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AASP/NJ Collision Chairman’s Inquiry with DEG Results in Realistic Repair Time When Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/ NJ) Collision Chairman Dennis Cataldo Jr. discovered the repair time for a new procedure seemed too low, he knew exactly what route to take. Cataldo immediately filed an inquiry with the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG), which worked with CCC to evaluate Cataldo’s concern. As a result of these efforts, CCC’s database will be updated next month to reflect more accurate repair times. The venture began when Cataldo watched a video from I-CAR’s Repairers Realm on Honda laser

brazed roof replacement, featuring Honda’s Scott Kaboos, as he discussed a new repair procedure applicable to Honda Accords, beginning with model year 2018, to accommodate the laser brazed roof seam. “It seemed like a lot of work, so out of curiosity, I checked my estimating system,” Cataldo recalled. “CCC listed the repair at 19.5 hours, but that didn’t sound right. This process requires cutting the roof off, which is a pretty labor-intensive way to remove it, and since shops can’t replicate how the factory installed See Realistic Repair Time, Page 18

Tesla Stock Makes Largest 12-Day Gain in History of Capital Markets: Report by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

Tesla is no stranger to doing things widely thought of as impossible— most recently, making the biggest 12-day gain in the history of capital markets by adding almost $400 billion to its market cap. The feat, recently highlighted in a Fortune article, was something not even Tesla’s peers in the trillion-dollar club have accomplished in the recent past. Tesla shares have been on a wild surge as of late, with the company going on a tear following its impres-

sive Q3 2021 earnings results Oct. 20. Just two days later, Tesla touched the $1 trillion valuation mark for the first time. News of car rental giant Hertz’s decision to purchase 100,000 Teslas in a $4.2 billion deal then pushed TSLA shares to a one-day gain of 13%, ending the day at $1,025 a share. Despite CEO Elon Musk later clarifying the Hertz deal has “zero effect” on Tesla’s economics since the car rental giant would be buying the vehicles at full price, momentum from the contract effectively boostSee Tesla Stock, Page 20

Vol. 12 / Issue 9 / December 2021

OEConnection Acquires VeriFacts Automotive and Assured Performance Network by Stacey Phillips

In November, OEConnection (OEC) confirmed it recently acquired VeriFacts Automotive and Assured Performance Network. Both companies are based in California and provide Certified Repair Network services to OEMs and collision repair shops with customer relationships in North America.

SEMA Coverage:

“Over the last few years, we’ve been working to expand OEC’s val-

ue proposition to collision industry customers,” said OEC in a statement. “In late 2020, we entered the See OEConnection Acquires, Page 30

2021 SEMA Largest Show Since Pandemic Began SEMA New Product Winners MSO Symposium on Insurance Claims, Consolidation

p.4 p. 44 p. 46

Ford, Purdue Patent Charging Station Cable That Could Lead to EV Recharges as Fast as Gas Station Fill-Ups Ford and Purdue University researchers have taken an important early step to make recharging EVs simple and time saving. Through a research alliance, researchers from both groups are working to develop a new, patent-pending charging station cable that could combine with in-development vehicle charging technology, making it even easier for people to transition to EVs with seamless re-charging. “Today, chargers are limited in how quickly they can charge

an EV’s battery due to the danger of overheating. Charging faster requires more current to travel through the charging cable,” said Michael Degner, senior technical leader, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “The higher the current, the greater the amount of heat that has to be removed to keep the cable operational.” Purdue researchers are focusing on an alternative cooling method by designing a charging cable that can deliver an increased current. The cable uses liquid as an active cooling agent, which can help extract more heat from the cable by changing phase from liquid to vapor—the key difference between this and current liquid-cooled technology on the market. This innovation could one day deliver significantly more power than Ford researchers have successfully completed an today’s leading systems to early step with Purdue University inventing a new, re-charge electric vehicles, patent-pending method for charging stations that could one day deliver significantly more power compared to making the potential of today’s leading systems.

See Ford, Purdue Patent, Page 32

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REGIONAL 1 Injured in 2-Alarm Fire at MD Auto Body Shop �6 AASP/NJ Collision Chairman’s Inquiry with DEG Results in Realistic Repair Time ����������������������1 AASP/NJ Reconnects at Annual Meeting �����������12 AASP/NJ Treasurer Tom Elder Honored with Lee Vetland Lifetime Achievement Award ��������6 Advantage Truck Group Opens New Facility in Raynham, MA �������������������������������������������13 Autel US Moves Into New Offices in New York ���26 Crash Champions Acquires 24/7 Collision Care in Baltimore Metro Area ��������������������������8 EVgo to Use State Grant Funding to Expand Availability of DC Fast Charging Stations in PA �������������������������������������������������������������14 Figurelli Inducted Into AASP/NJ Hall of Fame �����16 Fuller’s Collision Center Announces Grant Approval for Continuing Education and Training ��������������������������������������������������������10 Lincoln Tech Expands Training for Mazda Technicians �����������������������������������������������������8 MA High Court Rules Auto Insurers Must Pay for Inherent Diminished Value �����������������������28 Proposed MA Bill Limits Auto Claims Investigations, Shifts Payments to Insurers ��������������������������������������������������������24 Stolen Cars Located in Shipping Containers ������20

Destructive Weld Testing �������������������������������63 100-Plus Lawmakers Rally Support for EV Tax Credit Bill �������������������������������������������63 1Collision Continues Expansion �������������������������66 2021 SEMA Show Deemed ‘Largest North American Automotive Trade Show Since Pandemic’ ������������������������������������������������������4 ALLDATA Adds ADAS Quick Reference ���������������45 ASA Announces Regional Executive Director �����37 Autobody News attended Pro Spot’s Distributor Awards Event at Top Golf, Las Vegas on Wednesday, November 3rd ���������������������������58 AutoNation to Sell 17 Collision Repair Centers to Caliber Collision ����������������������������������������52

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

CONTENTS

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

Serving New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Northern Virginia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2021 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 / (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com editor@autobodynews.com

Acura of Westchester �������������������������������������� 52

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������������� 62

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������������� 67

Mercedes-Benz of Atlantic City ����������������������� 25

Axalta Coating Systems ������������������������������������ 5

Mercedes-Benz of Fort Washington ����������������� 25

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������48-49

Mercedes-Benz of Paramus ���������������������������� 44

Cadillac of Mahwah ���������������������������������������� 24

Mercedes-Benz of West Chester ��������������������� 25

Carcoon America Workstation Portable Paint

Mercedes-Benz of Wilmington ������������������������ 30

Booths �������������������������������������������������������� 17

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers �������� 59

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

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������������� 50

Certified Automotive Parts Association ������������ 14

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers ����������������38-39

Circle BMW ����������������������������������������������������� 10

New Holland Ford ������������������������������������������� 37

Cox Hires VP of Inclusion and Diversity ��������������13

Classifieds ������������������������������������������������������ 66

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

Ford, Purdue Patent Charging Station Cable

Colad/EMM Specialties ����������������������������������� 68

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������ 63

That Could Lead to EV Recharges as Fast

Colonial Automotive Group ������������������������������ 47

Northstar Kia �������������������������������������������������� 46

as Gas Station Fill-Ups ������������������������������������1

Courtesy Mitsubishi ���������������������������������������� 42

Nucar ������������������������������������������������������������� 41

DePaula Chevrolet-Ford ���������������������������������� 51

Open Road Acura of East Brunswick ��������������� 40

DeVilbiss Automotive Refinishing �������������������� 12

Open Road Chevrolet �������������������������������������� 26

Eastchester Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge ������������������� 26

Ourisman Chevrolet ������������������������������������������ 8

Empire Auto Parts ������������������������������������������� 28

Ourisman Chryslser-Dodge-Jeep-Ram ������������ 18

Biden Administration Acts to Help Relieve Supply Chain Woes ���������������������������������������56 CIC Panel Discusses AI in Collision Repair Estimating ����������������������������������������������������64

Helping Others is Contagious, and You Don’t Need to Wear a Mask ������������������������������������54 How Much Range Does an Electric Car Lose Each Year? ����������������������������������������������������62 Lucid Opens Studio Location in Washington,

Thieves Steal 3 Sports Cars from New Hampshire

D.C. Metro Area ��������������������������������������������31

Equalizer Industries, Inc ���������������������������������� 18

Packer Norris Parts ����������������������������������������� 43

Dealership ����������������������������������������������������16

Molla Announces Retirement from ASA �������������10

Flemington Auto Group ����������������������������������� 19

Porsche Huntington ���������������������������������������� 28

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������������� 65

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������� 57

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������������� 53

PPG ������������������������������������������������������������������ 9

Hoffman Auto Group ��������������������������������������� 27

Rafferty Subaru ����������������������������������������������� 32

MSO Symposium Looks at Post-Pandemic COLUMNISTS Anderson - The Collision Repair Training Program We Need in Every Market ����������������36

Recovery of Collision Repair Industry ������������64 OEConnection Acquires VeriFacts Automotive and Assured Performance Network �����������������1

Phillips - How to Grow Skilled Technicians

Pro Spot Announces VW Group Approval �����������32

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers �33, 34-35

Rockland Nissan ��������������������������������������������� 32

& Improve Performance in Your Collision

Repairify Names VP of Development �����������������14

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������� 63

SATA Dan-Am Company ������������������������������������ 7

Repair Facility �����������������������������������������������40

Repairify™ Unites Company Brands,

Infiniti of Norwood ������������������������������������������ 36

Schultz Ford ��������������������������������������������������� 45

Jaguar Land Rover Cherry Hill ������������������������� 31

Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet �������������������������� 10

Jeff D’Ambrosio Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge ������������ 21

Spanesi Americas ������������������������������������������� 15

JEN6 Equipment ��������������������������������������������� 14

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������������� 56

Kelly Jeep-Chrysler ����������������������������������������� 16

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers ����������������������� 64

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������� 55

Valspar Refinish ������������������������������������������������ 2

Kia of Attleboro ����������������������������������������������� 42

Volkswagen of Kingston ���������������������������������� 54

Kwik Bench ������������������������������������������������������ 6

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������� 61

Long Automotive Group ���������������������������������� 20

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

Malco ������������������������������������������������������������� 13

Wrenchers ������������������������������������������������������ 11

Markingpendepot.com �������������������������������������� 8

Yonkers Kia ����������������������������������������������������� 60

Yoswick - Auto Body Shop, College Working in Tandem to Transform Collision Repair Program �������������������������������������������������������57 Yoswick - MSO Symposium Looks at What Lies Ahead for Auto Insurance Claims, Consolidation ������������������������������������������������46

Introduces asTech® Duo, Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System ������������������������������51 Rivian Production Capacity Target: At Least 1 Million a Year by 2030 ��������������������������������50 SEMA Announces Collision Repair & Refinish New Product Award Winners �������������������������44 SUN Collision Repair Information Offers Complete

NATIONAL ‘Insurer Report Card’ Open for Collision Repairers to Grade Insurers ��������������������������66 ‘Who Pays for What?’ Survey: Continued Increase in Auto Body Shops Billing for

OEM Procedures & Mechanical Insights ��������60 Survey: 78% of Vehicle-Owning Voters Support Federal Right to Repair Legislation ��������������������64 Tesla Stock Makes Largest 12-Day Gain in History of Capital Markets: Report �������������������1

autobodynews.com / DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 3


2021 SEMA Show Deemed ‘Largest North American Automotive Trade Show Since Pandemic’ by Stacey Phillips

Automotive celebrities, vehicle debuts from major OEMs and the latest developments in equipment and tooling were all part of the live Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show this year in Las Vegas, NV. The four-day event took place Nov. 2-5 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Organizers said the show was “…the largest North American automotive trade show since the pandemic shut everything down in 2020.” It included approximately 1,000 vehicles and more than 100,000 attendees, exhibitors and media. “The industry was clearly excited to be back in-person at the SEMA Show, both to capture business opportunities and to network and celebrate the world’s greatest collection of innovation on wheels,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “Our industry was waiting to reconnect, and the SEMA Show was a welcome homecoming after nearly two years apart.” SEMA, a trade-only industry event, was founded in 1963 and represents the $47.8 billion specialty automotive industry. Organizers said SEMA was 100% committed to delivering a great show in 2021 with COVID-19 protocols in place, including face masks required indoors. This year, exhibits were set up in four halls, including the newly constructed 1.4 million-square foot West Hall. The Collision Repair & Refinish exhibits, typically located in North Hall, were relocated to the South Upper Hall. This section showcased collision repair products, paint booths and equipment, tools, accessories and software and management programs. A new way to travel through the show this year was using the Vegas Loop at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The tunnel system, built by Elon Musk’s The Boring Project in Las Vegas, offered showgoers free transportation underground in a Tesla to the West, North, Central and South halls. It currently consists of two approximately 0.8-mile-long tunnels and is expected to eventually connect Las Vegas casinos along the

strip to McCarran International Airport, Allegiant Stadium, downtown Las Vegas and Los Angeles. During the week, SEMA attendees had the opportunity to view an estimated 1,000 modified project vehicles—customs, exotics, hot rods, lowriders, muscle cars and more— throughout the 4.6 million square feet of convention space and 2.2 million square feet of outdoor space.

These included the top trending cars of the year, which were announced on November 1. Here are the winners: • Car of the Year: Ford Mustang • Sport Compact of the Year: Toyota Supra • 4x4/SUV of the Year: Ford Bronco • Full-size Truck of the Year: Ford F-Series • Mid-Size Truck of the Year: Toyota Tacoma One of the new additions to the show this year was SEMA Member Central, where attendees could learn about the association and its membership. Several industry events also took place during the week, including the MSO Symposium on Nov. 1 at the Mandalay Hotel, and the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) on Nov. 2 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. Prior to the official opening of the SEMA Show, at 9 a.m. Nov. 2, Jay Leno helped kick off the event as the featured guest of the New Products Breakfast, where the best new product award winners were announced. Awards are presented in 16 categories, including Collision Repair & Refinish, and were showcased in the New Products Showcase throughout the week. More than 70 free and 30 paid educational seminars took place Monday through Friday. The Society of Collision Repair (SCRS) held its Repairer Driven

4 DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Education Series, which featured industry experts. The courses are designed to deliver relevant content covering industry trends and best business practices. Highlights included the OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit on Nov. 4 and the IDEAS Collide Showcase presentations on Nov. 5. Presentations were held this year by SCRS and I-CAR throughout the week at the SEMA Collision Repair and Refinish Stage in the South Upper Hall. Topics included an I-CAR Technical Update; information about accessing Ford repair information; safety inspections, following Honda/Acura OEM procedures to replace laser-brazed roofs; and a panel on admin time and research. All of the sessions were recorded and available online at www.i-car.com/RTS. Celebrity appearances also took place. Ant Anstead, host of “Celebrity IOU: Joyride,” showcased some of his favorite vehicle builds. These consist of a custom 1962 Buick converted into an electric car in collaboration with American actor James Marsden and a Radford Lotus Type 62/2 Gold Leaf car built in collaboration with Jenson Button, 2009 Formula One world champion and Super GT Series champion. Other vehicles were on display, such as the new 2023 Nissan Z and a 1953 Corvette-inspired carbon fiber concept car by Dave Kindig from the MotorTrend show “Bitchin Rides.” Car enthusiasts had the opportunity to see a collection of more than 20 vehicles built by Chip Foose in a special section of the SEMA Show in the North Hall. Some of the vehicles in the Chip Foose Experience Exhibit included a ’56 Ford F-100 “FD-100” built for Foose’s “Overhaulin’” television series and the “0032,” which won the Grand National Roadster Show’s “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” award in 2000. There were also several Ridler Award-winning builds, such as “Impression,” “Imposter,” “Grand-

master” and “Stallion,” as well as Foose automotive design sketches on display. Another new feature in the North Hall this year was the SEMA Electrified section. The exhibit was intended to demonstrate the latest innovations and solutions for electric vehicle (EV) platforms. There were about a dozen EV projects and products on display. Some of the cars included a Solo by ElectraMeccanica; an electrified Trophy Truck built by new company Hypercraft to race in the SCORE Baja 1000 unlimited class, a 1966 Ford Bronco Roadster and Team Vesco 444 reVolt Systems’ “Little Giant” streamliner, which broke the national Electric E3 record twice at the Bonneville Salt Flats this past October. The SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet, attended by approximately 2,500 automotive icons, professionals, supporters and celebrities, was an annual celebration of the specialty-equipment industry. During the event, awards were given out in the following categories: • 2021 SEMA Person of the Year: Sara Morosan, LGE-CTS Motorsports • 2021 SEMA Manufacturer of the Year: ORACLE Lighting Inc.; runners up: KW Automotive and CSF Racing & High-Performance • 2021 SEMA WD of the Year: Turn 14 Distribution; runners up: Meyer Distributing and Keystone Automotive • 2021 SEMA Gen-III Innovator of the Year: Matt Kossoff, Driven Lighting Group; runners up: Justin Hartenstein and Keith Ferry In addition, tributes were made to the 2021 Hall of Inductees: Jessi Combs, Rick Love, Bob Moore and Carl Schiefer. When the SEMA Show closed at 4 p.m. Nov. 5, vehicles from the event paraded toward the West Hall parking lot and the SEMA Ignited after-party as part of the SEMA Cruise. For more information about the 2022 SEMA Show, visit https:// www.semashow.com/.


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1 Injured in 2-Alarm Fire at MD Auto Body Shop

AASP/NJ Treasurer Tom Elder Honored with Lee Vetland Lifetime Achievement Award

One person suffered critical injuries Oct. 6 in a two-alarm fire at a Rosedale, MD, auto body shop. Baltimore County Fire Department crews were dispatched at 3:58 p.m. to the 7300 block of Philadelphia Road for a commercial building fire. First-arriving units reported heavy smoke and fire and quickly called for a second alarm. Firefighters were alerted to a victim inside the building. They located him and helped guide him out of the burning structure; he was treated by EMS crews and transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he remains hospitalized. This was a stubborn fire due partly to flammable materials inside the auto shop. Commanders called it under control at 5:06 p.m. An investigation by Baltimore County Police fire investigators is ongoing. Source: Baltimore County Government

During its Oct. 20 Annual Meeting at Gran Centurions in Clark, NJ, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/ NJ) conducted a special awards ceremony, where the second Lee Vetland Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to AASP/ NJ Treasurer Tom Elder of Compact Kars, Inc., in Clarksburg, NJ. Named in honor of the New Jersey auto legend and past president of AASP/NJ who passed away in 2019, the Lee Vetland Lifetime Achievement Award was created to honor a member who has been in the industry for at least 30 years and has reached the age of 60. Members of Vetland’s family, including his daughter, Katie, joined AASP/NJ Past President Eddie Day of Collision Restoration in Fairfield in presenting the award to Elder. “Tom Elder truly represents the qualities of the Lee Vetland Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Katie Vetland. “He is a dedicated, hardworking man who leads with integrity. My dad would be

proud he was the 2021 recipient.” Referring to Vetland as “a friend, a mentor and a giant in this industry,” Day asaid, “He was part of a group that were the best of the best at that time. I was proud to be his friend, and when he passed, he left a void that will probably nev-

“Tom Elder truly represents the qualities of the Lee Vetland Lifetime Achievement Award,” — Katie Vetland er be filled. “This award is being presented to a dear friend of mine for over 30 years,” Day continued. “This man has worked tirelessly for the association and has never missed a single meeting. He puts it all in every day. He’s led numerous committees, and he’s lifted the automotive industry up the best he could for the condition we’re in. He was a groundbreaking shop owner and part of that group that I admired so much. His name is Tom Elder.”

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“This is just unbelievable!” Elder said. “As Eddie said, we were a fraternity of people early on; Lee brought me into that fraternity that has shaped this industry over these years, and we’ve been friends ever since. I’m happy to be here serving the industry, and

I would like to stay as long as I can do it. I’m thrilled and totally surprised to receive this award. Thank you very much.” For more information on the AASP/NJ Annual Meeting, stay tuned for coverage in the December 2021 issue of New Jersey Automotive, which will be available at grecopublishing.com. For more information on AASP/NJ, visit aaspnj.org. Source: AASP/NJ

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Lincoln Tech Expands Training for Mazda Technicians by Auto Remarketing Staff

For Mazda dealerships in need of qualified technicians for their service drive or reconditioning center, help appears to be on the way. On Oct. 13, Lincoln Educational Services Corp. introduced Mazda Automotive Student Training (MAST) at its Union, NJ, campus. School officials said through a news release that students who are enrolled in automotive technology training can add this option to their program and build career skills specific to Mazda technologies. The launch of MAST was celebrated at the campus the week before when representatives from Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) joined Lincoln Tech faculty, staff and administrators to officially introduce the training opportunity. According to the announcement, the new program includes a number of benefits for accepted students such as career placement

opportunities with a living wage at participating local Mazda dealerships, one-on-one mentorships with Mazda master or senior certified techs, discounts on tool kits and Mazda vehicles and up to $15,000 in student tuition reimbursements. “MNAO has been a valued partner of our Queens, NY, campus since 2019 and recently expanded their presence to our Columbia, MD, campus. We’re grateful and excited to now call them a partner in Union, NJ, as well,” Lincoln Tech President and CEO Scott Shaw said in the news release. “The benefits to both our graduates and the region’s Mazda dealers make this a win-win that we expect will pay dividends for years to come,” Shaw said. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation is projected to have 617,000 openings for automotive technicians by 2028, with New Jersey and New York expected to have more than 55,000 openings.

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Crash Champions Acquires 24/7 Collision Care in Baltimore Metro Area Crash Champions, LLC, announced Nov. 15 it has acquired Maryland-based 24/7 Collision Care, a 30,800-square foot facility serving the Baltimore metro area, located at 85 Dover Road NE in Glen Burnie. With the addition of 24/7 Collision, Crash now has nine locations across Maryland. “24/7 Collision has established itself as a leading repair shop in the Baltimore metro area thanks to its advanced equipment, talented people and customer-centric mindset—the same ingredients that we rely on at Crash Champions,” said Matt Ebert, founder and CEO of Crash Champions. “The shop’s I-CAR Gold certified technicians and courteous professionals have provided their community with the highest levels of automotive repairs and customer service, and I am excited for them to continue that work under the Crash Champions banner. Welcome to the family.” “This is an exciting day for everyone at our organization,” said

John Randolph, owner of 24/7 Collision Care. “We have proudly served Glen Burnie and its surrounding neighborhoods for over 11 years, and I know that as part of Crash Champions, our shop will continue to offer the experience, knowledge and friendliness that our customers have come to expect from us. While the sign on the front of the building will change, what won’t change is our dedication to quality repairs, vehicle safety and customer satisfaction.” For more information about Crash Champions, visit crashchampions.com. For those collision repair companies interested in selling their business, Crash has made it easy. Visit crashchampions.com/ sell-your-shop to learn more. Source: Crash Champions LLC

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Molla Announces Retirement from ASA The Automotive Service Association announced Nov. 8 that Tony Molla, vice president of industry relations, will retire from the organization at the end of the year. In this case, calling Molla’s career “storied” is literally true. Prior to joining ASA in May 2015, he spent 15 years as the vice president of communications for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) in Leesburg, VA. After attending Temple University with a major in journalism, he began his automotive career in the Philadelphia area in 1973, working as an automotive technician, service manager at a Fiat dealership and manager of an independent parts store before joining the Chilton Book Company in 1981. He joined the staff of Motor Age Magazine in 1986, and spent his last nine years with the company as the editorial director of Motor Age magazine and Automotive Body Repair News (ABRN). Source: ASA

Fuller’s Collision Center Announces Grant Approval for Continuing Education and Training Fuller’s Collision Center of Auburn, MA, is proud to announce it recently received approval for a $104,000 grant from the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund with the assistance of Human Power Solutions (HPS), a learning

ipate in “Advanced Principles of a Safety and Health Management System,” led by Safety Trainers of Worcester, MA, in addition to receiving training through HPS on negotiation and a variety of other “soft” skills.

“The I-CAR technical vehicle repair training is a requirement in our industry to ensure that we have the knowledge to repair vehicles both, safely and properly,” — Joshua Fuller and development company that specializes in improving skills, culture and technical capabilities within an organization. As a fourth-generation organization, Fuller’s Collision Center has continued its commitment and dedication to its stakeholders and customers alike over the years. Receipt of the Workforce Training Grant represents a twoyear specialized training commitment for Fuller’s Collision Center, through which the shop will partic-

“Today’s collision repairs are very complex, and in order to deliver exceptional customer service and compete in the industry, our business must learn soft skills, such as communication and organization, which help us prioritize our repair jobs and enable us to continue being effective day to day,” said Joshua Fuller, owner of Fuller’s Collision Center. The grant also includes continuing education and training through I-CAR, the standard of

excellence in the auto collision industry. I-CAR’s ongoing training programs ensure that shops are educated in the most current and upto-date processes and procedures relating to collision repair. “The I-CAR technical vehicle repair training is a requirement in our industry to ensure that we have the knowledge to repair vehicles both, safely and properly,” Fuller said. “In addition, we take pride in providing a work environment in which our stakeholders can continue to grow themselves both professionally and personally. “The funding from this grant focuses on specific areas which do exactly that, such as leadership, communication, customer service and team building. Even in difficult economic times, it is essential to continue to invest in our people and our culture, and the financial assistance we are receiving from the state shows that they also realize how important it is to invest in our team.” Source: Fuller’s Collision Center

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AASP/NJ Reconnects at Annual Meeting The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/ NJ) held its Annual Meeting on Oct. 20 at Gran Centurions in Clark, NJ, featuring its Board of Directors election, a special awards ceremony where longtime members were honored and a vital education session delivered by Neal Bobzin and Craig Stevens of CCC. Re-elected Executive Board members include Jerry McNee of Ultimate Collision in Edison, NJ, as president; Dennis Cataldo Jr. of D&M Auto Body in Old Bridge as collision chairman; and Keith Krehel of Krehel Automotive Repair, Inc. in Clifton as mechanical chairman, in addition to Treasurer Tom Elder of Compact Kars, Inc. in Clarksburg and Secretary Tom Greco of Thomas Greco Publishing in Nutley. Board member Dave Laganella of Peters Body & Fender in Oakland will return for another term, and the board welcomed a new member: Ken Miller of 821 Collision in North Haledon. During the special awards ceremony, Elder and Luci Robson

presented the Russ Robson Scholarship Award to Gavin Danitz of Compact Kars in Clarksburg. The Stan Wilson/New Jersey Automotive Body Shop of the Year Award went to Cataldo, and Elder was the recipient of the Lee Vetland Lifetime Achievement Award. Alicia Figurelli, senior vice president of Thomas Greco Publishing, became the second woman to be inducted into the AASP/NJ Hall of Fame. After Nicole Lewicki of the Amato Insurance Agency (a division of World Insurance) shared a brief update on the AASP/NJ Health Insurance plan, Bobzin and Stevens took the floor to discuss how ELEVATE by CCC helps shops set goals, monitor trends and make decisions to improve their businesses. “When I ask a new client, ‘What’s your goal?’, they don’t tell me ‘to survive,’” Bobzin said. “The goal isn’t to remain flat—they’re looking to grow, or they’re looking to become more attractive for sale. Those higher level goals need to be broken down into the details, and then your employees need to under-

stand the relationship between these particular goals and their responsibilities within the department.” In terms of industry trends, Bobzin honed in on decreasing sales opportunities, vendor delays, staff shortages, CSI decreases and ramping up for a return to normalcy. Exploring the most beneficial ways to market to modern customers, Stevens asked, “You guys deserve the same attention that any other industry gets, so why shouldn’t you have the same tools that any other industry gets?” When discussing vendor delays, Stevens suggested, “The more robust your network of suppliers, the better, and the more you can expand it, the more visibility you’ll have into your market.” Bobzin broached the importance of supporting local vo-tech schools as he discussed the ongoing staff shortage, but he also pointed out the importance of developing internal talent: “Invest in your people!” The most important factors in improving CSI include understanding your customer base and keeping

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them informed, according to Bobzin. “Simple changes can positively influence CSI,” he said. “It’s important to find out what’s important to your customer,” Stevens added. “Ask your customer what they like best about their car, and then spend an extra minute making sure that works properly for them when they pick their car up.” The topic of returning to normalcy included the need to dig deeper into cycle time analysis and finding the balance in triage. “It’s amazing what you all do every day,” Stevens said as the presentation came to an end. “I respect that, and I think that, as an industry, you deserve that respect. You’re putting people back in their cars and putting them on the road---that’s a pretty big deal. And we’d love to help you leverage the use of the tools in the products you’re already using.” For more information on AASP/NJ and to learn about upcoming events, visit aaspnj.org. Source: AASP/NJ


Advantage Truck Group Opens New Facility in Raynham, MA Local businesses, elected officials, industry executives and community leaders gathered on Friday, October 15th to celebrate the opening of Advantage Truck Group (ATG)’s new full-service dealership in Raynham, Massachusetts, a facility that will expand support for businesses and municipalities throughout Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands, and create 100 new jobs in the region. The company’s eighth location in its Daimler Trucks North America New England dealer network and its third in Massachusetts, ATG-Raynham reflects its commitment to ensure the highest-level of service for its customers and support continued growth throughout the region. “Our aim is to support our customers, to be there when they need us. This facility is a key part of that goal, allowing us to expand the services we offer to meet the needs of hundreds of businesses and municipalities in the region,” said ATG President and CEO Kevin Holmes. “Today we recognize the support from so many people who contributed to this facility and to our

growth, especially our employees. It is their hard work, passion and dedication to our customers that makes a difference for ATG every day.” ATG-Raynham’s grand opening celebration featured tours of the 32,000-square-foot facility, remarks from Margaret Laforest, Regional Director for the Massachusetts Of-

cal community and convey my sincere gratitude to ATG, President & CEO Kevin Holmes, and all those who have contributed to this impressive initiative.” The only facility in Southeastern Massachusetts authorized for Freightliner and Western Star trucks sales, service and parts,

“Our aim is to support our customers, to be there when they need us.” — Kevin Holmes fice of Business Development, and Dean of the Massachusetts Senate Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton). “I am very pleased that ATG has chosen Raynham Woods Industrial Park as the location for its new full-service dealership,” said Senator Pacheco. “With the ability to provide sales, services and parts for heavy-duty commercial vehicles, this comprehensive facility is a true testament to the significant progress and potential of our regional economy in Southeastern Massachusetts. I look forward to the new jobs the ATG dealership will bring to the lo-

ATG-Raynham also offers maintenance and repair services for all brands of heavy-duty commercial and vocational trucks from its 18 climate-controlled bays that feature air conditioning and in-floor radiant heat. Customer support services include on-call access for breakdown assistance, and a multi-million-dollar parts inventory with daily parts deliveries throughout the region, including to Cape Cod. Learn more: AdvantageTruckNE.com SOURCE Advantage Truck Group

Cox Hires VP of Inclusion and Diversity Cox Enterprises has hired Erin Mitchell Richeson as the vice president of inclusion and diversity (I&D), effective Oct. 29. In this role, Richeson will lead the implementation of the company’s inclusion, diversity and equity (ID&E) strategy and will report directly to EVP and Chief People and Operations Officer Jill Campbell. She will consult on and support Cox’s efforts around diversity recruitment, employee engagement, diversity learning, talent development and supplier diversity across our divisions. Prior to joining Cox, Richeson was vice president of global inclusion and diversity at the Kimberly-Clark Corporation. She designed and managed the execution of sustainable I&D workforce plans globally and in key markets. Her work in this area helped improve business results through inclusion-based strategies that enabled workforce diversity growth. Source: Cox Enterprises

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Repairify Names VP of Development

EVgo to Use State Grant Funding to Expand Availability of DC Fast Charging Stations in PA

Repairify™, Inc., a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC, announced Nov. 1 it has hired automotive training and development veteran Chris Chesney as its new vice president of training and organizational development. In this role, Chesney will establish a comprehensive training initiative for customers, industry partners, employees and the network of technicians throughout the global Repairify ecosystem. In a career spanning 50 years, Chesney has held nearly every primary role in the automotive service sector, including master technician, service advisor, shop owner and technical and management educator. He most recently spent nearly 22 years leading Advance Auto Parts’ Carquest Technical Institute (CTI), widely considered the industry’s most successful automotive technical training organization.

EVgo Inc., the nation’s largest public fast charging network for electric vehicles (EVs) and first powered by 100% renewable electricity, on Nov. 8 announced it was awarded several grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to install new high powered 350 kW DC fast charging stations.

Source: Repairify, Inc.

support of the Pennsylvania DEP through its Driving PA Forward program,” said Jonathan Levy, chief commercial officer at EVgo. “Locations matter massively when it comes to charging, and EVgo’s commitment to siting fast charging where drivers want to stop and shop continues whether you prefer to get your hoagies at Wawa or your

“EVgo is rapidly expanding our network, including in the Keystone State, thanks in part to the support of the Pennsylvania DEP through its Driving PA Forward program,” — Jonathan Levy These projects are supported by the latest funding from the Pennsylvania DEP’s Driving PA Forward initiative and add to the three stations and 10 DCFC chargers EVgo has already energized. “EVgo is rapidly expanding our network, including in the Keystone State, thanks in part to the

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MTOs at Sheetz.” To date, EVgo has a total of eight site host partners with operational stations in Pennsylvania, with host types from retail centers to pharmacies. EVgo has opened three new sites in Pennsylvania this year alone, with three more expected to

be operational before the end of the year, for a total of 20 DCFC chargers. As of November, EVgo’s customer accounts in PA have grown by 140% since 2020, highlighting the rapid growth of EV adoption in the state. As the demand for EV charging infrastructure increases, EVgo is prepared to expand its footprint for all EVs on the market. Pennsylvania’s Driving PA Forward initiative aims to improve air quality in Pennsylvania and drive transformation from older, high-polluting diesel engines to clean transportation technologies. New engine technologies, like electric, will help significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state, and EVgo’s fast charging network provides the reliable and convenient charging infrastructure necessary to support the mass adoption of EVs. The grants were awarded through the Fast Charging and Hydrogen Fueling Grant Program. Source: EVgo


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Figurelli Inducted Into AASP/NJ Hall of Fame Alicia Figurelli, senior vice president of Thomas Greco Publishing, became the second woman in the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey’s (AASP/NJ) history to be inducted into its Hall of Fame. The announcement was an exciting highlight of AASP/NJ’s recent Annual Meeting, held at Gran Centurions in Clark, NJ. “I was completely taken by surprise when Jeff called out my name,” said Figurelli. “I’ve loved my time working with and for AASP/NJ over the years, and I never expected recognition like this. I’m humbled to be included in the company of such an elite group of professionals, many of whom I’m also proud to call my friends. It’s an amazing honor.” Presenting the award to Figurelli, AASP/NJ Past President Jeff McDowell said, “There is no person that I’ve interacted with in this association who has dedicated their life any more intently than Alicia. When I was president, she was my go-to person—she made all the wheels turn. And she still does. Alicia is the energy behind the association.” The AASP/NJ Hall of Fame was intro-

duced in the early ’90s to celebrate those who had made significant contributions to the association’s growth and success. Former Executive Director Cindy Tursi became the first woman inducted into the Hall of Fame two decades ago. Figurelli is the 36th individual to be honored. “Alicia has spent the last two decades going far above and beyond her duties for AASP/NJ,” said Thomas Greco, AASP/NJ secretary and president of Thomas Greco Publishing. “Over that time, there hasn’t been a meeting or a function she has missed, always lending a helping hand and making sure things get done. Whether it’s our meetings, our functions or the NORTHEAST® Automotive Services Show, she has been a crucial part of our association’s success for close to 20 years.” For more information on the AASP/NJ Annual Meeting, stay tuned for coverage in the December 2021 issue of New Jersey Automotive, which will be available at grecopublishing.com. For more information on AASP/NJ, visit aaspnj.org. Source: AASP/NJ

Thieves Steal 3 Sports Cars from New Hampshire Dealership by Mark Hayward, New Hampshire Union Leader

Thieves broke into the Bonneville & Son auto dealership in Manchester, NH, overnight Nov. 3 and made off with three sports cars worth more than $200,000 in total, according to Manchester police. Employees found a broken glass window as well as an open door to the manager’s office when they arrived to work Nov. 4, police said.

This 2020 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye was one of three cars stolen from Bonneville & Son

“We’ve had cars stolen before, but nothing so drastic as breaking through a glass window and walking through the dealership to steal a car,” said Bill Dann, a sales man-

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ager at the Hooksett Road dealership. Three vehicles were missing: a 2020 octane red Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye wide body, a 2020 black Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye and a 2017 granite gray Dodge Charger Daytona 392. Police said a 2020 Toyota RAV4, which had been stolen in Waltham, MA, was recovered at the scene. Dann said Hellcats are one of the most targeted cars in America right now, and it’s anybody’s guess where they could be. They could be in a chop shop getting disassembled, they could be on the road or they could be on a boat already headed to another country. Both of Bonneville’s stolen Hellcats had 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engines. Dann said the thieves broke a 6-foot glass window at the side of the building to gain access. It will take six weeks to replace. Anyone with any information about the break-in should call Manchester police at 603-668-8711.

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Continued from Cover

Realistic Repair Time the original roof, we have to separately order additional parts before installing the new roof. “The procedures for the previous body style, requiring a simpler installation process, was listed at 20.5 hours,” Cataldo continued. “The new process involved way more work than on the previous model, yet the listed repair time was less. It just didn’t make sense, so I filed an inquiry with the DEG, providing links to Honda’s repair procedures and to I-CAR’s video.” Within just three days, the DEG resolved Cataldo’s inquiry, indicating CCC’s next update will include an increase on the labor hours required for the roof replacement, and the information provider’s (IP) update will also clarify: “Time does not include R&I/R&R quarter glass.” The time applied for the roof panel without a sunroof will be updated from 19.5 hours to 25 hours; for this procedure performed on vehicles with a sunroof, the original 21

hours will increase to 26.5 hours. Although a 72-hour response seems pretty timely, DEG Administrator Danny Gredinberg said the average resolution time is 24 to 48 hours. The complexity of this inquiry added an additional day to the average turnaround time. The DEG also has a change rate of approximately 50% when sufficient information is provided with an inquiry. “Inquiries are submitted by our end users: shops and adjusters,” Gredinberg explained. “Once it’s submitted, the DEG validates it and performs additional research to strengthen the inquiry if necessary. Then, we submit the inquiry to the IP which conducts their own evaluation and responds with an estimate for when the update will be made, or if they inform us that there’s no change, we investigate the reasons for that and work with the OEMs for clarification when needed.” Cataldo was pleased with the resolution to his inquiry and sees it as an example of the importance of looking up repair procedures. “Through the DEG, an additional 5.5 hours were added for this

process, making the repair time more realistic, but it certainly makes me question what other procedures are out there that we aren’t being properly compensated for,” Cataldo said. “Kudos to I-CAR for releasing the video. Procedures change constantly, and if things don’t look right, repairers need to file an inquiry with the DEG. They’re on our side to help us get properly compensated for the work we perform, and once they update a process, it helps everybody!” Gredinberg urges repairers to file an inquiry if they notice a repair time or process that seems inaccurate. “You have an opportunity to make a change on the vehicle you’re currently working on, and with responses often being available within 48 hours, there’s a good chance it will be resolved before your final supplement,” Gredinberg said. “But on a grander scale, when something gets fixed, you’re fixing it for the entire industry—it helps every other repairer who works on the same car. “In this case, that makes a huge impact because there are lots of peo-

ple working on Honda Accords. Not all inquiries result in multi-hour updates, but even if it changes by 1/10 of an hour on something that everyone touches, that makes an impact for an entire industry. “And the DEG is a free resource, made possible by the AASP and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS),” Gredinberg added. “It’s free whether you’re a member or not, but resources like the DEG are just one of the many reasons that the industry should be supporting their associations. If you’ve used the DEG and seen an impact, please keep using it. We’re here to be the liaison between the IPs and the end user; let us be your advocate.” CCC’s quick response was also appreciated, and Cataldo is looking forward to AASP/NJ’s Annual Meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 20, which will include a featured presentation from CCC Intelligent Solutions’ Neal Bobzin and Craig Stevens. Held at Gran Centurions in Clark, NJ, this meeting is free only to members in good standSee Realistic Repair Time, Page 32

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Continued from Cover

Tesla Stock ed TSLA stock to an all-time record close of $1,209 per share Nov. 1. Tesla’s massive surge ultimately saw the company’s market cap grow from $818 billion to $1.2 trillion, an increase of about $392 billion, in just 12 days. Tesla is a newcomer in the trillion-dollar club, and each of the four companies that stand above the EV maker has experienced its own surges in the past. Apple, for example, saw a 17% bull run from June 7 to July 19 of this year, which allowed the company’s market cap to swell to $2.4 trillion. This run, however, took nearly three times as long as Tesla’s recent rampage, and it was about $50 billion short compared to the EV maker’s 12-day run. Microsoft’s closest runs came over 20 days from Sept. 27 to Oct. 25, when the tech giant surged by 11.4% and added $225 billion to its market cap. A 15% increase over the 15 days from Jan. 11 to Feb. 8 also resulted in the company adding

$240 billion to its market cap. Amazon saw a 9.4% surge over nine days from June 21 to July 5 that resulted in a valuation rise of $165 billion. Lastly, Alphabet got its quickest boost over 25 days from March 22 to April 26, when its shares surged 18%, adding $240 billion to the company’s valuation. Even with Musk’s comments about the Hertz deal not being finalized—and TSLA stock dropping 3.1% in the process—the event only erased about 12 billion from the company’s $392 billion, 12-day advance. If one were to consider this selloff, Tesla would still be particularly impressive, with the company ranking first for a 14-day surge. Overall, Tesla seems poised to set records in the segments it touches, and its stock, which now seems to sit comfortably within the trillion-dollar club, might very well do the same

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Stolen Cars Located in Shipping Containers by Steven Symes, Motorious

Car theft has been a growing problem in the U.S. Many who have been victimized have wondered why their car just seemingly disappears. A new report from CNBC highlights one possibility: many stolen cars are shipped out of the country. The Port of New York and New Jersey are popular destinations for these hot rides, which are loaded into shipping containers and transported by boat to other countries where they’re sold for good money. This can be enraging to realize, but we’ve seen this many times before. In the CNBC report, they feature several stolen cars which have been seized by police before they were loaded onto ships. These vehicles were swiped across the U.S. and were all brought to the same place to be smuggled out of the country. Many of these cars are loaded into shipping containers which are hauled by a semi-truck or train to the port. Before the thieves do

that, they often let the vehicle sit for a few days in a parking lot, just to make sure the owners or police don’t have a hidden tracking device, so their stash of other stolen cars isn’t discovered. The cars seized and displayed for CNBC were going to be shipped off to Ghana in West Africa. We’ve seen other stolen vehicles shipped to Venezuela, the Middle East and elsewhere. Even more frustrating, authorities say the global shipping crisis hasn’t slowed the transport of stolen cars one bit as the practice is steadily rising. As they say, crime really does pay. Smugglers find all sorts of creative ways to hide the stolen cars. They’ll stack furniture, mattresses or whatever else in front of and even on top of the vehicles to keep them from being discovered. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection official said the problem is getting worse, not better. The best thing everyone can do is to take extra steps to secure their ride, since thieves are plenty motivated to take it.

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Proposed MA Bill Limits Auto Claims Investigations, Shifts Payments to Insurers by Elizabeth Blosfield, Insurance Journal

A proposed bill was heard in October in the Massachusetts legislature that aims to place a time limit on auto insurance claims investigations and would make investigating insurers responsible for premium payments until the cause of loss is determined. The bill would limit auto claims investigations to 30 days and require that the insurer notify the insured at the start and conclusion of a claims investigation. During the investigation, the bill would require any ongoing payments of premiums to the financial institution holding title of

the insured vehicle be made by the investigating insurance company

rather than the insured. If the cause of loss is found to be fraudulent or intentional, payments made by the insurance company during the investigation can then be collectively recovered from the insured. Massachusetts State Rep. Joseph McKenna, who is sponsoring the bill, said this is the first time the legislation has been filed. The hearing on Oct. 20 in the commonwealth’s Joint Committee on Financial Services served as the first time the bill was heard. He told Insurance Journal he believes requiring investigating insurance companies to carry the financial burden of vehicle payments to the lender will incentivize a timely resolution for claims investigations. “[Insurance companies] are certainly not going to want ongoing investigations with the financial risk or liability of having to pay those premiums, with the ability to collect if fraud is discovered,” he said. “And that protects the consumer from basically getting triple damag-

es by having to pay insurance premiums, having to pay their principal on their car and not having the vehicle to use.” The idea for the bill came about during a conversation with his legislative aide, Lori Joubert, regarding a situation several years ago in which her car burst into flames in her driveway due to a defect in the wiring of its heated seats. She stated in written testimony for the bill that on July 16, 2016, she woke up to the sound of her neighbors shouting for her to call 911 and walked outside to find her Toyota RAV4 on fire in her driveway. The police and fire department were called, and the fire was put out. Although it was later discovered that her vehicle fit within the scope of a recall notice issued by Southeast Toyota Distributers for the affected vehicles, her insurer, MAPFRE (formerly, Commerce Insurance Company) initially investigated the claim to confirm the cause of loss. “Understandably, the insurance

company said, ‘Your car just burned to the ground in your driveway. That looks a little suspicious; looks like fraud. We’re going to investigate,’” McKenna said. In a letter obtained by Insurance Journal alerting Joubert to the investigation, a Commerce claims representative said Joubert would remain responsible for her premiums when due. In the meantime, however, Joubert said she was left without a car and was required to pay her insurance premiums as well as the principle for the loan on the car until three months later in October when the claim was settled. As a result, she said she believes legislation like this is needed so insurance companies are compelled to act in a timely and fair manner when investigating claims for signs of fraud. “All insurance companies have an obligation to work with their clients, their customers,” she said. “And hopefully this bill, whether it gets passed or not, will have them

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thinking about that. You know, we give [insurance companies] our money and all we ask is that they treat us fairly.” McKenna agreed, adding he believes this legislation can protect consumers from the financial burden of continuing premium and principle payments during a claim investigation. “This bill simply puts that burden onto the insurance company who certainly has the means to make those payments to the lending company,” he said. “And if at the end of the investigation period, it is found that fraud occurred, [the insurer] will have every right to go to collections for that amount from the car owner.” MAPFRE said in a statement provided to Insurance Journal it is reviewing the proposed legislation. “MAPFRE takes great pride in its superior claim handling and customer service, and whenever our standards are not met we address any particular matter expeditiously,” a spokesperson said. “We don’t believe the contemplated changes are needed, but we are reviewing the

proposed legislation.” McKenna said that typically in Massachusetts, proposed legislation requires about two or three hearings before it moves forward, if it moves forward at all. He said he is open to working with the insurance industry on refining the bill and expects those conversations to happen following this initial hearing. “I’m sure that the insurance industry will have its perspective, and we’ll take a look at the bill and see where it can be tweaked and refined and edited,” he said. “I’m certainly happy to have that conversation with the insurance industry and make refinements to the bill based on those conversations.” The bill is Massachusetts House Bill 1151, an act to clarify auto insurance liability during claims investigations. Don’t Miss the Weekly Industry NEWS Your Shop Needs. Sign Up Free Today! www.autobodynews.com

Autel US Moves Into New Offices in New York Autel US, a leading developer and distributor of professional automotive diagnostic products, announced it officially moved into its new offices in Port Washington, NY. Autel US is the U.S. subsidiary of China-based Autel Intelligent Technology Corp. Autel US purchased the 50,720-square foot building on three acres to accommodate the company’s rapid growth and to enable it to expand its workforce to better support its expansive product line. The facility will be home to the Autel US technical and customer support, marketing, accounting, executive staff and fulfillment and warehouse. The two-story facility features 30,000 square feet of office space with all new cubicles, meet-

ing rooms and working areas, a 20,000-square foot temperature-controlled warehouse with four loading docks, a training area and a video production space with drive-in bay. “The purchase is a physical testament to the company’s success and stature within the industry and within the United States, and further cements our identity as a New York business so fortunate to have access to the talented, educated and experienced workforce the state offers,” said Autel US CEO Chloe Hung. “I believe this acquisition perfectly positions Autel to achieve all that has been imagined since its inception, enabling us to grow in personnel, achievement and community.” Source: Autel US

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MA High Court Rules Auto Insurers Must Pay for Inherent Diminished Value by Jim Sams, Claims Journal

Anybody who’s seen a Carfax commercial may suspect a vehicle that’s been involved in a crash is worth less even after it is repaired. Massachusetts auto insurers are now required to compensate third-party claimants for those losses. The state’s highest court ruled Oct. 19 that standard auto policies issued in Massachusetts require compensation for “inherent diminished value.” “Because the plain language of part 4 of the standard policy does not limit recovery to merely repair or re-

placement costs, such recovery must compensate a claimant for any loss

of value the claimant incurred as a result of a collision, offset by the increase in value that may occur from repairs to the vehicle,” the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court said in a unanimous decision written by Justice Serge Georges Jr. The Supreme Court considered two consolidated lawsuits filed in 2017 against Commerce and Safety Insurance Co. on behalf of three policyholders and all others “similarly situated.” The trial court rejected the class action and granted summary judgment in favor of the insurers. The high court reversed those rulings and remanded the case to the trial court to determine the amount of lost value, if any. Commerce Insurance Co. warned during oral arguments that such a decision would “cause a seismic shift” and “economically destabilize” the insurance marketplace. The American Property and Casualty Insurance Association and the New England Le-

gal Foundation, which advocates for free market principles, had filed amicus briefs supporting the defense. But Mansfield attorney Kevin J. Powers, who wrote an amicus brief in favor of the plaintiff for the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, said the decision simply keeps up with the times. He said his brief specifically mentioned Carfax and the ability of consumers nowadays to quickly look up a vehicle’s history. Access has been growing over time. Powers’ brief cites a New York Times article that reported as late as 2003 Carfax had vehicle accident data in only half of the states. “This is a serious change in the technology of the marketplace,” Powers said in a telephone interview. “As a practical matter, this is the law catching up to technology.” Powers said the Restatement of Torts, a treatise published by the American Law Institute that documents trends in common law, has recognized the right for claimants to be compensated for inherent dimin-

ished value since the 1930s. Insurers had reason to believe they would win the battle. In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled in Given v. Commerce that a first-party claimant was not entitled to compensation for inherent diminished value. The Supreme Court’s opinion, however, says the Given decision concerned a first-party claimant who sought coverage under the sixth edition of Part 7 of the standard Massachusetts Insurance policy. The standard policy has been changed since then, and anyway the claimants in the consolidated cases against Commerce and Safety sought compensation under Part 4 of the 2008 standard policy. Part 7 of the sixth edition required a claimant to choose either to repair the damage or to receive compensation for the difference between the value of the vehicle before the crash and the value after. Part 4 of the 2008 edition permits a third-party claimant to recover “the amounts [the claimant] is legally entitled to See MA High Court, Page 31

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OEConnection Acquires Certified Repair Network arena with the acquisition of Summit Consulting, Inc. (SCI) to create a flexible and dynamic solution for the CRN space. “With VeriFacts and Assured Performance joining the OEC family, we will continue to enhance the value we bring to our collective cus-

dent third-party certification for collision repair providers. OEC first launched in 2000 with the mission of helping OEMs sell more genuine parts. “As the industry evolves and increases in complexity, the best way we can continue to serve our customers is by connecting the aftersales industry through solutions that help deliver efficient repair lifecycles, OEM parts and procedures, and proper vehicle repairs,” said an

“NuGen IT brings high-quality collision market solutions and repair expertise that will help expand our value to the collision industry,” — Ike Herman tomer base with the primary goal of driving safe and proper vehicle repairs.” VeriFacts, established in 2002, is an independent, third-party verification service that offers oversight, analysis, coaching, education and technology for collision repair facilities. Assured Performance Network, formed in 2003, provides indepen-

OEC representative. Based in Northeast Ohio, OEC is a leading technology provider for OEM distribution networks. The company equips many of the world’s largest automotive and heavy-duty original equipment manufacturers, their franchised dealers and distributors, and customers with online parts marketing, procurement and inventory management solutions

that facilitate efficient and accurate wholesale services. As a provider of SaaS-based solutions for OE parts, OEC focuses on data management, ecommerce, pricing, supply chain, cataloging, service and business intelligence (BI) solutions, across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. In November 2020, the company acquired SCI, a BI consulting and solutions provider for the automotive industry headquartered in Dallas, TX. Following the acquisition, SCI President Bob McDonald said, “This is a very exciting time for the SCI team. OEC has a tremendous track record of delivering value to its customers. OEC’s proven, high-quality solutions, combined with SCI’s domain expertise and BI platform, position us to deliver even more value to our customers.” Earlier that year, in July 2020, OEC acquired NuGen IT, an award-winning software firm based in Kansas City that develops management tools for the automotive repair industry. In a press release issued at that

time, the company said NuGen IT will add collision repair industry expertise to augment OEC’s growing collision business. “NuGen IT brings high-quality collision market solutions and repair expertise that will help expand our value to the collision industry,” said Ike Herman, OEC’s EVP of corporate development. “I am extremely proud of all that the NuGen IT team has accomplished and couldn’t be more excited about this next step in our evolution,” said Pete Tagliapietra, founder and president of NuGen IT, after the acquisition. “OEC has a tremendous and successful track record of delivering solutions to body shops and automakers, and I look forward to what this partnership will mean for our collective customer base.”

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Lucid Opens Studio Location in Washington, D.C. Metro Area Lucid Group announced its newest retail location—the Lucid Studio at Tysons Corner Center in the Washington, D.C., metro area. The new studio will open its doors to the public Nov. 6. This location, the 11th in a growing network of Lucid Studios, joins locations in New York and Florida to further expand Lucid’s presence on the Eastern Seaboard. “Opening at one of the largest malls in the nation, which is also located in a strong electric vehicle market, will provide excellent exposure for the Lucid Air and help us to further our mission to inspire the adoption of sustainable energy,” said Zak Edson, senior director, sales and service, Lucid Group. The Lucid Studio design has translated the company’s post-luxury design aesthetic into a welcoming physical environment where customers can review options for the full Lucid Air lineup of luxury, high-performance EVs.

MA High Court

This includes the Lucid Air Pure, a very well-equipped model available from $77,400 ($69,900 with available federal tax credit), through the Lucid Air Touring, which starts at $95,000 ($87,500 with available federal tax), and the Lucid Air Grand Touring, starting at $139,000 ($131,500 with available federal tax credit). The lineup features models offering more than 500 miles of EPA-estimated range on a single charge and industry-leading efficiency of 4.6 miles per kWh on Grand Touring models. The opening follows first customer deliveries of the fully-reserved Lucid Air Dream Edition. Lucid plans to deliver 520 customer-configured Lucid Air Dream Editions, followed by deliveries of Lucid Air Grand Touring versions. Touring and Pure models are anticipated for delivery to customers during 2022.

collect for property damage through a court judgment or settlement,” according to the opinion. The opinion says Safety admitted inherent diminished value may be suffered in some cases and the amount of damage may be quantifiable. “Moreover…numerous other states recognize and permit recovery of IDV damages,” the court said. The opinion does not state whether it applies to first-party claims and Powers said he was not ready to offer an opinion on whether it should. The ruling wasn’t a total loss for

the insurer. The court found Commerce’s denial of diminished value claims did not violate consumer protection laws because its reasoning was based on its understanding of the meaning of the policy. The New England Legal Foundation focused on that part of the court’s opinion when asked to comment Oct. 19. “The court ruled correctly in denying the plaintiffs’ consumer protection claims because it found that the insurers acted in reasonable good faith when denying the claims for inherent diminished value,” staff attorney John Pagliaro said in an email. “We are pleased if we helped to persuade the court that the insurers had credible, good faith arguments for taking that position.”

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Continued from Cover

Ford, Purdue Patent faster re-charging times possible if vehicle charging and other technology enhancements are made in parallel. Ultimately, this could eventually lead to re-charging EVs as quickly as conventional gas station fill-ups. The idea for this technology originated based on the Ford team’s understanding of the challenges faced going to faster charging rates, as well as Purdue researchers’ area of expertise. The teams collaborate regularly to review the latest results and give feedback on areas of focus as the technology is developed. “Electric vehicle charging time can vary widely, from 20 minutes at a station to hours on an at-home charging station, and that can be a source of anxiety for people who are considering buying an electric vehicle,” said Issam Mudawar, Betty Ruth and Milton B. Hollander Family professor of mechanical engineering, Purdue University. “My lab has come up with a solution for

situations where the amounts of heat that are produced are beyond the capabilities of today’s technologies.” Mudawar says his lab intends to begin testing a prototype charging cable in the next two years to determine more specific charge speeds for certain models of electric vehicles. “Ford is committed to making the transition to electrification easy,” said Degner. “We are glad to work closely with Purdue’s research team, which has the potential to make electric vehicle and commercial fleet ownership even more appealing and accessible.” The alliance with Ford and Purdue is part of hundreds of strategic alliances the company has with university professors around the world. Providing graduate students with opportunities to work on real world-challenges helps them develop their skills while introducing Ford to students who may choose to start their career at the company. “The research that we are conducting in a project such as this is really advanced, and we view it as a benefit for us, the future of

charging electric vehicles and as a pipeline to young talent—and we’ve seen success in doing this,” said Ted Miller, Ford’s manager of electrification subsystems and power supply research. “Students get engaged, they like the work they’re doing, and it’s a sustained investment in their laboratories, while helping us solve problems.” While the fast-charging cable won’t be on the market for some time as research continues, Mudawar has been developing ways to more efficiently cool electronics for the past 37 years by taking advantage of how liquid captures heat when boiled into a vapor. “Ford has been actively involved in battery research and electric vehicles dating back to the days of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison,” Miller said. “We’ve secured more than 2,500 U.S. patents in electrification technologies and we have more than 4,000 more pending. Working with Professor Mudawar and his students is the perfect fit to help us research the charging solutions of the future.” Source: Ford Motor Company

Pro Spot Announces VW Group Approval Pro Spot International, a leading manufacturer of welding products for the collision repair industry, is proud to announce the approval of its SP-5.3 MIG welder, VAS 821 007, by the Volkswagen Group based in Wolfsburg, Germany, for the North American market. The Pro Spot SP 5.3 is a multi-process double pulse MIG welder that has been widely accepted since its introduction three years ago. The welder was tested with different wire types and approved for all three materials: aluminum, steel and MIG brazing (CUSI). The SP-3 is very easy and quick to use, and is unique in that it has three built-in torches always attached to a wire spool. This means no need for changing liners and wires when switching materials—just click the desired torch trigger and the welder sets the weld controller and gas automatically. For more information, contact Pro Spot International at 1-877-776-7768 or info@prospot. com, or visit www.prospot.com. Source: Pro Spot

Continued from Page 18

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

MASSACHUSETTS

NEW JERSEY

NEW YORK

Curtiss-Ryan Honda

Boch Honda

Madison Honda

Lamacchia Honda

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Norwood

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Lia Honda of Enfield

LIA Honda Northampton

Enfield

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Clinton Honda

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Prime Honda

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240-864-0880

Vineland

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

Route 22 Honda Hillside

973-705-9100

Honda of Turnersville

Sussex Honda

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Hudson Honda 866-483-6917 201-868-9500

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Germantown

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Saco

207-391-7910 207-282-0900

Madison

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

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

Newton

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Ide Honda Rochester

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

Syracuse

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

Lia Honda of Albany Albany

800-272-6741 518-482-2598

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

Lia Honda of Brewster Brewster

845-278-4177

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

Lia Honda of Williamsville Williamsville/Buffalo

877-659-2672 716-632-3800

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

Ray Laks Honda Orchard Park

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

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

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Brighton

Turnersville

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

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

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

Acura of Peabody

Autosport Acura

Open Road Acura of East Brunswick

973-361-3117

732-238-0777 732-238-5466

Peabody

800-878-3600 978-532-9110

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

Denville

East Brunswick

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

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

Bill Vince’s Bridgewater Acura

Open Road Acura of Wayne

908-704-0307

973-696-5151

Bridgewater

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-7; Sat 8-4 mattn@bridgewateracura.com 34 DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Wayne

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

Maywood

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

Acura of Westchester Westchester

914-834-8887

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VERMONT

Apple Honda

802 Honda

800-960-9041 717-848-2600

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York

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

Berlin

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

Baierl Honda Wexford

818-332-7351

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

Shenango Honda Hermitage

800-858-0849 724-981-7106

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

Sussman Honda Roslyn

800-682-2914 215-657-3301

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

NEW YORK

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Curry Acura

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800-725-2877 914-472-7406

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Scarsdale

Wexford

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

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Paragon Acura

Davis Acura

718-507-3990

267-296-1000 215-943-7000

Woodside

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

Smithtown Acura

Langhorne

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

St. James

Sussman Acura

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

800-826-4078 215-884-6285

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Jenkintown

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-1 rendrick@sussmanauto.com autobodynews.com / DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 35


From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

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

The Collision Repair Training Program We Need in Every Market I know that easily one of the top challenges at many collision repair businesses around the country is finding skilled technicians, either entry-level or those with more experience. That’s why I was so encouraged and impressed by what I’ve seen at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, MO. At this stage in my career, it can be hard to impress me, but I’ve been blown away by what I’ve seen at Ranken the half-dozen times I’ve visited there. So much so, I’ve chosen to bring all the auto body shops in a number of my 20 Groups to the school to check it out. Here’s what I think sets Ranken apart from many other collision repair training programs: First, the facility is phenomenal. It’s probably equally or even better equipped than most shops in

the auto body shops that will employ them. But here’s what I love most about the Ranken program. Every student in the Collision Engineering program is on an eight-week rotation. They attend classes and hands-on training at the school for an eightweek period, learning the basics like shop safety, vehicle disassembly and dent repair—an awesome part of the program is that researching OEM repair procedures is one of the first skills students learn. During eight-week rotations at Ranken Technical College, Then they spend the next students learn the entry-level skills they need for their next eight weeks actually workeight-week rotation working in an auto body shop ing in a shop, performing skills they will need by working on the skills they have learned—along that type of vehicle. But at Ranken, with being exposed to more of the students are working on exactly the type of work they will be doing as late-model vehicles they will find in technicians. If they’re not performthe U.S. Second, when I’ve visited other collision repair training programs, I often see students working on older cars or even restoration projects. Sure, students can learn some

INFINITI OF NORWOOD

ing a skill within the shop to the level they should be, the shop can contact the school’s instructors and have them work with that student further. This eight-week rotation between the school and the shop continues throughout the student’s time in the two-year Ranken program. Rather than going to school for a full year, being introduced to skills they may well forget before they have a chance to practice them, Ranken students are getting a real-world chance to use, improve and demonstrate those skills. At some point in the rotation, they need to choose whether they want to become a body technician or a painter, and from that point on, that’s what their training at the school and work in the shop will focus on. As with any collision repair training program out there, a stu-

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dent who completes the Ranken program is not going to immediately be a journeyman A-tech. But Ranken graduates will be really strong B-techs. At many programs, students learn just a little about a lot. At Ranken, they come away with the specific training and hands-on experience to be productive at the basic skills needed in a shop right away to continue to progress in their career. They also start that career with a basic set of tools, and a bunch of I-CAR training credits.

The facility for Ranken Technical College’s Collision Engineering program rivals that of the best shops in the industry

As I said, I’m not easy to impress. But the quality of the welds I saw students at Ranken doing was phenomenal. One of the times I visited, an instructor was working with students on a quarter panel replace-

ment. Everything was being done exactly how the OEM procedures— which the students had access to— call for it to be done. For more information about the Ranken program, contact Shelly Jones at sajones@ranken.edu. Now you might be thinking: That’s great, Mike, but my shop is nowhere near St. Louis. So here are a few more things you should know. I have been so impressed with the Ranken facility, I moved the hands-on ADAS training we do for Nissan/Infiniti from Florida to Ranken. So come take that training and see Ranken for yourself. The school has a dorm and cafeteria for students who don’t live in the area. I know a shop owner in Colorado who, like me, was so impressed with Ranken, he’s having his own son attend the program there. If I still had my shops and I found good prospective apprentices, I would definitely have them attend the Ranken program. I’d tell them they would need to line up the grants, scholarships or loans needed initially to pay for the program

themselves. But I’d also have an agreement with them that as long as they were working for my company and doing a good job, I would make their student loan payments. They’d have some skin in the game up front, but also a strong incentive to stay at my company. And here’s the really good news for the industry: I want to give a big shout-out to the Enterprise Rent-ACar Foundation, because they have gotten behind the Ranken program. What’s more, the foundation is helping fund a pilot project to bring the Ranken model, including that awesome eight-week rotation system, to other schools around the country, including Contra Costa College in San Pablo, CA; Texas State Technical College in Waco, TX; and College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL. As the pilot project continues, participating schools, shops and students are perfecting an awesome model for what entry-level collision repair training should look like. Get involved if you can. I truly believe it will be a key part of improving the development of the entry-level technicians this industry so badly needs.

ASA Announces Regional Executive Director The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has named Julie Massaro, the current executive director of ASA Colorado, as the new regional executive director of the Mountain region of ASA. In September, ASA, the oldest and largest association representing the independent automotive repair industry, announced it is transitioning to a new and innovative association model leveraging its expansive history to create a single, unified industry voice. Under the new model, existing state affiliate agreements will be dissolved, and a 50-state regional structure will take its place. The Mountain Region covers the territory of Colorado, Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah, Kansas and Missouri. Massaro will continue to be based in Colorado and will report to Blair Calvo, the newly promoted vice president of regional services. Source: ASA

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

autobodynews.com / DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 39 8/12/21 12:20 PM


Techs of the Future with Stacey Phillips

Stacey Phillips is an award-winning writer for the automotive industry based in Southern California. She has more than 25 years of experience as an editor and writer and has assisted a wide range of businesses and fields. In addition, Stacey has co-authored two books. She can be reached at stacey@radiantwriting.com.

How to Grow Skilled Technicians & Improve Performance in Your Collision Repair Facility Auto body shop owners and managers across the U.S. are struggling to attract, motivate and retain skilled technicians in their facilities. Many say this has worsened since the COVID-19 pandemic. During an Elite Body Shop Academy webinar, Dave Flockhart, chief operating officer of BETAG Innovation, talked about ways to develop and shape the next generation of high-performance apprentices and journeyman technicians to address this challenge. “The reality is, and we can’t blame it all on COVID, we’ve been thrown a curveball,” said Flockhart. “We’re all contending with the fact that claim volumes are down and driving patterns have changed, perhaps irreversibly.”

form better.” This includes implementing new ideas, systems and processes in shops. As the current population of technicians continues to age, Flockhart said it is critical to find ways to attract new and younger people to the industry to learn the trade. The furlough that occurred during the pandemic and people leaving the industry for other sectors has contributed to the current shortage of skilled technicians. In addition, many say there is an inadequate apprentice pipeline to draw from. Flockhart said shops are feeling it more acutely now and trying to recharge as people begin spending again. With increasing pressure to find skilled workers, shops have been hiring technicians from competitors for higher labor rates and/or signing-on bonuses. “We’re seeing techs walk down the road to the competitor for a small raise or a signing-on bonus,” observed Flockhart. “In the short-term, that’s fine. But BETAG’s small damage repair course is part of its Outer Panel Repair Specialist (OPRS) program in the medium-term, I think it’s a zero-sum game.” However, he encouraged repairers to come to grips with the The Focus on High Performance situation and be open to embracing Flockhart said there is a strong corvirtual claims. relation between the skills shortage “Although COVID has led to and performance. He described a series of challenges, a lot of those high-performance workers as those were in play pre-COVID and the who have a combination of knowlpandemic has just accelerated some edge, skills and process. of them,” he said. Using the analogy of a pit crew, He shared one of his favorite he shared some of the things a crew quotes from Vivian Greene as a way does to enhance performance during of thinking about the current circum- a race. He pointed out how each stance: “Life isn’t about waiting for team member focuses on a very spethe storm to pass. It’s about learning cific skill. how to dance in the rain.” “When they come together col In times of challenge, Flockhart lectively, they can deliver the whole has often found there is also tremen- in an amazingly short period,” he said. “That comes down to the same dous opportunity. “We just have to go looking for three factors: knowledge, skills and it,” he said. “We need to find new process.” ways to think and act differently as By incorporating excellent techwell as identify ways we can per- nique, consistent application, good 40 DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

communication and teamwork, Flockhart said all of the team members know what each other is doing with absolute clarity. “I think trusting, empowering, recognizing and rewarding are critical,” he said. “As a result, the team begins to behave more cohesively and comes together around a shared objective.” Although the focus and attention are typically on the driver, Flockhart said the team is critical in order to experience success. The same is true in collision repair. “A high-performing pit crew can actually win a race for a team or lose a race for a team almost regardless of what the driver of the car has done on the track,” said Flockhart. “By working together, it provides everyone with a sense of purpose and clarity around what their role is and ultimately creates a competi-

tive advantage and improves performance.” Flockhart said that collision repairers are under constant pressure to deliver, whether that’s for their insurance partners against performance metrics and scorecards, or for customers. At the same time, they need to deal with increasing expectations, demand and knowledge of what it takes to repair a car properly. “We’re under this constant pressure to perform,” he said. “When we don’t have the right people in place to do the right jobs at the right times, we drive these operational inconsistencies, which start to negatively affect the very metrics that we are striving to achieve and create a vicious cycle.” Breaking the Cycle Besides thinking differently, Flockhart encourages repairers to act dif-

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ferently. “If we keep doing the same things, we are going to keep getting the same results,” he noted. “We know we have to find ways to attract new talent, but we also have to find ways to reduce staff turnover, which is in a business owner’s control.” Flockhart cautioned shop owners and managers to not lose sight of the significant cost attached to someone leaving an organization and having to find a replacement. “The cost is approximately one and a quarter times their salary and benefits package,” he said. Flockhart shared five ways to improve a team’s performance in a collision repair facility: 1) Identify the skill gaps 2) Attract people with potential even if they don’t have the skills today 3) Create a career path for them and invest in their development 4) Ensure they have a sense of purpose and recognize their efforts 5) Reward their performance, not necessarily financially Flockhart recommends moving away from the structure of A, B and C technicians and focus instead on apprentices, entry-level journeymen and master technicians. He also encouraged owners and managers to focus on the culture in their shop so it is considered a great place to work. Although it can be challenging at times, he said business owners shouldn’t lose sight of how much of a positive impact that can make. How Work Mix Impacts Performance The typical work mix in shops today, according to Flockhart, is 6065% outer panel repair, 15-20% structural repair and 20% total loss. “The percentage of outer panel repair is increasing as a portion of the total because ADAS features are reducing impact speeds and by extension, the heaviness of the hit,” explained Flockhart. “However, severity in terms of dollars is increasing because of the cost of repairing/ replacing the same ADAS technology when there is a collision, even if it is at a slower speed.” During COVID, with less traffic on the road, the average impact speed trended upwards but this

should be an anomaly when considered over a longer timeframe, he added. Approximately five years ago, total losses were about 13-14% of the work mix, according to statistics from CCC Intelligent Solutions

“The challenge is that we have prentice and entry-level journeyman this ever-present pressure to focus techs, BETAG created a technicians’ on the repair,” he said. “I think this training and accreditation program has manifested itself and has be- for an outer panel repair specialist come disruptive in the shop. This is (OPRS) to help businesses increase productivity and repair quality. where the skill shortage comes in.” By focusing on outer panel re- Flockhart said the program aims to pair work, Flockhart said help equip the technician of tomorshops have an enormous row with the skills they need to have opportunity to become a direct impact on business performore proficient in this area mance today and improve performance For more information about metrics, increase touch BETAG, email Dave Flockhart: time and reduce cycle time, flockhart@betaginnovation.com. and lead to higher gross For more information about margins and more work- Dave Luehr’s Elite Body Shop Academy and to watch this webinar, flow. “If we can find a way visit: https://elitebodyshopsolutions. as repairers to become bet- com/academy. ter than we currently are in For more information about Part of BETAG’s Outer Panel Repair Specialist (OPRS) program includes aluminum panel repair training that section, the opportu- BETAG’s program to grow skilled nities are significant,” said technicians and perform better, visit: shared by Flockhart. He pointed out Flockhart. “It enables apprentices https://betagnorthamerica.com/tech for the first time, just over 20% of and journeyman technicians to be- nicianAccreditation.php. vehicles—one in five coming into come super productive outer panel the shop—were deemed to be total repair specialists, allowing the masFREE losses. Not only are these vehicles ter technicians to focus their skills taking up space, but they also take on the complex repairs that demand 4x Monthly E-Newsletter. up estimating time. experience.” Subscribe Today! Although shops must deal with To help find ways to attract, www.autobodynews.com the total loss side of the business, train and develop the skills of apFlockhart said they are ultimately in the business of repairing vehicles. • Competitive Prices and Competitive Prices and “With some very good reasons, Dedicated Wholesale Staff! Kia of Attleboro Discounts Discounts Always Always Find all your Genuine Kia Parts With Us the focus and investment tend to • Dedicated Wholesale Staff Free Dailyto Delivery 508.761.9300 PARTS • Fast, Free Fast, Daily Delivery MA & RI center on structural repairs,” said Mon-Fri 7:30am-6pm to MA and RI Flockhart. “If we are going to be in 508.761.0768 Fax the business of repairing cars, there is no question as repairers we must be able to do that properly.” However, he pointed out that structural repairs represent the smallest part of the work mix but take up a disproportionate amount of investment dollars, time, training and technicians. In light of this, Flockhart recommends shops put their focus and investment dollars toward outer panel repair to improve performance. Although it has typically been an overlooked area over the years, Flockhart said it represents the majority of work now and continues to grow. “Materials have evolved but repair methods have not; performance is suffering as a result,” he said. With OEMs incorporating more complex, lighter-weight materials in vehicles, such as aluminum, thinner steels and composites, repair methods have not kept up.

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SEMA Announces Collision Repair & Refinish New Product Award Winners by Ed Attanasio

If you’re the inventor of a cutting-edge piece of equipment, tool or product that can help auto body shops to do a better job, the people at SEMA will give you an opportunity every year to honor your achievement and recognize it throughout the automotive industry worldwide. These are the Academy Awards for automotive product innovators, and you can almost guarantee success for an established or growing business by capturing one of these highly-respected awards. This year, more than 1,300 products were entered into 16 different showcase categories to be considered for the SEMA New Product Awards. Each category has one winner and two runners-up. Winners were judged on a wide range of criteria, including quality, marketability, innovation, technology and consumer appeal, among others. SEMA’s annual New Product Awards competition recognizes

outstanding achievements in the development of products being introduced to the automotive specialty-equipment market at the SEMA Show. This year’s New Product Award Winners Collision within the Repair & Refinish Product category are:

clean and tidy.” The system’s ideal for technicians looking to simply rough out damage that will ultimately need

Winner: The Keco Collision Glue Pull Repair System made by Keco Body Repair Products Runner-up: The Eagle made by Celette, Inc. Runner-up: The Drain Cleaner SR250 made by Reliable Automotive Equipment, Inc. The winning Keco Collision Glue Pull Repair System includes all of the tools required to complete level 1 repairs requiring minimal body filler to finish. The company website claims “this kit handles medium to x-large damages with ease and precision. Tools are easily organized on the designated GPR cart. The tab organizer will ensure you limit lost tabs and keep your shop looking

44 DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Chris White, owner of Keco Body Repair Products, holds the trophy his company received when its Keco Collision Glue Pull Repair System was named a SEMA Best New Product Award winner in the Collision Repair and Refinish category

a filler for finishing, and features K-Beam® and Slide Hammers to provide the ability to make double-action pulls, and the K-Bar to

perform leverage pulls that move tons of metal fast. JVF Body Hammers and Slappies are great for knocking down crowns and releasing tension while repairing damage, and include medium-sized crease tabs as well as large and x-large Centipede and Supertabs in all the most popular shapes, sizes and materials. It also includes a designated glue pull cart and tab organizer to keep tools and tabs clean and organized in your auto body shop. One of the two runners-up awards goes to the Eagle 3D Electronic measuring system made by Celette, Inc., headquartered in Lombard, IL. It’s a high-definition laser system that shoots the target in milliseconds with the measuring results displayed in the software. It features a self-learning user interface that enables users achieve more accurately when compared to traditional technology. A 65-year-old company, Celette delivers highly productive and


innovative auto body repair equipment to the collision repair industry. With everything they make, Celette designs products with the aim to offer solutions for repairing accident damages as well as to increase profitability of the body shop by reducing process time and the insurance man-hour time. The company is well-known for its worldwide Celette Technical Training Academy, and recently expanded its international footprint by establishing a new training facility in Chonburi, Thailand. Other features of the Eagle 3D Electronic measuring system features include online 3D software for vehicle database; and wireless connectivity between the laser gun, targets and software, with WiFi technology. Unlike traditional technology, the Eagle does not require reference points measurement. Leveling of the vehicle is not required and it provides an insurance diagnosis report after the measurement to create documentation using OE data. With Eagle, users can perform a complete vehicle body measurement in less

than 10 minutes with an accuracy of +/- 0.5 mm. Celette’s North American National Manager Bob Stevenson is thrilled to capture one of the two runner-up spots at SEMA because he knows the value of this coveted award. “We want to do a simple thankyou to the people of SEMA and recognizing us for being an innovative company and a leader in the collision repair industry,” Stevenson said. “We did a soft launch of the Eagle starting back in 2019 and the feedback we received from body shops all over the country has been very positive. Technicians appreciate its ease of use and body shop owners love the price, which is 75% less than the competition.” The other runners-up award went to The Drain Cleaner SR250 made by Reliable Automotive Equipment, Inc. (RAE). Founded in 1987, RAE designs and markets equipment solutions to the ever-changing automotive market in the U.S., Europe and Asia, as it produces repair training curriculum and certification programs for

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use by collision repair facilities. In partnership with the OEMs and equipment manufacturers, RAE has both influenced and provided instructor-led training in OE repair procedures and their related tools and equipment. With RAE’s experience and its connection to those who engineer both the vehicle and its repair, the company has built a reputation for outstanding product performance, unsurpassed product quality and most of all, the human touch. Field Engineer at RAE Robert Gruskos made a statement immediately receiving the award. “We at Reliable Automotive Equipment and Wielander & Schill are honored to be selected as a runner-up for SEMA’s New Product Showcase,” Gruskos said. “We have developed a reputation for being problem solvers and our new Drain Cleaner SR250 definitely falls neatly into that category.” www.autobodynews.com

UPDATED DAILY

ALLDATA Adds ADAS Quick Reference ALLDATA’s latest update makes it easy for auto repairers to instantly access Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) information, direct from the OEMs. Now, clicking on ADAS Quick Reference takes users directly to vehicle-specific ADAS information in ALLDATA Repair® or ALLDATA Collision®, the industry’s leading repair information software products. The ADAS Quick Reference feature links directly to the ADAS system/component by name, provides the location of the component that may have been damaged in a collision, identifies component removal/replacement that could result in extra labor for calibration or sublet costs and includes basic calibration information, required tools and prerequisites for servicing ADAS components. Source: ALLDATA

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Industry Insight with John Yoswick

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

MSO Symposium Looks at What Lies Ahead for Auto Insurance Claims, Consolidation

Shop Showcase

Vince Romans of The Romans more in annual sales control about Group consulting firm has been 43 percent of the total market. monitoring the growth of multi-shop Romans predicts that will rise to with Ed Attanasio operations (MSO) in the collision re- nearly 49 percent by 2025; he also pair industry for more than 15 years, shared a more aggressive forecast and at the “MSO Symposium” held showing their market share potenin Las Vegas in early November, he tially exceeding 61 percent by that said even the pandemic didn’t halt year, though he acknowledged “that consolidation within the industry. could or may not happen.” In fact, he said,with the recent growth Another mainstay speaker at the Ed Attanasio of MSOs has been “as aggressive MSO Symposium, Susanna Gotsch as almost any year that we’ve been of CCC Intelligent Solutions, oftracking this.” fered her annual look at where In 2020, Romans said, there were things stand in terms of auto insur26 MSOs (each with two or more lo- ance claims, and what may lie ahead as the nation continues to move with Ed Attanasio through the pandemic. Gotsch said that through the first three quarters of this year, overall claims counts are up about 9 percent – but still remain down a significant 15 percent compared to 2019. with Ed Attanasio The rebound varies widely by state. Non-comprehensive claims are up 13.4 percent through the third quarter of 2021 in Illinois, 15.2 percent in Ohio, 15.5 percent in Nebraska and 16.4 percent in Iowa – yet only 1.1 percent in North Dakota, 3.6 perSusanna Gotsch of CCC Intelligent Solutions cent in Minnesota, and 4 percent in Stacey Phillips said with 30 percent with to 40 percent of workers likely to continue working at home at least Colorado. one day a week, congestion – and resulting Gotsch noted a variety of changaccidents – during traditional commute times es in driving patterns have taken will not fully rebound next year place during the pandemic. Overall cations) that were acquired by other miles driven are up so far this year – chains; those acquired MSOs had a not surprisingly after the pandemic with Stacey Phillips total of 311 locations and $801 mil- shut-downs of 2020 – and in some lion in combined sales. This year is months are approaching 2019 levon pace to potentially match that, els. But recovery in urban road sysRomans said. Through the first 10 tems is substantially slower than in months of the year, 38 MSOs with rural road systems, and even inter254 locations and $698 million in state miles show substantially larger with Stacey Phillips growth in truck miles versus passencombined sales have been acquired. Romans said there are currently ger miles. 14 private equity firms with investMost critically, Gotsch said, is the ments in collision repair businesses. continued significant drop in traffic Of those he noted, not one was in- congestion during the morning and volved in the industry when the first afternoon traditional commute times MSO Symposium was Stacey held a decade that disproportionately contribute to with Phillips ago. Today, those MSOs have com- claims counts. Looking ahead, she bined annual sales of $9.1 billion, a said, a key factor will be the degree market share of about 26 percent of to which the 30 percent to 40 percent the entire collision repair market. of workers still working remotely Looking at the industry more return to offices. She foresees many broadly, all the collision repair busi- businesses offering more flexibility, nesses that each have $10 million or with employees across many indus-

Social Media for Shops

tries allowed to continue to work from home at least one day a week. On the other hand, she doesn’t foresee a sudden drop in the increased distracted driving and speeding that has taken root during the pandemic. “People do not unlearn bad driv-

SEMA Show Goes On

Media and Publicity for Shops

Vincent Romans of The Romans Group consulting firm said multi-shop operators (MSOs) have been “just as aggressive” about acquisitions during the pandemic as before

ing habits quickly,” Gotsch said. “They learn them quickly, but they do not unlearn them quickly.” Overall, she said, she thinks it’s likely that claim counts in 2022 will remain down from what they were in 2019. “But we expect we will continue to see steady growth, month over month, so by 2023, we will likely be more on par with where we were in 2019,” she said. She said overall cost of repairs has increased “way above anything I have seen historically.” One reason: the cost of parts. CCC data shows that the average cost per part – across all part types – has been fairly stable over the past couple of decades, typically rising 1 percent or 2 percent a year. That’s changed in 2021, however, with the average cost per part being around $130, up 7 percent so far this year, the largest

Shop Strategies

Quality and Fit to Get Them Back on the Road

Body Shops Giving Back

Tips for Busy Body Shops My SEMA

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increase CCC has seen going back to 1997. “With parts manufacturers paying significantly more for things like raw materials and shipping, the average cost per part has increased across the board,” CCC reports. But Gotsch projects that the rise in parts cost will not be the only factor raising overall cost of repairs. “We haven’t seen the same inflation in labor [rates] yet, but I think we’re going to,” Gotsch said. “Repairers, just like everybody else, are having significant wage pressures: signing bonuses, paying people with the [increasingly complex] skill sets required. It’s not just body work. It’s mechanical work, the knowledge of electronics, understanding how telematics and the systems of the car work, how to read the manuals from the OEMs. All of that requires a higher set of training and tooling. That cost will have to be passed on. So I think we’re going to see more inflation on labor. I think that’s going to start to find its way into appraisals as well. It just has to.” CCC has also seen a change in one of its metrics related to cy-

cle time for DRP claims. In the first three months of this year, fewer days elapsed between completion of an estimate and when the vehicle was brought in for repairs when compared to the same months in 2020 and 2019. Starting in April and continuing through July, however, the length of time between completion of an estimate and the vehicle being brought into the shop was longer this year than in the last two years. This was true for estimates for both drivable and non-drivable vehicles. Gotsch said parts delays caused by supply chain disruption could be one factor slowing how quickly shops are getting those vehicles in for repairs. She also pointed to findings by CRASH Network showing that shops’ backlog of work rose sharply in the third quarter of this year, with the national average scheduling backlog reaching an average of 2.6 weeks, a full week longer than shops reported just 90 days earlier.

AUTOBODY www.autobodynews.com

Rivian Production Capacity Target: At Least 1 Million a Year by 2030 by Mark Kane, Inside EVs

Rivian successfully launched its IPO and now has almost $12 billion, on top of $10.5 billion raised previously, to expand its EV business. According to Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe, via US News, the company has to grow quickly and reach a volume of at least 1 million electric vehicles per year by 2030. That’s a level of today’s Tesla. “We better be growing at least that quick; certainly before the end of the decade is how we think about it,” Scaringe said in an interview ahead of Rivian’s market debut on the Nasdaq on Nov. 10. Today, the company produces its EVs at its only manufacturing site in Normal, IL, acquired several years ago from Mitsubishi and upgraded. This site is technically equipped for 150,000 vehicles annually, but after an upcoming upgrade it should be ready for

200,000 per year. All three types of EVs announced so far—the Rivian R1T and Rivian R1S, as well as the Rivian EDV vans—will be produced in Normal. The R1T has been ramping up since September, while the other two will follow in December. The long-term plan for Rivian is to have a total of four assembly plants around the world, including one additional factory in the U.S. and probably one in Europe and one in China. The second factory in the U.S. is expected to also produce in-house developed battery cells, potentially in-house developed. All those things sound ambitious, but let’s not forget this company is the first to launch a modern all-electric pickup truck with a 300-plus mile EPA range, not imaginable a decade ago when the first generation Nissan LEAF with a 24 kWh battery struggled with a 100-mile range—it was rated at 73 miles EPA.

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Repairify™ Unites Company Brands, Introduces asTech® Duo, Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System by Stacey Phillips

As new vehicles are manufactured with complex electronic systems that require extreme precision to function safely, Repairify’s Chief Technology Officer Maurice Tuff said the company will continue to focus on providing solutions to ensure the electronic vehicle systems are returned to OEM specifications post-collision repair. Repairify, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, recently made several announcements as part of its strategic initiative to support the collision repair industry. These include a rebranding of its company, the introduction of a new product, asTech Duo, and a process for validating if an aftermarket tool can or cannot be used in place of an OEM tool on specific vehicles within the car parc. “By growing our organization through the acquisitions of like-minded industry innovators, we have established a powerhouse of brands that are all playing criti-

cal roles in transforming the way today’s increasingly complex vehicles are repaired, serviced and main-

Maurice Tuff, left, and Lesley Sparkes, right, stand near the Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System

tained,” said Cris Hollingsworth, president of Repairify. “Repairify continuously provides innovative solutions to meet the evolving demands of the indus-

try,” said Tuff. “We are now a full solution provider; once a vehicle is scanned, we identify the ADAS calibrations required and then provide tools necessary to perform the calibrations on-site, ensuring the vehicle is returned to OEM specifications.” Uniting Under the Repairify Brand Lesley Sparkes, Repairify’s vice president of global marketing, explained Repairify was traditionally the holding name for the business, which operated as asTech and owned FleetGenix. Over the last year, the company has made four acquisitions: adasThink, BlueDriver, Mobile Tech RX and RED (EU). “All our companies were strategically acquired in order to deliver an end-to-end solution and uniting them under the Repairify name gives our customers a single trusted source they can rely on for the full repair process,” said Sparkes. The strategic initiative brings together the company’s six brands:

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Tuff said the goal is to build out an ecosystem where Repairify can provide shops with a beginning-to-end solution.

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“This will give shops the ability to fully understand that the vehicle has been properly serviced, calibrated and is safe to go back on the road,” said Tuff. “As a result, it makes it easier on a shop to not have to use multiple vendors, providers and tools, throughout the different parts of the process.” Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System With the support of asTech’s 400plus ASE and I-CAR certified master technicians, the company has been offering remote scanning to customers by connecting a device to the vehicle to obtain access to the OEM tools at the data center. “Our solutions, combined with our trained technicians, keep up with the ever-changing vehicle technology so the shop can focus on the repair,” said Tuff. To help shops perform static calibrations in-house, he said asTech teamed up with Snap-On to deliver the easy-to-use all-in-one Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System. The product, which combines camera technology, targets and advanced software, is currently being used by shops across the country and was on display in November at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. “With cars becoming more sophisticated, more calibrations are necessary. Traditionally, shops have to send those out to the dealership

and the car may be gone for days,” said Tuff. “We’re enabling our customers to do more calibrations in-house,” added Sparkes. “This greatly enhances efficiency resulting in a more profitable shop.” asTech Duo Prior to the SEMA Show, asTech introduced asTech Duo, a solution that provides local and remote scanning, diagnostics and calibrations for collision and mechanical repair as well as dealerships. “Our customers expressed the need for an integrated solution with access to both local and remote scanning options in one device,” said Tuff. “With Duo, we are pleased to deliver this choice to our customers, giving them the flexibility and convenience to safely and accurately complete repairs.” Tuff said they were finding shops were buying aftermarket tools, unaware if they were accurate on a particular vehicle. As a result, the company began validating when an aftermarket tool is compatible with the OEM tool and when it is not. “We made a significant and ongoing investment in validating when a local aftermarket scan can be performed versus when a remote OEM scan is required,” said Tuff. “In all cases, we always leave the choice to the user which type of scan they per-

form regardless of our recommendation. The choice is always with the customer.” Moving forward, shops will have access to both a remote OEM scan supported by ASE and I-CAR certified technicians or a local OEM-compatible scan. Tuff said there was some concern in the market that the company was shifting away from OEM tools. “That isn’t true,” he clarified. “Customers always have the choice to use our OEM tools. Our focus remains on the safest and most accurate way to repair the vehicle. If a user would like to perform an aftermarket scan, with Duo, they know if it has been validated as OEM compatible for that vehicle before performing the scan.” Currently, the company uses more than 1,000 OEM tools, and Sparkes said that number is growing every day. In October, the company began offering the OEM scan report, in addition to the comprehensive diagnostic scan report that has always been provided. “This gives shops extra peace

of mind,” said Sparkes. “The delivery of the original OEM scan report will provide our customers with an additional layer of confidence and transparency so they can remain focused on properly repairing today’s complex vehicles,” said Hollingsworth. The reports are also available in asTech Connect, which includes a mobile application for both iOS and Android. Connect allows customers to view the status of their devices, talk with master technicians in multiple languages and access invoices, reports and more. In November, Chris Chesney was hired as vice president of training and organizational development. In this role, he will establish a comprehensive training initiative for customers, industry partners, employees and the network of technicians throughout the global Repairify ecosystem. “As we look toward continued expansion of our global footprint, we are proud of the Repairify brand and the technology and expertise we’re bringing to the market,” said Tuff.

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AutoNation to Sell 17 Collision Repair Centers to Caliber Collision AutoNation, Inc., intends to sell 17 unspecified locations of its collision repair centers to Caliber Holdings LLC, according to a filing it registered Oct. 18 with the SEC.

The filing said the agreement was signed Oct. 12 and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. Certain AutoNation stores will continue to sell parts and refer business to those collision centers following the closing of the transaction, the filing said.

The 17 collision centers represented less than 0.5% of AutoNation’s total gross profit for the six months ended June 30. In the filing, AutoNation said it remains committed to its collision business and, following the closing of the transaction, will continue to own and operate the largest collision center footprint among its automotive retail peers, with 55 collision centers located from coast to coast, including the collision center it recently acquired in Hilton Head, SC. Caliber Holdings operates more than 1,300 Caliber Collision locations in 36 states. Source: SEC

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Helping Others is Contagious, and You Don’t Need to Wear a Mask shops and collision-related companies out there. When I got my first writing assign- One thing I noticed right away ment from Autobody News in 2006, is many body shops—from large I was excited. MSOs all the way to mom-and I was also a little anxious be- pops—aren’t afraid to help local cause I knew very little about the nonprofits and people in need in collision repair industry at the time. each of their respective communiI also don’t know anything about ties. Giving cars to deserving people cars, and can’t even change my own is a perfect charity model for body oil. So, I’ve been basically faking it shops because it involves the shops, for the past 15 years! their employees, local vendors and At my very first SEMA Show, I the insurance companies that normet some of my fellow automotive mally provide the vehicles to be givjournalists and picked their brains en away. about hot topics to write about and The National Auto Body Counother tips they were willing to share. cil (NABC) Recycled Rides program has turned into a huge nationwide effort, with collision repairers all over the country getting involved. Since its inception in 2007, they have given away more than 2,500 vehicles valued at $36 million, and more than 300-plus auto body shops have been involved. Many shop owners covet the opportunity to be involved in the program, while others do not. One shop manager told me, “We are in the business of fixing cars, not Spec Ad Order giving them away!” But then he attended an NABC Recycled Rides Ed Attanasio is now the publicist at Oscar’s event at a SEMA Show one year and Place, a donkey sanctuary in Hopland, CA Sales Rep: Norman Morano was so moved he changed his mind, One veteran reporter painted a and now the shop gives away two or Advertiser: rather unpleasant picture of the state three vehicles every year. When people see others helping of the industry and allKen of Vangorder its issues. those in need, it creates a ripple efHe described insurance companies Volkswagen of Kingston coercing auto body shops bad— 1249into Ulster Ave fect, and pretty soon it takes on a life of its own. and unprofitable—“partnerships,” Kingston NY 12401 Helping is infectious and midnight shops sneaking Phone: around 845-336-5300x4 Fax: people 845-336-7436 and doing unsafe and poor-quality and there’s no vaccine for it. Once it gets in your blood, you’re hooked. repairs performed byToday’s shady Date: types2/15/2021 not afraid to break local regulations I don’t often remember famous quotes, some reason this one while cutting cornersAd ontype: every re- page quarter w/but VWfor DLP listing pair. from Muhammad Ali stuck with me: My first impression was wow— “Service to others is the rent you pay Instructions to Graphic Designer: this is going to be a lot of fun. That for your room here on earth.” reporter’s account of1)Use the industry When I began witnessing these all the information in his 8th page spec ad. turned out to be a gross exaggera- Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs) tion. body shops 2)Use the Liberty with VW Qtr page adstepping templateup to help Yes, there are positives and others, it made a strong impression negatives as in any industry, but innetwork on me. My Parts first thought was how 3)Include the logos: Trader, OE the end, the good things outweigh can I give back? I’m not rich, so doConnection, OPS Trax and Collision Link the bad. I have never seen a mid- nating money is not an option. So, I night shop—because I4)Use don’tthe staysame up bullet beganpoints looking for things in around the Liberty VW that that late—and most shops must per- I could do as a writer and an artist. ad. Please don’t use the bullet point in the form quality work to keep the doors I have been to countless car existing 8th page spec ad. open. Plus, unless you’re an investi- giveaways over the years and every gative journalist, you normally end time I cry. I am a crier, what can I Thanks, up writing about the more successful say? by Ed Attanasio

54 DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Norm

One of the first ones I attended took place in 2007 in Northern California’s East Bay, when Mike’s Auto Body gave five cars to deserving families during the holidays. Eventually, they asked me to be their Santa Claus at their annual presentations, and of course, I was happy to oblige. This

Attanasio started the Pandemic Pet Project, using his art to raise more than approximately $100,000 for 200-plus pet rescues all over the world

month, Mike’s Auto Body will be giving away its 100th vehicle as part of its 21-year Benevolence Program. Over the years, I’ve interviewed a lot of people in the collision repair industry who are well-known for their charitable efforts.

Jimmy Lefler, the owner of Lefler Collision and Glass, embarked more than a decade ago on an amazing journey to help people in Myanmar, formerly Burma. Lefler, his family and some of his crew work closely with an organization, Uncharted International, that has 12 orphanages with more than 600 orphans in Myanmar. He established a home for elderly widows, a human trafficking recovery center and The Loom House, which provides jobs for the children who grow up in the orphanages and for the women who, without a job, would end up in horrible situations. Another article I wrote recently was about Kendrick Paint & Body, a third-generation MSO with eight locations in Georgia. This shop sponsors more than 40 to 50 charitable events every year, giving lunches to first responders and raising monies for organizations such as SafeHomes Domestic Violence Center, American Red Cross and the City of Augusta, just to name a few. In another story I wrote, Tim

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Morgan, COO at Spanesi Americas, founded Second Chance Ranch, a nonprofit pet rescue organization, in 2018 when he witnessed pit prejudice and felt it was just a bunch of bull. So, he purchased a 3-acre farm and converted his barn into a kennel that can accommodate a pack of pit bulls. Morgan’s total dedication to helping animals really resonated with me, so I began looking around to play a role myself in some capacity. For many years, I volunteered at the Humane Society—walking dogs and doing laundry and for a time, I went to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco to catch feral cats. One day, an angry feline scratched me so bad people thought I was in a fight. So, I decided to stick with helping dogs to avoid cat scratch fever. A lot of other people in the collision repair industry have influenced me to become a chronic giver. I started Amazing Groceries a few years back, buying groceries for needy folks during the holidays. During the pandemic, I started the Pandemic Pet Project, using my art to raise money for pet rescues all over the world.

Then, it led me to the donkeys. Randomly and wonderfully, the people at Oscar’s Place in Hopland, CA, found me and asked me to be their publicist. Most people aren’t aware of the fact thousands of donkeys are being destroyed every month to be used as medicine in other countries. At Oscar’s Place, they go to donkey auctions in Texas and California to outbid representatives from Canada and Mexico, thereby saving them from certain deaths. I tell people I have been working for donkeys for many years, and now I am working for them! If you’ve been thinking about giving a vehicle to a deserving family, organization or individual, NABC Recycled Rides is always looking for auto body shops to get involved. If you want to help your community, just look around or even better—create your own benevolence program and pick the causes and charities close to your heart. Make 2022 the year you step up and make a difference in your community and make it part of your DNA. Good things happen to good people and if you can do it, why not?

Biden Administration Acts to Help Relieve Supply Chain Woes By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

President Joe Biden announced the Port of Los Angeles will begin operating around the clock as part of an effort to help speed up shipping delays arising from global supply-chain backlogs. Issues up and down the supply chain, from ships waiting days longer than usual to come to port, to goods waiting at the dock to be picked up and truckers being unable to unload at warehouses, have created massive delays and concerns about inflation and the coming rush of Christmas shopping. The Port of Long Beach, which along with the Port of Los Angeles handles 40% of shipping containers entering the U.S., began 24/7 operations in September. However, shortages of available truckers and warehouse operators stalled much of the progress expected from the extended hours. Biden created a Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force in June to identify transporta-

MASSACHUSETTS

tion bottlenecks across the nation and identify solutions. The Task Force has been meeting with business and union leaders to help coordinate actions by the many private firms that control the country’s transportation and logistics supply chain. To help address the problem, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union announced its members are willing to work the extra shifts created by the extended hours of operations at the Ports of LA and Long Beach. Large shippers and retailers such as UPS, FedEx, Walmart and Target have made commitments to use the extended hours of operation to unload cargo, which will allow ships to dock quicker. Additional measures across the country will be pursued in the coming weeks to address transportation congestion and delays. For more information, contact Caroline Fletcher at carolinef@sema.org. Source: SEMA

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Industry Insight

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

with John Yoswick

Auto Body Shop, College Working in Tandem to Transform Collision Repair Program

Shop Showcase

Collision repairers sometimes at the meeting she previously knew grouse about the body shop training nothing about the collision repair inprograms at schools in their area. dustry other than being “a frequent with Ed Attanasio But Justin Clubb didn’t just com- flier of Campbell’s Auto Body, beplain. He did something about it. cause I kept running into things.” Speaking as part of a panel discussion at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) on Nov. 2 in Las Vegas, Clubb, general manager of Deery Collision in BurwithCenter Ed Attanasio lington, IA, said he’d served for some time on the advisory council for the collision program at nearby Southeastern Community College. He came to realize, however, the program seemed to be more about “restoration” and “working on stuff with Ed Attanasio Justin Clubb of Deery Collision in Iowa has that is not relevant to the collision been helping improve the collision repair trainindustry.” ing program at community college in his area When the school announced a new dean, Ashlee Spannagel, for But she had concerns of her its career and technical education own about the collision program programs, Clubbwith askedEd to meet with when in response to her own quesAttanasio her. Spannagel told CIC attendees tion at an advisory council meeting,

Social Media for Shops

SEMA Show Goes On

she was told “OSHA didn’t apply to the industry.” “I knew nothing, but I did know enough that OSHA did apply,” Spannagel said. “That was the biggest thing I had to do as a leader and educator, to figure out how to not be so ignorant about this industry,” even while overseeing dozens of other degree and certificate programs at the school as well. Clubb spent a lot of time working with Spannagel, and helped connect her with contacts at I-CAR, Tradiebot, the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) and the ASE Education Foundation. Along with faculty and other volunteers, the two spent hours moving and sorting through dozens of totes of tools and supplies stored in the program’s shop, including 3,000 rolls of electrical tape, and more than 12 pallets of bulk tools.

Media and Publicity for Shops

“If you need 800 10-millimieter wrenches, I am your girl. I know where they are,” Spannagel said, soliciting laughter from CIC attendees. About 18 months later, she said, their combined efforts have “completely transformed” the school’s collision repair program. “We now have invested over $500,000 into a state of the art facility,” Spannagel said. “We now have a relationship with the industry. The industry before was specifically telling us that our students were not what they needed, but in some cases, we simply weren’t listening. We are listening now. We are acting now. We are changing as a result of that. We are undergoing a curriculum revision right now. As a result, we will have better qualified students, more well-equipped students, and more students in the future.” Clubb and Spannagel agreed

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such a turnaround requires the buyin—and “hundreds of hours” of work—by faculty and the industry, but Clubb especially credited Spannagel’s outlook and commitment.

Aaron Schulenburg, who chairs the CIC Parts and Materials Committee, said CIC attendees have become more interested in the committee addressing the topic of parts supply chain disruptions

“Teach me what I need to know, so that we can move forward and serve our local communities the way community colleges were designed to do,” Spannagel said, drawing applause at CIC. Lidar coming to a car near you soon Another panel discussion at CIC

focused on how lidar works as part of a vehicle’s advanced driver assistance systems, and what collision repairers will need to know about the technology. General Motors, Lucid and Volvo have announced some new vehicles in 2022 and 2023 will include lidar. “Most of the major manufacturers have a desire to put lidar on their vehicles by 2024 or 2025,” said Cibby Pulikkaseril, chief technology officer and co-founder of Baraja, an Australian company developing lidar systems. “It will be a major trend in automotive.” Whether positioned at the front roof line, behind the windshield or within the grill or headlamps, lidar needs a surface in front of it that is clean and free of abrasions. “Definitely paint is something you’d never put over the lidar,” Pulikkaseril said. Typical laminated windshields are designed to block the type of infrared lasers used in lidar systems, so any replacement windshield installed in a vehicle with windshield-mounted lidar will need to

Autobody News attended Pro Spot’s Distributor Awards Event at Top Golf, Las Vegas on Wednesday, November 3rd Pro Spot International again hosted its annual Distributor Awards Fun evening at the 2021 SEMA Show at TopGolf Las Vegas. “We were so pleased to be able to have our Annual Distributor Appreciation Night this year,” said Ron Olsson, Pro Spot president. “Our distributors work so hard for us and we really like to show our apprecia-

tion with a fun night and present our Annual Distributor Awards. “With the cancellation of SEMA 2020 because of COVID, we really wanted to have a very special evening this year,” Olsson continued. “With such great successes during 2021, we are really looking forward to what 2022 will bring.”

meet the proper specifications, including related to tinting. “The windshields have to be designed for lidar transmissivity, so you would not be able to just replace it with any other windshield,” he said. “You’d need to get the specified one.” Abrasions from road debris or other sources to the windshield or other glass in front of lidar will also obscure the system’s “view” of the road ahead. “I think what you’ll see is that many of the lidars mounted to the vehicle will have ‘obscure detection,’ so it will self-report that the windshield, or whatever the lidar is going through, has stopped transmitting,” Pulikkaseril said. Upcoming CIC meetings Citing the stricter COVID-related restrictions in place in Palm Springs, CA, CIC organizers announced in November the January CIC will instead be held in Phoenix, AZ. Details are available at www.CIClink. com. One topic that may be on the agenda: the disruptions in the global

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parts supply chain. Aaron Schulenburg ended the Parts and Materials Committee session in Las Vegas by polling meeting attendees about whether they currently see parts delays as an issue—90% said yes—and whether they wanted “supply chain disruptions” to be a topic the committee explores at future meetings. When the committee asked that same question last April, fewer than half—44%—of CIC attendees said yes. But in Las Vegas in November, nearly twice that percentage—83%—answered affirmatively, clearly an indication of changed business conditions in recent months. “I don’t think it was a big enough issue when we asked the first time, but I think it is now, and that’s obviously reflected in the response,” Schulenburg said. Don’t Miss the Weekly Industry NEWS Your Shop Needs. Sign Up Free Today! www.autobodynews.com

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SUN Collision Repair Information Offers Complete OEM Procedures & Mechanical Insights provides technicians with complete data related to just about any vehicle When a collision occurs, any dam- that could pull into an shop’s bay. age to the body and frame is likely to “If you were to print out the affect the sensors, cameras and other data that is in this application, it mechanical components. would be about 35 million pages,” Scott DeGiorgio, general man- he said. “It’s very comprehensive. ager at SUN Collision, said these We did some intuitive things with must be repaired and/or recalibrated the application to assist the techniso the vehicle can be returned to its cian.” preexisting condition. DeGiorgio explained SUN Collision was introduced to the market to offer collision facilities a single source of information that covers both collision, based on OEM procedures, and mechanical, using SureTrack® Real Fixes based on actual mechanical repair solutions. “Some shops are farming out the mechanical piece Scott DeGiorgio, general manager at SUN Collision, conbecause they don’t have the ducted demonstrations of SUN Collision Repair Information knowledge to do it,” said at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV, in November. Credit: DeGiorgio. “SUN ColliStacey Phillips sion assists technicians to To provide technicians with the be able to do more of that repair, information they need to properly bringing more profit into the shop.” fix a car, SUN Collision Repair In- A significant challenge for techformation was created by SUN®, a nicians is the time it takes to look up brand of Snap-on Incorporated. OEM repair procedures. As a result, The web-based, mobile-friend- DeGiorgio said SUN Collision was ly product includes all of the rele- designed to be easy to use. vant repair details based on OEM “All of the information for veprocedures. This includes ADAS hicles is laid out in the same way repair and recalibration information, across all makes and there is full OEM data for materials, paint, body access to both collision and mechanand frame, the latest recalls and ical information,” he said. TSBs, as well as insights for me- By providing it all in one place, chanical repairs. DeGiorgio said it will help shops re “You can easily access all of the duce repair times and become more procedures and specifications need- efficient. ed to efficiently repair damaged ve- “I could take a B tech and turn hicles,” said DeGiorgio. him into an A tech with this infor The database encompasses mation,” he said. “At $100/hour for complete OEM-licensed procedures a technician, I can’t have him spend for 1960-2022 automobiles and is a half-hour looking for information updated regularly by a team of ed- and struggling, so we made this as itors. DeGiorgio said the product simple and fast as possible. They by Stacey Phillips

have all of the information they need with a few clicks of a mouse.” Since it was first introduced at the 2019 SEMA Show, new content, increased coverage and enhanced features have been added to SUN Collision. This includes an ADAS Quick Link, which provides technicians a complete picture of the ADAS repair details in a table with clickable links. “You can’t work on a vehicle anymore without this type of information,” he said. “Technology is so complex that you have to have some type of resource for this knowledge.” SUN Collision also offers advanced search engine technology using 1Search™ Plus. DeGiorgio explained technicians can easily access the relevant information they need through the search function by clicking on what is referred to as a “data card.” These are subcategories that contain in-depth specifications and procedures for the car. SUN Collision was showcased during the 2021 SEMA Show at

the Snap-on Total Shop Solutions booth, with its sister brands: Mitchell 1, John Bean®, Car-O-Liner® and Hofmann® products. DeGiorgio and other SUN Collision representatives conducted product demonstrations at the event and discussed the significant growth of the product. SUN Collision offers comprehensive training to shops that use the software to help maximize its effectiveness and customer service representatives are available to provide support. In addition, technicians have access to a large community of technicians online to ask questions and learn about the product. With a background in the automotive repair side of the business, DeGiorgio said the company is confident about what it has built for the industry. “As technology continues to change, we are changing with it,” he said. “We’re excited about what we built and hopefully, it’s in every shop soon.”

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How Much Range Does an Electric Car Lose Each Year? by Andrew Lambrecht, InsideEVs

While electric vehicles have been proven to have considerably lower ownership costs compared to their ICE counterparts, battery longevity remains an equivocal subject. Similar to how consumers ask how long the batteries can last, manufacturers often question the same subject. “Every single battery is going to degrade every time you charge and discharge it,” Atlis Motor Vehicles CEO Mark Hanchett told InsideEVs. Essentially, it’s inevitable your electric car battery, or any rechargeable Li-ion battery, will lose the capacity it once had. However, the rate at which it’ll degrade is the unknown variable. Everything ranging from your charging habits to the very chemical makeup of the cell will affect your EV battery’s longterm energy storage. While many factors are at play, there are four main elements that assist in further degrading EV batteries. Fast Charging Fast charging itself doesn’t necessarily cause accelerated battery degradation, but the increased thermal load can damage the internal components of the battery cell. The damage of these battery internals leads to fewer Li-ions being able to transfer from the cathode to the anode. However, the amount of degradation the batteries face is not as high as some may think. Earlier last decade, the Idaho National Laboratory tested four 2012 Nissan Leafs, two charged on a 3.3kW home charger and the other two strictly charged at 50kW DC fast stations. After 40,000 miles, the results showed the one charged on DC only had 3% more degradation. That will still shave your range, but the ambient temperature seemed to

have a far greater effect on the overall capacity. Ambient Temperatures Colder temperatures can slow down an EV’s charge rate and temporarily limit the overall range. Warm temperatures can be beneficial for rapid charging, but prolonged exposure to hot conditions can damage the cells. So, if your car is sitting outside for long periods, it’s best to leave it plugged in, so it could use the shore power to condition the battery.

Mileage Like any other rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the more charge cycles, the more wear on the cell. Tesla reported the Model S will see around 5% degradation after breaching 25,000 miles. According to the graph, another 5% will be lost after around 125,000 miles. Granted, these numbers were calculated via standard deviation, so there are likely outliers with defective cells that weren’t shown in the graph. Time Time typically takes the worst toll on batteries. In 2016, Mark Larsen reported his Nissan Leaf would lose around 35% battery capacity at the end of an eight-year period. While this percentage is high, it’s because it’s an earlier Nissan Leaf, known to suffer from severe degradation. Options with liquid-cooled batteries should have much lower percentag-

es of degradation. Preventative Measures To keep your battery in the best possible condition, keep these things in mind: If possible, try to leave your EV plugged in if it’s sitting for an extended period of time in the summer months. If you drive a Nissan Leaf or another EV without liquid-cooled batteries, try to keep them in a shady area on the hotter days. If your EV has the feature equipped, precondition it 10 minutes before driving on hot days. This way, you can prevent the battery from overheating on even the warmest summer days. As mentioned above, 50kW DC isn’t as detrimental as most think, but if you’re sticking around town, AC charging is cheaper and usually more convenient. Plus, the aforementioned study did not include 100 or 150kW chargers, which

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Are There any EVs I Should Avoid? Almost every used EV has an eightyear/100,000-mile battery warranty which covers degradation if the battery’s capacity drops below 70%. While this will offer peace of mind, it’s still important to buy one with enough warranty left. As a general rule of thumb, any old or high mileage option should be cautiously regarded. The battery technology available today is far more advanced than tech from a decade ago, so it’s vital to plan your purchase accordingly. It’s better to spend a little more on a newer used EV than paying for an out-of-warranty battery repair.

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most new EVs can use. Avoid getting your EV below 10-20% battery remaining. All EVs have a lower usable battery capacity, but avoiding reaching the battery’s critical zones is a good practice. If you drive a Tesla, Bolt or any other EV with a manual charge limiter, try to not exceed 90% in day-today driving.


‘Who Pays for What?’ Survey: Continued Increase in Auto Body Shops Billing for Destructive Weld Testing With six years of data now available from “Who Pays for What?” surveys, Mike Anderson of Collision Advice can point to some changes within the industry the survey results reflect. “This summer, nearly three of 10 shops—29%—reporting being paid to set-up and perform destructive weld testing ‘always’ or ‘most of the time’ by the eight largest national insurers,” said Anderson, who conducts the surveys with CRASH Network. “That’s more than twice the percentage—just 12%—who found that to be true back in 2015 when we started the surveys.” In 2015, Anderson said, about 81% of shops said they’d never sought to be paid for performing test welds. That’s fallen to about half that today, just 43%. “Whether through the surveys or other training, shops are increasingly understanding the requirement to perform destructive tests on welds before welding on a vehicle, and can choose whether to bill for it when appropriate,” Anderson

said. He said the final of the four 2021 “Who Pays for What?” surveys, which focuses on scanning, calibrations, shop supplies and aluminum repair, is scheduled to close at the end of October at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ XC67NPT Survey participants receive a free report with complete survey findings along with analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented. Anderson said the survey, which will take about 15-20 minutes, can be completed by anyone in a shop familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of at least some of the largest national insurers. Each shop’s individual responses are held in the strictest confidence; only aggregated data is released. The results of previous surveys are also available online (https://www.crashnetwork.com/ collisionadvice). Source: CRASH Network

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100-Plus Lawmakers Rally Support for EV Tax Credit Bill More than 100 U.S. House lawmakers on Oct. 12 urged Speaker Nancy Pelosi to keep a $4,500 tax credit incentive for union-built electric vehicles in a massive spending bill. In a letter seen by Reuters, 107 Democrats urged Pelosi to retain the credit supported by the United Auto Workers union, the AFL-CIO and U.S. automakers. The $4,500 credit would provide a significant boost to Detroit’s three automakers—General Motors, Ford and Chrysler-parent Stellantis. “We strongly support leveling the playing field between nonunion and unionized workforces by including the added $4,500 incentive to support union-made EVs,” the letter said. The push was led by Rep. Thomas Suozzi, D-NY, who said the incentives “help guarantee that working men and women are an integral part of that success story.” Pelosi’s office declined to comment. Foreign automakers do not have unions representing assembly workers in the U.S. and many have fought efforts to organize U.S. plants. Twelve major foreign automakers in September urged Democrats to reject the proposed $4,500 tax incentive

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and have been lobbying lawmakers to reject the union incentive. A House panel last month approved legislation to boost EV credits to up to $12,500 per vehicle, including $4,500 for union-made vehicles and $500 for U.S.-made batteries. The foreign automakers said the proposal “would unfairly disadvantage American workers who have chosen not to join a union and produce more than half of all vehicles in the United States and the vast majority of American-made EVs.” The tax credits, which are part of a proposed $3.5 trillion spending bill, would cost $15.6 billion over 10 years.The EV proposal also does away with phasing out tax credits after automakers hit 200,000 electric vehicles sold, which would make GM eligible again for the $4,500 credit. Tesla vehicles would not get the credit. Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested on Twitter the EV proposal was “written by Ford/UAW lobbyists...Not obvious how this serves American taxpayers.” Source: Chicago Automobile Trade Association

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CIC Panel Discusses AI in Collision Repair Estimating by John Yoswick

A panel discussion at the Collision Industry Conference on Nov. 2 in Las Vegas focused on the current state of artificial intelligence within estimating in the industry, acknowledging current shortcomings and challenges, but also offering a glimpse into the coming growth in the use of the technology.

Among the panelists at the Nov. 2 CIC were, left to right, Bud Center of the CIC Talent Pool and Education Committee; Amber Alley of Barsotti’s Body and Fender; Ashlee Spannagel, dean of CTE at Southeastern Community College; and Justin Clubb of Deery Collision Center.

Jason Verlen of CCC Intelligent Solutions, for example, said AI alone doesn’t currently ad-

dress all estimating scenarios, but it already can significantly speed many initial claims processes for consumers. Also during the meeting, Bud Center of the CIC Talent Pool and Education Committee held a panel discussion with shop managers discussing successful efforts they have made in working with schools trying to improve collision repair training in their market. Amber Alley, of Barsotti’s Body and Fender in San Rafael, CA, said she’s working with a school with a two-year program that cycles students from eight weeks at the school to eight weeks working in a shop. Justin Clubb, of Deery Collision Center in Iowa, said he brought concerns about a local community college’s collision repair program to a dean at the school, Ashlee Spannagel; she recently worked with him and others in the industry to overhaul the program’s facility and curriculum. A full write-up will be posted to the website soon

MSO Symposium Looks at Post-Pandemic Recovery of Collision Repair Industry by John Yoswick

After being held virtually in 2020, the MSO Symposium returned to an in-person format Nov. 1 in Las Vegas, with opening speaker Susanna Gotsch of CCC Intelligent Solutions asked to tackle the question: “2022: Will the pandemic finally be in the rear view mirror?” Vincent Romans, left, of The Romans Group, and Susanna Gotsch, right, of CCC Intelligent Solutions, spoke during the MSO Symposium, held Nov. 1 in Las Vegas. Credit: John Yoswick Gotsch said with 30% to 40% of repair industry, calling MSOs “just workers likely to continue work- as aggressive” about acquisitions ing at home at least one day a during the pandemic as before. week, congestion—and result- A full write-up of the MSO ing accidents—during traditional Symposium will be posted to the commute times will not fully re- website soon, and will be printed bound next year. But the increased in the December issue of Autodistracted driving and speeding body News.

Survey: 78% of Vehicle-Owning Voters Support Federal Right to Repair Legislation The CAR Coalition has released the results of a national survey of vehicle-owning voters, showing strong support for action on federal right to repair legislation, such as the bipartisan Save Money on Auto Repair Transportation (SMART) Act. The survey by the CAR Coalition, a growing group of independent automotive parts, management and repair companies, associations and insurers committed to preserving consumer choice and affordable vehicle repair, shows: • 78% of voters support right to repair legislation that allows consumers to choose where and how to repair their vehicle; reduces design patent enforcement time from 15 to 2.5 years for collision repair parts, as proposed by the SMART Act; and makes vehicle data more readily available • 92% of voters agree consumers should be able to choose between automaker-branded and aftermarket car parts when making repairs. • 85% of voters support vehicle

data being made available to consumers and any repair shop they choose. • Only 25% of voters believe design patents should be used for common car items, like side mirrors or bumpers. “Repair restrictions on automobiles are driving prices higher at a time when many Americans can least afford it,” said Justin Rzepka, executive director of the CAR Coalition. “It’s time for Congress to get serious about solutions, including the SMART Act, to ensure consumers have options for quality, safe, affordable auto repairs and more control over their data.” The survey, conducted nationally and in select states, including Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington, found consistent strength for federal right to repair legislation from coast to coast. In states and Washington, D.C., the right to repair movement is gaining ground. Last November, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative to

64 DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

seen during the pandemic is likely to continue, leading claims counts to continue to rise next year as they have in 2021, getting closer to a full rebound to 2019 levels by late 2022. Vincent Romans of The Romans Group consulting firm also offered his annual assessment of the consolidation trend in the collision

mandate automakers install standard open data platforms in all vehicles starting in car model year 2022. In July, the White House issued an executive order on competition, encouraging action on right to repair. Later that month, the FTC voted to increase enforcement against restrictions that limit consumers’ right to repair, including the automotive industry. In a policy statement, the FTC reiterated its view that “providing more choice in repairs can lead to lower costs, reduce e-waste by extending the useful lifespan of products, enable more timely repairs and provide economic opportunities for entrepreneurs and local businesses.” The national survey was conducted Oct. 11–19, among 1,008 vehicle-owning voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.09% voters. For more information, visit www.CarRepairChoice.org. Sign the letter to Congress: w w w. C a r R e p a i r C h o i c e . o r g / take-action. Source: CAR Coalition

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207-989-4610 Fax M-F 7am-5pm; Sat 7am-4pm partsdepartment@downeasttoyota.com www.downeasttoyota.com


TRUST FORD PARTS CERTIFIED PARTS WHOLESALING DEALERS CONNECTICUT

MASSACHUSETTS

NEW JERSEY

NEW YORK

Hoffman Ford Lincoln

Colonial Ford of Plymouth

Malouf Ford Lincoln Mercury

Schultz Ford Lincoln

860-282-0861 860-290-6336 Fax

888-754-3380 508-830-1650 508-830-1658 Fax

800-959-6256 732-951-1429 Fax

845-623-5111 845-624-0075 Fax

EAST HARTFORD

Hours: M-F 7-5:30 Sat 7:30am-3:30pm fordparts@hoffmanauto.com

MARYLAND

Packer Norris Parts BALTIMORE

855-767-7278 410-574-8305 410-574-8389 Fax

Hours: M-F 7-5:30; Sat 8-3 www.packernorrisparts.com

PLYMOUTH

NORTH BRUNSWICK

Hours: M-F 7:30-5; Sat 7:30-4 www.buycolonialford.com

Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-1 fordparts@malouf.com www.maloufparts.com

Sarat Ford Lincoln

Nielsen Ford

888-809-5648 413-786-4474 413-789-3715 Fax

973-702-8000 973-875-7016 Fax

AGAWAM

Hours: M-W 7-6; Th 7-8; F 7-5; Sat 8-4 www.saratford.net

NANUET

Hours: M-F 7-12, 12:45-5:30; Sat 8-12 parts@schultzflm.com

PENNSYLVANIA

New Holland Ford

SUSSEX

NEW HOLLAND

Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-3:30 gbraden@nielsenford.com

800-367-3232 717-354-9633 Fax Hours: M-F 7-5:30

NEW JERSEY

Ditschman/Flemington Ford FLEMINGTON

800-221-1256 908-782-1795 Fax

Hours: M-F 7:30-5; Sat 8-3 www.njparts.com

autobodynews.com / DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 65


1Collision Continues Expansion

‘Insurer Report Card’ Open for Collision Repairers to Grade Insurers More than 1,000 collision repair professionals each year grade the performance of the auto insurers in their state through CRASH Network’s “Insurer Report Card”—and the insurance companies and consumers are paying attention. “No one sees on a daily basis which insurers really stand behind their promise to deliver top-quality repairs and customer service after an accident better than those providing that collision repair work,” said John Yoswick, editor of CRASH Network. “The ‘Insurer Report Card’ helps the repair industry get that unique perspective out to vehicle owners, and gives the highest-graded insurance companies another way to communicate what sets them apart from the companies that receive lower grades from shops.” Yoswick said Forbes Advisor, which offers independent information to consumers about financial decisions, now incorporates the “Insurer Report Card” grades into its auto insurance rankings. Insurers like Chubb and Acuity that have consistently received top grades

1Collision announced the addition of Center Collision in Tacoma, WA, and Sudden Impact Collision Center’s two locations in Glen Burnie, MD. “A good friend recommended 1Collision to me after he had a great experience in the network and after looking into it myself, I can see the benefits of being part of a much bigger organization with the support to overcome many of the common struggles in this industry,” said Kevin House, owner of Center Collision. “After extensive research, 1Collision was appealing to because of the rebate deals in place, and a great support team of people committed to helping me grow, while allowing me to stay as independent as possible,” said Dennis Marsch, owner of Sudden Impact. 1Collision and partner CSN Collision Centres, a Canada-based network, have a combined presence of more than 240 locations in North America. Source: 1Collision

tout that in their marketing and social media. The latest “Insurer Report Card” is now open to shops at www. CrashNetwork.com/gradebook It asks collision repairers to grade each company based on how well the insurers’ claims practices help ensure quality repairs and customer service. By assigning insurers a grade from A+ to an F, shops can let consumers know which insurers push for quality repairs and provide great customer service when consumers have a claim— and which may have some room for improvement. “Because each state has a different mix of insurers, the ‘Insurer Report Card’ allows repairers to grade insurers specific to their state,” Yoswick said. “As in the past, we’re asking about more than 160 different auto insurance companies across the country, making it far more extensive than any similar surveys, which generally focus on just the 10 largest national insurers.

The results of the ‘Insurer Report Card’ can help consumers know, for example, if some smaller or regional insurers they may not be as familiar with are really great at taking care of customers.” The “Insurer Report Card,” open only to collision repairers, can be completed in less than three minutes—though shops are encouraged to spend time to explain why they gave each insurer the grade they did—and all individual shop grades and identification information will remain confidential. Shops that complete the “Insurer Report Card” and provide an e-mail address will be sent the results to share with their customers, at no charge, once they are compiled. Shops can go to www.CrashNetwork.com/gradebook to grade the insurers. For more information about the weekly CRASH Network newsletter, visit www.CrashNetwork. com. Source: CRASH Network

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

Order Audi Genuine Parts from these select dealers. MARYLAND

Bell Audi

Paul Miller Audi

Audi Southampton

732.396.9630 732.396.9090 Fax M-F 8am-5pm Sat 8am-4pm dmcsorley@bellaudi.com

862.277.0009 973.575.5911 Fax M-F 8am-6pm Sat 8am-5pm www.paulmilleraudi.com Audiparts@paulmiller.com

631.204.2565 Tue-Sat 8am-5pm parts@audisouthampton.com www.audisouthampton.com

Audi Silver Spring

Edison

301.890.3015 800.288.6982 301.890.3748 Fax M-F 7:30am-5pm wholesaless@mileone.com www.audisilverspring.com

DCH Millburn Audi

Silver Spring

MASSACHUSETTS Audi Shrewsbury Shrewsbury

888.751.7214 508.581.5880 508.845.1642 Fax M-F 7:30am-5pm audiwholesaleparts@mcgovernauto.com

NEW JERSEY Audi Meadowlands North Bergen

201.408.2085 201.223.7842 Fax M-F 7am-6pm Sat 8am-2pm jpooler@bbmcc.com

Maplewood

800.553.9250 973.762.2381 Fax M-F 7:30am-6pm Sat 7:30am-4pm ddipalma@dchusa.com www.dchmillburnaudi.com

Parsippany

Southampton

NEW YORK Audi Brooklyn of Bram Wholesale Parts Network 866.770.5999 718.392.6570 Fax M-F 7:30am-5:30pm parts@lexusofqueens.com

Flemington Audi Flemington

800.221.1256 908.782.1795 Fax M-F 7:30am-5pm Sat 8am-12pm www.njparts.com

Regardless of the age of your customer’s Audi, Audi dealers have access to over 200,000 part numbers and are supported by a nationwide network of distribution centers to help ensure non-stocked parts are delivered the next day.

autobodynews.com / DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 67


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sales.usa@emm.com | 1 (855) 629-1732 68 DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com