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Vol. 9 / Issue 4 / January 2020

IL / IN / IA / KS / KY / MI / MN / MO / NE / ND / OH / SD / WI

CIC Committees Offer Ideas for Better Welding Practices, Documentation of Test Drives

Mosaic ADT Created to Achieve Repeatable, Error-Free Calibrations

by John Yoswick

by Stacey Phillips

Collision Industry Conference (CIC) committees in Las Vegas in Novem-

Toby Chess and Kye Yueng offered tips and best practices related to improving shop welding. Credit: John Yoswick

ber tackled topics ranging from better welding practices to OEM procedures and new ways of documenting increasingly detailed vehicle test drives. Toby Chess, an industry trainer who leads CIC’s “Technical Presentations” committee and who has conducted more than 6,000 I-CAR welding tests over 15 years, said at least five automakers – Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Audi/VW /Porsche – have OEM procedures with detailed instructions for performing destructive testing on plug welds and spot welds prior to weldSee CIC Committees, Page 16

There are an increasing number of vehicles on the road today with Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems

Lee Daugherty, vice president of global collision sales for Chief Collision Technology. Credit: Chief Collision Technology

GM to Lay Off 800 Workers at Detroit-Hamtramck by Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press

General Motors (GM) will lay off 814 hourly and salaried workers at its Detroit-Hamtramck, MI, Assembly Plant starting Feb. 28. The workers will be relocated and the plant will be retooled for a new line of electric vehicles to start production in 2021. The automaker provided notice of the layoffs Tuesday, Dec. 3, in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act filing with the state. The UAW workers affected, about 753, will remain employed and be offered buyouts or jobs at other

GM facilities, said GM spokesman Dan Flores.

(ADAS). As the percentage continues to rise, the greater the demand will be for calibration to ensure a proper repair, said Lee Daugherty, vice president of global collision sales for Chief Collision Technology. To help meet this growing industry need, Chief Collision Technology teamed up with Burke Porter Group to create ADAS calibration equipment. After two years in development, Mosaic Advanced Diagnostics Technology (ADT) was launched in November at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. “When a vehicle is in a collision, See Retain Employees, Page 18


Holidays From AUTOBODY

UAW strikers with Local 22 take to the streets outside of GM Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. Credit: Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press

“As previously announced, production of the Chevrolet Impala and See GM to Lay Off, Page 34

CWI’s Technical Program in Nampa, Idaho, Has a 100 Percent Job Placement Rate by McKenna King, KIVI News

What if we told you there’s a training program that’s placing every one of its students into jobs when they graduate…and it still has openings? That’s exactly what is happening within CWI’s Auto Body Technology Program in Nampa, Idaho. The program is two years long, and it offers multiple auto body technology certificates and an associate degree. “A traditional college I knew wasn’t for me, something like this, more hands-on, and gaining a skill was something I knew I could excel in,” said Chris White, a second-year student in the program. The program

teaches students the trades they need in order to become an entry-level technician in auto body and collision repair. “We start the students off with safety, so they know how to work with the equipment and the tools,” said Sean McConnachie, associate professor in the auto body program at CWI. As a first-year student, they learn welding and body repair, where they learn how to fix dents. They also learn the office work side of the business, where they are taught how to calculate estimates. Then as a second-year student, they begin learning the finish work. Once year two wraps up, stuSee Technical Program, Page 12



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JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

CONTENTS Automotive Technology Department Head Stresses Life Skills First . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Repair Shop for Sustainability . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Sisk - Collision Repair Industry Associations Make 2020 New Year’s Resolutions. . . . . . . 36

AWAF Pumps and Power Featured Fiat Chrysler Chief Engineer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Body Shop in Rushford, MN, Finds New Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 CarNow Helps Industry Leaders Focus on Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 CWI’s Technical Program in Nampa, Idaho, Has a 100 Percent Job Placement Rate. . . . . 1 Ford, MCTEA Team up to Find Automotive Technicians. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Gen Z on the Rise: AASP-MO Gateway Collision Chapter Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Gilmore Car Museum in Barry County, MI, Opening New “Ford v Ferrari” Exhibit . . . . . 19 GM to Lay Off 800 Workers at Detroit-Hamtramck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 GM, LG Chem to Build Ohio Battery Plant . . . . 11 Maaco Recognizes Detroit’s Ramsey Wared as Top-Performing New Franchisee . . . . . . . . 8 Midwest Association January 2020 Events . . . 12 Missouri Teen’s Dying Wish of a Sports Car Funeral Procession is Granted. . . . . . . . . . . 10 Prevent Group Accuses Volkswagen of Anticompetitive Behavior. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Subaru of Indiana Automotive Foundation Awards Grants to 14 Indiana Nonprofits . . . 11 WAC Thanks Sponsors at 2019 Holiday Party . . 8

NATIONAL AAPEX 2020 to Expand With Repair Shop HQ . . 35 ASA Wage & Hour Attorney Discusses Overtime Exemptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Autoliv Introduces Airbag That Prevents

Anderson - Understanding and Performing the Needed Seat Calibrations . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Phillips - How to Position Your Collision

of Car-Part.com, accepted the prize on the company’s behalf, with Ed Weidmann, CIECA’s executive director, and Clint Marlow, CIECA’s past-chair and

director of AllState posing by his side. CIECA said it is “tremendously grateful” for the company, which understands the importance of being innovative and the creation of new products.

Passengers From Colliding . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Automotive Industry Faces Disruption Driven by Societal Changes. . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Car-Part.com Receives Company of the Year Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Chrysler Lawsuit Involving Leaky Sunroofs Seeks Settlement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 CIC Committees Offer Ideas for Better Welding Practices, Documentation of Test Drives . . . . 1 Ford ‘Death Wobble’ Lawsuit Says F-250 and F-350 Trucks Affected . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk, David Luehr, Stacey Phillips, Victoria Antonelli, Gary Ledoux Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Bill Doyle, Norman Morano, Kelly Hall (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bill Pierce Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Alexis Wilson Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Editorial/Sales Assistant: Randi Scholtes

Office Assistant: Dianne Pray Serving Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2020 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018; (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com editor@autobodynews.com

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Matrix Automotive FInishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

AutoNation Collision Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

McGrath City Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Mirka USA, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Bob Hook Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . 28-29

Certified Automotive Parts Association . . . . . . 12

Morrison’s Auto Parts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Classic Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . 40

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Patrick BMW MINI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Courtesy Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Patrick Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Dent Fix Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Richfield-Bloomington Honda. . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

SATA Dan-Am Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Equalizer Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Sears Imported Autos, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Gandrud Parts Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Shaheen Chevrolet Parts Warehouse . . . . . . . 31

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Spanesi Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 24-25

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . 47

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 39

Symach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Infiniti of Naperville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

The Porsche Exchange. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Innovative Tools & Technologies, Inc. . . . . . . . 15

The Sharpe Collection of Automobiles . . . . . . 33

Kelly BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

VanDevere Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Kia Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

VanDevere Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Laurel Auto Group of Westmont . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Zimmer Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . . . . . . 48

Mosaic ADT Created to Achieve Repeatable, Error-Free Calibrations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Shops Report More Success in Getting Paid for Frame, Mechanical Procedures . . . . . . . 42 Solving the Tech Shortage: How Conditions, Culture & Compensation Can Help Body Shops Attract & Retain Employees . . . . . . . 39 Subaru Forester Passenger Airbag Sensor Lawsuit Filed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Tesla Cybertruck Pickup Makes Its Public Debut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4


On Nov. 6, Car-Part.com received CIECA’s Company of the Year award during the Collision Industry Red Carpet Awards Breakfast, honoring the company for its ongoing commitment to the collision repair sector. Held in conjunction with the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the third annual Collision Industry Red Carpet Awards Breakfast honored the industry’s most charitable and professional achievements. Among the winners was Car-Part.com, which received CIECA’s Company of the Year award. The company was selected based on its commitments to more than a dozen committees and organizations. Jeff Shroder, CIECA’s treasurer and the owner



Car-Part.com Receives Company of the Year Award

Tesla Model 3 Driver Ignores Road, Crashes Into Police Cruiser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Three Weeks After GM Strike, Dealers Await 2020 Models, Cut Back Hours . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Luther Bloomington Acura-Subaru . . . . . . . . . 35

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS


Tesla Cybertruck Pickup Makes Its Public Debut by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati.com

Tesla has revealed its highly-anticipated pickup truck to the public, and it is every bit the monster that CEO Elon Musk has made it out to be. With its aggressive stance, high ground clearance, and massive frame, the Tesla’s Cybertruck is quite a sight to behold. DESIGN The Tesla Cybertruck does not look like a traditional pickup. True to Musk’s words, the vehicle does look like a futuristic armored personnel carrier that stepped out of the set of Blade Runner. Its straight sloping roof give the pickup a streamlined yet unique look. As the Tesla CEO

Credit: Tesla

has stated in the past, the Cybertruck won’t look like any other pickup on the road today. That being said, there are several key design aspects that are notable about the Cybertruck. These include its extremely angular body, its large bed, and its high ground clearance. The Cybertruck

also has a thick stainless-steel body, which Tesla demonstrated by having a sledgehammer hit the pickup’s door panel. The vehicle is also fitted with Tesla’s Armor Glass, which un-

Credit: Tesla

fortunately cracked after a large steel ball was thrown at it onstage. The metal ball didn’t go through the glass though, which is a plus. SPECS Tesla has pretty much mastered the art of keeping the specs of its upcoming vehicles’ secret. As it turns out, the Cybertruck’s performance figures are worth the secrecy, as they are flat-out insane. The vehicle is equipped with a standard single motor and can be upgraded to dual and tri-motors. Just as Musk said, the Cybertruck, despite its size, is quite nimble, thanks to its instant torque and four-wheel steering. These ultimately allow the Cybertruck to hit 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds, with handling comparable to a Porsche. Here are other notable specs of the Tesla Cybertruck:

• 250+, 300+, and 500+ miles of range; • 3500 lbs payload; • Towing rating between 7.5k to 14k lbs; • 250 kW charging; • Off-road performance with 35 degrees approach angle, up to 16″ clearance, and 28 degrees departure angle; and • 100 cubic feet of exterior storage.

SPECIAL FEATURES Pickups are utility vehicles by nature, and as such, they are used primarily for work on locations such as farms or construction sites. Luxury pickups exist that prioritize comfort over utility, but Tesla’s monster pickup has chosen to do both. The interior of the Cybertruck is classic Tesla in the way that it’s minimalist and airy, with plush seats and a massive touchscreen that’s op-

Credit: Tesla

timized for work and even entertainment. This, however, is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the pickup truck’s notable features.

Tesla Model 3 Driver Ignores Road, Crashes Into Police Cruiser by David A. Wood, CarCompaints.com

A Tesla Model 3 driver who crashed into a parked police vehicle and then hit a disabled car says he was checking on his dog in the rear seat when the crash occurred. As in multiple Tesla crashes, instead of paying attention to the road and surroundings, the Model 3 driver said he had Autopilot engaged and didn’t notice the flashing lights on two police cruisers. According to the Connecticut State Police, the crash occurred in the early hours of Dec. 7 when officers with Troop GBridgeport responded to a disabled vehicle on Interstate 95 in Norwalk. The stationary vehicle was sitting in the left center lane with the troopers parked behind the disabled vehicle, lights flashing, and a pattern of flares placed behind the patrol cruisers. 4

While the officers were waiting for a tow truck, the 2018 Tesla Model 3 slammed into the rear of one cruiser and then hit the disabled vehicle. The Tesla continued to travel slowly before being stopped several hundred feet ahead by the second trooper at the scene. The driver said he had Autopilot engaged and was checking on his dog in the back seat when the crash occurred. State police cited the Tesla driver for misdemeanor reckless driving and reckless endangerment, and Tesla hasn’t released information concerning logs that would indicate if Autopilot was indeed engaged. Even though the license plate said, "MODEL3," the driver must not have paid attention to the owner’s manual which says to keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road when Autopilot is activated.

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

But the Connecticut driver joins other Tesla owners who believed driver-assist technology equals a fully driverless car. Based on the Connecticut crash and other crashes allegedly involving Autopilot, drivers who should have common sense chose to deactivate it when Autopilot was activated. Multiple examples abound, including the unfortunate death of Joshua Brown who was killed when his Tesla traveled straight into a tractor-trailer. There is also the Model X driver who didn’t prevent the vehicle from traveling across highway lane markers and crashing into a construction barricade. Or the Model S driver who let the car crash into a firetruck while she looked at her cell phone, or a different driver who was behind the wheel when the vehicle slammed into a firetruck. Then there is the Chinese driver of a

Others include: • 110v/220v onboard outlets; • Full Self-Driving features; and • Autopilot as standard. PRICE Earlier this year, Musk has mentioned that the Tesla Cybertruck would start at $49,000 at the highest. Tesla has stayed true to its CEO’s words, pricing the futuristic pickup truck very

Credit: Tesla

aggressively compared to other EV trucks and ICE-powered luxury pickups. Tesla’s Cybertruck does have a number of higher-priced trims, and these cost substantially more, while offering significantly more. Here’s the complete pricing of Tesla’s Cybertruck depending on its trim. • Single Motor RWD – $39,900 before options; • Dual Motor AWD – $49,900 before options; and or • Tri-Motor AWD – $69,900 before options. We thank Teslarati.com for reprint permission. Model S who believed Autopilot would allow him to take his eyes off the road as his car crashed into another vehicle. In addition, a separate crash in China killed the driver who allegedly had Autopilot engaged when the car slammed into a street sweeper. His family said he put his faith in technology he believed would do all the driving. Another Tesla driver was killed when his Model X with Autopilot engaged slammed head-on into a concrete highway divider that could have easily been avoided if the driver would have been watching his surroundings. And in a crash of a Model S, the car plowed into a disabled car at 80 mph because the driver was looking at his cell phone, believing Autopilot would prevent the crash. We thank CarCompaints.com for reprint permission.

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS


Prevent Group Accuses Volkswagen of Anticompetitive Behavior The Prevent Group, an automotive parts supplier, filed suit against Volkswagen AG and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. alleging violations of federal antitrust laws, civil conspiracy, and tortious interference. (Case No. 19-13400). Prevent, represented by litigation powerhouse Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, alleges that Volkswagen used anticompetitive tactics to stop larger suppliers like Prevent from acquiring smaller auto parts suppliers in the U.S., including at least seven based in Michigan.

Small, fragmented, and pushed to the brink of insolvency, Volkswagen’s lower-tier suppliers typically have no choice but to “comply or die” with Volkswagen’s unfair terms and prices, the complaint states.

When Prevent acquired a company called Car Trim that had been a supplier of parts for Volkswagen vehicles, this was the “last straw” for Volkswagen, the complaint alleges. The complaint alleges that these efforts escalated in the wake of Volk-

“This lawsuit painstakingly lays out the existence of a scheme by Volkswagen to maintain its stranglehold over automotive component parts suppliers...” — Duane L. Loft swagen’s agreement to pay $15.5 billion to settle public and private lawsuits resulting from its “Dieselgate” scandal. Prevent Group was a direct target of this anticompetitive campaign. For the past 15 years, Prevent Group has grown by acquiring smaller, Tier 2 and Tier 3 auto parts suppliers around the world, increasing their efficiency and output. Volkswagen deployed “Project 1” to block at least seven other acquisitions by Prevent in the United States, the complaint alleges. The tactics detailed in the complaint in-

Gen Z on the Rise: AASP-MO Gateway Collision Chapter Meeting

dert explored how to prepare for the new generation on the rise in the AASP-MO’s Gateway Collision workforce, Gen Z, when many have Chapter held its bimonthly meeting only begun to understand millenon Nov. 13 at Syberg’s Dorsett in nials. He provided an in-depth Maryland Heights, MO, featuring overview of Gen Z as well as “tips and strategies for successa presentation entitled fully recruiting, retaining “Generation Z: Who are and integrating this new kids these days?” with talent into your organizaKevin Andert, manager tion,” Reiling shared. of college and career “Over 20 attendees readiness for North and felt that this was time South Technical High well spent, and the inforSchools, St. Louis Spemation they took away, cial School District. Kevin Andert combined with the cama“Kevin did an excelCredit: AASP-MO raderie with their fellow lent job of explaining how the minds of the newest gener- automotive service professionals, ation entering the workforce oper- made for a great evening,” Reiling ate, such as what does and does not said. “We would have liked to see motivate them and what culture more people turn out to take adthey are seeking in a work environ- vantage of this great opportunity; ment,” said AASP-MO Executive no individual shop can possibly Director Ron Reiling. “This is the know as much as all of us working first time we have had five genera- together.” AASP-MO is grateful to Doug tions in the workforce at the same time. Gen Z is the newest generation and Gene Slattery of ATI for sponand our future employees. Thank soring the meeting. For more information about AASP-MO and its you, Kevin, for your insights!” During his presentation, An- events, visit aasp-mo.org. by Chasidy Rae Sisk


cluded extracting written agreements from management of target companies not to sell their business to the Prevent Group. Duane L. Loft, a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner who represents the Prevent Group, said: “This

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

lawsuit painstakingly lays out the existence of a scheme by Volkswagen to maintain its stranglehold over automotive component parts suppliers, to stop acquisitions that would have been good for competition, and to harm consumers of automobiles. We look forward to justice being done and for Volkswagen to answer for its misconduct in open court.” Prevent is seeking damages in excess of $750 million and injunctive relief for Volkswagen’s alleged violations in the Eastern District of Michigan, the federal court in Detroit.

Body Shop in Rushford, MN, Finds New Home by Hannah Wingert, Fillmore County Journal

Leigh and Kayla Volkman owned and operated L&L Volkman Auto Body Repair in Rushford, MN, for four and a half years before an opportunity came up that they couldn’t turn down. The Volkmans purchased the repair business from Larry Dahl in 2015 and changed the name from Dahl’s Auto to L&L Volkman Auto Body Repair. The original location of the repair business was off the main road and could be difficult to find if a customer hadn’t been there before. Leigh and Kayla haven’t had a huge increase in business yet; but, are confident that it will come. “People are getting used to the location,” Leigh explained, adding that they have already gotten a few customers who saw their sign from the road and stopped in for repairs. “It should work out the way we hope it does,” Leigh said. We thank Fillmore County Journal for reprint permission

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS


WAC Thanks Sponsors at 2019 Holiday Party by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Nov. 20, Women in Automotive and Collision (WAC) hosted its 2019 Holiday Party and Sponsor Thank You at Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant on Baumgartner Road in St. Louis. According to WAC President Shelly Jones, “WAC held this event to thank our membership and sponsors for supporting WAC throughout the year and to celebrate our successes.”

WAC President Shelly Jones (right) with association members Sandie Travis (left) & Nancy Dempski (middle) from Complete Auto Body & Repair. Credit: WAC

In addition to members and guests, WAC welcomed four of their corporate sponsors: Enterprise, Mitchell, Weber, and Automotive

Technology Inc. (ATI). The association presented sponsors with customized license plates as a way of expressing their gratitude for their support in 2019. During the event, WAC shared a slideshow with pictures from the events that WAC participated in throughout the year. WAC Treasurer Julie Hemann stated, “It makes us proud to look back at the work we did to promote careers in the industry. It is exciting to share our industry with students, parents and educators that have little to no knowledge of the opportunities.” In addition to holding 11 general membership meetings in 2019, WAC attended two presentations, six job fairs, one SkillsUSA Industry Panel, three car shows, three school open houses, one middle school summer camp, and a meeting of the St. Louis School-Business Partnership. According to Jones, one of the most rewarding events of 2019 was a Junior Achievement Middle School Job Fair that the association attended. She shared, “Our WAC table was full, sometimes with standing room only, during each session. Students

had choices of which tables to sit at, and we were thrilled to talk with over 100 students that day. Afterward, we received a letter from two students, thanking us for teaching them about careers in the industry.”

WAC officers pose at WAC’s 2019 Holiday Party and Sponsor Thank You event. (l to r: Sponsor Coordinator Sheena Wagner, Vice President Jess Crump, Treasurer Julie Hemann, and President Shelly Jones). Credit: WAC

Jones read a letter from one student which stated, “Thank you for teaching me about automotive. I’m interested in working for my grandpa. This was very helpful. You should look him up. It is Spindler Auto Body. But once again, thank you for teaching me about what you do.”

Jones added, “I’m very appreciative of all our officers and members that attended our meetings and volunteered to work events in 2019, and I’m glad that we had a chance to celebrate them during our holiday party. We also want to thank Jose from Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant for hosting our party and ensuring our guests had a great time.”

(l to r) Corporate sponsor Jim Earnest from Weber Chevrolet, WAC Vice President Jess Crump, and Corporate sponsor Heidi Veilleux from Enterprise (sitting down). Credit: WAC

WAC’s next meeting will be held in January, and updates will be available on the group’s website once it is planned. For more information about WAC and its future events, visit wacstl.com.

Maaco Recognizes Detroit’s Ramsey Wared as Top-Performing New Franchisee At the 2019 Maaco Convention in Boca Raton, FL, Maaco Auto Painting and Collision Repair recognized top North American franchisees who exemplified the “breakthrough” convention theme with awards for top performance, including outstanding sales, operational excellence, leadership,

growth and overall performance. “It’s an honor to recognize the top performers in the Maaco system,” said Bob Benjamin, president of Maaco Auto Painting and Collision Repair. “These franchisees are

a great example of the success that is possible as a Maaco owner.” Rookie of the Year: Ramsey Wared, Detroit In the short time since opening his Maaco center in 2018, Wared has attained Maaco Gold Certification and was recognized as a first-time recipient of the Maaco Milestone Award. “Winning this award helps me to know that I’m doing something right and it motivates me to continue to work hard and continue to grow,” said Wared. “It’s all about making sure that you take care of the customer and the customers are happy. When they are happy, they tell family and friends and that helps your business grow.”

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Missouri Teen’s Dying Wish of a Sports Car Funeral Procession is Granted by Staff, KMOX News Radio

A 14-year-old Washington, MO, boy who died from cancer was granted his last wish with a parade of more than 2,100 sports cars and 100 motorcycles.

The “Sports Cars for Alec” event was arranged by Sydney’s Soldiers Always, an organization led by Dana Christian Manley who lost her 8-year-old daughter to cancer.

Alex Ingram. Credit: City of Washington, MO, Emergency Management Agency

Alex Ingram had battled a rare form of bone cancer for four years. His passion was sports cars and his last wish was to have a motorcade of sports cars lead him to his funeral. His family and supporters put out the word on Facebook and the community responded. They all gathered in the Six Flags St. Louis parking lot then started the journey towards Washington to fulfill the sports car lover’s final wish.


Credit: Nancy Patrick

“All of the local cancer families become family to each other,” Manley told CNN. Supporters say thousands of cars from across the U.S. and Canada traveled to Washington to fulfill Alec’s final wish. We thank KMOX News Radio for reprint permission.

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

CarNow Helps Industry Leaders Focus on Education by Staff, Auto Remarketing

CarNow senior vice president of product and business development Aaron Baldwin said Northwood University, located in Midland, MI, is “best in class in producing talented automotive leaders.” Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education. “We are confident that our future talent will come from schools like Northwood,” Baldwin said in a news release. Many students attend Northwood University because of scholarships from its private donors. CarNow, which offers tailored digital retailing products for dealers, is providing one of those private donor scholarships. CarNow says its live products engage car shoppers, which it says keeps leads live on a dealer’s website. Northwood says donors such as CarNow make a difference in students’ lives every day. Northwood University recently hosted the 26th anniversary of the Private Donor Scholarship luncheon. At that event, students met their benefactors and personally thanked them for their donations toward their educational futures.

Students networked, connected, and built professional relationships with their donors, which Northwood said gives them a path to reach out to the current job market. Will Govan received the CarNow scholarship. “We congratulate Will Govan on his efforts, poise and professionalism in earning the CarNow Innovative Retail Scholarship,” Baldwin said. Baldwin added, “We hope our commitment will make a difference in his pursuit of lifelong learning.” Northwood University notes that students who do not have to worry about paying for college can place more focus on their academics and increase their extracurricular involvement. With on-campus activities, students gain practical, experiential learning toward their degree, Northwood added. Students also gain opportunities to network with fellow students, professors and alumni. “These scholarships confirm students’ belief that they are on the right career path at the right institution,” Northwood University stated. We thank Auto Remarketing for reprint permission.

GM, LG Chem to Build Ohio Battery Plant

General Motors (GM) and LG Chem announced plans to massproduce battery cells for future battery-electric vehicles. Together, the companies will invest up to a total of $2.3 billion through a new, equally owned joint venture company. The JV will establish a battery cell assembly plant on a greenfield manufacturing site in the Lordstown area of Northeast Ohio that will create more than 1,100 new jobs. The state-of-the art plant will use the most advanced manufacturing processes all under one roof to produce cells efficiently, with little waste, and will benefit from strong economies of scale throughout the value chain. “With this investment, Ohio and its highly capable workforce will play a key role in our journey toward a world with zero emissions,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “Combining our manufacturing expertise with LG Chem’s leading battery-cell technology will help accelerate our pursuit of an all-electric future.”

Subaru of Indiana Automotive Foundation Awards Grants to 14 Indiana Nonprofits by Staff, Herald Journal

During a ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at Subaru of Indiana Automotive, 14 Indiana nonprofit organizations from 12 counties were awarded capital grants totaling $110,108.22 by the SIA Foundation. Since its establishment in 1997, the SIA Foundation has awarded more than $2 million to fund nonprofit projects across Indiana.

Recipients at Tuesday’s event represented Clinton, DeKalb, Delaware, Floyd, Fountain, Huntington, Lawrence, Marion, Parke, Shelby, Tippecanoe and Vermillion, IN, counties. The SIA Foundation awards grants twice annually to nonprofit organizations seeking up to $15,000

in capital funding for arts and culture, health and welfare or education projects. More information can be found at www.siafoundation.org. Recipients for the winter grant cycle are: • American Pianists Association (Marion County) – $5,501.78. Video recording equipment and media archive storage. • Auburn Automotive Heritage (DeKalb County) – $3,794. Audiovisual equipment. • Burnett Creek Elementary School (Tippecanoe County) – $2,476.40. Calm Down Kits. • Child-Adult Resource Services (Parke County) – $10,449. Kiln and pug mill. • Clinton Prairie School Corporation (Clinton County) – $14,894.83. Variety of equipment, including computers, gaming equipment and related furniture. • Food Finders Food Bank (Tippecanoe County) – $4,520. Manual pallet jacks. • Girls Inc. of Shelbyville / Shelby County (Shelby County) – $7,515.90. STEM-related equipment, including modular robots and a STEM Maker Station Cart.

• Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Department (Fountain County) – $10,356.55. Variety of equipment, including multi-gas detector, thermal imaging cameras, trauma kits. • Hope Southern Indiana (Floyd County) – $9,500. Variety of equipment, including shelving and paint. • Huntington County Health Department (Huntington County) – $8,680.56. LeadCare II blood analyzers. • Tree Lafayette (Tippecanoe County) – $2,752. Tools and safety equipment. • St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church / Men’s Warming Center (Lawrence County) – $6,717.20. Bunk beds and mattresses. • Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana (Delaware County) – $13,000. Electric pallet jack, pallet wrapper and pallet racks. • Vermillion County Soil and Water Conservation District (Vermillion County) – $9,950. Augmented reality sandbox.

We thank Herald Journal for reprint permission.

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS


AWAF Pumps and Power Featured Fiat Chrysler Chief Engineer by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Nov. 5, the Automotive Women’s Alliance (AWAF) hosted a Pumps and Power event at Sole Sisters in Royal Oak, MI, featuring guest speaker Karina Morley, global chief engineer battery electric propulsion system powertrain for Fiat Chrysler

in automotive, and this event always sells out.”

Attendees enjoyed shopping after receiving invaluable insights from Morley. Credit: AWAF

During her presentation, Morley addressed the challenges that business owners face when bringing Karina Morley, global chief engineer battery electric Propulsion system powertrain for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, spoke at AWAF’s Pumps and Power event on Nov. 5. Credit: AWAF

Automobiles (FCA). According to AWAF President Susan Rokosz, “Our Nov. 5 event was sold out. Pumps and Power events mix shoe and clothing shopping with inspirational insights from a woman leader

“If you have the opportunity to work on new technology, take the challenge and lead the way,” — Karina Morley

in new technology. She discussed how to help associates under the vision and the benefits associated with the change, as well as how to approach unfamiliarity on a senior level. Morley also touched on find-

Midwest Association January 2020 Events by Chasidy Rae Sisk

ARM Winter Outing On Jan. 24, the Automotive Recyclers of Minnesota (ARM) will host its Winter Outing at Big Sandy Lodge and Resort in McGregor, MN. In addition to training and networking opportunities, the event will feature a chili cook off, an ice fishing contest and other fun activities. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, visit autorecyclersmn.net.

Your leading source for MIDWESTERN Collision Repair News! midwestern.autobodynews.com


ing resources with the right skillset and communication skills, training needs, the importance of documentation, the need for a focus on safety and quality and much more. “If you have the opportunity to work on new technology, take the challenge and lead the way,” Morley encouraged. “Women can support innovation by helping one another, continuing to be brave, and staying in the workforce.” Rokosz noted, “This is a great forum to provide attendees with some tips they can use in their jobs as well as an opportunity to connect with others in the automotive industry and raise funds for AWAF. Thank you to Sole Sisters for host-

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

ing the event and donating 10% of their sales that evening back to AWAF.” For more information about AWAF and its events, visit awafoundation.org

Continued from Cover

Technical Program

dents are sent out the door with auto body certificates and an associate degree. “All of our local shops look to us as a recruiting tool,” said McConnachie. That creates an extremely high job placement rate for when the students graduate. “100 percent guaranteed job placement. Our industry partners are well connected with our programs and there’s never a challenge with getting a student a job,” said Alex Beal, department chair of the department of diesel technology. But despite the job placement rate, the Auto Body Program is having a hard time filling up. Each year they average about 12 to 14 students graduating from the program, but the program is equipped to graduate 18 students each year, so any prospects are welcome. Prospective students can find out more information on the program by clicking here. We thank KIVI News for reprint permission.

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Ford, MCTEA Team up to Find Automotive Technicians by Erik Kuafman, The Daily Republic

About 20 Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy (MCTEA) students, school staff and representatives from the Ford Motor Company met in the automotive department at the school in Mitchell, SD, for an informal gathering. But it wasn’t just car talk taking place. The representatives from Ford were on hand looking at potential candidates for the next generation of automotive technicians.

“We’re no longer just trying to find technicians out of the want ads or trying to steal a tech from another manufacturer,” said Christopher Seebeck, regional technical talent placement specialist with the Ford Motor Company. “There is such a shortage of technicians in this entire industry. And that number if just going to continue to grow as our older techs transition away as they retire. We have to have a succession plan for those guys.” Seebeck estimated that there is currently a need for as many as 40,000 automotive technicians across the country as manufacturers and dealerships look to replace an aging and retiring workforce. The meeting at MCTEA was an effort to introduce students in the automotive technology program to the idea of becoming one of those in-demand technicians. With the number of cars currently on the road, the demand for people to repair those vehicles continues to be high, Seebeck said. He said Ford wanted to develop a grassroots program that brought dealerships together with school automotive programs like the one at MCTEA. “We spend so much time focusing on telling students that they have to have a four-year degree in order to have a good job and income that we’ve gotten away from supporting the trades,” Seebeck said. Seebeck said part of that outreach 14

includes giving school automotive programs access to Ford certification classes, which they can take online as part of their school work. “They have access to about 40 classes they can take. They are webbased and they can take them in school,” Seebeck said. “But there is a benefit for the students because every class they take and pass will count toward their certification.” The Ford representatives also promoted Automotive Career Exploration (ACE) and Automotive Student Service Education Training (ASSET), which allows students to take Ford technician certification classes. They also can find time to work at the dealerships like Vern Eide to get hands-on experience working on the latest automotive technology. Andrew Hiles, an automotive technology instructor at MCTEA, said the working relationship with Ford provides students the type of introduction to the automotive industry that would be otherwise difficult to provide.

“Some of these districts don’t have a lot of money, so some dealers donate engines or turbochargers, because we have to get kids working on current technology. It’s sad to go to some programs and the newest car they have to work on is 18 years old,” Seebeck said. Since the outreach program was officially launched a year ago, Seebeck said 55,000 courses have been completed at the high school level throughout the country.

At center, Christopher Seebeck, Regional Technical Talent Placement Specialist for Ford speaks to students from the welding class and auto class. Credit: Matt Gade, Republic

“(The program) is working, and we’re noticing dealers embracing

this,” Seebeck said. The relationship between Ford and MCTEA has been an extremely successful one, Seebeck said.

Vern Eide Ford Service Manager Adam Hillman, (right), watches as Mitchell students Marquis Reyelts, (left), and Joe VanOverschelde check out the Ford F350 pickup Hillman brought to the auto shop. Credit: Matt Gade, Republic

“The response has been amazing,” Seebeck said. “As a viable employer, (students) might be a salesman or work in accounting. Ultimately, the goal at the end of the day is to find technicians, but we might open up a lot of eyes. We want to try to open doors for them.” We thank The Daily Republic for reprint permission.

d Family owne d and operate since 1958 (l to r) Mitchell students Casidy Hagemeyer, Briana Enriquez and Marquis Reyelts try connecting a phone to the screen inside the Ford F350 pickup truck on that was brought into the auto shop. Credit: Matt Gade, Republic

“I think it’s extremely important. Twenty years ago, when I was in high school, we didn’t have any of these programs. With this, they bring you in and they give you training and a job. I think it’s awesome what they do,” Hiles said. Hiles said there are about 60 students ranging from freshmen to seniors in the automotive program at MCTEA. Seebeck said helping high school programs stay abreast of technological changes can only benefit both the industry and the students. School district budgets are often tight, and donations of equipment and training can go a long way to helping a student choose a career path.

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Continued from Cover

CIC Committees

ing on a vehicle. Ford’s procedure, for example, is three pages long, with specifications for the size and shape the weld nugget should be based on the thickness of the metal being welded. Some automakers call for spot welding with the E-coat in place, Chess said, while others say it has to be stripped off. Also during the committee’s presentation in Las Vegas, Kye Yeung, owner of a Southern California shop, certified and specializing in high-end vehicles, said weld testing can be done using coupons, but that it’s important that the tests be done on comparable materials to what will be welded; he suggests using some of the damaged material removed from the vehicle or, if sectioning, using some of the excess material from the new part being installed. Yeung said electrical output can vary throughout the shop, so he suggests moving the vehicle – and doing the destructive test welds – in the area of the shop where you know there’s adequate power. He also said it’s a good idea for shops to have standardized operating procedures related to welding. “At our shop, we take the wire out of the welder after the repair,” he said. “So when a tech pulls up the procedure, he has to start from square one and not make the assumption that the welding wire that’s in the machine is for that job. It’s a process you should instill in your shop, even though it might take a little extra time. They could be getting a poor weld because they’re using the wrong material.” Yeung said his shop also holds “weld-off competitions,” with the winner receiving a free lunch. “It takes your A-techs who weld well, and your lower-skilled guys who are aspiring to do well, and allows them to do that comparison,” Yeung said. “It makes them practice during the week. It brings everybody up.” New Type of Vehicle Test Drive CIC’s “Emerging Technologies” committee has adopted a new definition of a “dynamic systems verification (DSV) road test,” in an effort to distinguish test drives done to check advanced driver assistance systems 16

(ADAS) with those more traditionally done just to verify standard vehicle performance, such as checking for wind noise, pulling conditions or vibrations. The DSV road test, according to the new definition, checks for those items but also requires “qualified shop personnel to identify and confirm performance of … advanced ve-

Scott Kaboos of American Honda discussed how OEM repair procedures are developed and tested. Credit: John Yoswick

hicle features and systems including driver assistance and safety systems, such as advanced cruise control and safety restraint systems.” The committee hopes to have the definition adopted and used by the automakers and estimating system providers. During the committee’s presentation at CIC in Las Vegas, Jake Rodenroth of asTech suggested that shops provide more documentation of what’s involved in such road tests. “How about you document the ‘in’ and ‘out’ mileage of the vehicle,” Rodenroth said. “How about you include a Google map of where you drove,” he added. “Uber gives us a little map of our trip on every receipt, yet we don’t do that when we do a road test. If you’re in L.A., maybe you had to get to the suburbs to meet the requirements for that road test. Explain that. What systems did you check? Tire-pressure monitoring, blind-spot monitoring, traction control? Explain what you did.” Failure to Follow OEM Procedures Can Be Costly Automaker repair procedures were the focus of another committee discussion at CIC in Las Vegas, including discussing how the procedures are developed and tested. Scott Kaboos, chief collision repair instructor for American Honda, said he was in Japan earlier this year and had an opportunity to see how the company’s body repair manual is written. Com-

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

puter simulations are used as the vehicle is being designed to consider, for example, how to address an area of a vehicle that will be inaccessible to a repairer needing to replace a spot weld. “If it can’t be spot-welded, we know that flange has to be wider so we can MIG braze it, or it has to be made of different materials so we can actually MAG weld it,” Kaboos said. “That kind of blew my mind when I saw it. I’ve been a technician all my life. I never thought that some manufacturer would be thinking about fixing this wrecked car two or three years before it’s built.” If the vehicle includes new materials or structure, or a sectioning procedure that hasn’t been tested and proven on other Honda vehicles, Kaboos said, more physical testing is done. “We actually do crush tests on those actual parts, and ultimately we end up with crash tests on vehicles.” Based on the discussion at CIC, collision shops – even dealership shops – that realize mid-repair that they failed to follow OEM repair procedures shouldn’t expect too much help from the automakers. John Eck

of General Motors (GM) said a dealership shop called GM because a technician had cut too far forward into a T1 truck, not realizing the automaker has a sectioning joint for the rear-end. “They said, ‘Now what,’ and I asked, ‘How much did you just buy that truck back for because it’s done,’” Eck said. “The technician had been chopping up trucks so long that he didn’t [research and learn] we actually made an easier repair process by putting a sectioning joint in the back so you could repair it in a more efficient, cost-effective manner, saving more vehicles by lowering the cost of repair. The technician made a big mistake that day. It would have been a simple one if he’d just looked at the procedures.” Mark Allen of Audi of America offered a similar experience about a shop – that had claimed it was I-CAR Gold Class and factory-trained by several European automakers, when it wasn’t – that made pulls to the all-aluminum rear structure of an Audi Q7. “That was about $86,000, because they cracked the cast-aluminum frame rails,” Allen said. “So, first, don’t misrepresent yourself. And second, follow the repair procedures.”

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Continued from Cover

Retain Employees

its attributes change,” said Daugherty, who has worked with Vehicle Service Group, Chief’s parent company, for the past 24 years. “The goal of an ADAS calibration is to reorient the sensors to where the physical body of the vehicle is in relation to the drivetrain and how it goes down the road.”

Currently, when repairing cars with ADAS technology, repairers either conduct a dynamic calibration that requires test driving a vehicle

while it is connected to a scan tool, or a static calibration in a facility using specialized targets and equipment. Taking this into consideration, Daugherty said Chief Collision Technology and Burke Porter Group set out to offer repairers technologically advanced equipment to accurately and efficiently calibrate vehicles while following OEM requirements. Burke Porter Group provides assembly automation design, manufacturing and testing, as well as specialty equipment for both laboratory research and development, and production end-of-line (EOL) testing to OEMs. “The company has been a designer and supplier of endof-line OEM factory calibration systems since the early 2000s,” said Daugherty. “They have footprints in all of the OE factories across the world. They are very knowledgeable and able to understand what’s coming before it hits the streets in the aftermarket.” “Together, we are addressing a significantly unmet need for safe and

actly; only then is an access code provided to unlock the system. “Once the course is complete and the technician provides attestation that he has followed the OEM repair procedures to prepare the vehicle for calibration, the tablet will walk the operator through every step of what the OEM procedure says to do,” said Daugherty. Repairers then plug the tablet into the vehicle. Mosaic ADT gives a complete picture of the ADAS techMosaic ADT gives a complete picture of the ADAS nologies that are part of that technologies that are part of the car and all of the car, shows all of the OEM OEM repair procedures associated with it. Credit: repair procedures associChief Collision Technology ated with it and is automatlution using factory developed cali- ically updated. This might include questions bration technology to place vehicles such as: Is the gas tank full? Did you on the road safely.” Mosaic ADT can perform cali- check the tire pressure? Is the windbrations on both radar and vision sys- shield clean? What is the ride height? All of the information is stored in tems. Prior to using the equipment, an operator is required to go through the cloud so there is a vehicle repair an online Chief training course to be history for future reference. Daugherty instructed in not only how the equip- said that is a huge benefit for shops ment works, but also educated on helping them maintain control of the ADAS technology and why the cali- repair and limiting their liability. “Not only can they document that bration process must be followed exreliable calibrations as ADAS systems continue to quickly penetrate the market,” said David DeBoer, CEO of Burke Porter Group. “Mosaic ADT offers a cost-effective aftermarket so-


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they repaired the car properly, but they can also attach the information to their estimating system,” he said. Daugherty explained that the calibration process involves structurally aligning the car and drivetrain as well as orientating the sensors. “No matter whose system you use, the position of the vehicle in relationship to the target is absolutely critical,” he said.

Chief Collision Technology showcased Mosaic Advanced Diagnostics Technology (ADT) during SEMA 2019 in Las Vegas. Credit: Chief Collision Technology

With most systems, repairers must manually adjust the target. Daugherty said this can be a very laborious process and can often take one to three hours, which slows down a shop’s cycle time. With Mosaic ADT, the system automatically finds the centerline of

the vehicle and adjusts the sensors. Once an operator positions a car within 100 mm of the target’s proper position, the system automatically places the target at the correct height, width and distance. All of the verification, alignment of the target and calibration of the sensors can be done in about 20 minutes, which Daugherty said allows for repeatable, errorfree calibrations. “What we’ve tried to do is take out as much human error as possible,” he said. Each time a calibration is conducted, a virtual, live diagnosis is performed remotely by an ASE-certified technician using an OEM scan tool. “We’re very excited to be able to bring to the industry a system that we believe helps shops properly calibrate vehicles,” said Daugherty. “With the ADAS technology in these vehicles, being able to have properly trained technicians understanding a complex process is a challenge and the more you can simplify that for the technician, the better results are you are going to have.” For more information, visit https: //chieftechnology.com/mosaic/.

Gilmore Car Museum in Barry County, MI, Opening New “Ford v Ferrari” Exhibit by Will Kriss, WKZO News

Following the release of the new blockbuster film “Ford v Ferrari,” the Gilmore Car Museum has announced a new exhibit for fans of the film who want to learn more. The film tells the real-life story of American car designer Carroll Shelby (played by Matt Damon) and British-born race driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale). The pair built a race car for the Ford Motor Company and took on Enzo Ferrari racers at Le Mans in France in 1966. The exhibit, titled “The Rest of the Story,” explores the events following the film.”The rest of the story is that it just didn’t end there,” Director of Marketing for Gilmore Car Museum Jay Follis said. “Ford actually is the only American manufacturer to ever win the first place at Le Mans, and they won it four years in a row. What we’ve done is we brought out two different cars that kind of tie into that.” The two vehicles on display are the 2005 FORD GT, inspired by the original FORD GT40 of race

fame and a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 - a rare find, as only about 300 were made. It was introduced a few months after their loss to Ford. The GTB/4 on display at the Gilmore

Credit: The Gilmore Car Museum

used to belong to actor Nicolas Cage. Additionally, another noteworthy vehicle will be on display nearby. “Down the exhibit hall a little bit further, you’re gonna see an early 1976 AC Cobra built by Carroll Shelby, so we tie it all together,” Follis said. The new FORD v FERRARI exhibit runs through March of 2020. More information, including museum hours, can be found online at GilmoreCarMuseum.org. We thank WKZO News for reprint permission.

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS


Automotive Technology Department Head Stresses Life Skills First by Ed Attanasio

Collision repair facilities today demand that technicians are well-trained and know how to repair sophisticated automobiles using modern techniques. Dayne Hosier, assistant professor at Vincennes University in Vincennes, IN, aims to do just that, but maybe even more importantly, he also strives to instill foundational life skills in his students as they progress through their technical training. He stresses soft skills like communication, punctuality, accountability, thoroughness, and an eye for detail in every class he teaches.

Student Derek White (left) and Dayne Hosier, assistant auto tech professor at Vincennes University, working at the basics. Credit: Ed Attanasio

As a 2011 Vincennes University collision repair graduate himself, Hosier prides himself in providing education and instruction to the next generation of auto body technicians. He knows that imparting the basics is essential, but it’s only the beginning. “As an educator, I feel that I have an obligation to make my students as employable as possible,” he said. “We can show students how to apply fillers, paint, weld sheet metal, estimate cost, and blueprint vehicle repair, but can we also condition our students’ attitudes? How about their vision of a project when it’s in pieces or maybe their perseverance when struggling to resolve a problem that has a complicated solution?” Being a collision repair professor offers up many challenges, Hosier said. “Students can be distracted by all the communication opportunities offered by the cell phones they carry. Although the phones can be a distraction at times, they can also be a handy tool in the collision repair industry. They are great for documenting damage via pictures and linking the students to service information needed. I also teach students how they need to understand 20

flat rate hours and what it means to be organized and efficient in order to turn more hours. This is very important later in the students’ careers when they are supporting their families and not just themselves.” Hosier is always looking down the road and works continuously to set up his students for long and rewarding careers. “I want my graduates to enjoy what they do, make a comfortable living, and enjoy time with their families. Other challenges can be direction and motivation. Not every student wants to be a do-it-all technician. Some students are dead set on being only a painter; some are interested in management, and others gravitate toward estimating. I can’t decide for them what their career path will be, but I can provide the instruction and open pathways to help students make an informed decision about their opportunities. It’s a great time to enter the collision repair industry for several reasons, Hosier said. “Having so many available career paths in collision repair keeps me on my toes, in order to make sure that all my students find value in what I teach and get exposure to as many aspects of collision repair in the time we have together. I help students find specialty training programs after graduation, bachelor’s degree opportunities, certification training, internships, career networking events, and so much more.”

Hosier, at age 19, studying collision repair at Vincennes University. Credit: Ed Attanasio

A few notable examples that Hosier provided are students like Jared Whitaker, a former Southern Indiana Career and Technical Center graduate, who completed Vincennes University (VU) dual credit through the career center and entered its program as a second-year student. His willingness to learn and persevere earned him the Indiana Vocational and Technical Education Award for Excellence, an internship at Gerber

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Collision in Evansville, IN, and graduated VU with his Associate Degree while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Three other students, Zac Lewis, Landon Vannatta, and Jose Enriquez continued their education in the BMW STEP Body and Paint program, which only accepts 20 students per year nationwide. Lewis and Vannatta also went into a secondyear leadership role for BMW.

students like these gentlemen are allin and passionate about making a career out of their training with me. They will get hired at shops, and many of them will have fantastic careers. 50% of them are interested, but not 100% dedicated to making a career out of it, and they may or may not enter the collision repair industry directly. A small percentage of my students find that the collision repair industry is not what they had envisioned and decided to pursue other career paths, and that is okay.” In every class he teaches, Hosier emphasizes the bigger picture and the responsibility that’s associated with collision repair. “Hands-on training that is put into practice will make students money,” he said. “Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and texting are all distractions in our industry. Those are the types of distractions that can lead to poor repair quality, employee turnover, and substandard customer service. We teach our students to be responsible and technically proficient and what it

Hosier’s classes focus on employability and stress life skills at Vincennes. Credit: Ed Attanasio

These students are some of the top performers out of Hosier’s program, but others find success in many other aspects of the collision repair industry or other careers, he said. “I would say 40%-50% of my

See Life Skills First, Page 44

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ASA Wage & Hour Attorney Discusses Overtime Exemptions Stressing the need to be very precise about the definition of overOn Oct. 16, ASA’s Webinar Wednes- time, Farrington explained, “Overday focused on “Countering the Deal- time is often viewed as a reward for ership Overtime Exemption,” which an employee who works a long week. was presented by ASA’s Wage and Actually, it is a penalty on the emHour Attorney Brian Farrington of ployer for working an employee over Cowles & Thompson in Dallas. He 40 hours.” covered the basic elements of the “The primary purpose of overFLSA Section 7(i) overtime exemp- time is to spread employment. Overtion, which practices can lead to in- time is time and one-half of an eligibility for the exemption, and employee’s regular rate of pay for how to recognize when applicable hours worked over 40 in a workweek. state law can prevent shops from The intent is to make you go hire using the exemption. Tony Molla, more people instead of working peovice president of industry relations ple over 40 hours,” Farrington confor ASA, introduced Fartinued. “Given its actual rington, reminding associapurpose, it’s easier to undertion members that they have stand the reason for limited the ability to contact Farexemptions and why exrington for advice. emptions from overtime are Farrington began his very specific and limited webinar by explaining that only to those who clearly the Fair Labor Standards Act meet the terms of the exASA’s Wage and of 1938 (FLSA) is the basic emption.” Hour Attorney wage and hour law in the Brian Farrington of Pointing out that collision U.S. and establishes stan- Cowles & Thompson repair shops and mechanical in Dallas. Credit: dards in four areas: minishops also compete with Brian Farrington mum wage, overtime, child auto dealerships, Farrington labor, and recordkeeping. Noting noted that they start with a significant that these standards were “deter- disadvantage since overtime is not remined by legislation that’s well over quired for dealership salesmen, parts80 years old,” Farrington warned men and mechanics, according to that FLSA does not preempt state FLSA 13(b)(10)(a), with dealership laws. “The FLSA allows states to im- being defined as “an establishment pose standards which are more pro- which derives over 50% of its gross tective of employees than the federal revenue from the sales of automostandards. For instance, many states biles, trucks or farm implements.” and even cities have higher miniStill, shops have an opportunity mum wages than the federal standard to offset this disadvantage with anof $7.25.” other exemption, FLSA Section 7(i) This means that some states which exempts employees from have much stricter overtime stan- overtime if they meet three tests: 1) dards than the FLSA, compared to they work for a retail establishment other states which have no overtime (defined as a distinct physical localaw and defers to FLSA solely. Em- tion that has 75% of its income deployers in states with overtime laws rived from retail sales); 2) their must determine whether their state’s regular rate is more than 1.5 times the laws mirror the federal exemptions. federal minimum wage; and 3) they The example provided was Califor- are paid primarily by commission. nia which has a similar exemption In regards to the first test, it’s to FLSA 7(i), but it doesn’t apply to important to note that the analysis repair shop techs, so shops in Cali- must be completed separately for fornia must pay overtime to their each distinct physical location. Retechnicians. According to Farring- tail sales are “sales made to the genton, “Bottom line – employers must eral public … In a collision shop, know the state OT laws in every state this means the repair of vehicles for in which they operate, plus they must individual customers, even when an have a working familiarity with fed- insurance company pays for some or eral law, or talk to an attorney who all of the repair on behalf of the retail does.” customer,” Farrington said. by Chasidy Rae Sisk


JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Non-retail income generally falls into one of three categories in a typical shop: income from work on heavy trucks or specialized equipment, income from fleet work where work is done for a fleet customer pursuant to a contract or agreement and where the customer receives a fleet discount, or

income from sales for re-sale, such as a dealer engages a shop to refurbish a used car that the dealership sells, or a dealership farms out its body work to a collision repair shop. “In each case, the income to the shop is non-retail,” Farrington stated. “These count against your retail income and will disqualify you if it exceeds 25% of your establishment’s income. If 25% or less of your establishment’s income is from a non-income source, your facility qualifies

for the first test of the exemption from paying overtime to techs.” A couple important things that Farrington emphasized were “Transmission rebuilders are not considered retails, but manufacturers, and so cannot use 7(i). Income from private party tows, even if reimbursed by insurance, is retail. Income from police tows, such as where an employer has a contract with a city to tow cars to an impound lot, is not retail. Although there is no official position, in its enforcement, USDOL/ WH has taken the position that when a business pays a towing company to tow illegally parked cars from business parking lots, such income is not retail.” The second test requires the employee’s regular rate to be more than 1.5 times the minimum wage, which is $10.88 based on the federal wage, but in states with higher minimum wages, the employee’s regular rate must be 1.5 times the higher state minimum wage. Base rate and commissions, if applicable, are included, and the employee’s total compensa-

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tion for the workweek must be divided by the number of hours worked in order to determine if this number is met. The third test is that the employee must receive over half of total earnings in commissions, measured over a “representative period” which must be at least a month but no more than a year. “If the commission earn-

any amounts by which draws exceed commissions, and charge them against future extra commissions.” “Flat hours or book hours are interpreted as commission so this becomes entirely relevant to you,” Farrington added. “A commission is a situation where what the employee receives in earnings is a function of what the customer pays. One of the

“The FLSA allows states to impose standards which are more protective of employees than the federal standards.” — Brian Farrington ings are greater than the other income, the employee is exempt for the following representative period, when the analysis is done again, and so on,” Farrington explained. Farrington explored examples of draws against commission and explained, “The rate should always be 1.5 times the rate for the longest week they might work. Employers should ensure that their regular payments to the employees are not considered ‘salary’ payments. The best way to do this is to carry forward

most common forms of payment to mechanics is payment of ‘flat-rate hours.’ Under this system, a fixed number of hours is attributed to a particular job, regardless of how long it actually takes to do the job. The customer pays this number of hours to the shop at the shop’s labor rate, and the technician who does the job gets paid this number of hours times his/her flat rate or book rate or shop rate.” Investigators use the Field Operations Handbook (FOH) to deter-

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Circuits – see Klinedinst v. Swift Investments, Inc., 260 F.3d 1251 (11th Cir. 2001) and Yi v. Sterling Collision Centers, Inc., 480 F.3d 505 (7th Cir. 2007). If you are consulting with an attorney about possibly bringing a 7(i) case, be sure to bring these cases to the attorney’s attention.” If all three tests are passed, 7(i) can help offset the dealers’ advantage and blanket exemption, but employers should see competent legal advice before implementing a 7(i) compensation plan due to the complexity of the exemption. Farrington also reminded attendees, “Employers in states that have state overtime laws should consult local counsel to be sure that their state overtime law has an exemption analogous to 7(i).” Farrington concluded his webinar with a question-and-answer session. ASA’s next Webinar Wednesday will be held on Nov. 20 with “The New Smartphone Consumer,” presented by Jason Soto of MobileSoft Technology. To register for ASA’s webinars, visit asashop.org/webinars.


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mine how to enforce the law, and FOH 21h04(d) specifically addresses flat rate hours: “Some auto service garages and car dealers compensate mechanics and painters on the following basis: The painter or mechanic gets so much a ‘flat rate’ hour for the work he or she performs. A ‘flat rate’ hour is not an actual clock hour. The employee is given a certain proportion of that charge expressed in terms of so many dollars and cents per ‘flat rate’ hour rather than in terms of a percentage of the charge to the customer.” “The dealer does not change the employee’s share per flat rate hour if the charge to the customer is changed,” FOH 21h04(d) continues. “In such situations, Wage-Hour will not deny that such payments represent ‘commissions on goods or services’ for purposes of Sec. 7(i). Such employment will qualify for exemption under Sec. 7(i) provided all the other tests of the exemption are met.” Farrington stated, “This is critical! This interpretation by USDOL/ WH, that flat rate hours are commissions for purposes of 7(i), has been accepted by both the 11th and 7th

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

Mike Anderson is the president and owner of Collision Advice, a consulting company for the auto body/collision repair industry. For nearly 25 years, he was the owner of Wagonwork Collision Center, an OEM-certified, full-service auto body repair facility in Alexandria, VA.

Understanding and Performing the Needed Seat Calibrations The need for vehicle seat calibrations isn’t new. Many years ago, Will Latuff of Latuff Brothers Auto Body in Minnesota forwarded me information pertaining to a seat calibration needed on a Honda. I started looking into it and found there are several vehicles that require these seat calibrations after a collision. Despite this information, last year’s “Who Pays for What?” survey found that 20% of shops have never asked to be paid for such a calibration. (Hopefully that doesn’t mean they aren’t doing them). I think there are a number of things that shops aren’t always considering when it comes to seat calibrations. First, you need to understand why resetting or calibrating the seat sensors is so critical. The system tells the vehicle about the person driving the vehicle as well as the passenger (if there is one). This is important because in the event of an accident, how

the airbag deploys may vary depending on whether I’m the one driving the vehicle – at 180 pounds – versus my sister driving the vehicle at 102 pounds. In some cases, the system tells the vehicle not to deploy some of the airbags, such if there’s no passenger in the vehicle, or if the passenger is a small child. Second, you have to research the OEM repair procedures related to them every time because they vary by automaker and from vehicle model to model. Some Toyotas, for example, require a seat calibration after any accident, no matter what, even if the vehicle was parked and unoccupied when it was hit. However, on other Toyota models, a calibration is required only if a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) related to the system has been set – yet another reason that performing a vehicle diagnostic scan is so critical. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Some of the systems may

even reset themselves after a test drive; so, you have to check the procedures to know what the particular requirements are for the specific vehicle you are repairing. Automakers use different terminology for various systems, which presents another challenge. It might be called an occupant classification sensor (OCS), an occupant detection sensor (ODS), a weight calibration sensor (WCS), or a “passenger sensing system.” Many automakers refer to the process as a “zero-point calibration” of the system. I find one of the best ways to start researching seat calibration requirements is by checking the vehicle owner’s manual. It will tell you what the automaker calls the system, and can help you explain the importance to the customer. In the owner’s manual for a particular Nissan model, for example, it clearly states, “If there’s any impact to your vehicle

from any direction, then your occupant classification sensor (OCS) should be checked.” It goes on to say: “Failure to verify proper OCS function may result in an improper airbag deployment resulting in injury or death.” This is serious stuff. Knowing what the automaker calls their system will help you locate the information you need in the OEM repair procedures, often under the “safety restraint system” section; but, it can be tricky. Nissan often refers to the “occupant classification sensor” (OCS), but the information in Nissan’s TechInfo website may be under “zero-point reset.” Using the vehicle owner’s manual and the OEM repair procedures every time will help you understand and perform any needed seat calibrations, and help justify the need and importance of the procedure to your customer or any bill-payer.


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Automotive Industry Faces Disruption Driven by Societal Changes by Gary Ledoux

“It is my belief that every aspect of the automotive industry value-chain will be disrupted in some way, shape or form. I also believe there will be a small percentage of existing businesses that will figure out how to be a disruptor, a large percentage of existing business that will be disrupted, and last but not least, there will be new companies that enter the automotive market as disruptors,” wrote industry leader Frank Terlep near the opening of his new book, Auto Industry Disruption – Who and What is Being Disrupted, and What To Do About it. Since the earliest days of the collision industry trade magazines in the mid-1960s, columnists, editors, industry leaders and pundits have consistently exercised two themes to talk about the state of the industry. The first one is, “We have seen more change in the last five years than we saw in the previous 20.” The other is, “We are roaring into the future and evolutionary or revolutionary changes will be taking place. Get ready now for the future.” Terlep’s book follows a similar theme, but the “intensity switch” is turned all the way up to its highest setting. It is not just the collision industry side of the business that is being affected. The entire automotive industry is changing, changing right now – changing before our eyes, in ways that are more profound than ever before. The changes are not evolutionary, not even revolutionary – but are best described as “a disruption” driven by technology, socioeconomic and demographic change and the emergence of new business models. Automotive technology is changing quickly. Cars are no longer cars but computers on wheels and technicians will need to learn how to properly repair, reset and recalibrate a damaged vehicle to make it roadworthy and safe again. Hardware technology is increasing computing power, miniaturizing it, and making components easier to install. Software technology is changing, allowing a vehicle to receive software updates on the fly without ever visiting a dealership. Broadband con30

nectivity will disrupt car ownership models allowing ridesharing and provide the foundation for intelligent transportation systems. Cameras are proliferating. Soon, six to ten cameras on a car will be the norm. So, while collision technicians debate the virtues of repairing sheet metal as opposed to panel replacement, the question becomes, “Will all ADAS systems components work as they should upon completion of repairs, and can the car still maintain internet connection?” A Brave New World Terlep’s vision of a “brave new world” of a disrupted collision repair industry includes:

• ADAS systems and related technology will make cars safer to drive. This, combined with autonomous cars and concepts like ride-sharing and improved ride-hailing technology, and the socio-economic acceptance of using different means of short-hop transportation in an increasingly urbanized world means fewer cars on the road and fewer accidents. • The era of the “two-car” family is quickly dying. Given the expense, there is less and less reason for having a second car when so many other alternatives are emerging. Hence, less cars, less accidents. • Fewer accidents means a consolidation of all areas of the collision industry including the number of shops needed, along with the infrastructure to support those shops. This includes parts suppliers (including OE’s), as well as paint and equipment suppliers.

• The proliferation of electric cars means less mechanical maintenance – good for vehicle owners as far as downtime and cost is concerned, a disruption for car dealers who depend on parts and service sales for a good portion of their gross profit and a disruption for independent mechanical shops and collision shops who will have to deal with technologies they are not familiar with.

• The proliferation of electric cars and their attendant technology, some

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

of which haven’t even been invented yet, will require shops to invest heavily in training and new tools and equipment – all of which will quickly become obsolete as technology moves forward at mind-numbing speed.

Sunrise – Sunset As the disruptive climate grows and expands, some companies will be greatly consolidating or “sun-setting” altogether, while others will experience birth and meteoric growth. Just as innovative companies found a way to make vast improvements in internal combustion cars, emerging companies, through technology and innovation, will find a way to improve electric car performance, the experience of driving an internal combustion car, and enhance the customer experience in the transportation field overall. “Sunrise” initiatives include: • A company is already working on a headrest that can “sense” a driver’s physical condition including fatigue, drowsiness, stress, etc., and

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adjust the car’s ADAS systems accordingly … cutting down on vehicle accidents.

• A system will be developed to electronically handle all aspects of a collision repair from the moment the accident occurs. Sensors will determine the physical condition of the driver and occupants, the extent of damage, order the appropriate parts, send them to the closest OE certified body shop, and notify the insurance carrier – all in a matter of seconds – not hours or days. • A person’s daily commute will change into an end-to-end mobility experience with an interconnected ecosystem of multiple players and providers including one or more modes of transportation.

• Connected cars and their attendant systems will generate vast amounts of data. Terlep calls this data “the world’s new oil.” Those that learn how to capture, control, manipulate and leverage all this data

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will be the big winners in a disrupted world. Of course, this data must be stored and used responsibly.

• OE’s will use connected-car data to reverse its business model for designing and developing cars. Rather than build a car that executives think customers want and hope it sells, they will be able to capture how consumers use existing products and enhance that experience by providing products they know the customer will appreciate.

• Autonomous cars that sustain minor collision damage will be able to drive themselves to a pre-assigned repair facility. Meanwhile, an alternative car will be dispatched to provide service in the interim. Once the first car is repaired, it will be placed back into service, the insurance claim will be processed automatically within minutes … and life will go on. Some company, yet to be founded, will be controlling this whole operation. Auto Insurance Re-Invented Not unlike the collision repair industry, the auto insurance industry is

loath to change. However, as is the nature of “disruption,” time, technology, and consumer preference will eventually force their hand.

• New players will emerge in the auto insurance space and provide products and services never before seen. Imagine paying a flat fee per month for basic fire and theft insurance, and then pay only for the miles you actually drive by logging into an app on your smartphone. • New insurance products may include cyber-security insurance to ensure against hacking and malware.

• Consumers may be able to set their own prices ... In other words, come up with a monthly premium that fits their budget, and then see what that will provide.

• Consumers may be able to use “peer pricing” whereby they will apply for an insurance policy providing various characteristics such as year, make and model of car, ADAS characteristics, age, gender, family status, job, etc., and get a quote most

commonly selected by their peers.

• Insurance company adjusters will all but disappear being replaced with vehicle sensors, digital photos and artificial intelligence. Exciting Times “This is an exciting time to be part of the automotive industry. Innovation and creativity can be found almost everywhere, while new entrepreneurs, investors and incumbents are all jumping into the ACES (Autonomous, Connected, Electric, Shared) pool!” wrote Terlep. “The way to be successful in a disruptive climate,” he says, “is to keep innovating. Remember, innovation is NOT technology. Innovation equates to any way you or your business find a way to do more for a client than anybody else does.” In his book, Terlep offers several ideas for collision repair shops, OE’s, car dealers and others to become the disruptor, rather than the disrupted. It’s not rocket science, but it does require a business owner to pay attention to what is going on around them, he said. In a telephone interview, Terlep noted, “If busi-

nesses don’t recognize these changes now and begin to adapt, they’ll be gone in five years.” As an example, Terlep noted the rather speedy demise of the Blockbuster video rental chain because they failed to realize the emerging streaming video business model of Netflix. By the time Blockbuster realized what was happening, technology and social change had occurred … and it was too late for them. Terlep has been a key player, innovator and disruptor in several collision repair-related companies over the past 40 years including AkzoNobel and Mitchell International as well as companies he founded including Automotive Solutions, CarStation.com, Summit Software and Summit E-marketing. Terlep’s book can soon be found on Amazon and all e-book platforms. For a FREE copy of Chapter One of this informative new book “Auto Industry Disruption, what and who is being disrupted and what to do about it,” please visit www.auto-disruption .com/pl/109601.


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Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

Stacey Phillips is a freelance writer and editor for the automotive industry. She has 20 years of experience writing for a variety of publications, and is co-author of “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops.” She can be reached at sphillips.autobodynews@gmail.com.

How to Position Your Collision Repair Shop for Sustainability Over the last several years, the collision repair industry has undergone tremendous change and continues to do so, said John Shoemaker, business development manager at BASF Automotive Refinishing North America. During the November 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Shoemaker talked about how collision repair businesses can survive these changes and be successful and sustainable in the future. His presentation was part of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) Repairer Driven Education (RDE) Series. “If shops just want to survive, we can stay where we are and last another two to three years; with luck, we might last five,” said Shoemaker. “However, we are not going to sustain our businesses and move forward.” With the shift in how body shops operate, Shoemaker said it’s critical to work toward running a well-maintained and equipped business. This involves continuous improvement with training, certifications and developing best practices. Prior to working at BASF, Shoemaker ran a three-shop MSO for a dealer group in Southwest Virginia for 18 years. When the business held staff meetings and talked about moving to the next level, he recalled sharing information from a book titled “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson. “The book talks about the four characteristics that represent the simple and complex parts of ourselves: sniff, scurry, hem and haw,” explained Shoemaker. “Those who sniff, are open to change early; others scurry into action. Those who hem and deny, resist change fearing it will lead to something worse; and those who “haw,” eventually learn to adapt when they realize change can lead to something better.” When you look at these descriptions in terms of a body shop, Shoemaker said businesses that are wanting to move forward should not “hem.”


“We have a lot of people in this industry who are sitting in ‘hem’ right now and hope things are not going to get worse, and that we reached the plateau and are going to be able to ride this out for the next four to five years,” he said.

John Shoemaker, business development manager at BASF Automotive Refinishing North America. Credit: Stacey Phillips

Instead, he said more shops need to act like “sniff” and “haw” and adapt moving forward. A Shift in Focus With OEM Certification Programs In a conversation with Scott Biggs, CEO of Assured Performance Network, Shoemaker said the business owner talked about a series of events that created a perfect storm of conditions that led to the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) certification model. These included commonization, where shops weren’t differentiating themselves from their competition; the negativity buyers associated with having a poor collision repair experience; and the realization of liability, which remains with the repairer or body shop. The majority of shops also didn’t have the necessary equipment and training to repair vehicles properly. These points are detailed in the following Autobody News article: “The Best Body Shops’ Tips: How to Leverage the Certified Repair Model.” Meanwhile, the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) Definitions Committee was working toward creating an industry-wide definition for a collision repair provider. Part of the definition states a requirement that repairers, sublet providers and third-party service

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

providers meet OEM specifications regarding equipment, capabilities and training. Shoemaker stressed the importance of following OEM procedures and getting involved in OEM certification programs to best meet the needs ahead. He then discussed the different types of training programs currently available in the industry. They include the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (ICAR)® Professional Development Program™ (PDP), the Automotive Management Institute (AMi) Professional Recognition Program, and OEM training. When deciding on which OEM certification program to focus on, Shoemaker recommended looking at a shop’s competition to help determine if the OEM program will provide the best return on investment. “Ask yourself, ‘do you want to get certified on vehicles you are already repairing or drive new business?’” he said. “There are two schools of thought.” Many obtain OEM certifications directly through a car manufacturer. Shoemaker explained that the majority of programs are very selective, with an estimated 80 percent needing a referral. Assured Performance Network, a third-party provider, is the administrator for several of these OEM programs. “Assured Performance Network’s collaborative approach allows shops to join several certification programs at one time and one price, which can save them a significant amount of money and avoid redundancy.” Each certification program has specific facility and training requirements that meet the CIC definition of a general repair facility. For example, as part of some of the OEM open networks, such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan, there is an estimator management training requirement. “Some of the OEMs are now requiring a certified estimator and certified management staff,” said

Shoemaker. “That’s where AMi training comes in.” He pointed out the new expectation of office staff being skilled and trained. When it comes to equipment requirements, OEMs are brand specific. As a result, Shoemaker recommended that shops are forwardthinking to ensure the equipment will meet the shop’s long-term needs. He encouraged attendees to think about their purchasing decisions. He used an example of buying a new welder. “You need to do research and look at what’s going on in the industry and with cars,” said Shoemaker. “Then, determine if that welder is going to be the right welder to ensure it is going to be good for three to five years.” Shoemaker then discussed the benefits of getting certified. Along with this comes a change to the way collision shops will find new business. “OEMs are now using telematics to locate certified collision repair shops,” said Shoemaker. “With telematics, First Notice of Loss (FNOL) is going to connect vehicle owners with certified collision repair shops.” Other benefits include better access to repair procedures and structural parts. With companies such as Volvo now restricting collision parts to its certified collision repair network, Shoemaker said this will become increasingly important. In addition, OEMs advertise for and refer shops that are part of their network. The Importance of Creating Best Practices Shoemaker also discussed the need for shops to change the way damage is documented and validate repair methods with OEM processes. “Make sure you have the documentation you need to tell insurers how the car is going to be fixed,” said Shoemaker. “There is only one way to repair a car.” Shoemaker said we have all of


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the knowledge needed at our fingertips. He suggested accessing the free SCRS Complete Guide to Repair Planning and look into SCRS’s new estimate optimization software: Guide to Complete Repair Planning – Blueprint Optimization Tool. Other resources include the PPages (also called estimate guides), OEM1Stop, 3M Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), I-CAR information, owners’ manuals and OEM procedures. He also suggested “reprogramming” damage appraisers and training them to describe repair operations as they expect the technician to complete them, identifying each of the steps required, ensuring the information is communicated to all involved and being specific with the necessary processes. “Not only is that how they get paid, but it also reduces your liability and ensures the car is repaired correctly,” he said. “Vehicles are getting too complex to not be educated enough to fix them, so we have to develop some best practices to harness all of this,” he said. He shared information from Dave Dunn’s book “Liquid Amalgam,” which talks about non-negotiables and core values. It is based on four principles: 1) Honesty—being truthful in all transactions and to all parties, 2) Excellence—to meet customers’ expectations and be equal to or better than the standards, 3) Accommodation—coming to an agreement with the customer and delivering on that agreement with the customer’s best interests in mind, and 4) Profitability—which gives stability and attracts desirable employees.

“There is a lot of value in creating best practices and developing core values,” said Shoemaker. “I don’t think we spend enough time doing that.” He advised attendees to be consistent with principles and make sure they are clearly understood by all employees. “Ensure everyone knows their purpose; don’t waver and always accentuate, not sometimes,” he advised. “There is a big difference between always and sometimes. Always gets you where you want to 34

be; sometimes takes you back where you were.” Once a shop has changed its processes, Shoemaker said the next step is marketing them to customers. After recognizing what enables the shop to stand out among its competitors—whether that is being OEM certified, I-CAR Gold Class or a family-owned business—the next step is to promote those differences to customers. He also mentioned the book “How to Market to People Not Like You” by Kelly McDonald. “The message of the book is to know where your business is coming from and where it’s not coming from and learn how to market to people who are not like you,” explained Shoemaker. He talked about the eight-step process of successful change based on the book “Our Iceberg is Melting” by John Kotter.

• Create a sense of urgency; • Build a Guiding Coalition; • Form a Strategic Vision & Initiatives; • Enlist a Volunteer Army; • Enable Action by Removing Barriers; • Generate Short-Term Wins; • Sustain Acceleration; and • Institute Change.

The challenge, according to Shoemaker, is creating a business culture for the future. “You must move past the status quo to get to tomorrow to be successful. Get out of dark ages and into daylight,” said Shoemaker. “We have to pull our heads out of the sand and move forward. Today is the day to take control of our businesses.” He recommended body shops read “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops” and ended the presentation with a quote from co-author David Luehr. “Do not limit the majesty of your dreams to your current level of competence,” said Luehr. “Know that all the education you need will be available along your journey.”



JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Continued from Cover

GM to Lay Off

Cadillac CT6 at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly will be complete in early 2020,” said Flores. “We have job opportunities for all D-Ham team members covered by the UAW-GM National Agreement. We expect to have opportunities in Michigan and Ohio.”Flores said GM will have more specific details after it finishes a buyout program at the plant. GM will begin making the job offers to Detroit-Hamtramck employees beginning in January, when Cadillac CT6 sedan production will be completed. Impala production will continue through Feb. 28. About 31 hourly and three salaried workers will be laid off effective March 20, with two hourly employees to be laid off March 27 and another two hourly workers laid off April 3, the WARN letter stated. In November 2018, GM had slated Detroit-Hamtramck, which was home of the once-revolutionary Chevrolet Volt electric car, to be one of four U.S. plants it planned to close. But the 4 million-square-foot

plant, which straddles the border of Detroit and Hamtramck, was not idled before about 46,000 GM UAW members went on a 40-day strike starting in mid-September. It was still operating on an extension to produce the CT6 and Impala. In the new four-year contract with the UAW, GM said DetroitHamtramck would remain open to produce an electric pickup and a “van,” which people familiar with the plans said is a generic term for a variety of body styles including SUVs. The company pledged to invest $3 billion in the plant and said it will eventually employ 2,225 people. GM plans to build the new group of premium electric vehicles at Detroit-Hamtramck beginning in late 2021, said a person familiar with the plans. That includes possibly reviving the long-gone Hummer brand, the person said. The electric truck program is dubbed BT1, according to Reuters. GM promised a broad $7.7 billion investment in its U.S. plants over the next four years under the new labor deal ratified in October. We thank Detroit Free Press for reprint permission.


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AAPEX 2020 to Expand With Repair Shop HQ

For the first time in many years, AAPEX will expand and add Repair Shop HQ to meet the needs of today’s service professionals. AAPEX represents the more than $1 trillion global automotive aftermarket industry and will take place Tuesday, Nov. 3 through Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Las Vegas. The AAPEX 2020 expansion also includes a new robotics and warehouse equipment and logistics section. “The ultimate goal of this expansion is to enable AAPEX and the entire supply chain to be more efficient, while proactively addressing changes in the industry by presenting solutions,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. “We will deliver solutions to the shop in order for them to be ahead of the curve. And we will champion opportunities for parts manufacturers to utilize data more efficiently to enhance their relationship with their customers,” added Paul McCarthy, president and COO of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA).

Chrysler Lawsuit Involving Leaky Sunroofs Seeks Settlement

The ongoing lawsuit between David Cox and Chrysler could be settled soon. According to court documents, the 2014 class-action lawsuit could reach a settlement agreement of $350,000 for attorneys’ fees and $4,000 that would be awarded to Cox, the plaintiff in this case, as an incentive award. The lawsuit against Chrysler, which was first filed in 2014 by Cox, alleged the manufacturer was negligent in disclosing to owners that regular maintenance is needed on affected vehicles’ sunroof drain tubes. The Jeep Patriot, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Compass, Jeep Commander, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler Town and Country and Chrysler 300, from model years 2009 to present were named in the lawsuit. “FCA [Fiat Chrysler automobiles] US does not agree with all of the characterizations of the facts set forth by plaintiff in these motions. However, it does agree that the proposed class settlement is fundamentally fair, adequate, and reasonable, and that it should be approved by the Court. Furthermore, FCA US has no


objection to entry of an order awarding attorneys’ fees, costs, and an incentive award, provided that the amounts do not exceed the following: $350,000 for attorneys’ fees; $128,873.79 for costs; and $4,000.00 for an incentive award for plaintiff,” a portion of court documents read. In his original complaint, Cox stated he owned a 2010 Jeep Patriot for less than a year before the sunroof began leaking, which damaged the interior. “Cox brought his vehicle in to the Chrysler dealer’s service department to service the sunroof leak immediately. The Chrysler dealer replaced the radio and cleaned out the sunroof drain tubes. However, the sunroof has leaked several times since the first attempted repair, once again damaging the radio display and causing electrical malfunctions in the sunroof. Thus, on June 26, 2013, Cox brought the vehicle in to the Chrysler service department again to service the sunroof leak. However, Chrysler refused to repair the sunroof leak under the warranty stating that clogged drain tubes is a maintenance problem. As a result, Cox continues to observe water

leaking into and through the sunroof and interior dome light that has resulted in electrical problems, a noticeable musty or moldy smell and water damage to the interior of his vehicle,” a portion of the complaint reads. Throughout his complaint, Cox claims he was never told by Chrysler that the vehicle’s sunroof drain tubes would need routine maintenance. Chrysler responded to the complaint by denying most of the allegations that were made against the company. The auto manufacturer also stood by its warranty in its response. “FCA US admits that it provides a written limited warranty for the vehicles it sells which covers the cost of repairs for certain items for three years or 36,000 miles from the date the vehicle is first put into service, whichever occurs first. Further FCA US states that the warranty document speaks for itself,” a portion of Chrysler’s response reads. Currently, both Cox and Chrysler are waiting for the judge’s response to the settlement motion. We thank www.glassBYTEs.com for reprint permission.

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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance technical writer from Wilmington, Delaware, who writes on a variety of fields and subjects, and grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. She can be contacted at crsisk@chasidyraesisk.com.

Collision Repair Industry Associations Make 2020 New Year’s Resolutions For many, making a New Year’s resolution is an important part of celebrating the calendar changeover, and the most common resolutions are intended to improve an individual’s life – losing weight, learning something new, or saving more money. Studies show that 46% of those who make a New Year’s resolution are likely to succeed. Associations supporting the collision repair industry have also begun to evaluate what improvements they can make as the old year draws to a close, and several industry leaders were willing to share their 2020 New Year’s resolutions with Autobody News. A common resolution amongst association leadership is focused on growing their organization’s membership and meeting their members’ needs. Judell Anderson, executive director of AASP-MN, began, “We will continue to work on increasing member engagement. Members are the lifeblood of the association, and without their participation and input, the Alliance cannot be as impactful as we otherwise could be. Whether

volunteering for committee service, communicating with legislators, utilizing member benefit programs or simply being aware of and supporting our various initiatives, the Alliance will ultimately be stronger and more effective in our work on behalf of the industry if members are fully engaged. To that end, the association will work to create a more robust social media presence and overall communications strategy to more effectively engage members in all aspects of our work in the coming year.” Ray Fisher, executive director of ASA National, stated, “Wow, it’s hard to choose just one with all we have planned for 2020. Our focus in 36

2020 is our members. To that point, we want to help our affiliates even more with their event promotion while leveraging new programs, like our podcasts, to achieve success. We’ll also see the return of C.A.R.S. at the ASA Annual Business Meeting in the Dallas-Fort Worth area next year.” ABAT Executive Director Jill Tuggle hopes that the group will continue expanding their membership base, and she said, “We have joined forces with HABA and will be looking to grow our membership especially in the western part of the state.” Burl Richards, president of ABAT, added, “Stay the Course … don’t take your foot off the gas pedal. We’ve made great strides, and we are educating and making the industry better and stronger by sticking together and taking the time to continually push the boundaries to move the needle.” ASA Northwest’s 2020 Chairman Elect Bryan Kelley plans to enhance the association’s focus on members’ needs. “I often feel like we believe we know what our members want, and we then try to fill that belief. Instead, we should be constantly surveying and asking the big questions: what do our members really want from us? Once we have that information, we need to focus on the application and delivery. If you ask, they know you care, and if they know you care, they will continue to support you while you begin to navigate through change,” he pointed out. AASP/MA Executive Director Lucky Papageorg plans “to continue the momentum and growth of AASP/MA based on that platform of attaining a fair and reasonable labor rate while continuing to protect the consumers and collision repair industry. We’ll also be putting together a two-year business plan for the association and setting obtainable goals with greater participation at all levels.” IABA has some exciting things coming up in 2020, including the transition to a new and improved website

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

and members’ portal. IABA President Doug Martin shared, “This will help us push out info to the membership and keep them up to date with the event’s happening across the state. We will still have our quarterly chapter meetings, and several sponsors have committed to bring in key people to help us facilitate.” Legislative efforts continue to be a large priority for associations in the collision repair industry as 2020 approaches. Martin added, “A huge thing for the IABA is that we have hired Jack Molodanof, a California Auto Body Association lobbyist, as a government relations advisor to the IABA. Jack has tremendous knowledge of the collision industry and will help us build relationships in the state house along with the department of insurance. We are very excited for the new year.” CAWA plans to “complete a due diligence process to examine the establishment of a vehicle safety inspection program in the state of California,” Executive Director Rodney Pierini shared, and Fisher stated, “Expect more focus on our advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., particularly as it relates to PMVI program legislation, data access, cyber security and our ongoing efforts to represent the independent repair shop community on telematics and cybersecurity developments in 2020.” Bob Amendola, ABAC president, intends for the association to “continue to strive for increased consumer awareness and empowerment regarding OEM parts, safe and proper repairs and their legal rights after an accident/as the vehicle owner. We plan to do so through social media and a series of informative videos that we are in the midst of producing. They will be released through an upcoming social media campaign in the beginning of the coming year.” “Technology – including advanced safety and crash avoidance systems and new manufacturing materials – has resulted in the need for collision repair shops to make significant investments in tooling, equip-

ment and training in order to conduct safe and proper repairs in accordance with manufacturer specifications,” Anderson shared. “Our OEM procedure legislative proposal aims to ensure appropriate insurer indemnification to insureds and third parties for the safe and proper repair of damaged vehicles, thereby improving the safety of the motoring public.” As technology continues to change constantly, the need for training becomes increasingly prevalent, and recognizing this imperative, many associations put a lot of emphasis on delivering valuable educational content to their member base. MSCRA Executive Director Ricki Garrett’s goal “is to host an even bigger and better conference and to provide our membership with excellent training opportunities. We also want to grow our membership through enhanced benefits.”

ASA Northwest President and Executive Director Jeff Lovell looks forward to growing the association’s new ATE East program, and NATA plans to host its second roundtable on April 25; Executive Director Cathi Webb said, “We hope to expand this meeting to reach even more influencers in our students’ career paths.” According to ARA Executive Director Sandy Blalock, the association plans to “continue to grow the educational content of the ARA University, incorporating training from industry suppliers and vendors as well as content submitted by ARA members themselves. The goal is to make the ARA University a living, breathing resource that is adding relevant content in real-time as the educational needs of the professional automotive recycling industry adapt to the dynamic automotive repair


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sector.” KABA Vice President Tony Adams noted the importance of getting “more information in the hands of our members to perform safe and proper repairs, so we can fulfill our mission of protecting Kansas current and future drivers.” ASA North Texas President John Firm stated, “Our goal is to help our membership with reduced cost of training and bring purpose to our meeting to help manage our members manage and operate their business more profitable.” AASP/NJ plans to continue providing education to members and encouraging members to share their successes with one another. President Jerry McNee stressed, “We are all in this together!” The industry also recognizes the need to pull together to ensure the future of the collision repair industry, and to that end, many associations have implemented various programs to ensure that future technicians are being properly trained. In addition to “continuing to perfect our training event, the ASTE,” IGONC intends to “add to our apprentice program,”

stated Tricia Sauls, associate executive director. “We are hoping to have 50 kids enrolled by graduation 2020.” NABA Vice President James Rodis said, “Our New Year’s resolution would have to be to get our youth opportunity council off the ground better. This is a program to help get more kids into our state’s auto body classes and try to break that mold of auto body technicians being a last resort job. We also want to just continue to grow the association so, as a group, our voices are louder.” WAC’s biggest goal in 2020 is “to stick with our path of working with the industry and schools to get industry related curriculum into all middle and high school classrooms as part of STEM learning,” President Shelly Jones stated. “We have started something big and intend to see it through. In addition, we intend to bring more speakers from various organizations into our meetings. These non-industry orgs have proven to be very valuable to our mission and great connections for our members and their companies.” Some associations believe that the future generation isn’t the only

way to attract more talent, and these groups would like to incorporate a little more diversity into the industry. Jody Devere, founding board member of WIA, pointed out, “Only 26% of all employees are women in the automotive industry in all roles; in 2020, we would like to hit 30% or more. Gender parity is not just the right thing to do - it is the profitable thing for our industry to do. Equality for women could lead to a massive boost to the economy. Research from McKinsey found gender equality could lead to a global economic boost of between $12 trillion and $28 trillion by 2025.” AWAF would also like “to increase the number of younger women, both within our membership and on the board. AWAF offers mentoring, coaching, professional development, and access to senior executives, which are crucial to professionals beginning their careers,” according to President Susan Rokosz. WIN Chair Cheryl Boswell added, “One of the goals for WIN in 2020 is to resource the industry with new information regarding how to attract and retain more women (and

men) in this amazing industry!” For SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg, it’s important to evaluate industry needs and make changes every day, not just for the New Year. “The cultural aspects that guide SCRS into 2020 remain unchanged. It’s doing the right things, in the right way, for the right people, for the right reasons. The work we do for our members is for the right people. These small business owners, and the people they employ, work in a very challenging environment going into 2020,” he said. “I firmly believe that the programs and resources we’ve worked to build, driven by the culture described above, will help make their businesses more successful, and the conditions less challenging going forward. It’s not a new year resolution, but an ongoing commitment by the many volunteers and staff members around our table to help make this industry better than it was when we entered it.” With these association leaders leading the charge for 2020, the collision repair industry is in for another year of improvements, progress and inspiration. Happy New Year!

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Solving the Tech Shortage: How Conditions, Culture & Compensation Can Help Body Shops Attract & Retain Employees you have to start to attract them.” This requires a significant change It wasn’t long ago when businesses in mindset. Typically, White said looking for new employees put an ad businesses search for help when an in the newspaper hoping for a re- employee leaves the company. Insponse. About a dozen or more can- stead, he recommends that owners didates applied, and someone would and managers stop hiring and begin be hired. Today, the scenario is much recruiting. The best time to do this, different. Rick White, presaccording to White, is ALL ident of 180biz, said if that the time. same type of ad is circulated “You want to be constantly now—printed or online— recruiting so when someshop owners and managers body gives you notice, you’ll shouldn’t be surprised if have somebody or ‘somethere are no responses. bodies’ to call,” he said. During a recent webiCredit: Rick White When an employee first nar coordinated by the Alliance of Automotive Service gives notice, White discourages shops Providers (AASP), White shared ad- from accepting it. “Let them go unless they are a vice on how to best attract and retain talent in the collision repair industry. superstar player,” he said. “If it is a White said “chasing people” to technician, you are going to have six come to work isn’t an effective strat- months of comebacks because they are no longer emotionally or menegy. “The reality is that you want the tally in the game. I guarantee that no best people working in your shop,” matter how bad it seems, it’s going he said. “Instead of chasing people, to be better than what you have to by Stacey Phillips

deal with on the other end.” In his one-hour presentation, White shared a hiring strategy used by Apple, Google and Microsoft. Rather than putting out ads looking for candidates, companies such as these regularly receive resumes. He attributes this to their working conditions, culture and compensation. Conditions When a business owner first opens a new body shop, White said he or she usually sees the potential for success. Over time, this often changes, and the focus becomes the problems or challenges occurring at the company. As a result, White stressed the importance of continuously working on a business to create better conditions. “No matter how bad you think your current conditions are, there is another person who would kill to be in your position,” he said. “See the potential in your business and then grow and make problems better by taking baby steps—make things a lit-


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fined as how a team feels working at your company, has to start with intention. “Don’t accidentally create a culture,” he advised. “If you are not intentionally setting the culture—the values and everything you want your company run by—somebody else is.” It all starts with hiring a new employee. White recommends having two interviews as part of the process. First, is a face-to-face interview at the shop going through a series of questions to better understand the person in a non-judgmental way. “You are not there to determine whether or not they are a good fit; you are there to get to know them,” he explained. The next step is to talk to his or her references. In addition to reaching out to prior employers and personal references, it can also be helpful to talk to peers. Many times, a shop owner is not going to share many details about a previous employee so there is one question White always recommends asking: Is this person eligible for rehire? “It’s a great question to ask and you are going to get a really solid an-

swer,” he said. “You are either going to hear, “Yes, I wish they were here today,” or “No, I don’t want to see them again.” White said shops owners and managers should keep in mind they are hiring human beings, not machines. “They have goals, fears, desires and nightmares,” said White. “You have to get to understand your employees and know them as well as you can.” He pointed out that when you hire an employee, you are hiring their entire family as well. “We have to recognize they have a life outside of the business… and they are concerned about their future,” he said. “When you get the family involved, it’s like having advocates at home that want them to stay working there.” White provided several suggestions on how to best connect with employees and their families, such as giving birthday gifts to their children or sponsoring their soccer team. He said it can be helpful to learn what employees enjoy doing in their spare time, so if they go above and beyond

at work, you can tie in different rewards and give them something meaningful. He advised always being upfront with employees, creating a safe place for them to work, letting them know what’s going on in the business so they don’t worry, and always showing appreciation for their efforts. “They need a mentor and a friend—someone who cares about them and wants to see them achieve the highest they possibly can,” he said. Once a business culture is created, the next step is to communicate it to employees and explain what is expected. “The goal of communication is to convey a thought or process or act to another person,” he explained. “You want them walking away with the same picture in their head as you have.” In order to best communicate the message, he recommended talking slowly, really listening, and using what he referred to as the seven “Cs.” These include being clear, correct, concise, complete, concrete, considerate and courteous.

Compensation It should come as no surprise that excellent compensation is going to help attract and retain quality people, according to White. When deciding whether or not to offer a raise, he advised not to give an incremental cost of living raises. He referred to this as “replacement raises”—the cost of replacing an employee. “When thinking of compensation, recognize it’s wages as well as bonuses. Money is not going to be the key driver,” he explained. “Instead, you have to tap into why they are in this industry, what brought them here, and what they want to do.” White encouraged shop owners to think differently about what is offered to employees. That might include providing health insurance, a flexible schedule, paying for tools, tuition assistance or retirement. “The reality is the status quo doesn’t work anymore,” said White. “It’s going to be new thinking and new actions that are going to make a difference and it all starts with you.” For more information, email White at rick@180biz.com or call 540-833-2014 ext. 11.

Ford ‘Death Wobble’ Lawsuit Says F-250 and F-350 Trucks Affected by David A. Wood, CarCompaints.com

A Ford “death wobble” lawsuit alleges the automaker concealed and omitted information about suspension problems in 2005-2019 Ford F-250 and F-350 trucks. According to the class action, Ford routinely tells truck owners any potential repairs won’t be covered under warranties, and dealerships sometimes completely deny there are wobble problems. Wear and tear of the steering damper brackets may cause them to loosen, along with other components such as the shocks, struts, ball joints and control arms. F-250 and F-350 owners claim the so-called death wobble occurs due to defects in the pitman arms, placing a driver in a shocked condition when the wobble occurs while driving. Customers also allege hitting a bump in the road while traveling at least 50 mph can easily cause the death wobble to the point of losing steering control. In addition, truck owners say they must suddenly slow the trucks down to control the shaking and vibrations. 40

According to the death wobble class action, the trucks don’t need to be old because customers sometimes complain their trucks wobble even when the vehicles are still under the original warranties. It’s common Ford F-250 and F350 owners complain about being scared of being killed if the trucks start wobbling while driving. Also, allegedly common is how dealerships blame the death wobble on faulty maintenance of the trucks. In addition to alleged dealer denials and unnecessary repairs that don’t help the problem, dozens of truck owners allege they quickly lost control of the trucks, with certain situations causing crashes and injuries. The Ford death wobble lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California - Smalley, et al., v. Ford Motor Company. The plaintiffs are represented by Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora, LLP. CarComplaints.com has F-250 and F-350 customer complaints. We thank CarCompaints.com for reprint permission.

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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Shops Report More Success in Getting Paid for Frame, Mechanical Procedures by John Yoswick

Something seemingly as simple as disconnecting and reconnecting a vehicle’s battery during the repair process may not sound like something that should require researching OEM procedures, and that might be why only 3 in 10 shops say they always do so, according to data from a recent “Who Pays for What?” survey. However, as Mike Anderson of Collision Advice, who conducts the “Who Pays” surveys in conjunction with CRASH Network, explained in a column in Autobody News last summer, increasingly complex or time-consuming procedures for battery disconnect-and-reconnects are becoming more common. “The procedure for the 2018 Chevy Cruze is seven pages long,” Anderson said. “It includes that you need to inform the customer that the ‘start/stop’ feature on the vehicle will not be available until the vehicle is allowed to sit for at least three hours. I was analyzing the procedures called for by one Asian automaker recently, and found the OEM had 11 procedures required after reconnecting the battery. And most automakers say disconnecting the battery will set diag-

does pay for this “always” or “most” of the time. (By comparison, more than 90 percent of DRP shops for State Farm and Farmers Insurance reported being paid “always” or “most” of the time when they itemized the procedures on invoices).

with one-third of shops still not negotiating for that procedure; about two-thirds of those who do, report regularly being paid for it. But the surveys also have found slow but steady improvement in billing and payment practices for

Among shops billing for post-repair test drives of vehicles, 31 percent reported being paid “always” or “most of the time” by the eight largest auto insurers in 2019, up from about 25 percent in 2018

There are four “Who Pays for What?” surveys a year, each focusing on different aspects of the collision repair process. The latest survey, which asks shops about their billing practices – and insurer payment practices – related to “not-included” refinish labor procedures, is open throughout January. Shops can click here to take the current survey before Feb.1.

several of the operations. In 2015, 81 percent of shops said they were not negotiating to be paid for performing destructive test welds – that has dropped dramatically to just 52 percent in 2019. Perhaps because performing

post-repair test drives is becoming increasingly necessary (and complex) because of advanced drivers assistance systems (ADAS), that is also being added to estimates at a higher rate than five years ago; nearly 1 in 3 shops now report being paid “always” or “most” of the time for such test drives, up from just 13 percent five years ago. Although roughly the same percentage of shops as five years ago are seeking to be paid for “pre-diagnostic alignment,” shops’ success in getting paid for it has increased steadily over the past five years. “Every shop is different and negotiates differently, but the “Who Pays” surveys have shown over and over again that shops won’t be paid for something they have done if they don’t at least know that it is ‘not-included,’ if they don’t determine a fair charge for it, and if they don’t put it on their estimates or invoices,” Anderson said. The surveys ask about shop practices beyond the labor procedures. Anderson has argued for some time

A rising percentage of shops are using the automaker information websites to research OEM procedures

nostic trouble codes (DTCs) that may be impossible to detect without completing a post-repair vehicle scan.” The good news is that 80 percent of the more than 650 shops responding to the “Who Pays” survey also said they are paid by the eight largest auto insurers “most” or “all of the time” for the procedures related to disconnecting and reconnecting a battery. Less than 1 in 10 shops said they are “never” paid when they bill for this “not-included” procedure. Even among the subset of respondents that the survey found is least likely to be paid for it – namely, Geico DRP shops – almost 3 in 4 (73 percent) of those shops said Geico 42

The battery disconnect/reconnect data was from a 2019 “Who Pays” survey related to “not-included” mechanical and frame labor procedures. It was the fifth year the survey was conducted, and it found some realworld improvement among the shops that participate in the surveys. For the two dozen procedures asked about in the survey, 7 percent more shops are negotiating to be paid for the procedures, and an average of 8.5 percent more shops are reporting being paid “always” or “most of the time” for them compared to five years ago. Some operations, like draining fuel tanks, have changed little over the five years of survey results,

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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that many shops lump far too many procedures into a flat fee charge for “set-up and measure.” The 2019 survey found some indication that his

and start line iteming every single thing we need to do for each vehicle, because it’s very vehicle-specific,” Anderson said.

Even something as seemingly simple as disconnecting and reconnecting a battery can involve multiple pages of important OEM procedures that should be reviewed, according to Mike Anderson

calls for more itemization of the procedures involved are taking hold. Back in 2016, for example, a “Who Pays” survey found that more than 81 percent of shops with a flat charge for frame set-up and measure said that fee included pulling the vehicle into the shop and lifting it up. In the same survey in 2019, fewer shops – about 75 percent – said that was included. In an even larger shift, only about 1 in 4 shops charging the flat fee for “set-up and measure” said it includes removal of wheels; in 2016, nearly 38 percent of shops included the time to remove wheels in their set-up and measure fee. “I think as an industry we need to move away from the flat two hours,

Among shops that are researching OEM repair procedures, the surveys have found a steadily rising percentage are going directly to the automakers’ websites for that information. Five years ago, just 32 percent of repairers said they used the automaker websites to obtain repair information, while a majority (67 percent) said they researched repair procedures through ALLDATA. Although a slightly smaller majority (63 percent) of shops still use ALLDATA in 2019, the percentage of shops using the OEM sites has nearly doubled to 59 percent in the 2019 survey. (The percentages add up to more than 100 because shops could indicate if they use multiple

sources). About 54 percent of survey respondents said they are OEM researching procedures all or most of the time compared to about 42 percent five years ago. “That’s an improvement, but this should still be done 100 percent of the time,” Anderson said. “You need to research that information every time, and save it on file, so if you ever get

each take about 15-25 minutes, and Anderson said they can be completed by any shop owner, manager or estimator who is familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of the largest national insurers. Individual responses are not released in any way; only cumulative data is released. At the website, shops can also download the results of previous sur-

Among shops charging a flat fee for “set-up and measure,” a recent “Who Pays” survey found shops tend to be including fewer specific procedures in that fee

audited for whatever reason, you can say, ‘The reason we did this procedure was because this is how the OEM said to do it at that time.’” Shops can take the current “Who Pays for What?” survey (or sign up to be notified about future surveys) at www.crashnetwork.com/ collisionadvice. The four different surveys, conducted one per quarter,

veys, reports that break the findings down by region, by insurer and by DRP vs. non-DRP. The reports also include analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented.


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Subaru Forester Passenger Airbag Sensor Lawsuit Filed by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

Subaru Forester passenger airbag sensor lawsuit alleges the occupant detection systems have errors that cause the airbags to deactivate when adults are in the passenger seats. According to the plaintiff, 2015-2018 Subaru Foresters are affected by the problems, and her 2018 Forester is a good example. The lawsuit alleges the plaintiff took the vehicle to a dealership which found problems with the detection system. Technicians allegedly didn’t make any repairs but told the plaintiff not to place electronic items in the passenger seat. The plaintiff says the airbags work part of the time and fail other times whether a passenger is in the seat or not. This is a danger that can cause an occupant their life, and Subaru allegedly knows there are problems but has failed to warn consumers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation in August into passenger airbag sensor problems after receiving 51 complaints about 2016-2018 Subaru Foresters.

According to NHTSA, Subaru owners said the passenger airbag warning lights indicated the airbags were turned off when adults were in the seats. Customers reported the airbag sensors deactivated the airbags and also caused the seat belt alarms to continually give audible warnings.

Forester owners also reported paying as much as $1,000 to repair the passenger airbag systems, and many times the waits were long because replacement parts were backordered. Subaru recalled more than 366,000 model year 2015-2018 Foresters in October after finding the passenger occupant detection system sensor mat harnesses could experi-

Autoliv Introduces Airbag That Prevents Passengers From Colliding Autoliv Inc., the worldwide leader in vehicle safety systems, announced the development of a new front center airbag that is designed to save lives in side-impact crash situations. The head is one of the most frequently injured body regions in any road collision potentially resulting in devastating long-term

consequences for the victim. For side collisions from the opposite side, the passenger may hit the vehicle interior or the other front seat passenger, sustaining injuries to the head and chest. To improve protection for these injuries, Euro NCAP has introduced the far-side load 44

case in the rating program from Jan. 1, 2020. The new Autoliv Front Center Airbag helps avoid driver-to-interior and driver-to-passenger impact. The inboard seat mounted airbag deploys in the space between the driver and the front-seat passenger, providing protection for them from colliding during a side impact and reduces risk of trauma to head, shoulder and chest. “Research indicates that the new Front Center Airbag can reduce injuries caused by passengers colliding with each other by up to 80%. If there is no one in the front passenger seat, the airbag will offer enhanced driver protection from a far-side collision. It is a technology innovation that underlines Autoliv’s commitment to saving lives and preventing injuries on the roads across the world,” says Scott Dershem, Autoliv vice president of development. The Autoliv Front Center Airbag will be introduced in 19 car models in 2020. Obtained via PR Newswire.

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Continued from Page 20

ence problems because of contact pressure between the terminals. According to the automaker, the passenger airbags could deactivate and then reactivate without warning because of the terminal problems. Subaru also admitted what customers were reporting, namely that the airbag warning lights indicated the airbags were off when they should have been on. In documents submitted to NHTSA, Subaru said turning off the ignition then turning it back on would reset the system and correct the faults. But the automaker also said this could be a temporary condition until the problem reoccurred while driving. When the recall was announced, Subaru also confirmed what customers had been saying about long waits for replacement parts that were on backorder. Subaru also told NHTSA that in addition to the government receiving about 50 complaints, customers had filed more than 220 passenger airbag complaints direct with the automaker. We thank CarComplaints.com for reprint permission.

Life Skills First

means to be accountable for their repairs. Lives are on the line in many cases when vehicles are put back into service. Just because a technician thinks a repair is good enough doesn’t mean it meets the manufacturer’s specifications.” Hosier wants the next generation of collision repair technicians to know that the things he is teaching them today may not be applicable in five-ten years, he said. “The collision repair industry is changing nearly every day, and graduates must be willing to adapt and embrace change to maintain their earning potential. This industry can be very rewarding and profitable for those that have the drive to succeed, manage time effectively, are well organized, and have the willingness to put hands-on skills and broad-based technical knowledge together. Technicians that are compassionate about the needs of the customer and take pride in what they do will always be in great demand.”


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Three Weeks After GM Strike, Dealers Await 2020 Models, Cut Back Hours by Kalea Hall, The Detroit News

General Motors Co. (GM) dealers are still dealing with the aftereffects of a six-week strike by the United Auto Workers. Three weeks after the walkout ended, dealers have begun getting some of the parts needed for service departments and body shops. And though the inventory of new cars and trucks remained fairly robust during the shutdown, some dealers are concerned about a lag in new deliveries as production gets back up to speed and car-haulers make their way to showrooms. The UAW’s national strike against GM shut down 55 facilities across the U.S., stopping production of parts and an estimated 300,000 new vehicles, costing GM nearly $3 billion. GM dealers say they took hits to their bottom lines on both the sales and service sides. At Motor City Buick GMC in Bakersfield, CA, new-vehicle sales were down 8% in October and are expected to be off 8% this month. “We are hopeful we can make up some of that due to pent-up demand in December, but December is

always a big month, so it’s kind of hard to set a new benchmark on top of an old benchmark,” said John Pitre, chief operating officer at the dealership. But three weeks after the strike ended, Motor City Buick GMC is feeling the pinch even more than it did during much of the walkout. “We didn’t feel it for the first three weeks of the strike because our pipeline is about two to three weeks long,” Pitre said. “We are feeling it much more now than we did in October.” At Matthew-Hargreaves Chevrolet in Royal Oak, MI, general manager Walt Tutak expects to see the sales side of the business feel a delayed strike impact as they await new models that normally would already be on the lot. Ideally, Tutak likes to have 500 vehicles — a two-month supply — on the ground, with another 250 coming in for delivery during the month to make up for the 250 that will be sold. When this process gets interrupted, he said, “You’re going to have a shortage.” GM still had an ample 81-day supply of cars, trucks and SUVs two

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weeks into the strike, above the industry’s average of 66 days, according to. That cushioned the impact. “GM loaded up their dealers with inventory prior to the strike and so they had surplus inventory,” said Brad Korner, general manager of Cox Automotive Rates and Incentives. “They didn’t take their foot off the gas at all.” But analysts do think the inventory is under pressure somewhat now. Tutak hasn’t had a shortage of vehicles yet, but if he does, he predicts it will be Chevrolet Silverados, even though he tries to keep a four-month supply of the pickup on the Royal Oak lot. “We may have fewer sales in the Silverados, but we will make it up in the other areas where we have other inventory,” he said. “So, what we will do is push what we have.” The dealership’s sales did not suffer during the actual strike, which surprised Tutak because MatthewHargreaves Chevrolet is in a GM town, and out-of-work strikers weren’t expected to buy new vehicles. The work stoppage still hurt profitability at the Royal Oak dealership because of the hit to body


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and service shops. Business in those departments is off roughly 25%, Tutak said. “It affects the bottom line because we are used to having customers come in and we repair their vehicles and they pay for them,” he said. “Now these vehicles are just sitting.” The parts most needed are engines, transmissions, fenders and bumpers. When the UAW ratified a new contract with GM on Oct. 25 and ended the strike, GM sent a note to dealers stating that a top priority was to restore the parts distribution network. GM spokesman Jim Cain said of the parts distribution: “We are still working to recover and make progress every day.” Pitre said he was still waiting on about $250,000 worth of parts for about 80 vehicles waiting to be repaired. There have been a lot of rentals for customers waiting for repairs, he said. “I’ve seen more $1,000 rental car bills in the last six weeks than I have probably seen in the last five years.” We thank The Detroit News for reprint permission.


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(330) 478-2800 x2189 (330) 639-0140 Fax Mon 7:30-8; Tue-Fri 7:30-5:30; Sat 8-4 dandager@waikem.com www.waikem.com


Courtesy Subaru Rapid City

(800) 658-3054

(605) 342-1178 Fax

Mon-Fri 7:30-5:30; Sat 8-Noon parts@courtesysubaru.com

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS



JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Profile for Autobody News

January 2020 Midwest Edition  

January 2020 Midwest Edition