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AUTOBODY AL / FL / GA / MS / NC / SC / TN / VA / WV
Market Tsunami Sweeps Over Collision Industry by Autobody News staff
The last month’s all-but-unprecedented plunge in market conﬁdence has prompted the Federal administration to request $850B in support for the economy including $50B for the airline industry and $250B for small business loans. The macro impact to the economy of all the closures is being played out in business pressure on companies large and small. As of March 17, the virus has infected more than 5,145 and killed at least 91 Americans, according to
data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Globally, the virus has infected more than 189,386 people and killed at least 7,504. Given the slow ramp up of testing in the U.S. the numbers are likely far higher domestically. It’s likely that any public event involving more than 50 people scheduled for this spring is canceled or postponed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now urging a nationwide halt to gatherings of more than 10 people for See Market Tsunami , Page 20
Due to the recent cancelations and postponements of events, please check for up to date information on any meetings discussed herein. For updates on all meetings see www.autobodynews.com
U.S. Lawmakers, Trial Lawyers Clash Over Self-Driving Vehicle Rules by Keith Laing, The Detroit News
Lawmakers in the U.S. House on Feb. 11 took to task a trial lawyers’ lobby group that helped kill a bill setting regulations for self-driving cars. The Washington-based American Association for Justice, which lobbies for trial lawyers who typically represent plaintiﬀs, had objected to a lack of concrete protections that would ensure the right to sue an automaker if someone is hurt or killed in a self-driving vehicle.
The 2018 Senate bill had been championed by Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomﬁeld Township. A similar measure was approved unanimously by the House in 2017, but lawmakers had to start over when the new Congress began in 2019. Speaking during a hearing of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on Feb. 11, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-OR, placed blame for the roadblock mostly on trial lawyers, who typically align
AUTOBODYNEWS.COM Vol. 11 / Issue 2 / April 2020
Auto Body Parts Association Denied By Supreme Court in Ford Parts Patent Fight by Matthew Bultman, Bloomberg Law
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider an automotive trade group’s challenge to design patents covering parts for Ford Motor Co.’s F-150 pickup truck. The high court’s denial of the Automotive Body Parts Association’s appeal leaves in place a decision that rejected the ABPA’s attempt to block Ford from enforcing patents on headlamp and hood designs against the group’s members. Replacement parts distributors and insurance companies for years
pushed for legislation that would cut the amount of time automakers could enforce design patents against collision repair parts makers.
The ABPA, a trade association representing companies that sell vehicle replacement parts, was among those that backed the legislation, See Ford Parts Patent Fight, Page 24
2020 NADA Expo Brought 23,000 to Las Vegas by Ed Attanasio
The jam-packed aisles at the Las Vegas Convention Center were ﬁlled with 23,000 attendees, dealers and suppliers from across the globe at the 2020 National Automobile Dealer Association (NADA) Convention & Expo in Las Vegas, Feb. 14 through Feb. 17.
See Self-Driving Vehicle Rules, Page 24
PERMIT #288 ANAHEIM, CA
Change Service Requested P.O. BOX 1516, CARLSBAD, CA 92018
PRESORTED STANDARD U.S. POSTAGE Southeast_Issue_0420.indd 1
UpdatePromise was in full force at NADA 2020. Pictured, back row, (l to r) Adam Guizado, Stephen McCallum, Krista Lucchino, Chief Operation Officer Richard Pannazzo, President and CEO Curtis Nixon, Tyler Holman, Brandon Nixon and Taylor Su. (Front row, l to r) TJ Huntington and Chad Genco. Credit: Update Promise
The annual NADA Show brought the entire industry together for the world’s largest automotive retail conference and expo, including companies that make products and equipment for the collision repair industry. Thousands of dealers and managers, OEM executives, allied industry, international guests and collision repair professionals connected with their peers and learned about the industry’s innovations. Over the course of four days, attendees were able to visit 500-plus exhibitors, more than 60 workshops, dealer franchise meetings and a lengthy list of keynote speakers at NADA 2020. 2020 NADA Chairman Rhett Ricart said times are good for the nearly 17,000 dealerships in the U.S., but there is still much work to do. “NADA has never been in a more ﬁscally ﬁt position,” he said. “We want to make sure we can leverage that for advocacy as well as we want to get deeper and better education and tools for all the dealers.” Collision-related companies such See 2020 NADA Expo, Page 22
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2 APRIL 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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CONTENTS AAAS Kicks Off 2020 Capitol Days in GA and FL��14 Auction Community in Nashville Assesses Impact After Tornadoes�����������������������������������8 Autoshop Solutions Invites IGONC Triangle Chapter for Marketing Presentation���������������18 Body Shop Owner Action 9’s Been Covering
Transportation�����������������������������������������������46 Sisk - Driving the Future at WIN’s 2020 Educational Conference, Now Postponed��������30 Sisk - Mike Anderson Discusses “Utilizing Technology to Thrive and Not Just Survive in 2020” during February CIECAst�����������������40 Yoswick - Long-time Industry Lobbyist Offers
for Years Banned, Ordered to Pay
Perspectives on Government’s Role in
Florida Among Top States for Auto Glass Claims��16 Knoxville I-CAR Committee Gathers to Plan for 2020 Golf Tournament�����������������������������14 MCHS Automotive Shop Approved as Official
NATIONAL 2020 NADA Expo Brings 23,000 to Las Vegas�����1 ABPA Denied By Supreme Court in Ford
WV Vehicle Inspection Station������������������������12
Parts Patent Fight�������������������������������������������1
Mississippi: Pearl River Flood Coverage������������12
Auto Glass Industry Faces Calibration Issues�����51
Registration Open for Carolinas Collision
Automating Claims for Drivers & Insurers����������48
Association’s Second Annual Conference��������6
CARSTAR Network is Giving Away Free Repairs��54
SCRS Offers Free 401(k) Plan Analysis to
CIECA Hiring Technical Project Coordinator��������52
Collision Repair Industry Businesses
DCR Systems Team Creates Fastener Solution��16
Through Virginia Asset Management�������������10
Fatal Tesla Model X Crash: Driver was
Tornado Impacts Carlex Auto Glass Plant�������������6 VAA Offers Educational and Networking Opportunities for Collision and Automotive Professionals������������������������������16 Virginia Bureau of Insurance to Accept Shop Complaints�������������������������������������������23 WV Dealership Starts Scholarship in Honor of Retiring Auto Body Worker������������������������13
Playing Video Game����������������������������������������4 General Motors’ $20 Billion EV Plan Starts by
Anderson - Performing All OEM Safety Inspections is Critical—but OEMs Can Help Us Too��������������������������������������������44 Antonelli - Techs of Tomorrow: 16-Year-Old Texas Student Views Collision Repair as Art Form���32 Ledoux - ADAS for Off-Roaders�������������������������34 Phillips - SCRS Executive Director Shares Free Resources Available for Collision Repairers���38 Phillips - Uber for Business Offers Collision Shops Alternative for Customer
Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk, David Luehr, Stacey Phillips, Victoria Antonelli, Gary Ledoux Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Bill Doyle, Norman Morano, Andrew Staicer (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bill Pierce Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Abby Andrews Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Editorial/Sales Assistant: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray
warding customers for their safe driving. Ford Insure and Lincoln Motor Company Insure, powered by Nationwide, now offer a simple and convenient way to secure usage-based insurance coverage through Ford Motor Credit Company’s licensed insurance agency. Drivers of all three makes can be eligible for up to a 40% discount on their insurance.
Serving Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2020 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516 Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com email@example.com
Athens Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram������������������ 25
Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers�27, 28-29
Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 45
Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������� 50
AutoNation Ford-Lincoln��������������������������������� 31
IGO Insurance Agency, Inc��������������������������������� 6
Axalta Coating Systems������������������������������������ 2
Innovative Tools & Technologies���������������������� 35
BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers������������������������ 51
Jim Cogdill Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram����������� 12
Braman Honda Miami������������������������������������� 13
John Heister Automotive��������������������������������� 26
Braman Honda of Palm Beach������������������������� 13
Kia Motors America, Inc������������������������������������ 5
Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������� 49
Abandoning Trump’s Emissions Rollback�������53
Certified Automotive Parts Association������������ 16
LKQ Corporation��������������������������������������������� 55
GM Reveals New Ultium Batteries for EVs���������18
Charlotte’s Premier Wholesale Parts Source������ 9
Matrix Automotive Finishes����������������������������� 19
Insurers Win Again—Mostly—in Antitrust
City Kia of Greater Orlando������������������������������ 32
Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers�������� 51
MINI of Charleston������������������������������������������ 14
Coggin Deland Honda������������������������������������� 39
MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 51
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet���������������������������� 34
Montipower Americas, Inc.������������������������������ 23
Eagle Abrasives, Inc���������������������������������������� 17
MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers��������������������� 33
ECS Automotive Concepts������������������������������� 18
NOROO Paint & Coatings.�������������������������������� 56
Equalizer Industries, Inc.��������������������������������� 20
PPG Refinish��������������������������������������������������� 11
Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 50
Precision Body & Paint�������������������������������������� 8
GM Wholesale Parts Dealers��������������������������� 47
Radley Chevrolet��������������������������������������������� 46
Grieco Ford of Fort Lauderdlae������������������������ 38
Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Naples���������������������� 32
Gus Machado Ford������������������������������������������ 43
Riverside Ford-Lincoln������������������������������������ 36
Haldon Company�������������������������������������������� 15
SATA Dan-Am Company���������������������������������� 21
Hendrick Automotive Group����������������������������� 37
Southside Kia�������������������������������������������������� 42
Hendrick BMW/MINI������������������������������������������ 7
Spanesi Americas������������������������������������������� 22
Hendrick Honda Pompano Beach�������������������� 40
Steck Manufacturing Company����������������������� 24
Hendrick Kia Cary������������������������������������������� 30
Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������������� 53
Hendrick Kia Concord������������������������������������� 30
Tameron Hyundai�������������������������������������������� 44
Hendrick Volvo Cars of Charleston������������������� 14
Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������� 48
Lawsuits Filed by Body Shops�����������������������47 Market Tsunami Sweeps Over Collision Industry���1 Most Specialty Parts Sold by Independent Retailers���������������������������������������������������������8
Nationwide, along with Toyota, Ford and Lincoln, announced partnerships to offer customers insurance options at a potential large discount, based on data collected by their connected vehicles about their driving habits. Nationwide and Toyota Insurance Management Solutions (TIMS) have teamed up to launch TIMS BrightDrive, simplifying the purchasing process while re-
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
Nationwide, Automakers to Offer Potential Discounts
Nationwide, Automakers to Offer Potential Discounts�������������������������������������������������������3 Tesla Model Y Delivery Emails are Being Sent to Customers������������������������������������������4 Toyota Fuel Pump Recall Expanded to Nearly 2 Million Vehicles�������������������������������52 Tractable Secures $25M in Funding, CEO Shares Grand Vision for Collision Repair Industry������50 U.S. Lawmakers, Trial Lawyers Clash Over Self-Driving Vehicle Rules�������������������������������1
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Fatal Tesla Model X Crash Report: Driver was Playing Video Game by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com
A deadly 2018 Tesla Model X crash in the area of U.S. 101 and State Route 85 in California was caused by the driver, Tesla’s Autopilot system, inaction by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and inaction by officials in California. The Model X crash killed 38-yearold Walter Huang, who was playing a video game on his phone when the SUV slammed head-on into a damaged crash attenuator installed to decrease crash forces. In a report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Huang was partially blamed for the 70 mph crash for not paying attention to his surroundings, the road and the Model X. Huang had even previously complained about his Model X steering toward the same attenuator when Autopilot was engaged, yet he still allowed it to happen while he focused on his phone. The NTSB says Autopilot was engaged with Traffic-Aware Cruise Control set at 75 mph when the lane-keeping assist system Autosteer initiated a left steering input while the SUV was about 5.9 seconds and 560 feet from the crash attenuator. Autopilot and other safety systems apparently took a vacation because the forward collision warning system did not provide an alert and automatic emergency braking did not activate. Huang also did nothing
to avoid the crash, not by steering, braking or any other action. Huang may not have taken any actions to avoid the crash, but there is still the issue of why the Model X failed to follow the correct lane in the first place.
NTSB investigators believe various causes were responsible. These include bright sunlight that interfered with the cameras on the SUV, road lane lines that were faded and because of how close the vehicle ahead was to the Tesla Model X. In its final report, the NTSB found the probable cause of the crash as Tesla’s Autopilot system, which steered the Model X into the barrier. Also listed are the driver’s complete lack of response due to distraction from a game on his cell phone, and his overreliance on Autopilot. The report says the crash attenuator barrier had been damaged in a separate crash more than a week before the Model X crash, and the damaged barrier contributed to the driver’s injuries. The California Highway Patrol
was also blamed for failing to report the previous attenuator damage, and the maintenance department of the California Department of Transportation was named for not repairing the barrier in a timely manner. In addition to blaming NHTSA, which has done nothing to prevent distracted driving, the NTSB said tech companies should do more to create phones and devices that cannot be used while driving unless in emergencies. NHTSA has also allowed automakers to install every kind of distracting infotainment system imaginable while automakers boast of the safety of the systems, even though the devices are incredibly distracting. The NTSB also says Tesla is failing consumers by placing vehicles on the roads with technology in “beta” mode, which means the systems are being tested on public roads and then updated when defects or bugs are discovered. According to the NTSB, it should be obvious that crashes and injuries will likely occur, then Tesla will deny all responsibility by telling the public they were warned the systems were still being tested. Government officials emphasize there is no vehicle that can drive itself, a fact that seems to be lost on many Tesla drivers. Safety advocates have been screaming for years about NHTSA allowing automakers to self-regulate their self-driving cars and technology, primarily by creating voluntary
guidelines that are contributing to crashes and deaths. The Center for Auto Safety says the story may be about Tesla and the NTSB, but the real story is the lack of leadership at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to the Center, NHTSA’s “willing ignorance or extraordinary incompetence” is causing the agency to “fade ever more into irrelevance.” The NTSB crash report blames NHTSA and the U.S. Department of Transporation for ignoring multiple previous safety recommendations and taking a “nonregulatory approach to automated vehicle safety.” The report says NHTSA has failed to protect consumers by failing to ensure automakers install safeguards for systems related to automation. “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s approach to the oversight of automated vehicles is misguided, because it essentially relies on waiting for problems to occur rather than addressing safety issues proactively.” - NTSB report According to the NTSB, partial automation doesn’t mean “self-driving,” and a driver cannot read a book, watch a movie, read a cell phone or play a video game without risking their own and everyone’s property and life. The driver’s family filed a lawsuit against Tesla by claiming Mr. Huang believed the technology was safe. We thank CarComplaints.com for reprint permission.
Tesla Model Y Delivery Emails are Being Sent to Customers by Randell Suba
Tesla has begun sending Model Y delivery confirmation emails to early customers, notifying them that their all-electric crossover is coming soon. Customers in Northern California who purchased a Tesla Model Y Performance with Performance Upgrade are being notified that their vehicle is almost ready for delivery. The confirmation email to customers is part of the final step and aimed at preparing customers for any remaining steps needed such as trade-ins or financing prior to taking delivery of their new vehicle. Model Y buyer Howard Feinstein shared on Twitter a screenshot of the email from Tesla. The next step for you is to confirm when
you’re able to take delivery so we can ensure the best experience possible. Once you confirm your availability, we’ll send you an update in the coming days to notify you when you can log into your Tesla Account and complete any remaining steps such as financing or trade-in. Your Tesla Advisor will be available to answer any additional questions you may have. We’re excited to have Model Y join your home and be a part of your transition to sustainable energy. Welcome to the Tesla family. Members of the Tesla Model Y Facebook group corroborated what Feinstein said. Some of the members of the group who also just recently ordered the Performance version of the all-electric crossover and are in North-
ern California also received the email notification. Tesla’s strategy to deliver new products that are fully-optioned to customers closest to its factory in Fremont isn’t a new one. The company adopted a similar priority schedule in 2017 when Model 3 started rolling off the production line. According to the delivery date email sent to customers, it would appear that the first Model Y deliveries will take place no earlier than March 15, 2020. Elon Musk confirmed during the Q4 2019 earnings call that Tesla has started a limited volume production run of the most energy-efficient electric SUV in Fremont last January or roughly 10 months after building a prototype. The full-spec Model Y costs around $67,990 including the Performance Up-
grade and the Full-Self Driving feature. It will cost $1,000 more if one opts for another paint color other than the standard Pearl White Multi-Coat. The Model Y was first expected to hit the production line in the fall of 2020 but was later moved up to the summer of 2020. However, in its Q4 2019 Update Letter, Tesla confirmed that the first deliveries of the Model Y crossover will happen before the end of Q1, marking a significant improvement in the pace of vehicle production. The Fremont factory in California is expected to churn out 500,000 vehicles this year while Giga Shanghai is expected to roll out the electric crossover for the Chinese market starting 2021. We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.
4 APRIL 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Registration Open for Carolinas Collision Association’s Second Annual Conference by Chasidy Rae Sisk
The Carolinas Collision Association (CCA) will host its Second Annual Carolinas Educational Collision Conference (CECC), April 30 through May 2 at the Gateway Conference Center in Richburg, SC. “We have an amazing conference planned this year that will help elevate shops to the next level and bring more awareness to your businesses,” said CCA Executive Director Josh Kent. “Since the association has started, our member shops have become stronger, and their focus has been amazing,” Kent said. “Now, we are bringing the industry’s best speakers to collision repair professionals in our market so they can become their very best.” CECC 2020 will commence April 30 with a North and South Carolina High School/College Transportation Career Fair, hosted by CCA in partnership with the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF.) CCA anticipates up to 1,000 students will be in attendance. The career fair will include student interviews and a student skills
challenge with prizes. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available; for more information, contact Tiffany.Bulak@ ed-foundation.org. The educational portion of CECC will commence at 8 a.m. May 1 with “Exceeding the Vision: To Being Best in Class and a Company of Excellence” with the Assured Perfor-
mance Network. Next, Dave Luehr of Elite Body Shop Solutions will discuss “The Power of SOPs.” At 3 p.m. May 1, attendees can choose between two valuable training options: PPG’s Ken Bertholf will address “Paint Shop Problems: What They Are and How to Solve Them,” while Richard and Sam Valenzuela from National AutoBody Research (NABR) will present “Using Billable Genie to Get Paid for More Procedures at Better Rates.” The evening will continue with
“The Evolving World of OEM Certification,” taught by PPG’s Jennifer Jarzembowski, and it will conclude with Mark Olson of VECO Experts discussing “The Bullet Proof File.” May 2, Billy Walkowiak from Collision Safety Consultants will get the ball rolling with “Quality Control and the Importance of Post Collision Repair Inspections, with a Brief Overview of Diminished Value.” At the same time, Luehr will deliver an encore of the previous day’s seminar. David I. Smith of Auto Damage Experts will discuss “Performing a Thorough and Workmanlike Repair” at 11:30 a.m., and simultaneously, NuGen IT’s Peter Tagliapietra will cover “The Future of DRP: Is There One?” At 3 p.m., while Keith Manich of Automotive Training Institute presents “Building a Successful Collision Repair Apprentice Program,” VECO Experts’ Mark Olson will moderate an OEM Roundtable. Tagliapietra will be joined by CCA’s Michael Bradshaw at 5:30 p.m. to share information on the “SCRS Blueprinting Optimization Tool.” The final educational offering of CECC 2020, held from 8 to 10 p.m.,
will be “Responsibility and Liability: Making Certain You Are Clear About Both” with collision repair industry attorney Erica Eversman, founder of the Automotive Education and Policy Institute. The trade show component of the conference will be open May 1 and May 2, and CCA has allotted time in between educational sessions to ensure that attendees have ample time to visit exhibitors’ booths. Sponsorship opportunities for industry vendors are still available. After last year’s successes at the inaugural event, CCA is excited to see what this year’s CECC has in store. “I personally can’t wait to get together and meet with this amazing group!” said Brian Shaw, CCA member-at-large. “The Carolinas Educational Collision Conference is going to be epic this spring!” Registration options are available for one and two days of conference classes, costing $50 or $75 for members of CCA and $85 or $100 for non-members, respectively. For more information or to register, visit carolinascollisionconference. com.
Tornado Impacts Carlex Auto Glass Plant by Emmariah Holcomb, glassBYTES.com
The Nashville auto glass industry is still feeling the impact of the tornado that swept through Nashville, TN, very early in the morning March 3. The city as a whole has been left with scattered debris and downed power lines, in addition to several injuries and fatalities, according to local news outlets.
Carlex was one of the many businesses impacted by the severe weather. When glassBYTEs called the auto glass plant’s Tennessee location directly, it was met with a busy signal prior to the phone disconnecting. Soon after Carlex announced the location experienced physical damage. In a statement, the company said the Carlex Glass Plant in
Nashville was struck by a tornado. “No employees were injured. The facility did sustain damage and has experienced an interruption of power impacting production,” the statement said. Although the company experienced physical damage in addition to losing power, it has plans in place to continue working until power is restored. “Carlex is expediting production startup with temporary diesel generation until permanent power is restored, which could take several days,” the statement said. “Carlex understands the sense of urgency and is working closely with all customers on contingency plans to minimize the impact of this uncontrollable event on their business. “Given the magnitude of the tornado and widespread damages and impact on the Nashville community, we are very thankful,” the statement said. “Our hearts and prayers go out to those who were impacted more severely.” We thank glassBYTES.com for reprint permission.
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6 APRIL 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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3/16/2020 6:32:54 PM
Body Shop Owner Action 9’s Been Covering for Years Banned, Ordered to Pay Customers Thousands by Jason Stoogenke
Sterling Gabriel owned Sterling Paint and Body and Collision Warehouse on Sam Wilson Road in west Charlotte. In 2016, customers started complaining to Action 9?s Jason Stoogenke about Gabriel. They were in accidents. They said Gabriel would get the police reports, see their contact and insurance information, call them, and say their insurance company picked him to fix their cars. That’s illegal. Your insurance company doesn’t choose the body shop for you. It’s your car; it’s your choice. But the customers didn’t find that out until it was too late. They said Gabriel would charge them “storage” fees before they could get their cars back. Customers told Stoogenke that, in some cases, someone who worked for Gabriel would even come pick up their cars. Gabriel would make them sign forms so he could get started on the work and then use that against
them later, as proof they picked him, not the other way around. Action 9 knows of at least three people who called police or deputies to help them get their cars back. Stoogenke was even there as CMPD officers responded to one
Credit: WSOC TV
of those calls. CMPD says seven people filed police reports involving that address since 2016, having to do with intimidation, assault and vehicle recovery. However, other body shops also worked out of that address and the reports don’t say which business was involved. In 2017, Stoogenke caught up with Gabriel at court. He didn’t say anything on camera.
Auction Community in Nashville Assesses Impact After Tornadoes by Joe Overby, Auto Remarketing
In light of the devastating and deadly tornadoes that hit Tennessee on March 3, the auction community in the Nashville area was assessing the impact. Matt Trapp, Manheim’s regional vice president for the East, confirmed in a statement that Manheim Nashville, located in Mount Juliet, TN, was “severely affected by powerful storm conditions” that came through the area March 3. The auction remained closed as of that afternoon. “While no one was injured at the site, our human resources team is now working diligently to account for the safety of every team member in the area. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost their lives in the storm,” Trapp said. “Currently, Manheim Nashville remains closed, as we assess the damage. As access to our property is restricted due to safety reasons, we encourage clients to refrain from visiting our site at this time. We will provide more updates as they become available at Manheim. com,” he said. “Manheim is committed to protecting the safety of our team members, clients and guests.” Meanwhile, ADESA Nashville, located in
Old Hickory, incurred no damage or injuries, parent company KAR Global said in a statement. “The KAR Global family is keeping those impacted by the deadly tornados that swept through middle Tennessee in our thoughts. Fortunately, ADESA Nashville did not experience any damage and reported no injuries, and remains open for business as usual for our customers,” the company said. Over at Music City Auto Auction of Nashville, Kaetlin Sherk, who heads up marketing and national sales at the Spring Hill auction, said via LinkedIn on Tuesday: “We are blessed today as we have our sale with the sun peeking its way through the sky. Nashville experienced a tragic tornado last night. Everyone at Music City Auto Auction is safe and did not have any impact to our sale. “We are here to work with the community and our Nashville dealer community to lend a helping hand where possible,” Sherk said. “Our hearts go out to all of those impacted by the storms including our fellow auctions, surrounding businesses, and dealers that are facing the aftermath. We are praying for a safe and quick recovery.” We thank Auto Remarketing for reprint permission.
In 2018, someone put an explosive outside his business. It blew off the front door. ATF investigated, but, at last check, it hadn’t determined who did it. A few months later, N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein sued Gabriel. Wednesday, he won. A judge banned Gabriel from the auto repair business for three years, he has to pay 13 customers a combined $18,500, and he has to pay the state $50,000 in fines. “My office will not tolerate businesses and individuals who scam their customers – we will hold them accountable,” Stein said in a statement. “I’m pleased that this judgment will make consumers who were scammed by this auto repair scheme whole again.” Action 9 tried to contact Gabriel but had not heard back by 5 p.m. Wednesday. We thank WSOC TV for reprint permission.
Most Specialty Parts Sold by Independent Retailers Independent retailers in the automotive aftermarket remain the most used sales channel for getting parts to consumers, according to the new SEMA Industry Perspectives Report, the latest resource for SEMA members to gain insight on the health of the industry on a wide range of business metrics. While manufacturers and distributors sell into a variety of channels, including direct-to-consumer, more than 80 percent of manufacturers report their products sell through independent specialty retailers. While many retailers and installers report selling some of their inventory through online auction sites and marketplaces, these only account for 7% of sales. More than 70% of smaller manufacturers, with less than $1 million in annual sales, sell directly to consumers, while less than 30% have their parts stocked by dealerships or chain stores. Source: SEMA
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SCRS Offers Free 401(k) Plan Analysis to Collision Repair Industry Businesses Through Virginia Asset Management by Chasidy Rae Sisk
The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) reiterated it is offering free retirement savings plan consultations to collision repair industry businesses in partnership with Virginia Asset Management, during a Feb. 26 webinar entitled “SCRS 401(k) Plan: Everything You Need to Know about Switching from an Existing Plan.” “SCRS is really excited to share information about our Multiple Employer Retirement Plan (MEP), a customized 401(k) plan solution created specifically for SCRS members,” said SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg. “Our goal is to increase retirement savings for industry professionals.” Schulenburg encouraged collision repair industry businesses to take advantage of this opportunity. “There’s no fee for the one-onone conversations with SCRS’s financial advisors to evaluate whether the MEP is best for your business needs,” he said. Schulenberg said the plan is meant for affiliate members as well as shops, and the consultations are open to non-members too, though they will need to join SCRS before signing onto the plan. “We’ve seen members save thousands of dollars in a year, so it’s easy to justify the $475 annual membership fee,” Schulenberg said. “We know this plan is going to be a great value-added benefit to the businesses we serve.” Schulenburg introduced Scott S. Broaddus, CFP, AIF, and Coley Eckenrode, partners at Virginia Asset Management, whose goal is to help people interested in the MEP explore their options to determine what’s best for their businesses. “Retirement savings is challenging for small business owners,” Broaddus said. He said of the 57 million Americans who have no access to a retirement plan through their employers, more than half work in a small business. “SCRS and the U. S. as a whole are looking at this lack of retirement
savings,” Broaddus said. The most common concerns and barriers that small business owners face is high cost, complexity, uncertainty about where to obtain the information needed to make a decision, and making time to prioritize im-
Scott Broaddus, CFP, AIF, partner at Virginia Asset Management, explained how to switch from a current 401(k) plan to SCRS’s Multiple Employer Retirement Plan during the association’s webinar on Feb. 26. Credit: Submitted photo
plementing a retirement plan while maintaining focus on the day-to-day operations in their shop or company. Unfortunately, employees rely heavily on employers to help them save for retirement. When workers over 30 years old with access to a work retirement plan were questioned, 89% said they would not have saved without it. An AARP study indicated employees are 15 times more likely to save for retirement if employers offer a plan, and less than 10% of employees without access to a work plan save for retirement on their own. “It’s great that you’re part of a group offering a retirement plan,” Broaddus said. “Offering this benefit to employees is just the first step, though. The government is trying to incentivize employees to start saving their own money through opt-out plans instead of opt-in. Legislation is expanding to address this savings gap.” As of January, more than 30 states have passed or are working on legislation requiring small businesses to offer basic retirement savings programs. If employers don’t offer a retirement savings, employees are automatically opted into the state plan, but “it’s rigid and limited, and many people want customizable options,” Broaddus noted.
“We need to maximize the fact that we’re in a low unemployment environment and offer plans to attract and retain the best employees who will help make your business its most profitable,” he said. Discussing the SECURE Act, Broaddus explained it increases the current flat $500 tax credit for employers establishing their first retirement plan up to $250 per non-HCE employee, up to a total of $5,000, applicable for the first three years of the plan. Small employers who add automatic enrollment to their plans may be eligible for an additional $500 tax credit per year up to three years. “The government is incentivizing business to establish retirement plans for their employees and encouraging them to automatically enroll employees in the program as a way to increase the savings rate in the U.S.,” Broaddus said. The SECURE Act also raises the deferral cap for auto-enrollment safe harbor from 10% to 15%, offers up to $5,000 penalty-free withdrawals per child in the event of a qualified birth or adoption, and allows account owners who attain age 70.5 years after Dec. 31, 2019, to refrain from taking required minimum distributions until they are 72 years old. With all this focus on encouraging people to save money for retirement, Broaddus said, “If you don’t set up your own plan, they’ll set up a plan for you. “We want to make sure you have access to a plan of your own, and that’s why the SCRS created its MEP,” he said. “It acts like a 401(k), but in the eyes of the Department of Labor, the association is the employer, and then all the members are electing to use the benefit program. “Aaron and his team have done a great job of interviewing vendors and setting up a plan that is professionally managed and overseen so shops using it get the power of the association in terms of pricing and the services received,” Broaddus said. Each individual business can customize the plan to fit its needs, and options available include em-
ployer matching, eligibility period, vesting schedule, safe harbor, Roth deferrals, loans, profit sharing and more. “Our goal was to offer a customized plan, not a rigid plan,” Broaddus said. “The way each business uses the plan will be different, allowing them to maximize their potential and attract new talent. We’ll help you evaluate your needs to recommend what’s best for your business.” Broaddus said his team will handle each business’ retirement plan so the owner can focus on running the day-to-day business. “You enjoy lots of flexibility, worry-free,” Broaddus said. “We’ll schedule an individual session with collision repair industry professionals to give them specific investment advice.” Broaddus then provided examples of the cost savings enjoyed by some members of the MEP. In order to request a complimentary cost analysis of a current 401(k) plan in comparison to the SCRS MEP, industry business owners will need to provide a list of plan investments and balance, as well as their 408(b)2 annual plan expense statement. “We’ll tell you if it’s perfect and doesn’t make sense for you to move, or we’ll explain how the MEP can save you money,” Broaddus said. “Over average, most folks who’ve moved have saved 18 to 25%.” Broaddus provide a breakdown of the steps for changing 401(k) providers for those who decide to proceed with the conversion, a process that takes approximately 60 days. “We are also here to assist if your business is ever audited,” he said. Broaddus said audits can range from $8,000 to $15,000 a year for a business, but since SCRS is considered one employer by the Department of Labor, there will only be one audit for the entire plan, instead of one for each shop. “There will be a pro-rata share of the audit under the plan since we’re pooling funds to be considered one employer for audit purposes,” he said. See 401(k) Plan Analysis, Page 13
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MCHS Automotive Shop Approved as Official WV Vehicle Inspection Station Mingo Central High School in Delbarton, WV, announced this on its Facebook page that the automotive shop in the Career and Technical Education portion of the school is now certified as an official West Virginia vehicle in-
Mingo Central High School automotive instructor Chris Roberson recently gave out his first vehicle inspection sticker after the MCHS CTE Automotive shop was certified as an official West Virginia vehicle inspection station. Credit: Facebook
spection station. MCHS Assistant Principal Marcella Charles-Casto said she has wanted to see this accomplished since the school opened in 2011, and commended automotive instructor Chris Roberson, as he was able to get it done in just a few months. “We are just beginning this huge endeavor. Sometime in the near future we will publicize when we are ready to open our safety inspections to the public,” Charles-Casto said. “We are not there yet, but it is coming! When this happens, our patrons will call a specified number and schedule an appointment. We are so excited to share this news!” Roberson completed the first vehicle inspection under the new license Feb. 21. The next step will be to certify CTE students who turn 18 prior to graduation. We thank the Williamson Daily News for reprint permission.
Mississippi: Pearl River Flood Coverage in Columbia, adjacent to the river. On top of the flooding, the collision The Pearl River rose to nearly 30 ft. center experienced damage from in Jackson, MS, and crested in Mar- the tornados in December and just ion County at 25.5 ft. in Columbia, got the damage repaired. “We have dug trenches to diaccording to the Mississippi Emer- gency Management Agency. vert the floodwaters away from the collision center to save it from any further damage,” Beal said. “The Pearl River has flooded to the bank in my lifetime, but has never come this far inland to the residential areas.” Currently, MEMA has issued flood warnings along the Mississippi RivBeal’s Collision Center in Columbia, MS, flooded after the er until March 10. Pearl River crested 25 ft. Feb. 23. Credit: Bethany Morris Residents can be Blake Beal has lived in Co- prepared for flooding by following lumbia all 32 years of his life and MEMA on Twitter and their webhas never seen the Pearl River site to get alerts. flooded to this extent. Beal is the assistant operations We thank The Student Printz for remanager at Beal’s Collision Center print permission. by Bethany Morris, The Student Printz
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WV Dealership Starts Scholarship in Honor of Retiring Auto Body Worker “At the end of the year, we will give them a check for $1,000. That will have been paid back out of their pay and they will get a $1,000 check,” Bowden said. “It’s an actual scholarship; it’s not out of their pocket.”
by Candice Black, The Parkersburg News and Sentinel
A scholarship for those pursuing work in the auto body field was created in honor of Roger Brown and his retirement after 45 years of service to the body shop at McClinton Chevrolet in Parkersburg, WV. General Manager Wyn Bowden said the idea was a joint effort to honor Brown and to continue the legacy that he is leaving behind. The scholarship is building on a program that was already in place at the dealership. With that program, $1,000 is lent to a new employee to set them up with the tools required to do their job. The money comes out of their paycheck throughout the year so they see minimal impact, Bowden said. However, Brown said it’s a small help because of the different tools it takes to accommodate different vehicles. “You’re just constantly having to buy different tools,” Brown said. For new body shop hires, the scholarship is $4,000 given over four years as long as the recipient maintains the necessary hours for 12 consecutive months.
Roger Brown, left, and McClinton Chevrolet General Manager Wyn Bowden. Credit: Candice Black
The idea is to create longevity, Bowden said. If all four years are completed, they will receive a certificate and a plaque will be displayed signifying their completion. “We really want to target these young people at the career centers and the high schools (who) are taking these skill set jobs. It’s becoming harder and harder to find this person (who’s) wanting to do these specialized jobs,” Bowden said.
401(k) Plan Analysis
Brown’s work ethic, dedication and professionalism are just a few reasons the scholarship will be in his name, Bowden said. “They (have) to live up to that too,” he said. For those considering that type of career, Brown says it’s important to love what you do. “It’s going to be a constant field. There’s always going to be a demand on it. You have to enjoy what you’re doing to stay at it this long,” Brown said. The company and the people he worked with are part of the reasons Brown remained so dedicated to the dealership. “It just keeps you wanting to come back. It’s just like a second home,” he said. Jon Corra, of the business development center at McClinton, said their success over the past 105 years is partially due to their great employees. “The fact that Roger has been dedicated to our body shop for so long means that customers who are at their worst sometimes when they have an accident have a lot of relief knowing that he’s working so hard to get their cars repaired to them quickly and that keeps them coming back to us,” Corra said.
After explaining how the plan fees can be paid, Broaddus ended by reminding attendees: “We’re here to bounce ideas off of, so please contact us—we’re happy to help in any way possible.” For readers who missed the live webinar, it can be watched on-demand at https://scrs.com/scrs-webinar -401k-everything-you-need-to-knowabout-switching-from-an-existing -plan/. Collision repair industry businesses can request a free analysis of their 401(k) plan at scrsbenefitscenter.com SCRS will host its next MEP webinar on Tuesday, March 17, for businesses interested in starting a brandnew retirement plan with SCRS. To register for that webinar, visit https://zoom.us/webinar/register/ WN_hrYvdAb8TreFefI4SrNKqQ For more information on SCRS, its webinars or joining the association, visit scrs.com.
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AAAS Kicks Off 2020 Capitol Days in GA and FL motive aftermarket issues.” In just Georgia and Florida The Automotive Aftermarket As- alone, the automotive aftermarket insociation of the Southeast (AAAS) dustry has a combined economic imkicked off its annual Capitol Day pact of over $33 billion and accounts visits this year with “two successful for over 200,000 jobs, according to events in Atlanta and Tallahassee,” Ward. “There is power in numbers. said Matt Ward, AAAS director of When there is a collective effort to government relations. “Over the reach a goal, it is much easier to reach that goal. The aftermarket industry is doing a fantastic job of aligning state, regional and national associations to deliver a unified message across the country. We want to ensure that vehicle owners have access to quality and affordable parts and service and protect an industry that employs over 4.7M people nationwide.” On February 5, a group AAAS attended its 2020 Capitol Day in Florida on February of association members and 18-19. (l to r) AAAS Florida Operations Director George staff traveled to Atlanta, Ehrhard, Don Foukle of Connie Liles Auto Parts, Florida GA, to meet with members Representative Michael Grant (R-71), Tom Carella of of the Georgia General AsFurrin Auto Parts, AAAS Director of Government Relations sembly to discuss the afMatt Ward, and LKQ’s Rudy Rosenmayer. Credit: AAAS termarket industry and its course of the two events, AAAS staff challenges, and a group traveled to and members met with over 2 doz- Tallahassee, FL on February 18-19 en legislators and executive branch for the same purpose. This year’s members to discuss important auto- discussions centered on the economby Chasidy Rae Sisk
industry,” Ward stated. “New participants indicated they would be back next year.” Addressing the importance of AAAS’s Capitol Days, Ward noted, “The purpose of these events is to maintain existing and create new relationships with elected officials while also educating them about who we are, what we do, and why what we do is important. It is always a great experience advocating on behalf of the industry, and this year was no different. I would encourage anyone to take advantage of any opportunities to be an industry advocate. If you AAAS’s Georgia Capitol Day on February 5th provided an don’t have a seat at the table, opportunity to share industry concerns with legislators. (l you’re on the table.” to r) Gideon Williams of NA Williams, Georgia RepresenAAAS is looking forward tative Wes Cantrell (R-22), AAAS Director of Government to its next Capitol Day event Relations Matt Ward, Bobby Brannon of PSKB Inc., on April 15th in MontgomElann Carrillo of LKQ, and LKQ’s Rudy Rosenmayer. ery, AL. Ward encouraged Credit: AAAS the industry, “Please contheir state legislators. “Many of the sider becoming a member today to participants enjoy attending these support AAAS and our legislative events every year, and we can’t thank advocacy efforts.” For more information on AAAS, them enough for understanding the importance of advocating for a strong visit aaas.us. ic impact of the aftermarket and the importance of maintaining a strong and competitive industry. Throughout the years that AAAS members have made these visits, they have established relationships with
Knoxville I-CAR Committee Gathers to Plan for 2020 Golf Tournament to Benefit CREF by Chasidy Rae Sisk
The Knoxville I-CAR Committee held a meeting Feb. 19 at Enterprise Holdings in Knoxville, TN, predominantly focused on the upcoming Knoxville I-CAR Committee’s Annual Golf Tournament, to benefit the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF.)
Jim Luttrell, the group’s new chair, facilitated the meeting, providing updates on the committee’s progress and plans for this year. Lunch was sponsored by Enterprise. Fran Stidham, education chair for the Knoxville I-CAR Committee, said the meeting went well, and elicited a good response. “Our Education Foundation
golf outing fundraiser was the main topic of discussion, and everyone is looking forward to the event,” Stidham said. The Knoxville I-CAR Committee will hold its 2020 Golf Tournament on May 13th at the Avalon Golf/Country Club in Lenoir City, TN. This event is important because “it helps provide the resources schools need to ensure students in our industry are prepared for career opportunities in the industry by assisting them financially,” Stidham said. Sponsorship opportunities are available, and the industry is invited to join in supporting CREF and the next generation of collision repairers.
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DCR Systems Team Creates Fastener Solution
VAA Offers Educational and Networking Opportunities for Collision and Automotive Professionals
DCR Systems has introduced an innovative new product for the collision repair industry—the DCR Systems Inventory Table. Created by the DCR Systems team to be more eﬀective during the repair planning process and ultimately, the reassembly process, the table was engineered and built by Symach. DCR Systems received a patent for the table’s unique structure in January. The table addresses the issue that much of the hardware, fasteners and clips needed to reassemble a vehicle correctly are often damaged, missing or deemed one-time use by the manufacturers as a result of an accident. DCR challenged its team to come up with a better way to identify, organize and make sound decisions on all of the materials, fasteners, clips and hardware required to repair the vehicle properly. Fastener systems are an integral part of the reconstruction of today’s automobiles, said Michael Giarrizzo, CEO of DCR Systems’ dealer-based collision centers. Source: DCR Systems
by Chasidy Rae Sisk
The Virginia Automotive Association (VAA) will host its 2020 Convention and Trade Expo on April 24-26 at the Omni Homestead in Hot Springs, VA. “It’s where the ‘best of the best’ come to network and discuss the issues with fellow shop owners, learn from national speakers, learn from each other, talk with industry vendors and have a great time… at one of Virginia’s oldest and ﬁnest resorts, and all in one weekend,” the association’s website promises. “Bring your spouse, children and key employees, and enjoy the warm hospitality of The Homestead.” This year’s festivities will commence April 24 with the VAA Open Golf Tournament at the Historic Old Course, with a welcome reception that evening. The meeting’s educational agenda includes six dynamic speaker presentations. After breakfast April 25, VAA will hold its annual meeting, followed by its opening keynote ad-
dress, “Tire and Automotive Service for the Next Generation,” presented by Kevin Rohlwing, senior vice president of training at TIA.
Next, business coach Bryan Dodge will share “How Successful Businesses Think and Grow,” while Dave Crawford, president of The Hybrid Shop, discusses “The Untapped HEV—EV Revenue Opportunity.” At 11 a.m., two seminars will be available: Sesco President Bill Ford will moderate a special peer-topeer roundtable for owners and key managers on “Complying with Wage and Hour Regulations,” while Bryan Stasch, vice president of program and content development for ATI, will present “Objective or Subjec-
tive Selling: What’s the Diﬀerence? What’s Your Style?” After attendees enjoy a free afternoon, they will regroup for VAA’s awards banquet, reception and trade show Saturday evening, followed by a Next Generation Automotive Professionals Reception for industry professionals under 40 years of age. The morning of April 26, closing keynote speaker Bryan Dodge will present “How to Have Your Best Year Ever.” “This is serious networking! What better place to get together and share ideas?” VAA’s website says. “Join fellow shop owners from across the state along with our supplier vendors for a weekend of relationship building. Bring your key employees, and give them education, fellowship and a weekend they will always remember.” Attendees must register in advance. The cost to attend is $169 per person. Multiple vendor sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, visit vaauto.org.
Florida Among Top States for Auto Glass Claims Recent insurance industry data places Florida as second in the nation for auto glass claims, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB.) “Auto glass claims have increased 52% over the last ﬁve years in Florida, and that suggests that there may be a correspond-
ing rise in fraudulent activity,” said Alan Haskins, NICB’s vice president of government affairs. Fraudsters continue to target Florida, as they look to take advantage of policyholders by convincing them they need a windshield repair or replacement—when they might not. Some glass repair companies bill for services and never actually replace the windshield, or often replace windshields that do not have damage. “Some fraudulent auto glass companies are convincing con-
sumers to sign an assignment of beneﬁts (AOB) form, which means you are giving up your rights to the auto glass company,” Hasins said. “When a consumer signs over their claim they are no longer in control if there is a dispute over inﬂated repairs and may be eventually named in a lawsuit. “Some unscrupulous auto glass companies are turning this into a lucrative business by inflating the insurance claim and collecting the money for themselves. This type of AOB abuse is a scam and must be stopped.” These lawsuits are driving up costs for consumers, as we all pay for this abuse in the form of higher insurance costs. NICB will continue to work with lawmakers in Florida to stop this type of abuse against consumers. Source: NICB
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Autoshop Solutions Invites IGONC Triangle Chapter for Marketing Presentation “It’s always a treat to head out to the office of Autoshop Solutions On Feb. 11, the Triangle Chapter of and see their setup,” Sauls said. the Independent Garage Owners of “The décor really makes this a fun North Carolina (IGONC) held its location, and Autoshop Solutions monthly meeting at Autoshop Solu- provided a great BBQ buffet to a full house at our monthly meeting.” tions in Apex, NC. After dinner, Tony Mercury from Autoshop Solutions provided a plethora of useful marketing information, touching on topics related to Facebook ads as well as using video marketing to attract both customers and potential employees. “We were thrilled with the chance for an advance look into a new class on marketing,” Sauls said. The IGONC Triangle Chapter’s monthly meeting provides members with an opportunity to “learn a Tony Mercury of Autoshop Solutions delivered a little, socialize and enjoy a compelling marketing presentation during IGONC’s meal,” Sauls said. Triangle Chapter meeting. Credit: IGONC “We also have a IGONC Associate Executive lot of vendor members who attend, Director Tricia Sauls said there and it’s nice for shop owners to see was a great turnout for a very infor- the people they do business with in a more relaxed setting,” Sauls said. mative event. by Chasidy Rae Sisk
“We have a wonderful group that supports one another, and you never know when you are going to need a helping hand or some sound advice from someone else who’s been in your position. These events are where great ideas happen!” On March 30, Rick White will visit IGONC for “Winning with QuickBooks” at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Concord, NC. The following day, he will discuss how to “Succeed with Accounting” at the Wingate by Wyndham in Greensboro, NC. White will present “Winning with QuickBooks” again on April 1 at the La Quinta Inn and Suites in Durham, NC, and the encore of “Succeed with Accounting” will be presented at the Holiday Inn Express in Fayetteville, NC, on April 2. These events are free and open to collision repair professionals interested in these topics. For more information about IGONC and its events, visit igonc.com.
GM Reveals New Ultium Batteries for EVs As of March 4, General Motors Co. is gathering hundreds of employees, dealers, investors, analysts, media and policymakers to share details of its strategy to grow the company’s electric vehicle (EV) sales quickly, efficiently and profitably. The heart of GM’s strategy is a modular propulsion system and a highly flexible, third-generation global EV platform powered by proprietary Ultium batteries. They will allow the company to compete for nearly every customer in the market today, whether they are looking for affordable transportation, a luxury experience, work trucks or a high-performance machine. GM’s new Ultium batteries are unique in the industry because the large-format, pouchstyle cells can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack. This allows engineers to optimize battery energy storage and layout for each vehicle design. Source: GM
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Market Tsunami the next eight weeks, until approximately the beginning of May, citing the risk of the coronavirus. Stores and other suppliers are also closing at an unprecedented rate as employees are asked to stay home. In the past few weeks iconic events including the Masters golf tournament and the Boston Marathon have been canceled in addition to multiple sports leagues, notably the NHL, NFL and NBA at home and internationally. Major League Baseball has pushed back opening day until mid-May at the earliest. And with heavily populated states like CA, NY and NJ closing or curtailing patronage of bars, restaurants in at least 11 states are stopping group dining, it’s no surprise that almost all collision industry events have been postponed or modified because of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The automotive industry has been particularly hard hit in Hubei province, site of 9% of China’s vehicle production and the epicenter of the outbreak. Hubei is one of five major automotive manufacturing centers in China as well as a hub for auto parts production for U.S. domestic and foreign automakers. Plant closures have already affected global automotive supply chains. And with stocks diminishing rapidly, a global shortage of auto parts looms in 2020. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) Board of Directors postponed the association’s joint CARS (Congress of Automotive Repair & Service), TTF (Technology & Telematics Forum) and annual business meeting until late August or early September. The event, co-located with the Technology & Telematics Forum as well as the association’s annual business meeting, was to have been held May 4-5, in the Dallas-Fort Worth community of Hurst. NORTHEAST has been postponed from March 20-22 to Aug. 21-23. It will likely still will be the collision industry’s second-biggest show, as NACE appears unlikely to occur this year.
AASP-NJ, which hosts NORTHEAST, said it always had August as a backup date since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. “Thankfully, the MEC had a few open dates available for us to choose from,” AASP-NJ President Jerry McNee said. “We wanted to make sure it was far enough in the future so that the COVID-19 danger would pass, but not so far as to be too close to SEMA. We also felt that August would work for us since NORTHEAST is predominantly a ‘drive to’ show as opposed to a ‘fly to’ show.” ATE 2020, sponsored by ASA Northwest, is rescheduled for July 31–Aug. 2 at the DoubleTree Hilton by SeaTac Hotel in Seattle. The International Bodyshop Industry Symposium had been slated to return to the U.S. for a second year April 1-2. However, the organization has instead opted to hold the event virtually instead at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Jacksonville, FL. The agenda will be condensed into a three-hour live webinar. “As a result of the Coronavirus, IBIS USA will now be held as a webinar on 2 April instead,” the organization said. “We will deliver much of the planned IBIS USA industry-leading content in a three-hour live broadcast. Throughout this time, delegates will have the opportunity to interact and ask questions via the soon to be launched mobile app.” Despite being hosted online, the event will remain invitation-only, according to IBIS. For more information, contact suzie@ibisworldwide .com. SCRS decided to re-book significant spring events in conjunction with the July industry meetings taking place in Philadelphia, PA, prior to the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) quarterly gathering, scheduled for July 22 and 23. Calling it a “difficult decision,” the Collision Industry Conference announced it would cancel its April 8-9 gathering in Jacksonville, FL. “The decision was made with the concerns related to public safety and logistical issues due to corporate travel restrictions,” CIC said in an email. “While you may be disappointed, we hope that you can see that this was the right direction giv-
en the circumstances.” CIC also cited the declaration of a national state of emergency over the coronavirus as a contributing factor. CIC had previously declared it would proceed with the event, the same day that the popular NORTHEAST show announced it would reschedule for August. The National Auto Body Council also announced a change in plans. The organization said its Lone Star Parts for Cars event on April 2 in Dallas, Texas, would be pushed back to May 27. NABC cited “travel restrictions for many of the event participants” as well as virus concerns. “This follows the recommended procedures and protocols by the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local authorities.” The organization also pushed back its NABC board meeting to May 28 at the Berkshire Hathaway Automotive headquarters in Dallas. “We thank all of our members and those who registered for this
event for your continued support of the National Auto Body Council,” NABC CEO Bill Garoutte said in a statement. “We appreciate your understanding as we manage through this unique challenge. We hope everyone remains healthy and well in their local communities, and look forward to seeing everyone in May.” I-CAR has said “All unnecessary travel has been stopped, but local training is still going on until further notice.” The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) has announced the cancellation of its 2020 Annual Educational Conference scheduled for May 3-5 in Newport Beach, CA, due to concerns over COVID-19. “After careful consideration due to the coronavirus affecting potential safety and health concerns, the Women’s Industry Network has decided to cancel our Annual Educational Conference for 2020,” said Cheryl Boswell, WIN chair. Full conference registration fee refunds will be issued to all participants—this includes Scholarship See Market Tsunami, Page 23
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2020 NADA Expo as Global Finishing Solutions, Spanesi, Inc., Dr. ColorChip, asTech, Garmat, CCC Informational Services, Pro Spot International and UpdatePromise were exhibitors this year. Public Relations & Event Marketing Specialist Ronnie Guindon at Global Finishing Solutions said his company’s participation in the show was a success. Sending three company reps and three of their western distributors to the show was definitely a good idea, he said. “We got a lot of traffic and met people from dealerships and collision centers who are in the market for our equipment,” Guindon said. “At the NADA Show, we get quality leads as opposed to a large volume of them, like at SEMA. More and more dealerships are investing in their own in-house body shops, which is good news for us.” COO Tim Morgan at Spanesi, Inc. was happy to be an exhibitor at NADA 2020 after waiting for several years, he said.
Nellis Air Force Base, Creech Air Force Base and Nevada Test and Training Range in southern Nevada. This is the second donation in three years that NADA has made to the organization. Assurant, Inc., a global provider of lifestyle and housing solutions that support, protect and connect major consumer purchases like automobiles, contributed $25,000 through its Assurant Foundation to the NADA Foundation’s Workforce Initiative. “Assurant is proud to support the NADA FounGlobal Finishing Solutions was happy with the show’s traffic dation’s Workforce Initiaand the leads they gathered at NADA 2020. Credit: GFS tive that’s committed to next year? Absolutely.” developing the next generation of Here is a brief recap from all of auto professionals,” said Assurant’s the highlights of this year’s show, ac- Global Automotive president, John cording to press releases from NADA: Laudenslager. “We believe it is Every year, NADA is well- important to invest in the future and known for helping nonprofit organi- encourage the next generation of zations in cities that host its annual innovators, leaders, engineers and show. technology professionals.” This year, they donated $50,000 During NADA Show 2020 in Las to the Nellis Support Team, a non- Vegas, Assurant drove dealers to their profit organization supporting the booth with a pledge to donate $100 30,000 airmen and their families at to the NADA Workforce Initiative “It’s a popular show and space is limited, so we were on their waiting list,” Morgan said. “We were able to meet with the decision-makers, which is what you always want from a show like this. Will we participate
for each dealer who visited. On Feb. 16, Assurant presented NADA with a $40,300 check, representing funds raised during NADA to support the Workforce Initiative’s mission. NADA Foundation launched the Workforce Initiative in 2019 to harmonize industry efforts and offer a brand-neutral tool for recruiting service technicians and sparking an interest in service technician careers. The foundation’s website, nadafoundation.org, includes the first and only interactive U.S. map of training and scholarship opportunities available for aspiring technicians, as well as videos featuring a variety of technicians highlighting their careers and the challenging nature of their work. Once again, NADA backed its bark by raising funds for service dogs from Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) over the expo floor on Feb. 16, as NADA Foundation and KAR Global auctioned off a VIP all-access “Epic Experience” package for the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. Proceeds from the auction benefit the NADA Foundation’s Frank E. See 2020 NADA Expo, Page 36
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Virginia Bureau of Insurance to Accept Shop Complaints
Walk and guest tickets for the WIN Celebration. No action is required on their part.
While it is a widely held belief that insurance departments will only accept complaints from consumers, not shops, the Virginia Bureau of Insurance (BOI) recently confirmed it will accept complaints filed by body shops on behalf of consumers, as long as they obtain the claimant’s written permission.
Regional events cancelled and postponed AASP-MN has cancelled all scheduled committee meetings and events, including the Annual Meeting & Leadership Conference on April 23. See autobodynews.com for a new category of updates on collision industry events throughout the year. All associations are invited to submit their updates to our list. Please forward to aandrews@ autobodynews.com
Your leading source for SOUTHEASTERN Collision Repair News! southeastern.autobodynews.com
by Chasidy Rae Sisk
The Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) is excited “to see if this opportunity is utilized by the repairers to at least show where problems are arising,” said Executive Director Jordan Hendler. “The department is having a hard time equating what we tell them with the complaints because there just aren’t any,” Hendler said. “Without actual submissions, they will not
act on behalf of our interests. “The BOI seems eager to receive complaints. This is its main avenue to determine conduct issues outside of its insurer market conduct studies, which haven’t led to any change for our industry,” Hendler said. “We’ve seen a few shops really encourage customers to file when issues arise, but not that many do this. “Now that shops can file themselves, it’s unclear how many we will see, but we are hopeful this gives more options.” WMABA developed verbiage for shops to use when filing a complaint, which includes having the customer complete an authorization form for the shop to file on their behalf. The authorization form references statute 38.2-517C, which allows repair facilities to submit a complaint with the claimant’s written authorization. Additional information on filing a complaint with the BOI can be found at scc.virginia.gov/boi/ complaint.aspx. Now that Virginia’s BOI has clarified its stance on accepting complaints from collision repair facilities
on behalf of consumers, WMABA hopes to use this information to explore similar opportunities in the markets where association members are located. “Our board agreed to pursue this recent advancement in Virginia to see what happened before putting a lot of effort into other states,” Hendler said. “Maryland, as an example, has a way for the repairer to file the complaint, and there is even an appeals process involving administrative hearings. The consumer can represent themselves, but the repairer would have to have representation by legal counsel if they were to act directly. “All that said, it remains that the biggest mechanism for change is to actually send in the complaints,” Hendler said. “WMABA is here to help that process in whatever state in our region a repairer is in.” For more information about WMABA, visit wmaba.com.
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Self-Driving Vehicle Rules with Democrats. “It should be clear from the history of this process that Republicans and Democrats on this panel worked very hard with your organization to get sign off and support when we first moved this bill,” Walden said. “So you might imagine my disappointment when you all asked for more changes in the Senate, despite the deal we had here in the House with your organization. “But it was even more curious that when Senate Republicans and Democrats ceded to the provisions you were seeking, you still didn’t support the deal,” Walden continued. Daniel Hinkle, state affairs counsel for the American Association of Justice, defended the organization for insisting on clear liability rules in any future self-driving legislation. He cited lawsuits filed against General Motors Co. that revealed the company’s flawed ignition switches had been found to be defective years earlier, but nobody inside the company
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Ford Parts Patent Fight which stalled in Congress. ABPA sued Ford in 2013 after certain members were accused of selling infringing parts. The group argued an F-150 owner has the right
to repair a damaged truck, and either make replacement parts or have those parts made for them. A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan refused to find Ford’s U.S. Patent Nos. D489,299 and D501,685 unenforceable against ABPA members. Buying a vehicle doesn’t give the owner the right to make “new auto-body parts covered by Ford’s design patents,” the judge said. “It follows that the owner lacks
had raised the alarm. In all, 2.59 million cars were recalled due to faulty switches that ultimately were linked to 124 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
Silicon Valley robotics company Nuro has been granted approval to run its self-driving R2 delivery vehicle without the steering wheel, brake pedal and other features required of vehicles driven by humans. Credit: Nuro
“The difference between an automated vehicle and a human-driven vehicle is a promise,” he said. “It is a promise from the manufacturer of that automated driving-system that they will operate the vehicle safely on our roads...The key question is whether our laws will hold these companies accountable for that promise.” U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, argued it is essential for Congress to set rules for self-driving testing to ensure the U.S. remains competitive in the global race to de-
velop the technology. “Automated vehicles aren’t just something we read about in science-fiction novels anymore. They’re here, transforming mobility and transportation as we know it,” Dingell said. “AVs are bringing jobs to this country, but we cannot take it for granted,” she continued. “This transformation is an open international competition, and other countries are stepping up. Other countries are in the game and trying to beat us. Automated vehicles will be developed globally, whether we like it or not, and it’s critical that America be at the forefront of innovation by leading the development of this technology.” The push to revive self-driving legislation comes after the federal government gave the green light to the first self-driving vehicle with no steering wheel, brake pedal—or human driver. Nuro Inc., a robotics company based in Mountain View, CA, was given permission by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to put up to 5,000 of its autonomous R2 electric delivery vehicles
on the road over a two-year period. John Bozzella, CEO of the new Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which lobbies for self-driving friendly laws, touted the potential for autonomous vehicles to drastically reduce the number of deaths that occur annually on U.S. roadways. “Unlike conventional human drivers, AVs can’t get distracted, drive impaired or fall asleep at the wheel,” he said. Dingell agreed, saying the rapid development of self-driving technology should spur lawmakers to action. “Safety, including cybersecurity, has to be our top priority here,” she said. “Nobody wants to let unsafe technologies on the road. But we also don’t want to prevent vehicles that would improve safety and mobility… from reaching consumers easier.” “We must in 2020 get this over the line,” Dingell continued. “If you’re a safety advocate, you should want a bill to give NHTSA the authority to ensure these vehicles are safe. If you’re an innovator, you need certainty to know what the rules of the road are.” We thank The Detroit News for reprint permission.
the right to have those parts made for her by ABPA members,” U.S. District Judge Laurie Michelson wrote. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the ruling in July 2019. In appealing to the Supreme Court, ABPA argued the ruling could minimize, or even eliminate, the right to repair in design patent cases. “This result not only will adversely affect the automotive repair industry with its thousands of daily repair part transactions, but also will adversely affect every industry where products or product components have designs or portions of designs covered by design patents and are in need of repair,” the trade group wrote. Ford didn’t file a response to the ABPA’s petition. The case is Automotive Body Parts Association v. Ford Global Technologies LLC, U.S., U.S., No. 19-1002, 3/9/20 We thank Bloomberg Law for reprint permission.
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with Erica Schroeder
Industry Insight with John Yoswick
—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
Long-time Industry Lobbyist Offers Perspectives on Government’s Role in Industry Issues
Bob Redding serves as the industry’s should be able to expect they’ve been eyes, ears and voice in Washington, maintained and repaired properly, D.C. with Ed Attanasio Redding said, but those owning them As the national lobbyist for the may not “have skin in the game” for Automotive Service Association, Red- ensuring that happens. ding helps keep the autobody industry “If your family needs some cash (along with the mechanical service so you’re driving for Uber or Lyft, industry) appraised on legislative and (safe repairs) might not be the first regulatory activities and proposals, thing you have in mind as long as and brings the industry’s viewpoint to the car is blowing and going,” Redwith Ed Attanasio ding said. “We think with new vehicle technologies, somebody needs to be looking at these vehicles. Not just post-repair inspection, but also some type of annual or biennial vehicle safety with Ed Attanasio inspection.” A topic Redding said he thinks the industry should be more attuned to is eminent domain, the right of a Bob Redding serves as a lobbyist for the Automotive local or state government to with Ed Attanasio Service Association. Credit: Sheri LaFlamme expropriate private property table when lawmakers or government for public use. agencies are making decisions. The New York Times recently During a recent interview in his published a special section on the office, just a five-minute walk from many automotive businesses—inkey U.S. Senate office buildings, Red- cluding Joe’s Auto Body—in a secwith Phillips ding talked about someStacey of the topics tion of Queens now owned by the he’s engaged in as part of his work for city and slated for redevelopment to ASA. “become New York’s next gleaming Almost every year, for exam- neighborhood.” ple, the association opposes efforts The city of Austin, TX, is seekto curtail or even eliminate existing ing to update its land development state vehicle inspection programs. code in a way that will effectively with Stacey Phillips This year there are been proposals to zone out some existing automotive scale back the inspection programs businesses. in Virginia and West Virginia. Redding said a section of Alex Redding said in addition to help- andria, VA, that “has a long history ing shops in those states voice sup- of having collision and mechanical port for the vehicle safety inspection shops” could change as a major Amwith Stacey Phillips programs, ASA is supporting efforts azon facility and new subway service to add such programs in those states moves into the area. without them, including California. “How are you going to have a “There’s interest there, but we’ve subway station and Amazon across got to get a study first, and that’s what the street from a mom-and-pop mewe’re working on now,” Redding said chanical shop and a couple collision of the multi-association effort in Calishops,” Redding said. with Stacey Phillips fornia. He said it’s hard to get the in Redding said such programs— dustry motivated on the issue. in place in only about 15 states—are Redding is one of three co-chairs increasingly important as ride-share of the Collision Industry Conference and other trends reduce private own- Governmental Committee, and in a reership of vehicles in use. cent poll by that committee, eminent Those riding in such vehicles domain ranked a distant last on the
Social Media for Shops
SEMA Show Goes On
topics CIC attendees said they wanted the committee to address at upcoming meetings. “I almost think it comes down to: If it’s not my shop, I’m not worried about it,” Redding said. “Which is tragic. Because next time it could be your shop.” As a long-time observer of politics, Redding tends not to speak about one party being better for the industry than another. He understands many ASA members share positions relative to taxes as Republicans, but sees Democrats as also being sympathetic toward small businesses and some industry issues. At a state level, for example, he points to a Republican-controlled Senate in Pennsylvania that wanted to kill that state’s vehicle emissions testing program—a program ASA supports for its mechanical shop members— only to have Democrats in the state
Media and Publicity for Shops
House save it. So Redding mainly focuses on what likely can and cannot be accomplished based on whatever party has control. Looking to this fall’s election, Redding said control of the U.S. Senate is “really up for grabs,” but that Democrats will likely maintain the majority in the U.S. House despite Republicans likely picking up some seats there. “If it stays Democratic, you will see more vehicle safety initiatives, and efforts to put much more money into electric vehicles and electric vehicle infrastructure,” Redding predicts. “If autonomous vehicle legislation has not gone across the finish line by then, they will have another two years (to work on it) and I think it likely would.” Democratic control of the House See Lobbyist Offers Perspectives, Page 43
Body Shops Giving Back
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with Victoria Antonelli
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Midwest Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk
Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance technical writer from Wilmington, Delaware, who writes on a variety of fields and subjects, and grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
with Chasidy Rae Sisk
Driving the Future at WIN’s 2020 Educational Conference, Now Postponed
The Women’s Industry Network Educational sessions focus on (WIN®) was to host its 2020 Edu- industry issues and professional dewith Chasidy Rae Sisk cational Conference, “Driving the velopment, while networking opporFuture,” May 3 through May 5 at the tunities provide a chance for industry Hyatt Regency in Newport Beach, professionals to get to know one anCA. The event has been postponed. other. This year’s event was to feature several changes to the normal format, beginning with awith returnEd to WIN’s forAttanasio mer tradition of starting the conference on a Sunday. “We are excited to return to a Sunday evening start to the conference, when we will kick off with an engaging networking welcome recepwith Ed Attanasio tion,” said conference organizer Wen- WIN also raises funds for scholdy Rogers. “Look for more changes in arships at the annual Scholarship this year’s agenda, including the 2020 Walk Fundraiser, and the association WIN celebration dinner on Tuesday will honor WIN scholarship recipients evening.” and the 2020 Most Influential Women WIN’s conference provides two (MIWs) during the WIN Celebration Attanasio Dinner. and a half days’with worth Ed of education, networking and celebration for col- On May 3, two WIN member lision repair industry professionals. orientation sessions will be available
for first-time attendees, as well as returning attendees, before the conference welcome reception begins at 5 p.m. During the reception, WIN will introduce its 2020 scholarship winners and MIWs. WIN will also partner with NABC to donate two Recycled Rides® vehicles to deserving individuals. The May 4 and 5 agendas are filled with speaker presentations, networking opportunities and breakout sessions. The main stage presenter May 4 will be Neeta Bhushan, who will teach attendees to “Step Into Your Greatness.” Next, attendees will participate in an Hour of Giving during WIN’s charity networking event. After lunch, Mina Starsiak Hawk, star of HGTV’s Good Bones and co-founder of Two Chicks and a
Hammer, will share her experiences living “Life in the Fast Lane.” Each afternoon, attendees will choose a breakout session to attend. This year, there will be three options. Tracy Darrington will explain how to “Make Sure Your Personal Brand is a WINner,” while Marcy Tieger and Jim Webber address planning for the unexpected in “When Disaster Strikes: Is Social Media Your Friend or Foe?” Beth Rutter and Amber Ritter will discuss a different way of looking at the industry’s tech shortage during “What Tech Shortage?? A New Approach to an Old Problem.” The morning of May 5, Kim Hazelbaker of the Highway Loss Data Institute will present “Changes in Auto Safety Technology: Are We There Yet?” The second guest speaker of the final day of the conference will be
Association Meetings d Nee
m with You Thomas The FranklinKia s d t r e Pa ed s Ne t nts a u The n You c t i o s c e li ed ry Wh Dis f D ecia nto
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Fred Gruner-Nvidia, who will discuss “The Seismic Shift—A.I. in the 4th Industrial Revolution.” After a question-and-answer session with Hazelbaker and Nvidia, attendees will take their second breakout session. The 2020 Scholarship Walk will be held the afternoon of May 4 before the evening reception. After the educational seminars end on Tuesday, attendees will take a break to prepare for the WIN celebration dinner, formerly the MIW gala. Each year, WIN uses this opportunity to recognize the winners of their annual scholarships as well as the recipients of the Most Influential Women awards. MIWs are women whose leadership, vision and commitment to excellence have enriched the collision repair industry. Attendees will celebrate with music and dancing after dinner and the awards ceremony. More details about the 2020 WIN conference will be available online as they are confirmed. Registered attendees will receive “Countdown to Conference” emails
every other week, providing more details about the speakers, seminars and other events during the conference. A week before the conference, instructions for downloading the conference app will be sent to attendees, which will include the full agenda as well as a list of other conference attendees.
that there were so many phenomenal ladies!” Mello said. “The welcoming openness to engage has yielded many professional opportunities and lifelong friendships. “Each year we unite by bringing our talents and insights for the good of the industry,” Mello continued. “I encourage you not to miss the oppor-
“Each year we unite by bringing our talents and insights for the good of the industry,” — Kathy Mello Kathy Mello, WIN board member and former MIW honoree, shared her thoughts on the conference. “As a founding member of WIN, I have had the opportunity to attend each of the conferences,” Mello said. “They have all been stellar in content and networking, and have provided growth and improvement to the collision industry. I have seen it evolve from the first conference with no budget and just a handful of volunteers to a well-organized, multifaceted event, which is well worth the reasonable fee. “I knew that there were women through the nation and beyond in this industry, yet I never dreamed
tunity. I hope that you are able to join us for this 2020 event. You deserve it and are sure to prosper from it!” According to WIN’s website, The WIN Educational Conference is a unique opportunity to meet and network with women in the collision industry, and a place where relationships are built that will enrich lives on a business and a personal level. “I look forward to the [conference each year] and have met some of my most treasured mentors and friends here,” said Vice Chair Jenny Anderson. “There is truly a place for everyone at WIN. It’s about inclusivity, support, leadership and educa-
tion. I can’t say enough great things about my experience at conference! I hope to continue contributing to this same experience for other women in the future.” WIN reminds attendees to bring business cards for networking purposes, and prior year attendees should also pack their WIN commemorative pins. WIN also encourages members to get involved with the association by joining a committee. Early bird registration, before March 31, is available for just $300 for members. After March 31, members will pay $475. Non-members will pay $700 to attend the 2020 WIN Educational Conference, but member prices are available for those who join the association first; annual membership to WIN costs $95. For more information about WIN and the latest news about the 2020 WIN Educational Conference, visit womensindustrynetwork.com. www.autobodynews.com
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Techs of Tomorrow: 16-Year-Old Texas Student Views Collision Repair as Art Form all I can focus on is right in front of “What made that moment special to me,” he added. “It feels natural and me was the amount of admiration I Ivan Reyes took his first collision re- simple to me.” received from Mr. Wilson and my pair class in 2018 during his freshman Reyes said his favorite project peers.” year at Kingwood Park High School so far was working on an SUV trunk in Kingwood, TX. Reyes said he door with extensive damage. wanted a different perspective on the “We got to repair the panel and automotive industry and believed apply etching primer, 2K primer, that instructor Jeﬀ Wilson’s base and clear coats to comcourse would offer that. plete the job,” he explained. “I feel collision repair is “Seeing the final product a form of art because it transdefinitely evoked a feeling forms something damaged of success.” back to looking new again,” One minor challenge Reyes he explained. “I’ve always has come across in Wilson’s had a love for art, and I feel class is perfecting his techIvan Reyes that collision repair also renique when using body filler. quires the same amount of patience, “I find this part a bit difficult betechnique and the right ‘eyes’ for de- cause of the patience needed to get it tail.” right,” he said. “But I know that with Wilson said Reyes is a perfec- Mr. Wilson’s help and mentorship, I Ivan Reyes, sophomore at Kingwood Park High tionist on the non-structural side of the will also master this process one day School, is already becoming a role model in his collision repair classes, says instructor Jeff collision industry, while most of his soon.” Wilson. Credit: Ivan Reyes students are more drawn to painting. Reyes said one of his proudest “He has a natural talent for form- accomplishments was fixing a cus- “He is truly becoming a positive role ing metal back into shape and making tomer’s 2001 Dodge Ram tailgate. model for the course,” Wilson addit look new again,” Wilson added. “It had been through years of use ed. Reyes recalls the first time he and I was able to transform it back Once Reyes graduates in two was given a damaged piece of sheet to looking brand new,” he explained. years’ time, he said he plans to atmetal in class. “Without hesitation I began to fix it and finished within five minutes,” he said. “It was in that moment when I looked around the room and saw my peers still trying to figure things out, I discovered my talent.” Reyes described the process of metal forming as pretty straight forward. • Delivery to 100 Mile Radius of Naples “First you get your palm dolly and a hammer, typically one with a flat PARTS HOURS: PARTS DIRECT LINE: head, you place the palm dolly behind M-F 7am to 6pm the metal, apply pressure, and lightly 239-734-3215 2 39 39 734 734 3215 21 Sat 8am to 5pm Fax: 239-591-3051 tap the hammer directly behind the metal while the palm dolly is sup5665 N. Airport Pulling Rd. / Naples, FL 34109 porting the process,” he explained. At Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Naples, “With caution, you smoothly start we’ we ee’re ’re re re yyou yoour oneee-stop -sto stop op ssho hop for for making circles around the direct damage until it has gone flush.” Reyes said he finds this practice appealing because it takes him to a “stress-free zone.” “It’s just me and the metal, and by Victoria Antonelli
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tend UTI for autobody and collision repair along with automotive technology training courses. “My dream job in the auto body industry is working for a Porsche or Lamborghini dealership,” he said. Reyes also has a slew of hobbies outside of collision repair, including cycling, drawing, painting and hunting with his dad. “I’ve been a cyclist for a year now and commit to riding at least 125 miles per week, he said. “I started this hobby for fun and as a way to spend more one-on-one time with my dad.” However, when Reyes and his father began comparing his results to those of more experienced riders, the boost of confidence made him want to compete. “Riding in large groups is where I get most of my training, which will benefit me during race season this spring,” he explained. For more information on Kingwood Park High School, visit www.humble isd.net.
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ADAS for Off-Roaders by Gary Ledoux
Recently, I purchased a 2020 Jeep Wrangler 4WD, and it came with, among other things, an epiphany— at no additional charge, mind you. Now, this is not my first 4WD vehicle, but the last one was purchased more than 30 years ago, certainly before the days of Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS.) The Jeep Wrangler arguably has more available accessories than perhaps any other 4WD (or 2WD for that matter) vehicle sold in America. Many new Jeep owners, and those who buy other 4WD vehicles, like the ultra-popular Ford, GM and Ram pickup trucks, start by replacing the factory wheels and tires with a taller accessory wheel/tire combination, for more ground clearance. And then, to make the taller rubber fit, a lift kit is needed. This is followed by side steps to get into the 4WD skyscraper, rock-liquefying high-intensity offroad lights—and the list goes on. And now about that epiphany. ADAS systems, which by now we have all come to know and love, have some flexibility built into them to allow for the wearing and replacement of standard-size tires, and the sagging and replacement of aging suspension systems. What they don’t automatically allow for is a vehicle whose driving geometry has completely changed, being several inches higher than it was originally, or a rate of tire rotation for taller tires, which could affect automated braking systems and speedometer readings. And then of course, you have the accessory bumpers designed to accept a plethora of driving lights (or a winch to get you out of those really tough spots) but that could affect air bag deployment. A trip to a few Jeep-owner social media sites revealed most Jeep owners were pretty much oblivious to the concept of ADAS or other safety features and how various accessories could adversely affect them in an accident. But this is not to target Jeep owners. In their defense, the RAM, Ford and GM pickup trucks, also favorites for four-wheelers, have much more robust ADAS systems.
Of course, no 4WD owner, Jeep or otherwise, would ever think to have their ADAS system recalibrated to allow for the big tires and lift kit when the items are first installed. That responsibility will, by default
Jim Bemis, of Palm Harbor, FL, owns this 2018 Jeep Wrangler, outfitted with a lift kit and taller tires, creating a 3- to 4-in. lift. Credit: Jim Bemis
and for better or worse, rest on the shoulders of the collision shop that repairs that same vehicle after a collision. Chuck Olsen, master technician and now senior vice president of automotive technology for AirPro Diagnostics, said FCA is probably the most attuned to this sort of thing, because of their association with Jeep and the degree to which Jeep owners like to alter their vehicles. “Allowance for ride height, within reason, can be made for Jeep and Ram pickups,” Olsen said. “To do this, the calibration procedure is done with a scan tool and requires values, such as tire size and specific height measurements and even an inclinometer measurement of a camera mounting position, to be input by the technician via the scan tool during some ADAS calibration procedures. “These values also have limitations to a certain tire size or maximum height of the vehicle that the manufacture determines the ADAS system can account for and still operate as intended,” Olsen said. If you are an off-roader looking for a new ride and worried about your ADAS system working properly and concerned about your vehicle’s warranty, think Chevrolet. As stated on their website, Chevrolet offers a lift kit designed, engineered, tested and backed by Chevrolet specifically for the all-new 2019 Silverado 1500.
Chevrolet says the kit was developed by the same vehicle-level engineers that built the truck. The system was tested under the same grueling conditions, and will not void the New Vehicle Limited Warranty. The good news is, the kit includes “an exclusive front camera reconfiguration and an Electronic Power Steering calibration so that all driver-assist systems continue to function seamlessly.” The bad news is there is a whole litany of Chevy truck models that the kit will not cover, including the popular Z45 models and those with a snow plow package. And it’s only a 2-in. lift. Jeep also offers a dealer-installed lift kit. For GMC and Chevy trucks, Olsen said, information can be requested from GM to make the necessary allowances for ride height to ensure the ADAS functions within parameters. “To do this, you will need to perform reprogramming of modules with modified vehicle specifications
before re-calibrating any ADAS systems,” Olsen said. “You will need to use special module programming that may be available from a GM service programming system or request an updated programming file from GM technical support. However, you must use genuine GM wheels and approved tires and wheels when making such a request.” For Ford products, Olsen said, Ford can help make the necessary changes, but they will need a VIN number and access to “as-built data” to see exactly how the truck was originally built, and then get other specifications off the truck to know how to make the changes, and to what degree. “To do this, you will need to input any new tire size changes and new ride height measurements from lifts kits that have been installed,” Olsen said. “When this is done the AsBuilt file that is stored for that vehicle with that VIN will be updated. “In turn, these new readings can be changed and used to update calibration of ADAS functions cor-
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recting front camera angle, side object detection readings, park assist functions, active cruise control and TAD readings and other functionality such as steering assist, speedometer, ABS wheel speed and so forth,” Olsen said. These procedures of making vehicle modifications and incorporating them into programming or vehicle module build data requires a high level of vehicle control systems diagnostics, programming and calibrations by the manufacturer. This is not something for the faint of heart or average technician to perform. If a vehicle is modified outside of the ranges or limits that OEMs account for, the performance and expected operation of the vehicle is left in question or will be completely disabled. Regardless of the vehicle you are working on, a “rock-climber” or a “grocery-getter”, Olsen offered the following tips when working on an ADAS system. “First, don’t over-generalize,” Olsen said “Not all ADAS systems are designed and built the same. Steps that are necessary to recalibrate
one system may not be necessary to recalibrate another. “One may require a vehicle have a full tank of fuel. Another may not. One may require all extemporaneous items, like those golf clubs your customer likes to carry around in the trunk, be removed. For others, it may not make a difference,” he said. “Don’t memorize,” Olsen said. “If you know that, say, a 2019 Honda Accord requires steps X, Y and Z, don’t assume that the 2020 Accord will require the same steps. Take the time to look up the steps and requirements for the particular year and model you are working on, especially if it is early in the model year. The vehicle manufacturer may make several changes while the car is still in production. “Speaking of steps,” Olsen continued, “make sure you go through all of them to ensure your recalibration is correct. So many times, I see techs jump halfway through the procedure, ignoring most or all of the prerequisites. “If the vehicle must be on a level surface, make sure it is. If it requires that tire pressure be checked
and adjusted to X lbs., make sure it gets done. Your customer’s life, and the financial wellbeing of yourself and your shop, could be at stake,” Olsen said. Given how far and how fast ADAS systems have evolved, Olsen pondered the future of collision repair and how the industry will deal with ADAS systems. “There will always be room for those shops to make general repairs to most cars,” Olsen said. “However, the time is fast approaching where some shops will specialize in scanning and recalibrating certain brands of cars. “Already we have new specialty shops popping up that only scan and recalibrate vehicles, and do no body work,” Olsen said. “In one case, we found a body shop that specializes in scanning and recalibrating Toyotas. Other local body shops and even Toyota dealers sublet recalibration work to this shop. The face of the industry is really changing.” As for your humble reporter, I’ll keep my Jeep at the stock height with stock tires and stock suspension, thank you very much!
Continued from Page 22
2020 NADA Expo McCarthy Memorial Program, which supports CCI, a non-profit organization that pairs highly-trained assistance dogs with people with disabilities. With more than 120 educational sessions, attendees to NADA Show 2020 featured top industry experts that included an Intro to NADA Analytics with NADA’S Chad Royston, Orbee Auto’s Daniel Kim and Cox Automotive’s Jason Jager. LinkedIn’s Mariel Lasala discussed why the social platform is a gamechanger for auto dealerships. NADA 2020’s Distinguished Speakers series featured best-selling author and digital expert Erik Qualman. Using practical research, Qualman outlined the five habits that drive success and happiness for employees, partners and customers in today’s highly digital, WiFi world.
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with Stacey Phillips
Tips for Busy Body Shops
Stacey Phillips is a freelance writer and editor for the automotive industry. She has 20 years of experience writing for a variety of publications, and is co-author of “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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SCRS Executive Director Shares Free Resources Available for Collision Repairers There are many key components to national organization provides the running a successful collision repair industry free of charge during a prefacility. Body shop owners and man- sentation he gave at the AkzoNobel with Stacey Phillips agers often aren’t aware of the free North American Performance Group resources available in the industry (NAPG) meeting, held in San Diego, intended to help them operate their CA. businesses effectively and efficiently. “There are a lot of opportunities for information exchange within the collision repair industry that we don’t take with Victoria Antonelli enough advantage of,” said Schulenburg. Established in 1982, SCRS represents more than 6,000 collision repair businesses and 58,500 specialized industry professionals. The mission of the organization is to with Ed Attanasio educate, inform and represent Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of SCRS the collision repair profes Aaron Schulenburg, executive sional in all aspects of the industry. Schulenburg discussed five free director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), recently SCRS resources for collision repairshared some of the information the ers:
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1. Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG) The Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG) aims to help improve the quality and accuracy of collision repair estimates, through feedback from the collision repair industry and other “end users,” to the Information Providers (IPs) that supply the databases for the various estimating products. It was developed in 2008 and is currently funded and managed by SCRS and the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP), along with some additional support from sponsors. “The DEG is a really valuable tool for businesses in identifying errors, omissions and inaccuracies in the estimates that you might be writing in the estimate systems,” said Schulenburg. For information, visit degweb.org.
2. The Complete Guide to Repair Planning There are several informational resources offered by SCRS. One of these is the “Complete Guide to Repair Planning.” The PDF document includes more than 1,000 potentially missed operations. “It was initially compiled by a shop owner in Hawaii, March Taylor, who passed away well before his time but gave us such great resources,” said Schulenburg. “SCRS took it to the next level and developed it into a resource that the industry could use.” The checklist is intended to ensure estimators consider all repair operations performed at the facility and formulate an accurate repair plan, minimizing the need or expense of a supplement. It does not contain pricing, quantities or labor hours. With the length of estimates
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today, Schulenburg said it can often be cumbersome to go through a PDF checklist of 1,000 potentially missed operations. The next evolution of the document is SCRS’s Blueprint Optimization Tool (BOT), which is currently scheduled to be launched at the end of March. Schulenburg said it is essentially a digitized checklist to help improve efficiency and provide access to information for estimators. While the “Guide to Complete Repair Planning” is a free product, the BOT will be a paid subscription with a discount for SCRS members. For information, visit scrs.com/ BOT, or watch a YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch ?v=JIuKDe5aZmQ&feature=youtu. be 3. Repairer Driven News In 2015, SCRS launched “Repairer Driven News,” a free online publication that provides insight into what is going on in the collision repair industry. “The news is focused on information that matters to collision repairers,” said Schulenburg. “Our goal is
to provide news, information and trends that are going to help you make good decisions in your business and prepare for what’s coming.” To subscribe, visit www.repairer drivennews.com. 4. Technical Resources SCRS also offers a variety of technical resources to the industry, such as links to crash repair and OEM information, refinish manufacturer technical information and I-CAR’s repairability technical support. Schulenburg highlighted two resources available on the SCRS website. The first is a made-to-print one-page sheet containing information about destructive testing on spot welds. “This walks your technicians through how to perform destructive testing on spot welds to make sure they are going through the steps that are necessary to set the welder up, test the weld and see if it is producing a quality weld before they start ‘testing’ welds on consumers’ vehicles,” said Schulenburg. The SCRS executive director also shared information about a
flowchart created with CCC to help estimators and adjusters navigate the CCC bumper prompt and correctly answer the refinishing question. All of these resources are available on the SCRS website under the Resources tab: https://scrs.com/ technical-resources/ 5. Videos The SCRS YouTube Channel contains a variety of informational videos for the industry and can be found by visiting youtube.com/scrscollision. In addition, the SCRS website includes years of videos produced to address topics such as welding and refinishing information. Schulenburg recommended collision repairers watch three videos from 2019, all of which are under 10 minutes long. The first is “Electric Vehicle (EV) and High-Voltage System Safety in Collision Repair.” “We’re seeing more of these vehicles on the roadways and if you don’t plan to work on them and be certified in EVs, you need to have a plan, so your employees know what to do if one comes on your lot,” said Schulenburg. “If you don’t have a
plan in place, there are safety ramifications, so I highly encourage shops to watch this video and consider developing an EV plan.” There is also a video on “Test Drive, Road Test and Dynamic Calibrations,” explaining the differences of each and providing detailed information. The brief video “Performing Diagnostic Scans” reviews the steps and considerations involved when performing in-house diagnostic scans. “These are things we hope you are using in your businesses to justify the work that is being done,” said Schulenburg. In addition to the free resources offered by SCRS, Schulenburg mentioned some of the member benefits, such as the new 401(k) plan, discounts to Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Relearn Charts and discounts for SCRS members and employees who need rental vehicles for personal use. Special rates are provided at locations in more than 100 countries around the world. In addition, merchant card services and financial technology soluSee SCRS Executive Director, Page 51
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Mike Anderson Discusses “Utilizing Technology to Thrive and Not Just Survive in 2020” during February CIECAst by Chasidy Rae Sisk
On Feb. 13, CIECA offered a CIECAst webinar entitled “Utilizing Technology to Thrive and Not Just Survive in 2020” with Mike Anderson of Collision Advice. Topics included eliminating human disruption, how AI will impact collision repair facilities, electronic quality control checklists, text reminders, customer updates using technology, and much more. CIECA Executive Director Ed Weidmann began the webinar by welcoming attendees and introducing Mike Anderson of Collision Advice. After covering antitrust and competition guidelines, Anderson dove into a discussion about eliminating human disruption. “It is no secret that more and more admin tasks are being added to collision repair facilities,” Anderson said. “Due to this fact, we, as collision repairers, must find ways to utilize technology to work smarter, not harder, and improve our efficiencies. “We must also find ways to eliminate human disruption so that we can stay on task and not get side-tracked. Claims count is also declining, and we need to utilize technology to counter this.” Recommending that shops reevaluate their staffing, Anderson pointed out that estimators can’t handle the same workload as they could in the past due to the increased admin time needed to research OEM procedures, source parts due to insurance requirements, meet customer service expectations and more. He urged, “We MUST embrace technology to reduce the workload of your staff.” Anderson identified suggestions for reducing this administrative burden. Instead of manually scheduling appointments, shops can use scheduling technology to optimize shop production and consumer demand after hours. Automatic email and text appointment reminders can be sent, and online reservations for rental cars should be used.
He also discussed electronic QC forms and management system interfacing with vendors to import parts invoices instead of manually inputting those invoices. “There are a lot of things we can utilize technology for,” Anderson stressed. “No matter what segment of the industry you’re in, ask yourself what things you can stop doing manually and start utilizing technology to do. Work smarter, not harder.”
views may become the CSI of the future. We are seeing some insurers using online reviews as their CSI, and some OEMs are also considering this.” Talking about business photos on Google, a shop’s website, Facebook and anywhere else it may be published, Anderson said, “Your first picture should be what your business looks like from the street, so a client recognizes your building while driving down the road.
Connected cars will spur innovation and growth among automotive and non-automotive industries alike,” — Mike Anderson Next, Anderson discussed customer service expectations and informed webinar participants that consumers have liquid expectations and no longer compare their experience with a collision repair facility to other automotive services experiences; they are comparing the experience to the ease and relevance of their experience of the best in all industries. Examples he gave were Uber, which provides electronic receipts and Amazon, which is available 24/7. Anderson asked, “Are you using technology to offer your services after hours?” Anderson said more accidents happen on Saturdays than any other day, and 36% of consumers need services outside of normal business hours. “Normally, they want to schedule for an estimate or drop-off, and you have to provide the ability to schedule appointments after hours,” he said. “You absolutely need to do this if you want to tap into that 36%.” Emphasizing the importance of taking advantage of their shop’s Google listing, Anderson explained that most consumers search “best” when they are looking for a type of business, and only businesses with four or more stars get listed under that designation. He explained how that listing can be used to receive texts from potential clients after hours, and he discussed how to obtain reviews and link them to a business’s website. Anderson predicted, “Online re-
“I would discourage you from including pictures of equipment or disassembled cars—this means nothing to consumers—but include photos of your waiting room, happy customers and staff.” Moving on to photo estimating, Anderson acknowledged the contro-
versial views many collision repairers have of this tool, but he pointed out, “Photo estimating is not a perfect solution, but we must start somewhere as a way to interact with the customer outside normal business hours. “There’s a difference between settling a claim and a marketing strategy, and claimants like this technology,” he said. “Remember that 36% of people need your services outside of normal business hours, and couples want to make a joint decision when they are both together to discuss alternate transportation, finances and other matters. “Don’t rush to conclusions about photo estimating; there’s a right application for this tool,” Anderson continued. “Offer it as a marketing strategy so customers can reach you after hours,” he said. “Use the photos to triage or schedule work, or utilize them to get a jump start on researching OEM procedures. “You know you can’t write an
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estimate without completely disassembling the vehicle, but this isn’t a black and white area,” Anderson said. “Photo estimating is something the industry needs, but we have to set parameters around it.” Noting that ADAS is also starting to have an impact on the industry, Anderson noted that claims were down by up to 7% last year, and he anticipated that trend continuing. Noting that as claims frequency declines, capture rate is and will continue to be critical, Anderson suggested, “Increasing severity is hiding the loss of car count. Scanning and calibration caused severity to increase, hiding the fact that we have fewer cars coming to our shop doors, so it’s important that we use technology to track the car count, not just income produced. “Lots of sales cover lots of sins,” Anderson said. “When sales are up and shops are making money, we quit paying attention to things that make us successful, like capture rate. Are you following up with potential customers?” Anderson urged shops to build best practices now, and onitor where
work comes from monthly. “Referral source reports from many management systems allow you to track where your work is coming from, but the attention is in the detail!” Anderson said. “Make sure you note who referred your customers, and if they are a DRP client, you want to know if they were referred by the insurer or were already planning to use your shop and just happen to be a policyholder for an insurance company with which you have a DRP relationship,” he said. “I want you to thrive, and not just survive!” Anderson reiterated. “In order to do that, you have to provide details that allow you to proactively assess what’s going on,” he said. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a common topic people discuss, and Anderson explored how AI will impact collision repair centers. According to CCC Information Services, the company has been working with deep learning (DL) and machine learning (ML) technologies since 2011, and the algorithms it has in place show that, today, it is 90% accurate in predicting when an insurer will declare
a car a total loss through analysis of a photo of the damaged vehicle. “What does this mean to the collision repair professional?” Anderson pondered. “As AI is implemented into our industry, total losses will be identified before the vehicle is sent to a shop. This eliminates the vehicle storage profit center which is huge for some shops, therefore, they’ll have to replace that lost revenue. “On the positive side, shops with DRP agreements will be able to focus on repairable vehicles,” Anderson said. Regarding total losses, Anderson offered a “golden nugget.” “Make sure to ask customers if they want you to delete their personal data from the vehicle before sending it to the salvage yard,” he said. “Customers store cell phone data, garage door codes, GPS information and more in their vehicles, and removing that information benefits the consumer and the insurer. Shops need to offer it,” he said. Anderson then explained that the days of pen and paper QC forms are gone, and electronic QC procedures
are imperative, pointing out that the electronic version records a date, time, and in some cases, a geotag. He explored some of the challenges related to electronic checklists, such as data storage, setting standards and holding staff accountable for accurate completion. The benefits of utilizing electronic QC checklists were also addressed. According to Anderson, “Collision repairers today absolutely must use electronic QC checklists. They create verifiable trust between all parties, including the OEM, insurer and consumer, and it allows the shop to hold everyone to the same standards.” Anderson then explored the opportunities that exist with test drives and the importance of ensuring the shop has a strong WiFi signal that can handle all employees accessing it at the same time. Examining the topic of telematics and connected vehicles, Anderson observed that the age of connected cars began with GM’s OnStar in 1996, and as of 2016, there were 250 companies with over $38.7 billion in funding in that space.
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“Today, it is coming at us at lightning speed,” Anderson said. “Connected cars will spur innovation and growth among automotive and non-automotive industries alike,” he said. “For companies willing to invest in the automotive industry of the future, payback could be huge. In 2020, analysts project the global connected car industry to be a $141 billion market.” Anderson urged collision repairers to acquire training now, as he discussed generational preferences related to connected cars and the importance of checking owner’s manuals to learn if a vehicle needs to be placed into service mode prior to disassembly to prevent an alert being sent to the vehicle owner while the car is in the shop. Talking about voice activated search and the frequency with which this is utilized while driving, Anderson pointed out, “The vehicle will be and may already be watching you! As more cars are connected to the Internet in the future, we’ll see more cameras, and it’s important to understand that anything we say or do around the vehicle can actually be recorded on those cameras.”
As the February CIECAst came to a conclusion, Anderson shared his wish list. He’d like to see a genius feature for parts and OEM research where the system is more integrated and makes recommendations, in addition to a search feature to identify one-time use parts and AI to determine best scheduling practices. “The collision repair industry hasn’t scratched 10% of its potential when it comes to utilizing technology,” Anderson said, quoting an “old country song” to add, “We have a long way to go and a short time to get there!” CIECA’s webinars are eligible for AMi credit toward an industry-recognized professional designation and specialty degree. The next CIECAcast is scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 at 11 a.m. CST and will feature Michael Ortega, Senior Director of Application Development at IAA. The webinar is entitled “The Key to Collaboration: Combining Technology and Communication.” For more information on CIECA and its webinars, visit cieca.com.
Continued from Page 26
Lobbyist Offers Perspectives also would likely ensure the Federal Insurance Office (FIO), created in 2010 within the Department of the Treasury, isn’t dismantled, Redding said. “Now, you might ask, what have they done lately,” Redding said of the FIO. “Well, they have no money and no staff and no authority, so it’s not a lot. But as I keep saying, FIO is the bones of federal regulation of insurance. The only groups that appreciate the potential of FIO are insurance companies, and they hate it.” Redding said the FIO hasn’t focused at all on issues related to property-casualty insurance, but that’s something ASA hopes to change. “The FIO is going to be with us at least another three years, because I don’t think any administration can kill it with either a Democratic House or Senate in place,” Redding said. “But if you have both a Democratic House and Senate, it’s going to get more aggressive,” he said. “If you get a trifecta, with a Democratic
House, Senate and president, then it could really have some meat to it.” If President Donald Trump is reelected, Redding said, “then the tax and regulatory aspect for small business should be good to go.” But the Department of Justice (DOJ) under a Republican administration, Redding said, probably won’t address “most favored nation clauses,” such as those in some direct repair program agreements requiring a participating shop to give the insurer the same or better pricing than the shop offers any other insurer. “We have Democratic support (on that issue) from a House member from the Northwest who brought the head of antitrust at the Department of Justice over for a briefing when Obama was still in office,” Redding said. “So if a Democrat is elected president, the most favored nation clause issue could be back on the table because back in 2010, the DOJ went after Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan,” he said, alleging the insurer’s “most favored nation” clauses in its contract with hospitals were anti-competitive.
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with Stacey Phillips
From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson is the president and owner of Collision Advice, a consulting company for the auto body/collision repair industry. For nearly 25 years, he was the owner of Wagonwork Collision Center, an OEM-certified, full-service auto body repair facility in Alexandria, VA.
Performing All OEM Safety Inspections is Critical—but OEMs Can Help Us Too At last November’s SEMA, I had the honor of moderating a session featuring representatives from a number of automakers. The subject came up of the detailed safety inspections most automakers call for being done on vehicles that have been in a collision. In many cases, these inspections require a lot: measuring the steering column, checking seat belt anchors, inspecting wiring and connectors, removing the dash to check the knee bolsters and mounting points, etc. During the discussion, Nicole Riedel of Subaru of America was asked if the detailed, labor-intensive safety inspections that her company—like many other automakers— call for really must be done on every vehicle undergoing collision repairs. “Every time,” Riedel emphasized. “Even if you are in New York City and vehicles are just getting sideview mirrors clipped, you still have to do it (after those repairs.) We will not deviate from that procedure…We need you to do it every single time.” I think it’s critically important that shops research on every job what safety inspections the particular automaker is calling for, to educate themselves, their customer and, if necessary, any insurer involved. I’m getting a lot of calls from both shops and insurance companies about these safety inspections. In some cases, the educated shops that recognize the need to do them are being told by a third party that a dealership or an OEM-certified shop says the inspections are not necessary. My message to you, is that you, as a professional--whether a shop or an insurer—need to understand that whatever an uneducated dealer or shop thinks does not negate the need to follow the OEM procedures, nor remove you from the liability for not doing so. I think too few shops in the industry are doing these inspections, and that makes it tougher for the shops trying to do the right thing. There are generally very sound
reasons why the post-crash safety inspection steps are so important. One automaker explained to me, for example, that measuring the steering column is necessary because that column contains collapsible plastic bushings. If those bushings are collapsed, the steering column needs to be replaced. There’s no other way to know that without measuring it. A vehicle scan isn’t going to tell you if those bushings are collapsed, or if a dash or sensor bracket or seatbelt mounting point is damaged. That all requires a visual inspection. So first and foremost, my message here is that you need to be doing these inspections whenever they are called for under the automaker procedures. I was in a meeting recently with about 30 other industry professionals where one person shared that of 10 steering columns he’d inspected for one particular domestic automaker, three were damaged. Another said his shop had just removed a headliner and found a supplemental restraint system senor had been dislodged. Wow. Think about what may have happened if those issues were not found. The result in a future accident could have had disastrous consequences. But I also have a message for the industry as a whole and for the automakers in particular: We need to develop more clarity on this subject, if only to remove the friction I’m seeing. I salute the automakers looking for creative solutions that reduce the need for the invasiveness of some of these inspections. One OEM, for example, has put a sight glass in the steering column underneath the airbag cover. If you look through that sight glass and see a particular marking, that tells you the steering column has collapsed and needs to be replaced. If you don’t see the mark, you’re good to go. That’s an easier, less labor intensive solution. Some automakers also try to clarify differences in what steps are nec-
essary based on whether airbags have deployed or not deployed. But others use such phrases such as “minor to moderate collision.” I think we need to get a better definition of what qualifies as a “minor to moderate collision.” Just like most of you, I’m not an engineer, so I don’t feel qualified to determine that. If what’s required in terms of safety inspections varies based on the severity of the collision, we need the automaker engineers to help us define that. Perhaps I-CAR can work with the automakers to do that. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed one definition (https://www.nhtsa. gov/car-seats-and-booster-seats/car -seat-use-after-crash) of a “minor crash” in relation to when child safety seats must be replaced. I don’t know if that’s how au-
tomakers would define it in terms of post-collision safety inspections, but it’s one possible starting place for the discussion. I’m by no means saying the safety inspections may not always be necessary. The automakers are the experts. If they say the inspections are necessary every time, then they are. Shops need to continue to research the procedures and follow them every time. But the automakers can play an important role here in clarifying or communicating exactly when and why the safety inspections are needed to help remove some of the friction that is leading both shops and insurers—those trying to do the right thing—to reach out to me on this topic every single day.
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with Stacey Phillips
Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips
Stacey Phillips is a freelance writer and editor for the automotive industry. She has 20 years of experience writing for a variety of publications, and is co-author of “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Uber for Business Offers Collision Shops Alternative for Customer Transportation When a vehicle is dropped off at a Rather than using the personal duction in risk. coupons shops can hand out to cusbody shop for repair, transporting a Uber app, Bauman encourages col- “If you were going to pull a CSR tomers, who can then decide when customer to his or her desired location lision repair facilities to sign up for or technician off the shop floor to get they want to ride. The business sets withMany Stacey Phillips can often be an issue. shops rely Uber for Business, which is the same a customer to work, you lost all of the parameters of the voucher and on loaner cars, rental cars and shuttles. price and offers the same functional- that person’s productivity when they can decide how much of a ride will However, Jim Bauman, auto- ity as the regular Uber app. were giving a person a ride,” said be covered or where it can go. motive partnerships lead at Uber, said Bauman said the vouchers help these options aren’t always conducive businesses enhance customer service “It’s a great way for shop owners to take care of their to every situation. and drive repeat business, as well customers and keep their costs in check,” — Jim Bauman “We’ve talked to a lot of body as remove the customer’s burden of shops—both with independents driving, navigating and parking. Victoriaand Antonelli MSOs—as well as insurance com- “There is no contract, no mini- Bauman. “Instead, that employee can “These are going to be great panies, and across the board there mum usage and no premium in terms stay focused on his or her job.” products for collision centers as they The ride is covered under Uber’s offer a really seamless experience for is no one, perfect solution for taking of fee for using a business account,” care of customer mobility,” said Bau- he said. “What it allows a body shop insurance policies in case anything customers,” said Bauman. “We want man. “Obviously, rental cars are a big to do is to control who is allowed to happens, which Bauman said reduces to make sure the collision industry part of the collision industry, but they book an Uber ride for a customer and the risk exposure for body shops. knows we are here for them with don’t solve everywith problem, Ed especially Attanasio gives full transparency and account- “It’s a great way for shop own- solutions that solve their problems.” if a customer doesn’t have rental cov- ability.” ers to take care of their customers and For information on how to eserage replacement insurance.” Bauman leads Uber for Busi- keep their costs in check,” he said. tablish an Uber for Business account, In situations like these, shop ness’s strategy and partnership for Currently, there are more than visit this link https://www.uber. owners may ask a customer service the automotive industry, which of- 1,000 car dealerships in the U.S. that com/us/en/business/info/automotive representative (CSR) or technician fers mobility solutions for those op- use Uber Central daily. -solutions/ or contact an automotive to drive a customer in their person- erating large and small businesses. Uber Vouchers are configurable account executive at 415-910-9384. al or shop-owned vehicle. with Gary Ledoux There are two main Uber for Not only can this impact a CSR’s Business products Bauman recomproductivity, but Bauman said it also mends for body shops: Uber Central and Uber Vouchers. Uber Central uses dispatch software to book rides inal Choose Only Orig for customers. Riders aren’t R T S! A P T E EVROL H C required to have the Uber with Stacey Phillips app on their phones and all Dedicated Wholesale Staff of the communication occurs Competitive Wholesale Pricess via text. HOURS: “If you know how to use Mon - Fri 7:30-8:00 the Uber app for yourself, Sat 8:00-2:00 you’re going to learn how Uber Central, one of the Uber for Business products, uses to use Uber Central with dispatch software to with book ridesMike for customers. Credit: Uber Anderson no problem,” said Bauman. 3670 Jefferson Davis Hwy // Fredericksburg, VA 22408 increases the risk exposure for a body “It’s a very similar flow, but it’s a disshop. patching software so you can set up Recognizing the success car deal- rides for customers to get them from erships are having using Uber for Busi- point A to point B.” ness’s tools to address these challenges, There are additional benefits inal Choose Only Orig Uber began reaching out to body shops to using Uber Central that Bauman RTS! A as well. said business owners don’t have acCADILL AC P Since launching its ride-sharing cess to with the regular app. Exceptional Customer Service platform in the U.S. 11 years ago, For example, employees can keep Prompt & Dependable Delivery Uber has expanded internationally track of the repair number, so they HOURS: and instituted a variety of programs in know the trip associated with each job. Mon Fri 7:30-5:30 the 66 countries in which it operates. 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Insurers Win Again—Mostly—in Antitrust Lawsuits Filed by Body Shops by Jim Sams, Claims Journal
A federal appellate court threw out most of the claims by automotive body shops in Indiana, Utah and Mississippi alleging major insurers violated anti-trust laws and engaged in anticompetitive practices by steering policyholders to “approved” shops. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals found March 6 claims filed by body shops in Indiana and Utah must be dismissed for procedural reasons. The appellate panel also upheld the dismissal of most of the claims filed by the Mississippi body shops, but it revived specific tortious interference claims by two of the Mississippi body shops against Progressive Insurance. The case is Automotive Alignment & Body Service and Alexander Body Shop LLC v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. The panel decision, which was made by three appellate judges, follows last year’s en banc ruling by all seven 11th Circuit judges dismissing separate lawsuits alleging antitrust violations by insurance carriers. That
case was Quality Auto Painting Center of Roselle v. State Farm. Defense attorneys worried a ruling in favor of the body shops in Quality Auto would have allowed plaintiffs to merely cite parallel conduct by competitors as sufficient basis for pleading an antitrust violation.
The decision released March 6 stems from multi-district litigation referred to the federal court for the Middle District of Florida. The body shops claimed State Farm group was the leader of a conspiracy involving several insurance carriers to conduct “market rate surveys” that actually were shams intended to reduce the cost of autobody work. The body shops alleged the carriers refused to pay for necessary repairs and procedures, and required
body shops to use subpar “aftermarket” parts instead of new parts. The carriers also steer their insureds away from noncompliant body shops and toward body shops that comply with their pricing demands and other requirements, the lawsuits alleged. The 11th Circuit said the complaint was very similar to the price-fixing allegations made in the Quality Auto case and must be dismissed for the same reasons. The court found the body shops in Quality Auto did not prove the carriers had colluded on price simply because they used similar practices and each had set the same top rates. The 11th Circuit didn’t address the merit of the complaints filed by the Utah and Indiana body shop’s arguments in the Automotive Alignment case decided March 6. The panel found instead the plaintiffs had not met the deadline to file amended complaints after those suits were dismissed by the district court. The Mississippi plaintiffs did amend their complaints on time, but the 11th Circuit dismissed most of the complaints for the same reasoning stated in Quality Auto.
“We have already held that this allegation of ‘price leadership’—‘following the example set by a competitor, without agreeing to do so in advance’—is insufficient to establish the existence of an agreement,” the court said. On the other hand, the panel said Autoworks Collision Specialist and Walkers Collision Center had adequately played their claims against Progressive Insurance. Each body shop claimed it had lost one customer because Progressive misled customers by telling them Progressive would guarantee the repair work if they used Progressive’s preferred shops, leading those customers to presume their shops would not guarantee their work. The court said the body shops stated a plausible allegation that Progressive had conspired to harm them with malicious intent and without justifiable cause. The 11th Circuit vacated the district court’s decision to vacate those specific complaints and remanded the case for further proceedings. We thank Claims Journal for reprint permission.
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Automating Claims for Drivers & Insurers by Bill Brower, Property Casualty 360
At this point in time, it has become accepted that automation is either on its way to your industry or has already arrived. For many auto insurers, automation has not only arrived but has transformed the overall claims process for the better. It’s a win-win situation for both insurers and customers, with automation helping insurers do their jobs more efficiently and providing more convenience for their customers. Insurers who have effectively implemented automation into the claims process can possibly have huge benefits across the board, especially when it comes to reducing operating costs and increasing customer satisfaction. So, accepting that automation is here to stay, it’s important to examine the most effective ways for insurers to implement it if they aren’t doing so already. Balancing Automation & Empathy However, automation is not something everyone embraces. The key for insurers is to understand this fear and balance it with empathy. Insurers that understand how to do that effectively will be the most successful in implementing automation into their claims. While consumers, especially millennials and Gen Z, increasingly demand self-service and digital access, there are times their biggest desire is actually human touch. Our Future of Claims study has shown that throughout the claims process, customers want one-on-one human interaction easily accessible when they need it. In particular, to help consumers overcome these fear-based barriers, insurers should look to provide access to a live representative during important preclaim phases. More than half of consumers (52%) say they believe interaction with a live person is critical during the process of submitting the first notice of loss (FNOL) because they complain that self-service FNOL processes ask too many questions, whereas only 21% think a live person is helpful during the estimate submission phase. Talking to an
actual person on the phone enables the representative to express empathy, which creates a closer customer touch and has proven to positively impact customer satisfaction. Automation can help insurers deliver this human interaction identifying when that appropriate time is in the claims process.
and productive human touch where appropriate. This is possible today if an insurer integrates a data prefill solution early into the claims process. As insurers continue to effectively integrate more data prefill solutions into the claims process, it makes the self-service option as easy and painless as possible for customers and enables the insurer to further expedite the claims through automation. Customers want to provide their insurer with all of the necessary details about their car accident in order to help ensure that their claim is accurate. And as a result of data prefill solutions, this Despite the benefits of automating claims, not everyone entire process is able to be embraces this change. Insurers must learn to balance expedited from the FNOL empathy against the fear of using new technology. because the carriers are able Credit: Shutterstock to electronically confirm Let me give you an example of each claimant’s information and fowhen customers prefer automation cus any necessary conversations on as it can conveniently simplify their additional details needed to accelerclaims. Beyond just efficiency in the ate the claim. As a result, automating claims-handling process, thanks to claims both simplifies and speeds automation, insurers today have an up the entire process and makes it opportunity to pay claims faster than ever before. Setting the pace in 2016, Allstate formed a partnership with Mastercard to create an instant payment method called QuickCard Pay. In order to participate in QuickCard Pay, all claimants needed was a debit card and an email address. According to Allstate Chief Claims Officer Ken Rosen, “QuickCard Pay gave claimants an immediate and secure payment method that helped deliver on Allstate’s promise of a fast, fair FLORIDA Orlando Volkswagen South and compassionate claims experiOrlando ence.” As a result, Allstate’s solution 866-651-8873 is currently one of the fastest claims 407-581-0630 Fax: 407-581-0671 payment methods in the property M-F 7:30am-6pm; Sat 7:30am-5pm and casualty industry that eclipsed email@example.com their previous industry-leading serOrlando Volkswagen North vice, Fast Mobile e-Payment, which Orlando produced same-day payment with 321-214-3169 Fax: 407-644-9408 just an email address or mobile M-F 7:30am-6pm; Sat 7:30am-5pm phone number. firstname.lastname@example.org
a smoother experience for both the insurer and the customer. When it comes to auto insurance claims automation, we are still relatively early in the process in terms of what’s possible given how cars and even traffic signals are becoming increasingly connected. However, early indicators show that automation can be increasingly beneficial to both insurers and consumers. Automation is not something the consumer should be afraid of, and if insurers can ease their concerns by coupling it with empathy and guidance at the right time during the claims process, it can lead to enormous benefits. Claims automation is no longer the future, the journey has already begun, and it is having an immensely positive impact on the industry. The question then becomes, how can insurers continue to evolve their claims automation capabilities alongside connected cars and cars of the future. We thank Property Casualty 360 for reprint permission.
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Tractable Secures $25M in Funding, CEO Shares Grand Vision for Collision Repair Industry by Chasidy Rae Sisk
Tractable, an A.I. photo estimating company, announced Feb. 27 it raised $25 million to expand into new markets and enhance research and development initiatives on its software. The investment was led by Georgian Partners, with participation from existing investors, including Insight Partners and Ignition Partners. Combined with the $30 million previously raised, Tractable has raised $55 million. Tractable currently operates in nine countries but plans to use the recently secured funds to expand into new markets. It also plans to use the funds to invest in research and development to ensure its software is the best available A.I. on the market. “Our mission at Tractable is to bring A.I. breakthroughs to real-world problems and by doing so, make a positive difference to people’s lives,” said Tractable founder and CEO Alex Dalyac. “We’re achieving that every day, as our technology means people across the world are recovering their livelihoods more quickly after an accident. “This new investment from Georgian Partners, who have a standout track record in investing in software companies, shows informed investors believe we will scale our success even further and reach new markets, new clients and new areas to operate in.” Tractable is particularly interested in obtaining new clients from the collision repair industry. “A.I. can benefit the collision repair industry throughout the life of the claim in a variety of ways,” said Ahmed Zifzaf, marketing lead for Tractable. “For starters, it expedites the process and allows for early parts ordering. This technology will be very useful as it pertains to a lot of elements in the collision repair lifecycle.” Julie Kheyfets, head of North American business for Tractable, explained a few ways the company’s software will benefit collision repair facilities. “When triaging vehicles, repairers can use A.I. to quickly determine if the vehicle is repairable or if it’s a total loss,” Kheyfets said. “They can
use the software to create estimates which, in addition to saving time, will help drive consistency and accuracy in the shop’s estimates. “Our software can also instantly audit an estimate to ensure it’s in line with insurer standards. The A.I. processes much of the shop’s operational paperwork and can save shops time and effort.”
Since Tractable announced its A.I. offering for collision repairers at SEMA 2019, Kheyfets said, it has received a significant amount of demand from the collision repair industry, including from repairers. “A.I. is new to the collision repair ecosystem, and as with any new technology, some folks are very ex-
cited by the potential and value they see, while others are more cautious and will wait for widespread adoption before moving forward,” Kheyfets said, “We’re very excited about how much enthusiasm we’re seeing from shops.” Currently, several major MSOs are testing Tractable’s A.I. technology in hopes of streamlining their operations and reducing their supplement rates. Although Dalyac believes it makes a lot of sense to start with these larger companies, he’s happy the company has received interest from independent collision repair facilities as well, and he’s hopeful the most recent round of funding will help Tractable pursue that level of business more actively. “Much of the marketing around A.I. entering the collision repair ecosystem is centered around insurers, but a lot of shops have asked if A.I. is for them too—the answer is yes!” Dalyac said. “We want every player in the industry, including repairers, to have their own A.I., which they
can calibrate to meet the demands of their individual business.” Tractable is also working with the salvage industry and announced partnerships with LKQ and the Auto Body Parts Association in September 2019. “These partnerships are an exciting step forward for Tractable as we aid accident and disaster recovery with A.I.,” Dalyac said. “Auto appraisal is a key decision-making point throughout the auto claim and fulfilment process.” Dalyac said a visual A.I. assessment means many necessary decisions can now occur sooner—for example, as soon as the driver submits photos of their car. “With A.I. and these partnerships, every American consumer can now have an unbiased auto appraiser on their phone, in their pocket,” Dalyac said. Dalyac sees Tractable’s collaboration with salvage yards as having “A.I. training potential,” since seeing what happened under the vehicle’s surface will ultimately train the soft-
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ware to predict total losses sooner. “Our vision is for all players in the collision ecosystem to have their own A.I. from Tractable and be able to calibrate it as needed,” Dalyac said. “We want Tractable to bring value to insurers as well as collision repairers, parts centers, salvage yards and every other segment of the industry.” Dalyac said different kinds of lighting and other conditions can impact the A.I.’s accuracy, and Tractable wants its software to work accurately in all those conditions. “Tractable’s A.I. can pretty much predict all the necessary operations—R&I, repair times, paint—but we want to continue developing its robustness, so we’ll continue to invest in improving the software,” Dalyac said. “We’re also increasing the auxiliary parts it can read so it will be very precise and shops will love it.” One of the biggest challenges Tractable faces is related to the industry’s perception of A.I. “Many people see A.I. technology as futuristic and deeply technical,” Dalyac said. “Shops insist they are in the business of repairing cars and that this advanced technology isn’t really
part of their daily operations; however, you don’t need to be an A.I. person to test and evaluate A.I. software. You actually need to be able to repair a car to evaluate the software effectively.” Noting that many companies releasing A.I. technology are only offering “smoke and mirrors and a lot of canned visuals,” Dalyac encouraged collision repairers to test Tractable and other A.I. solutions. “You’re in the best position to be able to determine which A.I.s work and which don’t,” Dalyac said. “You can tell if the A.I. is struggling to identify a dent in a photo or if it gets confused by a shadow on the hood. Repairers should test the A.I. and use their expertise to determine if the software yields the correct results.” Tractable invites feedback from shops on the accuracy of its A.I. “Shops’ feedback will help us determine the best way to develop Tractable’s A.I. to the level we want—to a level that benefits every segment of the collision repair industry,” Dalyac said. For more information about Tractable and its A.I. software, visit www.tractable.ai.
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SCRS Executive Director
Auto Glass Industry Faces Calibration Issues
tions are offered that allow SCRS members to accept all major credit and debit cards nationwide with custom-tailored plans and additional features like automated digital invoices, tracking and reporting, and e-commerce management. “We have a great group of individuals who bring a lot of informational resources to the table,” said Schulenburg. “What we as an association and board of directors do is take this information and the knowledge we have…and turn it into usable resources that can help shops perform quality repairs and capture what they need to build a sustainable business.”
by Emmariah Holcomb, glassBYTES.com
For more information about SCRS, visit scrs.com, and to join, visit scrs. com/join-scrs.
Select Honda vehicles equipped with multipurpose cameras (LDW and LKAS) have become more challenging to recalibrate due to the camera being incorrectly mounted in the bracket, according to some auto glass installers. Several installers say the vehicle’s camera is not aligned within the trapezoidal shape of the camera window. glassBYTEs.com has been receiving reports involving DOT numbers 459 and 563, which installers are saying are at the root of recalibration issues. The DOT numbers are for glass made by Fujian Yanhua Glass Industry, Co., also known as Fuyao, and Shenzhen Automotive Glass Manufacturing, also known as Xinyi. Neither company has responded to glassBYTEs request for comment as of press time. We thank glassBYTEs.com for reprint permission.
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©2020 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trademarks. autobodynews.com / APRIL 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS 51
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CIECA Hiring Technical Project Coordinator The Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA), a non-profit organization that develops and promotes electronic communication standards for the automobile collision industry, is looking to fill the position of technical project coordinator. “With CIECA’s current project coordinator retiring, we are seeking an individual to bring CIECA into the future and to be an advocate for greater standards use and development,” said CIECA board member Phil Martinez, chairman of the Nominating Committee. “The successful candidate will work as an independent contractor and be responsible for managing projects across all business aspects of CIECA’s membership,” Martinez said. “This encompasses all aspects of the collision industry and related technical and non-technical companies for the development of CIECA standards and accomplishment of the organization’s goals.” Job Responsibilities: • Responsible for the planning, orga-
nization, direction and coordination of the overall organization’s committee activities and CIECA’s standards. • Manage CIECA’s committee meetings and activities for long-term objectives. • Responsible for all aspects of planning and facilitating Standards Advisory Board (SAB)-related committee weekly meetings. • Responsible for all aspects of planning and facilitating monthly SAB meetings. • Manage multiple volunteer committee meetings and coordinate all activities across both business and technical committees. • Manage and motivate committee members. • Oversee and report on the organization’s results of committee goals. • Supervise administrative work relating to CIECA standards and tools, and determine areas for development, revision and improvement. • Responsible for awareness of new technology and tools that can impact CIECA standards and operations. • Provide committee and standards-re-
lated information and recommendations to CIECA Board of Trustees and executive committees. • Consult on CIECA processes and provide input to the executive committee and other non-SAB committees and task forces. • Assist the executive director and marketing and communications director in their roles. • Coordinate all communication to the board and executive committee with the executive director. • With the executive director, assist in communicating to the executive committee and board the activities and accomplishments of the project teams. • Coordinate standards-based activities with related non-CIECA organizations. Martinez said the successful candidate will work remotely, primarily participating in online meetings. In addition, travel is required to attend quarterly board meetings, to participate in requested industry conferences and for face-to-face SAB-related committee meetings. No medical coverage or other benefits are provided.
Qualifications / Skills: • Demonstrated leadership and management skills for managing committees. • Ability to speak professionally in front of small and large groups. • A strong understanding of the collision industry. • Ability to work independently. • Ability to manage and motivate volunteer committee members to complete committee goals. • Ability to work with and manage both business-focused and technical-focused volunteers. • Ability and willingness to work with CIECA staff and individual CIECA members. • Strong organizational skills and the ability to multitask. • Goal-oriented. • Creative problem-solving skills. • Working knowledge of Office applications (Excel, PowerPoint, Project, Word, etc.). • Working knowledge of XML and JSON syntax preferred. • Working knowledge of XML and JSON Schemas.
Toyota Fuel Pump Recall Expanded to Nearly 2 Million Vehicles by David A. Wood, Car Complaints
A Toyota fuel pump recall is expanded to include nearly 2 million vehicles in the U.S. and Canada, an expansion of a fuel pump recall issued in January.
About 1.8 million of these vehicles are recalled in the U.S. and more than 158,000 are recalled in Canada. The fuel pumps can fail and cause the engines to run rough, stall and fail to restart. Affected vehicles include: - 2013-2015 Lexus LS 460 - 2013-2014 Lexus GS 350 - 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser - 2014 Lexus IS-F - 2014-2015 Toyota 4Runner - 2014-2015 Toyota Land Cruiser - 2014-2015 Lexus GX 460 - 2014-2015 Lexus IS 350 - 2014-2015 Lexus LX 570 - 2015 Lexus NX 200t
- 2015 Lexus RC 350 - 2017 Lexus IS 200t - 2015 Lexus RC 200t - 2017-2019 Toyota Sienna - 2017-2019 Lexus RX 350 - 2018 Lexus GS 300 - 2018-2019 Toyota Avalon - 2018-2019 Toyota Camry - 2018-2019 Toyota Corolla - 2018-2019 Toyota Highlander - 2018-2019 Toyota Sequoia - 2018-2019 Toyota Tacoma - 2018-2019 Toyota Tundra - 2018-2019 Lexus ES 350 - 2018-2019 Lexus GS 350 - 2018-2019 Lexus IS 300 - 2018-2019 Lexus IS 350 - 2018-2019 Lexus LC 500 - 2018-2019 Lexus LC 500h - 2018-2019 Lexus LS 500 - 2018-2019 Lexus LS 500h - 2018-2019 Lexus RC 300 - 2018-2019 Lexus RC 350 - 2018-2019 Lexus RX 350L The Toyota fuel pump recall involves low-pressure pumps manufactured by Denso and located inside the fuel tanks. The Denso fuel pump has an impeller that absorbs too much fuel and deforms, causing the impeller
to make contact with the fuel pump body. A driver will notice warning lights and messages, and the engine will run rough, stall and won’t restart. Toyota said in January most of the reports indicated vehicles typically stalled at speeds of less than 20 mph.
According to the automaker, 63 field reports said the fuel pumps failed while driving less than 20 mph and three reports said the vehicles were moving above 20 mph. In addition, Toyota told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the fuel pumps failed primarily in hotter climates. When the automaker announced the January recall, hybrid vehicle
owners were told a separate fuel pump customer service program would eventually be offered. Toyota says the hybrid vehicles are equipped with the defective Denso fuel pumps, but those vehicles enter a failsafe mode if the pumps fail. Toyota said this allegedly removes a safety risk associated with pump failures in non-hybrid vehicles. Following the January Toyota fuel pump recall, the automaker was served a class action lawsuit that alleges the vehicles have lost value. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges the Toyota fuel pump recall failed to include all 2018-2019 vehicles equipped with defective Denso fuel pumps that begin with part numbers 23220 or 23221. Toyota and Lexus owners will be contacted by May and dealers will replace the Denso fuel pumps with allegedly improved pumps. Customers affected by the Toyota fuel pump recall may call 800331-4331 and Lexus owners may call 800-255-3987. We thank Car Complaints for reprint permission.
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General Motors’ $20 Billion EV Plan Starts by Abandoning Trump’s Emissions Rollback by Joey Klender, Teslarati
General Motors has announced its plans to begin manufacturing electric vehicles at scale. To make its $20 billion plan a reality, it has to do one thing: Acknowledge that its alignment with President Donald Trump’s emissions rollback efforts is a lost cause. This is because creating electric vehicles and abiding by an environmentally-harming plan go together like oil and water. When GM decided it would follow along with Trump’s auto emissions rollback efforts and not with California’s Clean Air Act, the state made the decision to halt the purchase of vehicles from the automaker. But on March 4, GM held its first “EV Day,” where it outlined an ambitious plan to dive into and saturate the EV sector, making it evident the company is ready to make a serious push towards the adoption of sustainable vehicles. GM has said to customers for years it will pursue a future that promotes environmental longevity. However, the company’s decision to not abide by California’s environ-
mental plan seems to show it has not been completely dedicated to ideas that could help the Earth. To make its push toward electric vehicles and sustainability a reality, GM has to begin by abandoning Trump’s emissions rollback efforts that would lower the average fuel efficiency requirements of vehicles. If successful, the government’s initiative could result in automakers rolling out gas-guzzling vehicles once more, similar to the rise of SUVs following the death of the EV1, GM’s electric car. The Trump administration’s plan is expected to hike oil consumption in the U.S. by half a billion barrels a day, but it could also reduce automakers regulatory costs by more than $300 billion annually, according to Reuters. This would put more money in the carmaker’s pockets, but more carbon dioxide into the air. While GM is not the only automaker to side with the Trump rollback efforts, it is the only one that is making a big push toward an electric lineup. When asked to comment, the company said, “Regardless of the standards, we are committed to a fu-
ture of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. The pathway to that future includes continually improving fuel economy year-over-year and our commitment to an all-electric future.” This year, GM resurrected the Hummer, but this time around, the vehicle will be all-electric and won’t boast the same devil-may-care fuel consumption that its gas-powered predecessors did. While GM has notable EVs like the Chevy Bolt, the automaker’s plans for the release of an electric lineup of vehicles must still coincide with the company’s larger goals. Volkswagen, Ford, BMW and Honda have all committed to increases in fuel economy year-over-year. GM can become the next automaker to adopt this pledge, but it must first take a strong stance against the administration’s emissions rollback efforts. If GM cannot do this, then its $20 billion electric vehicle plan may end up being just that—a plan, and very little else. We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.
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CARSTAR Network is Giving Away Free Repairs North America’s largest premier network of independently owned and operated collision repair facilities, CARSTAR, gave away free repairs in February. CARSTAR locations across the U.S. and Canada were surprising customers at the time of their vehicle return by footing the bill, to celebrate #FREERepairFebruary. These customers, who are paying for their repairs out of pocket, will be receiving a premier vehicle repair at no cost to them. “We take pride in supporting our community and give back to several non-profit organizations,” says Fred Haberl, general manager, CARSTAR Autobody Resurrection.
“Gifting a customer with a free repair is just as rewarding as those larger gestures, because we get to see the surprise on our customers’ faces,” Haberl said. “Sometimes, it
“We met our Free Repair February winners a few years ago when their daughter was sideswiped by a drunk driver, causing her to sustain some injuries,” said Luigi Scola, owner, CARSTAR Scola’s Collision Center. “This is the circumstance we met the family and ever since then we have always wanted to go above and
is just that little help that goes a long way and we were happy to give that gift to Mr. Paholski.”
beyond for them,” he said. “Thankfully, this out-of-pocket repair was not the product of an accident, but we were still thrilled to surprise them by paying for it.” One of the founding pillars of CARSTAR has always been to give back to the communities the organization works and lives in. With independently owned and operated collision repair facilities spanning across North America, CARSTAR franchise partners have helped many people beyond their collision repair needs. “From raising funds and awareness for cystic fibrosis organizations to refurbishing cars and donating to those in need, our CARSTAR family is eager to help their community,” said Dean Fisher, president of CARSTAR. “It is moving to see the network come together, from British Columbia to Florida, for the mutual cause of spreading some good in their communities and thanking our customers.”
Participating CARSTAR locations who awarded a free repair in their facility this February included: • CARSTAR Alan Conner Collision Center • CARSTAR Autobody Resurrection • CARSTAR Barrhaven • CARSTAR Champion • CARSTAR Collingwood • CARSTAR Concord • CARSTAR Don & Ron’s Auto Body Repair • CARSTAR Gapsch • CARSTAR High River • CARSTAR La Habra Collision & Glass Center • CARSTAR Mansfield • CARSTAR Maryville • CARSTAR Mount Forest • CARSTAR Quality Assured Norgate • CARSTAR Scola • CARSTAR Sydney
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56 APRIL 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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