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GM to Invest More Than $51M at Bedford Aluminum Casting Facility General Motors announced Dec. 7 plans to invest more than $51 million to install state-of-the-art equipment at its Bedford, IN, aluminum die casting foundry to support the manufacture of drive unit castings for the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV and other current casting applications. The all-electric Silverado, powered by the Ultium Platform, will debut Jan. 5 at CES, the world’s most influential technology event. The renovation work will begin immediately at the facility. Earlier this year, the 1 million square foot
site began producing electric drive unit castings for the 2022 GMC HUMMER EV Pickup and 2024 GMC HUMMER EV SUV. Production of the 2022 GMC HUMMER EV Pickup will begin in December at GM’s Factory ZERO assembly plant, located in Detroit and Hamtramck, MI. “Our Bedford operation is one of the leading aluminum die casting facilities in the world and this investment is a testament of our confidence in the employees at Bedford,” said Phil Kienle, GM vice president See GM to Invest, Page 12
Kentucky Tornado Damages Corvette Factory, Museum Motorsports Park by Steven Symes, Motorious
The National Corvette Museum has announced it will be open Dec. 13; however, the NCM Motorsports Park will remained closed until further notice. We will bring further updates as more information becomes available. Original Story Unless you’ve been under a rock since Dec. 11, you know tornados have ripped through numerous communities in the U.S., including Bowling Green, KY, where an EF-3 tornado
touched down. Unfortunately, both GM’s Bowling Green Assembly Plant and the Na-
Photos shared on Facebook of the NCM Motorsports Park include these two C8 Corvettes buried under debris after a tornado caused widespread damage in Bowling Green, KY. Credit: Michael Trevor/Facebook See Kentucky Tornado, Page 10
Vol. 11 / Issue 4 / January 2022
Despite Taxpayer-Funded Stimulus, Illinois’ Economy Slow to Recover by Greg Bishop, The Center Square
Illinois’ economy is among the worst performers during the pandemic and an economist says it’s clear as to why. Despite 40% higher taxpayer-funded stimulus last year than the year before, Illinois’ GDP decline was 13th worst in the country and it is expected to grow slower than the rest of the country. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis regional quarterly report on gross domestic product and personal income shows for all of
The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, IL. Credit: John Spataro/Watchdog.org
2020, Illinois’ gross domestic product, or GDP, contracted by 5.1%. See Economy Slow to Recover, Page 10
Collision Repair Industry Thought Leaders Share Innovative Ideas During IDEAS Collide Showcase rattle the status quo,” added SCRS Chairman Bruce Halcro. “I think Thought leaders from across the the lineup of contributors this year collision repair industry had the op- was poised to do just that and I perportunity to share innovative ideas at sonally find this to be one of the the IDEAS Collide Showcase held most ambitious sessions that breaks during the 2021 SEMA Show. out of what we traditionally expect The event was first introduced from industry education.” at the 2018 show by the Society of Information about the SEMA Collision Repair SpecialGarage Detroit was shared by Ben Kaminsky, general ists (SCRS) as part of its manager. Repairer Driven Education Kaminsky said the goal (RDE) series. of SEMA Garage Detroit is This year, eight speakers were given 10 minutes to help SEMA members and each to talk about creative partners develop new prodways to help the industry Ben Kaminsky, gen- ucts, train and understand evolve. eral manager, SEMA what they need to succeed Garage Detroit “The ideas that we’re in their businesses. exploring really traverse a The 45,000-square foot lot of different business models and facility offers the capability to cona lot of different topics,” said Aaron duct emissions and horsepower testSchulenburg, executive director of ing. A large install center is being set SCRS. “Some of them will be about up for influencer videos and instruchow we approach the industry and tion manuals. some of them will be very specific One of the highlights of the solutions to specific challenges.” multi-million dollar project is the “We’ve always championed inclusion of an advanced driver asSee IDEAS Collide Showcase, Page 24 that the topics in this session should by Stacey Phillips
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Fully Autonomous ��������������������������������������� 34
AASP-MN & Automotive Seminars Team Up to Offer Members Online Training Discounts ����� 6 ASA Announces New Regional Executive Director for Great Lakes Region ������������������� 14 BorgWarner Awarded Grant to Launch e-Product in MI Plant ���������������������������������� 10 Carvana Arrives in Iowa with Des Moines Debut ���������������������������������������������������������� 15 Despite Taxpayer-Funded Stimulus, Illinois’
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Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������� 44
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The Sharpe Collection of Automobiles ����������� 35
Island Clean Air ���������������������������������������������� 19
Valspar Refinish ����������������������������������������������� 9
KECO Body Repair Products ��������������������������� 25
Varsity Ford ���������������������������������������������������� 36
Kelly BMW ����������������������������������������������������� 37
Wedge Clamp Systems ���������������������������������� 15
EV Charging Station Programs �������������������� 37
Kia of Lansing ������������������������������������������������� 24
Willis Volvo ���������������������������������������������������� 34
Volvo Invests in Imaging Start-Up ������������������� 15
Kia Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������������� 49
Wrenchers ����������������������������������������������������� 52
Apple’s AirTags Being Used to Track and Steal Luxury ����������������������������������������������� 44 ASA Announces Podcast Series ��������������������� 38 Automakers Report Decreased November Sales Amidst Supply Chain Shortages �������� 47 Axalta Among Most Responsible Companies � 43 Biden Releases Oil Reserves to Address Rising Gas Prices ���������������������������������������� 50 Biden Signs Executive Order on Clean Energy, EVs �������������������������������������������������������������� 51
Economy Slow to Recover ���������������������������� 1
Car ADAS Solutions Joins CIECA �������������������� 47
EOI Pioneer Expands, Adds 195 New Jobs ������� 6
CIF Elects Trustee from Axalta ������������������������ 48
GM to Invest More Than $51M at Bedford
Collision Repair Industry Thought Leaders
Aluminum Casting Facility ����������������������������� 1 Indiana CARSTAR Owner Named an ‘Up & Coming Woman of the Year’ ������������������������ 12 Kentucky Tornado Damages Corvette Factory, Museum Motorsports Park ��������������������������� 1 Kramer Chevrolet, Subaru Support the ND National Guard Emergency Relief Fund ��������� 6 Uninsured Michigan Drivers Urged to Take Advantage of Auto Insurance Amnesty ������� 12
Collide Showcase ������������������������������������������ 1 Ford Only Major U.S. Automaker to Report Year-Over-Year Sales Increase in November ��������������������������������������������������� 48 GM, POSCO Chemical to Build Factory to Process Material for Ultium Batteries ��������� 51 Industry Veteran Establishes Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com ������������������������� 42
Self-Driving Vehicles: Consumers
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Retired Tech Looks Back at 67 Years in
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Related to Total Losses, Not-Included
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Uncertainty Remains ����������������������������������� 51
Yoswick - MSOs Discuss Collision Parts Challenges, Increased Work-in-Progress ����� 40
Shepherd Joins Advantage Parts Solutions ����� 51 Stellantis CEO: EV Transition Costs ‘Beyond the Limits’ the Auto Industry Can Sustain ��� 44
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Share Innovative Ideas During IDEAS
J.D. Power Study on Fully Automated
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INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
Michigan Drivers ������������������������������������������� 8
Tesla Has an Estimated 1.3M Cybertruck Reservations Worth $80B ��������������������������� 34 Transportation Secretary Buttigieg Cites Gas Prices, Promotes EVs ���������������������������������� 48 U.S. DOT Announces Initial Framework for
autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
J.D. Power Study on Fully Automated Self-Driving Vehicles: Consumers Don’t Know What They Don’t Know While the automotive industry continues to move toward fully automated, self-driving vehicles, the pace is not being matched by educational efforts that will help bring buyers into the modern mobility movement. According to the redesigned J.D. Power 2021 Mobility Confidence Index (MCI) Study, released Nov. 30, consumers possess inaccurate knowledge of fully automated self-driving vehicles. Survey respondents were asked to select one of seven possible descriptions to define fully automated self-driving vehicles. Based on the Society of Automotive Engineers’ definition of Level 4 and Level 5 self-driving, two descriptions correctly defined a fully automated self-driving vehicle, which only 37% of MCI respondents selected. More than half (55%) of respondents selected descriptions aligned with driver assist technology, which describe lower levels of automation currently available in many product offerings. The ability to accurately define a fully automated, self-driving vehicle is even lower (32%) among those with higher self-reported levels of automated vehicle (AV) knowledge. Survey findings show those who self-report knowing nothing at all about AVs are actually more accurate (37%) in defining fully automated self-driving vehicles. “This is a ‘Danger, Will Robinson’ moment for the fully automated self-driving vehicle industry,” said Lisa Boor, senior manager of global automotive at J.D. Power. “There is a significant gap between actual and perceived AV knowledge. Right now, consumers don’t know what they don’t know. Clear, consistent messaging from industry stakeholders is needed to improve the accuracy of consumer AV knowledge. The industry needs to be the catalyst for educating the public before running into such speed bumps. AV education must expand beyond current, traditional learning methods.” The study index is based on six unique attributes of consumer comfort with fully automated, self-driving vehicles. The comprehensive metric measures consumer readiness
for AV technology in several categories: personal vehicles; commercial vehicles; public transit; riding if unable to drive due to age or injury; sharing the road with other AVs; and consumer purchase intent. This year, the study has been redesigned as an annual offering from J.D. Power, MIT Advanced Vehicle Technology Consortium (MIT AVT) and Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE).
“The more people see and learn, the more they want to know. And we can help to quench that thirst for learning by providing clear, hype-free facts and simple, consistent terminology.” Today’s experiences build tomorrow’s customers and expectations: Leading the way for greater self-driving vehicle expectations and consumer acceptance are experiences with current Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).
By merging the quarterly J.D. Power MCI Study with the annual MIT AVT Automated Driving Technologies Study, key metrics from both are maintained with a freshening of phrasing and survey terminology. The redesign also provides the opportunity to add several new topics not previously covered. The study is further strengthened by the participation and support of the PAVE coalition and its goal of raising public understanding of driverless vehicle technology.
Today, 41% of respondents are comfortable with driver assist technology being the maximum level of automation, which is 27 percentage points higher than those who would be comfortable with fully automated self-driving vehicles. Adding to the challenge is that 19% of respondents believe fully automated self-driving vehicles are available for purchase or lease today—an incorrect belief also shared by 16% of Tesla owners. “Tesla” was the most frequently mentioned word when respondents were asked what comes to mind when saying fully automated self-driving vehicles are available today. Consumer self-driving vehicle readiness rises: The score for confidence in fully automated self-driving vehicles improves to 42 (on a 100-point scale) from 34 a year ago and 36 two years ago. Positively trending is the excitement to use fully automated self-driving services when compared with the J.D. Power 2020 Q3 MCI Study: personal vehicles (+11 percentage points); delivery services (+3); taxi/ ride-hailing services (+4); and public transit (+2). Nearly one-third (31%) of respondents say they are very comfortable or extremely comfortable with transporting goods in a fully automated, self-driving vehicle, and the comfort level increases to 47% among those with an active driving assistance feature on their current ve-
Following are key findings from the 2021 study: Knowledge not the same as learning: Consumer interest in AVs increases 10 percentage points from the J.D. Power 2020 Q3 MCI Study, with 51% now having more general interest due to something they read or heard. However, only 29% of respondents have actively sought to find information about AVs. The majority (53%) of respondents believe the best way to learn about AVs is a driver’s education course for self-driving vehicles. A majority (58%) also say they are willing to complete specialized training for a special AV driver’s license. At the opposite end of the learning spectrum, 27% say they would prefer to learn by doing in a selftaught fashion. “These results demonstrate the power of knowledge,” said Tara Andringa, executive director of PAVE.
4 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
hicle. Respondents also see the benefit in fully automated self-driving vehicles for those unable to drive due to age or injury—a newly added index attribute for this year’s study—as respondents’ comfort levels are 27% overall and 45% among those with active driving assistance on their current vehicle. Consumer comfort is higher for AV applications that may not involve them: Of all fully automated self-driving modalities measured, consumers are most comfortable with goods being transported commercially and riding in a fully automated self-driving vehicle if unable to drive due to age or injury. The attributes more likely to affect a consumer personally—AV public transit and riding in fully automated self-driving vehicles—have the lowest levels of comfort. “Safety is paramount when building any self-driving experience,” said Bryan Reimer, Ph.D., research scientist in the MIT AgeLab and associate director of The New England University Transportation Center at MIT. “Organizations working as technology pioneers have the responsibility to create realistic and accurate consumer expectations for what their products can and cannot do. “Small setbacks in public trust triggered by misuse of systems or a failure of a system to perform based upon misconceived consumer expectations may hamper deployments over the coming decades, depriving consumers of the convenience and safety benefits the technology can potentially offer,” Reimer said. “Consumer overconfidence and lack of knowledge to date can lead to risk taking that will cause the AV industry to hit a lot of potholes.” The J.D. Power 2021 Mobility Confidence Index (MCI) Study is based on responses from 4,000 vehicle owners in the U.S. age 18 and older who completed a 15-minute online survey. The study results were balanced to basic census demographics to be nationally representative. The study was fielded in June and July 2021. Source: J.D. Power
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EOI Pioneer Expands, Adds 195 New Jobs Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined a group of business, state and local officials Dec. 3 to celebrate the expansion of EOI Pioneer’s operations in the village of Dundee, MI, thanking the automotive electronics manufacturer for investing in Michigan, creating new jobs and highlighting Michigan’s manufacturing industry. “Michigan’s business climate and highly skilled manufacturing workforce provide an environment where businesses like EOI Pioneer can grow and thrive, creating good-paying jobs for Michiganders in Monroe County,”said Whitmer. “This is great news for working people, their families and our economy as we continue our economic jumpstart and put Michigan back to work. With the help of companies like EOI Pioneer, we can continue to push forward to make our state’s economy stronger than ever.”
Kramer Chevrolet, Subaru Support the ND National Guard Emergency Relief Fund On Sept. 11, Kramer Chevrolet and Kramer Subaru hosted their 15th annual Military and Customer Appreciation Event and Car Show, with all proceeds going directly to the North Dakota National Guard Emergency Relief Fund. With the event taking place on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Foundation Automotive Corp. made an ambitious goal of raising $50,000, which they were able to beat with a total of $57,402 raised. The successful event was complete with a classic car show, silent auction, free food and entertainment for the whole family. The Military Emergency Relief Fund is a nonprofit charitable organization whose purpose is to provide financial support in sudden and unforeseen emergency situations. The organization supports the North Dakota National Guard soldiers and airmen, as well as their dependents. “In today’s world there are a lot of organizations to donate to. To think of our service members, our soldiers, our airmen and their families, this means so much to everyone. We really appreciate it and
know it’s going to a great cause,” said Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, who accepted the check on behalf of the North Dakota National Guard Emergency Relief Fund. Kramer Chevrolet and Kramer Subaru joined Foundation Automotive Corp. in 2019. This is the second year since joining the growing corporation Kramer has been able to put on this event. “The other stores in the group and a lot of our vendors really stepped up with donations to make this event such a success,” said Terry Wezner, managing partner of Kramer Chevrolet and Kramer Sub-
aru. Foundation Automotive Corp. is a family business that will continue to give back to North Dakota with frequent giveaways to local residents, working with local charities, fundraising and unrivaled community focus and involvement. “This money goes directly to the Military Emergency Relief Fund and is extremely important, especially with current events. We are passionate about getting money into the hands of those who need it most,” said Chuck Kramer, COO of Foundation Automotive Corp. As a company fully supportive of our military troops, Foundation Automotive is excited to offer programs specifically for veterans wanting to get back into the workforce with tremendous support and training from the Foundation family. Current opportunities and contact information available at careers.foundationauto.com. Source: Foundation Automotive
AASP-MN & Automotive Seminars Team Up to Offer Members Online Training Discounts The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) is pleased to announce it has partnered with Automotive Seminars to offer its members discounted pricing on all upcoming live-online training, as well on-demand training videos. Automotive Seminars specializes in diagnostic training that provides automotive technicians with knowledge, testing techniques and data interpretation skills needed to diagnose today’s vehicles. The live online training and on-demand training videos focus on automotive electronics and engine management systems and are written and created by some of the industry’s leading diagnostic technicians. These online options take the best of in-person training and bring it to technicians wherever they are, whether at home or in the shop. Highlights include: • Live online event have Q & A periods after each discussion topic. These dynamic sessions are there to make sure everything is clear, and that the technician understands the information provided. • Each shop’s technicians can be watching at the same time, from any
location • Unlimited video access after the live-online event concludes • PDF manual included • Certificate of completion with number of hours • Each live online event costs $100 for the entire shop (multiple-shop locations require a license for each location) AASP-MN members receive 15% off all live-online presentations, as well as Automotive Seminars’ entire on-demand video library, by using an exclusive promo code during checkout. “Automotive Seminars’ training has always been highly regarded by AASP-MN members and we’re happy to facilitate access to that training at a discount as a benefit of association membership,” said Judell Anderson, AASP-MN executive director. “We are honored for the opportunity to work with AASP-MN to help member shops as they strive to keep at the forefront of vehicle repair,” added Tim Houghtaling, president of Automotive Seminars. For more information, visit www.aaspmn.org or contact the AASP-MN office at 612-623-1110. Source: AASP-MN
6 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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$3 Billion in Refunds Announced for Michigan Drivers In a move that will put money back into the pockets of Michigan drivers, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) on Dec. 7 announced the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) has acted upon the governor’s call to return surplus funds to Michigan policyholders and will immediately begin the process of refunding $400 per vehicle to Michigan drivers. Drivers are expected to receive checks in the second quarter of 2022. “These refunds and the recently announced statewide average rate reductions are lowering costs for every Michigan driver,” said Whitmer. “Michiganders have paid into the catastrophic care fund for decades, and I am pleased that the MCCA developed this plan so quickly after unanimously approving my request to return surplus funds to the pockets of Michiganders. We are working together to put Michigan drivers first, and I am directing DIFS to ensure that the MCCA and Michigan’s auto insurance companies accurately, fairly and promptly issue these refunds.”
“The governor and I called for these refunds because we recognize that this surplus money belongs to Michigan drivers, and we need to put it back in their pockets,” said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist. “These refunds are a major win for all drivers—especially Detroiters—who have paid the
months, DIFS will work to ensure that refund checks are issued to Michigan consumers as quickly as possible.” In November, Whitmer called on the MCCA to issue refund checks to consumers from its projected $5 billion surplus, which the MCCA
“These refunds and the recently announced statewide average rate reductions are lowering costs for every Michigan driver,” — Gretchen Whitmer highest insurance rates in the nation for decades. There is still work to be done, and Gov. Whitmer and I will continue to take action in the best interest of Michigan drivers.” “DIFS stood with Gov. Whitmer in calling upon the MCCA to return surplus funds to Michiganders with auto insurance, and we applaud the MCCA for taking the necessary next steps to deliver the largest refund possible to drivers while maintaining the viability of the fund,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “In the coming
then voted unanimously to issue. The surplus and refunds are possible, in part, due to the historic bipartisan auto insurance reform signed into law by the governor in 2019. The MCCA’s analysis determined approximately $3 billion of the surplus could be returned to policyholders while ensuring continuity of care for auto accident survivors. The refund plan submitted to DIFS on Dec. 6 by the MCCA will return money to every Michigander with an auto insurance poli-
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cy in force as of 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31, 2021. Eligible consumers do not need to take action in order to receive a refund. The surplus funds will be turned over by the MCCA to the insurance companies operating in Michigan by March 9, 2022, and the insurers will be responsible for issuing checks to eligible policyholders. DIFS will direct insurers to issue refund checks to consumers as expeditiously as possible, but in no event later than 60 days after the transfer of funds. That deadline and additional guidance to insurers will be detailed in a bulletin to be issued by DIFS in the near future. Additional information about the auto insurance reform law, including the uninsured driver amnesty period, which expires before Jan. 1, 2022, can be found at Michigan.gov/ AutoInsurance. Frequently asked questions, tips for shopping for insurance and an insurance locator to help find licensed agents are also available. Source: The Office of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
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Continued from Cover
Economy Slow to Recover While that wasn’t as bad as Hawaii’s drop of 10.8%, Illinois Policy Institute Chief Economist Orphe Divounguy said Illinois was among the worst. “Illinois had the 13th worst economic contraction in the country,” Divounguy said. “What we learned really quickly is that states that had the most intense or severe lockdowns had the largest drop in economic activity.” Gov. J.B. Pritzkers’ stay-athome order that lasted more than two months and subsequent throttling of other economic drivers through all of last year prolonged the impacts. Another economic indicator from the BEA report is Illinois’ personal income increased during the pandemic by 1% for all of 2020. That was driven by a more than 40% increase in government stimulus through direct payments and enhanced unemployment benefits. Despite that, Divunguy estimates Illinois is $17 billion be-
low where trends suggest the state should be producing. Looking ahead, Divounguy said slow growth in the first two quarters of this year shows troubling signs. “We expect when the [third quarter] numbers come out for Illinois, the growth rate for Illinois’ economy would have slowed down as well,” he said. To speed up the state’s recovery, Divounguy said the state needs to follow what works in states with more accelerated expansion. “That is the prescription, getting people back to work means deregulation, it means lowering the tax burden, especially at a time when we’ve received enough federal stimulus,” Divounguy said. Federal taxpayers sent Illinois in total across all sectors public and private more than $160 billion. Divounguy said something else that’s clear is what’s behind states rebounding faster. “They’re states with the fewest business regulations on the books,” Divounguy said. “They are states that are friendly to business.”
Continued from Cover
Kentucky Tornado tional Corvette Museum Motorsports Park have sustained significant damage. The National Corvette Museum appears to have been only minimally damaged. Meanwhile, countless homes and other business have been absolutely obliterated by the tornado. Video of what appears to be a fire at Bowling Green Assembly has been circulating on social media. Local news station WNKY claims to have validated it, stating a fire did break out in the early morning hours of Dec. 11. Thankfully, a skeleton crew of workers present at the factory when the storm hit are all accounted for and safe. Damage to the assembly plant where the C8 Corvette is made is still being assessed. We have no idea if this will slow down production or not, but it looks likely it will. That’s not the news anyone waiting for their new Chevy Corvette wants to hear. It’s also possible this could push back the production launch of the C8 Z06.
Aerial footage from NewsChannel 5 Nashville shows Bowling Green Assembly Plant and the National Corvette Museum as well as NCM Motorsports Park, providing the best view so far of the aftermath. The camera zooms in on a storage building by the track, which is missing a roof and two of the four walls, with numerous Corvettes buried in debris both inside and outside the structure. The National Corvette Museum was closed Dec. 11 and Dec. 12. Since the NCM Motorsports Park was heavily damaged in the storm, events like touring laps/experiences, Twinkle at the Track and Run, Run Rudolph 5K have officially been canceled until further notice. Our only view of the damage at NCM Motorsports Park so far comes via Michael Trevor on Facebook, who snapped three photos as he visited. One shows a heavily damaged building and an overturned Chevy Silverado. Another is of two Torch Red C8 Corvettes buried under some debris which looks to have been peeled off a nearby building. The third is difficult to make out, but it appears to be a parking lot with more debris and cars.
BorgWarner Awarded Grant to Launch e-Product in MI Plant BorgWarner Thermal Systems has been awarded a grant to grow its electric vehicle business and is set to launch a new high-voltage coolant heater (HVCH) at its existing facility in Cadillac, MI. The electrification project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $11.2 million and create up to 30 jobs with support from the city of Cadillac in addition to a $225,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). “I want to thank BorgWarner leadership for their continued investment in this plant and our people, as well as the MEDC and city of Cadillac for their support in growing our community,” said Hari Kumar, plant manager. “The Cadillac plant has more than 75 years of rich, automotive history and I am excited and honored to lead the team into the electrification era with the launch of our new high-voltage coolant heaters.” BorgWarner Cadillac will man-
ufacture advanced HVCH systems that will be used to manage cabin and battery temperatures, critical for vehicle efficiency in hybrid and pure electric vehicles. “Congratulations to the team at BorgWarner on your tremendous growth and success. We appreciate this continued vote of confidence in our incredible talent and competitive business climate here in Michigan,” said Quentin Messer Jr., CEO of the MEDC and president and chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund. “We’re pleased to work with our local partners to support BorgWarner’s investment that reinforces Michigan’s position as the leader in electric vehicle manufacturing.” The state of Michigan was selected for the project after a competitive evaluation of alternative locations in the U.S. The project reinforces Michigan’s leadership position in advanced manufacturing and will further boost the state’s efforts to position itself as the global leader in the future of mobility and vehicle electrification. Source: BorgWarner
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autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 11
Continued from Cover
GM to Invest
Uninsured Michigan Drivers Urged to Take Advantage of Auto Insurance Amnesty by Mark Rosanes, Insurance Business Magazine
of North America manufacturing and labor relations. “This investment is another example of the company bringing along our workforce in our journey to an all-electric future while we strengthen our current products.” GM’s Bedford plant opened in 1942 and is a leader in aluminum die casting capabilities. The site’s nearly 900 hourly and salaried workers manage semi-permanent mold and die casting processes that produce cylinder heads, cylinder blocks, transmission cases, structural components and drive unit housings used in Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles. Bedford’s union team members are represented by UAW Local 440 and IBEW Local 16. Source: GM
State leaders in Michigan are encouraging residents to secure auto insurance before the amnesty period expires and premiums begin to rise. The amnesty period is part of the state’s no-fault reform legislation, which took effect in July 2020. The law provides uninsured drivers a reprieve, allowing them to obtain insurance without penalty or rate increases.
The amnesty period is set to end on Jan. 1, 2022, meaning drivers without insurance have until Dec. 31 to get coverage before facing penalties and stiff premiums, according to
Indiana CARSTAR Owner Named an ‘Up & Coming Woman of the Year’ Charlotte Liss, co-owner of CARSTAR Liss Auto Body, in Crown Point, IN, and CARSTAR Liss Auto Body Schererville in Schererville, IN, has been named the 2021 winner of the Up & Coming Woman of the Year award in the marketing/media category by the Northwest Indiana Influential Women Association. “It is truly an honor to be recognized among these very accomplished and deserving women,” said Liss. “These ladies are all role models in their respective fields, and we have tremendous opportunities to share our experiences and learn from each other. Thank you to the Northwest Indiana Influential Women Association for this award.” Liss was recognized at the 10th Annual Influential Women of Northwest Indiana awards banquet recently. The event celebrates the achievements of women that have redefined their companies, industries and communities through their examples as leaders and innovators.
The annual banquet honors both established professionals and up-and-coming women in 12 industry categories in Northwest Indiana, as well as companies that
The Detroit News. In a press conference attended by the news outlet, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said more than 100,000 previously uninsured motorists have picked up coverage because of the amnesty. “The single biggest reason for passing this legislation was for those folks of moderate-to-low income who were driving uninsured and were at risk every day,” he said. “If you haven’t had car insurance for some time, you can be put at higher risk and when you go to buy it, the insurance company can charge you a higher rate than other drivers.” Duggan also urged uninsured motorists to beat the amnesty deadline to secure the lower rates. Anita Fox, director of Michigan’s Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), stressed the importance of having every driver in the state insured as it also protects the residents. She added of the 100,000 drivers who took advantage of the auto insurance amnesty, about 60,000 were previously uninsured for three
or more years. “Michigan had the greatest benefits in the nation, but with that, we also had the highest costs and with the highest cost, we had a disproportionate number of uninsured drivers putting all of us at risk,” she said. Before the law was enacted, the average cost of auto insurance policies in the state exceeded $5,000 a year. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the legislation in 2019, putting an end to Michigan’s requirement that drivers buy policies that guarantee uncapped lifetime medical benefits in case they sustain serious vehicular injuries. Because of this, insurance companies are able to offer reduced coverage policies, requiring them to decrease medical premiums by between 10% and 100% for eight years, depending on the level of cover a motorist chooses. The law also bars insurers from basing premiums on ZIP codes and other non-driving factors, including gender, marital status and credit score.
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have demonstrated outstanding support for women. Categories include arts, business, construction/ manufacturing, economic development/government, education, finance, health care, law, marketing/ media, nonprofit, service/tourism and STEM. Additional awards are given for the Empowering Business of the Year, Community Leader of the Year and Supporter of the Year. Source: CARSTAR
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ASA Announces New Regional Executive Director for Great Lakes Region The Automotive Service Association has named Mike McManus, association management veteran and sales manager, as the new regional executive director of the Great Lakes Region of ASA. The new role is effective immediately. In September, ASA, the oldest and largest association representing the independent mechanical and collision shops, announced it is transitioning to a new and innovative association model leveraging its expansive history to create a single, unified industry voice. Under the new model, existing state affiliate agreements will be dissolved, and a 50-state regional structure will take its place. McManus will oversee the Great Lakes Region, which covers the territory of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. After getting a marketing degree from Seton Hall University, McManus spent many years in management for Tiffany & Co., the famed jeweler. After other successful sales positions, he became the general manager of the world’s largest Minuteman Press. After his children had grown and finished college, he and his wife
moved to Wisconsin, where he joined an association management company as executive director, managing six trade associations, one of which is the National Auto Body Council. He was
“I’m looking forward to providing excellent client service, innovative events and serving ASA and their members in the Great Lakes Region,” McManus said about his new role.
“With Mike’s talents and abilities to lead many associations, his knowledge of the industry through his NABC role, along with his well rounded background, we knew he would be the right individual to lead this territory and be a good fit for our team,” — Blair Calvo promoted several times, eventually becoming president, while continuing to manage the six trade associations. During the pandemic, he took some time off, before applying for this position.“With Mike’s talents and abilities to lead many associations, his knowledge of the industry through his NABC role, along with his well rounded background, we knew he would be the right individual to lead this territory and be a good fit for our team,” said Blair Calvo, vice president of regional services. McManus is based in Wisconsin and will report to Calvo.
He can be reached at greatlakes@ asashop.org. ASA’s re-envisioned regional structure will allow the organization to expand its reach and improve member benefits including advocacy, education, events and training for independent repair shops across the country. Among other changes is a new and improved fee schedule for members. Membership dues will transition to a single monthly subscription at a low rate, effectively solving the disjointed and complicated national and affiliate dues structure of the past. Source: ASA
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Carvana’s national inventory come with a seven-day return policy— an upgrade to the traditional testdrive—ensuring customers have the time to determine if the vehicle fits their unique needs. By living with their vehicle for a week, customers can do everything from test out the four-wheel drive on a trip out of town to simply experiencing the vibrant culture of the state’s capital, from the East Village to Western Gateway Park, from the comfort of a newly purchased ride. “Des Moines is quickly becoming a central hub of culture and growth in the Midwest, so we’re pleased to make our Iowa debut here with The New Way to Buy a Car®,” said Ernie Garcia, Carvana founder and CEO. “We are changing the way people buy and sell cars across the country, and we’re confident that Des Moines will embrace the ease and transparency our online car shopping experience offers.” Carvana now offers as-soonas-next-day vehicle delivery to customers in 309 cities across the U.S. Source: Carvana
Volvo Invests in Imaging Start-Up Volvo Cars has invested in the optical and imaging technology start-up Spectralics through the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, the company’s venture capital investment arm. The investment gives Volvo Cars access to promising technology at an early stage of development that could contribute to making cars safer and revolutionise in-car user experience. Coming from a background in aerospace technology development, Israel-based Spectralics creates state-of-the-art imaging and optical infrastructure spanning materials, hardware and software, enabling a wide variety of advanced optical capabilities. One of the company’s core solutions is the multi-layered thin combiner (MLTC) which is a new type of thin optics “film” applicable to see-through surfaces of all shapes and sizes. Integrated into a car’s windshield or windows, the technology could be used to overlay imagery on the glass. Source: Volvo Cars
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The Evolution of Dent Repairs From the Ford Model T until the hammer to pull out the dent, fol1970s, dents were a two-sided oper- lowed by a thick coat of Bondo. I ation. You would push from the in- remember when you looked at the side with a dolly and hammer on the back side of the panel and the bondo outside until you had a semi smooth flowed through the back. panel. Until 1955, lead was used as the filler. The with health David risk of McClune lead filler was becoming evident, it was difficult to work with and it was a tedious process, as lead was melted over the entire dent. Bondo—plastic body filler— was invented in 1955. Plastic body filler was becoming the material of choice and it was more widely accepted, as more auto body shops Fig. 3 switched from lead to the lightweight with John Yoswick plastic filler. Max Spitznagel, from Dent Fix, introduced the stud gun and slide hammer to body shops in 1979. (See Fig 4)
In 1999, another dent pulling device hit the market. The Maxi by Dent Fit (see Fig 6) is still widely used today.
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and dents in hard-to-access areas. The major drawback for these machines is the heat affect zone and a corrosion hot spot on the back of the panel. (See Fig7)
The Maxi Multiple Pull Dent Station (See Fig6) is a 120V or 220V single phase dent-pulling station that provides the technician with the power to shrink, pull rocker panels and fix hail damage, creases
To solve those problems, the Miracle pulling system was introduced around 2010. (See Fig 8) This system uses low voltage/ reusable pulling keys (See Fig 9). The keys were placed next to
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With holes no longer being drilled into the panel, it made a difference in the quality of the repair. (See Fig 5)
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In the ‘80s, the vehicles started to go through an evolution, from body over framewith to unitized, andHendricks so Fig. 5 Karyn did the body repair methods. Doing hand work took a lot lon- This method of repairs took ger and someone came up with the dent removal to a whole new level idea to drill a bunch of holes (See and was the standard for the next Fig 3) in the panel and use a slide two decades.
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each other and a rod was inserted through the oblong opening. (See
dent out and used the hand puller to finish up the repairs to the door.
lengths of the reground keys. Three years ago, Dent Fix introduced three items to the Maxi System, a bridge puller, hand pull and magnetic key holder, along with two styles of keys. (Fig 12-15)
to hold the key in place.
Fig. 11 Fig. 8
Another manufacturer that hit the market was the Flatliner, followed first by Pro Spot International’s Pro Pull Complete using the PR-3 A.
To use this attachment, first remove the pulling electrode from the gun and then attach the magnetic key hold. Put the key on the dent and pull the trigger. Done. I really like the magnetic header
Moving on, the next big thing in
Fig 10) Then a bridge pull was secured to the panel, and an arm or hook system was attached to the bar. The pulling part of the bridge was set into motion. The deepest part of the dent was first to come up and as it was being raised, more and more of the eyes became engaged, thus pulling the entire dent out in one operation. In my first try with the Pro Spot dent-pulling system, I attached the keys to a body line (See Fig 11), which should be the first item of repair. I attached the lifting bridge to the door and pulled the body line until it was straight, using a steel ruler to check my pull. I removed the keys and pulled attached keys to the dent and pulled it out. (This door was junk because the intrusion beam was destroyed in the collision). I got the
The PR-3A has two guns. The pistol-type gun is a single-sided attaching gun. You can use it to attach body pulling pins, washers, bolts and nuts to panels. The long narrow attachment is the keys attaching unit. You attach the key and hold it on the metal and the timer in the unit will come on and in less than a second, the key will be attached. After the pull has been completed, the key will twist off. I reuse the keys by grinding a new point, usually necessary after three of four times. I have the reused keys on large rings for the various
18 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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dent repair is the GDR or Glue Dent Repair.
• The dent is pulled out at one time instead of multiple pulls and attachments. • The same tabs can be used on steel and aluminum (Keco has tabs designed for aluminum). • It uses less body fillers, sand paper and primers when compared to stud welding, sometimes none at all. • No corrosion hot spots on the rear of the panel. • Easy to learn. • Small dents to a blend panel can be removed with original finish left intact. A lot of the time the dent is repaired by the repair facility at no charge to the customer. • It’s a very low-cost investment compared with specialized aluminum and steel pulling systems.
sessions said they had. He then asked if they had any problems and both said the glue did not stick very well. He asked the tech at each class to put a tab on a panel and use the Keco Tab leverage puller to lift the dent. Both times, the tab gave way with very little pressure. Fetty introduced the 6 C Keco tab process and proceeded to put the same tab on a Tesla quarter panel. (See Fig 22)
use of it in the dent removal process. (See Fig 25)
First off, GPR (Glue Pull Repair) is not the same as PDR (Paintless Dent Repair). See Fig 17. I am going to use Keco Tabs for my examples of GDP because they have the widest range of tools and tabs designed for GDP. Figs 19 & 20 are a small sampling of all the different styles and sizes glue pulling tabs offered by Keco Tabs.
Why GPR? GPR has a number of advantages over the traditional methods of dent repair: • Much of the original finish remains on the vehicle.
One thing Keco Tabs has over its competitors is it offers in-house training for a shop or multiple shops. The hands-on training is a six- to seven-hour class with a limit of eight techs. See Fig 21 for s class at Scandinavian Coachcraft. Barry Dorn of Dorn’s Body and Paint signed up for a one-day class. He was so impressed with the training, he kept the Keco Training team for a second day. “The training was unbelievable and product and service stellar,” Dorn said. Chris White, CEO of Keco Tabs, and Gene Fetty, lead trainer, recently conducted three training classes in Los Angeles. Twenty-three techs from 11 collision centers attended one of the three six-hour classes. Keco sent out three units for the hands-on training that were immediately sold at the conclusion. Ten of the 11 shops bought the system and three of those bought a second system after use in their shops. Fetty asked anyone at the three classes if they had used glue tabs. A couple of techs in two of the three
22 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
The result was the tab held with all that pulling force. Fetty spent time with each tech on how to read a PDR light, which comes with the level 2 kit, and the
A side note: I used the PDR light to highlight the damage on the vehicle when taking a picture. See Dent Repairs, Page 29
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sion or selection, he cautioned auto shops to be aware of generic IDEAS Collide Showcase body claims such as “OEM approved” and “equivalence.” sist systems (ADAS) center that en- From his experience at 3M compasses two 40-by-60-foot rooms working with auto manufacturers dedicated to ADAS and calibration. over the years, Korpi said if a certain While setting up the ADAS product is not included in the OEM center, the team reached out to in- documentation/repair procedure buldustry experts for their insight on letin, he would question if it’s the what would be helpful to include. right product to be used. As a result, they purchased a wide Korpi said the 3M team works variety of tooling for those who use for years on test specification develthe facility. opment and testing products. Lighting and wall colors were “There’s a lot of work that also considered due to the specifi- goes into making sure they meet the cations of vehicles with advanced OEM repair procedures, guidelines camera and vision technology. and material specifications,” he ex “Floors must also be flat and plained. level to achieve accurate calibration The bottom line, according to results,” Kaminsky said. Korpi, is OEMs are the authority on Kaminsky encourages collision repair procedures and recommendrepair specialists to think about how ed products required for a safe and they will handle repairing future quality repair. vehicles in their shops with ADAS “It’s a high-stakes industry,” features. he said. “The OEM way is the only “The amount of ADAS-equipped way.” cars on the road in the U.S. is estimat- An overview of data security ed to triple in the next five years,” he was provided by Brandon Laur, said. “If you don’t have a plan, I en- vice president, business developcourage you to think about ment and client experience it… It’s going to be really at CCi Global Technoloimportant for you going forgies. ward and your success in With hacking becoming repairing vehicles in the fua huge problem over the ture.” last several years, Laur not Todd Korpi, 3M globed collision repairers need al key accounts director, to have systems to prevent Todd Korpi, global talked about the importance data breaches. key accounts of always following OEM He encouraged facilities director, 3M procedures. to have customers sign re “There’s a lot of information pair authorizations before the car is and training and it’s up to us to get fixed. that information to the technicians “If everybody is not getting on the floor to make sure these vehi- those authorization agreements comcles are repaired the right way every pleted, we’re in trouble,” he said. time,” said Korpi. He also recommended working He acknowledged OEM repair with trusted vendors and find out procedures are not always easy to where they are storing data, what it find and navigate; however, there are is being moved, how accessible it is industry resources available, such as and how quickly it can be removed. OEM1Stop and the I-CAR Repair- “Just because you delete it from ability Technical Support (RTS) por- your management system or estital, to help provide information. mating system doesn’t mean that Over his 25-year career, Korpi it is deleted from all of the tables has found vehicle technology con- there,” he said. “We as an industry tinues to change, and there’s more need to protect ourselves.” coming. He shared information about a “The documentation helps you new solution available, extended deget paid and it also ensures the ve- tection and response (XDR), which hicle is going to go back to pre-acci- allows businesses to monitor and dent condition,” he said. mitigate cybersecurity threats. When making a material deci- When looking at the business Continued from Cover
24 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
environment, Laur suggested taking a “zero trust” approach. “This means that nobody within your collision center has access to all of the data,” he explained. “If somebody has access to all of the data, that means they are the vulnerability point where you can be hacked.” The No. 1 area where people are finding their way into a business’s system is through technicians’ phones, according to Laur. He advised shop owners and managers to check if their phones are encrypted before connecting to WiFi. He also recommended looking into cyber insurance. If a breach does occur, Laur said a business can survive; however, it must be transparent in what is communicated. “We need to start to hold this industry accountable to being able to take data security a lot more seriously than what we have,” said Laur. “It’s up to everybody to hold each other accountable and continue to look for ways to move this industry forward.” Jake Rodenroth, a diagnostic
specialist, now working with Lucid Motors as of Dec. 6, discussed what the collision repair industry must do to evolve. He pointed to five business areas to focus on: talent, product knowledge, their business model, OEMs and DRPs, and integrity. Rodenroth said new talent working in this field are looking for a career path. “When you see a young person, take them under your wing, and stop looking for things they do wrong,” he said. “Try to catch them doing something right and praise them.” Regarding product knowledge, Rodenroth noted customers are becoming even more intelligent about their vehicles than ever before. “We need to be experts at what we do,” he said. “Our customers expect that out of us and they want a painless process.” Looking to the future, Rodenroth indicated there will be changes in how vehicles are repaired using new methods, such as 3D printing and augmented reality. He encourages shops employees to be open-minded about these technoloSee IDEAS Collide Showcase, Page 29
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From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson is the president and owner of Collision Advice, a consulting company for the auto body/collision repair industry. For nearly 25 years, he was the owner of Wagonwork Collision Center, an OEM-certified, full-service auto body repair facility in Alexandria, VA.
When it Comes to Auto Body Shop Technician Compensation, Something Has to Change Something has to change. I’ll tell you up front: I’m going to be repeating those four words a number of times as you read through this article. Something has to change. I have a family member who graduated from high school and went to work for Amazon. He is now 21, making more than $100,000 a year. He has stock options and they pay 100% of his health insurance. And they pay for all of his college. That’s what we’re competing against when we’re trying to recruit young people into our industry. Something has to change. I know a body tech who got out of the industry to work as a truck driver. He’s making more than $100,000 a year now. And he doesn’t have to buy any tools. He told me, “I have a lot less stress, Mike.” Something has to change.
There’s a convenience store at the gas station near my home. That store starts people at $18 an hour. Just to work at a gas station convenience store. That’s almost $40,000 a year. Plus health insurance. There’s no liability in that work, and they’re
not exposed to hazardous materials. They also offer up to $10,000 a year for child care reimbursement. Yet I talk to auto body shops trying to start people out at $10 to $15 per hour. That model is broken. Our industry has got to be able to of-
fer a more competitive wage as well as better benefits. Something has to change. Now I understand: We can’t compensate fairly unless we are being compensated fairly. This is absolutely not an anti-insurance article. It’s not. But at the end of the day, either labor rates have to start to come in line with what we need to compensate more fairly, shops have got to be paid for more not-included operations, or some combination of the two. Somehow we need to collect additional funds to be able to recruit and retain people. I think we will see shops change who they do business with over this issue. They almost have to. I know one MSO has already told investors they’ve dropped some direct repair programs with “lower-margin clients that are not willing to increase pricing.”
I’ve also heard from shops saying a competitor in their market is offering signing bonuses of as much as $10,000. I don’t believe in stealing fish from another man’s pond. That’s not the solution. What we need to do is recruit by offering a more competitive compensation package. The problem is only getting worse. We all know body labor rates have been lower than those in the mechanical industry because of body techs being able to work at 135% or 150% efficiency. But as we see less “repair” and more “replace,” technicians’ efficiencies are dropping. If it pays you five hours to replace a door, it takes you every bit of those five hours. A technician can turn a screwdriver, wrench or other tool only so fast. The space required for the work has increased. It takes three times
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the space of an average auto body shop stall just to perform calibrations. The skills needed are also increasing. We need a much higher caliber person doing everything from the OEM procedure research to the final ADAS calibrations. “It’s not just body work,” Susanna Gotsch of CCC Intelligent Solutions said at the MSO Symposium in November. “It’s mechanical work, the knowledge of electronics, understanding how telematics and the systems of the car work, how to read the manuals from the OEMs. All of that requires a higher set of training and tooling. That cost will have to be passed on. So I think we’re going to see more inflation on labor. I think that’s going to start to find its way into appraisals as well. It just has to.” My friends and colleagues, the industry model we have right now is broken, in terms of labor rates and compensation packages. I don’t know the answer. I’ve got some ideas, I’ve got some thoughts. But I do know this: Something has to change.
Continued from Page 24
Continued from Page 22
IDEAS Collide Showcase
gies to help repair vehicles, run the facility and provide an unbelievable customer experience. He also advises owners and managers to be receptive to OEM and DRP partnerships, which are likely to become more common. “It’s not always easy to do the right thing and get along with everybody but integrity is everything,” said Rodenroth. “My father said to be great at what you do because perfect strangers are counting on you.” He reminded attendees that continuous education and integrity are the lifeblood of a true professional. This is Part 1 in a two-part series. The remaining four speakers will be highlighted in a future article. For more information about the SCRS Repairer Driven Education full series digital pass, which includes 20 regular sessions and three OEM Summit sessions, visit https:// rde.scrs.com.
In Fig 26, I had the estimator take a picture of the damage for
left door. I put the PDR lamp on the part in Fig 27. You will notice one of the light tubes is bent, indicating damage on the door. I had him take
the insurance company claim. It is very hard to see the damage to the
a marker and mark damage before sending the pictures. I have a few shops using the lights and the results have been terrific. It has reduced the friction time, as well as phone calls with the insurance companies. In conclusion, there is no one perfect system out there for every kind of dent repair, but having multiple systems, including the glue-on tabs, will give your technicians the best possible dent repair outcomes.
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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.
Auto Body Shop Billing Practices Related to Total Losses, Not-Included Procedures
Disconnecting and later reconnect- connecting the battery often will set sought to be reimbursed for the change over time as the industry being a vehicle’s battery during col- diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). procedure by eight of the nation’s comes more aware of the need for lision repair work is no longer the You can’t check for those without largest insurers. Among those who the procedure to be performed, and with Ed Attanasio simple operation it used to be—and doing a post-repair vehicle scan in did, just 19% overall found insurers as more shops regularly bill for it. auto body shops are increasingly un The survey also found adminderstanding the need to research the istrative fees for total loss processOEM procedures for doing so, and ing have become increasingly comseeking to be paid for the labor enmon. Direct repair agreements often tailed. prohibit participating shops from That was among the findings charging administrative fees related with Ed Attanasio of a “Who Pays for What?” survey to processing of total losses. Califorin 2021. The survey of more than nia shops are also prohibited by state 500 shops around the country last regulation there for charging adminsummer found about 61% of suristrative fees. But the “Who Pays” survey last vey respondents reported being paid summer found the percentage of “always” or “most of the time” by U.S. shops saying they are paid such the eight largest insurers when they with Ed Attanasio an administrative fee has risen, with performed and invoiced for the pro- “Who Pays for What?” survey last summer found nearly one in five shops say they are paid all or most of the time when they invoice for the labor to clear a customer’s data from a total loss a strong majority (72%) saying they cedures required to reconnect a bat- vehicle tery. are paid always, or most of the time, Overall, the eight insurers in- conjunction with reconnecting the covering the bill “always” or “most when they bill for this work. That cluded in the survey proved fairly battery.” of the time”—and most of those in- compares to just 46% back in 2015. similar in terms of likelihood of The first of the four “Who Pays volved non-DRP repairs. Likewise, the percentage of with Ed Attanasio covering the bill for this work. But for What?” surveys of 2022, one Anderson thinks that will shops that say they have never billed all eight insurers appear to be more focused on not-included refinish lalikely to reimburse their direct repair bor operations, is being conducted shops for this procedure. throughout January; shops can visit This was particularly true in the https://www.crashnetwork.com/colcase of State Farm. More than half lisionadvice to take the survey. (55%) of State Farm shops said Last summer’s survey also withDRP Stacey Phillips HYUNDAI they were “always” paid by the insur- found although a majority of shops er for this operation, but only 23% of surveyed said they had not yet billed shops not part of State Farm’s DRP for the time entailed in clearing cussaid they were. Additionally, 24% tomer data from a total loss vehicle, said State Farm “never” pays them some of those who have reported the largest insurers were paying for for this procedure. with Stacey Phillips When shops were asked a fol- those charges. low-up question about how often “Clearing the vehicle owner’s they research the OEM repair pro- personal data from a total loss vecedures necessary after a battery hicle is something we need to start is reconnected, just more than half thinking about for our customers,” (51%) said they do it most or all of Anderson said. “A vehicle owner • Experienced Parts Team • Wide Delivery Area with Stacey Phillips the time. But more than one in four today may have their home address • Large Inventory • Genuine Hyundai Parts (28%) acknowledged they research stored in their navigation unit of the • We are in the Hyundai Go Genuine™ Collision the proper procedure only “occa- vehicle. Their contacts can be stored Conquest Program sionally” or even “never.” when they sync their phone. Garage “Researching procedures re- door opener codes might be stored. Parts Number: quired when the battery is discon- So we need to be asking the vehiParts Hours: nected and reconnected is criticalPhillips to cle owner, when the vehicle is a to8am - 5pm Mon - Fri with Stacey 24-Hour Fax: a safe and proper repair,” Mike An- tal loss, if they would they like us 773.413.3008 derson of Collision Advice wrote in to erase their personal information. the report with the survey findings. The process for this can be found in “I was analyzing the procedures the owner’s manual.” www.mcgrathcityhyundai.com email@example.com called for by one Asian OEM recent- Fewer than 20% of the auto ly, and found 11 procedures required body shops answering the survey 6750 W. Grand Ave. / Chicago, IL 60707 after reconnecting the battery. Dis- question last summer said they had
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for this fee also has declined steadily since 2015. Today, only 11% say they never charge a fee to process a total loss, but in 2015, that figure was 30%. “Processing a total loss has become more complex than it used to be,” Anderson said. “It can involve more teardown, more research of OEM procedures, vehicle scans and more.” According to the 2021 survey, 74% of shops itemize charges—as opposed to charging a flat fee—for total loss processing. In addition to the administrative time, these charges may include moving a non-drivable vehicle, covering the vehicle to protect it from weather, etc. Back in 2015, 38% of shops believed the top eight largest insurers in the “Who Pays” surveys “never” paid an administrative fee for total losses. Today, only 17% still think so. The “Who Pays” surveys also ask about a variety of other collision shop billing practices. A growing percentage of shops, for example, say they are using an invoicing system to track and bill for items such as clips and fasteners, seam-sealer,
eraser wheels or other shop supplies used during a repair. Slightly more than half of shops (54%) in last summer’s survey reported using some kind of commercially available invoicing system, such as those available from 3M, Kent Automotive or Wurth. That’s up from 41% in 2017. “Many of the items these systems can track, and generate an invoice for, are often inexpensive but one-time use items that may not seem worth tracking, like acid brushes or mixing nozzles,” Anderson said. “But added all together, it can be a sizable unreimbursed expense.” Virtually all shops (93%) using a system reported doing so generates additional revenue on their estimates. The survey asked shops to quantify that additional revenue. The largest group (37%) said it generates an average of more than $50 of additional revenue per estimate; the next largest group (29%) said between $26 and $50 per estimate. www.autobodynews.com
Tesla Has an Estimated 1.3M Cybertruck Reservations Worth $80B by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs
The Tesla Cybertruck story is really outright crazy if you think about it. The truck arrived on stage at its reveal and many people thought it was an Elon Musk joke, which would come as no surprise.
They were waiting for the “actual” electric pickup truck to appear on stage, but the crazy metal wedge was the real deal. Clearly, the wild, stainless steel behemoth has grown on many people, to the tune of more than a million. Tesla recently made it clear it won’t begin producing the Cybertruck for about another year. People have already been waiting two years, and it may be years before all 1.3 million reservations are
Apple Reportedly Accelerating Car Development, Wants Model to Be Fully Autonomous by Michael Gauthier, CarScoops
The Apple Car is the unicorn of the automotive industry as it’s often talked about, but never seen. That trend continues as Bloomberg is reporting the tech giant wants to speed up development of the vehicle and has refocused the project around its “full self-driving capabilities.” The publication goes onto explain the project has explored two possibilities for the model with the first having “limited self-driving capabilities focused on steering and acceleration.” The report doesn’t elaborate, but this sounds like relatively common features such as adaptive cruise control and lane centering. However, Apple has also been considering a “version with full self-driving ability that doesn’t require human intervention.” This suggests it would have a Level 4 system that could operate autonomously under certain conditions or even a Level 5 system that can operate fully autonomously.
While the company was said to be looking at both possibilities, Apple has now reportedly concentrated their efforts on the latter. The move would seem to make sense as a semi-autonomous vehicle wouldn’t really stand out in the market.
The report goes on to say that Apple is planning to launch the vehicle in four years, which means it could arrive in late 2025. That’s an ambitious target and it remains unclear if the company can achieve that goal as engineers were reportedly expecting the launch to occur in 2026, 2027 or 2028. Bloomberg goes on to suggest if the fully autonomous technolo-
34 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
gy isn’t ready in time, the company could still move forward with the launch and sell the vehicle with a less advanced semi-autonomous driving system. However, that seems somewhat doubtful as Apple is reportedly eyeing a vehicle with a lounge-like interior that lacks a steering wheel and pedals. While a number of questions remain, the project seems to be moving ahead as the publication says the team recently hit a “key milestone in developing the car’s underlying self-driving system.” The company is also said to have “completed much of the core work on the processor it intends to eventually ship in the first generation of the car.” The updated technology is expected to make its way into the company’s fleet of 69 Lexus prototypes, which have spent the past few years helping to refine Apple’s driving technology. However, the company has a long road ahead as more testing will be required.
filled. Meanwhile, people are still adding to the reservation list. Sure, not all these folks will follow through, but even if only half of them move forward, it’s triple the number of Ford F-150 Lightning reservations, which are incredible as well. The fact nearly 200,000 people have reserved an electric pickup truck from Ford is something many people would have never believed in the recent past. However, to put it into perspective, 250,000 people reserved a Cybertruck during the first week after it was revealed. According to a recent report on Electrek, Tesla’s roughly 1.27 million Cybertruck reservations add up to some $80 billion in future value. It’s important to note there’s no way to know for sure how many Cybertruck reservations exist, though a crowdsourced system is working to keep track. An analyst’s report from six months ago put Cybertruck reservations at 650,000, but orders continue to come in at a ridiculous pace.
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3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives Created to Improve Collision Shops’ Productivity, Efficiency and Cleanliness by Stacey Phillips
For decades, auto body shops across the industry have faced a quiet and sometimes unrecognized choice in regard to dust extraction, according to Nick Oberle, application engineer specialist in the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division. “To get the maximum benefits of dust extraction, body shops needed to sacrifice their overall productivity,” said Oberle. “Net abrasives, which capture more than 95% of the dust they create, often don’t deliver the cut and life of traditional abrasives, which have poorer dust capture.” As a result of this challenge, 3M introduced a solution, 3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives. Oberle explained 3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives use the company’s patented Precision Shaped Grain mineral to power the new discs. Each micro replicated grain is a sharp triangle he said cuts through material easier than traditional abrasive grains.
“The Cubitron™ II Net family of abrasives cuts twice as fast and lasts twice as long as other net abrasive families and captures more than 95% of the dust they create,” said Oberle, who tested the new discs against the competition. Oberle says the reception has been great. “It’s exciting when you introduce a never-before-seen product and then watch technicians embrace it in their shops and quickly realize its many benefits,” he said. Dust extraction is required in many countries across the globe. Five years ago, Oberle and the 3M engineering team began researching potential regulation changes to abrasives and dust extraction in the U.S. “When you look at global regulations, the United States is far more lenient than Europe,” said Oberle. “The last time the U.S. rewrote any type of regulation around particulates in the air was in the early 1970s.” According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and
Health (NIOSH), airborne shop dust “…may contain hazardous substances, such as lead and chromium from surface coatings and abrasives from sanding discs, that are harmful to the lungs and nervous system of workers.” “Technicians are not going to notice a negative health effect the next day, but over time, dust could cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, cancer and neural toxicity,” said Oberle. “Getting dust away from the tech, from a human perspective, is important to 3M.” NIOSH recommends what it calls “ventilated sanders” for auto body shops “…because they have been shown to be effective in reducing total dust concentrations during the sanding of body filling compounds … ventilated sanders have cut total dust concentrations to one-tenth the levels produced using unventilated sanders.” Currently, dust capture is not a requirement in most of the U.S. “The moment that changes,
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there is going to be a very quick shift in the market to create dust extraction products,” said Oberle. Even without regulation, interest in dust extraction in the U.S. has been growing at the same time as the drive for reduced cycle times and greater shop efficiencies. Oberle said dust capture helps reduce loading, which can rob abrasives of their cutting power and shorten their life. In addition, less dust in the air can help reduce the risk of rework caused by dust settling into fresh paint. “The market is becoming more interested in dust extraction,” said Oberle. “3M is ready to satisfy that interest today.” In 2016, 3M partnered with Festool to develop dust extraction for the auto body industry. Oberle said the 90-year-old company has a long track record of creating high-quality, dependable products. Festool was a pioneer in dust extraction tools and today, Oberle said it only sells sanders equipped for dust capture. “3M™ Net Abrasives allow
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Festool tools to achieve their maximum dust capture potential, which is great news for shops,” said Oberle. The family of net abrasives is offered in 3-, 5-, 6- and 8-inch discs as well as 70-, 80- and 115mm sheet rolls. The 3M™ Hookit™ hook-and-loop attachment allows unused portions of the abrasive to be used on a future job. The open net abrasive pattern means these net abrasives work with self-generating vacuum sanders, central vac systems and portable dust extractors. Overall, Oberle said the goal is to remove dust at the source. “3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives can help lead to less in-air dust-related contaminants, less rework and cleanup time, improved cycle time, process efficiency and technician mobility within the body shop,” he said.
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U.S. DOT Announces Initial Framework for EV Charging Station Programs The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) took the first steps in establishing programs for a national network of electric vehicle charging stations, as mandated in the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed earlier in 2021. The agency posted a request for comments from stakeholders on best practices to develop guidance for the electric vehicle charging station programs. In the request, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) cited a particular interest on how best to promote equity in the development of EV charging station infrastructure under these programs, including prioritizing grants in rural areas, low and moderate-income neighborhoods, and areas with a large ratio of multi-unit homes as opposed to single-family dwellings. The bipartisan infrastructure plan authorized two EV charging station programs, the National Electric Vehicle Formula Program and the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure program. The first program is designed to distribute money only to states, with
the amount calculated by formula. The second program differs because: It’s a discretionary grant program. Grants will be available for not only electric vehicle charging, but to hydrogen, natural gas and propane fueling stations.
Charging stations will not be required to be located on designated authorized fuel corridors. Grants are available to cities and other entities, not just states. Under the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure program, the federal share payable for projects funded will be 80%. According to the DOT request published in the Federal Register, funds must be
used for not only the acquisition and installation of EV charging infrastructure, but also the operation and maintenance of such infrastructure. The mandate also requires such charging infrastructure be used “only for EV charging station infrastructure that is open to the general public or to authorized commercial vehicle owners from more than one company.” This excludes Tesla, whose charging stations are proprietary and therefore only able to charge Tesla vehicles. Last year, electric vehicles as a whole made up only 1.7% of new light-duty vehicles sold in the U.S. However, as the automotive industry moves towards an increasingly electric future, it will be important for independent automotive repair shops to be prepared for this shift. The development of a national network of electric vehicle charging stations will present both a challenge and an opportunity for our industry. Stay updated with electric vehicle and other legislative news on TakingtheHill.org. Source: ASA
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Retired Tech Looks Back at 67 Years in Collision Repair by Ed Attanasio
Over the years, I have interviewed a lot of collision repair professionals as they retire from the industry. If someone can work in this business for 30, 40 or even 50 years, it’s obviously an impressive run. But when I heard Felix Cano Sr. of Texas retired after a 67-year career as a metal technician, I was shocked and pleasantly surprised.
The Cano family has always been all-in when it comes to becoming the best techs they can and imparting their knowledge to others. Pictured here is Felix Cano Jr., left, and his father, Felix Cano, Sr.
Longevity is always a factor with technicians or painters. They need to be adaptable and willing to learn, and—maybe most importantly—they need to be durable. The physical work associated with these jobs is what often becomes the deciding factor. The average veteran body man ends up experiencing injuries and wear and tear to his body over the years, and it adds up. When Cano entered the industry at age 16, he knew nothing, but at $8 an hour, he was the richest kid in school. He started out working for a collision center for a Chevy dealership in Texas as a body man’s helper. To say the learning curve was steep is a major understatement. “I learned fast and the guys I
worked with were willing to teach me,” Cano said. “Bondo wasn’t even around back then, so I was doing mostly lead work. The cars back then didn’t have all of the plastic that they have now and fixing them was more straightforward. Today, you have to scan the vehicles and techs are more like computer programmers compared to what we did.” Life wasn’t always a walk in the park for Cano and his family, as his father worked multiple jobs with the economy struggling. At one point, his parents and two siblings were one step away from homelessness. “For three weeks, we lived in our car, an old Bonneville, under a tree,” he said. “We bathed in an ice chest and it was a tough period. My first pay check was $488 for one week, and I thought I was wealthy. We got an apartment and things got better.” The only problem was Cano’s parents moved the family into an apartment where children were not allowed. “We had to hide the kids from the landlord so he wouldn’t find out,” he said. “We hid in the closet and under the bed. The apartment manager knew what we were doing, but he covered for us. After a while, my dad got enough money to buy a brand-new home for $40,000.” Wherever he worked, Cano was well-liked and highly respected, according to his son, Felix Cano Jr., who had a long career as a tech himself and is a collision tech teacher today. “When he was working for Chuck Fairbanks Chevrolet in DeSoto, TX, Mr. Fairbanks asked him to rebuild his personal car and was often recruited as a ringer for the company golf tournaments,” Cano Jr. said. “Dad was a decent golfer, so Mr. Fairbanks always wanted him as a partner. My father would also cook breakfast every Wednesday for the whole crew, regardless of where
he worked. It was chorizo, bacon, eggs, tortillas—a big spread—and he usually paid for the whole thing himself.” Cano Sr. was working at three auto body shops at the time, repairing high-end luxury cars like Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborgh-
Part of Felix Cano Sr.’s retirement plan will include a little golf now and then
inis. His average workday started at 7 a.m. and often ended at 2 a.m., he said. “I learned how to do the lead work and realized that I had a skill that was much-needed,” he said. “I pretty much was able to set my prices and soon I was taking home $800 to $1,000 every week.” Not bad for a guy in his 20s. Lead work is a lost art and used primarily by car restorers today, but Cano was able to turn it into a moneymaker over the years. “It requires more training and practice to perfect and it’s a much slower process,” he said. “Lead seals much better than body filler. You can apply it straight over welds, section locations, pillars or anywhere else where you need a solid seal. Lead will flex well without the metal cracking. Body fillers have improved through the years and they flex as well, but lead is better for flexing without cracking.” Cano planted a seed and it sprouted when two of his six sons, Felix Jr. and Greg, decided to enter the industry. Felix Cano Jr. has made a name for himself as an award-win-
ning instructor and is known for turning many of his students into winners at SkillsUSA competitions. The legacy continues with his son, Felix Cano III, who works for a body shop in Texas after learning the trade from his father, grandfather and uncle. The Canos treasure their roles as teachers. Cano Sr. was an instructor with I-CAR for several years. Just like his son, he’s anxious to share his knowledge and experience with anyone willing to learn. When Cano Jr. was 8 years old, he started going to work with his father and that’s when he realized he wanted to be like his dad. “I had one of the best teachers anyone could have and the one-onone instruction that I have from him was so beneficial,” Cano Jr. said. “I teach my students the way he taught me. One great thing about my dad was that he never yelled at me when I messed up. During all the years I’ve worked by his side, he never got mad and his patience was amazing. What he did for me was better than any apprenticeship because I could ask him questions all the time.” If it was his decision, Cano Sr. would still be working, he said. “Everyone wanted me to retire, except for me. But my wife wants me around the house, so what can I do? I go down to the shop every once in a while, to stay connected,” he said. “Like many other people who reach retirement age, I don’t want to stay home and die. I want to still be involved.” Cano Jr. is very proud of his papa and hopes he will live past 100. “He still wants to give back— that’s just the way he is. He was one of the old school ‘metal men’ from that era; the crème de la crème and true tradesmen,” Cano Jr. said. “He turned us into teachers because we wanted to be like him, and we still do!”
ASA Announces Podcast Series The first episode of the Automotive Service Association (ASA)’s Technology and Telematics Podcast Series was released Dec. 6 on the ASA podcast channel. The episode features a discus-
sion between Wayne Weikel, senior director of state affairs for the Alliance of Automotive Innovation, and Bob Redding, ASA’s Washington, D.C., representative. Redding and Weikel give an
38 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
overview of the political issues surrounding electric vehicles, including an update on the recently passed infrastructure package and the in-progress budget reconciliation package. This podcast is the first in a se-
ries of podcasts entitled “A Changing Fleet,” which will feature conversations with industry leaders about the automotive industry’s shift towards electric vehicles. Source: ASA
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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.
MSOs Discuss Collision Parts Challenges, Increased Work-in-Progress
A panel of representatives from a in parking lots, waiting to be finalnumber of multi-shop collision re- ized.” pair operations at the MSO Sympo- Amberson, too, said his comwith Ed Attanasio sium in Las Vegas in November dis- pany has seen an increase of becussed how disruptions in the parts tween 10% and 20% in his compasupply chain are impacting their ny’s work-in-progress compared to pre-pandemic. business. “It’s a mixed blessing because All agreed the parts challeng- es are not limited to any particu- in today’s world we almost have to lar parts segments, new have more work-in-progress to keep withincluding Ed Attanasio our people busy,” Amberson said. OEM, used and non-OEM. “I think we have problems in all “Because there are too many jobs categories,” said Marty Evans, an for which we’re waiting for insurMSO operator in Washington who ance authorization or parts. But the also is COO of the Certified Colli- downside is it creates a lot of chaos, and delays for the customer, more sion Group banner network. cycle time for the insurers.” with Ed Attanasio In some cases, other panelists acknowledged, it is impacting their customer satisfaction. “As a general rule, yes, we are seeing CSI going down, with Ed Attanasio The panel discussing parts supply chain issues at the and that’s very painful,” MSO Symposium included, pictured left to right, Mark Evans said. “As much as Miller, Shawn Hezar, Darrell Amberson and Marty we try, as much as we be Evans proactive and communi Shawn Hezar, chief client offi- cate, you sometimes get the head cer for Caliber Collision, agreed all nod or yes, that they understand, but the parts industry segments are facthe survey goes out and that converwith Stacey Phillips ing the same challenges, in terms of sation never took place. We’re all labor and logistics. doing everything we can to commu “I live in Los Angeles where we nicate, but you’re not going to win can actually see the ships lined up, every time.” Hezar said Caliber was “knockwaiting to be docked,” he said. “And of course once they get docked, you ing it with Stacey Phillips out of the park” in terms of still need trucks and people to un- CSI in 2020 when work loads were load them. It’s evolving, and it’s down, but said 2021 “has been pretty painful.” tough.” That in turn, he said, can Darrell Amberson, president have an impact on employee morale. of operations for LaMettry’s Colli- “Our teammates aren’t feeling sion, which has 10 collision repair as good about what is taking place with Stacey Phillips shops and three mechanical shops in either. We have to remember that,” Minnesota, concurred. Hezar said. “We’re seeing it among Asian Parts supply chain challenges, manufacturers, Europeans, domes- the panelists said, are impacting tics,” Amberson said. “It often feels their costs in various ways—inlike we can build three-fourths of creases they will likely need to pass the job or even with more, Stacey but too often on. Parts delays, for example, can Phillips there’s that one critical part—even lead some jobs to expand beyond a a common part, like a bumper cov- customer’s rental car allowance, a er—that we’re waiting months for.” cost repairers can’t always bear in Hezar said that type of situation the name of customer service. now means Caliber has “somewhere “I want to be clear: We’ve about $50 million to $60 million of picked up a lot of rental car expenswork-in-progress…with cars sitting es. Our rental car expenses have
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gone up by millions of dollars,” Hezar said. “At some point you have to say, ‘It’s just no longer feasible. We can’t do that.’ You’re hoping the end [to the parts delays] is in sight, but based on everything we hear, these challenges are going to continue well into 2022. At some point, you have to stop.” Are the MSOs seeing changes in parts discounts? Amberson said he sees parts prices increasing overall but not changes in his agreements with suppliers. That wasn’t the case among other panelists. Hezar said parts margins get squeezed when a part has to be sourced from a supplier with which his company has not had a long-time relationship. “It’s very common that it’s not going to be the same discount. So in a lot of cases we do see it cost-
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ing us more,” he said. But suppliers have also come to Caliber this year to say their costs are escalating and they “have no choice but to lower” Caliber’s discount. “We’ve seen that from time to time,” Hezar said. Evans joked he thinks Hezar jinxed him on the topic of changes to supplier discounts after they spoke about it the week prior to the symposium. “I hadn’t heard a lot about it before then, but now it’s becoming more and more common,” Evans said. “Even with those you have a relationship with, we are hearing they are reducing [the] discount, which is very painful.” www.autobodynews.com
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Industry Veteran Establishes Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com by Ed Attanasio
Steven Schillinger of Reno, NV, has worked as a collision repair industry consultant in different capacities for more than 40 years, as a compliance expert focusing on permits, license protection and record keeping. As a member of the Government Regulatory Compliance (GRC) Board of Directors, Schillinger has tried to retire several times over the years but has failed miserably. He thought fishing and golf would be his activities after retirement, but discovered both are “boring,” he said. Losing his dog also created a void in his life. During the COVID pandemic, Schillinger lost his beloved friend and canine mascot, George, at age 14, and it hit him hard. As a result, he began looking for a way for body shops and other auto repair businesses to help displaced pets. Many people have been abandoning their pets during the pandemic by dumping them in the Nevada desert. When Schillinger kept
seeing news stories about it, he decided to act, and that’s when he founded the Pet-Rescue-AutoShop. com campaign to help and promote animal rescue and shelter groups in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com is an exclusive automotive aftermarket program in support of Adopt-a-Pet. com to help pets and people in local communities all over North America, and with auto repair facilities— including body shops—playing an integral role. Approximately 7.6 million companion pets are surrendered to a shelter every year in the U.S. alone. That includes 4.2 million dogs abandoned—1.4 million of which are euthanized annually. “Animals have no voice of their own, no social safety net and very few rights under the law,” Schillinger said. “They are vulnerable and, unfortunately, mistreated more often than most of us can even imagine. The Pet Rescue Campaign is focused on automotive service and repair shop owners in North Amer-
ica that has gained recognition with regulatory agencies and insurance partners as well as community leaders.” When Schillinger saw a sudden surge in pet adoptions during the COVID lockdown, he was encouraged, he said. “It has definitely gone viral nationwide. Shelters, nonprofit rescue organizations, private breeders and pet stores have all reported more consumer demand than there were dogs and cats to fill,” Schillinger said. “Rescues were accepting dozens of applications for individual dogs and breeders were compiling waiting lists well into 2021. Dog lovers kept trying to fill voids with canine companions, either because they were stuck working from home with children who needed something to do, had no work and lots of free time, or felt lonely with no way to socialize.” American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) President Madeline Bernstein reported adoptions doubled during
the lockdown, with 10 or 13 adoptions a day. A waiting list formed for certain types of dogs and for puppies in general, because so few were left in the shelter. But now, shelter directors are wondering what will happen as Americans start returning to school and work. Bernstein foresaw at the start of the pandemic many of these adoptions could potentially lead to more dogs being abandoned. She has also seen many people bonding with their pandemic pets and providing them with forever homes. “Like so many things concerning the pandemic, the territory is uncharted,” Schillinger said. “Just as nobody predicted that the start of a pandemic would lead to a huge spike in the number of adopted pets, nobody is quite sure what the end of a pandemic will mean for many of them, and that’s why we see some genuine value in the Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com campaign.” Animal rescues are typically privately-owned, and do not have a facility—often, they are run entirely
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by volunteers, including people who volunteer as fosters. Fosters care for animals at their homes for a few weeks or months until the animal gets adopted. In the last few years, a lot of rescues have shifted to promoting their animals on Instagram and Facebook, which serve as free marketing for getting their animals adopted. The Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com campaign is also supported by many members of the Alliance of Auto Manufacturing that are partnering with animal shelters. In addition, Subaru has joined with the ASPCA to help find thousands of animals their forever homes, and donated nearly $16.5 million to support shelters and adoption events. In conjunction with their dog rescue efforts, Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com supports local volunteer organizations that are too small to raise substantial funds themselves, and would fall through the cracks without us. “We network online 24/7 with business owners to provide instant assistance, boarding, medical care, food, medicine, training and trans-
port for desperate animals,” Schillinger said. “We are the place to go when there is nowhere else to turn. We rescue pets, and we rescue the rescuers—shelters and other animal welfare groups that are currently inundated with new pets.” You’ve likely heard about AMBER Alerts. Pet-Rescue-AutoShop. com has developed the same system for pets—Area Missing: Pet Emergency Response (AMPER) Alerts—which connects auto body shops with an assigned AMPER area-alert team to offer advice and assistance for confidentiality, as well as to transport pets to shelters, rescues and private owners. “It is designed to achieve a uniform, interoperable network of plans across the country, and to minimize potentially deadly delays because of confusion among varying participants,” Schillinger said. Every authorized AutoShop facility will have an email contact and telephone number assigned for AMPER alerts. Participants receive alerts of a recently lost or missing pet. If the pet is found/rescued, most do not go back home but instead go to a transitional facility, a Pet Halfway House.
As the name implies, it is not a dog pound, but closer to a foster home. For an AMPER Alert to be effective in recovering a missing pet, Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com must have enough information to believe an immediate broadcast to the public will enhance the efforts to locate the pet. This element requires as much descriptive information as possible about the lost pet. Issuing alerts in the absence of significant information that the pet is actually lost could lead to abuse of the system and ultimately weaken its effectiveness. Vice President of Industry Relations at Automotive Service Association (ASA) Tony Molla sees real value in the Pet-Rescue-AutoShop. com campaign for several reasons. “It’s a great idea and much-needed,” he said. “We have two dogs, Luna and Lola, and if we ever lost them, we would be crushed. It’s simple—a dog is found and quickly an alert goes out and shops get to play an important role. Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com is a great way for shops to help people and dogs to find their homes or new homes for dogs who have lost their way and just need a break.”
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FOR YOUR COLLISION JOB. autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 43
Stellantis CEO: EV Transition Costs ‘Beyond the Limits’ the Auto Industry Can Sustain by Maria Merano, Teslarati
Stellantis CEO Carlos Taveres said the pressure for legacy automakers to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles could threaten jobs and vehicle quality as traditional carmakers struggle to manage the higher costs of producing EVs. Taveres said the costs of transitioning to EV production are “beyond the limits” of what the current auto industry can sustain, in an interview with Reuters Next. He also highlighted the pressure legacy OEMs get from governments and investors to speed up the transition to EVs. “What has been decided is to impose on the automotive industry electrification that brings 50% additional costs against a conventional vehicle,” he said.” “There is no way we can transfer 50% of additional costs to the final consumer because most parts of the middle class will not be able to pay.” He said traditional automakers would have to either charge higher prices and make fewer cars or accept lower profit margins to keep up with
the additional costs of transitioning to electric vehicles. Taveres emphasized both paths lead to cutbacks. Many union leaders in Europe and North America agree thousands of people could lose their jobs if the auto industry transitioned to EV production. U.S. President Joe Biden is trying to tread the line between pushing legacy OEMs towards transitioning to EVs and providing job security in the auto industry. Biden has openly supported the Detroit Big Three’s—Ford, General Motors and Stellantis—EV goals, while puzzlingly ignoring Tesla’s role in the current electric vehicle revolution. Biden seems keen on only promoting automakers affiliated with unions in his bid to make the U.S. a powerhouse in the global electric vehicle market, all while ignoring the powerhouse that is Tesla, which already operates within the country. In the summer, the Detroit Big Three announced their commitment to increase each of their electric vehicle sales by about 40% by 2030. Some may argue the Detroit Big Three’s EV transition goals go
against the current tides, considering a few countries have already committed to banning fossil fuel cars by the end of this decade, while others are seriously considering the move. In his recent interview, Tavares said automakers need time to test and ensure electric vehicle technology works. He said speeding up the process “is just going to be counterproductive. It will lead to quality problems. It will lead to all sorts of problems.” So far, Ford seems to be the only automaker in the Detroit Big Three taking serious steps to becoming an electric vehicle producer. The Ford Mustang Mach-E has proven to be a favorite amongst the OEM’s customers. The Mustang Mach-E is still far from perfect though, as some owners do have critiques about the vehicle and its infrastructure support. However, Ford seems to be failing forward and learning from its mistakes and improving on the fly--similar to Tesla in some ways. As for Stellantis, it has invested $30 billion into its electrification strategy. On Nov. 30, the company invested in solid-state battery startup Factorial.
“We can invest more and go deeper in the value chain,” Tavares said. “There may be other [investments] in the near future.” In July, the company held Stellantis EV Day 2021, where it announced intentions to become a market leader in low emissions vehicles (LEV) by 2030. Stellantis aims to make more than 70% of its sales in Europe and 40% in the U.S. be comprised of LEVs. The company also said all 14 of its brands are committed to offering best-in-class fully electrified solutions. “Over the next five years, we have to digest 10% productivity a year … in an industry which is used to delivering 2% to 3% productivity” improvement, Tavares said. It wasn’t clear whether he was referring to productivity in electric vehicle development only. Stellantis stills seem adamant in slowly transitioning into an electric vehicle producer. However, the CEO did get one thing right on the bullseye. “The future will tell us who is going to be able to digest this and who will fail,” Tavares said. “We are putting the industry on the limits.”
Apple’s AirTags Being Used to Track and Steal Luxury by Loukia Papadopoulos, Interesting Engineering
In August, there was the story of a cybersecurity expert in Brooklyn, NY, who was able to recover his stolen bike by tracking it down himself, thanks to an Apple AirTag he had hidden inside the bike. In November, however, we reported the story of an unidentified woman in Jonesboro, AR, who turned on her iPhone in her car only to get a notice informing her there was an AirTag somewhere nearby. She was being tracked without her consent or knowledge. The stories highlight both the advantages and dangers of AirTags. Recently, Canadian police reported car thieves have been using AirTags to track and steal luxury cars, according to a report by Ars Technica. York Regional Police shared the tales of five incidents in which thieves have hidden AirTags on vehicles parked in public in order to be able to track them down later and steal them. The incidents had
all taken place in the last three months. For the few who may still not know what they are, Apple’s AirTags are tiny tracking devices with a speaker that can be stuck on things most likely to be misplaced. The user can then activate them using their Apple device and easily locate them. It is obvious how such a device can be problematic. Apple has said it has engineered some anti-stalking functions into AirTags. However, they only work if you’re running iOS 14.5 or newer. The functions allow you to detect if you’re being followed by an unfamiliar device by alerting you of this fact. For some, these added functions are too little, too late. Robert Sexton, a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) detective with the Paragould Police Department who was in charge of the stalking case in Jonesboro, AR, said these types of events are becoming increasingly more common and people should watch out for such incidents.
44 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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‘Retirement Vehicles’ Raise Risk of Crash Fatalities for Older Drivers Older drivers, who are less likely to survive severe crashes than any other age group, also tend to drive outdated vehicles that lack crucial safety features, recent studies from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show. Healthier than ever before, Americans in their 70s and 80s are driving more miles and crashing less often than in past decades. But age-related fragility still makes older drivers less likely to survive crashes than other demographics. Drivers 75 and older are about four times as likely to die as middle-aged drivers when they’re involved in a side-impact crash and about three times as likely to die in a frontal crash, a previous IIHS study found. Two new studies show drivers 70 and over tend to drive older, smaller vehicles not equipped with important safety features. The first study compared the vehicles driven by 1.5 million crash-involved Florida drivers ages 35-54 and 70 and older between 2014 and 2018. The second surveyed 900 drivers in those age groups from various states about the factors that influenced their most recent vehicle purchase. “Persuading older drivers to take another look at the vehicles they’re driving could reduce crash fatalities substantially,” said Jessica Cicchino, IIHS vice president of research and a co-author of both studies. “One big challenge is that, for those on a fixed income, cost often overrides other concerns.” The study of Florida crashes found drivers in their 70s and older were significantly more likely to be driving vehicles at least 16 years old than drivers ages 35-54. The older drivers were also substantially less likely to be driving vehicles less than 3 years old. In addition, as driver age increased, vehicles were less likely to
be equipped with electronic stability control (ESC) and head-protecting side airbags as standard features. Vehicles without ESC were associated with 37% higher odds of driver fatality for drivers 70 and over, while vehicles without standard head-protecting side airbags were associated with double the odds of an older driver fatality. Sedans and hatchbacks were also more common among older drivers, with the proportion of people driving midsize passenger cars increasing and the numbers driving SUVs declining with age. Along with vehicle design and safety features, vehicle size and weight are important factors in crash survival, since the occupants of smaller vehicles are exposed to greater forces in collisions with larger ones. Finally, drivers 75 and older were significantly less likely to drive vehicles with good ratings in the IIHS moderate overlap front and original side crash tests than drivers ages 35-54. “All these vehicle characteristics have big impacts on crash survival rates, and older drivers are more often driving the least-safe vehicles by every parameter,” says Cicchino. “This only gets worse as their age increases, since many older adults stick with a single ‘retirement vehicle’ for the remainder of their driving years.” By comparing the average fatality risk for the vehicles driven by drivers age 70 and older and drivers ages 35-54, the researchers determined crash fatalities could be reduced by 3% for drivers 70 and older and 5% for drivers 80 and older if they drove vehicles with the same safety profile as their middle-aged counterparts. Based on the crash data for 2019, that would translate to about 90 lives saved a year. One reason older drivers have less safe vehicles is they don’t un-
derstand the value of advanced safety features or good safety ratings, the survey showed. When choosing their current vehicle, drivers 70 and older were less likely than middle-aged drivers to have required ESC, blind spot monitoring, side or curtain airbags, and forward collision warning or automatic emergency braking (AEB). Only about a quarter of older drivers said they required AEB, compared with 40% of middle-aged drivers, for example. Similarly, about 10% of older drivers said safety ratings are not at all important, compared with 4% of middle-aged drivers, and fewer older than middle-aged drivers ranked safety ratings as extremely important in their purchase decision. In all age groups, most drivers agreed a 10-year-old, well-maintained car with low mileage is just as safe as a new one—though drivers 70 and older were substantially more likely to report owning a vehicle of that vintage. Notably, the older drivers who owned the newest ve-
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hicles were most likely to disagree with that statement, as well as to report more than $75,000 in annual household income. “The older drivers who participated in the survey didn’t appear to understand the value of today’s vehicle safety features,” Cicchino said. “At the same time, they perceived less need to replace their older vehicles because they don’t drive many miles per year and think of low mileage as synonymous with overall vehicle safety.” That’s especially problematic because statistics show crash risk per mile is higher for drivers who drive less, particularly those who travel fewer than 3,000 miles a year, than for those who log more travel. Driving on local roads is in fact riskier than highway driving, so the tendency of older drivers to restrict their highway travel and stay within their local areas means they accumulate most of their mileage in riskier conditions.
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Automakers Report Decreased November Sales Amidst Supply Chain Shortages Car makers on Dec. 1 began reporting November sales results. Mazda Mazda North American Operations reported total November sales of 20,602 vehicles, a decrease of 5.3% compared to November 2020. Year-to-date sales totaled 313,334 vehicles; an increase of 26.4% compared to the same time last year. With 24 selling days in November, compared to 23 the year prior, the company posted a decrease of 9.2% on a Daily Selling Rate (DSR) basis. CPO sales totaled 3,847 vehicles in November, a decrease of 25% compared to November 2020. Year-overyear, CX-30 sales increased 66.3%, with 4,404 vehicles sold, and CX-9 sales increased 17.2%, with 2,311 vehicles sold. Hyundai Hyundai Motor America reported total November sales of 44,345 units, a 20% decrease compared with November 2020. Hyundai eco-friendly vehicle total sales grew 165%, including November records for Nexo and Ioniq plug-in hybrid. SUV sales represented 76% of the total sales mix. Hyundai fleet sales
were down 97% and were less than 1% of total volume. “Consumer demand remains exceptionally high, and our dealers are doing a fantastic job of turning vehicles quickly and selling many before they even hit the lot,” said Randy Parker, senior vice president, national sales, Hyundai Motor America. “Lingering availability issues persisted into November, but we are optimistic that we will close the year strong.” Hyundai sold 44,073 retail units during the month, a decrease of 4%. Hyundai eco-friendly vehicle retail sales increased 172% on the month, while SUV retail sales were up 7%. Hyundai set new November retail sales records for Venue, Nexo, and Ioniq hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Kia Kia America announced November sales of 45,318 units guaranteeing the company will set an all-time annual record before the end of the year. November sales were led by Telluride and Sorento with 7,767 and 6,845 units delivered. In addition, Kia sold 77% of available inventory and continued to see increased demand for its hybrid and
battery-electric vehicles, sales of which have nearly doubled since this time last year, further demonstrating Kia’s commitment to electrification. Honda American Honda auto sales totaled 85,055 units in November, due to limited inventory of key Honda and Acura models. The Honda HR-V set a 10th consecutive monthly sales mark, establishing a new annual sales record in just 11 months, while the CR-V topped 20,000 units with record hybrid sales and the Ridgeline posted its best November in five years. Honda electrified vehicles set a new November record and are on pace to surpass 100,000 units for the year. Acura brand sales topped 9,300 units with low supply slowing the hot-selling MDX flagship. The RDX topped the lineup in November with nearly 4,000 units, as refreshed 2022 model begins sales, and Acura TLX Type S demand remains strong, contining to represent a quarter of TLX sales. Subaru Subaru of America, Inc. reported 33,045 vehicle sales for November 2021, a
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35% decrease compared with November 2020, when it sold 50,413, as Subaru continues to face supply chain shortages. The automaker also reported year-to-date sales of 532,664, a 3% decrease compared with the same period in 2020. “As we head into the final month of the year, we are thankful for our retailers, whose sales efficiency is absolutely unparalleled,” said Thomas J. Doll, president and CEO, Subaru of America, Inc. “Like other automakers, our vehicle production has been impacted by the global semi-conductor chip shortage, but our top priority is meeting the demand for Subaru vehicles.” In November, Outback was the top performer by volume with 10,454 vehicle sales. Impreza sales for November 2021 increased 36%, while BRZ sales increased 292% over the same month in 2020. Year-to-date (YTD), Outback leads by volume with total sales of 141,980 vehicles. When compared with the same period in 2020, Outback posted a nearly 4% increase YTD, while Crosstrek and WRX/STI carlines posted YTD increases of 13% and 31%, respectively. Source: Mazda, Hyundai, Kia, Honda, Subaru
Car ADAS Solutions Joins CIECA Car ADAS Solutions has joined CIECA as a corporate member. Founded in 2020, Car ADAS Solutions is a new technology and services business. The company’s mission is to make the world a safer place to drive by certifying vehicle safety systems operate as engineered. With more than a century of automotive leadership experience, the Car ADAS Solutions executive team has had close affiliations with CIECA. Greg Peeters, CEO of Car ADAS Solutions, said having standards in the collision industry saves resources and creates efficiency. “We are thankful for CIECA and happy to be part of this great organization,” he said. For more information about Car ADAS Solutions, visit https://caradas.com/ Source: CIECA
autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 47
Transportation Secretary Buttigieg Cites Gas Prices, Promotes EVs by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs
Gas prices have had a tendency to rise and fall over the years, and they’re spiking again of late. Many EV advocates have noted if gas prices rise enough, people will be compelled to buy an EV. In the past, when gas prices soared, there weren’t a whole lot of compelling electric cars on the market, but times have changed. According to a report from our friends at Teslarati, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg mentioned people who buy an electric car will “never have to worry about gas prices again.” Still, gas prices aren’t that high right now. While they’re high enough that many folks are struggling, they’ve been higher in the past. If Buttigieg would work with President Joe Biden to keep his promise of doing away with the massive gas and oil subsidies, then prices at the pump would surely skyrocket. Buttigieg said soon EV buyers will get to take advantage of a $12,500 discount when they buy
an EV. However, few compelling EVs exist that would actually get such a credit. If passed as is, the full credit will only apply to union-made EVs. According to Teslarati, there’s currently only one—sort of two— cars in the U.S. that would qualify for the full credit, the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, neither of which is currently in production. Fortunately, buyers of other EVs may get a $7,500 or an $8,000 credit. It’s certainly interesting that in its mission to save the climate, the Biden Administration is putting all of its eggs in one basket, banking on only GM and CEO Mary Barra to be the leaders in EVs, though companies like Tesla, Ford, Hyundai and Volkswagen have already done a much better job proving they’re up to the task. Back to gas. A recent AAA report shows average gas prices in the U.S. at $3.39, though they’re much higher in states like California. A year ago, the average was just over $2. Some folks argue public fastcharging and Tesla Supercharg-
ing aren’t much cheaper than paying for gas. While that’s not necessarily true in many cases, most EV owners charge at home, which is much cheaper and exceptionally more convenient than driving to the gas station. Buttigieg went on to say via Teslarati: “The people who stand to benefit most from owning an EV are often rural residents who have the most distances to drive, who burn the most gas, and underserved urban residents in areas where there are higher gas prices and lower-income. They would gain the most by having that vehicle. These are the very residents
a bestever November sales performance on record sales of our allnew Bronco family. “We expect growth to continue, thanks to adding an additional 74,000 new vehicle orders in November.” Ford’s electrified vehicle sales in November grew at a rate more than three times faster than the overall electrified vehicle segment, taking Ford’s electrified vehicle share to 10% compared to 5.4% last year. This set up a record November on sales of 11,116 electrified vehicles—up 153.6%. New products are providing the boost, with Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Hybrid sales of 3,088 and 4,767, respectively. For the month, Ford took in 74,000 new vehicle retail orders, up 64,000 vehicle orders over November of last year. Customer orders continued to be filled at record rates. In November, 29% of Ford retail sales came from previously placed customer orders. Ford brand SUVs achieved record November retail sales on the
48 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
With all of that said, even with the upcoming credit, EVs are still more expensive upfront than gas cars. It’s hard for people on a tight budget to afford the initial cost of an EV in the hope that it will save them money over the longer term. Buttigieg said the goal is to make EVs more affordable, and the credit is a step in the right direction. However, since the full credit doesn’t apply to any currently available EVs in the U.S., the legislation is arguably flawed, at least until vehicles like the Ford F-150 Lightning come to market.
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Ford Only Major U.S. Automaker to Report Year-Over-Year Sales Increase in November New breakthrough products and inventory improvements made Ford America’s No. 1 selling automaker for the third month in a row in November. Ford was the only major U.S. automaker to report a year-overyear sales increase in November— up 5.9% over last year, a total of 158,793 vehicles. Retail share totaled an estimated 13.8%—2.7 percentage points higher than November last year. “Our new products continue to roll, making Ford America’s best-selling automaker for the third consecutive month, a feat last accomplished in 1974,” said Andrew Frick, vice president, Ford sales U.S. and Canada. “Ford was also the only major U.S. automaker to beat year ago sales results for November. “On the strength of Mustang Mach-E, Ford delivered record electrified vehicle sales, growing more than three times faster than the overall segment,” Frick continued. “Retail sales were up 4.5% over a year ago, with SUVs having
who have not always been connected to electric vehicles that are viewed as kind of a luxury item.”
CIF Elects Trustee from Axalta
success of new products. Sales were up 25.6% over a year ago on total sales of 66,390 vehicles. The Bronco family had its highest combined sales since launch, totaling 19,773 SUVs. Mustang Mach-E sales were up 8.4% from October on sales of 3,088 SUVs. Combined, Ford’s newest musthave vehicles, including Mustang Mach-E, Bronco, Bronco Sport and Maverick, have the fastest turn rates on dealer lots. Ford’s newest products are having their best sales since launch and all are turning in under 12 days, with Maverick turning in just five days, essentially trailer-to-customer. Maverick Hybrid recorded its first sales at the end of November and more hybrids are on their way to dealers. Ford total pickup truck sales climbed 15.8% compared to a yearago, with sales totaling 70,839. F-Series sales rose 14.6%, expanding its leadership position over the second-place competitor to 144,049 trucks for the year.
The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) is proud to announce the election of Jim Ocampo, industry relations/strategic sales manager at Axalta Coating Systems, to the CIF Board of Trustees. CIF provides emergency relief by securing and distributing donations to collision repair professionals who have experienced significant losses due to natural disasters or other catastrophic events. During his extensive career at Axalta, Ocampo has been involved with numerous industry organizations and served on several boards such as CIECA, NABC and California Auto Body Association. He also brings fundraising experience. To become a CIF annual donor, visit www.collisionindustryfoundation.org and or reach out via email to email@example.com. All donations are tax-deductible.
Source: Ford Motor Company
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Biden Releases Oil Reserves to Address Rising Gas Prices by Casey Harper, The Center Square
President Joe Biden announced Nov. 23 his administration will release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help address skyrocketing energy costs. The announcement is part of a joint plan with China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom, and it comes as gas prices in the U.S. have risen about $1.20 a gallon in the past year. The White House said “32 million barrels will be an exchange over the next several months, releasing oil that will eventually return to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the years ahead. “The exchange is a tool matched to today’s specific economic environment, where markets expect future oil prices to be lower than they are today, and helps provide relief to Americans immediately and bridge to that period of expected lower oil prices,” the White House said. “The exchange also automatically provides for re-stocking of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
over time to meet future needs.” The American Automobile Association gas prices tracker reports the average price of gas at $3.40 per gallon of regular gasoline, up from $2.11 at the same time last year. Other energy costs also have risen sharply, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The energy index rose 4.8% in October after rising 1.3% in September,” BLS said. “The gasoline index rose 6.1% in October, its fifth consecutive monthly increase. The index for natural gas rose 6.6% over the month, its largest monthly increase since March 2014. The electricity index increased 1.8% in October, its largest one-month increase since May 2014, while the fuel oil index also rose sharply, increasing 12.3%.” The White House said the rising prices are the result of a surge in demand after a dip during the pandemic, but critics point to Biden’s energy policies, including shutting down the Keystone pipeline, discouraging drilling on federal lands and implementing stricter regula-
tions. “President Biden killed the Keystone pipeline and greenlit Putin’s Nord Stream II. Then he begged OPEC to produce more oil,” said U.S. House Republican Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-CA. “Dear Mr. President: Let us produce our own energy and create jobs right here at home. Stop putting America last.” Biden released the reserves as his job approval numbers continue to decline and Americans become increasingly concerned about the economy. He made the announcement alongside news he will seek reelection in 2024. Former President Donald Trump, who may face off against
Biden in that election, blasted Biden after the news and took credit for the oil reserves, saying he is responsible for “filling them up” in the first place. “For decades our Country’s very important Strategic Oil Reserves were low or virtually empty in that no President wanted to pay the price of filling them up,” Trump said in a statement. “I filled them up three years ago, right to the top, when oil prices were very low. ... We were energy independent one year ago, now we are at the mercy of OPEC, gasoline is selling for $7 in parts of California, going up all over the Country, and they are taking oil from our Strategic Reserves. Is this any way to run a Country?”
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Biden Signs Executive Order on Clean Energy, EVs On Dec. 8, President Joe Biden signed the executive order on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability. The order is meant to make the federal government carbon neutral through the use of renewable power sources and building materials to construct and run federal buildings, and the purchase of electric vehicles for the federal fleet. Throughout Biden’s campaign and administration, environmental issues have been a major priority. This week’s executive order sets a timetable for the implementation of many policy goals. The order requires the federal government to achieve: • 100% net-annual carbon pollution-free electricity by 2030 • 100% zero-emission vehicle acquisitions by 2035 • Net-zero emissions from federal procurement, including a Buy Clean policy that will promote the purchase of environmentally friendly building materials • Climate-resilient infrastructure and operations, and a climate and
sustainability-focused federal workforce Not only does the executive order require federal agencies to purchase exclusively zero-emissions vehicles by 2035, it also requires them to comprise an annual zero-emission fleet strategy that includes deploying zero-emission fleet vehicle refueling infrastructure. This means the federal government will be investing in electric and other zero-emission charging stations. This initiative goes hand-inhand with the U.S. Department of Transportation initiative to use the $7.5 billion allocated for electric vehicle infrastructure, in the recently passed infrastructure legislation, to create 500,000 new public zero-emission charging stations across the U.S. The same week, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation released “Recommended Attributes for EV Charging Stations,” which provides guidance for installing publicly available electric vehicle charging. The recommendations focus on 10 key elements for public charging
GM, POSCO Chemical to Build Factory to Process Material for Ultium Batteries General Motors and POSCO Chemical on Dec. 1 announced plans to form a joint venture through which the parties will construct a factory in North America to process critical battery materials for GM’s Ultium electric vehicle platform. The joint venture will process cathode active material (CAM), a key battery material that represents about 40% of the cost of a battery cell. The location of the facility, which will create hundreds of jobs when it opens in 2024, will be announced later. “Our work with POSCO Chemical is a key part of our strategy to rapidly scale U.S. EV production and drive innovation in battery performance, quality and cost,” said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, global product development, purchasing and supply chain. “We are building a sustainable and resilient North America-focused supply chain for EVs covering the entire ecosystem from raw materials to battery cell
manufacturing and recycling.” “We are very pleased to participate in the global battery supply chain project with General Motors,” said Kyungzoon Min, CEO of POSCO Chemical. “Through close partnership, we will innovate battery materials and contribute to accelerate the adoption of EVs based on our world-class product development, mass production capacity, and raw materials competitiveness.” The new facility will supply the Ultium Cells LLC facilities GM and LG Energy Solution are building in Lordstown, OH, and Spring Hill, TN. Two more U.S.-based Ultium cell plants are planned by mid-decade as GM drives mass adoption of EVs with high-volume Ultium-powered EVs, including a Chevrolet crossover priced around $30,000. GM and POSCO Chemical have signed a non-binding term sheet to create the joint venture and expect to execute definitive agreements soon. Source: GM
stations: charging speed, charging connectors, payment methods, reliability and redundancy, accessibility, station layout, network and communication requirements, EV charging on federal highways, EV charging signage, and a standardized approach to communicate pricing. The Automotive Service Association (ASA), in partnership with the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, recently released the first episode in the Technology and Telematics Podcast series, featuring a conversation between Wayne Weikel, senior director for state affairs at the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, and Bob Redding, Washington, D.C. representative for the ASA. During the podcast, the pair discuss the legislative and regulatory environment for electric vehicle implementation, building a national network of electric vehicle charging stations and challenges and opportunities for the automotive industry as it moves toward an “all-electric future.” Listen to the podcast to hear about all these EV issues and more. Source: ASA
Shepherd Joins Advantage Parts Solutions Advantage Parts Solutions, a global leader in delivering strategic automotive parts solutions, is pleased to welcome David Shepherd to its global team in the role of non-executive director. Shepherd will work closely with Advantage’s global executive leadership team to help guide its long-term strategic business plan to remain a dominant brand in the OEM parts supply chain as it continues to deliver unrivaled value to the marketplace. Shepherd, a seasoned industry executive, joins Advantage’s global team after spending 13 years as regional managing director of Solera’s international region, where he was directly responsible for accelerating the company’s reorganization outside North America. Before Solera, Shepherd was an executive consultant for various collision repair brands, Thatcham Research and the Institute of the Motor Industry. Source: Advantage Parts Solutions
SEMA Industry Indicators: U.S. Economy Expected to Finish Q4 Strong, But Uncertainty Remains by Kyle Cheng, SEMA
While U.S. economic growth was underwhelming in the third quarter, incoming economic data suggests growth is revving up in the fourth quarter, barring any major setbacks from omicron or other major uncertainties. Consumers look positioned to continue to spend money. Savings rates remain well above pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, there continues to be extremely strong demand for workers and wages are rising as a result. However, rising inflation is dampening consumer confidence, with sentiment dropping to a decade low in November. Despite this, expect consumer spending to continue. The availability of things to buy, however, remains constrained. Inventory levels for new vehicles continue to be constrained. Dealer levels typically cover roughly two and a half months of sales. Today, on average, they can only cover about two weeks. Backlogs at West Coast ports also continues to grow. As a result, pent-up demand continues to build.
This will likely fuel solid growth through at least the first half of 2022. To learn more about the latest trends affecting the economy and the specialty-equipment industry, download the latest “SEMA Industry Indicators” report today at www.sema.org/research. Other reports on trends facing the specialty-equipment industry from SEMA Market Research: SEMA State of the Industry— Fall 2021: This report explores the current state of the specialty-equipment industry—how businesses have fared during the pandemic, how supply-chain disruptions are affecting the industry, current trends and sales performance and outlook for 2022 and beyond. SEMA Emerging Trends: Electrification, Alternative Power and Advanced Technology: This report examines the current landscape of electrification in the U.S., providing a realistic outlook for electric vehicles in the future as well as implications of advancing technology for the industry. Source: SEMA
autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 51
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