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U.S. Deficit 60.7% Higher Than This Time Last Year by Bethany Blankley, The Center Square

he federal deficit in the first three months of the budget year is 6 0.7 % higher than over the same time period as last year, a record-breaking $ 5 7 2.9 billion. he deficit surged as a result of Congressional spending of $ 3.5 trillion in 2020 in response to the coronavirus, although critics note that spending on pork barrel programs that had nothing to do with the virus increased and also drove the deficit. At the same time, revenue declined because of ongoing state lockdowns.

The Treasury Department reports that the deficit is . billion higher than the same October-December period in 2019 . A record in spending for the period represented an 18.3% increase of $ 1.38 trillion, while at the same time revenues fell 0.4% to $ 803.37 billion. In the month of December alone, when Congress passed, and President D onal d Tru mp signed several spending bills, the deficit reached a record $ 143.6 billion. The shortfall for the 2020 budget year, which ended Sept. 30, reached an all-time high of $ 3.1 trillion. See U.S. Deficit, Page 6

‘Who Pays for What’ Survey: About 2 in 5 Shops Itemizing Diagnostic Time Separately from Scanning More than a third of shops ( 39 % ) itemize on invoices the diagnostic labor time they spend researching diagnostic trouble codes ( DTCs) apart from the charge for the vehicle scan itself, according to just-released results from a “Who Pays for What? ” survey. Among the more than 5 00 shops responding to the survey’s new questions related to diagnostic time, about half acknowledged never having included an itemized charge for diagnostic time. But among those that do, about three in 10 ( 29 % ) say they are paid

“always” or “most of the time” for the charge by the largest eight auto insurers, and the majority ( 5 5 % ) say they are paid at least “some of the time.” Mik e A nd ers on of Collision Advice, which conducts the “Who Pays” surveys in conjunction with CRASH Network, believes those numbers will grow because diagnostic time is becoming an increasingly significant portion of collision repair work. I know firsthand how much time it takes to research and trouble-

Vol. 11 / Issue 11 / February 2021

2009 Redux? Biden Cites ‘Urgent’ Need for his $1.9 Trillion Stimulus by Philip Wegmann, RealClearWire

The economy was bad, and the White House planned to go big. On the day the mammoth $ 800 billion Recovery Act became law, however, the new president took care to stress how his administration would keep a close eye on every dollar going out the door. This task of providing oversight, B arac k O b ama announced at the bill’s 2009 signing ceremony, would go to J oe B id en. “To you, he’s Mr. V ice President,” Obama quipped to a room that included more than one skeptical

Republican lawmaker. “But around the White House, we call him the sheri . In a few days, the country will call him Mr. President. A decade later, Biden confronts a deeper economic crisis, this one brought on by a global pandemic, and the incoming executive has proposed a $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package meant to buoy families and communities and small businesses as his administration pushes to step up distribution of the coronavirus vaccines. ll that old sheri has to do See $1.9 trillion stimulus, Page 22

American Honda Motor Launches New Certification Program by Stacey Phillips

Nearly six years ago, American Hond a M otor launched the ProFirst Certified ody Shop Program. any were skeptical about obtaining OEM certifications, according to R os s ana A l v arez , assistant manager of collision certification and parts marketing for American Honda Motor.

See ‘Who Pays for What’, Page 26



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Over time, she said, shop owners began to reali e the benefits of certification for their businesses and momentum began to build. In response to feedback American Honda Motor has received from shops across the country, the OEM has taken steps to update its certified

collision program. As a result, the Honda and Acura ertified ollision Program will replace the ProFirst program during a gradual transition throughout 2021. “The automotive industry continues to make technological advances at breakneck speed, highlighting the need for repair shops to be fully equipped and trained with access to necessary repair procedures to conduct a safe and proper repair,” said Alvarez. “OEM collision certifications are no longer simply popular; they are essential. The days of them being considered a fad are long gone.” Alvarez said the collision industry is rapidly changing and it was important for the Honda team to keep pace. s certification programs continue to gain traction with other sectors of the industry, the immediate recognition by those entities and our Honda and Acura vehicle customers becomes e ponentially beneficial See New Certification Program, Page 16

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2 FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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AASP/NJ Membership Meeting Explores

‘Who Pays for What’ Survey: About 2 in 5

Massachusetts Right to Repair Victory ............6

Shops Itemizing Diagnostic Time

Cape High Grad Receives Gift of a Donated

Separately from Scanning ...............................1

Car, Teachers Pitch in Toward Insurance

1.1M PPP Loans Forgiven So Far.........................8

Payment .........................................................8

2009 redux? Biden cites ‘urgent’ need for



Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk, David Luehr, Stacey Phillips, Victoria Antonelli, Gary Ledoux Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Griffin Reinhard, 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. ©2021 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 / (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com editor@autobodynews.com

Acura of Westchester ...................................... 16

Mercedes-Benz of Atlantic City ....................... 19

American Icon Automotive Finishes ................. 10

Mercedes-Benz of Fort Washington ................. 19

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers .......................... 43

Mercedes-Benz of Paramus ............................ 38

Bical Auto Mall ................................................ 44

Mercedes-Benz of West Chester ..................... 19

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ...................40-41

Mercedes-Benz of Wilmington ........................ 49

Certification Program ......................................1

Cadillac of Mahwah ........................................ 20

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers ........ 51

Right to Repair Suit .......................................26

ASE Registration Open ......................................26

Central Avenue Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram ....... 7

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers.......................... 42

Massachusetts Takes Aim at Gas-Powered Cars ...9

Collision Engineering Program Launched ..........12

Certified Automotive Parts Association ............ 14

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

Mobile Auto Body 101 is Now Castellana

Congressional Leaders Reach Deal on New

Choice Bumper ............................................... 18

New Holland Ford ........................................... 30

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

New Holland Toyota ........................................ 25

Colonial Automotive Group .............................. 35

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

CREF Board Welcomes New Members ................4

Courtesy Mitsubishi ........................................ 34

Northstar Kia................................................... 10

Dealership Buy/Sell Market on Pace for

DePaula Chevrolet-Ford .................................. 17

Nucar ............................................................. 15

Eckler’s Automotive .......................................... 9

Open Road Acura of East Brunswick ............... 25

Empire Auto Parts ........................................... 16

Packer Norris Parts ......................................... 56

Equalizer Industries, Inc .................................... 6

Porsche Huntington......................................... 26

Flemington Auto Group ................................... 23

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers .................... 48

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers .......................... 53

Rafferty Subaru................................................. 6

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ........................... 37

SATA Dan-Am Company .................................. 11

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers .27, 28-29

Schultz Ford.................................................... 45

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers .................... 36

Security Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram ................ 24

Infiniti of Norwood .......................................... 21

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes .............. 2

Jaguar Land Rover Cherry Hill......................... 39

Spanesi Americas ............................................. 5

Jeff D’Ambrosio Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge ............ 12

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

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers ................ 47

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers....................... 36

Kia of Attleboro ............................................... 34

VIP Honda ....................................................... 13

Kundert Volvo.................................................. 34

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers .............. 55

Long Automotive Group .................................. 31

White Plains Volkswagen ................................ 25

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ...................... 50

Yonkers Kia ..................................................... 22

Feds Bust Car Theft Ring...................................14 First Model Y Commissioned as Police Vehicle in New York .......................................14 Legislation Would Cut Business Taxes in NH Over 2-Year Period ..................................20 MA Attorney General Fights to Dismiss

Auto Body .....................................................12 NORTHEAST 2021 Rescheduled to Sept. 10-12 ..14 Pandemic Lockdown Closed 30% of PA Businesses, Second Most in U.S....................21 Pennsylvania Eyes Economic Recovery as Small Business Confidence Lags...................13 Precision Auto Works of LIC Now a Mercedes-Benz Certified Collision Center......10 Ulster BOCES Auto Program Receives Donations from I-CAR Education Foundation .................10 Wreck/Rebuild Program at NY College Shifts Learning into High Gear ................................18

his $1.9 trillion stimulus..................................1 39% of U.S. Reduced, Eliminated Insurance ........9 A Closer Look at Calibration Documentation and Technical Changes .................................54 American Honda Motor Launches New

COVID-19 Stimulus Relief Package .................4 COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Begins After Pfizer Receives Emergency Use Authorization .........53

New Record ..................................................52 Driven Brands Collision Group Stands ‘UNIT3D’...24 Freeman Joins NABC ........................................17 GM Pays $121M Over Ignition Switches, Power Steering, Airbags ................................53 IGONC Tireside Chat: Setting Your Business Goals for 2021 ..............................................50 Lordstown Endurance Passes 100K Pre-Orders ..20

COLUMNISTS Anderson - Two-Way Dialogue a Good Way to ‘Maintain’ Employees ................................30 Attanasio - Tim Morgan Rescues Pits and Pursues Politics ............................................48 Ledoux - The Rise of the Electric Vehicles .........38 Phillips - COVID Edition: Collision Repair

Objections to Payment and Requested Procedures Outlined in SCRS Class ...............36 Safelite to Close Business Unit ..........................54 Tesla Full Self-Driving Subscriptions Get a Tentative Release Date .................................4 Toyota to Release an Electric Car with 10-Minute Fast Charging in 2021....................4

Owner and Entrepreneur Develops

U.S. Car Rental Revenue Dives 27.4% in 2020 ..50

Technology Claims Solution for Industry ........44

U.S. Deficit 60.7% Higher Than This Time

Yoswick - Panel Reviews Why OEM Repair Procedure Legislation Has Mostly Failed to Be Enacted ...............................................31

Last Year .........................................................1 Used-Car Sales Likely Down for 2020, but Close Year on High Note ..........................52

McGovern Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram ............... 8

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CREF Board Welcomes New Members The Collision Repair Education Foundation ( CREF) announced the appointment of six new members to its Board of Trustees in 2020. Through the guidance, support and direction of the Board of Trustees, CREF can continue its support of high school and college collision programs, students and instructors across the country, and address the industry’s need for properly trained, entry level sta . The six Board of Trustees members who joined in 2020 include Tom B row n, 3M; Pau l F ol ino, L K Q Corporation; B rend a H ogen, Parts Trader; K en H u d s on, Farmers Insurance; Sc ott K ohl , L iberty Mutual Insurance; and Sand ee L ind orf er, Allstate Insurance Company. Companies looking to partner with CREF in supporting local high school and college collision programs can email info@ ed-foundation.org. Source: CREF

Tesla Full Self-Driving Subscriptions Get a Tentative Release Date by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

A recent tweet from E l on Mu s k has revealed a tentative release date for Tesla’s Full Self-Driving suite subscriptions. And if the CEO’s estimates are correct, it would mean that a good number of Tesla owners will have the opportunity to subscribe to the

“I should say, it will still make sense to buy FSD as an option as in our view, buying FSD is an investment in the future,” — Elon Musk company’s best advanced driver-assist features as they are needed. On Dec. 20,Tesla enthusiast @ padgeuk inquired on Twitter if FSD could be paid for through an annual plan. According to the Tesla fan, it doesn’t really make sense to opt for the full price of FSD if a vehicle is leased. Responding to the inquiry, Musk noted that FSD subscriptions are indeed coming soon. “Absolutely. We will release FSD subscription early

Congressional Leaders Reach Deal on New COVID-19 Stimulus Relief Package by Dan McCaleb, The Center Square

Congressional leaders have agreed to a new stimulus package that will provide more aid to struggling small businesses and send a second round of direct payments to Americans. Sen. Majority L eader Mitc h Mc C onnel l and others confirmed the $ 9 00 billion coronavirus relief deal Dec. 20. If approved by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump, the measure will include $ 6 00 in direct payments to adults and children from qualifying households, more than $ 280 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses through a renewed Paycheck Protection Program, and $ 300 a week in federal unemployment benefits on top of state benefits. “I believe I can speak for all sides when I say I hope and expect to have a final agreement nailed down in a matter of hours,” McConnell said on the Senate oor. t this point, we’re down to the last few di erences that stand between struggling Americans and their ma-

next year,” Musk wrote. As the price of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving suite increases, the idea of FSD subscriptions becomes a lot more compelling for consumers. Currently, Tesla’s entire FSD suite costs a whopping $ 10,000. With the release of the FSD beta, Tesla has taken some solid steps towards autonomy, but there is

jor rescue package they need and deserve.” The proposed legislation also includes about $ 25 billion in rental assistance and an extension of an eviction moratorium put in place earlier this year, which it was set to expire this month. An additional $ 82 billion would be set aside for schools and colleges to prepare to safely reopen classrooms. It also would help pay for the distribution of COV ID-19 vaccines. Moderna’s vaccine was approved for emergency use by the U .S. Food and Drug Administration Friday, a week after Pfi er s vaccine also received emergency use authorization. “We are going to crush the virus and put money in the pockets of the American people,” House Speaker N anc y Pel os i and Senate Minority L eader C hu c k Sc hu mer said in a joint statement. We thank The Center Sq uare for reprint permission.


still a lot of work to be done. This makes FSD’s $ 10,000 price more of an investment for the system’s capabilities in the future. It is no surprise some Tesla customers who lease their vehicles are hesitant to pay the full price of FSD for their vehicles. A subscription service for the Full Self-Driving system, however, makes a lot of practical sense, since the advanced driver-assist features would only require payment when

they are needed. This could be valuable for Tesla customers who only take long trips a few times every year, as FSD functions such as Navigate on Autopilot can make long drives easier. It remains to be seen exactly how much a subscription to Full Self-Driving would cost. Tesla executives have emphasized that ultimately, it is still a far better financial decision to purchase FSD outright. This was explained by CFO Z ac hary K irk horn in the Q 1 2020 earnings call. “I should say, it will still make sense to buy FSD as an option as in our view, buying FSD is an investment in the future,” Musk said during the earnings call. “And we are confident that it is an investment that will pay o to the consumer—to the benefit of the consumer. We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.


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Toyota to Release an Electric Car with 10-Minute Fast Charging in 2021 by Loukia Papadopoulos, Interesting Engineering

A new report revealed Toyota plans to unveil an electric vehicle with a new solid-state battery by 2021. It promises a 310-mile ( 5 00 km) range in a single charge, and a rather rapid recharge from zero to full in 10 minutes. “The technology is a potential cure-all for the drawbacks facing electric vehicles that run on conventional lithium-ion batteries, including the relatively short distance traveled on a single charge as well as charging times,” states the report. “Toyota plans to be the first company to sell an electric vehicle equipped with a solid-state battery in the early 2020s. The world’s largest automaker will unveil a prototype next year.” Solid-state batteries are believed to be a lot safer than the more common lithium-ion ones. They also have more potential for higher energy density---the energy a battery can deliver compared to its weight. However, as of yet, they have not been produced in largescale and at a reasonable enough

price point to be competitive in the lithium-ion battery dominated market. Could Toyota have achieved this lofty goal? It’s hard to tell at the moment as we have yet to hear about the number of cycles their solid-state batteries can achieve and how their capacity holds up at di erent temperatures. hese two have previously been a source of problems with novel batteries. Nikkei Asia does mention Toyota has more than 1,000 patents involving solid-state batteries. We’d like to believe that is energy and time well spent. In a global shift to more eco-friendly options, electric vehicles will soon likely be a necessity rather than a more attractive option. Tesla seems to have the lead on supplying all those new vehicles but that may change over time of course. It seems Toyota is working hard to become competitive in the electric vehicle scene. If it does indeed master the art of solid-state batteries, it will likely secure itself a unique profitable place. We thank I nteresting Engineering for reprint permission.

4 FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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AASP/NJ Membership Meeting Explores Massachusetts Right to Repair Victory On Dec. 17 , the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey ( AASP/ NJ) welcomed industry representatives from Massachusetts via a virtual meeting to inform its membership of the e orts behind the recently passed Massachusetts Right to Repair L aw ballot measure, and advise how grassroots actions can be taken to help pass industry-related legislation in the G arden State. Tommy H ic k ey, director of the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition, and AASP/ MA Executive Director E v angel os “ L u c k y” Pap ageorg began by giving AASP/ NJ members a history of the Massachusetts Right to Repair L aw. Originally passed in 2012, the law was enacted to establish a level playing field by ensuring that independent auto body and mechanical service shops had access to the same diagnostic and repair information as dealerships and car manufacturers. Thanks to the recently voted-in ballot measure, consumers and independent shops now have access to telematics information as well. This was originally carved out of the 2012 law by manufacturers at the eleventh hour before the law was passed.

Hickey explained that the use of telematics back then was nothing like it is today and was not a major concern at the time. That is no longer the case in 2020, as about 9 0% of current vehicles on the road have this technology. “We wrote the ballot initiative as a way to close that loophole but also with a twist,” Hickey explained. “We wanted to allow the car owners—not the car manufacturers—to be the gatekeeper of their diagnostic repair information and codes. Through a mobile-based application, the car owner would get the information directly and allow an independent repair and body shop to have access to information for a period of time the owner allows them to have it [ … ] We made this about consumers and getting their cars fi ed. ccording to ickey, ma jor manufacturers spent $ 30 million to fight against the coalition s movement to get this law revised. However, a strong grassroots campaign geared toward consumers helped solidify victory at the polls last November with more than 2 million votes. “Technology will change, but technology shouldn’t take away your right to choose where to get your car

repaired.” While Right to Repair has largely been viewed as a mechanical issue, it has become a major concern for collision repairers in recent years as vehicles become more computerized. “A major concern for collision repairers is the increased cycle times,” said Papageorg. “Not having access to collision-related repair information and codes stored in a damaged vehicle forces repairers to send vehicles to an OEM dealership for repair, adding to cycle time and administrative expense. “Also, the OEM could be a potential competitor. The vehicle would be far from a priority at the dealership,” Papageorg continued. “Additionally, there is the factor of trusting that the work was properly performed at the o site location while having to accept the full liability. We voiced strongly that it should be the consumer’s right to have access to their information and to have the fi nal say who gets to fi their vehicle and at what price. “It’s their car; it’s their right.” Although the automotive manufacturer-comprised Alliance for Automotive Innovation is currently suing Massachusetts Attorney G ener-

al Mau ra H eal ey to block the ballot measure’s aims from going through, ickey is confident that this e ort will not succeed. “We feel good, and we don’t think we will get struck down.” The ballot question received 7 5 % of the vote in its favor, all thanks to the strong messaging Hickey and his coalition team sent out to consumers by way of visiting shops, distributing materials to them and asking them to make their customers aware of the Right to Repair L aw. AASP/ NJ President J erry Mc N ee commended Hickey and Papageorg for their e orts and reminded attendees that AASP/ NJ is an example of similar “strength in numbers” closer to home. He advised members to consider making a contribution to the AASP/ NJ L egal Fund and informed them that the association recently hired an attorney to assist with legislative e orts, including the ew ersey In surance Fair Conduct Act ( A16 5 9 / S15 5 9 ) , which would create a private cause of action for first party claim ants regarding certain unfair or unreasonable practices by their insurer. Source: AASP / NJ

Continued from Cover

U.S. Deficit Due to ongoing state lockdowns, millions of Americans are still out of work, and tax revenues also dropped, while at the same time, the demand by states for federal financial support dramatically increased. The Treasury reports that outlays in December were a record $ 489 .7 billion; receipts were $ 346 .1 billion. The December total excludes the $ 9 00 billion COV ID-19 spending bill, which included $ 6 00 payments to individuals, extended unemployment benefit programs, and directed hundreds of millions of dollars to programs overseas, about which critics also complained. From October to December , unemployment benefits totaled $ 80 billion. During the same time period last year, they totaled $ 5 billion. Prior to the $ 9 00 billion spending bill, the ongressional udget ce forecast that s deficit will total $ 1.8 trillion, and remain above $ 1 trillion every year though 2030. We thank The Center Sq uare for reprint permission.


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1.1M PPP Loans Forgiven So Far

Cape High Grad Receives Gift of a Donated Car, Teachers Pitch in Toward Insurance Payment

he .S. Small usiness d ministration has already for given more than 1.1 million Paycheck Protection Program PPP loans for over bil lion, providing an e traordi nary amount of critical relief to America’s small businesses just three months since the earliest PPP borrowers cov ered periods ended. he S has so far re ceived 1,346 ,125 forgiveness applications for appro imate ly . billion. S has made payment on nearly 85 % of the applications, forgiving over $ 100 billion. For the smallest borrowers with loans up to $ 5 0,000, 88% have been approved for forgiveness. The new data comes as the PPP has recently re opened as a result of the co nomic id to ard it Small usinesses, onprofits and V enues Act, signed into law Dec. 27 .

by Ellen Driscoll

Source: SBA

Christmas came a few days early for Cape High class of 2020 grad D aniel W right, when H eather and Mic hael I ngers k i of L ewes signed the title of their Honda Accord over to him Dec. 17 . Daniel, who just completed his first semester at elaware State ni versity, said he had been saving for a car and was shocked to find out one would be donated to him. eather said the car was the first purchase she and Michael made as newlyweds. “He loved this car so much,” she said. “He didn’t want to sell it; he wanted to gift it, so we contact ed the school last year and asked if there was someone deserving. We heard Daniel’s story and said, let’s do it! ” Cape High Principal N ik k i Mil l er said the donation was in the works since last year, but I and other obstacles got in the way. e overcame a lot of chal lenges throughout his childhood and adolescent years,” Miller said

of Daniel. As a freshman, Daniel lived in the Cape district, but later moved out of Cape’s enrollment area. He wanted to stay at Cape, so he applied for school choice every year since.

Heather Ingerski donated her Honda to Cape High grad and current Delaware State University student Daniel Wright Dec. 17. Photo Credit – Ellen Driscoll

“I was a bad kid, and college wasn’t in my future,” he said. Miller disagreed, telling Daniel he was just unfocused. Daniel said he woke up every morning at 4 a.m. to catch a van at 5 a.m. that would drive him to Cape High. “It was worth it, though,” he said. “I wanted to stay because I connected with the sta and stu dents. I know they are here for me

and will help me out. I know I’m not alone.” t ape, aniel was a mar keting pathway student. Now, he’s a business management major with plans to open his own auto body shop when he graduates. His only regret about college thus far has been that his classes have been on line rather than in person. “I wanted to make new friends in my classes,” he said. “Finally I made them through Instagram.” The Ingerskis also gave Daniel a gas card, and teachers collected $ 15 0 to go toward his insurance. ape igh Special ducation oordinator onnie Smith worked with him for three years. e was so oyful and appre ciative, not only for the donation, but for how he has reached this place in life due to the relationships he has built with sta here at ape, she said. “He attributes his success to the academics here, but mostly to those who believed in him, were honest with him, and showed him that there is potential for him to suc ceed.”

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39% of U.S. Reduced, Eliminated Insurance Due to the pandemic, unemployment rates skyrocketed in 2020 to astounding levels, forcing many Americans to struggle to make ends meet. As a result, when looking to cut costs, though 26 % said that insurance would never be trimmed from their budgets, others had no choice but to cut or eliminate insurance coverage altogether. V aluePenguin’s most recent survey found almost 39 % of Americans had to reduce or eliminate insurance costs to help them save money or because they found themselves unemployed. Almost four in 10 Americans cut back on insurance coverage in 2020, primarily to save money. That number jumps to 6 5 % of those laid o or furloughed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Health insurance was the most common policy consumers decreased coverage for or eliminated altogether, followed by auto insurance and dental insurance. Source: V alueP enguin

Massachusetts Takes Aim at Gas-Powered Cars by Elizabeth Puckett, Motorious

In a not-so-shocking turn of events, Massachusetts has joined Newsom-run California to put a target on all gasoline-powered vehicles. California, with apparently no other issues to worry about than personal passenger cars, set the highly-ambitious deadline of to execute people’s choices to buy gas cars in the state at the year 2035 , which is probably doable since every auto manufacturer has made a run for it by now. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a less aggressive date of 205 0, but their Decarbonization Roadmap promises that it is coming, once the ban is finali ed. According to Mass.gov, “U nlike many states and nations, emissions in Massachusetts do not primarily come from large industrial or agricultural operations,” adding “Over 6 5 % of Massachusetts’ emissions come from our cars, trucks, homes, and o ces another 20% comes from the power plants that provide electricity for our lights, computers, and ap-

pliances.” Curiously enough, the Decarbonization Roadmap pins 27 -percent of that on cars and trucks, so 38-percent from housing is, interesting. In further interesting math, the push to reduce carbon emissions via EV s is going to reduce the state’s emissions by 45 -percent. Interestingly enough, the potent impact of airplanes isn’t addressed on the site, but maybe Massachusetts has become a no y one since I last booked a ight. Despite the tone of annoyance over the issue, I don’t hate electric vehicles, but the government has been waging a war with the cars I love since I was a kid growing up in SoCal. First it was that muscle cars were bad, then full-size SU V s were going to kill us all, then classics cars became classified as ‘ clunkers’, and now it’s just all cars that have gas tanks, instead of ports. I’m also woefully disappointed in the development of electric technology, with manufacturers that seem ba ed at the idea of

using it as a supplemental power source - if they can’t nail that down, I don’t have faith that anything will be as fascinating and fun to own as a V 8 by 2035 , or 205 0. In the past 30 years ( generously, because we could start counting back in the 1800’s) , the only real impressive performance vehicles have come out of Tesla, but most people have little desire to drive a fast iPad to the track, or weekend cruises. The Mach-E seems somewhat promising, but its about as pleasant as a dentist drill when driven aggressively. There’s a long road ahead to get to the point where enthusiasts are going to truly enjoy electric-powered anything, and that’s coming from a path of tumbleweeds behind us. s far as how this e ects our niche, car collectors might be in for spiking values in the next few years over these over-regulations of vehicles, so it’s hard to even be mad about it - our cars just became even more collectible! We thank M otorious for reprint permission.

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Ulster BOCES Auto Program Receives Donations from I-CAR Education Foundation The U lster BOCES auto collision technology program in New Y ork received its ninth donation from the I-CAR Collision Repair Education Foundation ( CREF.) The Career & Technical Center’s program received a generous gift this holiday season consisting of items from 3M, a maker of industry specific materials, worker safety, U .S. health care and consumer goods. The students enthusiastically worked on unpacking and stocking numerous 3M items, including tire covers, sanding discs, sandpaper, fiberglass repair adhesive, sandpaper dispenser rolls and tape. CREF is a staunch supporter of the auto collision program. Just last year, it provided the program with a skid chock-full of similar items. In the past, it o ered gener ous grants worth $ 1,000, in 2017 , and $ 5 ,000, in 2014. Auto collision technology student L as hon B onav entu re, from the K ingston City School District, said donations like these mean a lot to young people im-

mersing themselves in the subject of auto body repair. “From a student’s standpoint, I think it’s a great thing that we have a company that believes in us and donates hands-on products,� he said. Instructor D av e R os enb erg says the industry specific goods are a boon for the students in his program now that the Career & Technical Center is using distance learning. “The state-of-the-art grinders allow us to virtually demonstrate modern repair methods for the students to professionally tackle rust and paint removal,� he said. “These abrasives provide more grit options and allow students to bu and polish in tight areas with confidence. To learn more about the U lster BOCES auto collision technology program, visit www.ulster boces.org. Source: U lster BO CES


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Precision Auto Works of LIC Now a Mercedes-Benz Certified Collision Center P recision Auto Works of L ong I sland City in New Y ork announced it has earned manufacturer’s certification from lu ury carmaker Mercedes-Benz. “We’re excited to be recognized with ercedes en ertified ol lision Center status,� said G eorge A nas tas op ou l os , an owner of Precision Auto Works of L IC and master technician. “We have extensive experience with Mercedes-Benz vehicles, and many other luxury brands including new technology electric vehicles like Tesla and BMW. e know this certification is important to our customers who are looking for the safest, highest quality repair work and expect exceptional customer service, too.� ertified ollision Repair en ters ensure Mercedes-Benz customers that repairs are made using genuine Mercedes-Benz parts and installed by specially trained technicians using Mercedes-Benz approved equipment. For added convenience, Precision uto orks of I o ers er cedes-Benz authorized towing ser-

vices throughout New Y ork City and L ong Island. Precision Auto Works of L ong Island City is a full service collision repair center o ering high end collision repair services, with expertise in electric vehicles; aluminum, high strength steel and mixed metal construction vehicles; and heavy structural collision repair. he shop is certified by er cedes-Benz, factory-trained and approved by Tesla, BMW and V olkswagen, and o ers certification from many additional manufacturers. Precision Auto Works of L ong Island City has a second location in L ong Island City for automotive maintenance and repair, and operates a third partner shop, ertified ollision of ong Island, o ering Tesla-approved and luxury vehicle collision repair services in Freeport, NY . Source: P recision Auto Works of L IC


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Mobile Auto Body 101 is Now Castellana Auto Body Over the line from Old G reenwich in Stamford, CT, a popular body shop run by J ohn C as tel l ana J r. and his father, J ohn, has had a name change. Initially the shop was an o shoot of J ohnny ’ s M ob ile Auto Bod y 1 0 1 , a service that brought the body shop to your driveway. Mobile 101 grew quickly, but ohn r., who goes by ohnny to pre vent confusion, said his dream had always been to have his own body shop. Finding the right location was a challenge though. It wasn’t until he got a at tire coming o I that he stumbled on the est venue lo cation. He pulled into the shop and asked for help, and by the end of the conversation he asked whether the owner wanted to sell. Initially the answer was no, but Johnny persisted and eventually the owner agreed to sell. When the Castellanas opened on West Avenue a year ago, it was a dream come true for Johnny, but the recent name change was the icing on the cake. With the renaming came new signage. Also, the building has been

remodeled with a new o ce and certified equipment. Castellana Auto Bod y will con tinue to provide the service custom ers have come to rely on, including lease clean ups, paint work, heavy collision and headlight and rim res toration.

Sammy, John, Otto, Roberto, Johnny and Paul in their new Castellana Auto Body sweatshirts. Credit: Leslie Yager

And the garage continues to o er pick ups and drops for door to door service. ustomers can also text or email a photo of damage for a mobile estimate. ohnny said he is the third gen eration of Castellanas to run body shops and the renaming honors his grandfather, who came to the U .S. from Italy and worked at body

shops in New Y ork before settling in G reenwich, where he operated his own shop. “That’s how my father got started, and it’s how I got started,” he said, adding that working along side his father has been an honor. “My cousins in Italy all have body shops,” he added. “They have two shops in Putignano.” racing his interest in the fami ly line of business back to his middle school days, Johnny said his father’s body shop was like a second home. As for working alongside his father, Johnny said it’s an honor to work with him. “It’s just great to have him with me,” he said. “He has so much knowledge and expertise, and is so well liked in the community.” Johnny said many customers are women from G reenwich who are recommended through word of mouth. Castellana Auto Body is located at 36 8 West Ave. in Stamford and can be reached at or as tellanaautobody36 8@ gmail.com. We thank the G reenwich F ree P ress for reprint permission.


Collision Engineering Program Launched Enterprise Holdings announced an. the launch of the automo tive collision engineering pilot program, powered by the nter prise Rent ar oundation and Ranken Technical College. esigned to attract and de velop entry level talent to fill es sential roles within the collision repair industry, and enhance re tention and advancement among collision repair technicians, the program is piloting at four schools across the country Ranken ech nical College in St. L ouis, MO; ollege of ake ounty in rays lake, IL ; Contra Costa College in San Pablo, CA; and Texas State Technical College in Waco, TX . his groundbreaking pro gram has been developed to ad dress a major technician shortage. With nearly 80,000 new collision technicians needed between 2020 and , according to the ech orce oundation, demand is sig nificantly outpacing a steadily de clining supply of postsecondary collision technician entrants. Source: Enterprise Hold ings

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Pennsylvania Eyes Economic Recovery as Small Business Confidence Lags by Christen Smith, The Center Square

Pennsylvania legislators announced plans for economic recovery on Jan. 12 as industry analysts report a historic low in small business confidence. House Majority L eader K erry B enninghof f, R-Bellefonte, said the chamber’s Economic Recovery Task Force will focus on aligning the state’s “homegrown assets” with opportunities for growth in hopes of turning the state into “the envy of the East.” “As we began this session, I made it a priority to develop a working group of lawmakers from across Pennsylvania, with varied backgrounds, to put their heads together to help inform my office about what economic recovery legislation should look like,” he said. “Their charge is simple: Examine how we got here and develop and strategize legislative and policy ideas to kick-start the economy and make Pennsylvania the ‘ envy of the East.’” L awmakers can start with fa-

vorable tax and regulatory policies, said G ord on D enl inger, director of the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business. L ingering uncertainty from ongoing COV ID-19 restrictions at the state—and potentially federal—level plummeted small business confidence to historic lows, according to the NFIB. “There is an amazing amount of uncertainty at this time, with small business owners concerned about health mandates coming from G ov. Tom W ol f , and policy changes that will advance at the federal level,” Denlinger said. “In addition to favorable tax and regulatory policies, business owners need stability to make good decisions and plan for the future.” According to the NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index, just 8% of businesses think it’s a good time to expand. Nine of the index’s components declined, with virtually no one anticipating better business conditions over the next six months. “The current dramatic changes in Washington and our ongoing

challenges in Harrisburg are not providing stability or much in the way of hope for strong pro-business support from government,” Denlinger said. Pandemic restrictions continue hampering industries unevenly—while bars and restaurants limp along under strict capacity limits and social distancing mandates, big box retailers remain virtually unaffected. With a slow vaccine rollout nationwide and a new incoming presidential administration, it’s hard to forecast what the future holds for small business owners, according to the NFIB. “This month’s drop in small business optimism is historically very large and most of the decline was due to the outlook of sales and business conditions in 2021,” said NFIB Chief Economist B il l D u nk el b erg. “Small businesses are concerned about potential new economic policy in the new administration and the increased spread of COV ID-19 that is causing renewed government-mandated business closures across the nation.”

Meanwhile, Rep. A aron K au f er, R-L uzerne, will lead the state lawmakers’ task force, which he said will investigate “legislative solutions” that will encourage business owners to again expand and hire more workers. ith di cult challenges come great opportunities and we are faced with the opportunity to not only recover but come back stronger,” he said. Fellow task force member Rep. W end i Thomas , R-Richboro, said the state is “obligated to repair the financial damage caused by the ramifications of I . “We must help Pennsylvania’s businesses rebound from this crisis and thrive, but we must also focus on attracting new businesses to our state through economic policies that remove the obstacles to economic growth,” she said. “In the end, the work of this task force will create a roadmap for helping businesses ourish and stand strong in the face of any future crisis.” We thank The Center Sq uare for reprint permission.

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NORTHEAST 2021 Rescheduled to Sept. 10-12 The 2021 NORTHEAST Automotive Services Show will take place this year—just a little later than originally planned. Originally scheduled for March 19 -21, NORTHEAST 2021 is now set for Sept. 10-12 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center ( MEC) in Secaucus, NJ, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey ( AASP/ NJ) announced. “As the COV ID-19 vaccines begin their rollout and the light at the end of the tunnel starts becoming clearer, AASP/ NJ has decided— out of concern for everyone’s safety as well as taking into consideration current government restrictions and limitations on large gatherings and travel—to reschedule,” explained AASP/ NJ President J erry Mc N ee. “AASP/ NJ is focused on serving our industry and working with our community to provide the necessary support and information to prepare them for a successful 2021 event.” After speaking with vendors and association members, AASP/ is confident the new dates in September will provide the automotive repair community the time to

e ectively plan their participation during these challenging times. Protecting everyone’s health and safety remains AASP/ NJ’s priority. The association is working closely with the MEC to ensure a safe environment. The show will follow every prescribed health and safety protocol. “It looks like we will still be the first industry show of the year in September,” McNee said. “I know that everyone is anxious to get out and start getting back on the road to normalcy. NORTHEAST will be the first opportunity in over a year for our industry to gather, and we think it will be a very inspiring event for everyone involved. We expect NORTHEAST 2021 to be bigger and better than ever.” Pre-registered NORTHEAST 2020 attendees will not need to re-register, as badge data will be carried over to these new dates of Sept. 10-12. For updates and information on NORTHEAST, please continue to visit the o cial event website, aaspnjnortheast.com, and visit AASP/ NJ online at aaspnj.org. Source: AASP / NJ

First Model Y Commissioned as Police Vehicle in New York by Trevor English, Interesting Engineering

As Tesla continues its quest for automotive dominance, their vehicles are becoming more and more common not only within luxury markets but also as police cruisers.

he first odel has o cial ly debuted as a police car in New ork. Specifically, the car was com missioned by the Hastings on Hudson Police Department located in Westchester County. This isn’t the first time a esla has been a police car; the Model 3 has been used by several departments for some time now, but this is the first time the Model Y has been put into service. However, this electric police-cruiser won’t be chasing down speeders in tra c rather it will be sleuthing down back alleys as part

of the department’s detective division. Even though it will just be used by detectives, the car is still fit with lights, sirens and police radios, the typical accoutrement of a police car of the like. As for what type of Model Y the police department decided to use, it’s a long-range silver metallic Model Y that sits on the 19 -in. G emini wheels. U pon learning the Model Y has been put to use as a police cruiser, one might start to wonder why it was chosen, considering it’s generally considered to be a medium-level luxury SU V . The biggest reason this car was chosen is the fuel savings it presents. While the cost of the car outright might be higher than a traditional cruiser, it’s estimated the Model Y will save the department more than , over the first five years it s in service, ustifying its purchase. When you compound these fuel savings with Tesla’s incredibly high resale values, the purchase starts making a lot more sense for police applications. We thank I nteresting Engineering for reprint permission.

Feds Bust Car Theft Ring by Steven Symes, Motorious

According to federal prosecutors, a group has been hitting both private residences and dealerships to steal vehicles since the summer, accruing millions of dollars in stolen property. Now that criminal ring has been busted and the alleged leader, 24-year-old J os ep her Y . C artagena of ron , , is facing some sti penalties. According to the FBI and local police departments, the group would often hit multiple dealerships or private residences in a night. Just like we’ve seen with these car dealership heists recently, court documents allege the thieves would break into the dealership office, pop open the key bo and use the fobs to find the cars they wanted to steal. Not surprisingly, they hit Chrysler Doge Jeep dealerships, a popular target for thieves in 2020. Court documents allege Cartagena ran from police multiple times, leading them on high-speed pursuits. Nothing is said about the vehicles used in these chases, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they in-

volved a Dodge muscle car, another trend we’ve seen grow recently. With their legendary performance, availability and apparent ease of theft, Dodge Challengers and Chargers have been a vehicle of choice for criminals lately. If you own one, we highly recommend you take extra precautions to secure it. Cartagena was arrested on Dec. 23. It wasn’t easy for law enforcement to catch him, because early in the day they tried and the guy ed, ramming several I ve hicles. We think maybe he should lay o the ast and urious movies for a while, because the lines between fantasy and reality are a bit blurred for the guy. After searching all day and into the night, authorities finally tracked Cartagena down and arrested him. He’s now facing one court of conspiracy to possess and transport stolen vehicles, two counts of transportation of a stolen vehicle and two counts of possession of a stolen vehicle. We thank M otorious for reprint permission.

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New Certification Program to our certified shops and merican Honda Motor,” she added. I recently talked to Alvarez about the new program and some of the highlights: W

hat p romp ted the d ec is ion to replace the ro irst ertified ody Shop Program? The ProFirst program was one of the first certified collision pro grams to launch, and has made great strides. We’ve found it is held in high regard and has been widely accepted by repair facilities. he onda and cura ertified Collision program provides several improvements, including enhanced and absolute customer recognition. he program will e ectively lever age both brands by triggering instant recognition in the larger population, and more importantly, vehicle owners. With ProFirst, customer recognition was an uphill e ort not ust for American Honda Motor, but also

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for certified shops. e heard our certified shops loud and clear in regard to changing the program s name. e have been working toward this for a long time and I am thrilled to address the need for an immediate brand connection between our customers and certified shops. W

hat are s ome of the p rogram’ s highlights and how does it differ f rom the f ormer one? he Pro irst program included free access to the onda and cura Service Information System, parts catalogs, dedicated regional collision market managers, a customi ed plaque, promotional items and a shop locator listing. uilding on this incredible value, the onda and cura ertified ollision Program provides immediate customer recognition, more effective advertising logos and a newly redesigned plaque that will showcase the multiple years a shop has achieved certification. In addition, there will be an annual certification fee. merican onda otor has held the same price point since the program was

launched. fter evaluation, we felt this was a good time to implement a fee ad ustment and remain competitive. nother change will be the standardi ation of the option for renewing shops to select a guided virtual audit or an on site audit. uring , guided virtual audits were offered as a temporary measure to aid with I state and regional restrictions and will now become standard. raining for both programs will increase in based on vehicle need. W hat typ es of f ac il ities c an b ec ome part of the certified network? ur certified network will continue to be comprised of independent shops, S s and shops aligned with a dealer group. e will e ercise a high degree of selectivity in inviting new shops to apply and certified shops to attempt certification once more. Shops will be determined by each collision market manager in their region. merican onda otor is very proud of managing our certified network and will continue to do so.

I s there anything ad d itional you would like the collision industry to know about the program? he ultimate goal is to connect vehicle customers with certified shops. hese shops have agreed to do the right thing in conducting safe and proper repairs per the provided onda cura repair procedures. ith the increased visibility, this goal becomes even more important. s the program progresses, we will continue to evaluate shops to determine if they are following the requirements and should be invited to apply for renewal. I urge all shops, prospective and currently certified, to make sure they understand the requirements and evaluate whether they will be able to support the requirements and intent of the program. If the answer is anything other than a resounding yes, then it is not for them. Read the erms and onditions to make sure you make the best business decision for your business. www.autobodynews.com

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he ational uto ody ouncil announced an. that Sand i F reeman has oined the organi ation as the program manager for the Recycled Rides initiative. reeman will lead the popular program that has gifted more than , vehicles to families in need since it was launched in . reeman was previously the manager of replacement accounts for ert , where she worked for more than years. She brings a wealth of e perience in the automotive industry, along with a passion for philanthropy, to the position. reeman replaces longtime team member Linda Sulkala, who retired at the end of . o learn more about the Recycled Rides program, visit https nationalautobodycouncil.org programs recycled rides . Source: NABC

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Wreck/Rebuild Program at NY College Shifts Learning into High Gear Applied learning is at the heart of an Alfred State College ( ASC) in Alfred, NY , education, with students gaining the knowledge and skills they need to succeed through handson, real-world projects. terrific e ample of this is the college’s autobody wreck/ rebuild program.

late-model vehicles without having to spend any money out of their pocket,” Tremper said. “With these cars being quality projects to start with, it also makes the students step up their skills because the end result needs to be very high quality, just as it will be expected of them in the real world.” According to Tremper, work may range from minor repairs on hoods and fenders to major repairs to the structure of the vehicles. The program covers everything from basic bolt-on-panel replacement to electrical system repairs, steering/ suspension work, heating/ cooling/ air conditioning work The “before” photo of a 2016 Chevy Cruze repaired by ASC students. and much more. “We try to acquire a car Through this learning experi- that has an appropriate amount of ence, students in ASC’s autobody damage so that the students can repair major are able to enhance actually apply in the lab what they their skill sets by fi ing wrecked had previously learned in the classvehicles, and also gain insight into room setting,” Tremper said. “This what it’s like to work inside a live allows us the opportunity to revisit collision shop. some topics and do a little refresher While students were previously course as the students actually perresponsible for providing their own form the repairs to the vehicle.” vehicles to work on, the vehicles are The time it takes to complete a now secured through funding pro- repair project varies due to the sevided by the Educational Founda- verity of the damage, as well as the tion of Alfred, Inc., a private foun- skill set of the student working on dation dedicated to improving the the vehicle. Alfred State community through the very student brings a di ersupport of educational programs. ent skill set to the table and someAccording to Automotive times the pro ects fit right into Trades Instructor C J Tremp er, what they already know and other the Ed Foundation possesses a times the student is learning many New Y ork State automobile deal- new skills as they work their way er’s license that allows the college through the project,” Tremper said. to purchase wrecked cars from an Once the cars are completed, auto salvage auction, which are they are sold through a sealed bid then used for hands-on projects. process. The college calculates the The foundation covers the cost of total cost of the project and places a purchasing these cars and also any minimum price on the vehicle, then parts or materials that are needed makes this information available to to bring them back to pre-accident the campus population. condition. Students, faculty and sta “This is a huge advantage be- then have the ability to bid on the cause now our students have the car for whatever price they feel is opportunity to work on rust-free, fair,” Tremper said. “The money

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from the sale goes back to the Ed Foundation for purchase of more project cars.” The most recently completed vehicle was purchased by Alfred State Director of Sponsored Programs Peter Mc C l ain. Work on this vehicle, a 2016 Chevy Cruze, included replacing a quarter panel, the trunk oor and a partial frame rail, as well as a complete rear body panel replacement.

The “after” photo of the Cruze repaired by ASC students.

“The Alfred State auto body students did a tremendous job rebuilding the car from two wrecks of the same model,” McClain said. “And it looks like new! Professors CJ Trem-

per and B rad Smith walked my wife and I around the shop where we were able to observe other students completing the same process on another set of cars. This is an incredible project for the Educational Foundation to provide to the students and we plan to enjoy driving this car for many more years.” Tremper said the wreck/ rebuild program is “exactly what our students need in order to see how vehicles are fi ed in collision shops across the country on a daily basis.” “We try to give them as much of a real shop feel as we can so that once they graduate and get a job, things look very familiar to their experience at Alfred State,” Tremper said. “Our hope is that no matter where our students go once they graduate, they will have the skills necessary to get a job in a collision repair shop.” We thank The Ev ening Trib une for reprint permission.

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Legislation Would Cut Business Taxes in NH Over 2-Year Period by Elyse Kelly, The Center Square

The New Hampshire House of Representatives will be considering a bill in the new session that would reduce the state’s business taxes incrementally over the next two years.

Pedestrians stroll through downtown Portsmouth, NH. Credit: Wangkun Jia/ Shutterstock.com

House Speaker Sherman Pac k ard , R-L ondonderry, is sponsoring the legislation to lower the business profits ta rate by . and the business enterprise rate by . incrementally, the New Hampshire Business Review reported. he profits ta would decrease to . in and then to . the next, while the enterprise rate would fall in . increments on the same schedule putting it at a fi-

nal rate of . in . The Monitor reported the tax cut could lead to a million decrease in revenue for the state if estimates from the Department of Revenue Administration using an analysis of fiscal year revenues are correct. D av id J u v et, senior vice president of public policy at the Business and Industry Association ( BIA) of New Hampshire, said the G ranite State’s business taxes are some of the country’s highest, and they would support any reduction. Juvet pointed out that businesses still remain in the grip of the I crisis and in need of any help they can get. “Businesses are really struggling in New Hampshire right now, so any e ort to reduce the business taxes they pay I’m sure will be welcomed by the business community,” he told The Center Square. Reducing rates will also make the G ranite State more attractive to outsiders and help fuel economic growth, he said. “When businesses are looking for a place to grow or a place to move, there’s a number of things

that they look at—many of the things New Hampshire compares favorably well,” Juvet said. “One area we don’t compare well is the rate of our business taxes, which as I said are some of the highest in the country, so anything we can do to lower those will certainly help in attracting business to New Hampshire.” State Rep. Su s an A l my, D-L ebanon, said the bill is risky, and if tax rates go down, state-funded services, which are important to businesses and employees, will be cut, the New Hampshire Business Review reported. “I know it is a concern among some,” said Juvet. “I think the rate reductions we’re talking about here are very modest, and they’re being phased in over a two-year period of time to reduce revenue impacts. I know the hope is that the economy will continue to grow which will further reduce or perhaps eliminate budgetary revenue impacts. But the bottom line is it’s something we need to do for businesses here in New Hampshire.” We thank The Center Sq uare for reprint permission.

Lordstown Endurance Passes 100K Pre-Orders L ordstown Motors Corp., an emerging OEM producing electric light duty trucks focused on the commercial eet market, has received more than , non binding production reservations from commercial eets for its ordstown Endurance all-electric pickup truck, with an average order si e of nearly vehicles per eet. The L ordstown Endurance is a full-size, all-electric pickup that has a range of miles, the equivalent of hp and can tow up to , lbs. After successful prototype and alpha builds, L ordstown is now building the first beta ndurance vehicles and is on track for start of production in September of this year. The initial Endurance is a crew cab configuration with medium bed length, priced at , after federal rebate. Source: L ord stown M otors

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Pandemic Lockdown Closed 30% of PA Businesses, Second Most in U.S. by Christen Smith, The Center Square

Federal data shows pandemic restrictions forced three in 10 businesses statewide to close, at least temporarily, ranking Pennsylvania second only to Michigan in terms of economic lockdown impacts. Still, the number of businesses that received federal aid in Pennsylvania for complying with these closures didn’t even crack the top 20, leaving many employees seeking obless benefits in a system too crowded to handle the in u of workers—more than 1.2 million in March and April alone—witnessed at the onset of the pandemic. Sen. C amera B artol otta, R-Monongahela, blamed one person alone for the state’s lagging economy—G ov. Tom W ol f . “The statistics clearly show the Wolf Administration forced too many businesses to close, kept those businesses closed for far too long, and did not do enough to help the business owners and employees who were deeply a ected by the Administration’s unilateral orders,” she said. “We all recognize that

certain precautions must be taken during a pandemic, but G ov. Wolf’s mismanagement of the response to this crisis over the past several months is a big reason why many Pennsylvanians have zero faith in the decisions he is making now.”

ten the curve.” He said the latest measures, set to expire Jan. 4, 2021, will help accomplish three goals: slowing the virus’s spread, prevent case loads from overwhelming hospitals and ensure residents survive the holiday season

“And the businesses that were strong enough to survive the early months of the pandemic now face even greater threats of bankruptcy and financial ruin because of his new shutdowns,” — Camera Bartolotta Those decisions—including a threeweek ban on indoor dining and drinking, youth sports and extracurricular activities and gatherings of more than 10 people—came last week as COV ID-19 hospitalizations eclipsed 5 ,5 00. That number exceeded 6 ,000 as of Dec. 15 as Secretary of Health Dr. R ac hel L ev ine said more than half of the state’s 5 09 ,000 cases have only been diagnosed within the last six weeks. “The situation is dire,” Wolf said Dec. 10. “It’s worse than it was in the spring when we had to at-

as “we move closer to a widely available vaccine—as safely as possible.” “It’s not the government that’s doing this,” he said last week. “It’s not me. It’s dictated by the virus.” L evine said Dec. 14 the continued restrictions on restaurants and bars—decimated by nine months of pandemic regulations—are based on science, a notion many Republican legislators and industry representatives refute. “It’s been very clearly shown for months and months how restaurants and bars can share in signifi-


cant spread of COV ID-19 ,” she said. “Y ou cannot eat or drink with a mask on. Depending on the ventilation system, it’s very easy to spread.” “We are not trying to target that industry,” she added. Bartolotta said the administration’s unwillingness to collaborate with lawmakers about economic restrictions means many businesses stayed closed “much longer than necessary.” Even now, as the unemployment rate lags the national average, businesses still can’t recover from the unilateral shutdowns of last spring. “And the businesses that were strong enough to survive the early months of the pandemic now face even greater threats of bankruptcy and financial ruin because of his new shutdowns,” she said. “We have long said that we can protect lives and livelihoods, and these goals do not need to be mutually exclusive. U nfortunately, the governor s go it alone, one si e fits all approach has protected neither lives nor livelihoods.” We thank The Center Sq uare for reprint permission.

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$1.9 trillion stimulus now is get Congress to come together—in the middle of another bitter impeachment fight. ut in announcing the initiative Thursday evening, Biden didn’t mention the partisan battle currently consuming Capitol Hill. Instead, he emphasized in a prime-time speech that the dark winter he warned about during the campaign had arrived. COV ID cases are spiking across the country. The economy is faltering. The nation, the president-elect argued, simply can’t a ord not to act. Y es, it will be expensive. Perhaps remembering the fights over the 2009 stimulus, Biden didn’t shy away from that fact. With interest rates low, he said it was a great time to borrow even though it guarantees adding more to the ever-growing national debt. Just a few minutes into his remarks, he said that deficit spending” wasn’t just in order. It was “more urgent than ever” to make smart fiscal investments. “The return on these investments—in jobs, in racial equity— will prevent long-term economic damage and the benefits will far surpass the costs,” Biden argued before adding that top economists had concluded that spending more now to spur the economy would ensure “our debt situation will be more stable, not less stable, if we seize this moment with vision and purpose.” First, the president-elect requested $ 400 billion in additional funding to address the health crisis. According to his plans, the money would be spent rushing the vaccine into the arms of Americans at community vaccination sites nationwide, scaling up testing and tracing to track and contain the disease, and investing in the infrastructure and supplies needed to reopen schools safely. Once made safe for students and sta , iden wants the ma ority of American students from kindergarten through eighth grade back in the classroom in his first days. He also promised to lay out a vaccination plan “to correct course and meet our goal of 100 million shots by the end of our first days. Second, Biden requested $ 1

trillion in family relief. The biggest item in this spending bucket: a $ 1,400 per-person check ( a payment to be added on top of the $ 6 00 already agreed to by lawmakers) . He wants housing assistance and nutrition assistance, more money for subsidized child care, an extension of unemployment insurance through September, and a $ 3,000 tax credit for every child under 17 years old. What’s more, the incoming president wants a $ 15 minimum wage: “No one working 40 hours a week should still be below the poverty line.” Finally, the president-elect will ask Congress for an additional $ 440 billion to provide relief for small businesses and to shore up struggling state and city and tribal governments. Biden proposes no less than $ 15 billion in direct grants as well as $ 17 5 billion in government-backed lending for small businesses. He promised that the focus would be on “Main Street,” with particular emphasis on ensuring that “minority-owned small businesses and women-owned small businesses finally having equal access to the resources they need to reopen and rebuild.” He also promised emergency funding for essential workers like municipal firefighters and police, warning that “the people putting their lives at risk are the very people now at risk of losing their jobs.” iden o ered a broad sketch of the rescue package in his 25 -minute address while his team passed along a page fact sheet to fill in more of the details. It will be up to Congress to put esh on these legislative bones. While Democrats hold the Senate after their twin victories in G eorgia, their grasp is tenuous. The chamber splits 5 0-5 0, meaning that V ice President-elect Harris would cast tie-breaking votes. But power-sharing will still be a fact of life in the chamber and the incoming president didn’t o er details about how the ambitious agenda would become more than an aspiration. Biden wasn’t short on soaring rhetoric, however. “We didn’t get into all this overnight. We won’t get out of it overnight, and we can’t do it as a separated and divided nation,” he said. “The only way we can do it is to come together.” This, along with the outlined

spending, was enough to have congressional Democrats cheering. “House and Senate Democrats express gratitude toward and look forward to working with the President-elect on the rescue plan,” Majority L eader C hu c k Sc hu mer and House Speaker Pel os i said in a press release. The pair heralded the spending as “the right approach” and a sign that Democrats “have a partner at the White House that understands the need to take swift action to address the needs of struggling communities.” Even the party’s most prominent progressives were impressed with the dollar amount. Democratic-socialist B ernie Sand ers , Biden’s 2020 campaign rival, released a statement calling the plan “much needed” and pledged to work with his colleagues in Congress to get it passed. Republicans were predictably unimpressed. Rep. K ev in B rad y, the ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee, said Biden had “launched yet another economic blind bu alo that does nothing to save Main Street.” The Republican Study Committee, the



largest G OP caucus in the House, tweeted that the stimulus checks alone in the plan “cost as much as the in ation ad usted cost of orld War I.” This sudden rediscovery of the dangers of too large a national debt harked back to the Obama days when the G OP prided itself on being the party of fiscal responsibility. Congressional Republicans regularly warned then that the Democrat in the hite ouse was a pro igate spender mortgaging the future of generations to come. It’s an old conservative chestnut that Republicans only seem to remember when emocrats occupy the val ce U nder President Trump, the debt ballooned by $ 7 .8 trillion. Familiar with those old arguments, Biden moved to head them o hursday evening. I know what I just described will not come cheaply,” he said. “But failing to do so will cost us dearly – the consensus among leading economists is we simply cannot a ord not to do it.” This won’t be his only spending plan either. He promised that this

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Driven Brands Collision Group Stands ‘UNIT3D’ by Stacey Phillips

Early in December, Driven Brands Collision G roup held a virtual summit themed “U NIT3D.” During the event, speakers talked about the challenges the industry is facing and the importance of unity among the Driven Brands’ franchises to pave a path forward. After welcoming attendees to the event, Mic hael Mac al u s o, Driven Brands’ group president and EV P, paint, collision & glass, discussed the importance of strength for the company’s family of family businesses. “This year has certainly been trying but absolutely rewarding,” said Macaluso. “We’ve adjusted, we’ve pivoted and we’ve persevered.” Macaluso said that most importantly, throughout 2020, Driven Brands has tried to ensure the safety and health of the team, customers, franchisees and partners within the network. G uest speaker Mik e A nd ers on, owner of Collision Advice, discussed the state of the industry and then held

a panel discussion focused on current industry issues during the pandemic. “I understand that there are challenges in our industry right now with COV ID… ” said Anderson. “Y ou don t have to have it all figured out. All you have to do is be willing to reach out to other people and say, ‘ Can you help me? ’ It’s really that simple.” He pointed out how the Driven

Brands family has recently grown and advised attendees not to underestimate the value, importance and strength of the franchisees reaching out to one another to help accomplish

a goal. An additional keynote speaker was N anc y F ried man, founder and chairman of the Telephone Doctor. Friedman shared tips and techniques on the “G olden Nuggets of Sales & Customer Service” during the pandemic. She encouraged attendees to prepare for the unexpected, embrace change, do something extra, return phone calls and make sure not to be too busy. Throughout the event, brand updates were given by company leaders. “2020 has been a year to forget,” said L andon Thompson, vice president of operations, Fix Auto U SA. “All businesses have faced challenging conditions this year, but few have really gone through what we have.” He pointed to the three-and-ahalf-year dispute with Mondo that was resolved Feb. 5 . He also talked about the acquisition by Driven Brands six weeks after the coronavirus broke out. Despite the challenges with COV ID-19 , 21 new franchise loca-

tions were added over the year. “We’ve prided ourselves on being great performers and not only have we sustained our performance, we’ve improved it,” Thompson said. Mark W ahl in, V P, franchise development & operations, ABRA, said 2020 for ABRA actually started in October 2019 , when Driven Brands acquired the franchise. Since the pandemic, Wahlin noted, there has been additional work at the shop level related to the safety protocols for both employees and consumers. “It was an amazing shift and through it all, the centers stayed open,” he said. “The comeback has been amazing. At the end of October [ 2020] as a group, our sales are slightly ahead of that same time period as 2019 . As we look forward to finishing up this year and growing into 2021, the expectations are high for that growth to continue.” eff Labano ich, G M of CARSTAR Canada, gave an update on CARSTAR North America and then spoke about the network’s resil-



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ience in 2020 during the pandemic. He said through all of the challenges, CARSTAR has persevered and learned to adapt. “Being thrust into this change, I’ve just seen such resilience,” said L abanovich. “… store owners, marketing groups standing together to figure out how to do things di erent ly in an environment where honestly the market share is shrinking and that is something we need to be seriously protective of.” In addition to the brand updates, A rl o J ohns on, SV P Insurance, talked about the learnings from the year and key industry updates in regard to network performance and strength. “Our primary responsibility is to help CARSTAR, Fix Auto U SA and ABRA stores grow sales,” said Johnson. “We’re very focused on adding DRPs and that’s how my team is measured.” Johnson estimated they added more than 1,000 DRPs in 2020 across all three brands in the U .S., and 7 7 % are with top 10 carriers. Top-performing franchise partners for ABRA, CARSTAR and Fix Auto U SA were also honored for


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their excellence in L ength of Rental ( L OR) and Customer Satisfaction Index ( CSI) . Honors were given to the following: ABRA L O R : ABRA, Rochester, MN, owned by Tom K ad l ec , District Manager K ris J oec k el and Manager A ngie H enry C SI : ABRA, Sparta, MI, owned by Pab l o R od riq u ez , District Manager D el K ing and G eneral Manager D an R ow an CARSTAR Canada L O R : CARSTAR Bridgewater, Bridgewater, NS, owned by W end y and K ev in E nimo C SI : CARSTAR Collingwood, Collingwood, ON, owned by G ary B ou c her CARSTAR U.S. L O R : CARSTAR Premier, Houston, TX , owned by Moe Shab an C SI : RS R reenfield uto body, reenfield, I, owned by Mariu s z Stanis z Fix Auto USA L O R : Fix Auto Irvine, Irvine, CA,


J ames H u ard and A mand a F az io, corporate ops leaders, Store Manager J es s ic a D el gad o C SI : Fix Auto Modesto-City Center, Modesto, CA, owned by K ris h C hand At the close of the event, D ean F is her, president of the Driven Brands ollision roup, shared some final thoughts as the group looks ahead to moving forward together for a successful 2021. “Through what has been a year like no other, these franchise partners have risen above to consistently outperform in operations, customer experience and community engagement,” said Fisher. “We’re proud to recognize their accomplishments. They are truly role models for our Driven Brands family and the collision repair industry.” For more information about Driven Brands, visit https: / / www. drivenbrands.com/ . Social media tags: @ FixAutoU SA, @ CARSTAR, @ CARSTARCanada

Continued from Page 22

$1.9 trillion stimulus $ 1.9 trillion initiative is an opening bid to Congress with more spending to come later. s the first legislative priority of his administration, the plan will test the new president’s deal-making acumen. Biden seems comfortable in the role. He didn’t balk at debt and deficits the last time he was in the White House. He hasn’t gotten skittish in the last four years either, as he heralded the first multi billion dollar spending package he managed. “We will be responsible with taxpayer dollars, ensuring accountability that reduces waste, fraud, or abuse,” he promised, “like we did with the Recovery Act during the Obama-Biden administration.” We thank RealClearWire for reprint permission.


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MA Attorney General Fights to Dismiss Right to Repair Suit by Emmariah Holcomb, glassBYTEs.com

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a trade association for the automotive industry, recently filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts’ federal court, aiming to block enforcement of the Right to Repair ballot initiative passed by state voters in the November 2020 election. Massachusetts Attorney G eneral Mau ra H eal ey defended the recently passed Right to Repair ballot initiative, in a memorandum of law to support a motion to dismiss, arguing the state law does not con ict with any federal statutes and that voters already rejected the suit’s claims. Healey also stated in the memorandum the alliance’s complaint should be dismissed in its entirety. “Neither it nor any of the Alliance’s other preemption claims establishes an actual con ict between state and federal law, much less satisfies the heavy burden required for facial, pre-enforcement challenges established by the Supreme Court and First Circuit,” a portion of the memorandum reads. In November 2020, Massachu-

Continued from Cover

‘Who Pays for What’ shoot DTCs,” Anderson said. “Diagnostic labor time should really be separated from the scan labor time because there are just too many variables involved. “Just as judgment times vary based on the size and location of the damage and the substrate involved, diagnostic time varies as well,” Anderson continued. “Isn’t the time it takes to research one diagnostic trouble code di erent from researching five “And it’s not just looking up the code. Y ou also have to navigate the repair owchart to determine what the most probable cause is,” he said. “If there are several possible causes, it might be the first one you try, or the last one. All this takes time.” The latest quarterly “Who Pays for hat survey is now open through January, focusing on “not-included refinish labor operations. Shops can take the survey at https: / / www.surveymonkey.com/ r/

setts residents voted “yes” on the Right to Repair Bill, which centered on preserving vehicle owners’ rights to have access to and control of their vehicle’s mechanical data necessary

ASE Registration Open

18. However, U .S. District Court Judge D ou gl as W ood l oc k scheduled a nonjury trial for June 14, and Healey agreed not to take any enforcement action prior to Aug. 1.

“Such pre-enforcement, facial challenges are generally disfavored because they are often based on speculation, contrary to principles of judicial restraint, and subversive of the democratic process,”— Maura Healey for service and repair. The approval of Q uestion 1 on the ballot ensured car owners can control the mechanical data transmitted by their vehicle through telematics. Beginning with vehicles in model year 2022, cars sold in Massachusetts that use the telematics system will have to have an interoperable standardized and open access platform so the vehicle’s information will have to be shared with an interoperable system. After the ballot question passed in the fall election, the alliance sued Healey in late November. The Right to Repair law was scheduled to become e ective ec.

6 JNH3PF Survey participants receive a free report with complete survey findings along with analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented. Anderson said the survey, which will take about 15 to 20 minutes, can be completed by anyone in a shop familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of at least some of the largest national insurers. Each shop’s individual responses are held in the strictest confidence only aggregated data is released. The results of previous surveys are also available online at https: / / www.crashnetwork.com/ collisionadvice. Collision Advice ( www.CollisionAdvice.com) is an independent training and consulting firm featuring some of the most respected and experienced experts in the collision repair industry. CRASH Network ( www.CrashNetwork.com) is a subscription newsletter o ering news and information not available from other industry sources. Source: CRASH Network

The alliance claims the expanded law creates a cybersecurity risk, but Healey said those arguments are the same ones the industry made during the public relations campaign leading up to Election Day. According to Healey, the alliance is trying to void the law prior to it going into e ect. “Such pre-enforcement, facial challenges are generally disfavored because they are often based on speculation, contrary to principles of judicial restraint, and subversive of the democratic process,” said Healey. We thank glassBYTEs.com for reprint permission.

ASE winter registration is now open through March 31. More than S certification tests are available. Those registering will have 9 0 days to schedule an appointment to take the selected ASE tests, whether registering on the first day of the registration period or the last. ASE tests are conducted days, nights and weekends at nearly 45 0 secured, proctored test centers. A $ 34 registration fee is added to every order, no matter how many tests are purchased. Tests are $ 47 each, except L 1, L 2 and L 3, which are $ 9 4 each. s an added benefit, S caps the cost of tests taken at $ 141, so the most anyone would pay to recertify in a single registration window is $ 17 5 , no matter how many recertification tests are taken. For more information and to register for S certification testing, visit www.ase.com/ register-now. Source: ASE

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t 9-1 m






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Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-1 rendrick@sussmanauto.com autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 29

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with Stacey Phillips

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.

Two-Way Dialogue a Good Way to ‘Maintain’ Employees Just as regular maintenance of your shop’s equipment and facility is critical to keep it functioning well, “maintenance” of your employees is just as important. After all, replacing a good employee can be every bit as costly and often more di cult than replacing a welder or frame rack. It was that goal of maintaining ongoing two-way dialogue with employees that led me, when I had my shops, to conduct employee reviews on an annual basis. I know some shop owners avoid such reviews because they assume employees will expect increased compensation as part of the process. But before I even sat down with employees, they each would fill out a questionnaire, rating how they think they were meeting the company’s standards for attendance, quantity and quality of work, teamwork, or-

ganization and enthusiasm. It asked them to rate their supervisor, and how they are treated by coworkers. It asked them what they feel they need to improve, what their specific goals were for the coming year, and how we could help them meet those goals. nd it asked specifically about pay, including this important follow-up question: What would you be willing to do to make more money this year? This helped emphasize they have to take a role in increasing their income, not just come into the review expecting a raise. I would look over their responses and their employee file before I met with them. And I came into the review with an agenda. First item on that agenda: Ensuring we had their current home address and phone number( s) , that their emergency contact information

was correct and that their insurance needs hadn’t changed, maybe because of a change in dependents or because they were now covered under a spouse’s plan. We also collected information on their birthday, wedding anniversary and kids’ birthdays so we could note those events throughout the year. Next, we worked through their responses to the questionnaire. The beauty of the self-review is it’s a lot less uncomfortable than having to bring up the fact an employee, for example, is often late for work. That employee will often acknowledge on the form he’s not meeting the shop’s expectations for attendance. So rather than dwell on the problem, you can immediately move into discussing why it’s occurring and what can be done about it. That was far more e ective than a heat-

ed discussion about it at some time when I was angry and they were defensive. If they listed areas of their performance that need improvement, we discussed what tools or training they needed to help them do that. I’ve always felt it’s the business owner’s responsibility to give employees what they need to success in the business. So reviews are a chance for open dialogue about how you can help them improve their performance. That also helped us map out employee training for the coming year, to ensure we got them the classes they needed with the least disruption to production. During the reviews, we’d also discuss the areas in which they were excelling, giving them some “attaboys” and positive reinforcement. See Two-Way Dialogue, Page 42

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ge 42

with Erica Schroeder

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.

Panel Reviews Why OEM Repair Procedure Legislation Has Mostly Failed to Be Enacted

Shop Showcase

With more than a dozen states pro- even more if any of these pieces of posing legislation over the past three legislation get passed.” Panelist W ayne W eik el of the years related to the use of OEM colwith Ed Attanasio lision repair procedures, why have Alliance for Automotive Innovanearly all of them failed to be enact- tion, a trade group representing the ed? That was the question at the heart of a G overnmental Committee panel discussion during a recent virtual Collision Industry Conference with Ed Attanasio ( CIC) this month. One reason cited: Opposition to the idea of pushing for or requiring the use of OEM procedures from alternative parts industry. “I think the biggest problem we Darrell Amberson said many Minnesota have is there are OEM repair pro- lawmakers’ ties to the insurance industry with Ed Attanasio cedures that very blatantly deny the have made it difficult to even get a hearing in that state for legislation on OEM collision use of aftermarket or recycled orig- repair procedures inal equipment parts,” said panelist Sand y B l al oc k , executive director automakers that manufacture nearly of the Automotive Recyclers Asso- all the passenger vehicles sold in ciation. “So wewith have Ed veryAttanasio serious the U .S., pointed out in some of the concerns that that would be pushed state legislative e orts, automakers

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took parts o the table, by agreeing to legislative language “saying that, notwithstanding what OEM repair procedures may say about parts, you’re supposed to follow the repair procedures.” But Blalock said the OEM position statements remain. “As long as there’s anything out there that is telling people it’s not wise to use [ alternative] parts, or that they do not recommend that they be used, this is going to be an issue for us,” she said. “And that’s why you see why compromise on this will be di cult,” Weikel said. “Against all of my members’ views on parts, we tried to focus just on procedures, and even after we’ve done that, we continue to hear objections such as these. I can tell you, our manufacturers are not going to walk away from saying that the best part is a new OEM part.

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That’s just the reality.” The insurance industry also pushed back against proposed state legislation that would require them to pay claims based on OEM repair procedure. Panelist D arrel l A mb ers on of L aM ettry ’ s Collision in Minnesota said his state’s association twice pushed for legislation that would have made it an unfair claims practice for an insurer to refuse payment for a repair procedure called for by an OEM. he first year the bill didn t even receive a hearing. The association then worked with insurers on some “watered-down” compromise language introduced in 2019 , but even then insurers opposed the bill during a hearing. Amberson said the state’s legislature has a high percentage of members who currently work for, or have

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previously worked for, insurance companies, including the committee member most critical at the hearing of the bill’s language. “It didn’t get out of that committee,” Amberson said of the 2019 bill. It s been di cult to reason with some entities out there. I’m not saying every insurer is against proper repairs. But there are those out there that frankly are inclined to imply that it’s OK to essentially cut some corners. The phrase ‘ case-bycase’ implies you can make a judgement, questioning the repair procedures the manufacturer established.” New Hampshire lawmakers passed OEM repair procedure legislation in 2019 , but it was vetoed by Republican G ov . J ohn Su nu nu , who said the bill “would increase the cost of auto insurance premiums by limiting the ability of insurers to negotiate what is reasonable in the repair process.” Weikel pointed to what he sees as the irony in that argument. “Be that true or not true, by acknowledging that these prices were going to change, he was acknowledging on its face that repairs are not being done the way they should be,”

Weikel said. “Because if they are, the price isn’t going to change.” Panelist J ina Petrarc a- K aramp ets os of the Auto Body Association of Rhode Island said the association successfully passed such OEM procedure legislation there in 2018 after spending “many, many years building momentum.”

lesser damage from being totaled without consumer consent, and a law that requires consumer consent for use of anything other than OEM parts for vehicles up to four years old. “K nowledge is power, and choice is power,” Petrarca-K arampetsos said. “If you’re doing the right thing, giving consumers a choice is never going to be a negative in your business.” The Rhode Island OEM procedure regulation is tied to the parts legislation. It originally prohibited insurance companies from requiring any repairer “to use repair procedures that are not in compliance with A virtual panel discussion on OEM repair procedure legisthe recommendations of the lation included, clockwise from top left, Darrell Amberson, original equipment manuASA’s Bob Redding, Jina Petrarca-Karampetsos, Sandy facturer.” Blalock and Wayne Weikel But Petrarca-K arampetThe association has a history of sos said in a compromise based on getting legislation enacted designed opposition from the non-OEM parts to ensure consumers have informa- industry the bill was amended to tion and choice, she said. That in- say the requirement for automaker cludes an anti-steering bill, a two-tier procedures applies only “when OEM “Class A” and “Class B” shop desig- parts are used.” nation system, a total loss threshold “It’s been a major success. And it of 7 5 % that prevents a vehicle with was a compromise,” Petrarca-K aram-

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petsos said. Blalock said such compromise is not out of reach, particularly in states, like Rhode Island, that have generally viewed used parts as OEM, unless they were non-OEM originally. Compromise on an OEM procedure bill in Washington State earlier in 2019 was also “very close,” she said. “But I think the biggest compromise is we need to stop thinking we have to go pass legislation to protect every facet of our businesses,” Blalock said. “We need to stop going to our legislatures and asking them to protect a certain segment of our industry.” Petrarca-K arampetsos said she disagreed with the idea that legislation is not necessary, given consumers’ lack of awareness and understanding of issues related to insurance and collision repair. “They aren’t versed in this,” Petrarca-K arampetsos said. “They go to a shop. They expect to have their car repaired safely. They expect their insurance companies will treat them fairly. They’re not aware

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Colonial Cadillac of Woburn 201 Cambridge Rd., Woburn, MA 01801 Ph: 781-935-7009 / Fx: 781-933-7728 Hours: M, T, Th, F 7-5; W 7-8; Sat 8-4 www.buycolonialcadillac.com Colonial Chevrolet 171 Great Rd., Acton, MA 01720 Ph: 978-263-3994 / Fx: 978-263-8587 Hours: M-F 7-5; Sat 8-4 parts@colonialchevrolet.com Colonial South Chevrolet 361 State St., Dartmouth, MA 02747 Ph: 508-997-6711 / Fx: 508-979-1219 Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4 parts@colonialsouthchevrolet.com Colonial West Chevrolet 314 John Fitch Hwy., Fitchburg, MA 01420 Ph: 978-503-7480 / Fx: 978-345-1152 Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4

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Objections to Payment and Requested Procedures Outlined in SCRS Class by Ed Attanasio

L et’s imagine you’re getting surgery and right before they put you under anesthesia, they tell you your heart replacement is an unnecessary procedure, or they want to save money by installing an aftermarket one.

AkzoNobel Small Business Consultant Tim Ronak presented “Overcoming Objections to Payment and Requested Procedures” as part of the SCRS 2020 Repair Driven Educational Series presented at SEMA360

What would you do other than scream at the system, desperately try to renegotiate or ask the surgeon to double up on the anesthesia? This is similar to the unending tug-of-war between body shops and insurance companies over what the latter is willing to pay for repairs. In many cases, the relationship works well and seamlessly, while others go sideways and end up being a bad experience for both parties involved. It doesn’t matter if you’re a DRP shop or not they will grind you at every turn anyway, and if you’re not prepared, they can hamstring your business in more ways than one. AkzoNobel Small Business Consultant Tim R onak presented “Overcoming Objections to Payment and Requested Procedures” as part of the SCRS 2020 Repair Driven Educational Series presented at SEMA36 0. Many shops nationwide are having issues getting OE repair procedures approved, or persuading insurance companies to reimburse for certain repairs when they submit their bills and estimates. Through a series of roundtable discussions with shop owners and managers, Ronak has been able to devise some strategies to address these issues and how they can be resolved. If you’ve been in the collision

repair industry for even a short time, you’ve undoubtedly heard these lines more than once the leading 14 excuses any shop can encounter: “We don’t pay for that.” “This is the cost of doing business.” “That’s part of the job.” “It’s the market rate in your area.” “That’s not a competitive rate in your market.” If those don t oat your boat or persuade you in any way, it’s time for their Plan B: “Sorry, but the prevailing rate in your area is fill in the blank. So, we cannot pay more.” “We can add some extra time on something else to cover the difference.” “No other shops in your area are asking for that amount.” “These rates are too high.” ( Meaning a prevailing rate does exist.) “This is a four-hour repair, not a six-hour repair.” “We pay for aftermarket and used

parts only.” “Y ou don’t need to perform that procedure.” “The OEM repair information does not say ‘ required; ’ it says ‘ recommended’ or ‘ suggested.’ Since they do not ‘ require’ the operation, we will not pay for it.” nd finally, after all of the wrestling doesn’t work, the insurer might say, “Please accept our non-DRP rate.” Shops run into all of these “reasons e cuses often, when all they want to do is return the car to its 100% pre-accident condition without compromising safety and functionality, Ronak said. Insurers will wrestle with collision repairers customarily about things such as scanning procedures, pre fit on a quarter panel before it s installed, or a road test at the completion of the repair, now called a “dynamic systems verification, Ronak said. Ronak developed a comprehensive list of G eneral Objection Categories.

One of the main objections is rates, and the problem is many shops are unable to make their case when negotiating rates with the insurer. Without enough substantiated proof, the insurance company will win almost every time, Ronak said. Challenging the asserted rate assumes you have done your own research to dispute it, Ronak explained. U se of any contracted or DRP rates in the calculation of “prevailing market rate” could be a violation of the Sherman Act, and could be described as purchaser price fi ing, which is illegal and a federal o ense. If an insurance company has negotiated a certain rate with one shop and then uses that negotiated rate when calculating an average rate for a market, it has “bought down” the market rate and may be an unfair trade practice. To determine the rates, shops are familiar with labor rate surveys provided by the insurers with zero oversight. “They provide a survey that See Objections to Payment Page 46

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autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 37

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The Rise of the Electric Vehicles by Gary Ledoux

The following article contains forward looking statements b ut d o not imply end orsement for inv estment purposes. O ther companies, such as Tesla, hav e firmly established market share and d ominant market positions Ed . “Today, electric vehicles are a disruption in the collision repair world. But it won’t be long before they are mainstream… and the collision repair industry has to be ready,” said F rank Terl ep , recognized industry leader and founder and CEO of Auto Techcelerators. During Day 2 of the virtually-conducted November Collision Industry Conference, the Future Disruptions Committee, chaired by Terlep and well-known industry icon J ak e R od enroth, gave a presentation and conducted a panel discussion surrounding electric vehicles and what their advent could mean to the collision repair industry. G iven the gravity of the issues electric vehicles present, it is worth revisiting this subject in more depth.

“The future is coming at us with alarming speed,” said Terlep. “In less than 15 years, the U K wants to ban the sales of all except electric cars. In the U .S., California is following the same path.” Rodenroth noted, “It seems like it wasn’t that long ago the industry was all talking about the use of highstrength steel and how to repair it. Then the discussion turned to aluminum and the all-aluminum Ford truck. Then it was ADAS systems and how to do proper post repair calibrations. “Now it’s electric cars. I’m not sure we have all figured out high strength steel yet and the industry has made several technological leaps since. We all need to come up to speed.” In his CIC presentation, Terlep made note of some of the more dramatic changes that will occur as more and more electric cars enter the .S. eet factories and suppliers will change dramatically. Suppliers for internal combustion engine components and gasoline fuel systems

will be greatly reduced or eliminated. This will eliminate jobs for some while creating many new jobs for new electric drive components. ew, technology based vehicle manufacturers will emerge, like L ucid and Rivian. onventional dealer service department business will decline dramatically, as much as 35 % , as will services performed by independent mechanical repair facilities. Of course, the attendant parts sales from both dealers and aftermarket will decline and shift focus over time. Repair and diagnostic processes will change dramatically. Following OE repair procedures will be absolutely crucial not only to perform a proper repair, but to ensure the physical safety of the technician. ehicle owners will be buying subscriptions for software updates much like they buy extended mechanical warranties today. he number of repair facili-

ties, both mechanical and collision, will decrease as the eet increases due to the knowledge, training and tooling necessary to properly repair these vehicles. Three key electric OE’s to watch, and the three featured in the CIC panel discussion, are L ucid, Rivian and Audi. Lucid L ucid was founded in 2007 under the name Atieva, originally focused on building electric vehicle batteries and powertrains for other

vehicle manufacturers. The company rebranded itself as L ucid Motors in ctober and o cially announced its intent to develop an

38 FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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all-electric, high-performance luxury vehicle. The company is supported by several Chinese investors and funding from Saudi Arabia. It’s CTO, Peter R aw l ins on, is the former Tesla Model S chief engineer.

The company’s L ucid Air base model is claimed to have 480 horsepower and a 400-mile projected range, will sell for about $ 7 0,000 and is due to arrive in 2022. The top-line L ucid Air Dream boasts a 1,080-horsepower electric motor and a 5 00-mile projected range, will turn a quarter-mile in under 10 seconds and will carry an almost $ 16 2,000 price tag. Its 9 00-volt electric architecture will be the industry’s fastest-charging vehicle to date, with a rate of 20 miles of travel

per minute of charge. L ucid is expected to start delivering vehicles in April of this year. he first .S. ucid factory, known as the L ucid AMP-1 ( Advanced Manufacturing Plant) located in Casa G rande, AZ , was completed in early December 2020. It will first build the ucid ir model. The factory’s current iteration will be capable of building 30,000 Air models per year. When the factory is fully completed, it will be capable of producing 400,000 units annually, including a second sedan and an SU V . By comparison, the 19 6 4 ½ and 19 6 5 Mustang saw 435 ,000 units produced. According to its website, L ucid will use an “aircraft-inspired riveted and bonded monocoque body structure replacing spot welds.” The manufacturer claims this will provide a new “state-of-the-art structural e ciency. A L ucid representative was not available to answer specific questions regarding collision repair procedures or training. However, according to

its website, L ucid will have a nationwide network of Service Centers, 20 to start in eight major metro locations on both the east and west coasts. Mobile service providers and certified collision repair centers will be linked to L ucid’s centralized customer care group to address anything that cannot be remotely diagnosed and repaired. Described by Rawlinson as a “fusion of art, science and technology,” look for L ucid models on the street by early summer this year. Rivian Rivian, an electric-vehicle start-up company based in California, plans to soon start producing two all-electric truck models at a plant in Illinois, formerly occupied by Mitsubishi. These will include the R1T pickup, which will be the first to debut, followed closely by the R1S SU V . It is unknown at this point how many the company plans to sell or how they will be sold, be it through a traditional dealership network or some

other system. But the big news, to collision repairers, isn’t the number of Rivian vehicle in consumer hands at least initially. More importantly, Rivian has received major support from tech giant Amazon. In September 2019 , Amazon invested $ 7 00 million in Rivian, which at that time planned to produce 100,000 all-electric delivery vans for Amazon. Most recently, in September 2020, Amazon invested another undisclosed but believed to be substantial amount of money in Rivian.

Rivian has also received funding from Ford Motor Company and T. Rowe Price, the mutual fund company.


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©2021 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trademarks. 40 FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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In cities where Amazon has a major presence, especially a distribution center a quick oogle check revealed 7 6 Amazon distribution centers across states some collision shop or shops are going to need to keep those trucks running, and cycle time is going to be critical. Amazon has committed to going emission-free by the year 2040, 10 years ahead of the guidelines set forth by the Paris Climate Agreement. Terlep notes, “It won’t be long before shops will need to dedicate a portion of their shop and personnel to electric vehicles. Training and use of proper repair procedures will be crucial.” Rivian representatives were not at liberty to discuss collision repair plans for their products at this time, instead deferring to an announcement in the spring of this year. Audi On deck for the more than 100-yearold company is the Audi e-tron for , the first electric S built with Audi DNA,” with a reported 402 horsepower, able to turn 0 to 6 0 mph in under 6 seconds with a 222-mile range. Starting at around $ 6 6 ,000, it features quattro® all-wheel drive. The e-tron also comes in a “Sportback” configuration. Body construction is a combination of steel and aluminum. Audi’s goal is to have one-third of all its vehicles electrified by . The company’s website notes charging an Audi e-tron is as simple as contacting Amazon, who will have a local contractor set up a 120- or 240-volt, 5 0-amp charging outlet in the owners’ garage. Away from home, there is a growing number of commercial charging stations available.

Continued from Page 30

Two-Way Dialogue And I’d have information on their total pay for the previous year and the current year to date. If it looked like their wages were moving up or down from the previous year, we’d discuss the reasons and help them understand what they could be doing as they may have already identified on the question naire to improve their income.

Mark A l l en, manager of collision, equipment and EV after sales service at Audi of America, was kind enough to answer a few questions.


Audi has been around for 100 years. Is this its first electric vehicle?


Audi has had hybrid electric cars since 2013. The e-tron is a completely new generation of vehicle for us and the first full electric car.


ill you have a certified net work to handle collision repairs on your electric vehicles?


Right now, we have no plans for a certified collision shop network for our electric vehicles. However, we are specifying that any mechanical or especially electrical work related to collision repair be completed by an Audi dealer. They have the training, tools and equipment to repair our electric cars properly and safely. We allow our current Audi Authorized Collison Repairers to do collision repair work on the vehicle, but not battery or any HV electrical repairs. That must be done at the dealer.


What will happen with a collision-totaled vehicle? How will the battery be safely disposed of?


EV batteries must be properly disposed of according to EPA guidelines. Right now, there are two companies in the U .S. that can handle it. I am sure in the future as EV ’s proliferate, additional companies will emerge. In our case, the batteries we use are modular, so if one section is damaged or goes bad, it may be possible to replace only that module.

Q: A: Q:

Will you have parts restrictions for EV parts? Y es, on structural and electrical components.

What kind of personal protection clothing will technicians need to wear to work on your EV ?


Depending on the work being done, a complete protective suit consists of a helmet with integrated special arc ash protection face shield, balaclava hood, arc ash pro tection jacket or lab coat, overpants,

and three pairs of gloves including an inner cotton glove covered by an insulated rubber glove, covered by a leather glove. he outfit is completed by electric hazard-rated work boots. Note: Audi recently announced a twoglove combination now available. Vehicle Charging Made Easy One of the drawbacks to electric-only vehicles has always been travel range. Depending on the vehicle, battery used and road and other environmental conditions, EV s can travel 200 to 5 00 miles on a single charge. U nlike internal combustion cars that can be refueled at the ubiquitous gas station, EV s must be charged at home or at outlets provided by companies like Electrify America, one of the largest public electric vehicle DC fast-charging networks in the U .S., with more than 5 00 charging locations totaling more than 2,200 individual charging units as of 2020. Considering that before an infrastructure of gas stations was built, gasoline for very early cars was sold in one-gallon cans at hardware stores, this is the electric equivalent.


What is the most important thing techs need to know before working on an electric vehicle?


Before touching our EV , or any EV , it’s important that repairers first look at repair pro cedures and safety precautions. Repairers can be seriously hurt, or worse, if they don’t follow proper procedures. L astly, the reviews were their opportunity to tell me what they felt the company was doing right, and what they’d like to see changed and why. I would always compile employee suggestions during reviews and follow up, explaining which we were implementing and which we weren’t, and why. So rather than just a time to talk about pay, I found employee reviews a rewarding way to maintain open dialogue that helped everyone and the company improve.

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42 FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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Audi Part Professionals are experts on collision parts, replacement components and mechanical items.

Order Audi Genuine Parts from these select dealers. MARYLAND Audi Silver Spring Silver Spring

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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 / FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 43

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with Ed Attanasio

Shop Strategies

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

with Stacey Phillips

COVID Edition: Collision Repair Owner and Entrepreneur Develops Technology Claims SolutionBody for Industry Shops Giving Back organization where people can show B il l Park , co-founder board memwithand Stacey Phillips ber of Spartan V entures, said his back- up and do their best work. I want to ground is rooted in the auto body re- be an integral part of creating the oppair trade. portunity for people to really enjoy While growing up, Park’s father being productive, serving others and told him if he wanted to drive some- challenging themselves to become a thing nice someday, he would have better version of themselves. to figure it out.with Stacey Phillips “I believe people live a hapfter painting his first vehicle pier life when they are productive when he was 14 years old, he realized and have a voice in their day-to-day he had found a hobby. He attended work.” His vision for Spartan V entures the U niversity of Arizona to become an orthopedic surgeon and repaired is to create global businesses withand painted cars at night. After grad- in the automotive collision and hail with Stacey Phillips uating with a bachelor’s degree in repair industry. The companies inmolecular and cellular biology and clude AX IOM Collision Repair in minoring in math, he couldn t find the U .S., AX IOM accident repair a job. A doctor told Park he felt his centres in the U K , The 300 Advantage, PDR Mobile Solutions and passion lay elsewhere. “That was a wake-up call and I The Claims Bridge International. I recently talked to the entrepredecided to open a body shop,” said with Antonelli neur about how he has operated his Park. “What drives me Victoria is creating an

Tips for Busy Body Shops

companies during the pandemic and the recent platform technology his team developed to support the various entities and the industry.


Shop Strategies

AXIOM accident repair centre in the United Kingdom

Q: A:

Can you provide an overview of your companies? At AX IOM Collision Repair in the U .S. and U K , our goal

is to deliver 85 % of all repairs in three days or less. We accomplish this by using what I refer to as the AX IOM triage method for scheduling and repair allocation. Damage minimization is a key factor as well. The 300 Advantage provides hail repair management solutions for body shops, dealerships and eet companies. With a national team of mobile repair technicians, we have more than 30 teams working in the field at any given time. PDR Mobile Solutions supports the hail repair business estimatics, analytics and field operations for our mobile hail technicians. The Claims Bridge International consists of a team of experienced U .S. and international insurance, reinsurance, claims and repair executives who joined forces to “reimagine” cat-

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44 FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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astro bette for c a tec


natio pand


all o cust dier ama seen disru

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astrophic auto hail claims and find a better way of handling these events for customers. We recently developed a technology solution for the industry.


What were your biggest challenges this year operating a national repair network during the pandemic?

digital/ virtual perspective, this will allow our businesses to prosper and leverage technology solutions to improve the customer experience. L astly, insurers had so many di erent requirements due to I it was di cult to deliver what they needed, especially in the format they wanted. It was very


It has been a di cult year for everyone. I’m appreciative of all of our employees, colleagues and customers across the U .S. for soldiering through 2020 and showing amazing resilience in a year that has seen the most significant economic disruption of our lifetimes. The No. 1 challenge for us was access to customers and their vehicles to properly assess hail and/ or crash damage. The fear factor of COV ID-19 had a massive impact on when customers would file and or take action to settle their claim. People just didn’t leave their homes unless it was absolutely necessary. The silver lining here is that consumers are more engaged with self-serve options. With the consumer being more involved from a

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challenging and no doubt frustrating for customers, and I feel that drove cost higher. COV ID may have stopped many things, but not accidents and hail storms! The silver lining is insurers are becoming open-minded and willing to interact with their insureds and repairers in a digital environment. It’s not an easy leap, but a necessary one

that will drive future interactions.

the industry?

Q: A:


How have you overcome these challenges?

Overcoming customer fear was outside our span of control however, we o ered a contactless digital assessment tool that the vehicle owner could use to triage the damage. We also provided a variety of additional contact-free services, as well as a concierge service. Our goal was to provide a level of peace of mind with customers, so they would feel their well-being was top of mind. The biggest challenge with insurers was providing the proper documentation to support the damage on the vehicle in this new norm. Photos and video were some options used, but this was all very di cult to process and time-consuming.

I believe the pandemic’s challenges have fostered more collaboration and people’s mindsets are becoming more focused on solving problems rather than hoarding solutions. As a result, barriers will come down, insurtech solutions will grow, and innovation will be top of mind. Fortunately, we have access to estimating platforms that can link the entire supply chain, but can only be used by people outside of the insurers’ legacy systems. This puts unnecessary constraints on the entire ecosystem. The industry norms, legacy systems and proprietary platforms often mean insurers are not taking advantage of the latest technology. However, COV ID-19 has encouraged many insurers to reassess the role technology can play and I am sure 2021 will see insurers partner to accelerate their digital transformation.



How is COV ID-19 driving more collaboration and innovative technology solutions across

What prompted your team to develop an InsurTech technology?

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During the pandemic, we looked at ways to engage the claims process and the insureds’ needs through a virtual, contact-free experience. As a business owner, one of my priorities is to look for technology that can bring speed and ease of settlement for the customer. I partnered with an international team, The Claims Bridge International, to develop an end-to-end digital solution for managing hail claims and repairs called EziClaims Suite.


What are some of the highlights of EziClaims Suite and how will it help the claims process?


Imagine 180,000 claims being filed from a hail event in a matter of a few days. When you think about the number of people impacted by a hail storm, it’s not surprising that the claims system and repairer networks get overwhelmed quickly. EziClaims Suite was designed to solve that problem by providing the customer an instant link to a web-enabled app where they can initiate a claim and document the damage. This provides the vehicle owner with an im-

Continued from Page 36

Objections to Payment can’t be edited,” Ronak said. “They tell you that this is how much you should accept because they think it’s fair. They pick the shops to use and then determine how much they will pay in each market. The question here is should you really trust someone who owes you money to tell you how much they owe you or do you need to verify that? ” For shops to successfully challenge rates, they will need to prove the prevailing rates provided by the insurance companies are inaccurate, outdated or unfair. In summary, it’s the shop’s obligation to make a case every time when an insurer tries to cut its rates or coerce it to perform an inferior repair and compromise quality. Being proactive is key. Do your own labor rate surveys and back them up with the proper documentation. Be prepared for the insurer’s talking track and be ready to respond promptly and definitively. evelop

mediate solution to resolve the claim, and it provides the insurance company with the data necessary to assess the overall severity of the storm. This is an imperative step to properly allocate the resources necessary to serve customers. The Claims Bridge provides access to a national paintless dent repair

leaders act soon. Contactless and virtual solutions will need to be an integral part of serving the customer; if not, it could be a real disaster from a customer experience standpoint. People are ready to self-serve and the industry needs to accept that and stop saying, “We don’t do it that

“I believe people live a happier life when they are productive and have a voice in their dayto-day work.” — Bill Park ( PDR) network that can reduce the wait time for repairs. It’s not uncommon for customers to wait eight to 12 months to get their cars repaired. The expanded repair network will reduce the wait time considerably, which will improve overall customer satisfaction.


What are your views on 2021 from a business perspective and the ongoing impact of COV ID-19 in the U .S.?


I think 2021 will be very similar to 2020, unless industry

a plan and a strategy and make sure anyone dealing with the insurance companies is on the same page. Ronak grew up in the collision repair industry beginning at age 14 working within his family’s business in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At 17 , he became the youngest interprovincially certified auto body technician in Canada. In 19 9 3, Ronak began working for the Canadian Federal G overnment, administering and developing advanced training programs for the automotive industry within Alberta that led to a management position with a large G M dealer in Calgary. Fifteen years ago, Ronak joined AkzoNobel and has since developed numerous seminars focused on operational improvements in the collision center. Over his 25 years with AkzoNobel, he has helped more than 1,000 collision repair businesses improve their overall operational performance.

way” or “It can’t be done that way” or “Put your statement here.” L ooking ahead, I feel optimistic about 2021. We will be prepared to serve our customers both virtually and in person. The expectations around the pandemic are in place across the country and there is a tremendous amount of e ort being put forth to enhance the customer experience.


In light of the current challenges, what is your advice to business leaders?


2021 can be the year of innovation to be sure, and the collision repairers who figure that out will reap the benefits long into the future. My only fear is that organizations will be too afraid to be bold. My advice is to “Never let a good crisis go to waste” ( Churchillism.) There has never been a more perfect time for a digital shift than today. Im confident we can figure this out, and the benefits will be huge across the entire ecosystem. Those who believe it can be done will get it done. hink of et i and lockbuster. Blockbuster could have owned et i for million, but they didn t have the vision or courage. The rest is history.


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Tim Morgan Rescues Pits and Pursues Politics Twenty years ago, Morgan reMy father used to tell me there are two types of people in the world— directed his career when he began drivers and passengers, participants working for companies focusing on Wickert and observers, with those Gary who do and the distribution of structural repair those who don’t. Some folks lead equipment, holding positions as a naturally and others are more than content to watch from the sidelines. Tim Morgan, COO at Spanesi Americas, is undoubtedly a serious driver when it comes to his life, both personal and professional. with Stacey Phillips When Morgan sees any type of injustice or someone in need, he acts quickly and definitively. Several factors in his life recently have led directly to his newest passions—pit bulls and local politics. Morgan is giving pit bulls a second chance and withinStacey Phillips taking a shot at local political office by running Morgan’s career the collision for trustee in the Village of Campton Hills, repair industry spans 44 years as a where he lives technician, dealership body shop manager, collision repair facility trainer, sales director, general manaowner, educator and director of col- ger and managing director. lision repair at a nationally accrediFor the past eight years, he has ted technical college. been the COO for Spanesi Ameri-

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cas, a subsidiary of Spanesi SpA in Padova, Italy, that designs, develops and manufactures an entire range of body shop equipment. Morgan began Second Chance Ranch, a nonprofit pet rescue organization back in 2018, when he witnessed pit prejudice and felt it was just a bunch of bull, he said. He purchased a 3-acre farm and converted his barn into a kennel that can accommodate four dogs at a time. The conversion is complete and the kennels are simply awaiting final inspection, delayed due to the pandemic. A beautiful black and white pit bull came into the life of Penny, Tim’s wife, before she met Tim. “A family friend decided to bring the girls home the runt of the litter,” he said. “She was so tiny and a little beaten up from the rest of the pups. That started everything and

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led to Second Chance Ranch.” Now the ranch has three pits on-site in addition to Daisy—Spike, Tank and Nacho. Three years ago, Morgan’s oldest daughter, Samantha, produced a short video, “The Beginning of Our Journey,” as part of her junior high school English class, using local news clips and other footage to illustrate the problem. In the film, Daisy is adopted by the Morgan family and becomes an integral part of their lives. There›s a lot of misinformation out there about pit bulls, so Morgan began using Daisy to show the world the truth about the breed. “Whenever someone gets bit, the media latches on to it and won’t let go,” he said. “It’s hard to dispel that, but from my experience, this is one of the gentlest breeds you’ll ever encounter. Pit bulls can fight if

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48 FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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they end, their only wan slee

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they are trained to do so, but in the end, all they want to do is please their owners. I tell people that the only time Daisy barks is when she wants to jump up on the bed and sleep with us. “We are committed to helping our animals,” Morgan said. “Seeing a need for an energetic, nonprofit to support our community’s pit bull population, we formed our organization to provide sensible solutions. We take our convictions and turn them into action. “Sometimes our connections can find a home for a pet before the animal needs to change housing. We currently have a rescue that will allow our babies to venture in and out to over 3 acres while protecting them from the elements and giving each one their own independent space, while additionally giving us indoor space for training and support of our furry friends.” Saving dogs’ lives is a passion but it’s also a job. Whenever Morgan and his family take on any pit bull, they make certain to lead with care, concern and proper training. It can also add up financially, with vi-

sits to the vet to make sure they are current on their boosters and medications. “Members and volunteers provide the momentum that helps us do good work,” he said. “U sing community-driven models, we take actions that make a long-lasting difference.”

Daisy was the first pit bull the Morgan family saved and is still a big part of the family. They use her as a spokesdog and in the ranch’s logo

In his second endeavor, Morgan is running for trustee in the V illage of Campton Hills, IL , as a write-in candidate for an election on Feb. 23. His message is clear and concise. “I will support the community, not a personal agenda,” he said.

“We need someone who will listen and support your ideas, fight for the needs of your community and earn your respect. For someone who truly cares for your community, look no further. “Moving to V illage of Campton Hills had a journey within itself, but it’s safe to say the area brought me and my family joy to have a small piece of the American dream, and not be lost in an overdeveloped community development.” Once he jumped into the fray, organ saw running for o ce in this tight-knit community wasn’t going to be easy, and the fact the town’s o ces were closed for I protection surely didn’t help. By the time he navigated through all of the proper documentation required to run, the deadline was past, so he had to enter as a write-in candidate. It also triggered a primary election because previously the current trustees were the only candidates for the o ce. Problems with zoning and other issues motivated Morgan to run for o ce. “When I moved there, I began

to look at the community, and in September of 2019 , the township tried to rezone my property and several others to residential without even having a public meeting,” Morgan said. “That’s when I could see that there needed some new blood and I felt as though I could use my background and experience to help.” Morgan reaches out to help the community in many other ways, by helping families in need with gift cards, working with the Adopt-AHighway Program, and assisting the local community in getting a K -9 officer for law enforcement. While many people wait for their lives to change, Morgan makes things happen, and helping both animals and people will always be on the top of his list. “There are new challenges all the time and as we get through this pandemic, there will be more,” he said. Saving pit bulls and playing a leadership role in his community are Morgan’s passions. What are yours? If you’re interested in supporting the Second Chance Ranch through a donation, visit the website at www.2ndchanceranch.dog

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Continued from Page 34

Panel Reviews

U.S. Car Rental Revenue Dives 27.4% in 2020 by ARN Staff

of the nuances.” She said the association at one point took a year o from its legislative e orts to meet with insurers in an attempt to find useful solutions to issues of con ict, but there were no such solutions that the “insurers would implement without legislation,” she said. “That has been proven here over and over,” Petrarca-K arampetsos said. Amberson said he agreed that finding solutions short of legislation would be wonderful, but it’s very hard to accomplish, particularly when it comes to OEM repair procedures. “Who among us are experts on this to the point that we can claim to be more knowledgeable about the proper repair than the vehicle manufacturer,” Amberson said. “Hence, we as repairers are caught in the middle, and unfortunately have to pursue legislative solutions to be able to fix cars properly, to protect ourselves as well as the consumer.”

The U .S. car rental market achieved a projected $ 23.22 billion in revenue for 2020, the lowest overall revenue since 2011, according to data collected by Auto Rental News. The 27 .4% drop in total revenue for 2020 compared to revenue of $ 32 billion in 2019 is historically unparalleled, in fact much steeper than during the G reat Recession when revenues only dropped 6 .7 % from 2008 to 2009 . The industry averaged 1.9 8 million units in its overall eet in 2020, a 12.4% decline over 2019 . As a result, revenue per unit, per month ( RPU ) dropped to $ 9 7 5 for the year, from $ 1,17 4 in 2019 . “With a near total air travel shutdown, the Hertz and Advantage bankruptcies, an unexpectedly hot used car market and a seismic, forced shift to local rentals, this year will enter the record books as the most disruptive in car rental’s history,” said C hris B row n, executive editor of Auto Rental News. This year more than ever, the industry can be divided into quar-

IGONC Tireside Chat: Setting Your Business Goals for 2021 by Chasidy Rae Sisk

Preparing for the new year is important for all collision repair business owners, and during a Dec. 15 Tireside Chat, the Independent G arage Owners of North Carolina ( IG ONC) discussed “Setting Y our Business G oals for 2021.”

IGONC members gathered virtually to discuss their shops’ 2021 business goals. Credit: Courtesy of IGONC

According to IG ONC Executive Director Tric ia Sau l s , “The turnout was good, considering it’s close to the holidays and everyone is experiencing a little Z oom fatigue. Planning for the new year is an important part

of creating a successful path for shop owners. “We had an informative discussion that owed well. rom the feedback we received, it was very encouraging and supportive to our members,” Sauls continued. “I am really excited about this format where we ust o er time and space for shop owners to decompress and talk to each other without any structure or presentations involved.” IG ONC holds its monthly Tireside Chats as a way of building the association’s community by allowing members and others industry professionals to network and share ideas. “Being able to keep the connection between people in our industry is crucial right now,” Sauls emphasized. “We cannot take time o on training ust because of the shutdowns that are happening. By continuing to host events, even online, we can continue to support each other and keep the e change of ideas owing.”


he first quarter ended as one of the most profitable and promising since exiting the G reat Recession,” Brown said. “The economic and societal shutdown defined the second quarter. The third quarter saw a massive supply correction, with car rental companies able to capture newfound demand in the fourth quarter.” Supply chain shutdowns constricted wholesale supply to the point that car rental companies were able to sell sitting eet at e traordinary prices during the summer, normally peak season for travel. “The used car market was the industry’s salvation, to be sure,” Brown continued. With the need for personal mobility favoring shared transportation, business shifted to the local market, and rental operators enjoyed a buoyed rate environment with the remaining tight eet. Mileage for rental risk units plunged in the first two months of the pandemic as rental eets were grounded. But as business picked up and rental units were sold, the

mileage on remaining units easily exceeded record highs. Average mileage for rental risk units in November was 5 4,200 miles, up 11% compared to a year earlier. “We likely won’t know the full e ect of on the car rental industry and society until we have the benefit of time, rown said. “However, we can assess how industries reacted to the pandemic right now. As a whole, the U .S. car rental industry has demonstrated its ability to meet the demands of the moment. “We can start calling 2021 ‘ the recovery year.’ With a smaller footprint and more e cient processes yet with the ability to grow rapidly the car rental industry is well poised to take advantage of the coming economic recovery.” We thank Auto Rental News for reprint permission.


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Dealership Buy/Sell Market on Pace for New Record by Auto Remarketing Staff Here’s potentially a positive record on pace to be set during this tumultuous year. K errigan Advisors reported Dec. 14 that the dealership buy/ sell market continued to soar during the third quarter, putting it on track to surpass record transaction numbers established in 2015 . nd with a urry of mega dealer transactions and high dealership earnings, the firm s hird uarter 2020 Blue Sky Report also highlighted that blue-sky values shot to unprecedented levels during the quarter, too. “As we predicted, there was no softening of this record-breaking market,” Erin K errigan, K errigan Advisors founder and managing director, said in a news release. “A 9 4% year-over-year rise in dealership earnings in Q 3 was driven by higher vehicle gross profit margins, reduced operating expenses, limited inventory ( which drove up prices) and increased operational e ciency, errigan continued. “This created a perfect storm for a white-hot buy/ sell environment, one that we predict will surpasses

the historic levels of 2015 .” K errigan Advisors indicated 7 3 dealership buy/ sell transactions were completed during Q 3, pushing the total to transactions for the first nine months of the year. hat figure represents a 15 .5 % increase above the amount recorded during the first nine months of 2019 , according to data from The Banks Report, Automotive News and K errigan Advisors’ research. Despite periods of retail disruption due to COV ID-19 , K errigan pointed out that 2020 thus far has achieved the highest level of transaction activity since 2015 . “Of particular note were the high numbers of multi-dealership transactions completed in Q 3, including mega dealer transactions, representing 25 % of the buy/ sell market for the first nine months of the year. We expect this trend to continue into 2021,” said K errigan, whose firm advised on the sale of dealerships during the past quarter. According to the Blue Sky Report, public and private dealership valuations exceeded prior highs. We thank Auto Remarketing for reprint permission.

Used-Car Sales Likely Down for 2020, but Close Year on High Note by Joe Overby, Auto Remarketing

U sed-vehicle sales for 2020 were e pected to finish softer than the final tally, but it appears the year at least closed on a positive note for pre-owned. In a forecast released Dec. 28, TrueCar was projecting 3.1 million used-vehicle sales for December, which would beat November sales by and prior year figures by . hat would put the final year end total at a projected 38.4 million used sales for 2020, a 6 % drop from 2019 , according to TrueCar. Separately, Cox Automotive analyst K ayl a R eynol d s said in an earlier December interview that 2020 was expected to close with 36 .3 million used-car sales overall, with used retail ( sales from dealers) at 19 .3 million. For 2021, it is expected that the used total will climb to 39 .3 million. On the new-car side, TrueCar was forecasting total sales of 14.6 million for full-year 2020, a 15 % drop. For retail new-car sales, specifically, it was pro ecting . mil


lion, an 8% decline. For December, in particular, TrueCar was projecting 1.6 1 million total new car sales a . year-over-year decrease, adjusting for selling days and . million retail sales, down 2.2% . In the final days of , we can finally look in the rearview mirror and appreciate the tremendous recovery that the automotive industry has made since the pandemic derailed auto sales in March. Retail vehicle sales have nearly reached normal levels with sales down only 2.2% from last year, which is a truly impressive outcome,” TrueCar Director of OEM Analytics N ic k W ool ard said in a news release. “The momentum from a strong third quarter carried into the fourth quarter and solidified the in dustry’s comeback,” Woolard said. “Production and inventory have gone back up in the fourth quarter and, as a result, retail sales are up 34% quarter-over-quarter.” We thank Auto Remarketing for reprint permission.


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GM Pays $121M Over Ignition Switches, Power Steering, Airbags by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

G eneral Motors has agreed to settle class action claims for economic losses su ered by owners and lessees of vehicles that were recalled in 2014 for problems related to the ignition switches, power steering, key rotations and side airbag wiring. he plainti s claim they overpaid for their vehicles, allegations denied by G M which decided to settle the lawsuit because of the continued expense of litigation. The G eneral Motors settlement fund will be $ 121.1 million, and although the lawyers who sued are expected to receive $ 34.5 million, no estimates have been reached about what vehicle owners may receive because much depends on how many owners and lessees file claims. In addition, payment amounts to eligible class action members will vary depending on which recall applied to their vehicle, the cost to implement the settlement and the number of G M customers

who file claims. The settlement includes all individuals, businesses and organiations, but daily rental eet businesses, governmental entities and certain consumers are not included in the settlement. The settlement also does not include the release of claims for wrongful deaths or injuries. The $ 121 million settlement follows multiple other actions related to G M’s ignition switches, including $ 5 9 5 million to resolve death and injury compensation claims, $ 5 7 5 million to settle other death and injury claims and a shareholder lawsuit, and another $ 9 00 million to settle a government criminal probe. V isit G MIgnitionSwitchEconomicSettlement.com or call 87 7 5 45 -0241 to see if your vehicle is covered by the settlement. We thank CarComplaints.com for reprint permission.


COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Begins After Pfizer Receives Emergency Use Authorization by Dan McCaleb, The Center Square Distribution of a new COV ID-19 vaccine is now underway after the U .S. Food and Drug Administration late Dec. 11 granted emergency use authorization for the serum. Pfi er s and io ech s coronavirus vaccine is the first to receive the authorization and vaccinations were expected to begin as soon as the following weekend. “With this authorization, we know that our federal partners are already moving to distribute the first doses of the vaccine throughout the country,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Step hen H ahn said at a Dec. 12 news conference. Calling the development of the vaccine in less than a year an unparalleled scientific achievement,” Hahn said collaboration between the private sector, the scientific and academic community and the federal government allowed the process to move e ciently but safely. ciency does not mean cutting of corners,” Hahn said,

noting that studies and testing are ongoing. hat s di erent during I -19 is that developers, researchers and regulators have found new and hopefully lasting ways to be dynamic and e cient, he said. o cials said millions of doses would ship within the first hours after approval. he doses would be prorated by population, with health care workers and residents and sta of congregate care settings such as nursing homes among the first to receive the shots. Pfi er has said its vaccine, which is to be administered in two doses about three weeks apart, is more than e ective. Moderna is expected to receive approval for its vaccine when the FDA reviews its emergency authorization Dec. 17 . AstraZ enica and Johnson & Johnson also have vaccines in the accelerated approval pipeline. We thank The Center Sq uare for reprint permission.






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A Closer Look at Calibration Documentation and Technical Changes by Emmariah Holcomb, glassBYTEs.com

“There are various steps involved when you discuss calibration and it’s important to understand and document,” said D arrel l A mb ers on, Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association ( CIECA) calibration committee member, as he began describing the business review related to calibration in an industry webinar. The event, 2020R2 CIECAST, was hosted by CIECA and gave a technical update on changes that have been made, a business review on changes to calibration and parts and materials procurement. Technical Review new work ow was established for calibration and scanning that included ADAS features, and according to D an W eb s ter, CIECA architecture committee chair, the data that was not shared between the collision and repair industries before was now able to be identified. A calibration aggregate was added to describe information for

pre-, interim- and repeated for post-repair. According to Webster, a calibration detail aggregate was added to document calibration details properly. “There was also scan information and scan detail aggregates that were added to describe the scanning information as well as extra details,” said Webster. Calibration Recap Amberson quickly outlined several steps associated with calibrations, the first being to properly record the Document Scan Results ( DTCs) . According to Amberson, there should be a printout or a virtual copy of all of the DTCs and all of the modules tested, which should include the V IN associated with the scanned vehicle. “It’s also important to notify the owner of the known ADAS systems and update them on these features before it is returned to OEM specifications, said mberson. According to his presentation, it is important to note calibration or re-learn information may or may

not reported via DTCs, and calibration or re-learn information may be found via Scan Tool Data Stream, which is outside of the manufacturer s specifications. Documenting should also include the vehicle’s ADAS features, using a checklist, as well as the parts and repair operation included. “Y ou don’t always have to use a checklist, but you should have a form of verification for what is done,” said Amberson. He also noted one should also keep documentation of the completed calibration process. Toward the end of his presentation, he showed a video that summarized all of the steps, from the first consultation with the customer, scanning the vehicle, completing dynamic and static calibrations to testing the vehicle when the calibration is complete. We thank glassBYTEs.com for reprint permission.


Safelite to Close Business Unit Safelite Autoglass notifyied employees and key customers Jan. 4 it intends to end its wholesale operation, Service Auto G lass, this week. Safelite G roup will o cially sunset the Service uto G lass brand and the wholesale side of its business Jan. 5 . “I am extremely proud of the role our wholesale business played in our company’s history. This decision is intended to allow us to fully focus our energies and resources on our core business,” said Tom F eeney, president and CEO of the Safelite G roup. The warehouses are expected to remain open and to be used for internal distribution. Safelite’s wholesale division has faced challenges over the years most notably selling to a client base with which it often competes. “Moving forward, our wholesale customers will still have access to parts through the same suppliers we use. We will begin actively notifying these customers { Jan. 4} ,” said Feeney. We thank glassBYTEs.com for reprint permission.

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February 2021 Northeast Edition  

February 2021 Northeast Edition