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37 YEARS

MIDWEST EDITION

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

AUTOBODYNEWS.COM

Vol. 8 / Issue 5 / February 2019

MI Lawmakers Target No-Fault Auto Insurance Law in Push to Cut High Rates

State Farm Agrees to Pay $250 Million to Settle Lawsuit in IL

by Beth LeBlanc and Jonathan Oosting, The Detroit News

by Emmariah Holcomb, glassBYTEs.com

Michigan Senate Republicans on Jan. 15 introduced a statement bill signaling intent to reform the state’s no-fault auto insurance reform law, using their first proposal of the twoyear session to renew calls to reduce rates. House Republicans also are set to aggressively target auto insurance reforms and on Jan. 14 announced plans to create a temporary special committee to consider options. Senate Bill 1 does not include

specific reform proposals but will serve as a starting point for future negotiations on how to cut rates that regularly rank among the highest in the nation. “The singular goal here is to reduce auto insurance rates across the state,” said Amber McCann, a spokeswoman for Senate Republicans, who have a 22-16 majority over Democrats. Sen. Aric Nesbitt, a Lawton Republican who helped shepherd major energy policy legislation through the House in late 2016, will lead the auto See Lawmakers Target, Page 18

Speakers at SCRS’ Ideas Collide Discuss Their Visions for Industry’s Future by John Yoswick

An automated system that can detect tiny dents or other vehicle “anomalies” within seconds. Collision parts being ordered within minutes of a crash. A not-for-profit data repository that would ensure shops have long-term access to their job file records. These were among the topics covered in a unique TED Talk-style presentation at “Ideas Collide,” a new session that the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) hosted during SEMA in Las Vegas in

In December 2018, State Farm agreed to pay $250 million to settle an ongoing lawsuit in Illinois. The auto insurance company originally agreed to pay millions to end the Halve v. State Farm case in lieu of continuing with court proceedings. In the lawsuit, State Farm was found responsible for using aftermarket vehicle repair crash parts instead of original equipment manufacturer parts in the late ‘80s and ‘90s. “…[those who] made a claim for vehicle repairs pursuant to their policy and had non-factory authorized and/or non-OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) ‘crash parts’ installed on or specified for their vehicles or else received monetary compensation determined in relation

to the cost of such parts…,” a section of the court document reads. The court scheduled a Fairness Hearing on Dec. 13, 2018 at the United States District Court Southern District of Illinois before the money was to be paid. Its main purpose allowed the court to continue deliberating on whether or not the agreed upon settlement was fair, reasonable and adequate as well as answer any possible objections. During the hearing, one person, Lisa Marlow of Cocoa, FL, objected to the agreed settlement amount. She claimed the agreed amount of $250 million was too low and alleged the lawyers’ fees that were to be taken from the settlement were too high. According to court documents, U.S. Illinois Southern District Judge See State Farm Lawsuit, Page 22

Challenges of Processing Hail or Other Catastrophe Claims Among Discussion at Recent CIC

timating system,” but McDonnell said “cat team” claims handlers aren’t With another hail season approach- always aware of that. ing, a panel discussion at last No“We had to go through that vember’s Collision Industry [PDR] company for a supConference (CIC) offered plement,” McDonnell said. insights from shops, insur“We sent it to them and they ers and paintless dent repair took off a significant amount. companies on reducing fricThey said, ‘We have an tion related to catastrophe agreement [with the insurer claims after a major storm. involved] and you don’t get paid for those things.’ I had Matthew McDonnell Montana shop to call them and tell them, of Big Sky Collision in Monowner Matthew tana described some of the McDonnell said not ‘We have a different regulaall those helping tion in Montana. You cannot challenges of working on an insurer handle disregard repair operations, such “cat team” claims, such catastrophe claims and I just want to let you as those managed by a paintafter a storm will know you’re inconsistent less dent repair company. be aware of laws and regulations in with Montana law.’ They Since 2011, for example, the state in which said, ‘Oh, I don’t have to Montana has had a law that they are working follow Montana law.’” prohibits an insurer from But although some states may “unilaterally disregard(ing) a repair operation or cost identified by an esSee Processing Hail, Page 12 by John Yoswick

Pete Tagliapietra of NuGen IT suggested the industry develop a not-for-profit data repository to give shops long-term access to their job file records and other data

November. SCRS invited 10 speakers to offer ideas or visions related to See SCRS’ Ideas Collide, Page 20

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FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com


Industrial Finishes & Systems Names Vice Chairman

CONTENTS REGIONAL

Connected Vehicles on the Collision

AASP-MN’s 17th Annual Race for Automotive

Repair Industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Education Raises Over $10,000 . . . . . . . . . 14 AASP-MO Collects Thousands of Toys at 15th Annual Toys for Tots Drive . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Ann Arbor, MI, Body Shop Owner Says Marijuana Dispensary Is ‘Running Me Out’ . . . . . . . . . . 4 ASA Appoints Ray Fisher to Serve as Executive Director. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Sisk - ASA Hosts RepairPal’s Jill Trotta for Webinar on Transparency and Trust . . . . . . . 42 Sisk - Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation Hosts Holiday Celebration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Sisk - Dave Luehr’s December Elite Webinar Features Brad Mewes Discussing

Industrial Finishes & Systems Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Gay Brown as Vice Chairman. As the daughter of Industrial Finishes Chairman, Stuart Barr, Brown has extensive experience in the business and has previously filled many roles at the company. Industrial Finishes & Systems is a privately held company owned by the Barr family. Industrial Finishes & Systems President Glenn Duckworth said, “The

‘Financing Growth’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 AUTOBODY

for Joliet, IL, Body Shop Murders. . . . . . . . . 30 Deer Collisions Keep Auto Body Shops Busy

Sisk - Mike Anderson Presents ‘Using the

– Part 2’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

in Cedar Rapids, IA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fire Destroys Stanford, IL, Auto Body Shop . . . . 8

NATIONAL

GM CEO Signals No New Vehicles for

AMi To Host FCA Certified Collision Network

Detroit-Hamtramck, Lordstown Plants. . . . . 27 How To Start a Body Shop in Chicago . . . . . . . 15 MI Lawmakers Target No-Fault Auto Insurance Law in Push to Cut High Rates . . . . . . . . . . . 1 R/K Autobody’s Owner Has Spent 40 Years Building Its Reputation in IL. . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Radcliff, KY, Body Shop ‘Pays It Forward’ by Repairing, Donating Bicycles . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Regional Association Event Announcements: February 2019 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 SkillsUSA Winner in Collision Repair Category Is Recognized With Signs in Donovan, IL . . . 10 State Farm Agrees to Pay $250 Million to Settle Lawsuit in IL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Steubenville, OH, Auto Body Shop Begins Construction on $1 Million Expansion . . . . . . 8 Zara’s Collision Donates to IL Nonprofit . . . . . . . 6

Online Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Challenges of Processing Hail or Other Catastrophe Claims Among Discussion at Recent CIC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Collision Works Utilizes Symach’s FixLine Process. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Consumers Confused by Partially Automated Driving Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 CREF Benchmark Grant Applications Available to Collision Schools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 CREF Career Fairs Pair Eligible Graduates With Transportation Industry Positions . . . . . 58 Ford Recalls 953,000 Vehicles for Airbag Flying Shrapnel Threat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 GM To Double Resources for Electric, Autonomous Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Industrial Finishes & Systems Names Vice Chairman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

COLUMNISTS Anderson - Automaker’s Increased Role in Claims Seems Just on the Horizon as Connectivity Happens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Attanasio - Eric Newell Is Not Afraid to Serve His Community in Different Ways . . . . . . . . 44 Attanasio - MSO CMO Megan Williams Stresses Community Support in Marketing Efforts . . . 24 Ledoux - Early DRP Programs of the 1960s. . . 34 Ledoux - Will NACE Make a Comeback? . . . . . 50 Phillips - The Impact of Telematics and

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Subaru Technical Information System

Looks Like More Than the U.S. Government

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

Bourbonnais, IL, Man Gets Life in Prison

Industrial Finishes management team is grateful to the Barr family for their unwavering support. The appointment of Gay Brown to this position reflects their commitment to our business and our continued growth.” Brown will be based in the Eugene and work with Industrial Finishes’ employees and customers in each of Industrial Finishes & Systems’ markets, including automotive, recreation vehicle, aerospace and industrial.

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

Serving Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2019 Adamantine Media LLC.

AkzoNobel Coatings, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Kia Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists, LLC . . . . . . . . . 8

Killer Parts & Equipment Corp . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Launch Tech USA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

AutobodyLaw.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Laurel Auto Group of Westmont . . . . . . . . . . . 49

AutoNation Collision Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Luther Bloomington Acura-Subaru . . . . . . . . . 42

Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2, 14

Maplewood Toyota-Scion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Bettenhausen Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Matrix Automotive FInishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Bob Hook Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

McGrath City Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Charles Gabus Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Midwest Parts Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16-17

Classic Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 56

Courtesy Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . 36-37

Dent Fix Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Morrison’s Auto Parts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Dent Magic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . 61

Dominion Sure Seal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Patrick BMW MINI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Eckler’s Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Patrick Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Polyvance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Equalizer Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

RBL Products. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Gandrud Parts Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Richfield-Bloomington Honda. . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

SATA Dan-Am Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

GYS Welding USA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Spanesi Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 32-33

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . 59

Hyundai Motor America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

The Sharpe Collection of Automobiles . . . . . . 51

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 55

Toyota of Des Moines. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Infiniti of Naperville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Jack Phelan Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram

VanDevere Kia-GM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Autobody News Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018; (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com editor@autobodynews.com

Is Shut Down . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 New Car Technology May Lead to Sticker Shock at Auto Body Repair Shops . . . . . . . . 56 Speakers at SCRS’ Ideas Collide Discuss Their Visions for Industry’s Future . . . . . . . . . 1 Tesla Owners Go Behind-the-Scenes at a Certified Tesla Repair Center . . . . . . . . . . 60 Unhappy AZ Residents Slash Waymo Tires, Derailing Self-Driving Cars, More . . . . . . . . . 4 Up to $60 Million Is Available for Testing ADS . . 55

of Countryside . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 58

Jake Sweeney Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

YesterWreck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Kelly BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Zimmer Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . . . . . . 64

Kia of Des Moines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Ann Arbor, MI, Body Shop Owner Says Marijuana Dispensary Is ‘Running Me Out’

or Chelsea. “I’d like to just clean up that area and make it look nice for the entrance to Ann Arbor,” he said, indicating the dispensary plans to invest about $200,000 in fixing it up. The commission voted 5-4 in support of the dispensary the night of Jan. 15, but it needs six votes to pass. The five in favor were Shannan Gibb-Randall, Lisa Sauve, Scott Trudeau, Julie Weatherbee and Wendy Woods. The four against it were Zachary Ackerman, Erica Briggs, Sarah Mills and Alex Milshteyn. The property is located along the west side of North Main, across from the Lake Shore Drive entrance to the Argo Pond area and next to Plans for turning the Hawkins Auto Body building into an the Bluffs Nature Area. The Exclusive Brands medical marijuana dispensary at 1251 dispensary’s plans have N. Main St. in Ann Arbor. Drawing by Pink+Wooderson sparked concerns about trafbody shop isn’t doing well enough to fic safety on a busy stretch of road off pay the property taxes, which he M-14, where rush-hour traffic backs pays, and he thinks his son can find up. Jeff Hawkins said he’s seen a a new place in perhaps Milan, Dexter number of crashes there over the years, and his property has served as an unofficial turn-around spot for Unhappy AZ Residents Slash Waymo Tires, Derailing Self-Driving Cars, More many motorists trying to navigate the attacks since 2017 that range in attempts to derail the car while it was by Abner Li, 9to5Google corridor. severity from seemingly pure mis- autonomously driving. One particular Jeep tried to run the Chrysler Pacificas The advent of any new technology is chief to more serious acts. City staff recommended denial of The most brazen incident took off the road six times in 2017. accompanied with complaints, as the dispensary’s plans last July, but on In all these cases, Waymo or the seen with Wing’s delivery drones, place in August 2018 when a man Jan. 15 suggested conditional apbut in the case of self-driving cars, armed with a handgun tried to scare safety drivers have not pressed proval based on the proposed changes. there have been more radical expres- the safety driver in an autonomous charges. The Alphabet division directs The dispensary worked with the Chrysler Pacifica. That man in ques- its drivers to first contact the internal sions of discontent. city’s traffic engineers to come up dispatch system during incidents. In fact, police contact is reportwith a plan for modifying the driveedly kept to a minimum, with one inway by adding a raised curb in the cident not being reported until four center, so motorists could make only days after it took place. According to right turns in and out. the NYT, Waymo in some cases is While she’s not against a mariunwilling to provide footage of the juana business there, Briggs said she attack. This defeats the benefit of is against a driveway configuration self-driving vehicles always maintaining video of everything happenthat allows only right turns into the ing around the car. site, because she thinks drivers will Waymo noted that these incidents still try to turn left, posing a potential only represent a small fraction of opdanger. She suggests traffic engineers eration and pushed back against the consider allowing left turns into the narrative that it was trying to avoid site. As Waymo tests and operates ve- tion cited the Uber incident that killed bad publicity by not pursuing charges. hicles in Phoenix, some Arizona resi- a pedestrian earlier that year, and he The incidents have not turned AlphaOther commissioners considdents have taken to threatening or was eventually charged with aggra- bet away, with Waymo noting how ered the raised curb proposal an imvated assault and disorderly conduct. “over the past two years, we’ve found even damaging the cars. provement, if not ideal, and said they Another safety driver was threat- Arizonans to be welcoming and exA New York Times report on trusted the city’s traffic engineers. Dec. 31, 2018 followed up on inci- ened with a PVC pipe, while other in- cited by the potential of this technolA representative of Exclusive dents that were first brought to light cidents involve people throwing rocks, ogy to make our roads safer.” Brands described the site as an eyeWe thank 9to5Google for reprint by the Arizona Republic earlier that blocking routes and slashing the tires sore, and said the company hopes to month. There have been at least 21 of Waymo vehicles. There were also permission.

for 34 years and located at the North Main location for about the last 20, We thank MLive for reprint permis- he said. He mostly restores old classic sion. After two decades in business at cars but also helps out the occasional 1251 N. Main St., Hawkins Auto Body college student or old lady who may close, giving way to a budding needs a quick repair, he said. Hawkins isn’t sure where he’ll industry. Plans are in the works to trans- go from here, but he doesn’t expect form the Ann Arbor, MI, auto body to find another spot in Ann Arbor. repair shop into a medical marijuana “They’re just buying everybody dispensary with a sleek new look. out,” Hawkins said of the growing number of marijuana dispensaries in Ann Arbor. Hawkins’ landlord will give him 90 days to get out once the deal goes through, he said. The twist: His landlord is his father, who gave in when a medical marijuana business started “flashing Hawkins Auto Body, 1251 N Main St. in Ann Arbor on Jan. big money,” he said. 16. Credit: Jacob Hamilton/MLive.com The company’s plans hit “They’re hostile taking me over, a snag at the Ann Arbor Planning running me out of here,” said owner Commission meeting the night of Jeff Hawkins, who isn’t happy about Tuesday, Jan. 15, as it failed to secure enough votes due to concerns it. Hawkins has been in business about the driveway configuration. by Ryan Stanton, MLive

Commissioners suggested changes to be discussed by city planners and traffic engineers. “We’ll modify it any way they want,” said Harry Hawkins, who acknowledged that he intends to boot his son from the property to make way for the marijuana dispensary. A real estate investor and owner of West Hawk Industries in Ann Arbor, Harry Hawkins said his son’s

See Marijuana Dispensary, Page 9

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FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com


autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Radcliff, KY, Body Shop ‘Pays It Forward’ by Repairing, Donating Bicycles by Mary Alford, The News-Enterprise

Thirty-five children from Hardin, KY, and Meade, KY, counties are riding around on new-to-them bicycles thanks to Glenn’s Auto Body in Radcliff, KY. Glenn’s Auto Body workers repaired old bikes that were donated and for Christmas gifted them to children in the community who were in need. Glenn Bieber, owner of the body shop, said he has had his business in Radcliff for 30 years and has been blessed with numerous customers. Glenn said repairing and gifting the bikes to children who don’t have any was just one way to give back to the community that has been so good to them. Dusty Jones, who has worked at Glenn’s Auto Body for more than 20 years, was a big contributor to the idea. He, along with others at the shop, completed the repair work on the bicycles. He worked on the bikes before work, during lunch and during work hours to have them ready to give to children for Christmas. This is the second time that the

auto body shop employees have repaired bicycles to give to children. The auto body shop employees found children to donate bikes to through connections of Glenn’s wife, Utona, a retired school teacher and

principal. She contacted schools she previously worked with about children needing bicycles. Utona said Craig Buchanan, family resource coordinator for Radcliff and North Park elementary schools, was glad to get the bicycles for the students. She also contacted Flaherty Elementary School. Meade County Schools Secondary Instructional Supervisor KelliAnn Wilson and her husband came and loaded up their trailer full of bikes for students—

Deer Collisions Keep Auto Body Shops Busy in Cedar Rapids, IA by Phil Reed, KCRG-TV9

We all spot deer on the roads and highways. A Tama County, IA, woman’s death shows just how dangerous crashing into a deer can be. A crash occurred in late December 2018 on U.S. Highway 30 at Q Avenue in Tama County, east of Tama. Iowa State Patrol said the deer went through a woman’s SUV, hitting and killing the passenger, 57-year-old Donna Smith. Fatal deer accidents are not that common. There are more than 1 million deer crashes per year, but only about 200 are fatal. Most crashes leave extensive damage to the front of the vehicle. For example, a Chevy Equinox at Bob Mickey Collision Center had to have the driver’s side headlight, fender and door replaced after it hit a deer. Workers have been busy painting and sanding the parts. It can take about a week to finish the re6

pairs. Workers said there are more deer out in the roads this time of the year than usual. “The farmers couldn’t get in there because there was so much rain this fall, so that kind of pushed everything back because once they go into the fields, it pushes the deer out,” said Trent Thompson, operations manager for Bob Mickey Collision Center. “Once the deer start running, that’s when we really start to see them.” Thompson said vehicles are being created with more safety features than ever. That’s why the car usually wins when it takes on a deer. “They’ve made them lighter,” he said. “Basically, a lot of the time they’re using different metals. So we’re using lighter metals that are much stronger. So the technology that’s going into not only the outer structure, but inner structure, is much stronger and safer.” We thank KCRG-TV9 for reprint permission.

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

most in the Muldraugh area. “We are making a difference and paying it forward to the children in our community,” she said. Last year, Glenn sometimes stopped at Edwards Recycling in Radcliff on his lunch breaks and purchased bicycles to be fixed. Once the recycling center learned of the mission, they started laying bikes to the side for Bieber to pick up for free. Pam Lippe of Edwards Recycling said they were glad to be a part of this mission for children. “I think it is awesome,” she said. Next year, Jones said their goal is to repair and gift 100 bicycles to children in the surrounding area. If people in the community want to help by donating bicycles, they can drop bikes off at Glenn’s Auto Body, 4464 Deckard School Rd. in Radcliff, during business hours or at Edwards Recycling in Radcliff. “It doesn’t matter what kind of shape the bicycle is in,” Jones said. We thank The News-Enterprise for reprint permission.

Zara’s Collision Donates to IL Nonprofit

Beyond the risk of driver injury, deer hits are disheartening and costly. To remedy some of that frustration, Zara’s Collision Center in Springfield, IL, donated cash to Amigos En Cristo Ministries for each repair of a deer hit between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018.

Owners Brad and Julie Zara, Amigos En Cristo founder Jerry Quick and board treasurer Gene Wilken

Five percent of the repair cost up to $250 per repair was donated to the organization, adding up to a grand total of $12,880. A check was presented to Amigos En Cristo Ministries founder Jerry Quick and board treasurer Gene Wilken on Jan.14 at the Zara’s facility.


autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Fire Destroys Stanford, IL, Auto Body Shop

p.m. Jan. 1. “The fire was already through Investigators still don't know what the roof when we arrived and becaused a Jan. 1 fire that destroyed came fully engulfed very quickly,” an auto body repair shop near Stan- said Foley. “We were in a defenford, IL. sive mode from the very start.” Allin Township Fire Chief One firefighter was transported Brian Foley said investigators were from the scene to an area hospital at John Williams Auto Body/J & K for minor injuries, he said. Auto Body near the intersection of The owners could not be reached for comment Jan. 2. Foley said a damage estimate was not yet available. “The building and its contents were a total loss,” he said. “They are still trying to figure that out.” Fire crews from the Armington, Atlanta, McLean-based Mount The aftermath of the Jan. 1 fire at John Williams Auto Hope Funks Grove, Body/J & K Auto Body near Stanford, IL, can be seen Dale Township, Minier, Jan 2. Credit: Lewis Marien, The Pantagraph Danvers, Carlock and McLean County roads 800 North Bloomington Township fire departand 150 East in rural Stanford, ments assisted. about a mile east of Olympia High “We had a lot of help, and we School. are thankful for those other departThe Allin Township Fire Pro- ments,” said Foley. tection District, based in Stanford, We thank The Pantagraph for was called to the scene around 8 reprint permission. by Kevin Barlow, The Pantagraph

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FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Steubenville, OH, Auto Body Shop Begins Construction on $1 Million Expansion by Alex Taylor, WTOV 9

A Steubenville, OH, family-owned business has broken ground on a new project that is leading to new employees and new opportunities. Team Automotive has started construction on its 10,000-squarefoot, $1 million expansion. “Spike Sterling (of Sterling’s Auto Body) had been in business for 30 years, and he had one of the top body shops in the area,” said Ryan Westling from Team Automotive. “Spike decided to retire, [and] we caught wind of it.” With a huge opportunity to inherit great employees and a large customer base, Team decided to roll in and take over. It is temporarily keeping Sterling’s shop open until the upgrade is complete. “We get more insurance companies in here,” Team operations manager Jordan Teramana said. “We turn out [more work], and that

just generates opportunities all across the board.” The expansion will make room for new office spaces and a new paint room. It will also upgrade the space in its current body shop, so everyone can be in one location. The shop will also make several new hires. “I think we’re the second-largest employer in the community, next to Trinity, which is huge,” Teramana said. “The tax dollars we generate go back to the community, and the food we put on people’s tables makes a big part of our lives here.” “I love [our] employees; I really do [love] seeing them succeed and grow as we grow,” Westling said. “There’s no better satisfaction for me than that.” The project is expected to be complete in May. We thank WTOV 9 for reprint permission.


Continued from Page 4

AASP-MO Collects Thousands of Toys at 15th Annual Toys for Tots Drive by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Dec. 12, AASP-MO held its 15th Annual Toys for Tots Christmas Toy Drive and Social at Syberg’s Dorsett. According to AASP-MO Executive Director Ron Reiling, “The outpouring of generosity from our members and industry was overwhelming. We collected not hundreds of toys, but THOUSANDS of toys. This was by far our largest toy collection yet.”

Chapter but is open to all AASP-MO members.

The food sponsor for the event was Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and the evening’s beverage sponsors included Redfield Collision, Don’s Auto Body, Automotive Technology (ATI), Complete Auto Body, PPG, Cooper Color, Mitchell, Chapman & Hogan Insurance and ABRA.

AASP-MO collected thousands of toys to donate to Toys for Tots at the 15th Annual Toy Drive and Social

The numbers of attendees totaled close to 100 as industry professionals popped in throughout the night

Nearly 100 industry professionals were in attendance. Three Marines also joined the group to enjoy the evening and accept the toys. The event is hosted by the Gateway Collision

Reiling noted, “Everyone was amazed at the number of toys that were there. They all had a great time visiting with old friends and making new [ones].” In addition to benefiting a great cause, Reiling said he feels that these types of association-sponsored events are important to the membership because “these are the opportunities to spend time with like-minded professionals in our industry working together.”

Three Marines attended AASP-MO’s Toy Drive and Social to accept the toys. Pictured (l to r) Sgt. Jones, Sgt.Henry and Corp. Muchas

Reiling added, “Thank you to Doug Slattery (ATI), chairman of the AASP-MO Toys For Tots Toy Drive, for all the hard work he put into making this year’s event such a success.” For more information about AASPMO, visit aasp-mo.org.

Marijuana Dispensary

transform the site and create a positive addition to Main Street. There is no public sidewalk along the west side of North Main, and the dispensary would have to add one along the site. The dispensary’s proposed hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. There was some talk of not having it operate during afternoon rush hours, but the city decided against that. Ann Arbor has approved 25 medical marijuana dispensaries, along with four processing facilities, three grow facilities and one safety compliance facility. The city has capped the number of dispensaries allowed in the city at 28 for now. The city plans to work through the issues with the North Main dispensary proposal before moving on to other dispensary applications, said Brett Lenart, the city’s planning manager.

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SkillsUSA Winner in Collision Repair Category Is Recognized With Signs in Donovan, IL by Wendy Davis, Iroquois County’s Times-Republic

Recognition of one girl’s academic success can be seen by those entering Donovan, IL. Last April, Keeley Smith earned gold in the 2018 SkillsUSA competition. She’s the state champion in the vocational competition’s collision repair category. There’s a green sign at both the north and south entrance of the town along Route 52. Smith, 18, was honored with a small surprise presentation at her alma mater the morning of Dec. 27, 2018. Her family and friends were there to support her when Donovan District 3 Superintendent Steve Westrick, Kankakee Area Career Center Director Matt Kelley and her former collision repair instructor Chris Moore showed her the sign. “It’s crazy,” she said of the honor. At the competition, she couldn’t believe her name was called as the first-place winner. “I couldn’t stop shaking,” she said. She went on to the national competition and didn’t fare as well. “There are some really talented people there. There’s still a lot I need to learn,” she said. Westrick said this is something deserving of recognition. Such signs are usually devoted to successes on a sports field. “Kids are going to have more success in life outside of sports. This young lady is an example of hard work and dedication, with a supportive family,” Westrick said. “We want our kids to have all the opportunities they can have. She’ll have these skills for the rest of her life.” The collision repair course at the career center goes over such things as metal work, welding, body work, metal repair, bumper repair, structural analysis and estimating. In Moore’s 13 years of teaching, he said he’s taught more than 20

girls in the classes. Smith does stand out. He noted Smith has a great amount of support from her family, which has lent itself to her success. With this competition, he said, “She really put in a lot of work. And she always follows through.” “She’s a stand-out student who’s always willing to help. She shows up

cation she’s receiving, she’ll be 20 years old and earning $50,000 a year, and, again, she’ll have skills that she’ll carry with her throughout her life. Kelley noted, “Work is the same as a competition.” Smith is proud to take the road she’s chosen through life. She said there’s too much of a push for high school students to go on to a four-year university. She hopes there’s more of a push to get kids into tech classes. There are a lot of people who are better with their hands than they are with a book, she said, and Kelley agrees with that. She said it just takes a drive to do it well. DHS grad Keeley Smith is surprised by Superintendent It all starts with high Steve Westrick and Kankakee Area Career Center Director school and receiving the enMatt Kelley with a highway sign recognizing her first couragement there. place win in the SkillsUSA state competition. Credit: Her interest in such work Wendy Davis came from growing up on a and gets the job done,” said Kelley. farm, which involved a lot of work At the career center, she met the cri- needing to be done on tractors. teria to earn a place in the National Technical Honor Society. She would love to see more girls be part of technical classes and go into such a career. “It’s good to see there are girls around,” Smith said. There were a few girls at the state competition, but she was the NEOPULSE 300-T2 only one—of eight competitors—in Double pulse MIG/MAG her category. At the technical insti270A welding machine for tute, she’s one of six girls in the 40unrivalled welding quality person program. At her school, she’s liked that she can help show that girls—women— GYSPOT PTI have just as much an impact on the SMART WELDER trades as boys do. AUTO MODE for easy “You have to prove yourself— operation on High Strength steel you’re just as good as a guy,” she (UHSS/Baron), said. She added that instructors at High Pressure clamping the college level often know that force with up to 14,500 amps of power girls will outshine their male counterparts. Westrick said that with the edu-

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“I realized I’m good with my hands,” she said. She said her interests in high school were welding and collision repair, although she knew less about collision repair. “It’s what I knew the least about and what I could learn the most from,” she said. When she visited the career center her sophomore year, she decided to take the two-year collision repair program. Smith, the daughter of Andrew and Joyce Smith of Martinton, is currently attending Ohio Technical College in Cleveland. She is in the third module of a 12-month program she started in October. She’s working as a detailer at a dealership as well. She will be in a program learning more about BMWs. She said that to be part of this program, students have to be at the top of their game. Her goal is to one day have her own shop.

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of initially working with a particular insurer, he brought in two seasoned adjusters to look at a hail-damaged vehicle. “These were 20-year guys,” waive their licensing requirement for adjusters who come into the states as Morrison said. “But before they even part of a “cat claim,” they don’t started writing the sheet, they both waive the requirement for state laws looked at each other and were saying, to be followed, McDonnell said. He ‘What do you see? Are those nickels? said shops should understand what Are they quarters?’ It was a debate, their state requires of those who and it shouldn’t be.” David Pinto of PDR Nation said come in temporarily to assist with another issue the industry faces is catastrophe claims. “Our [insurance] commissioner’s when his company is hired by a body office wants them to register with the shop to handle PDR claims originally state,” McDonnell said. “So they will estimated by another PDR company now follow Montana regulations. It’s that has a contract with a particular $100 [to register]. It’s not like it’s a insurance company. “So the customer is coming to big thing. But it’s the fact that we’re all playing by the rules. That’s a big me, but I have to send my supplements to a competitor,” Pinto said. deal to me.” “I’ve waited several weeks for a claim to get processed Handling supplements because it has to go through The other panelists at CIC my competitor who has no were asked to explain how incentive to put that claim collision repair shops should through. They’d rather hanhandle supplements on cat dle the claim themselves claim estimates prepared eifrom start to finish. They ther by PDR companies or Bo Opansyuk of Hi-Tech PDR said don’t want someone else insurer cat teams. his multi-location having it. So I have con“On all of our estimates company lists you will see an appraiser contact information cerns about the relationships that are being created. name and phone number, so on each estimate that’s usually who we’re as to who handles I think the repairers themany supplements selves need to be asking looking to be the contact for on that claim more questions as these rethat car,” Chris Andreoli of lationships evolve. It’s very compaProgressive Insurance said. Bo Opansyuk of Hi-Tech PDR rable to what’s happened in the glass said his multi-location company sim- industry. You know how things have ilarly lists an estimator name and changed in the glass industry. This is supplement direction on the estimate. what we’re looking at in the PDR in“If we write the estimate, we dustry, and that’s a concern for me.” McDonnell said his company would handle that supplement internally,” he said. “We have an internal now has PDR technicians on staff supplement division, and if there’s year-round, but has previously alstaff still out in the field, they will do lowed PDR suppliers to use shop space following major hailstorms. the follow-up visit to the shop to oversee that supplement from the begin- He said there are pros and cons for bringing in the outside help. ning to the end.” “There are some incrediMichael Morrison of ble advantages. It’s hundreds Catastrophe Solutions Interof claims for maybe one carnational said the subjective rier, and boom, they’re all in nature of hail claim PDR – your shop,” he said. “You based on different providers’ have the opportunity to fix standards and capabilities – results in a lot of unneces- Michael Morrison them [beyond the PDR work]. It’s almost like you sary supplements. said he’d like to “It really shouldn’t be a see less subjectivity can work on one carrier’s in terms of PDR cars and you’re busy.” debate,” Morrison said. “It is estimates But a potential downside, a dime-sized dent, so you write it for a dime. You don’t write it he said, is if vehicle owners don’t feel like they were choosing your shop but for a nickel or a quarter.” But he said as part of the process felt like they had to use your shop. Continued from Cover

Processing Hail

12

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

parts in a recent 12-month period, just 50,000 fewer than the number of used parts it paid for during that same time. The BAR more recently codified its rule that all parts must be identified only as new, used, rebuilt, At upcoming CIC meetings Based on input from CIC partici- reconditioned, OEM or non-OEM. Speaking at CIC in Novempants at CIC last fall, attenber, Scott Biggs of Assured dees at future CIC meetings Performance Network said this year likely can expect a it really should be an interreturn to the issue of “optindustry entity like CIC OE” and “alt-OEM” parts. that addresses the confuIt was a topic discussed at sion about “opt-OE” and several CIC meetings in “alt-OE” parts. 2016, at a time when the David Pinto said “Are we going to let anCalifornia Bureau of Auto- he’s concerned that as insurers form other body figure this out, motive Repair (BAR) anrelationships with or are we going to get our nounced that the unclear or PDR providers, one inconsistent use of “alt-OE” PDR provider may heads together and come up or “opt-OE” designations have to go through with a better plan and start a competitor to pushing it out to the legislameant the terms could no get a supplement tors or [regulators],” Biggs longer be used on customer handled said. “We talked about this estimates or invoices in that state without providing additional in- literally two years ago, [but] nothing formation about such parts, includ- has been done about it. So we waited for the BAR to do it. We can do beting what warranty they carry. That hasn’t appeared to slow the ter. This ought to be one of our principal objectives to address.” use of such parts; a Farmers InsurKen Weiss of SSF Imported ance executive last year said his company paid for 200,000 “opt-OE” Auto Parts agreed that the industry “They may feel like they were herded in and are just a claim to you,” he said. “When you go through that many customers, it’s hard to give that one-on-one attention.”


autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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needs to standardize part type definitions. “We have three estimating platforms, and several parts procurement portals, and they all call the same parts something different,” Weiss said. “I push our parts to a third-party administrator, and it’s like sausage: I have no idea how they will come out [described] on the other end. And I’m not necessarily happy with how they come out.” The next CIC meeting will be held April 17-18 in Nashville, Tenn. Check the CIC website (www.CIC link.com) for details. Tours of Nissan’s assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee (where the Altima, Maxima, LEAF, Pathfinder and Rogue are produced), are being organized in conjunction with the meeting; visit https://tinyurl.com/NissanTour to register. John Yoswick, a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988, is also the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (www.CrashNetwork.com). He can be contacted by email at john@Crash Network.com.

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AASP-MN’s 17th Annual Race for Automotive Education Raises Over $10,000 The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) held its 17th Annual Race for Automotive Education from Jan. 8–10 at ProKart Indoor Racing in Burnsville, MN.

Pearson Auto Body, team #2, 1st Place Tuesday

arships for automotive students enrolled in NATEF-certified auto service and collision repair programs in Minnesota’s technical colleges. During the three nights, 150 racers took to the track in go-karts reaching speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Twenty-four teams of auto service and collision repair shops and industry suppliers were joined by six teams of automotive students from Dakota County Technical College, Dunwoody College of Technology, Hennepin Technical College and South Central College. The student teams were sponsored by 1 Collision Network. Many spectator fans were also on hand to cheer on their team. Trophies were awarded to the firstplace and runner-up teams each night. They were:

Wenzel Auto Electric, 1st Place Wednesday

The event raised over $10,000 to support the Alliance’s Automotive Education Fund and will fund schol-

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Tuesday, Jan. 8 • 1st Place – Pearson Auto Body, Team #2, Shakopee • Runner-Up – LaMettry’s Collision, Team #2, Eden Prairie Wednesday, Jan. 9 • 1st Place – Wenzel Auto Electric, Mankato

• Runner-Up – Dunwoody Student Auto Service Team, Minneapolis

Thursday, Jan. 10 • 1st Place – Lancer Service Auto Care, St. Paul Runner-Up – Crystal Lake Automotive, Lakeville

In addition to the 30 race teams, the event was supported by the following sponsors: • AmeriTrust Group • Auto Value Parts Stores/APH • Axalta Coating Systems • CBIZ AIA • Finishmaster • LKQ – Minnesota • PPG Automotive Finishes • United Fire Group

The Automotive Education Fund was established in 2002 to provide financial resources to support automotive students, enhance automotive programs and raise awareness of career opportunities in the automotive service industry. Since its inception, over $233,000 has been invested in student scholarships, SkillsUSA and automotive education programs throughout the state.


How To Start a Body Shop in Chicago by Scott Huntington, ChicagoNow.com

Chicago, it seems, is the city of fender benders. In 2011, more than 280,000 accidents occurred in the state of Illinois, which breaks down to more than 770 accidents every single day. While this might not be a good thing for drivers, it’s not the worst news if you’re interested in starting an auto body business. If you like working on cars and are interested in opening your auto body shop, what do you need to get started in a city like Chicago? Follow these four steps. 1. Handle the Paperwork First No matter where you’re planning on opening your doors, you’ll have to handle some paperwork before you can turn on your Open sign for the first time. In Chicago, this includes things like registering your business with county, state and federal agencies, finding a location, checking the zoning and obtaining business licenses and building permits for any renovations or construction you need to do. It’s always a good idea to get this paperwork out of the way first

before you start purchasing equipment or spending money on marketing. 2. Secure Funding Next, secure the funding you’ll need to stock your shop, hire employees, pay for marketing and handle bills until your shop starts making money on its own. Be sure to overestimate your expenses for things like equipment. If you need $100,000 to stock your repair shop entirely, try to borrow $130,000 to cover any unexpected costs. Consider seeking out a loan from the Small Business Association. While they don’t provide funds directly, they have partnerships with lenders that allow them to offer lowinterest loans with no down payment for small businesses that are just starting. SBA loans have a lower risk and are often easier to obtain than loans directly from your financial institution. 3. Stock Your Shop The next step is probably the most expensive—stocking your shop with the equipment you’ll need to repair everything from a minor fender ben-

der to a full body rebuild.

This will vary depending on the specific type of repairs you’re planning on doing, but should include: • Lifts • Wheel balancers • Hoists • Paint guns and associated equipment • Rim straighteners • Tire changers • Hand tools and air-powered or electric-powered tools

Don’t forget things for your office and waiting room like computers, chairs, decorations and maybe even a coffee machine for your clients to utilize while they wait. 4. Prioritize Your Marketing Before you open your doors, one last thing you need to consider is marketing. Word-of-mouth can be a great tool, but it will only get you so far when you’re just starting. In a city like Chicago, marketing can be as simple as putting up a flier in your local coffee shops and other places that are frequented by many people.

Social media marketing is also an invaluable tool—it’s hard to run a successful business without an online presence, so consider investing some of your marketing capital there as well. Marketing isn’t an exact science—you may see more returns from social media marketing than you will from radio or television ads, so it may take some trial and error to determine the best blend of marketing mediums to make your business successful. Opening an auto body shop in Chicago may be the best thing you ever do, but it’s not something you should attempt without proper preparation. If you’re not sure about something, the best thing you can do is consult with an expert to help you make the right decisions and ensure you can build a solid foundation on which your new shop can thrive.

We thank ChicagoNow.com for reprint permission.

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Continued from Cover

Lawmakers Target

insurance reform push this term in the upper chamber. Debate is expected to include past proposals to create a no-fault fee schedule for hospitals and eliminate a unique mandate requiring all auto insurance plans to guarantee unlimited lifetime medical benefits and instead give motorists the option to choose reduced-price, reduced-coverage policies. “Everything needs to be on the table as we begin this,” Nesbitt told reporters. “I’d like to see some choice provided to drivers. I’d like to see ways to control costs to make sure that we’re … making our rates more affordable.” Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, with whom Republican legislators will have to work on any major reforms, also vowed to address the state’s high auto insurance rates as part of her campaign plan to fight urban poverty. The state must prohibit “redlining” by prohibiting insurers from setting rates based on geography and other non-driving factors, Whitmer said. Attorney General Dana Nessel, who also took office Jan. 1, on Jan. 15 announced the creation of a new Auto Insurance Fraud Specialist position in her office and named Keisha Glenn to the post. The Detroit native “spent six years fighting against auto insurance fraud in metro Detroit” as an attorney at Hackney Grover, PLLC and Scarfone & Green, P.C., Nessel’s office said. The GOP legislation that was introduced Jan. 15 is heading to the Senate Insurance and Banking Committee, chaired by Sen. Lana Theiss, R-Brighton, who led reform efforts in the House last session but did not take up Democratic bills to address redlining or non-driving rate factors. “I am hoping, as the Democratic vice chair (of the committee), that we will have a much more robust conversation around all of those issues,” said Sen. Erika Geiss, D-Taylor. “I think we need to do much better about making sure that people understand what the factors are that lead to having such high rates here and mitigating those issues.” Republican Sen. Pete Lucido of 18

Shelby Township on Jan. 15 introduced a separate series of auto insurance reform proposals, including bills to require more transparency and create a fraud prevention authority. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, plans to go “right down the middle of the issue” rather than side with any interest groups whose aggressive lobbying has thwarted reform efforts in past years, McCann said.

Wentworth said there are no plans to introduce a House bill on no-fault auto insurance reform in the near future. Instead, he sees the committee’s initial hearings as a chance for education on the issue, a deliberative process that will engage people from both sides of the aisle “to deliver rate relief to our citizens.” At this stage, auto insurance reform is not a question of “if,” but “how and when,” he said.

“Sen. Shirkey won’t be siding with any stakeholders,” she said. “He’s directed Sen. Nesbitt to dig into the issue and leave no stone unturned.” Legislators have tried for years to reform the state’s auto insurance laws, but efforts have repeatedly stalled amid intense lobbying from hospitals, the insurance industry and trial lawyers. “I want to be on the side of the people, on the side of the drivers,” Nesbitt said. “I think that’s a lot more important than having special interest groups in Lansing be on your side.” Michigan’s highest-in-the-nation rates are “wrong” and “it’s driving business out of the state, driving residents out of the state and leading motorists to drive illegally without insurance,” Nesbitt said. “You drive down the costs, [and] you’ll increase the amount of folks that actually take up auto insurance, and you lower the additional cost for the other driving public,” he added. “That’s how insurance works.” The new House committee, chaired by Rep. Jason Wentworth, will be responsible for crafting legislation that lowers auto insurance premiums, addressing “one of the most pressing issues facing the states.” The Clare Republican, who also serves as the House’s speaker protempore, said the effort to reform the state’s auto insurance will take bipartisan support and require lawmakers to “set our differences aside.” “For each day that passes without a devised, lasting solution, Michigan families continue to be trapped between converging walls of financial hardship,” Wentworth said in a statement.

“Anybody that has an interest in a solution will have a seat at the table,” Wentworth said. “I will not tolerate people that just want to come in and provide roadblock after roadblock.” House Democratic leader Christine Greig of Farmington Hills said the bipartisan committee has the potential to “break past tradition and instead listen to drivers and community leaders” to ensure affordable insurance. The Senate will not launch a sep-

“Everything needs to be on the table as we begin this,” — Sen. Aric Nesbitt

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

arate committee to handle no-fault auto insurance legislation, McCann said. Legislators have long sought to curb auto insurance costs, along with Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. Gilbert has said he’ll take the issue to the ballot if lawmakers don’t act on the problem this year. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has long opposed changes to the lifetime medical coverage guaranteed under current law. In 2012, Patterson was covered by worker’s compensation when he suffered significant injuries in an auto accident, but the experience gave him insight into the cost of catastrophic injuries. He has continued to push back on efforts to change the lifetime medical coverage provisions. In a last-minute lame duck push in December, lawmakers proposed legislation that would allow drivers to choose their levels of medical coverage instead of keeping a current requirement for mandatory lifetime benefits. But the effort failed as legislators ran short on time. We thank The Detroit News for reprint permission.


autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Continued from Cover

SCRS’ Ideas Collide

the future of collision repair in 10 minutes or less. Dan Langford of the Nevada Center for Advanced Mobility, for example, said he envisions that telematics data from a vehicle involved in a crash, combined with OEM data and historical claims data, could enable the needed parts for the repair of that vehicle to arrive at the shop before the car itself does. “I’m willing to bet you can actually start getting a clear idea of estimating the cost of the damage in most crashes [just from the data],” Langford said. “So within an hour or half-hour of an incident happening, you have an understanding of what parts are going to be needed to repair that. It’s not completely crazy to think those parts could be ordered and shipped before the vehicle even arrives at your shop. The depth of data may not be quite there yet, but it’s an interesting direction to start heading in.” Langford also said he believes

20

that few people will personally own an autonomous vehicle and that such vehicles primarily will be used as part of “mobility fleets,” such as Lyft or Uber or other monthly subscription services that provide transporta-

Dan Langford of the Nevada Center for Advanced Mobility said telematics data from a vehicle could enable a parts order for a repair to be determined at the crash scene

tion on demand. (He noted that Lyft currently is operating dozens of autonomous vehicles in Las Vegas, shuttling passengers between properties on the Strip.) “By the time we have significant penetration of autonomous or highly automated vehicles, you won’t need one yourself,” Langford said. “It’s just not going to be cost-effective anymore.”

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

What will that mean for collision repairers? “Does that mean you should align yourselves with more fleet operators,” Langford asked rhetorically. “What role can you play on a regional basis in supporting these potentially nationwide fleets of vehicles?” He said collision repairers need to understand their role—and liability—in repairing what he called the “eyes and ears” of increasingly autonomous vehicles. “And I do say ears,” Langford said. “The Waymo autonomous vehicles operating in Phoenix are listening for things like emergency vehicles. The video and lidar sensors are the eyes of the vehicle. So if you’re replacing a panel and it’s incorrectly aligned, you’re potentially threatening the riders in that vehicle. Your role becomes incredibly important.” Not-for-Profit Data Repository In his “Ideas Collide” presentation, Pete Tagliapietra of NuGen IT suggested the industry develop a notfor-profit data repository that would

ensure shops have long-term access to their job file records (even if they have switched estimating or shop management systems) along with global industry data on such things as labor rates and cycle time. Tagliapietra compared such a database to the Property & Liability Research Bureau, to which participating insurers submit claims information. “I built a new home several years ago, and there was water damage when the patio doors blew open and it rained,” Tagliapietra said. “That information will stay with that home for as long as that home remains in existence. That’s not such a bad idea for the next insurer or the next owner who buys that house. Maybe we could do the same thing in automobiles and collision repair.” Tagliapietra said companies—including his—collect data from some shops that those companies are then able to “use internally to our company’s benefit,” but collision repairers in many cases get little in return for the data they give away. “Should insurance companies have the advantage of having all


that information available, while collision repairers really don’t have it?” Tagliapietra said. “Why shouldn’t everyone have the opportunity to have access to the benefits of that data?” He said a shop subscribing to such a database, for example, could see how they stack up in terms of cycle time with the industry as a whole. In theory, they could review documentation of prior repairs made to a particular vehicle or contact others who have made similar repairs on a make and model of a vehicle that is causing them challenges. Imagine, Tagliapietra said, being able to “speak to another repairer who has gone through a similar situation and understand what you are up against before you start the repair.” He said there are obvious benefits of having access to such a collection of data for other segments of the industry as well, including automakers, parts and paints suppliers, etc. “Less than a handful of companies [currently] really manage over 80 percent of that information,” Tagliapietra said. “I don’t believe that’s the right approach that this industry needs

to take in years to come.” Automated Damage Report in Seconds It might not be immediately clear why a representative of an Israeli company that has developed threatdetection security systems was a logical choice to speak at a collision

Amir Hever said a security system his company developed to detect vehicle anomalies could be used to spot collision damage quickly

repair industry event. But SCRS’ Aaron Schulenburg said he likes to bring in new voices with ideas that may have application within the industry, which is why Amir Hever, CEO of UVeye, was one of the 10 speakers during the “Ideas Collide” session.

Hever said that years ago when he was driving into a parking lot at a government building in Israel, a security guard used a mirror to look briefly under his vehicle; more than a decade later, he encountered the same process. “Nothing had changed in the past 15 years,” Hever said. “When I asked the security guard whether he could see something, he said, ‘No, but if something happens while you’re inside, they will check the cameras and see that I tried to do my job.’” That led Hever to develop a system that scans the underside of a vehicle traveling over it, immediately generating a 3D image, and using that information to identify any “anomalies in the undercarriage.” The potential application beyond security? UVeye has added cameras and microphones to collect similar data all around the rest of the vehicle to detect “everything from a small [2 mm] scratch or dent, to problems with the brakes or suspension, exhaust pipe, tires, everything.” Hever said such a system has obvious uses for automaker production lines, rental car return lanes,

dealership pre-delivery inspection stations—and possibly collision repair. “Think [about] how simple it [would] be if you [could] simply drive through a system and get a full report about the status of the vehicle,” he said. “Think [about] how it would shorten the time when you arrive at the dealership or garage, and by the time you get to the receptionist, they have a full report with everything that is not okay with the car.” The company’s website (www .uveye.com) includes a video of how the system can be used for security and information on how it could play a role in other types of vehicle inspections. John Yoswick, a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988, is also the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (www.CrashNetwork.com). He can be contacted by email at john@Crash Network.com.

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R/K Autobody’s Owner Has Spent 40 Years Building Its Reputation in IL by Lindsay Weber, Northwest Herald

For the last year and a half of his service in the Navy, Ronald L. Koeller was in charge of transferring oil from one ship to another, from tank to tank on his ship and the ballasting of the ship. He was known as the “Oil King.” “I was always mechanically inclined,” Koeller said. “When I went into the service, I had a high score on my mechanical abilities test. It was my highest category of all the tests. When I was in the Navy, I was in the engineering department on the ship in the boiler division. My last year and a half in the Navy, I was the Oil King for the ship [and was] in charge of transferring oil from one ship to the other and [from] one tank to another on the ship.” Koeller finished his service in May of 1956 and was bound for technical school. He also began working on used cars at a Buick dealership doing auto body repairs and paint work. In 1979, Koeller opened R/K Autobody in Crystal Lake. Approaching its 40th anniversary on Feb. 2, R/K Autobody continues to serve local and Chicago-area customers from its Continued from Cover

State Farm Lawsuit

David Herndon granted the attorneys one-third of the settlement amount following administration and notice fees, totaling $2.1 million being paid. “…they’ll also receive $6.97 million in litigation costs. That works out to about $89.6 million in fees and costs combined for the 55,000 hours over seven years the attorneys fought the case. The rest of the class would split about $160.3 million after the three class representatives (the three named plaintiffs) receive $25,000 for their additional effort in the case,” according to Herndon from court documents. The court recently made an order that finalized its settlement to be

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still vertical and I can see a problem when I need to,” Koeller said. The Crystal Lake resident lives with his second wife, Ellen Marie Richter, and enjoys spending time with his three children, 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren— soon to be 17, as two more are on the way. Koeller said he mostly has good days, but some are better than others. Koeller’s granddaughter, Karen Nett, is the office manager for the shop, and her father-in-law, Jon Ron Koeller poses for a photo outside his business at Nett, is the manager and R/K Autobody in Crystal Lake, IL. The auto body shop, painter. owned by Koeller, is preparing for its 40th anniversary Karen credits the busion Feb. 2. Credit: Matthew Apgar ness’s longevity to quality and very few complaints. When there and recommendations. “The quality really gets transis a customer concern about repairs, we address the issue and make sure ferred by word-of-mouth,” Karen said. we take care of it. We want to do a “The big conglomerate shops don’t get to spend the time with the customer good job for our customers.” At 86 years old, Koeller is not at like we do. We are very much familythe shop full-time, but said he doesn’t owned and independent, and we are really consider himself retired just yet, able to give more attention to detail.” Chuck Oslakovic is a resident as he still pops in to check on things. “I’m not quite as quick as I used of unincorporated McHenry County to be or as agile as I once was, but I’m and has had R/K Autobody do some 266 Prairie St. address. “We have a very good reputation for quality and safe repairs,” Koeller said. “We have a good track record

deemed fair in spite of Marlow’s objection. “Based on the reasons stated in the record and the following, the Court concludes that under the facts of this case: (1) the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate; and (2) Class Counsel’s requested fees and expenses are reasonable and reflect a fair ex ante price for their services. Out of the approximately 4.7 million class members—many of whom received direct, individual notice—only one person, Lisa Marlow, objected to the proposed Settlement and fee request (Doc. 961). The Court has carefully considered the arguments raised in Ms. Marlow’s objection and finds them unpersuasive,” a section of the court document reads. We thank glassBYTEs.com for reprint permission.

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rear-end work on his Ford Explorer and Toyota RAV4. Oslakovic joked that he tries not to go to R/K too often with repair needs, but should an issue arise, he’s sure to visit Jon. “Before I found them, I had some front-end damage and went to a repair place recommended by my insurance,” Oslakovic said. “Within two years, the hood on my truck had lost most of the paint they had applied. I was put on to Jon Nett’s place, and I like the fact that when I went there, I wasn’t met with a salesperson. “I was talking directly to the person doing the work. Jon is a magician with a spray gun and, ultimately, the quality control. I think it’s a wonderful shop. You know what you’re getting going in, and he’s a really competent finisher.” We thank Northwest Herald for reprint permission.

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MSO CMO Megan Williams Stresses Community Support in Marketing Efforts by Ed Attanasio

Lefler Collision & Glass Repair Centers Chief Marketing Officer Megan Williams oversees all marketing efforts of the 66-year-old MSO, which has three locations in Indiana and one in Kentucky. Autobody News recently interviewed Williams about how the company’s marketing and advertising succeed in a highly competitive market.

How have you devised a way to connect all of your marketing events to your philanthropy?

Q:

We are able to connect our variety of marketing events to our philanthropy because our core mission is to be a resource to the community in any way we can. We do not only support certain segments, but more of a variety of organizations and events because we want to see our city continue to grow and we want to assist where help is needed most. The least we can do is give back to the community that has supported us since 1952.

A:

Are you able to track your activity so that you know how many new customers you attract through these events and your other marketing efforts?

Q:

While there is no KPI available for us to track how our commitment to being an active member of our community [attracts new customers], we feel that the positive brand image, word-of-mouth and top-of-mind benefits help us when it comes to potential customers deciding where to take their vehicle. It is challenging to track such referrals, and our main marketing goal is to be widespread throughout various organizations in the community while also being prevalent on traditional marketing platforms such as television, radio and social media.

A:

You hold a teen driving class and a Ladies Night annually. What is the value of these events to your business and the community?

Q:

A good (free) way to get involved with your community is to pair up with a hospital or business and hold a teen drivHow do you work ing class. We have done this with the local media with our local hospital and Chief Marketing to publicize these events? law enforcement for many Officer Megan Williams coordinates years, and it allows us to go When a significant all of the marketing and speak to a group of teen at Lefler Collision event is approachdrivers and their parents to & Glass Repair ing, I work with the local highlight topics such as what Centers media by sending out a trato look for when shopping ditional press release to all of the for a used car and what to do if you radio, television and local paper con- get in a wreck. We are able to leave nections. This is an excellent way to them with a bag of “Lefler swag” send out a ‘heads-up’ that Lefler’s that includes an important document is going to have something coming holder and car safety tool. It also up. Around five days out from the helps position us as a reliable reevent, I will get on our Lefler Col- source to the young drivers and their lision Twitter account and person- parents. ally tweet any of the local news Our most notable community reporters, radio personalities or re- outreach event has always been our porters, and this is where I have Lefler Ladies Night Out. We hold seen a substantial increase in media this ladies-only car care clinic every turnout for our events. I think pair- spring and have increased the attening the traditional method of the dance from 50 to more than 200! press release with the more modern We hold this in our largest body shop approach of utilizing social media as and have local vendors for shopping, a tool helps get their attention. We provide dinner and a bag of quality have had multiple news outlets at our Lefler-logoed items and discuss topevents since implementing this strat- ics such as insurance coverage, safely egy. traveling alone, vehicle fluids and

A:

Q: A:

24

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

more. It is a fun-filled evening paired with quality information taught by our CEO, Jimmy Lefler, and COO, Ed Dietz. This event is free and fills up every year. I utilize radio ads and paid Facebook advertising to spread the word of our upcoming Ladies Night Out. We have also held a few Lefler Paint Parties in the estimate bays at one of our locations, which was a way for us to pair with a local nonprofit and essentially offer to host a paint party event while giving them a portion of the proceeds. We had a local art studio come in, which provided wooden door hangers in various designs, paint and creative assistance.

On your website, you list more than 300 nonprofits to which you provide donations and/or support. How do you pick the ones to support?

Q:

We are thankful to be able to support the 300 nonprofit organizations we have listed on our website. While it is very difficult to

A:

determine who we can and cannot assist, I have a few things to look at before deciding. Once I receive a donation request, I look at the organization’s Facebook and website to get a better idea of what they do and how many people seem to benefit or support their organization. I then try to decide the most beneficial way for us to help them. It may be that they want us to post their event’s information on our digital road signs, or they want a donation basket for an auction or for us to donate money to assist in the purchase of something they are in need of. We always want to make sure we are giving to organizations that are helping further our core mission—he betterment and growth of our city. We also want to ensure our money is going to the right place and is actually going to the people in need.

I know your #1 mission with philanthropy is your incredible work in Myanmar. Can you give us an update on what is going on?

Q:


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In 2017, our CEO, Jimmy Lefler; his wife, Stephanie; and I started a nonprofit called Reclaimed Lives International to help the women of Love Loom House in Myanmar (formerly Burma). Jimmy has been to Myanmar to volunteer and work with Love Loom House and the network of orphanages more than 11 times in the last decade. Following his intense passion for the people of Love Loom House, he has taken me and other Lefler Collision team members to Myanmar to assist in the mission multiple times, so it has become a unifying cause we are passionate about. The majority of these women were rescued from human or sex trafficking, were previously orphans or were in dire need of a job. By working at Love Loom House, each woman is taught various textile skills to create handmade blankets, scarves and travel bags. Reclaimed Lives International then brings the items to Evansville and sells the goods and sends back 82 percent of all proceeds, which provides food, shelter and a livable salary to all the women of Love Loom House. We

A:

incorporate this into our Lefler Collision locations by having blanket displays set up in each of our locations.

Are there any new marketing approaches that you’re going to embark on in 2019?

Q:

In 2019, I plan to focus the majority of my efforts on three things: geofencing, Facebook Live videos from our shops and search en-

A:

tification programs, so those will be a top focus of mine as well.

You’re very successful with your social media; there are multiple posts, heavy engagement and a lot of photos and videos. Tell us why it’s important and how you’re so successful on Facebook.

Q:

Social media marketing was my first passion in college, and I was able to get a lot of good ex-

A:

“We are able to connect our variety of marketing events to our philanthropy because our core mission is to be a resource to the community in any way we can.” — Megan Williams

gine optimization. I also plan to find a way to better highlight and feature some of our team members on our social media platforms because I feel it is important that they get some of the recognition they so deserve. I think 2019 will be a very impactful year for the industry as changes take place with insurance companies, vehicle scanning technology and OEM cer-

perience with content creation during an internship I held prior to joining the Lefler Collision & Glass team. Since 2015, when I joined, we have been able to grow our Facebook followers from 1,100 to almost 7,400 through a variety of methods. The most important tips I can give for increasing your social media followers is to post regularly, interact

promptly with your fans, and be sure to post about a variety of things (not everything has to be about wrecking your vehicle!). People will not “like” or “follow” a social media account that does not have at least a few months of regularly posted content. It makes the business appear as though it is not a priority for them or is an afterthought. It is now 2019, and Facebook and other social media platforms are increasingly more important for businesses. They are free, so take advantage of them! One of my favorite things to do on our Facebook page to encourage conversation and fan interaction is create a giveaway for something small, such as asking them to post a picture of their Christmas tree to win a Visa gift card. It is a cool way to be able to comment back and forth and ‘personify’ your brand by interacting with people on your page. It is also something out-of-the-box that no one would expect a body shop to do. With an industry like ours, no one knows when they may be in need of a collision repair center, so staying top-of-mind through a variety of different ways is crucial.

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GM CEO Signals No New Vehicles for Detroit-Hamtramck, Lordstown Plants by Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press

General Motors CEO Mary Barra offered little hope the night of Jan. 16 to the employees at Detroit-Hamtramck and Lordstown assembly plants that new vehicles will be assigned to the plants to keep them running. GM is facing harsh backlash following its announcement on Nov. 26, 2018 that it would idle Detroit-Hamtramck, Lordstown Assembly in Ohio and Oshawa Assembly in Ontario by the end of 2019. It said it would also close transmission plants: one in Warren and one near Baltimore. In all, about 6,500 hourly jobs are in danger. “When we made the very difficult decision about the plants impacted, we have other plants that have lower capacity utilization that we’d want to increase,” Barra told reporters following a fireside chat she did at the Automotive News World Congress. GM told the Canadian auto union in early January that it would stick with its plan to close the Oshawa plant. Asked Jan. 16 if Detroit-Ham-

tramck or Lordstown could get one of the 20 new electric vehicles GM plans to bring to market in the next decade, Barra said, “We have more products coming that we will build in the United States and we’ll provide opportunities.”

mitted to working with affected communities to help workers find other jobs and get additional training. Also, Barra said that GM has 2,700 openings at plants in Flint; Spring Hill, TN; and Arlington, TX, where affected workers could trans-

But, she added, “We need to make sure the capacity is up at other plants that we’re still working to improve.” Barra emphasized that she does understand the pain workers at the impacted plants feel. Her father worked in a factory as a die maker for more than 30 years, and she said she remembered people in her hometown losing their jobs when the factory closed. “I understand what that means and what it can do to a community,” Barra told the audience during her fireside chat. She said GM is com-

fer. She said about 700 hourly workers have been placed in those other jobs.

“When we made the very difficult decision about the plants impacted, we have other plants that have lower capacity utilization that we’d want to increase,” — Mary Barra

White-Collar Cuts GM will also cut about 8,000 whitecollar jobs in North America. Of those, Barra said, “We had many people who volunteered to take a voluntary separation package. We have additional work to do.” She said GM is working on the white-collar involuntary separations, but she declined to share further details or a time frame for when they would be complete.

GM said the actions will contribute $2.5 billion to GM’s annual cost savings in 2019. In early January, the company forecast a robust year for its global car sales due to its emphasis on bringing either new or redesigned SUVs and pickups to various markets. In the United States, it said it will maintain sales momentum despite eliminating five, possibly six, sedans from its product offering. GM may not eliminate the Cadillac CT6 sedan despite announcing it will idle the Detroit-Hamtramck plant that builds the car. Barra said Jan. 16 that the CT6 is “an incredibly important product” and GM has “several opportunities” in terms of where it is built. There are reports that GM might build the CT6 in China and import it after it ends its production in Detroit, but a spokesman for Cadillac would not confirm that report. “We are looking at a variety of options. No decisions have been made,” said Andrew Lipman, Cadillac’s global communications director. We thank Detroit Free Press for reprint permission.

autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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The Impact of Telematics and Connected Vehicles on the Collision Repair Industry by Stacey Phillips

About five years ago, Mike Anderson, owner of Collision Advice, was at a conference where several vehicle manufacturers were in attendance. The OEMs discussed FNOL (First Notice of Loss) and how those in an accident typically call their insurance company first and are then referred to a DRP shop if they don’t already have a collision repair shop in mind. While this may be the process currently being followed after a collision, that is expected to change over the next few years. Instead of the driver contacting an insurer, the vehicle will utilize telematics and connected car systems with Internet access. Vehicles will be the ones to notify the OEM when an accident occurs, and a voice will be heard over the car’s sound system to ask if anyone is hurt and if the driver has a body shop to go to. “OEMs will have the ability to communicate with the consumer and assist with FNOL,” said Anderson. “Sometimes they will be the first point of contact, and in other cases, the OEMs may partner with insurers.” Anderson is often asked if vehicles currently have the ability to do this, and if so, what its impact on the industry will be. As a result, he recently discussed the impact of telematics and the connected car during a CIECAst webinar. “It’s really important that all stakeholders, whether that’s an insurance company, a shop, OEM, parts vendor or distributor, realize we live in a very connected world,” he said. He explained to webinar attendees that the age of the connected car began in 1996 with General Motors’ introduction of OnStar, the first wireless, in-car driver assistance system. Since then, the OEM has processed 5.5 million emergency services calls and 270 million turn-by-turn navigation requests and assisted 390 million with vehicle diagnostics. Twenty years after the introduction of OnStar, 250 companies joined the connected car and telematics space with over $38.7 billion in funding. By 2020, Anderson said, analysts project that the globally connected car industry will be a 28

$141 billion market. Telematics and connected car systems are expected to allow OEMs the ability to provide such services as vehicle diagnostics, roadside assistance, mobile WiFi and automatic accident messaging. “Today, they are predicting that the connected car market will spur innovation and growth among automotive and non-automotive industries alike,” said Anderson. “For compa-

sions, which led to the use of collision avoidance systems such as adaptive cruise control and autonomous braking. The second cause Toyota found was traffic lane departures, which spurred the development of blind spot monitoring systems. The third finding was poor night visibility, which resulted in new technologies with headlights. About a year ago, the fourthleading cause of death in North Amer-

nies willing to invest in the automotive industry of the future, the payback could be huge.” There are many vehicles on the road today offering this technology. Acura’s AcuraLink monitors airbag status, GPS location and collision sensor activity. If an airbag deploys, the Acura vehicle automatically sends a vehicle report to AcuraLink support. Hyundai BlueLink offers automatic collision notification and assistance. Other systems on the market include Toyota Safety Connect, BMW Connected-Drive/Assist, Mercedes-Benz MBrace, Lexus Safety Connect, Nissan Connect and Honda Link. “Consumers today want more comfort features in their vehicles and to be connected 24/7, but that is really not the driving force behind these rapid advancements,” said Anderson. Instead, he said, the driving force centers on vehicle fatalities. Anderson cited a World Health Organization statement from 2014 that noted that 1.24 million people die in traffic accidents every year. If nothing changed over the next 16 years, it was expected that car accidents would be the fifth-leading cause of death in the world by 2030, unless countermeasures were implemented. Toyota conducted research at that time to determine the leading causes of traffic accident fatalities. Anderson said the OEM found that the number-one cause of fatalities was vehicle-on-vehicle colli-

ica was found to be traffic accidents. Anderson said that globally, road traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages 15–29 and claim more than 1.25 million lives each year. “What the World Health Organization thought would happen in 16

“When a vehicle is connected to the Internet and can notify the OEMs when there is an accident, it can transmit vehicle data instantly to first responders in an emergency,” — Mike Anderson

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

years happened in less than four,” said Anderson. As a result, he said, the OEM’s primary function is to build vehicles that will prevent accidents where there are fatalities. Telematics and connected cars are expected to play a huge role in this. “When a vehicle is connected to the Internet and can notify the OEMs when there is an accident, it can transmit vehicle data instantly to first responders in an emergency,” said Anderson. “Not only will this help EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) dispatch quicker, but in the event of congestion or traffic, it can also help them determine the best route to take.” Another benefit associated with connected car technology is its ability to assist during a natural catastrophe. “It would be a lot easier to communicate with consumers in order to help them find shelter in the event of an emergency,” said Anderson. “At the end of the day, telematics and the connected car will save lives.” Anderson believes the industry

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29


will notice a significant shift over the next four years, when the majority of new vehicles built will be equipped with this technology. In the meantime, he said, three factors must occur before telematics and the connected car begin to gain traction and start to affect the collision repair industry:

1) Vehicles need to have the technology and be connected to the Internet. 2) There must be a generational shift, and the individual has to be comfortable having the car connected to the Internet. 3) The technology must be affordable. Currently, 32 percent of consumers said that telematics is a feature they are willing to pay for in their next vehicle, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Today, OEMs such as Nissan and Lexus offer these services for a specific amount of time at no charge.

Impact on Damage Analysis Process During the CIECAst webinar, An-

derson also discussed the impact of the connected car on the Damage Analysis Process. “As collision repairers, it’s important that we identify when vehicles are connected to a service such as Nissan Connect or GM OnStar because we have to disable those as more and more cars are connected to the Internet,” he explained. “If we do not, then customers will be alerted, and we’re going to end up with a lot of angry customers contacting us, which may result in a negative Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) experience for the insurer, OEM and consumer.” He shared an example of a consumer who took a vehicle to a body shop to replace the door. The Lexus was connected to Lexus Safety Connect. The consumer received six emails from Lexus in one day noting there was a problem with the door. Anderson said the shop should have accessed Toyota Lexus’s OEM repair procedure website to find out if the vehicle was connected to the safety connect system and if it needed to be disabled. “As the industry changes and

Bourbonnais, IL, Man Gets Life in Prison for Joliet, IL, Body Shop Murders by Evan Bredeson,WJOL.com

A 43-year-old Bourbonnais, IL, man who was convicted in the double murder of a man and woman bludgeoned to death in a Joliet, IL, auto body shop in 2016 has been sentenced to life in prison.

William N. Krasawski was sentenced Dec. 12 by Circuit Judge David Carlson for the killing of 48year-old Michael Oram, of Joliet, and 43-year-old Jamie Wills, of Lockport. Prosecutors said Krasawski spent the day of March 8, 2016 30

smoking crack cocaine with the victims inside Fleet Specialty Painting and Auto Body on Cass Street and used a pipe wrench and hammer to bludgeon the victims to death. The two bodies were discovered inside the body shop the following morning by Oram’s brother, Doug Oram, Jr., and Oram’s father, who were the owners of the body shop. At trial, Krasawski’s mother testified that Krasawski came to her home March 9 asking for money and the title to his car and telling her that she might not see him for a long while. Additionally, his sister testified that he called asking her to bring a change of clothes for him to a hotel in Chicago Heights. Police later found him at that hotel. The jury arrived at the guilty verdicts in June after deliberating for just over two hours. We thank WJOL.com for reprint permission.

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

we have more vehicles connected to the Internet, we are going to have to rethink our strategy on how we approach these vehicles to rate the Damage Analysis Process when writing the estimate, and more importantly when determining if we need to disable these systems,” he explained. As a result, Anderson advised attendees to start educating estimators and technicians about the names of the different connected services offered by OEMs, the proper way to identify if the vehicle is connected and how to disable the connected car subscription service before taking the car apart to begin the repair.

percent of adults conduct at least one voice search per day—and that number will keep rising. By 2020, voice searches are expected to account for 50 percent of all online queries, which will be up from 20 percent in 2016. Studies show that one of the most common search terms that people currently use when searching on the Internet is “best [xx] near me,” said Anderson. In an accident, an insurer may refer the driver to “ABC” body shop. Where a manual search may show the top five body shops, a voice-activated search might only show one. “As we start to see these connected vehicles offer voice-activated searches, it could affect the way people might find you or validate if you are a good referral from an OEM or insurer,” said Anderson. “I believe that as telematics and the connected car start to gain speed, it’s going to be critical that you show up at the top of the search engine when people do a voice-activated search because it will change the way consumers determine which collision repair facility they choose.”

The Future of Voice-Activated Searches Another upcoming trend he shared is the increasing use of voice-activated searches in vehicles. Anderson’s research has found that by 2020, voice searches will be the future for search engine optimization (SEO), and reportedly 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches. In a magazine article, SEO expert Bradley Shaw stated that 41

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McGrath Acura of Libertyville Libertyville

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FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

M


3

Please contact these dealers for your Honda or Acura Genuine parts needs. MICHIGAN

MISSOURI

MISSOURI

OHI O

Victory Honda

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Plymouth

H a z e l wo o d

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Dept. Hours: M 7:30-8; Tue-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-4 Karl_messer@victoryplymouth.com

Dept. Hours: M-Sat 7-6 Lrowe@bommarito.net

Dept. Hours: M, W, Th, F 7:30-6; Tu 7:30-7; Sat 9-1 dvice@roperauto.com

Dept. Hours: M 7:30-8 Tu-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 8-4

Zeigler Honda

Ed Napleton Honda

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Buerkle Honda St. Paul

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Frank Fletcher Honda Columbia

573-818-3650

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Richfield

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Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-4 jayhondaparts@gmail.com

OHIO

Columbia Acura Cincinnati

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Dept. Hours: M, F 7-5:30; Tue-Thu 7-7; Sat 7:30-4 acuraparts@buerkle.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5:30; Sat 8-12 columbiaparts@mail.com WISCONSIN

Bloomington

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Wilde Honda

Great Lakes Honda

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Dept. Hours: M-F 7-5:30; Sat 8-6 ianw@hondaofomaha.com

Kansas City

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Milwaukee

888-318-1671 414-586-5401 Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6; Sat 7-4; Sun 8-4 hondaparts@russdarrow.com

800-742-7811 402-437-1201

Richfield-Bloomington Honda

847-470-2309

Omaha

Russ Darrow Honda

888-408-0911 402-408-1100

Frank Leta Honda

Honda of Tiffany Springs

McGrath Acura of Morton Grove

Superior Honda of Omaha

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Dept. Hours: M-Thu 8-9; F 8-6; Sat 8-4:30 hondaparts@buerkle.com

ILLINOIS

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Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4 gropp@fletcherauto.com

St. Louis

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800-451-5078 952-887-0600 Dept. Hours: M 6:30-6; Tue-F 6:30-9; Sat 8-4 parts@bloomingtonacura.com

Acura of Brookfield Brookfield

800-383-3936 262-439-6029 Dept. Hours: M-Th 7:30-6; F 7:30-5; Sat 8-4:30 patrick.murphy@zimbrick.com

800-935-0923 248-643-0900 Dept. Hours: M 7:30-8; T-F 7:30-6; Sat 10-3 parts286@acuraoftroy.com parts287@acuraoftroy.com autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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In Reverse with Gary Ledoux

Early DRP Programs of the 1960s In the 1960s, the concept of a direct repair program took several twists and turns before it got to the model we recognize today. Here are a few variations of that theme. In the early 1960s, dealer-owned body shops were at odds with independent shops. Dealers saw the phenomenal growth of independent shops and felt threatened. In Tulsa, OK, in the early part of 1961, the area dealers decided to corner the market. A group of dealer-owned shops got together to offer insurance companies discounts on parts and labor if they sent more cars to their shops. The local insurance agents loved it and established what was then known as the “Approved Garage Plan,” or an early form of a DRP arrangement. Insurance agents and adjusters began telling claimants that they could bring their car to a nonpreferred shop if they liked, but the

Gary Ledoux is an industry veteran with 48 years’ experience in the automotive and OEM collision parts industry. His column appears exclusively in Autobody News. He can be reached at YesterWreck@yahoo.com

vehicle would probably be “held up” because the insurance company did not have a “check bid” with the nonapproved shops. This deepened the rift between independents and dealers. Independents thought the dealers had an unfair advantage because it was thought that 1.) the dealer could handle a lower profit made from body work because they also had profits from their service departments and new cars sales, and 2.) because the dealer bought the parts from the car maker, they could sell them to the insurance company at the same price as what the shop would pay for them. In this particular case, a then-current trade magazine noted that one Tulsa shop owner decided he would rather get out of the business than succumb to insurance companies’ and dealer body shops’ tactics, so he sold his shop and opened a sal-

vage yard. One of the earliest forms of a DRP network emerged in 1961, but it was way different from what is known today, over 50 years later. In 1909, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company was founded in Grinnell, IA. By 1961, it was serving customers in eight states and had a network of about 100 dealer-owned and independent shops to which they sent policyholder’s vehicles for repair. But Grinnell conducted their claims business very differently from how virtually every other insurance company did. Shops in their network did not bother to write estimates. Grinnell agents sent policyholders’ cars to the network shops. The shop simply repaired the car in a safe and proper manner and sent the bill to the Grinnell claims department. Grinnell’s policy was that the shop should

be trusted to repair the car properly and at a fair and competitive price, and in return, they would pay the claim in a timely fashion, and all the bickering and animosity would be removed from the equation. In the ensuing nine years of conducting business in this manner, only two shops were removed from the network. In addition to giving the shops its trust, Grinnell’s also loaned money to any of its network shops for new equipment or other business expansion purposes. In the early summer of 1963, 100 auto body repairmen attended a seminar in Iowa conducted by Farmers Mutual Reinsurance Company. During the all-day clinic, three damaged vehicles were repaired by equipment company representatives. The clinic, then unique in the automotive insurance industry, was part of Farmer’s program of working with

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body shops to maintain high standards of workmanship, facilities and integrity. In the course of the clinic, qualifying shops were appointed as approved repair centers, then started receiving work from the company’s claim section without a cost estimate being submitted. A Farmer’s representative said, “…such a system is practical, time-saving and efficient for the insured, the body shop and the company.” Unfortunately, not all shops conducted themselves with all insurance companies the way they did with Grinnell Mutual or Farmers Mutual in 1963. Many shops tried to profit fraudulently on the backs of insurance companies, causing many insurers to turn to the forerunners of the DRP program—informal agreements to give work only to “honest” shops. At that time, there was a symbiotic relationship between some shops and certain adjusters, mostly with independent adjusters /appraisers. When a potential customer came into a shop for an estimate, the shop would first try to determine which insurance company was involved. Based on that answer, the shop

would know who most likely would be coming out to inspect the damage. The shop would pad the estimate by 20 percent so the adjuster could cut it by 10 percent. The shop got some premium money, the adjuster/appraiser looked good to his superiors, the customer got a quality repair, and everybody was happy. Another trick some shops used was to keep a bin full of used parts from old jobs. If the shop owner wanted to make a few extra dollars on the job, he would pull an AC compressor or steering rack or something else that “might have been damaged” in the accident and put in a supplement to R&R that part. Another trick was to push for a complete panel replacement including parts and labor, and then fix the panel with some filler. Shop owners had another trick to garner more insurance company work—“low-ball pricing,” or what lawyers called “predatory pricing.” In the late summer of 1969, a bill introduced by Senator John Sparkman (D-AL) would address those body shops that used “predatory” pricing to carry favor with insurance companies and garner more work at

deeply discounted prices. John Killcullen, general counsel for the Conference of American Small Business Organizations, noted, “Loss leaders (selling one product at a loss and making up the difference with other goods or services, as many shops were doing at the time) is preventing new, independent firms from entering existing markets and forcing other small businesses out of the market.” Obviously, not every shop was guilty of the aforementioned subterfuge. There were plenty of standup shop owners who took pride in their craftsmanship and whose professional reputation were paramount. They took pride in their work and in their industry. Unfortunately, those who were around during that time maintain that under-handed practices were so widespread that they were described as pervasive. One former shop manager who was around during that time and was interviewed for this article called the late ‘60s and early ‘70s the “Wild West” period of the industry when “anything went.” The insurance companies needed a way to protect them-

selves against fraud. This gave advent to the insurance company appraiser or independent appraisers. In 1962, a trade magazine article written by C. A. “Art” Fox, president of the Independent Garage Owners of America, stated in part: “Let’s face the fact: Unethical shops (not the general run of body shops) in the beginning took advantage of insurance companies by increasing the cost of the job to cover the deductible. They did other work in conjunction with the immediate repair and added that cost to the collision job. In self-preservation, the insurance companies resorted to their own appraisers or used outside, so-called ‘neutral’ appraisers. This was a fairly workable plan for a while, but now the tail wags the dog; the appraisers are setting the cost for collision repairs without knowing the cost of the shop’s operation (and neither do many shop owners!). This has been going on for some years now, and most body shop operators are hypnotized into believing they have to work on the low estimate, regardless of who made them. This practice inSee Early DRP Programs, Page 44

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autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

37


National News with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

Dave Luehr’s December Elite Webinar Features Brad Mewes Discussing ‘Financing Growth’ On Dec. 13, Dave Luehr’s Elite organic growth; efficiency and cost Body Shop Solutions’ free webinar reductions; new developments; and series featured an informative session acquisitions. Most small businesses titled “Financing Growth” discussed focus on organic growth by attracting by Brad Mewes, founder and princi- and retaining customers, and owners pal consultant at Supplement Advi- tend to focus on enhancing efficiency sory. and reducing cost. The goal of the webinar “The companies that was to share information on: grow the most turn their athow to finance growth, the tention to new developdifferent types of lenders ments and acquisitions, but and how companies can best these are less common beposition themselves to accause funding is a challenge cess these funds to facilitate in the industry,” he said. Brad Mewes, the growth of their business. “Focus on all four is imporfounder and Luehr began by talking principal consultant tant. The key factor here is at Supplement about the purpose of the that they all involve some Advisory webinars and encouraging sort of investment, whether shops to sign up for the Body Shop in time, energy or money. Growth reExecutive’s Performance Group on quires an investment, but the largest Facebook and the Elite Body Shop players in the industry are willing to Solutions Academy (elitebodyshop invest heavily in that growth.” solutions.com/academy). He also anCommon questions that Mewes nounced that he will be launching a received included how to: find the brand-new product, the Operations right lender, prepare financials, know Monthly Live, on Jan. 8, in which he how much is needed, minimize risk will be talking about goal-setting and and increase certainty of funding, how to build the operational business evaluate different loans and avoid of your dreams. making costly mistakes. After reminding attendees that “It’s not a lack of options that the webinar can be used towards slows us down. More likely, it’s too AMi credits and providing the an- many options that cause paralysis,” titrust guidelines, Luehr introduced Mewes advised. “Set a path to minMewes, who began his presentation imize the options, and that will inabout leveraging $638 billion worth crease the likelihood of success.” of assets to build the business you Talking about growth capital deserve. He began by providing a and funding for your business, brief description of his background, Mewes showed a video by Fix Auto including his lifelong involvement in that demonstrated the capital requirethe collision repair industry, which ments that go into running a modern has culminated in his current role as collision repair center. a business advisor working with inHe noted, “The amount of capivestors, analysts and bankers to help tal needed to be competitive in shops support expansions and im- today’s market is significantly higher provements. than it was even a few years ago.” “I’m privileged to work with a Forty percent of small business lot of businesses, allowing me to owners consider additional funding leverage a broad base of insights in for their business each year, yet 80 order to drive growth,” Mewes stated. percent of small business loan appli“Driving growth is the business phi- cations to traditional banks are relosophy at Supplement Advisory. We jected. Noting that 70 percent of are very growth-oriented and focused small business owners don’t realize on building and growing the business there are alternative sources to you deserve.” banks, Mewes discussed private eqFour primary ways to grow a uity and debt, explaining that $638 business (in terms of profit) include billion worth of private debt assets

38

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

were under management as of June 2017. This includes $236 billion in investible funds ready to be deployed. Mewes said, “While private equity assets under management have increased by approximately 90 percent since 2007, private debt assets under management have more than tripled in the same time period.” Turning to the most important things to think about when attempting to secure financing to grow your business, Mewes introduced attendees to the ABCs of financing: Assets, Business cash flow, and Credit—the factors that every lender will consider in order to determine a shop’s loan worthiness. He explained, “As you’re preparing to go out to the market place, one of the key things that every business needs is assets, or collateral, which is what the lender needs to be secure in

making a loan to the business. Part of the challenge is that if you’ve underinvested in assets over time, some lenders will balk at providing capital because they have nothing to secure that capital. “The next thing is business cash flow. Lenders like to see sufficient cash flow to service the debt they are providing, meaning the amount of money transferred into and out of a business. Lastly, a creditor is going to investigate business and personal credit.” Segueing into the five Cs of credit, Mewes gave examples of Character as reputation, Capacity as debt-to-income, Capital as equity, Collateral as personal assets, and Conditions as defining the purpose, providing examples of how to frame those conditions. Mewes advised, “When going to

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39


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.

Automaker’s Increased Role in Claims Seems Just on the Horizon as Connectivity Happens It’s been about four years since the industry began talking about the automakers playing a larger role in helping vehicle owners after an accident—using telematics to contact the driver at the crash scene, for example, to ask if they need medical help or a tow arranged for them, or to see if they would like a referral to a nearby shop certified by that automaker. I frequently get asked, particularly by shops that have invested in OEM certifications, when that’s going to start to take place regularly. I believe there are three things that need to occur—and are about to happen—to make that a reality. I should say these are strictly my opinions based on what I’ve read, conferences I’ve attended, etc. But the first thing that needs to happen is to have more vehicles “connected” via internet access. That’s happening rapidly. From the research I’ve seen, just three years from now, in 2022, nearly 90 percent of new vehicles in North America will be equipped with telematics.

But being equipped to be connected and actually being connected are two different things. To have more consumers choose to be connected will require two other changes that I see beginning to occur. First, there’s a generational shift that has to happen. My 81-year-old 40

father does not want GM’s OnStar to always know where he is. He’s concerned about privacy. But my 20something-year-old niece, on the other hand, wants to stream music, so she wants to be connected to the internet 24/7. She wants her child to be able to watch movies while they are

for example, and working together on first notice of loss. In either case, I think that shops thinking about where they want to be three or four years from now need to be moving toward OEM certification, so that as that OEM connectivity to the vehicles increases, you’re there.

in the car. That generational divide may have slowed the adoption of vehicle connectivity, but that’s changing. The other factor that has to be addressed is affordability. Studies have found U.S. drivers aren’t willing to pay even $500 a year to have their vehicle connected, and Canadians are willing to pay even less—under $200 year. That’s why some recent announcements by automakers are convincing me that the connected car is about to become much more common very soon. There are automakers offering internet connectivity for $22 a month or even $17 a month. One automaker has said that in 2019 it will offer free internet connectivity for a number of years on its new cars. So the technology is there, the affordability is getting there, and the generational shift is happening. As those three things align, it starts to bring to fruition the ability for car manufacturers to handle first notice of loss after an accident. How will that look? Some automakers may offer their own insurance bundled with the car. They’ll want more control over their customer’s experience with that vehicle even throughout the claims process after an accident. Others may do something more jointly with insurance companies, partnering with them to provide the insurer with accident information,

Could this create some challenges in the meantime? You bet. OEM certification programs may have different parts use expectations than insurer direct repair programs, for example. That may mean giving up some margin by using only OEM parts or maybe stepping back from some DRPs. I think it’s conceivable that as automakers control more of the first notice of loss process, they

“Some automakers may offer their own insurance bundled with the car.” — Mike Anderson

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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could help a shop regain market share the shop may have lost by ending a DRP relationship. Some shop owners will question whether there’s a risk of not getting a return on their investment in OEM certification. What if this increased involvement of the automakers doesn’t occur, or doesn’t result in added business for certified shops? To me, that’s a little bit like asking, “What if I invest in a whole bunch of training for a technician who then leaves my shop?” My response to that question has always been: What if you don’t train that tech and they stay? What happens, in this case, if you don’t get OEM-certified, and the connected car scenario I foresee happening plays out—only by then, the automakers already have their certified shops in your market? What will you do then?

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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

ASA Hosts RepairPal’s Jill Trotta for Webinar on Transparency and Trust On Dec. 19, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) hosted a webinar titled “Transparency & Trust: A Guide to Getting Customers and Keeping Them,” presented by Jill Trotta, vice president of industry advocacy and sales for RepairPal. Trotta, who boasts 25 years of industry experience, said the goal of the webinar was to share how RepairPal gains insight into consumer behavior and needs from its 5 million monthly website visitors as well as how shops can apply this information. ASA Vice President Tony Molla hosted the webinar. He welcomed attendees and introduced Trotta, who defined her key objectives as providing information on how to overcome price-sensitive customers, delivering data about price transparency and consumer behavior, and teaching about tools to work with the modern

auto care consumer. “RepairPal spends a significant amount of time trying to understand consumers who have changed more in the past five years than in previous decades,” Trotta explained. “Today’s consumer is tech savvy and uses mobile devices. They are better-educated and research prices online. They also value instant gratification.” When consumers were asked in 2017 if they felt they were charged a fair price for their last automotive repair, only 42 percent said yes, while 58 percent answered in the negative. This was a 6 percent increase in dissatisfaction from 52 percent in 2014. Trotta pointed out, “The majority didn’t feel like they got a fair deal.” Of the consumers who believed they were charged a fair price, 31 percent determined this based on comparisons to other shops; 31 percent reported a gut feeling; and 28

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percent based their opinion on online research. When those who were unsatisfied with the price explained the reason, 36 percent reported that the issue was not resolved; 29 percent did online research; 18 percent compared to other shops; and 17 percent felt they received poor value. While 85 percent of consumers check prices, only 45 percent check them before authorizing the repair. Based on research of the 40 percent that check prices after authorization, Trotta shared, “For every 26 unhappy consumers, only one will complain directly to you. Most won’t call you and tell you, but they will call your competition, tell their friends or post reviews. Very few will actually call and tell you. We all know that retaining your customers is critical to the future success of your business.” An alarming trend Trotta noted is that 63 percent of Americans don’t

have enough savings to cover a $500 emergency, but automotive repair is one of the single biggest necessary expenses for today’s consumer and can throw their budget into a tailspin. This is why consumers are so often focused on price. According to Trotta, “Shop ads and websites that focus on price deliver 6–7 times better results than those that don’t. Some phrases that pay include: “straightforward and transparent pricing”; “upfront pricing”; “We never overcharge”; and “Happy to provide a good estimate.” “When you ask people if they want price or quality, they want quality, but they ask about price because they have no idea what else to ask. Unfortunately, explaining that a shop performs proper repairs doesn’t attract traffic to the website; you need to talk about pricing. At our core, RepairPal is focused on quality repairs

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and safe repairs for consumers, but the shops in our network have a proven track record that they are focused on the same. RepairPal is really focused on pricing in order to attract traffic to the website.” Explaining how to create a transparent experience for customers, Trotta said, “If a customer leaves the shop confused about what they experienced or unsure if they received high-quailty work or a fair deal, they are unlikely to return. “Do these three things: 1. Many shops focus so much on the initial conversion that they forget to check in with the consumer as they are leaving the shop. 2. Making sure the consumer is fully satisfied confirms understanding of what was done, why it was done and what any next steps might be. 3. Small gestures like leaving the car clean and tidy make a big difference.” Transparent customer communication should follow three steps: receive complaint and perform diagnosis, determine the cause and recommend the corrections. “Breaking out items in a way that the consumer can understand ex-

actly what they’re paying for is important,” Trotta stressed. After reviewing what she’d covered, Trotta reiterated the importance of mentioning price, noted that 46 percent of consumers will pay more for a two-year warranty as opposed to a one-year warranty and emphasized the importance of your value shining, because 30 percent of consumers will call more than one shop. Trotta explained that transforming price into value starts with presenting the diagnosis as a product. “Prices must be clearly attached to meaningful services and outcomes. Provide a clear and concise broken-down final RO with no ‘unexplainable’ charges. You may not be the cheapest shop, but you can offer the highest value,” she said. Trotta explained how RepairPal’s Fair Price Estimator works and how it benefits shops by building trust with consumers. “Removing questions from the customers’ mind is what’s going to retain customers,” she said. “We offer friendly customer explanations, and we provide a third-party voice that mirrors your own. Calling other shops

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they may encounter when doing research. Trotta noted, “Explain what you need and why! People like to do business with other people.” She continued to talk about creating a transparent experience before providing information on RepairPal’s estimator widget that shops can place on their website. She also talked about the benefits of offering a two-year warranty. “This is a very inexpensive thing you can do for your customers. Most consumers see it as more valuable to have a longer warranty than a nationwide warranty,” she said. The webinar concluded with Trotta sharing RepairPal’s values and describing its involvement with the industry. Before ending with a questionand-answer session, Trotta observed, “We want to provide consumers with the best shops. We want to work together, constantly solicit feedback and improve our processes.” For more information about RepairPal, visit repairpal.com. For more information about ASA, visit asashop .org.

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is a way to get a second opinion. When you direct consumers to RepairPal, we become the second opinion. Hopefully, the consumer goes to our site and experiments with our estimator instead of calling another shop. “Shops in our network are the top 20–25 percent of shops in the industry, and our estimator is built to reflect that. When compared to other estimators [in the] market, we generally have higher prices and we give more information. We are for fair pricing, not cheap pricing. We give the whole picture and promote the right repair.” To inspire customer loyalty, shops should communicate, be transparent, do a great job and ensure a smooth exit from the repair experience. They should also help the consumer evaluate their reputation and price, coordinate the consumer’s online and off-line experience and help them solve their problem as quickly as possible without sacrificing price, trust or convenience. It’s also beneficial to help the consumer understand pricing and repair decisions and make sense of any pricing differences

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43


Day Job/Night Job

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

with Ed Attanasio

Eric Newell Is Not Afraid to Serve His Community in Different Ways As a part-time firefighter, a member of his town’s Building and Planning Commission and an area marketing manager for asTech—a company that focuses on providing OEM diagnostics to collision repair shops nationwide—Eric Newell, 36, is adept at multi-tasking, to say the least. When he isn’t going into burning structures to save lives or working for asTech, he is making crucial decisions about the future of Lowell, IN—a town whose slogan is “A Friendly Town of Friendly People” with a population of approximately 9,000. Newell broke into the collision repair industry as an estimator for Cars Collision, an MSO with locations in Indiana and Colorado before the business was bought by Gerber Collision & Glass. He redirected his career from there and decided to become a full-time firefighter. “I’m in my 10th year now as a firefighter, and I love it because I can help people and play an important role,” he said. “I also love the brotherhood that exists between firefighters.” After completing his two-year training to become a paramedic and a firefighter, Newell was assigned to Fire Station 1 in Schererville, IN. He immediately took to his new job and excelled at his new role. “It’s an exciting and fascinating life with something new and different to do literally every day,” he said. “After two years, I was elected and became our union president of the Professional Firefighters of Schererville and subsequently became a member of the state organization’s board.” In 2013, Newell received the Firefighters’ Medal of Honor for savContinued from Page 35

Early DRP Programs

evitably leads to shoddy workmanship and unsafe collision repairs because the shop owner wants to make a profit. Correction of this situation, 44

ing a fellow firefighter in addition to several other citations over the years, he said. “An attic above us collapsed on a firefighter, and he wasn’t able to get out of the building, so I dragged him down three stories and got him out. I didn’t have any time to think about it,

Eric Newell is a member of the Building and Planning Commission of Lowell, IN, when he isn't working as an area marketing manager for asTech

and my adrenaline was pumping. I know he would have done the same for me if I was in his position, so my training kicked in and I got him out. I don’t fight fires for awards or medals, but it is nice to be recognized,” he said. After a while, an opportunity to re-enter the collision repair industry came his way. He decided to take it. “A friend of mine owns a sixshop MSO in northwest Indiana. They asked me if I would work for them part-time as a consultant, and I said yes,” he said. “I later became the company’s compliance manager and then was promoted to their COO. In July of [last] year, I was offered the job at asTech, and I decided to accept it. I cover three states (Indiana, Illinois and Ohio) for asTech, and it’s a in the estimate of this writer, is a matter of education.” Fox urged shop owners to ascertain their operating costs and learn to make better estimates so their work would be profitable but fair. Still, it would not stave off the advent of the modern DRP programs.

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

great place to be. We have some of the brightest minds in the industry and an incredible executive leadership team.” At the same time, Newell was appointed to a position in Lowell’s Office of Building and Planning Commission and accepted it without hesitation. “It’s a great role for the town, and I enjoy doing it,” he said. “If a new business wants to come into Lowell or if an existing business wants to change its structure, we have to review it and make a decision. I am now thinking of running for Town Council in the next election, which will be in November. It’s been very satisfying, so expanding my role is something I am definitely considering.” Now, Newell works full-time at asTech and covers at least one 12hour shift at the firehouse in addition to sitting on his town’s board. It’s a

hectic life, but he would not change it for anything. “Busy people are happy when they’re busy. It’s all about being organized, and that is why it works. People make the time they need to do what they want to do, and if you play a positive role, it fulfills you on many levels,” he said. One of the things he wants to do now is help asTech grow and to continue on his path to helping others, he said. “They would have to kick me out of the firehouse for me to stop, and that’s not going to happen anytime soon,” he said. “asTech is going through a hyper-growth stage, and I want to be instrumental in that. It’s an exciting time in my life, and if I can get enough leisure time to attend my 10-year-old son’s wrestling matches and play a little golf now and then, I am a happy man.”

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45


Mike Anderson Presents ‘Using the Subaru Technical Information System – Part 2’ by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Thursday, December 13, Mike Anderson of Collision Advice presented another webinar in his “Learn to Research, Research to Learn” series, during which he explored “Using the Subaru Technical Information System (STIS) – Part 2,” which focused on how to use the Subaru website to ensure safe and proper repairs. He was joined by John Lancaster, National Wholesale Parts Manager for Subaru of America, as well as Subaru technical service representative J. J. Marino and Rick Miller of Wadsworth International. The webinar was created by Collision Advice in collaboration with Subaru. After reading the antitrust guidelines, Anderson reiterated that he decided to host these webinars because the results of his annual “Who Pays for What?” surveys, conducted in conjunction with the Crash Network, led him to determine that shops are not researching OEM repair procedures 100 percent of the time as they should be. As a result of this finding, Collision Advice has been hosting monthly webinars, each one focusing on a different OEM, to raise awareness of the resources each OEM offers to research repair procedures. Anderson plans to guide attendees on a step-by-step tour of each specific OEM’s website and advise on how to improve search results. He will also demonstrate how to research some common procedures needed by collision repairers, explore the differences between an OEM scan tool and aftermarket scan tool and investigate OEM parts information and support tools. The second part of the Subaru webinar began with a recap of the first part, including a reminder that Subaru’s position statements can be found on oem1stop.com and a reiteration of how to access Subaru’s paid site and conduct a search at techinfo .subaru.com. Anderson then proceeded to explore the tabs across the top of the page, explaining that the index allows users to search for particular section titles in the service manual. He demonstrated this by exploring the battery section to reveal what procedures repairers must do when remov46

ing a battery and enumerating the many systems that will not work after a battery is removed if the proper procedures are not adhered to. He reiterated the importance of searching battery requirements several times during the remainder of the webinar, pointing out “It’s not just about scanning. It’s also about researching every time we disconnect a battery.”

dure. These are the items a dealership must check before selling a new vehicle, and I found these items to be a great addition to our quality control checklist.” Under Service Manual – Suspension, Anderson pointed out a caution that prohibits reuse of valves and screws, meaning that a new valve stem is required each time a new

Moving to the DTC search tab, he demonstrated how to search the service manual for pages relating to a specific DTC. “I really love this feature because it gives you the ability to research DTCs,” Anderson noted. “I won’t tell you what you should charge for scanning, but I do believe you should separate your diagnostic time from your scanning time because what’s really time-consuming is the amount of time it takes to research the DTCs.” Anderson’s demonstrated showed the detailed diagrams available in the service manual, and he also explained how users can print any subsection or chapter. Anderson concluded with the Help tab which provides a walkthrough on how to navigate and interpret the STIS website. Looking at the gray tabs across the top, Anderson opened Service Manual, stating, “This is going to give you some repair precautions that you may need to know as a collision repairer – either as a technician or as an estimator. I’ve found that reviewing this anytime you go into STIS for that specific make and model is an absolute must.” Scrolling through the tab, Anderson pointed out several interesting tidbits such as the need to allow the vehicle to get to operating temperature prior to performing a diagnostic scan, the necessity of ensuring adhesives used are products approved by Subaru, and reiterating the importance of researching what to do after disconnecting a battery. He added, “Another thing we really liked was the pre-delivery inspection proce-

wheel is put on. In the Steering section of the Service Manual, he read the specific operation required for proper performance, adding, “I encourage you to go back and navigate STIS. Repetition is key.” While exploring air bag and seat belt systems, Anderson noted that mounting bolts and nuts should not be reused and explored the listed parts that need to be removed before

“It’s important that we use OEM parts even on something as simple as a wiper blade because using an aftermarket wiper blade could cause this Eyesight feature not to work properly.” — Mike Anderson

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

performing certain procedures as well as the “comprehensive list of systems that need to be checked and parts that need to be replaced if the vehicle is in a collision, even a slight collision.” “We need to make sure we do these things,” Anderson continued. “I understand that sometimes the insurance companies don’t want to pay for some items, but it starts with us. We must accept personal responsibility, and if you’re not educated, how can we blame the insurer for that? There are a lot of things we need to make sure we’re researching every time we work on a vehicle.” Under the Diagnostics tab, Anderson demonstrated where information can be found about the occupant detection system, noting that the manual instructs the user to connect the Subaru Select monitor. “The only way we can verify the safe and proper repair is to use the approved scan tool,” Anderson emphasized. “STIS walks us through the questions we need to ask ourselves. It’s a very interactive website and takes me to the next

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screen based on the options I select, directing me to things that I may need to ask the customer.” While looking at the Eyesight feature, Anderson showed where the manual insists only a Subaru windshield wiper blade can be used on the vehicle. “It’s important that we use OEM parts even on something as simple as a wiper blade because using an aftermarket wiper blade could cause this Eyesight feature not to work properly.” Anderson also explained that the BRZ service manual looks different than any manuals for other Subaru vehicles because the BRZ was a joint project between Subaru and Toyota. He briefly navigated through the BRZ manual and explored some details and variances with this model. Moving onto the Owner’s Manual where he explored some requirements about seatbelts and airbags as well as a warning against attaching anything to the windshield, Anderson noted, “During all the OEM webinars we’ve done, one of the things I’ve learned is the value of reviewing the owner’s manual with the ve-

hicle owner when they drop off the car. Reviewing the owner’s manual is a great way to earn that vehicle owner’s trust.” As Anderson finished reading from the Eyesight document, Marino interrupted to share, “With the Eyesight camera lenses, if anything gets on those lenses, even if it’s a fingerprint, they cannot be cleaned & the camera assembly must be replaced.” Anderson then showed the Tech Tips Newsletter, found under “What’s New” as well as the advanced search tab, which is published monthly and available as a PDF download. He encouraged shop owners to review this with their technicians and shared some interesting tips he found in recent editions. If a user cannot find what they are looking for, the last page of each newsletter contains a form that can be used to contact Subaru to request clarity. In Summary, Anderson responded to questions submitted on the first webinar before accepting questions from the day’s attendees. This webinar is available on the Collision Advice website and YouTube channel.

Looks Like More Than the U.S. Government Is Shut Down by Emmariah Holcomb, glassBYTEs.com

When children argue, it usually doesn’t last long before they make up, but when adults argue, there’s no set time limit. This can be seen though the most recent government shutdown. The United States entered day 24 on Jan. 14, making it the longest government shutdown thus far. But what, if anything, does that mean for the industry? For starters, it means there are no new Department of Transportation (DOT) auto glass identification numbers available. Why? It’s simple: The DOT is funded by the government and is currently not getting the funding needed to produce and award companies with new numbers. But there’s more of an impact than just new DOT numbers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the agency will not (and has not) been doing testing for defective products since the shutdown began. This means there have not been any new recalls issued in nearly one month. “During a government shutdown, some key agency functions

will be discontinued until funding is restored … those funded by annual appropriations will be suspended, including safety defect investigations, field crash investigations, review of consumer complaints, and notification of new vehicle and equipment recalls,” a portion of the association’s statement reads. There could be numerous amounts of vehicles on the road with defects. This directly impacts your business because shop owners, like you, do not have the information needed to service their customers if they believe they might have a defective product. Although vehicle manufacturers are required to notify all affected customers of recalls, the NHTSA aids in spreading information about the latest recalls through its routine safety checks and by making the information available on its website. As a result, there are a number of things that have been put on hold since the shutdown began, and only time will tell how much it will end up impacting auto glass professionals. We thank glassBYTEs.com for reprint permission.

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47


Associations Assembling with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation Hosts Holiday Celebration On Dec. 5, the Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation (AWAF) hosted its 2018 Holiday Event at the prestigious Whitney Mansion in Detroit, MI, one of the city’s most beautiful and historic venues. Sherry Muir Irwin, member of AWAF’s board of directors, noted, “It was a wonderful evening celebrating the culmination of another successful year for AWAF! The Whitney, all decked out in its holiday finery, provided a festive backdrop for AWAF’s sold-out signature year-end event. The evening began with the 125+ AWAF members and their guests enjoying delicious hors d’oeuvres and holiday cheer while mingling with fellow automotive professionals and friends. It was a wonderful conclusion to a great year!” The evening’s featured speaker was Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president of global operations for Ford Motor Company. He shared some of the insights and wisdom he’s gained during his extensive automotive industry career. “With one of his daughters now pursuing an automotive career, he has gained a new appreciation for the challenges faced by women in the industry and encourages us to speak up and use challenging situations as teachable moments,” Irwin recounted. “He’s told his daughter that ‘you either teach or tolerate’ when faced with negative circumstances and behavior—and encouraged us all to be teachers!” Next, Jane Bishop, co-chair of AWAF’s Scholarship Committee, announced the five deserving recipients of AWAF’s final 2018 scholarships. All of the recipients are pursuing undergraduate degrees in preparation for automotive industry careers. The scholarships were sponsored by Deloitte, Magna International, Adient, AWAF and the Elder Automotive Group’s scholarship in memory of Irma Elder, who was the matriarch of the Elder Automotive Group, one of the first female auto dealers, and a long-time supporter of AWAF.

48

Irwin noted, “With these five scholarships, AWAF is nearing the half-a-million-dollar mark in scholarships awarded since 2001.”

popular signature events, attendees of the 2018 Holiday Event enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow industry professionals and friends while ush-

AWAF members celebrate another successful year during the group’s annual Holiday Event in December

AWAF’s outgoing president, Linda Taliaferro, then announced the association’s 2019 board of directors, which included incoming President Susan Rokosz of Ford Motor Company, who has served on AWAF’s board since 2012. Taliaferro also announced the creation of a new VP of STEM office position as part of AWAF’s increased focus on STEM, a role that will be filled by Cathy Koch of K-Tec Systems, Inc. Irwin then expressed her appreciation for Taliaferro and the last two years she served as president. “Linda was a truly impactful, influential and inspirational leader for AWAF, and the organization is better for having had her at the helm!” Irwin stated. “The evening’s program concluded with a word of thanks to our annual sponsors: Faurecia, Magna, Deloitte, Leggett & Platt Automotive Group, Envisics, HELLA, Irvin Automotive and PlanteMoran, as well as the evening’s event sponsors Epitec and MB Jewelry. Appreciation was also expressed to the board of directors, the executive advisory council, committee members and the membership at large for all their contributions over the past year. And a special word of thanks to RoseAnn Nicolai and her team at Nicolai Events & Communication for their administrative support throughout the year—we couldn’t do all that we do without them! “Always one of AWAF’s most

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

ering in the holiday season! To add to the festivities, attendees had the opportunity to participate in a silent auction with the chance to be the winning bidder for a one-on-one lunch with two female Ford senior

executives or a beautiful necklace, courtesy of MB Jewelry Design & Mfg., Bloomfield Township, MI. “These events provide our members with opportunities to cultivate both professional and personal relationships, which are critical support mechanisms as one builds and navigates one’s career in the auto industry—or any industry, for that matter. As part of our value proposition, events provide educational and professional development opportunities as well.” On Jan. 28, AWAF will kick off 2019 with a post-NAIAS mixer at the Black Lotus in Clawson, MI. On Feb. 6, members can attend a Fireside Chat with Julie Martin, vice president of sales and marketing for HELLA USA.

For more information on AWAF, visit awafoundation.org.

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49


Will NACE Make a Comeback? by Gary Ledoux

For years, the National (then later the International) Autobody Congress and Exposition, better known simply as NACE, later combined with the Congress of Automotive Repair and Service, better known simply as CARS, had been the premier trade show for the collision industry. Driven by its sponsoring organization, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) the NACE show saw terrific growth in its early years, then fell into a long decline. For 2019, there will be no NACE show. So what happened? Founding and Growth Sponsored by the then-premier automotive repair organizations of their time, the Independent Automotive Service Association and the Automotive Service Councils, the first NACE show was held in November, 1983 at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN. Prior to this time there had been a number of small, regional shows sponsored by local autobody associations but this was the first show of its type on a national scale. The first show proved popular and exceeded expectations. NACE came along at precisely the right time in the evolution of the industry. In the summer of 1983, a spot survey of shops conducted by the trade media asked how many had attended a national or local trade show. Close to eighty percent had recently been to a trade show and over ninety percent had been in the past two years. Those that did attend said they wanted to look at the latest equipment and keep up on repair techniques and trends. Those that didn’t attend claimed there were no shows in their area, or they just didn’t have time to go—being so busy just to stay afloat. The first show saw 171 exhibitor booths and about 1,500 attendees. Reaching Its Peak In the early 80’s, shops were on a buying frenzy, securing new equipment to work on the new unibody cars and a trade show was the ideal place to see the equipment, talk with manufacturer reps, and network with other shop owners. 50

Only two years later, in 1985, NACE attendees exceeded 4,000. In 1986, attendance exceeded 6,200 and by 1988, attendance broke 10,000. The last show of the decade saw over 15,000 attendees. The period of the 1980’s has been called an “awakening” of the industry where not only were shop owners interested in new equipment and technology—they wanted to know how to run a better, more profitable shop and NACE was leading the way. By now the show had over 400 exhibitors and all the training and seminar sessions were sold out.

The 90’s saw continued grown with over 23,000 attendees in 1993. But by 1998, the party was over. The 1997 show held in Las Vegas saw almost 3,000 exhibitors and over 41,000 attendees. But exhibitors began to realize that the money they spent on lavish parties and “corporate entertainment” could be better spent on training seminars or other initiatives that were more beneficial to the customer and the sponsoring company. From this point, the show saw a steady decline and the last two years only saw around 5,000 attendees per show. NACE In Decline Over the years, several industry leaders have offered various reasons for NACE’s decline. It is quite probable that no one element was responsible, but a number of them mixed together in a toxic brew that combined over the years. A few include:

Political Differences – At one time, the NACE and SEMA shows were held at the same time (or overlapping days) in Las Vegas. An attendee could buy one plane ticket to Vegas, see both shows over the course of three or four days, have a good time, and optimize their travel budget. When NACE and SEMA separated, it disappointed both atten-

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

dees and exhibitors.

Environment – the equipmentbuying frenzy of the 1980’s was over and the next “technology wave” including aluminum, ADAS systems, etc. had not yet hit.

Technology – With the advent and proliferation of the internet and industry communications, it was no longer necessary to travel to a trade show to see the latest equipment or network with other shop owners or industry people.

Mis-Steps – On more than one occasion, exhibitors met with NACE management calling for reduced costs on floor space and amenities and/or more attendees. Exhibitors wanted “something different” to attract more people although they were not sure what “different” looked like. But each year, the show followed the same pattern. It seemed to exhibitors that show management either did not listen to the exhibitors, did not care, or simply did not know what to do. Exhibitors lamented that the show no longer “penciled out” – it no longer made sense to spend such a large amount of money to see a dwindling number of attendees.

Enter Automechanika Automechanika is known around the world as a premier producer of automotive-related shows holding events in such places as Dubai, Buenos Aries, Frankfurt, Istanbul, and Madrid to name a few. The shows purportedly are huge, eclipsing even SEMA/AAPEX, the largest automotive show in the US. On their entry into the US market, Messe Frankfurt President and CEO Dennis Smith noted, “We were asked by several leaders in the mechanical side of the business to bridge the relationship between manufacturers and shop owners—to have a show that addressed shop owners and was not a distributor show.” To that end, Messe Frankfurt joined forces with AdvanStar Communications and the first Automechanika show was held in Chicago in 2015, sans the NACE component. “There were some mis-steps, problems with conflicting dates with other industry

events, and we learned a lot from that show,” said Messe Frankfurt’s Smith. For their next step, Messe Frankfurt joined in discussions with ASA management. No doubt, in an effort to boost show attendance and enhance the attendee experience, NACE and Automchanika joined forces for a combined show, first in Chicago in 2017 and again in Atlanta in 2018. Based on a December 2018 interview with Messe Frankfurt’s Smith, the majority of exhibitors attracted by Automechanika for the 2017 and 2018 shows were there for the purpose of branding their mechanical-oriented products to let the industry know they were available at their local supplier/jobber. However, other exhibitors brought in by Automechanika were looking for US distributors to carry their foreign-made, mechanical-oriented products. Some show attendees and long-time, traditional exhibitors were confused. Others were disappointed. Despite the combined efforts of ASA and Messe Frankfurt, and the introduction of a new show management company in 2014 (Stone Fort replacing longstanding Hanley-Wood), things didn’t improve. 2018 Show IN Atlanta Soliciting, via social media, comments from those who attended the last NACE show held in Atlanta in 2018, one manager with one of the larger MSO’s noted, “It was pretty bleak. There were maybe 75% less exhibitors in Atlanta than there were the year before in Chicago. Many of the top vendors weren’t there, opting to hold off until SEMA and a larger audience. NACE has become a minor-league player.” Again using social media, the 2018 NACE attendees were asked what they thought was the issue killing NACE, one equipment executive noted simply, “SEMA.” He went on, “The paint companies have pulled out of NACE, as have many of the larger supplier companies. Even 3M pulled out. The OE’s are largely gone. Some vendors had large booths but most of them are gone. There is no reason for the average shop to attended NACE anymore.”


Other Shows Flourish NACEs decline was brought about for a number of different reasons as mentioned above, but not because the industry did not need a show. It needed a show that was more relevant, a show that catered more to its constituents. The Specialty Equipment Market Association, better known as SEMA, had for years been the domain of the “go-fast, sound-loud, glistening-chrome” crowd. Its annual shows, which had grown to tens of thousands of people, dedicated a very small section to the collision repair industry only because it was such a “close cousin” to the hot-rod building community. In 2010, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) began to change that sponsoring the first Repairer Driven Education series. It was a 2-day event which expanded to 4-days the following year. In 2010 SCRS sponsored 24 total speakers. In 2018 SCRS sponsored 61 subject matter experts. Over the next few years, SCRS not only increased the education opportunities to shops but also increased their physical pres-

ence which led to more collision exhibitors joining the show. In 2010, the collision section of SEMA occupied only a small section of the Las Vegas Convention center’s North Hall. The 2018 show saw the collision section covering half the North Hall and a large area of the newlyadded exhibit space in the Westgate Hotel. In 2017 and 2018, an estimated 10,000 collision-oriented attendees visited the collision area of SEMA, double the amount that visited NACE. Meanwhile, on the east coast, a regional trade show called the Northeast Automotive Services Show (later shortened to the Northeast Trade Show or NETS) presently held at the Meadowlands Convention Center in Secaucus, NJ had been around since the late 70’s. As a regional show sponsored by the New Jersey Autobody Association and later by AASP/NJ it drew a respectable crowd from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and vicinity. The NETS only advertised within their immediate area and the show remained robust, but small. More prodigious growth would not come until

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2014 when American Honda, and other OE’s began to support this growing show. NETS completely sold out of space in 2014 – and each succeeding year. While NACE catered more to the executives of the industry, the NETS addressed the shop owners and technicians holding the show on a Friday night, Saturday and Sunday – time when most shop owners and techs were not on their production floor. In 2017, the NETS doubled in size and began a more concerted effort for training in cooperation with the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA). The NETS had offered training and various seminars before but WMABA brought things to the next level.

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doned what had been the jewel of the industry. ASA and Messe Frankfurt officials knew changes had to be made. “We need to hit the reset button,” said Messe Frankfurt’s Smith in a recent interview. “And we need time to do that. So we’ll take a break for 2019, and come back in 2020 with a whole new concept. We need to meet the needs of the traditional attendees. We have some ideas on how to do that. But we’re going to build our concept, then run it by some industry leaders to see what they think.” When asked if they will concentrate solely on the collision side of the business or engage more on the mechanical side, Smith said, “We will have a balance. There is a growing importance for the mechanical side of things in the collision business. Many shops perform their own mechanical repairs. Shops will have to perform an increasing amount of vehicle diagnostic scans and re-calibrations. That will require mechanical tools and training.” See NACE, Page 52

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Continued from Page 38

Elite Webinar

market for a loan, you want to think about all these things and be able to present a package to the lender that addresses all of these items and makes it easy for the lender to get behind you and see the same opportunity that you’re seeing.” After providing a brief description of the lenders that Supplement Advisory can connect shops with, Mewes defined the different types of small/medium business financing. Merchant cash advances (MCA) are similar to cash advances but are secured by the credit card receivables that the business generates. They also charge very high interest rates and often require daily repayments. An unsecured loan is a line of credit based on cash flow. They charge high interest rates, but assets are not used as leverage. An asset-backed loan uses equipment, real estate or secured working capital as collateral. A commercial loan comes in many varieties, and it’s critical to understand the different options. M&A

Financing includes seller finance and vendor finance, which may include prebates and investments, but there are also lenders that will finance acquisitions. Mewes then proceeded into a hypothetical prebate analysis in which he determined the cost of a prebate compared to a discount, considering the opportunity cost of the lost discount and the impact of taxation. He noted, “Prebates become very expensive money, and there are a lot of alternatives out there. There are times when prebates make perfect sense, but it also makes sense to understand your alternatives and pick the solution that works best for you.” Alternatives Mewes mentioned included equipment loans, lines of credit, M&A loans, unsecured working capital, AR factoring and/or ARbacked loans, SBA loans, real estate loans and sale leasebacks. When Mewes opened up the webinar to questions, he was asked if consolidation has opened the door for more independents. Mewes responded, “What consolidation has done is provide ‘role

AMi To Host FCA Certified Collision Network Online Training The Automotive Management Institute (AMi) announced it has been chosen to host the FCA Certified Collision Network’s nontechnical training in conjunction with industry-leading consultant and Collision Advice owner Mike Anderson.

The goals of the training program are to improve the return on investment for the FCA certified network shop, support accurate and safe repairs, and improve the FCA customer experience. The online courses will be available through AMi’s learning portal and focus on specific topics such as the proper use of Tech Authority, how to leverage the FCA certification and more. The FCA online courses are designed for individuals involved in administrative, management, 52

estimating and repair planning roles. Based on the topic, online courses will start the year as highly recommended or recommended by FCA to participate in its Certified Collision Network. The online courses, though intended for FCA Collision Network shops, will be available to anyone in the industry. “It is an honor to have FCA as our first OEM partner, and [we] have tremendous appreciation for their determination to ensure the FCA customer has a great collision repair experience and receives a safe and proper repair. The AMi next generation project positioned AMi to support organizations interested in improving their customers’ satisfaction,” said Jeff Peevy, AMi president. “I also want to acknowledge the incredible leadership and work Mike Anderson has provided on this project. The positive impact this initiative will have on the FCA Certified Collision Network and its customers will be substantial.”

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

models’ for potential investors because it allows you to demonstrate the viability of the industry when going for a loan. Finance folks are risk-averse, so having a case study is good for obtaining funding when presented appropriately.” Mewes graciously offered a free 15-minute, one-on-one consultation to webinar attendees who were interested in signing up. For more information about Supplement Advisory, visit supp-co.com /growth.

Replays of this webinar and others are available for free by signing up at www.elitebodyshopsolutions.com /academy and clicking on the “Join the Elite Webinar Series” button.

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NACE

Calls to ASA for comment about the 2020 show went unreturned. After so many years of decline and neglect, revitalizing NACE will be a real challenge. One is reminded of the chicken and the egg conundrum. Many exhibitors will no doubt want to stand on the sidelines to see if things improve before they dedicate any more time or effort to another industry show. On the other hand, an industry show will need some big-name, anchor exhibitors to start attracting other smaller exhibitors, and more importantly show attendees. Time will tell. See you in 2020. Note: The Automotive Service Association has announced that the 8th Annual MSO Symposium and Technology Telematics Forum (TTF), which would ordinarily be held in conjunction with the NACE Show, will instead be held in 2019 in conjunction with the Collision Industry Conference in Indianapolis, Ind., July 24–25, 2019.

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Consumers Confused by Partially Automated Driving Features by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

We thank CarComplaints.com for reprint permission. https://www.car complaints.com/news/2018/consumers -confused-by-partially-automateddriving-features.shtml What’s in a name? When it comes to partially automated driving systems, apparently a lot. The latest research from AAA indicates that 40 percent of U.S. consumers believe partially automated driving systems can do all the driving—a scary proposition for all drivers on the roads. Names such as Autopilot, Pilot Assist and ProPILOT allegedly confuse some drivers who don’t pay attention to their surroundings because they believe the cars handle all the driving chores. In addition to the confusing names used by some automakers, researchers at AAA also tested multiple systems in four vehicles and determined they suffered from serious problems when dealing with stationary vehicles, poor lane markings and unusual traffic patterns. To research partially automated vehicle capabilities, AAA conducted tests on the closed surface streets of

the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. Additional tests were conducted on highways and limited-access freeways in the Los Angeles area.

Researchers used a 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, 2018 Nissan Rogue, 2017 Tesla Model S and 2019 Volvo XC40, all equipped with standard partially automated driving features. While driving on public roadways, the test vehicles had problems in moderate traffic, on curved roadways and when traveling streets with busy intersections. “Researchers noted many instances where the test vehicle experienced issues like lane departures, hugging lane markers, ‘ping-ponging’ within the lane, inadequate braking, unexpected speed changes and inappropriate following distances,”

stated AAA. According to researchers, the systems typically did best on open freeways and freeways with stop-andgo traffic. However, nearly 90 percent of events requiring driver intervention were caused by the inability of the test vehicle to maintain lane positions. Closed-track tests were conducted by using multiple driving conditions such as following an impaired driver and coming upon a tow truck or a vehicle that suddenly changed lanes to reveal a stopped vehicle was in the road. AAA said all the vehicles successfully maintained lane position and recognized and reacted to the presence of the tow truck with little to no difficulty. However, three of the four test vehicles required the drivers to intervene and take control to avoid an imminent crash when a lead vehicle changed lanes to reveal a stationary vehicle. Real-world examples exist, as drivers claimed they crashed due to believing their cars could take full control in all driving situations, even when the owners’ manuals clearly said otherwise. Within the past few months, Tesla

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has been sued twice by drivers who crashed while not paying attention to the roads. In one crash, a Tesla Model S crashed into a stalled vehicle at 80 mph because the driver believed the car would stop on its own. A separate lawsuit alleges the driver was deceived by Tesla’s marketing of its Autopilot system, causing the driver to remove her hands from the wheel for 80 seconds just prior to the crash. AAA’s research isn’t the first to show how drivers can be confused by the different names used for similar features offered by various automakers. In a paper released by the Thatcham Research Center and the Association of British Insurers, researchers found consumers can easily fail to understand the differences between advanced driver assistance systems and fully automated driving technology. The confusion can cause drivers to ignore the reality of needing to stay fully alert to deal with all driving conditions. In addition, researchers said confused drivers can also lack the ability to understand that they may be completely legally responsible for any crashes that occur.

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ASA Appoints Ray Fisher to Serve as Executive Director

ASA has a new leader. Ray Fisher, executive director of ASA’s Michigan affiliate, was selected to head the Automotive Service Association as its executive director/president. His new position began Jan. 2. Fisher, AMAM, replaces Dan Risley, who left to pursue an opportunity in his home state of Illinois in July. Beth Risch served as ASA’s interim chief operating officer while the ASA Board of Directors conducted an extensive search. “I appreciate the opportunity that the ASA Board of Directors has afforded me, and I look forward to serving the independent automotive repair industry,” Fisher said about his new role leading the 67-year-old organization. “We are at a critical time in our industry where involvement plays an important role. Education and training are no longer an elective but required. Trade schools were forgotten, technology can be overwhelming, and we have an aging workforce that is faced with some difficult decisions. ASA can help lead the industry in addressing those challenges.”

ASA Board Chairman Roy Schnepper, AAM, said the board felt Fisher distinguished himself in several categories that led to his selection.

“The ASA National Board considered many variables in choosing our next executive director,” said Schnepper. “After reviewing approximately 80 resumes, the search committee of Bryan Kelly, Jim Keller, Robert Redding, Darrell Amberson and myself narrowed it down to three well-qualified candidates and presented this to the board of directors at the November board meeting in Las Vegas. Ray’s broad industry background and long association experience as executive director of the ASA-Michigan affiliate made him the best candidate. We welcome Ray to his

new role and look forward to working with him to grow the association through his knowledge and dedication to serving our members.” Fisher, who has served the industry in varied roles, has been president and executive director of ASA-Michigan since 2010. In addition, he served as a body shop manager for more than 20 years, assistant parts manager and an expert witness for a local law firm regarding collision repair and processes. With formal education in business administration, Fisher is an Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) and an Accredited Master Automotive Manager (AMAM). He has extensive legislative experience, driving key issues for ASA-Michigan members on sales tax issues and shop licensing. His recognition and contributions to the organizations he served have resulted in numerous awards, including the ASA Affiliate of the Year Award in 2018, ASA Legislative Award in 2015 and 2016, as well as the I-CAR Founder’s Award.

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New Car Technology May Lead to Sticker Shock at Auto Body Repair Shops by David Patch, Blade Staff Writer

Back-up cameras and lane-departure warnings may help people drive more safely, but they also drive up newer vehicles’ repair bills, the American Automobile Association reported in a recent study. And a driver need not have been in a crash to face a four-figure repair bill. Even something as innocuous as an unfortunately placed windshield chip can cost big money if it affects the performance of an on-board safety system, the auto club reported. “It’s just unbelievable,” said Steve Grabke, owner of Steve Grabke’s Body Shop on Angola Road in Holland, OH, about the complexity of repairing vehicles equipped with advanced driver-assistance systems. Grabke said he has spent thousands of dollars training his staff to work on such vehicles, and replacing parts is only one facet of such repairs. “You have to set up targets for calibration, and every vehicle is different,” said Gary Todd, the manager at Grabke’s shop. And repair of some systems must be referred to dealer shops because it involves technology that is proprietary to the vehicle manufacturers. Todd said Grabke’s has lost about 10 percent of its work to such situations. “It is not unusual for windshields to get chipped or cracked, especially for drivers who commute on a daily basis,” Bob Kazmierczak, AAA’s director of automotive services, said in the report. “This may be an eyesore, but when it falls in the line of sight of a camera or the driver, it becomes a safety issue that needs immediate attention by a facility qualified to work on these systems,” the report said. Cameras and radar and ultrasonic sensors built into bumpers, body panels and even side mirrors are also vulnerable. “While most drivers may not find themselves in a collision, these parts can easily be damaged when pulling out of a garage or bumping into objects,” the auto club’s report said. When a customer brings a vehicle to an independent repair shop and it has to refer some of the work to a 56

dealer shop, that becomes a “sublet repair” that eats up most, if not all, of the profit, Kazmierczak said in the study.

hook for their policies’ deductibles. “More and more cars are coming with other stuff on the windows besides the rear-view mirror,”

Cortney Mann repairs and puts on a new door on a 2014 Cadillac XTS at Steve Grabke’s Body Shop on Dec. 19, 2018. Credit: The Blade, Amy E. Voigt

And when a particular repair is referred to a dealer, Todd said, “then they [customers] feel that you’re telling them you can’t fix their car.” Rick Lawrence, a co-manager at Smitty’s Automotive on Jackman Road, said calibration is the biggest obstacle for independent repair shops. “I can’t even fix most of these now because of the reprogramming requirements,” Lawrence said. “You can fix it, but you can’t make it work.” Vehicle owners should verify whether any repair facility can properly repair damaged systems and request proof of work once it’s complete, AAA said. “As technology continues to evolve, drivers need to be better educated and more aware of their vehicles’ capabilities,” Kazmierczak said. “This includes understanding how the vehicle systems work as well as how much repairs may cost if damaged.” With 1 in 3 Americans unable to afford even $500 in unexpected repairs, AAA strongly urges consumers to consider the potential repair costs of these advanced systems as well as to perform an insurance policy review, the auto club said. Les Breininger, the owner of Sylvania Auto Restyling & Glass, said insurance so far has covered all of his shop’s customers’ technologyrelated windshield replacements, but his customers are often still on the

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Breininger said. Manufacturers specify that any cameras or sensors associated with replacement glass need to be recalibrated, at a cost typically ranging be-

tween $150 and $230, Breininger said, and windshields have become significantly more expensive than they used to be. In an article published during the summer, Consumer Reports also noted that road grime or winter’s ice and snow also can interfere with navigation systems’ performance, especially devices that rely on cameras. While auto manufacturers are developing “self-cleaning” features for those systems, they are far from universal. And like improper calibration, dirt, frost or other interference may render safety systems inoperative or inaccurate. AAA based its research on repair costs for “three top-selling models in popular categories,” including a small sport utility vehicle, a medium sedan, and a full-size pickup truck. It did not disclose the models, but it did identify the manufacturers as Ford, Toyota and Nissan. We thank The Blade for reprint permission.

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autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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CREF Career Fairs Pair Eligible Graduates With Transportation Industry Positions The new and improved version of the Collision Repair Education Foundation career fairs is going strong. Businesses across the transportation industries, including collision repair, automotive services, heavy duty auto and diesel automotive, are meeting their matches, and new graduates are finding their happily-ever-after careers.

Ricky’s skill grow tremendously over a short period, and he is the embodiment of what this company is about—doing a proper repair while trying to WOW our customers.” What makes these career fairs new and improved isn’t just the addition of hiring industries outside of collision repair, but also CREF’s new

Gerber, and I jumped on it because it was a good learning opportunity.” Each career fair hosts upwards of 400 students and a variety of hiring businesses in the transportation industries. The goal is to pair the brightest new graduates with the most lucrative entry-level positions in the industries.

“I got a young and enthusiastic tech out of [the career fair]” — Aleksei Keller, General Manager at Gerber Collision.

Enrique Dorantes, a Gerber Collision technician, was hired at a CREF career fair last year

“I got a young and enthusiastic tech out of [the career fair]” said Aleksei Keller, general manager at Gerber Collision. “We have seen

partnerships with TechForce Foundation and S/P2. Working with these partners allows CREF to help high school and college students and graduates prepare for the interviews they dream of getting as a result of the fair, facilitate onsite interviews and play a more active role in employment presentations. “I had an idea of what opportunities were available to me in collision repair from school,” said Enrique Dorantes, a Gerber Collision technician hired at a CREF career fair last year. “At the fair, I learned about the technician development program at

Dorantes said the opportunities he found in school all required more experience than his education provided, so prior to the career fair, he was looking at taking a low-paying job just to get his feet wet. “I needed more real-world experience. School was 80 percent textbook learning and 20 percent hands-on. Gerber offered me an opportunity to learn on the job and they provide tools, which isn’t something I could find just anywhere,” he said. Keller is ecstatic with Gerber’s hire just six months in. “Most young employees don’t ask a question, but

he is full of them on a daily basis [and] trying to expand his knowledge,” said Keller. “We were really impressed with his attitude.” Spring Career Fair Dates The Foundation is currently planning career fairs on the following dates next spring: • • • • • • • • • • •

Miami, FL (2/27) Tampa/Orlando, FL (2/28) San Antonio, TX (3/6) Phoenix, AZ (4/6) Atlanta, GA (TBD) Chicago, IL (TBD) Dallas, TX (TBD) Detroit, MI (TBD) Houston, TX (TBD) Northern VA (TBD) Northern and Southern CA (TBD)

Additional dates will be announced soon.

For more information on how to participate in a career fair or establish one in your community, contact Brandon Eckenrode, director of development, via phone at (312) 231-0258 or email at Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation.org

GM To Double Resources for Electric, Autonomous Vehicles by Sam McEachern, GM Authority

General Motors recently announced that it is doubling the amount of resources it will allocate toward the development of electric and autonomous vehicles over the next two years. The announcement came as part of the promotion of former head of product at General Motors, Mark Reuss, to president of the company. “Reuss has also been leading the transformation of the company’s global product development workforce and processes to drive world-class levels of engineering in advanced technologies and improve quality and speed to market,” GM said in a prepared statement. “He is doubling the resources allocated to electric and autonomous vehicle programs in the next two years.” GM CEO Mary Barra said Reuss has also “played a critical role in leading the development of the company’s award-winning vehicles while transitioning his team to prepare for growing electrification and autonomous technologies.” While no official monetary figure was provided by GM, the automaker is dumping quite a significant amount of money into the development of 58

electric and autonomous vehicles. Late last year, the automaker announced it would invest $28 million in its battery development and test lab. It has also spent more than $1 billion to acquire and expand its self-driving car subsidiary, Cruise Automation. GM recently axed one of its plug-in hybrid vehicles, the Chevrolet Volt, in order to make way for more battery electric vehicles. It also got rid of other aging, slow-selling product in order to free up cash to invest in EVs and AVs. GM models set to be discontinued include the Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Impala, Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac XTS sedan and Cadillac CT6 sedan. GM Canada is rumored to be killing off the Chevrolet Sonic as well—a move that GM will eventually copy, we (GM Authority) imagine. The American automaker recently passed the 200,000-EVs-sold milestone, which means its EV customers will no longer be eligible to receive the $7,500 tax credit. The government will phase out the tax credit system for GM over the next 15 months. We thank GM Authority for reprint permission.

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

OHIO

SOUTH DAKOTA

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CREF Benchmark Grant Applications Available to Collision Schools The application for the Collision Repair Education Foundation Benchmark Grant program, formerly the Ultimate Makeover Grant, is now available to schools teaching collision repair across the U.S. The grant program is in its 10th year. Instructors are advised to begin the application early, and industry professionals are encouraged to get involved with the Benchmark grant by working with their local school’s collision instructors to help them apply. The winning schools will be announced during the SEMA show in Las Vegas, NV, in November. Awards of up to $25,000 will be given. The school Benchmark Grant application is available online and is due by Friday, June 7, 2019. “Schools teaching the next generation of the collision industry’s workforce continue to face tremendous budgetary pressure. It is difficult for many to maintain their program at current capabilities, no less increase their abilities and improve the training they deliver to the industry’s future workforce,” said Melissa Marscin, director of operations/administration for the Foundation. “The Benchmark grant program is de-

signed to help collision schools get the much-needed tools, equipment and supplies to increase their capa-

bilities based upon industry-developed standards. Last year, every school that applied received some level of support through both grants and in-kind donations.” The Benchmark grant program incorporates the Foundation’s Collision School Career Readiness Benchmark that was launched in 2017. Under the program developed by the Foundation, schools are classified into three tiers: • Tier 1: Advanced • Tier 2: Proficient • Tier 3: Developing

The designation will be determined by the Foundation based upon information provided by schools about the capabilities of their program de-

Think Genuine Subaru Parts.

tailed in the Collision Repair Education Foundation Benchmark grant application. The criteria for each level includes the number of hours of instruction and curriculum in place, along with what tools, equipment and supplies a school uses to prepare their students for employment in the collision industry.

line at: https://app.wizehive.com/app form/login/2019SchoolGrant The organization’s Board of Trustees Selection Committee will select the winners of the awards and determine which items off the wish lists each school will receive. Since 2009, schools have been able to apply for the grant to get much-needed tools, equipment and supplies. Over $4 million in cash and in-kind donations have been

If there is something that a school needs to advance to the next level, the Education Foundation’s grant application will allow a school to request that particular item. The goal is to help every school acquire the resources needed to eventually achieve a Tier 1: Advanced school designation. Schools at Tier 1 status can request support for items that further advance and expand their program. The application is available on-

given out to schools as a result of the grant, and more than 25,000 collision students have been impacted by the program. Collision repair facilities, insurance companies and suppliers interested in supporting school grants should contact Collision Repair Education Foundation Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation .org or (312) 231-0258.

“Last year, every school that applied received some level of support through both grants and in-kind donations.” — Melissa Marscin

MINNESOTA

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autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

59


Ford Recalls 953,000 Vehicles for Airbag Flying Shrapnel Threat by Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press

Ford Motor Co. issued a recall on Jan. 4 of nearly 1 million vehicles in North America with a risk of flying shrapnel caused by exploding Takata airbag inflators. The latest action involves more than 953,000 Ford vehicles worldwide—including 782,384 in the U.S. and its territories and 149,652 in Canada. Seven Ford and Lincoln vehicles are named in the recall: • • • • • • •

Ford Edge, 2010, built in Oakville Lincoln MKX, 2010 built in Oakville Ford Ranger, 2010 and 2011 built in the Twin Cities Ford Fusion, 2010 to 2012 built in the Hermosillo Assembly Plant Lincoln MKZ, 2010 to 2012 built in the Hermosillo Mercury Milan, 2010 and 2011 built in the Hermosillo Ford Mustang, 2010 to 2014 built in Flat Rock

Ford urges consumers to get their vehicles to dealers as soon as

monium nitrate to create an explosion that causes inflation. But heat and humidity can damage the integrity of the system and cause it to deteriorate and explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal canister designed to contain the explosion. Unrelated to Takata airbags, Ford also issued a safety recall on certain 2019 Ford Ecosport vehicles because the front seats haven’t been welded properly and may come loose. “A seat back with an inadequate weld may have reThe Flat Rock Assembly Plant stands with the ruby red duced strength ... potentially 2014 Mustang convertible that was the 1 millionth increasing the risk of injury Ford Mustang built at the Flat Rock assembly after in a crash,” Ford said in its an event marking the milestone in April 2013. Credit: release. Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press Ford is not aware of any Ford said it has no reports of in- accidents or injuries resulting from juries involving these vehicles. But this condition. The recall impacts about 87 at least 23 people worldwide have been killed in incidents involving EcoSport vehicles in North America, Takata airbags, which led to one of including 63 in the U.S. and its territhe largest recalls in history involv- tories and 13 in Canada. Ford dealers will replace front seats on affected ing multiple carmakers. The Takata airbags, which are vehicles with new seats. We thank Detroit Free Press for intended to prevent or reduce injury upon impact, use the chemical am- reprint permission. possible for replacement. They will replace the passenger frontal airbag inflator or module at no cost.

Tesla Owners Go Behind-the-Scenes at a Certified Tesla Repair Center by Kay Talley and EVANNEX for InsideEVs

Attendees from Denver Tesla Club experienced a unique opportunity to see damaged cars up close, personal and naked at Stuttgart Auto Body, a Tesla collision repair facility in Denver, CO.

They visited to gain insight into the structure of Tesla’s vehicles— and what can possibly go wrong while out on the road. Stuttgart is certified by Porsche, Mercedes and Tesla. The main focus of the Englewood facility is the lat60

ter. State Farm expert Austin Domsch was also on hand to explain coverage of the incident. Accidents happen. How they are taken care of is an eye-opener into the vehicle and the overall construction of Models S, X and 3. The crumple zone up front is a testament to its lifesaving abilities. Tesla is possibly the most complicated of vehicles to work on, but Stuttgart has made a massive investment in all Tesla-approved equipment necessary and continues to grow with the company to keep up with the electric carmaker’s continually evolving technology. Tesla Fremont handson trained technicians are passionate about returning a car to an owner in pre-accident condition and use only Tesla OEM and diagnostics. We thank InsideEVs for reprint permission.

FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Collision Works Utilizes Symach’s FixLine Process

Symach announced that the company has installed three new body shops for Collision Works of Oklahoma (CWO)—two in Tulsa and one in Oklahoma City—utilizing Symach’s FixLine process. The three locations are currently using Symach’s FixLine system, Drytronic technology and the Symach Paint Application Process (SPAP). Jake Nossaman, owner of the shops, said the company expects that the modern equipment and process will enable the repair facilities to cycle vehicles through the shops faster, reach their financial goals much easier and improve CSI scores. “We helped Collision Works customize their new locations using the FixLine Process, which will enable the state-of-the-art collision centers to optimize repair times and reduce labor costs by as much as four or five hours for each repair,” said Osvaldo Bergaglio, CEO of Symach.

www.autobodynews.com

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Regional Association Event Announcements: February 2019 by Chasidy Rae Sisk

See below for a list of regional automotive association events coming up in February: AASPI Annual Meeting To Feature Mike Anderson On Feb. 23, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Illinois (AASPI) will be hosting its 2019 Annual Meeting at the Diplomat West in Elmhurst, IL, from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The event will feature a keynote presentation by Mike Anderson of Collision Advice as well as a presentation delivered by Eric Newell of asTech, an AASPI Elite Provider member. According to AASPI Executive Director Mike Lane, “We have also extended an invitation to Senator Tom Cullerton (D-23) and Representative Elizabeth Hernandez (D-24), who have shown interest in working with AASPI in the introduction of legislation mandating all estimates be written using OEM repair procedures.” Anderson’s presentation is ti-

tled “Positioning Yourself in the Collision Repair Industry” and will focus on what the future holds for collision repair professionals. Some of the topics that Anderson will cover during AASPI’s Annual Meeting include how telematics and connected vehicles will impact the damage analysis process, how telematics and connected vehicles will impact FNOL and when it will happen, how to prepare for the fact that 36 percent of consumers want services outside a shop’s normal business hours, and preparing for the prediction that 70 percent of claims will be handled by photo or video inspection by 2020. Anderson will also provide an overview of Collision Advice’s “Who Pays for What?” surveys and an update on OEM certifications as well as other relevant industry topics. Newell will present “Why is Post-Repair Calibration So Important?” He will demonstrate why it is vital for collision repair facilities to understand which systems may be impacted by the repair process because calibrating the ADAS is vital

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to a properly and safely functioning vehicle. AASPI’s Annual Meeting will also include the election of officers and directors. Current President Bob Gottfred of Erie LaSalle Body Shops will be re-elected, as will Vice President Doug Fiala from Douglas Auto Body and Secretary/Treasurer Paul Mason of AutoNation. Mayers Collision Center’s Joe Mayer will continue to serve as a director for the association alongside newly elected directors Tom Stiefbold of O’Hare Auto Body and Tim Paap from Paap Auto Body. Additional information and registration for the event will be available on the association’s website at aaspi.org or by calling the AASPI office at 217-528-5230. YANG To Host 2 Meet-Ups in MI and LA The Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG) will host two Regional Meet-Ups in February. On Thursday, Feb. 7, YANG will meet up in Grand Rapids, MI, in conjunction with the Auto Value Bumper to Bumper Tech Expo. This Meet-Up will be hosted by Auto Wares. On Wednesday, Feb. 27, YANG’s Meet -Up will be held in New Orleans, LA, in conjunction with the 2019 Women in Auto Care Leadership Conference. For more information about YANG and its scheduled events, visit autocare.org/what-wedo/professional-development/youngauto-care-network-group/ ASA-AZ Tucson Chapter To Host February Roundtable On Feb. 5, the Tucson Chapter of ASA-AZ will host an Automotive Roundtable from 6 p.m.–8:30 p.m. at El Corral Restaurant in Tucson, AZ. The goal of these meetings is to provide a platform for association members to share the challenges they face in their businesses and identify potential solutions. For more information on ASA-AZ, visit asaaz.org. HABA & ABAT To Host 2019 Collision Day The Houston Auto Body Association (HABA) scheduled a 2019 Collision Day for Feb. 12 in Austin, TX, at the State Capitol. This will be a joint effort in collaboration with the Auto

Body Association of Texas (ABAT). The purpose of the event is to put repairers and other industry representatives in direct contact with state leaders. The Texas collision repair industry is ready to stand up as a collective force for change emphasizing “Safety and Enforcement of the Texas Consumer Bill of Rights,” according to HABA Legislative Coordinator Larry Cernosek. For more information on HABA, visit haba online.org. AWAF To Host Fireside Chat The Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation (AWAF) will host a Fireside Chat on Feb. 6 in a private residence, featuring Ms. Julie Martin, vice president of sales and marketing for HELLA USA. For more information on AWAF, visit awa foundation.org. ASA-OH To Host Repair Planning Workshop On Feb. 6, ASA-OH will host a workshop titled “Optimize Performance Through Repair Planning” presented by Robb Power, senior manager of business solutions for PPG’s Automotive Refinish division. Rescheduled from September due to a hurricane, the workshop is scheduled for 9 a.m.– 4 p.m. at Ohio Auto Kolor in Columbus, OH. Power’s presentation will focus on explaining how shops have the potential to deliver improved performance by utilizing the repair planning process. It will include an explanation of the impact the traditional estimating process has on work flow, knowledge of the benefits to the business for those who can successfully implement repair planning, detailed instructions on the repair planning process, and an in-depth exploration of the things to do and avoid in order to successfully implement repair planning. The cost to attend this workshop is $45 for association members and $90 for non-members. For more information about ASAOH and its events, visit asaohio.org.

www.autobodynews.com

autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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FEBRUARY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Profile for Autobody News

February 2019 Midwest Edition  

February 2019 Midwest Edition