Page 1


AUTOBODY CT / DE / ME / MD / MA / NH / NJ / NY / PA / RI / VT

LIABRA, ABCG Meeting Focuses on OEM Recommendations, Certifications by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Jan. 15, the Long Island Auto Body Repairmen’s Association (LIABRA) and the Auto Body Craftsman’s Guild (ABCG) held their January General Meeting at Competition BMW in Smithtown, NY. More than 100 members were in attendance. Before the meeting began, attendees enjoyed a buffet dinner provided by Competition BMW and the Competition Automotive Group. After

calling the meeting to order, LIABRA Executive Director Ed Kizenberger introduced the evening’s host, Wayne Locanthi, parts director of Competition BMW. Locanthi thanked attendees and invited them to call him if they were interested in becoming a BMW-certified repair facility. Kizenberger then reviewed current events and industry news. He informed members that Nissan/Infinity had released nine new position See LIABRA, ABCG, Page 18


AUTOBODYNEWS.COM Vol. 9 / Issue 12 / March 2019

CCRE President Tony Lombardozzi Shares Views on NH House Bill 664 ASA Washington D.C. representative Bob Redding wrote in a ASA recently announced its support letter to the committee: “House Bill of NH House Bill 664. The 664 addresses an issue of bill states, “An insurer shall concern for consumers and reimburse a repairer for all repairers. The Seebachan v. repairs if a repairer follows John Eagle Collision Center decision reminded collision original equipment manufacturer-recommended colrepairers of the importance of having proper repair prolision repair procedures, recommendations or serv- Tony Lombardozzi cedures. The original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) ice bulletins while repairof CCRE ing a vehicle.” See NH House Bill 664, Page 10

by Chasidy Rae Sisk

2,200 Attendees Hit the City by the Bay for 2019 NADA Show

Auto Repair Professionals Create NYCARA To Represent 5 Boroughs

by Ed Attanasio

by Chasidy Rae Sisk

This year, more than 2,200 industry professionals attended the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show from Jan. 24–27 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. U.S. and international new car dealers, commercial truck dealers, automaker executives and allied industry professionals from 37 countries converged in the City by the

Toward the end of 2018, several industry professionals in New York City identified the need for a trade association dedicated to helping automotive repair businesses and professionals in the five boroughs. Board member and founding member Paul Stern Jr. explained, “For a long time, we’ve seen a need and desire for community and education in this industry, but no one has really stepped up for the five boroughs. The creation of the New York City Auto Repair Association (NYCARA) comes from a place of wanting to help auto repairers run their businesses better, and when we ran it past some of the shops in the areas, we received overwhelmingly positive responses.” While reception of NYCARA has been favorable, Stern knows that there’s a long road ahead. “Over the next few months, our

Accudraft was represented by (l to r) account specialist Stacy Defnall and business development manager Steve Boda See 2019 NADA Show, Page 26

largest focus will be to create awareness of our existence and generate interest as we strive toward our mission of empowering and educating auto repair shops to run their businesses better,” he said. “Time is a big challenge as well for many professionals, and although people are in-

terested, they’re also skeptical. The best thing we can do is prove ourselves by providing value to our members.” NYCARA held its first interest meeting on Jan. 9. Although 40 industry professionals had reserved a spot to attend, fewer than half of them actually showed up at the meeting. According to Stern, “The meeting was more lightly attended than we had anticipated, but that became See NYCARA, Page 30



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CONTENTS AASP/MA Holds 3 January Meetings . . . . . . . . 24 AASP/NJ To Present ‘Autobody Team, Pit Crew Mentality’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 AASP/NJ, WMABA Announce Collision P.R.E.P. Schedule for NORTHEAST 2019 . . . . . . . . . . 8 ASA Supports New Hampshire OE Repair Procedure Legislation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Auto Repair Professionals Create NYCARA To Represent 5 Boroughs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Bill on MA Gov. Baker’s Desk Creates Crime of Airbag Fraud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 CCRE President Tony Lombardozzi Shares Views on NH House Bill 664 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Dave Gruskos Presents ‘OEM Certifications: Not Just a Fad’ to AASP/NJ . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 East Coast Resolution Forum To Return to NORTHEAST 2019. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Faulkner Collision in Lancaster, PA, Wins National Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Ledoux - Does the Collision Industry Have a Crisis of Opportunity? . . . . . . . . . . . 60

LIABRA, ABCG Meeting Focuses on OEM Recommendations, Certifications . . . . . . . . . 1 NJ Sen. Diegnan Seeks New Task Force to Study Automated Cars in NJ . . . . . . . . . . 27 NY Auto Body Repair Shop Owner Arrested for Insurance Fraud. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Queens, NY, Woman Discovers How Things Can Go Wrong After a Car Is Stolen . . . . . . . 16 Waymo To Build Self-Driving Car Factory in Michigan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90

Repair Industry Gets a Voice . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Phillips - An Insider’s Guide to Handling Media Interviews During a Crisis . . . . . . . . . 36 Phillips - Celebrity Car Enthusiast Courtney Hansen Helps Reunite Car Lovers With ‘The Ride That Got Away’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Phillips - Solving the Tech Shortage: AR Collision Repair Instructor Calls Out to Industry: ‘Please Employ My Students’ . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Sisk - ASA Presents ‘The Even Better I-CAR’

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Accuvision-3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Kundert Volvo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Acura of Westchester . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

Launch Tech USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

AkzoNobel Coatings Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Lexus Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . 76

Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists, LLC. . . . . . . . 36

LKQ Corporation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Atlantic Hyundai. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Long Automotive Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . 81

Lynnes Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Malco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5, 11

Malouf Chevrolet-Cadillac . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Bay Ridge Chevrolet of Brooklyn . . . . . . . . . 29

Matrix Automotive Finishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Bical Auto Mall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

Matrix Electronic Measuring. . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Blowtherm USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 80

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 74-75

McGovern Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram . . . . . 40

Cadillac of Mahwah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Mercedes-Benz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15, 46-47

Car-O-Liner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Mercedes-Benz of Atlantic City. . . . . . . . . . . 67 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Mercedes-Benz of Fort Washington . . . . . . . 67

Carworx . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Mercedes-Benz of Paramus . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

CCC Information Services, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Mercedes-Benz of West Chester . . . . . . . . . 67

Accountable Estimating Joins CIECA . . . . . . . . . 6

Cebotech, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Mercedes-Benz of Wilmington . . . . . . . . . . . 63

BirdEye Joins CIECA as Corporate Member . . . 14

Central Avenue Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram . . 33

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 85

Certified Automotive Parts Association . . . . . 30

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Cherry Hill Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram . . . . . 18

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 88

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . 50-51

Collision Equipment Consulting, Inc.. . . . . . . 48

New Holland Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . 30

Colonial Automotive Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealer . . . . . 84

Continental Auto Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Northstar Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Criswell Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram . . . . . . . 10

Nucar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

Dent Fix Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

O’Reilly Auto Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

CARSTAR Expands Dealership-Based Facilities . 16

Dent Magic Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 87

Is Trump About To Clobber the Auto Industry?. . 34

Diamond Standard Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

PPG Refinish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Eckler’s Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

ProLine Tool & Supply, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Webinar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Sisk - New ASA Executive Director Ray Fisher Shares His Goals for the Industry . . . . . . . . 76 Sisk - Women in Auto and Collision Holds 1st Meeting of 2019 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Yoswick - Committee Seeks to Build Industry Consensus Around Part-Type Definitions . . . 64

Five Star Autobody Celebrates 20 Years of Serving St. Johnsbury, VT . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6


Ledoux - The 1960s – The Collision



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NATIONAL 2,200 Attendees Hit the City by the Bay for 2019 NADA Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Caliber Collision, ABRA Auto Body Repair of America Announce the Closing of Merger Transaction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Car Accident Total Loss Lawsuits Allege Insurance Company Violations. . . . . . . . . . . 12


Join CIECA for Webinar on March 19 . . . . . . . . 11

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

RBL Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Anderson - It’s Time to End Shops’ Accounting,

New Training Model Helps Autonomous

Empire Auto Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

SATA Dan-Am Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Equalizer Industries, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Schultz Ford. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Flemington Auto Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Security Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram . . . . . . . . 7

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

SEM Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Fred Beans Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

Spanesi Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . 86

GYS Welding USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Symach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Healey Brothers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Tasca Automotive Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 42-43

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 82

Hyundai Motor America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

USI of North America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 72

VIP Honda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Indasa USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . 89

Recall Status. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

Infiniti of Norwood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Walcom USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Volvo Releases Statement for Repair Shops . . 28 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Westbury Jeep-Chrysler-Dodge-Ram-SRT . . 21

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 83

YesterWreck. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Scorecard Nightmares by Creating New Parts Code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Attanasio - Fledgling Auto Body Technician is Well-Known, Dedicated Bagpiper. . . . . . . 72 Attanasio - Team-Building Events Make Your Business Better on Many Levels . . . . . 80 Chess - Kool Tools: SEMA 2018. . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Ledoux - Denver Body Shop Manager Discusses Position Statement on OEM Repair Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Cars See AI’s Blind Spots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Self-Driving Vehicles To Make Traffic Even More Miserable, Says New Study . . . . . . . . . 4 Sherwin-Williams Joins I-CAR Program. . . . . . 20 Symach To Sponsor IBIS USA 2019 . . . . . . . . . 12 Toyota Works With Carma Project to Encourage Drivers to Check Vehicle

WIN Calls for Board of Director Candidates . . . 63

Killer Tools & Equipment Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . 24 / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Self-Driving Vehicles To Make Traffic Even More Miserable, Says New Study by Taylor Donovan Barnett, Interesting Engineering

Whether you like it or not, self-driving cars will be hitting the road in fullforce in the coming years. Thanks to new technology developed by companies such as Tesla and even Uber, autonomous vehicles will become a staple of modern culture, with nearly 10 million self-driving cars expected to hit the road by 2020. Yet, not all is well across the autonomous landscape. Like any new

Credit: Waymo

technology, there have literally been speed bumps in the world of self-driving cars. From accidents to malfunctioning AI, self-driving vehicles are still very much in their infancy.

However, new research in the world of autonomous vehicles has uncovered another potential issue down the line: parking. Anyone living in a metropolitan area will tell you that parking is always a long-winded adventure. According to a new study, autonomous vehicles could create a problematic parking issue. Parking in 2020 and Beyond Imagine a scenario: You and your family are dropped off by your electric car in the center of the city. However, like most already know, parking in the city is expensive, so rather than park, your vehicle cruises around the city until you’re done. Though this may sound like a sweet set-up and a potential perk of owning an autonomous vehicle, this could be detrimental to transportation in the near future. “Parking prices are what get people out of their cars and on to public transit, but autonomous vehicles have no need to park at all. They can get around paying for parking by cruising. They will have every incen-

tive to create havoc,” said Adam Millard-Ball, an associate professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Robotfilled gridlock is a real potential issue if something is not done. The Autonomous Vehicle Parking Problem Professor Millard breaks down his concerns further in his published paper

and congestion pricing may ease the transition into the driverless world. Self-driving owners might be charged just a flat fee upon entering a city, or more sophisticated models could charge by miles driven or assign different fees to particular streets. Though Millard’s proposed idea does tackle the issue at large, there are other potential solutions to the gridlock issue. The emergence of the smart city

“...autonomous vehicles have no need to park at all. They can get around paying for parking by cruising. They will have every incentive to create havoc,” — Adam Millard-Ball “The Autonomous Vehicle Problem.” In his paper, he estimates that just the presence of the relatively small amount of 2,000 self-driving vehicles in the San Francisco area will slow traffic to less than 2 miles per hour. Considering where the autonomous vehicle market is headed, imagine what would happen if tens of thousands of vehicles were to hit the road. What’s Millard’s solution? Regulation

could be equally important to the rise of self-driving cars. In a smart city, cars could be monitored and controlled, optimizing traffic pattern via an IoT ecosystem. Properly addressing the challenges of this inevitable automotive change will lay the framework of how this technology will evolve. We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission.

New Training Model Helps Autonomous Cars See AI’s Blind Spots by John Loeffler, Interesting Engineering

Since their introduction several years ago, autonomous vehicles have slowly been making their way onto the road in greater and greater numbers. However, the public remains wary of them despite the undeniable safety advantages they offer the public. Autonomous vehicle companies are fully aware of the public’s skepticism. Every crash makes it more difficult to gain public trust. The fear is that if companies do not manage the autonomous vehicle roll-out properly, the backlash might close the door on self-driving car technology the way the Three Mile Island accident shut down the growth of nuclear power plants in the United States in the 1970s. Making autonomous vehicles safer than they already are means identifying those cases that programmers might never have thought of and to which the AI will fail to respond appropriately but that a human driver will understand intuitively as a potentially dangerous situation. 4

New research from a joint effort by MIT and Microsoft may help bridge this gap between machine learning and human intuition to produce the safest autonomous vehicles yet. Reassuring a Wary Public Were public hesitancy not a factor, every car on the road would be re-

Credit: Tesla

placed with an autonomous vehicle within a couple of years. Every truck would be fully autonomous by now and there would be no Uber or Lyft drivers, only shuttle cabs that you would order by phone. They would pull up smoothly to the curb in a cou-


ple of minutes without a driver in sight. Accidents would happen and people would still die as a result, but by some estimates, 90 percent of traffic fatalities around the world could be prevented with autonomous vehicles. Autonomous cars may need to recharge, but they don’t need to sleep or take breaks, and they are singlemindedly concerned with carrying out the instructions in their programming. For companies that rely on transportation to move goods and people from point A to point B, replacing drivers with self-driving cars saves on labor, insurance and other ancillary costs that come with having a large human workforce. The cost savings and the safety gains are simply too great to keep humans on the road behind the wheel. We fall asleep; we drive drunk; we get distracted; sometimes we are simply bad at driving, and the consequences are both costly and deadly.

A little more than a million people die every year on the roads around the world, and the move to autonomous commercial trucking alone could cut transportation costs for some companies in half. Yet, the public is not convinced, and they become more skeptical with each report of an accident involving a self-driving car. Edge Cases: The Achilles Heel of SelfDriving Cars? Whether it is fair or not, the burden of demonstrating autonomous vehicle safety is on those advocating for selfdriving vehicle technology. In order to do this, companies must work to identify and address those edge cases that can cause high-profile accidents that reduce public confidence in the otherwise safe technology. What happens when a vehicle is driving down the road and it spots a weather-beaten, bent, misshapen, faded stop sign? Though an obviously rare situation—transportation departments would have likely reSee New Training Model, Page 32 / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Five Star Autobody Celebrates 20 Years of Serving St. Johnsbury, VT Autobody was formed. Suzanne, his wife, joined him in the business, Five Star Autobody is a family- along with their children, Jacob and owned, independent collision re- Deborah. Suzanne’s grandfather, Amedee pair facility founded by George Mudge on July 1, 1999. George Caron; her father, Pete; and uncle, has worked in the auto body indus- Normand, worked in auto body shops in the St. Johnsbury area in the try since 1978. 1940s and 1950s. In 1956, they established Caron Auto Service on Back Center Road, which was in operation until 1985. Five Star Autobody has employed many great, talented technicians over the years, many of whom have become “family.” At this time, Jacob, a fourth-generation auto body techniOn the job at Five Star Autobody are, from left, Jacob cian, and George’s nephew, Mudge, George Mudge, Suzanne Mudge and Brandon Brandon Larrabee, comLarrabee. Courtesy photo plete the team. Coming into their 20th year in After moving to Vermont in business, George and Suzanne are in 1985, he was employed by Vinton the process of slowly grooming “the Motors and later moved to Wayne next generation” to serve the colliFord as an auto body technician be- sion and auto body needs of the fore becoming shop manager. In local community and outlying areas 1999, he was given the opportunity for many years to come. Five Star Autobody prides itto take over the auto body shop at the dealership. From there, Five Star self on customer service and quality

by Staff, Caledonian Record



repairs. It is the business’s mission to make sure that customers are ed-

ucated and well-advised throughout the claim and repair processes. Five Star Autobody has longstanding relationships with many insurance companies and appraisers, allowing it to assist customers in a timely and knowledgeable fashion. The company believes that it works for the customer and with its insurance company. Customers have commented that they know “[they] care,” and they do. Five Star Autobody also assists local services and businesses with their fleet work, so they can get their vehicles back on the road to do what they do best. We thank Caledonian Record for reprint permission.

Accountable Estimating Joins CIECA Accountable Estimating recently joined CIECA as a Corporate Member. Established in 2018 by Kent Ruppert and Scott Ellegood, the company focuses on training individuals involved in the estimating and repair planning process, including estimators, blueprinters, CSRs and their management. Members of Accountable Estimating’s leadership team have followed CIECA from its inception. “CIECA standards allow our customers to share their data with us in real-time so that we may offer solutions to their problems as they need them,” said Ruppert. “This allows our customers to use their information more effectively and make decisions that grow their businesses.” “CIECA’s standards are the gold standard of electronic commerce in the collision industry and offer us the ability to provide meaningful solutions to our industry,” said Ellegood. “With the help of CIECA, Accountable Estimating will guide the collision industry in taking control of their estimating process.” / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


AASP/NJ, WMABA Announce Collision P.R.E.P. Schedule for NORTHEAST 2019 by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Jan. 29, AASP/NJ and the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) proudly announced the schedule for Collision P.R.E.P. (Professional Repairer Education Program), which will take place during the 2019 NORTHEAST ® Automotive Services Show.

Seelinger, VisionPLUS program manager at BASF • “Justification for Scanning and Diagnostics,” a new course by Mike Anderson of Collision Advice The three options available Saturday at 10 a.m. include: • “OEM Repair Methods and Advanced Technologies,” presented by Dave Gruskos of Reliable Automotive Equipment • “Today’s Diagnostics, Calibrations, and Programming,” presented by Eric Newell of asTech

The show is scheduled for March 15–17 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ. Collision P.R.E.P. will kick off Friday at 3 p.m. with: • “Expand Your Customer Base – Reach More Online Collision Repair Customers,” presented by Brent Betts of AP Digital • “Business Data, Knowing Your Unknowns,” presented by Craig


• “Write It Right, With Life Nuggets to Live By,” presented by Anderson At 12:30 p.m., Collision P.R.E.P. will host an OEM Repair Panel on “The Changing Landscape in Certified Repair, and Under the OEM Repair Procedures.” The panelists will be announced soon. The three options available Saturday afternoon include: • “Building the Bulletproof File:


Documentation for Repair and Reducing Liabilities,” presented by Mark Olson of VECO Experts • “The Estimate Toolbox: Using FREE Resources to complete an accurate vehicle damage repair plan,” presented by Danny Gredinberg of DEG • “Safety System Alignment: A New Focus on Body Shop Profitability,” presented by Paul Stern of Liftnow Automotive Equipment At 5 p.m., K. Michael Bradshaw of K & M Collision will present “Repairer to Repairer: Realities of Structural Repair and Tooling.” The three options available Sunday morning include: • “Scanning and Calibration – Getting It Right for Successful ADAS Diagnostics,” presented by Chuck Olsen of AirPro Diagnostics • “Damage Assessment Documentation: Key Steps for Maximum Reimbursement,” presented by John Shoemaker of BASF •

“Expand Your Customer Base –

Reach More Online Collision Repair Customers,” presented by Betts The three options available Sunday at 12:30 p.m. include: • “Embracing the Post-Repair Inspection,” presented by David Smith of Auto Damage Experts • “Not Included Operations – Commonly Missed Items in Estimating,” presented by Gredinberg • “You Schedule How?” presented by Charlie Whitaker of AkzoNobel The trade show will be open Friday from 5–10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.– 3 p.m. Dozens of exhibitors will be in attendance, including Accudraft, asTech, Axalta, 3M, Spanesi, BASF, Mitchell International and many more. As usual, the trade show will include a variety of demonstrations and celebrity appearances and a multitude of networking opportunities. For more information on NORTHEAST 2019 or to pre-register, visit / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Cover

NH House Bill 664 repair procedures are the logical repair processes to be followed.” On the other hand, Tony Lombardozzi, president of the Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (CCRE), believes, “This bill looks good on the surface but has some hidden flaws if

you read the language carefully. You have to read into the wording to understand what they’re saying, and this wording favors insurers—there’s no other way to read it. “First off, take the word ‘reimburse.’ It seems to make a lot of sense, but now they’ve put the repair shop as the provider to the insurer, which leaves the vehicle owner out of the equation. The con-


tract between the shop and the consumer is a separate contract from the one between the consumer and the insurer. Insurers do not reimburse repair shops; they’re supposed to either pay or reimburse their insureds for the actual cost of the repairs. Period. “An insurance policy is not a reimbursement policy. It’s an actual cash value policy based on indemnification. Talking about reimbursement rates gets us away from policy indemnification, and it turns policies into a schedule of benefits, which they are not. This bill would turn the collision shop into a supplier of services to the insurer if they follow OEM guidelines. When shops become a supplier to the insurer instead of the consumer, consumers get left out of the triangle. You cannot serve two masters.” Pointing out that HB664 also fails to address the issue of aftermarket parts, Lombardozzi said he questions whether insurers will continue using aftermarket parts because many OEMs do not actually require the use of original parts in their repairs. He said he also ponders what


will happen when OEM procedures are unavailable and whether insurers will feel they do not have to pay for repairs when OEM guidelines are not there to follow. Lombardozzi said he is also concerned that this law is going to impact information provider databases, which are the “major tool used

as the highest rate a consumer will accept before walking away,” he said. “On the surface, this bill makes it look like the consumer is going to get an OEM repair from the body shop, but a very important aspect that’s missing in all of this is the fact that the insurance policy is an indemnification policy. The insurer

“ they’ve put the repair shop as the provider to the insurer, which leaves the vehicle owner out of the equation. The contract between the shop and the consumer is a separate contract from the one between the consumer and the insurer.” — Tony Lombardozzi by insurers to control pricing across the country.” He noted the difficulty of determining a “reasonable rate” because the insurance industry often relies on averages, which are not the same as reasonable prices. “In this industry, we often get hooked on things that are meaningless. This concept of averages is meaningless to me. Instead, the prevailing rate is defined by economists

must make you 100 percent whole, minus any deductible. With this law, it’s very likely that insurers will underwrite the value of a loss until the insured brings the vehicle in to be repaired.” Lombardozzi identified two major issues associated with this possibility. The first is that the insurer would be forcing the insured to get their vehicle repaired, which

is not required in New Hampshire. The second is that consumers who do not get their vehicle repaired would not receive the full value of their loss. “The word ‘if’ is a big problem. Consumers are entitled to the actual cash value of their loss and can spend that money however they see fit, but if they decide not to repair their vehicle, they will not actually receive the true cash value of their loss,” he said. A fiscal note released by the New Hampshire Department of Insurance indicated the expectation that passage of HB644 would lead to an increase in complaints received by its office. Lombardozzi asked, “What’s the percentage of shops in New Hampshire that is capable of repairing vehicles to OEM recommendations? I bet it’s way less than 50 percent. If a collision repair shop does most of the OEM repair procedures but not all of them, is it entitled to get paid as if it did them all, or does it only get paid for the repairs completed according to OEM recommendations? The language is

crazy. It will probably increase complaints to the insurance department, but who cares.” Proponents of the bill are proud to say they have not received much opposition from insurance companies other than threats of increased premiums, which is a typical threat. “Premiums never go down in this state or any other state anyway,” Lombardozzi quipped. “Insurers aren’t complaining about this proposed bill, but why should they? It gives them a license to cheat consumers out of their rightful cash value. If 30 percent of people opt not to get their car repaired, it allows the insurer to underwrite the value of the loss legally since the law only applies if the vehicle is repaired. This is what happens when you have shop owners who want to interfere in the business of insurance and have no idea what they are trying to do. “House Bill 664 is just a new example of the collision repair industry interfering with the insurance industry. Who cares what insurers pay. They pay their in-

sureds for a covered loss, and it’s the shop’s responsibility to correctly repair the vehicle. The contract spells out exactly what they owe their insureds. Collision repair people get ticked off when insurers interfere in our business, so they should be more focused on getting the insurance industry out of the collision repair industry’s business. There are lots of laws on the books to prevent their interference, but it doesn’t benefit anyone if we start doing to them what we don’t want them doing to us! In my opinion, this will get passed because insurers know it’s more beneficial to them than to the body shops. Too often, attempts to improve the industry through legislation backfire in our faces.”



Autobody News

Join CIECA for Webinar on March 19 Dawn Mortimer, assistant vice president of IoT/Telematics Product Management at Verisk/ISO, will host the next CIECAst webinar on Tuesday, March 19 at 11 a.m. CST. During the one-hour live broadcast, Mortimer will discuss how to build a roadmap to righttouch claims and proactive loss mitigation. She will also talk about solving the “many-to-many” problem by utilizing the exchange model framework to collect data from the OEMs, TSPs and other providers in order to streamline operations and efficiency. With 30 years of experience in insurance, Mortimer has served the industry in many capacities, including strategy, marketing, I/S, claims, agency and product lines. She is currently responsible for leading personal auto product development around IoT/telematics with suppliers and insurance companies to develop new products, services and business opportunities. / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Car Accident Total Loss Lawsuits Allege Insurance Company Violations by Sage Datko, Top Class Actions

Several class action lawsuits have been filed against multiple insurance companies, including GEICO, State Farm, Allstate, Progressive and First National, over their total loss auto coverage. These lawsuits cite many claims, including that the companies violated their own policies and have not fully reimbursed customers for the total value of their vehicles following a car accident total loss insurance payout. The lawsuits against GEICO and State Farm claim that the companies fail to include sales tax and title transfer fees in their valuation, wrongfully deflate values following car accident total loss insurance claims, and rely on invalid and outdated methods to assign a value to vehicle damages. Sales tax and title transfer fees vary by state but can often add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars. Policyholders claim that insurance companies should be responsible for paying these fees after a total loss car accident claim. One policyholder named as a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against GEICO claims that

she was forced to pay around $1,500 in title transfer and sales tax fees after the total loss of her vehicle. Car Accident Total Loss Lawsuits A Florida class action lawsuit filed against GEICO in 2016 claims that the company’s refusal to include sales tax and title transfer fees in total loss valuations violated its own policy language. The plaintiffs in that case argued that sales tax and title transfer fees are mandatory costs associated with replacing a total loss vehicle and that under GEICO’s own policy, the insurer is responsible for all costs associated with replacing or repairing the damaged property. The plaintiffs are suing for breach of contract. A recent class action lawsuit filed against State Farm claims that the methodology used by the insurance company to assign a value to vehicles after total loss claims is not based on any industry-standard valuation method. The plaintiffs in this lawsuit claim that the company intentionally deflates vehicle value estimations in order to pay out less than the actual pre-loss value of the vehicle. The plaintiffs in the State

Farm lawsuit estimate that the insurance company has made millions of dollars from this alleged scheme at the expense of policyholders. What is a car accident total loss claim? After a car accident, an insurance adjuster examines vehicle damage and investigates the circumstances of the crash. They use this information to make a value estimate in order to reimburse the policyholder for the damages. If the adjuster estimates that the cost to repair the vehicle is more than the insured value of the vehicle, the insurance company may “total” the car, or deem it a “total loss.” Often after a total loss is assessed, policyholders are offered the fair market value of the car as estimated on the day of the accident. If your vehicle was in a car accident and was deemed a total loss by your insurance company, you may be entitled to join a car accident total loss investigation or loss suit if the company did not pay the sales tax or title transfer fees associated with replacing the vehicle. We thank Top Class Actions for reprint permission.

Symach To Sponsor IBIS USA 2019 Symach has announced that the company is sponsoring IBIS USA 2019 – World of Opportunity. The International Bodyshop Industry Symposium (IBIS) conference is being held February 13-15 at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa in California. “We are excited to support this world-class conference by sponsoring IBIS USA as a Titanium Partner,” said Osvaldo Bergaglio, president and CEO of Symach. “As long-time attendees of IBIS events, we have great respect for the organization and how it brings together collision repair influencers from around the world to raise the safety, skills and standards in all sectors and markets.” Since Bergaglio established Symach in 2001, the Italian-based company has developed a complete range of equipment for collision repair centers and designs, installs and trains new body shops around the world.

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BirdEye Joins CIECA as Corporate Member “Trusted by over 40,000 local businesses, our company focuses on reputation management by enabling companies to obtain reviews and feedback from review sites, social media and Net Promoter Scores,” said David Tulkin, director of business development at BirdEye.

The feedback is then used to assist BirdEye’s clients in better understanding customers, benchmarking performance, improving operations and establishing a positive online presence. BirdEye was founded in 2012 by Google, Yahoo and Amazon alumni and backed by Silicon Valley companies including Trinity Ventures, Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang. “Collision repair centers and

body shops that use the BirdEye SaaS platform in conjunction with CCC One are able to automatically send review requests to customers in real time asking for feedback,” said Tulkin. “With authentic customer reviews, collision repair shops will be able to reach more prospective customers and establish the strong online reputation required to drive new business growth.” BirdEye became a CIECA member in 2018. “We’re thrilled to partner with CIECA to help the collision repair industry improve online visibility, build customer trust and gain more customers,” said Tulkin. “We share CIECA’s mission and vision to help develop innovative communication standards that allow collision centers and body shops to be more efficient in gaining a deeper understanding of their consumers.” For more information, visit

Bill on MA Gov. Baker’s Desk Creates Crime of Airbag Fraud by Michael P. Norton, State House News Service

Insurers called on Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker to sign legislation establishing criminal penalties for selling or installing a counterfeit airbag in a vehicle.

The legislation was among dozens of bills that lawmakers suddenly rushed to the governor’s desk in the days leading up to and on New Year’s Day. Under the bill, anyone found guilty of airbag fraud would face a fine of no more than $5,000 or imprisonment for no more than 2.5 years, or both. “The insurance industry is a

strong advocate for highway safety and diligently works to protect against the use of unsafe parts,” Frank O’Brien, a vice president at the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, said in a statement. “When an accident occurs, consumers expect to be protected by their safety equipment. It should be a criminal act to market or install a counterfeit airbag that may not open properly and potentially cause serious injuries or even death.” The House approved the bill in April; the Senate passed it New Year’s Eve, just before the session ended. It is based on a bill filed by Rep. Jennifer Benson of Lunenburg. NOTE: Gov. Baker signed the bill on Jan. 10. We thank State House News Service for reprint permission.

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Queens, NY, Woman Discovers How Things Can Go Wrong After a Car Is Stolen by Arnold Diaz, PIX 11

It’s bad enough getting your car stolen in New York—but it got much worse for Lynn Moore, whose 2008 Porsche SUV was taken from the front of her Queens home in midJanuary. About a week after it was stolen, her car was found by the NYPD just a few blocks from her house. However, her troubles were not over. NYPD regulations do not allow the owner of a stolen vehicle to go pick it up from where it was found. Cops are also not allowed to call an NYPD tower and bring the stolen vehicle to a police tow pound. Instead, the police officer who found the car had to call an NYPDapproved private tower, Jamaica Auto Body and Towing. The company sent a truck to tow the SUV to its lot on 168th Street in Jamaica. When Moore went to pick up her car at the tower, she learned she had to pay $247 for the towing and storage fees. Then she took a look at the car and discovered it was badly damaged. The rear bumper was pulling


from the car’s body, damage that a GEICO claims adjuster said was likely caused by the towing. In addition, the exhaust system was making strange sounds. Jamaica Auto Body owner Anthony

“What am I supposed to do?” he asked. “Not believe what my driver says?” PIX 11 asked him about the police voucher that said there was no damage.

Giorgianni told Lynn the SUV was already damaged when his driver picked it up. But Moore said that’s not true. In fact, the cop who found the car filled out a voucher on the scene saying there was no damage to the car.

“Those voucher papers are not always correct,” he said. “You’re talking about damages here that are a couple hundred dollars.” But the claims adjuster for GEICO, Moore’s insurer, estimated the cost to repair the damage at $4,388.82. GEICO is now investigating and Moore has hired an attorney. She believes the tower’s insurance company should pay for the damages. She also said it’s wrong for the city to require someone whose car has been stolen to have to pay the cost of towing when it’s found.

PIX 11 asked Giogianni about that.

We thank PIX 11 for reprint permission.


CARSTAR Expands Dealership-Based Facilities CARSTAR is continuing to build upon its network of collision repair facilities based in auto dealerships. At the end of 2018, CARSTAR had more than 50 collision repair facilities in dealerships in the U.S. and Canada. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years as dealership owners look to improve their collision repair facility performance and profitability. Today, nearly two of every five franchised dealerships operate collision repair centers, the National Automobile Dealers Association reports. At the 2019 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) show, CARSTAR had an opportunity to showcase its powerful resources to auto dealers from around the world. “We’ve created very dynamic partnerships with automobile dealerships that combine the local dealer’s brand name with CARSTAR’s proprietary operating procedures, insurance relationships and training programs,” said Michael Macaluso, president of CARSTAR. / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Cover

LIABRA, ABCG statements the day before. He recommended that repairers go to to research repair procedures on every vehicle they repair.

suggestions and recommendations as requirements.” Additionally, Kizenberger reminded attendees that the group’s workman’s compensation policy has been paying an average refund of 25 percent each year. He also announced that LIABRA will hold its annual Lobby Day on April 30. For more information on the policy or the event, contact Kizenberger at 631-949-2007.

Before the evening’s guest speakers delivered their presentations, LIABRA Executive Director Ed Kizenberger shared some industry updates with attendees during LIABRA and ABCG’s Jan. 15 meeting

Kizenberger noted, “In many cases, position statements may suggest or recommend how repairs should be made; as a repairer, you should regard these as requirements. It is your responsibility to make safe and proper repairs as per OEM procedures. As the Todd Tracy case highlighted, jurors interpret these


I-CAR instructor Bill Vallely discussed various manufacturers’ requirements for certification

The first guest speaker of the evening was I-CAR instructor Bill Vallely, who discussed OEM certification requirements for several manufacturers. Vallely shared, “Most manufacturers require three basic segments to be certified: training,


equipment and dealer recommendation. If you want to be certified, start with contacting the local dealer you are doing business with. Each manufacturer requires you to have certain equipment and training, and most require OEM training and/or I-CAR Gold certification. Getting certified can be expensive, and equipment and training requirements can run as high as $80,000.00.” His presentation ended with a question-and-answer session with attendees. Next, BMW repair technology representative David Sosa provided a review of many of BMW’s new models and discussed their addition of aluminum ultra-highstrength steel and multiphase steel. He warned repairers to be conscientious of the numerous vehicle sensors when performing panel repairs, such as the parking distance control sensors, automatic door locking and unlocking sensors, and the radar sensors for the lane departure warning system. Sosa also emphasized the important role the windshield plays in BMW’s advanced safety system before he played a video that showed how sensors perform as the vehicle

travels down the road. Sosa recommended that LIABRA and ABCG members obtain technical repair information through and encouraged them to enroll in BMW training through their local dealers.

Zach Madden, Takata recall project manager, reviewed the IRF recall rewards program

Zach Madden, Takata recall project manager, reviewed the IRF recall rewards program. He explained, “There are numerous vehicles on the road with faulty Takata airbags. You can check your customer’s BMW for a recall, report it to BMW and receive a $50 cash reward. BMW will send a mobile tech to your shop and replace the faulty air bag.” Madden encouraged anyone with questions to call 808-858-6356 or email The next presentation featured

attorney Greg Lisi, employment and labor law specialist at Forchelli Deegan Terrana, who distributed a handbook titled “Sexual Harassment in the #metoo Era.” He explained that

Greg Lisi, employment and labor law specialist at Forchelli Deegan Terrana, distributed a handbook titled “Sexual Harassment in the #metoo Era.”

as of Oct. 9, 2018, every employer in the state of New York, regardless of size, is required to adopt or update its existing anti-sexual harassment policy to meet minimum statutory requirements. Lisi reviewed the policy contained within the handbook and discussed how employees can prove sexual harassment and how employers can protect themselves. His hour-long presentation was very interactive, and he answered many questions. The final presentation of the

event featured Todd Witten and Matt Duzel, representatives from Innovative Solutions, Pro Spot Welding Systems. Witten reviewed the various high-tech steels being used in new vehicle construction and outlined the variety of welds needed to make proper repairs. He also reviewed the benefits of squeeze-type resistance spots welders. To emphasize the importance of proper repairs, he then discussed the John Eagle Collision case in which the shop glued a roof on a customer’s vehicle instead of welding it, leading to disastrous consequences for everyone involved. The associations’ meeting concluded with raffle drawings. More than 100 prizes were awarded in addition to the 50/50, which Kevin Hancock of East Patchogue Auto Body won. “LIABRA would like to thank Wayne Locanthi, Anthony Solla, Competition BMW and the Competition Automotive group for their gracious hospitality, the use of their beautiful facility, dinner and the tables and chairs for the meeting,” Kizenberger said. For more information on LIABRA, visit

AASP/NJ To Present ‘Autobody Team, Pit Crew Mentality’ The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) announced its next training seminar, “Autobody Team, Pit Crew Mentality,” will be held Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hilton Gar-

den Inn, Springfield (Northern NJ meeting) and Thursday, Feb. 28 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, Hamilton (Southern NJ meeting). The seminars will be presented by AASP/NJ President Jerry McNee (Ultimate Collision, Edison) and John Niechwiadowicz (QLC, Inc.). Geared toward owners, technicians, managers and administrators, this presentation is


designed to increase engagement, improve teamwork, boost productivity, maximize compensation and help achieve a better working environment. Attendees will walk away with customized, specific action steps that will result in a high-powered, tightly integrated team that has a laser-like focus on the objectives that are important to BOTH the company and each team member, resulting in an efficient, productive and pleasant working environment with minimal stress. Both seminars are sponsored by AASP/NJ, Central Paint and Enterprise. Pre-registration is required as attendance is limited. Cost to attend is $100 per person. Dinner will be provided at both meetings. For questions, please email pitcrew For more information on AASP/NJ and upcoming events, please visit



Dave Gruskos Presents ‘OEM Certifications: Not Just a Fad’ to AASP/NJ by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Jan. 24, AASP/NJ board member and Reliable Automotive Equipment President Dave Gruskos presented “OEM Certifications: Not Just a

Dave Gruskos presented “OEM Certifications: Not Just a Fad” to AASP/NJ members. Credit: Greco Publishing

“You can’t survive in this business and not be certified. It’s just not going to happen,” — Dave Gruskos Fad” to AASP/NJ members at his facility. “Your world is getting very complicated. It’s changing at a rapid


pace, and it’s either going to make you step up or go in a different direction,” Gruskos noted. Exploring the benefits and challenges of applying for OEM certification, Gruskos emphasized the importance of adhering to OEM guidelines and stressed that OEM certifications are the present and future of the collision repair industry. Gruskos discussed examples of technological advances and referenced the renowned John Eagle Collision lawsuit as an example of the type of liability issues that shop employees could face if they fail to properly repair vehicles. Position statements are “not a suggested way—they are THE way—to repair a car,” he explained. “These cars can come back to haunt you.” He recommended that shops interested in securing their place in the industry invest in obtaining OEM certifications. “You can’t survive in this business and not be certified. It’s just not going to happen,” he said. Gruskos covered each step of the process of obtaining OEM certifications, including researching the OEM equipment required, acknowl-


edging the financial investment and determining the ROI. One vital component of the certification application process is the onsite facility inspection. Gruskos warned, “Don’t have an inspector come to your shop if you are not prepared.”

Gruskos explained that OEMs consider every aspect of the business before granting a shop its certification. These considerations can include how staff members are treated, the cleanliness of the shop and even a bathroom inspection. As he concluded, he reiterated the importance of each shop downloading OEM position statements on each job. “It is extremely important to just simply do it the right away,” he said. For more information on AASP/NJ and its events, visit

Sherwin-Williams Joins I-CAR Program Beginning in 2019, automotive refinish professionals can earn ICAR credits for completing Sherwin-Williams training courses at no additional cost. That’s because SherwinWilliams Automotive Finishes® has joined I-CAR’s Sustaining Partner™ program, an initiative designed to mobilize organizations in support of I-CAR’s mission to enhance collision repair industry training and ensure complete, safe and quality repairs. As a Sustaining Partner, Sherwin-Williams will be a valuable contributor to this long-term plan for the collision repair industry. “The more we can help our customers achieve I-CAR Gold Class designation, the more successful they will be in their business,” said Rod Habel, Sherwin-Williams Director of Training. “Better service and better education for our customers is the key to strengthening the industry and keeping people safe.” / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


NY Body Shop Owner Arrested for Insurance Fraud

ASA Supports NH OE Repair Procedure Legislation

New York State Department of Financial Services Insurance Fraud The owner of an Amityville, NY, Unit, Allstate and MetLife Auto automotive body repair shop was and Home. As a result, Nuss, 28, of Linarrested Feb. 1 for submitting frauddenhurst was arrested ulent insurance claims at Village Line Auto for repairs on a vehicle, Body on Feb. 1, police according to Suffolk said. Police. He was charged Andrew Nuss, with third-degree inowner of Village Line surance fraud, third-deAuto Body on 123 Algree grand larceny and bany Ave., submitted second-degree falsifyfraudulent billing docCredit: Suffolk Police ing business records. umentation for repairs He was arraigned at First Dison a vehicle between Dec. 12, 2018 trict Court in Central Islip on Feb. and Jan. 23, 2019, police said. Detectives from the Prop- 2. erty/Auto Crime Unit conducted a joint investigation with the Na- We thank Lindenhurst Patch for tional Insurance Crime Bureau, reprint permission.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives Committee on Commerce and Consumer Affairs held a hearing on House Bill 664, which addresses the issue of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) repair procedures. ASA supports this legislation. Several states are considering OEM repair procedure legislation in 2019. During the NACE Automechanika show in Atlanta last summer, ASA and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers announced in August 2018 an effort to have OEM repair procedure policy addressed in state legislatures. For 2019, New Hampshire is one of the first states to start the process of making OEM repair procedure policy law. Additional states are considering similar legislation for 2020.HB 664 states, “An insurer shall reimburse a repairer for all repairs if a repairer follows original equipment manufacturer-recommended collision repair procedures, recommendations or service bulletins while repairing a vehicle.” ASA Washington, D.C. representative Bob Redding noted: “House Bill 664 addresses an

by Priscila Korb, Lindenhurst Patch

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issue of concern for consumers and repairers. The Seebachan v. John Eagle Collision Center decision reminded collision repairers of the importance of having proper repair procedures. The original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) repair procedures are the logical repair processes to be followed. To be clear, ASA does not support the use of OEM parts only. ASA’s interest is in requiring the industry to adhere to a set of repair procedures that assure the best opportunity for vehicle safety on our highways. House Bill 664 calls for vehicle repair standards requiring insurers [to] ‘reimburse a repairer for all repairs if a repairer follows original equipment manufacturer-recommended collision repair procedures, recommendations, or service bulletins while repairing a vehicle.’ This legislation ensures that the state of New Hampshire has done as much as possible to protect consumers and small businesspersons in the repair chain following an accident.” See also cover story this issue.


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AASP/MA Holds 3 January Meetings by Chasidy Rae Sisk

In a continued effort to host meetings throughout all of Massachusetts, AASP/MA hosted three meetings in January.

According to AASP/MA Executive Director Lucky Papageorg, “We discussed developments at the ADALB and a situation [that] has prompted them to consider language for an advisory ruling regarding aftermarket parts as discussed in the governing regulations. The attendees participate in the conversation and exchange of information being provided.” The Mid-State Chapter meeting was held on Jan. 9 at Worcester Technical High School. The Western Chapter meeting took place Jan. 16 at the Smith Vocational and


Agricultural School in Northampton, and the Northeast Chapter met at the Greater Lawrence Technical School in Andover. “The main purpose is to get shops together to hear the direction and goals of AASP-MA and how their input and participation are important components. The importance of these chapter meetings lie in the development of business relationships with colleagues facing similar issues in an ever-changing industry,” Papageorg shared. “Thus far, the meetings have met our expectations and continue to grow in size. It is very satisfying to hear the positive comments during and after the event. In particular, it is very satisfying to hear from attendees the next day when they call to say thank you and indicate they plan on bringing a nonmember to the next meeting so they can see what they are missing.” For more information on AASP/MA, visit


Faulkner Collision in Lancaster, PA, Wins National Award Faulkner Collision Center of Lancaster, PA, was recently awarded the prestigious On Your Side Showmanship of Excellence Award by Nationwide Insurance.

is simple: “To be sure.” It is committed to providing a memorable customer experience, one that complements the organization’s commitment to building lasting

The collision center received the award in recognition of its outstanding customer service and community involvement, ranking first among 4,500 collision centers in the country. “We are honored to receive such a prominent award from Nationwide. This is a team award and [we] could not have done it without our amazing employees and customers,” said April Lausch, manager at Faulkner Collision. The collision center’s motto

relationships with its customers and employees and Nationwide. The shop celebrated Feb. 12 with a lunch for its employees at BMW of Lancaster and a presentation from Nationwide officials.



Autobody News


MSO Believes in USI Italia Spray Booths for the Third Time When you get a piece of equipment that allows you to excel, you stick with it and attain more if you can. And that's why Carubba Collision in New York recently acquired its third USI Italia spray booth after acquiring its original two booths starting back in 2017. This MSO has been relying on its USI booths at its West Syracuse and Utica locations for more than a year now with great results, and that's why the company purchased its third booth for its Olean location recently.

With 18 locations spread out across New York from Buffalo to Syracuse and including Oneonta, Amsterdam, Elmira, Utica and beyond, Carubba Collision has been serving the collision repair needs of the Empire State for more than 60 years. Established in 1955, Joe Carubba’s father started the business, and today it is the largest MSO in New York as it enters its third generation. After its first two USI booths proved themselves time and time again, Carubba added its third booth to tap into all of the product's myriad advantages. It all starts with the world's fastest painting cycle, with the shortest flash-off and curing times on the planet. Designed specifically to be used with waterborne products, USI Italia spray booths are durable and reliable while saving collision repairers time, energy and money while painting more cars with precision performance. By featuring shorter curing times with the highest flow available anywhere provided by USI's patented Turbofan system, the energy savings are huge and the results are exceptional, according to Carubba's Assistant to the President/CEO Randy Pinkowski. With USI's exclusive air recirculation system Carubba is getting fantastic results and will never need additional gadgets in their booth, such as blowers, IRT or compressed air heating systems.

Carubba appreciates all of the cutting-edge technology that is in every USI spray booth and happy to be tapping into it with his third booth. The entire painting process is controlled and

fully automated through USI's patented Easy Paint System. It takes all of the guesswork out of the process, because with every cycle, the EPS suggests the most efficient process with each vehicle in real-time and enables Pinkowski's crew to obtain the highest quality results in the shortest time at the lowest cost overall. One of the main reasons why Pinkowski purchased his third USI booth was the fact that the company provided the same top-notch support and follow-up that he received after acquiring his first two booths. “The people at USI were very knowledgable and willing to do anything to help us with the first two booths, so purchasing this third one was a very easy decision," he said. "We knew what we were getting and that made it a no-brainer."

Pinkowski now relies on his newest USI spray booth every day and is confident that they will be called upon to handle heavy loads as time goes on, as well as making his shops more profitable, just like what the first two have achieved. “Right now, we’re using these spray booths to save time and money," he said. "We save time because we're painting the vehicles more quickly and we never get comebacks because the quality is exceptional. In addition, we use less energy, and our painters are comfortable using these

booths. Our USI booths outperform all of the other booths we own, mainly because of the way they work. This means that we get more productive hours out of them while improving cycle time and increasing our profitability.” Currently, Pinkowski has two painters at each of his three locations that are using the USI Italia spray booths. "Even our new painters were able to get a feel for these USI booths quickly and have mastered the ins and outs of them fast," he said. "I’m fairly certain that none of our painters had used this type of booth before. It was all new to them – how it worked and what it does

differently – but they adapted very easily. At this point, we’ve done three hands-on training sessions with USI, in which the painters actually get to paint something and learn the process from start to finish. The first time, they worked on a bumper and then once they gained some confidence, they got to do complete jobs.” Pinkowski is impressed with the team at USI and has undoubtedly benefitted from his relationship with USI personnel. “Their communication was amazing and it made the entire process easy. The contractors that USI brought in to assemble our third booth all did a wonderful job and exceeded all of our expectations. They were on time with everything and very detail-oriented. The communication was phenomenal, so we knew what was going on before it was going to happen, which isn't always the case with other suppliers.” See us at Northeast Tradeshow Booth #327 USI of North America 556 Commerce Street Franklin Lakes, New Jersey 07417 201-405-7761 / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Cover

2019 NADA Show

showrooms across the country that will appeal to consumers and spark auto sales during the first quarter.”

Bay for four days of work and fun. At the start of the show, NADA forecasted sales of 16.8 million new cars and light trucks in 2019.

the fourth-best sales year in U.S. history, according to Manzi. Last year, consumers continued to abandon car segments. Light trucks accounted for 69 percent of sales, while cars accounted for 31 percent of sales. In 2017, light trucks accounted for 65 percent of sales and cars accounted for 35 percent. About 10 years ago, the sales mix consisted of 48 percent light trucks and 52 percent cars.

Big Ass Fans exhibited at this year’s NADA Show to unveil its Light Bar. (l to r) Exhibit manager Pam Lawless, national account manager Scott Fehrenbach and vertical market business development manager John Nunnelley

(l to r) David Cosio, Cody Workman and Adolph Cosio from Automotive Collision Equipment and Lorinda Teague from Pro Spot International

UpdatePromise was on hand in full force to unveil new products and meet with current clients. (l to r) Owner/CEO Curtis Nixon, merchant services manager Krista Lucchino, product specialist Bridgette Amador, product specialist Taylor Su, marketing manager Jennifer Marmolejo and sales rep Adam Guizado

“We expect the sales momentum to continue this year,” said Patrick Manzi, NADA senior economist. “The 2019 auto show season kicks off in Detroit. Dozens of new vehicles, with auto show rebates and incentives, will soon arrive in dealer

New light vehicle sales topped 17.3 million units in 2018, marking

I-CAR’s booth made quite an impression at the NADA Show. (l to r) National MSO manager Doug Schlueter and manager, business development Armin Price

Director of Operations Zach McGregor displayed DJS Fabrications’ line of dollies and accessories at the four-day NADA show

seen fuel economy increases across the board, not just on crossovers but also traditional SUVs and pickups.”

“One of the main factors of this shift has been continued low oil and gasoline prices, and the fact that crossover utility vehicles are nearly as fuel efficient as their sedan counterparts,” Manzi said. “And we’ve

Manzi also said he expects gasoline prices to remain low enough this year to not cause a panic and a consumer shift back to the car market. When NADA comes to a city for its annual show, it always leaves a little something behind as its way of saying thanks. This year, the organization donated $50,000 to the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank to assist with the purchase of a new, refrigerated commercial truck. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to


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receive this generous donation,” said Paul Ash, executive director of the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. “Our trucks are the lifeline of our entire operation, and I can tell you that this new truck, courtesy of NADA, will be put into service immediately to help feed the thousands of people who rely on us for healthy meals each day.”

NJ Sen. Diegnan Seeks New Task Force to Study Automated Cars in NJ by Staff, TAPinto Edison

Local legislator Senator Patrick J. Diegnan (D-Middlesex) wants New Jersey to study the use of advanced autonomous vehicles. Diegnan, who heads the Senate Transportation committee, is sponsoring a joint resolution to establish the “New Jersey Autonomous Vehicle Task Force.” His proposal unanimously cleared the Senate Transportation Committee in mid-January and will next head to the full Senate for further consideration.

Broadly, a marketing and social media company, exhibited at its first NADA Show. (l to r), customer success manager Janna Dolson, account executive Todd LoGuidice and senior account executive & sales trainer Jenna Simon

NADA’s donation helped complete the purchase of a 2019 Kenworth T370, a 24-foot fully refrigerated box truck that will be used for pick-ups and deliveries in the food bank’s network of 270 pantries.

“The engineering and development of autonomous vehicle tech-

nology are well underway in a majority of other states,” said Diegnan. “By allowing the testing of autonomous vehicles on our roads, New Jersey would put itself on the same economic and technological playing field as those states.” If adopted by the legislature, the resolution would establish an eight-member committee that will issue a report to the governor and legislature and include recommendations on how New Jersey could safely integrate advanced autonomous vehicles on the highways, streets and roads. The task force would also evaluate the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s safety standards, study regulations and laws in other states concerning safety standards, and ultimately recommend whether the state should enact stricter safety standards. The bill applies to vehicles equipped with an autonomous technology level of three, four or five. According to standards defined by the

SAE International, this includes: Level 3: An Automated Driving System (ADS) on the vehicle can perform all aspects of the driving task itself under some circumstances. In those circumstances, the human driver must be ready to take back control at any time when the ADS requests the human driver to do so. In all other circumstances, the human driver performs the driving task. Level 4: An Automated Driving System (ADS) on the vehicle can perform all driving tasks and monitor the driving environment— essentially, do all the driving –itself in certain circumstances. The human need not pay attention in those circumstances. Level 5: An Automated Driving System (ADS) on the vehicle can do all the driving in all circumstances. The human occupants are just passengers and need never be involved in driving. We thank TAPintoEdison for reprint permission. / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


East Coast Resolution Forum To Return to NORTHEAST 2019 The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) recently announced the East Coast Resolution Forum & Leadership Meeting will once again take place in conjunction with AASP/NJ’s Annual NORTH-

EAST® Automotive Services Show. This year’s event will take place on Friday, March 15 at 1 p.m. at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ. This forum brings automotive repair leaders and various state affiliate representatives together for a roundtable discussion to share and discuss industry challenges and solutions. “One of the distinct values for us as a national association is the faceto-face time with so many of our state

affiliate associations,” shared SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg. “The NORTHEAST leadership conference presents the opportunity to sit together in a room and talk through the challenges facing our members while tapping into this network to foster broader understanding of problems and potential solutions.” “Year after year, the East Coast Resolution Forum always provides the participants with relevant information on current events happening in our industry. The unique difference about this forum is that instead of identifying problems, we are able to discuss solutions,” stated NYSACT/LIABRA Executive Director Ed Kizenberger, moderator of the forum. For more information, please visit

Visit us at AASP Booth #713



Volvo Releases Statement for Repair Shops by Emmariah Holcomb,

Volvo recently released a statement involving what is to be used for windshield replacements on its vehicles. According to the company, it wants only original equipment manufacturer (OEM) auto glass used. “Volvo Car USA LLC requires all windshield replacements on Volvo vehicles be performed according to Volvo standards at an authorized Volvo facility, using only Volvo Genuine Windshields and adhesives,” a portion of the statement reads. Volvo also stated there are “many variants” for vehicle windshields as far as the aftermarket is concerned and that there isn’t a way to ensure all aftermarket windshields meet the same standards that the company does. The new release aims to continue setting a standard for Volvo’s vehicles by only recommending OEM. “Volvo genuine windshields are manufactured to the same spec-

ifications as the windshield originally installed in vehicle at time of assembly, offering perfect fit, exact tolerances and maximum precision. Aftermarket alternatives may not meet these exact specifications and may affect the car’s passive safety technology, active safety functions as well as the overall rigidness of the body,” a portion of the statement reads. It’s imperative to have the right windshield fit and to calibrate after replacing a windshield equipped with safety features for a customer, but Volvo claims that if aftermarket glass is used, the results might differ. “Aftermarket windshield services may find it quite difficult to properly recalibrate,” a portion of the statement reads. We thank for reprint permission.


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Continued from Cover

NYCARA a conversation and commentary on the state of affairs in NYC. The people who showed up are those who needed it the least and are not the group we need to be engaging, but that’s the problem—people are not being properly engaged, but we all agree that there is definitely a need. “It’s going to be a challenge to encourage people to step outside the day-to-day struggles to improve their business and understand that they can only truly be competitive through education. There’s a lot of work to do, and NYCARA is evaluating the different strategies that we’ll need to employ to ensure success—not just for the association but also for the shops we hope to represent.” NYCARA welcomes members from the collision and mechanical industries as well as dealerships. The group also encourages educators and students to join. Although manufacturers may advertise with the association, NYCARA will not be taking


their endorsements or inviting them to join its membership. NYCARA offers several levels of membership with various perks and competitive rates. Dues start at $100; Gold members pay $200. The group also offers students a discounted rate of $25 to encourage par-

especially collision shops. Vehicle autonomy and insurer pressure are other topics we plan to tackle. There’s just not enough industry-specific content available, and we want to create quality content for our events and try to help members improve their businesses.”

“The creation of the New York City Auto Repair Association (NYCARA) comes from a place of wanting to help auto repairers run their businesses better, and when we ran it past some of the shops in the areas, we received overwhelmingly positive responses.” — Paul Stern Jr. ticipation from the next generation of automotive repairers. All members will receive access to quarterly member meetings and educational seminars offered by the association. Training will be a vital benefit that NYCARA plans to offer its members. “Vehicle technology is changing faster than ever, and it’s getting really complicated really fast,” Stern said. “This is a huge hurdle for everyone,


NYCARA has already lined up two educational opportunities for this spring. A cyber security expert will deliver a presentation on March 14, and NYCARA will host a marketing and customer engagement seminar with a representative from Constant Contact on April 10. Stern has big dreams for NYCARA “As we grow, I hope to see our ben-

efits crystallize for our membership base,” he said. “In the future, a trade show is a definite possibility; we’d like to create our own publication for members; and we’ll definitely be exploring legislative initiatives once we’re fully developed. We are working to line up legal and marketing professionals to work with our membership base as well. “NYCARA also plans to develop relationships with local schools and work to connect shops with students. We’ve already been asked if we’ll “expand beyond the five boroughs, and we intend to go as far as we can eventually. This industry is a little neglected, and it’s also changing really fast, but everyone we’ve talked to wants to be more engaged. “It’s tough to develop a community in this industry, but that’s our real purpose: to develop a community of like-minded professionals and offer them the information and educational opportunities they need to be successful.” For more information on NYCARA, visit or call 917-5225912. / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Page 4

New Training Model moved such a sign long before it got to this awful state—edge cases are exactly this kind of situation. An edge case is a low-probability event that should not happen but does happen in the real world—exactly the kinds of cases that programmers and machine learning processes might not consider. In a real-world scenario, the autonomous vehicle might detect the sign and have no idea that it’s a stop sign. It doesn’t treat it as such and could decide to proceed through the intersection at speed and cause an accident. A human driver may have a hard time identifying the stop sign too, but that is much less likely for experienced drivers. We know what a stop sign is, and if it’s in anything other than complete ruin, we’ll know to stop at the intersection rather than proceed through it. This kind of situation is exactly what researchers at MIT and Microsoft have come together to identify and solve, which could improve

tions where the AI is missing critical information about how it should behave, especially in edge cases. “The model helps autonomous systems better know what they don’t know,” according to Ramya Ramakrishnan, a graduate student in the computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory at MIT and the lead author of the study. “Many times, when these systems are deployed, their trained simulations don’t match the real-world setting [and] they could make mistakes, such as getting into accidents. The idea is to use humans to bridge that gap between simulation and the real world, in a safe way, so we can reduce some of those errors,” Ramakrishnan said. The problem arises when a situation occurs, such as the distorted stop sign, in which the majority of cases the AI has been trained on does not reflect the real-world condition that it should have been trained to recognize. In this case, it has been trained that stop signs have a certain shape, color, etc. It could even have created a list of shapes that could be stop signs and would know to stop for

autonomous vehicle safety and, hopefully, reduce the kinds of accidents that might slow or prevent the adoption of autonomous vehicles on our roads. Modeling at the Edge In two papers presented at last year’s Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems conference and the upcoming Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence conference, researchers explain a new model for training autonomous systems such as self-driving cars that use human input to identify and fix these “blind spots” in AI systems. The researchers run the AI through simulated training exercises like traditional systems go through, but in this case, a human observes the machine’s actions and identifies when the machine is about to make or has made a mistake. The researchers then take the machine’s training data and synthesize it with the human observer’s feedback and put it through a machine-learning system. This system will then create a model that researchers can use to identify situa-

those, but if it cannot identify a stop sign properly, the situation could end in disaster. “Because unacceptable actions are far rarer than acceptable actions, the system will eventually learn to predict all situations as safe, which can be extremely dangerous,” said Ramakrishnan. Meeting the Highest Standards for Safety By showing researchers where the AI has incomplete data, autonomous systems can be made safer at the edge where high-profile accidents can occur. If they can do this, we may get to the point where public trust in autonomous systems can start growing and the rollout of autonomous vehicles can begin in earnest, making us all safer as a result. We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission.


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Is Trump About To Clobber the Auto Industry? by Rick Newman, Yahoo Finance

Investors have been edgy about President Trump’s trade dispute with China. But there’s another trade threat that’s going to flare soon: the possibility of new tariffs on nearly $200 billion worth of automotive imports, which would kill jobs and send car prices soaring if imposed by Trump. Last year, Trump directed the Commerce Department to investigate whether automotive imports pose a threat to national security, with a report due no later than Feb. 17 of this year. If the report finds cause for concern—as everybody expects—it would give Trump the authority to impose tariffs within 90 days. And he has already proposed a 25 percent tariff on imported autos. The premise is ridiculous: Nobody in the national security business thinks imported cars are a threat. But the threat of tariffs is leverage Trump feels he needs to strike better deals on trade with Eu-


rope, Japan and China. Trump, for instance, wants those nations to lower their own tariffs on imports from America and make it easier for U.S. firms to enter those markets. If Trump did impose the tariffs, it would immediately hit the economy.

of General Motors, Ford and other automakers until the fight subsides. At this year’s Detroit Auto Show, Bob Carter, head of Toyota North America, told Yahoo Finance that a 25 percent tariff on imported autos and auto parts would add $1,800 to the cost of a Camry sedan—even

“A 25 percent tariff could lead to a decline in sales volume larger than what a recession would produce. It could be autos that create the next recession.” — Jonathan Smoke, “A 25 percent tariff could lead to a decline in sales volume larger than what a recession would produce,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at Cox Automotive and owner of Kelley Blue Book and other services. “It could be autos that create the next recession.” Even if Trump is bluffing, the threat of tariffs could punish shares


though Toyota builds the Camry in the United States with many American components. “Consumers are the ones who pay those taxes,” Carter said. “Tariffs on automotive parts would suppress this industry.” Affecting Decision-Making Tariffs are already distorting auto-

motive decision-making. Last year, Ford canceled plans to import the Focus Active compact from China to the United States because of the new tariffs Trump has already imposed on Chinese imports, which include cars and car parts. Trump wants companies to build such products in the United States, but Ford can’t make a profit on a low-margin economy car if it builds it here. So it won’t offer the compact in the U.S. market at all. “We had a great plan to have a Focus Active here in the U.S.,” Ford Executive Vice President Jim Farley told Yahoo Finance in Detroit. “Customers aren’t going to pay for a tariff in the U.S.” Trump’s auto tariff probably wouldn’t apply to imports from Mexico and Canada, as long as Congress ratifies the new trade deal the three countries inked last year to update the old NAFTA agreement. That would leave around $103 billion worth of new-car imports from the rest of the world, and about $77 billion worth of parts, according to 2017 figures. The Center

for Automotive Research says a 25 percent tax on auto imports from all countries except Canada and Mexico would raise the average cost of a car by $2,450. There would be more production in the United States, as Trump wants, but total auto sales would fall by about 1.2 million units per year because of higher prices. On net, that would kill 197,000 jobs. And if the tariffs did apply to imports from Canada and Mexico, the economic damage would more than double. Some auto executives think Trump is more likely to bluff on tariffs than to actually impose them, using the threat as leverage to get concessions from Europe, Japan and China. Trump and his top trade negotiator, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, could ask for the European Union, for instance, to lower its tariff on U.S. imports, since Europe charges a 10 percent tariff on imported cars but the U.S. tariff is only 2.5 percent. They could demand better access to the Japanese market, which is essentially closed to American cars. And the threat of auto tariffs would add to the pressure

on China, which is already fighting a second battle with Trump over reforms he wants. There’s also the chance that Tariff Man, as Trump famously calls himself, could go through with the auto tariffs, if only because he believes—against the advice of nearly all mainstream economists—that tariffs foster more home-grown employment. Some trade experts thought Trump would repeal the steel and aluminum tariffs he imposed last year, or at least exempt Canada and Mexico, once he got a renegotiated NAFTA. But he hasn’t, even though higher costs are costing automakers billions. Trump’s latest tariff gambit comes as forecasters expect auto sales to taper off in 2019, after several years of record sales. GM just announced it’s closing five plants, and other automakers may cut back as well if sales slow as expected. Tariffs would force automakers to hit the brakes harder. Buckle up. We thank Yahoo Finance for reprint permission.

Caliber Collision, ABRA Auto Body Repair of America Announce the Closing of Merger Transaction Caliber Collision Centers and ABRA Auto Body Repair of America recently announced the closing of their merger that unites the companies’ teams, brands and operations. Going forward, the combined company will be investing even more in enhanced technologies, specialized resources and innovative processes to redefine world-class standards for quality repairs and customer service in the industry. “We plan on maintaining all existing centers from both companies as we embark on our journey to create one company with one operating model and one culture. We plan on further strengthening our culture that strongly supports our teammates’ careers behind industry-leading development programs,” said Steve Grimshaw, Caliber’s chief executive officer, who now serves as CEO of the new combined company.The new combined company, now operating under the Caliber brand name, will provide customers and clients with the first national lifetime warranty along with even more offerings, in-

cluding dedicated non-drive facilities, express repair centers and aluminum-certified and high-line centers. The combined company will also offer glass repair, diagnostic scanning and calibration services and the broadest network of OEM-certified locations in the U.S. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman—ABRA’s majority shareholder since 2014— will become the majority shareholder of the combined company. Caliber’s two largest shareholders, OMERS and Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. (LGP), will be minority shareholders in the combined company. “We believe this merger represents the next evolution of the collision repair industry. The combination further enhances the companies’ best-in-class performance metrics, proven acquisition integration processes, strong relationships with insurance clients and career opportunities for our teammates,” said Erik Ragatz, partner at Hellman & Friedman. / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

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

An Insider’s Guide to Handling Media Interviews During a Crisis There’s an important question everyone in the collision repair industry should ask themselves, according to award-winning journalist and communication trainer Jeff Ansell: If your body shop or business is accused of transgressions, real or imagined, would you know how to respond to the media? “There is no shortage of badnews scenarios or allegations the collision repair industry could experience, whether that includes allegations of deliberately damaging cars, installing used parts but billing for new ones, or invoicing for phantom repairs,” said Ansell. “The answer is to have the skills necessary to properly tell your story to all stakeholders, especially when the news about your organization is not positive.” During the 16th annual CSN Collision Centres conference held in Scottsdale, AZ, in November, Ansell


offered insight on how to confidently communicate with the media during a crisis. This included how to respond to difficult questions, confidently tell a business’s story and frame the media narrative before others frame it.

Award-winning journalist and communication trainer Jeff Ansell during the CSN Collision Centres conference in Scottsdale, AZ

Ansell’s perspective was based on his experience over the years as an investigative reporter and a media and crisis communications advisor.


People often ask Ansell why it’s important to be media-trained and rehearse answering questions when all you have to do is tell the truth. Every day, he said, the media, especially social media, sets the public agenda that can impact a business. “A social media onslaught focusing on you and your business can come at you like an avalanche,” said Ansell. Not only will good communication help manage a business’s reputation, he said, but it will also help the problem dissipate more quickly. “Regardless of what the future holds, communication will always be a big part of it,” said Ansell. “What you say and how you say it to the media, customers and employees are very important now, more than ever, because communication these days is beyond instant.”

Undercover investigations involving hidden cameras are very common in this line of work and can portray auto repair shops and the people who work in them as incompetent, dishonest and, in some cases, criminals, according to Ansell. “When bad news strikes, the media and the public are quick to make up their minds about you,” said Ansell. “Reporters can show up at your business anytime. How you respond speaks volumes about who you are.” As a result, Ansell shared what he referred to as “the rules of the game” when talking to the media. 12 Do’s and Don’ts for Communicating With Confidence: 1) When you mess up, ‘fess up. 2) Remember there is no such thing as “off the record.” / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


3) Don’t change your story mid-interview. 4) Be aware that cameras are always rolling, even before interviews begin. 5) Don’t snap at people who ask you questions that you don’t like. 6) Be mindful of political correctness and gender insensitivity. 7) When the heat is on, don’t get defensive, especially if your business is accused of being sleazy and unethical. 8) Don’t trivialize problems experienced by your customers. 9) Media interviews and public appearances are not the appropriate time to engage in a confession. 10) Don’t be too quick to take your lawyer’s advice when you are dealing with a bad news issue. 11) Don’t repeat negative words that might convince people you are guilty. 12) Don’t make promises you can’t keep. How to Tell a Business’ Story “You never know what questions you might be asked by a reporter—some are straightforward; some are curveball, off-the-wall, leading questions, loaded questions, politically incorrect

and uncomfortable questions,” said Ansell. “Knowing the right thing to say during media interviews, especially during stressful times, isn’t easy.” Ansell acknowledged that it’s easy to get angry at reporters or customers, especially when they are aggressive. After interviewing and training thousands of people over his career, Ansell has observed that when people are put on the spot and the question gets tough, they often experience a physiological default. “When hijacked by a question, we teeter on the precipice of fight or flight,” he said. “Do I stay here and answer this in-my-face question, freeze or flee? Our sole objective is survival, which is easier said than done.” In stressful moments, Ansell said, people tend to hold their breath, stop listening, feverishly ask how to answer the question and fall into every reporter trap. It often becomes an outof-body experience. What can a shop do if it finds itself dealing with bad or controversial news and its reputation is in peril? Ansell said it’s often helpful to tell a story.

“If you’re not there, others are going to tell it for you,” he observed. “How we come across in front of the media is critically important and clearly impacts how our story will be told.” This involves being responsive to the questions asked, knowing how to answer them properly and then telling the story. However, if a shop plans to do multiple interviews, he recommended not telling the same story the exact same way with the same words every time. The communications expert also suggested invoking what he called the “value compass,” which can be a valuable tool when the trust in an organization is threatened. This involves looking at the stakeholders’ emotions, asking what would enhance the well-being of the people directly affected, identifying the elements of the spokesperson’s nature and touching on the spokesperson’s standards. “The value compass is the collection of words we would use to describe how we want and need our stakeholders to see us and perceive us when we find ourselves mired in

the blinding glare of the media spotlight,” explained Ansell. In a bad news situation, he stressed the importance of showing the business spokesperson is upset, genuine, honest, emphatic and trustworthy. “When bad news happens, show you are among the most disturbed, aggrieved and outraged by what has happened,” Ansell advised. “The idea is to take every question asked, every answer given, the message delivered, and every policy, process and procedure talked about and filter it through the value compass, sentence-by-sentence, action-by-action.” In addition to telling a story, Ansell also stressed the importance of creating messages for the media to report. He said to use simple language and short sentences that are focused, compelling and quotable. Once these messages have been created, the next step is to find a credible way to introduce them into the interview, regardless of whether the reporter asks about them. Ansell also shared the framework to use if and when shop owners See An Insider’s Guide, Page 53

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From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

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

It’s Time to End Shops’ Accounting, Scorecard Nightmares by Creating New Parts Code It’s time for this industry to resolve the parts code mess. You probably know what I’m talking about. It’s no secret that a lot of collision repair shops, particularly those on direct repair programs, price-match parts. Rather than use an alternative (non-OEM or recycled) part, they put a new OEM part on the vehicle, billing for it at the alternative part price. My goal here isn’t to debate whether this practice (or DRPs in general) is good or bad. Those are business decisions that aren’t the focus of what I’m calling for here. But I am saying that the pricematching practice has negative consequences for shops. First, the paperwork that shops give to their customers should always accurately reflect what was done to the vehicle. If you install an OEM part, the paperwork given to


the customer should state that, not inaccurately indicate that an alternative part was used. Second, price-matching makes it tough for a shop to have accurate financial reports. Let’s say a shop chooses to use a new OEM part, but because of how it is measured under a DRP, the part remains on the estimate as a non-OEM part. When that data gets transferred into the shop’s management system, the sale goes in as a non-OEM part, but at an OEM part cost. The system ends up overstating—sometimes wildly—the shop’s gross profit on non-OEM parts and understating the gross profit on OEM parts. I have a degree in accounting, and I work regularly with more than 350 shops, coaching them on their financials. I can’t tell you how many of those financials I look at show that the shop made, say, 70 percent gross


profit on aftermarket parts and lost money on OEM parts. They didn’t really lose money on the OEM parts, and they didn’t make that much money on aftermarket parts. It’s all a coding issue. And I can tell you, accountants and bookkeepers spend countless hours trying to figure out why the gross profit information isn’t right. So why not switch the parts code from alternative to OEM when transferring to the management system? One reason: Some shops offer some insurance companies a discount on OEM parts. So they may already be taking a hit by buying an OEM part but only charging for nonOEM, and then get hit again with the OEM discount to the insurer. A third potential downside to all this for shops: It’s known that many automakers are moving toward using scorecards to evaluate the perform-

ance of their certified collision shops. Shops that are certified and have DRP agreements will be faced with the risk of coding an OEM part they use as an alternative part to not hurt their DRP score, only to have that hurt their scorecard for OEM parts usage with the automaker certifying their shop. Some people will suggest that price-matched parts could be coded as “opt-OE.” But that label has become so convoluted and misused as a parts type category. Some automakers have an “opt-OE” part that they sell, for example, and others don’t recognize that label at all. The California Bureau of Automotive Repair has said “opt-OE” and “alt-OE” aren’t adequate as parts descriptors. At the end of the day, I believe there’s a simple solution to all this. We need to recognize a new partstype code in the estimating and manSee New Parts Code, Page 58 / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS



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Celebrity Car Enthusiast Courtney Hansen Helps Reunite Car Lovers With ‘The Ride That Got Away’ by Stacey Phillips

Every car lover has the one that got away, according to celebrity car enthusiast Courtney Hansen. Whether it’s the car they grew up riding around in with their parents, the first car they purchased or the dream ride they had to sell when they fell on hard times, Hansen’s goal is to reunite car lovers with their beloved rides in her new television show “The Ride That Got Away.” A self-described “pit kid,” Hansen grew up in Minnesota spending much of her time at racetracks and garages. Her father, Gerry Hansen, raced at Formula Race Car Club of America (FCCA) and won 27 national championships throughout his career. Her family also owned Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota. Growing up in the automotive world, Hansen said, she quickly became an enthusiast. “Cars are in my blood, and I’m thankful that I was able to parlay my love for cars into a TV career that started 15 years ago,” she said. “Here

I am now, executive producing my latest project and one of the characters on the show. It’s all very exciting.” Hansen gained popularity as the co-host of TLC’s car-makeover show “Overhaulin’,” starring legendary auto designer Chip Foose. The show

shows for NBC Sports and CBS Sports in which she showcased million-dollar rides, rare classics and “tricked” vehicles. In Hansen’s newest project, she is the executive producer of History Channel’s auto-themed TV series “The Ride That Got Away,” which premiered in January. Hansen hosts the show with renowned custom designer and builder Troy Ladd under the brand ROYL (Ride of Your Life) Garage. Autobody News recently talked to Hansen about her new show, the advice she offers young women interested in the automotive field and current industry trends.

Hansen grew up in the auto industry and spent much of her time at racetracks and garages

What is the focus of your new show “The Ride That Got Away”?

focused on transforming a viewer’s ride into a show car within one week. She also co-hosted two specials for TLC: “Rides: Biggest Spenders” and “Million Dollar Motors.” Hansen then hosted 10 seasons of Powerblock/PowerNation for Spike TV and later four automotive

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This is not a show just for “gearheads.” This is a show for the entire family to sit down and watch. It’s a fun, feel-good show with heart and characters and art. That has been the response we’ve received


from fans and viewers since the premiere episode. In every episode of “The Ride That Got Away,” we are on a mission to find these missing pieces of personal and family history and return them to their rightful owners who said goodbye to them long ago. What the owners don’t know is that they’re about to meet again. After finding their ride that got away, we meticulously repair, restore, re-imagine and create a fantasy version of the dream car. Every transformation is unique and personal to its owner. For example, we turn a ‘64 Impala into a lowrider and a 1920s Ford into a TBucket hotrod. At the end of each episode, we coordinate the “surprise of a lifetime” with the owners’ loved ones. With these amazing transformations, we’re making people’s dreams come true.

Q: star?

Can you tell us about your role on the show and your co- / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS





I created the project, so I’m the executive producer and I’m one of the characters on the show. I also dive in and help with the builds, so you’ll see me do some welding and grinding and taking part in all aspects of the build. I wear a lot of hats on this project. My co-host is renowned car designer Troy Ladd. He is one of the best in the world, and I’m honored he came on board with the project. He basically swept the 2017 awards season for custom car building. Together, we assembled a team of the industry’s best, so we have these incredible fabricators who work on the vehicles. They are also amazing characters who make you laugh and at the end of the show even cry a little bit. I absolutely love our team, and they are so welcoming of me and the garage. They trust me and seem to love having me join in and get my hands dirty.


What was your inspiration to create “The Ride That Got Away”?


My inspiration was wanting to give back. The automotive industry has been very good to me and my family and I wanted to pay it forward. I always dreamed of doing a show with a give-back angle and I always wanted to work with Troy Ladd.


When we reunite these deserving people with their beloved rides that got away, what I feel is so powerful are the family relationships that grow even stronger because of what we are doing. What is your advice to young women considering a career in the automotive industry?


I always tell young women, including my 4-year-old daughter, Holland, you can do absolutely anything that you put your mind to. I honestly can’t believe I was able to execute this projCourtney Hansen hosts “The Ride That Got Away” with ect. Everything possible custom car designer and builder Troy Ladd stood in my way. There were I also wanted to make dreams countless obstacles and challenges to come true for the people who love surmount, so I believe you can do anytheir cars. The show highlights family thing if you are focused, work hard, relationships and the special bonds maintain a good attitude and don’t between family members. When you compromise your values and who you watch the show, you can really see are. I say, “Go for it; you can do whatthat it’s not just that they love the cars, ever you want to do.” We’re seeing more and more but the cars have meaning to their family and there is a strong history women in the automotive industry working for big automotive compathere.


nies, in the garage, on car shows and racing. I think it’s beautiful and there’s room for many, many more. I’ve found that the men in this industry support and actually encourage women’s involvement. I personally feel zero chauvinism, which I think is awesome. There are many different facets of the automotive world and opportunities women might not even realize are available if they have a love of cars. Depending on your skillset, there’s everything from getting hands-on with the vehicle to designing cars, working in production or even working for a big auction house. In addition to your television career, you’ve written a book. Can you tell us about “The Garage Girl’s Guide to Everything You Need to Know About Your Car”?


I wrote that book to educate women and first-time car buyers about the basics of owning a vehicle. I wanted to share the knowledge that I have, inspire more women to get involved in the automotive industry and pay attention to what they are driving.


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I was honored to receive Ford’s “Life in Drive” Award. This prestigious award recognizes women who combine talent with that little something extra that allows them to break free from convention to live life with style and attitude.

“The Ride That Got Away,” starring Hansen and Troy Ladd, premiered in January

I’m starting to work on a second book that focuses on being able to achieve your dreams with integrity, without compromising what you stand for.

Q: A:

What current trend have you noticed in the industry?

We’re definitely shifting toward the hybrid and electric car movement, but I can’t lie. I’m a


combustion engine woman. That’s my world. That’s my passion. I love the sound of them; I love the smell of them; I love the performance of combustion engines. At the same time, I understand we’re more environmentally conscious these days, so I also respect the trend that’s happening. There are a lot of impressive rides out there that are electric and there is performance there as well. Although vehicles are changing, those who love cars and racing aren’t going anywhere. I don’t think cars are disappearing as fast as some people say they are. At the same time, I think there is a shift with the millennials, unfortunately, away from cars and into electronics. I would love to see the younger generations care more about cars and I think these car shows, such as “The Ride That Got Away,” will help that. If people want to submit a story on behalf of their loved one who has a ride that got away, they don’t need a car. All they need is a deserving story, which can be submitted to ROYL Garage at ROYL Garage has offices in Burbank, CA; New York City; and southwest Florida.


Continued from Page 38

An Insider’s Guide find their business is in the news, and the news isn’t positive. The framework, called the problem-solution formula, consists of one sentence, helps influence how reporters tell the story and can be used with customers too. “In the front part of the sentence, answer, acknowledge, address or frame your problem from your perspective; in the back-end of the sentence, provide whatever solution is at hand,” he said. “Put the problem and solution together in one sentence.” Although it goes against his short-sentence rule, if the reporter uses a quote that mentions the problem, Ansell said there’s an elevated likelihood that he or she will quote the person talking about the solution. Ansell offered an example of a sentence that meets the problem-solution formula criteria and could be used in the case of someone at a shop doing something he or she shouldn’t have been doing: “We are deeply distressed that a customer was treated in

this manner and we not only apologize and reimburse the customer, but we also terminated the employee responsible.” “Owning a problem, especially one that’s in the news, requires people to take ownership of their problems,” said Ansell. “Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also makes it go away faster.” Ansell lectures on crisis communications at Harvard Business School and on leadership presence at Duke University. For more than a decade, he was an instructor in an MIT-Harvard public disputes program called Dealing with an Angry Public. For more information, contact Jeff Ansell For more information about CSN Collision Centres, visit www



Autobody News / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


National Associations

Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance technical writer from Wilmington, Delaware, who writes on a variety of fields and subjects, and grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. She can be contacted at

with Chasidy Rae Sisk

ASA Presents ‘The Even Better I-CAR’ Webinar On Jan. 30, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) hosted a webinar on “The Even Better I-CAR” at 1 p.m. EST featuring Nick Notte, senior vice president of sales and marketing for I-CAR. Notte discussed some of the refinements to I-CAR’s Professional Development Program (PDP). ASA Vice President Tony Molla welcomed attendees and introduced Notte. Molla noted that I-CAR has made some recent improvements since November’s plans and is constantly evolving. Notte explained that I-CAR evaluated its PDP 2.0 Launch and made some refinements between NACE and SEMA. “That three-month period was especially busy for us because we got so much feedback about the Professional Development Program,” Notte said. Due to delays in the learning

management system design, I-CAR has delayed the launch from January to April 1. I-CAR has received feedback from shops regarding the perceived complexity of the program, such as increased levels of training, increased spending levels and a

high demand for the new hands-on courses. After receiving an indication that more training would happen than initially planned, I-CAR also evaluated its staffing levels and realized it needed to adjust its capacity. Additionally, I-CAR realized that the plan to utilize schools to de-

liver these hands-on courses was not feasible because the majority of the schools lacked the required equipment and facilities to hosts hands-on skill development classes. Notte stated, “As we are changing our core product and service offering, all refinements must work in a logical and synchronized manner. [It is] a somewhat 3-dimensional, complicated process. We believe the outcome is a better solution for the industry and I-CAR.” At NACE, I-CAR promised that Platinum would go to ProLevel 3 and Gold Class would turn to ProLevel 2, including the prohibition of one person in the shop from holding all four of the roles—though a single person can hold two roles in the new PDP. They talked about shop-level electrical/diagnostics and mechanical courses being required, eliminating turnover rules and adjusting

requirements for annual training. In addition to welding certification and aluminum training, they also talked about the elimination of Road to Gold in December. However, that has now been extended through Feb. 28. “I’m happy to say none of this has changed. We’re still delivering this to the industry,” Notte announced. Notte then provided a summary of the future state refinements. The PDP protocol will include industry common and agreed protocol with a complete update based on industry feedback to cover knowledge and skills in more detail. I-CAR has designed a purpose-built curriculum with a national schedule at fixed training sites (FTS) and is working to make core PDP courses available in Spanish. Many shops are uncertain of how pricing would work for the hands-on

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training because they have not yet been exposed to these courses. Therefore, I-CAR has decided to phase these in at two courses per year over an expected six-year period and likely beyond. I-CAR addressed cost concerns by offering a two-for-one deal for Gold Class shops on the two mandated classes (MIG Brazing and Squeeze Type Resistance Spot Welding) for 2019 only, with more information to come. I-CAR’s plans for in-shop knowledge assessments have also undergone some refinements. Because many shops have already taken these welding and hands-on courses and have participated in in-shop assessments, there were objections to paying for these services again through the subscription. In response, I-CAR has debundled them from the subscription package and provided them on an a la carte pay schedule. Some changes were also made to the transition from ProLevel 1 to ProLevel 2, providing more time for shops to achieve the 50/100 requirements. “Let’s give the industry another year to get through that scaling and

get up to the ProLevel 2,” Notte noted. “There are a couple of additional courses you’ll need to take; not a whole lot, but some of your technicians will have to train up to the new PDP courses as you transition, giving you an extra year to level up and figure out the program.” Moving on to a couple more changes, Notte noted that the renewal dates always seem to collect in December. I-CAR has opted to spread out the renewal dates for Gold Class throughout the year. Annual training required will now include six VTST courses per technician, compared to the current requirement of six credit hours, which often winds up being more hours of training. I-CAR will offer an unlimited access subscription that includes classroom, online and instructor-led virtual classes as well as turnover coverage and all-staff training. Continuing in 2019, I-CAR will recognize I-CAR training as well as training through the qualified Industry Training Alliance during Gold Class onboarding. To keep Gold Class status, shops will undergo knowledge and skills protocol, recognition re-

quirements and skills re-verification. While in-shop assessments will be optional in 2019, Notte anticipates it will become a requirement in the future. Notte then moved into a pricing comparison of the core curriculum, noting that Gold Class shops receive 20 percent off the standard pricing. In the new program, only five live courses are required. Standard pricing will increase by less than $500 for an average nine-technician shop, but the pricing includes 126 courses compared to the 71 courses currently offered, which will get a shop to ProLevel 3. “One of the stories this doesn’t tell is that the pricing is about the same, but you’re training more technicians, and again, the price is about the same. However long it takes you to get to ProLevel 3, this is the price to do that,” Notte explained. “There is also a monthly option to pay for that subscription.” Applying the subscription approach, Notte examined the scaling formula to show that the annual base shop fee is $1,000, plus $325 per technician annually. This includes un-

limited consumption of live FTS delivery, online/virtual courses and Ask I-CAR through the RTS product. The skills re-verification process will actually be less expensive because a full course is not required unless the re-verification of skills cannot be demonstated. The in-shop knowledge assessment price will be reduced because I-CAR promises better efficiencies with a two-day visit in the future, compared to the current three-day visit for a shop of nine technicians. After concluding his presentation, Notte answered questions from attendees about “The Even Better ICAR.”

Your leading source for NORTHEASTERN Collision Repair News! / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Denver Body Shop Manager Discusses Position Statement on OEM Repair Procedures by Gary Ledoux

On Oct. 5, 2018, Rickenbaugh Automotive of Denver, CO, distributed a position statement to its DRP insurance companies that sent ripples through the entire collision repair industry. The 74-year-old auto body shop and dealership featuring Cadillac, Volvo, Infinity and Fisker essentially told its DRP “partners”: “Here’s how we are going to do business, regardless of your policies, mandates or subterfuge.” To paraphrase, the statement said that the shop’s garage-keeper’s insurance carrier had inquired of the body shop about how it conducted business regarding repair methods. In the wake of the John Eagle Collision case, the insurance company was concerned about the shop’s liability and thus the possibility of a huge payout should the shop be sued for performing bad repairs and/or failing to follow OE-recommended or required repair procedures. The statement said in part, “They


(the garage-keeper’s insurance carrier) explained that the insurance providers are currently not educating their field staff about these procedures and that it is our responsibility to make sure that we do not deviate from any required or recommended repair procedure. They stated that should there be an incident and we were found to have not followed and documented the OEM repair procedures, they could deny coverage. Due to the extreme liability that we have when repairing vehicles, Rickenbaugh Automotive Group will not allow any of its businesses to deviate from ANY (emphasis seen on written statement) recommended or required OEM procedures.” The statement goes on to say that any manager who does not follow OEM repair procedures and does not perform the proper documentation will face immediate termination. Rickenbaugh management, most specifically company Vice President Nick Pacifico, made it crystal clear—cars would be repaired properly, or not at all.


A few months have gone by since this statement was issued— time to have the situation “shake out.” Autobody News contacted Rickenbaugh body shop manager Chris Hudson, a 28-year industry veteran, to see what effect, if any, the statement has had. Based on your position statement, it looks like your garagekeeper’s insurance company called the meeting with you to discuss your repair methods. Did it surprise you that an insurer would take that initiative, especially with a 74-year-old company like yours?


It did in a way. But when they cited the devastating outcome of the John Eagle case with its multimillion dollar payout and a few similar but smaller cases, it all made sense. They have to look out for themselves—and I understand that. And they were very clear about it; they said, “If you don’t do a proper repair, you’re on your own.”


I must assume that the statement in question was sent to all of the insurance companies with which you have a DRP agreement. What was their reaction?


Crickets. At the time, we had DRP agreements with four insurance companies, and none of them said a word or responded in any way. This is not surprising, as I’m sure none of them wanted anything in writing that said that they didn’t support OEM repair procedures.


Do you promote to your customers that you only follow OE procedures?


Yes—all the time. We explain that not only do we strictly follow OEM repair procedures, but we are certified by eight OEs at the moment. We are part of the Assured Performance network, Certified Collision Group and are striving for additional OE certifications. Once a customer is informed, once they know what you are doing and why, they become one



of your best advocates. At the time, were you already following OEM repair procedures and documenting the same way?


Yes, we were. But we wanted to take a stance—get the insurance company’s attention. We wanted to make sure that they all understood what our position was and that we would not deviate from it. We had been doing proper OEM procedures all along, but with some carriers, it was always a fight. This eliminated the fighting and bickering. It’s now the right way or the highway—case closed, end of discussion.


How has this affected your business? Did you lose any of your DRP associations?


Three of our four DRP carriers just refused to honor our commitment to proper repair. We just don’t do business with them anymore as a DRP. The bickering and fighting with these carriers have simply ceased. One carrier, State Farm, didn’t seem to mind, but we get very little business from them anyway. Despite the loss of those three carriers, business hasn’t really suffered—we have plenty of cars coming through the doors, which proves you really can live without DRPs.


Continued from Page 40

New Parts Code agement systems. If you price-match a part, you use that new code so your management and accounting systems recognize the sale and cost as an OEM part. You get accurate financial statements without skewing your OEM or alternative parts usage numbers with either an insurer or an automaker. Now, some stakeholders in the

Q: A:

Has this had any effect on your shop internally?

Yes! Something I never thought about as the statement was being drafted was the unintended benefit of tremendously raising morale among our techs. The techs have always done a great job and been proud of where they work and the job they do. But this statement seems to have energized them. It says the company they work for is wholeheartedly supporting what they do, and neither they nor the company will be doing any kowtowing to the insurance companies. Your position statement states, “We will also be documenting any and all instances where an insurance provider attempts or recommends deviating from a required or recommended OE procedure or position statement to the Colorado Insurance Commission for review.” How many of these reports have you had to turn in?


We have turned in a few, but sadly they have fallen on deaf ears. The Colorado Insurance Commission, and probably Commissions in other states, will follow up on complaints of fraud, misrepresentation or otherwise cheating a consumer. Unfortunately, [failing to repair a car] according to OE recommendations is not a crime. Performing a shoddy, unsafe repair and placing consumers


industry may not want this to happen. But it’s not fair for shops to suffer from the current accounting nightmare and the risk of “being damned if they do, damned if they don’t” in terms of competing scorecards. I’m imploring the organizations in our industry that can make this happen—the information providers, CIECA, the Collision Industry Conference, the trade associations, etc.—to make this a priority. It’s time to make this change.

at risk is not illegal. Until the laws change—until politicians and the legal system catch up with technology— this will continue. Insurance companies will, with impunity, continue to bully smaller shops, and shops run by owners and managers who are less politically savvy to provide incorrect and unsafe repairs. The shop is left on the hook, and there are no consequences for the insurance company. our position statement also says, “If your company will not comply with the recommended and required OE repair procedures, we will not be able to fix the vehicle.” How many of these vehicles have you had to turn away?


Oh, we have turned away a few. Interestingly enough, a neighboring (but unrelated) body shop recently took the same stance with an insurance carrier and refused to work on a car. The carrier had the car picked up and towed to our shop with the same request for the same shoddy repairs. It was a very short conversation. The insurance company will be picking up the car from


us tomorrow, bringing it to the next shop, and again requesting shoddy repairs.

Q: A:

Has this affected the repair parts that you use?

We have only used OEM parts. This is especially crucial now when you have cameras and ADAS monitors buried behind bumper covers, behind windshields and so forth. Many OEs specifically state to not use aftermarket bumper covers for that reason. Hudson went on to say that several shop owners and managers have contacted him about his statement— or “manifesto,” as he calls it—what it took to write it, deliver it, execute it and what effect it has had. “I would like to see more shops follow our lead, said Hudson. “I would like to see a new breed of auto body association with the pursuit of performing only OE repairs as its main agenda. The industry needs a more collaborative effort from more shops that are willing to take a stance on this.”

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Does the Collision Industry Have a Crisis of Opportunity? by Gary Ledoux

Ever since the earliest days of “motoring,” when vehicle owners had to depend on blacksmiths, plumbers, bicycle mechanics and other artisans of the day to repair a broken spring or a crumpled fender, there has been a cry about the shortage of qualified technicians that is still heard today. But Josh Carlisle, auto collision instructor for the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center in Cape Girardeau, MO, has a slightly different perspective. He claims the current situation is more of a crisis or shortage of opportunity, rather than a shortage of people. “The younger generation has little to no chance of breaking into the collision repair business,” said Carlisle. His reasoning for the “crisis of opportunity” is two-fold: 1.) “Most shops are not interested in hand-holding new techs” said Carlisle. “They want people with five-plus years of experience. They want their

new tech to hit the ground running. The new techs can’t gain any experience if they can’t get hired in the first place.” 2.) “There is a crisis of opportunity because there is a crisis of pay plans,” he continued. “Most shops want to pay a new tech around $9 per hour. For a 48-hour week, that’s only around $23K per year. Meanwhile, the new tech might have $30K in student loans, plus they have to buy tools. It doesn’t pencil out.” Based on this assumption, Autobody News went to several industry leaders and consultants to ask, “Do we really have a ‘crisis of opportunity’?” Doug Irish, department chair of Collision Repair & Refinishing Technology at Fayetteville Technical Community College in Fayetteville, NC, said he thinks there may be a lack of opportunity at the local level for students and graduates just entering the collision industry workforce. New people may have to relocate to find the opportunity.

Irish said, “They may not find work in their own backyard. Right here in Fayetteville, we have three of the largest MSOs in the country. A new tech may find an opportunity with them, but it may be at one of their other locations. We had one student get a job offer on the West Coast. It took a lot of commitment to move.” As for the crisis of hourly pay, Irish said, “I have not seen anyone lowballing new techs at $9 per hour in this market.” When asked about the high end of the pay scale, Irish replied, “I’ve seen a graduate with an associate’s degree start at $75,000 per year. It wasn’t in this area, but the point is there is opportunity out there. “It is true that some shop owners have no appetite for new techs. Their perception is that they have no time for mentoring people. They don’t want to be ‘babysitting’ the new guy. What we need to do as an industry is foster a ‘mentor mentality’ within each shop so we can grow people. The age-old act of ‘pirating’ people from other shops does not solve our problem.”

Brandon Eckenrode, director of development for the Collision Repair Education Foundation, said he feels there are certainly some shops that only want experienced techs. But plenty of work is available for basic techs too, and plenty of new people are going through training classes. “The problem is—and any instructor will tell you this—out of a class of 20 people, there are maybe five who have shown some initiative and are willing to do the work,” he said. “The others are filling a seat. Auto shop tends to be a dumping ground in some schools when they don’t know what to do with a student. “As for the $9 versus $15 per hour pay scale—that is an issue. Yes, a person with no experience can start at a higher rate in other professions. What I always look at is the potential. A person starting at a lower rate at a body shop can train, learn from mentors and be worth more and make more over time, whereas the person who started at $15 per hour could [stay at that] rate for the foreseeable future.”

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Marc Gabbard is the president of GSR Quality Collision Repair in Yakima, WA, and administers a Facebook page called Collision Repair Technicians United. He said, “I prefer the new guys. All three of my current guys came from the local high school voc-tech program. They were all green. For two of them, this was their first job. I’ve had great success with hiring green talent and training, and maybe that’s because I participate in an internship and mentoring program. I have hired several technicians directly out of that program.” On the question of money, Kristen Felder, well-known industry icon and president of Collision Hub, said, “Young people today—not all, but many—have been led to believe they will make big money right out of tech school. The fact is: Most don’t. They have to pay their dues. And so many are set up for failure from the start. “It’s not so much a shortage of people or even a crisis of opportunity. It’s much bigger than that—it’s a crisis of culture. It is something no Band-Aid will fix. There is no silver bullet. Our industry needs a change

in culture, and it starts with the way most technicians are paid. “Most techs today are paid on a commission basis. The more they hustle, the more work they put out, and the more money they make. This creates a number of problems, one of which is having no time or appetite to mentor new techs. In fact, we could live without tech schools if shops had a good mentoring program and a business model to support it. ABRA, Caliber and Fix Auto all have great programs that get a new person doing productive work in weeks, not months or years. “Another issue is more societal. The WWII generation and baby boomers had a strong work ethic. They didn’t mind working hard. They didn’t mind hustling; in fact, they expected to. They were motivated to buy a new car, buy a house, buy a motorcycle and boat. The WWII generation is gone and baby boomers are retiring. Their [type] will not be seen again. Those replacing them, the millennials, aren’t driven by the same motivation. Many couldn’t care less about owning a car or house, let alone motorcycles and

boats. They want a different quality of life and yet, the current business model used in collision shops is based on the hustle mentality of earlier generations. Today’s generation wants to work 9 to 5, and then move on to other things in their life. Their work does not define them. It just doesn’t work anymore for the Xbox and Google generation. “The answer is a shop pay plan based on salary with a built-in training/mentoring component. If people are salaried, the shop owner can then better control costs and work more efficiently. If they then control other overhead and productions costs and work more efficiently, they are better able to afford training and mentoring.” David Luehr, president and founder of Elite Body Shop Solutions, offered, “If a shop is only recruiting people with five-plus years of experience, it is convenient for the shop owner, but not necessarily the right way to do things. They might be missing out on some very talented people with less experience. Plus, those experienced people may have years of bad habits that have to be un-learned, whereas new people can


be taught the right way of making repairs and learn that shop’s way of doing things. It is easier to adopt a culture from scratch rather than unlearn one and re-learn another.” “On the question of money: Everyone has to eat, so a shop needs to set a pay schedule that is in line with the geographic area and type of work. “One of my favorite sayings is, ‘If you want to attract more people to your business, make your business more attractive.’ The newspaper and online ads that shops use today to attract people are the same ads that were used 40 years ago: ‘Wanted: Busy Shop Needs Experienced Collision Tech – Must Have Own Tools – Inquire at…’ How we advertise makes a difference. We have to tell prospective technicians why our shop is a better place to work. The current generation is driven not by a ‘hard work’ ethic but by more intangible things. They want a career path. They want a diversified work model; they don’t want to be stuck doing the same job for an interminable amount of time.” When asked if a shop’s labor rate affects its ability to afford to train and

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mentor a new tech, Luehr replied, “Of course labor rates are important, but it doesn’t tell the whole story of profitability. It’s more about a shop’s efficiency. I know shops that charge $45 an hour and are doing well and shops on the West Coast with a labor rate of $100 per hour that are hurting. If your work is sloppy and you spend a lot of time re-doing jobs, or you are wasteful with materials and don’t keep your overhead costs under control, you won’t have any money for anything other than keeping your head above water.” Bruce King, a former Massachusetts owner of five shops and current coach for Elite Body Shop Solutions, offered, “We used to hire detailers for $12 per hour and burned through a lot of people because not only was it a boring, repetitious job, but it didn’t pay well. We found a pizza shop down the street paying people $20 per hour just to deliver pizzas! Deliver pizzas! We then reassessed the job of detailer and how important it was. The body guys and painter may have done a great job on the repair, but if we deliver a dirty car to a customer, that’s all they see

and it is how the shop is rated. So we increased the pay scale and also developed a career path for that position. “I like hiring [millenials] because they are team-oriented; all they need is some training. One of the problems shops have is they hire techs as if they were independent contractors, and then they get angry when the tech starts acting like an independent contractor by coming and going as he pleases. It’s important that they know they are part of a team and what they do affects everyone else on the team. Each person has to do what is right for the team and for the mission. As a manager, this is what we have to get across. The problem is not the individual tech—it is how they are managed. Give the techs a mission and a path and set milestones.” Jeff Peevy, long-time executive with I-CAR and current president of the Automotive Management Institute (AMi), has dealt with training collision techs for years. He realizes, perhaps better than anyone, that this is a multi-faceted issue. “We need to look in the mirror and honestly face the reality that if we

do not sincerely and effectively address this issue, we will have a crisis that will cripple our industry in the very near future,” he said. “We need a willingness to work together for the greater good and recognize our industry’s success is tied to everyone. Individual efforts, though commendable, will struggle without industry-wide support and acceptance.” So … is there a “crisis of opportunity” as Josh Carlisle contends? It depends on the person with whom you discuss it, their perspective, and the degree to which the issue exists. Peevy perhaps sums it up best: “Our industry has not organized itself well enough as a whole to be competitive against other trades. We lack the industry-accepted structure around apprenticeship programs. Being an industry of small businesses, we inherit the usual small business challenges associated with offering the level of benefits to be competitive.” As of this writing, Peevy, who is also Collision Industry Conference chairman, vowed to bring up this issue at the next CIC meeting and make new-tech training and recruitment a priority for the industry.

WIN Calls for Board of Director Candidates The Women’s Industry Network® (WIN) is now accepting applications for seats on its board of directors. The board consists of representatives from various industry segments including (but not limited to) collision repair shops, distributors, suppliers, consultants, paint manufacturers, recyclers and insurance companies. Participants from all segments of the collision repair industry are welcome, the only requirement being that the applicants are WIN members in good standing. “Volunteering for board service is an outstanding opportunity to have continuous influence on our industry,” said Michelle Sullivan, WIN chair and chair of the Board Nominating Committee. “WIN is seeking members to apply for seats on our 2019 board as we continue to drive growth and success for the organization in the coming years.” The WIN board of directors provides overall strategic direction for WIN and is responsible for making policy decisions that execute WIN’s vision and mission. “Engaging at the board level See WIN Candidates, Page 66

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Industry Insight with John Yoswick

—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, 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 Contact him by email at

Committee Seeks to Build Industry Consensus Around Part-Type Definitions The confusion within the industry related to part-type definitions was evident at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) held in Palm Springs, CA, in January when a CIC committee walked attendees through a series of multiple-choice questions. It was a topic raised at the preceding CIC at a time when the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) was reiterating its rule that all parts must be identified only as new, used, rebuilt, reconditioned, OEM or non-OEM. The BAR has stated that the terms “alt-OE” or “opt-OE” are too unclear or inconsistently used

sion in the industry and is something the committee hopes to address in the coming year. The lack of consensus on parttype definitions became even more glaring when Weiss asked CIC attendees in which part category they would put: • A “surplus OEM part” (65 percent said they would label it “new OEM” while 15 percent said “aftermarket” and 17 percent said “other”) • A “blemished OEM part” (32 percent said “new OEM,” 20 percent said “used,” 16 percent said “reconditioned,” and 25 percent said “other”) • An “OEM take-off part or assembly” (56 percent said “used,” while 27 percent said “new OEM”).

CIC committee chairman Ken Weiss led attendees through a series of questions that demonstrated a lack of consensus within the industry about parts-type definitions

and therefore cannot be listed on customer estimates or invoices in that state without providing additional information about such parts, including what warranty they carry. To demonstrate the lack of consistency among part types within the industry, Ken Weiss, the new chairman of the CIC “Parts and Materials Committee,” asked the more than 250 people at the Palm Springs meeting whether an OEM part “must come in branded OEM packaging,” and 81 percent of respondents agreed that it did. But he also asked if that OEM part can be sourced only through one of that OEM’s branded dealers, and only 40 percent agreed that it did. (Most automakers in the past have said OEM parts can only be purchased through one of their dealers.) Weiss said the nearly 50-50 split over where OEM parts can be sourced is somewhat emblematic of the confu64

How about an OEM’s private label part, Weiss asked, such as a BMW part engineered by Bosch for BMW and sold in a Bosch box? CIC attendees were about evenly split on whether they would categorize that part as “new OEM” or “aftermarket.” About half of CIC attendees agreed with the statement that “optOEM” is a “catch-all part-type description to avoid labeling a part as aftermarket,” but 30 percent of CIC attendees weren’t aware that “optOEM” (along with “alt-OEM or “surplus-OEM”) can’t be used on customer estimates or invoices under California BAR regulations. “What I’m trying to underscore is there is confusion. There is not a consensus in the industry,” Weiss said. “Different platforms should not be using different terminology to describe identical part types. We need, as industry partners, to get together and come up with clear definitions that the industry accepts [so] we at least understand what a part is.” That process, he said, will require the involvement of shops, insurers, parts suppliers and the estimating and parts platform providers. Anyone interested in participating in the CIC committee (which holds conference


calls in between CIC quarterly meetings) can sign up at the CIC website ( Downsides to Not Accessing OEM Information Directly Two other presentations at industry meetings held in Palm Springs offered examples of some of the potential limitations of relying on aftermarket scan tools or sources of OEM procedures other than the automaker’s own information websites. Speaking at CIC, Greg Potter of the Equipment and Tool Institute outlined how the organization conducts its primary function as a conduit of technical data from the automakers to the independent aftermarket (primarily aftermarket scan tool-makers). It is the frequency with which that data is provided by some automakers that could be a concern to those seeking the latest information.

“Some manufacturers provide us data about six times a year,” Potter said. “Some manufacturers provide us a single year’s packet of data each year.”

Greg Potter of the Equipment and Tool Institute said some automakers share updated technical data—used by aftermarket scan tools—as infrequently as once a year

That indicates that some changes made by a manufacturer could take up to another year to reach those using aftermarket scan tools. Other poten-

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tial shortcomings are in the process as well. “When we receive all this data, we have no idea whether what we receive from a manufacturer is complete,” Potter said. “Nobody really knows that until they have to implement it and make it work. So we let our members know there’s new data provided by, say, Acme Car Company. They will access the information that they need to repurpose into their databases and implement into their scan tools, and they will always find missing pieces. So they come back to us and say, ‘We can’t find information on this controller,’ or ‘We can’t find this routine,’ and we go back to the manufacturer and say there are some things missing. They find it and provide it to us and we upload it. So it’s a constant process we do with the manufacturers all year round.” Insufficient Information in Estimating System The other example of possible limitations of third-party providers of OEM information was shared by Montana shop owner Matthew McDonnell during the Society of Colli-


sion Repair Specialists’ (SCRS) open board meeting held in Palm Springs. McDonnell, an SCRS board member, said his shop recently repaired a 2017 Toyota Highlander that

Montana shop owner Matthew McDonnell said he found insufficient OEM repair information in one of the estimating systems

involved replacing the dogleg on the quarter panel. The shop used the Mitchell International system to prepare the estimate and access the Toyota repair procedures incorporated into Mitchell’s system. [General Motors will be similarly incorporating its repair procedures into the Mitchell system.] The issue? McDonnell said the Toyota procedures available through Mitchell included “maybe about 20


percent” of what was needed. “We were able to pull about four OEM documents related to the full quarter-panel replacement, but what we couldn’t pull was the corrosion protection [procedures], the foam location and installation and the safety inspection information after a collision,” McDonnell said. He said all of the Toyota information for the job they did download through the Mitchell system was at least six months old, and some was as much as a year old. The shop was able to locate the additional information needed through Toyota’s website, but McDonnell said the “bill-payer” on the job questioned the amount of time the shop spent on OEM research for information that the insurer presumed “was just a click of a button” away within the Mitchell system. “We have spent a lot of time [using] the OEM websites, and I feel that is the most accurate and up-todate source that we can find,” McDonell said.

Continued from Page 63

WIN Candidates is an outstanding way to advance our industry and guide the success of WIN while building leadership skills, business acumen and invaluable industry relationships,” said Jenny Anderson, a member of the current board and the Board Nominating Committee. Each year, the board updates its strategic plan and each member contributes to the execution of that plan. The volunteer board members work together to foster an environment that encourages the recruitment, retention, education and networking of women in the collision repair industry. New board members will begin their term and be introduced to the organization at large at the 2019 Educational Conference, May 6–8 at the Westin in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The deadline for applications is Feb. 28. For application requirements and further details, please visit www.womensindustrynetwork .com. Completed applications should be emailed to michelle.sullivan@

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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance technical writer from Wilmington, Delaware, who writes on a variety of fields and subjects, and grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. She can be contacted at

Women in Auto and Collision Holds 1st Meeting of 2019 On Jan. 15, Women in Auto and Collision (WAC) held its first meeting of 2019 at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, MO. The meeting was hosted by Department Chair John Helterbrand and featured a presentation by guest speaker Chazzerene Howard, a Ranken collision student. Dinner was sponsored by Meramec Heights Collision. According to WAC President Shelly Jones, “We learned about Ranken’s automotive & collision program and received a tour. We also announced WAC’s new mission statement and discussed our goal to enhance our booth presence at career fairs.”

WAC met on Jan. 15 to discuss the group’s plans for 2019 at Ranken Technical College

WAC’s mission statement was simplified to “Industry professionals promoting automotive careers.” Jones shared, “Our mission statement was changed to be more reflective of the group of people that we have as members and to open the group to all opportunities to promote all segments of the automotive industry. This is a women-led group that has a membership of women and men from a wide range of companies and roles within the industry. These industry advocates collaborate on how to engage and attract talent.

“WAC is moving into 2019 with flexibility and growth in mind. This year, we will continue to grow our membership and tailor it so that professionals can float in and out as time allows. We are finding that our mission speaks to many, but time is a barrier. In 2019, we want to make certain that members know that they are welcome to join, whether they participate in one meeting or all the meetings and events. To encourage continued growth, we made the announcement that our annual individual membership will be $50 in 2019.” WAC also discussed the goal of enhancing the association’s presence at career fairs. “We currently have tools of the trade, a mannequin dressed in a paint suit and gear, career opportunity fliers, and WAC members to engage the youth and start conversations,” Jones explained. “Our next step is to have eye-catching statements and interactive activities that will draw students and their parents to the table. We are sourcing virtual equipment as an exciting way for young people to test out the technical aspects of the industry.” The group also discussed sponsorship levels for 2019. Sheena Wagner, WAC sponsor coordinator, thanked current corporate sponsors and announced new sponsors. “It is exciting to have reps of many of these companies participate in our meetings. Sheena has worked hard to share our mission and build a sponsor base,” Jones stated. “WAC

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Secretary Kelle Oeste has also been vital to this initiative of bringing in new sponsors. Between the two of them, we have added sponsorships from Kent Automotive, Vintage Air and Eckler’s Automotive Parts Wholesale Division in the last few weeks.” WAC announced that the St. Louis School-Business Partnership has invited the association to participate in an annual conference in February, the theme of which will be “Shaping the Talent of Tomorrow.” Jones noted, “Typically, they host 75–100 educators and industry members, and nearly all school districts in St. Louis County are represented. Julie Hemann, WAC treasurer, and I are honored to be invited to sit on a panel in a breakout session on Promoting

Nontraditional Careers.” Finally, WAC announced that the group’s website has officially been launched under the guidance of WAC Vice President Jess Crump. Events, meetings, articles and Gold level sponsors will be added to the website going forward as the association strives to keep members and visitors informed. WAC will host its next meeting on Feb. 19 at North Tech High School at noon with senior students in attendance. Jason Buchheit, collision instructor, will be hosting the event and will provide lunch. This will be WAC’s first lunch meeting. If it is well-attended, WAC will consider adding more lunch meetings throughout the year. For more information about WAC, visit the association’s new website at

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Solving the Tech Shortage: AR Collision Repair Instructor Calls Out to Industry: ‘Please Employ My Students’ by Stacey Phillips

Autobody News Invites Your Input It should come as no surprise to hear that across the country, collision repair shop owners and managers are facing a shared challenge: how and where to find new technicians. With baby boomers retiring and vehicle repairs becoming more and more complex, there is a need to address this growing problem now more than ever. Autobody News is embarking on a new approach to sharing some of the ideas to solve this problem by starting a monthly column dedicated to solving the tech shortage. We invite your input and look forward to hearing about the creative ways your businesses are finding, training and hiring technicians. Whether it’s through a co-op program, apprenticeship, job-shadowing program, workplace training program, mentorships or other methods, it’s important to share ideas and start the conversation.

In Jonesboro, AR, Jeff Smith has seen this problem first-hand as a collision repair instructor at the Northeast Arkansas Career and Technical Center. The school serves 13 high schools in the area and has ap-

to be paid above minimum wage once they graduate. However, he has found that the body shops don’t have the necessary liability insurance to cover someone under 18. As a result, he said he is losing a lot of passionate auto body students to local factory jobs simply because the wages are higher than what the auto body shops are offering. With the overwhelming shortage of technicians in the collision repair industry, Smith said something must be done to reverse this trend. If the students had more experience before graduating, he said he is convinced they could earn a more competiChandler Allison (2018 National SkillsUSA Competition) tive wage at the shops and proximately 50–60 students per se- have the ability to pursue their dreams mester who take part in the collision and positively impact the current technician shortage. repair program each year. Smith recently reached out to Over the course of his career, Smith has attempted to find work for Autobody News to share some of his his students at local body shops thoughts about what is currently hapwhile they’re still in high school so pening in the industry and his recomthey can gain the experience needed mendations to solve this dilemma.

After working as a collision repair instructor for the last six years, what have you found?


The students in my class are between the ages of 16–18 and want to work in a body shop while still in high school, but they can’t due to their age. By the time they’re out of school, the body shops are only offering $10 an hour for entry-level jobs, while local factories are offering $13-$18 an hour, so they choose to take those jobs. If they received the experience needed parttime at a body shop while still in high school, I’m sure they could negotiate a higher rate after graduation. I’m finding that body shops don’t want to risk hiring someone under 18 due to liability issues (if someone were to get hurt), yet they admit they aren’t finding the skilled technicians they need. I’ve had several students who would have been excellent entrylevel collision repair technicians. Instead, our collision centers in town are competing with manufacturing


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companies because they offer higher wages in the factories nearby. We’re losing the best of the best—the kids who want to work in the collision repair industry. I have spoken with a handful of shop owners in our town, which has a population of approximately 75,000, and they have all told me that they are in need of new technicians. They have also said they are willing to train someone to do the work that needs to be done.

If we could get these high school students in a shop working part-time, then I believe that we would have a much better chance of retaining our hardworking students in the collision repair industry. Once they reach out to our competition, I believe we will continue to lose a large portion of our future technicians.


What do you think shops can do to help address this prob-

lem? To help address this growing issue, I believe we need to begin offering students between 16–18 years old apprenticeships in a certified collision repair program in the shops. We also need to find out more about shopkeeper insurance offered to cover workers of a certain age. In my opinion, for those shops looking for technicians, owners may be able to begin taking the vocational tech students who are trained and available and put them to work as apprentices or interns. While


Chandler Allison, student

The problem that I am running into is that no one knows if they are able to cover students under the age of 18 with the insurance currently available.

these automotive students are still in high school, employers are competing with fast food restaurants, grocery stores and retail stores.

going to gain experience and most likely come to work full-time when they graduate. I love what I do, and I love to see my students be successful. Unfortunately, until I can get students working, my failures seem to be passed on to my students. I will continue to search for a program where I can put my high school students to work through the summer, after school or through work study.

Autobody News wants to know: Is this happening in your area of the country? (l to r) Austin Bennett, Eli Hickman, students at Northeast Do you know of any shops Arkansas Career and Technical Center in Jonesboro, AR that can hire students who Apprenticeship pay would be are under 18 years old, and if yes, is much more competitive with this there workplace insurance available type of employer than it will be once in the event of something happening my students graduate and the com- to an underage worker? petition in my area becomes manufacturing positions. It’s no wonder Together, we can work to solve this problem with your feedback. Please we are losing technicians every day. If we are able to find work for contact Autobody News columnist these students who have an interest in Stacey Phillips at sphillips.autobody the collision repair industry, they are / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Day Job/Night Job

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at

with Ed Attanasio

Fledgling Auto Body Technician is Well-Known, Dedicated Bagpiper Kristopher Muse, a metal technician at Mike’s Auto Body, is only 25, but he has been playing the bagpipes for 14 years and is a member of one of the largest nationally acclaimed bagpipe bands in the country. Muse joined the Prince Charles Pipe Band (PCPB) in South San Francisco, CA, when he was only 11. J.W. Bill Merriman, former member of the City of San Francisco Caledonian Pipe Band, taught him the art of bagpiping. The band, which began with a small number of students, has

In February 2017, Kristopher Muse graduated from Mike’s Auto Body’s training program in Antioch, CA, and is currently working at the company's Vallejo, CA, location as a metal technician

trained approximately 500 pipers and drummers and has been competing in the U.S., Canada and Scotland for more than 50 years. To be a good metal technician and excel as a piper, Muse knows training is the only way to get there. “To fix a car properly, you have to be thinking and multi-tasking all the time, and playing the pipes is very similar,” he said. “We have to memorize the music, and there are a lot of different things going on when I’m piping.” In February 2017, Muse graduated from Mike’s Auto Body’s training program in Antioch, CA. He is currently working at the MSO’s Vallejo, CA, location as a metal technician. “To complete the training program at Mike’s, I went through a lot of classroom instruction along with performing hands-on repairs on metal, plastic, panel removal and vehicle construction on salvaged vehicles. After I completed the program, I had already earned I-CAR Training Pro Level 1, and I am now also fully 72

Car-O-Liner-certified. The director of the program is Lupe Algood, who is an amazing teacher who sets up all his students for ongoing success in this industry.” Since Muse’s graduation from the program, Algood has watched him progress within the company. “When he entered the program, he didn’t know much about cars, but he has worked hard to learn the trade, and his focus is incredible,” Algood said. “He is a hard worker and stands out for his commitment to the company and the craft.” After graduation, Muse went through Mike’s Auto Body’s mentoring program, shadowing journeyman techs and learning the trade by doing it all himself. “It’s great working with someone who knows what they’re doing,” he said. “I’ve had two amazing mentors, Jim Dowton and Gary Bissitt, who are awesome teachers. I am currently working with Gary at Mike’s Vallejo location, and I learn something new every day. In three or four years, I hope to become a journeyman technician and continue on this path.” Muse plays the bagpipes at a wide range of events, including the Benevolence car giveaways that Mike’s Auto Body holds every year. His connection to the instrument goes way back, he said. “My grandmother Jean is from Manchester, England, and some of my ancestors are Scottish, so I believe that piping is in my blood,” Muse said. “My grandma introduced me to the bagpipes, and we would play them along with records. Two of my great uncles played pipes in the Black Watch, the famous Royal Highland Regiment. I was 11 when I started taking one-on-one lessons before being able to play with the PCPB during practices held on Sundays.” A big highlight for Muse’s piping career took place when he competed in the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland as part of the Prince Charles Pipe Band. This iconic event was first held in 1906. The annual Cowal Highland


Gathering attracts more than 220 bands from 15 different countries, and the winners are recognized as world champions. “We were up against the best in the world, and it was a big thrill,” Muse said. “We did not make it to the qualifiers, but we’re talking about going back next year. It was a great learning experience.”

Muse is a member of the Prince Charles Pipe Band, an organization that has trained approximately 500 pipers and drummers and has been competing in the U.S., Canada and Scotland for more than 50 years

Excelling at playing the bagpipes isn’t easy. “You blow into the blowpipe to fill the bag, which you then apply

pressure to with your arm to squeeze the air out of the three drones and the Chanter,” Muse said. “While air is flowing through them, the drones and chanter each emit sound. Your hands go on the chanter, and that’s the part that plays the melody.” One bagpipe teacher remarked online that playing the bagpipes is trying to “keep a hole-filled bag inflated while also carrying a chair on your shoulder, marching around in a kilt, and keeping your fingers moving.” As a piper in popular demand, Muse constantly plays at parades, band competitions, corporate gigs, funerals and other events as a band member or solo act. He knows at least 40 songs by heart but will play some of the more well-known ones if requested, including “Amazing Grace,” “When the Battle is Over,” “Green Hills of the Tyrol” and “Scotland the Brave.”



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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance technical writer from Wilmington, Delaware, who writes on a variety of fields and subjects, and grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. She can be contacted at

New ASA Executive Director Ray Fisher Shares His Goals for the Industry



make sure our feeds are available to members and the industry. We represent our members, and in turn, we represent the industry. I’m really excited about the things we have coming and like to use my passion and background to ask the challenging questions, look at the future and prepare for it.”

Turning to ASA’s legislative initiatives, Fisher discussed Washington, DC Representative Bob Redding’s work to ensure OEM procedures are used as a proper source of information. There will also be legislative

focus on telematics and who owns that information. Fisher stressed, “We have to make sure we have access for different technologies and also that we look at OEM procedures. We have to make sure we are at the table and having conversations with manufacturers and legislators. It’s important that we have legislative representation for our industry, and Bob is invaluable in D.C.” In addition to legislation, training is a vital component to ASA providing members with what they need to be successful. While the details have not been completely ironed out yet, Fisher plans to deliver more content going forward that will hit every aspect of the automotive business. ASA will also continue to host monthly webinars. Fisher stressed, “I am all about See Ray Fisher Shares, Page 90

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Recently appointed Automotive Serv- becoming its executive director in ice Association (ASA) Executive Di- 2010. He recounted some of the sucrector Ray Fisher held a press cesses that the affiliate saw under his conference on Thursday, Jan. 10 to leadership, especially on the legislaprovide some information on his tive front. As Fisher transitions into plans and goals as he transitions into his role in Texas, he will also be rephis new leadership responsibilities. resenting ASA-MI for the next sev“I’m excited to bring my back- eral months while the group figures ground into this role, and I’m very out how to restructure some of its afgrateful for the opportunity,” Fisher filiates. stated. “We definitely want to engage Expressing gratitude for the our membership more. We want to lis- support he has received, Fisher exten to our members and provide ven- plained, “I plan to carry that passion ues for quicker availability. All facets and challenge forward for the naof the industry across the globe are tional group. We are only going to be caught in different demographics and successful if we engage our memberattempting to reach their constituents. ship. Joining a country club doesn’t We plan to utilize different mediums make you a better tennis player, but and platforms to reach ASA’s mem- it gives you an opportunity to get inbership. My main goal is to represent volved and improve your game. We my customer; our memberneed member shops to get ships are our customers, and involved and improve their it’s important that we repregame. sent them well.” “ASA is focused on givFisher emphasized the ing back to the industry. association’s focus on its Everything we do will be mission statement: to enbased on our membership’s hance the professionalism Ray Fisher stepped drive and needs. I like to be into the role of ASA of the industry. proactive and use the windexecutive director in shield, not the rearview mir“I believe our industry January 2019 is made up of a bunch of proror. Education and training fessionals, and ASA represents that are what make us all better.” professional group,” he said. “That Fisher elaborated on how his was our foundation in 1951 and con- role with the affiliate chapter led to tinues to be today. We plan to take his involvement with the national orthat into 2019 and listen to our mem- ganization. bership, enhancing our interactions “The affiliates represent the local and communications through various members and work hard to bring local platforms.” programs to their region, chapter or Looking at the long-term plans state,” he said. “They are vital to defor the association, Fisher acknowl- livering our message because the edged that ASA’s board of directors quicker we get the message out, the has developed a strategic plan that better we all are. We plan to revisit the will be reviewed over the first quar- affiliate model to determine how to ter of this year. best help them succeed and enhance “The board works very hard for that for everyone. ASA’s success is the association,” Fisher praised. “I based on affiliates representing their cannot say enough about how hard areas well, and we also plan to exthese volunteers work and all they’ve plore how we can reach areas where done over the past months to fill the we don’t currently have affiliates.” role I’m transitioning into.” When asked about changes ASA Fisher then discussed some of may see under his leadership, Fisher the experiences that took place dur- stated, “We are working diligently to ing his 20+ years working in dealer- be more interactive and more timeships and management roles before friendly. We plan to utilize Facebook joining ASA-Michigan in 2004 and Live going forward and to constantly

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In Reverse

Gary Ledoux is an industry veteran with 48 years’ experience in the automotive and OEM collision parts industry. His column appears exclusively in Autobody News. He can be reached at

with Gary Ledoux

The 1960s – The Collision Repair Industry Gets a Voice Each month, collision industry trade magazines provide readers with a glimpse of the industry at that point in time. Each issue is a microcosm of an entire ecosystem of repairers, estimators, adjusters, shop owners and managers, paint suppliers, parts suppliers, equipment suppliers, consultants, trainers and all the other people who help keep the industry running. They provide a “voice” to the industry that few other mediums can. From the end of WWII to the early 1960s, the collision repair industry grew exponentially—but the entire industry was in the dark! Nobody knew what was going on within the industry. Yes, there were associations, such as the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association, that communicated their information to their constituents, but this was on a local or regional level. People in

Miami had no idea what was going on in Los Angeles and vice-versa. And then—there was a light! Already a magazine publisher, Emil Stanley started something that would eventually do more to bring the industry together and help it coalesce than anything else in the 60-plus years that people had been repairing fenders. In September 1962, Stanly introduced Volume 1, Number 1 of Auto Body News and Good Car Care magazine, believed to be the first nationally distributed collision industry trade journal. Finally, the industry had a “voice.” The monthly circulation was 45,000. (At the time, depending on your source, there were about 80,000 shops in the country.) The opening article stated, “The business of auto body rebuilding and appearance maintenance is a growing industry in itself. No auto body publication ex-

ists today that supplies staff-created news and features according to the ABN formula. A number of publications carry limited auto body sections or departments treating auto body work in a ‘fringe’ manner. ABN is a specific auto body publication for the specific auto body market and provides leadership and readership in a proven formula of ABN’s several companion publications, all in the automotive industry.” A letter from a body shop owner published in the following issue stated, “Wonderful idea, this magazine. For years, we’ve needed such a circulation. I’m so happy to see a publisher cater to [us] fender-benders.” It wasn’t long before “Letters to the Editor” started appearing on a regular basis. If subscribers read nothing but the Letters to the Editor page, they could experience a microcosm of the entire industry on a single page. It

was a place where everyone in the industry could air a grievance—not just body shops. As collision repair publications do today, the magazine carried articles about current trends, IGO and other association news, technical articles and articles about how to be more profitable. In the seeming absence of today’s I-CAR, AMI and other collision industry training, S.M. “Silvie” Licitra, ABN editorial director, started a multi-installment course on “Auto Damage Insurance Adjustment.” One of the first articles that appeared in this magazine was titled “Body Restoration – A Profession.” It stated in part, “Time was (not so many years ago) when a dinging hammer and block , a metal rasp and body solder could produce fairly good results, even in the hands of the average garage mechanics. Those





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were the days of easy-to-get-at- fenders, straight panel sections, and smoothly flowing contours—when there was little under the hood but a simple engine, unencumbered by with the modern maze of filters, gadgets and accessories that fill every available space. Today’s master of body rebuilding must be a practical diagnostician, with the delicate touch of a surgeon, plus the skill of a practical mechanic. The blending, preparation, and application of modern paints is something acquired only by long experience with the aid of proper equipment. Verily, today’s auto body craftsman no longer is ‘just a body mechanic.’ He’s a skilled artisan—a professional. And his business is a profession!” The editors of ABN noted that they would not display any “cheesecake” advertising, showing “shapely female legs” or “scantily clothed” women, as was the norm in automotive advertising at the time. They wanted a magazine that could be read by “the whole family” and be welcome in anyone’s home. A short article called for better corrosion protection, used by the

OEs at the factory and made available to refinishers. This was due to the increased amount of salt used on roads in snow-belt areas. Another article noted, “Among the strongest allies of the independent shops are manufacturers of replacement body panels and other items available through independent automotive wholesalers. Such suppliers and independent insurance companies are the reasons independent shops are still in business.” This was true because the magazine was loaded with ads from different manufacturers of replacement body panels. Another article noted three classifications of work for today’s body shop: 1.) Customer-paid work, for which the customer generally wants goodquality work and is “not afraid to pay for it.” 2.) Work generated by independent insurance companies that want work done as cheaply as possible, pitting shops against one another on price, issuing a check to the vehicle owner

and leaving the owner to his/her own devices for repair, and 3.) The so-called “captives.” These were cars financed and insured by the car manufacturer. They usually ended up at dealer-owned body shops. This deepened the rift that already existed between independent shops and dealer-owned shops. In the days before computers and the mountains of statistics we have today, an article promoting maintenance, vehicle-painting and restoration for older cars stated that this type of work is necessary to generate profits because the collision repair customers are generally “one-time patrons.” It was unknown at that time that statistically, a person is going to be in an accident periodically. Another article encouraged shops to intermix their own paint, as opposed to buying factory-packaged paint from the local jobber or allowing the jobber to mix it. The article claimed that it is more profitable and efficient for even a small shop to intermix its own paint. Depending on the workload for the paint mixer at the local job-

ber, a shop could wait half a day for a mixed pint of paint. Arco Paints, the paint and chemical division of the Martin Marietta Company, was one of only two paint manufacturers advertising in this first collision industry magazine. The other paint manufacturer was Rinshed-Mason Company. An advertisement placed by the Equipment and Tool Institute of Kalamazoo, MI, asked, “Why service today’s cars with equipment and tools born in the ‘50s?” The ad invited shops to upgrade their tools and equipment to meet the needs of modern cars and replace tools that were worn or outdated. Today, there are several collision trade journals serving the industry, each with its own special twist. Autobody News is unique in the industry because it offers local news and information but with a national flavor in both paper and digital media, providing a great service to readers and advertisers. As you browse through this issue of Autobody News, consider what Emil Stanley started almost 60 years ago ... and thanks for being an Autobody News subscriber.

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Media and Publicity for Shops

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at

with Ed Attanasio

Team-Building Events Make Your Business Better on Many Levels In the old days, they were called retreats: A group of employees would meet at a hotel and go out in the woods or up in the mountains to bond, and the really smart people would figure a way out of it. Now, however, they’re called team-building activities, and more and more companies, including body shops, are holding several every year for their staff. Some employers are saying good-bye to the traditional company events and replacing them with team-building activities, removing the possibility of employees getting drunk and making a scene at the company holiday party or getting hurt by trying to be a hero at the company softball game. Some shops hire motivational speakers to inspire their crew. One MSO in northern California takes all of its employees on a three-day cruise. As the team-building event industry has grown, companies have created activities with names like Mr. Treasure Hunt, Paint Night, Parties that Cook, Laser Quest and Mystery by Design, among others. Loni Amato, president of Ingenious Solutions in Sacramento, CA, has helped the company’s clients discover team-building activities that match their goals and company mission. “Team-building is the process of turning a group of a company’s employees into a cohesive team by doing interesting and entertaining things together,” Amato said. “After participating in team-building activities together, employees can better understand one another’s strengths, weaknesses and interests. We have discovered that these events improve productivity while increasing motivation, collaboration and communication. When people spend time with each other away from the workplace, they start trusting each other more and get positive reinforcement from each other.” Here are some popular and affordable team-building activities that usually require one full day or an evening of your employees’ time. Some of these have different names 80

depending on your location, but you should be able to find these types of events no matter where you are. Paint Nights are more popular now than ever before because they provide a great opportunity for bonding through art. No painting experience is required as a performing artist teaches your crew how to paint an image that they get to take home while enjoying food and refreshments. Mr. Treasure Hunt is a city-wide scavenger hunt that stresses problemsolving and teamwork with clues, puzzles and races. Urban Putt features 14 different mini-golf courses for groups of any size, including food and libations. Some other shops host kart racing, fake mountain-climbing at a climbing gym or even bungee jumping, but make sure everyone signs a release form before embarking. Adventure Challenge courses, consisting of cables, ladders, ropes and other obstacles, provide physical, emotional and mental challenges together to build a stronger team. The Go-Game is an app that makes team-building easy and convenient and can be done in or out of the office. Mystery by Design is a great way to build your crew while solving a mystery! With more than 20 intriguing plots, your employees can get into character and let their imaginations take over. Matt McDonnell, the forwardthinking owner of Big Sky Collision Center in Billings, MT, truly believes that team-building activities help his employees become smarter, healthier and more engaged on many levels, he said. One of McDonnell’s most popular team-building events is a book club, which shows you don’t even have to leave the building to get your people involved. “Every Monday, we meet to discuss a book for one hour. The club is always well-attended,” McDonnell said. “The first book we read was ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie, and we can


see that some of our people are now using some of the theories outlined in the book. We also read ‘Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demand of Reality’ by Dr. Henry Cloud, and now we’re reading ‘Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depends on It’ by Chris Voss. We pay for the books and buy the coffee, and it turns out to be a great experience with at least half of our employees involved. Some of our people have told us that these are the first books they’ve read since high school, so the club gets their creative juices going, and it helps them with their jobs.” Another team-building and selfimprovement vehicle that McDonnell uses every day involves physical exercise, he said. “I built a CrossFit gym in our basement, and we have a few workout groups consisting of 10–12 people who go down there daily,” he

said. “We encourage them to get in shape, and several of our employees have lost a ton of weight and turned their lives around by working out during business hours. Our motto here is ‘Look better, feel better and perform better,’ and this gym is a big part of that.” Five days a week, Big Sky Collision Center engages its employees in activities that build a better crew and enrich their lives. “We have estimator training, captain’s meetings, customer service training and negotiating schools, and we do it all in-house. We are making our people better through these classes, and the investment has paid itself back in many ways,” he said.



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Hey Toby! with Toby Chess

Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, Training specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his work with first responders and advocacy for body shops and consumers. He can be reached at

Kool Tools: SEMA 2018 It’s that time of the year again (sixth changes from pink to green. Green year in a row) for the article that all of means that the material is properly you in the collision world have been catalyzed and ready for sanding. waiting for—Kool Tools of Moreover, the filler has a SEMA 2018. longer work time than tradiAgain, Kye Yeung and tional body filler and will I walked the floors of adhere to virtually all subSEMA looking for those strates you will encounter in KOOL TOOLS, but this the body shop. More inforyear we added class to the mation on this item can be team: SCRS board member found at Amber Alley Amber Alley. She brought /optex. a whole new dimension to our team. As in the past, we purchased My next Kool Tool is from UNI-RAM most of the items that were tested. The Uni-Ram 300 is a moderately We did not purchase the two Nitro- priced sanding station. The ON / OFF gen generation welders (Polyvance control at the sander automatically and Dent Fix) and the measuring device from Car-O-Liner—but more on those items later. So let’s get started with the first item from Tru Flex Sander These sanders take a 2½ “stick it” sander paper. The sander follows the contour of the part you are sanding but only flexes in a convex or contour

shape, depending on the sander type. With car makers adding a lot of crazy shapes to their sheet metal in today’s cars, these sanders are a must. They can be reached at http://www.truflex My next item is from Evercoat ITW Evercoat won the SEMA New Product Award for Collision Repair & Refinish. This plastic filler’s color

turns the powerful vacuum on and off to collect dust and debris. Sanders store neatly on the “Y” posts. Posts can be placed on the steel pegboard to neatly store disc sandpaper. You should consider having sanding stations in the shop for several reasons. The first and foremost is the safety of your employees. The bondo dust is captured and collected in a container instead of floating around the shop. EPA rules now want all bondo dust collected and disposed of in accordance with its rules. Lastly, the shop is kept a lot cleaner. For more info, go to http://www The next item is from Car-O-Liner This is called Point X II from Car-OLiner. It is an electronic measuring device for damage analysis. The lightweight, efficient, easy-to-use measuring arm, combined with Car-O-Data,



gives you an affordable measuring system that allows you to accurately and quickly target measuring points.

I know it looks like a digital tram gauge, and you are right, but it also measures from underneath the vehicle three-dimensionally. When I first saw this, I was very skeptical about it measuring three-dimensionally. However, after trying it out, it really does work. You locate 3 point under the center section of the vehicle, which is outlined in the computer program. The unit has a built-in leveling unit and makes calculations to set up a datum plane. Once that center section is established, you use the Car-O-Liner data to make your meas-

urements. Besides underneath the vehicle, you can measure door openings, engine compartment points and the truck area (Car-O-Liner data has all these point-to-point measurements in its software). Once the vehicle is measured, you can print out your measurement via a blue tooth. I want to emphasize that this unit does not take the place of a vehicle measuring system. More info can be found at point-xii. Next up is dent-pulling using a glue gun Kye and I looked at three companies: Keco, Dent Fix and Pro Spot have excellent glue tab pulling systems. Why glue tabs? With vehicle manufacturers utilizing more highstrength and ultra high-strength steels and aluminum in today’s vehicles, repair standards are becoming increas-




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ingly high. The Glue Tab Kit is another tool that can be used today to meet OEM standards and produce quality dent-pulling results.

Keco has some very good videos on its website that demo all of its products. Keco can reached at https:// Pro Spot International can be reached at /glue-kit and Dent Fix Corp can be reached at paintless-dent-repair. Want to speed up the removal of sealant, adhesive and paint? You will like this tool from Monti.

With angled heads that allow you to progressively turn fasteners and fittings in confined spaces, Tekton’s

15/30 degree wrench

Keco Glue Gun

Dent Fix

Bristle Blaster® removes corrosion, coatings, scale and adhesive residues. Grit blasting alternative surface preparation grade comparable with Sa 2½ up to Sa 3 per ISO 8501-1 roughness levels up to 120 µm Rz fast, flexible and cost-effective to use and it is ideal for spot repairs, touch-up work and preparing welds. Their stainless steel brushes are recommended for aluminum vehicles because they will not cause galvanic corrosion. Available from Kent Automotive at The next company is Tekton I was walking in the Westgate Hotel section where many companies new to SEMA start out when I came across this tool manufacturer. Being a wannabe gear head, I gravitated to the tools just to look. Greg Johnson was manning the booth and demonstrated his unique open-end wrench that was 30/60 degrees instead of the standard 15/30 degree wrench.


The next company introduced a new welder at SEMA Miller Electric showed off its new 220 AC/DC. This welder has a wide range of capabilities, welding up to ⅜” steel (24 gauge) and ⅜” aluminum (18 gauge) with your MIG gun. For DC stick welding, the Multimatic 220 can handle 16 gauge ⅜” steel, and the AC/DC TIG option can work with 24 gauge steel or alu-

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What I liked about hot-gluing the tabs was that there is no heat that will destroy the OEM-applied corrosion protection on the exterior and interior panels being repaired. The hot glues they are utilizing today will allow a technician to repair larger and stronger damage on both aluminum and steel panels. All three companies have a wide range of pulling tabs, but the one I liked the best is call “viper”. It allows techs to build their own pulling tab to fit any oddly shaped dent.

30/60 degree angle head wrenches will continue to work without disconnecting or dismantling equipment to access tight spots. Their next item was their 16piece screwdriver set—16 slotted Phillips screwdrivers for under $50. Instead of chrome-plating the shafts (very high add-on expense), the company elected to use a higher grade steel. The handles are extremely comfortable in the hand. A nice added touch is the type of screwdriver embossed on the top of the handle. The last item from Tekton was its off-set bent ratchet.

This ratchet has a 90-tooth gear, which produces a working swing arc of just 4 degrees. It costs less than $30 (I saw a German-made one with a price tag over $140).

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minum that are up to ¼” thick. You can now weld TIG in your shop and around vehicles without worrying about those nasty high frequency waves.

shielding gas and allows for a contaminant-free weld with less smoke, which creates a stronger weld. Dent

two companies. These are bumper rollers from Polyvance, which are used to push out dents in bumpers These are bumper pliers from Polyvance and are used in conjunc-

Let’s look at another type of welder: Nitrogen Plastic Welder.

Polyvance 680 GC

Polyvance 680 GC

What is unique about these two welders is, you guessed it: a nitrogen bottle is not needed. In other words, these machines make their own nitrogen. Why nitrogen welding? A nitrogen hot air welder uses compressed nitrogen gas to eliminate oxygen from the weld area. The nitrogen acts as a

Fix can be reached at https://www and Polyvance at I want to look at a couple of other bumper repair tools from these

Think Genuine Subaru Parts.

tion with the plastic welders for repairing bumper slots—a necessary tool for working on side bumper slots. This is a hand seamer from Dent Fix that is used to flatten out the plastic being repaired so the repair is the same thickness as the surrounding plastic part.


My next tool is from Power Probe This electronic tool allows the tech to search for opens and shorts. You energize the circuits, and a hand-held device will allow the tech to zero in on the problem. With more and more devices on today’s car, there are more wires to operate them and a better chance that these wires will be damaged in an accident. The cost of this unit is about $200. The website has a great video that can be accessed at


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The following dealerships are eager to serve your needs. Call your local Subaru collision parts specialist today! 86


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Rolling on, my next tool is from Dent Fix These are door skin pliers. There are specialized pads for either side of the door. The inner pad spreads the

Astro Pneumatic Looking for a great color match light for under $150? Well, here it is. Dual color temperatures, quickly

Steck MFG This is a retainer clip release tool.

• Slides between molding and panel to access expansion ears and release clip from the outside. • Spring steel design provides flexibility to reach tight areas and strength to release clip.

clamping force, and the cushioned outer pad prevents paint marring. Go to

switch from warm to cool ultra-high quality color matching light. Warmwhite 4500k for lighter color paints, and for darker paint use cool-white 6000K, which provides cooler light without being blue. It has a collapsible, 360-degree rotating hook and 180-degree folding magnetic base. Easily removable and cleanable lens, impact resistant and dust proof. I gave it to Kye to check out, and he was really impressed by price and quality. Astro Tools can be reached at

My next great tool find was from

Kye found the next tool from

• The wide opening allows the tool to release all types of retainer clips Kye told me they save a lot of clips using this tool that would otherwise break. Steck can be found at https:// ClipReleaseTool.html. Kye found a tool at SEMA from Equalizer There is a set of four differently sized tools used to cut the urethane bed just before adding new adhesive and installing the glass. These anti-scratch preparation tools are designed to not

mar or knick the surrounding metal. The company can be reached at https:// Detail/1873. Did you know that the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado has a wider frame than its predecessors? What to do? Ajon

Confidence through the corners, because we never cut them. Porsche Genuine Parts and Service, only at your local authorized Porsche dealer. Porsche Bethesda North Bethesda, MD 855-272-3952 301-945-5795 Fax

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Porsche Princeton Lawrenceville, NJ 609-945-1500 609-945-0501 Fax

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Porsche Silver Spring Silver Spring, MD 800-288-6982 301-890-3748 Fax

Flemington Porsche Flemington, NJ 800-216-5124 908-782-9397 Fax

Porsche of Southampton Southampton, NY 631-204-2565 631-204-2559 Fax

©2019 Porsche Cars North America, Inc. Porsche recommends seatbelt usage and observance of traffic laws at all times. / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


has the answer. This accessory item fits over most lifts on the market today. The

pictures that I have included tell the story better than words. Ajon can be reached at 844-355-2566.

ated drill. This tool has the same pressure delivered as its big brother, The Express 800. This is a great entry-level tool for most shops. RAE can be reached at https://www.rae Question—Have you ever tried to remove a hub bearing while it is still on the car? Most of you will say it is not possible—until now. Again, I was walking in the Westgate Hotel section of SEMA when I saw this demo back in the corner of the floor. The company had a couple of struts hanging from a

My next Kool Tool find is from Reliable Automotive Equipment RAE has worked with Weildaner &

den. The company website has a great video on the use of its tool. Kye pur-

chased a unit, which is moderately priced, and it was delivered within a week with no problems. They can be reached at /en. Drawn Arc Stud welding (on aluminum) is not new to the collision in-

Schill to develop a self-piercing rivet gun that works with a battery-oper-

fixture and watched the tech remove the hub and bearing from the steering knuckle. The company is called Wallmek Tools and is located in Swe-

By the end of 2019, 55–70 million vehicles will have been recalled for defective Takata airbags.

and family get their cars checked. The president of the Carma Project, Tony Lim, said the combination of heat and humidity, along with the age of the car, causes the issue with the airbags. “What happens is the airbag inflator, which is a metallic canister, if it ruptures, it is essentially shooting

Drawn Arc Stud Welding Drawn Arc Stud Welding, or more simply stud welding, is the process that quickly joins together a base metal, such as aluminum, to a fastener. This is done via a controlled electric arc process, which melts the end of the fastener to the base metal. There are many types of fasteners, which are also known as stud welds, including tapped, unthreaded, and threaded. These two welders are competitively priced, and both companies have excellent training programs. Lastly, I looked at three new spot welders from Pro Spot International, Car-O-Liner and GYS but did not have time to check them out. Look for a future article on these welders.

FREE 4x Monthly E-Newsletter. Subscribe Today! AUTOBODY

Toyota Works With Carma Project to Encourage Drivers to Check Vehicle Recall Status by Samantha Serbin, WTVM

dustry, but there were two new units added to the field: GYS and Dent Fix.

and an additional $50 worth of gift cards when they actually have their vehicle repaired. “It is a tremendous opportunity for people like you and me, your mom, your dad, brother, sister, family, friends and co-workers. We can all do something really good on social media,” Lim said.

OEM Parts You Need and Trust. Genuine Mitsubishi Replacement Crash Parts are close at hand from the following quality dealerships:

“Check your vehicles; check your mom’s; check your co-workers’,” — Tania Saldana

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this is the largest recall in U.S. history. Nineteen automakers are impacted by this recall on Takata airbags. Toyota, being one of the impacted automakers, is working on a new project to encourage its customers to get their vehicles checked out. It is collaborating with the Carma Project, giving gift cards to people for spreading information about the recall and having friends 88

shrapnel to people, not only on the driver’s side, but potentially the passenger side as well,” Lim said. “So it’s a very dangerous recall that a lot of car owners and consumers need to take seriously.” “Check your vehicles; check your mom’s; check your co-workers’,” said Toyota communications manager Tania Saldana. How the incentive program works: Visit and send information about this recall to your social network. You’ll receive $5 in gift cards for every Toyota owner who schedules an appointment to have their vehicle repaired


The repair is free for the Toyota owner, and they can have the service done at any Toyota or Lexus location. “What people need to understand is that sharp metal fragments could spray directly at the driver and passengers if these defective airbags deploy, and this could increase the risk of serious injury or even death,” said Saldana. You can also download the airbag recall app to see if your vehicle is impacted. We thank WTVM for reprint permission.


Courtesy Mitsubishi SOUTH ATTLEBORO

508-761-9700 (508) 761-0768 Fax

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Fax: 908-782-1795 M-F 7:30am-5pm / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Page 76

Waymo To Build Self-Driving Car Factory in Michigan by Levi Sumagaysay, The Mercury News

Waymo said Jan. 22 that it will build in Michigan the world’s first factory dedicated exclusively to producing self-driving vehicles.

John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, speaks at a press conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI, Jan. 8, 2017. Credit: Geoff Robins/AFP/ Getty Images

After securing approval from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Alphabetowned autonomous vehicle company said it will build a plant in southeast Michigan, which it expects will employ hundreds of workers in a few years. “We’ll be looking for engineers, operations experts and fleet coordinators to join our team and help assemble and deploy our self-

driving cars,” Waymo said in a blog post Jan. 22 “This will be the world’s first factory 100 percent dedicated to the mass production of L4 autonomous vehicles.” Level 4 autonomous vehicles are considered high automation, just one step below Level 5, which is full automation. According to the Society of Automotive Engineers, Level 4 vehicles can perform all driving tasks under certain conditions, while Level 5 vehicles can drive under all conditions. Giving a nod to Michigan’s legacy as the heart of U.S. auto manufacturing, Waymo said that “the Great Lakes State is one we already know and love, with a talented workforce and excellent snowy conditions for our cars to test.” A Waymo spokeswoman said Jan. 22 that the company is looking for a site for the factory and that it plans to move into it midyear. Waymo expects to employ up to 400 workers there. “Every person hired within this entity will be hired to work exclusively on Waymo self-driving vehicles,” she said. We thank The Mercury News for reprint permission.

Ray Fisher Shares training. As a manager, I was one of the first dealers in my area to have ICAR Gold [status], certified welding techs and more. I don’t like to be a follower; I like to be a leader, and that will carry forth in my new role.” Noting the importance of change in the industry, Fisher identified one of the industry’s biggest challenges as “making sure we don’t bury our heads in the sand. We need to look for the opportunity of what’s next. Our mechanical operations and collision operations committees do a great job of bringing important issues to us, and we want to utilize these volunteer committees much more through polls and surveys. The biggest thing we need to do is prepare the industry for upcoming changes, but we have the personnel in place and the right people doing the right things to keep these messages coming in a timely manner.” Many more questions about ASA’s future will be addressed at the Annual Meeting from April 30

through May 2, Fisher anticipated. Multiple topics for different generations will be discussed at the meeting, including succession planning. Fisher invited everyone to come learn more at the meeting. As the webinar drew to a close, Fisher stated, “I want to use my passion to give back and represent ASA’s membership. It’s important that the industry has a structured association to deliver messages and represent the industry like we do at ASA. Sometimes, you fall into the mode of simply trying to maintain, but we need to make sure our goals are priorities and our priorities are what’s right for the industry. We’re here for the industry.”

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