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VT Auto Shop Owner Scores Victory in Campaign Against Short-Pay by Insurers by Alan J. Keays,

The Vermont Supreme Court has sided with a body shop in its latest legal challenge to a national insurance company over claims the firm failed to pay enough to cover needed repairs to vehicles that had been in collisions. The case has been working its way through the state’s legal system for about four years, starting in 2015 when Parker’s Classic Auto Works of Rutland brought suit against Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., which is based in Ohio.

Mike Parker, the repair shop’s owner, said Monday he recently got a call from his attorney, Robert McClallen of Rutland, letting him know of the high court’s ruling. “I was like finally, ‘Hallelujah,’” Parker said. The suit against Nationwide was brought by Parker’s on behalf of consumers in instances where the insurer refused to pay the full amount of the repairs the shop made to vehicles. It’s a practice known as short-pay. The Nationwide lawsuit is part of an ongoing campaign by Parker’s See Short-Pay By Insurers, Page 19

SCRS Event Discussion on Insurance Regulation, Workforce Development by John Yoswick

Body shop associations and automakers increased efforts this year to get state legislation that would mandate

the use of OEM repair procedures for collision repair claims. Since these efforts, insurance regulators in some

states have shared written statements relative to any such obligation on insurers. Insurance regulatory agencies in about half of all states have responded to a letter the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) sent out last year asking, among other things, if anything in their state “holds insurers and insurance policies sold in your state accountable to recognize manufacturer documented procedures as a basis for settling claims.” During a SCRS event earlier this year, the association’s Aaron SchuSee SCRS Event Discussion, Page 30


Vol. 10 / Issue 6 / August 2019

GEICO’s Florida Fraud Case May Get a New Date by Emmariah Holcomb,

GEICO’s Florida lawsuit against Shazam Auto Glass, LLC, and its owner, Sean Martineau, might have a new date in court. On Monday, June 24, Martineau and his company, requested an extension to respond to GEICO’s allegations against them. GEICO alleges Shazam and Martineau are responsible for a “fraudulent scheme” that included falsifying windshield replacement services totaling more than $340,000. GEICO is seeking to recover financial damages under the civil racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations act (RICO) statutes. The defendants (Martineau and Shazam) stated they were served with the insurance company’s complaint earlier this month, but according to the newly filed court document, Martineau is requesting an additional 21 days to file a response. “The issues raised in the complaint are complex and numerous. Given the extensive allegations of the complaint and the short period of time remaining before [the] defendants’ answer or response is due pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12, defendants’

counsel requires additional time to parse the extensive allegations with respect to each defendant, to formulate a defense strategy, to explore potential counterclaims, and to draft a comprehensive response,” a portion of the court document reads. The defendants are requesting the date be pushed back to July 19, 2019, to allow enough time for its legal counsel to gather enough evidence to respond to the claims of falsified windshield replacement services for several years. Currently, GEICO still claims Shazam at no point in time kept automotive glass, had auto glass repair or replacement tools, did not maintain any vehicles and did not perform any physical work on a customer’s vehicle. This is also a claim that the defendants mentioned would be addressed in its response. GEICO aims to recover its financial damages which total more than $340,000 from the defendants for their alleged fraudulent scheme. Meanwhile, the court has yet to approve the proposed response extension date of July 19, 2019. We thank for reprint permission.

Dr. Ricki Garrett’s Focus on Education & Training Helps MSCRA Become Industry Leader

sippi Nurses Association. She created and managed the first association for Two years ago, the Mississippi Col- nurse practitioners in Mississippi— lision Repair Association (MSCRA) The Mississippi Association of Nurse asked Dr. Ricki Garrett, Practitioners (MANP). Ph.D., to assume the role of In addition, Garrett owns executive director so the an association management current director, John Morfirm, Ricki R. Garrett, LLC gan Hughes, could focus on that manages The Missislobbying efforts for the assippi Speech-Languagesociation. Garrett welcomed Hearing Association and the opportunity. consults for other associDr. Ricki Garrett, “My focus is to help the ations. executive director of the Mississippi association become an outPrior to her association Collision Repair standing organization and a management career, Dr. Association (MSCRA). leader in the profession,” said Garrett served a 12-year gubernatorial appointment to the Dr. Garrett. Previously, Dr. Garrett served as Board of Trustees of State InstituSee Focus on Education, Page 20 the executive director of the Missisby Stacey Phillips



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Owner of Redz Automotive in Caroline County, VA, Arrested by Keyris Manzanares, WRIC News


Accelerates Response to Takata

10th Annual Atlanta I-CAR Committee Golf

Airbag Recall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

AAAS Enjoys Another Successful Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Body Shop in Hickory, NC, Plans Expansion . . . . 6 Brooke County, WV, Drivers Education Cars Won’t Pass Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Dr. Ricki Garrett’s Focus on Education & Training Helps MSCRA Become Industry Leader . . . . . 1 GEICO’s Florida Fraud Case May Get a New Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 IGONC Sponsors North Carolina Automotive Apprentice Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Owner of Redz Automotive in Caroline County, VA, Arrested . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Tesla Wins Legal Battle to Sell Vehicles in Virginia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

AAAS and ATDA Announces 2019 Scholarship Winners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 AAPEX 2019 to Recognize Exhibitors. . . . . . . . 50 Are We Programming Killer Cars? The Ethics of Autonomous Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 CREF Launches #100Floors 75Days Project . . 25 ECS Renews Commitment to CIECA . . . . . . . . 43 Fix Auto USA Annual Conference Celebrates Focus on Family Value(s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Ford Stresses Importance of Glass Repairs . . . 26 GM, Owens Partner for Debt-Free Path to Auto-Tech Jobs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Jason Bartanen Moves From I-CAR to Collision Hub. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Kelly Hall Joins Autobody News in Sales Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Mitsubishi to Relocate US Headquarters . . . . . 54

COLUMNISTS Anderson - Building Trust Through Online Reviews, OEM Certifications . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Attanasio - Marketing Guru Schools Shops on All Things Google . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Ledoux - An Industry in Constant Flux - A 1970s Perspective. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Sisk - Mike Anderson and Impacted Shop Owner Warn Industry of Computer Ransom Scheme. . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Sisk - Speakers at Southern CAA Meeting Discuss “The New Battleground” . . . . . . . . 42 Sisk - WIA 5th Annual Summer Conference Exceeds Expectations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Phillips-Volkswagen-Audi Collision Program Manager Advises Industry on Reliable Repair. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 ProCare Collision Announces Rebranding . . . . 47 Sacramento County, CA, Says It’s Illegal to Work on Your Own Car in Your Own Garage . . 8 SCRS Announces Retirement Solutions Webinar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 SCRS Event Discussion on Insurance Regulation, Workforce Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

$10,865,004 in Settlements Reached in Price Fixing Class Action Lawsuit . . . . . . . . 34 $5 Million in Digital Gift Card Incentives

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk, David Luehr, Stacey Phillips, Victoria Antonelli, Gary Ledoux Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Bill Doyle, Norman Morano, Kelly Hall (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bill Pierce Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Alexis Wilson Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Editorial/Sales Assistant: 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. ©2019 Adamantine Media LLC.

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Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers. 27, 28-29

Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists, LLC. . . . . . 18

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 48

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 49

Jim Cogdill Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . . 8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Jon Hiester Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

AutoNation Collision Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . 45

Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Launch Tech USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Blowtherm USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 52

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 53

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 53

Braman Honda Miami . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 33

Braman Honda of Palm Beach. . . . . . . . . . 10

Mountain View Ford-Lincoln . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Braman Miami . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 53

Certified Automotive Parts Association . . . 12

PPG Refinish. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Radley Chevrolet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Coggin Deland Honda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Naples . . . . . . . . 44

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Rick Hendrick MOPAR Southeast

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Dent Fix Equipment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Wholesalers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16-17

Eckler’s Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Riverside Ford-Lincoln . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Future Technicians Turn Their Passion

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

SATA Dan-Am Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

into Lifelong Careers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Equalizer Industries, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Southside Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 52

Spanesi Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Spartanburg Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . 13

Gus Machado Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Stateline Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram. . . . . 14

GYS Welding USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 50

Hendrick Automotive Group. . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Symach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

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Hendrick Honda Pompano Beach . . . . . . . 42

U.S. Chemical & Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Hendrick Kia Cary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 46

Hendrick Kia Concord . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

West Broad Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Solving the Tech Shortage: I-CAR is Helping

Truck Driving Could Soon Be a Desk Job . . . . . 50 Uber Reveals First Fully Autonomous Car



Tournament Raises Over $65K . . . . . . . . . . 10

A Caroline County, VA, man is behind bars after deputies say a tip about a fraudulent business practice led to an investigation of the owner. The Caroline County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) said several people filed complaints about services at Redz Automotive, a car repair shop. An investigation into the owner, 34-year-old Dustin Shrewsbury, found evidence that the man was allegedly abusing a family member. According to the CCSO, on June 13, 2019, investigators obtained a search warrant for Shrewsbury’s residence. As a result of this investigation, Shrewsbury has been charged with aggravated malicious wounding, two counts of domestic

assault, one count of threatening to burn a dwelling, one count of obtaining money under false pretenses and operating a business within Caroline County without a business license. “I am so thankful for our vigilant citizens of Caroline County that continuously give us information,” Sheriff Lippa said. “Together we continue to make Caroline County a safer place to live, work and raise a family.” Shrewsbury is being held at the Pamunkey Regional Jail without bond. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Lieutenant T. L. Nutter at (804) 633-5400. We thank WRIC News for reprint permission.

in Partnership With Volvo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 VT Auto Shop Owner Scores Victory in Campaign Against Short-Pay by Insurers . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 WAC’s June Meeting Focused on Generation Z. . 51 / AUGUST 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Are We Programming Killer Cars? The Ethics of Autonomous Vehicles Currently, Tesla cars are equipped with the necessary hardware for auOver the past several years, more and tonomous driving, but software upmore autonomous features have been dates are required to fully enable the feature. While it will allow fully auembedded in cars. tonomous driving, it will allow the human driver to take control when the situation calls for intervention. The next generation of autonomous vehicles, however, would not need steering wheels, pedals or transmissions. The advantage of such cars is the possibility of reducing accidents and providing necessary transportation for people who are incapable Currently, Tesla cars are equipped with the necessary hardware for autonomous driving, but software updates of driving. are required to fully enable the feature. Credit: Tesla / However, the downside YouTube is that the necessity for the human agency that sets up A Techopedia article reported the car’s programming to foresee all that even earlier Tesla cars con- possible scenarios and to direct the tained “the necessary hardware for car will inevitably cause some form autonomous driving,” though acti- of harm. vating the ability depended on a software update. The article also en- Self-Driving Cars and the Trolley visioned the difference between the Problem way autonomous cars built today Ideally, drivers avoid hitting anything will differ from the ones in the fu- or anyone. But it is possible to find oneself in a situation in which it is ture. by Ariella Brown, Interesting Engineering

impossible to avoid a collision, and the only choice is which person or people to hit. This ethical dilemma is what is known as the Trolley Problem, which, like the trolley itself, goes back over a century. It’s generally presented as follows:

one person.

You see a runaway trolley moving toward five tied-up (or otherwise incapacitated) people lying on the tracks. You are standing next to a lever that controls a switch. If you pull the lever, the trolley will be redirected onto a side track and the five people on the main track will be saved. However, there is a single person lying on the side track.

child running into the street, which forces the car to hit something but allows it to choose between the child and a van on the road. For a human that should be a no-brainer that protecting the child is more important than protecting the van or the autonomous car itself.

“These are very tough decisions that those that design control algorithms for automated vehicles face every day.” — Chris Gerdes

You have two options: 1. Do nothing and allow the trolley to kill the five people on the main track; 2. Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill

Uber Reveals First Fully Autonomous Car in Partnership With Volvo by Jessica Miley, Interesting Engineering

Uber has presented the latest member of its self-driving car fleet at its annual Elevate conference. The self-driving Volvo XC90 SUV is the first Uber vehicle designed without the need for a driver. The autonomous car was designed in collaboration with Swedish carmaker, Volvo. Uber’s self-driving car program was suspended in 2018 after an autonomous car, under human supervision hit and killed a pedestrian in Arizona. The program is back in operation and Uber says that the new generation of self-driving cars will be hitting the roads in higher numbers from 2020. Currently, they are only being tested on public roads in Pittsburgh. Volvo and Uber Strike in Robo-Taxi War “What it looks like from the outside isn’t much different, but what’s going 4

on inside enables us to run our full autonomy system—things like 360 degrees of camera coverage, 360 degrees of LiDAR and radar,” Uber ATG CEO Eric Meyhofer said at the Elevate Summit. “These give the vehicle everything it needs in order to operate autonomously,” he added. Uber will take the XC90 base vehicle and equip it with its own self-driving system, enabling the possible future deployment of self-driving cars in Uber’s network as an autonomous ridesharing service. An important feature of the XC90 is its comprehensive backup systems for both steering and braking function. The battery system is also equipped with a backup that ensures that the car can come to a safe and complete stop immediately if any of the primary systems fail. Volvo on Board for Safer Roads


What Should the Self-Driving Car Do? Chris Gerdes, a professor at Stanford University who has been looking into the ethical dilemmas among self-driving cars, offered a reasonable choice: that of dealing with a

“We believe autonomous drive technology will allow us to further improve safety, the foundation of our company,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive officer of Volvo Cars.

But what would the AI think? Gerdes observed, “These are very tough decisions that those that design control algorithms for automated vehicles face every day.” We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission.

2019 and 2021.

Uber Needs High-End Partners “Working in close cooperation with companies like Volvo is a key ingredient to effectively building a safe, scalable, self-driving fleet,” Meyhofer said. “Volvo has long been known for its commitment to safety, which is the cornerstone of their newest production-ready self-driving base vehicle. When paired with our self-driving technology, this vehicle will be a key ingredient in The self-driving Volvo XC90 SUV is the first Uber vehicle Uber’s autonomous proddesigned without the need for a driver. Credit: Courtesy uct suite.” of Volvo Uber is pushing for a driver free future as one “By the middle of the next way for the company to become fidecade, we expect one-third of all the nancially viable. The race is on for cars we sell to be fully autonomous. who will be able to launch an effecOur agreement with Uber underlines tive ‘robo taxi’ fleet first. Waymo, another autonomous our ambition to be the supplier of choice to the world’s leading ride- vehicle development company is testing heavily, despite a lot of push hailing companies.” Volvo and Uber entered a part- back from local communities. nership in 2016 and in 2017. Volvo signed a ‘framework’ agreement with We thank Interesting Engineering for Uber to sell a fleet of cars between reprint permission. / AUGUST 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Body Shop in Hickory, NC, Plans Expansion by Gavin Stewart, Hickory Daily Record

If you drive through the intersection where Lenoir Rhyne Boulevard meets Ninth Avenue South East you may have noticed the lot being cleared of trees next to K&M Collision auto body shop. That’s because the body shop has plans to expand. Meredith Bradshaw, who co-owns K&M with Kevin Bradshaw, said they purchased the lot recently and are preparing to add an 8,000-square-foot production space. The lot currently being cleared next to K&M will serve as parking and storage. The eventual addition will be made to the rear of K&M, according to Bradshaw. The addition will expand and grow their current operations, which include collision repair, refinishing and paint and more. “I hope to start in two to three months,” Bradshaw said. We thank the Hickory Daily Record for reprint permission.

Tesla Wins Legal Battle to Sell Vehicles in Virginia by David A. Wood,

Tesla now has the legal right to operate a dealership in Virginia after a fight with the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association (VADA) over the issue of an auto manufacturer not selling its cars through independent dealerships. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) granted Tesla the authority to open and operate a manufacturer-owned dealership in the Richmond area of Henrico County. But the VADA appealed the decision of the DMV based on Virginia law that says it is unlawful for any automaker to own or operate a dealership, “except under limited exceptions.” Court documents say an automaker must sell its cars through independent dealerships in Virginia, but the exception clause comes in if no dealership is available in the area that can do so “in a manner consistent with the public interest.” Tesla said it deserved a license to sell its vehicles because the automaker is a unique electric car manufacturer that is changing how the auto industry functions.

The judge didn’t exactly buy that argument. “But, rechargeable electric vehicles have existed for more than a century. Tesla’s Model 3 is no more a ‘unique’ electric car compared to at Baker Electric than a Ford Mustang is a ‘unique’ gas-powered car compared to a Model T. Simply put, Tesla’s professed innovativeness does not exempt it from the requirements of Virginia law,” said Richmond Circuit Court Judge Gregory Rupe. Judge Rupe says to operate a manufacturer-owned dealership, Tesla had to demonstrate there is no independent dealer around which would operate in the interest of the public. The judge ruled the Virginia law gives broad discretion to the commissioner of the DMV and a Court “may reverse the Commissioner only when he acts arbitrarily or capriciously.” Although the judge ruled in favor of Tesla, he said he still had issues with Tesla’s business model because it’s structured in a way that no independent dealer could ever become profitable. “It serves to ensure that Tesla retains complete control over their vehicles from their construction to

their sale. It also serves to circumvent the franchise laws of this Commonwealth and those of many of its sister states,” Judge Rupe said. Based on allowing Tesla a dealer license, the judge said there is nothing to prevent any automaker from changing its business model and leave independent dealers out of the loop. The judge was clear he disagrees with the thinking of the commissioner of the DMV in allowing Tesla a license, but Judge Rupe also says the commissioner no doubt made his decision in the best interest of the people of Virginia. The ruling is the latest to involve legal tussles between Tesla and state car dealership associations that claim Tesla ignores state laws to sell its electric vehicles. As in the case of the Virginia ruling, the automaker has won some, but Tesla also knows what it’s like to lose a few. Tesla lost legal battles in Connecticut and Utah, won one in Rhode Island but then lost and won a separate battle to sell cars direct to Missouri consumers. We thank for reprint permission.

Brooke County, WV, Drivers Education Cars Won’t Pass Inspection by Staff, Herald-Star

The Brooke County Board of Education’s transportation department will see some changes to some of its fleet in the new school year. Transportation Director Ron Staffileno notified the board that several vehicles currently being used by the district will not pass state inspections. Two of the vehicles in question are being used in the driver’s education training classes. Staffileno suggested the cars be donated to the auto body and auto repair classes at the high school. He further suggested the cars be replaced with two cars currently being used by the board of education. Another vehicle currently being used in the maintenance department, Staffileno suggested be declared “for farm use” and used to assist with plowing the parking lots on the high school campus. The board voted to accept Staffileno’s recommendation. The board chose to move three items involving the vacant school 6

buildings in the county to executive session. The items were to discuss the utility costs of the buildings, possible action on the buildings and specific action on the L.B. Millsop Primary School. “These are proprietary issues that could affect the value of the buildings,” board member Chris Byers said. The board also decided to table a discussion on a $5,000 stipend for teachers and service personnel. Superintendent Jeff Crook said he recently received a text outlining what was needed in order to receive the money. He stated he found the text odd as the board has not come up with any rules for the money. “I don’t know where it came from because we have not discussed it,” he said. We thank the Herald-Star for reprint permission.


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Kelly Hall Joins Autobody News in Sales Management

tently increased unit sales and sales revenue. Most recently, she spent Autobody News is excited to intro- time at in San Diego as duce you to our newest Regional a digital media senior representative where she was responsible for Sales Manager, Kelly Hall. the growth of new acKelly comes with an count sales, while advisextensive sales background ing GM/owner principles in the automotive industry. on best practices. She has been responsible Kelly has the experifor sales development and ence and passion needed client servicing in the field to thrive at Autobody for 15+ years. In addition, News. She is very enthushe has expertise in B2B siastic to begin calling on sales and marketing. Autobody News’ regional and national acSpecifically, she has Regional Sales worked at Riverside Lexus Manager, Kelly Hall counts as a sales representative here. and Tustin Lexus as Fi“I’m ready to start working nance Manager. There she was responsible for selling value-add retail alongside the team and utilizing my options and facilitating the financing skills,” Kelly said. “I am all about growing and of sold vehicles. Then she worked at LoJack Corporation, a stolen vehicle Autobody News is the perfect place recovery system, where she consis- to do just that.” by Autobody News Staff

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Sacramento County, CA, Says It’s Illegal to Work on Your Own Car in Your Own Garage by Walter Olson, Overlawyered

It’s common for communities to use zoning codes to exclude commercial and industrial uses from residential areas, but Sacramento County, CA, seems extra-zealous about making sure that residents

don’t try to operate auto repair businesses amid homes. While it concedes to residents the right to perform minor auto repairs on their own cars in their driveway or garage, it bans repairs or maintenance in any of the following circumstances:

1. Using tools not normally found in a residence;

2. Conducted on vehicles registered to persons, not currently residing on the lot or parcel; 3. Conducted outside a fully enclosed garage and resulting in any vehicle being inoperable for a period in excess of twenty-four hours. So if you’re thinking of doing fairly minor work on your dad’s or girlfriend’s car, or trying any work that might run into a snag and have to be carried over to the next day — let alone working on a project car as a hobby, as many do — Sacramento County has other plans, and it doesn’t matter whether or not you are creating any nuisance for neighbors. “One commenter on the Grassroots Motorsports forum reported that he’d already been issued a $430 fine for working on his car in his garage.” [Jason Torchinsky, Jalopnik] We thank Overlawyered for reprint permission. / AUGUST 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


10th Annual Atlanta I-CAR Committee Golf Tournament Raises Over $65K At SEMA last year, the committee provided four grants made possible through CREF for local technical schools. They also sponsor two scholarships every year for post-secondary collision programs for Georgia students.

by Chasidy Rae Sisk

Held earlier this year, the 10th Annual Atlanta I-CAR Committee Golf Tournament was a huge success. According to Committee Chair Gerry Poirier, “The event netted over $65,000 for the

about 35 percent attending from out of town. The local technical school painted mini hoods for sponsor plaques highlighting the ten years of

The annual helicopter ball drop is a crowd favorite. redit: Atlanta I-CAR Committee

The 10th Annual Atlanta I-CAR Committee Golf Tournament generated over $65,000 for CREF. Credit: Atlanta I-CAR Committee

This year, the event saw, for the first time, an NABC Recycled Rides event providing a local veteran with a vehicle for transportation. The vehicle was donated by Farmers Insurance and repaired by Caliber Collision. Poirier shared, “The event was attended by over 200 golfers with

For the first time, the Atlanta I-CAR Committee’s golf outing featured a NABC Recycled Rides event. Credit: Atlanta I-CAR Committee

Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) for grants to schools in Georgia.”

the tournament. The helicopter ball drop was again a highlight of the tournament along with many other course games and prizes.” Poirier added, “The Atlanta committee last year was the first committee to raise over $100,000 for the foundation and is well on its way to duplicate that goal for 2019. Over the past ten years, the committee has raised over $400,000 for CREF.”

SCRS Announces Retirement Solutions Webinar

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) will be hosting a webinar at 2:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, July 18, featuring partners in the SCRS 401k Retirement Solutions program. The SCRS Multiple Employer Plan launched in April is one of the most talked-about options in the small business retirement plan market today. The webinar will help answer questions for business owners who are considering adding a retirement plan, as well as those who would like to compare their existing plan to our new offering. This presentation will touch on some of the challenges and objections small business owners and employees are faced with when it comes to retirement savings. Register to attend by visiting For more information about SCRS, or to join, please visit the website at


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IGONC Sponsors North Carolina Automotive Apprentice Program by Chasidy Rae Sisk

In an effort to reduce the tech shortage problem, the Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina (IGONC) is sponsoring the North Carolina Automotive Apprenticeship Program. Employers can participate at no cost and students can obtain a free education while earning wages at a parttime job. “The North Carolina Automotive Apprenticeship Program is for any high school senior who is interested in pursuing a career as an automotive technician in North Carolina. A lack of qualified technicians is hurting the industry and this is a great way to turn that shortage around,” said IGONC Executive Director Bob Pulverenti. The North Carolina Automotive Apprenticeship Program is open to high school seniors who must register with the program and be placed with an approved shop prior to graduating. Pulverenti said in order for students to get their tuition waved, there are certain assignments the students must show proficiency in. “Students come out of school with a degree, a certified apprenticeship, a journeyman’s card and no debt,” Pulv-

gram’s primary sponsor for good reason. Pulverenti explained, “The amount of work it would have taken for just one of our shops to get this done would have been enormous. There are apprentice groups trying to get employers to pay thousands of dollars a year to participate, but we decided that, as an association, we wanted to be able to provide this as a service to our members and to the industry as a whole.” IGONC has worked diligently to make the dream of the North Carolina Automotive Apprenticeship Program into a reality. It took a while to make this happen, PulverApprentices Timothy Evans and Bridgette Johnson enti said. with Lucas Underwood of L&N Performance Automotive “The apprentice program in Blowing Rock, NC. Credit: IGONC has been around for a number “If a shop wants a good pool of of years, but there was no one focused qualified talent to hire from in the fu- on making it available to automotive ture, it is important for them to nurture students. Whenever you work within a the technicians of tomorrow today,” large chain of people, you always seem Pulverenti said. “The response from to run into those who want to put in the shop owners has been overwhelming. least amount of effort,” Pulverenti said. Pulverenti continues, “Shante Owners are growing their own employees and are able to train them right Bell, who coordinates the North Central Region of the apprentice program from the start.” IGONC decided to be the pro- for the North Carolina Community

erenti added. Shops interested in participating as an employer must be in good standing with the association; however, there are no other charges related to the program other than paying their part-time employee.

College system, helped connect us with folks around the state who work with the students we need to reach to make this program a success. Altogether, we have been trying to get this done for over two and a half years and we are thrilled it has paid off.” Despite having little time to kick off the program after the paperwork was completed in April and before students graduated in June, the North Carolina Automotive Apprenticeship Program is already underway with several new apprentices placed in North Carolina shops. “We’ll be working to add a preapprentice program over the next year so that students can register at age 16 and shift into the apprentice program when it’s time to graduate from high school. We will also be focusing on outreach to let students know about this career path,” Pulverenti said about the future of the program. Students and shops interested in participating in the North Carolina Automotive Apprenticeship Program can contact IGONC Marketing and Communications Director Tricia Sauls at The program’s Facebook page can be found at facebook .com/NCAutoApprentice/. / AUGUST 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Southeast News with Chasidy Rae Sisk

Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance technical writer from Wilmington, Delaware, who writes on a variety of fields and subjects, and grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. She can be contacted at

WIA 5th Annual Summer Conference Exceeds Expectations On June 23-25, Women in Automotive (WIA) held its 5th Annual Summer Conference at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL. According to WIA Founding Board Member Jody DeVere, “The event went well and exceeded our expectations. Many said they enjoyed the speakers, location and sponsors. It was an educational event with great networking opportunities and some fun too.” These conferences are designed to teach and inspire females in the automotive industry and we do this though breakout sessions and handson workshops, DeVere said. “Our mission is assisting the automotive community in recruiting, retaining and developing female employees and leaders,” she added. Beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 23, WIA offered pre-conference events for early attendees, including topical networking table sessions and three free-form interactive workshop sessions on “Growing You, Growing Your Career,” “Connecting the Generations” and “Male-Dominated to Female Powered.”

Ten Strategies in Gender Equality and Our Allies.” The first day concluded with a cocktail networking reception. Day two’s educational offerings began with “Driven – How to Accelerate Your Life and Business,” a keynote outlining how high-performance leaders and organizations deliver extraordinary sales results by creating a culture where people believe what they do matters, presented by Lisa Copeland, CEO/founder of Cars Her Way. Next, Vice President of Sales, Heather Johnson, talked about the “Battle of the Sexes: How Women and Men Differ in Their Car Shopping Approach.” She also presented’s Innovation and Inspiration Award. At 10 a.m., attendees chose from four workshops: “In Search of Productive Employees? Internships and Mentoring Programs” with Donna Wagner, professor of Aftermarket Management at Northwood University, “What Women Want” with Digital Airstrike’s Senior Vice President of Product and Operations, Erica Sietsma, “Networking 101” with MEGA LLC CEO Renee Matthews and “Crack the Code” with Matthew Swartz, assistant director at PCS Global. During the next 45minute time slot, there were another four workshops. Jennifer Briggs and Bobbie Herron, CEO and founder of the Bees Knees Automotive Agency, facilitated “Start Running Your BDC Like a WIA’s conference featured a charity event on Sunday Profit Center, Not a Call evening. Credit: WIA Center,” while “You Only The conference officially com- Have Five Hours – What Will You Do menced at 4 p.m. with a welcome With Them” by Brent Wees, director from WIA Board Member Joni of First Impressions for Nextup foStuker and an introduction to event cused on becoming more productive, emcees, Eliana Raggio, director of successful individuals. industry relations for Digital Air “Inclusion and Empowerment; Strike and Charlie Vogelheim, prin- The Keys to Activating a Dominant cipal of Vogelheim Ventures. Busi- Female Workforce” was presented ness and life strategist Gary Coxe’s by Katie Richter, VP & COO of keynote presentation, “The Power of Cuneo Advertising, and Camron Transformation,” was followed by a Wilson of e-Dealer Solutions and keynote by Julie Kratz, founder of NADA Academy moderated a panel Pivot Point, who discussed the “Top on “Women, Gen Z, and Your Team:



Engaging and Retaining Female Employees” with Martha E. Rader and Brian Bastin from Keiser University and Rader Coaching, Training & Consulting, “Data at Work: Practical Applications for Key Auto Industry Statistics” with Charity Taylor and Tyson Jominy from JD Power, “Change Your Money, Change Your Future” with Charlotte Geletka of Silver Penny Financial Planning and “Building a Customer Centric Organization” with Kathy Gilbert from CDK Global, A speed networking event allowed attendees to get to Inc. know each other. Credit: WIA After lunch, Dan Flynn, Evelyn Chatel from Freedom Auto president of CDK North America, Group and’s delivered a keynote on “Strategic Imperatives for Hiring, Retention Anne Fleming. The morning’s last workshops and Career Growth” which was folwere “Are Biased Factors Preventing lowed by a speed networking event. Dealership Culture From Attracting, Monday afternoon included four Preparing your dealership to attract car buyers the way they are shopping today;” panelists included Amy Bannor of Towbin Fiat Alfa Romeo, / AUGUST 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


more keynote presentations. “Human Resources Fireside Chat and Q&A” with Laurie Foster of Foster Strategies Group, Fleming Ford from ESiTrends and Hireology’s Shannon Ward was followed by “Women Leaders ‘Take the Wheel’ – Fireside Chat from Porsche Cars North Amer-

Scholarship was presented, a keynote entitled “Ladies, Start Your Engines” was presented by Lynn Kehoe and Karen Salvaggio of Shift Up Now. That evening, WIA hosted another cocktail party for attendees. On the final day of WIA’s 2019 Summer Conference, Rene Banglesdorf, co-founder and CEO of Charlie Bravo Aviation, delivered an empowering keynote teaching attendees to “Stand Up: How to Flourish in a Male-Dominated Industry,” before the Keiser University Scholarship was awarded. Then, Marci Trares, director of Marketing Services for Dominion Dealer Solutions, WIA’s conference attracted a full room of attendees on its discussed “The Top 5 Trends first day. Credit: WIA to Watch in Digital.” ica,” which included Porsche’s Georgia Munson, NADA acadMichelle Rainey and LaShawn But- emy instructor, facilitated a workler and was moderated by Scott Reiss, shop on “Women in Leadership: No founder of A Girls Guide to Cars. Road Less Graveled” and “Inspire Next, Diran Hafiz, head of Ad- Yourself, Inspire Others Using Sovertiser Analytics, Automotive, for cial Media” was shared by Denise Microsoft, presented “Inclusive Mar- Casagrande, president of PCG Digketing: Optimizing Business, Opti- ital. Tuesday morning’s workshops mizing Life.” After the Northwood included “Driving Customer Pay University Women in Automotive Through Leading-Edge Marketing



Dane, Antonietta Polsinelli of Ford Motor Company and Tina Smith from TechForce Foundation. Bogi Lateiner encouraged attendees to find the courage to pursue their dreams during “If You Can Dream It, You Can Build It,” and then Joe Webb of DealerKnows Consulting and Danny Benites from Roberts Auto Group facilAttendees gathered for a group photo at the end of the itated an interactive autoconference. Credit: WIA motive edition of “Whose your sales team,” “The Future of Au- Line Is It Anyway?” tomotive is Female: how TaaS, ecoAfter the Colors on Parade Scholnomics and connectivity are defining arship announcement, Kerri Wise, a new industry paradigm,” “Advanc- TrueCar’s VP of Industry Education ing Your Personal Brand – A re- and Relations, urged everyone to cruiter’s perspective,” and “Infusing “Seize the Opportunity” by getting out Accountability and Fearlessness in of their own way and executing past Your Organization.” the barriers inherently faced as women Following the presentation of in the automotive industry. TrueCar the NCM General Management Pro- then announced the recipient of their gram Scholarship Award and lunch, “Every Woman” award. a panel discussion on “Changing the An afternoon panel, “Advancing Culture of our Technician Trade in Au- Women in the Dealership,” was modtomotive” was moderated by Amy erated by Marisable O. Cole from Mattinat of Auto Craftsman. Panelists General Motors Florida/Caribbean, included Laura Soave of ICahn Au- and panelists included Adam Arens tomotive, Susan Dober from Great See WIA 5th Annual, Page 18 Tactics,” “She’s Gotta Have It,” “The Science of Social: How to engage your community and empower / AUGUST 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS




Rick Hendrick MOPAR Southeast Wholesalers



Continued from Page 14

WIA 5th Annual

of Patriot Auto Group, Megan Del Pizzo from Tom Bush Family of Dealerships, Shannon Kominowski from Holler Hyundai, Amanda Gordon of GoJo Auto and Lauren Soave from ICahn Automotive. The final keynote presentations of the information-packed event were “What Drives Her” with Lan Phan of SeeHer and an “Ask Us Anything Townhall” with WIA’s Board. WIA’s 5th Annual Summer Conference had over 40 sponsor partners including AutoNation,, Chase Financial, Dominion Dealer Services, Florida Automobile Dealers Association (FLADA), General Motors Women’s Retail Network (WRN), Microsoft, NCM Associates, Royalty Logistics, TrueCar and many more sponsoring companies who are all working to support and advance careers for women in the automotive industry. For more information on WIA, visit


AAAS and ATDA Announces 2019 Scholarship Winners by Chasidy Rae Sisk

The Automotive Aftermarket Association Southeast (AAAS) and the Alabama Tire Dealers Association (ATDA) announced the recipients of their 2019 scholarships for the 20192020 academic year. AAAS awarded 26 scholarships through its Foundation. The 2019 recipients are Brannon Brown, Vernon Brown, Douglas Brown Jr., Stephanie Burgett, James Clem, Allyson Cross, Jason “Jay” Cross, Andrew Cross, Adrian Day, Nicole Ellis, Laney Gilmer, Kenneth Griffin, Caleb Harris, Lexy House, Lilia Sweet King, Juliet Liles, Carleigh May, Chase Moore, Natalie Riner, Wesley Rollins, Anna Rumore, Dominic Rumore, Charles A. Rumore Jr., Jarred Simmons, Lauren Whitfield and Rebekah Wieczorek. AAAS also awarded nine Memorial Scholarships, endowed by AAAS members, family and friends. The Dick Bell Memorial Scholarships were awarded to Kathleen Brown and Emmalee Richards, while Avery Kampwerth received the Gertrude Ellis Memorial Scholarship. Turner Seay received the Al Hines Memo-


rial Scholarship, James Durbin was named as the recipient of the Mike Morgan Memorial Scholarship and the Stan Waits Memorial Scholarships were bestowed upon Josie Hughes and Karlee Langley. The Ward Family Scholarships recipients were Reid Burleson and Carter Burleson. “Additionally, the Foundation has reserved scholarship funds for association members and employees wishing to further their education or enhance their skills at trade schools, junior colleges, manufacturer-sponsored clinics, etc.”, said AAAS Foundation Chairman Michael Morgan. “This effort is aimed at enhancing and expanding the capabilities of AAAS members and employees.” ATDA awarded eight 2019 scholarships to Ellis, Georgia Galloway, Gilmer, House, Mary Mann, Alexis Rice, Lillian Singleton and Anna Willard. Recipients of ATDA’s scholarships will be honored at the ATDA Convention in Gulf Shores, AL, on June 22. During the Convention, ATDA will announce the winner of its Greg East Memorial Scholarship. “Thanks to all of the association

members and industry contributors for their efforts in making this valuable program possible,” said ATDA President Jeff Ferguson. “Because of the generosity of ATDA members and friends of the association, scholarships are awarded annually to members, their employees and/or family members to assist in their pursuit of higher education. To date, ATDA has awarded over $288,000 in scholarships.” AAAS and ATDA both collaborate with the University of the Aftermarket Foundation (UAF) Scholarship Committee to allow students to be considered for multiple industry awards by completing one application at automotivescholarships .com. For more information about AAAS, visit More information about ATDA is available at alatiredealers .com.


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Continued from Cover

Short-Pay By Insurers

Classic Auto Works in recent years involving similar claims against other insurance companies for collision repairs. According to Parker’s website, the shop has broken away from a “direct repair program,” that the company says “become subject to insurance company demands such as the repair of parts that should be replaced, using after-market parts, or salvaged parts.” The website added, “In our experience, these practices are done to improve the bottom line of the insurance company and offer no benefit or savings to the consumer. In fact, such actions can adversely affect the safety and value of the vehicle.” In the Nationwide case, Parker sued for a little more than $40,000 in denied payments. The lawsuit listed more than 70 names of people who sought payment for vehicle repairs between 2009 and 2014. In those cases, the lawsuit stated, Nationwide failed “to pay the full

ruled in favor of Parker’s. “With no definition of ‘damage’ in the policy, we construe this term consistently with general principles of the law of remedies, interpretations of the standard collision-insurance policy as a whole, particularly the limitation-of-liability clause,” the decision stated. “We conclude that ‘damage’ here means the amount of money needed to repair an insured vehicle to preaccident condition,” according to the ruling, “not to exceed Mike Parker in a promotional video on Parker’s Classic the value of the vehicle beAuto Works Facebook page fore the accident.” It’s not Parker’s largest victory “Each insured, in consideration of being able to take possession of his yet in his battle against insurance or her vehicle, assigned (Parker’s) the companies over short pays. He preright to proceed against (Nationwide) vailed in 2015 in a three-year fight in order to collect the amount due and against Allstate for $53,000 in a lawowing for repair of the insured vehi- suit he brought on behalf of 70 consumers. cle,” the lawsuit stated. In fact, this is Parker’s fifth lawNationwide, in court records, denied owing the money to Parker’s suit against a national insurance company, and it’s the fifth time he’s won. auto shop. ‘I’m five for five,” Parker said The Vermont Supreme Court, in a recent 14-page unanimous decision Monday. Though, he added, the Nationauthored by Justice Karen Carroll, amount of the repair to the insured.” In each case, Nationwide paid the amount it believed it owed, but not the full amount sought by Parker’s.

wide case is the first to make it all the way to the Vermont Supreme Court. Meanwhile, he has four other cases with national insurers still pending, including lawsuits against Progressive and Travelers. And, he said, over the years he has reached several settlements with other insurance companies but can’t talk about those do to confidentiality agreements. Parker said how the Vermont Supreme Court ruling will affect the other cases that remain pending remains unknown. ‘They were all waiting to see what was going to happen,” he said. “They were all hoping we were going to lose this.” Parker started bringing such legal actions against insurance companies for “short pays” several years ago. Since then, some insurance companies have started paying for the needed procedures they wouldn’t have paid for in the past, according to Parker. But, he said, others have taken different actions in response to his actions. “Some insurance companies try See Short-Pay By Insurers, Page 26 / AUGUST 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


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Focus on Education

tions of Higher Learning, governing the eight public universities in Mississippi. “That experience gave me a depth of knowledge about governance, management, education, and legal and financial issues,” said Dr. Garrett. “Association management is very much the same, despite representing a diverse group of professions and organizations.” She said collision repair specialists need up-to-date, state-of-the-art education and training and stressed the importance of learning the value of advocacy for their profession. “Their professional association is, literally, the best vehicle for acquiring that education and for moving the industry forward,” explained Dr. Garrett. “I hope my experience in association management and governance and my education will help to move MSCRA forward as a leader in the industry.” Dr. Garrett currently serves as the alderwoman-at-large for the city of Clinton, where she lives in Mississippi. Throughout her career, she has been involved with leadership positions in multiple state professional associations. Dr. Garrett earned a PhD in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University, a master’s in English from the University of Mississippi, and a bachelor’s in English from the Mississippi University for Women. An important part of her role at the MSCRA is managing the annual Southeastern Automotive Repair Conference (SARC), which took place this past June in New Orleans, LA. “They said they needed someone with extensive event planning experience to manage a conference of that size and scope,” said Dr. Garrett. Approximately 300 attendees had the opportunity to experience some of the highest levels of I-CAR training and education in the industry and learn valuable skills and updates from industry experts about cycle time, damage analysis and parts mirroring, ADAS and other relevant topics. They also were able to gain insight into the political issues facing 20

the industry and to acquire best practices from their fellow attendees. “It is important for collision repair specialists to attend conferences such as SARC because it allows them to be exposed to state-of-theart training as well as to the most upto-date and effective equipment and services,” said Dr. Garrett, executive director of MSCRA. “There is enormous political clout to be gained from collision specialists working together across state lines and SARC provides that opportunity.” Some of the industry issues MSCRA highlighted during the conference this year included the relationship among body shops and the insurance industry, the complexity of automotive repairs today, the importance of following industry standards in all repairs and the value of political advocacy for the industry. As the host of the SARC Conference, Garrett said MSCRA is focused not only on Mississippi issues but also on making sure the association is representing the industry needs of the Southeast and nationally. The association is known for its lobbying over the years and is involved in such issues as consumer protection, OEM parts requirements and eliminating the practice of title washing of totaled vehicles. “MSCRA wants to ensure local and regional body shops are becoming models for the industry by providing the very best training and education for our members,” she added. As a result, there were presentations throughout the event from industry leaders such as Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS); Burl Richards, president of Burl’s Collision Center and president of the Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT); and Jake Rodenroth, director of industry relations at asTech. Other speakers included former pro hockey player and author, Dave Jesiolowski, and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood. The conference also featured information about the Honda Fit from the John Eagle Collision Center court case. The annual event was established in 2012 by Steve Plier, president of Consumer Auto Repair Excellence, as a platform to showcase the collision


repair industry and address issues unique to body shops. Five years later, SARC has become the premier industry event for the Southeastern United States. He said the goal is to bring the industry together so they can communicate and better understand that issues do not only affect a single repairer or a repairer in a particular area, but everyone faces the same or similar issues. “The conference was founded for the industry and the event has grown because of the collision repairers who attend and the suppliers/industry sponsors,” said Plier. “It was due to the efforts and time of each of those groups that grew SARC to the levels it has reached, and it will be the efforts and time of those groups that will continue to make SARC and or other regional events a success.” During this year’s conference, Hood discussed the Mississippi Auto Repair Task Force that was created by the attorney general’s office and the Mississippi insurance commissioner, Mike Chaney, with representatives from a cross-section of the industry.

As a result of the taskforce, the Attorney General’s office issued a guide for Mississippians about detailing the state and federal law for insurance and auto repair: A Consumer’s Guide to Auto Body Repair. “I hope that other states will use our guide as an example for what they can create in their states,” Hood said. At the end of the task force meeting in January 2017, Hood said it was clear that computerization was going to be the next big issue to monitor. Since then, his office has worked with the MS Insurance Department to facilitate resolution of disputes and to monitor whether or not scan codes are being covered by insurance companies. Last August, Hood’s office reached out to OEMs, including FCA, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota, to discuss their position statements regarding scan codes and to clarify any ambiguities. “In Mississippi, it seems like most insurers are following the manufacturer position statements regarding the scan codes, but I encourage See Focus on Education, Page 26 / AUGUST 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Southeast Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance technical writer from Wilmington, Delaware, who writes on a variety of fields and subjects, and grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. She can be contacted at

AAAS Enjoys Another Successful Conference On June 6-9, the Automotive Aftermarket Association of the Southeast (AAAS) held its 2019 Conference and Trade Show at the Sandestin Village of Baytowne Wharf in Destin, FL. According to Randal Ward, executive director of AAAS, “The annual AAAS Conference and Trade Show was once again a tremendous success! AAAS members and staff met for a weekend full of networking, fun and educational events, including exciting activities like deep sea fishing and golf.” On Thursday, June 6, attendees enjoyed their opportunity to network and gather with industry friends and colleagues during the opening night reception sponsored by CARQUEST.

sponsored by Federal Insurance. Other attendees enjoyed a relaxing afternoon on the beach. Later on, AAAS hosted a reception that doubled as a regional meet-up with the Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG). “YANG regularly hosts various meet-up networking events throughout the country, and this is a great way for younger industry employees to get to know one another,” Ward said. In addition to a tabletop trade show, Saturday, June 8, commenced with a Welcome and State of the Association Reports delivered by Chairman West before two guest speakers took the stage. Ward recounts, “Ray Pohlman, president of the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality, started off the morning by giving a thorough presentation on the state of the automotive aftermarket and some of the challenges and opportunities the industry is facing now and in the future. Mr. Pohlman was followed by Taylor Mitchell, Senior Vice President of Technology Standards for the Auto Care Association. On Friday morning, attendees had the option of participating Taylor provided some great in a deep sea fishing expedition aboard the Relentless, insight into how technology sponsored by Federal Insurance. Credit: AAAS changes are impacting the On Friday, June 7, AAAS Chair- aftermarket, specifically in regards to man of the Board Keith West, Em- telematics.” ployee Benefit Fund Chair Danny After a break, Capriotto moderDurbin, and AAAS’s Matt Ward ated a panel discussion on “Present joined Carm Capriotto for a podcast and Future Trends” which included of Remarkable Results Radio. Ward AAAS Members Liz Burleson-Barshared, “Carm’s weekly production, rett, Jarrett Liles, Brad Lightfoot called the Town Hall Academy, is a and Ward Drennen. platform designed to showcase after“This was a fun and engaging market success stories and industry in- way to end the morning, with each of sights. The podcast was streamed on a the panelists giving some great insight host of social media pages, allowing into what they do to set themselves people from all over the country to apart to achieve success,” Ward dehear from AAAS members about their clared. experiences working in and owning Saturday evening concluded with businesses in the aftermarket industry. dinner and a silent auction benefitting This was a fun and unique experience the AAAS Educational Foundation. for everyone involved!” “The silent auction has become a popAttendees had the option of ular way to end the conference, with participating in a deep sea fishing everyone getting excited about the expedition aboard the Relentless, chance to win a great prize and sup-



educational opportunities to AAAS members and their employees. Many attendees were able to take home some great items, from door prizes to silent auction items, but they were also able to take home valuable knowledge that will help their businesses succeed. We are looking forward to next year.” Sponsors included Merrill Lynch, LKQ, N. A. Williams, BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama, York Risk Services Group, Aldridge Borden Company, Superior Financial Systems, AAAS Employee Benefit Fund, AmeriTrust, AAAS Chairman of the Board Keith West, Employee Benefit Carr Riggs & Ingram CPAs Fund Chair Danny Durbin and AAAS’s Matt Ward joined and Advisors, Austill, Lewis, Carm Capriotto for a podcast of Remarkable Results Pipkin & Maddox PC, Net Radio. Credit: AAAS Driven, Automotive AfterWard continued, “This year’s market Fund and Trustmark. For more information, visit aaas auction was another success, and will help continue the mission of providing .us. port the foundation while doing so. Since the inception of the Educational Foundation, AAAS has awarded tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to 156 individual recipients,” Ward said. / AUGUST 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Fix Auto USA Annual Conference Celebrates Focus on Family Value(s) by Stacey Phillips

More than 20 years ago, Erick and Shelly Bickett set out to create a national network of high-performing independent body shops. The collision repair visionaries wanted to ensure it was supported with a unified and branded infrastructure of systems and processes offering the best quality and services. The first locations were established in Denver, Portland, Los Angeles and San Diego in 2011. Rapid expansion soon followed. Fast forward to 2019 and the San Diegobased company now includes over 150 locations in ten states across the country: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Oregon, Minnesota, Nevada and Washington. “We did and are doing what everyone said couldn’t be done,” said Paul Gange, president and CEO of Fix Auto USA, during the organization’s annual conference. “We took a

(l to r) Erick Bickett, co-founder of Fix Auto USA, and co-owner of eight Fix Auto USA locations, and Paul Gange, president and CEO of Fix Auto USA. Credit: Stacey Phillips

fragmented industry—independent entrepreneurs with their own ideas, attitudes, desires—and we asked them to come together as one.” In June, more than 275 attendees gathered in Carlsbad, CA, at the Omni La Costa Resort for the 17th Annual Fix Auto USA Conference: Family Value(s). They included Fix Auto USA Franchise Partners and their co-pilots as well as executives representing every collision and insurance industry segment. “Moving forward, we want to continue attracting high-performing, forward-thinking operators who want to stay and compete and be part of something bigger than themselves while we hold them accountable to 24

an unparalleled standard of excellence on behalf of the vehicle owners and insurers we serve,” Gange added. Gange joined Fix Auto USA as president and COO in 2009 and was

vice president of business development. “It is exciting to facilitate the dialogue between our Fix Auto USA franchises and our industry partners as we work together to solve the issues of the industry today. “Each of our franchise locations views the next as a ‘collaborator’ versus a ‘competitor’ even if they’re in the same market. So, bringing together our entire family is not only critical to our success, but to our culture,” he continued. “When you have our entrepreneurs—the franchise partners—working toMore than 275 attendees gathered in Carlsbad, CA, at the gether towards a common Omni La Costa Resort for the 17th Annual Fix Auto USA objective, the outcome is a Conference: Family Value(s). Credit: Fix Auto USA tighter bond that delivers betlater named president and CEO in ter results.” 2016–the same year Fix Auto USA Jim Huard discussed the Fix celebrated its 100th franchise loca- Auto Dashboard, which was develtion. Today, the company is driving oped by Erick Bickett, co-founder of towards the goal of operating over Fix Auto USA and co-owner of eight 200 locations. Fix Auto USA locations, and Huard, “While we further develop our regional managing partner of three footprint, we continue to be a top per- of Bickett’s locations: Fix Auto Anaformer for our insurance and vehicle heim, Fix Auto Costa Mesa and Fix manufacturer partners who are looking for quality and efficient service for their customers. All of our locations are owner-operated, and our culture is that of a family. We truly have one common brand and we deploy a team of Fix Claims Solutions (FCS) professionals unlike any other brand in the industry,” said Gange. Throughout the four-day conference, presentations were given on a wide range of topics to educate atten-

dees and help them continue to build successful businesses. These included building a talent strategy, developing a new generation of estimators and technicians, ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) and elevating the customer experience through valuesdriven leadership. “The energy and thought leadership at our conference is extraordinary,” said Dennis O’Mahoney,


Auto Irvine. Over the last three years, Bickett and Huard built the dashboard with the assistance of other franchise partners. The dashboard consolidates data points from multiple disparate systems onto one screen and refreshes the data in real time.

(l to r) Erin Tallant, Axalta Coating Systems; Holly Bickett; Erick Bickett; and Jim Ocampo, Axalta Coatings Systems. Credit: Stacey Phillips

During the event, VeriFacts Automotive co-founder and CEO Farzam Afshar presented Fix Auto USA an award for achieving the highest percentage of VeriFacts VQ Medallion shops of any collision repair brand in


the world. VeriFacts’ VQ Medallion represents the highest level of shop repair quality and expertise. This year, more than $50,000 was raised for the Fix Auto USA— Tim Clark Memorial Scholarship, which awards scholarships to those looking to enter the collision repair industry. The scholarship was named after Clark, the Fix Auto USA executive responsible for giving FCS’s initial framework and charter. A highly-valued component of the conference’s agenda included recognizing and rewarding accomplishments by franchise partners. This year, Selvi Rizk received the Franchise Partner-of-the-Year award. Rizk operates Fix Auto Brea and Fix Auto Moreno Valley, both of which are located in Southern California, and also participates on the brand’s Market Leaders Advisory Council. “Being named Franchise Partner-of-the-Year is a distinct privilege and is a career highlight for me,” said Rizk. “I was thrusted into this business ten years ago into the daunting task of turning around a troubled business. I’m happy to have been able to overcome the challenges of

the past and focus on a brighter future.” During the conference, Rizk talked about her experience in the industry and becoming a franchise partner.

(left) Selvi Rizk, operator of Fix Auto Brea and Fix Auto Moreno Valley, received the Franchise Partner-of-the-Year award. Credit: Stacey Phillips

The following awards were presented to Franchise Partners who exemplify Fix Auto USA’s Family Values: Marvic Vila, operator of Fix Auto Daly City and Fix Auto San Francisco – South of Market, received the Vision Award; Operator-of-theYear was presented to Huard, regional managing partner of Fix Auto Anaheim, Fix Auto Costa Mesa, and Fix

Auto Irvine; Rookie-of-the-Year was given to Arthur Mercado, operator of Fix Auto Alameda and Fix Auto Castro Valley; and John Kimpton, operator of Fix Auto Springfield, received the Arrow Award. Locations demonstrating marketleading performance and individuals going beyond the call of duty were also recognized. The Best Length of Rental award was presented to Fix Auto Irvine for the second consecutive year; Fix Auto Modesto received the Best CSI award for the second consecutive year; the Best Estimator award was given to Tina Perez from Fix Auto Oceanside and Fix Auto Irvine received the Going Green Top Shop award. For more information about Fix Auto USA, visit or contact Marketing Manager Jonathan Herrera at


Autobody News

CREF Launches #100Floors 75Days Project

The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) announced it launch a program this summer to provide 100 collision repair schools with new flooring. The #100Floors 75Days project seeks to build relationships between the local collision industry and their collision repair schools by providing the materials necessary to refinish the school’s floors during the summer break. “Collision repair training programs compete with other skilled trades for the next generation of employees,” said Brandon Eckenrode, director of development for the CREF. “Improving the appearance of high school and college collision schools reflects the professionalism of the collision industry and improves the quality of students seeking pre-employment training. Industry members interested in joining the CREF’s supporters, and assisting high school and post-secondary collision school programs and students should contact Eckenrode at (312) 231-0258 or Brandon

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Ford Stresses Importance of Glass Repairs by Tara Taffera,

In the recent issue of Ford’s On Target newsletter, aimed at Ford and Lincoln wholesalers and the collision repair industry, the automaker details the importance of “proper fixed glass repairs.” Ford Motor Company’s Senior Damageability Engineer Gerry Bonanni was interviewed regarding the proper repair procedure for vehicle fixed glass, and the important role it plays. Bonanni went so far as to say that skipping of a step or not following procedures exactly could result in “catastrophic results.” “The fixed glass of the vehicle plays an important role in the overall strength of the roof and in ensuring a robust repair,” said Bonanni. “Especially the windshield, which provides strength and stability to the vehicle’s structure and affects how it performs in a collision event. Preserving that strength and stability is paramount, as is the proper preparation of the substrate to which the fixed glass adheres. If the fixed glass, such as the windshield, is not seated properly, and the substrate is not prepared correctly, the glass could pop right out Continued from Page 19

Short-Pay By Insurers

to steer away from us,” he said. “They try to get people not to come here.” But Parker said, he isn’t deterred. “Everything we do is necessary,” he said, adding, “This is trying to get what was owed to begin with to bring the car back to pre-loss condition.” McClallen, Parker’s attorney, could not be reached Monday seeking comment. Also, Eric Boron, a Buffalo, New York, attorney, listed in court records as lead counsel for Nationwide, did not return a call Monday seeking comment. Marilyn Miller, executive director of the Vermont Vehicle and Automotive Distributors Association, said Monday she was still reviewing the details of the decision. “I do know this has been something that Mr. Parker has been fighting for,” said Miller, whose organization is a trade association representing the interests of the auto industry, including new and used car and truck dealers as well as auto shops and parts facilities. “I’m impressed that Mr. Parker has 26

during a subsequent collision event, seriously jeopardizing the overall structural integrity and safety of the vehicle.” The article details specific installation instructions for everything from trimming the urethane, use of primer and more. If the vehicle is equipped with a camera, carry out IPMA camera alignment, referring to Section 419-07: Lane Keeping System, Description and Operation, the article states. “Today’s vehicles are specifically designed and constructed to work together in a complex sequence to provide proper functionality and safety in the event of a collision,” said Bonanni. “Ford’s OEM repair procedures—as found in the workshop manual—are the only way to ensure the vehicle’s proper functionality and safety are maintained, providing peace of mind for repairers and customers alike. Unauthorized changes to any one component, skipping a step, or not adhering to the carefully and fully laid out Ford OEM repair procedures can cause catastrophic results.” We thank for reprint permission.

stuck with it this long and really saw it through to the end,” Miller said. “I think this is a positive thing,” Miller added, “certainly for independent (auto shops) and for anybody in the business of repair when an insurance carrier is not willing to reimburse you what is a legitimate parts and labor cost.” In 2017, a jury following a twoday trial in Rutland County Superior civil court also sided with Parker’s in its dispute with Nationwide, awarding the auto shop $41,737. However, Judge Helen Toor later overturned that jury ruling, granting a motion for judgment “as a matter of law.” The judge stated that the insurance policies required the firm to pay “an amount [defendant] determined was sufficient to do the repairs,” according to the high court’s decision. And, that judge ruled, those insured could not sue Nationwide for money that “were entirely within” the firm’s “discretion to award.” The state’s highest court took a different view, ruling in part, that the policies lacked provisions allowing for challenges on how much was sufficient to be paid for a repair.


Continued from Page 20

Focus on Education

body shops and consumers in our state to notify my Consumer Protection Division and MID if that is not the case,” Hood told attendees. In order to assist consumers in the future, Hood said it’s important for him and his staff to stay informed regarding industries impacting consumers, especially new technologies, and how the attorney general can help. “Additionally, I have found that multi-sector collaboration is essential on every issue—whether we are talking about recovery from the opioid crisis or auto repair and insurance coverage; conferences such as SARC help build those necessary relationships.” Garrett added that the enduring purpose of SARC is to provide an annual forum for collision repair professionals in the region – where attendees can visit exhibits, receive important industry information and training, stay abreast of new vehicle

“The trial court interpreted the insurance policy, which was silent on the matter, to only require defendant to pay ‘an amount [defendant] determined was sufficient to do the repairs’,” according to the decision. “We disagree with this construction,” the ruling added. “Just as we will not rewrite an insurance policy in favor of an insured, we also cannot rewrite a policy in favor of an insurer.” And during the trial, the decision stated, Parker provided records for his charges. “Mr. Parker, the owner of the repair shop, testified on direct examination to his experience repairing vehicles and to the billing and repair processes employed in his shop,” the ruling stated. “He compared,” the decision added, “in some respects, the practices employed in his shop to those used by defendant’s claims adjuster.” Michael Pieciak, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, said Monday he didn’t see the decision as precedent setting beyond the policy at issue in the case.

technologies, learn the best methods for marketplace success, and stay focused on consumer safety. “We were very pleased with the response to the SARC 19 conference and look forward to announcing the dates and location for SARC 2020 soon,” said Garrett. “It is our hope that SARC will become bigger and better each year and will enable both our attendees and our industry partners to have the most valuable and rewarding experience possible.” For more information about MSCRA, visit For more information about SARC, visit A Consumer’s Guide to Auto Body Repair is available for download at or by following this link: .us/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/AUTO -BODY-REPAIR-A-CONSUMERS -GUIDE_Final.pdf.


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The commissioner called it a “classic contract dispute,” in which the policy did not spell out some of the key terms, such as defining the word “damage,” so the high court went ahead and did that. Typically, Pieciak said, such terms are laid out in great detail in policies and contracts. “It just so happens in this case it wasn’t that clear,” the commissioner said. Nationwide also contended it was not required to pay both “repair and labor costs” since the policy provided for payment of labor costs under the towing clause but not the “collisioncoverage insuring” clause. Justice Carroll, in the decision, rejected that argument. “Labor is an indispensable component of the cost to make a repair,” Carroll wrote. “Moreover, defendant’s opening statement and the only witness that defendant offered at trial effectively admitted that the policy covers, to some degree, labor costs for making a repair.” We thank for reprint permission. / AUGUST 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


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Continued from Cover

SCRS Event Discussion

lenburg said the written responses were “reflective of what we anticipated,” namely that “regulatory bodies don’t have a solid understanding of the repair process and therefore don’t understand” how OEM procedures impact claims settlement. “This really was a mechanism to expose what I think is a gaping hole in the statutes in most states to hold [insurers] accountable for the things we [as repairers] need to do,” Schulenburg said. Responses Often Address Other Issues In one state’s response, Alex Avalos, senior insurance compliance officer for California’s Department of Insurance, said that state’s “insurance laws and regulations are silent on vehicle manufacturer documented procedures.” Would the Department consider it a “reasonable expectation that if an OEM repair procedure or instruction existed, that the claim should cover the associated costs,” the SCRS asked in its letter.


“That one would need to be looked at on a case-by-case basis,” Avalos responded. “Our regulations mandate that insurance estimates allow for repairs to be made in a workman-like manner.”

Dan Caldwell of Nissan said local chambers of commerce can help small businesses have a voice with government on workforce development.

Many of the responses received from insurance regulators focused largely on state statutes related to OEM parts or noted only that the regulatory agencies couldn’t comment on some of what they saw as hypotheticals posed in the SCRS’ letter. But some more directly addressed the SCRS’ primary question. For example, Ian Shapiro, insurance analyst with the Illinois Department of Insurance, wrote that his


agency “would consider it a ‘reasonable’ expectation that if an OEM repair procedure or instruction existed, the claim should cover the associated costs.” However, Shapiro also added that “there is nothing currently written in the statutes that requires an insurance carrier to cover those costs.” Donald Beatty, deputy commissioner for Virginia’s Bureau of Insurance, wrote in his response that standard policy forms insurers must use in his state would not allow an insurer to say costs associated with automaker procedures are not covered, but those forms also “do not require insurers to accept manufacturers’ procedures for repair.” In perhaps even more troubling news for shops and their customers, Suzanne Tipton, insurance deputy commissioner of the Arkansas Insurance Department, wrote that if an insurer directs a shop not to follow OEM repair procedures, that “may be considered to be reasonable” as long as the vehicle “is shown to have been ‘restored to its condition prior to the loss.’” One of the more promising responses the SCRS has received came

from Andy Case, director of the Mississippi Insurance Department’s Consumer Services Division. Case wrote that there is nothing in that state’s laws that mandates that OEM repair procedures be followed, and that the most an insurer is expected to pay under state regulation is the

Kenyatta Lovett said working with local governments on workforce issues can pay off when those officials go on to statewide positions

“lowest amount that such vehicle or glass could be properly and fairly repaired or replaced by a contractor or repair shop within a reasonable geographic or trade area of the insured.” Case went on to say that “if a vehicle manufacturer outlines a specific recommended repair procedure … the Mississippi Department does ask

that insurers recognize that procedure as it relates to repair methods only.” Schulenburg said overall, however, the responses demonstrate the need for state legislation recognizing OEM repair procedures as “what we have to do as repairers and what insurers are obligated to under their policies.” Copies of the SCRS letter and responses received to date can be viewed at Speakers Share Idea to Grow Workforce Also during the SCRS meetings held earlier this year in Nashville, TN, a number of speakers focused on public and corporate efforts to improve workforce development in that state. Given the challenge shop owners nationwide face in finding the employees they need, Schulenburg asked the panel to share what they believe small business owners can do to address the situation in their market. Ann Thompson of the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development said her father is a small business owner who has implemented something that she

suggests shops do. “How many of you have some sort of internship program, or an opportunity to let either a teacher or some high school students come into your business,” Thompson asked at-

Andy Tylka, owner of Tom & Ed’s Autobody, said the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program can cover the cost of a student working 200-300 hours in a business

tendees at the event. “That is the best thing you can do. Look around at the different occupations and the different processes that you have, and find some things that are lowskilled where you can get those students in early.” Jon Mandrell, president of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Murfreesboro, TN, said that as with many technical and community colleges, his school’s programs

are guided by industry advisory councils. Getting involved with such councils at a local level are a great way for shops to influence curriculum or have an opportunity to speak to students, Mandrell said. He said shops and industry vendors can also help local schools get the current tools and equipment to help students prepare to enter the industry successfully. “Most institutions work closely with alum and donors and talk about funds and scholarships, whereas technical colleges look at how to get that cutting-edge equipment to help us embed things as fast as possible, ahead of the curve,” he said. Dan Caldwell of Nissan acknowledged that as a large employer in Tennessee, his company had some sway in gaining government support for workforce development efforts that are helping create employees with the skills Nissan needs. Even smaller employers have opportunities to create a large “voice” through a vibrant chamber of commerce that acts as an intermediary to communicate to schools and local government the industry’s needs, he said. Kenyatta Lovett, of the non-

profit education advocacy group “Complete Tennessee,” encouraged shops to get involved in government and workforce development even on a local level because statewide programs in Tennessee grew out of local efforts by a mayor who went on to be governor. “Once you articulate this challenge and what role locally-elected officials can play, you’d be surprised how they can become a champion who can move it a long way,” Lovett said. “You never know who is going to become governor next.” An event attendee, Andy Tylka of Tom & Ed’s Autobody, which operates five shops in Indiana, said he recommends shops get involved with Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), a national non-profit organization (with programs in 34 states) working to help young people who have serious barriers to high school graduation or employment. “It’s an elective program in high schools where students can learn soft skills and then get placed in a job, with the government funding 200300 hours for them to work for you,” Tylka said.

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In Reverse with Gary Ledoux

Gary Ledoux is an industry veteran with 48 years’ experience in the automotive and OEM collision parts industry. His column appears exclusively in Autobody News. He can be reached at

An Industry in Constant Flux - A 1970s Perspective The collision industry went through many changes during the 1970s. Industry associations were stronger and industry communications were better than ever. Below are a few predictions made from the past about the future, some ponderings from leaders of their time and a taste of what changed and what remained the same.

Prognostications From Connecticut In March 1970, an unnamed person from the Connecticut Department of Transportation addressed a group of collision industry executives as well as shop owners and predicted the following about the future:

• By 1975, 25 percent of our workforce will be replaced by automation. • By 1980, the typical work week will be 35 hours. • By 1980, everyone will have access to instant communication. • By 1980, most of the population will be working from home rather than from an office. • By 2000, only ten percent of the population of the U.S. will work or need to work. • By 2020, Connecticut will be in what was then known as the North Atlantic Megalopolis—a 150-milewide stretch of real estate from Boston to Richmond, VA. • By 2020, there will be automated roads where one can get into a car and sleep, play cards, or watch television, while the car whisks its occupants to their destination. The Natal Beginnings of Vehicle Autonomy In 1972, the RCA Corporation worked on crash avoidance technology. An experimental system displayed by the company uses a radar unit that sends a continuous signal to the rear of the vehicle ahead. As the distance between the two cars closes, flashers and

audible signals in the following car are triggered. The system could also be tied to the throttle and braking system. RCA estimates that this system will add anywhere from $50 to $100 per vehicle on mass-produced models and should be ready for all cars in ten years. “We can no longer stand still,” said Paul Goldberg, Auto Body Association of America (ABAA) president. “We can no longer, in these times of rapid change, stand content with methods of shop operations designed for the 1930s. We can no longer keep our heads stuck in the sand. The 2020s are quickly moving toward us.”

More Industry Changes An article in a June 1971 trade magazine said the industry has seen more changes in the last five years than it has seen in the previous 20 years. This is because “the industry is populated by so many young, energetic body-men and shop owners and few high-powered leaders.” The advent of these recent changes indicate that the collision industry is still in its infancy, but “adolescence is fast approaching and before you know it, we will have a mature industry.” A mature industry, the article notes, will be exemplified by shops that are free to repair a car properly.


Maximizing Productivity Dr. William Baumol, a professor of economics at Princeton University said in a speech at the annual American Insurance Association meeting in 1970 that there is no way to save money in insurance claims through body shop productivity increases. The industry accrues costs that are out of its hands, he added. Number Please Before the advent of the internet, a 1970 Yellow Pages National Usage

study revealed that one in every five adults looks for a body shop in the Yellow Pages annually. From 1997 to 2000, internet business saw meteoric growth, yet the collision industry lagged behind. Early in 2000, Amica Mutual Insurance was one of the first to provide online claims handling. Beware of Javelins In 1970, shops are warned about working on the new model AMC Javelin which will feature “heavygauge steel members” welded inside each door. More Fiberglass In 1970 and before the advent of high-strength steel, Owens-Corning reports the use of fiberglass. The company said fiberglass reinforced plastics will reach an all-time high in 1971 model, US built cars due to it being lighter weight than steel.


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Rising Repair Costs Costs were increasing rapidly. In 1960, the average new home cost $12,700 and the average price of a new car was $2,600. However, in




Finding New Technicians Today, in 2019, the fight goes on to find new collision techs. During the 1970s, and even prior to that, was no different—the collision repair industry was under fire from politicians about the alleged “high price of auto repair.”

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1970, the average home was $23,450 and the average new car cost $3,450. The American Mutual Insurance Alliance, an industry trade group representing over 100 insurance companies nationwide reports in 1971 that the average auto repair claim in 1960 was $131. In January 1971, it jumped to $276.

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National News with Chasidy Rae Sisk

Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance technical writer from Wilmington, Delaware, who writes on a variety of fields and subjects, and grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. She can be contacted at

Mike Anderson and Impacted Shop Owner Warn Industry of Computer Ransom Scheme Over the past few months, Collision Advice’s Mike Anderson has been contacted by over a dozen shops regarding a computer ransom scheme where body shops’ computers and IT systems are hijacked and held for ransom. Unable to access their programs and documents, victims are then contacted by the hackers with instructions on how to pay the ransom, usually in bitcoin. Ryan Cropper, owner of Able Body Shops in Anchorage, AK, stopped in his shop on the Saturday before going on vacation in November 2018. He recalls, “All of the icons looked like Christmas presents and clicking on them opened a message with an email address to contact to unlock them. I contacted IT, and they confirmed my computer was hacked and I’d have to pay a ransom to release it.” Fortunately, the hacker couldn’t access password-protected files. How-

ever, unable to find an alternate solution, Cropper paid $4,000 in bitcoin after IT verified the hacker’s record of releasing victims’ computers once the ransom was paid. Cropper was locked out of his computer system for four days. He shares, “It was a nightmare; I was losing my mind.” “The amount they demand depends on what they find,” Cropper continued. “The hacker was unwilling to negotiate whatsoever. Our hacker came from Russia; we verified that through the IP address.” After his documents were released, Cropper’s next step was figuring out how he got hacked. He learned that there was an open port on his computer that allowed him to access it from his laptop while traveling. “The hacker found the open port and did damage to benefit himself,” Cropper explained. “It didn’t ruin us, but it could have. Our firewalls didn’t stop

it. Now, I have a two-part authentication for remotely accessing my system and that’s key to ensuring we aren’t hacked again.” According to Anderson, “This has happened to a lot of folks. People have open ports and then receive a spam email; once they open it, hackers have access to your computer and lock it down until the ransom is paid. One shop owner heard me speak about this topic and protected himself so he could avoid paying the ransom when he was attacked, but several shops have been forced to pay. These hackers are good at what they do.” So how can shops protect themselves? Anderson advised, “First thing they can do is contact their IT department to make sure their system is secure. Then, make sure they have good insurance so the ransom is covered. Once it happens, it can be solved, but there’s definitely a cost to resolve it.”

Another impacted shop owner who prefers to remain anonymous offered this advice following his experience: “Hire an outside IT company to audit your IT network; you want them to try to penetrate your system to find the faults and loopholes. Don’t tell anyone, particularly your current IT support company, about this audit because you want it to be random. Upon the audit discovery, you’ll find out if you’re getting what you’re paying for monthly from your IT support company, and you’ll learn how quickly and closely they operate and monitor your business. They should see things happening quickly and spring into action by notifying if they are good.” He continued, “You also want to make sure your IT support company is backing up your business onto the cloud on their own along with local offsite backups. Backups should be See Ransom Scheme, Page 38

$10,865,004 in Settlements Reached in ‘Starters’ Price Fixing Class Action Lawsuit Law firms** have announced that the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Southern Division has approved the following announcement of proposed class action settlements with the Mitsubishi Electric Defendants, Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. (“HIAMS”) Defendants, DENSO Defendants and MITSUBA Defendants. The settlements resolve allegations against the Settling Defendants that they conspired to raise, fix, maintain and stabilize prices, rig bids and allocate the supply of starters sold in the United States, in violation of federal antitrust laws. The settlements affect those who purchased starters in the United States between January 1, 2000, and March 12, 2018 directly from any one of the following entities (or depending on the specific settlement agreements, their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates or joint ventures): Mitsubishi Electric Corporation; Mitsubishi Electric US Holdings, Inc.; Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, Inc.; Hitachi Automotive 34

Systems, Ltd.; Hitachi, Ltd.; Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc.; DENSO Corporation; DENSO International America, Inc.; MITSUBA Corporation; American Mitsuba Corporation; Nikko Electric Industry; and Robert Bosch GmbH. A hearing will be held on October 3, 2019, at 11:00 a.m., before Marianne O. Battani, United States district judge, at the Theodore Levin United States Courthouse in Detroit, MI, for the purpose of determining whether the proposed settlements with the Mitsubishi Electric Defendants, HIAMS Defendants, DENSO Defendants, and MITSUBA Defendants totaling $10,865,004 should be approved by the Court as fair and reasonable. A Notice of Proposed Settlements was mailed to potential Settlement Class members on or about June 27, 2019. **Freed Kanner London & Millen LLC; Kohn, Swift & Graf, P.C.; Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios, LLP; and Spector Roseman & Kodroff, P.C. Obtained via PRNewswire.



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Media and Publicity for Shops with Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at

Marketing Guru Schools Shops on All Things Google Nick Schoolcraft, president of Phoenix Solutions Group (PSG), works with hundreds of body shops to set them up for success when it comes to both their digital and customer marketing. Recently, he took the time to share his insights about things such as Google’s mobile first indexing update, the importance of understanding how digital impacts the collision customer, as well as a trend he’s been following called “digital dieting.”

What does it mean when Google releases updates and changes to its algorithm?


Each update serves a purpose. For example, Google released an update called Panda in 2011 to reward websites with higher-quality content. Its goal was to remove search results that lead searchers to sites with


poor quality or little content. Also, it focused on filtering sites that were “keyword stuffing.” This update was significant in that it changed how Google ranks pages. It was a clear sign from Google that incorporating practices that didn’t benefit the user, like creating pages with little content to drive better search ranking, would no longer be tolerated. That said, not all updates are bad. For example, Hummingbird, which was announced by Google in 2013, was seen as a complete overhaul of their search algorithm. This update was massive because it started to incorporate natural language processing, which helped Google to match the searcher’s intent with relevant content better, which is why we always suggest writing your website content in simple language instead of focusing on industry-related terms.

Hummingbird had minimal impact on search results; however, it was a massive update in how search results are displayed, which signaled Google’s focus on ensuring they deliver the most relevant search results that match the user’s intent.

Q: A:

What is Mobile First Indexing and why is it important?

Starting July 1, Google will start indexing the mobile version of your site as the default index method. In the past, they used the desktop version to help with ranking your website. This change is meant to help mobile users find what they’re looking for more quickly. Google sees that people are using their mobile devices more often in search, so they’re making a strong effort to address that.

More importantly, what a shop owner should recognize is that their digital presence is a reflection of the type of experience a customer will receive when visiting the actual shop. Shops should look at these updates as Google’s way of adapting to their user’s needs. If a shop doesn’t understand, they should consult a digital industry expert like Phoenix Solutions Group to better understand the implications these changes have on their digital presence. These updates happen frequently. To ensure a shop is set up for ongoing success, they should make sure their site aligns with their user’s needs and with Google’s published requirements.

Q: A:

What will your mobile evaluation tell us?

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keep on top of all these changes. As digital becomes more of a tactical element of the collision buying journey, shops need to make sure they are delivering at least an “at par” experience. Unfortunately, we find that most shops believe that because their site is responsive or “mobile friendly” they are already prepared. There is a lot more that goes into making sure you perform well with this update. Our evaluation looks at a variety of technical and structural factors to ensure that they are not only mobile-index ready but also they are optimized for the future of search— voice.

Google has said that over half of the pages shown in search results are mobile-first indexed. Is this the new standard and why is July 1 significant?


Yes, Google started talking about mobile indexing in 2016 and as you’d expect, an update of this size takes time and planning. The most important fact is that starting on July 1, mobile first will be the default index method.


Does this update have anything to do with the trend you are following called “digital dieting”?

What does research tell us about collision repair customers and their online vs. mobile search habits?




Not really—”digital dieting” focuses on the overabundance of digital marketing noise in our lives and how people are becoming more intolerant of unnecessary digital interruptions. “Digital dieting” refers to the increase in “unsubscribe” rates and the consumer’s search for more personalized interactions with brands. It’s vital to realize fads will come and go and while technology will continue to play a disruptive role in our future, shops should remain focused on the one element that hasn’t changed since the beginning of time—the value of delivering differentiated customer experiences. This is what PSG has done for nearly 30 years through products like hand signed, personalized post-repair follow-up letters that help shops stand out from their competitors, remain top of mind with their customers and build brand loyalty.


This is a hard question to answer, mostly because all body shops aren’t created equal. However, one commonality that we see across all of the 160+ sites that we manage is how people end up at a collision website from search. Using Google Search Console, we find that in most cases, 90-95 percent of shop site traffic is coming through branded keywords terms (i.e., some variation of the shops’ name). This data is significant for a lot of reasons. One, because it affects every type of shop—from the ones who spend a lot of money on SEO to the ones that spend very little. Secondly, these types of searches are indicative of customers who are in the late stages of their purchase decision and already have an awareness of the shop before entering search. This knowledge allows us to help our customers focus on the things that matter most to collision customers, while others focus on the things that produce a marginal impact. Google

Analytics and Google Search Console should be a shop’s first digital reference point, as they will most likely expose a more tactical interaction than the assumed consumptionbased interaction of more traditional websites, which should help a shop owner better understand the real ROI of their marketing spend.

What are some additional items a shop can do to capitalize on this new algorithm?


Our suggestions to our customers have always been to make sure your site is keeping up with the shift in expectations, which should start with focusing on what your analytics are telling you. The bottom line is, shops should work with companies that not only understand this industry but apply these latest updates and trends to ensure maximum impact on their business.



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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.

Building Trust Through Online Reviews, OEM Certifications I was recently over at my best friend Greg Thompson’s house and his son, Jarrett Thompson, stopped by. Greg had agreed to babysit his grandson so that Jarrett and his wife could have an evening out. Greg asked Jarrett what their plans were and Jarrett said they were thinking about going out to dinner at an Italian restaurant I’ll call “Ernesto’s.” “Oh, you are going to love Ernesto’s,” Greg told Jarrett. “They have the best pizza.” I was there when Jarrett stopped by later that night to pick up his son and Greg asked Jarrett how they liked Ernesto’s. “Dad, we didn’t go there because it didn’t have good reviews online,” Jarrett told him. Ladies and gentlemen, that is all the evidence you need that many people—young people in particular— rely more on online reviews than the word of their own father (or another family member or friend). I mention this because I’ve been thinking a lot about how shops can build trust among customers and po-

tential customers. Greg and Jarrett’s interaction is a great example of how online reviews are a great way to start developing that trust. Customers are no longer just choosing the closest shop from the list they were handed by their insurance company. They go online to verify that whatever shop was recommended to them is, in fact, a good choice; therefore, it’s important that you have great online reviews. The whole issue of building trust came up at a recent conference where I was a speaker. Another one of the speakers, Ray Chew of CCC Information Services, went around the room asking shops how they think people feel when they have to find a shop after an accident. Some said anxious, upset, mad, sad, etc. However, everyone agreed that consumers face negative emotions when looking for a body shop. So, our first goal should be to alleviate those negative feelings by building their trust. Having positive online reviews about your shop can help ease customers.

Continued from Page 34

was refunded $3,500, the full ransom amount after paying his $500 deductible, but ransomware is not covered in every policy, so it’s important to check with your insurance company. According to David Willett, general manager of the Automotive Industry at Intrepid Direct Insurance, “This is happening to other industries, but it’s becoming more frequent in our industry. The number of automotive repairers with cyber risk coverage in their garage insurance package is growing but still represents a small percentage. The normal ransomware provision pays for rebuilding the system and database, which can take 30 days or more. It doesn’t reimburse or pay the actual ransom request (usually bitcoin), which offers an immediate fix.” Stay tuned to Autobody News next month for an in-depth look at cybersecurity and how to mitigate these risks with Willett.

Ransom Scheme

done daily, if not more frequently. Everyone should also be performing onsite external backups to the server and a computer. It’s important to have multiple external hard drives that get switched out daily.” “Make sure you have insurance coverage for cyber-attacks, loss of customers’ information and ransom attacks. This is not something that is blanketed on your insurance policy. You need to discuss coverage for all these items separately,” he urged, adding, “Do NOT rely on technology only. Run your business with good processes and procedures that will allow you to operate in the event of a technology attack and/or the loss of computers and the internet.” Cropper was able to turn the ransom into his insurance company and 38


Oftentimes, after the customer comes to the shop, a discussion about insurance company involvement is brought up. We need to stop and make them feel better first—recognize their pain and sympathize with their experience. Then, start to build trust by focusing on why they made the right call by choosing your shop. You might ease your customer by saying, “Okay, I know you’re concerned about whether your Nissan will ever be the same. I want you to know that there are 40,000 body shops in the United States, but fewer than 2,000 have met the training and equipment requirements to be Nissan certified. We’re a shop that has been Nissan certified. In fact, we’ve had advanced training.” That term “advanced training” is important, Ryan Taylor of Bodyshop Booster said. Having the “advanced

training” to earn automaker certifications is a good way to build trust and reduce their anxiety. I don’t think enough certified shops are talking about that certification with potential customers and then these shops gripe about spending money on OEM certifications, without seeing any work from it. However, at recent automaker conferences, I brought people up on stage and we called their shops. I would say, “I just wrecked my [brand of car] and wondered if you work with ABC Insurance.” The shops would assure me they are a direct repair shop for ABC Insurance and ask me if I had a claim number, but never mention they are certified by the maker of my car and what that means to me. We need to start making our advanced training and automaker certification part of the conversation up front to build customer trust.

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Jason Bartanen Moves From I-CAR to Collision Hub by Gary Ledoux

Furthermore, I’m proud of advancing what I-CAR did with the OE’s and the vehicle-specific training we developed for them. I had a great relationship with all the I-CAR instructors and volunteers—all great people.

After almost 23 years, news hit that Jason Bartanen, I-CAR’s director of industry technical relations, was leaving the organization. On June 17, the industry was stunned when they found out that Bartanen would be You invested time and effort joining the team at Collision Hub— into I-CAR. What was the deone of the most prolific training organciding factor in making the move? izations headed by Kristen Felder. Passion for the collision indusCollision Hub will allow me to try runs in Bartanen’s family. refocus on the technician and “My grandfather opened a body shop in Ishpeming, WI, in 1939, help them excel, and perform correct taught my father collision repair and repairs. This is predicated on two fache passed it along to me,” Bartanen tors. One, Kristen Felder knows what said. “My father was my high school technicians want and need. She is alautomotive teacher and we operated ways connecting with them in person or on social media. She has a smaller Bartanen’s Auto a good feel for the shop’s Body in Oconto, WI. That’s production floor as well as really where I learned colliwhat goes on in the front ofsion repair. I also worked fice. Two, Collision Hub is part-time, while in college, big enough to have an effect at Commercial Auto Body in on the industry, but small Green Bay, WI, where I was enough to be nimble when it a painter’s helper.” Jason Bartanen In 1996, Bartanen went leaves I-CAR after comes to producing new to work for I-CAR as a tech- almost 23 years and products and services. Collinical writer developing train- joins Collision Hub sion Hub can bring product ing courses. This led to a promotion as to market very quickly. The industry is changing rapidly—we all have to technical development manager overseeing all curriculum development. run just to keep up. This, in turn, led to a stint as techniWhat unique opportunity does cal director where he maintained inCollision Hub present to you? dustry relations with shops, OE’s and other stakeholders. Bartanen has Collision Hub will give me been a mainstay in the industry, more opportunity and more speaking at many industry events, conducting training classes at indus- potential to grow. It will be a chance try events as well as local association for me to re-engage with the smaller meetings, and serving as a spokesper- shops that need the most help and son for I-CAR in industry magazine have the fewest resources. articles. What is your new title at ColAutobody News spoke with Barlision Hub and what does your tanen about his move to Collision Hub, and how this will affect him and the in- title entail? dustry. Here’s what he had to say: My new title is director of colWhat is your proudest accomlision industry relations. On a plishment at I-CAR? day-to-day basis, I will be working with industry stakeholders to develop I am proud of the Repairabil- new products and services delivered ity Technical Support Portal through Collision Hub. website. It was the first tool in the inDoes this mean you will be dustry to bridge the gap between competing with I-CAR in the OE’s and technicians. It’s a great way to share information. In addition, it same space? was the first product of its type—deNo—I see what we will be signed by technicians for technidoing as a compliment to what cians—so, the users can relate to it.

Q: A:

Q: A:

I-CAR does. Our training is more focused on certain areas, while I-CAR has a broader approach. Let’s face it … there are only about 8,000 I-CAR Gold Class shops out there out of 35,000 total shops. Many shops are at various levels of training and some have no training at all, so there is plenty of training to go around.

Larry Montanez of P&L Consultants and Mark Olson of Vehicle Collision Experts have each become an integral part of Collision Hub training. We see them all the time in the YouTube videos. How will your responsibilities affect them?


Kristen and Larry focus primarily on education for shop owners and the front office. I will focus on the actual repairs and the



Kristen and I have a lot of ideas that I can’t discuss yet. We can expand, if necessary.

A: Q: A:

What is your ultimate goal or end-game?

My end-game is simple: I want technicians to be successful and perform proper, safe and complete repairs. It was my goal at I-CAR and it will remain the same here at Collision Hub. It is what the industry wants and needs.


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Q: A:

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Speakers at Southern CAA Meeting Discuss “The New Battleground” Simmons then clarified the difference between opinion and judgment Several prominent industry members when partaking in a negotiation. took the podium on May 2 to educate “Opinions are based on emotions the southern California Autobody As- and emotions have to be removed from sociation (CAA) attendees the equation,” he said. “Beaton the importance of impleing on somebody’s head with menting OEM standards— Thor’s hammer until they say the latest vehicle technology yes is not a negotiation tactic from manufacturers—and Ithat works anymore.” CAR updates that prepare Simmons explained that technicians for the future. discussions are comprised of Scott Simmons from “research and information Scott Simmons of Collision Advice was the first that can be presented and duCollisionAdvice speaker. Simmons has conplicated.” This is reflected in ducted 50 education courses already the Collision Advice motto, “Learn to this year and is on track to complete 70 Research, Research to Learn.” before 2020, he said. During his trainLearn to use the OEM websites ings, Simmons stresses the importance and then use the OEM websites to of operating from a “negotiation and learn how to perform a safe and proper cultural change perspective.” repair, he added. “My purpose is to get shops to re“How and why did we get lost?” think their approach to training as well Simmons asked. “We started creating as how they approach their thought things that didn’t exist.” process for negotiations,” he said. For example, since Acura writes Simmons asked the audience, the building codes for Acura, we must “Do we agree that what we’re working go by Acura’s standards and the same on is the same as five years ago, last goes for all OEMs, he explained. year, or even last month?” “Excuses like ‘that’s not the way The crowd of 50 attendees an- it’s done’ or ‘there are industry stanswered “no” in unison, to which Sim- dards,’ based on something that hapmons replied, “If we do business the pened in the past, does not make sense same way we always have and expect anymore,” Simmons said. “What a different result, we’re insane.” we’re fixing today is not like anything “We have to approach it differwe’ve fixed before, so how can there ently,” he said. “Code is the way I’ve be a standard on it?” been approaching it; I’d like to think He added that a typical high-end it’s the new battleground.” vehicle today has around 100 million When it comes to approaching lines of code, compared to a Boeing vastly new technology advancements 787 which has about 9 million lines of in the industry, Simmons used the say- code. ing, “we don’t know what we don’t “Now that we’re dealing with know.” codes for advanced vehicle systems, “Can a technician be expected to we have to change our repair mindset, know how to repair a vehicle today? which means negotiating from a difNo,” he said. ferent position of power,” Simmons Simmons said shops should focus said. on four priorities: He then made a comparison between bringing a vehicle to a mechan• Providing training ical shop vs. a collision repair shop. • Correct tools “If we took our vehicle to a me• Correct materials chanical shop for a repair and there • Providing instructions were 15 codes identified in the service bay and when they plugged it into the “That’s where the OEM repair proce- scanner there were 15 codes, how dures, necessary steps and information many lines would we expect to see on become so critical, because [techni- that receipt?” he asked. “Fifteen.” cians] and [body shop owners] can’t be Simmons said this is because the expected to know how to repair the ve- mechanical shop would identify each hicle without performing the OEM code, what it was related to, have a procedure research,” he explained. specific procedure lined up, and follow by Victoria Antonelli



and provide some form of documentation as to why it would reoccur and how it was resolved. “How many times do we look at our post-scan and make sure every code related to losses has a line item on the sheet to address that it was cleared?” Simmons asked. After not getting much of a response, Simmons explained that if

we’re still liable for our repairs,” he explained. “We are liable for repairs as long as the vehicle remains on the road.” Simmons said when he’s auditing repair orders and sheets, he often notices it will read that the scans were cleared but there will be no documentation of the repair actually being fixed.

technicians want training on resolving codes and looking at items, look no further than the vehicle, which provides an instruction manual. “I get this question a lot in classes,” Simmons said. “People miss the fact that we’re not creating a receipt during the repair. We’re creating a factual document to substantiate our repair until the vehicle is recycled and turned into a coffee table or a chair.” “Don’t say total loss, because even when a vehicle is totaled, it can still come back from the dead and

“And the documentation of each code being addressed is vital,” he added. He also reinforced that every DTC, related or not related to the loss, should be addressed by a line item. Simmons explained that the main reason we stop doing something is because someone presents a challenge. “The large majority of the industry associates failing with anxiety,” Simmons explained. “People associate being told no as a failure, instead of

“Can a technician be expected to know how to repair a vehicle today? No.” — Scott Simmons

See “The New Battleground”, Page 44

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GM, Owens Partner for Debt-Free Path to Auto-Tech Jobs by Staff, Sentinel-Tribune

General Motors Co. (GM) has chosen Owens Community College in Ohio as one of seven community colleges in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania to launch its GM Dealer Technician Scholarship, a program that can help students graduate debt-free with a two-year associate degree in automotive technology, beginning this fall. This scholarship is offered through the Owens Community College Foundation to assist eligible students who are enrolled in the GM Automotive Service Educational Program with full tuition and fees. “This is great news for our students who are looking to enter the automotive technology field with low cost, high-quality training,” said Steve Robinson, president, Owens Community College. “We are proud to continue our more than 25-year partnership with GM to help fill the gap between industry needs and qualified workers.”

The GM Dealer Technician Scholarship will help address the growing demand for highly trained automotive service technicians. The Ohio Occupational Employment Projection Report estimates that the industry will need 28,675 more technicians by 2026 due to anticipated demand and attrition. Owens Community College works with nearly 50 GM dealerships in the region to provide students the opportunity to work alongside experienced technicians to maintain and repair today’s high-tech vehicles. There is a 100 percent job placement rate for students completing the GM ASEP program at Owens. The end goal of exposing these students to many of GM’s industryleading technologies, including battery-electric vehicles, semi-autonomous driver assistance systems like Cadillac Super Cruise and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity is fulltime employment at one of more than 4,000 GM dealerships around

ECS Renews Commitment to CIECA

the country. “We’re tearing down the barriers that stand in the way of people pursuing these good-paying, hightech jobs,” said Terry Rhadigan, executive director, GM Corporate Giving. “After two years, we want people to hit the ground running, so we will help them get a quality education, technical training and handson experience without the burden of student loans.”

Electronic Claims Services (ECS) has renewed its commitment to CIECA and the CIECA standards. “We have a long history in the property & casualty and collision repair and glass industries and have been familiar with CIECA’s efforts to encourage industry standards,” said Brett Mulvihill, president at ECS, which is based in Portland, OR. “We joined CIECA as we support open commerce.” Mulvihill said the company has many longstanding relationships with Pacific Northwest companies as well as other clients throughout the U.S. and is committed to supporting these customers with first-class service and support. “Standards simplify the integration process and improve the efficiency of the interactions with our insurance clients, collision and glass repair and the various service providers we work with while facilitating the insurance claim process,” he added. For more information about Electronic Claims Services, visit .aspx. For more information about CIECA, visit

Students interested in the scholarship program should contact Owens Transportation Technologies department at 567-661-7388. We thank the Sentinel-Tribune for reprint permission.

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“Let me get this straight, I got a vehicle system that is a life or death “The New Battleground” safety item, we’re not sure if it works so we are sending it to somebody to looking at it as an opportunity to learn get it calibrated to confirm functionality,” he said. “And we give it to an emfrom the challenge.” “We’re stressed because we don’t ployee to drive to the location? Does understand what’s happening to the that make sense?” Simmons insisted the vehicle car, even though we have the instructions,” he added. “The car tells us should be towed. “If we put someone in a vehicle where to find that particular documentation and whether the issue is related with a system that doesn’t function, it will drive like a nervous 16to the engine, on the mechanyear-old bouncing in beical side, body control modtween the lanes,” he said. ule, or elsewhere.” “I’ve driven those cars and I The DTC codes found can guarantee without the in the scan will direct techcorrect calibration, it can feel nicians to the information like it is hydroplaning or out for that specific code and the operations needed to repair, Melanie Allan, CAA of alignment.” For attendees who wanted diagnose and troubleshoot, SoCal chapter more guidelines on how to Simmons explained. president and vice president of busiremove opinion and create According to Simmons, the days of simply saying, ness development & judgment, Simmons recomsales at Craftsman mended the website DEG“here, do this” are over. Collision “This is because the He explained that DEG is a reanxiety level of the individual we’re negotiating with is going to be very source that can be used to notify the high, whether they’re a desk auditor, IP’s (information providers) if there are possible errors in the database or proinspector or supervisor,” he said. Creating a level of trust with peo- vide clarity for the following: missing ple in these positions is imperative. parts, missing labor from the database, Simmons suggests achieving this by changing labor times and, or proving “giving them the coolest information.” something is not included. “They become an umpire— New tactics are required, he emphasized. These following conditions someone who doesn’t have a dog in debunk the historical methods used by the hunt,” Simmons said. “For examthe collision repair industry, according ple, if according to an estimating platform something is not included, but to Simmons. someone else is saying it is, DEG • Is it required? Can the argument be serves as the unbiased party that can verify this information. And that goes substantiated by documentation? • It is included? Does it come out of a for all topics, not just advanced vehicle resume platform with resources that systems.” “Sometimes I’ll hear back from can be touched on? • Is it included in the estimating soft- DEG in less than an hour, other times it takes two or three days,” he said. ware labor time? • Is there a pre-determined time in the “But once the result is received, the databases of all three estimating platdatabase? • If there’s not a time, what’s it worth? forms are updated with the appropriate change; it is now there for every one “Each of these steps we build on every of us to benefit from.” Repair facilities and repairers time by never underestimating our opponent,” Simmons said. “We need to have the power to determine what is be prepared for every negotiation and necessary and appropriate, said Simthe negotiation comes when there’s no mons. “We need to get our labor hours opinion or emotions involved.” While continuing to debunk com- in for the particular operations because mon industry practices, Simmons it’s going to be a struggle to keep cerasked attendees how they transport a tain items in the database and have the appropriate hours,” he explained. vehicle that needs calibration. Almost everyone said someone in “More and more of these advanced vehicle systems are going to become their shop drives the vehicle. Continued from Page 8



standard, so we’ll see faster improvement in the database for those capabilities and items.” Simmons then asked how many attendees have taken Anderson’s ‘Who Pays for What’ survey and encouraged everyone to do so. “The survey acts as a tool to combine and gather statistics that show us what collision repairers get paid for in the particular markets with the particular requests, ranging from mechanical labor operations, structural operations, aluminum labor operations, refinish operations and so much more,” he explained. “Each area is divided by carrier and region.” Next, Simmons addressed how shops should create their own packet. “Whether we’re creating a negotiation packet with the carrier or an information packet for the customer concerning repairs, we have a responsibility to present it as fact in order to earn trust,” he said. “There should never be a choice as to how to prepare the vehicle correctly, there’s only a business decision whether or not we bill for it.” Simmons added that the necessary documentation to support the ne-

gotiation needs to be provided as well. “When we are discussing insurance, no insurance, customer, no customer, we have to fall away and realize the insurance company has a contractual agreement with the customer to pay for what’s necessary to repair the vehicle,” he added. “Many of us could be DRP related and would, therefore, have an agreement with the DRP for certain portions of the agreement for the business relationship.” Regardless, Simmons stressed that no matter who is paying the bill, we should not waver the 100 percent focus on repairing the vehicle via the building code written by the OEM. “If we don’t repair the vehicle that way, we don’t have the ability to ensure our customer is safe in the vehicle,” he said. “We want to keep the customers informed on how we do business, so they feel engaged in the entire process.” Simmons then informed the attendees they should have a line entry for every operation when it comes to clearing code. “If our first thought is that we don’t have enough time to ensure See “The New Battleground”, Page 48

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Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

Stacey Phillips is a freelance writer and editor for the automotive industry. She has 20 years of experience writing for a variety of publications, and is co-author of “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops.” She can be reached at

Volkswagen-Audi Collision Program Manager Advises Industry on Reliable Repair Collision repairers often ask Scott Wideman, collision program manager at Volkswagen-Audi Group, how to ensure a safe and reliable repair. His response remains the same every time: always research and follow OEM repair procedures. Wideman recently shared his expertise during a Guild 21 podcast hosted by VeriFacts Automotive. Although based in Canada, Wideman said structurally, Volkswagen and Audi vehicles in both countries are fairly identical. During the Guild 21 podcast, he shared information on both brand’s body construction, repair procedures and the impact of new technology. He challenged attendees to think about how these might affect their businesses and day-to-day operations. With more than 25 years of experience in the automotive industry, Wideman is responsible for the collision program development and rollout for Volkswagen and Audi vehicles. In his role, Wideman is focused on working with all stakeholders to improve the collision repair process. He said consumer safety is the top priority. “Our main concern is to achieve a safe, reliable and repeatable repair in the industry,” he said.

Body Construction Wideman discussed Volkswagen’s current Golf A7 platform, which was introduced in 2012 using a manufacturing process called MQB. This allows the car manufacturer to produce automobiles with different platforms on the same assembly line. When examining vehicle structure, Wideman said many car manufacturers are now using mixed materials during the building process. As a result, there are certain repair guidelines that need to be followed, to ensure the car is repaired correctly. One of his concerns as a manufacturer is if a vehicle will be able to withstand a second collision, if it has been previously hit and repaired. “This is where we see too many compromises,” he said. 46

Using an example of new Jetta, Wideman said there are very specific considerations in regard to the repair, such as heat in any welding operation conducted.

“Therefore, it’s a requirement to follow the repair literature to make sure you have the right equipment, the right welding technology and that you are following the proper procedure,” he said. He also talked about the new Audi Q7 that includes seven different substrates in its platform. “There are going to be definite requirements from the manufacturer on how this car is repaired,” he said. Audi ensures these requirements are being followed and technicians are trained, tooled and have the proper equipment through the car manufacturer’s certified network. Ninety-five percent of attendees who were part of the Guild 21 podcast responded to a survey where they concluded that vehicles are unique and require individual repair plans. Repair Procedures When asked about Volkswagen’s position statement in regard to scanning vehicles, Wideman said the car manufacturer includes this information in the repair literature. “Our major concern as a manufacturer is that not enough repair facilities are researching and accessing the repair literature on a consistent basis,” he said. “A pre-scan is obviously good for repair planning. It makes sense and will lead to a better estimate being written more accurately, and therefore cut out the possibilities of surprises at the end of a repair, which can lead to increased cycle time and vehicle rental time.” While pre-scanning is a logical approach to good repair planning,


post-repair scanning is essentially a requirement, according to Wideman, and is found in the repair literature. As he travels to facilities throughout Canada, he often encounters repairers putting on exterior panels that have been plug welded, which does not follow the Volkswagen procedures. With the increasing level of high-strength steel being used on vehicles today, Wideman has serious concerns that the welds could compromise the integrity of the vehicle due to heat. As a result, he said a fundamental step that technicians need to consider is managing that heat. Wideman pointed to the current generation of Audi A8 to demonstrate the specific methodologies on how a car needs to be addressed. Launched a few months ago, the vehicle uses seven different substrates and includes a carbon fiber rear as-

sembly section that covers the rear seats. He then offered an example where looks can be deceiving. What initially looked like a rear bumper and taillight casement repair with an Audi R8, ultimately needed a complete rear cradle assembly, because the car took a significant hit. “These vehicles are engineered and designed to withstand incredible forces,” said Wideman. “If this had gone to a facility that wasn’t trained and certified, perhaps that would have been overlooked.” In this case, if the car happened to be in a second collision, Wideman said the results could be catastrophic and this is something that all stakeholders want to avoid. “There are concerns we have as manufacturers that the cars aren’t ending up at the proper facility,” said Wideman. “That is where we need to



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work together with all stakeholders to make sure that those vehicles are addressed properly.” New Technology Wideman also discussed the impact of new technology on repairers and the industry in general, especially related to Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS).

When looking at repair literature today, Wideman said it gives ample warnings about the importance of being aware of the technology included in the car. For example, if a vehicle with the lane assist feature was in a collision and the rear bumper had been removed and then reinstalled, calibration is required. “This is becoming more of a critical step in the repair process for our vehicles, as well as for multiple manufacturers,” said Wideman. “The

way you have been repairing a car a month ago could have changed.” As a result, he stressed the importance of reviewing the repair literature for every repair each and every time. In another example, Wideman said he is often asked why Volkswagen requires a four-wheel alignment as part of the calibration process. The front camera comes as an optional device in these vehicles and Wideman said the thrust angle of the car is absolutely critical to start the calibration process. “If that is not correct, we would have a system that wouldn’t be functioning properly,” he said. “Just one degree of misalignment of that front camera means that at a distance of 130 m, it will be reading the car in front a complete lane to the left.” He encouraged attendees to think about the implications in these types of situations when a consumer is relying on the technology that is supposed to be operational, yet it has not been looked at post-repair. Using an example of an Audi Q5, Wideman said the OEM repair literature states that if the vehicle has

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lane assist, calibration is required, even in a minor repair. When calibration hasn’t been performed properly, Wideman pointed out that consumer safety may be affected. “There are significant liabilities as far as not following the proper repair procedures,” he said. Future technology that is predicted to affect repairs includes electric vehicles. “We’re on an electrification push within both brands [Volkswagen and Audi] so it’s important to follow the repair literature to find out what’s required,” he explained. Overall, he said OEM procedures are the standard method of repair. “If we can all come to that baseline that the OEM procedure is the fundamental starting point, then we have a really good platform to move forward,” he said.

ProCare Collision Announces Rebranding

ProCare Collision, a Texasbased MSO with 30 locations, announced it is rebranding it’s Art’s Paint & Body location to ProCare Collision. This consolidation of brands and alignment is part of the continued MSO’s strategy to bring a unified presence to the San Antonio market. ProCare has owned the Art’s Paint & Body brand for three years. “Our corporate entity has always been ProCare Collision doing business as Art’s Paint and Body,” said Vince Brock, CEO of ProCare. “We are simply dropping the Art’s moniker and utilizing the actual name of the company moving forward.” Parent company ProCare operates multiple brands across Texas including ProCare Collision in San Antonio, AMM Collision in Austin, Texas, and Fogle Collision in Houston. The new name is effective immediately and will be implemented across the company’s services.


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Most industry members know asTech as a company that provides re“The New Battleground” mote diagnostics and support, but they also have 75 in shop technicians that everything is right, think about all the work mostly in busy, high volume time and money we waste when some- stores, he added. “Our technicians perform all of thing ends up being wrong,” he said. “We pay for rentals, wait after work, the scans for these stores and shops come in Saturdays … that is until our have to meet certain metrics in order for us to do that,” Rodenroth exerrors kill somebody.” Simmons said for some reason plained. He added that 33 cities are also many industry members have a “mental predisposition” that this process is covered by asTech mobile trucks. “Not everything can be done over much harder than it actually is. “A simple search in an ALL- the internet,” Rodenroth said. “We DATA or OE database will pull up want to support those shops with prowhat’s needed to fix the DTC code,” gramming needs, wire repair and cerhe said. “The software provides the in- tain ADAS calibrations that require formation and instructions on what op- assistance. We want to truly help our erations need to be performed and client FIX the vehicle.” asTech currently has four calibrawhat we need to look up.” However, an auto body shop’s tion centers and a fifth one in the makstaff does need to be trained on how ing. “I personally believe processes to ensure that there has been a quality check or audit and provide proof and tools will continue to evolve and everything has been fixed. For more hopefully it will become a little easier information, Simmons can be reached for everybody,” he said. “For example, by email at scott@collisionadvice I think we’re going to see quarter panels that we repair, we’re going to do .com. ADAS calibration measurements beJake Rodenroth, director of in- fore we paint and other new steps that dustry and OEM relations for asTech, will become part of our day-to-day took the podium next. He started his business. These new steps create addisegment by sharing asTech updates tional challenges for all stakeholders, so asTech wants to help eduand discussing calibration. cate the market on these new “Now that scanning is processes.” starting to become more Rodenroth has also aided widely accepted, everyone several OEMs in writing is talking about calibration,” position statements to help he said. “Another emerging educate others on new techtechnology is the ongoing nology, including Chrysler wave of electrification.” Jake Rodenroth, and Subaru. Rodenroth explained asTech’s director of industry and “I’ve worked with several that the electric parts are very OEM relations OEMs to help them realize different from the powertrains and include scan-tool supported that the collision industry doesn’t unparts technicians will be exposed to. derstand the technology they’re putAccording to the company website, the ting on the vehicle,” he said. “The asTech device provides service to tech- OEMs may have questions about how nicians performing repairs to vehicle to educate the bill payer or the customer as well.” electronic networks. Rodenroth stressed the impor“asTech recently serviced its 1 millionth vehicle remotely,” said Ro- tance of creating awareness, saying denroth. “We currently service about “The position statements were intended to inform shops of the changes 4,600 vehicles a day.” He added that the company em- and to show customers what technolploys over 450 technicians across the ogy their vehicle has and what requirements would be needed after a wreck,” country. “We have partnered with several he explained. As far as getting paid for electric OEMs, seven of the top ten dealer groups, amongst others, so we can sup- work without using the position stateport their body shops,” Rodenroth ment, Rodenroth used a 2010 Lexus as an example. said. Continued from Page 44



“Identify the electric steps, illustrate the steps on a repair order and charge for them,” he explained. “Research every battery disconnect for a service manual requirement. Everybody complains they can’t find Volkswagen’s position statement, but it’s in the service manual, multiple times in fact.” Even if a vehicle was manufactured in 2010, for example, the most recent procedure must be utilized, as it could have changed, according to Rodenroth. “This happens all the time,” he said. “We have to teach estimators how to research this stuff. Don’t create [your own] way, follow the manufacturer’s way.” Rodenroth added that the vehicle could improperly calibrate if every step isn’t followed, so there is no way of telling it’s wrong. That is why following the most recent OEM procedure is especially important. “Not all parts are created equal,” he added. Rodenroth gave an example of an Audi that could not be calibrated and the technicians couldn’t figure out why for several hours. Finally, they came to

the conclusion that the glass used for the repair was aftermarket and in the Audi position statement, it states to only use OEM glass. Once the Audi OEM glass was in place, it calibrated the first try. There are two types of modifications—intentional and unintentional. An example of an intentional modification would be a pickup truck with a lift kit, tinted glass and a bug shield. Examples of unintentional modifications include a quarter panel that isn’t straight because it should’ve been replaced or a bumper cover that was repaired when it shouldn’t have been. “SEMA is coming to our headquarters in Dallas since car modifications are a big concern for them,” Rodenroth explained. “They are bringing three fully modified SEMA vehicles and we are providing three of the bone stock versions, and we are going to do side-by-side measurements to see how tinted glass, brush bars and stuff like that affects ADAS calibration.” He gave another example, this time of a Honda with bumper damage. The shop did their research and discovered that Honda calls for a bumper See “The New Battleground”, Page 50



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Continued from Page 48

“The New Battleground”

replacement because the vehicle has a blind spot on board. The shop did their research, copy and pasted the statement into their notes and got the bumper paid for by the insurer. “Calibration is a game of millimeters,” Rodenroth said, reiterating the importance of following OEM service manuals, saying, “If it’s not in spec before we paint, we’ll have a problem in calibration,” he added. Rodenroth gave an example of an Infiniti being calibrated at a quarter tank versus a full tank: at a quarter tanks there was a one-degree difference at the front radar. “That’s huge,” he said. “It’s the difference between stopping and not stopping.” Rodenroth then described a useful job aide Honda came out with, in October 2018, saying, “It gives the name of the system, abbreviation and what the system does,” he explained. “Use those resources.” For questions, Rodenroth can be reached at

Truck Driving Could Soon Be a Desk Job by Joann Muller, AXIOS News

On the week on June 17, for likely the first time, a heavy-duty commercial truck drove for 9.4 miles on the Florida Turnpike with no one inside. The “driver” was 140 miles away, operating the rig remotely. The big picture: Automated freight delivery is expected to begin long before self-driving cars are here, and at least a half dozen truck companies are working on the technology, with tests in various stages of development. Starsky Robotics’ Florida demonstration was believed to be the first unmanned, high-speed test of a heavyduty commercial truck on a public highway. Why it matters: The U.S. is experiencing a severe shortage of truck drivers—as many as 175,000 by 2026, according to the American Trucking Associations. Companies like Starsky Robotics hope they can address the shortage by making the jobs less taxing. To make the job more appealing, self-driving truck start-up TuSimple even helped create an autonomous driving certificate pro-

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WAC’s June Meeting Focused on Generation Z by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On June 19, Women in Automotive and Collision (WAC) held its monthly meeting at Enterprise Fleet Management (EFM) in St. Louis, featuring guest speaker Kevin Andert, manager of College and Career Readiness

for North and South Technical Colleges. According to WAC President Shelly Jones, “Kevin did a presentation on Generation Z compared to other generations. It was excellent. This is one of those presentations that you wish every collision shop manager or owner could attend.”

Andert provided an overview of the five generations in the workplace and defined Generation Z. Credit: WAC

Guest speaker Kevin Andert, manager of College and Career Readiness for North and South Technical Colleges, taught WAC members about Generation Z. Credit: WAC

During his presentation, Andert provided an overview of the five generations in the workplace and defined Generation Z. He also discussed strategies for overcoming the differences and embracing the strengths offered by each generation. The meeting was hosted by EFM, a recent addition to WAC’s growing list of gold sponsors. EFM Talent Ac-

quisition Specialist Tamara Weidler attended the meeting and shared, “The meeting was very insightful in that we learned a lot about what to expect with

sion repair was evident.” Weidler said those at the meeting heard a testimony from Alex Emge, customer support advisor for EFM. Emge wasn’t making enough money at her previous job, so she decided to study diesel technology while working for EFM as an intern. She eventually landed a full-time job there. This testimony encouraged the young people at the meeting to pursue their passion, Weidler added. WAC’s next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on WednesWAC members gathered for its monthly meeting on day, July 17 at Ranken TechJune 19. Credit: WAC nical College with guest Generation Z, specifically how to ap- speaker Stan Shoun, president of proach them and how to manage them Ranken. Jones predicts, “This will be another informative and fascinating to keep them engaged.” “We were also happy to share presentation. Look for more guest information about services EFM of- speakers at future meetings. There are fers our clients and the type of pro- many organizations that have a mission fessional opportunities that await or hold events, such as job fairs, that young people that decide to pursue would tie into the WAC mission and a technical education,” Weidler said. benefit our members.” “There were many new faces at the meeting and the energy for reaching For more information about WAC and young people to share the opportu- its upcoming meetings, visit: wacstl nity of automotive repair and colli- .com.

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Solving the Tech Shortage: I-CAR is Helping Future Technicians Turn Their Passion into Lifelong Careers by Stacey Phillips

When Nick Notte speaks to students across the country who are considering a job in the collision repair industry, he often shares his personal experience. The current senior vice president of sales for I-CAR (InterIndustry Conference on Auto Collision Repair) always had an interest in cars. He was able to turn that passion into a lifelong career and is now around vehicles every day. “The feedback you get from these kids is tremendous,” said Notte. “You can truly change their minds and convince them that collision repair is a good way to go.”

Students that go through I-CAR training have the opportunity to see first-hand some of the new technology in vehicles today. Credit: I-CAR

Formed in 1979, I-CAR is dedicated to providing the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs. The not-for-profit organization provides a variety of educational and training recognition programs for the collision repair industry. “I-CAR will soon offer 267 different courses to keep the industry on pace with technology innovation and skills development,” said Notte. With a strong network of more than 1,600 volunteers, I-CAR has formed 189 committees that share information about the value of training in the industry. These volunteers are active in a local committee, all of which support and promote I-CAR’s mission. “Knowing that the committees are as passionate as they are and knowing there is a technician shortage, we set some career goals for our committees,” said Notte. Several of these goals are aligned with the work currently being done by the Collision Repair Education Foun52

dation (CREF) to help encourage young people to pursue careers in the collision repair industry. I-CAR has a long history with CREF dating back to 1991 and works closely with the organization on many of its initiatives. Read about these initiatives in the previous Solving the Tech Shortage column. One of the ways they work together is through the career fairs CREF organizes in major markets across the U.S. As the demand for career fairs continues to grow, CREF is asking I-CAR to organize local industry gatherings. This coincides with one of I-CAR’s committee goals—to complete a public-facing event, such as a career night at a local middle school or high school, a parade or NABC Recycled Rides gifting. The intent is to highlight the value of collision repair and promote I-CAR to the general public. When you have knowledgeable and engaged collision repair representatives sharing information about the industry, Notte said it tends to make a difference. Volunteers are encouraged to plan functions where they can potentially have the youngest kids and their parents in attendance. “We believe that to get to these collision repairers of the future, you have to get to their parents, and you have to get to the students at a very young age,” said Notte. “Those parents and administrators who may not have listened to the message are all of a sudden listening to somebody who lives in their town, talking about his or her experience in the industry, and come to realize how acceptable it might be to have their kids work in the collision repair industry. I-CAR’s industry partners are encouraged to attend the career nights in their local areas. “We have OEMs that we work with through ICAR’s sustaining partner program that are as passionate about helping with that technician crisis as we are,” said Notte. I-CAR is approaching OEMs to possibly bring some “cool” vehicles to the career nights. Notte said the


hope is that attendees will see the technology available, how the vehicles are constructed and begin to dream about how to repair them in a collision situation.

when cars are really cool,” said Notte. Since many in this age group play video games and are keen on technology, he said they soon realize that with the technology in vehicles today, they can make a living doing what they enjoy. Volunteers have found the school advisory boards to be extremely welcoming. Over the past few years, more parents and kids are looking at technical opportunities and increasingly requesting additional information about the collision repair field. Notte said this may be partially due I-CAR instructors help educate tomorrow’s collision repair to many kids now leaving coltechnicians with hands-on experience. Credit: I-CAR lege with a huge amount of Another I-CAR committee goal debt and the lack of jobs available to is to have at least one member ac- reduce that debt. I-CAR committee volunteers tively participate on a school advisory board at a high school or preferably are also asked to identify one CTE middle school. “That’s where you can (Career and Technical Education) affect the minds of those youngsters school in their market that doesn’t aland the parents when you talk about ready utilize I-CAR’s Professional collision repair, especially these days Development Program (PDP)-Edu-

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cation Edition. Currently, 673 out of the approximately 1,000 career and technical schools in the U.S. are part of the I-CAR program, which was established in 2010 and formed to train collision repair professionals in essential role-relevant knowledge and skills. The objective is to promote the PDP curriculum within the school, as well as initiate conversations about the technician shortage and the value of training technicians the “right” way. “Our belief is that the right way is through the professional development program with specific roles identified and training delivered by that role,” explained Notte. Ultimately, I-CAR would like to incorporate the PDP program into every career and technical school so technicians can be prepared to work when they graduate. Committee volunteers also raise funds for CREF and secure donations of tools and equipment for career and technical schools. This year, each committee has been asked to complete one special event to support local schools, which can be held in coordination with any industry-re-

lated supplier or CREF. Notte said these in-kind donations, such as welders, safety goggles and tools, make a significant difference because students are able to learn using the most recent equipment. Often, collision repair instructors find that many students get discouraged when they are learning how to repair vehicles the way they were fixed 20 years ago.

get a lot more excited about working on that high-tech car,” said Notte. His advice to body shops looking to hire future workers is to find those who love cars, and perhaps have a technical interest and then employ them as porters or apprentices for the summer. Through his experience, he has found that the kids in these roles are often hired upon graduation from high school or college.

“Most of those cars just aren’t on the road anymore,” said Notte. “When it comes time to fix the hightech cars of today, they don’t see those come into the school.” To help address this, some OEMs have donated brand new automobiles to these schools, so the students can see the technology first-hand and learn how to repair the vehicles. “When you are talking about a young kid who is going to work on either the latest car coming down the pike or a 20-25-year-old vehicle, they

He also said to pay close attention to see whether or not they have a desire to do this type of work. If the desire is there, Notte said training is readily available. For example, with the recent changes made to I-CAR’s PDP program, there is a subscription option for shops based on the number of technicians working at their facility. Students are allowed to take live, online and virtual classes for free and receive the same training as professional technicians. Not only does this offer them the opportunity

“You can truly change their minds and convince them that collision repair is a good way to go.” — Nick Notte

to graduate with the Platinum designation, but it also helps gauge their interest in this field. “If you have somebody who has an interest in the work and you think they might make a good technician, you can give them all of that I-CAR training for no extra charge,” said Notte. “At some point, if they are really good, you can bring them on and hire them.” To ensure collision repair facilities have a clear understanding of the knowledge and skill areas needed to perform complete, safe and quality repairs, I-CAR has created an Automotive Collision Repair Industry Knowledge and Skills Protocol. The document outlines every knowledge area and skill necessary in a shop for technicians to be successful at their job. Shops can then identify the training skills needed by everyone in their business and then pinpoint the training to fulfill these requirements. The document can be accessed by visiting https://www.i-cartraintogain .com/protocol. For more information about ICAR and its training and initiatives, visit

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$5 Million in Digital Gift Card Incentives Accelerates Response to Takata Airbag Recall Bitmo, a mobile gifting and payment platform that is transforming the $160 billion gift card industry, has partnered with peer-to-peer safety platform Carma Project to deliver an innovative incentive-based program designed exclusively for accelerating consumer response to automotive recalls. Launched in December in collaboration with Toyota Motor North America, Carma Project aims at addressing the Takata airbag recall. Labeled “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history” by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the recall continues to impact vehicles built by 19 different automakers, with a projected 70 million airbags expected to be recalled by the end of 2019. Carma and Bitmo have taken a unique approach to building awareness by allowing consumers to earn rewards as Carma “Ambassadors.” Those participants are incentivized for sharing information related to the recall with their friends and family via their social networks. Participants can earn financial rewards by signing up for Carma

Project and sharing Takata airbag recall information with their friends and family. A simple license plate photo or typing a VIN into a recall lookup tool on Carma Project’s website allows involved Toyota, Lexus, and Scion owners to immediately take action and book an appointment for a free Takata airbag fix. Referring individuals can also earn financial rewards for every eligible Toyota, Lexus or Scion that is fixed. Individuals who lookup any vehicle can receive $5 in Bitmo rewards and referring Ambassadors can earn a $55 reward once a recalled airbag has been replaced. To redeem their digital gift cards, participants simply download the Bitmo mobile app, which allows them to save, store and swap gift cards from a list of over 130 retailers including AMC Theatres, Nordstrom, REI, GameStop and Domino’s. Users can even pay using the Bitmo app on their mobile phone. “Word of mouth is incredibly powerful, especially in our increasingly connected digital lives,” said Carma Project Co-founder and CEO Fabio Gratton. “Our goal is to iden-

tify solutions to help people, help people. The power of word-of-mouth advocacy combined with a digital incentive program can motivate people to take action.” “We’ve had great success helping our retail partners incentivize customers to spend more with them using Bitmo. It felt only natural to use the same concept to help this crucial initiative,” said Michael Smallwood, CEO and founder of Bitmo. “Our digital gifting platform makes gifting more convenient, flexible and secure than ever before, making it quick and easy to reward participants in the incredibly important Carma Project efforts. No more waiting for a physical gift card to be delivered in the mail. After downloading the Bitmo app, eligible participants will have their gift appear straight away. It’s this instant reward and ease of use that we hope encourages many more people to participate in raising awareness about the recall.” The program has already delivered over $230,000 worth of incentives. Obtained via PRWeb.

Mitsubishi to Relocate US Headquarters

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Mitsubishi Motors North America officials announced on June 25, 3019, that the automaker will relocate its headquarters to Franklin, TN, from Cypress, CA. Mitsubishi Motors’ move represents an investment in the county of $18.25 million and brings approximately 200 jobs to Williamson County. Since 1988, Mitsubishi Motors North America has been rooted in California. The relocation to Franklin will begin in August and be completed by the end of 2019. All departments will be relocating, including sales, marketing, IT and more. Since 2013, headquarters jobs have grown by 37 percent in Tennessee, the fastest rate of growth among states in the Southeast. For more information on Mitsubishi vehicles, please contact the Mitsubishi Motors News Bureau at (888) 560-6672 or visit: media Obtained via

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