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37 YEARS

MIDWESTEDITION

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

At 80 Years Old, John Plowman Is Still in the Collision Game in Alpena, MI by Crystal Nelson, The Alpena News

It’s no accident that John Plowman continues to work at Plowman’s Collision, the family-owned-and-operated business he founded in 1970. John recently celebrated his 80th birthday and continues to work alongside his son, Steven, who currently owns the business, and his grandson, Brian. John said he was always repairing something growing up and that he began doing auto body repair when he was 18. He worked at Chabot Collision and then at Wash-

burn Ford before opening his own shop—then called John Plowman’s Collision—Street and Washington Avenue. His wife, Bonnie, did the books. John said the first 10 years of the business were pretty rough because they were just starting out, but that the most memorable part of his career has been watching his customer base grow. He said he started from nothing and it’s “remarkable” to see the number of jobs that go through the shop and the number of people who come to the business for repairs. See John Plowman, Page 8

2,200 Attendees Hit the City by the Bay for 2019 NADA Show by Ed Attanasio

This year, more than 2,200 industry professionals attended the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show from Jan. 24–27 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. U.S. and international new car dealers, commercial truck dealers, automaker executives and allied industry professionals from 37 countries converged in the City by the Bay for four days of work and fun. At the start of the show, NADA forecasted sales of 16.8 million new

AUTOBODYNEWS.COM Vol. 8 / Issue 6 / March 2019

WI Collision Repair Program Director Discusses Lack of Industry Workers, Students by Josh Spreiter, Channel 3000

The next time you need to get some work done on the family minivan, you might notice more of a wait to get it into the shop. That’s because we’re seeing a growing shortage of technicians entering the field. Experts say it could take you more than six months to get body work done on your car because there is such a lack of workers. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics says averages of 76,000 mechanics are needed this year to replace those retiring or leaving the industry and to fill some 46,000 projected new openings. The auto collision repair and refinishing program at Madison College in Madison, WI, is seeing a high demand for students. The program

has 16 students in the first year and only one in the second. Compare that to just 17 years ago when it would see around 40 students in its first year and 18 in its second. Madison College’s program director, Tim Hoege, said he wants people to know they can be very successful without attending a four-year school. “You can come for a one- or two-year program. You’re out there working in the industry and making money right away, and you can only build on your income from there,” Hoege explained. Hoege said there are numerous job opportunities in this industry, including technicians, estimators, paint reps, parts suppliers and sales reps for the products they use. Hoege said it’s hard for the inSee Lack of Workers, Page 15

New ASA Executive Director Ray Fisher Shares His Goals for the Industry by Chasidy Rae Sisk

UpdatePromise was on hand in full force to unveil new products and meet with current clients. (l to r) Owner/CEO Curtis Nixon, merchant services manager Krista Lucchino, product specialist Bridgette Amador, product specialist Taylor Su, marketing manager Jennifer Marmolejo and sales rep Adam Guizado See 2019 NADA Show, Page 24

Recently appointed Automotive Service Association (ASA) Executive Director Ray Fisher held a press conference on Thursday, Jan. 10 to provide some information on his plans and goals as he transitions into his new leadership responsibilities. “I’m excited to bring my background into this role, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity,” Fisher stated. “We definitely want to engage our membership more. We want to listen to our members and provide venues for quicker availability. All facets of the industry across the globe are caught in different demographics and attempting to reach their constituents. We plan to utilize different mediums and platforms to reach ASA’s membership. My main goal is to represent my customer; our memberships are

our customers, and it’s important that we represent them well.” Fisher emphasized the association’s focus on its mission statement: to enhance the professionalism of the industry.

“I believe our industry is made up of a bunch of professionals, and ASA represents that professional group,” he said. “That was our foundation in 1951 and continues to be today. We plan to take that into 2019 and listen to our membership, enhancing our interactions and commuSee ASA Executive Director, Page 50

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MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com


CONTENTS REGIONAL 3 Boys, Mom Get Free Car Through NABC Recycled Rides in Janesville, WI . . . . . . . . . 27 AASP-MN’s Automotive Scholarships Are Up for Grabs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 AASP-MO Gateway Collision Chapter Meeting Focuses on In-House Alignments, ADAS Safety Calibrations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 At 80 Years Old, John Plowman Is Still in the Collision Game in Alpena, MI . . . . . . . . . . 1 Cars Feel the Pain From This Winter as Body Shop Sees More Damaged Vehicles in IA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Accountable Estimating Joins CIECA Shares His Goals for the Industry . . . . . . . . . 1 Phillips - Celebrity Car Enthusiast Courtney Hansen Helps Reunite Car Lovers With ‘The Ride That Got Away’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Phillips - Solving the Tech Shortage: AR Collision Repair Instructor Calls Out to Industry: ‘Please Employ My Students’ . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Sisk - ASA Presents ‘The Even Better I-CAR’ Webinar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Sisk - Women in Auto and Collision Holds 1st Meeting of 2019 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Yoswick - Committee Seeks to Build Industry

Accountable Estimating recently joined CIECA as a Corporate Member. Established in 2018 by Kent Ruppert and Scott Ellegood, the company focuses on training individuals involved in the estimating and repair planning process, including estimators, blueprinters, CSRs and their management. Members of Accountable Estimating’s leadership team have followed CIECA from its inception. “CIECA standards allow our customers to share their data with us

in real-time so that we may offer solutions to their problems as they need them,” said Ruppert. “This allows our customers to use their information more effectively and make decisions that grow their businesses.” “CIECA’s standards are the gold standard of electronic commerce in the collision industry and offer us the ability to provide meaningful solutions to our industry,” said Ellegood. “With the help of CIECA, Accountable Estimating will guide the collision industry in taking control of their estimating process.”

Consensus Around Part-Type Definitions . . . 30

CARSTAR Expands Into Piqua, OH . . . . . . . . . . 14 Winner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Cause of Auto Body Shop Fire in Bemidji, MN, Still Being Investigated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Cause of Sundance Chevrolet Fire Under Investigation in Grand Ledge, MI . . . . . . . . . 20 Eau Claire, WI, Auto Body Shops Busier Due To Winter Weather . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Holland, MI, Auto Body Shop Receives Certification, Recognition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Marquis Body Shop Under New Ownership in David City, NE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Missouri Anti-Safety Inspection Bill Reintroduced . 9 Nagy’s Collision’s ‘Hit a Buck, Donate Some

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

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

Accuvision-3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Launch Tech USA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

AkzoNobel Coatings, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Laurel Auto Group of Westmont . . . . . . . . . . . 61

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

Luther Bloomington Acura-Subaru . . . . . . . . . 46

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

Malco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

AutobodyLaw.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Maplewood Toyota-Scion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5, 14

Matrix Automotive FInishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

America Announce the Closing of Merger

Blowtherm USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Matrix Electronic Measuring. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Transaction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . 62

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

McGrath City Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Car-O-Liner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Mercedes-Benz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11, 36-37

Certified Automotive Parts Association . . . . . . 16

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 56

Classic Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 58

Courtesy Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . 40-41

Dent Fix Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Morrison’s Auto Parts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Dent Magic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . 60

2,200 Attendees Hit the City by the Bay for 2019 NADA Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Accountable Estimating Joins CIECA . . . . . . . . . 3 Aftermarket Crash Parts Legislation On Fast Track in WY Legislature . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 APU Solutions Renews Commitment to CIECA Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 ASA Partners With Kukui to Enable Shops to Build Competitive Websites . . . . . . . . . . . 68 ASA Supports NH OE Repair Procedure Legislation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Bill on MA Gov. Baker’s Desk Creates Crime of Airbag Fraud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Doe’ Sees Increase from Previous

BirdEye Joins CIECA as Corporate Member . . . 18

Campaign in OH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Caliber Collision, ABRA Auto Body Repair of

Progress, But No Auto Insurance Reform Ideas Yet Committed to MI Senate Bill . . . . . 16 Registration Now Open for CREF Golf Fundraiser in Indianapolis, IN . . . . . . . . . . . 22 St. Louis I-CAR Committee Prepares for 2019 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Waymo To Build Self-Driving Car Factory in Michigan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 WI Collision Repair Program Director Discusses Lack of Industry Workers, Students . . . . . . . . 1 Wichita, KS, Auto Body Shops See Increase

Car Accident Total Loss Lawsuits Allege Insurance Company Violations. . . . . . . . . . . 66 CARSTAR Celebrates 30 Years of Business . . . 35 CARSTAR Expands Dealership-Based Facilities . 68 Deaths From Exploding Airbags, Shrapnel Force 2.7 Million More Car Recalls . . . . . . . 28 Enterprise Holdings Foundation Contributes $75,000 to CREF. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 GEICO Wins Appeal in Case Filed by Miracle

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

CARSTAR Voted a 2019 Best of Omaha, NE,

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

in Weather-Related Accidents . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Body & Paint Over Labor Rates in TX . . . . . . 59

Diamond Standard Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

O’Reilly Auto Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Winter Weather Keeps MN Body Shops Busy. . 10

Is Trump About To Clobber the Auto Industry?. . 64

Eckler’s Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Patrick BMW MINI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Join CIECA for Webinar on March 19 . . . . . . . . 15

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Patrick Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

New Training Model Helps Autonomous Cars

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

PPG Refinish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Gandrud Parts Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

RBL Products. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Richfield-Bloomington Honda. . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

GYS Welding USA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

SATA Dan-Am Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

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

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

Symach To Sponsor IBIS USA 2019 . . . . . . . . . 66

Hyundai Motor America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . 69

Toyota Works With Carma Project to Encourage

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 65

Symach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Infiniti of Naperville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

The Sharpe Collection of Automobiles . . . . . . 53

Jack Phelan Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . 62

COLUMNISTS Anderson - It’s Time to End Shops’ Accounting, Scorecard Nightmares by Creating New Parts Code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Attanasio - Fledgling Auto Body Technician is Well-Known, Dedicated Bagpiper. . . . . . . 52 Attanasio - Team-Building Events Make Your Business Better on Many Levels . . . . . . . . . 56 Ledoux - Denver Body Shop Manager

See AI’s Blind Spots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 NY Auto Body Repair Shop Owner Arrested for Insurance Fraud. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Self-Driving Vehicles To Make Traffic Even More Miserable, Says New Study . . . . . . . . . 4

Drivers to Check Vehicle Recall Status. . . . . 68

Discusses Position Statement on OEM

Volvo Releases Statement for Repair Shops . . 66

Repair Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

WIN Calls for Board of Director Candidates . . . 68

Ledoux - Does the Collision Industry Have a Crisis of Opportunity?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Ledoux - The 1960s – The Collision Repair Industry Gets a Voice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 New ASA Executive Director Ray Fisher

WIN Opens Registration for 2019 WIN Educational Conference in FL . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Wyoming ‘Crash Parts’ Legislation Stalls in House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

of Countryside . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

VanDevere Kia-GM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Kansas Auto Body Association . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 54

Kelly BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

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

Kia Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Zimmer Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . . . . . . 72

Killer Parts & Equipment Corp . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

autobodynews.com / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Self-Driving Vehicles To Make Traffic Even More Miserable, Says New Study by Taylor Donovan Barnett, Interesting Engineering

Whether you like it or not, self-driving cars will be hitting the road in fullforce in the coming years. Thanks to new technology developed by companies such as Tesla and even Uber, autonomous vehicles will become a staple of modern culture, with nearly 10 million self-driving cars expected to hit the road by 2020. Yet, not all is well across the autonomous landscape. Like any new

Credit: Waymo

technology, there have literally been speed bumps in the world of self-driving cars. From accidents to malfunctioning AI, self-driving vehicles are still very much in their infancy.

However, new research in the world of autonomous vehicles has uncovered another potential issue down the line: parking. Anyone living in a metropolitan area will tell you that parking is always a long-winded adventure. According to a new study, autonomous vehicles could create a problematic parking issue. Parking in 2020 and Beyond Imagine a scenario: You and your family are dropped off by your electric car in the center of the city. However, like most already know, parking in the city is expensive, so rather than park, your vehicle cruises around the city until you’re done. Though this may sound like a sweet set-up and a potential perk of owning an autonomous vehicle, this could be detrimental to transportation in the near future. “Parking prices are what get people out of their cars and on to public transit, but autonomous vehicles have no need to park at all. They can get around paying for parking by cruising. They will have every incen-

tive to create havoc,” said Adam Millard-Ball, an associate professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Robotfilled gridlock is a real potential issue if something is not done. The Autonomous Vehicle Parking Problem Professor Millard breaks down his concerns further in his published paper

and congestion pricing may ease the transition into the driverless world. Self-driving owners might be charged just a flat fee upon entering a city, or more sophisticated models could charge by miles driven or assign different fees to particular streets. Though Millard’s proposed idea does tackle the issue at large, there are other potential solutions to the gridlock issue. The emergence of the smart city

“...autonomous vehicles have no need to park at all. They can get around paying for parking by cruising. They will have every incentive to create havoc,” — Adam Millard-Ball “The Autonomous Vehicle Problem.” In his paper, he estimates that just the presence of the relatively small amount of 2,000 self-driving vehicles in the San Francisco area will slow traffic to less than 2 miles per hour. Considering where the autonomous vehicle market is headed, imagine what would happen if tens of thousands of vehicles were to hit the road. What’s Millard’s solution? Regulation

could be equally important to the rise of self-driving cars. In a smart city, cars could be monitored and controlled, optimizing traffic pattern via an IoT ecosystem. Properly addressing the challenges of this inevitable automotive change will lay the framework of how this technology will evolve. We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission.

New Training Model Helps Autonomous Cars See AI’s Blind Spots by John Loeffler, Interesting Engineering

Since their introduction several years ago, autonomous vehicles have slowly been making their way onto the road in greater and greater numbers. However, the public remains wary of them despite the undeniable safety advantages they offer the public. Autonomous vehicle companies are fully aware of the public’s skepticism. Every crash makes it more difficult to gain public trust. The fear is that if companies do not manage the autonomous vehicle roll-out properly, the backlash might close the door on self-driving car technology the way the Three Mile Island accident shut down the growth of nuclear power plants in the United States in the 1970s. Making autonomous vehicles safer than they already are means identifying those cases that programmers might never have thought of and to which the AI will fail to respond appropriately but that a human driver will understand intuitively as a potentially dangerous situation. 4

New research from a joint effort by MIT and Microsoft may help bridge this gap between machine learning and human intuition to produce the safest autonomous vehicles yet. Reassuring a Wary Public Were public hesitancy not a factor, every car on the road would be re-

Credit: Tesla

placed with an autonomous vehicle within a couple of years. Every truck would be fully autonomous by now and there would be no Uber or Lyft drivers, only shuttle cabs that you would order by phone. They would pull up smoothly to the curb in a cou-

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

ple of minutes without a driver in sight. Accidents would happen and people would still die as a result, but by some estimates, 90 percent of traffic fatalities around the world could be prevented with autonomous vehicles. Autonomous cars may need to recharge, but they don’t need to sleep or take breaks, and they are singlemindedly concerned with carrying out the instructions in their programming. For companies that rely on transportation to move goods and people from point A to point B, replacing drivers with self-driving cars saves on labor, insurance and other ancillary costs that come with having a large human workforce. The cost savings and the safety gains are simply too great to keep humans on the road behind the wheel. We fall asleep; we drive drunk; we get distracted; sometimes we are simply bad at driving, and the consequences are both costly and deadly.

A little more than a million people die every year on the roads around the world, and the move to autonomous commercial trucking alone could cut transportation costs for some companies in half. Yet, the public is not convinced, and they become more skeptical with each report of an accident involving a self-driving car. Edge Cases: The Achilles Heel of SelfDriving Cars? Whether it is fair or not, the burden of demonstrating autonomous vehicle safety is on those advocating for selfdriving vehicle technology. In order to do this, companies must work to identify and address those edge cases that can cause high-profile accidents that reduce public confidence in the otherwise safe technology. What happens when a vehicle is driving down the road and it spots a weather-beaten, bent, misshapen, faded stop sign? Though an obviously rare situation—transportation departments would have likely reSee New Training Model, Page 12


autobodynews.com / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Waymo To Build Self-Driving Car Factory in Michigan by Levi Sumagaysay, The Mercury News

Waymo said Jan. 22 that it will build in Michigan the world’s first factory dedicated exclusively to producing self-driving vehicles.

John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, speaks at a press conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI, Jan. 8, 2017. Credit: Geoff Robins/AFP/ Getty Images

After securing approval from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Alphabetowned autonomous vehicle company said it will build a plant in southeast Michigan, which it expects will employ hundreds of workers in a few years. “We’ll be looking for engineers, operations experts and fleet coordinators to join our team and help assemble and deploy our self-

driving cars,” Waymo said in a blog post Jan. 22 “This will be the world’s first factory 100 percent dedicated to the mass production of L4 autonomous vehicles.” Level 4 autonomous vehicles are considered high automation, just one step below Level 5, which is full automation. According to the Society of Automotive Engineers, Level 4 vehicles can perform all driving tasks under certain conditions, while Level 5 vehicles can drive under all conditions. Giving a nod to Michigan’s legacy as the heart of U.S. auto manufacturing, Waymo said that “the Great Lakes State is one we already know and love, with a talented workforce and excellent snowy conditions for our cars to test.” A Waymo spokeswoman said Jan. 22 that the company is looking for a site for the factory and that it plans to move into it midyear. Waymo expects to employ up to 400 workers there. “Every person hired within this entity will be hired to work exclusively on Waymo self-driving vehicles,” she said. We thank The Mercury News for reprint permission.

Wichita, KS, Auto Body Shops See Increase in Weather-Related Accidents by Lacey Williams, KAKE

Dangerous road conditions have caused numerous problems for drivers and their cars in Wichita, KS. Ken Hunnell, manager at All Angles Collision Repair, said he’s seen an increase in weather-related

accidents. The Wichita Police Department responded to nearly 300 reported accidents in seven days. “Black ice seems to be the

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biggest cause of that,” said Hunnell, “A lot of times just unexpected slick spots.” Hunnell said collisions aren’t the only thing causing damage to cars. He warned drivers to take precautions to avoid future damage to their cars caused by winter weather and road treatments. “That salt and that stuff that gets on there are very harmful to your paint but more importantly harmful to the underside, and it’s something that you won’t notice for many years,” said Hunnell. He advised drivers to wash the salt and sand off of their tires as well as the underside of their car. We thank KAKE for reprint permission.

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MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

AASP-MN’s Automotive Scholarships Are Up for Grabs Thanks to another successful fundraising drive within the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) membership, the Alliance will be awarding scholarships to select students enrolled in post-secondary automotive (auto service or collision repair) programs. Scholarship awards will be $1,000 per student and can be applied toward tuition or tool purchases. Recipients must be entering their first or second year of a NATEFcertified automotive program in the fall of 2019. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of industry representatives, with consideration given to scholastic achievement, education and career goals, financial need and written recommendations. Applications must be postmarked no later than March 31, 2019. Applications can be downloaded from the Alliance’s website, https://aaspmn.org/scholarships/, or submitted online at www.automotive scholarships.com/AASP-MN. Online submissions give students the opportunity to compete for several different awards, including

those offered by the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium Scholarship Committee and more than 40 other automotive aftermarket organizations and companies. Specific requirements for each organization’s awards can be found at www.automotivescholarships .com. The Education Fund was established in 2002 to provide financial resources to support automotive students, enhance automotive programs and raise awareness of career opportunities in the independent automotive service industry. Since that time, over $233,000 has been invested in student scholarships, SkillsUSA and automotive education programs throughout the state. In 2016, AASP-MN’s efforts to attract a future workforce expanded significantly with the creation of Minnesota Careers in Automotive Repair and Service (MNCARS), a statewide marketing and outreach initiative to encourage high school students to pursue an education and career in the automotive service and collision repair industry. Visit www.carcareers.org to learn more.


autobodynews.com / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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him that his dad be able to continue working at the business. John is wellrespected in the industry, Steven said, and he knows the ins and outs of the “If you do a good job, your repu- business. “I’m proud of him. I’m proud tation will speak for itself,” he said. “That’s the kind of reputation we he’s my dad. I’ve learned a lot from him,” Steven said. carry.” Brian said he grew up around the shop and describes working alongside his father and grandfather as “just another day for us, anymore.” “I get to see him every day, versus people who don’t see their grandparents every day,” he said, adding that his grandfather continues to work at the business because he enjoys being there. John Plowman, founder of Plowman’s Collision, recently John said he’s happy to celebrated his 80th birthday. Credit: Crystal Nelson, The see his grandson “stepping Alpena News up to the plate.” Customers who frequent the Steven said he grew up in the shop and started working for his dad business will find John working in through the high school co-op. Steven the office, where he still writes estiand his wife, Ruth, took over the mates and orders the parts needed to business and moved it to its current complete the repairs. He is currently working half-days at the business location at 3146 U.S.-23 S. in 1989. Steven said it’s very important to five days a week. Continued from Cover

CARSTAR Voted a 2019 Best of Omaha, NE, Winner CARSTAR was voted a “Winner” in the Best of Omaha competition for 2019. “We are excited our customers and friends voted CARSTAR as one of Omaha’s top body shops,” said Margaret Keith, CARSTAR marketing manager.

This is the fifth year that CARSTAR has been selected. There are three CARSTAR locations in Omaha. Votes are cast online. The “Best of Omaha” competition was started by Omaha Magazine in 1992. The contest recognizes favorite businesses in more than 300 categories, including transportation, dining, health and nightlife. The contest boasts 25,000 individual ballots annually. Voters told the magazine their preferences in July and August. The 2019 results were published in the December issue of Omaha Magazine. Less than 3 percent of Omaha-area businesses win a Best of Omaha award.

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John Plowman

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

John said turning 80 doesn’t really bother him much and that it probably bothered him more when he turned 60.

(l to r) Steven, Brian and John Plowman of Plowman’s Collision pose for a photo

“I’m thankful that I can get up and out and do something,” he said, noting that you can’t do much about age. Despite his age, John said he has no plans to retire any time soon. “I’m going to work a half-day until they kick me out,” he said. We thank The Alpena News for reprint permission.

www.autobodynews.com


AASP-MO Gateway Collision Chapter Meeting Focuses on In-House Alignments, ADAS Safety Calibrations by Chasidy Rae Sisk

ment analysis prior to repairs. ADAS safety calibrations are here to stay,

On Jan.16, the Gateway Collision Chapter of AASP-MO hosted its first meeting of 2019 at Hunter Engineering in St. Louis, MO, where Chip Hiemenz of Hunter Engineering delivered a presentation on in-house alignments and ADAS safety calibrations. Twenty-seven industry professionals enjoyed the presentation on in-house alignments and ADAS safety calibrations during AASP-MO’s Gateway Collision Chapter meeting

According to AASP-MO Executive Director Ron Reiling, “The meeting was held as part of our continuing education on alignments and ADAS safety systems, and it went very well. All enjoyed the presentation by Chip, Dave Rainey and Bret Spiller of Hunter Engineering. The 27 people in attendance were treated to a BBQ dinner, a classroom presentation and a hands-on demonstration. “Chip did a great job of presenting the benefits of doing in-house alignments and performing align-

Hunter Engineering’s educational seminar included a classroom presentation as well as a hands-on demonstration

and Chip covered the importance of the vehicles’ mechanical alignment

being correct prior to recalibrating. For body shops, Chip also covered what insurers will pay for that you may not be requesting.”

“Chip did a great job of presenting the benefits of doing in-house alignments and performing alignment analysis prior to repairs,” said AASP-MO Executive Director Ron Reiling

Reiling believes that association meetings and educational opportunities are important for the group’s membership because “they are simply the easiest and most productive way to stay up-to-date with the world’s fastest-changing industry and to network with like-minded professionals.” For more information on AASPMO, visit aasp-mo.org.

Missouri Anti-Safety Inspection Bill Reintroduced Once again, legislation has been introduced in the Missouri legislature that seeks to repeal the state’s vehicle safety inspection program. State Rep. J. Eggleston, assistant floor leader of the House, introduced House Bill (HB) 451. Eggleston introduced similar legislation last session—HB 1444. ASA opposed HB 1444 and successfully worked with ASA members in Missouri, as well as coalition partners, to ensure the bill did not become law. ASA opposes HB 451 and has begun efforts to stop this bill from moving forward. A hearing for the legislation has not been scheduled to date. “There are approximately 15 state vehicle inspection programs,” said ASA Mechanical Division Director Tom Piippo, AMAM. “With the number of recalls and rapidly increasing vehicle technologies, the trend should be more state inspection programs, not less. Missouri’s program is one of the best in the nation, and ASA has profiled it in hearings in Washington, D.C. and in other states. Any effort to repeal the program is nonsensical.”

autobodynews.com / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Marquis Body Shop Under New Ownership in David City, NE by Eric Schucht, The Banner-Press

Changes are coming to Marquis Body Shop in David City, NE—all spearheaded by its new owner, Matt Wellman. For the past year, he’s worked in town at Storm Aeronautics, but said he has always dreamed of having a business of his own. While Wellman has operated a small repair shop out of his property near town, the location was not ideal, he explained. “Nobody wants to bring their car out to the country, so being right along the highway is a good property, and it’s a good location,” Wellman said. “I’ve always wanted to do this line of work. I’ve done quite a bit in the past, and [being] in town is key to a small business like this.” Wellman seized the opportunity when he heard the previous owner, Michael Novotny, was retiring. Now, after more than 16 years, the shop has been handed off to the next generation. The shop specializes in collision repair, such as fixing dents and performing paint work on vehicles. The new owner said he has a five-year plan for the business. The first step will be updating the current facility.

Internet will be added to the building to incorporate more electronic tools. An email address for the business has been created along with a Facebook page. A software program and com-

Matt Wellman is the new owner of Marquis Body Shop in David City, NE. Pictured here are his two daughters, Abigail and JoiseMae, and his wife, Sarah. Credit: Eric Schucht, The Banner-Press

puter will now be used to create project estimates instead of by hand. A computerized system mixing scale and camera will also be utilized to create the perfect paint shade for each vehicle worked on. “I want to bring a modern-day body shop to David City. And I don’t mean that in disrespect to the previous owner, because not everybody is good with computers, and the technology doesn’t get along with everybody,” Wellman said. “We’re going from no technology in this shop to

Holland, MI, Auto Body Shop Receives Certification, Recognition vehicles. To become certified, the shop Elhart Collision in Holland, MI, “passed the rigorous certification has been officially certified by As- process essential to help ensure a sured Performance and recognized proper and safe repair of the new generation of advanced vehicles.” According to the company’s statement, less than 5 percent of body shops across the nation receive the certification. “This certification supports our reputation for superior customer service serving our community,” said owner Jeff Elhart. “We are your Elhart Collision has been certified by Assured neighbors and friends, so it is Performance and recognized by automaker important to provide our cusNissan. Credit: Contributed tomers with the peace of mind by automaker Nissan, according to that their vehicles are being repaired a statement released by the com- correctly by highly trained professionals who care about them.” pany on Feb. 10. We thank Holland Sentinel Assured Performance is a nonprofit consumer advocacy or- for reprint permission. ganization. It certified Elhart Collision, 880 Chicago Dr., for maintaining the right tools, equipwww.autobodynews.com ment, training and facilities necessary to repair participating brand

by Staff, Holland Sentinel

UPDATED DAILY

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MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

2019 technology.” Wellman earned his associate degree in auto collision repair technology from Southeast Community College. He said he has always enjoyed this kind of work, adding that one of his early inspirations was Eldon’s Body & Paint in David City. “He does good work,” Wellman said of Eldon’s. “Actually, he painted a couple of my cars in high school. That kind of got me started in the trade [and] sparked my interest.” Wellman will be the only person working out of the site, but said he would like to hire more workers in the future. His wife, Sarah, said her husband has talked about owning his own shop for as long as she’s known him. “I’m excited for this new adventure. I know he does great work, and I know he’ll be successful,” she said. “He’s kind of a jack of all trades; he can do it all.” Marquis Body Shop is located at 495 S Fifth St. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Wellman can be reached at 402-367-3367 or at marqisbodyshop@gmail.com. The Banner-Press reached out to the previous owner, Novotny, for the story, but he declined to comment. We thank The Banner-Press for reprint permission.

Winter Weather Keeps MN Body Shops Busy by Katharine Huntley, FOX 21

Auto body shops around the Northland, MN, area were slammed with work as icy roads caused numerous crashes throughout the region on Feb. 4.

Ogston’s Body and Paint was in the midst of one of its busiest winter seasons in years. “A lot of cars ended up in ditches and lots of fender-benders and rear-end hits and deer hits, a little bit of everything,” said Jamey Ogston, claims handler at Ogston’s Body and Paint. The shop said it was scheduling cars to be fixed a month and a half out. The shop stressed to drive safely because five minutes of fast driving could cause drivers to be without their cars for up to five weeks. We thank FOX 21 for reprint permission.


autobodynews.com / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Continued from Page 4

New Training Model moved such a sign long before it got to this awful state—edge cases are exactly this kind of situation. An edge case is a low-probability event that should not happen but does happen in the real world—exactly the kinds of cases that programmers and machine learning processes might not consider. In a real-world scenario, the autonomous vehicle might detect the sign and have no idea that it’s a stop sign. It doesn’t treat it as such and could decide to proceed through the intersection at speed and cause an accident. A human driver may have a hard time identifying the stop sign too, but that is much less likely for experienced drivers. We know what a stop sign is, and if it’s in anything other than complete ruin, we’ll know to stop at the intersection rather than proceed through it. This kind of situation is exactly what researchers at MIT and Microsoft have come together to identify and solve, which could improve

autonomous vehicle safety and, hopefully, reduce the kinds of accidents that might slow or prevent the adoption of autonomous vehicles on our roads. Modeling at the Edge In two papers presented at last year’s Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems conference and the upcoming Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence conference, researchers explain a new model for training autonomous systems such as self-driving cars that use human input to identify and fix these “blind spots” in AI systems. The researchers run the AI through simulated training exercises like traditional systems go through, but in this case, a human observes the machine’s actions and identifies when the machine is about to make or has made a mistake. The researchers then take the machine’s training data and synthesize it with the human observer’s feedback and put it through a machine-learning system. This system will then create a model that researchers can use to identify situa-

Eau Claire, WI, Auto Body Shops Busier Due To Winter Weather by Katarina Vergara, WEAU 13 News

Several auto body repair shops are backed up with vehicles damaged from crashes resulting from the winter weather.

Trubilt Collision Center and Superior Auto Body in Eau Claire, WI, both said the majority of crashes is a result of slips, slides, collisions and other weather-related issues. The winter weather hasn’t only affected those who need vehicle repairs. It has also affected the repair shops. “We’ve had six or seven days of lost production and parts not showing up,” said David Savage, owner of Superior Auto body. 12

Savage said they’ve also lost some days of production as a result of closing the shop early. “Our employees are very important to us,” said Savage. Both shops said they are starting repairs on vehicles that are towed in right away but are asking those who still have drivable vehicles to hold off until the weather calms down. Savage said his shop is currently booked out until March. Amy Wolfe of Trubilt Collision Center also said it’s been a challenge for employees to get to work on severe weather days. “We do have a handful of technicians and staff that do travel 20-plus miles,” said Wolfe. Wolfe said Trubilt will be even busier once drivers with less severe damage come in for repairs. These shops are urging drivers to give plows enough room on the roads and to remember to drive slowly and safely. We thank WEAU 13 News for reprint permission.

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

tions where the AI is missing critical information about how it should behave, especially in edge cases. “The model helps autonomous systems better know what they don’t know,” according to Ramya Ramakrishnan, a graduate student in the computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory at MIT and the lead author of the study. “Many times, when these systems are deployed, their trained simulations don’t match the real-world setting [and] they could make mistakes, such as getting into accidents. The idea is to use humans to bridge that gap between simulation and the real world, in a safe way, so we can reduce some of those errors,” Ramakrishnan said. The problem arises when a situation occurs, such as the distorted stop sign, in which the majority of cases the AI has been trained on does not reflect the real-world condition that it should have been trained to recognize. In this case, it has been trained that stop signs have a certain shape, color, etc. It could even have created a list of shapes that could be stop signs and would know to stop for

those, but if it cannot identify a stop sign properly, the situation could end in disaster. “Because unacceptable actions are far rarer than acceptable actions, the system will eventually learn to predict all situations as safe, which can be extremely dangerous,” said Ramakrishnan. Meeting the Highest Standards for Safety By showing researchers where the AI has incomplete data, autonomous systems can be made safer at the edge where high-profile accidents can occur. If they can do this, we may get to the point where public trust in autonomous systems can start growing and the rollout of autonomous vehicles can begin in earnest, making us all safer as a result. We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission.

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CARSTAR Expands Into Piqua, OH by Sam Wildow, Piqua Daily Call

A new CARSTAR location opened up in Piqua, OH, this year, bringing its expertise and customer-first mindset closer to Piqua customers. Tom Martin, owner of Piqua CARSTAR, said the shop had always serviced customers from Piqua, so expanding his business into Piqua was a natural progression for them. “It was just natural to take care of the Piqua community as well,” Martin said. Piqua CARSTAR, located at 700 S. Roosevelt Ave., is Martin’s third auto body shop. His other CARSTAR shops are located in Sidney at 175 N. Stolle Ave. and in Troy at 15 S. Kings Chapel Dr. “We mainly focus on collision,” Martin said, adding that the shop also takes care of small dings and dents in addition to auto collision repairs. Martin, who has more than 40 years of experience in auto repairs, began his career when he was 18 years old at the Sidney body shop. He was hired to paint the building and then never left, he said. He bought the Sidney body shop in January 2002 and joined the CARSTAR auto body network in 2003. He then opened another loca-

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tion in Troy in 2014. Martin has also invested in renovating the 700 S. Roosevelt Ave. location, which has been there for a year. The location has always been an auto body shop, starting out as Dick’s Paint and Body shop in the 1970s. Martin said they added new equipment, completed

CARSTAR paint technician Devan Selanders works on a car in the body shop. Selanders has been with the company since 2011. Credit: Mike Ullery, Daily Call Piqua

new concrete and electrical work, installed drains, remodeled the offices, completed interior and exterior siding, paved the formerly gravel parking lot and more as part of their improvements to the building. “I’ve been blessed with good employees,” Martin said when asked about their success. “The communities have always welcomed us as well.”

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Martin said approximately 50 employees work at the three CARSTAR locations, all of whom are trained and certified in their areas of expertise. He said that all of his employees undergo continuous education while working at his CARSTAR locations. CARSTAR also aims to support each of the communities in which it is located, supporting youth sports programs, local chambers of commerce, Kiwanis Clubs, Rotary Clubs and more. Martin, who volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters, said he most enjoys supporting youth programs, such as youth baseball and softball teams. When asked about what makes CARSTAR Piqua stand out from other auto body shops, he said, “I personally believe it goes back to our customer service.” He said the shop’s technicians aim to give “quality repairs” while putting the customer first. For more information about Piqua CARSTAR or to schedule an appointment, visit carstar.com or call (937) 773-8671. Piqua CARSTAR is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Saturdays and Sundays. We thank Piqua Daily Call for reprint permission.

Join CIECA for Webinar on March 19 Dawn Mortimer, assistant vice president of IoT/Telematics Product Management at Verisk/ISO, will host the next CIECAst webinar on Tuesday, March 19 at 11 a.m. CST. During the one-hour live broadcast, Mortimer will discuss how to build a roadmap to righttouch claims and proactive loss mitigation. She will also talk about solving the “many-to-many” problem by utilizing the exchange model framework to collect data from the OEMs, TSPs and other providers in order to streamline operations and efficiency. With 30 years of experience in insurance, Mortimer has served the industry in many capacities, including strategy, marketing, I/S, claims, agency and product lines. She is currently responsible for leading personal auto product development around IoT/telematics with suppliers and insurance companies to develop new products, services and business opportunities.


Continued from Cover

Cause of Auto Body Shop Fire in Bemidji, MN, Still Being Investigated by Jordan Shearer, The Bemidji Pioneer

Engulfed in flames just two days before, the shell of the Class A Auto Body building was covered in ice Jan. 21 as officials continued to investigate the cause of the structure fire that broke out the afternoon of Jan. 19. Located at the intersection of Central Avenue Southeast and Second Street, the fire began about 4 p.m. From that point on, it became an all-hands-on-deck situation well into the night for the Bemidji, MN, Fire Department. “We put every single one of our available firefighters on the scene,” Bemidji Fire Chief Dave Hoefer said. Firefighters from Cass Lake, Blackduck and Solway also came to Bemidji’s downtown station in case any additional help was needed. Although the building’s still standing, it was damaged beyond repair and will need to be demolished, Hoefer said. However, there wasn’t any damage to any of the surrounding buildings. “We were probably four hours in before I’d say we really had the upper hand on it,” Hoefer said. As of Jan. 21, Hoefer said they

still did not know the cause of the fire or exactly where it began in the building.

Now covered with icicles, Class A Auto Body in Bemidji, MN, was the site of a large structure fire the evening of Jan. 19. In addition to the auto body shop, the building included two apartment units. Credit: Jordan Shearer, Bemidji Pioneer

The scene was mostly quiet the morning of Jan. 21 after the flurry of activity over the weekend. The building was charred, with sections of the upper walls and roof no longer there. Yellow caution tape sectioned off portions of the surrounding ground. Periodically, a vehicle would pass by slowly, the driver eyeing the destroyed building. Class A Auto Body owner Gary Tobey was at Hockey Day Min-

nesota—taking place just blocks away—when he realized there was a fire at his shop. He’s owned the building since the early 1990s but said he isn’t sure what his plans are moving forward in the immediate aftermath of the fire. In addition to the auto body shop in the lower level, there were two apartment units in the building, one of which was vacant. No one was in the building at the time of the fire, but passerby Adam Hanson didn’t take any chances. After noticing the fire in the building, he went up to the upper floor of the building and broke in, searching to make sure that everyone was out. He cut his hand in the process. “This doesn’t happen very often,” Cory Nelson, the father of one of the three tenants, told the Pioneer on Jan. 21. “And when somebody does that for perfect strangers—yeah, that’s pretty amazing.” We thank The Bemidji Pioneer for reprint permission.

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UPDATED DAILY

Lack of Workers dustry when high schools and parents push their kids to a four-year college. They can do shorter programs and be just as successful, if not more. “We take it, and we make it all beautiful again and put it back to pre-accident condition. It’s like the accident never happened,” Hoege added. “So it’s very rewarding in that aspect, but I think a lot of people just don’t know we’re here.” Even with so much more technology in the body shops these days, there is still a great need for handson technicians. You may think that new technology makes it easier, but Hoege said it actually makes an already complicated process even more so. Experts say you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a job in the auto body industry right after school. Hoege said some technicians in the Madison area are making well over $100,000 a year. We thank Channel 3000 for reprint permission.

autobodynews.com / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Progress, But No Auto Insurance Reform Ideas Yet Committed to MI Senate Bill by Mike Brennan, MITechNews.com

A Michigan senator who introduced a vehicle bill in January for comprehensive no-fault auto insurance reform said his fact-finding conversations with other lawmakers and an array of stakeholders are ongoing and making progress, but he has not yet put pen to paper with any concrete proposals ahead of initial committee hearings.

Sen. Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton) introduced SB 1 in January, a piece of intent legislation that will be filled out in the coming months. He described the process as it relates to efforts among lawmakers as “there just seems like there’s a lot more of an aura” around the realization that the public is demanding a solution now where previous efforts have failed to provide relief to the pocketbooks of motorists. “I just talked to an insurance agent last night. He’s had customers about on their knees in tears when he gives them a quote,” Nesbitt said, stressing to point out the growing strain it can have on motorists’ budgets. Nesbitt said that so far, his daily schedule has been packed, with numerous meetings with other lawmakers, constituents in his district and officials with various stakeholders. He has also had productive meetings with Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and Sen. Lana Theis (R-Brighton), who chairs the Senate Insurance and Banking Committee that SB 1 was referred to, about auto insurance. “(But) I haven’t put the pen to paper yet,” Nesbitt said when asked if any specific plans have been de16

cided on yet. When asked when the fact-finding stage may be over and the first committee hearing may be scheduled for testimony, Nesbitt said “I’ll let you know,” saying he planned on talking to Theis Feb. 1 or early the following week on when the committee may be meeting. No committee meetings for the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee had yet been scheduled as of Jan. 25. Theis agreed with Nesbitt that things seem, at least early on, to be different this time around. “We need to make sure we’re listening to all the interest groups. We’re trying to make sure we’re listening to everyone,” Theis said, noting that a concerted effort to speak to all stakeholders is a major difference to past efforts where some stakeholders have felt their views were not being considered. As introduced, SB 1 is a fourpage, multi-section piece of legislation that will be filled in as priorities are identified. One goal outlined in the intent language is for persons ages 62 and older with lifetime health care benefits to have the option of not carrying personal injury protection insurance. Other goals include allowing individuals to choose their level of personal injury protection coverage while also allowing for lower premium rates, lowering the cost inflation for no-fault auto insurance claims compared to other health care treatment and reducing fraud. Nesbitt added he has been studying auto insurance legislation from the last several years to see where other bills failed and search for items that had support that could be part of SB 1. Theis said conversations have been going well and she will be informed by Nesbitt when any initial version of a bill is ready to come before the committee. She added there is no timetable as to when the bill might come before the committee nor how many meetings may be required before it is

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

reported. Theis said she too has heard from constituents who are struggling with managing auto insurance costs with their monthly budgets. She said that most recently, she heard from an elderly constituent who gave up hav-

state during last year’s election as a top priority. The House for its part has formed a special committee to craft its own solution to no-fault auto insurance. No timetable has been set for that committee, either.

“We need to make sure we’re listening to all the interest groups. We’re trying to make sure we’re listening to everyone,” — Lana Theis ing a car because the individual did not want to drive without insurance, the choice being between having a vehicle and being able to get necessary medications. Pressure will continue to build on lawmakers to craft a solution, she said, as more people of all levels of income increasingly struggle with what she called a broken system. Michigan has often been cited as having the highest auto insurance rates in the country. The topic was one that lawmakers of all political stripes heard about throughout the

During the 2017–18 session, a major overhaul that would have created a three-tiered system of health coverage for those injured in an automobile crash, rather than rely on unlimited health coverage that is currently required, narrowly failed in the House. Smaller, piecemeal efforts toward auto insurance changes were also introduced and failed last session. We thank MITechNews.com for reprint permission.


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ASA Supports NH OE Repair Procedure Legislation The New Hampshire House of Representatives Committee on Commerce and Consumer Affairs held a hearing on House Bill 664, which addresses the issue of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) repair procedures. ASA supports this legislation. Several states are considering OEM repair procedure legislation in 2019. During the NACE Automechanika show in Atlanta last summer, ASA and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers announced in August 2018 an effort to have OEM repair procedure policy addressed in state legislatures. For 2019, New Hampshire is one of the first states to start the process of making OEM repair procedure policy law. Additional states are considering similar legislation for 2020.HB 664 states, “An insurer shall reimburse a repairer for all repairs if a repairer follows original equipment manufacturer-recommended collision repair procedures, recommendations or service bulletins while repairing a vehicle.” ASA Washington, D.C. representative Bob Redding noted: See ASA Supports, Page 20

St. Louis I-CAR Committee Prepares for 2019 by Chasidy Rae Sisk

The St. Louis I-CAR Committee held its monthly meeting on Jan. 11 at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, MO, with a large group of participants from various companies in the industry.

Shelly Jones, chair of the St. Louis I-CAR Committee, began by informing everyone that all of their 2018 committee goals were achieved and some of their 2019 goals have already seen progress. She also announced that the position of marketing vice-chair is open. “It was exciting to have a couple people speak up and ask to learn more about how they can help the committee and the industry,” she said. John Helterbrand, vice-chair of training, shared some exciting news about the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) hosting a new contest the week of the St.

BirdEye Joins CIECA as Corporate Member “Trusted by over 40,000 local businesses, our company focuses on reputation management by enabling companies to obtain reviews and feedback from review sites, social media and Net Promoter Scores,” said David Tulkin, director of business development at BirdEye.

The feedback is then used to assist BirdEye’s clients in better understanding customers, benchmarking performance, improving operations and establishing a positive online presence. BirdEye was founded in 2012 by Google, Yahoo and Amazon alumni and backed by Silicon Valley companies including Trinity Ventures, Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang. “Collision repair centers and 18

body shops that use the BirdEye SaaS platform in conjunction with CCC One are able to automatically send review requests to customers in real time asking for feedback,” said Tulkin. “With authentic customer reviews, collision repair shops will be able to reach more prospective customers and establish the strong online reputation required to drive new business growth.” BirdEye became a CIECA member in 2018. “We’re thrilled to partner with CIECA to help the collision repair industry improve online visibility, build customer trust and gain more customers,” said Tulkin. “We share CIECA’s mission and vision to help develop innovative communication standards that allow collision centers and body shops to be more efficient in gaining a deeper understanding of their consumers.” For more information, visit https://birdeye.com/.

www.autobodynews.com

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

mittee. Job fair packets with partner registration information are now available. Jones shared, “It will be another great year for students to come to a fun event and interview with potential employers. Again this year, we anticipate 1,000 students to attend from Missouri and Illinois schools: 750 students from automotive and collision programs and 250 STEM students from high schools and colleges.” Robbie Saladino, IGene Slattery delivers his update at the St. Louis I-CAR CAR business developCommittee’s January meeting ment for the South Central Education coordinator and job Region, also attended the meeting fair coordinator Gene Slattery re- and provided the group with a lot of counted the success of the 2018 Job information during his update. According to Jones, “These meetFair and announced that the 2019 Job Fair will be held at Gateway ings are perfect for those that want Motorsports on Sept. 27, during to ask questions, and ours is an inNHRA qualifications. Online regis- teractive group.” The St. Louis I-CAR Committration and payment will be offered this year, allowing participants to tee will next meet on March 15 at pay online through a dedicated Ranken Technical College. website as part of the group’s efforts to streamline the process for those participating and for the comwww.autobodynews.com Louis I-CAR Committee Job Fair. Details on the contest are not yet available.


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Cause of Sundance Chevrolet Fire Under Investigation in Grand Ledge, MI

ASA Supports

by Megan Hiler, WILX News 10

“House Bill 664 addresses an issue of concern for consumers and repairers. The Seebachan v. John Eagle Collision Center decision reminded collision repairers of the importance of having proper repair procedures. The original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) repair procedures are the logical repair processes to be followed. To be clear, ASA does not support the use of OEM parts only. ASA’s interest is in requiring the industry to adhere to a set of repair procedures that assure the best opportunity for vehicle safety on our highways. House Bill 664 calls for vehicle repair standards requiring insurers [to] ‘reimburse a repairer for all repairs if a repairer follows original equipment manufacturer-recommended collision repair procedures, recommendations, or service bulletins while repairing a vehicle.’ This legislation ensures that the state of New Hampshire has done as much as possible to protect consumers and small businesspersons in the repair chain following an accident.” See also cover story this issue.

Two days after crews battled the fire at Sundance Chevrolet in Grand Ledge, MI, fire investigators went back to the scene to search for a cause. It’s the second fire at the dealership since 2017.

have to think in that direction. Accidental could have definitely been something that could have happened,” said Chief Rodney Vandecasteele, of the Grand Ledge Area Fire Department. The chief said they won’t narrow down the cause until they get into the building with bigger ma-

“It’s just one of those things—you get knocked down; you get back up. Business goes on as usual,” — Terry Hanks It took crews about two hours to put the fire out, and now they are just trying to figure out how this happened. “It’s like lightning hitting you twice, you know? Who would ever think of it? It’s just one of those unreal situations,” Sundance Chevrolet owner Terry Hanks said. More than 10 fire departments rushed to Sundance on Jan. 19. On Jan. 21, crews went back to the scene to investigate possible causes. “I’m not really thinking suspicious at this time. But we always

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

chines. He said people working in the building got out safely. “The building was occupied. The tenants that were in it did see the fire. They did use efforts to try to extinguish the fire, so now we want to figure out what caused it.” Hanks said he wanted to thank the firefighters for their work in the cold. He added that their next mission is to rebuild a new body shop as soon as possible. “It’s just one of those things— you get knocked down; you get back up. Business goes on as usual,”

Hanks said. In the meantime, workers at the dealership will be taking their cars to a place in St. Johns to be worked on while they look for a place nearby. Hanks added that the dealership will either replace or pay for any customer cars that were destroyed in the fire. Investigators were never able to figure out exactly what caused the 2017 fire at Sundance. They said the damage was too extensive to leave enough clues behind. It destroyed more than 30 cars and burned down the “bunkhouse” used-car building. The dealership had to get 1,200 new keys made for the cars that survived the fire. We thank WILX News 10 for reprint permission.

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Nagy’s Collision’s ‘Hit a Buck, Donate Some Doe’ Sees Increase from Previous Campaign in OH

Bill on MA Gov. Baker’s Desk Creates Crime of Airbag Fraud by Michael P. Norton, State House News Service

During the fall and winter months, Nagy’s Collision Centers runs its annual “Hit a Buck, Donate Some Doe” campaign to benefit local charities. Last year, 213 vehicles impacted by deer hits were brought to Nagy’s for repairs—an increase from 171 hits the year prior. For every vehicle that was involved in a deer accident and repaired at one of Nagy’s Collision Centers’ 11

took first place and was a $2,000 recipient; Christian Children’s Home of Ohio, which took second place and

volving deer,” said Nagy’s Collision Centers President Ron Nagy. “Our goal at Nagy’s is to turn these unfor-

“Our goal at Nagy’s is to turn these unfortunate incidents into something positive while giving back to the local communities we are in.” — Ron Nagy

Ohio Veteran donation

Christian Children’s Home donation

Haven of Rest donation

locations from Oct. 1–Dec. 28, 2018, Nagy’s had the drivers cast their vote for one of three charities. The charities, which were selected by Nagy’s employees, were: Ohio Veterans Memorial Park, which

was a $1,500 recipient; and Haven of Rest, which took third place and was a $1,000 recipient. “Each year, the months of October through December have the highest vehicle accident rates in-

tunate incidents into something positive while giving back to the local communities we are in.” For more information on Nagy’s Collision Centers, visit www.nagys .com.

Insurers called on Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker to sign legislation establishing criminal penalties for selling or installing a counterfeit airbag in a vehicle.

The legislation was among dozens of bills that lawmakers suddenly rushed to the governor’s desk in the days leading up to and on New Year’s Day. Under the bill, anyone found guilty of airbag fraud would face a fine of no more than $5,000 or imprisonment for no more than 2.5 years, or both. “The insurance industry is a strong advocate for highway safety and diligently works to See Airbag Fraud, Page 22

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Continued from Page 21

Registration Now Open for CREF Golf Fundraiser in Indianapolis, IN

Airbag Fraud

Registration for the 18th Annual Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) Golf Fundraiser, co-hosted by the automotive refinish business unit of PPG, is now open.

protect against the use of unsafe parts,” Frank O’Brien, a vice president at the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, said in a statement. “When an accident occurs, consumers expect to be protected by their safety equipment. It should be a criminal act to market or install a counterfeit airbag that may not open properly and potentially cause serious injuries or even death.” The House approved the bill in April; the Senate passed it New Year’s Eve, just before the session ended. It is based on a bill filed by Rep. Jennifer Benson of Lunenburg. NOTE: Gov. Baker signed the bill on Jan. 10. We thank State House News Service for reprint permission.

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UPDATED DAILY

The event will be held Tuesday, July 23. Golfers will enjoy a round of golf at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course in Indianapolis, IN, voted in the Top 100 American Public Golf Courses by Golf Digest and Golfweek. This course has four holes inside the oval and 14 holes adjacent to the backstretch of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Organizers anticipate the Golf Fundraiser selling out during the spring, so early registration is encouraged. The event supports the Education Foundation in its mission to provide support for collision repair programs at high school and colleges across North America. Participants can register online through the Education Foundation’s

lision repair industry community to join us in Indianapolis this July to help raise additional funds, support and awareness for high school and college collision school programs through this great event,” said Tom Wolf, PPG, director business development USCA. “Through the event’s sponsors, players and volunteers, we are able to not only have a great afternoon of golf fellowship but assist the Foundation in supporting the future professionals of our great industry.” Brandon Eckenrode, Collision Repair Education Foundation director of development, said, “Our annual golf fundraiser is an incredible event that helps us raise funds to provide crucial support to collision school programs across the country. We anticipate that we will be sold out within a matter of a few short months, so please register early.”

website at http://www.collisioneducationfoundation.org/collision-education-foundation-golf-tournament/ Registration for the fundraiser includes 18 holes of golf, cart rental, beverages and snacks on the course, lunch, dinner, promotional items and opportunities to participate in contests throughout the day. The event will be held in conjunction with the Collision Industry Conference and MSO Symposium events taking place that week in Indianapolis. “PPG takes pride in supporting the Collision Repair Education Foundation and such a worthy industry challenge. The industry-wide shortage of people in our industry has been highlighted as the #1 hurdle we face when staffing for consistent quality repairs. We challenge the entire col-

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WIN Opens Registration for 2019 WIN Educational Conference in FL The Women’s Industry Network (WIN®) is pleased to announce that registration for the 2019 Educational Conference is now open.

Members registering before March 13 will receive a discounted rate of $300. Member registration on or after March 13 is $475. Non-members may attend at a rate of $650. Attendance at the Most Influential Women and Scholarship Winners Gala only is $80 per person. As previously announced, this year’s conference will be held May 6–8 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. “Navigating Tomorrow Together,” the conference theme, will be reflected throughout the agenda with presentations focused on navigat22

ing through ever-changing professional and personal landscapes. WIN is thrilled to announce that executive coach and author Connie Dieken will present this year’s keynote address. “We are fortunate to have Connie presenting for our entire Tuesday morning session,” stated Wendy Rogers, one of the 2019 conference cochairs. “Her recognition as a leading executive coach is unsurpassed, and her presentation and workshop are being tailored specifically for our attendees.” To register for the conference and view the agenda, please visit https://thewomensindustrynetwork.site-ym.com/event/2019WINConference. For more information on WIN, please, visit the WIN website at www.womensindustrynetwork .com.

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Continued from Cover

2019 NADA Show cars and light trucks in 2019. “We expect the sales momentum to continue this year,” said Patrick Manzi, NADA senior economist. “The 2019 auto show season kicks

tory, according to Manzi. Last year, consumers continued to abandon car segments. Light trucks accounted for 69 percent of sales, while cars accounted for 31

the board, not just on crossovers but also traditional SUVs and pickups.” Manzi also said he expects gasoline prices to remain low enough this year to not cause a panic and a consumer shift back to the car market. When NADA comes to a city for its annual show, it always leaves a little something behind as its way of saying thanks. This year, the or-

I-CAR’s large booth made quite an impression at the NADA Show. (l to r) National MSO manager Doug Schlueter and manager, business development Armin Price Director of Operations Zach McGregor displayed DJS Fabrications’ line of dollies and accessories at the four-day NADA show

off in Detroit. Dozens of new vehicles, with auto show rebates and incentives, will soon arrive in dealer showrooms across the country that will appeal to consumers and spark auto sales during the first quarter.”

percent of sales. In 2017, light trucks accounted for 65 percent of sales and cars accounted for 35 percent. About 10 years ago, the sales mix consisted of 48 percent light trucks and 52 percent cars.

ganization donated $50,000 to the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank to assist with the purchase of a new, refrigerated commercial truck. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to receive this generous donation,” said

Accudraft was represented by (l to r) account specialist Stacy Defnall and business development manager Steve Boda (l to r) David Cosio, Cody Workman and Adolph Cosio from Automotive Collision Equipment and Lorinda Teague from Pro Spot International

New light vehicle sales topped 17.3 million units in 2018, marking the fourth-best sales year in U.S. his-

“One of the main factors of this shift has been continued low oil and gasoline prices, and the fact that crossover utility vehicles are nearly as fuel efficient as their sedan counterparts,” Manzi said. “And we’ve seen fuel economy increases across

Aftermarket Crash Parts Legislation On Fast Track in WY Legislature The Wyoming legislature is considering legislation that would negatively impact collision repairers and consumers relative to aftermarket crash parts. The legislation, SF0095, has passed the Wyoming state senate and is now being reviewed by the Wyoming House of Representatives. The bill is sponsored by state Sen. Tara Nethercott. The Senate summarizes the legislation as follows: AN ACT re24

Big Ass Fans exhibited at this year’s NADA Show to unveil its Light Bar. (l to r) Exhibit manager Pam Lawless, national account manager Scott Fehrenbach and vertical market business development manager John Nunnelley

lating to insurance; providing standards for the use of aftermarket parts in automobile damage repairs; requiring disclosure when any use is proposed of a non-original manufacturer part; requiring that all aftermarket parts be identified and be of the same quality as the original part; and providing for an effective date. The bill was introduced Jan. 15 and, in a very brief period of time, is on its way to potentially becoming See Parts Legislation, Page 26

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Paul Ash, executive director of the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. “Our trucks are the lifeline of our entire operation, and I can tell you that this new truck, courtesy of NADA,

Broadly, a marketing and social media company, exhibited at its first NADA Show. (l to r), customer success manager Janna Dolson, account executive Todd LoGuidice and senior account executive & sales trainer Jenna Simon

will be put into service immediately to help feed the thousands of people who rely on us for healthy meals each day.” NADA’s donation helped complete the purchase of a 2019 Kenworth T370, a 24-foot fully refrigerated box truck that will be used for pick-ups and deliveries in the food bank’s network of 270 pantries.


autobodynews.com / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Cars Feel the Pain From This Winter as Body Shop Sees More Damaged Vehicles in IA by Shawn Loging, ourquadcities.com/WHBF Local 4 News

Vehicles are feeling under the weather as this winter leaves them battered by the conditions on the roads. It’s happening as law enforcement continues to push the message to slow down on the snow-and-icecovered pavement. Iowa State Patrol told Local 4 News that in the six-county region, including Iowa Quad Cities, they’ve had nearly 270 stranded cars and 75 crashes since the beginning of the year. In the whole state of Iowa, since the start of February through the 12th of the month, troopers have handled about 420 crashes. It’s resulted in many vehicles being towed away to auto body shops, where it’s been a year like no other to get wrecked cars back to road-worthy condition. Precision Collision Auto Body owner Todd Doss said, “Tedious. I mean, this job’s not easy.” It’s an art form to get broken cars restored. Doss said, “We’re repairing the damage to the right side here, a new wheel, fender, straightening the doors.” And mechanics are working

overtime this winter. Doss said, “[A] $4,600 job—it’s not cheap to do this stuff.” Doss has a packed lot of cars in need of some TLC. Doss said, “Takes quite a bit to push one of those wheels back like that. The door’s shoved back into the other door.” Doss said this winter has been exceptionally busy with the damage being a bit more severe compared to normal by insurance company standards. Doss said, “Been a lot of total losses. A little heavier on the hits this year. Some fender-benders, but a lot of total losses.” This damage isn’t just caused by cars running into each other. It’s also caused by those times weather leaves people trapped. Doss said, “Stuck in the snow and backing it back-andforth, and the transmission went out of it.” The staff has to worry about more than just replacing parts and performing cosmetic work. Doss said, “We get into them. Lift them out into the air. Make sure the suspensions are good and everything’s safe.” And when it comes to a few of those total losses, Doss said, there’s a chance they won’t be back in his shop as insurance companies try to

cut their losses. Doss said, “A good car going to the salvage yard for parts. Kind of a shame.” Doss told Local 4 News each insurance company is different when it comes to calculating a total loss, which is the cost of damage as a percentage of the value of the car. He said there are instances where customers will go ahead with repairs even when insurance recommends not to. “They buy the cars back from the insurance company and retain ownership. They don’t want to have to go buy a new car if they don’t have to. A lot of them don’t want to have new car payments, so they want to fix their old car,” said Doss. Precision Collision has a pile of broken parts that the owner said have been taken off the cars they’ve worked on just in the last two weeks. The shop averages about five days to rehab a car. Doss expects to have appointments to fix damage seen by this winter so far on the books for a couple of months. We thank ourquadcities.com/WHBF Local 4 News for reprint permission.

Continued from Page 24

Parts Legislation state law. This legislation has been attempted in other states and numerous legislatures have rejected this policy, as it dramatically changes the consumer-collision shop marketplace. ASA opposes SF0095. There are numerous questions that SF0095 raises, including: • Who is to determine that parts meet OEM standards? • What state agency is equipped to evaluate certification standards? • How does this protect the consumer? Any discussion about automotive crash parts invokes an examination of quality issues. More importantly, what has been the policy dialogue about vehicle safety as impacted by SF0095? These are important issues that should require more than two weeks of policy debate. ASA encourages Wyoming collision repairers to contact their state legislators and ask that they oppose Aftermarket Parts Bill SF0095.

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3 Boys, Mom Get Free Car Through NABC Recycled Rides in Janesville, WI by Frank Schultz, Janesville Gazette

Katherine McClure has three of the most active boys you’re likely to ever see. She has been relying on the Janesville, WI, bus system to get around since 2015.

The boys had sat patiently before and during the ceremony, but it took several minutes for the adults to get them out of the car as their joy overflowed. McClure still has to get the car inspected before she can put plates on it and drive into a better future. That’s because it was deemed a total loss by an insurance company. But instead of being sold to a salvage dealer, the car got a new lease on life through the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program.

Katherine McClure holds on to her 6-yearold son, Carl-Michael, while her two other boys, Nathaniel and Aaron, look at the vehicle given to their family Feb. 8 at Gerber Collision in Janesville, WI. Credit: Angela Major

That will soon change. On Feb. 8, the Janesville woman was presented with the keys to a 2013 Nissan Sentra free of charge. Her son Carl-Michael, 6, got so excited that he climbed in through an open window and honked the horn. The other two boys, Aaron, 8, and Nathaniel, 4, were soon inside as well, vying to sit in the driver’s seat.

Katherine McClure and her sons help unveil the car they received Feb. 8 at Gerber Collision in Janesville, WI. Credit: Angela Major

Gerber Collision & Glass, 2627 Morse St., Janesville, and Esurance were the main sponsors of the giveaway, but 26 sponsors contributed car parts or accompanying gifts, such as a free oil change, to make it happen.

McClure cried as the presentation began. “I’m thrilled for her because I know how life-changing an automobile is when you do not have one and you need to get to the market and get to your job and get to school,” said Angela Moore, executive director of YWCA Rock County. The YWCA’s Domestic Violence Women’s Shelter brought McClure’s name to the program benefactors. Affordable housing, child care and transportation are the three major needs of people dealing with poverty, Moore said. The McClures have the first two through the YWCA’s Transitional Housing Program, but transportation was missing. Gerber Collision & Glass manager Brian Sullivan said the 19 Gerber shops in Wisconsin have made 15 similar presentations over the past seven years. This was the first in Janesville, where Gerber recently acquired the former Gates Collision Center. “I can’t even imagine what you’re feeling,” Sullivan said to McClure. “... Taking reliable transportation for granted is just something we all do, and for us to be able to do this for Katherine and for her boys is, you know, pretty special. It’s a great

thing. It makes everybody happy. “It’s helping you get your life on track, which is what we want to see. One person at a time, one day at a time is all you can do.” McClure, a shift lead manager for Firehouse Subs, said that in addition to getting around town, the car will allow the family to visit family in Missouri.

A car donated to Katherine McClure's family sits inside Gerber Collision in Janesville, WI. Credit: Angela Major

She said she had planned to buy a car using her income tax refund. She said she was shocked, surprised and happy when she found out a month ago she would be getting a car for free. On Feb. 8, she added grateful to the list. We thank Janesville Gazette for reprint permission.

autobodynews.com / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Deaths From Exploding Airbags, Shrapnel Force 2.7 Million More Car Recalls by Leighanna Shirey, Citizen Truth

In early January, Toyota and Ford announced the recall of 2.7 million vehicles due to exploding airbags in the ongoing Takata airbag disaster. At least 23 people have been killed as a result of exploding front passenger Takata airbags, leading to a massive recall that has affected almost every automaker. Toyota recently announced an additional 1.7 million cars for recall, which followed just days after Ford announced an additional 953,000 vehicles for recall. Some estimates say the recall affects as many as 350 million cars worldwide. In each horrific accident, the faulty airbag component exploded without warning, sending flying shrapnel throughout the vehicle. In addition to the needless deaths, at least 240 people have suffered injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations and skull fractures. Florida Senator Bill Nelson is leading the charge to hold Takata airbags accountable, as Florida has been identified as the locale with the most injuries and deaths from the faulty airbags. The state has linked 83 injuries and three deaths to the airbags so far. Unstable Ammonium Nitrate At fault in the airbags is the use of ammonium nitrate, which creates an explosion reaction designed to inflate the airbags. Over time, though, and especially in hot climates like Florida, the integrity of the airbag system can become compromised, creating an explosion with too much force that blows apart a metal canister containing the chemical and sends shrapnel into the passenger. As reported by the Associated Press, the airbags did just as feared when one woman in Florida in January of 2018 died from shrapnelcaused injuries. Nichol Barker of Holiday, FL, was a 34-year-old woman who was traveling with her 5-year-old daughter, 10-year-old son and mother when a 19-year-old man in a 1999 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am made an illegal left turn in front of her. Barker’s 2002 Honda Accord struck the Tran’s Am’s passenger’s side, causing the faulty airbag to rupture 28

and fire hot shrapnel into Barker’s skull. Barker suffered 3-inch and 6inch wounds to her head, as well as a fractured skull and bleeding and bruising on her brain. Although she was flown by helicopter to a hospital, Barker was pronounced dead only 40 minutes after the accident. Barker’s

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

daughter was unharmed, and the others suffered minor injuries. Sgt. Chester T. Everett, the lead investigator on the scene, and Dr. Christopher Wilson, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy, concluded that Barker would have survived the crash if not for the faulty airbag. It is believed that Barker is the 21st person to die as a result of the Takata airbags, but the total number of injuries and deaths is considered unknown. In June of 2018, Honda reported that the 2004 death of a Malaysian driver was due to the faulty airbags. How big is the recall? Senator Nelson told product safety attorney Rich Newsome in a 2016 interview that the recall affects an estimated 250 million cars worldwide and possibly even more. At 70 million recalls, the Takata recall was already the largest recall in automotive history and now is approaching epic proportions. What’s even more alarming, as Newsome explained, is that the Takata airbags are being replaced again with an ammonium nitratebased repellant. Takata claims the difference now is that the new propellant contains a drying agent. However, in 2017, millions of the newer ammonium nitrate propellants with drying agents were found to be defective and added to the recall. Takata claims the problem is again

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

fixed because the company switched to a different drying agent. According to Newsome, Takata is the only airbag manufacturer that uses ammonium nitrate as a propellant. Other airbag manufacturers use guanidine nitrate and tetrazole, which are considered to be safer. Takata switched to ammonium nitrate in the 1990s when consumers became concerned about toxic fumes stemming from traditional airbag propellants. Takata switched to a tetrazole-based propellant, but then switched again to ammonium nitrate because it was one-tenth of the price. Did Takata know? Takata’s own engineers testified against the company, saying they warned the company about the potentially life-threatening dangers of using ammonium nitrate. “I literally said [that] if we go forward with this, someone will be killed,” Mark Lillie said to Reuters. “I couldn’t in good faith pump this

stuff out believing that it was unsafe to put in front of a passenger in a car.” Lillie and another engineer even claimed that Takata destroyed and ignored its own 2004 data that showed tests on 50 airbags that revealed defects. Takata ultimately pleaded guilty to a 2017 federal charge of wire fraud to settle a U.S. Department of Justice investigation. The settlement was for $1 billion and bankrupted the company, which was then bought out by auto components maker Key Safety Systems. Is your car recalled? A list of the recalled vehicles can be found on USA TODAY’s website or on Newsome’s website. Toyota owners can also see if their car has been recalled by entering their VIN or license plate number on Toyota’s website. Beginning in late January, Toyota vehicle owners affected by the recall will receive mailed notifications, according to Toyota. We thank Citizen Truth for reprint permission.


autobodynews.com / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Industry Insight with John Yoswick

—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, 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.

Committee Seeks to Build Industry Consensus Around Part-Type Definitions The confusion within the industry related to part-type definitions was evident at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) held in Palm Springs, CA, in January when a CIC committee walked attendees through a series of multiple-choice questions. It was a topic raised at the preceding CIC at a time when the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) was reiterating its rule that all parts must be identified only as new, used, rebuilt, reconditioned, OEM or non-OEM. The BAR has stated that the terms “alt-OE” or “opt-OE” are too unclear or inconsistently used and therefore cannot be listed on cus-

the committee hopes to address in the coming year. The lack of consensus on parttype definitions became even more glaring when Weiss asked CIC attendees in which part category they would put: • A “surplus OEM part” (65 percent said they would label it “new OEM” while 15 percent said “aftermarket” and 17 percent said “other”) • A “blemished OEM part” (32 percent said “new OEM,” 20 percent said “used,” 16 percent said “reconditioned,” and 25 percent said “other”) • An “OEM take-off part or assembly” (56 percent said “used,” while 27 percent said “new OEM”).

CIC committee chairman Ken Weiss led attendees through a series of questions that demonstrated a lack of consensus within the industry about parts-type definitions

tomer estimates or invoices in that state without providing additional information about such parts, including what warranty they carry. To demonstrate the lack of consistency among part types within the industry, Ken Weiss, the new chairman of the CIC “Parts and Materials Committee,” asked the more than 250 people at the Palm Springs meeting whether an OEM part “must come in branded OEM packaging,” and 81 percent of respondents agreed that it did. But he also asked if that OEM part can be sourced only through one of that OEM’s branded dealers, and only 40 percent agreed that it did. (Most automakers in the past have said OEM parts can only be purchased through one of their dealers.) Weiss said the nearly 50-50 split over where OEM parts can be sourced is somewhat emblematic of the confusion in the industry and is something 30

How about an OEM’s private label part, Weiss asked, such as a BMW part engineered by Bosch for BMW and sold in a Bosch box? CIC attendees were about evenly split on whether they would categorize that part as “new OEM” or “aftermarket.” About half of CIC attendees agreed with the statement that “optOEM” is a “catch-all part-type description to avoid labeling a part as aftermarket,” but 30 percent of CIC attendees weren’t aware that “optOEM” (along with “alt-OEM or “surplus-OEM”) can’t be used on customer estimates or invoices under California BAR regulations. “What I’m trying to underscore is there is confusion. There is not a consensus in the industry,” Weiss said. “Different platforms should not be using different terminology to describe identical part types. We need, as industry partners, to get together and come up with clear definitions that the industry accepts [so] we at least understand what a part is.” That process, he said, will require the involvement of shops, insurers, parts suppliers and the estimating and parts platform providers. Anyone interested in participating in the CIC committee (which holds conference calls in between CIC quarterly meet-

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

ings) can sign up at the CIC website (www.CIClink.com). Downsides to Not Accessing OEM Information Directly Two other presentations at industry meetings held in Palm Springs offered examples of some of the potential limitations of relying on aftermarket scan tools or sources of OEM procedures other than the automaker’s own information websites. Speaking at CIC, Greg Potter of the Equipment and Tool Institute outlined how the organization conducts its primary function as a conduit of technical data from the automakers to the independent aftermarket (primarily aftermarket scan tool-makers). It is the frequency with which that data is provided by some automakers that could be a concern to those seeking the latest information. “Some manufacturers provide us data about six times a year,” Potter

said. “Some manufacturers provide us a single year’s packet of data each year.”

Greg Potter of the Equipment and Tool Institute said some automakers share updated technical data—used by aftermarket scan tools—as infrequently as once a year

That indicates that some changes made by a manufacturer could take up to another year to reach those using aftermarket scan tools. Other potential shortcomings are in the process as well. See Industry Consensus, Page 35

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800-991-8438 847-991-9005 Dept. Hours: M-W 7:30-7:30; Thu-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 8-3 aaip.partsmgr@rohrman.com

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708-460-6369 708-403-7770 Dept. Hours: M-W 8-5:30; Thu 8-7 F 8-4:30 Sat 8-2 acuraparts@rizzacars.com

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MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com


Please contact these dealers for your Honda or Acura Genuine parts needs. MI C HI G A N

M ISSO URI

MIS S OU R I

OH IO

Victory Honda

Bommarito Honda

Roper Honda

Plymou th

Haz elwood

Jo p l i n

M a ssi l l o n

800-824-4646 734-453-3600

800-731-8270 314-731-8270

877-244-6632 417-625-0846

800-225-0281 330-478-4435

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

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

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

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

Zeigler Honda

Ed Napleton Honda

Ka lama zo o

S t . P et ers

888-342-1678 269-585-5812

800-875-4190 636-928-4400

Dept. Hours: M-Thu 7-8; F 7-6; Sat 8-4 bobsmith@zagteam.com

Dept. Hours: M-Sat 7-6 gethondaparts@napleton.com

MI N NE SOTA

Brookdale Honda Broo klyn Ce nter

800-899-8900 763-331-6880 Dept. Hours: M-Th 7-9; F 7-6; Sat 8-6 parts@lutherbrookdalehonda.com

Buerkle Honda St. Paul

800-592-9514 651-484-0975 Dept. Hours: M-Thu 8-9; F 8-6; Sat 8-4:30 hondaparts@buerkle.com

Richfield-Bloomington Honda

Frank Fletcher Honda C olu m bia

573-818-3650

S t . L oui s

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6; Sat 7-5 hondaparts@frankleta.com

847-470-2309

Muller’s Woodfield Acura

Buerkle Acura

OH IO

Columbia Acura

Minneapoli s

C i n ci n n a t i

800-717-3109 763-488-1122

800-654-3553 513-530-0698

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

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5:30; Sat 8-12 columbiaparts@mail.com W IS C ON S IN

B loom ing t o n

Troy

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

Dept. Hours: Tue, W, F 8-6; M, Thu 8-8; Sat 8-4 grobinette@glakeshonda.com

866-475-9280

Acura of Troy

B e df o rd

800-509-9057 440-786-3363

Akron

Luther Bloomington Acura

MI C HI G A N

Jay Honda

330-633-8197 330-633-6060

Hoffman Es tate s Dept. Hours: M 7-5; Tue-F 7-6 Sat 8-3 mcavallini@woodfieldacura.com

OH IO

Great Lakes Honda

M INNESO TA

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-9; Sat 8-6 acparts@mcgrathag.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6; Sat 7-4; Sun 8-4 hondaparts@russdarrow.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-5:30; Sat 7-12 hondaparts@hondaoflincoln.com

K ans as C it y Dept. Hours: M-Fri 7-6; Sat 7-4 parts@hondaoftiffanysprings.com

M i l wa uke e

888-318-1671 414-586-5401

Li n co l n

Honda of Tiffany Springs 816-452-3221

Russ Darrow Honda

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

Frank Leta Honda

Dept. Hours: M-Thu 6:30-9; F 6:30-6; Sat 6:30-5 parts@rbhonda.com

Mor ton Gr ove

Omaha

888-408-0911 402-408-1100

800-742-7811 402-437-1201

Richfield

McGrath Acura of Morton Grove

Superior Honda of Omaha

Honda of Lincoln

800-328-2703 612-866-8197

ILLI N O I S

W IS C O NSI N N EBR AS KA

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

888-680-6025 636-336-5003

Waikem Honda

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

Acura of Brookfield Brookfield

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

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

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From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

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

It’s Time to End Shops’ Accounting, Scorecard Nightmares by Creating New Parts Code It’s time for this industry to resolve the parts code mess. You probably know what I’m talking about. It’s no secret that a lot of collision repair shops, particularly those on direct repair programs, price-match parts. Rather than use an alternative (non-OEM or recycled) part, they put a new OEM part on the vehicle, billing for it at the alternative part price. My goal here isn’t to debate whether this practice (or DRPs in general) is good or bad. Those are business decisions that aren’t the focus of what I’m calling for here. But I am saying that the pricematching practice has negative consequences for shops. First, the paperwork that shops give to their customers should always accurately reflect what was done to the vehicle. If you install an OEM part, the paperwork given to

the customer should state that, not inaccurately indicate that an alternative part was used. Second, price-matching makes it tough for a shop to have accurate financial reports. Let’s say a shop chooses to use a new OEM part, but because of how it is measured under a DRP, the part remains on the estimate as a non-OEM part. When that data gets transferred into the shop’s management system, the sale goes in as a non-OEM part, but at an OEM part cost. The system ends up overstating—sometimes wildly—the shop’s gross profit on non-OEM parts and understating the gross profit on OEM parts. I have a degree in accounting, and I work regularly with more than 350 shops, coaching them on their financials. I can’t tell you how many of those financials I look at show that the shop made, say, 70 percent gross

profit on aftermarket parts and lost money on OEM parts. They didn’t really lose money on the OEM parts, and they didn’t make that much money on aftermarket parts. It’s all a coding issue. And I can tell you, accountants and bookkeepers spend countless hours trying to figure out why the gross profit information isn’t right. So why not switch the parts code from alternative to OEM when transferring to the management system? One reason: Some shops offer some insurance companies a discount on OEM parts. So they may already be taking a hit by buying an OEM part but only charging for nonOEM, and then get hit again with the OEM discount to the insurer. A third potential downside to all this for shops: It’s known that many automakers are moving toward using scorecards to evaluate the perform-

ance of their certified collision shops. Shops that are certified and have DRP agreements will be faced with the risk of coding an OEM part they use as an alternative part to not hurt their DRP score, only to have that hurt their scorecard for OEM parts usage with the automaker certifying their shop. Some people will suggest that price-matched parts could be coded as “opt-OE.” But that label has become so convoluted and misused as a parts type category. Some automakers have an “opt-OE” part that they sell, for example, and others don’t recognize that label at all. The California Bureau of Automotive Repair has said “opt-OE” and “alt-OE” aren’t adequate as parts descriptors. At the end of the day, I believe there’s a simple solution to all this. We need to recognize a new partstype code in the estimating and manSee New Parts Code, Page 54

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Continued from Page 30

Industry Consensus “When we receive all this data, we have no idea whether what we receive from a manufacturer is complete,” Potter said. “Nobody really knows that until they have to implement it and make it work. So we let our members know there’s new data provided by, say, Acme Car Company. They will access the information that they need to repurpose into their databases and implement into their scan tools, and they will always find missing pieces. So they come back to us and say, ‘We can’t find information on this controller,’ or ‘We can’t find this routine,’ and we go back to the manufacturer and say there are some things missing. They find it and provide it to us and we upload it. So it’s a constant process we do with the manufacturers all year round.” Insufficient Information in Estimating System The other example of possible limitations of third-party providers of

OEM information was shared by Montana shop owner Matthew McDonnell during the Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ (SCRS) open board meeting held in Palm Springs.

Montana shop owner Matthew McDonnell said he found insufficient OEM repair information in one of the estimating systems

McDonnell, an SCRS board member, said his shop recently repaired a 2017 Toyota Highlander that involved replacing the dogleg on the quarter panel. The shop used the Mitchell International system to prepare the estimate and access the Toyota repair procedures incorporated into Mitchell’s system. [General Motors will be similarly incorporating its repair procedures into the Mitchell system.]

The issue? McDonnell said the Toyota procedures available through Mitchell included “maybe about 20 percent” of what was needed. “We were able to pull about four OEM documents related to the full quarter-panel replacement, but what we couldn’t pull was the corrosion protection [procedures], the foam location and installation and the safety inspection information after a collision,” McDonnell said. He said all of the Toyota information for the job they did download through the Mitchell system was at least six months old, and some was as much as a year old. The shop was able to locate the additional information needed through Toyota’s website, but McDonnell said the “bill-payer” on the job questioned the amount of time the shop spent on OEM research for information that the insurer presumed “was just a click of a button” away within the Mitchell system. “We have spent a lot of time [using] the OEM websites, and I feel that is the most accurate and up-todate source that we can find,” McDonell said.

CARSTAR Celebrates 30 Years of Business CARSTAR is celebrating its 30th year of business with plans to only accelerate its rapid growth. “This landmark anniversary means the world to our organization, and we know that we would not have been able to make it to this moment without the support of our tremendous network, customers and communities we serve,” said Michael Macaluso, president, CARSTAR. “Offering tokens of appreciation throughout the year is our way to say thank you, and as we accelerate our growth in 2019, we look forward to celebrating many more milestones with all of you.” CARSTAR has celebrated many milestones over the years, including repairing a total of more than 6 million vehicles, employing more than 8,000 people across the U.S. and Canada, opening its 600th location in 2018 and upholding a customer service NPS score of 80 percent across the continent.

www.autobodynews.com

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Solving the Tech Shortage: AR Collision Repair Instructor Calls Out to Industry: ‘Please Employ My Students’ by Stacey Phillips

Autobody News Invites Your Input It should come as no surprise to hear that across the country, collision repair shop owners and managers are facing a shared challenge: how and where to find new technicians. With baby boomers retiring and vehicle repairs becoming more and more complex, there is a need to address this growing problem now more than ever. Autobody News is embarking on a new approach to sharing some of the ideas to solve this problem by starting a monthly column dedicated to solving the tech shortage. We invite your input and look forward to hearing about the creative ways your businesses are finding, training and hiring technicians. Whether it’s through a co-op program, apprenticeship, job-shadowing program, workplace training program, mentorships or other methods, it’s important to share ideas and start the conversation.

In Jonesboro, AR, Jeff Smith has seen this problem first-hand as a collision repair instructor at the Northeast Arkansas Career and Technical Center. The school serves 13 high schools in the area and has ap-

to be paid above minimum wage once they graduate. However, he has found that the body shops don’t have the necessary liability insurance to cover someone under 18. As a result, he said he is losing a lot of passionate auto body students to local factory jobs simply because the wages are higher than what the auto body shops are offering. With the overwhelming shortage of technicians in the collision repair industry, Smith said something must be done to reverse this trend. If the students had more experience before graduating, he said he is convinced they could earn a more competiChandler Allison (2018 National SkillsUSA Competition) tive wage at the shops and proximately 50–60 students per se- have the ability to pursue their dreams mester who take part in the collision and positively impact the current technician shortage. repair program each year. Smith recently reached out to Over the course of his career, Smith has attempted to find work for Autobody News to share some of his his students at local body shops thoughts about what is currently hapwhile they’re still in high school so pening in the industry and his recomthey can gain the experience needed mendations to solve this dilemma.

After working as a collision repair instructor for the last six years, what have you found?

Q:

The students in my class are between the ages of 16–18 and want to work in a body shop while still in high school, but they can’t due to their age. By the time they’re out of school, the body shops are only offering $10 an hour for entry-level jobs, while local factories are offering $13-$18 an hour, so they choose to take those jobs. If they received the experience needed parttime at a body shop while still in high school, I’m sure they could negotiate a higher rate after graduation. I’m finding that body shops don’t want to risk hiring someone under 18 due to liability issues (if someone were to get hurt), yet they admit they aren’t finding the skilled technicians they need. I’ve had several students who would have been excellent entrylevel collision repair technicians. Instead, our collision centers in town are competing with manufacturing

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companies because they offer higher wages in the factories nearby. We’re losing the best of the best—the kids who want to work in the collision repair industry. I have spoken with a handful of shop owners in our town, which has a population of approximately 75,000, and they have all told me that they are in need of new technicians. They have also said they are willing to train someone to do the work that needs to be done.

If we could get these high school students in a shop working part-time, then I believe that we would have a much better chance of retaining our hardworking students in the collision repair industry. Once they reach out to our competition, I believe we will continue to lose a large portion of our future technicians.

Q:

What do you think shops can do to help address this prob-

lem? To help address this growing issue, I believe we need to begin offering students between 16–18 years old apprenticeships in a certified collision repair program in the shops. We also need to find out more about shopkeeper insurance offered to cover workers of a certain age. In my opinion, for those shops looking for technicians, owners may be able to begin taking the vocational tech students who are trained and available and put them to work as apprentices or interns. While

A:

Chandler Allison, student

The problem that I am running into is that no one knows if they are able to cover students under the age of 18 with the insurance currently available.

these automotive students are still in high school, employers are competing with fast food restaurants, grocery stores and retail stores.

going to gain experience and most likely come to work full-time when they graduate. I love what I do, and I love to see my students be successful. Unfortunately, until I can get students working, my failures seem to be passed on to my students. I will continue to search for a program where I can put my high school students to work through the summer, after school or through work study.

Autobody News wants to know: Is this happening in your area of the country? (l to r) Austin Bennett, Eli Hickman, students at Northeast Do you know of any shops Arkansas Career and Technical Center in Jonesboro, AR that can hire students who Apprenticeship pay would be are under 18 years old, and if yes, is much more competitive with this there workplace insurance available type of employer than it will be once in the event of something happening my students graduate and the com- to an underage worker? petition in my area becomes manufacturing positions. It’s no wonder Together, we can work to solve this problem with your feedback. Please we are losing technicians every day. If we are able to find work for contact Autobody News columnist these students who have an interest in Stacey Phillips at sphillips.autobody the collision repair industry, they are news@gmail.com.

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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

ASA Presents ‘The Even Better I-CAR’ Webinar On Jan. 30, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) hosted a webinar on “The Even Better I-CAR” at 1 p.m. EST featuring Nick Notte, senior vice president of sales and marketing for I-CAR. Notte discussed some of the refinements to I-CAR’s Professional Development Program (PDP). ASA Vice President Tony Molla welcomed attendees and introduced Notte. Molla noted that I-CAR has made some recent improvements since November’s plans and is constantly evolving. Notte explained that I-CAR evaluated its PDP 2.0 Launch and made some refinements between NACE and SEMA. “That three-month period was especially busy for us because we got so much feedback about the Professional Development Program,” Notte said. Due to delays in the learning management system design, I-CAR has delayed the launch from January to April 1. I-CAR has received feedback from shops regarding the perceived complexity of the program, such as increased levels of training, increased spending levels and a high demand for the new hands-on courses. After receiving an indication that more training would happen than initially planned, I-CAR also evaluated its staffing levels and realized it needed to adjust its capacity. Additionally, I-CAR realized that the plan to utilize schools to deliver these hands-on courses was not feasible because the majority of the schools lacked the required equipment and facilities to hosts hands-on skill development classes. Notte stated, “As we are changing our core product and service offering, all refinements must work in a logical and synchronized manner. [It is] a somewhat 3-dimensional, complicated process. We believe the outcome is a better solution for the industry and I-CAR.” At NACE, I-CAR promised that Platinum would go to ProLevel 3 and Gold Class would turn to ProLevel 2, including the prohibition of 42

one person in the shop from holding all four of the roles—though a single person can hold two roles in the new PDP. They talked about shop-level electrical/diagnostics and mechanical courses being required, eliminating turnover rules and adjusting

requirements for annual training. In addition to welding certification and aluminum training, they also talked about the elimination of Road to Gold in December. However, that has now been extended through Feb. 28. “I’m happy to say none of this has changed. We’re still delivering this to the industry,” Notte announced. Notte then provided a summary of the future state refinements. The PDP protocol will include industry common and agreed protocol with a complete update based on industry feedback to cover knowledge and skills in more detail. I-CAR has designed a purpose-built curriculum with a national schedule at fixed training sites (FTS) and is working to make core PDP courses available in Spanish. Many shops are uncertain of how pricing would work for the hands-on training because they have not yet been exposed to these courses. Therefore, I-CAR has decided to phase these in at two courses per year over an expected six-year period and likely beyond. I-CAR addressed cost concerns by offering a two-for-one deal for Gold Class shops on the two mandated classes (MIG Brazing and Squeeze Type Resistance Spot Welding) for 2019 only, with more information to come. I-CAR’s plans for in-shop knowledge assessments have also undergone some refinements. Because many shops have already taken these weld-

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

changes, Notte noted that the renewal dates always seem to collect in December. I-CAR has opted to spread out the renewal dates for Gold Class throughout the year. Annual training required will now include six VTST courses per technician, compared to the current requirement of six credit hours, which often winds up being more hours of training. I-CAR will offer an unlimited access subscription that includes classroom, online and instructor-led virtual classes as well as turnover coverage and all-staff training. Continuing in 2019, I-CAR will recognize I-CAR training as well as training through the qualified Industry Training Alliance during Gold Class onboarding. To keep Gold Class status, shops will undergo knowledge and skills protocol, recognition requirements and skills re-verification.

ing and hands-on courses and have participated in in-shop assessments, there were objections to paying for these services again through the subscription. In response, I-CAR has debundled them from the subscription package and provided them on an a la carte pay schedule. Some changes were also made to the transition from ProLevel 1 to ProLevel 2, providing more time for shops to achieve the 50/100 requirements. “Let’s give the industry another year to get through that scaling and get up to the ProLevel 2,” Notte noted. “There are a couple of additional courses you’ll need to take; not a whole lot, but some of your technicians will have to train up to the new PDP courses as you transition, giving you an extra year to level up and figure out the program.” Moving on to a couple more

See ASA Presents, Page 48

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In Reverse with Gary Ledoux

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

The 1960s – The Collision Repair Industry Gets a Voice Each month, collision industry trade magazines provide readers with a glimpse of the industry at that point in time. Each issue is a microcosm of an entire ecosystem of repairers, estimators, adjusters, shop owners and managers, paint suppliers, parts suppliers, equipment suppliers, consultants, trainers and all the other people who help keep the industry running. They provide a “voice” to the industry that few other mediums can. From the end of WWII to the early 1960s, the collision repair industry grew exponentially—but the entire industry was in the dark! Nobody knew what was going on within the industry. Yes, there were associations, such as the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association, that communicated their information to their constituents, but this was on a local or regional level. People in Miami had no idea what was going on in Los Angeles and vice-versa. And then—there was a light! Already a magazine publisher, Emil Stanley started something that would eventually do more to bring the industry together and help it coalesce than anything else in the 60-plus years that people had been repairing fenders. In September 1962, Stanly introduced Volume 1, Number 1 of Auto Body News and Good Car Care magazine, believed to be the first nationally distributed collision industry trade journal. Finally, the industry had a “voice.” The monthly circulation was 45,000. (At the time, depending on your source, there were about 80,000 shops in the country.) The opening article stated, “The business of auto body rebuilding and appearance maintenance is a growing industry in itself. No auto body publication exists today that supplies staff-created news and features according to the ABN formula. A number of publications carry limited auto body sections or departments treating auto body work in a ‘fringe’ manner. ABN is a specific auto body publication for the specific auto body market and pro44

vides leadership and readership in a proven formula of ABN’s several companion publications, all in the automotive industry.” A letter from a body shop owner published in the following issue stated, “Wonderful idea, this magazine. For years, we’ve needed such a circulation. I’m so happy to see a publisher cater to [us] fender-benders.” It wasn’t long before “Letters to the Editor” started appearing on a regular basis. If subscribers read nothing but the Letters to the Editor page, they could experience a microcosm of the entire industry on a single page. It was a place where everyone in the industry could air a grievance—not just body shops. As collision repair publications do today, the magazine carried articles about current trends, IGO and other association news, technical articles and articles about how to be more profitable. In the seeming absence of today’s I-CAR, AMI and other collision industry training, S.M. “Silvie” Licitra, ABN editorial director, started a multi-installment course on “Auto Damage Insurance Adjustment.” One of the first articles that appeared in this magazine was titled “Body Restoration – A Profession.” It stated in part, “Time was (not so many years ago) when a dinging hammer and block , a metal rasp and body solder could produce fairly good results, even in the hands of the average garage mechanics. Those were the days of easy-to-get-at- fenders, straight panel sections, and smoothly flowing contours—when there was little under the hood but a simple engine, unencumbered by with the modern maze of filters, gadgets and accessories that fill every available space. Today’s master of body rebuilding must be a practical diagnostician, with the delicate touch of a surgeon, plus the skill of a practical mechanic. The blending, preparation, and application of modern paints is something acquired only by long experience with the aid of proper equip-

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

ment. Verily, today’s auto body craftsman no longer is ‘just a body mechanic.’ He’s a skilled artisan—a professional. And his business is a profession!” The editors of ABN noted that they would not display any “cheesecake” advertising, showing “shapely female legs” or “scantily clothed” women, as was the norm in automotive advertising at the time. They wanted a magazine that could be read by “the whole family” and be welcome in anyone’s home. A short article called for better corrosion protection, used by the OEs at the factory and made available to refinishers. This was due to the increased amount of salt used on roads in snow-belt areas. Another article noted, “Among the strongest allies of the independent shops are manufacturers of replacement body panels and other

items available through independent automotive wholesalers. Such suppliers and independent insurance companies are the reasons independent shops are still in business.” This was true because the magazine was loaded with ads from different manufacturers of replacement body panels. Another article noted three classifications of work for today’s body shop: 1.) Customer-paid work, for which the customer generally wants good-quality work and is “not afraid to pay for it.” 2.) Work generated by independent insurance companies that want work done as cheaply as possible, pitting shops against one another on price, issuing a check to the vehicle owner and leaving the owner to his/her own devices for repair, and 3.) The so-called “captives.” These were cars financed and insured

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See The 1960s, Page 48


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Celebrity Car Enthusiast Courtney Hansen Helps Reunite Car Lovers With ‘The Ride That Got Away’ by Stacey Phillips

Every car lover has the one that got away, according to celebrity car enthusiast Courtney Hansen. Whether it’s the car they grew up riding around in with their parents, the first car they purchased or the dream ride they had to sell when they fell on hard times, Hansen’s goal is to reunite car lovers with their beloved rides in her new television show “The Ride That Got Away.” A self-described “pit kid,” Hansen grew up in Minnesota spending much of her time at racetracks and garages. Her father, Gerry Hansen, raced at Formula Race Car Club of America (FCCA) and won 27 national championships throughout his career. Her family also owned Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota. Growing up in the automotive world, Hansen said, she quickly became an enthusiast. “Cars are in my blood, and I’m thankful that I was able to parlay my love for cars into a TV career that started 15 years ago,” she said. “Here

I am now, executive producing my latest project and one of the characters on the show. It’s all very exciting.” Hansen gained popularity as the co-host of TLC’s car-makeover show “Overhaulin’,” starring legendary auto designer Chip Foose. The show

shows for NBC Sports and CBS Sports in which she showcased million-dollar rides, rare classics and “tricked” vehicles. In Hansen’s newest project, she is the executive producer of History Channel’s auto-themed TV series “The Ride That Got Away,” which premiered in January. Hansen hosts the show with renowned custom designer and builder Troy Ladd under the brand ROYL (Ride of Your Life) Garage. Autobody News recently talked to Hansen about her new show, the advice she offers young women interested in the automotive field and current industry trends.

Hansen grew up in the auto industry and spent much of her time at racetracks and garages

What is the focus of your new show “The Ride That Got Away”?

focused on transforming a viewer’s ride into a show car within one week. She also co-hosted two specials for TLC: “Rides: Biggest Spenders” and “Million Dollar Motors.” Hansen then hosted 10 seasons of Powerblock/PowerNation for Spike TV and later four automotive

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Q:

This is not a show just for “gearheads.” This is a show for the entire family to sit down and watch. It’s a fun, feel-good show with heart and characters and art. That has been the response we’ve received

A:

from fans and viewers since the premiere episode. In every episode of “The Ride That Got Away,” we are on a mission to find these missing pieces of personal and family history and return them to their rightful owners who said goodbye to them long ago. What the owners don’t know is that they’re about to meet again. After finding their ride that got away, we meticulously repair, restore, re-imagine and create a fantasy version of the dream car. Every transformation is unique and personal to its owner. For example, we turn a ‘64 Impala into a lowrider and a 1920s Ford into a TBucket hotrod. At the end of each episode, we coordinate the “surprise of a lifetime” with the owners’ loved ones. With these amazing transformations, we’re making people’s dreams come true.

Q:

Can you tell us about your role on the show and your co-

star?

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I created the project, so I’m the executive producer and I’m one of the characters on the show. I also dive in and help with the builds, so you’ll see me do some welding and grinding and taking part in all aspects of the build. I wear a lot of hats on this project. My co-host is renowned car designer Troy Ladd. He is one of the best in the world, and I’m honored he came on board with the project. He basically swept the 2017 awards season for custom car building. Together, we assembled a team of the industry’s best, so we have these incredible fabricators who work on the vehicles. They are also amazing characters who make you laugh and at the end of the show even cry a little bit. I absolutely love our team, and they are so welcoming of me and the garage. They trust me and seem to love having me join in and get my hands dirty.

A:

What was your inspiration to create “The Ride That Got Away”?

Q:

My inspiration was wanting to give back. The automotive industry has been very good to me and my family and I wanted to pay it forward. I always dreamed of doing a show with a give-back angle and I always wanted to work with Troy Ladd.

A:

What is your advice to young women considering a career in the automotive industry?

Q:

I always tell young women, including my 4-year-old daughter, Holland, you can do absolutely anything that you put your mind to. I honestly can’t believe I was able to execute this projCourtney Hansen hosts “The Ride That Got Away” with ect. Everything possible custom car designer and builder Troy Ladd stood in my way. There were I also wanted to make dreams countless obstacles and challenges to come true for the people who love surmount, so I believe you can do anytheir cars. The show highlights family thing if you are focused, work hard, relationships and the special bonds maintain a good attitude and don’t between family members. When you compromise your values and who you watch the show, you can really see are. I say, “Go for it; you can do whatthat it’s not just that they love the cars, ever you want to do.” We’re seeing more and more but the cars have meaning to their family and there is a strong history women in the automotive industry working for big automotive compathere.

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nies, in the garage, on car shows and racing. I think it’s beautiful and there’s room for many, many more. I’ve found that the men in this industry support and actually encourage women’s involvement. I personally feel zero chauvinism, which I think is awesome. There are many different facets of the automotive world and opportunities women might not even realize are available if they have a love of cars. Depending on your skillset, there’s everything from getting hands-on with the vehicle to designing cars, working in production or even working for a big auction house. In addition to your television career, you’ve written a book. Can you tell us about “The Garage Girl’s Guide to Everything You Need to Know About Your Car”?

Q:

I wrote that book to educate women and first-time car buyers about the basics of owning a vehicle. I wanted to share the knowledge that I have, inspire more women to get involved in the automotive industry and pay attention to what they are driving.

A:

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I was honored to receive Ford’s “Life in Drive” Award. This prestigious award recognizes women who combine talent with that little something extra that allows them to break free from convention to live life with style and attitude.

“The Ride That Got Away,” starring Hansen and Troy Ladd, premiered in January

I’m starting to work on a second book that focuses on being able to achieve your dreams with integrity, without compromising what you stand for.

Q: A:

What current trend have you noticed in the industry?

We’re definitely shifting toward the hybrid and electric car movement, but I can’t lie. I’m a

Continued from Page 42

ASA Presents While in-shop assessments will be optional in 2019, Notte anticipates it will become a requirement in the future. Notte then moved into a pricing comparison of the core curriculum, noting that Gold Class shops receive 20 percent off the standard pricing. In the new program, only five live courses are required. Standard pricing will increase by less than $500 for an average nine-technician shop, but the pricing includes 126 courses compared to the 71 courses currently offered, which will get a shop to ProLevel 3. “One of the stories this doesn’t tell is that the pricing is about the same, but you’re training more technicians, and again, the price is about the same. However long it takes you to get to ProLevel 3, this is the price to do that,” Notte explained. “There is also a monthly option to pay for that subscription.” Applying the subscription ap48

combustion engine woman. That’s my world. That’s my passion. I love the sound of them; I love the smell of them; I love the performance of combustion engines. At the same time, I understand we’re more environmentally conscious these days, so I also respect the trend that’s happening. There are a lot of impressive rides out there that are electric and there is performance there as well. Although vehicles are changing, those who love cars and racing aren’t going anywhere. I don’t think cars are disappearing as fast as some people say they are. At the same time, I think there is a shift with the millennials, unfortunately, away from cars and into electronics. I would love to see the younger generations care more about cars and I think these car shows, such as “The Ride That Got Away,” will help that. If people want to submit a story on behalf of their loved one who has a ride that got away, they don’t need a car. All they need is a deserving story, which can be submitted to ROYL Garage at roylgarage.com. ROYL Garage has offices in Burbank, CA; New York City; and southwest Florida.

proach, Notte examined the scaling formula to show that the annual base shop fee is $1,000, plus $325 per technician annually. This includes unlimited consumption of live FTS delivery, online/virtual courses and Ask I-CAR through the RTS product. The skills re-verification process will actually be less expensive because a full course is not required unless the re-verification of skills cannot be demonstated. The in-shop knowledge assessment price will be reduced because I-CAR promises better efficiencies with a two-day visit in the future, compared to the current three-day visit for a shop of nine technicians. After concluding his presentation, Notte answered questions from attendees about “The Even Better ICAR.”

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Continued from Page 44

The 1960s by the car manufacturer. They usually ended up at dealer-owned body shops. This deepened the rift that already existed between independent shops and dealer-owned shops. In the days before computers and the mountains of statistics we have today, an article promoting maintenance, vehicle-painting and restoration for older cars stated that this type of work is necessary to generate profits because the collision repair customers are generally “one-time patrons.” It was unknown at that time that statistically, a person is going to be in an accident periodically. Another article encouraged shops to intermix their own paint, as opposed to buying factory-packaged paint from the local jobber or allowing the jobber to mix it. The article claimed that it is more profitable and efficient for even a small shop to intermix its own paint. Depending on the workload for the paint mixer at the local jobber, a shop could wait half a day

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for a mixed pint of paint. Arco Paints, the paint and chemical division of the Martin Marietta Company, was one of only two paint manufacturers advertising in this first collision industry magazine. The other paint manufacturer was Rinshed-Mason Company. An advertisement placed by the Equipment and Tool Institute of Kalamazoo, MI, asked, “Why service today’s cars with equipment and tools born in the ‘50s?” The ad invited shops to upgrade their tools and equipment to meet the needs of modern cars and replace tools that were worn or outdated. Today, there are several collision trade journals serving the industry, each with its own special twist. Autobody News is unique in the industry because it offers local news and information but with a national flavor in both paper and digital media, providing a great service to readers and advertisers. As you browse through this issue of Autobody News, consider what Emil Stanley started almost 60 years ago ... and thanks for being an Autobody News subscriber.

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Continued from Cover

ASA Executive Director nications through various platforms.” Looking at the long-term plans for the association, Fisher acknowledged that ASA’s board of directors has developed a strategic plan that will be reviewed over the first quarter of this year. “The board works very hard for the association,” Fisher praised. “I cannot say enough about how hard these volunteers work and all they’ve done over the past months to fill the role I’m transitioning into.” Fisher then discussed some of the experiences that took place during his 20+ years working in dealerships and management roles before joining ASA-Michigan in 2004 and becoming its executive director in 2010. He recounted some of the successes that the affiliate saw under his leadership, especially on the legislative front. As Fisher transitions into his role in Texas, he will also be representing ASA-MI for the next several months while the group figures out how to restructure some of its affiliates. Expressing gratitude for the support he has received, Fisher explained, “I plan to carry that passion and challenge forward for the national group. We are only going to be successful if we engage our membership. Joining a country club doesn’t make you a better tennis player, but it gives you an opportunity to get involved and improve your game. We need member shops to get involved and improve their game. “ASA is focused on giving back to the industry. Everything we do will be based on our membership’s drive and needs. I like to be proactive and use the windshield, not the rearview mirror. Education and training are what make us all better.”

Fisher elaborated on how his that we have legislative representa- bringing important issues to us, and role with the affiliate chapter led to tion for our industry, and Bob is in- we want to utilize these volunteer his involvement with the national or- valuable in D.C.” committees much more through ganization. In addition to legislation, training polls and surveys. The biggest thing “The affiliates represent the local is a vital component to ASA provid- we need to do is prepare the industry members and work hard to bring local ing members with what they need to for upcoming changes, but we have programs to their region, chapter or be successful. While the details have the personnel in place and the right state,” he said. “They are vital to de- not been completely ironed out yet, people doing the right things to keep livering our message because the Fisher plans to deliver more content these messages coming in a timely quicker we get the message going forward that will hit manner.” out, the better we all are. We Many more questions about every aspect of the automoplan to revisit the affiliate tive business. ASA will also ASA’s future will be addressed at the model to determine how to continue to host monthly Annual Meeting from April 30 best help them succeed and through May 2, Fisher anticipated. webinars. enhance that for everyone. Fisher stressed, “I am all Multiple topics for different generaASA’s success is based on about training. As a man- tions will be discussed at the meeting, affiliates representing their Ray Fisher stepped ager, I was one of the first including succession planning. Fisher areas well, and we also plan into the role of ASA dealers in my area to have I- invited everyone to come learn more to explore how we can reach executive director in CAR Gold [status], certified at the meeting. January 2019 areas where we don’t curAs the webinar drew to a close, welding techs and more. I rently have affiliates.” don’t like to be a follower; I like to Fisher stated, “I want to use my pasWhen asked about changes ASA be a leader, and that will carry forth sion to give back and represent ASA’s may see under his leadership, Fisher in my new role.” membership. It’s important that the stated, “We are working diligently to Noting the importance of change industry has a structured association be more interactive and more time- in the industry, Fisher identified one to deliver messages and represent the friendly. We plan to utilize Facebook of the industry’s biggest challenges as industry like we do at ASA. SomeLive going forward and to constantly “making sure we don’t bury our heads times, you fall into the mode of simmake sure our feeds are available to in the sand. We need to look for the ply trying to maintain, but we need to members and the industry. We repre- opportunity of what’s next. Our me- make sure our goals are priorities and sent our members, and in turn, we chanical operations and collision op- our priorities are what’s right for the represent the industry. I’m really ex- erations committees do a great job of industry. We’re here for the industry.” cited about the things we have coming and like to use my passion and background to ask the challenging questions, look at the future and prepare for it.” Turning to ASA’s legislative initiatives, Fisher discussed Washington, DC Representative Bob Redding’s work to ensure OEM procedures are used as a proper source of information. There will also be legislative focus on telematics and who owns that information. Fisher stressed, “We have to make sure we have access for different technologies and also that we At Richfield - Bloomington Honda we maintain a look at OEM procedures. We have to comprehensive inventory of high quality, Honda make sure we are at the table and Genuine parts. Our Honda Parts professionals having conversations with manufacare here to answer your questions. Overnight turers and legislators. It’s important

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Day Job/Night Job

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

with Ed Attanasio

Fledgling Auto Body Technician is Well-Known, Dedicated Bagpiper Kristopher Muse, a metal technician at Mike’s Auto Body, is only 25, but he has been playing the bagpipes for 14 years and is a member of one of the largest nationally acclaimed bagpipe bands in the country. Muse joined the Prince Charles Pipe Band (PCPB) in South San Francisco, CA, when he was only 11. J.W. Bill Merriman, former member of the City of San Francisco Caledonian Pipe Band, taught him the art of bagpiping. The band, which began with a small number of students, has

In February 2017, Kristopher Muse graduated from Mike’s Auto Body’s training program in Antioch, CA, and is currently working at the company's Vallejo, CA, location as a metal technician

trained approximately 500 pipers and drummers and has been competing in the U.S., Canada and Scotland for more than 50 years. To be a good metal technician and excel as a piper, Muse knows training is the only way to get there. “To fix a car properly, you have to be thinking and multi-tasking all the time, and playing the pipes is very similar,” he said. “We have to memorize the music, and there are a lot of different things going on when I’m piping.” In February 2017, Muse graduated from Mike’s Auto Body’s training program in Antioch, CA. He is currently working at the MSO’s Vallejo, CA, location as a metal technician. “To complete the training program at Mike’s, I went through a lot of classroom instruction along with performing hands-on repairs on metal, plastic, panel removal and vehicle construction on salvaged vehicles. After I completed the program, I had already earned I-CAR Training Pro Level 1, and I am now also fully 52

Car-O-Liner-certified. The director of the program is Lupe Algood, who is an amazing teacher who sets up all his students for ongoing success in this industry.” Since Muse’s graduation from the program, Algood has watched him progress within the company. “When he entered the program, he didn’t know much about cars, but he has worked hard to learn the trade, and his focus is incredible,” Algood said. “He is a hard worker and stands out for his commitment to the company and the craft.” After graduation, Muse went through Mike’s Auto Body’s mentoring program, shadowing journeyman techs and learning the trade by doing it all himself. “It’s great working with someone who knows what they’re doing,” he said. “I’ve had two amazing mentors, Jim Dowton and Gary Bissitt, who are awesome teachers. I am currently working with Gary at Mike’s Vallejo location, and I learn something new every day. In three or four years, I hope to become a journeyman technician and continue on this path.” Muse plays the bagpipes at a wide range of events, including the Benevolence car giveaways that Mike’s Auto Body holds every year. His connection to the instrument goes way back, he said. “My grandmother Jean is from Manchester, England, and some of my ancestors are Scottish, so I believe that piping is in my blood,” Muse said. “My grandma introduced me to the bagpipes, and we would play them along with records. Two of my great uncles played pipes in the Black Watch, the famous Royal Highland Regiment. I was 11 when I started taking one-on-one lessons before being able to play with the PCPB during practices held on Sundays.” A big highlight for Muse’s piping career took place when he competed in the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland as part of the Prince Charles Pipe Band. This iconic event was first held in 1906. The annual Cowal Highland

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Gathering attracts more than 220 bands from 15 different countries, and the winners are recognized as world champions. “We were up against the best in the world, and it was a big thrill,” Muse said. “We did not make it to the qualifiers, but we’re talking about going back next year. It was a great learning experience.”

Muse is a member of the Prince Charles Pipe Band, an organization that has trained approximately 500 pipers and drummers and has been competing in the U.S., Canada and Scotland for more than 50 years

Excelling at playing the bagpipes isn’t easy. “You blow into the blowpipe to fill the bag, which you then apply

pressure to with your arm to squeeze the air out of the three drones and the Chanter,” Muse said. “While air is flowing through them, the drones and chanter each emit sound. Your hands go on the chanter, and that’s the part that plays the melody.” One bagpipe teacher remarked online that playing the bagpipes is trying to “keep a hole-filled bag inflated while also carrying a chair on your shoulder, marching around in a kilt, and keeping your fingers moving.” As a piper in popular demand, Muse constantly plays at parades, band competitions, corporate gigs, funerals and other events as a band member or solo act. He knows at least 40 songs by heart but will play some of the more well-known ones if requested, including “Amazing Grace,” “When the Battle is Over,” “Green Hills of the Tyrol” and “Scotland the Brave.”

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Denver Body Shop Manager Discusses Position Statement on OEM Repair Procedures by Gary Ledoux

On Oct. 5, 2018, Rickenbaugh Automotive of Denver, CO, distributed a position statement to its DRP insurance companies that sent ripples through the entire collision repair industry. The 74-year-old auto body shop and dealership featuring Cadillac, Volvo, Infinity and Fisker essentially told its DRP “partners”: “Here’s how we are going to do business, regardless of your policies, mandates or subterfuge.” To paraphrase, the statement said that the shop’s garage-keeper’s insurance carrier had inquired of the body shop about how it conducted business regarding repair methods. In the wake of the John Eagle Collision case, the insurance company was concerned about the shop’s liability and thus the possibility of a huge payout should the shop be sued for performing bad repairs and/or failing to follow OE-recommended or required repair procedures. The statement said in part, “They

(the garage-keeper’s insurance carrier) explained that the insurance providers are currently not educating their field staff about these procedures and that it is our responsibility to make sure that we do not deviate from any required or recommended repair procedure. They stated that should there be an incident and we were found to have not followed and documented the OEM repair procedures, they could deny coverage. Due to the extreme liability that we have when repairing vehicles, Rickenbaugh Automotive Group will not allow any of its businesses to deviate from ANY (emphasis seen on written statement) recommended or required OEM procedures.” The statement goes on to say that any manager who does not follow OEM repair procedures and does not perform the proper documentation will face immediate termination. Rickenbaugh management, most specifically company Vice President Nick Pacifico, made it crystal clear—cars would be repaired properly, or not at all.

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A few months have gone by since this statement was issued— time to have the situation “shake out.” Autobody News contacted Rickenbaugh body shop manager Chris Hudson, a 28-year industry veteran, to see what effect, if any, the statement has had. Based on your position statement, it looks like your garagekeeper’s insurance company called the meeting with you to discuss your repair methods. Did it surprise you that an insurer would take that initiative, especially with a 74-year-old company like yours?

Q:

It did in a way. But when they cited the devastating outcome of the John Eagle case with its multimillion dollar payout and a few similar but smaller cases, it all made sense. They have to look out for themselves—and I understand that. And they were very clear about it; they said, “If you don’t do a proper repair, you’re on your own.”

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I must assume that the statement in question was sent to all of the insurance companies with which you have a DRP agreement. What was their reaction?

Q:

Crickets. At the time, we had DRP agreements with four insurance companies, and none of them said a word or responded in any way. This is not surprising, as I’m sure none of them wanted anything in writing that said that they didn’t support OEM repair procedures.

A:

Do you promote to your customers that you only follow OE procedures?

Q:

Yes—all the time. We explain that not only do we strictly follow OEM repair procedures, but we are certified by eight OEs at the moment. We are part of the Assured Performance network, Certified Collision Group and are striving for additional OE certifications. Once a customer is informed, once they know what you are doing and why, they become one

A:

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of your best advocates. At the time, were you already following OEM repair procedures and documenting the same way?

Q:

Yes, we were. But we wanted to take a stance—get the insurance company’s attention. We wanted to make sure that they all understood what our position was and that we would not deviate from it. We had been doing proper OEM procedures all along, but with some carriers, it was always a fight. This eliminated the fighting and bickering. It’s now the right way or the highway—case closed, end of discussion.

A:

How has this affected your business? Did you lose any of your DRP associations?

Q:

Three of our four DRP carriers just refused to honor our commitment to proper repair. We just don’t do business with them anymore as a DRP. The bickering and fighting with these carriers have simply ceased. One carrier, State Farm, didn’t seem to mind, but we get very little business from them anyway. Despite the loss of those three carriers, business hasn’t really suffered—we have plenty of cars coming through the doors, which proves you really can live without DRPs.

A:

Continued from Page 34

New Parts Code agement systems. If you price-match a part, you use that new code so your management and accounting systems recognize the sale and cost as an OEM part. You get accurate financial statements without skewing your OEM or alternative parts usage numbers with either an insurer or an automaker. Now, some stakeholders in the

Q: A:

Has this had any effect on your shop internally?

Yes! Something I never thought about as the statement was being drafted was the unintended benefit of tremendously raising morale among our techs. The techs have always done a great job and been proud of where they work and the job they do. But this statement seems to have energized them. It says the company they work for is wholeheartedly supporting what they do, and neither they nor the company will be doing any kowtowing to the insurance companies. Your position statement states, “We will also be documenting any and all instances where an insurance provider attempts or recommends deviating from a required or recommended OE procedure or position statement to the Colorado Insurance Commission for review.” How many of these reports have you had to turn in?

Q:

We have turned in a few, but sadly they have fallen on deaf ears. The Colorado Insurance Commission, and probably Commissions in other states, will follow up on complaints of fraud, misrepresentation or otherwise cheating a consumer. Unfortunately, [failing to repair a car] according to OE recommendations is not a crime. Performing a shoddy, unsafe repair and placing consumers

A:

industry may not want this to happen. But it’s not fair for shops to suffer from the current accounting nightmare and the risk of “being damned if they do, damned if they don’t” in terms of competing scorecards. I’m imploring the organizations in our industry that can make this happen—the information providers, CIECA, the Collision Industry Conference, the trade associations, etc.—to make this a priority. It’s time to make this change.

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at risk is not illegal. Until the laws change—until politicians and the legal system catch up with technology— this will continue. Insurance companies will, with impunity, continue to bully smaller shops, and shops run by owners and managers who are less politically savvy to provide incorrect and unsafe repairs. The shop is left on the hook, and there are no consequences for the insurance company. our position statement also says, “If your company will not comply with the recommended and required OE repair procedures, we will not be able to fix the vehicle.” How many of these vehicles have you had to turn away?

Q:

Oh, we have turned away a few. Interestingly enough, a neighboring (but unrelated) body shop recently took the same stance with an insurance carrier and refused to work on a car. The carrier had the car picked up and towed to our shop with the same request for the same shoddy repairs. It was a very short conversation. The insurance company will be picking up the car from

A:

us tomorrow, bringing it to the next shop, and again requesting shoddy repairs.

Q: A:

Has this affected the repair parts that you use?

We have only used OEM parts. This is especially crucial now when you have cameras and ADAS monitors buried behind bumper covers, behind windshields and so forth. Many OEs specifically state to not use aftermarket bumper covers for that reason. Hudson went on to say that several shop owners and managers have contacted him about his statement— or “manifesto,” as he calls it—what it took to write it, deliver it, execute it and what effect it has had. “I would like to see more shops follow our lead, said Hudson. “I would like to see a new breed of auto body association with the pursuit of performing only OE repairs as its main agenda. The industry needs a more collaborative effort from more shops that are willing to take a stance on this.”

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55


Media and Publicity for Shops

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

with Ed Attanasio

Team-Building Events Make Your Business Better on Many Levels In the old days, they were called retreats: A group of employees would meet at a hotel and go out in the woods or up in the mountains to bond, and the really smart people would figure a way out of it. Now, however, they’re called team-building activities, and more and more companies, including body shops, are holding several every year for their staff. Some employers are saying good-bye to the traditional company events and replacing them with team-building activities, removing the possibility of employees getting drunk and making a scene at the company holiday party or getting hurt by trying to be a hero at the company softball game. Some shops hire motivational speakers to inspire their crew. One MSO in northern California takes all of its employees on a three-day cruise. As the team-building event industry has grown, companies have created activities with names like Mr. Treasure Hunt, Paint Night, Parties that Cook, Laser Quest and Mystery by Design, among others. Loni Amato, president of Ingenious Solutions in Sacramento, CA, has helped the company’s clients discover team-building activities that match their goals and company mission. “Team-building is the process of turning a group of a company’s employees into a cohesive team by doing interesting and entertaining things together,” Amato said. “After participating in team-building activities together, employees can better understand one another’s strengths, weaknesses and interests. We have discovered that these events improve productivity while increasing motivation, collaboration and communication. When people spend time with each other away from the workplace, they start trusting each other more and get positive reinforcement from each other.” Here are some popular and affordable team-building activities that usually require one full day or an evening of your employees’ time. Some of these have different names 56

depending on your location, but you should be able to find these types of events no matter where you are. Paint Nights are more popular now than ever before because they provide a great opportunity for bonding through art. No painting experience is required as a performing artist teaches your crew how to paint an image that they get to take home while enjoying food and refreshments. Mr. Treasure Hunt is a city-wide scavenger hunt that stresses problemsolving and teamwork with clues, puzzles and races. Urban Putt features 14 different mini-golf courses for groups of any size, including food and libations. Some other shops host kart racing, fake mountain-climbing at a climbing gym or even bungee jumping, but make sure everyone signs a release form before embarking. Adventure Challenge courses, consisting of cables, ladders, ropes and other obstacles, provide physical, emotional and mental challenges together to build a stronger team. The Go-Game is an app that makes team-building easy and convenient and can be done in or out of the office. Mystery by Design is a great way to build your crew while solving a mystery! With more than 20 intriguing plots, your employees can get into character and let their imaginations take over. Matt McDonnell, the forwardthinking owner of Big Sky Collision Center in Billings, MT, truly believes that team-building activities help his employees become smarter, healthier and more engaged on many levels, he said. One of McDonnell’s most popular team-building events is a book club, which shows you don’t even have to leave the building to get your people involved. “Every Monday, we meet to discuss a book for one hour. The club is always well-attended,” McDonnell said. “The first book we read was ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie, and we can

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

see that some of our people are now using some of the theories outlined in the book. We also read ‘Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demand of Reality’ by Dr. Henry Cloud, and now we’re reading ‘Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depends on It’ by Chris Voss. We pay for the books and buy the coffee, and it turns out to be a great experience with at least half of our employees involved. Some of our people have told us that these are the first books they’ve read since high school, so the club gets their creative juices going, and it helps them with their jobs.” Another team-building and selfimprovement vehicle that McDonnell uses every day involves physical exercise, he said. “I built a CrossFit gym in our basement, and we have a few workout groups consisting of 10–12 people who go down there daily,” he

said. “We encourage them to get in shape, and several of our employees have lost a ton of weight and turned their lives around by working out during business hours. Our motto here is ‘Look better, feel better and perform better,’ and this gym is a big part of that.” Five days a week, Big Sky Collision Center engages its employees in activities that build a better crew and enrich their lives. “We have estimator training, captain’s meetings, customer service training and negotiating schools, and we do it all in-house. We are making our people better through these classes, and the investment has paid itself back in many ways,” he said.

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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

Women in Auto and Collision Holds 1st Meeting of 2019 On Jan. 15, Women in Auto and Collision (WAC) held its first meeting of 2019 at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, MO. The meeting was hosted by Department Chair John Helterbrand and featured a presentation by guest speaker Chazzerene Howard, a Ranken collision student. Dinner was sponsored by Meramec Heights Collision. According to WAC President Shelly Jones, “We learned about Ranken’s automotive & collision program and received a tour. We also announced WAC’s new mission statement and discussed our goal to enhance our booth presence at career fairs.” WAC’s mission statement was simplified to “Industry professionals promoting automotive careers.” Jones shared, “Our mission statement was changed to be more reflective of the group of people that we

Continued from Page 50

Ray Fisher Shares Recently appointed Automotive Service Association (ASA) Executive Director Ray Fisher held a press conference on Thursday, Jan. 10 to provide some information on his plans and goals as he transitions into his new leadership responsibilities. “I’m excited to bring my background into this role, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity,” Fisher stated. “We definitely want to engage our membership more. We want to listen to our members and provide venues for quicker availability. All facets of the industry across the globe are caught in different demographics and attempting to reach their constituents. We plan to utilize different mediums and platforms to reach ASA’s membership. My main goal is to represent my customer; our memberships are

have as members and to open the group to all opportunities to promote all segments of the automotive industry. This is a women-led group that has a membership of women and men from a wide range of companies and roles within the industry. These indus-

WAC met on Jan. 15 to discuss the group’s plans for 2019 at Ranken Technical College

try advocates collaborate on how to engage and attract talent. “WAC is moving into 2019 with flexibility and growth in mind. This year, we will continue to grow our membership and tailor it so that professionals can float in and out as time allows. We are finding that our mission speaks to many, but time is a

our customers, and it’s important that we represent them well.” Fisher emphasized the association’s focus on its mission statement: to enhance the professionalism of the industry. “I believe our industry is made up of a bunch of professionals, and ASA represents that professional group,” he said. “That was our foundation in 1951 and continues to be today. We plan to take that into 2019 and listen to our membership, enhancing our interactions and communications through various platforms.” Looking at the long-term plans for the association, Fisher acknowledged that ASA’s board of directors has developed a strategic plan that will be reviewed over the first quarter of this year. “The board works very hard for the association,” Fisher praised. “I cannot say enough about how hard these volunteers work and all they’ve

barrier. In 2019, we want to make certain that members know that they are welcome to join, whether they participate in one meeting or all the meetings and events. To encourage continued growth, we made the announcement that our annual individual membership will be $50 in 2019.” WAC also discussed the goal of enhancing the association’s presence at career fairs. “We currently have tools of the trade, a mannequin dressed in a paint suit and gear, career opportunity fliers, and WAC members to engage the youth and start conversations,” Jones explained. “Our next step is to have eye-catching statements and interactive activities that will draw students and their parents to the table. We are sourcing virtual equipment as an exciting way for young people to test out the technical aspects of the industry.”

The group also discussed sponsorship levels for 2019. Sheena Wagner, WAC sponsor coordinator, thanked current corporate sponsors and announced new sponsors. “It is exciting to have reps of many of these companies participate in our meetings. Sheena has worked hard to share our mission and build a sponsor base,” Jones stated. “WAC Secretary Kelle Oeste has also been vital to this initiative of bringing in new sponsors. Between the two of them, we have added sponsorships from Kent Automotive, Vintage Air and Eckler’s Automotive Parts Wholesale Division in the last few weeks.” WAC announced that the St. Louis School-Business Partnership has invited the association to participate in an annual conference in February, the theme of which will be “Shaping the Talent of Tomorrow.” See 1st Meeting of 2019, Page 62

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GEICO Wins Appeal in Case Filed by Miracle Body & Paint Over Labor Rates in TX by Takesha Thomas, SE Texas Record

A San Antonio, TX, auto body shop has lost an appeal against GEICO to recoup funds it says were lost in a breach of contract claim. On Feb. 13, the 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio affirmed the 45th Judicial District Court of Bexar County’s ruling granting a traditional and no-evidence summary judgment to GEICO Casualty Co. Chief Justice Sandee Bryan Marion ruled that MRG Inc. and Miracle Body and Paint “failed to produce evidence of mutual assent to the terms of an express or implied contract.” Miracle is a San Antonio-based, independently owned auto body shop. The company sued GEICO over allegations of breach of contract, breach of implied contract, quantum meruit and suit on a sworn account, and, in the alternative, negligent misrepresentation, fraud and fraud by nondisclosure. According to the ruling, Miracle performed auto body work on vehicles insured by GEICO, and GEICO paid Miracle according to

the labor rates disclosed in the GEICO repair estimates. The lawsuit states that after completing the repairs, GEICO failed to pay the full amount for repairs to multiple vehicles because the labor rates in GEICO’s repair estimates are lower than the rates Miracle charges. “GEICO argues Miracle did not produce more than a scintilla of evidence to establish the existence of any valid contract in which GEICO agreed to pay Miracle based on labor rates in excess of the rates disclosed in the GEICO repair estimates,” the ruling states. The ruling states Miracle argued that the parties had an implied contract “whereby GEICO agreed to pay Miracle’s invoices based on the ‘prevailing market labor rate’ for work performed, which Miracle argues is the labor rate Miracle charged.” Under each of GEICO’s automobile insurance policies, the company “is obligated to pay the prevailing market labor rates based on its overall experience in the specific market in question” in the event of a covered vehicle damage

claim, the ruling states. “In this case, any services Miracle rendered were for the benefit of and accepted, used and enjoyed by GEICO insureds, not GEICO. If GEICO received any benefit, it was too indirect and attenuated to support a quantum meruit claim. Therefore, because GEICO failed to produce evidence that valuable services were rendered to and accepted by the person sought to be charged (GEICO), the trial court did not err in granting GEICO’s no-evidence motion for summary judgment on Miracle’s quantum meruit claim,” Marion wrote. We thank SE Texas Record for reprint permission.

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A bill opposed by collision repairers and consumers has stalled in the Wyoming House of Representatives. Opposed by ASA and collision shops in Wyoming, the “crash parts” bill—SF0095—had been on a fast track after garnering quick approval from the Wyoming Senate. The legislation stated: “AN ACT relating to insurance; providing standards for the use of aftermarket parts in automobile damage repairs; requiring disclosure when any use is proposed of a non-original manufacturer part; requiring that all aftermarket parts be identified and be of the same quality as the original part; and providing for an effective date.” ASA and Wyoming shop owners had raised issues regarding the legislation, including: • Who would be responsible for determining what parts meet OEM standards? • What state agency is equipped to evaluate certification standards? • What are consumer protections provided by the legislation? Collision repairers communicated their concerns to members of the Wyoming legislature—it appears the Wyoming House won’t be moving forward with SF0095.

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Does the Collision Industry Have a Crisis of Opportunity? by Gary Ledoux

Ever since the earliest days of “motoring,” when vehicle owners had to depend on blacksmiths, plumbers, bicycle mechanics and other artisans of the day to repair a broken spring or a crumpled fender, there has been a cry about the shortage of qualified technicians that is still heard today. But Josh Carlisle, auto collision instructor for the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center in Cape Girardeau, MO, has a slightly different perspective. He claims the current situation is more of a crisis or shortage of opportunity, rather than a shortage of people. “The younger generation has little to no chance of breaking into the collision repair business,” said Carlisle. His reasoning for the “crisis of opportunity” is two-fold: 1.) “Most shops are not interested in hand-holding new techs” said Carlisle. “They want people with five-plus years of experience. They want their new tech to hit the ground running. The new techs can’t gain any experience if they can’t get hired in the first place.” 2.) “There is a crisis of opportunity because there is a crisis of pay plans,” he continued. “Most shops want to pay a new tech around $9 per hour. For a 48-hour week, that’s only around $23K per year. Meanwhile, the new tech might have $30K in student loans, plus they have to buy tools. It doesn’t pencil out.” Based on this assumption, Autobody News went to several industry leaders and consultants to ask, “Do we really have a ‘crisis of opportunity’?” Doug Irish, department chair of Collision Repair & Refinishing Technology at Fayetteville Technical Community College in Fayetteville, NC, said he thinks there may be a lack of opportunity at the local level for students and graduates just entering the collision industry workforce. New people may have to relocate to find the opportunity. Irish said, “They may not find work in their own backyard. Right here in Fayetteville, we have three of the largest MSOs in the country. A new tech may find an opportunity 60

with them, but it may be at one of their other locations. We had one student get a job offer on the West Coast. It took a lot of commitment to move.” As for the crisis of hourly pay, Irish said, “I have not seen anyone lowballing new techs at $9 per hour in this market.” When asked about the high end of the pay scale, Irish replied, “I’ve seen a graduate with an associate’s degree start at $75,000 per year. It wasn’t in this area, but the point is there is opportunity out there. “It is true that some shop owners have no appetite for new techs. Their perception is that they have no time for mentoring people. They don’t want to be ‘babysitting’ the new guy. What we need to do as an industry is foster a ‘mentor mentality’ within each shop so we can grow people. The ageold act of ‘pirating’ people from other shops does not solve our problem.” Brandon Eckenrode, director of development for the Collision Repair Education Foundation, said he feels there are certainly some shops that only want experienced techs. But plenty of work is available for basic techs too, and plenty of new people are going through training classes. “The problem is—and any instructor will tell you this—out of a class of 20 people, there are maybe five who have shown some initiative and are willing to do the work,” he said. “The others are filling a seat. Auto shop tends to be a dumping ground in some schools when they don’t know what to do with a student. “As for the $9 versus $15 per hour pay scale—that is an issue. Yes, a person with no experience can start at a higher rate in other professions. What I always look at is the potential. A person starting at a lower rate at a body shop can train, learn from mentors and be worth more and make more over time, whereas the person who started at $15 per hour could [stay at that] rate for the foreseeable future.” Marc Gabbard is the president of GSR Quality Collision Repair in Yakima, WA, and administers a Facebook page called Collision Repair Technicians United. He said, “I prefer the new guys. All three of my current guys came from the local high school voc-tech

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

program. They were all green. For two of them, this was their first job. I’ve had great success with hiring green talent and training, and maybe that’s because I participate in an internship and mentoring program. I have hired several technicians directly out of that program.” On the question of money, Kristen Felder, well-known industry icon and president of Collision Hub, said, “Young people today—not all, but many—have been led to believe they will make big money right out of tech school. The fact is: Most don’t. They have to pay their dues. And so many are set up for failure from the start. “It’s not so much a shortage of people or even a crisis of opportunity. It’s much bigger than that—it’s a crisis of culture. It is something no Band-Aid will fix. There is no silver bullet. Our industry needs a change in culture, and it starts with the way most technicians are paid. “Most techs today are paid on a commission basis. The more they hustle, the more work they put out, and the more money they make. This

creates a number of problems, one of which is having no time or appetite to mentor new techs. In fact, we could live without tech schools if shops had a good mentoring program and a business model to support it. ABRA, Caliber and Fix Auto all have great programs that get a new person doing productive work in weeks, not months or years. “Another issue is more societal. The WWII generation and baby boomers had a strong work ethic. They didn’t mind working hard. They didn’t mind hustling; in fact, they expected to. They were motivated to buy a new car, buy a house, buy a motorcycle and boat. The WWII generation is gone and baby boomers are retiring. Their [type] will not be seen again. Those replacing them, the millennials, aren’t driven by the same motivation. Many couldn’t care less about owning a car or house, let alone motorcycles and boats. They want a different quality of life and yet, the current business model used in collision shops is based on the hustle mentality of earlier gen-

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erations. Today’s generation wants to work 9 to 5, and then move on to other things in their life. Their work does not define them. It just doesn’t work anymore for the Xbox and Google generation. “The answer is a shop pay plan based on salary with a built-in training/mentoring component. If people are salaried, the shop owner can then better control costs and work more efficiently. If they then control other overhead and productions costs and work more efficiently, they are better able to afford training and mentoring.” David Luehr, president and founder of Elite Body Shop Solutions, offered, “If a shop is only recruiting people with five-plus years of experience, it is convenient for the shop owner, but not necessarily the right way to do things. They might be missing out on some very talented people with less experience. Plus, those experienced people may have years of bad habits that have to be un-learned, whereas new people can be taught the right way of making repairs and learn that shop’s way of doing things. It is easier to adopt a culture from scratch rather than unlearn one and re-learn another.” “On the question of money: Everyone has to eat, so a shop needs to set a pay schedule that is in line with the geographic area and type of work. “One of my favorite sayings is, ‘If you want to attract more people to your business, make your business more attractive.’ The newspaper and online ads that shops use today to attract people are the same ads that were used 40 years ago: ‘Wanted: Busy

Shop Needs Experienced Collision Tech – Must Have Own Tools – Inquire at…’ How we advertise makes a difference. We have to tell prospective technicians why our shop is a better place to work. The current generation is driven not by a ‘hard work’ ethic but by more intangible things. They want a career path. They want a diversified work model; they don’t want to be stuck doing the same job for an interminable amount of time.” When asked if a shop’s labor rate affects its ability to afford to train and mentor a new tech, Luehr replied, “Of course labor rates are important, but it doesn’t tell the whole story of profitability. It’s more about a shop’s efficiency. I know shops that charge $45 an hour and are doing well and shops on the West Coast with a labor rate of $100 per hour that are hurting. If your work is sloppy and you spend a lot of time re-doing jobs, or you are wasteful with materials and don’t keep your overhead costs under control, you won’t have any money for anything other than keeping your head above water.” Bruce King, a former Massachusetts owner of five shops and current coach for Elite Body Shop Solutions, offered, “We used to hire detailers for $12 per hour and burned through a lot of people because not only was it a boring, repetitious job, but it didn’t pay well. We found a pizza shop down the street paying people $20 per hour just to deliver pizzas! Deliver pizzas! We then reassessed the job of detailer and how important it was. The body guys and painter may have done a great job on the repair, but if we deliver a dirty car

Continued from Page 58

level sponsors will be added to the website going forward as the association strives to keep members and visitors informed. WAC will host its next meeting on Feb. 19 at North Tech High School at noon with senior students in attendance. Jason Buchheit, collision instructor, will be hosting the event and will provide lunch. This will be WAC’s first lunch meeting. If it is well-attended, WAC will consider adding more lunch meetings throughout the year. For more information about WAC, visit the association’s new website at WACSTL.com.

1st Meeting of 2019 Jones noted, “Typically, they host 75–100 educators and industry members, and nearly all school districts in St. Louis County are represented. Julie Hemann, WAC treasurer, and I are honored to be invited to sit on a panel in a breakout session on Promoting Nontraditional Careers.” Finally, WAC announced that the group’s website has officially been launched under the guidance of WAC Vice President Jess Crump. Events, meetings, articles and Gold 62

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

to a customer, that’s all they see and it is how the shop is rated. So we increased the pay scale and also developed a career path for that position. “I like hiring [millenials] because they are team-oriented; all they need is some training. One of the problems shops have is they hire techs as if they were independent contractors, and then they get angry when the tech starts acting like an independent contractor by coming and going as he pleases. It’s important that they know they are part of a team and what they do affects everyone else on the team. Each person has to do what is right for the team and for the mission. As a manager, this is what we have to get across. The problem is not the individual tech—it is how they are managed. Give the techs a mission and a path and set milestones.” Jeff Peevy, long-time executive with I-CAR and current president of the Automotive Management Institute (AMi), has dealt with training collision techs for years. He realizes, perhaps better than anyone, that this is a multi-faceted issue. “We need to look in the mirror and honestly face the reality that if

we do not sincerely and effectively address this issue, we will have a crisis that will cripple our industry in the very near future,” he said. “We need a willingness to work together for the greater good and recognize our industry’s success is tied to everyone. Individual efforts, though commendable, will struggle without industrywide support and acceptance.” So … is there a “crisis of opportunity” as Josh Carlisle contends? It depends on the person with whom you discuss it, their perspective, and the degree to which the issue exists. Peevy perhaps sums it up best: “Our industry has not organized itself well enough as a whole to be competitive against other trades. We lack the industry-accepted structure around apprenticeship programs. Being an industry of small businesses, we inherit the usual small business challenges associated with offering the level of benefits to be competitive.” As of this writing, Peevy, who is also Collision Industry Conference chairman, vowed to bring up this issue at the next CIC meeting and make new-tech training and recruitment a priority for the industry.

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autobodynews.com / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

63


Is Trump About To Clobber the Auto Industry? by Rick Newman, Yahoo Finance

Investors have been edgy about President Trump’s trade dispute with China. But there’s another trade threat that’s going to flare soon: the possibility of new tariffs on nearly $200 billion worth of automotive imports, which would kill jobs and send car prices soaring if imposed by Trump. Last year, Trump directed the Commerce Department to investigate whether automotive imports pose a threat to national security, with a report due no later than Feb. 17 of this year. If the report finds cause for concern—as everybody expects—it would give Trump the authority to impose tariffs within 90 days. And he has already proposed a 25 percent tariff on imported autos. The premise is ridiculous: Nobody in the national security business thinks imported cars are a threat. But the threat of tariffs is leverage Trump feels he needs to strike better deals on trade with Eu-

rope, Japan and China. Trump, for instance, wants those nations to lower their own tariffs on imports from America and make it easier for U.S. firms to enter those markets. If Trump did impose the tariffs, it would immediately hit the economy.

of General Motors, Ford and other automakers until the fight subsides. At this year’s Detroit Auto Show, Bob Carter, head of Toyota North America, told Yahoo Finance that a 25 percent tariff on imported autos and auto parts would add $1,800 to the cost of a Camry sedan—even

“A 25 percent tariff could lead to a decline in sales volume larger than what a recession would produce. It could be autos that create the next recession.” — Jonathan Smoke, “A 25 percent tariff could lead to a decline in sales volume larger than what a recession would produce,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at Cox Automotive and owner of Kelley Blue Book and other services. “It could be autos that create the next recession.” Even if Trump is bluffing, the threat of tariffs could punish shares

though Toyota builds the Camry in the United States with many American components. “Consumers are the ones who pay those taxes,” Carter said. “Tariffs on automotive parts would suppress this industry.” Affecting Decision-Making Tariffs are already distorting auto-

motive decision-making. Last year, Ford canceled plans to import the Focus Active compact from China to the United States because of the new tariffs Trump has already imposed on Chinese imports, which include cars and car parts. Trump wants companies to build such products in the United States, but Ford can’t make a profit on a low-margin economy car if it builds it here. So it won’t offer the compact in the U.S. market at all. “We had a great plan to have a Focus Active here in the U.S.,” Ford Executive Vice President Jim Farley told Yahoo Finance in Detroit. “Customers aren’t going to pay for a tariff in the U.S.” Trump’s auto tariff probably wouldn’t apply to imports from Mexico and Canada, as long as Congress ratifies the new trade deal the three countries inked last year to update the old NAFTA agreement. That would leave around $103 billion worth of new-car imports from the rest of the world, and about $77 billion worth of parts, according to 2017 figures. The Center

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64

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com


for Automotive Research says a 25 percent tax on auto imports from all countries except Canada and Mexico would raise the average cost of a car by $2,450. There would be more production in the United States, as Trump wants, but total auto sales would fall by about 1.2 million units per year because of higher prices. On net, that would kill 197,000 jobs. And if the tariffs did apply to imports from Canada and Mexico, the economic damage would more than double. Some auto executives think Trump is more likely to bluff on tariffs than to actually impose them, using the threat as leverage to get concessions from Europe, Japan and China. Trump and his top trade negotiator, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, could ask for the European Union, for instance, to lower its tariff on U.S. imports, since Europe charges a 10 percent tariff on imported cars but the U.S. tariff is only 2.5 percent. They could demand better access to the Japanese market, which is essentially closed to American cars. And the threat of auto tariffs would add to the pressure

on China, which is already fighting a second battle with Trump over reforms he wants. There’s also the chance that Tariff Man, as Trump famously calls himself, could go through with the auto tariffs, if only because he believes—against the advice of nearly all mainstream economists—that tariffs foster more home-grown employment. Some trade experts thought Trump would repeal the steel and aluminum tariffs he imposed last year, or at least exempt Canada and Mexico, once he got a renegotiated NAFTA. But he hasn’t, even though higher costs are costing automakers billions. Trump’s latest tariff gambit comes as forecasters expect auto sales to taper off in 2019, after several years of record sales. GM just announced it’s closing five plants, and other automakers may cut back as well if sales slow as expected. Tariffs would force automakers to hit the brakes harder. Buckle up. We thank Yahoo Finance for reprint permission.

www.autobodynews.com

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NY Body Shop Owner Arrested for Insurance Fraud New York State Department of Financial Services Insurance Fraud The owner of an Amityville, NY, Unit, Allstate and MetLife Auto automotive body repair shop was and Home. As a result, Nuss, 28, of Linarrested Feb. 1 for submitting frauddenhurst was arrested ulent insurance claims at Village Line Auto for repairs on a vehicle, Body on Feb. 1, police according to Suffolk said. Police. He was charged Andrew Nuss, with third-degree inowner of Village Line surance fraud, third-deAuto Body on 123 Algree grand larceny and bany Ave., submitted second-degree falsifyfraudulent billing docCredit: Suffolk Police ing business records. umentation for repairs He was arraigned at First Dison a vehicle between Dec. 12, 2018 trict Court in Central Islip on Feb. and Jan. 23, 2019, police said. Detectives from the Prop- 2. erty/Auto Crime Unit conducted a joint investigation with the Na- We thank Lindenhurst Patch for tional Insurance Crime Bureau, reprint permission.

by Priscila Korb, Lindenhurst Patch

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Mon-Thu 7am - 7pm; Fri 7am - 6pm Sat 7am - 3pm gregj@driveclassic.com www.driveclassichyundai.com autobodynews.com / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

65


Car Accident Total Loss Lawsuits Allege Insurance Company Violations by Sage Datko, Top Class Actions

Several class action lawsuits have been filed against multiple insurance companies, including GEICO, State Farm, Allstate, Progressive and First National, over their total loss auto coverage. These lawsuits cite many claims, including that the companies violated their own policies and have not fully reimbursed customers for the total value of their vehicles following a car accident total loss insurance payout. The lawsuits against GEICO and State Farm claim that the companies fail to include sales tax and title transfer fees in their valuation, wrongfully deflate values following car accident total loss insurance claims, and rely on invalid and outdated methods to assign a value to vehicle damages. Sales tax and title transfer fees vary by state but can often add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars. Policyholders claim that insurance companies should be responsible for paying these fees after a total loss car accident claim. One policyholder named as a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against GEICO claims that

she was forced to pay around $1,500 in title transfer and sales tax fees after the total loss of her vehicle. Car Accident Total Loss Lawsuits A Florida class action lawsuit filed against GEICO in 2016 claims that the company’s refusal to include sales tax and title transfer fees in total loss valuations violated its own policy language. The plaintiffs in that case argued that sales tax and title transfer fees are mandatory costs associated with replacing a total loss vehicle and that under GEICO’s own policy, the insurer is responsible for all costs associated with replacing or repairing the damaged property. The plaintiffs are suing for breach of contract. A recent class action lawsuit filed against State Farm claims that the methodology used by the insurance company to assign a value to vehicles after total loss claims is not based on any industry-standard valuation method. The plaintiffs in this lawsuit claim that the company intentionally deflates vehicle value estimations in order to pay out less than the actual pre-loss value of the vehicle. The plaintiffs in the State

Volvo Releases Statement for Repair Shops by Emmariah Holcomb, glassBYTEs.com

Volvo recently released a statement involving what is to be used for windshield replacements on its vehicles. According to the company, it wants only original equipment manufacturer (OEM) auto glass used. “Volvo Car USA LLC requires all windshield replacements on Volvo vehicles be performed according to Volvo standards at an authorized Volvo facility, using only Volvo Genuine Windshields and adhesives,” a portion of the statement reads. Volvo also stated there are “many variants” for vehicle windshields as far as the aftermarket is concerned and that there isn’t a way to ensure all aftermarket windshields meet the same standards that the company does. The new release aims to continue setting a standard for Volvo’s vehicles by only recommending OEM. “Volvo genuine windshields are manufactured to the same spec66

ifications as the windshield originally installed in vehicle at time of assembly, offering perfect fit, exact tolerances and maximum precision. Aftermarket alternatives may not meet these exact specifications and may affect the car’s passive safety technology, active safety functions as well as the overall rigidness of the body,” a portion of the statement reads. It’s imperative to have the right windshield fit and to calibrate after replacing a windshield equipped with safety features for a customer, but Volvo claims that if aftermarket glass is used, the results might differ. “Aftermarket windshield services may find it quite difficult to properly recalibrate,” a portion of the statement reads. We thank glassBYTEs.com for reprint permission.

AUTOBODY

www.autobodynews.com

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Farm lawsuit estimate that the insurance company has made millions of dollars from this alleged scheme at the expense of policyholders. What is a car accident total loss claim? After a car accident, an insurance adjuster examines vehicle damage and investigates the circumstances of the crash. They use this information to make a value estimate in order to reimburse the policyholder for the damages. If the adjuster estimates that the cost to repair the vehicle is more than the insured value of the vehicle, the insurance company may “total” the car, or deem it a “total loss.” Often after a total loss is assessed, policyholders are offered the fair market value of the car as estimated on the day of the accident. If your vehicle was in a car accident and was deemed a total loss by your insurance company, you may be entitled to join a car accident total loss investigation or loss suit if the company did not pay the sales tax or title transfer fees associated with replacing the vehicle. We thank Top Class Actions for reprint permission.

Symach To Sponsor IBIS USA 2019 Symach has announced that the company is sponsoring IBIS USA 2019 – World of Opportunity. The International Bodyshop Industry Symposium (IBIS) conference is being held February 13-15 at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa in California. “We are excited to support this world-class conference by sponsoring IBIS USA as a Titanium Partner,” said Osvaldo Bergaglio, president and CEO of Symach. “As long-time attendees of IBIS events, we have great respect for the organization and how it brings together collision repair influencers from around the world to raise the safety, skills and standards in all sectors and markets.” Since Bergaglio established Symach in 2001, the Italian-based company has developed a complete range of equipment for collision repair centers and designs, installs and trains new body shops around the world.

www.autobodynews.com

Caliber Collision, ABRA Auto Body Repair of America Announce the Closing of Merger Transaction Caliber Collision Centers and ABRA Auto Body Repair of America recently announced the closing of their merger that unites the companies’ teams, brands and operations. Going forward, the combined company will be investing even more in enhanced technologies, specialized resources and innovative processes to redefine world-class standards for quality repairs and customer service in the industry. “We plan on maintaining all existing centers from both companies as we embark on our journey to create one company with one operating model and one culture. We plan on further strengthening our culture that strongly supports our teammates’ careers behind industry-leading development programs,” said Steve Grimshaw, Caliber’s chief executive officer, who now serves as CEO of the new combined company.The new combined company, now operating under the Caliber brand name, will provide customers and clients with the first national lifetime warranty along with even more offerings, in-

cluding dedicated non-drive facilities, express repair centers and aluminum-certified and high-line centers. The combined company will also offer glass repair, diagnostic scanning and calibration services and the broadest network of OEM-certified locations in the U.S. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman—ABRA’s majority shareholder since 2014— will become the majority shareholder of the combined company. Caliber’s two largest shareholders, OMERS and Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. (LGP), will be minority shareholders in the combined company. “We believe this merger represents the next evolution of the collision repair industry. The combination further enhances the companies’ best-in-class performance metrics, proven acquisition integration processes, strong relationships with insurance clients and career opportunities for our teammates,” said Erik Ragatz, partner at Hellman & Friedman.


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autobodynews.com / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

67


Toyota Works With Carma Project to Encourage Drivers to Check Vehicle Recall Status by Samantha Serbin, WTVM

By the end of 2019, 55–70 million vehicles will have been recalled for defective Takata airbags.

and family get their cars checked. The president of the Carma Project, Tony Lim, said the combination of heat and humidity, along with the age of the car, causes the issue with the airbags. “What happens is the airbag inflator, which is a metallic canister, if it ruptures, it is essentially shooting

and an additional $50 worth of gift cards when they actually have their vehicle repaired. “It is a tremendous opportunity for people like you and me, your mom, your dad, brother, sister, family, friends and co-workers. We can all do something really good on social media,” Lim said.

“Check your vehicles; check your mom’s; check your co-workers’,” — Tania Saldana

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this is the largest recall in U.S. history. Nineteen automakers are impacted by this recall on Takata airbags. Toyota, being one of the impacted automakers, is working on a new project to encourage its customers to get their vehicles checked out. It is collaborating with the Carma Project, giving gift cards to people for spreading information about the recall and having friends

shrapnel to people, not only on the driver’s side, but potentially the passenger side as well,” Lim said. “So it’s a very dangerous recall that a lot of car owners and consumers need to take seriously.” “Check your vehicles; check your mom’s; check your co-workers’,” said Toyota communications manager Tania Saldana. How the incentive program works: Visit carmaproject.com and send information about this recall to your social network. You’ll receive $5 in gift cards for every Toyota owner who schedules an appointment to have their vehicle repaired

WIN Calls for Board of Director Candidates The Women’s Industry Network® (WIN) is now accepting applications for seats on its board of directors. The board consists of representatives from various industry segments including (but not limited to) collision repair shops, distributors, suppliers, consultants, paint manufacturers, recyclers and insurance companies. Participants from all segments of the collision repair industry are welcome, the only requirement being that the applicants are WIN members in good standing. “Volunteering for board service is an outstanding opportunity to have continuous influence on our industry,” said Michelle Sullivan, WIN chair and chair of the Board Nominating Committee. “WIN is seeking members to apply for seats on our 2019 board as we continue to drive growth and success for the organization in the coming years.” The WIN board of directors provides overall strategic direction for WIN and is responsible for making policy decisions that execute WIN’s vision and mission. “Engaging at the board level is an outstanding way to advance our industry and guide the success 68

of WIN while building leadership skills, business acumen and invaluable industry relationships,” said Jenny Anderson, a member of the current board and the Board Nominating Committee. Each year, the board updates its strategic plan and each member contributes to the execution of that plan. The volunteer board members work together to foster an environment that encourages the recruitment, retention, education and networking of women in the collision repair industry. New board members will begin their term and be introduced to the organization at large at the 2019 Educational Conference, May 6–8 at the Westin in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The deadline for applications is Feb. 28. For application requirements and further details, please visit www.womensindustrynetwork.com. Completed applications should be emailed to michelle.sullivan@ akzonobel.com.

www.autobodynews.com

UPDATED DAILY

MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

The repair is free for the Toyota owner, and they can have the service done at any Toyota or Lexus location. “What people need to understand is that sharp metal fragments could spray directly at the driver and passengers if these defective airbags deploy, and this could increase the risk of serious injury or even death,” said Saldana. You can also download the airbag recall app to see if your vehicle is impacted. We thank WTVM for reprint permission.

CARSTAR Expands Dealership-Based Facilities CARSTAR is continuing to build upon its network of collision repair facilities based in auto dealerships. At the end of 2018, CARSTAR had more than 50 collision repair facilities in dealerships in the U.S. and Canada. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years as dealership owners look to improve their collision repair facility performance and profitability. Today, nearly two of every five franchised dealerships operate collision repair centers, the National Automobile Dealers Association reports. At the 2019 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) show, CARSTAR had an opportunity to showcase its powerful resources to auto dealers from around the world. “We’ve created very dynamic partnerships with automobile dealerships that combine the local dealer’s brand name with CARSTAR’s proprietary operating procedures, insurance relationships and training programs,” said Michael Macaluso, president of CARSTAR.

ASA Partners With Kukui to Enable Shops to Build Competitive Websites The Automotive Service Association has joined forces with Kukui as its latest Sponsored Benefit Provider. ASA Sponsored Benefit Provider companies provide special-priced member services and products to ASA members to help offset their everyday business costs. Kukui provides businesses a custom marketing website platform that integrates with each business’s Point of Sale system. This provides Kukui’s clients with quantitative data showing their return on investment, the number of new clients based on their POS system, statistics revealing their customer retention rate and areas to improve their business through the tracking of phone calls, appointment forms and feedback from customer reviews. “Throughout my career, I have been personally impressed with ASA,” said Todd Westerlund, CEO of Kukui. “The organization has stood as a stalwart of leadership in the service and repair industry. Being able to add Kukui’s member benefit to the long list of outstanding supporters is an honor.”

Thanks to the ASA-Kukui agreement, ASA members will receive: • An annual rebate of $295 to apply toward the cost of national membership in ASA • An annual savings of $1,800 when they sign up for the Kukui program • A 50 percent discount on a onetime set-up fee. For more information about this new member benefit, visit Kukui’s profile at ASA.savings 4members.com, an online benefits portfolio. To take advantage of this special offer, shops must be members of ASA. Ray Fisher, ASA executive director, said ASA is proud to welcome Kukui as its latest Sponsored Benefit Provider. “This benefit alone will cover the annual dues for those members taking advantage of the Kukui program and continue the ASA tradition of offering world-class benefits to our members. We’re proud to welcome Kukui to the ASA family,” said Fisher.


APU Solutions Renews Commitment to CIECA Standards APU Solutions, a Solera company, has renewed its commitment to CIECA and the CIECA standards. Founded in 1999, APU is based in Overland Park, KS. The company’s focus is to ensure the correct part is used in the repair process. “We work closely with our supplier partners to vet the data before it is presented to the insurance companies or body shops,” said Jay Scruton, director of product management, APU Solutions. “Our goal is to show a significant reduction in severity, supplements and an increased usage of quality alternative parts for our customers.” Since joining CIECA in 2004, several APU employees have regularly served on various CIECA committees. The company has used the CIECA BMS in a variety of B2B integrations with partners across the industry. “APU has long been a strong proponent of CIECA standards in the industry,” said Jon Delgado, APU Solutions’ senior software engineering manager. “CIECA’s dedication to the development and maintenance of messaging standards has been instrumental in APU’s product develop-

ment.” In the technology industry, Delgado said, integration is key. “Apps and services are everywhere, and they’re all talking to each other. Standards are important to facilitate these interactions and make sure applications are speaking the same language,” he explained. “Standardization allows for code re-use [and] easier message validation and reduces the need for overly customized work. In a world that’s getting more and more complicated, with things like automation and telematics, CIECA standards are critical to facilitate technical interactions.” For more information, visit http: //www.apusolutions.com

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Enterprise Holdings Foundation Contributes $75,000 to CREF The Enterprise Holdings Foundation has continued its support of the Collision Repair Education Foundation with a contribution of $75,000 to support collision education. The donation benefits the entire industry by enhancing the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s ability to offer grants and scholarships to career and technical schools and colleges and the students attending these schools. The Enterprise Holdings Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the company that operates the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent-A-Car brands through its integrated global network of independent and regional subsidiaries and franchises. “These students are vital to the future of the collision repair and automotive insurance industries, as well as our own business and vehicle service centers, and through our support of the Collision Repair Education Foundation, we can help students pursue their careers in the industry,” said Mary Mahoney, vice president of Insurance Replacement for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. “We’re committed to helping provide opportunities for the next generation of ve-

hicle repair technicians to receive high-quality, hands-on repair training through access to the latest vehicle models and technologies.” Clark Plucinski, executive director of the Collision Repair Education Foundation, added, “Enterprise’s continued support of the Collision Repair Education Foundation provides crucial support to the industry’s efforts to help collision schools across the country. These schools graduate productive, efficient, and capable staff members [for] day one on the job within the collision industry. Enterprise’s support assists our ability to help high school and post-secondary collision instructors provide the quality technical education their students need to succeed in the industry.” Industry members interested in working with the Collision Repair Education Foundation in support of secondary and post-secondary collision repair students, instructors and their school programs should contact Education Foundation Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation.org or (312) 231-0258.

MINNESOTA

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Waikem Subaru

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(330) 460-7082 Fax Mon-Fri 8-6; Sat 8-4 www.brunswickautomart.com We’re focused on getting you the Genuine Subaru Parts you need — fast and competitively priced. Put us to the test on your next Subaru repair or service job.

The following dealerships are eager to serve your needs. Call your local Subaru collision parts specialist today!

Courtesy Subaru

Ganley Westside Subaru North Olmsted Toll Free (888) 850-0633 Direct (440) 788-7060

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Wilde Subaru Waukesha

(800) 903-2434 (262) 544-1913 Fax Mon-Thu 7-7; Fri 7-5; Sat 8-4 parts@gowilde.com www.wildesubaru.com

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March 2019 Midwest Edition  

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