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

U.S. Deficit 60.7% Higher Than This Time Last Year by Bethany Blankley, The Center Square

The federal deficit in the first three months of the budget year is 60.7% higher than over the same time period as last year, a record-breaking $572.9 billion. The deficit surged as a result of C ongressional spending of $3.5 trillion in 2020 in response to the coronavirus, although critics note that spending on pork barrel programs that had nothing to do with the virus increased and also drove the deficit. At the same time, revenue declined because of ongoing state lockdowns.

The Treasury Department reports that the deficit is 2 . billion higher than the same October-December period in 2019. A record in spending for the period represented an 18.3% increase of $1.38 trillion, while at the same time revenues fell 0.4% to $803.37 billion. In the month of December alone, when C ongress passed, and President D onal d T ru m p signed several spending bills, the deficit reached a record $143.6 billion. The shortfall for the 2020 budget year, which ended Sept. 30, reached an all-time high of $3.1 trillion. See U.S. Deficit, Page 4

‘Who Pays for What’ Survey: About 2 in 5 Shops Itemizing Diagnostic Time Separately from Scanning More than a third of shops (39%) itemize on invoices the diagnostic labor time they spend researching diagnostic trouble codes (DTC s) apart from the charge for the vehicle scan itself, according to just-released results from a “Who Pays for What? ” survey. Among the more than 500 shops responding to the survey’s new questions related to diagnostic time, about half acknowledged never having included an itemized charge for diagnostic time. But among those that do, about three in 10 (29%) say they are paid

“always” or “most of the time” for the charge by the largest eight auto insurers, and the majority (55%) say they are paid at least “some of the time.” M ik e A nd e rson of C ollision Advice, which conducts the “Who Pays” surveys in conjunction with C RASH Network, believes those numbers will grow because diagnostic time is becoming an increasingly significant portion of collision repair work. “ know firsthand how much time it takes to research and trouble-

Vol. 10 / Issue 5 / February 2021

2009 redux? Biden cites ‘urgent’ need for his $1.9 trillion stimulus by Philip Wegmann, RealClearWire

The economy was bad, and the White House planned to go big. On the day the mammoth $800 billion Recovery Act became law, however, the new president took care to stress how his administration would keep a close eye on every dollar going out the door. This task of providing oversight, Barac k O b am a announced at the bill’s 2009 signing ceremony, would go to Joe Bid e n. “To you, he’s Mr. V ice President,” Obama quipped to a room that included more than one skeptical Re-

publican lawmaker. “But around the White House, we call him the sheriff.” In a few days, the country will call him Mr. President. A decade later, Biden confronts a deeper economic crisis, this one brought on by a global pandemic, and the incoming executive has proposed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package meant to buoy families and communities and small businesses as his administration pushes to step up distribution of the coronavirus vaccines. All that old sheriff has to do See $1.9 trillion stimulus, Page 4

American Honda Motor Launches New Certification Program by Stacey Phillips

Nearly six years ago, Americ an H ond a M otor launched the ProFirst C ertified Body Shop Program. any were skeptical about obtaining OEM certifications, according to R ossana A l v are z , assistant manager of collision certification and parts marketing for American Honda Motor.

See ‘Who Pays for What’, Page 8



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Over time, she said, shop owners began to reali e the benefits of certification for their businesses and momentum began to build. In response to feedback American Honda Motor has received from shops across the country, the OEM has taken steps to update its certified

collision program. As a result, the Honda and Acura Certified Collision Program will replace the ProFirst program during a gradual transition throughout 2021. “The automotive industry continues to make technological advances at breakneck speed, highlighting the need for repair shops to be fully equipped and trained with access to necessary repair procedures to conduct a safe and proper repair,” said Alvarez. “OEM collision certifications are no longer simply popular; they are essential. The days of them being considered a fad are long gone.” Alvarez said the collision industry is rapidly changing and it was important for the Honda team to keep pace. “As E certification programs continue to gain traction with other sectors of the industry, the immediate recognition by those entities and our Honda and Acura vehicle customers becomes exponentially beneficial See New Certification Program, Page 14

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Nissan Sentra Recall Ordered for Takata Airbag Inflators by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

REGIONAL Blue Collar Body Shop to Expand, Add Services in Beloit, WI.....................................................8 Car Group Sues Over Minnesota Adopting California Emission Standards.......................18 FCA Invests Nearly $700,000 To Re-imagine

Separately from Scanning ...............................1 2009 redux? Biden cites ‘urgent’ need for his $1.9 trillion stimulus..................................1 39% of U.S. Reduced, Eliminated Insurance ........8 A Closer Look at Calibration Documentation

A Nissan Sentra Takata airbag recall has been issued for more than 4,500 model year 2002-2006 Sentra cars with passenger airbags that were previously inspected. However, the Takata airbag inflators weren’t replaced in , 0 cars in the U.S. and in 656 Sentras in C anada. Those inflators are at risk of

exploding even in minor crashes. Nissan dealers will replace the Takata airbag inflators if necessary. The Takata recall is expected to begin J an. 5, 2021, but concerned Sentra owners may call 00. issan’s Takata recall number is P . We thank C arC omplaints.c om for reprint permission.

and Technical Changes .................................38 Serving Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2021 Adamantine Media LLC.

American Icon Automotive Finishes ................... 8

Luther Kia of Bloomington ............................... 26

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers .......................... 31

McGrath City Hyundai ..................................... 22

AutoNation Collision Part ................................... 7

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

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ........................ 35

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers.......................... 34

Certified Automotive Parts Association ............ 10

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers ................. 30

Classic Chevrolet ............................................ 11

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers ................24-25

Classifieds ...................................................... 38

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers............ 30

Eckler’s Automotive ........................................ 15

Patrick Hyundai............................................... 27

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

SATA Dan-Am Company .................................. 40

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers .......................... 30

Sears Imported Autos, Inc ............................... 18

Procedures Outlined in SCRS Class ...............22

Gandrud Parts Center........................................ 9

Shaheen Chevrolet Parts Warehouse ............... 14

Yoswick - Panel Reviews Why OEM Repair

Safelite to Close Business Unit ..........................38

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ........................... 33

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes .............. 2

Procedure Legislation Has Mostly Failed

U.S. Car Rental Revenue Dives 27.4% in 2020 ..36

Hawkinson Kia ................................................ 12

Spanesi Americas ............................................. 5

to Be Enacted ...............................................26

U.S. Deficit 60.7% Higher Than This Time

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers .......20-21

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers...................... 32

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

The Porsche Exchange .................................... 26

Kelly BMW ...................................................... 27

The Sharpe Collection of Automobiles ............. 23

Kia Wholesale Parts Dealers ............................ 37

VanDevere Chevrolet....................................... 29

Laurel Auto Group of Westmont ....................... 13

VanDevere Kia ................................................ 29

Iowa Small Business Owners Call on Congress for More Federal Aid on Virtual Hill Day..........10 Minnesota Senate Passes COVID-19 Emergency Relief Package ..............................6 Thieves Steal Tools Worth Thousands from Toledo, OH, Auto Body Supply Shop .................6

American Honda Motor Launches New Certification Program ......................................1 ASE Entry-Level Certification Helps Shops Ensure New Talent is Actually Talented ..........36 COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Begins After Pfizer Receives Emergency Use Authorization .........35 Driven Brands Collision Group Stands ‘UNIT3D’...12 GM Pays $121M Over Ignition Switches,

COLUMNISTS Anderson - Two-Way Dialogue a Good Way to ‘Maintain’ Employees ................................31 Ledoux - The Rise of the Electric Vehicles .........32 Phillips - COVID Edition: Collision Repair Owner and Entrepreneur Develops Technology Claims Solution for Industry ........28

Power Steering, Airbags ................................39


Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk, David Luehr, Stacey Phillips, Victoria Antonelli, Gary Ledoux Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Norman Morano, Griffin Reinhard (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bryan Malinski Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Abby Andrews Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Permissions Editor: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray

Detroit’s East Side Communities ...................10

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

IGONC Tireside Chat: Setting Your Business Goals for 2021 ..............................................35 Nissan Sentra Recall Ordered for Takata Airbag Inflators ...............................................3 Objections to Payment and Requested

Last Year .........................................................1 NATIONAL ‘Who Pays for What’ Survey: About 2 in 5 Shops Itemizing Diagnostic Time

Used-Car Sales Likely Down for 2020, but Close Year on High Note ................................39

Luther Bloomington Acura-Subaru .................. 19

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Continued from Cover

$1.9 trillion stimulus now is get C ongress to come together – in the middle of another bitter impeachment fight. But in announcing the initiative Thursday evening, Biden didn’t mention the partisan battle currently consuming C apitol Hill. Instead, he emphasized in a prime-time speech that the dark winter he warned about during the campaign had arrived. C OV ID cases are spiking across the country. The economy is faltering. The nation, the president-elect argued, simply can’t afford not to act. Y es, it will be expensive. Perhaps remembering the fights over the 2009 stimulus, Biden didn’t shy away from that fact. With interest rates low, he said it was a great time to borrow even though it guarantees adding more to the ever-growing national debt. J ust a few minutes into his remarks, he said that “deficit spending” wasn’t just in order. It was “more urgent than ever” to make “smart fiscal investments.” “The return on these investments – in jobs, in racial equity – will prevent long-term economic damage and the benefits will far surpass the costs,” Biden argued before adding that top economists had concluded that spending more now to spur the economy would ensure “our debt situation will be more stable, not less stable, if we seize this moment with vision and purpose.” First, the president-elect requested $400 billion in additional funding to address the health crisis. According to his plans, the money would be spent rushing the vaccine into the arms of Americans at community vaccination sites nationwide, scaling up testing and tracing to track and contain the disease, and investing in the infrastructure and supplies needed to reopen schools

Continued from Cover

U.S. Deficit Due to ongoing state lockdowns, millions of Americans are still out of work, and tax revenues also dropped, while at the same time, the demand

safely. Once made safe for students and staff, Biden wants the ma ority of American students from kindergarten through eighth grade back in the classroom in his first 00 days. He also promised to lay out a vaccination plan “to correct course and meet our goal of 100 million shots by the end of our first 00 days.” Second, Biden requested $1 trillion in family relief. The biggest item in this spending bucket: a $1,400 per-person check (a payment to be added on top of the $600 already agreed to by lawmakers). He wants housing assistance and nutrition assistance, more money for subsidized child care, an extension of unemployment insurance through September, and a $3,000 tax credit for every child under 17 years old. What’s more, the incoming president wants a $15 minimum wage: “No one working 40 hours a week should still be below the poverty line.” Finally, the president-elect will ask C ongress for an additional $440 billion to provide relief for small businesses and to shore up struggling state and city and tribal governments. Biden proposes no less than $15 billion in direct grants as well as $175 billion in government-backed lending for small businesses. He promised that the focus would be on “Main Street,” with particular emphasis on ensuring that “minority-owned small businesses and women-owned small businesses finally having equal access to the resources they need to reopen and rebuild.” He also promised emergency funding for essential workers like municipal firefighters and police, warning that “the people putting their lives at risk are the very people now at risk of losing their jobs.” Biden offered a broad sketch of the rescue package in his 25-minute address while his team passed along

a -page fact sheet to fill in more of the details. It will be up to C ongress to put flesh on these legislative bones. While Democrats hold the Senate after their twin victories in Georgia, their grasp is tenuous. The chamber splits 50-50, meaning that V ice President-elect Harris would cast tie-breaking votes. But power-sharing will still be a fact of life in the chamber and the incoming president didn’t offer details about how the ambitious agenda would become more than an aspiration. Biden wasn’t short on soaring rhetoric, however. “We didn’t get into all this overnight. We won’t get out of it overnight, and we can’t do it as a separated and divided nation,” he said. “The only way we can do it is to come together.” This, along with the outlined spending, was enough to have congressional Democrats cheering. “House and Senate Democrats express gratitude toward and look forward to working with the President-elect on the rescue plan,” Majority Leader Chu c k Sc hu m e r and House Speaker P e l osi said in a press release. The pair heralded the spending as “the right approach” and a sign that Democrats “have a partner at the White House that understands the need to take swift action to address the needs of struggling communities.” Even the party’s most prominent progressives were impressed with the dollar amount. Democratic-socialist Be rnie Sand e rs, Biden’s 2020 campaign rival, released a statement calling the plan “much needed” and pledged to work with his colleagues in C ongress to get it passed. Republicans were predictably unimpressed. Rep. K e v in Brad y , the ranking member on the House Ways and Means C ommittee, said Biden had “launched yet another economic blind buffalo that does nothing to save Main Street.” The

Republican Study C ommittee, the largest GOP caucus in the House, tweeted that the stimulus checks alone in the plan “cost as much as the inflation ad usted cost of orld War I.” This sudden rediscovery of the dangers of too large a national debt harked back to the Obama days when the GOP prided itself on being the party of fiscal responsibility. C ongressional Republicans regularly warned then that the Democrat in the hite ouse was a profligate spender mortgaging the future of generations to come. It’s an old conservative chestnut that Republicans only seem to remember when emocrats occupy the val ffice: Under President Trump, the debt ballooned by $7.8 trillion. Familiar with those old arguments, Biden moved to head them off Thursday evening. “ know what I just described will not come cheaply,” he said. “But failing to do so will cost us dearly – the consensus among leading economists is we simply cannot afford not to do it.” This won’t be his only spending plan either. He promised that this $1.9 trillion initiative is an opening bid to C ongress with more spending to come later. As the first legislative priority of his administration, the plan will test the new president’s deal-making acumen. Biden seems comfortable in the role. He didn’t balk at debt and deficits the last time he was in the White House. He hasn’t gotten skittish in the last four years either, as he heralded the first multi-billion-dollar spending package he managed. “We will be responsible with taxpayer dollars, ensuring accountability that reduces waste, fraud, or abuse,” he promised, “like we did with the Recovery Act during the Obama-Biden administration.” We thank RealC learWire for reprint permission.

by states for federal financial support dramatically increased. The Treasury reports that outlays in December were a record $489.7 billion; receipts were $346.1 billion. The December total excludes the $900 billion C OV ID-19 spending bill, which included $600 payments

to individuals, extended unemployment benefit programs, and directed hundreds of millions of dollars to programs overseas, about which critics also complained. From October to December 2020, unemployment benefits totaled $80 billion. During the same time pe-

riod last year, they totaled $5 billion. Prior to the $900 billion spending bill, the Congressional Budget ffice forecast that 202 ’s deficit will total $1.8 trillion, and remain above $1 trillion every year though 2030. We thank T he C enter S q uare for reprint permission.

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Minnesota Senate Passes COVID-19 Emergency Relief Package by Bruce Walker, The Center Square

The Minnesota Senate has approved a $216 million emergency relief bill to assist the state’s small businesses struggling during Gov. T im W al z ’ s C OV ID-19 shutdowns. The bill would also extend unemployment benefits for innesotans for 13 additional weeks. Although the bill passed Dec. 14 has been heralded as a bipartisan effort, Senate emocrats are expressing concerns that it doesn’t provide enough protections for Minnesota residents and businesses. “This is a bipartisan breakthrough that gets relief out as fast as possible to the people who need it most,” Sen. E ric P rat t , R-Prior Lake, said in a statement. Pratt, chairman of the Senate J obs C ommittee, authored the bill. “Minnesotans are barely surviving due to the governor’s executive order,” he continued. “This relief will be a big help, but it’s not a long-term solution. “C OV ID is serious, and Minnesotans should treat it that way. But we ultimately have to get back

to a point where we can end the closures and allow businesses to open up again, safely and smartly,” Pratt said.

A Toledo, OH, business owner wants action after thieves hit his shop twice in a week. The break-ins happened at TNT Autobody Supply Shop on Fern Avenue near Tremainsville. T im and T y l e r Baird , the owners of the shop, have had the business for four years. Recently, there’s been a spike in crime in the area. In fact, the owners are currently building a fence to protect the property, but it didn’t happen soon enough. Over the first weekend of anuary, men broke into the shop and stole tools worth thousands of dollars. The suspects broke in just before 1 a.m. New Y ear’s Day using a truck to slam into the garage doors. Baird says surveillance pictures show the truck linked to the crime, and he is hoping someone recognizes the vehicle so he can get his stuff back. t is an older model, two-door C hevy pickup with two-tone maroon and silver

bill does not provide meaningful housing assistance. “Make no mistake, the lifeline we extended to Minnesota’s working families and small businesses is incredibly important, but so too is the need to keep Minnesotans out of

“This relief will be a big help, but it’s not a long-term solution.” — Eric Pratt Inner dome from the rotunda floor of the Minnesota State Capitol. Credit: Nagel Photography, Shutterstock.com

The bill provides direct relief payments totaling $88 million for businesses directly affected by Walz’s executive order to limit public gatherings, including bars, restaurants and gyms. These businesses are not required to apply for the government assistance. The $88 million will be divided according to the following schedule: • Businesses that are down 30% in revenue and have 0-20 employees

Thieves Steal Tools Worth Thousands from Toledo, OH, Auto Body Supply Shop by Christina Williams, WTVG News

will receive $15,000 • Businesses with 21-100 employees will receive $25,000 • Businesses with 101-300 employees will receive $35,000 • Businesses with more than 300 employees will receive $45,000

paint. Baird says he reached out to Toledo Police but he feels as if nothing is being done, so he is taking things into his own hands. Baird says he is frustrated that he is spending so much time dealing with crime when he is simply trying to make a living. There was another break-in at a diner right in front of this shop just before C hristmas. Police have not indicated the two are related but it’s clear someone is targeting businesses and trying to make a buck. If you have any information about the recent break-ins you can leave tips on the Toledo Police C rimestopper hotline 419-2551111. The family is also offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the truck and the suspects involved in this crime. If you have any information you can contact the shop. We thank WT V G permission.

News for reprint

An additional $14 million is approved for such businesses as movie theaters and convention centers. An additional $114 million in relief grants will be distributed to counties based on a per capita formula for the purpose of redistributing to businesses in those counties. Businesses are required to apply relief funds to payroll, rent, mortgage payments, utility payments and other expenses incurred during the regular course of business. All funding must be distributed by March 15. According Rep. M ic hae l H oward , FL, Richfield, however, the

the cold this winter,” Howard said in a statement. “As a pandemic rages and snow falls, the Senate GOP said no to housing assistance for families struggling to get by. Renters, homeowners and small ‘mom and pop’ landlords have rent and mortgages due in the new year, and for many there will be no help,” he said. In response to this perceived need, Howard introduced House File 7, which would appropriate $50 million in emergency housing assistance. We thank T he C enter S q uare for reprint permission.


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Blue Collar Body Shop to Expand, Add Services in Beloit, WI by Hillary Gavan

B lue C ollar B od y S hop, 2730 S. Bartells Drive, is about to make even more dreams come true thanks to its expansion project and growing services. The business which provides auto restoration work, will be offering more mechanical and electrical work in addition to its interior and fabrication offerings. Plans are also underway to erect a new 0-by- 0foot building west of its current facility this spring. By having a second building on site, the hope is to do fabrication and welding functions in one facility and painting and finishing in the other. As services expand, the business is going to be offering auto starts, stereo installations and window tinting as well as full detailing and ceramic coating. “We want to do the complete car here in-house from A to ,� said co-owner and arold’s son Jason T hom p son. The business can do work on daily drivers’ or restore high-end and vintage vehicles. t can repair minor dents and damage and

Continued from Cover

‘Who Pays for What’ shoot TCs,� Anderson said. “ iagnostic labor time should really be separated from the scan labor time because there are ust too many variables involved. “J ust as judgment times vary based on the size and location of the damage and the substrate involved, diagnostic time varies as well,� Anderson continued. “ sn’t the time it takes to research one diagnostic trouble code different from researching five “And it’s not ust looking up the code. Y ou also have to navigate the E repair flowchart to determine what the most probable cause is,� he said. “ f there are several possible causes, it might be the first one you try, or the last one. All this takes time.� The latest quarterly “ ho Pays for hat � survey is now open through anuary, focusing on “not-included� refinish labor operations. Shops can take the survey at https: //www.surveymonkey.com/r/

offers painting including airbrushing and pinstriping as well as services for motorcycles. Owner H arol d T hom p son and his son J ason Thompson and R ob P art ip il o stepson opened the business three years ago after arold’s retirement. arold had been working on cars since age 16, having owned 140 hot rods and classic cars over the years. “My brother D on T hom p son and have built many cars over the years,� arold said. ason and Rob were eager to join as they both have a passion for vehicle restoration. Rob said he wanted to help customers that had abandoned cars in their garages and needed help getting them restored. “ e try to make people’s dreams come true,� Rob said. They brought on arold’s brother Don Thompson to work as a technician and his nephew Arne Thompson as an employee and to work on the website and social media. Other team members include fabrication specialist oel Salter, electrical technician C lint Nitz and grandson and apprentice Evan Thompson.

PF Survey participants receive a free report with complete survey findings along with analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented. Anderson said the survey, which will take about to 20 minutes, can be completed by anyone in a shop familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of at least some of the largest national insurers. Each shop’s individual responses are held in the strictest confidence only aggregated data is released. The results of previous surveys are also available online at https: // www.crashnetwork.com/collisionadvice. Collision Advice www.CollisionAdvice.com) is an independent training and consulting firm featuring some of the most respected and experienced experts in the collision repair industry. CRAS etwork www.Crash etwork.com is a subscription newsletter offering news and information not available from other industry sources. S ourc e: C RAS H Network

ver the years the team members and their decades of experience helped many people finally restore the dream cars which had been sitting idle for years. Restoring a car to its former glory can be especially exciting for those vehicle owners who couldn’t find the time to do it themselves. “The best thing about opening this business is hearing the stories about the cars we do. t’s ama ing how much a car can mean to somebody,� R ob P art ip il o said. “Y ou can’t believe the expression on their face when they see their car. t makes my whole year,� arold said. arold Thompson recalled the shop doing all the paint and body work for a Chevelle convertible which went on to win a plethora of car shows. Another customer, who has a business restoring C hevelles, uses Blue C ollar Body Shop for all his paint and fabrication needs. As proud members of Blue Ribbon Classics, arold and the team have designed and built the trophies for Autorama for the past two years. We thank B eloit D aily News for reprint permission.

39% of U.S. Reduced, Eliminated Insurance ue to the pandemic, unemployment rates skyrocketed in 2020 to astounding levels, forcing many Americans to struggle to make ends meet. As a result, when looking to cut costs, though 26% said that insurance would never be trimmed from their budgets, others had no choice but to cut or eliminate insurance coverage altogether. aluePenguin’s most recent survey found almost 39% of Americans had to reduce or eliminate insurance costs to help them save money or because they found themselves unemployed. Almost four in 10 Americans cut back on insurance coverage in 2020, primarily to save money. That number jumps to 65% of those laid off or furloughed due to the coronavirus pandemic. ealth insurance was the most common policy consumers decreased coverage for or eliminated altogether, followed by auto insurance and dental insurance. S ourc e: V alueP eng uin

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FCA Invests Nearly $700,000 To Re-imagine Detroit’s East Side Communities Fiat C hrysler Automobiles (FC A) on ec. 2 announced two financial contributions integral to the automaker’s ongoing commitment to improve the quality of life for the people and neighborhoods on Detroit’s east side. FC A is contributing $400,000 to the Impact Neighborhood Fund for improvement projects in the C handler Park, West End and Riverbend neighborhoods, while a $285,000 contribution to the C handler Park C onservancy will enable the nonprofit organi ation to start construction on etroit’s first community-based environmental education pla a. “FC A’s commitment to Detroit goes beyond our facilities,” said R on St al l wort h, external affairs lead for Wayne C ounty, FC A. “Our collective futures will be defined by how we collaborate to transform our neighborhoods, and we are just getting started.” The $400,000 contribution to the Impact Neighborhood Fund represents half of the $800,000 outlined in FCA’s Community Benefits Agreement with the C ity of Detroit. The second $400,000 will be contributed in 2021. While Invest Detroit will serve as the fiduciary, members of the com-

munity, together with the Detroit Planning & Development Department, will determine which revitali ation projects receive funding.

“We all understand that a community that doesn’t invest in itself is a community in trouble,” said Jay H e nd e rson, president of the Riverbend Association and president of the Detroit Police Department’s 5th Precinct C ommunity Relations District C ouncil, a community group comprised of neighborhood associations and block clubs in the 5th Precinct. “This kind of financial investment from FCA will help jump start needed projects. After years of economic neglect, this is the shot in the arm that we need.” The $285,000 contribution was presented to C handler Park C onservancy at the future site of the education pla a, located ad acent to the

Iowa Small Business Owners Call on Congress for More Federal Aid on Virtual Hill Day Forty small business owners from across Iowa on J an. 13 joined 2,000 of their peers from all 50 states and the District of C olumbia in calling on C ongress to pass additional federal pandemic relief they say is critical to “keep America’s Main Streets strong.” The V irtual Hill Day is an initiative of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses V oices, which gives alumni of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program from across the country a platform to advocate for policy changes by providing them resources and training so they can make their voices heard. As part of the virtual advocacy day, the business owners held video meetings with Iowa’s entire congressional delegation. While small business owners expressed appreciation for the pandemic relief passed in December, they told the delegation the aid was a short-term fix for a longterm problem. The recently-passed bill would allow some small businesses to limp into spring while

wondering how they’ll survive until a vaccine has been widely distributed. “Small businesses across Iowa continue to struggle as the pandemic ravages Main Streets,” said Christ y Jone s, owner of three 1C ollision auto body shops in Greater Des Moines. “For many small business owners, the pandemic upended our business models and forced us to make difficult decisions including reducing staff, shelving plans to grow, taking on debt to cover expenses and forgoing our own pay as we watch our revenue evaporate. “Our message to C ongress as we participate in Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses V oices V irtual Hill Day is that while we appreciate the assistance passed last month, the state of small business is still dire and, without additional assistance, the American people and American workers will suffer further economic devastation.” We thank the B usiness Rec ord for reprint permission.

newly constructed marshland. The pla a will offer - 2 students an area to learn about green stormwater management, wildlife habitat and environmental stewardship. “Together, with FC A, we’re helping address the inequities of park amenities between city and suburban parks,” said A l e x A l l e n I I I , president and C EO, C han-

city’s east side. In addition to the Dec. 21 announcement, FC A has already made other significant investments in Detroit’s east side, including: • $4 million to build an education-career pathway for students and residents with the creation of a Manufacturing C areer Academy at Southeastern High School

“We all understand that a community that doesn’t invest in itself is a community in trouble,” — Jay Henderson dler Park C onservancy. “The project supports our triple bottom line, offering social, environmental and economic benefits to eastside residents. FC A is enabling us to complete our vision for this space.” FC A also donated 20,000 face masks to the community leaders. It is part of the automaker’s ongoing efforts to ensure that Detroiters stay safe and play a role in slowing the spread of C OV ID-19. FC A’s commitment to etroit is reflected in its decision to make the largest investment in the city’s history—$2.5 billion—into the •

$5.8 million in state funding to workforce development and training • $1.8 million for the home repair grant program • $1.4 million for various environmental projects throughout the east side Detroit C ity C ouncilmember A nd ré Sp iv e y , who represents this eastside district, said, “Eastside pride has motivated our community for generations. FC A’s presence and partnership reaffirms that our community matters and it’s a great place to live.” S ourc e: F C A

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Driven Brands Collision Group Stands ‘UNIT3D’ by Stacey Phillips

Early in December, Driven Brands C ollision Group held a virtual summit themed “UNIT3D.” During the event, speakers talked about the challenges the industry is facing and the importance of unity among the Driven Brands’ franchises to pave a path forward. After welcoming attendees to the event, M ic hae l M ac al u so, Driven Brands’ group president and EV P, paint, collision & glass, discussed the importance of strength for the company’s family of family businesses. “This year has certainly been trying but absolutely rewarding,” said Macaluso. “We’ve adjusted, we’ve pivoted and we’ve persevered.” Macaluso said that most importantly, throughout 2020, Driven Brands has tried to ensure the safety and health of the team, customers, franchisees and partners within the network. Guest speaker M ik e A nd e rson, owner of C ollision Advice, discussed the state of the industry and then held a panel discussion focused on current industry issues during the pandemic. “I understand that there are challenges in our industry right now with C OV ID… ” said Anderson. “Y ou don’t have to have it all figured out. All you have to do is be willing to reach out to other people and say, ‘C an you help me? ’ It’s really that simple.” He pointed out how the Driven Brands family has recently grown and advised attendees not to underestimate the value, importance and strength of the franchisees reaching out to one another to help accomplish a goal. An additional keynote speaker was N anc y F rie d m an, founder and chairman of the Telephone Doctor. Friedman shared tips and techniques on the “Golden Nuggets of Sales & C ustomer Service” during the pandemic. She encouraged attendees to prepare for the unexpected, embrace change, do something extra, return phone calls and make sure not to be too busy. Throughout the event, brand updates were given by company leaders. “2020 has been a year to forget,”

said Landon Thompson, vice president of operations, Fix Auto USA. “All businesses have faced challenging conditions this year, but few have really gone through what we have.” He pointed to the three-and-ahalf-year dispute with Mondo that was resolved Feb. 5. He also talked about the acquisition by Driven Brands six weeks after the coronavirus broke out.

Despite the challenges with C OV ID-19, 21 new franchise locations were added over the year. “We’ve prided ourselves on being great performers and not only have we sustained our performance, we’ve improved it,” Thompson said. M ark W ahl in, V P, franchise development & operations, ABRA, said 2020 for ABRA actually started in October 2019, when Driven Brands acquired the franchise. Since the pandemic, Wahlin noted, there has been additional work at the shop level related to the safety protocols for both employees and consumers. “It was an amazing shift and through it all, the centers stayed open,” he said. “The comeback has been amazing. At the end of October [ 2020] as a group, our sales are slightly ahead of that same time period as 2019. As we look forward to finishing up this year and growing into 2021, the expectations are high for that growth to continue.” Jeff Labanovich, GM of C ARSTAR C anada, gave an update on C ARSTAR North America and then spoke about the network’s resilience in 2020 during the pandemic. He said through all of the challenges, C ARSTAR has persevered and learned to adapt. “Being thrust into this change, I’ve just seen such resilience,” said

Labanovich. “… store owners, marketing groups standing together to figure out how to do things differently in an environment where honestly the market share is shrinking and that is something we need to be seriously protective of.” In addition to the brand updates, A rl o Johnson, SV P Insurance, talked about the learnings from the year and key industry updates in regard to network performance and strength. “Our primary responsibility is to help C ARSTAR, Fix Auto USA and ABRA stores grow sales,” said J ohnson. “We’re very focused on adding DRPs and that’s how my team is measured.” J ohnson estimated they added more than 1,000 DRPs in 2020 across all three brands in the U.S., and 77% are with top 10 carriers. Top-performing franchise partners for ABRA, C ARSTAR and Fix Auto USA were also honored for their excellence in Length of Rental (LOR) and C ustomer Satisfaction Index (C SI). Honors were given to the following:

ABRA LOR: ABRA, Rochester, MN, owned by T om K ad l e c , District Manager K ris Joe c k e l and Manager A ng ie H e nry CSI: ABRA, Sparta, MI, owned by P ab l o R od riq u e z , District Manager D e l K ing and General Manager D an R owan CARSTAR Canada LOR: C ARSTAR Bridgewater, Bridgewater, NS, owned by W e nd y and K e v in E nim o CSI: C ARSTAR C ollingwood, C ollingwood, ON, owned by G ary Bou c he r CARSTAR U.S. LOR: C ARSTAR Premier, Houston, TX , owned by M oe Shab an CSI: CARSTAR reenfield Autobody, reenfield, , owned by M ariu sz St anisz Fix Auto USA LOR: Fix Auto Irvine, Irvine, C A, Jam e s H u ard and A m and a F az io, See Stands ‘UNIT3D’, Page 15

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Continued from Cover

New Certification Program to our certified shops and American Honda Motor,” she added. I recently talked to Alvarez about the new program and some of the highlights: W

hat p rom p t e d t he d e c ision t o re place the ProFirst Certified Body  Shop P rog ram ? The ProFirst program was one of the first E certified collision programs to launch, and has made great strides. We’ve found it is held in high regard and has been widely accepted by repair facilities. The onda and Acura Certified C ollision program provides several improvements, including enhanced and absolute customer recognition. The program will effectively leverage both brands by triggering instant recognition in the larger population, and more importantly, vehicle owners. With ProFirst, customer recognition was an uphill effort not ust for American Honda Motor, but also

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for certified shops. e heard our certified shops loud and clear in regard to changing the program’s name. We have been working toward this for a long time and I am thrilled to address the need for an immediate brand connection between our customers and certified shops. W

hat are som e of t he p rog ram ’ s highlights and  how  does  it  diff er  f rom t he f orm e r one ? The ProFirst program included free access to the Honda and Acura Service Information System, parts catalogs, dedicated regional collision market managers, a customized plaque, promotional items and a shop locator listing. Building on this incredible value, the onda and Acura Certified C ollision Program provides immediate customer recognition, more effective advertising logos and a newly redesigned plaque that will showcase the multiple years a shop has achieved certification. In addition, there will be an annual certification fee. American Honda Motor has held the same price point since the program was

launched. After evaluation, we felt this was a good time to implement a fee adjustment and remain competitive. Another change will be the standardization of the option for renewing shops to select a guided virtual audit or an on-site audit. During 2020, guided virtual audits were offered as a temporary measure to aid with C OV ID-19 state and regional restrictions and will now become standard. Training for both programs will increase in 2021 based on vehicle need. W hat t y p e s of f ac il it ie s c an b e c om e part of the certifi ed network? ur certified network will continue to be comprised of independent shops, MSOs and shops aligned with a dealer group. We will exercise a high degree of selectivity in inviting new shops to apply and certified shops to attempt certification once more. Shops will be determined by each collision market manager in their region. American Honda Motor is very proud of managing our certified network and will continue to do so.

I s t he re any t hing ad d it ional y ou wou l d l ik e t he c ol l ision ind u st ry t o k now ab ou t t he p rog ram ? The ultimate goal is to connect vehicle customers with certified shops. These shops have agreed to do the right thing in conducting safe and proper repairs per the provided Honda/Acura repair procedures. With the increased visibility, this goal becomes even more important. As the program progresses, we will continue to evaluate shops to determine if they are following the requirements and should be invited to apply for renewal. I urge all shops, prospective and currently certified, to make sure they understand the requirements and evaluate whether they will be able to support the requirements and intent of the program. If the answer is anything other than a resounding “yes,” then it is not for them. Read the “Terms and C onditions” to make sure you make the best business decision for your business. www.autobodynews.com

Continued from Page 12

Stands ‘UNIT3D’ corporate ops leaders, Store Manager Je ssic a D e l g ad o CSI: Fix Auto Modesto-C ity C enter, Modesto, C A, owned by K rish Chand At the close of the event, D e an F ishe r, president of the Driven Brands C ollision Group, shared some final thoughts as the group looks ahead to moving forward together for a successful 2021. “Through what has been a year like no other, these franchise partners have risen above to consistently outperform in operations, customer experience and community engagement,” said Fisher. “We’re proud to recognize their accomplishments. They are truly role models for our Driven Brands family and the collision repair industry.” For more information about Driven Brands, visit https: //www. drivenbrands.com/. Social media tags: @ FixAutoUSA, @ C ARSTAR, @ C ARSTARC anada

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Car Group Sues Over Minnesota Adopting California Emission Standards by Scott McClallen, The Center Square

On J an. 6, the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association (MADA) filed a federal lawsuit aiming to stop Gov. T im W al z ’ s administration from adopting California’s vehicle emission standards. A A, which represents 0 franchised new car dealers with more than 20,000 employees, alleges innesota lacks the authority under the Federal Clean Air Act to regulate motor vehicle emissions. al ’s administration decided to move forward with the plan in 2020 in an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and incentivi e consumers to buy electric cars. The new rules, if adopted, would impose California’s emission rules on all cars sold in innesota starting in 202 . There’s two main regulations included: a ero emissions vehicle E standard and a low emission vehicle LE standard. The LE rule requires new automobiles sold to produce less pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, while the E rule requires automakers provide more options for low- and ero-emission vehicles such as electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. owever, automobile groups want to stomp the brakes, arguing the state doesn’t have that authority. They say the rules hurt consumers, especially the most cash-strapped who can’t afford more expensive cars. A A President Sc ot t L am b e rt said he’s asked al ’s administration and the innesota Pollution Control Agency PCA to abandon their adoption of California rules and pursue initiatives that benefit the environment and consumers.

“ nstead the agency has chosen to move forward with a plan that abdicates control to California and is harmful to innesota consumers and ain Street businesses across the state,” Lambert said in a statement.

Credit: Sharkshock/Shutterstock.com

A A alleges that since the federal government revoked California’s waiver to create its own emissions standards, innesota has no authority to impose those standards onto its citi ens. “From the beginning, the PCA has shown little understanding of how our industry operates and dismissed our concerns and good faith efforts to discuss other options,” Lambert said. “ nstead, the PCA is hellbent on adopting California’s mandates, which will result in higher costs for consumers and fewer choices of product that consumers want to purchase. t threatens the ability of many dealers to stay in business. e were left with no choice but to bring our grievances to court,” Lambert said. Lambert instead asked al ’s administration for a compromise. “ A A remains committed to working on the emerging electric car market and will pursue legislation in the 202 legislative session that promotes demand, more infrastructure

and education around these vehicles,” he said. ne way to boost fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gases is to make lighter vehicles. But lighter vehicles are also more dangerous than heavy ones in wrecks, H . St e rl ing Bu rne t t , a senior fellow on environmental policy at the eartland nstitute, previously told The Center Square. D arin Brot on, PCA director of communications, told The Center Square the legislature set a bipartisan goal to reduce innesota’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 0 by 20 0. “To help meet that goal, innesota has proposed clean car standards that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and give consumers more choices when purchasing electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles,” Broton wrote in an email. “ innesota’s proposed clean car standards for low emission

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vehicles have been used in all new cars, trucks and S s sold in innesota from 20 2 to 2020 and already adopted in states with evada and ew exico also seeking adoption. Auto dealers in innesota have been successfully selling more stringent low-emission vehicles since 20 2, and they can meet innesota’s proposed standards for years to come.” owever, electric cars have environmental damage tradeoffs. hile they don’t gu le gas, a single Tesla requires kg of lithium for its battery pack, which requires an energy-intensive extraction from the brine of salt flats that can damage the environment and cause water shortages, such as in Chile’s Atacama and Argentina’s Salar de ombre uerto regions, R onal d J. D e ib e rt explains in his book “Reset: Reclaiming the nternet for a Civil Society.”

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Schaumburg Honda Automobiles Schaumburg

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




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Objections to Payment and Requested Procedures Outlined in SCRS Class by Ed Attanasio

Let’s imagine you’re getting surgery and right before they put you under anesthesia, they tell you your heart replacement is an unnecessary procedure, or they want to save money by installing an aftermarket one.

AkzoNobel Small Business Consultant Tim Ronak presented “Overcoming Objections to Payment and Requested Procedures” as part of the SCRS 2020 Repair Driven Educational Series presented at SEMA360

What would you do other than scream at the system, desperately try to renegotiate or ask the surgeon to double up on the anesthesia? This is similar to the unending tug-of-war between body shops and insurance companies over what the latter is willing to pay for repairs. In many cases, the relationship works well and seamlessly, while others go sideways and end up being a bad experience for both parties involved. It doesn’t matter if you’re a DRP shop or not they will grind you at every turn anyway, and if you’re not prepared, they can hamstring your business in more ways than one. AkzoNobel Small Business C onsultant T im R onak presented “Overcoming Objections to Payment and Requested Procedures” as part of the SC RS 2020 Repair Driven Educational Series presented at SEMA360. Many shops nationwide are having issues getting OE repair procedures approved, or persuading insurance companies to reimburse for certain repairs when they submit their bills and estimates. Through a series of roundtable discussions with shop owners and managers, Ronak has been able to devise some strategies to address these issues and how they can be resolved. If you’ve been in the collision

repair industry for even a short time, you’ve undoubtedly heard these lines more than once the leading 14 excuses any shop can encounter: “We don’t pay for that.” “This is the cost of doing business.” “That’s part of the job.” “It’s the market rate in your area.” “That’s not a competitive rate in your market.” f those don’t float your boat or persuade you in any way, it’s time for their Plan B: “Sorry, but the prevailing rate in your area is fill in the blank. So, we cannot pay more.” “We can add some extra time on something else to cover the difference.” “No other shops in your area are asking for that amount.” “These rates are too high.” (Meaning a prevailing rate does exist.) “This is a four-hour repair, not a six-hour repair.” “We pay for aftermarket and used parts only.” “Y ou don’t need to perform that procedure.” “The OEM repair information does not say ‘required;’ it says ‘recommended’ or ‘suggested.’ Since they do not ‘require’ the operation, we will not pay for it.” And finally, after all of the wrestling doesn’t work, the insurer might say, “Please accept our non-DRP rate.” Shops run into all of these “reasons” excuses often, when all they want to do is return the car to its 100% pre-accident condition without compromising safety and functionality, Ronak said. Insurers will wrestle with collision repairers customarily about things such as scanning procedures, pre-fit on a quarter panel before it’s installed, or a road test at the completion of the repair, now called a “dynamic systems verification,” Ronak said. Ronak developed a comprehensive list of General Objection C ategories. One of the main objections is rates, and the problem is many shops are unable to make their case when

negotiating rates with the insurer. Without enough substantiated proof, the insurance company will win almost every time, Ronak said. C hallenging the asserted rate assumes you have done your own research to dispute it, Ronak explained. Use of any contracted or DRP rates in the calculation of “prevailing market rate” could be a violation of the Sherman Act, and could be described as purchaser price fixing, which is illegal and a federal offense. If an insurance company has negotiated a certain rate with one shop and then uses that negotiated rate when calculating an average rate for a market, it has “bought down” the market rate and may be an unfair trade practice. To determine the rates, shops are familiar with labor rate surveys provided by the insurers with zero oversight. “They provide a survey that can’t be edited,” Ronak said. “They tell you that this is how much you should accept because they think it’s fair. They pick the shops to use

and then determine how much they will pay in each market. The question here is should you really trust someone who owes you money to tell you how much they owe you or do you need to verify that? ” For shops to successfully challenge rates, they will need to prove the prevailing rates provided by the insurance companies are inaccurate, outdated or unfair. In summary, it’s the shop’s obligation to make a case every time when an insurer tries to cut its rates or coerce it to perform an inferior repair and compromise quality. Being proactive is key. Do your own labor rate surveys and back them up with the proper documentation. Be prepared for the insurer’s talking track and be ready to respond promptly and definitively. evelop a plan and a strategy and make sure anyone dealing with the insurance companies is on the same page. Ronak grew up in the collision repair industry beginning at age 14 working within his family’s busiSee Objections to Payment Page 27


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with Erica Schroeder

Industry Insight with John Yoswick

—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.

Panel Reviews Why OEM Repair Procedure Legislation Has Mostly Failed to Be Enacted

Shop Showcase

With more than a dozen states pro- that the best part is a new OEM part. posing legislation over the past three That’s just the reality.” years related to the use of OEM colThe insurance industry also with Ed Attanasio lision repair procedures, why have pushed back against proposed state nearly all of them failed to be enact- legislation that would require them ed? That was the question at the heart of a Governmental C ommittee panel discussion during a recent virtual C ollision Industry C onference with Ed Attanasio (C IC ) this month. One reason cited: Opposition to the idea of pushing for or requiring the use of OEM procedures from alternative parts industry. “I think the biggest problem we Darrell Amberson said many Minnesota have is there are OEM repair pro- lawmakers’ ties to the insurance industry with Ed Attanasio cedures that very blatantly deny the have made it difficult to even get a hearing in that state for legislation on OEM collision use of aftermarket or recycled orig- repair procedures inal equipment parts,” said panelist Sand y Bl al oc k , executive director to pay claims based on OEM repair of the Automotive Recyclers Asso- procedure. ciation. “So wewith have Ed veryAttanasio serious Panelist D arre l l A m b e rson of concerns that that would be pushed L aM ettry ’ s C ollision in Minnesoeven more if any of these pieces of ta said his state’s association twice legislation get passed.” pushed for legislation that would Panelist W ay ne W e ik e l of the have made it an unfair claims pracAlliance for Automotive Innova- tice for an insurer to refuse payment tion, a trade group representing the for a repair procedure called for by automakers thatwith manufacture nearly an OEM. Stacey Phillips all the passenger vehicles sold in The first year the bill didn’t even the U.S., pointed out in some of the receive a hearing. The association state legislative efforts, automakers then worked with insurers on some “took parts off the table,” by agree- “watered-down” compromise laning to legislative language “saying guage introduced in 2019, but even that, notwithstanding OEMPhillips re- then insurers opposed the bill during withwhat Stacey pair procedures may say about parts, a hearing. you’re supposed to follow the repair Amberson said the state’s legisprocedures.” lature has a high percentage of memBut Blalock said the OEM posi- bers who currently work for, or have tion statements remain. previously worked for, insurance “As long as there’s anything out companies, including the committee with Stacey Phillips there that is telling people it’s not member most critical at the hearing wise to use [ alternative] parts, or that of the bill’s language. they do not recommend that they be “It didn’t get out of that comused, this is going to be an issue for mittee,” Amberson said of the 2019 us,” she said. bill. “ t’s been difficult to reason “And that’s why you see why with some entities out there. I’m compromise onwith this will be diffi - not saying every insurer is against Stacey Phillips cult,” Weikel said. “Against all of my proper repairs. But there are those members’ views on parts, we tried to out there that frankly are inclined to focus just on procedures, and even imply that it’s to essentially cut after we’ve done that, we continue some corners. The phrase ‘case-byto hear objections such as these. I case’ implies you can make a judgecan tell you, our manufacturers are ment, questioning the repair procenot going to walk away from saying dures the manufacturer established.”

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New Hampshire lawmakers passed OEM repair procedure legislation in 2019, but it was vetoed by Republican G ov . John Su nu nu , who said the bill “would increase the cost of auto insurance premiums by limiting the ability of insurers to negotiate what is reasonable in the repair process.” Weikel pointed to what he sees as the irony in that argument. “Be that true or not true, by acknowledging that these prices were going to change, he was acknowledging on its face that repairs are not being done the way they should be,” Weikel said. “Because if they are, the price isn’t going to change.” Panelist Jina P e t rarc a- K aram p e t sos of the Auto Body Association of Rhode Island said the association successfully passed such OEM procedure legislation there in 2018 after spending “many, many years building momentum.”

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The association has a history of getting legislation enacted designed to ensure consumers have information and choice, she said. That includes an anti-steering bill, a two-tier “C lass A” and “C lass B” shop designation system, a total loss threshold of 75% that prevents a vehicle with lesser damage from being totaled without consumer consent, and a law that requires consumer consent for use of anything other than OEM parts for vehicles up to four years old. “ nowledge is power, and choice is power,” Petrarca- arampetsos said. “If you’re doing the right thing, giving consumers a choice is never going to be a negative in your business.” The Rhode Island OEM procedure regulation is tied to the parts legislation. It originally prohibited insurance companies from requiring any repairer “to use repair pro-


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cedures that are not in compliance with the recommendations of the original equipment manufacturer.” But Petrarca- arampetsos said in a compromise based on opposition from the non- E parts industry the bill was amended to say the re-

they were non-OEM originally. C ompromise on an OEM procedure bill in Washington State earlier in 2019 was also “very close,” she said. “But I think the biggest compromise is we need to stop thinking we have to go pass legislation to protect every facet of our businesses,” Blalock said. “We need to stop going to our legislatures and asking them to protect a certain segment of our industry.” Petrarca- arampetsos said she disagreed with the idea that legislation is not A virtual panel discussion on OEM repair procedure legisnecessary, given consumers’ lation included, clockwise from top left, Darrell Amberson, lack of awareness and unASA’s Bob Redding, Jina Petrarca-Karampetsos, Sandy derstanding of issues related Blalock and Wayne Weikel to insurance and collision quirement for automaker procedures repair. applies only “when OEM parts are “They aren’t versed in this,” used.” Petrarca- arampetsos said. “They “It’s been a major success. And it go to a shop. They expect to have was a compromise,” Petrarca- aram- their car repaired safely. They expetsos said. pect their insurance companies will Blalock said such compromise is treat them fairly. They’re not aware not out of reach, particularly in states, of the nuances.” like Rhode Island, that have generalShe said the association at one ly viewed used parts as OEM, unless point took a year off from its legisla-

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tive efforts to meet with insurers in an attempt to find “useful solutions” to issues of conflict, but there were no such solutions that the “insurers would implement without legislation,” she said. “That has been proven here over and over,” Petrarca- arampetsos said. Amberson said he agreed that finding solutions short of legislation would be wonderful, but it’s very hard to accomplish, particularly when it comes to OEM repair procedures. “Who among us are experts on this to the point that we can claim to be more knowledgeable about the proper repair than the vehicle manufacturer,” Amberson said. “Hence, we as repairers are caught in the middle, and unfortunately have to pursue legislative solutions to be able to fix cars properly, to protect ourselves as well as the consumer.”

Continued from Page 22

Objections to Payment ness in C algary, Alberta, C anada. At 17, he became the youngest interprovincially-certified auto body technician in C anada. In 1993, Ronak began working for the C anadian Federal Government, administering and developing advanced training programs for the automotive industry within Alberta that led to a management position with a large GM dealer in C algary. Fifteen years ago, Ronak joined AkzoNobel and has since developed numerous seminars focused on operational improvements in the collision center. Over his 25 years with AkzoNobel, he has helped more than 1,000 collision repair businesses improve their overall operational performance.


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with Ed Attanasio

Shop Strategies

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

with Stacey Phillips

COVID Edition: Collision Repair Owner and Entrepreneur Develops Technology Claims SolutionBody for Industry Shops Giving Back Bil l P ark , co-founder board memwithand Stacey Phillips I recently talked to the entrepreber of Spartan V entures, said his back- neur about how he has operated his ground is rooted in the auto body re- companies during the pandemic and pair trade. the recent platform technology his While growing up, Park’s father team developed to support the vartold him if he wanted to drive some- ious entities and the industry. thing nice someday, he would have with Stacey Phillips C an you provide an overview to “figure it out.” After painting his first vehicle of your companies? when he was 14 years old, he realized At AX IOM C ollision Repair he had found a hobby. He attended in the .S. and , our goal the University of Arizona to become an orthopedic surgeon and repaired is to deliver 85% of all repairs in and painted cars at night. After grad- three days or less. We accomplish with Stacey Phillips uating with a bachelor’s degree in this by using what I refer to as the AX IOM triage method for scheduling and repair allocation. Damage minimization is a key factor as well. The 300 Advantage provides hail repair management solutions for body shops, dealerships and fleet with Victoria Antonelli companies. With a national team of mobile repair technicians, we have more than 30 teams working in the field at any given time. AXIOM accident repair centre in the United PDR Mobile Solutions supports Kingdom the hail repair business estimatics, molecular and cellular biology and analytics and field operations for our with Attanasio minoring in math, he Ed couldn’t find mobile hail technicians. The C laims Bridge International a job. A doctor told Park he felt his consists of a team of experienced U.S. passion lay elsewhere. “That was a wake-up call and I and international insurance, reinsurdecided to open a body shop,” said ance, claims and repair executives Park. “What drives me is creating an who joined forces to “reimagine” catorganization where people can show astrophic auto hail claims and find a up and do their with best work. I want to better way of handling these events Gary Ledoux be an integral part of creating the op- for customers. We recently developed portunity for people to really enjoy a technology solution for the industry. being productive, serving others and challenging themselves to become a What were your biggest chalbetter version of themselves. lenges this year operating a “I believe people live a hap- national repair network during the pier life when with they are productive pandemic? Stacey Phillips and have a voice in their day-to-day t has been a difficult year for work.” everyone. I’m appreciative of His vision for Spartan V entures is to create global businesses with- all of our employees, colleagues and in the automotive collision and hail customers across the U.S. for solrepair industry. The companies in- diering through 2020 and showing clude AX IOM C ollision Repair in amazing resilience in a year that has with Mike Anderson the U.S., AX IOM accident repair seen the most significant economic centres in the , The 00 Advan- disruption of our lifetimes. The No. 1 challenge for us was tage, PDR Mobile Solutions and access to customers and their veThe C laims Bridge International.

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hicles to properly assess hail and/ or crash damage. The fear factor of C OV ID-19 had a massive impact on when customers would file and/ or take action to settle their claim. People just didn’t leave their homes unless it was absolutely necessary. The silver lining here is that consumers are more engaged with self-serve options. With the consumer being more involved from a digital/virtual perspective, this will allow our businesses to prosper and leverage technology solutions to improve the customer experience. Lastly, insurers had so many different requirements due to C - it was difficult to deliver what they needed, especially in the format they wanted. It was very challenging and no doubt frustrating for customers, and I feel that drove cost higher.

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C OV ID may have stopped many things, but not accidents and hail storms! The silver lining is insurers are becoming open-minded and willing to interact with their insureds and repairers in a digital environment. It’s not an easy leap, but a necessary one that will drive future interactions.

Q: From the Desk of Mike Anderson A:

How have you overcome these challenges?

Overcoming customer fear was outside our span of control however, we offered a contactless digital assessment tool that the vehicle owner could use to triage the damage. We also provided a variety of additional contact-free services, as

well as a concierge service. Our goal was to provide a level of peace of mind with customers, so they would feel their well-being was top of mind. The biggest challenge with insurers was providing the proper documentation to support the damage on the vehicle in this new norm. Photos and video were some options used, but this was all very difficult to process and time-consuming.


How is C OV ID-19 driving more collaboration and innovative technology solutions across the industry?


I believe the pandemic’s challenges have fostered more collaboration and people’s mindsets are becoming more focused on solving problems rather than hoarding solutions. As a result, barriers will come down, insurtech solutions will grow, and innovation will be top of mind. Fortunately, we have access to estimating platforms that can link the entire supply chain, but can only be used by people outside of the insurers’ legacy systems. This puts unnecessary constraints on the entire ecosystem. The industry norms, legacy systems and proprietary platforms often mean insurers are not taking advantage of the latest technology. However, C OV ID-19 has encouraged many insurers to reassess the role technology can play and I am sure 2021 will see insurers partner to accelerate their digital transformation.


What prompted your team to develop an InsurTech technology?


During the pandemic, we looked at ways to engage the claims process and the insureds’ needs through a virtual, contact-free experience. As a business owner, one of my

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priorities is to look for technology that can bring speed and ease of settlement for the customer. I partnered with an international team, The C laims Bridge International, to develop an end-to-end digital solution for managing hail claims and repairs called EziC laims Suite.


What are some of the highlights of EziC laims Suite and how will it help the claims process?

properly allocate the resources necessary to serve customers. The C laims Bridge provides access to a national paintless dent repair (PDR) network that can reduce the wait time for repairs. It’s not uncommon for customers to wait eight to 12 months to get their cars repaired. The expanded repair network will reduce

“I believe people live a happier life when they are productive and have a voice in their dayto-day work.” — Bill Park


Imagine 180,000 claims being filed from a hail event in a matter of a few days. When you think about the number of people impacted by a hail storm, it’s not surprising that the claims system and repairer networks get overwhelmed quickly. EziC laims Suite was designed to solve that problem by providing the customer an instant link to a web-enabled app where they can initiate a claim and document the damage. This provides the vehicle owner with an immediate solution to resolve the claim, and it provides the insurance company with the data necessary to assess the overall severity of the storm. This is an imperative step to

People are ready to self-serve and the industry needs to accept that and stop saying, “We don’t do it that way” or “It can’t be done that way” or “Put your statement here.” Looking ahead, I feel optimistic about 2021. We will be prepared to serve our customers both virtually and in person. The expectations around the

the wait time considerably, which will improve overall customer satisfaction.


What are your views on 2021 from a business perspective and the ongoing impact of C OV ID-19 in the U.S.?


I think 2021 will be very similar to 2020, unless industry leaders act soon. C ontactless and virtual solutions will need to be an integral part of serving the customer; if not, it could be a real disaster from a customer experience standpoint.

pandemic are in place across the country and there is a tremendous amount of effort being put forth to enhance the customer experience.


In light of the current challenges, what is your advice to

business leaders?


2021 can be the year of innovation to be sure, and the collision repairers who figure that out will reap the benefits long into the future. My only fear is that organizations will be too afraid to be bold. My advice is to “Never let a good crisis go to waste” (C hurchillism.) There has never been a more perfect time for a digital shift than today. ’m 00 confident we can figure this out, and the benefits will be huge across the entire ecosystem. Those who believe it can be done will get it done. Think of etflix and Blockbuster. Blockbuster could have owned etflix for 0 million, but they didn’t have the vision or courage. The rest is history.

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with Stacey Phillips

From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

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

Two-Way Dialogue a Good Way to ‘Maintain’ Employees J ust as regular maintenance of your shop’s equipment and facility is critical to keep it functioning well, “maintenance” of your employees is just as important. After all, replacing a good employee can be every bit as costly and often more difficult than replacing a welder or frame rack. It was that goal of maintaining ongoing two-way dialogue with employees that led me, when I had my shops, to conduct employee reviews on an annual basis. I know some shop owners avoid such reviews because they assume employees will expect increased compensation as part of the process. But before I even sat down with employees, they each would fill out a questionnaire, rating how they think they were meeting the company’s standards for attendance, quantity and quality of work, teamwork, or-

ganization and enthusiasm. It asked them to rate their supervisor, and how they are treated by coworkers. It asked them what they feel they need to improve, what their specific goals were for the coming year, and how we could help them meet those goals. And it asked specifically about pay, including this important follow-up question: What would you be willing to do to make more money this year? This helped emphasize they have to take a role in increasing their income, not just come into the review expecting a raise. I would look over their responses and their employee file before met with them. And I came into the review with an agenda. First item on that agenda: Ensuring we had their current home address and phone number(s), that their emergency contact information

was correct and that their insurance needs hadn’t changed, maybe because of a change in dependents or because they were now covered under a spouse’s plan. We also collected information on their birthday, wedding anniversary and kids’ birthdays so we could note those events throughout the year. Next, we worked through their responses to the questionnaire. The beauty of the self-review is it’s a lot less uncomfortable than having to bring up the fact an employee, for example, is often late for work. That employee will often acknowledge on the form he’s not meeting the shop’s expectations for attendance. So rather than dwell on the problem, you can immediately move into discussing why it’s occurring and what can be done about it. That was far more effective than a heat-

ed discussion about it at some time when I was angry and they were defensive. If they listed areas of their performance that need improvement, we discussed what tools or training they needed to help them do that. I’ve always felt it’s the business owner’s responsibility to give employees what they need to success in the business. So reviews are a chance for open dialogue about how you can help them improve their performance. That also helped us map out employee training for the coming year, to ensure we got them the classes they needed with the least disruption to production. During the reviews, we’d also discuss the areas in which they were excelling, giving them some “attaboys” and positive reinforcement. See Two-Way Dialogue, Page 36

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autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 31

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The Rise of the Electric Vehicles by Gary Ledoux

T he following artic le c ontains forward looking statements b ut d o not imply end orsement for inv estment purposes. O ther c ompanies, suc h as T esla, hav e firmly established market share and d ominant market positions E d . “Today, electric vehicles are a disruption in the collision repair world. But it won’t be long before they are mainstream… and the collision repair industry has to be ready,” said F rank T e rl e p , recognized industry leader and founder and C EO of Auto Techcelerators. During Day 2 of the virtually-conducted November C ollision Industry C onference, the Future Disruptions C ommittee, chaired by Terlep and well-known industry icon Jak e R od e nrot h, gave a presentation and conducted a panel discussion surrounding electric vehicles and what their advent could mean to the collision repair industry. Given the gravity of the issues electric vehicles present, it is worth revisiting this subject in more depth. “The future is coming at us with alarming speed,” said Terlep. “ n less than years, the wants to ban the sales of all except electric cars. In the U.S., C alifornia is following the same path.” Rodenroth noted, “It seems like it wasn’t that long ago the industry was all talking about the use of high-strength steel and how to repair it. Then the discussion turned to aluminum and the all-aluminum Ford truck. Then it was ADAS systems and how to do proper post repair calibrations. “Now it’s electric cars. ’m not sure we have all figured out high-strength steel yet and the industry has made several technological leaps since. We all need to come up to speed.” In his C IC presentation, Terlep made note of some of the more dramatic changes that will occur as more and more electric cars enter the .S. fleet: E factories and suppliers will change dramatically. Suppliers for internal combustion engine components and gasoline fuel systems will be greatly reduced or eliminat-

ed. This will eliminate jobs for some while creating many new jobs for new electric drive components. ew, technology-based vehicle manufacturers will emerge, like Lucid and Rivian. Conventional dealer-service department business will decline dramatically, as much as 35%, as will services performed by independent mechanical repair facilities. Of course, the attendant parts sales from both dealers and aftermarket will decline and shift focus over time. Repair and diagnostic processes will change dramatically. Following OE repair procedures will be absolutely crucial not only to perform a proper repair, but to ensure the physical safety of the technician. ehicle owners will be buying subscriptions for software updates much like they buy extended mechanical warranties today. The number of repair facilities, both mechanical and collision, will decrease as the E fleet increases due to the knowledge, training and tooling necessary to properly repair these vehicles. Three key electric OE’s to watch, and the three featured in the C IC panel discussion, are Lucid, Rivian and Audi. Lucid Lucid was founded in 2007 under the name Atieva, originally fo-

cused on building electric vehicle batteries and powertrains for other vehicle manufacturers. The company rebranded itself as Lucid Motors in ctober 20 and officially announced its intent to develop an all-electric, high-performance luxury vehicle. The company is supported by several C hinese investors and funding from Saudi Arabia. It’s C TO, P e t e r R awl inson, is the former Tes-

la Model S chief engineer. The company’s Lucid Air base model is claimed to have 480 horsepower and a 400-mile projected range, will sell for about $70,000 and is due to arrive in 2022.

The top-line Lucid Air Dream boasts a 1,080-horsepower electric motor and a 500-mile projected range, will turn a quarter-mile in under 10 seconds and will carry an almost $162,000 price tag. Its 900-volt electric architecture will be the industry’s fastest-charging vehicle to date, with a rate of 20 miles of travel per minute of charge. Lucid is expected to start delivering vehicles in April of this year.

The first .S. Lucid factory, known as the Lucid AMP-1 (Advanced Manufacturing Plant) located in C asa Grande, AZ , was completed in early ecember 2020. t will first build the Lucid Air model. The factory’s current iteration will be capable of building 30,000 Air models per year. When the factory is fully completed, it will be capable of producing 400,000 units annually, including a second sedan and an SUV . By comparison, the 1964 ½ and 1965 Mustang saw 435,000 units produced. According to its website, Lucid will use an “aircraft-inspired riveted and bonded monocoque body structure replacing spot welds.” The manufacturer claims this will provide a new “state-of-the-art structural efficiency.” A Lucid representative was not available to answer specific questions regarding collision repair procedures or training. However, according to its website, Lucid will have a na-

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32 FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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tionwide network of Service C enters, 20 to start in eight major metro locations on both the east and west coasts. Mobile service providers and certified collision repair centers will be linked to Lucid’s centralized customer care group to address anything that cannot be remotely diagnosed and repaired. Described by Rawlinson as a “fusion of art, science and technology,” look for Lucid models on the street by early summer this year. Rivian Rivian, an electric-vehicle start-up company based in C alifornia, plans to soon start producing two all-electric truck models at a plant in Illinois, formerly occupied by Mitsubishi.

These will include the R1T pickup, which will be the first to debut, followed closely by the R1S SUV . It is unknown at this point how many the company plans to sell or how they will be sold, be it through a traditional dealership network or some other system. But the big news, to collision repairers, isn’t the number of Rivian vehicle in consumer hands at least initially. More importantly, Rivian has received major support from tech giant Amazon. In September 2019, Amazon invested $700 million in Rivian, which at that time planned to produce 100,000 all-electric delivery vans for Amazon. Most recently, in September 2020, Amazon invested another undisclosed but believed to be substantial amount of money in Rivian. Rivian has also received funding from Ford Motor C ompany and T. Rowe Price, the mutual fund company. In cities where Amazon has a major presence, especially a distribution center a quick oogle check revealed 76 Amazon distri-

bution centers across 20 states some collision shop or shops are going to need to keep those trucks running, and cycle time is going to be critical. Amazon has committed to going emission-free by the year 2040, 10 years ahead of the guidelines set forth by the Paris C limate Agreement. Terlep notes, “It won’t be long before shops will need to dedicate a portion of their shop and personnel to electric vehicles. Training and use of proper repair procedures will be crucial.” Rivian representatives were not at liberty to discuss collision repair plans for their products at this time, instead deferring to an announcement in the spring of this year. Audi On deck for the more than 100-year-old company is the Audi e-tron for 2021, the “first electric S built with Audi DNA,” with a reported 402 horsepower, able to turn 0 to 60 mph in under 6 seconds with a 222-mile range. Starting at around $66,000, it features quattro® all-wheel drive. The e-tron also comes in a “Sportback” configuration. Body construction is a combination of steel and aluminum. Audi’s goal is to have one-third of all its vehicles electrified by 202 . The company’s website notes charging an Audi e-tron is as simple as contacting Amazon, who will have a local contractor set up a 120or 240-volt, 50-amp charging outlet in the owners’ garage. Away from home, there is a growing number of commercial charging stations available. M ark A l l e n, manager of collision, equipment and EV after sales service at Audi of America, was kind enough to answer a few questions.


ill you have a certified network to handle collision repairs on your electric vehicles?


Right now, we have no plans for a certified collision shop network for our electric vehicles. However, we are specifying that any mechanical or especially electrical work related to collision repair be completed by an Audi dealer. They have the training, tools and equipment to repair our electric cars properly and safely. We allow our current Audi Authorized C ollison Repairers to do collision repair work on the vehicle, but not battery or any HV electrical repairs. That must be done at the dealer.


What is the most important thing techs need to know before working on an electric vehicle?


Before touching our EV , or any EV , it’s important that repairers first look at repair procedures and safety precautions. Repairers can be seriously hurt, or worse, if they don’t follow proper procedures.


What will happen with a collision-totaled vehicle? How will the battery be safely disposed of?

EV batteries must be properly disposed of according to EPA guidelines. Right now, there are two companies in the U.S. that can handle it. I am sure in the future as EV ’s proliferate, additional companies will emerge. In our case, the batteries we use are modular, so if one section is damaged or goes bad, it may be possible to replace only that module.




Audi has had hybrid electric cars since 2013. The e-tron is a completely new generation of vehicle for us and the first full-electric car.

Vehicle Charging Made Easy One of the drawbacks to electric-only vehicles has always been travel range. Depending on the vehicle, battery used and road and other environmental conditions, EV s can travel 200 to 500 miles on a single charge. Unlike internal combustion cars that can be refueled at the ubiquitous gas station, EV s must be charged at home or at outlets provided by companies like Electrify America, one of the largest public electric vehicle DC fast-charging networks in the U.S., with more than 500 charging locations totaling more than 2,200 individual charging units as of 2020. C onsidering that before an infrastructure of gas stations was built, gasoline for very early cars was sold in one-gallon cans at hardware stores, this is the electric equivalent.


Q: A: Q:

Audi has been around for 100 years. s this its first electric vehicle?

overpants, and three pairs of gloves including an inner cotton glove covered by an insulated rubber glove, covered by a leather glove. The outfit is completed by electric ha ard-rated work boots. Note: Audi recently announced a twoglove combination now available.

Will you have parts restrictions for EV parts? Y es, on structural and electrical components.

What kind of personal protection clothing will technicians need to wear to work on your EV ?

Depending on the work being done, a complete protective suit consists of a helmet with integrated special arc flash protection face shield, balaclava hood, arc flash protection acket or lab coat,

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34 FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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IGONC Tireside Chat: Setting Your Business Goals for 2021 by Chasidy Rae Sisk

Preparing for the new year is important for all collision repair business owners, and during a Dec. 15 Tireside C hat, the Independent Garage Owners of North C arolina (IGONC ) discussed “Setting Y our Business Goals for 2021.”

IGONC members gathered virtually to discuss their shops’ 2021 business goals. Credit: Courtesy of IGONC

According to IGONC Executive Director T ric ia Sau l s, “The turnout was good, considering it’s close to the holidays and everyone is experiencing a little Z oom fatigue. Planning for the new year is an important part

of creating a successful path for shop owners. “We had an informative discussion that flowed well. From the feedback we received, it was very encouraging and supportive to our members,” Sauls continued. “I am really excited about this format where we ust offer time and space for shop owners to decompress and talk to each other without any structure or presentations involved.” IGONC holds its monthly Tireside C hats as a way of building the association’s community by allowing members and others industry professionals to network and share ideas. “Being able to keep the connection between people in our industry is crucial right now,” Sauls emphasized. “We cannot take time off on training ust because of the shutdowns that are happening. By continuing to host events, even online, we can continue to support each other and keep the exchange of ideas flowing.”

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Begins After Pfizer Receives Emergency Use Authorization by Dan McCaleb, The Center Square Distribution of a new C OV ID-19 vaccine is now underway after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late Dec. 11 granted emergency use authorization for the serum. Pfi er’s and Bio Tech’s coronavirus vaccine is the first to receive the authorization and vaccinations were expected to begin as soon as the following weekend. “With this authorization, we know that our federal partners are already moving to distribute the first doses of the vaccine throughout the country,” FDA C ommissioner Dr. St e p he n H ahn said at a Dec. 12 news conference. C alling the development of the vaccine in less than a year an “unparalleled scientific achievement,” Hahn said collaboration between the private sector, the scientific and academic community and the federal government allowed the process to move efficiently but safely. “Efficiency does not mean cutting of corners,” Hahn said,

noting that studies and testing are ongoing. “ hat’s different during C -19 is that developers, researchers and regulators have found new and hopefully lasting ways to be dynamic and efficient,” he said. F A officials said millions of doses would ship within the first 2 hours after approval. The doses would be prorated by population, with health care workers and residents and staff of congregate care settings such as nursing homes among the first to receive the shots. Pfi er has said its vaccine, which is to be administered in two doses about three weeks apart, is more than effective. Moderna is expected to receive approval for its vaccine when the FDA reviews its emergency authorization Dec. 17. AstraZ enica and J ohnson & J ohnson also have vaccines in the accelerated approval pipeline. We thank T he C enter S q uare for reprint permission.


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©2021 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trademarks. autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 35

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ASE Entry-Level Certification Helps Shops Ensure New Talent is Actually Talented by Chasidy Rae Sisk

It’s no secret one of the largest challenges facing the collision repair industry is the need to find qualified entry-level technicians. During ASA’s monthly Webinar Wednesday on Dec. 9, John Saia, consultant to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), discussed how “ASE Entry-Level Certification Helps Shop Owners Find New Talent,” by allowing entry-level candidates demonstrate their knowledge so shops can identify which are best qualified. ASE’s entry-level certification is the first professional credential available for new technicians. Unlike ASE’s other certification levels, the entry-level certification does not have a work experience requirement since inexperienced students do not yet possess on-the-job abilities; it’s intended as a way for students enrolled in a technical training program to indicate their workforce readiness. “There’s not a shortage of candidates,” Saia explained. “Based on

student enrollment numbers, there’s a huge level of interest in an automotive career, but the pipeline leaks before they enter the workforce. The ASE entry-level certification provides a way for shop owners and managers to identify the students who are serious about their future in this industry.” For employers and students, the ASE entry-level tests provide a credential that indicates workforce readiness and demonstrates their commitment to a career in the industry. Students’ previous performance is also a great predictor of their future performance, and this test serves as a predictable gauge for their success with ASE professional-level certification once they’ve obtained workplace experience. Saia offered advice to students: “Take the entry-level test seriously. It prepares you for your career, and it is an excellent experience that grooms you to be much more successful for professional-level ASE certifications. You’ll feel more comfortable taking the tests in the future.”

ASE offers three entry-level series test groups: automotive, collision and medium/heavy trucks. Four tests are offered in the Collision Repair & Refinish series: Painting and Refinishing, Structural Analysis and Damage Repair, Non-Structural Analysis and Damage Repair, and Mechanical and Electrical. Saia shared examples of some of the tasks and specifications associated with the various tests. The tests are proctored at the school by non-technical staff, and more than 1,400 schools administer more than 200,000 entry-level tests annually, with a pass rate that exceeds 50%. Generally, the schools pay for the tests, which they use to evaluate students’ progress and growth in learning, and the test is an excellent metric for the program’s success, according to Saia. Students can attempt any test in a series up to twice per school year, but they must wait at least 30 days to re-test after their initial attempt. The school awards certificates to the students who successfully

pass the entry-level test. ASE’s entry-level certification test questions are reviewed every two to three years by up to 20 subject matter experts, 40% of whom are working practitioners. Facilitated by ASE technical staff, the entry-level test workshop follows the same process as all other ASE test question development workshops. “It’s a stout test; it’s very comprehensive,” Saia said. The entry-level certification expires after two years, and recipients are not eligible for recertification because, by that point, they should have progressed to the professional-level certification that designates them as an experienced working technician. Learn more about ASE’s entry-level certification at ase.com/ entry-level. Registration for ASA’s future Webinar Wednesday series is available at asashop.org/webinars.


UPDATED DAILY Continued from Page 31

U.S. Car Rental Revenue Dives 27.4% in 2020 by ARN Staff

The U.S. car rental market achieved a projected $23.22 billion in revenue for 2020, the lowest overall revenue since 2011, according to data collected by Auto Rental News. The 27.4% drop in total revenue for 2020 compared to revenue of $32 billion in 2019 is historically unparalleled, in fact much steeper than during the Great Recession when revenues only dropped 6.7% from 2008 to 2009. The industry averaged 1.98 million units in its overall fleet in 2020, a 12.4% decline over 2019. As a result, revenue per unit, per month (RPU) dropped to $975 for the year, from $1,174 in 2019. “With a near total air travel shutdown, the Hertz and Advantage bankruptcies, an unexpectedly hot used car market and a seismic, forced shift to local rentals, this year will enter the record books as the most disruptive in car rental’s history,” said Chris Brown, executive editor of Auto Rental News. This year more than ever, the industry can be divided into quar-


“The first quarter ended as one of the most profitable and promising since exiting the Great Recession,” Brown said. “The economic and societal shutdown defined the second quarter. The third quarter saw a massive supply correction, with car rental companies able to capture newfound demand in the fourth quarter.” Supply chain shutdowns constricted wholesale supply to the point that car rental companies were able to sell sitting fleet at extraordinary prices during the summer, normally peak season for travel. “The used car market was the industry’s salvation, to be sure,” Brown continued. With the need for personal mobility favoring shared transportation, business shifted to the local market, and rental operators enjoyed a buoyed rate environment with the remaining tight fleet. Mileage for rental risk units plunged in the first two months of the pandemic as rental fleets were grounded. But as business picked up and rental units were sold, the

mileage on remaining units easily exceeded record highs. Average mileage for rental risk units in November was 54,200 miles, up 11% compared to a year earlier. “We likely won’t know the full effect of 2020 on the car rental industry—and society—until we have the benefit of time,” Brown said. “However, we can assess how industries reacted to the pandemic right now. As a whole, the U.S. car rental industry has demonstrated its ability to meet the demands of the moment. “We can start calling 2021 ‘the recovery year.’ With a smaller footprint and more efficient processes—yet with the ability to grow rapidly—the car rental industry is well poised to take advantage of the coming economic recovery.” We thank Auto Rental News for reprint permission.


Two-Way Dialogue And I’d have information on their total pay for the previous year and the current year to date. If it looked like their wages were moving up or down from the previous year, we’d discuss the reasons and help them understand what they could be doing—as they may have already identified on the questionnaire—to improve their income. Lastly, the reviews were their opportunity to tell me what they felt the company was doing right, and what they’d like to see changed and why. I would always compile employee suggestions during reviews and follow up, explaining which we were implementing and which we weren’t, and why. So rather than just a time to talk about pay, I found employee reviews a rewarding way to maintain open dialogue that helped everyone—and the company—improve.

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36 FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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Massillon (800) 225-0281 x1447 (330) 478-0900 (330) 478-9957 Fax M 7:30am-8pm; Tu-F 7:30am-5:30pm Sat 8am-4pm mmiller@waikem.com www.waikem.com

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Safelite to Close Business Unit

A Closer Look at Calibration Documentation and Technical Changes by Emmariah Holcomb, glassBYTEs.com

“There are various steps involved when you discuss calibration and it’s important to understand and document,” said D arre l l A m b e rson, C ollision Industry Electronic C ommerce Association (C IEC A) calibration committee member, as he began describing the business review related to calibration in an industry webinar. The event, 2020R2 C IEC AST, was hosted by C IEC A and gave a technical update on changes that have been made, a business review on changes to calibration and parts and materials procurement. Technical Review A new workflow was established for calibration and scanning that included ADAS features, and according to D an W e b st e r, C IEC A architecture committee chair, the data that was not shared between the collision and repair industries before was now able to be identified. A calibration aggregate was added to describe information for

pre-, interim- and repeated for post-repair. According to Webster, a calibration detail aggregate was added to document calibration details properly. “There was also scan information and scan detail aggregates that were added to describe the scanning information as well as extra details,” said Webster. Calibration Recap Amberson quickly outlined several steps associated with calibrations, the first being to properly record the Document Scan Results (DTC s). According to Amberson, there should be a printout or a virtual copy of all of the DTC s and all of the modules tested, which should include the V IN associated with the scanned vehicle. “It’s also important to notify the owner of the known ADAS systems and update them on these features before it is returned to OEM specifications,” said Amberson. According to his presentation, it is important to note calibration or re-learn information may or may

not reported via DTC s, and calibration or re-learn information may be found via Scan Tool Data Stream, which is outside of the manufacturer’s specifications. Documenting should also include the vehicle’s ADAS features, using a checklist, as well as the parts and repair operation included. “Y ou don’t always have to use a checklist, but you should have a form of verification for what is done,” said Amberson. He also noted one should also keep documentation of the completed calibration process. Toward the end of his presentation, he showed a video that summarized all of the steps, from the first consultation with the customer, scanning the vehicle, completing dynamic and static calibrations to testing the vehicle when the calibration is complete.

Safelite Autoglass notifyied employees and key customers J an. 4 it intends to end its wholesale operation, Service Auto Glass, this week. Safelite Group will officially sunset the Service Auto Glass brand and the wholesale side of its business J an. 5. “I am extremely proud of the role our wholesale business played in our company’s history. This decision is intended to allow us to fully focus our energies and resources on our core business,” said T om F e e ne y , president and C EO of the Safelite Group. The warehouses are expected to remain open and to be used for internal distribution. Safelite’s wholesale division has faced challenges over the years most notably selling to a client base with which it often competes. “Moving forward, our wholesale customers will still have access to parts through the same suppliers we use. We will begin actively notifying these customers { J an. 4} ,” said Feeney. We thank g lassB Y T E s.c om for reprint permission.

We thank g lassB Y T E s.c om for reprint permission.


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38 FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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GM Pays $121M Over Ignition Switches, Power Steering, Airbags by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

General Motors has agreed to settle class action claims for economic losses suffered by owners and lessees of vehicles that were recalled in 2014 for problems related to the ignition switches, power steering, key rotations and side airbag wiring. The plaintiffs claim they overpaid for their vehicles, allegations denied by GM which decided to settle the lawsuit because of the continued expense of litigation. The General Motors settlement fund will be $121.1 million, and although the lawyers who sued are expected to receive $34.5 million, no estimates have been reached about what vehicle owners may receive because much depends on how many owners and lessees file claims. In addition, payment amounts to eligible class action members will vary depending on which recall applied to their vehicle, the cost to implement the settlement and the number of GM customers

who file claims. The settlement includes all individuals, businesses and organiations, but daily rental fleet businesses, governmental entities and certain consumers are not included in the settlement. The settlement also does not include the release of claims for wrongful deaths or injuries. The $121 million settlement follows multiple other actions related to GM’s ignition switches, including $595 million to resolve death and injury compensation claims, $575 million to settle other death and injury claims and a shareholder lawsuit, and another $900 million to settle a government criminal probe. V isit GMIgnitionSwitchEconomicSettlement.com or call 877545-0241 to see if your vehicle is covered by the settlement. We thank C arC omplaints.c om for reprint permission.




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Used-vehicle sales for 2020 were expected to finish softer than the final 20 tally, but it appears the year at least closed on a positive note for pre-owned. In a forecast released Dec. 28, TrueC ar was projecting 3.1 million used-vehicle sales for December, which would beat November sales by and prior-year figures by . That would put the final yearend total at a projected 38.4 million used sales for 2020, a 6% drop from 2019, according to TrueC ar. Separately, C ox Automotive analyst K ay l a R e y nol d s said in an earlier December interview that 2020 was expected to close with 36.3 million used-car sales overall, with used retail (sales from dealers) at 19.3 million. For 2021, it is expected that the used total will climb to 39.3 million. On the new-car side, TrueC ar was forecasting total sales of 14.6 million for full-year 2020, a 15% drop. For retail new-car sales, specifically, it was pro ecting 2. mil-



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lion, an 8% decline. For December, in particular, TrueC ar was projecting 1.61 million total new-car sales a . year-over-year decrease, adjusting for selling days and . million retail sales, down 2.2%. “ n the final days of 2020, we can finally look in the rearview mirror and appreciate the tremendous recovery that the automotive industry has made since the pandemic derailed auto sales in March. Retail vehicle sales have nearly reached normal levels with sales down only 2.2% from last year, which is a truly impressive outcome,” TrueC ar Director of OEM Analytics N ic k W ool ard said in a news release. “The momentum from a strong third quarter carried into the fourth quarter and solidified the industry’s comeback,” Woolard said. “Production and inventory have gone back up in the fourth quarter and, as a result, retail sales are up 34% quarter-over-quarter.” We thank Auto Remarketing for reprint permission.

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by Joe Overby, Auto Remarketing

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Used-Car Sales Likely Down for 2020, but Close Year on High Note


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autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 39

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Profile for Autobody News

February 2021 Midwest Edition  

February 2021 Midwest Edition