September 2022 Midwest Edition

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40 YEARS

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AASP-Missouri Members Vote to Merge with Midwest Auto Care Alliance The members of AASP-MO (Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Missouri), in a unanimous vote, elected to merge with the Midwest Auto Care Alliance. Effective Nov. 1, AASP-MO will close its doors and members will become part of the MWACA organization. MWACA will add the Gateway Collision Chapter to its long list of active chapters in the Midwest, as well as merge the organization’s two St. Louis mechanical chapters. AASP-MO and MWACA have worked together over the years to educate the Missouri State Legislature on various industry-related issues. Their joint work included working to prevent the elimination of Missouri’s

vehicle safety inspection legislation. Seeing the benefits of merging to make the numerous bene fits, services and programs available to AASP-MO members, Ron Reiling, AASP-MO executive director, reached out to Sheri Hamilton, executive director of the Auto Care Alliance and the Midwest Auto Care Alliance, to discuss the possibility of joining forces once more, but this time on a permanent basis. “Both associations are on the same page and our members are our top priority,” Reiling said. “MWACA is just a great fit for AASP-MO members and that is why we had no probSee Vote to Merge, Page 13

Company Says it Has Recent Auto Body Shop Estimate Data for Sale by John Yoswick

The ongoing discussion about auto body shop data privacy at the quarterly Collision Industry Conference (CIC) meetings took a new turn this summer when an association leader described what a data aggregator company had recently offered to sell to his organization. Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), said the company contacted him, after speaking with one of SCRS’s state affiliate groups, to see if SCRS might be

interested in acquiring data it has on recently-written collision repair quotes. The company, which Schulenburg did not identify by name, told him the information could be used by SCRS member shops to contact consumers who received a recent estimate to say, “Hey, I know you’ve gotten a recent quote, and our business could do the work for you.” Schulenburg asked what type of information was available. The company told him, “through our data aggregation partners and proSee Data for Sale, Page 26

Vol. 11 / Issue 12 / September 2022

Impacted Crash Survivors Continue Fight for Michigan Auto Reform by Tess DeGayner, Midland Daily News

On April 3, 1982, Karl Adams’ family of three became a family of two. A head-on traffic collision with a truck killed his 25-year-old wife that spring evening. It also changed the life of his 21-month-old son forever. “I couldn’t recognize him,” Karl said, recalling his arrival to the hospital, after he was contacted by officials via phone. “It just looked like someone beat the hell out of him…It did everything but kill him.”

Lake, MI, resident Karl Adams, right, encourages his son, Lance, left, to raise his thumb while the camera snaps for a portrait on July 14 in Downtown Midland. Lance faces long-term recovery from an auto crash in 1982. Credit: Tess DeGayner/tess.degayner@hearstnp.com See Michigan Auto Reform, Page 22

SEMA Show to Feature Educational Program Focused on Personal and Professional Development Dozens of industry leaders and experts will take the stage at the 2022 SEMA Show Education Program, where attendees will have the opportunity to learn about current and future trends, proven business strategies and new opportunities while at the annual event taking place in November in Las Vegas. Beginning Oct. 31—the day before the official opening of the four-day SEMA Show—the 2022 SEMA Show Education Program will include more than 70 free and premium sessions within 14 tracks. Showgoers may choose individual sessions across different tracks, mixing and matching the offerings to create a personalized agenda that meets one’s individual needs. “The Education Program is one of the SEMA Show’s key pillars, and it’s always been highly rated by participants,” said Pamela Brown-Matthis, SEMA director of education. “We challenged ourselves and pushed to make the program better than ever. We focused heavily on bringing in elite subject matter

experts and high-profile industry leaders. SEMA Show attendees are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to hear from industry experts while at the show.”

SEMA Show attendees can learn about current and future trends, proven business strategies and new opportunities from industry leaders and experts as part of the 2022 SEMA Show Education Program.

New this year are four sessions focused on challenges and opportunities associated with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. The first DEI session, “Diversity and Inclusion: How You Can Advance Equal Opportunity in Your Workplace,” See SEMA Show, Page 20

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2 SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

UP TO

6

LOCKING HEIGHTS


REGIONAL

NATIONAL

AASP-Missouri Members Vote to Merge with

3M, CREF Donate Products to 300 Schools ���� 63

Midwest Auto Care Alliance ������������������������� 1

Agenda Announced for CONNEX 2022 ������������ 16

ABRA Rapid City Hosts Open House Event ������� 6

AirPro Diagnostics, CCC Partner ���������������������� 62

Car Center’s Four Locations in Michigan Join

Appeals Court Rejects GM’s Attempt to Overturn

1Collision ���������������������������������������������������� 10 CARSTAR Auto Boutique Collision Opens Columbus, OH ����������������������������������������������� 6 CARSTAR Jeff’s Garage Opens in Fairport Harbor, OH �������������������������������������������������� 12 Carvana Loses License to Sell Vehicles in Illinois for Second Time ������������������������������� 10 Gas Stolen from Fuel Tanks at Louisville, KY, Area Collision Centers ��������������������������������� 13 High-Tech Auto Electronics Manufacturer Gentex to Expand in Zeeland , MI ������������������ 8 Impacted Crash Survivors Continue Fight for Michigan Auto Reform ���������������������������������� 1 Stellantis Plans $83M Investment at Dundee Engine Plant for Hybrid-Electric Models ������ 16 Toyota Responds to Critical Needs Following Unprecedented Kentucky Flooding �������������� 14 With Excessive Heat, North Dakota Auto Repair Shops Busy Fixing Broken AC Units �������������� 8

FCA Racketeering Lawsuit Ruling ��������������� 44 Audi, VW Vehicles Recalled Airbags ��������������� 10 Average Collision Repair-Related Rental in Q2 Decreases by Half a Day from Q1 ���������� 58 BendPak Announces Leadership Plan ������������� 14 CIECA Forms AI Committee ���������������������������� 60 Collision Repair Association Conducting Study of Blend Time Formula ���������������������� 52 Company Says it Has Recent Auto Body Shop Estimate Data for Sale ����������������������������������� 1 CREF Invites Collision Industry to Fall 2022 High School & College Transportation Student Career Fairs ������������������������������������ 63

Anderson - Don’t Let Higher Sales Take Your Eye Off the Ball ������������������������������������������� 28 Attanasio - Forward-Thinking Program Creating Great Auto Body Techs of the Future ���������� 46 Attanasio - How is Your Auto Body Shop Dealing with the Great Resignation? ����������� 38 Attanasio - Mike’s Auto Body Gave Away 100 Cars in 21 Years, Changing Countless Lives �� 50 Phillips - How to Profit from ADAS Services and Calibration—It’s Not Just About the Targets �������������������������������������������������������� 30 Phillips - Lemonade to Use Mitchell’s Claim Solutions for Newest Product ��������������������� 56 Phillips - OEM Roundtable Working to Improve Quality of Collision Repair ��������������������������� 42 Phillips - Repairify’s New Partnership with ATG Will Provide Industry with Advanced Diagnostic Training �������������������������������������� 48 Phillips - Technician/Painter Recovering from

Ford Testing Robot EV Charging Station ���������� 12 Ford’s July Sales Up 37% Compared to Same Month a Year Ago ����������������������������� 62 GM Offering EV Education ��������������������������������� 4 Hyundai Gets $19.2 Million Penalty for Reports ������������������������������������������������������� 63 KECO Donates to Schools in MT, IL ����������������� 20 Kia Recalls 258,000 Optimas Following Injury Lawsuit ��������������������������������������������� 39 Lightning Strikes Across America: Customer Deliveries Now Stretch Across All 50 U.S. States ����������������������������������������������������������� 4 Lordstown Reaffirms Endurance Pickup Production for Q3 ������������������������������������������ 4 Lucid Cuts Production Goals by 50% Once Again ���������������������������������������������������������� 20 Ohio Groups, Lawmakers Praise CHIPS Act Passed to Boost Intel Investment ���������������� 53 Rivian Amazon Vans Delivered 430K-Plus Packages During Pilot Program ������������������� 57 SEMA Show to Feature Educational Program Development ������������������������������������������������� 1 Tesla Cybertruck Prices, Specs to Change, Probably Be Worth It ����������������������������������� 16 The Gas Price Limbo: How Low Will It Go? ����� 44

Annual CIF Gala ������������������������������������������� 54

TikTok’s Latest ‘Kia Challenge’ Encourages

Business with a Buyer in Mind ������������������� 40 Yoswick - Gerber Collision CEO Talks Parts, Personnel Challenges ���������������������������������� 36

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. ©2022 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516 Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com editor@autobodynews.com

ABRA ������������������������������������������������������������� 21

LaFontaine Buick-GMC-Cadillac ��������������������� 40

American Icon Automotive Finishes ��������������� 10

Launch Tech USA ������������������������������������������� 31

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 61

Laurel Auto Group of Westmont ��������������������� 47

Auto Data Labels �������������������������������������������� 64

LKQ Corporation ��������������������������������������������� 35

Axalta Coating Systems. ���������������������������������� 5

Luther Bloomington Acura-Subaru ����������������� 45

BendPak ����������������������������������������������������������� 2

Luther Brookdale Mazda ��������������������������������� 38

BMW of Des Moines ������������������������������������� 42

Luther Kia of Bloomington ������������������������������ 46

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������������� 57

Maplewood Toyota ���������������������������������������� 20

Borton Volvo �������������������������������������������������� 28

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������� 60

Byers Imports ������������������������������������������������ 43

McGrath City Hyundai ������������������������������������ 44

Car-O-Liner. ���������������������������������������������������� 17

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers ������� 60

Carworx Distribution, Inc. ������������������������������ 11

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers ����������������������� 56

Certified Automotive Parts Association ���������� 16

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������� 24-25

Classic BMW MINI ���������������������������������������� 38

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������� 54

Classic Chevrolet ������������������������������������������� 49

Patrick Hyundai ���������������������������������������������� 48

Classifieds ������������������������������������������������������ 62

Platinum Auto Trends ��������������������������������������� 6

Columbia Hyundai ������������������������������������������ 22

PPG ������������������������������������������������������������������ 9

Dominion Sure Seal, Ltd. �������������������������������� 12

SATA Dan-Am Company ���������������������������������� 7

Eagle Abrasives ��������������������������������������������� 15

Sears Imported Autos, Inc ����������������������������� 22

Equalizer Auto Glass Tools ������������������������������� 8

SEMA Trade Show ����������������������������������������� 29

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 58

Shaheen Chevrolet Parts Warehouse ������������� 23

Gandrud Parts Center ������������������������������������� 27

Shoot Suit ������������������������������������������������������ 13

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������� 55

Spanesi Americas ������������������������������������������ 41

Hawkinson Kia ����������������������������������������������� 28

Steck Manufacturing Company ���������������������� 26

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

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������� 52

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������ 53

Sunmight USA ������������������������������������������ 18-19

Industrial Finishes and Systems ��������������������� 37

Symach ���������������������������������������������������������� 14

Jake Sweeney Chevrolet �������������������������������� 30

The Sharpe Collection of Automobiles ����������� 51

Jordan Ford ���������������������������������������������������� 50

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������� 60

Kelly BMW ����������������������������������������������������� 34

Varsity Ford ���������������������������������������������������� 46

Ken Ganley Subaru North Olmsted ����������������� 39

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������ 56

Kia of Lansing ������������������������������������������������� 36

Willis Volvo ���������������������������������������������������� 50

Focused on Personal and Professional

Severe Burns Recognized During 11th Strandberg - Build Your Collision Repair

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, 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 Senior Editor: Abby Andrews Accounting & HR Manager: Heather Priddy Permissions Editor: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray

CREF Raises $100,000 at Golf Fundraiser ������� 61

Tarnishing Millions of Customer Credit COLUMNISTS

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

CONTENTS

Users to Steal Cars ������������������������������������� 14 YANG Announces TopGolf Fundraiser ���������������� 6

Kia Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������������� 59

autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 3


Lightning Strikes Across America: Customer Deliveries Now Stretch Across All 50 U.S. States That was quick—lightning quick. In just two months, Ford has delivered electric F-150 Lightning trucks to customers in all 50 U.S. states, from the shores of the Kenai River in Alaska to Houston and even Hawaii.

Texas—the truck capital of America—and California—the EV capital of America—lead the way with the highest number of F-150 Lightning deliveries through late July. Early customers have discovered F-150 Lightning can handle a variety of needs, regardless of where they are located. Take for

instance Jeff and Tammy Head, owners of both an F-150 and now an F-150 Lightning, who have primarily used their new electric truck to tow a boat from Anchorage to Kenai River, about a three-hour drive, for salmon fishing. “From the time we watched it at the reveal, we knew that we wanted it,” Tammy Head said. “We had no doubt that this truck will have trademark Ford quality which gave us the confidence to transition to an electric vehicle.” “And the guy in me likes having the baddest truck on the planet,” Jeff Head added. Among the most popular and most-photographed features of the F-150 Lightning so far is the Mega Power Frunk. Owners are using the 400 liters of space1 to store gear and are taking advantage of the 2.4 kW of Pro Power Onboard in the frunk to help power their campsite

or charge their power tools while driving. “This truck is a workhorse. We have driven more than 3,000 miles already and towed and carried hundreds of pounds of concrete in the frunk,” said Emre Gol of Texas, who uses his F-150 Lightning Lariat pickup for work at his kitchen and bathroom remodeling business.

“This truck is a workhorse. We have driven more than 3,000 miles already and towed and carried hundreds of pounds of concrete in the frunk,” — Emre Gol Recently, he helped his neighbor’s wife, who was away from home with only six miles of charge left on her electric sedan’s battery. Gol connected his F-150 Lightning with the sedan’s charging adapter and provided enough energy to safely get her back home. Ford’s newest truck is winning EV fans. Nearly 80% of early reservation holders said in a survey that

Lordstown Reaffirms Endurance Pickup Production for Q3 by Joey Klender, Teslarati

Lordstown Motors reaffirmed its plans to start production of the Endurance all-electric pickup during the third quarter of 2022, while reporting its earnings for Q2 in early August.

In the company’s Q2 Shareholder Deck, it listed several outlooks for the future, as Lordstown has struggled to begin production of the pickup. Struggling with cash flow and having trouble keeping its doors open, Lordstown formed a joint venture with Foxconn, with the automaker becoming the company’s primary development partner for EV

development in North America. Lordstown expects Q3 to see the start of commercial production, while deliveries should begin in Q4, it said. However, the company only expects to produce around 500 units through early 2023. “In Q2, we made significant progress towards our plan to launch the Endurance in Q3 of 2022 and begin sales in Q4. We look forward to getting the Endurance into customers’ hands, as we think they are going to love it,” said Edward Hightower, CEO of Lordstown Motors. Hightower also hinted that Lordstown and Foxconn’s first project as a joint venture is currently undergoing “pre-development work.” In terms of financials, Lordstown CFO Adam Kroll noted the automaker will need to raise more money to support the 500-unit production goal. However, Lordstown only requires between $50 million

4 SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

F-150 Lightning will be the first full EV in their household. “The Lightning is the best thing I have ever purchased,” said Chris Ashley, a resident of Maryland and a first-time electric vehicle buyer. “With this truck, I can enhance my love of tailgating while at the same time play a small role in creating a better planet for

and $75 million to accomplish this, a substantial reduction from the $150 million it said it would need earlier this year.

“In Q2, we made significant progress towards our plan to launch the Endurance in Q3 of 2022 and begin sales in Q4. We look forward to getting the Endurance into customers’ hands, as we think they are going to love it,” — Edward Hightower Lordstown reported an operating profit for the first time in its history, but it did not come from the sale of any vehicles, obviously. Instead, Foxconn’s acquisition of the company’s Ohio production facility is where the realized gains came from.

my children.” Ashley has contemplated purchasing an EV for the past couple of years before his wife, Emily, convinced him to buy the F-150 Lightning. Ford has sold more than 4,400 F-150 Lightning electric trucks in the U.S. and Canada (YTD). Source: Ford

GM Offering EV Education As part of its mission to make EV ownership accessible to all, General Motors on July 25 launched EV Live, an immersive, virtual experience that allows participants to interact oneon-one with EV specialists and learn everything about electric vehicles—for free. EV Live allows anyone to connect with an EV specialist from any internet-connected mobile or desktop device. These EV specialists will answer EV-related questions in real time and give virtual tours of the EV Live studio, which houses real EVs and dynamic displays of home charging, public charging, battery technology, sustainability, commercial applications, EV apps and more. EV specialists can also guide participants through the home charging installation process and refer them to certified installers. For more information, visit evlive.gm.com. Source: GM


autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 5


YANG Announces TopGolf Fundraiser The Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG), an Auto Care Association community of young industry professionals, is partnering with the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) to raise support for the foundation through a nationwide TopGolf event Sept. 8. In continuing its effort to provide support to members of the auto care industry, YANG is proud to once again partner with AACF to bring the auto care community together while raising funds that will provide resources, guidance, financial support and more to those in need. Six major TopGolf locations across the country will host events for the fundraiser, with the support of industry sponsors: Atlanta, GA, Midtown location; Denver, CO, Thornton location; Detroit, MI, Auburn Hills location; Houston, TX, Katy location; Omaha, NE; and San Antonio, TX Contact Danielle King at danielle.king@autocare.org for more information. Source: Auto Care Association

CARSTAR Auto Boutique Collision Opens Columbus, OH CARSTAR, North America’s premier network of independently owned collision repair facilities, announced the opening of CARSTAR Auto Boutique Collision, located at 1037 E. 5th Ave., Columbus, OH 43201. The owners of CARSTAR Auto Boutique are Victor Polishuk and Peter Grammatikakis. Polishuk entered the business with his father at the age of 19, where he learned the collision repair industry through experience. In his 30s, he expanded the operations and partnered with Grammatikakis, who has worked with cars his whole life, whether it was as a hobby or through his towing company. This duo was the perfect match to partner and open CARSTAR Auto Boutique Collision, pairing Polishuk’s knowledge of the industry and Grammatikakis’s experience in owning and operating a company. “Peter and I opened this location in 2016 and it has grown exponentially since then,” said Polishuk. “From large renovations to hiring a sophisticated team, we have seen a lot of change within

this facility. We are excited to join the CARSTAR family as it will give us additional opportunities to grow our business through their training and resources.”

Peter Grammatikakis, pictured here, opened CARSTAR Auto Boutique Collision with Victor Polishuk.

CARSTAR Auto Boutique is an 18,000-square foot facility, with 12 employees equipped with the industry’s latest in collision repair standards and tools. Almost the entire team is I-CAR Gold certified and the facility is well on its way to earning OEM certifications soon. “We are thrilled to bring the CARSTAR Auto Boutique Collision team into our family,” said

Dean Fisher, collision group president, Driven Brands. “The dedication and eagerness to learn has given us confidence that this team will accomplish great things. We are excited to see what they can bring to the Columbus area!” Polishuk and Grammatikakis are looking to grow their team through bringing in new, young talent to the facility. They plan to visit and become involved with local trade schools to help teach, encourage and eventually hire the next generation of collision repair professionals. Please join us in welcoming CARSTAR Auto Boutique Collision to our growing CARSTAR family. CARSTAR Auto Boutique Collision 1037 E. 5th Ave. Columbus, OH 43201 (614) 299 - 9915 Monday to Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m. For more information on CARSTAR, visit CARSTAR.com. Source: CARSTAR

ABRA Rapid City Hosts Open House Event ABRA Rapid City in Rapid City, SD, a leading premier collision repairer, recently welcomed more than 150 attendees into its facility for an open house event. ABRA Rapid City enhanced its facility in 2020 to include a 15,000-square foot addition, 11 body stalls, six refinish stalls, double estimating bay capacity, double detail bay capacity, additional outdoor parking and a second story for additional parts and equipment storage. After two long years, guests were able to tour the incredible facility, learn more about ABRA, enjoy free food and mingle with others in the community. “We have been waiting patiently to host a community event in our updated facility and showcase all the updates we made to better serve our valued customers,” said Mark McKie, owner, ABRA Rapid City. “The event far exceeded our expectations, and we look forward to continuing to host events like this for years to come!” The ABRA Rapid City team chose a local animal rescue, Ogala Pet Project (OPP), as its charity of

choice for the event. The OPP volunteer group was in attendance at the event with a few adoptable dogs. OPP received $350 in donations and

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ABRA Rapid City matched the donations for a total of $700 to go toward the cause. In addition, several applications to adopt were submitted, one adoption is currently pending and the organization was able to recruit a few new volunteers. “The attendees loved having the Ogala Pet Project volunteers onsite during the event, especially the dogs,” said McKie. “We can’t thank our community enough for donating toward this cause and we thank the OPP organization for all they do.” For more information on ABRA, visit ABRAauto.com. Source: ABRA

6 SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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High-Tech Auto Electronics Manufacturer Gentex to Expand in Zeeland , MI Gentex, a manufacturer of hightech electronics for the auto, aerospace and fire safety industries, is investing $300 million to expand in Zeeland, MI, with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, creating 500 jobs. The announcement was made July 26 by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). “Gentex’s $300 million investment creating 500 good-paying jobs will grow Michigan’s economy and help us continue leading the future of mobility and electrification,” said Whitmer. “We can attract bold investments from cutting-edge firms like Gentex because of our bipartisan collaboration on economic development legislation last year, which has already led to billions of dollars in investment in Michigan and thousands of jobs. Gentex is a longstanding Michigan company, and we are grateful to them for expanding their presence in Michigan.” Gentex Corporation, headquartered in Zeeland, is a high-tech supplier for the global automotive,

aerospace, and commercial fire protection industries. Gentex ships its products to automakers worldwide and currently employees more than 5,000 Michigan residents.

“Gentex’s $300 million investment creating 500 good-paying jobs will grow Michigan’s economy and help us continue leading the future of mobility and electrification,” — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Gentex plans to construct a new high-tech manufacturing facility and distribution center in Zeeland Charter Township, and also expand its existing manufacturing facility in the City of Zeeland. The project will provide the company with increased capacity for glass processing, the manufacture of auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors, displays and electronics for automotive and aerospace applications, and the development of new technologies for the fire protection industry. Michigan was chosen for the project over competing sites in Alabama, Ohio, South Carolina, Ten-

With Excessive Heat, North Dakota Auto Repair Shops Busy Fixing Broken AC Units by Christa Kiedrowski, KFYR TV

Sometimes there is no way to beat the heat. One local auto repair shop has reported an increase in air conditioning repairs as temps soar into triple digits. Employees at Bismarck Tire Center can feel the rising temps and they also see the effects of the heat. “With the hot weather, the air conditioning parts are starting to fail, and we’ve been staying quite busy with it,” said Eric Hoffman, service manager at Bismarck Tire Center in downtown Bismarck, ND. For some people, the decision to fix a broken AC unit isn’t very easy, especially when there are other things to spend money on. “And now our great debate is whether it’s worth the money or not because.... summer’s almost over again,” said Nicole Schumaker. Shumaker is currently sav-

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nessee and Virginia. “We’re excited to announce that after two years of analyzing our manufacturing and R&D footprint, we’ve reached an agreement with

ing up for a trip to take her kids to Disneyland. She said she’s had her AC fixed twice before and with the end of summer in sight, that money could be better used for the vacation fund. “Two hundred and fifty dollars goes a lot further at Disneyland than $250 on an air conditioning unit that’s already been fixed twice,” she said. If you’re trying to keep your car out of the shop and pumping out cool air, there is preventative maintenance you can do yourself. “Make sure your condensers are clean, not full of bugs, dirt, grime because the condenser is what cools the Freon, and if that gets plugged, your AC runs at higher temps, which causes failure,” said Hoffman. While it’s not quite as refreshing, you can travel with your windows down for free.

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8 SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

the State of Michigan that supports our long-standing commitment to the state and provides the incentives necessary to facilitate our future growth initiatives in Michigan,” said Gentex Corporation President and CEO Steve Downing. The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved the following in support of the project: • A $5.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant • A $1.89 million Jobs Ready Michigan grant • A 15-year, 100% State Essential Services Assessment exemption

valued at $3.8 million The project contributes to the MEDC’s ongoing efforts to strengthen Michigan’s leadership in automotive manufacturing and builds on the state’s work to position itself as the epicenter of autonomous and electric vehicle manufacturing in the U.S. Gentex also offers a variety of training opportunities and partners with Michigan Works! and Lakeshore Advantage to reach local talent. The project will also bring immediate job growth with a large and growing auto supplier and further cements the company’s manufacturing presence and future growth in Michigan. Both Zeeland Charter Township and the City of Zeeland anticipate approval of property tax abatements in support of the project, and MEDC also authorized a State Education Tax abatement to be used in conjunction with the local abatement. Individuals interested in careers with Gentex should visit https://www.gentex.com/careers/ search-jobs/ Source: Michigan Economic Development Corporation

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How Waterborne Technology Can Improve Cycle Time Performance The number of color coats required to make a refinish repair is one

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Given that refinishing most often calls for blending, how efficient a system can perform an accurate repair and eliminate chances for redos 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 10-15 minutes. The system’s EN-V® Series clearcoat line offers fast bake times as short as 10 minutes. To ensure color accuracy, the basecoat’s latex particles orient

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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 it can significantly reduce sprayouts. Comprised of thousands of variant and prime color chips, each chip is sprayed with actual autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 9


Audi, VW Vehicles Recalled Airbags by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

Exploding Audi and Volkswagen passenger airbags have caused a recall of more than 1,200 of these vehicles. 2016 Audi TT Roadster 2016 Audi TT Coupe 2016 Audi S3 Sedan 2016 Audi R8 Coupe 2016 Audi A3 Sedan 2016 Audi A3 e-tron 2016 Audi A3 Cabriolet 2016 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen 2016 Volkswagen Golf R 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI 2016 Volkswagen Golf A7 2016 Volkswagen e-Golf Dealers will replace the passenger airbag modules once owner recall letters are mailed Sept. 23. Owners may contact Volkswagen at 800-893-5298 or Audi customer service at 800253-2834. Volkswagen’s and Audi’s recall numbers are 69DY and 61C1.

Car Center’s Four Locations in Michigan Join 1Collision 1Collision proudly announced the addition of Car Center’s four locations in Michigan. Established 30 years ago, Car Center operates collision repair facilities in Big Rapids, Burton Heights, Cedar Springs and Greenville. The company prides itself on

providing them value and helping them reach their goals.” Nick Edwards, owner of Car Center, said the MSO joined 1Collision for the support and rebates offered. “The support 1Collision offers was very attractive to us,” said the second-generation body shop

offering quality auto body repair and exceptional customer service.“We are delighted to be bringing on a quality MSO like Car Center,” said John Hollingsworth, 1Collision’s director of new location development. “Their owner, Nick, strives to always better their operation while taking care of their No. 1 priority, the customer. We look forward to

owner. “The deal closer was probably the rebates that 1Collision was able to negotiate and knowing we could get those resources at a pretty affordable price.” Bill Edwards, Nick’s father, opened Greenville Car Center in 1997. Four years later, he changed the business’s name to Car Center and added a full-service mechan-

Carvana Loses License to Sell Vehicles in Illinois for Second Time By Brad Anderson, CarScoops

Carvana has had its license to sell cars in Illinois suspended for the second time in as many months. The company first had its Illinois license suspended in early May following some 90 complaints over title and registration issues, with some Carvana customers having to wait four to six months to receive proof of ownership documentation.

However, this suspension only lasted for two weeks before the Illinois Secretary of State’s office issued a stay on its order, allowing Carvana to resume sales under a number of strict requirements. Fast forward to mid-July and Carvana’s license has been suspended once again. The state alleged the

company has not been transferring titles within 20 days of sale as required, nor issuing Illinois temporary registrations to Illinois buyers. Furthermore, the state said Carvana has issued temporary registrations up to four to five times from different states for the same vehicle, Auto News reported. A hearing on the matter has been scheduled for Aug. 30. When the Illinois Secretary of State’s office issued a stay on its original order in May, Carvana was required to register titles through Illinois remitters and post a $250,000 bond to pay for any fines or fees incurred by customers resulting from Carvana failing to follow the law. It was also unable to issue temporary registration permits or license plates. Carvana has encountered a number of issues over the past 12 months. In August 2021, its North Carolina license was blocked for 180 days due to various title and tag issues. In February, Carvana narrowly avoided a suspension of its dealer license in Florida.

10 SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

ical shop. Over the years, Car Center expanded to include four locations. Nick grew up working in the shop, washing cars and sweeping floors. After graduating with a business degree from Ferris State University in Michigan, Nick became involved in the company and eventually purchased all four locations.“What sets us apart is our intense passion for our core values,” said Nick. “That’s what sets our culture internally. We’re not perfect but I think we’re a leg up when it comes to customer service and giving people a different experience.”As an I-CAR-certified facility and ASE Blue Seal of Excellence recognized business, Nick said they take pride in making sure all repairs are done correctly the first time. Recently, the Greenville team moved into a new 20,000-square foot facility across the street from the previous location, which has been set up as the Car Center headquarters. “We’re pretty proud of it,” said Nick. Source: 1Collision


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Ford Testing Robot EV Charging Station Ford has developed a prototype robot charging station that drivers operate via their smartphone from inside their electric vehicle. The technology could enable disabled drivers to stay in the car while charging, or they could leave the car while the robot does all the work. Disabled drivers have already identified ease of charging as a key purchase consideration for electric vehicles. Ford is testing the robot charging station as part of a research project to develop handsfree charging solutions for electric vehicles and fully automatic charging for autonomous vehicles. Following initial lab testing, Ford researchers are now putting the robot charging station to the test in real-life situations. Once activated, the station cover slides open and the charging arm extends towards the inlet with the help of a tiny camera. For the trial, drivers were able to monitor the charge status via the FordPass app. After charging, the arm retracts back into place. Source: Ford

CARSTAR Jeff’s Garage Opens in Fairport Harbor, OH CARSTAR announced the opening of CARSTAR Jeff’s Garage at 1199 East St., Fairport Harbor, OH 44077. Jeff McKinney, owner of CARSTAR Jeff’s Garage, is a second-generation industry leader. The location itself was owned by McKinney’s father and was opened over 50 years ago. McKinney was around the collision repair industry throughout his childhood and began to take interest in the industry at the age of 10. After helping out around the facility through high school, McKinney went to college and then returned to work with his father. Following his father’s retirement over 15 years ago, McKinney took over the store. “My father and I had been talking about our plans to grow our business for years,” said McKinney. “I saw the improvements that CARSTAR could make to the repair center and our processes, and knew it would be a great fit. Additionally, the family feel I’ve worked hard to maintain throughout my years in the business is very important to me, and CARSTAR

12 SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

can help us keep it that way.” CARSTAR Jeff’s Garage is a 10,500-square foot facility and home to a team of seven employees. The facility is equipped with up-to-date tools and resources to provide the best quality collision repairs to its community.

CARSTAR Jeff’s Garage is I-CAR Gold certified and retains on-site rental vehicles for the convenience of customers needing transportation while their car is being serviced. “Shop culture is more important than ever before and CARSTAR promotes processes that help owners enhance their operations but also how they can

maintain their strong culture even through the busy times,” said Dean Fisher, collision group president, Driven Brands. “We are always excited to welcome another longstanding family business that holds the same values as our CARSTAR family and we’re thrilled to welcome this premier team to our growing network.” CARSTAR Jeff’s Garage prides itself in supporting the community it serves, having contributed to the local educational system, Fairport Village, as well a variety of other local charities. Please join us in welcoming CARSTAR Jeff’s Garage to our growing CARSTAR family. CARSTAR Jeff’s Garage 1199 East St. Fairport Harbor, OH 44077 (440) 357-5814 Monday to Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday to Sunday: Closed For more information on CARSTAR, visit CARSTAR.com. Source: CARSTAR


Gas Stolen from Fuel Tanks at Louisville, KY, Area Collision Centers by Katrina Nickell, WDRB News

A collision center in St. Matthews, KY, said it is facing a problem never seen before: gas being stolen from fuel tanks parked on the lot. Jump starting cars and driving them behind locked gates is what the crew at Joe Hudson’s Collision Center is now forced to do after falling victim to a crime they’ve never seen. “People come on to the lot at night and drill a hole in the fuel tank, drain fuel into a pan and then take it away,” said Douglas Addington, general manager at the collision center’s St. Matthews location. Addington can’t figure out why exactly it’s happening, but believes it might have to do with the rising costs of many necessities, from groceries to gas. “Whenever the economy is a little, you know, tense or whatever, you’ll see kind of things happen that normally don’t happen, especially in the St. Matthews area,” he said. Addington said it has also happened at the collision center’s east Louisville location. He doesn’t think they’re the only ones dealing with this

Continued from Cover

Vote to Merge lem presenting the merger for the members to vote to accept and they did just that.”

problem. “It’s just kind of new and not widespread yet, or not common knowledge, yet,” he said. Addington said the collision center has notified both St. Matthews Police and Louisville Metro Police about the problem. LMPD said an Eighth Division detective has been assigned to the case and it is an open and active investigation. What shocks Addington the most is the time thieves take to steal the gas.“In order to get any kind of measurable amount, four or five gallons, it would have to take 10, 15 or 20 minutes to get only four or five gallons of gas,” he said. The general manager is also surprised at the lengths some thieves have gone. “At our other location, they’ve cut the chains off the gate twice,” he said. But, he said, the crews are doing everything possible to deter thieves from stealing gas, from parking the cars inside the building to getting cameras set up as soon as possible. “We’re spending an extra 30 or 40 minutes every afternoon to pull in every car we can physically fit in the building,” Addington said.

on the many secondary and post-secondary school advisory boards and industry committees for both mechanical and collision. “We look forward to working with Ron and the AASP-MO leaders and members as we join together to form a united voice for our industry.

“MWACA is just a great fit for AASP-MO members and that is why we had no problem presenting the merger for the members to vote to accept and they did just that.” — Ron Reiling Reiling, with his 23 years of experience as AASP-MO’s executive director and more than 50 years in the industry, will be joining MWACA as the St. Louis Area liaison and legislative lobbyist, and will monitor the legislative activities that affect the industry. Reiling will continue to work closely with the Gateway Collision and St. Louis Mechanical chapters. He will also represent MWACA

Together we can make a difference for collision and mechanical repair shops within Missouri and beyond,” said Hamilton. MWACA and its national parent organization, the Auto Care Alliance, continue to grow daily with this merger being an excellent example of its growth and future opportunities. Source: Midwest Auto Care Alliance

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BendPak Announces Leadership Plan BendPak, Inc., a global manufacturer and marketer of vehicle service equipment and specialty consumer products, announced changes to its executive team, effective Aug. 3. President Don Henthorn, who has led the company since establishing it in 1965, will take on a more limited role in its daily operations as chairman emeritus. Jeff Kritzer will be promoted from executive vice president to succeed Henthorn as president and CEO. At the same time, Rudy Diaz will step up from vice president of information technology to executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO). Jim Fornear moves from financial controller to chief financial officer (CFO). Rounding out the leadership team, Javier Arias continues in the critical role of vice president of operations. Source: BendPak, Inc.

Toyota Responds to Critical Needs Following Unprecedented Kentucky Flooding Toyota on Aug. 3 announced $750,000 in donations to assist with immediate needs and long term recovery efforts following catastrophic flooding in Eastern Kentucky. Toyota employees are also rallying to support immediate needs through donation drives. The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky–Flood Relief Fund will receive $500,000 to help support families throughout eastern Kentucky struggling for access to shelter, food, water and other basic needs. SBP, Toyota’s longstanding disaster resilience, response and recovery partner, will receive $250,000 to help guide survivors as they navigate the federal funding application and appeals processes, share online recovery tools and work with high-risk communities on how to mitigate and prepare for future disasters. “When disasters like this occur, it’s important that we do everything possible to help ensure Kentuckians have the support and resources needed to recover and rebuild,” said Tellis Bethel, group

vice president, chief social innovation officer, Toyota Motor North America. “Our hearts go out to all of those impacted.”

Toyota is providing double-matching contributions for all donations made by U.S.-based employees to support The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, SBP and The American Red Cross. Additionally, Toyota will match all contributions made by its dealer partners as a part of the effort. Toyota Financial Services is offering payment relief options to its impacted customers. This broad outreach includes any Toyota Financial Services (TFS) or Lexus Financial Services (LFS) customer

in the designated disaster areas. Impacted lease and finance customers residing in the affected areas may be eligible to take advantage of several payment relief options, some of which include extensions and lease deferred payments, redirecting billing statements and arranging phone or online payments. Customers who would like to discuss their account options are encouraged to contact TFS or LFS. Toyota Financial Services customers: Call 800-8748822 or contact TFS via email using the Mail Center function after logging into ToyotaFinancial.com. Lexus Financial Services customers: Call 800-874-7050 or contact LFS via email using the Mail Center function after logging into LexusFinancial.com. Source: Toyota

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TikTok’s Latest ‘Kia Challenge’ Encourages Users to Steal Cars by Brad Anderson, CarScoops

A viral challenge across TikTok and YouTube has led to a spike in thefts of Kia and Hyundai models throughout the U.S. The “Kia Challenge” shows social media users how to steal certain Kia and Hyundai models by simply removing the plastic cowl under the steering column and using a USB cable. The issue has become particularly prevalent in Milwaukee, WI, where there is a group of young teenagers known as the “Kia Boys” who have become notorious for stealing cars and taking them on dangerous joyrides. It’s not just in Milwaukee where car thefts have surged though. In St. Petersburg, FL, the police department said 23 of the 56 cars stolen on local streets since July 11 have been Kia and Hyundai models model year 2021 and older. Writing on Twitter, authorities encouraged Hyundai and Kia owners to be cautious. “Anyone with a Kia/Hyundai that uses a key, please #lockitup,” it wrote. Speaking with the Tampa Bay Times, police said Kia models

produced from 2011 and 2012 and Hyundai models from 2015 to 2021 have a vulnerability that means the ignition can be easily bypassed. Most of the individuals stealing Kia and Hyundai models are aged between 14 and 17. St. Petersburg Police Department Sgt. Cody Lance said the majority of the cars stolen are unlocked and encouraged owners to always lock their vehicles. He also encouraged the use of steering wheel locks and said parking vulnerable Hyundai and Kia models behind other vehicles can make them more difficult to steal. The trend is spreading across the country. Authorities in St. Paul, MN, have reported a more than 1,300% increase in Kia thefts from last year and an 854% increase in stolen Hyundais. In Grand Rapids, MI, Hyundai and Kia models also made up roughly 45% of the city’s auto thefts in June. Spikes in thefts have also been reported in St. Louis, Memphis, Cincinnati and Columbus. The two car manufacturers said they were aware of the increase in thefts and noted all of their current models are fitted with engine immobilizers.

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Agenda Announced for CONNEX 2022 CIECA announced its agenda and speakers for the upcoming CIECA CONNEX Conference, to be held Sept. 13-14 in St. Louis/St. Charles, MO. In addition to a line-up of top industry speakers, there will be networking opportunities, a gifting ceremony by the National Auto Body Council® (NABC) as part of its NABC Recycled Rides® program, CIECA’s open annual meeting and a tour of Hunter Engineering. This year’s theme is “CIECA Next Gen: Evolving to Meet the Needs of the Collision Industry.” All industry stakeholders, including CIECA members and non-members, are invited to attend. Conference attendees are eligible to receive credit toward a professional designation from the Automotive Management Institute (AMi). The day prior to the conference, NABC will be holding the Boone Valley Golf Club Fundraiser in Augusta, MO. Source: CIECA

Stellantis Plans $83M Investment at Dundee Engine Plant for Hybrid-Electric Models by Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press

The Dundee Engine Plant will be retooled to become the final assembly location for a new four-cylinder engine for two future hybrid-electric Stellantis models coming to North America, the company announced Aug. 1. The plant, which is southwest of Detroit, MI, will see an investment of $83 million, with engine production slated to begin in early 2025, according to a news release. The new 1.6-liter, inline-four cylinder turbocharged engine will be based on a current Stellantis engine in Europe and will have “flexibility” for hybrid-electric, or HEV, vehicle applications, the company said, noting this will be the first HEV engine for the company in the region. Stellantis owns the Jeep, Ram, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands. “The Michigan plant will continue production of the 3.6-liter Pentastar Upgrade for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee L. The Tigershark 2.4-liter I-4 engine will build out in the first quarter

of 2023,” the company said. The investment is not expected to have any impact on the number of full-time positions at the plant, according to company spokeswom-

ed the announcement in a statement, saying “when companies invest in UAW facilities, they are recognizing that UAW members add value to the company’s success.”

“This investment in a new four-cylinder engine will add job security for the members who continue to build ICE products as the industry transitions to electrification” — Cindy Estrada an Jodi Tinson. As of June, Dundee had 987 workers (853 hourly and 134 salaried), according to the company. The announcement for Dundee is the largest piece of a total $99 million investment announced Aug. 1, which the company tied to its Dare Forward 2030 business plan. The release said the company would also invest more than $14 million at the Kokomo Casting Plant in Indiana to convert die cast machines and cells for the new engine and $2 million at Etobicoke Casting in Toronto for upgrades and new tooling so it can produce the engine’s new oil pans. UAW President Ray Curry tout-

UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, who leads the Stellantis Department for the union, called it great news. “This investment in a new four-cylinder engine will add job security for the members who continue to build ICE products as the industry transitions to electrification. The hard work and dedication of the UAW Stellantis membership to build great products with world class quality has been recognized and rewarded today,” Estrada said in a statement, referencing the abbreviation for internal combustion engine.

Tesla Cybertruck Prices, Specs to Change, Probably Be Worth It by Maria Merano, Teslarati

Tesla CEO Elon Musk admitted at the 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders that Cybertruck prices will change. However, a lot has changed since the cyberpunk truck’s unveiling. Tesla might make the price change worth it. The all-electric pickup truck was unveiled in 2019, before the pandemic. Prices have gone up across the board, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the price of the Cybertruck went up as well. Tesla has increased the price of its other vehicles as well. “Cybertruck pricing, it was unveiled in 2019, and the reservation was $99,” Musk reminded everyone at the meeting. “A lot has changed since then, so the specs and the pricing will be different. I hate to give sort of a little bit of bad news. But I think there’s no way to sort of anticipate the inflation that we’ve seen and the various issues.” Initially, the Cybertruck was available in three trims with starting prices ranging from $39,900 for

the single-motor RWD version to $69,900 for the tri-motor AWD. Even though Tesla has had a lot on its plate with the pandemic, supply chain issues and inflation, it has continued to refine the Cybertruck’s design since 2019. In June, Musk confirmed Tesla had finalized the design. At the Q4 2021 earnings call, he said Tesla added a lot of new technology to the Cybertruck. Musk hinted that striking a balance between the Cybertruck’s new technology and affordability would decide its final updated price. “I worry more about like how do we the Cybertruck affordable despite having awesome technology. That’s the thing that will really set the rate,” he said in Q4 2021. In June, at the Shareholders Meeting, Musk said Cybertruck production is on track for mid-2023. Musk assured everyone the Cybertruck is still a mind-blowing EV pickup truck. “But what I can say is that the Cybertruck will be one hell of a product. It’s gonna be like a damn fine machine,” he said.

16 SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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Continued from Cover

SEMA Show takes place Nov. 1, and will be presented by James Pogue, Ph.D., president and CEO of JP Enterprises. Part of the Business Management Track, each DEI session will feature thought leaders, skill-building seminars, networking, inspiring role models and action-oriented content. “Celebrity Insights,” moderated by African American Racers Association co-founder Chris Harris, features automotive celebrities, legends and luminaries with diverse backgrounds and experiences. The one-hour discussion will give attendees a glimpse into the lives of some of their favorite personalities. “Celebrity Insights” takes place Nov. 4, along with five other sessions that comprise the brand-new Enthusiast Track program. Returning by popular demand is the Leadership Essentials Track, presented by Dale Carnegie. Consisting of six courses spread out over three days, the program can be

taken as a whole or individually. Each course features acclaimed trainers from Dale Carnegie Training. Known for having a leadership, communications and sales program that improves both individual and business performance, Dale Carnegie Training focuses on core human relations principles and is said to transform lives. Also continuing in 2022 are comprehensive programs from partners, including the Society of Collision Repairers (SCRS), the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) and the Tire Industry Association (TIA). “The SEMA Show has a lot to offer, from seeing new products and vehicle builds, meeting with manufacturers, learning from experts and developing meaningful relationships that you can only get from an in-person event,” said Tom Gattuso, SEMA vice president of events. “We encourage showgoers to take advantage of all the elements of the SEMA Show, so that they get the greatest ROI.” All sessions are held in meeting rooms at the Las Vegas Convention

Center, making it easy and convenient for attendees to schedule seminars between meetings with exhibitors. Registrants can sign up for the education program while applying for SEMA Show credentials at www.semashow.com/ register. Those who are already approved for credentials can add education sessions by going into their SEMA Show dashboard. Sessions will also be able to be added through the SEMA Show mobile app. This year’s information will be updated in the mobile app in August, but the app can be downloaded now from the app store. The SEMA Show is the world premier automotive trade show, featuring new products and trends in vehicle customization. Complete details about the Nov. 1-4 SEMA Show taking place in Las Vegas, NV, are available at www.semashow. com. Source: SEMA

AUTOBODY

KECO Donates to Schools in MT, IL The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) announced a collaboration with KECO Body Repair Products to gift a tool and training package to one collision industry educational institution per quarter. Schools are nominated by SCRS affiliate associations, who were encouraged to nominate schools in their market. The recipient schools will be awarded the KECO Level 2 Glue Pull Repair System + On-Location Training. The first recipient, nominated by Julie Lombardo, executive director for the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Illinois (AASP-I), was College of Lake County-Grayslake Campus (CLC) automotive collision repair program. The second recipient, nominated by Mariah Litton, executive director for the Montana Collision Repair Association (MCRA), was City College, MSU Billings, collision repair and refinishing technology program. Source: SCRS

Lucid Cuts Production Goals by 50% Once Again by Joey Klender, Teslarati

Lucid Group cut its 2022 production outlook to between 6,000 and 7,000 vehicles after citing “extraordinary supply chain and logistics challenges.” Lucid initially projected its 2022 production goal as 20,000 units last year. This was quickly revised in February to between 12,000 and 14,000 vehicles. As automakers across the world struggled with supply issues and parts shortages, startups began to reconsider their goals for the year. Rivian also slashed production goals considerably in early 2022, citing supply issues and other challenges as the reasoning. Lucid’s situation is no different. Struggling with cash flow, the company lost nearly $5 billion in 2021, and took another $220 million loss in Q2, it disclosed in its Shareholder Deck. Only 679 Lucid Air vehicles made their way to customers in Q2. When asked about a week-

ly production rate, CEO Peter Rawlinson said it would be best not to start “cherry-picking specific weekly production rates.” Meanwhile, CFO Sherry House said customers and investors should see deliveries begin to pick up substantially through the next few quarters. “Our revised production guidance reflects the extraordinary supply chain and logistics challenges we encountered,” Rawlinson said. “We’ve identified the primary bottlenecks, and we are taking appropriate measures…We continue to see strong demand for our vehicles, with over 37,000 customer reservations, and I remain confident that we shall overcome these nearterm challenges with a relentless tenacity and a steely determination.” Rawlinson also said Rivian has brought logistics operations in-house and is working to strengthen its executive team. Lucid shares were trading at $18.74, down 8.9% the morning of Aug. 4 in New York.

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Continued from Cover

Michigan Auto Reform It is difficult for Karl to think back on that time. His memories take him back to that Saginaw hospital watching his infant son lying in the intensive care unit. Since the ‘80s, Karl has fought to maintain some form of normal as he parented his son alone and fought battles to get him quality care. In 2019, lawmakers responded to Michigan’s highest-in-the nation auto insurance premiums by passing legislation giving drivers the option to choose their level of personal injury protection, replacing the state requirement that drivers buy unlimited lifetime coverage. That legislation took money away from the care traumatic injury survivors like Lance rely on to survive. It’s just another battle, Karl said, and he’s not alone in the fight. Across Michigan, there’s 18,000 residents in similar vulnerable—and crisis—situations. “With the way the law is written right now,” Karl said reflecting on

care his son received for his injuries, “he would die.” Michigan’s auto insurance reform went into effect July 1, 2021. One change in the law allows drivers the option to choose their preferred level of personal injury protection coverage. Another change was the new fee schedule that cut reimbursement from insurance companies for health care services provided to accident survivors not covered under Medicare by 45%. The reform has had profound consequences for crash survivors and health care providers. More than 100 care providers have closed or no longer accept nofault clients—they can’t offer the care their clients need and keep their doors open due to the lower reimbursement rates. Nearly 18,000 seriously injured survivors are losing necessary care services. Several bills have been offered to address the fee schedule. Bills largely have died in insurance committees since the 2019 reform bill. Currently, the following bills offer alternatives, but are stalled in both the House and Senate: HB4992, HB4486 and

SB314. Grassroots advocacy group We Can’t Wait has a list of more than 20 legislative drafts that they would advocate for, but there is a clear understanding of the state’s lack of interest in helping those struggling families. The stalled possibilities are listed as legislative items on the advocacy group’s website. The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association is a private unincorporated, nonprofit association created by the Michigan Legislature in 1978. Catastrophic claims involve injury to the brain and/or spinal cord, which results in serious and permanent disability. Some examples are paralysis and a coma. According to We Can’t Wait, there was about $27 billion in the fund, prior to $3 billion in total refunds out to Michigan drivers with registered vehicles via $400 checks. In May, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer encouraged those who did not “receive their share” of the $3 billion catastrophic fund surplus to contact their insurance company. Members of We Can’t Wait feel the refunds are used as deflection from an insidious

problem—about seven people have died since the auto reform law went into effect, according to the Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault, or CPAN. At the time of the crash, the 29-year-old Karl had unlimited auto insurance. He said those funds were not the state government’s money to spend. That was supposed to cover medical care for life, if there was a catastrophic injury. Because of this, Karl referenced the $400 refund checks as “blood money.” However, Whitmer’s office released a mid-July statement celebrating putting “money back in peoples’ pockets.” “Now, what happened is, your grandparents, parents and you—everyone you know—have been paying into this catastrophic fund for over four decades,” Karl said. “That money was invested by all of us, that is the peoples’ money. They (government officials) severed it; they did not grandfather any of the existing claims in. They have come up with all sorts of excuses why they are not in there, but they still haven’t corrected it.” A resident of Lake, MI, Karl couldn’t believe the state followed

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through with the 2019 reform. “I can’t believe they even did it,” he said. It is summer break for Michigan representatives in Lansing. Discussions that could have potentially led to any form of change were tabled for the term. The courts are hearing arguments that could open the door, several months from now, for those who are facing the retroactive debate. The lack of participation from legislative and executive lawmakers is not slowing down those who represent the people impacted by auto crashes across Michigan. There has been protests across the state, centralized in Lansing and Detroit areas. Most await pending results from the class action suit in the Michigan Appeals Court system. We Can’t Wait in Michigan has a Facebook group created on behalf of catastrophically injured auto crash survivors and families. There are more than 8,670 Facebook users who are members of the online forum. It is made of up loved ones, care providers, friends and political advocates to share information and seek advice regarding a fix to the 2019 auto no-fault

bill.

Through thousands of letters and emails, phone calls, demonstrations, protests and visits to the Capitol, We Can’t Wait has become a recognized advocacy group and voice of survivors. Hope, MI, resident Terri Lee struggles to access affordable care for her mother. She gave an emotional testimony to Midland County commissioners about her mother’s experience facing ongoing impacts from a serve auto crash. The county board approved the resolution, 4-2, to be shared with lawmakers at the state level. “This is a humanitarian crisis born from a government-mandated price fix, that only the legislature can undo,” the resolution approved in Midland County reads. Across the state, about 30 counties have passed similar resolutions. Care provider Brian Harrison worked with the Midland County representatives to call on the state. Under the representation of his organization, AdvisaCare Home Health and Hospice, Harrison spent time developing plans in 2021 with Nick Long, anoth-

er care provider who often visits Lansing in an effort to invoke any kind of amendment or discussion towards action that would support those not grandfathered in. He does not support completely rewinding the legislation. However, Harrison supports addressing wages for care providers after reimbursement rates were slashed to 45%. One of the solutions Harrison said has been explored, without sponsorship from the legislature, could mirror Michigan workers’ compensation. He said this may address the hourly home/ health aid support by erasing the 45% reduction and offer an authorization period for care rates. “It’s an interesting battle,” Harrison said. “Our hope is that could be a solution that hasn’t been talked about, but I think most folks would see it as an option. To say the system works for one and not the other, in terms of a claimant, seems incongruent with the messaging that the insurance companies are sending. “It’s either what a provider normally charges based on their market rate, or whatever is agreed as a rea-

sonable service, whatever is less of those two,” he continued. The 2019 auto-reform act passed on Lance’s birthday, which left a sting of pain in Karl’s tone. Lance, an infant at the time, couldn’t blink, cry, roll over or recognize familiar faces following the 1982 crash. He faced cortical blindness, commonly caused by a traumatic brain injury to the occipital lobe of the brain. It was clear to Karl that he’d become his advocating voice. Lance requires 24/7 attentive care. Karl expressed a deep sense of pride in his son’s recovery gains, such as opening doors and entering vehicles. His son is gentle, serious and expressive with both smiles and tears. The pair collaborate through Lance’s life, with the father’s focus on incorporating consistency and repetition into routine, with Karl being an intentional guide throughout interaction. “He is happy, but we’re dealing with a brain that we can’t see,” Karl said. “Every one of those brains were healthy brains until they were injured. I’m real conscious of his self-esteem.”

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Continued from Cover

Data for Sale cesses, we collect 86% of all quoted collision repairs in North America, whether the quote is taken through a body shop or any insurance carrier.” Even if that quote doesn’t reach an insurer, Schulenburg said he was told, “that data goes into our system within 24 hours.” The 40-plus data fields the company said it has include on a daily basis more than 62,000 VINs and 135,000 quotes---written by shops or insurers. It includes customer name and contact information—address, phone and email—where the

This summer’s Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Pittsburgh drew hundreds of attendees from around the country

collision occurred and where the repair quote was generated. It includes nearly $72 million of quoted parts per day, and the year, make, model and mileage of vehicles along with body, trim and engine descriptions. The revelation was of interest to a CIC committee that, like SCRS and other organizations, has been looking into how shop estimate information sometimes ends up as entries on vehicle history reports. Schulenburg said the company offering to sell the data was not one he, nor anyone else he has talked to about it, has heard of. “The point here is not that they have this data, but it’s where they are getting it from,” Schulenburg said. The founder of the company, who Schulenburg said he spoke to after the initial call, said a non-disclosure agreement prevented him from revealing the source of the data; he told Schulenburg he couldn’t say more because “if I answer too many questions, you’ll figure it out.” He said it was a company Schulenburg would know because their primary business model “has something to do in collision,” and that licensing the data to be sold is “just a side

stream of revenue.” He confirmed it was not coming from public registries, DMVs or police reports, Schulenburg said. “It is coming from a data aggregator, who is selling it,” Schulenburg said. “There’s a lot of good companies out there that are utilizing data to do the right thing for this industry. And there’s at least one company who is not doing the right thing. There’s at least one company that is turning it into a separate revenue stream to take the information you shared with them for one intended purpose, and selling it to someone else to sell for an entirely different purpose that you didn’t intend.” The leaders of the CIC committee, knowing Schulenburg’s long-standing work on data privacy issues, noted the irony that a data aggregator selling such information would contact him. “It was a complete shock to us that something like that would fall into Aaron’s lap,” said Dan Risley of CCC Intelligent Solutions, cochair of the committee. “I’m glad that it did, though, because I think more discussions will be had.” Risley said it may be a good reminder that vehicle history reporting companies such as CARFAX “shouldn’t be viewed as ‘public enemy No. 1.’” During the committee’s panel discussion following Schulenburg’s presentation, Connecticut attorney Steven Bloch said while issues related to shop estimates resulting in entries on vehicle history reports is troubling, the detailed estimate information being offered for sale poses even greater risks. “What’s of great concern is that a VIN, certainly in combination with personal identifiable information such as Aaron was ticking off—the [customer] name, address, insurance company, plate number—all combines to potentially run afoul of various state and federal [data privacy] legislation, which is only getting stricter, with more scrutiny being paid to everybody in the supply chain,” Bloch said. Panelist Pete Tagliapietra of DataTouch, LLC, agreed. “The information going to the vehicle history companies is the ice above the waterline,” he said. “What’s below the waterline? For you shop owners out there, what’s

26 SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

below the waterline is all of your DRP relationship information: who you have DRP relationships with. What your negotiated labor rate is. Who you buy parts from. What discounts you offer. Anything that can be gleaned off that estimate is being taken, compiled and aggregated, and being used for other purposes.” Though some believe estimate data finds its way to CARFAX or vehicle history reports after the VIN and other information is sent to “live” parts locating services during the estimating process, Tagliapietra blamed thousands of “data pumps” running on shop computer systems, scraping estimate data sometimes without a shop’s knowledge or consent. Virginia shop owner Barry Dorn asked the panel how a shop can know a company that says it is only pulling limited estimate data needed for a specific purpose---like parts locating or customer satisfaction indexing—is actually doing only just that. “You can’t. Not yet. But you will,” said Tagliapietra, whose company is developing a service to root out data pumps on shops’ computers

systems. Panelist Tom Allen of Condition Now said he understands body shops’ frustration with their estimate data resulting in an entry on a given vehicle’s CARFAX or other history report. “The shop becomes the face of this incident,” Allen said. “The officer directing traffic [at the accident scene] may come and go. The insurance company may be just a voice on the other end of the line, or the other side of the app. But the first human we see in this instance is the shop. I believe they get the brunt of things, right or wrong.” Allen said his company for about a decade has offered a way for body shops “to control the negative,” a way to use a vehicle history report to “show the good, not the bad,” by playing up the use of OEM parts in the repair of the vehicle, for example. “Our goal is to actually document that stuff in a way that is helpful to Mrs. Jones, the customer,” Allen said. “To show, not only did we fix your car properly, it was done with OEM certified repair procedures.”

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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.

Don’t Let Higher Sales Take Your Eye Off the Ball There’s an expression I’ve been thinking about in relation to the collision repair industry: “Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.” As it applies to business, I think it means if you end up being greedy or taking the good times for granted, it’s going to catch up with you. It reminds me of another expression I use a lot: “Lots of sales cover lots of sins.” You can substitute “mistakes” for the word “sins.” I hear from a lot of body shops about how much their sales are up, sometimes to record levels, and I’m concerned a false sense of security can settle in. It can be easy to take your eye off the ball when work is plentiful. Let’s start with the higher sales number. At least some portion of that is likely attributable to more parts per repair order. CCC Intelligent Solutions reported there were

almost 12 parts per claim on average last year, a number that has been climbing since 2011, and especially in more recent years. I’ve seen some other statistics that suggest there’s anywhere between seven and nine more parts per repair now. Add to that the increased price of those parts. Again, CCC data shows parts prices increased 5% in the first quarter of this year alone, after a 7.4% overall increase last year. I’ve seen other statistics showing some parts prices have gone up between 18% and 23%, depending on the type of part. So if there are more parts per repair order, and the prices for those parts have gone up, then of course your sales should be up. But remember, as a repair order includes more parts and less labor, your overall gross profit as a percentage starts to decline.

I’m not saying that’s bad or good. All I’m saying is looking at just your increased sales may be giving you that false sense of security. Remember the start of the pandemic, when work temporarily stopped coming to the door? So many shop owners and managers told me during that time they realized they needed to get back to basics, in terms of making sure SOPs were being followed, focusing on selling and capture rate, and offering great customer service. That’s what I’m suggesting to you here, that your increased sales may have led you to stop keeping your eye on the ball. Maybe your estimate quality isn’t as good as it should be, but the higher parts dollars are masking that. Are you continuing to watch your profit margins on labor, parts, materials, sublet, etc.? Is the backlog of work leading

to any customer service “sins”? It can be easy to get complacent when you know if one customer gets mad at you, you have 20 more lined up at the door. But you still need to care about that customer not going somewhere else. Make sure your customer service isn’t slipping. Maybe your outstanding parts credits are stacking up. Maybe your receivables have started to slip. Maybe you’re not closing out ROs in a timely manner. Are you still watching your efficiencies? There are a lot of things to still make sure you’re keeping an eye on. I’m not an economist. I don’t know what the future holds. But in every recession, I’ve seen shops wish they had stuck to the basics. Take some time right now to make sure lots of sales are not masking a lot of sins in your business, and that you’re not going to suffer the fate of the hogs.

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Tips for Busy Body Shops

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

with Stacey Phillips

How to Profit from ADAS Services and Calibration—It’s Not Just About the Targets Industry statistics show nearly 50% ibrate and validate ADAS systems, of the North American car parc will repairs and calibrations. The compabe Advanced Driver Assistance Sys- ny’s Test Drive CoPilot™ platform with Stacey Phillips tems (ADAS)-equipped by 2025. was chosen as one of 15 semifinalist By 2030, the percentage of ADAS- solutions in the 10th annual Specialequipped vehicles will be more than ty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Annual Launch Pad Com75%. With the overwhelming growth petition. in this area, Frank Terlep, co-founder of Auto Techcelerators, said col- The Facility lision repair facilities are currently For businesses planning to perform with Victoria Antonelli faced with many challenges conduct- 10 or more calibrations or ADAS ing ADAS services and calibrations. repairs per day, Terlep advised faThe first is location. Based on cilities allocate at least 4,000 square industry data, Terlep said 80% of feet. collision repair facilities do not have “If you are going to do calibrathe required space to perform these tions properly, you can’t do them in services. They also need business a parking lot, under a tree or in space with EdaAttanasio operating system, trained person- where there isn’t enough room for nel and equipment, which includes targets to be the proper distance,” he explained. Terlep recommended setting up three work bays and outfitting the facility to ensure all calibration prowith Gary Ledouxcedures are performed indoors without obstructions or uneven surface shadows. Each calibration bay needs a floor space of at least 33 feet wide by 17 feet in length to perform the Frank Terlep said lighting should be diffused calibrations, and the floor should be with minimal shadows level within four 10ths of an inch with Stacey Phillips targeting systems, diagnostic tools, from one side of the workspace to alignment systems, vehicle lifts and the other. more. “A slight incline along the One of the biggest challenges is floor of the space could result in the identifying a vehicle’s ADAS tech- miscalibration of a camera or radar nologies and required calibrations, sensors, thus skewing the vehicles’ which Terlep noted most shops do reactions,” Terlep explained. with Mike Anderson The floor should be painted in a poorly. He shared a February finding neutral tone, be pristinely clean and from Honda that identified 80% of be able to be written on. appraisals processed through CCC He also stressed the importance Intelligent Solutions that needed of having evenly-diffused lighting a calibration did not include a line with minimal shadows. LED bulbs item related to calibration. should be 300-400 lumens that can During a recent webinar spon- be adjusted based on the seasons, sored by Auto Techcelerators, Terlep weather and time. shared some of what he believes are “These are moving variables the requirements to run a properly depending on the shop’s location outfitted ADAS services and cali- and time of year,” said Terlep. Ideally, the facility’s walls bration business. Established in 2019, Auto Tech- should be a matte color. He reccelerators assists the automotive, ommended a solid color coating in collision, glass, insurance and truck beige, grey, light grey or white with industries to properly estimate, cal- no patterns.

My SEMA

“Targets are patterns and you don’t want to confuse the sensors you are calibrating with patterns behind the targets,” explained Terlep. “Ensure there are no reflections or

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Frank Terlep recommends a properly outfitted ADAS services and calibration business facility should ensure all calibration procedures are performed indoors without obstructions or uneven surface shadows. Credit: Courtesy of LaMettrey’s Collision, Glass & More

shadows and there are no reflective surfaces that might interfere with the calibration equipment.”

For owners/operators considering opening a mobile business, Terlep said to consider the skills personnel will offer, the cost of insurance and equipment, space availability, lighting, who will be checking the alignments and how documentation will be collected. Tools One of the essential tools for a calibration center to acquire, according to Terlep, is an OEM and/or aftermarket diagnostic tool and/or software. “You probably need both,” said Terlep. “You need multiple aftermarket tools because they all have limitations.” They also need to be kept up to date. “You aren’t going to do a 2022 calibration with 2021 software,” he See How to Profit from ADAS, Page 34

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

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Schaumburg Honda Automobiles Schaumburg

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Columbia Honda Columbia

Luther Hopkins Honda

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ACURA MICHIGAN

ILLINOIS

McGrath Acura of Morton Grove Morton Grove

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OHIO

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Columbia Acura Cincinnati

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MINNESOTA

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Continued from Page 30

How to Profit from ADAS noted. One of the costliest pieces of equipment required is the targeting system, which is typically rectangular with black and white patterns. “It’s critical to have the right size targets,” said Terlep. “Be prepared to purchase additional targets when new ADAS systems or components are introduced.” ADAS repairs and calibrations also require additional tools such as reflective metal sheets, metal cones, window calibration tools, floor mat calibration targets, doppler simulators, HUD systems and more. Terlep highly recommended having OEM tools on hand for the vehicles the facility typically repairs or subscribing to a remote diagnostic service. He said there are currently five of these types of businesses available today. Not only do remote diagnostic companies perform pre- and post-scanning, but many also offer remote calibration services. In some cases, Terlep said they provide free targets or a low dollar amount and split the revenue with the facility. He recommended owners/operators compare the remote cost vs. the cost of purchasing OEM software. Another consideration he noted is related to alignments. With 11 auto manufacturers requiring a calibration following a wheel alignment, Terlep said in most cases, a vehicle needs an alignment check before a calibration. “Alignments and calibrations are like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” he said. “If the vehicle isn’t aligned correctly, there’s a good chance the ADAS systems aren’t going to work.” As a result, he said facilities must be in the alignment business or have an alignment company nearby. Workflows and Processes Terlep shared what he referred to as the “seven moments of truth” when repairing/calibrating ADASequipped vehicles. They include identifying and locating the technologies and needed calibrations; communicating with the customer;

preparing an accurate repair plan; ordering and scheduling the services; documenting all pre-calibration requirements; documenting calibration actions and results; and performing, managing and documenting the test drive. Organizing Pricing and Getting Paid Although some shops organize pricing by service category, Terlep and his team have found organizing by manufacturer is preferable. He also recommended shops take steps to ensure they have an accurate and detailed billing system. ADAS/Calibration Software For shops planning to enter this side of the business, Terlep said it is critical to have a software platform. However, he believes there isn’t one on the market to meet all of the current needs. “I’ve talked to a lot of businesses and most are using five to seven different systems to manage and operate their companies,” he said. He said the ideal software would help identify and locate ADAS technologies, calibration triggers and required calibrations, educate customers about what needs to be done with their vehicles, and assist shops to create better, faster and more accurate repair plans. The software would also help the business manage all workflows and processes, generate, share and store detailed documentation, and operate an efficient and profitable business. Because most collision repair facilities don’t have the required space to prefer a calibration, Terlep foresees the industry will operate in a “hub and spoke” model in terms of calibrations, where several stores in a certain area will use a central location for these services. As a result, ADAS/calibration software should ideally include this business model. He noted five of the largest organizations in North America currently manage calibrations in this way. Documentation and Liability Terlep recommended facilities document every aspect of the ADAS service/calibration process as if the shop were going to court tomorrow. This includes the vehicle components, calibration triggers and

34 SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

required calibration types, pre- and post-scans, repair order/lines, a health scan and images of a vehicle. It should also include a calibration results report, post-calibration safety system verification test results, a detailed invoice and a workflow report. “How can any organization look at a customer and give them the keys to the vehicle without providing them with validation and documentation that they accurately tested and validated the systems work properly?” said Terlep. He advised shops to remember that ADAS systems directly affect acceleration, braking and steering. “If one is off and doesn’t work, the outcome is not good,” he pointed out. “If an ADAS system fails, who is to blame? The driver, the OEM, the shop or the insurer?” Without documentation, Terlep said, you don’t know. The Investment When determining the investment to begin offering ADAS services/ calibration, Terlep said to consider the cost of the facility, targeting systems, targets, the alignment sys-

tem, diagnostic tools and business software. While he estimates a minimum investment might be around $150,000, it could easily reach $250,000-$300,000. Return on Investment (ROI) To be successful in the ADAS repair and calibration business, Terlep advised facilities to focus on process and volume. “The key to success is to capture three to 10 customers who repair 100 vehicles a month where you can expect to receive 25-40% of those vehicles,” he said. For shops doing 4,800 calibrations annually, he estimated $773,577 annual gross profit. For more information, visit www. autotechcelerators.com. To watch the webinar, visit https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbf5Css50Hk

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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.

Gerber Collision CEO Talks Parts, Personnel Challenges

Shop Showcase

Tim O’Day, president and CEO of ance partners, and in how it drives Boyd Group Services, parent com- our profitability, to identify and pany of Gerber Collision & Glass, source higher-margin, lower-cost alwith Ed Attanasio referred to his company as “one of ternative parts.” the better users of alternative parts” O’Day said the company is in a presentation this spring at the working toward centralized parts orAutomotive Body Parts Association dering for its more than 800 shops in annual convention. North America. “When we leave the buying de“But right now, we’re more reliant on OEM parts than we’ve ever cision at a local level, there’s somewith Ed Attanasio been, which is unfortunate,” O’Day times influences that aren’t consistold the non-OEM parts manufactur- tent with what our objectives are,” ers and distributors at the event. “It O’Day said. “It could be something negatively impacts our profitability, as simple in the old days as ‘I got tickets to the ballgame tonight, so I’m going to buy parts from this supwith Ed Attanasio plier,’ to something worse than that, that may not be good for our business. The direction we’re moving is to establish contractual relationships in writing with a supplier.” Part of that agreement will be all electronic parts ordering. and it drives repair costs up for our with Ed Attanasio “We’re going to get to the customers. So hopefully the aftermarket will figure out how to bal- point where if you do business with ance out supply so that we can buy us, and one of our stores calls you the parts from you that we want to and says, ‘Deliver me this part, I buy.” need it this afternoon,’ if you don’t O’Day acknowledged that cur- get the order electronically, I don’t rently even OEM partsStacey are often Phillips un- want you to deliver it,” O’Day said. with available, and he doesn’t foresee a “Because what’s going to happen is quick end to supply chain issues. you’re going to deliver the part. I’m “Last year, we probably thought going to put it on the car, and I’m maybe the beginning of the second never going to charge my customer quarter of this year, but I haven’t for it. And 60 days from now, you’re going to come back to me and say, seen it,” he said. “I’veStacey heard temwith Phillips porary positive signs, but nothing ‘You owe me for that part, because that’s systematic that’s going to you didn’t get it in your payables drive the change we need. So I think system and you haven’t paid for it we’re probably in for a couple of yet.’ “So it’s a huge loss for me when years of challenging times.” When asked to compare suppli- we do that. So we want to do busiwith Stacey Phillips er service levels, O’Day said “prob- ness with suppliers that are connectlems with parts that come in incor- ed electronically,” with ordering, rectly is much, much lower with invoicing and payment all handled OEM than it is with the aftermarket. electronically. “I think if you talk to a parts O’Day also discussed the techmanager or estimator at one of our nician shortage impacting all collistores, if pricewith and margin sion repair businesses. He serves on Staceywere Phillips equal, they would buy the OE part the Board of Directors for I-CAR, because it tends to be reliable a high and said the segment of the industry percentage of the time,” O’Day said. renewing its I-CAR Gold Class desBut he noted the gross profit margin ignation in 2019 averaged 9.5 techon non-OEM parts is better, so “our nicians per shop. staff is motivated both in terms of “In the most recent round of how we get measured by our insur- renewals, the average shop has 7.5

Social Media for Shops

SEMA Show Goes On

technicians,” O’Day said. “So about a 17 or 18% reduction in workforce. It’s just a highly disruptive environment. And there’s really no shortterm solution. “My view, and most of the repairers I’ve spoken to share it, is the only way we’re going to build our workforce is by paying more money to that workforce, pulling them from other industries,” O’Day said. “The only way we can do that is through pricing. It’s going to cause increased premiums for vehicle owners. But otherwise we’re not going to solve our customers’ problem and get their cars repaired on a timely basis.” He said the industry lacks “a formal, universal way” to work with students coming out of collision repair training programs to build their skills. “They come into our industry, and because we don’t train them

Media and Publicity for Shops

properly to move them to the next level, we lose them to other industries,” he said. To that end, he said, Gerber created an 18-month technician apprenticeship program for students coming out of school or for internal candidates working as a porter or car-washer. “We spend tens of thousands of dollars per trainee, but they come out with pretty good skills after 18 months,” O’Day said. “We’ve made a commitment to more than double the size of that program this year. But I think in the long run, we can’t do it alone. We really need the majority of collision repair shops to make the same type of commitment, and do it in an organized way so these students grow and are successful in our industry.” Another “area of opportunity” See Gerber Collision CEO, Page 52

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36 SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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How is Your Auto Body Shop Dealing with the Great Resignation? by Ed Attanasio

You thought we would be done with the pandemic by now, but like Al Pacino’s character, Michael Corleone, said in The Godfather II, “Just when I thought I was out, they drag me back in!” Will the effects of the pandemic always be a part of our lives? It sure looks like it. There are still many questions we never had to deal with before, and many things we thought would be in our rearview mirrors by now. Are you prepared for the postCOVID work environment? Are you ready for a majority hybrid-remote office model? Are other shops trying to hire away some of your top people? Will some of your upper management take this opportunity to retire? Is it time to sell? These are life-changing decisions and the time to make them is here. We’re now entering the post-pandemic world and many of your employees have different opin-

ions. While some of your crew is enthusiastically returning to work, others are reluctant and have concerns about hours, safety and other issues. Regardless of whatever your employees think will happen next, body shop owners and managers are just happy to return to some level of normalcy after these 30 months. But, are things really back to normal—and what is normal now, anyway? In many parts of the country, the shortage of qualified people got even worse during the pandemic. An MSO owner told me recently he could put 80 collision professionals to work immediately, if they existed. I would bet any shop out there right now could use a few more qualified people, as car counts rise and customers who were reluctant to bring their vehicles for repairs start showing up at their doors. Poaching employees is a problem, especially in states like California and New York, and it will undoubtedly get worse within the next year or so, I believe. So, with moti-

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we became more comfortable with it and adapted.” The pandemic created a virtual world, but unfortunately it won’t have much of an impact down the road in collision repair, because you can’t fix cars via Zoom. It means some employees who were sitting home for more than a year are going to undergo major changes, like commuting and spending less time with their families. Some people won’t adapt well and it may take a month or two to re-engage, so patience but accountability should play a role. During the pandemic, many shop owners and managers decided to push employee communication to the sidelines. The idea was they should not focus on engagement, saying “We can’t ask our managers, techs, estimators and painters to do one more thing!” Stressed out employees were on their own and forced to navigate it all solo. Some quit and many were laid off, and even a few took early retirement or sold their shops to an MSO.

vating your crew and strengthening them more important than ever, here are some methods to help you retain your best employees. The pandemic caused body shop owners and managers to centralize decision-making to be more efficient, pulling it into the leadership team without feedback from key stakeholders, like top technicians or the head painter. This was essential during the pandemic, but this will need to change to ensure long-term effectiveness and continued employee engagement. One of the smartest ways to do this is to start inviting employees outside the leadership team and closer to the rest of the crew to participate in the decision-making process. Some body shop owners said communication improved tremendously during the pandemic because it became mandatory. “People were no longer in the same room, so imparting communication changed,” one owner said. “We became a Zoom culture, and in many cases,

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So now is the ideal time to reconnect with your top talent if you want to retain them. Post-COVID, your disengaged employees will start looking for a better deal elsewhere. Will the return to normal tempt your best people to pursue other options? The best thing to do is to step up employee engagement and keep everyone in the fold. Turnover can seriously impede a body shop, and poaching can spread quickly. Joe Technician is happy at his new shop and the word is out they’re looking for more people, so a strong bond with your employees is more important now than ever. Focus on retaining your female employees, because they are the most likely to switch or quit altogether. According to NPR, 865,000 women left the U.S. workforce— four times more than men—in just September last year. “The coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc on households, and women are bearing the brunt of it,” the NPR study said. “Not only have they lost the most jobs from the beginning of the pandemic, but they are exhaust-

ed from the demands of childcare and housework—and many are now seeing no path ahead but to quit working. Keep Millennials in your discussions. They’re focused on things such as diversity and inclusion, so keep them in the loop. The worst thing is to have them feeling like they’re not being heard. Let them play a role and watch them excel as people and leaders. To accommodate your younger crew members, keep your meetings short and sweet and create mechanisms to enable them to contribute. It’s a whole new game out there and those shops that can adapt will succeed, while others might encounter a never-ending carousel of new and returning employees. The pandemic changed the rules, but many principles of employee communication are still the same. Try to keep stress levels low, keep your eyes open for changes within your team and proceed carefully, and you will be able to retain your people and avoid the pitfalls of the Great Resignation. www.autobodynews.com

Kia Recalls 258,000 Optimas Following Injury Lawsuit by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

A Kia Optima recall has been announced for 2012-2013 Optimas with right and left headliner plates that may detach when the side curtain airbags deploy. Kia said the fault is found in how the headliner plates are secured in 258,000 cars, placing occupants in danger of being hit by the plates. The Kia Optima headliner plates are used for the energy absorbing structure of the headliner, but a lawsuit let Kia know there may be problems. The legal department learned of a product liability lawsuit alleging a metal bracket injured a driver during the deployment of the side curtain airbag in a 2012 Kia Optima equipped with a panoramic sunroof. Kia engineers inspected the Optima and determined the driver’s side headliner plate may have detached from headliner during deployment of the side curtain airbag. The automaker opened an investigation and learned 2011-2015

Optimas manufactured in Korea have a different supplier and different adhesive application process to the headliner plates compared to Optimas manufactured at a Kia plant in Georgia.

The one known case occurred in the Optima built at Kia Georgia, and Kia is unaware of any other incidents. Kia dealers will add an industrial-grade adhesive tape over the left and right headliner plates to further secure the plates to the headliner. Kia Optima recall letters will be mailed Sept. 26. Owners of 2012-2013 Kia Optimas may call 800-333-4542 and refer to recall number SC245.

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Parts Hours: Mon 8-7 Tue-Fri 8-6 Sat 8-5 autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 39


Guest Columnist with Cole Strandberg

Cole Strandberg is a principal with FOCUS Investment Banking, specializing in automotive aftermarket mergers and acquisitions. Cole works closely with automotive equipment providers, paint jobbers and collision centers. For more information, contact him at cole.strandberg@focusbankers.com or (561) 400-1015

Build Your Collision Repair Business with a Buyer in Mind Most entrepreneurs start a business based on one or two of many potential reasons—it could be to exploit a unique skillset or access to talent, pursue a passion or simply meet a need otherwise not being met in the marketplace. Most times, though, new entrepreneurs start businesses with the beginning in mind, but not the end, building a business that meets their immediate personal needs without giving much thought to the long term. As a result, many business owners fall into the trap of limiting their business’s growth, and subsequent options for the long term, based on short-term-minded decisions. By contrast, many of the most successful people in the collision repair space have started their businesses with one goal in mind: to sell it. How can you build your business by thinking like a seller? First, let’s discuss what buyers are looking for, and work our way backward. What do buyers want? Footprint and layout: As you might expect, the more space you have, the better. While each potential consolidator’s footprint desires vary, a safe sweet spot is 10,000 square feet of shop space or larger, though not a hard and fast requirement. Additionally, parking and storage is equally important. If you fall short of that square footage, don’t fret. Maximize the space you have. Maximizing shop space via a well-thought-out equipment layout and shop flow allows for more revenue per square foot. If you’re just building a new location, or considering upfitting an existing location, reach out to one of the quality paint booth manufacturers, most of whom will offer a no-charge design consultation. Revenue: You want to maximize your space because consolidators care about revenue, plain and simple. While most businesses I work with are valued based on a multiple of adjusted EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, de-

preciation and amortization, the collision repair industry places significant importance on revenue as well. This is because, for the most part, if a consolidator can generate a certain amount of revenue within a footprint, they believe they can make that revenue profitable. Again, while there is no hard and fast rule on revenue requirements for consolidators, $2 million in annual revenue seems to be an entry point, with $5 million being a common sweet spot. Anything over that, and you should have some compelling regional and national interest when you eventually go to market. It’s important to note purchase price as a percentage of revenue typically goes up as revenue goes up, just as EBITDA multiples increase when EBITDA increases. Obviously, becoming a small multi-shop owner with two, three or more shops can help that revenue scale more quickly, and make you even more desirable to a potential acquirer. Valuation multiples vary significantly based on a multitude of factors, so if you’d like to discuss situation-specific valuations, feel free to reach out to me directly. Community and relationships: While there is no quantifiable value placed on your shop being a pillar within its community, it certainly doesn’t hurt. Many consolidators are very charitable, so a culture of giving in your shop will make it more attractive. Not to mention, local relationships with the customer base, direct repair programs (DRPs) and dealers will only serve to add value to your business. It never hurts to do good things within your community. Talent: As you likely know firsthand, there’s a theme in the collision industry as it relates to constant challenges: talent—much less good talent—is hard to come by. This is evidenced by some of the largest consolidators in the country investing millions in training programs, incentivizing—aggressively, I might add—experienced techni-

40 SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

cians to train apprentices, and more. This industry puts a premium on talent. Therefore, if you have a lot of talent within your organization, it will help your business get a premium valuation. Validate this by having I-CAR certifications, both at the shop and technician level, as well as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) certifications. So how do you build like a seller? In terms of working your way backward, determine what you want your eventual exit value to be. Once that’s determined, you’ll know what you must do in order to get there. The focus, ultimately, is on scalability and avoiding roadblocks to achieving that scale, such as limited space and poor shop flow. While you might not be a seller today, tomorrow or even five years from now, everyone is in business to make money. Modeling your busi-

ness after some of the best operations in the industry is a good thing. Chances are, building your business by regularly taking a step back and looking at it through the lens of a potential buyer will pay off in both the short and long term. Cole Strandberg is a principal with FOCUS Investment Banking, specializing in automotive aftermarket mergers and acquisitions. Cole works closely with automotive equipment providers, paint jobbers and collision centers. For more information, contact him at cole. strandberg@focusbankers.com or (561) 400-1015.

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OEM Roundtable Working to Improve Quality of Collision Repair by Stacey Phillips

Twenty-five years ago, many auto manufacturers found they were experiencing similar non-competitive issues in the industry. George Gilbert from Ford and Rick Sherwood from Campbell & Co. suggested meeting to discuss these issues. The following year, six exploratory meetings were held with numerous OEMs to find out if it would be helpful to form a more formal group and convene regularly. In 1999, the OEM Roundtable was formed. Since then, the group has held quarterly meetings alongside the Collision Industry Conference (CIC). During the April 2022 CIC meeting in Oklahoma City, OK, representatives from the OEM Roundtable shared some of the history and guiding principles of the group. They included Mark Allen, collision programs and workshop equipment specialist at Audi of America; Dan Ducharme, wholesale parts senior manager for Volkswagen of America; and Devin Wilcox, collision certification manager at Subaru of America. Currently, 13 major member companies are involved in the OEM Roundtable, including Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Stellantis, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. Many of the representatives are active participants in industry organizations and committees as well as events and panel discussions. Ducharme is the 2022 president of the OEM Roundtable. Prior leaders include: • 2013–2014: Paul Massie, Ford • 2015–2016: Gary Ledoux, Honda • 2017–2019: John Eck, General Motors • 2020–2021: Rossana Alvarez, Honda • 2021: Mark Zoba, Nissan The group’s mission is to continuously improve the quality of collision repair available to vehicle owners. Allen talked about some of the OEM Roundtable’s frequent topics of discussion, which have included improving access to and use of repair procedures independently devel-

oped by some auto manufacturers, bringing awareness to the technician shortage, addressing challenges faced by repairers and parts sellers, as well as researching new industry programs and technologies.

prove. * Open discussion among those involved in the collision repair process and reliable sources of collision repair data are paramount if the quality of collision repair is to continu-

In addition, the group discusses industry programs and legislative and legal updates. Allen said the OEM Roundtable operates under strict anti-trust guidelines. “We want to help the participants in our programs do better,” said Allen. “By offering support, we hope to build better success quicker for shops.” Wilcox said some of the guest presenters at the quarterly meetings may include information providers, industry associations, training organizations, service and equipment providers, MSOs, dealers and shop owners, and insurers. “We’re always open-minded to meeting and discussing what programs and offerings could be beneficial to us as a network and an industry,” he said. The group adheres to three guiding principles:

ously improve.

* The interests of all parties involved in the collision repair process are best protected when vehicle owners are allowed to make informed decisions regarding collision repairs to their vehicles. * Active participation by all parties in the collision repair process is necessary if the quality of collision repair available to vehicle owners is to continuously im-

42 SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

To support these principles, Allen said OEMs constantly enhance the

availability and functionality of repair information developed by each of them. “The information is there to document the file and repair the car the right way,” he said. “Some of us include what the equipment is that the repair procedures were developed with to get the achievable outcome of repairing the car.” The OEM Roundtable and its member companies are involved in the industry in many ways. This includes financial support and engagement with numerous organizations, such as the Automotive Service Association (ASA), Collision Industry Conference (CIC), Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA), Collision Industry Conference (CIF), Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR), National Auto Body Council (NABC), Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and Women’s Industry Network (WIN). “We want to be available for the

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industry at these conferences and be accessible,” said Wilcox. In 2008, the roundtable launched the www.OEM1Stop.com website to respond to the industry’s request for easier access to OEM repair procedures and information. Auto manufacturer position statements were added in 2016. By 2021, there were more than 300,000 total visits to the website and more than 120,000 unique visitors that year alone. “The number of visits has jumped over 300% since 2016,” said Wilcox. “Many body shops are referencing the site now on a regular basis.” Another resource available is www.CrashRepairInfo.com, launched in 2014. This website provides direct outreach to customers and guides vehicle owners through the collision repair process with a focus on proper repairs. Ducharme explained individual OEMs work internally with their engineers to determine what needs to be done pre- and post-collision to streamline repair procedures. At the same time, the group is increasing

engagement with body shops and insurance partners. “We want to make sure everyone has the knowledge and the ability to keep up with all the latest advanced technologies that, as manufacturers, we’re putting into these vehicles,” said Ducharme. “We’re trying to get feedback from all segments so we can make informed decisions and provide a great experience to our mutual customers.” Looking ahead, the OEM Roundtable hopes to help the industry move forward by increasing collaboration and transparency among all industry segments, providing greater use of tools and continuing to learn from all stakeholders. “As OEMs, we are here to support the industry and make sure vehicles are being taken care of and repaired properly,” said Wilcox. “We’re always looking to make it better,” said Allen. “Let’s become professional and agree that we are going to take a look at these repair procedures, have the conversations with customers and insurance partners, and get the car repaired the right way.”

Appeals Court Rejects GM’s Attempt to Overturn FCA Racketeering Lawsuit Ruling by Brad Anderson, CarScoops

An appeals court in the U.S. has upheld a 2020 ruling tossing out the racketeering lawsuit that General Motors filed against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. General Motors filed the racketeering lawsuit against FCA in November 2019. It claimed its rival had bribed United Auto Workers (UAW) union officials to corrupt labor talks to its advantage. GM claimed this cost it billions of dollars.

While GM has long believed it had a strong case, a federal judge in mid-2020 ordered General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Fiat

Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley to meet and resolve the lawsuit. The judge noted there were more urgent issues facing the U.S. and the lawsuit was a “waste of time and resources.” GM tried multiple times to have the lawsuit reinstated but earlier in August, the three-judge panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the attempt, Auto News reported. “Even accepting GM’s theory as true, the chain of causation between FCA’s bribes and GM’s injury is still too attenuated,” the three-judge panel said in its ruling. The lawsuit alleged FCA corrupted the contract bargaining process between GM and the UAW in an attempt to force a merger between the two car manufacturers. The lawsuit claimed late FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne was responsible for conceiving, executing and sponsoring the wrongdoing. FCA had long called the lawsuit “meritless” and said GM’s recently amended complaint was “full of preposterous allegations.”

The Gas Price Limbo: How Low Will It Go? by Andrew Gross, AAA

The national average for a gallon of regular gas fell 10 cents in the previous week to $3.95 as of Aug. 15, due primarily to stable oil prices and fewer drivers than usual fueling up. “Falling pump prices may eventually lead to more drivers hitting the road again,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “But that hasn’t happened yet. Instead, many drivers are waiting for prices to fall further before reverting to their typical driving habits.” AAA found drivers are making significant changes to cope with high pump prices. In a recent survey, almost two-thirds of U.S. adults have changed their driving habits or lifestyle since March. Drivers’ top two changes to offset high gas prices are driving less and combining errands. According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand rose from 8.54 million b/d to 9.12 million b/d. However, the rate is 307,000

b/d lower than last year. Also, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 5 million bbl to 220.3 million bbl. Although gasoline demand has risen and supplies have tightened, easing oil prices have helped lower pump prices. If oil prices edge lower, drivers will likely see falling pump prices. The Aug. 15 national average of $3.95 is 62 cents less than a month ago, but 77 cents more than a year ago. The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases: Maine (-19 cents), Colorado (-18 cents), West Virginia (-16 cents), Arizona (-15 cents), Illinois (-15 cents), New Mexico (-14 cents), Florida (-13 cents), Nebraska (-13 cents), Arkansas (-13 cents) and Kansas (-13 cents). The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Texas ($3.45), Arkansas ($3.47), Tennessee ($3.50), Oklahoma ($3.50), South Carolina ($3.50), Georgia ($3.51), Mississippi ($3.52), Kansas ($3.53), Missouri ($3.53) and Alabama ($3.54). Source: AAA

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Forward-Thinking Program Creating Great Auto Body Techs of the Future by Ed Attanasio

In the summer of 2019, Southeastern Community College (SCC) in West Burlington, IA, hired Dr. Ashlee Spannagel as its new dean of career and technical education (CTE) and workforce development. Spannagel entered the job excited and ready to take on the world— and then the pandemic hit. It’s been a “work around” project ever since, but she hasn’t been dissuaded one iota, taking the position and making it her own as the school’s collision repair department benefits in many ways. Spannagel came to SCC after working in education for nine years. One of the first things she did was to

collision repair department. Can you tell us about that?

A:

We receive an annual allocation of funding that is called ACE (Accelerated Career Education) funding. The whole purpose of that money is to reinvest in infrastructure, so that we can provide more classes and accommodate more students. One of the things that we chose to do with the money was to remodel our auto collision facilities, and it has worked out very well. We are confident that this will lead to more enrollment down the road, which is obviously the goal. It shows that we are open and committed to collision repair and ready to pivot if needed.

Q:

It’s a huge job and a big school, so how are you able to do it all?

A:

Dr. Ashlee Spannagel is the dean of career and technical education (CTE) and workforce development at Southeastern Community College in West Burlington, IA

build relationships with established area educators, industry leaders and workforce and economic development partners to continue building opportunities for students. This included local body shops, car dealerships, vendors and companies that manufacture collision repair-related products, tools and equipment. Spannagel stays busy as she oversees the school’s entire CTE division and works closely with faculty and area employers to ensure SCC provides top-notch, industry-level education to its students. Her role within SCC’s auto and collision repair programs is only one small part of everything she does at this forward-thinking institution.

Q:

While other CTE programs in the country have stepped back during the pandemic, you have stepped up in many ways for your

Yes, I am responsible for 47 certificate, diploma and degree programs, and collision is just one them. I’ve been involved in technical education and post-secondary education 13 years now. The technology in the collision repair industry changes so rapidly that we can’t possibly keep up with the changes that are occurring. We need to do our best to keep pace with what’s going on, and then bring in other learning opportunities to help students to be up to date. We have been working very hard to align with industry-recognized credentials and what our local shops need in our graduates, so we rewrote the curriculum and pursued ASE accred-

program with far more credentials than they would have been qualified to earn previously.

Q:

How can you stay current in an industry that is changing at a rapid rate?

A:

I personally think our collision instructors are excited that the students are highly interested about technology. Our students have grown up with technology. They are technology natives. So anytime we can include those hightech pieces—either tools, equipment or concepts that the students are likely to engage with—that is ideal. We want to enable the body technician of tomorrow to be adept at using technology and that’s one of our main goals here at SCC.

Q:

How do you find, hire and maybe most importantly retain good instructors?

A:

My biggest concern now is that we have a lot of staff on

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Repairify’s New Partnership with ATG Will Provide Industry with Advanced Diagnostic Training by Stacey Phillips

With the growing need for collision repair technicians to understand the mechanical components of vehicles, Repairify is taking steps to equip them with the skills they need to repair vehicles properly. In July, Repairify announced it acquired the Automotive Training Group (ATG) to create and offer advanced diagnostic training for the industry focused on both mechanical and collision repair. “Their content and workbooks are the best in the industry,” said Chris Chesney, Repairify’s vice president of training and organizational development. “I’m really looking forward to bringing them on board and integrating them into what we do.” Founded in 2004, ATG offers live and virtual technical training worldwide. Chesney has a long history of working with the ATG team over his career and has great respect for the company and team of instructors for presenting excellent information in an understandable and interesting format. As a result of their new partnership, Repairify will support ATG in such a way that they can produce and deliver meaningful content to a wider audience. This includes offering classes that focus on scanning and calibration, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and electric vehicles, as well as vehicle data networks. “Part of that network might have been damaged or had corrosion or resistance in connectors or whatever that are not a part of the of the collision but affect the overall results or capabilities of that one network,” said Chesney. “It’s important for [technicans] to know how to triage those and validate that they’re actually working as designed.” Working in this field for the majority of his career, Chesney understands the importance of connecting with technicians so they have a full picture of what needs to be done to be successful on the shop floor. He has worked as a shop owner, service advisor, trainer, training manager and training program owner. All these roles have focused on the me-

chanical side of the business. In 2002, Chesney moved to Raleigh, NC, to build out an automotive training team. When he left that organization in 2021, it was hosting 150,000 active learners who were taking self-paced online courses or participating in the 3,000 to 4,000 in-person or live virtual classroom events held each year. About three months after Chesney’s retirement, Cris Hollingsworth, president of Repairify, asked him to join the company in 2021 to head up its training arm. Most of Repairify’s training is currently targeted to internal trainers and technicians and is offered both virtually and in-person. The company also offers product-oriented training to customers in a virtual setting. “Up until now, the primary focus has been to rightsize and enable the internal training team so that our own people can be best prepared to serve our customers in their remote services that that we have made tremendous headway with,” he explained. Future training will be presented in what Chesney refers to as an adaptive learning model in which online course materials are customized to the learner for an experience not available in a traditional classroom setting. “Imagine the instructor of a virtual classroom knowing the skills gap of every student on the call,” said Chesney. This will allow instructors to better focus content during the lessons and interact with students. He said Repairify will be working with I-CAR to align ATG content with I-CAR standards to count toward accreditation. Training will be developed with a diagnostic approach, combining OEM support information with real-world technician experience using actual case studies where possible. What sets ATG apart from other training, according to Chesney, is the company’s specialization in OEM repair information and its approach to learning. “What ATG does is take that factory information and dissect it,”

48 SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

explained Chesney. “When it’s a competency around a standard that’s used by all brands, then they level the terms and the diagnostic approach so that it’s brand agnostic.” An important aspect of the training will include learning how to find OEM service information. “The big myth in the industry is the belief that OEM service information is hard to get a hold of,” said Chesney. He stressed the importance of checking the repair information on every vehicle. “In the case of things like ADAS, it changes daily and you need to go look at it for every repair or calibration,” recommended Chesney. “Otherwise, it can catch you by surprise and get you in trouble.” Repairify’s ultimate goal is to help prepare technicians to repair future vehicles and present information in a way they will understand. “We look forward to enabling technicians with skills and technology so that what happens in the class-

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Mike’s Auto Body Gave Away 100 Cars in 21 Years, Changing Countless Lives by Ed Attanasio

When Crash Champions announced it was acquiring Mike’s Auto Body (MAB) in June, many people throughout the Bay Area thought about MAB’s nationally acclaimed Benevolence Program. It became part of the brand at Mike’s Auto Body as the company and its owners, the Rose family, gave away exactly 100 vehicles to deserving families, individuals and nonprofit organizations over the past 21 years. The goal has always been to give people a hand up as opposed to a handout with the gift of transportation, and the MSO achieved that mission with every vehicle it presented to a deserving recipient. In 2001, Mike’s Auto Body began giving refurbished cars to people in need. The very first recipient was a single mom with two children. Reporter Wayne Freedman from Channel 7 ABC News reported on the presentation and broadcast the story on the evening news. It quickly became an annual tradition, as Freedman and his news team reported on every presentation throughout the years during the holiday season, along with more and more media that flocked to the feel good story. Over the years, Mike’s Auto Body got more people involved in its Benevolence Program, including vendors, technicians, car rental companies and insurance partners. The vendors donated products and their services, the technicians at Mike’s Auto Body donated their time and skills, and the insurance and car rental companies donated the vehicles. The vehicles donated were considered totaled, but by refurbishing them and returning them to their pre-accident condition, they looked brand new. Mike’s Auto Body made its first presentations from 2001 through 2006 at its Concord, CA, location, with a one-year exception in Brentwood, CA. Since then, it has held car presentations at some of its shops in the East Bay, as well as at other locations, including in conjunction with the U.S Coast Guard’s CPOA in Alameda, CA, on the pier in front

of the USS Hornet Museum. The Benevolence Program director at Mike’s Auto Body is Sal Contreras, who has been involved with every car presentation since the program’s inception and is considered the Benevolence Ambassador. “We always say that at Mike’s, we are providing ‘a gift of charity wrapped in dignity,’” Contreras said. “These deserving people are

Over the years, Mike’s Auto Body got more and more people involved in its Benevolence Program, including vendors, technicians and insurance partners. Sal Contreras, Benevolence Ambassador, is pictured far right

working towards making a better life for their families; all they need is reliable transportation to make it happen. “Early on, Mike [Rose] said he wished he could give 100 cars to families; well, we achieved Mike’s dream in December of 2021,” Contreras said. “We presented the 100th car to a single mom who had been struggling to raise her family without a car. The Benevolence Program came full circle, as our first recipient was a single mom raising her family.” The Rose family made the Benevolence Program part of their lives, and it was quickly ingrained into their DNA. “We feel very fortunate to be involved with such a wonderful program and are very excited to be able to give back to the area communities that have supported us for the past 50 years,” owner Mike Rose said. “After receiving hundreds of applications over the years and reading the heartbreaking stories, we only wish that we could do more. But hopefully, with increased publicity of our Benevolence Program, other shops will adopt a similar program of their own.” “As a family-founded company, we have always prioritized philan-

50 SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

thropic initiatives, in particular those that most impact our neighbors and the community organizations they rely on,” said Brennan Rose, CEO of Mike’s Auto Body. “To this end, we could not be prouder to celebrate our 100th vehicle donation as part of our Benevolence Program. For more than two decades, this program has been a staple of our charitable giving, and as we transition under the Crash Champions name and banner, we look forward to finding new and creative ways to give back to the communities where we operate.” CFO Ragen Ortland-Rose was a major force behind MAB’s Benevolence Program. “We never imagined that the program would grow as it did,” she said. “Our people and the community rallied around it, as the power of giving grew exponentially. We’ve always stressed quality in everything we do, and the program illustrates that. We enabled so many worthy people to improve their lives, and that’s why it gained so much momentum.

“Other body shops reached out to us and started their own programs, so the giving spread, and today our program will live through other shops all over the country,” Ortland-Rose continued. “We know that Crash Champions will continue our legacy in some form because they share our passion for helping others. My father and my mother stressed that this is important, and that’s why we did it every year for 21 years. “When we gave away our 100th vehicle, we did not realize that it would be the last within our program, but now it is fitting and a number that all of us can easily remember!” Ortland-Rose concluded. “Thanks to everyone involved, including employees, insurance partners, vendors and the nonprofit organizations that helped us find worthy recipients over the years.”

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Continued from Page 36

Gerber Collision CEO

Collision Repair Association Conducting Study of Blend Time Formula by John Yoswick

he said Gerber is “pursuing pretty aggressively” is improving the “diversity of our industry,” working to attract more women, Black or Asian Americans and other minority groups. “We’re doing a lot to create an inclusive environment that will allow us to successfully recruit people who don’t look like me, and build our workforce with greater diversity,” O’Day said. “Because if we go after the same group that we’ve always been targeting, we’re never going to solve the problem, and we’re not going to be as good of a company. So we have a very strong commitment to improving diversity.”

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The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has provided a few more details about its study beginning in August into the accuracy of the blend time formula commonly used in the industry.

Aaron Schulenburg of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists said shops have long challenged the accuracy of the estimating systems’ blending formula

Speaking at the association’s open board meeting in late July in Pittsburgh, Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg noted the three estimating system providers each

establish its own refinish labor allowance for any given panel. “The refinish time for a fender in Audatex will look different than the refinish time for that fender in CCC, which will look different from the refinish time in Mitchell,” Schulenburg said. “Which is fine, they’ve each done their own research on it. All three companies identify 50% as a blend value; despite the fact that they don’t have the same refinish values, all identify blend time as 50%. “Our members have long challenged that,” Schulenburg said. “We don’t believe 50% is reflective of what we’re actually doing, because there are a lot of tasks associated with [blending] outside of just the application of the base coat, which, for a large part, is the task that is being adjusted.” Schulenburg said given the lack of “positive movement” SCRS has seen on the issue based on its long-standing discussion with the estimating system providers, the association is working with the five primary refinish companies on a study taking place at Global Finish-

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ing Solutions’ Center of Excellence facility in Wisconsin. “We will actually be using a systematic approach where we do complete refinish on doors, fenders and hoods, and then blend on doors, fenders and hoods, to evaluate the delta between the full refinish task and the blend tasks,” Schulenburg said. “We’re not doing a refinish time study. Our goal is not to establish a refinish time on those panels. We will just be evaluating what percentage of the full refinish value blend represents.” He said the study will use panels for a high-volume Ford truck, waterborne products used in all U.S. markets, and color codes that represent a solid, a metallic and a tri-coat. “This has been an issue for a long time,” Schulenburg said. “We hope to put a punctuation mark on this one.”

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Ohio Groups, Lawmakers Praise CHIPS Act Passed to Boost Intel Investment by J.D. Davidson, The Center Square

The lack of federal subsidies Intel said was holding up its planned $20 billion chip plant in suburban Columbus, OH, cleared the U.S. Senate on July 27. It was signed into lay by President Joe Biden on Aug. 9. The CHIPS Act, which passed the Senate 64-33, will provide $52 billion to U.S. semiconductor manufacturers to help build plants to make microchips. After announcing in January plans to build and create 3,000 jobs at a microchip facility in Ohio, Intel pulled back over the summer, canceling its July 22 groundbreaking while the federal money remained in limbo. “Today’s passage of the CHIPS Act is critical in the effort to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to the United States, protect our national security and create thousands of high-paying jobs in Ohio,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-OH. “I was proud to help lead efforts in the Senate to pass this legislation and ensure that Intel’s planned semi-

in a CNBC interview that language was inserted into the bill he believes can avoid China concerns. “We did insert some language that I supported on the so-called guardrails to avoid just what you had talked about. I think that’s important. China is very interested, as you know, in investing a lot of money in chips and providing huge incentives, far more than what we are talking about in the CHIPS legislation here, and so are other countries, by the way, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan of course,” Portman said in the interview. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in January an additional An artist rendering of Intel’s planned $20 billion chip 7,000 construction jobs manufacturing plant expected to be built in central could come from the project Ohio. Credit: JobsOhio that is expected to add $2.8 billion to the state’s annual Opponents argued the bill gross project. Ohio committed nearly $2 serves as both $250 billion in taxpayer subsidies to multi-billion- billion in incentives and tax breaks dollar companies and would to Intel. “The best thing this does— subsidize construction of factories with the CHIPS Act—is to make in China. Portman, though, said July 26 sure these jobs are brought home,” conductor plant in central Ohio remains on track and reaches its full potential. Intel’s announced investment is already the largest in Ohio’s history and the company has indicated that with this CHIPS legislation its record investment will grow even larger over time.”

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Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said in a Twitter video statement. Business and manufacturing groups throughout the state praised the Senate passage. “Ohio’s economy stands to benefit even more from the transformational nature of Intel’s investment in semiconductor manufacturing in our state thanks to the CHIPS Act, which will bolster American manufacturing and national security,” said Steve Stivers, president and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association called passage and Intel’s planned investment a unique opportunity for the state and country. “Right now, our country has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to strengthen U.S. manufacturing and ensure it consistently competes and wins on the world stage,” said Ryan Augsburger, president of the OMA. “Just as it has since its earliest days, Ohio will play a key role in the next chapter of American innovation. It is time to finally enact this game-changing investment.”

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FOR YOUR COLLISION JOB. autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 53


Technician/Painter Recovering from Severe Burns Recognized During 11th Annual CIF Gala by Stacey Phillips

Members of the collision industry gathered at the 11th Annual Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) Gala in Pittsburgh, PA, on July 20 to show their support for Bryan Miller, an Ohio-based technician and painter recovering from severe burns he suffered from an in-shop fire in September 2021. The fundraising event, held at the Howl at the Moon restaurant, was the first time CIF has hosted its annual gala since the pandemic. The nonprofit organization is committed to assisting those working in the collision repair industry through crises and tragedies. “I’m happy to report we had record attendance,” said Petra Schroeder, “Collisionista” and secretary of CIF. “About 163 individuals from all segments of the industry were present, of which 41.7% were firsttime attendees.” Earlier in the year, CIF put out a call to the industry at large for the first time looking for volunteers interested in joining the organization’s committees. The following individuals became part of the gala volunteer committee: Tracy Darrington, Enterprise; Matt HamerContinued from Page 46

Techs of the Future your collision repair department?

A:

Within the past 18 months, we have been working on bolstering the relationships we have with our local body shops. We have a lot of body shops in our service area that are actually owned and operated by former students of the program. We also have a couple dealership repair centers in our area, and we have been able to partner with them as well. I realized we had an opportunity to strengthen our program when six local businesses approached me questioning the skills they were seeing in our students who had entered the workforce. So, I personally built relationships with these companies,

ling, Enterprise; Paul Hill, I-CAR; Tom Julius, Car-Part.com; Stacey LaViola; Cherlyn Schultz, Enterprise; Scott Stiber, Enterprise; Ann Swayka, AirPro Diagnostics; and John Webb, TenPointComplete. “I want to give a big shout-out to those gala committee volunteers,” said Schroeder. “What they did to

CIF Trustee Jim Ocampo presented Bryan Miller with a $15,000 check. Pictured, left to right, are CIF President Michael Quinn, of AirPro Diagnostics; Jim Ocampo, Axalta; Bryan Miller and Kassi Nellett

help us was incredibly valuable and their support was outstanding.” Schroeder said the assistance from the volunteers was instrumental in preparing the gala to help Miller and raise money for others in the industry who might need assistance in the future. “The event provided the opportunity to bring industry individuals and their managers have partnered with us in the work we have done to strengthen our program. We have worked to bolster our relationships with local body shops. The shops have been very receptive, very helpful and very engaged. We also work with vendors like PPG that come and do special paint classes for our students. This is just one great example of the learning opportunities we provide our students. In addition, we did just receive ASE accreditation that we have been working on for the past 18 months.

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together as well as the opportunity for additional fundraising through event ticket sales, raffles and silent auctions,” said CIF President Michael Quinn, president of AirPro Diagnostics. “At the gala, we were able to bring one of our most recent recipients of CIF support, Bryan Miller, to meet with and thank in person many individuals from organizations who provided direct support to him.” During the event, CIF Trustee Jim Ocampo, strategic accounts sales manager at Axalta Coating Systems, presented Miller with a $15,000 check. Approximately 40% of the amount was donated by the industry to a campaign specifically to help Miller, and CIF contributed the remainder. Miller began working in the auto industry in 2016 and has spent time since then as a collision technician/painter. Last September, he was working on a motorcycle at the shop he was employed at, and a fire broke out. When Miller’s body caught on fire, he was trapped in his work area

before escaping out of a window. He was transported to a hospital by helicopter. Although he survived, Miller had third-degree burns covering most of his body and multiple surgeries and skin grafts. He said he lives in constant pain and expects it will take at least a year to regain full mobility. Miller, his fiancé, Kassi Nellett, and his cousin, Steve Legg, attended the gala to show their appreciation for the assistance provided by CIF and the industry to help him recover from his injuries and get back to work. “I want to go back to work right now! It’s my passion; I feel blessed to have found a career that’s given me a sense of pride to be able to tell people what I do for a living. I just love everything about my job,” said Miller in an article written by Joel Gausten. For more information about CIF, visit www.collisionindustryfoundation .org.

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autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 55


Lemonade to Use Mitchell’s Claim Solutions for Newest Product by Stacey Phillips

Mitchell, an Enlyte company, recently announced Lemonade, the insurance company powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and social impact, has chosen Mitchell’s claims management platform for the insurer’s newest product, Lemonade Car. The company will use Mitchell’s claims workflow, automation

and total loss solutions to help streamline and optimize claims handling. “At Lemonade, we’ve set out to make the most lovable car insurance available, and part of that is creating the best experience possible,” said a Lemonade spokesperson. “By collaborating with Mitchell and using the company’s comprehensive

claims management technology, we’re able to build efficiencies into our product to make it as seamless and easy for our customers to file a claim following an accident, as well as share necessary information with third-parties including auto body shops and medical facilities.” “We’re extremely proud that Lemonade—a top-rated insurer with a focus on fast, efficient claims resolution—has selected our technology to support their entry into the U.S. auto insurance market,” said Jack Rozint, senior vice president, repair sales, Mitchell Auto Physical Damage division. “Their decision to do so validates Mitchell’s leadership position in claims processing technology.” “We’re honored to support Lemonade,” said Debbie Day, executive vice president and general manager of Mitchell’s Auto Physical Damage division. “At Mitchell, we continue to invest in the development of innovative, cloud-based solutions that are designed to allow our customers to work more effi-

ciently while meeting consumer expectations for an automated, digital claims experience. Our auto physical damage and casualty solutions help carriers like Lemonade scale quickly as they bring best-in-class offerings to market.” Launched in November 2021, Lemonade Car uses telematics to measure how much and how safe people drive. It provides 24/7 on-location roadside assistance, re-

al-time crash detection and dispatch of emergency services, and offers perks for safe and environmentally conscious customers. These include discounts for low-mileage drivers and those who own electric and hybrid vehicles. After being introduced in Illinois and then expanding to Tennessee and Ohio, plans are in place to

continue rolling out Lemonade Car across the country. Mitchell, a leading technology and information provider for the property & casualty (P&C) claims and collision repair industries, will support Lemonade in delivering an efficient, digital claims experience for consumers purchasing auto policies. Lemonade is a full-stack insurance carrier built to provide the best, most delightful and most transparent insurance experience in the world, according to a company spokesperson. A Certified B-Corp, Lemonade gives unused premiums to nonprofits selected by its community, during its annual Giveback campaign. Rozint explained Mitchell’s solutions provide Lemonade with the technology needed to streamline key steps in the claims process, including loss reporting and damage appraisal. “Mitchell is committed to helping our customers—both automotive insurers and collision repairers— simplify and accelerate claims man-

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agement,” said Rozint. “Lemonade presented an excellent opportunity to apply our industry-leading solutions with a partner that is poised for rapid growth.” Through the collaboration, Rozint said Mitchell can assist the insurer with settling claims seamlessly while delivering an exceptional customer experience. “The integration of Mitchell’s solutions with Lemonade’s existing technology stack will support an automated, digital claims process— from first notice of loss (FNOL) to settlement,” he said. Lemonade is also leveraging Mitchell’s auto casualty injury claims processing solutions to automate both first-party auto and third-party liability claims. “Automating these functions is intended to align with the insurer’s goal for Lemonade Car: to use technology to handle emergencies and settle claims seamlessly, providing the best possible experience for customers,” according to a press release. “Lemonade is advancing the auto insurance market with sophisticated technology and Mitchell,

being an auto casualty technology leader, is happy to support those goals with our specialized casualty technology and service solutions,” said Norman Tyrrell, vice president of product management, Mitchell Casualty Solutions Group. “Lemonade will be leveraging Mitchell’s DecisionPoint Medical Bill Processing software as well as a number of our Technology Enabled Solutions.” Several years ago, Mitchell decided to rebuild its core platform around key concepts that included an open, cloud-based architecture, and support for proper and safe repairs. “With each new customer, we believe that the market is validating this direction,” said Rozint. For more information about Lemonade Car, visit www.lemonade.com/ car. For property casualty and collision repair updates and perspectives, follow Mitchell on Twitter @MitchellClaims and @MitchellRepair.

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Rivian Amazon Vans Delivered 430K-Plus Packages During Pilot Program by Maria Merano, Teslarati

Rivian reported delivering more than 430,000 Amazon packages with its Electric Delivery Van (EDV) during the vehicles’ pilot deployments, which rolled out in July. In July, Amazon announced Rivian EDVs would be deployed in locations across the U.S., including Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle and St. Louis. Rivian and Amazon worked closely together to design the EDV vehicle. “A close development partnership with Amazon and its delivery drivers enabled us to optimize the EDV features and design for last mile delivery,” Rivian said in its Q2 Shareholders Letter. “This process included delivering more than 430,000 packages through multiple pilot deployments that began in early 2021—these pilots enabled a rapid refinement of a range of features.” Rivian explained each EDV feature, providing a reason behind each design decision. For instance, the EV automaker equipped the electric delivery van with rear roll-up doors

so it would be easier to load bulky warehouse items. Rivian’s Amazon Delivery Van also has a tall roof, so drivers can easily walk through it. Plus, Amazon EDV vehicles work with Rivian’s fleet management system, called FleetOS. The EV automaker also highlighted how closely Rivian engineers worked with Amazon employees to optimize EDV features. “To ensure optimal temperature, Rivian engineers spent time in the vans during delivery routes, which helped the development of an HVAC system optimized for driver comfort and efficiency,” noted Rivian. One Amazon delivery driver already provided his first impression of Rivian’s EDV via his YouTube channel, Friday Adventure Club. He was impressed with the EDV and listed its advantages over ICE delivery vehicles. Amazon deployed Rivian EDV 700s in July. Rivian has two other variants for its electric delivery van: the EDV 500 and the EDV 900. The EV automaker announced it started production validation for the EDV 500 in Q2 2022.

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Average Collision Repair-Related Rental in Q2 Decreases by Half a Day from Q1 The second quarter of 2022 saw the average length of rental (LOR) for collision replacement-related rentals at 17.7 days, a 4.5-day increase from the second quarter of 2021, according to a new report from Enterprise. This represents a decrease of half a day from the first quarter of 2022, when average LOR was 18.2 days. While the overall totals in 2022 are much higher than previous years, this quarter-to-quarter decrease of a half-day fits historical trending from the first quarter of the year to the second quarter. While trending seems to be reverting to historical normalcy, the results themselves continue to illustrate a “new normal.” Alaska recorded the highest LOR in Q2 2022 at 22.1 days, which is also the highest year-over-year increase (7.0). Louisiana recorded an LOR of 21.9 days; Rhode Island was third highest at 21.0 days, followed by Oklahoma (20.7) and Georgia (20.4). Eight additional states had a replacement LOR of 19 days or higher, with nine more states recording LOR of 18 days or more. The states with the lowest LOR were Hawaii (13.1), North Dakota (13.2), Iowa (13.3) and Nebraska (13.7). Hawaii also had the lowest increase from Q2 2021 at 1.2 days. Nebraska (2.5) and Iowa (2.7) were the only other states to have increases less than three full days. As noted in Q1 2022’s results, there was little regional difference in the results, confirming the increases as a national occurrence resulting from many factors, including parts availability and delays, staffing, backlogs and processes. Regarding parts, Enterprise spoke with Greg Horn, PartsTrader’s chief innovation officer, who oversees their data analytics department. “We look at the median plus two standard deviations to properly capture the impact of delivery days for all parts on the repair,” Horn said. “PartsTrader’s Q2 2022 median of 14.9 days, compared to the Q1 2022 median of 15.6 days, represents a reduction of 0.7 days, which aligns with the quarter-over-quarter LOR reduction. “New OEM parts availability is still driving many delays, but the good news is there are fewer brands showing big delays,” Horn continued. “Six

OEM brands had median (plus two standard deviations) delays of more than 20 days in Q1 of this year, while the same was true for only three OEM brands in Q2 2022. As we head in the second half of 2022, aftermarket and recycled parts supply and deliveries are returning to pre-COVID levels. Most OEMs have made significant

er increased from 1.9% in Q2 2021 to 3.5% in Q2 2022. Thefts of catalytic converters are being driven primarily by the increase in rare earth metal prices, which have only been exacerbated by the Ukraine-Russia conflict.” Drivable Claims Drivable LOR was 15.2 in the second

quarter of 2022, an increase of 3.7 days from Q2 2021’s 11.5 days. Louisiana had the highest LOR for rentals associated with drivable repairs at 19.0 days. The next highest state was Rhode Island at 18.6 days, followed by Georgia at 18.0 days. Three states had an LOR greater than 17 days. Eight more had an LOR of 16 or more days, and 13 states had an LOR of 15 days or more. North Dakota had the lowest drivable LOR at 10.1 days, followed by Hawaii (10.7), Iowa (11.2) and Nebraska (11.7). Rhode Island, Arizona, Colorado, Washington and Georgia had the largest drivable LOR increases in Q2—all being five or more days higher than Q2 2021. Hawaii had the lowest year-overyear increase, with LOR only up 0.7 days. Non-Drivable Claims Overall, LOR for rentals associated with non-drivable claims was 26.4 days, up 7.7 days from Q1 2021. In See Repair-Related Rental, Page 60

improvements as well.” John Yoswick, editor of the weekly CRASH Network newsletter, also shared information regarding parts and repair backlogs. “More than 100 of the 650 shops responding to the latest CRASH Network survey included a written comment about backlog of work,” Yoswick said. “Of these shops, more than onethird cited a similar refrain: ‘Almost every car waiting on parts. Swamped with work,’” a shop owner in San Diego said, according to Yoswick. Enterprise also spoke with Ryan Mandell, director of claims performance for Mitchell International, who offered some additional observations that reflect on LOR and cycle time. “Luxury vehicle frequency increased to 12.9% in Q2 2022 (compared to 10.3% in Q2 2021),” Mandell said. “In addition, BEV frequency increased from 0.63% of repairable claims in Q2 2021 to 0.83% in Q2 2022. BEVs on average have 1.3 days longer keys-tokeys cycle times in the U.S.” Mandell also provided another interesting analysis: “Comprehensive claims involving a catalytic convert-

58 SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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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 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 59


Continued from Page 58

Repair-Related Rental the first quarter of this year, five states had non-drivable LORs 30 days or greater for the first time. In the second quarter, that number rose to eight states: Alaska (34.7); Montana (32.9), Louisiana (32.0), Colorado (31.8), West Virginia (31.6), Oklahoma (30.9), Delaware (30.5) and Washington (30.0). Markedly, eight states had non-drivable LOR increases of 10 days or greater over last year, with Washington representing the highest increase (12.3). Fourteen states had year-over-year increases of 9.0 days or greater, and nine other states plus Washington, D.C., had increases of eight days or greater. Iowa had the lowest non-drivable LOR at 22.1 days. New York was second at 22.5, followed by Nebraska at 22.8. Massachusetts had the lowest year-over-year increase of “only” 4.2 days. Given recent trending, Enterprise broke down LOR by first-party

insureds and third-party claimants. Overall, insured replacement rental LOR was 17.1 days in Q2 2022, whereas claimant rental LOR was 18.7 days. Focusing specifically on non-drivable rentals, insured LOR was 24.1 days in Q2 2022, a six-day increase from Q2 2021. West Virginia’s insured non-drivable LOR was 28.6, followed by Delaware at 28.1. Sixteen additional states had insured non-drivable LOR greater than 25 days. Virginia came in lowest at 19.9 days. Claimant non-drivable LOR was 33.8 days, a 12.8-day increase from Q2 2021. Alaska’s claimant nondrivable results help explain some of the increase—their LOR was 52.9 days in Q2 2022. This is a 25-day jump from Q2 2021. Vermont (43.8), Louisiana (42.5), Montana (41.4), Colorado (40.6) and West Virginia (40.2) were other LORs greater than 40 days. According to the weekly CRASH Network newsletter, the national average repair backlog remains near record levels. While scheduled work at shops nationwide eased somewhat in the second quarter, it was not nearly

CIECA Forms AI Committee CIECA has announced the formation of a new Standards Development Committee focused on Artificial Intelligence (AI). All industry stakeholders, including CIECA and non-CIECA are in-with Finish It Likemembers, a Masterpiece vited to join. The new committee will be chaired by Raj Pofale, a founder and CEO at Claim Genius, and Jimmy Spears, head of automotive at Tractable. GBoth E N U are I N Eactive PA R TCIES CA committee members who have presented at the CIECA CONNEX Conference. The committee chairs encourage all interested industry stakeholders to attend the meetings. To RSVP, visit https:// forms.zohopublic.com/cieca1au/ form/AICommittee/formperThe Dealers Below Are Mercedes-Benz ma/6aIyVdjmpAtfHmP0kiDYGenuine Parts Specialists: Ci05Tsp3jJzc3wTMRSDqhCg CIECA has 27 product and project standards development committees that focus on creating standards to address industry needs. For more information about joining a committee, visit https://www.cieca. com/committees or contact Paulette Reed at paulette@cieca.com. Source: CIECA

as much as generally happens heading into spring. The length of time a customer is likely to currently wait to get their vehicle repaired has not changed significantly from this past winter’s record-high backlogs. Shops on average are still scheduling work out a full month—4.3 weeks compared to 4.5 weeks in the first quarter of 2022. The decline of 0.2 weeks is only about half the usual decline in backlog between the first and second quarter, when spring brings a seasonal drop-off in winter weather-related accidents and the average shop backlog has typically fallen by 0.4 weeks. General trending of repair volume correlates with historical trending of LOR. Yoswick said: “More than 13% of shops are still scheduling more than eight weeks out, a percentage that, until this past winter, hadn’t exceeded 2%. Shops with three months of backlog are not uncommon.” “Cosmetic work is 11 weeks out, non-drivers are four to five weeks out,” the manager of an independent shop in Fort Wayne, IN, told CRASH Network. An estimator in Georgia, when asked about current backlog in

June, said simply, “Middle of July!” Almost four in five shops (79%) are scheduling two or more weeks into the future. Less than 3% of shops have no backlog and can start on a new job right away. Only two regions in the country—South Central and West—have an average backlog of less than four weeks. The shortest average backlog in the West, including California, is 3.1 weeks. Until this past winter, that region had never exceeded an average backlog of 1.5 weeks in the more than five years CRASH Network has been tracking the statistic. The longest backlogs are in the Pacific Northwest, where shops are scheduling work 5.2 weeks in advance, on average. When describing parts availability’s impact to the repair backlogs, PartsTrader’s Horn agreed: “While there are parts availability improvements in Q2 2022, delays still exist in the OEM parts supply chain and consequently, shops are scheduling farther out to protect themselves from potential parts delays.” Another consideration with non-drivable LOR is in the communi-

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cation process between shop and insurer. Enterprise spoke with Dominic Martino, owner of Gold Coast Auto Body in Chicago, who said: “We are consistently seeing seven to 10 business days elapse between initial estimate or supplement submission and repair authorization. And if the submission requires reconciliation, we could see an additional three to five days. When insurer staff are coming into the shop in-person, we see reconciliation times drop to 24 to 48 hours.” Total Loss Claims The LOR for rentals associated with total loss claims was 17.3 days in Q2 2022, up 3.1 days from 14.2 in Q2 2021. Washington was highest at 22.8 days, followed by Oregon (20.9), West Virginia (20.8), Alaska (20.2), Idaho (20.1) and North Carolina (20.1). Iowa was lowest at 14.2 days, followed by Wisconsin (14.5), Nebraska (14.5), Wyoming (14.6), Florida (14.8) and Maine (14.9). While Washington’s results were an increase of 8.4 days from Q2 2021, Hawaii (17.2) dropped 1.2 days, and

Wyoming saw a small drop of 0.2 days. Notably, California (16.6) was only up 0.6 days. “With used vehicle values reaching new highs in Q2 2022, total loss frequency continued to decline to the lowest level in the past six years at 14.2%, compared to 17.1% in Q2 2021,” Mandell said. Summary The results for the second quarter of 2022 offer several items of note. As noted in the first quarter, the second quarter results are traditionally the lowest of the year. While the historical trending seems to have returned, the results themselves continue to be exacerbated by supply chains disruptions, parts delays, collision repair backlogs, claims process challenges and technician shortages. And with the complexity of vehicle repairs only increasing, for both ICE and BEV models, the entire industry must play a part in ensuring all collisionrelated businesses are aligned—not just for procedural solutions, but to ensure our mutual customers receive safe and proper

repairs, and excellent experience and peace of mind. Enterprise is committed to partnering with insurers, repairers and suppliers on each one of these issues. Through foundational support provided by the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, Enterprise is spearheading the Collision Engineering Program, in partnership with Ranken Technical College. The program, designed to attract and develop entry-level talent to fill essential roles within the collision repair industry, is piloting at four schools nationwide. For more information, visit www.beacollisionengineer.com. Source: Enterprise

Your leading source for MIDWESTERN Collision Repair News! midwestern.autobodynews.com

The Collision Repair Education Foundation’s (CREF) 20th Annual Golf Fundraiser, co-hosted by PPG Automotive Finishes, was a roaring success. Held on July 19 at the Edgewood Country Club in Pittsburgh, PA, the event sold out to capacity with 146 sponsors and industry supports enjoying a day on the green while raising over $100,000 to support collision repair programs, schools and students around the country. The winning team, with a score of just 56, consisted of Rich Finoli, PPG; Steve Morelli, community supporter; Derek Severns, Bowser Automotive; and John Parran, PPG. Participants also had the chance to win great prizes by competing in individual hole contests. Helicopter ball drop winners included Linda Mazur, community supporter; Charlie Jordan, Caliber Collision; and Mary Mahoney, Enterprise Holdings. Source: CREF

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Order Audi Genuine Parts from these select dealers. autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 61


AirPro Diagnostics, CCC Partner CCC Intelligent Solutions on Aug. 2 announced AirPro Diagnostics will become the newest member of the CCC® Diagnostics network. Through an integration with AirPro, collision repair users of CCC Diagnostics will soon be able to capture and document AirPro scan and calibration information in their CCC ONE® workfiles. The streamlined service with AirPro is expected to be available via CCC ONE in September. The integration does not require a physical connection between the AirPro device and CCC ONE. Information is uploaded automatically, and the scan report is automatically attached to the vehicle’s CCC ONE workfile. Activation is simple. Repair facilities using CCC Diagnostics select their preferred diagnostic provider(s) from those available through CCC’s network and providers send scan data directly to the CCC ONE workfile. Source: CCC Intelligent Solutions

Ford’s July Sales Up 37% Compared to Same Month a Year Ago On improved inventory flow, Ford for the second month in a row is the only major automaker to produce sales gains, as its July sales grew 36.6% vs. an industry down 10.5%. “Ford was America’s best-selling brand in July powered by strong demand across our lineup,” said Andrew Frick, vice president, sales, distribution and trucks, Ford Blue. “Our overall sales rose 37% in July and electric vehicle sales grew at three times the rate of the EV segment. F-Series hit the 60,000-truck mark for the first time this year, with our all-new electric F-150 Lightning having its best sales month yet. Ford SUVs were up 70%, while E-Transit leads the electric van space with 95% of the electric van segment.” Ford total market share hit 13.9%—up 1.0 percentage point from June and 4.8 percentage points over a year ago. Gains come from higher EV sales and share, F-Series and high-end large SUVs. Ford electric vehicle sales were up 168.7%. With Mustang Mach-E up 74.1%, F-150 Lightning delivering its best-month since launch

and E-Transit’s dominant share position, Ford grew more than three times the rate of the overall electric vehicle segment in July. Sales of Ford Hybrid vehicles continue to climb, increasing 35.3% in July, placing the Ford brand second in hybrid vehicle sales to only Toyota. F-150 Hybrid sales totaled 4,364 vehicles, while Maverick Hybrid sales totaled 2,153 trucks.

in process. Ford BlueCruise customers accumulated 11.4 million miles of hands-free highway driving since July 2021. For the fourth straight month, Ford reported a record pace of just over 50% of retail sales coming from previously placed orders. Meanwhile, on Aug. 2, retail order banks re-opened for Bronco Sport, Edge, Explorer and Ranger. Retail orders for Ford’s hot-selling F-150 and Transit re-opened a few weeks earlier. Ford overall pickup sales, including F-Series, Ranger and Maverick, produced total sales of 74,034 up 27% over a year ago. Ford’s total pickup share for the month was 31.6%—up more than 6 percentage points over last year and the highest share of any brand in the total pickup segment. Ford brand SUV sales gained 70% over last year, totaling 66,266 SUVs. Combined Bronco family sales, including Bronco Sport, were up 227% over last year.

To date, 66,500 customers have purchased Ford’s BlueCruise hands-free driver-assist technology. Ford is expanding BlueCruise through Power-Up software updates, adding nearly 15,000 2021 F-150 and Mustang Mach-E customers in July, with another 35,000

Source: Ford

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Hyundai Gets $19.2 Million Penalty for Tarnishing Millions of Customer Credit Reports by Michael Gauthier, CarScoops

Hyundai Capital America—the captive finance partner of Hyundai, Kia and Genesis in the U.S.— has been slammed by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for “widespread credit reporting failures” that harmed millions of customers. According to the government, HCA repeatedly provided inaccurate information to credit reporting companies and didn’t take proper steps once problems were identified. Furthermore, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau alleges the company used “manual and outdated systems, processes and procedures to furnish credit reporting information—which led to widespread inaccuracies—and resulted in negative inaccurate information being placed on consumers’ credit reports through no fault of their own.” The scale of the problem was massive, as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found HCA furnished inaccurate information for more than 2.2 million custom-

ers on more than 8.7 million occasions between 2016 and 2020. Even worse, “In many cases, Hyundai knew it was providing inaccurate information and failed to take reasonable measures” to address the issue.

This hurt consumers as HCA would report customers delinquent on loans and leases, despite having been paid on time. In particular, the government found “in approximately 570,000 instances, Respondent (HCA) inaccurately inserted codes showing delinquent or no payments in the PHP (pay-

ment history profile) when the consumer had in fact made the required payments and the account was actually current.” Unsurprisingly, this lowered customers’ credit scores and impacted their access to credit. It also subjected them to higher interest rates due to their lower credit score. Following an investigation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau determined HCA violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by failing to report complete and accurate loan and lease account information, failing to provide date of first delinquency information when required, failing to modify or delete information when required, failing to have reasonable identity theft procedures, and failing to have reasonable accuracy and integrity policies and procedures. In a statement, Consumer Fi-

nancial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra said, “Hyundai illegally tarnished credit reports for millions of borrowers, including by falsely reporting them to credit reporting companies as being delinquent on their loans and leases. Loan servicers must be complete and accurate when furnishing information that affects a borrower’s credit report.” HCA will pay a $6 million civil penalty to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as well as $13.2 million in compensation to current and former customers who had inaccurate information furnished to credit reporting companies saying they were “30 or more days past due on an automobile retail installment contract or lease.” While $19.2 million sounds like chump change, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau noted this was its largest Fair Credit Reporting Act case against an auto servicer. The bureau also revealed Americans owe $1.4 trillion in auto loans, making it the third largest consumer credit market.

CREF Invites Collision Industry to Fall 2022 High School & College Transportation Student Career Fairs

3M, CREF Donate Products to 300 Schools

as a means of generating brand awareness for the business but most importantly, in order to showcase the diverse career paths available to the students in attendance.”

As 2021 drew to an end, 3M donated $889,719.50 in products and supplies to 300 schools around the country, through the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF). Equipping collision education programs with the most upto-date supplies, materials, tools and equipment allows collision instructors to train students with the same products they’ll be using in their future positions in the industry—without maxing out the department’s budget. Each care package included several DA sanders, along with sanding/graining/finishing discs, sandpaper, repair glue and “all kinds of good stuff,” according to Jerry Goodson, collision repair and refinishing instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, WI. Since 2008, 3M has actively aided CREF’s efforts to assist collision students, instructors and schools, generously providing frequent in-kind donations, funding grants and supporting CREF’s Hire Our Heroes campaign. Source: CREF

Aging workforce blues got you down? Worried about who will fill the workforce as older employees retire? Ready to do something about it? The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) invites industry businesses to participate in its Fall 2022 High School & College Transportation Student Career Fairs, being scheduled across the country to provide employers with an opportunity to get to know thousands of incoming industry professionals. “CREF’s Career Fairs provide a unique opportunity for collision industry employers to connect with hundreds of students who have trained for entry-level positions and are ready to start their careers,” said CREF Program Manager Tiffany Bulak. “Engaging with future transportation industry professionals is vital for all segments of the industry—collision centers, dealerships and even paint, tool and equipment companies—

Fall 2022 High School & College Transportation Student Career Fair Schedule Oct. 4: 3M Headquarters, SaintPaul, MN Nov. 9: Kingwood Park High School, Houston, TX Nov. 10: Collin College, Dallas, TX Dec. 6: Suburban Showcase Conference Center, Detroit, MI To complement the physical career fair events and ensure CREF helps connect students with employers across the country, CREF also has an electronic student resume database with contact information for over 600 collision students. Interested in participating in an event listed above, or in collaborating with CREF to schedule one in your market? Contact Bu-

lak at Tiffany.Bulak@ed-foundation.org. Can’t attend a career fair but still anxious to get your company name in front of incoming technicians? Support local high school and college collision students by sponsoring work uniforms to ensure the future workforce recognizes the value of looking professional. For a donation of just $50 per student, companies can provide students with a brand new Cintas technician shirt, branded with your logo, work pants and a safety kit. Email Tiffany.Bulak@ed-foundation.org to learn more. Industry members interested in getting involved and supporting CREF’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs should contact Brandon Eckenrode, managing director, at 312-231-0258 or Brandon. Eckenrode@ed-foundation.org. Monetary donations can be made online. Source: CREF

autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 63


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TIRE SIZE FRONT P265/70R17 REAR P265/70R17 SPARE P265/70R17

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WARNING

SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH: COUSSIN GONFLABLE LATÉRAL TODoAVOID lean against the door. •Do not (SRS) • not use seat covers that

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