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Southeast Edition Florida Georgia Alabama Mississippi



AASP/NJ’s NORTHEAST™ 2011 Show Fills the Aisles at the Meadowlands


Rich Evans Fronts Speed’s TV Hit Car Warriors

Friday through Sunday, March 18–19, body shop owners and operators and their mechanical counterparts met at the 34th annual Northeast™ 2011 show at

Jeff McDowell, AASP/NJ President (l) and Charles Bryant, AASP/Executive Director at Northeast™ 2011

the Meadowlands. Northeast™ is the region’s largest automotive repair show with over 200 exhibitors and about 350 booths on exhibit. Organized by AASP/NJ, Thomas Greco Publishing and supported by See Northeast 2011, Page 21

Japan’s Quake, Tsunami Roils US Auto Industry as Yen surges, Auto parts’ prices likely to climb

If there was ever any doubt that the auto industry is now a completely global enterprise, Japan’s devastating quake, wave, and nuclear disaster is proving that no automaker can go it alone. One week after the devastating tsunami the situation is still critical and most of Japan’s huge auto indus-

try is teetering, costing the global industry hundreds of millions of dollars. ● On Thursday, March 17, American Honda Motor Co. Executive Vice President John Mendel sent a memo to U.S. Honda and Acura dealers saying the disaster in Japan will disrupt dealer orders into May. ● General Motors’ Shreveport, La, factory, which builds the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups, closed because it ran out of a Japanese part that it did not identify. GM said March 19 it is cutting unnecessary spending companywide as it assesses the impact of production See Auto Tsunami, Page 22

Autobody News’ Custom Columnist Rich Evans (kneeling) and the red-shirted All Stars try to school a new blue-shirted Challenger team every week in Speed’s new TV hit Car Warriors. Hard knocks and hissy fits abound, and not just from the guys

Rich Evans’ Car Warriors Interview by Ed Attanasio is online at, search ‘Car Warriors’

REGIONAL STORIES in this issue...

Ray Gunder Takes on State Farm Labor Rates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 4

Ex-GA Insurance Chief Issued Himself Licenses . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 10

Florida’s Lemon Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 13 Wade Ford Atlanta Chooses Alternative Diagnostics . . . . . . . . . .p .16 MS Senate Passes Auto Insurance Certification Bill . . . . . . . . . .p. 18 Certificate of Insurance Bill Makes Headway in Georgia . . . . . . .p. 7

NATIONAL ARTICLES in this issue...

AASP/NJ’s Northeast™ 2011 Trade Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 1

Groupon Helps Body Shops Drum Up Local Customers . . . . . . .p. 13

PreFab Ads Has New TV Spots for Body Shops . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 19 Progressive's EDR Now in 32 States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 5

COLUMNS in this issue...

Yoswick—Paint Complaint Does Not Have to Lose Customer . .p. 24

Danalevich—Shop Strategies for Savings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 25

Amaradio—Underqualified Repairers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 27

Rich Evans—Remaking a 41 Chevy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 29

Gonzo’s Toolbox—Quick Diagnostics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 17 Insurance Insider—DRPs and Fear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 28 Hey Toby—Steer Clear of OSHA Violations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 18 Global PDR Solutions and Park Place Bodywerks . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 15 Switching to Waterborne for the Green Reasons . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 9

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Contents the Whole Industry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

AL Senate Approves Auto Insurance

Attanasio, BASF - Switching to BASF

Alabama Texting Ban Passes House

Attanasio, Global PDR - Global PDR

Verification Database . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Committee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Auto Angels Revs-up for 2011 Car Give-Away

Waterborne for the Green Reasons. . . . . 9 Solutions & Park Place Bodywerks

Hail the Hail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Chess - Make Sure Your Shop is Clear of

Arkansas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Danalevich - Business Liability Insurance:

in Georgia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Evans - Remaking a 1941 Chevy Deluxe

High Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Insurance Insider - DRPs and Fear—Hope for

Licenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Rich Evans Fronts Speed’s TV Hit

PIP Fraud. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Sisk - AASP/NJ’s Northeast™ 2011

Certificate of Insurance Bill Makes Headway Dallas Repairer Donates to Local

Ex-GA Insurance Chief Issued Himself

Florida Insurers, Businesses Take Aim at

Florida Officials Question Cost of Red Light

Cameras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Florida’s Lemon Law - The Florida

Lemon Vehicle Buybacks and Seller

Disclosures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Fondren to Challenge Chaney in Mississippi

Insurance Race . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Georgia House Backs Proposed ‘Oxendine

Bill’ to Ban Self-Licensing by Officials . 10

Help ASA-GA and GCIA Defeat Georgia

these Glaring OSHA Violations . . . . . . . 18

Remember to Review Your Policy! . . . . 25 Back-End with an English Wheel . . . . . 29

a Reduction in the Number of Shops . . 28

Car Warriors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Trade Show—A Wealth of Information

for Shops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Weaver - A Quick Diagnostic Can Seem

too Good to be True . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Yoswick - Paint Complaint Does Not Have

to Mean Unhappy Customer. . . . . . . . . 24


VP of Auto Glass Division . . . . . . . . . . 16

Serving Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and adjacent metro areas, Autobody News is a monthly publication for the auto body industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2011 Adamantine Media LLC.

Own Franchise. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018; (800) 699-8251 (760) 721-0253 Fax Email:

ABRA Auto Body & Glass Announces New

House Bill 385 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

CARSTAR Pres,. Dan Bailey, to Return to

I-CAR, EDRs, and OSHA . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Groupon Succeeds in Helping Body Shops

Verification Bill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Japan’s Quake, Tsunami Roils US Auto

Rise. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

New Version of ALLDATA Manage 4.9

Rates Surveys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

With Additional Selection of Parts

Louisiana Collision Repair Association Talks MS Senate Passes Auto Insurance

Property Taxes on Some Alabama Vehicles Ray Gunder Takes on State Farm Labor

Wade Ford Atlanta Chooses an Alternative

Reach Out to New Local Customers . . . 12

Industry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Enhances Electronic Parts Ordering

Suppliers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Diagnostic Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

PreFab Ads Introduces Three New TV

Manufacturing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Progressive’s Snapshot EDR Now Available

Will Gas Prices Stall Alabama SUV


Amaradio - Underqualified Repairers Hurt

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Assistant Editor: Erica Schroeder Contributing Writers: Tom Franklin, Stefan Gesterkamp, John Yoswick, Lee Amaradio, Toby Chess, Mike Causey, Dan Espersen, Tom McGee, Jeff Webster, Rich Evans, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Sean Hartman (800) 699-8251 Sales Assistant: Kristy Mangum Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia

Indexof Advertisers

AutoBody America Opens 14th Location in



Spots for Body Shops . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

in 32 States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Autobody News

Arrigo Dodge-Jeep-Chrysler . . 10 Autoland Scientech . . . . . . . . . 17 BASF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Bill Penney Toyota. . . . . . . . . . 25 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers. 28 Chief Automotive. . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Delray Honda . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Don Reid Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Equalizer Industries. . . . . . . . . 21 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers FL, GA, AL, MS . . . . . . . . . . 32 Galloway Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Garmat USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Global PDR Solutions . . . . . . . 14 Gus Machado Ford . . . . . . . . . 22 Honda Wholesale Parts Dealers 31 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers 23 Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Mattei. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Mazda Wholesale Parts. . . . . . 27 Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Nalley BMW. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Nissan Wholesale Parts Dealers 28 Palmers Toyota . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers26 PreFab Ads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Quality Stainless Products . . . . 4 SATA Spray Equipment . . . . . 11 Savannah Hyundai . . . . . . . . . 10 Scorpion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Sherwin-Williams . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Tameron Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . 26 Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers 30 VIM Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 | APRIL 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 3

Ray Gunder Takes on State Farm Labor Rates Surveys Ray Gunder is clearly not a fan of State Farm Insurance. The owner of Gunder’s Auto Center in Lakeland, Fla., is in the midst of a long-standing legal battle with the insurer over what he says is the insurer’s slanderous comments about his company to consumers, and tortious interference with his business. But were he to address the industry, Gunder said he’d discuss something that extends beyond just State Farm: labor rate surveys. “The so-called ‘market survey’ is designed and implemented under the simple insurer pretext that if you don’t participate, you won’t be allowed to participate,” Gunder said. “What this simply means is if you don’t get in line with everyone else, we will steer every repair away from you with every resource we have at our disposal. You either fall-in, or get leftout.” By participating in insurer labor rate surveys, Gunder said, quality repairers reduce themselves to earning the same rates and allowances that all others are “allowed.”

“Consider for a moment the repairer who has made substantial investments in training and certifications, facilities, and state-of-the-art equipment,” Gunder said. “They, along with other quality repairers, will be relegated to charge the same as the lowcost, high-volume providers. Simply stated, you become one with all those who do participate regardless of the quality of the workmanship and level of services you or they provide.” State Farm, Gunder said, because of its size relative to other insurers, often leads the way, and other smaller insurers follow. “I’m sure many like myself have often heard a claims person say: ‘When XYZ starts paying more is the day we will begin to pay more,’” Gunder said. “This creates a further problem of validating the so-called ‘prevailing competitive price.’ The fact is, a repairer could offer a lower price to a larger, higher volume insurer who sends them work on a regular basis while the repairer could assess a higher charge (or no discount) to a carrier they only serve occasion-

ally and who steers away from their shop on a regular basis.” By merely participating in the survey, Gunder said, a shop is lending validity and credibility to it. “If so few shops participated, “the lumping of all repairers into one single group would cease. Repairers would compete on their reputations for quality, length of service in the community, savvy marketing and salesmanship at the point of sale - just as insurers do.” Many in the industry believe there is “overcapacity,” too many shops chasing too little work, Gunder said, and that thousands of shops could close in the coming decade. “Because the insurers’ concerted efforts to capture the collision industry have been thus far successful, if something isn’t done to preserve the independent repairers and their ability to determine their own pricing, it will become, ‘You either get in the program...or get out of the industry,’” Gunder said. “As I see it, the individual shop owner has a choice to either remain a ‘independent repairer’ or

allow themselves to become merely subservient to the insurance industry.” Gunder said as the industry meets in Las Vegas that he hopes others will follow his lead when he says, “I’ve made my choice.”

Fondren to Challenge Chaney in Mississippi Insurance Race

Incumbent Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, a Republican, will face opposition in his bid for re-election, according to reports made by Insurance Journal. Louis Fondren, a Democrat, who ran for goverLouis Fondren nor in 2007, is running against Chaney. Fondren, an attorney and real estate broker, is a former mayor, district judge and state representative and former insurance adjuster. He said he would make lowering insurance premiums his priority if elected. This year’s party primaries are Aug. 2, and the general election is Nov. 8.

Will Gas Prices Stall Alabama SUV Manufacturing? High gas prices tend to stall sales of SUVs and other light trucks, and that trend could mean trouble for Alabama’s auto manufacturing industry, according to the Birmingham News. The state sector is heavily dependent on sales of such vehicles, which have only recently started to rebound after a global industry downturn. Now, continued turmoil in the Middle East is making pump prices skyrocket, threatening that recovery. Rising gas prices have yet to make a dent in SUV sales, which across the industry show significant growth over a year ago. But there are signs that consumers are starting to look elsewhere, said Karl Brauer, senior industry analyst for The auto website tracks vehicles that are drawing interest from visitors, and consumer consideration numbers for some SUVs have fallen off slightly from last fall. Compact cars, meanwhile, are getting more looks. “You’re just seeing the start of the curve,” he said. “How long the curve will go and how drastic it will be, we don’t know.” Gas price spikes resulting from the Middle East protests have been

seen only in recent weeks, he added, so the issue hasn’t had time to make a big impact on sales. “But it’s pretty turbulent, and I’m thinking it could get quite precarious if Saudi Arabia (the world’s biggest oil exporter) starts to have issues,” he said. On March 14, Birmingham area gas prices averaged $3.44 a gallon for regular, up from $3 last month and $2.69 a year ago, according to a survey by the AAA motoring club. Alabama’s auto industry last felt the pain of rising gas prices in the summer of 2008, a period which preceded a global auto industry sales slump spurred on by the worldwide financial crisis. In 2008, the state’s auto factories began slashing production and employee work time to match sluggish demand, and those measures continued throughout 2009. Last year, however, the industry made a comeback, with production that grew about 50 percent. Much of that was due to rebounding demand for SUVs and other light trucks. So far this year, U.S. light truck sales total nearly 935,000, a 30 percent rise over the first two months of 2010, according to Autodata Corp. In See AL SUVs, Page 13


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Louisiana Collision Repair Association Talks I-CAR, EDRs, and OSHA

The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association held their monthly meeting on March 1, 2011 at the Country Tavern Restaurant in Shreveport. NWLCRA President, Chris Fielder, and Secretary-Treasurer, Bill Burnside, hosted the meeting. First the I-CAR class schedule (on the NWLCRA website Calendar page) for Shreveport was discussed. I-CAR courses will no longer be under the “points” system; once a student completes a course subject successfully, they will be credited with hours instead of points. Burnside discussed the upcoming Louisiana Legislature that will convene in March and invited discussion

on how the Collision Industry can become more involved in the Louisiana Legislature. He suggested anyone with ideas to promote involvement should come to the next meeting. Some discussions have mentioned a possible Auto Collision ad hoc committee. The new Snapshot Discount device, which is an Event Data Recorder (EDR) aka “Black Box,” that Progressive insurance has introduced was discussed (see sidebar). The EDR is placed in an insured’s vehicle and information is recorded. Data regarding speed, braking, sudden stops, etc. are then sent to the insurance company. The insured is

given a reduction in insurance premium and a reduction in their deductible for their participation in this program. This technology has the ability to affect a claim. For example, EDR information was used to reconstruct an accident in which a driver claimed to have hit a deer. The change in velocity recorded by the EDR clearly showed a collision with a fixed object, not a deer. It was later determined the driver hit a concrete barrier. Bill also discussed the changes to the “Personal Protective Equipment” directive from OSHA. He said the directive has about 50 pages, and if any-

one is interested, they should contact Bill for the website. NWLCRA member Jerry Hart of Tri-State Coatings announced an upcoming class they are sponsoring covering air bag light and sensors, anti-lock brake lights and tire pressure monitor malfunctioning. This class will be taught by Don Hawkins of OTC Diagnostics. It is RSVP and seating is limited. Contact Tri-State Coatings at (318) 219-8667 or 888325-3705 Toll Free. It will be held on March 30, 2011 at the Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino. For more information, see the NWLCRA Calendar. Please visit for more information.

Progressive’s Snapshot EDR Now Available in 32 States

Progressive Insurance company annouced details about their new program called the Snapshot Discount. The Snapshot Discount is a form of Pay-As-You-Drive insurance which gives the clients an opportunity to discount the rates of their car insurance assuming they display good driving habits. Progressive is the first auto-insurance company to introduce this concept to the market. The Snapshot Discount device is placed in the On Board Diagnostic port usually found on the steering wheel. It works by tracking and analyzing the client’s driving routines for a period of six months. Then it calculates the total discount earned by the client. The EDR device does not record the whereabouts of the car, or, reportedly how fast the client drives. The device is not equipped with GPS system. After a month with the Snapshot Discount device, the client may see how much they have earned by logging in to their policy. This is very helpful for it allows the client to modify their driving routines to be able to earn more discounts. Given the efficient use of the Snapshot Discount device, the company proclaims that a client can secure a maximum of 30 % of their policy. “We believe Snapshot is a game changer-representing the future of auto insurance as our mobile and interconnected world gives us the opportunity to offer immediate and substantial savings to our customers,” the President and CEO of Progressive Glenn Renwick said. The Snapshot Discount device is as of now only available in 32 states, but Progressive tells that more states would be reached within the year. | APRIL 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 5

Alabama Texting Ban Passes House Committee

An Alabama House committee has approved a bill that would prohibit sending text messages on a cell phone while driving a motor vehicle, according to reports made by Claims Journal. The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee approved the bill by Republican Rep. Jim McClendon of Springville on March 11. It would make it a traffic violation to drive on a public highway or street while text messaging. A driver would be fined $25 for a first violation, $50 for a second violation and $75 the third time a driver is stopped for texting while driving. McClendon said texting is one of the most dangerous things someone can do while driving. The bill passed the committee on a voice vote. It now goes to the House for debate. CHECK IT OUT!

AL Senate Approves Auto Insurance Verification Database

AutoBody America Opens 14th Location in Arkansas

AutoBody America, based in Nashville, Tenn., recently opened their 14th facility in Bryant, Ark, according to reports made by CollisionHub. The 17,000-square-foot shop is the company’s second center in the Little Rock, Ark., area and its 14th total. The new shop will provide collision repair services to Bryant, Benton, Bauxite, Alexander and other nearby cities in the Little Rock area. “Bryant was a natural fit as it is the fastest growing city in Arkansas,” said Pat James, CEO of AutoBody America. “This should allow us to expand more quickly into other underserved areas of Arkansas and enable AutoBody America to be the provider of choice throughout the mid-south.” AutoBody America is still looking for shops to acquire in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. AutoBody America is scheduled to open two additional stores in the first quarter of 2011.Give us your opinion on Interested owners can contact James at For more information on the company, go to

Auto Angels Revs-up for 2011 Car Give-Away Program

The first meeting for the 2011 Auto Angels was held February 22nd, in Lakeland, Fl where local collision industry professionals came together to discuss plans for a repeat of last year’s highly publicized and successful benevolent car giveaway program. Last year Auto Angels presented five nicely reconditioned automobiles to five very grateful recipients. “The experience was incredible for all involved and this year the goal is a lofty one whereas the intent is to bestow fifteen reconditioned vehicles to local community members. So far we have two vehicles and several more have been promised, but we need more.” states David Stewart; this year’s Auto Angels project Chairperson. This year’s program will be held under the Polk County Chapter of the Florida Autobody Collision Alliance (FACA) which is a not for profit organization. Barrett Smith of Auto Damage Experts, Auto Angel’s interim spokesperson states; may promatters affecting the“This industry. vide the donors the opportunity to use their generosity as tax deductible contributions as well as to shield participants from potential liabilities. This

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Florida Officials Question Cost of Red Light Cameras

The Alabama Senate has voted to set Some South Florida officials say it’s up a computer database that would becoming too costly to use automatic Totag advertise forrun timely allow county officials and law encameras toThe ticketsource drivers who red call Advertising Sales at: a forcement to instantly check whether lights, according to reportsthat made by information every vehicle800-699-8251 has liability insurance, accordInsurance Journal. body needs! ing to reports by Insurance Journal. They had hoped shop their cities would e-mail: The Senate voted 35-0 Wednescollect millions of dollars in fines, day for a bill by Republican Sen. thanks toCALL the images captured by a net800-699-8251 Arthur Orr of Decatur. It would rework of cameras installed from Your FREE quire insurance companies to provide broke PinesStart to Fort Lauderdale. electronic data to the state Revenue But Mail an increasing number of Subscription. Department about which vehicles have drivers are fighting their tickets and liability insurance, which is mandatory winning court rulings that limit law in Alabama. The information would be enforcement. See the compiled in a database, and county tag NEWFort Lauderdale Police Chief officials would verify that a vehicle Frank Adderley said that means his owner had insurance before renewing department spends more time than a license plate. Police could also check planned reviewing tapes and preparfor insurance after stopping a vehicle. ing evidence files for court. For Orr’s bill to take effect, it Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy still must be approved by the House Cooper said the legal issues will be and by the governor. Orr says his bill sorted out and the cameras will help is needed because national studies esimprove safety. timate that one-fourth of Alabama’s But some communities such as motorists don’t carry insurance. . Boca Raton and Delray Beach now Currently, motorists are supare delaying installing the cameras. posed to be able to show proof of insurance, and the Revenue Department randomly selects motorists for periodic checks. Orr said some people buy insurance long enough to get the proof of insurance they need to renew their tag and then cancel the policy. CHECK IT OUT!

Autobody News Website


will also enable the community, other local repairers, sponsors and supporters to become more familiar with FACA and help in promoting the association, the Auto Angels program and the participant’s businesses through their involvement.” In attendance were: -Cherri Surrency of Regal Automotive Collision Center -Doc Jenkins of Jenkins Lincoln Mercury Collision Center -David Stewart of Stewart’s Auto -Sean Douglas of Douglas Collision -Ray Gunder of Gunder’s Auto Center -Michael Meisner of Meisner Paint & Body -Wayne Schumacher of Haines City Paint & Body -Barrett Smith, Auto Damage Experts, Inc. Auto Angels is currently seeking participants, sponsors and donors to make this year’s car give-away as successful as last year’s. For more information on how you may contribute time, expeWant toyour Contribute rience and resources to the Auto Angels Program please contact: David Stewart @ 863-965-2030 or e-mail at

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Certificate of Insurance Bill Makes Headway in Georgia Agents in Georgia are urging their representatives to support a bill that would clarify the use of certificates of insurance issued to policyholders, according to reports made by Insurance Journal. Among other things, the bill would require certificate forms to be filed and approved by the insurance commissioner. The bill (House Bill 66) has passed the Georgia House of Representatives with a vote of 157 to 1. HB 66, which has its origins in a directive from the state insurance department who last January issued a directive on the use of certificates. The directive restated that certificates are for information purposes only and confer no rights on the certificate holders outside the terms of their policies. The directive also reminded agents and policyholders that the intentional misuse of certificates is against the law. Under the insurance code, agents and certificate holders could be arrested for fraud and faced penalties up to $10,000 and between two to ten years in jail.

Agent groups have had longstanding problems with certificates that are often used to falsely show proof of coverage or amend the coverage to include provisions outside the certificate holders’ policy. HB 66 makes two substantive changes to the law. First, it would require certificate forms to be filed and approved by the insurance commissioner. The bill would give the commissioner the right to disapprove a form if he finds the form unjust or misleading. Second, it would require the certificates to include a statement saying, “This certificate of insurance is issued as a matter of information only and confers no rights upon the certificate holder. The certificated does not amend, extend, or alter the coverage, terms, exclusions and conditions afforded by the policies referenced herein.” The bill also states that forms issued by the Association of Cooperative Operations Research or the Insurance Service Office are deemed to be approved by the commissioner as long as they comply with the other changes in the bill.

Help ASA-GA and GCIA Defeat Georgia House Bill 385 By GCIA/ASA

Legislation has been proposed in the Georgia House of Representatives that would create a sales tax on many services of small businesses. The bill, House Bill 385, if passed, would create a new sales tax on the labor costs on services performed by automotive repair facilities. ASA opposes the proposed automotive repair tax, and calls on the association’s Georgia members to contact their respective representatives in opposition to the legislation. Sending a letter to your state legislators is easy; visit for more information. A summary of the bill can be seen below: (full text can be seen at “A Comprehensive Revision of Revenue Structure and Taxation Bill #: HB385 Year: 2011

Bill Summary: A bill to be entitled an Act to amend Titles 48, 2, 28, 33, 36, 46, and 50 of the O.C.G.A., relating

respectively, to revenue and taxation, agriculture, the General Assembly, insurance, local government, public utilities, and state government, so as to provide for comprehensive revision of the revenue structure of the State of Georgia; to implement the recommendations of the 2010 Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians as provided for and required by Chapter 12 of the Title 28 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated; to provide for comprehensive revision of personal income taxes; to redefine taxable net income; to provide for a flat rate tax structure; to eliminate adjustments to income except for personal exemptions and standard deductions and retirement income exclusions; to repeal certain income tax credits; to provide for procedures, conditions, and limitations; to provide for comprehensive revision of corporate income taxes; to reduce the rate of such income tax; to provide for procedures, conditions, and limitations; to revise and change certain adjustments to income; to repeal certain income tax credits ...” For more information please visit or | APRIL 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 7


Switching to BASF Waterborne for the Green Reasons by Ed Attanasio

As almost every body shop manager in this country knows, waterborne paint is a proven commodity in the collision repair industry and shops outside of California are gradually but decidedly heading in that direction. As federal regulations and air quality management agencies apply pressure designed to nudge more states towards lower VOCs, some body shops in parts of the country will undoubtedly resist change, while others will embrace it for its wide range of benefits. Some multiple shop operators doing business in California have been able to leverage their experience in California to adopt waterborne elsewhere across the country. For example, Sterling Autobody Centers announced last year that they have implemented waterborne network-wide, but that is not yet the norm. So it’s interesting that a large New Jersey collision facility went to waterborne recently not because the laws mandated the conversion, but because they wanted to take the high road in being green and helping both their employees and the environment. They’re hoping that it will lead to more business, additional DRPs and an enhanced overall reputation throughout their communityKeith Holloway is the body shop manager at DCH Brunswick Toyota Collision Center in Brunswick, New Jersey, where he oversees the operation of a 43,000 square foot collision center and supervises 35 employees as they fix 230-250 vehicles per month, he said. After DCH Brunswick Toyota Collision Center’s contract with another paint company’s solvent product last year, BASF’s eco-friendly Onyx HD waterborne basecoat system won out over several competing paint lines. “We did some extensive research and BASF’s Onyx HD waterborne basecoat had the best performance and overall value for us. We took paint proposals from five different vendors, but BASF stood out because in the end they offered the best product and service package. We went with BASF because we thought they would help us grow, and we also learned that the Onyx HD waterborne basecoat system is compliant with the EPA regulations and the laws that are coming out in 2011 and 2012. That was definitely something we wanted to work toward, so that’s why we signed with the company.” Holloway values BASF’s support and education. “We’ve been very impressed by their service and follow-

SHOP & PRODUCT SHOWCASE DCH Toyota Brunswick Collision Center Location: North Brunswick, NJ

Telephone: 888-512-7805 Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: 35

In Business Since: 2000 DRP Programs: Two

Number of Locations: One

Combined Production Space: 43,000 square feet

Keith Holloway, the new body shop manager at DCH Collision Center in Brunswick, NJ, was on the team that converted his shop to BASF’s eco-friendly Onyx HD waterborne basecoat system

through. We’re still testing our waterborne and tweaking the way we’re using it, and BASF has been by our side every step of the way. The paint is good, there’s no doubt. But what’s really pleased us the most is the support they’ve provided, especially from our BASF Business Development Manager Kent Leonard and Tom Smetanka, our jobber with Central Paint in Trenton, New Jersey.” It wasn’t an easy conversion from solvent to waterborne, Holloway admitted, but in the end it’s paying off. “We’re still in the process to determine how compatible our production process is with the BASF waterborne product, and so far it’s doing a very good job for us. It did take us 6-8 weeks to get our staff up to speed with this product, and our painters did have to go to BASF’s training center in Maryland so they could get acclimated to the product and learn all of the do’s and don’t’s of working with it.” Learning BASF’s waterborne system wasn’t a no-brainer, Holloway said. “It’s quite a bit different and the painters have to slow down to take their time with this waterborne. The paint is not as fast-acting as solvent, and I’m not going to tell you that it was easy. BASF has a great product and the process of applying it took us a while to get up to speed, but we’re now running very efficiently with the waterborne product.” The federal requirements are going to get tougher in March, because certain high VOC products will be banned from use in body shops nationwide, Holloway explained. Paint technicians are going to have to get

more certifications for completing the proper courses to satisfy the federal mandates. “Body shops nationwide will have to go through EPA inspections to show that what we’re sending out into the air is not going to hurt the environment,” Holloway said. “The process started one-and-a-half years ago when the EPA started sending out notices and informing shops that that things were going to start changing this March, little by little.”The state laws in New Jersey aren’t mandating the use of waterborne paint (yet), but Holloway is already reading the writing, or painting in this case, on the wall. “They’re not forcing shops to do it yet, but we want to be ahead of the game when it goes into effect in 2012. We want to be an innovator in this industry and be able to offer the public and the insurance companies something many shops can’t offer them right now, which is the benefits of waterborne paint. Going green and giving something back to help the planet; those are things we want to be involved in.” Has Holloway seen evidence that converting to BASF waterborne will eventually help the bottom line at DCH Brunswick, Toyota? “The word is definitely out that we’re now offering something different, which positions us in a better light with consumers. We feature it in our advertising, but people in this area don’t really understand it completely yet. It’s about educating everyone about this product. Once they know the all the benefits of waterborne, it will gain momentum here, I believe.”

The DCH Collision Center paints 230-250 vehicles during an average month

The DCH Collision Center has reported top-notch color matching since they adopted BASF’s ecofriendly Onyx HD waterborne basecoat system

BASF Company Contact: David Brez Strategic Initiatives Manager Phone: 951-315-1395 (Mobile) email: website: | APRIL 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 9

Ex-GA Insurance Chief Issued Himself Licenses Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine issued himself several licenses to sell insurance and adjust claims in his last full day in office, according to Insurance Journal. Oxendine used his authority as the state’s top insurance regulator to waive requirements to take mandatory classes or licensing tests that apply to other Georgians seeking to sell insurance. Oxendine, a Republican who left office in January after 16 years, said he decided against the tests because he didn’t want to be a distraction to John Oxendine other applicants. He also said he had enough experience regulating the industry and helping to write insurance law to qualify for the licenses. “If 16 years doesn’t give you a little bit of insurance experience, I don’t know what does,” Oxendine said. “I think that’s (worth) a little bit more

than taking a test and taking a class.” But state lawmakers said the former commissioner abused his power. And his successor, Republican Ralph Hudgens, said Oxendine appeared to have ignored the advice of the office’s staff when he issued himself the licenses. “We can’t write regulations that prohibit bad judgment,” he said. “I think this was very, very bad judgment.” A local newspaper reported the licenses were issued Sunday, Jan. 9 — the day before Hudgens took office. Oxendine said he doesn’t plan to sell insurance, although he registered a company called Oxendine Insurance Services with the state days after he gave himself the licenses. He said he wanted them “out of an abundance of caution” because his law practice sometimes involves insurance law. Hudgens’ office said an applicant would have been required to complete 80 hours of classes and pass several tests to get the licenses Oxendine received.

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Oxendine was elected in 1994 and easily won re-election three times before deciding in 2009 to seek the GOP nomination for governor. He finished a surprising fourth in the Republican primary after initially leading in the polls. Key state lawmakers said they were disappointed by the news. State Sen. George Hooks, a Democrat who owns an insurance agency in Americus, said Oxendine should have gone through the same testing everyone else did. “I think it smacks of favoritism,” he said. “And if I were the current insurance commissioner, I would look at it very carefully.” State Rep. Bill Hembree, a Douglas County Republican who has worked in insurance for 15 years, said lawmakers should consider legislation that bars the commissioner from waiving education and testing requirements for applicants. Hembree called it “an abuse of power that obviously shouldn’t have happened.”

Georgia House Backs Proposed ‘Oxendine Bill’ to Ban Self-Licensing by Officials

The Georgia House has unanimously approved legislation to prohibit state insurance commissioners from granting themselves insurance licenses without passing mandatory tests, according to reports made by Insurance Journal. The measure came after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that outgoing Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine awarded himself several licenses the day before he left office in January. The Republican used an insurance agency rule to exempt himself from mandatory education and testing requirements. The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Bill Hembree said that undermines public trust in elected officials. Oxendine’s successor, Ralph Hudgens, says he doesn’t have the power to revoke the licenses. Oxendine unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination for governor last year.

Florida Insurers, Businesses Take Aim at PIP Fraud Insurance companies are taking to the Internet to combat auto insurance fraud in Florida, according to Insurance Journal. The Property Casualty Insurers Association of American has launched, a Web site designed to highlight Florida’s problems with auto personal injury protection — or PIP– fraud and draw attention the legislative movement to address the issue. Flanked by representatives of the Associated Industries of Florida and the Florida Chamber of Commerce, William Stander, PCI assistant vice president and regional manager for Florida, said it is time the public became aware of the cost of PIP fraud. “Floridians need to know that our state, unfortunately, continues to have the highest number of questionable, or ‘staged’ accidents of any other state in the country,” Stander said, citing statistics that show four of the 10 U.S. cities with the highest rates of questionable claims are Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Hialeah. He said that Florida motorists

pay the second highest auto liability insurance premiums in the nation. The 2008 average annual liability premium is $736, which is 56 percent higher than the national mean of $471. Stander laid out six possible reforms for consideration in the state’s legislative session, which convenes March 8. Both the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee and the House Subcommittee on Insurance and Banking have bills waiting to be heard in their docket. The reforms include the following: * Examinations Under Oath: Allow authorities to investigate claims using a procedure called Examination Under Oath whereby penalties could be levied against a claimant found to have lied under oath. * Independent Medical Examinations: Under current law, an insurer can conduct an independent medical exam to determine the extent of the claimant’s injuries. If an insured is participating in a staged accident or is following directions from a dishonest lawyer or clinic the insured often

misses these appointment. A court decision ruled that an insured and their lawyer can keep making excuses for missing the appointments. PCI is proposing that a refusal to submit to an exam is a rebuttable presumption that the failure was unreasonable. * Arbitration: PCI is advocating that PIP claims can undergo arbitration while preserving both parties’ ability to go to court. * PIP Lawyer Fees: Florida law requires an insurer to pay its own and the insured’s lawyers’ fees if the insurer loses in court. As a result, insurers often settle even suspicious claims rather than drive up costs. PCI wants to cap lawyers fees in PIP cases to a percentage of benefits similar to a fee schedule introduced into the workers’ comp system in 2003. * PIP Lawyer Fee Multiplier: Under current law, PIP attorneys can earn hourly fees and a “contingency risk multiplier.” It can multiply up to twoand-a-half times the amount a PIP lawyer can earn. PCI says it encourages litigation and should be removed from the law.

* Supporting and Expanding Investigating and Prosecution of Fraud: The proposal calls for more resources to be devoted to investigating claims and that the state require that more information be gathered about individuals involved in an accident. PCI is composed of 1,000 companies that write $174 billion in premiums. Member companies represent 43.1 percent of the U.S. auto market. Florida CFO Jeff Atwater, who oversees the Department of Financial Services and the department’s Division of Insurance Fraud , has created a PIP fraud squads in Tampa to combat the growing number of staged accidents and fraudulent auto insurance claims. In 2009, Tampa experienced a 290-percent increase in questionable claims related to staged accidents. CFO Atwater is also recommending legislation involving strengthening billing practices so only appropriate services rendered are covered, creating civil penalties so proceeds can be used to fund additional anti-fraud efforts and tightening requirements for clinic ownership. | APRIL 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 11

Groupon Succeeds in Helping Body Shops Reach Out to New Local Customers Groupon, the ‘group coupon’ site where businesses submit daily deals for Groupon to market to their large subscriber base, has had lots of recent success with body shop deals.

Groupon allows businesses to submit a coupon deal to their website then, if approved, the coupon goes up on the local branch of Groupon’s website. If the deal is bought by enough people on that day, then the deal becomes available to all; if not, no one gets the deal that day. The body shop does not pay any upfront costs to have a Groupon, rather the company takes a percentage of each coupon the body shop sells on their website. “Our services have really expanded because of our popularity and attractiveness,” Chad Nason, Groupon’s Spokesperson told Autobody News.

Body shops have found it profitable to use Groupon to market general maintenance type services to customers. This way they get new customers in the door, show them the value of their services and hopefully create some repeat customers, said Nason. Some of these body shops are seeing the oil and filter change coupons as a step in the door for new customers and hopefully, their eventual collision business. Getting customers in for general maintenance will help them to remember your name when they do need collision work done, said Nason. “You’re looking at something (a collision) that people aren’t planning on, so it’s a little tougher [to market],” said Nason, but he maintains that shops have found that using Groupon to advertise general maintenance can leave a lasting impression for future, unplanned work ahead. Nason also said that Groupon is becoming a popular marketing tool because local businesses can tap into Groupon’s large subscriber base,


which is broken down into region-specific websites each with their own deals. Great Bear Auto Repair and Auto Body Shop in Flushing Queens, New York, ran a deal with Groupon in December of 2010. Owner Audra Fordin was admittedly skeptical about running the deal; she wanted to run a deal that wouldn’t overwhelm her business and had a higher price point. “It was awesome. They were awesome; they walked me through it step by step and helped me create a custom deal that would attract customers and be realistic for my business,” Fordin told Autobody News. The deal was for an oil change, tire rotation and charging systems analysis. Audra said she was extremely happy with the results and is eager to run another deal with Groupon, probably this spring. She said that the customers who have redeemed were all first time customers and she already has their repeat business.

“I will do it again without a doubt, it brought in new customers and they weren’t your typical coupon-cutters just trying to get a deal, they were people truly interested in taking care of their cars,” said Fordin.

Great Bear Auto Repair in Queens saw a lot of new customers after their Groupon ran

Glenville Terrace Auto Body in Allston, Massachussetts, ran a deal with Groupon in June of 2010. Owner Barry Hynes was also extremely pleased with the results of his Groupon deal. “It went really well, we were told See Groupon Helps, Page 14

Florida’s Lemon Law—The Florida Lemon Vehicle Buybacks and Seller Disclosures The Florida lemon law requires the manufacturer to repurchase or replace the Florida lemon vehicle if the manufacturer or its authorized service agent has failed to conform the motor vehicle to its warranty by repairing or correcting any nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts. Under the Florida’s lemon law, dealers are not liable for the repurchase of the Florida lemon vehicles. The Attorney General of the State of Florida requires the manufacturer to disclose the status of the florida lemon law buy back if he sells it to a new purchaser. A nonconformity is defined as a defect or condition that substantially impairs the use, value or safety of a motor vehicle and it does not include a defect or condition that results from an accident, abuse, neglect, modification, or alteration by persons other than the manufacturer or its authorized service agent. The manufacturer who accepts the return of a motor vehicle by reason of a settlement, determination or

decision pursuant to the Florida lemon law claim: * Shall notify the Department of Legal Affairs and report the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the Florida lemon law buy back within 10 days after such acceptance * Shall not knowingly lease, sell at wholesale or retail, or transfer a title to the Florida lemon law buy back within the state or outside it, unless the nature of the nonconformity is clearly and conspicuously disclosed to the prospective transferee, lessee, or buyer of the Florida lemon law buy back. If the manufacturer sells the Florida lemon law buy back at wholesale or retail, or transfers a title to a buyer: * He should warrant to correct the nonconformity of the said Florida lemon law buy back for a term of one year or 12,000 miles, whichever occurs first * The Department of Legal Affairs shall prescribe by rule the form, content and procedure pertaining to such a disclosure statement on the Florida lemon law buy back

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* Florida Administrative Code Rule 233 adopts the disclosure form to be used by manufacturers to notify the Department of Legal Affairs of the acquisition and transfer of the Florida lemon law buy backs * The form must remain with the Florida lemon law buy back until it is sold or leased to a consumer * The buyer of the Florida lemon law buy back must sign the form and the seller must give a copy to the buyer and send a copy to the Department of Legal AffairsTitle branding of the Florida lemon law buy back: Nonconforming vehicles that were repurchased by a manufacturer pursuant to a settlement, determination, or decision under the Florida lemon law: * May not be knowingly offered for sale until the vehicle’s certificate of title, or its duplicate is conspicuously stamped with the words “Manufacturer’s Buy Back” to reflect that the vehicle is a nonconforming vehicle * Should be followed by seller disclosures in writing to the purchaser, customer, or transferee, prior to sale, the fact that the vehicle is a nonconforming vehicle Any person offering for sale or exchange a Florida lemon law buy Continued from Page 4


February alone, sales rose 32 percent over the year-ago period. As for Alabama-built vehicles, Honda’s Pilot SUV, for example, registered February sales of 8,224, a 23 percent improvement over the previous year. Also last month, Mercedes-Benz sold 1,924 M-Class SUVs, a 16 percent rise over February 2010. Among Alabama’s automakers, Mercedes-Benz and Honda, along with their suppliers, have the most to lose in a prolonged period of soaring gas prices. Along with the M-Class, Mercedes’ Vance plant builds the GLClass full-sized SUV and the R-Class crossover, while Honda’s Lincoln factory assembles the Odyssey minivan and Ridgeline pickup next to the Pilot. Meanwhile, Hyundai’s Montgomery operations shouldn’t be affected and could benefit from a continued surge in gas prices. The factory now produces only cars—the Sonata sedan and the Elantra compact sedan—after moving production of

back and knowingly or intentionally advertises, publishes, or disseminates, circulates, or places before the public in any communication’s medium, whether directly or indirectly shall clearly and precisely state in each offer that the vehicle is a nonconforming vehicle. * In Florida, manufacturers are required to give consumers of the Florida lemon law buy backs a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty covering the same nonconformity that is reacquired under the Florida lemon law * If the consumers of these Florida lemon law buy backs are not getting the required disclosure it is apparent that that they also are not receiving the required warranty coverage for these Florida lemon law buy backs The Florida lemon law is not the only remedy for your Florida lemon law buy back. While the Florida lemon law is available for protection with your buy back you also have other remedies. One of them is the federal law, the most notable Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. You may have been a victim of unfair or deceptive trade practices. You may be entitled to damages separate and apart from those defined in the Florida lemon law.

the Santa Fe SUV to Georgia last year. For the luxury models built by Mercedes-Benz, gas prices aren’t as much of a factor in buying decisions as they are with more economical models. But they still play a role. The M-Class has a city/highway fuel economy rating of 16/20 miles per gallon, while a hybrid version of the SUV achieves 20/24 miles per gallon. Honda says Pilot sales have remained steady and should continue to do so, even with an uptick in gas prices. Vehicles like it provide space and utility that some drivers can’t do without, said company spokesman Chris Martin. “They have to live their lives, they have to carry cargo and they have to carry their family,” he said. At the same time, the Pilot is a more fuel efficient alternative than some larger SUVs, Martin said. The Pilot’s city/highway fuel economy rating is 17/23 miles per gallon. “I think most consumers in the U.S. do associate the Honda brand with fuel economy,” he said. | APRIL 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 13

“The idea was to get new customers in, and it did just that. These were the kind of customers we were looking for ... ones that really take it was going to be busy and we didn’t care of their vehicles.” really take it that seriously and boy Hynes said he would do another were we sorry,” said Hynes, “We def- Groupon again in the future if he was initely should have prepared for the not so busy already. He did have one rush more.” word of caution for shops considering using Groupon in the future. “I would advise any shop that’s going to do it to really prepare for it. On the day the actual Groupon goes live online have people ready to answer calls because people call in to ask questions about the deal. Also be preEmployees at Glenville Terrace Auto Body in MA were surprised at pared for the rush how much interest their Groupon generated the next day when people come in to Hynes said that not only did it use the coupon—definitely schedule bring in new customers, but they beappointments if you can.” came repeat customers and were exTo learn more about running a actly the clientele Hynes was looking Groupon for your business visit: for. Continued from Page 12

Groupon Helps

Dallas Repairer Donates to Local High Schools

Great Bear Auto Repair and Auto Body Shop 164-16 Sanford Avenue Flushing, NY 11358 718-762-6212

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Herb’s Paint and Body, which runs seven shops in the Dallas area, recently donated three $250 checks to local high school programs. Herb’s opened a new location in Allen, TX, in February of this year and according to Body Shop Manager Alan Walne. “We wanted to participated in something that gives back to the local community in kicking off our new location,” said Walne. The checks went to Allen High School’s After Prom Program, the Lovejoy High School After Prom program and McKinney High School’s Project Graduation. The shop also committed to donating 5 percent ($100 maximum) of a customer’s repair cost to any of the programs through June 1. Customers have to present documentation from the schools to redeem the donation. Herb’s Paint and Body is a family owned company founded in 1956. For more information on the business, go to



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Global PDR Solutions & Park Place Bodywerks Hail the Hail by Ed Attanasio

When most of us think about hail, we think of stormy weather. But in parts of the country, hail means big money for body shops. When hail-prone places like Northern Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas and Alabama, get grapefruit-sized or pebble-sized hailstones it can quickly change peoples’ lives. And it happens every year during hail season, which normally starts in March and can run all the way through October. Park Place Bodywerks in Dallas, Texas and a growing enterprise called Global Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) Solutions (GPS) have a “stormy relationship” that is both profitable and beneficial for both parties. According to Eric McKenzie, 36, the body shop director at Park Place Bodywerks, his shop did $1.8 million monthly in revenues without the assistance of any DRP’s. About 98% of the 500 cars that Park Place Bodywerks repairs every month are highend luxury brands that the company sells through its 12 dealerships located in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, McKenzie said. The handful of nameplates sold and serviced by Park Place Motors reads like the best-of-the-best, including Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, Bentley, Maserati, Rolls Royce, McLaren (when it hits the U.S. in June of this year), Smart Cars and an occasional Maybach. GPS was founded eight years ago, when three different PDR companies with more than 45 years industry experience joined forces. After seeing drastic changes within the world of PDR and realizing that the specialty was experiencing a drop in quality and customer service, these visionaries decided to take PDR to the next level. The move paid off because, in just a short time, GPS had seen an astronomical spike in market share and growth, according to company representatives. McKenzie initially found out about GPS by working with one of its eventual owners, Scott Dietz, more than nine years ago, he explained. “We had a major hail storm in 2003 where approximately 100,000 cars were reportedly damaged in this area. I was an assistant manager at another luxury brand dealership at that time and some of that company’s larger DRPs wanted us to try some of their approved vendors for PDR,

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Combined Production Space: 87,000 square feet

Park Place Bodywerks works on most of the top brands, including Rolls Royce. The quality of their PDR must be exemplary each and every time

because this particular hail storm was so big. So we brought in a few companies and gave them a shot, but they basically didn’t do a very good job. There were some issues with quality, timeliness and the techs weren’t available to us all the time. They would show up on Monday, and then leave Thursday afternoon, and then we wouldn’t see them again until Tuesday morning, with cars stacked up out the doors.” With these high-end luxury cars, customer service needs to be not just satisfactory but exemplary day after day, McKenzie stressed. “If our vendor isn’t providing top service, then we logically can’t pass it on to our customers, so it was a struggle to us. With some shops, maybe that’s okay, but with us, it has to be perfect. We gave three or four of these companies a shot, all referred by our DRPs, and we couldn’t rely on any of them.” That’s when McKenzie first met Scott Dietz. “Scott became our go-to guy in ’03, because he was so reliable; his work was quick, accurate and phenomenal,” McKenzie said. “He was with us through October that year and we were obviously very impressed. He even came back when stragglers came through, right up until the end of the year. After that storm, Scott and his partners started GPS and when I came to Park Place, one of the first things I did was hire them. “These techs who really know how to do PDR at a high level are truly craftsmen. When it’s not done

properly, the telltale sign is that you can still see the dent. The marks from pushing on the dent are apparent when it’s not done correctly. You can either see traces of the dent or in massaging the area they push too hard and can actually push it past the dent and make tool marks. Or they get into the headliner and damage it or mess up the electrical. We were experiencing a litany of these problems until we contracted with GPS. Getting half of the dents out of a vehicle just doesn’t make it, especially when you’re working on a Rolls Royce, for example. Turning the vehicles in and out quickly is a major factor when PDR is performed, especially when the storms are more serious, McKenzie said. “With our previous PDR vendors, it would typically take 2-4 days or longer to get the job done. But, with GPS it’s always two days max, with more accuracy and a better job overall.” During the larger storms, PDR means decent revenue for Park Place, McKenzie said. “GPS gives us a healthy percentage of each job, so yes—it definitely makes financial sense for us to work with them. Providing top quality is our first priority, but to make some money along the way is a major bonus.” McKenzie is not afraid to tell other body shop owners about GPS, he said. “Their quality is excellent and we’ve recommended GPS to several shops. I’m in a 20 Group and I’ve recommended them across the country and they’re pleased with them as well.”

Park Place’s Body Shop Director Eric McKenzie has an ongoing relationship with Global PDR Solutions to provide his customers with highend paintless dent repairs and book revenue when the hail storms hit

Park Place Bodywerks did $1.8 million per month last year in revenues fixing an average of 500 cars per month at $3,800

Global PDR Company Contact: Bob Lombard Address: 5505 West Kellogg Wichita, KS 67209 Phone: (877) GLBL-PDR email: website: | APRIL 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 15

Service, Diagnostic and Mechanical NEWS

Wade Ford Atlanta Chooses an Alternative Diagnostic Solution Autobody News

April 2011

Automobiles today are sophisticated and are controlled by a series of internal computer systems, which means the diagnostics require specific software and hardware. On top of that the basic service environments have not changed. They are still fraught with grime and potential hazards that could damage the diagnostic equipment. We now need digital diagnostics equipment that will withstand these normal daily service bay environmental issues and today ruggedized notebook computers fill that bill very well. That is one of the reasons Wade Ford of Atlanta, Georgia decided to switch from PDAs to ruggedized laptops for diagnostic and reprogramming purposes. Ford no longer supported the PDA application, so Wade needed new durable notebooks to connect to

the cars. “The reason we needed a rugged notebook was because of the environment they are used in—where the technicians are using them is an open environment. They really just need to be able to be bumped around and not go down,” said Dave Tackett, Controller of Wade Ford. Initially, the only solution Ford provided was Panasonic Toughbooks. Despite Toughbook’s excellent reputation, Wade Ford felt that the product was too pricey for them. So Tackett researched alternatives online and talked to others in the field before finding the Eagle rugged series from a 10-year old established provider of rugged portable devices called Rugged “I knew there had to be other rugged notebooks out there besides the Toughbook. I had heard of Dell

having one, but again it was too expensive. Rugged Notebooks’ Eagle pretty much fit the bill for what I needed. For the price of one Toughbook, I could get two Eagles!” Of course ruggedness and price were important factors in Wade Ford’s decision to choose an alternative solution, but the ability to run Ford’s proprietary software program was also a primary concern. With Rugged Notebooks Eagle, the technicians were able to easily install the software, and Tackett simply made sure it was connected to their in-house system. “We have to connect two vehicles through a Ford proprietary link and all the diagnostics, all the reprogramming, goes through that connectivity. So we had to have a laptop to make the connection, but a regular laptop wasn’t going to work because

the technician transfers data around.” Tackett said there are 4000 Ford dealers in the U.S. and all using the same application. He recommends that all of them consider switching to the Eagle as a lower cost rugged solution. “The price-point was the biggest deal, and the fact that it was rugged. The only extra thing I purchased was the touch screens, which the technicians really seemed to like,” explained Tackett. “They like them because the screens are quite a bit bigger than they were on the Toughbooks that Ford was suggesting.” But here is the real bottom line. When asked how the Rugged Notebook Eagle laptops have improved his efficiency, Tackett had this to say, “If we don’t have them, we can’t do work. That’s just about as simple as it gets.”

ALLDATA LLC, the leading provider of vehicle manufacturers’ service and repair information for professional repair shops, now integrates with Autoi to make its online parts catalog available to subscribers of ALLDATA Manage 4.9, shop management software designed for owners and managers of independent repair shops. The integration of Autoi and ALLDATA Manage provides repair shops with online access to electronic parts ordering catalogs through

Autoi’s parts suppliers. Autoi offers ALLDATA Manage subscribers additional options to effi-

“Autoi’s electronic parts ordering interface in ALLDATA Manage offers customers additional options when ordering parts online. The Autoi supplier network enables subscribers to efficiently manage dayto-day parts ordering through ALLDATA Manage,” says Senior Product Marketing Manager, Diane Horne. “ALLDATA is committed to pro-

viding shop management software to meet the needs of its customers by providing a selection of electronic parts catalogs. ALLDATA Manage 4.9 and Autoi’s parts ordering interface improves business efficiencies and ordering accuracy, resulting in ALLDATA’s customers’ ability to better run their business,” says Diane Horne. For more information on ALLDATA and ALLDATA Manage 4.9, visit or call 800-697-2533.

New Version of ALLDATA Manage 4.9 Enhances Electronic Parts Ordering With Additional Selection of Parts Suppliers

ciently manage their businesses and submit parts orders online directly through its shop management software.

ABRA Auto Body & Glass Announces New VP of Auto Glass Division

ABRA Auto Body & Glass, based in Minneapolis, announced that Jim Richardson has been named Vice President of ABRA Glass. Richardson will play an instrumental role in meeting growth objec-

tives in the auto glass division. Richardson was most recently employed with PPG Industries. During his tenure with PPG he served as Director of Sales, Director of Alliance Programs and Business Development


and most recently, Segment Manager in their Architectural Coatings Division where he was responsible for strategic planning, revenue contribution and resource utilization management.

“Jim will fill a key strategic position for ABRA. His depth of knowledge... and experience as a Six Sigma Black Belt will be a positive contribution,” said Scott Krohn, ABRA’s Executive Vice President of Operations.

This is a new story by Scott “Gonzo” Weaver as posted on his website, See his book “Hey Look! I Found The Loose Nut”, which provides a Good Laugh for Mechanics of Any Age. The book is available at Contact Gonzo at

Gonzo’s Toolbox

A Quick Diagnostic Can Seem too Good to be True with Gonzo Weaver

Before my father passed away we “regular” mechanic hadn’t found it so spent several years under the hood of quickly, or that the customer themcars working together at my shop. He selves didn’t find it so easily. It didn’t set well with them. was an old school repairRichard guy. Always with Arnold I got the impression that a quick looking out for the customer, and diagnosis led to some sort of mistrust wanting to do that little bit extra for them. You know, adjust that crooked with my abilities, or that I didn’t thorlicense plate, grease the door hinges oughly examine the problem to their before they pulled away from the satisfaction. A lot of times it had more to do with the previous technician shop, that kind of thing. taking so much time and not coming I usually didwith the diagnostic work, Ed Attanasio up with an answer, so they think it and he would stick with the mechancan’t be that simple. ical repairs. But most of the time his Dad had his own answer for it. favorite thing to do was to entertain the customer while I figured out the He was going to get one of those aluproblem. minum foil fire suits, a couple of tall The one thing that would give curtains on moveable stands, a disco with Schroeder ball, and some strobe lights. His idea him fits was the wayErica a customer would react after I diagnosed the was to pull the car into this “special” diagnostic area turn on the strobe problem, especially if I diagnosed it lights and hang the disco ball over the quickly. A quick diagnostic might be fine car. Stick the suit on and make some comment like, “I’m going in…” and for some people, but others it was more of a matter of pride that their then let the light show begin. After a

Jobber Journal

few minutes, come out from behind the curtain wall, whip off the aluminum fire suit hood and say something like, “Whoo that was a tough one.” Maybe then, these types of people would be more likely to believe the results of a quick diagnosis. We never tried it, but I think about doing it from time to time. With the advent of the scanners to read and show detailed parameters diagnosing has taken on a whole new approach. A lot of problems are a matter of following the diagnostic tree correctly to get to the source of the problem. (Codes don’t fix cars… codes are the starting point) Sometimes it’s a quick trip on the diagnostic ladder, and other times it’s quite lengthy. It really depends on the problem, of course. Trying to be quick and on the right track with every diagnosis is what makes the money in the shop.

Shop and Product Showcase Shop Showcase Shop Snapshot with Erica Schroeder

Stalling the results just for the sake of making it look like it was an extensive search to find the problem doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Then on the other hand, I sometimes believe this is one of the many reasons why a doctor has you wait so long for his 10 minutes of time. Even though he may have walked into the exam room, looked at the chart, took some quick looks at you, and back out of the exam room in less than 10 minutes, I’ll guarantee his bill isn’t going to show a 10 minute charge on it. But, in my business, time is money… and most customers are watching the clock. Back in the days when my father and I worked together, he came across an old Bosch injector tester for the early K and L injection systems. The old tester was done for. Not only was it dated, it had several missing conSee Quick Diagnostic, Page 21

Consumer Callout with Ed Attanasio

Custom Corner with Ed Attanasio

Company Connections with Chasidy Rae Sisk

Shop Strategies for Savings with Walter Danalevich

Inside Insurance with The Insurance Insider | APRIL 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 17

Hey Toby!

Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, Welding specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his charitable works, worthy causes, and magic tricks. He can be reached at

Make Sure Your Shop is Clear of these Glaring OSHA Violations with Toby Chess

Hey Toby—Is it true that the fine for using an illegal air blower is $5000 in California? —Jeff from San Francisco

and $436 for failing to stop at a stop sign—the list goes on. I have been taking a 40-hour on line OSHA course and I have been checking for OSHA violations in body shops as I conduct I-CAR training on site. What I have seen is unbelievable.

Hey Jeff—I checked with CAL OSHA and they confirmed that fine could be up $7000 forDavid using anMcClune illewith gal air blower. With the poor economic conditions that exist today in state finances, more and more regulatory agencies are now becoming revenue generators. Here in California, Governor Brown has stated that there will be no new taxes (unless approved by the electorate and that has about as much chance of happening as a snow ball fight in Hell.) On January 6th of this year, trafwith John Yoswick fic fines went way up. For example, using a hand-held cell phone while driving, first offense: $148. Parking in a handicap zone: $976 for first ofRespirators not in a secured bag when not in fense and $1876 for a second offense, use

California Autobody Association The typical blower in the body shop is a female and male air tool fitting

Ungrounded and damaged electrical cords

Year in Quotes

MS Senate Passes Auto Insurance Verification Bill

A bill designed to force compliance riod in the bill that begins July 1, with Mississippi mandatory insurance 2012. laws passed this month in the Senate, “That would enable the 2012 and was amongwith severalRichard proposals facLegislature to review what’s been Steffen ing a legislative deadline, according passed and see how far we’ve gotten to reports made by Insurance Jour- on this,” Clarke said during debate. nal. “The whole system could not begin The bill would allow the state working until July 1, 2013, if everyDepartment of Public Safety, the De- thing goes right.” partment of Revenue and the InsurA few changes were made to the ance Department to work on a new bill in the Senate, including the reprogram that would use computer moval of a provision for periodic, technology to verify liability insur- random checks to determine if moance coverage. torists are insured. The Senate also Under the bill, uninsured drivers tweaked language for an appeal could face various penalties, includ- process for alleged offenders. with John Yoswick ing a suspended driver’s license and Rep. Hank Zuber, a Republican a fine of up to $500. The bill also from Ocean Springs who handled the gives tax assessors and tax collectors bill in the House, said he didn’t see any the authority to deny vehicle license problems with the Senate changes. plates tags to motorists who aren’t in“I think the House can live with sured. those,” Zuber said. “There’s now the technology The bill gives the Department of that allows instant verification when Public Safety commissioner authority we can interface with insurance com- to set the fine, which could range panies,” said Senate Insurance Com- from $50 to $500. The fees would be mittee Chairman Eugene “Buck” used to pay costs associated with the Clarke, R-Hollandale. electronic database, which would be The measure, which moves back maintained by private contractors. Karyn Hendricks to the House forwith more work, survived Legislators said any money left March’s legislative deadline for floor over after costs would go into a state action on general bills and constitu- fund to help reduce the cost of license tional amendments that already plate tags. passed the opposite chamber. The bills are House Bill 620 and Clarke said there’s a testing pe- Senate Bill 2793.

Open solvent container for cleaning a spray gun

Grinders without a shield

See Hey Toby!, Page 20


Collision Repair Association of CA.

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PreFab Ads Introduces Three New TV Spots for Body Shops PreFab Ads recently completed three more humorous auto body TV commercials, bringing the total spots they now have available for licensing by independent shops to 15. In “Short Cut,” a young couple argues over the accuracy of their GPS moments before it directs them and their SUV over a cliff. From the dash of the smashed car, the GPS informs the unhurt but stunned couple that they have reached their destination. In “Young Picasso” a four-year old boy picks up a piece of metal in the driveway and etches his master artwork into the side of the family van with the family dog looking on. The boy then proudly shows off his artwork to his stunned mother as she exits the house. In “Modern Repair”—a fifteen second spot—whimsical, vintage-crash footage of Model Ts is contrasted with the quality repair of modern body shop. All spots ask, “Need a body shop?” followed with the logo of the sponsoring body shop. These new commercials have already made their debut in over 12 markets across the US, with more scheduled to start soon.

850 Battery Street • San Francisco, CA 94111 Ph: 415-391-5030

Writer/director Chuck Jessen, of Jessen Productions/San Francisco, created the PreFab Ads concept for body shops in the late 90s after making “Sledgehammer.” The spot shows a betrayed woman pounding a red Mustang convertible with a sledgehammer only to realize, when her husband drives up in an identical Mustang, that she is trashing the wrong car. “Sledgehammer” won several advertising awards and was featured on the “World’s Funniest” TV commercials program (see photo below). Jessen licensed “Sledgehammer” to hundreds of collision repair shops nationwide, giving birth to the PreFab Ads concept. According to Jessen, PreFab Ads allows local body shops to run a professional commercial, on an exclusive-by-territory basis, for a fee that is about 1/35th of the actual production cost. Jessen feels the combination of high production values and good American-style humor helps break through the media clutter and build interest and awareness for local body shops in a category people might otherwise be indifferent toward—at least, until they actually need collision repair. According to Ann Davis from J&J Auto Body in Pocatello, ID, they have just started running them but are already getting good response to both commercials. “The women especially love ‘Young Picasso.’ They think it’s cool.” Andy Peters at Peters Body Shop in Fort Wayne, IN, has been running PreFab Ads commercials for years and his community has developed an anticipation for the new ones, according to Peters. “We’re having a great response to the new commercials. People think they’re hilarious,” Peter’s said. Mark Lamendsdorf from Star Body Works in Medford, OR, echoed that feeling saying that they’ve had great response from both commercials.

To view the 15 commercials offered by PreFab Ads, and get more information, log on to | APRIL 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 19

Continued from Page 18

Hey Toby!

Exit door blocked and locked during business hours

Fire extinguisher access blocked by an object

No signage for fire extinguisher

Let’s take a look at some of the more

Ungrounded flammable storage containers and not spill containment equipment


Ungrounded flammable waste container and an open lid. Also there is not signage on the wall

This picture needs not description

No signage, missing electrical outlet cover and extension cord missing its ground Unlabeled bottles

See Hey Toby!, Page 23

NABC, and coop Assured Performance Network, reflects the heightened significance of the show to repairers in the region as well as the national orofficial show sponsor BASF, the the ganizations who chose to hold their show appeared well-attended and promeetings immediately prior or convided an active exhibitor hall along currently with the show. with some very informative presentaAlong with the latest in equiptions. ment and technology, Northeast™ 2011 offered a full slate of educational and training seminars on topics including waterborne paint application and drying, estimating, steering, risk management for collision & mechanical shops and technical BASF was the official sponsor of Northeast 2011 (l to r) Autobody certification courses News’ writer Chasidy Sisk (see her coverage of the event at, James Beck from BASF, and Autobody News from I-CAR in both Co-owner Barbara Davies Spanish and English. Jeff McDowell, AASP/NJ PresiOne of the most obvious endent, said prior to the show “Despite hancements this year was a well-coorthe economy, our attendance has been dinated social marketing campaign on the rise over the last two years,” which was the second year in which adding, “We are confident that trend AASP/NJ used social media to help will continue.” promote the show. “Last year, we got BASF’s sponsorship and the coa ton of positive feedback from exlocation of meetings of CIC, SCRS, hibitors and attendees who had heard Continued from Front Page

Northeast 2011

Crowne Plaza Meadowlands. Thursday, March 17, brought the Collision Industry Conference (CIC)’s quarterly meeting and reception to the Crowne Plaza leading up to the SCRS Annual Meeting and Board Elections on Friday morning. The East Coast Resolution Forum & Leadership Conference was held off later that day at Meadowlands and the Assured Performance Network hosted a member shop meeting later in the afternoon. “We are very excited and thrilled that industry leaders from around the country are coming to our NORTHEAST™ show and holding their meetings,” said McDowell. “Having the show at the Meadowlands has increased our The Metropolitan Car-O-Liner/Pro-Spot booth was always busy. exposure and influence (l to r): Mike Demarest, Dave Demarest., Dave Demarest, Jr. locally and nationally The weeklong schedule of naand I think this is a reflection of that.” tional automotive repair industry meetFor much more on Northeast ings,held for the first time during the 2011 log on to and show kicked off on Wednesday, March search ‘Northeast’. 16 with the Society of Collision Repair For more on this month’s CIC Specialists (SCRS)’s Board Meeting meeting see > and Awards Luncheon, held at the columnists > Yoswick. about the show either through Twitter, LinkedIn or our Facebook ‘Fan’ page,” said McDowell. “These social media tools definitely helped generate interest in the show last year, and I foresee the response to be even greater this year as we up our efforts.” AASP/NJ has also created a YouTube page (, where promotional videos before and after the show are posted.

Continued from Page 17

Quick Diagnostic

nectors and the information booklet didn’t come with it. I took it apart and rewired it as a large volt meter, with a lighted buzzer attached to a separate set of wires. We then rigged up a swinging arm mounted to the wall out of PVC pipe. The pipe contained the wires to the tester that we mounted on the wall. It was more for decoration than usable, but it was kinda cool in its own funky way. Anytime we got one of those “lookylews” (one of my dad’s favorite words), you know the type, the kind that has to hover over the hood while you’re working on it. Dad would motion to me to wire up the buzzer to the battery, and use it as a way to find the draw or short in the car. His job was to entertain, while I looked for the problem. Most of the time, I’d study the wiring diagrams, determine the most likely spot for the problem, and find the solution. As I would get close to the problem I would intentionally ground out the buzzer on the wall, and it would make a horrible noise.

Dad would make a comment to the customer as to what was going on. His old school charm was what made the difference. At times this whole thing would get quite humorous. I’d be lying under the dash zapping the buzzer and good old dad would be working his magic with his broad smile, and his quirky sense of humor. These days the electronic scanners have somewhat evened the playing field. To some degree the abilities of a good tech are now wrapped up in a good quality diagnostic machine. But it still takes a good tech to understand it, and evaluate the information he/she sees on the screen. I still try to diagnose things as fast and accurately as I can. I don’t have the old buzzer, or my dad’s inventive conversations with the customers to help me with the diagnostics. It’s a memory I’ll never forget. But, I’ll always keep in mind some of those lessons from my father… “Take your time son, you’re good… but they (the customer) don’t know how good you are… so you’ll have to prove it to them each and every time.” Old school wisdom is still important, and fatherly advice is some of the best. | APRIL 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 21

Continued from Front Page

Auto Tsunami

disruptions from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. ● Toyota Motor Corp. and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. slowed North American production to ration their parts. Toyota’s initial freeze in production has been extended until March 22. In an attempt to limit the financial losses that will come as a result of the production freeze, Toyota also announced its decision to resume the production of spare parts for vehicles already on the market beginning Thursday, March 17. ● Last week U.S. Customs directed all port operations to begin screening arriving Japanese sea and air cargo, including vehicles and auto parts, for radiation contamination. ● At Sonic Automotive Inc., the nation’s third-largest dealership group, Jeff Dyke, executive vice president of retail operations, said Sonic “is prepared to supplement our new-vehicle inventory with quality nearly new used vehicles should the manufacturing disruptions interrupt new vehicle inventory supplies longer than currently anticipated.” Automotive News Writer Lindsay Chappell reports that as Japan’s escalating disaster comes ashore in North America, automakers, suppliers and dealers are preparing for what could be unprecedented shortages of parts and vehicles. ● While Honda was the hardest hit of OEMs in Japan, more than 80% of Honda and Acura products sold in the U.S. are produced in North America, and the vast majority of automotive parts for Honda automobiles manu-

factured in North America are sourced in the region. ● Nissan Americas manufacturing operations plan to follow a normal production schedule for at least until Friday, March 25. The supply chain is being continuously assessed. Nissan said all North American manufacturing plants will continue to operate on schedule. It does not expect any shortterm impact on sales or availability of cars and trucks. In addition, the company has a 50 days’ supply of vehicle stock in North America or already in transit from Japanese ports. ● Autoliv Inc., the world’s biggest producer of car safety products like seatbelts and airbags, said production had been halted at one of its three Japanese plants, although all the plants were undamaged. Autoliv supplies Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda, and Mazda. ● Mazda Motor Corporation previously announced the suspension of production at its Hiroshima and Hofu plants from the night shift on March 14, until March 21. ● Mark Fields of Ford said the company was assessing production on a day-to-day basis. That it was GM—rather than one of the Japanese automakers, which depend on many parts from their home country—that succumbed first to the shortage shows how much the industry depends on far-flung suppliers. But Toyota and Honda have shut their plants in Japan until next week as they try to repair damaged facilities, assess the state of their suppliers and determine how to restart production safely. “The modern auto industry has never faced a natural or human calamity on the scale of today’s crisis in Japan,” Michael Robinet, the di-

CARSTAR Pres., Dan Bailey, to Return to Own Franchise

Dan Bailey has chosen to step down from his role as president of CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts, the company recently announced. After more than a decade with the company and an additional 23 years spent operating a family-owned chain of collision centers, Bailey plans to take a break before returning to run his own CARSTAR franchise. He will continue to serve on the Mitchell Advisory Board, the CCC Advisory Board, as a national judge for Skills USA-VICA, and as a CIC participant. No replacement is planned for Bailey’s position, which he will leave

in the coming months. Stacy Bartnik will assume full responsibility of franchise services. CARSTAR new hires will allow CEO Dick Cross to handle Bailey’s other duties. Those hires are Cecil Johnson, who will serve as franchise development executive, and Brad Rein, the new chief information officer. They will help guide a number of corporate improvements being made at CARSTAR, the company said. It has revamped its Business Group Program, restructured its franchise development process and plans to launch a new proprietary management system in its stores later this year.


rector of global production forecasts for the research firm IHS Automotive, wrote in a report. G.M. said its assembly plant in Shreveport, La., which makes a pair of compact pickup truck models, would be closed for at least a week, starting March 21. The company said it would resume operations there as soon as possible, but gave no estimated date for doing so. “Like all global automakers, we will continue to follow the events in Japan closely to determine the business impact, working across the organization to maximize flexibility, supply the most critical operations and effectively manage cost,” G.M. said in a statement. Production at Ford Motor has not been affected, but officials are still assessing the situation, Mark Fields, the president of Ford’s Americas division, said. “It’s literally an hour-by-hour, day-by-day type of thing that’s going to unfold,” he told reporters at an event to commemorate the start of production of the new Ford Focus compact car near Detroit. “We have to first understand what is the situation there,

and then we’ll determine the appropriate actions that we need to take.” So far, all auto plants in North America have stayed open despite the troubles in Japan, although Toyota and Subaru have canceled overtime shifts to slow production and avoid depleting part inventories. In Japan, most plants remain closed. Mitsubishi began bringing plants back up March 16, and two Nissan plants in Kyushu restarted operations on March 17, but Nissan was uncertain whether it could keep them running for more than a few days. Toyota has said its Japanese plants would remain closed through at least March 22. Each lost workday for the carmakers in Japan costs them a total of about 37,000 vehicles, Mr. Robinet said. He estimated a total loss of more than 285,000 vehicles, assuming most plants can be restarted within a week. Every automaker faces slightly different circumstances. At Volvo, for example, about 10 percent of the parts come from 33 Japanese suppliers, seven of which were in the catastrophe area, including one on the edge of the nuclear security zone.

Continued from Page 20

Hey Toby!

common violations in the body shop. The next series of pictures were taken at my friends shop about 2 years ago. He embarked on the lean process trail and the first thing that we did, was clean up the shop and make it OSHA compliant. It took about 2 weeks and the results of cleaning up in the shop has resulted in 20 percent decrease in cycle time in the first six months of implementing the lean process.

Unchained welding tank and no signage Refrigerator in paint department, ungrounded flammable storage drum, battery charger, new flammable products, no signage and unlabeled paint containers


There were parts stored in the 3 foot barrier that is needed around all electrical panels. Also the signage was missing



I have many more examples, but I think that you get the picture. The next issue of Autobody News will have a shop check list that will allow you to go through your shop and identify major potential OSHA problems.

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Industry Insight

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

Paint Complaint Does Not Have to Mean Unhappy Customer with John Yoswick

more. I might not have known that this woman left so unhappy with us. Because (our CSI provider) lets us know with Ed Attanasioright away about negative comments, “The paint on the repaired panels I was able to call this lady and let her does not match the rest of the car. The know that I would be getting this shop says it cannot be made to match. taken care of for her.” I find this impossible to believe.” It wasn’t an easy or inexpensive fix. The shop owner said he personally picked up These words, an actual comment the woman’s car and brought it to the written by a customer of a U.S. shop, are shop to be resprayed. “On paper, that job not exactly what you’d like to see on the was a money-loser, no doubt about it,” comment cards or customer satisfaction he says. “But that woman has actually indexing (CSI) reports you receive. referred at least two more jobs to us in That’s why it seemed surprising that the the couple of months since then. This is shop owner said he was actually pleased someone who left here unhappy, ready when his CSI provider faxed him a copy to show anyone who’d listen what a of the customer’s gripe. lousy job—at least in her mind—we had “Yeah, of course, I always dread done, but now she’s telling people how finding out that we blew it with a cusgreat we are.” tomer,” the shop owner, who asked This shop owner’s experience that his name not be used, admits. points out that addressing an unhappy “But on the other hand, I’m not there customer’s concerns effectively can be in the shop all day, every day, any- every bit as valuable as working to Strategies for preventing customer dissatisfaction—and dealing with it when it happens

Shop Showcase

avoid having unhappy customers in the first place. Studies show that if you address a customer’s concern quickly, that customer can become one of your most loyal—even more loyal than someone who left satisfied in the first place. Here are some general guidelines and tips for customer complaint resolution based on interviews with shop owners. Skip the excuses. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of trying to explain away problems (“The parts weren’t available,” “We didn’t know about that,” “Our technician missed that.”) An explanation later is fine, but it shouldn’t be the starting point. And the explanation should never sound defensive. “One of my estimators agreed to refund $100 to a customer, but he did it with such a lousy attitude the customer still left unhappy,” one shop owner said. “If you do something for

a customer, do it willingly even if you don’t think it’s owed. Don’t do it begrudgingly. Do it with a smile on your face and allow them to feel that you’re doing it because it’s the right thing you do. Either way, you’re out the $100 today, but if you do it right, you’ll keep their business long-term.” Start with empathy. While an apology is important, it’s critical that the customer also feels that you understand the position they are in. “I have my staff say something like, ‘Oh, thank you for letting us know about this,’” one shop owner said. “‘I’m sorry for the inconvenience this is causing, but let’s see how we can make this better for you.’” Decide on a solution. Make a suggestion for a solution and ask, “Fair enough?” Or ask the customer what he feels is fair. In any case, make sure employees have the power to make a deSee Paint Complaint, Page 26

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Shop Strategies for Savings

Walter Danalevich, AAM, has been the owner of Santa Barbara Auto Refinishing since 1979. Contact him at:

Business Liability Insurance: Remember to Review Your Policy! with Walter Danalevich

This month, let’s take a look at Busi- expiration date, a large brown enveness Liability Insurance needs for op- lope arrived via special delivery at erating a professional body shop with our office. On opening the envelope the goal of adding profitThe to your bot- I discovered with Insurance Insidera binder containing our tom line. business insurance policy docuOur auto body shop in Santa Barments pertaining to the next policy bara, California, after several years of term. patronage to a well-known insurance My first thoughts after opening company, recently changed our busithe envelope were skeptical. In years ness liability insurance provider to anpast we never received a renewal polother major player. before discussing our renewal inwith Chasidy Rae icy Sisk The results were a saving of tentions with the assigned insurance about 33% from the previous year agent. with similar coverage. Like most of I came to the conclusion that us, I am guilty of getting too busy dursomeone from our insurance company ing the day-to-day operation of our appears to have placed us on an “Aubusiness to review our insurance poliwith Chasidy Rae tomatic Sisk Renewal Mode.” cies and their costs. A few days later I initiated shopWhat motivated me to review my ping for other insurance quotes. My policy and getting new insurance preference was to speak to an auto quotes was an act of “overeagerness” body shop liability specialist instead from my insurance company to renew of shopping for quotes online, withmy policy. out really understanding what is covA few weeks before our policy ered.

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Soon afterwards, I scheduled an appointment at our shop with a business insurance liability specialist. Within 24 hours I was presented an insurance quote which was approximately 33% less than my long time insurance Company. I made note of the annual savings and felt some bitterness as a result of accepting the long-time insurer for so many years. Based on my business insurance shopping experience I highly recommend reviewing your insurance policy at least 60 days before the renewal date. With some preplanning and research you should have sufficient time to choose the best value for your specific insurance coverage needs. All it takes is allowing some time to acquire comparative insurance quotes instead of proceeding with the habitual “automatic renewal”. The following policy options can be used as a preliminary aide to help you understand your business liability insurance. At a minimum, your business should have the following protection;

* Business property insurance: Protects your business by funding repair or replacement of damaged physical assets. * Building coverage: Protects your business against financial losses resulting from claims of injury or property damage caused by you or your employees from your products and services.

* Workers Comp Insurance: Protects you and your employees to satisfy medical needs in the event of an accident or injury.

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* Business Auto Liability Insurance: Protects you from liability created as a result of damaged incurred to another party’s vehicle and bodily injury.

* Business Crime Insurance: Protects your business from fraud, theft, forgery or robbery. Optional Insurance

* Business interruption coverage: Allows you to continue to receive income while your Auto Body shop contents are being repaired or replaced.

* Employment Practices Liability: Protects you from employment related offenses against you. * Umbrella liability: Adds additional coverage over and above your primary policy.

* Machinery and equipment breakdown: Covers loss of Business income resulting from equipment damage.

Remember, there is no such thing as a one-size fits all business insurance coverage. I highly recommend you steer away from the “automatic renewal” mode and discuss your shop’s insurance repair needs with an experienced insurance specialist who is knowledgeable in understanding and explaining the variety of available auto body shop insurance coverages. Remember, your business has specific needs which may change over time. As a result of reviewing your policy with an auto body shop insurance liability specialist annually, it will provide you peace of mind about your insurance coverage and will continue to fully protect your and your family’s assets. The choice is yours, either preplan your shopping several weeks in advance of your renewal date or go with the status quo and see where your business liability insurance journey takes you!

Give us your opinion on matters affecting the industry.

write us! | APRIL 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 25

Continued from Page 24

Paint Complaint

cision quickly. One study found that 95 percent of complaining customers will return if their complaint is resolved on the spot, but this percentage plummets if the customer has to wait or jump through any hoops. Assure them you’re changing. Let them know that not only will their problem be fixed, but that you are taking action to see that similar situations don’t occur in the future. “Customers like thinking they’ve helped you and future customers,” one shop manager said. Go beyond resolution. Create a “story” for the customer to tell by fixing the problem in a memorable way. Make another concession they were not expecting. Give or do something extra. The cost of giving something away is usually much less than the cost of losing a customer’s future business and the business of all those he tells his story to. One shop with three locations in Illinois actually has a budget line in its annual expenses fund that office staff

can use “to soothe things over with customers.” A customer who brings a car back because of a problem may receive a couple of movie passes or a coffee shop gift certificate they can use at the near-by mall if the shop will need the car for an hour or more. “If we’ve really blown it, we’ll send them a restaurant gift certificate, particularly if it’s a repeat customer or one referred to us,” the shop owner said. It’s important, too, to look for trends in the complaints your shop receives in order to make longer-term adjustments and corrections. Getting to the root cause of problems isn’t always easy. One technique that can help you get to the root of a problem is the “five why’s;” you often have to ask “why” at least five times to get to the root of a failure. Here’s an example: Why was Mrs. Jones not satisfied with our service? Because her car wasn’t ready until a day later than we promised. Why was her car delivered a day late? Because we were waiting for a part. Why wasn’t the part here? It didn’t get ordered until the car was ready to go.

Why didn’t it get ordered sooner? Because we didn’t know until then that we actually had the wrong part. Why didn’t we know we had the wrong one? Because the technician didn’t check it when it arrived.

After five whys, you usually begin to see what needs to be fixed. This can be time-consuming, but CSI can help you spot trends, allowing you to focus your attention on the areas that seem to account for the most complaints.

12 principles for solving customer complaints

1. Apologize. Let them know that you’re sorry they’re unhappy. 2. Remain positive. Don’t argue with them or sound defensive. 3. Empathize with them. Let them know you understand how they feel. 4. Listen. Don’t interrupt. Give them a chance to tell you everything. 5. Ask questions. Confirm that you have a full understanding of their needs. 6. Be an ambassador for your company. Let them know that you will personally handle this situation. 7. Don’t blame others or pass the buck. Admit that you (or the company) was wrong. Don’t dwell on causes or excuses. 8. Respond immediately. Do whatever you can do to get the problem fixed as quickly as possible. Delays work against you. 9. Try to establish or maintain some rapport with the customer. 10. Use humor when possible. Making people laugh puts them at ease. 11. Agree on a solution. Make sure it is acceptable to them. 12. Follow through. Make sure things get done how and when you said they would.

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Action Counts

Lee Amaradio, Jr. is the president and owner of “Faith” Quality Auto Body Inc. in Murrieta, California. Lee is president of the CRA as well as an advocate for many other industry groups. He can be contacted at

Underqualified Repairers Hurt the Whole Industry with Lee Amaradio Jr.

Action Counts

As the financial pressure mounts with the that is doing a proper repair look like U.S. recession going on three years now, a bunch of pompous overcharging the collision industry is rapidly bewith Leefalling Amaradio Jr. donnas. The fact is that it costs prima hind the technology curve. Many shops more to repair a collision properly are unable to afford the training and new than to do a proforma job and in equipment required to repair today’s modern vehicles. today’s marketplace it is also less

profitable to do it right. Although the Insurers are accutely aware of the fact overall ticket average may be higher that there are fewer fewer shops withandSheila Loftusthe bottom line profit remains lower. able and ready to repair many of The entire collision industry is today’s high tech vehicles. The old struggling because we have allowed methods of repair will no longer work ourselves to become “yes men” and but the responsibility to educate the throughout this recession things have insurers lies with the collision repaironly gotten worse. How can anyone ers themselves. But how can a shop agree to repair a vehicle the new techwithand Sheila Loftusnical details of which they know little that is well-educated well-trained compete in a marketplace where the or nothing about? Yet many shops are status quo is so far behind the times? doing this every day. We’re implicitly teaching insurers that The inexperienced adjuster says it’s still OK to ‘repair’ vehicles the you do it this way and shops say ‘yes,’ way we always have because to do so some to eliminate any repercussions costs less. and others because they think it’s OK. with Janet Chaney When we are forced to prove this It is never OK to put a used welded point over and over, it makes the shop frame rail on vehicle but I am forced

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to argue this point weekly. Because the wrecking yard has clips available does not mean we should be using them. So why do we find it necessary to have the same argument over and over almost weekly? The reason is because of undertrained, underequipped body shops. Adjusters are not our problem; insurance companies are not the problem—underqualified shops are the problem. Eliminate the underqualified, undertrained shops and you will eliminate the problem. Why? Because training raises the standards bar for everyone. When the inexperienced adjuster comes in to a well-trained shop and then goes on to the next one, he or she is hearing the same thing everywhere (s)he goes and he or she begins to learn something, the supervisors begin to learn something, and the argument of repairing the vehicle correctly goes away. I believe there are many roads that lead to the same destination but with collision repair we first need to define our destination before we begin our journey. If our destination is to control costs (at all cost) we arrive someplace different than where a safe structural repair should lead. If our destination is a safe repair that restores the integrity of the vehicle’s standards then cost alone cannot be the guidance system to get us there. I believe that the only consistent credible way to restore the vehicle’s safety after a collision is to rely on what the OEM’s have tested and proven to be deemed reliable meth-

ods. Anything differing from the restoration of the vehicle’s structural integrity is the wrong road to follow. Everybody needs to use the same map to arrive at the correct destination with a collision repair. So where does this leave the shops that may be willing to do the repair correctly but lack the knowledge or equipment to do so? It leaves you on the sidelines of the collision industry until you gain the credentials required to repair today’s modern vehicles. Would you head out on a cross-country trip without knowing where you were going or with out knowing your destination? Certainly Not. So it’s time to step up and check your destination or you will find yourselves lost in the wilderness without a map or compass with no way of ever getting back. This may sound harsh but 50% of the shops will not make the cut. Insurers are becoming more and more conscious of the liability involved if the vehicle is not repaired properly and they are naturally gravitating to the shops that are trained and equipped properly. There are plenty of resources available for shops interested in making the cut. VeriFacts, I-CAR, ASE, OEM programs, and ALLDATA for OEM specs come to mind. Join these groups in raising the bar, and pass the education you get from them along to your customers, insurance adjusters, and your fellow shop owners. Support the industry, protect your customers, and don’t get left behind.

Property Taxes on Some Alabama Vehicles Rise Some Alabama motorists renewing their license plates are finding they are paying more property tax than a year ago because some models are appreciating in value rather than depreciating, according to reports made by the Associated Press. The director of the state Revenue Department's Property Tax Division, Bill Bass, says historically car valuations have declined each year, but the demand for some types of used vehicles has caused their prices to increase.

He said it's mostly bigger vehicles, including pickups and SUVs. The valuation of vehicles for taxes is determined by Penton Publishing, which produces the Automobile Red Book. Bass says the Revenue Department has been using the company's vehicle values for more than a decade. CHECK IT OUT! | APRIL 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 27

The Insider is a corporate-level executive with a Top 10 auto insurer in the U.S.. Got a comment or question you’d like to see him address in a future column? Email him at

Inside Insurance

DRPs and Fear—Hope for a Reduction in the Number of Shops with The Insurance Insider

-repairer, insurer and vehicle owner-- dustry has assumed some control over a Let’s start with a simple question: to benefit. portion of the body shop industry. The What does “DRP” really stand for? control was attained Conventional wisdom says that with Chasidy Rae Sisk because shops al“direct repair program” is the correct lowing it to happen, answer. While that is the literal meanand because of the ing of the acronym, the non-official ever-evolving martranslation could easily be, “Don’t reketplace. That marmove, please.” I can assure you from ketplace has seen a many years of experience in the insurdrop in claims, douance industry that thisChasidy is more true with Rae Sisk ble-digit total loss than most people care to acknowledge. percentages, cusMany body shops have lost contomers cashing out, trol of their business. As a result, $1,000 deductibles many of those shops spend a lot of Original BMW Parts North County BMW on the rise, and time hoping, begging and pleading that they aren’t removed from their damaged vehicles being shipped overDRP lifelines. (800) 564-8222 seas faster than they When the insurance company can be rolled off an says, “Jump,” the shop shouts, “How Original BMW Parts North County BMW assembly line in a high, how many times and should I Detroit manufacturgive you a discount for allowing me ing plant. to jump?” Before anyone shouts “Amen,” This isn’t conducive to a are different ways of losing con-(800) 564-8222 The end result is a drop in the number of repairable vehicles, leaving place that allows all the stakeholderstrol. Yes, it is true that the insurance in-

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You only get one chance at the first repair.

See DRPs and Fear, Page 31

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many of the 35,000+ repairers in the United States in search of work. In other words, low demand and high supply equals shops desperate for business. Even though I am referring here to the U.S., international shops have experienced very similar problems. Australia and the United Kingdom come to mind. In fact, in the U.K., the low supply caused a large percentage of shops to go out of business. Although neither industry would openly admit it, many insurers and repairers have been anxiously awaiting a mass reduction in the number of shops for varied reasons. High-quality, ethical body shops want the bottom-feeders to go out of business. The bottom-feeders invest very little in their businesses – yet they are (unfairly) treated the same as the Tier 1 shop. In most cases, the Tier 1 shop and bottom-feeder have the exact

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Custom Corner with Rich Evans

Rich Evans is the owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks and an award winning painter and fabricator. He offers workshops in repair and customization at his facility to share his unique talents. For contacts and design samples visit

Remaking a 1941 Chevy Deluxe Back-End with an English Wheel glass one but this customer wants metal. You know some customers are different, some will play off the fiber glass. Sometimes you can look for used deck lids and I put my feelers out there and I could not find any used deck lids for this ‘41 Chevy. The problem is the ‘41 Chevy is the only year

The best way to start this process is to take the deck lid off and strip it all the way down to metal, so there’s maybe 65–70 years worth of body work, bondo, paint, etc. I strip all the metal off inside and outside. From that point we’re going to depick the skin from the frame and there’s special tools out there

that those deck lids would fit, espeOpinions Count cially for the sedans. From ‘42 to ‘48

for that. You can find them through Eastwood and different speciality companies like VIMTools. These guys carry specialty equipment where you can go back and pull things apart without damaging them too badly. Next I drilled the spot welds out then depicked it with a depick tool to roll that edge back out. I take my time on this. I don’t try to get into it too hard because these panels are 70 years old and they’re going to be brittle and have rust in them. If you’re too rough you’re going to have to go back and repair them. The process I used takes a little bit of time so you’ve got to be patient with it. After removing the skin from the frame, I hammer it out roughly with a hammer and dolly. Use a sand bag if you need to. Try not to stretch the metal too much. Just try to rough it into its shape because metal does have memory. I used a selection of Martin Hammer tools and dollys. If you guys aren’t familiar with Martin Hammers go to their site at They’ve been around for years and even have books that tell you how to hammer and dolly and show you different techniques. They have a variety of hammers, a variety of dollys, spoons, you name it—they have it. Their tools will help you to get through a process like this. I’m going to start with the frame, and hammer it out to get it as close as I can. Then I’m going to take it back to the vehicle, bolt it on, and make sure I’ve got that frame fit as best as it can. I’ll make my adjustments as

This month is a current project I’m working on which is a 1941 Chevrolet Deluxe STD two-door sedan. This is for some of you fabricators out there and other body men who know that sometimes you can’t just replace parts or parts aren’t available. This 1941 Chevy was rear-ended and the impact

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damaged the deck lid, the left quarter panel, the bumper filler and the floor. So I’m having to repairDick this deck lid with Strom because there aren’t any deck lids available, or at least any metal deck lids. Chevys of the ‘40s offer a fiber

they’re all interchangeable. So that narrows the options a lot .We’ve got a vehicle that doesn’t offer this deck lid as a match for any other year.

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needed. Then get the latch on it now to make sure it latches, because then I can see everything without having to skin everything. I spend a little bit of time reinforcing, welding, and repairing which will pay off in the end. After that’s completed I drill two 1/8th-inch holes in the left and right hinge so I know that this structure will go back exactly where it needs to go. I don’t want to spend a half-hour to maybe 2 hours trying to adjust it and get it back where it was. Now to reinstall it I insert two 1/8th inch dowel pins in there, put your 3 bolts on each side, tighten them, and you’re right back where you were. I call it a mock up. I’m back on to the skin now. I’ll hammer and dolly it, slapstick it a little bit, get it as close as I can. I’m going to go use the English Wheel to try to even out the metal. You want to do this as a slow process because you don’t want to stretch the metal, you just want to get it back to where it was. You want to make sure all your high and low damage spots are mostly gone. Start working from one end to the other with the English Wheel, roll it, tighten it a little bit, go back through the same process again, roll it some more, make sure you’re not putting too much pressure on. All you want to do is just even it out, and the panel should take its shape back. You want to use the flat side of the English Wheel, the flattest wheel you can get, the ones without any radiuses on them. A slight radius basically. So it’s a back and forth motion, the more you use the English Wheel the more you’ll get comfortable with it. Just another tool. Woodward is a sponsor of mine, so check out They have affordable tools from hammers to English Wheels to shears. All their stuff is affordable. They have 36inch throats or 24-inch throats on the English Wheel. You can make that work until you start stepping it up and doing bigger panels like roofs and bigger fenders on bigger cars. You can then upgrade to something else. After I’ve spent about an hour and a half using the English Wheel, I’ll pull the skin out, lay it on the structure that’s bolted to the car. This way it’s easier for me to see how it’s | APRIL 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 29

going to fit. Then I clamp it up, but not too much pressure with the clamp because too much pressure will bow the structure and it could twist on you. When it’s sitting right without too much pressure on the clamps you can remove it from the car and set it up. The next step is like putting on a regular door skin. We’re going to roll it back. Some pieces break off on the edges just because it’s been brittle so

don’t have a lot of build up as long as you get your settings right. I don’t weld it in place because I might have to shift the skin around a little bit. I reattach the deck lid to the hinges, set it down, check the gaps to get them right, and do whatever alignments I have to do to massage the skin connected to the frame. Then I put the latch in to make sure the handle fits. The handle has an alignment part

start filing at that point. I’m thinking now how far I want to take it and remember, we all need to make sure we get paid for our time. I’ll put a skim coat of Bondo™ on it, shape it, and try to keep that Bondo™ under an 1/8th inch. Going for 1/16th inch would be better, 1/8th inch at the max. Spend a little more time, use a uni-spotter, nail gun, pull out those lows, if you have to heat a

save those smaller pieces. I found some cracks where I need to roll it. I do the next step with a TIG welder. Some people use a torch. I don’t have a flame, but I TIG those areas where it allows me to roll that edge over to the frame. Then I can take the pieces that broke off, clamp them there and TIG them back on. Then hammer and dolly the welds flat. With a TIG welder you

where it has to go through a hole, so I make sure that’s centered and shut. Then I can massage it a little more with the hammer to get it closer to fitting perfect. Now I go outside of the deck lid and find the low and high spots, mark them out and work from there. I can pull some of the low spots out, even out your high spots and then you can

little bit, then heat it and shrink it, keep that metal tight. I may have to split some panels if some work has been done before on the back. Not a surprise. This car’s been around for awhile. I can split the panels, get the gap a little better. Mock up is key, before you even start shaping. Once I have the gaps I’m pretty much home home free.

Then it’s left to primer block, mask and blast, you’re ready to go. So those are a few little tips for the process I use. Metal finishing versus taking the easy route and just putting a fiberglass deck lid on. Take some time. Learn and work the metal. It’s all about seat time, that’s how you’re just going to better yourself. My daily focus is to get up every morning and learn something new and try to better myself, it’s all I can do. That’s basically how I run my day in a nutshell. You have to love what you do, and I love what I do. Anyone else working on these ‘40s might want to look up a company called Chevs of the 40s. They’ve got at least an inch thick catalog. Visit them at They’ll give you a free catalog. They’ve got parts that I wouldn’t have even known they had. Often I’ll come across a project where I have to reach out and spend a little time on the computer. Check with friends and find out where they’re getting parts or if they’ve worked on these types of cars. I even went to Gene Winfield to see if he had any contacts on digging up a deck lid and all the way back to South Dakota to where



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my brother lives to see if he knew about any deck lids. I must have spent about two days searching for a deck lid and with those two days I have pretty much knocked out this deck lid. I’ve got about 19 hours into the whole process and, again, I want everyone to make sure they get paid for that. If it’s an insurance job, make sure you get paid for metal time, for fabrication time, all of the above because it is a

learned skill and it does take time as well as taking us away from other projects. Cross your T’s dot your i’s, be smart about it, have fun with it. At the end of this build, we’re going to add a little two-tone, put the color back on it while it has its down time. The owner wanted to do a few alterations and that’s what make it fun. With this project I also found a lot of

problems, the striker used house screws to hold it on, the lower bumper filler had about 50 self-tapping screws. I welded all the holes and put nut inserts on and marked them out evenly. It just makes for a cleaner job. You’re not getting paid for this, but you’re practicing to get better, and that’s what we should all do every day. When I see something wrong, I just take the time and fix it. Do what it takes to make the job better than when it came in and fix other people’s problems that they overlooked. That makes you a better tech and keep on going guys. Better yourselves. Check out my new show Car Warriors on SPEED, 6pm PST and 9pm PST every Wednesday night. It’s the hottest car build competition show that’s ever hit the airwaves. If you’ve never thought about what you can do in 72 hours, this show will show you what can be done in 72 hours. Trust me, what can be done will blow your mind. Got to my fanpage on Facebook, Rich Evans Designs, become a fan and you’ll be able to stay up to date with everything I’m doing and the projects I’m working on day in and day out. Talk to you guys next month.


Continued from Page 28

DRPs and Fear

same labor rate in a given direct repair program. How is that fair or good for business? Insurers need to find a way to differentiate the high quality shop from the bad. That is one reason why insurers like the idea of a shrinking number of body shops. There are so many shops that they have a hard time identifying the high quality shops. In addition, a reduced number of shops would better assist them in controlling the customer’s experience and repair. There are many shops around the country that have resisted the DRP security blanket and have remained autonomous. This doesn’t make the autonomous shop any better or worse than the DRP shop. It’s simply a different way of doing business. It’s okay to be different. In fact, in this world we celebrate and promote diversity. And, at least in the United States, if you don’t promote and encourage diversity, you can quickly find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit for being discriminatory.

DRPs play a vital role in the industry whether you care to believe it or not. They promote competition, can reduce cost (which ultimately benefits the consumer) and can positively impact the customer’s experience. Don’t be hypocritical by questioning my opinion if you are one of the many enrolled in a DRP-type health care program. If you are currently enrolled in an HMO or PPO program, please don’t send me any hate email on how stupid I am. In the immortal words of Forest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.” While I was joking about “Don’t remove, please,” the fact is many shops do operate in total fear. Fear that at any given moment they could lose a significant amount of their business and revenue. While this may not be fair, shops that heavily rely upon DRPs benefit the most from these relationships. In the end, it is a decision made on an individual level as to what is best for that business. Just be careful that the oxygen that the direct repair program is providing your shop isn’t your only source of air. Otherwise, you risk having the plug pulled when you expect it the least.


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Autobody News April 2011 Southeast Edition  
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Autobody News April 2011 Southeast Edition