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3 Years After Bronx Rezoning, Jerome Avenue Auto Shops Under Pressure by Daniel Parra and Ese Olumhense, CityLimits.org
In a span of just six months, Elvin Taveras went from managing a thriving auto repair business on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx to being under the shadow of eviction from the place he’s worked for more than a decade. Taveras—who owns both Jacquez Automotive Center at 1941A Jerome Ave. and another, smaller shop in the northeast Bronx—said his problems began in the spring, when, per city property records, his former landlord, Richard Cisternas, sold
the building to Manhattan-based Atlantic Development Group for $6.9 million. A flurry of notices followed: one from Cisternas, Taveras said, informing him of the coming sale. Then, week after week, he said, bundles of certified letters from his new landlord—sometimes a dozen in one day—started showing up at the shop, notifying Taveras that the new ownership planned to terminate his tenancy. Jacquez Automotive needed to be out of the building by Oct. 31, the notices said in bold, or face eviction. See Jerome Avenue, Page 24
New York City Looking to Buy 300 Teslas for its Fleet by Andrei Nedelea, Inside EVs
New York City is reportedly looking to add hundreds of Teslas to its fleet of vehicles, if a proposed contract is approved. The main part of the $12.4 million contract is the acquisition of 300 Model 3 electric sedans to be used by the city, as well as some additional infrastructure to facilitate their use, mostly charging stations of various kinds. Electrek said it found a notice announcing the contract will be made public and discussed Dec. 16,
at a public hearing. “In the matter of a proposed contract between the Department of Citywide Administrative Services of the City of New York and Tesla, Inc., located at 3500 Deer Creek Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94304, for procuring Tesla Model 3 All-Electric Sedans. The contract is in the amount of $12,360,000.00. The term of the contract shall be five years from date of Notice of Award,” the notice said. The source also lists all the parts of the contract, not just the 300 Model 3s. These include 275 See Buy 300 Teslas, Page 22
Vol. 12 / Issue 10 / January 2022
ASA Pennsylvania to Become Mid-Atlantic Auto Care Alliance The Automotive Service Association of Pennsylvania Board of Directors unanimously voted to join the Midwest Auto Care Alliance to serve its members in the independent automotive service industry. This decision was in response to all ASA affiliates having their affiliation terminated by the Automotive Service Association in September. ASA Pennsylvania has signed an alliance agreement with MWACA to operate under the name Mid-Atlantic Auto Care Alliance, and will expand its territory to include Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and
Delaware territories. They join ASA Northwest, soon to become Northwest Auto Care Alliance, and ASA Illinois, which will become the MWACA Greater Chicagoland chapter. These changes become effective Jan. 1. Mid-Atlantic Auto Care Alliance’s activities and finances will still be managed locally by the local board. “This is the best decision for our members going forward,” said Ross Colket, president of ASA PennsylSee ASA Pennsylvania, Page 37
NORTHEAST 2022 Show Dates Announced The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/ NJ) announced its flagship event, the NORTHEAST® Automotive Services Show, will return March 18-20, 2022, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center (MEC) in Secaucus, NJ.
Next year’s show will mark the 45th year of the country’s largest regional automotive services trade show. “We are excited to announce the NORTHEAST dates,” said AASP/NJ President Jerry McNee. “This show has become the only place on the East Coast where you can find the latest and greatest automotive repair offerings in equipment, networking and education. Coming off the pandemic, NORTHEAST is an event repairers all around the country can’t afford
to miss.” As always, attendees can expect more than 150 vendors with the latest in equipment, technology and tools returning to MEC for next year’s show along with a healthy offering of educational courses addressing the most pressing trends and issues of the collision repair world. Online pre-registration is free for NORTHEAST 2022, and will open in January. “Everyone I speak with feels it’s time to get back to normalcy,” McNee added. “I think everything we do at NORTHEAST helps a great deal with getting the industry back on that road a lot sooner. We all need to step up as an industry, and NORTHEAST is the place to gather and do that.” For the latest information and announcements about the NORTHEAST 2022 show, visit aaspnjnortheast.com. Source: AASP/NJ
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REGIONAL AASP/NJ Gets REAL with Larry Montanez of P&L Consultants ������������������������������������������ 18 Massachusetts Right to Repair Case Appears Nearly Ripe for Decision ������������������������������ 16 Mercedes, Stellantis Invest in Factorial Energy ��������������������������������������������������������� 20 NY Gov. Signs Legislation to Ensure Used Vehicles are Sold with Functioning Airbags ������������������������������������������������������� 22 Refurbished Vehicle Donated to Family ����������� 18
Market Data ������������������������������������������������ 57 Apple Reportedly Accelerating Car Development, Wants Model to Be Fully Autonomous �������� 56 ASA Announces Podcast Series ��������������������� 52 ASA Pennsylvania to Become Mid-Atlantic Auto Care Alliance ���������������������������������������� 1 Axalta Among Most Responsible Companies � 50 Biden Releases Oil Reserves to Address Rising Gas Prices ���������������������������������������� 66 Biden Signs Executive Order on Clean Energy,
Anderson - When it Comes to Auto Body Shop Technician Compensation, Something Has to Change ���������������������������������������������������� 36 Chess - The Evolution of Dent Repairs ��������������� 6 Yoswick - Auto Body Shop Billing Practices Related to Total Losses, Not-Included Procedures �������������������������������������������������� 40 Yoswick - MSOs Discuss Collision Parts Challenges, Increased Work-in-Progress ����� 51
NATIONAL ‘Retirement Vehicles’ Raise Risk of Crash Fatalities for Older Drivers ��������������������������� 60 2021 U.S. Car Rental Revenue Climbs 21% Year-Over-Year ��������������������������������������������� 45 3 Years After Bronx Rezoning, Jerome Avenue Auto Shops Under Pressure ������������� 1 3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives Created to Improve Collision Shops’ Productivity, Efficiency and Cleanliness ��������������������������� 44 4 Industry Veterans Form Automotive
Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Stacey Phillips Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Norman Morano, (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bryan Malinski Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Abby Andrews Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Permissions Editor: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray
Serving New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Northern Virginia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont 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.
3M Automotive Aftermarket Division ��������������� 5
Kwik Bench ���������������������������������������������������� 16
Acura of Westchester ������������������������������������ 46
Long Automotive Group �������������������������������� 20
Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 67
Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������� 62
BendPak ����������������������������������������������������������� 2
Mercedes-Benz of Atlantic City ���������������������� 25
BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ����������������� 48-49
Mercedes-Benz of Fort Washington ��������������� 25
Cadillac of Mahwah ��������������������������������������� 26
Mercedes-Benz of Paramus ��������������������������� 44
Carcoon America Workstation Portable Paint
Mercedes-Benz of West Chester �������������������� 25
Autobody News P.O. Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 / (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com email@example.com
Booths ������������������������������������������������������� 21
Mercedes-Benz of Wilmington ����������������������� 40
Central Avenue Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram ���� 29
Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers ������� 59
Certified Automotive Parts Association ���������� 10
MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers ����������������������� 50
Circle BMW ��������������������������������������������������� 10
MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������� 38-39
Classifieds ������������������������������������������������������ 66
New Holland Ford ������������������������������������������ 37
Colonial Automotive Group ���������������������������� 47
New Holland Toyota ��������������������������������������� 58
Courtesy Mitsubishi ��������������������������������������� 42
Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������� 63
DePaula Chevrolet-Ford ���������������������������������� 51
Northstar Kia �������������������������������������������������� 46
DeVilbiss Automotive Refinishing ������������������� 12
Nucar ������������������������������������������������������������� 41
Dynabrade, Inc ����������������������������������������������� 68
Open Road Acura of East Brunswick �������������� 42
Eastchester Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge ������������������ 14
Open Road Chevrolet �������������������������������������� 24
Empire Auto Parts ������������������������������������������ 18
Ourisman Chevrolet ���������������������������������������� 14
Equalizer Industries, Inc ����������������������������������� 6
Packer Norris Parts ���������������������������������������� 43
Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 65
Porsche Huntington ���������������������������������������� 18
Mercedes Red Paint Settlement Final ������������� 58
Franklin Sussex Auto Mall ������������������������������ 24
Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������� 57
New York City Looking to Buy 300 Teslas
GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������� 53
Pro Spot International ������������������������������������� 11
Healey Brothers ��������������������������������������������� 15
Rafferty Subaru ���������������������������������������������� 52
Hoffman Auto Group �������������������������������������� 27
Rockland Nissan �������������������������������������������� 52
Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers � 31, 32-33
SATA Dan-Am Company ���������������������������������� 9
Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������ 63
Schultz Ford ��������������������������������������������������� 45
Infiniti of Norwood ����������������������������������������� 36
Solera �������������������������������������������������������� 34-35
Island Clean Air ���������������������������������������������� 23
Spanesi Americas ������������������������������������������ 19
Jaguar Land Rover Cherry Hill ������������������������ 30
Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������� 56
Jeff D’Ambrosio Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge ������������� 6
Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������� 64
KECO Body Repair Products ��������������������������� 17
Valspar Refinish ����������������������������������������������� 7
Kelly Jeep-Chrysler ���������������������������������������� 22
Volkswagen of Kingston ��������������������������������� 54
Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������� 55
Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������ 61
Kia of Attleboro ���������������������������������������������� 42
White Plains Volkswagen ������������������������������� 58
Kia of Coatesville ���������������������������������������������� 8
Wrenchers ����������������������������������������������������� 13
Kundert Volvo ������������������������������������������������� 28
Yonkers Kia ����������������������������������������������������� 60
EVs �������������������������������������������������������������� 62 CIF Elects Trustee from Axalta ������������������������ 63
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
Ford Only Major U.S. Automaker to Report Year-Over-Year Sales Increase in November �� 64 GM, POSCO Chemical to Build Factory to Process Material for Ultium Batteries ��������� 62 Industry Veteran Establishes Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com ������������������������� 54 J.D. Power Study on Fully Automated Self-Driving Vehicles: Consumers Don’t Know What They Don’t Know �������������� 4
for its Fleet ���������������������������������������������������� 1 NORTHEAST 2022 Show Dates Announced ������ 1 Retired Tech Looks Back at 67 Years in Collision Repair ������������������������������������������� 46 Shepherd Joins Advantage Parts Solutions ����� 62 Tesla Has an Estimated 1.3M Cybertruck Reservations Worth $80B ��������������������������� 52 Transportation Secretary Buttigieg Cites Gas Prices, Promotes EVs ��������������������������� 64 U.S. DOT Announces Initial Framework for EV Charging Station Programs �������������������� 63
autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
J.D. Power Study on Fully Automated Self-Driving Vehicles: Consumers Don’t Know What They Don’t Know While the automotive industry continues to move toward fully automated, self-driving vehicles, the pace is not being matched by educational efforts that will help bring buyers into the modern mobility movement. According to the redesigned J.D. Power 2021 Mobility Confidence Index (MCI) Study, released Nov. 30, consumers possess inaccurate knowledge of fully automated self-driving vehicles. Survey respondents were asked to select one of seven possible descriptions to define fully automated self-driving vehicles. Based on the Society of Automotive Engineers’ definition of Level 4 and Level 5 self-driving, two descriptions correctly defined a fully automated self-driving vehicle, which only 37% of MCI respondents selected. More than half (55%) of respondents selected descriptions aligned with driver assist technology, which describe lower levels of automation currently available in many product offerings. The ability to accurately define a fully automated, self-driving vehicle is even lower (32%) among those with higher self-reported levels of automated vehicle (AV) knowledge. Survey findings show those who self-report knowing nothing at all about AVs are actually more accurate (37%) in defining fully automated self-driving vehicles. “This is a ‘Danger, Will Robinson’ moment for the fully automated self-driving vehicle industry,” said Lisa Boor, senior manager of global automotive at J.D. Power. “There is a significant gap between actual and perceived AV knowledge. Right now, consumers don’t know what they don’t know. Clear, consistent messaging from industry stakeholders is needed to improve the accuracy of consumer AV knowledge. The industry needs to be the catalyst for educating the public before running into such speed bumps. AV education must expand beyond current, traditional learning methods.” The study index is based on six unique attributes of consumer comfort with fully automated, self-driving vehicles. The comprehensive metric measures consumer readiness
for AV technology in several categories: personal vehicles; commercial vehicles; public transit; riding if unable to drive due to age or injury; sharing the road with other AVs; and consumer purchase intent. This year, the study has been redesigned as an annual offering from J.D. Power, MIT Advanced Vehicle Technology Consortium (MIT AVT) and Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE).
“The more people see and learn, the more they want to know. And we can help to quench that thirst for learning by providing clear, hype-free facts and simple, consistent terminology.” Today’s experiences build tomorrow’s customers and expectations: Leading the way for greater self-driving vehicle expectations and consumer acceptance are experiences with current Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).
By merging the quarterly J.D. Power MCI Study with the annual MIT AVT Automated Driving Technologies Study, key metrics from both are maintained with a freshening of phrasing and survey terminology. The redesign also provides the opportunity to add several new topics not previously covered. The study is further strengthened by the participation and support of the PAVE coalition and its goal of raising public understanding of driverless vehicle technology.
Today, 41% of respondents are comfortable with driver assist technology being the maximum level of automation, which is 27 percentage points higher than those who would be comfortable with fully automated self-driving vehicles. Adding to the challenge is that 19% of respondents believe fully automated self-driving vehicles are available for purchase or lease today—an incorrect belief also shared by 16% of Tesla owners. “Tesla” was the most frequently mentioned word when respondents were asked what comes to mind when saying fully automated self-driving vehicles are available today. Consumer self-driving vehicle readiness rises: The score for confidence in fully automated self-driving vehicles improves to 42 (on a 100-point scale) from 34 a year ago and 36 two years ago. Positively trending is the excitement to use fully automated self-driving services when compared with the J.D. Power 2020 Q3 MCI Study: personal vehicles (+11 percentage points); delivery services (+3); taxi/ ride-hailing services (+4); and public transit (+2). Nearly one-third (31%) of respondents say they are very comfortable or extremely comfortable with transporting goods in a fully automated, self-driving vehicle, and the comfort level increases to 47% among those with an active driving assistance feature on their current ve-
Following are key findings from the 2021 study: Knowledge not the same as learning: Consumer interest in AVs increases 10 percentage points from the J.D. Power 2020 Q3 MCI Study, with 51% now having more general interest due to something they read or heard. However, only 29% of respondents have actively sought to find information about AVs. The majority (53%) of respondents believe the best way to learn about AVs is a driver’s education course for self-driving vehicles. A majority (58%) also say they are willing to complete specialized training for a special AV driver’s license. At the opposite end of the learning spectrum, 27% say they would prefer to learn by doing in a selftaught fashion. “These results demonstrate the power of knowledge,” said Tara Andringa, executive director of PAVE.
4 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
hicle. Respondents also see the benefit in fully automated self-driving vehicles for those unable to drive due to age or injury—a newly added index attribute for this year’s study—as respondents’ comfort levels are 27% overall and 45% among those with active driving assistance on their current vehicle. Consumer comfort is higher for AV applications that may not involve them: Of all fully automated self-driving modalities measured, consumers are most comfortable with goods being transported commercially and riding in a fully automated self-driving vehicle if unable to drive due to age or injury. The attributes more likely to affect a consumer personally—AV public transit and riding in fully automated self-driving vehicles—have the lowest levels of comfort. “Safety is paramount when building any self-driving experience,” said Bryan Reimer, Ph.D., research scientist in the MIT AgeLab and associate director of The New England University Transportation Center at MIT. “Organizations working as technology pioneers have the responsibility to create realistic and accurate consumer expectations for what their products can and cannot do. “Small setbacks in public trust triggered by misuse of systems or a failure of a system to perform based upon misconceived consumer expectations may hamper deployments over the coming decades, depriving consumers of the convenience and safety benefits the technology can potentially offer,” Reimer said. “Consumer overconfidence and lack of knowledge to date can lead to risk taking that will cause the AV industry to hit a lot of potholes.” The J.D. Power 2021 Mobility Confidence Index (MCI) Study is based on responses from 4,000 vehicle owners in the U.S. age 18 and older who completed a 15-minute online survey. The study results were balanced to basic census demographics to be nationally representative. The study was fielded in June and July 2021. Source: J.D. Power
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Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, Training specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his work with first responders and advocacy for body shops and consumers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Evolution of Dent Repairs From the Ford Model T until the tedious process, as lead was melted 1970s, dents were a two-sided oper- over the entire dent. ation. You would push from the in- side with a dolly and hammer on the outside until you had a semi smooth panel. Until 1955, lead was used as the filler. The with health David risk of McClune lead filler was becoming evident, it was difficult to work with and it was a
ed to go through an evolution, from body over frame to unitized, and so did the body repair methods. Doing hand work took a lot longer and someone came up with the idea to drill a bunch of holes (See Fig 3) in the panel and use a slide hammer to pull out the dent, followed by a thick coat of Bondo. I remember when you looked at the back side of the panel and the bondo flowed through the back.
Max Spitznagel, from Dent Fix, introduced the stud gun and slide hammer to body shops in 1979. (See Fig 4)
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With holes no longer being drilled into the panel, it made a difference in the quality of the repair. (See Fig 5) This method of repairs took dent removal to a whole new level and was the standard for the next
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was becoming the material of choice and it was more widely accepted, as more auto body shops switched from lead to the lightweight plastic filler. In the ‘80s, the vehicles start-
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The Maxi Multiple Pull Dent Station (See Fig6) is a 120V or 220V single phase dent-pulling station that provides the technician with the power to shrink, pull rocker panels and fix hail damage, creases and dents in hard-to-access areas. The major drawback for these machines is the heat affect zone and a corrosion hot spot on the back of the panel. (See Fig7)
through the oblong opening. (See Fig 10) Then a bridge pull was se-
set into motion. The deepest part of the dent was first to come up and as it was being raised, more and more of the eyes became engaged, thus pulling the entire dent out in one operation.
In 1999, another dent pulling device hit the market. The Maxi by Dent Fit (see Fig 6) is still widely used today.
To solve those problems, the Miracle pulling system was introduced around 2010. (See Fig 8) This system uses low voltage/ reusable pulling keys (See Fig 9). The keys were placed next to each other and a rod was inserted
cured to the panel, and an arm or hook system was attached to the bar. The pulling part of the bridge was
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In my first try with the Pro Spot dent-pulling system, I attached the keys to a body line (See Fig 11), which should be the first item of repair. I attached the lifting bridge to the door and pulled the body line until it was straight, using a steel ruler to check my pull. I removed the keys and pulled attached keys to the dent and pulled it out. (This door was junk because the intrusion beam was destroyed in the collision). I got the
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dent out and used the hand puller to finish up the repairs to the door.
keys on large rings for the various lengths of the reground keys. Three years ago, Dent Fix introduced three items to the Maxi System, a bridge puller, hand pull and magnetic key holder, along with two styles of keys. (Fig 12-15)
I really like the magnetic header to hold the key in place.
Another manufacturer that hit the market was the Flatliner, followed first by Pro Spot Internation-
al’s Pro Pull Complete using the PR-3 A. The PR-3A has two guns. The pistol-type gun is a single-sided attaching gun. You can use it to attach body pulling pins, washers, bolts and nuts to panels. The long narrow attachment is the keys attaching unit. You attach the key and hold it on the metal and the timer in the unit will come on and in less than a second, the key will be attached. After the pull has been completed, the key will twist off. I reuse the keys by grinding a new point, usually necessary after three of four times. I have the reused
To use this attachment, first remove the pulling electrode from the gun and then attach the magnetic key hold. Put the key on the dent and pull the trigger. Done.
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Moving on, the next big thing in dent repair is the GDR or Glue Dent Repair.
less Dent Repair). See Fig 17. I am going to use Keco Tabs for my examples of GDP because they have the widest range of tools and tabs designed for GDP. Figs 19 & 20 are a small sampling of all the different styles and sizes glue pulling tabs offered by Keco Tabs.
repair: • Much of the original finish remains on the vehicle. • The dent is pulled out at one time instead of multiple pulls and attachments. • The same tabs can be used on steel and aluminum (Keco has tabs designed for aluminum). • It uses less body fillers, sand paper and primers when compared to stud welding, sometimes none at all. • No corrosion hot spots on the rear of the panel. • Easy to learn. • Small dents to a blend panel can be removed with original finish left intact. A lot of the time the dent is repaired by the repair facility at no charge to the customer.
First off, GPR (Glue Pull Repair) is not the same as PDR (Paint-
Why GPR? GPR has a number of advantages over the traditional methods of dent
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• It’s a very low-cost investment compared with specialized aluminum and steel pulling systems. One thing Keco Tabs has over its competitors is it offers in-house training for a shop or multiple shops. The hands-on training is a six- to seven-hour class with a limit of eight techs. See Fig 21 for s class at Scandinavian Coachcraft. Barry Dorn of Dorn’s Body and Paint signed up for a one-day class. He was so impressed with the training, he kept the Keco Training team for a second day. “The training was unbelievable and product and service stellar,” Dorn said. Chris White, CEO of Keco Tabs, and Gene Fetty, lead trainer, recently conducted three training classes in Los Angeles. Twenty-three techs from 11 collision centers attended one of the three six-hour classes. Keco sent out three units for the hands-on training that were immediately sold at the conclusion. Ten of the 11 shops bought the system and three of those bought a second system after use in their
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shops. Fetty asked anyone at the three classes if they had used glue tabs. A couple of techs in two of the three sessions said they had. He then asked if they had any problems and both said the glue did not stick very well. He asked the tech at each class to put a tab on a panel and use the Keco Tab leverage puller to lift the dent. Both times, the tab gave way with very little pressure. Fetty introduced the 6 C Keco tab process and proceeded to put the same tab on a Tesla quarter panel. (See Fig 22)
The result was the tab held with
all that pulling force.
part in Fig 27. You will notice one of the light tubes is bent, indicating damage on the door. I had him take
A side note: I used the PDR light to highlight the damage on the vehicle when taking a picture.
Fetty spent time with each tech on how to read a PDR light, which comes with the level 2 kit, and the use of it in the dent removal process. (See Fig 25)
In Fig 26, I had the estimator take a picture of the damage for the insurance company claim. It is very hard to see the damage to the left door. I put the PDR lamp on the
a marker and mark damage before sending the pictures. I have a few shops using the lights and the results have been terrific. It has reduced the friction time, as well as phone calls with the insurance companies. In conclusion, there is no one perfect system out there for every kind of dent repair, but having multiple systems, including the glue-on tabs, will give your technicians the best possible dent repair outcomes. www.autobodynews.com
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Massachusetts Right to Repair Case Appears Nearly Ripe for Decision By Seyfarth Shaw, JD Supra
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation quietly filed a stipulation the day after Thanksgiving in Alliance for Automotive Innovation v. Healy, a lawsuit challenging recent amendments to the Massachusetts Right to Repair Law (the “Data Law”). The stipulation appears to resolve an evidentiary dispute that arose between the parties in October concerning the ability of OEMs to comply with recent amendments to the Data Law. With the exception perhaps of responses to interrogatories served by the attorney general on Auto Innovators, the stipulation also would seem to address the issues that have been preventing a Massachusetts federal district court judge from issuing his long-awaited decision following a bench trial held last summer. The lawsuit filed by Auto Innovators seeks an injunction barring enforcement of the Data Law and its requirement that, commencing with Model Year 2022, vehicles sold in
Massachusetts using telematics systems be equipped with “an inter-operable, standardized and open access platform” that will enable customers and independent repair shops to access mechanical data from those systems. In a stipulation filed Nov. 26, the attorney general and Auto Innovators agreed Subaru of America is a member of Auto Innovators and is the supplier of Subaru vehicles to another independently owned and operated entity that distributes those vehicles to other independently owned and operated dealers in New England. The parties further stipulated as a direct result of the Data Law, Subaru decided it will not make its Starlink system—a telematics system that “includes features such as automatic collision notification, SOS emergency assistance, remote engine start, remote door lock/unlock, stolen vehicle recovery, enhanced roadside assistance, maintenance notification, vehicle health reports and diagnostic reports”—available to Massachusetts residents who purchase or lease MY22 Subaru vehicles. According to the stipulation, Subaru implemented this policy in
or about June 2021, contemporaneously with MY22 Subaru vehicles first being offered for sale or lease in Massachusetts. The policy applies to any MY22 Subaru vehicle that has a Massachusetts address associated with either the vehicle or the Starlink account; regardless of the state where the vehicle was originally purchased or leased, Massachusetts-associated vehicles are not able to subscribe to or maintain a subscription to Starlink. The policy does not apply to MY22 Subaru vehicles that do not have a Massachusetts address associated with either the vehicle or the Starlink account; regardless of the state where the vehicle was originally purchased or leased, non-Massachusetts-associated vehicles retain the ability to subscribe to or maintain a subscription to Starlink. The parties further stipulated Subaru vehicles not enrolled in the Starlink system are safe; that at the time the vehicles are sold to consumers, those vehicles comply with all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and the Clean Air Act; and if Auto Innovators prevails in the pending lawsuit and “the [Data
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Law] is invalidated by the Court,” then Subaru intends to begin offering Starlink subscriptions on MY22 vehicles in Massachusetts. With the exception perhaps of responses to interrogatories served by the attorney general on Auto Innovators, the stipulation appears to resolve the issues raised in a motion filed by the attorney general Oct. 25 seeking to reopen evidence in the case to show OEMs can comply with the Data Law by disabling telematics systems in MY22 and later vehicles sold in Massachusetts. Prior to the filing of that motion, the court had told the parties it would render a decision in the case by Nov. 2, but at an Oct. 27 hearing, the court directed the parties to propose how they might further supplement the record. With the record now supplemented by stipulation, the record before the court would seem to be almost complete and the case nearly ripe for decision. In the meantime, legislation amending the Data Law to extend the compliance deadline until MY25 remains under review by a committee of the Massachusetts Legislature.
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Refurbished Vehicle Donated to Family Recently, a deserving East Amherst, NY, family was presented with a vehicle to provide them independence and the ability to work, thanks to the National Auto Body Council (NABC) Recycled Rides® program along with car donor GEICO and Gabe’s Collision Center. The presentation was held at Gabe’s Collision Center in East Amherst, NY. The deserving recipients— Tina Netzel and her family—were selected by Family Promise of Western New York. The Netzels received a 2016 Toyota Camry. NABC Recycled Rides® is a unique program in which businesses representing all facets of the collision repair industry team up to repair and donate vehicles to individuals and families in need of reliable transportation. Since the inception of the NABC Recycled Rides® program in 2007, members of the NABC have donated more than 2,750 vehicles valued at more than $38 million. Additional partners in the NABC Recycled Rides® presentation included 1-800 Charity Cars. Source: NABC
AASP/NJ Gets REAL with Larry Montanez of P&L Consultants “Don’t ask a question you don’t want the answer to because I’m going to give you an answer, and I really don’t care whether you like it or not,” Larry Montanez of P&L Consultants warned during the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey’s (AASP/NJ) Nov. 17 meeting. Held at Gran Centurions in Clark, NJ, the in-person estimating seminar focused on Toyota required procedures, not-included items, estimating consistency and more. Guiding nearly 100 attendees through the process of writing an estimate to replace a quarter panel on a 2020 Toyota Camry, Montanez recommended repairers start by visiting I-CAR’s Repairability Technical Support (RTS) Portal and then proceeding to Toyota’s Technical Information System (TIS) to review OEM repair procedures; in the example used, 33 repair procedures were reviewed to complete the repair. Montanez touted the benefits of using the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG).
“The DEG gives you the P-pages for CCC, Mitchell and Audatex. If you’re not using the DEG, you’re only screwing yourself,” he said.
Jerry McNee urged attendees: “Do something with the information you learn. It’s like a puzzle. You’ve got 1,000 little pieces, and your job is putting those pieces
“Don’t ask a question you don’t want the answer to because I’m going to give you an answer, and I really don’t care whether you like it or not,” — Larry Montanez The meeting concluded with a special Q&A segment, “Larry Live!”, during which Montanez tackled some of the industry’s most pressing issues. He concluded by discouraging attendees from applying all of the techniques he’d discussed immediately. “Unless you have an asinine amount of money and want to go to court constantly, you can’t dive in headfirst,” he said. “Take one bite at a time; do it slowly and progressively, and you’ll get there over time with less hassle.” As the Q&A segment came to a close, AASP/NJ President
together to form the puzzle—and then use it. Never stop learning; there’s plenty of room for improvement. There’s strength in numbers, and if we all start doing things the same way, it’ll make our jobs and lives a little bit easier.” AASP/NJ’s next educational seminar will be held Dec. 15, featuring a presentation on OEM certification by Dave Gruskos of Reliable Automotive Equipment. For more information about AASP/NJ, visit aaspnj.org. Source: AASP/NJ
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Mercedes, Stellantis Invest in Factorial Energy by Mark Kane, Inside EVs
Factorial Energy, a Massachusetts-based 6-year-old start-up developer of solid-state batteries, has announced a major investment and collaboration agreements with two new automotive partners: Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis. Both new partners are making “strategic investments” in Factorial Energy and are entering into joint collaboration agreements, similar to Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation in October. Attracting three major automotive groups—Daimler, Hyundai Motor Group and Stellantis—is a clear sign Factorial Energy’s battery technology is very promising. In the case of Daimler, the investment amount has been described as “a high double-digit million dollar amount.” The company explained its proprietary solid electrolyte material and Factorial Electrolyte System Technology (FEST) enables it to produce safe and reliable solid-state battery cells, which, as first
in the world, reached 40 Ah capacity at room temperature. “Factorial’s advances are based on FEST™ (Factorial Electrolyte System Technology), which leverages a proprietary solid electrolyte material that enables safe and reliable cell performance with high-voltage and high-capacity electrodes at room temperature,” the company said. “Earlier this year, Factorial became the first to reach the 40 Amp-hour benchmark with a solid-state cell that works at room temperature, demonstrating the scalability of the FEST™ electrolyte.” The energy density also appears to be significantly improved compared to conventional lithium-ion technology with a liquid electrolyte, as the company promises 20% to 50% increase in driving range (without posting Wh/kg and Wh/l numbers). The brief info suggests also the costs per kWh will be reduced because the existing manufacturing infrastructure might be repurposed for Factorial’s solid-state battery type.
“These partnerships will accelerate our ability to commercialize our core technology,” said Factorial Energy CEO Siyu Huang, Ph.D. “With our new partners we can develop batteries that not only enable safer and longer driving range vehicles, but that are also compatible with conventional lithium-ion battery manufacturing environments.” Factorial Energy solid-state battery cell. “By accelerating our Mercedes-Benz strategy towards ‘Electric Only,’ we have set the course for a fully electric future,” said Markus Schäfer, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, responsible for Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars COO. “We will
also play a leading role in the field of battery technology. With Factorial as our new partner, we are taking research and development in the field of promising solid-state batteries to the next level. To this end, we are investing a high double-digit million dollar amount in Factorial. “With this cooperation, we combine Mercedes-Benz’s expertise in battery development and vehicle integration with the comprehensive know-how of our partner Factorial in the field of solid-state batteries. We share the common vision of CO2 neutrality. The continuous development of innovative battery technologies will make electric mobility even more attractive for our customers.” “Our investment in Factorial and other highly recognized battery partners boosts the speed and agility needed to provide cutting-edge technology for our electric vehicle portfolio,” said Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares. “Initiatives like these will yield a faster time to market and more cost-effective transition to solid-state technology.”
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Continued from Cover
Buy 300 Teslas fast charging points, 20 portable chargers, 11 solar charging carports, three electric buses and 78 electric ambulances—neither supplied by Tesla—as well as the conversion of 125 existing city buses from diesel to fully-electric. It’s worth noting the City of New York operates a fleet of more than 30,000 owned or leased vehicles and it currently has 400 EV charging points to cater to the EVs already in its fleet. It currently runs 2,260 EVs and PHEVs, of which 250 are Nissan Leafs and more than 300 are Chevrolet Bolts. The city wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2025; adding more electric cars to its fleet is one of the ways it wants to achieve the goal.
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NY Gov. Signs Legislation to Ensure Used Vehicles are Sold with Functioning Airbags q New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Nov. 7 signed legislation that prohibits used car dealers from selling vehicles at retail without a functioning airbag. This bill is entitled “Anthony Amoros’ Law” after a young man from Rockland, NY, who died in a car crash in a car that, unbeknownst to him, was sold to him without airbags.
the wheel,” Hochul said. “It’s crucial that drivers have the protection of an airbag in case tragedy strikes, which is why this new legislation is so important. I’m honored to sign this bill into law in memory of Anthony Amoros and grateful to his family for their advocacy to honor his memory.” Currently, there is no requirement a used vehicle sold by a dealer
surance their vehicle is safe to drive. “With the ‘Anthony Amoros Law’ now on the books, countless lives will be saved on the road,” said State Sen. James Skoufis. “I am deeply grateful to Rockland County’s Amoros family for their unwavering commitment to ensuring that drivers all over this state are protected behind the wheel. I also want to thank my colleague, Assemblymember Zebrowski, for his ongoing resolve to get this legislation across the finish line, and to Gov. Hochul for protecting New York’s drivers.” “This law makes New York safer for motorists and honors a remarkable young Rocklander,” said Assemblymember Ken Zebrowski. “When a car is supposed to have an airbag, and that airbag is missing or unworkable, tragedy awaits. You can’t sell a car without seatbelts, and now you can’t sell an equipped car without an airbag. Thank you to Gov. Hochul for signing this lifesaving measure and to the Amoros family for their collaboration and inspiring advocacy.” Source: New York State
“It’s crucial that drivers have the protection of an airbag in case tragedy strikes, which is why this new legislation is so important. I’m honored to sign this bill into law in memory of Anthony Amoros and grateful to his family for their advocacy to honor his memory.”— Gov. Kathy Hochul Under this legislation, certificates given to vehicle buyers must certify the vehicle is equipped with an airbag, as well as a readiness indicator light that indicates the airbag is functioning. “Every New Yorker deserves to be safe on the road and behind
would need to have a working airbag. This leaves drivers vulnerable, as they could be operating a vehicle without one of the most critical safety devices, and potentially without even knowing. By requiring all used vehicles to contain a functioning airbag, car buyers will have as-
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Jerome Avenue In recent weeks, the situation has escalated: On Oct. 2, electricity at the shop was cut off without notice, Taveras said. Since then, he’s been running his auto shop—and every piece of equipment in it—using multiple diesel generators. The first one he tried had just enough capacity to turn on the lights; then he found one capable of powering a car-lifting jack. On Oct. 7, he rented a generator capable of supporting all the equipment. “I can’t stop my business because there is no electricity,” Taveras said. Close to two weeks before the end of October, Taveras’ situation is critical, and just one example of the struggles longtime automotive business tenants on Jerome Avenue are facing three years after the city overhauled zoning rules there to allow for residential development. In 2018, as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s housing plan, the city rezoned this two-mile, 90-block stretch
of the southwest Bronx avenue, from East 167th to 184th streets, beneath the elevated tracks of the 4 train. Officials said changing zoning along the corridor from primarily auto-related, commercial and industrial uses to enable residential development would create thousands of affordable units in the transit-rich, housing-starved neighborhood. But the expected influx of new housing means some industrial tenants will inevitably have to go. According to the United Auto Merchants Association (UAMA), a nonprofit trade group, between 35 and 40 auto and auto-related businesses on Jerome have already been displaced since the rezoning, and around 150 still operate. Some, like Taveras, stand to lose businesses they have built for years, as their landlords sell or look to redevelop the properties. Auto shop owners said there are few comparable spaces elsewhere for them to relocate. Despite a monthslong search that included the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, as well as parts of Westchester and New Jersey, Taveras said he has not found a
suitable or affordable site to move his business to. When asked about the power being cut, Cisternas, Taveras’ former landlord, didn’t want to elaborate. Attorneys for Atlantic Development Group, the new owner, did not respond to a request for comment. In a previous conversation, Cisternas told City Limits he’s in favor of the rezoning, arguing that for years he’s noticed a significant decline in quality of life in the area, such as drug abuse, violence and excessive noise along the stretch. “The sooner the better,” Cisternas said of the rezoning. Promised funds, but no applicants When the city approved the rezoning, officials promised more than $189 million in capital projects and services for the neighborhoods along the rezoned strip, including Highbridge, Mount Eden and Morris Heights. This package of community benefits included 59 specific commitments, including “catalytic” investments in new schools and parks, improvements to transit and safety, and expanded tenant and business as-
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sistance programs, said then-Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen. “New programs will also provide assistance to businesses and their workers who may see change in the coming years,” Glen, who left the de Blasio administration in 2019, wrote in a March 6, 2018, letter to local elected officials that outlined the city’s commitments. Few businesses and workers stood to be affected more than Jerome Avenue’s auto merchants—the mechanics and technicians who work on engines, tires, brakes, sound systems, mirrors, mufflers and more, sometimes up to seven days a week. The Jerome Avenue area has one of the largest concentrations of automotive businesses in the city, rivaling the former “Iron Triangle” in Willets Point, Queens, said Pedro Estévez, the president and founder of UAMA. Since the Jerome rezoning was approved, Estévez has worried a similar fate would befall The Bronx’s auto sector. Many merchants at Willets Point were ultimately displaced by the Bloomberg administration’s decision to seize their property through eminent domain, part of a
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plan at the time to build a mall at the site, which ultimately never materialized. Though the city gave a cooperative of close to 50 of the auto body shops there $7 million to relocate to Hunts Point in the Bronx, the group filed for bankruptcy in 2017, saying that moving from Willets Point hurt business. Estévez, an auto entrepreneur who worked in the industry for decades before founding UAMA in 2007, estimated virtually all of the auto repair shops on Jerome are run by business owners who rent privately-owned spaces previously zoned for industrial use. Many lack longterm leases, making them especially vulnerable to eviction. The majority of these workers are Latino immigrants, he added. The zoning changes have already prompted some local landlords to sell their properties to developers, Estévez told City Limits, ousting longtime commercial tenants. A City Limits review of area property records found a number of buildings along the corridor have sold for millions since the rezoning. The
multi-story building at 2314 Jerome Ave., for example, once home to a moving company, sold last September for more than $9 million. “When you change the certificate of occupancy to residential, it is no way that those businesses are going to be able to remain there,” he said. “That neighborhood is no longer industrial or commercial, which all those automotive businesses need to exist.” Anticipating this, city officials created a more than $1.5 million Jerome Avenue Business Grant Program as part of the 2018 rezoning deal, “to help businesses that are directly displaced and need to adapt to changes in the neighborhood.” Businesses facing the threat of displacement, like manufacturing and auto businesses, would be eligible for grants of up to $20,000, intended to help them move to other sites zoned for industrial use. But today, more than three years after the business assistance program was announced, the city has issued no such grants to local businesses, City Limits found. The city’s Department of Small
Business Services (SBS) says it has yet to receive any applications for the relocation fund, which opened to applicants in September 2019, according to a spokesperson. Officials said most of the businesses—59 out of 75—that would’ve been operating out of compliance with the new rezoning rules have since worked with the state Department of Environmental Conservation to become compliant (according to the city’s Points of Agreement for the rezoning, businesses are only eligible for the relocation grants if they are “operating as a use that is non-compliant as a direct result of the rezoning.”) It is unclear how the city determined the number of non-compliant businesses—there are far more than 75 automotive businesses on the rezoned stretch. Neither city agency could provide additional information on how their figures were determined. SBS referred City Limits to the Department of City Planning, which said the state Department of Environmental Conservation would have further information. When contacted by City Limits, state officials said
at the time of the rezoning, they assessed 85 businesses on the strip and found 75 out of compliance. Sources told City Limits there are likely many more auto shops those efforts missed. It’s also not known if the city is tracking business closures related to its rezoning. When asked specifically for the number of small businesses that closed after the 2018 deal, SBS declined to comment. The agency maintains it had a regular presence on Jerome Avenue as part of the city’s rezoning work, including once-per-month outreach events in the area to deliver services directly to workers and businesses, and lease assistance workshops and legal consultations held in 2019. An SBS representative also held weekly office hours in the rezoning area to assist business owners, according to the spokesperson. Funding for the auto merchants grant program will be available through the end of the current fiscal year, or until July 2022. SBS officials declined to say whether the agency would expand the timeline for applications.
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Pressures amidst a pandemic City Limits recently interviewed more than 25 auto workers on Jerome Avenue, many of whom said the impact of the rezoning on area businesses has been compounded by the COVID-19 crisis. Many are unsure that their operations would be able to weather an eviction. “If we were not prepared before the pandemic, now we are even less prepared after the pandemic,” said Ana Liriano, one of a slim number of female auto shop managers working on Jerome. Franklin de la Cruz, now 53, was just 8 years old when he began working as a mechanic in the Dominican Republic. He’s spent 20 years working on cars in the Bronx, and has made his shop at 1271 Jerome Ave. a family enterprise: His son works by his side, repairing cars, and his daughter is in charge of the administrative part of the F&C Body Shop business. De la Cruz hasn’t had any issues with his landlord. But he also has not signed a lease for more than 10 years, and as businesses around him close and buildings are sold, one
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question lingers in his mind: What if the owner of his building, drawn to the prospect of the now-permitted residential zoning, decides to sell? “One is here until they get us out of here,” de la Cruz said, “but then what do I leave my children?” Dwindling industrial space— and the high cost of moving hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of sensitive machinery, in some cases—has made it exceedingly difficult for many automotive workers to relocate, Estévez said. The SBS grant program maxes out at $20,000. According to de la Cruz, the mere disassembly and reassembly of an automotive spray booth could cost $100,000—and that’s just one item. Also complicating matters is the fact the SBS grants are also only made to reimburse businesses that have already found alternate locations—a bruising task in a rental market where large industrial-use spaces are increasingly hard to find. Ashley Polanco, a manager at Taveras’ Jerome Avenue shop who’s been tasked with finding the business a new space to move to, says
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she has looked in The Bronx’s Hunts Point area as well as Queens, Brooklyn and even Westchester. “Which is, you know, not our area, because it’s really up there,” she said. “We have put in so much effort to find somewhere else to relocate. But it has been hard. It’s been hard.” U.S. e-commerce activity surged more than 34% in 2020, economists at the national real estate services firm CBRE said earlier this year, making large industrial space even more in-demand for big companies who want to increase their warehouse and distribution operations in urban centers like New York City. Last year’s growth, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, is unlikely to be sustainable, said Daniel Tropp, the founder and president of AEBOV, a Brooklyn-based industrial real estate brokerage. But it’s also likely many who started shopping online will continue to. “That includes people like my parents, for instance, who never really relied on Amazon and now are constantly getting Amazon deliv-
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distribution and warehouse purpose, tenants can easily access the city and the other boroughs as well as Westchester, even Jersey.” The price of rezoning The auto merchants are not the only businesses on the Jerome Avenue corridor with uncertain futures. Other shops here—discount stores, small grocery stores, family-owned pharmacies, laundromats, hair salons, bodegas and botanicas—appear vacant, or closed or have “for rent” signs in their windows. This trend was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which battered the Bronx. Business owners in the borough, the city’s poorest, also received less in federal payroll protection funds in the earliest, deadliest days of the crisis. For the business tenants who remain, leases have become elusive, many said. Like Taveras, who has not had a lease since 2015, many owners no longer have yearly contracts on their shops, they told City Limits, making them vulnerable to eviction should landlords decide to sell.
Of the approximately 150 auto shops now on Jerome Avenue, according to UAMA’s Estévez, only one auto worker owns his space. Instead, many said they rent increasingly expensive spaces on a monthto-month basis. Very few, like Draulin Marcelino, who runs a car audio shop, have been able to sign long-term leases. “Mine goes until 2040,” he said, “and if the owner wants to sell, he has already promised to let me know so that I have the opportunity to make him an offer to buy the property.” He said the last time someone from the city came to talk about the rezoning was in 2019. “Since then, I haven’t seen them again,” he said. The city most recently held a community visioning workshop in October 2019, and most engagement meetings took place in the years before. The Department of City Planning held dozens of public meetings, community workshops and stakeholder roundtables starting in March 2015, in addition to the formal public review process meetings in late 2017 and early 2018.
While some lament the potential loss of blue-collar jobs and middle-class wages the local auto sector provides, others see the rezoning as an opportunity for much-needed affordable housing. At the time the plan passed, some community members argued in support of the area’s transition from industrial to residential, citing threats to health and safety created by the presence of auto shops near people’s homes. Since the rezoning, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has financed 1,024 new affordable homes in the rezoned area, a spokesperson told City Limits. More than half of these homes serve low-income households earning less than $53,000 for a family of three, HPD said. “These new affordable homes in the rezoning area are part of a larger commitment to the neighborhoods around the rezoning area,” the spokesperson said, adding the agency has financed the building of 4,075 new affordable homes in the community districts that intersect with the rezoned stretch since 2014.
More than half, or 2,339 of those, were financed since the rezoning was adopted, according to the agency. And the zoning changes have not spelled complete doom for all auto merchants. At East 184th Street and Jerome, at the very northernmost edge of the rezoned strip, one auto shop, Arch Auto Parts, is doing something few businesses on the avenue are doing now: opening instead of closing. Still, three years since the Jerome Avenue deal, some business owners said they were not familiar with the rezoning plan, and while the majority of the managers had heard about it, most mechanics had no idea about the potential changes ahead. Taveras’ mechanics know about the rezoning and the property sale, and keep working. Every two hours, one of them takes a plastic jug to a nearby gas station for diesel, then rides back on a motorized scooter to refill the generator. On a recent visit to the shop, Cisternas, the building’s former owner—who sold the site for $6.9 million this past spring—was smoking thin See Jerome Avenue, Page 37
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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.
When it Comes to Auto Body Shop Technician Compensation, Something Has to Change Something has to change. I’ll tell you up front: I’m going to be repeating those four words a number of times as you read through this article. Something has to change. I have a family member who graduated from high school and went to work for Amazon. He is now 21, making more than $100,000 a year. He has stock options and they pay 100% of his health insurance. And they pay for all of his college. That’s what we’re competing against when we’re trying to recruit young people into our industry. Something has to change. I know a body tech who got out of the industry to work as a truck driver. He’s making more than $100,000 a year now. And he doesn’t have to buy any tools. He told me, “I have a lot less stress, Mike.” Something has to change.
There’s a convenience store at the gas station near my home. That store starts people at $18 an hour. Just to work at a gas station convenience store. That’s almost $40,000 a year. Plus health insurance. There’s no liability in that work, and they’re
not exposed to hazardous materials. They also offer up to $10,000 a year for child care reimbursement. Yet I talk to auto body shops trying to start people out at $10 to $15 per hour. That model is broken. Our industry has got to be able to of-
fer a more competitive wage as well as better benefits. Something has to change. Now I understand: We can’t compensate fairly unless we are being compensated fairly. This is absolutely not an anti-insurance article. It’s not. But at the end of the day, either labor rates have to start to come in line with what we need to compensate more fairly, shops have got to be paid for more not-included operations, or some combination of the two. Somehow we need to collect additional funds to be able to recruit and retain people. I think we will see shops change who they do business with over this issue. They almost have to. I know one MSO has already told investors they’ve dropped some direct repair programs with “lower-margin clients that are not willing to increase pricing.”
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I’ve also heard from shops saying a competitor in their market is offering signing bonuses of as much as $10,000. I don’t believe in stealing fish from another man’s pond. That’s not the solution. What we need to do is recruit by offering a more competitive compensation package. The problem is only getting worse. We all know body labor rates have been lower than those in the mechanical industry because of body techs being able to work at 135% or 150% efficiency. But as we see less “repair” and more “replace,” technicians’ efficiencies are dropping. If it pays you five hours to replace a door, it takes you every bit of those five hours. A technician can turn a screwdriver, wrench or other tool only so fast. The space required for the work has increased. It takes three times
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the space of an average auto body shop stall just to perform calibrations. The skills needed are also increasing. We need a much higher caliber person doing everything from the OEM procedure research to the final ADAS calibrations. “It’s not just body work,” Susanna Gotsch of CCC Intelligent Solutions said at the MSO Symposium in November. “It’s mechanical work, the knowledge of electronics, understanding how telematics and the systems of the car work, how to read the manuals from the OEMs. All of that requires a higher set of training and tooling. That cost will have to be passed on. So I think we’re going to see more inflation on labor. I think that’s going to start to find its way into appraisals as well. It just has to.” My friends and colleagues, the industry model we have right now is broken, in terms of labor rates and compensation packages. I don’t know the answer. I’ve got some ideas, I’ve got some thoughts. But I do know this: Something has to change.
Continued from Page 30
Continued from Cover
cigars and shredding paperwork in front of a business next door, where the electricity still worked. He declined to comment on Taveras’ situation. Taveras himself, meanwhile, said running the business on a generator has hiked his electricity bill to around $2,640 per month, plus the cost of 25 gallons of diesel per day. As of now, he has no plan to move, and no alternate location for the shop. He relies on the larger Jerome Avenue location to offset some of the expenses at his second, smaller location in the northeast Bronx. If he loses the Jerome Avenue site, Taveras worries his other shop might have to close, too. “I think it is an abuse,” said Taveras. “This should not be. Now I have to spend money that was not in the budget.” Taveras is looking to fight the eviction in Bronx civil court, and will present his case on Oct. 29.
vania and owner of Colket Automotive Technical Services in Landale, PA. “MWACA has had a clear path of success over the last three years since they left ASA. They clearly have a better sense of direction and are willing to help the alliances who come on board. Their unique and value-added benefits and services offer a better bang for the buck for our members.” “We will continue to focus our efforts to bring the best value and support to our local independent automotive repair shop owners,” said Ron Turner, who has been appointed as the full-time executive director for ASA Pennsylvania. “I
welcome the opportunity to network with MWACA and the other alliances.” “MWACA is excited to share the ideas, programs and benefits that have led to our growth and success,” said Tim Davison, president of MWACA and owner of Chumbley’s Auto Care in Indianola, IA. “We have a results-driven and member-focused strategy. Sharing our process and collaborating with alliances on future plans and benefits will bring opportunities and support to more automotive service professionals across the country.” The transition to Mid-Atlantic Auto Care Alliance begins immediately with the changeover completed no later than Jan. 1. Source: ASA Pennsylvania
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autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 39 8/12/21 12:20 PM
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.
Auto Body Shop Billing Practices Related to Total Losses, Not-Included Procedures
Disconnecting and later reconnect- all eight insurers appear to be more shops not part of State Farm’s DRP ing a vehicle’s battery during col- likely to reimburse their direct repair said they were. Additionally, 24% said State Farm “never” pays them lision repair work is no longer the shops for this procedure. with Ed Attanasio This was particularly true in the for this procedure. simple operation it used to be—and auto body shops are increasingly un- case of State Farm. More than half When shops were asked a folderstanding the need to research the OEM procedures for doing so, and seeking to be paid for the labor entailed. That was among theAttanasio findings with Ed of a “Who Pays for What?” survey in 2021. The survey of more than 500 shops around the country last summer found about 61% of survey respondents reported being paid “always” or “most of the time” by the eight largest insurers when they with Ed Attanasio performed and invoiced for the pro“Who Pays for What?” survey last summer found nearly one in five shops say they are paid all cedures required to reconnect a bat- or most of the time when they invoice for the labor to clear a customer’s data from a total loss tery. vehicle Overall, the eight insurers included in the survey proved fairly (55%) of State Farm DRP shops said low-up question about how often similar in terms of likelihood of they were “always” paid by the insur- they research the OEM repair prowith Ed Attanasio covering the bill for this work. But er for this operation, but only 23% of cedures necessary after a battery
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is reconnected, just more than half (51%) said they do it most or all of the time. But more than one in four (28%) acknowledged they research the proper procedure only “occasionally” or even “never.” “Researching procedures required when the battery is disconnected and reconnected is critical to a safe and proper repair,” Mike Anderson of Collision Advice wrote in the report with the survey findings. “I was analyzing the procedures called for by one Asian OEM recently, and found 11 procedures required after reconnecting the battery. Disconnecting the battery often will set diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). You can’t check for those without doing a post-repair vehicle scan in conjunction with reconnecting the battery.” The first of the four “Who Pays for What?” surveys of 2022, one
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focused on not-included refinish labor operations, is being conducted throughout January; shops can visit https://www.crashnetwork.com/collisionadvice to take the survey. Last summer’s survey also found although a majority of shops surveyed said they had not yet billed for the time entailed in clearing customer data from a total loss vehicle, some of those who have reported the largest insurers were paying for those charges. “Clearing the vehicle owner’s personal data from a total loss vehicle is something we need to start thinking about for our customers,” Anderson said. “A vehicle owner today may have their home address stored in their navigation unit of the vehicle. Their contacts can be stored when they sync their phone. Garage door opener codes might be stored. So we need to be asking the vehicle owner, when the vehicle is a total loss, if they would they like us to erase their personal information. The process for this can be found in the owner’s manual.” Fewer than 20% of the auto body shops answering the survey
question last summer said they had sought to be reimbursed for the procedure by eight of the nation’s largest insurers. Among those who did, just 19% overall found insurers covering the bill “always” or “most of the time”—and most of those involved non-DRP repairs. Anderson thinks that will change over time as the industry becomes more aware of the need for the procedure to be performed, and as more shops regularly bill for it. The survey also found administrative fees for total loss processing have become increasingly common. Direct repair agreements often prohibit participating shops from charging administrative fees related to processing of total losses. California shops are also prohibited by state regulation there for charging administrative fees. But the “Who Pays” survey last summer found the percentage of U.S. shops saying they are paid such an administrative fee has risen, with a strong majority (72%) saying they are paid always, or most of the time, when they bill for this work. That compares to just 46% back in 2015.
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Likewise, the percentage of shops that say they have never billed for this fee also has declined steadily since 2015. Today, only 11% say they never charge a fee to process a total loss, but in 2015, that figure was 30%. “Processing a total loss has become more complex than it used to be,” Anderson said. “It can involve more teardown, more research of OEM procedures, vehicle scans and more.” According to the 2021 survey, 74% of shops itemize charges—as opposed to charging a flat fee—for total loss processing. In addition to the administrative time, these charges may include moving a non-drivable vehicle, covering the vehicle to protect it from weather, etc. Back in 2015, 38% of shops believed the top eight largest insurers in the “Who Pays” surveys “never” paid an administrative fee for total losses. Today, only 17% still think so. The “Who Pays” surveys also ask about a variety of other collision shop billing practices. A growing percentage of shops, for example,
say they are using an invoicing system to track and bill for items such as clips and fasteners, seam-sealer, eraser wheels or other shop supplies used during a repair. Slightly more than half of shops (54%) in last summer’s survey reported using some kind of commercially available invoicing system, such as those available from 3M, Kent Automotive or Wurth. That’s up from 41% in 2017. “Many of the items these systems can track, and generate an invoice for, are often inexpensive but one-time use items that may not seem worth tracking, like acid brushes or mixing nozzles,” Anderson said. “But added all together, it can be a sizable unreimbursed expense.” Virtually all shops (93%) using a system reported doing so generates additional revenue on their estimates. The survey asked shops to quantify that additional revenue. The largest group (37%) said it generates an average of more than $50 of additional revenue per estimate; the next largest group (29%) said between $26 and $50 per estimate.
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3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives Created to Improve Collision Shops’ Productivity, Efficiency and Cleanliness by Stacey Phillips
For decades, auto body shops across the industry have faced a quiet and sometimes unrecognized choice in regard to dust extraction, according to Nick Oberle, application engineer specialist in the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division. “To get the maximum benefits of dust extraction, body shops needed to sacrifice their overall productivity,” said Oberle. “Net abrasives, which capture more than 95% of the dust they create, often don’t deliver the cut and life of traditional abrasives, which have poorer dust capture.” As a result of this challenge, 3M introduced a solution, 3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives. Oberle explained 3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives use the company’s patented Precision Shaped Grain mineral to power the new discs. Each micro replicated grain is a sharp triangle he said cuts through material easier than traditional abrasive grains.
“The Cubitron™ II Net family of abrasives cuts twice as fast and lasts twice as long as other net abrasive families and captures more than 95% of the dust they create,” said Oberle, who tested the new discs against the competition. Oberle says the reception has been great. “It’s exciting when you introduce a never-before-seen product and then watch technicians embrace it in their shops and quickly realize its many benefits,” he said. Dust extraction is required in many countries across the globe. Five years ago, Oberle and the 3M engineering team began researching potential regulation changes to abrasives and dust extraction in the U.S. “When you look at global regulations, the United States is far more lenient than Europe,” said Oberle. “The last time the U.S. rewrote any type of regulation around particulates in the air was in the early 1970s.” According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and
44 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
Health (NIOSH), airborne shop dust “…may contain hazardous substances, such as lead and chromium from surface coatings and abrasives from sanding discs, that are harmful to the lungs and nervous system of workers.” “Technicians are not going to notice a negative health effect the next day, but over time, dust could cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, cancer and neural toxicity,” said Oberle. “Getting dust away from the tech, from a human perspective, is important to 3M.” NIOSH recommends what it calls “ventilated sanders” for auto body shops “…because they have been shown to be effective in reducing total dust concentrations during the sanding of body filling compounds … ventilated sanders have cut total dust concentrations to one-tenth the levels produced using unventilated sanders.” Currently, dust capture is not a requirement in most of the U.S. “The moment that changes,
there is going to be a very quick shift in the market to create dust extraction products,” said Oberle. Even without regulation, interest in dust extraction in the U.S. has been growing at the same time as the drive for reduced cycle times and greater shop efficiencies. Oberle said dust capture helps reduce loading, which can rob abrasives of their cutting power and shorten their life. In addition, less dust in the air can help reduce the risk of rework caused by dust settling into fresh paint. “The market is becoming more interested in dust extraction,” said Oberle. “3M is ready to satisfy that interest today.” In 2016, 3M partnered with Festool to develop dust extraction for the auto body industry. Oberle said the 90-year-old company has a long track record of creating high-quality, dependable products. Festool was a pioneer in dust extraction tools and today, Oberle said it only sells sanders equipped for dust capture. “3M™ Net Abrasives allow
Festool tools to achieve their maximum dust capture potential, which is great news for shops,” said Oberle. The family of net abrasives is offered in 3-, 5-, 6- and 8-inch discs as well as 70-, 80- and 115mm sheet rolls. The 3M™ Hookit™ hook-and-loop attachment allows unused portions of the abrasive to be used on a future job. The open net abrasive pattern means these net abrasives work with self-generating vacuum sanders, central vac systems and portable dust extractors. Overall, Oberle said the goal is to remove dust at the source. “3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives can help lead to less in-air dust-related contaminants, less rework and cleanup time, improved cycle time, process efficiency and technician mobility within the body shop,” he said.
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2021 U.S. Car Rental Revenue Climbs 21% Year-Over-Year by Chris Brown, Auto Rental News
The U.S. car rental industry achieved overall revenues of $28.1 billion in 2021—a 21% gain over the pandemic year of 2020, according to data collected by Auto Rental News.
“After the global pandemic brought travel to a standstill, followed by a recovery that was hamstrung by the unprecedented constriction of vehicle supply, it is remarkable that the industry reached $28.1 billion in 2021,” — Chris Brown The total represents the largest year-over-year revenue gain in recorded history after a precipitous fall of 27.4% in 2020 over pre-pandemic 2019, which notched record revenues of $32 billion. The U.S. car rental industry reached this revenue on only 1.8 million cars in service, which produced a record average revenue per unit, per month (RPU) of $1,320. This represents a more than 11% increase over average RPU of $1,174 in 2019, a major jump after years of only in-
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cremental gains. Sales to car rental are expected to be only 811,000 units in 2021—the lowest in 20 years and the result of the global supply chain crisis provoked by the extreme shortage of semiconductor chips.
“After the global pandemic brought travel to a standstill, followed by a recovery that was hamstrung by the unprecedented constriction of vehicle supply, it is remarkable that the industry reached $28.1 billion in 2021,” said Chris Brown, executive editor of Auto Rental News. “This record jump in revenues, along with record RPU, demonstrates the industry’s ability to manage through a once-in-a-lifetime crisis. “These metrics are even more notable in that important sectors for
car rental—international inbound and corporate travelers—remain well below pre-pandemic levels,” Brown continued, adding the industry has been able to grow other segments, including b-to-b rentals, family road trippers, insurance replacements and long-term neighborhood customers. The industry’s 2021 performance saw record earnings from Avis Budget Group and stronger-than-expected earnings from Hertz as it exited bankruptcy and relisted on Nasdaq. (Enterprise Holdings is privately held.) This performance was driven partly by the rebound in demand, though predominantly by the extraordinary used car market. The vehicle supply crisis drove the Manheim Index, the industry’s leading barometer of wholesale pricing trends, to ever-escalating records in 2021. Car rental companies enjoyed average prices of almost $24,000 for de-fleeted risk units by the end of October, a 50% increase over the same period in 2019. Prices are de-escalating somewhat but should stay buoyant on constricted supply through 2022.
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Retired Tech Looks Back at 67 Years in Collision Repair by Ed Attanasio
Over the years, I have interviewed a lot of collision repair professionals as they retire from the industry. If someone can work in this business for 30, 40 or even 50 years, it’s obviously an impressive run. But when I heard Felix Cano Sr. of Texas retired after a 67-year career as a metal technician, I was shocked and pleasantly surprised. Longevity is always a factor with technicians or painters. They need to be adaptable and willing to learn, and—maybe most importantly—they need to be durable. The physical work associated with these jobs is what often becomes the deciding factor. The average veteran body man ends up experiencing injuries and wear and tear to his body over the years, and it adds up. When Cano entered the industry at age 16, he knew nothing, but at $8 an hour, he was the richest kid in school. He started out working for a collision center for a Chevy dealer-
ship in Texas as a body man’s helper. To say the learning curve was steep is a major understatement. “I learned fast and the guys I worked with were willing to teach me,” Cano said. “Bondo wasn’t
The Cano family has always been all-in when it comes to becoming the best techs they can and imparting their knowledge to others. Pictured here is Felix Cano Jr., left, and his father, Felix Cano, Sr.
even around back then, so I was doing mostly lead work. The cars back then didn’t have all of the plastic that they have now and fixing them was
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more straightforward. Today, you have to scan the vehicles and techs are more like computer programmers compared to what we did.” Life wasn’t always a walk in the park for Cano and his family, as his father worked multiple jobs with the economy struggling. At one point, his parents and two siblings were one step away from homelessness. “For three weeks, we lived in our car, an old Bonneville, under a tree,” he said. “We bathed in an ice chest and it was a tough period. My first pay check was $488 for one week, and I thought I was wealthy. We got an apartment and things got better.” The only problem was Cano’s parents moved the family into an apartment where children were not allowed. “We had to hide the kids from the landlord so he wouldn’t find out,” he said. “We hid in the closet and under the bed. The apartment manager knew what we were doing, but he covered for us. After a while, my dad got enough money to buy a
brand-new home for $40,000.” Wherever he worked, Cano was well-liked and highly respected, according to his son, Felix Cano Jr., who had a long career as a tech himself and is a collision tech teacher today. “When he was working for Chuck Fairbanks Chevrolet in DeSoto, TX, Mr. Fairbanks asked him to rebuild his personal car and was often recruited as a ringer for the company golf tournaments,” Cano Jr. said. “Dad was a decent golfer, so Mr. Fairbanks always wanted him as a partner. My father would also cook breakfast every Wednesday for the whole crew, regardless of where he worked. It was chorizo, bacon, eggs, tortillas—a big spread—and he usually paid for the whole thing himself.” Cano Sr. was working at three auto body shops at the time, repairing high-end luxury cars like Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis. His average workday started at 7 a.m. and often ended at 2 a.m., he said.
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“I learned how to do the lead work and realized that I had a skill that was much-needed,” he said. “I pretty much was able to set my prices and soon I was taking home $800 to $1,000 every week.” Not bad for a guy in his 20s. Lead work is a lost art and used primarily by car restorers today, but Cano was able to turn it into a moneymaker over the years. “It requires more training and practice to perfect and it’s a much slower process,” he said. “Lead seals much better than body filler. You can apply it straight over welds, section locations, pillars or anywhere else where you need a solid seal. Lead will flex well without the metal cracking. Body fillers have improved through the years and they flex as well, but lead is better for flexing without cracking.” Cano planted a seed and it sprouted when two of his six sons, Felix Jr. and Greg, decided to enter the industry. Felix Cano Jr. has made a name for himself as an award-winning instructor and is known for turning many of his students into winners at SkillsUSA competitions.
The legacy continues with his son, Felix Cano III, who works for a body shop in Texas after learning the trade from his father, grandfather and uncle. The Canos treasure their roles as teachers. Cano Sr. was an instructor with I-CAR for several years.
Part of Felix Cano Sr.’s retirement plan will include a little golf now and then
Just like his son, he’s anxious to share his knowledge and experience with anyone willing to learn. When Cano Jr. was 8 years old, he started going to work with his father and that’s when he realized he wanted to be like his dad. “I had one of the best teachers anyone could have and the one-onone instruction that I have from him
was so beneficial,” Cano Jr. said. “I teach my students the way he taught me. One great thing about my dad was that he never yelled at me when I messed up. During all the years I’ve worked by his side, he never got mad and his patience was amazing. What he did for me was better than any apprenticeship because I could ask him questions all the time.” If it was his decision, Cano Sr. would still be working, he said. “Everyone wanted me to retire, except for me. But my wife wants me around the house, so what can I do? I go down to the shop every once in a while, to stay connected,” he said. “Like many other people who reach retirement age, I don’t want to stay home and die. I want to still be involved.” Cano Jr. is very proud of his papa and hopes he will live past 100. “He still wants to give back— that’s just the way he is. He was one of the old school ‘metal men’ from that era; the crème de la crème and true tradesmen,” Cano Jr. said. “He turned us into teachers because we wanted to be like him, and we still do!”
Axalta Among Most Responsible Companies Axalta, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, has been named one of “America’s Most Responsible Companies” for 2022 by Newsweek magazine. The list recognizes the 500 most responsible companies in the U.S. across 14 different industry subcategories. Axalta ranked 138th overall and eighth in the capital goods industry classification. For Newsweek’s list of America’s Most Responsible Companies 2022, companies were selected based on publicly available key performance indicators derived from Corporate Social Responsibility Reports, Sustainability Reports and Corporate Citizenship Reports, as well as an independent survey. The key performance indicators focused on company performance in the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) areas, while the independent survey asked U.S. citizens about their perception of company activities related to corporate social responsibility. Source: Axalta
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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.
MSOs Discuss Collision Parts Challenges, Increased Work-in-Progress
A panel of representatives from a of course once they get docked, you like we can build three-fourths of number of multi-shop collision re- still need trucks and people to un- the job or even more, but too often pair operations at the MSO Sympo- load them. It’s evolving, and it’s there’s that one critical part—even with Ed Attanasio a common part, like a bumper covsium in Las Vegas in November dis- pretty painful.” cussed how disruptions in the parts Darrell Amberson, president er—that we’re waiting months for.” supply chain are impacting their of operations for LaMettry’s Colli- Hezar said that type of situation business. sion, which has 10 collision repair now means Caliber has “somewhere All agreed the parts challeng- shops and three mechanical shops in about $50 million to $60 million of es are not limited to any particu- Minnesota, concurred. work-in-progress…with cars sitting lar parts segments, including new in parking lots, waiting to with Ed Attanasio OEM, used and non-OEM. be finalized.” “I think we have problems in all Amberson, too, said his categories,” said Marty Evans, an company has seen an inMSO operator in Washington who crease of between 10% also is COO of the Certified Colliand 20% in his company’s work-in-progress compared sion Group banner network. to pre-pandemic. Shawn Hezar, chief client offiwith Ed Attanasio The panel discussing parts supply chain issues at the cer for Caliber Collision, agreed all MSO Symposium included, pictured left to right, Mark “It’s a mixed blessing bethe parts industry segments are fac- Miller, Shawn Hezar, Darrell Amberson and Marty cause in today’s world we ing the same challenges, in terms of Evans almost have to have more labor and logistics. work-in-progress to keep “I live in Los Angeles where we “We’re seeing it among Asian our people busy,” Amberson said. can actually seewith the ships lined up, manufacturers, Europeans, domes- “Because there are too many jobs Ed Attanasio waiting to be docked,” he said. “And tics,” Amberson said. “It often feels for which we’re waiting for insur-
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ance authorization or parts. But the downside is it creates a lot of chaos, and delays for the customer, more cycle time for the insurers.” In some cases, other panelists acknowledged, it is impacting their customer satisfaction. “As a general rule, yes, we are seeing CSI going down, and that’s very painful,” Evans said. “As much as we try, as much as we be proactive and communicate, you sometimes get the head nod or yes, that they understand, but the survey goes out and that conversation never took place. We’re all doing everything we can to communicate, but you’re not going to win every time.” Hezar said Caliber was “knocking it out of the park” in terms of CSI in 2020 when work loads were down, but said 2021 “has been tough.” That in turn, he said, can have an impact on employee morale.
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“Our teammates aren’t feeling as good about what is taking place either. We have to remember that,” Hezar said. Parts supply chain challenges, the panelists said, are impacting their costs in various ways—increases they will likely need to pass on. Parts delays, for example, can lead some jobs to expand beyond a customer’s rental car allowance, a cost repairers can’t always bear in the name of customer service. “I want to be clear: We’ve picked up a lot of rental car expenses. Our rental car expenses have gone up by millions of dollars,” Hezar said. “At some point you have to say, ‘It’s just no longer feasible. We can’t do that.’ You’re hoping the end [to the parts delays] is in sight, but based on everything we hear, these challenges are going to continue well into 2022. At some point, you have to stop.” Are the MSOs seeing changes in parts discounts? Amberson said he sees parts prices increasing overall but not changes in his agreements with suppliers.
That wasn’t the case among other panelists. Hezar said parts margins get squeezed when a part has to be sourced from a supplier with which his company has not had a long-time relationship. “It’s very common that it’s not going to be the same discount. So in a lot of cases we do see it costing us more,” he said. But suppliers have also come to Caliber this year to say their costs are escalating and they “have no choice but to lower” Caliber’s discount. “We’ve seen that from time to time,” Hezar said. Evans joked he thinks Hezar jinxed him on the topic of changes to supplier discounts after they spoke about it the week prior to the symposium. “I hadn’t heard a lot about it before then, but now it’s becoming more and more common,” Evans said. “Even with those you have a relationship with, we are hearing they are reducing [the] discount, which is very painful.” www.autobodynews.com
Tesla Has an Estimated 1.3M Cybertruck Reservations Worth $80B by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs
The Tesla Cybertruck story is really outright crazy if you think about it. The truck arrived on stage at its reveal and many people thought it was an Elon Musk joke, which would come as no surprise.
They were waiting for the “actual” electric pickup truck to appear on stage, but the crazy metal wedge was the real deal. Clearly, the wild, stainless steel behemoth has grown on many people, to the tune of more than a million. Tesla recently made it clear it won’t begin producing the Cybertruck for about another year. People have already been waiting two years, and it may be years before all 1.3 million reservations are
filled. Meanwhile, people are still adding to the reservation list. Sure, not all these folks will follow through, but even if only half of them move forward, it’s triple the number of Ford F-150 Lightning reservations, which are incredible as well. The fact nearly 200,000 people have reserved an electric pickup truck from Ford is something many people would have never believed in the recent past. However, to put it into perspective, 250,000 people reserved a Cybertruck during the first week after it was revealed. According to a recent report on Electrek, Tesla’s roughly 1.27 million Cybertruck reservations add up to some $80 billion in future value. It’s important to note there’s no way to know for sure how many Cybertruck reservations exist, though a crowdsourced system is working to keep track. An analyst’s report from six months ago put Cybertruck reservations at 650,000, but orders continue to come in at a ridiculous pace.
ASA Announces Podcast Series The first episode of the Automotive Service Association (ASA)’s Technology and Telematics Podcast Series was released Dec. 6 on the ASA podcast channel. The episode features a discussion between Wayne Weikel, senior director of state affairs for the Alliance of Automotive Innovation, and Bob Redding, ASA’s Washington, D.C., representative. Redding and Weikel give an overview of the political issues surrounding electric vehicles, including an update on the recently passed infrastructure package and the in-progress budget reconciliation package. This podcast is the first in a series of podcasts entitled “A Changing Fleet,” which will feature conversations with industry leaders about the automotive industry’s shift towards electric vehicles. Source: ASA
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Industry Veteran Establishes Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com ers.” When Schillinger saw a sudden Steven Schillinger of Reno, NV, has surge in pet adoptions during the worked as a collision repair industry COVID lockdown, he was encourconsultant in different capacities for aged, he said. “It has definitely gone viral namore than 40 years, as a compliance expert focusing on permits, license tionwide. Shelters, nonprofit rescue organizations, private breeders and protection and record keeping. As a member of the Govern- pet stores have all reported more ment Regulatory Compliance (GRC) consumer demand than there were Board of Directors, Schillinger has dogs and cats to fill,” Schillinger tried to retire several times over the said. “Rescues were accepting dozyears but has failed miserably. He ens of applications for individual thought fishing and golf would be dogs and breeders were compiling his activities after retirement, but waiting lists well into 2021. Dog discovered both are “boring,” he lovers kept trying to fill voids with said. Losing his dog also created a canine companions, either because void in his life. they were stuck working from home During the COVID pandemic, with children who needed someSchillinger lost his beloved friend thing to do, had no work and lots of and canine mascot, George, at age free time, or felt lonely with no way 14, and it hit him hard. As a result, to socialize.” he began looking for a way for body American Society for the Preshops and other auto repair busi- vention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPnesses to help displaced pets. CA) President Madeline Bernstein Many people have been aban- reported adoptions doubled during doning their pets during the pan- the lockdown, with 10 or 13 adopdemic by dumping them in the Ne- tions a day. A waiting list formed for vada desert. When Schillinger kept certain types of dogs and for puppies seeing news stories about it, he in general, because so few were left Spec Ad Order decided to act, and that’s when he in the shelter. But now, shelter direcfounded the Pet-Rescue-AutoShop. tors are wondering what will hapcom campaign to help and promote pen as Americans start returning to Salesgroups Rep: in school Norman Morano and work. animal rescue and shelter Bernstein foresaw at the start of the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Advertiser: is the pandemic many of these adop Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com an exclusive automotive Kenaftermarket Vangorder tions could potentially lead to more program in support ofVolkswagen Adopt-a-Pet. dogs being abandoned. She has also of Kingston com to help pets and people in local 1249 Ulster Ave seen many people bonding with communities all over Kingston North Ameritheir pandemic pets and providing NY 12401 ca, and with auto repair facilities— them withFax: forever homes. Phone: 845-336-5300x4 845-336-7436 including body shops—playing an “Like so many things concerning the pandemic, the territory is integral role. Today’s Date: 2/15/2021 Approximately 7.6 million uncharted,” Schillinger said. “Just as nobody that the start companion pets are surrendered to a page Ad type: quarter w/ VWpredicted DLP listing shelter every year in the U.S. alone. of a pandemic would lead to a huge spike in the number of adopted pets, That includes 4.2 million dogs abanInstructions to Graphic Designer: doned—1.4 million of which are eu- nobody is quite sure what the end of thanized annually. 1)Use all the information a pandemic will many in his 8thmean pagefor spec ad. of “Animals have no voice of their them, and that’s why we see some own, no social safety2)Use net and Pet-Rescue-Authe very Liberty genuine VW Qtr value page in adthe template few rights under the law,” Schil- toShop.com campaign.” linger said. “They are vulnerable Animal rescues are OE typically 3)Include the network logos: Parts Trader, and, unfortunately, mistreated more privately-owned, and do not have a Connection, OPS Trax and Collision Link often than most of us can even imag- facility—often, they are run entirely ine. The Pet Rescue4)Use Campaign is bullet by volunteers, people the same points in including the Liberty VW who focused on automotive service and volunteer as fosters. Fosters care ad. Please don’t use the bullet point in the repair shop owners in North Amer- for animals at their homes for a few existing 8th page spec ad. ica that has gained recognition with weeks or months until the animal regulatory agencies and insurance gets adopted. Thanks, partners as well as community lead- In the last few years, a lot of resby Ed Attanasio
54 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
cues have shifted to promoting their animals on Instagram and Facebook, which serve as free marketing for getting their animals adopted. The Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com campaign is also supported by many members of the Alliance of Auto Manufacturing that are partnering with animal shelters. In addition, Subaru has joined with the ASPCA to help find thousands of animals their forever homes, and donated nearly $16.5 million to support shelters and adoption events. In conjunction with their dog rescue efforts, Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com supports local volunteer organizations that are too small to raise substantial funds themselves, and would fall through the cracks without us. “We network online 24/7 with business owners to provide instant assistance, boarding, medical care, food, medicine, training and transport for desperate animals,” Schillinger said. “We are the place to go when there is nowhere else to turn. We rescue pets, and we rescue the
rescuers—shelters and other animal welfare groups that are currently inundated with new pets.” You’ve likely heard about AMBER Alerts. Pet-Rescue-AutoShop. com has developed the same system for pets—Area Missing: Pet Emergency Response (AMPER) Alerts— which connects auto body shops with an assigned AMPER area-alert team to offer advice and assistance for confidentiality, as well as to transport pets to shelters, rescues and private owners. “It is designed to achieve a uniform, interoperable network of plans across the country, and to minimize potentially deadly delays because of confusion among varying participants,” Schillinger said. Every authorized AutoShop facility will have an email contact and telephone number assigned for AMPER alerts. Participants receive alerts of a recently lost or missing pet. If the pet is found/rescued, most do not go back home but instead go to a transitional facility, a Pet Halfway House. As the name implies, it
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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 / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 55
is not a dog pound, but closer to a foster home. For an AMPER Alert to be effective in recovering a missing pet, Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com must have enough information to believe an immediate broadcast to the public will enhance the efforts to locate the pet. This element requires as much descriptive information as possible about the lost pet. Issuing alerts in the absence of significant information that the pet is actually lost could lead to abuse of the system and ultimately weaken its effectiveness. Vice President of Industry Relations at Automotive Service Association (ASA) Tony Molla sees real value in the Pet-Rescue-AutoShop. com campaign for several reasons. “It’s a great idea and much-needed,” he said. “We have two dogs, Luna and Lola, and if we ever lost them, we would be crushed. It’s simple—a dog is found and quickly an alert goes out and shops get to play an important role. Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com is a great way for shops to help people and dogs to find their homes or new homes for dogs who have lost their way and just need a break.”
Apple Reportedly Accelerating Car Development, Wants Model to Be Fully Autonomous by Michael Gauthier, CarScoops
The Apple Car is the unicorn of the automotive industry as it’s often talked about, but never seen. That trend continues as Bloomberg is reporting the tech giant wants to speed up development of the vehicle and has refocused the project around its “full self-driving capabilities.” The publication goes onto explain the project has explored two possibilities for the model with the first having “limited self-driving capabilities focused on steering and acceleration.” The report doesn’t elaborate, but this sounds like relatively common features such as adaptive cruise control and lane centering. However, Apple has also been considering a “version with full self-driving ability that doesn’t require human intervention.” This suggests it would have a Level 4 system that could operate autonomously under certain conditions or even a Level 5 system that can operate fully autonomously.
While the company was said to be looking at both possibilities, Apple has now reportedly concentrated their efforts on the latter. The move would seem to make sense as a semi-autonomous vehicle wouldn’t really stand out in the market.
The report goes on to say that Apple is planning to launch the vehicle in four years, which means it could arrive in late 2025. That’s an ambitious target and it remains unclear if the company can achieve that goal as engineers were reportedly expecting the launch to occur in 2026, 2027 or 2028. Bloomberg goes on to suggest if the fully autonomous technolo-
gy isn’t ready in time, the company could still move forward with the launch and sell the vehicle with a less advanced semi-autonomous driving system. However, that seems somewhat doubtful as Apple is reportedly eyeing a vehicle with a lounge-like interior that lacks a steering wheel and pedals. While a number of questions remain, the project seems to be moving ahead as the publication says the team recently hit a “key milestone in developing the car’s underlying self-driving system.” The company is also said to have “completed much of the core work on the processor it intends to eventually ship in the first generation of the car.” The updated technology is expected to make its way into the company’s fleet of 69 Lexus prototypes, which have spent the past few years helping to refine Apple’s driving technology. However, the company has a long road ahead as more testing will be required.
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4 Industry Veterans Form Automotive Market Data by Auto Remarketing Staff
Industry veterans Brian Reed, Steve Greenfield, Andrew Gordon and Pete Batten formed a team they’ve called Automotive Market Data. And the team launched what it believes is the first-ever digital retailing market share database to inform dealers, investors and vendors—in real-time—about the automotive digital retailing landscape. According to a news release, the database evaluates more than 35 digital retailers each day across approximately 18,000 U.S. automobile dealer websites to identify the top digital retailers among dealers, predominant digital retailers by brand and leading technology providers in the automotive space, as well as unique digital retailing trends and emerging technologies. “The pandemic hyper-accelerated automotive digital retail adoption, which created a need for comprehensive, up-to-date information to help industry professionals make highly informed decisions,” said Reed, who is an industry advisor at Automotive Ventures and partner at Automotive
Market Data. “More than ever, dealers need to know which digital retailing tools to use, investors need to know where to commit their money, and vendors need to know how they stack up against the competition. We provide answers to these questions and more.” The group shared a sample list of the independent, third-party reporting provided by Automotive Market Data, potentially including not limited to: • Digital retailer growth rate, churn rate and market penetration. • The digital retailing tool(s) currently being used, or have just been added, to particular dealership websites. • Digital retailer dealer count changes over specified periods of time and within specific geographic regions. • Digital retailer market share by automotive manufacturer. • Dealer and/or manufacturer customer longevity among digital retailers. The Automotive Market Data team also is looking to provide the industry with dealership contact informa-
tion, vehicle-specific data, new and used-vehicle market pricing, cost of ownership information and vehicle history reports. “Despite its importance, a complete picture of the digital retailing landscape didn’t exist until now,” said Greenfield, founder and CEO of Automotive Ventures and partner at Automotive Market Data. “Historically, it’s been next to impossible to identify top digital retailers by dealer and OEM market share, yet information like this is vastly helpful to industry professionals who are looking to get ahead of the technology curve and stay there,” Greenfield continued. “This is the precise reason we created the digital retailing market share database.” Automotive Market Data is a collaborative of veteran automotive industry professionals who have served in various leadership and entrepreneurial roles throughout their careers. Reed spent 18 years at Daimler-Benz before serving as president of PeopleFirst.com, which was acquired by CapitalOne. He was also the founder and CEO of F&I Ex-
press, which was acquired by Cox Automotive. Greenfield served as TrueCar’s senior vice president of strategy and business development, and Autotrader’s vice president of product management and business development, overseeing the acquisitions of vAuto, Kelley Blue Book, HomeNet Automotive, VinSolutions and DealerScience. Gordon, adviser at Automotive Ventures and partner at Automotive Market Data, is a third generation Honda dealer. He served as founder and CEO of DealerScience, acquired by TrueCar in 2018. Batten is a dealer retail technology and data advisor with more than 20 years’ experience in vehicle retailing who has served as general manager for several automotive software brands, including Cox Automotive Digital Retail, Chrome Data and Automotive Lease Guide. He was also chief product officer at LeadVenture. To learn more about the information Automotive Market Data offers the industry, visit http://www. automotivemarketdata.com.
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Mercedes Red Paint Settlement Final by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com
A Mercedes red paint settlement has been granted final approval by a federal judge after car owners alleged their 590 Mars Red paint blistered, peeled and bubbled. The red paint lawsuit settlement was reached after the automaker said it would be cheaper to settle the class action than continue to fight a prolonged court battle. However, Mercedes-Benz denies all allegations of liability and wrongdoing. Included in the red paint settlement are current and former lessees and owners of these Mercedes-Benz vehicles that were painted with Mars Red 590 paint: 2004-2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2010-2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class 2006-2007, 2009, 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class 2004-2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class 2008, 2015, 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2004-2009, 2011-2017 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class 2005-2006, 2013-2014 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class 2014-2015 Mercedes-Benz SLS-Class 2005-2006, 2010-2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2005, 2011-2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 2016-2018 Mercedes-Benz GT-Class 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class 2005-2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class 2008 Mercedes-Benz Maybach 57 According to the class action lawsuit, paint that peels and flakes will cause rust and corrosion to the vehicle body which forces customers to spend thousands of dollars for paint jobs. But Mercedes allegedly concealed defects in the paint which caused the paint to bubble within years. The owners also claim their vehicles have lost their values because of how ugly the vehicles appear with peeling red paint. The Mars Red paint settlement provides for two types of possible benefits, which include reimbursement for qualified past repairs and coverage for qualified future repairs. “Qualified” repairs are limit-
ed to “refinishing of affected areas only” in accordance with a technical service bulletin that was issued to dealers years before the red paint lawsuit was filed. A “qualified past repair” is one that occurred before the effective date of the red paint settlement and performed in accordance with TSB L198.00-P-058914, and may have been performed by either a Mercedes dealer or independent repair shop. However, reimbursement for a repair done at an independent facility won’t exceed 10% of what the same repair would have cost if performed at a dealership. A “qualified future repair” relates to repainting a section because of bubbling, peeling or flaking of the exterior clear coat. However, reimbursements for past repairs and coverage for future repairs are on a sliding scale based on the age and mileage of the vehicle. Considering some of the models are as old as 2004 model year, a customer may be stuck with partial reimbursements or required to pay part of the future paint job. Objectors to the red paint settlement, including some plaintiffs from a separate Mercedes class action that was joined to the current action, argue the settlement does nothing about an alleged loss of vehicle values because of the paint defects. Some objectors also complain Mercedes will still not be required to order a recall to fix the vehicles, but the judge overruled the objectors on all of their objections. The attorneys representing Mercedes customers will receive an “award of $4,750,000.00, [and] reimbursement of $75,671.38 in expenses.” But according to the judge, the six Mercedes customers who sued will not receive the $5,000 each owner requested as an “incentive award.” Class action lawsuits may be filed by just one customer who typically receives an award as the plaintiff (class representative) if a settlement is granted final approval. In the case of the Mercedes red paint lawsuit, six customers are named as
58 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
plaintiffs. But Judge Mark H. Cohen ruled the six customers who filed the Mercedes red paint lawsuit will not receive $5,000 each or any other amount as an incentive. His ruling is based on a recent case that referenced two cases from the 1800s. According to the Mercedes red paint settlement, prior to Sept. 17, 2020, courts routinely approved incentive awards to compensate class representatives. But on that date, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit made a decision in a case called Johnson v. NPAS Sols., in which the appeals court held, “[a] plaintiff suing on behalf of a class . . . cannot be paid a salary or be reimbursed for his personal expenses.” The Eleventh Circuit decision was based on two U.S. Supreme Court decisions, one from 1882 (Trustees v. Greenough), and one from 1885 (Cent. R.R. & Banking Co. v. Pettus). The judge in the Mercedes case
said the appeals court found these two Supreme Court cases “prohibit the type of incentive award that the district court approved here one that compensates a class representative for his time and rewards him for bringing a lawsuit.” Cohen ruled he must follow the Eleventh Circuit decision regarding the six Mercedes plaintiffs and must deny their request for incentive awards. The six customers who sued may still be eligible to receive what all class members may receive from the settlement. The Mercedes red paint lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia: Pinon, et al., v. Daimler AG and Mercedes Benz USA, LLC. The plaintiffs are represented by Heninger Garrison Davis, LLC, and Jackson & Tucker, P.C.
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‘Retirement Vehicles’ Raise Risk of Crash Fatalities for Older Drivers Older drivers, who are less likely to survive severe crashes than any other age group, also tend to drive outdated vehicles that lack crucial safety features, recent studies from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show. Healthier than ever before, Americans in their 70s and 80s are driving more miles and crashing less often than in past decades. But age-related fragility still makes older drivers less likely to survive crashes than other demographics. Drivers 75 and older are about four times as likely to die as middle-aged drivers when they’re involved in a side-impact crash and about three times as likely to die in a frontal crash, a previous IIHS study found. Two new studies show drivers 70 and over tend to drive older, smaller vehicles not equipped with important safety features. The first study compared the vehicles driven by 1.5 million crash-involved Florida drivers ages 35-54 and 70 and older between 2014 and 2018. The second surveyed 900 drivers in those age groups from various states about the factors that influenced their most recent vehicle purchase. “Persuading older drivers to take another look at the vehicles they’re driving could reduce crash fatalities substantially,” said Jessica Cicchino, IIHS vice president of research and a co-author of both studies. “One big challenge is that, for those on a fixed income, cost often overrides other concerns.” The study of Florida crashes found drivers in their 70s and older were significantly more likely to be driving vehicles at least 16 years old than drivers ages 35-54. The older drivers were also substantially less likely to be driving vehicles less than 3 years old. In addition, as driver age increased, vehicles were less likely to
be equipped with electronic stability control (ESC) and head-protecting side airbags as standard features. Vehicles without ESC were associated with 37% higher odds of driver fatality for drivers 70 and over, while vehicles without standard head-protecting side airbags were associated with double the odds of an older driver fatality. Sedans and hatchbacks were also more common among older drivers, with the proportion of people driving midsize passenger cars increasing and the numbers driving SUVs declining with age. Along with vehicle design and safety features, vehicle size and weight are important factors in crash survival, since the occupants of smaller vehicles are exposed to greater forces in collisions with larger ones. Finally, drivers 75 and older were significantly less likely to drive vehicles with good ratings in the IIHS moderate overlap front and original side crash tests than drivers ages 35-54. “All these vehicle characteristics have big impacts on crash survival rates, and older drivers are more often driving the least-safe vehicles by every parameter,” says Cicchino. “This only gets worse as their age increases, since many older adults stick with a single ‘retirement vehicle’ for the remainder of their driving years.” By comparing the average fatality risk for the vehicles driven by drivers age 70 and older and drivers ages 35-54, the researchers determined crash fatalities could be reduced by 3% for drivers 70 and older and 5% for drivers 80 and older if they drove vehicles with the same safety profile as their middle-aged counterparts. Based on the crash data for 2019, that would translate to about 90 lives saved a year. One reason older drivers have less safe vehicles is they don’t un-
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hicles were most likely to disagree with that statement, as well as to report more than $75,000 in annual household income. “The older drivers who participated in the survey didn’t appear to understand the value of today’s vehicle safety features,” Cicchino said. “At the same time, they perceived less need to replace their older vehicles because they don’t drive many miles per year and think of low mileage as synonymous with overall vehicle safety.” That’s especially problematic because statistics show crash risk per mile is higher for drivers who drive less, particularly those who travel fewer than 3,000 miles a year, than for those who log more travel. Driving on local roads is in fact riskier than highway driving, so the tendency of older drivers to restrict their highway travel and stay within their local areas means they accumulate most of their mileage in riskier conditions. Source: IIHS
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derstand the value of advanced safety features or good safety ratings, the survey showed. When choosing their current vehicle, drivers 70 and older were less likely than middle-aged drivers to have required ESC, blind spot monitoring, side or curtain airbags, and forward collision warning or automatic emergency braking (AEB). Only about a quarter of older drivers said they required AEB, compared with 40% of middle-aged drivers, for example. Similarly, about 10% of older drivers said safety ratings are not at all important, compared with 4% of middle-aged drivers, and fewer older than middle-aged drivers ranked safety ratings as extremely important in their purchase decision. In all age groups, most drivers agreed a 10-year-old, well-maintained car with low mileage is just as safe as a new one—though drivers 70 and older were substantially more likely to report owning a vehicle of that vintage. Notably, the older drivers who owned the newest ve-
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Biden Signs Executive Order on Clean Energy, EVs On Dec. 8, President Joe Biden signed the executive order on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability. The order is meant to make the federal government carbon neutral through the use of renewable power sources and building materials to construct and run federal buildings, and the purchase of electric vehicles for the federal fleet. Throughout Biden’s campaign and administration, environmental issues have been a major priority. This week’s executive order sets a timetable for the implementation of many policy goals. The order requires the federal government to achieve: • 100% net-annual carbon pollution-free electricity by 2030 • 100% zero-emission vehicle acquisitions by 2035 • Net-zero emissions from federal procurement, including a Buy Clean policy that will promote the purchase of environmentally friendly building materials • Climate-resilient infrastructure and operations, and a climate and
sustainability-focused federal workforce Not only does the executive order require federal agencies to purchase exclusively zero-emissions vehicles by 2035, it also requires them to comprise an annual zero-emission fleet strategy that includes deploying zero-emission fleet vehicle refueling infrastructure. This means the federal government will be investing in electric and other zero-emission charging stations. This initiative goes hand-inhand with the U.S. Department of Transportation initiative to use the $7.5 billion allocated for electric vehicle infrastructure, in the recently passed infrastructure legislation, to create 500,000 new public zero-emission charging stations across the U.S. The same week, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation released “Recommended Attributes for EV Charging Stations,” which provides guidance for installing publicly available electric vehicle charging. The recommendations focus on 10 key elements for public charging
stations: charging speed, charging connectors, payment methods, reliability and redundancy, accessibility, station layout, network and communication requirements, EV charging on federal highways, EV charging signage, and a standardized approach to communicate pricing. The Automotive Service Association (ASA), in partnership with the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, recently released the first episode in the Technology and Telematics Podcast series, featuring a conversation between Wayne Weikel, senior director for state affairs at the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, and Bob Redding, Washington, D.C. representative for the ASA. During the podcast, the pair discuss the legislative and regulatory environment for electric vehicle implementation, building a national network of electric vehicle charging stations and challenges and opportunities for the automotive industry as it moves toward an “all-electric future.” Listen to the podcast to hear about all these EV issues and more. Source: ASA
Shepherd Joins Advantage Parts Solutions Advantage Parts Solutions, a global leader in delivering strategic automotive parts solutions, is pleased to welcome David Shepherd to its global team in the role of non-executive director. Shepherd will work closely with Advantage’s global executive leadership team to help guide its long-term strategic business plan to remain a dominant brand in the OEM parts supply chain as it continues to deliver unrivaled value to the marketplace. Shepherd, a seasoned industry executive, joins Advantage’s global team after spending 13 years as regional managing director of Solera’s international region, where he was directly responsible for accelerating the company’s reorganization outside North America. Before Solera, Shepherd was an executive consultant for various collision repair brands, Thatcham Research and the Institute of the Motor Industry. Source: Advantage Parts Solutions
GM, POSCO Chemical to Build Factory to Process Material for Ultium Batteries General Motors and POSCO Chemical on Dec. 1 announced plans to form a joint venture through which the parties will construct a factory in North America to process critical battery materials for GM’s Ultium electric vehicle platform. The joint venture will process cathode active material (CAM), a key battery material that represents about 40% of the cost of a battery cell. The location of the facility, which will create hundreds of jobs when it opens in 2024, will be announced later. “Our work with POSCO Chemical is a key part of our strategy to rapidly scale U.S. EV production and drive innovation in battery performance, quality and cost,” said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, global product development, purchasing and supply chain. “We are building a sustainable and resilient North America-focused supply chain for EVs covering the entire ecosystem from raw materials to battery cell
manufacturing and recycling.” “We are very pleased to participate in the global battery supply chain project with General Motors,” said Kyungzoon Min, CEO of POSCO Chemical. “Through close partnership, we will innovate battery materials and contribute to accelerate the adoption of EVs based on our world-class product development, mass production capacity, and raw materials competitiveness.” The new facility will supply the Ultium Cells LLC facilities GM and LG Energy Solution are building in Lordstown, OH, and Spring Hill, TN. Two more U.S.-based Ultium cell plants are planned by mid-decade as GM drives mass adoption of EVs with high-volume Ultium-powered EVs, including a Chevrolet crossover priced around $30,000. GM and POSCO Chemical have signed a non-binding term sheet to create the joint venture and expect to execute definitive agreements soon. Source: GM
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U.S. DOT Announces Initial Framework for EV Charging Station Programs The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) took the first steps in establishing programs for a national network of electric vehicle charging stations, as mandated in the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed earlier in 2021. The agency posted a request for comments from stakeholders on best practices to develop guidance for the electric vehicle charging station programs. In the request, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) cited a particular interest on how best to promote equity in the development of EV charging station infrastructure under these programs, including prioritizing grants in rural areas, low and moderate-income neighborhoods, and areas with a large ratio of multi-unit homes as opposed to single-family dwellings. The bipartisan infrastructure plan authorized two EV charging station programs, the National Electric Vehicle Formula Program and the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure program. The first program is designed to distribute money only to states, with
the amount calculated by formula. The second program differs because: It’s a discretionary grant program. Grants will be available for not only electric vehicle charging, but to hydrogen, natural gas and propane fueling stations.
Charging stations will not be required to be located on designated authorized fuel corridors. Grants are available to cities and other entities, not just states. Under the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure program, the federal share payable for projects funded will be 80%. According to the DOT request published in the Federal Register, funds must be
Genuine NISSAN & INFINITI OEM Wholesale Parts are Superbly Crafted to Strict Quality Standards. THE FOLLOWING DEALERS PROUDLY STOCK GENUINE PARTS FOR YOUR NISSAN OR INFINITI REPAIRS.
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used for not only the acquisition and installation of EV charging infrastructure, but also the operation and maintenance of such infrastructure. The mandate also requires such charging infrastructure be used “only for EV charging station infrastructure that is open to the general public or to authorized commercial vehicle owners from more than one company.” This excludes Tesla, whose charging stations are proprietary and therefore only able to charge Tesla vehicles. Last year, electric vehicles as a whole made up only 1.7% of new light-duty vehicles sold in the U.S. However, as the automotive industry moves towards an increasingly electric future, it will be important for independent automotive repair shops to be prepared for this shift. The development of a national network of electric vehicle charging stations will present both a challenge and an opportunity for our industry. Stay updated with electric vehicle and other legislative news on TakingtheHill.org. Source: ASA
CIF Elects Trustee from Axalta The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) is proud to announce the election of Jim Ocampo, industry relations/strategic sales manager at Axalta Coating Systems, to the CIF Board of Trustees. CIF provides emergency relief by securing and distributing donations to collision repair professionals who have experienced significant losses due to natural disasters or other catastrophic events. During his extensive career at Axalta, Ocampo has been involved with numerous industry organizations and served on several boards such as CIECA, NABC and California Auto Body Association. He also brings fundraising experience. To become a CIF annual donor, visit www.collisionindustryfoundation.org and or reach out via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All donations are tax-deductible. Source: CIF
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autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 63
Transportation Secretary Buttigieg Cites Gas Prices, Promotes EVs by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs
Gas prices have had a tendency to rise and fall over the years, and they’re spiking again of late. Many EV advocates have noted if gas prices rise enough, people will be compelled to buy an EV. In the past, when gas prices soared, there weren’t a whole lot of compelling electric cars on the market, but times have changed. According to a report from our friends at Teslarati, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg mentioned people who buy an electric car will “never have to worry about gas prices again.” Still, gas prices aren’t that high right now. While they’re high enough that many folks are struggling, they’ve been higher in the past. If Buttigieg would work with President Joe Biden to keep his promise of doing away with the massive gas and oil subsidies, then prices at the pump would surely skyrocket. Buttigieg said soon EV buyers will get to take advantage of a $12,500 discount when they buy
an EV. However, few compelling EVs exist that would actually get such a credit. If passed as is, the full credit will only apply to union-made EVs. According to Teslarati, there’s currently only one—sort of two— cars in the U.S. that would qualify for the full credit, the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, neither of which is currently in production. Fortunately, buyers of other EVs may get a $7,500 or an $8,000 credit. It’s certainly interesting that in its mission to save the climate, the Biden Administration is putting all of its eggs in one basket, banking on only GM and CEO Mary Barra to be the leaders in EVs, though companies like Tesla, Ford, Hyundai and Volkswagen have already done a much better job proving they’re up to the task. Back to gas. A recent AAA report shows average gas prices in the U.S. at $3.39, though they’re much higher in states like California. A year ago, the average was just over $2. Some folks argue public fastcharging and Tesla Supercharg-
ing aren’t much cheaper than paying for gas. While that’s not necessarily true in many cases, most EV owners charge at home, which is much cheaper and exceptionally more convenient than driving to the gas station. Buttigieg went on to say via Teslarati: “The people who stand to benefit most from owning an EV are often rural residents who have the most distances to drive, who burn the most gas, and underserved urban residents in areas where there are higher gas prices and lower-income. They would gain the most by having that vehicle. These are the very residents
a bestever November sales performance on record sales of our allnew Bronco family. “We expect growth to continue, thanks to adding an additional 74,000 new vehicle orders in November.” Ford’s electrified vehicle sales in November grew at a rate more than three times faster than the overall electrified vehicle segment, taking Ford’s electrified vehicle share to 10% compared to 5.4% last year. This set up a record November on sales of 11,116 electrified vehicles—up 153.6%. New products are providing the boost, with Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Hybrid sales of 3,088 and 4,767, respectively. For the month, Ford took in 74,000 new vehicle retail orders, up 64,000 vehicle orders over November of last year. Customer orders continued to be filled at record rates. In November, 29% of Ford retail sales came from previously placed customer orders. Ford brand SUVs achieved record November retail sales on the
64 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
With all of that said, even with the upcoming credit, EVs are still more expensive upfront than gas cars. It’s hard for people on a tight budget to afford the initial cost of an EV in the hope that it will save them money over the longer term. Buttigieg said the goal is to make EVs more affordable, and the credit is a step in the right direction. However, since the full credit doesn’t apply to any currently available EVs in the U.S., the legislation is arguably flawed, at least until vehicles like the Ford F-150 Lightning come to market.
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Ford Only Major U.S. Automaker to Report Year-Over-Year Sales Increase in November New breakthrough products and inventory improvements made Ford America’s No. 1 selling automaker for the third month in a row in November. Ford was the only major U.S. automaker to report a year-overyear sales increase in November— up 5.9% over last year, a total of 158,793 vehicles. Retail share totaled an estimated 13.8%—2.7 percentage points higher than November last year. “Our new products continue to roll, making Ford America’s best-selling automaker for the third consecutive month, a feat last accomplished in 1974,” said Andrew Frick, vice president, Ford sales U.S. and Canada. “Ford was also the only major U.S. automaker to beat year ago sales results for November. “On the strength of Mustang Mach-E, Ford delivered record electrified vehicle sales, growing more than three times faster than the overall segment,” Frick continued. “Retail sales were up 4.5% over a year ago, with SUVs having
who have not always been connected to electric vehicles that are viewed as kind of a luxury item.”
success of new products. Sales were up 25.6% over a year ago on total sales of 66,390 vehicles. The Bronco family had its highest combined sales since launch, totaling 19,773 SUVs. Mustang Mach-E sales were up 8.4% from October on sales of 3,088 SUVs. Combined, Ford’s newest musthave vehicles, including Mustang Mach-E, Bronco, Bronco Sport and Maverick, have the fastest turn rates on dealer lots. Ford’s newest products are having their best sales since launch and all are turning in under 12 days, with Maverick turning in just five days, essentially trailer-to-customer. Maverick Hybrid recorded its first sales at the end of November and more hybrids are on their way to dealers. Ford total pickup truck sales climbed 15.8% compared to a yearago, with sales totaling 70,839. F-Series sales rose 14.6%, expanding its leadership position over the second-place competitor to 144,049 trucks for the year. Source: Ford Motor Company
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autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 65
Biden Releases Oil Reserves to Address Rising Gas Prices by Casey Harper, The Center Square
President Joe Biden announced Nov. 23 his administration will release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help address skyrocketing energy costs. The announcement is part of a joint plan with China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom, and it comes as gas prices in the U.S. have risen about $1.20 a gallon in the past year. The White House said “32 million barrels will be an exchange over the next several months, releasing oil that will eventually return to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the years ahead. “The exchange is a tool matched to today’s specific economic environment, where markets expect future oil prices to be lower than they are today, and helps provide relief to Americans immediately and bridge to that period of expected lower oil prices,” the White House said. “The exchange also automatically provides for re-stocking of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
over time to meet future needs.” The American Automobile Association gas prices tracker reports the average price of gas at $3.40 per gallon of regular gasoline, up from $2.11 at the same time last year. Other energy costs also have risen sharply, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The energy index rose 4.8% in October after rising 1.3% in September,” BLS said. “The gasoline index rose 6.1% in October, its fifth consecutive monthly increase. The index for natural gas rose 6.6% over the month, its largest monthly increase since March 2014. The electricity index increased 1.8% in October, its largest one-month increase since May 2014, while the fuel oil index also rose sharply, increasing 12.3%.” The White House said the rising prices are the result of a surge in demand after a dip during the pandemic, but critics point to Biden’s energy policies, including shutting down the Keystone pipeline, discouraging drilling on federal lands and implementing stricter regula-
Biden in that election, blasted Biden after the news and took credit for the oil reserves, saying he is responsible for “filling them up” in the first place. “For decades our Country’s very important Strategic Oil Reserves were low or virtually empty in that no President wanted to pay the price of filling them up,” Trump said in a statement. “I filled them up three years ago, right to the top, when oil prices were very low. ... We were energy independent one year ago, now we are at the mercy of OPEC, gasoline is selling for $7 in parts of California, going up all over the Country, and they are taking oil from our Strategic Reserves. Is this any way to run a Country?”
tions. “President Biden killed the Keystone pipeline and greenlit Putin’s Nord Stream II. Then he begged OPEC to produce more oil,” said U.S. House Republican Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-CA. “Dear Mr. President: Let us produce our own energy and create jobs right here at home. Stop putting America last.” Biden released the reserves as his job approval numbers continue to decline and Americans become increasingly concerned about the economy. He made the announcement alongside news he will seek reelection in 2024. Former President Donald Trump, who may face off against
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Audi Part Professionals are experts on collision parts, replacement components and mechanical items.
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Regardless of the age of your customer’s Audi, Audi dealers have access to over 200,000 part numbers and are supported by a nationwide network of distribution centers to help ensure non-stocked parts are delivered the next day.
autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 67
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ABRASIVE POWER TOOLS AND PROCESS SOLUTIONS SINCE 1969 68 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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