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Private’s Equity’s Influence on Consolidation Predicted to Continue Amidst COVID-19 Disruption, Structural Change by Vincent Romans, as told to Stacey Phillips
During the MSO Symposium in November, V incent R o m ans, managing partner of The omans roup, presented a macro-level view of the evolving U.S. collision repair industry. Following the virtual show, omans shared further insight from The omans roup industry research with Au tob od y N ew s contributor Stacey P hillip s, following trends on consolidation, private equity E and the auto physical damage landscape. n the following article, omans
discusses the impact of CO Don the collision repair industry and examines how E continues to influence structural change with consolidation. 2 2 will forever be seen and remembered as a generational foundation year of significant disruption and structural change for the world with far-reaching economic, social and political implications. At the omans roup, we have discussed and profiled the ongoing disruption taking place during the last five decades as part of our study See Influence on Consolidation, Page 4
Collision Repair Industry Associations Make 2021 New Year’s Resolutions by Chasidy Rae Sisk
On New ear’s Eve, people typically en oy reflecting on the ending year, but 2 2 has been a little chaotic, to say the least.
hile no one seems particularly sad to say goodbye to 2 2 , there’s still excitement and hope for the incoming year, expressed by making
New ear’s resolutions. Collision repair industry associations are optimistic about the upcoming year and graciously agreed to share their 2 2 New ear’s resolutions with Autobody News.
Because 2 2 has contained so many unprecedented events and situations, many associations’ resolutions See New Year’s Resolutions, Page 14
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AUTOBODYNEWS.COM Vol. 10 / Issue 4 / January 2021
COVID-19 Hits FCA Workers: 2 From Warren Truck, 1 From Sterling Heights Dead by Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press
CO D- is hitting autoworkers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles once again. Two workers at arren Truck Assembly have died recently, according to the company. That follows the death last month of a forklift operator who worked at the Sterling Heights Assembly lant. The man’s death followed a monthlong battle with CO D- , according to his obituary. The deaths of the arren Truck workers elevate a grim toll connected to the plant. Although it’s not clear
where the workers contracted the virus, six workers from the plant have died since the start of the pandemic. FCA said it believes the exposure of the latest arren workers happened elsewhere. “FC A was saddened to learn of the recent deaths of two employees from our arren Truck Assembly lant and one employee from our Sterling Heights Assembly lant. Based on our aggressive contact tracing protocols, we believe that these positive cases did not come from exposure inside the plants. n fact, one See FCA Workers, Page 3
Distracted Driving Skyrocketing During the Pandemic by Kea Wilson, StreetsBlog USA
A new study of C OV ID-era car crashes finds that a shocking 2 of all drivers were using their cell phones within 6 seconds of impact—and transaportation safety leaders are doing almost nothing to stop it, despite a preponderance of proven strategies that can compel us to put down our devices when we’re behind the wheel. n an analysis of 6, collisions that took place on U.S. roads in 2 2 , mobility analysis firm endrive found our country’s record-setting crash rates in the lockdown months usually involved dangerous distracted driving behaviors like texting behind the wheel, which is illegal in 4 states. Alarmingly, 6. of drivers the company studied were using their cell phones in the five seconds immediately prior to impact—and the problem got increasingly worse as the year wore on, and more and more cars returned to the road and rates of other dangerous behaviors,
like speeding, dropped. endrive’s technology works in the background of a wide range of cell phone apps, from e-taxi software to navigation services countless Americans use every day, so the dangerous phenomenon cuts across both commercial and civilian driving. Those early days of CO D- , of course, were an exceptional time for U.S. transportation. But experts reiterated that distracted driving long predates the pandemic, and the recent upheaval in travel patterns only underscores a long-standing problem. “Distracted driving is a needless crisis, and now as we navigate increased health risks in our day-today, we need to prioriti e safety on the road,” said J o nathan M atus, endrive CEO and co-founder. “ e hope that sharing this data demonstrates the urgency here, and sheds light on a key to keeping our communities safer.” Of course, we know exactly how to stop drivers from scrollSee Distracted Driving, Page 18
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Continued from Cover
CONTENTS Have Not.......................................................28
1Collision Announces Expansion into SD, National Advisory Board Members ..................8 Catalytic Converter Thefts Soar in Kansas; Police Push for Stronger Laws ........................6 COVID-19 Hits FCA Workers: 2 From Warren Truck, 1 From Sterling Heights Dead ...............1 Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires Repair Center in Oshkosh, WI ...................................10 Michigan Officials Applaud Further Cost Reductions for Drivers Under Auto Insurance Reform .........................................10 Tesla Faces Sneaky House Bill Reversal in Michigan in Fight Over Sales and Service......12 Ultium Cells Battery Plant Construction Progress: November 2020 ..............................8
NATIONAL 10 Cities with the Most Expensive Driver Commutes ....................................................39
Anderson - It’s Time to Address the Other ‘Pandemic’ in Our Industry ............................22 Attanasio - Metal and Creativity Collide at CRASH Jewelry .............................................30 Ledoux - The ‘80s—Foreign Cars and Other Changes ..............................................26 Phillips - Cracking the Code to Recruiting and Hiring Collision Repair Technicians .........32 Yoswick - Driving Has Largely Rebounded, but Traffic Congestion, Resulting Claims
See FCA Workers, Page 13
2021 ASA X50 Automotive Conference & Expo ..12 3M Introduces Lightweight Performance Spray Gun Using Revolutionary Technology .............37 AirPro Diagnostics Partners with adasThink ........8 Biden Says He Won’t Immediately Remove U.S. Tariffs on China ......................................38 Caliber Announces Internal Promotions .............35 Collision Repair Industry Associations Make 2021 New Year’s Resolutions ..........................1
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, Norman Morano, Griffin Reinhard (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bryan Malinski Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Abby Andrews Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Permissions Editor: 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. ©2021 Adamantine Media LLC.
Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers .......................... 31
McGrath City Hyundai ..................................... 27
Automotive Technology Inc.............................. 14
MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers.......................... 34
BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ........................ 35
Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers ................. 36
Certified Automotive Parts Association ............ 10
MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers ................24-25
Classic Chevrolet ............................................ 11
Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers............ 30
Classifieds ...................................................... 38
Patrick BMW MINI ........................................... 22
Equalizer Industries, Inc .................................... 6
Patrick Hyundai............................................... 28
Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers .......................... 36
SATA Dan-Am Company .................................... 5
Gandrud Parts Center........................................ 9
Sears Imported Autos, Inc ............................... 27
GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ........................... 33
Shaheen Chevrolet Parts Warehouse ............... 23
Hawkinson Kia ................................................ 16
Shop-Pro Equipment ....................................... 40
Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers .......20-21
Spanesi Americas ............................................. 2
Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers .................... 37
Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers...................... 30
Kelly BMW ...................................................... 18
The Porsche Exchange .................................... 26
Kia Wholesale Parts Dealers ............................ 29
The Sharpe Collection of Automobiles ............. 17
Killer Tools & Equipment Corp. ........................ 13
VanDevere Chevrolet....................................... 19
KSI Auto Parts ................................................... 8
VanDevere Kia ................................................ 19
Laurel Auto Group of Westmont ......................... 7
Wedge Clamp Systems ................................... 12
Luther Bloomington Acura-Subaru .................. 15
Willis Volvo...................................................... 26
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Distracted Driving Skyrocketing During the Pandemic..................................................1 Ford Has a Controversial Message for
of the Warren Truck employees had not been in the plant since June when it shut down for retooling,” FC A said in a statement Dec. 9. That retooling was to allow the plant to prepare for production of the Wagoneer and G rand Wagoneer. The toll from the pandemic has hit many areas beyond the automotive industry. Michigan counted 10 ,0 0 0 dead as of Dec. 8, with G ov. G retch-
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
en Whitmer ordering U .S . and Michigan flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of those who’ve died, according to Free Press reporting this week. “As C OV ID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise across the country, no community, business or industry is immune to the impact of this virus. L ike other companies, FC A is seeing this reflected in our workforce as well,” the company said. The U AW provided a statement about the situation through spokesman Br ian R o thenb er g :
Every Automaker...........................................35 Former UAW VP Gets 30 Months for Taking $250,000 in Bribes and Kickbacks ................36 Hyundai, Kia Fires Cost Automakers Another $137 Million .................................................39 Motus: Vehicle Depreciation to Slow as Much as 3% in 2021.....................................34 Private’s Equity’s Influence on Consolidation Predicted to Continue Amidst COVID-19 Disruption, Structural Change .........................1
Luther Kia of Bloomington ............................... 26
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Continued from Cover
Influence on Consolidation of the longitudinal evolution within the collision repair industry, and its auto physical damage ecosystem’s multi-segment structural transformation. e entered 2 2 with one of the best business and economic environments ever by all comparative standards. e were then unexpectedly hit by a confluence of external events impacting near and longer term visibility overshadowed by continued uncertainty. These include CO D ’s uncertain impact a slow, hobbling, uneven healing economy social unrest in the U.S. presidential election results and tensions between the U.S., China and ussia. The recent disruption caused by the pandemic will accelerate change in ways that make it di cult to predict what the effects will be throughout the broader auto physical damage ecosystem.
vention, the collision repair industry’s designation as an essential business, available loans and early reductions in labor force actions initiated by repairers all helped contribute to many repairer’s positively navigating the pandemic. Since February, we have seen a number of market dynamic changes that seem to be at the top of the more influential and impactful near-term confluence of prevailing industry conditions during and post-pandemic Drastic decrease in miles driven, accidents and claims processed compared to the same period in 2 A reduction in the collision repair addressable market, Total Available Market TAM , in 2 2 , yet to be determined ncreased vehicle repair complexity due to growing penetration of embedded ADAS technology and calibration requirements Continued acceptance and adoption of OEM certification programs Technician shortage mitigated in the short-term due to furloughed and
There are many industry constructs laying the foundation for change, opportunity and uncertainty as we transition to 2 2 . However, we expect to emerge from 2 2 with stronger nascent and legacy-leading businesses that were well-capitali ed with strong balance sheets preCO D, as well as emerging disrupters who were at the right place and time with new norm solutions that became opportunities for success and competitive advantages. e have seen many repair organi ations able to not only maintain their operational and financial well-being, but also to be profitable during the pandemic. A combination of the Federal eserve’s periodic economic inter-
terminated technicians, but sourcing, recruitment and retention continues. Technicians and collision repair owners are now even more selective regarding hiring and retaining the best Evolution of business segmentation strategies with the largest consolidators marketing to insurers their unique “one national shop model platform.” This is further segmented with collision repair locations providing specific capabilities including glass installation, express-, same- or next-day service, non-drive total loss processing and disposition, OEM certification, advanced material and or mechanical repair, and diagnostic services including pre- and post-repair scanning and calibration
Artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision geared to the development and adoption of collision repair estimating eventually impacting shorter claims processing and estimate accuracy Accelerated digital transformation including acceptance of virtual claims photo processing and financial payments
sential business. Most repairers remain open even though business was slashed by to 6 in the early CO Ddays, when repairers took actions to cut costs, accepted money from the government, furloughed personnel and, in some cases, shuttered their doors for some of the early days of the health crisis.
rivate equity’s continued interest and activity in actively seeking out investments throughout the auto physical damage ecosystem and collision repair consolidation Impact of Private Equity on Industry Consolidation t’s no secret the collision repair industry has experienced and will continue to reflect significant consolidation, both in terms of the number of repair locations acquired and the transfer of ownership. The number of repair organi ations has decreased considerably since 2 , while consolidator and larger multi-shop operators MSOs have created multi-location, multi-regional and national MSOs that now represent 42 of the collision repair industry’s TAM. ith ever-increasing E funds and record levels of “dry powder” unallocated capital on hand it is anticipated that transactions within the collision repair industry and broader auto physical damage landscape will continue at a constant pace. E organi ations continue to be attracted to collision repair for several reasons the healthy and growing industry TAM, strong positive cash flow, the view that collision repair is somewhat recession resistant as reflected in the 2 -2 recession downturn economic cycle and the government’s current designation that collision repair is an es-
Overall, U.S. E deal-making activity registered another healthy showing in 2 , though fell shy of the record-setting pace of 2 . ( See F ig. 1 ) Despite the strong rising U.S. investment theme, seen in the chart above, the amount of unspent E cash continues at its all-time high. nvestors such as pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and insurance companies continue to direct money into private markets in the hopes of achieving higher returns in
Fig. 3. Source: Pequin
industries like collision repair than offered by traditional stocks and bonds in an era of continued low interest rates. E investments and relatively inexpensive debt have provided the enormous pools of capital required
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to enable collision repair industry consolidation. ( See F ig. 2 ) The high velocity of E deal-making diminished in 2 2 2 as dealmakers felt the impact of the CO D- pandemic. 2 2 2 was the first full quarter in which global economies had to slog through the pandemic, and the slowdown in U.S. E deal activity became more apparent. According to equin, E fundraising momentum has slowed from 2 ’s record-setting pace, although it will likely remain healthy. ( See F ig. 3 ) E’s interest in the collision repair industry in 2 2 remains strong. Since the beginning of 2 2 , we have experienced a growth of E firm activity scouring the collision repair industry for possible investments in MSOs. Current rivate Equity Strategic nvestors with U.S. and Canadian MSOs ( See F ig. 4 ) There are now private equity and strategic investor firms in the U.S. and Canada that represent 2 . or . 2 billion of the nation’s revenue output TAM, and . or mil-
lion for a total North America share of 2 . or . billion in revenue co-managed by private equity and collision repair owner teams.
with a target of million by year end. rior to CenterOak, the four most recent MSO private equity ac-
n November, CenterOak artners became the most recent private equity firm to announce its entrance into the collision repair industry, by acquiring several MSOs totaling 2 locations and million in revenue,
quisitions involved A M Capital and Crash Champions New Mountain Capital adding to its 2 billion portfolio with a 4-shop Classic Collision acquisition oark Capital Driven Brands acquiring the F X Auto fran-
chise and the -shop Southern California MSO Auto Center Auto Body ACAB and Susquehanna Capital acquiring Brandywine Coach orks, with four locations in ennsylvania. These acquisitions indicate potential investors continue to see potential in the collision repair industry. The transactions reflect how small- to medium-si e MSOs are partnering with E companies to help accelerate their expansion and growth, creating nascent models where small to medium aggressive MSO consolidators are now competing as they build their regional and super-regional platforms to compete with the larger legacy consolidator MSOs like Caliber and Boyd erber. ( See F ig. 5 ) There continues to be private equity firms such as Frontenac, in Chicago, , reaching out to court smaller-to medium-si e MSOs interested in partnering with them to grow their business to a regional or super-regional MSO. Despite these E deals and continued MSO acquisitions, there currently remain 4 independent MSOs See Influence on Consolidation, Page 13
Catalytic Converter Thefts Soar in Kansas; Police Push for Stronger Laws by Greg Miller, KAKE News
Bar ney L ehner r , owner of Transitions roup, nc., in ichita, S, typically uses big loading trucks to deliver furniture rentals for various clients across the region. ight now, those trucks are sitting quietly on his lot, because the catalytic converters were stolen. “They scaled the fence down there by the auto body shop,” he said. “They cut the locks and stole three catalytic converters.” t’s a familiar problem he’s heard about from plenty of other people. And the price tag to replace them is high—roughly , . “Our repair guy that we use has told us there’s such demand on converters because of the thefts,” he said. “They’re probably three weeks back-ordered.” Catalytic converter thefts have increased dramatically and this year the reports are the highest they’ve been in a decade. ichita police released these figures for numbers of catalytic converter thefts 2 0 1 6 : 6 4 r ep o r ts 2 0 1 7 : 3 2 r ep o r ts 2 0 1 8 : 2 1 r ep o r ts
2 0 1 9 : 1 9 1 r ep o r ts 2 0 2 0 : 4 5 1 r ep o r ts “These economic times are tough for people,” said Sgt. T r ev o r M cD o nald . “ constantly have people calling me and telling me ’ve lost a ,2 catalytic converter.’” olice say existing laws aren’t strong enough to properly arrest and prosecute these thefts. n 2 , A E News nvestigates talked with D about the need for a scrap metal database. They’d hoped it would make tracing sales and thefts faster. The problem t hasn’t stopped thieves. “There’s not only businesses not complying with the mandate, but there are -plus private individuals offering to buy catalytic converters,” said Deputy Chief J o se Salcid o . “Because there’s a lot of money in it.” Salcido urges the public to contact their lawmakers to push for stronger legislation against these thefts, before they find their vehicle victim. “ f people think they’re going to be talking to a udge, they’re less apt to not follow the rules,” he said. We thank K AK E N ew s for reprint permission.
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AirPro Diagnostics Partners with adasThink
1Collision Announces Expansion into SD, National Advisory Board Members Collision announced Dec. 2 its first location in the state of South Dakota, Au to Bod y C linic in Huron, SD. “ hat sold me on becoming a Collision location is the fact that more customers will be able to choose our shop for collision repairs based on the insurance company relationships, marketing support and industry relationships that Collision has developed,” said J er em y Blo m , owner of Auto Body Clinic. Collision has also selected four collision repair location owners to form its 2 2 National Advisory Board. R o y Schnep p er of Bu tler’ s C ollision in oseville, M , D an Sj o lseth of Su perior Serv ic e C enter in Eagan, MN, C hr isty J o nes of 1 C ollision in Des Moines, A, and Stev en K o tik of I nternational Au to Bod y in San Mateo and San Bruno, CA, will assist. The advisory board will work directly with the executive team as advisors to provide the necessary input for future programs related to marketing, insurer, OE and vendor relations, as well as the many various program offerings designed to provide the operational support needed
to compete in today’s collision repair marketplace. Schnepper has served the industry as board chairman of the Automotive Service Association, trustee of the Automotive Management nstitute, board member of CE CA and -CA and committee member of the C C ndustry elations Committee. “ Collision has opened the door to programs that an independent shop owner would not have had an opportunity to look at,” Schnepper said. “ Collision provides a bright industry outlook.” ones believes in the power of involvement. Along with local community organi ations, ones is a past secretary of the owa Collision epair Association, past -CA Committee co-chair for Des Moines and a current member of NABC, N, SC S latinum member and the Des Moines Area Community College Advisory Council. “ Collision has provided our three shops much needed support and services to grow and expand our business, and ’m excited to serve on the board,” ones said. S olseth has been a collision repair shop owner
since . He is the Alliance of MN board chair for MN-CA S, a past president of Alliance of MN, a member of the AAS National Board of Directors, an advisory board member at Dunwoody College of Technology and Dakota County Technical College for both mechanical and collision, as well as the Dakota County regional Chamber Board of Directors. otik permanently oined the family business in 2 . n 2 , nternational Auto Body and aint expanded the operation to include one mechanical facility in San Bruno and a flagship auto body shop in San Mateo. otik served on the San Bruno Chamber of Commerce board of directors, and is an active member of the California Auto Body Association. “ e are fortunate to have these four successful shop owners oin our leadership team, to assist us in making important decisions supporting Collision locations in navigating through the many areas of competency a collision repairer requires to repair cars safely and properly, be profitable and with less stress,” said Collision resident and COO J im K eller . Sou rc e: 1 C ollision
Air ro Diagnostics announced Dec. a strategic partnership to deliver adasThink technology on required ADAS calibrations to its customers at no additional cost. Air ro Diagnostics is proud to be the first to market to offer the adasThink technology integrated into its cloud-based diagnostic platform, to elevate the ease of access for shops to identify vehicles requiring ADAS calibrations for repairers across the U.S. and Canada. adasThink provides technology that allows an estimate to be analy ed against correlating OE procedures, and assess as to which ADAS features a vehicle has, which services and calibrations are required to be performed, and access to the information to perform a complete and safe repair. Air ro Diagnostics provides remote scanning, diagnostics, programming and calibration services to shops across North America. Sou rc e: AirP ro D iagnostic s
Ultium Cells Battery Plant Construction Progress: November 2020 by Mark Kane, Inside EVs
The construction of the Ultium Cells C battery cell manufacturing facility in ordstown, OH, a oint venture between eneral Mo-
tures are already completed, partially roofed, and there are further foundations around so the work can continue. The initial target is to produce h of lithium-ion cells annu-
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tors and Chem, has progressed a lot since mid-October. A new video on the R ay N o ney a channel, recorded Nov. , shows clearly it will be quite a significant battery plant—nearly 3 million square feet. A fair part of the steel struc-
ally. That’s a level close to the current output of the Tesla igafactory in Nevada. Considering the recently announced E offensive, M will need a lot of batteries. We thank I nsid e E V s for reprint permission.
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Michigan Officials Applaud Further Cost Reductions for Drivers Under Auto Insurance Reform Michigan ov. G r etchen W hitm er and the Michigan Department of nsurance and Financial Services D FS on Nov. 2 applauded further cost reductions drivers will see under the state’s new auto insurance reform law, as the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association MCCA announced a reduction in its annual assessment charged on auto insurance policies. The 4 savings per vehicle to the assessment reflects a further reduction in costs achieved through the historic, bipartisan auto insurance reform that hitmer signed into law in 2 . “ t is clear that the new auto insurance law is putting more money in the pockets of Michiganders. The reduction in the MCCA annual assessment is another example of how the reform is helping to reduce costs and provide savings for Michigan families,” said hitmer. “ n these difficult times, it is more important than ever that Michiganders see rate relief. ’m pleased that these reforms are continuing to result in greater savings than required in the law.” The reduced assessment announced Nov. 2 to 6 per vehicle will take effect uly , 2 2 . This is
the second time the assessment has been reduced due to cost reductions under Michigan’s new auto insurance reform law, with a drop from 22 per vehicle to per vehicle that took effect uly 2, 2 2 . Under Michigan’s old auto insurance law, each driver had to purchase unlimited ersonal n ury rotection medical coverage and pay the MCCA assessment, which reimburses insurers for catastrophic medical claims. Under the new law, Michigan drivers can still choose unlimited medical coverage but can now also choose the level of medical coverage they want when they start or renew a policy, and only drivers who choose unlimited medical coverage pay the MCCA assessment, as long as the fund does not have a deficit. “Drivers are continuing to benefit from the new choices and new protections from Michigan’s new auto insurance law,” said t. ov. G ar lin G ilchr ist I I . “Today’s announcement is one more reminder that there has never been a better time to get car insurance in Michigan, as drivers can choose the coverage that’s right for
Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires Repair Center in Oshkosh, WI The Boyd roup nc. announced Nov. the acquisition of a collision repair center in Oshkosh, . This repair center previously operated as T ony ’ s Au to C ollision C enter and has served the market from this location for 2 years. Oshkosh is located where the Fox iver enters ake innebago and is the county seat for innebago County, . The Oshkosh repair center is approximately 4 miles north of a erber Collision lass location in Beaver Dam. “The acquisition of this repair center strengthens our mission to provide high-quality repairs to customers and insur-
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ance partners in the isconsin region,” said K ev in Bur nett, COO of erber Collision lass. “ e are excited to serve this community while expanding our brand and delivering on our commitment to continue growing throughout North America.” The Boyd roup is continuously looking to add new collision repair locations to its existing network in Canada and the U.S. nterested collision repair center owners are asked to contact J aso n H o p e, vice president of business development and strategic pro ects, at 4or ason.hope boydgroup. com.
kept.” rior to the Nov. 2 announcement, under the new auto insurance reform law the average statewide medical reductions had already exceeded the statutory requirements. Additional key provisions, including the medical fee schedule, will take effect in 2 2 . n addition to promoting choice and reducing costs while maintaining benefits, the new auto insurance law also provides for increased consumer protections. The new law prohibits insurance companies from using certain non-driving factors when establishing premiums, provides stronger anti-fraud protections and increases fines and penalties on insurance companies, agencies and licensed agents. D FS continues to offer monthly virtual town halls to answer drivers’ questions about the new auto insurance law, and operate its dedicated, no-fault hotline with calls being answered a.m. to p.m. Monday through Friday. Drivers can call -AS -D FS 2 - 4 , email autoinsurance michigan.gov or visit www.michigan.gov autoinsurance for more information. Sou rc e: M ic higan.gov
them and see real savings.” “This reduction in the MCCA annual assessment is a direct result of the new law, and in our role as a consumer protection agency, it is our priority to ensure these savings continue to be passed on to drivers,” said D FS Director A nita F o x . “Drivers who would like to see additional savings should shop around and talk to an insurance agent or company to learn about the coverage options available to them.” “Michigan residents have been seeking auto insurance rate relief for quite some time. My constituents in Detroit, Dearborn and Melvindale have frequently spoken with me about insurance rates being one of their top economic issues that negatively impacts their household budgets, and their families’ health and well-being,” said Sen. Sy lv ia Santana, D-Detroit. “No one should have to be forced to choose what bills to pay, and am pleased to see that the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association has decreased their rates. “This is a welcome relief to Michiganders and a rea rmation that promises made are promises
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2021 ASA X50 Automotive Conference & Expo The Automotive Service Association, a national training leader for the automotive service and collision repair industries with its network of ASA a liates across the U.S., will host its first multi-day virtual conference and expo, April -May , 2 2 . ASA X “Uniting Our oice, Uniting our ndustry” will create a diverse training lineup of courses and instructors that will provide ASA members and attendees with a high-tech learning experience and virtual expo that promises to be a unique experience for shop owners, technicians, service writers and managers in the automotive repair and collision sectors.The virtual training will take place April and May . Content will remain online and accessible on demand to registrants for days following the event. n addition, students can revisit technical and management sessions for maximum value and learning impact. egistration for attendees will open Feb. , 2 2 . Sou rc e: ASA
Tesla Faces Sneaky House Bill Reversal in Michigan in Fight Over Sales and Service by Joey Klender, Teslarati
Tesla-friendly provisions in Michigan House Bill 62 that would have allowed the electric automaker to perform direct sales and own service centers were removed ust before state lawmakers passed the bill 6 - . anguage that would have allowed Tesla to finally operate within the state of Michigan was struck from bill 62 , effectively ending any possibility Tesla could sell its cars or build service facilities in the state in the short-term. t was removed in an amendment approved by the State House on Dec. 2, shortly before the chamber cast its votes. n anuary, Tesla came to a long-fought agreement with lawmakers, including the state’s attorney general and Secretary of State, that ended a ban on company-owned stores and stopped Tesla from opening its service centers. rior to the agreement, Tesla owners in Michigan were forced to purchase their vehicles out of state by finali ing the sale on paper. Additionally, if their all-electric vehicle
needed servicing or repairs, they were forced to drive out of state to nearby locations in llinois and Ohio. The agreement led to the provisions being added to Michigan House Bill 62 , and also a dropped lawsuit from Tesla against the state. However, the language was struck out with no explanation, The Detroit News reported. The legislation will still have to go through the Senate and will require the signature of ov. G r etchen W hitm er .The only exception to the bill is that facilities to repair manufacturer-owned cars or fleet vehicles are allowed. The issue dates back to 2 6 when Tesla challenged the state’s ban on direct-to-consumer sales, which requires consumers to buy vehicles through a dealership franchise. Detroit’s historical dominance in the automotive sector through companies like Ford and M would benefit from the ban, considering the initial ban on direct-to-consumer sales was introduced in October 2 4 to “clarify and strengthen” an existing statute that prohibited direct
sales of new cars to protect large dealers. The anuary agreement would have allowed a subsidiary of the electric automaker, called Tesla Michigan, to operate and own service and repair facilities in the state. t would have been largely beneficial for owners who live in Michigan, and it would have allowed Tesla to sell vehicles in the heart of American automotive manufacturing. C hr istine G r ieg , House minority leader and a Democrat from Farmington Hills, attempted to offer a substitute to House Bill 62 on Dec. 2 that was adopted before a second vote removed it. She believes the removal opens up the door for more legal conflict between Tesla and Michigan, ultimately leading to a loss of taxpayer dollars. “ t does not solve the problem that we have with the lawsuit with Tesla,” she said. “ t opens up the state to additional litigation, which costs taxpayer dollars. And it also is a very anti-market approach to vehicle sales.” We thank T eslarati for reprint permission.
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Influence on Consolidation with $ 2 0 million in annual revenue. There are 3 1 independent existing
meaningful PE targeted $ 2 0 million segment. We expect 2 0 2 0 and 2 0 2 1 to be years of ongoing consolidation within the collision repair industry, especially with the large number of indepen-
viewed as a proxy for what will continue as we enter the next decade within the collision repair industry. This is an excerpt from The Romans G roup annual report, A 2 0 19 rofile of the Evolving U.S. and Canada Collision epair Marketplace, now available. The report contains the complete results of their research and analysis for 2 0 19, including more than 6 5 charts and graphs throughout more than 80 pages, with historical trends and a view of the future. To purchase the report, contact Mary ane urowski of The omans roup C at mary ane romans -group.com.
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FCA Workers “Our thoughts are with the families and coworkers during this very di cult time. t’s important that we all redouble our efforts to make sure we, our families and our co-workers follow protocols both at the worksite and outside of work.” The World S ocialist website reported earlier on the deaths. FCA was the hardest hit among the Detroit Three automakers during the initial months of the pandemic in terms of reported fatalities. After a production shutdown affecting all automakers ended in the spring, the companies went to great lengths to emphasize its safety and cleaning protocols, but in recent weeks, reports from concerned workers to the Free Press have been increasing. The Free ress also spoke with the widow of the Sterling Heights worker on Dec. 8. M ar k Bianchi, 56 , of S helby Township, died in November. He drove a Hi-L o at the plant. He came home from work Oct. See FCA Workers, Page 18
autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 13
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New Year’s Resolutions for the new year are centered around anticipating and addressing members’ imminent needs. Bo b A m end o la, president of the ABAC, is “looking forward to making more headway on the challenges we face within our industry.” “2 2 brought a tremendous amount of change to the marketplace,” SC S Executive Director A ar o n Schulenb ur g observed, detailing that changes impacted how members interact with customers, vendors and carriers, as well as how they connect within the industry. “ ooking to 2 2 , the association is tremendously focused on what those interactions look like,” Schulenburg said. “Since March, the SC S has formed coalitions with a variety of trade groups to improve support for the small businesses we represent, including two that are seeking forgiveness reform and supporting efforts to streamline forgiveness. “The new year, and new administration, will bring new opportunities for the association to serve as a voice of the industry, seeking solutions that improve business conditions for those in our trade.” “Each and every year, the alliance resolves to advance its mission to improve the state’s automotive service industry and the success of its members,” said AAS MN Executive Director J ud ell A nd er so n. “ n 2 2 , anticipate that work will revolve around helping members rebound from what has been a challenging 2 2 . e stand ready to be of service, based on the needs of our members.” For J er r y M cN ee, president of AAS N , the most important thing he hopes to see in 2 2 is unity. “There is strength in numbers, and to create change, it’s crucial that we have the ability to share information, such as success or losses where we can all learn something to help improve our industry,” McNee said. “From the claims process to vehicle technology, all our businesses have changed due to CO D- , and we can no longer sit back and operate our businesses the same old way— owners and employees need to get
involved. Things will not fix themselves.” An area of the industry needing particular attention continues to be attracting new talent to the industry. “ e plan to continue to be creative and innovative when it comes to attracting students to local collision school programs, providing the support needed by instructors and students while in schools, and continuing to help connect students with local and national employers,” said Br and o n E ck enr o d e, director of development for C EF. Anderson also emphasi ed the importance of AAS MN remaining focused on the next generation of collision repairers. “Despite the pandemic, the availability of a future workforce remains a high priority for the industry, so expect that the work of MNCA S Minnesota Careers in Auto epair Service will continue,” she siad. “Our ouTube advertising campaign has been extremely successful, as has been our work to support local high school auto programs.” “For 2 2 , NATA’s goal and desire are to work closer with all the schools in Oregon that offer automotive programs for our students,” said NATA Executive Director C athi W eb b . “NATA members’ No. complaint is the lack of new employees, and believe that the automotive programs need NATA’s help to keep their programs going and encourage our youth to consider our trades as a career option. “M ar g ar et R ag an in our o ce has done an excellent ob in staying in touch with teachers and connecting NATA industries with the school’s needs. NATA hopes to expand on that course in 2 2 .” A AF resident Susan R o k o sz has a similar goal “Our New ear’s resolution is to continue working towards greater diversity in the automotive industry,” she said. “ reater diversity benefits both the talent entering the industry and the companies hiring that talent.” roviding continuing education and networking opportunities for association members is also vital to industry leaders. “Share successes with other body shops across the state ” urged ABAT resident Bur l R ichar d s. “ e want to let other industry shops
know that there is power in knowledge and education, and that we need to work together in order to make a positive change for our industry.” “Our resolution will be to look at virtual conferences and training in a new way,” noted D iana D eL eo n, executive director of ASA-A . “Being able to offer shop owners and their employees top quality training and networking in this new environment is our goal, along with showing the benefits of saving on costs by eliminating travel and time away, which can allow more people to attend. “The virtual platform also allows training classes to be recorded, then viewed at a later date for those not able to oin live classes or those who would like to take another look. Our virtual event coming this spring will be one not to miss.” CA A is eager to “bring our leadership and members back together in face to face’ settings to continue the networking and exchange of information and knowledge among the industry’s finest representatives,” said resident and CEO R o d ney P ier ini. “ e are hopeful that we’ll be able to safely bring members togeth-
er for AAS MN’s Annual Meeting and eadership Conference on May 2 and deliver the education, networking and camaraderie that everyone is so hungry for right now,” said Anderson. Offering ongoing training is also important to ASA Northwest. “ASA Northwest would like to bring the automotive industry together, and we feel we have a good start with the first rofessional Automotive irtual Education A E Training on an. - , 2 2 ,” said Jeff Lovell, president and executive director. “ e have partnered with other automotive trade associations from all over the U.S. to form this partnership. ASA Northwest is looking forward to serving our members with education, adding value to them and their business in 2 2 .” SC S demonstrated its dedication to continuing education by converting the association’s epairer Driven Education and other programs to a virtual environment. “ hile virtual delivery clearly has its advantages, it is no replacement for the face to face interaction See New Year’s Resolutions, Page 16
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New Year’s Resolutions and onsite engagement that occurs during an event,” Schulenburg said. “ e are determined to work with our partners to find ways to safely develop and promote in-person opportunities for learning and information exchange.” “n 2 2 , N plans to bring N to our members,” said N Chair C her y l Bo sw ell. “Networking is important, and we reali e our industry is craving these opportunities, considering the changes in the world. Stay tuned for exciting educational and networking opportunities ” ASA Executive Director R ay F isher agreed training is vital. “The one word that will dominate 2 2 as a resolution would be adaptable,’” Fisher said. “ e’ve all seen the rapid changes the collision industry had to make quickly in first quarter 2 2 when the pandemic hit, and how it affected the marketplace for collision repairers, both short and long term. “ASA already had numerous digital resources in place so we expanded our frequencies and delivered information quickly and often---we will continue to do that in 2 2 with our X Automotive Conference Expo on April and May , 2 2 .” J o sh K ent, who serves as executive director for both CCA and TC A, hopes to see both associations continue to provide more training to shops in their coverage areas, while also increasing membership. “ atching the changes that take place as shops learn more about proper repairs that’s rewarding in itself ” ent said. rowth also continues to be an important goal for associations as the calendar flips to 2 2 . Executive Director L uck y P ap ag eo r g hopes to see AAS MA “steadily grow our association’s membership numbers. n doing so, we will strengthen the voice of every shop, large or small, and provide the
information and educational tools to assist them in being successful in the future.” “The sky is the limit in 2 2 ” said J am es R o d is, vice chair of NABA. “ e hope to grow the association and get some legislation passed, as well as help provide members with easy access to education and continue to push for safe and proper repairs.” “The other part of adaptable’ [for ASA is responding to the rapid changes happening with the manufacturers and the information we are receiving in ashington, D.C., as the administration changes,” Fisher said. “ e know that the new administration is intent on stimulating E sales and delivering alternative fueled vehicles. e have a representative that is involved in many coalition partnerships to ensure we are at the forefront, take part in the discussions, and that we help the industry with those changes through these relationships.” Associations also plan to continue progressing the initiatives previously undertaken. “C ECA’s New ear’s esolution for 2 2 is to continue developing and promoting data integration standards that will be relevant in the future,” C ECA Executive Director P aul Bar r y said. “Through our volunteer committees, C ECA members and the industry work together to ensure the organi ation remains a neutral forum where uniform electronic standards and guidelines are created that allow all segments of the collision industry to be more e cient.” “Apart from maintaining our active CO D response, the association will focus on growing public and industry recognition of its trademarked ecycled Original Equipment OE as a way to accurately identify the parts that our members sell,” said Sand y Blalo ck , executive director of A A. “ OE parts are originally from the manufacturer, and A A is working on several public awareness and branding campaigns—including a reality T show, Totaled Treasures’— to showcase the truly positive impact that this industry has around the
world.” eferencing members’ anecdotes about increased di culties with insurance carriers, Schulenburg noted, “Now, more than ever, it is critical to have the venue and the voice to address the very real challenges taking place on the collision repair center floor. “As an association, 2 2 brings an opportunity to help draw those challenges out, shine light onto some of the darker areas of the process that impact the consumer and find mechanisms to help improve understanding amongst all parties regarding what is necessary to properly repair these increasingly advanced vehicles that find their way into our facilities,” Schulenburg said. “2 2 may hold many things in store for us and our industry, but the challenges only help to focus the resolve we have in our mission of SC S,” Schulenburg continued. “There has never been a time where education, information and a voice of advocacy have been more necessary, and we remain steadfast in our intent to deliver on that for our members and non-members alike.”
“2 2 presents an opportunity to demonstrate the true educated professionals that we are and take control of being the experts accordingly,” Fisher noted. “Our pro ect to identify the proper OE service procedures for pre post scanning of vehicles and vehicle calibration for ADAS systems has been a great start, and ASA is grateful to our Collision Operations Committee volunteers and past board member D ar r ell A m b er so n for their devotion to the endeavor. “Our responsibility is to return vehicles to their pre-loss conditions with the integrity of all safety systems as they were designed originally the lives of families across the U.S. rely on us to do that ” Despite the challenges that 2 2 held for all of us, it’s reassuring to know these industry leaders are leading the charge to ensure 2 2 sees growth, progress and success for collision repairers across the country. ’m hopeful 2 2 will allow us all to see each other face to face again, and welcome feedback and suggestions so we can bring you the best information available in 2 2 . Happy New ear, everyone
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Distracted Driving ing Twitter when they’re piloting multi-ton killing machines. We just don’t do it. Federal safety agencies could require all cars or cell phones be outfitted with technology that renders most functions unusable when the vehicle is in motion—and accept the inconvenience of stopping a passenger from sending a text as a small price to pay for saving thousands of lives every year. We could also take the not-atall-radical step of banning all cell phone use behind the wheel nationwide—something every single European country has done—while enhancing automated enforcement of the laws we’ve already got and increasing fines and license penalties, as Bermuda, the Phillipines, Qatar, and many others have already done, too. And in the long term, we could stop allowing automakers to manufacture cars that explicitly encourage cell phone use by inte-
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FCA Workers 5, a Monday, and started showing symptoms, fever and congestion, according to his wife, Susan Bianchi. The next day, he went to the doctor, who thought he might have a sinus infection. The doctor, however, noted the coronavirus-like symptoms and warned Bianchi to be on watch for changes. That same day Susan started showing symptoms herself, such as a slight cough. By Oct. 11, Bianchi was at Beaumont Hospital, Troy. He was put on a ventilator at one point, and an hour after that had a heart attack and had to be given medication to keep him from fighting the device, Susan said. Until then, she’d been able to keep in touch with him through FaceTime. Susan, who works from home, said she requested he be flown to another hospital because of his worsening condition and the special equipment available there. Bianchi was taken to Beaumont Hospi-
grating bluetooth into on-board control centers, especially if they have touch screens—something for which top safety experts have advocated since the technology became widespread. And no, “hands-free” cell phone tech isn’t much safer. But in a country that all but requires a private vehicle and a cell phone for participation in society, enforcement and technology-based solutions may never completely quash our distracted driving problem—and increased fines, especially, risk creating unacceptable inequities for communities of color that already dangerously over-policed. Moreover, some experts think we wouldn’t need to rely on fines at all if we just redesigned our roads to encourage drivers to pay more attention to their surroundings. “If you think of an interstate, everything about it is designed to minimize the need for drivers to think,” said Bill Schultheiss, vice president and director for sustainable safety at Toole Design. “It all starts there; people think they can look at their phones because everything around them is pretty predicttal, Royal Oak, on Halloween and placed on an ECMO machine. That process, according to the Mayo Clinic, means “blood is pumped outside of your body to a heart-lung machine that removes carbon dioxide and sends oxygen-filled blood back to tissues in the body,” allowing the heart and lungs to heal. The initial results looked encouraging, but on Nov. 6, Susan got a call that her husband was not likely to make it though the night. He died Nov. 7. “He didn’t know a stranger,” Susan said, when asked about her husband. She pointed to the 42 condolence messages on his online obituary to show the impact he made. The obituary noted that Bianchi married Susan, the love of his life, in 1989 and got a culinary degree from Macomb Community College. “He worked 26 years in auto production at FCA, where he never wasted an opportunity to tell his coworkers how Jesus loved them,” according to the obit. In its statement on the worker deaths, FCA pointed to the protocols it has in place.
able, and designed for them to go fast. “And [transportation engineers], as a profession, have taken a lot of those highway design principles to city streets. As people get more and more comfortable being distracted, it’s going to be harder and harder to fix it.” Indeed, Zendrive’s own data may suggest that cities that took quick action to calm roads during the pandemic saw their efforts pay off behind the wheel. Of the top five cities with the highest rates of cell phone use, only Austin, TX, had a significant Slow Streets program, while Chicago, San Antonio and Dallas hosted extremely modest street closure events in a handful of neighborhoods. Boston, Detroit and Seattle, by contrast, all won plaudits for their car-limiting initiatives, and landed on the list of the top five cities whose drivers reached for their phones the least. But even larger-scale temporary street closures can only do so much—and experts say we need
foundational change, both for now and for the future beyond the coronavirus. “There’s still a pandemic, and there will continue to be one or at least another for six months before everyone is vaccinated,” said Schultheiss. “But [in the road safety world,] what we’re still seeing is a ton of conversation about automated vehicles, which is a much longer-range solution. “There needs to be a seriousness about developing that technology, but we also have to be realistic about when it will be ready. If people, right now, are distracted 57% of the time they crash their cars, that’s not going to get any lower anytime soon. We just need systemic change to our roadways.” We thank StreetsBlog USA for reprint permission.
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with Stacey Phillips
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.
It’s Time to Address the Other ‘Pandemic’ in Our Industry s it possible to yell at people through an article like this Those of you who have participated in training or seminars or 2 groups that did years ago no doubt remember how would sometimes ump down someone’s throat. There were times you’d see me “chew ’em up and spit ’em out.” ’ve tried over the years to become a kinder, gentler Mike. But ’m getting back to a point where ’m genuinely angry. Actually, ’m not sure if “angry” is a strong enough word. e have a pandemic in our industry, ladies and gentlemen, and ’m not talking about CO D- . e have a pandemic of people who don’t understand or quite honestly don’t care what it takes to repair a vehicle properly. And this pandemic is going to end up killing people if we don’t get it together ASA . ou may think ’m being overly
dramatic. But can show you data that proves what ’m talking about. Every year, my company conducts estimating training for hundreds and in some years, thousands of people. Some of this training is done on behalf of automakers, some is for associations, and some is for our individual clients. f you have attended one of the virtual Collision Advice estimate training sessions since CO D- began, you are aware that a week prior to the class, we send out work for you to complete ahead of the training. e send you photos of a collision damaged vehicle that needs a quarter panel replaced, and the assignment is to prepare an estimate for that vehicle. Everyone uses the same rates for labor and materials. Now understand the limitations of photo-estimating. But what ’m looking for here is each person’s
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know and those who don’t. One person will have 22 hours of body labor. Another will have . e wrote a , estimate when other estimators, before the training, were turning in estimates totaling 4, or , . hat the heck hen we’re all looking at the same vehicle. hat’s the difference e find their estimates are incomplete because They didn’t take the assignment seriously. • They are uneducated or untrained. They do not know how to properly research that specific automaker’s procedures as to what it takes to perform a proper and safe repair. They didn’t have or spend the time necessary. know this isn’t easy. My team and
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level of understanding of knowing what OEM procedures need to be researched, and their ability to do so, and each person’s understanding of what’s included and not included in the estimating systems. e then build a table showing how many total labor hours were included by each anonymi ed estimator, broken down by body, paint, frame and mechanical, and how many total line items were on each estimate. e prepare an estimate using each of the three estimating systems, so no matter which one the people in the class use, we can do an apples-to-apples comparison. f you don’t think there’s a pandemic of people not knowing how to properly fix a car, send me an email and will send you one of these tables so you can see what a dramatic difference there is among those who
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wrote quarter panel replacement estimates for four different automakers’ vehicles. For one of those automakers, it required researching and reviewing 4 pages of OEM documentation. For another, it was 2 pages. The headlight replacement alone on one vehicle was pages. Does this take time es. Some in my classes will tell me what we’ve written “is not realistic.” eally Are you kidding me Those who know me know that have Tourette syndrome, and a comment like that absolutely sets my tics and twitches in motion Now ’ve been getting a ton of calls recently from shops saying this insurer won’t pay for X or , or they’re getting kicked off this program or that program. get that. ’m not saying the insurance companies make it easy to do the right thing. They don’t. Some are better than others. ’m not saying insurance companies will pay for all lines of the estimate wrote. But at the end of the day, we are our own worst enemy because we are so uneducated about what it takes to properly fix that vehicle. e
don’t take the time to research the repair procedures. And that makes it hard for the shop that is trying to do the right thing. magine if all those shops in one of my classes were all in the same town. ou’ve got this person, who is trying to get paid 6. legitimate labor hours, and the guy down the street is only charging for 4 . And frankly don’t care if you leave off some paint procedure on your estimate, or charge three fewer labor hours for a dent. That isn’t going to kill anybody. But see shops not knowing they need to conduct seat belt inspections, or they need to measure steering columns, or they need to set up and perform destructive test welds. Or they are leaving off needed calibrations and initiali ations all because they didn’t research what was needed. Don’t tell me those safety items are left off because some insurance company won’t pay you. That’s a bunch of crap. As my friend D ean H anco ck says, “That dog don’t hunt ” uite honestly, it doesn’t mat-
ter what the insurance carrier will or will not pay. hat matters is knowing what it takes to repair the vehicle safely and properly. hen a vehicle owner brings a vehicle to your facility, they are saying, “ trust you to look out for me and my family.” hat are you doing with their trust Are you doing right by the consumer et me put it this way ’m proud to have served in the U.S. military, and see those helping preserve the freedoms we have as heroes. see firefighters and police o cers and EMTs saving lives as heroes as well. But here’s what ’m also going to tell you The shop owner, technician and estimator who make the effort to research OEM repair procedures, who make sure they know what is needed as part of a safe and proper repair, and who make sure it happens they’re heroes too. They are saving lives. e’ll never know how many lives were saved when a pedestrian or a kid on a bike is suddenly directly behind or ahead one of the vehicles they repaired, and the vehicle systems worked properly to stop that
vehicle in time. For those doing all those things, salute you. But frankly, far too many in this industry don’t fall into that category. That makes me angry. see people who are trying to do the right thing really struggling and being penali ed because of those of you who aren’t. My hope and prayer is those dedicated to doing the right thing will hang on, and the rest of you will start to do your part to end this pandemic in our industry of people who are uneducated, who are untrained, or who frankly ust don’t care. ust as before became a “kinder, gentler Mike,” this isn’t intended to be mean-spirited or disrespectful. ust want to talk straight to an industry that means more to me than anything. ’m declaring war on this pandemic. hich side are you on t starts with taking personal responsibility.
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with Victoria Antonelli
Gary Ledoux is an industry veteran with 48 years’ experience in the automotive and OEM collision parts industry. His column appears exclusively in Autobody News. He can be reached at YesterWreck@yahoo.com
with Gary Ledoux
The ‘80s—Foreign Cars and Other Changes As the s dawned, the collision ager to owner, or passing the business repair industry began to see some from father to son or daughter was profound changes, and some shops changing to the emerging concept of tried their darndest to keep things investing and franchising. Garybeen. Ledoux A trade maga ine, in the fall of the same as theywith had always , announced the launch of the Say No to Foreign USAutobody Network, the latest Some ideas die hard, like saying concept in franchising body shops. “no” to working on “foreign” cars. The article noted there had been By the early s, “foreign” cars many attempts in the past to franchise had been pouring into the U.S. for shops, but this was the first to attempt the concept on a nationwide scale. with Stacey Phillips USAutobody Network was a concept developed and administered by Chief Automotive Systems, makers of Chief E iner equipment. The article noted there would be no “company-owned” with Ed Attanasio shops, nor would the franchise agreement call for the more than 2 years, yet some shops homogeni ation of shops. still did not want to work on them All shops would continue to be despite the fact that some “foreign” nameplates were now made in the U.S. They complained about thinBruce Roistacher ner sheet metal,with di culty matching paint, parts that were hard to get and volatile parts prices. However, so-called “foreign” cars were becoming a larger part of the repair landscape, and the global automotive landscape was growing more homogeni ed. Moreover, dowith Gary Ledoux mestic cars were becoming more like “foreign” cars inasmuch as the thick9800 Hickman Road ness of sheet metal, di culty matchDes Moines, IA 50325 ing colors and the fact that, like “foreign” cars, most domestics were using unibody construction. According to ard’s Automotive 515-252-2599 Fax eports, import car sales were 4 of www.willisautocampus.com total U.S. cars sales in 2. By , M-F 7:30am-5pm that umped to more than 2 . Some shops tried to ignore the foreign market, with but they could not Stacey Phillips Wide Delivery Area do it forever and survive. Competitive Pricing
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locally owned and run, but would have to meet certain criteria to qualify for the network, not the least of which would be the ability to repair unibody vehicles, something the industry still struggled with. Along with equipment requirements which oddly did not require Chief products each shop would be responsible for having properly trained technicians and managers. The USAutobody Network franchising group opened its first four shops, all in Nebraska, in the fall of . All were established shops that had been in business for between five and 4 years. t is unknown what caused the demise of this initiative however, the USAutobody Network trademark was cancelled Feb. 6, .
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n , the CA STA franchise was founded by L ir el H o lt and proved to be much more successful. Holt had been a shop owner and an expert in collision management for the M company.
He shared his knowledge with thousands of shop owners and managers as director of the much-heralded A MS workshops. There, he developed a belief that a network of quality collision repair facilities across North
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Investing and Franchising The s saw the traditional body shop business model begin to change. The empirical approach of advancing into the collision repair business moving from technician to shop man-
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26 JANUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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America would be a benefit for consumers and welcomed by the insurance industry. Holt used his knowledge and contacts and dedicated his efforts to building the CA STA franchise system. He was the first to apply customer satisfaction, financial measurements and ongoing improvements and consistency on a large scale. Some shops tried to ignore the franchising concept, hoping it would ust go away. t didn’t. Waste is a Terrible Thing to Mind The early s also put the industry on the cusp of later E A and OSHA regulations. A trade maga ine article dealing with body shop toxic waste noted it was only a matter of time before a number of local or federal agencies reali ed that body shops generate a lot of nasty waste and have no good way to get rid of it, many doing so illegally. Changes were proposed in that would require most body shops and auto repair places to register with the E A and to properly store and dispose of ha ardous waste.
By , those proposals had become a reality. Businesses generating a minimum of 22 lbs. of ha ardous waste per month would come under regulation. This meant most body shops would need to track their waste from the time it left their shop through certified carriers to its final resting place.
The Emergency lanning and Community ight-To- now Act of 6, also known as Title of the Superfund Amendments and eauthori ation Act, brought a harsh reality to the doorsteps of every body shop in America. t required those employers dealing with ha ardous materials to provide Material Safety Data Sheets for every ha ardous chemical used in the busi-
ness by employees. The shop would also have to make this information available to local authorities and first responders, such as fire departments, so they would be aware of what they are dealing with in the event of a fire, chemical spill or other emergency. This meant collision shop owners would be responsible for training employees about their rights under the legislation, the nature of the ha ardous chemicals in the workplace and the information contained in MSDS sheets labeling information about potentially ha ardous chemicals and record keeping. n the summer of , Southern California shops owners found they were targeted for some special environmental rules. Shops in southern California that fell under the auspices of the South Coast Air uality Management District S A MD basically the os Angeles area were faced with a dire issue concerning compliance with the SCA MD’s recent interpretation of the Clean Air Act. t said if larger shops, spraying
more than 2 lbs. of volatile organic compounds OCs , wanted to expand their business, they would need to buy very expensive equipment to capture the OCs, rather than expel them into the environment, use low OC paints, or both. Smaller shops would be able to get away with low OC coatings. This caused permits to build new paint booths to take four to six months. The industry was reali ing it could no longer ignore its state and federal lawmakers, because lawmakers were no longer ignoring collision shop owners. t was all the more reason to belong to a local or state auto body association. n September , the California Autobody Association met for its annual expo and convention at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA. Among the various speakers was Fred Simonelli, legislative advocate for the State of California. His message was, “ hether you like it or not, you have a partner the government.” He encouraged shop owners to get involved with government to help drive legislative decisions that would affect their future business.
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with Erica Schroeder
Industry Insight with John Yoswick
—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
Driving Has Largely Rebounded, but Traffic Congestion, Resulting Claims Have Not
Susanna G o tsch says drivers are have of students in classrooms back out on the roads, but changes in some or all school days, nearly two driving patterns are still more adverse- in five - 2 students nationally still with Ed Attanasio ly impacting the number of claims and attend schools offering only a virtual shop repair orders. option. otsch, data analyst for CCC These changes cut morning and nformation Services and the lead- afternoon commute tra c signifioff speaker at the virtual MSO Sym- cantly, otsch said, noting those are posium held in November, said ve- the times of day in which federal data hicle miles traveled withhas Edrebounded Attanasio indicates about one-third of all accinationally to within of “normal,” dents occur. but that tra c congestion and the The rebound in vehicle travel claims that result has not. is happening with less congestion in part because of travel during non-peak time online shopping deliveries occur across a broad swath of with Ed Attanasio the day, for example and in part because of longer trips by those avoiding air travel. The end result, otsch said, is claims remained with Ed Attanasio down about 24 , year-todate, in early November. But there is a broad range of market variation in that statistic. otsch’s data shows the hoenix market, for examwith Stacey Phillips ple, was down ust , year-to-date, as of November Atlanta, Charlotte and the iverside-San Bernardino area in California all had claims counts down less with Stacey Phillips than 2 . CCC Information Services reports claims being down At the other end of the nationally almost 22% year-to-date this fall, but individual spectrum, hardest hit among states’ results range from a 31% decline in North Dakota large markets are ashingto an 8% uptick in Louisiana ton, D.C., San Francisco, She cited a number of statis- Seattle and Boston, where claims with Stacey Phillips tics affecting congestion. A study of are down between and . ,6 o ce buildings showed, for The good news for shops is their example, that occupancy rates that volume of repair orders is not that far were near in many metro areas below normal, otsch said. are now below . n the middle week of March, “ hile many businesses are still shops in states with minor restricoperational, they continue to keep tions saw repair order volume dip by with Stacey Phillips their employees working remotely,” . compared to the same week in otsch said, noting automakers and 2 , followed by a week with a 22 high-tech firms are among the com- decline from the preceding year. The panies already announcing they will stats were even worse for shops in keep their employees working from states with ma or CO D-related rehome at least through next une. strictions, where repair order volume Similarly, although 4 states was down by 24 and in those
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total cost of repairs was ,2 , up same weeks in March. 6, ust shy of , compared to By late October, however, repair order volume had rebounded to being the same period a year earlier, and up 4 more than for down about compared the same 2-month period to the same period last year. ending in 2 6. “ ith overall volumes That’s based in part on continuing to be down slighta more than 2 rise in ly, we do expect that in 2 2 , non-drivable vehicles after claims counts and repair orhigher-speed crashes made der counts will be much better than they were in 2 2 ,” Susanna Gotsch of possible by less vehicle trafotsch said. “But we do ex- CCC Information Ser- fic, she said, along with inpect overall volume will be vices said congestion creases in the cost of parts less in 2 2 than it was in during morning and and higher costs in the “misafternoon commute cellaneous sublet” category, 2 .” times hasn’t otsch shared a vari- rebounded from the “which is where a lot of the ety of other statistics during plummet in March fees associated with scanher presentation during the as much as driving ning and calibrations are apduring other parts of pearing.” MSO Symposium. the day has A line item for scanning Cost of repairs, she of appraisals said, has been up year-over-year in was included on 4 every month this year through Sep- in the first quarter of this year, she in the tember. For the 2 months ending the said, compared to ust . third quarter of this year, the average See Traffic Congestion, Page 38
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New Product Showcase with Ed Attanasio
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Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at email@example.com.
with Ed Attanasio
Metal and Creativity Collide at CRASH Jewelry hen your average metal technician Schimpke makes sustainable elooks at a damaged bumper, hood, welry from the metal of luxury autodoor or quarter panel, their first in- mobiles for men and women. with stinct is to try and fix it.Gary Wickert Her husband, Dan, is the coBut, when C hr isti Schim p k e, owner of Bev erly C oac hC raft, a founder of C ASH ewelry in wes- 4 -year-old shop speciali ing in retern os Angeles, CA, sees any of pairing late-model Mercedes-Ben , orsche, these automotive parts, her perspec- BM , Audi, Bentley, olls- oyce, Maserati and other high-end vehicles. t’s a perfect source for with Stacey Phillips parts from high-end cars, after anything from fender benders all the way to complete totals. n 2 , Schimpke decided to set up her studio at with Stacey Phillips CoachCraft and that’s when the magic began. Christi Schimpke created CRASH Jewelry in 2013, building “ hile was in my stuit into a successful business that has produced 3,000 pieces in seven years dio, making more traditional ewelry from silver and tive is dramatically different, fueled gold, noticed these beautiful cars that were coming into the shop every by her creativity and an artistic eye.
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paint how they can be manipulated. f have any questions, have an inhouse consultant right here to provide answers and he has been such a plus.” hen Schimpke came up with the initial concept for C ASH ewelry, she knew it was doable, but wasn’t sure how to proceed. “ made a few mistakes at the beginning, but as developed techniques for taking metal off cars and Schimpke uses her jewelry to raise money for her pet creating polished ewelcharities, such as animal rescue, free legal aid, education ry from it, got better and and hospice organizations better,” she said. “Over the se fenders and doors and give them past few years, ’ve refined my process to the point where many people a second life.” Schimpke’s husband, a former can’t initially believe that those eartechnician, has helped with her busi- rings or that cuff actually started as part of a vehicle.” ness every step of the way, she said. hen Schimpke started recei“He began as a technician, so he knows a lot about the metals and the ving accolades and great reviews for day,” she said. “The paint reminded me of enamel, so began wondering if could create something with tho-
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12/14/2020 3:48:55 PM
ated. n inovibeen
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her first few pieces, from parts off a Ferrari 6 Challenge Stradale, she was obviously thrilled. “ love the fact that people are continually surprised when they reali e that a cuff or a necklace is made from a hood, door or quarter panel of a car,” she said. “ hen they find out that it’s from a vehicle, they are shocked and want to learn more about the process. By experimenting, we have developed methods to manually manipulate steel and aluminum, without affecting the car’s original paint.” Since its inception, the sales at C ASH ewelry have increased by 4 , and today its inventory has grown from to -plus items. The company has been featured in numerous publications, radio and television programs. “A guest on [the fifth season of ay eno’s arage was wearing one of my cuffs, and models on the runway during .A.’s Fashion eek wore some of my ewelry as well,” Schimpke said. The clientele at C ASH ewelry spans a diverse demographic, including car enthusiasts, fashionistas,
artisanal crafters and those who simply en oy a good story about something handmade, Schimpke said. “ e take pride in our collection, and often embellish our creations with quality gemstones and cabochons,” she said. “ n this age of mass production, handmade craftsmanship
CRASH Jewelry is best known for its cuffs, like this one made from a hood from an Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
seems to be a thing of the past, which is what makes C ASH ewelry so special.” Bracelets aka cuffs are Schimpke’s best sellers, making up almost of her total sales. They range in price from to , ,
but average between and . “Three years ago, the business became viable and started making a profit,” she said. “ ’ve created approximately , pieces overall since day one. get a ton of return customers and many people buy items from us for corporate gifts or will purchase gift cards, so that people can pick the ewelry they prefer.” C ASH ewelry is committed to being all-in when it comes to being a green business by repurposing discarded metal. “ e also donate a portion of every sale to multiple charities, and love to participate in fundraising events such as animal rescue, free legal aid, education and hospice throughout the year,” she said. “ f an artist can use their art to help nonprofit organi ations and causes believe in, that’s so satisfying.” Every once in a while, Schimpke’s day gets a little brighter when she finds out about some prime amborghini, Ferrari or unusual parts, for example. “The most unique and special items that ’ve ever made have to be from a amborghini allardo
Superleggera,” she said. “That one stands out, including the five cuffs did for an Australian race driver with parts from a 4 4 6 orsche. He crashed it, so got a ton of metal from that one vehicle.” n 2 , Schimpke found out about Susan P ur k hiser , a stuntwoman who lost her beloved BM in the 2 oolsey Fire that hit os Angeles and entura counties. “Her friends sent me a piece of fire damaged metal from the vehicle, and made a cuff with it,” Schimpke said. “She was moved when she received it, and, of course, we were delighted as well.” As the media continues to embrace C ASH ewelry and more and more high-profile celebrities buy her pieces, Schimpke sees a great future for her company. “ love doing this, and as long as luxury car owners will get into accidents, will never run out of parts to turn into ewelry.” Browse C ASH ewelry’s website at www.crash ewelry.com.
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Cracking the Code to Recruiting and Hiring Collision Repair Technicians Collision repair owners and managers across the country say hiring technicians and high turnover rates have become critical issues in their businesses. Employee engagement may be the key to solving these problems, according to D ustin P eug eo t, owner of the Matrix Trade nstitute, and K ev in W o lf e, owner of eaders ay. eugeot and olfe recently discussed how to “Crack the Code” to technician recruiting, and offered innovative solutions for shops to maximi e the e ciency and retention of current employees. Their
make money,” added eugeot. “ f we can focus more on retaining and growing our employees, they will do the recruiting for us, and then we can do what we are really good at making money in the collision industry.” eugeot said nearly 6 of people who complete a collision repair training program defect from the industry in months. “ e have a retention problem in our industry, not a recruiting problem,” he said. “ e have to find ways to make this industry more palatable and exciting for them and not ust get frustrated when they act exactly the way we assume they would during the interview process.” olfe said upgrading organi ations and moving into a 2 st-century economy are crucial for survival, especially now during the pandemic. “ ou can’t sit back anyDustin Peugeot, left, owner of the Matrix Trade Institute, and Kevin Wolfe, right, owner of LeadersWay more and pretend that you can continue to go on this presentation was held as part of the way,” he said. “ ou can’t achieve Society of Collision epair Special- great results with the wrong people ” ists SC S epairer Driven News eugeot and olfe offered sevSeries during SEMA 6 . en steps to cracking the code to talent olfe cited a allup poll con- and developing the potential of the ducted in une that addressed the people who show up to work every engagement and well-being of the day. workforce. According to the poll, nearly of U.S. workers said . ight Sourcing they were either actively disengaged or not engaged at all at their obs. The first step is sourcing people. Al“ n almost 2 years, we’ve done though internet ob sites, such as nalmost nothing to better the work deed.com, and vocational-technical conditions for the people who are schools are good options, olfe also showing up every single day,” said advises thinking more broadly. olfe. “ et, organi ations continue “ e have to start looking evto move away or shy away from lead- erywhere,” he said. “Talent doesn’t ership, coaching, training and workust exist in somebody’s backyard ing at all levels to develop people.” with a young person who likes to be hen olfe visits collision re- under the hood.” pair shops, owners often complain eugeot said employees care about employee retention. n re- about working at a business where sponse, he tells them, “ ou already they can grow and there is a clear cahave the talent your ob is to devel- reer path to follow. op it.” “ e should constantly be re“Our time is valuable hiring cruiting those from all angles of life and firing take away our ability to who want to work hard and make
money and feel great about a skill,” he said. Networking with the local Chamber of Commerce, a otary club or TA meetings can also be helpful when looking for employees. Ultimately, the goal is to become a talent magnet. “Becoming a talent magnet means being a leader who is developing people every day not ust when they have time,” said olfe. 2. ight Selection An important part of cracking the code is how owners and managers approach the interview process. Typically, when bringing in new people to an organi ation, interviewers will ask basic questions such as ou work ed for X Collision Do you have tools Are you -CA certified ill you work for our company hen can you start nstead, olfe advocates focusing on three critical steps. First, he recommends screening potential candidates. “ don’t want to bring in someone for an hour if know right away that ’m not going to continue with them,” he said. Second is conducting what he referred to as a top-grading interview, going through the person’s resume and references. eugeot said this demonstrates to potential employees that you care and are going to look into their background. “ f you let them know you are disciplined enough to make a couple of calls and read more than the first seven lines, it lets the candidate know you are taking this as serious as they are,” he said. During this stage, olfe and eugeot advocate conducting an assessment of a person’s technical, personal and cognitive skills. f the candidate seems like a good fit for the organi ation, the final step of the process is conducting a focus interview. This involves bringing the person in to work with the team and determining how ev-
eryone gets along. . ight osition rior to hiring someone for a certain position, olfe suggests determining what that ob will entail, the duties the person will have and the results needed to be successful. “ t often surprises me how many organi ations lack clear expectations,” he said. olfe often asks organi ations if they are playing checkers or chess. “Average leaders play checkers they think everyone can move the same way,” he said. “ e force people into roles that aren’t good for them and then blame them because they don’t perform. reat leaders play chess.” Once those expectations are set and the business owner has determined the candidate will be a good fit, eugeot advises selecting the person based on fit and comfort “Do they define success the way we want them to and are they going to be comfortable doing it because we want them to ” 4. ight Development Once an employee is hired, development becomes paramount, both personally and professionally. The No. reason that will keep a person in an organi ation, according to olfe, is a shop’s investment in development. “ t’s not ust enough to develop the professional talents of people, but also invest in the personal side as well and help them become better humans,” said olfe. n terms of personal development, olfe said to focus on skills that will enable individuals to learn to communicate more effectively to the people they will be working with. “Historically, great teams are those who care for each other and help one another,” he said. hen it comes to professional development, eugeot recommends building their pride through education. “ ithout pride in what you are
32 JANUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
12/14/2020 3:48:58 PM
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doing, development, growth and efficiency don’t occur,” he said. hen employees demonstrate pride in their work, eugeot said to then focus on proficiency, teaching them how to “do it right every time,” while ensuring they understand what they are doing. Ultimately, their confidence will grow through hands-on learning and they will become more e cient. . ight Support As a business owner or manager, olfe said it’s essential to guide employees. “Cracking the code is all about becoming a better guide,” he said. This doesn’t mean doing the work for them, but demonstrating how to do it correctly and supporting their development. eugeot said this takes discipline and commitment. On day one, he recommends providing employees with the tools and resources they need to do their ob effectively. Although it requires time and money, he said it builds proficiency and confidence. An additional way to show support is having constant communica-
tion with employees. “ eople need to know what’s going on,” said olfe. “One of the biggest deficits in an organi ation is not communicating with employees or thinking they can’t handle the information.” eugeot suggests appointing someone in the organi ation, other
accountable, they are never going to feel better about themselves.” eugeot agreed. “The easiest thing to do as a manager is to walk by a problem and commit that you will deal with it next time because you are busy now,” he said. “Being a good leader is knowing that it’s your ob to take time and
“It often surprises me how many organizations lack clear expectations,” — Kevin Wolfe than the owner, who can deliver consistent positive and negative information to employees. 6. ight Accountability olfe said accountability is often a misunderstood concept, and many business owners believe that caring for employees and taking actions that help them get better is the soft side of business. “Building a culture around leadership and putting people first implies that we shouldn’t hold people accountable,” said olfe. “ t’s ust the opposite. f we’re not holding people
stop and have what can be perceived as a hard conversation.” ather than being a negative meeting, eugeot said it can be a positive coaching session, where leaders share clear expectations, offer consistent feedback and remember there is “no negotiating on results.” . ight Environment Even if business leaders follow all the steps involved in hiring and developing employees, olfe said the environment must be right, or they won’t stay in the organi ation. “ eople stay in healthy cultures and organi ations that treat them as
people, invest in their development and consistently challenge them to get better,” he said. “ eople aren’t going to work for you and do their best for you because they love you. t doesn’t matter how nice you are,” said eugeot. “ f you give them an environment where they can take pride and love themselves for what they do, then you’ll start to reali e exponential growth and opportunity.” For more information, contact Dustin eugeot at dustin matrix tradeinstitute.com or visit www. matrixtradeinstitute.com, or evin olfe at kevinw leadersway.com or visit www.leadersway.com. To watch this presentation and other SC S epairer Driven Education sessions through August 2 2 , enrollment information can be found online at https rde.scrs.com.
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Motus: Vehicle Depreciation to Slow as Much as 3% in 2021 by Auto Remarketing Staff
f you think vehicle prices are high in 2 2 , ust wait til next year. According to the 2 2 ehicle Depreciation Trends eport released by Motus last month, 2 2 is likely to see depreciation rates slow between and throughout the year, assuming current trend lines remain in play. As you might expect, the current and forecasted high vehicle prices are being driven largely by pandemic-related impacts. hen automakers shut down production this spring, Motus explained, that led to a new-vehicle shortage. But demand remained strong. And subsequently, used-vehicle supply took a hit, as well. “The pandemic has decimated vehicle inventories, and consumer demand has remained surprisingly steady. t’s no surprise we’re seeing premium prices on both new and used automobiles,” K en R o b inso n, market research manager at Motus, said in a news release. “New-vehicle prices and re-
sidual values both influence depreciation and both have been impacted by the pandemic. f supply and demand trends in motion remain consistent, we predict that depreciation will decrease by to over the course of 2 2 .”
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n the full report, Motus said “New-vehicle prices and residual values both influence depreciation. Both have been influenced by the pandemic. Assuming consumer demand remains steady, we expect the tight supply of new vehicles to mostly offset the increased used-vehicle inventory entering the market.” We thank Au to R emarketing for reprint permission.
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34 JANUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Ford Has a Controversial Message for Every Automaker by Jay Traugott, CARBUZZ
The state of California made a bold political and environmental decision in September. An executive order was signed by ov. G av in N ew so m on the hood of a Ford Mustang Mach-E declaring the state’s plan to ban sales of new passenger vehicles with internal combustion engines beyond 2 . This gives automakers barely years to electrify their entire lineup if they wish to continue doing business in America’s most populated state. Ford couldn’t be happier with this decision and wants rival automakers to back it as well. euters reports the Dearborn, M -based company is now urging automakers to support California’s new ero-emissions standards as part of an industry-wide bid to reach a consensus on the matter before resident-elect oe Biden takes o ce an. 2 , 2 2 . Ford’s crosstown rival, eneral Motors, announced it no longer supports the Trump ad-
ministration’s continued efforts to prevent California from deciding its own emissions laws. Originally, M oined with Toyota and FCA in support of Trump.
Meanwhile, BM , Honda and olkswagen agreed with Ford’s position regarding the olden State. Several ma or automakers were set to have a virtual meeting to discuss their next steps and Ford’s message is loud and clear. Ford Americas resident K um ar G alho r ta recently wrote the following “The Biden Administration will not let the Trump standards stand, and either by way of litigation and or a regulatory reboot, the new team will move in
a different, more stringent direction.” n other words, it’d be pointless to resist California’s new rules because the incoming administration is expected to support them. Might as well start preparing for the inevitable. California Air esources Board Chair M ar y N icho ls also believes the state’s emissions rules could serve as the basis for new federal standards. t is in the automakers’ short- and long-term interest to form a consensus on this matter because the switch to electrification takes time, money and serious planning. The sooner they start the better. n addition to M’s aboutface, CEO M ar y Bar r a revealed a plan to launch at least E s globally over the next five years with an investment of 2 billion. Over two-thirds of those new E s will be for the U.S. We thank C AR BUZ Z for reprint permission.
Caliber Announces Internal Promotions Caliber is pleased to announce M ar k Sand er s, current president and COO, will succeed longtime CEO Stev e G r im shaw , effective an. , at which time rimshaw will move to full time executive chairman. Sanders has spent his entire career in the automotive industry, and oined Caliber Collision in as it expanded its operations into Texas. As president and COO, Sanders led the growth strategy which expanded Caliber Collision’s footprint throughout the U.S., while also positioning Caliber for the future through the strategic acquisition of other lines of business. He also led the consolidation and alignment of all brands—Caliber Collision, Caliber Auto Care and Caliber Auto lass—under the Caliber umbrella, priming Caliber for its next phase of growth. During rimshaw’s tenure, the organi ation grew from 6 to more than ,2 locations. Caliber’s revenue also increased from 2 4 million to 4 billion. Sou rc e: C alib er
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Former UAW VP Gets 30 Months for Taking $250,000 in Bribes and Kickbacks J o sep h A shto n, former vice president of the UA ’s eneral Motors Department, was sentenced Nov. to months in federal prison for conspiring with other UA officials to engage in honest services fraud by taking 2 , in bribes and kickbacks from a UA vendor and for conspiring to launder the proceeds of the scheme, announced U.S. Attorney M atthew Schneid er . oining in the announcement were I r ene L ind o w , special agent in charge of the Chicago region for the U.S. Department of abor Office of nspector eneral D av id G . N anz , acting special agent in charge of the Detroit, M , o ce of the FB Sar ah K ull, special agent in charge of the Detroit, M , o ce of the S Criminal nvestigations and T ho m as M ur r ay , district director, U.S. Department of abor O ce of abor-Management Standards. n December 2 , Ashton, 2, of Ocean iew, N , pleaded guilty to conspiring with two other high-level UA o cials—M ichael G r im es and Jeffrey Pietrzyk—to take hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks from vendors doing business with the oint UA M Center for Human esources CH . rimes and ietry k have also pleaded guilty. rimes was sentenced to 2 months in prison and ietr yk is awaiting sentencing. The CH is supposed to be a center for training UA workers employed by M. Ashton was the co-director of the CH . Ashton, ietr yk and rimes also served on the executive board for the CH , and they were responsible for approving contracts with the vendors. Ashton admitted that over the course of the conspiracy, he and the other two UA o cials demanded and accepted bribes and kickbacks from a vendor based in hiladelphia, A, in exchange for securing or maintaining a contract to provide custom watches to the CH . Ashton and his UA co-conspirators demanded kickbacks on the . million contract for the CH to buy , watches for all UA members employed by M. Ashton demanded more than 2 , in kickbacks on the watch contract to
be distributed between 2 through 2 6. Some of the kickbacks were distributed in the form of checks payable to Ashton, which were deposited into his personal bank account. The ma ority of the kickbacks were distributed as cash. n 2 4, the UA - M CH received the , watches from the vendor. However, the watches were never distributed to UA members. nstead, the watches were left sitting in a storage room at the CH for more than five years. Besides conspiring with other UA o cials and vendors to the UA , Ashton also admitted he conspired to launder the proceeds of the kickback scheme by using various methods to conceal and disguise the bribes and kickbacks through a lengthy and complicated series of financial transactions. Ashton is one of defendants convicted in connection with the ongoing criminal investigation into illegal payoffs to UA o cials by FCA executives and corruption within the UA itself. The following individuals have already pleaded guilty to their participation in the scheme and have been sentenced former FCA ice resident for Employee elations A lp ho ns I aco b elli 66 months in prison former FCA Financial Analyst J er o m e D ur d en months in prison former Director of FCA’s Employee elations Department M ichael Br o w n 2 months in prison former senior UA o cials V ir d ell K ing 6 days in prison , K eith M ick ens 2 months in prison and N ancy A . J o hnso n 2 months in prison M o nica M o r g an, the widow of UA ice resident eneral Holiefield months in prison former UA ice resident N o r w o o d J ew ell months in prison and former senior UA official M ichael G r im es 2 months. n addition, the following UA o cials have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing former UA resident G ar y J o nes, former senior UA o cial Jeffrey “Paycheck ” P ietr z y k , former UA egion Director and UA board member V ance P ear so n, former UA Midwest CA resident E d -
ward “Nick” Robinson and former UA resident D ennis W illiam s. Schneider commended the outstanding work of the S Criminal nvestigations, the U.S. Department of abor O ce of abor Management Standards and O ce of nspector eneral, and the FB in conducting a comprehensive criminal investigation into labor corruption activities involving a vital sector of the local and national economy. “ oseph Ashton illegally used his power and influence to benefit himself, and he caused long-lasting damage to the hardworking members of the UA ,” Schneider said. “Ashton wasted almost 4 million that could have been used to train UA members, and his crimes led to the closing of the UA - M training center and the loss of many training center obs. “Ashton’s greed caused irreparable damage to the trust UA members have in their leaders who are supposed to represent their best interests.” “ oseph Ashton abused his po-
sition with the nternational United Auto orkers Union UA by demanding and accepting over 2 , in kickbacks from a UA vendor,” said indow. “ nstead of bargaining in the best interests of the UA members, he chose to personally enrich himself. e will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect the financial integrity of labor organi ations.” “The men and women of the UA deserve real, honest leadership. t is clear Mr. Ashton’s priority was not to advocate for union members but to line his own pockets,” said Nan . “The FB will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate corruption and ensure the financial integrity of our country’s labor unions.” “ t is imperative that UA leadership continues to be held accountable for their selfish acts of greed,” said ull. “Today’s sentence is another step forward in our efforts to rid the UA of corrupt leaders who abuse their positions to line See Bribes and Kickbacks, Page 39
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Biden Says He Won’t Immediately Remove U.S. Tariffs on China resident D o nald T r um p ’ s 2 tariffs imposed on China under the phase one trade deal will remain in place at the start of the new administration, resident-elect J o e Bid en said in an interview with the New ork Times published early Dec. 2.
President-elect Joe Biden during an event in Wilmington, DE. Credit: Alex Wong, Getty Images
“ ’m not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs,” Biden said. He plans to conduct a full review of the current U.S. policy on China and speak with key allies in Asia and Europe to “develop a coherent strategy,” he said. “The best China strategy, think, is one which gets every one
of our—or at least what used to be our—allies on the same page. t’s going to be a ma or priority for me in the opening weeks of my presidency to try to get us back on the same page with our allies.” Biden told N T columnist T ho m as F r ied m an he didn’t think the U.S. yet had the “leverage” in dealing with China. etting bipartisan consensus in America on “government-led investments in American research and development, infrastructure and education” would achieve this. “ want to make sure we’re going to fight like hell by investing in America first,” he said. Biden said he stood by comments he made in a Sept. CNN op-ed in which he wrote “if ran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would re oin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations,” acknowledging to Friedman “ t’s going to be hard.” We thank Ax ios for reprint permission.
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Traffic Congestion same period in 2 . The average fee for scans across appraisals that include them is 26, she said. ooking at D claims only, shops in the second quarter of this year averaged . labor hours per day on drivable vehicles and 2. hours on non-drivable vehicles that was up from . labor hours on drivable vehicles and 2. hours for non-drivable for the same period in 2 , but down slightly from .6 labor hours for drivable and hours for non-drivable in 2 . Fewer repairs in shops in the second quarter also led to improved cycle time, otsch said from “vehicle in” to “vehicle out,” cycle time fell to an average of . days, down nearly a half-day from the previous quarter, and down from . days in the second quarter of 2 . For the 2 months ending with the third quarter of this year, 6 . of claims had supplements, up from . a year earlier and up from 2. for the 2-month period end-
ing in 2 , and those supplements accounted for . of the total cost of repairs, up from . and 6. in the two prior years. The percentage of vehicles declared total losses has continued to increase, despite a rise in used vehicle pricing this year. “ e’re now at a point where roughly 22 of all non-comprehensive appraisals are being flagged as total loss, which is a substantial increase considering that even years ago, only about of all vehicles were flagged as total loss,” otsch said. That is likely to rise even higher next year, she said, given the expected decline in new vehicle sales this year. “The vehicle fleet will continue to shift older for the next several years,” otsch said. “Many fewer vehicles were purchased [this year by fleets, which ultimately supplies the used vehicle market, and that will help keep used vehicle prices elevated, but as repair costs continue to rise and may outpace that, that will continue to push up the total loss frequency.”
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10 Cities with the Most Expensive Driver Commutes by Heather A. Turner, PropertyCasualty360
Commuters have been on a much-needed reprieve these past couple of months as many businesses remain on a work-from-home schedule to curb the spread of CO D- . But with the possibility of CO Dvaccines circulating in the near future, workers may want to prepare for the return of the daily commute sometime in 2 2 . The average American worker spends 4 minutes a day on their daily drive to work, according to the U.S. Census. hen factoring in fuel and toll costs and vehicle wear and tear, drivers could spend hundreds to thousands of dollars a year just on their commute. ippia recently evaluated 2 U.S. cities with populations over , to determine the cities where people are spending the most money ust getting to work. For its analysis, the career search website multiplied the median hourly wage by the average commute time to determine the lost financial opportunity cost in each city. ippia also calculated the estimated
wear and tear fuel costs by assuming an average of mile for every two minutes spent driving two ways and the standard mileage rate of cents per mile from the S.
A v er ag e co m m ute leng th: 6 9 D aily co m m ute co st: $ 1 9 . 6 9 7 . N ew ar k , N J H o ur ly w ag e: $ 1 4 A v er ag e co m m ute leng th: 6 7 D aily co m m ute co st: $ 1 9 . 2 1 6 . P o m o na, H o ur ly w ag A v er ag e co m D aily co m m
1 0 . San Ber H o ur ly w ag A v er ag e co utes) : 6 0 D aily co m m
nad ino , C A e: $ 1 3 m m ute leng th ( m inute co st: $ 1 7 . 1 0
9 . Santa C lar ita, C A H o ur ly w ag e: $ 2 0 A v er ag e co m m ute leng th: 7 7 D aily co m m ute co st: $ 2 1 . 8 9 8 . P hilad elp hia H o ur ly w ag e: $ 1 6
C A e: $ 1 2 m ute leng th: 6 3 ute co st: $ 1 8 . 0 1
5 . Sto ck to n, C A H o ur ly w ag e: $ 1 5 A v er ag e co m m ute leng th: 6 9 D aily co m m ute co st: $ 1 9 . 7 8 4 . H ialeah, F L H o ur ly w ag e: $ 1 2 A v er ag e co m m ute leng th: 6 4 D aily co m m ute co st: $ 1 8 . 2 4 3 . M o r eno V H o ur ly w ag A v er ag e co m D aily co m m
alley , C A e: $ 1 4 m ute leng th: 7 2 ute co st: $ 2 0 . 4 1
2 . N ew Y o r k C ity H o ur ly w ag e: $ 2 0 A v er ag e co m m ute leng th: 8 4
D aily co m m ute co st: $ 2 3 . 9 4 1 . P alm d ale, C A H o ur ly w ag e: $ 1 5 A v er ag e co m m ute leng th: 8 6 D aily co m m ute co st: $ 2 4 . 9 5 According to the car insurance comparison website The ebra, commuter car insurance policies cost an average of more per year than pleasure use auto coverage. The average policy costs between ,4 2 and ,44 annually. “ f you’re a low mileage driver, a commuter policy might not be your most cost-e cient option,” writes A v a L y nch for The ebra. “ hile relatively new to the world of auto insurance, usage-based insurance policies can be a great solution if you drive infrequently. Backed by telematics, usage-based insurance policies use how you drive and how much you drive to calculate your insurance policy. n theory, the less you drive, the more you can save.” We thank P roperty C asu alty 3 6 0 for reprint permission.
Continued from Page 36
Hyundai, Kia Fires Cost Automakers Another $137 Million Hyundai and ia will pay at least million to the National Highway Tra c Safety Administration NHTSA related to recalls of .6 million vehicles equipped with Theta engines.
the consent order are not satisfied. The two-year ia consent order includes an upfront payment of 2 million along with an obligation to spend 6 million on “specified safety performance measures.” ia may also pay 2 million if it violates conditions of the consent order.
The Theta engines can cause fires due to metallic debris remaining from when the engines were manufactured. The debris can enter the engine oil, damage the connecting rods and other engine components and cause engine failures and fires. Based on the three-year Hyundai consent order, the automaker will make an upfront payment of 4 million and eventually pay an additional 4 million on safety improvements. Hyundai may also be required to pay another 46 million if conditions of
The Center for Auto Safety petitioned NHTSA in 2 to investigate Hyundai and ia engine fires following hundreds of complaints about the vehicles. Safety regulators granted the petition and launched an investigation which still remains open. According to the Center, these popular models are the problem 2 0 1 1 - 2 0 1 4 H y und ai Santa F e 2 0 1 3 - 2 0 1 4 H y und ai Santa F e Sp o r t 2 0 1 1 - 2 0 1 4 H y und ai So nata 2 0 1 1 - 2 0 1 4 H y und ai So nata H y b r id 2 0 1 1 - 2 0 1 4 K ia O p tim a
by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com
2 0 1 1 - 2 0 1 4 K ia O p tim a H y b r id 2 0 1 1 - 2 0 1 4 K ia So r ento “Today’s announcement validates the concerns of millions of consumers about a persistent safety ha ard and should remind manufacturers there are costs beyond recalls for failing to report dangerous defects, as required by law,” said J aso n L ev ine, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety. The consent orders claim Hyundai and ia waited too long to issue recalls of more than .6 million vehicles as fire complaints continued to pile up. NHTSA also says Hyundai and ia didn’t report accurate information regarding the Theta recalls. n addition to the monetary agreements, ia will create a new safety o ce in the U.S., and Hyundai will build a facility in the U.S. dedicated to safety investigations. Hyundai and ia also agreed to create new programs to detect possible safety problems and each automaker will hire an independent third-party auditor who reports directly to the government. We thank C arC omplaints.c om for reprint permission.
Bribes and Kickbacks their own pockets and tarnish the reputation of UA o cials.” “ oseph Ashton is another in a long line of UA o cials that failed in his fiduciary duties and betrayed the trust of the UA membership by using his union position to obtain bribes and kickbacks from vendors in excess of 2 , so that he could enrich himself and others within the UA ,” said Murray. “Today’s sentence leaves no question as to the agency’s commitment to seek ustice when anyone puts personal financial gain ahead of the best interests of their fellow union members.” The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys F r ances C ar lso n and E ato n Br o w n. Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern D istric t of M ic higan
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