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‘Who Pays for What?’ Survey: Some Shops Not Measuring Steering Columns as Called for by OEMs Mike Anderson of Collision Advice gets concerned when he sees “Who Pays for What?” survey findings that suggest half of shops may not be following OEM safety inspection procedures. “Many automakers, including General Motors, Nissan and Subaru, have very specific vehicle safety inspections required as part of collision repair,” Anderson said. “Those inspections may include the removal and measurement of the steering column. We asked shops about this procedure for the first time in our surveys this year, and 50% said that
was something they’ve never billed for when it was required. I’m worried that may mean they’re not performing the necessary safety inspections.” Anderson, who conducts the quarterly “Who Pays” surveys in conjunction with CRASH Network, said he was glad to see that among those billing for the labor to measure a steering column when it is necessary and performed, 41% said they are being paid “always” or “most of the time” by the eight largest national insurers. Another 28% said they See ‘Who Pays for What?’, Page 16
Vol. 10 / Issue 12 / September 2021
New Hall, New Beginning, New SEMA Show by Ed Attanasio
In 2020, SEMA had to reinvent itself, and the result was SEMA360, a completely virtual show that performed surprisingly well despite all the obstacles. It was a noble experiment during highly uncertain times, but SEMA’s Vice President of Events Tom Gattuso and his team were able to save the event by quickly pivoting and literally saving the day. In 2017, the show took place 30 days after the tragedy of Mandalay Bay, so Gattuso is not unfamiliar with last minute changes, and this
year will undoubtedly be more of the same. Autobody News spoke to Gattuso about the upcoming 2021 SEMA Show.
There’s a buzz about the new West Hall, a 1.4 million-square foot addition to the Las Vegas Convention Center. How will it affect collision repair-related exhibitors and attendees?
This year, things are less uncertain, but new considerations and special circumstances are See New SEMA Show, Page 18
SEMA: Economic Outlook Remains Positive, but Supply Constraints and Inflation Loom
Gerber Collision & Glass to Acquire 35 Repair Centers in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma
by Kyle Cheng, SEMA
The Boyd Group Inc. announced the agreement to acquire Collision Works of Oklahoma, LLC, a multistore operation consisting of 35 collision repair centers located in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. The transaction is expected to be completed within the next few weeks, subject to certain closing conditions being fulfilled. Collision Works was founded in 1996 by Jacob Nossaman. The company has consistently grown its presence. There are 22 shops in Oklahoma. In addition to three shops in Oklahoma City, there are multiple shops in the surrounding metro area, including Del City, Shawnee, Moore, Edmond (two locations), Ardmore, Lawton, Norman, Mustang, Bethany, Yukon, Newcastle and El Reno. There are also four locations in Tulsa and one in each of Broken Arrow and Owasso. In Kansas, Collision Works has 12 shops concentrated near Wichita and Kansas City. There are seven shops throughout Wichita, plus nearby Andover and Derby. The other lo-
The overall U.S. economic outlook remains positive as the country continues to bounce back from 2020. However, challenges remain on the horizon: supply-chain constraints, inflationary pressure, a tight labor market and a potential COVID-19 resurgence. Supply-chain disruptions continue to affect many sectors of the economy. For the auto industry, the chip shortage is disrupting production, reducing inventory levels and driving up prices.
Nearly every car manufacturer reported higher average transaction See Economic Outlook, Page 12
cations include Junction City, Olathe and Lenexa. There is one shop in Grandview, MO, near the Kansas City, KS, locations. “We are very excited about the opportunity to grow our footprint in these markets. Collision Works has a strong reputation and we look forward to working with them to provide high-quality repairs and outstanding customer service,” said Kevin Burnett, COO of Gerber Collision & Glass. “We believe that adding these repair centers is a step in the right direction to meet our growth vision and will expand our ability to reach new customers and further assist our insurance clients.” The Boyd Group is continuously looking to add new collision repair locations to its existing network in Canada and the U.S. Interested collision repair center owners are asked to contact Jason Hope, vice president of business development and strategic projects, at (530) 774-3887 or jason. firstname.lastname@example.org. Source: The Boyd Group, Inc.
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2 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
M AV ERICK APPROV ED . REQUES T A DEMO, V ISI T W W W. M AT R I X S Y S T E M . C O M
Automakers Tighten Up Restrictions as COVID Cases Surge���������������������������������������20
CARSTAR Chicagoland Business Group
Boyd Group Reports 44% Sales Increase
Helps Showcase Collision Repair Careers for Students�������������������������������������12 Carvana Brings The New Way to Buy a Car
to Lincoln, NE�����������������������������������������������13 Crash Champions Hosts 10th Annual Make-AWish Foundation Fundraiser����������������������������6 Detroit Garage to Test Automated Valet Parking���8 Ford Confirms Romulus, MI, as Location of New Global Battery Center����������������������������10 Gerber Collision & Glass to Acquire 35 Repair Centers in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma�����1 Karl Chevrolet Automotive Training Center at DMACC in Iowa Holds Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony�����������������������������10 Midwest Auto Body Trade Show Scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 2������������������������������������������8 SEMA Selects Kaminsky as Detroit Operations Manager���������������������������������������������������������6
and Demand for Labor in U.S.�����������������������51 CCC Promotes Goodson to CTO�������������������������51 CCC Releases Research on Driver Sentiment on ADAS Features Included in Newer Vehicles����16 FCA Recalling Ram Pickups for Side-Curtain Air Bags that May Rupture����������������������������25
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk, Stacey Phillips, Eric Murphy, Ron Liesch Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Norman Morano, (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bryan Malinski Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Abby Andrews Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Permissions Editor: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray
Serving Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2021 Adamantine Media LLC.
American Icon Automotive Finishes����������������� 18
Laurel Auto Group of Westmont����������������������� 33
Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 47
LKQ Corporation����������������������������������������������� 5
AutoNation Collision Parts������������������������������� 17
Luther Bloomington Acura-Subaru������������������ 37
Axalta Coating Systems���������������������������������� 13
Luther Kia of Bloomington������������������������������� 34
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Matrix Edge������������������������������������������������������ 2
McGrath City Hyundai������������������������������������� 34
Certified Automotive Parts Association������������ 14
Mercedes-Benz of Louisville��������������������������� 35
Classic BMW MINI������������������������������������������� 35
Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers�������� 44
Classic Chevrolet�������������������������������������������� 29
MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 42
MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers����������������30-31
Columbia Hyundai������������������������������������������� 32
Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers������������ 49
Eagle Abrasives, Inc.��������������������������������������� 52
Patrick Hyundai���������������������������������������������� 36
Eckler’s Automotive���������������������������������������� 15
Equalizer Industries, Inc���������������������������������� 10
SATA Dan-Am Company���������������������������������� 11
Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 40
Sears Imported Autos, Inc������������������������������� 24
Gandrud Parts Center�������������������������������������� 23
SEMA Trade Show������������������������������������������� 21
Ganley Westside Subaru��������������������������������� 12
Shaheen Chevrolet Parts Warehouse��������������� 25
GM Wholesale Parts Dealers��������������������������� 45
Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet���������������������������� 6
Hawkinson Kia������������������������������������������������ 20
Spanesi Americas������������������������������������������� 19
Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers�������26-27
Steck Manufacturing Company����������������������� 16
Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������� 46
Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������������� 48
Kelly BMW������������������������������������������������������ 24
Sweeney Chevrolet-Buick-GMC���������������������� 22
Kia of Lansing������������������������������������������������� 28
The Sharpe Collection of Automobiles������������� 39
Kia Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������������������� 41
Willis Volvo����������������������������������������������������� 34
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Ford Statements on Electric Vehicle Sales and White House Announcement�������������������49 FTC Issues Rule to Deter Rampant Made in USA Fraud�������������������������������������������������50 General Motors Names Global Leads�����������������51 Generating More Profit in Your Auto Body Shop with Windshield Repair���������������������������������44 GM Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Airbag Failures Kill People����������������������������������������48 GM Financial Reports Second Quarter 2021 Operating Results��������������������������������24 GM Has Two New All-Electric Commercial
COLUMNISTS Anderson - Daily Release Meetings a Must for Successful Collision Repair Shops�����������28 Chess - Deciding When Used Parts are Appropriate in the Collision Repair Process���32 Phillips - California MSO Launches Kustomine Software to Help Collision Repairers Work More Efficiently���������������������������������������������40 Yoswick - Why Collision Repair Shops, Insurers Often Disagree on Repair Plans���������������������36
Vehicles In Development�������������������������������47 Here’s What Rivian’s First Service Centers Look Like������������������������������������������������������25 How Could Gaming Change the Future of Collision Repair Training?������������������������������38 Hyundai Trunk Latch Recall: Emergency Releases May Fail�����������������������������������������48 New Hall, New Beginning, New SEMA Show�������1 Pro Spot Denver Training Center Open House Aces the Test������������������������������������������������22 Repairify Awarded Patent for Remote
NATIONAL ‘Who Pays for What?’ Survey: Some Shops Not Measuring Steering Columns as Called for by OEMs����������������������������������������������������1 1,000-Plus Attend ASE Instructors Training Conference���������������������������������������������������47
Automotive Diagnostics Technology��������������49 SEMA: Economic Outlook Remains Positive, but Supply Constraints and Inflation Loom������1 The Rise of Amazon and How it Impacts the Collision Repair Industry���������������������������������4 Toyota Debuts Mobile Collision Assistance
4 Added to I-CAR Board������������������������������������49
ADAS: Here to Stay, Not Driving Away���������������14
Two Scientists Named Axalta Fellows����������������10
AkzoNobel’s Appoints U.S. Sales Director����������16
UAF Sets New Scholarship Record��������������������13
KSI Auto Parts��������������������������������������������������� 8
autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
The Rise of Amazon and How it Impacts the Collision Repair Industry by David Roberts and Raul Salinas, Focus Advisors Automotive
How much attention do you pay to those ever-present gray vans emblazoned with the Amazon logo? Did you ever stop to think who owns them? And who repairs them? The prevalence of smartphones and quick internet connections has completely and permanently changed the consumer landscape. Among these changes, Amazon has risen to become a firmly established and dominant player in nearly every industry. The e-commerce conglomerate and its promise of two-day deliveries has captured the attention and wallets of an estimated 147 million Prime members throughout the U.S. With so many customers to satisfy, Amazon has had to confront unparalleled logistical challenges. The pandemic-fueled online shopping sprees of American consumers following nationwide mandatory stayat-home orders showed just how reliant we have become on modern day technological solutions to our problems. The perpetually increasing demand for delivered products has led Amazon to reduce its dependence on traditional carriers like USPS, UPS and FedEx. In fact, researchers approximate that in 2020, Amazon delivered 2.5 billion more of its own packages. This represents an increase of more than 100% from 2.3 billion packages delivered through Amazon in 2019. Its approach to generating this delivery supply primarily relies on small businesses and independent contractors to do the work with assistance provided by the advanced software and capabilities of Amazon Logistics (AMZL). Delivery Service Partners, or DSPs, usually operate a few dozen commercial vans and are paid per route completed. The owners are classic small business entrepreneurs, meeting the needs of their clients by staying focused on speed, efficiency and customer service. The commercial vans of choice for DSPs are usually from the make of Amazon partners, e.g., the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford Transit
and Dodge Promaster. DSPs are permitted to use their own fleet of commercial vans as long as they meet Amazon’s key criteria. Otherwise, most DSPs resort to renting vans from Amazon’s third-party lease partners. How Collision Repairers Play a Role The rising prevalence of privately owned DSPs has direct implications to trends in the collision repair industry. It’s a simple equation: increased use of commercial vans equals increased collision repair and maintenance.
This trend is not only implied, but something we have observed from our clients across the U.S. For some of them, Amazon DSP repairs represent one of the fastest growing segments of their business. To adopt a similar market strategy and capitalize on this growing small fleet segment, shop owners should first identify whether their shop is reasonably near an Amazon distribution center. If a collision repair shop owner operates in a highly populated Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), especially one that is growing rapidly, chances are that there is an Amazon distribution center nearby. Even if a shop owner does not operate in a top MSA, they can still take advantage of this market opportunity by identifying smaller delivery stations that are used for lastmile deliveries. Currently, Amazon is in the process of investing more resources in efforts to expand its network of delivery stations across the U.S. The Need for Speed Downtime costs money for DSP operators. A DSP driver is expected to
4 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
make more than 30 stops per hour. As a result, drivers work in an expeditious manner that can ultimately cause more wear on the vehicle. Coupled with high mileage rates— and numerous opportunities to incur damage navigating tight spaces, streets and turnarounds—DSPs find their vehicles needing frequent repairs. The speed of repairs is a vitally important variable to getting these vans back on the road and earning revenue for the owners, so pricing of repairs will reflect the premium on fast turnaround. Some shops have
even developed mobile repair capabilities that allow DSPs to minimize downtime for the vans and keep them on the road. For MSOs and shop owners, DSP repairs are a small but growing opportunity to address the needs of small fleet operators with high on demand requirements. When it comes to collision services, DSP vans generally have modest repair requirements, but the work is constant and demands rapid repairs to keep the vehicles on the road. Services typically range from small item replacements like door handles, mirrors and windows to other minor body damage. The Future of Delivery Service Partners As the public shifts preferences towards electric and other fuel-efficient types of vehicles, Amazon is both leading with new technologies and following by rapidly adopting existing models. In 2019, Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge in its efforts to be net-zero carbon neutral by 2040. Shortly later, Amazon announced its partnership with start-up Rivian, investing $7 million to produce
100,000 electric trucks. As Rivian Prime trucks start hitting the road, one can expect the current DSP program and its operating base to change. Rivian vans will roll out slowly and will likely have proprietary parts. However, it is never too late to start looking for new opportunities. In similar developments, Amazon’s Prime Air program, which is still in the works, aims to provide last-mile drone delivery directly to consumers. This shifts the balance in favor of Amazon by allowing it to control even more of its distribution market share. Who knows whether there will be networks of drone DSPs! Will drone repairs become part of the repair offerings of MSOs? Ultimately, nobody has a crystal ball, but based on what we know, DSPs are still a rapidly growing segment and there is ample room for innovative operators to broaden their offerings. Conclusion DSPs vehicles are an accelerating fleet repair opportunity with high performance requirements and likely full value pricing. As Amazon sets its aim for reducing its dependence on traditional order fulfillment solutions, one can expect its network of distribution centers and last-mile delivery stations to continue expanding throughout the U.S. As a result, more collision shop owners will find themselves repairing Amazon fleet vehicles. By proactively identifying nearby opportunities, shop owners can position their businesses to capture more volume, and ultimately hold more market share in this small but growing repair segment. Source: Focus Advisors Automotive
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autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 5
SEMA Selects Kaminsky as Detroit Operations Manager by Della Domingo, SEMA
SEMA has announced the hiring of Benjamin Kaminsky as the new Detroit operations manager. Earlier this year, SEMA announced the purchase of a 45,000-square foot building in Detroit to be used as a second SEMA Garage. Kaminsky will be responsible for the overall management of SEMA Garage Detroit services and facilities to assist members with new product development and integration. “Benjamin Kaminsky will be a great addition to our SEMA Garage team,” said Mike Spagnola, vice president of OEM & product development programs. “He comes to SEMA with over 20 years of experience in the automotive and automotive aftermarket industry as an engineering and project manager having worked at both automakers and tier one suppliers.” Kaminsky will work closely with domestic and import OEMs, along with tier-level suppliers and testing facilities to ensure flow of
information essential to the industry’s accurate development of new and innovative products. They will also collaborate to develop opportunities that will benefit SEMA-member manufacturers.
Kaminsky’s experience will allow him to cultivate these relationships. Prior to joining SEMA, Kaminsky worked at General Motors as a senior design and release engineer. He oversaw the design, development, validation and release of Chevrolet Performance air intakes, exhausts and components for use in performance applications. He also worked closely with GM emissions compliance and le-
Crash Champions Hosts 10th Annual Make-A-Wish Foundation Fundraiser Crash Champions, LLC, one of the nation’s fastest growing independent collision repair companies, on July 28 announced its 10th annual Make-A-Wish Foundation golfing fundraiser has raised $15,000, the highest one-year total in the event’s history.
The event had 160 golfers hitting the links at Gleneagles Country Club in Lemont, IL, to support life changing wishes for children with critical illnesses, with funds raised through vendor sponsorships, golfer entry fees, a silent auction and raffle ticket sales. Participants included Crash Champions leadership, carrier partners, vendors and community members. “Since Crash’s earliest days, we have always prioritized our charitable giving and community-centered events,” said Crash
Champions Founder and CEO Matt Ebert. “Without question one of the most emotional events we hold each year is our MakeA-Wish golf tournament. We are honored to be associated with such a wonderful charity, and we are incredibly thankful to our partners and friends who, year after year, come back to raise money for these children.” Since being founded locally in 1985, Make-A-Wish Illinois has granted more than 16,000 wishes and continues its mission to share the power of a wish® with children in all 102 counties across the state. Life-changing wish journeys are made possible by dedicated staff and more than 1,000 caring volunteers who help each child discover, create, fulfill and experience the lasting impact of their most heartfelt wish. For information or to get involved, visit https://wish.org. For more information about Crash Champions, visit www. crashchampions.com. Source: Crash Champions
gal groups to ensure engineering hardware development and release processes consistently delivered products that met and exceeded regulatory requirements. Prior to GM, Kaminsky worked at Bosch Motorsport in a variety of roles, from senior technical engineer to hardware development manager. He managed a department of engineers to develop hardware components for the professional racing industry. “With his experience and solid OEM and tier supplier relationships, Ben will help the SEMA Garage Detroit best serve our manufacturer members,” shared Spagnola. The SEMA Garage Detroit will offer manufacturers access to advanced product-development tools and equipment, a state-ofthe-art emissions testing lab, an ADAS research and development center and expert technicians who will help bring products to market at the SEMA Garage Detroit. The Detroit facility will give aftermarket parts manufacturers access to sophisticated resources
that are typically accessible only to large-scale manufacturers. In addition to exclusive OEM measuring sessions, scanning services, advanced tools and equipment, a CARB-recognized emissions lab and a modern training center, the Detroit facility will include expanded services and offer new SEMA benefits through the ADAS Research and Development Center. “Being part of SEMA Garage provides me the opportunity to combine my engineering background, project management skills and relationships to make a difference in the automotive and automotive aftermarket industry,” said Kaminksy. “I look forward to working with SEMA manufacturer members and continuing my relationships with OEMs and tier suppliers.” The SEMA Garage Detroit facility is scheduled to be open for members in early 2022. For more information, visit www.semagarage.com. Source: SEMA
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Detroit Garage to Test Automated Valet Parking by Fleet Forward Staff
The State of Michigan is teaming up with Ford, Bedrock and Bosch to launch the Detroit Smart Parking Lab, a test site for emerging parking technology. The lab is set to open in September, which allows mobility and smart infrastructure pioneers, real-estate innovators and startups to test parking-related mobility, logistics, and electric vehicle charging technologies. The collaboration led by Enterprise aims to test more efficient rental car returns. “Michigan continues to lead the way in developing, testing and deploying the solutions that will drive the future of transportation, including mobility-related parking solutions,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Innovative collaborations like the Detroit Smart Parking Lab are solving issues that will make transportation more accessible and affordable while creating an environment for technology and mobility-related companies to thrive and grow in Michigan.” Whitmer announced the collaboration Aug. 5 at the Management
Briefing Seminars hosted by the Center for Automotive Research in Traverse City, MI. “Collaboration is essential for the future of mobility,” said Paul Thomas, executive VP of Mobility Solutions, Americas for Bosch. “With the Detroit Smart Parking Lab, we have a cross section of collaborators—from government leaders to mobility and tech companies—that will empower us to bring innovation to market through collaboration.” The MEDC in partnership with the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification has established the Michigan Mobility Funding Program. Organizations can secure funding to develop and test parking-inspired mobility solutions within and around the garage. “Real estate, auto and government working hand-in-hand allows us to not only maintain Detroit’s position as the Motor City but showcase the city as the evolving tech hub of the Midwest,” said Heather Wilberger, chief information officer at Bedrock. “Finding parking in urban environments can account for as much as 30% of vehicle traffic and emissions.
Midwest Auto Body Trade Show Scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 2 The ninth annual Midwest Auto Body Trade Show will be held Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 at Riverside Casino and Golf Resort in Riverside, IA. It is time to bring everyone back together for a great industry event. The 2021 Event kicks off at noon Sept. 30 with the “world famous” Iowa Industry Golf Tournament. Oct. 1, the Midwest Auto Body Trade Show is hosting an inaugural Midwest Association Leaders Meeting from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is a meeting for Midwest collision repair associations to meet in person and exchange information from their individual states and look at a stronger future together. That afternoon, the education programs start, leading into the welcome reception and silent auction. This fun event is held on the trade show floor and brings everyone together to catch up on old times and create new memories. Oct. 2, education classes start at 8 a.m. This year’s education
lineup is world-class and features topics on how to get paid for OE procedures, estimating refreshers, the scoop on EV vehicles and your future, ADAS and calibration answers, certified repair networks vs. DRP programs, cyber security, an industry town hall and more. Following an action-packed morning, at 12:30 p.m., renowned speaker and industry icon Mike Anderson will keynote the luncheon and bring industry excitement and wisdom to the show. It is then trade show time. This is the most exciting trade show the Midwest has seen. The atmosphere in our industry is eager for new products and materials. This show is full of product demonstrations, door prizes and more education. It is time to revitalize our industry. Be part of the movers and shakers and join us at the Midwest Auto Body Trade Show. For more details, visit www. iowacra.com or call Janet Chaney at 480-720-2565. Source: ICRA
8 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
“As the city’s largest real estate developer, these collaborations and programs allow us to develop, test and implement advanced parking technologies to help reduce parking time and emissions, helping to drive sustainability benefits throughout our portfolio.”
Enterprise will test how the automated valet parking technology can apply to the quick turnaround (QTA) process where rental vehicles are returned, serviced and then staged for future rentals. The smart parking lab’s initial project looks at how automated technology can help improve operational efficiencies through the QTA process. “Participation in the DSPL project allows Enterprise to explore the
feasibility and viability of autonomous, connected and electrified mobility innovations with recognized technology collaborators,” said Chris Grayson, regional VP at Enterprise in Detroit. “As consumer demand and infrastructure viability increases in the coming years, these types of vehicle technology will play an increasingly important role in both the future of sustainable mobility overall and our fleet at Enterprise.” Day-to-day operations of the parking lab will be managed by the American Center for Mobility (ACM) and academic organizations focused on accelerating the mobility industry supporting scientific research, testing, standards and educational programs. “ACM has broad experience operating a 500-acre smart mobility test center where we’ve seen the power of testing emerging mobility technologies in intentionally challenging environments,” said Reuben Sarkar, president and CEO of ACM. “The Detroit Smart Parking Lab provides a new platform for ACM to introduce our operational excellence and client-base to, enabling further development of new mobility innovations.”
How Waterborne Technology Can Improve Cycle Time Performance The number of color coats required to make a refinish repair is one
it can significantly reduce sprayouts. Comprised of thousands of
primary consideration for evaluating the throughput performance
variant and prime color chips, each chip is sprayed with actual
of a refinish paint system. Yet, as most know, the most accurate
waterborne paint. “The color deck is ‘dead-on’,” says Jeff Smith of
way to vet a system’s productivity is to evaluate the entire refinish
Pro Collision, Grand Rapids, Michigan. “If the color is in the deck,
process – from color identification, right on through to the final
there’s no need to do a sprayout, like we always had to perform with
clearcoat. As example, PPG’s waterborne refinish system incorpo-
our previous system.”
rates a host of features designed to speed cycle time performance. Blending Performance Given that refinishing most often calls for blending, how efficient a system can perform an accurate repair and eliminate chances for re-dos is especially critical to achieving maximum cycle time performance. PPG’s waterborne system employs an easy, one-gun process designed to achieve a fast, tight blend and accurate match the first time out. In fact, in a 2-3 coat application, it’s possible to perform a spot repair in less than an hour.
This fast blend process is aided by a very thin film build,
enabling the basecoat to dry fast. Only 2-3 minutes flash time is needed between coats and the clearcoat can be applied in 1015 minutes. The system’s EN-V® Series clearcoat line offers fast bake times as short as 10 minutes. Color ID and Matching Efficiency
To ensure color accuracy, the basecoat’s latex particles orient
The throughput of a refinish system must include its color-match-
metallic flakes smoothly to accurately match the color travel from
ing ability. Afterall, if the color doesn’t match, how fast the repair
face to flop. Painters won’t find any evidence of mottling or halos
was achieved won’t matter. In this regard, PPG has heavily invested
around the repair, which can appear using conventional basecoats.
in ensuring the ENVIROBASE® High Performance waterborne
Any dirt or specks can be easily de-nibbed, further facilitating a
basecoat system delivers color-matching excellence. Its color
fast blend repair.
variance program is one example of this commitment.
Since color variants to OEM prime colors are an everyday
from color identification to final clearcoat—the Envirobase High
challenge for identifying a correct formula, those identified by
Performance system covers all the bases to achieve the cycle time
PPG’s color variance team are quickly incorporated into PPG’s
performance demanded by today’s high-production collision centers.
To summarize, when evaluating throughput performance—
comprehensive color formula database. Formulas are updated daily through PPG’s PAINTMANAGER® XI color software. In the long run, the daily update of the database saves the technician valuable time searching for the right color formula.
Another real time saver is the Chromatic Variant Deck since autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 9
Two Scientists Named Axalta Fellows Axalta recently announced Dr. Carmen Flosbach and Dr. Michael Koerner have been elevated to Axalta Fellow, the highest honor that a scientist or engineer can earn within Axalta’s Technology function. Through individual and collaborative contributions, Axalta Fellows have delivered commercial success with cutting-edge technologies and have had a strategic impact on Axalta’s businesses. Flosbach has been a catalyst for innovation throughout her 30plus year career. As a leading expert in resin synthesis, she has delivered multiple new polymers for various different chemistry types including acrylic, aspartate, polycarbonate, polyester and polyurethane. Koerner is Axalta’s technical expert in waterborne coatings and rheology and has spent 34 years with Axalta. He holds numerous patents and his innovations in waterborne technology have led to, or enhanced, waterborne coating technologies at Axalta. Source: Axalta
Ford Confirms Romulus, MI, as Location of New Global Battery Center Ford on July 27 announced Romulus, MI, will be the home of its new global battery center of excellence— Ford Ion Park—which is accelerating the company’s research and development of battery and battery cell technology, including future battery manufacturing. “Ford already is delivering on our plan to lead the electric revolution with strong new vehicles including Mustang Mach-E, 2022 E-Transit available late 2021 and the 2022 F-150 Lightning available from spring next year,” said Anand Sankaran, Ford Ion Park director. “The new lab will help Ford speed up the battery development process to deliver even more capable, affordable batteries and is part of Ford’s renewed commitment to making Michigan a centerpiece of its focus on EVs.” A new collaborative learning lab opening next year, Ford Ion Park represents $100 million of Ford’s $185 million investment in developing, testing and building vehicle battery cells and cell arrays. It is part of the company’s $30 billion investment in electrification by 2025 and a renewed commitment to making Michigan a
Karl Chevrolet Automotive Training Center at DMACC in Iowa Holds Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony With the cutting of a racing-themed black-and-white checkered ribbon, the Karl Chevrolet Automotive Training Center at the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) was officially opened. The new facility, located on the DMACC Ankeny (IA) Campus, was named after Carl and Penny Moyer for their $1 million dollar donation to the Center. “The DMACC Automotive program has been good for not only us, but for all dealers in Iowa,” Carl Moyer said. “With the industry growth today it is great to have such an amazing facility and program in our area to help us and be part of our future. Penny and I are thankful that we are able leave a legacy to such a great college that will serve our state and youth for years to come!” The Moyer gift spearheaded the renovation and expansion of the more than 60,000-square foot facility, adding 22 more vehicle work bays, new classrooms, a student lounge, a conference center and a state-of-the-art showroom. In addition, nine classrooms in the existing
facility were renovated. “This is part of our ongoing mission to be among the national leaders in education and training, enabling DMACC to offer countless opportunities for our students to find employment in the evolving, high-tech world of automotive technology,” said DMACC President Rob Denson. “Our students receive an outstanding experience here, and our students are workready when they graduate.” Denson said DMACC has established local and national industry partnerships, including those with General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Mercedes, Honda, Subaru and Toyota and, most recently, the Ganassi Racing Team. DMACC Automotive Technology Program Chair Jerry Burns said this renovation and expansion is exciting for the entire automotive industry. “This space has the look and feel of an automotive dealership and repair facility giving students a great learning experience and preparing them for employment in the automotive repair field,” Burns said.
10 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
centerpiece of its focus on EVs. In 2010, Ford committed to making Michigan its center of excellence for electric vehicles and chose the lab’s Romulus location with collaboration and expedited tech sharing in mind. The company has committed to assemble its all-new, all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning, with foreign and domestics parts, at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, MI, adding 500 direct jobs with the support of the Good Jobs for Michigan Program. Ford also repositioned its half-century-old Van Dyke Transmission Plant in May, renaming it the Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center and expanding its production line to produce electric motors and electric transaxles for hybrid and fully electric vehicles, retaining a total of 225 Michigan jobs. “Ford’s investment in battery research and development in Romulus will support hundreds of good-paying jobs, attract innovative talent to Michigan, and help us continue leading the world in advanced mobility and manufacturing,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Ford is an American icon that has left its mark on the world over a century, and with the research
that will take place at Ford Ion Park, they will shape the next century while reducing emissions and accelerating electrification.” “We are thankful for the support of the MEDC and the Michigan Strategic Fund in helping establish Ford Ion Park in Romulus,” said Sankaran. Ford will refurbish an existing 270,000-square foot facility to house up to 200 engineers and include world-class pilot-scale equipment for electrode, cell and array design and manufacturing engineering and innovation. The lab will use stateof-the-art technology to pilot new manufacturing techniques that will allow Ford to research and quickly scale breakthrough battery cell designs with novel materials as part of its plan to vertically integrates battery cells and batteries. From mines to recycling, the Ford Ion Park team is working with experts across the company, including experts at Ford’s previously announced Battery Benchmarking and Test Laboratory, Ford Customer Service Division, plus key suppliers and partners. Source: Ford
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CARSTAR Chicagoland Business Group Helps Showcase Collision Repair Careers for Students The CARSTAR Chicagoland Business Group is continuing its support for the future of the collision repair industry with its ongoing sponsorship of Lincoln Technical Vocational College over the past decade.
Recently, CARSTAR hosted a booth at the Lincoln Technical Vocational College Career Fair to showcase careers in collision repair. Some 150 students and 90 vendor sponsors attended the Ca-
reer Fair event at the Lincoln Tech campus. The CARSTAR Chicagoland Business Group hosted a booth where students played “Guess the Estimate” to win prizes and talked with CARSTAR collision repair
professionals about opportunities in the field. Each student received a CARSTAR gift bag with ever-popular cell phone pop sockets, juice and other snacks. “The Career Fair at Lincoln Tech provides a great opportunity
for students to explore careers in a variety of industries and meet people who are working in those
fields today,” said Ron Zappetillo, field performance manager, CARSTAR. “The collision repair industry needs engaged, skilled technicians. Events like this help us build interest in the industry and hopefully inspire the future collision repair professionals.” The CARSTAR Chicagoland Business Group sponsors a classroom at Lincoln Tech and offers $2,000 worth of student scholarships. Today, Lincoln Tech graduates are employed at several CARSTAR Chicagoland locations, demonstrating the career-path potential for these young students. Source: CARSTAR
prices in June compared to 2020. While economists expect inflationary pressures like this to be short-term, it is weighing on consumer minds. Employment in the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic continues to improve, especially leisure and travel. Average hourly earnings are also up, suggesting employers are having to offer higher wages to attract workers. COVID-19 cases have also risen in recent weeks. If outbreaks emerge more broadly, economic activity may slow down. Want to learn more about the economic factors shaping our industry? Download the new July Industry Indicators report today at www. sema.org/research. Source: SEMA
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Carvana Brings The New Way to Buy a Car® to Lincoln, NE Carvana, the leading e-commerce platform for buying and selling used cars, now offers as-soon-as-next-day touchless home delivery to Lincoln area residents.
As the pioneer of online car buying, Carvana gives customers a high-definition, 360-degree virtual tour of every vehicle, inside and out. Carvana vehicles have passed a rigorous 150-point inspection, have never been in a reported accident and have no frame damage. Features, im-
gear for a Huskers tailgate, or install bike racks and find one of Lincoln’s many trailheads. Customers looking to make a change can also trade in or sell a vehicle by simply entering their VIN or license plate number on Carvana. com and answering a few questions,
“We look forward to serving the Lincoln community with an easy, transparent car buying and selling experience.” — Ernie Garcia Customers can shop 30,000 used cars for sale, secure auto financing or use the car loan calculator, purchase, trade in, and schedule as-soon-as-next-day vehicle delivery in as little as five minutes. Customers can also sell their current vehicle to Carvana and receive a real offer just as quickly, without even purchasing a vehicle. Carvana customers can save valuable time and money with The New Way to Buy a Car® by skipping the dealership and shopping online.
perfections, and updated information about open safety recalls are listed on every car’s vehicle description page. Carvana also never adds hidden, last-minute fees and charges like “documentation fees.” All 30,000+ vehicles in Carvana’s national inventory come with a seven-day return policy, an upgrade to the traditional test-drive. This ensures customers have time to determine if the vehicle fits their needs. By living with their vehicle for a week, customers can see how their newly purchased SUV’s cargo room handles all the necessary
and Carvana can pick the vehicle up and bring them a check, as soon as the next day. “Providing as-soon-as-nextday delivery to Lincoln unlocks a national inventory of great vehicles, at great prices, with great customer service, to our second market in the Husker State,” said Ernie Garcia, Carvana founder and CEO. “We look forward to serving the Lincoln community with an easy, transparent car buying and selling experience.” Carvana now offers as-soon-asnext-day vehicle delivery to customers in 301 cities across the U.S.
UAF Sets New Scholarship Record The University of the Aftermarket Foundation (UAF) has awarded a record-setting $706,250 in scholarships to students throughout the country, it was announced July 26 by Danielle Sonnefeld, AAP, chair of the UAF scholarship committee. UAF scholarship recipients will be attending a twoyear or four-year college or university or an accredited automotive vocational program during the 2021-22 academic year. While the majority are studying to become mechanical, collision or heavy-duty repair professionals, others are pursuing degrees in such fields as business, engineering and IT/ cybersecurity that will lead to a career in the automotive aftermarket. A complete list of recipients can be found at www. automotivescholarships.com/ scholarship-alumni. Source: University of the Aftermarket
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ADAS: Here to Stay, Not Driving Away by Rebecca Barnabi, glassBYTEs.com
“One of the most important things we try to convey [about calibration training] is the best practice, knowing your environment and really what the manufacturer needs or what that system needs to calibrate,” said Emily Jackson, marketing director of Mygrant Glass, during a special ADAS session held during Auto Glass Week. Jackson said the company has eight hours a day to train each individual. George Lesniak, director of sales and training at Autel Automotive Intelligence USA, emphasized training as well. “There are so many important things when it comes to training, let alone ADAS training,” Lesniak said. “I guess the first thing is, ADAS training is not a one-and-done. It’s not something you do once, and you’re trained.” According to Lesniak, individuals continue to learn about ADAS even after the official training period is complete. “The best practices are what help you perform proper and accurate calibrations,” he added. “It doesn’t matter what equipment you use. If you’re not following instructions to the letter and understanding why you’re performing the calibration, it’s hard to do it accurately.” Eric Newell, executive vice president of AirPro Diagnostics, said understanding systems and processes is also important for training. “And understand, more importantly, the why behind the calibration,” he said. Jackson cautioned installers should also be aware some systems are best suited to particular environments. “Do not purchase on price,” she said.
Lesniak added owners and managers should not only ask themselves, “What should I buy?,” but also, “Should I buy?” “ADAS calibration is not right for everyone,” he said. “I’ve learned that the hard way by selling equipment to people who should not have calibration equipment.” A company needs the technicians, location and equipment to perform calibrations properly. Chris Guiterrez, director of technology and innovation at Protech Automotive Solutions, agreed with the other panelists but said a prequel to training exists. “Know your audience, know where you’re at and know what you’re doing and know what you’re about to get into,” Guiterrez said. He asked audience members to describe themselves. Do they mainly install glass, mostly interact with customers or do they work with collision centers. “Your audiences are different. How you approach things is different. How you’re going to get into this whole thing is different,” he said. Jacques Navant, technical director for frogitout and Don’s Mobile Glass and chairperson of the Auto Glass Safety Council’s (AGSC) ADAS Calibration Committee, said the committee is planning CE courses for shop owners, fleet managers, technicians and insurance providers. “So we’ll be able to kind of take all the shade and shadows off of all things ADAS,” Navant said. “And really educate everyone involved.” Bob Beranek, president of Automotive Glass Consultants, began in the industry in 1973 as a tech and is the AGSC’s AGRSS Standards Committee chair. “Because ADAS is a major part of the automotive design of the
future, we have to address it,” Beranek said “… we’re going to need to develop parts of our standard to address the issue.” Navant said the industry keeps hearing the future is now. His son is about to start driving, and he will be operating vehicles maintained to the standards set forth by the industry now. “But holistically as [an industry], we have a long way to go to catch up to the technology in these vehicles,” Newell said. Guiterrez added that not only does the collision repair industry need to catch up to technology in vehicles, “the customer is as naïve with what they have in their car like everybody else.” Nobody is ready for the technology coming out in vehicles right now, according to Guiterrez. Tara Taffera, AGRR editorial director, moderated the session, and asked the panelists what myths they would like to end. Newell’s choice was the myth that if a light does not come on in the dashboard warning
14 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
(C) 2021 by glassbytes.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. For more information contact www.glassbytes.com.
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of a problem in a car, nothing is wrong. Lesniak cited myths about liability. “If you worked on the car, you’re liable,” he said. Jackson said the glass is not always the problem and warned, “Your ego is not always your amigo.” During a question-and-answer period, Taffera asked the panelists why a shop should not pursue ADAS. Newell said proper space and environment, as well as training, are necessary. “If you can’t do it correctly, don’t do it at all,” he said. Jackson said shops that want to cut corners should not pursue ADAS. “They should. Every shop should,” Beranek said. “It’s here, it’s part of us, it’s not going away,” Lesniak said.
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AkzoNobel’s Appoints U.S. Sales Director
CCC Releases Research on Driver Sentiment on ADAS Features Included in Newer Vehicles
AkzoNobel announced Michelle Sullivan has been appointed sales director for its Vehicle Refinish (VR) US-East Region, effective Aug. 1. Sullivan reports directly to John Griffin, regional commercial director, AkzoNobel Automotive & Specialty Coatings, Americas, and president, AkzoNobel, Inc. In her new role, Sullivan is responsible for leading sales efforts across all VR segments in the East region and is part of the AkzoNobel Automotive & Specialty Coatings Americas management team. Sullivan was previously the strategic sales leader for AkzoNobel’s VR business in North America. Sullivan has been with AkzoNobel for five years and has decades of collision repair industry experience focused on leading sales and operational teams. She has been active in numerous collision repair organizations.
CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc., a leading SaaS platform digitizing the multi-trillion-dollar P&C insurance economy, announced the release of its 2021 Crash Course Midyear Report. This edition of Crash Course examines how permanent changes to consumer expectations and the desire for personalized experiences continue to accelerate the deployment of AI, IoT and mobile technology in the auto claim and repair process. The report also explores changing driving behavior and features research on consumer attitudes towards Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) technology in newer vehicles. “All signs suggest that the accelerated adoption of digitization and AI occurring during the pandemic will not only remain in place, but is picking up speed,” said Susanna Gotsch, senior director, lead analyst, CCC and Crash Course author. “Consumer expectations have been raised again and curated experiences—those where needs and information are anticipated even
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‘Who Pays for What?’ are at least getting paid for it “some of the time.” “I’d like to see those numbers improve, but I’m also hoping the surveys raise shops’ awareness of the safety inspections they need to be doing,” Anderson said. The latest quarterly “Who Pays for What?” survey, slated to end July 30, focuses on “not-included” frame and mechanical labor operations. Shops can take the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ L3H3JQP Anderson said the survey, which will take about 15-20 min-
utes, can be completed by anyone in a shop familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of at least some of the largest national insurers. Each shop’s individual responses are held in the strictest confidence; only aggregated data is released. Survey participants receive a free report with complete survey findings along with analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented. The results of previous surveys are also available online at https:// www.crashnetwork.com/collision advice Source: CRASH Network
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16 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
before requested—is becoming the new normal.” Data in Crash Course suggests a shift back to personal vehicle ownership and away from a trend towards shared mobility over recent years with more than 35% of new vehicles sold between March 2020 and March 2021 purchased by firsttime vehicle buyers—a trend that also points to an increase in firsttime auto insurance customers. Crash Course also reports that when accidents occur, the percent of appraisals generated via photo estimating and advanced AI continues to grow, continuing its rise since the start of the pandemic. The report also looks at miles driven, road congestion, claims frequency and repair costs. Original research from CCC on ADAS technology is also included in the report and reveals consumers have a positive, if complicated relationship with the technology. The research found more than 84% of drivers believe ADAS features promote safe driving. Despite this belief, more than 54%
of those who own a vehicle with ADAS believe that certain features can increase the chance of an accident and 70% have actually turned ADAS features off. “While our research found drivers are becoming increasingly familiar with ADAS features, there is work for the industry to do to educate consumers on the potential benefits of ADAS,” added Gotsch. “The research provides important insights on consumer desires and actions adding complexity to the rapidly evolving insurance and automotive ecosystems.” The 2021 Crash Course Midyear Report draws from various sources, including data processed by CCC on behalf of customers, which includes 30,000 companies spanning auto manufacturers, insurers, repair facilities, parts suppliers and auto lenders interacting with CCC’s platform. Download the 2021 Crash Course Midyear Report for free at www.cccis.com/crash-course-2021. Source: CCC
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New SEMA Show still present that can affect the show. West Hall was an expansion project which had plans to start construction as early as 2017. So, we have been conducting scenario plans on how to manage our use of that facility for the last four years. We got lucky because when the pandemic hit, the expansion was already underway and fully funded. So, we knew that we were going to use this new space this year, to expand our total campus and allow us the opportunity to make our floor a little more efficient to navigate for our attendees and really make a great presentation to the industry.
Is the collision repair section going to move for 2021?
Yes, the collision and tools companies are going to be located in the Upper South Hall this year. The addition of West Hall gave us the opportunity to reconfigure some of our sections and realign some of them, which enabled us to combine business categories that we think will complement each other well, as well as allowing for growth in the future. So, when we reassigned some of the show’s sections, the collision and tools categories were partnered together because of their affinity for each other, and moved them up to the Upper South Hall. It worked out very well, because we can use the adjacent meeting rooms located there for our collision-specific programming. Everything you need―products, exhibitors, educational offerings― will be right there conveniently located in close proximity. This way, both our attendees and exhibitors can be more efficient and get more business done during the four days of SEMA. The beauty of what we have set up is the fact that our tools and collision sections are right above the wheel and tire sections. Those four sections align very well and are directly adjacent to the Renaissance Hotel. Our hope is that people will be able to have a home base during the show, so that they can cover more and have a better experience. Overall, the new West Hall has al-
lowed us to spread out our campus and make navigation easier while allowing us to showcase some of the finest aspects of the collision repair industry.
Who will be there and who won’t?
One of the main changes this year will be the fact that international companies without a pathway in the U.S. will have less levels of participation as compared to the past. Conversely, we’re getting a ton of support domestically, so it depends on the company and what their travel plans are, but for the most part, we’re going to have a robust show that will be well-attended and well-received. All of the big OEs that have attended in the past are back and most of the major players in the collision repair industry are also returning. In some areas, we are designating new categories to give them a start at the show. If we see that they’re gaining traction, we’ll incorporate them into an existing area or creating a new one. It’s an exciting time, with things like ADAS and electric vehicles, so those are two areas that we are watching carefully, so that we can be there on the cutting edge with the right exhibitors and appropriate educational offerings.
Safety is always a factor, but even more so this year because of the pandemic. Please tell us how you’re approaching this huge part of the puzzle for SEMA 2021?
We take our role seriously because we know that SEMA impacts almost every aspect of the automotive industry worldwide. Many of the things that appear at a SEMA Show will affect the industry for the next three to five years, so we realize the importance of the show. The local and federal municipalities last year hindered our plans for 2020, but this year we’re seeing a different environment and we’re more optimistic now than ever. We are working very closely with the people at the Convention Center, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), the State of Nevada and Clark County, just to make sure so that we are well aware
18 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
of their plans. That way all of us, including exhibitors and attendees can make plans accordingly. Right now, we are not required to check everyone’s temperature in Clark County before entering the event. But we want to make sure that we’re adhering to everything they will ask us to do now and in the future. The Clark County Commission is calling all of the shots, so we are observing other shows, and formulating our processes based on that. As we get closer to the show date, we have a few plans holstered and ready to go. Once the Clark County Commission recommends their plan, we will start to reveal our safety and security plan. Every year, we learn more about how to promote the safest environment we can and allow people to get in and out to the show in the most efficient and convenient way possible.
What are some other changes that we will see at SEMA 2021?
Last year, we looked at the idea of making all of the aisles oneway, but we determined that it would be burdensome and not practical on
many levels. So, we decided to take some of our main aisles and broaden them, so that people can get more space and move around in a more suitable manner. So, you will find some wider aisles this year and more aisle space altogether. We are also creating other areas where if people want to step out of the flow of traffic for a moment to regroup or find that next booth, they can do that. For those who want to travel, we will now have access to an underground transit system that was invented by Elon Musk’s The Boring Company, with 60 cars running continuously. It will be able to move a lot of people to one of three stations, South Hall, West Hall and Central Hall. Eventually, this system will be operated autonomously and take people to the Las Vegas Strip, Downtown Las Vegas and the airport as well. It will take a 15– to 20-minute walk and turn it into a two- to five-minute trip, so we are excited about it.
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Automakers Tighten Up Restrictions as COVID Cases Surge by Paul A. Eisenstein, The Detroit Bureau
Nearly 18 months after the auto industry was forced to launch a lengthy shutdown of North American manufacturing operations, carmakers have been slowly, cautiously easing up on pandemic restrictions. But with the new Delta variant causing a sudden surge in COVID-19 infections, the industry is suddenly facing the need to tighten up again. With the CDC urging Americans to start wearing masks again indoors, some manufacturers have upgraded their own mask mandates. Others are reconsidering plans to bring workers back after having them work at home since early spring 2020, TheDetroitBureau.com has confirmed. “It’s a reality we’re dealing with the most recent news of COVID,” said Chris Reynolds, chief administration officer for Toyota Motor North America. “Like everyone, we thought things were starting to turn for the better but the Delta variant, you know, is really affecting everyone, Toyota included.” A recent visit by TheDetroitBureau.com to Toyota’s sprawling Plano, TX, headquarters found it to be a modern ghost town, with “the vast majority of its normal workforce operating from home,” chief spokesperson Scott Vazin said by text. The automaker had slowly been easing restrictions. Those reporting to the HQ complex no longer have to fill out questionnaires or go through temperature checks. And those vaccinated no longer need wear masks indoors―though even vaccinated visitors still must mask up. Reynolds said the Japanese automaker is studying various changes that will likely slow down return to work plans―which had been aimed at having 50% of headquarters workers in the office by early September. Managers at individual parts and assembly plants and other remote operations, meanwhile, will have the flexibility to renew mask requirements. Toyota isn’t alone. On July 28, “We informed employees that, effective immediately, MBUSA will require all employees and contractors to wear an approved mask while indoors at all compa-
ny facilities nationwide,” said Rob Moran, the head of U.S. public relations. “This revised requirement is independent of vaccination status and location.” While it hasn’t gone quite so far, General Motors “reinstated our mask mandate at our Wentzville (MO) assembly plant last week,” spokesman Dan Flores wrote in an e-mail. “That decision was made after our GM Medical team recommended it based upon local infection rates.” While no other operations have been impacted, Flores said the medical unit is “reviewing the latest CDC guidance and determining how it might impact our current COVID-19 safety protocols.” GM is one of the automotive manufacturers who coordinate their pandemic response through a COVID-19 Task Force. It approved the lifting of mask mandates for fully vaccinated employees early in July― though they can still wear a mask if they choose. As part of that group, Stellantis is “continu(ing) to monitor data carefully and has said all along that we will make any adjustments necessary to protect the health and safety of employees,” senior spokesperson Shawn Morgan said in an e-mail. The industry’s COVID-19 Task Force is planning to meet in the next week or two to discuss the changing situation, several officials told TheDetroitBureau.com. Automakers have slowly begun bringing white-collar employees back to their desks and workstations, though Ford and GM earlier this year announced flexible programs that left it up to managers to decide whether staff could continue to work from home or find some other alternative, such as splitting up the week, part of the time coming in and part of the time continuing to stay home. The rise of the Delta variant threatens to force automakers to tear up their plans. “At our corporate headquarters in California, we have temporarily delayed the next phase of our return to office plan,” said Michele Tinson, a spokesperson for Hyundai Motor America’s Midwest and East Coast regions. “At all of our facilities, we
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continue to closely monitor case counts, regulations and guidelines to determine the right approach to keep our employees safe and healthy.” A number of automakers, including Hyundai, have made access to the various vaccines at worksites. So far, none have mandated getting vaccinated. But, on background, sources at several companies said that could be an option if the latest surge of COVID infections continues accelerating. The closest any company has yet come is Ford which “will now require U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to any international business travel due to the potential of increased exposure to COVID-19. Ford continues to strongly encourage all team members who are medically able to be vaccinated,” spokesperson Kelli Felker told TheDetroitBureau.com. The auto industry was hit hard during the early days of the pandemic. Scores of workers were infected, many requiring hospitalization, and more than a few succumbing to COVID by the time factories and
offices were closed in March 2020. Manufacturers raced to come up with protocols to keep manufacturing sites safe once plants began reopening in late May and into June. Those protocols had been quite successful, according to officials from around the industry. But, as the Delta variant has spread and mask and social distancing efforts have been relaxed in many parts of the country, infection rates have been accelerating. Automakers are determined to prevent a repeat of what happened 18 months ago, with new plant closures a major concern. “We’ve always told our teammates the virus runs the show here,” said Toyota’s Reynolds. The challenge, he stressed, is coming up with ways to keep COVID from winning.
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Pro Spot Denver Training Center Open House Aces the Test by Barbara Davies and
Autobody News attended Pro Spot International’s open house at the company’s brand new Pro Spot Aces of Denver Training Center, located at 5280 Steele Street in Denver, CO, on the evening of July 30. “It was a wonderful event, and I am proud of our team and the Colorado crew that made this possible,” said Ron Olsson, president of Pro Spot International.
Windshield Repair Kit, the NP-3 Nitrogen Plastic Welder, Dent Pulling Stations, the i4S and i5 spot welders, PR205MV and PR220MV Synergic MIG Welders, Dust-free Sanding Stations, the PR-5 Rivet System for aluminum riveting and the SP-1, SP-2 and SP-5DP Pulse MIG Welders. “The open house was a great time,” Fahey said. “Almost every piece of equipment that we carry is on display in the Pro Spot Aces of
will be used for training. “We have brand new offices and a 40-by-40-foot training center and classroom,” said Fahey. “The industry in this region badly needed
A good time was had by all: Pro Spot showed guests and employees a great time during the Aces of Denver open house. Pictured, left to right, is Bob Pluth, Ron Olsson, Johan Huwaert of Garmat USA, and Ryan Swanson.
Hands-on Training: Ryan Swanson gives Barbara Davies of Autobody News some hands-on welding instruction on Pro Spot’s Aluminum Pulse SP-5DP MIG Welder.
Pro Spot Team: The Pro Spot Team proudly hosted guests for the July 30 open house at the new Pro Spot training facility in Denver. Pictured, left to right, is Ryan Swanson, training development manager; Bob Pluth, technical services manager; Lorinda Teague, sales administrator; Keith Fahey, sales manager; Bud Larson, Pickens Technical College; Ron Olsson, president; and Dennis Rogers.
The open house began with a tour of the 6,400-square foot facility, comprised of a warehouse distribution center, office space, classrooms and a complete hands-on training center that will allow Pro Spot to better serve its distributors and customers in the surrounding markets.
Official Ribbon Cutting: Ron Olsson and Keith Fahey make it official by cutting the ribbon at the Pro Spot Aces of Denver Distribution and Training Center.
Olsson was joined by Keith Fahey, sales manager at Pro Spot Aces of Denver, as they conducted the official ribbon-cutting ceremony. As the open house proceeded, Pro Spot provided guests with live and hands-on demonstrations of more than a dozen products, including the Ion Spot anti-static gun,
Denver Distribution and Training Center, providing the opportunity for our customers to come experience and receive hands-on training on nearly every product Pro Spot manufactures.” Fahey approached Pro Spot about his future plans and interest in solidifying his company to be a part of Pro Spot. “My dad started Aces of Denver 40 years ago, and I have been in the collision industry my entire life, selling and servicing Pro Spot for 28 years. It’s been extremely rewarding being part of such a great company,” said Fahey. “I’m so pleased that my son, Luke, and long-time service technician, Steve Hoff, along with myself, can continue doing what we have been doing so long—selling and servicing the collision industry in Colorado and Wyoming with Pro Spot products.” Pro Spot acquired Aces of Denver in November 2020 and began renovating the facility, adding a training center and classrooms to the distribution site. Half of the building still functions as a warehouse service center, while the remaining half
22 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
a miniature version of the Carlsbad headquarters, and we look forward to helping all the shops in this area with their training and service needs.”
a local training center, so Pro Spot provided it, and we’ve received an overwhelming number of positive responses. The Pro Spot Aces of Denver Training Center is like
Pro Spot currently has training centers at its headquarters in Carlsbad, CA; Nashville, TN; Venice, FL; and now in Denver, CO, providing regional locations for its distributors and customers across the country. For more information, visit https:// prospot.com/
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GM Financial Reports Second Quarter 2021 Operating Results GM announced net income of $1.2 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2021, compared to $878 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, and $173 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2020. Net income for the six months ended June 30, 2021 was $2.1 billion, compared to $340 million for the six months ended June 30, 2020. * Second quarter net income of $1.2 billion * Retail loan and operating lease originations of $15.0 billion for the second quarter * Earning assets of $102.7 billion at June 30, 2021 * Available liquidity of $29.0 billion at June 30, 2021 Retail loan originations were $9.1 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2021, compared to $8.2 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, and $8.7 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2020. Retail loan originations for the six months ended June 30, 2021 were $17.4 billion, compared to $15.2 billion for the six months ended June 30, 2020. The outstanding balance of re-
tail finance receivables, net of fees was $56.4 billion at June 30, 2021, compared to $51.3 billion at December 31, 2020 and $46.5 billion at June 30, 2020. Operating lease originations were $5.9 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2021, compared to $5.8 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, and $3.2 bil-
lion for the quarter ended June 30, 2020. Operating lease originations for the six months ended June 30, 2021 were $11.6 billion, compared to $8.2 billion for the six months ended June 30, 2020. Leased vehicles, net was $40.6 billion at June 30, 2021, compared to $39.8 billion at December 31, 2020, and $39.6 billion at June 30, 2020. The outstanding balance of commercial finance receivables, net of fees was $5.7 billion at June 30,
2021, compared to $9.1 billion at December 31, 2020 and $7.9 billion at June 30, 2020. Retail finance receivables 3160 days delinquent were 1.5% of the portfolio at June 30, 2021 and 2.2% at June 30, 2020. Accounts more than 60 days delinquent were 0.5% of the portfolio at June 30, 2021 and 1.3% at June 30, 2020. Annualized net charge-offs were 0.4% of average retail finance receivables for the quarter ended June 30, 2021 and 1.5% for the quarter ended June 30, 2020. For the six months ended June 30, 2021, annualized net chargeoffs were 0.6%, compared to 1.6% for the six months ended June 30, 2020. The Company had total available liquidity of $29.0 billion at June 30, 2021, consisting of $4.4
billion of cash and cash equivalents, $21.1 billion of borrowing capacity on unpledged eligible assets, $0.5 billion of borrowing capacity on committed unsecured lines of credit, $1.0 billion of borrowing capacity on the Junior Subordinated Revolving Credit Facility from GM, and $2.0 billion of borrowing capacity on the GM Revolving 364Day Credit Facility. Earnings resulting from the Company’s equity investment in joint ventures that conduct automotive finance operations in China were $50 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2021, compared to $54 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2021 and $42 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2020. Earnings for the six months ended June 30, 2021 were $104 million, compared to $67 million for the six months ended June 30, 2020.
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Here’s What Rivian’s First Service Centers Look Like by Dan Mihalascu, Inside EVs
With deliveries of the R1T pickup and R1S SUV coming in September and later in the fall, respectively, Rivian is offering customers a preview of its service centers. In a post on Twitter, the EV startup shared photos of service centers located in Brooklyn, NY, Bellevue, WA, Normal, IL, and San Francisco and El Segundo, CA.
While the workshop area looks pretty traditional with elevators and other specific equipment, the customer waiting areas appear airy and cozy, with Rivian saying it has “brought the inspiration of the outdoors” to its inside spaces. In several comments on the post, Rivian has offered some details about these centers and how they will serve customers.
“While most repairs can be done by our Mobile Service vans right at your home or office, we can also pick up and bring your vehicle to a Rivian Service Center and return it to you, all with a flexible loaner program.” The EV manufacturer added service centers would also prepare brand-new Rivian vehicles for delivery and install accessories on them. Unsurprisingly, the five previewed locations are located in or close to metropolitan areas. However, Rivian says as production of the R1T and R1S ramps up, so too will its network of service centers. According to the company, locations across the country are opening this year, “with many more coming online in 2022.” Asked by a commenter about its showrooms, the automaker replied 10 Rivian Experience Centers are opening across the country this year, with details on locations and hours to become available later. Until then, prospective customers will be able to get a look at the R1S and R1T in September, when Rivian kicks off its Demo Drive tour.
FCA Recalling Ram Pickups for Side-Curtain Air Bags that May Rupture FCA U.S. LLC is voluntarily recalling an estimated 212,373 U.S.-market Ram pickups to replace their side-curtain air bags. An FCA U.S. investigation discovered certain vehicles may be equipped with air-bag inflators that were contaminated by moisture during the supplier’s manufacturing process. Such inflators may rupture, even without air-bag deployment, possibly sending debris into the cabin. The company is aware of a single rupture involving one of its vehicles. There were no injuries. The inflators were produced by a supplier implicated in a similar recall by another auto maker. The FCA campaign is limited to certain model-year 201520 Ram 3500 pickup trucks and cab-chassis vehicles, 2500 pick-
ups and previous-generation 1500 pickups, now known as the Classic. The current-generation Ram 1500, which launched in model year 2019, is not affected. As with all safety recalls, service will be provided free of charge. Affected customers will be advised when they may schedule service; those with questions or concerns may call 1-800-8531403. The campaign affects additional vehicles in Canada (est. 42,532), Mexico (est. 3,802) and certain markets outside North America (est. 4,540). A small number of inflators sold as replacement parts are also subject to recall. Source: Stellantis
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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.
Daily Release Meetings a Must for Successful Collision Repair Shops An Autobody News reader recently emailed me a question he had about daily release meetings at his shop. I always like hearing from shops because that’s often where I get ideas for this column. So let’s talk a little about release meetings: when they should be held, who should attend, what should be discussed. I want to start with the caveat that some people tell me they think release meetings are a waste of time. I disagree. I think they are critical for a shop’s success. And I suspect people who think that probably aren’t leading―or aren’t attending― good release meetings. When thinking about release meetings, I suggest thinking about a football game. At a football game, the play comes from the sidelines out to the quarterback on the field. The quarterback has 30 seconds to get that play off. So the team huddles so the quarterback can tell everyone the play, and the huddle ends with everyone voicing an enthusiastic “Break!” That huddle is really what a release meeting is all about for a collision repair facility. When I had my shops, we held a release meeting every single morning. My team was required to get to work by 7:30 a.m., and at 7:45 a.m., they had to be in uniform. That’s when the meeting began. Not at 7:50 a.m., not even at 7:47 a.m. It began at 7:45 a.m. Who was there? Everyone. The people who washed cars, the painters, the body techs, the parts manager, the estimators, the customer service reps. Everyone. Now, I will say I’m currently working with a shop that does $1 million a month in sales. For an organization of that size, it doesn’t make sense to have everyone come together for a single release meeting. But that company is divided into multiple teams, or “cells,” and each of those has its own release meeting with everyone on that team. In either case, the key purpose
of the release meeting is to make sure everyone is on the same page about the vehicles scheduled to be delivered that day, or on either of the next two days. So you’re looking out in advance three days. We’d discuss if there are any issues with any of those vehicles, in
Mike Anderson said a daily release meeting gets the entire shop on the same page, just like a huddle for a football team
order to take a proactive rather than reactive approach. The parts guy might say, for example, “We have all the parts for these cars, but the taillight for Mrs. Smith’s Toyota won’t be here until 2 p.m. today.” We’d make sure the painters knew everything that needed to painted that day, and in what order we wanted them painted. We’d let them know what they would be painting tomorrow, so they’d know what to move on to if they got through today’s work early. We’d make sure the customer service reps had the information they needed in order to communicate with customers. We’d review any appointments coming in that day, and find out there if there was any equipment that needed repairs or service, or any facility maintenance work needed. We’d make sure any sublet work had been scheduled to be handled by vendors. We’d discuss any warranty or customer request items we needed to process. We’d talk about who was going to be out on vacation, and make sure their responsibilities were being covered. As the only time of day when everybody is together, it can be a good time to highlight if it was an employee’s birthday or work anni-
28 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
versary, and give them some highfives. In any case, try to end each meeting on a positive, enthusiastic note, just like the chant of “break” at the end of a huddle. Here’s another thing: I don’t think the release meeting should ever last more than 15 minutes. In my shop, we started at 7:45 a.m., and everyone knew we had to be done by 8 a.m. when we opened our doors for business. A couple of cautions: When I talk to people about their grievances about release meetings, two things are the primary buzzkills. Those who show up on time don’t want to be left standing around, wasting their time, because whoever runs the meeting isn’t there. They also aren’t going to have much tolerance―nor should they―for a meeting leader who isn’t prepared. So in order to be prepared to lead your 7:45 a.m. release meet-
ing tomorrow, you likely will need to have some other brief, smaller meetings throughout the day. I liked to have a meeting with some key employees right before or right after lunch to make sure we were still on track for the day. I also liked to meet with my paint team at the end of the day to see if everything got accomplished. If it didn’t, I could update their list for the next day before the release meeting. I’ve got a document I’d be happy to send you that includes a sample SOP for release meetings, and highlights the topics that should be covered. If you’d like a copy, just email my assistant Tiffany at tiffany @collisionadvice.com and put “release meeting document” in the subject line. www.autobodynews.com
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Hey Toby! with Toby Chess
Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, Training specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his work with first responders and advocacy for body shops and consumers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deciding When Used Parts are Appropriate in the Collision Repair Process Recently, I was training in a body be addressed when you install a used shop in the Los Angeles area and no- door: ticed a used door for a vehicle repair 1. De-trimming the used door for paint access (not included) in the technician’s stall. The tech complained he needed more time to fix the door than what was negotiated between the shop with David McClune and wrecking yard. When I finished testing, I pulled out my PDR lamp and highlighted all the damage (See Figs 1 & 2).
You will also need to check the glass for the correct tint. 6. If the door has an applique, you will need to remove the old one from the used door and order and install a new one, another not-included item.
California Autobody Association
Year in Quotes with John Yoswick Fig. 1
Figure 5 shows a used front suspension received by a body shop. You will notice red coating on some of the parts. The shop was charged $60 for Magnafluxing the part. Let’s take a look at Magnafluxing and die checking. A Magnaflux test is a non-destructive testing (NDT) process for detecting surface and subsurface cracks in materials such as iron (Figs 6&7). Magnetic particle inspection can be
used only on ferrous materials like iron and steel. The Magnaflux process does
2. Removing paint finish to comColumbia Hyundai ply with your paint manufacturer’s Collision Repair Association of CA. warranty. Most company’s paint
with Richard Steffen warranty will only cover between
12 to 13 mils of paint thickness, a not-included item. Also, check the door for prior damage repair. Fig. 2 3. Prior damage to the door is I marked all the damage on now the responsibility of the body the door other than the large dent. I shop that sells the part to the cusasked the owner of the shop a cou- tomer. ple of questions about the door. The 4. Check for corrosion and apshop and owner negotiated a $50 re- plied seam sealers. duction in price to fix the large dent. 5. Check to see if vehicle glass is with John Yoswick I used that amount to represent the tempered or laminated. More vehicles are using laminated door glass shop’s hourly door rate. instead of tempered. (See Fig 4.) Here are the questions I asked: It should be noted laminated door 1. Who is paying for the primer, glass is thicker than tempered glass. blocking and sandpaper on the entire repaired door? 2. Since you are charging one hour to fix the door, who is paying the rest of the repair time? 3. Who is going to make up forHendricks the with Karyn lost billing time? 4. What about the cycle time delay fixing the used door?
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not work on aluminum, but penetrating dyes are available to test aluminum parts in a similar way. Magnetic Particle Inspection is performed in four steps: • Induce a magnetic field in the specimen. • Apply magnetic particles to the part’s surface. • View the surface, looking for particle groupings that are caused by defects. • Demagnetize and clean the part.
testing technique, also known as liquid penetrant inspection (LPI), is a method used to locate surface breaking flaws such as cracks, porosity, laps, seams and other surface imperfections. The procedures for using these products are as follows: • Spray the part to checked with the cleaner SKC-S and wipe dry with a clean rag. (See Fig 9)
crack(s). • Follow the cleaning process with developer SKD-S2. Any crack(s) will be red in color. See Fig 10 for aluminum panel that was damaged and then repaired and welded. Notice all the cracks.
Looking at the suspension parts, the wrecking yard sprayed penetrant on the aluminum parts, but did not apply developer. They charged for Magnafluxing, but they used dye penetrant. They should have disassembled the parts when they did dye penetrant. They also should have checked the knuckle for cracks. Moving on to a used sub frame.
Dye penetrant can be used on steel as well as aluminum. Fig 11 shows dye penetrant being used on a steel brake rotor.
Dye penetrant inspection (DPI) is widely used to detect surface cracks. This non-destructive, three-part
• Apply Penetrant SKL-SP2 to the area that needs to be checked. Wait about 10 minutes for the product to wick into the crack(s). (See Fig 9) • Clean entire panel with a clean rag and cleaner. Do not spray cleaner directly to the panel, which will wash away the penetrant in the
There are several things that need to done to this part prior to purchase. First and foremost, you will need to check for square. This can be done with a tram gauge that has adapters. (See Figs 13 & 14) Since a subframe controls camber and caster, the part needs to be
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straight and symmetrical. If you want a printout verification, you could use the Metrix Wand, Car-OLiner Point X or Chiefs Velocity. This would be a non-included item.
Next you will need to check for corrosion. If it checks out, you need to clean and refinish the part and again, this would be a non-included item. If the part has replaceable bushings, you may want to replace and again, the labor and parts to replace would not be included. Let’s look at everyone’s favor used part, the used quarter panel.
When a used quarter panel arrives at the shop, the first thing that needs to be checked is the paint thickness and any body filler from previous repairs. Most shops will drill out the spot welds to remove the outer quarter panel. This is Honda/Acura’s position state-
ment: “Preparation of the salvaged/recycled parts can negatively affect installation, which may have an adverse effect upon crash energy management and occupant safety in any subsequent collision. For example: If the factory spot welds are drilled out of a rear outer (quarter) panel leaving holes in the flanges, there may not be enough flange material remaining to attach the salvaged/ recycled part with the BRM-specified spot welds. This would require substitution of MAG plug welding to attach the panel. Substitution of BRM-specified welding methods is never approved by American Honda. Additionally, in cases where outer panels attach to certain ultra-high-strength steel (UHSS) structural parts, weld method substitution may weaken the UHSS parts.”
have a drilled out metal. (See Fig. 16) Some more line items you would need on your estimate include: removing any attached parts, removing any foam from the used panel, removing all sealant and undercoating from mating surface areas, removing broken glass from flanges, removing finish thickness, repairing any holes from the removal process necessary for removal, repairing all hems on the used panel (including holes that occurred when removing the panel) before installation and finally disposing of the donor remains. When you add up all the associated costs, it may be more cost effective to use a new OEM panel. Furthermore, many dealers will price match. A used quarter panel will be a better option if: • Need additional attached part(s) and not just the outer panel. • It is more cost effective • OEM is backordered or not available
What this statement means is a quarter panel should be removed from the inside out so the panel does not
See Used Parts, Page 43
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Industry Insight with John Yoswick
—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
Why Collision Repair Shops, Insurers Often Disagree on Repair Plans
The Collision Industry Conference Another panelist, consultant and (CIC) Industry Relations Commit- former insurance executive Roger tee held a panel discussion this sum- Wright of Vector Squared, concurred with Ed Attanasio mer centered around a fundamental claims personnel often lag in their question: Why is there so often a technical knowledge as vehicle techdisconnect between auto body shops nology evolves. and insurance companies during the “In the 1970s, I started out [in repair planning stage, particularly the insurance industry] and I went to when it comes to procedures related Vale Tech and became a ‘three-week to advanced driver sys- wonder,’ and realized shortly therewithassistance Ed Attanasio tems (ADAS)? after I knew nothing,” Wright said. Michael Giarrizzo, CEO of “The collision repair shops trained DCR Systems, which operates eight me for the next 20 years. I went in as collision repair shops under partner- an insurance representative or indeships with dealers in four Eastern pendent appraiser and would listen states, sees training as the key issue to what they had to say and learn. I leading to the frequent lack of align- guess we’ve lost that, maybe.” with Ed Attanasio ment on repair plans between shops and insurers. Giarrizzo said OEM-certified shops like his continue to get significant amounts of training as vehicle complexity continues to Attanasio increase, with Ed but insurance claims personnel often aren’t getting that ongoing technical training. He equated it to a medical insurer questioning a surgeon. Oregon shop owner Ron Reichen said one “Someone handling a medical size-fits-all solutions don’t work because the claim may not have that same level time to scan and analyze trouble codes on two of education [as with the doctor], but they Stacey Phillips different brands of vehicles can vary widely have trust in that education,” Giarrizzo said. “Whether you’re up to That said, Wright said he can speed with it all or not, there’s got to understand insurance company rebe a trust level in whoever has gone sistance to what could be seen as out and invested in the education.” blanket position statements or pro Ron Reichen of Precision Body cedures from automakers. Wright with Stacey Phillips & Paint in Oregon agreed keeping said it was 2016 when he first saw up with vehicle technology is “a an automaker statement calling for challenge for us, and we’re con- all of its vehicles to be scanned after stantly training.” He said collision a collision. repairers “trying to get alignment “It didn’t designate a year or [with insurers], often find ourselves anything, just that all vehicles are with Stacey Phillips being the educators for the bill-pay- to be scanned,” Wright said. “If we er.” The shift to virtual claims settle- asked everybody in the audience ment doesn’t help, he said, because then, how many of those cars that it adds to the challenge of showing you repaired last week did you scan, or explaining what a vehicle re- it may have been maybe three or quires. four or five or one. Was it necessary He said he also sees a “one size to recall all those other cars because with Stacey Phillips fits all” approach that isn’t helpful. we didn’t do it right or safe? The time needed to scan a vehicle “No, the shop believed they and analyze the information and fixed the car properly, to OEM stanincorporate that into a repair plan dards, and all of a sudden we have might take 45 minutes on one make a bulletin that says we have to scan of vehicle and two hours on another, everything. That causes an insurer even on similar hits, Reichen said. some consternation. How can that
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be? What happened between yesterday and today?” A seemingly sudden shift by an OEM can have real financial consequences, Wright said. “For even a medium-sized insurer that has 10,000 claims a day, if you throw a number out for pre- and post-scans, you come out with about $2.7 million a day in average increased costs. Per day,” Wright said. “They didn’t price that in. Now, don’t cry for the insurers. They’ll get this all priced in with the next rate increase. But in the meantime, which can be months or years, they’re losing $2.7 million a day. That’s real money to them. “So they push back a little bit, and say, ‘Do we need it on every car? Maybe the Saturn that’s in the parking lot that got hit by a shopping cart doesn’t need to be scanned.’ It’s not that we don’t want to fix a car
Media and Publicity for Shops
right. But it creates a concern for us.” But Reichen argued neither shops nor insurers should be deciding how to repair a vehicle. “No one knows the vehicle better than the person who built the vehicle, so from a repairer’s position, if the manufacturer says we need to do it…I’m going to follow those repair procedures,” Reichen said. He noted an empty chair is now always placed on the stage at CIC to remind attendees of an important industry constituent not generally represented at the meetings: the consumer. That began after a Texas couple won a $42 million judgment against a dealership auto body shop after a jury found the shop’s failure to follow OEM repair procedures contributed to the couple’s severe injuries in that vehicle in a subseSee Often Disagree, Page 43
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How Could Gaming Change the Future of Collision Repair Training? by Chasidy Rae Sisk
“Do we need to look differently at how we approach training and education?” asked Jeff Peevy, I-CAR’s vice president of technical products, programs and services, during the July 22 CIECAST webinar. “The momentum of change today is so much greater than it ever has been. The way we’ve always thought and approached building training content, the collection of information and how we can simulate that into training and information has to be rethought, reinvented because of the speed at which it’s coming at us.” Before launching into “Technology’s Impact on the Future of Training: Welcome to the Gamer Culture,” Peevy briefly described I-CAR’s role within the collision repair inter-industry, as well as its vision that “every person in the collision repair industry has the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.” Giving a shoutout to I-CAR’s instructional design team, Peevy emphasized I-CAR’s interest in collaborating with the industry: “Collaboration is in our DNA.” Addressing technology’s impact on people as individuals, Peevy explored the impact of electronic-based games on youth during their formative years. Based on a study conducted by Cognitive Science Magazine, people retain 10% of what they read, 30% of what they hear and 70% of what they do. “As trainers in this industry, if we don’t recognize this, we’re going to miss the boat,” Peevy said. He pointed out the difference gaming creates in the younger generations’ mindsets: “When things go bad in a game, you hit the reset button; you can always start over. In the real world, Boomers are devastated by a layoff, but the gamer generations bounce back quicker―they simply reset and move on. They’re also used to relying on peer support, collaboration and coaching one another, rather than the Boomer generation, which was accustomed to adult coaches telling us what to do.” Gamers are more comfortable
making quick decisions and taking chine interactions generated by of questions and then ultimately can risks; things are always easy in the computer technology and wearables, move you from a mainstream course gaming world, but they’re ultimate- including augmented and virtual re- design into a more basic or chally designed for success. They enjoy ality. Through the use of headsets lenging position; it can adjust itself. being heroes, but it’s important to that create their own environment, Wherever you start is not important. realize games teach them to avoid virtual reality provides training in Our goal is to bring everybody up to bosses, so Peevy encouraged shop complete immersion. the same level, at your pace.” owners and managers to “be more of “There are no distractions,” Looking at technology’s ima strategy guide than a traPeevy stated. “You’re in a pact on training content in the colliditional boss.” world that’s been created sion repair industry, Peevy stressed, Additional ways ideal for learning. You can given the speed of technological gamers’ mindsets vary from focus on whatever it is. As advances, I-CAR feels “the responolder generations include we continue to learn about sibility to work with the industry being more flexible, being the practical application of and collaborate with the industry able to better move between this, there are ways this will to gain knowledge as quickly as we tasks and being better at become very beneficial in can. When a new technology shows Jeff Peevy the future.” stepping outside their own up on the horizon, it’s our responsiIn augmented reality, the head- bility to explore and understand it. perspective to see situations from someone else’s viewpoint. set overlays digital objects in the It may never go mainstream, but if The gamer generation also ex- real world. it does, we’ll do our best to prepare pects life to be fun. “It allows you to see the real the industry. We won’t wait for that “Attention is the scarcest re- world and see things over it that you technology to come to us.” source in the world,” Peevy quoted actually can do and get a more re- I-CAR is focused on providing from “The Attention Economy,” alistic experience, so you can gain relevant training for the many ongoby Thomas Davenport and John knowledge, as well as improve your ing changes impacting the collision Beck. “Everything must be more skills and understanding of the topic repair industry today and in the fuengaging and entertaining in order without being in a dangerous envi- ture. Peevy looked at some of the to keep gamers’ attention.” ronment,” Peevy said. programs related to ADAS, EVs and Using data gathered by the Col- Gamification is the application I-CAR’s goals of figuring out “how lision Repair Education Foundation of gaming mechanics to non-gaming we can do this differently, and we’ll (CREF), which shows the average environments and is used to increase continue to do that. We’d love to coltechnician age is 41, Peevy noted knowledge and skills for specific in- laborate with anyone in the industry traditional gamers range in age from dustry tasks. with interest or knowledge to share. under 21 up to 51. The introduction “The objective needs to be to We have this massive challenge that of games on smartphones enhanced gain new knowledge,” said Peevy. we all have to face with speed and exposure to older and younger peo- “You have the opportunity to apply momentum of change.” ple as well. this knowledge in a game and then Peevy encouraged collision re “Almost everyone, at some lev- practice your skills. You practice for pair industry professionals interestel, are playing games, and it may not accuracy and speed, and then when ed in collaborating on these exciting have a direct influence on how we you apply that in the real world, you initiatives to contact him at Jeff. approach training, but it certainly can be much more prepared, when Peevy@i-car.com. should be something that we consid- done correctly.” A replay of the July CIECAST er.” Peevy mentioned the value of is available at https://www.youtube. According to Peevy, technolo- video-based and online training as com/watch?v=yAkM0nbzrAk gy impacts training approaches by a means of engaging collision repair making new demands to meet users’ professionals. He suggested online The next CIECAST, scheduled for training allows for an environment Aug. 19 at 2 p.m. EST, will feature training and learning needs. “Training needs to involve de- that’s “more engaging and more re- Marc Friedman, chief strategy officisions, be entertaining and be fun. laxed. It’s less formal, and it’s more cer, and Shivani Govil, chief prodIt must be relevant, engaging and relatable and relevant. The interac- uct officer, of CCC Intelligent Soluchallenging, though doable. It would tive branching approach assesses tions, as they discuss “Activating AI be beneficial to build training that how much you know over a series and Network Connections.” involves teams. It needs to allow students to practice new knowledge and skills and also allow students to compare their performance to others.” AUTOBODY Peevy believes there are practical uses of extended reality, which firstname.lastname@example.org refers to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-ma-
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Stacey Phillips is an award-winning freelance writer and editor for the automotive industry. She has 20 years of experience writing for a variety of publications, and is co-author of “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops.” She can be reached at email@example.com.
with Stacey Phillips
California MSO Launches Kustomine Software to Help Collision Repairers Work More Efficiently
Body Shops Giving Back
In 1956, Bruno Sanchez opened a David, worked in my grandfather’s 2,500-square foot auto body shop shop growing up. He began running in San Francisco, CA.Stacey He named it it in 1968 and eventually purchased with Phillips Bruno and Son Auto Body Shop and the business in 1980. After opening the goal was to offer honesty, pas- a second location in Pleasanton in sion and craftsmanship. 1991, he changed the name to B&S Over the years, the family busi- Hacienda Auto Body to reflect a ness grew and was eventually re- partnership the company had with a named B&S Hacienda Auto Body. nearby collision repair facility. with Stacey Phillips We recently celebrated our 30th Currently owned and operated by David and Maria Dolores and their anniversary of that location. The three sons, David Jr., Tony and original San Francisco shop was Rob, the company has expanded to eventually sold in 1994. include six locations in the Tri-Val- My brother Tony, the general manager, started working with my ley Area of California. father in 1992. Rob, vice president of with Stacey Phillips dealer relations, joined in 1993. After earning a business degree at Chico State, I came onboard in 1999. Since my grandfather established the first location 65 years ago, we have opened six shops in the Tri-Valley area of California: Dubwith Victoria Antonelli lin, Livermore Southfront Road, Livermore First Street, Pleasanton Old Santa Rita, Pleasanton California Avenue and San Ramon. My parents are semi-retired but In 1956, Bruno Sanchez opened Bruno and still come by the shops. They spend Son Auto Body Shop most of their time doing philanwithofEdB&S Attanasio David Jr., CFO Haci- thropy work, which they absolutely enda, said the Sanchez family has love. always been committed to providing excellent customer service and qual- Q: What prompted the company to ity repair work. develop Kustomine software for the The team recently developed collision repair industry? software, called Kustomine, dewith Gary signed to empower body shopsLedoux with Jeff: I grew up in the same neigha paperless customer experience borhood as David, Tony and Robthat reduces environmental impact, bie and we had been trying to work saves time and money, and provides together for years. Finally, in 2019, cleaner data for the tools used to run B&S engaged my company to build the body shop. a better way to connect with cus Autobody News reached out to tomers from the time they initially David Sanchezwith Jr. andStacey Jeff Hill,Phillips an drop off their car through to the deinformation technology (IT) consul- livery process—from quote to cash. tant who helped develop the prod- Ultimately, we figured out how to uct, to find out more about Kustom- improve this process using modern ine and what led the team to create web development architecture and the solution for the collision repair communication methods such as industry. texting and email.
Tips for Busy Body Shops My SEMA
an estimate, they are handed a tablet, iPad or Surface computer to input basic personal information. Then, the CSR or estimator takes pictures of the damage and sends the information to the application, which we call Kustomine. Customers immediately receive a welcome message via email or text, as well as information regarding their insurance policy and rights. The estimate is also created automatically. The solution allows us to take estimate data virtually in real-time and push it to the custom CRM application. The software provides a 360-degree view of the repair so a customer can stay updated about everything concerning their vehicle. It also allows us to remarket to our customer base effectively. Q: How is it currently being used and what has the reaction been from
customers and employees? David: We rolled out the product to our flagship location in Pleasanton in December of 2019. Once we realized how successful it was, we began using it in the rest of our locations. We’ve found that it has led to a drastic increase in customer engagement. During COVID-19, we tried landing every person who came through the door. The product helped us do that with the welcome email/text and providing information about their rights. Jeff: In regard to employees, most of those on the front lines, including the CSRs and estimators, are at least a generation younger than us. Their comfort level with this type of technology is very high and they welcomed it with open arms.
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From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson
Q: Can you share some history about B&S Hacienda Auto Body?
Q: Can you provide an overview of the software?
David: My dad, who is also named
Jeff: When customers come in for
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*Kia Genuine replacement parts sold but not installed by an Authorized Kia Dealer are covered for 12 months from purchase date, regardless of mileage, for the part only, and any labor charge is the consumer’s responsibility. autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 41
Q: Who is your target market? David: Kustomine was designed for shops looking for change and/or better processes. This includes single, independent shops as well as giant MSOs. We feel that the product has great potential for the industry. We’re gearing up to launch our public beta of the cloud-based product on Sept. 1.
improvement. For example, we’ve been able to shorten the amount of time that needs to be spent on an estimate by figuring out how long it will be between first notice of loss (FNOL) and when an estimate is turned into a work order. We can track all of those metrics and figure out which ones take the longest.
David: One of the biggest benefits is the elimination of unnecessary waste. I think that our industry does enough wasting and we wanted to address that. With Kustomine, we created a paperless, seamless process that essentially eliminated the use of paper. This is especially relevant since the pandemic. Also, shops receive 100% clean data because David and Maria Dolores and their three sons, Tony, David and Rob customers are entering it themselves. We often re We’re hoping to have a short ceive the wrong email address due beta cycle and launch version one of to a keystroke error from the estimaKustomine by the end of the year so tor or a language barrier between the we’re ready for anyone who wants customer and CSR. Through the use to sign up and buy a beta license. As of this tool, we know we’ll have aca small company, we look forward curate information. to people’s input and find out how In our industry, a shop typically to make this worthwhile for every- writes an estimate and if the custombody. er leaves, you’re more than likely not going to get the job. By touching Q: What are some of the benefits for a customer immediately and sending auto body shops using Kustomine? them useful information, we have found the capture rate is greater beJeff: Kustomine securely stores all cause of the instant communication. of the documentation pertaining Nine times out of 10, it’s a custo the repair and generates reports tomer’s first accident in seven years. that are useful for growing the busi- Things change over time and people ness. For example, you can reach need to know their rights, including all of your customers who own a that they can go to the shop of their certain car brand and do individual choice. We ensure they receive that outreach. All of the information is information immediately. stored on an encrypted database and We are an OEM-centric company that takes pride in being part travels across a secure SSL channel. Based on this information, we of more than 10 OEM certification can create targeted communica- programs. Once we communicate tion to reach potential and current that to potential customers, I believe customers and focus on process it helps them decide to have their car
repaired in one of our shops. Q: What is the importance of being OEM certified? David: Without a doubt, it’s the best way to fix a vehicle. With cars being more advanced and complex to repair, it’s essential to do your precrash analysis and calibration and understand what you are fixing. In our opinion, the OEM data is priceless. We do a lot of research and documentation to make sure we are repairing vehicles properly and putting them back to the OEM’s specifications. Although it can be a significant expense, we are willing to pay for it. There are too many things that could go wrong in the vehicle you are working on. Our job is to make our customers safe with every repair. This is going to become even more important in the future. Q: What type of philanthropy and community service does your family take part in? David: My parents are very passionate about community service and in-
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stilled it in us. They have been key members of the Pleasanton Lion’s Club for at least 30 years. Although it is a small group, they do a tremendous amount of work in this area. My mom also supports the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a global organization that funds Type 1 diabetes research. One of the organizations near and dear to my heart is Sunflower Hill, which is dedicated to creating places where adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, live and work. I have an employee and a friend who both have children with autism and I’m thankful that my wife and I can support that organization. We are also involved with the College is Real program, where we donate and assist underprivileged children apply to, attend and graduate from college. Some are the first kids in their families to earn their college education. Our family believes in philanthropy and loves to give back to the community where we grew up. We’ve been blessed with good fortune and want to give back.
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Continued from Page 36
Often Disagree quent accident. “As repairers, that looms over us every day,” Reichen said, saying that’s why a shop can’t decide a called-for procedure doesn’t have to be done. “Common sense might say it doesn’t. But we also have to come back and weigh that liability exposure if we don’t do it.” Giarrizzo was among those during the discussion to suggest insurers should voice their concerns about OEM repair procedures to the automakers, not shops. “I could agree that some of the manufacturers’ guidelines or procedures seem like they are there to cover [the OEM’s] liability, but that’s a discussion between the manufacturer who builds the car and the folks that insure the car,” Giarrizzo said. “As a repairer, you have no choice but to follow those guidelines, period. If those guidelines need to be changed or have some flexibility, that’s a discussion for a room in Detroit or wherever
that car is built.” Wright didn’t disagree. “We [as insurers] need to trust the shop because they’re the expert. They’re the one repairing the car. They’re the one guaranteeing the repair,” Wright said. “I think the insurers need to work with the OEMs a little more in understanding the engineering behind [the procedures]. Is there really engineering that says we have to replace the rack and pinion on every single car in an accident, even when they don’t define ‘accident’?” Wright noted insurers worked with GM when the Corvette C6 came out. “We wanted bolt-on panels. We wanted sectional front and rear rails,” he said. “They wanted a low insurance rate [for the vehicle] so they put those things on that car. We worked together. “We need to work on getting the insurers and the OEMs in a room together to talk about the engineering rational for doing some of the things they [call for] so we can protect the collision repair shop. They have to fix the car right.”
Continued from Page 35
Used Parts You should understand if a vehicle is still under warranty, that warranty is still enforced except for the used part. That warranty falls in your lap, possibly the insurance company and/or the parts
vendor. If an attached part fails due to the used part, that part would also be the responsibility of the repair shop. You will also need to inform your customer a used part was installed on their vehicle. I found this quote on the Audi web-
site and it should also be considered when ordering that used part: “Additionally, Audi does not support the use of parts that have been removed or salvaged from another vehicle that was previously involved in a collision. These parts are compromised by being exposed to weathering, rust, environmental damage and heat damage from welders used to remove the parts from vehicles that were previously involved in a collision. These elements can cause Audi’s high-strength steel, aluminum and carbon fiber vehicle unibody parts to lose their structural integrity, which can cause the vehicle to not perform properly if involved in a future collision.” I believe used parts are necessary in the collision repair process, but you need to do your due diligence when you make the decision to replace an OEM new part with that used part. www.autobodynews.com
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Generating More Profit in Your Auto Body Shop with Windshield Repair by Stacey Phillips
When Richard Campfield was looking into starting a retail windshield repair business 35 years ago, he conducted some direct marketing to determine if it was worth pursuing. When he approached consumers with a chip or stone break, the typical response was, “It has been there for years; give me your card.” However, a consumer with a long crack asked if it could be fixed immediately.
Campfield, founder of Ultra Bond, opened a mobile service in 1986 focused on windshield crack repair and fixing the long cracks and chips that weren’t being addressed. At the time, there was not much information or technology about how and when to repair cracks. He began by trial and error and field testing followed by lab testing, to find out what it took to meet the same federal safety standard (FMVSS 205) as a new windshield and confirm the safety and efficacy of the field tests. He kept explicit details on every invoice and eventually developed his own windshield repair criterion, tools, resins and methods. In 1990, he began manufacturing and selling the tools, resins and kits to repair long cracks and chips. During his career, he has been granted 14 windshield repair patents. Since then, new vehicles have been introduced with an increasing amount of technology and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), such as lane departure warning, collision avoidance alert and heated wipers and windshields. These systems may use lidar, radar, cameras, sensors and other devices. As a result, Campfield said replacing
automotive glass is not as straightforward as it once was and the cost has tripled. Campfield recently teamed up with one of his competitors, Korey Gobin, sales manager at Delta Kits, to share information on how collision repairers can conduct windshield repairs in the age of ADAS and generate more profit in their facilities. Their presentation was held during Auto Glass Week 2021 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Over three days, a wide range of presenters discussed current trends and issues in regard to automotive glass repair and replacement. Step one, according to Gobin, is to know yourself. “Know who you are,” he said. “Know your value and what you bring to the table. A lot of people forget that.” With the addition of ADAS features in new vehicles, Gobin said there are opportunities now available with windshield repair and replacement, and highly recommended repairers consider generating more with what they already have. For those considering adding or increasing windshield repair in their auto body shops, Gobin said it is a simple and easy process that takes about 15 minutes. In addition, windshield repair has very low overhead and costs approximately $1 or less in supplies. “We all know that time is money and time is very valuable,” he said. “If you’re not doing windshield repair, you should ask yourself, ‘Why not?’” Three Ways to Generate More Profit Gobin offered three ways to generate more profit with windshield repair: word of mouth, creating a referral program and what he referred to as “old-school” methods. The best business card, according to Gobin, is word of mouth. “If you do a good job, someone is going to tell somebody,” he said. Therefore, he stressed the importance of being very vocal and letting existing customers know the business’s services. “We tend to think that everyone
44 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
knows the services we offer, but a lot of people actually don’t,” said Gobin. “It’s your job to let existing customers know the services you offer, windshield repair in particular.” Many customers also don’t understand what is involved in a windshield repair and the value of doing it, so Gobin recommended taking the time to explain.
“Instead of assuming, actually state what windshield repair is and the actual value you bring them,” said Gobin. This includes letting customers know it is easy to do and won’t take much time, and they can save money having the windshield repaired rather than replaced. Another way to generate more profit in an auto body shop with windshield repair is by creating a referral program. This involves offering customers a giveaway or reward for recommending the business to someone. “Your customers have a network they know and those are potential customers for you,” said Gobin. “It’s a numbers game; the more people you reach, the more potential customers you have, which could help generate more revenue for you.” He suggested being creative when coming up with an incentive to refer someone to the auto body shop. Examples include offering a discount on the next purchase, a free product, paying for a related product and/or a bonus upgrade. Some businesses are also finding success using “old-school” methods, such as cold calling and partnering with other companies. Gobin suggested reaching out to high-volume companies in high-traffic areas that deal with vehicles, such as car dealerships, lube shops and car washes. After explaining the value the business
can offer to them and their customers, Gobin recommended aligning with them. “Be alert and aware of what’s out there and work with them,” said Gobin. “Having these types of businesses potentially offer or mention your business for windshield repair doesn’t take away from their existing business… and can help generate more revenue.” Campfield recalled securing this type of business relationship at a carwash in 2012. When he asked customers about chips in their windshields, he received the same response he did when first opening his business in 1986: “It has been there for years.” He began telling potential customers they have already paid for the repair in their insurance policy instead of saying it was free. “The word ‘free’ often brings up skepticism, so that got their attention,” said Campfield. “I found a way to say it more effectively and they seem to be more susceptive to getting a repair.” Finish It Like a Masterpiece with
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About half of Campfield’s local retail auto glass repair income for decades has come from windshield cracks. “Even though it is about onethird of our business, it is half the income because the amount charged for a crack is higher than that of a chip,” he said. Through his extensive experience repairing and replacing windshields over the years, Campfield has found the efficacy of fixing cracks is there. “Structurally, it’s the most superior repair you can do,” he said. The resin for chips is limited to thin, low viscosity resin, whereas the resin used in cracks with the proper tools can be 10 to 100 times thicker. “When a consumer comes in with a chip, they say, ‘I don’t want it to crack.’ When they have a crack, they say, “I don’t want to replace it,’” he said. In either case, Campfield said always be up front with customers. “Your customers deserve respect, to be told the truth and to be given their options on whether the
windshield is repairable or not,” he said. In 2007, Campfield helped create the American National Standard Institute (ANSI)―Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard (ROLAGS). This standard has been updated in 2014 and is currently being updated again. It can be used to evaluate damages on laminated auto glass, aid in the decision to repair or replace the glass and codify the current best practices of laminated auto glass repair. Campfield said the importance of having a National (ANSI) Standard is two-fold. “First and foremost, it is to prevent consumers from being misled into unnecessary replacements,” he said. Campfield gave the example of being told a crack cannot be repaired if it is longer than a dollar bill or 6 inches. “This is not true,” he said. “The ROLAGS is 14 inches, not 6 inches.” Second, he said it requires windshield repair manufacturers and sellers to lab test their products to ensure repairs meet visual,
durability and mechanical strength restoration. This helps makes sure businesses buying windshield repair kits, tools and resins would know they were safe to use on their customers’ windshields. Some cameras have built-in windshields that must be calibrated after a replacement so they operate properly. Currently, Campfield said there is no evidence any type of repair under the ROLAGS has caused problems with ADAS. “However, to be on the safe side, the Auto Glass Safety Council is developing the ROLAGS II to address if any of the break types at certain distances from the camera[s] will cause any alteration to any ADAS functions,” he said. Campfield shared the results of surveys he has conducted over the years that demonstrate the size of this untouched market. Parking lot surveys of windshield damage from 12 states showed out of 5,523 vehicle windshields surveyed, there were 767 cracks and 2,202 stone breaks/chips. Campfield said windshields are the most frequent auto insurance
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claim in the U.S. and the recalibration of ADAS has increased both the number of claims and claim costs. “Insurers favor repairs over replacements and so do consumers,” he said. For auto body shops looking to make more money, Campfield highly recommends adding windshield repair to their businesses. Gobin agreed. “It’s best to educate your customer on what windshield repair is and the benefits of it,” he said. “Windshield repair restores the structural integrity of the windshield, retains the original factory seal [which avoids leaks], enhances the cosmetic appearance of the windshield and protects the environment by keeping laminated glass out of the landfills.” For more information, email Rich Campfield at rich@ultrabond. com or visit www.ultrabond.com, or email Korey Gobin at kgobin@ deltakits.com or visit www.deltakits. com.
1,000-Plus Attend ASE Instructors Training Conference More than 1,000 instructors, presenters and industry guests from across the country participated in the ASE Instructors Training Conference held virtually July 26-30. The sold-out event featured training classes for high school and post-secondary instructors from automotive, truck and collision repair programs. “The ASE Instructors Training Conference is the largest training conference of its kind in the nation and this year’s event was a huge success,” said Mike Coley, president, ASE Education Foundation. “Because ASE continues to set the standard for offering innovative and informative resources for automotive educators, we had instructors from across the country participate in their choice of virtual sessions. “We want to thank our conference sponsors ASE, Advance Auto Parts, asTech Training, Daimler Truck, Goodheart-Willcox, Isuzu Commercial Truck and Snap-on, along with all our other industry partners, all of whom
gave exceptional presentations and provided valuable training that instructors could not receive anywhere else.” Conference participants were able to view sessions in three different tracks: auto, collision and truck, each track offering more than 20 hours of technical update training. Those who registered for the conference by July 30 and were unable to attend any live sessions can view the recordings through Aug. 31. All live and recorded sessions viewed will count toward the ASE Education Foundation training requirement and will be shown on individuals’ training certificates. To view the conference schedule, visit https://aseeducationfoundation.org/events/ase-instructor-training-conference To log in to view recorded training sessions and download handouts, visit https://www.eventsquid. com/event.cfm?id=13050 Source: ASE
GM Has Two New All-Electric Commercial Vehicles In Development by Anthony Alaniz, Motor1.com
BrightDrop, GM’s new commercial vehicle endeavor, is still on schedule to deliver its first model, the EV600, this fall. It’ll launch alongside the GMC Hummer EV pickup and before the all-electric Cadillac Lyriq crossover arrives in early 2022. However, General Motors has even bigger commercial plans as company CEO Mary Barra announced Aug. 4 it’s planning to introduce two new EVs designed to target commercial and small-business customers. Aug. 4, GM reported its second-quarter sales results, and Barra revealed the two new EVs during a conference call with analysts afterward, according to Automotive News. One will be a full-size all-electric cargo van that will wear the Chevy bowtie. The other, which Barra didn’t link to a specific GM brand, will be a medium-duty truck, though it won’t be just all-electric. The truck will pack GM’s Ultium battery technology and offer its Hydrotec hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain.
Barra told analysts the two new commercial vehicles would “complement BrightDrop,” while growing its commercial fleet market share. According to Barra, GM will have an EV “for almost any hauling or towing job you can imagine.” GM has ambitious plans to offer a plethora of electric vehicles in North America and China—30 models by 2025. It’s not clear when the two commercial EVs will hit the market, but we don’t expect it’ll be too long of a wait. The two new commercial vehicles are just the latest in a string of soft reveals from GM. Earlier this year, Chevy confirmed there’ll be an all-electric version of its Silverado pickup that’ll be built alongside the Hummer EV. Both will use GM’s Ultium platform and battery tech, which will also underpin the new commercial models. Electric vehicles may not be mainstream yet, but one sector that could benefit from them is commercial businesses, which will be critical to GM’s overall electrification strategy.
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GM Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Airbag Failures Kill People by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com
A GM class action lawsuit alleges the sensing and diagnostic modules prevent the airbags and seat belt pretensioners from deploying in certain frontal crashes. According to the class action lawsuit, at least 1,298 people were killed or injured in frontal collisions in which the airbags failed to deploy in GM vehicles. The lawsuit alleges that statistic is based on information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 1999 to the present. According to the class action: “The ‘Class Vehicles’ herein include all vehicles in the United States that contain the SDM [sensing and diagnostic module] Calibration Defect that were (1) manufactured, sold, distributed, or leased by Defendants or (2) manufactured, sold, distributed, or leased by Old GM and purchased or leased by Plaintiff or a Class member after July 10, 2009.” The General Motors class action lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs
Jamar Chism (2012 Chevrolet Traverse), Ashley DeGruy (2014 Chevrolet Equinox), Kissy Elliott (2014 Chevrolet Traverse), William Garrison (2014 Chevy Silverado), Matthew Mastracci (2014 Chevy Silverado), Arthur Ray (2010 GMC Sierra 2500), Mark Silver (2014 Chevrolet 1500 Express) and Kenith Yates (2014 Chevrolet Silverado LD.) None of the plaintiffs allege their GM vehicles experienced any airbag or seat belt failures. But those plaintiffs allege millions of vehicles are dangerous to drive because the airbags and seat belt pretensioners can fail right when they are needed the most. The plaintiffs claim the airbag control units are defective, components GM refers to as sensing and diagnostic modules. The GM sensing and diagnostic module commands the airbags to deploy and the seat belts to tighten when the control unit senses a crash. The GM vehicles are allegedly equipped with airbag control unit software calibrated to prevent the airbags and seat belt preten-
sioners from deploying 45 milliseconds after a crash has begun. The lawsuit says this is a serious problem where a crash involves multiple impacts and the airbags fail to properly deploy. The lawsuit alleges occupants will never be protected in certain GM frontal crashes that involve multiple impacts. The class action provides an example where a vehicle first hits a curb and then veers and hits a tree, or a vehicle first hits a speed bump and then crashes into the vehicle in front of it. These are “concatenated” crashes which involve multiple inputs for the sensing and diagnostic modules to detect during a crash sequence. “In concatenated crashes, the first part of the incident (hitting a curb) sends the SDM into its ‘wake up’ or ‘stand by’ mode. The initial curb hit does not trigger the airbag or tighten the seatbelt, but the SDM ‘wakes up’ to confirm whether further irregular signals will follow and indicate a need for the seatbelts or airbags,” the GM class action lawsuit alleges.
The GM airbags and seat belt pretensioners can allegedly only be triggered “within 45 milliseconds of a first, irregular signal. If a second signal occurs after 45 milliseconds, the SDM purposefully, by design, disregards signals that would otherwise trigger airbag deployment.” This, according to the class action lawsuit, results in a “dead zone” beginning just 45 milliseconds into a crash after which occupants are completely vulnerable. General Motors has recalled millions of vehicles due to problems with the sensing and diagnostic modules, including a recall of 4 million vehicles in 2016. The modules also caused another recall of about 88,000 GMC vehicles in 2018. The GM class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan: Chism, et al., v. General Motors, LLC, et al. The plaintiffs are represented by the Miller Law Firm, P.C., Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, Baron & Budd, P.C., and Birka-White Law Offices.
Hyundai Trunk Latch Recall: Emergency Releases May Fail by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com
A Hyundai trunk latch recall has been announced for more than 348,000 vehicles because people could get trapped in the trunks without access to working internal emergency release latches. The 2017-2018 Hyundai Sonata, 2016-2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, 2018-2020 Hyundai Accent and 2016-2017 Hyundai Azera trunk latches may become damaged. The damage can prevent the emergency trunk release latch to fail, a violation of federal safety standards. The Hyundai trunk latch pawl can contract and crack when exposed to high ambient (room) temperatures, causing damage to the pawl and the inability to use the emergency trunk release. Hyundai says the material used to manufacture the pawl isn’t strong enough to handle high temperatures. It’s possible a Hyundai owner will know of a problem if the trunk has trouble opening. In June, Hyundai was contacted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asking the
automaker to look into a complaint from the owner of a 2017 Hyundai Sonata. The customer reported the trunk wouldn’t open and Hyundai learned the trunk latch assembly pawl had fractured. Hyundai had opened an investigation in 2017 after increased claims were filed in high temperature regions of the Middle East. The trunk latch assembly’s pawl material and shape was updated to better withstand the heat damage and fractures of the pawls. Hyundai dealers will replace the trunk latch assemblies once owner recall notices are mailed Oct. 1. The new trunk latch assembly pawl has improved material increasing its resistance to heat damage. Additionally, the new pawl contains steel reinforcement to prevent damage and fractures. Owners of Hyundai Sonata, Sonata Hybrid, Accent and Hyundai Azera vehicles may call 855-371-9460. Hyundai’s reference number for this recall is 208. In addition to the Hyundai trunk latch recall, Kia recalled more than 253,000 vehicles for the same problem.
48 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Ford Statements on Electric Vehicle Sales and White House Announcement Ford Motor Company Executive Chair Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley released the following statements on Ford’s electric vehicle sales and the White House’s fuel economy announcement. “It has been said that this generation is the first to feel the impact of climate change, and the last that can do something about it. I am proud that Ford is leading the electric revolution and standing for stronger standards that protect people and the environment as we progress towards a zero-emissions transportation future,” said Bill Ford. “Ford has always been a leader in sustainability and our employees continue their tremendous efforts to leave our children and our grandchildren with a cleaner planet.” “Ford is on an ambitious trajectory to lead the electrification revolution---from being the only full-line American automaker to side with California in favor of stricter greenhouse gas emissions, to electrifying our most iconic and popular vehicles, like the F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit,” said Farley. “Customer demand has exceeded
our expectations. So, we expect to be well positioned to have fully electric vehicles account for 40% to 50% of our U.S. sales by 2030. We’re counting on strong cooperation among the Biden Administration, Congress and state and local governments, and are doing our part by developing high-quality, zero-emission vehicles that customers want.”
Background Ford is America’s No. 1 auto manufacturer and the only one to stand with California in support of stronger vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards during the Trump Administration. Ford believes making great vehicles for its customers, protecting the planet and maintaining a strong business are complementary goals. That’s why Ford has committed to investing more than $30 billion in
vehicle electrification through 2025, and previously said it plans on at least 40% of its global sales volume being EVs by 2040. Ford is proud to be the first fullline automaker to bring all-electric full-size pickup trucks and commercial vans to customers in the U.S. The E-Transit will be available to customers later this year, the F-150 Lightning will be by mid-2022, and both will be assembled in the U.S. by UAW workers. Ford is also proud to lead on sustainability. It is committed to being fully carbon neutral worldwide by 2050, and Ford is the only full-line American automaker to advocate for one national standard to set the country on a path to a zero-emissions transportation future in alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement. Ford assembles more vehicles and employ more hourly workers in the U.S. than any other automaker. With dealerships in every state, and more than 5,300 U.S.-based supplier sites, Ford supports more than 1 million American jobs. Source: Ford
4 Added to I-CAR Board The I-CAR Board of Directors on July 29 announced the election of four individuals to fill open board seats, including two members returning for a second three-year term. The board’s election process concluded July 14 and new board members will assume their roles immediately following the Aug. 25 I-CAR Board of Directors meeting. The newly elected members of the I-CAR BOD are Barry Dorn, vice president of Dorn’s Body & Paint, Inc., representing the collision repair segment; and Jennifer Goforth, director of global aftersales mechanical engineering for General Motors Co., representing the OEM segment. Re-elected to second threeyear terms are Chris Evans, P&C auto claim consultant for State Farm, representing the insurance segment; and Sandee Lindorfer, auto claims design director for Allstate Insurance Co., representing the insurance segment. Source: I-CAR
Repairify Awarded Patent for Remote Automotive Diagnostics Technology
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Repairify, Inc. d/b/a asTech, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC, announced July 22 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has awarded Repairify patent serial no. 16/202,642 for remote automotive diagnostics. The patent is directed to aspects of Repairify’s industry-disrupting technology, including systems and methods that allow ASE technicians to use a mobile device to read a vehicle’s identification number (VIN), transmit the VIN to a diagnostic database and assist in determining whether an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) diagnostic tool—or aftermarket tool—is required for proper diagnosis and/ or repair of the vehicle. As a result, automotive technicians can accurately select the correct OEM and/ or aftermarket remote diagnostic tools for the effective and safe diagnosis of vehicles. “asTech’s technology is an industry game changer by providing unique functionality to access vital OEM and aftermarket remote diagnostics data via VINs, and this
newest patent will help us in protecting that technology,” said Cris Hollingsworth, president of Repairify, Inc. “ASE technicians will be empowered to quickly access the correct automotive tools to accurately and safely address unique vehicle functionalities via diagnostics and repair data. This newest patent to be issued will be another competitive strategic step for accelerating our solutions and offerings across the entire automotive ecosystem.” The patent is expected to be directed at aspects of Repairify’s technology that serve as the brains of a revolutionary solution asTech is launching to the automotive aftermarket industry later this summer. The product will accurately address vehicles’ OEM and aftermarket remote diagnostic needs for three important automotive repair sectors: collision, mechanical and glass. These innovations further assist Repairify to expand and accelerate its proprietary tools, technology and service offerings across the Americas and Europe. Source: Repairify
autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 49
FTC Issues Rule to Deter Rampant Made in USA Fraud The Federal Trade Commission finalized a new rule that will crack down on marketers who make false, unqualified claims that their products are Made in the USA. Under the rule, marketers making unqualified Made in USA claims on labels should be able to prove that their products are “all or virtually all” made in the U.S. Commissioner Rohit Chopra was joined by Chair Lina Khan and Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter in a statement, which noted the rule will especially benefit small businesses that rely on the Made in USA label, but lack the resources to defend themselves from imitators. The new rule codifies a broader range of remedies by the FTC, including the ability to seek redress, damages, penalties and other relief from those who lie about a Made in USA label. It will enable the FTC for the first time to seek civil penalties of up to $43,280 per violation of the rule. While stiff penalties are not appropriate in every instance, they send a strong signal to would-be violators that they abuse the Made in USA label at their peril. “The final rule provides substantial benefits to
the public by protecting businesses from losing sales to dishonest competitors and protecting purchasers seeking to purchase American-made goods,” said Chopra. “More broadly, this long-overdue rule is an important reminder that the commission must do more to use the authorities explicitly authorized by Congress to protect market participants from fraud and abuse.” In 1994, after the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect, Congress enacted legislation authorizing the FTC to seek penalties and other relief for Made in USA fraud, but only after the commission issued a rule. However, there had long been a bipartisan consensus at the FTC that Made in USA fraud should not be penalized. The final Made in USA Labeling Rule changes course on the commission’s longtime approach. The rule does not impose any new requirements on businesses. Instead, it codifies the FTC’s longstanding enforcement policy statement regarding U.S.-origin claims. By codifying this guidance into a formal rule, the commission can increase deterrence of Made in USA fraud and seek restitution for victims.
Over the course of the rulemaking, the FTC heard from hundreds of ranchers and shrimpers concerned about Made in the USA labels that mislead consumers. The commission is pleased that in conjunction with this announcement, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the USDA will complement the FTC’s efforts with its own initiative on labeling for products such as beef, and other agricultural products regulated by the Food Safety and Inspection Service. The commission issued a notice of proposed rulemaking for this rule in June 2020. The commission received more than 700 comments on the proposed rule, most of which either were supportive, or sought changes that were not legally permissible. The final rule adds a provision allowing marketers to seek exemptions if they have evidence showing their unqualified Made-in-USA claims are not deceptive. The Made in USA Labeling Rule, which will be published in the Federal Register, incorporates guidance set forth in the commission’s previous decisions and orders and its 1997 enforcement policy statement on U.S. origin claims.
Consistent with this guidance, the rule will prohibit marketers from including unqualified Made in USA claims on labels unless: final assembly or processing of the product occurs in the U.S., all significant processing that goes into the product occurs in the U.S. and all or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the U.S. The rule applies only to labeling claims. The FTC will continue to bring enforcement action against marketers that make deceptive U.S.-origin claims falling outside the rule under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. The FTC is authorized to seek penalties for violations of the rule. It does not supersede, alter or affect any other federal statute or regulation relating to country-of-origin labels. The commission vote approving publication of the final Made in USA Labeling Rule in the Federal Register was 3-2. Commissioner Christine Wilson also issued a dissenting statement on the rule, and another dissenting statement regarding the overall meeting agenda. Source: FTC
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CCC Promotes Goodson to CTO CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc. named John Goodson senior vice president and chief technology officer. Goodson joined CCC in 2020, successfully driving innovation across the business, accelerating application of AI throughout solutions and expanding industries served by the CCC Cloud platform, which today serves 30,000 businesses. Goodson succeeds Pete Morowski, who is retiring after eight years with the company. As chief technology officer, Goodson will lead research and development, product development, architecture, security, IT operations and infrastructure, business applications and data science. This will enable CCC to continue powering mission critical workflows, intelligent automation and better experiences for clients and the millions of drivers they serve. Source: CCC
Boyd Group Reports 44% Sales Increase and Demand for Labor in U.S. As the business world continues to operate nearly a year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, The Boyd Group announced Aug. 11 sales are up and demand has increased in the U.S. for the company’s services to the point more staff is needed, and the company acquired more locations. The Boyd Group is one of the largest operators of non-franchised collision repair centers in North America, operating under various brand names in Canada and the U.S. The company owns Gerber Collision & Glass, Gerber National Claims Processing, Glass America, Boyd Auto Body & Glass and Assured Collision Repair Professionals. “Comparing the second quarter of 2021 to the same period of 2020 demonstrates how significantly the business was impacted by the pandemic one year ago and how far we have come since that time,” Timothy O’Day, the Boyd Group president and CEO, said in an announcement Aug. 11 about the company’s second quarter of 2021 results. “During the second quarter, we saw infection numbers and restrictions decrease,
while vaccination levels increased.” The company “achieved strong same-store sales growth in the quarter,” which ended June 30. “Although we continued to experience reduced demand in certain markets at the beginning of the second quarter, demand accelerated in most U.S. markets as the quarter progressed, O’Day said in the announcement. “By the end of the second quarter, demand in the U.S. was at meaningfully higher levels than we experienced in the first quarter of 2021.” According to O’Day, the company still has work to do to meet the increasing level of demand when it comes to staff and technicians. While still at below pre-pandemic levels, demand for collision repair accelerated in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2021 “in stark contrast with the second quarter of 2020 where demand was significantly diminished due to the COVID-19 pandemic and expenses were aggressively reduced accordingly,” the announcement said. Boyd’s sales increased by 44.4% in the second quarter of 2021,
Toyota Debuts Mobile Collision Assistance Service Toyota and Lexus drivers now have a new assistance service available to them in the moments following a collision. Collision Assistance, a just-intime support service, is now available to drivers within the Toyota and Lexus mobile app. The feature within the Toyota and Lexus Owners Apps offers guided instructions to help drivers navigate a post-collision repair process.
Toyota worked with CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc., a leading SaaS platform for the multi-trillion-dollar P&C insurance economy, to develop Collison Assistance. The CCC mobile technology combines guided accident documentation and access to claims and management services to assist drivers following a collision. Toyota transmits accident and vehicle telematics data to CCC to initiate the program.
Collision Assistance is designed to let the customer choose how they’d like to handle the claim and repair processes, providing convenience and safety while also ensuring owners are informed about the process through completion. “Safety for our customers is paramount,” said Steve Basra, Toyota Motor North America, Connected Technologies group vice president. “The minutes following an accident can be critical---drivers are often confused and uncertain about what to do. By incorporating Collision Assistance into our owner app, we can offer help when it is needed. We aim to deliver innovative features to our drivers. With Collision Assistance, we’re offering additional safety and peace of mind.” Collision Assistance is an extension of the Safety Connect suite of features available to Toyota and Lexus owners who have an active subscription or are within the trial period of select 2018 model year or newer Toyota and Lexus vehicles. After the driver has confirmed they are safe and without injury, the Collision Assistance app can be used to guide drivers to collect important
to $444.6 million from $308 million during the same period in 2020. The company’s cash balance was $35.6 million. Boyd acquired 39 locations, including 16 locations previously operated as John Harris Body Shops in Georgia and South Carolina. Just after the second quarter ended, Boyd followed up and acquired 39 additional locations, 35 of which operated as Collision Works in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. O’Day said, as demand continues to increase in 2021 and sales are still below pre-pandemic levels, “demand is exceeding our capacity in all U.S. markets.” The company is working on adding more staff. In Canada, however, demand remains significantly lower than before the pandemic. “Looking to the balance of 2021 and beyond, we continue to be confident that we will maintain progress toward our long-term growth targets and operational plans,” O’Day said. (C) 2021 by glassbytes.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. For more information contact www.glassbytes.com.
accident documentation, connect them to a network of auto insurers for optional claim submission and provide search capabilities to help locate a collision repair facility. The feature will prompt drivers through the entire process, from data gathering and insurance claim management all the way through collision repair. “Toyota is taking a comprehensive approach to post-collision management, and we’re proud to support its mission to deliver world-class safety experiences to drivers,” said Andreas Hecht, CCC’s OEM Services Group SVP. “By using CCC’s technology to establish a personal, near-real time connection with drivers, automakers can positively impact the often-stressful post-collision experience.” The Collision Assistance Feature is made available to Toyota and Lexus owners through the Owners App. Toyota and Lexus Owners App downloads are available for iPhone or Android smartphones. To learn more about Collision Assistance, visit Toyota USA on YouTube. Source: Toyota, CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc.
General Motors Names Global Leads
General Motors announced the appointment of Kent Helfrich as vice president, Global Research and Development, chief technology officer and president, GM Ventures; and Omar Vargas as vice president and head of Global Public Policy. Both appointments were effective Aug. 1. Helfrich is currently executive director, Advanced Technology and Partnerships. He replaces Matt Tsien, who has elected to retire after 45 years with the company. Vargas was most recently senior vice president and chief Government Affairs officer for 3M Company. Vargas held multiple government affairs positions at 3M between 2017 and 2021, including being named senior vice president and chief Government Affairs officer in April 2021. Source: GM
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