January 2022 Southeast Edition

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Southeast Collision Associations Team Up for Inaugural Southeast Collision Conference The Carolinas Collision Association, in partnership with the Tennessee and Gulf States collision associations, are holding the first Southeast Collision Conference in Richburg, SC, at the Gateway Conference Center. The conference starts at 8 a.m. Feb. 3 and goes through Feb. 5. Attendees will enjoy workshops including Assured Performance Network, presented by Mike Anderson, as well as featured speakers such as Erica Eversman, David Luehr and Mark Olson. There are more than $1,000 in prizes for the winning attendees that

participate in diverse skills challenges, judged by special guests Collision Hub and other industry professionals. This educational event will feature Open Mic with industry leaders, live demonstrations and training classes for every skill level. The John Eagle vehicle will be onsite with the gracious sponsorship of Intrepid Direct, and attendees will have the opportunity to network with diverse aspects of the collision industry. The Southeast Collision Associations are invested members of the collision industry and created this See Collision Conference, Page 6

Tesla Makes it Official—Texas Now Truly New HQ by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

A recent Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Dec. 1 revealed Tesla has now made its headquarters’ move to Texas official. As per the filing, dated Dec. 1, the company’s headquarters is now located at Gigafactory Texas. “On Dec. 1, 2021, Tesla, Inc. relocated its corporate headquarters to Gigafactory Texas at 13101 Harold Green Road, Austin, Texas 78725,” Tesla officials noted in the filing. The statement clarifies speculations about the location of Tesla’s

Texas headquarters. The company previously operated a separate HQ in California at 3500 Deer Creek Road in Palo Alto, about 23.5 miles away from the Fremont Factory. Looking at Tesla’s SEC filing, it appears Gigafactory Texas would be serving multiple roles for the company. Apart from being the location where key vehicles such as the Model Y and the Cybertruck will be produced, the facility will also host Tesla’s headquarters. Speculations suggest a 4680 production and recycling plant may be built in the Giga Texas complex as well. See Tesla Makes it Official, Page 8

Vol. 12 / Issue 11 / January 2022

High Inflation Causing Virginia Businesses to Struggle by Tyler Arnold, The Center Square

After facing economic hardships from pandemic-era restrictions and struggling to find workers because of the subsequent labor shortage, Virginia businesses are now facing another problem—inflation. Inflation rates have risen in recent months, surging to 4.2% in July and up to 6.2% in October. Inflation is an increase in prices for goods and services and a reduced value in the country’s money, which means every dollar is progressively worth less than it was the previous month.

High inflation is caused by a variety of factors, including supply shortages, high government spending and the Federal Reserve increasing the money supply. Current inflation rates are the highest they’ve been since the 1990s, causing businesses and consumers to make tough decisions on how they will spend their money amid soaring prices. Tony Stafford, founder of local northern Virginia chain Ford’s Fish Shack, told The Center Square everyday items he never had issues See High Inflation, Page 8

Collision Repair Industry Thought Leaders Share Innovative Ideas During IDEAS Collide Showcase rattle the status quo,” added SCRS Chairman Bruce Halcro. “I think Thought leaders from across the the lineup of contributors this year collision repair industry had the op- was poised to do just that and I perportunity to share innovative ideas at sonally find this to be one of the the IDEAS Collide Showcase held most ambitious sessions that breaks during the 2021 SEMA Show. out of what we traditionally expect The event was first introduced from industry education.” at the 2018 show by the Society of Information about the SEMA Collision Repair SpecialGarage Detroit was shared by Ben Kaminsky, general ists (SCRS) as part of its manager. Repairer Driven Education Kaminsky said the goal (RDE) series. of SEMA Garage Detroit is This year, eight speakers were given 10 minutes to help SEMA members and each to talk about creative partners develop new prodways to help the industry Ben Kaminsky, gen- ucts, train and understand evolve. eral manager, SEMA what they need to succeed Garage Detroit “The ideas that we’re in their businesses. exploring really traverse a The 45,000-square foot lot of different business models and facility offers the capability to cona lot of different topics,” said Aaron duct emissions and horsepower testSchulenburg, executive director of ing. A large install center is being set SCRS. “Some of them will be about up for influencer videos and instruchow we approach the industry and tion manuals. some of them will be very specific One of the highlights of the solutions to specific challenges.” multi-million dollar project is the “We’ve always championed inclusion of an advanced driver asSee IDEAS Collide Showcase, Page 22 that the topics in this session should by Stacey Phillips

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CONTENTS ASA Announces New Regional Executive Director for Southeast Region ����������������������� 6 Crash Champions Acquires Sunbeam Autobody, Annie’s Collision Center in Florida ��������������� 20 High Inflation Causing Virginia Businesses to Struggle ���������������������������������������������������� 1

Serving Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2022 Adamantine Media LLC.

3M Automotive Aftermarket Division ��������������� 5

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers � 29, 30-31

ASP Clips ������������������������������������������������������� 24

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������ 43

Audi Gwinnett ������������������������������������������������ 36

Jim Cogdill Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram ����������� 20

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 46

John Heister Automotive ������������������������������� 38

AutoNation Ford-Lincoln �������������������������������� 34

KECO Body Repair Products ��������������������������� 21

Share Innovative Ideas During IDEAS

Beaman CDJR Wholesale Parts ��������������������� 35

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������� 47

Collide Showcase ������������������������������������������ 1

BendPak ��������������������������������������������������������� 11

Kwik Bench ���������������������������������������������������� 16

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������������� 45

Landers Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep ������������������������ 14

Carcoon America Workstation Portable Paint

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������� 44

4 Industry Veterans Form Automotive Market Data ������������������������������������������������ 28 ASA Announces Podcast Series ��������������������� 51 Biden Releases Oil Reserves to Address Rising Gas Prices ���������������������������������������� 50 Biden Signs Executive Order on Clean Energy, EVs �������������������������������������������������������������� 48

NABC Recycled Rides and Partners Present

Car ADAS Solutions Joins CIECA �������������������� 48

Refurbished Courtesy Vehicle to Ronald

CIF Elects Trustee from Axalta ������������������������ 45

McDonald House Charities–Memphis ��������� 18

Collision Repair Industry Thought Leaders

Southeast Collision Associations Team Up for Inaugural Southeast Collision Conference ����� 1 Suspect Charged in Used Car Dealership Co-Worker’s Murder ����������������������������������� 10 Toyota Selects NC Site for New Auto Battery Plant ������������������������������������������������������������ 10 Wilson, NC, Veteran Receives Refurbished SUV from NABC Recycled Rides, GEICO, CARSTAR ������������������������������������������������������ 6

Ford Only Major U.S. Automaker to Report Year-Over-Year Sales Increase in November ��������������������������������������������������� 51 Industry Veteran Establishes Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com ������������������������� 44 J.D. Power Study on Fully Automated Self-Driving Vehicles: Consumers Don’t Know What They Don’t Know �������������� 4

COLUMNISTS

Mercedes Red Paint Settlement Final ������������� 46

Anderson - When it Comes to Auto Body Shop

More Than 165 Customers Sue Hertz for

Technician Compensation, Something Has

Allegedly Being Falsely Accused of Driving

to Change ���������������������������������������������������� 32

Stolen Rentals, Landing Some in Jail ���������� 24

Chess - The Evolution of Dent Repairs ������������� 12 Yoswick - Auto Body Shop Billing Practices

Retired Tech Looks Back at 67 Years in Collision Repair ������������������������������������������� 38

Related to Total Losses, Not-Included

Shepherd Joins Advantage Parts Solutions ����� 10

Procedures �������������������������������������������������� 34

Stellantis CEO: EV Transition Costs ‘Beyond

Yoswick - MSOs Discuss Collision Parts Challenges, Increased Work-in-Progress ����� 42

the Limits’ the Auto Industry Can Sustain ��� 51 Tesla Makes it Official—Texas Now Truly New HQ �������������������������������������������������������� 1

NATIONAL 3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives Created to Improve Collision Shops’ Productivity, Efficiency and Cleanliness ��������������������������� 37

Transportation Secretary Buttigieg Cites Gas Prices, Promotes EVs ���������������������������������� 49 U.S. DOT Announces Initial Framework for EV Charging Station Programs �������������������� 33

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

REGIONAL

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

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

Booths ������������������������������������������������������� 23

Mercedes-Benz of Cutler Bay ������������������������� 40

Car-Part.com �������������������������������������������������� 18

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers ������� 43

Certified Automotive Parts Association ������������ 6

Miami Lakes Automall ������������������������������������ 17

City Kia of Greater Orlando ����������������������������� 42

MINI of Charleston ����������������������������������������� 22

Classifieds ������������������������������������������������������ 50

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers ����������������������� 44

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet ��������������������������� 36

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������� 39

DeVilbiss Automotive Refinishing ��������������������� 8

NOROO Paint & Coatings �������������������������������� 15

Dynabrade, Inc ����������������������������������������������� 19

Parks Chevrolet ���������������������������������������������� 22

Equalizer Industries, Inc ��������������������������������� 10

Pro Spot International ������������������������������������� 13

Florida Filtration & Spray Booth Services ������� 12

Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Naples ��������������������� 42

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 45

Riverside Ford-Lincoln ������������������������������������ 32

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������� 48

SATA Dan-Am Company �������������������������������� 52

Gus Machado Ford ����������������������������������������� 37

Solera �������������������������������������������������������� 26-27

Harper Volkswagen ���������������������������������������� 33

Spanesi Americas �������������������������������������������� 2

Hendrick Automotive Group ��������������������������� 41

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������� 49

Hendrick BMW/MINI ��������������������������������������� 7

Tameron Hyundai ������������������������������������������� 40

Hendrick Honda Pompano Beach ������������������� 38

Valspar Refinish ����������������������������������������������� 9

Hendrick Kia Cary ������������������������������������������� 28

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������ 44

Hendrick Kia Concord ������������������������������������� 28

Wrenchers ����������������������������������������������������� 25

Hendrick Volvo Cars of Charleston ����������������� 42

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 3


J.D. Power Study on Fully Automated Self-Driving Vehicles: Consumers Don’t Know What They Don’t Know While the automotive industry continues to move toward fully automated, self-driving vehicles, the pace is not being matched by educational efforts that will help bring buyers into the modern mobility movement. According to the redesigned J.D. Power 2021 Mobility Confidence Index (MCI) Study, released Nov. 30, consumers possess inaccurate knowledge of fully automated self-driving vehicles. Survey respondents were asked to select one of seven possible descriptions to define fully automated self-driving vehicles. Based on the Society of Automotive Engineers’ definition of Level 4 and Level 5 self-driving, two descriptions correctly defined a fully automated self-driving vehicle, which only 37% of MCI respondents selected. More than half (55%) of respondents selected descriptions aligned with driver assist technology, which describe lower levels of automation currently available in many product offerings. The ability to accurately define a fully automated, self-driving vehicle is even lower (32%) among those with higher self-reported levels of automated vehicle (AV) knowledge. Survey findings show those who self-report knowing nothing at all about AVs are actually more accurate (37%) in defining fully automated self-driving vehicles. “This is a ‘Danger, Will Robinson’ moment for the fully automated self-driving vehicle industry,” said Lisa Boor, senior manager of global automotive at J.D. Power. “There is a significant gap between actual and perceived AV knowledge. Right now, consumers don’t know what they don’t know. Clear, consistent messaging from industry stakeholders is needed to improve the accuracy of consumer AV knowledge. The industry needs to be the catalyst for educating the public before running into such speed bumps. AV education must expand beyond current, traditional learning methods.” The study index is based on six unique attributes of consumer comfort with fully automated, self-driving vehicles. The comprehensive metric measures consumer readiness

for AV technology in several categories: personal vehicles; commercial vehicles; public transit; riding if unable to drive due to age or injury; sharing the road with other AVs; and consumer purchase intent. This year, the study has been redesigned as an annual offering from J.D. Power, MIT Advanced Vehicle Technology Consortium (MIT AVT) and Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE).

“The more people see and learn, the more they want to know. And we can help to quench that thirst for learning by providing clear, hype-free facts and simple, consistent terminology.” Today’s experiences build tomorrow’s customers and expectations: Leading the way for greater self-driving vehicle expectations and consumer acceptance are experiences with current Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

By merging the quarterly J.D. Power MCI Study with the annual MIT AVT Automated Driving Technologies Study, key metrics from both are maintained with a freshening of phrasing and survey terminology. The redesign also provides the opportunity to add several new topics not previously covered. The study is further strengthened by the participation and support of the PAVE coalition and its goal of raising public understanding of driverless vehicle technology.

Today, 41% of respondents are comfortable with driver assist technology being the maximum level of automation, which is 27 percentage points higher than those who would be comfortable with fully automated self-driving vehicles. Adding to the challenge is that 19% of respondents believe fully automated self-driving vehicles are available for purchase or lease today—an incorrect belief also shared by 16% of Tesla owners. “Tesla” was the most frequently mentioned word when respondents were asked what comes to mind when saying fully automated self-driving vehicles are available today. Consumer self-driving vehicle readiness rises: The score for confidence in fully automated self-driving vehicles improves to 42 (on a 100-point scale) from 34 a year ago and 36 two years ago. Positively trending is the excitement to use fully automated self-driving services when compared with the J.D. Power 2020 Q3 MCI Study: personal vehicles (+11 percentage points); delivery services (+3); taxi/ ride-hailing services (+4); and public transit (+2). Nearly one-third (31%) of respondents say they are very comfortable or extremely comfortable with transporting goods in a fully automated, self-driving vehicle, and the comfort level increases to 47% among those with an active driving assistance feature on their current ve-

Following are key findings from the 2021 study: Knowledge not the same as learning: Consumer interest in AVs increases 10 percentage points from the J.D. Power 2020 Q3 MCI Study, with 51% now having more general interest due to something they read or heard. However, only 29% of respondents have actively sought to find information about AVs. The majority (53%) of respondents believe the best way to learn about AVs is a driver’s education course for self-driving vehicles. A majority (58%) also say they are willing to complete specialized training for a special AV driver’s license. At the opposite end of the learning spectrum, 27% say they would prefer to learn by doing in a selftaught fashion. “These results demonstrate the power of knowledge,” said Tara Andringa, executive director of PAVE.

4 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

hicle. Respondents also see the benefit in fully automated self-driving vehicles for those unable to drive due to age or injury—a newly added index attribute for this year’s study—as respondents’ comfort levels are 27% overall and 45% among those with active driving assistance on their current vehicle. Consumer comfort is higher for AV applications that may not involve them: Of all fully automated self-driving modalities measured, consumers are most comfortable with goods being transported commercially and riding in a fully automated self-driving vehicle if unable to drive due to age or injury. The attributes more likely to affect a consumer personally—AV public transit and riding in fully automated self-driving vehicles—have the lowest levels of comfort. “Safety is paramount when building any self-driving experience,” said Bryan Reimer, Ph.D., research scientist in the MIT AgeLab and associate director of The New England University Transportation Center at MIT. “Organizations working as technology pioneers have the responsibility to create realistic and accurate consumer expectations for what their products can and cannot do. “Small setbacks in public trust triggered by misuse of systems or a failure of a system to perform based upon misconceived consumer expectations may hamper deployments over the coming decades, depriving consumers of the convenience and safety benefits the technology can potentially offer,” Reimer said. “Consumer overconfidence and lack of knowledge to date can lead to risk taking that will cause the AV industry to hit a lot of potholes.” The J.D. Power 2021 Mobility Confidence Index (MCI) Study is based on responses from 4,000 vehicle owners in the U.S. age 18 and older who completed a 15-minute online survey. The study results were balanced to basic census demographics to be nationally representative. The study was fielded in June and July 2021. Source: J.D. Power


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Continued from Cover

Collision Conference event to give auto body shops in their region— whether a member or not—access to the multitude of benefits trade shows provide. “This was created so shops in the Southeast could have education brought to them and access to the newest and best tools and programs on the market,” said Josh Kent, event coordinator and executive director of the Carolinas Collision Association. “This event shouldn’t be missed, and with support from companies such as Lombard Equipment, Calibrators, Blue Ridge Color Company and Spanesi, it is sure to have something for everyone.” Discounted tickets are offered to Assured Performance Certified shops who attend the Feb. 3 seminar and members of the Carolinas, Tennessee and Gulf States collision association. Tickets can be purchased at https://southeastcollisionconference.brushfire.com/scc/513199 Source: Southeast Collision Conference

ASA Announces New Regional Executive Director for Southeast Region The Automotive Service Association has named Mary Steele, AMAM, executive director of ASA Florida, as the new regional executive director of the Southeast region of ASA. The new role is effective immediately. In September, ASA, the oldest and largest association representing independent mechanical and collision shops, 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 dissolve, and a 50-state regional structure will take its place. Steele will oversee the Southeast region, which covers the territory of Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. An industry veteran, at only 18, Steele first began working as a bookkeeper for an independent, family-owned shop in her native home state of Pennsylvania and later moved into a service manag-

er role. After taking some time off to raise four children and serve in her church, she joined her husband, Tom, in purchasing a shop in Bucks County, PA. She also earned her accredited master automotive manager from the Automotive Management Institute (AMi) in 2017. Along with running the shop, Steele served as executive director of ASA of Pennsylvania, launching its popular and successful Super Saturday annual training event. After 11 years of shop ownership, Steele and her husband moved to Florida, where she quickly became the executive director of ASA Florida, while her husband serves as a NAPA Autotech trainer. With a commitment to quality training, she launched ASA Florida’s Foundations training program at Daytona International Speedway. Steele also serves on the AMi Board of Trustees. “With Mary’s deep roots in the automotive service and repair industry, and her vast association experience, I know she will embrace this role with great energy, passion and service,” said Blair Calvo, vice

president of regional services. Steele will continue to be based in her home state of Florida. “Seventy years ago, shop owners created an association to represent the independent shop owners’ best interest, and that model worked for many decades,” said Steele. “With new generations and advances in technology, a new business model is needed. I love the new regional model as it will streamline things for our independent shops and business partners, along with our industry as a whole.” Steele can be reached at south east@asashop.org. Under ASA’s re-envisioned regional structure, it will allow the organization to expand its reach and improve member benefits including advocacy, education, events and training for independent repair shops across the country. Among other changes is a new and improved fee schedule for members. Membership dues will transition to a single monthly subscription at a low rate. Source: ASA

Wilson, NC, Veteran Receives Refurbished SUV from NABC Recycled Rides, GEICO, CARSTAR On Nov. 3, a deserving Wilson, NC veteran was presented with a vehicle to help provide him independence and the ability to work and take care of his family thanks to the National Auto Body Council (NABC) Recycled Rides® program, car donor GEICO® and CARSTAR Don’s Auto Body of Rocky Mount, located outside of Raleigh, NC. The presentation was held at CARSTAR Don’s Auto Body. GEICO donated the 2017 Jeep Cherokee, and the team at CARSTAR Don’s Auto Body provided the repairs. The deserving recipient was selected by Christian Fellowship Home of Nash and Edgecombe Counties. The recipient, Godfrey A. Alleyne, served in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Vietnam. He now spends his time giving back to others in the community, and the gift of reliable transportation will help him continue working and helping others. “This is like a new day for me,” said Alleyne. “I’ve never had

a car this new—most of them were 20 years old. I can’t wait to put the plates on it and go visit my family.” NABC Recycled Rides is a unique program in which businesses representing all facets of the collision repair industry team up to repair and donate vehicles to individuals and families in need of reliable transportation. Since the inception of the NABC Recycled Rides program in 2007, members of the NABC have donated more than 2,750 vehicles valued at more than $38 million. Additional partners in the NABC Recycled Rides presentation included 1-800 Charity Cars and Enterprise. CARSTAR Don’s Auto Body, Enterprise and GEICO all provided gifts to “stuff the trunk” with household items and car care supplies.

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Continued from Cover

High Inflation with acquiring are taking between two and three weeks to be delivered. “Everything from to-go boxes to canned chili sauce are consistently out of stock,” Stafford said. “I used to use three to four vendors; now I have to use six to eight to make sure I can find the items needed to run my restaurant. The prices of those items keep increasing to the point that I cannot use a paper menu, because prices change on a daily basis. It continues to be a challenge and doesn’t seem to be getting any better for my restaurants.” Robert Melvin, director of government affairs at the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association, told The Center Square these problems are causing a lot of problems for the businesses he represents. “Our people are seeing monumental increases on things,” Melvin said. “... Our folks are really taking a hit.” Melvin said the cost of food items have gone up across the board, including the cost of chicken wings

and crab meat. Hotels are struggling to obtain essential materials to the point at which he said one of his members had to purchase whatever they could find at Costco because they could not get bed linens or towels from vendors. The labor shortage is also causing some restaurants to reduce their number of operating days and forcing hotels to reduce the number of rooms they can rent because there aren’t enough workers to clean all of the rooms if they were all open. Nicole Riley, Virginia director for the National Federation of Independent Business, reported similar problems among her members. The NFIB is the largest small business association in the country. Riley told The Center Square businesses have to decide how to absorb the higher costs of goods, whether they pass it onto the customer or deal with it internally by forgoing pay raises for employees. The former could discourage customers from coming, but the latter could make it difficult to hire workers, especially during a labor shortage, she said. “They’re just in a really tough

spot right now,” Riley said. Melvin and Riley both indicated the state should not put additional mandates or taxes on businesses at this time, and both encouraged the state to offer relief to businesses. Melvin encouraged state officials to rein back local meals tax hikes and Riley encouraged ending the grocery tax, lowering taxes and returning the state’s surplus to the people and businesses through tax relief. Stephen Haner, a senior fellow for state and local tax policy at the free-market Thomas Jefferson Institute, told The Center Square the state needs to steer away from any regulations or taxes that would put a burden on businesses. “It took a while for inflation to build, and it will be a slow process bringing it under control,” Haner said. “The Federal Reserve and other central banks will need to lead the fight. About the only thing the state can do is ‘do no harm’ by piling on higher taxes, fees or find other ways to pull dollars out of people’s pockets like new regulations. Where resources like energy can be expanded, they should be.”

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Tesla Makes it Official Tesla’s move to Texas was previously announced by CEO Elon Musk. During the 2021 Annual Shareholders Meeting, Musk said the company would be moving its headquarters to the Lone Star State. Musk did not provide specific details about the move then, though the company did unveil an image of Tesla’s logo in a Texas-inspired belt buckle. The exodus of Musk’s companies to Texas has been going on for some time, though the departure of Tesla’s headquarters from California involved some drama. This was because Tesla’s departure was announced by Musk following a spat with Alameda County about the Fremont Factory’s reopening last year. Despite the Tesla headquarters’ departure from California, however, Musk noted the company remains determined to expand its operations in the state. See Tesla Makes it Official, Page 18


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Shepherd Joins Advantage Parts Solutions Advantage Parts Solutions, a global leader in delivering strategic automotive parts solutions, is pleased to welcome David Shepherd to its global team in the role of non-executive director. Shepherd will work closely with Advantage’s global executive leadership team to help guide its long-term strategic business plan to remain a dominant brand in the OEM parts supply chain as it continues to deliver unrivaled value to the marketplace. Shepherd, a seasoned industry executive, joins Advantage’s global team after spending 13 years as regional managing director of Solera’s international region, where he was directly responsible for accelerating the company’s reorganization outside North America. Before Solera, Shepherd was an executive consultant for various collision repair brands, Thatcham Research and the Institute of the Motor Industry. Source: Advantage Parts Solutions

Toyota Selects NC Site for New Auto Battery Plant On Dec. 6, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Liberty, NC, Mayor Filmore York joined Toyota Motor North America’s leaders to announce Greensboro-Randolph Megasite has been chosen as the location for Toyota’s new $1.29 billion automotive battery manufacturing plant, to be named Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina (TBMNC).

When it comes online in 2025, TBMNC will have four production lines, each capable of delivering enough lithium-ion batteries for 200,000 vehicles, with the intention to expand to at least six production lines for a combined total of up to 1.2 million vehicles per year. The $1.29 billion investment made by Toyota and Toyota Tsusho is partially funded from a total in-

vestment of approximately $3.4 billion previously announced Oct. 18, and is expected to create 1,750 new American jobs. “The future of mobility is electrification and the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite is the ideal location to make that future a reality,” said Ted Ogawa, CEO of Toyota Motor North America. “North Carolina offers the right conditions for this investment, including the infrastructure, high-quality education system, access to a diverse and skilled workforce and a welcoming environment for doing business. “Today marks the beginning of a mutually beneficial partnership with the Tar Heel State as we embark on our journey to achieve carbon neutrality and provide mobility for all.” “I’m glad that Toyota Battery Manufacturing has chosen to call North Carolina home,” said Cooper. “This investment in our state is a testament to our world class workforce and growing economy. North Carolina is working hard every day toward a clean energy future and projects like this will help us get there.”

In determining the location for the new plant, Toyota was interested in renewable energy availability as well as support from local stakeholders, including governments, utilities, partners and others. Candidates for the site were narrowed down based on these requirements and Greensboro-Randolph Megasite met and exceeded these needs with: • An extensive and well-maintained highway system for overland logistics • Four international airports and two seaports • Onsite rail • An outstanding, diverse workforce • Renewable energy availability • World-renowned education system • Strong government partnership at both the state and local levels In addition, as the company continues its efforts to reach carbon neutrality for its vehicles and operations by 2050, Toyota is committed to using 100% renewable energy at this new facility to produce the batteries. Source: Toyota Motor North America

Suspect Charged in Used Car Dealership Co-Worker’s Murder The Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD) filed a second-degree murder charge against a 26-year-old Leesburg, FL, man for assaulting a co-worker at their place of employment with a metal bat, causing injuries that eventually led to the death of the victim. Steve Tilbury’s charge was updated by DBPD on Nov. 30, hours after the victim—50-yearold Charles G. Cummings of Deltona, FL—lost his life at Halifax Health Medical Center, where he had been getting treatment since the attack took place on the morning of Nov. 23 at Ritchey Autos, at 932 North Nova Road. Officers responded to the automobile dealership soon after Volusia County emergency dispatchers received a call for assistance at 8:43 a.m., finding the suspect and victim at the scene. Tilbury was taken into custody at that time on two felony counts of aggravated battery. Cummings was taken from the scene by paramedics to HHMC as a trauma alert.

Witnesses told DBPD that Tilbury pulled up to a maintenance bay in his silver Chevy truck, grabbed a metal bat from the rear of the truck and hit Cummings on the head with the bat while he was sitting at a desk. Fellow co-workers then subdued Tilbury and stripped him of the metal bat prior to first responders arriving on scene. Detectives believe the suspect and victim had gotten into an argument at work the day before the attack. Tilbury has been at Volusia County Jail since his initial arrest on the aggravated battery charge.

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Hey Toby! with Toby Chess

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

The Evolution of Dent Repairs From the Ford Model T until the hammer to pull out the dent, fol1970s, dents were a two-sided oper- lowed by a thick coat of Bondo. I ation. You would push from the in- remember when you looked at the side with a dolly and hammer on the back side of the panel and the bondo outside until you had a semi smooth flowed through the back. panel. Until 1955, lead was used as the filler. The with health David risk of McClune lead filler was becoming evident, it was difficult to work with and it was a tedious process, as lead was melted over the entire dent. Bondo—plastic body filler— was invented in 1955. Plastic body filler was becoming the material of choice and it was more widely accepted, as more auto body shops Fig. 3 switched from lead to the lightweight with John Yoswick plastic filler. Max Spitznagel, from Dent Fix, introduced the stud gun and slide hammer to body shops in 1979. (See Fig 4)

In 1999, another dent pulling device hit the market. The Maxi by Dent Fit (see Fig 6) is still widely used today.

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and dents in hard-to-access areas. The major drawback for these machines is the heat affect zone and a corrosion hot spot on the back of the panel. (See Fig7)

Fig. 6

Fig. 7

The Maxi Multiple Pull Dent Station (See Fig6) is a 120V or 220V single phase dent-pulling station that provides the technician with the power to shrink, pull rocker panels and fix hail damage, creases

To solve those problems, the Miracle pulling system was introduced around 2010. (See Fig 8) This system uses low voltage/ reusable pulling keys (See Fig 9). The keys were placed next to

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With holes no longer being drilled into the panel, it made a difference in the quality of the repair. (See Fig 5)

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In the ‘80s, the vehicles started to go through an evolution, from body over framewith to unitized, andHendricks so Fig. 5 Karyn did the body repair methods. Doing hand work took a lot lon- This method of repairs took ger and someone came up with the dent removal to a whole new level idea to drill a bunch of holes (See and was the standard for the next Fig 3) in the panel and use a slide two decades.

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each other and a rod was inserted through the oblong opening. (See

dent out and used the hand puller to finish up the repairs to the door.

lengths of the reground keys. Three years ago, Dent Fix introduced three items to the Maxi System, a bridge puller, hand pull and magnetic key holder, along with two styles of keys. (Fig 12-15)

to hold the key in place.

Fig. 14

Fig. 11 Fig. 8

Another manufacturer that hit the market was the Flatliner, followed first by Pro Spot International’s Pro Pull Complete using the PR-3 A.

Fig. 12

Fig. 15

Fig. 13

To use this attachment, first remove the pulling electrode from the gun and then attach the magnetic key hold. Put the key on the dent and pull the trigger. Done. I really like the magnetic header

Fig. 9

Fig. 16

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Fig 10) Then a bridge pull was secured to the panel, and an arm or hook system was attached to the bar. The pulling part of the bridge was set into motion. The deepest part of the dent was first to come up and as it was being raised, more and more of the eyes became engaged, thus pulling the entire dent out in one operation. In my first try with the Pro Spot dent-pulling system, I attached the keys to a body line (See Fig 11), which should be the first item of repair. I attached the lifting bridge to the door and pulled the body line until it was straight, using a steel ruler to check my pull. I removed the keys and pulled attached keys to the dent and pulled it out. (This door was junk because the intrusion beam was destroyed in the collision). I got the

The PR-3A has two guns. The pistol-type gun is a single-sided attaching gun. You can use it to attach body pulling pins, washers, bolts and nuts to panels. The long narrow attachment is the keys attaching unit. You attach the key and hold it on the metal and the timer in the unit will come on and in less than a second, the key will be attached. After the pull has been completed, the key will twist off. I reuse the keys by grinding a new point, usually necessary after three of four times. I have the reused keys on large rings for the various

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dent repair is the GDR or Glue Dent Repair.

going to use Keco Tabs for my examples of GDP because they have the widest range of tools and tabs designed for GDP. Figs 19 & 20 are a small sampling of all the different styles and sizes glue pulling tabs offered by Keco Tabs.

Fig. 17

Fig. 19

mains on the vehicle. • The dent is pulled out at one time instead of multiple pulls and attachments. • The same tabs can be used on steel and aluminum (Keco has tabs designed for aluminum). • It uses less body fillers, sand paper and primers when compared to stud welding, sometimes none at all. • No corrosion hot spots on the rear of the panel. • Easy to learn. • Small dents to a blend panel can be removed with original finish left intact. A lot of the time the dent is repaired by the repair facility at no charge to the customer. • It’s a very low-cost investment compared with specialized alumi-

Fig. 20

First off, GPR (Glue Pull Repair) is not the same as PDR (Paintless Dent Repair). See Fig 17. I am

Why GPR? GPR has a number of advantages over the traditional methods of dent repair: • Much of the original finish re-

Fig. 21

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num and steel pulling systems. One thing Keco Tabs has over its competitors is it offers in-house training for a shop or multiple shops. The hands-on training is a six- to seven-hour class with a limit of eight techs. See Fig 21 for s class at Scandinavian Coachcraft. Barry Dorn of Dorn’s Body and Paint signed up for a one-day class. He was so impressed with the training, he kept the Keco Training team for a second day. “The training was unbelievable and product and service stellar,” Dorn said. Chris White, CEO of Keco Tabs, and Gene Fetty, lead trainer, recently conducted three training classes in Los Angeles. Twenty-three techs from 11 collision centers attended one of the three six-hour classes. Keco sent out three units for the hands-on training that were immediately sold at the conclusion. Ten of the 11 shops bought the system and three of those bought a second system after use in their shops. Fetty asked anyone at the three classes if they had used glue tabs. A

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couple of techs in two of the three sessions said they had. He then asked if they had any problems and both said the glue did not stick very well. He asked the tech at each class to put a tab on a panel and use the Keco Tab leverage puller to lift the dent. Both times, the tab gave way with very little pressure. Fetty introduced the 6 C Keco tab process and proceeded to put the same tab on a Tesla quarter panel. (See Fig 22)

comes with the level 2 kit, and the use of it in the dent removal process. (See Fig 25)

In Fig 26, I had the estimator take a picture of the damage for the insurance company claim. It is very hard to see the damage to the

a marker and mark damage before sending the pictures. I have a few shops using the lights and the results have been terrific. It has reduced the friction time, as well as phone calls with the insurance companies.

Fig. 25 Fig. 23

Fig. 27

In conclusion, there is no one perfect system out there for every kind of dent repair, but having multiple systems, including the glue-on tabs, will give your technicians the best possible dent repair outcomes. Fig. 22

Fig. 26 Fig. 24

The result was the tab held with all that pulling force. Fetty spent time with each tech on how to read a PDR light, which

A side note: I used the PDR light to highlight the damage on the vehicle when taking a picture.

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Continued from Page 8

Tesla Makes it Official

NABC Recycled Rides and Partners Present Refurbished Courtesy Vehicle to Ronald McDonald House Charities–Memphis

“Just to be clear, though, we will be continuing to expand our activities in California. This is not a matter of Tesla leaving California. As I said, our intention is to actually increase output from Fremont and Giga Nevada by 50%,” Musk said. Apart from Tesla, Musk’s other companies have established a strong presence in Texas. SpaceX is currently developing Starbase in Boca Chica, and it will be the location where future Starship flights to Mars may be launched. The Boring Company and Neuralink, while not acquiring as much land as Tesla and SpaceX, have also begun expanding their operations into the Lone Star State.

On Nov. 18, three Tennessee-based companies, along with Allstate and the National Auto Body Council (NABC) Recycled Rides® program, teamed up to make life easier for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Memphis. The group presented a 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe, donated by Allstate and refurbished by Carey’s Body Shop, for families to use as a courtesy vehicle while their children are being treated at nearby St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The presentation was held at Pinnacle Financial Partners’ Memphis main office. More than 100 guests gathered for the event, including Pinnacle Financial Partners Chairman Rob McCabe and numerous team members; Ronald McDonald House Charities–Memphis board members and leadership team; NABC board Chairman Clint Marlow of Allstate; Anthony Natale and Katie Pharr, both of Nashville-based Nexterra; and NABC President and CEO Bill Garoutte. The leadership and team mem-

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bers of Carey’s Body Shop, based in Memphis, also joined the festivities. “We are so thankful for our community partners for helping us to better serve our families especially in an ever changing environment,” said Jill Crocker, executive director for Ronald McDonald House Charities-Memphis. “This gift will alleviate the stress of our families while staying at RMHC-Memphis related to transportation needs and will especially eliminate missed appointments and enhance our grocery program.” The Honorable Lee Harris, mayor of Shelby County, recognized the milestone with a proclamation naming Nov. 18 “Ronald McDonald House Charities and NABC Recycled Rides Day” in Memphis. “A special thank you to our host today, Pinnacle Financial Partners, as well as to our host city, Memphis, and its mayor. What an honor to work with so many great companies and partners to create this special presentation to Ronald

McDonald House Charities–Memphis,” said Garoutte. “Many thanks to everyone who contributed to making this possible. We hope that, together, we can help make life easier for families going through treatment for their children here.” NABC Recycled Rides is a unique program in which businesses representing all facets of the collision repair industry team up to repair and donate vehicles to individuals and families in need of reliable transportation. Since the inception of the NABC Recycled Rides program in 2007, members of the NABC have donated more than 2,750 vehicles valued at more than $38 million. Additional partners in the NABC Recycled Rides presentation included 1.800 Charity Cars. Source: NABC

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Crash Champions Acquires Sunbeam Autobody, Annie’s Collision Center in Florida Crash Champions, LLC, announced it acquired three Florida auto body shops—Sunbeam Autobody, consisting of two Jacksonville locations, and Annie’s Collision Center in Fort Myers.

Sunbeam Autobody has a 56,000-square foot facility at 5200 Sunbeam Road and a 15,000-square foot facility at 7135 Atlantic Blvd. in Jacksonville, while Annie’s Collision Center is a premier family-owned auto body shop located at 2293 Bruner Lane in Fort Myers. With the additions, Crash now has 15 locations across the state of Florida. “Sunbeam represents a very exciting addition to our growing footprint in Florida, having established itself as the largest privately owned auto body repair shop serving Jacksonville since its founding in 1983,” said Matt Ebert, founder and CEO

of Crash Champions. “Their talented professionals have the certifications, training and technology needed to guarantee superior quality repair work and service to its customers, and I look forward to welcoming our new teammates into the Crash Champions family. “Annie’s represents a key addition to our expanding presence in Florida,” Ebert continued. “Greg and his team have done a tremendous job in establishing a high-quality facility with talented employees that care about their craft and their customers, and we are proud to welcome them into the Crash Champions family. We look forward to using our resources to further enhance the offerings available to residents of the Ft. Myers community under the Crash banner.” “For over 40 years, we have worked hard to provide the members of our community with high quality repairs and peace of mind while treating them with the respect and compassion they deserve,” said Greg Snyder, owner of Annie’s Collision Center. “Crash Champions shares our dedication to operational

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excellence and the customer experience, which is why I am confident that they will continue to build on the success that we have achieved to date. Joining the Crash family is

right cultural fit for our organization. They are laser focused on delivering exceptional repair work and top-tier service, a mindset that has been critical to our success at Sunbeam.

“For over 40 years, we have worked hard to provide the members of our community with high quality repairs and peace of mind while treating them with the respect and compassion they deserve,” — Greg Snyder a significant milestone for our company, and I am excited about the new opportunities this will allow our customers and employees.” “While evaluating the opportunity to join the Crash Champions platform, what stood out most was the company’s dedication and commitment to its people—customers, partners and employees alike,” said Bobby Andrews, owner of Sunbeam Autobody. “Despite having a national platform, Crash continues to operate by the same principles as a family-run business, making it the

“Becoming a part of Crash Champions will allow us to further elevate the services that we provide, and everyone is excited about the new avenues of growth that will be created as a result.” 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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body shops to be aware of generic such as “OEM approved” IDEAS Collide Showcase claims and “equivalence.” From his experience at 3M sist systems (ADAS) center that en- working with auto manufacturers compasses two 40-by-60-foot rooms over the years, Korpi said if a certain dedicated to ADAS and calibration. product is not included in the OEM While setting up the ADAS documentation/repair procedure bulcenter, the team reached out to in- letin, he would question if it’s the dustry experts for their insight on right product to be used. what would be helpful to include. Korpi said the 3M team works As a result, they purchased a wide for years on test specification develvariety of tooling for those who use opment and testing products. the facility. “There’s a lot of work that Lighting and wall colors were goes into making sure they meet the also considered due to the specifi- OEM repair procedures, guidelines cations of vehicles with advanced and material specifications,” he excamera and vision technology. plained. “Floors must also be flat and The bottom line, according to level to achieve accurate calibration Korpi, is OEMs are the authority results,” Kaminsky said. on repair procedures and Kaminsky encourages recommended products recollision repair specialists quired for a safe and quality to think about how they repair. will handle repairing future “It’s a high-stakes invehicles in their shops with dustry,” he said. “The OEM ADAS features. way is the only way.” “The amount of ADAS- Todd Korpi, global An overview of data equipped cars on the road in security was provided by key accounts director, 3M the U.S. is estimated to triBrandon Laur, vice presiple in the next five years,” dent, business development he said. “If you don’t have a plan, I encourage you to think about it… It’s going to be really important for you going forward and your success in repairing vehicles in the future.” Todd Korpi, 3M global key accounts director, talked about the importance of always following OEM procedures. “There’s a lot of information and training and it’s up to us to get that information to the technicians Choose Original on the floor to make sure these vehicles are repaired the right way every MINI Parts. time,” said Korpi. He acknowledged OEM repair MINI of Charleston procedures are not always easy to find and navigate; however, there are 1518 Savannah Hwy industry resources available, such as Charleston, SC 29407 OEM1Stop and the I-CAR Repair855-831-0254 ability Technical Support (RTS) porHours: Mon-Fri 7:30-6 Sat 8-5 tal, to help provide information. rhminiparts@hendrickauto.com Over his 25-year career, Korpi has found vehicle technology continues to change, and there’s more coming. “The documentation helps you get paid and it also ensures the vehicle is going to go back to pre-accident condition,” he said. ©2022 MINI USA, a division of BMW of North America, LLC. The MINI name, model names When making a material deciand logo are registered trademarks. sion or selection, he cautioned auto Continued from Cover

22 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

and client experience at CCi Global Technologies. With hacking becoming a huge problem over the last several years, Laur noted collision repairers need to have systems to prevent data breaches. He encouraged facilities to have customers sign repair authorizations before the car is fixed. “If everybody is not getting those authorization agreements completed, we’re in trouble,” he said. He also recommended working with trusted vendors and find out where they are storing data, what it is being moved, how accessible it is and how quickly it can be removed. “Just because you delete it from your management system or estimating system doesn’t mean that it is deleted from all of the tables there,” he said. “We as an industry need to protect ourselves.” He shared information about a new solution available, extended detection and response (XDR), which allows businesses to monitor and mitigate cybersecurity threats. When looking at the business environment, Laur suggested taking

a “zero trust” approach. “This means that nobody within your collision center has access to all of the data,” he explained. “If somebody has access to all of the data, that means they are the vulnerability point where you can be hacked.” The No. 1 area where people are finding their way into a business’s system is through technicians’ phones, according to Laur. He advised shop owners and managers to check if their phones are encrypted before connecting to WiFi. He also recommended looking into cyber insurance. If a breach does occur, Laur said a business can survive; however, it must be transparent in what is communicated. “We need to start to hold this industry accountable to being able to take data security a lot more seriously than what we have,” said Laur. “It’s up to everybody to hold each other accountable and continue to look for ways to move this industry forward.” Jake Rodenroth, a diagnostic See IDEAS Collide Showcase, Page 43

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More Than 165 Customers Sue Hertz for Allegedly Being Falsely Accused of Driving Stolen Rentals, Landing Some in Jail by Sebastien Bell, CarScoops

Across the U.S., more than 165 people have claims pending against the Hertz rental car agency, which they allege falsely reported the vehicles as stolen. In dozens of cases, that led to arrests, and in some cases it even led to jail time for the claimants. A bankruptcy court was set to hear arguments Nov. 11 regarding the claims, which Hertz claims are “meritless” and should not be allowed to proceed for a variety of technical reasons. Many of the claims, though, have been on hold for months as the rental vehicle company’s bankruptcy progresses. One claimant, James Tolen, said a traffic stop in Houston, TX, late in 2020 made him fear for his life as police unexpectedly stopped him for driving what they believed to be a stolen vehicle. Once pulled over, police ordered him to exit the vehicle and walk backwards towards them slowly while lifting his shirt to prove he had no weapons. “As I turn around, I see both

officers train the guns on me,” Tolen told CBS. “It was just terrifying. It was bad. Actually, I was really thinking that I wasn’t gonna make it home.” Tolen, a contractor, said he rented from Hertz frequently and

cases, customers had stopped communicating with the company. It also told CBS that pulling a stolen vehicle report once a customer had been in contact with the company and complied with its requests was not its responsibility.

“It was just terrifying. It was bad. Actually, I was really thinking that I wasn’t gonna make it home.” — James Tolen begged the police to look at his rental contract, which did prove he was the authorized driver on the rental car. He said after he showed the police the document, an officer called Hertz to tell the company it needed a better system. Hertz Fights Back Accusations, Blames Customers Hertz maintains most of the claims against it are baseless and accuses one lawyer involved in the case of “blatantly misrepresent[ing] the facts.” It claims in the majority of

“It’s up to law enforcement to decide what to do with the case,” Hertz said in a statement. Unfortunately, no amount of communication was good enough for some customers, one of whom said his life was ruined as a result of allegedly being falsely accused of stealing a Hertz rental vehicle. Philadelphia-area contractor John Ayoub rented a truck from Hertz in April 2019 and told the company he would need it longterm. He said the company told him to call weekly to extend the con-

tract, which he did. On May 28, though, Hertz filed a theft report, just four days after putting through a charge of $2,300 from Ayoub, court documents show. On June 2, Ayoub was arrested in front of his house and charged with a felony. “I have not been able to work,” Ayoub told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I take on odd jobs. I live with my parents. I don’t even have a vehicle right now.” Fortunately for him, after learning of the payment, prosecutors dropped the criminal case against him, but not before his time behind bars left him broke. Although the theft of rental cars isn’t uncommon, the attorney who represented Ayoub and a number of other clients accused Hertz of trying to hide what he calls “a corporate disaster.”

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ARE WE READY FOR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) IN AUTOMOTIVE CLAIMS? AI in Focus: The industry view on AI, bringing the vision to a reality Solera’s latest research shows speed, control and visibility are integral to the modern motor claims journey. Consumers are demanding faster and easier journeys, and expecting complete convenience.

Looking at a future where consumers will favour providers who put digital channels first, our research highlights that automated Looking at a future where consumers will favour providers who put processes have the power to increase customer satisfaction and digital channels first, our research highlights that automated customer processes have the retention. power to increase customer satisfaction and customer retention.

Optimizing how and where organizations choose to deploy cutting-

edge technology will be the key to realizing its cuttingfull value for both Optimizing how and where organizations choose to deploy edge technology will be the key to realizing value for both businesses and the future needsits offull tech-savvy claimants. businesses and the future needs of tech-savvy claimants.

Find out more about Solera’s future claims technology - Qapter® at www.Qapter.com

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Solera in partnership with Coleman Parkes surveyed over 2,000 consumers, OEM dealers, Solera in partnership with Coleman Parkes surveyed over 2,000 consumers, OEM dealers, repairers and to get the industry’s view on AI itsclaims impact on the claims repairers and insurers to insurers get the industry’s view on AI technology, its technology, impact on the repair journey, andtothe desireadoption to increase adoption today. and repairand journey, and the desire increase today.

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4 Industry Veterans Form Automotive Market Data by Auto Remarketing Staff

Industry veterans Brian Reed, Steve Greenfield, Andrew Gordon and Pete Batten formed a team they’ve called Automotive Market Data. And the team launched what it believes is the first-ever digital retailing market share database to inform dealers, investors and vendors—in real-time—about the automotive digital retailing landscape. According to a news release, the database evaluates more than 35 digital retailers each day across approximately 18,000 U.S. automobile dealer websites to identify the top digital retailers among dealers, predominant digital retailers by brand and leading technology providers in the automotive space, as well as unique digital retailing trends and emerging technologies. “The pandemic hyper-accelerated automotive digital retail adoption, which created a need for comprehensive, up-to-date information to help industry professionals make highly informed decisions,” said Reed, who is an industry advisor at Automotive Ventures and partner at Automotive

Market Data. “More than ever, dealers need to know which digital retailing tools to use, investors need to know where to commit their money, and vendors need to know how they stack up against the competition. We provide answers to these questions and more.” The group shared a sample list of the independent, third-party reporting provided by Automotive Market Data, potentially including not limited to: • Digital retailer growth rate, churn rate and market penetration. • The digital retailing tool(s) currently being used, or have just been added, to particular dealership websites. • Digital retailer dealer count changes over specified periods of time and within specific geographic regions. • Digital retailer market share by automotive manufacturer. • Dealer and/or manufacturer customer longevity among digital retailers. The Automotive Market Data team also is looking to provide the industry with dealership contact informa-

tion, vehicle-specific data, new and used-vehicle market pricing, cost of ownership information and vehicle history reports. “Despite its importance, a complete picture of the digital retailing landscape didn’t exist until now,” said Greenfield, founder and CEO of Automotive Ventures and partner at Automotive Market Data. “Historically, it’s been next to impossible to identify top digital retailers by dealer and OEM market share, yet information like this is vastly helpful to industry professionals who are looking to get ahead of the technology curve and stay there,” Greenfield continued. “This is the precise reason we created the digital retailing market share database.” Automotive Market Data is a collaborative of veteran automotive industry professionals who have served in various leadership and entrepreneurial roles throughout their careers. Reed spent 18 years at Daimler-Benz before serving as president of PeopleFirst.com, which was acquired by CapitalOne. He was also the founder and CEO of F&I Ex-

press, which was acquired by Cox Automotive. Greenfield served as TrueCar’s senior vice president of strategy and business development, and Autotrader’s vice president of product management and business development, overseeing the acquisitions of vAuto, Kelley Blue Book, HomeNet Automotive, VinSolutions and DealerScience. Gordon, adviser at Automotive Ventures and partner at Automotive Market Data, is a third generation Honda dealer. He served as founder and CEO of DealerScience, acquired by TrueCar in 2018. Batten is a dealer retail technology and data advisor with more than 20 years’ experience in vehicle retailing who has served as general manager for several automotive software brands, including Cox Automotive Digital Retail, Chrome Data and Automotive Lease Guide. He was also chief product officer at LeadVenture. To learn more about the information Automotive Market Data offers the industry, visit http://www. automotivemarketdata.com.

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

FLORIDA

Freeway Honda Birmingham

800-987-0819 205-949-5460

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5 greg_thomas@freewayhondaal.com

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Hendrick Honda Pompano Beach

Honda Mall of Georgia

Apple Tree Honda

954-425-8244

678-318-3155

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7-5 cdunlap@penskeautomotive.com

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Dept. Hours: M-Fri 7-6; Sat 7-5; gerardbruno@hendrickauto.com

Rick Case Honda

FLORIDA

Davie

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888-205-2564 727-530-1173

877-544-2249

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7-5; Sun 9-5 hernandeze@autonation.com

Milton Martin Honda Gainesville

770-534-0086 678-989-5473

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McKenney-Salinas Honda

Nalley Honda

888-703-7109 704-824-8844 x 624

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Vann York Automall

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-7 mfranceschi@southhonda.com

Newnan

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6; Sat 7-4 samuel.trapani@henrickauto.com Union City

GEORGIA

Carey Paul Honda Snellville

770-985-1444

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-7; Sat 8-5 hondawp@nalleycars.com

Patty Peck Honda

800-334-3719 770-933-5870 Direct

800-748-8676 601-957-3400

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Marietta

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7-6 hondaparts@edvoyles.com

Gastonia

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30 parts@mshonda.com High Point

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MISSISSIPPI

Ridgeland

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Gerald Jones Honda

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Breakaway Honda Greenville

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Piedmont Honda

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

Ed Voyles Honda

Clermont

Durham

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Headquarter Honda

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South Motors Honda

Classic Honda Orlando

Asheville

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6 robertthomas@mmhonda.com

Hollywood

800-542-8121 954-964-8300

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Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7:30-4 robbutton@rickcase.com

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AutoNation Honda Hollywood

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800-733-2210 706-228-7040

Anderson

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ACURA FLORIDA

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NO. CAROLINA

Acura of Orange Park

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Jacksonville

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Duval Acura Jacksonville

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800-352-2872 904-725-1149

Cary

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Jackson Acura

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877-622-2871 678-259-9500

800-489-3534 336-761-3682

800-355-2818 703-550-0205

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6; Sat 7:30-6 kmcmillan@jacksonacura.com

30 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7-5 byoung@nalleycars.com NO. CAROLINA

Roswell

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 8-5 Cecil.adams@duvalacura.com

Marietta

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Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-1 www.flowacura.com

Woodbridge

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Airport Honda

Hall Honda

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Alcoa

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Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6:30; Sat 7:30-5 parts@airporthonda.com

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AutoNation Honda West Knoxville

Valley Honda

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800-824-1301 865-218-5461

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6 rossd1@autonation.com

Bill Gatton Honda Bristol

800-868-4118 423-652-9545

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 8-1 hondaparts@billgattonhonda.com

Staunton

800-277-0598 540-213-9016

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 9-5 bwimer@myvalleyhonda.com

West Broad Honda Richmond

800-446-0160 804-672-8811

Dept. Hours: M-Fri 7:30-6:30; Sat 8-5 wbhonda@aol.com

Wolfchase Honda Bartlett

800-982-7290 901-255-3780

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7 ekerr@wolfchasehonda.com VIRGINIA

Checkered Flag Honda Norfolk

800-277-2122 757-687-3453

Dept. Hours: M-Sat 7:30-6 honda.checkeredflag.com

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 31


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.

When it Comes to Auto Body Shop Technician Compensation, Something Has to Change Something has to change. I’ll tell you up front: I’m going to be repeating those four words a number of times as you read through this article. Something has to change. I have a family member who graduated from high school and went to work for Amazon. He is now 21, making more than $100,000 a year. He has stock options and they pay 100% of his health insurance. And they pay for all of his college. That’s what we’re competing against when we’re trying to recruit young people into our industry. Something has to change. I know a body tech who got out of the industry to work as a truck driver. He’s making more than $100,000 a year now. And he doesn’t have to buy any tools. He told me, “I have a lot less stress, Mike.” Something has to change.

There’s a convenience store at the gas station near my home. That store starts people at $18 an hour. Just to work at a gas station convenience store. That’s almost $40,000 a year. Plus health insurance. There’s no liability in that work, and they’re

not exposed to hazardous materials. They also offer up to $10,000 a year for child care reimbursement. Yet I talk to auto body shops trying to start people out at $10 to $15 per hour. That model is broken. Our industry has got to be able to of-

fer a more competitive wage as well as better benefits. Something has to change. Now I understand: We can’t compensate fairly unless we are being compensated fairly. This is absolutely not an anti-insurance article. It’s not. But at the end of the day, either labor rates have to start to come in line with what we need to compensate more fairly, shops have got to be paid for more not-included operations, or some combination of the two. Somehow we need to collect additional funds to be able to recruit and retain people. I think we will see shops change who they do business with over this issue. They almost have to. I know one MSO has already told investors they’ve dropped some direct repair programs with “lower-margin clients that are not willing to increase pricing.”

I’ve also heard from shops saying a competitor in their market is offering signing bonuses of as much as $10,000. I don’t believe in stealing fish from another man’s pond. That’s not the solution. What we need to do is recruit by offering a more competitive compensation package. The problem is only getting worse. We all know body labor rates have been lower than those in the mechanical industry because of body techs being able to work at 135% or 150% efficiency. But as we see less “repair” and more “replace,” technicians’ efficiencies are dropping. If it pays you five hours to replace a door, it takes you every bit of those five hours. A technician can turn a screwdriver, wrench or other tool only so fast. The space required for the work has increased. It takes three times

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the space of an average auto body shop stall just to perform calibrations. The skills needed are also increasing. We need a much higher caliber person doing everything from the OEM procedure research to the final ADAS calibrations. “It’s not just body work,” Susanna Gotsch of CCC Intelligent Solutions said at the MSO Symposium in November. “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.” My friends and colleagues, the industry model we have right now is broken, in terms of labor rates and compensation packages. I don’t know the answer. I’ve got some ideas, I’ve got some thoughts. But I do know this: Something has to change.

U.S. DOT Announces Initial Framework for EV Charging Station Programs The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) took the first steps in establishing programs for a national network of electric vehicle charging stations, as mandated in the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed earlier in 2021. The agency posted a request for comments from stakeholders on best practices to develop guidance for the electric vehicle charging station programs. In the request, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) cited a particular interest on how best to promote equity in the development of EV charging station infrastructure under these programs, including prioritizing grants in rural areas, low and moderate-income neighborhoods, and areas with a large ratio of multi-unit homes as opposed to single-family dwellings. The bipartisan infrastructure plan authorized two EV charging station programs, the National Electric Vehicle Formula Program and the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure program. The first program is designed to distribute money only to states, with

the amount calculated by formula. The second program differs because: It’s a discretionary grant program. Grants will be available for not only electric vehicle charging, but to hydrogen, natural gas and propane fueling stations.

Charging stations will not be required to be located on designated authorized fuel corridors. Grants are available to cities and other entities, not just states. Under the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure program, the federal share payable for projects funded will be 80%. According to the DOT request published in the Federal Register, funds must be

used for not only the acquisition and installation of EV charging infrastructure, but also the operation and maintenance of such infrastructure. The mandate also requires such charging infrastructure be used “only for EV charging station infrastructure that is open to the general public or to authorized commercial vehicle owners from more than one company.” This excludes Tesla, whose charging stations are proprietary and therefore only able to charge Tesla vehicles. Last year, electric vehicles as a whole made up only 1.7% of new light-duty vehicles sold in the U.S. However, as the automotive industry moves towards an increasingly electric future, it will be important for independent automotive repair shops to be prepared for this shift. The development of a national network of electric vehicle charging stations will present both a challenge and an opportunity for our industry. Stay updated with electric vehicle and other legislative news on TakingtheHill.org. Source: ASA

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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.

Auto Body Shop Billing Practices Related to Total Losses, Not-Included Procedures

Shop Showcase

Disconnecting and later reconnect- all eight insurers appear to be more shops not part of State Farm’s DRP ing a vehicle’s battery during col- likely to reimburse their direct repair said they were. Additionally, 24% said State Farm “never” pays them lision repair work is no longer the shops for this procedure. with Ed Attanasio This was particularly true in the for this procedure. simple operation it used to be—and auto body shops are increasingly un- case of State Farm. More than half When shops were asked a folderstanding the need to research the OEM procedures for doing so, and seeking to be paid for the labor entailed. That was among theAttanasio findings with Ed of a “Who Pays for What?” survey in 2021. The survey of more than 500 shops around the country last summer found about 61% of survey respondents reported being paid “always” or “most of the time” by the eight largest insurers when they with Ed Attanasio performed and invoiced for the pro“Who Pays for What?” survey last summer found nearly one in five shops say they are paid all cedures required to reconnect a bat- or most of the time when they invoice for the labor to clear a customer’s data from a total loss tery. vehicle Overall, the eight insurers included in the survey proved fairly (55%) of State Farm DRP shops said low-up question about how often similar in terms of likelihood of they were “always” paid by the insur- they research the OEM repair prowith Ed Attanasio covering the bill for this work. But er for this operation, but only 23% of cedures necessary after a battery

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is reconnected, just more than half (51%) said they do it most or all of the time. But more than one in four (28%) acknowledged they research the proper procedure only “occasionally” or even “never.” “Researching procedures required when the battery is disconnected and reconnected is critical to a safe and proper repair,” Mike Anderson of Collision Advice wrote in the report with the survey findings. “I was analyzing the procedures called for by one Asian OEM recently, and found 11 procedures required after reconnecting the battery. Disconnecting the battery often will set diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). You can’t check for those without doing a post-repair vehicle scan in conjunction with reconnecting the battery.” The first of the four “Who Pays for What?” surveys of 2022, one

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focused on not-included refinish labor operations, is being conducted throughout January; shops can visit https://www.crashnetwork.com/collisionadvice to take the survey. Last summer’s survey also found although a majority of shops surveyed said they had not yet billed for the time entailed in clearing customer data from a total loss vehicle, some of those who have reported the largest insurers were paying for those charges. “Clearing the vehicle owner’s personal data from a total loss vehicle is something we need to start thinking about for our customers,” Anderson said. “A vehicle owner today may have their home address stored in their navigation unit of the vehicle. Their contacts can be stored when they sync their phone. Garage door opener codes might be stored. So we need to be asking the vehicle owner, when the vehicle is a total loss, if they would they like us to erase their personal information. The process for this can be found in the owner’s manual.” Fewer than 20% of the auto body shops answering the survey

question last summer said they had sought to be reimbursed for the procedure by eight of the nation’s largest insurers. Among those who did, just 19% overall found insurers covering the bill “always” or “most of the time”—and most of those involved non-DRP repairs. Anderson thinks that will change over time as the industry becomes more aware of the need for the procedure to be performed, and as more shops regularly bill for it. The survey also found administrative fees for total loss processing have become increasingly common. Direct repair agreements often prohibit participating shops from charging administrative fees related to processing of total losses. California shops are also prohibited by state regulation there for charging administrative fees. But the “Who Pays” survey last summer found the percentage of U.S. shops saying they are paid such an administrative fee has risen, with a strong majority (72%) saying they are paid always, or most of the time, when they bill for this work. That compares to just 46% back in 2015.

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Likewise, the percentage of shops that say they have never billed for this fee also has declined steadily since 2015. Today, only 11% say they never charge a fee to process a total loss, but in 2015, that figure was 30%. “Processing a total loss has become more complex than it used to be,” Anderson said. “It can involve more teardown, more research of OEM procedures, vehicle scans and more.” According to the 2021 survey, 74% of shops itemize charges—as opposed to charging a flat fee—for total loss processing. In addition to the administrative time, these charges may include moving a non-drivable vehicle, covering the vehicle to protect it from weather, etc. Back in 2015, 38% of shops believed the top eight largest insurers in the “Who Pays” surveys “never” paid an administrative fee for total losses. Today, only 17% still think so. The “Who Pays” surveys also ask about a variety of other collision shop billing practices. A growing percentage of shops, for example,

say they are using an invoicing system to track and bill for items such as clips and fasteners, seam-sealer, eraser wheels or other shop supplies used during a repair. Slightly more than half of shops (54%) in last summer’s survey reported using some kind of commercially available invoicing system, such as those available from 3M, Kent Automotive or Wurth. That’s up from 41% in 2017. “Many of the items these systems can track, and generate an invoice for, are often inexpensive but one-time use items that may not seem worth tracking, like acid brushes or mixing nozzles,” Anderson said. “But added all together, it can be a sizable unreimbursed expense.” Virtually all shops (93%) using a system reported doing so generates additional revenue on their estimates. The survey asked shops to quantify that additional revenue. The largest group (37%) said it generates an average of more than $50 of additional revenue per estimate; the next largest group (29%) said between $26 and $50 per estimate.

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3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives Created to Improve Collision Shops’ Productivity, Efficiency and Cleanliness by Stacey Phillips

For decades, auto body shops across the industry have faced a quiet and sometimes unrecognized choice in regard to dust extraction, according to Nick Oberle, application engineer specialist in the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division. “To get the maximum benefits of dust extraction, body shops needed to sacrifice their overall productivity,” said Oberle. “Net abrasives, which capture more than 95% of the dust they create, often don’t deliver the cut and life of traditional abrasives, which have poorer dust capture.” As a result of this challenge, 3M introduced a solution, 3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives. Oberle explained 3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives use the company’s patented Precision Shaped Grain mineral to power the new discs. Each micro replicated grain is a sharp triangle he said cuts through material easier than traditional abrasive grains.

“The Cubitron™ II Net family of abrasives cuts twice as fast and lasts twice as long as other net abrasive families and captures more than 95% of the dust they create,” said Oberle, who tested the new discs against the competition. Oberle says the reception has been great. “It’s exciting when you introduce a never-before-seen product and then watch technicians embrace it in their shops and quickly realize its many benefits,” he said. Dust extraction is required in many countries across the globe. Five years ago, Oberle and the 3M engineering team began researching potential regulation changes to abrasives and dust extraction in the U.S. “When you look at global regulations, the United States is far more lenient than Europe,” said Oberle. “The last time the U.S. rewrote any type of regulation around particulates in the air was in the early 1970s.” According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and

Health (NIOSH), airborne shop dust “…may contain hazardous substances, such as lead and chromium from surface coatings and abrasives from sanding discs, that are harmful to the lungs and nervous system of workers.” “Technicians are not going to notice a negative health effect the next day, but over time, dust could cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, cancer and neural toxicity,” said Oberle. “Getting dust away from the tech, from a human perspective, is important to 3M.” NIOSH recommends what it calls “ventilated sanders” for auto body shops “…because they have been shown to be effective in reducing total dust concentrations during the sanding of body filling compounds … ventilated sanders have cut total dust concentrations to one-tenth the levels produced using unventilated sanders.” Currently, dust capture is not a requirement in most of the U.S. “The moment that changes,

there is going to be a very quick shift in the market to create dust extraction products,” said Oberle. Even without regulation, interest in dust extraction in the U.S. has been growing at the same time as the drive for reduced cycle times and greater shop efficiencies. Oberle said dust capture helps reduce loading, which can rob abrasives of their cutting power and shorten their life. In addition, less dust in the air can help reduce the risk of rework caused by dust settling into fresh paint. “The market is becoming more interested in dust extraction,” said Oberle. “3M is ready to satisfy that interest today.” In 2016, 3M partnered with Festool to develop dust extraction for the auto body industry. Oberle said the 90-year-old company has a long track record of creating high-quality, dependable products. Festool was a pioneer in dust extraction tools and today, Oberle said it only sells sanders equipped for dust capture. See 3M™ Cubitron™ II, Page 40

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Retired Tech Looks Back at 67 Years in Collision Repair by Ed Attanasio

Over the years, I have interviewed a lot of collision repair professionals as they retire from the industry. If someone can work in this business for 30, 40 or even 50 years, it’s obviously an impressive run. But when I heard Felix Cano Sr. of Texas retired after a 67-year career as a metal technician, I was shocked and pleasantly surprised. Longevity is always a factor with technicians or painters. They need to be adaptable and willing to learn, and—maybe most importantly—they need to be durable. The physical work associated with these jobs is what often becomes the deciding factor. The average veteran body man ends up experiencing injuries and wear and tear to his body over the years, and it adds up. When Cano entered the industry at age 16, he knew nothing, but at $8 an hour, he was the richest kid in school. He started out working for a collision center for a Chevy dealer-

ship in Texas as a body man’s helper. To say the learning curve was steep is a major understatement. “I learned fast and the guys I worked with were willing to teach me,” Cano said. “Bondo wasn’t

The Cano family has always been all-in when it comes to becoming the best techs they can and imparting their knowledge to others. Pictured here is Felix Cano Jr., left, and his father, Felix Cano, Sr.

even around back then, so I was doing mostly lead work. The cars back then didn’t have all of the plastic that they have now and fixing them was

more straightforward. Today, you have to scan the vehicles and techs are more like computer programmers compared to what we did.” Life wasn’t always a walk in the park for Cano and his family, as his father worked multiple jobs with the economy struggling. At one point, his parents and two siblings were one step away from homelessness. “For three weeks, we lived in our car, an old Bonneville, under a tree,” he said. “We bathed in an ice chest and it was a tough period. My first pay check was $488 for one week, and I thought I was wealthy. We got an apartment and things got better.” The only problem was Cano’s parents moved the family into an apartment where children were not allowed. “We had to hide the kids from the landlord so he wouldn’t find out,” he said. “We hid in the closet and under the bed. The apartment manager knew what we were doing, but he covered for us. After a while, my dad got enough money to buy a

brand-new home for $40,000.” Wherever he worked, Cano was well-liked and highly respected, according to his son, Felix Cano Jr., who had a long career as a tech himself and is a collision tech teacher today. “When he was working for Chuck Fairbanks Chevrolet in DeSoto, TX, Mr. Fairbanks asked him to rebuild his personal car and was often recruited as a ringer for the company golf tournaments,” Cano Jr. said. “Dad was a decent golfer, so Mr. Fairbanks always wanted him as a partner. My father would also cook breakfast every Wednesday for the whole crew, regardless of where he worked. It was chorizo, bacon, eggs, tortillas—a big spread—and he usually paid for the whole thing himself.” Cano Sr. was working at three auto body shops at the time, repairing high-end luxury cars like Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis. His average workday started at 7 a.m. and often ended at 2 a.m., he said.

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“I learned how to do the lead work and realized that I had a skill that was much-needed,” he said. “I pretty much was able to set my prices and soon I was taking home $800 to $1,000 every week.” Not bad for a guy in his 20s. Lead work is a lost art and used primarily by car restorers today, but Cano was able to turn it into a moneymaker over the years. “It requires more training and practice to perfect and it’s a much slower process,” he said. “Lead seals much better than body filler. You can apply it straight over welds, section locations, pillars or anywhere else where you need a solid seal. Lead will flex well without the metal cracking. Body fillers have improved through the years and they flex as well, but lead is better for flexing without cracking.” Cano planted a seed and it sprouted when two of his six sons, Felix Jr. and Greg, decided to enter the industry. Felix Cano Jr. has made a name for himself as an award-winning instructor and is known for turning many of his students into winners at SkillsUSA competitions.

The legacy continues with his son, Felix Cano III, who works for a body shop in Texas after learning the trade from his father, grandfather and uncle. The Canos treasure their roles as teachers. Cano Sr. was an instructor with I-CAR for several years.

Part of Felix Cano Sr.’s retirement plan will include a little golf now and then

Just like his son, he’s anxious to share his knowledge and experience with anyone willing to learn. When Cano Jr. was 8 years old, he started going to work with his father and that’s when he realized he wanted to be like his dad. “I had one of the best teachers anyone could have and the one-onone instruction that I have from him

was so beneficial,” Cano Jr. said. “I teach my students the way he taught me. One great thing about my dad was that he never yelled at me when I messed up. During all the years I’ve worked by his side, he never got mad and his patience was amazing. What he did for me was better than any apprenticeship because I could ask him questions all the time.” If it was his decision, Cano Sr. would still be working, he said. “Everyone wanted me to retire, except for me. But my wife wants me around the house, so what can I do? I go down to the shop every once in a while, to stay connected,” he said. “Like many other people who reach retirement age, I don’t want to stay home and die. I want to still be involved.” Cano Jr. is very proud of his papa and hopes he will live past 100. “He still wants to give back— that’s just the way he is. He was one of the old school ‘metal men’ from that era; the crème de la crème and true tradesmen,” Cano Jr. said. “He turned us into teachers because we wanted to be like him, and we still do!”

Continued from Page 37

3M™ Cubitron™ II “3M™ Net Abrasives allow Festool tools to achieve their maximum dust capture potential, which is great news for shops,” said Oberle. The family of net abrasives is offered in 3-, 5-, 6- and 8-inch discs as well as 70-, 80- and 115mm sheet rolls. The 3M™ Hookit™ hook-and-loop attachment allows unused portions of the abrasive to be used on a future job. The open net abrasive pattern means these net abrasives work with self-generating vacuum sanders, central vac systems and portable dust extractors. Overall, Oberle said the goal is to remove dust at the source. “3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives can help lead to less in-air dust-related contaminants, less rework and cleanup time, improved cycle time, process efficiency and technician mobility within the body shop,” he said. www.autobodynews.com

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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

MSOs Discuss Collision Parts Challenges, Increased Work-in-Progress

Shop Showcase

A panel of representatives from a of course once they get docked, you like we can build three-fourths of number of multi-shop collision re- still need trucks and people to un- the job or even more, but too often pair operations at the MSO Sympo- load them. It’s evolving, and it’s there’s that one critical part—even with Ed Attanasio a common part, like a bumper covsium in Las Vegas in November dis- pretty painful.” cussed how disruptions in the parts Darrell Amberson, president er—that we’re waiting months for.” supply chain are impacting their of operations for LaMettry’s Colli- Hezar said that type of situation business. sion, which has 10 collision repair now means Caliber has “somewhere All agreed the parts challeng- shops and three mechanical shops in about $50 million to $60 million of es are not limited to any particu- Minnesota, concurred. work-in-progress…with cars sitting in parking lots, waiting to lar parts segments, including new with Ed Attanasio be finalized.” OEM, used and non-OEM. “I think we have problems in all Amberson, too, said his categories,” said Marty Evans, an company has seen an increase of between 10% MSO operator in Washington who and 20% in his company’s also is COO of the Certified Colliwork-in-progress compared sion Group banner network. to pre-pandemic. Shawn Hezar, chief client offiwith Ed Attanasio The panel discussing parts supply chain issues at the “It’s a mixed blessing becer for Caliber Collision, agreed all MSO Symposium included, pictured left to right, Mark the parts industry segments are fac- Miller, Shawn Hezar, Darrell Amberson and Marty cause in today’s world we ing the same challenges, in terms of Evans almost have to have more labor and logistics. work-in-progress to keep “I live in Los Angeles where we “We’re seeing it among Asian our people busy,” Amberson said. can actually seewith the ships lined up, manufacturers, Europeans, domes- “Because there are too many jobs Ed Attanasio waiting to be docked,” he said. “And tics,” Amberson said. “It often feels for which we’re waiting for insur-

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ance authorization or parts. But the downside is it creates a lot of chaos, and delays for the customer, more cycle time for the insurers.” In some cases, other panelists acknowledged, it is impacting their customer satisfaction. “As a general rule, yes, we are seeing CSI going down, and that’s very painful,” Evans said. “As much as we try, as much as we be proactive and communicate, you sometimes get the head nod or yes, that they understand, but the survey goes out and that conversation never took place. We’re all doing everything we can to communicate, but you’re not going to win every time.” Hezar said Caliber was “knocking it out of the park” in terms of CSI in 2020 when work loads were down, but said 2021 “has been tough.” That in turn, he said, can have an impact on employee morale.

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“Our teammates aren’t feeling as good about what is taking place either. We have to remember that,” Hezar said. Parts supply chain challenges, the panelists said, are impacting their costs in various ways—increases they will likely need to pass on. Parts delays, for example, can lead some jobs to expand beyond a customer’s rental car allowance, a cost repairers can’t always bear in the name of customer service. “I want to be clear: We’ve picked up a lot of rental car expenses. Our rental car expenses have gone up by millions of dollars,” Hezar said. “At some point you have to say, ‘It’s just no longer feasible. We can’t do that.’ You’re hoping the end [to the parts delays] is in sight, but based on everything we hear, these challenges are going to continue well into 2022. At some point, you have to stop.” Are the MSOs seeing changes in parts discounts? Amberson said he sees parts prices increasing overall but not changes in his agreements with suppliers.

That wasn’t the case among other panelists. Hezar said parts margins get squeezed when a part has to be sourced from a supplier with which his company has not had a long-time relationship. “It’s very common that it’s not going to be the same discount. So in a lot of cases we do see it costing us more,” he said. But suppliers have also come to Caliber this year to say their costs are escalating and they “have no choice but to lower” Caliber’s discount. “We’ve seen that from time to time,” Hezar said. Evans joked he thinks Hezar jinxed him on the topic of changes to supplier discounts after they spoke about it the week prior to the symposium. “I hadn’t heard a lot about it before then, but now it’s becoming more and more common,” Evans said. “Even with those you have a relationship with, we are hearing they are reducing [the] discount, which is very painful.”

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Continued from Page 22

IDEAS Collide Showcase specialist, now working with Lucid Motors as of Dec. 6, discussed what the collision repair industry must do to evolve. He pointed to five business areas to focus on: talent, product knowledge, their business model, OEMs and DRPs, and integrity. Rodenroth said new talent working in this field are looking for a career path. “When you see a young person, take them under your wing, and stop looking for things they do wrong,” he said. “Try to catch them doing something right and praise them.” Regarding product knowledge, Rodenroth noted customers are becoming even more intelligent about their vehicles than ever before. “We need to be experts at what we do,” he said. “Our customers expect that out of us and they want a painless process.” Looking to the future, Rodenroth indicated there will be changes in how vehicles are repaired using new methods, such as 3D print-

ing and augmented reality. He encourages shops employees to be open-minded about these technologies to help repair vehicles, run the facility and provide an unbelievable customer experience. He also advises owners and managers to be receptive to OEM and DRP partnerships, which are likely to become more common. “It’s not always easy to do the right thing and get along with everybody but integrity is everything,” said Rodenroth. “My father said to be great at what you do because perfect strangers are counting on you.” He reminded attendees that continuous education and integrity are the lifeblood of a true professional. This is Part 1 in a two-part series. The remaining four speakers will be highlighted in a future article. For more information about the SCRS Repairer Driven Education full series digital pass, which includes 20 regular sessions and three OEM Summit sessions, visit https:// rde.scrs.com.

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Industry Veteran Establishes Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com by Ed Attanasio

Steven Schillinger of Reno, NV, has worked as a collision repair industry consultant in different capacities for more than 40 years, as a compliance expert focusing on permits, license protection and record keeping. As a member of the Government Regulatory Compliance (GRC) Board of Directors, Schillinger has tried to retire several times over the years but has failed miserably. He thought fishing and golf would be his activities after retirement, but discovered both are “boring,” he said. Losing his dog also created a void in his life. During the COVID pandemic, Schillinger lost his beloved friend and canine mascot, George, at age 14, and it hit him hard. As a result, he began looking for a way for body shops and other auto repair businesses to help displaced pets. Many people have been abandoning their pets during the pandemic by dumping them in the Nevada desert. When Schillinger kept

seeing news stories about it, he decided to act, and that’s when he founded the Pet-Rescue-AutoShop. com campaign to help and promote animal rescue and shelter groups in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com is an exclusive automotive aftermarket program in support of Adopt-a-Pet. com to help pets and people in local communities all over North America, and with auto repair facilities— including body shops—playing an integral role. Approximately 7.6 million companion pets are surrendered to a shelter every year in the U.S. alone. That includes 4.2 million dogs abandoned—1.4 million of which are euthanized annually. “Animals have no voice of their own, no social safety net and very few rights under the law,” Schillinger said. “They are vulnerable and, unfortunately, mistreated more often than most of us can even imagine. The Pet Rescue Campaign is focused on automotive service and repair shop owners in North Amer-

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ica that has gained recognition with regulatory agencies and insurance partners as well as community leaders.” When Schillinger saw a sudden surge in pet adoptions during the COVID lockdown, he was encouraged, he said. “It has definitely gone viral nationwide. Shelters, nonprofit rescue organizations, private breeders and pet stores have all reported more consumer demand than there were dogs and cats to fill,” Schillinger said. “Rescues were accepting dozens of applications for individual dogs and breeders were compiling waiting lists well into 2021. Dog lovers kept trying to fill voids with canine companions, either because they were stuck working from home with children who needed something to do, had no work and lots of free time, or felt lonely with no way to socialize.” American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) President Madeline Bernstein reported adoptions doubled during the lockdown, with 10 or 13 adop-

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tions a day. A waiting list formed for certain types of dogs and for puppies in general, because so few were left in the shelter. But now, shelter directors are wondering what will happen as Americans start returning to school and work. Bernstein foresaw at the start of the pandemic many of these adoptions could potentially lead to more dogs being abandoned. She has also seen many people bonding with their pandemic pets and providing them with forever homes. “Like so many things concerning the pandemic, the territory is uncharted,” Schillinger said. “Just as nobody predicted that the start of a pandemic would lead to a huge spike in the number of adopted pets, nobody is quite sure what the end of a pandemic will mean for many of them, and that’s why we see some genuine value in the Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com campaign.” Animal rescues are typically privately-owned, and do not have a facility—often, they are run entirely by volunteers, including people who

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volunteer as fosters. Fosters care for animals at their homes for a few weeks or months until the animal gets adopted. In the last few years, a lot of rescues have shifted to promoting their animals on Instagram and Facebook, which serve as free marketing for getting their animals adopted. The Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com campaign is also supported by many members of the Alliance of Auto Manufacturing that are partnering with animal shelters. In addition, Subaru has joined with the ASPCA to help find thousands of animals their forever homes, and donated nearly $16.5 million to support shelters and adoption events. In conjunction with their dog rescue efforts, Pet-Rescue-AutoShop. com supports local volunteer organizations that are too small to raise substantial funds themselves, and would fall through the cracks without us. “We network online 24/7 with business owners to provide instant assistance, boarding, medical care, food, medicine, training and transport for desperate animals,” Schillinger said. “We are the place to go

when there is nowhere else to turn. We rescue pets, and we rescue the rescuers—shelters and other animal welfare groups that are currently inundated with new pets.” You’ve likely heard about AMBER Alerts. Pet-Rescue-AutoShop. com has developed the same system for pets—Area Missing: Pet Emergency Response (AMPER) Alerts— which connects auto body shops with an assigned AMPER area-alert team to offer advice and assistance for confidentiality, as well as to transport pets to shelters, rescues and private owners. “It is designed to achieve a uniform, interoperable network of plans across the country, and to minimize potentially deadly delays because of confusion among varying participants,” Schillinger said. Every authorized AutoShop facility will have an email contact and telephone number assigned for AMPER alerts. Participants receive alerts of a recently lost or missing pet. If the pet is found/rescued, most do not go back home but instead go to a transitional facility, a Pet Halfway House. As the name implies, it

is not a dog pound, but closer to a foster home. For an AMPER Alert to be effective in recovering a missing pet, Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com must have enough information to believe an immediate broadcast to the public will enhance the efforts to locate the pet. This element requires as much descriptive information as possible about the lost pet. Issuing alerts in the absence of significant information that the pet is actually lost could lead to abuse of the system and ultimately weaken its effectiveness. Vice President of Industry Relations at Automotive Service Association (ASA) Tony Molla sees real value in the Pet-Rescue-AutoShop. com campaign for several reasons. “It’s a great idea and much-needed,” he said. “We have two dogs, Luna and Lola, and if we ever lost them, we would be crushed. It’s simple—a dog is found and quickly an alert goes out and shops get to play an important role. Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com is a great way for shops to help people and dogs to find their homes or new homes for dogs who have lost their way and just need a break.”

CIF Elects Trustee from Axalta The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) is proud to announce the election of Jim Ocampo, industry relations/strategic sales manager at Axalta Coating Systems, to the CIF Board of Trustees. CIF provides emergency relief by securing and distributing donations to collision repair professionals who have experienced significant losses due to natural disasters or other catastrophic events. During his extensive career at Axalta, Ocampo has been involved with numerous industry organizations and served on several boards such as CIECA, NABC and California Auto Body Association. He also brings fundraising experience. To become a CIF annual donor, visit www.collisionindustryfoundation.org and or reach out via email to collisionindustryfoundation@gmail.com. All donations are tax-deductible. Source: CIF

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Mercedes Red Paint Settlement Final by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

A Mercedes red paint settlement has been granted final approval by a federal judge after car owners alleged their 590 Mars Red paint blistered, peeled and bubbled. The red paint lawsuit settlement was reached after the automaker said it would be cheaper to settle the class action than continue to fight a prolonged court battle. However, Mercedes-Benz denies all allegations of liability and wrongdoing. Included in the red paint settlement are current and former lessees and owners of these Mercedes-Benz vehicles that were painted with Mars Red 590 paint: 2004-2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2010-2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class 2006-2007, 2009, 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class 2004-2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class 2008, 2015, 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2004-2009, 2011-2017 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class 2005-2006, 2013-2014 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class 2014-2015 Mercedes-Benz SLS-Class 2005-2006, 2010-2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2005, 2011-2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 2016-2018 Mercedes-Benz GT-Class 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class 2005-2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class 2008 Mercedes-Benz Maybach 57 According to the class action lawsuit, paint that peels and flakes will cause rust and corrosion to the vehicle body which forces customers to spend thousands of dollars for paint jobs. But Mercedes allegedly concealed defects in the paint which caused the paint to bubble within years. The owners also claim their vehicles have lost their values because of how ugly the vehicles appear with peeling red paint. The Mars Red paint settlement provides for two types of possible benefits, which include reimbursement for qualified past repairs and coverage for qualified future repairs. “Qualified” repairs are limit-

ed to “refinishing of affected areas only” in accordance with a technical service bulletin that was issued to dealers years before the red paint lawsuit was filed. A “qualified past repair” is one that occurred before the effective date of the red paint settlement and performed in accordance with TSB L198.00-P-058914, and may have been performed by either a Mercedes dealer or independent repair shop. However, reimbursement for a repair done at an independent facility won’t exceed 10% of what the same repair would have cost if performed at a dealership. A “qualified future repair” relates to repainting a section because of bubbling, peeling or flaking of the exterior clear coat. However, reimbursements for past repairs and coverage for future repairs are on a sliding scale based on the age and mileage of the vehicle. Considering some of the models are as old as 2004 model year, a customer may be stuck with partial reimbursements or required to pay part of the future paint job. Objectors to the red paint settlement, including some plaintiffs from a separate Mercedes class action that was joined to the current action, argue the settlement does nothing about an alleged loss of vehicle values because of the paint defects. Some objectors also complain Mercedes will still not be required to order a recall to fix the vehicles, but the judge overruled the objectors on all of their objections. The attorneys representing Mercedes customers will receive an “award of $4,750,000.00, [and] reimbursement of $75,671.38 in expenses.” But according to the judge, the six Mercedes customers who sued will not receive the $5,000 each owner requested as an “incentive award.” Class action lawsuits may be filed by just one customer who typically receives an award as the plaintiff (class representative) if a settlement is granted final approval. In the case of the Mercedes red paint lawsuit, six customers are named as

46 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

plaintiffs. But Judge Mark H. Cohen ruled the six customers who filed the Mercedes red paint lawsuit will not receive $5,000 each or any other amount as an incentive. His ruling is based on a recent case that referenced two cases from the 1800s. According to the Mercedes red paint settlement, prior to Sept. 17, 2020, courts routinely approved incentive awards to compensate class representatives. But on that date, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit made a decision in a case called Johnson v. NPAS Sols., in which the appeals court held, “[a] plaintiff suing on behalf of a class . . . cannot be paid a salary or be reimbursed for his personal expenses.” The Eleventh Circuit decision was based on two U.S. Supreme Court decisions, one from 1882 (Trustees v. Greenough), and one from 1885 (Cent. R.R. & Banking Co. v. Pettus). The judge in the Mercedes case

said the appeals court found these two Supreme Court cases “prohibit the type of incentive award that the district court approved here one that compensates a class representative for his time and rewards him for bringing a lawsuit.” Cohen ruled he must follow the Eleventh Circuit decision regarding the six Mercedes plaintiffs and must deny their request for incentive awards. The six customers who sued may still be eligible to receive what all class members may receive from the settlement. The Mercedes red paint lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia: Pinon, et al., v. Daimler AG and Mercedes Benz USA, LLC. The plaintiffs are represented by Heninger Garrison Davis, LLC, and Jackson & Tucker, P.C.

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Car ADAS Solutions Joins CIECA Car ADAS Solutions has joined CIECA as a corporate member. Founded in 2020, Car ADAS Solutions is a new technology and services business. The company’s mission is to make the world a safer place to drive by certifying vehicle safety systems operate as engineered. With more than a century of automotive leadership experience, the Car ADAS Solutions executive team has had close affiliations with CIECA. Greg Peeters, CEO of Car ADAS Solutions, said having standards in the collision industry saves resources and creates efficiency. “We are thankful for CIECA and happy to be part of this great organization,” he said. For more information about Car ADAS Solutions, visit https://caradas.com/ Source: CIECA

Biden Signs Executive Order on Clean Energy, EVs On Dec. 8, President Joe Biden signed the executive order on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability. The order is meant to make the federal government carbon neutral through the use of renewable power sources and building materials to construct and run federal buildings, and the purchase of electric vehicles for the federal fleet. Throughout Biden’s campaign and administration, environmental issues have been a major priority. This week’s executive order sets a timetable for the implementation of many policy goals. The order requires the federal government to achieve: • 100% net-annual carbon pollution-free electricity by 2030 • 100% zero-emission vehicle acquisitions by 2035 • Net-zero emissions from federal procurement, including a Buy Clean policy that will promote the purchase of environmentally friendly building materials • Climate-resilient infrastructure and operations, and a climate and

sustainability-focused federal workforce Not only does the executive order require federal agencies to purchase exclusively zero-emissions vehicles by 2035, it also requires them to comprise an annual zero-emission fleet strategy that includes deploying zero-emission fleet vehicle refueling infrastructure. This means the federal government will be investing in electric and other zero-emission charging stations. This initiative goes hand-inhand with the U.S. Department of Transportation initiative to use the $7.5 billion allocated for electric vehicle infrastructure, in the recently passed infrastructure legislation, to create 500,000 new public zero-emission charging stations across the U.S. The same week, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation released “Recommended Attributes for EV Charging Stations,” which provides guidance for installing publicly available electric vehicle charging. The recommendations focus on 10 key elements for public charging

stations: charging speed, charging connectors, payment methods, reliability and redundancy, accessibility, station layout, network and communication requirements, EV charging on federal highways, EV charging signage, and a standardized approach to communicate pricing. The Automotive Service Association (ASA), in partnership with the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, recently released the first episode in the Technology and Telematics Podcast series, featuring a conversation between Wayne Weikel, senior director for state affairs at the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, and Bob Redding, Washington, D.C. representative for the ASA. During the podcast, the pair discuss the legislative and regulatory environment for electric vehicle implementation, building a national network of electric vehicle charging stations and challenges and opportunities for the automotive industry as it moves toward an “all-electric future.” Listen to the podcast to hear about all these EV issues and more. Source: ASA

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Transportation Secretary Buttigieg Cites Gas Prices, Promotes EVs by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs

Gas prices have had a tendency to rise and fall over the years, and they’re spiking again of late. Many EV advocates have noted if gas prices rise enough, people will be compelled to buy an EV. In the past, when gas prices soared, there weren’t a whole lot of compelling electric cars on the market, but times have changed. According to a report from our friends at Teslarati, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg mentioned people who buy an electric car will “never have to worry about gas prices again.” Still, gas prices aren’t that high right now. While they’re high enough that many folks are struggling, they’ve been higher in the past. If Buttigieg would work with President Joe Biden to keep his promise of doing away with the massive gas and oil subsidies, then prices at the pump would surely skyrocket. Buttigieg said soon EV buyers will get to take advantage of a $12,500 discount when they buy

an EV. However, few compelling EVs exist that would actually get such a credit. If passed as is, the full credit will only apply to union-made EVs. According to Teslarati, there’s currently only one—sort of two— cars in the U.S. that would qualify for the full credit, the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, neither of which is currently in production. Fortunately, buyers of other EVs may get a $7,500 or an $8,000 credit. It’s certainly interesting that in its mission to save the climate, the Biden Administration is putting all of its eggs in one basket, banking on only GM and CEO Mary Barra to be the leaders in EVs, though companies like Tesla, Ford, Hyundai and Volkswagen have already done a much better job proving they’re up to the task. Back to gas. A recent AAA report shows average gas prices in the U.S. at $3.39, though they’re much higher in states like California. A year ago, the average was just over $2. Some folks argue public fastcharging and Tesla Supercharg-

ing aren’t much cheaper than paying for gas. While that’s not necessarily true in many cases, most EV owners charge at home, which is much cheaper and exceptionally more convenient than driving to the gas station. Buttigieg went on to say via Teslarati: “The people who stand to benefit most from owning an EV are often rural residents who have the most distances to drive, who burn the most gas, and underserved urban residents in areas where there are higher gas prices and lower-income. They would gain the most by having that vehicle. These are the very residents

With all of that said, even with the upcoming credit, EVs are still more expensive upfront than gas cars. It’s hard for people on a tight budget to afford the initial cost of an EV in the hope that it will save them money over the longer term. Buttigieg said the goal is to make EVs more affordable, and the credit is a step in the right direction. However, since the full credit doesn’t apply to any currently available EVs in the U.S., the legislation is arguably flawed, at least until vehicles like the Ford F-150 Lightning come to market.

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Biden Releases Oil Reserves to Address Rising Gas Prices by Casey Harper, The Center Square

President Joe Biden announced Nov. 23 his administration will release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help address skyrocketing energy costs. The announcement is part of a joint plan with China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom, and it comes as gas prices in the U.S. have risen about $1.20 a gallon in the past year. The White House said “32 million barrels will be an exchange over the next several months, releasing oil that will eventually return to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the years ahead. “The exchange is a tool matched to today’s specific economic environment, where markets expect future oil prices to be lower than they are today, and helps provide relief to Americans immediately and bridge to that period of expected lower oil prices,” the White House said. “The exchange also automatically provides for re-stocking of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

over time to meet future needs.” The American Automobile Association gas prices tracker reports the average price of gas at $3.40 per gallon of regular gasoline, up from $2.11 at the same time last year. Other energy costs also have risen sharply, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The energy index rose 4.8% in October after rising 1.3% in September,” BLS said. “The gasoline index rose 6.1% in October, its fifth consecutive monthly increase. The index for natural gas rose 6.6% over the month, its largest monthly increase since March 2014. The electricity index increased 1.8% in October, its largest one-month increase since May 2014, while the fuel oil index also rose sharply, increasing 12.3%.” The White House said the rising prices are the result of a surge in demand after a dip during the pandemic, but critics point to Biden’s energy policies, including shutting down the Keystone pipeline, discouraging drilling on federal lands and implementing stricter regula-

tions. “President Biden killed the Keystone pipeline and greenlit Putin’s Nord Stream II. Then he begged OPEC to produce more oil,” said U.S. House Republican Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-CA. “Dear Mr. President: Let us produce our own energy and create jobs right here at home. Stop putting America last.” Biden released the reserves as his job approval numbers continue to decline and Americans become increasingly concerned about the economy. He made the announcement alongside news he will seek reelection in 2024. Former President Donald Trump, who may face off against

Biden in that election, blasted Biden after the news and took credit for the oil reserves, saying he is responsible for “filling them up” in the first place. “For decades our Country’s very important Strategic Oil Reserves were low or virtually empty in that no President wanted to pay the price of filling them up,” Trump said in a statement. “I filled them up three years ago, right to the top, when oil prices were very low. ... We were energy independent one year ago, now we are at the mercy of OPEC, gasoline is selling for $7 in parts of California, going up all over the Country, and they are taking oil from our Strategic Reserves. Is this any way to run a Country?”

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Stellantis CEO: EV Transition Costs ‘Beyond the Limits’ the Auto Industry Can Sustain by Maria Merano, Teslarati

Stellantis CEO Carlos Taveres said the pressure for legacy automakers to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles could threaten jobs and vehicle quality as traditional carmakers struggle to manage the higher costs of producing EVs. Taveres said the costs of transitioning to EV production are “beyond the limits” of what the current auto industry can sustain, in an interview with Reuters Next. He also highlighted the pressure legacy OEMs get from governments and investors to speed up the transition to EVs. “What has been decided is to impose on the automotive industry electrification that brings 50% additional costs against a conventional vehicle,” he said.” “There is no way we can transfer 50% of additional costs to the final consumer because most parts of the middle class will not be able to pay.” He said traditional automakers would have to either charge higher prices and make fewer cars or accept lower profit margins to keep up with

the additional costs of transitioning to electric vehicles. Taveres emphasized both paths lead to cutbacks. Many union leaders in Europe and North America agree thousands of people could lose their jobs if the auto industry transitioned to EV production. U.S. President Joe Biden is trying to tread the line between pushing legacy OEMs towards transitioning to EVs and providing job security in the auto industry. Biden has openly supported the Detroit Big Three’s—Ford, General Motors and Stellantis—EV goals, while puzzlingly ignoring Tesla’s role in the current electric vehicle revolution. Biden seems keen on only promoting automakers affiliated with unions in his bid to make the U.S. a powerhouse in the global electric vehicle market, all while ignoring the powerhouse that is Tesla, which already operates within the country. In the summer, the Detroit Big Three announced their commitment to increase each of their electric vehicle sales by about 40% by 2030. Some may argue the Detroit Big Three’s EV transition goals go

against the current tides, considering a few countries have already committed to banning fossil fuel cars by the end of this decade, while others are seriously considering the move. In his recent interview, Tavares said automakers need time to test and ensure electric vehicle technology works. He said speeding up the process “is just going to be counterproductive. It will lead to quality problems. It will lead to all sorts of problems.” So far, Ford seems to be the only automaker in the Detroit Big Three taking serious steps to becoming an electric vehicle producer. The Ford Mustang Mach-E has proven to be a favorite amongst the OEM’s customers. The Mustang Mach-E is still far from perfect though, as some owners do have critiques about the vehicle and its infrastructure support. However, Ford seems to be failing forward and learning from its mistakes and improving on the fly--similar to Tesla in some ways. As for Stellantis, it has invested $30 billion into its electrification strategy. On Nov. 30, the company invested in solid-state battery startup Factorial.

ASA Announces Podcast Series

Ford Only Major U.S. Automaker to Report Year-Over-Year Sales Increase in November New breakthrough products and inventory improvements made Ford America’s No. 1 selling automaker for the third month in a row in November. Ford was the only major U.S. automaker to report a year-overyear sales increase in November— up 5.9% over last year, a total of 158,793 vehicles. Retail share totaled an estimated 13.8%—2.7 percentage points higher than November last year. “Our new products continue to roll, making Ford America’s best-selling automaker for the third consecutive month, a feat last accomplished in 1974,” said Andrew Frick, vice president, Ford sales U.S. and Canada. “Ford was also the only major U.S. automaker to beat year ago sales results for November. “On the strength of Mustang Mach-E, Ford delivered record electrified vehicle sales, growing more than three times faster than the overall segment,” Frick continued. “Retail sales were up 4.5% over a year ago, with SUVs having

a bestever November sales performance on record sales of our allnew Bronco family. “We expect growth to continue, thanks to adding an additional 74,000 new vehicle orders in November.” Ford’s electrified vehicle sales in November grew at a rate more than three times faster than the overall electrified vehicle segment, taking Ford’s electrified vehicle share to 10% compared to 5.4% last year. This set up a record November on sales of 11,116 electrified vehicles—up 153.6%. New products are providing the boost, with Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Hybrid sales of 3,088 and 4,767, respectively. For the month, Ford took in 74,000 new vehicle retail orders, up 64,000 vehicle orders over November of last year. Customer orders continued to be filled at record rates. In November, 29% of Ford retail sales came from previously placed customer orders. Ford brand SUVs achieved record November retail sales on the

“We can invest more and go deeper in the value chain,” Tavares said. “There may be other [investments] in the near future.” In July, the company held Stellantis EV Day 2021, where it announced intentions to become a market leader in low emissions vehicles (LEV) by 2030. Stellantis aims to make more than 70% of its sales in Europe and 40% in the U.S. be comprised of LEVs. The company also said all 14 of its brands are committed to offering best-in-class fully electrified solutions. “Over the next five years, we have to digest 10% productivity a year … in an industry which is used to delivering 2% to 3% productivity” improvement, Tavares said. It wasn’t clear whether he was referring to productivity in electric vehicle development only. Stellantis stills seem adamant in slowly transitioning into an electric vehicle producer. However, the CEO did get one thing right on the bullseye. “The future will tell us who is going to be able to digest this and who will fail,” Tavares said. “We are putting the industry on the limits.”

success of new products. Sales were up 25.6% over a year ago on total sales of 66,390 vehicles. The Bronco family had its highest combined sales since launch, totaling 19,773 SUVs. Mustang Mach-E sales were up 8.4% from October on sales of 3,088 SUVs. Combined, Ford’s newest musthave vehicles, including Mustang Mach-E, Bronco, Bronco Sport and Maverick, have the fastest turn rates on dealer lots. Ford’s newest products are having their best sales since launch and all are turning in under 12 days, with Maverick turning in just five days, essentially trailer-to-customer. Maverick Hybrid recorded its first sales at the end of November and more hybrids are on their way to dealers. Ford total pickup truck sales climbed 15.8% compared to a yearago, with sales totaling 70,839. F-Series sales rose 14.6%, expanding its leadership position over the second-place competitor to 144,049 trucks for the year. Source: Ford Motor Company

The first episode of the Automotive Service Association (ASA)’s Technology and Telematics Podcast Series was released Dec. 6 on the ASA podcast channel. The episode features a discussion between Wayne Weikel, senior director of state affairs for the Alliance of Automotive Innovation, and Bob Redding, ASA’s Washington, D.C., representative. Redding and Weikel give an overview of the political issues surrounding electric vehicles, including an update on the recently passed infrastructure package and the in-progress budget reconciliation package. This podcast is the first in a series of podcasts entitled “A Changing Fleet,” which will feature conversations with industry leaders about the automotive industry’s shift towards electric vehicles. Source: ASA

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 51


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