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


Vol. 8 / Issue 12 / September 2019

U. S. District Judge Dismisses Repairify’s Lawsuit Against AirPro Based on Venue, Without Prejudice

Solving the Tech Shortage: Focusing on Kina’ole: Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reason

by Chasidy Sisk

by Stacey Phillips

On July 15, U. S. Southern District of Texas Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. released a final judgment in the lawsuit filed against AirPro Diagnostics by asTech parent company Repairify. The case was dismissed because Judge Werlein found there were insufficient grounds for Repairify to sue AirPro in the federal Texas district; however, the ruling merely addressed the venue, not the merits of the case on relevant laws. Because the case was dismissed without prejudice, Repairify is permitted to refile the law-

suit, though the company has not yet indicated whether it intends to do so. In a statement released on July 17 about what it referred to as “asTech’s second unsuccessful attempt to use litigation to damage AirPro’s growth in the marketplace,” AirPro President and CEO Lonnie Margol said, “AirPro remains confident that its ‘Truth Campaign,’ listed on our website, can easily be verified through an independently conducted, side-by-side comparison and renews its challenge to asTech to participate. We are, however, confident that See Lawsuit Against AirPro, Page 12

Marketing for Shops: Does Yelp Bully Body Shops? by Ed Attanasio

Some shops have told me Yelp is unfair, unless they’re willing to buy an advertising plan for $300-$500 or more. Shop owners aren’t fond of it, but they realize Yelp isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Some try to ignore Yelp altogether while others seemingly live and die with each review, so it’s always a hot topic amongst small business owners. Years ago, I heard a representative from Yelp who was invited to speak at a California Autobody Association (CAA) meeting in San Jose, CA. After his brief presenta-

Samantha McCauley, a collision repair refinish instructor at Hammond High School in Hammond, IN, said it can be very challenging to acquire the proper tools and equipment needed in her classroom to properly instruct students.

tion, there was a question-and-answer session and at one point I thought - I hope they don’t lynch this poor guy! Many of the shop owners in attendance vented their many grievances about Yelp, including the authenticity of reviews and preferential treatment for shops that buy advertising. The controversy surrounding Yelp was re-ignited with the recent release of Billion Dollar Bully, a new documentary about Yelp that you can watch on Amazon and iTunes. It claims that Yelp extorts small business owners for advertising fees in See Marketing for Shops, Page 13

Toby Chess presented Samantha McCauley, a collision repair refinish instructor at Hammond High School in Hammond, IN, with two full toolboxes during the CIC in July, courtesy of March Taylor Scholarship Fund.

“There are a lot of times that I request equipment and I’m sure other teachers across the country are in the same predicament,” she said. “Our administration says to put our requisition forms in; every week for months, we follow up to find out what happened to the requisition forms only to find out the funds are already gone.” McCauley recently received a special gift to help alleviate that frustration. During the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Indianapolis, Toby Chess presented McCauley with two toolboxes, one for her own needs and the other for her students to use. The toolboxes were awarded on behalf of the March Taylor Scholarship Fund. “I truly appreciate what you are See Focusing on Kina’ole, Page 14

CIC: Regulators Show New Interest in ‘Most-FavoredNation’ Clauses by John Yoswick

What does Amazon’s contract with some online sellers have in common with State Farm’s direct repair agreement? The answer: most-favored nation clauses. Scrutiny by government regulators could be behind Amazon’s decision earlier this year to drop that clause in the United States, which required third-party sellers to price their products on Amazon no higher than they do anywhere else. Amazon had previously ceased using such “mostfavored-nation” (or “price parity”) contract clauses in some European countries after government investigations. The revived interest in the po-

tentially anti-competitive impacts of most-favored-nation clauses (MFNs) – such as the one State Farm “Service First” shops have had to sign since 2006 – was discussed by the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) “Governmental Committee” in Indianapolis in late July. Michigan attorney Stephen Bolerjack, whose practice focuses on antitrust and contract issues in the automotive industry, said that on the surface, MFNs appear pro-competitive and simplify the negotiation process between parties. But they also can focus solely on price and overlook other factors that can impact pricing, he said. “If the seller is doing something different with other buyers, there’s a See CIC: Regulators, Page 50



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CONTENTS A Local Helps Tame Car Fire, Two Suffer Burns. . 8 Eustis Body Shop in Nebraska Celebrates 40-Year Anniversary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Longtime Auto Body Instructor to Retire From NPCC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Midwest Association Event Announcements: September 2019. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 St. Louis I-CAR Committee Prepares for Upcoming Job Fair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Techs at Anderson & Koch Ford in North Branch, MN, Earn Certification . . . . . . . 4 Tesla to Open Sales, Service Center in IL. . . . . 10 Urbandale, Iowa, Police Still Searching for Car Lot Thieves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Where the Largest Hail Fell in Minnesota on Aug. 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

With the ‘Ultimate Disruptor’ . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Garmat Builds Upon CARSTAR Partnership . . . 32 GM Opens $65 Million Parts Processing Center. 10

JM&A Group Helps Ranken Prepare Auto Technology Students for Future Careers . . . . 8 Marketing for Shops: Does Yelp Bully Body Shops?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 NABC Names Kristle Bollans From Hertz as New Board Member . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Shop Owner Invents MyShop Traffic Software for All the Right Reasons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Solving the Tech Shortage: Focusing on Kina’ole:

& Training for Potential Hires . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Ledoux - Hey Buddy … Got a Millisecond? . . . 33 Phillips - How to Leverage the Certified Repair Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Spanesi and KTL Restorations Join Forces at SEMA 2019. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Too Many Openings & Too Few Techs— A Crisis With No End in Sight . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 U. S. District Judge Dismisses Repairify’s

AAPEXedu to Address Aftermarket Trends . . . . 56 AutoNation Names Cheryl Miller CEO, President. 54

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

Accuvision-3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

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

AkzoNobel Coatings, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Launch Tech USA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists, LLC . . . . . . . . 33

Laurel Auto Group of Westmont . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Luther Bloomington Acura-Subaru . . . . . . . . . 43

AutoNation Collision Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Malco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,13

Matrix Electronic Measuring. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Blowtherm USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

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

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 56

Bob Hook Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . 34-35

Certified Automotive Parts Association . . . . . . . 6

Morrison’s Auto Parts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Classic Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . 46

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Patrick BMW MINI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Courtesy Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Patrick Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Dent Fix Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

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

Diamond Standard Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

SATA Dan-Am Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Dominion Sure Seal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

SEMA Trade Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

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

Shaheen Chevrolet Parts Warehouse . . . . . . . 28

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. . . . . . . 5

Equalizer Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

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

Spanesi Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . 52

GYS Welding USA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

The Porsche Exchange. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 30-31

The Sharpe Collection of Automobiles . . . . . . 45

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 50

VanDevere Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

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

VanDevere Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Jack Phelan Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram

WD-40 Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Lawsuit Against AirPro Based on Venue, Without Prejudice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 VeriFacts Automotive LLC Renews


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, Bill Doyle, Norman Morano, Kelly Hall (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 Office Assistant: Dianne Pray

Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reason . . 1

Anderson - Check OEM Procedures Before

Ledoux - 50 Years - A Retrospective . . . . . . . . 46

in Garage: Cause Unknown . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Automotive Programs Provide Education

‘Most-Favored-Nation’ Clauses . . . . . . . . . . . 1


Hyundai Kona Electric Explodes, Blows Hole


CIC: Regulators Show New Interest in

AUTOBODY MARKETPLACE section of Autobody News.

in Federal Penalties. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Solving the Tech Shortage: In-Prison

Disconnecting, Reconnecting Batteries . . . . 40

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Commitment to CIECA Standards . . . . . . . . 52 WAC’s July Meeting Features Statistics on Graduating Students . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Caliber Collects Over $900,000 in Donations. . 53

Weidmann Named CIECA’s Executive Director . . 4

Ford Warns Elon Musk That Tesla is Competing

Why Is Ethics Important for Self-Driving Cars? . . 4

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

Zimmer Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . . . . . . 60

Kelly BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 / SEPTEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Why Is Ethics Important for Self-Driving Cars? by Sean M. Cleary

Around 40,000 people in the U.S. die every year in vehicle accidents and more than a million globally; so, car manufacturers aim to put an end or at least decrease the number of traffic accidents in the near future. It is a daring goal, but so is the intent of creating self-driving cars. Oftentimes, technology and innovation eclipse state and federal legislation, meaning, for now, the automated road ahead remains hazy as lawmakers, courts and initiatives still try to address issues around liability and ethics posed by self-driving cars. The concept of self-driving vehicles is still in its research stage but computerized driving technology is slowly making its way into vehicles we use nowadays. Our cars are already equipped with automated components which can change gears, detect pedestrians, as well as to help us perform difficult maneuvers and force us to wear the seat belt. In the next few years, vehicles able to steer, brake and accelerate on their own are expected to be seen on roads. This technology is thought to help avoid traffic fatalities caused by fatigued or careless drivers. Ethical Concerns: the World of SelfDriving Cars Might Cost Lives In a future where most of the vehicles on the road are fully self-driving, the correct and ethical way of programming such automobiles raises huge problems since this encoded core of the cars is the one that controls the actions of these smart vehicles. But such tough decisions cannot be made only by engineers and IT specialists working for car manufacturers. They have to be shared with the society as this new technology will have a great impact on people’s lives and comes at the cost of the lives on the roadways. It is true that, so far, the number of accidents involving self-driving cars is low. However, this is the result of automated vehicles that simply stop when facing an uncertain situation. As technology continues to take over the automotive industry, self-driving systems may encounter 4

more complex scenarios to instantly react to, and this matter raises important ethical issues.

No-Win Scenarios Undoubtedly, the topic of self-driving vehicles can be a great source of excitement. More than 30,000 deaths are estimated to be avoided every year in the U.S. alone, not to mention the huge importance of these cars in the lives of people with reduced mobility and physical disabilities. However, a constraining issue arises when autonomous vehicles are confronted with where a collision is imminent and not avoidable—even if it complies with the programmed robotic rules or algorithms. Imagine yourself in a self-driving car on a sunny day when you see people waiting patiently at a bus station. At the same time, another vehicle, driven by a human, is heading towards you at great speed. The autonomous vehicle has two available options: avoid the car but hit the people waiting on the side of the road or crash into the car and probably kill both yourself, and the other driver. Such a scenario sets forth the issue of whether an autonomous vehicle chooses to kill the operator of the vehicle or the third party. Who should decide how the robotic car should react or be programmed – the autonomous vehicle manufacturer or the operator? And if the system makes the decision, what criteria should the system use to determine which individual lives and which individual dies? Is it ethical to injure the passengers of the self-driving vehicle in order to save the other people’s lives? This is the kind of decisions that automated cars will have to face on a daily basis and researchers, engineers, philosophers and society as a whole must work together in order to find the most ethically correct way to program these revolutionary vehicles. The legal and ethical implications of the decision are most difficult and must be considered by those who design and control algorithms for safe autonomous vehicles. It is impossible with current technology


to have an autonomous vehicle on the road that gets you from point A to point B without considering such a scenario. About the author: Sean M. Cleary is a personal injury attorney, founder, and president of the Miami, Florida-based The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary. The firm has been listed as an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau. Sean M. Cleary has a thorough knowledge of car accident law and has been able to help people that were hurt in car accidents under all sorts of circumstances gain compensation. He also has high expertise in areas such as medical malpractice, product liability, boating and aviation accidents and all types of personal injuries from paraplegia and quadriplegia to fractures and amputations. Guided by a philosophy of compassion and genuine care for the victims of personal injuries, Mr. Cleary also offers moral support for the individuals and families affected by the negligence of others.

Weidmann Named CIECA’s Executive Director

CIECA is pleased to announce the appointment of Ed Weidmann as CIECA’s interim executive director, effective Aug. 1, 2019. Weidmann has worked in the insurance and collision repair industry for more than 42 years. Weidmann is not new to CIECA. He joined the organization more than ten years ago as a trustee. Since then, he has held the positions of treasurer, vice-chair, and chairman of the board in 2008 and 2014. “I always tell people that CIECA standards streamline the transmission of data among companies, eliminating duplicate programming and minimizing the need for translators when a company works with multiple companies providing similar services,” said Weidmann. As the interim executive director, Weidmann said his goal is to help CIECA expand its product offerings, increase the industry’s understanding of its purpose and streamline CIECA’s internal workflows to more efficiently serve its members. For more information about CIECA, visit

Techs at Anderson & Koch Ford in North Branch, MN, Earn Certification by Staff, Hometown Source

The Collision Center at Anderson & Koch Ford, Inc. is the area’s only repair facility to complete I-CAR Gold Class training. Plastics, lightweight

The Collision Center technicians at Anderson & Koch Ford in North Branch, MN, are now I-CAR Gold certified. Credit: Submitted Photo, Hometown Source

alloys, high-strength steels and aluminum have replaced mild steel that has been used for decades in automobiles. This, coupled with the new electronics that are embedded in nearly every automotive system, have made collision repairs very

challenging. The Collision Center technicians at Anderson & Koch Ford are committed to meet this challenge head-on. For them, it has been back to class at I-CAR, the most respected name in collision center training. They are now I-CAR Gold certified – the gold standard in automotive training. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having to get your vehicle repaired following an accident, the Collision Center at Anderson & Koch Ford, Inc. will restore not only the appearance of your vehicle but its safety and structural integrity as well. Anderson & Koch is located on I-35, next to the North Branch, MN, Outlets and can be reached at 651-674-4465.

For more information visit, We thank Hometown Source for reprint permission.

Techs at Anderson & Koch Ford in North Branch, MN, Earn Certification by Staff, Hometown Source

The Collision Center at Anderson & Koch Ford, Inc. is the area’s only repair facility to complete I-CAR Gold Class training. Plastics, lightweight

The Collision Center technicians at Anderson & Koch Ford in North Branch, MN, are now I-CAR Gold certified. Credit: Submitted Photo, Hometown Source

alloys, high-strength steels and aluminum have replaced mild steel that has been used for decades in automobiles. This, coupled with the new electronics that are embedded in nearly every automotive system, have made collision repairs very

challenging. The Collision Center technicians at Anderson & Koch Ford are committed to meet this challenge head-on. For them, it has been back to class at I-CAR, the most respected name in collision center training. They are now I-CAR Gold certified – the gold standard in automotive training. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having to get your vehicle repaired following an accident, the Collision Center at Anderson & Koch Ford, Inc. will restore not only the appearance of your vehicle but its safety and structural integrity as well. Anderson & Koch is located on I-35, next to the North Branch, MN, Outlets and can be reached at 651-674-4465.

For more information visit, We thank Hometown Source for reprint permission. / SEPTEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


WAC’s July Meeting Features Statistics on Graduating Students

Urbandale, Iowa, Police Still Searching for Car Lot Thieves

by Chasidy Rae Sisk

by Jacob Peklo, We Are Iowa

On July 17, Women in Automotive and Collision (WAC) hosted its monthly member meeting at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, featuring a presentation by Ranken President Don Pohl. Pohl shared information about graduating students. According to Shelly Jones, president of WAC, “Mr. Pohl’s presentation gave statistics and information regarding students graduating and the job market they are entering. It was interesting to learn about the opportunities as they relate to the collision industry and automotive as a whole.” Ranken Department Chair Robert Callanan also attended WAC’s meeting and “talked about the automotive programs available to students, how Ranken works with employers, and the success rate of students while in school and after graduation,” Jones said. WAC hopes to obtain a video of the presentation to show at their table during industry events. Jones stated, “It is full of statistics and information that we feel would be beneficial to students, parents and

educators.” Ranken provided dinner for members and guests during WAC’s meeting. Jones shared, “As in previous meetings, we had new people attend to learn about

WAC and our mission. Some visitors were particularly interested in learning how WAC promotes jobs in automotive/collision to young females.” Jones added, “We also had discussions on upcoming events and approaches to engaging students, parents and educators that are not familiar with the industry. These open discussions always lead to new and creative ideas.” RSVP for the next meeting by emailing WACSTLgroup@gmail .com or visit for more information about WAC and its future events.

Where the Largest Hail Fell in Minnesota on Aug. 5 by Joe Nelson, Bring Me The News

By now you’re aware that locations in and around Minnesota were hammered with large hail during a bout of severe weather Monday, Aug. 5, but now we have a list of where the largest hailstones were reported. The biggest was the grapefruit-sized stones that dropped from a severe thunderstorm in Delano, MN. Those four-inch balls of ice were reported around Delano, where three-inch hailstones also dropped from the sky. Here’s the list of where the largest stones fell, from Watertown, MN, to Delano and up through the northern suburbs of the metro. Do note that the biggest hail fell in isolated locations, so if you live in Brooklyn Park, for example, and didn’t get three-inch hail, that’s completely normal. • 4.0 inches - Two miles SSW of Delano • 3.0 inches - Delano • 3.0 inches - Independence • 3.0 inches - Brooklyn Park


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

3.0 inches - Ramsey 2.5 inches - Watertown 2.5 inches - Corcoran 2.5 inches - Maple Grove 2.0 inches - Blaine 2.0 inches - Forest Lake 1.75 inches - Anoka 1.75 inches - Loretto 1.75 inches - Ham Lake 1.75 inches - Medina 1.5 inches - Orono 1.5 inches - Maple Plain 1.25 inches - Plainview 1.0 inches - New Hope 1.0 inches - Elysian 0.75 inches - Mayer 0.75 inches - Hastings

There were large trees uprooted and reports of tree damage in Savage, Burnsville and Hampton in the south metro, and a barn damaged by high winds in a rural area northwest of Albert Lea. No tornadoes touched down, but there were a couple of funnel clouds reported near St. Charles and Blooming Prairie in southeast Minnesota. We thank Bring Me The News for reprint permission.


A late-night break-in resulted in two cars being stolen from a service bay at a local car dealership. But even as surveillance captured several helpful clues, police are still trying to track down who’s responsible. Urbandale, Iowa, police have spent the past several days trying to figure out how exactly two thieves got away with two cars from the Charles Gabus Ford Body Shop in Urbandale. It’s been pretty difficult, but they have a lot of the pieces of the puzzle already in place. They’re just looking for those final missing links and they’re hoping the public can help them do that.” “Entry had been made from the side door and the first vehicle, being the Ford F-350 was driven out through the service bay, then allowing access for the second vehicle to be driven out and away from the scene,” said Officer Holly Pickett with the Urbandale Police Department. A drive-through theft carries with it plenty of clues. But figuring out who did it: that’s another issue. “People, unfortunately, have become more brazen in their efforts

to steal vehicles.” Still, security pictures show thieves unconcerned with getting caught. “No masks, nothing to cover their identity, very lack of consideration for what they were doing and the damage they caused.” So far detectives have determined a man and woman committed the crime. But as they piece through tips, who they are is still a mystery. “By providing us with a name, a location of someone who you believe it might be, we can either rule them out as a suspect or garner them as a suspect as well.” At this time, police will take any information, even if you’re not certain about it. “Without the public to assist us in saying, ‘I know who that person is, or I work with that person, or that person is my neighbor,’ it’s really those tips that help us solve those crimes.” Those two thieves are facing burglary and auto theft charges among other things. If you have any information on where these people or cars may be, call Urbandale police or Crime Stoppers. We thank for reprint permission. / SEPTEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


JM&A Group Helps Ranken Prepare Auto Technology Students for Future Careers Ranken Technical College in St. Louis has dedicated a section of its automotive training facility to JM&A Group and its parent company, South Florida-based JM Family Enterprises, in recognition of the company’s efforts to prepare students for successful careers in automotive technology.

Ranken President Don Pohl and JM&A Group’s director of Customer Service Dianne Galavan at the microphone. Credit: Ranken Technical College

JM&A Group has been a longtime contributor to Ranken, as well as a regular recruiter and employer of Ranken auto maintenance technology graduates. In 2019, the company presented Ranken with the seventh installment on a ten-year, $1 million pledge to support the College’s Automotive Building. The donation’s purpose is to provide funding for capital improvements


to Ranken’s Automotive Building for the benefit of students pursuing a degree in the Automotive Division of the College. The Building is home to various programs including Automotive Maintenance, Certified Dealership Technician and Collision Repair. “JM&A Group is a major force in the automotive industry,” said Ranken President Don Pohl. “The company has also been one of the largest recruiters and employers of Ranken graduates over the past decade and we are grateful for their help in preparing our students for rewarding, successful careers.” JM&A Group, a 40+ year leader in the finance and insurance industry with operations in St. Louis and Deerfield Beach, FL, provides a variety of products and services such as F&I training and consulting, vehicle protection plans, used vehicle certification programs, pre-paid maintenance plans and GAP programs. “In order to learn the latest technologies, students must have access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities,” said Sandra Porceng, vice president of Customer Services, JM&A Group. “Our company is pleased to have our annual contributions support


Ranken’s mission to provide their students with opportunities to learn critical skills and advance their knowledge. These students play a vital role in our industry and our communities.”

(l to r) Tim Bassett, manager of Authorization, JM&A Group; Dianne Galavan, director of Customer Services, JM&A Group; Sandra Porceng, vice president of Customer Services, JM&A Group; Don Pohl, president of Ranken Technical College; Steve Moss and Dave Schepers, Ranken trustees. Credit: Ranken Technical College

Ranken Technical College is a private, non-profit, degree-granting institution of higher learning whose primary mission is to provide the comprehensive education and training necessary to prepare students for employment and advancement in a variety of technical fields. More information can be found at

A Local Helps Tame Car Fire, Two Suffer Burns by Erin Sullivan,

A car fire inside a Jasper County, MO, auto body shop injuries two people. On July 24 just before 10 a.m., Joplin, MO, and Carl Junction, MO, fire departments were called to Tim’s Body & Glass for a fire. Officials say an employee was doing some welding work on a car when the fire started. A worker at an auto dealership next door saw smoke coming from the shop and immediately ran over to help. “I ran in, told my boss, we grabbed some fire extinguishers. Ran next door, when we got over there a Denali was like engulfed in flames,” said Gerald Parker, who helped put out the fire. After getting the fire mostly controlled, Parker towed the car out of the shop to prevent further damage to the building. Two employees were treated on scene for minor burns.

We thank FourStatesHomepage .com for reprint permission. / SEPTEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


GM Opens $65 Million Parts Processing Center On Aug. 5, 2019, General Motors Co. (GM) opened a new ACDelco and GM Genuine Parts processing center in the Flint, MI, suburb of Burton. The state-of-the-art facility will employ more than 800 hourly and salaried employees. GM now employs more than 9,500 people in Genesee County, including the Grand Blanc headquarters of the company’s Customer Care and Aftersales business and the Flint manufacturing complex. “This new facility in Burton will help us continue to deliver the industry’s best possible sales, service and ownership experience,” said Barry Engle, GM executive vice president and president, the Americas. “Strategic investments in our core business, and the strong U.S. economy, are creating opportunities for GM and its employees all over the country, and especially here in Michigan.” All of the positions in Burton support GM’s CCA business — the team responsible for supporting the service and repair needs of millions of GM vehicle owners as well as owners of competitive makes around the world. The 1.1 million-square-foot plant,

located on 141 acres on Davison Road, is triple the size of the facility in Burton that it is replacing. The increased capacity allows for greater efficiency and output as employees unitize and package as many as 120 million service parts a year. “GM has the highest owner loyalty of any manufacturer, and a big part of that equation is getting highquality parts into the hands of trained service technicians when and where they need them,” said Tim Turvey, GM global vice president, Customer Care and Aftersales. “That’s why this particular facility is so vital. Great service keeps our customers coming back year after year.” GM internal studies show that service lane loyalty is directly correlated with purchase loyalty — two areas where GM and its brands excel. According to IHS Markit, a leading source of global automotive industry information, analysis and insight, GM has earned the highest customer loyalty among all automakers

Tesla to Open Sales, Service Center in IL by Ryan Denham,

The electric automaker Tesla plans to open its first Illinois sales and service location outside the Chicago area in Bloomington, IL. Tesla wants to open its sales and repair location at 420 Olympia Drive, inside the Towanda Barnes

Business Park in east Bloomington. The Bloomington Zoning Board of Appeals will consider Tesla’s request for a special use permit at its meeting 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 17, at Bloomington City Hall. A drywall company most recently occupied the space on Olympia Drive.

All-electric vehicles like Tesla’s make up a small but growing part of the U.S. fleet. There are now around 10,600 Tesla’s registered in Illinois, including 97 in McLean County, according to data obtained from the Illinois secretary of state’s office. The Illinois communities with the largest concentration of Tesla ownership are mostly in and around Chicago, including Highland Park and Barrington. Tesla will be the latest electric vehicle entry into Bloomington-Normal. Rivian bought the former Mitsubishi Motors plant in Normal and plans to begin making its all-electric vehicles there starting in 2020. Rivian has said it plans to open a factory store in Normal. We thank for reprint permission.

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selling in the United States for four consecutive years. GM’s Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands all consistently score at or near the top of J.D. Power’s annual Customer Service Index Study, which measures satisfaction with service at a franchised dealer or independent service facility for maintenance or repair work among owners and lessees of one- to three-year-old vehicles. “We have had tremendous support from the City of Burton, including Mayor Paula Zelenko and the city council, UAW Local 651, the project management team at NorthPoint Development and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to take this facility from concept to reality,” Engle added. “We are very grateful for this opportunity to expand, grow and contribute to the Burton community.” The New Burton Facility at a Glance • The parts packaged and distributed from Burton are used to maintain

every Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicle sold in the United States, as well as hundreds of competitive vehicles. • GM and its general contractor NorthPoint Development broke ground on the new site in June 2018, and GM shipped its first outbound delivery in June 2019. • An average of 100 inbound deliveries and 55 outbound deliveries are expected each day. • The facility has 84 shipping and receiving docks, up from 35 at the previous site. During the grand opening event, Engle and Turvey underscored the company’s commitment to the Flint area by announcing $130,000 in new grants to seven local nonprofits: Boy Scouts Water & Woods Field Service Council; Communities First, Inc.; Flint River Watershed Coalition; Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan; Kettering FIRST Robotics; Neighborhood Engagement Hub; and STEMletics. GM has awarded more than $5.6 million to Flint-area nonprofits since 2017. Obtained via GM.

John’s Automotive Care Is In It to Win It With WD-40 Brand Products ®


To perform O.E. repairs on today’s sophisticated cars, the crew at John’s Automotive Care needs the finest products and tools for the job, and WD40® Brand fits neatly into those categories. Owner John Eppstein opened his first shop in 1998 and worked solo for three years.

move onto something else for ten minutes and it doesn’t create a big mess. Usually when they come back it drills right out and they can proceed with the repair without losing any time.” Eppstein’s passion for the job made him a great addition to WD-40 Brand’s “Live Life Hands On” campaign. The cam-

John Eppstein, owner of John’s Automotive Care, regularly uses WD-40 Specialist Rust Release Penetrant Spray on rusted nuts, bolts and more.

John Eppstein is an ASE Certified Master Technician and opened John’s Automotive Care in San Diego in 1998.

Today, this ASE Certified Master Technician, who is also an active member of Automotive Service Councils of California and an ambassador of WD-40 Company’s PRO Board, has two locations in San Diego and La Mesa, CA. Eppstein relies on a range of WD-40 Brand products, including WD-40 EZ-REACH™, WD-40® Specialist® Rust Release Penetrant Spray, WD-40 Specialist Industrial-Strength Cleaner & Degreaser and WD40 Specialist True Multi-Purpose Grease. Eppstein’s crew uses WD40 EZ-REACH for many applications – the most common involves loosening pesky nuts, broken bolts, squeaky door hinges and stuck locks. “When we do exhaust work or under-car repairs, we use WD-40 EZ-REACH to save time,” he said. “We can get the product into tight spots with the eight-inch flexible straw. Our guys can spray it and then

test asking trades people and DIYers to share how they rely on WD-40 Brand product performance to Live Lives Hands On for a chance to win $5,000. U.S. residents can enter at until Sept. 15, 2019. Learn how WD-40 Brand empowers professionals and DIYers to Live Life Hands On at

paign honors those who rolls up their sleeves and get their hands dirty by sharing real-life stories of DIYers and professionals who rely on WD-40 Brand products to get their jobs done right at work, at home or at play. With an arsenal of WD-40 Brand products, Eppstein uses them to work on high-end brands like BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. As an ambassador of the PRO Board, Eppstein and his crew test and review WD-40 Brand products to provide unbiased feedback about how to use them daily. “Our feedback has been positive and constructive,” Eppstein said. “As a technician and a shop owner, we need products we can depend on and WD-40’s products help us to do a better job every day.” Eppstein is just one of many people who work with their hands every day. WD-40 Brand recently launched a / SEPTEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Cover

Lawsuit Against AirPro

asTech has finally learned through the courts that AirPro meets and exceeds its Ten-Minute Response pledge and that it is far from ‘mathematically impossible’. If asTech decides to continue on its failed path of senseless litigation, AirPro will certainly prevail as it proves AirPro delivers superior customer service using OEM software ‘local’ to the vehicle.” The litigation, filed April 15, accused AirPro of false or misleading badmouthing of asTech and followed and exchange of cease and desist letters between the two companies. On April 9, AirPro shared those letters with the industry and issued a challenge to asTech for “an independently monitored side-by-side comparison between our tools, methods and services.” In response, Repairify issued a statement on April 15 in which Repairify CEO Doug Kelly said “We are extremely proud of our product, which has undergone extensive testing and works as promised. Our team


is focused on promoting the differentiating characteristics of our product and the superior quality of our customer service. We believe the right way to build market share and customer loyalty is by highlighting the positive aspects of our product and business interactions, not by running around and bad-mouthing our competition.” Kelly continued, “Having said that, we fully intend to defend ourselves in the appropriate forum against malicious, false and unfair attacks by others. Unfortunately, we have been forced into a frustrating distraction from the focus on our product and customers resulting in the filing of the attached lawsuit.” On April 28, Repairify requested an injunction against AirPro, asking the court to force AirPro to remove various statements from its website; AirPro opposed the injunction and in a May 15 statement said “This case is all about our Truth Campaign posted on our website, which we firmly stand by. We welcome this opportunity to finally flush out the truth to educate repairers, OEM’s and the industry at large regarding the honest differences


between our technology and services versus that of asTech.” Repairify’s lawsuit stated that AirPro’s attacks against the asTech product had no foundation: “The AirPro website includes misleading statements suggesting that AirPro does have insider knowledge of the current asTech device, and thus is qualified to compare the asTech device with AirPro.” Because the allegedly misleading comments are found on AirPro’s website, they are available for the whole world, including Texas to see. Judge Werlein’s ruling shows how the court evaluates jurisdiction in cases against companies with broad online presences. Although Judge Werlein stated that asTech would be free to sue in Texas if they had produced evidence that AirPro had directly emailed Texas customers with the allegedly defamatory comments, according to the final judgement, “Defendant’s uncontroverted evidence is that, although it distributed the materials about which Plaintiff complains (and which Defendant maintains are truthful), ‘none of the individuals or entities that received

the information were located in the state of Texas or ‘based in the state of Texas.’” asTech’s argument that AirPro had emailed Asbury Automotive Group, a national chain doing business in Texas and an asTech customer, Judge Werlein said it did not create Texas jurisdiction since the email was sent to a regional manager in Atlanta. In the lawsuit, asTech pointed out that AirPro Sales and Marketing Vice President Frank LaViola has a home in Houston, but Judge Werlein wrote, “Plaintiff infers that based on his title, LaViola must be responsible for the allegedly defamatory statements in Defendant’s advertising campaign (which Defendant calls the ‘Truth Campaign’), but Defendant produces uncontroverted evidence that LaViola was hired in January 2019 and ‘was not involved in the planning, development or initial execution of the Truth Campaign,’ was not ‘involved in any aspect of creating the Truth Campaign,’ does not control the content of Defendant’s website, and ‘did not direct, order or authorize any of the posts complained of in asTech’s complaint. Given this un-

controverted proof regarding the facts that underlie the Plaintiff’s claims, LaViola’s mere presence in Texas does not support Plaintiff’s assertion of specific personal jurisdiction.” Judge Werlein also rejected consideration based on the fact that two percent of AirPro’s customer base is located in Texas, resulting in an attempt to hire staff in that location. He stated, “allegation or evidence that these minimum contacts have any relation to the allegedly false statements that form the basis of Plaintiff’s claims.” Insisting that AirPro’s comments must be demonstrated to specifically target Texans or reference Texas, Judge Werlein wrote, “In the absence of any statements by Defendant about or expressly directed at Texas, the mere fact that Plaintiff is a citizen of Texas is insufficient to establish specific jurisdiction under both parties

compete nationwide ‘effects test,’ particularly where and not only–or even primarily–in Texas,” Werlein wrote. Though asTech’s argument for jurisdiction was supported by the claim that Texans could directly interact with AirPro through ORION and the site’s “Contact Us” feature, the judge stated, “Plaintiff argues that these features make Defendant’s website active, or at least interactive, under the Zippo test used by the Fifth Circuit. [However, asTech hadn’t claimed] there is anything false, misleading or otherwise improper about the interactive portions of Defendant’s website.” Regarding asTech’s disputes with AirPro’s “Truth Campaign” page, Werlein wrote, “Defendant produces uncontroverted evidence—and indeed Plaintiff does not argue to the contrary—that the portions of the website containing the statements that Plaintiff identifies as false and misleading are

Spanesi and KTL Restorations Join Forces at SEMA 2019 KTL has officially joined Spanesi, who is celebrating their 50th year in the auto collision industry. Pinnacle will be unveiled in the Spanesi booth at SEMA,

located in North Hall, booth #10639. Pinnacle will be displayed inside of Spanesi’s Michelangelo spray booth, customized with glass walls and glass

not interactive and do not allow for the exchange of information.” In regards to asTech’s petition for limited jurisdictional discovery, Judge Werlein rejected the request, writing “Plaintiff does not state what additional evidence it reasonably expects to find if discovery were allowed. The parties, which know each other well and have engaged in previous litigation against each other, have filed full briefs including their verified evidence related to Defendant’s contacts with Texas alleged in Plaintiff’s complaint. As observed, the evidence submitted fails to establish that Defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction in Texas. Without stating what other facts pertinent to jurisdiction are expected to be discovered and a plausible basis for that expectation, Plaintiff fails to carry its burden to show that additional jurisdictional discovery is warranted.” doors for viewing by SEMA attendees. Look for unveiling time and details closer to November! See you at SEMA!

Continued from Cover

Marketing for Shops

return for promoting positive reviews and hiding negative ones. The film opens with Davide Cerretini, owner of Botto Italian Pizza Bistro in Richmond, CA, who claims that Yelp’s salespeople called him 20 times a week pressuring him to advertise on the platform. They finally wore him down and he signed up for a six-month contract, which he didn’t renew. Once he stopped paying for advertising, Cerretini claims his positive Yelp reviews vanished, only to be replaced with new and mysterious negative reviews. “To me, this is the mafia,” Cerretini says in the film. A few years ago, Nielsen conducted a study and the numbers were pro-Yelp. • 88 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. • 85 percent of consumers read online reviews. • Yelp gets 142 million monthly visitors and 77 million local reviews See Marketing for Shops, Page 20 / SEPTEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


right way, at the right time, in the place, to the right person, for the Focusing on Kina’ole right right reason, with the right feeling … the first time.” Chess said Taylor was a compasdoing and so will the students,” said sionate businessman who was comMcCauley. She encouraged CIC attendees mitted to changing the collision repair and the industry to get involved industry for the better and helping with students as much as possible— people learn. When Taylor passed away 12 whether that’s speaking to them about the collision repair trade or years ago, the March Taylor Memorial offering tours—and show them the Fund was established in his name to benefit collision repair technicians. possibilities available. “Right now, everyone in the in- Today, Chess said the donations redustry recognizes the need to draw ceived by the industry are used to promore students into the collision repair vide the next generation of technicians field,” said Chess. “We need more a “step upward” through tool scholaryoung men and women. The question ships and mentoring opportunities. With a reputation for being a is: ‘How do you attract them?’” Through his work in the colli- hard worker, Taylor would often start sion repair industry and with the his day early and work after-hours March Taylor Memorial Fund, Chess and weekends. Rather than doing it has found a way to support the in- for recognition, Chess said he did it dustry and reach students who will because it was the “right thing to do.” “March only gave,” said Chess. potentially fill the jobs of the future. “The biggest problem is when “He never took a thing from the inyou are getting an entry-level tech- dustry.” “The March Taylor Memorial nician coming into your shop and Fund was started by those of us who they don’t have tools,” said Chess. To help address this challenge, knew and loved March and believed in Chess has reached out to tool and his passion for the collision industry equipment companies across the and the technicians who made it all country as well as body shops request- possible,” said Barry Dorn, owner of ing monetary and in-kind donations. Dorn’s Body and Paint in Mechanicsville, VA. “March was always about The donations are then used to purhelping new technicians get into the industry.” Dorn is a member of the March Taylor Memorial Fund committee along with Jeff Hendler, CIC administrator; Jordan Hendler, president of Admin Concepts; Dale Matsumoto, president of Auto Body Hawaii; and Chess. Earlier this year in April, at the Collision Industry Conference They have found that a in Nashville, TN, Toby Chess (left) and Jeff Hendler (right) wide cross-section of the presented six students with toolboxes as part of the March collision repair industry has Taylor Memorial Fund shown its support by making chase tools and toolboxes for collision donations that will help provide oprepair students and teachers. In addi- portunities for students, technicians tion to the two McCauley received, six and teachers, like McCauley, while individuals were awarded toolboxes at honoring March Taylor’s memory. “I strive to teach every young the June CIC in Nashville, TN, on behalf of the March Taylor Memorial individual who steps into my classroom the same skills and trades I Fund. Many in the industry are famil- have myself, always maintaining a iar with the name March Taylor, strong level of compassion, integrity who lived and worked in the colli- and perseverance,” McCauley wrote sion repair industry. He was known in her application when applying for for living his life according to the a grant. “My integrity gives me the Hawaiian word “Kina’ole,” which determination to take on the tougher means “Doing the right thing in the assignment and handle them honContinued from Cover



estly while perseverance—most important of all—is needed in the public education system to encourage myself and those around me to not only do the best quality work, but also to do it when we’re under strenuous conditions.” “She’s a champion for her students,” said Jeff Hendler during the CIC presentation. He said helping technicians further their careers through scholarships and tools speaks to the heart of the March Taylor Memorial Fund. “March would be smiling as he always kept his focus on assisting those in the workshop repairing cars,” he said. In addition to the toolboxes, the March Taylor Memorial Fund also offers collision repair technician grants that include I-CAR coupons, partial or full payment for industry training or the ability to attend industry events. An application is available online and can be submitted throughout the year. Dorn said scholarships have been awarded at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and at the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) Red Carpet

Awards breakfast at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. To apply for a grant, Chess said individuals must have worked in collision repair for at least two years, currently be employed in the industry and their employer must be part of a collision industry association, whether it’s local, state or national. Chess recalls a recent high school graduate who had aspirations to attend a vocational-technical school, on the recommendation of a teacher, but he had some financial hardships and took out a loan to follow his career path. He also applied for assistance through the March Taylor Scholarship Fund and received $2,000 toward his education. “The Memorial Fund will always maintain March’s focus,” said Hendler. “The donations allow us to do that.” “We hope the entire industry gets involved,” said Chess. “We wanted to do something proactive to encourage these individuals to join the profession instead of just sitting back.” For more information about the March Taylor Memorial Fund and to donate, visit: https://www.marchtaylor

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Longtime Auto Body Instructor to Retire From NPCC One of North Platte, NE, Community College’s longest-serving instructors will retire this month. Don Wilson has worked at the college for almost 45 years. There was a retirement celebration for him at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12 in the NPCC North Campus student lounge.

Don Wilson has worked at North Platte Community College for almost 45 years. Credit: NPCC

“I never thought I would go into auto body, but then I never thought I would be a teacher either,” said Wilson with a laugh. “Look how that turned out.” Wilson has spent all but one year of his life in North Platte. He became interested in working on cars when he was in high school. “I had some friends whose dads were body men at Shrake Body Shop,” Wilson said. “I would walk home from school with my friends and stop at the shop. We would visit with the men and watch them work on vehicles. It looked like fun.” At that time, however, Wilson already had a job. “I worked at the Hinky Dinky grocery store my last three years of high school and was going to be the assistant manager,” said Wilson. “At the last minute, I decided to go to auto body school in Denver instead.” The year was 1966. Wilson packed up his belongings and left for Denver the day he graduated from high school. “I returned home a year later but didn’t come back wanting to be a body man,” Wilson said. “I thought I was going to be a cowboy. Then a horse fell on me and broke my foot. I decided being a cowboy wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.” Instead, Wilson became a milk deliveryman for Fairacres Dairy. “I did that for six months until I spun out coming down a hill by the lake and spilled all the milk in the truck,” Wilson said. “I drove straight into town to Don Reese’s body shop and told Don I needed a job. I was hired on the spot.” After a year at Reese’s, Wilson 16

was hired by John Hurt Chevrolet. He spent eight years doing body work there – the last three as shop foreman. He also started teaching auto body classes at the college on Saturday’s beginning in 1972. They were full of Kearney State students who commuted, and two sessions were offered – one during the day and one at night. Eventually, demand increased to the point that there was a waiting list for the night class. “Ginger Snodgrass and Jim Doyle would come to the Chevrolet dealership once a week begging me to start an auto body program at the college,” Wilson said. “One day, I got into an argument with John Hurt, so I took Doyle and Snodgrass up on their offer, and here I am.” That was 1975. Wilson has witnessed a lot of changes in the program since then – everything from the materials used to the facilities and the people who have come and gone through NPCC’s hallways.

Don Wilson helps a student with a class project at North Platte Community College. Credit: NPCC

“Everything has evolved,” said Wilson. “We used to paint with lacquer, and now it’s polyurethane basecoats and topcoats. There are high strength metals. You really have to keep up on things to know what’s happening.” As enrollment and equipment needs changed, so did the location of the auto body program. “The first year, I was in the auto mechanics shop. The next year, I was teaching in the sheet metal shop. Then I was moved to the maintenance building. At one point, I was in the electrical shop. The building the auto body program is currently in was constructed in 1993,” Wilson said. The program, itself, has also evolved. One of the biggest changes was the start of the car raffle 16 years ago. Every year, the college’s auto body technology and automotive technology students build a car that is raffled to raise money for trans-


portation program scholarships. Wilson’s favorite was a 1939 Studebaker. “It was the first fiberglass raffle car we did,” Wilson said. “It had an S-10 chassis. One student, in particular, and I put a lot of time into that car. I’ve found that you really have to teach auto body to know it. It’s amazing all the things you do differently when you’re teaching as opposed to working in the field. Actions aren’t just automatic.” He still keeps in contact with many of his former students, as well as many of his colleagues who are also now retired. “I’m definitely going to miss the people,” Wilson said. “I’ve worked with some really great people over the years. And the students – even if they didn’t become body techs, they grew up a lot in here.” Wilson isn’t much of a traveler, but he does have some plans for keeping busy during retirement. Those include running his used car business, helping his wife with her antique shop, attending car shows and restoring his own vehicles at home. He’s also not planning on walk-

ing away from NPCC entirely. Wilson will be among the attendees when one lucky winner’s name is drawn for this year’s raffle car, a 1969 Ford Mustang Convertible, on Sept. 7 at Memorial Park in Omaha, NE.

Don Wilson, third from right, stands behind the 2019 NPCC raffle car, a 1969 Ford Mustang Convertible. He is joined by his auto body students who worked on the Mustang. Credit: NPCC

“This college and this program have been my life for the past 40-plus years,” Wilson said. “It doesn’t matter what courses you take. The college is the best opportunity for North Platte and the surrounding area. Students here don’t have to travel to get an affordable, yet high-class education. Sometimes I think this area doesn’t realize what it has in NPCC. I’m going to miss it.”

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

On July 11, the St. Louis I-CAR Committee gathered to discuss the group’s goals and their upcoming job fair. According to Committee Chair Shelly Jones, “Regarding the goals, we are over halfway there. With upcoming events planned, we anticipate reaching Gold Status again this year.” Gene Slattery, committee education coordinator, shared information about the upcoming job fair with the group. The Gateway Automotive and Collision Job Fair is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 27, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Gateway Motorsport Park in Madison, IL. The St. Louis I-CAR Committee anticipates the attendance of 750 automotive and collision repair high school and college students; however, due to this year’s partnership with the National Hot Rod Association / Youth and Education Services (NHRA/Y.E.S), 1,000 students in STEM programs will also be invited. The Committee believes, “With this kind of turnout, you are sure to find a great student that you will want to hire or keep in your files for future employment.”


The annual job fair benefits the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF). In 2018, over $33,000 was raised during the event and split between the participating collision schools to buy supplies, tools and equipment. Slattery shared, “Our event

Shawn Counts (left) and Gene Slattery (right) display the I-CAR flyers they handed out at Ranken Technical College. Credit: St. Louis I-CAR Committee

is always the talk of the entire Gateway/NHRA race on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. NHRA industry people told us that the I-CAR Job Fair was the best thing they had seen for the industry. They were all impressed by the automotive and collision repair students walking through the pits, wearing I-CAR T-shirts and the professionalism they showed handing


out resumes.” The St. Louis I-CAR Committee will provide snacks, water and lunches for all participants, and NHRA is funding student tickets and backpacks. Multiple sponsorship levels are available; but, although sponsors can sign up any time before the event, registration must be made by Aug. 1 to be included in the student guide. Information and registration for sponsors is available at During the meeting, Jones also shared information on a recent event Committee members attended: “In order to highlight the value of collision repair careers and share I-CAR with the general public, Shawn Counts, Gene Slattery and I attended Ranken Technical College’s Summer Camp on July 12. This was the final day of Ranken’s sold-out summer camps for middle school students. Students were from many area schools. Parents attended the final day of camp to watch their children race their projects. The three committee members handed out I-CAR flyers, promoted the careers in the collision industry and promoted the collision programs at area high schools.”

Jones also discussed the BodyShopology webpage, powered by I-CAR and Committee Vice-Chair of Training John Helterbrand talked about I-CAR class schedules at Ranken. Counts, vice-chair of market-

Jones, Counts and Slattery visited Ranken’s Summer Camp on July 12 to promote collision industry careers and the collision programs at area high schools. Credit: St. Louis I-CAR Committee

ing, provided details on his plans for future updates on the group’s Facebook page. The St. Louis I-CAR Committee will meet again at Ranken Technical College on Sept. 12 for their final preparations before the Gateway Automotive and Collision Job Fair on Sept. 27. For more information on the St. Louis I-CAR Committee, visit facebook .com/ICARStLouisCommittee. / SEPTEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Eustis Body Shop in Nebraska Celebrates 40-Year Anniversary Forty years ago, Doug Keller stood in front of the white stone building on Main Street in Eustis, NE, and wondered what he had just gotten himself into. At just 20-years-old, Keller was the proud new owner of that white stone building, which would soon become the first Eustis Body Shop location in the state. Keller remembers being excited and a little scared. He had just written a big check to purchase the building and wasn’t sure if he would ever be able to pay it back. He didn’t know it then, but this building would be the first of many shops and the beginning of four decades of business in auto body repair.

Doug Keller, owner of Eustis Body Shop. Credit: Courtesy photo, Lexington-Clipper Herald

Just months before this moment, Keller received his degree in auto body technology from Southeast Community College in Milford, NE. Cars had been a passion of his and he knew he wanted to turn this passion into a business. But before he could get this business up and running, the white stone building would need some serious attention as it was not suitable to work in. With the help of his grandfather Clarence Keller, who had also loaned him money to purchase the shop and helped him every step of the way, Doug got to work with his father and brothers. They cleaned the building, repaired the leaky roof, and brought in the equipment needed to repair and paint cars. After three months of hard work, Eustis Body Shop opened its doors to customers and has served Eustis and the surrounding communities ever since. Now, the shop in Eustis has five employees and is managed by Jerud Banzhaf. Eustis Body Shop also is affiliated with Eustis Mechanic Shop managed by Joe Bihlmaier. Bihlmaier started in the body shop location and then soon ran out of room. His shop 20

was purchased in 2006 and is staffed with four mechanics. In 1988, Eustis Body Shop expanded to Lexington, NE, when the local Ford dealership disbanded their auto body business. Managed by Dave Berke, a longtime employee, Eustis Body Shop built a new location, in 1994 just off the new west overpass in Lexington and is staffed with six employees. Green’s Body Shop of Grand Island, NE, with two locations, was purchased by Eustis Body Shop in 1991. Eventually, those two locations were combined into the current shop of nine employees. It’s just off West Old Highway 30 and is managed by Doug Miotke. Eustis Body Shop in Kearney was built in 1997. Glen Brown, formerly a body technician at the original Eustis location, manages the Kearney shop and its 13 employees. Kearney is our highest volume shop at this time. In 2006, the Eustis Body Shop, Inc. added their 5th location when it bought Cozad Auto Body in Cozad, NE. Renovations and technology were added to the shop to meet the requirements of carrying the Eustis Body Shop name. The Cozad shop, with five employees, is located just off Meridian Avenue, the main entrance into Cozad from 1-80, and is managed by Bill Vollenweider.

(l to r) Scott Nichelson, Doug Keller and Dave Berke. Credit: Courtesy photo, Lexington-Clipper Herald

The newest addition to the Eustis Body Shop franchise came in July of 2018 when the company expanded to Lincoln and opened the doors to a brand new, state-of-the-art shop at 87th and Highway 2. The shop has grown tremendously in the last year, as it started out with five employees and is now at 13 employees. The Lincoln location is managed by Bryan Modlin. Despite having multiple locations and over 60 employees, Doug


has stayed true to his early belief in good quality business ethics. By combining the latest technologies in auto body repair with highly trained employees, Eustis Body Shop is able to perform repairs quicker and return vehicles back to factory specifications in an efficient manner.

Credit: Courtesy photo, Lexington-Clipper Herald

A trusting customer relationship and a hard-earned reputation for quality work has been their primary goal for 40 years. Eustis Body Shop celebrated this milestone, at their Anniversary Party on Friday, July 26th at the Eustis shop. We thank the Lexington Clipper-Herald for reprint permission.

Continued from Page 13

Marketing for Shops

in industries ranging from auto repair to food and entertainment. • 98 percent of Yelp users report making a purchase at a business they found on Yelp, with 85 percent doing so within seven days and 27 percent doing so within one day. • 80 percent of Yelp users visit the site with the intention of buying a product or service. • Consumers consider Yelp to be the most trustworthy, influential online review site with the highest quality reviews. So, we reached out to Yelp and asked them the big question—do you extort small businesses or manipulate their system? Their short answer was an emphatic no, but the longer explanation came in a document from Yelp that addressed many issues. “We understand that there are a lot of misconceptions out there, so we’re here to clear the air: the only See Marketing for Shops, Page 22 / SEPTEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Fuyao Glass America Inc. Faces $724,380 in Federal Penalties by Emmariah Holcomb,

Fuyao Glass America Inc. (Fuyao) has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for allegedly exposing its employees to multiple safety and health hazards at its Moraine, Ohio, glass plant. According to OSHA, Fuyao

The administration has inspected Fuyao’s Ohio plant one dozen times within the past four years, according to OSHA. The auto glass manufacturer was cited for nine repeated and 13 serious violations, which included: • Exposing employees to electrical safety violations;

“This company’s repeated failure to implement and enforce safety and health programs at the workplace is unacceptable” — Bill Donovan

is facing $724,380 in federal penalties. OSHA released statements yesterday affirming it has undertaken an inspection of the auto glass manufacturer under its Site-Specific Targeting program. “[The Site-Specific Targeting program] directs enforcement resources to workplaces where the highest rate of injuries and illnesses have occurred,” a portion of the administration’s release reads.


• Failing to evaluate the workplace to determine permit-required confined spaces; • Failing to train employees on lockout/tag out and entering confined spaces; • Failing to install machine guarding; • Failing to provide hearing protection; • Failing to provide personal protective equipment; and • Failing to require the use of


fall protection. “This company’s repeated failure to implement and enforce safety and health programs at the workplace is unacceptable. Employers must continually evaluate their facilities for hazards, and train employees and managers to use proper safety controls and equipment to keep their worksites safe and healthful,” said Bill Donovan, acting regional administrator for OSHA. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees, according to the administration. Fuyao has 15 business days from receiving its safety and health citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. At press time, Fuyao had not yet responded to requests for comment from AGRRTM magazine. We thank for reprint permission.

Continued from Page 20

Marketing for Shops

thing you can buy on Yelp is advertising, not reviews or stars,” Yelp said. “Here’s what money won’t buy any business owner on Yelp: A higher rating, the removal of negative reviews and positive reviews.” Does Yelp show more favorable reviews for advertisers or penalize non-advertisers? “Advertising (or not advertising) on Yelp has no impact on reviews,” stated in Yelp’s document. “This is core to our trusted relationships with users and businesses alike, and it’s a principle on which we never compromise. These claims have been investigated and rejected in multiple courtrooms and disproven by independent scholarly studies.” Yelp then also offered some methods for interacting with reviewers for best results: “If a review has incorrect information, this is a good chance to correct it,” according to Yelp. “While See Marketing for Shops, Page 23

Continued from Page 22

Midwest Association Event Announcements: September 2019 by Chasidy Rae Sisk

AWAF Explores the Future of Mobility On Sept. 25, the Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation (AWAF) will host “Future of Mobility” at Cauley Ferrari of Detroit in West Bloomfield, MI. The guest speaker for the event will be Diane L. Peters, Ph.D., P.E., Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Kettering University. For more information, visit AASP-MO Hosting Mega Meeting in September On Sept. 11, AASP-MO will host an extended Gateway Collision Chapter Mega Meeting, sponsored by Mitchell, Midnite Auto, Chapman & Hogan and United Fire Group. The association plans to have multiple presenters, and additional details will be released soon. For more information, visit AASP-MN to Host Body Shop Session on Collision Industry Issues and Trends On Sept.17, AASP-MN will host a Body Shop Session at Grumpy’s Bar and Grill in Roseville, MN. The event will feature a presentation on “Collision Industry Issues and Trends” with

Aaron Schulenburg, executive director for the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS). The $25 registration fee includes lunch. The event is sponsored by Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Complete Health, Environmental and Safety Services (C.H.E.S.S.). For more information, visit

Iowa. The focus of this year’s annual convention is big equipment and will include a large equipment arena at Swift’s Trails End Automotive Recycling as well as a Technology Lab at the Baymont by Wyndham Des Moines North. For more information, visit

North Central MN Skills USA and MN I-CAR Committees to Hold Golf Tournament to Raise Scholarship Funds On Wednesday, Sept. 11, the North Central MN Skills USA and MN ICAR Committees will host a fourperson scramble golf tournament at the Oak Glen Golf Course in Stillwater, MN. Proceeds from the event will be donated to local tech school student scholarships and other collision training needs in the state. Registration for a team of four costs $400, or individuals can register for $100 per person. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information, visit

ASA-IL Prepares for 2019 Summit On Saturday, Sept. 14, ASA-IL’s 2019 Annual Summit will feature a panel discussion entitled “Are You Ready for the New Automotive Repair Marketplace?” as well as a panel discussion on “How do we pay our techs $100,000 per year?” Panelists include industry experts Donny Seyfer, Jeremy O’Neal, Jim Silverman, Danny Sanchez and more. The panel discussions will be moderated by Carm Capriotto from Remarkable Results Radio. Capriotto will also present “The Top Nine Strategies of the Highest Performing Shops.” ASA-IL’s 2019 Summit will also include an opportunity to network with industry vendors during the association’s Speed Networking with Vendors lunch. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, visit

IAR 2019 Summer Outing Features BIG Equipment Show On Sept. 20-21, the Iowa Automotive Recyclers (IAR) will host its 2019 Summer Outing in Des Moines,

Marketing for Shops

you should always take the high road and respond considerately, correcting incorrect information is okay. Remember, it’s not just what you say but how you say it. Since everyone can see your public comment, respond in a way that will impress your potential customers.” “Responding to a review with critical feedback can be tricky,” said Yelp. “You want to act quickly because it’ll improve your chance to turn the situation around, but also take your time to think of the right thing to say. First, read the review. Then reread the review. Reread it again. On your third take, start looking for the value. Ask yourself: What did the customer expect? Why did they expect that? Where was the misunderstanding? Why did that occur? What changes can I make to make sure this situation doesn’t happen again?” “After rereading the review a few times, you’ll almost always find See Marketing for Shops, Page 42 / SEPTEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Shop Owner Invents MyShop Traffic Software for All the Right Reasons by Ed Attanasio

It was in the early 2000s when Gene Cortes’ shop in Nanuet, NY, was hitting its numbers and plugging along with a crew of 31 people fixing approximately 200 cars every month. Since opening in 1992, Clarkstown International Collision, Inc. turned a profit as Cortes tracked everything with pen and paper, including the

how MyShop Traffic was created.” Now Cortes is the founder & CEO of MyShop Traffic, a company that is growing at a rapid rate. Shops all over the country are currently using the system, but in the beginning, the program was only intended for Clarkstown International Collision, he said. “The idea for MyShop Traffic was originally for my own use only. I knew I was losing money

(l to r) CEO & Founder Gene Cortes, Senior Program Manager Alain Perez, Director of Sales & Marketing Melly Bonita and Director of Sales & Training Stephanie Cohen run the show at MyShop Traffic. Credit: MyShop Traffic

shop’s workflow, cycle time, parts, supplies, expenses, payroll; but, soon, he realized that is was too time-consuming, unreliable and not sustainable for continued growth. Cortes, age 67, began looking for a solution to make his life easier and the first thing he did was to get rid of his old ways. At first, he shed all of the paper he was using previously and started relying on a Palm Pilot before changing over to a digital tracking system of his own. “When it got busy here at the shop, things could get chaotic and a little overwhelming,” he said. “Tracking our workflow on pen and paper or on a whiteboard wasn’t working well anymore. There’s just too much room for error if you don’t have a central location with all the information that is easily accessible.” Cortes saw a definite need for a piece of software that could help his operation, but knew he would need help to get it done. “I’ve been in the collision repair industry for 47 years, as a car guy and a businessman, but I’m not a software guru,” he said. “So, I hired a programmer and told him what my issues were and that’s 24

by not tracking everything accurately or reliably. Everything in this program was developed out of personal challenges and problems I needed to solve in my business. After talking with many other shop owners and industry people throughout the years, I learned that they all have the same frustrations.” In addition to keeping a record of everything in the shop, this software also tracks things like supplies, parts, labor hours, and job costing and delivers data that can be analyzed to help streamline operations, according to Cortes. “Our mission is to empower body shop owners with the ability to run their business in an organized, efficient and profitable manner, from any location in the world and that’s exactly what we have achieved with MyShop Traffic,” he said. “We are constantly updating and improving the software as we discover new things we can do with it.” Once Cortes could see some initial success with the product and acceptance from the collision repair industry, he decided to bring MyShop Traffic to market. One of the first


things he did was make it a family affair, by partnering with his daughters, Melly Bonita and Stephanie Cohen, who both grew up in the body shop business and have spent their professional careers working in corporate sales, marketing and design at marketing agencies. In a nutshell, MyShop Traffic is an easy-to-use, secure management software that is designed to increase a body shop’s productivity and profitability. The software optimizes a shop’s business by tracking cycle time, cutting back on wasted inventory, increasing productivity and allowing shop owners to lead and manage their staff from any location in the world. Shop managers, technicians and estimators can use the program on their smartphones, laptops or tablets, to monitor things such as workflow, logistics, output and profit, ensuring that everybody in the shop is operating at their fullest and most streamlined potential. MyShop Traffic is 100% scalable, which means it works for smaller mom and pop shops with two em-

ployees all the way to larger MSOs with several hundred. “The idea is to eliminate errors and make a shop more efficient and profitable,” Cortes said. “MyShop Traffic was created by a body shop for a body shop, and that is why we understand the intricacies of the collision repair business. By using this program, any size shop can do tasks in 30 seconds instead of 15 minutes, which is especially significant for a busy shop.” After attending SEMA last year and learning that major paint companies, big shop chains and industry leaders are interested in MyShop Traffic, the company is gaining momentum. “Shops like it, because we designed it for them,” Cortes said. “It’s our number one go-to system here and we are hearing the same from other shops, dealerships and car restoration companies who give us their feedback all the time.” To see if MyShop Traffic is right for your shop, contact info@myshop to book your live demo, or visit for more information.


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Solving the Tech Shortage: In-Prison Automotive Programs Provide Education & Training for Potential Hires by Stacey Phillips

Terrance Jones didn’t have any automotive experience when he entered Washington State Penitentiary, let alone a skill or trade. He learned about the educational programs offered by Walla Walla Community College at a minimumsecurity unit of the correctional facility and decided to enroll in auto body repair. During the one-year certificate program held on the facility grounds, he learned how to disassemble and reassemble vehicles, do bodywork and paint vehicles for the local community who brought in their cars for repair. “I loved it,” said Jones. “A lot of these guys, including myself, when we go in, don’t have any experience in any type of field let alone being able to hold down a decent job. The

instructor, Lee Brickey, have been crucial to his success. “He is that guy who actually cares about what happens to the gentlemen who come through this program,” said Jones. As a result, he has been able to move up the ranks quickly at H & I Automotive. “I’m one of their lead technicians and ‘go to’ guy, which feels good,” he added. Jones said the experiences students have in the auto body program give them hope that they can work rather than return to their previous lives. “I know countless guys who I knew when I was inside prison who have gone back already and there’s only a handful of us who are still out and doing well,” said Jones. “It was really based on the skills and trades we learned while in prison.”

upon release,” according to the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. “Offenders who are provided opportunities to gain job skills are much more likely to be successful in the community upon release and educated offenders are statistically less likely to commit additional crimes.” To help reverse this trend, inprison educational programs are offered by community and technical colleges around the country. The goal is to educate incarcerated individuals so they can re-enter society and be able to work and contribute. Walla Walla Community College in Walla Walla, WA, is one of these. The college has established an inprison auto body and diesel mechanic program at Washington State Penitentiary and an automotive mechanics program at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center. Washington State Penitentiary Hired through Walla Walla Commu-

There are currently 18 students and six teaching assistants (TAs) who take part in the program at Coyote Ridge. Credit: Walla Walla Community College program at Coyote Ridge Correction Center

fact that when I got out I was going to have a trade skill under my belt and I could get a decent job when I first got out was really exciting.” Once Jones earned his auto body certificate from the college, he became a teaching assistant (TA) for the next year and a half before being released from prison in 2016. As part of Washington Department of Corrections’ work release program, Jones was placed at a Maaco facility where he worked for a short time before being hired at H & I Automotive in downtown Seattle. He said the skills he learned in the community college in-prison program from his 26

He encourages body shops to be patient with new technicians who might have gone through a similar program and “not to give up on these guys.” “You might have to sift through a few bad apples before you find a good one but don’t give up because we are out there,” said Jones. Studies have repeatedly shown that increasing education initiatives in prison lead to lower recidivism rates. “Most of the men and women entering correctional facilities lack the literacy and employment skills needed to succeed in our communities


nity College, Brickey has worked as the auto body instructor for Washington State Penitentiary for the last decade. Prior to that, he instructed at Columbia Basin College for five years and has worked in collision repair facilities for more than 20 years. On a typical day, Brickey’s students spend about six hours a day, five days a week, at the body shop, which was set up at the minimum-security unit of the facility by the college and Department of Corrections. Teaching up to 18 students at a time, Brickey teaches them how to repair vehicles for the surrounding community following the same curriculum that is taught on the college campus. Students have the option of participating in a nine-month program or working toward an associates degree. Upon graduating, they receive a certificate from the community college. If they have done well in the class and haven’t been released from the correctional facility yet, they are invited to work as TAs and are paid


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for helping with grades and student questions. “For anyone who has completed one of the programs, we’ve found that the rates of reoffending go way down,” he said. Brickey recalls one of his students who was 21 years old and had a challenging time working with others. The collision repair instructor gave him a project to focus on—painting a bright red sports car. When the vehicle was unmasked and pushed out of the paint booth, Brickey said it looked impressive. “Everyone was standing around and said it looked really nice,” he recalled. “I talked to him later and he said it was the first time in his whole life that anybody gave him a compliment about anything he had accomplished.” Personal experiences like these are gratifying for Brickey who always had an interest in the automotive trade. When Walla Walla Community College approached him about teaching, he decided it would be a good fit. “I like making a difference in people’s lives,” he said. “It’s amazing sometimes and it’s frustrating some-

times because you find out these guys get into trouble and it’s not going to turn out perfect for all of them, but there are ones that it does.” With baby boomers retiring and not enough workers to fill their positions, Brickey said vocational train-

skilled people we have,” he said. His advice to body shops looking for employees is to give inmates a chance. Coyote Ridge Correction Center Over the past two years, Douglas

An in-prison automotive mechanic program was set up at Coyote Ridge Correction Center by Walla Walla Community College. Credit: Walla Walla Community College program at Coyote Ridge Correction Center

ing in state correctional facilities will help address the gap. “It’s amazing the shortage of

Leclair has taught an automotive services program at Coyote Ridge. Similar to the Washington State Penitentiary

program, a full-service auto repair shop was established by Walla Walla Community College about a decade ago on the prison grounds where students work on vehicles throughout the week. He currently has 18 students and six teaching assistants (TAs) who take part in the program. At Coyote Ridge, the main focus is on mechanical repair. “Many cars require major assembly removal in order to do the repairs,” said Leclair, who has worked in the automotive field since 1992. “We’re finding in the body shop industry the big body shops will have a mechanic; they have to.” Leclair helps them learn to think critically to diagnose problems and work on soft skills, which he has found to be essential to prepare them to work when they are released from prison. “What made Southwest Airlines so successful is that they don’t hire people with the skillset, they hire people with the right attitude and teach them the necessary skills,” he observed. “We call it ‘men teaching men.’ In the prison system, it’s really

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hard for an inmate to tell another inmate what to do, but I think we’ve overcome that in our little area of the world. My TAs are well-respected by the other guys.” By state law, most inmates receive $40 and a bus pass when they are released. Leclair hopes that by teaching them a trade, they can make a living wage when they are released. “A lot of these guys have been incarcerated at a young age and don’t have a skillset or a trade,” said Leclair. “If they leave here with a trade, then they don’t have to resort to activities that are less than desirable. If we give them a skill, they make great employees.” An advisory committee is set up where the automotive instructors regularly meet with the industry as part of the curriculum development to find out what types of positions they are searching for. Last year, one of the inmates who took part in the automotive program was released from prison and hired as a foreman at a Ford dealership in Arizona. Another, who had served 17 years, was hired to work as a mechanic in Yakima, WA.

“He took the skills he learned in the program and within three weeks, he was promoted to be the main mechanic in the facility,” said Leclair. For those questioning whether or not to hire a former inmate, Leclair said if they are given a skill, studies have shown they make great employees. “I had a teacher in high school who took a chance on me,” he recalled. “The guys in here, on average, are good, solid people and they made a mistake.” He also recommends paying new technicians fairly, even those with little to no experience. Through his experience managing a car dealership, Leclair found that offering a competitive wage up front and training individuals from the onset most often led to success; he encourages body shops to do the same. Clayton Long recently completed the automotive mechanics’ program at Coyote Ridge. “I had no prior automotive experience outside of knowing how to drive a vehicle,” said Long. “With that in mind, I knew I had an uphill battle on my hands.”

He said the course curriculum was a system-by-system approach, which made understanding the material much easier. “I soon realized that we weren’t expected to know everything, as this field is constantly evolving,” said Long. “I had to learn that learning never stops; I have to adapt to technology constantly changing and I have to work hard and remain dedicated in order to be successful in my trade.” When Long is released, he said his educational certificate will help get him through the door and into the interview process. “The personal growth that I have achieved is what will get me the job I want,” said Long. “Once I get through the door, I want to do everything—especially the work that nobody wants to do.” Samuel Laur was also one of Leclair’s students at Coyote Ridge who completed the automotive program. “The program has given me hope that I’ll be able to get out and get a good job with a wage that will allow me to support myself and not come back to prison,” said Laur.

Garmat Builds Upon CARSTAR Partnership

At the CARSTAR Acceleration 2019 Conference in Chicago, Garmat USA continued its long partnership with CARSTAR, hosting the welcome reception on Tuesday, July 16 for new CARSTAR franchise partners and top independent collision shop owners exploring opportunities with CARSTAR. “We’ve been partners with CARSTAR for many years and are honored to work with so many CARSTAR franchise partners,” said Debbie Teter, director of sales and marketing for Garmat. Themed “Picture Yourself in a Garmat Booth,” the reception featured a photo booth where guests could don paintsuits— along with fun hats, glasses and props—and take snaps in front of the Garmat paint booth backdrop. “We are proud of our many partners like Garmat who support our efforts to welcome new franchise partners to the CARSTAR family,” said Dave Foster, vice president of development for CARSTAR.


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Truck Topics with Gary Ledoux

Hey Buddy … Got a Millisecond? During the 2nd annual HD Repair Forum event held in Fort Worth, Texas, in March 2019, John Spoto, National Heavy Duty Truck Commercial Fleet manager for the 3M Company gave a fascinating presentation on the effects of a crash and how so much can happen in a very short amount of time. The following is a brief synopsis of that presentation. It is not meant to be scientifically precise, but only meant to give some perspective on what happens during a crash and what must be done to return the vehicle to road-worthiness. To begin with, there are many variables that determine the severity of a crash including: • The speed of the moving vehicle. Did you know the faster you drive, the greater the impact or striking power of your vehicle? The laws

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

of physics determine that the force of impact increases with the square of the increase in speed. So, if you double the speed of a vehicle, you increase its force of impact four times. • The weight of the moving vehicle. This is especially crucial with trucks. Is the truck traveling empty or loaded? If it is loaded, how much does it weigh and how secure is the load? • What is the nature of the object the truck will come into contact with? Is it completely stationary and immovable, like a reinforced brick or block wall, a bridge abutment, or a large tree? If so, the impact energy of the truck will be pushed back in an equal amount and the truck will sustain the entire force of the crash. If the truck hits something that will move, like a parked vehicle, for instance, the other vehicle will absorb some of the energy. The deceleration

of the truck would not be so abrupt and thereby mitigating some of the damage to the truck and occupants. • If truck “A” is going 60 mph and hits truck “B” of equal size and weight in a head-on manner, also going 60 mph, it would be the same as truck “A” hitting an immovable object at 60 mph. The identical speeds and mass cancel out each other or, better said, the two objects push back on each other with equal force. But this rarely happens. Chances are if a head-on collision is to occur with a semi-truck, it will more likely be with a car of considerably smaller mass and weight. From a pure physics point of view, this would help mitigate the damage to the truck, but could be catastrophic for the car. • What is the direction of impact? In other words, was it a head-on crash or a glancing blow which could have dissipated much of the crash energy?

What isn’t a variable is a law defined by Sir Isaac Newton – the law of inertia. It says an object in motion tends to stay in motion until acted upon by an outside force. Think in terms of the payload being transported by the truck in question. When the tractor hits the brick wall, Newton’s law of an outside force taking over to stop motion takes over to stop the tractor – but his law of inertia says the load and trailer want to keep going! And just think … what is going to take days or maybe weeks to repair, happened in a matter of milliseconds. How long is a millisecond? It is onethousandth of a second – the time it takes a camera flash to go off. A housefly’s wings flap every three milliseconds. Eight milliseconds is equal to 1/125th of a second or a common camera shutter speed. Researchers at MIT determined that the human eye can interpret images exposed for as lit- / SEPTEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS





tle as 13 milliseconds. Anything faster goes undetected. Zero Milliseconds This is the point where the front bumper first makes contact with a barrier or some other object – what you might call the “point of no return.” Using specific materials, parts and fastening protocols, engineers have designed the truck to collapse in a predictable manner to protect the truck’s occupants. This is where all that engineering pays off. And if the truck has been in a prior accident, this will tell if the repair was done in a safe and complete manner—or not. Five Milliseconds The truck’s body structure is already absorbing and managing crash energy. Each section area within the cab has a specific function in the event of a collision to channel the impact energy around the occupants. Ten Milliseconds The front bumper is fully collapsed and crash forces are being channeled through upper and lower members and body panels. Panels are designed to collapse to a certain point to not only absorb the energy, but to keep the occupants from becoming trapped inside. This is also called “Controlled Deceleration.” Starting in January 1965, Ford Motor Company crashed over 175 cars into a concrete barrier at 30 mph. The reason, to build a vehicle frame and structural parts that deform in a uniform manner upon impact to absorb the energy and mitigate cabin deformation, thereby saving the car’s occupants. The culmination of this testing would be introduced in all 1968 model Ford cars with what was being called a “Controlled Crush” front end. Other car and truck makers would follow. 15 Milliseconds The engine has been contacted and the subframe is being deformed. Different strengths of metal are used in the truck’s construction to either “break away” or transfer collision energy to other parts of the truck. (Before the

days of “Controlled Deceleration” the engine may have penetrated the cab at this point injuring the driver.) 20 Milliseconds The structure forward of the engine is now fully deformed and the crash energy is being channeled into the roof rails, rocker and rear portion of the engine subframe. 30 Milliseconds The cab continues to deform. Crushzones crumple and redirect the crash energy around the truck’s occupants. (Crush Zones can be seen as dimples, slots drilled in body parts or different types and thicknesses of metals. Ribs or stamped areas across the width of a part are also called convolutions and designed to aid in a Controlled Deceleration event.) In a repair bulletin, Volvo notes, “The cab frame and body panels form a cage that protects the driver and passenger. The cab exceeds protection safety standards in case of collisions or rollovers. Unlike conventional cab structures, where a load carrying frame supports the outer body panels, both the VN and VHD cab frame and body panels are designed to be part of the load carrying structure.” 40 Milliseconds As the crush zones deform, the crash energy is transferred to the dash, front cowl, floor pan and rockers. At this point, some sheet metal may have been bent, some kinked. Bent metal, depending on its strength and hardness may be bent back into shape. Kinked metal generally has to be replaced, especially if it is high-strength steel. (Straightening kinked metal could weaken it making it collapse in a subsequent crash.) 50 Milliseconds The engine assembly contacts the dash. The “A” pillar, roof, door pillar, rockers and floor pan carry the balance for the crash load. 67 Milliseconds The truck has reached maximum deformation. The penetration into the

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occupant area was controlled and limited due to the construction of the truck and materials used. The crash load was directed around and under the truck occupants. But even in the moment, the truck has completely stopped, momentum continues possibly forcing the payload through the back of the cab. 100 Milliseconds Event is complete Now, the damage estimating and repair process begins. Referring again to a Volvo collision repair bulletin, they specifically point out, “When major body damage occurs, you should replace entire sections instead of changing parts within a section. Replacing an entire section preserves the structural integrity of the cab and generally takes less time.” When reviewing or estimating a crash, the primary point of impact, probably the front of the cab, will no doubt get the most attention as it is the most obvious place to look. However, there could be considerable “Indirect Damage” which could include the frame or any part of the truck as the force of the collision was dissi-

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pated through the entire vehicle. This is why it is so important to look over the entire truck, not just the point of impact. Indirect Damage could have occurred on mechanical parts, electrical parts, engine brackets, seat brackets, air valves, dashboard and door trim panels just to name a few. Indirect Damage could have also loosened, deformed or separated seam sealer, cavity foams or those parts secured with adhesives. Some repairers may overlook foams and sealants, yet they perform a vital role in the drivability, and performance of the truck as well as driver comfort. Foam and sealants can be used to reduce noise, vibration and harshness in the cab, stiffen the body structure, as well as seal out dust, rainwater or unwanted fumes. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to apply corrosion protection. When making collision repairs, remember to never compromise safety. Return the truck to the driver/owner with the same structural integrity it had prior to the crash because in a subsequent accident … milliseconds still count!

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Too Many Openings & Too Few Techs—A Crisis With No End in Sight by Ed Attanasio

When I interview shop owners or managers all over North America for various articles, they usually end up asking me the same question. “I need a new technician; do you know anybody good?” After an awkward pause they often say, “Someone with a pulse?” From New York City to Los Angeles and everywhere in between, the collision repair industry has too many openings and too few people to fill them. It’s all about supply and demand, and tech schools are enrolling more and more students, but it’s still a matter of “too little, too late.” A recent study conducted by TechForce Foundation quantifies the growing seriousness of the body technician supply shortage. A non-profit organization whose goal is to get more young people interested in careers in auto repair, TechForce has a steep hill to climb as trade schools close or reduce class sizes. The growing gap between postsecondary graduate numbers and job

openings in mechanical and collision repair is hitting the panic stage, according to the TechForce Foundation’s Transportation Technician Supply Report. Based on the comprehensive analysis performed by the National Center for Education Statistics with 2011-2016 data, TechForce discov-

ered that the postsecondary supply of new body technicians entering the field has not kept up with the expanding demand. The schools are trying to fill the void, but it is growing at a rapid rate. This shortage has been getting worse for the past 15 years, but hit its all-

time low in 2013, as the gap between the supply and the demand has continued to grow every year. New technicians breaking into the industry are filling the growth in new positions, as well as replacing those who retire or exit the profession primarily through retirement. They are distinguished from seasoned body technicians who move between employers but don’t add to the overall trained workforce. It’s like a bad drought that isn’t being helped after some heavy rainfall because the need is increasing and many technicians are reaching the retirement stage. The TechForce report reveals that auto tech postsecondary graduates have been declining in a big way since 2013. The number of postsecondary auto graduates decreased by 1,829 in 2016. There were approximately 38,829 graduates for 2016 when compared to the projected Bureau of Labor Statistics demand for 75,900 new techs. Private-sector colleges have experienced the biggest decline while public two-year institutions (mostly community colleges)

have stepped up their efforts and proactively increased their recruitment efforts. So, what can be done to lighten the supply shortage and how long will it take to see some tangible results? Jennifer Maher, CEO/executive director of TechForce, recently said one of the main problems is that the auto tech education system in this country, has stigmatized trade-school education and killing the trades. Prospective students are still holding onto the outdated image of the greasy and sweaty mechanic because parents, instructors and counselors support the theory. Today’s new technicians are compensated well and possess skills that set them up for ongoing success but are burdened by more school debt than their fouryear school counterparts. Maher and her foundation are currently creating programs and supporting more students interested in becoming collision repair technicians. Greg Settle, TechForce’s director of National Initiatives, said that with See Too Many Openings, Page 53


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From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

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

Check OEM Procedures Before Disconnecting, Reconnecting Batteries The “Who Pays for What?” summer survey looked at how often shops research the OEM procedures related to disconnecting and reconnecting batteries. The results report won’t be tabulated until early this fall, but for now, we can take a look at some of the intricacies of disconnecting and reconnecting batteries when repairing a vehicle. What was once a seemingly easy step has become more complex and time-consuming as vehicle technology has evolved. Disconnecting the battery prior to repairs has become a common requirement. In the past, it was often considered necessary prior to performing any welding on the vehicle; but, many other procedures require disconnecting the battery, such as removing or disconnecting any electrical component.

• On a particular Audi, the automaker’s procedures state that when reconnecting the battery, you must “activate the one-touch up/down function for the power window regulators.” It also requires that you “Check DTC memories of all control modules, and delete the displayed entry “Undervoltage” under the vehicle diagnostic tester.” Most automakers say disconnecting the battery will set diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). You can’t check for those without doing a post-repair vehicle scan in conjunction with reconnecting the battery. • Do you think reconnecting the battery is only a more complex process on high-end European models? Guess again. The procedure for the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze is seven pages! It notes that you also need to inform the customer that the “start/stop” feature

Automakers may designate wait times for how long after shutting off the ignition switch a technician must wait before disconnecting the battery; for the Nissan Armada, it can vary based on engine type. Credit: Nissan

varies even by engine type. You have to wait four minutes before disconnecting the battery on Armadas with some engine types, and 12 or even 20

minutes on Armadas with other engine types. Some automakers also have designated wait times after the battery has been disconnected before

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The OEM procedure for reconnecting the battery on the 2019 KIA Stinger includes steps related to the sunroof and auto-up/down power window. Credit: KIA

It’s important to remember that disconnecting and reconnecting the battery is a non-included operation. There is no standard for what procedures are required by the automakers when reconnecting the battery; it varies based on the specific year, make, model and options of the vehicle being repaired. That’s why you MUST research it for every single repair. Let’s look at some examples: 40

on the vehicle “will not be available until the vehicle is allowed to sit for at least three hours undisturbed.” How would you know to do that unless you read the procedures for reconnecting the battery? • Many vehicles have specific wait times after the vehicle is turned off using the ignition before the battery is disconnected. For the 2017 Nissan Armada, for example, the wait time


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you can disconnect certain electrical components. • You also need to check the OEM procedures for what systems need to be initialized or calibrated after the battery is reconnected. Toyota’s procedure for reconnecting the battery on some Camrys, for example, lists five such systems that need to be initialized.

tance of checking the OEM procedures for every job before you do

something as simple as disconnecting or reconnecting a battery. It’s not as

• The OEM procedures also will tell you what type of test drive (or “drive cycle”) is necessary after a battery has been reconnected. Hopefully, these examples alone are enough to convince you of the imporContinued from Page 23

Marketing for Shops

helpful information,” Yelp added. “Looking at difficult feedback as an insight into how you can improve will make a big difference. It will help you craft your response. It’s a

The OEM procedures, like this one, for the 2018 Toyota Camry, list the systems that must be initialized or calibrated after reconnecting the battery. Credit: Toyota

good idea to start with a public response that includes a thank you, even if you disagree with the review. Look at it this way; the reviewer took the time to share what went wrong. There are lots of consumers who won’t take the time to give you those insights. Your reviewers are giving you the chance to improve.”

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simple as the procedure once seemed. And two side notes: Don’t put “R&I battery” on your estimate or invoice if what you are actually doing is just disconnecting and reconnecting one terminal. Doing so could be seen as “work billed but not performed.” Also, have you ever had to buy a battery for a customer because the one in the vehicle died while it was at the shop? If so, avoiding that is another great benefit of performing a pre-repair scan of every vehicle when checking them into your shop. That scan can catch voltage errors that point to a weak battery. You can then inspect the battery, check its date, and maybe sell the customer the new battery they need on ‘day one’ of the repair.



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Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

How to Leverage the Certified Repair Model OEM certification programs are increasingly becoming a major topic of discussion among collision repair facilities across the country. Scott Biggs, CEO and chairman of Assured Performance Network, recently shared

The team at Mission Viejo Auto Collision in California, an Assured Performance Network certified shop. (l to r) James Dean, Victor De La Torre, Brad Clark, Todd M. Hesford, Kip Hoover and Frank Elo

how to leverage the certified repair provider model during an Elite Body

Shop Academy webinar. Biggs talked about the specialized business tools, processes and strategies that are crucial to successfully operating as a certified repairer in the changing marketplace. “Nearly 90 percent of automakers in the country have a certification program or a repair network of some kind,” said Biggs. “This has permanently changed the collision repair world.” Many shops are adopting a new business model based on becoming a certified repair provider. Not only are the programs being designed to produce a certified repair, but Biggs said they are also focused on offering customers an exceptional repair experience. Part of this includes creating a repair plan that requires OEM procedures, documents every single repair and enforces quality control throughout the business.


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

tion, which he defined as the process by which goods lose their economic value and are indistinguishable in terms of their uniqueness or brand in Four Contributing Factors to the OEM the eyes of the market. “This means that your product Certification Model Just a decade ago, Biggs said there and what you sell has the same price, was a perfect storm of conditions that look and name,” explained Biggs. In this case, he was referring to body shops having many similarities in the early 2000s, which didn’t allow for them to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Biggs said the second condition that had a significant impact was the negativJoshua Fuller (left) with customer Eric Steinberg at Fuller ity buyers often associated Auto Body in Massachusettts, one of Assured Performance with having a poor collision Network’s certified shops repair experience. “About 62 percent of the time, led to the creation of the compelling if customers had a bad repair, they model that is altering the industry. The first of these is commodiza- would blame it on the car manufacBiggs said these components will help the shop achieve and maintain high efficiency and profitability.

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turer or the car, and they would have the propensity to change brands,” explained Biggs. As a result, car manufacturers were spending excessive amounts of money trying to retain customers. The threat of liability was another condition that Biggs said contributed to the OEM certification model.

Corey Ricketts, a technician at Mission Viejo Auto Collision, using Assured Performance Network’s repair documentation tool to send scan results

“Liability always remains on the repairer or body shop,” explained Biggs. With the advent of advanced safety features in automobiles today, he said functionality is integral to vehicle safety and is critical to the vehicle’s performance to ensure a proper repair. “Even too much paint over a sensor could cause a deathtrap,” he said. The fourth condition that created the perfect storm, according to Biggs, was that the majority of shops didn’t have the necessary equipment and training to repair vehicles properly. “The shops in the industry had no choice,” said Biggs. “They realized they were going to need to retool, retrain and re-engineer. That was a daunting task.” The Formation of Assured Performance Network From his experience working with OEMs and shops across the country as well as sitting on various board of directors of industry associations, Biggs quickly realized something significant needed to be done to help bring about change. He established Assured Performance Network in 2004 to help address what was going on in the industry. 44

The non-profit consumer advocacy organization and certifying entity (501 C6) was created in 2008 to address customer service and quality issues as well as what he referred to as “repair capability.” Within a few years, Assured Performance, the Automotive Service Association (ASA), the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) signed a joint position statement acknowledging that OEM repair procedures are the industry’s repair standards. “This is a milestone that has permanently changed the industry,” said Biggs. “Up until that point, it was never official that those OE procedures were, in fact, the default standard in the industry.” Since then, Assured Performance has focused on certifying “bestin-class” collision repair businesses across the country. The company’s strategic partners include several of the largest auto manufacturers including Nissan, INFINITI, FCA, Hyundai and Kia, and others. Nearly 6,000 shops have been through the five-step Assured Performance auditing process, which includes management review and evaluation, proof of compliance, an onsite inspection and audit, and OEM approval. Biggs said that only the top five-to-ten percent of all businesses qualify.

ments are adopted to raise the repairers’ technical capabilities and meet the industry’s growing demands.

Mission Viejo Auto Collision technician Luis Cisneros reviews print out and confirms and documents weld count and location. Management then reviews and confirms communication and documentation from a mobile device or PC

In this environment, Biggs said a shop’s number one job is to increase the value of its business. “If you took two businesses sideby-side and one is certified and one is not, the one that is certified is worth

more,” he said. Biggs highlighted some of the direct and indirect benefits of OE certification: • Being a unique differentiator and having the credentials to prove it; • Increasing market share through growth; • Gaining a competitive advantage to leverage OEM brands and credentials; • Developing and improving performance based on a certified repair culture; • The ability to attract, hire and train the best employees; and • The opportunity to build customer credibility and satisfaction. Biggs also shared Kaoru Ishikawa’s model of 5M Quality Production Management Principals. He said many car manufacturers have been influenced by the Japanese theorist who referenced five principals: Man, Machine, Material, Method and Measurement. Biggs demonstrated how these principals could be applied to the collision repair industry and the certified repair model. See Certified Repair Model, Page 53

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Quality control/detailer Manual Marquina, Mission Viejo Auto Collision, checks off his final quality control list

“Our number one objective was to achieve full and complete market coverage with qualified operations,” said Biggs. “Certifying these shops has laid the groundwork for the next frontier.” The Benefits of Certification Every year, more rigorous require-


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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

50 Years - A Retrospective Fifty years ago this month, September 1969, I took my first job in the automotive industry. I worked at a family-owned auto parts store, Towers Motor Parts, located in my hometown of Nashua, NH, that also sold automotive refinish paint and related supplies. In the days before PBE Jobbers, many auto parts stores divided shelf space between spark plugs, distributor points and condensers with refinish paint, sandpaper and body filler. Nashua, with a population of 55,000 was served by five auto parts jobbers, one of which was a NAPA store who carried a small amount of RM paint and another independent jobber carried a small amount of Ditzler paint. Neither store actively pursued the collision industry. Our store carried a full line of DuPont refinish products, 3M products and mostly everything a body shop of the time could need or want. Being the most aggressive collision-industry jobber in town, we did a brisk business in supplying body shops within about a tenmile radius. Here is a brief overview,

as I remember it, of the collision repair business, 50 years ago. The Job When I started, my responsibilities included mixing paint, delivering parts as well as paint supplies and eventually, waiting on customers. As a DuPont jobber in 1969, our two main paint products were Dulux enamel and Lucite lacquer. Another paint product, Duco, a nitrocellulose lacquer, which had been developed in the 1930s, was still in use, mostly for use on import or “non-domestic” 46

cars because Lucite had not been developed for those cars yet. Within a year or so, Duco was phased out in favor of Lucite and almost as quickly, Centari acrylic enamel and Imron polyurethane enamel was introduced. Initially, Imron, developed primarily for fleet use was available in only about a dozen colors. Before the days of computers (and even before microfiche) paint mixing formulas were printed on index cards and kept in file drawers similar to book index cards in a library of the time. Lord help you if you spilled paint on an index card and destroyed it. Being the town’s major supplier of mixed paints, some days we were backed up for hours.

The Product Inventory The two largest selling paint products were gallons of Dulux for overall refinishing and pints of Lucite for panel refinishing. Most shops would accept a mixed pint of paint if we didn’t have a “factory package” but most shops preferred the factory packaged paint. At any given time, we might have around 1,600 pints of factory-packaged Lucite in stock. The basic colors, like white or beige or yellow were designated with an “L” after the stock number. All “L” colors were about $1.90 a pint as I recall. Those with an “LH” or “LM” suffix were different shades of red and were about $2.25 for LH and $2.75 for LM colors. We carried a full complement of 3M abrasives in various sheet sizes and configurations as well as 3M Glazing Putty and various adhesives. (I wish I had a nickel for every tube of 8001 3M weather strip adhesive I handled!) Nitro-Stan putty in tubes was a big seller as were Detroit brand tack-rags and Marson Fish Eye Eliminator. We carried a full line of Unican body filler products including SnoBall body filler. SnoBall came four 12pound gallons to a case and it was not unusual to sell a case at a time to some


shops. Unican also had various fiberglass repair products. In 1969, fiberglass was used to repair Corvettes, repair rust holes in cars (more on that later) and repair front cowls on snowmobiles. (Remember, this was NH … snowmobile country.) Besides plastic body filler, we also sold a fair amount of body lead in one-pound bars, 50 bars to a case. To get paint on the car required a spray gun and the most popular guns at the time were DeVilbiss MBC and JGA guns in siphon configuration. Binks and Sharpe guns were later added. The Customers Maybe because I enjoy the collision repair part of the business so much is why I remember many of the people and reconnected with some of them years later in my capacity as the administrator of American Honda’s

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pull-away the mats or carpet in the footwells of the front seat and find large-gaping rust holes. Not far from our store was a Ziebart dealer who did a land-office business applying their rust-preventive under-coating on new cars. There were two, one-man shops I distinctly remember. One ran a body shop in a bay in his Atlantic (later ARCO) gas station. Working without a spray booth, he came into the store one hot, sticky summer day to pick up some more paint, covered in overspray … stuck to his hair, eyebrows and clothing. Rather than do mechanical work, he thought bodywork was more profitable. The people from Atlantic Richfield thought otherwise and he moved his collision repair business. The other one-man shop was in a small, one-car garage, with a dirt floor, outside of town in a secluded, wooded area. I drove up to the garage to deliver his paint. He greeted me at the garage door with a beer and lit cigar in one hand and spray gun in the other. Today, 50 years later, his garage is gone, he’s gone and that area is fully commercialized with strip malls.

The Technology In 1969, two-stage and three-stage paints were still a ways into the future. The paint was either metallic— or not. Metallic finish was not new in 1969, but some people still had some issues with it, spraying it wet enough to get the flakes to lie down but not so wet that it would run. “Paint effects” as they are known today, was still the realm of car customizers— people who had the time and ingenuity to experiment with multiple coats of clear and color. Two-tone paint jobs on cars were pretty much gone by 1969. However, that concept was still popular with pick-up trucks—the main body being one color and a wide swath of the side and top of the cab being white. Before the days of OSHA and the EPA, few shops had spray booths or if they had one, it was a makeshift affair and not overly effective. Some shops that were short on space even painted cars outside. At Towers, we sold a few steel “repair panels” – sheet metal that was designed to replace rotted-out body sections such as rocker panels or headlight buckets. In 1969, nobody had yet

heard of aftermarket sheet metal, as we know it today. Before computers, all estimates were written by hand—a slow, arduous process. Also around that time, insurance companies made their customers go around and get estimates from three different body shops, then they generally choose the cheapest one. Needless to say, knowing this, many shops didn’t put a lot of effort into writing estimates. In 1969, it was not uncommon to do collision repairs with a full front or rear clip—made possible because cars were so much simpler. One in particular I recall was done at a local shop, a 1968 Plymouth Road Runner built from two “donor” cars, one severely damaged in the rear, the other severely damaged in the front. The car looked great when they were done. But even my non-technical mind wondered how a car capable of that amount of wheel-torque or speed would fare under severe conditions or worse … a subsequent accident.

or Chrysler vehicles with a smattering of VW’s, Volvo’s, Saabs and Renault’s. Body shops just didn’t like to work on “those foreign cars.” They claimed parts were difficult to get, they could never find the paint code and if they did and could get some paint, it was difficult to match. Eventually, DuPont came up with factory packaged Lucite for import cars and mixing formulas became more readily available.

The Fleet In 1969, the majority of cars on America’s roads were domestic—GM, Ford

The Future The automotive industry and especially the collision repair industry changed a lot in 50 years. I consider myself fortunate to have had the chance to enter the industry at that time and place at Towers, and was able to make a pretty good career of it. Now, two years into retirement, I don’t have to actually “do the work” anymore … I get to follow my other passion … and write about it.


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Continued from Cover

CIC: Regulators

tendency to ignore that,” Bolerjack said, launching into a fictional conversation to offer an example. “‘Well, gee, you gave them a better deal.’ ‘Well, yeah, because he’s agreed to give me 50 percent of his business in the three-county area, so yes, I gave him a 10 percent discount. Do you agree to that?’ The answer likely will be ‘We just like the lower price. That’s what we’re interested in.’” Darrell Amberson, a collision repairer who chairs the CIC committee, said that’s the case with some MFNs in the collision industry. They may require that a shop give a particular insurer all of the lowest rates or biggest discounts the shop offers any other insurer on parts or labor, even if the shop offers no more than any one of those price-breaks to any other single insurer. Amberson works for a regional multi-location collision repair business, and said even if just one of its locations belongs to an insurer’s DRP, all of its locations must give

any discounts that one store offers to that DRP to other insurers who use an MFN.

Attorney Stephen Bolerjack said government regulations interest in most-favored nation clauses used by Amazon might offer collision repairers a window to address similar provisions in direct repair program contracts. Credit: John Yoswick

Does he view MFNs as an important industry issue? It might not be up there with issues like OEM repair procedures, Amberson said, but MFNs can have a significant impact on a collision repair business. In the past, he said, it might take a shop two or three months to get all insurers on board with a labor rate increase. “If you’ve got an MFN clause in a DRP contract, you can’t ask that insurer for the higher labor rate until

you get the very last insurer that you interact with to move up,” Amberson said, even if the insurer with the MFN would be willing to pay the higher labor rate. “It slows the whole process down and hurts your income.” MFNs in the health insurance market was in the news back in 2010. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Michigan’s Attorney General sued Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan alleging that the “most favored nation” clauses of the insurer’s contract with hospitals are anti-competitive. The U.S. Department of Justice had brought the lawsuit against the health insurer, saying MFN clauses raise hospital prices, discourage discounting and prevent other insurers from entering the marketplace. It said that some Blue Cross clauses required Michigan hospitals to charge the insurer’s competitors up to 40 percent more for services. “This cannot be allowed in Michigan, and let me be clear: We will challenge similar anti-competitive behavior anywhere else in the United States,” said Christine Varney, the U.S. assistant attorney general’s office antitrust chief at the time.


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The Department of Justice later dropped the suit when Michigan passed a new law prohibiting “mostfavored nation” clauses in health insurer preferred provider contracts in that state. A similar law was enacted in North Carolina. The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a joint workshop in 2012 that many saw as an indication that antitrust regulators have “a reinvigorated focus on most-favored-nation (MFN) clauses.” “Although, at times, employed for benign purposes, MFNs can, under certain circumstances, present competitive concerns,” the two agencies noted prior to the workshop. “This is because they may, especially when used by a dominant buyer, raise other buyers’ costs or (prevent) would-be competitors from accessing the market. Additionally, MFNs can facilitate collusion and stabilize coordinated pricing among sellers.” At CIC in Indiana in late July, attorney Bolerjack said antitrust regulators tend to take particular interest in MFNs when a buyer imposing them has a significant market share

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(30 percent or more). Still, he said, the interest shown by regulators in MFNs used by tech giants like Amazon might offer an opening for collision repairers.

CIC Chairman Jeff Peevy said his strong belief that education can bring solutions to industry challenges, drives his leadership of CIC. Credit: John Yoswick

“It may be a time when you have an opportunity … with the feds or it might be a good time to go to your state legislatures,” he said. “These have been outlawed in certain states.” Given that an informal survey of the approximately 350 attendees at CIC in Indianapolis indicated they were first-time attendees to the quarterly conference, CIC Chairman Jeff Peevy started the two-day meeting by reiterating three of his personal

core beliefs he feels are relevant in his role of leading CIC. “One is respectfulness or professionalism,” Peevy said. “I believe that being disrespectful to one another is counter-productive to our goal. So, as tempting as it may be at times to take a shot at an individual, at a role or at a segment within our industry, it will not be tolerated because it’s counterproductive.” His second core belief results in a bias toward learning and education, he said. “I believe that education provides the solution and solves most of our challenges on any topic,” he said. The third belief is actually the most important, he said, and that’s always putting passenger safety first. “Those families who ride in eh cars that our industry repairs should be at the forefront of our thoughts,” Peevy said. “In fact, there is an empty chair sitting on the stage to help remind us that those individuals are not here and able to speak for themselves.”

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and assessment solutions. “We joined CIECA because the organization is committed to reduce the cost of electronic commerce and significantly improve efficiency throughout our industry,” said Afshar. Since joining the organization, Afshar has been a CIECA chairman and volunteer. “CIECA standards are important for our industry because any time there is a standard, there are rules of engagement and a direct path for higher innovation,” he said. “This allows all industry participants to leverage data sharing and connectivity, which ultimately benefits the consumer and the entire industry.”

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Continued from Page 38

Too Many Openings

only a small number of students interested in entering a skilled trade as opposed to seeking a college degree, the competition among all the skilled trades for those graduating students is fierce. Body repair technicians can make a very solid, middle-class income, but not initially. Five-year collision body techs are pulling down great salaries and commissions, but starting wages are among some of the lowest. This heavily influences what young men and women will focus on when considering a career decision. Add to that the fact that entry-level auto techs are expected to take on their first job with their own tools, and it does not make these careers very attractive when compared to other choices, according to Settle. In conclusion, without some form of specifically focused collective action, the transportation industry will continue to suffer from insufficiently financed and seriously frag-

mented efforts to solve this dilemma, Maher explained. A solution requires pooling resources and consistent public messaging, she said, in order to change the perceptions about the industry and construct a talent pipeline for tomorrow’s mechanical and collision repair technicians. It’s going to be an enormous undertaking, but unless organizations such as the TechForce Foundation dedicate themselves to solve the root causes of the problems in this industry, the shortage of qualified people will continue to hamstring the industry in many ways. In the 1950s, there was a shortage of engineers in the U.S. In the 1960s, the country didn’t have enough teachers, and in the 2000s, there was a serious need for computer programmers. Those gaps were filled by promoting those careers and getting more young people into the fold. If auto repair programs and tech schools can learn from history and get more people into shops as mechanics and body technicians, one of the industry’s major dilemmas will happily go away, and all of us will benefit as a result.

Caliber Collects Over $900,000 in Donations

More than 85 food banks across 37 states will be able to restock their shelves to ensure at-risk kids do not go hungry this summer thanks to Caliber Collision’s 2019 Rhythm Restoration Food Drive collecting over $900,000 in donations or 5.4 million meals from April through May. Caliber’s 20,000 teammates were inspired to serve their local communities by raising cash and food donations through fundraising events such as car shows, motorcycle rallies, golf tournaments, dunk tanks and other giving opportunities. “We set a lofty goal of raising five million meals in 2019. Our teammates challenged themselves, our business partners, friends in the community and each other by collecting more than 5.4 million meals across more than 1,100 locations,” said Steve Grimshaw, Caliber Collision’s chief executive officer. Over the past eight years, Caliber’s annual food drive has become one of the largest food drives in the U.S.

Continued from Page 44

Certified Repair Model

Man: Was the technician properly trained to repair the vehicle?

Machine: Was the shop that repaired the vehicle certified with the proper tools, equipment and facilities? Material: Were OEM-approved parts and paint materials utilized?

Method: Were OEM repair procedures followed? Measurement: Were the vehicle codes scanned and the actual repair documented to provide irrefutable proof the vehicle was repaired properly and is fully functional and safe?

“When you can provide all of that with proof and it can be upheld in court, you can provide a certified repair, which is the ultimate goal for your customer,” said Biggs. To watch the free webinar, visit: https: //

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Hyundai Kona Electric Explodes, Blows Hole in Garage: Cause Unknown by Gustavo Henrique Ruffo, InsideEVs

Lithium has offered us the most efficient battery until now, but it is also very flammable. This is why any fire situation with a huge lithium-ion battery may be very difficult to extinguish. The newest such case comes from Canada. More specifically from Île-Bizard, Montreal. And it involves a vehicle that had not presented any similar problem until now, the Hyundai Kona Electric.

Louise Desrosiers, a Division Chief from the Montreal Fire Department, said they found no other possible cause to the fire apart from the Hyundai Kona. Credit: RadioCanada/Mathieu Daniel Wagner

Piero Cosentino bought his last March. On July 26, he was about to have lunch when he heard an explosion and the fire alarm went off. Thick black smoke was coming

from the door that leads to his garage. “As soon as I saw that, I immediately turned off the breaker,” he told CBC. “My first instinct was to go out and run outside so I did not have to open doors and feed the fire.” Cosentino then started to fight the fire with the help of a garden hose while he waited for the firefighters. It was only there Cosentino could see the extent of the damage. The explosion set his garage door to the other side of the street. Part of the roof of the garage went down. Around 30 men managed to put out the fire. Louise Desrosiers, a Division Chief from the Montreal Fire Department, said they found no other possible cause to the fire apart from the Hyundai Kona. “It was a fully electric vehicle, and there was nothing around that could have caused the explosion. We will be following up [...] closely with the owner to understand the problem in anticipation of other cases,” she told Radio Canada, which also took the pictures in this article. The story gets even weirder. Cosentino claims his Kona was not

charging. And that is was not even connected to a socket. We will have to wait for the investigation to determine what caused the accident. Probably a little more

Piero Cosentino bought his Hyundai Kona Electric last March. On July 26, he was about to have lunch when he heard an explosion and the fire alarm went off. Thick black smoke was coming from the door that leads to his garage. Credit: RadioCanada/Mathieu Daniel Wagner

than Cosentino and a neighbor will take to get back into their homes, which possibly had their structures affected due to the fire and the explosion. They will only be allowed to return when a structural analysis is concluded. We thank InsideEVs for reprint permission.

AutoNation Names Cheryl Miller CEO, President

AutoNation, Inc., America’s largest automotive retailer, announced on July 22 that Cheryl Miller, AutoNation’s chief financial officer, has been appointed chief executive officer and president, replacing Carl Liebert. Miller is the first female CEO of a publicly-traded automotive retailer. “On behalf of AutoNation, I would like to thank Carl for his service, including the passion and enthusiasm he brought to the company. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” said Mike Jackson, AutoNation’s executive chairman. Jackson went on to say, “Cheryl has extensive knowledge of automotive retail, having been with AutoNation since 2009 and served as CFO since 2014. In addition, her broader career, including at JM Family Enterprises and Alamo/National Car Rental brands, will bring outside, industry-leading, automotive experience to the role, as AutoNation continues to build its core business and brand extension strategy.”

NABC Names Kristle Bollans From Hertz as New Board Member

The National Auto Body Council (NABC) has named a new member to the NABC Board, filling an open position. Kristle Bollans, director of Replacement Accounts for the Hertz Corporation, joined the NABC Board in August. She has been with The Hertz Corporation for 16 years, holding positions in both the Airport and Off Airport Divisions. In her current role, Bollans oversees a large team of Account Representatives across the US who support both Insurance and Fleet Replacement companies onsite at their facilities. Her team has daily interaction with insurance adjusters and collision repair shops. Prior to that, she worked in several different rental locations, and as an on-site at claim centers interacting directly with adjusters and shops on a daily basis. Bollans has an incredible passion for people and service and is a bold, progressive, forward thinker. With these attributes, she has been able to drive results not only in her division, but in other segments of the business as well. She is a trusted advisor for Hertz and her customers. 54

Her passion about the collision industry extends to giving back those in need. She is a member of the WIN committee and the CREF scholarship review committee. In addition, she is a leader in Hertz’s Woman’s Employee Resource Group committee volunteering her time to the community. Bollans studied Human Resources and Business Management and currently resides in Madison, WI, with her husband and two children. “We have accelerated our strategic initiatives through the guidance and leadership of our NABC board members,” said Bill Garoutte, president and CEO of the NABC. “We welcome Kristle to the NABC board and look forward to working with her and our current volunteer board members to continue to build positive awareness for the collision industry and enhance the foundation of the wonderful institution of The NABC. Also, we thank these board members for their commitment of time and resources to help advance our important cause.”


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Ford Warns Elon Musk That Tesla is Competing With the ‘Ultimate Disruptor’

Ford CEO Jim Hackett admits that the future of the automobile will be electric. Amidst this transition, the CEO noted that there will be disruptors that are bound to emerge. Yet, despite the arrival of these competitors, Hackett believes Ford will ultimately have what it takes to maintain its place in the auto industry. Poppy Harlow of CNN Business, who was interviewing the Ford CEO, mentioned how Tesla CEO Elon Musk remarked that the Detroit-based veteran carmaker will likely not make in the next recession. Responding to the interviewer, Hackett candidly noted while he respects Musk as a competitor, Tesla will be facing a great challenge in Ford because the automaker is a disruptor itself. “There’s a disruptor coming. I happen to compete with a rocket scientist who’s really smart, and I respect that about him. And yet, he’s competing with the ultimate disruptor in Henry Ford. When you go seven miles from here and you see the Rouge Complex, Henry bet the company, he goes bankrupt because there’s no industrial model in the world that has 100,000 people work-

eration. The automaker already sells more electric cars than any other car company on the market, but production-wise, Tesla’s factories are yet to achieve the same unanimous recognition as Henry Ford’s River Rouge facility. This, according to Hackett, is where Ford has a distinct advantage over Tesla. Thus, the CEO noted that he is not too worried about competition from the Silicon Valley-based electric car maker. “So let’s go back to the challenges of the disruptor. How well does their pro2019 Ford F-150 Raptor. Credit: YOURCAR via Youtube duction system work? How Hackett’s statements harken fast were they building cars? Which back to what could very well be the is saying that fitness, as we were saymost disruptive era of Ford’s history. ing, is a compendium of things that Led by Henry Ford, the company you have to get right. It’s not just the opened its River Rouge factory in technology in this case. You have to 1917, and it revolutionized the pro- have an industrial model. Ford’s reduction of automobiles to such a de- ally good at this,” Hackett said. Apart from his statements about gree that Henri Citroën, Louis Renault and Kiichiro Toyoda, the the competition rising from compafounder of Toyota, all visited the nies like Tesla, the Ford CEO stated that the Detroit-based automaker is plant to study how Ford operated it. Tesla, for its part, has exhibited fully committed to the transportation great growth over its 16 years of op- industry’s shift to autonomous vehiing in it. That one did, and [it] took 12 hours to build a vehicle before [Henry Ford] built it. It went down to 52 minutes. Today, we build an F-150 every 53 seconds,” Hackett stated.

AAPEXedu to Address Aftermarket Trends

The 2019 AAPEXedu program will include ten sessions for automotive service professionals, auto parts retailers and warehouse distributors to help them prepare for the future, while also enhancing the service they provide to today’s customers. AAPEX represents the more than $1 trillion global automotive aftermarket industry and will take place Tuesday, Nov. 5, through Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. The content for this year’s AAPEXedu is based on the results of an AAPEX survey during which buyers were asked to identify topics of interest to them. The sessions are part of a robust AAPEXedu program that also includes Let’s Tech presentations, and Mobility Garage: Products and Training for Tomorrow featuring underhood training and two sections - Shop Equipment and Technology and Electric Car and Alternative Fuel/Energy. To register, visit For more information, visit www or email info@ 56


cles. Hackett said he expects Ford to have fully autonomous cars ready by 2021, which will be ready for realworld testing without human drivers. Similar to Musk’s statements, the Ford CEO mentioned that the company’s self-driving initiatives will largely be dependent on regulators. For now, and with upcoming vehicles such as the Tesla Pickup Truck preparing to enter its most profitable segment, Ford is keeping busy by establishing strategic partnerships. Among these involve electric truck startup Rivian, which received a $500 million investment from Ford, and Volkswagen, whose partnership will allow the companies to come up with two new electric vehicles for the European market. Ford has also invested $1 billion in Argo, a company that develops autonomous driving technology. We thank for reprint permission.


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(888) 816-9729 (636) 926-0683 Fax

M-F 7am-6pm; Sat 7am-3pm

Suntrup Kia St. Louis

(800) 727-8496 (314) 815-3060 Fax

M-F 7am-5pm



Montrose Kia Sheffield

(440) 934-6699 (440) 934-5247 Fax

M-F 7:30am-6pm

VanDevere Kia Akron

(330) 836-4064 (330) 836-4074 Fax

M-F 7:30am-5:30pm

WISCONSIN Russ Darrow Kia of Waukesha Waukesha

(262) 896-1151 (262) 896-1188 Fax

Kia of Fargo Fargo

(800) 728-7601 (701) 282-5924 Fax

M-F 7am-5:30pm; Sat 8am-5pm / SEPTEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS




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Profile for Autobody News

September 2019 Midwest Edition  

September 2019 Midwest Edition