June 2022 Northeast Edition

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New Jersey to Spend $10 Million to Address Skyrocketing Car Theft by Elizabeth Puckett, Motorious

In 2021, 14,230 cars were stolen in New Jersey, and data from the first quarter of 2022 shows a 37% increase. New Jersey has budgeted $10 million in federal aid to address the out-of-control car theft problem. A big part of the plan is to equip more patrol cars with plate readers, already in use in many cities in the state. The funds are available to the state from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) for COVID recovery allotted

to New Jersey. The ARP’s State Fiscal Recovery Fund does have some strings attached and ways they can use the funds that aren’t directly related to the pandemic. “We’re going to put it to use to ensure our suburban police departments have the tools they need to keep our communities safe from crime,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “You can’t put a price tag on the feeling of security, but we know these dollars are a worthwhile investment.” “According to the data that we See Skyrocketing Car Theft, Page 11

Massachusetts Auto Body Techs Demanding Higher Pay Surround Beacon Hill by Matthew Medsger, Boston Herald

Auto body repair mechanics crashed the Massachusetts State House on May 18, joined by dozens of tow trucks circling the building, horns

AASP-MA/Facebook

blaring, to push for a pay hike on what the industry says are the lowestin-the-nation reimbursement rates. “34 years—we’ve changed almost nothing,” Tom Ricci, legislative director of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts (AASP-MA), said to a raucous crowd of auto body shop owners and workers. “This is our day to make a lot of noise—not just a little, don’t be shy, let’s go, let’s rock this place—we’ve done this for so long, since 1988,” he said. See Higher Pay, Page 16

Vol. 13 / Issue 3 / June 2022

New York Auto Insurance Regulation Change Sought by Steve Bittenbender, The Center Square

More than 20 business organizations sent a letter to New York’s state senators on May 9 urging them to repeal an auto insurance regulation in place since 1978 they say is outdated. The New York Insurance Association, the National Federation of Independent Business-New York, Associated General Contractors of New York State and The Business Council of New York State were among the groups signing the letter calling for passage of S6028, called the Auto Insurance Consumer Relief

Act.

The bill is sponsored by Senate Insurance Committee Chairman Neil Breslin, D-Albany, and is cosponsored by nine Democrats and six Republicans. It would eliminate a state regulation requiring insurance companies to take pictures of vehicles tied to comprehensive and collision policies. New York is one of five states that maintain the requirement. The regulation was issued nearly 45 years ago to fight insurance fraud. However, the letter states the former chief inspector of the PropSee Regulation Change Sought, Page 16

Ford Dealers Defying Company Orders with Insane F-150 Lightning Markups by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

Ford has made it clear over the past months that dealers should not overcharge for popular electric vehicles like the F-150 Lightning. CEO Jim Farley has spoken up against it, and Ford has written a sternly-worded letter to dealers warning them of the consequences they may face if they charge too much for the all-electric pickup truck. Ford and its CEO’s warnings appear to have fallen on some deaf ears. As mentioned by the Lightning Owners’ forum to Teslarati, a Ford dealer in California has been spotted charging around $145,000 for a 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum SuperCrew. The same dealership, DCH Ford of Thousand Oaks in Westlake Village, CA, also had a couple more Lightning options available for about $130,000. Another dealer in Napa, CA, had a 2022 F-150 Lightning Platinum listed for almost $134,000. That’s a markup of about $40,000, or about

the same amount as a base F-150 Lightning Pro. While the F-150 Lightning Platinum starts at about $91,000 and options could easily bloat the vehicle’s price, a markup that puts the all-electric pickup truck well into the $130,000- to $145,000 range is substantial. It could even, perhaps, result in some Ford dealers being punished by the company.

Ford has been clamping down on improper dealer behavior, especially with regard to its all-electric vehicles. Just recently, the Blue Oval said dealers might be fined $25,000 for selling demo units of the F-150 Lightning early. Fined dealers would also be blacklisted from the Ford Courtesy Transportation Program (FCTP).

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REGIONAL $5,000 Awarded to NORTHEAST Attendees ����� 6 Connecticut Body Shops Facing Backlog in Car Repairs ������������������������������������������������� 10 EVgo Selected as EV Charging Network Provider for Portland, ME ���������������������������� 14 Gaithersburg, MD, Auto Shop Destroyed in Fire ������������������������������������������������������������ 6 NABC Recycled Rides® Program Donates Refurbished Vehicle to Pennsylvania Mother �������������������������������������������������������� 11 New Jersey to Spend $10 Million to Address Skyrocketing Car Theft �������������������� 1 New York Auto Insurance Regulation Change Sought ���������������������������������������������� 1 New York Introduces Catalytic Converter Tagging Program to Curb Thefts ������������������ 12

Average Collision Repair-Related Length of Rental Increases 4.9 Days in Q1 ������������� 20 Branch Launches 6 New States ���������������������� 22 CCC Launches Integration with asTech ���������� 35 CCC Promotes Janik to SVP ���������������������������� 14 Collision Repair Industry Consultant Won’t Let Health Issues Stop Him ������������������������� 50 Collision Repair Industry Trailblazer Sheila Loftus Dies at 79 ����������������������������������������� 62 Consumer Skepticism Toward Autonomous Driving Features Justified ��������������������������� 58 Cox Automotive Forecast: No Relief in Sight as Slow New-Vehicle Sales Persist in April ������ 56 CREF Introduces 2022 Executive Committee �� 12 Farmers Insurance Wins NABC Award ����������� 60 Fisker PEAR to Be Produced in Foxconn’s Ohio Plant ���������������������������������������������������� 22 Ford Dealers Defying Company Orders with

COLUMNISTS Anderson - 7 Steps to Implementing Improvements Within Your Auto Body Repair Business ��������������������������������� 34 Attanasio - She Sold Her Auto Body Shop to Become an Artist ������������������������������������ 38 Yoswick - CIC Committee Looking at How Estimates End Up on Vehicle History Reports ������������������������������������������� 42

Insane F-150 Lightning Markups ������������������� 1 Glue Pulling Repair Becoming More Commonly Used in Auto Body Shops ��������� 44 Heidi Foster at Crash Champions is In It to Win It ����������������������������������������������� 52 Massachusetts Auto Body Techs Demanding Higher Pay Surround Beacon Hill ������������������� 1 New Estimates Show Traffic Fatalities Reached a 16-Year High in 2021 ������������������ 18 SCRS Offers Update on Collision Repair

NATIONAL 1Collision, Auto Techcelerators Partner ����������� 62 3M Offering Specialized Products, Training, Support to Collision Repair Shops to Help Drive Profit Efficiencies ������������������������������� 28 ASE Training Conference Set ��������������������������� 26

Industry Projects; DEG Offers Update ���������� 24 Volkswagen Bringing Back Scout Brand with Electric Truck, SUV ������������������������������ 60 WIN Education Conference Offers Collision

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

CONTENTS

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

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. ©2022 Adamantine Media LLC.

Acura of Westchester ������������������������������������ 56

Liberty Kia ������������������������������������������������������ 26

Audi Devon ���������������������������������������������������� 26

Long Automotive Group �������������������������������� 24

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 61

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������� 59

Auto Data Labels �������������������������������������������� 19

Mercedes-Benz of Atlantic City ���������������������� 29

Axalta Coating Systems ����������������������������������� 6

Mercedes-Benz of Fort Washington ��������������� 29

Biener Audi ���������������������������������������������������� 14

Mercedes-Benz of Paramus ��������������������������� 34

Biener Ford ���������������������������������������������������� 14

Mercedes-Benz of West Chester �������������������� 20

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ����������������� 46-47

Mercedes-Benz of Wilmington ����������������������� 20

Brown-Daub Kia ��������������������������������������������� 22

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers ������� 57

Cadillac of Mahwah ��������������������������������������� 43

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers ����������������������� 48

Central Avenue Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram ���� 23

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������� 36-37

Certified Automotive Parts Association ���������� 16

New Holland Ford ������������������������������������������ 52

Circle BMW ��������������������������������������������������� 44

New Holland Toyota ��������������������������������������� 58

Classifieds ������������������������������������������������������ 62

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������� 59

Colonial Automotive Group ���������������������������� 27

Northstar Kia �������������������������������������������������� 56

Courtesy Mitsubishi ��������������������������������������� 44

Nucar ������������������������������������������������������������� 39

DePaula Chevrolet-Ford ���������������������������������� 35

Open Road Acura of East Brunswick �������������� 50

Dominion Sure Seal, Ltd ��������������������������������� 13

Open Road Chevrolet �������������������������������������� 18

Eagle Abrasives ����������������������������������������������� 5

Ourisman Chevrolet ���������������������������������������� 30

Eastchester Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge ������������������ 30

Ourisman Chevrolet-VW-Mazda of Rockville ���� 7

Empire Auto Parts ������������������������������������������ 38

Ourisman Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge ��������������������� 16

Flemington Auto Group ���������������������������������� 25

Packer Norris Parts ���������������������������������������� 45

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 55

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������� 54

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������� 49

Rafferty Subaru ���������������������������������������������� 58

Grieco Toyota ������������������������������������������������� 22

Rockland Nissan �������������������������������������������� 38

Hoffman Auto Group �������������������������������������� 41

SATA Dan-Am Company �������������������������������� 15

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

Schultz Ford ��������������������������������������������������� 28

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������ 60

Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis ���������������������������� 12

Induction Innovations, Inc. ����������������������������� 11

Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet ������������������������� 12

Infiniti of Norwood ����������������������������������������� 42

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������� 59

Jaguar Land Rover Cherry Hill ������������������������ 51

Sunmight USA ���������������������������������������������� 8-9

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

Kelly Jeep-Chrysler ���������������������������������������� 10

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������� 60

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������� 53

USI of North America ������������������������������������� 64

Kia of Attleboro ���������������������������������������������� 44

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������ 63

Kia of Coatesville �������������������������������������������� 40

White Plains Volkswagen ������������������������������� 58

Kundert Volvo ������������������������������������������������� 21

Wrenchers ������������������������������������������������������� 2

Repair Industry Chance to ‘Recharge,

Launch Tech USA ������������������������������������������� 17

Yonkers Kia ����������������������������������������������������� 50

Reset & Renew’ �������������������������������������������� 4

Lexus Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������������� 59

autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 3


WIN Education Conference Offers Collision Repair Industry Chance to ‘Recharge, Reset & Renew’ by Abby Andrews

The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) held its first-ever hybrid Education Conference, May 2-4, online and in-person in Greenville, SC. The three-day slate of events included panel discussions, presentations, networking opportunities, a National Auto Body Council Recycled Rides giveaway, a walk to raise money for WIN’s scholarship fund and a gala to celebrate the winners of this year’s Most Influential Women awards.

Panelists discuss the ongoing challenges to the collision repair industry brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Panel Discussion: Industry Changes, Challenges & Opportunities in a Post-COVID World On May 3, a panel of people representing all facets of the collision repair process—insurers, rental car companies, parts and materials distributors, OEMs and auto body shop managers—talked about the pandemic-induced supply chain and staffing issues and trends that have increased cycle times, leading to frustration for everyone, down to the customers. Brenda Hewitt, Guaranteed Repair Network manager for the Western U.S. for Liberty Mutual, said the pandemic put a lot of pressure on an industry that was already feeling a lot of pressures. “Everybody was worried for several months [at the onset of the pandemic],” Hewitt said. “Fast forward to last summer, and not only do we still have jobs, but we have more than we can do. Now we’re looking at inflation. “It’s about how to work together and not point fingers at everyone in the industry,” she said. “Customers that maybe before [the pandemic] came in scared and frustrated but friendly, more and more are coming in angry and looking to blame somebody,” Hewitt

said. “We all have to empathize and understand that everybody’s in a different spot.” Angie Babin, vice president of supply chain for Caliber Collision, said there was already a shortage of technicians before COVID, but now everyone is recognizing it. “The labor shortage also increases cycle time on receiving parts and materials, unloading parts, delivering them; we’re seeing [labor shortages] across the board,” Babin said. “We need to sell to people why they need to come work in this industry.” Genevieve Dombrowski, senior vice president of human resources for LKQ Corp., said the pandemic also contributed to a marked exit of women from the labor force, as women left careers to stay at home when kids’ childcare providers and schools closed. “Two million women exited the workforce in the last two years, and they haven’t come back in droves,” Dombrowski said. “We need to be more flexible with work times and shifts. I think it will take disruption to get women back.” Turning to supply chain issues, Denise Kingstrom, BASF’s supply chain director for coatings solutions in North and South America, said while demand for collision repair materials initially declined, there have been big jumps in demand since, which the logistics side has not been prepared to handle. Kingstrom said all aspects of the chain have been affected, from raw materials to transportation to production facilities. “We have to adjust by working with the other partners in the chain, to see where you can flex to address some of those challenges,” she said, offering examples of combining shipments or using rail service instead of trucks. Future Tech: Technology & EV Repair Trends Jake Rodenroth, North American body repair program manager for Lucid, talked about how EVs are assembled, operated, owned and powered. There are a lot of compelling reasons for an OEM to go all-EV,

4 JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Rodenroth said, including manufacturing savings and scalability, but EVs present different challenges to collision repairers.

Jake Rodenroth, North American body repair program manager for Lucid

EVs use lighter materials that are riveted instead of welded, have much larger batteries with more voltage and use a lot more coolant to cool those battery packs — eight to 10 gallons in a single EV, compared to two gallons in a gas-powered car. EVs will also have an increasing amount of ADAS features and the related sensors and cameras— Rodenroth said the Lucid Air sedan has 14 cameras and 32 sensors, requiring a 15-by-30-foot area to recalibrate. EVs do not need oil changes and go twice as far between brake jobs, he said, and there is only one piece that moves—the rotor—as opposed to an internal combustion engine, which has a lot of moving internal parts. Rodenroth said 3-D printing certain parts, rather than ordering them, could become common. “Shops could get licenses to print out a bumper cover, for instance,” he said. What’s Behind the Glass—Reflections on My Leadership Journey Renee Cacchillo wrapped up the conference May 4 with a keynote speech on how her education and career path led to becoming Safelite’s first female CEO in 2021, and the challenges and opportunities both along the way and going forward. Cacchillo was announced as the CEO of Safelite, a national company

that will celebrate its 75th anniversary in June and the leading provider of auto glass for repair, replacement and recalibration, in September 2021. She officially assumed the role in December. After earning a bachelor’s degree in business, Cacchillo worked for Dillard’s Inc. and Hallmark, while taking night classes to earn her MBA, and then Accenture, Lbrands and Bob Evans. In 2011, Cacchillo started with Safelite. Over the next 11 years, she worked in a range of areas within the company, including service delivery, customer experience, marketing and technology, before being named the company’s CEO.

Renee Cacchillo, CEO of Safelite.

People kept telling me, ‘Renee, you’ve broken the glass ceiling,’” Cacchillo said. “Other people paved the way for me, but I’m paving the way for others.” Cacchillo encouraged women to get comfortable possibly being alone in a male-dominated area, but to not be surprised when other women see their success and are inspired to emulate it. To illustrate her point, Cacchillo said Safelite only had two female glass technicians nationwide before the company created a recruitment ad featuring one of them. The day after the ad started running, the company heard from 6,000 interested applicants—40% of whom were women. “Every market has female trainees in class now,” Cacchillo said. “They are still the minority but [the ad] brought their attention to the fact they could have a future at Safelite.”

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Gaithersburg, MD, Auto Shop Destroyed in Fire by Matthew Delaney, WTOP News

A fire enveloped and destroyed an auto shop in Gaithersburg, MD, on April 16, according to authorities. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer reported the fire at the Diamond Auto Clinic around 6:20 p.m. April 16. Piringer said employees were turning off the lights when they heard a pop and saw a fire shortly after. When firefighters arrived on the scene, Piringer said, they found a vehicle in one of the shop’s bays was burning. No injuries were reported, but the fire caused the shop’s roof to collapse, dealing $1.5 million in damages to the business. Some roads in the area were closed off while a team of around 85 firefighters brought the fire under control. The exact cause of the fire is still being investigated.

$5,000 Awarded to NORTHEAST Attendees Ten attendees at the NORTHEAST® 2022 Automotive Services Show walked away $500 richer, thanks to a fun and exciting contest that was a win-win for show-goers and exhibitors. The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) awarded a total of $5,000 to 10 lucky attendees—$500 each—who were randomly selected throughout the weekend to win funds toward a purchase at the association’s flagship event. “I am glad we were able to give back to the people who came out and supported the show,” said AASP/NJ President Jerry McNee. “I’m sure it was a pleasant surprise for many who came out to see all the tools, equipment and training offered and wound up being a winner. It was a nice pat on the back for them.” The winners were definitely delighted to learn they had won. First-time NORTHEAST attendee Kristin Brucker said she was just shocked when she happened to glance at her phone which

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alerted her she had won $500 NORTHEAST Dollars. Brucker attended the show with her boyfriend, Sal Petraccaro, of Bridgewater Collision, who was on the hunt for diagnostic tools and a battery tester. Upon finding out she had won, the couple shared in the excitement, and she immediately told him to “go shopping!” He purchased the items he needed from Eppy’s Tools and Equipment Warehouse. “Sal was very pleased, and I was so excited to have won. I never win anything,” Brucker said. “This was my first time at the show, and I thought it was very well put together. Sal attended in the past, and he was also very impressed with this year’s show.” “I thought it was a great idea,” said Eppy’s President Mike Alcomo. “Three of the winners made purchases at our booth, and they all had a great time with it. When you win something like that, it’s something you’ll never forget.” Victor Haberski of Son’s Collision Centers in Garwood, NJ, was another surprised NORTHEAST

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dollar winner. He said he learned about the contest after receiving the voice message notifying him that he had won. “I used my $500 to purchase a whole set of GuniWheels,” Haberski said. “My shop is high volume, and we need a lot of extra wheels. I’ve used them before, and they are exactly what I needed for my shop, so this really worked out fine.” Plans are underway for NORTHEAST 2023, scheduled for March 17-19, 2023, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ. Visit aaspnjnortheast.com for updates on next year’s event as they become available. For more information on AASP/ NJ, visit aaspnj.org. Source: AASP/NJ

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8 JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com


autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 9


Connecticut Body Shops Facing Backlog in Car Repairs by Ben Crnic, Journal Inquirer If you’ve been waiting endlessly for body repairs to be completed on your vehicle, you are not alone. A combination of backed-up vehicle part orders and a labor shortage has meant that it takes longer for body shops to repair vehicles, with some cars stuck in the shop for months while waiting for the needed parts to come in. “If you don’t have parts, you can’t finish the job,” said Sean Scalley, body shop manager at Lynch Toyota in Manchester, CT. Scalley said parts such as bumpers, doors, airbags and many electronic components are usually on backorder, and manufacturers of these parts are blaming the pandemic for the extended delays. Jeff Olender, one of the owners of Olender’s Inc. in Vernon, CT, also said they have been stuck waiting months for parts to arrive in order to finish jobs, adding one Acura was in his shop for six months because of delayed delivery of a dashboard. “I think there are supply chain

issues,” Olender said, adding any parts that have to come from overseas are expected to take at least a month to arrive. One vehicle in Olender’s shop is a 2018 GMC that suffered a frontend hit, and the only reason it is still in the shop two months later is because of a back-ordered headlight, Olender said. “The hardest part about it is trying to keep customers informed,” Olender said, adding there is only so much accurate information he can pass on about how long the wait will be and it is difficult for him to keep increasing it. Adronne Knight, who works at the Maaco Auto Body Shop in Manchester, said wait times for parts have been extended since the beginning of the pandemic and many of his distributors do not give specific reasons as to why the parts are so delayed. Because of the difficulty in getting new parts, Knight said he’s been relying more on used parts to decrease wait times for customers. However, because of the higher demand for these used parts, their cost

Knight said, adding, “people can go work at Amazon and make a similar amount.” Many of the employees he has lost have been 19-24, Knight said. In addition to the problem of young people not being interested in the field, Knight said older employees are also starting to retire. “I’m probably 50% understaffed and I’m still doing the same amount of work,” Knight said. Olender said his shop has also been struggling with a labor shortage, and said it is the main reason why repair times have been longer at Olender’s. “We can’t find qualified people,” Olender said. “The labor pool is very, very, small.” For now, many body shops will continue to take on more repair jobs, but with the added expectation that it might take longer to complete them. “We have our arms open for work,” Scalley said.

has been rising dramatically. “Everything is going up,” Knight said, adding he is paying more for used parts than he ever has. For instance, Knight said the cost of a used car door is more expensive than what he used to pay for an entire salvaged car. Olender also said he has had to rely on used or aftermarket parts in some cases to complete a job. He added though that prices in these markets are being driven up “because they know people need them.” Knight said because of these rising costs, the cost of repair jobs is going up as well. “You have to pass it on to the consumer,” he said. Scalley said in many cases, his shop looks to repair existing parts when possible to avoid the long wait for new parts. In addition to the difficulty of getting the replacement parts, Knight said he has had difficulty finding employees to help out with the repairs, which only worsens the problem. “There’s not a lot of people who want to get into body work,”

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NABC Recycled Rides® Program Donates Refurbished Vehicle to Pennsylvania Mother On May 13, a deserving Brookhaven, PA, woman experienced a life-changing event—the presentation of a vehicle to provide her independence and the ability to work and take care of her two sons—thanks to the National Auto Body Council (NABC) Recycled Rides® program, along with car donor Hertz and collision repair partner CARSTAR Fred Beans Doylestown. The presentation was held at CARSTAR Fred Beans Doylestown in Doylestown, PA. The recipient, Lisa, was selected by Family Promise of Delaware County, PA. She was presented a 2019 Chrysler Pacifica. Additional partners in the NABC Recycled Rides presentation include 1-800 Charity Cars, Fred Beans Parts, Inc. and Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. Hertz donated gas cards, a Visa gift card and a Target gift card for the recipient and her family. “I am so honored and humbled to be part of such an amazing program,” said Kristle Bollans, director, replacement accounts for Hertz

and a member of the NABC Board of Directors. “Hertz has been a member of the NABC and worked with NABC Recycled Rides for years. The giftings are so moving—these days are truly my favorite days. These donations are our opportunity to give back to our community and to our very deserving recipient in a meaningful and impactful way. Hertz is incredibly grateful to have partnered with CARSTAR Fred Beans on this gifting and work with this local community.” Lisa is a single mother of two boys, ages 12 and 3. She currently works with intellectually disabled children at CADES in Swarthmore and is a caregiver. She had been living with her father after her mother passed away and became his primary caregiver. Since then, her father needed more special care than Lisa could provide and he had to move to an assisted living facility. Because her father was no longer in the property, Lisa was forced by management to leave with her two sons. She moved from relative to relative for about three months,

Skyrocketing Car Theft

and decided entering a shelter was best for her and her boys right now. The gift of reliable transportation will help her take care of her family and find adequate housing for them. “The Fred Beans family has a legacy of giving back to the communities where we do business, and this continues our efforts to help people in need with quality, reliable transportation,” said Mike Coia, collision operations director, for Fred Beans Family of Dealerships and CARSTAR Fred Beans Collision Centers. “Our team at CARSTAR Fred Beans Doylestown was proud to work on the repairs of this vehicle for Lisa.” NABC Recycled Rides is a unique program in which businesses representing all facets of the collision repair industry team up to repair and donate vehicles to individuals and families in need of reliable transportation. Since the inception of the NABC Recycled Rides program in 2007, members of the NABC have donated nearly 3,000 vehicles valued at some $42 million. Source: NABC

have from the state police, these stolen vehicles are not always, in fact often are not isolated incidents,” said acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin. “They’re increasingly linked to other serious crimes, in particular shootings. “This is a threat to our state’s safety,” Platkin said. Additional funds will go to surveillance cameras along major roadways. The state police auto theft task force also received $125,000 in funds, with additional resources joining the force. Assemblywoman Victoria Flynn urged action before it’s “too late,” although many would say it’s well past that point. “This criminal utopia created by the administration needs to come to an end before it is too late,” Flynn said. Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger added, “Criminals confidently smile at the police and go on their merry way with their stolen property.”

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CREF Introduces 2022 Executive Committee The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) is excited to announce and introduce its newly appointed Executive Committee, which consists of seven industry professionals who are dedicated to supporting the future of the industry through engagement with collision schools and students. CREF’s 2022 Executive Committee includes Chair Steve Schmidt, State Farm; Vice Chair Kevin Burnett, Gerber Collision & Glass; Secretary Doug Irish, Fayetteville Technical Community College; Treasurer Ryan West, GEICO; Trustee-at-Large Don Mikrut, Wejo; Trustee-at-Large Brenda Hogen, Parts Trader; and Immediate Past Chair Tom Wolf, PPG Industries. “The CREF Board of Trustees encompasses a fantastic cross-section of the industry,” said Schmidt. “Each participant is eager to work toward CREF’s vision and goals, and they are open to sharing their wealth of knowledge to bolster CREF’s success.” Source: CREF

New York Introduces Catalytic Converter Tagging Program to Curb Thefts Representatives from the New York Anti Car Theft and Fraud Association (NYACT), the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) joined together with members of the law enforcement community and car dealership owners May 5 to announce a new initiative to combat the surge in catalytic converter thefts taking place statewide. A new process allows auto dealers to etch a traceable serial number onto the catalytic converter. The serial number then can be quickly linked back to the vehicle it was stolen from. Those who have questions about the etching kits should contact their local auto dealer association or by contacting NYACT at office@ nyact.org or the NYS DMV. “The sharp increase in the number of catalytic converters being stolen across the country has police and legislators searching for a way to curb the thefts,” said Nichole Soriano, NYACT chairperson and regional director of Travelers Insurance Company. “The New York Anti

Car Theft and Fraud Association is proud to partner with the NICB, DMV and NYPD, as well as local and county police departments all over the state, to spearhead this catalytic converter tagging program.”

NYACT Board of Directors member and NYPD Det. Thomas Burke provided a video interview while under a car to show how easy it is to apply a serial number easily to two catalytic converters. Catalytic converters are attached to vehicle mufflers and use precious metals to convert toxic engine exhaust to less harmful gasses. The value of those precious metals has made catalytic converters a hot commodity with a street value of

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$200 to $500. The program, Who Let The Cats Out, was started by NYPD Det. Maureen Stefenelli. According to the DMV, over the past three years, some areas of the state have seen catalytic converter thefts increase up to 200% per year, and one of the main targets has been new car dealerships. The catalytic converters are expensive to replace and the theft can also cause further damage to the vehicle. NYACT will be partnering with other organizations all over the state to distribute the identification tags and to provide training for law enforcement and car dealerships to thwart these thefts.

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Dominion Sure Seal Celebrates its

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For the past five decades, Dominion Sure Seal has been a leading manufacturer of sealants, protective coatings, and adhesives for body shops, car restoration companies, and car dealerships throughout North America. If you ever need reliable and affordable products like undercar coatings, paints, plastic repair systems, anti-corrosion materials, liquid bedliners, adhesives, tapes, and specialty chemicals for your collision repairs or restoration jobs, the brand name Dominion Sure Seal is likely all over your shop. The company’s CEO Greg Morton is proud of his family’s business and honored to have played a major role in the success story at Dominion Sure Seal. “I began working here at age 14, working part-time; sweeping floors and painting walls,” he said. “Initially, we sold directly to body shops and then in 1995, we broke into the market by working with distributors and warehouse wholesalers.

Greg Morton (right) and Managing Director Derek Morton now run the show at Dominion Sure Seal

By knowing what the collision repair industry needs and fulfilling them with new products over the years, we’ve grown here in Canada and in the United States. Now we’re in a lot of major retailers throughout Northern America and the business has doubled within the past 5-6 years.” Greg’s late father Ron started the business in 1972, one year after Greg was born. The company started with five people and now they employ 30, which includes 40 regional reps. The company’s first major victory happened in 1989, when chemists at Dominion Sure Seal unveiled a plastic repair system that quickly became a go-to product for body shops and car Then in 1995, Dominion came out with Gator Guard, an epoxy liquid bedliner that helped the company to create an entire line of epoxy-based products. Today, Dominion Sure Seal sells more that 100 different products to collision repairers, car restorers, and car-crazed individuals (aka do-it-yourselfers)

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Another big reason for Dominion’s longevity and success includes its people, Greg said. “My brother Derek is our Managing Director and everyone here feels like they’re a part of our family, which they are. We have people here who have been with us for 15-20 years and that continuity has enabled us to be a market leader.” By carefully monitoring the pulse of the collision repair industry and developing products to improve the lives of body techs, painters, and mechanics, Dominion Sure Seal is looking with confidence at the next 50 years. “People know our name, with 90 percent of our customers coming from the automotive repair industry and the rest from the DIY market,” Morton said. “We’re well-known for quality products, great prices, and customer service and it has definitely paid off. We started with two products now we carry 100 and we’re developing new ones all the time. We know the body shop business from top to bottom and that’s why we create products that will enable collision repair professionals to do a better job, while cutting cycle time and improving the bottom line.”

www.dominionsureseal.com autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 13


CCC Promotes Janik to SVP CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc. named Scott Janik senior vice president, insurance services group. Janik joined CCC in 2007 and has served as the group vice president of the insurance services group since 2012. In his new role, Janik is responsible for leading strategic growth of the market segment and aligning business priorities to meet customer needs through the technology leader’s advanced cloud-based SaaS platform, which connects 30,000 businesses across the property & casualty ecosystem. Janik succeeds Barrett Callaghan, who was elevated in 2021 to the role of executive vice president, markets and customer success, overseeing engagements across the insurance, automotive and collision repair markets. Before joining CCC, Janik worked in technology and management consulting, first with Accenture, as well as a boutique management consulting firm. Source: CCC

EVgo Selected as EV Charging Network Provider for Portland, ME EVgo Inc., the nation’s largest public fast charging network for electric vehicles (EVs) and first powered by 100% renewable electricity, on May 10 announced it was selected as the City of Portland’s partner to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure on city-owned property. Through the partnership, EVgo will install eight direct current fast chargers (DCFC) and up to 44 Level 2 chargers across Portland, ME. EVgo is the first North American EV charging network powered by 100% renewable electricity, aligning with Portland’s commitment to deliver more options for the city fleet and residents to reduce their carbon emissions. The City of Portland has committed to reducing emissions 80% by 2050 and shifting to 100% clean energy for the municipality’s needs by 2040. With roughly 30% of the carbon emissions in the City of Portland each year coming from the transportation sector, this partnership to deploy a combination of fast charging and level 2 charging around the city will be critical to

enabling drivers to go electric and be able to charge their vehicles around town. “EVgo is thrilled to be working with the City of Portland, ME, to bring EV charging solutions to city sites to help locals, visitors and the municipal fleet all make the switch to driving electric,” said Colin Murchie, senior director of business development at EVgo. “Portland has always been a place that recognizes the different ways to sail a ship, and a combination of fast charging and level 2 charging are exactly what’s needed for Portland’s teachers, city employees, residents and visitors to meet their needs as they shift to EVs.” “Portland residents need to feel confident about charging before they buy an electric vehicle,” said City Sustainability Director Troy Moon. “That’s why we’re working with EVgo to create charging hubs in neighborhoods with large numbers of multi-family buildings. Residents who don’t have access to home charging will be able to plug in their vehicle close to home and then go about their business while

it charges.” Once installed, EVgo’s DC fast chargers will offer Portland drivers access to 100+ kW chargers, capable of charging as much as 80% in 15-45 minutes. The Level 2 chargers will provide teachers and city employees with access to workplace charging during school hours. The chargers in the school parking lots will also be available for public use during hours that school is not in session. In addition, Portland drivers will gain all the benefits of EVgo’s broader industry-leading network across more than 30 states, with its proven reliability, broad geographic reach and 24/7 customer support. For more information around the locations of fast chargers within EVgo’s charging network, visit www.evgo.com. Source: EVgo

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Higher Pay The group gathered outside the State House to demand action on a pair of proposals before the lawmakers that would raise the lowestin-the-nation labor rate for auto body repairs. The bills, H.1111 and S.709, both called “An Act to establish minimum reimbursement rate to insurance claimants,” are currently being ironed out between the legislative chambers through a joint committee. Both would set the rate for repair at upwards of $78 per hour of labor, according to advocates. The current rate is just $40 per hour, which, according to the group, is the lowest in the nation and just $10 more than it was in 1988. AASP-MA Executive Director Evangelo “Lucky” Papageorg said the industry is filled with technicians that started because they thought it was a cool job, one that they learned to love. That passion, he said, does not feed their families though.

“The problem is that loving and cool don’t pay the bills. We need to be able to pay the bills,” he said. The bills have until June 30 to clear the committee, after which the legislature would have just a month before the end of the session to approve and send them to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk. Standing in the way, according to former state Sen. Guy Glodis, are insurance companies that want to keep reimbursements low. Glodis said auto body workers first approached him in 2003, saying their wages were so low they couldn’t compete to keep workers from leaving the state. He said the problem was recognized by legislative leadership, who said they would do something about it. “Folks, that was over 20 years ago—nothing has been done,” he said. “We’re here to educate the legislature about the greed and the injustice and the dishonesty of what’s going on with the insurance industry where they are purposely stagnating and suppressing wages. “It hurts business and it hurts families,” he said.

Continued from Cover

Regulation Change Sought erty and Casualty Insurance Bureau, who is considered the “father” of the regulation, said it’s no longer an effective tool. “Mandatory photo inspections are a burden to consumers and put them at risk of losing coverage if the inspection is not completed within a short timeframe,” the business groups wrote. “These inspections are no longer necessary due to transformative advances in how insurance companies identify and prevent fraudulent claims.” Still, the bill gives insurance providers the option to continue requiring the photos if they consider it necessary. A6877, a sister bill sponsored by Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, D-Clarkstown, passed in the Assembly on March 30 by a 118-30 vote. Opponents say it could cost New York jobs, including 300 at CARCO, a Long Island business that fights fraudulent insurance claims. During the vote, Assembly-

man Doug Smith, R-Holbrook, said on the Assembly floor that big insurance firms care more about acquiring new customers than the potential for fraud. “It’s not a photo-taking program. It’s a fraud-prevention program,” Smith said. “And when we prevent fraudulent claims, we’re keeping the rates lower for ratepayers.” Zebrowski countered there have been several developments to fight insurance fraud since the state enacted the regulation. “The fact of the matter is we need to update our regulations,” Zebrowski said March 30. “We need to take regulations off of folks that are costing them time and money.”

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New Estimates Show Traffic Fatalities Reached a 16-Year High in 2021 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released its early estimate of traffic fatalities for 2021— projecting an estimated 42,915 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes last year, a 10.5% increase from the 38,824 fatalities in 2020. The projection is the highest number of fatalities since 2005 and the largest annual percentage increase in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System’s history. Behind each of these numbers is a life tragically lost, and a family left behind. “We face a crisis on America’s roadways that we must address together,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “With our National Roadway Safety Strategy and the president’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are taking critical steps to help reverse this devastating trend and save lives on our roadways.” The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law places a strong emphasis on improving safety and includes the new Safe Streets and Roads for All program, which just opened its first round of applications. The program, the first of its kind, invests up to $6 billion over five years to fund local efforts to reduce roadway crashes and fatalities.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law now being implemented also advances Complete Streets policies and standards; requires updates to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which defines speeds, lane markings, traffic lights and more on most roads in the country; and sharply increases funding for the Highway Safety Improvement Program, which helps states adopt data-driven approaches to making roads safer. “This crisis on our roads is urgent and preventable,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s deputy administrator. “We will redouble our safety efforts, and we need everyone—state and local governments, safety advocates, automakers and drivers—to join us. All of our lives depend on it.” NHTSA launched the Click It or Ticket campaign, which coincides with special enforcement efforts to raise awareness about the fact that seat belts save lives, and launched a technical assistance program that will assist states in aggressively addressing a continued rise in fatalities. NHTSA released $740 million in funding for the 402 State and Community Grant Program, Section 405 National Priority Safety Program and

Section 1906 Racial Profiling Data Collection Grants. States are encouraged to use the funding to implement programs to address gaps and opportunities identified during the technical assistance effort, expand partnerships and focus on risky driving as well as safety concerns among vulnerable road users and overrepresented populations. The full-year estimate of 2021 traffic fatalities also provides a look at state-level estimates during the pandemic. As in 2020, all 10 NHTSA regions are estimated to see increases in fatalities. Forty-four states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are all projected to have had an increase in traffic deaths, as compared to 2020. Preliminary data reported by the Federal Highway Administration show vehicle miles traveled in 2021 increased by about 325 billion miles, or about 11.2%, as compared to 2020. Data estimates show the fatality rate for 2021 was 1.33 fatalities per 100 million VMT, marginally down from 1.34 fatalities in 2020. While the fatality rate continued to rise in the first quarter, it declined in the other three quarters of 2021, compared to 2020. Additionally, the traffic fatalities

in the following categories showed relatively large increases in 2021, as compared to 2020: • Fatalities in multi-vehicle crashes up 16% • Fatalities on urban roads up 16% • Fatalities among drivers 65 and older up 14% • Pedestrian fatalities up 13% • Fatalities in crashes involving at least one large truck up 13% • Daytime fatalities up 11% • Motorcyclist fatalities up 9% • Bicyclist fatalities up 5% • Fatalities in speeding-related crashes up 5% • Fatalities in police-reported, alcohol-involvement crashes up 5% To read more about the U.S. Department of Transportation’s comprehensive National Roadway Safety Strategy, which adopts the safe system approach and builds multiple layers of protection with safer roads, safer people, safer vehicles, safer speeds and better post-crash care, click here. To learn more about the Safe Streets for All program, which is currently accepting applications for Fiscal Year 2022, click here. Source: NHTSA

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Average Collision Repair-Related Length of Rental Increases 4.9 Days in Q1 The first quarter of 2022 saw average Length of Rental (LOR) for collision replacement-related rentals increase 4.9 days when compared to 2021. This nearly five-day increase continues the trend of unprecedented industry increases, including an almost four-day increase in the fourth quarter of 2021. While January is a traditional LOR peak time, along with June, historically the numbers tend to decrease in February and March. This stayed true in 2022—but the numbers this year were much higher, with several industrywide issues contributing to these extraordinary results. Overall in the U.S., Q1 2022 LOR was up to 18.2 days, an increase of 4.9 days compared to 13.3 days in Q1 2021. This includes replacement rentals for drivable and non-drivable repairs as well as total loss claims. The state of Washington recorded the highest overall LOR increase of 7.2 days (from 11.8 days to 19.0). Notably, Washington was in the bottom 10 states overall in Q1 2021. Nine other states experienced increases higher than six days, while

28 states plus the District of Columbia recorded increases of more than five days. Hawaii had the lowest increase with 1.5 days, while Nebraska and Iowa had increases of 2.8 and 2.9 days, respectively. Louisiana had the highest overall LOR of 22.3 days while seven additional states had LOR exceeding 20 days. It’s telling that, in Q1 2021, the highest LOR in any state was Louisiana at 16.4 days. One year later, only nine states and the District of Columbia have a lower LOR than Q1 2021’s highest mark. Regionally, no one was immune to these trends. The Southwest, Northwest, Southeast and Mountain states all had LORs of 19 days or more, meaning the drivers of these LOR increases are national issues with deep causal factors, including part delivery delays, shop production capacity and the impact of new technologies such as electric vehicles. With respect to parts, Greg Horn, chief innovation officer for PartsTrader, said: “We saw a record high of the median delivery days for all part types. We measure the median plus two standard deviations

to capture the complete picture of all parts needing to be replaced. “What we saw in the first quarter of this year is a median score of 15.6 days for the outliers,” Horn said. “This is double of the median delivery days, plus two standard deviations, for the outliers that we saw in Q1 2021. As Enterprise has found, no region was

immune from these delays; we saw significant increases in all regions in the U.S., with the highest increases in the upper Midwest and East Coast.” John Yoswick, editor of the weekly CRASH Network newsletter, weighed in on shop production capac-

ity. “The length of rental for the first quarter doesn’t come as much of a surprise based on what we were seeing in terms of the backlog of work at U.S. body shops at the start of the year,” Yoswick said. “Our survey of nearly 500 shops in January found that if you wanted collision work done right away, you likely would have needed to call more than 100 shops before finding one that could start work immediately. The average scheduling backlog jumped to more than a month in January, reaching an average of 4.5 weeks nationally. That is more than a week longer than the record-high Q4 2021 backlog.” According to Yoswick’s research, the Q1 2022 backlog was almost 2.5 times the length of the typical firstquarter backlog. Since 2017, his research shows the average backlog for the first quarter has been just under two weeks. In addition, a record 84% of shops in January said they were scheduling new work two weeks or more into the future, and

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more than half of all shops (52%) said they were scheduling new work more than four weeks out. “The percentage of shops that might be able to fit you in within a week? Only 3%,” noted Yoswick. “An astonishing 15% of shops are reporting a backlog of more than eight weeks.” Looking at the data by region, CRASH Network’s data showed the longest backlogs were in the Mid-Atlantic states, where the average was 5.4 weeks. The South was close to that, at 5.3 weeks, and the Midwest was reporting a 4.9-week average backlog. Only one region, the West, reported a backlog of less than three weeks. But with an average of 2.4 weeks there, customers were waiting twice as long as the typical 1.2 weeks reported in that region in prior years. Ten of the 11 regions reported the longest average backlogs since CRASH Network began reporting the statistic in 2017. While still a small factor, the impact of EVs is important to consider. Increased gasoline prices alongside increasing consumer demand have made EVs more popular. EVs are also more difficult to repair due to equipment and safety consid-

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erations. Ryan Mandell, director of claims performance for Mitchell International, offered thoughts regarding full battery electric vehicles (BEVs). “BEVs reached their highestever frequency as they accounted for 1.66% of repairable claims in Q1 2022, compared to 0.42%, 0.74% and 1.01% in the first quarter of 20192021, respectively," Mandell said. "On average, BEVs are 27.83% more costly to repair than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and require an average of 5.76 more labor hours per repair, resulting in longer keys-tokeys cycle times.” Drivable Claims Drivable LOR for replacement rentals was up 4.1 days nationally in the first quarter of 2022 (11.4 days to 15.5 days). The state of Washington had the highest overall increase of 5.6 days, while eight other states had increases greater than five days. An additional 19 states, as well as the District of Columbia, saw increases greater than four days. Oklahoma and Louisiana had the highest overall drivable LOR at 18.9 days, while Hawaii (10.9 days) and

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North Dakota (11.0) had the lowest. Hawaii also had the lowest drivable LOR increase, up 1.2 days, followed by Wyoming, Iowa and Nebraska, all with increases less than two days. Non-Drivable Claims While drivable replacement rental LOR was certainly up, the highest increases were for non-drivable replacement rentals. The first quarter of 2022 was 7.8 days higher than the previous year, at 26.7 days compared to 18.9 days in Q1 2021. Eight states had increases greater than 10 days: Washington at 12.1 days higher, South Carolina at 11.1 days higher, followed by Maryland, Oregon, New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Idaho. An additional seven states had increases greater than nine days, while another 14 states and the District of Columbia had increases of eight days or more. The lowest increase was in Massachusetts with 4.1 days higher, followed by New York at 5.1 days, Mississippi at 5.4 days and Hawaii at 5.6 days. For the first time, five states had average non-drivable LOR greater than 30 days: Louisiana, Oklahoma, West Virginia, South Carolina and Oregon.

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Nine other states were at 29 days or higher, followed by eight other states at 28 days or more. The District of Columbia came in lowest at 23.1 days, which was still 8.7 days greater than Q1 2021. “Non-drivable frequency in Q1 2022 remained elevated above 20% for the second consecutive quarter (20.22%). The previous years’ first quarter non-drive rates were 18.25%, 19.68% and 18.62% respectively from 2019-2021,” noted Mandell. Total Loss Claims The average LOR for replacement rentals associated with total losses was 18.4 days in Q1 2022, up 4.1 days from Q1 2021’s 14.3 days. While some of this rise may be attributed to the increased severities of collisions, it also could be impacted by higher total loss thresholds and carrier calculations, pushing more vehicles into the repairable category. According to Mandell, this trend is likely to continue. “As actual cash values (ACV) rise, we can expect total loss frequency to decline as more borderline losses are deemed to be more economical to repair,” Mandell said. “This has

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been the case in the U.S., which saw a 16.1% total loss frequency in Q1 2022, compared to 17.2% in Q1 of 2021. Such a scenario could impact shop capacity, especially in the face of a tight labor market, and drive keys-to-keys cycle times even higher.” The state of Washington had the highest quarter-over-quarter increase with 9.4 days, followed by a 9.1 day increase in Oregon. These two states also accounted for the highest overall total loss LOR. Two other states, Idaho and Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia increased eight days or more. Hawaii had the lowest total loss LOR increase, up 1.2 days, with only Texas and Alabama seeing an increase of 2.9 days or less. The lowest total loss LOR was in Florida—15.1 days, an increase of 3.1 days. Summary The results for the first quarter of this year are eye-opening. There are many factors affecting everyone in the collision industry, including technician staffing, ever-changing parts availabilities, new and used vehicle pricing, inflationary pressures and new claims

Branch Launches 6 New States Branch, a full-stack insurance company that pioneered instantly-bundled home and auto insurance, announced April 1 its expansion to six new states including Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia. These new additions bring Branch’s total state roster to 25 and means 49% of Americans can access Branch’s instant-pricing capability. Through Branch’s rapid growth, the company maintains a stellar customer service experience with an impressive 4.8 Trustpilot rating. Having launched in six new states since the beginning of 2022, Branch continues to attract new members with its instant-pricing capability and average annual bundled savings of $535. With the goal of national coverage halfway completed, Branch continues to pave the way for convenient and affordable insurance with the aim of being available in all 50 states before the end of 2022. Source: Branch

processes. Traditionally, the second quarter of each calendar year yields the lowest LOR, but it remains to be seen how these industrywide issues will affect this year’s results. The entire industry will play a part in ensuring all collision-related businesses are aligned, not just to offer procedural solutions, but to ensure our mutual customers receive safe and proper repairs, an excellent experience and peace of mind. Enterprise is committed to partnering with insurers, repairers and suppliers on each one of these issues. Through foundational support provided by the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, Enterprise is spearheading the Collision Engineering Program, in partnership with Ranken Technical College. The program, designed to attract and develop entry-level talent to fill essential roles within the collision repair industry, is piloting at four schools nationwide. For more information, visit www. beacollisionengineer.com. Source: Enterprise www.autobodynews.com

Fisker PEAR to Be Produced in Foxconn’s Ohio Plant Fisker Inc. confirmed it will produce its second vehicle, the Fisker PEAR, at the factory Foxconn recently bought from Lordstown Motors Corp. in Lordstown, OH. The Fisker PEAR will enter production in 2024. Both the Fisker and Foxconn teams are fully engaged and expect to build a minimum of 250,000 Fisker PEAR units a year at the plant after a ramp up period. “The PEAR will be a revolutionary electric vehicle that won’t fit into any existing segment. The exterior design will feature new lighting technology and a wraparound front windscreen inspired by a glider plane glass canopy, enhancing frontal vision,” Fisker Chairman and CEO Henrik Fisker said, adding that he plans to visit the factory with a team of engineers on May 13. “Our engineering group is working on new features and high-tech solutions for the PEAR that will change how we use and enjoy a vehicle in the

city,” Fisker said. The Fisker PEAR follows the company’s first vehicle, the Fisker Ocean, which will start production in Austria on Nov. 17.

The Fisker PEAR will have an expected base price below $29,900 before incentives. Fisker has designed and engineered the vehicle to reduce parts for rapid, simplified manufacturing. The Fisker PEAR will be built on a new proprietary architecture. This new platform will underpin two additional models that Fisker will introduce at a later date. Source: Fisker Inc.

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SCRS Offers Update on Collision Repair Industry Projects; DEG Offers Update by John Yoswick

Research into the accuracy of the blend time formula commonly used in the industry is among the projects the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has on its docket, the association reported at an open board meeting held in April in Oklahoma City. “Many of our members have challenged us that blend times sim-

Aaron Schulenburg said the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) is researching the accuracy of the blend time formula commonly used in the industry

ply aren’t realistic,” said Aaron Schulenburg, executive director

of SCRS. “We hear you. We have made a decision to invest in doing more research around that, and to bring answers in a transparent manner back to the industry. “Blending is a very challenging task, that has lots of steps and preparation, and we have long challenged that 50% [of full refinish time] formulas aren’t reflective of what’s actually necessary with the blend task.” Schulenburg said the association also is “close to a solution” in terms of offering a health insurance plan to the industry. “We’ve been talking for a long time about health care [and] are continuing to work on solutions there,” Schulenburg said. “I can’t reiterate this enough: The last thing SCRS wants to do is develop a solution that we don’t believe is going to be for the long-term, and ask the industry to consider it, to switch, to go through the process of doing all that, and end up in a place where a year from now you’re not in a better position than you were.

“That’s been the stumbling block for us in a lot of the solutions we’ve found. I think we’re really close to something, [and] as soon as we know that we can feel confident in putting our name and brand and endorsement behind it, we will.” SCRS board member Michael Bradshaw said the association also

SCRS board member Michael Bradshaw said the association also is continuing to develop weekly “Quick Tip” videos

is continuing to develop weekly “Quick Tip” videos, offering brief information and advice related to technical processes, estimating, negotiation, documentation and business practices.

“They’re great tools for your staff,” Bradshaw said. “And something we’ve seen in our facility: If there’s a friction point on an operation between third-party payers and your staff, these videos can be a really quick and easy tool to send to [the insurer] to help them comprehend what’s going on and why it needs to be done.” He said SCRS also will be creating some videos aimed at vehicle owners. “As shops, we all sometimes struggle to convey an appropriate message to the consumer as to what’s going on with the claims process or why certain things need to be done or why certain things happen in the manner that they do,” Bradshaw said. “So we’re going to shoot videos that are geared toward the consumer. The shops can then use them to educate their consumer base, and hopefully make life a little easier for them.” Also during the meeting, Danny Gredinberg, administrator for the Database Enhancement Gateway

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(DEG), said of about 19,000 inquiries the DEG has received over 15 years regarding missing or potentially inaccurate information in the industry’s estimating guides, more than half—52%—have resulted in a change by the information providers.

Danny Gredinberg said more than half of the inquiries the DEG has received have resulted in a change by one of the estimating system providers

“That’s a pretty alarming number,” Gredinberg said, but also pointed to the value the DEG offers as a free resource to the industry. Although the estimating system providers have long provided a way for anyone in the industry to submit such inquiries directly to

them, the DEG (www.DEGweb.org) was created—and continues to be funded—by a number of shop trade associations, including SCRS, as a centralized and easier way to submit and monitor what happens to such inquiries. Gredinberg said one strength of the DEG is that it is used, and considered credible, by both collision repairers and insurers. “I got an email from a DEG user, contesting a labor time on a replacement rear body panel part,” Gredinberg cited as one example. “He shared with me the email he got back from the actual adjuster. It started out with: ‘Alright, Robert, sorry for the delay, but just got word from on high [that] we’re good to go. They cleared the separate time on the end plate; that DEG form was worth its weight in gold.’” Gredinberg said DEG inquiries recently have helped lead Mitchell International to add wording to its estimating guide about destructive weld testing, and the time and costs of researching OEM repair information being not-included. Similarly, CCC Intelligent Solu-

tions and MOTOR recently updated their estimating guide to add a labor procedure related to front bumper camera and sensor aiming, and what is not-included in the refinish time for a “minor panel” when it is being refinished independently of a major panel. “Recently, I-CAR did a ‘Repairers’ Realm’ with Honda talking about laser brazed roof replacement,” Gredinberg said. “The week after that video got released, a repairer watched it, had a Honda in his shop, and noticed there was no way he could do that roof replacement for the time given. With that video, we were able to show the information provider, and within a couple days, they updated the time, and added some additional footnotes about one-time use parts and additional brackets and bolts that needed to be replaced as well.” Don’t Miss the Weekly Industry NEWS Your Shop Needs. Sign Up Free Today! www.autobodynews.com

ASE Training Conference Set The 2022 ASE Instructor Training Conference is scheduled for July 12-15 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Frisco, TX. Hosted by the ASE Education Foundation, the conference is planned for high school and college instructors from auto, truck and collision repair programs nationwide. Offering more than 20 hours of technical update training, the in-person conference will provide separate tracks for auto, medium/heavy truck and collision repair instructors. The cost for instructors from ASE-accredited programs is $550 per person while the cost for instructors from non-accredited programs is $650 each. For more information and to register, visit the ASE Education Foundation website at https://aseeducationfoundation.org/events/ase-instructor-training-conference Source: ASE

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Colonial Ford 147 Samoset St., Plymouth, MA 02360 Ph: 800-233-8109 / Fx: 508-830-1658 Hours: M-F 7:30-5; Sat 7:30-4

Colonial Ford of Marlboro 428 Maple St., Marlborough, MA 01752 Ph: 888-617-3599 / Fx: 508-460-3464 wtrottier@buycolonialfordmarlboro.com

Colonial Nissan 104 Mystic Ave. Medford, MA 02155 Ph: 781-395-3025 Fx: 781-475-5063 Hours: M-F 7:30-5 Sat 8-4

North End Mazda 747 Chase Rd. (Rte.13) Lunenburg, MA 01462 Ph: 800-322-1241 Fx: 978-582-9841 Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30 Sat 8-4

Colonial Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram 24 Coolidge St. (Rte. 62), Hudson, MA 01749 Ph: 978-568-8000 / Fx: 978-562-1213 Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4 www.buymoparpartsnow.com Colonial South Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram 42 State Rd., Dartmouth, MA 02747 Ph: 508-984-1900 / Fx: 774-328-9915 Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-3 parts@buycolonialsouthcjd.com www.buymoparparts.com

Colonial Honda of Dartmouth

225 State Rd., Dartmouth, MA 02747

Colonial Volkswagen 89 Turnpike Rd. (Rte. 9), Westborough, MA 01581 Ph: 888-322-6570 / Fx: 508-616-0445 Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 7:30-4

Colonial VW of Medford 340 Mystic Ave., Medford, MA 02155 Ph: 781-475-5208 / Fx: 781-391-3506 Hours: M-Th 7-7; F 7-5; Sat 8-4 nmedeiros@vwmedford.com

Wellesley Volkswagen 231 Linden St., Wellesley, MA 02482 Ph: 800-228-8344 / Fx: 781-237-6024 Hours: M-F 7:30-5; Sat 7:30-4 wellesleyvwparts@aol.com Contact: Dan Bettencourt / Wholesale Parts Manager

Toll Free: 888-240-2773 Parts Dir: 508-997-2919 Fx: 508-730-6578 Hours: M-Th 7-7; F 7-5:30; Sat 8-4:30 jdelcolle@buycolonialhonda.com www.hondapartswholesaledirect.com

Cityside Subaru 790 Pleasant St., Belmont, MA 02478 Ph: 617-826-5013 / Fx: 617-489-0733 Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 8-4 parts@citysidesubaru.com North End Subaru 757 Chase Rd. (Rte.13), Lunenburg, MA 01462 Ph: 888-686-4387 / Fx: 978-582-9843 Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 8-4 parts@northendsubaru.com www.northendsubaru.com

Colonial Cadillac of Woburn 201 Cambridge Rd., Woburn, MA 01801 Ph: 781-935-7009 / Fx: 781-933-7728 Hours: M, T, Th, F 7-5; W 7-8; Sat 8-4 www.buycolonialcadillac.com Colonial Chevrolet 171 Great Rd., Acton, MA 01720 Ph: 978-263-3994 / Fx: 978-263-8587 Hours: M-F 7-5; Sat 8-4 parts@colonialchevrolet.com Colonial South Chevrolet 361 State St., Dartmouth, MA 02747 Ph: 508-997-6711 / Fx: 508-979-1219 Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4 parts@colonialsouthchevrolet.com Colonial West Chevrolet 314 John Fitch Hwy., Fitchburg, MA 01420 Ph: 978-503-7480 / Fx: 978-345-1152 Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4 autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 27


3M Offering Specialized Products, Training, Support to Collision Repair Shops to Help Drive Profit Efficiencies by Stacey Phillips

Report, one of the tools 3M uses to understand driving behaviors, demonstrating driving has increased 100% in the U.S. and is returning to pre-pandemic levels. “The positive news is that driving trends are moving more toward an endemic phase, and I look forward to seeing an improving business as we go through the course of 2022,” he said.

With the pandemic halting mobility over the last two years and accidents falling sharply, the collision repair industry has been impacted worldwide. As a result, 3M has focused its efforts on offering specialized products, training and support to the collision repair industry to help it be more efficient, productive and profitable in 3M Focused on New Prodthe future, said Dave Gunucts to Help Shops derson, 3M’s president and 3M launched two new solugeneral manager of the Autions during the pandemic to tomotive Aftermarket Divi- Dave Gunderson, assist shops with their prosion (AAD). ductivity and efficiency in president and Celebrating his 34th general manager of collision repair: the 3M™ year with 3M, the indus- 3M’s Automotive Performance Spray Gun and Aftermarket Division the 3M™ Cubitron™ II Net try veteran recently shared (AAD) Abrasives. major trends in 2022 related to collision repair and the ways With the current raw materials 3M AAD businesses are focusing on shortage, paint companies, like all supporting their customers. companies, have had to raise costs. Gunderson pointed to statis- Gunderson said the industry is starttics from an Apple Mobility Trends ing to think long-term and focus on

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with shop productivity and eliminate some of the concerns. “We have been in the indus-

try for a long time and our job is to bring innovation and solutions to problems to the market,” said Gunderson. The lightweight, versatile 3M™ Performance Spray Gun was created as a cost-effective and easy-to-use product for shops. Designed to deliver a consistent and professional paint job every time, 3M’s spray gun has demonstrated positive benefits for shops with the high paint transfer efficiency on repaired parts. Since being introduced to the industry, many customers have realized an average savings of 10% to 20% in paint mix costs. In addition, the paint gun has positive benefits for the environment because fewer solvents are used through the cleaning process. “It’s a win-win-win, and we couldn’t be prouder bringing this innovative product to market,” he said. The company also introduced 3M™ Cubitron II™ Net Abrasives

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during the pandemic. Although net abrasives have been previously used in the industry, Gunderson said the 3M™ Cubitron II™ Net Abrasives use 3M’s patented precision-shaped grain material, which allows the solution to cut twice as fast and last twice as long as other net abrasives families. In addition, it captures more than 97% of the dust created when sanding in a shop. “With a shortage of technicians and competition for labor, employees want a clean, safe environment to work,” said Gunderson. “Our customers understand that dust extraction allows for a much cleaner body shop and paired with long-lasting abrasives, the productivity in sanding can also be met with fewer discs.” Supporting Body Shops Gunderson shared three distinctive ways 3M currently supports body shops: training and education, community and industry engagement, and increasing shop productivity and engagement. With training innovation facilities in more than 40 countries, Gun-

derson said helping educate the next generation of technicians is a priority to 3M. During the pandemic, 3M scaled up the virtual component of its 3M Collision Repair Academy.

and curriculum offerings for aspiring and current technicians. This includes opening an approximately 20,000-square foot training facility in St. Paul, MN. “Our employees could not be more thrilled,” said Gunderson. “Our team loves working with and advancing the collision trade, and having a brand-new facility with the right equipment and full-size classrooms will allow even more shops and technicians access to 3M™ Cubitron II™ Net Abrasives use 3M’s patented the teams of subject matter precision-shaped grain material experts at 3M.” “Anyone can go online and 3M also takes pride in its comget training on proper repair proce- munity and industry engagement dures,” said Gunderson. “That has efforts. For instance, the 3M team been very successful. Last year, we will participate in paint finish comtrained over 40,000 technicians.” petitions at SkillsUSA in June in Training is also available for Atlanta, GA. The St. Paul-based apvocational-technical schools and in- plication engineering team makes it cludes information about OEM stan- a priority to support bringing technidards and specifications. In addition, cians into the trade. 3M partners with I-CAR and OEMs Finally, similar to the medical to offer customized in-person and industry, Gunderson said collision virtual training. repairers often spend as much time An important goal for 3M in on the administration side of the 2022 is to advance their training business as on the operational side.

The third area of focus is around the support and digital tool integration for body shops. “Our goal is to simplify shops’ day-to-day administrative tasks,” he said. “A lot of materials that are used in repair shops don’t get accounted for on a repair order… some of these are critical, like structural adhesives.” To help shops account for materials, 3M introduced the 3M™ Collision Repair Materials Planner tool, known as CRiMP, about five years ago. The tool enables shops create a repair invoice to account for materials used on an order, reduce supplements and fully account for materials used during a collision repair job. “There are a number of different required materials on a repair order that shops tend to overlook when writing and submitting a repair order,” he said. Gunderson offered the example of using seam sealer on a vehicle. By using CRiMP, it allows a shop to specify how much of the tube was used during the repair and then creates an invoice attached to the repair See 3M Offering, Page 35

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

MASSACHUSETTS

NEW JERSEY

NEW YORK

Curtiss-Ryan Honda

Boch Honda

Madison Honda

Lamacchia Honda

800-523-4190 203-929-0635

833-319-6270 781-619-6791

800-648-0293 973-822-1710

315-471-7278

Shelton

Norwood

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

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5 bh-wholesale@boch.com

Lia Honda of Enfield

LIA Honda Northampton

Enfield

Northampton

800-221-3131 860-741-3401

800-369-7889 413-587-2900

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

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

Berlin City Honda

Clinton Honda

800-640-6685 207-774-6685

877-657-2787

South Portland

Annandale

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

IRA Honda Saco 207-391-7910 207-282-0900

Hillside

973-705-9100

800-883-0002 856-516-6262

Dept. Hours: M-Sat 8-5 mdasilva@hudsonhonda.com

240-864-0880

Route 22 Honda

800-842-0557 973-579-3500

866-483-6917 201-868-9500

Germantown

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

Honda of Turnersville

West New York

Criswell Honda

Vineland

800-893-3030 856-692-4449

Sussex Honda

Hudson Honda

MARYLAND

Rossi Honda

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-2 abdulc@clintonhonda.com

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

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

Dept. Hours: M-Thu 7-7; Fri 7-6; Sat 7-5; Sun 8-4 jay.madisonhonda@gmail.com

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

Turnersville

Saco

Madison

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

Newton

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

Ide Honda Rochester

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

Syracuse

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30 parts@lamacchiahonda.com

Lia Honda of Albany Albany

800-272-6741 518-482-2598

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

Lia Honda of Brewster Brewster

845-278-4177

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

Lia Honda of Williamsville Williamsville/Buffalo

877-659-2672 716-632-3800

Dept. Hours: M & W 7:30-7; Tu & Thur 7:30-6 Fri 7:30-5; Sat 8-5:30 mmiller@liacars.com

Ray Laks Honda Orchard Park

716-824-7852

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

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

ACURA MASSACHUSETTS

NEW JERSEY

NEW JERSEY

NEW JERSEY

Acura of Boston

Acura Turnersville

Elite Acura

Park Ave Acura

800-254-1169 617-254-5400

888-883-2884 856-516-6060

856-722-9600

888-690-7621 201-587-0028

Brighton

Turnersville

Maple Shade

Dept. Hours: M-Sat 7:30-6 bmartinsen@eliteacura.com

Dept. Hours: M-Thur 8-7; F 8-6; Sat 8-4 manny.aliagra@bernardiauto.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5; Sat 7:30-4:30 sbaptist@penskeautomotive.com

Acura of Peabody

Autosport Acura

Open Road Acura of East Brunswick

973-361-3117

732-238-0777 732-238-5466

Peabody

800-878-3600 978-532-9110

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

Denville

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

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

Bill Vince’s Bridgewater Acura

Open Road Acura of Wayne

908-704-0307

973-696-5151

Bridgewater

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-7; Sat 8-4 mattn@bridgewateracura.com 32 JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

East Brunswick

Wayne

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

Maywood

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

Acura of Westchester Westchester

914-834-8887

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


PENNSYLVANIA

VERMONT

Apple Honda

802 Honda

800-960-9041 717-848-2600

802-223-9700

York

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

Berlin

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

Baierl Honda Wexford

818-332-7351

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

Shenango Honda Hermitage

800-858-0849 724-981-7106

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

Sussman Honda Roslyn

800-682-2914 215-657-3301

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

NEW YORK

PENNSYLVANIA

Curry Acura

Baierl Acura

800-725-2877 914-472-7406

800-246-7457 724-935-0800

Scarsdale

Wexford

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

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

Paragon Acura

Davis Acura

718-507-3990

267-296-1000 215-943-7000

Woodside

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

Smithtown Acura

Langhorne

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

St. James

Sussman Acura

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

800-826-4078 215-884-6285

631-366-4114

Jenkintown

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-1 rendrick@sussmanauto.com autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 33


From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

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

7 Steps to Implementing Improvements Within Your Auto Body Repair Business “I have all these great ideas, but I can’t get my people at the shop to help implement them.” I don’t know if that’s something you’ve found yourself thinking or saying, but I know as a trainer, consultant and 20 Group facilitator, it’s a comment I hear from auto body shop owners frequently. The problem, often, is shop owners may be great entrepreneurs, but not always great leaders. But it’s a skill that can be learned, through practice. Following the same steps over and over again will help you become a leader who can put great ideas into practice. Here’s my seven-step system for implementing something new at your shop. 1. Choose a goal. Odds are, you have multiple ideas you want to try. Don’t get bogged down trying to do it all: Choose one or two to start; you

can come back to the others later. 2. Assign specific tasks. Let’s say you want to “5S” (clean and organize) your paint mixing room to make it more efficient. Choose the person or people who can best help

Inspire and lead change within your business using a seven-step process, Mike Anderson suggests

you achieve that, and assign them three to five specific tasks: clean the scale, wash and paint the walls, discard unneeded items, standardize where specific items are to be kept.

34 JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Don’t overwhelm them by giving them too many items on the action list. You can give them more tasks when they finish the first ones. But remember that your definition of clean and organized may differ from theirs, so either work with them the first time, or give clear, detailed instructions about your expectations. 3. Determine and gather the needed tools, equipment and materials. Are you asking them to stay late or meet you on a Saturday to work on a special project? Then absolutely don’t kill morale by waiting until then before you run to the hardware store for needed supplies. Be prepared. 4. Determine a timeline and set a deadline. Ask your team if they think the timeline you’ve set seems appropriate. An action plan in writing with the steps or tasks involved

and deadlines ensures their buy-in. 5. Check in at the midway point. Those who abdicate rather than delegate forget about an assigned task until weeks later when they notice it’s not done. At that point it’s as much your fault as theirs that it didn’t get done. One shop I work with agreed they would close out a stack of old repair orders within two weeks. The great thing about electronic calendars are the reminders we can schedule in them. I didn’t wait until two weeks went by to check in with that shop. I called one week later and said, “We’re halfway to the deadline. Are you still on task for finishing up in another week?” 6. Document accomplishments. Keeping lists of successes and “victories”—almost a “yearbook”—will give everyone involved a sense of accomplishment. Any time you’re feel-


ing discouraged, you can look back and see that you’ve worked through challenges and made improvements. Documentation might include checklists and photos as well; once the paint mixing room looks how you want it kept, post some photos that will remind employees of your expectations for how it is to be maintained. 7. To sustain a change, choose someone to audit compliance. Studies have shown a person has to do something 30 days in a row in order for it to become habit. A frequent audit at first is crucial until something becomes habit, allowing for less frequent auditing later. Part of the challenge of getting employees to help implement change is that we all tend to view change in terms of “What is it going to cost me?” or “What am I going to have to give up?” Your job as a leader is to promote your vision, to help your team see what they gain from the change, to help them view it as improvement rather than just change. That’s making a change with your team rather than to your team.

CCC Launches Integration with asTech CCC Intelligent Solutions on March 31 announced asTech®, a Repairify company and a leader in diagnostic, calibration and programming solutions, has joined the CCC® Diagnostics network. The integration makes it easier for repair facilities to capture and document scan information in CCC ONE® workfiles. This streamlined service is available now via CCC ONE. The integration does not require a physical connection between the asTech device and CCC ONE. Information is uploaded wirelessly and the scan report is automatically attached to the vehicle’s CCC ONE workfile. Activation is simple. Repair facilities using CCC ONE select their preferred diagnostic provider(s) from those available through CCC’s network and providers send scan data directly to the workfile. Source: CCC Intelligent Solutions

Continued from Page 30

3M Offering order. “This helps enhance the profitability of the shop,” he said. A second tool he discussed is Performance Analytics, currently being used in about 350 shops, which aims to help shops manage performance. “You can track shop data and determine where you are and aren’t making money and where you are losing or gaining productivity,” he explained. Owners and managers can benchmark performance against industry standards, receive recommendations on areas of improvement, and have access to two-way integration with body shop management systems and real-time tracking. Both of these standalone programs are being integrated into 3M™ RepairStack™ Performance Solutions, a digital suite of products that allows technicians to scan materials being used on the repair order to track inventory and performance

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analytics in one system. “We’ve had a very good reaction from the shops using it over the last nine months,” said Gunderson. The Connected Body Shop Digital Solution Looking ahead, Gunderson said 3M will continue to focus and offer customers not only high-value allied products but also a connected and integrated digital solution. This can be done through the 3M™ RepairStack™ Performance Solutions, which aims to simplify order planning and automate delivery from distributors, as well as offer the capability to organize and track the use of both 3M and non3M materials. This digital shop tool is currently in the beta phase and will add functionality with the technology asset acquisition of LeanTec. The goal is to increase the shops participating during the second half of 2022 and industry-wide in 2023. During challenging times, Gunderson said 3M is committed to bringing the best end-to-end innovations to market and providing training opportunities to body shops and aspiring technicians.

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ONLY MOPAR TESTS THEIR PARTS AS A COMPLETE VEHICLE SYSTEM TO PROVIDE OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE AND SAFETY. ®

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autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 37 4/19/22 10:05 AM


Day Job/Night Job

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

with Ed Attanasio

She Sold Her Auto Body Shop to Become an Artist

The Legal Q: View

In the world of collision repair, theHow did you get into the col- when a shop owner offered me a job. re are a ton of multi-talented people lision repair industry? I took it, and I absolutely loved my doing other things when they’re not position. He taught me how to be an with Gary Wickert repairing vehicles. estimator and I loved everything about it. I would bet the average customer does not realize the tech, painter or estimator working on their car is a What were the most musician, artist, actor, writer, movie satisfying and chaldirector—even the owner of a chamlenging parts of your role in pion Frisbee dog! I have enjoyed inthe industry? terviewing thesewith mega-talented inStacey Phillips dividuals since I started this column There are peopin 2008 when I wrote a story about le out there who Chris Mashburn, a body tech, and aren’t crazy about women his beloved Frisbee dog, Mindy. working in this industry. It This story is about Bianca has gotten better, but it still Rauser, who stepped away from the exists. When I could make Bianca Rauser sold her shop to step away from the crazy with Stacey Phillips world of collision repair and sold customers happy after golife of collision repair and pursue her passion for making her shop to enjoy life and pursue her art ing through the stressful art. A major tragedy in her life causituation of an accident—I sed Rauser to fast track her journey, I was working for an in- loved that part. It has also been reand part of that includes creating art surance company, and had warding getting to know and interact that has quickly become a signifi- to interact with body shops a lot. I with some of the most knowledgecant part of her retirement plan. was getting tired of the Evil Empire able people in the industry.

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Lack of education! As cars are ever-changing with legions of new technology, it is imperative to constantly train to keep up with correct procedures. I hated the fact that I had to fight with the insurance companies so that we could make safe, OE repairs. I could see that quality wasn’t always a priority and it began to become an issue. When people’s safety is involved, quality is not negotiable, in my opinion.

Q:

How did you get into creating art? Please describe your process.

A:

Art became an outlet for my anger and sorrow after my brother was murdered in a random

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act of violence. I was talking to him on the phone one day, and he told me that he was going to the store to buy bird seed. Somebody walked up to my brother and punched him and he fell and fractured his skull. He went into a coma, and three and a half weeks later, he was gone. The murderer got 18 years—seven years suspended—but he has been messing

using brushes, I opt for non-traditional methods of application such as bubble wrap, cookie cutters, funnels, plastic grocery bags, water bottles, blow torches, marbles, etc. I even used a cat toy the other day to create an interesting texture.

Q: A:

Where do you create the art?

My studio is in a climatecontrolled three-car garage that has exactly enough room for zero cars due to all of my artwork and supplies.

Q: A:

Bianca Rauser is selling her pieces both through major galleries in Arkansas and nationally

up in prison, so it looks like he will be in there for a long time. My brother was a retired doctor and I think about him every single day. I mainly create abstracts in acrylic, and will paint on any surface I find interesting. I choose colors based on my mood that day. Rarely

How long does it take to create a piece?

From start to finish, approximately three weeks. I have several art projects going on simultaneously all the time. I am always looking for new and exciting things to create, and that’s why I am doing things like tables, coaster sets, and people seem to like my clocks as well. I worked as a cake decorator for 20 years before I got into collision,

so I am comfortable using the left side of my brain. It’s so therapeutic—it is amazing. I also do commissions on occasion, usually images on large canvases. If the art is going to be hanging on a wall in a shop, I will sometimes do the image in the company’s colors to tie it in to the whole look. Have you had success selling your art through galleries, to friends and/or online?

A:

All of the above! My first sales were from me just posting some of my work on my personal Facebook. I am currently in two local galleries—Akib’art and Hidden Talent, both in Fort Smith, AR—and have good experiences at artisan markets. I have a few pieces on my Facebook page, B the Art. Every time I make a sale, it’s so satisfying and fulfilling, it’s like presenting a beautifully repaired vehicle to a customer on a Friday.

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Why did you retire from the body shop life?

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I had a talented young buyer whom I felt comfortable with taking over what I built. My decision to sell was based upon my frustration with the unethical practices of insurance companies. My original plan was 10 years, but

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then the murder of my brother altered my perspective and I decided to hand it off to some really great See Become an Artist, Page 56


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Industry Insight

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

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CIC Committee Looking at How Estimates End Up on Vehicle History Reports

Shop Showcase

The Collision Industry Conference for example, needs the VIN in order (CIC) Data Access, Privacy and Se- to obtain the needed vehicle build curity Committee in April continued data, he said. with Ed Attanasio “However, if I’m a dealer and its ongoing discussion related to auto body shop estimates resulting I’m selling parts, I only need the last eight of the VIN,” Tagliapietra in entries on vehicle history reports. One key point discussed at the said. “What’s really important is CIC held in Oklahoma City: is the VIN being too widely shared within the industry? with Ed Attanasio “The underlying piece for us is there’s no vehicle build data” included in the VIN, committee co-chair Dan Risley said. “A lot of people assume if you have a VIN number, you probably have build data, but that is not the case.” with Ed Attanasio Pete Tagliapietra of DataTouch said many Pete Tagliapietra of Datashops may be unaware of data pumps running Touch shared a slide showing his on their shop’s computer system, extracting view of which entities in the indusdata for a third party try actually need access to the VIN during the repair and claims process, the industry getting to the point of noting “the list with is not Ed that Attanasio long.” A controlling the VIN, making sure company doing vehicle diagnostics, it’s protected and information isn’t

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shared where it shouldn’t be shared.” Aaron Schulenburg of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists agreed, noting one of the shops that raised this issue nearly faced litigation from a customer who assumed the shop had shared information with a vehicle history reporting company. “He stopped that from happening, because he stopped putting the VINs into repair plans,” Schulenburg said. “He’d put it in, decode the vehicle, pull it out and not have it in there. But that’s not practical.” Sharing the VIN as part of getting parts pricing during the estimating process is one of several theories on how merely writing an estimate on a vehicle can result in an “incident” entry on a vehicle history report; the dealers getting that information could have agreements to share that data with CARFAX or

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others. Tagliapietra said another common way to capture estimate data is if there is a data pump running on a shop’s computer system, extracting data for a third party. “Data pumps have become prolific,” Tagliapietra said. “It’s gotten out of hand, from my point of view, because the data has become so valuable. Most shops probably have a data pump, or more likely multiple data pumps, that are sucking the repair line information and personally identifiable information off of every estimate they write.” At past CIC meetings, CCC Intelligent Solutions has said it does not share data with CARFAX. During April’s meeting in Oklahoma City, Jack Rozint of Mitchell International delivered a similar message. Rozint shared the relatively

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short list of companies that receive access to a VIN through his company’s system during the estimating process. He said no VIN data is shared outside of Mitchell Cloud Estimating unless the user enables third-party integrations or EMS/ BMS outputs, which a user can shut off at any time. “If you use our estimating system in a standard configuration, as most of our users use it, without enabling any of those third-party integrations, we don’t send the data anywhere,” Rozint said. “It’s been brought to my attention there may be other information providers that, in the course of writing an estimate, bounce the VIN off a number of dealerships to get pricing information, and that just writing an estimate in another system may actually share the VIN with multiple parties that you may not even be aware of. “But that does not happen with Mitchell Cloud Estimating,” Rozint said. “If just the act of writing an estimate is causing CARFAX to get the data, I’m guessing the estimate wasn’t done in Mitchell. Now

we do allow our customers to export BMS and EMS [data files] to whomever they choose. They can do that without Mitchell’s involvement. We allow our customers control of our data as they see fit for their business. So there’s things that can happen outside of Mitchell’s control, but that’s in the control of the user.” Trent Tinsley, who co-chairs the CIC committee, said the committee has been having ongoing discussions with several vehicle history reporting companies for months, inviting them to speak, and hopes to have that happen at CIC in July. “What we want to aim for is: can a shop explain to a customer, if they were asked, where their data goes,” Tinsley said. “That is what as a committee we are trying to work toward.” “It’s a huge issue for consumers, and we don’t know how to explain to them how [a vehicle history company] got that information,” New Mexico shop owner Scott Benavidez told the committee. Benavidez owns a collision repair shop and a vehicle inspection company, two separate businesses,

using the same estimating system in both. For the inspection business, his company writes a “reconstructive estimate,” showing what work had previously been done on a used vehicle based on the company’s inspection. At some point he discovered even that reconstructive estimate, with no parts ordered, would trigger a new incident report on a vehicle history report for a vehicle already repaired. Benavidez’s concern is shared widely, based on some polling at the CIC meeting. The committee in 2020 developed a set of five Golden Rules for those entities accessing and using shop estimate data; they can be viewed on the “work products” page on the CIC website, www.ciclink. com. The goal was that by getting companies to agree to abide by the rules, the industry could deter data being used without a shop’s awareness and permission. At CIC in Oklahoma City, attendees were asked if they feel those Golden Rules are being adhered to by the majority of their trading part-

ners; 68% said no. Among just collision repairers at the meeting, 88% said they did not believe they were in control of their company’s data and how it’s being shared. Schulenburg said he was surprised by that, because while he understands shops’ frustration, he thinks the data-sharing problems may be caused by a relatively few bad players. “As skeptical as I am about the exchange of data, I believe most companies are doing the right thing,” Schulenburg said. “I think most companies doing the right thing are getting a negative implication because there are some companies choosing to make data aggregation an ancillary business model to their core function. “Everybody in this industry should be concerned about that,” Schulenburg said. “It’s impacting the view of the collision repair facility, and impacting the view that collision repairers have of products [in the industry] that exchange data. We should all be really vigilant so we can trust one another with that exchange.”

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Glue Pulling Repair Becoming More Commonly Used in Auto Body Shops OK. Today, the team manufactures tabs, tools and accessories and proFor more than 30 years, collision re- vides training to dent and collision pair technicians have experimented repair technicians. with glue pulling repair (GPR) techThe company’s Level 2 GPR niques to fix vehicles. System was awarded the SEMA The tooling and techniques 2021 New Product of the Year in have improved over the years, al- Collision & Refinish. lowing an increasing number of auto During the SEMA Show, White body shops to adopt GPR in teamed up with Gene Fetty, their facilities, according to KECO’s master technician, Chris White, president of to share information about KECO Body Repair ProdGPR and demonstrate KEucts. CO’s products. His presen“Glue pull repair is tation, “Glue Pull Repair— rapidly changing how colPull to Paint, and Beyond,” lision repair work is done,” Chris White, pres- was part of the Society of ident of KECO Body said White. “It is the least Collision Repair Specialists Repair Products invasive, best-quality meth(SCRS) Repairer Driven od to repair a dent today.” Education Series and recorded for KECO has more than 50 years future viewing https://rde.scrs.com. of experience in plastics. Founded in White explained GPR is a 1963, the company was purchased non-invasive cold straightening repair by White in 2004. Two years later, it technique to pull dents with plastic doubled in size and has continued to tabs in various shapes and sizes. The expand over the years. tabs are adhered to a panel’s clear coat In 2018, KECO opened a GPR with specialized hot melt glues and facility and headquarters for body then pulled with lifting devices. repair products in Oklahoma City, “This method of damage reby Stacey Phillips

moval offers significant advantag- original finish as possible so there’s es over traditional collision repair little to no filling, priming and painttechniques because it does not re- ing at the end of the repair. In addimove e-coatings and corrosion pro- tion, no stud welding is required. tection applied to the panel by the Although GPR is similar to vehicle manufacturer,” noted White. PDR in some ways, White said “This yields a simpler, cleaner re- “GPR is not PDR.” pair that can significantly reduce the However, he said, with much amount of body fillers and/or paint more time and skill applied and to finish.” with many times the use of White is currently readditional PDR push tools, ceiving inquiries from hunthe GPR process can be a dreds of shops a month inmeans to a full PDR. terested in adding GPR to GPR is mainly used as their repair arsenal. a tool for conventional dent “Body work has been repair and enables techniFetty, KECO’s done for so long that a lot of Gene cians to avoid disturbing master technician guys think there is only one or damaging the insulation way to fix a dent,” said Derek Hein- and sensitive electronics on the rerichs, manager of City Collision II verse side of the panel. in Pittsburgh, PA. After experiencIn addition, he said, technicians ing GPR first-hand and physically experience less damage to the clear doing it, Heinrichs said they will coat and less distortion of the metcontinue using this repair method in al. This leads to less harmful dust, painting and replacement of panels. their body shop. “We’ve found over and over again that panels, particularly aluGPR is Not PDR Like paintless dent repair (PDR), minum, that needed to be replaced GPR aims to save as much of the are now repairable,” he said.

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A wide range of metals is compatible with GPR, including mild steel, high-strength steel and most aluminum. However, he encourages repairers always to check the OEM procedures. The GPR Continuum White encourages technicians to think of GPR in terms of a continuum—something that keeps changing slowly over time. “It is that process that can be used very aggressively to move a lot of metal and also a process that can be used with great finesse and detail to be able to move metal and finesse out to a finer finish,” he said. He shared a graph of a GPR continuum, which includes the types of effort related to the repair, as well as how much filler, glaze, sanding and painting are required. “Where you want to get to on the continuum is really based first and foremost on the economics of the repair,” explained White. The GPR Process Fetty then discussed the GPR process and demonstrated using it on

vehicle damage that would have typically needed the panel replaced. He stressed the importance of following KECO’s “6 Cs” process to have good strong pulls every time. The 6 Cs: 1. Clean: Always start with a clean panel for maximum adhesion. “Most of the time, all you need is 99% strength isopropyl alcohol,” he said. “Do not use paint thinner or other acetone-based products---anything that can attack the plastic.” Using a clean towel, follow up with isopropyl alcohol before using glue and tabs on the panel. The last step is to clean with 99% isopropyl alcohol, the glue’s release agent. 2. Check: This involves checking the temperature of the panel, ambient air, tabs and glue; the size of the dent; the type of metal; and where to start pulling. Fetty said temperature is probably the most overlooked part of a successful repair. “The right temperature will guarantee a strong pull,” he explained. “If the glue is too cold, it will crystalize and if it’s

too hot, it will prevent proper setup and solidification.” 3. Choose: Based on the facts already known about the type of metal, size of the dent and the end goal will help technicians choose the appropriate lifting tools, tabs, glue and knockdowns. “Most of the time, the repair is going to answer the questions for you,” he said. 4. Coating: If a technician doubts the amount of glue to use when coating the tab, Fetty recommends using extra glue. “It will only slightly affect drying time but will never negatively affect your pull,” he said. “If you are short on glue and it’s not filled edge-to-edge, you will get a bad pull.” 5. Correct: Using controlled pulling techniques to massage the dents out, Fetty advises pulling the lows and knocking down the highs. “Work slow and methodically,” he said. “Slower is faster and cleaner. Slow and steady wins the race every time.”

cess, Fetty said big dents are ultimately reduced to smaller ones. “Continue until the panel is ready for filler and the panel is restored without painting,” he said. Another consideration is lighting. “Correct lighting is very important,” said Fetty. “You can’t fix what you can’t see.” The goal, according to Fetty, is to be able to see the dead center or deepest point of the dent with the light parallel to the surface being fixed while the technician’s eyes are perpendicular. “It seems the momentum is building day by day for GPR,” said White. “We are seeing many OEMs showing interest in GPR over the last 12 months. We have literally had them tell us, ‘We don’t want to put filler in our cars anymore.’” For more information, visit https:// keco.com/ or https://www.youtube. com/c/KECOBodyRepairProducts.

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6. Continue: By repeating the pro-

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Collision Repair Industry Consultant Won’t Let Health Issues Stop Him by Ed Attanasio

What happens when your body starts to fail you, but your mind is as sharp as ever? Do you quit or do you re-invent yourself? This is a question many people in every industry—including collision repair—have to answer at some point in their careers, but it usually when approaching retirement. Chris Maimone has had to face these life-changing issues at the young age of 38 due to some serious health issues requiring more than 30 surgeries. Many people would have understandably thrown in the towel after experiencing a plethora of medical issues like the ones Maimone has encountered. But he apparently doesn’t know the word “quit,” and instead of stepping aside, he is embracing his new role as an industry consultant focusing primarily on auto body shops. Maimone comes from a body shop business family well-known throughout southern California. He earned a bachelor’s degree in busi-

ness administration from California Lutheran University, and entered the industry began by working at Marco’s Collision Centers, which has seven locations. He’s extremely proud of the fact he played an integral role in the company’s success with a mission

Chris Maimone has had health issues that might force many people to early retirement, but they only inspired him to work harder and do a better job. Now he works as a consultant for CARSTAR and is exceeding everyone’s expectations with his knowledge and experience

passion of improving the collision repair industry from the front office to the paint booth and everywhere in between. Maimone started his career in

collision repair from the bottom by washing vehicles, but was learning every facet of operating the shop since day one and progressed quickly, he said. “After a short time, they put me in charge of the San Gabriel shop, where I supervised 50 employees, produced an average daily output of $32,000, generating a 50% gross profit and earned a Customer Service Index (CSI) between 98% and 100%, while keeping all of our DRPs happy,” Maimone said. “I oversaw our production process, which required every department to achieve a successful daily output while keeping our quality standards. This required knowing every vehicle’s in-process and coordinating with each member who came in contact with the car.” The most challenging part of Maimone’s position was checking for quality during every repair, he said. “I am a perfectionist and everyone who works with me knows it,” he said. “If something was not 100%

perfect, I sent it back. To be totally transparent, there were many times I wasn’t the most well-loved person at the shop because I often send vehicles back due to quality issues. It was my task to protect the company’s name and reputation, which meant making sure each customer’s car was repaired to absolute perfection. Our goal was to affirm that the vehicle was always repaired ‘Once, Right, the First Time.’” Maimone hasn’t let his health issues get in the way of performing his job at a high level. “I used to think that to be successful it required a perfect presentation of how I appeared and carried myself,” he said. “I went from being a typical 35-year-old to a man who now uses a walker, but this did not define my success. I knew that I was still damn good at what I do, and now there was an unexpected ingredient of inspiration. When people see the diligence and commitment I give them, it inspires them to go the extra mile and commit to change despite my hurdles. Within my field, this is

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what I’ve always aimed to do.” As a consultant, Maimone loves motivating people to do amazing things, he said. “I’ve been continually drawn to my consultant role solely because I offer an approach that goes beyond the result of what other consultants may offer,” he said. “My job is to advance the mindset of the entire company from I should make changes to I want to make changes! This means we aren’t looking for a temporary fix but a permanent one. I am only successful if the entire team embraces the change, from the owner to the porter. When the company adopts it, the results will last.” In 2014, Marco’s became the first California acquisition for Service King Collision Centers. “They then chose me to be one of the first members of their Southern California market’s quality assurance team,” Maimone said. “This team started with eight locations and grew to 30 locations within two years. I was meticulous when inspecting each vehicle, like I had at Marco’s, but my most important role was coaching the teammates in embodying the same

quality standards.” Maimone was promoted to Service King’s quality assurance team lead for the entire Southern California market within two years. “Many of my days were spent on quality inspections for different locations, which involved one-toone training, group meetings, customized presentations and hosting national calls to help educate the entire team,” he said. “In addition to these, I was on the Pack Board for the Universal Technical Institute from 2016-2018. As an avid advocate for bringing more women into our industry, I also helped one of the UTI students become the first woman accepted into Service King’s technician apprentice program.” Everything changed in 2018 for Maimone. “My body started having problems, and I didn’t know why. The changes were subtle at first---tingling in the legs, numbness in my feet, etc. Then my balance began to suffer, and I had difficulty walking normally. My symptoms quickly advanced, so much so that I had to leave Service King.”

He was diagnosed with a tethered spinal cord, meaning he had excessive scar tissue wrapped around his spinal cord, essentially suffocating it. “Within two years, I had five spine surgeries and seven brain surgeries,” Maimone said. “I lost all of my feeling from the waist down, yet the amazing thing is that I’m still able to walk with the assistance of a walker. I should be wheelchair-bound, but I continually fight and push my body’s boundaries to where I know they can be. That includes fighting for my capability to get back in the field.” In December 2020, Maimone successfully returned to the workforce, albeit through a different avenue due to his spine issues. He landed a job with CARSTAR. “Coaching and making people better has always been my passion, so I decided consulting would be a perfect fit,” he said. “I was invited to be a motivational speaker at the VeriFacts Symposium within that same month. Figureheads and leaders throughout the collision repair industry were in attendance, and

they learned not only my story but also the framework needed to instill a higher-than-standard collision company.” Integrating into three locations for CARSTAR and moving through their production areas on a walker seemed like a daunting task at first. “I had just spent the last 24 months battling a condition that could have made me completely paralyzed, and now I am being entrusted again with the task of guiding companies to success,” he said. “What ended up surprising me was how my refusal to let my body stand in the way of my work ethic had prevented my walker from becoming a hindrance. “It was an amazing experience working with the corporate staff, shop management and shop teammates,” Maimone said. “I know the processes we implemented will help increase their capture rate and help them fulfill their long-term goals. Just as how I am determined to walk one day without assistance again, I too am determined to do exactly what I had done for years— make people and companies better.”

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Heidi Foster at Crash Champions is In It to Win It by Ed Attanasio

Heidi Foster has been fighting battles her entire life. She went up against the best as a Division I college softball star athlete, entered an industry where she wasn’t initially embraced and, two years ago, experienced a stroke that would have sidelined many people permanently. It’s fitting that Foster now has a leadership position as vice president of operations for the Mountain Region at a company called Crash Champions, because there’s no doubt she is truly a champion when it comes to winning at the game of life. A high school all-star in Orange County, CA, Foster received a full ride scholarship from Purdue University to play softball, where she was an MVP, team captain for two years and named to the All-Big Ten and All-Mideast Region teams. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and communications as a Boilermaker, two disciplines ideal

for working in the collision repair industry. Her career in collision repair has exposed Foster to a wide range of diverse roles in the space, all of which she’s used to learn about different aspects of the industry.

When Crash Champions Vice President of Operations for the Mountain Region Heidi Foster had a stroke in 2020 it slowed her down, but not for long

As a leader for MSOs, Foster has experience working alongside large teams of technicians and service advisors, achieving high customer ratings and earning praise

from her co-workers and industry leaders. Foster was initially introduced to the world of customer service through her mother’s employment with the Auto Club of Southern California. She was hired to work in the call center, then the claims center, and began to demonstrate some leadership skills right off the bat. “I was cross trained in multiple areas of claims, then went on to adjust claims where I found my niche,” Foster said. “I excelled quickly and found that I really enjoyed helping people while learning the body shop side of the business.” Once Foster transitioned to Sterling Collision Center in Tustin, CA, specializing in eight high-end certifications, the veteran technicians she encountered chided her about things like her inexperience and shop attire, she said. “These guys told me; you can’t come in here dressed for a board meeting,” she said. “Moreover, I wasn’t as experienced as my co-

workers; in fact, that was my first time in an actual shop. Needless to say, it was easy to feel out of place.” Today, Foster thanks those same techs who educated her on the ins and outs of shop life. “It took me about a month before asking a few technicians to help me understand repair procedures and repair times. Soon after that, I was running with the big boys. I was writing better sheets, achieving top customer service scores with major DRPs, and I really started to enjoy the body shop business,” she said. “The technicians made me better, and I will forever be grateful for the foundation of estimatics and repairs they gave me. From helping me explain estimates to insurance companies and customers, to managing production more efficiently, these are the guys who really shaped me. They were wonderful, and so instrumental to my success.” Following Sterling, Foster pivoted and co-founded Robaina Consulting, a global consultancy focused on the expansion of compa-

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nies in the automotive industry. After working two years at Robaina, Foster landed a job with a large MSO for six years, where she held five different positions, including director of national training and director of operations. Everything was progressing as planned, until life threw her a curveball in the form of a stroke. The stroke landed her in the hospital for five days, after which Foster rehabbed at home for two months. “I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t see out of one eye and I suffered terrible headaches; moreover, cognitively I was a mess,” she said. “My life had changed in an instant. I went from being a very active, social boss who was always on the move, to being a ‘patient’ confined to a bed with once-a-day walks. Finally, one of my doctors agreed to let me go back to work half-time, and eight months later I got the job at Crash Champions.” It was obviously a frightening experience and a serious life changer, Foster said. “I must have looked so scary.

My left eye didn’t open for a while because when I had the stroke, I fell and broke my nose. I couldn’t get my vision quite right and I had extreme vertigo for quite a few months. “My doctor said you will never walk the same, regular tasks will be very difficult and you’ll be on disability for the rest of your life,” she said. “I just thought, you don’t know me. No way. You’re not going to tell me how this is going to go. So, I got a piece of paper and I wrote, ‘This will not beat me. I am strong, resilient, brave, and I will be better.’ I knew in that moment that all I needed was for someone to tell me the odds are against me. I used her doubt to fuel my recovery. Thanks, doc. “In time, and through a tremendous amount of rehabilitation, determination and support, I started to feel like myself again,” Foster said. “Soon I started driving, walking better and tackling more and more assignments at work. I was back.” Although she doesn’t have feeling on her left side, Foster is still swinging for the fences, she said.

“As a single mother, I will always be a warrior for my daughter (Taylor, 17),” she said. “She is my everything, and I will never let her see me quit. You just take it one step at a time, day by day, and sometimes even hour by hour. As an athlete, you are used to performing and being the best on the field. In a life-changing event that affects your body, you have to change your mindset and just do what you can in that moment. It’s all mental. “I’ve always been a passionate leader,” Foster said. “But since having the stroke, I think I lead with more compassion and empathy now. I take time out to appreciate my team every single week. After all, the most important part of business is taking care of your people, and this includes understanding their individual needs and mindsets.” Foster is excited to be in an industry seemingly changing overnight, she said. “It’s all about electric and hybrid cars, keeping up with the ever-changing technology in vehicles, and seeing more and more vehi-

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cles that are aluminum now,” she said. “It’s going to take a certain skill level that can only be attained through the right development and training. We must stay at the forefront of tooling and education, that is the key. “Our industry’s technician workforce is thinning rapidly, and we have to address that, either through developing technicians organically—i.e., within the shop— or from hiring outside the industry, which requires even more training,” she continued. “Our team at Crash recognized this and established a department dedicated to keeping our technicians up to date with the most advanced classes, equipment and tooling.” Foster loves her role at Crash Champions. “We are creating an incredible culture here at Crash that is unmatched. I have been doing this for 19 years now, and I still wake up each day looking to challenge myself and change lives,” she said. “To this end, I am grateful for the organization that [Crash Champions founder and See Heidi Foster, Page 58


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autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 55


Continued from Page 40

Become an Artist

Cox Automotive Forecast: No Relief in Sight as Slow New-Vehicle Sales Persist in April

people, and it’s turned out to be a great decision.

When automakers report sales the first week of May, there will be little talk of spring growth. The seasonally adjusted annual rate or (SAAR) upsells is forecast by Cox Automotive to be near 14.3 million, up from last month’s 13.3 million pace. However, this monthover-month sales-pace gain is from seasonal adjustment factors, not volume increases.

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Traveling, cooking, fishing and spending quality time with friends. And of course, making art and hopefully selling art.

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had a spring bounce to remember. April 2021 was one of the best-selling months in the U.S. market since the Great Recession, as the SAAR reached a pace of 18.3 million. Optimism around vaccines, coupled with $1,400 stimulus checks, led to a demand surge. However, inventory at dealerships across the country could not be replaced at previous production

“We expect production volumes to improve in the second half of the year, but fulfilling existing orders may not allow dealer inventory to accumulate in any noticeable way.” — Charlie Chesbrough April sales volume is forecast to fall 1.7% from March, despite having the same number of selling days. After nearly a year, limited supplies of cars and trucks on dealer lots across the country continue to hamper new-vehicle sales. Year over year, sales volume is forecast to drop nearly 20%. Last year, the U.S. auto market

levels due to COVID-created supply chain issues, and supply was drawn down quickly. The market has been operating with tight inventories ever since. Cox Automotive Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough explained: “The situation on the ground has not changed significantly for months. Product availabili-

ty remains constrained, and many customers can only order their vehicles for future delivery. Improved inventory conditions will likely not happen in 2022 as many customers are now waiting for their already reserved vehicles to be built. We expect production volumes to improve in the second half of the year, but fulfilling existing orders may not allow dealer inventory to accumulate in any noticeable way.” April 2022 New-Vehicle Sales Forecast Highlights • New-vehicle sales are expected to fall nearly 20% from April 2021 and fall 1.7% from last month. • The SAAR in April 2022 is estimated to be 14.3 million, below last year’s 18.3 million level, but up from March’s 13.3 million pace. • All segments will see significant year-over-year decreases with the compact car segment dropping the most at 40.3% and the mid-size SUV/crossover segment dropping the least at 15.1%. Source: Cox Automotive

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autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 57


Consumer Skepticism Toward Autonomous Driving Features Justified In AAA’s latest survey of attitudes about automated vehicles, drivers overwhelmingly want automakers to improve the performance of existing driver support features rather than develop self-driving cars. This desire is backed by another round of AAA testing that reveals inconsistent performance remains a problem with available driving assistance systems, resulting in crashes with a car and a bicyclist. The failures occurred regardless of vehicle make and model. It is the third time AAA has studied these systems’ performance. AAA urges automakers to listen to consumers and improve what is currently available before focusing on future technology. “You can’t sell consumers on the future if they don’t trust the present,” said Greg Brannon, director of AAA’s automotive engineering. “And drivers tell us they expect their current driving assistance technology to perform safely all the time. But unfortunately, our testing demonstrates spotty performance is the norm rather than the exception.” Consumers surveyed told AAA

they are more interested in improved vehicle safety systems (77%) versus self-driving cars (18%). But new testing, the third round by AAA’s Automotive Engineering team in the last few years, found vehicles with an active driving assistance system—also known as Level 2 systems as defined by SAE—failed to consistently avoid crashes with another car or bicycle during 15 test runs. A foam car similar to a small hatchback and a bicyclist dummy was used for this testing. A head-on collision occurred during all 15 test runs for an oncoming vehicle within the travel lane. Only one test vehicle significantly reduced speed before a crash on each run. For a slow lead vehicle moving in the same direction in the lane ahead, no collisions occurred among 15 test runs. For a cyclist crossing the travel lane of the test vehicle, a collision occurred for five out of 15 test runs, or 33% of the time. For a cyclist traveling in the same direction in the lane ahead of the test vehicle, no collisions occurred among 15 test runs.

Continued from Page 54

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are widely available and often called semi-autonomous because they combine vehicle acceleration with braking and steering. Since 2016, AAA has surveyed consumers about driving assistance systems and self-driving cars to track sentiment regarding emerging vehicle technology. Key survey findings demonstrate that while consumer interest in driving assistance vehicle technology remains steady, there is more interest in familiar features that consumers perceive to be designed for their safety, such as automatic emergency braking. Meanwhile, consumer distrust of fully self-driving vehicles remains high. AAA found 85% are fearful or unsure of self-driving technology, a level that has remained steady for the past several years. When transporting their children or loved ones, 85% also said they would not be comfortable with using a self-driving vehicle. A troubling belief in commercially available self-driving cars was also revealed in the data, with 12% incorrectly thinking they could buy such a vehicle while 53% were unsure if they could. Source: AAA

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While the refinement of available active driving assistance systems improves, drivers must remain continuously engaged in the driving task. The research vehicles performed as expected during the closed-course testing for routine situations, such as approaching a slowing moving vehicle or bicyclist from behind. However, all test vehicles collided with either the simulated passenger car or the adult cyclist multiple times during “edge-case” testing, like a car approaching head-on or a bicyclist crossing directly in front of the test car. This reinforces recent AAA research calling for direct driver monitoring systems with camera-based technology to be integrated into active driving assistance systems. “While it may be encouraging that these driving systems successfully spotted slow-moving cars and bicyclists in the same lane, the failure to spot a crossing bike rider or an oncoming vehicle is alarming,” said Brannon. “A head-on crash is the deadliest kind, and these systems should be optimized for the situations where they can help the most.” Active driving assistance systems

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autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 59


Farmers Insurance Wins NABC Award The National Auto Body Council (NABC) President’s Award is designed to honor the NABC member company that supports the vision of the NABC through donation of its time and resources. For 2021, the NABC President’s Award was presented to Farmers Insurance, selected by a vote of the NABC Board members. The Farmers Insurance nomination received overwhelming support from the NABC Board based on Farmers strong commitment to the NABC. Throughout 2021, Farmers Insurance assisted with the gifting of nearly 30 NABC Recycled Rides vehicles, and provided its staff with the time and resources to act as chairman of the NABC Fundraising committee and support NABC activities. In addition to presenting Farmers with the NABC Presidents Award, the NABC will make contributions to two organizations in the recipient’s honor— one selected by NABC and one by Farmers. Source: NABC

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Volkswagen Bringing Back Scout Brand with Electric Truck, SUV by Maria Merano, Teslarati

On May 11, Volkswagen Group’s Supervisory Board confirmed the company’s plans to launch an all-electric pickup truck and rugged SUV for the U.S. market. VW plans to produce the electric pickup truck and rugged SUV under the Scout brand, which it obtained in 2021 when Traton Group—one of Volkswagen Group’s commercial vehicle subsidaries—purchased Navistar, formerly known as International Harvester. Volkswagen aims to start production on Scout’s EV products by 2026. The Scout brand will help VW break into the electric vehicle market in the U.S. “After Volkswagen’s successful turnaround in the U.S., we are now taking the opportunity to further strengthen our position in one of the most significant growth markets for EVs,” said Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG. “Electrification provides a historic opportunity to enter the highly-attractive pickup and R-SUV segment as a

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Volkswagen announced on Twitter it is bringing back the Scout brand with an all-electric truck and SUV. Credit: VW/Twitter

VW also announced a $1.7 billion commitment to boost its battery-electric vehicle lineup, R&D and manufacturing in North America. The U.S. is central to its expansion plans. Volkswagen plans to build a dedicated battery cell production factory in the U.S. “Success in the SUV & pick-

up segment is key for further profitable growth in the U.S. And now we have a unique opportunity for market entry,” said Arno Antlitz, CFO of Volkswagen Group. “The size of the full-size segment gives us the opportunity to achieve higher unit sales with a small number of models. This offers additional return opportunities.” Volkswagen will face fierce competition in the EV pickup truck and SUV market in the U.S. from legacy automakers and EV startups alike. Ford seems serious about dominating the electric pickup truck market with the Ford F-150 Lightning and other upcoming products. Rivian will be another of VW’s contenders in the EV pickup truck and SUV market. Then there is Tesla, which will start Cybertruck production next year. Tesla CEO Elon Musk believes Volkswagen has made the most progress out of all its competitors in the EV market, acknowledging the work VW put into developing electric vehicles and entering the market during his recent interview with Financial Times.

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

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autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 61


Collision Repair Industry Trailblazer Sheila Loftus Dies at 79 Sheila Loftus, an innovator who led collision repair publications and associations, passed away May 11. She was 79. An inimitable businesswoman, a beloved mother, grandmother and friend, and a voracious, enthusiastic lifelong learner, Loftus died of complications from a stroke at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, in New York City, with her family by her Sheila Loftus side. Born Oct. 18, 1942, Loftus graduated from Shaw High School and Baldwin Wallace College (now University), then began her career as a public school math and science teacher in Cleveland, OH. After a move with her family to Washington, D.C., she worked at a daycare center and did freelance photography before becoming a trailblazer in the collision repair industry as a successful, innovative and influential woman in a male-dominated field. For more than 30 years, Lof-

tus was the editor and publisher of the D.C.-based trade magazine Hammer and Dolly and the executive director of the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA). In addition, she founded the CRASH Network, a weekly publication of industry news, and co-founded the Women’s Industry Network (WIN). In 1996, she was inducted into the collision repair industry’s version of the Hall of Fame, the Hall of Eagles. Loftus’s impact was international in scope. Hammer and Dolly had subscribers around the world, and she reported on industry exhibitions, technologies and controversies in Australia, Japan, Taiwan and half a dozen other countries. But she also wrote about local events and personalities. “Body Man of the Month” and “Women at Work” features appeared in each month’s Hammer and Dolly.

While Loftus was intent on providing the men and women in the collision repair industry with information they could use to succeed— and to protect their health—she also liked to make her readers laugh. Hammer and Dolly’s “Whoopie Car” issue, in which people in the industry ranked the best cars for sex (and reminisced, in G-rated fashion, about their backseat exploits), was a big hit. So was the annual swimsuit issue. At once a parody and a tribute to Sports Illustrated’s famous nonsports issue, Hammer and Dolly’s version made a model of anyone in the industry brave enough to pose next to a car, truck, van or motorcycle in a swimsuit and a smile. After Loftus retired from the collision repair industry in 2008, she bought an apartment in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood below where her daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons lived. Known far and wide as “Grandma She-She,” she befriended (or so it seemed) half of Manhattan. Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer

1Collision, Auto Techcelerators Partner 1Collision and Auto Techcelerators, LLC have announced a partnership where Auto Techcelerators will provide consulting, software, mobile apps and training to help 1Collision affiliate locations open and operate ADAS service and calibration businesses. 1Collision affiliates will now have access to advice, training, software, mobile apps and other solutions that will help them launch and operate a profitable ADAS services and calibration business in their local markets. The agreement provides support for site identification and preparation, equipment selection, software and mobile apps that identify ADAS systems, components and required calibrations to managing their calibration businesses and documenting, invoicing and validating all aspects of the calibration process. Source: 1Collision

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PENNSYLVANIA Ciocca Volkswagen Allentown

610-791-4177 Fax: 610-289-7016 M-F 8am-5pm; Sat 8am-4pm cioccavwparts@cioccadealerships.com

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