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Back-Ordered Car Parts Delaying Repairs for Weeks to Months by Kelsey Gibbs, News Channel 5
Sometimes weeks and oftentimes months—this is how long it can take for many car repair shops to receive part orders these days. This is causing a huge backlog. Childress Collison Center in Nashville, TN, said not all, but a few of the cars in its shop have been waiting a month or longer just for one part. “There’s no one manufacturer that’s hadn’t been affected by it. It’s just been across the board. With Hyundai, I’ve had to wait about three months for a couple of things; Jaguar, I waited
about six months for one piece to finish it,” said Charles Childress. Childress has been repairing cars for more than 30 years, but these past two years have been more difficult than years before. He said not all but a few of the cars in this shop have been waiting a month or longer for just one part. “I mean it’s been anywhere from a door handle, a mirror, a door.” A combination of backed-up vehicle part orders and a labor shortage means it’s taking longer for body shops to repair vehicles. See Back-Ordered Car Parts, Page 8
New-Vehicle Prices Flirt with Record High in May New-vehicle average transaction prices (ATPs) increased to $47,148 in May, according to new data released by Kelley Blue Book, a Cox Automotive company. Prices rose 1% ($472) month over month and remain elevated compared to one year ago, up 13.5% ($5,613) from May 2021. The average price paid for a new vehicle in the U.S. in May was the second-highest on record, behind only December 2021, when ATPs reached $47,202. New-vehicle inventory days’ supply stayed in the mid-30s in May—holding steady since
mid-January—while customer demand remained stable. These conditions enabled most dealers to continue selling inventory at or above the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). The average price paid for
a new vehicle has been “over sticker” throughout 2022. In May, new vehicles from Honda, Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz See New-Vehicle Prices, Page 14
Vol. 13 / Issue 5 / July 2022
Ford Says $69,554 Markup to F-150 Lightning Was an Error Ford said a Florida dealer’s markup doubling the price of an F-150 Lightning was a “dealer error.” The Blue Oval also said the Lightning in question was a demo vehicle. How the sticker ended up on a not-for-sale demo unit was not explained. “This is inaccurate. The dealer confirmed this was an error and the MSRP was input twice online. In fact this [is] a demo unit and not for sale. The sticker was removed within 24 hours,” Ford Communications Director Mike Levine said on Twitter.
Credit: RDeFran/F-150 Lightning Forum See Markup to F-150, Page 10
Insurers Too Late for Subrogation in Auto Parts Price-Fixing Case, Court Rules by Jim Sams, Insurance Journal
Insurers waited too long to intervene in anti-trust litigation that brought settlements requiring dozens of auto parts manufacturers to pay a total of $1.2 billion to resolve price-fixing allegations, a panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeal ruled June 1. In a published decision, the appellate panel affirmed a U.S. District Court ruling that denied a motion to intervene filed by Financial Recovery Services on behalf of eight insurers that sought “equitable subrogation” for the payments it made to insureds for the total loss of their vehicles. FRS did not seek to intervene in the litigation until long after settlement negotiations were concluded and final-approval hearings were held in 41 coordinated cases. The 6th Circuit panel said in its opinion that allowing intervention would require the court to revisit issues that were settled while FRS “watched from the sidelines.” “Allowing FRS to claim subro-
gation rights after settlement would uproot earlier efforts to define classes, expend considerable resources to amend allocation plans and increase costs associated with the claims-administration process, thereby reducing the amount of settlement proceeds available,” the panel said in an opinion written by Justice Karen Nelson Moore. Attorneys representing consumers in 2012 filed anti-trust lawsuits against dozens of auto manufacturers. The Department of Justice launched an investigation into price-fixing allegations, resulting in guilty pleas by 26 manufacturers that paid millions in fines. The civil lawsuits were consolidated into a single case assigned to the U.S. District Court for Eastern Michigan in Detroit. The court approved four separate settlement agreements between the plaintiffs and 73 of the defendants from 2016 through November 2020. FRS, a third-party administrator for auto insurers, did not get See Price-Fixing Case, Page 19
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2 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com SATA trueSun July.indd 1
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Autel U.S. Enters EV Charging Industry ������������� 4
Atlanta I-CAR Committee Strengthens Local
Auto Body Shop Veteran Says DRPs Can Be
Schools’ Collision Programs Through CREF ��� 12 Back-Ordered Car Parts Delaying Repairs for Weeks to Months ������������������������������������ 1 Caliber Gifts Refurbished Vehicles to 5 Nashville- Area Military Service Members �� 11 Chesterfield Auto Parts a Richmond Top Workplaces 2022 Honoree ���������������������������� 8
Profitable If Done Right ������������������������������� 22 Automakers Report May Sales ������������������������ 47 Automotive Specialty-Equipment Sales Increase to $50.9 Billion ������������������������������ 36 Businesses Fear Shutdowns if Inflation Doesn’t Ease ����������������������������������������������� 32 Capture the Keys Uses Geofencing to Find
Classic Collision Grows Again in Florida ��������� 16
Customers in the Right Place at the
Ford Says $69,554 Markup to F-150
Right Time ��������������������������������������������������� 34
Lightning Was an Error ���������������������������������� 1 Georgia Auto Shop to Pay $162K in Back Wages, Damages to 19 Employees ������������� 11 Maaco Fort Myers Partners with Local Florida Technical College ������������������������������������������ 6 Man Allegedly Leased Property For Illegal Chop Shop In Frayser, Records Show ��������� 16 NABC Recycled Rides® Donates Refurbished Vehicles to 2 Georgia Charities ��������������������� 6 NC Lawmakers Propose Bill to Ban Free EV Charging Unless Free Gasoline or Diesel Also Offered ������������������������������������������������ 10 Several Memphis, TN, Auto Repair Shops Not Taking Any More Cars Until August ������������ 14 Tesla Insurance To Reach New Jersey And Florida ��������������������������������������������������������� 14 West Virginia Car Painter Sues 18 Companies for Contracting Parkinson’s Disease �������������� 8 Woman Uses Fake ID to Swindle Dealership Twice ������������������������������������������������������������ 6
CIECAST Looks at Unintended Consequences of Data Sharing in Collision Repair �������������� 20
Anderson - 3 Phrases I’ve Heard with Potential Power in the Collision Repair Industry ��������� 26 Strandberg - How to Sell Your Automotive Distribution Business—An Insider’s Perspective ������������������������������������������������� 28 Yoswick - CIC Committees Tackle Ongoing Shortage of Collision Repair Technicians ����� 30 Yoswick - What Role Should a Current Backlog of Work Play in Auto Body Shops’ DRP Decisions? ��������������������������������������������������� 38
Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index: Attention Turns from COVID-19 to Inflation,
ASE Agenda, Speakers Announced ����������������� 46
Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Stacey Phillips Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Norman Morano, (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bryan Malinski Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Abby Andrews Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Permissions Editor: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray
Serving Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2022 Adamantine Media LLC.
Accudraft Paint Booths ���������������������������������� 48
Industrial Finishes and Systems ��������������������� 21
American Icon Automotive Finishes ��������������� 14
John Hiester Automotive ������������������������������� 39
Audi Gwinnett ������������������������������������������������ 20
Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������� 43
Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 41
Landers Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep ������������������������ 16
Auto Data Labels �������������������������������������������� 33
LKQ Corporation ����������������������������������������������� 9
AutoNation Ford-Lincoln �������������������������������� 28
Malco Products, SBC ������������������������������������� 11
Axalta Coating Systems ����������������������������������� 7
Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������� 47
Beaman CDJR Wholesale Parts ��������������������� 27
Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers ������� 47
Car-O-Liner ����������������������������������������������������� 15
Miami Lakes Automall ������������������������������������ 10
Certified Automotive Parts Association ���������� 12
MINI of Charleston ����������������������������������������� 30
City Kia of Greater Orlando ����������������������������� 38
MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������� 31
Classifieds ������������������������������������������������������ 46
NOROO Paint & Coatings �������������������������������� 13
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet ��������������������������� 32
Parks Chevrolet ���������������������������������������������� 22
Equalizer Auto Glass Tools ������������������������������� 6
Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Naples ��������������������� 30
Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 44
Rogers-Dabbs Chevrolet ��������������������������������� 35
GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������� 40
SATA Dan-Am Company ��������������������������������� 2
Gus Machado Ford ����������������������������������������� 26
Shoot Suit ������������������������������������������������������ 19
Harper Volkswagen ���������������������������������������� 29
Spanesi Americas �������������������������������������������� 5
Hendrick Automotive Group ��������������������������� 37
Stivers Decatur Subaru ���������������������������������� 34
Hendrick Honda Pompano Beach ������������������� 39
Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������� 45
Hendrick Kia Cary ������������������������������������������� 18
Symach ������������������������������������������������������������ 8
Hendrick Kia Concord ������������������������������������� 18
Tameron Hyundai ������������������������������������������� 36
Hendrick Volvo Cars of Charleston ����������������� 38
Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������ 42
Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers � 23, 24-25
Wrenchers ����������������������������������������������������� 17
Autobody News P.O. Box 1516 Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com email@example.com
High Costs, Tight Inventory ��������������������������� 4 Ford F-150 Lightning Customer Deliveries Beginning ���������������������������������������������������� 36 Ford Recalls 2.9M Vehicles For Inability To Shift Into Gear, Risking Crash ���������������������� 45 Gas Prices Jump in Leaps and Bounds, Setting Another New Record ���������������������� 42 Global Finishing Solutions, 1Collision Partner �� 39 Insurers Too Late for Subrogation in Auto Parts Price-Fixing Case, Court Rules ������������� 1 May Auto Sales Expected to Fall to Slowest Pace in 2022 ����������������������������������������������� 41 New-Vehicle Prices Flirt with Record High in May ����������������������������������������������������������� 1 Pennies From $5: Gas Prices Continue
Total U.S. Automotive Aftermarket Sales Forecasted to Increase 8.5% in 2022 ���������� 47 Toyota Auto Body California Donates Nearly 1,000 Quarter Panels to Collision Students Through CREF ��������������������������������������������� 46 Usage-Based Auto Insurance Takes Center Stage as Satisfaction Flatlines �������������������� 40 Used Car Prices Beginning Road Back to Normal ���������������������������������������������������� 18 UTI Opening Campuses to High School Juniors Interested in Automotive Technician Training �������������������������������������� 44
CIF to Hold Gala July 20 ���������������������������������� 45
Daily Record High Trend ������������������������������ 41 COLUMNISTS
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
WIN Names 2022-23 Officers, New Board Members ���������������������������������������������������� 42
Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������ 44
autobodynews.com / JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index: Attention Turns from COVID-19 to Inflation, High Costs, Tight Inventory U.S. automobile dealer sentiment in the second quarter of 2022 softened as U.S. auto dealers’ attention turned to inflation, high costs and tight inventory, marking the fourth straight quarter-over-quarter decline in market sentiment. The current market index peaked at 67 in Q2 2021 and has been trending downward since. Still, at 54, the current market index remains above the positive threshold of 50 in the Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index (CADSI). The key drivers of sentiment saw disparate shifts in Q2. The three-month, forward-looking market outlook index sharply dropped from the previous quarter and, at 53, is well below the 63 recorded a year ago in Q2 2021. The economy index increased slightly in Q2 to 50, up from 49 in the prior quarter. With the index now at 50, dealers are right at the positive threshold in judging the economy as strong. “U.S. auto dealers are certainly feeling the pressure of inflation and tight inventory,” said Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke. “Franchised dealers continue to be very profitable, but the steep drop in the market outlook index indicates dealers are less enthused about the future. While all dealers are impacted by higher costs of doing business, the profit story is also different for independent dealers, as used vehicles have started depreciating again.” The Q2 2022 CADSI research was in market from April 25 to May 9, when COVID cases had retreated from omicron-driven records and activity was normalizing compared to the situation in January. Inventory Continues to Impact Sales One worrisome sign in the latest CADSI report is the small improvement in the new-vehicle inventory mix index for franchised dealers. The index increased only two points from Q1 and remains historically low at 25, an eight-point year-overyear decrease. “Today’s market continues to be framed by constrained new-vehicle inventory,” added Smoke. “Low
new-vehicle inventory and the associated low level of incentives and lack of discounting have priced many would-be buyers out of the market and into the used-vehicle market. Others may be delaying purchases, waiting for supply to improve, but supply has yet to see much change.” On the used-vehicle side, the inventory index dropped in Q2 2022 to 35, one point lower than the previous quarter but up fourteen points year over year. The used-vehicle inventory mix index improved among franchised dealers versus independent dealers, showing a 5-point increase year over year in Q2 to 55. All index scores associated with inventory, however, remain below the 50 threshold, indicating dealers are still facing significant inventory challenges for both new and used vehicles. Consistent with last quarter, limited inventory ranks as the No. 1 factor holding back dealer business in Q2. While new-vehicle inventory remains tight, the view of new-vehicle sales improved, increasing from 50 to 52, meaning dealers are now more optimistic about new-vehicle sales. One year ago, the index score was 65, meaning significantly more dealers saw the market as good. The new-vehicle incentives index dropped by two points quarter over quarter to 21, the lowest level since the question was added to the CADSI in Q3 2019. On the other hand, the used-vehicle sales index fell five index points to 47. For franchised dealers, the used-vehicle sales index increased by one point for Q2, breaking a downward streak but is still below year-ago levels. For independent dealers, the index fell six points from the previous quarter to 42 and is down 14 points from a year ago. Overall, most dealers view used-vehicle sales as weak. Dealers Worried About the Economy and Costs In Q2 2022, the cost index—specifically the cost of running a dealership—was at the highest level since the survey began in 2017. After reaching a record low in Q2 2020 of 51 at the height of the pandemic, the cost
4 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
index has been steadily increasing. Overall inflation in the U.S. economy is clearly contributing to this view. The economy is the second leading factor impacting dealer business at 46%, up from 37% in Q1, with market conditions, expenses and political climate following closely behind. Dealers are worried about inflation and the possibility of a recession along with lagging consumer confidence.
minor shifts in Q2, but three factors—economy, expenses and political climate—saw significant quarter-over-quarter increases. Limited inventory remains in the top spot. The economy rose to No. 2 ahead of market conditions. Expenses ranked fourth overall; political climate rounded out the top five factors. Notably, COVID-19 is no longer a top factor holding back business, falling to No. 7.
Profits Remain Strong for Franchised Dealers The overall profit index saw a small decline to 53, down from 54, but remains higher than at any point before the COVID-19 pandemic. The five highest profit index scores since 2017 have all been recorded in the past five quarters. The profit index also indicates franchised dealers believe profits are particularly strong, at 82, whereas more independent dealers now see profits as weak, with an index score of 44. Importantly, the cost index increased by 11 points in Q2 versus a year ago and reached a new record high of 76, suggesting the overall cost of running a dealership continues to grow. On the plus side, the price pressure index increased only slightly in Q2 to 41, up from 37 in Q1, but remains historically low, indicating fewer dealers feel pressure to lower their prices.
Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index Methodology The Q2 2022 CADSI is based on 1,099 U.S. auto dealer respondents, comprising 568 franchised dealers and 531 independents. The survey was conducted from April 25 to May 9. Dealer responses were weighted by dealership type and sales volume to represent the national dealer population. For each aspect of the market surveyed, respondents are given an option related to strong/increasing, average/stable, or weak/decreasing, along with a “don’t know” opt-out. Indices are calculated by creating a mean score in which: Strong/increasing answers are assigned a value of 100. Average/stable answers are assigned a value of 50. Weak/declining selections are assigned a value of 0. Respondents who select “don’t know” at a particular question are removed from the related index calculation. The total metrics reported have a +/- 3.0% margin of error.
Business Impact of COVID-19 Drops from Top 5 The top five factors holding back the business across all dealers saw
Source: Cox Automotive
Autel U.S. Enters EV Charging Industry Autel U.S. announced its entry into the EV charging solutions provider industry with the release of its MaxiCharger Home and Commercial Level 2 AC chargers. These new chargers, available in 40 amp and 50 amp flexible charging configurations, are compatible with all plug-in electric vehicles and feature innovative software solutions that are the hallmark of all Autel products. MaxiCharger Home 40 amp
chargers are available as either an in-body holster or a separate holster, with either a NEMA 6-50 or a NEMA 14-50 plug. The MaxiCharger Home 50 amp is an in-body holster style and is ready for hard-wire installation. The MaxiCharger Commercial Level 2 AC charger offers 50 amp flexible charging. Visit www. autelenergy.us or contact an authorized Autel dealer for more information. Source: Autel
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Woman Uses Fake ID to Swindle Dealership Twice Memphis, TN, police need help identifying a woman they said used fake identification and information to buy a vehicle from a dealership on two different occasions. According to investigators, the woman swindled City Auto of Memphis twice. The first time was Dec. 16, 2021. The woman went in the City Auto of Memphis automobile dealership, located at 4932 Elmore Road, and used a fake ID and information to negotiate, finance and take possession of a white 2017 Dodge Charger, police said. Police said the woman did the same thing again Feb. 9 and took possession of a red 2019 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS. Police said they need help identifying the woman involved in this identity theft and false pretenses/swindle/confidence game crime. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 528-CASH.
Maaco Fort Myers Partners with Local Florida Technical College Maaco Fort Myers in Florida launched a partnership with a local technical college, Fort Myers Technical College, to help support future auto body repair professionals. Owner of Maaco Fort Myers, Justin DePasquale, and his business partner, Richard Leatherwood, have been actively working to find causes important in Fort Myers, so they can give back to the community they serve. “We’ve recently been able to enhance our efforts of giving back to our community by partnering with the Fort Myers Technical College,” said DePasquale. “As vehicles advance with innovation, so does the technology required to repair them. It’s important to show students the right way to repair and we’re happy to support however we can.” Plastic welding continues to rise in prevalence throughout the auto body repair industry, but the welding tool can be hard to come by as budget cuts continue to plague vocational schools. Additionally, it is hard for teachers to train students if they don’t have the necessary tools on hand.
NABC Recycled Rides® Donates Refurbished Vehicles to 2 Georgia Charities Recently, two deserving Macon, GA, charitable organizations were presented with two vehicles to help serve members of the community, thanks to the National Auto Body Council (NABC) Recycled Rides® program, along with car donor GEICO and Five Star Collision. The NABC Recycled Rides program gave to the Museum of Arts and Sciences a 2015 Toyota Highlander, to help share educational programming with Macon-area children. The Rescue Mission of Middle Georgia was presented a 2017 Ford Edge to help deliver service to area residents in need. The presentation was held at the Five Star Collision Center in Macon. Additional partners in the presentation included 1-800 Charity Cars. In 2022, GEICO has donated more than 50 vehicles to the NABC Recycled Rides program. “This is the fourth giveaway we’ve held this year, and we’ve got two more scheduled,”
“A plastic welder is a common tool that the students will need to use when they start working in the shop because it helps fix bumpers, which is a repair we see a lot of,” said DePasquale. “We were happy to lend the school a plastic welder and we also had an employee go visit
help, he was ecstatic,” said DePasquale. “Now, I can’t wait to continue to help Jeff and his students!” DePasquale is actively working with his paint vendor to help gift a sun gun to the school, while also remaining in contact with Jeff to see how else he and his team can help.
“As vehicles advance with innovation, so does the technology required to repair them. It’s important to show students the right way to repair and we’re happy to support however we can.” — Justin DePasquale the college to train the students on how to use it. Everyone was ecstatic when the team came by, it was great to see how much this small gesture meant to the students.” Jeff Slack, a teacher at the technical college, has played an integral part in helping connect DePasquale and the school. “He is one of the most determined teachers I have met. He wants to see each and every one of his students succeed, and when I got in touch with him to see how we could
“It took us a little while to help find a way to give back to our community, but now that we have, I would tell other owners to be persistent in finding an organization to support, as every little bit helps,” said DePasquale. Maaco is a franchised network of locally owned and operated body shops, dedicated to the communities it serves. Visit Maaco.com for more information. Source: Maaco
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said Charel Lock, operations manager for Five Star Collision Centers. “This is something very close to my heart, so we try to give back to our community as often as we can.”
NABC Recycled Rides is a unique program in which businesses representing all facets of the collision repair industry team up to repair and donate vehicles to individuals and families in need of reliable transportation. Since the inception of the NABC Recycled Rides program in 2007, members of the NABC have donated nearly 3,000 vehicles valued at some $42 million. Source: NABC
6 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Continued from Cover
Back-Ordered Car Parts
West Virginia Car Painter Sues 18 Companies for Contracting Parkinson’s Disease by Kyla Asbury, West Virginia Record
Back-ordered car parts have been an issue since the start of the pandemic, but it keeps getting worse, especially when you add recall parts and a chip shortage to the list. “One insurance company actually agreed to pay more for the used panels than they would have brand new panels and the customer was OK with using those,” said Childress. The longer these cars sit waiting on parts, the longer it takes for the business to get paid. “To get your supplemental payment they want to see invoices and documentation to back it up because this will also need to be calibrated once it’s done, which is going to be another $500 or $600 that I need to invoice to get paid for it,” Childress said. Childress Collision Center said if you can still drive your car after an accident, continue to do so and wait to send it in to the shop until all the parts come in. This will save you on cost for a rental, they said.
A man is suing 18 companies for causing him to contract Parkinson’s disease. Ronnie E. Auxier was employed as a paint technician in the aftermarket vehicle repair industry beginning in 1976 and continued in that capacity until 2015, according to a complaint filed in Kanawha Circuit Court in West Virginia. Auxier claims he worked at various body shops in Kanawha County over the years. During his employment, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and clear cell kidney cancer. Auxier claims he was exposed to preparation solvents, primers, paints, thinners, reducers, clear coats, sealers solvents, chemicals and products during his employment and that exposure caused his development of Parkinson’s disease and clear cell kidney cancer. The defendants were manufacturers, processors, importers, sellers, suppliers or distributors of the products to which Auxier was exposed, according to the suit.
Auxier claims the defendants were negligent and that his livelihood was dependent on working in auto body shops and he was required to come into contact with and work in close proximity with repair and restoration products.
Auxier’s illness, disability and damages were directly and proximately caused by the negligence, carelessness, willfulness and recklessness of the defendants, according to the suit. The defendants failed to advise Auxier of the dangerous characteristics of its repair and restoration products and failed to advise him as to what would be reasonably safe and sufficient clothing, protective equipment and appliances to
protect him from being poisoned and disabled as he was by exposure to the products, according to the suit. The defendants listed in the complaint are national companies PPG Industries, DuPont De Nemours and Company, Sherwin-Williams, Mercedes-Benz, Axalta Coating Systems, Genuine Parts Company dba NAPA Auto Parts, Rust-Oleum, U-Pol US, CQ Sourcing, Advance Auto Parts, 3M Company, CRC Industries, Valspar, W.M Barr & Company, Safety-Kleen and BASF Corporation, and local companies Refinishing Materials Specialties dba RMS Pro Finishes and Sutton Auto Parts dba Clendenin Auto Parts (NAPA). Auxier is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, and is represented by R. Dean Hartley, David B. Lunsford and Sean X. Xing of Hartley Law Group in Wheeling; and Robert P. Fitzsimmons and Clayton J. Fitzsimmons of Fitzsimmons Law Firm in Wheeling. The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Ken Ballard.
Chesterfield Auto Parts a Richmond Top Workplaces 2022 Honoree Chesterfield Auto Parts has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2022 honor by Richmond Times-Dispatch Top Workplaces. The list of 87 companies were voted as honorees in three categories, for large, medium and small businesses by employee surveys. Chesterfield Auto Parts has been named in the small business category, as a three-location self service auto junkyard business, family owned and
Troy Webber, president of Chesterfield Auto Parts.
operated since being founded in 1947. Troy Webber, president of Chesterfield Auto Parts, grew up in the business, relying on the mentorship of his father to instill the history and knowledge of the operation. “We couldn’t be more proud to be considered a Top Workplace in Richmond!” Webber said. “I love my job, and I am honored that my employees do too. We are a lucky few who enjoy coming to work.” The Top Workplaces Richmond honorees list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage LLC. The anonymous survey uniquely measures 15 culture drivers critical to the success of any organization, including alignment, execution and connection. Source: Chesterfield Auto Parts
8 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Continued from Cover
Markup to F-150
NC Lawmakers Propose Bill to Ban Free EV Charging Unless Free Gasoline or Diesel Also Offered
Gary Smith Ford in Fort Walton Beach, FL, appeared to be asking $140,600 for a relatively wellequipped F-150 Lightning. The Lightning in question has an MSRP of $71,049 and a “market adjustment” charge of $69,554—almost doubling the price of the truck. The picture came courtesy of RDeFran, a member of the Â F-150 Lightning Forum, who was sent the photograph by a friend on vacation. Ford has always been strongly against dealership markups. However, thanks to dealer franchise laws the automaker can do nothing to stop them. Ford warned dealerships of a $25,000 fine if they sold demo Lightnings too soon. Dealers can also get in trouble if they start offering customers premium placement on the waiting list in exchange for more money.
by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati
North Carolina Rep. Keith Kidwell, R-District 79, recently proposed a bill titled “Equitable Free Vehicle Fuel Stations,” setting its sights on electric vehicle charging stations. Kidwell, together with his colleagues, Rep. Ben Moss, R-District 67, Rep. Mark Brody, R-District 55, and Rep. George Cleveland, R-District 14, filed House Bill 1049 on June 8. The bill aims to add a new section to state law that, if successful, will force business owners that offer free EV charging services to explain how their customers are subsidizing the service. “Any person who is engaged in a business where electric vehicle charging stations are provided for use by the public at no charge shall ensure that each customer of the business, without regard to whether the customer uses the charging stations, is informed of, on the receipt for purchases, the percentage of the amount of the
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customer’s total purchase price that is a result of the business providing electric vehicle charging stations at no charge,” the bill reads. House Bill 1049 also specifically targets electric vehicle charging stations built on state property. As noted by The Carolina Journal, state law now authorizes the North Carolina Department of Transportation to operate EV charging stations at roadside rest stops, provided conditions are met. Kidwell’s bill aims to curb this practice by banning EV charging stations on state and local government property unless the same locations also offer free gasoline or diesel. “The Department of Transportation shall not use public funds to provide electric vehicle charging stations on property owned or leased by the State or to fund or install electric vehicle charging stations on property owned or leased by a person or entity unless the Department
or the person or entity provides gasoline and diesel fuel for motor vehicles through a pump to the public at no charge,” House Bill 1049 reads. The bill also takes aim at local governments supporting EV charging stations. “A county shall not use public funds to provide electric vehicle charging stations on property owned or leased by the county or to fund or install electric vehicle charging stations on property owned or leased by a person or entity unless the county or the person or entity provides gasoline or diesel fuel for motor vehicles through a pump to the public at no charge,” one of the bill’s provisions reads. HB 1049 would provide the DOT with $50,000 “for the purpose of removing any electric vehicle charging stations that do not comply with the provisions of this act.”
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Georgia Auto Shop to Pay $162K in Back Wages, Damages to 19 Employees
Caliber Gifts Refurbished Vehicles to 5 NashvilleArea Military Service Members
A Canton, GA, tire retailer and auto shop shortchanged 19 workers by withholding first paychecks and paying overtime at rates lower than required, a U.S. Department of Labor investigation determined. Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division found Cherokee Tire Service LLC kept some workers’ first weekly paychecks as a uniform deposit, which led to violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer also failed to pay some non-exempt salaried workers time-and-one-half of their regular rate for overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in the workweek. Cherokee Tire also did not add certain bonuses into workers’ hourly rates as required when calculating overtime rates. By doing so, the employer paid overtime at rates lower than the law requires. In addition, the division also found the employer failed to keep accurate records of work hours and overtime premiums paid. The division recovered $161,983 in back wages and liquidated damages for the af-
The Caliber family of brands, including Caliber Collision, alongside Caliber Auto Care and Caliber Auto Glass, is committed to its purpose, Restoring the Rhythm of Your Life® for their teammates, customers and the communities they serve. On June 8, Caliber, along with USAA and NABC Recycled Rides®, brought the Caliber purpose to life in Nashville, gifting five vehicles to local military service members and veterans. Throughout 2022, this initiative will gift a total of 46 vehicles to active-duty service members and military veterans in need of reliable transportation across the country. “Caliber teammates are inspired to serve the men and women who have given so much for our country, and we are honored to provide them with the gift of reliable transportation,” said Caliber CEO and President Mark Sanders. “This is what our purpose, Restoring the Rhythm of Your Life, means to all of us at
fected workers. The division conducted the investigation as part of the Southeast region’s auto care initiative. Earlier this year, another tire company with locations in Georgia and South Carolina paid more than $79,000 to 72 workers as a result of overtime violations found by agency investigators. “When business owners fail to pay full wages for the work their employees do, these workers and their families must work harder to make ends meet,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Steven Salazar in Atlanta. “Employers who fail to meet their obligations to workers may find it difficult to retain and recruit the employees they need to make their businesses successful.” In fiscal year 2021, the division recovered more than $4.3 million for more than 3,500 U.S. auto repair industry workers. Notably, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates more than 1.9 million workers in the South quit their current jobs in March, the highest of its four regions. Source: U.S. Department of Labor
Caliber—getting people back to the things that mean the most to them.” The Nashville gifting is possible because Caliber technicians volunteered their time and expertise to restore vehicles, provided by USAA and in partnership with NABC Recycled Rides, to likenew condition. Recipients are nominated by local nonprofits and the gift of reliable transportation helps them better manage daily activities, such as commuting to work, medical appointments, school and more. “We are proud of our Nashville teammates who restored these five vehicles and the rhythm of recipients’ lives,” said Sanders. Caliber previously gifted 10 vehicles in San Antonio, TX, and will present the remaining 31 vehicles to recipients in California, Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona and Texas throughout 2022. Source: Caliber
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Atlanta I-CAR Committee Strengthens Local Schools’ Collision Programs Through CREF “Dear Advisory Board: Thank you for your support and letting me learn how to repair body work on a car. Without your help, and Mr. Goodwin’s teaching, I probably wouldn’t have learned what I learned this semester.” “Thank you for donating tools to help us learn about a new career that can help us later in life.” “You guys have done so much for our class. We can’t thank you enough!” Collision repair students at Paulding County High School (PCHS) in Dallas, GA, sent handwritten notes to members of their program’s advisory board after the school’s second annual Small Car Race, an end-of-year project where students race the 6-inch cars they’ve built using recycled car parts. “By building these cars, the students learn skills like design, sanding, metal work, welding and painting, but in addition to allowing them to develop basic skills, this project helps build their self confidence,” said Melissa Dunn, chair of the PCHS advisory board and co-chair of training for the Atlanta I-CAR Committee. “Students were so proud of the cars they built, and many asked for advice on how they could have improved the design and paint after the races. Returning students will take what they learned this year— and the feedback received—to build a better car for next year’s race.” Dunn estimates that around 100 people stopped by to watch the races, including Hayden Swank, a late model race car driver with NASCAR aspirations. “Students were excited to see Hayden—and they definitely felt the pressure to do well in front of a real race car driver,” Dunn said. “Hayden was wonderful to come to the event and support the school’s program… he even waved the green flag to start cars down the track!” Last year’s Small Car Race generated enough attention to inspire several students to transfer into the auto body program for the 2021-22 school year, only the second year for the collision repair program at PCHS. Instructor Leroy Goodwin taught automotive for six years, but he felt he was doing students a disservice by not offering any auto body experience. “Two years ago, this program
didn’t exist, but when the school agreed to let me add it, I started with nothing more than my personal tools and built it up from nothing,” he recalled. But the program is growing strong. Two students competed in their state’s SkillsUSA competition this spring, with Goodwin’s advanced student taking third place in collision repair and his first-year student placing fourth in refinishing. “His blending was dead-on; the judge couldn’t even find the blend lines,” Goodwin brags. “I was so proud of them both. We also had our first collision graduate recently. He finished school with an ASE certification…and a job offer. We’ll have at least 20 students graduating next year.” So, how did Goodwin manage to establish and develop such a strong auto body program in a short amount of time…and on the school’s limited program budget of $5,000? “Without the support we’ve received from our advisory board, the Atlanta I-CAR Committee and the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), there’s no way this program would be anywhere near where it’s at,” he said. “Our advisory board members are committed to our program and constantly make sure we have everything we need. The Atlanta I-CAR Committee has funded grants and donated tools, equipment and computers, while CREF has also given us tools, estimating software, paint and many materials. These groups are our backbone, and we wouldn’t have this program if it wasn’t for their aid.” “Because PCHS applies for the CREF grant, they are also able to take advantage of funds raised by the Atlanta I-CAR Committee, allowing Mr. Goodwin to purchase more equipment for his classroom and teach his students the basic skills needed to start their career in the collision repair industry,” Dunn said. “We are always looking to recruit students that have passion for their craft and want to continue learning; we need them now more than ever, and if we can pique their interest earlier, we improve our chances of seeing them complete their training and enter the workforce after graduation. Without CREF’s grants, many
12 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
schools cannot afford the equipment and supplies needed to teach their students each year.” PCHS received a $10,000 CREF Benchmark Grant in 2021, funded by the Atlanta I-CAR Committee’s Annual Golf Tournament. Over the years, the committee has raised more than $700,000 for area schools, but its recent iteration generated the most funds to-date. The committee’s efforts raised more than $100,000 to support local collision repair education programs through CREF. “This was our biggest event ever!” said Atlanta I-CAR Committee Chair Gerry Poirier. “We sold out with 214 golfers, thanks to high involvement from all segments of the industry and the wonderful job our golf committee does. We have a great team in a great industry, and I’m lucky to lead this group.” Collision repair professionals from all over the country flocked to the Atlanta I-CAR Committee’s 12th Annual Golf Tournament on April 20 for a beautiful sunny day on the green. While the helicopter ball drop is al-
ways a crowd favorite, with this year’s winner receiving $2,000, raffle ticket sales offered multiple opportunities for participants to win fun prizes. For Poirier, the highlight of the event was visiting with the four local schools in attendance, which provided evidence of the impact the committee is making. “This was the first time that four schools showed up to thank everyone for participating in the golf tournament and helping raise funds that support their programs,” Poirier said. Maxwell High School instructor Sam Melaragno felt it was important to attend the golf tournament to express his appreciation for everything the Atlanta I-CAR Committee and CREF have done to help him and his students since 2012. “They’ve blessed us tremendously. Between the grants, tools and equipment, I never need—or even want for—anything. Whenever I need supplies, they show up for us, enabling me to focus on teaching my kids what they need to know to get See I-CAR Committee, Page 16
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Tesla Insurance To Reach New Jersey And Florida by Maria Merano, Teslarati
Tesla Insurance seems ready to expand to New Jersey and Florida based on filings in both states. In New Jersey, Tesla has three companies filed under the state’s list of licensed insurance carriers. In its list, the NJ Department of Bank and Insurance (DOBI) includes Tesla General Insurance, Inc., Tesla Insurance Company, and Tesla Property & Casualty, Inc. The names of Tesla’s insurance service in New Jersey match those it filed for in Maryland. Tesla also filed for new auto insurance programs under Meritplan Insurance Company and Balboa Insurance Company with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. The Maryland Administration told Teslarati that the Balboa Insurance Company changed its name to Tesla Insurance earlier this year. Maryland also had filings for a Tesla Property & Casualty, Inc. We thank Teslarati for reprint permission
Continued from Cover
New-Vehicle Prices were transacting on average between 6.1% and 9.3% over MSRP. On the other side of the spectrum, Buick and Lincoln were selling at nearly 1% below MSRP. “Prices for both new and used vehicles are showing signs of stabilizing, and price growth will likely decline over the course of the summer as the anniversary of the ‘big squeeze’ in inventory passes,” said Rebecca Rydzewski, research manager of economic and industry insights for Cox Automotive. “However, no one should expect price drops, as tight supplies in the new market will hold prices at an elevated level into 2023.” The average price paid for a new non-luxury vehicle in May was $43,338, up $709 from April. Car shoppers in the non-luxury segment paid on average $1,030 above sticker price. Consumers have paid more than MSRP in each month of 2022, whereas one year ago, non-luxury vehicles were selling for more than
Several Memphis, TN, Auto Repair Shops Not Taking Any More Cars Until August by Brittni Clemons, ABC24 Memphis
Now people can add getting their car fixed to the list of inconveniences the pandemic has shed light on. Auto repair shops in Memphis, TN, are so backed up, most of them are not taking in any more vehicles until August. Several repair shops told ABC24 they can’t keep up with the demand right now, because Shelby County is leading the state with the highest number of crashes. In the month of May, there have been almost 2,700 crashes in Shelby County—about five every hour. Joe Morrow, owner of Morrow Auto Body, said he doesn’t have the manpower and can’t get the parts to keep up with the demand. “I can’t get parts right now, especially for new cars,” Murrow said. “I had a 2022 Kia and it took me two months to get parts because they weren’t available. A lot of stuff is on
backorder so it’s not our fault that everything is so far behind.” Murrow also said his customers are dealing with having to foot a large tow truck bill. Since tow trucks can’t take a wrecked vehicle to an auto shop because shops are full, people’s cars have to sit in a tow lot until their repair date. Murrow said people are paying at least $30 a day. Rental car companies are also being heavily impacted right now. If someone needs a rental in the next few months because of a car accident, it’s going to be almost impossible because they don’t have inventory for the demand either. But insurance companies are noticing this. If you have a coverage plan that does rental reimbursement, some insurance companies will let you use that money towards rideshares like Uber or Lyft if you can’t get a rental car.
14 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
$400 under MSRP. In May, the average luxury buyer paid $65,379 for a new vehicle, down $511 month over month but still $1,071 above sticker price. For comparison, luxury vehicles were selling for nearly $1,300 under MSRP one year ago. Luxury vehicle share remains historically high, but decreased to 17.3% of total sales in May, down slightly from 17.4% in April. For comparison, luxury share in May 2021 was 15.9% and, pre-pandemic, luxury share in May 2019 was 13.1% of the total market. The average price paid for a new electric vehicle (EV) dropped again in May compared to April, as more lower-priced models enter the market and offset the many luxury EVs already available. The Chevrolet Bolt, with average transaction prices below $40,000, is available on dealer lots after an extensive recall, and the new Kia EV6 is selling well. Even Tesla had slightly lower ATPs month over month in May. Still, the average price for a new electric vehicle—over $64,000 according to Kelley Blue Book es-
timates—is well above the industry average and more aligned with luxury prices than mainstream prices. New-vehicle average transaction price changes month over month by segment saw all segments increasing except cars, mirroring April. With an ATP of $56,216, trucks saw the largest increase of $888. With an ATP of $48,671, vans saw an increase of $726 in May, while SUVs increased by $526 to an ATP of $46,073. Cars had an average transaction price of $41,902 in May, a $179 decrease month over month. Meanwhile, vans still had the lowest incentives (expressed as a percent of ATP) at 1.4%, and trucks had the highest at 2.9%. Incentives dropped to a record low level in May, averaging only 2.5% of the average transaction price. Source: Kelley Blue Book
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Classic Collision Grows Again in Florida Classic Collision, LLC, announced a new closing May 27—the acquisition of The Body Werks repair center in Holly Hill, FL. The Body Werks has been taking care of the collision repair needs for Daytona and the surrounding areas for almost 40 years. “We have gained a stellar reputation in our community because of our attention to detail and our dedication to clients, and we look forward to carrying this on with Classic,” stated Tom Prescott, owner. “We are pleased to welcome the entire Body Werks team to the Classic family. We recognize their high service standards and look forward to building on that in Volusia County,” said Toan Nguyen, CEO of Classic Collision. Source: Classic Collision
Continued from Page 12
I-CAR Committee started in a shop…they make my job easy,” Melaragno said. “These guys really care about the industry, and they work tirelessly to get things done,” Melaragno added. “Our advisory board is also great. They’re involved and eager to support our program, and they provide input on our curriculum to help us understand how we can get our students ready for them to hire. Their input is as valuable as the support they give us financially.” “When we support a school, we don’t just hand them money and walk away; we get involved on their advisory boards and their activities because we want to help the programs and the students succeed,” Poirier said. “Raising a lot of money is great, but it’s more important that those funds being used to make a difference.” Student engagement is the best way to gauge the impact of these efforts, and according to Melaragno, “When boxes filled with paint and supplies show up, the adult-sized high
school kids get excited like it is Christmas morning. They can’t wait to see what’s inside, and they know that each delivery is just another way that the industry is investing in them and their futures. They notice how much these auto body professionals show up for them, and they recognize how much they’re needed in this industry.” The Atlanta I-CAR Committee also wants to ensure students are financially able to pursue their collision careers, so it recently awarded scholarships to two Maxwell High School students through CREF. Marinelly Santiago and Abale Haylay will each receive a $3,000 scholarship to use toward tuition, books and tools as they further their educational pursuits. “This is an amazing industry, but we have to attract more young people,” Poirier said. “Learning to fix cars can open so many doors to a great career, so we do what we can to get good people interested, educated and employed. CREF is doing a great job raising awareness with efforts like Operative Talent, but they can’t do it without our help. Industry professionals need to support CREF
Man Allegedly Leased Property For Illegal Chop Shop In Frayser, Records Show by FOX13Memphis.com News Staff
A man faces multiple charges after a chop shop bust in Frayser. On Dec. 22, 2021, a woman filed a report with the Memphis Police Department that her vehicle, a 2010 Infiniti G37, had been stolen. The vehicle was valued at over $10,000, according to an affidavit. On June 8, officers responded to a location in the 1100 block of Whitney Avenue where multiple vehicles were in various states of disrepair with engines lying about the lot. The lot’s owner, identified as Ahmed Alshujaa, 57, gave detectives permission to check the lot and gave them a key to a gate and the shop behind it, police said. Detectives found an Infiniti engine matching the woman’s vehicle that had been stolen, according to the affidavit. Alshujaa told police he leased the property to a man who made cash payments and said he never gave receipts.
because you’re busy and can’t do it all—and that’s exactly why you need to support the foundation! “CREF is the industry’s voice for attracting good talent,” he continued. “As a shop owner, you don’t have time to go to the American School Counselor Association Conference to improve the industry’s image. You don’t have the resources to coordinate career fairs around the country. And while you’re hopefully invested enough in our industry’s future to sit on a local school’s advisory board, the foundation engages with hundreds of schools and thousands of students each year on a national level—for all of us! Supporting CREF and your local schools is a really important ways we can all make a difference in our industry’s future.” Industry members interested in getting involved and supporting CREF’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs should contact Brandon Eckenrode, managing director, at 312-231-0258 or Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation.org. Monetary donations can be made online. Source: CREF
He said he made energy payments on the property until he cut it off sometime in the fall, records show. Alshujaa also said he did not think the man was operating a legitimate business but did not feel the need to contact law enforcement, according to the affidavit. Alshujaa is now charged with Violation of Chop Shop Law and Theft of Property $10,000-$60,000, both felonies. The other man, identified as Eric Aldridge, approached officers and told them he was the lessee of the lot and owned the property left on the lot, records show. Aldridge has been charged with Theft of Property $10,000 $60,000 and Prohibited Operation or Ownership of a Chop Shop. He’s due in court June 16.
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Used Car Prices Beginning Road Back to Normal While used car prices showed modest declines in early 2022, overall prices remain near all-time highs, at an average of $31,450, according to a new monthly report from CoPilot, a car shopping app. CoPilot market analysis further revealed used vehicle prices are likely to accelerate their decline in the coming months, with the greatest pressure on the more recent year models consumers have been turning to as a substitute for new cars in the wake of record inventory shortages. In order to offer a real-time metric to track price inflation in used cars, CoPilot has created the first-ofits-kind Used Car Price Premium Index, tracking the “return to normal,” showing the differential between what any individual used car would have been worth today if not for the extraordinary dynamics of the past two years and the resulting unprecedented inflation in car prices, which have historically only depreciated. CoPilot has also launched Price Pulse, a free tool for car shoppers.
Price Pulse allows consumers to check current prices and the price premium on any car; this helps them confidently choose the right car, and know when is the right time to buy. As of May, CoPilot’s index showed average used car prices
are $9,375, or 42.5%, above their projected normal levels. The index also revealed which brands and types of vehicles have the highest price premiums and which are furthest along the road back to normal prices.
While the May Used Car Price Premium level is higher than at any time in the past, CoPilot’s data also revealed significant downward price pressure building in the market for recent model year used vehicles. While the price premium for 1- to 3-year-old vehicles reached an all-time high of $11,765, the average time these vehicles have spent on dealer lots has jumped by 47% over the past year. This glut of aging inventory is building pressure on dealers to start dropping prices more aggressively. When combined with increasing payment levels due to higher interest rates, price declines among more recent used car models are likely to accelerate significantly in the coming months. “CoPilot created the Used Car Price Premium Index as the first consumer-centric measure of inflation in the used car market. No one wants to be one of the last people to dramatically overpay for anything, whether it’s a car, a house or a stock,” said Pat Ryan, CEO and
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founder of CoPilot. “While the current market remains one of the most challenging in history for consumers, our index shows that, in particular, 1- to 3-year-old and 4- to 7-year-old vehicles are starting the long road back to normal. “Consumers are tired of paying new car prices for used cars, Ryan continued. “At the beginning of 2022, consumers were paying 98% of the original sticker price for 1- to 3-year-old cars; historically these vehicles sold for 71% of the original sticker price. Our Used Car Price Premium Index is the first metric to show where prices are versus normal times, not just last month or last year. And our free Price Pulse tool for consumers uses that data to help car shoppers decide what and when to buy.” One part of the index is likely to lag behind the rest of the market in the return to normal: older used car models. Inflated prices of more recent used car models continue to push more consumers into the market for older vehicles, resulting in
record high prices for 8- to 13-yearold cars. Given the heightened demand for vehicles at these price points, the price premium for older used cars have reached their all-time high, at $6,027, and prices for these vehicles are not expected to return to normal levels as quickly as newer models. “CoPilot’s Used Car Price Premium Index is the only index in the market that provides consumers with a retail-based metric of where they would expect prices to be in a normal economy, rather than a month-over-month comparison,” Ryan added. “While there are some promising signs that we may soon see a softening in the used car market, consumers are still paying record-high price premiums for many of the most popular brands and segments. As CoPilot reports this data on a monthly basis, we aim to serve as a resource for consumers navigating an unprecedented set of conditions in the car market.”
Continued from Cover
date of the final deadline. FRS did not provide supporting information about the claims it was attempting to subrogate. It said in pleadings that it “would not be practical to submit claims for many thousands of total loss vehicles before resolving the threshold legal question whether such claims would be permitted.” U.S. District Judge Sean F. Cox denied the motion to intervene. He said in his order that FRS had ample opportunity to intervene earlier but failed to act until after three settlement agreements had been approved. Allowing more claims to be litigated at that late stage would delay distribution of the settlement proceeds, Cox said. The 6th Circuit panel said Cox did not abuse his discretion. “If it were to allow intervention, the district court would have to decide whether FRS has a right to any of the settlement proceeds,” the opinion says. “This would require, for all practical purposes, revisiting the class definition and the plan of allocation, issues that have long been resolved.”
Price-Fixing Case involved until May 2018. It sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Marianne O. Battani giving notice that its eight insurer clients had a subrogation interest in the settlement payments because they made total-loss payments to policyholders. Court documents do not reveal the identities of FRS’ clients, except for a claim assignment agreement with Selective Insurance Co. that was included in the court’s electronic file. FRS said denying the insurers equitable subrogation would “undeniably result in a double payment to total loss insureds.” But by the time FRS gave notice of its claims, three settlement agreements had already been approved and a fourth agreement was pending a final hearing. The court had set a Dec. 31, 2019, deadline to file claims, but delayed the deadline twice at the request of the plaintiffs’ attorneys. FRS filed a formal motion to intervene on June 18, 2020, the
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CIECAST Looks at Unintended Consequences of Data Sharing in Collision Repair by Abby Andrews
CIECA on May 24 hosted its latest CIECAST webinar, “Data Sharing in the Collision Industry and Its Unintended Consequences.” The roughly 40-minute broadcast, featuring Pete Tagliapietra, managing director of DataTouch, LLC, can be viewed at any time at https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=x6M14qGIo5c Tagliapietra, who also founded NuGen IT before it was acquired by OEConnection, discussed the lack of security and control around the now-ubiquitous Estimate Management Standard (EMS) export, and the importance of giving collision repair facilities and customers the ability to control personal information sharing in the future. CIECA first released the EMS Standard in April 1994, designed to allow shops to import estimate data into their management system of choice— CCC, Mitchell or Audatex. “It was designed for internal shop use only,” Tagliapietra said. “It was never intended to be secure or used externally for ecommerce purposes.” But since then, several companies have recognized its value as an “excellent external ecommerce tool,” Tagliapietra said, including those offering claims processing, data mining and reporting and integration with any collision repair industry stakeholders. “Pandora’s box was opened and the EMS Standard is entrenched in the industry,” he said. “That data today is widely used for many different purposes.” Tagliapietra said ActiveX controls and data pumps have become prolific on shops’ computer systems—which seamlessly grab EMS export data and share it wherever the data pump directs it. “Once a data pump is installed, it will copy all estimates indefinitely until it is uninstalled,” Tagliapietra said. “That means if a shop switches and no longer uses that partner, but doesn’t uninstall the data pump, it will keep sending [data.] “We see that as a very key issue as to what’s going on now,” he said. Tagliapietra said repair data is the “newfound gold” in the industry. “That data is being used way beyond what most people recognize,” he
said. “It goes way beyond vehicle reporting.” As an example, Tagliapietra said, startup electric vehicle manufacturers are looking at repair orders of competitors’ EVs, to learn what is being
“Businesses can no longer ignore the potential liabilities by not protecting personal information,” he said. “It needs to be dealt with. And it will be dealt with, but it’s just going to take time to do that.”
repaired and when, as well as demographic information on who is buying those EVs. It’s a common misconception among shops that third party providers can successfully manage personal ID info and repair data, Tagliapietra said. “There’s no surefire way to manage it successfully unless it happens right where the shop writes an estimate,” he said. He showed a flow chart, illustrating how customers’ personal information and vehicle repair data can get from a shop to a completely unaffiliated third party. A shop creates an estimate, then uploads the data to its estimating system provider, which attaches the EMS report via an ActiveX control or data pump. To help facilitate the repair, the EMS data goes to parts search databases, parts providers, third party claims processors and business management systems—and it can also end up in vehicle history reports and information on parts pricing, vehicle repairability and vehicle owner demographics. This has led to a complete lack of control of the vehicle owner’s personal info, Tagliapietra said. “It started happening in the mid to late ‘90s, so it’s nothing new, but it now has grown to the point it’s been identified by states,” he said. California now has strict regulations on personal information security, and other states, like Virginia and Ohio, are looking into it. Tagliapietra said many more states will follow.
Paul Barry, executive director of CIECA, talked about the difference between data security and information privacy. “Data security—think of it like home security,” Barry said. “It’s really about keeping the bad guys out.” Businesses need to manage their
20 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
own data security to prevent unwanted access, he said, using routers, firewalls, VPNs, passwords and anti-virus software. Information privacy is a business’s policies and procedures aimed at protecting that data. “Each business should develop a program of controls to ensure info is protected and shared appropriately,” Barry said, including password, system access and information sharing policies, and training. “Larger companies usually have this, but it doesn’t scale down well,” Barry said. “It’s something every business needs to be aware of.” When CIECA realized EMS data was being shared broadly, Barry said, it started focusing on data segmentation—sharing only the data necessary for a particular job—which gave rise to the newer BMS standards and is figuring into developing CAPIS standards. “If we don’t need to share a customer’s personally identifiable information, then we shouldn’t,” Barry said. “For example, a parts provider doesn’t See Data Sharing, Page 32
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Auto Body Shop Veteran Says DRPs Can Be Profitable If Done Right by Ed Attanasio
Autobody News recently sat down with Jim Huard to talk about what’s important to him and the current state of the collision repair industry. Jim and Kelly Huard are the co-owners of Painters Collision Centers with two locations in Queen Creek and Chandler, AZ. Their goal is 10 locations within the next two years through smart and strategic expansion.
Q: A: Q:
As a body shop owner, what are your top concerns?
sub-par repairs or compromise our quality to save money.
Are most of your DRPs profitable and are you satisfied with
I believe that all DRPs are profitable for all shops. How do you repair a car? And how do you write the estimate? Are you focused on the sales mix and writing a complete estimate? Are you complacent and write poor estimates and what does your throughput model look like?
A shop owner told me one time the tug-of-war between body shops and insurance companies will never cease, although it will change and evolve. Do you agree, and how and why have your relationships with your insurers changed? I respectfully disagree; I am different in how I view this. All repairers can work effectively with carriers if they know how to navigate through the process. It’s not always just about being right. But instead of having the facts, the correct documentation and the right attitude about the relationship is what is truly important.
Jim Huard of Painters Collision Centers in Arizona is not afraid to share his ideas and opinions with body shop owners and the industry as a whole.
I again respectfully disagree, because from my experience, all insurers will pay to repair the vehicle correctly. I also believe it is a choice to repair a car correctly. Scans, calibrations and the like will be reimbursed as long as they are properly documented. I am a DRP work flow guy. I am fanatical about quality repairs, and we are super picky about what we repair. The insurance companies are always watching the bottom line and there is nothing wrong with that. But I don’t think they ever want us to do
Do your insurance partners constantly ask you to incorporate more aftermarket and recycled/remanufactured parts into your repairs? Are some of these parts OK to use, or would you want to use OE parts on every repair if you could? I will answer this carefully. In a perfect world, we would use all OE. This frankly would improve the carrier’s profit. We did a case study on this topic. What we discovered is that with the downtime of getting a used part, and the fact that most come damaged or not useable, we often have to return and wait for another. It’s incredibly time-consuming and costs the carriers thousands of dollars per day in rental costs.
Profitability is predicated on good quality estimates and throughput. This is a proven fact. A shop that produces 1.5 HPD will put 1.8% to the bottom line, give or take. A shop producing six HPD will put 18% to 20% to the bottom line or better.
Another body shop owner told me the main problem in this industry is the simple fact the insurance companies, in general, don’t pay enough for repairs. Do you agree?
Hiring and retaining skilled labor is our No. 1 concern.
basket. One of our DRPs generates 37% of our revenue, and another one is at 21%, for example. I work with five partners in total and will not add any more. This is how we are able to provide top level KPIs with compliance and overall stellar performance for each partner.
How has all of the new technology impacted your productivity? Customer service? Marketing? Online? We have had to adapt several times over. We created processes to repair higher level technology vehicles effectively while positively impacting our CSI. We also work with a stellar marketing company, Stratosphere Studio, that is engaged, in tune and really knows the collision repair industry.
Are you ever worried you’re too dependent on your DRPs?
I am not, because we are very strategic on how we operate. We do not put all of our eggs in one
22 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
This does apply to some aftermarket and reconditioned parts. The carriers put a ton of pressure on the rentals and cycle time. Most carriers spend $5 million per day on rental replacements while vehicles are being repaired. I also believe that if a consumer purchases a policy that requires aftermarket parts, that is on the consumer. Most aftermarket parts today fit well and are crash tested. Depending on what it is, a reconditioned part is more than acceptable, in my opinion. But as I stated, in an all-OEM world, all parties involved will gain throughput and profit.
From your experience, is it better to pay techs salary/ hourly or flat rate?
I have many opinions here. But from my experience, hourly you will realize low profits, lack of productivity, poor cycle times and usually a sub-tribe of people who are not truly genuine in their efforts. See Can Be Profitable, Page 39
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autobodynews.com / JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 25
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.
3 Phrases I’ve Heard with Potential Power in the Collision Repair Industry I’ve recently heard three people I respect in the collision repair industry each quote a different phrase that really resonated with me. I found myself continuing to think about how what they said is very applicable to our industry. So I thought I would pass those things along here. First, I was recently at a conference where Dan Risley of CCC Intelligent Solutions used the term “post-collision emotional support.” That brought to mind a couple of experiences I’d heard just recently from owners of General Motors vehicles. In the first, a Texas collision repairer told me his daughter had been in an accident in his vehicle. Not only did OnStar notify him of the accident, but they stayed in contact with him the whole time he was getting to the hospital where his daugh-
ter was taken. In another instance l heard from a GM owner, OnStar not only contacted him at the time of the accident to make sure he was OK, but followed up with him the next day just to confirm. I think that’s pretty amazing. It reminded me that about a year ago, after I’d had a medical procedure, both my doctor and the anesthesiologist called me the next day just to follow up, to make sure I was OK and wasn’t having any side effects. It meant a lot to me that they took the time to do that. I think the automakers are recognizing the opportunity that telematics offer them to provide that “post-collision emotional support” Dan was talking about. I think the GM stories are examples of that, and it’s going to help the OEMs leverage their brand and create raving fans
out of customers who are in an accident in a GM vehicle. So is there a way for us as shops to similarly provide post-collision emotional support? I think there is. How about a follow-up call to the customer the day after they pick up their vehicle, just to ask if everything is good with their vehicle? I know shops struggle with all the demands they have on their time, but couldn’t this be a great way to cement customer loyalty? A second quote that really jumped out at me recently was shared by a Collision Advice teammate, Sheryl Driggers, who I have so much respect for. We were having a team meeting, and she said something like, “Where there is no communication, negativity fills the void.” It made so much sense in the context of our discussion that I
asked her about it. She said she was paraphrasing Jon Gordon, author of “The Energy Bus,” “The Power of Positive Leadership” and other best-selling books. The actual quote from Jon: “Where there is a void in communication, negativity will fill it. Fill the voids so negativity can’t breed and grow.” To me, this really brought to mind all the supply chain issues we’re struggling with. If there are delays with the repair of a vehicle because of back-ordered parts or insurer-caused delays, are you keeping those customers actively informed about what’s happening? If there’s a void in your communication, they may be filling that void with negativity: “Man, that shop has really dropped the ball and isn’t getting my car fixed.” See 3 Phrases I’ve Heard, Page 29
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Guest Columnist with Cole Strandberg
Cole Strandberg is a principal with FOCUS Investment Banking, specializing in automotive aftermarket mergers and acquisitions. Cole works closely with automotive equipment providers, paint jobbers and collision centers. For more information, contact him at email@example.com or (561) 400-1015
How to Sell Your Automotive Distribution Business—An Insider’s Perspective I left my first stint in investment banking for the less glamorous world of automotive equipment distribution. Going from suits and boardrooms to jeans and paint booth pits was quite a transition, but it helped me realize what more and more people are finding out: the path to wealth is often found in owning a blue collar, service-oriented business, and then eventually selling that business. But if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you already know that. In my case, the catalyst to leave investment banking was to join my family’s 30-year-old automotive equipment company following a strategic buyer’s interest in purchasing the business. I loved the idea of working with my family, and it was a truly great experience. At the time, I felt my banking experience would be helpful in the
sales process and I would like to experience it firsthand, which is also how I got back into banking. But until that initial acquisition interest, my family had not fully realized how valuable our company would appear to outside buyers. In fact, it was such a niche business that selling had never become a serious discussion. After all, who would buy a business in an industry that 99% of the country has never thought about? Spoiler alert: There was a ton of interest from all sorts of potential buyers. Distribution is sometimes overlooked as the key cog it is in the automotive aftermarket ecosystem. Whether you sell coatings and parts, paint booths and frame machines, or alignment equipment and compressors, you’re vital to the success of your customers. They rely on you to help them make money,
plain and simple. Now, with massive levels of consolidation among your customers—be they collision repair centers, tire stores or car dealerships—you’re at a bit of a crossroads yourself. As your customers get bigger and more sophisticated, they expect you to do the same—or exit the industry. This “grow or go” conundrum is leading to significant M&A activity among the distribution companies that service those customers. Consolidation is underway, and valuations are high. In short, despite all the challenges you face in the business world right now, it’s a good time to be an owner—and potential seller— of a distribution company in the automotive space. So, if you’re open to selling your distribution business but not sure where to start, here are some
things to think about from someone who’s been involved as both a seller and a banker. The first order of business is to make sure your organization is ready for a transaction. Here are some steps to do just that: Consult an investment bank or M&A advisor: Find the right team to market your business and have your back throughout the M&A process. Your investment bank is an extension of you and your company in the marketplace, so make sure you are well represented. Look for investment banks that specialize in your space and market. It certainly helps when they’re familiar with your industry, its valuation trends and its buyers. Some key things my family and I considered when selecting our investment bank included industry experience and expertise, a high-quality team, FIN-
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RA licensing and a good cultural fit. The right investment bank will help you focus on the right metrics to get you where you want to go, even if you’re not there yet. They will also help guide you through some of the less obvious potential pitfalls that come with selling a distribution business, such as informing your suppliers beforehand and working with them to ensure a smooth transition. That’s what my family did, and it ended up opening a whole new world of potential buyers, allowing us to maximize the business’s value and find the right partners for longterm growth and success. Get your finances in order: One of the biggest factors hampering transactions from taking place is less-than-stellar financial records. If that sounds familiar, don’t fret! When we sold our family business, we recognized our financials were lacking in sophistication and brought in an ace CPA firm to help. It made a significant impact and changed the entire selling process for the better. In our case, we were introduced to our accounting firm
by our investment bank. If you don’t have an accountant, ask your investment banker to refer you to one. Stay focused on growth: When a sale is looming, it is easy for owners to focus on that sale as much or more than the daily operations of the business itself. This is a major trap. Keep pushing the growth! Doing this will ensure you get the best valuation possible and avoid any cold feet from buyers at the finish line. Stability within the business throughout the M&A process is key. Rely on your investment bank to handle the sales process while you concentrate on running your business. Map out the future: Some owners want to be done with their business entirely and ride off into the sunset that is retirement. And that’s perfectly OK. Others don’t want to get out entirely, but they’d like to take some money off the table and find the right partners to fuel growth within the business. Both cases attract two entirely different types of buyers. Based on what you want your business to look like after the sale, your investment bank or M&A advisor will help you
find the right partner. In our case, we wanted to keep some skin in the game and play a major role in the company’s future growth. Selling your distribution business is an exciting proposition, but there are many moving parts and roadblocks that can make the process daunting. You’ve dedicated blood, sweat, tears and—perhaps most importantly—a lot of time to your business. Nailing the transaction to ensure all that hard work is rewarded properly is paramount. After all, you don’t want to fumble at the goal line following a beautiful 99-yard return, right? Selling your business can often be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so when that opportunity comes, make sure it’s executed properly. Find yourself the right partners and maximize your valuation. You’ve worked hard to get here, now finish strong!
Continued from Page 26
3 Phrases I’ve Heard The fact Sheryl brought this concept to my attention hit home again just a few days later when I heard Ray Chew of CCC talk about what he termed a “no-update update.” Ray was talking about reaching out to customers just to let them know there’s nothing new you can tell them—there’s still no timeline from the supplier for the arrival of the part we need, for example—but you wanted to at least give them that update. The “no-update update” will help fill those communication voices to prevent negativity from creeping in. I’d love to hear how you’re offering “post-collision emotional support” or “no-update updates” to help avoid “voids in communication” at your business. Or if there’s a phrase or quote you’ve recently heard that’s resonated with you, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. www.autobodynews.com
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Industry Insight with John Yoswick
—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
CIC Committees Tackle Ongoing Shortage of Collision Repair Technicians
It’s not uncommon during discus- said. “No, he was mowing the shop CIC Talent Pool and Education sions within the collision repair in- owner’s yard. When I spoke to the Committee, said too often he hears dustry about the technician shortage owner of the body shop about this, shops and schools pointing to the with Ed Attanasio for body shop representatives to he said, ‘I had to pay my dues. other as the cause of the technician point to what they see as the inad- They’ve got to pay theirs. As long shortage. “There needs to be more conequate entry-level skills of students as the school keeps sending peocompleting auto body training pro- ple, I never have to mow my yard.’ versation. People need to get on the same page,” Center said. grams. To that end, the discussion at Educators and others speaking CIC included panelists sharing ideas at this spring’swith Collision Industry Ed Attanasio about ways to improve the techniConference (CIC), however, offered cian shortage. Oden said collision their own perspectives on the issue. repair and other technical training “We do not have a recruiting programs in her state hold summer problem. We have a retention probcamps that give fifth and sixth grade lem,” Virginia Oden, a trade and instudents some exposure to the differdustrial education program specialist ent programs. During eighth grade, with Oklahoma Career Tech, said at with Ed Attanasio Virginia Oden of Oklahoma Career Tech said students tour technical training prothe meeting held in Oklahoma City. how entry-level technicians are treated when grams in their area. “How we treat our employees is key. they enter the industry impacts whether they “It’s all about planting seeds. If you don’t provide them with opstay in the industry It’s making students and parents and portunity, they will look elsewhere. They will tell you it’s because of My point: Do not assume these kids counselors aware of the opportunities that are out there,” Oden said. the dollar. But people do not leave need to do what you and I did.” with Ed Attanasio a job they love and where they feel Bud Center, chairman of the “At the same time, having done appreciated. They leave because of management, period.” She said she has seen technical education teachers “work hard every day to instill the passion they have for this industrywith into those students, Stacey Phillips and then when they get out into the industry, they are treated terribly. They may leave your shop and go down the street to the next shop. • Delivery to 100 Mile Radius of Naples But if they’re treated terribly at that shop, they will leave industry.Phillips withthe Stacey PARTS HOURS: PARTS DIRECT LINE: “They can get better work and M-F 7am to 6pm better hours, with less hard labor, 239-734-3215 2 3 39 9 734 734 3215 21 Sat 8am to 5pm Fax: 239-591-3051 working at Amazon,” Oden said. “So it’s important once we get them 5665 N. Airport Pulling Rd. / Naples, FL 34109 recruited and passionate about what At Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Naples, we do, we’ve got to treat them with with Stacey Phillips we we’ ee’re ’re re re yyou yoour oneee-stop -sto stop opp ssho hop for for respect. It’s not about ‘kids today.’ It’s every single person who’s breathing. We all want to be treated with respect.” Speaking from the floor at CIC, Dane Rounkles of American Honda said he once went to a collision with Staceyshop Phillips in the Southeast to visit a student interning there while completing the Honda Professional Automotive Career Training program at a local school. “He wasn’t there, and I asked, ‘Did he not show up?’” Rounkles
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this for a while, the industry tends to want the fruit off the tree. They don’t want to help plant the seed to grow the tree. So they’re not involved in those summer camps and eighth grade visits and sophomore showcases. It’s like anything: If that student has seen your face, they become comfortable with you. You’re building that relationship. You’re starting that investment.” Amber Alley, manager of Barsotti’s Body & Fender in San Rafael, CA, has spoken at a number of past industry events about the success her shop has seen from its involvement with a local college taking part in a pilot project funded by the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation. The students in the two-year program rotate spending eight weeks at school, then eight weeks working in a shop. At CIC, Alley said she sees
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30 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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autobodynews.com / JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 31 5/11/22 7:51 AM
strong evidence of student interest in the trade. “I’ve done job fairs and that type of thing, and it’s not that people aren’t attracted to the industry,” Alley said. “It’s the presentation of the industry that they get once they come in.” Too often, she said, shops aren’t willing “to invest in people, and to offer them fair wages and a career path, because they’re scared that someone down the street is going to give them a dollar more. But not everyone is going to make it at your shop. We all have to be willing to take the calculated risk of investing in someone. We can’t have the attitude that they need to prove themselves to us. We need to prove ourselves to them.” Oden agreed that offering a career path is essential to keep young people in the industry. “They want to know what those steps are: This is where you are going to start. This is the compensation package, and here’s how you grow that,” Oden said. “I can tell you: Every single student in our career tech programs wants to see that.” But at the same time, Alley said,
the industry needs to have “a serious conversation” about what it will take for shops to pay competitive wages that attract and retain technicians in the industry. “None of this is going to matter if we can’t keep our doors open, if we can’t charge what the work costs, if you can’t pay the people what they need to earn to stay in the industry,” she said. “That needs to be a priority, having that conversation. We need to be big boys and girls about it, and be really serious…None of this is going to get solved unless we can pay people what their value is.” Center said when he asks shop owners what they are personally doing to help address the technician shortage and if they are involved with local schools, they often say they don’t have the time. “If you don’t have time as the owner or manager of a business in this industry to help solve this problem, who is going to do it? If you don’t have time, designate someone on your team to take that responsibility, and get this stuff done,” Center said. “Somebody has to take the lead.”
Continued from Page 20
EMS, to a more sophisticated standard, that’s easier to manage so we don’t give away data simply to anyone who wants to take it,” he said. Tagliapietra said currently, shops don’t have a way of finding out which data pumps are running in their systems, but that technology is coming. “Shops should be able to identify data pumps running on their system, validate them and determine which data should be shared,” he said. “Auditing software will be available before the end of the year to detect and advise a shop on how many [pumps are running] and who’s operating them.” Barry said there is no silver bullet that will eliminate the problem; it will require collision repairers choosing to work only with partners that will protect personal information. “It will take shops demanding it,” Barry said. “Millions of transactions are done every year through EMS. Shops will have to say, ‘I won’t do business with you unless you’re doing it through BMS.’” Barry said CIECA’s developing CAPIS Standards will use more current technology, but he thinks it’s going to take a while.
Data Sharing need a customer’s home address.” Tagliapietra said the industry as a whole is addressing the problem, but there’s a lot of work to be done. “When you’re standing on the basement floor, there’s nowhere to go but up,” he said. “That’s where the collision repair industry is in protecting personal identification information.” Tagliapietra said a solution needs to be offered to shops that addresses data segmentation and deletes customers’ personal information before sharing data with “practically everybody,” controlling what is shared based on what the partner—be it a parts provider, salvage yard, rental car company, etc—actually needs. He said he believes a solution to control data flow will be available to collision repairers by the end of 2022. “Like any other problem the industry has faced, I’m confident, Paul’s confident, it will be dealt with,” Tagliapietra said. “We need to move away from
32 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
Businesses Fear Shutdowns if Inflation Doesn’t Ease by Kevin Bessler, The Center Square
A new poll shows small businesses fear they will have to shut down within six months if inflation continues. The Alignable Small Business Inflation poll asked 5,268 businesses in May if they were concerned about inflation and over half said they fear they won’t be able to stay open over six months. Illinois was in line with the national average, with 49% of small business owners concerned over inflation-driven shutdowns. Many business owners said this is a more difficult time than the pandemic, researcher Chuck Casto said. “In one of our polls we asked point blank, what has been more damaging for your business, inflation or COVID, and over 60% said inflation,” Casto said. Rastaurants are the most concerned sector of the economy. Of those asked, 72% said they were concerned about shutting down because of inflation this
year. That was followed by beauty salons (65%) and gyms (63%). According to the poll, 49% of small business owners said their costs have increased by more than 25%, but only 16% are able to pass those expenses onto customers. The states with the most-worried small business owners included Maryland, Connecticut and Tennessee. One business owner said fuel costs would be the death of his business. In Illinois, gasoline is averaging $5.40 a gallon, putting a strain on many businesses. Relief doesn’t appear to be coming anytime soon. Laffer Tengler Investments’ Arthur Laffer Jr. told Fox News inflation will get “higher” and be here a while. “We think that inflation is going to be here higher and longer than we would have thought. But, this is pretty ugly. We have CPI coming out Friday, so we’ll see what it is. But this is definitely putting pressure on the economy. I think these prices are here for a while,” he said.
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autobodynews.com / JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 33
Capture the Keys Uses Geofencing to Find Customers in the Right Place at the Right Time by Ed Attanasio
Thomas Zoebelein, owner of Stratosphere Studio in Bel Air, MD, creates marketing concepts for body shops well-known for pushing the envelope. His latest product is Capture the Keys, a software product that can target and pinpoint potential customers who have physically visited competing shops. It’s totally legal and ethical, and has been highly effective in gathering viable leads for Zoebelein’s shop customers since he unveiled it in 2020. Stratosphere Studio has evolved with the collision repair industry since it opened its doors in 2011. “Back then, we were doing primarily digital marketing for body shops—websites, blog content, email marketing and some consumer advertising, and it worked very well for a while,” Zoebelein said. “We found out about geofencing back when it was new, and thought, wow, this is the perfect thing for body shops because you can actually target people that are walking into a facility. I realized that geofencing was the solution, as long as it’s used strategically employed the right way.” The biggest question is how to find that customer immediately after they get into an accident. “Collision repair marketing is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle,” Zoebelein said. “You have to know when the lightning is going to strike in order to be able to put your lid on the jar, right? So, with geofencing we know if somebody’s walking into a competitor’s location and they’re not a vendor or an employee, they’re in the market.” I could write 5,000 words to describe how geofencing works, but Zoebelein can do it in less than 60. “In short, geofencing enables a user to capture any device’s ID’s and Mobile Ad ID’s (MAIDs) for any device that enters a fenced zone,” he said. “Then we can serve ads into the app’s websites and social media feeds of that device. You can also track that back to the activity that the device does after it has been served an ad, such as counting it as a walkin.”
Once Zoebelein saw the potential benefits for using geofencing, he began telling his shop customers about it in 2019—but without luck, at least initially. “It fell on deaf ears at first,” he said. “Nobody was really ready to jump in on the technology at that time. So then when COVID happened, people were starting to hear a little bit about geofencing for shops. One of my shop customers called me and said that he scrubbed down his frame machine for the second time, and his paint booth was spotless. He said I need to get some cars in here, so let’s give that geofencing thing a shot; what’s the harm? It generated a few walk-ins that clearly came from a competitor’s location. And so, I thought, wow, we might be onto something here.” Further testing led to the collection of solid leads, and soon Stratosphere decided to offer Capture the Keys to its clients, primarily independent shops. “We went to another shop with two locations in Pennsylvania and asked them if we could test it with them and they said sure,” Zoebelein said. “So, we ran a second test and had similar positive results. So that’s when we decided to launch geofencing as a service, and then eventually we turned it into a product. “It includes Facebook ads, Instagram ads, as well as Instagram and Facebook content, with geofencing and an in-depth reporting feature,” he continued. “It enables us to show our customers every two weeks how many leads we’ve collected. We send them a video walk-through of all the numbers and it shows how many phone calls they receive, how many walk-ins they get, how many lead submissions they collect and how many clicks they receive from the ads.” Capture the Keys helps shops with their search engine optimization (SEO) as well. “They see an immediate 3035% increase in traffic to their Google My Business page,” Zoebelein said. “We officially launched Capture the Keys at Kristen Felder’s first World’s Fair & Expo in 2020 and that’s when it really took off for us. Shops can send postcards to peo-
34 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
ple all day long. TV and radio does a good job to build awareness, but it’s a really inefficient way of getting in front of people who are buying right now. “The best way to get in front of buyers is to be able to identify them in real time, and we can do it with geofencing.” Stratosphere is working with a company that tracks devices back to where the phone spends the night, and from there they can tell the physical address and name of the head of household. In some cases, it can pull email addresses in as well. “I can even tell you the year make and model of their vehicle, and even get their birthday in a lot of the cases,” Zoebelein said. “We draw these fences around our customer’s competing locations—whether they’re another body shop or a dealership—including their parking lots. “One of the reasons why geofencing works so well is due to the fact that it doesn’t care what you look at online,” he said. “It’ll start serving ads because it’s tracking the
device, not the user. Many of our clients are getting a considerable amount of walk-ins with people sending in photos of the damage, and filling out submission forms immediately after getting into accidents, and it all happens because of geofencing.” So, what happens when somebody starts getting a banner ad on their device via geofencing? “First, they’ll Google the shop by name,” he said. “So, this is different than doing an auto body repair search. The idea is that you’re going to find your body shop by searching for it online even if that was the only thing available to you. It’s a guaranteed branded search, so we actually don’t care where they click once they’re there. “If they want to go to the website, Yelp or Facebook, it doesn’t matter,” Zoebelein said. “Accessing the shop’s Google My Business page is the last mile in any buying decision for auto repair and it just makes it the very next step. Everything they need to know about the
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shop is right here. They can read reviews on the shop, see photos of the shop, they can book an appointment right from there or just click to call. They can click to get directions or even save it to their phone to access later. “The third thing the user can do is then click on the ad, which takes them to a landing page that explains why they should consider getting a second opinion outlining all of their services, certifications and capabilities.” Zoebelein explained Stratosphere is in the mind-changing business, and Capture the Keys can also help the fight against steering. “Capture The Keys was designed to help collision repair facilities combat insurance steering through a proprietary blend of geofencing and paid media strategies,” he said. “It is designed to find prospects and get a ‘second opinion quote’ from our body shop customers. Leads are handled through our own custom-built CRM for collision repairers and remove the friction in the transition from prospect lead to paying customer.”
The blogs Stratosphere creates for its customers are built to inform and promote the industry as a whole. “We’ve rewritten just about every single OEM position statement out there in layman’s terms,” Zoebelein said. “I like to say we reinvented the blog. It’s not strictly for SEO, but more for customer education and to solidify the fact that each one of our body shop customers is the No. 1 industry expert in their particular region. The whole point in advertising in simple terms is to find, identify and connect the buyer with the seller of a service or product, and we can achieve it all with geofencing.” Fifty shops are currently using Capture the Keys and Zoebelein is looking to work with 50 more. Each shop’s region is protected and spots are limited. So, if you’re on the fence about geofencing, maybe this article will prompt you to consider this technology and its benefits for your business. Learn more at capturethekeys.com. www.autobodynews.com
Automotive Specialty-Equipment Sales Increase to $50.9 Billion Sales of specialty-equipment parts reached a new high in 2021, increasing to $50.9 billion in retail sales for the first time in history—up from $47.9 billion in 2020. The finding comes from the new “2022 SEMA Market Report,” available for download at www.sema.org/research, providing the automotive aftermarket industry a comprehensive review of the specialty equipment market in 2021. The report includes new data on the U.S. market size, consumer profiling, industry trends and changes in the vehicle population. SEMA estimates the growth was driven by strong consumer interest in working on their car or truck, as more than 80% of specialty-equipment consumers reported spending as much, if not more, time working on their personal vehicles as they did during 2020. “The 2022 SEMA Market Report can help member companies identify key areas of interest for consumers, and where the most money was spent on parts in 2021,” said SEMA Director of Market Research Gavin Knapp. “As our biggest research report of the year, this is a must-read for any business
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Ford F-150 Lightning Customer Deliveries Beginning by Joey Klender, Teslarati
Ford has officially started making deliveries of the F-150 Lightning, with the first unit of the all-electric pickup being delivered May 26 to a Michigan resident. According to oneguynick, a member of the F-150 Lightning Forum, a Ford public relations member confirmed he was officially the first customer to take delivery of the all-electric pickup. After placing an order May 20, Nick took delivery of a Platinum Trim configuration of Ford’s second electric vehicle May 26. The order of the F-150 Lightning was confirmed in January when Ford opened up the order bank for reservation holders of the truck. It was built April 18, according to Nick’s scheduling. He is a Michigan resident; Ford builds the F-150 Lightning at its plant in Dearborn, MI. Late the previous week, Ford F-150 Lightning units were spotted in lots outside of Dearborn, evidently awaiting deliveries to dealerships around the country. Luckily for some Michigan residents, they will
be receiving their F-150 Lightning builds before Ford dealerships in the U.S. just because of their location. The Lightning, which has exceeded Ford’s expectations for demand, has already accumulated 200,000 orders in the year it has been available to order. CEO Jim Farley has implemented a lofty and challenging manufacturing plan for Ford’s electric vehicles, doubling output capacity twice for the F-150 Lightning to reach 150,000 units per year. Production of the F-150 Lightning kicked off April 26 after Ford held an event to commemorate the truck’s initial manufacturing. Many of the units were set to be delivered as dealership demos, and Ford told salespeople they would be held accountable for offloading them into a customer’s hands. The F-150 Lightning Platinum has 300 miles of range and starts at $90,874. It has a towing capacity of 8,500 pounds and can travel on more than 130,000 miles of divided highways in North America handsfree with Ford BlueCruise.
36 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
owner who wants to make strategic, data-driven decisions.” Restrictions on in-person shopping eased in 2021, prompting consumers to become more comfortable going back into stores to buy parts. The split of in-store versus online sales in 2021 was roughly 50/50—versus 54% online in 2020, and 45% online in 2019. This normalization is expected to continue in 2022. Pickups remain the single biggest segment in the specialty-equipment parts market. An estimated 13.6 million pickups were modified by consumers in 2021, accounting for a combined 31% of specialty-equipment parts sales. Ongoing supply chain issues are also a concern in 2022. More than 90% of specialty-equipment manufacturers, distributors and retailers feel their business has been impacted by supply-chain-related challenges. This, in turn, is softening expectations regarding 2022 sales. For more data on the opportunity available in the automotive specialty-equipment market, download the 2022 SEMA Market Report for free today at www.sema.org/research. Source: SEMA
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Industry Insight with John Yoswick
—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
What Role Should a Current Backlog of Work Play in Auto Body Shops’ DRP Decisions?
A national survey in April found specialized and OEM-certified in at auto body shops on average have a least five or six brands, minimum. work backlog topping four weeks, You need to know how you are gowith Ed Attanasio and during the Society of Collision ing to create your own customer Repair Specialists’ (SCRS) Repairer stream and own your portion of the Roundtable this spring, a panel was market in a smart way.” asked whether that “unique scenarSome collision repairers have io” in the industry should play into chosen locations with little street a collision repair business’ decisions visibility, Hendler said, lowering related to participation in direct re- their overhead because they knew with Ed Attanasio pair programs. direct repair referrals would bring Three association leaders and work to the door. two shop owners responded. “If you just shut those [DRPs] Jill Tuggle, who has been ex- off, you now have no customer visecutive director of the Auto Body ibility,” Hendler said. “There’s a lot Association of Texas (ABAT) for of pressure just to get rid of all your five years, thinks it should play into DRPs [without a plan] and think with Ed Attanasio a shop’s decision. you’ll be fine. I think that’s a dan“If there ever was a time that gerous trap for shops. We’ve seen you could test the waters on operat- that happen.” ing independently of those contracts, Aaron Schulenburg of SCRS it would be now,” Tuggle said. “Be- agreed each business has to evaluate cause you’re going to get work. its own situation. with Ed the Attanasio The work is there. You already can’t “I don’t think any one model is repair everything you have. If that’s right or wrong,” he said. “There’s a a business decision you have been lot of successful businesses up here toying with, now would be a good [on this panel] and in the audience time to do that.” and in our membership base that Other association leaders with have found success in every type of longer tenures with offeredStacey some caumodel.” Phillips tions to consider. He said the current situation “In order to do that, they have does provide collision repairers with to have alternative plans,” Jordan an opportunity to “prioritize where Hendler of the Washington Met- their profitability lies,” noting even ropolitan Auto Body Association large multi-shop operations (MSOs) (WMABA) saidwith of shops choosing that focus on DRP work are saying Stacey Phillips to exit DRPs. “I don’t think you can they are evaluating which of those programs offer the best fit. Ron Reichen of Precision Body & Paint, which is opening its fifth location in Oregon this year, said he sees too many shops operate based with Stacey Phillips on fear. “Fear is an emotion, and good business decisions aren’t based on emotion,” Reichen said. “We’ve always believed that calculated risk is Jordan Hendler said shops can end direct important. But the first part of that repair agreements, but first need to have a is ‘calculated.’ Do your research. Do with Stacey Phillips solid plan about how they can address the your homework. Is it a good fit for changes that will entail you? just sever those relationships. I think “I think the insurance carriers you have to have a solid plan for ei- have leveraged fear: ‘We’re going to ther marketing or getting into OEM shut you off and you’re not going to certifications. In our association, have any of our work.’ That’s a falthe most successful members are lacy,” Reichen said. “Even if you’re
a DRP model, you’re building relationships with that client base. Those clients are still going to come back
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Oregon shop owner Ron Reichen said he sees too many shops making business decisions based on fear
to you. They may change insurance carriers two or three or four times in their driving history. So [the insurer] doesn’t own that customer, but you do. Even if you are a DRP model, work at owning that customer. Then you can wean yourself off of [DRPs] and not make decisions out of fear.
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“Would you [be happy with] 20% less work if you made 20% more on the remaining 80%? Of course. That’s a calculated risk,” he added. Andy Tylka was operating a six-location MSO in Indiana until recently, when two MSOs in other markets chose to sell their businesses to Tylka rather than to a national MSO. That expanded his company to 15 shops in 2.5 years. He acknowledged his choice to stay with a DRP model is, as it is for many shops, based to a degree on fear. “Because, obviously, growth results in loans,” Tylka said. “So if I’m not having customers come into my shops, I’m not paying these loans, and I’m responsible for 185 families.” He said collision repairers should recognize the current backSee DRP Decisions?, Page 44
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Global Finishing Solutions, 1Collision Partner Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) is excited to announce a new partnership program with 1Collision. GFS is dedicated to providing high-quality finishing equipment and production-boosting technologies to help automotive body shops and collision repair centers grow their business. 1Collision is an organization of independent and dealer-owned collision repair businesses, offering corporate-level support in all aspects of collision repair center operations. Under the partnership program, GFS will provide 1Collision affiliates with lifelong support and service of industry-leading finishing equipment and technologies that improve paint finish quality, increase throughput and exceed performance requirements. 1Collision affiliates can also take advantage of GFS’s expansive distribution network, which provides support on a local level. Source: Global Finishing Solutions
Continued from Page 22
Can Be Profitable Salary with a bonus incentive again creates a comfort zone for most. A person will learn to live on their salary and can become complacent in regard to the bonus. The bonus becomes meaningless this way. Commission or flat rate works for us. I pay flat rates to my techs and commission sales plans with KPI drivers to my repair planners and GMs. Your sales commission percentages are based on the KPIs you provide. These percentages range from 3% to 4.5% of the repair planners top line sale. So, for example: If a repair planner does $150,000 in sales, provides a five-day cycle time, a 97% CSI and a repair ratio of 77% or higher, they yield the highest percentage. So driven writers that get it love this plan. I have writers stacking cash monthly doing it this way.
Imagine this industry in 20 years and share your vision.
I see very advanced technologies, but in many cases, this technology creates accidents; there is just too much going on in the vehicle’s cockpit. It distracts people from being able to focus, hence causing an accident. I also do not see the EVs taking the roads over. Frankly, I believe that will never occur. I see many shops dropping out because they cannot afford to purchase what it takes to stay up with current times. This happens because many owner operators are marginal at what they do. MSOs and consolidators take a very interesting approach to this as well.
Do you have problems finding top techs, estimators, painters and office people in your region?
This is difficult in any region or market in the U.S. I have created mentor programs that have yielded several quality techs. We have exceptional pay plans, incentives and provide a quality work environment. We upgrade our equipment regularly to ensure happy tech teams. Happy
people are good producers. We work hard to attract and retain top people.
MSOs are eating up small independent shops throughout the country. Is this also true in your state?
Yes, but it’s not at the same pace here in Arizona as compared to some other states. I frankly like having consolidators/MSOs on the same street because the majority of them cannot perform. So, we gain in a big way as a result. Carriers have become increasingly frustrated with MSOs and their poor performance. Scale will be the death of these companies due to the lack of control and the lack of care. Many of them are in it for a paycheck and nothing more. I talk to hundreds of people each year from these companies, and the good ones want to run because they see the demise of the MSOs coming.
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Usage-Based Auto Insurance Takes Center Stage as Satisfaction Flatlines A record high number of serious collisions, skyrocketing used-vehicle prices and surging repair costs have created an unenviable scenario for auto insurers: raise rates or go out of business. It should come as little surprise that the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, released June 13, found customer satisfaction with the price of auto insurance has declined sharply, but notable industry efforts to improve customer engagement has kept overall customer satisfaction at a level similar to a year ago. “The current situation is a tough one for auto insurers, but it is not impossible in the current inflationary environment to build customer satisfaction and retention,” said Robert Lajdziak, director of insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “J.D. Power finds two bright spots in the data for insurers. “First, those insurers that are transparent and notify customers in advance of price increases can blunt the negative effects of a price increase,” Lajdziak said. “Second, usage-based insurance is growing quickly, with an all-time high number of customers adopting these programs and due to their experience using them, overall
customer satisfaction levels have significantly risen.” Following are some of the key findings of the 2022 study: • Rising prices stifle customer satisfaction: Overall customer satisfaction with auto insurance providers is 834 (on a 1,000-point scale), down from 835 a year ago. However, customer satisfaction with the price of their policies is 769, down a significant five points from 2021. • Usage-based insurance sees record adoption: Participation in usage-based insurance programs, which use telematics technology to monitor driving habits and assign risk and pricing accordingly, has doubled since 2016, with 16% of auto insurance customers now participating in such programs. Price satisfaction among customers participating in these programs is 59 points higher, on average, than among customers overall. • It pays to get out in front of bad news: Premium increases do not bode well for customer satisfaction, but insurers that are proactive about such increases and notify customers in advance are able to mitigate the negative effects they generate. In the
past year, 59% of customers experiencing a price increase were notified in advance by their insurer---up from 44% in 2016—and overall satisfaction scores are 37 points higher, on average, among those pre-notified customers. The phone is the most effective channel for this type of notification. Agents benefit when customers use online self-service tools: When customers engage with their insurer via both digital channels and live channels—such as agents or customer service representatives (CSRs)—satisfaction with the live channel increases. The reason is efficiency, as customers can handle transactions quickly while spending more valuable time with an agent or CSR. A multi-channel strategy is a successful approach, and the same is true when live channels are added for customers who primarily take a digital-first approach. The study measures customer satisfaction with auto insurance in 11 geographic regions. Highest-ranking auto insurers and scores, by region, are as follows: California: Wawanesa (879) (for a third consecutive year) Central: Shelter (866) (for a second
consecutive year) Florida: The Hartford (860) Mid-Atlantic: Erie Insurance (867) New England: Amica Mutual (862) (for a 10th consecutive year) New York: New York Central Mutual (834) North Central: Erie Insurance (876) (for a second consecutive year) Northwest: The Hartford (842) Southeast: Farm Bureau Insurance-Tennessee (876) (for an 11th consecutive year) Southwest: State Farm (848) Texas: Texas Farm Bureau (873) (for an 11th consecutive year) The 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, now in its 23rd year, examines customer satisfaction in five factors: billing process and policy information; claims; interaction; policy offerings; and price. The study is based on responses from 36,935 auto insurance customers and was fielded from January through April 2022. For more information about the U.S. Auto Insurance Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/ resource/jd-power-us-auto-insurance-satisfaction-study. Source: J.D. Power
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Pennies From $5: Gas Prices Continue Daily Record High Trend by Casey Harper, The Center Square
Gas prices hit a national average price of $4.92 a gallon June 7, according to AAA, the highest price for regular unleaded gas on record, marking yet another record-setting day for gas prices as the national average nears $5 per gallon. Motorists in 13 states are now paying an average of $5 a gallon or more. New Jersey and Massachusetts joined Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Right now, Americans are paying about double the prices they paid when President Joe Biden was elected. Gas prices have consistently risen, hitting new record highs every day for
more than a week. California leads the nation with a national average price of $6.37 per gallon. Several other states are above $5 per gallon and almost all 50 states are at least over $4.50 per gallon. Diesel gasoline also hit a record high Tuesday at $5.68 per gallon. Critics have continued to blast Biden for the high prices, which come alongside soaring inflation. “With average gas prices now more than double what they were when Biden took office, it’s no surprise that only 27% told a recent ABC poll they approved of his handling of gas prices,” U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-NY, wrote on Twitter. “We need an all-of-the-above approach to drive down prices.”
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May Auto Sales Expected to Fall to Slowest Pace in 2022 With no relief from elevated prices and tight new-vehicle inventory, U.S. auto sales in May are expected to drop to their lowest level of the year. According to the Cox Automotive forecast released May 25, the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of new-vehicle sales in May is expected to hit 13.1 million, a step backward from April’s 14.3 million level and far below the 16.9 million level posted in May 2021. May sales volume is forecast to finish near 1.14 million units, down 9% from last month and nearly 28% from one year ago. Last year, in May 2021, new-vehicle sales reached 1.59 million, the second-best month of 2021 by volume, behind only March. While high prices and tight inventory are negatively impacting new-vehicle sales this month, the low sales volume can also be attributed to the calendar. There are 24 selling days this month, three fewer than last month and two fewer than May 2021. Tight inventory isn’t the only
headwind facing the market. Other issues may be having a growing impact. Rising interest rates and higher prices, and the resulting increase in monthly payments, are likely hurting demand as well. Vehicle affordability in the U.S. continues to worsen, according to the Cox Automotive/ Moody’s Analytics Vehicle Affordability Index. In addition, lower consumer optimism in the wake of high inflation, surging gas prices and a volatile stock market may be keeping some potential buyers from entering the market. “Historically, the daily sales pace is higher in May than in most other months, with spring optimism in the air, thoughts of summer road trips on the horizon, and the buzz of Memorial Day sales,” said Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive. “But many of the industry’s normal patterns have been overturned by tight inventory and the lingering effect of the global pandemic.”
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WIN Names 2022-23 Officers, New Board Members The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) has named its 2022-23 Leadership Officers and Board of Directors. The WIN Board of Directors consists of representatives from numerous industry segments including collision repair organizations, distributors, suppliers, consultants, paint manufacturers, insurance companies and others. By making policy decisions that execute on the WIN vision and mission, the Board of Directors works to ensure the growth and viability of the organization by setting overall strategic direction and executing its signature programs and key initiatives. “The diverse experience, skill and talent brought by these industry professionals will keep WIN thriving, focused and on track with our mission,” said Tanya Sweetland, WIN 2022-23 chair. “I am looking forward to serving the WIN organization with this dynamic team of leaders as we head into our next strategic planning session.” Meet the 2022-23 WIN Officers and Executive Committee: Chair Tanya Sweetland, OEC
Vice Chair Susie Frausto, Boyd Group/Gerber Collision & Glass Immediate Past Chair Jenny Anderson, Entegral powered by Enterprise Treasurer Kathy Coffey, AkzoNobel Coatings Admin Vice Chair Liz Stein, OEC Secretary Laura Kottschade, Jerry’s ABRA Auto Body & Glass New Board Members for 2022-23: Hannah Whitesides, Maaco (Driven Brands) Holly Whitley, Gerber Collision & Glass Blair Womble, Caliber Collision Continuing their service on the Board in 2022-2023: Janette Andrade, Consolidated Dealers Co-Operative, Inc. Kristle Bollans, Hertz Jeanne Esquivel, Entegral powered by Enterprise Trista Anger, BASF Kimberly Frasher, Axiom Accident & Hail Repair Kathy Mello, TGIF Body Shop, Inc. WINConnect Program Expands In Second Year
Gas Prices Jump in Leaps and Bounds, Setting Another New Record by Casey Harper, The Center Square
Gas prices spiked 10 cents in just two days the first week of June, setting new records almost daily. The national average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline jumped five cents to $4.72 June 2, a record high according to AAA. That increase comes after AAA reported a nickel increase in prices the day before, which was its own record. The price of $4.62 on Memorial Day was an all-time high just a few days ago. California is the only state topping $6 per gallon, though several states are averaging more than $5 per gallon. All 50 states have an average price well over $4 per gallon. Diesel gasoline prices are also elevated with a national average price of $5.56, just below the record high of $5.58 set in May. As prices rise, Americans are increasingly feeling the pain at the pump. Surveys show that
soaring inflation and gas prices have already pushed many Americans to cancel or change their vacation plans. A recent poll from Echelon Insights found “75% of parents say they are concerned about the rising cost of everyday purchases like food or gas.” The poll also found 51% of families said they “changed or canceled plans for a family trip” due to inflation while 41% said they have “changed or canceled activities for my children like camp or extracurricular activities.” The recently released BMO Real Financial Progress Index, a quarterly survey from BMO and Ipsos, found 31% of surveyed American adults are “driving less to offset the soaring cost of gas.” “Prices across the board— from cars and gasoline to groceries and other everyday essentials—are rising at the fastest pace since the 1980s,” said Paul Dilda, head of consumer strategy for BMO Harris Bank.
42 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
Designed to increase networking and career building opportunities among its members, the WINConnect program is one of the key initiatives for WIN in the 2022-23 year. WINConnect is available exclusively to WIN members interested in expanding their professional capabilities and knowledge. Participants of the WINConnect program will gather virtually in monthly cohort sessions where they will be able to network and learn throughout the year. Sessions will include a mix of small group check-ins along with professional and career development sessions led by coaching experts. “This initiative will enable WIN members to connect regularly, share experiences and further develop industry talent,” said Frausto. “Working with professional business coaches is important for women who are looking to excel in the collision repair industry.” The second chapter of the WINConnect program will run from July 2022 to May 2023 with its carefully selected cohorts meeting every other month. WIN is making a strategic in-
vestment to fund much of program’s facilitation expenses, though there is a small financial commitment ($100) in addition to the WIN membership fee. Accommodations are available for WIN members in need of additional financial assistance. In brief, the WINConnect initiative will further service WIN members by: • Making consistent and meaningful connections among women in the industry • Sharing experiences and learning from others in an authentic, confidential environment • Building key business skills and acumen applicable across industry segment and experience level • Developing and strengthening a professional support network All current WIN members are eligible and encouraged to participate. To sign up for WINConnect today, visit: https://thewomensindustrynetwork.site-ym.com/page/connect Not a WIN Member yet? Sign up here: https://thewomensindustrynetwork.site-ym.com/page/Membership Source: WIN
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Continued from Page 38
UTI Opening Campuses to High School Juniors Interested in Automotive Technician Training
log the industry enjoys “won’t last forever.” All that said, he acknowledged he’s using this time to make some changes. “Those with the DRP model should be re-evaluating what relationships they do want to keep and which ones they don’t, even if they stay with a DRP model,” Tylka said. “That’s pretty much what we did.” Schulenburg said SCRS works to highlight collision repairers, like some of those on the panel, who have the confidence to operate in a model of their choosing, such as without DRPs. “I think there are a lot of businesses that I speak to that don’t realize there are businesses that operate that way,” Schulenberg said. “It’s not a matter of saying one model over another. But there are businesses that operate successfully in ways that may feel foreign, but it’s their degree of confidence that drives the success.”
As part of its ongoing effort to address workforce need for skilled transportation technicians, Universal Technical Institute is bringing its three-week Ignite program back to full capacity at its UTI campuses nationwide this summer. The program, which is free to high school juniors, offers students an introduction to the training they’ll need to prepare to enter the workforce as a technician in the transportation industry. Ignite participants are given an introductory sample of the technician training programs completed by fulltime UTI students. Students explore career opportunities in the transportation field and receive hands-on training on current technologies in UTI’s state-of-the-industry classrooms and labs.“It’s important to educate high school students about the demand for skilled technicians, and the extensive opportunities that exist in transportation and the skilled trades,” said UTI CEO Jerome Grant. “Our summer Ignite program gives students invaluable real-world training and can help open doors to lifelong careers they may have not considered. We’re ex-
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cited to bring the program back to our campuses at full capacity this year, with the goal of hopefully providing our employer partners with more talented technicians in the future.” Industry demand remains strong for trained automotive and diesel technicians. The U.S. Department of
so many motivated, goal-driven young people willing to spend part of their summer taking our classes and getting a jumpstart on training for a career.” UTI launched Ignite nationwide in summer 2018 following a successful pilot program at campuses in Avondale, AZ.; Houston, TX; and Orlando,
“It’s important to educate high school students about the demand for skilled technicians, and the extensive opportunities that exist in transportation and the skilled trades,”” — Amber Ritter Labor projects a combined annual average of 111,000 job openings nationwide in the automotive, diesel and collision repair industries. “It’s been encouraging to see growth in the Ignite program. We look forward to welcoming new students to our campuses this summer and opening their eyes to the educational opportunities available to them after high school,” said Sherrell Smith, executive VP of campus operations and services at UTI. “These students are the future of the trade, and it’s promising to see
FL. Participation steadily increased in 2019, before the program went on hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of the three-week program, students have the opportunity to earn UTI credit that can be applied when they enroll.The Ignite program is now accepting applications across UTI’s campuses in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Texas. For more information or to enroll, visit www.uti.edu/ignite. Source: UTI
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Ford Recalls 2.9M Vehicles For Inability To Shift Into Gear, Risking Crash by Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press
Ford Motor Co. is recalling 2.9 million vehicles that may shift into different gears than intended or roll away while parked, the third major recall for the automaker this month. The latest recall affects certain 2013-2019 Escape, 2013-2018 C-Max, 2013-2016 Fusion, 20132021 Transit Connect and 2015-2018 Edge vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “A damaged or missing bushing may prevent the vehicle from shifting into the intended gear, and cause the vehicle to move in an unexpected direction. Additionally, the vehicle may roll after the driver selects the ‘Park’ position,” the government website says. Each vehicle model affected is listed separately on the regulatory site, totaling 2,925,968 vehicles. The agency acknowledged the automaker’s June 10 report to safety regulators in a letter dated Tuesday. Ford said in its filing that the company is aware of six reports alleging property damage and four reports alleging injury, related to this concern.
“The transmission may not be in the park position, even though the shifter position indicates that the vehicle was shifted to park. The driver does not receive a warning message or audible chime,” Ford wrote in its recall letter to federal regulators. “Root cause is unknown,” the automaker said in the letter. “Based on Ford’s root cause investigation, heat and humidity have the potential to contribute to the hydrological breakdown of the bushing material.” A Ford spokesman declined to provide additional comment Wednesday. In the filing, Ford said its dealers will replace the under-hood shift bushing and add a protective cap over the shift cable bushing, free of charge. Ford said it plans to mail letters June 27 to approximately: • 1,726,763 Escape owners • 143,220 C-Max owners • 439,483, Fusion owners • 107,102 Transit Connect owners • 509,400 Edge owners Mustang Mach-E, Expedition woes Also this week, Ford confirmed recalling 48,924 model year 2021-22 electric Mustang Mach-E vehicles
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because they could lose power while driving. The 2021 Ford Bronco has also been recalled for “catastrophic” engine failure. Ford recalled 350,000 SUVs, including about 39,000 for engine fire risk in May. Customers who own a 2021 Ford Expedition and 2021 Lincoln Navigator revealed last week they’re suing for the fire risk that potentially affects 39,013 vehicles and currently has no identifiable fix. In February 2020, prior to becoming CEO eight months later, Jim Farley said in a public speech that the company had to get control of warranty costs that were taking a huge bite out of profits. “We know what we need to do,” he said. “We need to lower our warranty spending.” John Lawler, Ford chief financial officer, said late Wednesday morning during the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference 2022 livestream that Ford must reduce warranty costs as part of its overall financial strategy. He was not asked specifically about the recent recalls, nor did he offer comment on them specifically.
As the industry gathers for industry week in Pittsburgh, PA, the Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) is thrilled to announce its 11th Gala event will be held on July 20 at Howl at the Moon, in close proximity to the Omni William Penn Hotel. Starting at 6:30 p.m. ET, directly following the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) special session, you can expect a great time, with great food, open bar, entertainment, dueling pianos, silent auction and a live raffle with lots of prizes. Through the generous support of many industry donors, continuing the vital mission of CIF is possible. Thanks to these donors, hundreds of individuals have received disaster relief assistance over the years, including survivors of hurricanes, wildfires, flooding or other significant losses. Register at www.cifgala.org. Source: CIF
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ASE Agenda, Speakers Announced
Toyota Auto Body California Donates Nearly 1,000 Quarter Panels to Collision Students Through CREF
The ASE Education Foundation has announced the agenda and keynote speakers for the upcoming ASE Instructor Training Conference. Scheduled for July 12-15 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Frisco, TX, the conference will feature several informative panels plus a timely keynote panel discussion. Hosted by the ASE Education Foundation, the training conference is open to high school and college instructors from auto, truck and collision repair programs nationwide. The keynote session will be a panel discussion moderated by Catherine “Cat” Treanor, UK business development manager for Electude. The discussion will cover women in auto repair and will focus on what changes need to be made to training programs and workplaces to make them more welcoming to everyone, as well as identifying barriers and ways to overcome them by people who have lived it. Source: ASE Education Foundation
Toyota Motor North America, Inc. believes in taking charge of the future—and that’s exactly why it connected the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) to Toyota Auto Body California, Inc., for a donation of 944 quarter panels, valued at $632,480, which will benefit collision repair educational programs around the country. Quarter panels will be distributed to more than 100 schools, immediately impacting more than 3,000 students by allowing them to practice the skills needed to success in this field; however, the long-term impact will be much higher as instructors often reuse these panels in multiple semesters with many more students. “Technician shortage concerns come up every time I talk to our certified collision centers, field offices and the industry,” Toyota Motor North America Collision Repair & Refinish Manager Kazuyo Jones said in explaining why it’s important to connect the industry with schools. “When Toyota comes across those part or vehicle dona-
across the U.S.,” said CREF Director of Marketing and Project Management Amber Ritter. “This is truly an example of a donation that allows students to learn, practice and hone the important skills that lead to
tion opportunities, our organization wants to utilize those opportunities for people who need them. We need to energize the industry by doing what we can to support its future workforce.”
“This type of in-kind donation is mentioned as one of the most needed items by collision programs across the U.S.” — Amber Ritter Collision education programs are frequently underfunded, limiting instructors’ ability to purchase vehicle parts to use while training students. By partnering with CREF, Toyota is helping ensure that the next generation of collision repair professionals receive the hands-on experience necessary to graduate with the skills they need to successfully join the industry as entry-level technicians. “This type of in-kind donation is mentioned as one of the most needed items by collision programs
rewarding careers. Repetitions are an important part of the learning process, and Toyota’s donation is helping to make that possible.” Industry members interested in getting involved and supporting CREF’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs should contact Brandon Eckenrode, managing director, at 312-231-0258 or Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation. org. Monetary donations can be made online. Source: CREF
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Total U.S. Automotive Aftermarket Sales Forecasted to Increase 8.5% in 2022 The automotive aftermarket continues to demonstrate its market strength with higher-than-expected sales in 2021 in the wake of a slow economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. Total U.S. light duty automotive aftermarket sales are forecasted to increase 8.5% in 2022, totaling $356.5 billion, according to the “2022 Joint Channel Forecast Model” produced jointly by the Auto Care Association and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA). This data will be examined in a joint, member-exclusive webinar led by Shane Norton of S&P Global Mobility at 1 p.m. EDT June 9. An additional 5% growth is expected for 2023 and growth will average more than 3% in 2024, bringing the light-duty aftermarket to $401.5 billion by 2025. The compound average annual growth rate from 2019 to 2022 will be 5.7%, more than making up for losses seen in 2020 due to the pandemic. “Year after year, the auto care industry continues to show its strength and reliability,” said Bill
Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “In the midst of the highest gas prices on record and an inflation rate at a 40-year high, coupled with persistent supply chain disruptions and war in Eastern Europe, vehicle miles driven, vehicles in operation and consumer spending all increased in 2021 and are projected to increase into the coming years as well.”
landmark market size of $400 billion in 2025. But as the industry advances to that landmark number, look for a new challenge to emerge as we may shift from a market supported by high demand and availability to
“The automotive aftermarket once again shows its resiliency with a stronger than expected recovery from the pandemic,” — Paul McCarthy a battle for market share. With that, we’ll see one more strength of the aftermarket emerge, collaboration with the right partners to ensure the same pace of success in this next phase of industry dynamics.”
“The automotive aftermarket once again shows its resiliency with a stronger than expected recovery from the pandemic,” said Paul McCarthy, president and CEO, AASA. “In fact, the automotive aftermarket rose nearly 25% in the past two years despite ongoing headwinds, and we are excited to see the
Key data in the joint channel forecast model include: • Market trends influencing the aftermarket • A 2021-2025 review of industry growth and forecasts • Industry sales by channel including history and forecasts • Industry sales by distribution
Automakers on June 1 began releasing May sales results.
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motive team at IHS Markit), a leading business intelligence firm. The forecast is based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s Economic Census; IMR Inc.; and proprietary data, economic analysis and forecasting models from S&P Global Mobility. The Joint Channel Forecast Model is available in the Auto Care Association’s 2023 Auto Care Factbook at digital.autocare.org/ 2023factbook and in AASA’s Aftermarket Size & Forecast Report available at https://www.aftermarketsuppliers.org/resource. Source: Auto Care Association
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Mazda Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) reported total May sales of 15,312 vehicles, a decrease of 63.7% compared to May 2021. Year-to-date sales totaled 127,673 vehicles; a decrease of 18.5% compared to the same time last year. With 24 selling days in May, compared to 26 the year prior, the company posted a decrease of 60.7% on a Daily Selling Rate (DSR) basis. CPO sales totaled 5,077 vehicles in May, a decrease of 26% compared to May 2021. Hyundai Hyundai Motor America reported May retail sales of 59,432 units, a 30% decrease compared with May 2021. May was an all-time record month for Santa Cruz retail sales. Hyundai had no fleet sales in May 2022. Kia Kia America announced May sales
of 57,941 units with the Niro family of hybrid, PHEV and EV models posting best-ever May sales, up more than 28% over the previous record set in 2021. In addition, the first full month of deliveries of the all-new Sportage HEV charged ahead in May, with 2,417 units sold. Sales of Kia’s electrified models were up 132% over the previous May record set in 2021, and up 5% over the all-time monthly sales record for the vehicle category set in March. Subaru Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) reported 42,526 vehicle sales for May 2022, a 24.8% decrease compared with May 2021 (56,558). The automaker also reported year-to-date sales of 220,620, a 20.8% decrease compared with the same period in 2021. Subaru continues to face inventory challenges as the result of microchip and supply chain issues affecting automakers across the globe. Source: Mazda, Hyundai, Kia, Subaru
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