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


Vol. 10 / Issue 7 / October 2019

Solving the Tech Shortage: Steps to Finding Qualified Employees

Collision Repair Students in NC Find Jobs at FTCC Draft Days

by Stacey Phillips

by Gary Ledoux

From coast to coast, collision repairers are talking about the talent pool shortage facing the industry and what can be done to address what some are calling an impending crisis. As vehicles are becoming more difficult to repair due to the increasing amount of technology being used, shop owners and leaders are recognizing the risks associated with not having qualified technicians on staff. During a recent Elite Body Shop Academy webinar, host Dave Luehr explored the issue in-depth with Erick

Finding a job after graduation is a concern for students; but, graduating students from Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) ColllisionU in Fayetteville, NC, have the opposite situation. Employers come looking for them. Twice each year, in March and October, the school holds “Draft Days” and invites executives from over 25 companies to visit the school for a two-day event. At the event, executives watch students perform various collision repairs and refinishing operations, interact with them and interview them. Upon the completion of the interview, company representatives may offer students a job right on the spot, or at a later date. Industry giants visiting the school include:

(l to r) Justin Stokes, the first graduate of the protype program, pictured with his trainer, Zach Serhal. Credit: Collision Career Institute

Bickett, co-founder of Fix Auto USA, founder of the Collision Industry See Tech Shortage, Page 12

Best Body Shops’ Tips: A Roadmap to Repair Planning by Stacey Phillips

You may be surprised to learn that many body shops create a “repair plan” at the end of the repair when everything has been documented

(back row) Rose Graham, Honda Windward, and James Carlos, Oka’s Auto Body. (front row) Larry Soto, Honda Windward.

and the final bill is created, according to Tim Ronak, senior services consultant at AkzoNobel. Rather than a repair plan, he said this is more like an invoice that includes all of the labor, parts and materials needed to put the vehicle back to pre-accident condition. “The objective of repair planning is to accomplish this before beginning the repair, not after,” said Ronak. “The goal is to eliminate any production delays from missed parts and labor procedures by identifying them up front.” Over the years, Ronak has worked closely with body shops to

Service King Collision Centers, Caliber Collision, Sonic Automotive, various insurance carriers and others. Since 2014, FTCC CollisionU has been training students on the finer points of collision repair. The Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology associate degree program is structured to provide students with not only technical training in collision repair and refinishing, but also industry-recognized, specialized certifications including nine professional certifications from the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) and PPG Certified refinishers. The degree program is also recognized as a Honda PACT Program provider.

Students can achieve the following ISee NC Draft Days, Page 14

ADAS Calibrations Latest Challenge Facing Collision Repairers by John Yoswick

A presentation at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC), held in Indianapolis, highlighted some of the complexities the collision repair industry is facing in both “static”

See Repair Planning, Page 30

Jack Rozint of Mitchell International said the test drive requirements for some system calibrations has led shops in some urban areas to do them at dawn when there’s less traffic congestion. Credit: John Yoswick

and “dynamic” calibrations of some advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Jack Rozint of Mitchell International and chairman of CIC’s “Emerging Technologies Committee,” said dynamic calibrations can require test driving the vehicle while connected to either an OEM scan tool or a specialized aftermarket scan tool. “Basically, only [an OEM tool or] the very best of the aftermarket scan tools are capable of doing these routines,” Rozint said. The calibrations may require that the vehicle maintains a certain speed for a set period. Road requirements can include a clear sideline and center line on a straight road in the daylight. To meet these requirements, Rozint said, some shops in urban areas are conducting dynamic See ADAS Calibrations, Page 32



Change Service Requested

P.O. BOX 1516, CARLSBAD, CA 92018




Autobody News to Exhibit at SEMA 2019



AASP/NJ Creates Legal Defense Fund

1Collision Adds Health & Benefits Program . . . 33

AASP/NJ Delivers First Installment in Estimating Series . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 AASP/NJ Panel Discussion to Address ADAS Growth in Industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 After 29 Years of Service, Body By Simmont in MD Closes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Chester County, PA, Experiencing Technician Shortage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Del Tech Automotive Center in Georgetown, DE, Breaks Ground . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Kirn’s Body Shop in NY Closes Door on

AAPEX 2019 ADAS Forum to Prepare Repair

Hall, in the Collision Repair & Refinish section. Stop by and visit our booth to let us know what’s going on in your area and what we can do to focus attention on issues important to your shop. That’s our job but we need your input to do it.

Shops for Evolving Technology . . . . . . . . . . 36 ADAS Calibrations Latest Challenge Facing Collision Repairers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Associations Endorse OEM Procedures as Standard of Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Autobody News to Exhibit at SEMA 2019. . . . . . 3 Best Body Shops’ Tips: A Roadmap to Repair Planning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 California’s $27.6M Fine Against Mercury Insurance Remains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 CARSTAR American Collision Experts in


to Aid Shops Battling Litigation . . . . . . . . . . 14

Autobody News will again be participating in the 2019 SEMA Show. The SEMA Show takes place Nov. 5–8, 2019, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, located at 3150 Paradise Road. The Autobody News booth will be #10749 in North Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk, David Luehr, Stacey Phillips, Victoria Antonelli, Gary Ledoux Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Bill Doyle, Norman Morano, Kelly Hall (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bill Pierce Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Alexis Wilson Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Editorial/Sales Assistant: 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. ©2019 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 / (760) 603-3229 Fax editor@autobodynews.comx

Accuvision-3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Long Automotive Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Acura of Westchester . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Malco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

AkzoNobel Coatings, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Martin Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists, LLC. . . . . . . . 28

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 75

60-Year Tradition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Michigan Hosts Grand Re-Opening . . . . . . . 74

NABC Hosts NJ Veterans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

CARSTAR to Exhibit at 2019 SEMA Show . . . . 24

NH Gov. Chris Sununu Vetoes Repair

CIF Launches “Campaign of Caring” . . . . . . . . 14

American Innovative Manufacturing-AIM . . . 13

McGovern Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram . . . . . 32

Collision Repair Students in NC Find

Audi Queens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Mercedes-Benz of Atlantic City. . . . . . . . . . . 57

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . 71

Mercedes-Benz of Fort Washington . . . . . . . 57

AutoNation Collision Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Mercedes-Benz of Paramus . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Bical Auto Mall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Mercedes-Benz of West Chester . . . . . . . . . 57

Reimbursement Bill. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Northeast Association October 2019 Events . . 16

Jobs at FTCC Draft Days . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Open Letter on NH Veto of “Failing to Pay” Bill. . 48

CREF Partners With MCRA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22


Doan Group Renews Commitment to CIECA . . 75

Blowtherm USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Mercedes-Benz of Wilmington . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Ford Fuel Economy Lawsuit Says MPG

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 62-63

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 69

Cadillac of Mahwah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . 64

Central Avenue Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram . 27

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . 44-45

Certified Automotive Parts Association . . . . . 26

New Holland Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . 38

Cherry Hill Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram . . . . . 12

New Holland Ford. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Acquires Property in FL . . . . . . . . . 60

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

New Holland Toyota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

MSO Symposium Announces Darrell Amberson

Colonial Automotive Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Nielsen Ford. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Courtesy Mitsubishi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealer . . . . . 76

Criswell Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram . . . . . . . 22

Northstar Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Dent Fix Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Nucar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

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

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

Dominion Sure Seal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

ProLine Tool & Supply, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Dynabrade, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Rapid Tac, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Eckler’s Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

SATA Dan-Am Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11, 29

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Schultz Ford. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Empire Auto Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

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

Equalizer Industries, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes . . . . . . 9

FAST Shelter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

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

Spanesi Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Fred Beans Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . 70

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

Tasca Automotive Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

GYS Welding USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 75

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 40-41

USI of North America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 74

VIP Honda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Infiniti of Norwood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . 77

Island Clean Air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Wedge Clamp Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 73

Westbury Jeep-Chrysler-Dodge-Ram-SRT . . 17

Kia of Attleboro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

White Plains Volkswagen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Kundert Volvo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Yonkers Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

and Expo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Shop Owner Invents MyShop Traffic Software for All the Right Reasons . . . . . . . . 8 Somerset-Berkley, MA, Student’s Automotive Design Lands Him a Scholarship . . . . . . . . . 22 Unity Repair Shop in PA Destroyed by Fire. . . . 18

Ratings False . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 GM Vacuum Pump Recall Issued for 3.4 Million Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

as Event Moderator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 COLUMNISTS Anderson - What’s the Cost of a Comeback? . . 38 Antonelli - Cheerleader, Gymnastics Coach, Collision Repair Student All in One. . . . . . . . 72 Attanasio - Pasta, Pizza and La Pigna— a Body Shop Vacation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Phillips - How to Leverage the Certified Attanasio - Yelp Experts Yelp Back About Billion Dollar Bully . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Chess - Kool Tools: Pre-SEMA 2019 . . . . . . . . 56 Ledoux - Shop Profile – Diversified Body and Paint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Ledoux - The 1980s – Keeping up With Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Sisk - 180BIZ Webinar Focuses on Making Change Stick in Collision Repair Shops . . . . 68 Sisk - Protect Your Shop From the Threat of Ransomware. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

SCRS Announces 2019 Showcase Lineup . . . . 76 Solving the Tech Shortage: Steps to Finding Qualified Employees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Tesla Semi is Exceeding Range Estimates, Notes CHP in Recent Sighting . . . . . . . . . . . 78 U.S. Senator Jerry Moran to Keynote Auto Care Legislation Summit . . . . . . . . . . . 74 University Survey Says Most Americans Would Rather Drive Themselves . . . . . . . . . . 4 UpdatePromise in Chino, CA, Raises Minimum Wage to $20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 UPS Has Been Secretly Delivering Mail in Self-Driving Trucks in AZ Since May, 2019 . . . 4 WACTAL Meets With WI Insurance Commissioner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 WIN Holds “Backpack Drive” During Local Networking Event in Denver . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Launch Tech USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 / OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


University Survey Says Most Americans Would Rather Drive Themselves Than Have an Autonomous Vehicle Drive, Attitudes Reflect Perceived Cost and Time by University of Washington Media

Many Americans use a ride-hailing service—like Uber or Lyft—to get to and from work. It provides the privacy of riding in a personal car and the convenience of catching up on emails or social media during traffic jams. In the future, self-driving vehicles could provide the same service, except without a human driver. But would consumers be willing to ride in a driverless car? Researchers at the University of Washington studied how Americans’ perceived cost of commute time changes depending on who’s driving. Through a survey, the team found that people considered a ride-hailing service at least 13% “less expensive,” in terms of time, compared to driving themselves. If the researchers told people the ride-hailing service was driverless, however, then the cost of travel time increased to 15% more than driving a personal car, suggesting that at least for now, people would rather drive themselves than have an autonomous vehicle drive them. The team published its results Aug. 6 in the journal Transportation. “The idea here is that ‘time is money,’ so the overall cost of driving includes both the direct financial costs and the monetary equivalent of time spent traveling,” said senior author Don MacKenzie, a UW associate professor of civil and environmental engineering who also leads the leads the UW’s Sustainable Transportation Lab. “The average person in our sample

would find riding in a driverless car to be more burdensome than driving themselves. This highlights the risks of making forecasts based on how people say they would respond to driverless cars today.” The team set up a survey that asked people across the continental U.S. to select between a personal car or a ride-hailing service for a 15-mile commute trip. Half the 502 respondents were told that the ride-hailing service was driverless. The researchers converted the responses to a score of how much respondents deemed that trip would cost per hour. “If someone values their trip time at $15 per hour, that means they dislike an hour spent traveling as much as they dislike giving up $15,” said co-author Andisheh Ranjbari, a research engineer at the UW’s Supply Chain Transportation & Logistics Center. “So a lower number means that the time spent traveling for that trip is less burdensome.” On average, respondents preferred a ride-hailing service over driving themselves: Ride-hailing services scored at $21 an hour and driving scored $25 an hour. In addition, if the researchers reminded respondents they could multitask during a ridehailing service ride, their perceived cost of travel time decreased even more to $13 per hour. Technically a ride-hailing service should be equally as convenient regardless of whether a human or an autonomous car is driving, but re-

spondents disagreed. Driverless ridehailing services scored at $28 an hour. These results make sense, according to the team. Driverless cars aren’t commercially available yet, so people are not familiar with them or may be leery of the technology. “We believe that our respondents are telling us that if they were riding in an automated vehicle today, they would be sufficiently stressed out by the experience that it would be worse than driving themselves,” MacKenzie said. “This is a reminder that automated vehicles will need to offer benefits to consumers before people will adopt them. To a first approximation, a ride-hailing service with driverless cars would need to offer services at a price at least $7 per hour less than human-driven cars, to make the driverless service more attractive.”

Abstract from the Research It is widely believed that vehicle automation will change how travelers perceive the value of travel time (VoTT), but the magnitude of this effect is still unknown. This study investigates how highly automated vehicles (AVs) may affect VoTT, using an existing mode—ridehailing services (RHS)—as an analogy for AVs. Both AVs and RHS relieve travelers from the effort of driving and allow them to participate in other activities while traveling. In a stated choice experiment, respondents chose between driving a personal vehicle or taking an RHS, with each mode characterized

by a cost and travel time. Analysis results using a mixed logit model indicated that the VoTT was 13% lower when being driven in an RHS than when driving a personal car. We also told half the respondents (randomly selected) that the RHS was driverless; and for half (also randomly selected) we explicitly mentioned the ability to multitask while traveling in an RHS. Mentioning multitasking explicitly led to a much lower VoTT, approximately half that of driving oneself. However, the VoTT in a driverless RHS was 15% higher than when driving a personal car, which may reflect a lack of familiarity and comfort with driverless technology at present. These results suggest sizable reductions in VoTT for travel in future AVs, and point to the need for caution in making forecasts based on consumers’ current perceptions of AV technology. This paper is an extension of a conference paper with the same title presented at the 98th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, DC, USA in January 2019.

Author contribution Study conception and design: D. MacKenzie, A. Ranjbari, J. Gao; Data collection: J. Gao; Analysis and interpretation of results: J. Gao, A. Ranjbari, D. MacKenzie; Draft manuscript preparation: J. Gao, A. Ranjbari. All authors reviewed the results and approved the final version of the manuscript.

UPS Has Been Secretly Delivering Mail in Self-Driving Trucks in AZ Since May, 2019 by Chris Young, Interesting Engineering

UPS has been delivering a new kind of automated mail—and it’s not via email. The parcel delivery company has revealed a collaboration with TuSimple. In a statement, they said that, since May, the autonomous truck company has been carrying UPS cargo on a 115-mile route between Phoenix and Tucson, AZ. The Future of Mail Delivery? This Thursday, Aug. 15, UPS Ventures announced that it has taken a 4

minority stake in TuSimple, the selfdriving truck technology company. In the statement, UPS said: “Throughout the ongoing tests, UPS has been providing truckloads of goods for TuSimple to carry on a North American Freight Forwarding route between Phoenix and Tucson, AZ. “The company initiated self-driving service in May 2019, with a driver and engineer in the vehicle.” UPS and TuSimple have both been monitoring safety data and transport times, the statement says.


Cutting Shipping Costs As per Gizmodo, TuSpimple claims it can cut average costs of shipping in a tractor-trailer by up to 30 percent. UPS Ventures Managing Partner Todd Lewis said, “UPS Ventures collaborates with startups to explore new technologies and tailor them to help meet our specific needs.” “UPS is committed to developing and deploying technologies that enable us to operate our global logistics network more efficiently,” stated UPS Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, Scott Price.

“While fully autonomous, driverless vehicles still have development and regulatory work ahead, we are excited by the advances in braking and other technologies that companies like TuSimple are mastering.” As the Verge reports, TuSimple’s self-driving technology is built in-house and then implemented into Navistar trucks. The tech uses nine cameras and two LIDAR sensors to allow its vehicles to drive autonomously on the road. We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission. / OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


After 29 Years of Service, Body By Simmont in MD Closes by Dave Topp, Pasadena Voice

It’s hard to find a good car guy, and for residents of Pasadena, MD, that search just got more difficult. After 29 years of repairing fender benders, completing oil changes, matching paint colors and so much more, Gary Simmont has closed the gates to his auto-body repair shop, Body By Simmont, for good. “I’m done. I’ve done this for almost 50 and been here 29 years,” Simmont said. “I’ve done it all my life. The industry has changed. It’s kind of like, ‘Go big or go home,’ and I opted for go home.” For nearly three decades, Simmont and his crew have strived to deliver quality service to their customers before officially closing on Aug. 12. “I’m old school. We’re old school,” he said. As Simmont put it, the auto-repair industry is heavily influenced by the insurance companies, and that hasn’t always been the easiest thing to handle. A shift in using aftermarket parts never sat well with Simmont. “Early on, I never wanted to do that,” he said. “It’s changed so much that it hasn’t been fun anymore.”

That didn’t deter the company from its well-intentioned efforts. “This has been a great community to do business in,” said Simmont, who grew up in Linthicum, MD. “[The] people were wonderful.”

After 29 years of repairing fender benders, completing oil changes, matching paint colors and so much more, Gary Simmont has closed the gates to his auto-body repair shop, Body By Simmont, for good. Credit: Gary Simmont

Simmont also expressed his gratitude for his employees but was especially thankful for Don Wickless. “I’ve had some good people work for me,” Simmont said. “Don Wick-

less, I cannot say enough good about him. This is guy is just one in a million. He was a gift.” Wickless worked at Body By Simmont for 25 years prior to the shop closing. “As the years go by, we’ve got closer,” Wickless said of Simmont. “[He’s] almost like a brother to me now.” Wickless plans to continue working in the industry at another privately owned shop. “I thought for sure I would retire from here,” he said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. I couldn’t ask for a better boss or better friend.” Simmont decided about six months ago to close the shop. No formal announcement was made; instead, he just notified customers as they came in for work on their vehicles. As the news spread that the shop would be closing, customers rushed to either get their cars in one more time or just say thank you for the years of service. “A great compliment was when people found out I was closing up,” Simmont said. “You would think they wouldn’t want to bring their car to you, because if there was a prob-

lem, you’re not there. I had people trying to get in before I closed up so I could fix their car. That was pretty neat.” For now, though, Simmont would just like a break. He plans to buy a motorhome and travel the country to visit friends and family. And as much as he’s enjoyed the auto-repair industry, he’s found two new passions. The first is working with animal shelters to help rescue dogs. Currently, he has three dogs of his own. “Nothing has given me more satisfaction,” he said. His second desire, as a living donor, is to spread awareness about kidney donations. “It was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever done,” Simmont said. “It was a life-changing event.” After nearly 50 years in the business, he’d like to think he had a big impact on his customers as well. “A lot of people stopped by to say hi and shake my hand,” Simmont said. “It was pretty cool. We made an impact. It’s been a good place to do business.” We thank the Pasadena Voice for reprint permission.

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For Additional Information visit our website: or call us at: 6


989-315-8946 / OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Shop Owner Invents MyShop Traffic Software for All the Right Reasons sion, he said. “The idea for MyShop Traffic was originally for my own It was in the early 2000s when Gene use only. I knew I was losing money Cortes’ shop in Nanuet, NY, was hit- by not tracking everything accuting its numbers and plugging along rately or reliably. Everything in this with a crew of 31 people fixing ap- program was developed out of perproximately 200 cars every month. sonal challenges and problems I Since opening in 1992, Clarkstown needed to solve in my business. After talking with many other International Collision, Inc. turned a profit as Cortes shop owners and industry tracked everything with pen people throughout the years, and paper, including the I learned that they all have shop’s workflow, cycle the same frustrations.” time, parts, supplies, exIn addition to keeping a penses, payroll; but, soon, record of everything in the he realized that is was too shop, this software also Cortes invented time-consuming, unreliable tracks things like supplies, MyShop Traffic to and not sustainable for con- improve every as- parts, labor hours, and job pect of each repair tinued growth. costing and delivers data Cortes, age 67, began at Clarkstown Inter- that can be analyzed to help national Collision in looking for a solution to Nanuet, NY. Credit: streamline operations, acmake his life easier and the cording to Cortes. “Our misMyShop Traffic first thing he did was to get sion is to empower body rid of his old ways. At first, he shed shop owners with the ability to run all of the paper he was using previ- their business in an organized, effiously and started relying on a Palm cient and profitable manner, from Pilot before changing over to a digi- any location in the world and that’s tal tracking system of his own. exactly what we have achieved with “When it got busy here at the shop, MyShop Traffic,” he said. “We are things could get chaotic and a little constantly updating and improving overwhelming,” he said. “Tracking the software as we discover new our workflow on pen and paper or on things we can do with it.” a whiteboard wasn’t working well Once Cortes could see some inianymore. There’s just too much room tial success with the product and acfor error if you don’t have a central ceptance from the collision repair location with all the information that industry, he decided to bring MyShop is easily accessible.” Traffic to market. One of the first Cortes saw a definite need for a things he did was make it a family afpiece of software that could help his fair, by partnering with his daughters, operation, but knew he would need Melly Bonita and Stephanie Cohen, help to get it done. “I’ve been in the who both grew up in the body shop collision repair industry for 47 years, business and have spent their profesas a car guy and a businessman, but sional careers working in corporate I’m not a software guru,” he said. sales, marketing and design at mar“So, I hired a programmer and told keting agencies. him what my issues were and that’s In a nutshell, MyShop Traffic is how MyShop Traffic was created.” an easy-to-use, secure management Now Cortes is the founder & software that is designed to increase CEO of MyShop Traffic, a company a body shop’s productivity and profthat is growing at a rapid rate. Shops itability. The software optimizes a all over the country are currently shop’s business by tracking cycle using the system, but in the begin- time, cutting back on wasted invenning, the program was only intended tory, increasing productivity and alfor Clarkstown International Colli- lowing shop owners to lead and by Ed Attanasio

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manage their staff from any location in the world. Shop managers, technicians and estimators can use the program on their smartphones, laptops or tablets, to monitor things such as workflow, logistics, output and profit, ensuring that everybody in the

(From left) CEO & Founder Gene Cortes, Senior Program Manager Alain Perez, Director of Sales & Marketing Melly Bonita and Director of Sales & Training Stephanie Cohen run the show at MyShop Traffic. Credit: MyShop Traffic

shop is operating at their fullest and most streamlined potential. MyShop Traffic is 100% scalable, which means it works for smaller mom and pop shops with two employees all the way to larger

MSOs with several hundred. “The idea is to eliminate errors and make a shop more efficient and profitable,” Cortes said. “MyShop Traffic was created by a body shop for a body shop, and that is why we understand the intricacies of the collision repair business. By using this program, any size shop can do tasks in 30 seconds instead of 15 minutes, which is especially significant for a busy shop.” After attending SEMA last year and learning that major paint companies, big shop chains and industry leaders are interested in MyShop Traffic, the company is gaining momentum. “Shops like it, because we designed it for them,” Cortes said. “It’s our number one go-to system here and we are hearing the same from other shops, dealerships and car restoration companies who give us their feedback all the time.” To see if MyShop Traffic is right for your shop, contact to book your live demo, or visit for more information. / OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Chester County, PA, Experiencing Technician Shortage by Fran Maye, Phoenixville News

If you’ve ever wondered why you’ve been waiting so long when your car or truck goes in for service, it’s because Chester County, PA, is experiencing a severe shortage of auto service technicians.

These students at Automotive Training Center in Exton, PA, gathered to learn they are getting two late-model Mercedes Benz cars to train on. Credit: Submitted photo, Phoenixville News

“There’s a nationwide epidemic of auto technician shortages right now,” said Jim Willard, general manager of EuroMotorcars in Devon, PA. “The kids these days get pressured to go to college because going to technical school isn’t looked highly upon. There are more auto


technicians retiring than there are auto technicians getting into the business.” The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there are about 750,000 auto technicians and mechanics in the nation. To meet demand and respond to attrition, the industry will need about 46,000 more technicians by 2026. In response to the crisis, Mercedes Benz USA, in cooperation with EuroMotocars in Devon donated two late-model vehicles to the Automotive Training Center in Exton. ATC is an automotive training school that trains auto technicians. One-year training at ATC costs about $36,000. The average cost of college for the 2017–2018 school year was $20,770 for public schools (in-state) and $46,950 for non-profit private schools, only including tuition, fees, and room and board, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. “With this donation, we hope to infuse excitement and show the possibilities for the future for these young men and women,” Willard said. “Our company hopes other dealerships step up and join the movement to grow the industry and


create more local jobs. We urge others to donate and do their part in helping our community.”

This Mercedes Benz car was donated to Automotive Training Center in Exton, PA, by Mercedes Benz USA to help battle the shortage of auto service technicians. Credit: Submitted photo, Phoenixville News

Willard said the donation is important because auto training centers rarely get late-model cars with advanced electronics to work on. “It’s not about draining oil and putting brakes on cars anymore,” Willard said. “These cars today are computerized. Many schools do not have the latest and greatest autos to work on.” According to the National Automobile Dealer Association (NADA),

U.S. technical colleges and training programs graduate about 37,000 service technicians every year. But the retail auto industry needs about 76,000 new technicians every year to keep pace with jobs being created. And that’s not counting auto technician retirements. The result is an annual shortage of 39,000 trained technicians, in a nation that employs about 317,000 service technicians, about 19 per car dealership, according to NADA. “Auto technicians today are making well into six figures,” Willard said. “There is a huge market for auto technician’s right here in our backyard. People just aren’t getting into the field, and it isn’t just a Mercedes Benz problem.” We thank Phoenixville News for reprint permission.



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Continued from Cover

Tech Shortage

Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) and founder of the Collision Career Institute (CCI), and Amber Ritter, CCI’s chief operations officer. Luehr, owner of Elite Body Shop Solutions and the chairman of the Collision Industry Conference’s Talent Pool Committee, asked Bickett and Ritter to share the reasons behind the shortage, what the barriers are to solve it, and how shops can work with schools to attract more talent through apprenticeship programs. Available talent has been in decline for decades, Luehr pointed out. Now, with aging baby boomers retiring, the technician shortage is becoming a critical problem for businesses across the country. According to statistics from the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), the average age of a technician in 1995 was 35 years old. Today, it is over 40 years old. “As this trend continues, and the baby boomers retire, we really need to get to work on this and do some-


thing about this challenge,” said Bickett. However, there are certain barriers to address before solving the dilemma. Some of these, according to Ritter, include a lack of cohesion in the industry, the absence of business culture and little structured training. Bickett said many shop owners joined the industry as a result of working in a family business or helping a friend. As a result, structured

Bickett said the focus is typically on short-term goals and getting the job done rather than setting up programs to encourage new talent to join the business. Often, shop owners turn to hiring employees from competitors. “That has resulted in a lot of issues and challenges for us,” commented Bickett. Through his experience over the years sitting on advisory boards of local institutions and trying to help

training wasn’t often part of the learning process. “This is an industry that didn’t learn from being trained with any kind of formality,” said Bickett. “Many of us didn’t plan on being in this industry and somehow we fell into it and have become passionate about it.” As independent entrepreneurs,

support their needs, Bickett has found there is no demand for the “product” – students. “As crazy as that sounds, there are very few collision shops that reach out to schools and get actively involved and hire students,” said Bickett. “This problem is not going to go away. It’s going to get worse.” He said shop owners and lead-

We don’t think there is a shortage of candidates... We actually have a shortage of collision shops that are willing to engage with them.” — Erick Bickett


ers need to make a commitment to take action. This requires discipline, planning and an investment in time, resources and capital. “Once you have demand, you have more students; once you have more students, you get more funding,” said Bickett. Therefore, consistent industry support is going to be crucial to help make a change. Bickett founded CCI in 2016 to help bridge the gap between CareerTechnology Education (CTE) programs and industry jobs. Through the work he is doing with CCI, Bickett has observed that trades with a union involved usually have flourishing apprenticeship programs in place. The CCI is following this example and setting up apprenticeship programs for the collision repair industry. Over the past three years, the institute has been prototyping an apprenticeship on-the-job training program. Trainees, trainers and body shops are first put through an extensive series of assessments. Then, intensive training programs are put into place and CCI matches qualified candidates with participating shops.

“Apprenticeship programs work because there is commitment and requirement, but it’s on the industry to solve this problem,” he said. Often, students haven’t experienced the same type of demands that occur in a production environment. Ritter said the challenge is to find a way for new talent to enter a production environment and learn. “It’s almost like you have to relearn each of those skills in a live production environment working with all of the additional demands that a body shop has,” said Ritter. Bickett and Ritter have found that apprenticeship programs are helping to bridge that gap. “We don’t think there is a shortage of candidates,” said Bickett. “We actually have a shortage of collision shops that are willing to engage with them.” One of the key strategies that Bickett said CCI focuses on in its business model is ensuring a trainee isn’t washing cars and running errands. Instead, the collision student is integrated into the production environment. “A lot of times, we hire them and

hand them a broom and show them the lot instead of showing them their opportunities,” said Bickett. “When you make that commitment, the natural outcome is you start to develop a learning environment.”

Alison Enoka, a recent graduate of the Collision Career Institute Estimator Track. Credit: Collision Career Institute

Students then have a clear pathway and know the steps they need to take to be successful. “A lot of times, this helps motivate them to keep moving forward,” said Ritter. However, Ritter said it’s not always easy. “You are going to have successes,

and you are going to have failures,” she said. “It’s ok to try apprenticeship with someone and have them not make it. That doesn’t ruin the whole process. It just means you have to start over.” She said the ones who make it through are going to be the “cream of the crop.” 7 Ways to Take Action Take Personal Responsibility: With recent statistics showing there are more Millennials than baby boomers, Luehr said it’s becoming increasingly important to build shops and environments they are going to want to come to work for. Bickett said you can’t just put an ad on and expect to find someone who is qualified, and has the aptitude, attitude and learning ability to complete the job. “It’s a great industry and a great career,” said Bickett. “It’s just a matter of us being able to articulate and demonstrate that.” Build a Learning Culture: Bickett recommends creating a system that incorporates training and becomes part of the shop’s culture. “You just

get started; sit down, write a plan and follow the plan,” he advised. When devising a plan, determining the retention rate can be beneficial. “If you have a high turnover rate, address that before you start bringing in new employees and training and developing them,” said Ritter. Make Training a Priority: Bickett said recognition is a huge part of this. One suggestion is to establish a different class of technician; for example, Triple-A Tech or Double-A Tech (AAA Tech and AA Tech). By elevating an employee’s role at the company, Bickett has noticed other workers also strive toward this goal to improve their careers. Connect With Schools: Reaching out to local schools and working alongside instructors can aid students in working toward a career path. This allows shops to share what skills are needed to be successful so students can focus on those priorities in their coursework. “I think there are plenty of the next generation who can benefit greatly from the opportunities in our industry,” said Bickett. “I think we See Tech Shortage, Page 60 / OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Cover

NC Draft Days

CAR individual levels: • Aluminum Structural Technician Platinum Pro Level 1; • Auto Physical Damage Appraiser Platinum Pro Level 1; • Estimator Platinum Pro Level 1; • Non-Structural Technician Platinum Pro Levels 1, 2, 3; • Refinish Technician Platinum Pro Levels 1, 2, 3; • Steel Structural Technician Pro Levels 1, 2; • Welding Training & Certification™: Steel GMA (MIG) Welding (WCS03); and or

Fayetteville Technical Community College

• Welding Training & Certification™: Aluminum GMA (MIG) Welding (WCA03). With support from PPG, students can achieve PPG Envirobase® High-Performance Coatings Certification.

CIF Launches “Campaign of Caring” In the wake of the recent tragic mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, the Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) has committed to assist one of our own in a “Campaign of Caring.” The Anchondo family, owners of Colormaster Auto Body Shop in El Paso, lost their son Andre, 23, and Andre’s wife Jordan, 24, in the mass shoot-

ing. The couple leaves behind three young children. CIF has committed to match the industry dollar-for-dollar up to $5,000. 100% of the donations will be given to the family to provide for the children’s needs. “We typically respond after natural disasters to assist our brothers and sisters in need, but

AASP/NJ Creates Legal Defense Fund to Aid Shops Battling Litigation The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) has established a Legal Defense Fund to provide financial assistance to member shops battling industry-related issues through the legal process.

The Legal Defense Fund is designed exclusively for AASP/NJ members in good standing, and is offered at the discretion of AASP/ NJ’s Board of Directors if such legal proceedings stand to result in favorable industry decisions, or will in some way positively affect or advance the automotive repair industry. “Due to the current state of the industry and the lack of enforcement of the current rules, it has become obvious that the only way to resolve certain issues is to get a ruling from 14

a court of law,” states AASP/NJ Executive Director Charles Bryant. Financial assistance would go towards expenses including, but not limited to, legal fees, reports, transcripts and costs resulting from the legal process. Contributions to the Legal Defense Fund are needed in order for AASP/NJ to be able to adequately provide qualifying members for financial aid in their legal efforts. One-time or monthly contributions are accepted. “[The Fund] is there to support the ones who are going into battle, so to speak, and standing up for what is right,” explains AASP/NJ President Jerry McNee. “It’s not just for the purpose of the individual but for the industry as a whole.” To learn more about AASP/ NJ’s Legal Defense Fund or to see if you qualify for assistance, contact Bryant at (732) 922-8909 or email For more information on AASP/ NJ, please visit Obtained via


The Honda PACT Collision program is designed to meet the growing needs of Honda ProFirst (Honda/Acura Certified) collision repair shops by recruiting, educating and training students to become qualified collision repair technicians for Honda and Acura vehicles. The Honda PACT program partners with various technical and community colleges around the country to deliver this training. Since the FTCC CollisionU program was started in 2014, 80 students have graduated with associate degrees and 37 have gained employment within the industry through the “Draft Days” program. “Sometimes graduating students this senseless tragedy has struck a family and small business owner in our industry and we encourage everyone to come together and assist them,” said CIF Board Chairman Michael Quinn of AirPro Diagnostics. To donate please visit: https:// www.collisionindustryfoundation .org/donate.html.

get a little discouraged that they can’t find employment right here in Fayetteville,” noted CollisionU Department Chair and long-time industry veteran Doug Irish. “But Fayetteville, like any town or city has a finite number of jobs available in any field. Sometimes you have to look out of town or even out of state. Those who are willing to commute or relocate have the best opportunities.” The next “Draft Days” will be held Oct. 14–15, 2019. “Draft Days” for the spring session will be held March 10–11, 2020. For more information, contact Jen Doyle at 910486-3990 or by email at doylej@




Kirn’s Body Shop in NY Closes Door on 60-Year Tradition by Jim Kevlin,

Forty-one years after Edward Kirn began teaching Don Hoag the autobody repair business, the venerable Kirn’s Body Shop, located in Cooperstown, NY, closed its doors for good on Friday, Aug. 23. Interviewed with his wife Rosemary, the founder’s daughter, by his side, Hoag gave three reasons: “The changing industry and what it takes to fix a car.” “As you know, in this community, the help picture is really tight.” Those two reasons led to a third: He realized he needed to reinvent the business, and at 60½ he and Rosie concluded it’s time to let go. That decision made sense, they said, particularly since he and Rosie lost their son, Justin, age 32, of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy on Sept. 27, 2016. There’s no one to carry on the business. “I got to meet so many people in the community,” Hoag said. “It’s not like I’m saying I’m glad it’s over.” For now, Eagle Towing of Cobleskill, NY, which has an installation on Route 205, West Oneonta, will be handling Triple-A requests,


In 1960, he began working on cars at home, and in 1966 opened his first Kirn’s Body Shop next to Doubleday Field, where the batting cages are today. In 1976, he shifted his operations to the lower floor at 21 Railroad Ave., in Cooperstown, NY, where the Bassett Pain Clinic is today, and moved in 1978 to the current location, on Route 28 just south of the village line. Hoag graduated from high school and in 1978 began working for Ed Kirn, where he met the owner’s Don and Rosie Hoag this afternoon in front of Kirn’s daughter, Rosie; the two Body Shop on Route 28 south of the Cooperstown, NY, married, and he’s been with village line. They hold a photo of the original Kirn’s, the business ever since. which opened in 1966 where the batting cages are She retired last November today next to the Doubleday Field parking lot. Credit: after 40+ years at Bassett. Jim Kevlin, Don Hoag has been the The founding father, Ed Kirn, face of Kirn’s for years; he and Rosie a farmer in the Town of Middlefield, plan to stay in the area. “The Kirn’s name has provided NY, in his early years, began to learn the auto-body trade in the 1950s, service since the 1960s,” he reflected. working first for Al Welch at Tower “That’s 60 years.” Motors, where the Mirabito quickstop is now, then for Ed Smith’s We thank for reprint permission. Ford dealership.

he said. Also, the business is for sale, and Hoag’s been receiving calls from interested parties.


Northeast Association October 2019 Events by Chasidy Rae Sisk

ASA-PA Super Saturday 2019

On Oct.12, ASA-PA will hold its 2019 Super Saturday training extravaganza at the Automotive

Training Center in Warminster, PA. The event will feature a keynote presentation and a multitude of educational seminars for attendees to choose from as well as a vendor expo during lunch. Registration is available for $179 per attendee. For more information, visit


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Unity Repair Shop in PA Destroyed by Fire by Megan Tomasic, TRIBLIVE

A quick-moving fire on Tuesday, Aug. 27 gutted an auto repair shop in Unity Township, PA.

Fire gutted Rain’s Auto Body on Tuesday, Aug. 27 along the 1500 block of Mt. Pleasant Road. Firefighters from 17 departments battled the blaze that was reported at 2:16 p.m. Credit: Megan Tomasic, Tribune-Review

The owner of Rain’s Auto Body, Dean Rain, said workers had started welding a car when sparks flew, igniting the fire at about 2:16 p.m. He said workers tried to put the fire out, but “it spread really fast.” Rain’s Auto Body is on the 1500 block of Mt. Pleasant Road along the border of Unity and Mt. Pleasant townships in Pennsylvania. Rain opened the business in 1988 and said he plans on rebuilding.

“I don’t like it, but what are you going to do?” he said.

Rain’s Auto Body along Mt. Pleasant Road in Unity was destroyed by fire on Tuesday, Aug. 27. The owner, Dean Rain, said works welding a vehicle ignited the blaze which quickly spread. Credit: Megan Tomasic, Tribune-Review

Electric Buses Plugging Into School Districts

to put out remaining flames. A “Tire Sale” sign was mostly untouched to the right of the building.

Across North America, some students going back to school this fall will ride electric school buses. More than 100 electric school buses, powered by a Cummins fully electric drivetrain, have been ordered from Blue Bird Corporation, a school bus manufacturer focused on alternative fuel technologies. “The amount of interest has been outstanding; people are very excited about a 100-percent electric-powered school bus,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. Blue Bird has been working with electric technology in school buses since 1994, and recently partnered with the Cummins Electrified Power business segment. “Cummins and Blue Bird are committed to supporting customers and ensuring that we are safely transporting our children and improving air quality for communities,” said Julie Furber, vice president of electrified power at Cummins Inc.

Rain’s Auto Body along Mt. Pleasant Road in Unity was destroyed by fire on Tuesday, Aug. 27. The owner, Dean Rain, said works welding a vehicle ignited the blaze which quickly spread. Credit: Megan Tomasic, Tribune-Review

Firefighters from 17 departments, including Unity, Mt. Pleasant, Greensburg, Youngstown and Hempfield and Salem townships were on the scene. No injuries were reported. Credit: Megan Tomasic, Tribune-Review

After the fire was out, some walls were left standing, but the building was a total loss, Dryridge fire Chief Rich Levay said. A burned vehicle sat in what appeared to be a bay, while firefighters sprayed foam

We thank TRIBLIVE for reprint permission.


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NH Gov. Chris Sununu Vetoes Repair Reimbursement Bill by Kevin Landrigan, New Hampshire Union Leader

Insurance company executives and auto salvage shop owners celebrated, while auto dealers and collision repairers condemned Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto of legislation dealing with who gets to dictate the cost of fixing accident damage to cars and trucks. The measure (HB 664) would make it clear that auto insurers must reimburse repair shops as long as they make fixes that comply with “applicable manufacturer’s procedures.” This would block the insurer from using its own collision expert to conclude a repair shop estimate was too high and would not be fully covered. The bipartisan bill (HB 664) passed by a veto-proof majority in the House of Representatives and by a voice vote in the state Senate. Bill sponsor Rep. Kermit Williams, D-Wilton, said it was the product of a study committee. “We found there were a lot of differences among the body shops and the insurance companies in terms of repair requirements they were allowed or reimbursed for,” Williams told a state Senate hearing last spring. But Sununu said the measure risked raising auto insurance premiums and could be a boon to large chain repair shops at the expense of smaller, independent businesses. “New Hampshire citizens enjoy among the lowest auto insurance premium costs in the country. Current laws ensure safe repairs while maintaining a competitive market. This bill would increase the cost of auto insurance premiums by limiting the ability of insurers to negotiate what is reasonable in the repair process,” Sununu wrote in his veto message. “The requirements outlined in this bill would introduce a significant disadvantage for smaller, independent repair shops and could limit their ability to compete. This limits consumer choice while raising insurance rates without the corresponding inAUTOBODY


crease in safety for our citizens.” The average auto insurance premium in New Hampshire for 2019 is $1,087, ranking it 46th highest among the 50 states. The national average is $1,457, according to Maine has the lowest average premium at $845.

Pete McNamara, president of the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association, said the veto is a setback for the home-grown auto industry. “The people who built the car know how to best fix the car,” McNamara said. “This veto means the safety of 1.3 million local car owners in New Hampshire is decided by faceless accountants far outside the Granite State. I want to thank the bipartisan group of House Reps. and Senators that stood up for their neighbors and passed HB 664.” Lori Nadeau, with Birch Street Collision Center, an independent shop in Derry, NH, fought for two years to pass this bill. “Today’s high-tech vehicles with collision avoidance, multiple computers and different types of metals and refinishing materials requires expert repairs including manufacturer recommendations,” Nadeau said. “Scans and re-calibration of safety systems are critical to ensure occupant safety.” State Senator Kevin Cavanaugh, D-Manchester, said adjustments were made to try to accommodate issues raised over the bill. “Stakeholders and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle worked hard to address concerns over unfair collision repair reimbursements to improve current practices and protect public safety. Unfortunately, Governor Sununu put the interests of



big insurance companies over Granite Staters,” Cavanaugh said. “It’s a slap in the face to the hundreds of small business owners who have been asking for this relief.” Insurance Commissioner John Elias said he’s hopeful more work can produce a better compromise next year. “The NH Insurance Department knows that the intentions behind this bill were good. All of the parties worked very hard to come to an agreement,” Elias said in a statement. “The Department feels that the same parties, with sufficient time in the future, will be able to work together to ensure that the bill can be designed to fulfill the important interest of industry and consumers in a way that is consistent with the original intent of the sponsors.” Lobbyists with State Farm insurance and the New Hampshire Association of Domestic Insurance Companies had urged the Senate to kill the bill during a hearing in April. “What this bill does is eliminate the insurer from the discussion and

make them pay the choice of auto repairers and manufacturers,” said James Hatem who represents State Farm insurance. “HB 664 eliminates the check and balance of this process. This permits manipulation, it is a recipe for abuse and it is an invitation to fraud. This is bad public policy.” The head of the Auto and Truck Recyclers Association of New Hampshire said the bill didn’t do enough to make sure cheaper after-market or used parts could be used in the repair of older cars and trucks. But repair shop executive Nadeau said some collision shops have gone under because owners were not getting costs recovered while having to deal with more expensive technology built into newer cars and trucks. “The insurance companies should not be able to control how these cars are repaired. They control the price. They control the parts,” Nadeau said. “Rates have been held in this state for the past 15 years.” We thank the New Hampshire Union Leader for reprint permission.

Somerset-Berkley, MA, Student’s Automotive Design Lands Him a Scholarship by Staff, Taunton Daily Gazette

A Somerset-Berkley, MA, Regional High School senior is the recipient of the Dunning Fellows and Scholars Excellence in Automotive Design at the transportation design program at the College for Creative Studies (CCS). Joshua Rego Josh Rego.Credit: won a full scholCollege for Creative arship to attend Studies CCS’s Pre-College Summer Experience Dunning Automotive Design program in Detroit, valued near $4,300. Through completing the program, Rego earned three college credits and now has the opportunity to compete for one fullride scholarship to CCS’s undergraduate Transportation Design program. Winners lived on campus for three weeks, took faculty-led automotive design classes taught by industry professionals and had the opportunity to explore Detroit’s burgeoning art scene. In order for consideration, Rego had to submit a hand-drawn vehicle


design showing three views – front, side and three-quarters view. Applicants were tasked with designing a vehicle they imagine themselves in the year 2045.

at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (CCS alumnus); Moray Callum, vice president of design at Ford Motor Com-

Credit: College for Creative Studies

Josh Rego, a Somerset-Berkley Regional High School senior, received the Dunning Fellows and Scholars Excellence in Automotive Design at the College for Creative Studies. Credit: College for Creative Studies

Judges for the competition included Ralph Gilles, head of design

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pany; Michael Simcoe, vice president of global design at General Motors (CCS alumnus); Ed Welburn, CEO of the Welburn Group and adjunct faculty at CCS as well as Paul Snyder, Paul & Helen Farago chair of transportation design at CCS. We thank the Taunton Daily Gazette for reprint permission.


CREF Partners With MCRA

The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) is partnering with the Montana Collision Repair Association (MCRA) to support the state’s lone collision repair training program. Montana State University – Billings in the only school providing pre-employment training in the state. Through the partnership, the MCRA and the CREF will raise funds to provide the school and its students with: • Hand tools; • Aluminum repair tools/equipment; • New frame rack; • Student scholarships; • Epoxied program floors; and • Student work uniforms. “MCRA is proud to team with Collision Repair Education to enhance the future of collision repairers in the state of Montana. Programs such as this are a lifeline to the repairers, schools, trainers and students supporting the collision repair industry,” said Paul Flores, owner/general manager of Rick’s Auto Body in Missoula, MT, and president of the MCRA.

AASP/NJ Panel Discussion to Address ADAS Growth in Industry by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Thursday, Sept. 12, AASP/NJ will help provide an overview of what collision repair shop owners need to know about ADAS technology by hosting a special panel discussion on the topic. AASP/NJ Executive Director Charles Bryant said, “Attendees can expect to come away with a better understanding of what is required to repair these modern vehicles on the roads today. With these changes taking place in the industry, this is a must-attend meeting.” To help collision repair professionals stay informed about the growth of ADAS in the automotive industry, AASP/NJ has gathered a panel of industry professionals to address this constantly evolving technology. The panel will include Mark Olson of VECO Experts, Autel’s George Lesniak, Michael Flink from Autel, LIFTNOW’s Paul Stern, and Dave McIntosh of Autopart International, Inc. AASP/NJ encourages attendees to review the commonly re-

paired vehicles at their shops and prepare a list of questions and concerns before the meeting in anticipation of the question and answer session during the panel discussion.

Sponsored in part by USI North America, the ADAS panel discussion will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Gran Centurions in Clark, NJ, and will include food and beverages. The event is free to association members, while non-members can attend for $150 per person. Pre-registration is required and can be established by contacting Bryant at 732-922-8909 or via email, For more information about AASP/NJ and its future events, visit aaspnj .org.

PARTS and ARA-NJ CONNECT for Summit and Expo by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Aug. 24, the Pennsylvania Automotive Recycling Trade Society (PARTS) and ARA-NJ collaborated to host the CONNECT 2019 Summit and Expo at the Philadelphia West Marriott in West Conshohocken, PA. According to PARTS Executive Director Sandy Blalock, who also serves as executive director for the national ARA organization, “The event was a great success with lots of industry updates and training. We received a great response from the attendees and vendors alike who shared tons of positive comments about the content and how well the show flowed.” The event was held in order to provide important industry education to attendees as well as to provide networking opportunities with industry peers and vendors. Blalock stated, “We simply must have the latest news, products and services available at these state and regional shows as many recyclers will never attend the larger national events. We try to bring well-rounded programs close to home. CONNECT 2019 exceeded my expectations. I was

happy with the turnout and the support of our sponsors and vendors.” The event began with a welcome address from PARTS Chair Doug Reinert, followed by the PARTS Annual Meeting. Among the many educational offerings, the event included seminars on “Workers Compensation Safety and HR Toolbox for Employers” presented by Frank Bruzzese from Zenith Insurance Company, “How to Avoid a Catastrophic Loss to Your Business and Employees” taught by Bruzzese alongside Harry Brooks from York Risk Services, and Jonathan Morrow of ARA’s “The Changing of Our Industry.” The CONNECT 2019 Summit and Expo also featured a “Moderated Q & A Session with EMAP, PENNDOT and PSP” as well as a “Recyclers Hot Topic Round Table,” moderated by Theresa Colbert of The expo floor was open during the afternoon, providing attendees with a chance to learn about exhibitors’ products and services. For more information about PARTS, visit For more information about ARA-NJ, visit

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AASP/NJ Delivers First Installment in Estimating Series by Chasidy Rae Sisk

This summer, AASP/NJ co-sponsored two seminars entitled “Estimating Accuracy Essentials [Part 1],” presented by AASP/NJ President Jerry McNee, and John Niechwiadowicz of QLC, Inc. These two seminars, the first in the association’s planned multi-segment series on estimating, served to share information on accurately accounting for all billable items on an estimate and ensuring proper compensation. McNee said, “All it takes is a little bit of knowledge. Why wouldn’t you put the time into this? The most important thing you can do in your business is know your numbers.” Nearly 100 industry professionals from New Jersey attended the two sessions, held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Springfield, NJ, on June 25 and at the Hilton Garden Inn in Hamilton, NJ, on July 16. In addition to AASP/NJ, the educational seminars were sponsored by Central Paint, Innovative Solutions and Technology, Metropolitan Car-OLiner, Reliable Automotive Equipment and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. McNee noted that insurance

companies may know more about the collision repair industry than shop owners actually do, and then, he pointed out that carriers train shops to get what they want, stressing that repairers must educate themselves in order to reverse those roles and train the insurance

appraisers. He also encouraged attendees to spend a few extra minutes ensuring that all expenses are included in the estimate so the shop is properly reimbursed for the repair. McNee stated, “Someone is doing the operation whether you are getting paid or not. You have to ask. It has to be realistic, and you have to be able to explain it and justify it. If you can do that, you should be able to get paid for it… The moment you give up, game over.”

Niechwiadowicz added, “If you deem it critical and important, you will find a way to make it work. You have to get more out of what you are doing. The bottom line is that the opportunity is out there.” McNee and Niechwiadowicz used a single repair panel to review the entire estimating process, sharing information about valuable resources, and they reviewed attendees’ written estimates, which were submitted before the seminar to add as much value as possible to the event. Emphasizing that the message was the same for DRP and nonDRP shops because both must document all operations needed to safely restore a customer’s vehicle to its pre-accident condition based on OEM guidelines, Niechwiadowicz noted, “Every choice you make has a direct impact on the quality of life for yourself, your associates, your customers and everyone’s families.” For more information about AASP/ NJ and its future events, visit aaspnj .org.

CARSTAR to Exhibit at 2019 SEMA Show

At this year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas, CARSTAR, North America’s premier network of independently-owned collision repair facilities, will host an exhibit on the show floor, located in the 2019 SEMA Show Westgate Hall, Booth No. 16320. The SEMA Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. It draws the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products to one place, the Las Vegas Convention Center. “It is an exciting time for us at CARSTAR as the network is experiencing accelerated growth and we are grateful to participate in the SEMA Show as it is another opportunity for us to highlight why we are known for collision repair excellence,” said Michael Macaluso, president of CARSTAR. Show attendees interested in learning more about joining the CARSTAR family may contact Lauren Schoonover at to arrange appointments with the CARSTAR leadership team.

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UpdatePromise in Chino, CA, Raises Minimum Wage to $20 by Ed Attanasio

To send a clear message to his employees, the community, other entrepreneurs and the State of California, President Curtis Nixon, the founder

Owner Curtis Nixon raised his company’s minimum hourly wage to $20 at UpdatePromise to make sure his employees have a livable wage while sending a message to other companies in California. Credit: Curtis Nixon

of UpdatePromise in Chino, CA, recently announced a new compensation plan in which all his entry-level employees and new hires will now

earn a minimum of $20 per hour. While other companies are looking for new ways to cut costs and expenses, Nixon is making a definitive move, and many of his employees will benefit. “As a corporation, we have decided to move our minimum pay up to $20 per hour and we believe that it’s a smart investment on multiple levels,” he said. “In addition, we also want the ability to change that policy if the industry changes in the future. Through this, we are saying that when times are good, we are not afraid to step up and take care of the people that take care of us.” With three generations in the collision repair industry, Nixon and his father before him ran a body shop in Southern California for nearly 50 years. After selling the business in 2014, Nixon founded UpdatePromise, a communication and information technology provider that serves the automotive and insurance industries throughout North America. Over the years, Nixon cited several needs within his own body shop, and after searching far and wide without finding a solution, he resolved to develop one himself. Today, UpdatePromise technology is utilized in

Del Tech Automotive Center in Georgetown, DE, Breaks Ground by Deana Harley, WMDT News

A new automotive center will soon be on the grounds of Del Tech, and it’s making history here on Delmarva. “There is no diesel training facility on the peninsula,” Bobbi Barends, vice president of Del Tech, said. But, after the groundbreaking ceremony in August, there soon will be. “This program, this new facility is going to allow us to double the number of our automotive techs, general automotive techs that are graduating, and then add 15 diesel mechanics that are graduating every year,” Barends said. And it’s those 15 spots for Diesel techs, jobs that are in high demand that makes the new Automotive Center of Excellence so historic. “Dealerships, folks who are the technicians who keep our cars, trucks and vans running, big trucks, diesel mechanics, there is a great need for those kind of folks,” Senator Tom Carper said. And these aren’t small jobs we’re talking about; these are jobs 26

that bring big bucks into the region. “They’re jobs that make 50, 60, 70, 80, $90,000 a year,” Senator Carper said. And while the new center will bring jobs, it’s also bringing security to the individual students who will train and learn in the center. “They’re able to come here and get a very affordable education in a high-demand industry and work field, and then be able to stay here and raise a family, buy a home, with very little debt,” Barends said. So, as current Del Tech students watched the ground break on the building that future students will become diesel techs in, Senator Carper left them with a simple message: “Aim high, work hard, embrace the golden rule and don’t quit,” he said. The doors to the center open in November 2020 and students will likely start the following semester in January 2021. We thank WMDT News for reprint permission.


over 12,000 automotive repair facilities and eight out of the top ten national auto insurance companies also use UpdatePromise as part of their claims process. Nixon decided to depart from the collision repair industry ever since his family business was constrained on many levels, he said. “When we sold our shop to the new owner, we had to transfer all of the information on 32

datePromise’s formula for success. “We want our people to feel like partners as opposed to employees,” Nixon said. “We do everything to give them the tools that they need to succeed, and we love it when we see them growing and assuming larger roles as a result.” A big part of the move to a $20 minimum wage was more than just fairly compensating his people, Nixon

permits, all of which came with fees,” Nixon said. “There were tire fees, air compressor fees and water reclamation fees that just accumulated over the years and they were taxing us to death. Everywhere we looked, there were more taxes and new regulations and it became just too much.” Nixon excels in a highly competitive industry by establishing a company culture that fosters open communication. Growing from seven employees to 52 and building a campus consisting of five buildings all within just the last three years, Nixon’s new pay plan is another piece of Up-

said. “I want to be able to make my own decisions and I wholeheartedly believe that as an entrepreneur it’s my responsibility to commit to my employees, customers, and the surrounding community without being hampered by regulations, fees, taxes or other burdens on my business.” Continually hiring new people in order to accommodate its expansion, Nixon invites qualified people to apply to UpdatePromise. “If you have any experience working in customer support, admin or in a call center and you’re making less than $20 per hour, we’d love to talk to you.”

“We want our people to feel like partners as opposed to employees,” — Curtis Nixon / OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


California’s $27.6M Fine Against Mercury Insurance Remains by Staff, Insurance Journal

California regulators say a ruling by the state’s highest court means a $27.6 million fine imposed against Mercury Insurance Co. for improperly tacking fees onto auto insurance policies will stand. The California Department of Insurance reported on Aug. 15 that the California Supreme Court has denied a petition for review by Mercury Insurance, thereby keeping in place a $27.6 million fine the department imposed on Mercury for charging illegal fees in violation of Proposition 103. In 2015, Mercury was fined $27.6 million for charging consumers unapproved and unfairly discriminatory rates. Despite being advised for years by the insurance department not to do so, Mercury continued to allow its auto insurance agents to charge consumers $50 to $150 in illegal fees on top of the premium the department approved. Proposition 103, passed by the voters in 1988, prevents auto insurers from charging excessive rates and requires that rates be approved by the commissioner.


“Since Proposition 103 was enacted, Mercury has looked for ways to evade the Insurance Commissioner’s regulation of its rates,” Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said in a media release. “The Department repeatedly told Mercury to stop this scheme, where Mercury implied

its agents were brokers working for the consumers, but Mercury refused to do so.”

Mercury issued the following statement: “We are disappointed that the California Supreme Court declined our petition to hear our appeal of the appellate court’s reversal of the trial court’s decision. We believe the appellate court erred in overruling the trial court, as the trial court’s ruling was based upon the merits of the


case. It found that Mercury didn’t benefit from the fees in question because they were never collected by Mercury.” In the statement, Mercury notes the fees were charged and collected by independent brokers for the services they provided to their customers, and that the fees were disclosed upfront and customers agreed to pay those fees. “However, for more than a decade, Mercury has prohibited anyone who sells our products from charging broker fees,” the statement continues. “This is still our policy today and we continue to focus on providing our customers with highquality service and products at competitive rates.” The scheme created a major incentive for Auto Insurance Specialists (AIS), Mercury’s largest independent agent, to place virtually all of its policies with Mercury to the exclusion of other insurers, and resulted in different Mercury customers paying different amounts for the same policy, depending on what the agent charged in fees, according to the CDI media release. During this time, AIS placed

most of its California automobile business — approximately 90 percent — with Mercury, nearly doubling the placed premium from $225 million in 1999 to $400 million in 2003 and 2004, a premium that other insurers might have received if Mercury had complied with the law, the release alleges. Consumer Watchdog, which had intervened in the case, hailed the victory. “Mercury’s illegal scheme resulted in tens of millions in overcharges to California consumers who purchased a Mercury policy,” Pamela Pressley, senior staff attorney for Consumer Watchdog and its lead lawyer on the case, said in a media release. “The California Supreme Court’s decision sends a strong message that insurance companies cannot evade the law by tacking on extra fees on top of approved premiums.” We thank Insurance Journal for reprint permission. / OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Cover

Repair Planning

assess the effectiveness of their repair planning process. He recently spoke to a group of body shops in Honolulu, Hawaii, about the recommended steps to effectively create and implement a thorough repair plan. “A shop will never complete the job efficiently unless repair planning is done correctly and an accurate work order (repair plan) is created before you start production,” he said. The following is based on information shared by Ronak in the class, which was sponsored by Island Concepts, based in Honolulu.

Q: A:

How would you describe repair planning?

Repair planning is not just taking a car apart and trying to figure out all of the damage. It is fully documenting everything you are going to need done to that car to fix it 100 percent. In essence, it’s a roadmap to follow.

(l to r) Rozanna Matuu and Sabrina Dela Rama, Tony Collision.

When a vehicle leaves the body shop, the assumption is that the vehicle has been repaired correctly. You don’t want to wait until the very end of the repair to make sure everything is done properly. Typically, shops began repair planning to reduce delays and supplements, and improve cycle time, efficiency and customer service. Many shops continue to follow the process to some degree, but they aren’t always consistent or working to a defined standard that achieves predictable results.

Q: A: 30

How has repair planning evolved over the years?

Traditionally, shops would write an estimate and then

follow up with supplements, which were sent to the insurer for reimbursement. Over time, shops began to routinely tear down the vehicle during the repair process. Eventually, they started tearing down vehicles and fully disassembling them prior to the repair. This led to what we consider ‘informal repair planning’ where the shop focuses on a complete initial estimate or repair plan. Some shops now engage in formal repair planning where everything is fully documented. Highly-evolved shops will audit the repair planning process as a step toward continuous improvement. This involves measuring the accuracy of the repair plan, tracking supplements and creating action plans to ensure future repair plans correct for these errors or omissions, achieving a continuous improvement loop. What is the purpose of an estimate and how does it fit in with repair planning?


These days, writing estimates is still the norm in the industry. Ironically, an estimate is a guess— a rough approximation of what we think the job is. It helps a shop decide if it is going to be working on a small, medium or large job. It also allows an insurance company to determine how much it should put away in reserves. It’s important to keep in mind that until you can perform electronic scan diagnostics on the vehicle, you can’t ascertain what it is going to cost to fix that car. Even when shops write a repair plan, many still find value in writing a preliminary estimate. Not only does it help demonstrate to the customer that your shop is detailed and going to do a thorough job on the repair, but it can also help identify the critical or difficult-to-source parts needed, allow you to compare and quantify different repair strategies, meet the insurance requirements, assist with scheduling and eliminate bottlenecks. However, while an estimate provides an approximate cost of the repair, a repair plan will ensure you determine the exact cost as an accurate repair plan is the definitive guide to the precise process you will follow to restore the vehicle to pre-loss functionality.



What should shops be aware of during the repair planning process?


There are three primary areas of focus in the repair planning process. First is compliance with the manufacturer recommended and required procedures, while considering insurer mandates if you are in a contractual agreement. We are finding


(l to r) Leo Cariaga and Jaime Dela Cruz, Street Image, and Todd Stogdell, Island Concepts.

that the manufacturers’ guidelines are mandatory and coming on extremely quickly. Shops must read and follow OE procedures every time. The materials used in vehicles today are very different than they were 20 years ago. There are very

specific ways to repair a vehicle, and in some cases, extremely specific ways to disassemble a vehicle as well. It is important to know this prior to beginning any work on the vehicle. Most importantly, deviating from these procedures places shops in the position of assuming some avoidable repair-related liability for the repair. It’s important to remember that liability differs from a warranty. A warranty is a limited scope that guarantees you’ll redo the work. It’s very different from liability in that you assume all of the consequences of how that car is repaired. You’re liable for life and several recent court verdicts have validated that as a legitimate concern. Another part of the repair planning process includes administration. To ensure you are doing it effectively, you absolutely have to be auditing. This includes auditing for accuracy and complying with the insurer and manufacturer guidelines. I advise shops to set up a good system for uploading information to the management system and insurer. It’s also important to obtain approvals, See Repair Planning, Page 34 / OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Cover

ADAS Calibrations

calibrations at dawn when there are fewer traffic congestions. “And if it’s snowing or foggy or raining, or if there’s been sand placed on the road that’s covering or obscuring the lines, it won’t work,” Rozint said. “If you get stopped half-way through, in some cases, depending on the vehicle and the scan tool, you might have to start all over again.” Matthew McDonnell, a member of the CIC committee and a Montana shop owner, said such calibration test drives are becoming more common as more vehicles have lane-departure warnings and other such systems. He pointed to the requirements for the 2017 Ford F-150, which call for a ten-minute drive at 40 mph after any repair involving a windshield replacement, change in tire size, suspension repair or alignment, front airbag deployment or interior mirror replacement. While static calibrations done in the shop rather than as part of a test drive may seem simpler, Rozint said


they can require specialized targets and equipment. For example, the ultrasonic blind spot radar in some newer Honda, Toyota and Kia vehicles requires the use of a metal reflector cone, laser and a goniometer jig, a device that measures angles. Some of the newest Audis, he said, include

Montana shop owner Matthew McDonnell said calibration of some systems on the 2017 Ford F-150 requires a ten-minute drive at 40 mph after many repairs, including those involving a windshield replacement, suspension repair or alignment, or front airbag deployment. Credit: John Yoswick

360-degree cameras and Doppler devices to monitor what’s going on around the entire vehicle in real-time. “To calibrate that, you need this aluminum structure with magnetic


panels on it, and there are laser distance meters built into that,” Rozint said. The BMW 7-series includes a pedestrian detection system that is based on body heat. It requires a pole-like target with a 98.6-degree device at the top that you place a set distance in front of the car to simulate a person as you use a scan tool to calibrate the system. “So if you thought you were getting yourself positioned for some basic target calibrations and some dynamic drive calibrations, that’s great, but welcome to what’s coming this year and next year, with even more coming behind that,” Rozint said. “Those who aren’t training in this area may want to consider doing so.” Subletting this work to dealers may not alleviate the need for shops to understand what those dealers need to be doing, he cautioned. “In some cases, they’ve never done it before themselves,” Rozint said of some dealers. “So if you don’t have the training yourself, you may not even be able to properly identify someone who is qualified to do it.” Following the presentation at

CIC, Ray Fisher, executive director of the Automotive Service Association (ASA), urged the industry to consider safety when conducting dynamic calibrations on the road. “When technicians go on a test drive with a scan tool, they are at risk. That is ‘distracted driving,’” Fisher said. “So I really encourage shop owners to protect your technicians. Realistically, [such test drives] may require two people.” The CIC “Parts and Materials Committee” in Indianapolis highlighted some of the challenges shops face in understanding exactly what type of part they are buying and who backs any warranty on it. The California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) has said for many years that parts in that state must be described on consumer paperwork only as new, used, rebuilt, reconditioned, OEM or non-OEM. As far back as 2016, the BAR has made it clear from that the ambiguous or inconsistent use of “alt-OE” or “opt-OE” designations meant the terms could not be used on customer paperwork in that state without providing additional information about such parts, including

what warranty they carry. In response, Mitchell International has recently eliminated from its estimating system parts labeled as some variation of “OEM.”

Eric Mendoza of Toyota said the only way for a shop to ensure it has purchased a Toyota OEM part backed by the manufacturer is to purchase it directly from a Toyota dealer. Credit: John Yoswick

Speaking at CIC, Eric Mendoza of Toyota said the only way for a shop to ensure it has purchased a Toyota OEM part backed by the manufacturer is to purchase it directly from a Toyota dealer. In North America, he said, Toyota sells its parts only to its dealers. But, Mendoza also acknowledged those dealers often sell nonToyota parts – at a minimum, such

things as vehicle accessories – and some also may sell Toyota parts to other parts distributors. If a shop is buying a part from a non-dealer distributor that says it’s a Toyota part, Mendoza said, the shop may want to confirm that the distributor bought the part from a Toyota dealer. “If it was not bought from a Toyota dealer in North America, then all bets are off,” Mendoza said. “If you can get whoever you are buying your parts from to show proof that they bought it from a Toyota dealer, you’re safe. Otherwise, not so safe.” Furthermore, even a Toyota part bought from such a distributor likely would be warrantied only by the seller, not Toyota, he added. “If you buy that part from a middle-man supplier … you as a shop don’t have the proof that the part was bought from a dealer,” Mendoza said, noting that the Toyota warranty “doesn’t go to someone downstream.” “So I think [it’s up to] the distributor that bought the part from the dealer to give that part a warranty. The shop isn’t going to be able to get that same [Toyota] warranty,” he said. Mendoza confirmed that an

OEM service part – one sold by the dealer as a replacement for the one installed at the factory when the vehicle was built – “may be made to a different standard than the original equipment that was made for the [vehicle] rolling down the [production] line.” Why would an automaker deviate from the production line part for a service part? “A lot of it comes down to costof-ownership” of the vehicle, Mendoza said. “We recognize that sometimes we’re not always price-competitive with the market. For whatever reason, we weren’t able to make that original equipment part that we were making at a competitive price [for a service part].”

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1Collision Adds Health & Benefits Program

The 1Collision Network has recently partnered with a national benefits provider to offer a complete HR Management Platform to add to their offerings for affiliated collision repair centers. The webbased application includes: • National Group Health, dental & life insurance (includes coverage from most major providers in all 50 states); • 401K plan; • Payroll solution; • All in one convenient app for employee benefit management; and • National support team that includes recruiting service. 1Collision President Jim Keller commented, “As it becomes increasingly more challenging to attract and retain employees, we believe this National HR Plan, available to qualified 1Collision affiliated collision repair businesses, will greatly benefit our partner shops by automating HR management, while offering a convenient and cost-effective benefit solution to employees and their families.” / OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Page 30

Repair Planning

communicate, and order all necessary parts one time. The third part of the planning process is disassembly. Shops should identify all damaged parts up front, including clips and fasteners, as well as all structural and suspension labor operations, and body and refinish

(l to r) Van Takemoto and Thomas Uyeda, Island Fender.

labor operations. They should also be aware of all mechanical, sublet and non-included operations and the specific repair methodology.



What is important to know in regard to a complete repair

There are four key factors to consider: accuracy, efficiency, speed and value. Accuracy is key in repair planning. To ensure accuracy, there must be a reduction in supplements, downstream work stoppage and parts orders. In terms of efficiency, a repair planner needs to stay focused with minimal distractions, pay close attention to over-and under-scheduling and have a standardized process in place. Repair planning can impact the speed of the overall process. Although a repair planner should ideally work at an aggressive pace, remember that the desired end result is quality over quantity. Rather than massive throughput, we’re interested in accurate throughput. Finally, repair planning can add value to the downstream operations. This enables continuous flow, reduces stoppage, and allows a facility to produce more billable hours. It can also improve cycle time and CSI.


Q: 34

What is the best way to get started with repair planning?

To set up a good repair planning process, it’s critical that a shop has a good parts process in place. In the average shop, parts are about 42 percent of sales. Therefore, in a shop that brings in $100,000, that represents $42,000 in sales. If the average shop makes 25 percent, that’s $10,500 profit, leaving $31,500 per $100,000 in sales. Ordering parts is often a big, complicated and poorly-managed process in a body shop and yet is the single largest expense. If you address the inefficiencies you have with your parts process, many of the challenges you have in production and the business will go away. Once you create a process, it’s critical to find someone in the shop who can maintain it.


Q: A:

How does repair planning “feed” production?

Think about the concept of having two separate businesses. Shop “A” is repair planning, also referred to as build-down, that feeds Shop “B,” which is production. The purpose of repair planning is to reduce the variability of typical collision work. Shop A accomplishes this by transforming a damaged vehicle into a predictable state of work for Shop B. One of the challenges

Scot Takemoto, Island Concepts, the sponsor of the event, and speaker Tim Ronak, AkzoNobel.

shop leaders often have when they implement repair planning is that the structure of the business isn’t necessarily capable of supporting repair planning on an ongoing basis. As a result, the moment the process breaks down, they default to their previously used method.

Q: A:

How can I ensure my shop is successful?

One of the single biggest things shops need to do is


make sure they have a complete repair order. When a damaged vehicle is completely dissembled and all of the operations are identified, the parts department is able to order and verify the parts prior to the vehicle entering Shop B. The goal is to understand that repair planning feeds production. By having that complete repair order in Shop A, it almost guarantees that that car is going to flow right through Shop B.

Q: A:

ning process. If this is happening, I recommend investigating why those defects occur and then creating strategies to minimize them as much as possible.

What is the importance of measuring effectiveness?

Shop leaders and owners often don’t measure their repair planning efforts, but it’s very important to do so. All successful organizations measure effectiveness in critical operations or activities. It’s all about scheduling and understanding the capacity of each stage of production. The only way you can do that is understanding what is needed at the beginning of the repair. Many shops find that estimators and repair planners are writing supplements, sometimes daily. That’s a defect in the repair plan-

(l to r) Tim Ronak, AkzoNobel, and James Carlos, Oka’s Auto Body.

Another important component is auditing. As I mentioned previously, to really be doing repair planning, you absolutely must be auditing the process to be successful in the longterm. The key to repair process speed and efficiency is to slow the process up front to ensure a free-flowing and disruption-free production event that will not deviate from the accurate initial repair plan. Part one in a two-part series. / OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


MSO Symposium Announces Darrell Amberson as Event Moderator This year’s MSO Symposium will be hosted on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The symposium offers both networking opportunities and a dynamic and interactive agenda built to assist repair facilities with their business’ efficiency and productivity. Darrell Amberson has been an attendee of the MSO Symposium since its inception in 2012 and has served on the Automotive Service Association’s (ASA) board of directors for 12 years. He has over 40 years of experience in the auto repair industry and has been involved in collision industry events and served in a number of volunteer roles, including a number of advisory councils and committees. He is the recipient of the ASA

Phoenix Award, the ABRN Leadership Award, the Russ Verona Scholarship, and was inducted in the Hall of Eagles in 2009. He is currently president of operations at LaMettry’s Collision. “The MSO Symposium is an event like no other. It is exceedingly informative with industry data, particularly as it pertains to MSOs,” states Amberson. “It’s a rare opportunity to learn from some of the largest repairers and understand what they have done to navigate the challenges we experience. Every year it provides guidance, as to how I should direct my employees and our organization.” For more information or to register, please contact Jennie Lenk at

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AAPEX 2019 ADAS Forum to Prepare Repair Shops for Evolving Technology AAPEX 2019 is hosting a threehour advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) Forum to prepare auto repair shops for the opportunities and challenges of servicing ADAS-equipped vehicles. The Forum is part of this year’s AAPEXedu and will take place from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., on Thursday, Nov. 7, in the Bellini Ballroom at The Venetian in Las Vegas. AAPEX will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5, through Nov. 7, at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. Millions of vehicles are being introduced on the roads today with ADAS to keep drivers and passengers safe and help them avoid, reduce or mitigate accidents. This evolving technology includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings, blind-spot detection, forward collision warnings and adaptive light control to name a few. Session one of the Forum will cover today’s ADAS. Panelists will discuss the investment required for targets, the highly controlled floor space and technician training to en-

sure proper calibration, and the new business opportunities created by this technology.

The ADAS Forum at AAPEX 2019 will look at the opportunities and challenges of servicing ADAS-equipped vehicles. Credit: AAPEX

Session two will focus on the future, with panelists from leadingedge solution providers sharing their vision for next-generation ADAS recalibration tools and techniques that will take the current state of the art to the next level in efficiency and performance.

For more information, visit: www or e-mail: info@

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From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

What’s the Cost of a Comeback? It’s a question most shops haven’t considered; fewer shops have actually calculated the cost of a comeback. If you figured out the actual cost each time a customer has to bring their vehicle back into the shop, you’d be investing more of your time, systems or other resources to prevent it. I’m not talking about a customer coming back for a trim piece or other another part that was on backorder at the time the vehicle was delivered. I’m talking about the customer coming back that you didn’t expect to see until their next accident. They could be returning because of a paint issue, wind noise, or some vehicle system not functioning properly – something related to the quality and completeness of the repairs you performed. Clearly, most of the issues leading to such comebacks are avoidable through the use of such practices as having a good (preferably electronic) quality-control process in place throughout the repairs (something I discussed in a previous article), conducting a post-repair scan and test drive, and adhering to the OEM repair procedures researched at the time the repair plan for the vehicle was developed. If you don’t have those practices in place – or if you do and something still manages to fall through the cracks – you’re likely to have a comeback. So let’s do the math and figure out how much that costs your business. First, let’s think about some of the other indirect costs to which we might not be able to attach a dollar figure. How does that comeback impact the trust and reputation you’ve built with that customer? How much potential future business will you lose from that particular customer – or from others who hear, or read online about that customer’s experience? But leaving those intangible costs aside, you can actually measure the other bottom-line financial costs of that comeback. Here’s how. Start with the cost of your body technician’s time addressing the


comeback. The average collision technician produces about $55,000 or $65,000 per month in sales. At a 45 percent gross profit, a $55,000-permonth technician generates $24,750 in gross profit. Divide that by the number of hours they work in a month (let’s say it’s 195 hours) and you’ll see that technician is generating $126.92 in gross profit for each hour worked. So if that technician has to spend two hours on a redo or comeback, that just cost your shop $253.84 in lost gross profit. If there’s paintwork involved in the comeback, you can use a similar calculation to add in what it cost in paint shop labor gross profit. How about the estimator who worked with that customer and who took the call when the customer found a problem with the vehicle? He had to spend the time to speak with the customer, schedule the car back


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.

in, order any necessary parts, look up any additional OEM repair procedures, convey the information to the necessary staff, and coordinate getting the vehicle back to the customer a second time. Each of those small steps adds up, and they often interrupt work the estimator was doing, adding to the time lost in getting back into that work. An estimator making $60,000 a year cost you about $25.64 per hour ($5,000 per month divided by 195 hours worked per month) so if that comeback eats up 1.5 hours of their time, you’ve just added $38.46 to the dollars and cents cost of that comeback. Does your $15-per hour detailer need to spend another hour re-cleaning the vehicle? Add that in. Were there any paint materials needed? Add that in. Hopefully, the comeback didn’t require additional scanning or calibrations, but if so, you

can add the cost of those in as well. It’s easy to see how a comeback for even a relatively minor issue can rack up $500 or even $1,000 in costs for your business. Even just three of those a month can put an $18,000 ding in your shop’s annual bottom line – and I suspect there are a lot of shops dealing with far more than three comebacks a month. So let’s talk about what you’re doing to avoid comebacks. Send me an email ( about your quality control process or other insights you can share. Let’s start taking some of the wasteful cost of comebacks out of your shop and out of the industry.



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National News with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

Protect Your Shop From the Threat of Ransomware With an alarming increase of ransomware attacks plaguing the collision repair industry, cybersecurity has become an important topic for shop owners to educate themselves on for the safety of their businesses. A type of cybersecurity risk, ransomware attacks are when someone seizes control of an organization’s computer system or digital information, agreeing to release it only after a ransom has been paid. Ransomware is typically spread through phishing emails with malicious attachments or by visiting an infected website, but shops have also been hacked through open ports. After infecting the victim’s system, the ransomware virus encrypts every data file it finds and displays a demand for ransom, usually in untraceable cryptocurrency, in exchange for the decryption keys needed to restore the locked files. Failure to pay the


ransom leads to those keys being dis- purposes. If paying the ransom is the carded, which makes the data perma- only choice, be familiar with your insurance policy to know if cyberatnently inaccessible. One component of ensuring a tacks are covered; according to an shop is protected involves acquiring April report by the New York Times, and maintaining adequate insurance. many insurers have argued that certain cyberattacks tied to foreign In Autobody News’ August governments aren’t covered edition, David Willett, genunder insurance policies due eral manager of the automoto the “war exclusion” which tive industry at Intrepid prevents insurers from payDirect Insurance, shared, ing for costs related to dam“This is happening to other ages caused by war. industries, but it’s becoming “The normal ransomware more frequent in our indusDavid Willett, provision pays for rebuilding try. The number of automogeneral manager of the automotive the system and database, tive repairers with cyber risk coverage in their garage in- industry at Intrepid which can take 30 days or Direct Insurance more. It doesn’t reimburse or surance package is growing but still represents a small percentage.” pay the actual ransom request (usuMost experts do not recommend ally bitcoin), which offers an immepaying the ransom since there’s no diate fix,” Willett stated. “Intrepid’s guarantee that the hacker will restore provision pays for the ransom request the files or that they haven’t already because it was designed for what’s acgleaned information for nefarious tually happening in the industry, and


we plan to continue strengthening it for our customers’ protection.” The best way to prevent damage from hackers is to avoid being a victim of a ransomware attack altogether. In “Awareness Briefings on Combating Ransomware,” published by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the organization offered tips for businesses seeking to protect against ransomware attacks which are also available on their website: • Update software and operating systems with the latest patches. Outdated applications and operating systems are the target of most attacks. • Never click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails. • Backup data on a regular basis. Keep it on a separate device and store it offline. • Follow safe practices when browsing the Internet. Read Good

Security Habits for additional details. • Restrict users’ permissions to install and run software applications, and apply the principle of “least privilege” to all systems and services. Restricting these privileges may prevent malware from running or limit its capability to spread through a network. • Use application whitelisting to allow only approved programs to run on a network. • Enable strong spam filters to prevent phishing emails from reaching the end users and authenticate inbound email to prevent email spoofing. • Scan all incoming and outgoing emails to detect threats and filter executable files from reaching end users. • Configure firewalls to block access to known malicious IP addresses. There are several tips reiterated by cybersecurity professionals that are fairly simple and should be adhered to by all shops interested in protecting their digital information against ransomware and other cyber-attacks.

First, educate employees on the dangers of malware and common hazards; many companies choose to include expectations in their codes of conduct. Second, back up data since your ability to restore the files diminishes the hacker’s power. Lastly, be sure to update all software and operating systems since that is the only way to ensure protection against new approaches developed by hackers.

Willett agrees that insurance is only one component of managing cyber risk. “It’s important to have extortion coverage for ransomware, but trying to simply buy enough coverage isn’t the wisest risk management strat-

egy. Shops should implement a variety of risk management tools, including firewalls, segmented networks and file encryption at a minimum – just like shops have fire suppression systems on their paint booths, they need to have a system to protect their business from cyber risk.” As a result of their belief that education is paramount to prevention, Intrepid Direct Insurance has worked with RiskAnalytics to provide insureds with three safeguards included at no charge. The InsCyt Safe Browsing Tool (Sinkhole) protects against clicking on a link directed to an infected or suspected IP address by providing a warning in the browser. Intrepid also offers Online Employee Training to Defend Human Threats, a video teaching employees how to recognize and deal with malicious attempts, as well as a sample Security Awareness and Training Policy. Willett believes, “Our understanding of cybersecurity will eventually mature to the point that cybersecurity

policies are just as important as zero harassment policies. You need training for the human elements. Many of our customers pay for sophisticated cybersecurity management, and those companies appreciate Intrepid’s safeguards as much as the shops do.” “We worked with RiskAnalytics to create solid tools to enhance our customers’ cybersecurity,” Willett continued. “As an insurance company, Intrepid expects losses, but we try to provide customers with viable risk management tools to sensibly mitigate the risks as much as possible. We always want to help insureds manage as much as they can within their own shops. This mentality is going to become more prevalent within our industry over the next couple years.” If a ransomware attack occurs, immediately disconnect the infected machine from the network to prevent the virus from spreading, and restore files from backups if possible. Take a photo or screenshot of the message to file a police report. Hiring a cybersecurity company can help determine how the system was hacked and help See Threat of Ransomware, Page 54 / OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS





Social Media for Shops

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

with Ed Attanasio

Yelp Experts Yelp Back About Billion Dollar Bully Body shop owners and Yelp experts who work with the collision repair industry weighed in recently about last month’s article (Does Yelp Bully Body Shops?) in the wake of Billion Dollar Bully, a documentary about how Yelp can adversely impact small businesses. It claims that Yelp extorts small business owners for advertising fees in return for promoting positive reviews and hiding negative ones. So, I asked four marketing gurus about the role of Yelp in this industry, and how can a shop avoid being bullied by it? Micki Hazz, owner of Hazz Marketing: “Yelp comes up frequently in my talks with clients in building their brand online,” she said. “As frustrating as the platform can be for business owners (and understandably so), it is a tool that is not going anywhere; so, your best bet is to embrace it and maximize it! I’d recom-

mend that your business claim its free Yelp listing and fill it out to the best of your ability. “Make sure to add pictures of not only your logo but the front of the building, check-in area, employee pics (as long as you have had them

short, public response thanking them for taking time out of their day to write a review for your shop. “Yelp is a tool that Americans nationwide turn to for validating a business of any kind. Even if you have some grumpy customers, it’s

sign a waiver) and some before and after photos of the work you’ve done,” she said. “Make sure to add an explanation to each photo and please use proper English with decent grammar! When customers give you a good review, you’ll want to click the ‘Thanks’ button in your dashboard at the very least. If you can, write a

your opportunity to put your best foot forward and represent yourself honestly to make visitors to your Yelp page feel like you really care and that they won’t just be ‘a number’ getting processed like so many places of business have left them to feel.” Chief Marketing Officer Megan Williams at Lefler Collision & Glass

“We had a real problem for a while with fake reviews, but now we are proactive about contacting Yelp whenever we see a fake review” — Angel Iraola

Repair Centers: “With the majority of people utilizing smartphones, having a high-ranking website is crucial because we only have mere moments to get in front of that potential customer,” she said. “One of the simplest ways to work toward ensuring your shop has good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is that you claim and keep your Google Business, Yelp, and Yellow Page profiles updated with photos, events, special offers, etc. “Yelp was previously considered to only be used for restaurants but we are seeing an increasing amount of consumers using Yelp for research as well as leaving reviews following their repair experience. I would go as far to say that Yelp is the most important to be working on right now because they are the largest listing provider for voice search and within See Yelp Experts, Page 67

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Open Letter on NH Veto of “Failing to Pay” Bill September 5, 2019

On Aug. 30, New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner John Elias penned a column expressing support for Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto of House Bill 664, a bill drafted to protect consumers in post-collision auto body repairs. This bill would have amended the Unfair Insurance Practices Act to prohibit automobile insurance companies from “knowingly failing to pay” for auto body repairs conducted in accordance with the original manufacturer’s repair instructions. Automobiles today are packed with new technology. To return a vehicle to pre-collision condition, automobiles need to be repaired by highly trained professionals, following automaker repair instructions. Proper auto body repairs are a matter of safety. On Dec. 21, 2013, Matthew Seebachan, 33, and his wife Marcia were nearly killed when their 2010 Honda Fit was struck by another car on US 281 in Texas. What should have been an unremarkable vehicle crash turned into a life or death situation, when the structural integrity of their vehicle was compromised and the couple was trapped within the burning vehicle. In the court case that followed, it was found that the crashworthiness of their vehicle was diminished as the result of an earlier auto body repair that did not follow the proper repair procedures recommended by Honda. Instead of using 100 separate welds to reattach the roof panel, as documented by the manufacturer in the very type of procedure this bill addresses, the repair shop simply used a tube of adhesive, an unapproved method of repair. When the Seebachans’ vehicle was struck, the now compromised vehicle collapsed around them in a manner inconsistent with how it would have reacted had the approved repair procedure been followed. Court documents indi-

cate the couple was conscious while their bodies burned. The Seebachans won their case against the auto body shop and the shop was ordered to pay $31.5 million to the couple in damages. The key to the case, and something Commissioner Elias seems to ignore, was the sworn testimony from the auto body shop manager who explained the shop consciously did not follow the vehicle manufacturer’s repair instructions because they believed they would not receive payment from the automobile insurance company for the more complicated repair. Because the shop bent to perceived pressures from the insurance company and used an unapproved repair procedure, the Seebachans will live the rest of their lives in pain from this accident. Instead of recognizing the possibility that implied pressure and claims settlement practices from insurers could yield an unsafe vehicle repair, Commissioner Elias questions whether the bill passed by the legislature would actually improve safety, and suggests that the safe repair of a vehicle is not an issue in the state. As evidence, he points to the fact that his office has not received any consumer complaints on the topic. The commissioner seems to forget that the very purpose of government regulation is to protect consumers from such practices which they would not be well equipped to understand on their own. For most consumers, as long as their vehicle is returned with matching paint and body panels, roughly aligned, they are satisfied. The repair procedures that impact occupant safety are largely obscured once a vehicle is reassembled. Should the Seebachans have carried the obligation to inspect their vehicle, and somehow divine that the use an adhesive to reattach the roof was an improper repair?

Alliance of Automotive Service Providers | 612-270-6696 | Society of Collision Repair Specialists | 877-841-0660 | Automotive Service Association | 817-514-2900 | 48


Commissioner Elias also asserted that requiring auto body shops to follow manufacturer instructions would increase insurance rates on consumers. Such a belief is an acknowledgement that repairs are not being conducted in accordance with automaker instructions today. If they were, there would be no reason for rates to change. The very reason consumers buy auto insurance is to make sure their vehicle is made whole if they are ever in an accident. We are aware of no insurance discounts offered in the state for policies that allow for corner-cutting repairs. As such, New Hampshire consumers should be guaranteed their vehicle will receive a safe and proper repair if their vehicle is ever in an accident, and to do so repairers need to follow automaker repair procedures every time.

Bill Adams President Alliance of Automotive Service Providers

Brett Bailey Chairman Society of Collision Repair Specialists

Ray Fisher President Automotive Service Association

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Shop Showcase

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

with Ed Attanasio

Pasta, Pizza and La Pigna—A Body Shop Vacation In the land of four-foot pizzas, pasta cooked al dente each and every time and breathtaking scenery everywhere you look, Autocarroseria La Pigna in Longobardi, Italy, is a second-generation shop with five employees that recently celebrated its 52nd anniversary.

collision repair industry there and to, hopefully, deduct some of my trip on my taxes. When my cousin and tour guide, Frank Aloe started asking around for the best shop in town for an interview, most mentioned Autocarroseria La Pigna. Who needs Yelp? I thought. The old word-ofmouth has been the best way to rate any business for centuries; so, when I walked into this immaculate shop, I was fairly confident that it would be one of the area’s best collision repairers. My cousin speaks fluent Italian, so I had a good inMaurizio’s crew also repairs and restores motorcycles and terpreter for the interview. high-end scooters in an area where they compete with In addition, he knows nearly cars on the region’s tight roads. Credit: Ed Attanasio everyone in my family’s While I was on vacation in Italy hometown of Longobardi, in the Calthis summer, I decided to interview abria region of Italy (pop. 2,200). a shop owner to get a glimpse of the During the one-hour interview, I re-

alized I wasn’t getting a full translation from my cousin every time. Whenever I asked La Pigna’s Owner, Raia Maurizio, a question about topics such as DRPs, OE vs. aftermarket

a little harder to learn some Italian before embarking on this trip. Maurizio’s father, Rocco, purchased La Pigna in 1989 until he stepped aside and gave the reins to his son a few years back. His dad passed away earlier this year at the age of 75, but he taught Raia the right way to fix cars without cutting corners. Today, Maurizio’s wife, Luisa, runs the front office to accommodate the shop’s growing clientele. Three years ago, he doubled the size of his facility when he acquired the mechanical The break room for the employees at Autocarroseria La Pigna features a photo of Sophia Loren and free lunches. shop next door, so he needs Credit: Ed Attanasio a steady flow of work to pay parts, etc., his responses were rather the bills. When he was ten years old, Maulengthy. But, each time my cousin would offer me a one-sentence an- rizio began prepping and polishing swer. I knew this wasn’t going to be Fiats when school was out, and after a easy and thought I should have tried while, the crew taught him how to do

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basic metalwork. His strength during those years was rust repair, but eventually, he was permitted to do it all, including paintwork. I was trying to find some statistics about how many accidents take place in Italy. One of the things I noticed immediately was that these people drive fast but in control. Their ability to pass each other on tight roads is pretty amazing, and I flinched more than a few times as my cousin’s rattling Volkswagen Golf flew around blind turns in the middle of the night. In a land where there are more scooters than cars, the crew of five at La Pigna works on scooters and motorcycles and also does restoration work to complement the 30–40 collision jobs they perform every month. The two-wheel repairs are mostly cosmetic, and the car re-building business is limited to three to five vehicles annually, but they do fill in the gaps when business slows down. Unlike most body shops in the United States, there are no DRPs in Italy, but drama with the insurance companies seems to be universal. “We work for the client, not for the insurance company,” he said. “They

bring their cars here and we give them an estimate and then they take it to their insurance company. In some cases, they will go through their insurance company, but half of the time, they ask us to fix the car without their

per hour ($38.50 US) plus tax, so that is where we will often disagree.” When it comes to parts, Maurizio gives each of his customers three options—OE, used or aftermarket. “We are well known here in southern

From left to right, Painter Pietro, Owner Raia Maurizio, Metal Technician Dante and Apprentice Giovanni at Autocarroseria La Pigna in Longobardi, Italy. Credit: Ed Attanasio

insurer involved.” If there are any discrepancies between estimates, the tug-of-war begins and “we battle it out,” Maurizio said. “Sometimes they do not accept our labor rate, which is 35 euros

Italy for having access to good parts, which is important when we are working on Maserati’s, Ferraris and Lamborghinis. We can get factory parts in three to four days; aftermarket parts next day and if we need a

part fast, we can go to the wrecking yard in Cozensa and do it that way. Before we ever install any part in any car, we make sure that the customer knows and agrees.” One thing that Italy is very strict about is modifying any vehicle even slightly and that’s something Maurizio has to keep in mind, especially when he is restoring an old classic car. “We have to get documentation from the owner before we touch it,” he said. “If you get caught driving a vehicle that was modified without approval, there’s a serious fine and they can take the car from you too.” Maurizio believes he will succeed as long as he follows his father’s advice. “He told me don’t compromise the work and always do the right things for our customers and workers,” he said. He explained that if he can continue to repair cars correctly and maintain his reputation for being a good shop, everything else will fall into place. In Italy, they say, “Mangia bene, ridi spesso, ama molto” which means “Eat well, laugh often, love much … and repair cars using OE procedures.”

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In Reverse with Gary Ledoux

Gary Ledoux is an industry veteran with 50 years’ experience in the automotive and OEM collision parts industry. His column appears exclusively in Autobody News. He can be reached at

The 1980s – Keeping up With Technology It seemed like we had just gotten over the decline of the hippie movement, and the rise and fall of disco and a TV actor being president of the U.S. And bang … the 1980s were on top of us. It was a decade of big hair, big phones and new, bigger problems. We had to worry about who shot J.R., what would happen to Hawkeye, Radar and Major “Hotlips” Houlian now that the Korean war was over – and we had to worry about how to get a dirt-free finish on collision repairs. On-Stage With Two-Stage In the 1980s, paint technology was advancing rapidly. In a 1985 trade magazine column, industry leader and Texas shop owner Bobby Johnson wrote, “… the use of acrylic lacquer is down across the industry and will continue a downward trend in most shops. You can expect to use more catalyzed acrylic enamel, ure-

A trade magazine article in the summer of 1989 notes; “New products are being introduced at such a rapid pace that it can be both confusing and frustrating for many of the ‘older than average’ painters. Many of us still recall when the introduction of new products only happened occasionally. The enormous number of changes in technology, equipment and training taking place in the last nine years (since 1979/1980) have been just short of overwhelming to many of us.” (Note: This was written 30 years ago, but it could have been lifted out of any industry magazine of today). Spray Booths Become More Important With the changes in paint technology, spray booths became more important. The downdraft spray booth began to really catch traction thanks to the introduction of clear-coats and

“New products are being introduced at such a rapid pace that it can be both confusing and frustrating for many of the ‘older than average’ painters.” — Bobby Johnson

thane and related products if you intend to duplicate texture, finish and durability.” Indeed, by 1985, most paint manufacturers had introduced their own two-stage base-coat/clearcoat paint systems. This was another thing driving the purchase of paint booths. More exotic paints meant more exotic means of application. Although waterborne paint had been around for years at the OE level, it had not yet hit the refinish market. In early 1988, an article about modern refinishing techniques notes:

• From 1981 to 1988, use of basecoat/clearcoat colors on domestic cars has gone from 6.5% use to 64.9%. • In 1988, more than 50% of all import vehicles will feature OE basecoat/clearcoat finishes. • More than 90% of all vehicle repairs in the U.S. will be spot and panel jobs. 52

the need for a dirt-free finish. Shop owners were realizing that time saved in buffing out a dirty finish covered with overspray was money in the bank. An article appearing in a trade magazine in the summer of 1984 said of spray booths, “They are the latest trend. They are the wave of the future for body shops across the country. They are the only way to survive in an increasingly competitive environment. They can mean the difference between a shop that progresses into the demanding, everchanging 1980s and one that too soon hangs out the FOR SALE sign.” An industry survey conducted early in 1984 revealed that of 430 respondents, 257 or 60% of shops said they had a spray booth, 173 or 40% said no. For those respondents answering “yes” to have a spray booth, they were further asked if their booth was made by a spray booth manufac-


turer. To that, only 107 or 25% responded yes, while 43% or 187 respondents said no, and indicated that they may have a home-made unit of some sort. (These could have been very old – going back to the 1940s). A third question asked if the respondent did not have a spray booth, did they plan on buying one in the next 24 months. 68 or 39% said yes. Construction Materials Change Changes were coming in the vehicle construction materials used by carmakers. A 1984 trade magazine article noted that “… more and more plastic has been used in various parts of car bodies particularly in the front end in the bumper and front extensions, in soft front fascia’s and aprons, grill opening panels, stone shields and elsewhere. Because these parts are much lighter in weight than sheetmetal, they have become an important

part of every U.S. manufacturers fuelsaving weight reduction program.” In the fall of 1987, a trade magazine article notes that the use of plastics in the average Ford car has more than doubled since 1975 – from 4% of the car’s total weight to 8.5% of the total in 1985. Projections have determined that 11% of the typical 1990 model year Ford will be made of plastics. This is in relation to a decrease in the use of mild steel – down 10% in 1985 from 1975s 60% of the total and projected to drop another 3% by 1990.” In an unrelated article appearing near the end of 1989, a chart provided by BASF Corp. shows that automotive use of plastics went from about 50 pounds per car in 1970 to an estimated average of about 300 pounds in 1990. A September 1988 trade magazine article described repairs being

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made to a current model (1988) import and restoration being made to a 1960 Chrysler Imperial, side-by-side in the shop. The outside body of the import used a number of different plastics in various spots. The outside of the Chrysler was all metal—heavy metal—and chrome. The only plastic used on the Chrysler was in the cabin. The Chrysler had heavy glass, and lots of it secured with hardware and chrome pieces. The import had glass sitting almost flush with the body, secured with urethane. In fact, the article’s author and then-industry leader Bobby Johnson posited, “The chrome on the fender of the big car probably weighed more than the entire front fender of the import.” By the end of the decade, highstrength steel was becoming more prevalent. A trade magazine article appearing in January of 1989 notes more high-strength steel is used in auto construction than ever before; the high strength steel has been used since the mid-1970s. The problem now becomes, where it is used and how to identify it, as well as making sure that little to no heat is used on high strength steel, because doing so


adversely affects the steel’s molecular characteristics.

with position statements advocating against clipping or sectioning.

Continued from Page 43

Clip and Snip Repair procedures became more of a bone of contention. According to a 1984 industry survey, 58% of shops section cars in their shops; although, when asked, only 45% of shops said that the insurance companies are requesting that cars be sectioned. Of those that do perform sectioning, 70% said they weld at the factory seams. Almost two out of three (64%) said sectioned cars are safe, while 11% said they were not. Some shops said sectioned cars were actually stronger than the original, while others said just the opposite. The article noted, “Although clipping, or sectioning, makes up a very small portion of the work in the collision repair field, it receives the lion’s share of publicity because of the dangers involved in an improperly sectioned car and because of the instances of fraud by used car dealers.” Despite the possibility of clipping or sectioning having a severe negative impact on their brand image, OE’s did not start addressing the issue until around 2007

Changing Labor Operations With changes in car building and repair technology came changes in labor operations. Industry veteran Tony Lombardozzi explains, “Back in the late 70s and early 80s with the change to unibody vehicle design came the change from ‘combination man’ to specialized job descriptions. In most cases, it allowed the shops to become more efficient with production and allowed shops to hire more lower-skilled workers that were led by a professional and worked as a team. This allowed shops to maintain a higher gross profit on labor, which was beginning to diminish. A combination man who may have been a decent body man, but was an expert refinisher was moved to the refinishing department and vice versa.” Here, in the second decade of the 21st century, Radar, Hawkeye and Major Houlihan, and many who were in the collision industry of the 1980s (and earlier) have retired; but, the fight continues to keep up with repair technology.

implement measures to prevent future attacks. Willett pointed out, “Intrepid’s customers should rely on what’s in their cybersecurity awareness training and already have action steps lined out. Shut down the impacted system to prevent the virus from infecting all of the shop’s computers, and contact your cybersecurity management team to assess the damages.” Cybersecurity risks aren’t going away anytime soon; in fact, they advance every day to circumvent the protection that is developed against them. Willett stated, “I’m excited and relieved that everyone is finally talking about this issue. In the past, it was easy to say that only big companies were affected so it was difficult to get people to pay attention to cybersecurity, but that’s not the case anymore – anyone could be impacted, and being educated about all the risks and ways to protect yourself is the surest way to avoid being a victim of a cybersecurity attack.”


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Hey Toby! with Toby Chess

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

Kool Tools: Pre-SEMA 2019 I have been conducting I-CAR mobile welding tests for 15 years now. I’ve taught nearly 6,000 techs in ten states and have driven over 400,000 miles. During these travels, I found a few things in common: • Many technicians have poor welding helmets. • Proper MIG gloves are not used; most of them are torn. • The majority of MIG welders being used today need to be scrapped. Before SEMA starts, let’s talk about MIG Welders as well as a new repair process using hot glue. There are three welders to look at: • Pro Spot PR-205 MV; • Millermatic 211; and • Millermatic 255.

Both the Pro Spot PR-205 MV and Millermatic 211 are multi-volt machines. You can plug into a 120 plug (with an adapter) or 220 volts (Fig. 1).

The machine will then set the wire speed and volts/amperage for that metal thickness. There are steel settings for .024 wire, .030 wire, and .035 wire. You can weld aluminum with up to 1mm wire (non-pulsed welding) and .8mm copper selenium wire (non-pulsed welding only).

diameter and the material thickness and machine will set the wire speed automatically.

Fig. 5

Fig. 3

1. Amperage/Wire Speed Display 2. Indicators 3. Voltage/Thickness Display 4. Amperage/Wire Speed 5. Weld Mode (Select between MIG, Synergic MIG, TIG, Stick & Manual Modes) 6. Thickness/Voltage

The last welder you should look at is the Millermatic 255. This welder is a great entry-level machine, and is a smaller version of their top of the line 350 Power Auto-

motive MIG Welder. (MSTP as shown is $4,725, but you can check with a dealer for a better price). The Millermatic 255 MIG welder (Fig. 6) is a complete 250-amp pulsed welder that comes standard with pulsed MIG welding capability. Auto-Set Elite technology allows you to use preset welding parameters based on metal thickness, shielding gas and welding wire type to achieve optimum welds. You can also set your voltage and wire feed speed manually for a custom welding arc. In addition, the Millermatic 255 comes complete with a full-color, seven-inch LCD screen and has simple controls. It seamlessly switches between welding with a standard MIG gun or with an optional

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The next welder you may wish to consider is the Millermatic 211 (Fig. 4).


Fig. 1

Mon. - Fri.: 7:30am - 8pm

Sat.: 8am - 4pm Fig. 4

Fig. 2

The Pro Spot 205-MV machine (Fig. 2) is synergic – you tell the machine the wire type and diameter, and then you can set the metal thickness. 56

Just like the Pro Spot PR205MV, this welder has a multivoltage plug (MVP), which allows connection to common 120 or 240 volt power receptacles without the use of any tools. You simply choose the plug that fits the receptacle and connect to the power cord. The Millermatic 211 is a modified synergic welder (Fig. 5). You select the material, and then the wire


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Spoolmatic™ spool gun. Moreover, it has a MIG brazing program that can be switched from pulsed to synergic (Fig. 7).

Fig. 6

Fig. 7

Now, I will give you my thoughts on all three welders. If you are going to purchase a

new MIG welder, I would recommend the Pro Spot PR-205 and, or the Millermatic 211. The 120-volt standalone MIG welders are excellent machines and they are cheaper than the multi-volt machines; however, they will not be able to handle 0.35 wire (truck and SUV frames) or aluminum wire. A 220-volt or 120volt machine allows you to perform more collision operations without an additional welder. If I’m conducting a training session, I always have my PR-205 and 211 with me, in my trailer. I’ve been using Miller welders for over 15 years now, and only one of my welders broke down so far; but, it’s been repaired under warranty. So, they are work horses, but I do prefer my Pro Spot, because of the overall feel of the gun and the ease of use. Miller changed their “M” series MIG guns (M10, M15 and M25) to the MDX series MIG guns. Besides a different feel, the consumables are completely different. The nozzle on the “M” series guns was a press-on part, but the MDX nozzle screws on, which takes more time to remove in order to clean it. Lastly, Miller should consider adding the metric system

unit of length, millimeter (MM), since the metric system is of choice when it comes to working in the collision industry. Speaking of consumables, Miller can be found at all your local welding stores; but, you will need to go online or contact your area’s Pro Spot dealer to get more consumables. Pro Spot dealers will help with the set-up of your new welder, whereas with Miller, you’re on your own. Now, let’s move to the Millermatic 255. If you are in the market for an entry level aluminum/MIG brazing pulse welder, try this one out. The controls are easy to navigate – switching between pulse and synergic when welding aluminum or MIG braze is done by just a touch of a bottom. I like how it welds, but as I stated before, I wish Miller would have the option of using millimeters instead of inches. At the time of this article, the MIG brazing program is for .035 millimeter wire, but I told Miller employees that they need to add for .030 millimeter wire (which is the most commonly used today). One final note, this machine has no OEM certifications at this time. I, now, want to switch gears and


talk about using hot glue tabs (Fig. 8) to repair dents.

Fig. 8

Why glue tabs? With vehicle manufacturers utilizing more high strength and ultra-high strength steels and aluminum in today’s vehicles, repair standards are becoming increasingly high. The Glue Tab Kit is another tool that can be used to meet OEM standards and produce quality dent pulling results. No heat will destroy the OEM applied corrosion protection on the exterior and interior panels being repaired, which is what I loved about hot gluing the tabs. The hot glues they are utilizing today will allow a technician to repair larger and stronger damage on both aluminum and steel panels. All three companies have a wide range of pulling tabs, but the one I liked the best is called “viper” from KECO. It allows the tech to build their pulling tab to fit any odd shaped dent.

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Pro Spot International. Fig. 9 Fig. 15 Keco Tabs. Fig. 11

Dent Fix), hand pullers (separate with Pro Spot), Ding Hammer (separate with Dent Fix) and DING Boards and Lights.

18-volt light from Keco Tabs (comes with body repair kit). Fig. 13

Repair Without Damaging the Undercoat

Step 1: Plug in the glue gun, so it’ll be hot and ready when the area and tabs are prepared (Fig. 15).

Dent Fix Corporation. Fig. 10

All three companies – Pro Spot International, Dent Fix Corp, and Keco Tabs – have kits, including bridge pullers (separate with Pro Spot and

Fig. 14. Credit: Pro Spot International Non-lighted by Dent Fix. Fig. 12

Applies in Four Easy Steps

Fig. 16

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Step 2: Clean the area you are planning to repair with 91% alcohol (Fig. 16).

Fig. 17

Step 3: Heat the area you are repairing to remove excess moisture – no more than 100 degrees (Fig. 17).

going to pull and then apply it to the area you are repairing (Fig. 18).

All three companies have kits, but the most complete is the Keco Tabs system, especially with the wide range of glue-on tabs. It also costs the most compared with the other two companies. I will show you all the tricks that I have learned in a near future article. Please seek out these manufacturers at this year’s SEMA for demos of their systems. Here is a welding helmet and a pair of MIG gloves – two top of the line items – that I have been using with great success.

This mask is under $295. It comes with three sensors, utilizes digital operation and is light weight. I have been using these helmets for the last 15 years. Recently, three of the analog helmets have stopped working, so I replaced them with digital and they are the best. MIG Welding Gloves #39 Made by Black Stallion

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Fig. 20

Fig. 18

Step 4: Place glue on the tab you are Continued from Page 13

Tech Shortage

have to figure out how to get to them sooner and we have to find a position in the marketplace for the young people.” Incorporate Mentoring: One of the fundamental aspects of a successful apprenticeship program, according to Luehr, is mentoring. Ritter recommended having mentors share information in “bite-sized” pieces to help trainees retain the information. Also, she said to spend time pairing people who work well together. Ritter said apprentices who are trained in this way are going to be a shop’s best mentors because that’s how they learned. “That’s when your culture starts shifting,” she said. Research Alternative Funding: Funding is often available through workforce development boards and state boards. Ritter said to start building relationships with state and local government officials to find out more about the programs available in your 60

Fig. 19

area. Community programs are also a potential source of funding that can be explored. Collaborate: In order to create positive change, Ritter stressed the importance of collaboration. “We really need to make sure we are collaborating and working together, lifting each other up and supporting each other,” said Ritter. “It’s an industry problem; it has to be an industry solution. We can’t impact change unless we have the involvement of all,” said Bickett. “When an industry comes together and can standardize and speak the same language, I think it can make a tremendous impact.” For more information about CCI, visit https://www.collisioncareer To watch the free replay of the webinar and all of the Elite webinar series, visit /replay/818182175026316819/c019 72848e/0/0.


I have tried virtually every glove on the market and these are by far the best. They have a great feel, they last long, and they provide excellent heat protection. These gloves do cost more, but they are well worth the investment. Acquires Property in FL, the dealership group that has set out to redefine the car buying experience, has found a new home in West Palm Beach, FL. Construction has already begun on the site that holds an investment of over $50 million, with a commitment of $4.5 million on renovations, equipment and over $35 million in inventory. Located at 551 S. Military Trail, the 51,326 square feet site contains a showroom and office space as well as a three-story parking and services building totaling 221,406 square feet. The location will feature the company’s first dealership in the City of West Palm Beach, second in Palm Beach County and seventh in the state. “We’re committed to Florida,” says John Hairabedian, president of “In 2010, we chose to put down roots in the state and we couldn’t be more pleased with our choice.” For more information, please visit and

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Truck Topics with Gary Ledoux

Gary Ledoux is an industry veteran with 50 years’ experience in the automotive and OEM collision parts industry. His column appears exclusively in Autobody News. He can be reached at

Shop Profile – Diversified Body and Paint In 1989, Mark Gibson started painting Peterbilt hoods in his father’s garage - an inauspicious beginning to what would later become one of the premier heavy-duty truck body shops in the country; Diversified Body and Paint Shop located in Denver. Later, Steve Wolfe would join the company, become a partner, and in 2002, buy-out Gibson’s share to become sole owner along with his family. Autobody News caught up with Wolfe to discuss his growing business. Wolfe said 50% of their work is commercial Class 8 trucks, about 23% RV’s, 15% emergency vehicles such as fire trucks or ambulances, 10% are buses and 2% are food trucks. When asked which type presents the biggest challenges, he replied, “They all present their own special challenges. Much of what we work on are ‘one-off’ vehicles where body panels and other parts must be custom made. And you never know what you will run into.” Wolfe noted that a few years ago they had two RV’s in the shop at the same time, made by the same manufacturer, same model year, same model, even the same color. Surprisingly, they were only three serial numbers apart from each other. When they started repairs, one had an aluminum body frame; the other was wood requiring two completely different repair protocols. We posed a few other questions to Wolfe. Here’s what he had to say.

Q: A:

From how far away will a customer come to you for repair?

Being where we are located, it’s not uncommon for a customer to travel 300 to 500 miles to see us. Denver is a city in a vast area of open land.

Given the type of vehicles you repair, it would appear that you do a lot of custom fabrication, something that I assume is not in the conventional estimating systems. How do you estimate that type of work? Are the insurance companies



accepting of these types of estimates?

There really is no system to accurately estimate the work we do. It is only through years of experience and knowing custom fabrication that we can create an estimate. Fortunately, insurance companies are largely accepting of what we provide them. They may ask a question or want something clarified but they know how this works. We even put on classes for insurance adjusters so they can learn what it takes to repair a fire truck, ambulance or a bus. It is not uncommon for us to have a five-day class with 15 to 20 insurance company adjusters.


Many RV enthusiasts live in their RV and travel full-time. When they have an accident, it can be devastating because their “house” is damaged. To help them, you offer overnight parking for RV repair. What is the longest someone has stayed in your lot?


you can’t get technical information or any information at all. In some newer Class 8 trucks with ADAS systems, we can see the DTC codes but don’t have the ability to clear them. It just depends on the vehicle.

Your business operates on several days and hours – weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. and on weekends from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. How many different shifts do you have? How many technicians do you employ?


We have 35 employees, including 20 technicians. We run two shifts Monday through Friday as well as a shift on Saturday and Sunday. Yes, there is plenty of work; in fact, we will be opening a new 50,000 square foot shop by the end of the year. But it’s more than just the volume of work. Because of the na-


ture of our business and our clientele, it’s more about being available when they need us. A Class 8 truck down costs the trucking company money every day that truck isn’t rolling. When a fire truck is down, you can’t run down to Enterprise and get a rental fire truck. That municipality will have to depend on neighboring communities for ‘mutual aid’ when there is a call for that particular truck. For instance, a drunk driver ran into the back of a ladder (fire) truck while the truck was at a working fire causing extensive damage. Even with all those flashing lights, the drunk driver never saw the truck. (The truck featured a hydraulic bucket and mounted water nozzle enabling a firefighter to pour water on a fire several floors above street level). Not every municipality has a snorkel truck and when you need it, you need it. That fire department

A full-time RVer lived in our lot for two months while we waited for parts.


When a collision impact intrudes the interior space of an RV, especially a late model Class A, Class C motorhome or Fifth Wheel, and damages interior cabinets or furniture, do you try to secure the replacement pieces from the RV manufacturer, get parts from the component manufacturer, or fabricate them yourself?


Choose Original MINI Parts.

We use a combination of all of the above. Unlike a car, RV parts, especially interior parts are usually only available for a short time after the unit is built so we have carpet guys, cabinet guys and other specialists who will custom-make the interiors.

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Of all the vehicles you work on, which one is the biggest challenge and why?


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called us about every day for three months while we repaired the truck.

How do you keep your technicians trained? Do you use I-CAR?


I-CAR is good and I respect what they do, but they haven’t quite caught up with this type of work yet. They are more attuned to work that is repetitive in nature - on vehicles that are built with a lot of consistency and for which parts and information are readily available. We rely on classes put on by equipment manufacturers, paint manufacturers and people like John Spoto of 3M, our rep from Axalta, and many more.


Q: A: Q:

certain operations. Is that the same way in the truck collision world?

Some adjusters try to play that game. We simply explain that this is not the auto world. We perform on a different level. Due to the complexity and size of the vehicle, the na-


In the auto collision repair world, insurance companies (especially those with DRP arrangements) are notorious for trying to reduce the shop’s labor rate or not cover

Is your shop equipped and trained to diagnose, repair and recalibrate ADAS systems on any brand trucks?


We are equipped to work on most. Others, we have to send back to the dealer. This changes on what seems like a daily basis. On the auto side, OE’s have had years to figure out why and how to provide the repair aftermarket with repair information. The truck side is just now realizing what they need to do and are slow in providing it.


Are you a direct repair shop for any insurance companies? Yes, several.

adjuster in to see us. We have to educate them on what we do, and why we need to get our rate and our hours.

ture of the repair, and the amount of space that such a vehicle occupies in the shop, we need to get paid for each operation—and, at a rate that is commensurate with the nature of the repair. It’s that simple. Sometimes an insurance company will send an auto

Q: A:

Are you involved with any trucking industry associations?

Yes, I am on the advisory board for the HD Repair Forum. In addition, we are a member of the Truck Frame and Axel Repair Association (TARA), the Rocky Mountain Fleet Management Association (RMFMA) and the Fire Mechanics Association. We are also part of the

Colorado Motor Carrier’s Association.

What is your biggest challenge today as your body repair business is concerned?


Our biggest problem is finding enough quality techs. We have been hiring new techs and putting them through an apprentice program. We have also hired techs that came to us from the auto side and brought them up to speed. But we could grow at a faster rate if we had some experienced HD techs. The other big challenge we run into is OE repair information, or the lack thereof. We are working on this with our associations and forums.




Where do you see the truck collision repair industry in ten

I see us finally catching up to the auto repair world in terms of OE information availability. I am hoping to see custom work be more consistent in the way it is done, so we can have certifiable repairs and certified shops like the auto side.




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Continued from Page 46

Yelp Experts

the next six months, research shows that 50% of all searches are going to be conducted by voice. “Nearly 70% of all voice searches are conducted on Amazon or iPhone devices which are controlled by Yelp. This shows the influence that Yelp has by running the majority of the quickly growing voice search market. Having an updated Yelp account, mentioning to your customers the opportunity to leave a review, and responding to all reviews – whether good or bad, can help position your shop at the top of the search engine results. “To conclude, review profiles such as Yelp, Google Business, and Yellow Pages are a crucial step towards a prominent search engine ranking. Applications such as Podium can help facilitate more customers to your review profiles, which can then lead to more reviews and a higher search results placement.” President of Phoenix Solutions Group, Nick Schoolcraft: “I always

tell my clients to respond to every review, because this is your best way to show the world and search engines that you are listening to your customers and aren’t afraid to address poor experiences,” he said. “It also demonstrates your appreciation for all of your customers. We feel strongly about the benefit of review response and believe that it’s one of the more critical components to ensure a well-rounded digital presence for your business. “The best thing a business can do is deliver an amazing experience, but shops often get so caught up on how to get reviews that they lose sight of what their customers may be saying. How can a shop avoid being bullied by Yelp? “I think it all starts with understanding how your customers actually get to your shop and recognize that Yelp is not the predominant driver of collision traffic in most cases. Regardless of your belief, arming yourself with details that are easily gained by marketing research, or even Google Analytics to a certain degree, can go a long way in understanding Yelp’s value to your business.

“At Phoenix, we have never purchased an ad plan from Yelp on behalf of a client. We’ve been asked many times from customers to look into exploring that option for them. But we’ve ultimately found the value to not warrant the cost, or the opportunity cost, of not having all of your reviews shown. If a shop can provide a differentiated experience, then it will absolutely show through, not by the number of reviews a shop has, but by the quality of the reviews. Improving your relationship with your customers should be the first effort in trying to generate more positive reviews online.” Angel Iraola, owner of Net Business Consulting & Solutions: “We have a long track record working with Yelp, and although things have improved, they are still not ideal,” he said. “We have clients who have refused to join Yelp and punished for not taking part. They have also been accused of withholding positive, genuine reviews and won’t remove fake reviews unless you advertise. “We had a real problem for a while with fake reviews, but now we are proactive about contacting Yelp

whenever we see a fake review,” he said. “In some cases, they’re very willing to take it down right away, but they will always hit us up for advertising at the same time. They’ll give you the hard sell. But, if they keep the bogus reviews upfront because you won’t pay, now we have a problem that needs to be addressed. “For our clients who are fed up with Yelp, we often now suggest that shops focus more on other review sites, such as Google, Glassdoor, Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List, for example,” Iraola said. “Google is well-known for being accountable and transparent, and they won’t try to sell you something every time you contact them. “In the end, small businesses need to address these review sites, because from what we have learned from Billion Dollar Bully, Yelp is a fixture in our society now. We can complain about it all day long, but in the end, Yelp can impact your shop in a huge way, so you have to monitor it constantly. It’s like a naughty kid—once you forget about it for a minute, that’s where the trouble can start!”

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National Events with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

180BIZ Webinar Focuses on Making Change Stick in Collision Repair Shops In August, Rick White of 180BIZ presented an informative webinar on “Making Change Stick” in collision repair shops. He began by asking, “How many times have you put something in place in your shop, thought you had it going, and then realize it’s gone right back to where it was before? This is one of the most frustrating things you go through as a business owner. Often, owners blame their staff, but I’m going to show you it’s not their fault and explore how to get change to stick.”

White defined change as “to make the form, nature, content or future course of something different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone; to alter,” and he identified two types of change: reactive change which occurs as a result of a situation, such as a new shop opening nearby, and proactive change which results from taking advantage of an opportunity, such as the chance to obtain new business when a nearby store closes. “The overlapping area is where you watch for trends and proactively react to growing trends,” White explained. The five change drivers are situation, crisis, improvement, opportunity and trends. White shared some truths about change. Change is inevitable, but it can be a good thing if it’s intentional. Still, people will always resist change, but collision repair shop owners can anticipate this and proactively work to overcome those issues. Owners expect to train their staff on a new process, and then their staff will get good at it; however, White said this is why many fail because, in reality, people regress and then require feedback and more training, often multiple times before reaching the desired level of proficiency. The main reasons that people 68

don’t implement change are that they forget, they’re afraid of the hassle, or they suffer from what White calls “analysis paralysis.” He explained, “Perfect is the lowest standard you can set for yourself because perfection is an illusion created by the devil to rob men of their dreams. It’s better to get something together, get people on board, and get started than to get stuck waiting for perfect and nothing ever changes.” “Instead of setting unrealistic expectations, give yourself permission to fail and to learn,” White continued. “You have to go through suck to get to great. You’ll never grow as a business from a place of fear.” When it comes to implementing change, a shop’s team members are going to fight change, especially if the owner or manager attempts to change a bunch of stuff at once, White said. White recommends mastering one change at a time. “The age of compliance is gone; we are in the age of commitment – you want their involvement emotionally, intellectually and physically.” Sometimes, attempts at change in a collision repair shop fail because the owner declares victory too soon, doesn’t own it, and doesn’t follow up. According to White, “You’re responsible for this and need to give feedback to make it stick. Your team will try and regress, but their proficiency is better than when they started, though not where you want it. You have to have commitment, follow up and accountability to make it work.” White identified a five-step formula for making change work, emphasizing that each step takes time and is equally important. First, collision repair shop owners must create a vision by developing a picture for the future that goes beyond the numbers. They should identify what happens without change, what objections they may encounter, and what their staff gets out of the change. “Creating a vision focuses on your team and creates a sense of urgency.” The second step is to develop the process by outlining a step-by-step


game plan, including what will be measured and how it will be monitored. Third, owners must communicate the vision and the process, providing staff with consistent communication about the plan that makes staff feel valuable. Next, remove obstacles, which will occur and can be internal or external. The final step is to implement the process which includes structured training, measurements and consistency. White said, “You have to do the right things, the right way, at the right time, EVERY TIME. Implementing change requires providing feedback and training on what to get better at, and you keep going until you get the desired behavior. This is the investment you have to sign up for when you are implementing change – that’s the key.” When it comes to convincing staff to buy in to change, collision re-

pair shop owners must build up the reason to do it, but don’t make it about profits. Instead, focus on how it improves your staff members’ lives and your customers’ lives. “Measuring progress gives you an opportunity to celebrate and holds staff accountable.” White added, “Communicate every day for the rest of your business life.” Lack of consistency is a major problem when it comes to implementing change. “When you’re not consistent, you have to start over, which takes a lot of effort and becomes frustrating, so eventually, you give up,” White warned. “Hold yourself accountable by being consistent, never giving excuses, being patient, and keeping staff focused.” “Going through the process with your staff makes all the difference in the world,” White continued. “Follow See 180BIZ Webinar, Page 75

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WIN Holds “Backpack Drive” During Local Networking Event in Denver by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Aug.17, the Women’s Industry Network (WIN) gave back to the community by collecting backpacks and other back to school necessities to benefit Denver Public Schools’ ESSA Foster and Military Family program. The event was hosted by Axiom Accident and Hail Repair in Englewood, CO, whose Director of Customer Experience Kim Frasher sits on WIN’s board of directors. Frasher shared, “The event went very smoothly and exceeded all expectations. Once Cheryl [Boswell, WIN chair] mentioned on a board call that we should have a ‘backpack drive’ type of event in Denver for WIN members and the collision repair industry in general, I got to work planning.” “We wanted to establish an active WIN member base where there wasn’t one currently by hosting the first WIN regional event in Denver, while giving back to the community,” Frasher continued. “My company was thrilled to host WIN and guests, and we had a beautiful brunch provided. Everyone had a great time! While everyone ate, I discussed the history, purpose and vision of WIN, discussed the member-

ship options, and talked about the annual conference.” WIN members and attending guests wrote notes of encouragement for the coming school year to give to students, and representatives from Denver Public Schools were present to receive the care packages for

Frasher added, “The donations from the collision repair community and WIN members made this event a tremendous success. The team from Denver Public Schools was in tears as they were loading the donated items into their cars. Considering all of this was planned in under a month, we had an incredible turnout and have big plans for the Denver market in the coming months!”

WIN members gathered for a local networking event in Denver on Aug. 17. Credit: WIN

100 local foster kids. Frasher said, “Thanks to many generous sponsors from the collision repair industry, we were able to give new backpacks and a gift card for a new pair of shoes to Famous Footwear for 100 foster kids in Denver Public Schools. Build-ABear representatives were present, and we were also able to create teddy bears for the kids; attendees really loved this activity.”

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Attendees enjoyed creating special Build-ABears for the kids. Credit: WIN

WIN’s Colorado members are planning a Christmas event to benefit the same children and look forward to hosting another backpack drive for the 2020-21 school year. Frasher intends to distribute WIN scholarship and student membership information during a local career fair at Lincoln



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Tech in September. “Due to exposure from this event, we have already welcomed a couple of new WIN members, and everyone is excited to grow our membership base in Colorado,” Frasher stated. WIN as an organization anticipates hosting more local networking events in the future in response to feedback from association members. Frasher expressed, “Regional events are a great way to connect with others in the field, whose goals are aligned with your own. Everyone wants to represent the collision industry well and give back to the communities that support us, and as a result, this helps us all attract the next generation of collision industry workers – potential students. It’s well known that there is a skilled worker shortage in the auto collision trades, and by hosting regional events and community outreach projects, we will hopefully not only grow membership for WIN, but inspire the next generation of female collision industry workers to seek a career in our trade, which benefits us all!” For more information, visit https:// .com/.

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Techs of Tomorrow with Victoria Antonelli

Victoria Antonelli is a freelance writer and model, based in Los Angeles. She has been writing for the collision industry since 2013. She can be reached at

Cheerleader, Gymnastics Coach, Collision Repair Student All in One Eighteen-year-old Michelle Perschall discovered her love for automobiles at the age of four when her grandparents bought her a bright yellow racing Corvette Power Wheels. Perschall’s affection grew even more when she saw the movie Cars, which inspired her to create her own

Michelle Perschall is her second year of the Kingwood Park High School collision repair program. Credit: Cheryl Perschall

extensive collection of toy vehicles from the film. When Perschall was in eighth grade, her dad came home with a baby blue Challenger, and that sealed the deal. “[The Challenger] really made me realize the beauty a car can possess in its paint and mechanical makeup,” she said. Perschall is now in her second year of the collision repair program at Kingwood Park High School in Kingwood, Texas. She said Automotive is her favorite class. “I really enjoy it because it gives me the freedom to create unique pieces along with the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing a repair,” she added. Perschall said she is the only girl in her collision repair classes. “Exploring a male-dominated industry can be intimidating, but my instructor, Jeff Wilson, has been extremely supportive by helping me find my talents and exploring possible career opportunities with me,” she explained. Autobody News reached out to Wilson to learn more about his expe72

rience instructing Perschall. “I have taught Michelle her junior and senior years in the following courses: Automotive Basics, Collision Repair, and Refinishing,” he said. “I have worked closely with her on her major refinishing tasks for high profile projects.” Wilson said one of Perschall’s top talents is her “eye for detail.” “Michelle’s ability to retain information in the classroom and convert it to a hands-on task in the lab is remarkable,” he said. “Whether it is the breakdown of a spray gun or the actual mixing and application of paints, her tasks are done to perfection.” Perschall said she loves the car community and frequently participates in it by bringing her very own navy-blue Mustang to meets. “Experiencing all different types of people and their unique love for each of their cars is really cool,” she said. “I am also enjoying learning to work on my own car and slowly make it into the car of my dreams.”

“Both collision repair and cheerleading take practice and dedication,” she said. Wilson added, “Beyond Michelle’s studies and cheerleading, as well as volunteer work within the community, she manages to find extra time to perfect her skills in the lab during breaks throughout the day and after school.” Perschall said her next step after high school graduation is attending university Michelle Perschall brings her navy-blue Mustang to car to get her business degree. enthusiast meet ups and shows. Credit: Natalie Lindberg “Following that I hope to Photography attend a trade school, which will help me to be wellOutside of the automotive realm, Perschall said she has been cheerlead- rounded to pursue a larger field of ing since seventh grade, and also automotive jobs,” she said. To learn more about Kingwood coaches younger kids in gymnastics, tumbling and cheerleading at her local Park High School in Kingwood, Texas, visit gym.



Michelle Perschall is on the Kingwood Park High School cheerleading team and she also coaches children at her local gymnastics gym. Credit: Cheryl Perschall

Wilson added, “Michelle is passionate about connecting with people across all skill levels, whether that means exploring new ideas through collaborating with local businesses and other vehicle enthusiasts or creating events her peers can also participate in.”


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CARSTAR American Collision Experts in Michigan Hosts Grand Re-Opening CARSTAR American Collision Experts in Waterford Township, MI,

kept the local business down for four months. Investigators determined a radiant heater to be the cause of the fire. Even though a majority of the blaze was limited to the paint shop, smoke damage still affected the entire facility.

CARSTAR American Collision Experts celebrated the grand re-opening of its facility on Highland Road in Waterford Township, MI. Credit: CARSTAR

CARSTAR American Collision Experts celebrated its grand re-opening with food, drinks, games and tours of the new facility. Credit: CARSTAR

The community joined Ken Lawrence, owner of CARSTAR American Collision Experts, in celebrating the re-opening of the facility. Credit: CARSTAR

celebrated the grand re-opening of its facility after an accidental fire

Owner of CARSTAR American Collision Experts, Ken Lawrence, hosted a celebration of his repair center’s re-opening, after months of restoration, on Wednesday, Aug. 28. The community joined Lawrence in celebrating with food, drinks, games and tours of the new facility.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran to Keynote Auto Care Legislation Summit U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, RKansas will be the keynote speaker at the 2019 Auto Care Legislative Summit, the Auto Care Association’s biennial Washington, D.C., fly-in. The senator will address attendees during the Keynote Breakfast from 7 a.m. – 8 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. “With over three decades of public service, Senator Moran offers a unique, pragmatic perspective on public policy and the role of government,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “He has proven to be a true ally to the auto care industry and the people of Kansas are lucky to have him as their senator.” As the current chairman of the Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade and Consumer Protection, Senator Moran oversees numerous issues of interest to the auto care industry, including free trade, data privacy and consumer protection. The senator also serves as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies and 74

sits on both the Indian Affairs and Veterans’ Affairs Committees. At the Keynote Breakfast, the senator will share stories of his time on Capitol Hill and discuss the Senate’s legislative agenda for the remainder of this Congress. During the Auto Care Legislative Summit, Sept. 18-19, 2019, auto care professionals from across the country will be in Washington, D.C., to meet with their members of Congress to discuss the independent aftermarket and its most critical policy priorities, including the right to access vehicle data. The event consists of in-depth briefings on the industry’s most pressing policy issues and face-to-face meetings with members of Congress and their staff. For the first time ever, the summit takes place in conjunction with the Auto Care Association’s Fall Leadership Days, which will bring in more than 400 industry leaders for multiple days of committee meetings and networking. For more information on the summit or to register, visit: autocare .org/summit.


WACTAL Meets With WI Insurance Commissioner by Chasidy Rae Sisk

Recently, the Wisconsin Auto Collision Technicians Association (WACTAL) met with Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable to discuss some of their members’ concerns about issues impacting collision repair facilities. Topics addressed during the meeting included photo-based estimating, delays in processing supplements, and the failure of insurers to pay for required repairs. While Insurance Commissioner Afable and his team were willing to hear and review complaints filed by WACTAL’s members, they stressed the need for complaints to come from consumers. WACTAL Administrator Sue Peterson pointed out, “Even though the complaints and issues discussed at this meeting came from collision shops, in reality, they impact consumers, especially photobased estimates. Consumers place their faith and trust in the insurance company to make them whole and in the collision shop to perform a proper repair.” Peterson continued, “WACTAL responded that consumers

have a misplaced fear of rate increases or policy cancellation if they complain. The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) understands that; however, they’re tasked with ‘informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs’ and seeing that insurers are not violating any state statutes or codes.” A staff member at the OCI suggested that consumers call the department to ask questions before filing a formal complaint. According to Peterson, Rebecca Rebholz, director of Market Regulation, is reviewing the complaints filed by WACTAL members and will continue to work with the association on these matters. WACTAL has sought advice from Wisconsin Insurance Alliance president, Andy Franken, who will attend WACTAL’s next board of directors meeting. WACTAL members are encouraged to submit concerns and complaints to the association as well as to encourage customers to contact the OCI directly with questions and complaints. For more information about WACTAL, visit



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Ford Fuel Economy Lawsuit Says MPG Ratings False by David A. Wood,

A Ford fuel economy lawsuit alleges the automaker cheated owners and lessees of 2017-2019 vehicles, including the 2019 Ford Rangers and 2018 Ford F-150 trucks. The proposed Ford fuel economy class action lawsuit is just one of at least ten suits that allege Ford sold and marketed vehicles with false mpg ratings. According to the lawsuit, the 2019 Ford Ranger and 2018 Ford F150 trucks underwent inaccurate Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testing that overstated fuel economy. Illinois plaintiff Ryan Hubert purchased a new 2018 Ford F-150 XL that had a window sticker which allegedly said the miles per gallon ratings were 24 highway, 19 city and 21 combined. But according to the plaintiff, the mpg ratings were wrong and Ford should have told him before he purchased the truck, although he doesn't say what mpg rating his truck gets in real-world driving. Lawyers across the U.S. started filing class action lawsuits after Ford told the Securities and Exchange

Commission (SEC) in February 2019 the automaker had “become aware of a potential concern involving its U.S. emissions certification process” and Ford “cannot provide assurance that it will not have a material adverse effect on [Ford].” The automaker then announced it had opened an investigation after employees reported possible problems in September 2018 concerning emissions and fuel economy testing. Ford hired an outside company to investigate possible problems with “road-load” testing, although the automaker said the investigation had nothing to do with emissions “defeat devices.” At that time Ford said there was no evidence to suggest emissions certification or fuel economy labels were wrong on the Ford Rangers or any other models. According to Ford, road load is the resistance levels used during tests on a dynamometer for fuel economy ratings and to certify the levels of emissions. Road load uses engineering models and physical track tests referred to as “coastdown testing,” which “simulates aerodynamic drag,

Continued from Page 68

tire rolling resistance, and drivetrain frictional losses and provides the technical data used to program the test dynamometers that generate EPA fuel economy ratings.” The lawsuit says to perform a coastdown test, the vehicle travels at a high speed on a straight flat road and is shifted into NEUTRAL until it slows to a low speed. Estimates are produced by recording the time the vehicle takes to slow down, modeling the forces affecting the vehicle. Ford allegedly advertised its 2019 Ranger trucks as the “most fuelefficient gas-powered midsize pickup in America,” while the automaker said the 2019 Ranger provided a “superior EPA-estimated city fuel economy rating and an unsurpassed EPA-estimated combined fuel economy rating versus the competition.” According to the fuel economy lawsuit, Ford allegedly knew about the mpg problems in 2017 but failed to inform consumers. The Ford fuel economy lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois – Hubert v. Ford Motor Company. We thank for reprint permission.

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the process, and you’ll end up with change that sticks.” So when are you done? White advised that change must be anchored to the company culture. He also cautioned against declaring victory too soon and said to avoid micromanaging which is all about activities, not results. Management under stress shows up in one of three ways: the dictator, the pushover or the evangelist, and White encouraged, “Be the evangelist – believe so deeply in what you’re recommending that you’d die for it … It’s not our actions that create success in our lives, it’s our habits.” Concluding his presentation, White quoted Joel A. Barker: “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” For more information on 180BIZ and its future webinars for collision repair shops, visit

Doan Group Renews Commitment to CIECA



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The Doan Group recently renewed its commitment to CIECA and the CIECA standards. Based in Covington, GA, the company is an independent physical damage appraisal firm that was established in 1981. “When Doan began the process of building a proprietary claim management system (eDoan), we recognized the need for CIECA integration immediately and became members in 2016,” said Amanda Hughes, vice president of The Doan Group. Hughes said the company is able to download CIECA’s legacy standard to import into the various estimating systems as well as upload the completed standard back into eDoan to be “scrubbed” for guideline compliance. “With an ever-changing industry, it is important that we have CIECA standards to ensure a consistent product and service across the board,” said Hughes. For more information about The Doan Group, visit For more information about CIECA, visit / OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


SCRS Announces 2019 Showcase Lineup

Registration is open for the Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ (SCRS) IDEAS Collide Showcase from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8, in Las Vegas at the 2019 SEMA Show. To register for the IDEAS Collide Showcase, visit: The IDEAS Collide Showcase features ten, fast-paced presentations delivered in ten minutes, designed to stimulate thought, innovation and resolution of business challenges with brash, outspoken and provoking concepts from thought leaders both in and out of the industry. “Last year, SCRS launched the first-ever IDEAS Collide Showcase, and we are excited for its return in 2019” stated SCRS Chairman, Brett Bailey. “It was one of our most talked about events of the series last year, and the format really seemed to resonate with attendees.” For more information about SCRS, or to join as a member, please visit:, call 1-877841-0660 or email

GM Vacuum Pump Recall Issued for 3.4 Million Vehicles by David A. Wood,

A GM vacuum pump recall for more than 3.4 million SUVs and trucks has been issued in the U.S. because brake assist could be lost and drivers could experience hard brake pedals and longer stopping distances. The General Motors vacuum pump recall includes these models in the U.S. • 2015-2017 Cadillac Escalade • 2014-2018 Chevrolet Silverado • 2014-2018 GMC Sierra • 2015-2018 Chevrolet Suburban • 2015-2018 Chevrolet Tahoe • 2015-2018 GMC Yukon

The vacuum pump recall was announced for 3,456,111 vehicles in the U.S. about two months after a similar recall was announced for about 300,000 Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles in Canada. The U.S. recall also follows a federal investigation opened in November 2018 due to complaints about vehicles losing their ability to properly brake because of the vacuum

pumps. GM says at least 110 crashes and 13 injuries have allegedly been caused by the engine-mounted mechanical vacuum pump output decreasing over time. Drivers will notice hard brake pedals, longer stopping distances and likely see a “service brake assist” alert that will activate two to five minutes after the vacuum level drops. The automaker says the problem begins with the vacuum pump which is lubricated with engine oil that flows into the pump through a filter screen. Oil sludge can build up on the filter screen and block the flow of oil into the vacuum pumps and reduce the vacuum pressure. GM says failing to change the oil as recommended can contribute to the problems by allowing debris to turn into sludge. The automaker also says the vehicles have secondary hydraulic power brake assist systems that activate to provide power brake assist if the vacuum drops. However, the hydraulic brake boost is limited when the vehicles are travel-

ing at lower speeds. In addition to longer stopping distances, hard brake pedals and warning messages, a driver may feel vibration in the brake pedal and hear a ticking noise coming from the engine compartment. General Motors doesn’t know when the vacuum pump recall will begin, but dealerships will need to reprogram the electronic brake control modules. Truck and SUV owners may contact Chevrolet at 800-630-2438, Cadillac at 800-458-8006 or GMC customer service at 800-462-8782. GM’s vacuum pump recall number is N192268490. We thank for reprint permission.



Autobody News

Associations Endorse OEM Procedures as Standard of Repair The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) announced at their July 2019 board of directors meeting a collaborative effort with the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) and a consortium of state and regional associations representing the collision repair industry to establish industry-wide recognition of the documented OEM repair procedure as the standard of repair. The statement and the full list of signing organizations can be found on the SCRS website at https: // It is the position of all undersigned organizations that if a vehicle manufacturer documents a repair procedure as required, recommended or otherwise necessary as a result of damage or repair, that those published procedures would be the standard of repair. Disregarding a documented procedure that is made available to the industry creates undue and avoidable exposure to the consumer’s safety 76

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Tesla Semi is Exceeding Range Estimates Notes CHP in Recent Sighting by Simon Alvarez,

The Tesla Semi was recently spotted by officers of the California Highway Patrol in the Donner Pass, CA, area. Images of the vehicle taken by the CHP show the all-electric truck hauling several concrete blocks, as the vehicle continued its real-world testing in the lead-up to its initial production run. Fortunately, the Tesla Semi’s sighting this time around proved to be a bit more special, as the CHP-Donner Pass officers were able to speak with the upcoming truck’s driver, who was gracious enough to give some details about the vehicle. According to the Semi’s driver, the matte red all-electric truck is currently operating at approximately 75,000 pounds with its trailer and cargo. What’s particularly impressive is that the vehicle is reportedly meeting or exceeding its range estimates despite its heavy load. “Tesla is out testing the new electric truck tractor. The driver stated the concrete blocks are for testing purposes only. According to the driver the truck is operating at approximately 75,000 pounds and the truck is meeting or exceeding the

range estimates. Electric trucks are definitely the future. We look forward to seeing more electric trucks on the road,” the group wrote. This is not the first time that the CHP shared images of Tesla’s upcoming all-electric truck. Last year, the silver Semi prototype, complete

The Tesla Semi. Credit: CHP-Donner Pass, Facebook

with a trailer full of cargo, was inspected by the CHP at the Donner Pass Inspection Center, which is located just off Interstate 80. The vehicle was met with notable excitement from the group, who noted in a Facebook post that “the future has arrived.” When asked about the inspection, a representative from the CHP-Donner Pass group stated that the Semi was “very easy to inspect” and the vehicle was “very clean.” No violations were found by the CHP during its inspection of the Semi then.

NABC Hosts NJ Veterans

The Tesla Semi holds a lot of potential, particularly as it is a vehicle that can tap into the immensely lucrative trucking market. The Semi definitely has what it takes to cause a disruption in terms of raw specs, considering that the vehicle is equipped with four Model 3-derived electric motors and a range of up to 500 miles. Tesla has continued to make improvements to the Semi since its unveiling too, with Elon Musk stating on Twitter that the vehicle’s range will likely be closer to 600 miles per charge. The Semi has attracted the attention of several notable businesses, particularly those which are looking for ways to actively reduce their carbon emissions footprint while cutting transportation and logistical costs at the same time. Among the Semi’s reservation holders are PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch, J.B. Hunt, FedEx, and UPS in the United States, as well as Bee’ah in the United Arab Emirates. Production of the Semi was initially slated for 2019, though Tesla has adjusted this estimate to sometime in 2020. We thank for reprint permission.

On Sept. 4, deserving New Jersey area veterans had an opportunity to experience a day on the golf course with leaders from the collision repair industry, courtesy of the National Auto Body Council (NABC) and the annual Drive Fore Courage program.

The program was held as part of the NABC Garden State Pars for Cars Golf Fundraiser at the Mountain View Golf Club in Ewing Township, NJ. 20 veterans participated in the event. All Star Auto Lights, Subaru, Enterprise and Caliber Collision sponsored the Drive Fore Courage program. “It has become a tradition at our yearly NABC golf fundraiser to work with our sponsors to host several foursomes for area veterans,” said Keith Egan, NABC board member and NABC executive committee member. “They valiantly served our country, and this is a way for us to say ‘thank you’ for their contributions.”


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