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


Vol. 9 / Issue 3 / June 2018

Belle Tire to Pay $342,000 in Back Wages After Department of Labor Investigation

SCRS Meeting Includes Election, Awards, Info Related to DEG

by Penny Stacey,

by Autobody News Staff

Belle Tire has agreed to pay $342,926 in back wages to 1,207 employees at 100 locations in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio after a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation, according a press release from the DOL. WHD investigators determined Belle Tire violated the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when the company failed to include incentive bonuses and sales commissions earned by employees in their rates of pay when

calculating their overtime payment. Instead, WHD alleges that the company paid workers time-and-onehalf of only their base rates, without considering the amounts by which these bonuses and commissions had boosted employees’ straight time earnings. The violation affected nonexempted employees including–tire technicians, mechanics, sales staff, mobile auto glass mechanics, and those offering roadside assistance, according to a report from the DOL. “Wage violations can be avoided when employers understand the reSee Belle Tire, Page 6

Brockton, MA, Auto Body Shop Shut Down by City Council by Marc Larocque, The Enterprise of Brockton, MA

After complaints from neighbors, citations over parking issues and a hostile confrontation with a police officer, an auto body repair shop had its license revoked by the City Council the week of April 22. The City Council voted April 23 to revoke the license of Lubras Auto Body and Auto Repair, located at 64 Elliot St. in Brockton, MA, after receiving reports from police and neighbors about quality of life issues there, including driveways that were blocked and vehicles that were

parked illegally around the business. Lubras lost the license after first receiving it four years ago. “The people in that neighborhood are very upset,” said Ward 6 City Councilor Jack Lally, speaking at an initial public hearing earlier this year about the Lubras matter. “The people in the area are not happy with this garage. It’s not a positive aspect of the community in their eyes, and they would have liked to [have] seen it gone a while ago.” Lally and others on City Council made the final vote April 23 to revoke See Shop Shut Down, Page 14

A fourth open seat on the board was filled by Dominic During several days of Brusco of PPG, who had events in Denver in midpreviously spent five years April, the Society of Collion the SCRS board earlier sion Repair Specialists this decade. He defeated in(SCRS) elected new board cumbent Mark Bodreau of Matthew members, presented several Caliber Collision, who durMcDonnell ing his 5-year term on the awards and held a meeting that offered presentations on techni- board had sold his Virginia collision cal issues and free tools available to repair business to that consolidator. SCRS Chairman Kye Yeung said Bothe industry. dreau had been “an integral Three current SCRS part of the board,” and hoped board members were rehe would continue to play a elected to another term. Rerole in the association. taining their seats on the board were Michael BradDuring discussions and presentations at the “open shaw of K&M Collision in North Carolina, Bruce Halmeeting” portion of the association’s board meeting in cro of Capital Collision CenAmber Alley Denver, Matthew McDonters in Montana and Paul See SCRS Meeting, Page 22 Sgro of Lee’s Garage in New Jersey.

Labor Shortage Quickly Becoming a Business Crisis in ME by Kate Cough, The Ellsworth American

Ask Burnie Gordon, owner of Precision Autobody in Hancock, ME, how he feels about the labor market in the area, and you may get a sardonic chuckle. “I don’t think there is any labor market. There just is no workforce out there anymore,” Gordon said. Maine’s unemployment rate fell again in March to 2.7 percent statewide. Nationwide, unemployment is at 4.1 percent, the lowest since 2000. The unemployment rate in Hancock County also decreased, to 4.3 percent. The number of underemployed people (among them, those who work part-time but want full-time work, those who are overqualified for their positions or those who have not actively looked for a job re-

cently) fell to 7.8 percent, the lowest level since 2001. This may be good news for job seekers, but employers around the state, and the country, are starting to panic. “We’re not the only state that’s experiencing this,” said Sen. Brian Langley, who represents Senate District 7 and owns the Union River Lobster Pot restaurant in Ellsworth, ME. “All of New England has a similar problem.” The issue isn’t confined to New England, and it isn’t projected to get better soon. Declining birth rates, decreasing international migration and an aging population are all expected to contribute to slower labor force expansion and population growth over the next five years, according to an analysis by the U.S. Department See Labor Shortage, Page 26



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to Whole New Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

ABRA: 5 New Centers in NJ, CO . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Ledoux - AMi: Out of the Shadows . . . . . . . . . 28

Auto Body Shop on Collision Course

Ledoux - Dave Illg Collision Repair Center:

With Lynn, MA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Auto Collision Experience 2018 Attracts 330+ Students in PA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Balise Collision Repair RI Recognized by Toyota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Body Shops Extra Busy After Hail Storm in Susquehanna County, PA. . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Brick, NJ, Cops Nab Suspect for Stealing Car From Auto Body Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Brockton, MA, Auto Body Shop Shut Down by City Council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Connecticut Pilot Program May Bring Self-Driving Cars to Your Town . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Ellicottville Tech Center in NY Hosts ‘Class to Careers Day’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

The Risen Phoenix. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Ledoux - Oldest Body Shops in America: Sirl’s Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Phillips - 10 Simple Steps to Collision Repair Success From VECO Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Phillips - Experts Weigh In on the Future of the Automobile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Phillips - Repair Versus Replace—What A Body Shop Should Consider . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Sisk - ‘Why WIN? Why Conference?’ Webinar Provides Useful Conference Tips . . . . . . . . . 62

Free Tuition To Be Available for Future NY Automotive Workforce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 H&V Collision’s Distracted Driving Campaign in NY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Jerome Ave. Auto Firms in NY Say City’s Relocation Fund Is too Small . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 JN Phillips Auto Glass Acquires Car Glass of New England. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Labor Shortage Quickly Becoming a Business Crisis in ME . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 PCIA Says Aftermarket Parts Legislation Could Impact RI Auto Insurance Rates. . . . . . . . . . 24 Totally Trades Event Introduces Girls to Nontraditional Career Paths in ME. . . . . . . . . 8 Winds Spread Fire Behind Auto Body Shop in Belfast, ME . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

COLUMNISTS Attanasio - Does Email Marketing Still Work for Body Shops?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Attanasio - Voyomotive Takes Telematics

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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, Sean Hartman, Bill Doyle, Norman Morano (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bill Pierce Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Michelle Lucas Online and Web Content Editor: Rochelle Beckel Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Editorial/Sales Assistant: Randi Scholtes 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. ©2018 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 / (760) 603-3229 Fax editor@autobodynews.comx

Acura of Westchester . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Malouf Chevrolet-Cadillac . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Amato Agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Matrix Automotive Finishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Assured Performance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 60

Atlantic Hyundai. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

McGovern Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram . . . . . 17

Audi Fairfield . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Mercedes-Benz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . 73

Mercedes-Benz of Atlantic City. . . . . . . . . . . 45

Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Mercedes-Benz of Fairfield . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

BMW of North America, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Mercedes-Benz of Fort Washington . . . . . . . 45

BMW of Tenafly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Mercedes-Benz of Paramus . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 68-69

Mercedes-Benz of West Chester . . . . . . . . . 45

Cadillac of Mahwah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

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

CarcoonAmerica Airflow Systems. . . . . . . . . 20

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 65

Central Avenue Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram . . . 8

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Cherry Hill Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram . . . . . 24

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 72

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . 40-41

Colonial Automotive Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealer . . . . . 56

Dent Magic Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Northstar Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Diamond Standard Parts, LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Nucar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

O’Reilly Auto Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

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

Original One Parts™ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Yoswick - Association Leader 5 Years Ago Called for DRPs to Include ‘Grandfather Clause’ . . . 48 Yoswick - Chipotle Executive Offers Concepts That Resonate With Collision Repairers . . . . 52

Ex-Whitman, MA, Cop Faces 18 Insurance Fraud Complaints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Don’t Miss the Weekly AUTOBODY Industry NEWS Your Shop Needs.



NATIONAL ABPA Annual Meeting & Convention Exceeds Expectations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 ARA’s 2018 Hill Days and State Legislative Summit Is Most Successful Yet!. . . . . . . . . . 66 ASA Partners With Bosch for 4th Webinar: ‘You’ve Got the Power’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 ASA Testifies on Repair Procedures Bill . . . . . . 59 Finishmaster Donates $50,000 to CREF . . . . . 30

EMS Automotive. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Ourisman Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram. . . . . . 33

Free Auto Data Labels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Equalizer Industries, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Polyvance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

FTC’s Compliance Warning to Hyundai . . . . . . . 4

Flemington Auto Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Porsche of Fairfield . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

How Much Would You Trust an Autonomous

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 67

Fred Beans Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Red Kap Automotive. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Fuccillo Kia of Schenectady . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Robaina Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

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

Vehicle? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 How Safety Shapes Driverless Car Technology . . 4 Mike Anderson’s 3rd Webinar Discusses

H.E.W. And Associates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Schultz Ford. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Nissan/INFINITI Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Healey Brothers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

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

Nominations Open for NABC Awards . . . . . . . . . 4

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 36-37

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . 64

Pentagon Aims to Develop Self-Driving

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

Symach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Infiniti of Norwood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Tasca Automotive Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 62

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 61

VIP Honda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Launch Tech USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . 63

Lynnes Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Westbury Jeep-Chrysler-Dodge-Ram-SRT . . 31

Vehicles for Battlefield. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 SCRS Meeting Includes Election, Awards, Info Related to DEG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 WAC Takes Shape at April Meeting . . . . . . . . . 72 / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


How Safety Shapes Driverless Car Technology by TJ Martinell, Lens

A new WA state law that takes effect in June creates a state work group that assists the Washington State Transportation Commission on making annual recommendations to state lawmakers for public policy on the use of driverless or self-driving vehicles. Meanwhile, self-driving tech companies such as Waymo intend to have driverless vehicles available for public rider service by the end of the year with level four technology,

tests that had employees operating them. “You have someone texting, not paying attention to the road, fumbling around with cords,” he said. “It’s actually very easy for humans to start trusting the technology. I made a decision at that point that we would only pursue level four autonomy, because it’s the safest.” He added that complications arise with creating level 2–3 self-driving cars where the driver frequently takes and yields control, which also compounds liability issues.

As driverless technology develops, one company is focusing solely on near-fully autonomous vehicles (AV), a move they believe will address public safety concerns Credit: National League of Cities

which means the car can operate without human control under certain conditions. The highest is level five, where the vehicle is fully autonomous under all conditions. At an April 18 event in Seattle hosted by the Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) and the U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC), Waymo Senior Counsel David Tressier outlined how it created the technology to make the vehicles work and in what ways public concerns over safety have driven development. “We are very excited at the prospect of bringing self-driving car technology to the public and improving road safety,” he said. The way to do that is by “building the world’s most experienced driver” through a combination of public road testing and aerospace simulation. Formerly the Google self-driving car project, Waymo later split off to form its own separate company in 2016. Since 2009, its AV software has driven 5 million autonomous miles on public roads. Unlike other autonomous vehicle (AV) companies, Waymo is only focused on level four technology, a decision made based on its experience with Google’s self-driving car 4

One barrier they hope to surmount is public anxiety. A 2017 Pew Research Center survey of 4,135 U.S. adults found that “although they expect certain positive outcomes from these developments, their attitudes more frequently reflect worry and concern over the implications of these technologies for society as a whole.” That worry was perhaps demonstrated after a recent deadly accident in Arizona involving a self-driving Uber vehicle. Although the driver was found to be not at fault, Uber quickly pulled those vehicles from the roads. In January, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced plans to release a new set of guidelines for autonomous vehicles this summer, in part to promote greater safety. “The deployment of self-driving cars is going to depend on the public acceptance and public trust, so we do feel a responsibility to start educating the public about how it works,” Tressier said. He also argued that part of public acceptance comes with understanding how the technology can eliminate the kind of human error that causes around 90 percent of car accidents in the U.S. In 2016, there were almost 40,000 vehicle accident


fatalities. There are also costs that might be saved. In 2010 alone, motor vehicle crashes cost the U.S. $871 billion in economic loss and societal harm. That same year, there were 32,999 fatalities, 3.9 million non-fatal injuries and 24 million damaged vehicles. “The status quo is not acceptable,” Tressier said. “As we think then about the future of torts and the … liability regime for this emerging technology, I think it needs to be with the consideration of the backdrop of the status quo. (It) shouldn’t be acceptable. “The prospect and the promise of self-driving cars when deployed… is to reduce these traffic fatalities and increase road safety. They don’t get drowsy … they can see 360 degrees, they can respond, and they can see up to three football fields in every direction.” A 2017 RAND Corporation study concluded that waiting for “nearly perfect” driverless cars could waste an opportunity to reduce accident fatalities. “At best, fatalities are comparable, but, at worst, waiting has high human costs. Under none of the conditions we explored does waiting for significant safety gains result in fewer fatalities.” Another RAND study released that year recommended “an approach in which AVs are introduced gradually as the vehicles meet a set of incremental, performance-based benchmarks” and “that the target benchmark of AV performance can determine the cap on vehicles’ deployment or, conversely, the number of vehicles desired can determine what benchmark should be set.” Also released in 2017 was Waymo’s safety report, the first of its kind, which described in detail how the vehicles operate. One feature of these vehicles is overlapping sensors, which Tressier said “will be important when it comes to liability, because it is so critical for safety. It (AV software) has to make sense of what it’s seeing in the world.” We thank Lens for reprint permission.

Nominations Open for NABC Awards

The National Auto Body Council (NABC) announced online nominations are now open for its Annual Awards Program. Nominations are being accepted in two award categories:  The Award of Distinction recognizes individuals who have gone above and beyond in volunteerism, charitable, selfless acts and made a difference in changing and saving lives. Any individual, business organization or group employed in a collision industry-related segment, such as collision repair facility, vehicle manufacturer, supplier/vendor, educator, insurer, independent appraiser or trade association is eligible to be nominated.  The Body Shop Image Award recognizes the most significant improvements made to a shop’s interior, exterior and operations and as a result, helped enhance the customer's experience with the collision repair process. Any body shop completing a remodeling during the calendar year 2017 is eligible to be nominated.

FTC’s Compliance Warning to Hyundai

On April 9, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a “compliance warning” to Hyundai Motor Company regarding violations of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act's (MMWA) prohibition against tie-in sales of branded products and services as a condition of warranty coverage. FTC specified the following website statement as problematic: “The use of Hyundai genuine parts is required to keep your Hyundai manufacturer’s warranties and any extended warranties intact.” Should Hyundai fail to eliminate such statements, FTC may take “legal action.” While AOCA, Auto Care and the Tire Association of America wish that the FTC action had been stronger, they are pleased that the agency has publicly warned the companies that it is illegal under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act to require the use of a manufacturer part or service in order to maintain a warranty.


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Connecticut Pilot Program May Bring Self-Driving Cars to Your Town which is overseeing the pilot program. To apply, the local government The state has launched a pilot pro- needs a thought-out plan that includes gram to test fully autonomous vehi- a location for testing, goals, a public cles, an initiative lawmakers created education strategy and whether any last year to bring Connecticut to the testers have been contacted, he said. forefront of the self-driving car inThe testing can begin as soon dustry. as OPM approves a municipalities’ Up to four interested towns and application and its agreement with cities will be selected to participate a manufacturer or fleet service by allowing manufacturers to test provider. fully self-driven cars on their roadStamford will likely be the first ways, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said to cross the finish line, said state Sen. April 17. Carlo Leone, who represents the city and co-chairs the legislature’s transportation committee. Leone pushed for the pilot program and said the city is nearly “teed up” to submit its application. He’s hoping others will follow. No manufacturers have signed on to partner with municipalities, but A self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV that is in General Motors Leone said Stamford has Co.'s autonomous vehicle development program appears on had discussions with sevdisplay at GM's Orion Assembly June 2017. Connecticut eral major players in selfhas launched a pilot program to test self-driving cars on the driving tech. roads of up to four municipalities Credit: Jose Juarez, AP “I think we’ll see some The program is meant to show vendors trying to use this as a starting the automotive industry that Connecti- point, at least here in Connecticut,” cut is keeping pace with fast-growing, Leone said. forward-thinking technologies, MalThough the vehicles tested would loy said. be fully capable of driving themselves, “Make no mistake, autonomous they would always have a trained, livehicles are the future of transporta- censed operator behind the wheel, action, whether it is people looking for cording to the act that established the a safer and easier commute, more ef- pilot program, signed into law in June ficient and cheaper commercial tran- 2017. sit, more precise ride-sharing and Of the 22 states that have for-hire services, or beyond,” he passed laws regulating or relating to said. “These vehicles are going to be self-driving cars, several have alpart of our lives soon and we want to ready gone far beyond testing with take proactive steps to have our state backup drivers. Florida law permits be at the forefront of this innovative driverless cars on its roads without technology.” any human inside, let alone an operSeveral municipalities have al- ator—though a human must be able ready expressed interest, said Chris to control the vehicle remotely. Just McClure, a spokesman for the state this month, California opened up Office of Policy and Management, permits to test self-driving cars by Rebecca Lurye, Hartford Courant

Continued from Cover

Belle Tire

quirements under federal labor law. Belle Tire is now training its store managers, supervisors, and payroll personnel to ensure they compute overtime properly and employees re6

ceive the wages they have rightfully earned,” says Timolin Mitchell, WHD district director in Detroit. “This employer remained very cooperative during the investigation and the company wants to ensure compliance at all their locations. We encourage all employers to contact


See Belle Tire, Page 12

without backup drivers, something two manufacturers have already applied for, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. In Connecticut, meanwhile, testing with safety drivers will be allowed in limited and controlled areas, not including limited access highways, under the state law. Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal participated in a road test of a partly self-driving Tesla Model 3 at the Consumer Reports auto test facility in Colchester. The manufacturer of high-end, electric cars didn’t comment on that test, or on the state’s new pilot program. While Tesla has been a leader in the development of autopilot and autonomous technology, most automakers have pipelines for selfdriving cars of their own. In 2017, automakers worldwide spent more than $100 billion on research and development, including $18 billion in the United States, according to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. Leone acknowledged that other

states have moved faster to welcome automotive innovation, but said he prefers Connecticut’s cautious approach. He thinks a slower pace will help prevent the crashes seen in other states that long ago legalized selfdriving cars. In March, the death of a pedestrian struck by a self-driving Uber in Arizona caused the ridesharing company to pause its selfdriving operations. “Let’s create a public framework first and then let the technology fit into that framework,” Leone said. OPM will choose at least one municipality that had a population of 120,000 to 124,000 in the 2010 Census—Stamford’s was about 122,000—and another municipality with a population of at least 100,000. The secretary of OPM will submit the first progress report on the program to the General Assembly by Jan. 1, 2019, and each year after. We thank Hartford Courant for reprint permission. / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Totally Trades Event Introduces Girls to Nontraditional Career Paths in ME by Melissa Lizotte, The County

Thanks to a statewide program aimed at introducing trade and technical occupations to female students, many girls in Aroostook County, ME, recently participated in a hands-on conference and learned more about careers they might not have considered before. Nearly 140 middle and high school students from across the county gathered at Northern Maine Community College on Wednesday, April 25, for the 15th annual Totally Trades conference. Hosted by New Ventures Maine, the day-long event allowed girls to participate in two workshops and choose from a variety of trade and technical fields such as carpentry, welding, plumbing and heating, auto collision repair, computer and networking technology, heavy equipment operation and firefighting. NMCC instructors and women professionals from the different fields led students through short projects in which they tested their skills and gained greater insight into what it takes to succeed in those careers. “I think a lot of times girls don’t


During the welding workshop, students received an introduction to plasma cutting and hand-cut their names from a sheet of steel to take home with them. They then got to try gas metal arc welding and run short beads on carbon steel. “I like that we actually got to try welding ourselves,” McCrum said, before the afternoon session of the conference. “This is my first time at the conferMariah Castonguay (right), an eighth-grader from Van ence. I’m interested in a Buren Elementary School, hand cuts her name into a trades career and the worksheet of steel with the help of NMCC structural welding shop made me enjoy that student Caleb Brown during the Totally Trades confertype of work even more.” ence at Northern Maine Community College Other workshop projdreau, regional manager for New ects included building a tool box in Ventures Maine’s central Aroostook carpentry, sitting inside a big rig from office. “Totally Trades gives them a NMCC’s commercial driving prochance to spend time with other girls gram, building electrical circuits in who have the same interests and automotive technology and learning meet women who are working in the airbrush techniques in auto collision repair, among other activities. trades.” Presque Isle High School junior Elizabeth McCrum, an eighth grader from Presque Isle Middle Natasha Lizotte also wants to purSchool, attended a welding workshop sue a trade or technical career. Alduring the morning session and en- though she is unsure of what path she joyed the opportunity to learn from will take, Lizotte appreciated the hands-on experiences of the morning NMCC students. express interest in trade and technical careers because they haven’t seen many other women working in those fields,” said Suzanne Senechal-Jan-


plumbing and heating workshop and looked forward to trying heavy equipment operation in the afternoon. “I’ve attended Totally Trades every year since eighth grade,” Lizotte said. “It has taught me about different career paths that I never would have thought about otherwise. If students are considering Totally Trades next year, I would say just do it.” Senechal-Jandreau added that Totally Trades has marked the beginning of successful careers for many students who have gone on to pursue trade and technical careers after high school. With the need for employees in those fields being alive and well in Aroostook County, she believes that the conference is doing its part to raise the next generation of workers and increase students’ skill sets. “We have heard employers say that they’re concerned about their workforce and keeping students in Aroostook County,” Senechal-Jandreau said. “We want female students to open their minds to the opportunities here and not let gender play a role in their decision-making process.” We thank The County for reprint permission.

Ex-Whitman, MA, Cop Faces 18 Insurance Fraud Complaints

by Cody Shepard, The Enterprise

A Whitman, MA, man currently serving time in federal prison for tax fraud is now being accused of running a widespread insurance fraud scam. Glenn Paul Pearson, 62, is now facing 18 new criminal complaints lodged against him by Brockton police after separate victims came forward over a two-month period. The Enterprise first reported the new charges on Feb. 23, a day after Pearson was issued a summons on a charge of fraud by an insurance agent or broker. Brockton police officer Thomas Robinson applied for an application for criminal complaint on Feb. 22 after a city woman walked into the police station to report insurance fraud. The woman accused Pearson, her insurance agent, and his business, Brockton-based CHC Insurance Agency, of failing to pay her auto insurance since September. The woman told police she paid $210 to CHC Insurance for five months, but learned her vehicle wasn’t insured when she was in a crash. The charges kept piling on over

the next few weeks as victim after victim told Brockton police they had been scammed. One woman made a

An undated file photo of Glenn Paul Pearson, then a Whitman, MA, police sergeant

$500 down payment, and then paid $146 for three months. Another woman paid almost $1,000 up front on her policy for a new vehicle. And a man paid $280 for five months on a premium he considered affordable due to having several points on his license. But police said none of them actually had valid insurance. As of April 20, Pearson is facing 18 new complaints, the most recent filed on April 18. Four of the complaints were filed by police in Febru-

ary, 10 in March and four so far in April. All the complaints include insurance fraud by an agent or broker and several include larceny over $250. He is also facing at least one complaint in another community— Weymouth—as police charged him with insurance fraud against a town resident. The first complaint came about a week before Pearson was due to report to federal prison on unrelated charges. Pearson was arrested in August 2016 and charged with wire fraud, misappropriation by a federal fiduciary, making false statements and preparing fraudulent tax returns. He pleaded guilty last May to the charges and was sentenced in November to serve 48 months in federal prison with three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution to the VA in the amount of $252,992 and restitution to the IRS in the amount of $826,865. The federal conviction was a result of Pearson embezzling more than $250,000 in VA-issued benefit money from the accounts of eight disabled veterans from 2007 to 2012. He also prepared tax returns that in-

cluded false credits and fictitious deductions in an effort to obtain bigger refunds for his clients than they were entitled to receive. Pearson admitted to causing a total tax loss of more than $1.5 million. After his attorney won him a two-month reprieve from starting his sentence so he could train someone to take over his insurance business, which moved to 930 Crescent St. in Brockton after his Whitman location was raided by the FBI in 2015, Pearson reported to the Devens Federal Medical Center in Ayer on March 1, according to the online U.S. Bureau of Prisons database. Pearson, a former Whitman police sergeant of a dozen years, is listed as inmate No. 99722-038 and is set to be released from the Devens prison on August 23, 2021, according to inmate records. That potential release date indicates he could be released before his full four-year sentence in completed. Pearson will be summoned to court on the new complaints to face clerk magistrate’s hearings to determine if criminal charges are issued. We thank The Enterprise for reprint permission. / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Auto Body Shop on Collision Course With Lynn, MA by Gayla Cawley, The Daily Item/

The Zoning Board of Appeals was expected to vote May 1 on whether to allow an auto repair/auto body shop on Willow Street in Lynn, MA, but at the crux of the matter is whether that prior use on the property has been discontinued. The ZBA would determine whether to allow an auto repair/auto body shop use on a parcel in the zoning district, Central Business District where such non-conforming use had previously existed. The applicant seeking an auto repair/auto body shop use for 105 Willow St. was Josue Amaya, of Josue Auto Mechanics, Inc. James Cowdell, Economic Development & Industrial Corporation of Lynn (EDIC/Lynn) executive director, said putting an auto body shop in that location would be moving backwards. He said the downtown is moving in a completely different direction—the city is putting people in the downtown to live there and restaurants are being added. “To put an auto body shop in the middle of the downtown; it’s just not what we want in the Central Business District,” Cowdell said. “There are other parts of the city where it would be a bet-

ter fit.” Sam Vitali, Amaya’s attorney, said he was representing two Hispanic individuals who are running an auto repair facility at 105 Willow St. He said Amaya and his partner are renting the building from Pat Todisco, of Todisco Properties. Vitali said Todisco purchased the property from William Walsh, who owned an auto repair shop there for 30 to 40 years up until last October. He said Todisco fixed up the property and leased it in December. Todisco Properties LLC bought the property from Walsh last November for $270,000, according to The Warren Group. Vitali said the use was never discontinued—it’s been a continuous use of auto repair since the 1920s when the property was a gas station. But he said an auto repair license cannot be transferred from one owner to another, so the City Council approved their license in March. But Vitali said what remains to be seen is whether the ZBA approves the site or use for auto body, arguing that auto repair does not need to be approved since that use was never discontinued. His clients’ application

JN Phillips Auto Glass Acquires Car Glass of New England

JN Phillips Auto Glass recently announced its continued growth in the Northern New England market through the acquisition of Car Glass of New England. The acquisition strengthens JN Phillips Auto Glass’s presence in the southern New Hampshire market, and is part of its strategy to extend the brand throughout the Northeast. The company has partnered with Car Glass of New England and all its current employees are joining the JN Phillips team, including owner Alan Resnick, who becomes a member of the management team. The new JN Phillips retail location will be based in Hooksett, NH, and service greater southern New Hampshire through its fleet of mobile technicians. “We consider Car Glass to be one of the best independent auto glass companies in the area, and we are so honored that Alan and the team chose to partner with JN Phillips Auto Glass. The Car Glass team is incredibly knowledgeable about the market and the industry, and together, we all agree that this combination positions us to enhance our service offering to our cus10

tomers throughout Northern New England,” said Robert Rosenfield, CEO of JN Phillips Auto Glass and its parent company, TruRoad Holdings. Established in 2015, Car Glass of New England has become the leading regional auto glass company in southern New Hampshire by providing a high level of customer service to consumers, insurance agents and commercial accounts. Resnick is confident JN Phillips will continue the high standard for quality and service his customers have come to expect. “I have complete confidence JN Phillips will be a great home for our employees and will enable us to offer greater coverage and resources for our valued clients in New Hampshire,” he said. Rich Harrison, executive at TruRoad, added, “We are thrilled to have Alan join our management team. He is a one-of-a-kind auto glass operator. It is great to be reunited with him after working together 20 years ago.”


to the ZBA is to allow auto body in an existing auto mechanic shop. The distinction between the two, he said, is that auto body shops deal with vehicles in collisions, such as those with damage to the frame or bumper, but an auto repair shop is for repairs under the hood, such as an engine that needs to be fixed. Vitali said his clients want to operate both an auto body and auto repair shop at the same location. Norm Cole, ZBA member, said both an auto repair and an auto body shop are not an allowed use in the central business district. He said the applicant needs a use variance from the board. Cole said Vitali can make his case on whether auto repair and auto body are separate uses. But he said the use the board is being asked to approve has been discontinued for a period of time, so he’s not sure how they’re there operating since the ZBA hasn’t given them approval for anything. Cole said when a non-conforming use has been discontinued for a year, it should not be reestablished and future use should be in compliance with the zone ordinance. Allowed uses in the Central Business District where a variance wouldn’t be necessary would be apartment house

by special permit, artist work space, mixed use street level with retail/commercial and residential, multi-family residential high rise, open air or food stands, public parks and open space, Cole said. “I think we’ve got to take a hard look at this because this piece of land is now inside the city’s expanded cultural district for one thing,” he said. “And the other thing: There was a study done in 2009, the Downtown Market Street Vision Plan, (which) made a number of recommendations for that area.” Clint Muche, director of inspections, said that ultimately, auto repair and auto body are activities that are permitted by special permit only and specifically only allowed in light and heavy industrial districts. “It’s definitely the case that there has been a structure outfitted for auto repair there for a period of years,” Muche said. “Whether it’s been in use is ultimately the question.” Muche said there could be violations, punishable by municipal fine, if the applicants are engaging in activities that require a special permit without a special permit, or variance without a variance. We thank The Daily Item/ for reprint permission. / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Page 6

Brick, NJ, Cops Nab Suspect for Stealing Car From Auto Body Shop by Daniel Nee, Brick Shorebeat

A Brick Township, NJ, police officer on patrol the night of April 29 stopped to help what appeared to be a disabled motorist. However, upon investigation the driver turned out to be a suspected car thief. Officer Joseph Riccio was on patrol in the area of Princeton Avenue and Post Road at 3:05 a.m. when he saw the vehicle, a 2005 Subaru, stopped in the travel lane, Sgt. Neal Pedersen said. As he approached the vehicle, it moved to the shoulder of the road by Robins Street, at which point Riccio stopped to speak with the driver, later identified as Camilo Galindo-Sanmartin, 27, of Forked River. Galindo-Sanmartin was apparently “staggering” to the front of the vehicle, Pedersen said. Officer Mark Storch arrived to assist Riccio, at which point both officers noticed the vehicle was apparently in the process of being repaired by an auto body shop due to numerous auto body parts inside the vehicle. A front grill assembly was placed on the rear seat, the key ring had a work order tag attached and the front hood

had tape on it, commonly used to cut edges in preparation for painting, said Pedersen. Galindo-Sanmartin told the officers that the vehicle belonged to a friend, but he could not

Brick Twp. Police car Crdit: Daniel Nee

recall the owner’s name, according to police. Realizing that the vehicle might be from a body shop, Storch went to Andrews Auto Body, which was a short distance from their location. Upon arrival, he saw that the garage door was open and a window was smashed in the paint booth. The garage also had an empty spot, which had fresh tire tracks in the sanding dust on the floor, said Pedersen. A representative from Andrews Auto Body came to the shop and confirmed the Subaru was, in fact,

removed from his shop during the night, Pedersen said. While Storch was confirming the vehicle theft at Andrews Auto Body, Riccio determined that Galindo-Sanmartin was intoxicated and was subsequently arrested. It was also confirmed that Galindo-Sanmartin was responsible for the burglary and theft of the vehicle from the shop, said Pedersen. Officers on scene returned the vehicle to Andrews Auto Body and the owner was notified that their vehicle was stolen and returned to Andrews. Detective Dan Waleski responded to assist with the investigation along with Detective Ed Waldhelm, who processed the scene and collected evidence. Galindo-Sanmartin was transported to police headquarters, where he was charged with burglary, theft, criminal mischief, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, careless driving and obstruction of traffic. He was processed and released on summons with a return court date, according to police. His photo was not available. We thank Brick Shorebeat for reprint permission.

Balise Collision Repair RI Recognized by Toyota

Balise Collision Repair in Rhode Island was named the 2017 Toyota Certified Collision “Shop of the Year” Triple Crown winner.

Balise Motor Sales, headquartered in Western Massachusetts, is honored and proud to accept the award and congratulate the collision repair team on its outstanding achievement among the automotive community. The award presented by Toyota Motor Sales, USA recognizes the collision repair facility for high standards in customer satisfaction as well as for specific productivity metrics within the collision repair industry. Balise Collision Repair was pegged against the largest volume dealers in the country for the coveted award. “This is so special for us, as it 12

is a true team award,” said Brian Stone, collision director of Balise Collision Centers in Rhode Island. “The award reflects the hard work of everyone, from our collision techs, refinish techs, detailers, CSRs, appraisers, parts associates and management—every single person on our team [is] included in this. I’m so proud and fortunate to be a part of this success.” The team at Balise Collision RI has also been a Toyota Excellence Award winner for three consecutive years. Balise Collision has been a Toyota Certified Collision Repair Center since 2010 and is also certified for 19 other manufacturers (Honda, Acura, Volkswagen, Nissan, Infinity, GMC, Buick, Cadillac, Hyundai, Ford (Aluminum Cert), Kia, Chrysler, Ram, Mopar, Dodge, Fiat, SRT, Jeep, Subaru). It is also ICAR Gold Class-certified. Balise Collision Repair RI was also picked as the only pilot shop to be a Certified Collision Center for Subaru in the state of Rhode Island. Another Balise Collision RI location will be opening on Quaker Lane in West Warwick in November 2018.


Belle Tire

the Division for guidance and assistance to avoid violations.” Belle Tire issued the following statement on its Facebook page following the report: “Belle Tire was unaware that we were calculating the overtime payments incorrectly. When the Department of Labor brought the matter to our attention, we cooperated and worked with them to understand what is required and ensured that it be resolved quickly for impacted employees. One of our core beliefs is to do the right thing whether for our customers or employees. Once we understood how it should be calculated, that is exactly what we did.”



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Continued from Cover

Shop Shut Down

the license of Lubras. Two councilors voted against the motion to revoke the license, including Councilor-at-large Moises Rodrigues and Councilor-atlarge Jean Bradley Derenoncourt.

Lubras Auto Body and Auto Repair, located at 64 Elliot St. in Brockton, MA, had its license revoked by the Brockton City Council in a final vote on Monday, April 23, 2018. Cridit: Dave DeMelia, The Enterprise

Rodrigues complained that the owners of Lubras were given another month after the hearing was continued on March 26, even though they never truly had a chance of retaining the license. “I thought it was misleading,” Rodrigues said. “You give someone

a month. It sounds like a probationary period. You said if things don’t turn around you’re going to yank the license. ... It was continued to this month with the understanding that we will see what happens. There were no issues of wrongdoing since then. Then they show up last night and a vote is taken to yank their license.” The Lubras matter came before the City Council in February, when police officer Chris Perez gave a report on the amount of police trips to the garage from Sept. 1, 2017 to Jan. 25, with a total of 22 visits by him and other officers. All of the trips did not result in violations, Perez said. But those trips resulted in five vehicles that were cited and towed, said Perez, noting that they were parked illegally. On Sept. 23, one of those “progressive enforcement” trips turned into a threatening situation, Perez said. “On that occasion, I cited those vehicles, tow trucks were called and the people I’ve dealt with before there actually came out and I was met with some hostility,” Perez said. “I had to call for backup. Another officer responded to stand by while

Winds Spread Fire Behind Auto Body Shop in Belfast, ME by Fran Gonzalez, The Republican Journal

A fire broke out the afternoon of April 12 in the back lot of J & B

lons of water,” Richards said. According to Richards, “Someone was burning leaves and brush in the back, but with the wind, it got away from them. “Conditions out there now with the wind are extremely dry. People have to be careful.” There were no reported injuries and the fire was put out within the hour.

A fireman douses flames inside a metal shed at J & B Autobody April 12 Credit: Fran Gonzalez

Autobody at 278 Lincolnville Ave. in Belfast, ME. Belfast Fire Chief Jim Richards said the wildfire was reported just after 3 p.m. White billowy smoke could be seen pouring out of a derelict metal shed while firefighters doused the flames with water. Only a small area was burned. “We had a good turnout of 12 men and we used about 4,000 gal14

We thank The Republican Journal for reprint permission.

Belfast Fire Department responds with 12 men to a reported wildfire. Credit: Fran Gonzalez


those vehicles were towed to maintain the peace. It was just completely unacceptable.”

Emmanuel Vicente (pictured, center) is the owner of Lubras Auto Body and Auto Repair, who spoke at a Brockton City Council meeting on Feb. 26, 2018. Credit: Brockton Community Access

Lubras was represented by the owner, Emanuel Vicente, and his younger brother, Dymas Vicente, who chalked up the problems to a mechanic who formerly used their garage, but is no longer there. Dymas Vicente said “the man from Boston,” who was not identified, left in January and there have been no issues with police since then. “From January on, we never had any problem with no police or anybody else,” Dymas Vicente said. “We’re doing everything we can to

make the place clean and have no complaints.” Ward 2 City Councilor Tom Monahan said that the way he understood the situation, the mechanic from Boston was working unlicensed at the garage in the city. The younger Vicente brother also took responsibility for the hostile interaction with Perez and apologized to him for that. Lally said that he received a notification from the city’s SeeClickFix online program about a complaint from a neighbor about cars parks illegally around Lubras on Feb. 10. Cars were lined up on Mulberry Street in that instance, he said. “It’s still occurring,” he said. “Hearing more and more, it’s not good.” We thank The Enterprise of Brockton, MA for reprint permission.



Autobody News / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Jerome Ave. Auto Firms in NY Say City’s Relocation Fund Is too Small by Sadef Ali Kully,

Amid an uproar among Bronx, NY, automotive businesses, the city’s Department of Small Business Services announced the availability of financial assistance for the auto body shops that might be forced to relocate after the City Council passed a rezoning for the Jerome Avenue corridor in April. The rezoning encourages residential and commercial development in a 92-block area including the Jerome Avenue corridor, most of which is currently zoned for auto uses, and some neighborhood cross streets. The rezoning would require a percentage of all new development to be income-targeted under the city’s mandatory inclusionary housing policy, and due to the current weakness of the market, the Department of City Planning predicts that new construction in the near term would be subsidized and likely 100-percent income-targeted. During the rezoning debate, concerns were often voiced about the fate of the auto businesses, which supporters say provide decent, blue-collar wages. Property owners who have


a chance to transform their property from accommodating low-lying auto shops to instead hosting rental buildings are likely to uproot the auto firms, and there is evidence that that is already happening.

The rough footprint of the recently passed Jerome Avenue rezoning Credit: NYC DCP

SBS Commissioner Gregg Bishop said in City Council testimony on May 7 that his office has made available an estimated $1.5 million in relocation grants for the auto businesses. SBS tweeted about a mobile office on Jerome Avenue with resources on financing for businesses being affected by the measure. But Pedro J. Estevez, the president of the United Auto Merchants Association, described the funding as


insult to injury. “This is worse than Willets Point. Willets Point was dressed in a tuxedo. Jerome Avenue is in shorts and a T-shirt,” he said during a phone interview, referring to the city’s botched relocation plan for auto businesses displaced by a troubled development project launched near CitiField during the Bloomberg administration. Estevez said he would be testifying the morning of May 9 at the City Planning Commission hearing about how small automotive businesses have already been affected by the rezoning. According to the Department of City Planning website, the rezoning measure went through a seven-month review process, during which community members had the opportunity to make official comments on the proposal before it was approved by the City Council. Clarification: The Jerome Avenue rezoning also included several small “retention zones” intended to protect some of the existing auto repair industry. We thank for reprint permission.

H&V Collision’s Distracted Driving Campaign in NY

H&V Collision Center has begun its annual campaign warning students about the dangers of distracted driving. This year, H&V teamed up with the National Auto Body Council (NABC) to use virtual reality as a tool to physically show students how distracting texting behind the wheel can be. “It’s really scary how realistic this is, and how the person keeps driving after so many near-accidents” said one student. H&V will be at four local high schools with a booth handing out informational material, stickers, bracelets that say “Don’t drink and drive” and speaking with students about the dangers of distracted driving. Alongside using the power of technology, H&V teamed up with GEICO to place a totaled car outside of the three local high schools. BH-BL senior Jeremy Clayton said that his teachers have been warning students about the dangers for weeks now. “Every weekend they tell us be safe, be responsible and don’t get in the car with someone who shouldn’t be driving,” Clayton said.

Auto Collision Experience 2018 Attracts 330+ Students in PA by Staff, MyChesCo

More than 21 automotive collision industry businesses and organizations came together at Technical College High School (TCHS) Brandywine Campus in Downington, PA, for the fourth annual Auto Collision Experience (ACE).

ACE 2018 was free of charge for auto collision students in the region and provided information about various career pathways in the industry. Students were able to network with employers and participate in demonstrations highlighting some of the latest technology available in the industry. More than 330 students from 17 technical high schools in the region attended the event. Designed to showcase the wide variety of careers and career paths

available in the fast-growing automotive industry, ACE 2018 included information about career opportunities and growth across all disciplines. Dave Purdy, assistant principal at TCHS Brandywine Campus, has been involved with ACE since it started in 2015. “Each year we really look forward to making ACE the best possible event it can be. I think this year we surpassed our goal because students came extremely well prepared to engage with our industry partners. They did an outstanding job in the interview rounds. Getting the buy-in of the students and teachers exemplifies what we as a school are trying to do to help prepare students for their future careers,” said Purdy. One of the unique features of ACE is that it gives industry partners access to students with skills that are in high demand. Mike DeFranceso, business development manager for the Northeast Region at ABRA Auto Body Repair of America and industry partner for ACE, noted that this event is essential to sustain the growth of

the auto collision industry—an industry that is projected to grow 9 percent over the next seven years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “This is my third time attending ACE and the turnout was great! ACE allows students to get a sense of the rich and diverse opportunities available to them in the auto collision field. I find the students to be extremely engaged in our interactions and it is a testimony to the leadership of TCHS Brandywine Campus that all these companies are able to come together for the benefit of our industry in this region,” said DeFranceso. Students who attended the event were given the opportunity to interview with industry partners. Students were then evaluated by industry partners using a rubric. Students received their rubrics after the event to better gauge their interviewing skills. Steven Feldman, auto collision technologies instructor at TCHS Brandywine Campus, noted that some students left the event with more than just interview feedback. “The auto collision industry is

not just about hammering dents and painting cars. ACE allows students to see that there are a wide variety of career pathways in this industry. ACE continues to be a success each year. Any time a student can hear from industry professionals and experience different things hands-on, rather than just listening to their instructor, it proves to be successful. Now we just have to think of how we can make things even better for next year,” said Feldman. Kyle Painter, a technical representative for PPG, said he believes that students attending ACE from career & technical centers stand out when compared to other industry promotion events he attends because of their eagerness to engage with employers about the industry. “This is my second time attending ACE and I was very impressed with the students I spoke with. Our industry needs to continue to attract employees in order to meet the demand we are experiencing. The students I spoke with today came with an eagerSee Experience 2018, Page 18 / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Ellicottville Tech Center in NY Hosts ‘Class to Careers Day’ by Deb Everts, The Salamanca Press

On April 18, the Ellicottville Career and Technical Education Center in NY hosted Class to Careers Day with tours for eighth grade students during school hours. Later in the afternoon, an open house was held for students, parents and businesses. A business reception was held in the evening. Terry Fuller, work-based learning coordinator, works with the teachers, students and businesses setting up internships for students attending the tech center. He said a number of businesses were present in the classrooms during the student tours. “Each one of the instructors contacted a business to come into their classroom and do a presentation to the class and the eighth graders,” he said. “So, when the eighth graders toured, there were stations set up in each classroom with a quick interactive activity of some type. The businesses were also available to talk to the eighth graders as well as our students.” Fuller said each eighth grade tour group had seven to eight students in it and they were allowed to spend 8 to 10 minutes in each class. There, they were able to have a quick interaction and ask the students, the teacher or the business questions before moving on to the next class. This gave them an overview of what each class was about. According to Fuller, this was a new event for the Ellicottville center, but the Belmont center hosted a similar event in February and Olean held one in March. He said it was the first Continued from Page 17

Experience 2018

ness and excitement that is impressive given their age and experience. These passionate and skilled students bring us all together as industry partners to support ACE,” said Painter. As part of the event, students were given punch cards that employers would mark when students approached them and asked engaging questions. After talking to a set number of employers, students could drop their card into one of several different raffle baskets donated by industry partners. Belt sanders, iPad minis, 18

time the parents, students and businesses all came together for an event like that at Ellicottville. Fuller said the Class to Careers event came about when the Olean Career and Technical Education Center partnered with the Olean Chamber of Commerce this year and invited them to have their monthly meeting at the Olean center, where they had tours and an open house. He said the Ellicottville and Belmont centers piggybacked off of that idea. “Through a faculty meeting, I had each one of the teachers select two businesses they wanted me to contact and invite to the Business After Hours Reception and the teachers contacted a business to come in during the day to be present in the classroom during the eighth grade tours,” he said. Fuller said the goal was to coordinate getting businesses into the center to see what it had to offer. He said the business reception gave the businesses the opportunity to not only collaborate with the teachers and administration, but to also answer the questions of parents and students. “This gives them the chance to take a look at what we have to offer, what the industries are looking for and to see we’re up to industry standard,” he said. “Later, during the reception, we discussed the internship program and process, and the possible opportunities in our region.” According to Fuller, the tech centers are doing their best to get out into the community and the business community even more to promote the internships. They are expanding

welding helmets, paint guns and other industry-specific gear were donated as raffle prizes, estimated to be worth over $5,000. Industry partners also led demonstrations of the latest technologies in the industry. The demonstrations were designed to highlight the multitude of career paths available in the fastgrowing and high-paying auto collision repair industry. From careers in graphic design and advertising, sales and customer service, repair work and management, there are many opportunities for success in this field. We thank MyChesCo for reprint permission.


their connections with the business community to increase internship opportunities for the students, which has been successful. “We’ve gotten more kids out on internships this year than we’ve had in the past. Hopefully, that will continue and be on the upswing,” he said. Fuller said the internships benefit businesses as well. It’s a “winwin” situation, which is kind of how he markets it to the businesses when presenting it to them. He said businesses have the opportunity to have a student come in and intern. If they like what they see and the student is learning, has the skills and the work ethic they’re looking for, then the business has a potential employee. The business is also gaining an intern or employee that has learned the latest technology and skills. “The student gets to go to a business where they think they’re interested in that career and they see whether they really like it, or not,” he said. “That can help steer them toward whatever they’re doing collegewise or career-wise.”

Vince Oliverio, a guidance counselor, said that out of the center’s 10 component school districts, Ellicottville, Cattaraugus-Little Valley, Randolph and Franklinville central schools participated. He said a total of 200 eighth graders attended the event and had the opportunity to visit many of the classes offered at the center, including Animal Science, Automotive Technology, Carpentry and Construction Trades, Collision Repair and Auto Body Technology, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Heavy Equipment Operations, Medical Assisting, Natural Resources, Power Equipment Technology and Welding and Metal Fabrication. The center also offers a number of high-tech classes that can be seen in the course catalog. If anyone would like to know more about the programs and internships offered at the Ellicottville, Olean and Belmont career and technical education centers, they should call Fuller at 376-8346 or visit online at We thank The Salamanca Press for reprint permission. / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Free Tuition To Be Available for Future NY Automotive Workforce

The automotive industry needs qualified workers. As a result, businesses, educators and New York State officials have merged efforts to help close the skills gap in automotive technology and collision repair. This upcoming school year, high school freshmen from four distinct school districts may enroll in a grantfunded program that will provide an all-tuition-paid associate degree from SUNY Erie Community College. The New York State Pathways in Technology (NYS P-TECH) program is a public-private partnership that prepares thousands of New York students for future high-skills jobs in technology, manufacturing, healthcare and finance. Recently, a $3 million NYS P-TECH grant was awarded to a Western New York consortium organized by Erie 1 BOCES. Lackawanna City School District will be the lead educational agency for this grant that will also extend to West Seneca, Frontier and Hamburg. Students from these four school districts will attend classes at Erie 1 BOCES and SUNY Erie from grades 9 through 14. It is projected that more than 200 students will participate in this


effort from 2018–2023, which is when the grant ends. “This is a school within a school model that merges high school, college and work-based learning,” said Anedda Trautman, associate direc-

tor of career and technical education for Erie 1 BOCES. “The rubber truly hits the road when the businesses provide mentoring and support; their involvement helps the teens see how their academics and skills are relevant to the workforce.” Ten businesses are currently involved in the program, including Basil Family Dealerships, Gabe’s Collision, Auto Collison & Glass, Carubba Collision, West Herr Automotive Group, Northeast Collision, Northtown Automotive Companies, Towne Automotive Group, Fisher Auto Parts and the Niagara Frontier


Automotive Dealers Association--representing all the automotive dealerships in WNY. According to the grant’s directions, the list of business partners may continue to grow. However, the four school districts are set in stone. “This provides a pipeline for skilled workers that we would not have otherwise,” said Paul Stasiak, President of Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association. Initially, the students will spend their time at Erie 1 BOCES Potter Career & Technical Center, where they will receive core academics and automotive skills training. Students may begin taking college courses as early as ninth grade; however, they must begin their college courses by 10th grade. “Students who complete our program graduate with an associate degree and the training that is necessary to receive industry-recognized certifications,” said Joseph Uhrich, department chair for SUNY Erie’s Automotive Technology program. Middle school counselors are currently meeting with families of eighth-grade students who meet the enrollment requirements. The four school districts are tasked with pro-

viding 35 interested, eligible and committed teens to start in September 2018. This matching process is extremely important because if a student drops out anywhere within the six-year process, their seat cannot be replaced with another student. “This is our second NYS P-TECH grant; we’ve been using a similar model with the healthcare industry,” said Trautman. “This initiative would not have been possible without the leadership and commitment of our participating school districts.” Residents of the Lackawanna, West Seneca, Frontier and Hamburg school districts can learn more about the program and its enrollment requirements by speaking with their child’s middle school counselor.



Autobody News / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


finishing the repaired panel to 320 grit. Gredinberg shared information from the estimating system providers related to this not-included process— nell of Big Sky Collision in Montana such as whether it is identified as a (who was appointed to the board ear- paint labor operation rather than lier this year following the departure body—noting there are some differof another board member) said he had ences among the systems. “One thing that all three [estifound some discrepancies between the owners’ manuals for some vehi- mating system providers] mention is cles and the automakers’ repair pro- that the material allowance for feather prime and block, if necessary, is not cedures for those vehicles. For two different automakers, included,” Gredinberg said. John Yoswick of CRASH Netfor example, “Within the repair procedures, it says that [seatbelts] need work provided an update at the meetto be inspected for frays or any dam- ing on the “Who Pays for What?” age” following a collision, McDon- surveys his company conducts with nell said. “But within the owners’ Mike Anderson of Collision Advice. manuals, it says to replace every seat- He said the four quarterly surveys belt” that was in use during the crash. ( “So we just want to [know] advice), each of which asks about whether or not we are to look at the shop billing (and insurer payment) owners’ manual, which is crazy, or is practices for about 25 different notthere something like a position state- included operations, also ask shops ment we could get that [states] one if participating in the surveys has will override the other,” McDonnell helped them improve their business. “We consistently have found said. He said he suspects the discrep- that 80 percent or more say that it has,” Yoswick said. “But ancy is likely the result of those of you who know documentation for the ownMike know he won’t rest ers’ manual and the repair until that percentage is procedures being prepared closer to 100 percent, so we by different groups within keep working with him on any given automaker. He other ways to pack more insaid the vast scale of all the automakers’ operations hit Danny Gredinberg formation into the survey reports to help shops.” home for him when he reHe said the latest such addition cently had an opportunity to tour the Fiat Chrysler of America headquar- will be links to DEG inquiries that ters, which encompasses 5 million relate to the procedures being asked about in each survey. Gredinberg has square feet. “So the left arm might not al- been tracking down those inquiries ways be talking with the right arm,” so they can be included in the 2018 reports on the “Who Pays” survey McDonnell said. Also during the meeting, Danny findings. “In addition to providing survey Gredinberg of the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG) (www participants with more information shared a presentation and resources for using the results, on what’s often referred to as “the we think this will keep the DEG in gap.” That’s the necessary process front of a lot of shops regularly between when repair work ends throughout the year, and will help get (with the technician finishing off a DEG resources out to the industry,” panel at 150 grit), to getting that Yoswick said. During an awards luncheon folpanel to the equivalent of new and undamaged, which is when the esti- lowing the meeting, SCRS recognized mating systems say paint labor times the “Who Pays for What?” surveys begin. To get to that level requires with an “Industry Service Award.” the feather, prime and block process, SCRS board member Amber Alley, Continued from Cover

SCRS Meeting





who presented the award, said the surveys have “helped reshape the conversation that so many of us have on a daily basis.” “It has provided the industry with a tool that has made negotiations more transparent, and for many of us has made this complicated industry feel a little more manageable,” said Alley, who manages Barsotti’s Body & Fender, an OEM-certified shop in San Rafael, CA. “As a shop operator, I find this resource to be valuable beyond words. It has given me and my shop the confidence to say, ‘I know I’m not the only one.’” Yoswick accepted the award, noting that Anderson regretted that he couldn’t be there as well. “But he is out on the road doing what he does 300-plus days of the year, which is helping improve this industry,” Yoswick said. “Mike and his team at Collision Advice, and Chuck Cogan and I at CRASH Network, while we’re grateful to receive this, feel it’s actually the 3,237 shops that have taken at least one of the surveys over the three years … that are the ones who make possible what we have done with the surveys.”

SCRS Board Member Brett Bailey, who chaired the association’s awards committee, said the award is not presented every year but recognizes organizations that “provide the industry and its members with a critical resource.” Past recipients include I-CAR, the National Auto Body Council and the Collision Repair Education Foundation. He said the “Who Pays” surveys are well-deserving of the award because “the tool that they have put in place is delivering information to shops that aren’t able to be in this room, information that is invaluable to shops … across the country.” PPG Director of Business Development Bill Shaw was also honored at the luncheon, receiving the SCRS “Humanitarian Award” for his work as president of the Collision Industry Foundation ( The nonprofit organization assists members of the industry impacted by natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. Most recently, the Foundation helped 78 families with ties to the industry in Texas and Florida after hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

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PCIA Says Aftermarket Parts Legislation Could Impact RI Auto Insurance Rates by Staff, Claims Journal

According to a newly released research brief by the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), the negative impacts of 20

pieces of legislation promoted by the Auto Body Association of Rhode Island (ABARI) that have become law since 2003 and the new ABARI-supported legislation (H-8013, S-2679) would micromanage the claims process by banning the use of highquality aftermarket parts for collision repairs. Should this legislation pass, PCI estimates that Rhode Island’s al-


ready-high overall repair costs would rise, resulting in premium increases that could leave Rhode Island drivers paying the highest property damage liability premiums and second-highest collision premiums in the United States. “More than a decade of special interest bills promoted by the Auto Body Association of Rhode Island have resulted in Rhode Island’s 700,000 licensed drivers paying some of the highest auto repair costs and auto insurance premiums in the nation,” said Frank O’Brien, vice president of state government relations for PCI. “Now ABARI is back with their worst bill yet, legislation to effectively ban the use of highquality, reliable aftermarket parts during the repair process. This has absolutely nothing to do with safety, and everything to do with increasing auto body shops’ profits at the expense of Rhode Island drivers who could end up paying THE highest auto insurance premiums in the nation. Rhode Island doesn’t need the dubious distinction of having the


highest auto insurance costs in the country. PCI urges the General Assembly to stand with Rhode Island’s consumers by rejecting House Bill 8013 and Senate Bill 2679.” PCI’s research brief finds that the collective impact of 20 auto body

land have increased an incredible 19.6 percent, while neighboring states increased 11.2 percent. • Rhode Island’s average auto body repair labor rate is now 7.8 percent higher than neighboring states. • Rhode Island’s auto body shop owners’ margins have increased 11.2 percent compared to the just 0.9 percent seen across neighboring New England states. Rising Insurance Costs

shop bills passed since 2003, all of which limit the ability of auto insurers to provide “checks and balances” in the claims process, is Rhode Island consumers paying among the highest auto body repair costs and auto insurance premiums in the nation. Rising Auto Body Repair Labor Costs • From 2006 to 2017, average auto body repair labor rates in Rhode Is-

• Over the past five years, the average claim rose from $3,347 to $4,130, a 23.4 percent increase. • The average claim in Rhode Island is 26 percent higher than in neighboring states. • Rising claim costs may ultimately impact consumers’ wallets in the form of higher insurance premiums. Rhode Island has the second-highest average property damage liability premiums and the fourth-highest average collision premiums in the na-


Estimated Impact of Aftermarket Parts Ban Legislation on Rhode Island Personal Auto Insurance Premiums PCI’s research brief also estimates the impact of House Bill 8013

Aftermarket parts provide a $1.5 billion benefit to consumers. If insurers are prohibited from using AMPs, repair costs will go up and could lead to higher premiums. PCI estimates this could drive the cost of repair parts up by 10.8

and Senate Bill 2679, which would effectively ban the use of high-quality, reliable aftermarket parts (AMP) and force consumers to use higherpriced original equipment manufacturer parts (OEM). On average, AMPs are 23.3 to 29.9 percent cheaper than OEM parts.

percent and overall repair costs by 5.2 percent. This in turn could drive premium increases, resulting in Rhode Island drivers paying the highest property damage liability premiums in the country and the second-highest collision premiums in the country.

Body Shops Extra Busy After Hail Storm in Susquehanna County, PA by Chase Senior, WNEP

Massive chunks of hail dented cars and shattered windshields in Susquehanna County, PA, on May 15. Car owners shared their horror stories with Newswatch 16 on May 16. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never seen hail so big in my life,” said Michala Zeck of Thompson. “It was definitely the most interesting storm I’ve witnessed while living here,” said Olivia Strauss of Kingsley. Those who live in Susquehanna County still can’t believe it. The sizable pieces of hail wreaked havoc throughout parts of the county, sending many cars to the shop with golf ball-sized craters. Burman Collision Service in Gibson Township expects to be busy for a while. “For this one, the severity of the damage is beyond anything I’ve seen in probably 25 years,” said owner Ivan Burman. Zeck was at her boyfriend’s house in Harford when the storm came through. The damage is so bad on her car that she thinks it may be totaled. Others had a similar experience. “All of a sud-

den, it’s raining cats and dogs, and I look outside and there’s golf ballsized hail coming down, and it’s just hitting my car at 100 miles an hour,” Zeck said. “It shattered my windshield pretty much, and my entire car is just dented.” “I go and look at the front of my car [and there’s] no noticeable damage, but keep in mind, it’s still raining so you can’t really see anything. I go in the back and my whole back windshield was just completely shattered, and there were over 10 golf ball-sized dents in my car,” said Strauss. Ruben Mudge specializes in fixing dents. He explained the process. “Gently massage out the dent from behind the panel until it becomes flush with the panel again and you can’t see any lows or highs. As [for] dents [from] the storm we just had? Some of them will take up to a half hour depending on how bad they are,” he said. And for Mudge, this time-consuming job may mean sleep will come at a premium the next few weeks. We thank WNEP for reprint permission. / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Cover

Labor Shortage

of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median age in Hancock County (median meaning half of the population is older, half younger) was 47 in 2015, four years older than the statewide median age and a decade older than the median age nationally. The worker shortage, said Langley, is particularly acute in health care but is affecting all sectors, from hotels to construction, retail to restaurants. “Employers can’t find technicians, can’t find body work people or enough electricians, enough plumbers, enough information technology people,” Langley said. “We’re a little bit late to the game. We’ve been talking about a workforce crisis for some time, but now it’s becoming painful.” “I could feel the workforce changing in 2000,” said Beth Fendl, general manager of Finn’s Restaurant and former owner of the Riverside Cafe. “The shift that happened was people not looking for work like they used to. It used to be you’d put out a help wanted ad and get five or six applications. Now you get three.” “For me personally, this is the most difficult year, to my recollection,” said Charles Giosia, chief financial officer of Freshwater Stone in Orland. “I’ve never had this difficult of a time hiring people.” Giosia said he’s had no one inquiring about summer work, as in years past, and has had “seven or eight” scheduled interviews where applicants cancelled or failed to show. “I don’t know if they’re just trying to fulfill their unemployment commitments or what,” Giosia said. Several other business owners also wondered whether state benefits were drawing participants out of the labor force. Unemployment benefits paid out an average of $318.74 per week in February, according to the Maine Center for Workforce Research and Information. But data from the Maine Department of Labor show that unemployment claims (both new and continued) have declined steadily since peaking in 2008, and have fallen below pre-recession levels. Participation in the labor force— 26

the number of people who are employed or are looking for work—has also been declining for nearly two decades. The participation for men has been on a downward trend since 1948, according to a recently published study by Princeton University economics professor Alan Krueger. The increasing numbers of women in the workforce helped balance out the numbers until the 1990s, but since 2007, their participation has been declining too. More people attending college, high incarceration rates and an aging population are contributing factors, but Krueger also found that one factor accompanying, and perhaps accelerating, the decline has been an increase in opioid medication prescriptions. “Labor force participation is lower and fell more in the 2000s in areas of the U.S. that have a higher volume of opioid medication prescribed,” Krueger wrote. In other words, the more opioid medications prescribed in an area, the fewer people are likely to be employed or looking for work, and the more sharply these numbers have fallen. Gordon said he has had to turn away applicants and let employees go because of drug use issues. “That’s a big problem,” Gordon said. “And it’s more Downeast than it is anywhere.” So what are businesses doing when they can’t find workers? Cutting back hours, taking on fewer jobs or simply telling customers they must be patient. “We hated to disappoint our customers,” said Paul Markosian, who co-owns Finn’s Irish Public House with his wife. He said they have had to decrease hours in the past or close one day per week. “But we couldn’t produce the best experience. There’s a limit to how much people can physically do,” he said. Gordon said his auto body shop customers occasionally get upset, and that the shop is “still behind a month and a half or two months. I don’t like to be that way.” “When you start getting way behind, people aren’t going to wait. But nobody else can handle it either,” he said. Langley noted that the lack of workers means customers may have to


change their expectations for service. “One of the things that people are going to have to realize is that you’re not going to get the level of service you’re used to. It’s not because it’s a bad business. It’s because they don’t have the staff. People’s expectations are going to have to come down,” he said. Langley cited a lack of affordable housing and the increase in the minimum wage as other potential stressors on businesses. “You have a ceiling that you run up against in Maine,” he said. “We have so many people on fixed incomes that they can’t increase what’s coming into their coffers.” Wages have been on the rise in past years, said Langley, but the acceleration is beginning to result in “wage compression.” “It makes it difficult to reward your more skilled labor who you’d like to reward because unskilled labor coming in the back door is really expensive,” he said. But some take a different view. Markosian said he supports the minimum wage increase and believes it will draw people back into the work-

force. “Inflation has been low. That makes it easier to raise wages,” he said. He said he knows that not all business owners feel the same, but argued that wage increases are good for restaurants. “I think it’ll increase the quality and number of people in the labor pool,” said Markosian, adding “wages have lagged behind growth in our economy. “Customers aren’t as sensitive as business owners think. They don’t mind paying more for the experience.” Langley said he is looking at possible legislative fixes to the problem, including funding for community colleges, bolstering career and technical education, lowering the certification age for certain professions and automation. “The issue is too broad to make sweeping generalizations,” said Langley, “but the solutions are going to be independent of each other. “We’re not quite at the tipping point, but we’re close.” We thank The Ellsworth American for reprint permission.

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AMi: Out of the Shadows

tions, phone skills and more. To best describe what AMi does, think of it as The Automotive Management Insti- “I-CAR for the collision shop’s front tute, better known simply as AMi, office, customer service representabegan in 1989 as the Automotive tives, estimators, shop managers or Service Association Management In- owners”—anyone who has direct constitute. tact with the customer. Perhaps because it was With that said, there are so closely tied to the Autoplaces where AMi works motive Service Association hand-in-hand with other in(ASA), which focuses heavdustry training and support ily on the mechanical, rather entities. For example, AMi than the collision side of the has two estimator profesbusiness, and/or perhaps besional designations: ACE cause AMi did not have a and AMCE. They require Jeff Peevy high-profile person to repreverifiable achievement from sent the organization to the collision AMi, I-CAR, ASE and estimating repair industry, AMi stood mostly in systems. It is the most comprehensive the shadows and was for years virtu- recognition in the industry for estimaally invisible to the collision repair tors. world. But this did not belie the fact In 2015, Jeff Peevy, former Ithat AMi provided and continues to CAR senior director, was hired as provide a great service for both the president of AMi and tasked with mechanical and collision sides of the updating the organization’s infrabusiness. Eventually, the orstructure, designations and ganization became known accreditation process to ensimply as AMi. sure ongoing relevance and As described on its value to the industry. Fiwebsite, AMi is a 501(c)(3) nally, AMi had a high-prononprofit organization dedfile person to help raise its icated to providing indusvisibility to the collision intry-recognized professional dustry. And most recently, Mike Cassata management designations, industry veteran Mike Cascertificates and career paths to the sata joined the AMI team and was service and collision repair segments named Director of Industry Outreach of the automotive industry. As a non- for Collision for AMi. profit, AMi collaborates with trainRecently, Autobody News caught ing providers across the industry, up with Peevy and Cassata to check on reviewing, recognizing and awarding their current status and future plans. credit hours for quality management and leadership education. ABN: Mike, those who are able to atIn other words, and contrary to tend CIC and other industry events what one may think, AMi does not have seen you at these events for actually create training content, but several years. But please give our rather vets and approves content cre- readers a quick review of your backated by other entities within the in- ground. dustry that fits into a pre-determined curriculum as designated by AMi. Cassata: I grew up in Rochester, NY, When the student completes the as- where my family had a body shop. I signed curriculum, they earn a pro- did some repairs but knew I was not fessional management designation cut out to be a technician. But I cersuch as AAM (Accredited Automo- tainly knew the business, so I ended tive Manager) or AMAM (Accred- up running the shop for over 10 ited Master Automotive Manager). years. Eventually, I sold the shop and The curriculum focuses not on the became an independent appraiser. technical side of the automotive busi- That led to my long career with ness, but on what might be called “soft Amica Insurance where, among skills.” To earn the AAM designation, other things, I was their DRP mana student must complete courses on ager, catastrophe manager and salsuch areas as time management, effec- vage manager. I got to work with a tive communications, customer rela- lot of shops and learned a lot about by Gary Ledoux



the industry.

ABN: Mike, how did you first get involved with AMi?

Cassata: For years, I have been very active with I-CAR and served as the Committee Chairman in Rochester. So of course, I knew Jeff Peevy. Working as the DRP manager with Amica, I got to know our DRP shops pretty well. I knew their technical skills were good at making safe and complete repairs. But for some shops, their customer service skills and financial and business management skills needed some help. This is true of many shops around the industry. AMi provides the help these shops need. So when Jeff called me about the position at AMi, I knew it was a perfect fit. ABN: Who in particular are you trying to reach? Cassata: I will be reaching out to shop owners, estimators, shop foremen—basically anyone in the shop

who touches the customer. I also want to reach others, including paint company representatives, insurance estimators, insurance managers, independent adjusters—basically anyone who supports the industry. In a nutshell, this would be anyone who attends events like CIC. If we are going to raise the level of professionalism of the industry, it’s important that everyone be involved. We need full industry support to continue our work. ABN: How is AMi relevant to today’s collision industry?

Peevy: Walk into any hospital in America and look around. Most of the people that you see working there have to be accredited or have some sort of degree to work at their profession, and must take additional training each year to maintain that accreditation. Why? Because it is a profession. They do a job where people’s lives and well-being are at stake. They are expected to act responsibly and be knowledgeable / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


about the business of medical care and what they do. This is the same for many professions. In collision repair, we have the I-CAR individual Platinum status for technicians and estimators, but little emphasis is placed on people skills or other business skills for shop management, the front office and many others in support positions. This is what makes AMi relevant—to help increase the professionalism of the entire industry, including most support people—not just technicians. ABN: What makes AMi relevant now?

Peevy: It’s no secret [that] the entire industry is growing more complicated in the way cars are built and repaired and in the way we do business. Customers are more sophisticated and discerning. And the industry is contracting. Fewer accidents in the future will mean a need for fewer shops. Competition for the next repair is more intense than ever. At AMi, our core belief is “Knowledge equals competitiveness; learning then is the only source of a sustainable competitive advantage.” And I believe that is true. The knowledge you gain today may be obsolete tomorrow. So we must keep learning and growing, both with technical information and with people and business skills that help sustain your shop’s business model.

Cassata: The more we learn, the more we empower ourselves. ABN: Mike, what is your overall vision for your new job as Director of Industry Outreach?

Cassata: I am going to start by approaching the people I know and branch out from there. Jeff Peevy and I will be attending industry events and, between the two of us, will become the face of AMi. ABN: Jeff, what are you doing to reach and communicate with shops?

Peevy: We send out email blasts called the “Management Minute” to over 13,000 shops. It contains, among other things, a note from myself, a short profile on an AMi graduate, information about one or more courses and other helpful information. 30

ABN: Jeff, you have been AMi’s president for about three years and already have brought AMi to a higher visibility within the industry. Besides naming Mike Cassata as your Director of Industry Outreach, what other changes have you made?

Peevy: I spent my first seven months just looking at the company and learning everything about AMi. I had to get my arms around it, and that took a while. AMi had been basically “flat” for several years—out of sight and out of mind. It needed a “jolt.” I’m not sure that anyone had a vision of AMi out this far into the future. But we put some great people on our team—like industry veterans Darrell Amberson of LaMettry’s Collision and Bob Keith of Assured Performance, and things started happening. On June 20, 2016, we launched what we called the “next generation of AMi” initiative with a state-of-the-art website and Learning Management System with over 130 online courses. ABN: How many different classes do you have now? Peevy: We presently have about 350 instructor-led classes and 160 online courses. Some of our instructor-led courses are taught by some of the best people in the business, including veterans Mike Anderson, Mark Claypool, Frank Terlep and of course our own Mike Cassata. ABN: Jeff, do you have plans for any new or additional classes?

Peevy: We are constantly looking at new classes. It seems like every day we have different companies presenting us with great material. But it takes time to review the material, vet it and see if it fits our model. It just takes time.

ABN: Jeff, what is the toughest challenge to get people to take advantage of AMi classes?

Peevy: Basically, it’s just becoming visible and letting industry people know we are out here, we exist and can help professionally and personally. ABN: Do you have any future plans?


Peevy: We are working on a curriculum for high school students and will be looking for local body shops to sponsor a student. This is in the early stages.

Cassata: I spoke at a high school a short time ago about a career in the collision industry. All the students had the same preconceived idea that everyone in the industry simply bangs on fenders for a living. They had no idea there were so many other positions and career paths open to them, or that it took so many people to support that one person banging on that one fender.

ABN: Mike and Jeff, what is your end game? What is your vision for AMi? Cassata: I’m hoping to increase the visibility of AMi and obtain industry support from all stakeholders. This includes stronger participation in donations and of course, class participation. Peevy: We want to play a part in raising the professionalism of the industry. We want AMi to be the instrument of change. We want to be out of the shadows—and we have a good start.

Finishmaster Donates $50,000 to CREF

FinishMaster has donated $50,000 to the Collision Repair Education Foundation in celebration of the company’s 50th Anniversary. The contribution from FinishMaster provides crucial support for the Education Foundation and its ability to support high school and college collision programs, instructors and students nationwide and help connect graduates with employers “FinishMaster is grateful for the opportunity to support the Collision Repair Education Foundation and the work it does to connect students with training and career opportunities,” said Steve Arndt, President and Chief Operating Officer of FinishMaster. Industry members interested in joining the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s roster of supporters to assist high school and post-secondary collision school programs should contact Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at 847-463-5245 or email Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation .org / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Dave Illg Collision Repair Center: The Risen Phoenix “Make integrity your first priority,” said Dave Illg, owner of Dave Illg’s Collision Repair Center in Nashua, NH. “Charge for what you do, don’t charge for what you don’t do, treat everyone with respect and your shop can’t help but be successful.”

Gurette and Rantilla), one of the oldest, largest and most respected shops in the city. The shop had been in business since the early 1950s in a large purpose-built building right off one of the city’s main thoroughfares. All of the principal owners had worked in dealer body shops prior and thought they could do a better job as an inde-

Sage words for sure, from a man who learned through some extreme strife and struggle. Lesser men would have bailed out of the bad situation Illg found himself mired in a few years ago. You might say the body business is in Illg’s blood. In 1977, at 19 years old, Illg went to work at a shop partially owned by a family member. An uncle, John Illg, was the “I” in BIG&R Auto Body (Belowski, Illg,

pendent shop. At one point, in the days before companies such as Garmat, Accudraft and such, Dave Illg’s father, Victor Illg, built the shop’s two spray booths—out of 2X4’s and drywall, high-tech for their time. For the next eight years, despite being a relative of one of the owners, Dave Illg worked in the shop as a regular employee learning the trade and doing quality work. He became adept with his pick-hammers and dollies …

by Gary Ledoux

“It got so bad that at one point, I would walk into the bank to cash my paycheck and if I was fifth or sixth in line, the cashier would see me and check the account,” — Dave Illg

and lead filler. Despite plastic filler being introduced in the mid-1950s, the body men at BIG&R used body lead right up until the late ‘70s. Around 1985, there was some upheaval amongst the owners. Of the four original owners, two were still active in the business, with one running the shop and the other running the front end. Neither saw eye-to-eye with the other. The man running the shop felt the entire operation could be run “from the hood of a car,” meaning there was little concern for office procedures, keeping records and the like. The man running the front end, of course, had different ideas. Ultimately, the “front-end” man left, leaving a hole. Dave Illg was named General Manager and filled the position. For the next three years Illg ran the front of the business, writing estimates, scheduling work and so forth. He was able to increase business and profits. But the internal strife between himself and his uncle, the last remaining owner, put a big strain on Illg, so he decided to leave the shop.


His next stop was as an independent appraiser. “This was a welcome relief from the everyday grind at the shop,” noted Illg. “I learned how to negotiate. I worked fewer hours and made more money. Life was good … for a while.” Then the appraisal company’s business took a down-turn.

BIG&R Auto Body circa early 1970s. Vehicle owner unknown

“It got so bad that at one point, I would walk into the bank to cash my paycheck and if I was fifth or sixth in line, the cashier would see me and check the account,” Illg said. “If there was no money to cash the check, she would just wave me on so I wouldn’t have to wait for five or six people

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only to walk away empty-handed.” And then came another job offer—one that would set him on the path to the lowest depths of his life and to his crowning success. The local Lincoln-Mercury dealer was in need of a body shop manager. Its body shop had been through four managers in the last year. It was losing thousands of dollars per month. It was located a few blocks away from the main dealership in a small brick building that had once been the warehouse for the local Sears store. “It was rather odd to go to work at a place where I had picked up my new washer and dryer only a few years before,” said Illg. The building obviously was not designed as a body shop and was very tough to work in. Illg laughed, “If we had to bring a truck in the shop, we had to take the mirrors off. That’s how small the door was!” Nevertheless, Illg made it work and the shop showed a profit within the first month. Once again, he had taken a shaky business and turned it around and the dealer-principal, Dick Stahl, appreciated it.

Time went on, and eventually Stahl decided to sell the Lincoln-Mercury business and buildings. Unlike some dealer buy-sells where the new dealer “cleans house” and removes all existing managers and employees, the new dealer kept all body shop personnel. It was a blessing, as everyone was able to retain their jobs. But it was a curse, because of what would eventually happen. As part of the new dealer’s plan, the shop moved out of its “Sears building” and into a large, modern building a block away that had been built as a service department for a Ford dealership, also owned by Stahl, but that had been purchased by the same party that purchased LincolnMercury. It had recently been outfitted with over $100,000 worth of brandnew equipment, including a frame machine and spray booth. Things were looking good. But then, things began to unravel under the tutelage of the new dealer. Vendors who provided paint, parts and other services were not getting paid. Long-time vendors would not sell to the Lincoln-Mercury body shop any longer. Some would only

deliver if they got paid in cash—on the spot. They had not been paid in months. But there were still cars in the shop and work to be done. Illg broke out his own credit card and started paying people himself and purchasing parts and supplies, not knowing

exactly how he was going to be reimbursed, but hoping that it would all work out. Customers were depending on him, and his crew and their families were depending on him. He couldn’t let them all down. It didn’t take long for things to turn desperate. Vendors still weren’t getting paid. Illg had run his personal credit cards up to their limit. There was no longer any health insurance

or 401K plan. The shop had essentially gone out of business—but nobody told the customers, who kept coming. And nobody told the body shop crew, who kept on working. It was time to take drastic action. The shop needed some strong leadership—immediately. Illg knew he had no choice. He had to buy the shop and run it himself. And he knew he could do it; he had already turned two other shops around. And now it was his turn to help himself. Illg was able to purchase the shop from the then-current dealer. The original dealer, Stahl, showed him how to work with the banks, purchase the business and get back on an even keel financially. He was even able to purchase all the shop’s fairly new leased equipment for virtually pennies on the dollar. Illg was never reimbursed for all the purchases made on his personal credit cards but eventually, he was able to pay those off as well. The shop needed a new name, as it was no longer associated with the Lincoln-Mercury franchise. Stahl suggested simply calling it Dave Illg See The Risen Phoenix, Page 43 / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Media and Publicity for Shops with Ed Attanasio

Does Email Marketing Still Work for Body Shops? How many emails do you get every day and how many of them should really be in your spam folder? Did you sign up for something and then the company sold your email address to everyone on the planet? Every once in a while, so-called marketing gurus announce the death of email marketing, but Luke Middendorf, the owner of WSI Connect in Northern California, is happy to tell the world that it’s still alive and actually thriving. “I think it was about a decade ago that I first read an article boldly proclaiming that email marketing was dead,” he said. “I laughed at the time as I could plainly see from our internal metrics that email marketing was still highly effective. Year after year, new technologies try to make the elimination of email marketing their claim to fame. Yet, year after year, email marketing continues to produce a better ROI than just about any other marketing strategy. “Email marketing is still the best way to put your message in front of your target audience. You don’t have to wait for them to Google the types of products or services that you offer and you don’t have to hope that they will notice your Facebook campaign. Email marketing delivers the content directly to them.” Email marketing does not need to be expensive, Middendorf explained. “It’s relatively low-cost,” he said. “We actually utilize the free version provided by MailChimp for a number of our clients. Their only costs are content development and building out email lists.” What are the key elements of a successful email marketing campaign? “There are two critical components to any effective email marketing campaign: providing high-quality content and building a great list,” Middendorf said. “Building a list is the second important component of any successful email marketing program. There are tons of different ways to build an email list. The first one is just good old-fashioned net-


working. If you exchange business cards with another professional, you have their email address. I recommend sending them a personalized email before you add them to any email marketing campaign.” Educating and engaging your readers is paramount because they’re savvy and can see an ad from a mile away. “One of the best newsletters that I subscribe to is produced by a business consulting firm,” Middendorf said. “Each week I receive 2–3 emails from them and I learn something useful in each email that I read. That’s the key. I learn something that I can apply to the growth of my business; therefore the content is very valuable to me. After receiving six months of valuable information from them, I decided to utilize their services. By giving away valuable information, the consulting firm was able to establish themselves as industry experts and convert me into a client.” Trading useful and pertinent information for an email address also works well. “We often create an eBook or white paper, set up a landing page and give it away in exchange for an email address,” he said. “Mine your LinkedIn contacts. Most people make their email addresses available to their first degree connections. I still recommend a personalized email beforehand. We also often experiment with lightboxes. We use SumoMe on a couple of the websites that we support. This provides an easy way for readers to add their email to the subscriber list.”

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

pages. • Think mobile: Most of your customers are perusing email on their phones today, so design your emails to be mobile-friendly. • Present small bites: Separate content using headlines, subheads and bullet points. Give your readers information that can be quickly scanned and absorbed. People will not read lengthy articles, because they just don’t have the time. • Make it personal: Email is a personal form of media, so cater your campaigns to be as personalized as possible. • Avoid spam: Set up a regular contact routine, but don’t flood your contacts with advertisements and products. You want your readers to look forward to hearing from you, so be consistent and courteous. • Unsubscribe link: Make it easy to unsubscribe. Small or hidden un-

subscribe links are very annoying.

So, the $64,000 question is: Does email marketing still work? “Absolutely,” Middendorf said. “Email marketing is considered an important part of any robust online marketing campaign. Your company should still consider other well-established marketing strategies, such as blogs and branded websites; however, email is an affordable way to reach more people with minimal expense. For the best results, turn your online marketing campaign over to a company experienced in the field that is able to assist you with keyword strategies and reaching target audiences.”


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Lia Honda of Enfield Enfield

800-221-3131 860-741-3401 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 8-4

Manchester Honda Manchester

800-442-6614 860-645-3115 Dept. Hours: M-F 7-5; Sat 8-4

Schaller Honda New Britain

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Berlin City Honda South Portland

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Prime Honda Saco

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Criswell Honda Ger mantown

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Tischer Acura Laurel

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Acura of Boston Brighton

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Please contact these dealers for your Honda or Acura Genuine parts needs. MA R Y L A N D




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Dick Ide Honda

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Ourisman Honda of Laurel

Rossi Honda

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LIA Honda Northampton Northampton

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Clinton Honda Annandale

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Honda of Turnersville Tur nersville

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Hudson Honda West New York

Route 22 Honda Hillside

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VIP Honda

Sussman Honda



800-272-6741 518-482-2598

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Brewster Honda B re w s t e r

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800-468-2090 412-390-2908

Lia Honda of Albany

908-753-1680 NEW YORK

Shadyside Honda

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5

Lia Honda of Williamsville

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-3

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4

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North Plainfield

866-483-6917 201-868-9500

877-659-2672 716-632-3800 Dept. Hours: M-Thu 7:30-8; Fri 7:30-5; Sat 8-5:30


802 Honda Berlin

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Apple Honda Yo r k

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Acura Turnersville

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Elite Acura Maple Shade

856-722-9600 Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4

Park Ave Acura M a y wo o d

888-690-7621 201-587-0028 Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-3

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-8; Sat 8-4; Sun 9-4

Curry Acura Scarsdale

800-725-2877 914-472-7406 Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-5

Paragon Acura Wo o d s i d e

718-507-3990 Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-5; Sun 9-4

Lehigh Valley Acura

Sussman Acura


Baierl Acura Wexford

800-246-7457 724-935-0800 Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-1


800-826-4078 215-884-6285 Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-1

Davis Acura Langhor ne

866-50-ACURA 215-943-7000 Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 8-4 / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Experts Weigh In on the Future of the Automobile by Stacey Phillips

“Fasten your seat belt, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride over the next decade or two,” forewarned John Rossant, who recently spoke during “The Future of the Automo-

tion of everything, vehicle connectivity, the arrival of the autonomous world, etc.,”he said. Rossant, the founder and chairman of NewCities, a global nonprofit institution, and the leader of L.A. CoMotion, was among those who gave

The Petersen Automotive Museum, in partnership with the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, recently held “The Future of the Automobile Conference” Credit: Petersen Automotive Museum

bile Conference,” a special event at the Petersen Automotive Museum held in partnership with the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. “We’re at the cusp of massive disruption, which is why we’re having this conference—the electrifica-


their perspective on the rapidly approaching transition to autonomous vehicles. Co-hosted by the Petersen Automotive Museum and the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, the day-long event aimed to bring to-


gether leading voices from manufacturers, technology companies, urban planners and regulatory agencies. From artificial intelligence to autonomous vehicles, every presentation and discussion featured companies that are innovative in the automotive market. “We are experiencing a fundamental change in the future of transportation probably as significant as the switch from horse-drawn carriages to gasoline-powered cars back in the beginning of the 20th century,” said Peter Mullin, chairman of the board of directors for the Petersen Automotive Museum, which has had an estimated 4 million visitors. “The Petersen, as an organization, has almost 25 years of history,” said Mullin. “We think our job is to continue to remain curious, to ask questions, to push the envelope of destructive change and share the history and art of this extraordinary passion for the automobile.” Terry McCarthy, the executive director of the Los Angeles World Af-

fairs Council, moderated the opening panel in which nine speakers talked about their perspectives on the future of the automobile. Here are some of the highlights:

Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for Digital Future at the University of Southern California

The Petersen Automotive Museum, based in Los Angeles, CA, has had an estimated four million visitors

“I think driverless cars are going to change the world. I think they are the most important development of the next 30 years. They are going to change everything about commerce, housing patterns, human activity and the potential to eliminate 34,000 deaths a year, as well as greatly re-

duce traffic. I think that in 60 years, our grandchildren are going to marvel at the fact that we ever let human beings sit behind the wheel of dangerous weapons.”

Dan Eberhart, CEO of Canary and author of Switching Gears: The Petroleum-Powered Electric Car “I started thinking about the electric car phenomenon and what it is going to mean for industry … I think it is going to be transformative for what energy we are going to need in the future and how we use energy. About 29 percent of the total energy consumption in the U.S. is used as transportation fuel. These internal combustion engines we are using are roughly about 25 percent efficient in how they displace energy. It is thought that with these electric cars, we’re going to be able to achieve about 70 percent efficiency. In terms of displacement in what we are doing, we’re potentially going to have 45 percent more efficiency, which is over double of where we are currently, and it could really be transformative for how much energy we need and how much energy we use

and where we need to find it.”

ber of the board of directors at Petersen Automotive Museum Stefan Krause, CEO of EVelozcity “This transformation of the au“We will not solve this problem tomobile in the next 30 years will that urgently needs to be solved with change everything. This is extremely companies that think like combustion disruptive and the world in 30 years engine companies, that have business will be very, very different. We’ll models by combustion engine com- have two different worlds—the urban world where the trucks will play the same way they play today and then we’ll have this electrified world where nobody owns cars and people will lease them for their short moments of driving. This will be very disruptive to many, many industries. The museum’s mission is to explore and present the history There are predictions rangof the automobile and its global impact on life and culture ing all over the map. Some using Los Angeles as a prime example say this will happen rapidly, panies, market like combustion en- some say it won’t happen at all. I begine companies and have a mindset lieve that it will be huge.” like combustion engine companies. That’s the big issue today and why Dakota Semler, founder and CEO some people are still not believing of Thor Trucks “About 10 years ago, we were that this change will occur because we are coming at this whole industry operating a fleet that had about 300 trucks in L.A. County and we were with a different mindset.” forced out of compliance. We were Kent Kresa, former chair of GM forced within three years to replace all and Northrop Grumman and mem- of our trucks with newer technology.

We realized that it was a customer need that started this electrification interest in the commercial and heavy duty electric space. We set out to develop heavy duty electric trucks to fulfill that need. We think that this acceleration will actually happen a lot quicker than the consumer space in the passenger car realm because of a few key things, including forced compliance and a clear TCO (total cost of engine) case … we can actually create a compelling savings for fleets that operate electric vehicles over the diesel vehicles, so instead of them making the option to be electric because it’s sexy or trending or the next best thing, it’s actually a clear economic case, and that’s what we want to drive home.” Ryan Westrom, mobility partnerships lead for Greenfield Labs at Ford Smart Mobility “I think today, as we talk about the technologies of autonomous vehicles to come and the form factor and talk about them as machines and metal boxes … Any of these devices—cars that have been and the See Future of Automobile, Page 60 / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS





Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

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

Repair Versus Replace—What A Body Shop Should Consider With nearly 23 million vehicles involved in accidents annually—a statistic that is trending upward, according to Vincent Romans, The Romans Group—body shops across the country are being faced with deciding if they should repair or replace non-structural components during the repair process. “Sometimes we jump to replace and don’t consider certain things when a repair might be a better bet,” said George Avery, Avery Consulting LLC, during a recent Guild 21 podcast sponsored by VeriFacts. The podcast focused on the decisionmaking process in regard to interior parts and plastic repair. Avery said there are five decision points body shops can consider. First, is if the damage is an appearance issue that doesn’t affect the part, such as a scrape on a transmission case. Next, an analysis is typically done to determine if a repair should be performed. If the answer is “no,” the body shop can then decide to use a recycled part, aftermarket or new OEM. “It all depends on critical thinking,” said Avery. “Through repetition or habit, sometimes our critical thinking doesn’t work so well.” As a result, he encouraged podcast attendees to use critical thinking and consider all options and expenses when making a decision. “The repair procedures are our guideline,” said Avery. “If new is the best bet, there is nothing else you can do. If you think of the mantra ‘fix it right, fix it smart,’ repair certainly has a place.” During the podcast, Avery talked about making the decision of whether it makes sense to repair versus replace and some of the challenges with estimating, tools, technicians, subletting and overall business decisions. Many estimators don’t consider repairing the part for a variety of reasons, said Avery. They may be new to the job and unfamiliar with certain repair techniques; they may have had a bad past experience; it could be because of the tools and technicians; or


they may not be compensated in a way that a repair is conducive or desirable based on performance goals. During the Guild 21 podcast, Scott McKernan, president of #1 Vinyl & Leather Repair, and Kurt Lammon, president of Polyvance, were invited to speak about some of the important considerations when making repair versus replace decisions.

Interior Parts McKernan, a 35-plus year collision claim industry veteran, said that many shops—even those that have operated for many years—are uninformed and often have no idea that certain parts can be repaired. “A large portion of trim panels that are currently being replaced could have easily been repaired if they would have just gotten a ‘trim quote’ first, thus simplifying and expediting the return of the car to the customer,” said McKernan. The company currently offers the trim quote system primarily in California and plans to expand to other states soon. McKernan said there are a variety of benefits for a shop by choosing to repair, including decreasing claims severity, length of rental and overall customer satisfaction, but the biggest benefit, he said, is cycle time. “Body shops are paid by their gross sales on vehicles delivered,” said McKernan. “What they fail to see is that by reducing cycle time by not waiting on trim panels, they actually get more cars out, thus increasing their sales.” As a result, he said cycle time is greatly reduced and outweighs any parts mark-up they would have in most cases. When a body shop is deciding whether to repair or replace, McKernan’s company uses a method in which a shop can text a photo and within five minutes, will receive a trim quote that gives the estimator an informed decision of whether something is repairable. “About half of the estimators at


body shops, as well as insurance companies, don’t even know these things can be repaired,” he said. “There are a lot of new estimators in the industry who haven’t been trained to try it. They see minor interior damage and write it for replacement. They don’t even know they don’t have to wait three weeks for a door trim.”

Before image of a 2017 Land Rover Discovery SE that had surface damage to the right front door trim panel

Some of the interior repairs that McKernan said are often repairable include dashboards, leather seats, door trim panels, center consoles, minor glass damage and bumpers. He said in most cases, minor glass damage is repairable. He also said several major insurers have implemented a reject slip system where an estimator looks at a vehicle, takes a photo and can quickly determine if the vehicle is repairable before writing the estimate. “If you’re a repairer, bumpers are often seen as rejects,” he said. “What reject slips accomplish is actually training an untrained estimator to see what is repairable or not.” Plastic Repair When deciding if a repair is the best route to go, Lammon stressed the importance of first checking OEM repair procedures, especially with newer vehicles where the damage is in the vicinity of a sensor. “Most of the plastic parts on a vehicle are non-structural,” said Lammon. “You can repair these things without any risk of it affecting the vehicle’s crash energy management.” He used the example of bumper fascia and headlight tabs. “It’s really a low-

risk sort of repair, unlike sectioning a frame rail.” Lammon also advised shops to look at the replacement cost of the parts. “As the price of the replacement part goes down, it makes it less appealing to do the repair,” he said. “You want to go the route that is going to

After repair image of a 2017 Land Rover Discovery SE that had surface damage to the right front door trim panel

make more money, but also need to find a win-win situation between the shop and the bill-payer.” In the example of a replacement part that costs $400, if the shop makes 25 percent gross profit on parts, they receive $100 of gross profit and the bill-payer is out $400. If this part is repaired and the shop is paid for six hours of work at $50 per hour with a 50 percent gross margin on labor, the shop makes $150 of gross profit and the bill-payer is only out $300. “The shop is making more profit by repairing it and it’s saving the billpayer money,” said Lammon. “That’s what you define as a win-win scenario.” The bottom line, according to Lammon, is that anything that increases the price of the replacement part will make it more appealing to do the repair. This includes the availability of the part. “Maybe it’s a $200 part but it’s on back order for five days. That’s a great opportunity to do a repair,” he said. Lammon said plastic repair is also a great opportunity for new technicians to step into a more skilled See Repair v Replace, Page 60 / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Mike Anderson’s 3rd Webinar Discusses Nissan/INFINITI Technology tion, and the page explains what is included and excluded. It includes On Monday, April 23, Mike Anderservice manuals, TSBs, TechTalk son of Collision Advice presented Magazine and ELearning training for the third webinar in his Learn to Re- both Nissan and INFINITI for model search, Research to Learn series. The years 1989 to current. It will not inwebinar focused on “Using Nissan/ clude diagnostic software, ECU reINFINITI Technology.” programming files or any other item He was joined by Will Latuff of not listed as being included. Latuff Brothers, Justin Miller of Online subscriptions cost $720 Nissan and Mark Zoba of Nissan/ for a year or one day for $19.99. INFINITI. The webinar was created Monthly and quarterly subscriptions by Collision Advice in collaboration are also available. Nissan’s certified with FCA, but Anderson also thanked collision centers receive a free subCIECA for its contributions to the in- scription to Nissan’s technical infordustry. mation portal. The website provides Explaining why he decided to a legend to explain the icons used host these webinars, Anderson re- throughout the website. ported that his annual Who After logging in, there will Pays for What surveys, conbe tabs on the right-hand ducted in conjunction with side. The “What’s New” tab the Crash Network, have shows additions and updates led him to determine that to the technical service bulshops are not researching letins. Clicking the “eye” OEM repair procedures 100 icon allows document viewpercent of the time as they ing. Mike Anderson should be. Anderson pointed out, file photo Because of this, Colli“This is a great feature since sion Advice will be hosting a webi- it lets you know if something has nar with a different OEM each changed since you last looked somemonth to raise awareness of the re- thing up.” sources each OEM offers to research The next tab is Technical Trainrepair procedures. He will guide at- ing, which has mostly mechanicaltendees on a step-by-step tour of related resources, but Anderson each specific OEM’s website, in- demonstrated how he found value in cluding logging in, areas of the web- them. He encouraged attendees to resite and how to improve search view this document on vehicles not results. He will also demonstrate previously repaired to better underhow to research some common pro- stand the vehicle. There are also cedures needed by collision repair- eLearning modules available for ers, explore the differences between download, or users can purchase spean OEM scan tool and aftermarket cialized training videotapes in DVD scan tool and investigate OEM parts or VHS format. information and support tools. Accessory Instructions require Nissan/INFINITI has two sites, that you select a vehicle (model, year both of which require paid access. and accessory type), and hit “Search” Information is available through to research all the accessories that or www may be on that vehicle. Proper access “Now you have a way to underto the websites requires Internet Ex- stand how this accessory feature is plorer, the most recent version of supposed to work,” Anderson said. Adobe Reader and the disablement Next, the menu offers subscribed of pop-up blockers. users the ability to view current or back “If your hyperlinks do not work, issues of Nissan/INFINITI’s TechTalk it’s probably because of one of these Magazine, which can be opened and reasons,” he said. printed as a PDF. On the site, select your country “There’s a ton of information in and then the main screen will load. there, and I would encourage you to Going to “Purchase Subscription for print as a PDF and share with your Viewing Publications” provides the team,” he said. opportunity to purchase a subscripAnderson was excited as he by Chasidy Rae Sisk



started covering the Purchase Tools/ Equipment tab. Nissan/INFINITI provides special discounted pricing on a variety of equipment and tools for certified collision centers, and certified collision centers can receive up to 15 percent bonus cash back on qualifying orders. Additionally, they now offer special financing opportunities on equipment orders for qualifying collision shops. The Recall Information tab offers the opportunity for research into any open recall on a Nissan. Anderson explained that customers are looking for trust, empathy and direction when they are choosing a body shop. “What creates more trust than inputting the consumer’s VIN and being able to tell them the specific recalls on their vehicle? It’s very VIN-specific,” he said. At the bottom of the homepage, Nissan provides links to NASTF, Nissan USA, Nissan 4 Parts and INFINITI TechInfo. To begin researching repair procedures, click “View Nissan Publica-

tions,” and choose a publication type from the drop-down. Anderson focused on the service manual during his webinar, but noted, “I found so much cool stuff for Nissan/INFINITI [that] I couldn’t fit it into one webinar. So Team Nissan/INFINITI has agreed to do a part two, and when we do that, we’ll take you through the other options available.” Users can search by publication title or for publications related to certain models or years. Explaining the search feature, Anderson said contents of all the boxes are used together to narrow the search, but an empty box will not affect the search. The search is not case-sensitive, but it does match all typed characters, so it’s better to only type part of a word if you’re not confident about it. After selecting your model and year, you’ll be able to click on the service manual for the vehicle. Nissan uses an HTML 5 interface for any vehicle from 2018 forward; older models’ service manuals are viewable as PDFs. On the left-hand side,

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you’ll see a series of dropdowns. You can also input a symptom code to research a DTC much quicker. Looking at the Armada service manual, Anderson navigated to BRM Body Repair in the table of contents and then Fundamentals to access general repair information. Looking at electric resistance spot welding, he revealed where Nissan instructs repairers to perform a destructive test weld before welding on the vehicle. The site also explains how to perform the test weld and includes information about using the weld through primer. He reminded participants, “I’m going through this rather quickly, but the goal is to create awareness so you will be able to find this information in the future.” Responding to a participant’s question, Anderson clarified that OEM repair procedures cannot be researched by VIN—only by year, make and model. Nissan’s representatives also clarified that shops certified through the Assured Performance Network will still need to reach out directly to Nissan for access to the site and discount programs. After Fundamentals, the site shows Repair Information Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 refers to the information available for USA and Canada, whereas Type 2 refers to information for Mexico. Under the Vehicle Information tab, the section starts by showing the exterior paint colors, trim codes and hard clear. It also identifies which vehicles are two stage, three stage, or pearl. This tab also provides the tensile strength of the steel and lists the components. Another useful item in this section is Preparation, which advises which foams and adhesives should be used. The same tab shows Body Component Parts, which complements what is found in the substrate list. Moving to Corrosion Protection provides useful information and warnings as well. Talking about his estimating

classes and viewing several examples in the manual, Anderson stated, “If you want to get paid, your opinion doesn’t mean jack. The only thing that matters is what you can prove, substantiate or justify. We encourage shops to stick to the facts. Is what you’re asking for required? Is it included? Is there a predetermined time? If not, what is it worth? This is going to help us prove the things that we need to do and justify adding them as line items.” Anderson continued to look at service data and specifications that provide vehicle dimensions. He explained the quick reference index works like a home page before going to Common Repair Research Operations. In this section of the webinar, he demonstrated how clearly Nissan indicates nonreusable parts in their removal (symbolized by a black circle with a white x in illustrations) and installation process manuals. “This is why we must research every component we remove from a vehicle to make sure we know if it’s a non-reusable part,” he said. An additional example showed that seat belts must be replaced after a collision. He covered required wait times when the battery is disconnected, required recalibrations after the battery is disconnected and wiring diagrams that show what the connector is. He also took a detailed look at repair requirements related to blind spot monitors and telematics systems. He then explored NissanConnect, which makes the car very interactive for drivers, and what this means for repairers. Anderson repeatedly stressed the importance of researching OEM repair procedures. The webinar continued with Anderson exploring sectioning procedures and demonstrating how to search the publications available on the website. He discussed painting requirements and removing the 12V battery before diving into requirements on the 2016 Nissan GT-R re-

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quirements. Nissan’s training on this vehicle, which is constructed with aluminum, is delivered through ICAR. As the webinar drew to a close, Anderson covered the steps to take when unable to find the information being sought. First, exhaust your search of the Service Manual, then submit a question to Ask I-CAR and provide a link. If I-CAR doesn’t know, certified collision centers can email nnacollisionrepairnetwork@ Shops that are not certified should complete the “Help Make This Service Manual Better” form on the third page of the Service Manual. Nissan also offers its Identifix Hotline, a complimentary service to help shops identify procedures or help diagnose an issue. The hotline is open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST at 1-855-828-4018 and is available to the entire industry. Anderson also shared some other helpful websites:, www.collision.nissanusa .com/genuine-parts-advantage and http: // -parts-advantage/. He discussed the benefits of shops acquiring Nissan

/INFINITI certification. After looking at OEM position statements, Anderson stressed, “I am concerned that as an industry, we are becoming too reliant on OEM position statements to tell us how to repair a vehicle safely! OEM position statements CANNOT and SHOULD NOT replace the emphasis and importance of researching OEM repair procedures.” He emphasized that researching OEM repair procedures is “the only way to guarantee a safe and proper repair!” Anderson will be doing a deeper dive into some of the other publication types from Nissan/INFINITI in Part 2 of the Nissan webinar in the near future. Anderson fielded questions throughout the webinar, but since all of the attendees’ questions could not be answered during the webinar, Collision Advice will be sending out a document containing responses to all attendees’ questions. The next webinar in the series will be held on Thursday, May 24 at 2 p.m. EST and will feature Ford. The Nissan webinar is available free of charge at



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Historical Snapshot with John Yoswick

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

Association Leader 5 Years Ago Called for DRPs to Include ‘Grandfather Clause’ 20 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (June 1998) Caliber Collision Centers has announced the appointment of Bill Lawrence as its chief operating officer and senior vice president. Lawrence, a 28-year veteran of Allstate Insurance, was an architect and corporate strategist responsible for Allstate’s “Pro Shop” direct repair network. He also previously served as president of Allstate’s “Tech-Cor” subsidiary, which includes a collision repair shop research center. Lawrence will have responsibility for all of Caliber’s collision repair operations as well as the associated corporate support functions. “Bill is a highly talented, wellknown and highly regarded insurance industry executive who’s been thinking ‘outside the box’ about collision repair for more than a decade,” Caliber’s Chief Executive Officer

Matthew Ohrnstein said. “We are pleased to welcome him as our head of operations, and we expect he will continually lead change in the industry.” Founded in 1991, Caliber is a consolidator with operator collision repair facilities in California and Texas. In addition to its corporateowned centers, it also manages a preferred provider network of 120 independently owned collision repair centers. – As reported in The Golden Eagle. The first to bring Wall Street investment into collision repair, Ohrnstein left Caliber after seven years and launched a private consulting firm involved in many consolidation transactions; he died in 2013. Lawrence left Caliber in 2004. He is now an executive with the 7-shop 1st Certified Collision Centers chain in Southern California, which is also

the parent company of Certified Collision Group, a national network of more than 200 OEM-certified shops.

15 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (June 2003) Maaco announced that is it beginning a new campaign to “expand the brand” and give greater emphasis to collision repairs. Maaco is changing its name to “Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting” from “Maaco Auto Painting & Bodyworks.” Maaco has traditionally been a repaint operation offering little in the way of crash damage repairs. The new slogan is “America’s Body Shop.” Maaco’s 530 franchisees claim to paint more vehicles than anyone else in America—about 800,000 a year, and 20 percent of that is fleet work. It recently offered its franchisees additional collision repair training.

Maaco has been “so busy owning the repaint business that it forgot to remind the public that it also performs collision and spot repairs, and does them well, even on newer vehicles,” the company said. While maintaining its core paint business, Maaco will target “newer vehicle spot paint and repairs,” which it identifies as lease returns and outof-pocket paid collision work. – As reported in Autobody News. Maaco’s website says it still has more than 500 locations (though prior to that it had dipped to as low as 470 in 2015). It was acquired in 2008 by Driven Brands, operated by the same private equity firm that acquired CARSTAR in 2015. 10 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (June 2008) Mike Poulard, State Farm estimatics section manager, wrote in a letter last

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week that after several months of review, the insurer will no longer include a full rear-body sectioning procedure (or “clip”) on State Farmprepared estimates. “As a result of this review, we have determined that this repair method is less feasible on newer model vehicles which incorporate special or alternative metals,” Poulard wrote to Pam Pierson of Princeton Auto Body in Princeton, IL.

In 2013, Dan Risley of the Automotive Service Association said insurers that change requirements for a direct repair program should give participating shops a “grandfather clause” to decide whether to adopt the change or drop the program

He said although full rear-body sectioning may be practical in some situations, State Farm will not include it on its estimates and will leave that

decision to the customer and shop. “If your repair facility, while working on a vehicle involved in a State Farm claim, receives a State Farm written estimate for a full body section, please contact the assigned claim person,” Poulard wrote. Pierson has been doggedly contacting State Farm and shop association leaders on this issue for several months after seeing the procedure called for on State Farm estimates. – As reported in CRASH Network (, June 16, 2013. 5 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (June 2013) Now that State Farm has said it will begin rolling out PartsTrader to more markets this summer, the trade associations are focusing their criticism less on PartsTrader itself and more on the broader issue of insurers requiring the use of any particular product or service. “Insurance company mandates don’t work,” said Dan Risley, executive director of the Automotive Service Association (ASA). “We went through a similar thing many years

ago with the estimating systems, and we had shops paying for three different estimating platforms that all did the same thing. And who’s to say that a product won’t come out tomorrow that’s three times better than one being mandated? So now I have to use an inferior product because of a mandate from an insurer?” Risley said although direct repair agreements obligate a shop that wants to stay on the program to accept changes made to the insurer requirements, he thinks insurers should give shops more time to make a decision and prepare for either implementing the change or dropping the program. “I would like insurance carriers to consider what I’ll call a grandfather clause, where shops have six months to adopt the change in the program,” Risley said. “At least then you have six months to start building a business model moving away from that program so that dropping it doesn’t have such an immediate negative impact on your business.” – As reported in CRASH Network (, June 10, 2013.

ABRA Auto Body Repair: 5 New Centers in NJ, CO

Abra Auto Body Repair of America, a leading U.S. collision and auto glass repair company, continues its national growth with the acquisition of five centers in April. Employees were welcomed by Abra President and CEO Ann Fandozzi and other members of the senior leadership team at celebrations after the centers opened for business as Abra. In Colorado, Abra added one center in Colorado Springs. The 6,500-square- foot center has seven employees and is Abra’s fourth location in the Colorado Springs area. In New Jersey, the company welcomed 56 employees at four centers around South Jersey, located at: • 6324 Blackhorse Pike in Egg Harbor Township • 448 Route 9 in Marmora • 2702 Route 9 in Rio Grande • 3181 Delsea Dr in Vineland With these five centers, Abra has added more than 45,000 square feet of production space to the market. Abra now has 345 centers in 27 states.

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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

ASA Partners With Bosch for 4th Webinar: ‘You’ve Got the Power’ On April 18, ASA partnered with Bosch for the penultimate webinar in their Advanced Collision and Diagnostic Training Webinar Series. Titled “You’ve Got the Power: Diagnostic Power in Your Hands,” this fourth webinar focused on key scan tool procedures for collision and mechanical repair and was facilitated by Bosch’s Duane “Doc” Watson and Pat Pierce. The webinar began with ASA Vice President Tony Molla

welcoming attendees and explaining that the techniques taught during the webinar are transferable to many other professional diagnostic tools. Watson began by talking about scan tool assets and emphasized the value of getting as much from your scan tool as possible. He pointed out, “Your scan tool can do more than just read codes. It can bring diagnostic and repair information to you, and it can be paired with other tools to enhance your diagnostics and repairs, but it needs to be easy to use and must have embedded user-assisted diagnostics. “If you replace the battery, certain model vehicles require a reset tool or scan tool to reset the battery life in the vehicle’s computer when an old battery is replaced. This is done to keep the electrical system running at maximum efficiency since many newer vehicles automatically adjust charge cycles and alternator settings based on battery age and mileage. When the battery is replaced, the new battery might need to be electronically reset within the vehicle’s computer system to ensure that it is properly recognized as a brand-new battery. Failure to do so may create an over charging system, thus shortening the battery life. Battery reset is a very simple and straightforward procedure. You 50

can purchase a standalone battery reset tool, but some scan tools have the function built in.” During the battery registration process, battery capacity is set to 80 percent, the current odometer reading is stored and stored battery statistics are deleted, so there is no need to worry about completing the steps individually. “The battery reset saves the vehicle’s onboard diagnostic memory and other onboard memory components such as anti-theft radios, digital clocks, radio presets, seats, mirrors or comfort settings when the vehicle’s battery is removed or disconnected,” Watson said. “Using the memory saver during a battery replacement is highly recommended, but you have saved the previous battery charging settings as well. You still need to perform reset procedures when using the memory saver.” Watson demonstrated the Ford model truck battery reset and showed how to check DTCS on a vehicle with a check engine light on. He stressed the importance of following the steps under scan test and showed how to use the links and diagrams on the scan tool to learn more about what needs to be done. Watson also showed webinar attendees how to test the heating circuit and how to determine if the heating element is bad, noting “Always test—don’t guess!” Turning to tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), Watson explained that if a vehicle manufacturer recommends 35 pounds of pressure, the tire is considered significantly underinflated at 26 pounds, but may not look low until it hits 20 pounds. Reasons for the tire light to come on could be low tire pressure, a broken sensor or the wheel sensor not being recognized by the vehicle. Tools to be used for properly servicing TPMS include sensors/valves, service packs, scan/learn tools and accessories. Watson advised, “Never use a brass valve core with an aluminum TPMS sensor. Always use a nickelplated valve core with aluminum TPMS sensors.


“What should you be replacing on a TPMS-equipped vehicle? What’s included in a service pack? Service packs provide the sealing components for each applicable sensor (clamp-in or snap-in) and can be replaced just as valve stems are today. Always use new grommets, nuts, valve caps and valve cores when performing any tire service.” It is important to replace all components within the service pack because rubber grommets replace old seals that may have taken permanent compression and may leak. The valve stem nut replaces the old nut, which may have been over-torqued and contain invisible hairline fractures. Nickel-plated valve cores prevent galvanic corrosion and ensure the integrity of the primary seal. Valve caps with seals prevent dirt and moisture from entering the sensor, and they also act as a secondary

pressure seal. Old valve caps may have a seal that is compressed or missing. A washer replaces the old washer, which may also have hairline cracks from over-tightening. Watson recommended seeking the following types of damage when inspecting a TPMS sensor: broken casing, broken antenna, tire sealant clogging holes, internal and external thread damage and galvanic corrosion. He explained that valve stem caps are important to take care of because they could impact the output, and he warned that the sensor may not relearn because it’s the wrong cap. He demonstrated how to start testing the sensors with a walk-around, pointing the tool at the valve stem on each tire. Using a scan tool with TPMS/ TPR capabilities makes the job easier because it displays additional information, allows access to quick referSee ASA Partners, Page 50

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Industry Insight with John Yoswick

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

Chipotle Executive Offers Concepts That Resonate With Collision Repairers

Why did the chief financial officer of ports that.” employees. (Hartung said Chipotle’s Trained employees who underthe 2,400-location Chipotle Mexican Hartung discussed the impor- fastest location can serve 300 peo- stand the company’s vision “will Grill chain speak at this spring’s tance of building trust with customers, ple an hour, with a customer mov- work really hard for you,” because “Repairer Roundtable”? something that he acknowledged had ing through the burrito line every 12 “people want to work for something Aaron Schulenburg of the Soci- suffered at Chipotle following an E. seconds.) Chipotle’s entire menu in- bigger than themselves,” Hartung ety of Collision Repair Specialists said. (SCRS), which organizes the event, “If you just tell people to work “Trust is an incredibly valuable, intangible said he invited Chipotle CFO Jack hard and kick them in the ass now Hartung to speak to help shops “think and again, keep kicking them and capital investment,” — Jack Hartung outside the box” about how compathey’ll keep working hard,” he said. nies differentiate themselves in terms “But when you leave, their energy of their commitment to—and invest- coli outbreak in 2015. The company’s cludes only 52 ingredients. By com- level will drop dramatically.” ment in—quality. stock, trading at nearly $750 at the parison, he said, just the sauce alone He said it’s also important to not “Communicating that time, tumbled and was trad- for a McDonald’s Big Mac has 30 keep mediocre employees around message [to consumers] can ing at half that when Har- items in it. because doing so can cause good be challenging,” Schulentung spoke at the event this Part of this has been enabled by employees to leave. burg said. “Creating sustainspring. (In the weeks follow- the company’s decision to “They will feel underapable business models that ing, it rose by about $100 to open other restaurant chains preciated. ‘Why am I worksupport that also can be reabove $400.) rather than adding more ing so hard to cover for the ally challenging.” “Trust is an incredibly items to the Chipotle menu. person next to me who is just Hartung said that’s valuable, intangible capital That resonated with Robert mailing it in?’” Hartung said. something his company has Aaron Schulenburg investment,” Hartung told Grieve of Nylund’s ColliThose employees will asaccomplished, paying more shops at the SCRS event. sion Center in Denver, who sume management is dumb for humanely raised, hormone-free “When they trust you, they trust you participated in the panel if they don’t know who the Jack Hartung meat, for example, but not charging all the way. When you break their discussion with Hartung. weaker workers are. If you more than comparable “fast casual” trust, it takes time to get it back. Nylund’s shop specializes in luxury really don’t know, Hartung said, take restaurants. We’re on that page right now. We’d vehicles, including Lexus, Mercedes, some employees aside and ask. “We find efficiencies throughout built the trust, the expectations, so Audi and BMW. “You’ll be shocked at how much the rest of our P&L so we can invest high. We said you should “I think we may start they’ll tell you,” he said. “Be ready more in the food,” Hartung said. “We expect more from food, in paring off brands, and spe- with the flood gates. You’ll get an earlooked at the restaurant: Can we make terms of where it comes cialize more in stand-alone ful.” it smaller? We don’t spend much on from and how it’s cooked, facilities for [each of] those He said young motivated workadvertising. Would your customers keeping the impact on the brands,” Nylund said. “We ers want to be someplace where they rather have you spend more money animals and the environcould get those people really see a chance for growth and a career on advertising, or on the materials ment as low as possible. We understanding those particu- path. He said his son worked at a you use to repair their cars?” care about all those things. lar vehicles, so they’re the dealership after graduating from an Robert Grieve Hartung said the company founder We taught our customers to very, very best.” automotive tech school, but found originally opened a Chipotle in 1993, expect that.” Hartung also offered shops a the company didn’t respond to his hoping to generate enough cash-flow He said shops can do the same number of tips regarding employees. desire to do more. to eventually open a fine dining thing, pointing to the trust he’s de- He said investing in people through “Eventually he quit and ended restaurant (which he never did, given veloped in the shop that restores training is a great way to motivate up at Tesla, because there wasn’t a Chipotle’s growth), so from the start his small collection of muscle cars. them and demonstrate that the com- system [at the dealership] to satisfy he wanted to use the type of quality in- They do that through time and trans- pany appreciates them. this young guy’s appetite,” Hartung gredients he planned to use at that parency, he said, taking him back in “There’s nothing worse than said. “He’s a kid with passion. Imaghigher-end restaurant. People told the shop to show him things, taking working a job where you’re insecure ine what can happen when you can him at the time that few customers time to educate him. [because] you’re not sure if you’re find people like that, who have a pasreally thought or cared about where “I’m learning while getting to doing it right, because no one really sion, and then you have a leader who or how their food was sourced. know them, even getting to know their trained you,” Hartung said. can channel that passion.” “He didn’t care. He had a vi- family,” Hartung said of the shop. sion,” Hartung said. “He wanted to “There’s a bonding that happens.” elevate the food. He didn’t care if his He also said part of what has Don’t Miss the Weekly customers noticed. He knew. And he made Chipotle successful is keeping AUTOBODY Industry NEWS knew he was going to serve them the menu simple, not trying to be Your Shop Needs. food that he was proud of. You have “all things to all people,” so the food to start with what you stand for. Then can always be fresh and the process Sign Up Today! make sure the business model sup- is efficient and easy to master for







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Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

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

10 Simple Steps to Collision Repair Success From VECO Experts Collision repair facilities can typi- “This is where the disconnect often cally increase profits by raising prices comes in,” said Olson. “We have to and/or working to become more effi- follow the procedures, and this recient, according to Mark Olson, quires a culture shift.” CEO of VECO Experts (Vehicle ColHe used the example of technilision Experts, LLC). cians welding. “Raising your prices can some“Even great techs will say, ‘I times be difficult,” said Olson. “There took 20 welds out; I’m going to put are a number of ways to achieve effi- 20 back in.’ Well, sometimes they are ciency in your body shop and have a going to want 30 back in or a slot predictable high-quality reweld or a MIG braze,” he pair outcome.” said. “We may repair the VECO Experts provehicle differently than it vides onsite assessments was built originally.” and repair inspections at When repairers tell body shops across the counOlson that they have been try to ensure manufacturers’ doing it a certain way for processes and materials are more than 30 years, his reMark Olson followed. sponse is that if you want Olson shared 10 steps to provide to repair cars with 30-year-old techquality collision repairs as part of nology, work on cars that are 30 Dave Luehr’s Elite Body Shop Solu- years old. He recommends looking tions webinar held in April. Luehr, the closely at the following procedures: founder of Elite Body Shop Solu- weld count, electronic reset, corrotions, hosts monthly webinars to help sion protection, sectioning locacollision repair shops reach their busi- tions, parts removal/location, etc. ness goals and achieve their true personal potential. 5. Proper welds Olson’s “10 simple steps to collision repair success:”

1. Pre-health check scan (post and electronic reset /calibration) on every car 2.

Procedures at time of estimate

Olson stressed the importance of knowing as much as possible about a vehicle prior to the repair and including the information on the original estimate. He recommended accessing repair information from the I-CAR Repairability Technical Support Portal (; information providers, such as ALLDATA and Mitchell; OEM 1 STOP (www and position statements from the car manufacturers.

3. Procedures given to technician or sublet vendor during the final repair plan meeting before beginning repairs 4. Procedures followed 54

In addition to ensuring shops are utilizing the proper welding equipment, Olson suggests doing a test weld and destroy every time. “This is not new—I-CAR has been saying this and teaching this since the 1980s and it is in accordance with American Welding Society (AWS) standards,” he said. 6. Proper corrosion protection

Olson advises shops to be aware of how much cavity wax they are buying. “If you aren’t buying a can a week per technician, you’re probably not properly corrosion protecting,” he said. “If you don’t corrosion protect it, whatever work you do is likely not going to last.” 7. Proper use of quality control (QC) sheet

Although the majority of body shops use a QC sheet of some kind, Olson


said they are often not used correctly. “It’s either being ‘pencil whipped,’ meaning you put it [the QC sheet] on a car and at the end of the job, the detailer checks every box, or it is in the paint department not filled out yet, but miraculously at the end of the job it is,” said Olson. “That’s not a quality control system; that’s a pencil whip form. You might as well not even have it because what you are teaching your techs to do is just fill in the boxes.” 8. Proper refinish

When doing a repair, Olson pointed out the importance of a proper refinish. “The color has to match the exterior as well as the underhood,” he explained. This means the vehicle needs to look the same as it did before, rather

than painting the underhood color the same as the exterior. He also said to pay close attention to the texture, back sides and gravel guard. 9. Proper use of intake (check-in) SOP

“The proper use of an intake checkin SOP is to fill out every blank every time,” said Olson. “If you have a box on the form that you aren’t going to use, take it off the form.” A free check-in form can be obtained by emailing info@elitebody with the subject line “Request Check-in Form.” 10. Proper vehicle protection

Are the vehicle’s windows rolled up or the openings covered? Are fluid lines capped and pigtails covered? These are just some of the items



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Olson said to be aware of in regard to proper vehicle protection. Risks to Avoid Every month, VECO Experts visits body shops throughout the United States to help them find their weak spots and elevate their operations. Part of this includes addressing the 10 steps to quality collision repair. Those that have been completed the way they were designed are marked green, the ones partially done are marked yellow and red is for tasks not being addressed at all. “When you look at these 10 checkpoints, you can see very quickly what the scope of your shop is,” he said. “The goal is to get all of these green, [indicating they’re] appropriate.” He highlighted the “Big Rocks” he notices in shops—those things he considers high risk to their companies. “These are the things that could possibly put you out of business,” he said. They include not using the quality control sheet as designed, 200 amp welders not being used when appropriate and neglecting to review and follow OEM procedures. Olson recommends reviewing all of the information relevant to the vehicle with the technicians and manager, having them sign it, then taping it to the car and taking a photo. “Accountability will go way up with that very simple step, and that way you know it happened,” he said. Another high risk for body shops is not using enough cavity wax. “Every technician—if doing heavy structural repairs—should be using at least a can a week of cavity wax,” said Olson. “What we find is that they might buy two or three cans a month or they might buy one can per quarter. That’s clearly not enough.” Olson said many shops do not understand the importance of doing a test weld and destroy. He suggested documenting this test every time in the file in case the information is needed later. In addition, he reminded participants on the call to ensure equipment is properly maintained and operable. “Equipment that is not being maintained properly definitely cuts into your profitability,” he said. 56

Also, he talked about buying a new set of welder tips to be used on a squeeze-type resistance spot welder for every single major collision repair that is done in the shop, and then including the cost on the invoice. Afterward, the tips can be given to the customer or saved so the copper can be traded in later and the shop can buy the technicians lunch with the money. Some of the “Medium Rocks” he notices in shops are risks that are customer service-oriented and may or may not affect the body shop. These include check-in sheets not being completed, electronic files not being fully documented and frame measurements not being completed. In some shops, Olson has noticed copper weld-through primer being used instead of zinc. “No manufacturer recommends copper,” he said. “It should not be in your shop under any circumstance because no manufacturer recommends it.” In addition, he said epoxy primer is often not present or it is used incorrectly, vehicle protection is not complete and painting is done under urethane set glass. The other medium-risk item he mentioned is having self-etch primer in the body department. “Many technicians use it under seam sealer or body sheets, and it doesn’t belong there,” he said. Is your company embezzling from you? During the webinar, Olson also talked to attendees about their business process and how to avoid the net profit being negatively affected. He then explained the “Canary in the Coalmine” principle. “A Canary in the Coalmine is an advanced warning of some danger,” Olson explained. “The metaphor originates from the times when miners used to carry caged canaries while at work; if there was any methane or carbon monoxide in the mine, the canary would die before the levels of gas reached those hazardous to humans.” In this case, Olson said the canaries are the problems in your shop that can affect profitability. 10 “Canaries” to look out for:



Come-back rate

This is when a car comes back to your shop for any reason to have something repaired, even if it is parked outside and a customer notices something before driving away. “For shops that properly track this, the average we find is 20 percent come back,” said Olson. “We haven’t found one below 10 percent.” He said the minimum average cost of come-backs is $400–$500 per vehicle. “If you take the number of cars you repair every month and 20 percent on average are coming back, multiply this by $400–$500 to calculate what is being embezzled from your company,” said Olson. “Track it for 30 days and it will blow your mind. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but the exception is not the rule.” 2) Internal come-back rate between departments

Olson said the internal come-back rate can also cost a shop more than $400–$500 per vehicle. He mentioned three different types. The first is when a technician receives a vehicle from another department, notices something that needs to be repaired and does the work himself/herself. “That technician is going to lose 10–15 minutes of productivity and you’re going to spend more on materials,” said Olson. “If that technician is a 200 percent effective tech, you just lost 20–30 minutes of production from your shop.” A second type is when a technician receives a vehicle and brings another employee over to repair something. “Now you have two technicians wasting time,” said Olson. The third is when a technician receives a vehicle and sends it back to a prior department. “If you track that, you’ll be shocked at how much inefficiency you have,” he said. 3)

Average start-stop rate

This is when a vehicle comes in and the work has to stop for some reason. That might be due to parts not being available or another car becoming a priority. Olson advises shops to look

at how many times technicians stop during a repair. 4)

Supplement number record

“If there are one or two supplements, it’s not a real big deal,” said Olson. “Every time you find more damage or change the repair, that is a change that hurts productivity.” However, he often says shops have eight to 12 supplements. “That’s killing productivity,” he said. “All you have to do is track it. If you can’t measure it, you can’t fix it.” 5) Are SOPs used the way they are designed?

6) If you are using SOPs the way they are designed, do they work? 7) Gross profit/net/expense percentage

Olson said it’s very important to a shop’s success to understand these three basic principles—gross profit, net and expense percentage. See 10 Simple Steps, Page 70

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New Product Showcase

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

with Ed Attanasio

Voyomotive Takes Telematics to Whole New Level Voyomotive, a 7-year-old company in San Francisco, has developed VOYO, a highly sophisticated telematics system that increases driving safety, convenience and fuel efficiency. VOYO connects your car to your phone to stream data to the Voyomotive Cloud and to the OBD-II port of any car that has been sold in the U.S. since 1996. In addition to the VOYO device, Voyomotive will release wireless relays later this year that can be used for additional security. Company CEO Peter Yorke has identified a wide range of advantages for VOYO, many of which will improve the referral and scheduling process for body shops. “The VOYO system can tell us about defective systems or worn parts so that they can be repaired before an accident occurs,” Yorke said. “We can determine when a vehicle’s systems are out of specified values,


such as low tire pressure. It can also determine if vehicle safety systems are not operating correctly, including ABS, traction control and stability control, all of which are vital to main-

taining vehicle control and avoiding collisions. In addition, with data analytics it will be possible to determine when key vehicle components, including brakes and tires, need to be inspected and/or replaced. VOYO


can also use odometer values and other vehicle data such as remaining oil life to determine when service is due, which provides an opportunity for a wider vehicle inspection.” Yorke knows that his company is smack in the middle of a rapidly evolving industry and is happy to be announcing his company’s newest feature: VOYO with Scan Pro. It runs an advanced diagnostic on the vehicle once every minute and enables users to know what diagnostic codes were set just before and immediately after a collision. “The codes set by the collision will provide some indication as to the extent of vehicle damage, what type of roadside/towing service is required, and possibly which shop might be best suited for a specific

type of repair and parts needed,” Yorke said. “It will also give an insurance company a record to determine what type of repairs should be covered or not for collision-related reimbursement. The diagnostic data combined with odometer values and accelerometer data may also allow a determination for First Notice of Loss (FNOL) at the time of the collision. FNOL is the process by which an insurance company determines whether a car is a total write-off or should be repaired.” By monitoring every system within a vehicle, VOYO is covering all its bases and providing consumers, insurance companies, and mechanical and collision repair companies with more pertinent information than ever before. “We can look at things like tire pressure and changes in tire pressure, coolant temperature and battery health—things that are relevant to

the operating condition of the vehicle and how they can tie into a repair and things such as first notice of loss,” Yorke said. “We can also then look at things such as driver behavior—has the vehicle been swerving, were the car’s doors open and were the passengers wearing their seat belts, in addition to the activation of safety systems. We’re also in discussions with mapping and navigation

trollers is made for the consumer market and utilizes Bluetooth low energy to connect to the Cloud via the driver’s cell phone,” Yorke said. “In addition, we have a line called Passport that is designed for commercial fleets [and] has a cellular modem embedded and does not require a cell phone.” Voyomotive also provides a plethora of useful data for its various applications.

companies that need more precise weather data, such as barometer, temperature and the usage of windshield wipers, and VOYO can make a car a rolling weather station. So, what you get is the ability to use multi-factorial data in order to reconstruct the operating condition of the vehicle, the conditions it was driving in and what the driver is doing at the time of a collision.” VOYO is penetrating several markets with its product offerings. “Our VOYO line of OBD con-

Yorke said, “Our partners can transfer data using our Web API on the backend, or an App API if they want to create their own application. That way, our data can appear in a body shop’s app, for example, so that they can control their customers’ user experience rather than going through our app.” With so many new vehicles coming out every year, Voyomotive has to be able to stay current and adapt quickly to car manufacturers’ rapid changes in design and functionality.

“The VOYO system can tell us about defective systems or worn parts so that they can be repaired before an accident occurs,” — Peter Yorke

“The core of our strategy is an ability to acquire various advanced data off of vehicles that rivals that of an OEM telematics system,” Yorke said. “We have a program where we reverse-engineer data off of vehicles in our R&D center near Ann Arbor to learn what data is available and how we can acquire it from that vehicle’s architecture. We then download our software to adapt the hardware to the architecture of that specific model. “Vehicle data is increasingly becoming central to the driving experience, and we are only now seeing how data can be used to create new services for drivers and owners that will impact the service business. With the advent of onboard telematics systems, OEMs intend to make themselves the central players to decide who gets access to the data, how it can be used and what it will cost. Service providers and collision shops need to keep abreast of both emerging technologies and changing policies in this rapidly developing field. The availability of VOYO will provide alternatives to an industry looking to connect to their customers.”

ASA Testifies on Repair Procedures Bill

On April 24, the RI House Committee on Corporations held a hearing on House Bill (HB) 8013. Certain provisions in the bill would not allow insurers to require “repair specifications or procedures” not in compliance with vehicle manufacturer recommendations. ASA submitted written testimony—in support of the OEM compliance requirements within HB 8013—that outlined the importance of adherence to OEM repair standards for the shop, as well as the consumer. “Vehicle manufacturers issue recommended repair procedures for a reason,” said Scott Benavidez, ASA Collision Division director and owner of Mr. B’s Paint & Body in Albuquerque, NM. “The use of materials such as highstrength steels, and the need to recalibrate modern electronic vehicle control systems, demand specific processes, tools and equipment in order to achieve a proper and safe repair. ASA Collision Operations Committee strongly supports the position outlined by House Bill 8013 to protect both the repairer and the consumer.”

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Continued from Page 42

Repair Vs Replace

type of work without the risk of them working on a structural repair. “The technician shortage is huge for everybody,” he said. “Why not give new techs coming out of trade schools a nitrogen plastic welder? They are more likely to embrace the new technology and not have pre-conceived notions about plastic repair like some of the techs Continued from Page 39

Future of Automobile

cars that will come—operate for the human, the human that is at the center of that design equation. This transformation is coming and we have this opportunity in front of us to shape it. We can shape it well or shape it poorly. I believe if we start with the human at the center of that equation we can shape it extremely well. The relationship that we have had with cars over the past 125 years Continued from Page 33

The Risen Phoenix

Collision Repair Center, noting, “The name Illg is different; people will remember it. In business, you want people to remember your name.” As soon as he started getting the shop back on its feet, he was able to get some of his former DRP agreements reinstated—insurance companies that had bailed when they saw the trouble the shop was in. He made arrangements with the local paint jobber, Towers Motor Parts, for an open line of credit as well as a Ford dealer in a neighboring city, as he worked on so many Ford products. On Feb. 3, 2010, Dave Illg Collision Repair Center opened for business as a “reborn” shop—a phoenix risen from the ashes of a financial meltdown. Illg now not only owns the business, but the property it sits on and some adjacent property for parking. Illg explained, “People tell me how brave I was going into business for myself. I laugh and tell them 60

who got burned by comebacks 20 years ago.” Another consideration is the number of total losses, which have been shown to be on the rise. Lammon said that repairing more vehicles would not only benefit the body shop, but would also reduce premiums in the long run. “Total losses have been creeping up over the years and this is a tool [nitrogen plastic welder] that you can use to get that down,” he said. Lammon said a big incentive

for plastic repairs is the increasing cost of replacement headlights. “Now that the IIHS is grading headlights for their Top Safety Pick, OEMs are adding more complications and expenses to their lights, like LEDs, moveable elements and so forth,” he said. “As long as the light is functioning and the lens and optics are not damaged, mounting tabs can be repaired with a nitrogen plastic welder,” he continued, saying that repairing damaged headlights offers the oppor-

tunity to keep the job in the shop rather than totaling it out. For more information, contact Scott McKernan, #1 Vinyl & Leather Repair, at 714-476-0682 or Kurt Lammon, Polyvance, at 800-6333047. Email photos to scott@number

has really been deeply emotional at its core. We think of the car as almost a member of our family. We assign meaning to it. I think that meeting that emotional need to have connection is something that really provides an opportunity, and how are we going to have that emotional connection with the autonomous vehicles of the future? If we have anything to do with it, there’s going to continue to be vehicles, but smart vehicles in a smart world.”

vanced technologies for Symantec “Over the last 20 years, I’ve built security for spacecraft, aircraft, consumer electronics, computers, and tens of millions of connected cars. What I’ve learned is there’s never any single silver bullet. Building security into anything is about protecting the communication, protecting the cars themselves, and keeping them up to date—because security is never done—and then having a way of looking for those really stealthy, sophisticated attackers. That’s not easy to do. The good news

is that a lot of the auto makers have started doing this for millions of cars. The bad news is there are about 100 million cars a year that shipped. The majority of them are without enough security, and the ones that are building security in the cars are just starting to build one or two of those cornerstones, not all three or four. We’re still very early in this journey. We’ve already seen cars run off the road, and that’s disconcerting. For our cars to be safe in the future, they are going to need to be digitally secure.”

Brian Witten, senior director, adbrave had nothing to do with it. I had no choice. My family was depending on me. The shop personnel were depending on me. I couldn’t let them down. I just had to do it.” Those who have done it know that going into business for yourself is a big undertaking—not for the faint of heart. When asked what went “right” with the process, Illg replied, “I had a lot of support, both financial and emotional from a number of family members—my brother, my motherin-law and my wife all believed in me. I also had a lot of help from the original owner of the Lincoln-Mercury dealership, Dick Stahl. Not only is he a mentor, but he believed in what I could do with the business.” When asked what he might have done differently, Illg said, “I should have gone into business for myself a long time ago. I turned BIG&R around, and basically, there was no reward for it. I turned the LincolnMercury shop around, and for my efforts, I took a financial beating. Now, this shop—my shop—feels right … for the right reasons.”



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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

‘Why WIN? Why Conference?’ Webinar Provides Useful Conference Tips On Wednesday, April 25, Michelle Sullivan, Membership Committee Chair for the Women’s Industry Network (WIN®), hosted an informative webinar highlighting what to expect during WIN’s 2018 Educational Conference in Indianapolis, IN, on May 7–9. Sullivan began by identifying WIN’s mission to engage women in collision repair and explained that WIN is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging, developing and cultivating opportunities to attract women to collision repair. WIN recognizes excellence, promotes leadership and fosters a network specifically for and among women. All segments of the industry are represented.

males from all segments of the collision repair industry across the U.S. and Canada.” WIN is supported by sponsors and powered by its all-volunteer membership. The Board of Directors makes up the association’s Executive Committee, and WIN currently has 12 active committees with specific descriptions, time commitments and KPIs. “WIN is one of the best ways to expand your network and demonstrate an ability to step up to a leadership position,” Sullivan stated. WIN began strategic planning in 2008 and narrowed its focus to two goals in 2015: facilitate the growth of the WIN network and build organizational capacity to better serve WIN’s growing network. Both goals include key initiatives with KPIs and dash-

WIN’s purpose is to offer educational and leadership development opportunities, such as WIN board and committee opportunities and scholarship programs, to build skills that are important for success. The group provides networking opportunities for women in the collision repair industry through its annual educational conference, industry events, panels, webinars and regional events. Additionally, WIN recognizes the contributions and achievements of female industry leaders through the Most Influential Women (MIW) award. “For decades, a small group of female pioneers made significant contributions to a highly male-dominated industry,” Sullivan said. “Recognizing the critical need for an organization to support this group and attract more women to join them, WIN was born in 2006. Over a decade later, we achieved a milestone of over 500 WIN members, and we continue to grow! Members include females and

boards for each committee, and WIN holds a monthly board review to track progress. Turning to the benefits of WIN membership, Sullivan shared information about WIN scholarships, noting that six scholarship winners will be recognized at this year’s conference. She also talked about the MIW program and mentioned that four MIW honorees will receive awards this year. In 2017, WIN also began hosting regional network events in Atlanta, Chicago and Southern California due to member requests. More than 150 women participated in last year’s events as well as the two additional events held earlier this year. Additionally, WIN has increased its presence by participating in major industry events, such as NACE, SEMA, CIC and more. Sullivan believes that the industry needs WIN because “women influence the majority of the buying decisions in households so we ask,

by Chasidy Rae Sisk

“WIN is one of the best ways to expand your network and demonstrate an ability to step up to a leadership position,” — Michelle Sullivan



‘What does the face of your business look like?’ We help position your organizations for growth by encouraging gender diversity and ensuring industry sustainability. Scholarships help attract women into the industry, and membership in WIN helps retain them.” Encouraging webinar participants to get involved with WIN, Sullivan emphasized the value of engaging in WIN committees, encouraging women in their businesses to join WIN and becoming corporate sponsors. She also suggested attending regional network events and WIN’s Annual Conference. Turning her attention to the 2018 Conference on May 7–9 at the Hyatt Regency in Indianapolis, Sullivan shared details about the conference agenda. She urged attendees to attend a member orientation on Monday afternoon and explained that the following seminar with Dr. Goldstein was scheduled because members have expressed the desire to learn more about themselves and others. After the Welcome Reception, attendees will have a free evening during which they are encouraged to find new friends or connect with old friends. Tuesday will be a full day. It will begin with the WIN Scholarship Walk, which benefits the association’s scholarship programs. At 9 a.m., Dr. Louis Frankel of Corporate Coaching International will deliver the keynote presentation, “Leadership is a Women’s Art.” Additional seminars on Tuesday and Wednesday will focus on a variety of beneficial industry topics. After sharing the rest of the agenda details, Sullivan provided some tips for making the most of the conference experience. “Attend an orientation session at the start of the conference,” Sullivan said. “It’s a great way to meet people you don’t know. Sit with people you don’t know, and set a goal to meet 10 new people a day to expand your network. Stay engaged and resist the urge to use breaks to be consumed in email or texts; use that time to net-

work instead. Introduce yourself to the board members, scholarship winners and MIW honorees. Sign up for the scholarship walk and wear what makes you comfortable. Most come in business casual apparel, but the Gala is a festive event, and most people dress up. The most important thing is to have fun.” Reporting that 202 attendees were signed up as of that morning, Sullivan concluded, “Bring your business cards, be comfortable, be ready to engage with other members and have fun!” For more information on WIN and the 2018 Educational Conference agenda, visit: thewomensindustry




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How Much Would You Trust an Autonomous Vehicle? The two researchers, still early in their investigations, are using drivWould you trust a car that does the ing simulators and sensors to test the driving for you? Do you trust the physiological responses of people adaptive cruise control available in who are in simulated autonomous venewer cars? What about the hicles on road-like circumtraction control feature? stances. Eventually Feng Would you trust a car to and Kim plan to conduct brake for you in an emersimilar tests using an actual gency? autonomous vehicle. Passengers’ trust of “Human factors engithese features is based on neering is human-centered many factors, most particu- Computer scientist design,” Kim said. “Instead larly their experiences with Lu Feng said that if of forcing people to adapt to elements that can transfer a designers can’t win the design of an engineered certain amount of the driv- people’s trust, they system, we are focused on won’t sell many auing to the car. But few peoengineering systems that are tonomous cars ple have any experience adapted to the needs of the with autonomous cars, and so will human. In this case, we’re working need to see—and eventually experi- to understand what factors influence ence—how these self-driving vehi- trust in autonomous systems, the incles work, with proof that they will tersection of human and vehicle inoperate safely. It takes a lot of trust teraction.” to relinquish control and leave the To build trust in autonomous vedriving to the car. hicles, Feng and Kim said, there Two University of Virginia re- must be interaction between the syssearchers in the School of Engineer- tem and the people who are riding in ing and Applied Science have such a vehicle. The vehicle must proteamed up to begin understanding vide to the passengers indications of how people gain trust in autonomous situational awareness and “intent”— and semi-autonomous vehicles, and that the vehicle “knows,” in a sense, how to build trust factors into the de- what it is doing—and then follow sign of those vehicles. Lu Feng is a through in an orderly, rational way. computer scientist working on com- For example, the car could demonstrate in some manner—a tone, a voice warning, maybe a seat vibration— that it “sees” a bicyclist or pedestrian ahead, and therefore is moving over in the lane. But it also must not overload its passengers with too much information or unneeded communications. The vehicle must behave similarly to how a human Using a simulator, for now, UVA researchers are probing the driver would behave in the factors that lead people to feel more or less comfortable same situation. That builds with letting go of the steering wheel Credit: Dan Addison, trust. Likewise, the vehicle University of Virginia must be responsive to the puter systems for autonomous cars human rider’s actions and intents, that would benefit riders. And Inki such as when the human wants to Kim is a human factors engineer take over as the driver. That also who specializes in understanding builds trust. how humans and technologies interFeng and Kim will use sensors act. on human participants to detect brain by Fariss Samarrai, UVA Today





signals, eye movement, heart rate new technologies accept the changes and perspiration, as well as collect to technologies better than people questionnaire data to see how people who are later adopters,” Feng said. respond to different scenarios while “But as technologies emerge and become more commonly and actively driving a simulawidely used, even later tor, while being driven adopters often come to trust around in autonomous and accept the technologies mode, while actually drivas the technologies prove ing a car on the highway trustworthy. Building expeand eventually while riding rience with a system is imin an autonomous vehicle. portant to developing trust. They want to compare Inki Kim, a human We are interested in how responses in experiments as factors engineer, people shift between ac- said the cars must trust factors can be built into tively driving a car and pas- somehow signal to the design, safety being the their human pasbiggest issue—or people will sively being driven in a car, sengers that they under-trust, and just won’t and also under changing ex- are aware of situaternal circumstances, such tions, and how they buy autonomous cars.” Feng and Kim work toas when weather conditions will react to them gether in the UVA Engineerchange—from rain to ice, for example. Trust levels change over ing School’s Link Lab, a new $4.8 time as conditions change, the re- million, 17,000-square-foot facility searchers said. Data from such tests that brings together researchers from will help inform the design of au- five departments to collaborate on a tonomous systems for a wide range range of big-issue, multidisciplinary of scenarios, so the cars can respond engineering problems and chalvery similarly to how human drivers lenges. would when driving safely. We thank UVA Today for reprint “We know that early adopters of permission.

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ARA’s 2018 Hill Days and State Legislative Summit Is Most Successful Yet! Members of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) from around the United States gathered in Washington, DC on April 9 and 10 to participate in the association’s annual Hill Days and State Legislative Summit.

automakers to provide OEM parts data for recalled parts,” he said. “The Congressional feedback from the ARA member visits has been astounding, and ARA staff has already met with numerous Congressional offices to follow up on the issue. We have several more meetings scheduled for the coming weeks.”

ARA President David Gold called this year’s event “one of the most informative and productive Washington D.C. events yet.” “Recyclers from nearly two dozen states participated in over 60 Congressional appointments to ask their federal representatives for assistance in putting pressure on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to implement a 2015 federal law requiring

During the 11th Annual ARA State Legislative Summit, ARA members focused on in-depth state legislative activity that impacts the professional automotive recycling industry. As usual during this event, ARA members gathered to identify and prioritize legislative issues, share strategies and experience and enhance ARA’s grassroots advocacy. Norman Wright, Chair of ARA’s Governmental Affairs Committee,

by Chasidy Rae Sisk



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led the day’s program. It began with a roundtable discussion that included updates from more than 20 states and topics that included state association lobby days, storm water fees, environmental regulations, used tire legislation, de-titling bills, taxation and counterfeit airbags. ARA Director of State Government and Grassroots Affairs Jessica Andrews shared, “Attendees spent additional time focusing on the impact that OEM repair procedures are having and will have on the recycled parts market, relationships with environmental groups, electronic reporting and the continuing problem of illegal dismantlers. The success of the state of California’s government-backed task force on illegal dismantling was reviewed and is a great example to other states. During this same time, a delegation of Canadian recyclers visited the Canadian embassy along with ARA staff to discuss a variety of issues impacting recyclers on both sides of the border.” ARA will hold its 75th Annual Convention and Expo on November 1–3, 2018 in Orlando, FL. For more information on the association, visit

Free Auto Data Labels

Auto Data Labels has announced it will continue to supply vehicle replacement labels (VIN labels, tire, emission and under-hood labels) free of charge to collision repair training programs at schools across the United States and Canada. Offering this service recognizes the important role students in these programs play in the future of the industry, as well as the importance of bringing the vehicles students work on back to factory specifications with these labels. The students in these programs are being educated on the importance of the safety data on such labels, which often indicate federal emissions information, vehicle production date, recommended tire pressure, towing weight, paint codes, seating capacity and wheel base specifications. In some cases, the lack of availability of replacement labels, or the cost of such labels, can be a challenge for schools, giving them no choice but not to install the labels. Now Auto Data Labels is ensuring they can. Instructors can orders labels at

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Oldest Body Shops in America: Sirl’s Automotive by Gary Ledoux

From November 2017 to February 2018, Autobody News ran an ad looking for the oldest continuously operated body shops in America.

Sirl’s Automotive is documented as being the third-oldest towing company in the United States

The oldest was George V. Arth and Son in Oakland, CA, founded in 1877 and still going strong. However, we received information from a number of other long-running businesses, several of which will be featured in this column over the next few months. Sirl’s Automotive It was 1914. Ford Motor Company initiated the eight-hour work day. A worker on Ford’s assembly line made

other “side lines” of work. In one season in 1939, he built 80 to 100 trailer hitches. His fame at this type of manufacturing spread over northern Ohio. Eventually, Ralph’s son, Dale, also joined in the family business and has been the owner since the mid-1960s. While running the business, Sirl’s Automotive is currently a full mechanical and Dale was also a vocational collision repair shop, along with 24-hour towing service. Sirl’s Automotive has ranked on the Towman automotive school teacher for 500 “Most Experienced Towmen in America.” Valley Forge High School, in Parma, OH. Some of his stuLike other blacksmiths of dents are still working for Dale in the his time, he could see that body shop, mechanical and towing dechange was coming. He partment. Dale is the third-generation owner. knew automobiles would be the next wave of personal Dale’s sons, Dale Jr. and Gary, are curtransportation, and he could rently working at the business, looking see that the blacksmith trade at taking over as the fourth-generation was disappearing. He knew to own Sirl’s. Sirl’s Automotive is documented he had to turn to repairing automobiles. Michael’s son, as being the third-oldest towing comRalph, joined him in the pany in the United States. Sirl’s Automotive is currently a auto repair business. At one point, Michael de- full mechanical and collision repair cided to build trailer hitches shop, along with 24-hour towing servfor the new motorized vehi- ice. Sirl’s Automotive has ranked on Dale is the third-generation owner. Dale’s sons, Dale Jr. cles. It was not uncommon the Towman 500 “Most Experienced and Gary, are currently working at the business, looking at taking over as the fourth-generation to own Sirl’s for service garages to have Towmen in America.”

a minimum of $5 per day—good wages and hours in those times. Babe Ruth made his debut with the Boston Red Sox and WWI was under way in Europe. On August 14, 1914, Michael Sirl started Sirl Automotive at 7541 York Rd., Parma, OH. Like many “transportation businesses” at that time, Sirl’s started out as a blacksmith shop shoeing horses and mending farm equipment. Before long, “horseless carriages” started appearing on Ohio’s muddy roads. Michael became curious and bought one.

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ABPA Annual Meeting & Convention Exceeds Expectations by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On April 24–27, the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) hosted its 2018 Annual Meeting and Convention at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa in San Diego, CA. According to Edward T. Salamy, executive director of ABPA, “The event went extremely well and exceeded our

expectations. Attendance was at an alltime high and we set a record with corporate sponsorship. The annual ABPA convention is a gathering of aftermarket collision part distributors, manufacturers, insurers and other industry partners. “Our members lead busy lives running their businesses and have little time to travel to related industry events where they may or may not be able to meet. The ABPA convention is important for our members as it is Continued from Page 56

10 Simple Steps


Days to repair (keys to keys)

Keys to keys is the total amount of time the car is at the shop—from the time it is dropped off until it is picked up. “A lot of people call this cycle time, but it’s not,” said Olson. “It’s how long the car is there. A car might be there for a week before it is touched.” 9)

Cycle time or touch time

This includes the time the vehicle enters production through the day it is ready for delivery. 10) Safety

Olson asked webinar attendees how many of their technicians wear safety glasses in the shop. “You can talk about safety all you want, but you need to demonstrate it in your shop,” he said. In addition to wearing safety glasses, he 70

the perfect opportunity for them to meet with the leaders of their industry as well as make new business connections. In short, if you are a distributor or manufacturer of aftermarket collision parts, you need to be at this event. “In addition to being our best annual convention in years, the ABPA is proud to have partnered with the National Auto Body Council (NABC) in once again participating in their Recycled Rides program. This was the second time that the ABPA has done this, and once again, the event did not disappoint. A disabled Marine veteran was the recipient of this year’s vehicle, a 2016 Sentra. ABPA members such as Quality Plus Automotive in San Diego and LKQ donated parts to the cause.” Tuesday featured a Board of Directors meeting and Open Reception with a golf tournament, cocktail reception, tradeshow and reception dinner. In addition to a keynote by Steve Fodor of Customs Services & Solutions Inc. on “The Ever-Changing World of Importing into the USA,” Thursday and Friday both offered many educational seminars for attendees to choose from, presented by

said safety includes a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), training plans, safety meetings and respirators. “People have different concerns in the shop and every business runs a little differently,” said Olson. Rather than trying to focus on changing everything, he recommends picking one or two items and working with technicians to address them to be successful. “Take it one step at a time,” he said. “Everything has to go in a process. You can’t do it all at once.” To watch a replay of this webinar, visit https://attendee.gotowebinar .com/register/7978064457470349825 . All registered attendees will automatically be notified of upcoming Elite Educational Webinars held each month. For more information about Elite Body Shop Solutions and to sign up for the next monthly webinar, email

For more information about VECO Experts, LLC and the 10 steps to quality collision repair, call Mark Olson at 206-771-2111.


companies such as LKQ, NSF, Intertek, and PartsTrader. “The response from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. In addition, initial results from the attendee survey are coming in with a 35 percent response rate as of this morning. One question we ask is if they felt the ABPA meeting was a valuable experience, and all respondents have answered ‘yes.’ This is something we take pride in as we try to not only offer our attendees many educational topics, but we also incorporate a fun social atmosphere,” Salamy noted. “The event exceeded our expectations with a higher than expected attendance rate and record sponsorship. At the last minute, we had to raise meal counts with the hotel and add tables to our ballroom meeting space. This is a problem that we do not mind having.” The ABPA represents the interests of the aftermarket collision parts distributors and manufacturers, primarily in the United States and Canada. The site for the association’s Annual Meeting and Convention is chosen by the ABPA Convention Committee, which is led by association Chair Kim Hicks and ABPA President Dolores

Richardson. Richardson shared, “This being a male-dominated industry, Kim and I are humbled to have been voted by our board to serve as Chairman and President during the past year. We worked with Ed for our 2018 conference and will continue for 2019. Since his debut in this position, he has done a tremendous job increasing membership and sponsorship.” ABPA’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Convention will be held April 30–May 3, 2019, at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort in FL. Salamy added, “After we made the announcement in San Diego, the ABPA members seemed extremely pleased with the selection, and there is already interest raised from sponsors.” For more information on ABPA, visit




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Continued from Page 50

ASA Partners

ence data, automatically uploads sensor IDs and saves time, making technicians more productive. The tool can also automatically read the sensor ID and upload information to the vehicle’s ECU as seen on the scan tool. Watson provided a system demonstration on a 2008 Honda CRV EX tire pressure monitor system, showing how the sensor ID memorization procedure instructs you to turn it off and wait five minutes for the sensors to active sleep mode before the procedure can begin. Then, select Special Test and Tire Sensor Special Registration. Go to the TPMS sensor to see searching, and once found, it will transfer information to the scan tool and then advise Process Completed. Watson stressed, “Just follow exactly what the tool says.” Watson mentioned that the key fob may also be part of the TPMS and can affect how TPMS relearns, and reminded that the NHTSA has developed a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard that requires the in-

stallation of TPMS that warn the driver when a tire is significantly under-inflated, which could mean an amount of four to 10 psi. Watson concluded, “Everyone in your shop deals with TPMS, from your lead tech to the lube tech, so remember: It’s not just a nuisance for the customer; TPMS is a safety feature as well. If you’ve done anything to render any safety system inoperative, due to negligence, accident or lack of knowledge, it can open liability issues for you. TPMS is a safety system, and all vehicles sold in the U.S. since 2008 have it.” Zak then provided a demonstration of using the scan tool for power window testing. He emphasized, “Use the scan tool to ensure things are performing as designed by the vehicle manufacturer. It can help you diagnose quicker and more accurately.” The webinar concluded with Zak offering a brief summary of what will be covered during the last ASA-Bosch webinar, “Recalibrating Safety: The Road to Repairing Autonomous Vehicles,” scheduled for May 16 at 11:30 a.m. CST

WAC Takes Shape at April Meeting by Chasidy Rae Sisk

Women in Automotive and Collision (WAC) members gathered in the NHRA Suites at Gateway Motorsports on April 17 for their monthly meeting with dinner, sponsored by ABRA. WAC Vice President Jess Crump said, “The monthly meeting was held in order to give officers reports, discuss

Women in Automotive and Collision (WAC) members pose in front of the NHRA Suites at the starting line of the drag strip at Gateway Motorsports on April 17 for their monthly meeting with dinner, sponsored by ABRA

details of upcoming events and projects, and share leads for new members and sponsorship. I think we had a fantastic turnout, and attendees really en72

joyed hearing the progress we have made thus far.” WAC’s newest officer, Sponsor Coordinator Sheena Wagner, shared that she has elicited over $1,000 in donations from companies eager to support the association’s efforts. WAC President Shelly Jones added, “Another surprise that Sheena and Jess brought to the meeting was a WAC welding helmet that Sheena personally assisted in painting. This will be a great conversation starter when talking with young people about jobs in the industry.” “The meeting went great. The organization is really starting to take shape, and we are so excited to start talking to young people about the automotive industry,” Crump stated. “It definitely seems like we are gaining some more members and interest in the St. Louis area.” Sarah Young of Original One Parts, who attended as a guest, decided to join the association during the meeting. Within a day, she designed a career information sheet for WAC members to hand out at industry events. The fact sheet covers career options, training paths and potential wages. It is designed to attract young people to the


Pentagon Aims to Develop Self-Driving Vehicles for Battlefield by Mark Prigg, Daily Mail

The Pentagon claims it will beat carmakers to produce widely used self-driving vehicles. “We’re going to have self-driving vehicles in theater for the Army before we’ll have self-driving cars on the streets,” Michael Griffin, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, told the House Armed Services Committee members on April 18. “But the core technologies will be the same.” It comes amid a race between Waymo, Uber, Tesla and others to get self-driving cars on roads around the world. However, the Pentagon is targeting the battlefield for its self-driving vehicles. Griffin claimed 52 percent of casualties in combat zones can be attributed to military personnel delivering food, fuel and other logistics. “You’re in a very vulnerable position when you’re doing that kind of activity,” Griffin said. “If that can be done by an automated unmanned vehicle with a relatively

automotive industry in accordance with WAC’s mission statement. Jones noted, “I’m impressed with all of our members. They all lend their expertise to the group. Although this is a women-led group it’s not just for women. In fact, we have a few

simple AI driving algorithm where I don’t have to worry about pedestrians and road signs and all of that, why wouldn’t I do that?” The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which Griffin oversees, has been funding research into self-driving cars for years and sponsored its first competition for the vehicles in 2004. More than 3,000 Google employees have penned an open letter calling upon the internet giant’s CEO to end its controversial “Project Maven” deal. Calling the deal “business of war,” they said Google boss Sundar Pichai should “cancel this project immediately.” It was revealed in April that Google is allowing the Pentagon to use some of its artificial intelligence technologies to analyze drone footage. Google employees were reportedly outraged by the project from the beginning, but took their opposition a step further by publishing the open letter. We thank Daily Mail for reprint permission.

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Wagner and Crump presented a WAC welding helmet for the association to use during events to attract young people to talk about industry jobs

men that haven’t missed a meeting.” WAC plans to meet on the third Tuesday of each month at various locations. The next meeting will be held on May 15 at Gateway Motorsports. For more information on WAC, visit its Facebook group.

Courtesy Mitsubishi SOUTH ATTLEBORO


(508) 761-0768 Fax

Audi dealers strive to make you an Audi Genuine Parts fan.

• Audi Part Professionals are experts on collision parts, replacement components and mechanical items. • Regardless of the age of your customer's Audi, Audi dealers have access to over 200,000 part numbers and are supported by a nationwide network of distribution centers to help ensure non stocked parts are delivered the next day.

Helping you do business is our business. Order Audi Genuine Parts from these select dealers. Connecticut


New Jersey

New York

Valenti Audi

Audi Bethesda

Flemington Audi

Audi Albany

Watertown 860.274.9846 860.945.4987 Fax M-F 8am-5:30pm Sat 8am - 12pm

Bethesda 240.762.5636 301.718.1847 Fax M-F 7:30am-6pm Sat 8am - 2pm

Latham 518.783.5554 518.213.8182 M - Sat 7:30am - 6pm

Flemington 877.657-2787 908.782-1795 Fax M-F 7:30am - 5pm Sat 8am - 12pm

Maryland Audi Silver Spring Silver Spring 301.890.3015 800.288.6982 301.890.3748 Fax M-F 7:30am-5pm

Audi Hunt Valley Cockeysville 410.630.3174 410.628.6030 Fax M-F 8am-6pm Sat 8am - 3pm

New Jersey Audi Meadowlands North Bergen 201.408.2085 201.223.7842 Fax M-F 7am-6pm Sat 8am-2pm

DCH Millburn Audi Maplewood 800.553.9250 973.762.2381 Fax M-F 7:30am-6pm Sat 7:30am - 4pm

Jack Daniels Audi of Upper Saddle River Upper Saddle River 201.252.1500 x1511 M-Th 7:30am-8pm F 9am-6pm; Sat 8am-5pm

Audi Brooklyn of Bram Wholesale Parts Network 866.770.5999 718.392.6570 Fax M-F 7:30am-5:30pm

Audi Southampton

Paul Miller Audi Parsippany 800.356.4553 973.575.7793 973.575.5911 Fax M-F 8am-6pm; Sat 8am-5pm

Southampton 631.204.2565 Tue - Sat 8am - 5pm / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS



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June 2018 Northeast Edition  
June 2018 Northeast Edition