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VOL. 4 ISSUE 2 MAY 2014
At CIC, Ford Outlines its Strategy to Help Repairers Prepare for the New F-150, Focus on Repairability
Thousands Attend Record Breaking Northeast™ Trade Show, Positive Reaction from Many Attendees
Ford Motor Company representatives at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) held in Portland, Ore., in April provided more information not only about the automaker’s 2015 F-150 pick-up, but also about the “Ford National Body Shop Network,” through which Ford hopes to promote both dealership and independent shops to owners of Ford vehicles needing collision repair. Paul Massie, collision product marketing manager for Ford, acknowledged that his company may have
The 37th annual Northeast Automotive Services Show presented by the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) was held at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ, March 21–23, 2014. Filled with useful and informative seminars, demonstrations on the showroom floor, and over 100 exhibitors from all segments of the industry, the LIABRA’s Ed Kizenberger responds to questions about possible litigation of PartsTrader 2014 show was well-attended berger of the Long Island Auto Body and successful! Repairmen’s Association (LIABRA); Tom Elder of Auto Body DistributPartsTrader Panel Discussion ing; Mitch Portnoi, Esq. of Post, The seminars kicked off with “Parts See Northeast Trade Show, Page 18 Trader Comes to the Northeast: NOW
by John Yoswick
fallen behind other automakers in developing a certification or recognition program for independent shops. But it also is clearly the new F-150, an aluminum-intensive vehicle expected to hit showrooms in November, that is behind Ford’s push to increase the Paul Massie number of body shops equipped and trained to work on aluminum. The F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the country for See Ford’s Plan, Page 22
Attorneys for Collision Repairers Respond to State Farm’s Request for Dismissal of Antitrust Case
for automobile parts and services, adopted similar reimbursement policies and practices, and attempted to steer customers away from shops that refused to adhere to Defendants’ price limitations. The ‘crucial question,’ however, is ‘whether the challenged anticompetitive conduct stem[s] from independent decision or from an agreement, tacit or express,’’ State Farm’s attorneys write in their response. “As a general rule, businesses are free to choose the parties with whom they will deal, as well as the prices, terms and conditions of that dealing,” See State Farm Requests, Page 34
Change Service Requested
P.O. BOX 1516, CARLSBAD, CA 92018
Attorneys for repair shops that filed suit against State Farm and more than a dozen other insurers recently responded to the insurer’s request for the U.S. Middle District of Florida Court, Orlando division, to dismiss their antitrust and steering lawsuit, saying that there is “more than sufficient facts asserted to satisfy the pleading requirements.” The Florida repair shops sued State Farm and dozens of other insurers. See this issue and Autobody News April issue for more on the lawsuit, or search online at Autobodynews.com. “Plaintiffs allege that Defendants imposed maximum price limitations
by Chasidy Rae Sisk
WHAT?” a panel discussion that included Barry Dorn of the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA); Ed Kizen-
Indiana Autobody Association and Indiana Shop Owners File Suit to Block Tortious Interference The Indiana Autobody Association (IABA) along with fourteen Indiana Collision Repair Shops filed legal action against twelve Property and Casualty Insurance Companies and their subsidiaries on April 2, 2014. The suit seeks unspecified financial damages and names 27 insurers including Illinois-based State Farm, which has the largest market share in the state at about 25 percent. Others with large market share include Ohiobased Progressive Insurance and locally based Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance Co. The suit accuses the insurers of “enTony Passwater gaging in an ongoing, concerted and intentional course of action and conduct with State Farm acting as the spearhead to improperly and illegally control and depress the automobile damage repair costs.” In addition, “The insurance com-
panies (“Insurers”) are improperly intruding upon the relationship between the Shops and consumers, and placing the driving public at harm by their practices.” As it pertains to DRP shops, the suit also accuses the insurers of “engaging in an ongoing pattern and practice of coercion and implied threats to the pecuniary health of the individual plaintiff businesses in order to force compliance with unreasonable and onerous concessions.” Tony Passwater, IABA Executive Director, states, “There’s going to be a battle. For decades the insurers have interfered with the collision repair professional’s obligation to restore the vehicle back to pre-accident condition as humanly possible. It has been well documented with the 1963 Consent Decree. Since then, over the last two decades, the pressure to compromise the repair quality and safety has increased with many insurer mandates See Tortious Interference?, Page 35
Presorted Standard US Postage PAID San Bernardino, CA Permit #2244
2 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
COLUMNISTS Attanasio - Automotive Marketing Company Garners Huge Kudos for its Website Clients . 54 Attanasio - WaterCar Has Body Shop Owner Swimming in Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Attanasio - What Ever Happened to the Return Phone Call? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Chaney - Buses of Yellowstone—How About These for Barn Finds? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Franklin - Gender Marketing Power is a Trend Already in Evidence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Sisk - 2014 VISION Hi-Tech Training and Expo Hosted by ASA-Midwest . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Sisk - Arkansas Collision Repair Association Seeks New Members for the Industry’s Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Sisk - Automotive Recyclers Association CEO Urges OEMs to Supply Crucial Parts Data at International Automobile Recycling Congress . 36
NATIONAL 3M Continues Funding Scholarships For 2nd Year
in Collision Repair for Returning Veterans. . . 61 AASP-MN Anti-Mandate Bill Hits Roadblock . . . 55 ALLDATA’s VIN Decoder Has Been Enhanced . . 24 American Honda Announces Two Body Repair Bulletins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Are Aluminum Cars Really Better for the Environment? Study Says ‘Yes’ . . . . . . . . . . 61 At CIC, Ford Outlines its Strategy to Help Repairers Prepare for the New F-150, Focus on Repairability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Attanasio - Interview with Dave Jones . . . . . . . 14 Attorneys for Collision Repairers Respond to State Farm’s Request for Dismissal . . . . . . 1 AudaExplore Enhances MAACO’s Operational Efficiency with Repair Platforms . . . . . . . . . 59 AutoBody-Review.com Improves Geo-Targeted SEO, Authority for Shops by Adding “Articles: to Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Body Found Behind TX Shop is that of Teen Missing Since Feb. 13. No Foul Play Suspected . 47 CCC Updates: Carwise Shop Finder Solution, Contact Center Solution, TRUE Parts Network Suppliers, and Crash Course 2014 Report . . 39 Chief Opens New Specification Center in Malaysia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 CNN Recognizes NABC for Donating 200+ Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Collision Industry Foundation Announces New Trustees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Collision Repair Instructor Leaves Generous Legacy for Coldwater, MI, Career Center . . . 34 Colorado Springs Duo Develop ‘Ding Stinger’ App . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Covington, KY’s Samaritan Car Care Clinic, A Church Group, Provides for Needy Every Quarter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Fatal Shooting At Colleton, SC, Auto Body Shop . 24 GCIA’s Members Hosted Two Speakers at March Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 IBIS to be Held in Barcelona on May 19-21 . . . 44 I-CAR News: New Board of Directors, Collision Repair Training for 2015 Ford F-150, Industry Support, Limited-Time Promo, and Revamped Steering/Suspension Course . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Indiana Autobody Association and Indiana Shop Owners File Suit to Block Tortious Interference . 1 Industry Week Fundraiser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 KS Body Shop Temporarily Closed for Tax Non-Payment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Limited-Time Promo on 2 New I-CAR Training Bundles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Matrix System 2015 Finishes Calendar Contest . 62 MB Approves Elektron Spot Welders for HSS . . 38 MI Collision Repair Student Sierra Lantz is Learning Repair but toward a Racing Career . 24 Missouri Shop Owner and Consultant Favors Common-Sense Solutions for Common Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 NACE/CARS 2014 Website Live, Hotel Reservations Open for Detroit . . . . . . . . . . . 60 One-day ‘Future is Now’ Midwest Auto Body Trade Show Gets 400 Attendees, 65 Exhibitors . 56 PartsTrader Completes National Rollout, Now Available in All States. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Premier Services Donates $2.5K to the CRE Foundation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 SCRS 2014-2015 Board Elected in April 2014. . 58 SEMA Board of Directors Candidates Announced . 59 Service King Acquiring MSO Sterling Collision Ctrs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Sherwin-Williams Supports NASCAR Green Initiative, Applies Low VOC Paint to No. 51 . . 60 Society of Collision Repair Specialists Open Board Mtg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 WIN Announces 2014 Conference Brochure, Most Influential Women and Scholarship Winners, Corporate Sponsors, and New Board of Directors Members . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Happy Easter from ALL of Us at AUTOBODY NEWS!
Where to? Now that Spring has finally sprung, we hope all shops see a return to normalcy in weather and business. We wish you all a prosperous and successful rest of 2014.
Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Online Editor: Alicia Basteri Contributing Writers: Tom Franklin, David Brown, John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Sean Hartman, Bill Doyle, David Petro (800) 699-8251 Sales Assistant: Louise Tedesco Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia
Acura of Westchester . . . . . . . . . . 44 Amato Agency. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . 42 Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . 5 B & R Associates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Baystate Chrysler-Jeep-DodgeRam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 53 Central Avenue Chrysler-JeepDodge-Ram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) . . . . . . . . . . 31 Chief Automotive. . . . . . . . . . . 20, 21 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Clay Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Colours, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Continental Auto Parts . . . . . . . . . 16 Creative Metal Manufacturing . . . . 22 Ditschman/Flemington Auto Group. 23 Empire Auto Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Fairfield Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram . 27 Fitzgerald’s Lakeforest HyundaiSubaru. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . 57 Fred Beans Parts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Future Cure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Glanzmann Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 GlasWeld Systems, Inc . . . . . . . . . . 6 GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 46 Goyette’s, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Hackettstown Honda. . . . . . . . . . . 36 Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32-33 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers. 55 Jaguar Wholesale Parts Dealers. . 60
Serving New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and adjacent metro areas, Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2014 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com Email: email@example.com
REGIONAL Army Veteran Wins CollisionMax ‘Metal of Honor’ in Northeast Philadelphia . . . . . . . . . . 4 Body Shop Said Involved in NH Insurance Fraud Scheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Dover, DE, Paint Room Fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Fire Destroys Body Shop in Northern Lancaster County . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Five Towns, NY, Body Shop Burglar Arrested . . . 9 Indictment Upgrades Murder Counts in Body Shop Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Inwood, NY, Man Charged in Auto Body Shop Burglary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 K&C Auto Body in Syracuse Destroyed in March 22 Fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Leetsdale, PA, May be Cracking Down on Unregistered Vehicles, Source Said to be Body Shops Parking Repairs . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Lou Altobelli of Rio Auto Body Named Middle Township, NJ, Business Person of the Year . . 6 Man Crashes into Rochester, NY, Body Shop Building. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Monty Tech Collision Students Win Pedal Car Challenge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 NJ KISS Bandits Arrested After $40,000 in Damages. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 NY Body Shop Owners Face Tax Fraud Charges . 14 NY Post Says ‘Cry Baby’ Lawyer Sues Body Shop Over 2 Week Delay in Repairs . . . . . . . . 6 PPG and Pennsylvania College of Technology Extend Longtime Collision-Repair Partnership . 14 Rhode Island Man Moves from Sheltered Workshop to Job at Auto Body Shop . . . . . . 48 Robbers Tie Up Auto Body Shop Employees and Steal Catalytic Converters in NJ . . . . . . 26 Scarsdale, NY’s Armand J. Pomponio, 87, is Deceased . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Shop Apprentice, Johnathan Crupi, 21, of Great Kills, Dies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Shop VP, Lou Berman, Backs Autism Awareness . 8 Shults Auto Body Shop Relocation in Foster Township, PA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Sisk - ABAC Hosts Larry Montanez of P&L Consulting at March 18 Meeting . . . . . . . . . 16 Sisk - Reactions from Attendees at Northeast™ 2014 Automotive Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Sisk - Resolution Forum & Leadership Meeting at Northeast™ 2014. . . . . . . . . . . . 10 The New York Times Argues Tesla Should Be Able to Sell Its Electric Cars in New York . . . . 4 Thousands Attend Record Breaking Northeast™ Trade Show, Positive Reaction from Many Attendees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 William D. Stevenson Jr., 68, of Georgetown Passes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Koeppel VW-Mazda. . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Lexus Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . 61 Malco. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Martech Services Company . . . . . 14 Maxon Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Maxon Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 54 Mercedes-Benz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . 52 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . 37 NACE/CARS Expo & Conference . 19 Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers . 59 PPG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 PreFab Ads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Providence Lacquer & Supply Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Safety Regulation Strategies. . . . . 28 SATA Spray Equipment . . . . . . . . 12 Security Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram . 7 Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . 49 Sussman Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . 51 TechZone Airbag Service . . . . . . . 30 Thompson Organization . . . . . . . . 41 Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 58 Valspar Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Volvo Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 50 Wagner Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Yonkers Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 York Kia of Medford. . . . . . . . . . . . 18
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
Monty Tech Collision Students Win Pedal Car Challenge Students in the collision repair technology and machine technology programs at the Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School (Monty Tech) in Fitchburg, MA, pooled their skills and talents to take first place in
Students in the Collision Repair Technology program at Monty Tech pose with the 1937 pedal car they built that placed first in the Pedal Car Challenge held in Boston
the Genuine Hotrod Hardware Pedal Car Challenge. The event was sponsored by the Summit Racing Show Car Series at the 40th annual Town Fair Tire World of Wheels held at the World Trade Center in Boston, MA, March 28–30, 2014. Students from six schools participated in the challenge. According to Dana LeCuyer, collision repair technology teacher, this is the first year the event was held in Boston. He said more than 70 students in both
programs who worked on the project traveled to Boston to view the show and see their car win the blue ribbon. “It was a wonderful experience. This is the showcase for some of the most unique vehicles in the world. It’s the first time our students got to go to a show of this caliber. They got to go into the show early and see everything on display. They had lunch and were given wristbands so they could go back during the weekend with their families. For some of our kids, it’s the first time they have been to Boston,” he said. Working from a kit containing a generic pedal car, the auto body students built a 1937 coupe convertible, measuring about four feet in length. Students in grades 9 through 12 did the body work, painted, and assembled the car, including the interior work. They painted it black and candy-apple red. The work took six weeks. Auto teacher Dave Lelievre called it “an exceptional effort on the part of all the students. The kids are really proud of what they did,” he said. Machine technology juniors fabricated the rims, steering wheel, pedals, and license plate. “It was a real team effort, and it came out great,” said Jay Blauser, machine technology teacher.
The New York Times Argues Tesla Should Be Able to Sell Its Electric Cars in New York
Car dealers in New York, New Jersey, and several other states are waging legal, legislative, and regulatory campaigns to stop Tesla, the fastgrowing electric-car company, from selling its vehicles directly to consumers. These moves are little more than attempts to protect an old retail model by limiting consumer choices. In Ohio, dealers are suing Tesla, arguing that it is violating state auto franchise laws. In New Jersey, the state Coalition of Automotive Retailers has successfully pressed the Motor Vehicle Commission to forbid sales at two Tesla-owned retail stores. And, in New York, dealers’ associations are lobbying legislators to prohibit car manufacturers from bypassing dealerships and selling directly to consumers. The auto sales industry grew up decades ago when carmakers contracted with independently-owned dealerships to sell and service their cars. Many state laws regulating car sales came out of that model. Some, like lemon laws, clearly protect consumers. Others, like restrictions on retail sales by automakers, were meant to protect dealers from having to
compete with their suppliers. Some states, like Texas, prohibit direct sales, while others, like New York, have allowed direct sales by companies like Tesla that never contracted with franchised dealers. The dealers’ associations say the laws against direct sales encourage price competition among dealers for a particular brand of car. While dealers do compete with each other, consumers can end up paying more when they buy through middlemen than directly from producers. The fight with Tesla is not really about this niche company, which expects to sell just 35,000 cars this year. The dealers are afraid that if Tesla is allowed to sell directly to consumers, General Motors, Ford, and other carmakers might be emboldened to do so as well. Lawmakers should not be telling Tesla how it should sell its cars, especially since the company is not displacing existing dealers. There’s no reason to believe that independent dealerships would be better able to sell or service Tesla cars than the maker itself. Instead of fighting Tesla, dealers should be improving customer service.
4 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Army Veteran Wins CollisionMax ‘Metal of Honor’ in Northeast Philadelphia
Edward Ehnow, a 24-year-old U.S. Army veteran who patrolled the armed border between North and South Korea, has been selected as the latest winner of the
(Top) Edward Ehnow, right, with Rich Tornetta of CollisionMax. (Below) The damage to Mr. Ehnow’s 2007 Honda Civic
CollisionMax Metal of Honor Project award (www.metalofhonorproject.com). As a result, CollisionMax of Northeast Philadelphia, PA, will repair his 2007 Honda Civic coupe free of charge. “My car was hit on the bumper in an accident at a nearby intersection six months ago,” he said. “The police said it was nobody’s fault and I don’t have col-
lision insurance, so I was going to have to pay for the repairs myself.” He said that in addition to needing a new bumper, the car’s unibody was damaged, and he was told it would cost thousands of dollars to fix. “I don’t make a lot of money, so this award is really going to help me out.” Through its Metal of Honor Project, CollisionMax has now given away auto body repairs to 11 U.S. military veterans, one per month for each of its locations in the Delaware Valley. CollisionMax chose the winners from nominations it received from the public. “The Metal of Honor Project is our way of saying thank you and honoring the men and women of our armed forces who put their lives on the line for all of us,” said Jim Tornetta, CollisionMax president and CEO. In New Jersey, CollisionMax operates shops in Blackwood, Cinnaminson, Glassboro, Marlton, Pennsauken, Sicklerville, and Westmont. In Pennsylvania, it has repair centers in Oxford Valley, Warminster, and two in Northeast Philadelphia. For more information about CollisionMax, visit: www.collisionmax.com.
P PROVIDENCE RO LACQUER Supply Centre
Branch Location - MA 142 Chandler St. Worcester, MA 508.752.9700
Main Store - RI 1155 Park Ave. Cranston, RI 401.943.1700
Branch Location - CT 485 N. Main St. Norwich, CT 860.885.0700
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS 5
NY Post Says ‘Cry Baby’ Lawyer Sues Body Shop Over 2 Week Delay in Repairs, Alleges Other Damage A personal injury attorney is taking a repair job on his $215,000 Bentley personally. He filed a lawsuit because the work prevented him from driving the car over two weeks this winter, according to Julia Marsh, writing in the New York Post. Manhattan lawyer Michael Lamonsoff said in court papers that extensive repairs made to the 2013 convertible at Sports & Classics Auto Repair on East 73rd Street were “of poor workmanship and poor quality.” But shop owner John Steo defended the work and said the attorney has refused to explain why he is unhappy with the job. “We’re trying to find out what’s wrong and he’s given us no information,” Steo said. “He was a big, giant crybaby from the beginning. He’s a very difficult person,” Steo added. Steo said his company has an unblemished record. He has never been sued or received a complaint from the DMV, he told The Post. The shop calls itself “the preeminent authority on luxury imports,” Lamonsoff notes in his Manhattan civil suit. The $21,000 overhaul to the Bentley included work to the front bumper, front
fender, rocker panel, rear plate, mirror, tail lamp and other parts. The Continental convertible had been in an accident and Lamonsoff had to return it to the shop because the airbag light went on after the first round of repairs, Steo said. The drawn-out job meant that Lamonsoff couldn’t drive his vehicle from Feb. 19 to March 7, the suit says. The attorney is a plaintiff in approximately 21 suits filed in Manhattan Supreme Court since 1999. Lamonsoff apparently has a history of problems with Bentleys. In 2011, he was sued after his 2008 Bentley convertible was in a collision with a Nissan. At the time, the car was piloted by an employee who was allegedly talking on a cellphone. The suit was dismissed after the driver of the Nissan failed to appear in court. Lamonsoff told The Post the driver’s insurance company admitted fault in the accident and paid 100 percent of the costs. Lamonsoff said the Bentley dealer told him that “the repair job was so bad that it destroyed the resale value of the vehicle and had to be completely redone.” “I just want to get my car properly fixed,” Lamonsoff said.
Leetsdale, PA, May be Cracking Down on Unregistered Vehicles, Source Said to be Body Shops Parking Repairs
Property owners who place cars on other private land or keep abandoned vehicles on their property are warned that Leetsdale could soon be cracking down, according to Bobby Cherry’s article at Triblive.com. Complaints say property owners, including some auto repair shops in the borough are creating unsightly conditions, taking away public parking spots for others and are illegally parking cars on vacant private property. “We have a number of places in town where vehicles have stayed in place for a year or two at a time and they sit there and they’re not worked on and they’re not moved,” councilman Joe McGurk said. “What it does is make the town look ugly. It looks bad whether you can see it from Beaver Street or down on (Route 65).” McGurk said he has observed vehicles parked on sites where homes had been knocked down. In some cases, those vehicles are from an auto repair shop, McGurk and other council members said. “It would be different if we found out that somebody was working on the cars over the course of five days,” McGurk said. “But that’s not the case.
He and other council members want to see laws enforced that ban unregistered cars from being parked within the borough and tougher sanctions considered for people who park cars on property owned by others. Police Chief James Santucci said the borough could enforce state laws that prohibit unregistered cars through an abandoned cars law. That could eliminate cars parked on private property as a code enforcement officer could cite property owners or vehicle owners. Santucci said police could enforce laws pertaining to on-street parking. Council Vice President Wes James said he has seen similar issues along Brookline Boulevard in Pittsburgh, where he said auto body shop owners and employees use public spaces and private areas to park cars. “If you don’t put anything in writing, it’s kind of a free for all,” he said.
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6 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Lou Altobelli of Rio Auto Body Named Middle Township, NJ, Business Person of the Year The Middle Township Chamber of Commerce honored Lou Altobelli of Rio Auto Body as the 2014 Business Person of the Year on April 4, 2014. The recognition dinner was held at the Stone Harbor Country Club in Middle Township, NJ. Lou Altobelli was rec-
Senator Van Drew and New Jersey Assembly Sam Fiocchi recognize Lou Altobelli for his accomplishments
ognized for his commitment to community service and business. Owner and operator of Rio Auto Body since 1993, Lou Altobelli is the owner of eight additional businesses that service Cape May and Atlantic Counties, employing over 100 people.
He is an active Board Member on the Middle Township Chamber since 2001, and he also serves as a board member of Atlantic Cape Community College,Volunteers in Medicine, Cape Assist, and the Middle Township Economic Development Committee, and has served in the past on the Middle Township Emergency Medical Services Blue Ribbon Panel. Middle Township Mayor Timothy Donohue honored Lou Altobelli with the Mayor’s Certificate of Honor for being named as the Middle Township Chamber of Commerce 2014 Business Person of the Year. Kristine Gabor from the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders presented Lou Altobelli with an honor from the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders for his contributions and true dedication to Cape May County. Senator Jeff Van Drew and Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi recognized Lou Altobelli with the Joint Legislative Commendation signed by the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly for his continued accomplishments through hard work, dedication, and many contributions to our community.
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS 7
Shop VP, Lou Berman, Backs Autism Awareness
Lou Berman, vice president of sales for Collision Care Auto Body Centers in the greater Philadelphia area, has announced the MSO’s “Light It Up Blue” campaign for Louie’s Voice, an autism awareness organization. Louie’s Voice is a registered 501c3 non-profit created to benefit and improve the lives of those affected by and living with autism. All six Collision Care Auto Body Centers will have their exterior lights changed to blue for the month of April, and various car dealerships, parts partners and the famed Penrose Diner also will be taking part. Berman established Louie’s Voice in 2011 in honor of his son, who is the organization’s namesake. As a single father, he got off of welfare, fought his way back into the working world and advocated for his son in the education and medical fields. Louie’s Voice, with the help of main sponsor Collision Care Auto Body Centers, has raised and given away thousands of dollars over the past few years to deserving families struggling with the day-to-day challenges of autism. More information is available at www.louiesvoice.com, and also www.collisioncareabc.com.
Dover, DE, Paint Room Fire
Volunteer firefighters with the Dover Fire Department were called to a fire inside a local automobile repair shop. The fire department began receiving calls at 3:02 p.m. April 19, said spokesman Mike O’Connor. Crews arrived at the East Coast Auto Body shop, located at 216 South St., to find flames coming from the roof of the two-story building. Three engines and two ladder trucks arrived on scene, while the crew of one fire engine stretched hoses inside the building in an effort to keep the fire contained to a paint room and the roof area above, O’Connor said. One of the ladder truck’s crew worked to suppress the fire on the roof, while others checked to ensure the fire had not spread to surrounding rooms or spaces between walls. Another crew soaked down the paint room to ensure the fire did not flare up agin, he said. Three vehicles were damaged in the blaze, but personnel on the scene were able to get a tow truck and two other vehicles out of the building before fire crews arrived, O’Connor said. A crew from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control took over to secure chemicals in the shop, O’Connor said.
Shop Apprentice, Johnathan Crupi, 21, of Great Kills, Dies
Johnathan Charles Crupi, 21, of Great Kills, NY, a sports enthusiast, promising auto body apprentice and nurturing caretaker of his nieces, nephews and cousins, died Saturday at home. The cause of his death was a heroin overdose, his family said. Mr. Crupi lived his entire life in Great Kills. He attended DeVry Technical School, Woodbridge, NJ, and worked for his family’s auto body shop, Barry’s Auto Body, in his home community. He was learning to do body work and paint preparation. “He was very good at it,’’ his family said. Her son had a personality that was impossible to miss, his mother said. “When he walked into a room, the whole room lit up,’’ she said. “When he was younger, we called him ‘the mayor.’ He commanded attention. He had such a smile, you just couldn’t help but smile, too.’’ Mrs. Crupi said her family had fought a long battle with addiction, right alongside her son, and she wants others to know that his death was caused by addiction. “We’ve been battling this for years; it’s been a long, long fight,’’ she said. “Everybody hides from telling the truth and I don’t think it’s healthy. Addiction is a disease.”
Scarsdale, NY’s Armand J. Pomponio, 87, is Deceased
Armand J. Pomponio, a longtime resident of Eastchester, died March 23. He was 87. Pomponio was born Sept. 2, 1926, in Bronxville, to Andrew and Maria (Marrone) Pomponio. He was the owner of Charlie’s Auto Body in Scarsdale until his retirement. He served in the United States Army and was discharged in 1946. Pomponio is survived by his wife, Ruth A. Pomponio; and brother, John Pomponio. He was predeceased by his parents; first wife, Elizabeth “Betty” Pomponio; brothers, Angelo and Charles Pomponio; and sisters, Nora Giannotti and Fay Seney. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Pomponio’s name may be made to Food Bank For Westchester, 200 Clearbrook Road, Elmsford, NY 10523.
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Five Towns, NY, Body Shop Burglar Arrested
A man was caught burglarizing a Five Towns auto body shop, according to Nassau County Police. A sargeant was near Ojay's Auto Body in North Lawrence Sunday night when he saw a shattered glass door and man leaving the building, cops reported. Timothy McCullough, 45, of Inwood, reportedly kicked in the front door and removed multiple envelopes from desk drawers. McCullough was arrested by the sergeant at the scene. The incident happened April 6, at 11:45 p.m. He is charged with third-degree burglary.
K&C Auto Body in Syracuse Destroyed in March 22 Fire
The Syracuse Fire Department was dispatched to the fire just after 9 a.m. Syracuse police and Rural Metro Ambulance were also on scene. K&C Auto Body Center is located at 1207 Willis Ave. in Syracuse, near the intersection of Milton Avenue. Smoke was reported to be billowing from the body shop, according to the 911 Dispatch Center. 911 reported that everyone who had been in the building was outside and accounted for by the time firefighters arrived.
Fire Destroys Body Shop in Northern Lancaster County
Fire destroyed an auto body shop and four vehicles inside it the morning of March 25 in Rapho Township, PA. Damage was estimated at $345,000. The 4:30 a.m. blaze caused an estimated $345,000 damage to the Ken’s Restoration business at 2385 Meadow View Road, Mastersonville Fire Chief Jeff Martin said. The 78by-40-foot tin pole barn housing the body shop was fully involved when firefighters arrived. “Fire was coming out everywhere, all sides,” the chief said. There were no other buildings nearby, as the house is about 100 feet away. Firefighters attacked the blaze, bringing it under control at 5:27 a.m., Martin said. The roof caved in, so they spent a few more hours putting out hot spots with the help of a trackhoe. Tankers supplied water to fight the fire, and a township representative salted Meadow View Road to prevent it from turning to ice, Martin said. No firefighters were injured but a Mastersonville Fire Company firefighter was taken to the hospital for a medical evaluation. The auto body shop had operated for 17 years. “He lost everything,” Martin said of the owner of the business, Kenneth Youngeberg.
Body Shop Said Involved in NH Insurance Fraud Scheme
Police are accusing the owners and employees of an auto repair shop of being involved in an insurance fraud scheme in relation to a truck that burned more than two years ago. Jay Coppo, 49, of Troy, NH, and Jodi Champney, 44, of Winchester, own J & J Auto Body & Repair on South Street in Troy. They were arrested April 11 along with employee Christopher Pratt, 32, of Gilsum and former employee Craig Fields, 31, of Swanzey, according to a news release from N.H. State Police. Police say the four were involved in intentionally burning a commercial wrecker at the auto shop in January 2012 for the purpose of collecting insurance money. The charges are arson, conspiracy to commit arson, insurance fraud and accomplice to insurance fraud, according to the news release. The release doesn’t specify which of those charges each person faces, and the state police sergeant overseeing the case wasn’t available Friday for comment. NH State Police troopers and officers with the Cheshire County Sherriff’s Office and Troy Police Department worked on the investigation, according to the news release.
Indictment Upgrades Murder Counts in Body Shop Case
A Bridgehampton man pleaded not guilty March 18 to a four-count indictment that upgraded charges in the Christmas Day slaying at a Medford auto body shop. Brandon Davis, 19, was indicted on charges of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder in the death of Taleik Bristel, 19, at Whitestar MTR, Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota said in a news release. A grand jury also indicted him on first-degree assault charges against one of three other victims who were shot and survived. Authorities said Davis had a handgun when he and co-defendants Cesar Figueroa, 19, and Tasheem Carter, 19, both of Mastic, held up four people at the auto body shop about 3:20 a.m. Dec. 25. They are accused of demanding drugs and money, but the robbery turned fatal, with Bristel, of Patchogue, shot in the back of the head, two men in the back and a woman in the abdomen, police said. Davis' attorney, Paul Barahal of Smithtown, said it was "absolutely not accurate" that his client had a gun, because Davis was not there at the time. Davis, arrested March 7, was held on $1 million bond or $500,000 cash bail.
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS 9
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resolution Forum & Leadership Meeting at Northeast™ 2014 with Chasidy Rae Sisk
The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) co-sponsored the annual East Coast Resolution Forum and Leadership Meeting at the Northeast Automotive Services Show in Secaucus, NJ, on March 21, 2014. See cover story this issue. Unlike previous years when associations simply presented their current news and events to the audience, the 2014 meeting was set up in a roundtable format to allow for more discussion amongst the approximately 60 participants. Jeff McDowell, President of AASP/NJ, started the meeting by welcoming everyone, and Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of SCRS, explained the goal of the new format of the meeting was to “inspire good conversation amongst participants.” Event moderator Ed Kizenberger, executive director of New York State Auto Collision Technician (NYS-
some of the requirements. Ferraiolo pointed out that some manufacturers require I-CAR courses even though shops and technicians may already have the training, and, because training is expensive and difficult to obtain, he feels that it should be a business decision each shop owner makes on his own as the I-CAR training that is required often has no impact on a shop’s day-to-day business. He suggests that shops should be able to pick and choose what is needed for their facilities instead of having the required courses dictated to them. The issue presents itself more specifically when certain OEMs require that the Gold Class designation be achieved to be recognized on their programs. Also noting that some of the required courses are redundant for experienced technicians, Ferraiolo objects to what feels like a lack of options, and he feels that shops need to have choices about where they acquire training. Several attendees mentioned that more options may be available in the near future, though more information was not explicitly elaborated on about this possibility. Gene Lopez of I-CAR interjected that some courses may be redundant to tenured emAaron Schulenberg of SCRS welcomed everyone to the ployees, but he noted that IResolution Forum & Leadership Meeting at Northeast 2014 CAR has answered this ACT) and the Long Island Auto Body complaint in some cases with an Repairmen's Association (LIABRA), equivalency test to measure core comled the group in the Pledge of the Al- petency, adding “we have a form of legiance before reading an Anti-Trust tribal learning in this industry where Statement. people learn from other people, and Tony Ferraiolo, President of the that’s a good thing until the informaAuto Body Association of Connecti- tion being passed along is incorrect.” cut (ABAC) started the discussion by As an example illustrating the posing the question of whether OEM topic of discourse, Kizenberger training is more valuable than I-CAR brought up how everyone is being Gold Class status and whether I-CAR confronted by the new aluminum Ford certification should be a part of the F-150, but though the aluminum demanufacturers’ required training. The sign has been in progress for quite discussion navigated a variety of persome time, it was only recently anspectives with common thoughts that nounced to the collision repair indusI-CAR fills some of the void beyond try. Kizenberger believes that body OEM training, and that there can be shops would be better prepared to value to I-CAR’s Gold Class designa- work on the new aluminum body if tion, especially if I-CAR were recepthe announcement had been made eartive to addressing redundancies in lier to allow them time to acquire the
10 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
necessary training and equipment. A Ford representative shared that the manufacturer has answers coming about the process to deal with aluminum and about how to get certified through Ford.
every other crisis that has created a panic within the industry. Most shops have always been able to do what’s necessary to live up to the challenge.” Michael Bradshaw of K&M Collision in Hickory, NC, expressed his adamant belief that shops should not allow insurers to dictate the repair process. His shop sends a Notice of Deficiency to insurers who do not pay the full bill, and he guesses that the bill gets paid 80–85 percent of the time. For those who don’t pay him, he uses an AssignResolution Forum & Leadership Meeting featured a roundment of Proceeds to pursue table format and filled up quickly the remainder of the bill in court. Calming the group in an uncharLarry Montanez of P&L Consultacteristic manner, Tony Lombardozzi, president of Coalition for Collision ants discussed his personal experiRepair Excellence (CCRE), pointed ences with similar results as out that “this industry will adapt to Bradshaw’s process, but he warned Ford and their aluminum vehicles in that, from his experience, these shops the same way we have dealt with didn’t really win money in their first
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS 11
case(s) because of fees, although it benefited them in future cases. He also shared that the use of an Assignment of Proceeds led to various investigations, so it’s imperative to do a superb job of keeping records if a shop opts to go this route. Next, the question arose of whether these practices are becoming the new normal, or if that is likely in the future. Some felt it is definitely possible with independent shops as more and more people are looking into alternate options for getting properly compensated. Lombardozzi added, “those shops who use the assignment to litigate short pays will force insurers to rethink their policy on that practice. The more shops that win in court, the more it will begin to change insurers’ behavior.” One attendee recounted how a Connecticut shop owner informed the judge that pursuing litigation for short pays is how he always does it, helping his shop prevail in the lawsuit by establishing a standard for his business practices. This anecdote reinforced the belief that consistency in dealing with these issues is imperative if things are going to change. Charles Bryant, executive director of AASP/NJ, noted
that shops have always buckled in the past, but they cannot afford to do that anymore: “it’s time to stand up!” Connecticut attorney John Parese emphasized the importance of empowering attorneys with necessary in-
CT attorney John Parese emphasizes the importance of educating your attorneys on the collision repair industry
formation, explaining that though the shops are often right legally, they are facing an opponent that’s smart and well-funded. “Ultimately, you’re on the right side; you just need to articulate it well in court.” Another shop owner mentioned that it’s difficult for shops to change overnight, and the majority of shops do what they need to survive because they don’t really care, or don’t know where to start,
12 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
while the quality shops are trying to do the right thing for the consumer and also to get paid fairly. After a short break, Kizenberger introduced the question of whether the industry should institute a grading system for shops and, if so, who would do the grading. Lombardozzi believes there is a better way to solve this problem than through legislation: “let the bad shops weed themselves out. Allow the free market to dictate what we will do.” Schulenburg contributed his fear that in relation to state licensing programs, such a system of regulating licensed shops will become a simple means of revenue for the state, rather than doing what it’s intended to do to regulate non-licensed businesses. Further commentary referenced the uphill battle in helping the legislators and consumers understand the varying levels of repair businesses, especially when the insurance industry trivializes the level of investment and acumen necessary to work on today’s vehicles. One attendee referenced a sentiment from Frank O’Brien, vice president of state governmental relations with the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, regarding the
pending legislation in Rhode Island that addresses shop grading; his comment was that “the legislation would essentially charge more for the Class A shop with all the ‘fancy’ gear, even though the Class B shop could do the job just as well for less money. It would be like requiring people to pay $10 more for a sirloin at one butcher shop based on how the shop looks.” When Kizenberger questioned whether the industry should do something to put them on a level with ICAR Platinum recipients in light of the new vehicles being released that must be repaired in a certain way, Lombardozzi argued that it’s impossible to reach a level playing field because all cars differ, and, furthermore, manufacturer recommendations only matter so much because the vehicle owner is the only one with the right to make decisions about the repair. Instead, he felt that the group should be asking what needs to be done to change the industry for the better, indicating that the industry itself needs to “address the problems we have and realize that associations have a place in this industry, but they can only go so far—it’s up to the repair people in the industry to determine what we need, to look at the
industry, and come up with solutions to our problems. We have to invest time, money, and effort, but we can solve this industry’s problems!” Peter Abdelmaseh of Superare Advertising and Marketing Agency, Inc. in Belmont, MA, believes the industry is “putting too much pressure on associations to solve these problems” when the associations should be focused on bringing information to the industry. Instead, he suggests that a possible solution may be found by looking at the body of law and questioning why each law pertaining to the collision repair industry exists. As an association leader, Kizenberger feels that his duty is to act in the best interest of the consumer which, in turn, allows him to better represent the entire industry. Still, he believes each state should have a representative who understands that state’s laws because legislative awareness is vital. Furthermore, he points out that most people don’t even read their insurance policy, so it’s necessary to raise the level of awareness and create understanding of what consumers should know. Referencing the recently-defeated Maryland Parts Bill, Barry Dorn of the
Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) asked if there is any advantage to introducing wellcrafted legislation. Discussion surrounding the merits of legislative initiatives bounced back and forth. Lombardozzi interjected with the reminder specific to that piece of legislation that no one can dictate the use of aftermarket parts because the shop assumes liability for the repair, and, similarly, insurance companies cannot force shops to use specific vendors unless the shop allows it. Schulenburg noted that consumers need laws to protect them from their insurance policies, and Lombardozzi agreed that the collision p repair industry is fighting the consumers’ battle, which is difficult because the shop is not a named insured on the policy and the insurance industry is much better-funded. Bradshaw agreed that it’s imperative to focus on the consumer safety issue because, until then, complaints fall on deaf ears with legislators. Another conversation ensued about the fact that recalls on aftermarket parts aren’t as closely monitored as OEM recalls, creating a safety issue when shops are unable to locate vehi-
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cles that have been fitted with recalled aftermarket parts. Ferraiolo circled back to the importance of educating consumers so they can fight their own battles, mentioning the current ABAC campaign to educate consumers. Wrapping up the meeting, Bryant noted that he has seen a recent increase in steering by insurers refusing to inspect vehicles in a timely manner if they aren’t taken to a DRP shop, or by refusing to respond to an independent shop’s supplement forms. The general consensus amongst the group was that this issue has been occurring in other states as well. Bryant believes these types of issues should be addressed when they first occur because “it’s up to us to change the problems that are out there!”
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Inwood, NY, Man Charged in Auto Body Shop Burglary
An Inwood man was arrested late April 6 for breaking into a North Lawrence auto body shop, after police saw him leaving the building, Nassau police said. According to police, Timothy McCullough, 45, of 86 St. George Place, kicked in the front door of Ojay's Auto Body, located at 259 Burnside Ave., at about 11:45 p.m. Police said while McCullough was inside, he went through several desk drawers and removed several envelopes. Police said the papers inside the envelopes did not have any monetary value. A Nassau County police sergeant saw the shop's shattered door and saw McCullough leaving the building, and placed McCullough under arrest without incident, police said. The defendant is being charged with Burglary 3rd Degree and was arraigned on April 7, 2014 at First District Court, Hempstead.
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California’s Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones talks to Autobody News about the State of the Industry and the future by Ed Attanasio
California’s Insurance Commissioner David Jones was elected on November 2, 2010 with 4.7 million votes. He leads the California Department of Insurance (CDI), the largest consumer protection agency in the state, which regulates the state’s $123 billion insurance industry. We recently sat down with Jones to find out what’s he’s achieved in the collision industry and what’s he’s learned since getting elected. You can read the full article online at Autobodynews.com, by searching Dave Jones. Autobody News endorses Jones for re-election. He has been one of the most effective and reliable Insurance Commissioner’s in the country’s largest market. Collision repairers nationwide would do well to support a local candidate like Jones.
NY Body Shop Owners Face Tax Fraud Charges
The current and former owners of a New Hyde Park auto body shop were charged Tuesday with underreporting gross salaries to avoid taxes, according to Dan O’Regan reporting in theislandnow.com. Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said Gerard Losquadro of Garden City, the former owner of New Hyde Park Auto Body Works, and current owner Charles DiMarino of East Norwich were arrested and arraigned on charges that they failed to remit sales tax collected from customers to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. The alleged frauds took place between Sept. 1, 2009, and May 31, 2013, and resulted in the auto body shop owners pocketing roughly $150,000 that should have gone to the
state, according to Rice. The two men were “significantly underreporting gross sales,” Rice said in a statement. Losquadro, the former owner, was the responsible party for New Hyde Park Auto Body Works from September 2009 to December 2010, Rice said. During that time, he allegedly failed to remit $27,588.39 of collected sales tax. DiMarino, the current owner, allegedly failed to remit $122,348.26 in collected sales tax since January 2011. Both defendants face multiple counts of grand larceny, offering a false instrument for filing and criminal tax fraud. After arraignment, they were released on their own recognizance and are due back in court later this month, according to Rice’s office.
Police say a 22-year-old man is being treated for injuries suffered when he was shot outside a Rochester bar and the minivan he was in crashed into an auto repair business while fleeing the scene on March 28. Officials tell local media that officers were called to the Captain's Attic Bar around 2 a.m. for reports of shots fired. Police say a van and a car were spotted speeding away
from the scene. The van was found nearby after it had crashed into a building housing Alliance Collision, an auto body repair shop. The wounded man in the van was taken to Rochester General Hospital, where he's being treated for non- life-threatening injuries. Police say they have a person in custody, but the investigation is continuing.
Man Crashes into Rochester, NY, Body Shop Building
William D. Stevenson Jr., 68, of Georgetown Passes
William D. “Bill” Stevenson Jr., 68, of Georgetown, passed away Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at home. Bill was the owner and operator of Bill Stevenson Auto Body in Georgetown for over 20 years. He enjoyed sports, especially baseball, which he grew up playing in Georgetown and enjoyed watching over the years. He also enjoyed watching Westerns,
restoring and collecting old Chevy pick-up trucks. He had also served in the National Guard. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William D. Sr. and Sara (Short) Stevenson; and two brothers, Richard and Tom Stevenson. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Delaware Hospice, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, DE 19963.
14 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
PPG and Pennsylvania College of Technology Extend Longtime Collision-Repair Partnership
PPG Industries Inc., a generous supporter of the Pennsylvania College of Technology Collision Repair Program well before it moved into new instructional space in 2003, has renewed its decades-long commitment to students and faculty alike. Corporate and college representatives recently signed a five-year extension of an agreement that predates the relocation to College Avenue Labs, for which PPG provided a paint-mixing booth and substantial equipment to ensure that students working toward an associate degree in collision repair—and those in the twoyear automotive restoration technology major that has since been added—have the latest tools with which to work. “PPG has been a longtime supporter of Penn College and an industry leader in its support of education,” said Colin W. Williamson, dean of transportation and natural resources technologies. “We are proud to continue the tradition.” Highlights of the renewed agreement include providing products for instructional use, assisting with curriculum development, training collision repair faculty, and providing PPG Training instructor guidance based upon availability. Penn College will offer access to the paint booth and mixing room for PPG corporate train-
ing purposes when available. In addition to providing equipment, supplies, and hands-on expertise to Penn College for nearly 30 years, PPG has partnered with faculty and students for a study-abroad initiative in Italy.
Colin W. Williamson (left), dean of Penn College School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies, and Todd Warren, PPG territory manager, affirm their ongoing partnership outside a College Avenue Labs paint-mixing room
“We’re very grateful to PPG for continuing its long-standing relationship with Penn College,” said Debra M. Miller, director of corporate relations. “Its generosity in providing materials and expertise, along with training and travel opportunities, helps ensure that our students and faculty keep up with the newest developments in the auto-refinishing industry.” For more information, visit: www.pct.edu/schools/tnrt/collision and www.ppg.com.
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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 email@example.com.
ABAC Hosts Larry Montanez of P&L Consulting at March 18 Meeting with Chasidy Rae Sisk
The Auto Body Association of Connecticut (ABAC) quarterly meeting was held on March 18, 2014, at the Country House Restaurant in New Haven, CT. Encouragingly, the meeting was well-attended with a packed house of ABAC members, shop owners, and managers gathered for an educational evening. After calling the meeting to order, ABAC president Tony Ferraiolo expressed gratitude to the sponsors who made the evening possible, which included the Albert Kemperle Organization, Richard Chevrolet, Bishop’s Tony Ferraiolo Auto Parts, and Environmental Risk Services. Crediting Dave Fogarty for the recent Consumer Alert Bulletin that was distributed to attendees and will be provided in the ABAC newsletter, Ferraiolo reinforced
the importance of using the bulletin to aid and educate consumers. The first presenter at the meeting was Rob Rainwater, general manager at Bishop’s Used Auto Parts, who discussed the exclusive ABAC discount that allows ABAC members to receive 10 percent off all inRob Rainwater voices at the time of delivery. Rainwater also detailed the other benefits of purchasing parts from his company, a member of the Premium Recycled Parts Network, including reduced cycle time, no supplements, rental car services, quote guarantees, and no-hassle return policy. Bishop’s Used Auto Parts also offers a 24-hour turnaround on their re-manufactured products. Ferraiolo next provided updates on some current ABAC projects, dis-
cussing initiatives on the Hartford, CT, lawsuit, the Progressive lawsuit, and the LKQ wheel recall, before introducing the evening’s main speaker Larry Montanez, education and training advisor for P&L Consultants. Montanez’s presentation covered the following topics: Materials, Material Sciences, and the Future; Non-Included Forgettable Procedures along with Advanced Estimating Procedures; Estimating Case Studies; and How to Prove Why It Is What It Is. He delved into the differences between standard, high-strength, and ultra-high-strength steels, as well as Larry Montanez the necessary precautions when working with steel and Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) Crash Management. Speaking on “Understanding In-
dustry Training,” Montanez identified vo-tech schools as where a collision repair education begins, while third-party training programs provide ongoing training. Specific information can be acquired through OEM training, and the OEM Welding Certification can be seen as “the ultimate test of skill.” Because of time constraints and the tremendous amount of useful information that had been prepared, Montanez was unable to conclude his presentation, but ABAC has invited him to resume the remaining portion of this vital information at their next meetingon Tuesday, May 20, 2014. For more information about ABAC, visit www.abaconn.com.
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PartsTrader Completes National Rollout, Now Available in All States PartsTrader has announced the completion of the national deployment of its parts procurement platform which began in August 2013, according to a press release dated April 23. As of April 17, 2014 collision repairers and parts suppliers are active on the system in all 48 continental states and the District of Columbia. Throughout the initial pilot and subsequent rollout stage of the program, full adoption and use of the system has continued to grow each month. There are currently over 7,500 repairers and 8,500 suppliers active on the PartsTrader system. Of the active suppliers, over 75 percent are OEM dealers. “A dedicated field presence in each new market by knowledgeable PartsTrader staff has been a big help in assisting our customers adapt to a new parts purchasing process,” said Dale Sailer, PartsTrader’s Vice President of Business Development. “Our field staff has focused most of their effort on training users and listening - bringing suggestions for new functionality and integration back to the product team that have increased our value to users
with each new release.” Since launching its initial pilot product 25 months ago, PartsTrader has processed over 750,000 quote requests, with an average response time from suppliers of less than 15 minutes. These quote requests have generated over 1,000,000 confirmed parts orders. PartsTrader says it has remained committed to its primary objective: to provide a platform that positions repairers at the center of the parts procurement process. Repairers choose which OEM dealers they invite to quote. Repairers choose who to order from after considering quality, service, delivery time, part types, the reputation of the suppliers, and price. Repairers choose when to order (the need may be so urgent that there is not enough time to seek competitive quotes.) All suppliers are given the same equal opportunity to compete for a repairer’s business. Insurers do not have access to a repairer’s buy prices, other than for recycled parts, as they do today. “Our core application is now very different from when we started over two years ago,” said Rob Cooper,
PartsTrader CEO. “We are committed to giving repairers and suppliers a product of choice by continuing to adapt it to their changing needs. Earlier this year we introduced the industry’s first system for tracking two-way repairer and supplier performance feedback. For example, repairers now have the ability to rate suppliers based on service and quality of the parts delivered. This ensures that each party can make a fully informed business decision before placing or responding to an order. Most recently, we’ve enhanced vehicle mapping capabilities and improved integration with the estimating systems, and have many more exciting features on the near term horizon.” Driven by customer feedback and the increasing industry adoption rate, PartsTrader is available to all repairers and suppliers across the country, regardless of any Direct Repair Program (DRP) affiliation. Everyone can now benefit from robust and customizable parts procurement system. Repairers interested in utilizing PartsTrader for efficient procurement can register their interest on the PartsTrader website and
be up-and-running in the same business day, if desired. Suppliers who are interested in reaching parts buyers through the PartsTrader marketplace must be nominated by a participating collision repairer within the application. Once nominated, these suppliers can be up and running on a same day basis as well. “We’re excited about transitioning into the next phase of service for our current and future customers,” said Sailer. “One of the things we’ve been pleased to see is the growing number of repairers who have achieved process improvements and are now using our system for all their parts procurement needs, not just those related to a specific insurance company.” To learn more about PartsTrader, or to register for an informational webinar, visit www.partstrader.us.com.
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Northeast Trade Show
Polak, Goodsell, MacNeill, and Strauchler, PA (PPGMS); and Joshua S. Bauchner of Ansell, Grimm, and Aaron, PC. After AASP/NJ president Jeff McDowell welcomed attendees and Kizenberger read the “Anti-Trust Statement,” Dorn began the discussion by noting that PartsTrader has
Barry Dorn details how PartsTrader has impacted his business
Service shops to use it and extorting parts vendors with the threat of losing business if they don’t sign up for the program. One attendee pointed out that though the mandate is currently specific only to Select Service shops, State Farm has only begun within their network because that’s where they can exert the most coercion and influence, and he believes the trend will expand to other carriers in the near future. Those attendees with shops where PartsTrader has been implemented disagreed with the State Farm claim that it improves efficiency, estimating that the administrative duties associated with the program take twice as much time as before. Shop owners also object to being unable to use the same vendors they’ve developed relationships with over many years. Additionally, Elder mentioned that he has heard complaints from several non-DRP shops that have experienced delays from vendors that are too busy dealing with PartsTrader to service their normal customers. Though no shops have come forward claiming that PartsTrader is good for their business, the State Farm free trial period lures shops and vendors in, and this behavior of using the system becomes standard practice. A shop owner from Mississippi proudly announced that he withdrew from the State Farm DRP because he owes it to his customers to use the best available parts. The group proceeded to discuss ways to alleviate the mandated use of the PartsTrader program, such as injunctive relief and other legislative actions. Attendees expressed particular concern with the fact that the 1963
been in effect in his market for approximately two months and has had a significant impact on shops and vendors, especially on the administrative aspect of their work. He explained that after writing the estimate, the shop submits a list of needed parts to their vendors and waits for the estimate, which should be received within an hour. The response may involve ordering four parts from four different vendors, and it’s causing quite a bit of confusion since shops cannot order all of the parts from their normal vendors. Because many local vendors signed up for PartsTrader, Dorn hasn’t experienced frequent delays or problems with returns. When an attendee asked if the shop must accept the least expensive bid—implying that the insurer only implemented the program to exert more control over the repair process— Dorn deflected the debate regarding the program’s merit by explaining that the shop chooses the aftermarket part based on quality and SLA Douglas Sherman and Mitch Portnoi share some advice on buying and selling businesses time. Noting that he hasn’t heard of a Consent Decree is not being enforced. single shop that thinks PartsTrader is a The overall consensus was that the good thing, Kizenberger pointed out collision repair industry needs to show that the problem with any parts pro- how the mandated use of PartsTrader curement system is its mandated use, impacts consumer safety to get the indicating that State Farm should federal government involved, and allow PartsTrader to stand on its own Bauchner noted that “we have to start two feet, rather than requiring Select a fire to get the government’s atten-
18 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
tion,” suggesting that the best method for doing so is to get consumer groups involved. Because DRPs are voluntary, the main response to those objecting to mandated parts procurement is to remove themselves from the program. This led to a conversation about whether the lack of work resulting from leaving the DRP proves steering and how this is connected to anti-competition laws. The group discussed the influx of MSOs and what that means for independent shops as well, but, as the seminar concluded, the most prevalent attitude among attendees seemed to be “the longer you stay on this program, the faster you’re going to kill your future.”
Ford 2015 F-150 Collision Repair Support Plan Demonstrations Over the course of the weekend, Ford held several demonstrations and meetings regarding their 2015 F-150 Collision Repair Support Plan. The demo focused on the ease of repairability for the new design, which is intended to be tougher, smarter, and more capable with its military-grade aluminum body and high-strength steel frame. The aluminum body reduces the
truck’s weight by up to 700 pounds, which, in conjunction with increasing the use of high-strength steel by 77 percent, creates a lighter but stronger vehicle. The demonstration also served to highlight the new class-exclusive technology that has been used and the gains in fuel economy through the introduction of smaller displacement engines. Ford representatives also discussed the manufacturer’s support plan, which includes an enhanced workshop manual, instruction sheets, training courses, and a list of the specific tools and equipment necessary to repair the new F-150. Aluminum is similar to steel and will require most of the same tools, but Ford recommends a second set of tools and equipment that can be dedicated to aluminum repairs to avoid steel contamination. The Ford representatives emphasized that repairing these vehicles will be different, but not more difficult. They also lauded the variety of repairability options that will save many vehicles from being declared total losses. Throughout the designing process, Ford has been working with several insurers to ensure they are
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being trained on the proper repair techniques and that they have the correct cost information to keep repair costs down and standards high. In addition to developing instruction sheets, Ford ias developed an online training course and is also collaborating with I-CAR to offer training courses specific to repairing these aluminum F-150s. Ford plans to attend trade shows throughout the country— including the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in April 2014, International Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE) in July 2014, and the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in November 2014—to disseminate this information throughout the industry.
Tactically Lean: Connecting the Dots Between High-Minded Concepts and Real-World Results Lee V. Rush, manager of business consulting services for SherwinWilliams, presented “Tactically Lean: Connecting the Dots Between HighMinded Concepts and Real-World Results,” a seminar intended to alter the way the industry views the term ‘lean.’ Rush’s approach was developed with collision repairers for colli-
sion repairers, and one of the mysteries of the lean concept is that though many shops attempt to go lean, few succeed. While the industry has explored this idea for decades, not much has changed in the industry because there is frequently a disconnect between the architects of lean programs and the shop floor. Rush stressed that “lean is a way of thinking about how you operate!”
John Niechowiadowicz talks about “Unleashing Your Secret Power” by tracking the 5 most important KPIs
Though Rush did not explore specific strategies in depth, he explained that lean is a set of concepts, principles, and tools used to create the most value for customers while consuming the fewest overall resources, and it is effective for any business that
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supplies a product or service. The lean strategy is all about changing the process to consistently deliver the right results. To make the lean concept work for them, shops must standardize their work and stabilize their process, but a shop can’t just flip a switch and go lean—they have to be strategic about implementing the process. “It’s a journey,” Rush explains. “By connecting the dots, we improve operational performance through the use of lean tools with the longer term goal of becoming a lean shop.” Because shop owners are already running successful businesses, there is a stigma about how the lean concept is viewed, so it’s imperative to change the way you think to reach the desired outcome of increased productivity and profitability. Rush insists there are two killers of the lean process: inaccurate repair orders and not having the correct parts. The process begins with a 100 percent accurate repair order in the beginning stages of the repair as this will reduce the amount of supplements needed and the overall repair time. He believes this is best achieved by dedicating one specific employee and area
to the damage analysis piece of the repair, and completing this process in its entirety upfront allows for shorter cycle times. Shops are already disassembling the vehicles, but doing it at the beginning of the process, rather than over the course of several days, allows for an accurate repair order the first time around. The other process that shops should implement is checking all parts for correctness to ensure you’re ready for the repair, and Rush recommends mirror matching to ensure you have the right parts and to allow you to discover problems in advance. In closing, he encouraged attendees to standardize their processes by finding the one best way to perform a task and making that the standard upon which to improve.
Business Continuation Planning: Inside Buying or Selling a Business Mitchell Portnoi, Esq. and Douglas J. Sherman, Esq., from PPGMS presented “Business Continuation Planning: Inside Buying or Selling a Business.” Portnoi, a litigation attorney, gets involved when there are problems with a contract or agreement, but because litigation is such a
huge expense for small businesses, business owners want to avoid potential litigation (“an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”), and this is where Sherman, a specialist in transactions, comes in. Even the best contracts can result in parties disagreeing on key terms, so using a transaction attorney is imperative, according to Portnoi. Sherman works with those buying and selling businesses, and he provided advice on the process. The most important step is to get your team together at the very beginning, including your attorney and your accountant as you need to know how much the business is worth. Begin by having an attorney draft a letter of intent to negotiate the key business terms of the deal (this letter is non-binding so either party can still walk away at this point if they are not satisfied). For family transfers, each individual should hire separate attorneys to avoid a conflict of interest and to ensure that both sides are adequately represented and protected. Portnoi and Sherman also discussed the benefits of buying the business under a company name to protect the owner’s personal assets
and interests; establishing a company that owns the assets shields the business owner from liability so that if they are sued, their other assets cannot be lost. Sherman recommends a Limited Liability Company (LLC) to avoid double taxation, though a transfer tax does apply. If the business and land are both being purchased, each should be placed in separate LLCs to provide the best protection from liability issues. After acquiring the letter of intent, the next step is to obtain a signed contract. There are two ways to sell a business: an asset purchase agreement or a stock transfer. Sherman recommends the former as it includes the acquisition of clients, permits/licenses, and equipment as well as the business name and brand because you’re buying the business in its entirety. Once the business is transferred, the asset purchase agreement provides a firm separation between the buyer and seller. In contrast, with a stock transfer, the buyer takes on the business as is, and though it sounds easier, it’s not the best idea from a liability standpoint because the buyer is now stepping into the seller’s shoes and
assuming any issues that may arise. Regardless of the route you choose, Sherman stresses the importance of including indemnities and other provisions in the contract to ensure that the buyer continues to run the business in the same manner as prior to the sale, which will contribute to a smooth transition. The contract should also include confidentiality provisions, a non-competition clause, and a due diligence period to allow the buyer at least one month to ensure that they are getting what they expect. Be sure to research the business and property to be certain that you are not acquiring any liens, and, if there are any environmental issues, make sure the seller handles those problems before you assume responsibility for the business; these conditions can also be included in your contract.
Unleashing Your Secret Power: Key Performance Indicators John Niechowiadowicz of QLC, Inc. and Jerry McNee of Ultimate Collision in Edison, NJ, presented “Unleashing Your Secret Power.” For shop owners interested in improving their businesses, the powerful information
at their disposal that’s not being fully used is key performance indicators (KPIs), which allow shops to track their performance and compare it to industry benchmarks. Niechwiadowicz believes that tracking your KPIs is the first step to identifying the biggest areas of opportunity and creating action plans to improve your business. In addition to improving your negotiating position, tracking KPIs is motivational for you and your employees! The best way to improve something is to measure it, while not tracking your KPIs can limit your success; Niechwiadowicz insists “you owe it to yourself, your team, your families, and the industry to track your KPIs and be as successful as you can be!” Niechwiadowicz advised attendees to review how each KPI is calculated, where the information can be obtained, and what the top performers achieve. Next, you must transform that KPI from a number into an operational action plan and, most importantly, get motivated to improve your business by tracking and acting on your KPIs. He focused on the top five KPIs that should be tracked: See Northeast Trade Show, Page 22
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS 21
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more than three decades; Ford sold more than 700,000 F-150 pick-ups last year alone. “The goal is to have enough capacity to be able to handle the F-150,” Massie said. “We know that roughly 80 percent of our customers are going to independent body shops. Less than 50 percent of our dealerships even have a body shops. Of those that have body shops, probably about 800 are really in really in the collision business. We realize we cannot have a mainstream repair process (for the F150) if we were to direct all our customers only to our dealers.” Massie reiterated that Ford will not be limiting sale of replacement parts for the new F-150 only to network shops. “You can’t mainstream something if you’re restricting the parts sales,” he said.
Network requirements But to qualify for the network and listing on Ford’s shop locator, Massie said, an independent shop must be nominated by a Ford dealer. Ford dealContinued from Page 21
Northeast Trade Show
● Average repair order (RO): You can impact your average RO by taking estimating classes and using available information, but the best way is to ensure an accurate, complete RO by performing a complete tear-down and writing a thorough blueprint at the beginning of the repair process. ● Total sales: Improve total sales by tracking them accurately and setting goals to ensure your employees understand the importance of sales. ● Labor efficiency: Track labor efficiency as it is beneficial for everyone when efficiency increases. ● Total gross profit: Of course, it’s difficult to improve your business without discussing your bottom line, and focusing on the following categories will aid in impacting your total
ers without a body shop will likely nominate the shop(s) to which it refers collision repair work, Massie said, and other shops may be nominated by the dealer from which they buy wholesale parts. Although the automaker is placing few limits on the number of shops a dealer may nominate nor the distance from a dealer an independent shop must be to participate, Massie acknowledged getting the right number of shops in the right locations is the “tricky” or “touchy piece of the whole idea of recognizing independents.” “It’s really difficult for us to bring in independent body shops but say we don’t want you within 5 or 10 or 50 miles of a dealership,” Massie said. “This is more about being consumercentric.” Massie said as the program grows over time, there may be issues the automaker needs to address in some markets if, for example, a dealer is resisting bringing enough independent shops into the program. But Massie said those who sell the vehicle know it’s not in their best interest to tell a customer they will have to wait long or go far to get it fixed. “To the top of the house at Ford Motor Company, they recognize that gross profit: labor, parts, paint and materials, and sublet. Monitoring these factors will help you maintain focus on the significant and beneficial impact it can have on your entire team’s lives. ● Touch time: Improve touch time by eliminating inefficiencies in the repair process and focusing on anything that causes repairs to start and stop. Improving touch time will positively impact sales, profitability, productivity, customer satisfaction, your working environment, and even the personal lives of your employees and yourself!
Niechwiadowicz concluded with the reminder that “the first step toward improvement is to track your numbers.” Learn more about the AASP/NJ 2014 Northeast Automotive Services Show at www.aaspnjnortheast.com.
we need to have independents involved,” Massie said. The initial requirements to join are focused on more general repair, Massie said, but to remain in the program in 2015, a shop must be “aluminum capable,” including having an area separated off (by curtains or walls) for aluminum work. A specific self-piercing rivet gun is currently required (though Ford representatives said a second brand may soon be approved) but otherwise the required equipment list allows for multiple brands or models as long as they meet the required specifications. The list includes an aluminum MIG welding system, a set of hand and power tools dedicated to aluminum work, and aluminum dent and dust extraction systems. One online Ford training course and two specific I-CAR training courses and welding certification are required. Shops are only required to have one technician trained, Massie said, but the goal is to train anyone repairing the F150. In addition to about 800 Ford dealership shops, the automaker wants to add about 750 independent shops this year and each of the next two years for a total of about 3,000 shops
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Repairability addressed Ford representatives at CIC continued the automaker’s efforts to ensure dealers, collision repairers and insurers that F150 design engineers kept repairability in mind when developing the vehicle. See Ford’s Plan, Page 26
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in the program by the end of 2016. The program is being administered by Assured Performance, which said the $2,950 annual fee can enable qualifying shops to participate in Chrysler and Nissan’s shop certification programs as well. There is an annual audit process to ensure a shop in the program still qualifies. Massie said independent shops with a Ford dealer sponsor can get more information about the program by calling (949) 221-0010 or visiting www.fordcertifiedshop.com. Is Ford planning for more use of aluminum in its vehicles that will help improve the return on investment for a shop becoming aluminum-capable? “Ford doesn’t speak about future vehicle programs, but you can see where the fuel economy has to be by 2025, so I think it’s fair to assume there will be more in the future,” Massie said.
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MI Collision Repair Student Sierra Lantz is Learning Repair but toward a Racing Career
What started with racing her go karts and snowmobiles has turned into a full time dream come true for Sierra Lantz, a student in the Auto Collision Repair program at the Tech Center. The recent class project: her own 1989 Mustang which she’ll race at the Kalamazoo Speedway for the summer season. “I want to go as far as I can,” said Lantz about her future. “I like Indi cars but I will race anything.”
Sierra Lantz has had a racing passion for years
Sierra’s upgrade to full sized cars began with racing a four cylinder Honda Civic for a year and a half at the Berlin Raceway. “We run a tight budget so we race what we can,” she said. Sierra is excited to be switching cars, and raceways this year. “I like Fords and have always wanted a Mustang. Now I have one.”
Fatal Shooting At Colleton, SC, Auto Body Shop
A shooting at a Colleton County auto body shop on March 14 left one man dead and another seriously injured, officials said. Several people and multiple weapons were involved, said Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Amye Stivender. No shooting-related arrests have been made, but Edward and Jason Russell have been arrested and charged with obstructing justice in Sheriff R.A. Strickland’s investigation, she said. Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene in the 200 block of Godwin Street where they found a man already dead from his wounds, Stivender said. Another man who was still alive had gunshot wounds to the face. He was transferred by helicopter from Colleton Regional Medical Center to the Trauma Unit of the Medical University of South Carolina, Stivender said. Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey identified the deceased as Daquawn Lawton, 22, of Sharon Drive. Harvey said Lawton died of multiple gunshot wounds to the upper torso.
ALLDATA’s VIN Decoder Has Been Enhanced
“No one else in my family actually reers, define career paths and realize races,” said Sierra, who completely their true passions. Along the way, owns her passion for speeding through they develop skills they can use in colfinish lines. She explained that her father lege courses and when starting their had been working careers. with her to fix up Sierra Lantz is excited to race her cars and other ve- new Mustang this summer (cr. Chrishicles for years, but tine Vanermeer)Sierra Lantz is excited racing was her to race her new Mustang this summer idea. (cr. Christine Vanermeer) Sierra was appreciative that the Tech Center Sierra Lantz with has helped her Auto Collision continue to learn program instructor about cars. Not Charles Heinz only was it fun (Credit: Christine to bring her own Vanermeer) car into class to work on, but the facilities at the Tech Center made the final touches to the car much easier, she said. Now her Mustang, referred to as KCTC Sierra Lantz is planning some exciting he or she, depending on Sierra’s racing for her Mustang this summer mood, is a stunning black, pink and silver. Not many high school students “The Auto Collision class gives can boast having a vehicle similar to good fundamentals,” said Ken Vandertheir dream car before graduation. warf, a career specialist at KCTC. “It Sierra is close, admitting “Someday I helps students determine if they want want an all pink Mustang with black to continue into an auto-related career.” racing stripes.” Sierra’s ambition goes far. “We The Tech Center provides real only have one or two girls in class, and life experiences in 24 different pro- Sierra can outdo most of the boys,” grams, helping students explore ca- said Vanderwarf.
ALLDATA LLC has enhanced its core products, ALLDATA Repair S3000 and ALLDATA Collision S3500 with a VIN Decoder. Said ALLDATA President, Jeff Lagges, “Anything we can do to help technicians save time and move vehicles through faster will help shops increase revenue. So many of us at ALLDATA have worked in the bays turning wrenches, so we understand what can make a positive difference to a shop on a daily basis.” Entering the VIN into the system will automatically pull up the year, make, model and engine for the specific vehicle being worked on. This can help save time and frustration and help ensure the technician is working on the correct vehicle-engine combination. Further enhancements to ALLDATA Repair S3000 and ALLDATA Collision S3500 include easier scroll bar navigation and greater control when displaying saved articles. These enhancements are in response to direct feedback ALLDATA received from its customers. “While we never stop researching and developing new products, we are always very aware of the product that put us on the map,” said Lagges.
GCIA’s Members Hosted Two Speakers at March Meeting
The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) March member meeting was held at the Doubletree Hotel in Atlanta, GA, on March 20. After a catered dinner, attendees received valuable information from the two speakers. Reid Heiser of Mitchell International began by discussing their RMC Paint and Material calculator. GCIA executive director Howard Batchelor recounts, “he mentioned that this type of invoicing can help overcome paint and material thresholds, and it can also help you get paid on special colors that the typical refinish hour times material rates don’t account for.” Bob Winn from Enterprise Rent-A-Car discussed several ARMs reports that should be reviewed on a daily basis. In particular, Batchelor notes, “the LOR (Length of Rental) report is very important in tracking your cycle time.” According to Batchelor, the meeting “went very well. I believe attendees found value in the presentations. These meetings help shops be better prepared to address issues that affect their businesses.” For more information about GCIA, visit www.gcia.org.
24 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
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Continued from Page 22
Larry Coan, Ford’s damageability product concern engineer, said the new F-150’s high-strength steel frame will be sectionable. “You’ll have the very front stub, the front third, and the rear third available sections for service,” Coan said. “But we will also offer separately serviceable front lower control arm mounting brackets. So if those are damaged, they can be replaced separately from the frame.” The inner and outer rocker panels are sectionable (although the outer rocker on the crewcab model cannot be sectioned). The mounting tab for the B-pillar stops short of the roof, eliminating the need to remove or cut access in the roof. Two repair methods —welding, or a rivet-bond procedure—are acceptable for floorpan sectioning, Coan said. And every sheet metal replacement part for the vehicle will include an instruction sheet. “It will detail all the procedures to R&R that part, or where to section that part, for parts that are sectionable,” Coan said. “It will detail the rivet pat-
terns, the glue, all the steps you need to do in order to service that part.” Several repairers at CIC expressed concern that Ford is not limiting structural pulls on the vehicle as some European automakers do on aluminum-intensive vehicles. “Is there a fear that if we make a pull on that body structure it will break the bonding Larry Coan agent on the other side of the car,” Dusty Womble of Roger Beasley Collision Center in Austin, Texas, asked. Kye Yeung of European Motor Car Works in Santa Ana, Calif., expressed similar concerns, noting that insurers may presume shops can make structural pulls on other aluminum vehicles. “Is it because your aluminum vehicle is mounted on a steel frame,” Yeung asked. “It is a big benefit to have this steel frame underneath the truck,” Tom Green, Ford body and chassis commodity manager, responded. “We’re finding with pulling that we’ll actually tear or rip out the rivets before the bonding comes loose. So (pulling is al-
lowed) most likely because we have more mechanical fasteners. But I really can’t speak for the other OEMs. All we know is we’re able to pull it. We’ve tested it out and we know it’s not compromised.” Massie agreed that shops nor insurers should not presume that one automaker’s guidelines apply to another automaker’s vehicles. “We all do things a little bit differently,” Massie said. “Follow the procedures you are given and you should be okay.” Ford will have a cut-away of the new F-150 and more information available for collision repairers at both NACE in July in Detroit, p and at SEMA in Las Vegas in November. John Yoswick, a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about Kye Yeung the automotive industry since 1988, is also the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). He can be contacted by email at: jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
Robbers Tie Up Auto Body Shop Employees and Steal Catalytic Converters in NJ
Five robbers tied up the employees of an auto body shop on Amboy Avenue in Elizabeth, NJ, and stole about $250,000 worth of catalytic converters on April 18, 2014. Officials said they have arrested four suspects, but are looking for one more, who is considered heavily armed. The suspects fled the scene at Bayway Scrap Metals in two vehicles, a white U-Haul truck and a black 2001 Ford F-150 pickup truck. At least one of the suspects in the U-Haul was caught after ditching the vehicle and fleeing on foot near routes 1 and 9. The Ford was found abandoned on Clarkson Avenue.
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Covington, KY’s Samaritan Car Care Clinic, A Church Group, Provides for Needy Every Quarter by Krista Ramsey at Cincinnati.com
Tammy Grigsby of Covington is ecstatic to be receiving free auto repair from skilled technicians. “This place is like angels in heaven to me,” she says. After losing her job as a pastry chef in 2011, losing everything she owned in an apartment fire the next year and losing her unemployment benefits this year, Tammy no longer takes things like windshield wiper blades or air filters for granted. “You buy a quart of oil or something for dinner – that’s where I am right now,” she says. A few yards away from her, in the garage of Walther Autobody in Covington, a team of men in coveralls or flannel shirts and blue jeans is making sure Tammy’s money goes toward dinner. They’re part of the Samaritan Car Care Clinic, a ministry of the Madison Avenue Christian Church in Covington that four times a year provides free basic car maintenance for people in need. As they check the radiator fluid, replenish windshield wiper fluid, change the oil and add air to the tires of Tammy’s 2004 Ford Taurus—which she bought six days before the restaurant where she worked closed and just
paid off—the men know they’re doing more than helping Tammy hold onto money for a meal. They’re helping her hold onto hope for a job. “So many of the cars we see are on their last leg, but this is all they have to drive—it’s not like if something’s wrong, they just hop into their other car,” says Tom Seeger, a retired Cincinnati Bell technician. “When the car’s down, they don’t go to work.” And at the entry-level jobs most hold, if they don’t show up for work, they soon don’t have a job. The car care program started nearly seven years ago after church members noticed that many of the people—especially women—showing up for free weekly dinners had serious problems with their cars. “From the work we do, we have a good feel for the needs of the poor, and the biggest challenge for the working poor is transportation,” the Rev. Chinnamuthu Simon says. Simon turned to church member Bruce Kintner, a PNC Bank vice president with car maintenance skills, who came up with the idea of the clinic and recruited other volunteers, among them an accountant, graphic designer, nursing home orderly and claims agent.
After they advertised the service through Head Start programs and the Women’s Crisis Center, six women showed up for the first clinic in 2007. Ever since, as soon as the clinics are announced, all 16 half-hour appointment slots are filled immediately. Walther Autobody donates use of its garage. Ashland Inc. donates Valvoline oil. The Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation does an annual fundraiser. And last December, Enquirer readers donated funds to pay for a year of the clinics. About 90 percent of those who bring their cars in are women. Several have been living in their vehicles. Some, like Grigsby, who says she knows nothing about cars and has no one who can help her, brings her car in every session. “I go on the Internet if I hear something wrong with my car and I start freaking out. To get a job, I have to keep my car safe,” she says. “I have no knowledge of cars, but I’ve been coming here for three years and they’ve been teaching me. They just showed me how to put in transmission fluid and to check it.” A basic understanding of their cars can be more than money-saving for the clients. It could be life-saving. Many of the cars have been so poorly
maintained that they present a road hazard, Kintner says. He remembers a Pontiac Bonneville brought in that held 4.5 quarts of oil, but was down to of a quart. “It’s amazing that the engine didn’t seize up,” he says. “But it was going to.” The tires on another woman’s car required 35 pounds of air pressure, but were running on only 15. “Even air takes money at filling stations, and she told us, ‘I don’t have the dollar,’ ” Kintner recalls. While the volunteers don’t do major repairs like engine overhauls or brake jobs, they know that they are doing at the ground level what politicians and policymakers talk about all the time: helping people retain jobs. “I get the feeling that 15 years ago, people wrote a check. Now people want to use their skills to help someone else,” says Greg Patterson, a Procter & Gamble employee and firsttime volunteer. He says the four hours of volunteering have left him with a better understanding of other people’s needs and a stronger sense of gratitude. “There are times when I feel my finances are tight,” he says. “Not even close.”
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS 27
Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WaterCar Has Body Shop Owner Swimming in Business with Ed Attanasio
Dave March, owner of Fountain Valley Bodyworks in Fountain Valley, CA, owns a busy body shop that repairs roughly 500 cars every month. When he isn’t wrestling with insurance companies and making sure every car leaves his shop in pristine condition, March is a dreamer and an inventor. He enjoys thinking outside of the ordinary. His brainchild is called the WaterCar, a hydro-friendly, amphibious vehicle that can be used to drag water skiers and tubers at more than 40 miles per hour. Inspired by the Amphicar of the 1960s, March started working on the WaterCar more than 15 years ago as a personal challenge to build the world’s fastest amphibious vehicle. He had no plans to ever offer it to the public, March explained, but as he began refining his creation, he saw a need and a market for the WaterCar. “We’ve designed several models over the years with the goal to make it better every time,” March said. “Our first version of the WaterCar was a purposebuilt vehicle, to be very fast on both land and water. But, when the WaterCar established the amphibious speed record with our Python model, our attention turned to reliability, and we began designing a vehicle to offer to the public.”
March, owner of Fountain Valley Bodyworks in Fountain Valley, CA, wants to sign up other body shops all over the country to assemble WaterCar kits as a new, exciting source of additional revenue.
After numerous successes and failures, 27 patents, and literally thousands of labor hours, March’s dream has been achieved. It’s called the Panther—and the very first WaterCar to be offered to the public. March and his all-star team consisting of top automotive designers and technicians have tweaked the WaterCar’s design, and, by using state-ofthe-art equipment at Fountain Valley Bodyworks, they’ve come up with the
ultimate vehicle for both land and sea. Is the WaterCar more automobile or more boat? Legally, amphibious vehicles need to be registered both as a car and as a boat in the U.S. and display both license plate and hull numbers. “In some states, the Department of Transportation is still a little confused about the concept, but more and more they’re embracing
People can fish, duck hunt, water ski, or even parasail behind the WaterCar
the WaterCar,” March said. “Arizona, California, and Nevada have been a little tough in getting on board, but we’re confident that they will eventually embrace the idea. We’re getting them approved, but, in some cases, we have to jump through hoops to get it done.” During its development years, March was continuously approached by people around the world who wanted to purchase a WaterCar, but he wasn’t ready to put them on the market for a wide range of reasons. “While we were flattered that people wanted the WaterCar, we just felt it wasn’t ready,” March said. “It was difficult to say no for all those years, but we figured hey—let’s not rush it. In 2013, we realized that the WaterCar was ready for the public, and pretty much right away the orders started coming in.” March received a ton of publicity when he drove his WaterCar all the way from his shop in Fountain Valley to Catalina Island in January 2014. The story, “Amphibious water car dives into land and sea market,” made page one of the Chicago Tribune and created a buzz worldwide. “We made the 30-mile trip at around 40 miles per hour, and we used about 10 gallons of fuel one-way. Typically, a boat will get around four miles per gallon, so the WaterCar isn’t just fast, it’s also green and very economical. When we pulled into that harbor, the people were shocked and
28 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
surprised when we drove up!” Celebrities and billionaires are showing interest in the WaterCar, but anyone with $140,000 lying around can buy one, March said. “Wealthy folks are always looking for the newest toy, and the WaterCar definitely fits the bill. These famous people make us sign non-disclosure agreements, so I can’t tell you any names. But I can tell you that one individual who is awaiting delivery of his WaterCar is the founder of a very wellknown tech company.” (And his last name isn’t Zuckerberg, Ellision, or Wozniak!) “The attention this vehicle has received is pretty amazing, to say the least.” The hottest markets for the WaterCar are currently in Florida and Dubai, March said. “Millionaires with 200-foot yachts want to have a WaterCar so they can taxi around and then hit the streets. With all of those little islands, the WaterCar is perfect for Dubai, as well as in the Florida Keys.” March is now selling WaterCar
kits and believes that body shops would be ideal to assemble them. Since he has
Celebrities all over the world want a WaterCar, but March can’t divulge their names for legal reasons
a backlog of orders and can’t make them fast enough, this might be the best time to jump into a sideline business by putting together WaterCar kits. “The kits cost around $75,000, so there’s plenty of room there for profit,” March explained. “We’d like to get body shops from different regions of the country involved, especially those See Swimming in Business, Page 58
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www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS 29
Northeast News 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 email@example.com.
Reactions from Attendees at Northeast™ 2014 Automotive Show 2014 is the third year that I have attended the annual Northeast™ Automotive Services Show presented by the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ), and though each year has offered many new and exciting things, the 2014 show was definitely something special and unique. AASP-NJ obviously put a lot of time and work into planning the event, and their efforts really paid off! In addition to offer-
Corvettes set up in Expo Center for car show
ing new seminars, AASP-NJ planned a full schedule of events, activities, and even celebrity appearances in 2014. For starters, 2014 marked the first Annual Northeast/National Glass Corvette Association (NGCA) Car Show, which consisted of nearly 20 classic cars from several decades being displayed in the back corner of the expo floor. Throughout the weekend, Javier Soto set up shop in a booth as he created a custom airbrush design, giving attendees an opportunity to witness this master painter at work on his craft. Meanwhile, VRSim hosted a Virtual Spray Paint Tournament that allowed attendees to compete for an HDTV. Exhibitors were recognized at the AASP-NJ Exhibitor Appreciation Party on Friday evening, complete with an appearance from comedian Gary DeLena. On Saturday morning, the BASF booth generated a lot of attention by having Chip Foose of Overhaulin’ sign autographs and take photos with fans who lined the aisles for a chance to meet this industry icon. Later that afternoon, Ron Ananian, aka the Car Doctor, broadcast his
nationally-syndicated radio talk show live from the expo floor. The 6th Annual Northeast Family Day on Sunday featured indoor carnival games along with free popcorn and ice cream for the kids to enjoy. While my experience indicates that Northeast 2014 far exceeded previous years, I was curious to see how my experience compared to that of the collision repair professionals in attendance. Fortunately, several attendees graciously shared their opinions about the show. Tony Lombardozzi, president of the Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (CCRE), noted that in comparison to the 2013 show, Northeast 2014 had greater attendance and sold all exposition booths. “Vendors were enthused with the fact that there were many ‘real buyers’ walking the show floor. One vendor commented to me that he would rather be in New Jersey than at NACE.” Lombardozzi felt that most of the seminars were good, and he notes that Larry Montanez drew the largest crowd, as usual. He also noticed that many shop owners attended attorney John Eaves Jr’s presentation, and it seems like Eaves is generating quite a bit of interest in his class-action lawsuit. Lombardozzi said that he has, “Been attending this show for over 30 years, and this year was at the top of the list with a few others. It was a great show, and I can’t wait until next year’s show comes around.”
Northeast 2014 expo shows an increase in attendance
Tony Ferraiolo, president of the Auto Body Association of Connecticut (ABAC), had a similar opinion: “I thought the Northeast show was awesome… the best so far that I have attended. The place was abuzz with
30 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
equipment and information, aluminum repair being at the forefront. It was very well-presented and organized. Everyone I spoke with enjoyed the show. Great job to New Jersey and New York!” Although he didn’t participate in any seminars at Northeast 2014, Ferraiolo particularly enjoyed the Leadership Forum on Friday afternoon. “It was good to see the other associations in agreement on a lot of the industry’s issues. The questions presented were good, and the format of associations asking questions was a great change. Overall, time well spent, and I look forward to next year, especially the Northeast Leadership meeting.” Gene Lopez of I-CAR also saw a lot of value in the Leadership Forum and its new roundtable format. “I liked the associations proposing questions as compared to delivering the annual state of the association.”
Additionally, Lopez found the two Ford events very beneficial, both the seminar centered around shop certification and the demo on the expo floor that discussed the new F-150 aluminum-intensive design. Like Lombardozzi, Lopez also noticed an increase in foot traffic at the expo over 2013. AASP-NJ executive director Charles Bryant confirmed the increase in attendance at the exposition: “This was the first time in a long time that the aisles of the show were crowded for the entire time the show was open.” Regarding the seminars held at Northeast 2014, Bryant states, “In my opinion, the Leader’s Meeting is both the most interesting and the most useful of all events that take place at the show. By bringing leaders of the industry together from all around the Country to discuss the issues and See Northeast Reactions, Page 53
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS 31
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www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS 33
Collision Repair Instructor Leaves Generous Legacy for Coldwater, MI, Career Center
Joseph Bakle, the first collision repair instructor at the Branch Area Careers Center (from 1973-90), left a generous gift after his passing in 2013 to the Branch County Community Foundation in the amount of $156,299.77. Because of that gift, scholarships will be available to students pursuing careers in auto collision. The BACC Scholarship Fund housed at the community foundation began in 2001 with a goal to “raise enough money to give a student from each BACC program a scholarship every year.” Bakle graduated from Mark Township High School in Mark Center, Ohio, in 1946 and was hired on an annual authorization requiring him to earn his teaching degree. Bakle first attended Ferris State University, where he took the National Occupational Competency test in auto body and scored in the upper 25 percent nationally. He then completed his bachelor’s degree in 1983 in secondary education with an auto body endorsement from Ferris State University. Bakle taught at the BACC for 17 years until he retired in 1990—at
which point he began his nine-year substitute teaching career at the BACC. Throughout that time he also volunteered many hours to train and prepare students for the collision repair Skills USA competitions and numerous demonstrations for collision repair students. In 2012 Bakle contributed to the BACC Scholarship Endowment Fund, allowing the BACC to provide a $500 scholarship to one outstanding senior from each of the 14 programs at the center. That same year, he was inducted into the National Technical Honorary Society. Additionally, Bakle received several awards of recognition for his years of teaching and was involved in various educational clubs. He served on the Coldwater Zoning Board from 1990-96, volunteered his time at the Community Health Center of Branch County and in Iron Mountain for Habitat for Humanity, Dickinson Memorial Hospital, substance abuse programs and the Breen and Crystal Lake Senior Centers.
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they claim. “Section 1 of the Sherman Act does not preclude a party from unilaterally determining the parties with whom it will deal and the terms on which it will transact business. … At the pleading stage, ‘formulaic recitations of a conspiracy claim’ are insufficient, and ‘a conclusory allegation of agreement at some unidentified point does not supply facts adequate to show illegality.’ … The Complaint fails utterly to meet the standards set by the Supreme Court and the Eleventh Circuit for pleading conspiracy.” In response, the repair shops’ attorneys argue that the claims in their complaint are valid. “Defendant State Farm’s motion rests primarily upon the incorrect assertion the complaint fails to set forth sufficient facts to satisfy the pleading requirements,” attorneys write. “Repeatedly and throughout the motion, defendant State Farm misrepresents both the contents of the complaint and quite often the holdings of authority to which it cites. When the correct
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legal standards are applied, a straightforward reading of the complaint establishes there is more than sufficient facts asserted to satisfy the pleading requirements. “Defendant State Farm’s numerous misrepresentation of fact and law do not alter this. The motion to dismiss is without any merit, legal or factual. The plaintiffs respectfully submit it should denied in its entirety,” attorneys claim. The repair shops’ attorneys also responded to Geico’s request for dismissal, writing, “[Ge]ico’s motion rests primarily upon the incorrect assertion that the complaint fails to set forth sufficient facts to satisfy the pleading requirements. Repeatedly and throughout the motion, Defendant Geico misrepresents both the contents of the complaint as well as citations to authority, holdings of the cited courts and the procedural posture of those cases. When the correct legal standards are applied, a straightforward reading of the complaint establishes there is more than sufficient facts asserted to satisfy the pleading requirements.” The judge has not issued any decisions at press time.
Continued from Cover
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and cost controls. It must stop, the driving public deserves a vehicle that has been repaired properly and is safe.” Passwater says, “I am sure that in the near future, possibly hundreds of shops will stand up and join this action, to allow our Industry to repair the vehicles properly for the safety of the consumer. It is unfortunate that the driving public are bombarded daily with billions of dollars of advertising the insurers are spending to convince them that they are a “good neighbor”, or “on their side”, but once this action begins to unfold, the real nature of what has been happening will certainly be revealed.” “John Eaves Jr., lead counsel for the actions across the country, is following a very organized and strategic plan to maximize the effect of the lawsuit for the industry, Some of the top tobacco litigators in the country are now included as legal counsel for many states. Former attorney generals are counsel for many members. The fight is beginning to shift to a more even playing field.”
When insurers don’t cover the full cost of repairs, “it’s such a difficult thing to pass on to a customer,” said Kevin Wells, who operates Quality Collision Inc. in Bloomington and is a plaintiff in the suit. Wells said he often just eats the cost the insurance company won’t pay. “I’m taking it in the shorts by about $6 an hour for every job I do,” Wells said. The lawsuit takes aim at State Farm, which uses its dominant and influential position among other insurers in “spearheading efforts to control and artificially depress damage repair costs,” the suit alleges. State Farm spokeswoman Missy Dundov denied the allegations but declined to elaborate, according to the AP. “This suit has no merit and in no way accurately describes the business relationship State Farm has with thousands of body shops across the country,” she said. A spokeswoman for Indiana Farmers said the company had not received notice it had been named in a suit. A search of complaints against State Farm filed with the Indiana Department of Insurance did not reveal any filed by body shops, said depart-
ment spokeswoman Alexandra Peck. Body shops say State Farm conducts surveys of the going labor rate shops charge in a given area. The data and methodology are not disclosed, shops complain. “Shops are simply required to blindly accept State Farm’s pronouncements regarding these matters.” The insurer attempts to prohibit shops from discussing the labor rates they provide as part of the surveys, “asserting any discussion may constitute illegal price fixing.” Shops that complain the labor rate is inadequate are often told they are the only body shop in the area to say so and that they don’t conform to the “market rate.” In fact, “State Farm knew multiple shops had attempted to raise their labor rates and advised State Farm of such,” the suit alleges. The shops allege insurers have failed to abide by industry standards for auto repairs and repair-estimating databases. At the same time, many insurers pressure shops to reduce costs by using recycled parts. But used parts like doors can require hours of additional labor to be made to fit properly and to be reconditioned.
Ultimately, shops are required to either make “less than quality” repairs or suffer a financial loss. Taking shortcuts raises the specter of safety issues, but once a vehicle is repaired, it’s not easy to spot problems such as improper welds that might be hidden by seam sealer. Neither scenario is palatable to many body shops. “There are a lot of them that have hung it up and said, ‘That’s it. I can’t take it anymore,’” Passwater said. “The guys can’t make it. It’s not that they are bad businesspeople,” said Scott Blake, of Blake’s Carstar Collision Center in LaPorte and president of the IABA. Some shops have survived cost pressures by adding services such as applying sprayed-on bed liners for pickup trucks. Some shops have purchased others through a rollup strategy intended to improve efficiencies. Passwater said the state once had about 2,000 shops; there are now 800 to 1,000. The 34-page suit alleges insurers have violated the federal Sherman Act, both in price-fixing and through boycotting tactics. See Tortious Interference?, Page 59
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Automotive Recyclers Association CEO Urges OEMs to Supply Crucial Parts Data at International Automobile Recycling Congress The 14th International Automobile Recycling Congress (IARC) was held at the Hotel Dolce la Hulpe in Brussels, Belgium, March 19–21, 2014. On March 20, Michael Wilson, CEO of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA), used the forum to discuss the necessity of OEMs providing professional automotive recyclers with access to important OEM parts data. During his presentation, Wilson called on manufacturers, “To become better economic, environmental, and safety partners by releasing OEM build sheet data to the professional automotive industry’s inventory management entities, just as they do for insurance companies and the collision repair industry…Auto manufacturers have placed major restrictions on the dissemination of this data so that it cannot be integrated into professional automotive recyclers’ inventory management systems, [and] without this important data about the parts that OEMs originally manufactured, professional automotive recyclers are not able to seamlessly integrate their OEM parts inventory into estimating and collision repair platforms, and consumers will have fewer choices when making important decisions about the repair of their vehicles.” Wilson began his presentation by focusing on the professional automotive recycling industry in the U.S., noting that 2010 saw $285.7 billion in automotive aftermarket sales, which consisted of replacement parts, accessories, lubricants, appearance products, service repairs, and the tools and equipment necessary for these repairs. In the first quarter of 2013, the average age of U.S. vehicles was 11.4 years with over 70 percent of light-duty vehicles being aged seven years or more, an increase from 63.6 percent in the second quarter of 2008. Emphasizing the importance of access to OEM build sheet and part information, Wilson explained, “Data drives almost every aspect of a professional automotive recycling business [and] provides the backbone to a sustainable business model for these important stewards of the environment.”
Moving on to the topic of data and inventory quality, Wilson stressed the value of automotive recyclers ensuring that their inventories use ARA damage codes and parts grading standards as well as ARA work to establish unified descriptions of recycled parts amongst all parties that sell, buy, and install these parts. Wilson also highlighted the need for greater integration of automotive recall information from vehicle manufacturers into inventory management systems. “The industry must be provided with safety information that can be automatically synchronized with recycled parts inventory so that important recall and service bulletin information is seamlessly integrated into the inventory management systems used by the automotive recycling industry.” In discussing the International Dismantling Information System (IDIS) that was developed to meet the legal obligations of the European Union’s End of Life Vehicle (ELV) Directive, Wilson recognized the importance of the system, but noted limitations as it only addresses what the auto manufacturers view as their legal obligations under the ELV Directive. “It really only covers the safe de-pollution and where to find hazardous materials with no reference to parts data.” Wilson also believes that the recent Memorandum of Understanding signed in the U.S. between automakers and other stakeholders involved in the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair issue, while a significant development, does not go far enough ensuring access to this invaluable vehicle data. Wilson addressed the negative OEM campaign on the integrity of recycled parts before exploring areas of potential collaboration, including the potential savings for manufacturers on batches of secondary replacement parts as the use of genuine, recycled OEM parts increases, and greater communication on automotive recalls. In conclusion, Wilson challenged attendees to join efforts to obtain OEM
36 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
parts data by encouraging the OEMs to partner with professional automotive recyclers who promote reusing the parts originally brought to the market by OEMs. The 14th IARC also included sessions on the best-available recycling technologies, the European ELV Directive, E-mobility, the recycling capabilities of newly emerging technology, new financial instruments to boost take-back and recycling, and Green Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency. Keynote speakers included Peter Kronschnabl, president and CEO of BMW Group Belux, Belgium; Professor Duan Weng of Tsinghua University Institute for Energy and Environmental Materials; and Artemis Hatzi-Hull, Green Economy –Waste Management and Recycling Policy Officer of the European Com-
mission DG Environment in Belgium. Other events on the program included an exhibition and “Tool Box Talks,” commercial presentations focused on the recycling industry. Attendees also enjoyed a number of interesting tours to leading recycling companies and car manufacturers’ plants, including Toyota Motor Manufacturing in France, Groupe Comet’s ferrous metal recycling plant in Belgium, and ARN’s shredder residue process plant in the Netherlands. Currently, ARA continues to prepare for the 71st Annual ARA Convention and Expo (www.araexpo.org/ 2014), which will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN, October 22– 25, 2014. For more information about ARA, visit www.a-r-a.org.
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On Creative Marketing
Tom Franklin has been a sales and marketing consultant for fifty years. He has written numerous books and provides marketing solutions and services for many businesses. He can be reached at (323) 871-6862 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. See Tom’s columns at www.autobodynews.com under Columnists > Franklin
Gender Marketing Power is a Trend Already in Evidence with Thomas Franklin
Gender marketing; it sounds like it would be prejudicial and maybe even illegal. But in many collision repair shops the marketing is already heavily gender-oriented. A shop that focuses on race cars, muscle cars, classic cars and sponsoring events around these interests are already marketing to a mostly male audience. Add to that emphasis, all-male estimators, and you have a shop that has a definite male gender focus. Considering that as many as half of the collision repairs coming into the shop are brought in by female customers, adding a female focus to marketing would hardly be prejudicial. One huge, affluent segment wields more spending clout than any other: Baby-Boomer women born between 1946 and 1964, represent a portion of the buying public no marketer can afford to ignore. With successful careers, investments made during the “boom” years, and inheritances from parents or husbands, reports indicate they are more financially empowered than any previous generation of women. MassMutual Financial Group reports that senior women age 50 and older control a net worth of $19 trillion and own more than three-fourths of the nation’s financial wealth. 2.5 million of them have combined assets of $4.2 trillion. More than 1.3 million women professionals and executives earn in excess of $100,000 annually. 43% of Americans with more than $500,000 in assets are female. Can a shop afford not to market to these ladies? For shops that focus on luxury automobiles, a marketing emphasis on mature women can pay off. Pam
Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, says the mature luxury consumer places the highest priority in making memories and experiences. They don’t buy things to have more things; they want the experience to go along with it. Luxury consumers expect superior quality and are extremely discerning. The 55 to 75 year-old female has seen her role change from homemaker to purchaser of security, convenience and luxury items. Once the college bills are out of the way and children launch their own households, the discretionary spending power of 50-plus women soars. They spend 2.5 times what the average person spends. Women are the primary buyers for computers, cars, banking, financial services and a lot of other big-ticket categories. The shop that emphasizes security and convenience as part of the repair will be more likely to capture the attention of this customer segment. Shops that focus heavily on Internet marketing should be aware that affluent working women with family incomes of $75,000 or more are growing in number, and 94.3 percent access the Internet during an average month. “Ten Marketing Trends to Watch,” an article by Kim T. Gordon on Entrepreneur.com, stated that about half of these women are now considered heavy users of the Internet, while heavy use of radio, television, newspapers and direct mail has declined within this group. A female focus on Internet and social media sites could well pay off. Although it is generally assumed that a focus on sports is a male-oriented activity, 47.2% of major league
During National Volunteer Week in April 2014, CNN recognized a “littleknown industry group” whose members have donated over 200 vehicles worth over $3 million in 2013 to military veterans, homeless families, single parents, and others struggling to get back on the road to a stable life. The network went on to acknowledge the kind of work NABC’ Recycled Rides has accomplished.
Mercedes-Benz has approved the Elektron® MULTISPOT® MI-100control T resistance spot welder with C-pliers (model MTC-6000) for use in performing approved spot welding on high-strength steels like Boron, USIBOR, TRIP, TWIP and XIP. All approved workshop equipment is listed in Mercedes-Benz’s updated GSP Online Technics Information System (GOTIS).
CNN Recognizes NABC for Donating 200+ Vehicles
MB Approves Elektron Spot Welders for HSS
38 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
soccer fans are women as are 46.5% of MLB fans, 43.2% of NFL fans, 37% of NBA fans, and 40.8% of fans at NHL games. Women also purchase 46% of official NFL merchandise. Women are also involved in motorsports. Surprisingly in a motorsports survey, 74% of male respondents and 62% of female respondents agreed that “women racers bring fans out to the games.” Additionally, 40% of female respondents and 21% of male respondents stated that they would be “more” or “much more” likely to follow motorsport races if more females were involved. Shops that sponsor or tie marketing into motorsports should add a female focus. Women also rely more on wordof-mouth and sharing of experiences with friends than men do. A couple of shops I’m familiar with have brought in a woman to help with marketing. These new female marketers promptly joined some women’s networking
groups and sought out opportunities to speak to women’s groups on accident avoidance and long-lasting quality repairs. Another shop added a female estimator and found her closing rate to be one of the best. She kept photos of her children and pets on her desk and had small toys for kids that accompanied a parent whose car she was estimating. When calling women customers about customer satisfaction, the big question shouldn’t be “were you satisfied with your repair,” but rather would she come back for cosmetic work or a self-pay repair if her insurance company had originally referred her? Few women would be willing to risk a loss of face with friends if she just recommended a shop that provided an average or mediocre repair. To get a referral from one of today’s more discriminating females, a shop has to provide an exceptional service experience!
CCC Updates: Carwise Shop Finder Solution, Contact Center Solution, TRUE Parts Network Suppliers, and Crash Course 2014 Report Read about the latest news and announcements from CCC Information Services.
Carwise Shop Finder Solution CCC Information Services launched the Carwise Shop Finder solution (www.carwise.com), a free benefit to users of CCC ONE, on March 19, 2014. Carwise is a consumer-facing website that enables CCC ONE users to share repair status details with their customers. The new Shop Finder functionality allows shops to create a profile and share customer reviews, giving shoppers the information they need to find and select a collision repair partner. The Shop Finder functionality is integrated within CCC ONE so shops can manage and maintain their profiles from within their familiar application. “We see the Carwise Shop Finder solution as a great tool to showcase our shop and our offerings, and to provide us with another channel to connect with more potential customers,” said Karen Hansen, secretary treasurer of Hansen’s Auto Body & Paint.
Configuring a compelling shop profile only takes a few minutes. Shops can upload pictures of the repair facility, highlight services that might set them apart, share the shop history, and indicate the type of payment accepted. Shops that use CCC ONE Update Plus Status or UpdatePlus CSI can share customer reviews directly within their Carwise profile. Validated reviews and comments are presented in an unbiased manner ensuring others see what actual customers are saying about the shop. “CCC is focused on helping our customers be successful, and the Carwise Shop Finder solution will give shops a new channel to market their services to active shoppers,” said Joseph Allen, CCC general manager.
Contact Center Solution On April 15, 2014, CCC announced CCC ONE Contact Center solution, creating a single, central location for designated staff or call centers to view incoming assignments, contact customers, schedule jobs, and dispatch work quickly and easily.
joined the CCC TRUE Parts Network: Brandywine Economy Parts, Carro Pacific Inc., ECO Automotive Distributors, and PAM’s Auto Parts, Inc. Once fully implemented, the new suppliers will be able to display their inventories, provide real-time quote price quotes, and sell their available parts through the CCC ONE platform, making it quick and easy for CCC repair shop customers to buy parts and receive electronic invoices. “We’re thrilled all of these great suppliers have signed on to join the CCC TRUE Parts Network and bring their parts inventories directly to collision repairers who look to purchase parts every day,” said David Boden, CCC vice president. “Since launching the CCC TRUE Parts Network, we’ve seen early adopters of the solution significantly reduce return rates on orders, which is a great benefit to our participating suppliers and the collision repairers that rely on them for parts.” Participation in the CCC TRUE Parts Network is open to all parts sup-
“Visibility across our locations has been a challenge for us, but we don’t have the need or the resources for a call center,” said Lance Bartczak, general manager of Kniesel’s Collision Centers. “The seamless integration between the CCC ONE platform and Contact Center allows for a simplified user experience that results in instant callbacks, an increased positive customer experience, reduced cycle times, happier insurance partners, and increased profitability. To say it’s a win-win is an understatement.” “CCC ONE Contact Center was developed to serve MSOs looking to gain more control of their incoming opportunities. Integration, central visibility, and the ability to quickly and easily balance work were the key criteria shops said they needed, and that’s exactly what we’re delivering in CCC ONE Contact Center,” said Joseph Allen, CCC general manager.
TRUE Parts Network Suppliers On April 17, 2014, CCC announced that four additional parts suppliers
See CCC Updates, Page 51
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Social Media for Shops
Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at email@example.com.
What Ever Happened to the Return Phone Call? with Ed Attanasio
I ran into someone at the 2013 SEMA Show who apologized profusely for not calling me back. “I was meaning to call you back,” he said. “I know you left a message.” “The one from 2012 or the one from 2013?” I inquired as nicely as I could. Why don’t people call each other back anymore? What is the psychology behind not returning phone calls? Do you have a group of friends or business associates in your life who will NEVER call you back, no matter what? The sad fact is that most of us do. Not returning phone calls has become an integral part of our society and a trademark of our times. And with all of the technology out there making it easier to connect (like smartphones, email, and text messaging), people have more ways than ever to not get back to you. So, the question is simple—is the telephone no longer the best way to connect with people and if so, what is the preferred method? In an attempt to analyze this phenomenon, I have spoken with a wide range of people about the subject, including body shop owners, insurance agents, parts managers, and general managers of large MSOs. Most people tell me that the anonymous nature of a phone call or phone message makes it very easy to disregard. Their attitude is that if the caller wants to contact me that badly, they’ll call back or text me or email me. Others believe that they’re already on the phone way too much as it is, so that’s why they only return those calls that seem pressing and/or important. “I spend an inordinate amount of time on the telephone, and I just don’t have the bandwidth to call everyone back,” one body shop’s marketing manager said. “Email is the best way to contact me, followed by texting— but phoning is a distant third.” “I get way too many sales calls,” a body shop owner claimed. “That makes me leery about returning any phone calls because I don’t want to sit through a sales pitch. I’m always doing five things at once, so if some-
thing needs to get cut, it’s probably going to be your phone call.” For others, it’s all about the quality (and brevity) of the phone call. “Some people are engaging and they know how to talk on the phone,” one insurance agent said. “Others get too chatty and for those people email is better. I don’t feel a need to respond immediately to an email, so it’s less stressful than a phone call.” While most people won’t rush to return a phone call, there are still a few “old school” types out there who will go out of their way to return a phone call, even if they’re busy or on the road. In my opinion, those people stand out because they’re the exception rather than the norm. I am often surprised by who returns calls because some of them are big names, yet they always make the time to reach out to me. In his book The Art of the Deal, originally published in 1987, Donald Trump discusses his theory surrounding the telephone and how it can be used as a tool. First off, Trump claims that he returns every phone call he receives because he realizes that each one represents an opportunity to make a deal. He talks to salesmen, office managers, and janitors because they can give him information he can possibly use to get any advantage in the future. In addition, Trump limits all of his phone calls to three minutes and actually uses an egg timer to do the job. That way he controls chatty callers and keeps everyone on point. I always ask salespeople about the subject of return phone calls because it’s their job to communicate with their customers, and most of them make multiple calls on a daily basis. When it comes to business, people have an entirely different theory about returning phone calls. If a salesman calls them, for instance, they will almost never call them back. “It’s their job to get a hold of me,” one collision center manager said when referring to salespeople. “If they’re selling something, they had better adapt to my schedule and figure out the best way to contact me. If I’m not interested in your products or services, I’m not going to call you
40 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
back because I don’t have time to call you and tell you no thanks. Not calling you back is my way of telling you exactly that. Some call it the ‘Hollywood Brush-off,’ but I call it reality.” In an article called “Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You” that Pamela Paul wrote for The New York Times in 2011, she announced the demise of not just the return phone call, but the phone itself. “I don’t think it’s just me,” Paul wrote. “Sure, teenagers gave up the phone call eons ago. In the last five years, full-fledged adults have seemingly given up the telephone—land line, mobile, voice mail, and all. According to Nielsen Media, even on cell phones, voice spending has been trending downward, with text spending expected to surpass it within three years.” Paul interviewed an interior designer who made some interesting points about phone calls and their diminishing role in today’s society. “I lit-
erally never use the phone,” Jonathan Adler told Paul. “I’ve learned not to press ‘ignore’ on my cell phone because then people know that you’re there. I remember when I was growing up the rule was, ‘Don’t call anyone after 10:00 P.M.,’” Adler said. “Now the rule is, ‘Don’t call anyone. Ever.’” I have come to the conclusion that you should not take it personally if someone does not return your phone calls. It doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want to speak with you. And if you work on your phone skills and become more pleasurable to speak with, you’ll find that more of your friends will call you back. I wish that I could have done a more thorough study of this subject, but most of the people who I called to interview never got back to me. Everyone interviewed for this piece asked to remain anonymous because, sadly, they don’t want anyone calling them either.
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I-CAR News: New Board of Directors, Collision Repair Training for 2015 Ford F-150, Industry Support, Limited-Time Promo, and Revamped Steering/Suspension Course The Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) announced several milestone accomplishments made possible through its ongoing commitment to supporting the collision repair industry.
New Board of Directors The 2014 I-CAR International Board of Directors and Executive Committee was announced following the I-CAR strategic planning session and annual membership meeting in San Diego, CA, in March 2014. The Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from each of the following six industry segments: collision repair; insurance; OEM vehicle manufacturers; equipment, tools, and supplies; education, training, and research; and related industry services. The I-CAR executive committee includes: Bob Keith of CARSTAR as chair; Joe Laurentin, Esurance, vice chair; Chris Evan, State Farm Insurance Co., treasurer; Mark Woirol, Tech-Cor, secretary; James Roach, member-atlarge; Eugene Scambray, Copart, member-at-large; and William Brower,
Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, immediate past chair. The remaining Directors include: Mark Algie of 3M; William DeGrocco, GEICO Insurance; David Henderson, AudaExplore; Todd Chizmar, Chrysler; John Donley, IAnet; Robert Hills, Universal Technical Institute (UTI); Christopher Northup, Professional Parts Group, Education Foundation Representative; Richard Perry, Chief Automotive Technologies for Equipment & Tool Institute; Roy Schnepper, Butler’s Collision Inc. for Automotive Service Association; James Spears, USAA; Randy Stabler, Pride Collision Centers Inc.; Dale Tripp, General Motors Company; Ron Vincenzi, Oakland Auto Body; and Dusty Womble, Roger Beasley Collision Centers for Society of Collision Repair Specialists. Bob Keith stated, “I am truly honored to have been elected chairman of the Board of I-CAR. The time that I have spent on the Executive Committee has shown me that I-CAR leadership and staff are all committed to providing the highest quality training, certifications and resources to all seg-
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ments of the collision inter-industry. The 2014 Board of Directors is a tremendous group of professionals who will supply strategic guidance to staff and keep them connected to the ‘heartbeat’ of all industry segments.”
Collision Repair Training Program for 2015 Ford F-150 In a groundbreaking collaboration, ICAR collision repair training experts worked alongside Ford Motor Company engineers during the 2015 Ford F150 design and development process. Two years of development culminates in a new six-credit hour 2015 Ford F-150 Structural Repair course (FOR06) that covers all aluminum topics and dives deep into vehicle-specific repair information. The instructor-led course uses discussion, education, and decision-making exercises to help technicians repair the 2015 Ford F150. Industry training for FOR06 opens June 1, 2014. “This is a game-changer in the way the collision repair industry approaches training; to be fully-prepared with the knowledge, skills, and solu-
tions needed before the vehicle debuts,” said John Van Alstyne, CEO and president of I-CAR. “Traditionally, repair solutions are not developed until after a vehicle is publicly launched, leaving a gap in repair readiness. ICAR commends Ford for its proactive approach, working together with ICAR to develop a repair solution that addresses complete, safe, and quality repairs for the new F-150, and doing so before the vehicle enters production.” Added Jason Bartanen, I-CAR director of industry and technical relations, “For a revolutionary vehicle like the 2015 Ford F-150, material-specific training that highlights the unique processes associated with aluminum repair is critical for the front-line professionals faced with safely repairing these vehicles. I-CAR’s proven track record of aluminum repair technical expertise and training development solidified Ford’s interest in an early partnership to formulate a vehicle-specific training program for the F-150.” Supporting and Giving Back to the Industry
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In 2013, I-CAR committed to set aside $1 for every I-CAR class attended by students in 2014, which enabled ICAR to donate $170,000 to the Collision Repair Education Foundation. In March 2014, I-CAR taught its ten millionth student credit hour over its 35-year legacy. John Van Alstyne, I-CAR CEO and president, explained, “Our ten millionth credit hour represents the hard work and dedication that collision repair professionals put into their work every day. Through ongoing, role-relevant training, our vision is that every person in the collision repair industry has the knowledge, education, and solutions required to perform complete and safe repairs—for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.” Van Alstyne said, “The evolution and impact of I-CAR over the last 35 years is exciting and impressive,” he continued, “And as vehicle technology continues to evolve, you can count on I-CAR to do the same, expanding our relevance and the value we deliver to the collision repair industry.”
Revamped Steering and Suspension Course On April 7, 2014, I-CAR announced
that the popular Steering and Suspension Damage Analysis (DAM06) course has been completely revamped. DAM06 now includes up-todate information on damage analysis procedures for the range of steering and suspension systems and parts featured in vehicles being repaired today and a series of interactive classroom activities designed to engage students and enrich their learning experience. Josh McFarlin, I-CAR director of curriculum and product development, explained, “This course provides an understanding of steering and suspension repair considerations that can help eliminate the chance of compromising the vehicle’s integrity during the repair and reduce comebacks,” he continued, “Content included in this course is beneficial to repairers, business owners, and ultimately consumers.” DAM06 includes a detailed overview of steering and suspension systems and parts; an analysis of issues such as caster, camber, and toe; ride height difference and additional inspection methods; and how to use alignment angle readings. Students will participle in multiple activities throughout the course, including an interactive activity where they will de-
termine alignment angles. This instructor-led, live, threecredit hour course meets training requirements for estimators and auto physical damage appraisers in the ICAR Professional Development Program (PDP).
Limited-Time Promotion on I-CAR Intro to Collision Repair Series Training Bundles On April 16, 2014, I-CAR announced two all-new, limited-time training bundle promotions from the Intro to Collision Repair Series. The exclusive training bundles are specifically tailored to employee career paths in the insurance and collision repair segments,p including entry-level claims adjusters, call center staff, front office support, and career and technical school students. “Providing staff with foundational knowledge on the repair process can have a positive impact on everyone involved—from the customer, to the repairer or insurer, to the business,” stated Elise Quadrozzi, I-CAR director of Segment Development – Insurance. The Intro to Collision Repair Series includes an overview of vehicle
parts and terminology, reading damage reports, and repair and refinishing processes. Quadrozzi explained, “When your entire staff is trained, they can work together more productively, which can directly impact KPIs and CSI scores.” Both training bundles are comprised of eight of the most commonlytaken courses by the insurance and collision repair segments, including one of I-CAR’s most popular courses at no cost. Training bundles are $273 each for a limited time. Each online course takes approximately one hour to complete, is available on-demand, and has no expiration date once the bundle has been purchased. Visit www.i-car.com to learn more.
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Janet Chaney has been a long-time contributor to Autobody News. She’s a former shop owner and now owns and operates Cave Creek Business Development in Stevensville, Montana. Janet supports many auto body associations can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Buses of Yellowstone—How About These for Barn Finds? with Janet Chaney
North Star Body and Trailer Repair in Billings, Montana, has a wonderful story to tell. Don Mueller and his brothers, T.J and John run this third generation business where the doors opened in 1928. The shop was at one time called North Star Body and Blacksmith Shop.
Bus 401 in its barn condition
In 2008, Don, T.J. and John, along with a few other ardent collectors started the, “Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust”. This began for Don Mueller 25 years ago when helping a friend restore a 1936 Yellowstone Park Bus. In 2000 they restored a 1938 Yellowstone Park Bus (which took two years) then another historic Yellowstone Bus came through their door, and another and even a Glacier Park Bus. And the rest, we may say, is Yellowstone history; the Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust was born. A group of interested, passionate bus owners made the commitment to build this American legacy. The enthusiasm is infectious when you hear Don Mueller talk about the Trust and the buses they have. This
IBIS to be Held in Barcelona on May 19-21
IBIS, the International Bodyshop Industry Symposium, is once again bringing together the greatest global minds to share their knowledge and expertise. IBIS 2014 takes place at the luxurious Hotel Arts, Barcelona 19–21 May 2014. With the support of our partners—3M, AkzoNobel, Audatex, Automechanika, Axalta, EMM, Enterprise, Innovation, Quindell and Thatcham Research. Confirmed speakers include: Dr. Thomas Aubel, Sean Carey, and Michael Macaluso.
group lovingly maintains an important part of American history. Mueller smiles through the phone when he talks about, ‘a great barn find.’ A bus they found that had been in a barn in Bozeman, Montana for 45 years, bus Number 401, a 1937 Yellowstone Park Bus . Bus Number 401 went through the Trust Preservation and is now back on the roads, taking eager visitors on day trips to the Beartooth Mountains or even longer trips back through Yellowstone Park. When Bus Number 401 rolled through the Park entrance last year, it was the first time it entered Yellowstone Park since 1960s. The Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust have rented a building in Red Lodge, Montana, where several buses are stored. Mueller states quite clearly, “These buses are Preservations, not Restorations.” “ We clean them up, do maintenance, tune-up’s, brake jobs, change belts and hoses and wires, clean cooling systems; whatever it takes to keep them running.”
trips, with a picnic lunch, up the Beartooth Highway as a fund raiser for the organization. The Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust is a 501©3 non-profit organization and does depend on contributions to exist and keep those buses on the road back to our history. You can help keep these Yellowstone Buses on the road by sending a
tax deductible donation to this great American legacy. Learn more at their website, www.boypt.org. Contact: Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust P.O. Box 1522 Red Lodge, Montana 59068
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Bus 401 after restoration
The 5 buses in Red Lodge are operable and shown off in parades and events throughout the year. During the summer months the Trust takes day
Premier Services Donates $2.5K to the CRE Foundation
Premier Services has donated $2,500 to the Collision Repair Education Foundation to assist the charitable organization’s efforts to support high school and college collision school programs, instructors and students nationwide. “Premiere Services is pleased to support the initiatives of the Collision Repair Education Foundation as they assist the industry’s future,” said Joyce Kasmer, Premier Services executive director of sales and marketing.
44 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
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WIN Announces 2014 Conference Brochure, Most Influential Women and Scholarship Winners, Corporate Sponsors, and New Board of Directors Members The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) has several announcements leading up to the 2014 WIN Education Conference at Paradise Point Resort and Spa in San Diego, CA, May 5–7, 2014. Electronic Conference Brochure To help reduce their carbon footprint, WIN created an electronic version of the conference brochure, which you can download at http://thewomensindustrynetwork.ning.com/page/2014conference.
Most Influential Women Winners On March 24, 2014, WIN announced the 2014 Most Influential Women (MIW) Award recipients: ■ Frederica Carter, President of F. Carter Events, LLC (former Communications Manager at AkzoNobel) ■ Jordan Hendler, Executive Director, Washington Metropolitan Autobody Association ■ Leanne Jefferies, Director, Collision Programs, AIA Canada The award is given annually to women in the collision repair industry who exemplify qualities of business and civic leadership, vision, and commitment to excellence. “I was impressed with the energy, accomplishment, and commitment of all the nominees who spanned a broad range of responsibilities,” said Russell Long of Change Innovations, the leadership development and executive coaching firm engaged to evaluate the nominees. Established in 1999 by AkzoNobel, WIN acquired stewardship of the MIW program in 2013.The inaugural MIW Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony will be held in conjunction with the 2014 WIN Educational Conference. “It was our privilege to bring this program innovation to the industry and Frederica Carter nurture it for 14 years,” said Doug Holmberg, director of vehicle refinishes for AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings North America, who will speaking at the 2014 MIW Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony. “As we approach the final stages of planning for the first MIW Award Ceremony under WIN’s care, we are excited to carry on this important tradition begun by AkzoNobel,” said Margaret Knell, chair of the MIW Committee and director of corporate administration at I-CAR.
Scholarship Winners On March 27, 2014, WIN announced the 2014 WIN scholarship winners:
■ College Student Tuition and Conference Scholarship: Stephanie Baker, who will attend WyoTech in Blairsville, PA, and Suzanna Hernandez, who will attend Southeast Community College in Lincoln, NE. They will each receive $1,000 to continue their post-secondary education in collision repair, a one-year WIN membership, registration fee and travel expenses to attend the 2014 WIN Educational Conference, and the opportunity to be mentored by winners of the 2014 MIW awards. ■ High School TuJordan Hendler ition Scholarship: Danielle Caballero from Converse, TX, Megann Holbrook from North Severn, MD, and Shelby Woods from Moberly, MO. They will each receive $1,000 to continue their post-secondary education in collision repair and a one-year WIN membership. The WIN scholarships are made possible by WIN sponsors, special events including the annual Scholarship Walk, and sales of the “There’s A Place For You” recruiting poster. “We believe that we have an obligation to support young women who choose to enter our industry,” said Beverly Rook, co-chair of the Scholarship Committee. “I am honored to be recognized by WIN, and I am even more honored to be a member of this amazing organization,” said scholarship recipient Megann Holbrook.
■ GEICO ■ Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. ■ MetLife Auto & Home ■ Mitchell International ■ Safelite Solutions ■ Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes ■ Sterling Autobody
“The importance of WIN’s mission to our industry is reaffirmed by the tremendous support we have received from our sponsors,” said Susanna Gotsch, chair of the Sponsorship Committee. “These sponsorships played a key role in our ability to expand our scholarship program in 2014, and extend our reach through programs such as the “There’s A Place For You” recruiting poster distributed to over 1,100 technical Leanne Jefferies schools and colleges by the Collision Repair Education Foundation. We are extremely grateful for our sponsors’ support.”
New Board of Directors Members On April 9, 2014, WIN announced that five new members were selected to serve on the WIN Board of Directors:
■ Jaclyn Byers, Estimatics Team Manager, State Farm Insurance Co. ■ Jessica Rob, Communications Manager / Online Web Communications, Akzo Nobel ■ Marie Peevy, Owner, Automotive Training Coordinators, LLC. ■ Nina Pedraza-Zinna, Director of Field Operations, SCA Appraisal ■ Trish Gould, Controller / Human Resources, Keenan Auto Body
The WIN Board consists of various industry segments including collision repair shops, jobbers, suppliers, consultants, information providers, and insurance companies. Board members may serve up to two three-year terms. “WIN is honored to have such outstanding individuals who are willing to share their time and talents on our Board of Directors,” said Denise Caspersen, chair of the Board Development Committee. New board members will be introduced and officially welcomed by seated directors and WIN members-atlarge at the 2014 WIN Educational Conference. To learn more about WIN, visit http://thewomensindustrynetwork.ning. com.
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Corporate Sponsors On April 1, 2014, WIN announced the 2014 WIN corporate sponsors. Gold Sponsor ($10,000): ■ AkzoNobel Coatings Inc.
Silver Sponsors ($5,000): ■ National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) ■ The 3M Company ■ Axalta Coating Systems ■ BASF Corporation ■ Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company ■ PPG Industries Inc. ■ State Farm Insurance ■ Valspar Corporation Bronze Sponsors ($2,500): ■ ABRA Auto Body & Glass ■ Allstate Insurance Company ■ AudaExplore, a Solera Company ■ The Certified Automotive Parts Association ■ Car-Part.com ■ CARSTAR ■ CCC Information Services Inc. ■ FinishMaster Inc. ■ Fix Auto USA
46 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
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Body Found Behind TX Shop is that of Teen Missing Since Feb. 13. No Foul Play Suspected
The Smith County Sheriff’s Office identified the body discovered in Whitehouse, TX, on March 17. The body of a young white male was discovered by someone working on a fence at Nipper’s Auto Body just north of Whitehouse, south of Toll 49. Dental records have confirmed the remains belong to 14-year-old Jacob Hamilton Garrett of Whitehouse. His body was found in a wooded area behind the fence of an auto body shop off Highway 110. Jacob went missing on February 13th and was reported as a runaway. As of now, no foul play is suspected in his death, but authorities are still waiting for the results of additional tests. It’s tragic news to this small East Texas community. An employee at a local body shop in Whitehouse, found Jacob’s body in the woods, leaned up against a tree. It was only a mile away from his house. For those who knew him best, it was news, they didn’t want to hear. “As a campus we were all shocked, of course his family was shocked as well, it didn’t seem like something that was characteristic of Jacob,” said Randi Dunn, Jacob’s former English teacher.
The teenager was reported missing by his family on February 13 of this year. Officials had received reports from his school that he had been texting fellow students, but there were never any confirmed sightings of Garrett. It’s possible Garrett’s body had been at the location of his discovery since the day of his disappearance, said Sheriff Smith. She said it has been difficult for everyone since he went missing because there has been “so many unanswered questions, the lack of Jacob being at school, and the lack of answers.” Those answers, coming from Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith, left many in disbelief. “Even until this morning students were hopeful he was going to reappear,” said Dunn. Jacob was a seventh grader at Whitehouse Junior High that “loved his friends deeply” and “was also very giving.” Dunn said he was an exceptional writer, and wanted to be a professional musician some day. She said it’s hard to believe he won’t be back to her first period class again, and “he had a lot to offer and his life was too short.”
Service King Acquiring MSO Sterling Collision Ctrs Service King Collision Repair Centers has reached an agreement to acquire Sterling Collision Centers and its 62 stores. This acquisition will bring the total number of Service King locations to more than 170 across 20 states, reinforcing its position as one of the country’s largest multi-shop operators (MSOs). Sterling Collision Centers was founded in 1997 with the goal of redefining the collision repair experience. Purchased by Allstate in 2001, the company quickly grew to 1,200 employees with more than 60 collision repair facilities across 16 states. Sterling Collision Centers is the largest of the so-called tied shops’ chains. Service King is a leader in the collision repair industry, having offered customers a superior service experience for more than 38 years. After being established as an industry leader in Texas, Service King began expanding its footprint in 2012 to include Arizona, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Nevada, and Oklahoma. This acquisition of Sterling Collision Centers marks a key milestone for Service King and its more than 2,600 teammates while undoubtedly changing the MSO landscape. “This venture of two well-established and reputable brands will result in many opportunities for Service King
and our ever-growing team. We welcome our new teammates to the Service King family and are excited about what the future holds for us all,” said Chris Abraham, CEO of Service King. “We are honored and appreciative of the profound opportunity this acquisition creates for the collision repair industry. We will continue to provide all of our customers and business partners with the consistent level of service that they have come to expect from Service King.” “Today marks the culmination of many months of hard work, preparation, and planning,” said Jeff McFadden, president of Service King. “We have positioned ourselves to continue to deliver on the promise of the Service King brand.” Service King’s acquisition of Sterling Collision Centers is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014. For more information on Service King, visit www.serviceking.com. Service King is one of the largest regional MSOs of collision repair facilities in the country, dedicated to offering customers an overall superior service experience. Founded more than 38 years ago in Dallas, TX, Service King is a leader in the collision repair industry currently serving customers at 111 locations across Texas, Arizona, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Nevada, and Oklahoma.
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2014 VISION Hi-Tech Training and Expo Hosted by ASA-Midwest with Chasidy Rae Sisk
The Automotive Service Association of the Midwest (ASA-Midwest) hosted the 22nd annual VISION HiTech Training and Expo at the Overland Park Convention Center and adjoining Sheraton Hotel in Overland Park, KS, March 6–9, 2014. The 2014 VISION Hi-Tech Training and Expo exceeded attendance expectations with over 3,000 industry professionals from 37 states and five Canadian provinces and a sold-out exhibit floor. Combined, at-
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tendees received 17,300 hours of training. This was all in accordance with the ASA-Midwest goal for the event, “To provide management and technical training to the independent automotive service industry at an affordable cost through the support of sponsors and exhibitors,” explains Sheri Hamilton, executive director of ASA-Midwest. Exhibitors recognize the value of participating in the expo. Certified Transmission describes the event as being the “best value—better than many, if not all, shows that we attend and exhibit in.” SP2 believes the ASAMidwest VISION Hi-Tech Training and Expo is “a great opportunity for instructors, technicians, owners, vendors, and guests to interact in an atmosphere of sharing. I will recommend this conference to everyone.” VISION
Rhode Island Man Moves from Sheltered Workshop to Job at Auto Body Shop Orquideo DePina used to fill boxes at a sheltered job site, mind-numbing work that gave him little in the way of satisfaction or skills. He recalls one of his employers at Training Through Placement Inc.,
Providence, RI, he is usually the first person to arrive at the auto repair shop. DePina’s boss, Greg Murphy, made a few simple changes to help DePina become familiar with his new work site. He created a labeling system for various tools. The system became so popular that Murphy has expanded it to include all of the work stations. After seeing DePina’s willingness to learn, Murphy said, there is “no question that Q should be working in the community” rather than a sheltered workshop. “He is a great Orquideo DePina checks a tire for a puncture at Progress employee and has continAutomotive ued to grow every single in North Providence, RI, telling him, day,” he said. “You’re never going to get a job out DePina said his new employer there.” “The old bosses used to put sets high expectations for what he me down,” said DePina. can accomplish. Now, DePina goes to work each DePina said he will never forday at Progress Automotive, an auto get how Murphy taught him how to repair shop in North Kingstown, RI, drive—which was not part of his job where he does a bit of everything, description. “I was really nervous,” from changing oil to rotating tires. DePina said. “Now I move cars all Although he takes two buses from around the lot.” 48 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
throughout the four-day event, in addition to several live-broadcast training sessions and panel discussions. Supplementing traditional classroom training, VISION also held live, hands-on training sessions to further develop skills and knowledge for technicians. The 2014 VISION Educator Think Tank featured a full day of training and networking for automotive educators, and VISION HiTech attendees listen attentively to useful it concluded with an hour-long informational seminars panel discussion on the imporwell attended that my sales reps like tant issues impacting modern educators. going to it. It’s big enough to be This panel discussion was broadcast worthwhile, yet small enough to re- live through iATN and can be viewed ally enjoy it. We usually get a lot of at leads from the show, but, mostly, we http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= TXt1LBS6E94. love it just to interact with ASA perThe repair professionals in attensonnel, as well as our own customers. dance were particularly impressed It’s a great show!” with the plethora of information proMore than 80 management and See 2014 VISION, Page 55 technical training sessions were held is “one of CustomerLink’s favorite shows. It’s so well-organized that it’s a pleasure to coordinate, and it’s so
Shults Auto Body Shop Relocation in Foster Township, PA
Construction has begun on a new 8,500-square-foot Shults Auto Body Shop, part of an ongoing redesign and reconstruction of the Shults car dealership in Foster Township, PA. The new facility will house the relocation of a pre-existing Shults Auto Body Shop to the former E-Z TV and Appliance Building site at 911 East Main Street, behind Worth W. Smith. The project will entail the demolition and construction of the dealership’s Chevy and Toyota showrooms, with the new facility taking up 20,000 square-feet and costing roughly $3 million, according to general manager Steve Hopkins. The body shop relocation represents $600,000 of the overall project costs. “We’re making more room for our service. As our service department grows ,our body shop needed a building,” Hopkins said, adding that the body shop will continue to offer the same services at the new location. Hopkins expects that service will not be interrupted in the transition. “We’ll just take a weekend and move over.” Hopkins said the upgrade project required some parking lot reconfiguration, which led to the auto body shop’s relocation.
“The body shop was going to be behind us and we weren’t using the EZ TV and Appliance building, so rather than leave the E-Z TV building empty, we decided to use up some of that so we’d have more parking,” Hopkins said.
Construction work has begun on a new Shults Auto Body Shop in Foster Township, PA. (Photo by Francie Long)
Hopkins said he expects to hire two or three new employees for the relocated body shop and 15 in all when the rest of the upgrades are complete. He said the upgrades are required by General Motors of their dealers. Hopkins said the auto body shop is expected to be operational before other aspects of the project are completed.
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www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS 49
Arkansas Collision Repair Association Seeks New Members for the Industry’s Future, Focus on Educating and New Technology Training with Chasidy Rae Sisk
On April 8, 2014, the Arkansas Collision Repair Association (ACRA) held their monthly meeting in the Pulaski Technical College Body Shop Department in Little Rock, AR. Members gathered to discuss current issues and network with their peers. Jay Scott, ACRA executive director, and Larry Golden, former ACRA president and current ACRA member, took some time to talk about ACRA. ACRA began in 1986, “... When a group of independent shop owners were looking for a better way to get information on the latest technological changes and the equipment necessary to repair the unibody cars coming out,” Golden recalls. “They also wanted to work together to improve the image of the collision repair industry and to bring more professionalism to their image.” Since its inception, ACRA has progressed quite well. “We have experienced times of tremendous growth and other times where interest has faded, but we have always remained focused on education for our shop owners and vendors,” Golden elaborates.
ACRA services the entire state of these future technicians acquire the In recent years, members of Arkansas, but Scott notes that it’s chalnecessary skills and experience to beACRA have participated in Recycled lenging to attract shop owners and come effective employees. Rides, a charitable program that works managers from all over the state beBecause of their dedication to futo refurbish vehicles that are donated cause Arkansas so large. To partially ture technicians, ACRA tries to support to families in need. Jody Gatchell, alleviate this dilemma, ACRA who heads their community-focused attempts to hold at least one committee, also contributed his servmeeting each year in a differices to paint a fire truck pink for the ent part of the state. city of Conway, AR, to help generate Currently, ACRA conbreast cancer awareness. sists of approximately 31 When questioned about the biggest members who attend monthly challenges impacting the industry today, meetings to gain insight on Golden noted, “Changes in technology how to improve their busiand the advanced electronics on vehicles nesses in an ever-changing will continue to present shops with chalmarket. In addition to their lenges. Staying involved with associaACRA members and guests touring the newly-opened continual goal of providing Harry Robinson Body Shop in Fort Smith, AR tions like ACRA will help shops see education, ACRA also strives what equipment and training is necesto grow the organization with engaged their local SkillsUSA competitions. sary to correctly fix the cars of today. and enthusiastic members. Historically, advancements in technolScott takes pride that one of their stuLike most collision repair indus- dents from Pulaski Tech placed seventh ogy—from unibody cars to air bags to try associations, ACRA contends with in refinishing at the SkillsUSA Nationhigh-strength steels to drive-by-wire the struggle of attracting new mem- als several years ago. suspension—have always been the core bers to rejuvenate and strengthen their organization. Golden explains, “Revenue is a challenge. We receive annual dues [from members] and donations from vendors, but we need to grow our base. We have transitioned from mailing our monthly newsletter to emailing our bulletins to manage our costs better.” ACRA holds member meetings on the second Tuesday of every month (except December) in the Body Shop Department at Pulaski Technical College. Scott and Golden are grateful for their great relationship with the ACRA members being instructed on aspects of aluminum Pennsylvania college, and ACRA reciprowelding Lehman Motors Lehman Volvo cates by offering support to MECHANICSBURG YORK The ACRA mission is, “To pro- students at the facility, who are invited 888-556-4176 888-306-8900 vide education for shop owners and to attend their educational meetings. 717-791-6149 Fax 717-757-4296 Fax managers to help them run more effi- This system also allows the shop ownFree Delivery Free Delivery cient and profitable businesses.” ers and managers in ACRA to get email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org ACRA puts a lot of emphasis and con- quainted with the students who will www.lehmanvolvo.com www.lehmanvolvoyork.com centration on the importance of con- become future employees. Maryland tinuing education within the industry, Additionally, ACRA collaborated so they ensure that each meeting in- with North Point Nissan, who donated Herb Gordon Volvo SILVER SPRING cludes an educational segment pre- approximately $20,000 in damaged 301-890-5456 sented by local vendors or faculty at new parts over the past few years, al301-847-2239 Fax the college. Their June 2014 meeting lowing Pulaski Tech students an opM-F 7:30am-6pm will feature an I-CAR class as part of portunity to get more hands-on their efforts to provide valuable edu- experience. In turn, this also benefits Trust your order to the collision parts specialists at these fine Dealers cation to ACRA members. ACRA members as it ensures that
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challenges for shops that want to provide high-quality, safe repairs to their customers.” Scott believes that recent changes in some insurers’ DRP requirements also pose a challenge for collision repair facilities. In particular, he began monitoring PartsTrader about five years ago when it became effective in New Zealand and continues to keep an eye on the issues it presents. The program has proven itself to be yet another challenge to contend with, and because it was recently implemented in Arkansas, ACRA is exploring various options for dealing with PartsTrader. To Golden, “PartsTrader is another change in our industry. Moving forward, there will be more vendors in the future that work to develop software to compete with PartsTrader and to look at new ways to control parts. In the past, we have seen manufacturers try to get into the recycled business and many other attempts at change to the parts side of the business. Some have helped the industry, and some have fallen by the wayside. The parts business is evolving as it always has, and each business will have to decide for itself what fits in with its business model and what does not.”
Although rarely involved with legislation directly, ACRA closely monitors the bills introduced at the Arkansas General Assembly every other year. Scott clarifies, “Few of these bills impact our industry, though some affect dealerships. Our attorney explores these laws and their effects on our members when necessary, and those meetings are usually pretty well-attended. We also look at some national legislation to make sure our members are kept informed. For example, when 6H was instituted, we convinced the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to hold classes to educate our members on the new requirements.” ACRA has not taken an official stance on the Parts Act, but Golden notes, “In most conversations where parts are discussed, we talk about the need for high-uality parts that perform the way the vehicle was designed to perform. Today’s cars are very complex, and the systems within the car are designed to work together to ensure safety. Parts used in the repair process must ensure those systems continue to work together as designed.” For more information about ACRA, visit www.arkansascollisionrepair.com.
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Crash Course 2014 Report The CCC Crash Course 2014 report now includes an infographic and a live webinar series. Crash Course, an in-depth report that focuses on the factors driving auto collision repair and total loss costs, is compiled using research and information from a wide range of sources and an aggregated set of data from the CCC data warehouse, which includes approximately 140 million claims worth of information.
“The auto physical damage industry continues to move quickly as weather patterns, regulatory factors, advancements in technology, and consumer preferences for products and services evolve and converge,” said Susanna Gotsch, lead analyst for CCC. “This year’s report looks at these factors individually and together to help provide perspective on the overarching impact they are, and will continue to have, on our industry. We’re excited to extend the information reported on in Crash Course to other formats, which we hope will provide a more comprehensive view of the broader marketplace for collision repairers, insurance carriers, parts suppliers, and other industry participants.” To download a copy of the Crash Course 2014 report and infographic or to register for a webinar, visit: ccc.cccis.com/crashcourse.
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Missouri Shop Owner and Consultant Favors Common-Sense Solutions for Common Problems by Ed Attanasio
Dave Tritz is the well–known owner of Don’s Auto Body in St. Charles, MO and a former president of Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Missouri (AASP–MO) from 2006–2008. A second–generation body shop owner and with his son Adam now working in the shop, Tritz has a 40–year perspective on the collision industry and approaches the business with a common sense approach. His consulting business, Business Forward, helps body shops all over the country by advising them on what Tritz calls “the big three”—sales, operations and profit. AASP–MO Executive Director Ron Reiling calls Tritz “one of the best body shop operators not just in Missouri, but in the country.” ABN recently sat down with Tritz to tap into his huge reservoir of knowledge and experience in the collision industry in Missouri. Q: Okay, David—let’s get it out of the way. What are your feelings about PartsTrader?
DT: PartsTrader was implemented in St. Louis market later last year, but prior to that, I was asking around and the consensus is it hasn’t been a good thing. In Missouri just like in any state, we have specific concerns but in the end we’re all in this business to do good work and get paid fairly for it. But, one thing the industry has to be aware of is the fact that we’re in fluid motion here in this industry. This is not where we stop and then that’s it— we’re constantly changing and we’re a work in progress. One thing that I’m concerned about are these additional processes that are now required. Some of them come mandated by the insurance companies and Parts Trader seems to be one of those types of things, and I think there will be more and more of those coming around, tied into DRPS. But, it’s not just about the processes; it also has to do with all of the other things that are attached to them. Somebody has to perform these tasks and in most cases, they will require more administrative staff to get them done. In Missouri, we’ve definitely seen that the ratio between shop employees versus front office administrative people has changed, because now the shops are requiring more of the latter.
Dave Tritz (right) was honored as the AASP– MO’s 2010 Outstanding Member of the Year for his service to the organization and dedication to the collision industry in Missouri. Presenting Tritz with the award is former AASP–MO President Greg Bartnett
Back in the day, you could have one manager and 4–5 techs, but now we’re seeing more of a one–to–one ratio of techs opposed to office people, to accommodate all of this new paperwork created by the DRPs. For MSOs, it’s obviously an economy of scale situation, but I don’t care if you’re talking to a shop that’s doing $600,000 a year versus an MSO that is doing $7 million a year, the amount and costs of administrative work is getting everyone’s attention, because it’s getting up there. I can foresee in the future that programs like PartsTrader will bleed into how we get other things like paint, for example. I can see an insurer that at some point will try to build relationships with paint companies from a direct buy type scenario. Those are some of the things that are concerns of mine. Another concern is the shrinking profit margins. If you look at those across the board and talk to people that have been in this industry for a significant amount, they’ll tell you the same. And I believe that one of the main reasons is this deluge of added procedures and all of the things that come with it. These guidelines that come along with many of these DRPs assure that we’re going to make less profit. There’s always going to be a little push–and–shove between the buyer and seller, regardless of the industry or the market. Somebody always wants too much and the other guy is telling him, I don’t want to pay that much. That’s business and it won’t ever change. But, I think the real issue as we’re going forward should be that collision shop owners are going to have to be continually improving their businesses and know what their product costs are and determine what they want to sell it for In this industry, we
52 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
need to be better business people when it comes to knowing the cost and value of our product and charging a fair amount to fix these cars. Sometimes you have to say no—I can’t do it at that amount and draw the line. And that’s tough when you’re looking for work to do and stay busy. On top of it, we now have fewer cars to fix. There are more total losses now and fewer accidents and these new accident avoidance features are going to mean there will be even fewer accidents in the future.
Q: When your father started in this business, DRPs were non–existent and you’ve seen them as they’ve evolved. Have DRPs helped or hindered the collision industry?
DT: When the DRP network system became prevalent, there was definitely a large undercurrent of bad feelings and many shops didn’t like the process. A lot of shops in this area especially just didn’t like it and to be honest, I was one of those people, including my father. It finally got to the point where we realized that if we
wanted to be in this business we needed to participate in the DRP system and get involved in a few of these networks. The bottom line is that these DRPs bring you a steady flow of work, depending on who you’re talking to. The most important thing is keeping it all in balance, between DRP and non–DRP work.—and that’s been one of the biggest challenges in this industry. Many body shops have welcomed numerous DRPs, because it brings them business, but now that we’ve been in this DRP thing for 20 years or so, we’re starting to see there’s a cost that comes with this. So, we’ve had to re-learn some of the things we were doing before we could rely on these DRPs, like going out and meeting people, marketing to them and branding your shop—things that shops don’t feel they need in a DRP environment. So, in many ways, we’re reverting back to the old ways of doing things, because they work. The downside is that if you get almost all your work from your DRPs, what happens when you lose a few of them?
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Q: Based on your experience, where do shops tend to drop the ball when it comes to marketing?
DT: One common mistake shops make is they don’t track the source of each customer or lead. We spend a lot of time and effort into finding out each and every customer through the door how they found us and what they saw or read that caused them to call us. Was it social media, a neighbor referral, an agent referral, an email blast, newsletter, advertising—or is our name of their insurance company’s list? What we learn is that usually it’s a combination of several things and rarely just one of them. The key is to keep your name out there, so that when there’s a dip in business for whatever reason, you’re prepared.
Q: In some states, there is a still problem with unlicensed body shops operating under the radar and taking money away from legitimate operators. Does this exist in Missouri?
DT: The old days of shady operators in this area of Missouri at least are a thing of the past. They’ve gone away and what’s left are good shops that do
good business. But, there are a ton of them and consequently, this is a very competitive market. The midnight body shops can’t survive now, because of the technology, specialized equipment and training. They couldn’t fix today’s cars or simply chose not to, probably because they could no longer tie on to an oak tree with a pull along and fix them that way. It’s better for the whole industry, because in the past these under the radar shops were doing unsatisfactory work, which gives us all bad name.
Q: Body shops all over the country are setting themselves up to repair cars containing aluminum. Are you part of this movement wither currently or in the near future?
DT: As far as aluminum goes, I think I’m going to wait and see how this plays out. It is here and more of it is coming, but at what pace? The new Ford F–150 will bring a lot more shops to the party, but will all of the added equipment and training pay for itself over time? We’re interested, of course, but we want to do it in a smart way and not just rush into it just because the guy down the street is doing it.
Q: Do you embrace new technology as part of your business model?
DT: We’re always trying to improve ourselves by continually looking for new technologies, but there are so many things out there that it’s a little overwhelming. So, we have to decide what works for us and what doesn’t, because it’s a big universe. Most of my employees are considerably younger than I am and we often have discussions about technology and how to use it. For a long time a young woman in our office said we need everyone to have dual computer monitors to be more effective and I fought it for a time. Then one day she was out and I sat down and could quickly tell why she wanted two monitors. As soon as she got back from vacation, everyone got two monitors, because it makes them more effective and they can do a better job.
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share what is going on in other areas of the country, everyone wins. Quite often, a shop owner will learn how another shop owner has already successfully dealt with a problem and is willing to help the other shop that is faced with the issue at the present time.” Bryant agrees that the 2014 show was superior to events of the past because, “For the first time, I have not heard a single complaint or negative remark. In fact, I continuously got compliments on how pleased everyone was with the show. Obviously, based on the positive feedback, this year’s show was much better than last year’s show.” All in all, Northeast 2014 was an exciting show with events and activities for all to enjoy. I can’t wait for the 2015 show! Visit www.aaspnjnortheast.com and visit http://aaspnj.org.
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Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Automotive Marketing Company Garners Huge Kudos for its Website Clients with Ed Attanasio
For many years, body shop owners in general weren’t enamored with the idea of hiring a company to design and develop their websites, thinking that they cost too much and would not bring enough new customers to their shops. But now most of those naysayers and doubters realize that a good, easy-toread website that has intuitive navigation and is leveraged for searchability is a necessity, rather than a luxury. And that’s why companies such as Autoshop Solutions, an automotive website design and Internet marketing company based in Apex, NC, are flourishing. Autoshop Solutions’ websites have been named to the highlyrespected “Top 10 Automotive Repair Websites” list by AutoInc., the official publication of ASA, (www.autoinc. org/top10.htm) for the last seven years, including four wins in the 2013 list. “We are honored once again to have four of our clients’ websites recognized for being some of the best in the country,” said Danny Sanchez, CEO and founder of Autoshop Solutions. “We congratulate Atlantic Motorcar Center, Kinney’s Automotive, Valley Automotive, and Mike’s KARS for inclusion on AutoInc.’s list of ‘Top 10 Automotive Repair Websites’.” Autoshop Solutions has been building website designs for the automotive industry for more than nine years and has won numerous awards, but winning never gets old, according to their vice president of operations Margaret Klemmer. “Website design trends and Internet marketing are constantly changing,” she said. “We’re encouraged by the fact that our websites consistently place in the ‘Top 10 Automotive Repair Websites’ across the country because we always work hard to make sure our customers get websites that truly work for them. These awards validate our ability to evolve and innovate our product for the benefit our our clients.” Each year, AutoInc.'s judges review hundreds of websites from around the country to come up with the ‘Top 10 Automotive Repair Websites’ list. These websites are evaluated by
three independent judges based on the following criteria: First impression/visual design, objective/ purpose, innovation, credibility, navigation, calls to action, consumer friendliness, technical elements, and social media involvement. Sanchez and his company have dominated the ‘Top 10 Automotive Repair Websites’ list since 2007 and have captured 20 of the 60 available spots over those years. He and his 12member team have been designing websites and performing search engine optimization (SEO) for a wide range of automotive repair companies (both mechanical and collision), parts vendors and transmission shops, automotive glass companies, and performance shops, according to Sanchez. “I personally started designing websites for automotive companies almost two decades ago, and then in 1999 I opened the doors here at Autoshop Solutions,” Sanchez said. “I recognized a definite need, because we saw that these companies were doing excellent work, but they didn’t know how to create a presence online. Our first few clients were mechanical repair shops, and we realized rather quickly that we could help them a lot by creating websites that are easy-touse and optimized for search. One victory led to another, and pretty soon we were busy because repair shops need our help and we know what they need.” Early adopters have a distinct advantage online, but those companies that are jumping in now can make quick inroads if they decide to step up and feature a top-notch site. “A simple site with three or four pages used to be enough, but no more,” Sanchez explained. “Five years ago, you could dominate your market because your competition either had a weak site or maybe even no website at all. But now almost every shop out there is trying to get those top rankings, and the competition online is intense. Those shops that dragged their feet are scrambling, but everyone is in the game now.” Sanchez said the old days of hiring your cousin or brother-in-law to do your website are long gone for sev-
54 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
eral reasons. “The sites out there now contain 10-15 pages that are full of fresh content and more bells and whistles than ever before, so hiring a friend or relative that designs template-type web sites part-time on the weekends won’t make it anymore. Consumers are much more knowledgeable and if they see an amateurish-looking site, they know what they’re looking at. For many customers, your website is the first thing they’ll see—before they visit your shop or even call, in many cases—so making a good impression with your website is much more crucial now.” Many shops launch websites and then forget about them, which is a mistake, Sanchez said. “I call it the ‘check the box’ syndrome. Shops figure hey—we did a whole new website five to six years ago, so let’s just leave it alone. The only problem is things are changing all the time, so if you’re not adding new content and refreshing
your site, you can be left behind. One thing we’ve done for many of our clients recently is softening up their approach and making the content more instructional, because we know that 60 percent of the people handling these repairs are women. Also, Google values fresh, original content more now, which means that blogs are more popular than ever.” Gail Bixler is the business development manager for Mike’s KARS, a mechanical repair shop in Gettysburg, PA. Capturing an award for its website (www.MikesKARS. com) was obviously a thrill for the shop, but the work isn’t done quite yet, Bixler said. “We’re still in the process of refining our site, and I imagine that will never end,” she said. “We will be making revisions on an ongoing basis because we realize that we need to continually make it better. It’s not rocket science, but you need to See Kudos frow Website Clients, Page 59
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AASP-MN Anti-Mandate Bill Hits Roadblock The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota’s (AASP-MN) legislative proposal which would have prohibited insurers from specifying or requiring that a repair shop utilize “specific vendors, distributors, manufacturers, suppliers, business platforms or internal processes in order to carryout vehicle repairs for an insured or claimant” was not given a hearing in either the House or Senate Commerce Committee during Minnesota’s 2014 Legislative Session. The bill, which also would have prohibited insurers from steering insureds to particular shops for estimates, did not advance due to a combination of strong insurance industry opposition and the constraints of an abbreviated legislative session with tight committee deadlines. Insurance companies characterized the bill as eliminating direct repair programs and waged an all-out campaign to kill it. In fact, many shops were contacted directly by insurance company representatives who reportedly attempted to instill fear of losing business, put pressure on the Association to change course and divide the repair industry.
AASP-MN Executive Director, Judell Anderson, said, “The Association’s concern is that insurers are taking a more and more active role in trying to dictate repair shop business practices in the context of these programs. Too often, insurer mandates adversely affect the efficiency and profitability of the repair shop, while doing nothing to ensure the safe and proper repair of the vehicle or to enhance the repair experience of the customer. The legislation is intended to bring about a more balanced approach and restore shop owners’ control over their own business relationships and practices.” Based on the input of its members, AASP-MN will continue to work on this issue. The proposal will undergo review through the Association’s Committee process and then further discussions will be held with the insurance industry. AASP-MN will be ready to hit the ground running when the 2015 Legislative Session begins.
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vided in the various seminars that they can incorporate into their daily operations to improve their businesses. Steve Landry of Precision Auto in Gunnison, CO, noted “as a first-time attendee, I was very impressed with the level of technical training as well as management training—I will be bringing my technicians next year!” Kurt Born of Schrock Repair Inc. in Goodfield, IL, lauds the event as “excellent [with] high-quality training… people don’t travel from all over the country for nothing! This is some of the best training that there is. You must attend to be able to comprehend!” “Bringing our team to VISION is one of the best investments we can make to improve our shop! The quality of trainers and networking opportunities with others in the industry cannot be topped! It’s just the BEST!” raved Diane Larson of Larson’s Service, Inc. in Peabody, MA, while Kevin Thomas of Kevin’s Car Care in Barnhart, MO, looks “forward to this event each year with high expectations, and,
every year, my expectations are exceeded. The training, the hospitality, the camaraderie, the entertainment, and the socializing are all fantastic. I can’t wait for next year!” The 23rd annual VISION HiTech Training and Expo is scheduled for March 5–8, 2014, at the Overland Park Convention Center. VISION strives to educate repair professionals to keep them current with the most relevant training needs of today and the future, and, though ASA-Midwest hosts the event, Hamilton stresses, “VISION is not an event solely for the members of ASA or ASA-Midwest. The event is designed for the independent service professional to receive some of the industry’s top management and technical training available, as well as provide networking and mentoring opportunities to grow their business.”
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One-day ‘Future is Now’ Midwest Auto Body Trade Show Gets 400 Attendees, 65 Exhibitors by Ed Attanasio
The the Iowa Collision Repair Association (ICRA) held the 2014 Midwest Auto Body Trade Show on March 20, 2014, at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, IA. Over 400 collision professionals attended the one-day event, which consisted of training sessions, informational panel discussions, an I-CAR class on new car technology, and 65 exhibitors, including some of the country’s top vendors and organizations in the field of collision repair. “The Future Is Now” was the theme of the 2014 show, and it surely lived up to its name, according to Janet Chaney, ICRA executive director. “The day was jammed-packed, starting with the I-CAR New Technology 2014 Class taught by I-CAR regional manager Ed Mayer, I-CAR senior director of segment development, and I-CAR instructors Bill Stage and Scott Schuerman, who were on-hand to present the class and network with attendees throughJanet Chaney out the day.” Mayer was happy to be involved in such a well-attended show. “Janet Chaney extended an invitation to us, and we were happy to attend,” Mayer said. “We conducted a 2014 Technology Class, and it was standing room only. Body shop owners and techs are very interested in the newer vehicles, and this class is always popular. People who attended this four-hour class earned three I-CAR credits, and I can safely say it was a huge success. We also had a booth at the show so that people could ask us questions about ICAR and discuss anything they wanted to talk about.” A six-member panel discussion about new technology was also a big hit later in the day. “There have been so many changes in this industry recently and all of these great things that
are coming around the corner, so we thought a focus on new technology would be timely and appropriate,” Chaney said. “There Is No Free Lunch” was the theme of the luncheon presentation, featuring keynote speaker Iowa Senator Brad Zaun, who encouraged everyone in the Iowa collision industry to work together by joining the ICRA and staying involved with their local legislators.
Iowa Senator Brad Zaun encouraging ICRA membership and staying involved with legislators at the 2014 Midwest Auto Body Trade Show.
Zaun was followed by the Insurer Mandate Panel Discussion, which included six panelists representing all segments of the collision industry. Janet Chaney was the moderator and the panel answered questions regarding the insurer mandate of PartsTrader. “This was a spirited discussion, and the overall consensus from the panel and audience was that Parts Trader is cumbersome and not userfriendly,” Chaney explained. “In addition, PartsTrader does not allow for businesses that have built strong working relationships to continue working together as they have, as long as they choose to participate in this program.” It appears from this discussion that the industry is paying close attention to all insurer mandates and realizes that there is a flurry of activity in the parts procurement arena.
NJ KISS Bandits Arrested After $40,000 in Damages
Saddle Brook, NJ, Police arrested four teenage boys on March 20 who are allegedly responsible for causing nearly $40,000 worth of damage to 25 cars parked at a Saddle Brook Maaco Auto Body lot. Two of the teens, one from Garfield and the other from Elmwood Park, were taken to Saddle Brook Police Headquarters and were released
into their parents’ custody, police said. The other two teens, who are residents of Rochelle Park and Garfield, were later identified. All four are 16 and will be charged as juveniles. Because 25 cars were damaged, they will each be charged with 25 counts of criminal mischief, the degree based on the extent of the damage on March 8.
56 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Pete Tagliapietra of NuGen IT wrapped up the luncheon by speaking about “Information Technology and The Future of Collision Repair.” Tagliapietra was pleased by the response he received from the collision professionals in attendance. “There must have been 150 people there, and everyone seemed very interested in what I was sharing,” Tagliapietra said. “There has been a huge change in the industry with things like PartsTrader, and one of the biggest is this new burden on body shops to do more of the administrative work associated with a program like PartsTrader. But there is a paradigm shift happening as we speak, and it will result in more body shops being able to outsource much of this admin work in the future. Technology will help because it will lead to more information sharing and connectivity between the shops, their insurance partners, and their vendors as well.” Aeromotive, ALLDATA, and Optima Automotive offered educational training sessions on the showroom floor. Ford Motor Company sent a video and answered questions about the new
aluminum Ford F-150 pickup in a live webinar. Paul Massie, Ford Motor Company, Power Train, and Collision marketing manager, answered questions for at last 90 minutes.
Ford Motor Company Power Train and Collision Marketing Technical Operations Manager Robert King presenting
As trade show chairman Dick Merron said, “Awesome show, with education, training, cutting-edge equipment—an all-in-one show right here in Iowa. And the admission was free. What a deal!”
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Colorado Springs Duo Develop ‘Ding Stinger’ App Ever had a customer claim your repair technician dented or dinged his vehicle while fixing the original problem. The customer wants the dent/ding fixed for free—though it likely had been there for some time.
James Bishop, left, and Jake Durfee, coowners of The Ding Guy, have developed an application that helps auto repair shops eliminate paper work and cut the time needed to create repair estimates. (Credit: The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Tired of dealing with such false claims, the owner of a Colorado Springs body shop and his brother-inlaw came up with a high-tech solution: an app. James Bishop, 42, and Jake Durfee, 30, invented The Ding Stinger app as an easy way to let auto body repair and mechanic shops scan car or truck vehicle identification
numbers, take photos of hail and other body damage, write estimates and share the information with customers and other auto repair companies. So if a customer comes back with a false claim - or takes it to another shop—the app can divulge the truth. Bishop says such false claims happen a lot, and that’s why he and Durfee came up with the idea. But the app also has saved Bishop’s company the time it took to fill out paperwork for orders and estimates. “We are literally four times faster,” he said. “Since we did this app, we have tracked where it has saved us 15 hours a week.” The app works on any Apple mobile device and can be downloaded and used for a limited time for free. After that, the app costs $30 a month to use, or $299 a year. So far, it’s been downloaded more than 2,000 times in all 50 states and five countries, Bishop said. It has been purchased 226 times since it became available in July. Durfee, a manager and repairman at Bishop’s repair shop, “The Ding Guy,” said he helped develop the app after the two men realized the flaws in their check-in procedures,
such as transposed VIN numbers and triplicate paperwork. He said they created the app so it can be shared with repair and other auto service shops within the city and elsewhere. Bishop started working in the auto body repair business in 1991 when he was 19. After attending trade school in Bentonville, Ark., he returned to the Springs in 1992 and opened his first shop. In 2006, he started “The Ding Guy” at 3001 East Platte Ave. Durfee started working with Bishop the same year Bishop opened his shop, and Durfee’s older brother, Matthew, coded the application. When asked why someone should buy “The Ding Stinger” app instead of just having employees take photos of damaged vehicles, Bishop says, “Because the app organizes everything into an information package that can be attached to any other program, sent to customers, and it saves time.”
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American Honda Announces Two Body Repair Bulletins
American Honda is pleased to announce two new Body Repair News bulletins. The first covers the 2015 Honda Fit model including new model body technology, body repair information, welding information, air bag systems, and more. Body Repair News summarizes new body and vehicle technology that may affect collision and other body repairs. It is not intended to replace the detailed information contained in the body repair and service manuals. Rather, it simply helps collision repair industry personnel understand why using the factory service information is so important to make safe and complete repairs. The second Body Repair News bulletin covers welding and sectioning guideline revisions that apply to all models. This is in response to industry requests for more information about the proper repair of Honda and Acura vehicles as the amount of high strength steel continues to increase in our vehicles. Body Repair News covering these and other topics can be accessed at: https://techinfo.honda. com/rjanisis/pubs/web/ABN51267. pdf and ABN51152.PDF
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SCRS 2014-2015 Board Elected in April 2014
Four members of the Society of Collision Specialists (SCRS) 2014-2015 Board of Directors were re-elected to the SCRS Executive Committee on April 8, 2014, during the SCRS annual meeting in Portland, OR. Six candidates ran for four positions, including four incumbents and two new individuals who were proposed by the SCRS Nominations Committee. All incumbents were reelected by members, so there were no changes to the SCRS Executive Committee. The re-elected board members are Andy Dingman of Dingman’s Collision Center in Omaha, NE, Ron Reichen of Precision Body & Paint in Beaverton, OR, Brett Bailey of A&B Body Shop Inc. in Kansas City, MO, and Dusty Womble of Roger Beasley Collision Center and Roger Beasley Auto Glass in Austin, TX. “We are excited the membership has recognized the efforts of our leadership team,” stated SCRS executive director Aaron Schulenburg. “The results of this election really instill a sense of confidence that we are serving our members in the appropriate manner, and that this strong and diverse group of thoughtful and articulate collision repair representa-
Society of Collision Repair Specialists Open Board Mtg.
On Tuesday, April 8, 2014, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) (www.scrs.com) held a two-hour open board meeting in Portland, OR, that included updates from SCRS staff, committees, and affiliate associations outlining current and future work initiatives. SCRS Education Committee member Gary Wano provided a report on information gathered from the BMW National Aftersales Conference including BMW plans relative to the Certified Collision Repair Center program, insurer relationships, and insight into repairability of the carbon fiber chassis, aluminum frame rails, and thermo plastic outer panels on the upcoming i3 and i8 electric vehicles. Toby Chess and committee chairman Kye Yeung presented about new products that can help collision repairers produce great repairs on modern cars. Barbara Crest, executive director of the Northwest Automotive Trades Association and Janet Chaney, executive officer of the Oregon Collision Repair Specialists, gave updates on the Oregonbased affiliations’ activities.
tives is well suited for their positions.” SCRS bylaws allow elected board members to hold executive positions for a maximum of two, one-year terms, and each member of the SCRS Executive Committee was eligible to maintain their current position.
receive such support and confidence from our members.” Though elected to a new threeyear term, Reichen is serving his final eligible year as chairman, and the remainder of his term will be appointed to a replacement candidate by the incoming chairman in 2015. In 2013, national director Jim Sowle was appointed to the remainder of immediate past chairman Aaron Clark’s term. “This past year has been such an enormous, eye-opening The 2014-2015 SCRS Board of Directors (left to right): CJ Vermaak, experience for me Domenic Brusco, Jim Sowle, Dusty Womble, Aaron Clark, Bruce into how engaged Halcro, Luis Alonso, Ron Reichen, Brett Bailey, Kye Yeung, Rodes this board is on the Brown, Andy Dingman, and Paul Val (Photo provided by Joel issues of national imGausten, TGP, Inc.) portance to the inSCRS chairman Ron Reichen dustry,” shared Sowle. “Like many of commented, “I’ve accomplished a our members, I attentively followed great deal in my career, but nothing the association’s activity, and worked quite compares to the work that we to be involved as frequently as I tackle at SCRS. I am fortunate to be could; but it wasn’t until I joined the surrounded by brilliant and hard- board that I really could appreciate working individuals who have dedi- how much work this group does quicated themselves to rolling up their etly in the background to make our sleeves and going to work for the in- industry, and our members’ busidustry we all love. It is an honor to nesses, more successful. For anyone carry forward with that work, and to who has a desire to be a part of some-
thing bigger that makes a difference outside of your own four walls, this is where it happens.” Nominations committee chairman and second-generation SCRS national director Dusty Womble encourage those with similar interest in leadership positions to become engaged now. “Almost everyone sitting around this table was involved in SCRS activity long before running for the board of directors,” he shared. “This group is fortunate to have regular interest from new volunteers, and the position requires a great deal of commitment and involvement. Attending the quarterly meetings and interacting with the board and membership is one of the best ways to make sure that future potential candidates have the time, energy, and support at home necessary for board members to be successful in their term. I’m honored to be able to continue on in my service, and look forward to the opportunity to work with and welcome new individuals with similar passion for improvement.” For more information about SCRS, visit www.scrs.com.
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Swimming in Business
that are close to lakes or the ocean, for example,” March said. “They already have all of the equipment needed to assemble the kits and paint them, etc. If you can assemble a Volkswagen, you can do this. You have to install the motor and transmission, do the upholstery, and paint it. A body shop can do the job in three to four weeks, and if they really want to fast track it, they can do it in a week. It might be a good additional source of revenue for them, and they will definitely get some attention for these WaterCars.” We asked March what the future looks like for the WaterCar and he said, “I think it’s definitely bright. Once people start seeing them more and more, they’ll want them. The next big thing we’d love to do with the WaterCar is take a trip down the English Channel by Big Ben and then all the way to the Eiffel Tower. I’m pretty sure that would get some attention from the people at the Guinness Book of Records!” To learn more about the WaterCar, visit http://watercar.fountainvalleybodyworks.com.
58 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
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AudaExplore Enhances MAACO’s Operational Efficiency with Repair Platforms AudaExplore™, a leading data-driven solution provider to insurance carriers, repairers, dealerships and fleet owners, today announced that it has signed an agreement to provide its Driver Experience and Repair Platforms to MAACO® Collision Repair & Auto Painting. Customized specifically for MAACO’s franchisee owners, AudaExplore’s Driver Experience and Repair Platforms are designed to deliver unique customer moments and increase shop productivity through: ● Empowering customers via mobile devices to gain visibility into the entire paint and repair process; ● Improving productivity and generating accurate estimates faster; and ● Easily managing all aspects of the repair and paint workflow—from tracking sales and cycle time to managing employee productivity and parts efficiency. “We are excited about our partnership with AudaExplore, their stateof-the-art technology will help our franchisees streamline operations and enhance the overall customer experience,” said Jose Costa, President, MAACO. “As North America’s Bodyshop for more than four decades,
we are committed to leading the industry with new technology, quality products and providing the best service to our customers.” MAACO currently operates 450 auto painting and collision repair shops in the United States and Canada. With AudaExplore’s Driver Experience and Repair Platforms, MAACO shops are equipped with significantly more actionable and real-time operational data, resulting in positive gains in shop efficiency for franchisees, and a more satisfying paint and repair experience for their customers. “The collision repair market is highly competitive, so the quality of data—whether it’s an estimate or employee productivity rate—plays an advantageous role,” said Gordon Henderson, VP of Collision Repair Solutions, AudaExplore. “By offering improved visibility into its shops operation and delivering applications that create a differentiated customer experience, AudaExplore’s solutions enable the company to adapt and grow efficiently. We look forward to building out our partnership with MAACO and help the company achieve its expansion goals.”
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SEMA Board of Directors Candidates Announced
The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Board of Director candidates were announced on March 20, 2014 (one open seat available per category): Manufacturers Category ● Tim Martin, COO of K&N Engineering Inc. ● Rick Trudo, President and CEO of SCT Performance, LLC ● Steve Wolcott, President and CEO of ProMedia LLC Distributor Retailer Category ● Greg Adler, CEO of Transamerican Auto Parts ● Larry Pacey, President and CEO of National Performance Warehouse Voting will take place online May 14 through June 10, 2014, and is open to current SEMA member companies. Votes must be cast by each company’s primary contact. Details with ballots and links will be sent to the member company’s designated primary contact in May 2014. Winners will be announced in June 2014, and formally inducted into the SEMA Board of Directors at the SEMA Installation Banquet in July 2014. For more information, contact Judi Ritchie at 1-909-978-6671 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Kudos from Websites
put in the necessary time and pay attention to things like social media, SEO, and the overall look and feel of the site.” Josh Fuller, co-owner of Fuller’s of Auburn in Auburn, MA, contracted Autoshop Solutions to design a website for his company (www.fullerautomotive.com) in 2012. It wasn’t an easy task because Fuller has six businesses all under one umbrella: towing, mechanical repair, collision repair, an express oil change service, a car rental fleet, and a used car sales company. But, by building a Continued from Page 35
They contend the boycotting efforts include insurers telling policyholders that a certain shop will be more expensive and that choosing it also means they’ll be responsible for additional rental-car charges. Another tactic, body shops allege, is to tell consumers the work
Collision Industry Foundation Announces New Trustees
On February 10, 2014, the Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) elected three new Board of Trustees members: Casey Steffen of Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Nick Notte of Sterling Collision Centers, and David Henderson of AudaExplore/Autowatch. The new trustees participated in the annual planning meeting in Chicago, IL, on March 12, 2014. “I’m excited to be part of the CIF Board of Trustees, said Notte. “I strongly believe that it is the responsibility of every person who makes a living in our collision industry to give back to those in need. The CIF is a wonderful vehicle by which to do that.” Steffen stated, “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to become a part of CIF. I am excited to work with my fellow board members in accomplishing the foundation’s vision of providing emergency relief for collision repair professionals.” For more information about CIF or to donate, visit www.collisionindustryfoundation.org.
www.autobodynews.com CHECK IT OUT! site that is easy-to-use and incorporates SEO, Fuller is pleased by the results and delighted about the positive reviews that he’s received from his customers. To advertise “We started our first website call Advertising Sales at:is so back in 2006, but the technology 800-699-8251 different now, and there is so much more competition fighting for top e-mail: rankings these days,” Fuller said. email@example.com “We’re constantly looking for the best www.autobodynews.com solutions out there, and the people at Autoshop Solutions knew exactly what we were looking for because they know our industry inside-andout.” See the For more information about Autoshop Solutions, visit: www.autoshopsolutions.com
won’t be guaranteed by using a shop that doesn’t conform to a repair program agreement. That’s misleading, however, because insurers require all shops to stand behind their work for a period of time. The collision shops seek unspecTo advertise ified call compensatory damages Sean Hartman at: for under-payments as well as damage for 800-699-8251 lost business opportunities. They also e-mail: seek an injunction that would require firstname.lastname@example.org insurers to modify their practices.
www.autobodynews.com www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS 59
Sherwin-Williams Supports NASCAR Green Initiative, Applies Low VOC Paint to No. 51 Sherwin-Williams, the “Official Transportation Finishes of NASCAR” sponsor, is honored to support the second annual NASCAR Race To Green initiative (http://green.nascar.com/raceto-green), March 29–April 27, 2014.
Sherwin-Williams is also supporting NASCAR green efforts through education initiatives, promoting awareness of low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints—like Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes AWX Performance Plus waterborne refinish system, which meets the strictest VOC limits in North America—and initial application for select teams in the industry. Roush Fenway Racing uses AWX Performance Plus on each of its six race cars. The No. 51 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Justin Algaier ran a special Sherwin Williams paint scheme in Darlington, SC, and
was also painted using AWX Performance Plus. “Sherwin Williams and NASCAR should be applauded for educating NASCAR fans and the marketplace more generally about the value and availability of low-VOC paints. VOCs are commonly used in paints and can cause cancer and neurological and reproductive harm. Once applied, VOCs evaporate into the air for months afterwards. By using its market and cultural influence to educate fans and other businesses about the availability of low-VOC paints and its ease of use, NASCAR and Sherwin-Williams are helping to move the marketplace towards a less toxic environment,” said Allen Hershkowitz, Ph.D., senior scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “More than a dozen NASCAR teams currently use Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes, and we aim to help teams cross the finish line and ensure that their cars and their sponsors always look good circling the track,” said Bobby Moody, director of motorsports for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. “We also want to assure them of our commitment to use the most environmentallyresponsible coating products in the world and plan to expand application and educational awareness of the lower VOC paint to more race teams.”
NACE/CARS 2014 Website Live, Hotel Reservations Open for Detroit The new website is now live for the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) and the Congress of Automotive Repair and Service
(CARS) (www.NACEexpo.com or www.CARSevent.com) at the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI, July 30–August 2, 2014. In addition, hotel reservations can be made through the Travel section of the NACE/CARS website. The 32nd annual NACE/CARS, sponsored by Automotive Service Association (ASA), will feature numerous opportunities for technical training, business education, demonstrations, networking, and technology showcases for stakeholders, owners, managers, and technicians in the collision and service repair industries. Along with NACE/CARS 2014, a series of automotive repair industry
events and co-located meetings will take place July 28–August 2, 2014. Dan Risley, ASA president and executive director, stated, “With so many new things happening around this long-standing conference and expo, it was important to roll out a new website. The event has so many positive changes in training, education, and displays, and they are now accurately reflected by this site.” Highlights of the new site include a modern look, easy navigation, quick response, and a parallel mobile site. Updates on the show can be found on the home page and via social media channels. The official hotel partner for NACE/CARS 2014 and Industry Week is Travel Planners. The best rates have been negotiated at nine hotels in the downtown area, and Travel Planners will manage those hotel blocks. There are other groups promoting hotel reservations during the week, but they are not affiliated with NACE/CARS.
60 MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Chief Opens New Specification Center in Malaysia to Provide Customers with Better, More Timely Specs
Chief Automotive Technologies (www. chiefautomotive.com) opened a new training and specification center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with greater access to measure vehicles built in the Asia-Pacific region earlier in their life cycles. The facility will provide a home base for Chief staff to use when developing collision repair specifications, as well as a new location for Chief University training classes.
Chief Malaysia Spec Center Ribbon Cutting Team
Chief develops spec data for vehicles, giving technicians a single resource for accurate repair information. At the Malaysian spec center, Chief personnel will measure vehicles with the frames anchored and the suspensions unloaded to provide technicians with real-world data. “Many vehicle manufacturers operate out of Malaysia, so this center’s location gives us improved access to
their products for measuring,” says Lee Daugherty, Chief global data product manager. “It will also facilitate travel to India and other strategic locations in Asia, where we can remotely measure additional vehicles. Chief traveling measuring teams have operated in Malaysia over the last several years, and now they have the benefit of working in a shop outfitted specifically for their needs.” The Malaysian facility is equipped with a Chief impulse-E/VHT frame rack and a four-post vehicle lift. Using the Chief LaserLock live mapping system, technicians will measure new vehicle dimensions and enter the information into the Chief spec database. Chief specs include comprehensive frame and upper body measurements for thousands of cars and trucks from the 1970s through today. They include under-body frame measurements, under-hood measurements, and body openings, so repair technicians can compare a collision-damaged vehicle to OEM specifications. Details about targets, attachments, and anchoring points are also listed. Chief’s sales and support staff will also serve regional customers from the Malaysian training and spec center.
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Are Aluminum Cars Really Better for the Environment? Study Says ‘Yes’ One of the best way to make vehicles more energy-efficient is to make them lighter. Aluminum is often used to do that because it can be as strong or stronger than steel, but weighs a lot less. Initially, aluminum was mostly found in high-end models, like the Audi A8, but recently more of it has started to pop up in mass-market models, like the 2015 Ford F150 truck that will be mostly made of aluminum, reducing weight by 700 pounds compared to the previous model. So, are aluminum cars really better for the environment? Many people are still skeptical. But Oak Ridge National Labs has looked into the matter and seems to confirm that they are. Oak Ridge National Labs basically compared the whole life cycle of three different versions of the same vehicle: a normal, baseline vehicle; a lightweight, steel vehicle; and an aluminum-intensive vehicle. Their findings are that aluminum is absolutely worth it, with an energy break-even distance for their test vehicle of just 12,000 miles. That’s an energy payback of just one year for the average person, and after that all energy savings are 100 percent net gains over a traditional, steel-based vehicle. Oak Ridge Labs found that the aluminum vehicle has a mass that’s
about 25 percent lower than the baseline vehicle, which makes a pretty big difference on overall life cycle CO2 emissions (17 percent).
2015 Ford F-150
Aluminum also corrodes less than steel, so total useful life for vehicles could be lengthened, or at least money spent on maintenance and body work reduced. Another great thing about aluminum—and carbon fiber, which is also another great material to reduce weight without losing strength—is that it allows electric cars to have much longer range than if they were made out of steel. So, it looks like there is solid evidence backing aluminum as a material of the future in the transportation sector. Over time, as costs are reduced, carbon fiber could join it to help further reduce weight and save energy. Read the full story at: http://www.treehugger.com/cars/make -sense-make-vehicles-aluminum-howlong-energy-payback.html.
3M Continues Funding Scholarships For 2nd Year in Collision Repair for Returning Veterans “Hire Our Heroes” program, 3M™ is funding special scholarship opportunities for veterans that want to begin a collision repair career by attending a collision repair community college or college. The scholarship awards will pay for tuition and required books/tools for veterans enrolling in school collision repair programs in the summer/fall 2014, therefore easing the financial burden of education. This is the second year for the program. Interested veterans can apply for the scholarship opportunities by visiting the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s web site: www.CollisionEducationFoundation.org, under “Students” and “Hire Our Heroes.”.The deadline for the application is September 30, 2014. As part of the application, a veteran would submit information for the collision school he/she would like to attend and if a veteran is not aware of what schools offer collision training, he/she can contact the Education Foundation directly for a list of available schools. Clark Plucinski, Executive Director of the Collision Repair Education Foundation said, “The Collision
Repair Education Foundation is once again proud and honored to partner with 3M and the Hire Our Heroes program to offer this grant. This is a great industry with many opportunities for returning veterans, and this grant is a great first-step for veterans to get the collision education needed to become successful members of the collision industry.” “We are excited to be able to continue the 3M Hire Our Heroes program in 2014 and expand it to provide more resources to our returning veterans who want to pursue education, training and careers in the collision repair industry,” said Dale Ross, U.S, Marketing Operations Manager, 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division. The winners of the scholarship will be selected by members of the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s Board of Trustees Selection Committee and notified by mail and phone in November 2014. For more information, please contact us at Scholarships@ed-foundation.org or 888.722.3787, Ext. 283.
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AutoBody-Review.com announces the release of a new feature to their customer shop profiles with the release of “Articles” in all body shop profiles in advance of upcoming Google algorithm changes. The Search Engine giant has hinted at some upcoming changes to its algorithm in their latest “Webmaster Help” video. Google’s Head of Webspam, Matt Cutts, said they are working on some changes that will help Google better determine when a site is an authority on a topic such as auto body repair. Google continues to improve search results to allow for more accurate local rankings in the Hummingbird update, combined with upcoming algorithm changes that will determine which sites are more of an actual authority on a subject. AutoBody- Review.com has responded early with the addition of “Articles” to our customers shop profiles. Each client will receive one keyword-rich article written by our in house SEO writers that is targeted to each body shop’s local geography, and is included in each shop profile in a unique “articles” tab. From there, the body shops can continue adding their own articles as they see fit.
“The geo-targeted long tail keyword is crucial to ranking a local To advertise service business such as a body shop call and Advertising Sales at: online, now we have increased our ability to rank our customers on a 800-699-8251 local level through our nationally e-mail: ranked website,” said Director of firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing, Tom Zoebelein. “Our duty to our clients as a nawww.autobodynews.com tionally recognized website is to get them found in a local search, by customers in their local area. After months of keyword research from our own web traffic, we discovered that we can leverage our ranking power, and our SEO See the N expertise to assist our shops on a local level with the addition of our new articles feature,” said CEO Curtis Nixon. AutoBody-Review.com’s new articles feature will www.autobodyn function much like a mini-blog on each auto body shop profile. While most auto body shops lack the knowledge or the staff to properly blog for their shop on a local level, AutoBody-Review.com has simplified this task for them.
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www.autobodynews.com www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2014 AUTOBODY NEWS 61
Matrix System 2015 Finishes Calendar Contest
Matrix System Automotive Finishes is now accepting entries for its 2015 Award Winning Finishes Calendar Contest: Showcasing Color Beyond Imagination. Each year, the calendar features exceptional finishes designed by restoration, custom, and body shop painters nationwide. The competition is open to projects painted exclusively with Matrix System products. Entries can be, but are not exclusive to, street rods, custom cars and trucks, motorcycles, and other passenger vehicles such as semi-trucks, boats, and planes. Entries are judged on finish quality, technical difficulty, design originality, and artistic merit. Winners will receive a featured spot in the calendar, the opportunity to appear in various Matrix System promotional materials, a Matrix System jacket, and a permanent home in the Photo Gallery section of the website. In addition, the first place winner will receive $1,000 in products. All entries must be postmarked by August 15, 2014. Download the entry form at http://matrixsystem.com/docs/news/ 2015%20Award%20Winning%20Fi nishes%20Calendar%20Entry%20F orm.pdf.
KS Body Shop Temporarily Closed for Tax Non-Payment
A Haysville, KS, auto body shop was temporarily closed by the state for not paying state sales taxes. Kansas Department of Revenue civil tax enforcement agents and Sedgwick County sheriff’s deputies seized the business assets of Showroom Auto Motive, located in the 7400 block of South Broadway in Haysville. The Kansas Department of Revenue said the business owed $5,976 in state sales taxes from February to September of 2013. Officers seized all known bank accounts, on-site cash, business inventory and personal property belonging to business owners Samuel A. Valdez and Samuel J. Valdez. The Kansas Department of Revenue says it has reached a repayment agreement with the business. Assets seized by the department have been released back to the business. The revenue department said it made multiple attempts to collect the taxes owed before exercising a tax warrant. According to the Revenue Department, warrants such as this are served when all other collection attempts have been tried and exhausted.
Industry Week Fundraiser
The Collision Repair Education Foundation 13th annual golf fundraiser will be on Thursday, July 31, 2014, at the Northville Hills Golf Club in Detroit, MI, in conjunction with Industry Week meetings like the Collision Industry Conference (CIC), the annual Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR), the International Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE), and the Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS). Funds raised assist the Collision Repair Education Foundation in providing support to collision repair students and school collision programs. The registration fee is $275 per player, which includes golf, lunch, dinner, contest holes, and more. In addition, you can sponsor the helicopter ball drop to win up to $7,000. You do not need to be present at the event to participate in the helicopter ball drop. To learn more, visit http://collisioneducationfoundation.org/2014collision-education-foundation-golftournament. For questions, email Brandon Eckenrode or call him at 1-847-4635244.
Limited-Time Promo on 2 New I-CAR Training Bundles
On April 16, 2014, I-CAR announced two new, limited-time training bundle promotions from the Intro to Collision Repair Series that are specifically tailored to employee career paths in the insurance and collision repair segments. “Providing staff with foundational knowledge on the repair process can have a positive impact on everyone involved—from the customer, to the repairer or insurer, to the business,” stated Elise Quadrozzi, ICAR director of insurance segment development. The Intro to Collision Repair Series includes an overview of vehicle parts and terminology, reading damage reports, and repair and refinishing processes. Training bundles are $273 each for a limited time and comprised of the eight most commonly-taken courses by the insurance and collision repair segments, including a popular courses at no cost. Each on-demand course takes approximately one hour to complete and has no expiration date. To learn more, visit www.icar.com/html_pages/training/intro_to _collision_repair.shtml.
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