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


Vol. 8 / Issue 10 / July 2019

Fix Auto USA Annual Conference Celebrates Focus on Family Value(s)

Speaker Says Verdict Being Used by OEMs to Limit Use of Non-OEM Parts

by Stacey Phillips

by John Yoswick

More than 20 years ago, Erick and Shelly Bickett set out to create a national network of high-performing independent body shops. The collision repair visionaries wanted to ensure it was supported with a unified and branded infrastructure of systems and processes offering the best quality and services.

(l to r) Erick Bickett, co-founder of Fix Auto USA, and co-owner of eight Fix Auto USA locations, and Paul Gange, president and CEO of Fix Auto USA. Credit: Stacey Phillips

The first locations were established in Denver, Portland, Los Angeles and San Diego in 2011. Rapid expansion soon followed. Fast forward to 2019 and the San Diegobased company now includes over 150 locations in ten states across the country: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Oregon, Minnesota, Nevada and Washington. “We did and are doing what everyone said couldn’t be done,” said Paul Gange, president and CEO of

Fix Auto USA, during the organization’s annual conference. “We took a fragmented industry—independent entrepreneurs with their own ideas, attitudes, desires—and we asked them to come together as one.” In June, more than 275 attendees gathered in Carlsbad, CA, at the Omni La Costa Resort for the 17th Annual Fix Auto USA Conference: Family Value(s). They included Fix Auto USA Franchise Partners and their co-pilots as well as executives representing every collision and insurance industry segment. “Moving forward, we want to continue attracting high-performing, forward-thinking operators who want to stay and compete and be part of something bigger than themselves while we hold them accountable to an unparalleled standard of excellence on behalf of the vehicle owners and insurers we serve,” Gange added. Gange joined Fix Auto USA as president and COO in 2009 and was later named president and CEO in 2016–the same year Fix Auto USA celebrated its 100th franchise location. Today, the company is driving towards the goal of operating over 200 locations. “While we further develop our footprint, we continue to be a top performer for our insurance and vehicle manufacturer partners who are See Fix Auto USA, Page 27

Automakers are pressing for state laws requiring the use of OEM collision repair procedures as part of their effort to limit the use of alternative parts, a representative of LKQ Corporation told a gathering of non-

LKQ Corporation’s Ray Colas said automakers are using a verdict against a shop related to OEM repair procedures as part of their efforts to limit use of non-OEM parts

OEM parts manufacturers and distributors. “This is about money and profit,” Ray Colas, director of government affairs for LKQ Corporation, said at the Auto Body Parts Association (ABPA) convention held in May in Fort Lauderdale, FL. In the effort to pass state laws requiring the use of OEM procedures, automakers and repairers are pointing to the John Eagle Collision lawsuit, in which a dealership collision shop was successfully sued for not following OEM repair procedures on a vehicle in which a Texas couple, Matthew and Marcia Seebachan, were subsequently injured, Colas said. State lawmakers are being told that OEM procedure laws are needed See Non-OEM Parts, Page 26

SARC Brings Three State Associations Together to Address Common Concerns

scribed his early experience with the industry when he was forced to perThe 2019 SARC meeting wrapped sonally sue an insurer for seizing his up in New Orleans on Saturday, June property post accident. He was em15, having engaged attenphatic that this opened his dees with talks and panels eyes to some of the abuses featuring Jim Hood, the routinely carried out by inMississippi AG who is cursurance companies. rently running for governor, Officially hosted and orAaron Schulenburg, Exganized by MSCRA (Misecutive Director of SCRS, sissippi) and their Executive Director, Ricki Garrett, as well as Pulitzer prizeAttorney General Jim Hood of and President Doug White, winning political cartoonist Mississippi the event catered to repairers Marshall Ramsey. Ramsey hosted a panel with from Mississippi, Louisiana and Burl Richards, Doug White and Matt Texas in particular, but all repairers Parker on Mississippi’s Consumer and vendors were welcome to attend Guide to Insurance and Auto Body then and in the future. Repair, a document developed by Burl Richards addressed The Hood’s Consumer Protection Divi- John Eagle Case, recounting Attorsion and available for download at ney Todd Tracy’s efforts in the $42M judgment against the Texas Attorney General Hood deSee SARC 2019, Page 4 by Autobody News Staff



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CONTENTS AASP-MO Gateway Collision Chapter Learns to Increase Bottom Line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Car Insurance Laws Are Changing in Michigan. 14 College Students in Lake County, IL, Revamp Disaster-Relief Trailer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Fix Auto USA Annual Conference Celebrates Focus on Family Value(s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires Two Locations in Louisville, KY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 GM to Invest $24 Million to Expand Full Size

Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Attanasio - Are You as High-Tech as Your Customers? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Ledoux - The 1970s - Part 2 - The OE’s Become Their Own Worst Enemy. . . . . . . . . 36 Ledoux - The HD Collision Market – Challenges and Opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Sisk - ASA Annual Business Meeting and

on Welding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 IL Crash Victim Struggles to Get Repair Costs Covered. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Ionia County, MI, Legislators Share Thoughts on Auto Insurance Reform. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Matt’s Service Center Opens Temporary Moorhead, MN, Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Minnesota Representative Introduces Aggressive Anti-Steering Bill . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Missouri Vehicle Safety Inspection Program Still at Risk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 NABA Hosts Industry Night Event . . . . . . . . . . . 8 NABA to Host Two Roundtable Events . . . . . . . 11 NABC Recycled Rides Program Donates Three Refurbished Vehicles to St. Louis Veterans. . 19 New Minnesota Bill Aims to Prohibit Insurers From Certain Actions . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Scott Simmons Visits ASA-OH for ‘Estimating Best Practices’ Seminar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 St. Louis I-CAR Committee Prepares for Sept. 27 Job Fair. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Yoswick - Consumer Advocate Gives Industry New Voice With Insurance Regulators . . . . . 44

NATIONAL 3M, CREF Grant Collision Education Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 ABPA Voices Concern to Introduction of State Bills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Chrysler Recalls 343,000 Ram 1500 Trucks . . 52 ClaimsCorp Inc. Renews Commitment to CIECA Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Corvette Club Presents Scholarship. . . . . . . . . . 6

Anderson - Vehicle Owner’s Manuals Help Educate and Negotiate Need for Various

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: Alexis Wilson 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.

Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists, LLC . . . . . . . . 19

Luther Bloomington Acura-Subaru . . . . . . . . . 35

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Maplewood Toyota-Scion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Matrix Electronic Measuring. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

AutoNation Collision Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5, 11

McGrath City Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 50

Bob Hook Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Brunswick Auto Mart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . 32-33

Classic Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Morrison’s Auto Parts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Autobody News Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018; (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax

Evaluating AI Tools and Applications: Tips From Tractable AI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . 48

GM Digital Vehicle Platform Debuts . . . . . . . . . 24

Courtesy Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

O’Reilly Auto Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

KABA Scores Huge Success With First

Dent Fix Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

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

Diamond Standard Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

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

Eckler’s Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

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

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Richfield-Bloomington Honda. . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Equalizer Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

SATA Dan-Am Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Recycled Rides Go to Three Moms . . . . . . . . . 46

Gandrud Parts Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Shaheen Chevrolet Parts Warehouse . . . . . . . 27

SARC Brings Three State Associations

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

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

Spanesi Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 28-29

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . 46

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 42

Symach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Infiniti of Naperville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

The Porsche Exchange. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Jack Phelan Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram

The Sharpe Collection of Automobiles . . . . . . 43

Trade Show. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Knoxville I-CAR Golf Outing Benefits CREF. . . . . 5 onPeak Returns as SEMA Show Provider. . . . . 16

Together to Address Common Concerns . . . . 1 Speaker Says Verdict Being Used by OEMs to Limit Use of Non-OEM Parts . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Tire Tax Bill AB 755 Defeated in California . . . . 52 Veterans Encouraged to Become


these locations and introducing our brand to this area,” said Tim O’Day, president and COO of the Boyd Group. “As we continue to expand our presence in this region, we better position ourselves to serve our customers and insurance partners.” The Boyd Group is continuously looking to add new collision repair locations to its existing network in Canada and the U.S. Interested collision repair center owners are asked to contact Stephen Boyd at (204) 594-1176 or for more information.

Conference Exceeds Expectations . . . . . . . . 34

Truck Production at Indiana Plant . . . . . . . . 20 IABA NW Indiana Chapter Meeting Focused

The Boyd Group Inc. recently announced the June 10, 2019 opening of two collision repair centers in Louisville, KY. The locations previously operated as Bill Etscorn & Sons Auto & Collision Centers, originating in 1984. Louisville is located on the Ohio River, along the Indiana border, and is the largest city in Kentucky with a population of approximately 600,000 people within the city limits and a metropolitan area of 1.3 million. “We look forward to maintaining the high-quality service customers have come to expect at



Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires Two Locations in Louisville, KY

Entrepreneurs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Your Future Self-Driving Car Will Be Watching Your Every Move, Says New Study. . . . . . . . . 4

of Countryside . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

U.S. Chemical & Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Kelly BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

VanDevere Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Kia Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

VanDevere Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Launch Tech USA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 52

Laurel Auto Group of Westmont . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Zimmer Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . . . . . . 56 / JULY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Knoxville I-CAR Golf Outing Benefits CREF by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On May 22, the Knoxville I-CAR Committee held its annual golf fundraiser at Avalon Golf Course in Lenoir City, TN. “The event was a huge success with good attendance and beautiful weather,” said Fran Stidham, education chair for the committee. “We had more than 80 golfers in addition to the committee and T-CAT volunteers.” The Knoxville I-CAR Committee hosts this annual event to raise funds for the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF). The committee believes this event is important, because it allows them to “help students in our industry be prepared for career opportunities by assisting them financially,” Stidham said. “Events like this support our industry in many ways. It builds a bridge between shops, insurance companies, vendors and vocational trade schools. We are hoping for an even larger event next year.” For more information about the Knoxville ICAR Committee, visit facebook .com/ICARKnoxville. Continued from Cover

SARC 2019

body shop. Looming nearby was unheard but visible testimony, silently delivered by the now famous John Eagle Honda Fit. The car, delivered to the Jung Hotel, sat on a trailer out-

side the meeting rooms and was frequently cited during the talks as a potent reminder of shops’ liability if an accident reveals an improper repair. The meeting was relatively small, with an estimated 400 in attendance along with approximately 50 exhibitors, but the energy was good and the speakers were prompted by the audience with questions. SCRS’ Aaron Schulenburg led an active panel discussion focusing on headlines in the media drawn from Repairer Driven News. Panel ists and industry veterans Burl Richards, 4

Your Future Self-Driving Car Will Be Watching Your Every Move, Says New Study by Loukia Papadopoulos, Interesting Engineering

Future autonomous car firms may choose to harness personalized customer information through geospatial and navigation technologies resulting in high surveillance. When we think of self-driving cars we think of the ease of not having to drive. We are transported where we want to go and can spend our time checking our email or even watching our favorite TV shows. However, self-driving cars come with one caveat and that is increased surveillance. By their very nature, the new autonomous cars would have access to all details about your whereabouts and possibly more. Harnessing personalized customer information Will car companies and others choose to harness personalized customer information through geospatial and navigation technologies? If so, your new comfortable ride becomes a very adept method of surveillance according to new research. “Self-driving cars will represent a new mode for surveillance. Through a self-driving car’s global positioning,

John Mosley and Boyd Adams, gave input. They emphasized the need for shops to focus on the important issues they have in common, and not on infighting for customers between

system, navigational tools and other data collection mechanisms, companies will be able to gain access to highly contextual data about passengers’ habits, routines, movements and preferences,” explained Luis F. Alvarez León, an assistant professor of geography at Dartmouth. “This trove of personal, locational and financial data can be leveraged and monetized by companies, by providing a data-stream for companies to target customers through personalized advertising and marketing,” he added. It’s not just your locations that will be tracked. As autonomous vehicles enable passengers to spend more time engaging with media in a vehicle, the media you consume could also be tracked. Digital platforms for media companies This will also change the very nature of cars transforming “the car into a bundle of services rather than just a product.” “Automobile manufacturers may essentially become digital platforms for media companies, search engines, retailers, vendors and other companies, aiming to

capabilities as it relates to the program KPIs and site audits. GM Partner Perks is a parts loyalty program that provides benefits extending beyond redeemable points

The Seebachan’s burned out Honda Fit was shown live at the MSCRA-sponsored SARC Conference

shops. The message given was “the threat is outside your shop, not from your competition down the street.” Mike Ganske gave a presentation on Cycle Time which was repeated due to popular demand. One particularly well-attended session was given by GM’s Sarah Booth on the GM Collision Repair Network and the associated Partner Perks program. Mitchell was also represented as it’s responsible for managing enrollment and reporting


to include national marketing support, training resources and business tools that GM says can help drive profitability, productivity and the bottom line. Benefits accrue from the first purchase. The focus of the GM Collision Repair Network is to: Create an engaged network of collision facilities that are focused on proper and safe repair of all GM vehicles Increase visibility into collision

offer services to passengers through a car’s infotainment system,” reveals the study. The growth of self-driving cars will see a merging of different technologies. “Through autonomous cars, the automotive and technology industries are likely to become more integrated with synergies across geospatial, navigation, artificial intelligence, ride-hailing, automotive and other industries and technologies,” said Alvarez Léon. However, this will make us all ever more vulnerable to tracking. Privacy and security concerns abound when it comes to self-driving cars. These are further exacerbated by the fact that specific governance mechanisms have yet to be defined by federal regulations. As the age of the autonomous car approaches, shouldn’t we be looking into effective legislation to ensure the privacy and safety of citizens? What do you think? Are selfdriving cars a more convenient form of transportation or an impending disaster of invasion of privacy? repairs for additional OEM parts sales Ensure technicians are properly trained and prepared to handle today’s complex vehicles Increase customer brand loyalty The GM Collision Repair Network will evaluate several KPIs that are not typically measured by other OEM collision certification programs. The major difference is that it will be metrics-driven and dynamic, meaning that the Dealer, MSO, or Independent Repair Facility will continuously undergo audit checks, ensuring that they maintain the proper requirements established for the GM CRN program. More information can be had at www



Autobody News / JULY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Corvette Club Presents Scholarship by Staff, Lake News Online

Recently the Lake Of The Ozarks Corvette Club presented a scholarship award to a Lake Career & Technical Center (LCTC) student, Mason Davis. The club annually awards a scholarship to a worthy student that plans to seek a career in the automotive industry and has plans to continue onto higher education. The award was presented by Bill Kaimann, president, Corvette Club, at an LCTC annual scholarship program presentation conducted at the Camdenton High School. Lake Of The Ozark Corvette Club began operation in the year of 2000. The club conducts monthly meetings for Corvette enthusiasts and engages in activities that promote greater interest in the Corvette. For further information, visit the club’s website at https:// locc We thank Lake News Online for reprint permission.

IABA NW Indiana Chapter Meeting Focused on Welding by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On May 9, the Northwest Indiana Chapter of the Indiana Auto Body Association (IABA) hosted a meeting featuring guest speaker Kyle Gradeless of Sullivan Equipment who shared information on the need for destructive weld tests and how to do them. The meeting was held at Buddy and Pals in Crown Point, IN.

“This was the first meeting in our new venue and it worked out great,” said Andy Tylka, vice president of IABA. “We have a growing organization, and as a result, we grew out of the previous space we were using for our Thursday evening meetings as we were standing room only at 35 people.

AASP-MO Gateway Collision Chapter Learns to Increase Bottom Line by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On May 8, the Gateway Collision Chapter of AASP-MO met at Helen Fitzgerald’s in St. Louis, MO, for a meeting featuring Stuart Pope of CCC. Pope presented “Tips & Tricks with CCC1,” teaching shops about writing estimates in a way to positively impact their bottom lines. According to Ron Reiling, AASPMO executive director, “The meet-

tips and tricks that can easily increase the bottom line of every repair order. These are all things they

simply leave on the table, but now they know how to write better and more complete estimates while using CCC.” It’s important for the industry to come together and support one another. “No one shop is as strong as all of us working together. If you’re not a member of AASP, you should be. AASP-MisCCC’s Stuart Pope presents to AASP-MO’s Gateway souri is your partner in Collision Chapter. Credit: Chasidy Rae Sisk success,” he said. The May 8 meeting was sponing exceeded our expectations with a great turn out, and over 60 atten- sored by PPG and Cooper Color. For more information on the dees were all engaged and asked affiliate’s upcoming events, visit great questions.” Reiling continued, “Pope pro- or vided attendees with invaluable AASPMissouri/. 6


We have now grown to between 40 and 50 attendees, and our new venue can fit 70 people comfortably to allow for further growth.”

The meeting presentation focused on welding, the need to set up and adjust the welder, and the necessity of testing the welds. Gradeless discussed the non-included operations associated with welding, including any consumable material, set up and adjust the welder, destructive weld testing, protect the vehicle from spark damage, removing electronics from weld area per OEM guidelines and fabrication needed, including sleeves. “We find that the crowd partic-

ipation grows every meeting as we treat it as a round table discussion with myself as the facilitator,” Tylka said. “It is great to be getting Illinois shops now participating in our meetings. Tylka said the spike in participation could be due to attendees realizing the importance of these meetings: to discuss relevant issues, bring everyone together and gather knowledge on news and events. He is pleased with the growth happening among shops and vendors. “We have opened our meetings to all guests in the collision industry including shop owners, employees, vendors, insurance companies and adjusters in both Indiana and Illinois,” Tylka said. “Anyone is welcome to participate as a guest.” For more information about IABA and its events, visit Anyone interested in getting on the mailing list can email Tylka at: atylka

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NABA Hosts Industry Night Event

IL Crash Victim Struggles to Get Repair Costs Covered

by Chasidy Rae Sisk

by Jason Knowles and Ann Pistone, ABC7 News

On May 22, the Nebraska Auto Body Association (NABA) hosted an Industry Night Event for members to tune into 3M’s webcast on Structural Adhesives. Members gathered at the Garage Sports Bar in Lincoln, NE, and at DJ’s Dugout in Omaha, NE, to receive the valuable information.

“I think the event was a great success,” said NABA Board Member James Rodis. “Getting knowledge out to a large number of shops is always a great thing.” The webcast featured 3M Advanced Application Engineer Shawn Collins and Advanced Application Development Specialist Dennis Keicher who discussed metal bonding, automotive manufacturers’ collision repair information and technical


challenges. They also shared go-to resources and talked about emerging trends and planning for the future. Dave Robinette of I-CAR and VECO was also in attendance. “Attendees loved the information,” Rodis said. “When you have guys with as much experience as the presenters have, how could you not listen? I think quarterly or semi-annual events like this would be amazing.” NABA Board Member Dave Yard added, “I saw some new faces at the Lincoln watch party. A few attendees reached out to me for more information about NABA. NABA is grateful to Christine Neth of Auto Body Supply for helping us get the word out.” NABA held the watch parties to help members meet with other industry professionals and expand their knowledge. “Association events are much needed as most shops put their head down and work, but really, they should join a brotherhood of shops and learn it’s not them against the shop down the street,” Rodis said. For more information about NABA and its future events, visit


Jason Knowles and the ABC7 ITeam talked to victims of car crashes who thought they would be fully covered by insurance. They found that if the person who hits you has what’s known as non-standard low-cost insurance, you could be in for a fight. “Why am I paying on my own? It’s supposed to be of the insurance of the guy who hit me,” Maye Ragasa, Skokie, IL, resident, complained to the I-Team. “It’s like getting into an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance”: Non-standard auto insurance can lead to stalled claims if you get into a crash with one of their police. Ragasa said she had to dig into her own pocket to get her car fixed after the other driver who hit her drove through a stop sign. The accident happened in September of 2018. Since then she’s been battling the driver’s non-standard, low-cost auto insurer—Falcon Insurance. “The problem is when I took my car to the body shop they said it had bad damage inside,” said Ragasa. She claims Falcon initially

only gave her a check for $2,700, but her estimate was for more than $8,000. Ragasa said Falcon recently sent her another check for $3,300, but said that’s still short more than $2,000. She doesn’t plan on cashing the check, she added. Falcon Insurance said the claim was “properly adjudicated and we will continue to work with Ms. Ragasa to resolve this matter.” They added that they were deducting amounts for what they said is comparative negligence and her desire to keep the vehicle. Falcon also said, “...the company’s policy is to provide prompt, fair and professional claim service.” Supporters of non-standard insurance say it offers low- cost, required insurance to those who are at high risk. If you’re dealing with a low-cost dispute, experts say go through your own insurance company and let them fight it, but you’ll have to pay your deductible in the meantime. Before you buy an insurance plan, research their state complaint records and get two to three quotes. We thank ABC7 News for reprint permission. / JULY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


College Students in Lake County, IL, Revamp Disaster-Relief Trailer by Staff, Grayslake Patch

27 students from the College of Lake County’s (CLC) automotive collision repair program have helped improve area disaster-relief efforts. Students donated time and materials to restore and paint an equipment trailer, used by a volunteer disasterresponse team, from locally-based Journey Church. The newly restored trailer, known as the Response Unit, received a makeover that went beyond a new paint job. For several weeks this spring, CLC students replaced old, rusty bolts with new ones, and they sandblasted away the old paint before giving the trailer a new coat of white, said Octavio Cavazos, chair of CLC’s automotive collision repair department. Besides upbeat graphics, the tagline, “Hope in Every Storm,” appears in large capital letters. “We could not have done this without CLC,” said Jeff Berard, response-team director for Journey Church, which has congregations in Kenosha, Burlington, WI, and Beach Park, IL. “The trailer becomes someone’s hope, announcing that help has


arrived, whether getting water out of a flooded basement or gathering belongings after a tornado. The students did a wonderful job of turning an old trailer into a work of art. They also expanded their knowledge and learned a little more on how to navigate successfully in life by serving their fellow human beings.”

about 20 to 25 per disaster. “After the first responders have finished their work during and immediately after a disaster, our volunteers come in and help with the recovery process and long-term support for individuals and families who have been affected,” said Ray Knight, a leader of the team. “We coordinate our ef-

The trailer houses generators, power tools, safety equipment and other items used by Journey’s newly formed response team. Designed to serve communities in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, the team so far has helped families in Madison, WI, recover from flooding, and they have assisted a Racine family whose house was destroyed by fire. The pool of about 100 volunteers will be trained by area fire and emergency-management professionals in basics of helping local authorities in any disaster, working in shifts of

forts with emergency-management professionals and the work of our team fills a definite gap.” CLC President Lori Suddick, Ed.D., said, “This joint effort between Journey Church and our automotive collision repair program is a great example of the college’s core principles—to deliver highquality, accessible learning opportunities to advance student success and strengthen the diverse communities we serve.” Offering students a practical, service-learning opportunity to apply

“We coordinate our efforts with emergencymanagement professionals and the work of our team fills a definite gap.” — Ray Knight


their skills is a “win-win” for all parties, noted Dr. Richard Ammon, dean of CLC’s Engineering, Math and Physical Sciences division. “Our college is in the transformation business. Students who learn practical career skills are more valuable to themselves, their families and their community.” One student who found the trailer-restoration project rewarding is Alexander Arce, a Wauconda resident majoring in automotive collision repair. “It was really cool to work with others, represent the college and make a difference,” said Arce, who plans to earn an A.A.S. degree in 2020 and find a job in a collision repair shop. “It was also pretty fun.” To learn more about the Journey Disaster Team, visit For details on CLC’s automotive collision repair program, visit Fall classes begin Aug. 19. To view course offerings and learn how to become a CLC student, visit www We thank for reprint permission.

NABA to Host Two Roundtable Events by Chasidy Rae Sisk

The Nebraska Auto Body Association (NABA) will be hosting two roundtable events in July in collaboration with industry vendors. On Thursday, July 11, St. PJ Supply Inc. and NABA will host an estimating roundtable, “How to Get Paid for What You Are Doing,” from 4 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the Seward Lied Senior Center in Seward, NE. The event will begin with a new product open house at St. PJ Supply’s store on 237 S. 12th St., where refreshments will be provided. The roundtable will be facilitated by NABA President David Yard and NABA Board Member James Rodis. Yard and Rodis will also facilitate the roundtable NABA will hold at Auto Body Supply on Thursday, July 25 from 6-9 p.m. Topics of conversation will include business practices, gross margins, OEM procedures, estimates and more. For more information about NABA and its events, visit nebraska

Missouri Vehicle Safety Inspection Program Still at Risk by Chasidy Rae Sisk

A press release distributed by an automotive association falsely eluded that the Missouri vehicle safety inspection program was no longer at risk since House Bill 451 did not pass through the Senate this session.

The Midwest Auto Care Alliance (MWACA) and AASP-MO issued a press release clarifying, “Even though Rep J. Eggleston’s House Bill 451 did not make it through the Senate, the same wording was added to other bills which were passed several weeks ago. AASP-MO and the

MWACA have worked hard to represent both the industry and consumer in keeping this safety program intact.” Representatives from MWACA and AASP-MO attended multiple hearings on this legislation and have actively opposed this issue. The two organizations worked together in unity to maintain the Missouri safety inspection program, said Ron Reiling, executive director of AASP-MO. “It is still in effect, but is weakened with the ten-year, 150,000mile exemption,” he added. “We’ve strengthened the automotive service in Missouri by working together.” Reiling said the Missouri Telecommunications Industry Association (MTIA) and the American Automobile Association (AAA) also helped to bear witness in front of the House and Senate in opposition of the legislation. “The program still remains at risk from legislation being introduced next session to just go ahead and repeal the program, because we are only inspecting 51 percent of the vehicles,” he said. Amendments were added to Sen-

ate Bill 89 and Senate Bill 147 that would “water down this important safety program,” the release warned. “The newly added amendments on both of these bills exempt vehicles ten years of age or less and with less than 150,000 miles. These bills both passed and currently sit on Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s desk awaiting his signature to become law.” MWACA and AASP-MO urge the industry to support Missouri’s vehicle safety inspection program by asking Gov. Parson to refrain from signing these bills which would weaken the program. Updated information on the legislation impacting Missouri’s vehicle safety inspection program can be found at For more information on MWACA, visit For more information on AASP-MO, visit



Autobody News / JULY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


KABA Scores Huge Success With First Trade Show by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On April 26-27, the Kansas Auto Body Association (KABA) hosted its first trade show at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, KS.

positive experience.” Hoberecht said KABA’s goal is to put on relevant events for members, so that body shop owners can

ing the movement. The event began on the evening of April 26 with a mixer, sponsored by Mitchell, followed by a State of the Industry address delivered by Mike Anderson of Collision Advice. Anderson provided an all-day training session on Saturday, April 27.

Mike Anderson delivered a State of the Industry address on Friday, April 26. Credit: Chasidy Rae Sisk

Jeff Oldenettel, KABA president, addresses attendees. Credit: Chasidy Rae Sisk

KABA’s vendor expo was open throughout the trade show. Credit: Chasidy Rae Sisk

KABA’s first trade show was a huge success. Credit: Chasidy Rae Sisk

“We feel like our first ever KABA trade show was a huge success, said Clay Hoberecht, KABA board member. The vendors were interactive with members and felt as though they received plenty of value for participating. Overall, it was a

Mike Anderson’s all-day training session on Saturday, April 27. Credit: Chasidy Rae Sisk

better understand their business as well as their customers. Local body shops need to see the benefits of join-

St. Louis I-CAR Committee Prepares for Sept. 27 Job Fair by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On May 17, the St. Louis I-CAR Committee met at Ranken Technical College for its bi-monthly meeting to discuss the committee’s upcoming goals and initiatives. “People are getting involved which is great for the committee and the market,” said Shelly Jones, committee chair. “We had 30 people attend our meeting including collision shop reps, vendors, instructors, students and Robbie Saladino, our I-CAR regional business development principal. It was a great mix of the industry.” Gene Slattery, committee education coordinator, provided an update on the group’s Sept. 27 job fair. “We anticipate approximately 750 automotive and collision students in attendance again this year,” Jones shared. “Our liaisons work with the schools and the students to prepare them for this amazing opportunity. We coach students to take advantage of the event because it could take months or years to see the people that are hiring at these companies.” This year, the St. Louis I-CAR 12

Committee worked with CREF to design a survey which was sent to students in April requesting their contact information, background, the program they are enrolled in and the date they are available for hire. This information was provided to the sponsors signed up for the job fair. Jones explained, “Doug Slattery, ATI, handles all the sponsor updates and was able to send a list of 65 students to the sponsors that signed up by May 1,” Jones said. “A repeat of the survey will be sent to students in August and the results will be shared with our sponsors in September. This will give sponsors the opportunity to look over the list a couple of weeks prior to the job fair.” Slattery contributed, “It was a great meeting with good suggestions and participation.” The St. Louis I-CAR Committee will next meet at Ranken Technical on July 11. For more information on the St. Louis I-CAR Committee, visit: Committee/.


“According to all the feedback we received, we exceeded our own expectations,” Hoberecht said. “Our board members worked hard to put on the best trade show we could; and, now

“Mike Anderson was absolutely amazing in discussing the current state of the industry and how we can prepare for the immediate future,” Hoberecht said. The trade show also included a vendor expo that was open during all educational sessions. Hoberecht said he appreciates the vendors and all they do to add value to each and every member.

that we have the first one wrapped up, we are excited to improve upon our upcoming events.”

For more information about KABA and its future events, visit kansasaba .com.


TWITTER : @autobodynews / JULY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Car Insurance Laws Are Changing in Michigan by Steven Gursten, JD Supra

The new Michigan No-Fault law was passed by the Michigan Legislature today. Lawmakers in the House of Representatives voted 94 to 15 in favor the No-Fault reform plan in Senate Bill 1 and the Senate concurred by a vote of 34 to 4. Senate Bill 1 now goes to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is expected to sign the bill into law. In an early morning statement on May 24, Gov. Whitmer stated she was looking “forward to working with the legislature to pass and sign this important [bipartisan auto nofault reform] legislation into law.” In the late afternoon, after the House and Senate had passed Senate Bill 1, Gov. Whitmer praised the Legislature’s “truly historic . . . vote,” which resulted in the “passage” of the new Michigan No-Fault law: “This plan will help drivers from Detroit all the way to the U.P. It guarantees lower auto insurance rates for eight years, protects people’s choice to pick their own insurance and coverage options while preserving the safety net, and bans insurance companies from using discriminatory non-driving factors when setting rates.” Michigan’s auto No-Fault law has now undergone substantial and very significant changes that will affect every driver in Michigan. Here’s what has changed with the new Michigan No-Fault law No-Fault PIP Choice: No longer will all drivers be required by law to purchase unlimited No-Fault Michigan PIP benefits. Drivers now will have the choice of the following NoFault medical benefit coverage levels: $50,000 (if a driver is enrolled in Medicaid); $250,000; $500,000; or “no limit.”

Opt-Out of No-Fault PIP medical benefits: Drivers with Medicare may “elect to not maintain coverage” for No-Fault PIP medical benefits.

Savings for drivers: The driving force behind today’s new No-Fault law has been the public outcry over 14

the high costs of auto insurance. That pressure got to politicians on both sides to do something to lower auto insurance prices. For policies effective after July 1, 2020, and before July 1, 2028, the new Michigan NoFault law promises 45% savings for drivers who opt for the $50,000 cap on No-Fault PIP medical benefits; 35% savings for drivers who opt for

Michigan catastrophic claims association: Under the new Michigan No-Fault law the MCCA would continue to be liable for catastrophic injury benefits payable under policies issued or renewed before July 2, 2020 and for policies after July 1, 2020 where drivers have opted to maintain unlimited No-Fault PIP medical benefits. Drivers who decide to cap their

“This plan will help drivers from Detroit all the way to the U.P. It guarantees lower auto insurance rates for eight years,” — Gretchen Whitmer

the $250,000 cap; 20% savings for drivers who choose the $500,000 cap; and 10% savings for drivers who wish to have “no limit” and maintain their unlimited No-Fault medical benefits. Meanwhile, for drivers who opt-out of No-Fault PIP medical benefits altogether, they will see 100% savings on the No-Fault PIP medical portion of their auto insurance bill. It is important to note that all of these savings are limited only to the No-Fault PIP portion of your auto insurance bill, not to your entire auto insurance bill. The PIP portion is estimated to be approximately 35% to 44% of your total auto insurance premium. Therefore it is reasonable to expect that for most drivers who currently find auto insurance to be unaffordable, this new No-Fault law will fail to make any meaningful difference. Savings for auto insurance companies: There was always going to be a carve-out for the insurance companies. The new Michigan No-Fault law allows insurers to avoid reducing their premiums if they can demonstrate to the Insurance Commissioner that the new law’s mandatory rate reductions would violate their constitutional rights and/or leave them at risk of having too little “capital.” While these significant changes have now been made to our auto law, there is still no transparency on what insurance companies profit margins have been these many years. The adage to “measure twice, cut once” has been ignored by both the House and Senate Republicans and Democratic Gov. Whitmer.


No-Fault benefits or opt-out altogether will still be required to pay annual MCCA assessments to cover deficits. Finally, the MCCA will pay refunds to drivers if the actuarial examination shows that MCCA assets exceed 120% of the MCCA’s liabilities. The refund will be the difference between excess and 120% of liabilities. No-Fault medical-provider fee

schedule: A No-Fault fee schedule based on the Medicare fee schedule would be created and it would govern charges from doctors, hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation facilities and any provider who cares for and treats car accident victims. Depending on the type of facility involved—whether a substantial portion of its patients are indigent, whether it is a freestanding rehabilitation facility or a Level I or II Trauma Center—reimbursement will range from 190% to 250% of the amount payable under Medicare. Passing along savings from No-Fault medical-provider fee: The savings that auto insurance companies realize as a result of the No-Fault medical provider fee schedule must be passed along to drivers in form of lower premium rates. Auto insurers will be required to document these savings in their rate filings to the Director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS). Auto insurance premium rates and pricing factors that cannot be con- / JULY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


sidered: Auto insurers cannot base premium rates on such non-driving factors as: sex, marital status, home ownership, education level attained, occupation and the postal zone in which the insured resides and credit score. Mini tort: The Michigan mini tort law’s maximum recovery limit will increase from $1,000 to $3,000.

Tolling of the one-year-back rule: Under our existing No-Fault law, when a car accident victim has been denied or cut-off from No-Fault benefits and sues to recover for unpaid and overdue benefits, he or she “may not recover benefits for any portion of the loss incurred more than one year before the date on which the action was commenced.” (MCL 500.3145(1)) The new Michigan No-Fault law provides that this “limitation . . . is tolled from the date the person claiming the benefits makes a specific claim for the benefits until the date the insurer formally denies the claim.” However, the bill cautions that tolling “does not apply if the person claiming the benefits fails to pursue the claim with reasonable diligence.” Independent medical examinations by insurance company doctors: The new Michigan No-Fault law imposes the following rules for IMEs of car accident victims by insurance company-hired IME doctors: (1) The IME doctors must be licensed in Michigan; (2) The examining IME doctor must be a licensed, board certified, or board eligible physician qualified to practice in the area of medicine appropriate to treat the car accident victim’s condition; (3) During the year before an IME, the IME doctor must have devoted a

majority of professional time to clinical practice of medicine/specialty or teaching in an accredited medical school. Attendant care: Auto insurers are not required to pay for more than 56 hours per week of No-Fault in-home, family-provided attendant care.

Anti-fraud unit: The new Michigan No-Fault law will create an Anti-Fraud Unit to investigate all “criminal and fraudulent activities in the insurance market.”

Insurance Commissioner involvement when insurers refuse to pay No-Fault benefits: The new Michigan No-Fault law requires the Insurance Commissioner to create a page on the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) website describing how the Insurance Commissioner “may be able to assist a person who believes that an automobile insurer is not paying benefits, not making timely payments, or otherwise not performing as it is obligated to do under an insurance policy.” Additionally, the Insurance Commissioner would be required to create a website page that “allows a person to report insurance fraud and unfair settlement and claims practices.”

Higher liability limits: Liability limits refer to the insurance you take out to protect yourself if you cause a car accident and injure another driver. Before today, drivers were required to carry liability bodily injury insurance with mandatory minimum limits of $20,000 for bodily injury or death to one person in one car crash or $40,000 for two or more persons in one car crash. The new Michigan No-Fault law would increase those

onPeak Returns as SEMA Show Provider

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is partnering with onPeak to provide SEMA attendees with affordable and reliable housing options for the 2019 SEMA Show. Available through www.sema, hotel room reservations may be made at nearly 40 hotels throughout Las Vegas, NV. Housing in Las Vegas during the SEMA Show has been known to sell out and may be limited. Rooms booked through on16

Peak include guaranteed low rates, no hidden fees and may be canceled without penalty. “SEMA showgoers have options as to where to stay during the SEMA Show,” said Tom Gattuso, SEMA vice president of events. “Through onPeak, attendees have dozens of hotels from which to choose, all at the lowest possible cost.” The 2019 SEMA Show taking place Nov. 5-8, 2019, in Las Vegas, is the premier automotive trade-only show in the world.


minimum limits to $50,000 and $100,000 respectively. A new “default” residual bodily injury limit of $250,000 and $500,000 will be offered to drivers, with drivers able to elect more or less liability coverage should they so choose, but not less than the new mandatory minimums of $50,000/$100,000. Suing for excess medical benefits: Under the new Michigan No-Fault law, a person injured in a car accident can sue for excess medical costs and economic expenses, i.e., those medical costs and expenses that will exceed the dollar amount of the NoFault PIP cap amount they have selected. Michigan now becomes like most other states in this regard, and the amount of coverage available in the insurance policy liability limits of the wrongdoer negligent driver becomes much more important. Serious impairment of body function threshold for pain and suffering compensation: Under the new Michigan No-Fault law, a car accident victim will be required to satisfy the new definition of a “serious im-

pairment of body function” in order to be able to sue for pain and suffering compensation. Specifically, the new Michigan No-Fault law defines a “serious impairment of body function” as an “impairment” that: “is objectively manifested, meaning it is observable or perceivable from actual symptoms or conditions by someone other than the injured person”; “is an impairment of an important body function, which is a body function of great value, significance or consequence to the injured person”; “affects the injured person’s general ability to lead his or her normal life, meaning it has had an influence on some of the person’s capacity to live in his or her normal manner of living. Although temporal considerations may be relevant, there is no temporal requirement for how long an impairment must last. This examination is inherently fact and circumstance specific to each injured person. It must be conducted on a case-by-case basis, and requires comparison of the injured person’s life before and after the incident.” We thank JD Supra for reprint permission.

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Scott Simmons Visits ASA-OH for ‘Estimating Best Practices’ Seminar

New Minnesota Bill Aims to Prohibit Insurers From Certain Actions

by Chasidy Rae Sisk

by Emmariah Holcomb,

ASA-OH hosted Scott Simmons of Collision Advice for two Estimating Best Practices seminars. On May 10, Simmons presented at Ohio Auto Kolor in Columbus and the May 11 event was held at the Education Service Center in Independence, Ohio.

“The event was well attended at both locations,” said Matt Dougher, ASA-OH executive director. “Attendees said the information provided will help them better serve their customers and will make their shops more profitable.” Dougher said Simmons held an excellent eight-hour course on


estimates. All who attended earned six I-CAR credits and 11 Ami credit. “Scott covered how the latest ADAS systems have changed the way our industry writes a proper estimate,” Dougher added. The seminar focused on Collision Advice’s proven approach to writing a repair plan for a safe and proper repair—beginning with scanning the vehicle and researching OEM procedures. Simmons then guided attendees through the damage-analysis process. He completed a 100 percent disassembly and properly documented the damage to assist with insurer negotiations and reimbursements. “ASA Ohio has been a leader in providing continuing education for the automotive repair industry for decades,” Dougher said. “Continuing education is the key to future success and profitability.” For more information on ASA-OH and its events, visit


A Minnesota bill that aims to “prohibit an adjuster or insurer from certain actions relating to motor vehicle repairs and claims,” was recently introduced in the House. The bill, also known as H 2919 seeks to remove portions of the existing law and has been referred to the House Commerce Committee. One portion H 2919 aims to remove is the advisory which asks, “Have you selected a repair shop or would you like a referral?” and looks to add the following: “An insurer is prohibited from attempting to influence the insured’s or claimant’s choice of repair shop.” The current law requires an insurer to provide the following advisory to the insured at the time a claim is reported: “You have the legal right to choose a repair shop to fix your vehicle. Your policy will cover the reasonable costs of repairing your vehicle to its pre-accident condition no matter where you have repairs made. Have you selected a repair shop or would you like a referral?”

If passed, H 2919 also would prohibit insurers from doing the following: • [Specifying] a price for a part or other materials necessary for the satisfactory repair of the vehicle; or [requiring] a vehicle to be repaired with a specific part or product solely because it is the least expensive part or product available; • [Requiring] a vehicle to be repaired with a part that costs less than the reasonable and necessary amount of the part. For purposes of this section ‘reasonable and necessary amount’ means the amount determined by the original equipment manufacturer and estimating systems required to repair a vehicle to the condition before the damage to the vehicle occurred; and • [Disregarding] a repair operation or cost identified by an estimating system, including the system’s procedural pages and any repair, process, or procedure recommended by the original equipment manufacturer of a part or product. We thank for reprint permission.

NABC Recycled Rides Program Donates Three Refurbished Vehicles to St. Louis Veterans On Monday, June 3, three deserving St. Louis veterans experienced a lifechanging event—the presentation of

Bill Garoutte, president and CEO of the NABC.

The recipients included: • Karen Cooksey served in the military from 1983 to 1989. She has endured debilitating spinal pain, endured several failed surgeries and has had issues with diabetes. These conditions made it impossible for her to work, so she became homeless—living in her Jeep. “It’s just unbelievably exciting,” said Cooksey. “The Three cars are unveiled to St. Louis veterans in need of car is sharp—it’s a beautiful cars. Credit: NABC car.” vehicles to provide them independ- • Adelita Ousley is a proud Navy ence and the ability to work and take veteran having served on active duty care of their families. The presentation was held at the NABC Gateway Pars for Cars Golf Fundraiser at the Boone Valley Golf Club, in Augusta, MO. The deserving veterans were selected by H.E.R.O.E.S Care (Homefront Enabling Relationships, Opportunities and Empowerment through Support). “All three of these St. Louis community members served their country Karen Cooksey in her new car, alongside and were honorably discharged,” said GEICO. Credit: NABC

for eight years from 1988 to 1996. Ousley reached out to H.E.R.O.E.S. to help get her life back on track after

was the National Guard emblem. I appreciate everything the NABC and these people have given to me.” • Melvin Wright spent a total of 23 years of combined active and reserve duty in the U.S. Army. He served in the US Army from 1971-1973, enlist-

Adelita Ousley is in awe of the organizations that came together to surprise her with a new refurbished car. Credit: NABC CARSTAR Joins Melvin Wright and his family. Credit: NABC

ing during Vietnam and serving his active duty time in Germany. He is now retired and disabled. The National Guard emblem on Ousley’s new car. Credit: NABC

suffering from a serious illness, a major vehicle breakdown, a pending divorce, depression and PTSD. “The car is beautiful,” said Ousley. “The very first thing I noticed

“Well today I am blessed,” said Wright. “I want to thank each and everyone here, mainly my Lord Jesus Christ, for making this happen for us.” / JULY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


GM to Invest $24 Million to Expand Full Size Truck Production at Indiana Plant General Motors Co. (GM) is making a new round of upgrades to its Fort Wayne, IN, Assembly plant to further increase production of the allnew Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups—especially crew cab models.

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra meets with plant employees at the GM Fort Wayne Assembly plant Thursday, May 30, 2019 before announcing the company is investing $24 million in the plant to expand production of full size Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups in Roanoke, IN. Credit: Ryan Hake for General Motors

“We are building Chevrolet and GMC crew cab pickups at record volume and mix levels to meet customer demand and the $24 million investment will allow us to build even more,” said Mary Barra, GM

chairman and CEO. “The team here at Fort Wayne has done an outstanding job helping us satisfy customers throughout this launch. Our product ramp-up was very smooth and the quality has been exceptional. Crew

A GMC Sierra 1500 pickup on the assembly line at the General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly plant Tuesday, May 14, 2019 in Roanoke, IN. GM announced Thursday, May 30, 2019. Credit: Ryan Hake for General Motors

cab sales have been very strong, and we are expanding customer choice with new models, more cab choices and innovative new powertrains.” Combined sales of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab pickups, which launched in the second half of 2018, were up 20 percent in the first quarter of 2019 versus a year ago. GM is projecting another significant increase for the

second quarter. Customer deliveries of the double-cab models built in Fort Wayne began during the first quarter.

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra meets with plant employees at the GM Fort Wayne Assembly plant Thursday, May 30, 2019. Credit: Shane Pequignot for General Motors

The $24 million will be invested to further enhance the plant’s conveyors and other tooling to support the increased production. The work will be completed this summer. GM has invested more than $1.2 billion in the plant since 2015. Since 2009, GM has invested $23 billion in U.S. manufacturing— more than one-quarter of every dollar spent by automakers. Obtained via

Veterans Encouraged to Become Entrepreneurs

Maaco Collision Repair and Auto Painting, the leader in the $43 billion automotive paint and collision industry, and a longtime supporter of our nation’s veterans, is proud to announce significant financial incentives for veterans who want to become entrepreneurs. A new franchisee who qualifies as a veteran will receive a substantial reduction on the initial franchise fee, as well as a reduction on the royalty fees during the first two years of a new Maaco center’s operations. “Veterans bring with them skills learned throughout their service - such as a strong work ethic, determination and a get-itdone attitude that make them successful entrepreneurs,” said Bob Benjamin, president of Maaco and former Colonel in the U.S. Army. To learn more about franchising opportunities with Maaco, visit: or contact Mason Bennett at mbennett

Matt’s Service Center Opens Temporary Moorhead, MN, Location by Angie Wieck, Inforum

Matt’s Service Center has opened a temporary location here at 1321 Center Ave. in Moorhead, MN, after heavy snow caused the roof to collapse at its original location in March. Owner Matt Lachowitzer said the service center at 1234 1st Ave. N. has been deemed a total loss. His staff is currently in the process of moving everything out so demolition can begin. He said he plans to rebuild and is currently working with an architect to design a new location that will give customers the best experience possible. If all goes well, he hopes to be back at the original site by March. Lachowitzer thanked his customers for their patience and loyalty. “We would like to first thank our customers who continued to come to us even though we were not in Moorhead anymore and for how many phone calls and genuine care and support that was given to us,” he said. “Without them, we don’t exist, so thank you.” In addition to the temporary 20

Moorhead location, Matt’s Automotive operates service centers at 1150 43 1/2 St. S. and 1617 32nd Ave. S. and a collision center at 6108 53rd Ave. S., all in Fargo, ND.

KELLY BMW Matt’s Automotive has been deemed a total loss following a roof collapse this winter. They’ve opened a temporary location at 1321 Center Ave. in Moorhead until they rebuild. Credit: David Samson, The Forum

The business is hosting a rock concert in celebration of ten years in business June 22 at the 1150 43 1/2 St. S. location. The show will feature music from Warrant, Slaughter and Unleashed. For more information, visit We thank Inforum for reprint permission.


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Ionia County, MI, Legislators Share Thoughts on Auto Insurance Reform by Elisabeth Waldon, Daily News

Legislators say they are closer than ever to reaching an agreement on auto insurance reform, but they remain uncertain what the final product will look like. Sen. John Bizon, R-Battle Creek, Rep. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, and Rep. Julie Calley, R-Portland, were the featured speakers at the Ionia County Republican Party meeting on May 16. “We want to make sure everybody is educated and that we are transparent,” Chairwoman Miranda Sharp Boisseau, Republican Party chairwoman, told the audience of about 20 people. “I think it’s important to give citizens the opportunity to learn and be informed. Keeping government transparent to the voters is one of our goals.”

From left to right, Sen. John Bizon, R-Battle Creek, Rep. Julie Calley, R-Portland, and Rep. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, spoke about auto insurance reform during Thursday’s Ionia County Republican Party meeting. Credit: Courtesy of Daily News / Elisabeth Waldon

Earlier this month, the Michigan House and Senate each approved their own versions of auto insurance reform plans they say would fix many issues: reduce rates and give drivers more choice on personal injury protection coverage, stop price gouging on medical services for car accident victims and combat fraudulent claims to help lower costs. The proposals are aimed at ending Michigan’s long-standing tenure as the state with the costliest car insurance rates in the nation. Michigan is the only state which mandates unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance. “We have a three-tiered system, if you will, we have those who can afford this expensive health care — auto insurance policy’s a very expensive health care portion of it — and then there’s those that can’t afford it and they drive without insurance, and then we have those that move out of 22

the state,” Albert summarized. “It’s not a very good set of options for people in Michigan to have. What the goal of the bill is, is to add choice and options, let’s add some options that people can actually afford.” “I think this speaks very highly of leadership in both chambers (House and Senate),” Calley agreed. “This is two bodies who really want to make a change that people have been asking for that we believe is overdue. We are the only state that says we know better than you. We’re going to tell you what you have to purchase. You don’t run into that with your life insurance, your health insurance, your homeowners’ insurance. This is an anomaly.” Bizon said the House and Senate are close to reaching an agreement: “This is the closest that we’ve ever been.” “There are still some changes that I’d love to see,” Bizon said. “I don’t think this is our very best product when it comes to making it as cheap as possible, but in politics, it’s the art of possible rather than the art of what is actually best. If we make further changes, the concern is that there are a number of people on the House side that would not be willing to go along with us.” “Your real question is, how close are we to getting the governor something to sign?” Bizon cautioned. “We had caucus together on May 16 and we’re trying hard to make sure that we have something she can sign, but by the same token, we aren’t willing to give up your savings in this program. Some of the things that she is requesting is going to affect your rates. I would anticipate that no matter what we send to her, she’s going to have the option of vetoing it and then she can explain to you why she did it.”

Red-Lining Albert addressed concerns about redlining, the practice of refusing a loan or insurance to someone, because they live in an area deemed to be a poor financial risk. “What that means is they’ll claim the use of non-driving factors to set someone’s auto rate is unfair, which it can be if it’s done in the wrong way,” Albert said. “They’ll say your zip code shouldn’t deter-


mine what your rate is, your gender shouldn’t determine what your rate is. So one thing we added in this bill, which differentiates us from the Senate, is a specifying statute that auto insurers are not able to use factors

Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, explains how he wants to add more options and affordability to auto insurance in Michigan, as Rep. Julie Calley, R-Portland, listens during Thursday’s Ionia County Republican Party meeting. Credit: Courtesy of Daily News / Elisabeth Waldon

that cannot reasonably be explained. They have to explain it to DIFS (the Department of Insurance & Financial Services), which is the insurance regulator in the state of Michigan which is run by the governor.” “The thing about zip codes that people don’t really think of, the risks of driving in Ionia County are differ-

ent than that of Kalamazoo or Flint or the city of Detroit,” Albert noted. “More people in the car equals more risk. That’s why where you live matters. That’s why it was addressed in our bill and I think it’s fair.” Turf War? Kyle Butler, Ionia County prosecutor, mentioned Attorney General Dana Nessel’s comments last week regarding the House and Senate auto insurance bills. According to the Detroit Free Press, Nessel called the bills “a gift to criminals” and said they would gut her office’s efforts to reduce auto insurance fraud. “Is her concern valid, I guess is what I’m wondering?” Butler asked. Calley’s husband, Brian Calley, was present in the audience and weighed in on this. “It’s a turf thing,” the former lieutenant governor said. “It’s an authority that rests with the Attorney General now and it would be moved. You do have to keep in mind that the Attorney General has very directly See Ionia County, Page 24

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GM Digital Vehicle Platform Debuts

Today, Mark Reuss, General Motors (GM) president, debuted the company’s all-new electronic platform necessary for its next-generation of vehicles, EVs, active safety, infotainment and connectivity features, and the evolution of the Super Cruise driver assistance feature. Debuting on the recently-unveiled 2020 Cadillac CT5 sedan, the electronic platform will go into production later this year and should be rolled out to most vehicles within GM’s global lineup by 2023. The new architecture also provides more rapid communications within the vehicle itself and to outside sources thanks to Ethernet connections of 100Mbps, 1Gbps, and 10Gbps. “The critical role of software and its importance to our vehicles, both now and for years to come, cannot be overstated,” said Reuss. “Our new digital vehicle platform and its eventual successors will underpin all our future innovations across a wide range of technological advancements, including EVs and expanded automated driving.” Continued from Page 22

Ionia County

said that some laws if she doesn’t think she agrees with, she’s not going to enforce.” “This is clearly a priority of the legislature, so naturally they want to make sure it is enforced,” he added. Auto Insurance Reform Plan Proposed By Michigan House Lower Rates People who choose to opt out will see 100% personal injury protection (PIP) rollback and save an average of $1,200 per year. People who choose the $50,000 option will see 80% PIP rollback and save an average of $960 per year. People who choose the $250,000 option will see 60% rollback and save an average of $720 per year. People who choose the $500,000 option will see 30% PIP rollback and save an average of $360 per year. People who choose unlimited (no change from current) will see 10% PIP rollback and save an aver24

Minnesota Representative Introduces Aggressive Anti-Steering Bill by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On May 20, Minnesota State Rep. Mary Franson (R) introduced House File 2919, an aggressive bill targeting insurer steering and price-driven part selection. Already, a repair procedure bill, House File 2234, has been introduced which was sponsored by Rep. Ruth Richardson (DFL) and is eligible for consideration during the 2020 legislative session which begins February 11, 2020. HF 2919 would strictly address the issue of steering by prohibiting insurance companies from “suggesting or requiring as a condition of payment of a claim that repairs to any damaged vehicle must be made by a particular contractor or repair shop or that parts, other than window glass, must be replaced with parts other than OE parts.” While current Minnesota law prevents insurers from “engaging in any act or practice of intimidation, coercion, threat, incentive or inducements for or against an insured to use a particular contract or repair shop,” HF 2919 would remove the exception for “benefits included within preferred vendor programs.” This would

force insurers to adhere to the requirement regardless of whether the consumer used a DRP shop or a nonDRP shop.

Current law only prevents insurers from attempting to influence shop choice after the consumers have chosen a shop. However, this legislation would prohibit any attempt at influencing shop choice, including insurance companies offering to refer the consumer to a shop. MN 72A.201, Subdivision 6, Clause (7) allows carriers to request recycled parts, though it forbids them from requiring policyholders to accept any aftermarket parts other than glass, and despite the intent of HF 2234 to prohibit insurers

from conditioning payment on procedures and specifications that conflict with OEM recommendations, it defers to Clause (7), thus allowing insurers the right to request recycled parts even if contrary to OEM’s recommended procedures and specifications. HF 2919 expands upon this concept by prohibiting insurers from “specify[ing] a price for a part or other materials necessary for the satisfactory repair of the vehicle.” Additionally, under HF 2919, insurers would be unable to “disregard a repair operation or cost identified by an estimating system,” removing the leeway provided by the inclusion of the terms “unilaterally and arbitrarily” in current state law. Language in HF 2919 also prohibits insurers’ ability to “disregard a repair operation or cost identified by an estimating system, including the system’s procedural pages and any repair, process or procedure recommended by the OEM of a part or product.”

age of $120 per year. Lower Medical Costs, Better Care A new fee schedule prevents widespread abuse and patients being forced to pay three or four times what a medical service actually costs. New, higher standards for specialists require national accreditation to protect consumers. New limits on attendant care stop one of the most common abuses and frauds that drive up costs for everyone else. Differences From Michigan Senate Plan Lower rates: Guaranteed rate rollbacks. Lower medical costs, better care: New, additional standards for specialists to provide better care to injured drivers; and post-acute brain/spinal injury providers must be nationally accredited to be reimbursed. Choices for drivers: Adds the unlimited option (no change from current) and the $500,000 option. We thank The Daily News for reprint permission.



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Continued from Cover

Non-OEM Parts

to prevent insurers from calling for the use of non-OEM part and industry-accepted repair practices, he said. However, he said, the dealership shop sued by the Seebachans was “unable to provide evidence that [the repair process they used] was provided by the insurer.” “The insurer did not force them to follow a certain procedure,” Colas said. “They chose not to, because they didn’t feel they would get paid for the [automaker repair] process which is why the verdict was against the body shop. They chose profits over morals.” The reality, Colas said, is that nothing prevents body shops from following OEM procedures. The industry regularly uses “best practices” in the many situations in which a documents OEM procedure doesn’t exist. It is “hypocritical” of the repair industry to back legislation mandating insurers to pay for OEM repair procedures if shops aren’t also required to follow them, he said.

“There is no penalty against the body shop” in most of the proposed state bills, Colas said. “They’re going after the deep pocket—it’s the insurer’ fault.” Such legislation is being backed by automakers as part of their push for the use of OEM parts as called for in their position statements, he added. “Our position is, as creative as they are, with utilizing this mechanism to restrict the use of aftermarket parts,” Colas said. “Why don’t they use that same level of creativity to get paid [for following OEM procedures]?” Colas acknowledged that proponents of some of the state bills calling for the use of OEM procedures offered assurances that the legislation was meant to address repair procedures only, not to impact parts choice. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said in December it views the OEM procedure issue as “separate and discrete from the question of what parts are used. In March, the alliance urged Connecticut lawmakers to amend the bill to make it clear it is not an effort to limit the use of non-OEM parts.

Colas said opponents of such legislation “should have never trusted them,” because automakers and shops only sought to amend the bills after the non-OEM parts industry opposed the bills in several states. The proponents of OEM procedure legis-

CCC’s Bill Langley said results of a survey the company commissioned showed consumers feel uninformed about choosing a collision repair shop

lation want to use their own wording for any amendment related to parts rather than letting the alternative parts industry “write the exemption language” that it wants, he added. “The problem is we don’t understand the terminology they are using in different states, and what

loopholes they are creating [in the legislation],” Colas said. “They are several years ahead of us. They know what they’re planning to do— utilizing technology and processes five to ten years from now—whereas we don’t have that insight. So obviously we’re very concerned with anything they propose on our behalf. Let us propose what’s best for us and our industry.” Bill Langley, director of strategy at CCC Information Services, discussed a consumer survey commissioned by CCC that may signal the company is looking to play a larger role in how vehicle owners choose a collision repair shop. Langely said CCC worked with Magid to interview 7,000 consumers who had collision repairs to a vehicle in the previous two years. “They were very unsatisfied about finding a repair facility,” Langley said in summarizing the survey findings. “They were more satisfied with the end repair than with the process they were going through” in choosing a shop. Consumers were asked about See Non-OEM Parts, Page 35


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Continued from Cover

Fix Auto USA

looking for quality and efficient service for their customers. All of our locations are owner-operated, and our culture is that of a family. We truly have one common brand and we deploy a team of Fix Claims Solutions (FCS) professionals unlike any other brand in the industry,” said Gange. Throughout the four-day conference, presentations were given on a wide range of topics to educate attendees and help them continue to build successful businesses. These included building a talent strategy, developing a new generation of estimators and technicians, ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) and elevating the customer experience through valuesdriven leadership. “The energy and thought leadership at our conference is extraordinary,” said Dennis O’Mahoney, vice president of business development. “It is exciting to facilitate the dialogue between our Fix Auto USA franchises and our industry partners as we work together to solve the issues of the in-

dustry today. “Each of our franchise locations views the next as a ‘collaborator’ versus a ‘competitor’ even if they’re in the same market. So, bringing together our entire family is not only critical to our success, but to our culture,” he continued. “When you have our entrepreneurs—the franchise partners—

More than 275 attendees gathered in Carlsbad, CA, at the Omni La Costa Resort for the 17th Annual Fix Auto USA Conference: Family Value(s). Credit: Fix Auto USA

working together towards a common objective, the outcome is a tighter bond that delivers better results.” Jim Huard discussed the Fix Auto Dashboard, which was developed by Erick Bickett, co-founder of Fix Auto USA and co-owner of eight Fix Auto USA locations, and Huard, regional managing partner of three

of Bickett’s locations: Fix Auto Anaheim, Fix Auto Costa Mesa and Fix Auto Irvine. Over the last three years, Bickett and Huard built the dashboard with the assistance of other franchise partners. The dashboard consolidates data points from multiple disparate systems onto one screen and refreshes the data in real time. During the event, VeriFacts Automotive co-founder and CEO Farzam Afshar presented Fix Auto USA an award for achieving the highest percentage of VeriFacts VQ Medallion shops of any collision repair brand in the world. VeriFacts’ VQ Medallion represents the highest level of shop repair quality and expertise. This year, more than $50,000 was raised for the Fix Auto USA— Tim Clark Memorial Scholarship, which awards scholarships to those looking to enter the collision repair industry. The scholarship was named after Clark, the Fix Auto USA executive responsible for giving FCS’s initial framework and charter. A highly-valued component of the conference’s agenda included recognizing and rewarding accom-

plishments by franchise partners. This year, Selvi Rizk received the Franchise Partner-of-the-Year award. Rizk operates Fix Auto Brea and Fix Auto Moreno Valley, both of which are located in Southern California, and also participates on the brand’s Market Leaders Advisory Council. “Being named Franchise Partnerof-the-Year is a distinct privilege and is a career highlight for me,” said Rizk. “I was thrusted into this business ten years ago into the daunting task of turning around a troubled business. I’m happy to have been able to overcome the challenges of the past and focus on a brighter future.” During the conference, Rizk talked about her experience in the industry and becoming a franchise partner. The following awards were presented to Franchise Partners who exemplify Fix Auto USA’s Family Values: Marvic Vila, operator of Fix Auto Daly City and Fix Auto San Francisco – South of Market, received the Vision Award; Operatorof-the-Year was presented to Huard, regional managing partner of Fix See Fix Auto USA, Page 40

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Shop Management

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

with Ed Attanasio

Are You as High-Tech as Your Customers? No one wants to take their car to a body shop. The customer is either mad someone hit their car or embarrassed, thinking the accident was their fault. Collision repair is not an impulse buy, but it’s a service that is needed; so, people want the process to be fast and convenient. Now, collision repairers are leveraging technology to better accommodate customers. Consumers used to utilize any form of technology that made their collision repair easier. Nowadays, people expect technology to make their lives easier in every realm. Everyone—from seniors to millennials—are no longer afraid of cutting-edge technology they don’t understand, but do value, such as computer-based systems, automation, robotics, artificial intelligence and more. Tech-savvy customers are hard

to impress. The true test of any new form of technology is when it becomes a daily part of our lives. Megan Williams, chief marketing manager at Lefler Collision & Glass Repair oversees marketing for this 66-year-old MSO with three locations in Indiana and one in Kentucky. “While the collision repair industry as a whole is outdated in terms of processes, we are experiencing a shift in service due to the addition of technological advancements,” she said. Technology is changing the world every day and body shops tapping into it are benefitting as a result. Body shops on the cutting-edge will excel, while late adopters will suffer. Below are three types of technology that can help make body shops become accountable and efficient while creating consumer confidence and trust.

Videos In the old days, you dropped off your car for repair and wouldn’t see it again, until the job was complete. Now, however, thanks to video technology, you can play a significant role throughout the entire repair process. Vehicle manufacturers are developing video technology that will empower car owners to find out about things such as scratches and dents that occur during transit, including the date and time of the incident while overseeing the repair process. Mercedes is a company that offers an IP solution, incorporating video surveillance software and IP cameras. Exterior cameras are able to record every aspect of the vehicle being loaded onto the showroom, including every license plate number. This technology allows users to access live video via the Internet instantaneously.

Apps People have an average of 35 apps on their devices. As a result, developers worldwide are clamoring to meet the demand. Collision repairers realize that apps used to transmit data about their various services and specials is a great way to get more business. Today’s car owners are more aware of technology; therefore, body shops are looking for ways to cater to today’s mobile customers. Apps are gaining momentum, Williams said. “Thanks to the ‘Amazon effect,’ consumers, like us, are looking for ways to incorporate technology into our everyday lives,” she said. “You can see this in our day-today behaviors such as ordering Starbucks from their app, so it is ready for us upon arrival, Prime shipping on Amazon and Target with their new order and drive-up service.” See High-Tech, Page 43


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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

ASA Annual Business Meeting and Conference Exceeds Expectations On April 30-May 2, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) hosted its 2019 Annual Business Meeting and Conference at the Hurst Conference Center, in Hurst, Texas.

and where we are going. In addition, new officers are sworn in and election results are announced,” said Tony Molla, ASA vice president. The meeting began on Tuesday, April 30, with a joint meeting of ASA’s Board of Directors, Affiliate Executive Directors and Affiliate Board Chairman/President of Collision and Mechanical Opera-

Bob Cooper of Elite Worldwide presented a two-part class on pay plans. Credit: Chasidy Rae Sisk

“ASA’s Annual Business Meeting is a combination of business management and technical training. It allows members and leaders to network and to learn the latest information on what the association is doing

Roy Schnepper, ASA outgoing chairman (center), is flanked by his wife, Roseanna and Ray Fisher, ASA executive director, as he is presented with the traditional ASA Chairman’s Ring. Credit: Chasidy Rae Sisk

tions Committees. There was also an Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) calibration class for both collision and mechanical members, provided courtesy of Standard Motor Products.

Jeremy O’Neal of Advisor Fix did double duty at the meeting in serving as co-moderator of the Recruitment & Retention panel and providing two classes for the shop-owner attendees. Credit: Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Wednesday, April 30, additional training opportunities included a class on pay plans presented by

Bob Cooper of Elite Worldwide and a vehicle design and technology class taught by Tom McGee, courtesy of Spanesi USA. Sarah Fraser of Haas Performance Consulting provided a presentation on Generation Z—outlining the difference between Generation Z and millennials.

Sara Fraser from Haas Performance Consulting presented an informative session on the differences between millennials and Generation Z. Credit: Chasidy Rae Sisk

“The interesting takeaway here proved valuable as an employer and



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as a customer,” said Ray Fisher, ASA executive director. “It really helped you understand why their thinking process is different from boomers— not in a ‘bad way’ either, just different influences.” Molla moderated a Recruitment and Retention panel, on the afternoon of April 30, featuring panelists from TechForce Foundation, ASE

Education Foundation, AMi, Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) and the U.S. Department of Labor. Jeremy O’Neal of Advisor Fix also taught two informative sessions. In addition, a variety of board meetings and committee meetings were held throughout the conference. Lastly, ASA hosted its annual awards dinner on the evening of April 30. “The ADAS training and Recruitment and Retention Panel discussion was well received,” Molla

said. “We were glad to receive some suggestions for next year along with positive feedback. The event exceeded our expectations.”

ment, most of our news and information is delivered electronically. While this is certainly efficient, it can’t replace the value of personal interactions and networking as part of a robust involvement in the industry—it’s always better when you can put a name to a face.” During the ASA updates, Fisher announced the launch of its new ASA app, which can be found in any phone’s app store. The Recruitment and Retention panel explored the resources “We partnered with Moavailable from a variety of organizations to help shop owners bileSoft to develop a new find the talent they need. (l to r: Tony Molla, ASA VP of tool for our members to get Industry Relations; Christen Battaglia, CREF; Trish Serratore, ASE Education Foundation; Jeff Peevy, Ami news and information on President; Roxann Griffith, US Department of Labor; the go, with additional feaand Jennifer Maher, TechForce Foundation). Credit: tures like an ASA Member Chasidy Rae Sisk Shopfinder, industry events, The ASA’s goal is to advance legislative news and member beneexcellence in the service and repair fits,” said Molla. “MobileSoft can industries. Molla said one of the ben- also provide a customized mobile efits of the meeting, aside from the app for any ASA member business at training and education, is the ability a very affordable price as part of our member benefits.” to network with like-minded peers. “It’s important for our members to have the opportunity to meet face- For more information on ASA and its to-face at least once a year,” Molla future events, visit “In today’s connected environ- nualmeeting.


Continued from Page 26

Non-OEM Parts

their comfort level with getting a variety of tasks accomplished, such as home or vehicle repairs. Nearly twothirds (64%) said they felt “knowledgeable” about getting a home structural repair, such as roof damage from hail or a fallen tree, handled. A similar percentage felt knowledgeable about dealing with a home appliance failure (63%), a vehicle failure that left them stranded (61%) or another major home repair such as a furnace or air conditioner failure (61%). However, only about half (54%) felt knowledgeable about how to handle vehicle body damage requiring a body shop. More than 21% of consumers said they felt “uninformed” about addressing vehicle body damage. Moreover, 15% felt uninformed about addressing a home structural repair and 17% felt uninformed about what to do when a home appliance or furnace failed. “What we’re trying to do is make the consumer process better,” Langley said.

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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

The 1970s - Part 2 - The OE’s Become Their Own Worst Enemy See Part 1 in June, 2019

The American fleet had grown exponentially by the 1970s. This growth has led to an influx in business for many body shops. Vehicle manufacturers were all about new cars, new models and the next great gizmo to help sell more cars. However, little thought was given to parts and service. Manufacturers had developed their network of dealers—and, it was up to those dealers to take care of the customer after the sale. The problem was that there were not enough dealers with body shops to handle the level of business the new cars created. It would be years before the OE’s realized they had to provide better support to the industry and to independent shops. Availability of parts from automakers was limited and therefore, it was not an OE’s first priority. Fred Jones, Pennsylvania shop owner, testified before a Senate Subcommittee, investigating the high cost of auto repair states. Jones continued to say that repairers cannot depend on parts deliveries from the big three automakers. He said he waited 28 days for parts on a Ford, 69 days for Buick parts and 37 days for Plymouth parts. He noticed that many new parts came in damaged. The repairer can go back to the dealer who claims the damage was produced by the trucking company, but it is difficult to make a claim. Even if a claim is made, the trucking company may or may not pay it. If the dealer will not compensate the shop for the repair, the shop must eat the cost. Jones continued to share his input on pricing. He said many dealers now receive wholesale compensation to help defray their reduction in gross profit when they discount parts to the independent shop. However, many deals do no avail themselves of the program and continue to sell parts to shops at a price, which gives the dealer-owned shop an unfair advantage. At the time, a dealer could give an independent body shop a discount of 10% off the MSRP 36

price and 15% off if the shop was a great customer. Furthermore, insurance companies are having cars towed from Jones’ yard to have them repaired at other shops, for what is claimed to be a lower price, without knowing what his price was, Jones’ said. The pressure for American automakers to provide better parts availability began to surge in the spring of 1970. Roy Lovell, claims manager for Nationwide Insurance, instructed all of his field people to alert him of any parts delays. Lovell planned to document any delays and bring the information to Senator Phillip Hart, the man in charge of the Senate Subcommittee, investigating the automotive industry. The industry has made it clear: the need for expedient parts delivery to collision shops is increasing. American Motors Corporation (AMC) heard the industry’s cry and announced the creation of an expanded corporate parts distribution division. Michael Lonergan is now the division’s general manager. In March of 1971, AMC announced that they had a new computerized parts ordering system, which enabled them to maintain an order performance level of 92%–higher than any other domestic car company. A part ordered through the system can be in the dealer’s hands within 24 to 72 hours. This all sounds good, until one realizes that this was part of an intricate distribution system—driven at the OE dealer level—a level with less technology and sophistication. In the early 1970s, dealers had four different ways (and slight variations thereof) to generate a parts order: Computerized system – ADP and Reynolds and Reynolds (R&R) came up with similar programs designed to control inventory and generate parts orders. Expensive systems as such can be effective for those larger dealers who can afford them. Pad system – Both ADP and R&R had systems whereby the dealer’s entire parts inventory was up-


loaded onto a computer along with the amount in stock. The results were printed on a “pad” of paper and delivered overnight to the dealer. The dealer then noted additions to and deletions from the inventory by placing “tick” marks in the proper column next to each part number. Periodically, the pad was returned to the computer at the company headquarters and a new, updated pad returned to the dealer. Based on parts movement, the system could then be used to generate a suggested parts order. This system was slow, prone to inaccuracies and not very efficient. Cardex system – Some of the smallest dealers kept track of their parts inventory by generating a 3X5 card for each part number in their inventory. Each day, a clerk would have to review every repair order and retail parts ticket generated the previous day, and mark on each card

what was sold, or what came into the inventory from an incoming parts order. Then, the clerk would review each card and determine if an order for the parts was needed. Seat of the Pants system (SOTP) – This system suggests that the dealer had no order-generating system at all. Except for the periodic ordering of some very fast moving items like oil filters or spark plugs, nothing was ordered until a customer requested it. The dealer also had a few different ways to order parts from their OE warehouse. Again, depending on the OE, these methods had different variations. Stock order – This order type was designed to allow the dealer to replenish their own stock. Typically, it provided the most benefits to the dealer—free freight, additional disSee Their Own Worst Enemy, Page 51 / JULY 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


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.

Vehicle Owner’s Manuals Help Educate and Negotiate Need for Various Procedures My friend Danny Gredinberg at the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG) recently made available a document that includes links to each automaker’s database of online vehicle owner’s manuals. I am blown away by how useful a tool this can be. If you haven’t taken some time to review some of these manuals, you’re missing out on awesome content that can help you or your estimators with damage analysis. I know from the “Who Pays for What?” surveys I conduct with CRASH Network that only about one-third of shops say they are being paid regularly to inspect seat belts when they do it—and bill for it—as a necessary and “not included” repair procedure. However, nearly half of all shops say they’ve never sought to be paid for this critical step. The owner’s manuals are a great tool to educate your customers about

the importance of this necessary step. For example, take a look at the owner’s manual for the 2017 Nissan Armada. It states that “All seat belt assemblies, including retractors and attaching hardware, should be in-

The 2017 Nissan Armada owner’s manual indicates when seat belts should be inspected or replaced. Credit: Mike Anderson

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spected after any collision. Seat belt assemblies not in use during a collision should also be inspected and replaced if either damage or improper operation is noted.” If a seat belt pretensioner has activated, “it cannot be


reused and must be replaced together with the retractor.” Now, keep in mind, this doesn’t apply to every Nissan vehicle. The manuals are specific to the model and year of the vehicle. That’s why, like the OEM repair procedures themselves, the owner’s manuals can be more effective than automaker position statements at demonstrating the need for certain procedures to take place. I’m sure many of you have had an insurance company say they don’t want to pay for a vehicle scan, right? They may say, “I don’t care what the automaker’s position statement is.” So, again, take a look at that same owner’s manual for the 2017 Armada. It very clearly states: “If there is an impact to your vehicle from any direction, your Occupant Classification Sensor (OCS) should be checked to verify it is still functioning correctly.” The OCS, it says, “should be

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The owner’s manual for the 2017 Nissan Armada says the occupant classification sensor should be checked after any vehicle impact. Credit: Mike Anderson

A “Who Pays for What?” survey of more than 600 shops found that about 34% of those who bill to inspect seat belts are paid regularly for the procedure by the nation’s largest eight insurers. Credit: Mike Anderson

checked even if no airbags deploy as a result of the impact. Failure to verify proper OCS function may result in an improper airbag deployment resulting in injury or death.” That’s a pretty strong statement. The only way to check your OCS is with a vehicle scan. Some automakers also require a scan as part of the seat belt inspection. I think you will be surprised by some of what you can find in the owner’s manuals. One of the things I would encourage you to do is review the owner’s manual for each vehicle with the owner when they are dropping it off for repairs. If you’re certified by the automaker and equipped to conduct the inspections, you can let the customer know you will do this as part of the repair, or you can let them know you will sublet it to a dealer. Using the owner’s manual is a great way to educate your customer early in the process. Furthermore, customers want to do business with someone they trust and this is a great way to help gain their trust. In my next column, I’ll dig more into the topic of building customer trust.

Continued from Page 27

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Evaluating AI Tools and Applications: Tips From Tractable AI by Chasidy Rae Sisk

Technological advances in the collision repair industry are an ongoing challenge; however, when utilized properly, many of these advances, such as artificial intelligence (AI), can be a huge benefit during the repair process. Advances, such as Tractable, help develop AI for accident and disaster recovery. “Tractable’s market-leading tools use photos to automate damage appraisal—allowing partners to improve accuracy, reduce turnaround time and deliver a revamped customer experience,” said Ahmed Zifzaf, senior partnerships and marketing manager at Tractable. “One of Tractable’s AI tools is their ‘review product,’ which helps automate estimate desk reviews, by comparing the photos of a collision with the estimate that was written.” Although it’s common knowledge that AI photo-analysis solutions are increasingly being marketed across the industry and promise to lead to major changes in the repair

process, it isn’t always clear how well these solutions work. While it may seem daunting to determine how well an AI photo system works, Tractable’s educational video shares three simple steps collision facilities can use to test such solutions. The first step is to obtain a set of photos the AI has never seen. Secondly, upload the photos on the spot to the AI system and lastly, evaluate the results yourself. Tractable’s AI tool generates estimates of repair or replace decisions and a likely range of labor hours, based on the uploaded photos. During a demonstration earlier this year, Alex Dalyac, Tractable CEO, noted that the range is meant to address the “notoriously ambiguous task” of determining labor hours since experts will estimate different labor times for the same procedure. Users can configure their AI tool to specify the number of hours for a certain function. “Our AI can predict bodywork, R&I and paint time,” said Zifzaf. “In general, these need to be adjusted to

the client as opinion times vary greatly across North America (e.g. based on the type of insurer, repair facility, etc.). In the demo, our AI outputs a range of hours instead of specific hours, but in production, we calibrate to the particular client or market area.” When it comes to the decision of repair vs. replace, Tractable AI begins with part recognition, then moves onto damage assessment and then lastly, it makes a recommended decision based on its confidence level. The system’s confidence level will depend on part visibility, photo conditions and extent of the damage. This means the AI can also interact with the person taking photos to request specific additional photos on the spot. “Confidence level can be seen as a proxy for how certain the AI is making the correct decision,” Zifzaf notes. “The decisions made can be calibrated to specific geographic areas, carriers or shops.” Tractable’s AI technology specializes in exterior damage, but it can also be used to predict damage to



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things like sensors via decoding the VIN and predicting the damage associated with an impacted panel. However, Tractable recommends that shops still perform a diagnostic scan on the affected components that are unseen by photos. “Our research is driven by visual algorithms, so we can get an accurate assessment of what happened to the exterior, but we recommend that shops still do their due diligence to see what other damage there may be internally,” said Zifzaf. Tractable’s AI software is able to “learn” from previous photos, said Zifzaf. “The AI is trained on millions of photos from opt-in customers and partners,” said Zifzaf. “Algorithms can work on any make and model to look at different photos and severities. This is how it learns to calculate the corresponding damage and labor hours in the future.” AI photo technology can benefit shops in several key ways. Shops can use AI for triage, Zifzaf explains, “It is inefficient for body shops to re-


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ceive vehicles that are total losses. AI total loss appraisals take seconds and can help ensure the right vehicles make it to the salvage yards instead of the shops.” AI technology can also be used for self-auditing purposes, especially for larger MSOs. Zifzaf says, “They can get started by augmenting or automating desk reviews using photo AI systems. This can allow shops to self-manage accuracy; while, allowing shop employees to spend more time focusing on customer needs and repairs. It can also help MSOs identify and promote top-performing shops.” Additionally, shops can use AI to automate and streamline estimate writing and interactions with insurers. “Body shops can calibrate AI to their accurate repair standards and reduce supplements and unnecessary interactions with the insurer,” according to Zifzaf. “This allows them to spend more time repairing cars and taking care of customers, instead of wasting precious time on other tasks that can be automated.” Zifzaf said using AI photo technology for audits can reduce risk and

liability “by increased compliance and standardization across estimates. As algorithms give consistent answers, it allows for consistent decisions to be made and therefore reduces risk and liability. A well calibrated and accurate AI is at the core of this.” Tractable is not the only AI technology available on the market. CCC offers an AI photo-estimating product, and in 2017, Audatex announced its partnership with hail photo-estimating provider CSI. When it comes to evaluating which system to invest in, Zifzaf advises, “As a first step, make sure the photoanalysis system really works. Ask to upload your own photos to the system and judge the results for yourself.” “Tractable was found in 2014 and is backed by $30M in venture capital,” said Zifzaf. “We are in production with top insurers globally and have processed over a million auto claims. Now, we are looking to engage with repair facilities on how our technology could best help them.” Feedback can be provided to”

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Apps help make body shops more responsive to their customers through software techmology such as UpdatePromise, the 3M Free Collision Repair App and Bodyshop Booster, among others. Williams sees value in the collision repair industry’s plethora of new apps. “Applications such as Bodyshop Booster make it possible for us to capture business during times where we are not open, but people still need to get in touch with us,” she said. “36 percent of individuals want to do business with us while we are closed, according to Mike Anderson’s research. We are seeing more individuals prefer to have text updates via CCC rather than phone calls, as it allows them to be updated more frequently and not have disruptions throughout their day.” Blogs Blogs are playing a major role now too, as shops educate consumers

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about their cars with helpful tips about different aspects of their vehicles and how to repair them. Blogs create a smarter customer—they have to tap into technology to satiate their hunger for more. Experts forecast that the rapid evolution of in-car technology and consumer-focused mobile apps will place consumers firmly in the driver’s seat when it comes to repairing their cars. At the end of the day, technology makes our lives easier, but superior customer service remains crucial, Williams said. “As CCC reported in their 2019 Crash Course, consumers who are provided opportunities to ‘save a trip’ and make the collision repair process less of a hassle are more likely to return due to the superior service they received,” she said. “Other potential benefits include reduced cycle time due to the ability to plan for the vehicle prior to its arrival, increased employee productivity due to fewer phone calls and time spent writing estimates in person.”

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Industry Insight

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

with John Yoswick

Consumer Advocate Gives Industry New Voice With Insurance Regulators Eversman said the NAIC is now Ohio attorney Erica Eversman, who has long been an advocate for largely focused on healthcare issues. “There is nothing going on right consumers and collision repairers in legal battles with insurers, has now at the NAIC involving auto insurrecently become one of about 30 ance, but we intend to change that,” volunteer consumer liaisons to the Eversman said. National Association of Insurance Presentations made at NAIC Commissioners (NAIC). The con- meetings help lead the organization sumer liaisons attend the NAIC’s to have one of its committees take on a particular issue, she said. three meetings per year She presented at NAIC on that draw state insurance the John Eagle Collision commissioners and their Center lawsuit. The lawsuit staff, along with insurance referred to the dealership industry representatives. collision shop that was sued The NAIC focuses on for not following OEM reinsurance regulatory issues, often drafting or, at least, at- Ohio attorney Erica pair procedures on a vehicle, in which a Texas couple tempting to draft model legEversman was injured by, she added. islation states may adopt. In the early 2000s, for example, the Eversman said she focused on the NAIC unsuccessfully attempted to need “to have insurance companies draft a proposed regulation for states pay for OEM procedures that affect to consider the use of non-OEM safety.” When asked if that would drive parts.

up insurance rates, Eversman said it may or may not. “But even if it did, would you rather have insurance rates go up or would you rather have unsafe cars go back out on the road just so we can keep insurance rates down?” Eversman asked. She also said auto insurers declining to pay for “proper, safe repairs” has repercussions for other insurers, such as the health insurer covering the costs of medical care for the couple hurt in the accident that led to the John Eagle lawsuit or the garage-keepers’ insurer covering the shop. Eversman said California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara seemed particularly receptive after her presentation to work with her “on solving some of these issues for consumers,” and she sensed “immediate opportunities to be able to

make a change” in New York, North Carolina, Colorado and Mississippi. “This is not to say other states wouldn’t be interested, but I didn’t have any personal interactions [at the NAIC meeting] with some of the other states,” Eversman said. Mississippi is one state in which repairers shouldn’t have trouble being paid for OEM repair procedures, she said. Following her presentation, Eversman spoke with Deputy Insurance Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Insurance, Mark Haire. “Our commissioner already mandates the use of OEM procedures. We don’t have that issue,” Eversman said Haire told her. “That was the first I’d heard of that. That could be true, I don’t know, but that was the position they took.” Eversman acknowledged that many collision repairers and shop as-

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sociations have become frustrated with trying to get their state insurance regulators to address their concerns about some claims practices by auto insurers. “Unfortunately, as I think we’ve all experienced, sometimes it seems as if the insurance commissioners are there to protect the insurance companies [rather than consumers],” Eversman said. “I certainly have had that experience.” One message she said she received at an NAIC meeting centered on the idea that shops should file complaints about insurer practices with their state regulators. “I told commissioners we sometimes get push-back—we’ve been told there are some states in which the department of insurance won’t take complaints from collision repairers—only from consumers,” Eversman said. “They told me no, that isn’t true.” She said if shops are told that, they should contact her so she can address it with the state agency involved. Complaints directly from consumers may be better, she said, “but how is the consumer supposed to

know why a roof needs to be welded rather than glued? They can’t know that.” One state regulator told her they don’t have the authority to make factual determinations about who is at fault in some disputes, she said. Getting complaints from multiple shops around a state—rather than a lot from one shop—can help demonstrate a pattern or practice and thus trigger an investigation, she added. When submitting a complaint about an insurer’s refusal to pay for a necessary OEM repair procedure, she recommended shops to stick to the facts. “Do not whine,” Eversman cautioned. “Tell them the proper way to repair the vehicle and let them know it’s a safety issue.” The NAIC website offers links to each state’s insurance regulatory agency, including a link that shows how to file a complaint in each state. Eversman also suggested that collision repairers support the re-election next year of Mike Causey, a retired life insurance executive and a former lobbyist for the North Carolina Autobody Association of Collision

and Autobody Repair (NCACAR). Causey, a Republican, was in the news earlier this year after he alerted federal law enforcement about what he saw as an attempt to bribe him. The chairman of the Republican Party of North Carolina—one of four people indicted in the scheme—allegedly offered campaign contributions to Causey to help ensure special treatment for an insurance firm. All those indicted have denied the allegations. “Mike is the guy who wore a wire for the FBI” after he told authorities of the alleged bribery attempt, Eversman said. “Mike is a friend of this industry. He’s willing to help the industry, but we have to keep him there.” Eversman said that like the other consumer liaisons, she has a one-year term in the position at the NAIC, but can reapply this fall for another term. “Some of the consumer liaisons have been with NAIC for 15-plus years and really know the various departments and how they operate,” she said.

Recycled Rides Go to Three Moms

Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO), Caliber Collision and Enterprise combined their efforts to present three military moms with vehicles that were refurbished to like-new conditions. Receiving vehicles were Gloria Crothers, a volunteer and a member of the Maryland Chapter of Gold Star Mothers. Her son Michael Heed, Jr., Marine Sargent, was killed in action on July 13, 2009, serving in Afghanistan. Janice Chance, president of the Maryland chapter of Gold Star Mothers. Her son Jesse Melton III, Marine captain, was killed on September 9, 2008, serving in Afghanistan, and Lafreda Scurry who honorably served in the Army for eight years was the third recipient. “GEICO has a rich history of working with our military customers. This event is an example of our strong commitment to the military,” said Angela Rinella, vice president of GEICO’s claims operations.

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Truck Topics 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

The HD Collision Market – Challenges and Opportunities Most people in the auto collision industry agree that the collision industry was born around 1946. It was during this time that service men and women were returning from the European and the Pacific theater of operations. A lot of these men and women did not have existing jobs to return to, so they would start their own business. Oftentimes, it would be an auto and collision repair business. During the 1960s, each shop was on its own. Shop owners worked independently with little to no input from other shop owners, associations or industry leaders. No one knew what was going on in the industry, because there was no means of communication. It seems as though the HD collision market is facing similar challenges the industry faced over 70 years ago. However, there are a few distinct differences. First, at the time, there were fewer HD shops than auto shops. Unlike the auto shops that seemed to be at war with everyone, the truck shops seem to want to work together. The size of the market and the desire to work together should help push the industry along at a quicker pace. Chris Sterwerf is an industry leader who argues that HD shops work better together. Shops should cooperate and speak up when needed, he said. “Shops must paint a clear picture to vendors, equipment providers, OEMs and information providers on what is needed to make sure these behemoths operate safely,” said Sterwerf, chief finance and operations officer for Fairfield Auto and Truck Service in Fairfield, Ohio. Sterwerf, chairman of TMC’s Heavy Duty Collision Repair Guideline Task Force, mentioned that in the past, HD shops rarely shared information with competitors. “Car shops tended to collaborate with shops out of their market area,” he said. “HD 20 Groups and the HD Repair Forum are now helping to connect the dots to give HD


shops the megaphone that has been needed for decades. Technology is pushing the HD collision industry along and it won’t wait. Repairers won’t have years to catch up. Training is paramount and needed now. ADAS systems are installed on the majority of new Class 8 and 9 trucks and they need repair and recalibration. All-electric trucks

could also guide policy, creating organizations like I-CAR or TMC to create training for HD repairers.” Challenge: According to some in the trucking industry, ADAS systems threaten to make trucks completely autonomous—eliminating drivers and making accidents almost non-existent—greatly reducing the need for HD collision shops.

are now operating on our highways. An inexperienced or untrained technician, making the wrong move, working on such a truck could injure or kill the technician, Sterwerf said. “CNG, LNG, Hydrogen and Propane are explosive fuels that shops need to be trained on to keep employees, property and neighbors safe,” he added. “ELD (Electronic Log Data) equipment and tracking can be difficult to deal with. Safety systems must be integrated with the tractor/power unit from the trailer and, or utility bodies. HD collision technicians need to know how to deal with these systems.” Here are a few other challenges and opportunities HD shops create. Challenge: Within the HD collision world, there is little to no formal training available. Opportunity: I-CAR has created new training content. I-CAR has also adapted existing training materials to accommodate the HD collision world. In April, Penske Collision Repair in Norcross, GA, became the first HD shop to achieve Gold Class status. It is now up to the industry to support I-CAR’s efforts, allowing them to grow and expand. “It might be possible to get collaboration between I-CAR, ASE and TMC, so the wheel doesn’t have to be reinvented, possibly creating delegations from various associations,” Sterwerf said. “The HD Repair Forum

Opportunity: In her address to the HD Repair Forum held in April in Fort Worth, Texas, Susan Alt, senior vice president of public affairs for Volvo, said fully autonomous cars and trucks of sci-fi movies will be a

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long time coming, if ever. Alt said airplanes have had autopilot since the 1940s; yet, we still have pilots. Trains run on a very narrow pathway and can operate with little or no human intervention. However, engineers still are needed when negotiating populated areas or rail-switching yards. In addition, trucks can operate with little to no driver assistance on open highways; but, in a construction zone, warehouse yard or loading yard, a driver is still needed. The opportunity to make collision repairs will still exist, but the nature of the repairs will change. Gone will be the horrific crashes creating bent and twisted frames; much of the damage will be small. The biggest challenge will be the proper replacement of sensors, cameras, etc. to allow the ADAS system to operate properly. “Mother Nature—weather, animals, road infrastructure, etc.—still

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damages vehicles and creates the need for HD shops,” Sterwerf added. “These trucks will always need corrosion protection and reimaging— operations performed by HD body shops.” Challenge: Communication and cohesiveness between HD shops, except for shops operating in the same city, seem to be lacking. There is a gap both in communication among shops and a lack of knowledge about what is happening within the industry. Opportunity: The auto side of the collision industry operated the same way from 1946 to the early 1960s. Three things happened almost simultaneously to promote communication and cohesion within the industry. One, trade magazines began to emerge giving the industry a voice. Two, trade associations began to emerge to represent an industry as a unit and three, leaders within the industry began to emerge. On the HD side, AutoBody News has begun to bring you news of the industry. It is one column per month, but it’s a start. Trade Associations such as the TMC has begun to recognize the collision side of the business. Leaders

like Joey Fassett and Chris Sterwerf have begun making strides towards consistent and safe collision repairs. Challenge: Currently, no codified collision repair procedures exist for the HD market, which is dangerous. Some shops may be making safe repairs, but others may not. Ultimately, the shop is responsible for the repairs they make and any subsequent problems that may arise. An example of this is exemplified in the following case. On October 2, 2017, a Texas jury awarded Matthew and Marcia Seebachan a $42M settlement for the botched repair on their Honda Fit. Repair procedures from Honda existed, but the shop chose to ignore them. Had they followed the correct procedure and the car crashed with the same or similar result, chances are there would have been no lawsuit. Opportunity: Every HD shop has the opportunity to work with and support the TMC’s HD Collision Task Force to create RP’s (Recommended Practices) for safe and complete HD collision repairs. Once these RP’s are established, it will be up to every shop owner to follow them and raise the repair standards within the industry.

Challenge: While several HD collision estimating systems exist, they all seem to be lacking parts and pricing information. During a panel discussion at the HD Repair Forum in Fort Worth, one shop owner said it could take him up to two weeks to get pricing and parts availability information from an OE dealer. Meanwhile, the truck is down, not generating any income for the company, exacerbating the cost of the repair. Also, some OE’s make parts pricing available online only to a select few independent shops, as determined by the OE dealer. Some OE’s make it available to anyone; some make it available to any estimate provider, while others do not. Opportunity: Estimating information, including parts pricing and availability, is a basic tenet of collision repair. It should be a priority for all OE’s to provide this information to estimating companies, dealers and independent collision repair shops. The OE’s would do their customers great service by ensuring that their truck can be repaired in the least amount of time possible. Challenge: After hearing several

OE truck representatives speak about their current and future products, there is no question that Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are installed on a majority of new trucks coming off the assembly line. Given their acceptance within the trucking community amongst fleet owners, managers and safety officials, these systems will soon be on every new truck, retrofitted to some older fleets and become more integrated into existing systems. Trucking and HD truck repair is going to get more complicated. Opportunity: The opportunity exists to create/grow a new kind of technician—someone who will learn ADAS systems and other new technology and will be able to repair, replace and recalibrate those systems. Performing these operations in-house will create a faster repair—saving time and money for your customer with less downtime for the truck. It could be a service element that separates your shop from every other shop. The entire HD collision industry is sitting at the on-ramp of the next phase of the industry’s growth. There are plenty of opportunities to “grab a gear” and move forward.



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Continued from Page 36

Their Own Worst Enemy

counts, etc. The downside was a slow processing and delivery time, and a far time in between ordering dates. A dealer may only be able to order parts once a week, or possibly once a month. Daily order – Some OE’s allowed a dealer to order parts on a daily basis, so the parts would arrive quicker. In order to do that, the dealer must give up additional discounts and pay for the freight. Vehicle off Road (VOR) – This is the most expedient way for a dealer to get parts. A part ordered via this method could arrive at the dealer within 24 to 48 hours. The only problem is, the dealer must forfeit any extra discount they may have received, and they must pay premium fright costs—sometimes way more than any gross profit they may have made on the part. So, despite what the OE’s did with their own internal parts systems, parts availability was no better than the dealer who invested in an equally

sophisticated system and a parts manager who knew how to use it. Parts pricing was also coming under scrutiny. According to a survey conducted by the Insurance Services Office, an insurance industry trade group, the price of auto parts had risen from 6% to 30% for 1972 models compared to 1970 models. The survey was broken into two broad categories—collision-related parts and wear-related parts—for three of the most popular models on the road: the Chevrolet Impala, the Plymouth Fury and the Ford Galaxie. For the collision category, the Chevrolet Impala recorded the highest change in prices at 30%, followed by the Ford Galaxie at 16% and the Plymouth Fury at 9%. For wear parts, the Ford Galaxie was the highest at 15%, followed by the Plymouth Fury at 9% and the Chevrolet Impala at 8%. To emphasize the high cost of OE parts, studies were conducted by various entities to see how much it would cost to build a car—from the ground up—with individual parts purchased from an OE dealer. Although that information from the 1970s could not be located, a simi-

lar study in 1996 conducted by the Alliance of American Insurers. This study found that a 1996 Chevrolet Lumina with an MSRP of $19,340 would cost almost $73,000 if all the parts were purchased through the dealer network. Sadly, back in the 1970s, again in 1996 and in a similar exercise in 2001, no mention was made, by the OE’s or anyone else, about what contributed to those costs. There was no mention that parts get delivered to a car-building factory—hundreds or thousands at a time—decreasing shipping and handling costs. Conversely, no one mentioned that for a dealer to receive a part and make it available to a shop, each part must go through multiple levels of shipping and distribution, and each must be individually boxed and accounted for, all adding to cost. The price of an OE part will always present an issue. However, with the advent of the 1980s, the OE’s and dealers have increased parts availability and put a stop to shipping damage.


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The ABPA is concerned with the accelerated introduction of OE Repair Procedure bills in multiple states that are tying in the exclusive use of OE Parts. “The current wave of OE Repair Procedure legislation many times contains embedded language that in effect limits repair competition” Christopher Northup, ABPA chairman, said. Automobile manufacturers are becoming more assertive in their efforts to eliminate the aftermarket collision repair industry through their use of repair procedures and position statements. In 2019, there have been 13 states that have introduced OE Repair Procedure requirement bills. These include the states of CT, Hawaii, IL, IA, KY, LA, MN, MS, MT, NV, NH, Texas, & WV. “As always, the ABPA will continue to address any legislation that looks to restrict the aftermarket,” said Edward Salamy, ABPA executive director.

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Tire Tax Bill AB 755 Defeated in CA

The California Auto Body Association (CAA) is proud to announce that AB 755, a bill which would have increased the tire change fee from $1.75 to $3.25 per tire has died on the Assembly Floor. At the request of its sponsor, the bill was shelved on Wednesday, May 30.

The CAA and its allies have been working tirelessly to defeat the bill which would have negatively affected our industry and has been referred to as a “regressive” tax. We would like to thank our lobbyist Jack Molodanof who played a key role in the bill’s opposition and our membership that supported us by contacting their legislators in order to express their opposition to the bill. Our grassroots efforts make a difference.

3M, CREF Grant Collision Education Programs

ClaimsCorp Inc. Renews Commitment to CIECA Standards

The grant funds will be used to pay for tools and equipment to enhance the training opportunities they provide to the next generation of collision industry professionals studying in the schools. “We are excited about this opportunity to continue our support of CREF and the communities in which 3M has a large presence,” said Kelly Lunder, U.S. channel marketing manager for the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division.

Wilder, president of ClaimsCorp, has been in the industry for 30 years and has been a CIECA member through various organizations, most recently the last four years with ClaimsCorp. ClaimsCorp is data-based and works closely with many systems. “CIECA has been a mainstay standardization solution and we value standardization, consistency, security and reliability when it comes to data we handle and pro-

3M and the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) announced the establishment of the 3M and CREF Grant. The new grant program, funded by 3M, will provide two collision schools with $10,000 each. The two schools that will receive the grant include: • Greenville Technical College, a CREF Benchmark Tier 1 school in Greenville, S.C.; and • South Central College, a CREF Benchmark Tier 2 school in North Mankato, MN.

ClaimsCorp Inc. recently renewed its commitment to CIECA and the CIECA Standards. Established in 2004, the company’s executive ownership of Sam Malatesta, Tim Wilder and Francesco DiGiuseppe focus on industry-related data aggregation, analytics and business performance improvement.

Chrysler Recalls 343,000 Ram 1500 Trucks by David A. Wood,

A Ram 1500 recall has been ordered for nearly 343,000 trucks that need repairs to prevent the airbags and seat belt pretensioners from failing.

The 2019-2020 Ram 1500s have software problems related to the occupant restraint controllers which can disable the airbags. Nearly 296,000 of the recalled trucks are in the U.S., 38,884 Ram 1500s are recalled in Canada, another 1,817 will be repaired in Mexico and 6,154 trucks are recalled outside North America. Fiat Chrysler (FCA) says the 2019-2020 trucks have software with vulnerabilities “during powerdown memory clean-up events which can corrupt flash memory.” According to Chrysler, once 52

the truck ignition is turned off the occupant restraint controller begins under its own power, but data corruption is possible if the controller powers down and interrupts a memory erase process. However, the process doesn’t occur every time the ignition is turned off. If the problem does occur, a driver will see an illuminated airbag warning light, and the truck will result in fault codes internally. The real issue is the deactivation of the seat belt pretensioners and airbags. The model year 2019 trucks were built from October 31, 2017, to April 29, 2019, and 2020 model trucks were manufactured between April 8, 2019, to May 21, 2019. FCA says the recall is expected to begin July 20, 2019, when dealers will reprogram the occupant restraint controllers or replace them. Ram 1500 owners with questions should call 800-853-1403. Chrysler’s numbers for this recall are V61 and V71. We thank for reprint permission.


tect for our customers,” said Wilder. “CIECA has helped provide a more productive and reliable way to structure, process and map our customers’ data to drive value to their business and staff.” Wilder said that randomness breeds inaccuracy and inconsistency, and CIECA helps to reduce the impact of having too many ways to do the same thing. “CIECA helps attract data interfacing and integration among insurers, shops, supply chain and consumers,” he said. “The more that can be done to increase the number of securely integrated partners, the more we increase the number of solutions to help improve what’s available to help shop owners and operators run their businesses and drive improvements for the industry stakeholders and vehicle owners.”

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