . 7 Northland Auto Body Student in Minnesota Wins 3M ‘Hire Our Heroes’ Tool Grant . 10 Ohio Dealership Hits a Home Run with Restored Truck for U.S. Marines Veteran . 10 Ohio Shop Owner Sentenced in Restoration Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Oshkosh, WI, Police Search for Suspect in Shop Theft. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Sherwin Williams Hosts Estimating Solutions in Ohio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Tom and Ed’s Autobody in Schererville, IN, Celebrates 30 Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Wisconsin DOT Plans for Safe Summer Driving. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Wisconsin Introduces Anti-Steering Bill . . . 1 Wisconsin Shop Owner is Charged in Insurance Fraud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
IABA Hosts Several Upcoming Summer Events
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Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 39 Autobody Supply Co., Inc . . . . . . . 16 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 33 Car-Part Pro. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA). . . . . . . . . . . . 9 CJ, Inc. - Signature - Star-A-Liner . . 15 Classifieds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Equalizer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Erhard BMW of Bloomfield Hills . . . 24 Erhard BMW of Farmington Hills . . 24 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 36 Ganley Auto Group, Inc . . . . . . . . . 12 Garmat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . 33 Graham Auto Mall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Herkules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20-21 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . 30 Infiniti of Naperville . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Intertape Polymer Group . . . . . . . . . 6 Jake Sweeney BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Jake Sweeney Chevrolet . . . . . . . . 14 Kempthorn Motors, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Laurel Auto Group of Westmont . . . 40 Lexus Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 39 Malco. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 31 Milosch’s Palace Chrysler-JeepDodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 27 Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Oneida Air Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 PPG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pro-Spray . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Rare Parts, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 11 Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 32 Toyota of Grand Rapids . . . . . . . . . 28 Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 35 Urethane Supply Company . . . . . . 25 VIM Tools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers. 35
www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
Black Bear Visits Ohio Shop
A black bear roaming the streets of Willoughby, OH, visited an auto body shop or shops on June 3. The Willoughby Police Department was flooded with calls that morning, starting around 2:30 a.m. Residents reported that the bear was inside an auto body business on Biltmore Place, but police said they responded to a different auto body shop on Beidler Road just prior to 3 a.m. The bear was last spotted heading for some railroad tracks near a trailer park and was not trapped or shot by authorities.
ABRA Moves Headquarters
Lamettry Collision Sells its Richfield, MN, Shop for $6.2M
Lamettry Collision Auto Repair sold the four-building collision center in Richfield, MN, to Tom Wood Auto Group for $6.2 million, or approximately $142 per square foot. The deal totals 43,557 square feet and includes 501-509 W. 77th St., 7724 S. Harriet Ave., and 500 W. 78th St. The buildings are grouped together with frontage on I-494. The buildings were built between 1956 and 2000. The site will be the new home of Richfield Bloomington Honda, with construction set for 2014. Reportedly no brokers were involved in the direct sale.
ABRA Auto Body & Glass, based in Minneapolis, MN, is moving and expanding its corporate headquarters to an office building in Brooklyn Park, the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal recently reported. The company recently signed a lease for 33,000 square feet at Northland Corporate Center, said Kai Thomsen, a broker at Cassidy Turley in Minneapolis who represented the landlord Swervo Development. ABRA has been on an acquisition spree the past two years and doesn’t have room for all its employees in its current Brooklyn Center offices at 6601 Shingle Creek Parkway, Thomsen said. ABRA has 172 repair centers in 17 states. In the past few months it has announced expansion in Seattle,WA; Omaha, NE; Wilmington, NC; Lebanon, TN; and Clearfield, UT. ABRA had about $350 million in revenue in 2012, up from $250 million in 2009, according to Twin Cities Business. The acquisitions and growth have been fueled by New York-based Palladium Equity Partners, a private equity firm that recapitalized ABRA in 2011. Swervo will be the general contractor for ABRA’s new space.
Wisconsin DOT Plans for Safe Summer Driving
Auto Body Man Dorsey E. Stowers Passes at Age 71
The Wisconsin State Patrol plans to increase its use of air support this summer to crack down on speeders. It’s part of a series of initiatives by the Department of Transportation to improve safety on Wisconsin roadways. DOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb says speed is a factor is about 30% of traffic fatalities in Wisconsin. The State Patrol Air Support Unit includes four aircraft and 12 pilots who will clock suspected speeders and relay the information to troopers on the ground.
Chicago Shop Joins CARSTAR Network
CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts opened a new shop location in Elmhurst, IL, near Chicago. CARSTAR’s newest location, International CARSTAR Body Shop, is independently owned by Bob and Bill Kopulus and managed by John Asplund. They have been in business more than 40 years. “We are excited to see Bob and Bill Kopulus join the CARSTAR network,” said David Byers, CEO of CARSTAR, which operates more than 410 collision repair locations throughout 32 U.S. states and 10 Canadian provinces.
Dorsey E. Stowers, of East Liverpool, OH, died May 31, 2013, at his home surrounded by his family. He was 71. Born in Hamlin, WV, on Feb. 17, 1942, he was a son of the late Darwin G. and Bertha Keysor Stowers. A resident of this area most of his life, at the age of 16 he began to work at the Speedy Car Wash in East Liverpool and then worked at the Gulf Service Station in Midland. He then owned and operated his own station, Sinclair Service Station in Midland, which led him into the auto body repair business. He worked at several area auto repair shops and ran Stowers Auto Body. He began to acquire local residential properties in the mid-1980s and took great pride in restoring homes and improving neighborhoods. A tirelessly dedicated and proud worker, above all things he enjoyed driving his dump truck. Although he eventually retired from the auto body repair business, he enjoyed working on his own antique car collection. Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Joan Payne Stowers. They have four sons. Burial will be at Spring Grove Cemetery.
4 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Wisconsin Shop Owner is Charged in Insurance Fraud
The owner of a Wisconsin body shop was arrested June 3 on charges of felony fraud and identify theft. John Henricks III, the president of Custom Collision in Rhinelander, WI, is charged with felony insurance fraud. Henricks faces three felony fraud charges and one for identity theft. His bond was set for $2,500 cash. District Attorney Mike Schiek asked for more, because of Henricks’ criminal history. “He was convicted of five felony counts of theft of a business setting, three counts of forgery of writings, and then theft false representation, which was a class C felony,” said Schiek. Henricks’ shop is a DRP for several insurance companies. The criminal complaint says Henricks stole nearly $100,000 from those insurance companies. He’s accused of using another person’s name to make some of those claims. The criminal complaint describes multiple fraudulent claims Henricks made to insurance companies. Henricks is accused of making up a truck versus deer crash, and paying someone to run over his motorcycle and received close to $63,000 on the claim.
Andy’s Auto Body Holds Inaugural Car Show in Alton
Andy’s Auto Body of Alton, IL, held its inaugural car show on May 26. Mark Anderson, the owner of Andy’s Auto Body, said the show’s proceeds will go to River Bend Head Start. Lee Davidson, of Peoria, was one of about 80 entrants in the show with his 1930 Ford Model A, with a 1987 Chevrolet Corvette 350-cubic-inch engine, The Telegraph reported. Davidson said the top was chopped down about two inches, the motor was worked over quite a bit, and an original Model A body was built onto a custom chassis. “It keeps me out of trouble,” he said, noting that the project took him about three years to complete. He found it in an old barn and bought it. The fenders were in such bad shape he had to order Fiberglas replacements, but the rest of the body is original. The show was at Alton Square Mall, just behind Andy’s, which moved to the former Sears Tire and Auto and expanded its services to more than just bodywork. The shop now offers a full line of automotive services.
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GM Invests $44.5 Million to Add Logistics Center to Assembly Plant in Lansing, Michigan General Motors will invest $44.5 million to build a Logistics Optimization Center at its Lansing, Michigan Grand River Assembly Plant, creating 200 jobs. The automaker said its investment will be used to build a 400,000square-foot building adjacent to the plant to sequence and assemble parts to make manufacturing more flexible. The 2.5 million square foot, 111-acre, Lansing Grand River plant, which employees 1,541 workers, is home of the Cadillac ATS. “This project is the latest example of how we’re doing business differently in GM today,” said Christine Sitek, GM North America manufacturing manager. “We’ve developed an innovative material strategy that increases efficiency and improves quality to benefit our customers, employees and the bottom line.” This investment will save money and improve efficiency by leveraging available plant real estate and streamlining the flow of materials. It will reduce transportation and contribute to improved quality by reducing handling, company officials said.
“This investment was earned through the quality and flexibility that has been a hallmark of Lansing Grand River since it opened in 2001,” said Lansing Regional Plant Manager Tony Francavilla. “However, our plant could not be successful without the strong support from our local community, the city council and Mayor Virg Bernero,” he said. “We’re committed to continuing world-class manufacturing performance for which we are known, and our customers demand.” Mayor Bernero said, “Our hometown car company has done it again with this incredible new investment at Lansing Grand River. GM is building the best autos in the world and we are thrilled to be a key part of their strategy to compete and win in the global marketplace.”
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G-Tekt Invests $28.6m in Ohio Manufacturing Plant
A company that manufactures and sells auto body frame components, heavy gauge precision stamped parts, dies and welding equipment, G-Tekt North American Corporation, will invest $28.6 million in the Columbus region with the addition of a manufacturing and research and development facility in West Jefferson, OH, creating more than 100 new jobs. Slated for completion in first quarter of next year, the new 173,000 square-foot, state of the art manufacturing facility will serve as the hub for a new hot stamping product that G-Tekt is not currently producing in the U.S. The new R&D facility will be used to develop, design and work collaboratively with G-Tekt’s six other North American facilities to introduce and improve products destined for the U.S. market. The R&D facility will be located in Jerome Township, near Plain City in Union County. G-Tekt said it chose the Columbus Region as the home for its new manufacturing and R&D facilities because of its competitive workforce, central location and proximity to the auto industry and the state’s compet-
itive business climate. “The Columbus Region rose to the top of our location search because of its strategic proximity to automotive companies like Honda, and convenient access to a skilled workforce fit to staff our manufacturing and R&D operations,” said Toshitsugu Kikuchi, president, G-Tekt Corporation. “We look forward to expanding our North American presence in the Columbus region.” “We are honored that G-Tekt chose the Columbus Region, and West Jefferson, specifically, for the site of its new manufacturing facility,” said Darlene Steele, mayor, Village of West Jefferson. “The addition of skilled manufacturing jobs is a welcome boost to our local economy, and a win for the entire Columbus region,” she said. “G-Tekt will join an established network of manufacturing companies that employ nearly 80,000 Ohioans and contribute $9.1 billion in economic output in the Columbus region,” said John Minor, JobsOhio President and Chief Investment Officer. “Having G-Tekt locate its newest operations here further strengthens Ohio’s robust manufacturing base.”
Kitten Rescued from Wheel Well at Ohio Body Shop In Dover, OH, a kitten trapped near a car engine ended up in the right place—at a body shop where the county’s humane society president works.
“Pilot” was rescued from the wheel well of a Honda Pilot. The car owner heard a kitten crying but finding it took hours for techs from Paul’s Auto Body Shop in Dover, OH
Rhonda Rosenberry is the office manager at Paul’s Auto Body Shop and is also the president of the
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Tuscarawas County Humane Society. The operation to save the kitten was a lengthy ordeal that started when Paul’s Auto Body Shop in Dover was presented with the challenge of finding the source of a strange noise. A woman took her Honda Pilot into the shop while on her lunch break and explained she heard a kitten crying when she drove. Jim Harding and Todd Young got to work and checked the common place cats sometimes hide, but no kitten was found. They took off the bumper and fender liners, and they still couldn’t find anything. After a test drive and two hours later, the kitten was finally extracted from the wheel well. Joel Giannobile, who owns the shop, caught it on his cell phone and it can be seen here: http://fox8.com/2013/06/06/catrescue-caught-on-video/ The kitten was named Pilot and was taken to the shelter, where he will be neutered and vaccinated before being put up for adoption.
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Model A Museum Opens in Southwest Michigan A new Model A Ford Museum in Hickory Corners, MI, recently held its grand opening ceremony. Fashioned after a Ford dealership from 1928, the 12,000-square-foot museum sits on the Gilmore Car Museum campus in Hickory Corners, about 115 miles west of Detroit. The new facility is the world’s largest public museum dedicated to the Model A, according to marketing director Jay Follis.
The Model A was built in the late 1920s and early 1930s following the wild success of Ford’s Model T. “The Model A is a car that all can
relate to,” Michael Spezia, executive director of the Gilmore Car Museum, said in a statement. “It was an affordable and very popular automobile that has been owned and enjoyed by millions of people.” People from all across the country attended the grand opening, MLive.com reported, and several hundred Model A vehicles were driven to Hickory Corners for it. The Model A Ford Foundation Inc. raised more than $1 million toward the construction of the museum. Highlights include: • A Model A that was driven off the assembly line by Henry Ford in 1927 and presented to inventor Thomas Edison. • A 1930 Model A school bus that originally served the El Monte, CA, school district. • An original postal service delivery truck and a unique dual powered-axle truck that was used in building the Hoover Dam.
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Continued from Cover
Dan Risley Talks ASA
Though Risley has served the auto body industry in many roles throughout the past three decades, he most recently worked as a market claims manager for Allstate Insurance Company. His previous experience includes work with CCC Information Services, BASF, and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS). After six years working in the insurance industry, Risley looks forward to reintegrating himself into the repair industry. His most recent position with Allstate involved overseeing part of the insurer’s DRP network. “I was the market claim manager for the Good Hands Repair network. I had oversight of the program in half of the country and the staff that oversees them. It was a very unique perspective that I was able to attain, because I got to see firsthand what was really important to insurance companies,” he said. While visiting New Orleans to attend ASRW near the end of 2012, Risley expressed interest in pursuing new opportunities to Darrell Amberson, ASA chairman-elect at the time, and before long a new opportunity presented itself. ASA offered to add Risley to their board. ASA named Dan Risley to the position of Executive Vice President of their organization effective March 18, 2013, and soon after, Risley was offered the position of Interim Executive Director. While there are many issues impacting the auto body industry in particular, Risley believes “The biggest concern for the industry is profitability and [sufficient] compensation to complete a safe and proper repair. The complexities of today’s vehicle and those in the future require significant capital investments in tooling, equipment and training. In addition, insurance company requirements or mandates will continue to negatively impact a collision repairers’ ability to maintain a profit which could inhibit their ability to reinvest in the business and staff.” Risley’s primary focus in resolving the concerns facing the industry today begins by listening to ASA members to ensure that the association is representing their best interests in the matters most important to them. Long-term, he hopes “to strengthen the
association and extend our influence in the industry from both a legislative and interindustry perspective.” Moving on to some of the specific issues plaguing body shop owners in particular, Risley addressed PartsTrader. He has said in the past that “ASA does not support PartsTrader and, by the way, nor should we. As an association it’s not our role to support or endorse a given product. ASA does not support State Farm [either] and nor should we.” He continues, “Any insurance company’s attempts to mandate a specific product or service since repairers should be free to choose the product that best fits the needs of the individual repairer. As such, ASA will continue to educate members and provide feedback to State Farm and PartsTrader in hopes of improving their product/program.” Risley recognizes that these types of programs will not go away. “If State Farm was to eliminate PartsTrader, it would not be long before another, similar program, took its place.” It is because PartsTrader is not illegal that it appears to be inevitable, at least for State Farm. Risley believes that industry professionals should focus on educating themselves so they are equipped to provide useful feedback, in hopes of influencing the direction in which the insurers are headed. One issue that Risley believes has not received enough attention from repairers is most favored nation (MFN) clauses in DRP contracts which... “not only affects your State Farm business, but it has the possibility of impacting every job that comes through your shop. So for us this is a much larger issue,” he said. MFN is a concept borrowed from international trade agreements (hence the reference to nation) but in this case it should be termed the most favored customer clause. It is a contract provision in which a seller (shop) agrees to give the buyer (insurer) the best terms it makes available to any other buyer (or insurer). In this way the DRP ensures that it is getting the best deal available to any insurer. A law was recently passed in Michigan to ban insurers’ use of MFN clauses, but it did not include property casualty insurers, something Risley says ASA is working with Michigan legislators to change. Risley explains, “MFN’s do not benefit any of the stakeholders in the industry except the company enforcing
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the MFN Clause. These types of clauses have a negative impact on collision repairers (including those that are not on State Farm’s Select Service program), consumers and other insurance companies. These types of clauses have a dramatic impact on the marketplace. High performing collision repairers may elect not to be on the Select Service program because of their relationships with other carriers and the impact it will have on the profitability on the State Farm business. Conversely, some high performing shops may elect not to participate on any other carriers direct repair program because of the negative impact it would have on their State Farm business. In both cases, the consumer has less choice. An argument could be made that, in some instances, the consumers’ choice may not include the best in class shops in their area.” ASA also opposes Right to Repair, and Risley sees no compelling reason to change their stance on this issue. “Information is readily available. In those few instances where there was an issue, it was quickly resolved because of the collaboration with the car manufacturers and NASTF. Why involve the government to legislate and regulate something that appears to be
already functioning and effective?” he asks. Similarly the organization opposes the PARTS Act and its stated goal of reducing OEMs’ parts patent protection to 30 months. (See related article this issue, p. 13.) Risley is also taking careful note of ASA’s operation of its industry repair week (Automotive Service & Repair Week, ASRW, in Las Vegas.) “We need to make changes. We know that,” he has acknowledged. “It’s a good time for us to take a hard look at NACE and make wholesale changes where necessary. “We’re going to be making some fundamental changes to the 2013 program, and significant changes to the 2014 program.” As Risley becomes more involved with ASA, he is aware that priorities will change constantly, but he insists that ASA’s primary focus will always be their dedication to members. “As the industry changes, the issues and priorities change. An overarching priority that doesn’t change is ensuring that we are representing our membership in every board room, meeting and conference that is changSee Dan Risley Talks ASA, Page 31
www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 9
Ohio Dealership Hits a Home Run with Restored Truck for U.S. Marines Veteran
A dealership in Monroe, OH, recently given to a Vietnam veteran at Progres- the truck was damaged, from bumper restored a wrecked truck and will do- sive’s service center on East Kemper to hood. nate it to a veteran. Road. Body shop employees at Joe The 2004 Ford F-150 was totaled Brocker said he didn’t want to Morgan Honda worked on the truck in an accident, but thanks to a local disclose the name of the veteran who for more than 100 hours, and more body shop, donations from area busi- will receive the truck because it’s a than $4,000 worth of service and renesses, and the generosity of an pairs were performed on insurance company, it will prothe truck, Brocker said. vide much needed transportaService was donated by tion to an area Vietnam veteran, Wheel Warehouse (resaid Bob Brocker, body shop conditioned wheels), manager at Joe Morgan Honda Carl’s Stereo and Truck Collision Centre in Monroe. (truck accessories) and The dealership, owned by Car Paint (paint and mathe Reds Hall of Famer, hit a terials). home run. Now the vehicle For the first time since it with 134,000 miles is opened nearly two years ago, it worth about $12,000 to teamed up with Progressive’s $14,000, Brocker said. Keys to Progress National Auto When asked why Body Council Recycled Rides the dealership decided to vehicle give-away. join the program, Brocker Recycled Rides is a nationsaid: “It’s a good thing, Bob Brocker, body shop manager at Joe Morgan Honda in Monroe, wide program in which collision the right thing to do.” oversaw the repair of this Ford F-150 pickup truck. The vehicle was repair companies, insurers, supJack Leet, direcdonated to a Vietnam veteran pliers and vendors collaborate to tor of fixed operations refurbish and donate vehicles to indi- surprise. He said the gentleman is a for nine area dealerships, said it’s imviduals, families and service organiza- U.S. Marine and that’s why there is a portant for any business to be part of tions in need. large Marine decal on the back win- the community. Hundreds of vehicles are gifted dow of the truck. “We give back to them because each year across the country through When the truck was towed into they may give back to us,” he said. the program. the body shop, Brocker said it was “It’s part of doing business. You have The refurbished vehicle will be “real bad.” He said about every part of to give back.”
Northland Auto Body Student in Minnesota Wins 3M ‘Hire Our Heroes’ Tool Grant
Northland Community & Technical College Auto Body Collision Technology student Jasen Klimek was recently awarded a 3M tool grant. Klimek was awarded the 2013 3M Hire Our Heroes Veteran Tool Grant. As a result, Klimek was able to select $2,500 in auto body equipment and tools. Northland Community & Technical College is located in Thief River Falls, MN. 3M has partnered with the Collision Repair Education Foundation, the National Auto Body Council, and Operation Comfort to help support rehabilitation and training and drive employment in the collision repair industry for America’s returning veterans. The Hire Our Heroes program is designed to provide funding for education of the nation’s returning veterans and their families through the Collision Repair Education Foundation. The grant helps cover tuition, books, classroom materials, and tools and equipment for returning veterans and their families. The ultimate goal of the 3M Hire Our Heroes campaign is to support the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in raising awareness for hiring America’s heroes and help
drive employment in the collision repair industry for those deserving veterans and their families. Northland’s Auto Body Collision Technology program is designed to train students like Jasen to replace or repair damaged portions of automobile bodies and frames using the latest tools and technology. They straighten bent frames, repair dents, replace body panels, and weld rust repair panels. They also replace broken glass, inspect drive train components, and perform electrical diagnostics including air bag component replacement. Students will also sand, mask repair areas, and spray the latest automotive refinishing materials in a state of the art down draft bake booth so they are fully prepared to enter the workforce. According to Klimek, “The tool grant will change my life because I didn't have the money to buy all the tools I need for the auto body collision industry. With this tool grant I am able to afford most of the tools I need to get a great paying job or branch out on my own! Thank you for the opportunity to get this tool grant. It is a real honor and a privilege that I humbly accept.”
10 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Brett Penzkofer Joins MI Transtar as President
Transtar Autobody Technologies based in Brighton, MI, recently welcomed new company president Brett Penzkofer, who joined the company on June 3. He will report to CEO Tim Bowes. Prior to joining Transtar, Penzkofer served as Vice President and Controller of Meritor, a global OE and aftermarket manufacturer of axles, brakes and drivelines. Educated with a B.A. from Michigan State and an MBA from Wayne State University, Penzkofer held financial and operational positions at Meritor and previous 15 years with Chrysler. Charlie Fuqua, past president, announced his plan to retire last December and will remain with the company to assist with the transition. Over the past 23 years, Fuqua significantly grew the company through product line expansion, establishment of the current distributor network, and implementation of the company’s quality initiative, ISO 9001. “Charlie has provided great leadership to the organization for more than two decades. We’re excited that Brett has joined the Transtar team and will build upon his successes,” said Bowes.
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age on whether the insured or a third party making a claim under the policy obtains services or parts from a particular vendor specified by the insurer. According to the LRB, Assembly Bill 237 provides that the “consumer has the right to select the motor vehicle repair facility of his or her choice and prohibits an insurer that issues a motor vehicle insurance policy that covers repairs to a motor vehicle from: 1) requiring that repairs must be made by a particular contractor or repair facility as a condition of that coverage; or
2) failing to initiate or conclude with due dispatch an investigation of a claim for repairs on the basis of whether the repair will be made by a particular contractor or repair facility.” No hearing has been scheduled to date in the Assembly.
ASA-AZ Meets on PartsTrader
ASA of Arizona will host a program to help collision repairers learn more about State Farm’s PartsTrader program which is rolling out statewide soon. ASA-AZ will present “PartsTrader 8.13” on August 13 from 5–9:30 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Airport in Phoenix, AZ. Cost is $50 for ASA members or $80 for non members. See www.asaaz.org for more information.
Indiana to Allow E-proof of Auto Insurance July 1
Indiana drivers will soon be able to prove they have auto insurance with the click of a smartphone starting July 1 under a new law that signals a shift toward the use of technology in insurance laws. Indiana is 1 of 24 states that will allow electronic proof of coverage. Motorists will be able to show a digital image of their insurance card by accessing it through an app provided by their insurer. Vigo County Chief Deputy Clark Cottom said it will benefit both drivers and police officers. He notes that much of officers’ work is already done with the help of technology and says adding in proof of insurance is a natural fit, noting they are trained on new statutes twice yearly.
Car-O-Liner Holds Classes in Wixon, MI, this Summer
Car-O-Liner® will present computerized measuring training classes offered through the Car-O-Liner Academy in Wixom, MI. The course, entitled ‘Computerized Measuring/Damage Analysis CLEM-00002’, is two days in length. Classes will be held July 9-10, August 20-21, or September 10-11 at the Car-O-Liner Academy located in Wixom, MI. The cost of the class is $500. During the course, students will learn how to analyze, document, and repair structural collision damage. The course includes a combination of both classroom and hands-on practice exercises. Upon completion, technicians will be able to recognize the different classifications of collision damage and perform centering for underbody and upper body measuring as well as clamping and anchoring. To sign up, call 1-800-521-9696 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate class date. Confirmation will be made by return e-mail. Many regional Car-O-Liner distributors also offer local training opportunities. Contact your Car-O-Liner Distributor to learn more.
Oshkosh, WI, Police Search for Suspect in Shop Theft
In Oshkosh, WI, police are looking for a man they are considering armed and dangerous. Officers say Jeffrey Alan Harnish, 31, is suspected of stealing a truck from an area auto body shop. Just after 6 a.m. on June 6, police say they were called to the 300 block of N. Westhaven Dr. for a domestic disturbance, where they believe Harnish slashed the tires on a vehicle with a knife. A little while later, police believe Harnish stole a black 2005 GMC Sierra pickup truck from a shop in the 1800 block of S. Westhaven Dr. The truck was seen headed south from the shop. Harnish is from the Chicago area and had a switchblade knife with him, police say. He is described as 5’9”, weighing 150 pounds, with long dark hair. He was last seen wearing a dark-colored jacket over a red hooded sweatshirt and black jeans.
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Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Five Common Misconceptions about Websites Debunked with Ed Attanasio
When I see a body shop that doesn’t have a website, two things happen. First I have to recover from my surprise, then I start asking questions. I sat down recently with Angel Iraola, the owner of Net Business Consulting & Solutions in Santa Rosa, CA, and he blew huge holes in the following arguments, each of which is a common misconception about websites. Here are the top five: 1) Too expensive to create a site. One body shop owner was crying on my shoulder recently. “My website cost me $7,000 and it still doesn’t work. Websites are a waste of money!” Not true. By doing it yourself using any of the new website building sites out there, it can cost you in the hundreds, rather than thousands. Do-It-Yourselfers (DIYs) are building their own websites more and more, because the technology has become so much easier to use. And with so many developers out there competing for your business, the prices for websites are lower than ever! “You can get a basic one-page website now that will cost you $99, but when it comes to anything it’s always image perceived, mission achieved,” Iraola said. “If you’re really tight on funds and can’t find enough money to dedicate a modest budget for a website, find a hungry webmaster and if he charges you more than $400 for a simple 1–3 page website, just keep looking.” 2) Too costly to maintain. A collision center manager I know wanted to strangle his web developer, but I explained to him that’s illegal. “My Internet guy (a friend of a friend—first bad move) is charging me $300 every month to supposedly maintain my website, but if he’s spending 10 minutes on it I would be amazed. It is a money drain!” This happens, but it does not have to. By working with a company like www.CollisionWeb sites.com, you can maintain a website easily and affordably. And by using Word Press, for example, it’s easy to make changes and add features. The old days of developers charging you top dollar to hold your website hostage are long gone. Iraola agreed that website devel-
opment is now affordable for any business of any size, but shops should still do their due diligence before contracting any developer. “Everyone and their brother is jumping into this industry and many of them don’t know what they’re doing. Make sure you meet with several people before you make a decision, because I am hearing horror stories all the time now and if you hire the wrong company, it can be an absolute nightmare. Ask them what platform they use and always look at samples of their work. Ask them for references and call them, because if they miss deadlines (a chronic problem in this industry) that is a bad sign right off the bat.” 3) Takes too much time. One shop’s marketing manager was changing content on his site, and because he had an old platform, he was sunk. “Six hours and I couldn’t even add an address! The hours keep adding up and
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it’s not worth it!” Another legend that just isn’t true. If your website is welldesigned, it will not require a large amount of additional time once it’s been built. “If you work smart and get the right developer, a basic website can be up and online rather quickly,” Iraola explained. “For a 2–3 page site, I can usually get it done within 7–10 working days. For something a little more elaborate (5–10 pages) it can take as much as three weeks to a month. These developers that take 3–4 months to do a website are either stalling or inexperienced, because it should never take that long. In this business, we have cycle times too, but many of these website companies aren’t as deadline-focused as they should be.” 4) It does not get results. Too many shops expect the phone to start ringing one day after launching their website. “I’ve had my site up for three
months and I got just one phone call!” one shop owner whined. “How do you track your new customer responses?” I asked him. When he revealed he doesn’t, I asked him how do you know how many leads you’ve received from your website? The Internet isn’t going away and it’s a proven vehicle for you getting new business. Body shops all over the country are getting 10–80 cars or more on a monthly basis via the Internet, so if it’s not working for you, you need to re-analyze your site, as well as the way you track results. “I tell everyone that marketing your shop online is an ongoing endeavor and not something that will realistically get you instant results,” Iraola said. “It’s not like a DRP that will bring you cars right away. Online marketing does not have a start and completion date like a car repair. If you’re in the game, you’re in it for the duration, and you better be in it to win it! If a web developer tells you that the
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phone is going to start ringing the same day your site goes live, they’re lying, because no one can claim that.” 5) Everybody already knows us. When I hear this objection, I am always shocked. “We’re the #1 shop in this area, so a website isn’t necessary,” a body shop owner smugly explained to me one evening at an industry event. “Really? Really?” is all I could say. Maybe everyone in your region
knows about you right now, but what are you going to do when another shop opens up down the street? If you mention Coca-Cola to anyone on this planet, they will know the brand. Yet, the soft drink manufacturer spends millions and millions of dollars annually on advertising, including online. Are you more well-known than Coke? Not likely. No company is so successful that it does not need a presence on
the Internet, so unless you’re getting ready to close the doors and retire, you NEED a site and you need one yesterday! “When company owners tell me they can succeed without having a website or any presence online, I tell them they’re being silly,” Iraola said. “Just because you’ve been doing business in the same area for many years does not mean you don’t need to do
sign patent to: 1) make, test or offer to sell within the U.S., or import into the U.S., any article of manufacture that is similar or the same in appearance to the component part claimed in such design patent if the purpose of such article is for the repair of a motor vehicle to restore its appearance to as originally manufactured; and 2) use or sell within the U.S. any such same or similar articles for such restorations more than 30 months after the claimed component part is first offered for public sale as part of a motor vehicle in any country. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) asked members of Congress to oppose similar legislation in the previous congresses in which the bill was introduced. ASA joined a
coalition of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), new car dealers, labor unions and other trade associations in sending a letter to Reps. Howard Coble (R-NC), chairman, and Mel Watt (D-NC) ranking member, of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet, asking that they oppose H.R. 1663. The letter outlined the following concerns: “Manufacturers of unlicensed automobile parts have to meet only one basic threshold, to produce a copy that passes off as an original part. Those who produce such parts incur no costs attributable to original design, research and development and most impor-
any advertising or marketing. That’s absolutely ridiculous, especially when there is a ton of competition out there. If you don’t have a working website, it means you’re leaving a ton of money on the table and in the end, some other shop will be getting those cars. Unless you’re Donald Trump or just won the lottery, you need a website and it’s not even open for discussion, in my opinion.”
ASA Opposes PARTS Act—Coalition’s Letter Highlights Quality Concerns U.S. Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Ca.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Ca.) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and U.S. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Ut) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in the U.S. Senate, recently introduced legislation titled the Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade and Sales Act of 2013. Known as ‘‘PARTS Act,’’ this legislation provides for an exception from infringing U.S. design patents for certain component parts of motor vehicles. The bill would amend the U.S. design patent law to change the period of design patent protection for automakers from 14 years to 30 months. The Congressional Research Service reports that the bill makes it not an act of infringement with respect to a de-
tantly, product safety testing. Accordingly, the manufacturer of the original product for whom such unlicensed replacement parts are made does not know how these parts will perform with the rest of the vehicle and how their use will impact the quality and integrity of the original product. Automotive collision repairers are very concerned about the quality of replacement crash parts. Permitting this intellectual property infringement also exposes consumers to significant safety, performance or durability risks without their knowledge.” To view the full text of this legislation, along with the letter sent to Coble and Watt, visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.
www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 13
The Insider is a corporate-level executive with a Top 10 auto insurer in the U.S.. Got a comment or question you’d like to see him address in a future column? Email him at Auto.Insurance.Insider@gmail.com
Stop Obsessing about Parts Profits When You’re Not Managing the Profit Centers You Have with The Insurance Insider
Body shops continue to wring their hands over insurance companies imposing their will on their business and profit margins. Shops contend that insurance companies have no right meddling in their business. I can understand shops wanting to protect their profit margins on parts. And who wants anyone telling them what to do and how to do it? For those of you who are married, you know what I am talking about. Thankfully, I learned early on in life that taking orders was something I wasn’t good at. Thus, I am happily divorced, and the only person I take orders from is the guy who does my annual review at work. Wouldn’t it be great if all of you could divorce yourself from the death grip that direct
repair programs have on your business? Unfortunately, most of you reading this won’t say no to insurers, or can’t. Direct repair programs
should be regulated because of their addictive qualities. The addiction might be stronger than crack cocaine. Not that I can speak from experience on that. It’s been interesting to watch from afar as shops complain about State Farm and PartsTrader, even if they’re not in a State Farm Select Service contract. The general message and outcry seems to be about profit margin. Why does it take an insurance company to introduce a new program for you to raise a ruckus about profit centers? Think about it: There are things that are within your control today that impact
your bottom line that you don’t manage. If you spent a little less time fighting the evolution of technology in parts ordering and instead focused on managing your business, you might have a few extra dollars in the bank. Did someone ask for an example? Here’s one: paint and materials. Paint and materials are one of the many profit centers in a shop. At least it should be a profit center. There are some shops that report 30% profit on paint and materials while others cry the sky is falling. If you are losing money, why haven’t you taken action? Paint and materials shouldn’t be a losing department for your business. It should be a profit center similar to labor, parts, storage and sublet. So now you complain that your parts profit margins will erode as a result of State Farm’s PartsTrader requirement. And your response is out-
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rage, and combative, desperate cries for help even though you still say “yes” to State Farm. It’s important to note that you still will make a profit—just potentially a few dollars less. Please also note that this is going to happen with or without your approval. As you’ve probably heard, State Farm is rolling it out nationwide. So how does this relate to paint and materials? I would like to know what your response is if you are losing money on paint and materials or making low single digit profit? What are you doing about it? Outrage? No. Combative? No. Desperate cries for help? No, again. Why do shops raise hell about potentially losing money on parts profitability when the profit centers they do have control over are ignored. This is something you have direct control over. We as insurers don’t have a direct impact on your profit in this area. I’m aggravated by the lack of management and operational excellence that would benefit everyone in the supply chain. So let me suggest a few solutions to a problem you don’t think you have. Why would
your enemy help you be more profitable? Because if you are successful, everyone in the supply chain wins, including the consumer. And besides, I like to lead by example. Give me a solution over a sob story any day. I’ve never worked in a shop, so you might not find these recommendations valid, but here they are. I suggest you could improve your profit on paint and materials by: • Reducing employee theft. • Implementing standard operating procedures to reduce waste. • Creating an incentive plan for your painters and manager that gives them a bonus if you are profitable. • Tracking the amount of waste (if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it). • Invoicing separately for non-paintrelated materials • Tracking your costs better. • Negotiating a better discount with your jobber. I’m sure there are more but I don’t think you want any more insurance company intrusion into your business. Or anything taking up time that you’d rather spend complaining about PartsTrader.
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U.S. suit against any automaker, lawyers for All Star and Felder’s said. All Star has a parts distribution center that services its three Chevrolet stores, according to dealer lawyer Michael McKay of Baton Rouge. GM’s Bump the Competition program launched in 2009. It lets parts distributors such as All Star sell OEM parts at what the suit alleges were “bottom line prices” one-third below their aftermarket equivalents, then seek rebates from GM. Felder’s Collision Parts claims he incentive program hurt aftermarket parts sales in its operating territory, cutting into profits and forcing four competitors into bankruptcy. The suit contends that the defendants are engaged in an illegal conspiracy, the sole purpose of which is to eliminate the competition posed by sellers of aftermarket parts. The aftermarket parts company says its business has declined by a third from more than $3 million in 2008, just before the GM program launched, to approximately $2 million per year in 2011.
According to court documents, Felder’s argues that the pricing program has only been instituted with respect to OEM parts with a comparable aftermarket alternative. GM does not incentivize OEM dealers to sell parts without an aftermarket alternative at prices below cost. Then, once the competition has been “bumped,” Felder’s argues, the defendants will reap monopoly profits by ceasing to offer reduced prices on parts that currently have aftermarket alternatives. Defendants will be able to maintain these supracompetitive prices, according to Felder’s, because “high and difficult” barriers to entry in the automobile parts industry will prevent new entrants from competing with the defendants. The judge wrote in his opinion that “Here, Felder’s is willing to amend and it does not appear that such a request would be futile. Given the sudden and drastic difference between standard OEM prices and the prices offered under the challenged pricing program, there is reason for suspicion.” Judge Brady continued, “This demonstrates that the program allows OEM dealers to cut pricing by nearly half for an OEM part with an aftermarSee Anticompetition Suit, Page 30
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AASP-MN Succeeds on Changing Sales Tax on Paint & Materials from Wholesale to Retail After a four-year effort by AASP-MN, on May 23, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed the 2013 Tax Bill which included legislation advanced by the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers, Minnesota (AASPMN). The legislation changes the point of imposition of sales tax on auto repair paint and materials from the wholesale to the retail level. It will become effective on July 1, 2013. Minnesota repair shops have historically paid the sales tax when they purchase paint and materials at the wholesale level and have been unable to recoup that expense on the final invoice. Due to the industry-wide practice of using a “dollars-times-hours” formula to calculate the retail charge for these items, the Minnesota Department of Revenue had ruled that the sales tax could not be applied to the final, retail amount—even though the overwhelming majority of the value of automotive repair paint and materials left the shop on the repaired vehicle. This change will allow collision shops to purchase paint/materials exempt from sales tax and then collect the sales tax at retail, based on the dollars-times-hours formula that is standard in the collision repair industry. This is the fourth year that AASPMN has proposed legislation to allow sales tax to be collected on the retail charges for paint and materials, as calculated by formula. Despite there being no testimony in opposition to the
proposal, it did not advance beyond the Committee process in prior years because the change resulted in a net revenue gain for the State. The Governor and some legislators did not allow any revenue-raising measures to be included in Omnibus Tax Bills in the past 3 years. Thus, Minnesota remained among just a handful of states that do not charge sales tax on the retail price of paint and materials. “Minnesota shops will no longer have to absorb the cost of sales tax on the purchase of paint and materials which are consumed during the repair process or transferred to the vehicle. The tax will now, rightfully, be borne by the end user who receives the benefit of these products,” said Judell Anderson, AASP-MN Executive Director. “This is a win for all shops in Minnesota and a prime example of how the work of the Association positively impacts the livelihood of not only its members, but the entire repair industry throughout the state,” she added. The sales tax bill was one of two proposals advanced by AASP-MN during the 2013 Legislative Session. The other bill changes the definition of a “high-value vehicle” for salvage title purposes from $5,000 to $9,000. It had been 20 years since that threshold was adjusted. That bill also passed in the Transportation and Public Safety Finance Bill and will become effective on August 1, 2013.
Two More CA Body Shop Owners Plead Guilty The Salinas Californian has reported that five men indicted two years ago on insurance fraud, grand theft and forgery charges will be sentenced in July after the final two entered guilty pleas June 10, according to a release from the Monterey County District’s Attorney’s office. Meliquiades “Micky” Garibay, 42, and David M. Ramirez, 45, both of Salinas, pleaded guilty to insurance fraud and forgery charges. Their pleas joined those of Ricardo “Pee Wee” Robledo, 33; Jorge “George” Torrez, 35; and Sergio San Miguel, 40, who pleaded guilty in May to committing insurance fraud. All five were indicted Sept. 30, 2011, on various counts of insurance fraud, grand theft and forgery following an in-depth investigation by the California Department of Insurance.
The investigation revealed San Miguel, an Allstate adjuster, fraudulently inflated repair estimates and improperly issued payment checks, prosecutors said. Several Salinas auto body shops, including Central Coast Auto Body and Specialty Auto Body, were linked to the fraudulent claims, according to CDI. These shops were owned by Ramirez and Garibay, respectively. The investigation linked Robledo, who worked in both shops, and Torrez, also engaged in the industry, to the ring that attempted to defraud Allstate Insurance Co. Robledo and Torrez were also aided by San Miguel in submitting fraudulent claims, prosecutors said. The men will be sentenced July 16. The maximum penalty is five years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
16 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Ohio Shop Owner Sentenced in Restoration Case
A Shelby, OH, shop owner who restored classic cars was sentenced June 10 in a Richland County courtroom to four years in prison for scamming numerous customers across the country. Keith Shellhouse also was ordered to pay over $180,000 in restitution to his victims. The owner of Pro Restorations by Independent Autobody Plus, in Shelby, was convicted earlier this year of aggravated theft, theft of a motor vehicle, falsification and tampering with records. “Shellhouse tried to paint the picture that this was all a civil matter, but obviously the judge and jury recognized it for what it was, outright thievery,” said Richland County Sheriff’s Major Dale Fortney. “This was a textbook collaboration between the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and our sheriff’s office with assistance from (the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, National Insurance Crime Bureau), Ohio Department of Taxation, Ohio Department of Motor Vehicles Crash Repair Board and the Bureau of Motor Vehicle Investigations.” Fortney commended Richland County Sgt. Rich Eichinger, investigator Kevin Hobbs, of the Attorney General’s Officer Consumer Protec-
tion Section, and Jonathan Blanton, who led the AG’s office prosecution team, for working the case since August 2011. The case included more than 20 victims and more than $200,000 of total theft, according to Fortney. “Victims claimed that Shellhouse would take their cars, parts and money under an agreement to restore their antique and classic cars,” Fortney said. “Victims reported that they gave Shellhouse their cars, but he would never complete the work. While the cars were at Shellhouse’s garage, some for over eight years, they were kept outside or in an unenclosed area where they were exposed to the weather. This resulted in the cars becoming severely damaged by rust, rendering them completely inoperable. The evidence in the case included photographs of a tree growing through the front area of a car that was left outdoors.” Attorney General Mike DeWine created the Economic Crimes Unit in March 2011 to identify criminal conduct in consumer fraud cases. “These folks trusted Keith Shellhouse to help make their dreams come true and he paid them back by turning their dreams into rusted hulks,” Dewine said. “It just makes you sick.”
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www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 17
Legendary Customizer Barris Inducted into SEMA Hall of Fame George Barris and three others will be inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame, an honor that recognizes an elite group of individuals for raising the stature or growth of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Hundreds of industry professionals will gather and pay tribute to the new Hall of Fame members during the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, Friday, July 26, at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center in Pomona, CA. Those interested in learning more about the celebration or how to attend may visit http://www.sema.org/sema-installation-banquet-gala-fundraiser or contact Jamie Eriksen at firstname.lastname@example.org, (909) 978-6737. George Barris is a legendary vehicle customizer, well-known for his celebrity creations that include the Batmobile, Munster Koach, KITT from Nightrider and the Dukes of Hazard’s General Lee. In addition George Barris has to building vehibeen customizing cles, Barris aucars for film and thored many “how TV and major to” articles for celebrities for the magazines, such past 60-plus years and is being as Hot Rod Magainducted into zine, Motor Trend, SEMA’s Hall of Car Craft and Rod Fame on July 26 & Custom. As a pioneer and icon in the industry, Barris continues to actively influence the industry’s styles and trends. A regular attendee at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Barris is admired and respected by many in the industry. We recently sat down with Barris to take a journey through his amazing career.
Q: Tell us about the first car you got paid to customize and a little about your childhood.
GB: My parents owned a restaurant called Dan’s Grill in Roseville, CA, right on the edge of town. When I was 15, my dad taught me how to be the dishwasher but it didn’t interest me at all, so I focused on my models pretty much. About a year later, we moved to San Juan, CA, and that’s where I got my first customizing job. A kid drove up in a 1932 Ford and told me
he wanted to customize the car. I told him that I was going to put in a set of cat eye tail lights and he agreed to pay me 10 bucks. 10 bucks! And that’s when I determined that I would make it a career. I thought, I’m going to be a big customizer and a billionaire! I made up my mind right there that I would name my company Kustoms of America. I threw that “C” out of there and turned it into a “K.” People use it now all the time, but I was the one who came up with it when I was 16.
Q: Your first passion was building models as a teenager and you won a lot of awards for doing it. Please talk about that hobby and how it turned into bigger and better things.
GB: As I said before, we grew up in Roseville, CA, and one day I went to the five and dime store and saw a flyer announcing a model airplane contest. I would go in there with a model car and they would tell me, “This is for airplane models,” and I told them I’m into cars. I want four wheels, not two wheels! We (my brother Sam and I) stuck to it and eventually we started winning some contests. That’s how we started in the model business with Revell. Then, in 1960, I started working with Aluminum Model Toys (AMT), a company that was making models for all the car companies. So, I was able to see how the new cars looked before they hit the market. That way, I could create models of them well before anyone had seen them, so I had an advantage there. I made custom kits for those vehicles and then eventually we started making 3-in-1 model kits, so that the hobbyists could pick which design to use. That way, they could customize the models and use their creativity. During that time Lee Iacocca from Ford Motor Company started something called the Ford Custom Car Caravan, where they would take this little racing track and go out there and do model racing. We went to all the World of Wheels and Motorama shows and it got very popular real fast.
Q: Meeting Robert E. Petersen (the founder of Hot Rod and Motor Trend) was also a big deal and brought you a lot of worldwide attention. Your “How-To” articles in these magazines became popular as well. Describe that long-running relationship with Pe-
18 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
tersen and how it brought the Barris name to the hot rod world.
GB: We called him “Pete” and I met him when he was 18 and he was putting on a car show in L.A., and everyone loved it. After that, he started Hot Rod, then Car Craft, Rod & Custom and I got involved in all of it. As a result, people all over the world got to know my name. I wrote columns and helped Pete with his “little book” series and we also started the very first Motorama car show, which we held right next to the Chinese Grauman’s Theatre in Los Angeles and that was a winner and a half. I had 60 cars in
show in the world. They closed down Hollywood Boulevard and that was the first time that ever happened. Don Prudhomme did a burnout with his dragster right down the middle of the street. Boy, that was an exciting time! Q: Of all the celebrities you customized vehicles for over the years, who was your favorite?
GB: There was one young man and I was doing a limousine for him and he would come into the shop to visit and check on our progress now and again. One day, he walked into the garage area where we were working on the car and started talking to my guys one by one. He knew everyone’s names and everything about them, asking about their kids and families, etc., because he really cared about them. He wasn’t just doing it to Of all the cars Barris created, he is best known for the original impress anyone, he was Batmobile doing it because he there, including the Batmobile and the wanted to. And that was Elvis PresMunsters cars and it was the #1 car ley—a really wonderful man. He
cared about people and did everything for everybody. He was an exceptional individual. I did a Cadillac, a bus and a limousine for Elvis and we became very good friends with him and Priscilla. He was a real car guy, that’s for sure.
Q: Some of your first film work involved working with Alfred Hitchcock. After that you worked with Orson Welles and provided special vehicles for movies like “The Car,” “The Silencers,” “Thunder Alley” and “Fireball 500.” How was it working with top names and creating cars for the film industry?
“High School Confidential” was the start. As far as Alfred Hitchcock, yes we worked with him on “North By Northwest.” He wasn’t a car guy, but he was interested in what we were doing to get this car in his film. The most interesting film or TV car that we created was for the TV show “Knight Rider.” The studio wrecked
showed them! We had to do a lot of funny stuff to make these cars work and it was a lot of fun. We also did the “Blues Brothers” film, building a lot of police cars, “Blade Runner” and “Thunder Alley.” We worked with Clint Eastwood, the Rat Pack, Michael Jackson and Bob Hope and so many more!
Q: In the 1960s, you got more involved in T.V., which is where you really made your name. During this time, Batman, The Munsters, Mannix, the Beverly Hillbillies, My Mother the Car, The Monkees, Starsky and Hutch, Banacek and Power Rangers were touched by the Barris magic.
experience. The first Batmobile they wanted was all flat black, but when it came out of that Bat Cave, it looked terrible. So, I found some glow orange paint and outlined the car with stripes so they would reflect and man, that made it pop. It was a people car and that’s why it became so popular. The first show I did was the “Beverly Hillbillies” in 1960. I met with the producer and they said we need a jalopy. How am I going to find a jalopy in Beverly Hills? So, I traveled to San Bernardino and that’s where I saw a feed store. The owner of the store had an old 1922 Oldsmobile four-door sedan and he cut the back off of it and made it into a feed truck so he could carry his hay. So, I took pictures of that and went back to the producers and that eventually became the car for that show.
GB: My first movie was “High School Confidential” with John Barrymore. Jr. where we built a cute little chopped Chevy for that film. They wanted to use it in a race scene and roll it over. But as hard as I tried, I could not roll that car, because it was too low to the ground. So we had to get a lift and a cable down on that vehicle, to flip it and drop it. A whole career started right there. We went on to work with “Sonny and Cher,” “Fireball 500,” “Gone in 60 Seconds,” “Super Van,” “Mag Wheels” and
the car every episode, so we had to fix it pretty much every week. They always broke the fiberglass nose piece on it and one day the producer told me this is costing us a lot of money. So, I made a mold of that nose and created a rubber one and didn’t tell them about it. The next time they wrecked it, I just walked over there, popped it off and
GB: The Batmobile is definitely the most well-known of all the cars I’ve created. I wanted it to be the star of the show, right along with Batman and Robin. I told the producers, I’m going to have rocket launchers, oil squirters—I am going to make this car a star. And that’s why it was such a hit, because it had all these different things it could do. The oil squirters were made out of lawn sprinklers and those were what we used. I was on that set all the time and it was a great
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This 1921 Oldsmobile jalopy was Barris’ first T.V. car, created for the 1960’s hit the “Beverly Hillbillies.” He found it behind a feed store in San Bernardino, CA, in 1960 and made it a star
Q: You’ve been nominated to the SEMA Hall of Fame. Please tell us some of your greatest memories of SEMA Shows over the years.
GB: I remember back when SEMA first started in 1963 and they had 18 tables. It was basically a hot rod show See Barris Inducted, Page 26
www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 19
20 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
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AUTOMAKER, AU A UTO OM MA M AK AK ER OEM OEM AUTOMAKER KE R,, OEM, M,, AND AND RECALL RE R E C AL CA ALL LL EC Autobody News
Toyota Recalls 242,000 Prius, Lexus Hybrids
Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling about 242,000 of its Prius and Lexus hybrid vehicles due to problems with braking systems. The recall applies to about 233,000 Prius vehicles made between March–October 2009 and about 9,000 Lexus HS250h models made between June–October 2009. The automaker said brake pressure parts in the vehicles are made of a weak material that could crack due to vibration, slowing response times. It said there were no accidents or injuries caused by the problem so far, but the company has received dozens of complaints.
Ford Recalls 465K Vehicles, Fire Risk is Biggest Problem
Ford Motor Co. recently issued three recalls for 2013 models, including a call back on 465,000 vehicles for fire risks after 600 complaints of fuel leaks. Additionally, the automaker also announced small recalls of the 2013 Lincoln MKZ because insulation on the engine block heater cord could catch fire, and of 2013 Ford Fusions that could have improperly assembled steering gears, which could cause loss of steering ability. The first recall, for potentially leaky fuel tanks, affects 465,000 vehicles including 2013 Ford Explorer, Taurus, Flex, Fusion and Police Interceptor utilities and sedans, and Lincoln MKS, MKT and MKZ.
Toyota Donates $250,000 to Oklahoma Tornado Relief
Toyota will make a $250,000 donation to support relief and rebuilding efforts for victims of the tornado that hit Moore, OK, and the greater Oklahoma City area on May 20. Funds will be allocated to immediate response and for mid-to-long term needs in the areas of food, small business revitalization and home rebuilding. Toyota will also match employee contributions.
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GM Recalling 2013 Cadillacs for Loosening Lug Nuts
General Motors is recalling certain model year 2013 Cadillac SRX vehicles, manufactured January 31, 2012, through March 18, 2013, and equipped with 18 inch wheels. On the affected vehicles, the wheel lug nuts may loosen. If the lug nuts loosen, they may fall off or cause the wheel studs to fracture. Either condition would allow the wheel to separate from the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.
Chryler Rejects NHTSA Call for Recall on Jeep Models
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, after a lengthy probe into rear-end collisions in which at least 51 people died, asked Chrysler Group LLC to recall 2.7 million Jeeps it believes are at risk of a fuel tank fire. But on June 4, Chrysler refused, standing by the safety of its SUVs. It is rare for an automaker to refuse a recall request. NHTSA can call public hearings into the issue and order a recall, but it needs a court order to enforce it. According to NHTSA’s tentative assessment, plastic gas tanks behind the axles of 1993–2004 Grand Cherokees and 2002–07 Libertys can be punctured and catch fire when the SUVs are hit from behind. Chrysler, which moved the gas tank location in later Jeep models, says the former design is safe and the automaker “does not intend to recall the vehicles.” “The subject vehicles are safe and are not defective,” Chrysler said in a statement issued June 4. “We believe NHTSA’s initial conclusions are based on an incomplete analysis of the underlying data, and we are committed to continue working with the agency to resolve this disagreement.” NHTSA said at least 32 fatal rear-impact fire crashes involving Grand Cherokees have resulted in 44 deaths, and at least five fatal rear-impact crashes involving the Liberty have resulted in seven fatalities.
22 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Ford F-150 Trucks Studied for Engine Problems
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said May 26 it is opening a preliminary investigation into 400,000 of Ford’s best-selling F150 trucks for acceleration problems. NHTSA said it received 95 reports of incidents of reduced engine power during hard accelerations in 2011–2013 Ford F-150 trucks equipped with 3.5L EcoBoost gasoline turbocharged direct injection engines. Some complaints allege unexpected sharp reductions in engine power during hard accelerations at highway speeds, such as attempted merging or passing maneuvers. NHTSA said one-third of the reports received say the incidents occurred while driving in humid or rainy conditions. Many complaints allege safety concerns associated with overtaking vehicles. NHTSA said Ford has issued three technical service bulletins related to intermittent stumble/misfire on acceleration from highway cruise in humid or damp conditions in some of the 2011 and 2012 F-150 vehicles. In one complaint, the owner of a 2011 F-150 said, as they attempted to pass a slow-moving vehicle, the “truck shuddered and lost ability to accelerate.”
Chrysler Recalls 630k Jeeps to Fix Transmission, Airbags
Chrysler Group said June 6 that it will recall more than 220,000 units of the Jeep Wrangler to fix a transmission flaw and 409,000 units of the Jeep Compass and Patriot worldwide to fix a software glitch that could stop airbags and seat belts from working in a crash. The first new recall affects 2012 and 2013 Wranglers with 3.6-liter engines and automatic transmissions. A flaw in vehicles built between Jan. 23, 2011 and Feb. 23, 2013 can cause the power steering line to rub on the transmission oil cooler line, wearing a hole that can leak transmission fluid.
GM Recalls 2013 Cadillac, ‘14 Impala for Brake Light Issues
On June 5, General Motors Co. announced it is recalling about 1,600 of its 2013 Cadillac ATS and XTS cars—and some 2014 Chevrolet Impala cars—to fix flickering brake lights and a cruise control issue. The Detroit automaker said it is recalling 1,621 new vehicles with brake lights that are flashing when the brake pedal is not engaged. The problem may also disengage the cruise control. About 1% of the recalled vehicles are believed to have the condition, which could falsely signal a following driver that the lead driver was slowing to a stop. The recall includes about 800 2014 Impalas and about 800 Cadillac cars. The condition was discovered at the Lansing Grand River Assembly plant “and due to fast action by GM, only about 80 cars in the recall population were in use. There are no customer complaints or known crashes or injuries,” GM spokesman Alan Adler said.
Ford to Stop Making Cars in Australia after 90 Years
Ford Motor Co. will stop manufacturing vehicles in Australia in 2016, a continent where the Dearborn automaker has produced automobiles for about nine decades. Ford said two manufacturing sites will close, resulting in 1,200 job losses. Ford said it has lost about $581 million in Australia in the last three years. The Australian car market comprises about 1.1 million annual newvehicle sales split among more than 65 brands. A weakening Japanese yen compared to the Australian dollar has resulted in import vehicles that are less expensive. Ford said it will maintain a presence in Australia through 1,500 team members and more than 200 dealers. Ford will also launch updated versions of three popular Australian cars and will continue to offer global products like the Ranger pickup truck and Focus compact car.
U. S. Probes 400K GM Cars for Possible Air Bag Defects
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is opening an investigation to determine if General Motors Co. should recall 400,000 additional vehicles for defective air bags. The U.S. auto safety agency opened an investigation to determine whether GM went far enough in issuing two small recalls for air bag problems in October 2012 and January 2013. Those recalls addressed a defect in electrical connectors for the driver’s front air bag in certain 2012 Chevrolet Cruze, Sonic and Camaro models as well as Buick Verano vehicles that could prevent the air bag from deploying in a crash. The Detroit automaker recalled about 7,000 cars in total, but now NHTSA is investigating whether 400,000 2012 Chevrolet Camaros, Cruzes and Sonics, and Buick Veranos should be included. GM initially issued a service bulletin in August 2012 to address the air bag defect in 2012 Cruze and Verano vehicles built before June 21, 2012. GM issued a safety recall covering about 3,000 2012 Cruze, Verano and Sonic vehicles built from April 2, 2012 to June 29, 2012. A second recall covers about 3,900 2012 Cruze, Verano, Sonic and Camaro vehicles built from Dec. 16, 2011–Feb. 1, 2012.
Every 2014 Buick Model Will Offer Active Safety Suite
Every 2014 Buick model: Verano, Regal, LaCrosse, Encore and Enclave; will be offered with a suite of available active safety systems that watch the front, side and rear of the vehicle to help prevent crashes. Buick will be the first brand in the industry to offer Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Warning, and a Rear Vision Camera as options on every vehicle. Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning are a pair of technologies that use a single forward-looking camera to read traffic and lane markers on the road ahead. Visual warnings and audible tones alert the driver to unsignaled lane changes or a slowed vehicle. Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Side Blind Zone Warning use radar to watch spots the driver may not see and provide visible and audible warnings to help prevent collisions. When the vehicle is in reverse and the Rear Vision Camera is active, Rear Cross Traffic Alert will flash a red icon and directional arrow if another vehicle is approaching from either side, which is especially useful backing out of a tight driveway or parking space in a busy lot.
Ford is First OEM to Sign Up For NACE/CARS in Vegas
Ford will exhibit at the 2013 Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW). Ford is the first of the major OEMs to commit to exhibiting at this year’s ASRW. The event includes NACE, for collision repair industry professionals, and CARS, for those on the automotive service side. ASRW will take place Thursday and Friday, Oct. 17–18, with education beginning Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
Chrysler: Pickups and Darts
Chrysler Group said it will recall about 37,000 model year 2013 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks on two separate issues, neither of which had led to any accidents or injuries. Chrysler also said it is recalling about 14,800 of its 2013 Dodge Darts because the vehicles’ engines may stall at cold temperatures. The two recalls come a week after Chrysler said it refused a request from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall 2.7 million 1993–2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002– 2007 Libertys for an alleged fire risk caused by fuel tanks mounted behind the rear axle.
Tesla and Chrysler Trade Tweets on Repaying Loans
Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to respond to Chrysler’s barb that Tesla wasn’t the first American automaker to repay the U.S. government for aid. Tesla, which recently paid off the remaining $451.8 million on its 2010 Department of Energy loan, received $465 million under the highly politicized Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program. It is the first company with a loan from that program to repay its debt. In its official announcement, Tesla said it is “the only American car company to have fully repaid the government.” The pronouncement didn’t go over well with Gualberto Ranieri, Chrysler’s senior vice president of corporate communications, who posted a blog entitled, “Not Exactly, Tesla.” “The information is unmistakably incorrect,” Ranieri wrote. “It’s pretty well known that almost exactly two years ago—May 24, 2011—Chrysler Group LLC repaid (in full and with interest) U.S. and Canadian government loans more than six years ahead of schedule.”
www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 23
Industry Insight with John Yoswick
—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has a body shop in the family and has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
CIC Discusses Forthcoming Changes to Standards Effort and MSDS It was announced at the latest Collision Industry Conference (CIC) meeting in Phoenix that CIC’s multi-year discussion of “industry standards” may be coming to a close later this year. Chairman George Avery announced that after “two months of talking to many individuals” about the issue, he plans to sunset the committee focused on the topic at the end of this year. Avery said some people expressed concern that CIC was “overreaching,” particularly when it began to suggest a structure for a new organization to oversee the final development and implementation of standards. He said he wants to guide CIC by its published mission statement, which states CIC is to serve solely as a forum where “industry stakeholders come together to discuss issues, build broad understanding, find common ground and communi-
cate…findings and possible solutions.” That mission statement, he said, “is not going to change on my shift (as chairman) unless we do that in January.” “I need something that’s stable and that we’ve used and has been in place, and I’m going to use it the rest of this year,” Avery said. “If the body would like to revisit how it’s written, that can occur in January.” Brandon Thomas Avery laid out a two-pronged approach to the standards issue at CIC for the rest of the year. First, he said, the CIC Definitions Committee will conclude its work on updating the list of shop equipment and capabilities currently used as CIC’s definition of a “Class A” repair facility. Though that com-
mittee continues to discuss whether that document will be renamed, it has been used in a variety of ways over the years by insurers, associations, government agencies and other organizations looking to establish a list of the equipment, training and other items that distinguish professional repair facilities. Meanwhile, Avery will give the committee focused on standards time at the July and November CIC meetings for final presentations on “findings and possible solutions” related to two aspects of standards. In July in Boston, the committee will seek to address six specific questions Avery said he heard from those he spoke with regarding how OEM repair procedures can serve as a standard. Those questions include whether OEM “recommendations” should also be considered “standards,” and how to address situations for which there are no OEM-established procedures.
In November, Avery said, the committee will address the “inspection and verification of shop compliance” aspect of the topic, given that at a CIC meeting earlier this year, 79% of attendees thought shops should be inspected for compliance. “Then I’m closing that committee,” Avery said. “We’re not going to saw sawdust any more with the topic. Because CIC comes up to a point and stops. Then if companies want to take it from there and create inspections and verifications and programs, that’s for them to figure out and offer to the repair industry. They’ll find out whether it flies or not. That’s someone else’s bailiwick.” Avery said he believes his decision “is in the best interests based on the feedback I’ve gathered as CIC chair.” In addition, participants at the most recent CIC meeting overwhelmingly said it’s time for information
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providers and others accessing shop estimate data to convert from using the old EMS data exchange standard to the newer BMS standard. The fact that a poll of more than 200 CIC attendees at the meeting in Phoenix, AZ, found that 84% supported such a move was perhaps more surprising given that a similar poll at the CIC meeting in January found that only one in three CIC attendees said they even understood the key difference between the two standards. The education effort about the two standards has been led at CIC by Data Privacy Committee chairman Tony Passwater, who once again in Phoenix said the change could have significant impact for shops, insurers, parts suppliers and other industry vendors. Without going into to much technical detail, Passwater reiterated that while the EMS standard transfers all data from the estimate—including customer, vehicle, parts and labor information—the newer BMS standard provides shops with more control over what data gets shared, thus making it easier for them to protect the privacy of data for customers, business partners and themselves. A parts vendor, for example, can be sent just the vehicle information and parts list—not the customer’s name, address and phone number. A rental car company or CSI provider doesn’t need every line item of the estimate. “There’s just unnecessary personal and business data that is being transmitted and captured by other parties that’s not necessary,” Passwater said of the industry’s continued use of EMS. He also pointed out that EMS, which was developed in 1994 and not updated in over a decade, lacks standardized transfer of email addresses or cell phone numbers, which weren’t as ubiquitous back then. While some information providers have moved to BMS for some or all data transfer, the vast majority of transactions are still handled through EMS, Passwater said. By the end of Passwater’s presentation, 84% of CIC attendees said they had a better understanding of the key differences between EMS and BMS— and that same percentage said information providers should move to BMS and eliminate EMS.
That change, and the elimination of EMS entirely should happen quickly, according to CIC attendees; one-third said it should happen in the next six months, another third said it should happen in a year, and 22% said within two years seems reasonable. Only 10% said EMS should never be eliminated.
MSDS to change Another coming change previewed at CIC in Phoenix involves an overhaul of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations regarding hazard communications. Part of the change: “Material Safety Data Sheets,” or MSDS, will become just “Safety Data Sheets” (SDS) over the next three years. That may sound like little more than a semantic change, but it will have real repercussions, beginning this year, for collision repair shops (and virtually all employers), according to Brandon Thomas of GMG Envirosafe, a regulatory compliance consulting firm. Thomas said the change is designed to make the warnings and other information provided through the sheets more consistent among products and manufacturers. He said the 3-year phase-in includes requirements for shops this year. Primarily, all employees must by December of this year complete a training course on the new hazard communication requirements. Thomas also recommended that shops designate a “SDS library manager” to replace the old MSDS with the new SDS as they arrive between now and December 2015. That person, Thomas said, must compare the new sheet to the old to see if the defined hazards posed by the chemical have changed under the new OSHA guidelines (and some will, according to Thomas); if so, the employer must communicate that to employees and provide any additional personal protection equipment needed. Manufacturers have until the end of 2015 to convert over to SDS, and shops will have until mid-2016 to have their libraries completely converted. But with many manufacturers already issuing SDS, and with most shops using 500 to 600 chemicals each with its multi-page SDS, Thomas said it makes sense for shops to get a system in place now to begin to organize the transition.
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On Creative Marketing
Tom Franklin has been a sales and marketing consultant for fifty years. He has written numerous books and provides marketing solutions and services for many businesses. He can be reached at (323) 871-6862 or at email@example.com. See Tom’s columns at www.autobodynews.com under Columnists > Franklin
Deciding on a Marketing Course of Action Using Referents with Thomas Franklin
Many of the decisions we make at key decisive moments determine the course of our business thereafter. Buying expensive equipment, hiring a high-priced employee, investing in a management system—each of these decisive choices may be what I like to call “pivotal decisions.” The cost of making a wrong decision could set back the progress of your entire business. But the value of making the right choice may launch your shop into a significantly higher profit position. The future of your business may balance on this pivotal moment. Unfortunately not many shop owners or managers regard a marketing decision as having this powerful, pivotal effect, but considering the cost of deciding badly I suggest that this choice is as important as any. In business, it would be nearly impossible to get through the day without what I call “reliable referents.” The one we refer to the most these days is probably our cell phone, to keep us informed of the day and the time and messages. When travelling we rely on a map or G.P.S. or even a compass. In the body shop industry our referents are highly specific. These days it would be nearly impossible to write an accurate estimate without a crash estimating guide, either in book form or as a computerized estimating program. So what referents can we rely on when making a marketing decision? A good referent or rule-of-thumb is how directly the marketing efforts reach real probable prospects. Marketing decisions made in the past may no longer apply. Mailing pieces used
to be effective, but ‘junk mail’ is immediately tossed out today. At one time newspaper and magazine advertising were effective, but today, these are no longer the primary media to attract new business. In today’s electronic world the Internet, websites, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and other peer-to-peer social sites are more effective. But it’s still not the time to completely eliminate the print and publication world. Press releases can have a powerful positive effect when implemented properly. The real key to reaching specific job prospects is how we decide to target our marketing efforts and spend our marketing dollars. These days marketing efforts go in several different directions. Fortunately for many shop owners, there may be someone in the family who is comfortable with Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and more. The reliable referent here is familiarity. Putting someone to work on this on a regular basis is a must today and could be inexpensive. On the opposite side, the most expensive dimension will be having a highly professional person call on dealerships and commercial fleets. The reliable referent here is the rule that this activity requires real sales and negotiating skills. If the owner really wants to target this dimension, it would be foolish to do less than put a real professional on the job. An additional use for this individual can be reaching into the community by having him or her participate in the local Chamber of Commerce and other local professional groups. If a shop owner decides to just
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of course. At first they said, you don’t qualify because you don’t manufacture aftermarket parts. And I told them I was making aftermarket parts before you were born! I’m honored to be associated with SEMA and proud to be in their Hall of Fame.
back then. All the old-timers were there and I was representing California Custom Accessories. I did all their aerosol paints and the different parts we designed for them. That’s how I started with SEMA and then of course it exploded to where it is today. They asked me recently do you want to be in the SEMA Hall of Fame and I said
target damaged vehicles in the area, an inexpensive solution could be putting one or more retired ex-bodyshop workers on the street. The reliable referent here is that quantity pays. By using a business-card-size rough estimate to put on damaged vehicles, the key here would be quantity of vehicles looked at. Also perhaps the quantity of people on the street or in parking lots doing the rough estimates. This activity could be commission only for vehicles that come in for the complete estimate. Now we come to what people often think of when we talk about marketing: the use of literature, fliers, ads and press releases. Ads are costly and rarely targeted at specific job prospects. Bus ads, bus bench ads, billboards, banners and print ads all call for professional design. The reliable referent here is unprofessional ads will do more harm than good. There is great potential in using press
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releases instead of ads for print publications. The target here is public interest and just developing respect for the shop. A reliable referent is that people respond to concerns for children. Selecting a charity for children or a school or even little league opens the door for many press releases about the shop’s contributions to events. Every time the school or charity puts on an event, the shop should sponsor it in some way and be certain a highly professional press release goes out to all local newspapers, local radio and TV stations, and school, church and college publications if appropriate. These also go to DRP business partners and on the shop’s website and social media connections. Marketing decisions become simple when reliable referents are consulted for each marketing target, and the marketing activity is viewed as a team effort rather than an impossible task for one marketing person.
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We Asked Google: Will Self-Driving Cars Be Accident-Free? by Ed Attanasio
Years from now, we’ll be telling our grandchildren that back in the day we actually had to drive our own cars, navigating through commute traffic and fighting off road rage. Old cars driven by actual humans will sit in automobile museums and things like steering wheels and brake pedals will eventually be obsolete. No longer will men be able to claim they’re better drivers than women. Is this something out of a science fiction movie? Well, not anymore. After almost four decades developing self-driving vehicles and currently led by Google, Toyota and Audi, driverless cars have gone from fiction to reality and many believe they will eventually be the norm. Recently, U.S. auto safety regulators laid out plans to study the safety risks and benefits associated with selfdriving cars. A study by J.D. Power and Associates in late April illustrated that consumers are warming to the idea of self-driving cars, but still want features such as automatic park assistance or emergency braking on a fully
The testing of these cars has been thorough and intense, according to Google. Their widely-publicized selfdriving project team maintains a fleet of 10 vehicles, consisting of six Toyota Prius, an Audi TT, and three Lexus RX450h, each accompanied in the driver’s seat by one of a dozen drivers with perfect driving records and in the passenger seat by one of Google’s engineers. San Francisco is an ideal testing course for any driver or vehicle and one of the first things the Google fleet did was tackle the City by the Bay’s Lombard Street as well as crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, traveling along the Pacific Coast Highway and circling Google’s self-driving cars are now legal in a handful of states, Lake Tahoe. The cars including Nevada, California and Florida are designed to drive at Administration (NHTSA) announced the speed limit in each area, stored on that they “do not recommend at this its maps and maintaining its distance time that states should permit operafrom other vehicles, by utilizing its tion of self-driving cars for purposes system of sensors. The system proother than testing.” vides an override that allows a human autonomous car. In addition, these same regulators strongly recommend that anyone operating a driverless car should have a special license and appropriate training. Most everyone in the know has expressed a cautious “let’s wait and see” attitude about these new vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety
Sherwin Williams Hosts Estimating Solutions in Ohio
Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes will host its next A-Plus™ University EcoLean™ Suite of Training Course Offerings with ‘Estimating Solutions for Profit’ on June 25, 2013. The course will be held in the Greater Cleveland area at the DoubleTree by Hilton Cleveland in East Beachwood, OH. Designed to meet the challenges collision repair facilities face in today’s economic climate, participants in the innovative ‘Estimating Solutions for Profit’ course will learn how to close more sales and increase business at the front end of the body shop. The program is targeted at collision repair facility owners, managers, estimators and customer service representatives who are interested in improving their closing ratio and creating loyal customers. “The fundamentals of this course are applicable to every aspect of the collision repair industry. It will truly change your traditional thinking of how to manage the entire collision repair process,” said Troy Neuerburg, Director of Sales Excellence at Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. “Once you are armed with these
principles and simple tools, you will be able to change the way your organization writes estimates and performs forever; it is the first, and one of the most necessary steps, in remaining competitive in the collision repair marketplace.” Built by leading collision repair industry professionals, the ‘Estimating Solutions for Profit’ curriculum includes: • Understanding how the accuracy of an estimate affects the production process • Improving customer satisfaction by clearly documenting all materials used and work performed • Including all necessary operations in your estimate, through a better understanding of the P-Pages (‘included’ versus ‘not-included’ operations) • Increasing your collision center’s financial performance • Improving your negotiating skills To register online for the upcoming Cleveland A-Plus University EcoLean Suite of Training course, ‘Estimating Solutions for Profit’, go to http://www.sherwin-automotive.com/ customer-programs-services/a-plusnetwork/calendar-of-events/. For more information on the APlus Network, call (800) 798-5872.
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driver to take control of the car by stepping on the brake or turning the wheel, just like a cruise control system in many of today’s cars. Last year in March, Google posted a YouTube video showing a Morgan Hill, CA, resident, Steve Mahan, being taken on a ride in its self-driving Toyota Prius. In the video, Mahan said, “Ninety-five percent of my vision is gone, so I’m well past legally blind.” In August 2012, the Google team announced that they had completed over 300,000 autonomous-driving miles accident-free and were ready to start testing its fleet with single drivers instead of in pairs. Three U.S. states have passed laws permitting driverless cars as of September 2012: Nevada, Florida and California. While Google has no immediate plans to commercially develop their autonomous vehicle technology, the company hopes to develop a business division to market the system and deliver the data behind it to automobile manufacturers, according to veteran automotive journalist Michael Coates, the editor of www.cleanfleetreport.com.
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“Google isn’t really in the automotive business,” Coates said. “But they’re in the technology business, so it makes sense for a lot of reasons. Their real plan is to develop the technology further and find out a way to leverage it. I wouldn’t be surprised if all autonomous cars in the future will be made by the world’s leading carmakers, but each containing some aspect of Google’s technology.” So, no one really knows when autonomous cars will be prevalent on our streets and highways and with every form of new technology numerous questions also arise, especially within the collision industry. By taking the human element out of the mix, will self-driving vehicles be safer to operate? Will the collision industry be negatively impacted due to fewer accidents and eventually even become obsolete? Will these vehicles be affordable for John and Judy Doe and what will they cost? And how will this fleet of self-driving cars most directly affect the daily lives of people in the U.S. and worldwide? After inquiring for several months about the possibility of seeing or actually being a passenger in one of
Google’s self-driving cars, I received a response and the answer was a polite and succinct “No.” I was told: “You can ask us whatever you want and we’ll send you multiple photos of the car, but at this point we’re not making it available to the media.” A spokesperson from Google laid out the big picture for its new cars and outlined the benefits associated with them for Autobody News recently.
every year, and we think self-driving technology can help significantly reduce that number. Self-driving cars never get sleepy or distracted, and their ability to make driving decisions 20 times per second helps them run smartly. Already there are indications that a self-driving car can operate more safely than an average driver. “At heart, driving is an information problem. We’ve been teaching our self-driving cars to intelligently deal with all the signals and information that we normally process every day,” Google’s spokesperson said. “We’ve successfully driven over half a million miles in self-driving mode across a wide variety of terrain and road conditions, and we’re very pleased with the performance. We haven’t deterGoogle believes that its self-driving technology can greatly mined exactly how we will reduce the number of automotive fatalities worldwide by get the technology into peotaking most of the human element out of the equation ple’s hands, but we’re con“Our main goal with self-driving tinuing to develop and refine the cars is to transform mobility—to im- technology, particularly the reliabilprove people’s lives by making driv- ity.” ing safer, more enjoyable and more ABN asked the #1 question any efficient. Over 1.2 million people are body shop would want to know—do killed in traffic accidents worldwide these cars get into accidents and how?
“Our technology has never caused an accident,” a Google spokesperson said. “We did get rear-ended once at a traffic light while the computer control was off, and another time, one of our drivers caused a minor fender bender while manually driving the car. Neither of these cases involved injuries. It is a primary goal of the project to prevent incidents like these? Of course.” For body shop owners who covet the latest technology the next question is—are Google self-driving vehicles affordable at this time? Not unless you’re Donald Trump or someone super-rich like Taylor Swift. Currently, Google’s driverless test cars contain $150,000 in onboard equipment, including a $70,000 LIDAR (laser radar) system and a Velodyne 64-beam laser range finder mounted on the vehicle’s roof. Once they hit the market and are produced in larger numbers, experts believe these vehicles will sell for between $80,000 to $100,000 and more. So, get your car counts up, body shop owners and make some money if you want to be one of the early adopters in this brave new world of self-driving cars!
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Tom and Ed’s Autobody in Schererville, IN, Celebrates 30 Years by Melanie Anderson
Back in 1983, Tom Tylka and his business partner Ed opened a body shop in Schererville, IN, and 30 years later, Tom & Ed’s Autobody is still successful, although without the “Ed.” Ed left the business after only a year, but Tom, now 63, kept the name the same, and he and his wife Debbie Tylka became the sole owners.
Tom, Andy and Debbie Tylka
“Ed only lasted a year, but I left his name on the business so he could see what he would be missing,” Tom joked. “The name was on our logo and all the letterhead and paperwork and I didn’t want to change it.” Three decades ago, Tom left a job in the welding and engineering industry to open his own business. What started out as a hobby tinkering and restoring old MGs and Jaguars grew into his dream. “I always wanted to own my own Continued from Page 15
ket counterpart. Given the nature of antitrust suits, in which the plaintiff’s access to information is often limited, the Court is inclined to grant Felder’s’ request for leave to amend. The judge based his decision in part on an earlier case from which he quoted, “We believe that summary procedures should be used sparingly in complex antitrust litigation where motive and intent play leading roles, the proof is largely in the hands of the alleged conspirators, and hostile witnesses thicken the plot.” Judge Brady said, “Felder’s contends that once the competition has been ‘bumped,’ the defendants will reap monopoly profits by ceasing to offer reduced prices on parts that currently have aftermarket alternatives and will be able to maintain these supracompetitive prices because ‘high and difficult’
business,” he said. “That was my goal in life. We started out with $2,500 and 2,500 square feet.” In the early years, the shop was a small 2,500 square foot space. With big ambitions, it grew to a 15,000square-foot facility by 1995. Tylka opened two more locations in the northwest Indiana area—a 10,000square-foot facility opened in Crown Point in 1998, and in 1999 they opened a 8,500-square-foot facility in Merrillville in Bosak Motors facility. He also operates a 24-hour towing service. One of the toughest business decisions Tylka has made was the decision to add locations. He saw the industry heading in the direction of consolidation. One of his biggest concerns was quality control and customer satisfaction, and so the business has standard operating procedures for everything. Today, Tylka’s body shops bring in $4 million a year and he has 35 employees, including his wife Debbie who is vice president and takes care of the financial end of the business. Tom & Ed’s Autobody competes against the larger MSOs and they are surviving. Much of their work is for dealerships. He attributes his success to how he treats customers. “I started out treating customers how I wanted to be treated and that’s still true today,” he said.
barriers to entry in the automobile parts industry will prevent new entrants from effectively competing.” In a joint court filing, GM and All Star said the incentive program lowers resale prices “to be more cost-competitive” with non-OEM parts. Brady ruled that the suit, as filed, is deficient in many ways. Felder’s must show that there is “a dangerous probability” that GM and All Star will recoup profits that were lost on belowcost parts sales, and that they “engaged in the alleged predatory practice with the specific intent to gain monopoly power,” he said. Felder’s will file its revised complaint and start pretrial discovery if the case is determined to have merit, said plaintiff’s lawyer Peter Hilbert Jr. of New Orleans. McKay, the dealer lawyer, said, “Obviously we don’t think the case has merit and will defend it strongly.” A GM spokeswoman said she could not discuss pending litigation.
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His top three secrets to success are: 1) paying attention to his employees and listening to their opinions. 2) Having access to numbers to constantly measure and improve the business. 3) Having strong support from his
Tom & Ed’s Autobody celebrate 30 years. Pictured here are owners Tom and Debbie Tylka
wife and family. “I put a lot of time and effort into the business and they sacrificed just as much for our success,” he said. The best advice he has to give, he said, is to “work on your business and not in your business.” “Growth is important for success. Prepare to be very competitive in your
business, and be in touch with your customers, and your community,” he added. How does he see the future of Tom & Ed’s Autobody? Continued growth and constant improvement. “We are not done expanding and we are looking for more locations to grow our services in a bigger market. We are also very excited for my son to eventually take over the company,” he said. “We are all so very proud of my father and mother, as they teamed up to grow something special,” said Andy Tylka, 30, who joined the business three years ago and is the general manager. “I was lucky enough to join into this business and see firsthand how special my parents are to the staff.” For fun, Tom’s hobbies include things that sound like more work— house rentals, commercial real estate and he recently bought a limo bus and is dabbling in limo service. “He always has his hands in something new,” Andy said. Tom & Ed’s Autobody is planning a 30th anniversary celebration in late summer.
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CT Shops to get $20M
“This shows the breadth and extent of the damage caused by the defendant’s misconduct,” Stamford Superior Court Judge Alfred J. Jennings Jr. wrote. The judge concluded that The Hartford “knowingly and purposefully for the enhancement of its own profits engaged in conduct in willful or reckless disregard” of the rights of its appraisers to conduct independent appraisals of damage to vehicles. That had the effect of suppressing hourly labor rates paid to the body shops and led to lost revenue, he said. Jennings also issued an injunction prohibiting the company from interfering with the independence of its employee appraisers or from threatening them with adverse employment consequences based on their determination of labor rates. Judge Jennings, in his 20-page opinion, wrote that “the neutrality and independence of licensed vehicle damage appraisers has been seriously compromised, thereby diluting public confidence in their role and the respect
they should be afforded as state licenses.” The Auto Body Association of Connecticut, which represents more than 1,000 auto body shops, originally filed its lawsuit in 2003 against Hartford Fire Insurance Co., which is part of The Hartford Financial Services Group. Originally certified as a class of 1,000 Connecticut body shops, Artie’s Auto Body, Inc., et al v. The Hartford Fire Insurance Company, the class has grown to an estimated 1,500 shops affected. The very size of the class is an aggravating factor in determining punitive damages, Jennings wrote. It “shows the breadth and extent to the damage cause by defendant’s misconduct.” The association alleged that The Hartford engaged in a pattern of unfair and deceptive acts and practices, violating state law, by steering customers who had been in a crash to certain preferred auto body shops. The lawsuit also alleged that The Hartford provided incentives to its appraisers to establish artificially low hourly rates for auto body repair work. Labor rates are not uniform across the state, Slossberg said, and
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the rate The Hartford used was low, at $50 an hour. Slossberg said The Hartford should have used a higher rate that was more comparable to the rates of mechanics, which are about $90 an hour. The Hartford’s spokesman, Thomas Hambrick, said, “We are disappointed in the ruling and plan to appeal.” None of the money has been paid to auto body repair shops yet. At the end of the legal process, there will be a fund of money that includes the $14.7 million in compensatory damages and the $20 million in punitive damages, said Slossberg. “In most class actions, when you have a common fund like that, you then allow each member of the class to apply and there will be a process that will be set up to distribute the money to members of the class,” Slossberg said. Ultimately, payment will depend on whether The Hartford wins an appeal. Fees for the lawyers will be set later, according to Slossberg, who noted they have worked on this case for 10 years without collecting any fees. He said there is a bigger issue here, however, because the activities of The Hartford have hurt some small businesses. Slossberg said prior to the first insurance company creating a network of preferred repair shops, auto body businesses were making a 6% profit. Today, they’re at 2%, he said. In Connecticut, the shops have a lot of expenses related to equipment and environmental regulations, Slossberg noted, and the shops need to pay for talent. “They’re craftsmen,” he said. Tony Ferraiolo, president of the ABAC and owner of a lead com-
plainant, Wallingford-based A&R Body Specialty, said that despite the wins, insurers don’t appear to be getting the message. “We certainly feel great about the judge’s decision,” he said. “We don’t feel very good about The Hartford actually doing what they court has put in place.” Besides the payments, The Hartford was issued a cease-and-desist order related to its appraisals. But Ferraiolo said he’s not [yet] seeing any changes in the way it and other insurance companies are settling bills. He said sometimes shops are being paid at lower labor rates, and the shops then have to take the insurer to small claims court. Besides The Hartford, ABAC is also suing Progressive in U.S. Federal Court regarding similar claims. Thomas D. Rohback, of Axinn Veltrop, referred questions about the case to his client, the Hartford Fire Insurance Co. Spokesman Thomas Hambrick said, “We are disappointed in the ruling and plan to appeal.” Robert Langer, of Wiggin & Dana, and a CUTPA expert, declined to comment. He is expected to handle the appeal. The Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act provided remedies for economic practices that are immoral or harmful to the public, even if they violate no specific law. Jennings took into account the “large net worth of the Harford” which was approximately $12 to $13 billion, in order to fashion an award that has meaningful “deterrent motivation.” The plaintiffs had requested punitives of $59 million, or four times the jury’s award of $14,765,556. The actual award is a multiple of approximately 1.35 times the jury award.
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there when the change is happening and create the future you envision.”
Dan Risley Talks ASA
ing or setting the future direction of the collision and service repair industries. We accomplish that through several means. We have a dedicated lobbyist in Washington DC, dedicated ASA board seats with groups such as I-CAR and CIECA and board members and affiliate members that are on various boards and committees throughout the industry. If you want to play a role in facilitating positive change, you need to be
For more information see: Automotive Service Association 8190 Precinct Line Road, Suite 100 Colleyville, TX 76034 800-272-7467 www.asashop.org www.TakingTheHill.com (ASA’s legislative website) Executive Director Dan Risley 817-514-2900 ext. 112 firstname.lastname@example.org
www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 31
Mac Tools Donates $10,000 to Collision Repair Education Foundation Mac Tools recently donated $10,000 in tools to six collision school programs through the Collision Repair Education Foundation. The collision school programs that received the product donations had applied for the Education Foundation’s 2012 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant and noted their specific need for tools within their grant application. Through the Mac Tools product donation, collision school instructors are able to incorporate current model tools and equipment for teaching proper collision repair to students. The six schools that received the Mac Tools donations are: • Manhattan Area Technical College (Manhattan, KS) • Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville (Shelbyville, TN) • Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES at Ellicottville (Ellicottville, NY) • Tuscola Technology Center (Caro, MI) • Madison Area Technical School (Madison, WI) • Lake Washington Tech College (Kirkland, WA) “The Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville deeply appreci-
ates the generous donation of tools from Mac Tools,” said Ivan Jones, director of the Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville. “With the continued decrease in state appropriations to higher education institutions, this donation allows the TTCS to utilize scarce resources more efficiently. With the additional tools, the learning pace and hands-on learning increases since students do not waste valuable project time waiting for tools to become available. This donation directly helps the quality of the collision repair technology program.” Added Collision Repair Education Foundation Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode, “I would like to thank Mac Tools for their annual donation of $10,000 of tools to the Collision Repair Education Foundation and joining in our efforts to support the future professionals of the collision industry. Through the collision school programs participating with our Ultimate Collision Education Makeover school grant, we were able to match their specific request for Mac Tools products and fulfill the requests due to the company’s generosity.”
On June 12, 59 veterans drove away with refurbished cars, courtesy of Progressive Insurance and the National Auto Body Council (NABC). The one-day event called ‘Keys to Progress’ took place at several Progressive’s Service Centers across the country. Progressive worked with NABC member body shops to recycle and donate damage vehicles. They were restored for the veterans as part of a special NABC Recycled Rides project. “Whether they need the car to go to work, volunteer or get medical treatment, we’re happy that we’re able to help them keep moving forward,” said Tom Minnick, senior claims director at Progressive Insurance Enterprise Rent-A-Car will provide insurance for each donated vehicle for the first six months. “Between the NABC, Enterprise, local body shops, 1 800 Charity Cars, local VFWs and other military charities, we’ve worked together to find and restore vehicles for some great families. We really enjoy using our Service Centers for community events like this,” added Minnick. Keys to Progress is one of the single largest donations of vehicles in the history of the Recycled Rides pro-
gram. “Recycled Rides started in 2007 with five vehicles donated across the country the entire year, so seeing 59 donated in one event with one insurer just six years later is really outstanding,” said Chuck Sulkala, executive director of the National Auto Body Council. “Keys to Progress and other Recycled Rides events are made possible by everyone making the effort to go the extra mile—doing a little more each day to help make life better for those who need a helping hand.” Progressive Service Centers in the following cities participated in Keys to Progress (some cities had multiple vehicles): Phoenix and Tempe, AZ; San Diego, CA; Denver, CO; Hartford, CT; Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach, FL; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Indianapolis, IN; Kansas City, KS; New Orleans, LA; Baltimore, MD; Detroit, MI; Minneapolis, MN; St. Louis, MO; Albany, NY; Las Vegas, NV; Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus, OH; Oklahoma City, OK; Portand, OR; Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, PA; Providence, RI; Austin, Dallas, Houston, TX; Richmond, Springfield and Virginia Beach, VA; Seattle, WA; and Milwaukee, WI.
Progressive Gives 59 Vehicles to Military Veterans
32 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
I-CAR Announces More Speakers for July Meeting
I-CAR® continues to announce its 2013 Inter-Industry Conference speakers for July 24 and 25 in Boston. The following technology leaders will present key industry topics such as: advancements in integrated vehicle safety systems, evolving vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-vehicle communications, driver and pedestrian safety, the impact of CAFE on vehicle design, and the potential for autonomous vehicles. Additional speakers include: • Nathaniel Beuse, Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety and Research, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) • David Zuby, Chief Research Officer, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) • Richard Wallace, Director, Transportation Systems Analysis, Center for Automotive Research (CAR) • Dr. Kay Stepper, Director, Driver Assistance Systems, Chassis Systems Control, Robert Bosch LLC These speakers join previously announced speakers, including keynote speaker Reginald R. Modlin, Director of Regulatory Affairs, Chrysler Group LLC.
Ryan Collision Becomes First Nebraska ABRA Center
Ryan Collision Center recently had a name change. The auto body shop is now ABRA Auto Body & Glass. However, ownership and employees will remain the same, co-owner Jim Ryan said. “I saw it as an opportunity for us to graduate to the next level in terms of the performance that we can give our customers,” Ryan said. It’s the first ABRA to pop up in Nebraska, but Ryan said most of the chain’s locations are concentrated in the Midwest. Ryan said the shop now offers additional services, such as software that helps manage the repair process, a call center that allows the shop to schedule repairs outside of its business hours and a 24-hour towing service. After the change, the business hired three employees, with plans to add more in the future, Ryan said. ABRA is based in Minneapolis, Minn., with locations in Colorado, Iowa, South Dakota and Illinois, among others.
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Chief Automotive to Sponsor SkillsUSA Again For the 27th consecutive year, Chief Automotive Technologies will sponsor the Collision Repair Technology Championship at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. The 2013 conference, held June 24-28 in Kansas City, MO, brings student winners from statewide competitions together to compete for national championships in more than 90 disciplines. Chief will supply most of the structural repair equipment for the Collision Repair Technology (CRT) event, including a frame rack, computerized measuring system and damage simulators. Chief also developed the written structural repair test to be administered during the contest. The winning CRT student will receive free registration for a future Chief University training class, and all participants will receive a Chief-branded flashlight. Several Chief staff members will volunteer their time to help manage the event. Independent Chief University instructor Ken Soupene leads the CRT committee, which also includes Chief Global Repair Product Manager Richard Perry; Mike Croker of Chief distributor Automotive Tech-
nology Inc.; Tom Beachem and John Ressler of Nationwide Insurance; Marty Hettle, retired; and Bob Keith of CARSTAR. The group will help set up the structural repair CRT area, oversee testing, answer questions and supervise all week. “We first got involved with SkillsUSA in 1986 to promote educational programs and give back to the industry,” said Perry. “It has been a very rewarding partnership. By working together, we can ensure the next generation of technicians is properly trained in the evolving field of structural damage analysis and repair.” This year’s SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference is expected to draw more than 15,000 students, teachers and business partners from across the country. All championship competitions will be held Thursday, June 27. For the CRT contest, students will work against the clock and each other to demonstrate their metal straightening, welding, plastic repair and structural analysis abilities. Judging is based on the overall appearance of the finished product, safety practices employed, speed, written exams and an interview.
Police Dog Helps Solve Body Shop Burglary in NH
Police responded at 3:45 a.m. on June 3 after an alarm sounded at R&J Auto Body, 32 Calef Highway (Route 125) in Rochester, NH. After an investigation, officers discovered the business had been broken into and several vehicles owned by customers had been gone through, according to police. Police arrested a man living in a motel in connection with the burglary at the body shop. Shawn Cote, 27, was charged with burglary, receiving stolen property, contempt and two counts of criminal mischief. The local K-9 team responded and led police to a unit at the nearby Riviera Motel, where officers found evidence they say linked Cote to the incident along with stolen items from unrelated thefts. Police said Cote damaged police property while he was in custody, and he also violated bail conditions from a previous arrest for receiving stolen property. After refusing bail, Cote was transported to the Strafford County Jail in Dover. He was arraigned via video in 7th Circuit Court, Rochester District Court.
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3M Gives $250,000 Worth of Tape to 312 Repair Schools
3M recently helped 312 secondary and post-secondary collision school programs nationwide by donating more than 15,000 rolls of 3/4” tape and more than 22,000 rolls of 2” tape through the Collision Repair Education Foundation. This donation, with a monetary value of roughly $250,000, will help ease the pain of budget cuts to these programs. Mark Algie, Business Development Manager of the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division, said, “We believe in what the Collision Repair Education Foundation stands for and this is just our simple way in which we can help as many schools as possible. It is our hope that these donations help in some small way, so that the students, schools and ultimately the industry will benefit.” Collision instructor Rich Chandler of the George Stone Technical Center in Pensacola, FL, said, “On behalf of the George Stone Automotive Collision Repair and Refinish class we would like to thank you for your generous donation. The cost of consumable supplies eats up a major portion of our budget and your donation helped tremendously.”
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www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 33
Axalta to Invest $50 Million in Shanghai, China, Facility
Axalta Coating Systems will invest more than $50 million to build a new facility in Shanghai, China, which will manufacture and supply up to 25,000 metric tons of auto paint for auto manufacturers that are expanding in south and central China. Axalta said the plant will be dedicated to production of its waterborne coatings that meet both manufacturer and regulatory environmental standards. Construction of the facility is expected to break ground during the second half of 2013. Production at the facility is scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2015. Axalta, which generates annual revenue of roughly $4.3 billion, currently operates 35 manufacturing plants, seven research and development facilities, and 42 training locations worldwide. “Our board’s decision to invest and grow with our customers reflects our long-term commitment to the auto industry in China and around the world. That’s what Axalta customer focus is all about. Proximity enables us to respond immediately to our customers’ needs,” said Charles Shaver, chairman and CEO of Axalta.
Automakers Reduce Summer Recess, Except Nissan, Honda, & Toyota
The Detroit-based automakers are generally passing up the traditional two-week summer break at their factories and instead are speeding up production to meet buyers’ growing demand for new cars and trucks. Chrysler, Ford and General Motors traditionally shut factories for 14 days around July 4 to do maintenance and change the machinery for new models. But this year they will work through the period. U.S. demand for new cars and trucks has been strong—up 7% through April, led by strong demand for full-size pickup trucks as home construction rebounds. Not all automakers are changing their schedules, however. Honda and Nissan said they still plan to close their U.S. plants for a week around July 4. Toyota is also planning to shut down its U.S. plants for a week this summer. That includes Nissan’s Canton manufacturing plant, which builds seven brands, from the Altima midsize sedan to the Titan fullsize pickup, and Toyota’s Blue Springs facility, which produces the Corolla. Toyota spokesman Victor Vanov said the plant near Tupelo will take its typical weeklong break in July despite occasionally operating into overtime
Election Results Announced for New SEMA Board of Directors
Doug Evans of Source Interlink Media has been elected the Chairman-elect of SEMA and joins two newly elected board members to help lead the association for the 2013–2015 term. Evans fills the position held for the past two years by Nate Shelton of B&M Automotive Group. Shelton will begin serving his term as Chairman in July. The newly elected SEMA Board volunteers are Kyle Fickler of Weld Racing and Tim Watts of Superlift Suspension. Jeff Bates of Bob Cook Sales was re-elected and will serve another term. 2013–2014 SEMA Board of Directors are: • Chairman of the Board: Nate Shelton, B&M Automotive Group • Chairman-elect: Doug Evans, Source Interlink Media • Immediate-Past Chairman: Scooter Brothers—COMP Performance Group Board Members are: • Jeff Bates–Principal/Partner, Bob Cook Sales • Jim Bingham–President and CEO, Winner’s Circle Speed & Custom Inc. • Luanne Brown–President & CEO, eTool Developers
• Nick Gramelspacher–National Sales Manager, Meyer Distributing • John Hotchkis– President, Hotchkis Performance LLC • Kyle Fickler-Vice President of Sales, Weld Racing • JR Moore–Director, Warehouse Operations, Performance Warehouse • Russell Stephens–President, MSD Performance • Tim Watts–Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Superlift Suspension • Steve Wolcott–CEO, ProMedia LLC John Johnson of The Spartan Group will serve as secretary/treasurer, and Russ Deane of Trainum, Snowdon & Deane continues as general counsel. The newly elected SEMA Board of Directors will be recognized during the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser on July 26 at the Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center, Pomona, CA. Also during the banquet, outgoing board members Greg Adler, Joel Ayres, Jim Chick, Donnie Eatherly, Myles Kovacs, Tim Martin, Van Woodell and Jeep Worthan will be recognized and honored for their service and their contributions to the industry.
34 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
so far this year to meet vehicle demand. Workers’ pay isn’t impacted by the changes, since the shutdowns are paid vacations. Here are automakers’ summer plans: • GM offering 20 new models. General Motors Co.’s North America President Mark Reuss said GM might pause work to change over some machinery but won’t have full shutdowns. The nation’s biggest automaker is in the midst of releasing 20 new models, including the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. Reuss said GM hasn’t had formal two-week shutdowns since it emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2009. • Chrysler cranking out Vipers, Cherokees. Chrysler Group has canceled downtime at three assembly plants, including the two Detroit facilities where the SRT Viper and Jeep Grand Cherokee are made and the Toledo, Ohio, factory that makes the new Jeep Cherokee. Chrysler said four of its plants— Brampton and Windsor assembly plants in Canada, which make large cars and minivans, and two Detroitarea plants that make the Ram pickup
and midsize cars—will close for a full two weeks in July. • Ford is pushing for 240,000 more vehicles in 2013 in North America. Ford said it will produce 40,000 vehicles during the week it’s staying open. It will soon add a second shift to its Flat Rock, MI, plant to make the Fusion sedan and a third shift to the Kansas City, MO, plant where the F150 pickup is made. It’s also increasing the speed of its assembly lines, allowing plants that might have made 60 vehicles per hour to make 65. James Tetrault, Ford’s vice president of North American manufacturing, said that a decade ago Ford had to idle factories because each only made one vehicle. Now, it has flexible plants that make multiple vehicles on the same assembly line. “It’s a lot easier to figure out how to make more than to shut down a plant,” he said.
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Boyd Group Acquires 61 Auto Glass Locations
The Boyd Group Income Fund has acquired majority ownership in the retail auto glass business of Glass America Inc. Glass America operates 61 auto glass locations throughout 23 U.S. states under the trade names Glass America and Auto Glass Services. The Boyd Group already operates Gerber National Glass Services, an auto glass repair and replacement business with roughly 3,000 affiliated service providers throughout 12 U.S. states. With the acquisition of Glass America, the Boyd Group said it is now the second largest retail auto glass service business in the United States in terms of footprint and annual sales. Brock Bulbuck, president and CEO of the Boyd Group, said the company will now offer glass replacement services in 28 U.S. states to 50% of the U.S. population. Glass America and Gerber National Glass Services together are expected to generate more than $60 million of annual revenue. Glass America generated revenue of $43 million in 2012, while Gerber National Glass Services generated revenue of $19 million.
SCRS Says Insurer-Mandated Parts Procurement Still Shows No Benefits
SCRS said in a recent press release, “Despite public criticism and concern expressed by multiple affected industry segments, neither State Farm nor PartsTrader has provided any wellconstructed explanation of how the program provides any substantial benefit to those being required to utilize it, other than to comply with the mandated programs. “While PartsTrader has made various software updates to address the plentiful concerns expressed by their end-users, correcting and enhancing software issues is a necessary function of being in a technology business, and the industry still expects that technology companies should be able to provide a better value proposition for why we should be using their product than ‘because we got the insurance company to tell you to,’” said SCRS Chairman, Ron Reichen. “Perhaps the best questions to PartsTrader, and other companies... is to ask if their platforms can benefit the market enough that they could, and would, grow organically without the insurer influence over their enduser?” Other similarly mandated programs have begun to receive more attention as well, as insurers involved
continue to require the use of programs despite a recognition that there is growing frustration from shops who are obligated to change their internal business practices to accommodate the changing rules of the DRP relationships. In an email from one American Family field adjuster to a group of repair businesses on the program, he stated, “I’ve received lots of feedback from almost everyone about APU [Solutions]. There is some good with it, and then there are some very frustrating/difficult stuff to deal with. One of the major concerns I’m hearing about right now is APU recommending all these little outlying suppliers that are requiring credit cards before you can order a part. Shops are not set up to be dealing with credit cards all over the country, and truly local suppliers such as Keystone don’t require them. Another concern is freight and more specifically, how returns are handled. None of these are making things easier for you and that’s frustrating for everyone.” Another concern mentioned is when parts that are recommended by APU are located in multiple different states, or from multiple vendors. If there are 15 parts on an estimate, a re-
pair facility could potentially be expected to purchase parts from 15 different vendors in 15 different states based solely on APU’s recommendations. “I’ve passed on your concerns to my boss,” the email continued, and “in turn, he will be in a series of meetings this and next week with his boss as well as other managers from around the region. He tells me he’s going to bring up your concerns to be discussed. Hopefully, some less frustrating answers will be coming out of these meetings.” “Despite the obvious recognition of the hardships these mandates are potentially creating, and despite the rapidly evolving market place where it appears more and more online parts procurement solutions are entering into the marketplace, it is baffling why carriers continue to dictate process, rather than seeking a resultsdriven relationship with repairers,” said Aaron Clark, SCRS Immediate Past Chairman. “It certainly leaves the impression that there is more to gain for the insurance industry than the desire for increasingly informed selection of parts choices from reasonable vendors and more efficient processing.”
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Denise Caspersen Joins National Autobody Parts Warehouse in Grand Prairie, TX, Leaves ASA as of May 23 Mike Dolabi, owner of the National Autobody Parts Warehouse, Inc., headquartered in Grand Prairie, TX, recently hired 16-year industry veteran Denise Caspersen. Denise joined the National Autobody Parts Warehouse, Inc. on June 3, 2013, in the capacity of industry relations with a focus on project management and innovative strategic planning. National Autobody Parts Warehouse is a 72,000 sq.-foot facility that has achieved NSF distributor certification, is ISO9001 certified and an exclusive distributor for TYC lighting, Depot lighting and Mirka Body shop supplies. “Having Denise join our team is a perfect piece to our growth puzzle. We are excited to have her skills, knowledge, enthusiasm and experience as the newest member of our staff.” “It’s an honor to join the National Autobody Parts Warehouse team,” Caspersen said. “Having known Mike for a few years, his positive and forward thinking approach to business is an inspiration to me. Time and again, Mike has shown his efforts are about quality and customer service and his expectations are about
SEMA Show Attendees Get Low Cost Rooms at Dozens of Hotels
SEMA showgoers can obtain reliable, low-cost hotel rooms from Travel Planners, the official housing partner for the 2013 SEMA Show. Reservations made at www.SEMAShow.com/travel-and-lodging offer discounts at dozens of hotels, with rates as low as $56 per night and many more properties agreeing to waive the standard “resort fees.” Go to www.SEMAShow.com/ travel-and-lodging, or call 800-2213531 or 212-532-1660.
Collision Foundation Hosts Golf Ball Drop Fundraiser
The Collision Repair Education Foundation is hosting their 12th Annual Golf Fundraiser on July 25 at the South Shore Country Club in Hingham, MA. Participate by sponsoring one or more golf balls to be dropped from a helicopter over the golf course onto one of the greens. Whoever’s sponsored golf ball goes in the hole (or closest to it) will win a $1,000 American Express gift card. $25 per golf ball or $100 for 5 balls No need to be present to win.
doing what is right. When I think of leading by example and incorporating innovation and inclusion, Mike and the National Autobody Parts Warehouse team are top of mind. I’m looking forward to growing with Mike’s team and adding to their success.” Caspersen has built her professional career in the collision repair industry through eight years of statistical research and eight years industry engagement, with her most recent efforts focused on aftermarket parts and electronic parts procurement. In 2012, Caspersen’s efforts with the ASA collision division provided the industry with fact-based analysis of the State Farm/PartsTrader electronic parts procurement application in pilot. These actions were well documented in various industry trade publications and during many public presentations. Her last day with ASA was May 23. Caspersen participates on the Women’s Industry Network (WIN) board of directors, recently elected to vice chair of WIN along with completing her chairmanship of the Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) in 2012.
U.S. Chemical and Plastics Receives Presidential Award
U.S. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank recently presented U.S. Chemical & Plastics with the President’s “E” Award for Exports at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The “E” Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. “Exporting has always been and continues to be an important segment of our business, and we are honored to receive the “E” Award,” said Tom Perry, U.S. Chemical & Plastics’ President. “We have been exporting for nearly four decades. During the past five years, export sales more than doubled, enabling us to sustain jobs and even expand our work force.” “I am delighted to be recognizing this year’s Presidential ‘E’ Award winners for their outstanding contributions to U.S. exports and congratulate U.S. Chemical & Plastics on its outstanding export achievement,” said Acting Secretary Blank. “It is businesses like U.S. Chemical & Plastics that are strengthening the economies of local communities and creating jobs.
36 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Caliber Acquires Hank’s Auto Body Shops in Denver
Caliber Collision Centers recently announced that it has acquired three Hank’s Auto Body locations in the greater Denver market. Caliber’s three-shop acquisition represents 80,000 square feet of collision repair facilities in Denver, Littleton and Wheat Ridge, CO. “Caliber’s acquisition of Hank’s Auto Body locations in the Denver market represents Caliber’s continued commitment to expand into the southwestern U.S.,” said Steve Grimshaw, Caliber Collision Centers’ Chief Executive Officer. “After getting to know Vince Vecchiarelli and his team in Colorado, it became very apparent that their culture is a perfect fit with Caliber’s customer service focus centered on our employees,” he said. “Our acquisition of the three Hank’s Auto Body locations in Denver increases the total number of Caliber locations across the southwest to 129 as we continue to execute on our mission of becoming the collision repair provider of choice in every community we serve,” said Mark Sanders, Chief Operating Officer for Caliber Collision Centers.
PPG Announces MVP Fall Conference in Florida
PPG will hold its Fall MVP Business Solutions Conference at the luxurious Omni Amelia Island on September 8-10 in Amelia Island, FL. The PPG MVP Business Solutions Conferences have continued to grow in customer participation because of the outstanding keynote and seminar offerings that addresses the industry’s dynamic marketplace challenges. Past conferences have been complete sell-outs largely because there is no better way to get your business energized for the future than by attending the PPG MVP Business Solutions Conference The conference is open to owners and managers of collision centers using PPG Refinish products. MVP conferences are biannual events and key components of PPG’s ongoing commitment to provide advanced business thinking and innovative solutions to its MVP customers. For more information, visit www.ppgmvp.com for registration details. Additional information about PPG MVP Business Solutions and future conferences may also be obtained by calling (866) 237-8178.
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Mike Stanton, CEO of Global Automakers Assn, to Retire After 35 Years Representing OEMs Mike Stanton, 68, president and CEO of the Association of Global Automakers, the trade association representing primarily Asian and luxury automakers, says he will retire early in 2014. Stanton has spent over 35 years representing motor vehicle manufacturers before Congress, the White House and state legislatures. He announced the move to give his members enough time to find a replacement. “It’s bittersweet because I clearly love the industry and all of the issues, but it’s time for the next generation,” Stanton said in an interview with the Detroit News. “Mike has done an impressive job invigorating Global Automakers, delivering growth and developing a clear and progressive vision,” said John Krafcik, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor America and Global Automakers’ chairman of the board. “I have enjoyed working with Mike in a period of great progress for the association and hope to find a new president and CEO who can continue to lead the organization on the path that has been set.”
Stanton has been involved in every major auto regulatory issue over the last three decades. He has often joked that long-running battles over fuel efficiency standards helped him put his children through college. The group’s members include American Honda, Aston Martin, Ferrari North America, Hyundai, Isuzu Motors America, Kia Motors America, Maserati North America, McLaren Automotive, Nissan North America, Peugeot Motors of America, Subaru of America, Suzuki Motor of America and Toyota Motor. Global Automakers will retain an executive search firm and establishing a search committee composed of member automakers to help find the organization’s next chief. The Association of Global Automakers represents international motor vehicle manufacturers, original equipment suppliers and other automotive-related trade associations. Stanton was also a longtime lobbyist for Detroit’s Big Three.
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ABRA Auto Body and Glass is NABC’s Newest Diamond-Level Member The National Auto Body Council (NABC) announced the diamondlevel membership of ABRA®Auto Body & Glass. For nearly 30 years, ABRA Auto Body & Glass has been committed to being a socially conscious company dedicated to giving back to the communities in which it operates. The mission to communicate this involvement effectively to the general public is the driving force behind the company’s desire to become a diamond-level member, the highest level of NABC sponsorship. “One of the long-term goals of ABRA is to have all of our repair centers actively and positively involved in local communities,” said Tim Adelmann, ABRA’s executive vice president. “With our Diamond level membership this goal can be a reality, especially since it meshes with the National Auto Body Council’s mission to improve the image of the collision industry across the country.” In addition to creating a larger impact by combining its message with the National Auto Body Council and others in the industry, ABRA
I-CAR’s Margaret Knell Named Chair of WIN
I-CAR® is applauding Margaret Knell, Director of Corporate Administration, for her recent appointment as Chair of the Women’s Industry Network® (WIN). Margaret has been with I-CAR for over 25 years and is an integral member of the organization, serving I-CAR and its 22-person I-CAR Board of Directors and associated Board Committees. Knell works closely with the Board who sets the overall strategic direction for I-CAR and assists in obtaining resources in support of the I-CAR Mission. “Margaret’s legal and board relations expertise, as well as her related industry experience, allows her to influence critical areas of I-CAR’s business and I believe she will be highly effective leading the WIN Board and developing strategies that will enable the organization to continue delivering the WIN mission. Her deep level of commitment and strategic focus make her an ideal person to serve as WIN Board Chair,” said John Van Alstyne, ICAR CEO & President. In 2012, Knell was awarded the prestigious Cornerstone Award by WIN.
believes it can leverage its substantial footprint of 173 collision repair facilities in 17 states to support NABC and its efforts to promote the industry. “ABRA is a recognized industry name with a long history and a solid reputation not only for quality work, but for giving back to the localities in which they do business,” stated NABC Executive Director Chuck Sulkala. “Their philosophy not only aligns with the goals of the National Auto Body Council, but ABRA’s visibility in doing selfless good work will directly contribute to our mission to elevate the image of our industry. It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome them aboard.” Companies and collision repairers interested in changing the industry for the better are invited to become a member of the NABC. Membership applications are available on the website at www.autobodycouncil.org. See story on previous page about ABRA relocating and expanding its corporate headquarters in Minnesota.
Teresa Bolton Gets WIN’s 2013 Cornerstone Award
During the Women’s Industry Network 7th Educational Conference in Phoenix, May 5–7, 2013, the WIN Board of Directors awarded Teresa Bolton, WIN’s treasurer and scholarship committee chair, with the WIN Cornerstone Award. As an allvolunteer organization, WIN holds the efforts of its many volunteers in the highest regard. The WIN Cornerstone award recognizes the efforts of an individual board member whose actions and unique contributions demonstrate their commitment to the WIN mission and vision, and set an example for others to follow. The award was presented to Bolton by Victoria Jankowski, WIN’s immediate past chair, during the organization’s membership meeting. “Teresa has made tremendous contributions to WIN through her board role, as the organization’s treasurer, as chair of our Scholarship Committee and as an active participant on our Membership Committee,” said Jankowski. “She holds a special place in our hearts for her tireless hard work, positive attitude and leadership as we continue to build upon the important role WIN plays within the industry.”
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Vandalism Charge on RI Body Shop Owner Dismissed
Quality Parts Coalition Gets New Executive Director
OEConnection Earns ‘Top 20’ Call Center Distinction
New App is Designed to Lower Shops’ Energy Costs
A vandalism case against a Warwick, RI, auto body shop owner accused of damaging cars at a dealership has been dismissed. Stevie D’s, a car dealership in Warwick, has had dozens of cars vandalized over the years. The dealership’s owner, Steven Davis, set up surveillance cameras to try to catch the vandals responsible. The video captured a man on camera apparently keying cars. Davis said he quickly recognized the man as Tony Lombardi, owner of Airport Body Shop, where Davis sends cars to get repaired. According to police, the surveillance video shows Lombardi hanging out at the dealership. In the video, he gets out of his car, looks in the store, and then walks along two cars, dragging his key along the way. Court records show the case against Lombardi was dismissed on May 13. When asked why the charges were dropped, Kerry Rafanelli, a prosecutor for the city of Warwick, told local media that there were several problems with the surveillance video.
The Quality Parts Coalition (QPC) has appointed Dan Morrissey as the Coalition’s new executive director, effective immediately. In addition to serving as an active Board member of the QPC, Morrissey is currently vice president of Operations at PartsChannel Inc. and chairman of the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA). “It has been a true honor to serve the QPC over the years as executive director,” said outgoing Executive Director Eileen A. Sottile. “I am confident that with Dan’s leadership we will further build upon our momentum to secure a legislative fix to our design patent challenge.” The organization is dedicated to ensuring consumers continue to have access to quality and lower-cost collision repair parts. Sottile will continue participating as an active member of the QPC. “Eileen has led the Quality Parts Coalition admirably for the past seven years,” said Morrissey. “On behalf of the Coalition, I thank her for her many years of service and look forward to continuing to work with her to achieve the Coalition’s legislative objective.”
OEConnection LLC announced that its Customer Care Department placed in the top 20 in the SmallSized Centers Category of the Top 100 Call Center award for 2013 from BenchmarkPortal. The Top 100 competition compares the performance of contact centers throughout North America by evaluating their key metrics against industry peers. Entries are all cross-checked, validated and approved by certified call center experts, and the resulting submissions are scored on the basis of both quality and cost efficiency. In addition to this award, the OEConnection Customer Care Department, having consistently ranked among the top 10% of all call centers surveyed worldwide, has earned the Center of Excellence designation by BenchmarkPortal for five consecutive years. “This award acknowledges the hard work of our talented Customer Care team as well as our company’s ongoing commitment to exceptional customer service,” said Paul Johnson, Senior Vice President, Sales/Service & Chief Administrative Officer at OEConnection.
GRC-Pirk Management recently released RO-PEPtalk, an add-on software tool to assist automotive repair shops in lowering energy costs and improving work performance on the Mitchell RepairCenter ToolStore, which allows shops to connect with their collision repair trading partners and third party add-on tools. Offerings in the ToolStore integrate directly with RepairCenter without need to open another program to use one of the tools. According to GRCPirk, providing shops with energy efficiency feedback offers an effective method for measuring process performance by applying the science of self-satisfaction. Research has shown that self-satisfaction feedback, sometimes referred to as virtuous feedback, improves efficiency because it stabilizes human behavior. Energy performance feedback is a persuasive factor in support of team spirit. By promoting team spirit through performance feedback, shop managers can amplify and reinforce worker behavior. Labor-hour efficiency is easily compared to utility-hour efficiency using the RO-PEPtalk proportional analysis calculator.
SEMA Receives Presidential Award For Export Service
SEMA Reaches Out to Young Entrepreneurs
State Farm Continues Three Major Building Projects
U.S. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank presented the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) with the President’s “E” Award for Export Service at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The “E” Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. “As a trade association, SEMA seeks to help member companies grow and expand their businesses,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO. “One of the many ways SEMA helps its members grow is through exporting. For many of our members, exporting products to key international markets is integral to their success, and SEMA is available to help identify strategic markets and guide members along the way.” “SEMA has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion,” said Blank in her congratulatory letter. “The ‘E’ Awards Committee was very impressed with SEMA’s International Vehicle Measuring Program. The organization’s work to support the developing legal frameworks for emerging specialty-equipment industries in China and UAE was particularly compelling.”
The SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN) is seeking young entrepreneurs to compete in the first-ever “SEMA Launch Pad” competition, which culminates at the 2013 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. It offers executive-level innovators under the age of 40 a platform to showcase their business plans for marketing new automotive products or services. “Our industry is made up of innovative visionaries,” said Bryan Harrison, SEMA Launch Pad Project Manager. “Through the SEMA Launch Pad, we’re hoping to discover new leaders who will pave the way to the future. We’re looking for folks to follow in the steps of the pioneers who started our industry nearly 50 years ago.” Open to leading executives (president, CEO or owner) who are YEN members, the competition begins with an online application that requires applicants to submit a short video detailing the company’s functioning prototype/ concept or product/service available for sale. For more information visit www.SEMA.org/launch-pad or contact Bryan Harrison at: bryanh@SEMA.org, or 909-9786691.
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State Farm Insurance is building a huge new office complex in Richardson, TX, and is constructing two more similar facilities in suburban Phoenix and in Atlanta. Real estate sources say the Richardson complex has grown in size to more than 2.5 million square feet. The Richardson and Phoenix projects are two of three big regional operations centers the Illinois-based insurance company is creating. Officials in Tempe, AZ, released details of what will be the largest single office complex ever built in the state. The State Farm office complex will contain 2 million square feet and will cost about $600 million, developers have told local media. The 20-acre complex near Arizona State University will include retail facilities and other amenities for the thousands of State Farm workers that will be relocated to the new Arizona project. The new Arizona complex opens in 2017. State Farm has a third major complex in the works in the Atlanta area, which is expected to range in size from 1– 1.5 million square feet and cost about $300 million. The insurance firm is already renting temporary office space in Atlanta.
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NADA Foundation Mobilizes Emergency Relief to Help Victims of Oklahoma Tornado
The National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation moved quickly May 21 to inform dealership employees affected by the Oklahoma tornado that financial assistance is available through its Emergency Relief Fund. “We already know of nearly 60 dealership employees who have suffered either total loss of their homes or significant damage,” said David Hyatt, NADA vice president of public affairs. The greatest destruction occurred in Moore, OK, a suburb of 55,000 south of Oklahoma City. The massive tornado killed at least 24 people, including nine children, and injured more than 230. The National Weather
Service described it as an F5 twister that stayed on the ground for 40 minutes, with winds of at least 200 mph, the first EF5 tornado this year. It left an area of about four square miles devastated, with entire blocks of houses flattened, widespread power outages, lack of water and phone service. Peter Hodges, president of the Metro Auto Dealers Association of Oklahoma City, said its charitable foundation began distributing checks to some of the dealership employees hardest hit by the tornado. “But we will soon run out of money,” he said. “I have also distributed information to let the employees know how to
apply for financial assistance from the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund,” he added. NADA will continue to work with the state and metro dealer associations to notify dealers and their employees that financial assistance from the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund is available. Employees can apply directly to NADA for emergency assistance or dealers can apply on behalf of their affected employees. The Emergency Relief Fund is also providing financial assistance to dealership employees affected by the recent explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant. Last year, after Hurricane Sandy
hit the Northeast, more than $500,000 was distributed to 700 dealership employees. Since the fund was established in 1992, more than $5.4 million has been provided to nearly 8,500 dealership employees in need. The NADA Foundation, established in 1975, is the philanthropic arm of the National Automobile Dealers Association. Funds contributed by new car and truck dealers and friends of the industry provide financial support to schools, private colleges and universities, emergency disaster relief and other community service programs. For more information, visit: www.nada.org/charitablefoundation.
I-CAR Makes Changes and Updates to Steel Sectioning Qualification Test
I-CAR® has introduced several enhancements to its Steel Sectioning Qualification Test (SPS05). Enhancements include updated rail design, material thickness, and welds. I-CAR Technical Director, Jason Bartanen stated, “A technician’s ability to properly perform sectioning procedures extends well beyond the shop floor. Improper repairs can impact the structural integrity of the ve-
hicle, passenger safety, and airbag performance. The Steel Sectioning Qualification Test is an excellent way to help verify that technicians are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to improve their in-shop performance and to reinforce the importance of following proper repair procedures.” A unique benefit to this training experience is that the training and test-
ing take place in-shop, allowing students to use the tools and equipment that they work with regularly. During the course, technicians will be able to demonstrate their measuring, cutting, and GMA (MIG) welding skills while sectioning steel structural parts. Each student will completely section a rail made from thin and thick steels and perform welding joints as he/she would on the repair
floor. Throughout the course, the student uses a true-to-life body repair manual as a guide to meeting repair specifications. To learn more about the Steel Sectioning Qualification Test (SPS05), or to request a welding event at your shop, visit the course catalog under the “Training” tab at www.i-car.com or call I-CAR Customer Care at 800-4227872.
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www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 39
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40 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
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