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Vol. 12 / Issue 2 / May 2021

Elon Musk Shares Update on Tesla’s In-House Collision Repair and Insurance Efforts by Maria Merano, Teslarati

Tesla E lo n M u sk recently stated Tesla is building up its collision repair capabilities e added Tesla Insurance would ensure collision repairs would make the experience smoother or customers Tesla is building up collision repair capability to help address the grief that you went through, but usually insurance companies make you go [ to] their appro ed collision repair partners Tesla nsurance will make it smooth sailing Musk tweeted in response to a tweet from “ Everyday Astro-

naut ter Tesla Model owner and pace enthusiast er da stronaut recei ed his car rom a Tesla certified bod shop he noticed the dri er s side mirror wasn t working and a loud whistling noise came out of his windshield Tesla Mobile erice technician fi ed the side mirror and windshield in minutes n 201 Musk announced Tesla was bringing collision repairs in house e noted outside firms were taking too long on repairs and it was dri ing Tesla owners and us cra Musk shared Tesla was aiming to complete repairs See Musk Shares Update, Page 12

GM, LG Energy Solution Investing $2.3 Billion in 2nd Ultium Cells Manufacturing Plant in U.S. Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture of LG Energy Solution and General Motors on pril 1 announced a more than 2 billion in estment to build its second battery cell manufacturing plant in the U.S. The acilit will be located in pring ill T Ultium Cells will build the new plant on land leased rom GM The new battery cell plant will create 1 00 new obs onstruction on the appro imatel 2 million s uare foot facility will begin immediately, and the plant is scheduled to open in late 202

O nce operational, the facility will suppl batter cells to GM s pring ill assembl plant

Early conceptual rendering of Ultium Cells LLC battery cell manufacturing facility in Spring Hill, TN. See GM, LG Energy Solution, Page 24

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President Biden’s $174 Billion EV Package Broken Down Dollar by Dollar by Joey Klender, Teslarati

President J o e B id en ’ s 1 billion aid package for electric vehicles has been broken down in an email sent by o cials rom the epartment o Transportation iden s plan to increase production and adoption across the U.S. is fueled by the massive spending package that aims to woo car buyers away from gas-powered engines, favoring electric cars instead. The 1 billion package can be broken down into several categories o di erent spending allocations

The largest is the consumer rebates portion of the package, accounting or 100 billion o the 1 billion package euters said The rebates would be a significant boost to U.S. automakers, especially ones like Tesla and General Motors who cannot o er 00 rebates when a ehicle is purchased. Previous limits axed the EV tax credit after manufacturers sold 200 000 electric cars The reintroduction o the 00 tax credit would undoubtedly convince some car buyers to consider all-electric options, bringing down See $174 Billion EV Package, Page 20

Sales of Electrified Vehicles Jump Up 81% in the First Quarter of 2021 According to an analysis of the U.S. auto market by Cox Automotive and K elley Blue Book, sales growth of both electric and hybrid vehicles outpaced overall market performance in the first uarter o 2021 lectrified ehicles—automobiles featuring large battery packs and electric motors in the propulsion system—accounted for 7.8% of the total market up rom in 1 2020 lectrified ehicle sales growth o 1 ar outpaced industr growth Sales of electric vehicles ( EVs) —battery only—grew by 44.8% year over ear reaching nearl 100 000 sales in the uarter a record ales o h brid vehicles outpaced both the market and s doubling to more than 200 000 in the uarter The o erall automobile market increased b 11 in 1 The market continues to be dominated b Tesla which sold an estimated 00 ehicles in 1 and remains the onl significant automaker in the U.S. with an EV-only lineup. Tesla accounted or 1 o total sales in the uarter down rom share in 1 2020

The new Tesla Model is the best-selling EV in the U.S., followed b the Tesla Model The Model was the o 1 best selling in 2020 but sales in the U.S. market declined b more than 0 ear o er ear in the first uarter o 2021 The he rolet olt was o on the list with nearl 10 000 sales in the uarter The all new ord Mustang Mach which went on sale in D ecember, was No. 4, outselling both the Tesla Model and Model While sales of EVs are increasing, hybrid sales are increasing more uickl according to the o utomotive analysis. Sales of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles jumped by 10 in 1 To ota a h brid pioneer delivered most of that growth, selling 12 electrified ehicles in 1 up rom in 1 2020 earl 2 o new To ota ehicles are now h brids The To ota brid is now the best-selling hybrid in the with sales o 2 2 ehicles in the first uarter The new To ota ienna minivan, which is available excluSee Jump Up 81%, Page 13

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REGIONAL AASP/NJ April Virtual Meeting to Focus on Getting Paid at Deserved Labor Rates ...........10 AASP/NJ Members Learn DOI Do’s and Don’ts Via Virtual Meeting .............................16 As the U.S. Continues to Open Up, AASP/NJ Looks Forward to NORTHEAST 2021 .............18 Governor Signs Bills to Send Millions to NJ Small Businesses, Child Care Providers.........19 Group 1 Automotive Acquires 2 Dealerships in MA ..............................................................8 Indictment Charges Rhode Island Woman with Embezzling $580,000 ...........................14 MA Auto Body Shop Owner Sentenced for Tax Fraud ......................................................18 Malden, MA, Woman Fatally Hit by Car ID’d .........6 NABC to Host Garden State Pars for Cars Golf Fundraiser Presented by Enterprise.................8 New Jersey Collision Repair Professionals Want Schools to Put Students First ................26 Northeast Voke Automotive Students Give Car a Second Chance with New Owner .........10 Runway Auto, GEICO Donate Refurbished Vehicle to VT Recipient ....................................6 Settlement Reached in Subaru Class Action Windshield Lawsuit .......................................13 Tesla Model 3, $2.2M Seized from Man Who Fraudulently Obtained COVID-19 Relief Loans ...8 U.S. Dept. of Labor Cites Maine Auto Body Manufacturing Plant for Numerous Violations ..12

Accessibility, Transparency ............................54 CCC’s 2021 Crash Course Report Offers a Glimpse of the ‘New Normal’.........................48 Chip Shortage Saga: Ford F-150 And Edge to Be Built Without Certain Electronic Modules .......41 Cox Automotive March Forecast: U.S. Auto

Mercedes-Benz of Fort Washington ................... 7

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers .......................... 57

Mercedes-Benz of Paramus ............................ 41

Eager to Take Road Trips in 2021 ..................62

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ...................44-45

Mercedes-Benz of West Chester ....................... 7

EV Market Declined in 2020 ..............................40

Car-O-Liner....................................................... 9

Mercedes-Benz of Wilmington ........................ 19

Cadillac of Mahwah ........................................ 35

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers ........ 61

Central Avenue Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram ..... 29

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers.......................... 46

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

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers ................36-37

Cherry Hill Nissan ........................................... 42

New Holland Ford ........................................... 25

Classifieds ...................................................... 62

New Holland Toyota ........................................ 50

Colad/EMM Specialties ................................... 64

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers............ 58

Colonial Automotive Group .............................. 49

Northstar Kia................................................... 26

Courtesy Mitsubishi ........................................ 46

Nucar ............................................................. 39

DePaula Chevrolet-Ford .................................. 40

Open Road Acura of East Brunswick ............... 28

Dover Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep ............................ 27

Packer Norris Parts ......................................... 43

Empire Auto Parts ........................................... 26

Porsche Huntington......................................... 48

Equalizer Industries, Inc .................................. 38

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers .................... 47

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

Pro Spot International ..................................... 17

Franklin Sussex Auto Mall ............................... 16

Rafferty Subaru............................................... 14

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ........................... 51

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

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers .31, 32-33

Schultz Ford.................................................... 30

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers .................... 54

Security Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram ................ 12

Infiniti of Norwood .......................................... 24

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

Insta Finish ..................................................... 15

Spanesi Americas ........................................... 21

Jaguar Land Rover Cherry Hill......................... 34

Steck Manufacturing Company ....................... 10

Jeff D’Ambrosio Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge ............ 18

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers...................... 59

Jeff D’Ambrosio Volkswagen............................. 8

Sunmight USA ...........................................22-23

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers ................ 55

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers....................... 60

as Parking Garage Blames Autopilot for

Kia of Attleboro ............................................... 46

Volkswagen of Kingston .................................. 20

Model 3 Crash ................................................4

Kundert Volvo.................................................... 6

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers .............. 63

LKQ Corporation ............................................... 5

White Plains Volkswagen ................................ 50

Long Automotive Group .................................. 13

Yonkers Kia ..................................................... 52

Erie Insurance National Survey: Americans

Farmers Insurance Finds More Than Half of Drivers Admit to Using Cell Phones While Behind the Wheel ..........................................60 Ford Recalls 2.9 Million Vehicles to Replace Takata Airbags ..............................................58 GM Earns 2021 ENERGY STAR Award................19 GM, LG Energy Solution Investing $2.3 Billion in 2nd Ultium Cells Manufacturing Plant in U.S....1 Honda Donates Portable Generators ..................24 KBB Names Brand Image Winners ....................14 Kia Recalls 2021 Telluride, K5, Forte to Protect Kids ..................................................62 Las Vegas Ready to Welcome 2021 SEMA Show ..................................................50 Maaco Launches Online Estimating Tool............14 MINI Will Switch to Fully-Electric Vehicles By Early 2030s .............................................41 New Vehicle Inventory Continued to Dwindle

Anderson - Have We Handcuffed Employees from

President Biden’s $174 Billion EV Package Broken Down Dollar by Dollar .........................1

Phillips - How a Shop Owner Enhanced Employee

Record-Breaking 78 AutoNation Dealerships

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During COVID-19 ..........................................46

Excellence ....................................................60

Sisk - WIN Webinar Explores What’s NEXT for Auto Body in the Digital World ..................38 Yoswick - Deciding Between Leasing and Purchasing When Adding Shop Locations ......42

NATIONAL asTech Acquires Red EU & Red Autocentres ......59 Axalta to Host Virtual Capital Markets Day .........59 CAA Supports AB 471 for Accountability,

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

American Icon Automotive .............................. 20

Collision Repair and Insurance Efforts .............1

in March: Edmunds .......................................58

Return to Work Programs ..............................52

Serving New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Northern Virginia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2021 Adamantine Media LLC.

Mercedes-Benz of Atlantic City ......................... 7

Nominations Open for NABC Awards .................53

Sisk - ASA Bonus Webinar Explores Value of

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk, David Luehr, Stacey Phillips, Victoria Antonelli, Gary Ledoux Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Norman Morano (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bryan Malinski Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Abby Andrews Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Permissions Editor: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray

Acura of Westchester ...................................... 52

Sales Pick Up Pace Heading into Spring ........56 Elon Musk Shares Update on Tesla’s In-House

COLUMNISTS

Providing Extraordinary Customer Service? ...34

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

CONTENTS

Sales of Electrified Vehicles Jump Up 81% in the First Quarter of 2021 .............................1 Tesla Alleged ‘Driverless’ Crash in Texas: What is Known So Far ...................................25 Tesla Owner Involved in $100K+ Legal Battle

U.S. Auto Industry Pushes Biden to Move Forward with EV Adoption Plan........................4 Volkswagen Group Has Plans to Switch to Single Electric Car Platform ..........................20

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ...................... 56

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Tesla Owner Involved in $100K+ Legal Battle as Parking Garage Blames Autopilot for Model 3 Crash by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

Tesla owner has ound himsel in the middle of a battle worth more than 100 000 in propert damages a ter his Model er ormance crashed while being driven out of a valet parking garage. D espite being in the right and having the evidence to back up his claims the Tesla owner has ended up in an uphill battle that could last for some time. It was supposed to be a routine process ter ha ing his Model parked at a multi-story garage, the Tesla owner asked or his ehicle to be returned. A valet then went on to retrie e the Model rom its parking spot Teslacam ideo o the valet driving the vehicle showed everything seemed normal, despite the parking garage employee driving a bit fast in such a cramped space. Moments later the Tesla owner was shocked as part of the parking garage s second oor walls came crashing into the sidewalk below. Images taken by the owner after the incident revealed a vehicle had been partly pushed through the parking garage s brick walls earing the worst the Tesla dri er ran up to check on the alet and his Model hat he saw confirmed his fears. Smashed against two vehicles was his blue Tesla Model er ormance, its front end crushed as it collided with other parked cars. As the valet stumbled out of the Model he promptl claimed the Tesla suddenl engaged utopilot and drove itself into the other vehicles The alet was not oking While those inexperienced with Tesla s tech ma find it eas to blame Autopilot to avoid accountability when something terrible happens, those familiar with the driver-assist

system know Autopilot could not be engaged in a number of places. O ne of these is, of course, a multi stor parking garage The Model owner then knew something was amiss when the valet told him Autopilot suddenly drove the Tesla into the other ehicles The parking garage compan claimed innocence by stating the incident was caused by “ unintended acceleration on the Model s part The compan re used to budge and the Tesla owner decided to fight all the way. Being familiar with how Tesla stores its ehicles data the Model owner decided to gather so much evidence that there will be no way his insurance company could lose the case. In cases such as these, which involve a party claiming unintended acceleration through Autopilot, it is alwa s best to ha e a Tesla s ent ata ecorder report The is like the car s black bo recording everything that has happened in the vehicle. er thing rom the dri er s weight the ehicle s speed which pedals were pressed and how far they are pressed, could all be determined in the report The Model owner then contacted Tesla or help in retrie ing his car s records Much to his chagrin Tesla refused, citing legal reasons because he lives outside of California. In a statement to ouTube channel ham aam Teslacam the Model owner remarked he is not really sure why Tesla re used his re uest though he thinks if it were his lawyer who contacted the electric car maker, the results would ha e been di erent D isappointed but not deterred, the Model owner ended up hiring an technician to retrie e his Tesla s report The mo e cost him

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1 00 The report was damning look at the data rom the Model showed the valet was not even wearing a seatbelt while operating the Tesla The ehicle was also mo ing reasonably fast for a car being driven out of a multi-story parking garage. But even more importantly, the showed the alet had applied 100 pressure on the accelerator and 0 pressure on the brake pedal all the way up to the crash. With this data the Model owner figured he could ultimately prove the parking garage s unintended acceleration claim was untrue. But despite the mountain of e idence pro ided b the report, the parking garage company decided to dig their heels in the sand and stand by their claim of unintended acceleration The Model owner s insurance compan has paid out on the multiple claims for the damages that resulted from the incident and has pledged to reimburse him

a ter litigation is finished ut that process could take uite a while The incident resulted in 2 000 worth o repairs to the Model erformance. Adding on the damage to the other vehicles involved in the incident and the damage to the building itself, the total cost of property damage from the crash is estimated to be ar be ond 100 000 ltimatel the Tesla owner s experience with the parking garage highlights two notable things. O ne, parking garages and valets should know it s tough to lie about what one does in a Tesla since data rom the would most definitel show the truth. nd second Tesla s ser ice has a lot of space for improvement, so owners who approach the company for help after such a harrowing, aggravating incident would not be turned awa n re uest especiall one by an owner involved in an accident, is better o appro ed a ter all We thank T esl arati for reprint permission.

U.S. Auto Industry Pushes Biden to Move Forward with EV Adoption Plan by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs

Large automakers, related companies and the United Auto Workers ( UAW) made specific re uests to the iden Administration recently in a sixpage letter The letter dated March 2 asked or a push orward related to tax credits and incentives for the future of the EV industry. President J o e B id en has been talking about his $ 3 trillion infrastructure plan, which aims to speed up EV adoption in the U.S. by pulling a number of levers. If the plan plays out as proposed, it will include electric car tax credits, EV charging infrastructure build-out and much more ccording to euters, via Autoblog: “ As a candidate, Biden pledged to in est 2 trillion in in rastructure spending including fi ing highwa s bridges and airports; encouraging fuel e cient ehicle manu acturing and installing 00 000 charging stations The letter noted there are currentl 100 000 public charging outlets nationwide.” ith se eral automakers o cially announcing plans to go “ all in”

on s iden s plan i passed will help alleviate their previous apprehension. It has been proven for years that electric cars are di cult and expensive to produce. Legacy automakers fear losses going forward; with the help of the federal government, it could be a huge win-win situation in the uture The letter points out there are 2 million passenger vehicles currently registered on our shores nl 1 million are electric cars s account or onl 2 o ehicle sales in the toda To ull transition is going to re uire an enormous e ort across the econom in every sector,” said J o h n B o z z ella , head of the Alliance for Automobile Innovation. The letter highlights the need for a comprehensive plan based on reality. It points out in the current situation there s no wa adoption can find success in the near term and the possibility of transitioning to carbon-free transportation is not going to happen without a major change in policy and governmental support. We thank I nsid e E V s for reprint permission.

4 MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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Runway Auto, GEICO Donate Refurbished Vehicle to VT Recipient n March 12 a deser ing Georgia T recipient e perienced a life-changing event—the presentation of vehicles to provide independence and the ability to work and take care of her family—thanks to R u nw ay A u to and car donor GEICO , along with the National Auto od ouncil ec cled ides program. The presentation was held at unwa uto in outh urlington T The deser ing recipient was selected b ermont orks or omen. The recipient o the 2012 ubaru is M elissa T a rry k . “ I appreciate this more than can e er put into words Tarr k said This car is going to ha e a domino e ect on m li e t will allow me to continue to work with a safe reliable car. I have just accepted a management position in the company I started working with back in ecember 201 in an entr level job. Now having this car, I know I can meet my new position re uirements which will then help provide for my family. ou ha e no idea how much

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and at a such a critical time for so many,” said R h o n i B a sd en , executive director of Vermont Works for Women. “ We are truly grateful to unwa uto and all o the partners for inviting us to be a part of this exciting gift for an incredibly deserving woman! ” ec cled ides is a uni ue program in which businesses representing all facets of the collision repair industry team up to repair and donate vehicles to individuals and families in need of reliable transportation. Since the inception of the program in 200 members of the National Auto Body Council have donated more than 2 00 ehicles alued at more than $ 36 million. Additional partners in the ec cled ides presentation included 1 00 harit ars urlington Subaru, Advance Auto Parts, riorit uto and Town air Tire Sou rce: N A B C

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Malden, MA, Woman Fatally Hit by Car ID’d by Alex Newman, Patch

uthorities ha e identified the woman fatally hit by a car in Malden M on March A t h en a H a rt w ell, 86, was walking on unting treet when a black To ota crashed through the front of an auto body shop and traveled across the street, striking her, the Middlese istrict ttorne s o ce said artwell a resident o a nearby elderly housing facility, was pronounced dead at the scene. The dri er o the a 2 ear old Malden man has been cited for operation of a motor vehicle with a suspended license. The dri er remained at the scene of the crash and was taken to an area hospital, authorities said is name is not being released at this time. We thank the P atch for reprint permission.

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Group 1 Automotive Acquires 2 Dealerships in MA

Tesla Model 3, $2.2M Seized from Man Who Fraudulently Obtained COVID-19 Relief Loans

Group 1 utomoti e nc an international ortune 00 automoti e retailer on March 1 announced the expansion of its business presence in the Massachusetts market with the ac uisition o two To ota dealerships The dealerships are located in annis and rleans on ape od These stores are expected to generate approximatel 120 million in annualized revenues. “ We are excited to grow our scale in New England with two additional stores and expand our long-standing partnership with To ota said E a rl J . H est erb erg Group 1 s president and CEO . The ac uisition o these stores brings Group 1 s total To ota dealership count to 1 and increases the total representation in New England to 10 dealerships which includes the udi M e us ubaru and To ota brands

by Joey Klender, Teslarati

Sou rce: G rou p 1 A u tomotiv e

man in Mar land is being charged with wire fraud after obtaining multiple 1 relie loans The man success ull recei ed a 1 million pa ment rom the Paycheck Protection Program and subse uentl had 2 2 million and a Tesla Model sei ed b arious law enforcement agencies. R u d o lph B ro o k s J r., 45, of heltenham M had a criminal complaint filed against him on March 2 and was subse uentl arrested on pril 2 aw en orcement agencies such as the s altimore ield ce and the announced the complaint following several attempts by Brooks to obtain 1 relie loans raudulently. It appears Brooks obtained several checks that were aimed toward small business relief, including the Paycheck Protection Program, introduced to help small businesses suri e throughout the 1 pandemic. While Brooks is the owner of a small business, he “ allegedly sub-

NABC to Host Garden State Pars for Cars Golf Fundraiser Presented by Enterprise The ational uto od ouncil will host its first gol undraising e ent o 2021 ul 21 at Mountain iew Gol lub in wing Township, NJ .

The Garden tate ars for Cars golf fundraiser presented by Enterprise will support the ec cled ides program among other charitable initiatives. Each year, the NABC and its member partners raise funds to support hundreds o ec cled ides car presentations to amilies in need irst esponder mergenc trication education programs or first responders, and NABC D istracted D riving Initiatives that keep thou-

sands of drivers safe on the road. The tournament will eature four-person teams in a best-ball format. Players will have an opportunity to enjoy on-course activities, take home trophies and vie for great ra e pri es egistration is open at https: / / www.nabcgolfevent.org/ gardenstategol undraiser ert will sponsor the helicopter ball drop and lunch, and Axalta will sponsor the post-golf reception. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the tournament. or sponsorship in ormation contact NABCfundraising@ nationalautobodycouncil.org or visit https: / / www.nabcgolfevent.org/ sponsorshipopportunitiesnewjersey ollowing the gol tournament NABC and its partners will host a ec cled ides e ent presenting several vehicles to local New J ersey families in need. Mountain iew Gol lub is at 0 ear Ta ern oad wing Township 0 2 The shotgun start is at 1 p m T ul 21

mitted fraudulent tax forms which allegedl reported 2 in pa ments ia orms 10 M and 1 0 in total unemplo ment payments to employees from Cars D irect,” the D epartment of J ustice said in a press release.

rooks recei ed a 1 loan and was deposited into the bank account he listed Ma 2020 ne o his purchases occurred ul 0 where Brooks initiated a wire transer to Tesla in the amount o 0 0 or the purchase o a 201 Tesla Model The a da it indicates Brooks was, in fact, the purchaser of the ehicle The Model was also registered to rooks name and to his address in Cheltenham.

n total 22 1 was sei ed rom 11 bank accounts and the 201 Tesla Model was also recovered by the D epartment of J ustice The penalties entail a ma imum sentence o 20 ears in ederal prison for wire fraud, followed by three years of supervised release. While accelerating the transition to sustainable energy is undoubtedl the main interest o Tesla buying an all-electric car through a fraudulent manner of actions is not ideal for helping the environment. Brooks also purchased 38 other used cars, the D O J said, among them a 201 Mercedes en lass two 201 nfinit 0s a 201 adillac scalade a 200 entle ontinental a 201 GM ukon and se eral older model luxury vehicles. The terms o the loan do not show the purchase of these vehicles is an appropriate use of funds. The business must use the loan for payroll costs, mortgage interests, rent and utilities. We thank T esl arati for reprint permission.

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8 MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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autobodynews.com / MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 9

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Northeast Voke Automotive Students Give Car a Second Chance with New Owner ehicle repaired b ortheast Met ro Tech s uto od and utomoti e Technolog programs will now be driven by a local veteran, thanks to a partnership between the D istrict and Second Chance Cars. The car was presented to M a ria R o c a o a erhill a 1 ear ation al Guard veteran and single mother of three children on Tuesda pril at ortheast Metro Tech Those in attendance included oca and her children administrators teachers, students, Second Chance Cars D irector D a n H o lin Massa chusetts National Guard Coordinator G reg o ry S a c c a , students, and W a lly J o h n st o n and J a n e H o t c h k iss of Concord, who donated the vehicle to Second Chance Cars. Taking care o three oung kids in a small apartment during CO VID has been incredibl hard Then m car stopped working and everything ust became a lot harder oca said “ When my support team from the VA and National Guard introduced me to Second Chance Cars I was excited but not sure i it was real m relie ed to say that we got a car– my kids are super excited and I can now go shop and

get to my medical appointments.” D uring the last few months, a small group of students worked with instructors to repair a ord Ma hybrid car for Second Chance, an inno ati e local nonprofit that awards a ordable donated cars to working people. couldn t be happier to be work ing with Second Chance Cars,” said Instructor P a u l M u rph y , who oversaw administrative aspects of the project. “ It gives us great satisfaction to know that our students are sharpening their automotive service skills while also contributing to a great cause.” t s alwa s an e citing opportu nity for our students to work on a project that gives back to the community, and this has been no e ception e re thrilled to have had this chance to support econd hance ars work and for the hands-on and remote learning experience it gave our students,” Superintendent D a vid D iB a rri said. ortheast Metro Tech had begun conversations before the pandemic with Second Chance Cars to have students repair a vehicle during vocational classes. owe er student participation

was temporarily delayed because ortheast Metro Tech began the ear with a fully remote learning model due to the 1 pandemic R o b ert M a c G reg o r, the D epartment ead o ollision epair and efinishing instead began repairing the ord Ma which had been rear-ended, creating remote lessons and demonstrations or 1 sophomore students last fall. This partnership was particu larly special, because not only is this car going to a well-deserving local veteran, but it also helped students learn remotely during the pandemic,” econd hance ars irector olin said This has been an incredible collaboration and we re thank ul to Wally and J ane for their kind donation ortheast Metro Tech or their partnership in repairing the vehicle, Metro redit nion or the car loan and LK Q , who donated a replacement rear door as well.” MacGregor began working on the ehicle in ctober and finished this D ecember, just before the district began its hybrid learning model, allowing students to provide hands-on help or the final steps o the work

The li e demonstrations o the repairs I watched helped me to learn and understand the repair process by seeing how it gets done rather than just reading about it,” said A n d rea H a rt a sophomore rom e ere was able to get a visual of what happens when repairing a car.” ter bod repairs were finished the car was taken to the district s uto Technolog epartment or mechan ical repairs utomoti e Technolog Instructor Clune and three senior students then began making those repairs to the car The finished their work on an 22 m happ to work with ec ond hance ars and repair the ord Ma said C rist o f er D a vis R o m ero , a senior, from Chelsea. “ I learned how to repair a parking brake line. Also get to help to make sure the vehicle is safe.” Second Chance Cars is able to operate thanks to the donations of gently used vehicles from the public. To learn more about the nonprofit and the vehicle donation process, visit www.secondchancecars.org. We thank the R ev ere J ou rnal for reprint permission.

AASP/NJ April Virtual Meeting to Focus on Getting Paid at Deserved Labor Rates The lliance o utomoti e er ice Providers of New J ersey ( AASP/ NJ ) will host a virtual membership meeting Get aid or More o our ork at abor ates ou e ser e at 0 p m T pril 21 ia oom The e ent will eature S a m and R ic h a rd V a len z u ela of National uto od esearch Through their presentation the Valenzuelas—reators of the Variable ate stem—will reveal a variety o significant profit opportunities or New J ersey body shops in regard to insurer/ customer-paid labor rates and not included procedures The will provide a readout of the latest Laborate ero abor ate ur e data or New J ersey and demonstrate several new de elopments in s ill ableGenie software. Attendees will also learn about s new abor ate ero com website which rep resents a tremendous breakthrough for the collision repair industry by achieving a new level of labor rate pricing transparency and creating a new model for measuring and reporting market-based labor rates across the country.

“ K nowledge is power,” said AASP/ NJ President J erry M c N ee. ow man shop owners ha e been in the position where an insurer tells them, ‘ Show me others paying that, and we will consider it hen ou get in ol ed with s ariable ate stem it opens our world up—to not only your area but the rest of the country. “ When an insurer sa s e don t pa or that ou can go into the and show them that not only do they pay for it but exactly what they paid on each claim,” Mc ee said n toda s da and age things are not a cost of doing business anymore; everything has changed. So, when you can see what they paid others firsthand wh wouldn t the pa it to ou a ing that in orma tion is where the strength comes in.” This meeting is ree to members in good standing To be come a member, call Executive D irector C h a rles B ry a n t at 2 22 0 or the dministrati e ce at 22 Members must pre-register in order to attend. or more in ormation isit aaspn org Sou rce: A A SP / N J

10 MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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Continued from Cover

Musk Shares Update within the same day or in under an hour a ing Tesla nsurance coor dinate with the compan s in house collision repair facilities would make the repair process more streamlined and con enient or owners This could be a notable advantage for Tesla owners as ha ing a ehicle repaired after a collision is arguably one of the most stressful times in car ownership. A streamlined process between Tesla nsurance and the compan s in house collision repair could be a game changer Tesla has taken steps to expand its insurance program since Musk and Za c h a ry K irk h o rn e pressed the compan s intentions for expansion during the 2 2020 earnings call Tesla n surance has e panded to Te as l linois and Washington in the U.S. The compan has also set the board to launch Tesla nsurance in oth er countries, like Israel, China and some nations in Europe. We thank T esl arati for reprint permission.

U.S. Dept. of Labor Cites Maine Auto Body Manufacturing Plant for Numerous Violations mplo ees at a ater ille M auto body manufacturing plant repeatedly informed management of fall and noise hazards but these reports went ignored until the U.S. D epartment o abor s ccupational a et and ealth dministration opened an inspection ct 1 2020 in response to a complaint ow The h t Group u ramag LLC— ormerl M G Inc.— aces 2 in proposed fines or not addressing these and other hazards that placed employees at risk cited the plant or two will ul and 10 serious iolations “ O ur inspectors found plant employees without fall protection working atop truck bodies and others exposed to excess noise levels while steam cleaning said rea D irector D a vid M c G u a n in Augusta M Management s knowledge of these hazards and their failure to correct them led us to cite these conditions as willful violations.” also issued citations or serious violations stemming from the plant s ailure to Guard employees against struckby and crushing hazards from home-

made attachments used on auto lifts and pro ide ade uate training to em ployees.

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“Management’s knowledge of these hazards and their failure to correct them led us to cite these conditions as willful violations.” — David McGuan Guard machinery to prevent employees from coming in contact with machines operating parts Conduct a hazard assessment to determine what personal protective e uipment emplo ees re uired and select appropriate protecti e e uip ment for employees. Provide appropriate protective goggles for workers and other persons near a welding area that lacked noncombustible or ameproo screens or shields. Establish and implement a respiratory protection program, medicall e aluate emplo ees abilit to wear respirators fit test emplo ees before using respirators, train emplo ees on respirators and ade uate

e rain rom using e ible cords and/ or cables as a substitute for fi ed electrical wiring and ade uate ly guard electrical openings. s website includes information for employees and employers about hazards and safeguards associated with fall protection, noise, machine guarding, respiratory protection and other topics. The compan has 1 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to compl re uest an in ormal con erence with s area director or contest the findings before the independent O ccupational a et and ealth e iew om mission. Sou rce: U .S. D ept. of L ab or

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Settlement Reached in Subaru Class Action Windshield Lawsuit by Seth Maiman, glassBYTEs.com

A settlement has been reached in the class action lawsuit against car manufacturer Subaru that alleged the windshields of certain vehicles were prone to cracking. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Subaru will extend the warranty of the covered vehicles to eight years with unlimited miles and will cover expenses for the replacement of one free windshield, including for car owners who have already replaced the original windshield due to cracking, if the repair was done by an authorized retailer or third party. The settlement terms are lim ited to owners or lessees, or former owners or lessees, of certain Subaru 201 and 201 utback and Legacy vehicles. Subaru successfully reduced the number of vehicles involved in the suit by arguing none of the plainti members o the class had purchased, leased or owned those other vehicles. The deadline or consum ers to file claims under the class

action is pril 2 There is also a Ma 1 deadline or a ected consumers to exclude themselves or ob ect to the settlement The fi nal court hearing on the matter is scheduled or une 11

D etailed information about the settlement in the case, K hona, et al. v Subaru of America, Inc., can be found at https: / / www.windshields. settlementclass.com/ The 201 ew erse based federal class action alleged Subaru was “ manufacturing, marketing and selling new vehicles with defective and dangerous windshields that were spontaneously and/ or unreasonably cracking, chipping

and otherwise breaking.” lainti s argued ubaru sold the cars without informing customers about their potential windshield defects caused by a design aw in the windshield originating in or passing through the de-icer region, causing it to be more susceptible to cracking. lainti s pro ered three potential design aws combina tion of ceramic materials for the black-colored printer perimeter with silver-colored material used for the wiper dicer portion of the windshield; use of “ acoustic glass” for the windshields; and thickness of the windshield glass. Subaru argued design-related issues were not a failure to manufacture the windshields correctly and were not covered by the warranty. The suit was originall filed in ctober 201 amended in o ember 201 and consolidated with three other lawsuits and fi nally a last lawsuit was added in pril 2020 We thank g l assB Y T E s.com for reprint permission.

Jump Up 81% si el as a h brid is o 2 with sales o 2 0 n all there are more than 0 di ferent hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicles now available in the U.S. onda is the o 2 h brid maker with more than 22 000 h brids sold in 1 onda s electrified tall was 1 o its total 1 sales olume up rom in 1 2020 ord is the o pla er with more than 1 000 h brids sold in cluding 1 eries pickups ol o sold more than 2 00 electrified ehi cles in the first uarter accounting or 11 o the brand s total sales in 1 lectrified ehicle growth in the U.S. and around the world is shining a spotlight on battery development and sourcing,” said Cox Automotive Executive Analyst M ic h elle K reb s. “ As the industry builds more vehicles with battery packs, sourcing of these parts and lifetime management of the battery cells is a critical hurdle the industry must clear.” Sou rce: Cox A u tomotiv e

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Maaco Launches Online Estimating Tool Maaco now o ers ehicle owners a new, unique and easy way to obtain estimates and book appointments to have their car painted and have minor dents, scratches or weather damages repaired with the Maaco online estimating tool. ne o the first estimating ser vices of its kind, the online tool allows customers to input information that generates an estimate for the services they need. It even has the e ibilit to ad ust pric ing based on geography and the di erence in regional labor rates O nce the estimate is generated, the vehicle owner can use the tool to book an online appointment, making the entire process fast, easy and able to be done from home on a phone or desktop.To get an online estimate, customers simply answer a few questions about their vehicle. Then they receive a preliminary estimate. From there, the customer can book an appointment to finali e the estimate on site with their nearest Maaco facility. Source: Maaco

Indictment Charges Rhode Island Woman with Embezzling $580,000 A Pawtucket, RI, woman was arraigned in federal court in Providence, RI, on April 1 and released on personal recognizance, charged by way of indictment with allegedly executing a scheme to defraud her auto body repair shop employer of approximately $ 580,000. It is alleged in the indictment unsealed April 1 that I d a lee J o h n st o n , 47, a secretary employed at I d eal A u to B od y in Cranston, RI, devised a scheme whereas she absconded with the proceeds from approximately 19 0 checks provided to customers by insurance companies as payment for repairs to their vehicles. It is alleged in the indictment as part of the scheme, for two years beginning in 2016, J ohnston either did not have some customers sign direct payment forms for insurance payments to be made directly to the auto body shop, or did not forward signed payment forms to insurance companies. As a result of her actions, insurance payment checks were sent directly to customers who,

in turn, provided the checks to J ohnston as a representative of Ideal Auto Body as payment for repairs made to their vehicles.

It is alleged in the indictment J ohnson devised a scheme to steal and deposit some of the checks, some on which she forged signatures, into her bank account. In other instances, stolen checks were provided to family members to be deposited into their bank accounts. J ohnston instructed family members to deposit the stolen checks, withdraw

the funds and provide the money to her. In return, J ohnston provided the family members with a small portion of the proceeds. J ohnston, arrested April 1 by FBI agents, appeared before U.S. D istrict Court Magistrate J udge P a t ric ia A . S u lliva n , charged with mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. J ohnston was released on personal recognizance. A federal criminal complaint is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The arrest and arraignment of J ohnston is announced by Acting U.S. Attorney R ic h a rd B . M y ru s and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston D ivision J o seph R . B o n a vo lo n t a . The case is being prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorneys L ee H . V ilk er and T erren c e P . D o n n elly . Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office D istrict of R hod e I sl and

www.autobodynews.com

KBB Names Brand Image Winners K elley Blue Book on March 30 announced the 2021 Brand Image Award winners, based on annual new-car buyer perception data. Award categories are calculated among luxury, non-luxury and truck shoppers. For the second year in a row and the fourth time in the past six years, Subaru wins Best O verall Brand for 2021 among non-luxury automakers. Subaru achieved the highest average score across all ratings of non-luxury models to win the Best O verall Brand. After making a notable Brand Image Awards debut last year, Tesla once again dominates among luxury automakers for 2021. Tesla wins Best O verall Luxury Brand for the second year running, achieving the highest average score across all ratings of luxury models to win the award. Toyota wins Best O verall Truck Brand in 2021 for the third year in a row. Toyota achieved the highest average score across all ratings of truck models and 12 weighted factors of importance. Sou rce: K el l ey B l u e B ook

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AASP/NJ Members Learn DOI Do’s and Don’ts Via Virtual Meeting Members o the lliance o uto motive Service Providers of New J ersey ( AASP/ NJ ) recently gathered or nderstanding the ole o the D ivision of Insurance,” an association-hosted virtual event that welcomed industry attorney P a t ric k J . M c G u ire s or a discussion on the do s and don ts o success ull submitting complaints and in uiries to the New J ersey D epartment of Banking and Insurance ( NJ D O BI) . As explained during the presentation, there are three avenues one can take to help improve the industry: legislation, litigation and education McGuire stressed the latter as the key approach. “ In my philosophy, education is the cheapest and most e ecti e wa in doing this ou know go ing in what the circumstances are, what your rights are and what [ your rights aren t Additionally, he suggested having a solid working knowledge of the laws governing the industry can make the complaint process more productive and save time from being spent on issues that do not have a high probability of success. McGuire used the e ample o aftermarket crash parts and pointed out ew erse s dministrati e Code prohibits an insurance compan rom re uiring the use o such parts unless they are warrantied by the manufacturer; at least like kind and ualit to M parts in terms o fit ualit and per ormance and the insurer pa s or an modifications that may become necessary in making the repairs because of the use of such parts. ased on this McGuire said a complaint would have a better chance of success if it stated how a proposed aftermarket crash part failed to meet one or more of these standards. McGuire also addressed what appears to be an inconsistency in ew erse law e e plained that New J ersey, like most states, generally recognizes there is a fundamental legal di erence between the rights and obligations o a first part insured who makes a claim for coverage under the collision or comprehensive section of a policy ( i.e., contract law) and the rights and ob-

ligations of a third-party claimant who makes a claim under the liabilit section o the at ault dri er s policy ( i.e., tort law) . There ore the a termarket crash parts provision found in the collision section o the at ault part s polic generally has no bearing on liability claims paid to an innocent third-party claimant.

“ It is the same logic as to why a first part insured has to pa a de ductible and a third-party claimant doesn t he said Nevertheless, and unlike other states, the New J ersey Administrative Code provisions applicable to aftermarket crash parts lump the two types of claims together. McGuire said he did not ha e the opportunity to research the origin of this inconsistency prior to the meeting to determine whether it was a conscious legislative or regulatory decision or just an oversight at the time the regulations were drafted, but shops should be aware of it either way. e summed it up b e plaining that although third-party claimants in New J ersey are still protected by the New J ersey Administrative ode to the same e tent as first par t insureds that does not ade uatel address the ualit and liabilit is sues the use of such parts raise for consumers and shops in a third-party claim. Gi en that McGuire said the issue should probably be addressed at the legislative or regulatory level in addition to individual complaints to the D O I. In the meantime, it is McGuire s opinion it would be more e ecti e or the repairer to educate the consumer about the issue, explain the shop does not wish to be liable and leave the decision up to that customer. nother ke to e ecti el filing a complaint lies in properly commu-

nicating your message. “ No cookie-cutter form will get an where t has to be specific with evidence attached so [ the D O I] can see how it fits into legal standard ou ha e to find the right catch phrases that have legal meaning and trigger an obligation to look into it.” or e ample i a shop is be ing challenged by an insurer for charging to perform pre- and post-repair scans and calibrations as per M re uire ments/ recommendations, the facility should report that scanning to find diagnostic codes is necessary in order to “ return the vehicle to the condition immediately prior to loss.” bo e all McGuire stressed there is no “ silver bullet” and the world won t change o ernight or 0 plus ears things ha e headed in the wrong direction because of a lack o basic knowledge epairers need to take the stand that if they are

to be liable or the ualit o repairs then they will not under-repair a vehicle or the benefit o an insurance company. AASP/ NJ Executive D irector C h a rles B ry a n t reminded members to report issues they experience with insurance companies to him directl ia the ot ine so these matters can be documented and brought before legislators in the hopes o e ecting positi e change AASP/ NJ President J erry M c N ee reminded all it really takes strength in numbers to improve industry conditions. “ We have a lot more rights than we actuall know Mc ee said think everyone feels the same way; it only seems to get worse as the insurance companies continue to push the envelope further and further away with no remorse for the shop or the customer. If you are not working on your business and just solely in our business things won t get better.” Sou rce: A A SP / N J

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As the U.S. Continues to Open Up, AASP/NJ Looks Forward to NORTHEAST 2021 The lliance o utomoti e er ice Providers of New J ersey ( AASP/ NJ ) is looking forward to the return of its agship e ent this all According to the association, the 2021 T T utomoti e Services Show—originally scheduled or March 1 21 and now set or ept 10 12 at the Meadowlands position enter M in ecau cus, NJ —is on track to be the first re gional automotive services show to take place since the 1 pan demic began more than a year ago. “ We are very excited and anxious to get the show back up and running,” said AASP/ NJ President J erry M c N ee. “ With more and more people getting vaccinated and the encouraging case statistics here in New J ersey, everything is pointing to a sa e and success ul T T AASP/ NJ is working daily with the M to implement e er necessar safety protocol to ensure anyone who attends T T will eel safe and secure. “ We are very encouraged by what we are seeing not only in New J ersey but around the country,” said

how Manager T h o m a s G rec o , AASP/ NJ secretary and president of Greco ublishing Trade shows or other industries have already started in places such as lorida and la bama; we are monitoring all of them closely to see what works and what doesn t and what we need to do to make T T as normal as possible.” t s onl pril and e er thing is trending in the right direction,” said Mc ee The go ernor has been loosening restrictions. We are confident that b eptember we will be as close to normalcy as possible. So, mark your calendar and let T T be the cure to our cabin e er e reall can t wait to see everyone again.” re registered T T 2020 attendees will not need to re-register, as badge data will be carried over to these new dates of Sept. 10 12 or updates and in ormation on T T continue to is it the o cial e ent website aas pnjnortheast.com, and visit AASP/ NJ online at aaspnj.org. Sou rce: A A SP / N J

MA Auto Body Shop Owner Sentenced for Tax Fraud The owner o erett and orces ter M auto bod shops was sen tenced March 1 in ederal court in Worcester in connection with a payroll tax scheme resulting in a ta loss to the o more than 2 0 000 A d a m H a d d a d , 43, of hrewsbur M was sentenced by U.S D istrict Court J udge T im o t h y S . H illm a n to eight months in prison, one year of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount o 2 2 2 1 n eptember 2020 addad pleaded guilty to three counts of aiding the preparation of false tax returns. or ta uarters ending in March 201 through une 201 addad paid a significant portion of the wages to employees of his

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company, A ccu rate Col l ision, I nc., “ under the table.” In doing so addad caused ccurate ol lision nc to file alse returns with the which underreported the actual wages he had paid his employees as well as the employment ta es due to the n total addad caused a loss to the o at least 2 2 2 1 Acting U.S. Attorney N a t h a n iel R . M en d ell and R a m sey E . C o vin g t o n , acting special agent in charge o the s crim inal investigation in Boston, made the announcement March 1 s sistant U.S. Attorney S a ra M iro n B lo o m o Mendell s ecurities inancial ber raud nit prosecuted the case. Sou rce: U .S. A ttorney ’ s O ffice District of Massachusetts

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Governor Signs Bills to Send Millions to NJ Small Businesses, Child Care Providers by Todd DeFeo, The Center Square

New J ersey Gov. P h il M u rph y has signed a pair of bills that send a combined $ 25 million to small businesses and child care providers in the state. A-5446 sends $ 15 million in federal CO VID -19 aid to small businesses and nonprofits in ew J ersey, while A-5445 allocates $ 10 million from the federal government to child care providers. Both measures are part of a fi e bill 100 million e ort law makers pushed to hand out federal mone Murph signed all fi e bills individually. “ New J ersey’s small businesses were particularly hard hit by the ravages of CO VID -19 ,” Murphy said in a news release about A-A5446. The legislation “ will go a long way toward helping hundreds of state businesses keep their doors open as we recover from this year-long ordeal.” The governor previously signed bills sending $ 15 million to arts and cultural venues, $ 25 million to microbusinesses and $ 35 million to restaurants across New J ersey. “ Throughout the last year,

CO VID -19 has placed a serious strain on many of our local businesses and nonprofit organi ations state Sen. L in d a G reen st ein , D -Mercer/ Middlesex, said in a news release. “ Unfortunately, a number of beloved businesses in our communities were unable to weather this storm and sadly closed their doors for good,” Greenstein added. “ This $ 15 million in federal funding will provide a big sigh of relief to so many business owners and nonprofits throughout our state, as well as their employees and individuals that rely on their services.” The money is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ( CARES) Act Congress previously passed. The feds are sending another $ 10.2 billion to the state as part of the $ 1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. “ D uring the height of the pandemic, more than half of child care providers had to close their doors, hurting our families and our economy,” U.S. Rep. J o sh G o t t h eim er, D -NJ , said in a news release. “ But now, thanks to the bipartisan CARES Act, federal resources are

being delivered to support our families and child care providers, and to help them recover.” The New J ersey Economic D evelopment Authority ( NJ ED A) will administer the funds. According to a news release, the agency has handed out more than $ 250 million in aid to 55,000 businesses in the Garden State. “ Since the beginning of the pandemic, supporting small businesses has been central to Governor Murphy’s response,” NJ ED A Chief ecuti e cer T im S u lliva n said in a news release. “ These businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and ensuring they not only recover but come back stronger and better prepared for future challenges is critical to achieving a sustainable, equitable recovery,” Sullivan added. The funding “ will provide much-needed support for businesses as they overcome the remaining pandemic-related challenges and set the stage for a stronger, fairer recovery.” We thank T he Center Sq u are for reprint permission.

GM Earns 2021 ENERGY STAR Award General Motors announced April 13 it has received the 2021 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Y ear Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. D epartment of Energy for the 10th year. The Sustained Excellence Award is the highest honor bestowed by the ENERGY STAR program. In 2010, GM committed to a 20% reduction in carbon intensity by 2020, which was met early in 2017. And in J anuary, GM Chairman and CEO M a ry B a rra announced accelerated energy goals, including the sourcing of 100% renewable energy to power GM facilities in the U.S. by 2030, and globally by 2035. The company also recently announced plans to become carbon neutral in its global products and operations by 2040 and its aspiration to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035. Sou rce: G M

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Continued from Cover

$174 Billion EV Package their car s cost b a significant amount in some cases There ha e been rumblings o the 00 credit being bumped up to 10 000 per unit sold hile unconfirmed se eral ashington sources ha e indicated the iden administration is considering a 2 00 boost to the pre ious ta credit amount edbush anal st D a n I ves commented on the possibilit o the 10 000 amount earlier this week e are hearing rom our con tacts in the eltwa that 00 ta credit could potentiall be 10 000 in terms o a credit and that s going to be a massi e catal st not ust or Tes la but or the ecos stem in the es told ahoo inance i e ith 100 billion out o the wa and billion remaining it appears 1 billion will be used to accelerate the buildout o the electric ehicle charging in rastructure iden s cam paign is targeting at least 00 000 new charging stations

ne o the main concerns and points o non owners is the lack o charging options a ailable throughout the owe er with more companies oining the sec tor the ocus on charging is becom ing an e ident ocus o automakers mo ing orward Tesla has started to plan or larger upercharger stalls in highl populated areas ew companies like i ian are ust releasing their charging plans a ew months ahead o their first ehicles being deli ered to customers The final billion o the pack age will be di ided into three subsec tions 20 billion or electric school buses aligning with iden s plan to electri the go ernment eet 2 billion or ero emission transit e hicles and the remaining 1 billion going to other ta incenti es ltimatel the package will greatl benefit nearl an car com pan that will begin de eloping elec tric powertrains or the passenger or commercial market We thank T esl arati for reprint permission.

Volkswagen Group Has Plans to Switch to Single Electric Car Platform by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs

ccording to utocar olkswa gen Group will mo e to a single plat orm or most cars rom most brands in the uture The new plat orm will replace the current M and archi tecture is de eloping it ia its ro ect Trinit utocar sa s launched ro ect Trinit with the specific intention to de elop its up coming calable stems lat orm which is hea il based on the M and architecture calls the architecture ul l digital and highl scalable olkswagen doesn t plan to implement the new plat orm until 202 or 202 t will first launch as part o udi s ro ect rtemis The plat orm will replace the e isting plat orms o er a long period o time said Group hie H erb ert D iess in an inter iew with utocar The start up will begin with rtemis in 202 202 e re taking what we e got with the M and we ll ha e cost impro ement and stan

dardisation o the batter which goes hand in hand with a new elec tronic architecture pro iding more computing power to the ehicles The will e entuall be the sin gle backbone or the Group we re talking be ond 20 here eep in mind we ust reported the other da iess wants to de elop and produce its own in house so tware much like Tesla e said third part fi es are not the answer The new plat orm while still ar o ma ser e as a ma or part o that plan t has a ocus on standardi ed plat orms or so tware batteries and mobilit ser ices among most Group uture models iess pointed out this plat orm sharing will help increase econo mies o scale which Group must lean on to succeed in the seg ment The automaker has also made significant in estments in its ar o tware di ision with plans to launch a ne t gen operating s stem to coincide with the ar chitecture We thank I nsid e E V s for reprint permission.

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Investing $2.3 Billion “ The addition of our second all-new Ultium battery cell plant in the U.S. with our joint venture partner LG Energy Solution is another major step in our transition to an all-electric future,” said GM Chairman and CEO M a ry B a rra . “ The support of the state of Tennessee was an important factor in making this investment in Spring Hill possible and this type of support will be critical moving forward as we continue to take steps to transition our manufacturing footprint to support EV production.” “ This partnership with General Motors will transform Tennessee into another key location for electric vehicle and battery production. It will allow us to build solid and stable U.S-based supply chains that enable everything from research, product development and production to the procurement of raw components,” said LG Energy Solution President and CEO J o n g h y u n K im . “ Importantly, I truly believe this coming together transcends a partnership as

it marks a defining moment that will reduce emissions and help to accelerate the adoption of EVs.” The state-of-the-art Spring Hill plant will use the most advanced and e cient batter cell manu acturing processes. The plant will be e tremel e ible and able to adapt to ongoing advances in technology and materials. GM’s proprietary Ultium battery technology is at the heart of the company’s strategy to compete for nearly every EV customer in the marketplace, whether they are looking or a ordable transportation luxury vehicles, work trucks, commercial trucks or high-performance machines. Ultium batteries are unique in the industry because the large-format, pouch-style cells can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack. This allows engineers to optimize battery energy storage and layout for each vehicle design. Energy options range from 50 to 200 kilowatt hours, which could enable a GM-estimated range up to 450 miles or more on a full charge with 0-60 mph acceleration in 3 seconds.

GM’s future Ultium-powered EVs are designed for Level 2 and D C fast charging. Most will have 400-volt battery packs and up to 200 kW fast charging capability while GM’s truck platform will have 800volt battery packs and 350 kW fast charging capability. With a 30-year history in the battery business, LG Energy Solution has made consistent, large-scale investments to accumulate enough stability, credibility and manufacturing experience to invent its own cutting-edge technologies. The compan established its first research acility in the U.S. in the early 2000s. n 2010 the compan built its first U.S battery plant in Holland, MI. Through Ultium Cells, LG Energy Solution and GM will merge their advanced technologies and capabilities to help accelerate automoti e electrification Sou rce: G M

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Tesla Alleged ‘Driverless’ Crash in Texas: What is Known So Far by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

O n April 17, a tragic crash involving a 2019 Tesla Model S claimed the lives of two people, a 59 -year-old and a 69 -year-old, both of whom are et to be identified Considering the nature of the case and partly due to the involvement of a Tesla, the incident has been covered by both local and national media outlets This became quite notable in social media platforms, where the crash has been linked to utopilot This guide presents what is currently known about the tragic incident, as well as some commentary and videos from EV owners who have attempted to replicate, at least to a degree, the alleged events that led up to the crash What happened? O n April 17, a 2019 Model S crashed into a tree at about 11 2 p m in the Carlton Woods Subdivision on Hammock D unes Place in Houston, T ccording to authorities the Model S crashed into a tree after failing to navigate a turn at high speed

near 1 ammock unes lace The collision resulted in a fire that took the local fire department about four hours and more than 30,000 gallons of water to extinguish n estigators ound two ictims from the incident, one sitting on the passenger seat and another in the back seat What did witnesses say? K PRC 2 reporter D even Clarke spoke to one of the victims’ brother-in-law, who stated the Tesla owner and a friend simply wanted to take the car out or a spin The brother in law said there were just two people in the vehicle He also added the Tesla owner backed out of the driveway and then may have hopped in the back seat before crashing a few hundred ards down the road The owner was reportedly the person found in the back seat o the car What have the police said? n a statement to 11 arris ount ct onstable M a rk H erm a n said deputies who recovered the Tesla are certain the vehicle had

no driver when it collided with the tree e also emphasi ed some o the authorities who responded to the incident were reconstructionists, and the were er confident there was no one driving the vehicle when it crashed “ They are 100% certain that no one was in the driver seat driving that ehicle at the time o impact The are positi e nd again the height from the back seat to the front seat, that would be almost impossible, but again our investigators are trained The handle collisions e eral of our folks are reconstructionists but the eel er confident ust with the positioning of the bodies after the impact that there was no one dri ing that ehicle erman said Was Autopilot involved? espite the in ammator social media posts from some media outlets, it has not been determined yet if Autopilot had been active in the Model S when it collided with the tree t should be noted the roads in the Carlton Woods Subdivision on Hammock D unes Place do not seem to have visible lane lines, which is

a requirement for Autopilot’s actiation egular cruise control could be activated in such areas as per videos from Tesla owners, but Autopilot and Full Self-D riving features are generally inaccessible in a residential area, at least in their current state Is the NTSB investigating the incident? n a statement to loomberg ational Transportation a et oard spokesperson C h ris O’ N eil confirmed the T does not plan to open a new probe about the tragic incident What happens when Autopilot in engaged and a driver unbuckles the seatbelt? O ne suggested scenario is the driver might have activated Autopilot and umped into the back seat This would have been a tricky maneuver as the driver would have had to unbuckle himself, which results in Teslas engaging their alerts and e entuall coming to a stop We thank T esl arati for reprint permission.

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New Jersey Collision Repair Professionals Want Schools to Put Students First by Chasidy Rae Sisk

J o h n T ru m a n , owner of Truman Muscle Car Parts in Egg Harbor Township has been fighting to save local collision repair education programs since 2014, when he learned his alma mater, Atlantic County Institute of Technology, had discontinued its high school auto body program. “ In the last seven years, auto body education programs closed in Atlantic and Cumberland counties. The collision repair industry is poising to shut down—we need new techs now; however, many of the votech auto body programs are dying. O nce they’re gone, they’re gone for good. It’s impossible to bring them back! ” Truman stressed. Truman’s passion for the collision repair industry has lasted for more than 40 years and is joined by that of his friend B ill B a it z el J r., who has “ worked in the industry since I was old enough to hold the light for my dad.” ait el r has worked as a field

service engineer for a vehicle manuacturer since 2010 but or the fi e preceding years, he worked as an auto tech instructor at a local high school, and he recently began teaching part-time as an adjunct professor. B ill B a it z el S r. , who has taught automotive technology since 19 69 , rounds out the trio of industry professionals who shared some details about their mission to save the votech auto body education programs in southern New J ersey. The three advocates of collision repair education sit on the advisory committees for Salem County VoTech, Gloucester County Vo-Tech and Rowan College; Baitzel J r. also serves on Brookedale Community College’s advisory committee. This interaction, along with the combined 120-plus years of industry experience between the three men, allows them to o er a uni ue per spective about the issues impacting the decline in auto body education programs and subse uentl the number of students graduating and ready to enter the workforce.

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“ We see few kids enrolled each year,” Truman lamented. “ I’m 10 years away from retirement, and since it takes at least a decade for a new tech to get really good, I’m wondering who will fill m shoes—and the shoes of my peers—when the time comes to retire. We need to generate students’ interest in the collision repair industry now! ” Budget Constraints & Student Interest It’s not exactly shocking to learn a lack of funding has a major impact on a vo-tech’s ability to run a successful auto body education program. “ Funding in the school districts is tight, and the budgets get cut all of the time,” Baitzel J r. noted. “ It’s a challenge for instructors to stay current since technology is changing every year, but English, gym, math, history and basic science have not changed in years.” Truman believes young people are still interested in collision repair, but “ students are often led to believe college is their only path to success. Y ears ago, my son’s guidance coun-

selor tried to discourage him from transferring to a vo-tech school because ‘ that’s where the dumb kids go! ’ “ Not every kid wants to go to college or is meant to. Lots of people prefer working with their hands and building things, and there’s a great living that can come out of it—but we need better exposure to students.” ait el r o ered a perspecti e on this discouragement: “ Schools were rated and awarded money based on the number of students who graduated and went to college.” Although student enrollment is “ one of the determining factors of budget revenue, it is not the sole source of funding, merely a contributing factor,” said J a so n H eld er, principal at Salem County Vo-Tech ( SCVTS) . Referring to indications that standard schools are “ steering” students away from vo-tech education, Helder said, “ We have not experienced that in our county. O ur school has great relationships with our sending schools, and they have been very

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supporti e o their students pursuit of vocational education.” A lack of funding makes it difficult or o techs to suppl the ma terials needed to learn the collision repair industry, sometimes leading to creative but less than ideal solutions. “ If I were a student who signed up for an automotive or collision repair course and walked in to find we were working on bicycles or spray-painting lockers, I would turn back around ait el r said This is wh we can t keep students en gaged. The teachers and administra tors need to stop pointing fingers ight now the students are the big losers,” Baitzel Sr. continued. “ We need to create a vision of where these students are coming from and what the want to achie e The program must be developed to meet the needs of the industry so that students are employable after graduation. It is time to think of the student and put them first elder agrees things need to im pro e and T is currentl in the process of “ revamping the program to allow students to display artistic expressions and creativity. We are looking to partner with a local junkyard to repair lightly damaged vehicles, allowing our shop to take time on the process and permitting many students to work on them. We also plan to start an afterschool vehicle restoration club.” Starting at the School Solving the current technician crisis cannot occur without involvement from the vo-tech schools and the auto body instructors training the next generation of collision repair professionals. In addition to the funds needed to invest in the proper tools and e uipment o tech programs need to obtain the right certifications and certifications are the leverage you need for funding. When I had my businesses, I onl hired certified technicians the instructor is not Master or certified what makes him think he can teach the sub ect ait zel Sr. asked. “ If you run a hobby shop, you will not keep students, but if you do a good job, teach what you say, and the student sees their growth, your program and funding for it will grow.”

All three collision professionals suggest improvements could be made to the curriculum at local schools. The schools need to de elop programs that train a student to work in the industry, helping the student be prepared to walk into an apprenticeship in a shop,” Baitzel J r. recommended. “ Ideally, the school trains an entry-level student, and understanding they are getting a trainee, not a technician, the shop is willing to invest in the student and grow their own. “ Students need to learn shop safety and mannerisms before showing up to a worksite because a shop is not going to be a babysitting area;

Bill Baitzel Jr. shows off his priming skills to the students at the ACIT afterschool program. Credit: Courtesy of John Truman

it is a business, and they expect students to come to work ready to work and learn,” Baitzel J r. continued. “ We need to let the shop know what to expect from the student, including educating them on how the schools insurance policy covers the student in the shop. “ A shop does not want a liability issue so i ou don t prepare students for the trade, apprenticeship opportunities will disappear owe er when you produce good students who become good techs, they are the program s ad ertisement Unfortunately, for Salem Count o Tech local apprenticeships are rare because the school is in a “ very rural area with little to o er in busi ness The need a big distribution hub there Truman o ered While that may be the problem locally, schools around the country are seeing similar reductions in the number of students enrolled in auto body programs. Baitzel J r. believes this problem is more widespread. “ Attracting more students to collision repair education programs will re uire a shi t in societ with regards to the stigma associated with working a trade he said ew students ha e

an opportunity to explore the trades in school, and vo-techs need to attract both the parent and the student to the program because, without the parent s support the student will ne er get an opportunity—they both need to see how working in this field can o er a ulfilling success ul career Truman agreed chools need to advertise with pictures and videos o the program s pro ects to demon strate to parents how many opportunities there are in and around this trade.” Collision Pros Lending a Hand hen T first closed its auto bod program Truman and his son D a n , volunteered to lead an afterschool club, volunteering their time, supplies and materials The program at tracted 1 students and lasted or two years, but rising costs made it impossible to continue the club. Truman didn t gi e up though Learning the most successful auto body programs in the country had one thing in common—large advisory boards—he joined several local boards n 201 Truman engaged Baitzel J r., whose employer donated

brand new vehicles to the auto mechanics programs at T and gg arbor Township More recentl Truman was a guest speaker at the Pilgrim Academy. Truman ait el r and ait el Sr. continue to support their local programs The e scheduled meet ings with local policymakers, contacted local companies in attempts to obtain wrecked vehicles for student to learn on and pro ided the school s administration with guidance and suggestions on improvements and possible unding options n Ma 8, the school will host a car show to raise funds for the program. or auto bod education pro grams to be success ul it s going to take the whole army. Teachers need to find a wa to sta current with industr techni ues and get their programs certified so the re eligible or donations The programs need to follow ASE and curriculums and the need current e uipment and in ormation for their lessons,” Baitzel J r. said. “ Shop owners and managers need to join advisory boards and work with instructors The industr needs to

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28 MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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partner with and support the schools. Everyone needs to come together and get on the same page.” elder agrees a strong ad isor committee makes a huge di erence The e pertise and e orts o the Automotive Studies Advisory Committee has proven invaluable to our auto programs—in addition to assisting T prepare or T accreditation, advisory members have sponsored and hosted students for cooperative education and structured learning experiences over the years, providing students with an opportunity to gain incredible experience working in a real-world environment,” elder said The ad isor committee has also provided ideas and feedback to form and guide program direction, while relaying a vision of improvement to benefit students Supporting your local vo-tech is important or the industr s uture and it grants access to future techs earlier and builds rapport with instructors. Getting involved is easy— oin an ad isor committee o er shop tours hire an apprentice or o er to be a classroom guest speaker. “ Contact your county vocational

school, speak with the instructor, and become part o the program elder encouraged ou can gi e demonstrations to the students, work jointly on project cars and invite seniors to the shop or internships Most schools have a co-op education program that allows students to earn high school credit working in the field “ Shop owners and professionals can also join their local advisory committee elder continued There is such a benefit or pro essionals to connect with the county vocational school. It allows the working professional to be part of the system that sustains the workforce by educating young people and bringing them into a career in the collision repair or automotive industry.” emember programs are alwa s running on a tight budget too, so donating old e uipment and supplies when the shop upgrades can help ensure students experience more exposure during the education. Like most automotive and collision education programs T is most in need of “ consumable supplies including tape filler sandpaper and sanding blocks,” according

to elder The program would also welcome paint donations or vehicle parts to work on, such as hoods, doors or panels.” ut there s an e en more important reason for collision repair professionals to get involved in their local vo-tech programs—letting the students get to know you, what you do, what they could do and how many great career options the industr o ers When it comes to retaining students interest in their uture career elder sa s the biggest challenge is communicating the benefits o a career in collision repair. Students have a narrow vision of the type of work that would be completed—they see the field limited to painting and sanding, so they struggle to envision the creativity that can manifest. Because many shops in our county have closed students don t see the possibility of high-end work and wages that are available in neighboring regions where there are a number of great job opportunities.” Man academics look down on the trades, even if we make more money than they do, and too often,

schools are pushing students away from the trades,” Baitzel Sr. said. “ When one of my students won a state automotive contest and was invited to nationals, I was informed that administration was embarrassed and I could only take my student to nationals if no one knew we were going… After teaching for 45 years, I have too many stories like this. Shops need to get involved with local vo-techs so the school taxes they pay actuall benefit their businesses Truman urges all industr professionals to get involved with their local vo-tech schools. “ We need these students for the future of our industry, and they can benefit rom our e perience Truman said ou re passionate about what ou do the ll see that and it will keep them interested Tell them all the great things about collision repair and its possibilities, so we can ensure this industry stays great for future generations.” www.autobodynews.com

UPDATED DAILY

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

MASSACHUSETTS

NEW JERSEY

NEW YORK

NEW

Curtiss-Ryan Honda

LIA Honda Northampton

Madison Honda

Dick Ide Honda

800-523-4190 203-929-0635

800-369-7889 413-587-2900

800-648-0293 973-822-1710

800-462-0056 (N.Y.) 585-586-4919

Shelton

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-5; Sat 7-4 callen@curtissryan.com

Lia Honda of Enfield

Northampton

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5; Sat 8-3 dstanisewski@liacars.com NEW JERSEY

Enfield

Autosport Honda

800-221-3131 860-741-3401

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 8-4 jdoucette@liacars.com

Bridgewater

908-722-5579

Madison

Dept. Hours: M-Thu 7-8; Fri 7-6; Sat 8-6; mschumer@madisonhonda.com

Rossi Honda Vineland

800-893-3030 856-692-4449

Route 22 Honda

Lia Honda of Albany

973-705-9100

800-272-6741 518-482-2598

877-657-2787

South Portland

Hillside

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5 chrish@clintonhonda.com

Dept. Hours: M-Sat 8-5 rt22hondaparts@route22honda.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30 mmmparts@berlincity.com

Honda of Turnersville

Sussex Honda

Prime Honda

800-883-0002 856-649-1584

800-842-0557 973-579-3500

Turnersville

Saco

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-4 sbaptist@penskeautomotive.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Th. 7:30-7; Sat 7:30-4 klavalle@driveprime.com

Newton

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5 realhondaparts@sussexhonda.com

Hudson Honda

Dept. ap

Albany

Dept. Hours: M, T, W, F 7:30-5:30; Thur 7:30-8; Sat 8-5 mjerard@liacars.com

Lia Honda of Brewster Brewster

845-278-4177

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5; Sat 8-4 cpaulson@liacars.com

sha

Lia Honda of Williamsville

West New York

Williamsville/Buffalo

866-483-6917 201-868-9500

MARYLAND

PEN

Syracuse

Clinton Honda Annandale

Dep

315-471-7278

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 9-1 parts@lamacchiahonda.com

800-640-6685 207-774-6685

Germantown

Lamacchia Honda

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5 (W until 7); Sat 7:30-3 dlyons@rossihonda.com

Berlin City Honda

Criswell Honda

Dept. Hours: M-Thur 8-8; Fri 8-5:30; Sat 8-5 parts@dickide.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 8-5 parts@autosporthonda.com

MAINE

207-391-7910 207-282-0900

Rochester

877-659-2672 716-632-3800

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7:30-5; Sun 8-3 anthony.perrone@hudsonhonda.com

Dept. Hours: M-Thu 7:30-8; Fri 7:30-5; Sat 8-5:30 liaparts@liacars.com

866-738-2886

Dep

Dept. Hours: M-Thu 7-9; Fri 7-7:30; Sat 8-6 hondaparts@criswellauto.com

ACURA MASSACHUSETTS

NEW JERSEY

NEW JERSEY

NEW JERSEY

NEW

Acura of Boston

Acura Turnersville

Elite Acura

Park Ave Acura

800-254-1169 617-254-5400

888-883-2884 856-516-6060

856-722-9600

888-690-7621 201-587-0028

Brighton

Turnersville

Maple Shade

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4 bmartinsen@group1auto.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5:30; Sat 8-5 bruce.fisher@acuraofboston.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4 kristen.powell@penskeautomotive.com

Acura of Peabody

Autosport Acura

Open Road Acura of East Brunswick

973-361-3117

732-238-0777 732-238-5466

Peabody

800-878-3600 978-532-9110

Dept. Hours: M-Sat 8-5 dbritt@acurapeabody.com

Denville

East Brunswick

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6; Sat 8-4 erin@theautosportgroup.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4 robert.talbot@openroad.com

Bill Vince’s Bridgewater Acura

Open Road Acura of Wayne

908-704-0307

973-696-5151

Bridgewater

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-7; Sat 8-4 mattn@bridgewateracura.com

Maywood

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-3 ron@parkaveacura.com NEW YORK

Acura of Westchester Westchester

914-834-8887

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-8; Sat 8-4; Sun 9-4 acura.parts@yahoo.com

Wayne

Dept.

S

Dep

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-4 jonathan.tangen@openroad.com

32 MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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un 9-4

PENNSYLVANIA

NEW YORK

Ray Laks Honda

Sussman Honda

716-824-7852

800-682-2914 215-657-3301

West Seneca

Dept. Hours: M, Tu, Th 8-8; W, F 8-6; Sat 8-5 jmaybee@raylaks.com PENNSYLVANIA

Roslyn

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-1 rendrick@sussmanauto.com VERMONT

Apple Honda

802 Honda

800-960-9041 717-848-2600

802-223-9700

York

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6; Sat 7-4; Sun 10-4 applehondaparts@appleauto1.com

Berlin

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5; Sat 8-Noon hondaparts@802cars.com

Baierl Honda Wexford

724-940-2006

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4 johnryan@baierl.com

Shadyside Honda Pittsburgh

800-468-2090 412-390-2908

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5 shadysidehondaparts@hotmail.com

Shenango Honda Hermitage

800-858-0849 724-981-7106

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 8-4 parts@shenangoauto.com

NEW YORK

PENNSYLVANIA

Curry Acura

Baierl Acura

800-725-2877 914-472-7406

800-246-7457 724-935-0800

Scarsdale

Wexford

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-5 parts@curryacura.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-1 johnsabella@baierl.com

Paragon Acura

Davis Acura

718-507-3990

866-50-ACURA 215-943-7000

Woodside

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-5; Sun 9-4 johnp@paragonacura.com

Smithtown Acura St. James

888-832-8220 631-366-4114

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 8-4 parts@smithtownacura.com

Langhorne

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 8-4 markh@davisacura.com

Sussman Acura Jenkintown

800-826-4078 215-884-6285

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-1 rendrick@sussmanauto.com autobodynews.com / MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 33

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with Stacey Phillips

From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

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

Have We Handcuffed Employees from Providing Extraordinary Customer Service? m concerned some o ou ma read the first paragraphs o this column and presume it s about customer satis action inde ing it s not and decide to mo e on r ou ma think it s about online re iews it s not reall and decide to move on. So please stick with me here. m going to talk about and online reviews, but only as an introduction. t s no secret or ears man insurance companies have conducted or asked their direct repair shops to conduct sur e s Man bod shops track on their own, regardless of whether a job is done under a or not nd in recent years, more automakers ha e added re uirements or the shops in their certification programs It all makes sense. Insurers and automakers want to make sure the

mutual customers they refer to shops are being kept informed during repairs, are receiving their repaired vehicle back in a timely manner, etc. The want to make sure their brand is being protected.

CSI results helped me ensure my employees were providing the same ualit o repairs and customer service I would personally. So to be clear: CSI is useful and aluable t s helped our industr reach “ net-promoter” scores that are better than those found in so many other industries. But I believe online reiews are becoming e uall important for shops. Consumers increasingly have a “ trust but verify” mentality. In a column I wrote a couple years ago, I shared a stor about the time m riend Greg s son and daughter in law didn t go to a restaurant Greg had highly recommended because that restaurant s online re iews weren t as good as others the son looked up Greg s son used online reviews to verify whether his

or shop owners makes good sense as well, particularly as a shop s olume or location count increases. When I owned multiple shops, I used CSI to help identify “ blind spots” in my business. Since couldn t touch e er single car

own ather s re erral could be trusted Given that, do you think consumers are going to trust a shop referral from an insurance company or an automaker without verifying by checking the shop s online re iews Ma be m ear old ather isn t going to do check those reviews, but m niece in her 0s definitel will. So that makes online reviews increasingly important as these generational shifts continue. Part of what this brings to mind is something I learned from R y a n T a y lo r at Bodyshop Booster: “ People are more afraid of making a wrong decision than they are of spending money.” Think about it a e ou e er passed over a lower-priced option for something you were buying because you were leery the cheaper one could be a mistake a e ou e er sorted your search results on Amazon based

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34 MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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on average customer reviews rather than price know ha e nd think about this ow much are online customer re iews in uencing our ranking in search results tate arm is among the insurance companies using a shop locator that now includes online review scores. Some of the automakers have done this as well. Anyone who Googles “ best auto body shop near me” is going to see only shops with a four-star rating or better e en i others are closer That search ma bring up our or fi e shops, but if the consumer conducts a voice-activated search, their device is likel to suggest onl the one shop the one with the best online reviews. I think connected cars are only going to accelerate the use of oice acti ated search Tr it ourself: Ask your phone something like, e iri what s the best auto bod shop near me s our shop the one that s suggested But as I said at the start, my message here is about something bigger than CSI scores and online re iews t s about figuring out how ou can di erentiate oursel b

providing exceptional customer serice creating a memorable or not to sound like isne a magical e perience for your customers. h think as an industr most shops have developed ways to ensure customers will answer the three or our basic uestions positi el e e ound wa s to keep them informed, to ensure their vehicle is returned on time, etc.

tunities for your business to set itself apart. What does that memorable or magical customer experience look like ll be honest don t know In talking about this with my good friend R a y C h ew at CCC Information Services, he told me he thinks it has to start rom that first point o contact when we first get that assignment or re erral rom

“People are more afraid of making a wrong decision than they are of spending money.” — Ryan Taylor That s part o how has made us better as an industry. And of course those things are, and will continue to be, very important elements to our business ut as we e cra ted our customer service around just those things, I think we may have handcu ed our team limiting how much they think outside the box in terms of providing exceptional, memorable service. That s wh think the additional power of open-ended online customer reviews will open new oppor-

that point on, we need to be looking for opportunities to wow that customer, to turn what they might perceive as a bad situation into a great experience. n e ample ow o ten ha e we had a customer call to say they left their sunglasses or phone charger in their car when they dropped it at the shop nce ou locate the item in the car, do you just tell them how late you are open if they want to pick it up or does someone o er to drop it o at their home or work t s

a little thing, but a kind, convenient gesture customers may well mention as part o a fi e star online re iew I can point to something similar in my own life recently. I had groceries delivered to my home, and in trying to pick up more of the bags than I should have, I managed to drop one, cracking open a watermelon and most o a do en eggs the e ui alent o one time use parts in the world of groceries. bout 20 minutes later there was a knock at m door There was the young grocery delivery guy with another watermelon and carton of eggs or me e wasn t the person responsible for the busted groceries. e didn t e en work or the grocer store; he was a subcontractor who did this on his own ou better believe that turned an otherwise mundane transaction into a memorable experience to share in an online review. That s the sort o thing our employees need to be empowered to do. It will be key to helping your business thrive as online reviews expand the customer experience beyond the basic building blocks of CSI.

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©2 FIA 36 MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com ABN_Northeast_2pgSpread_2018.indd 1

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VISION DODGE

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Check out MoparRepairConnection.com for resources, promotions and technical information. ©2021 FCA US LLC. All Rights Reserved. Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Mopar and SRT are registered trademarks of FCA US LLC. FIAT is a registered trademark of FCA Group Marketing S.p.A., used under license by FCA US LLC.

autobodynews.com / MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 37 3/18/21 9:21 AM

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Historical Snapshot with John Yoswick

Associations Assembling 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 crsisk@gmail.com.

WIN Webinar Explores What’s NEXT for Auto Body in the Digital World

Southeast News

n nternational omen s a on hicles involved in accidents will be March E la in a F a rn sw o rt h , CEO more e pensi e to fi o The Twith ducation shared Chasidy Rae Sisk ange o ision is important to insights on hat s T or the think about as a repairer. We need to uture utobod orker in ur know how the sensors interact and Emerging D igital World,” during a what the re e pected to do arnwebinar hosted b the omen s n- sworth added. “ Be careful of the dustry Network ( WIN) . sensors and the cameras when you “ Never before have we seen repair connected ehicles these with Rae Sisk such a change in how Chasidy transportation features provide enhanced safety has been done arnsworth began and mobilit ach ha e di erent re“ We are experiencing a wonderful uirements or speed securit disperiod of growth, and the industry tance and bandwidth.” needs as many women as arnsworth belie es it s possible.” important for the collision Chasidy Rae Sisk repair industry to “ undere erencingwith technologies, such as intelligent instand where we are today frastructure, self-driving and but also where we re going autonomous vehicles and A lot of development is beconnected cars arnsworth ing done around i i and pointed out with we Chasidy don t Elaina Farnsworth Rae Sisk 5G, which will come to fruhave technicians who really ition in the near uture t s understand the technology, all this important to understand all the ways great technology is worthless. We fo- these vehicles communicate because cus on growing the person, who can it could impact your diagnosis. then become an agent of change and epairers will ollow a di ergrow the industry.” ent diagnostic process with these vewith Chasidy Rae Sisk Connected vehicles ( CV) are hicles, and we need to think about cars that talk to one another Man how we will need to diagnose them modern vehicles already include a di erentl as ehicles e ol e variety of wireless communications, Although automated and auinformation and entertainment sys- tonomous vehicles ( AVs) are often tems, such as GPS, smartphone grouped together, they are not the with ChasidylinkRae Sisk ing and automated incident reporting. same. s pro ide the abilit to e uip e“ Automated refers to vehicles hicles with bidirectional communica- that have a capability to steer, acceltion using any protocol connectivity erate and brake under certain road, wirelessly, as well as the ability to al- weather and tra c s stems while a withtoChasidy Rae Sisk low vehicles access both wireless fully autonomous vehicles does not and networked devices inside and re uire a dri er or an road weathoutside of the vehicle itself. er or tra c condition arnsworth ccording to rost ulli an explained. “ Currently, there are no 20 o ehicles in orth merica fully autonomous vehicles in the will have telematics capabilities by world; they are all level 4 and limitwith Chasidy Rae Sisk 202 and nearl 0 o ehicles ed to dry, well-marked and generally will contain some sort of connected at roads in good weather and usualcapabilit b 20 0 l light tra c Connectivity provides an oparnsworth pro ided e amportunit to optimi e tra c man- ples of systems found in automatagement, reduce collisions and pro- ed vehicles. Adaptive cruise convide travel information, according to trol down to a stop builds on basic with Ed Attanasio arnsworth adaptive cruise control but allows There are a lot o electronics the system to function down to a going on inside a connected vehicle, full standstill, “ an important next and though the industry is likely to step to manage bumper-to-bumper see fewer collisions in the future, ve- traffic,” she said.

Western Associations

Southwest Associations Southeast Associations Northeast Associations

Lane-center steering builds upon lane-departure steering assist, which only intervenes as a vehicle approaches or crosses the lane markings The lane-center steering system actively centers the vehicle in its lane by tracking lane markings and/ or the vehicle ahead. Although these systems can often navigate mild curves, they typicall re uire the dri er s hands to remain on the wheel and will issue warnings and eventually deactivate if they sense a lack of steering force. ands ree steering centers the cars without re uiring the dri er s hands on the wheel though it still re uires the driver to pay attention. Ms are currentl leading deelopment with GM leading in e ecution for connected and automated ehicles while ord aults ahead in strategy. The news constantl reports

partnership announcements, as well as some mergers and ac uisitions arnsworth said n addition to the traditional Ms companies like Apple and Google are beginning to play a role in vehicle technologies; the re e en to ing with the idea o building their own cars. Lots of new players are entering the market, and it s definitel not going an where As that segment of the industry grows, there will be more opportunities for others to join in.” Explaining why CVs and AVs matter to repairers arnsworth said “ Sensor-based blind zone and cross tra c alerts get knocked around in crashes, and AD AS are proliferating in lower-priced vehicles. All new light vehicles will have backup cameras, and the industry has agreed to make automatic braking and forward collision warning systems standard b 2022

Midwest Associations

National Associations

Northwest Associations Shop Showcase

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38 MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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eplacing a sensor torn o a car s ront end and swept up at a crash site can re uire a bod shop diagnostic technician to go far beond looking up a ehicle identification number to see what AD AS technolog was original e uipment epairing s also re uires knowledge about repair and replacement of sensors, knowledge of electrical theory and information technology, and understanding of AD AS technology. “ AD AS assist drivers in driving and parking unctions arnsworth said Through a sa e human machine interface, AD AS increase car and road safety, using automated technology, such as sensors and cameras, to detect nearby obstacles or driver errors, and respond accordingly. AD AS are developed to automate, adapt and enhance vehicle systems for safety and better driving. Although cars with AD AS are involved in fewer collisions, these systems are the costliest to repair.” D iscussing the number of sensors on a modern vehicle, which can e ceed 100 arnsworth pointed out even the headlights and tires con-

tain sensors, and she predicted more sensors will be added to vehicles as the e ol e The addition o so many sensors necessitates scanning and calibration procedures. “ Sensors are the eyes and ears of AD AS, and when AD AS need to be ser iced it re uires special e uipment, operated by a specially trained technican she noted Man preiousl simple repairs now re uire AD AS calibration, which includes cameras, sensors and controllers, and re uires speciali ed tooling and e uipment arnsworth reminded systems use multiple sensors, and all need to be validated to solve the problem. In addition to the increased cost the ehicle o ten re uires a recalibration of the entire system, an additional cost.” ow does this impact the collision repair industr “ As connected, automated and autonomous and smart cars rapidly increase, so does the demand for knowledgeable leaders certified and credentialed employees, and skilled workers with access to the latest information, since new technologies

are being released e er da arnsworth said. “ Collisions are projected to reduce, but the cost to repair will increase The repair process will include the need to recalibrate sensors which re uires consistent up to date information on new technologies and real-world experience to stay relevant.” e ore ending with a session arnsworth encouraged attendees to Get in ol ed ind out about the latest technologies available and where you can receive training. There are so man opportunities in this field and we need to understand the various issues happening as we connect vehicles with 5G and satellites. D iscover a new passion that will lead you into the new future of transportation.” or more in ormation on The T ducation isit thene ted com. will hold its 2021 cholarship alk irtuall pril 1 through Ma 2 The 2021 ducational Conference, also held virtually, is scheduled or Ma and or more information on WIN, visit www.womensindustrynetwork.com.

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hile the eet market took a hit like most other industries due to the pandemic, the electric vehicle sales declined b onl 1 compared to the overall vehicle sales decline o 2 in 2020 said eroe nc The eet management companies and car leasing companies are steadily increasing their dependency on electric vehicles as large M s ha e started framing electric vehicle policies. These car eet management companies are piloting EVs in multiple countries and providing incenti es to their sta or adopting this more environment-friendly mode o tra el This trend will see an upward surge in the next couple o ears The reason or the thrust on electric vehicles comes from the increasing interest in investing in alternative fuel options, said the report. Governments are o ering ta subsidies and incentives that have driven up EV sales. The debate on carbon emission has pressed organizations to look at zero-emission options. Sou rce: B eroe, I nc.

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40 MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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MINI Will Switch to Fully-Electric Vehicles By Early 2030s by Andrei Nedelea, Inside EVs

Automakers are scrambling these days to not only churn out more and more electric and electrified vehicles, but also to stop making fuel-burning vehicles as soon as possible. MINI seems like it’s one of the most ambitious in this regard, with the BMW-owned brand announcing its goal to launch its last-ever internal combustion-engined vehicle in 2025, and to not have any more of them for sale by the early 2030s. The news was broken by Oliver Zipse, BMW chairman, who mentioned it during the BMW Annual Conference 2021 that mainly focused on the reveal of the production spec BMW i4 electric sedan. If MINI does stay true to the claims, it will rid itself of ICE quicker than its parent brand, BMW, and it wants full EVs to account for half of its annual sales by the year 2027. Right now, MINI only has one

pure-EV in its roster, the Cooper SE two-door, which will eventually be joined by a four-door hatch variant. However, MINI plans to launch more EVs after 2023 when it expects to complete work on a new electric car platform which it is jointly developing with China’s Great Wall Motors. The first model to be underpinned by this new platform is believed to be the next-gen MINI Countryman, which will be sold both with ICE power as well as a fully-electric powertrain. BMW says this new Countryman crossover will debut in 2023 and will be assembled at BMW’s plant in Leipzig; electric MINIs will also be built in China starting the same year, through the collaboration with Great Wall. We thank Inside EVs for reprint permission.

www.autobodynews.com

UPDATED DAILY

Chip Shortage Saga: Ford F-150 And Edge to Be Built Without Certain Electronic Modules by Brad Anderson, CarScoops

Ford will produce the F-150 pickup truck and Edge SUV without certain parts due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage. A Ford spokeswoman has confirmed the automaker will build vehicles and hold them for several weeks until they can be completed and shipped to dealerships. The F-150 and Edge are being assembled without some electronic modules, although Ford did not specify the suppliers it sources these parts from. The same spokeswoman told Reuters the parts needed are used to operate functions like the windshield wiper motors and infotainment systems. In response to the shortage, Ford is also canceling the late Thursday shift and both Friday shifts at its Louisville Assembly Plant that builds the Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair. Production will resume on short shifts March 22 and return to full capacity March 23. Ford is also idling produc-

tion at its Cologne, Germany site, where the Fiesta is built, on March 22, having previously idled production from March 1 through March 16.

Word of Ford producing the F-150 and Edge without some parts comes shortly after it was confirmed General Motors is building certain 2021 pickup trucks fitted with its 3.5-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine without its Active Fuel Management system that handles cylinder deactivation. This will lower the fuel economy of impacted models by one mile per gallon. Ford has previously committed to prioritizing and allocating chips to its highest-margin vehicles like the F-150 when possible. We thank CarScoops for reprint permission.

h

r

autobodynews.com / MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 41

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with Erica Schroeder

Industry Insight with John Yoswick

—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.

Deciding Between Leasing and Purchasing When Adding Shop Locations

Shop Showcase

ere s a tip n estors might be in- ment pla while larger M s conterested in bu ing our shop s real sider e cienc o capital what estate. will get them a greater financial rewith Ed Attanasio G a ry C h o u , executive vice turn. president of commercial real estate There s no right or wrong said brokerage firm Matthews eal state Chou, as long as someone purchasing Investment Services, said outside in- considers whether they would do betvestors such as real estate investment ter freeing up that money to open adtrusts Ts ha e recentl begun to ditional shops. see collision shop properties “ as a leW ill J o h n st o n , chief corporate with Ed Attanasio gitimate investment product.” de elopment o cer or er ice ing That s helped push alues o agreed there s not one definiti e ancollision properties up, because it swer to the purchase s lease uesbasically increases the buyer pool tion. overall,” Chou said. “ It really depends on where you Chou was speaking last fall are in your growth and how aggresduring the first M mposium si el ou re growing ohnston with Ed Attanasio panel discussion in the e ent s nine said ou ma decide that our year history focused on issues relat- pace of growth is such you want

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an ac uisition it s the third part landlords that can potentially really gum things up ecause the re not the ones about to make a big payday. The ma er well see it as their chance to renegotiate items within the lease.” Think care ull e en about an arms-length lease you put in place with oursel or an a liate J ohnston said, because a buyer of your business may look at that lease and “ expect those same terms.” Panelist B en H id a lg o of Net Lease D evelopment agreed, suggesting anyone leasing commercial propert to or rom others find an attorney who understands leasing for a specific use collision repair business that has even just one poorly crafted lease among its two or three or 10 locations can get held hostage” to that, particularly at the time the owner hopes to sell the business.

Media and Publicity for Shops with Ed Attanasio

“ Get a good attorney, not just a riend who does it idalgo said on t skimp on that Get an e pert in retail leasing, to get a lease that will protect you long-term.” n attorne with su cient leasing e perience will know what s been problematic for other clients in the past, he said. D ea n F ish er, president of D riven rands collision group which includes T and Maaco also o ered his take on the purchase s lease decision during the panel discussion e said most o his compan s ranchisees ha e ewer than 10 locations and tend to bu the real estate at most or all of their shops. Most o them look at real estate as a form of the asset base that the re building utili ing the business to pay for the asset base,” he said o the ll t picall tr to purSee Leasing and Purchasing, Page 56

Shop Strategies with Stacey Phillips

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ed to real estate and the speakers to lease that property because you focused on some topics that could be want to save capital to go after addie uall o interest to single location tional shops ut i ou re growing collision repairers as well. with brownfields and take o ers and The new interest among in es- will be adding a lot of value to the tors in body shop real estate, for facilities you take over or that you with Stacey Phillips e ample o ers another option or build ou ma want to benefit rom a shop owner who sells the business the value [ in the property] you put in to a large M which is unlikel there as the operator.” to want to bu the real estate and The terms o an lease can be wants to cash out the property rather very important, J ohnston said, parthan continue as landlord. ticularly when you decide to sell Much o thewith discussion centered your business. Stacey Phillips around whether a collision repairer The lease ou re negotiating adding a shop location whether a now might be the lease that ou re second or 1 th should purchase assigning over to a buyer of your or lease the new location s building business later,” he said. “ It will afand real estate. fect the valuation [ of the business] hou said smaller M s o ten and certainl will a ect the ease o view the purchased land as “ a retire- getting that deal done T picall in

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©2021 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trademarks. 44 MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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autobodynews.com / MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 45

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with Ed Attanasio

Shop Strategies

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

with Stacey Phillips

How a Shop Owner Enhanced Employee Culture While Providing Outstanding Service During COVID-19

Body Shops Giving Back

and other services. C la y H o b erec h t , owner of B est B od y A u tob od y N ew s asked oberecht Shop in K ansas, said he is crazy about how the shop owner has enhanced three things: his with customers, their cars Stacey Phillips his culture with employees during and his team. 1 while pro iding outstand “ We want rabid fans, not just ing customer service. satisfied customers said oberecht With a passion for repairing vehen the pandemic first hicles correctl oberecht said his broke out a year ago, how did team works hard to provide outstandwith Stacey Phillips ou and our wi e react ing customer service by maintaining a culture of humility and expertise. Without a shadow of a doubt, “ We are driven to succeed and the last year has been intense. have a hunger for knowledge,” he Between the political issues and said. 1 the market has been oberecht and his wi e B a rb a volatile. ra , started the Wichita business in a with Stacey Phillips The o 1 thing arb and did 2 00 s uare oot acilit in 201 O ver the years, the operation ex- right o the bat when we er first panded The e entuall purchased started seeing a downturn in the the building next door, increasing economy is we immediately went their space to 10 000 s uare eet into protection mode with our busiand focusing on collision repair, ness. We made the decision to have body painting, paintless dent repair no retraction whatsoever and agreed with Victoria Antonelli to move forward no matter what. car restoration hail damage

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rom then on we made sure that every move we made was not a retraction. We were able to hold each other accountable, and the team was able to hold us accountable. Sometimes, moving forward doesn t mean getting a lot o cars in the shop. It might mean spending time looking at disaster loans or Paycheck Protection Program ( PPP) loans and figuring out what the best fit is ther times it is working on the shop ow learning how to fi vehicles better, training or spending time with the team. e shut down or 0 da s and used that time as an opportunity to continue moving forward in our business and not retract it. D uring that 0 da s we rebuilt the en tire shop, invested in new Spanesi e uipment and tools and ocused on training and Standard O perating Procedures ( SO Ps) .

Timoth Morgan chie op erating o cer at panesi mericas was instrumental in helping Best od hop achie e this Things are going exceptionally well right now.

Q:

What steps did you take to build a team environment and how has it impacted the culture at our shop

A:

I wanted to get to know my employees better and found this was a great opportunity to do that. As a team, we began to read a lot of books about culture, trust and building a team that can reply on one another Then we discussed what we learned. I shared my heart with the team and told them that didn t want to be the one picking out the books all the time This isn t a school and m not their dad. I wanted to see their

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46 MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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interest in personal growth and m happ to sa that we e seen that We got stuck on all reading one book or a while but now we re choosing separate books m reading e er plit the i erence b C h ris V o ss. A couple of guys just finished reading an t urt Me b D a vid G o g g in s.

ecentl was talking to M ik e, my painter, about being vulnerable and transparent with each other. We both felt that our team now has a better level of trust than we ever had There was ob iousl a milestone of education that has made a ma or change in our shop s culture

and business ramped up again. e e also noticed a ramp up in our production ability because of the trust we built with the employees. I felt like we had a strong culture before, but it is mind-blowing that enhancing it during CO VID has made such a di erence t s like we are a well-oiled machine.

Q:

Q:

A:

A:

ow did ou adapt your business once it opened again

When we opened the shop back up to the public, it was like a frenzy. e o ered a discount to customers, which was a big part of how we became busy reall uickl That bus ness sta ed or uite a ew Clay and Barbara Hoberecht opened Best Body Shop in Wichita, KS, in 2014 months. D uring the presidennother good book is The i e tial race, we noticed a major slump s unctions o a Team b P a t ric k and the shop slowed down There L en c io n i That author also wrote a was a lot of tension in the air and I book called “ Getting Naked,” which don t think people cared about the is about being transparent with your aesthetics of their vehicle. O nce that teammates That one in particular passed whether or not ou liked the has made a significant di erence in results it seemed there was a little our shop s culture bit of pressure relieved in the market

What are some of the procedures ou e implemented or customers

e e had an appreciation for our customer base but that has grown over time, especially now. Customers come in and tell us that they want to support small businesses and we want to show our appreciation to them. As a result, we have done anything and everything we can to go above and beyond for customers. This includes pro iding a concierge service. We have been a lot more open to picking up and delivering people. O ur customer service representati e s main ocus is to build relationships with customers. We spent a tremendous amount of

time consistently going over what can we do that is above and beyond. O nce a month, Barbara, myself and J osh, our sit down and pick fi e customers who have either referred work to our shop or had their car repaired here. We do tremendous research to find out what the like and purchase a gi t or them e e bought autographed jerseys, baseballs, barbecue kits and even a gun holster. We want to show our appreciation to those who are supporting our business. D uring times of extreme behavior such as 1 there are extremes on both sides. As a result, e seen more gi ing hearts and more empathy and sympathy than e e er seen e want to be part o the solution and not part of the problem no matter what is going on that is creating this craziness in society. We have no desire to compete with other shops. We want to dominate and compete with ourselves.

Q:

What is your advice to other shop owners who are reinventing their business right now due to 1 See Service During COVID, Page 54

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autobodynews.com / MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 47

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CCC’s 2021 Crash Course Report Offers a Glimpse of the ‘New Normal’ by Ed Attanasio

What will the “ new normal” look like and how will it a ect the collision repair industr The 1 pandemic has forced businesses to evaluate key issues such as supply-chain sourcing, telecommuting and how to work with insurance partners, vendors and customers. Get ready for increasing AD AS technology, fewer drivers on the road and more severe accidents due to speeding and reckless driving. In addition, more people will continue to work at home and, as a result, change the types of car insurance they choose. ecentl n ormation ervices, Inc. ( CCC) unveiled its annual Crash Course report, the cumulation of a full year of research, analysis and looking for trends that can potentially impact the industry for many years to come. The person behind the report is s irector and ndustr nalyst S u sa n n a G o t sc h , who authors the report every year. She wrote the first one in 1 when was still in its in anc Toda man shop owners worldwide covet the information presented in s rash Course report. ou e been in the collision industry for more than a few years, you know s rash ourse report provides revealing industry-leading insights on the business, consumer, environmental and technology trends shaping the insurance econom This ear s report pro ides a substanti e iew o how 1 reshaped the industry with shifts in driving behavior, attitudes toward personal mobility, adoption of telematics-enabled usage-based insurance, and exponential growth in the digitization of operations across the claims and repair experience. “ Crash Course illustrates how 1 impacted our industr and the trajectory of change moving forward,” Gotsch said. “ CCC has published rash ourse or 2 years and this edition reveals unprecedented change. And though we expect some changes, like miles driven, to revert to pre-pandemic levels, we project other changes will

become the new baseline, as photos, mobile, AI and customer demands have reset expectations and changed how we work. To help make sense o the rapidly changing market dynamics and accelerating innovations, the Crash Course team is evolving how we bring information to you,” she said. e re e cited to deli er a uni ue rash ourse report each uarter in 2021 sharing the most current data

available and even timelier insights for the auto industry and related ecosystem, how people decide to buy, own, insure and drive their cars will determine, in part, how we move forward as an industry. ow these interconnected decisions and data points are shifting and changing as a result o the 1 pandemic is important to monitor and frame in the reference of what we are seeing in the market right now.” The 1 0 page report draws insights from decades of experience rom processing more than 200 million claims-related transactions, 0 billion miles o dri ing data and millions o auto and Med a casualty claims. CCC is committed to providing the industry with information and data to create more visibility into what s ahead in orming understanding to positively impact business outcomes. K ey topics covered in Crash ourse 2021 include The rise o tech enabled customer e periences in insurance how 1 became the spark for consumers to take another look at usage-based insurance wh 2020 saw more se ere accidents and the impact on the repair process 1 s impact on the casualty claims process and health care, and the role of vehicle technology in increasing repair costs. When people stopped driving

last March Gotsch witnessed some very distinctive trends that appeared overnight. “ Everything that happened was the byproduct of the fact that people stopped driving,” she said. “ It meant that there was less congestion, which led to things such as erratic driving habits, speeding and more cases of distracted driving. There were more ounger drivers on the road than normal because elderly people were also driving less due to their compromised health and other reasons ounger dri ers e ual more distracted driving, as well as drunk driving and drug-related driving. It led to a riskier, faster and more dangerous cocktail of driving behavior. “ California and less-populated states such as Wyoming and Nebraska reported a huge spike in the total number of citations that were written for drivers who were driving in e cess o 100 mph or e ample

The numbers o people who die every year in this country are e ui alent to a crashing e er day without any survivors, but people don t seem to want to understand how broad the devastation actually is Gotsch said eople sa that it s more dangerous driving to the airport as opposed to getting on a plane.” As previously noted, the 1 pandemic led to a signi icant decline in claims and congestion, logically leading to fewer but more expensive claims. Consumer preference for light trucks and vehicles loaded with the newest technology forged ahead, further driving repair complexity and higher costs. When a claim did happen, insurers o ered customers new curated digital capabilities embedded with AI, helping accelerate overall cycle time at the front end by enabling the customer to make faster and more informed decisions. n 2020 carmakers didn t slow down when it came to developing new AD AS technology, which

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means shops have to be more knowledgeable than ever about the newer models in order to survive. “ With rising repair complexity and costs, repair cycle times continue to grow,” Gotsch said. “ Customer satisfaction with a repair typically falls as repair costs rise, as does a customer s corresponding satis action with the insurer s handling o the claim and the customer s willingness to recommend that shop or insurer. As repair costs rise, consumers ma need more re uent updates to feel informed, and potentially increase the average service score.” Post-pandemic changes in people s li est les will directl a ect shops car counts or man ears to come. “ No one really knows how long it will take before people will feel safe enough to return to something resembling pre-pandemic life; what is clear is that things are likely to be di erent Gotsch said ith the option for more individuals to work from home in the future, people may choose to relocate to be closer to amil find less e pensi e housing or other reasons, as we saw early in

the pandemic. This could potentiall slow the shift toward urban areas that the U.S. experienced over the last decade Man do anticipate some share of remote work in the U.S. will be permanent.” People will continue to work at home or irtuall in 2021 and beond appro imatel 0 o obs could be done remotely, but workers chose to do so only one day per week, there would still potentially be an impact to daily travel. O verall miles driven and trips taken might not see a significant decline but more telework would still lead to fewer rush hour trips, less congestion in urban areas and freer movement of remaining tra c Gotsch said “ In many ways, the pandemic environment has actually given us some idea of what the future may look like, and what that means to our industry,” she said. “ D espite an estimated 1 billion in auto premiums returned to customers because of the pandemic, the percent of consumers that indicated they were ‘ very satisfied with their auto insurance carrier ell rom in late March 2020

Las Vegas Ready to Welcome 2021 SEMA Show by SEMA Editors

ith more than fi e weeks to go beore the M how space agreement deadline, show management reports more than 1 000 e hibitors ha e alread been confirmed or the 2021 e ent The news is significant and underscores the work Las Vegas and its businesses are doing to welcome back large enue e ents like the M how The as egas on ention enter s newl constructed est all a 1 million s uare oot acility, was completed in J anuary, and will house exhibitors from the est ling ar are ccessories owersports tilit ehicles and Truck oad sections As the city continues to ramp back up to host events, the buzz among exhibitors anticipating the return of the in person M how or 2021 has increased significantl eople are eager to get back to the M Show and reestablish their in-person connections with colleagues and customers,” said Vice President of Events T o m G a t t u so The groundswell of excitement among

exhibitors increases each day, and the show is the main e ent that the industry is looking forward to in 2021 The 2021 M how is a little more than seven months away, and show management continues to work closely with the convention center authorities and the state of Nevada to help deliver the best M how e er S E M A S h o w D a t es t o R em em b er The hibitor er ices Manual M will be li e in Ma The M contains all o the orms and applications re uired to prepare for the show: feature vehicles, new products, booth vehicles, celebrity appearances, etc. D eadline to submit hibit pace ental pplication and deposit is Ma M how pace election une 2 eser e booth space or the 2021 M how at www M show com/ exhibitor. or complete in ormation about the 2021 M how isit www M how com ource

to 56% by the end of August.” As of early D ecember, a study conducted b G ound 0 o ehicle owners continued to drive less, with 54% of those who reported driving less posting at least a 0 decline in miles dri en according to s rash ourse report. Not surprisingly, interest in user-based insurance ( UBI) policies grew as people recognized they were driving less and wanted more transparency around how their policies were priced. In their annual reports submitted to T automakers also showed just how far they have come toward e uipping ehicles with the building blocks for full vehicle autonomy and AD AS. AD AS includes technologies such as front crash prevention or warning, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, park assist, back-over prevention, obstacle detection and autonomous emergency braking. The reports are submitted annuall b the 20 manu acturers that pledged to e uip at least o their light-duty cars and trucks with a gross ehicle weight o 00 lbs or less

with the crash avoidance technology b the production ear o 2022 “ When AD AS technology went mainstream a few years back, the collision repair industry was put out on the ront lines first ersus mechanical repair, which is unusual,” Gotsch said The main challenges for body shops are daunting because the s ha e di erent names or these systems and with consumer demand high the re all packaged di erentl and operate di erentl o understanding what s going on with a car when it comes into our shop and then tr ing to fi it these are some prett significant challenges The uestion is where and what should you invest in, or should you use a third-party compan to do our diagnostics 2020 was a ear o uestions will 2021 pro ide us with some o the answers as we emerge from these uncertain times To find out more get a hold of the CCC Crash Course report to anticipate trends be ore the a ect you.

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Historical Snapshot with John Yoswick

Associations Assembling 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 crsisk@gmail.com.

ASA Bonus Webinar Explores Value of Return to Work Programs ble limitations based on doctor recSoutheast ommendations, News helps them get back

n March 1 hosted a special bonus webinar, “ Importance of a eturn to ork rogram or our with Chasidy Rae Bottom Line,” featuring N ic k D iC a rlo , vice president, regional sales director meriTrust T Explaining the purpose of a return to work T program he defined it as a return to health and with Chasidy Rae happiness.” When employees are absent on workers compensation insurance it impacts the productivity of the shop and the business bottom line T programs allow employees to return Chasidy Rae to their normalwith or modified ob duties as uickl and sa el as possible, minimizing the indemnity of a claim. In addition to lowering costs of workers compensation studies haRae e with Chasidy proven allowing injured employees to return to their regular schedule and environment, albeit with possi-

to their normal duties faster as well. Sisk

i arlo e plained the benefits T programs reduce emplo ee days away from work, enables them to reco er more uickl and it osters a positive work environment,

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lar communication with your injured employees, while keeping them productive.” The emplo ee also benefits ith T programs the emplo ee retains full earning capacity; in most states, emplo ees on workers compensation make about 66% of normal wag-

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Sisk also showing other employees how

much ou care These programs reduce the financial impact o workplace injuries, improve your ability to manage an injury claim and any restrictions, and increase producSisk tivity by getting your experienced emplo ees back to work T programs also allow you to keep in regu-

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es The maintain their regular work schedule, do not need to depend on a disability system and have a greater sense of security and stability. T programs make team members feel that you care about them and getting them back to work,” according to i arlo This tends to create a stronger sense of loyalty

long-term. Also, employees are able to maintain a productive mindset because the eel that the re contributing to the team and that will benefit them personally more than sitting around, doing nothing.” o how can a shop put a T program in place irst know the acts conduct preliminar research about T programs to learn about the potential for costs savings and how to adapt the programs to meet your compan s needs Next, gather data by asking coworkers their thoughts on T practices to determine how much work will be needed. Then demonstrate a commitment to earl T but be sure to clarify the company is committed to the recovery process above all else. reate clearl defined goals and objectives for the program so employ-

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ees know what to expect, and appoint a team to lead the T initiati e setting expectations and communication channels. “ In a small shop, the owner may be the whole team,” D iCarlo acknowledged. e elop a work ow chart that outlines the T program and use the work ow to identi the ne t steps, eliminating confusion in the T process Next, develop and maintain a job bank to include a list of possible transition roles for injured employees returning to work. A communication and education plan is also needed to ensure employees are aware of their job responsibilities, both before and after an injury occurs, both while limited and following recovery. K eep a transitional duty database to measure the success of the program, making adjustments where needed. inall distribute the plan Make sure the T program is easily accessible to all employees. Make sure e er one understands it s in place and how it works D iCarlo said. “ Employees, including

new hires, should sign and date acknowledgement forms to reduce the shop s liabilit Being back at work aids in recovery. ten people on workers compensation are just sitting around, which doesn t help them reco er D iCarlo said. “ Getting back to work and doing their job within their physical limitations helps them recover faster and get back to their regular duties uicker The emplo ee s doctor will determine what limitations exist and an appropriate guideline for them to return to work The emplo ee will agree to provide this information to the shop owner as part of the acknowledgements; however, the shop owner cannot reach out to the emplo ee s doctor directl i arlo wrapped up T programs pro ide a positi e financial impact on the compan s bottom line, which allows for things like raises and bonuses t s important to show your team that this benefits e er one not ust the business Before the webinar concluded, i arlo brie mentioned the up-

coming launch of Ameritrustconnect.com, a new consumer portal being launched in conjunction with ASA, which allows shops to purchase workers compensation insurance online. This is going to be great innoation we re bring to associations that will save shops time and mone he said ou re bu ing directl from us. Simple, fast and direct is the goal here.” n pril 21 s ne t ebinar ednesda the first o a two part series, will feature R ic k E sc a la m b re o ndependent ontract Technical Training as he talks about denti ing i cult to un Monitors sing n se er ormance Tracking or more information or to register, visit asashop.org/ asa-webinars.

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Nominations Open for NABC Awards The ational uto od ouncil announced it is opening the nominations or its 2021 awards the NABC Changing and Saving Lives Award and the NABC President s ward The resident s ward is designed to honor the NABC member company that supports the vision of the National Auto Body Council through donation of their time and resources. Companies will be nominated by the NABC Board of D irectors, and members at all levels of NABC membership are eligible The hanging and Saving Lives Award recognizes the individual in the collision repair industry who has delivered exemplary service in the NABC mission of Changing and Saving Lives Every D ay, far beyond their role in the industry. Individuals may be nominated by a member of the NABC Board of D irectors or b the public The winners will be named during the annual M how in as egas ominations will run through ug 1 Source: NABC

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CAA Supports AB 471 for Accountability, Accessibility, Transparency To this end has responded and has successfully developed 1 is a multi aceted piece o the Auto Shop Locator, a new molegislation created to address con- bile-friendly search tool that alsumer protection and transparency lows consumers to perform locawithin the automotive repair indus- tion-based searches for automotive try. repair dealers filter results b the Among other things, it will sig- t pe o ser ices needed and uickl nificantl enhance state ureau o verify if a licensee is on probation or utomoti e epair programs the subject of a pending accusation. for consumers, protect consumers ne o the goals o 1 will from unsafe salvage vehicle repairs, be to support and expand the consumer protection and transparency of this platform. J a c k M o lo d a n o f , registered lobbyist for CAA and the president o Molodano Go ernment elations in Sacramento, CA, has watched this bill as it s gone through several reincarnations. Molodano belie es the California Assembly Member Evan Low authored AB 471 to bill will be good for all address consumer protection and transparency within the automotive repair dealers, automotive repair industry including auto body shops, impro e the current citation and fine that go by the rules, while making regulatory program and allow for a shady operators responsible for submore e cient and e pediated disci- par repairs. plinary processes. ne o the goals o 1 is The ali ornia utobod s- to make it easier for consumers to sociation ( CAA) supports this bill find out which shops ha e training because it protects consumers, im- and educational credentials to proppro es the current citation and erly and safely perform repairs befine process and streamlines disci- fore they decide where to take their plinary hearings while preserving vehicles,” he said. due process. 1 will allow to colThe bill was authored b ali- lect additional information from auornia ssembl Member E va n L o w tomotive repair dealer application, 2 th ssembl istrict an ose including educational and training and Silicon Valley.) Last year, AB certifications that are nationall rec2 also authored b ow was in- ognized and generally accepted by the troduced but paused in order to allow auto repair industr to address the Trusted ealer etc. It also will combine the current ertificate portion o that bill brake and lamp program and rename by Ed Attanasio

Continued from Page 47

Service During COVID

A:

I receive a tremendous amount of phone calls from shops across the countr Man people talk to struggle with how to fi a car correctl or find time or the training needed to learn how do it. Now is the time to do that. I see too many people utilizing this time as an excuse to fail. D uring the most challenging times over the last year, there were

nerve-racking times. We reminded ourselves that the only way to ail was to uit o as long as we didn t uit we should be good nd i we re not at least we le t it all out on the field ltimatel that was a successful strategy for us. Throughout this time e grown a passion for helping the industry and I welcome other shops to reach out to me e re all in this together.

AUTOBODY

it the vehicle safety inspection program pro ide the authorit to develop additional inspection criteria standards for safety systems through regulations and allow for electronic transmittal of the brake and lamp certificates to M mong other things 1 will enable to establish a air appeal process or citation and fines by establishing an independent review panel that includes a consumer, representati e and representative from the auto repair industry. In addition, it will provide for an automotive repair shop that receives a citation to attend educational training certified b which will remo e the citation rom s website similar to tra c school The bill will allow to certi these remedial training providers. It will also allow administrative law judges to be pre-assigned to hear cases This will allow or e pediate hearings for auto repair shops rather than having to wait for years to resol e Molodano said

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t will allow to hire in house attorneys to handle preparation of accusations to revoke auto repair shop licenses, rather than the attorney general. This will streamline the current process and resol e cases uicker while maintaining the auto body shop s right to due process he said 1 also clarifies a person re uired to ha e a alid license shall not ha e the benefit o an lien for labor or materials, including the ability to charge storage fees or right to sue, unless the person possesses a alid license Along with CAA, these associations support 1 and applaud Low for his leadership in authoring this important legislation: Automotive Service Councils of California, ali ornia utomoti e holesalers Association, Auto Care Association, oalition or utomoti e epair ualit utomoti e er ice ssociation, Automotive Aftermarket uppliers ssociation and Motor and uipment Manu acturers ssociation.

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54 MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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autobodynews.com / MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 55

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Cox Automotive March Forecast: U.S. Auto Sales Pick Up Pace Heading into Spring March auto sales when reported the last week o March will show strong growth o er ebruar s pace and a significant increase o er last ear s pandemic hit numbers. The seasonall ad usted annual rate o sales this month is forecast by Cox Automotive to hit 1 million up rom ebruar s

were reported. The sales reco er has been chopp since eptember The has bounced around between the upper 1 to mid 1 million le els o er the past six months. A return to the higher end is e pected in March The sales pace should impro e this month after being hampered by winter storms that disrupted much

“Supply chain disruptions that continue to plague the industry are adding to the short supply situation. — Charlie Chesbrough 1 million pace and well abo e last March s dismal 11 million level. Sales volume is forecast to increase nearl 0 o er last March and reach 1 million units hile sales in the first uarter have been healthy, they remain below pre pandemic le els Total sales in 1 2021 orecast at million units, will be up 8.7% versus 1 2020 but down rom 1 201 when million sales

Continued from Page 42

Leasing and Purchasing chase the real estate as part of their retirement or sale model.” e said real estate in this industr is uni ue o ten re uiring man modifications to a propert lease-holder improvements that may make leasing less advantageous. “ When you purchase a piece of property, often that mortgage is less than you would be leasing it for on a triple net lease he said There can be some profitabilit that ou can specificall take out o that pa ment to yourself that creates some favorable tax opportunities for you.” All that said, there are some risks involved in purchasing the real estate isher noted risks i it is a brownfield oning issues easements, tying up too much wealth in the industr e en i it s in two di erent asset classes. Too man don t weigh the potential cost of all that,” he said. e also cautioned an thing dri ing up real estate values does not automatically increase the lease payment

o the countr in ebruar ith the deep freeze impacting markets as ar south as ouston and disrupting millions of lives and businesses for days, many sales were likely dela ed into earl March lso the distribution of stimulus checks is well underwa and we e alread noticed upward movement in our daily sales tracking numbers as a result. “ Inventory levels are tight right now, though, and this could hinder

a shop owner who sells the business but retains the real estate can expect rom the new shop operators That remains “ contingent big-time” on the cash ow o the business so a period of business retraction “ devalues the lease alue as well isher said J ohnston said there is one set of circumstances when it is often in your best interest to purchase shop real estate: when your landlord on a property is considering selling to someone else. ou might ha e had a co relationship with that landlord. It might even be someone who sold you the business,” J ohnston said. ut i the re now ipping that real estate, you have to consider whether the person buying that real estate is buying it because they want you there as a long-term tenant, or if they are buying it because they want to redevelop that property. “ It may be advantageous to you to consider buying it if you think there s a risk o losing what is otherwise a very valuable operational asset. No one wants to have to go find another bod shop and relocate a successful operation.”

the market in coming months,” said C h a rlie C h esb ro u g h , senior economist, Cox Automotive. “ Supply chain disruptions that continue to plague the industry are adding to the short supply situation. Although lean inventories have not had much impact on bu ers in the first uarter, that will likely change as we mo e into 2 The production disruptions happening now will turn into even lower inventory in the months ahead.” M a rc h S a les F o rec a st H ig h lig h t s n March new light ehicle sales are orecast to increase b 0 000 units or nearl 0 compared to March 2020 hen compared to last month, sales are expected to rise nearl 00 000 units or 2 The in March 2021 is estimated to be 1 million abo e last ear s 11 million le el and an increase rom last month s 1 million pace There are 2 selling days this month, one more than last ear and two more than ebruar so additional time will also help lift sales. ear o er ear comparisons will

become less relevant in the months ahead as large year-over-year increases are reported. Compared to March 201 sales olume this month is forecast to be down by more than March 201 had one additional selling da than March 2021 irst uarter sales are orecast to be up compared to 1 2020 but down ersus 1 201 C o x A u t o m o t ive Q 1 2 0 2 1 U . S . A u t o S a les W eb c a st The o utomoti e ndustr nsights team will host a webcast at 11 a m T March 2 uring the event, the team will discuss key economic indicators driving the auto market re iew the 2021 orecasts and o er anal sis o new and used ehicle sales or March and the first uarter The presentation will be ollowed b a session to attend Source: Cox Automotive

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56 MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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

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autobodynews.com / MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 57

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New Vehicle Inventory Continued to Dwindle in March: Edmunds Consumers in the market for a new vehicle will likely have a harder time finding what the want at an a ord able price right now due to severe suppl shortages a ecting the auto motive industry. According to the car shopping experts at Edmunds, new vehicle inventory on sale at dealerships nationwide was down b in March compared to a year ago, and prices are rising for both new and used vehicles as a result. Edmunds analysts forecast the a erage transaction price T or new ehicles will climb to 0 in March compared to 01 a ear ago the T or used ehicles is e pected to hit 22 compared to 20 2 last ear The chipset shortage has snowballed into a bigger crisis for the automotive industry,” said J essic a C a ld w ell dmunds e ecuti e director o insights Ma or auto manufacturing plants are implementing temporar closures and we re seeing the industry being hit hard on both sides etail customers are be ing o ered ewer choices and pa ing higher prices while eet customers

are likely seeing their orders delayed as auto manufacturers shift their focus to serving consumers.” Edmunds analysts note full-size trucks and large SUVs are among the vehicle categories most disproportionatel a ected b these shortages According to Edmunds data, full-size truck inventory was down b 0 in March compared to a ear ago; the average transaction price for new full-size trucks is expected to climb to $ 54,763 compared to 1 1 a ear ago while the a erage transaction price for used full-size trucks is expected to climb to $ 34,445 compared to 2 1 a ear ago Large SUV inventory decreased in March compared to last ear the average transaction price for new large SUVs is forecasted to climb to 2 compared to 2 20 in March 2020 and the a erage trans action price for used large SUVs is e pected to climb to 0 com pared to 1 2 2 a ear ago ull si e trucks and large s have been a bright spot for automakers throughout the pandemic because o their profitabilit but unsurprising ly these high-demand vehicles have

also been the uickest to o the lot,” said Caldwell. “ Unfortunately, these supply shortages translate to a bigger financial hit or automakers and the etroit Three are likel the most a ected In spite of these shortages, Edmunds anal sts note a uent con sumers have continued to drive a significant portion o financed pur chases throughout the first uarter o the year, as indicated by increases in average down payments and the average amount financed or both new and used vehicle purchases. According to Edmunds data, the average down payment for new and used financed ehicle purchases is e pected to climb to 2 and respecti el in 1 com pared to 2 and 2 a ear ago The a erage amount financed for new and used vehicles is expected to climb to 0 0 and 2 respecti el in 1 compared to and 22 200 a ear ago “ So far, automakers have been able to com ortabl count on finan cially stable consumers focusing their spending on bigger-ticket vehicle purchases during the pandem-

ic,” said Caldwell. “ But as vaccines continue to roll out and consumers crave new experiences and products to spend their money on, automakers and dealers will need to prepare to get more creative in marketing the limited inventory that they have on hand.” Edmunds experts advise consumers in the market for a new car to start shopping sooner rather than later, as they anticipate the chipset shortage is likel to a ect pricing and inventory through at least the second hal o 2021 “ Americans looking forward to their newfound freedom this summer in the form of a road-trip vehicle should be doing their research now,” said an rur dmunds senior manager o insights The summer sales that consumers can typically look forward to might not look the same this year, and even with stimulus checks on the way, the only relief that price-sensitive car shoppers might find might be in lower interest rates and the increased value of their trade-in.” Source: Edmunds

Ford Recalls 2.9 Million Vehicles to Replace Takata Airbags by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

nother ord Takata airbag recall has been announced, this time for about 2 million ehicles with air bags e uipped with calcium sul ate desiccant. bout 2 million o these vehicles are recalled in the U.S., nearl 2 000 are recalled in anada and another 000 ord ehicles are recalled in Me ico 200 200 200 200 200 200 200

2012 ord usion 2010 ord dge 2011 ord anger 2011 Mercur Milan 2012 incoln eph r 2012 incoln M 2010 incoln M

The dri er side ront airbag in a tors may degrade over time and explode if they are exposed to high humidity and moisture over time ut ord sa s it isn t aware of any calcium sulfate desiccant airbag in ators that ha e ruptured ord filed a petition with the go ernment in 201 arguing

extensive testing shows a recall isn t necessar because the air bag in ators ha e a desiccant to absorb moisture owe er the ational ighwa Tra c a e t dministration denied ord s petition a decision ord sa s it respects. ord dealerships will replace the dri er s side airbag in ators or airbag modules when the recall begins the week o pril 1 ord can be reached at 2 and owners ma use Takata airbag recall re erence number 21 12 We thank CarCompl aints.com for reprint permission.

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58 MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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asTech Acquires Red EU & Red Autocentres epairi nc d b a asTech a port folio company of K inderhook Industries announced March 2 the ac uisition o ed imited and ed utocentres ed imited is a leading distributor of aftermarket electronic devices designed to run diagnostic tests and calibration services on automotive electrical systems, spe-

ed pro ides a complete suite of solutions for the service, maintenance and repair, collision and automotive insurance industries through diagnostic scan tools and automotive electrical system services. Services include local, car-side and remote diagnostics along with sensor calibration, programming and vehicle health support.

“Red is an exciting acquisition that enables asTech to further broaden its suite of global tools and solutions for customers.” — Paul Cifelli cificall ad anced dri er assistance s stems ed utocentres is a leading provider of automotive diagnostics, calibration and programming services for the collision and mechanical markets. The combined companies will operate as ed and represent the 11th add on ac uisition or as Tech and inderhook s 10 th auto moti e related transaction inancial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

ed is an e citing ac uisition that enables asTech to urther broad en its suite of global tools and solutions for customers. With demand for AD AS repair and calibration serices rising asTech looks orward to continuing to be the solution provider of choice for customers seeking to properl repair toda s sophisticated car parc,” said P a u l C if elli, managing director of K inderhook Industries. epairi is thrilled to wel

come M a rt in B ro w n rom ed who will be oining the epairi team as technical director epairi nno vations,” said C ris H o llin g sw o rt h , president o epairi panding into new markets and augmenting ser ice o erings to better ser e all customers is ke to asTech s global growth strategy. We look forward to integrating ed a leading mar ket expert in the United K ingdom, which will enable us to further execute on that strategy across the UK , Europe and internationally.” The merger between ed and epairi will pro ide tremendous alue and benefits to all o our ed global customers,” said Brown, o ed ed customers will benefit rom ha ing access to a complete portfolio of world class tools, products and services rapidly being integrated under the epairi global solutions platform.” Mishcon de e a and irkland llis ser ed as legal counsel to asTech ource asTech

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Axalta to Host Virtual Capital Markets Day Axalta invites investors, analysts and other stakeholders to a virtual apital Markets a 0 a m to 12 0 p m T Ma CEO R o b ert B ry a n t and members of the Axalta leadership team will present the compan s growth strategy, the business and financial outlook and detail plans to drive long-term shareholder value. Presentations will be followed b a session where participants can post uestions and engage with alta s lead ership team. Presentation materials will be posted to alta s website at www.axalta.com/ investors on Ma prior to the e ent A recording of the webcast will be made available following the e ent articipants are re uested to pre-register their attendance and can do so here: https: / / www. bigmarker.com/ tv_ / Axalta-Capital Markets a or uestions or more in or mation, contact Axalta Investor elations at hristopher mecra @ axalta.com. Source: Axalta

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The following dealerships are eager to serve your needs. Call your local Subaru collision parts specialist today! autobodynews.com / MAY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 59

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Farmers Insurance Finds More Than Half of Drivers Admit to Using Cell Phones While Behind the Wheel The ast ma orit o dri ers under stand the danger cell phones present on our roadways, but survey data rom armers nsurance re eals a significant gap between this belie and dri ers actual beha ior According to the survey, 87% of drivers surveyed believe that people who use their phone behind the wheel pose a danger to others. et o those dri ers admit to making a call behind the wheel and 45 percent admit to sending, reading or receiving a text message. Gen and Millennial dri ers surveyed also admitted to participating in ideo chats 2 collec tively) , posting to or viewing social media 2 pla ing a game 2 and streaming ideo 2 while behind the wheel, suggesting younger drivers could face continued driving distractions as technology continues to evolve. t s understandable that to da s dri ers eel a con ict peo ple know that phones, and the distraction they introduce, pose a risk and can interfere with safe driving; however, phones can be tempting and pull our attention and focus,”

said Carolyn Wald, head of product inno ation integration or armers “ With April being National D istracted ri ing wareness Month we want to remind people that there are a few precautions and tools we can all use to help keep our attention focused where it belongs, and to help keep the roads safer for everyone.”

armers o ers its sa e dri ing app, Signal, to help drivers recognize behaviors that may be taking their attention o the road and earn a discount for focused driving. The insurer also recentl launched CrashAssist within the Signal app, a feature that can detect crashes and help connect drivers to emergency and support services. Signal users can recei e push notifica tions should a crash be detected then be connected with emergency services, and get help reporting a claim. ter 2020 saw an spike in

tra c atalities according to the a tional a et ouncil this month s observance of National D istracted ri ing wareness Month hits e en closer to home as all drivers share a responsibility to practice focused driving when behind the wheel. Wald recommends the following tips to help people stay safe when they hit the road: Make our car a no phone zone” : It may seem like a no-brainer but limiting mobile phone use is one of the easiest ways to become a more ocused dri er nd don t forget, hands-free calling and voice texting can still be a distraction while ou re on the road ou find it help ul use an app to silence phone calls and te ts when ou re behind the wheel. Multitask later The last place you should be multitasking is behind the wheel of a car. Avoid eating, glancing at your calendar, searching for dropped items or anything else that can take your attention away from the road. hat light Take a cue rom the 33% of those surveyed who believe that talking to passengers, includ-

Record-Breaking 78 AutoNation Dealerships Certified as J.D. Power 2021 Dealers of Excellence D emonstrating its commitment to exceeding customer expectations, uto ation nc merica s larg est automotive retailer, on April 1 announced uto ation stores ha e been certified in the ower 2021 ealer o cel lence Program. This program recogni es a very selective number of retail dealerships throughout the U.S. that provide an exceptional customer sales experience and once again, AutoNation was the clear leader. This certification is an out standing accomplishment for our teams. Last year we set the bar with 54 stores receiving the J .D . Power D ealer of Excellence recognition These stores again recei ed the recognition with 2 new stores added this year. We could not be prouder,” said J im B en d er, president and CO O at Auto ation This recognition am plifies uto ation s commitment to providing a peerless customer experience as the clear industry leader and every member of our

team shares in this achievement.” K nown for its “ Voice of the Customer” research for more than 0 ears ower and subse uentl its ealer o cellence Program help consumers identify leading retailers that will go the extra mile. According to J .D . Power, bu ing a ehicle is a significant financial transaction and can be stress ul because there s so much in ormation to digest The eal er of Excellence Program assists auto buyers who are looking for an exceptional dealership where the can confidentl bu a ehi cle. ertified dealers also bene fit b le eraging the ower brand and promoting their dealership s commitment to an outstand ing customer purchase experience. D ealer of Excellence is an exclusive program and not all dealerships can uali Those that do must pass a three-step process. s the first ualification cri terion, J .D . Power limits the percentage of eligible dealerships by

nameplate based on each brand s performance in the most recent J .D . Power U.S. Sales Satisfaction nde tud Thus propor tionally more dealerships from top-performing brands can become a J .D . Power D ealer of Excellence. Second, dealerships must rank among their brand s top per formers in key customer satisfaction areas consistent with measurements found in the SSI Study. inall uali ing dealers must pass an audit to show they meet or exceed J .D . Power sales best practices Those best practices include, but are not limited to, listing vehicle inventory and pricing on the dealership website, negotiating in an e cient and transpar ent manner o ering a air trade in value and presenting a clear and eas to understand menu o fi nance and insurance products. Sou rce: A u toN ation

ing those in the back seat, poses a danger to others on the road. Save serious conversations and important news with passengers for when ou re o the road nstead keep the chatter light so you can focus on the road ahead. Buckle up children and pets: Make sure children and pets are properly secured in their seats before starting the ignition. In many cases, the safest place for your children and four-legged passengers is in the back seat of the car. Park it: Always pull over and park in a safe place before adjusting controls in your car, tending to a pet or child, sending a text or talking on your phone. Get an app for that: Consider downloading an app that rewards you for focused driving behaviors, like ignal rom armers ouseholds who enroll in ig nal will automatically have access to CrashAssist. A Signal discount is also available in some states. or more in ormation isit https www.farmers.com/ signal/ . ource

armers nsurance

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Finish It Like a Masterpiece with

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The Dealers Below Are Mercedes-Benz Genuine Parts Specialists: DELAWARE

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Mercedes-Benz of Wilmington Wilmington

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800-800-1949 M-F 7:30am - 5pm Sat 8am - 2pm

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rhamilton@mileone.com

833-768-5924 M-F 7am-6pm Sat 8am-5pm

914-232-8146 M-F 8am - 5:30pm Sat 8am - 2pm

dkorkatzis@mercedesbenzgb.com

Mercedes-Benz of Smithtown St. James

631-265-5339 631-265-8146 Fax M-F 8am - 5pm Sat 8am - 4:30pm

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Mercedes-Benz of West Chester West Chester

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M-F 8am - 5pm

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Viti Mercedes-Benz Tiverton

800-544-5580 401-624-6181 401-624-4817 Fax M-F 7:30am - 5:30pm Sat 9am - 5pm eric@viti.com www.viti.com

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Kia Recalls 2021 Telluride, K5, Forte to Protect Kids

Erie Insurance National Survey: Americans Eager to Take Road Trips in 2021 While the pandemic cancelled vacation plans in 2020 cooped up travelers are planning more road trips this year, according to a new national survey from Erie Insurance conducted to support D istracted ri ing wareness Month in April. More than hal o respondents plan to take at least one road trip this ear nother 0 sa the would like to but it depends on the status of the pandemic. O f those planning to pack up their car, truck or SUV, more than half plan to travel more than 00 miles rom home “ We commissioned this survey to better understand how the pandemic has impacted road travel, and what distractions are impacting driver safety,” said J o n B lo o m , vice president of personal auto, Erie Insurance. “ Based on data collected, there will likely be more people traveling by car who may be distracted by a number of factors, both inside and outside their vehicle. We want this to serve as a reminder for drivers to be safe and aware on the roads at all times.” hat s dri ing this ear s tra -

by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

Model ear 2021 ia Telluride and orte ehicles ma ha e problems with the occupant classification s stems used to detect when children are in the front passenger seats. This could cause the ront airbags to deplo when the shouldn t namely when children are in the seats. The airbag ma cause in uries e en i the crash doesn t The 1 2 recalled ehicles need their classification and detection systems replaced, but owners ma call 00 2 ia s number or this recall is 20 We thank CarCompl aints.com for reprint permission.

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el trends The urge to see amil and friends is real. When asked where they plan on going during their road trip the ma orit 1 will isit loved ones, while many others are beach bound 21 or seeking outdoor adventure at a national park 12 Most e pect to tra el with just one other person, typically their spouse or partner. Write-in destinations included many outdoor, socially spaced locations likel a reaction rom the pandemic including campsites lakeside resorts, lodges and cabins to partake in fishing golfing hiking and overall sightseeing activities. More than an other age group the 65+ crowd expects to travel long distances this ear one third plan to tra el more than 1 000 miles s the first age group to be ull accinated, they may feel safer to travel and are eager to finall hug their adult children and grandchildren again. Nearly half the respondents ( 44% ) said they are distracted by other passengers in their vehicle

when dri ing those 0 sa children distract them the most, ollowed b a spouse or significant other. The greatest distraction or drivers in the three older age groups ( 45-54, 55-64 and 65+ ) was their spouses or significant others complaining about their driving skills. In the three younger age groups 1 2 2 and their greatest distraction was noisy children. The older the age group the less distracted drivers are by things inside their vehicle. D rivers 65+ , for example, are distracted seven times more by what they see outside than they are by cell phones. Men and women responded similarly to all distractions except trying to eat and drink and using their phone s G earl twice as man men 2 are most distracted by trying to eat or drink compared to women 1 while twice as many women are distracted by their GPS ( nearly 7% ) compared to men ( nearly 4% ) . Source: Erie Insurance

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Parts: They’re our passion We know Genuine Volkswagen Collision Parts down to the finest detail, and we’re happy to share that knowledge with you.

CONNECTICUT

NEW JERSEY

NEW YORK

PENNSYLVANIA

Curran Volkswagen Stratford

Flemington Volkswagen Flemington

Hudson Valley Volkswagen Wappingers Falls

203-378-6516

877-NJPARTS 877-657-2787

845-298-2365

Jeff D’Ambrosio Volkswagen Downington

Fax: 203-380-3732 M-Th 8am-6pm; F 8am-5pm Sat 8am-2pm parts@curranvw.net www.curranvw.net

MARYLAND Ourisman VW of Rockville Rockville

855-417-4511 Fax: 240-499-2488 M-F 8am-5:30pm; Sat 8am-5pm rockvilleparts@ourismanautomotive.com

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MASSACHUSETTS Volkswagen of North Attleboro North Attleboro

508-695-7131 Fax: 508-695-0321 M-F 8am-5pm; Sat 8am-2pm kenr@driveavw.com www.driveavw.com

Fax: 845-224-3686 M-F 7:30am-5pm; Sat 8am-5pm

Fax: 908-782-1795 M-F 7:30am-5pm www.njparts.com

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Open Road Volkswagen of Bridgewater Bridgewater

516-822-4800

908-685-1068 Fax: 908-685-1547 M-F 7:30am-5pm; Sat 8am-3pm vwb.parts@openroad.com www.openroadvwparts.com

Paul Miller Volkswagen Bernardsville

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Platinum Volkswagen Hicksville

800-922-7932 610-363-8250 Fax: 610-363-8227 M-F 7am-5:30pm; Sat 8am-2pm partsteam@ambrosio.us www.gojeffvw.com

Fax: 516-822-4831 M-F 7:30am-5:30pm parts@platinumvw.com www.platinumvw.com

Volkswagen of Kingston Kingston

845.336.6600 x319 Fax: 845-336-7436 M-F 8am-5:30pm Sat 8-1 www.vwofkingston.net kvangorder@vwofkingston.net

Contact your local Volkswagen dealer or visit Wholesale.VWServiceandParts.com to place your Genuine VW Collision Parts order today. “Volkswagen” and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. ©2021 Volkswagen of America, Inc.

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May 2021 Northeast Edition  

May 2021 Northeast Edition  

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