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‘Who Pays for What?’ Survey: Some Shops Not Measuring Steering Columns as Called for by OEMs Mike Anderson of Collision Advice gets concerned when he sees “Who Pays for What?” survey findings that suggest half of shops may not be following OEM safety inspection procedures. “Many automakers, including General Motors, Nissan and Subaru, have very specific vehicle safety inspections required as part of collision repair,” Anderson said. “Those inspections may include the removal and measurement of the steering column. We asked shops about this procedure for the first time in our surveys this year, and 50% said that
was something they’ve never billed for when it was required. I’m worried that may mean they’re not performing the necessary safety inspections.” Anderson, who conducts the quarterly “Who Pays” surveys in conjunction with CRASH Network, said he was glad to see that among those billing for the labor to measure a steering column when it is necessary and performed, 41% said they are being paid “always” or “most of the time” by the eight largest national insurers. Another 28% said they See ‘Who Pays for What?’, Page 14
West Virginia Vehicle Inspection Requirements Returning in October by Tyler Arnold, The Center Square
Vehicle inspection requirements, which were suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, will return in West Virginia on Oct. 1, per an executive order signed by Gov. Jim Justice. “At this time, it is appropriate that the deadline for annual vehicle inspections be reinstated,” Justice said in the order. Executive Order 23-21 goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 1. On Aug. 10, the governor also announced West Virginia saw its first weekend with zero COVID-19 relat-
ed deaths. “We’re still not out of the woods, we know that,” Justice said in a statement. “We’ve lost 2,919 folks in West Virginia, we still have a little over 1,000 active cases, and we’ve still got a bunch of folks in our hospitals and ICUs. But we have come a long, long way, West Virginia.” The governor also urged West Virginians to get vaccinated as the Delta variant of COVID-19 has begun to spread in the state. At this time, there are only 22 confirmed cases, up from 19 during Aug. 6’s COVID-19 news conference.
Vol. 12 / Issue 7 / September 2021
New Hall, New Beginning, New SEMA Show by Ed Attanasio
In 2020, SEMA had to reinvent itself, and the result was SEMA360, a completely virtual show that performed surprisingly well despite all the obstacles. It was a noble experiment during highly uncertain times, but SEMA’s Vice President of Events Tom Gattuso and his team were able to save the event by quickly pivoting and literally saving the day. In 2017, the show took place 30 days after the tragedy of Mandalay Bay, so Gattuso is not unfamiliar with last minute changes, and this
year will undoubtedly be more of the same. Autobody News spoke to Gattuso about the upcoming 2021 SEMA Show.
There’s a buzz about the new West Hall, a 1.4 million-square foot addition to the Las Vegas Convention Center. How will it affect collision repair-related exhibitors and attendees?
This year, things are less uncertain, but new considerations and special circumstances are See New SEMA Show, Page 16
Drug Dealer-Owned Hellcat Becomes Community Outreach Police Car by Elizabeth Puckett, Motorious
Recently, when it comes to cars, the cops have been getting their butts kicked. In an age when the roads are populated by supercharged 700-horsepower Hellcats, even the famous 5.7-liter V8 Hemi AWD Charger cop cars can’t keep up. Unfortunately, for one drug dealer,
that seems to have changed for a little-known officer in Marion County Sheriff’s Department in Florida. While the new vehicle may not be for everyone on the force to drive, the car still serves its purpose as a symbol of the community. For the longest time, car culture and the police have been at odds with each
other, but thankfully that seems to be changing for the better. Not only is the vehicle an incredible symbol and way to reach out to the younger people in the community, but it’s also a very effective fun patrol vehicle and comes with all of the police fixins. Originally this car was owned by a drug dealer who was using the car to sell and distribute heroin, one of the vilest and most destructive chemicals on the market. When the police finally caught the guy, they learned about the vehicle’s involvement and immediately impounded it. The 707-horsepower Hellcat was converted into a police vehicle. The car boasts lots of lights and sirens and even sports a sticker on the hood which reads “Seized from a drug dealer,” which speaks to the department’s dedication to public safety and spreading the message that drug addiction could result in you losing everything. We’re glad the department is taking considerable action to spread the word about the dangers of addicSee Drug Dealer-Owned Hellcat, Page 10
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2 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
M AV ERICK APPROV ED . REQUES T A DEMO, V ISI T W W W. M AT R I X S Y S T E M . C O M
REGIONAL Advance Auto Parts and its Foundation Gift $250,000 to Wake Community College�����������8 Brentwood, TN, Auto Dealership Expanding Mechanical Services�������������������������������������12 Drug Dealer-Owned Hellcat Becomes Community Outreach Police Car����������������������1 Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama Builds its 5 Millionth Vehicle������������������������������������10 Is It a Secret? Florida Court Decides Confidentiality Issues������������������������������������12 Joint Venture to Bring $40M Steel Plant to Madison, AL, Supplying Huntsville’s Mazda Toyota Plant����������������������������������������������������8 PRI and NCMA Join Forces to Protect Racing in North Carolina���������������������������������������������6 Tesla’s War Against Direct Sales Continues with Big Win in Virginia���������������������������������10 West Virginia Vehicle Inspection Requirements Returning in October���������������������������������������1
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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. ©2021 Adamantine Media LLC.
American Icon Automotive Finishes����������������� 18
Jim Cogdill Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram����������� 22
Audi Gwinnett������������������������������������������������� 26
John Heister Automotive��������������������������������� 45
Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 48
Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������� 51
AutoNation Collision Parts������������������������������� 21
Landers Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram���������������� 16
AutoNation Ford-Lincoln��������������������������������� 24
LKQ Corporation����������������������������������������������� 5
Axalta Coating Systems������������������������������������ 6
Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������������� 52
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BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers������������������������ 52
Mercedes-Benz of Cutler Bay�������������������������� 42
Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers�������� 55
Certified Automotive Parts Association������������ 14
Miami Lakes Automall������������������������������������� 41
City Kia of Greater Orlando������������������������������ 46
MINI of Charleston������������������������������������������ 46
MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 52
Colad/EMM Specialties����������������������������������� 56
MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers��������������������� 33
Eagle Abrasives���������������������������������������������� 23
NOROO Paint & Coatings��������������������������������� 17
Eckler’s Automotive���������������������������������������� 37
Parks Chevrolet���������������������������������������������� 20
Equalizer Industries Inc.���������������������������������� 10
Aces the Test������������������������������������������������26
Florida Filtration & Spray Booth Services����������� 8
Pro Spot International������������������������������������� 13
Recall: 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trucks���25
Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 53
Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Naples���������������������� 38
GM Wholesale Parts Dealers��������������������������� 49
Riverside Ford-Lincoln������������������������������������ 40
Gus Machado Ford������������������������������������������ 34
SATA Dan-Am Company���������������������������������� 15
Harper Volkswagen����������������������������������������� 30
SEMA Trade Show������������������������������������������� 39
Hendrick Automotive Group����������������������������� 43
Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet�������������������������� 12
Hendrick BMW/MINI������������������������������������������ 7
Southside Kia�������������������������������������������������� 35
Hendrick Honda Pompano Beach�������������������� 45
Spanesi Americas������������������������������������������� 19
Hendrick Kia Cary������������������������������������������� 25
Steck Manufacturing Company����������������������� 36
Hendrick Kia Concord������������������������������������� 25
Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������������� 47
Hendrick Volvo Cars of Charleston������������������� 46
Tameron Hyundai�������������������������������������������� 44
Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers�27, 28-29
Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������� 50
and White House Announcement�������������������48 FTC Issues Rule to Deter Rampant Made in USA Fraud�������������������������������������������������54 General Motors Names Global Leads�����������������52 Generating More Profit in Your Auto Body Shop with Windshield Repair���������������������������������42 GM Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Airbag Failures Kill People����������������������������������������50 GM Has Two New All-Electric Commercial
Anderson - Daily Release Meetings a Must for Successful Collision Repair Shops�����������34 Chess - Deciding When Used Parts are Appropriate in the Collision Repair Process���38 Yoswick - Why Collision Repair Shops, Insurers Often Disagree on Repair Plans���������������������36
How Could Gaming Change the Future of Collision Repair Training?������������������������������30 Hyundai Trunk Latch Recall: Emergency Releases May Fail�����������������������������������������50 Mercedes-Benz Announces All-Electric Strategy from 2025 Onward�������������������������22 Mondragon Joins CIECA Board of Trustees��������46 More Jobs Available Than Workers as Debate Over Unemployment Benefits Continues�������20 New Hall, New Beginning, New SEMA Show�������1
Over Crashes with Emergency Vehicles���������24 Nikola Founder Trevor Milton Indicted on 3 Counts of Fraud�����������������������������������������25 Paycheck Protection Program Direct Forgiveness Portal Now Open�����������������������14 Pro Spot Denver Training Center Open House
Registration Open for RDE at SEMA Show���������20
‘Who Pays for What?’ Survey: Some Shops
Repairify Awarded Patent for Remote
Not Measuring Steering Columns as Called for by OEMs����������������������������������������������������1 1,000-Plus Attend ASE Instructors Training Conference���������������������������������������������������47 4 Added to I-CAR Board������������������������������������48 ADAS: Here to Stay, Not Driving Away���������������32 ASE Presents Chairman’s Scholarship���������������44 Automakers Tighten Up Restrictions as COVID Cases Surge���������������������������������������18 Boyd Group Reports 44% Sales Increase
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Vehicles In Development��������������������������������55
NHTSA Launches Tesla Autopilot Investigation COLUMNISTS
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
Automotive Diagnostics Technology��������������48 Tesla Superchargers to Adopt Time-Based Pricing for Non-Tesla EVs������������������������������49 The Rise of Amazon and How it Impacts the Collision Repair Industry���������������������������������4 Toyota Debuts Mobile Collision Assistance Service���������������������������������������������������������52 Two Scientists Named Axalta Fellows������������������6 U.S. EV Buyers Will Get $7,500 Tax Credit With a Few Catches��������������������������������������53
and Demand for Labor in U.S.�����������������������55
UAF Sets New Scholarship Record��������������������12
CCC Promotes Goodson to CTO�������������������������55
Where Film and Auto Body Shops Collide����������45
Ford Statements on Electric Vehicle Sales
Wilbert Nominated for ARA Committee��������������53
Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������� 53
autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
The Rise of Amazon and How it Impacts the Collision Repair Industry by David Roberts and Raul Salinas, Focus Advisors Automotive
How much attention do you pay to those ever-present gray vans emblazoned with the Amazon logo? Did you ever stop to think who owns them? And who repairs them? The prevalence of smartphones and quick internet connections has completely and permanently changed the consumer landscape. Among these changes, Amazon has risen to become a firmly established and dominant player in nearly every industry. The e-commerce conglomerate and its promise of two-day deliveries has captured the attention and wallets of an estimated 147 million Prime members throughout the U.S. With so many customers to satisfy, Amazon has had to confront unparalleled logistical challenges. The pandemic-fueled online shopping sprees of American consumers following nationwide mandatory stayat-home orders showed just how reliant we have become on modern day technological solutions to our problems. The perpetually increasing demand for delivered products has led Amazon to reduce its dependence on traditional carriers like USPS, UPS and FedEx. In fact, researchers approximate that in 2020, Amazon delivered 2.5 billion more of its own packages. This represents an increase of more than 100% from 2.3 billion packages delivered through Amazon in 2019. Its approach to generating this delivery supply primarily relies on small businesses and independent contractors to do the work with assistance provided by the advanced software and capabilities of Amazon Logistics (AMZL). Delivery Service Partners, or DSPs, usually operate a few dozen commercial vans and are paid per route completed. The owners are classic small business entrepreneurs, meeting the needs of their clients by staying focused on speed, efficiency and customer service. The commercial vans of choice for DSPs are usually from the make of Amazon partners, e.g., the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford Transit
and Dodge Promaster. DSPs are permitted to use their own fleet of commercial vans as long as they meet Amazon’s key criteria. Otherwise, most DSPs resort to renting vans from Amazon’s third-party lease partners. How Collision Repairers Play a Role The rising prevalence of privately owned DSPs has direct implications to trends in the collision repair industry. It’s a simple equation: increased use of commercial vans equals increased collision repair and maintenance.
This trend is not only implied, but something we have observed from our clients across the U.S. For some of them, Amazon DSP repairs represent one of the fastest growing segments of their business. To adopt a similar market strategy and capitalize on this growing small fleet segment, shop owners should first identify whether their shop is reasonably near an Amazon distribution center. If a collision repair shop owner operates in a highly populated Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), especially one that is growing rapidly, chances are that there is an Amazon distribution center nearby. Even if a shop owner does not operate in a top MSA, they can still take advantage of this market opportunity by identifying smaller delivery stations that are used for lastmile deliveries. Currently, Amazon is in the process of investing more resources in efforts to expand its network of delivery stations across the U.S. The Need for Speed Downtime costs money for DSP operators. A DSP driver is expected to
4 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
make more than 30 stops per hour. As a result, drivers work in an expeditious manner that can ultimately cause more wear on the vehicle. Coupled with high mileage rates— and numerous opportunities to incur damage navigating tight spaces, streets and turnarounds—DSPs find their vehicles needing frequent repairs. The speed of repairs is a vitally important variable to getting these vans back on the road and earning revenue for the owners, so pricing of repairs will reflect the premium on fast turnaround. Some shops have
even developed mobile repair capabilities that allow DSPs to minimize downtime for the vans and keep them on the road. For MSOs and shop owners, DSP repairs are a small but growing opportunity to address the needs of small fleet operators with high on demand requirements. When it comes to collision services, DSP vans generally have modest repair requirements, but the work is constant and demands rapid repairs to keep the vehicles on the road. Services typically range from small item replacements like door handles, mirrors and windows to other minor body damage. The Future of Delivery Service Partners As the public shifts preferences towards electric and other fuel-efficient types of vehicles, Amazon is both leading with new technologies and following by rapidly adopting existing models. In 2019, Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge in its efforts to be net-zero carbon neutral by 2040. Shortly later, Amazon announced its partnership with start-up Rivian, investing $7 million to produce
100,000 electric trucks. As Rivian Prime trucks start hitting the road, one can expect the current DSP program and its operating base to change. Rivian vans will roll out slowly and will likely have proprietary parts. However, it is never too late to start looking for new opportunities. In similar developments, Amazon’s Prime Air program, which is still in the works, aims to provide last-mile drone delivery directly to consumers. This shifts the balance in favor of Amazon by allowing it to control even more of its distribution market share. Who knows whether there will be networks of drone DSPs! Will drone repairs become part of the repair offerings of MSOs? Ultimately, nobody has a crystal ball, but based on what we know, DSPs are still a rapidly growing segment and there is ample room for innovative operators to broaden their offerings. Conclusion DSPs vehicles are an accelerating fleet repair opportunity with high performance requirements and likely full value pricing. As Amazon sets its aim for reducing its dependence on traditional order fulfillment solutions, one can expect its network of distribution centers and last-mile delivery stations to continue expanding throughout the U.S. As a result, more collision shop owners will find themselves repairing Amazon fleet vehicles. By proactively identifying nearby opportunities, shop owners can position their businesses to capture more volume, and ultimately hold more market share in this small but growing repair segment. Source: Focus Advisors Automotive
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Two Scientists Named Axalta Fellows Axalta recently announced Dr. Carmen Flosbach and Dr. Michael Koerner have been elevated to Axalta Fellow, the highest honor that a scientist or engineer can earn within Axalta’s Technology function. Through individual and collaborative contributions, Axalta Fellows have delivered commercial success with cutting-edge technologies and have had a strategic impact on Axalta’s businesses. Flosbach has been a catalyst for innovation throughout her 30plus year career. As a leading expert in resin synthesis, she has delivered multiple new polymers for various different chemistry types including acrylic, aspartate, polycarbonate, polyester and polyurethane. Koerner is Axalta’s technical expert in waterborne coatings and rheology and has spent 34 years with Axalta. He holds numerous patents and his innovations in waterborne technology have led to, or enhanced, waterborne coating technologies at Axalta. Source: Axalta
PRI and NCMA Join Forces to Protect Racing in North Carolina by PRI Editors
Performance Racing Industry (PRI) has joined forces with the North Carolina Motorsports Association (NCMA) to protect racing in the Tar Heel State—home to more than 50 race tracks and more than 30,000 motorsports jobs. As the leading advocacy group for the racing industry, PRI unites motorsports businesses, race teams, racers and fans to strengthen the industry’s ability to advocate and protect motorsports. PRI is committed to growing and protecting the racing community from threats, including government overreach. Working with PRI, NCMA is actively fighting against Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overreach and urging NCMA members and the North Carolina motorsports community to join in RPM Week, Aug. 2–6. “Motorsports has a long history as an American tradition, and yet the industry is at great risk,” said David Miller, NCMA executive director. “Working with PRI and the entire motorsports community,
we will be able to make our voices heard and protect the hobby well into the future.” As part of the EPA’s National Compliance Initiative, aftermarket parts businesses are being targeted and jeopardized. Companies are being fined and risk being shut down. The RPM Act is a bill that will protect the racing industry by clarifying that it is legal to convert street vehicles into dedicated race cars, and it ensures that motorsports parts businesses can legally produce, market and install racing products. The bipartisan bill was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), with Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) serving as the lead Republican cosponsor. U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (RNC) is serving as the lead sponsor of the RPM Act in the U.S. Senate and is working closely with the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to position the bill for reintroduction and passage in 2021. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) has served as an original cosponsor of the RPM Act and is a strong supporter of the
legislation. The RPM Act must be passed into law to ensure that the motorsports-parts industry can continue to sell products that enable racers to compete, and that racers can continue to convert street vehicles into dedicated race cars. NCMA and PRI are joining forces to make our voices heard in the state. During RPM Act Week, North Carolinians are urged to raise awareness of the bill by posting on social media, linking to articles and writing legislators to support the bill and pass it into law. Supporters can write to their legislators by visiting SaveOurRaceCars.com and downloading images for social media by visiting performanceracing.com/rpm-assets. “This is the time for the race community to band together and make their voices heard,” said Miller. “We must work together to protect our rights and save our race cars.” To learn more, visit performanceracing.com/rpm-act. Source: SEMA
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6 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Advance Auto Parts and its Foundation Gift $250,000 to Wake Community College Advance Auto Parts Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Advance Auto Parts, Inc., a leading automotive aftermarket parts supplier, announced a $200,000 commitment and partnership with Wake Technical Community College for a firstof-its-kind recruitment initiative aimed at increasing student diversity in the school’s automotive systems technology and collision repair programs. Additionally, the retailer, which oerates as Advance Auto Parts, has committed $50,000 in funding to outfit the school’s tool rooms to support student learning. In partnership with organizations such as Communities In Schools, Juntos (NC State) and North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals, funding will be used to conduct direct outreach in Wake County high schools to encourage diverse populations to pursue automotive career paths. Starting this fall, the Advance Auto Parts Foundation’s gift will help 25 students enrolling in the program over the next five years by funding $5,000 scholarships for each
student to offset educational and living expenses and a one-time, $600 stipend to purchase tools scholarship recipients need to complete their studies and start their careers.
“At Advance, we understand the value of having an industry that reflects the diversity of the customers it serves,” said Tom Greco, president and chief executive officer of Advance Auto Parts. “By providing resources and support to Wake Tech and its new Hendrick Center, we hope to inspire students from all backgrounds and experiences to explore careers in automotive service and repair, which will help address the technician shortage and benefit our industry and society as a whole.” “Increasing student diversity in
Joint Venture to Bring $40M Steel Plant to Madison, AL, Supplying Huntsville’s Mazda Toyota Plant by Dylan Smith, Yellowhammer News
A three-company joint venture announced plans to create Madison Metal Processing (MMP) in Madison, AL, which will supply steel blanks to Huntsville’s Mazda Toyota manufacturing assembly and other automotive suppliers. Trial production has begun for the $40 million, 110,000-square foot Madison operation, with full-production slated to begin in mid-2022. The venture’s participating companies are Toyota Tsusho America Inc., Southern Mobility Products and SteelSummit Holdings, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Corp. of Americas. Steel blanks are the precursor to automotive surface body parts. Madison Metal Processing will supply up to 300,000 vehicles produced at the Mazda Toyota auto assembly plant. Area Development reports Kirk Lewis, chairman and president of MMP, said the company will be the standard for the production of steel products. “At MMP, we are committed
to providing steel solutions that exceed our customers’ expectations,” said Lewis. “Together, with our partners and the added benefit of our collective acumen, MMP will set the bar for quality in every steel product we deliver.” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey praised the Tennessee Valley venture. “This collaboration is another exciting development in the growth of the robust supplier network emerging in North Alabama to support the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing auto assembly facility,” said Ivey. According to the company, the plant will serve as a full-service steel processing service center, and will specialize in blanking and warehousing steel products including hot rolled steel, cold rolled steel and exposed and coated steel products. MMP believes in the future that it will process as much as 5,000 tons of steel a month.
8 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
our automotive repair programs is a strategic imperative for WTCC,” said Wake Tech President Dr. Scott Ralls. “Thanks to the generosity of the Advance Auto Parts Foundation, students from a variety of backgrounds will now be inspired to pursue careers in the automotive field and provided the financial support they need to complete their studies.” In addition to Advance Auto Parts Foundation’s $200,000 gift, Advance Auto Parts, through its DieHard® brand, has committed $50,000 to outfit the school’s two tool rooms, supporting student learning on and off campus by allowing students to “check out” tools for temporary use. This partnership comes at a critical time as the U.S. currently faces a worsening shortage of automotive technicians according to TechForce, an automotive industry foundation dedicated to launching and advancing the careers of next generation technicians. In addition, there exists a lack of diverse representation in this segment of the automotive industry, with 91% of technicians identifying as male and more than two-thirds of
technicians identifying as white or non-Hispanic, according to Zippia, an online career-resource platform. WTCC’s automotive systems technology degree program features training in advanced diagnostics, brakes, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance, steering/ suspension, transmission, climate control and manual drive trains. WTCC’s collision repair and refinishing technology program includes painting and refinishing, including special finishes, non-structural and structural repair, automotive plastic and adhesives identification repair, automotive detailing, body shop operations and auto body estimating. Beginning next month, both programs will be housed at the new Hendrick Center for Automotive Excellence, a $42 million, 100,653-square-foot facility on WTCC’s Scott Northern Wake Campus. For more information, visit http://aet.waketech.edu. Source: Advance Auto Parts, Inc.
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How Waterborne Technology Can Improve Cycle Time Performance The number of color coats required to make a refinish repair is one
it can significantly reduce sprayouts. Comprised of thousands of
primary consideration for evaluating the throughput performance
variant and prime color chips, each chip is sprayed with actual
of a refinish paint system. Yet, as most know, the most accurate
waterborne paint. “The color deck is ‘dead-on’,” says Jeff Smith of
way to vet a system’s productivity is to evaluate the entire refinish
Pro Collision, Grand Rapids, Michigan. “If the color is in the deck,
process – from color identification, right on through to the final
there’s no need to do a sprayout, like we always had to perform with
clearcoat. As example, PPG’s waterborne refinish system incorpo-
our previous system.”
rates a host of features designed to speed cycle time performance. Blending Performance Given that refinishing most often calls for blending, how efficient a system can perform an accurate repair and eliminate chances for re-dos is especially critical to achieving maximum cycle time performance. PPG’s waterborne system employs an easy, one-gun process designed to achieve a fast, tight blend and accurate match the first time out. In fact, in a 2-3 coat application, it’s possible to perform a spot repair in less than an hour.
This fast blend process is aided by a very thin film build,
enabling the basecoat to dry fast. Only 2-3 minutes flash time is needed between coats and the clearcoat can be applied in 1015 minutes. The system’s EN-V® Series clearcoat line offers fast bake times as short as 10 minutes. Color ID and Matching Efficiency
To ensure color accuracy, the basecoat’s latex particles orient
The throughput of a refinish system must include its color-match-
metallic flakes smoothly to accurately match the color travel from
ing ability. Afterall, if the color doesn’t match, how fast the repair
face to flop. Painters won’t find any evidence of mottling or halos
was achieved won’t matter. In this regard, PPG has heavily invested
around the repair, which can appear using conventional basecoats.
in ensuring the ENVIROBASE® High Performance waterborne
Any dirt or specks can be easily de-nibbed, further facilitating a
basecoat system delivers color-matching excellence. Its color
fast blend repair.
variance program is one example of this commitment.
Since color variants to OEM prime colors are an everyday
from color identification to final clearcoat—the Envirobase High
challenge for identifying a correct formula, those identified by
Performance system covers all the bases to achieve the cycle time
PPG’s color variance team are quickly incorporated into PPG’s
performance demanded by today’s high-production collision centers.
To summarize, when evaluating throughput performance—
comprehensive color formula database. Formulas are updated daily through PPG’s PAINTMANAGER® XI color software. In the long run, the daily update of the database saves the technician valuable time searching for the right color formula.
Another real time saver is the Chromatic Variant Deck since autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 9
Tesla’s War Against Direct Sales Continues with Big Win in Virginia by Joey Klender, Teslarati
Tesla’s war with laws that prohibit the direct sale of cars to consumers continues, but the automaker is making progress across the U.S. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has approved Tesla to sell its cars and will open three new locations in the state. July 27, Virginia DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb stated Tesla is now eligible to open the three sales locations in the state. This decision goes against the wishes of the Virginia Automobiles Dealers Association (VADA), which will not plan a legal challenge. Holcomb decided to grant Tesla permission to open the stores based on public opinion. Prominent officials and members of the general public expressed support for Tesla stores in the regions of Charlottesville, Arlington and Norfolk. “Much of that support revolves around the fact that Tesla’s business model is unique and outside the traditional model of motor vehicle dealerships in Virginia,” he said in the decision.
However, the CEO of the VADA, Don Hall, said the decision was an “easy way out,” according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Tesla showroom in Century City mall, Los Angeles. Credit: Teslarati
“The decision frankly was not in compliance with the laws of Virginia,” Hall stated. “It was an easy way out. I don’t believe the DMV in any way, shape or form carried out its responsibility.” Tesla will still need to obtain a license issued by the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board to have permission to operate as a car sales entity. The three stores have not had their locations finalized, the company said. State laws in Virginia indicate automobile manufacturers must sell their vehicles through independent franchised dealerships, except when there is no dealership available in a
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama Builds its 5 Millionth Vehicle Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) leadership, team members and special guests on Aug. 12 celebrated the 5 millionth vehicle built at Hyundai’s U.S. assembly plant. HMMA reached the 5 million mark in less than 17 years, starting production in May 2005.
The 5 millionth vehicle was a Hyundai Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle built July 27. To reach this achievement, HMMA has produced 2,562,880 Sonatas, 1,489,568 Elantras, 908,779 Santa Fes, 36,989 Tucsons and 1,784 Santa Cruzes. “The 5 millionth vehicle represents a tremendous achievement for Hyundai Motor North America,” said José Muñoz, global COO of
Hyundai Motor Company and president and CEO of Hyundai Motor North America. “We could not have achieved this success without the strong leadership and commitment of our team members in Alabama. Hyundai will continue to invest and grow throughout the region.” “Reaching today’s milestone in HMMA’s storied history in Alabama would not have been possible without the energy and enthusiasm of our valued team members, the dependability of our supplier network and unwavering support of state and local governments,” said HMMA President and CEO Ernie Kim. HMMA recently completed a plant expansion to support the addition of its fourth and fifth models, the Tucson and Santa Cruz, that joined Sonata, Elantra and Santa Fe. The addition of these models further enhances HMMA’s ability to adjust its vehicle production with market demand. Source: Hyundai Motor North America
10 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
community to offer a company’s vehicles “in a matter consistent with the public interest,” the report said. However, with the emergence of EV manufacturers that have opted to veer away from the traditional dealership and car sales model, which is highly unfavorable and disliked by car buyers, states are turning to support the potential of direct-to-consumer sales. Tesla currently operates three stores in Virginia: two in the state’s northern portion and one in eastern Virginia near Richmond. The Tyson’s Corner showroom, one of the northern locations, was granted a license in 2016. Holcomb also granted Tesla this license. In 2016, Tesla opened the Richmond store under the pretense the automaker had the same prices in-store as it did online. Tesla has worked toward legal direct sales in states like New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana, Connecticut, Wyoming and Indiana in recent memory. The direction the company is moving in with this issue brings additional confidence to other automakers like Lucid and Rivian, which are also battling the sales ban in various states.
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Drug Dealer-Owned Hellcat tion and drug abuse. It may seem a little ridiculous to think of a Hellcat as a cop car, especially since they are usually used for the exact opposite. However, the sheriff still makes regular patrols and even takes it out for community outreach. Unfortunately, the red key, which unlocks the 707 horsepower, is in a secret location known only by the sheriff and a select few others. However, the 500 horsepower is surely enough for the department’s uses.
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UAF Sets New Scholarship Record The University of the Aftermarket Foundation (UAF) has awarded a record-setting $706,250 in scholarships to students throughout the country, it was announced July 26 by Danielle Sonnefeld, AAP, chair of the UAF scholarship committee. UAF scholarship recipients will be attending a twoyear or four-year college or university or an accredited automotive vocational program during the 2021-22 academic year. While the majority are studying to become mechanical, collision or heavy-duty repair professionals, others are pursuing degrees in such fields as business, engineering and IT/ cybersecurity that will lead to a career in the automotive aftermarket. A complete list of recipients can be found at www. automotivescholarships.com/ scholarship-alumni. Source: University of the Aftermarket
Brentwood, TN, Auto Dealership Expanding Mechanical Services Andrews Transportation Group in Brentwood, TN, announced plans to expand mechanical services to its core business servicing Cadillac, Jaguar and Land Rover products.
“In order to better serve our customers, we are moving away from collision repair, servicing all makes and models, and expanding mechanical to support the sales and maintenance operations on our core brands.” — Nelson Andrews To accommodate the expansion, the dealership in a press release said it is phasing out collision repair through September and that space will convert to mechanical services. “Even with our recent expansion of our Jaguar Land Rover service and parts departments, we continue to experience accelerated growth with our core business of selling and servicing Cadillac,
Is It a Secret? Florida Court Decides Confidentiality Issues by Rebecca Barnabi, glassBYTEs.com
After more than two years in litigation, the case of Allstate v. Auto Glass America and its owner Charles Isaly continues in court. “Having waded through page upon page of ad hominem attacks and accusations of lies, ‘contumacious’ and ‘perfidious’ conduct levied against both sides, it has become clear that the parties are now arguing over the meaning and enforcement of their agreed upon and fully executed confidentiality agreement,” wrote Judge Leslie Hoffman in her order dated July 30. As previously reported by glassBYTEs.com, Allstate filed a lawsuit against Auto Glass America, owned by Isaly, in December 2018 alleging the glass company engaged in a plan to unlawfully obtain payment for excessive and/or unreasonable charges by submitting inflated invoices. Allstate also alleged AGA sued them 1,400 times when the insurance company paid less than the invoice amount, a practice known as “short payment.”
Jaguar and Land Rover,” Andrews Transportation Group President and CEO Nelson Andrews said in a prepared statement. “In order to better serve our customers, we are moving away from collision re-
Allstate contended AGA billed the insurance company on average $900 per invoice between Jan. 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2018. However, Allstate reported the average invoice amount from other glass companies in Florida during the same time was $350. The July 30 order by the judge denied AGA’s motion for sanctions against Allstate. It partially granted an alternative motion by Allstate to leave the file under seal. It allowed certain exhibits to be filed under seal by Aug. 4. The court will then review the documents and decide which are and are not properly subject to seal. Rather than grant AGA’s request for confidentiality seal to the full depositions of Don Joslin and Joseph Scauzillo, the Judge wants to know the exact pages and exhibits AGA wants sealed, also by Aug. 3. Hoffman said these deadlines will not be extended. (C) 2021 by glassbytes.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. For more information contact www.glassbytes.com.
pair, servicing all makes and models, and expanding mechanical to support the sales and maintenance operations on our core brands.” “We have enjoyed having Andrews Cadillac Collision Repair as part of our operations these past 40 years, but we’ve had to come to the realization that this is no longer the best use of our space in our Maryland Farms facility.” The dealership is phasing out
the collision department through August and September and will partner with a local collision center to assume future repairs. Collision repair employees have several options including transitioning to another position within the dealership, receiving a severance package or taking a position at another collision center. Andrews Transportation Group just recently completed a multi-million-dollar expansion of its Jaguar Land Rover service and parts departments in Brentwood to match the dealership’s 200% unit sales increase. The expansion accommodates 16 new service bays and a state-of-the-art carwash in the 8,362 square feet added to the building. The group has also built a two-story parking deck along Old Hickory Boulevard to supply approximately 100 additional parking spaces for the inventory of vehicles for sale.
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PRO SPOT CONTINUES TO DRIVE VEHICLE COLLISION REPAIR INDUSTRY FORWARD An Industry Update from Ron Olsson, President, Pro Spot International In a year that we continue to press forward and run fast, we’ve achieved a number of exciting milestones so far in 2021. First, we’ve fine-tuned our i4S Smart Spot Welder to make it the best in its class and it leads the industry in technological advancements. We’ve also added an industry first 5-year warranty to the i4S, as we believe it is the best spot welder in the business. We are proud to stand behind this product with this warranty. Additionally, we’re continuing to develop new products and services. We’ve added new authorized distributors in our Northeast Region, opened up training centers in Florida, Tennessee and Colorado, signed, and will continue to sign, new OEM approvals, and strengthened our leadership teams in manufacturing, engineering and marketing at our Carlsbad, CA headquarters. I’m very proud of our team and our current product offerings that have been leading our industry for so many years. Knowing what we have in development and the new technologies that we are working on, we will continue to revolutionize the collision repair industry for many years to come. And it means so much to all of us at Pro Spot to be a “Made in America” manufacturer because of the competitive advantage that this brings. We’ve been through a lot together and today, we’re stronger than ever. We appreciate your business over the last 30 years and know that we are behind you 100%...we will never let you down. Please do not hesitate to contact our team, or me directly, and let’s continue to build the future together! I look forward to meeting with you at one of our upcoming tradeshows over the next few months. Sincerely Ron Olsson, President
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autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 13
Paycheck Protection Program Direct Forgiveness Portal Now Open The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is launching a streamlined application portal to allow borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans $150,000 or less through participating lenders to apply for forgiveness directly through the SBA. “The SBA’s new streamlined application portal will simplify forgiveness for millions of our smallest businesses―including many sole proprietors―who used funds from our Paycheck Protection Program loans to survive the pandemic,” said Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman. “The vast majority of businesses waiting for forgiveness have loans under $150,000. These entrepreneurs are busy running their businesses and are challenged by an overly complicated forgiveness process. We need to deliver forgiveness more efficiently so they can get back to enlivening our Main Streets, sustaining our neighborhoods and fueling our nation’s economy.” This new change will help rush relief to more than 6.5 million smallest of small businesses, which has been the administrator’s priority
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‘Who Pays for What?’ are at least getting paid for it “some of the time.” “I’d like to see those numbers improve, but I’m also hoping the surveys raise shops’ awareness of the safety inspections they need to be doing,” Anderson said. The latest quarterly “Who Pays for What?” survey, slated to end July 30, focuses on “not-included” frame and mechanical labor operations. Shops can take the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ L3H3JQP Anderson said the survey, which will take about 15-20 min-
since day one. The new forgiveness platform will begin accepting applications from borrowers Aug. 4. Lenders are required to opt-in to this program through https://direct forgiveness.sba.gov. In addition to the technology platform, the SBA is standing up a PPP customer service team to answer questions and directly assist borrowers with their forgiveness applications. Borrowers that need assistance or have questions should call (877) 552-2692, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET. “This initiative will allow PPP borrowers to put their concerns of achieving full forgiveness behind them and focus on operating and growing their businesses again,” said Patrick Kelley, associate administrator for SBA’s Office of Capital Access. “We are pleased to be able to assist financial institutions across the U.S. in processing forgiveness applications for small business owners.” Paycheck Protection Program Summary Overall, the SBA and lenders have worked to originate over 11.7 mil-
utes, can be completed by anyone in a shop familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of at least some of the largest national insurers. Each shop’s individual responses are held in the strictest confidence; only aggregated data is released. Survey participants receive a free report with complete survey findings along with analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented. The results of previous surveys are also available online at https:// www.crashnetwork.com/collision advice Source: CRASH Network
lion loans totaling nearly $800 billion in relief to more than 8.5 million small businesses. In 2021: SBA approved more than 6.5 million loans totaling more than $275 billion The average loan size was about $42,000 (compared to $101,000 in 2020) 96% of loans went to businesses with fewer than 20 employees (compared to just 87% in 2020) 32% of loans went to businesses in LMI communities (compared to just 24% in 2020) Direct Forgiveness Summary More than 600 banks have opted in to direct forgiveness, enabling more than 2.17 million borrowers to apply through the portal. This represents 30% of loans $150,000 or less that have not yet submitted for forgiveness. “As one of the leading PPP lenders in the nation, Customers Bank is proud to partner with SBA to deliver responsive digital loan forgiveness service to the small business borrow-
14 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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ers,” said Sam Sidhu, president & CEO of the bank. “The streamlined and efficient SBA PPP loan forgiveness portal will help borrowers and lenders move forward with economic growth and job creation following the pandemic. We encourage other lenders to join Customers Bank and opt-in to the SBA portal.” Established by the CARES Act in 2020, the PPP was among the first COVID-19 small business economic aid programs and provided more than $798 billion in economic relief to small businesses and nonprofits across the nation, keeping employees working and helping businesses come back stronger than ever. Other programs include Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), EIDL Advance, Targeted EIDL Advance, Supplemental EIDL Advance, Restaurant Revitalization Fund, Shuttered Venue Operators Grant and SBA Debt Relief program. To learn more about these programs, visit www.sba.gov/relief. Source: SBA
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New SEMA Show still present that can affect the show. West Hall was an expansion project which had plans to start construction as early as 2017. So, we have been conducting scenario plans on how to manage our use of that facility for the last four years. We got lucky because when the pandemic hit, the expansion was already underway and fully funded. So, we knew that we were going to use this new space this year, to expand our total campus and allow us the opportunity to make our floor a little more efficient to navigate for our attendees and really make a great presentation to the industry.
Is the collision repair section going to move for 2021?
Yes, the collision and tools companies are going to be located in the Upper South Hall this year. The addition of West Hall gave us the opportunity to reconfigure some of our sections and realign some of them, which enabled us to combine business categories that we think will complement each other well, as well as allowing for growth in the future. So, when we reassigned some of the show’s sections, the collision and tools categories were partnered together because of their affinity for each other, and moved them up to the Upper South Hall. It worked out very well, because we can use the adjacent meeting rooms located there for our collision-specific programming. Everything you need―products, exhibitors, educational offerings― will be right there conveniently located in close proximity. This way, both our attendees and exhibitors can be more efficient and get more business done during the four days of SEMA. The beauty of what we have set up is the fact that our tools and collision sections are right above the wheel and tire sections. Those four sections align very well and are directly adjacent to the Renaissance Hotel. Our hope is that people will be able to have a home base during the show, so that they can cover more and have a better experience. Overall, the new West Hall has al-
lowed us to spread out our campus and make navigation easier while allowing us to showcase some of the finest aspects of the collision repair industry.
Who will be there and who won’t?
One of the main changes this year will be the fact that international companies without a pathway in the U.S. will have less levels of participation as compared to the past. Conversely, we’re getting a ton of support domestically, so it depends on the company and what their travel plans are, but for the most part, we’re going to have a robust show that will be well-attended and well-received. All of the big OEs that have attended in the past are back and most of the major players in the collision repair industry are also returning. In some areas, we are designating new categories to give them a start at the show. If we see that they’re gaining traction, we’ll incorporate them into an existing area or creating a new one. It’s an exciting time, with things like ADAS and electric vehicles, so those are two areas that we are watching carefully, so that we can be there on the cutting edge with the right exhibitors and appropriate educational offerings.
of their plans. That way all of us, including exhibitors and attendees can make plans accordingly. Right now, we are not required to check everyone’s temperature in Clark County before entering the event. But we want to make sure that we’re adhering to everything they will ask us to do now and in the future. The Clark County Commission is calling all of the shots, so we are observing other shows, and formulating our processes based on that. As we get closer to the show date, we have a few plans holstered and ready to go. Once the Clark County Commission recommends their plan, we will start to reveal our safety and security plan. Every year, we learn more about how to promote the safest environment we can and allow people to get in and out to the show in the most efficient and convenient way possible.
What are some other changes that we will see at SEMA 2021?
Last year, we looked at the idea of making all of the aisles oneway, but we determined that it would be burdensome and not practical on
many levels. So, we decided to take some of our main aisles and broaden them, so that people can get more space and move around in a more suitable manner. So, you will find some wider aisles this year and more aisle space altogether. We are also creating other areas where if people want to step out of the flow of traffic for a moment to regroup or find that next booth, they can do that. For those who want to travel, we will now have access to an underground transit system that was invented by Elon Musk’s The Boring Company, with 60 cars running continuously. It will be able to move a lot of people to one of three stations, South Hall, West Hall and Central Hall. Eventually, this system will be operated autonomously and take people to the Las Vegas Strip, Downtown Las Vegas and the airport as well. It will take a 15– to 20-minute walk and turn it into a two- to five-minute trip, so we are excited about it.
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Safety is always a factor, but even more so this year because of the pandemic. Please tell us how you’re approaching this huge part of the puzzle for SEMA 2021?
We take our role seriously because we know that SEMA impacts almost every aspect of the automotive industry worldwide. Many of the things that appear at a SEMA Show will affect the industry for the next three to five years, so we realize the importance of the show. The local and federal municipalities last year hindered our plans for 2020, but this year we’re seeing a different environment and we’re more optimistic now than ever. We are working very closely with the people at the Convention Center, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), the State of Nevada and Clark County, just to make sure so that we are well aware
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Automakers Tighten Up Restrictions as COVID Cases Surge by Paul A. Eisenstein, The Detroit Bureau
Nearly 18 months after the auto industry was forced to launch a lengthy shutdown of North American manufacturing operations, carmakers have been slowly, cautiously easing up on pandemic restrictions. But with the new Delta variant causing a sudden surge in COVID-19 infections, the industry is suddenly facing the need to tighten up again. With the CDC urging Americans to start wearing masks again indoors, some manufacturers have upgraded their own mask mandates. Others are reconsidering plans to bring workers back after having them work at home since early spring 2020, TheDetroitBureau.com has confirmed. “It’s a reality we’re dealing with the most recent news of COVID,” said Chris Reynolds, chief administration officer for Toyota Motor North America. “Like everyone, we thought things were starting to turn for the better but the Delta variant, you know, is really affecting everyone, Toyota included.” A recent visit by TheDetroitBureau.com to Toyota’s sprawling Plano, TX, headquarters found it to be a modern ghost town, with “the vast majority of its normal workforce operating from home,” chief spokesperson Scott Vazin said by text. The automaker had slowly been easing restrictions. Those reporting to the HQ complex no longer have to fill out questionnaires or go through temperature checks. And those vaccinated no longer need wear masks indoors―though even vaccinated visitors still must mask up. Reynolds said the Japanese automaker is studying various changes that will likely slow down return to work plans―which had been aimed at having 50% of headquarters workers in the office by early September. Managers at individual parts and assembly plants and other remote operations, meanwhile, will have the flexibility to renew mask requirements. Toyota isn’t alone. On July 28, “We informed employees that, effective immediately, MBUSA will require all employees and contractors to wear an approved mask while indoors at all compa-
ny facilities nationwide,” said Rob Moran, the head of U.S. public relations. “This revised requirement is independent of vaccination status and location.” While it hasn’t gone quite so far, General Motors “reinstated our mask mandate at our Wentzville (MO) assembly plant last week,” spokesman Dan Flores wrote in an e-mail. “That decision was made after our GM Medical team recommended it based upon local infection rates.” While no other operations have been impacted, Flores said the medical unit is “reviewing the latest CDC guidance and determining how it might impact our current COVID-19 safety protocols.” GM is one of the automotive manufacturers who coordinate their pandemic response through a COVID-19 Task Force. It approved the lifting of mask mandates for fully vaccinated employees early in July― though they can still wear a mask if they choose. As part of that group, Stellantis is “continu(ing) to monitor data carefully and has said all along that we will make any adjustments necessary to protect the health and safety of employees,” senior spokesperson Shawn Morgan said in an e-mail. The industry’s COVID-19 Task Force is planning to meet in the next week or two to discuss the changing situation, several officials told TheDetroitBureau.com. Automakers have slowly begun bringing white-collar employees back to their desks and workstations, though Ford and GM earlier this year announced flexible programs that left it up to managers to decide whether staff could continue to work from home or find some other alternative, such as splitting up the week, part of the time coming in and part of the time continuing to stay home. The rise of the Delta variant threatens to force automakers to tear up their plans. “At our corporate headquarters in California, we have temporarily delayed the next phase of our return to office plan,” said Michele Tinson, a spokesperson for Hyundai Motor America’s Midwest and East Coast regions. “At all of our facilities, we
18 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
continue to closely monitor case counts, regulations and guidelines to determine the right approach to keep our employees safe and healthy.” A number of automakers, including Hyundai, have made access to the various vaccines at worksites. So far, none have mandated getting vaccinated. But, on background, sources at several companies said that could be an option if the latest surge of COVID infections continues accelerating. The closest any company has yet come is Ford which “will now require U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to any international business travel due to the potential of increased exposure to COVID-19. Ford continues to strongly encourage all team members who are medically able to be vaccinated,” spokesperson Kelli Felker told TheDetroitBureau.com. The auto industry was hit hard during the early days of the pandemic. Scores of workers were infected, many requiring hospitalization, and more than a few succumbing to COVID by the time factories and
offices were closed in March 2020. Manufacturers raced to come up with protocols to keep manufacturing sites safe once plants began reopening in late May and into June. Those protocols had been quite successful, according to officials from around the industry. But, as the Delta variant has spread and mask and social distancing efforts have been relaxed in many parts of the country, infection rates have been accelerating. Automakers are determined to prevent a repeat of what happened 18 months ago, with new plant closures a major concern. “We’ve always told our teammates the virus runs the show here,” said Toyota’s Reynolds. The challenge, he stressed, is coming up with ways to keep COVID from winning.
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More Jobs Available Than Workers as Debate Over Unemployment Benefits Continues by Casey Harper, The Center Square
More than 10 million jobs are available in the U.S. despite widespread unemployment, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Aug. 10. The report comes as Republicans and Democrats debate ongoing federal unemployment payments— in addition to state benefits—and what impact they have on Americans’ willingness to return to work. The federal data showed a major boost in job availabilities for the month of June. “On the last business day of June, the job openings level increased to a series high of 10.1 million (+590,000),” the BLS said. “The job openings rate rose to 6.5%. Job openings increased in several industries, with the largest increases in professional and business services (+227,000); retail trade (+133,000); and accommodation and food services (+121,000). The number of job openings increased in the South region.” Roughly 9.5 million Americans were unemployed in June. That number decreased to fewer than 9 million Americans in July, still well above pre-pandemic levels. “The unemployment rate declined by 0.5 percentage point to 5.4% in July, and the number of unemployed persons fell by 782,000 to 8.7 million,” BLS said. “These measures are down considerably from their highs at the end of the
February-April 2020 recession.” Part of the problem comes from job openings in industries that do not match unemployed individuals’ previous career, some analysts say, or a job opening that is not in their area. For example, hospitality job openings will not appeal to someone hoping to return to the lumber industry, and a job opening in Atlanta does not help someone who lives in rural Georgia, unless they are willing to relocate.
they did not want to stop receiving unemployment benefits. More than two dozen governors have announced an end to those benefits in their states citing that reason, but many of those took effect midway through the collection of the latest data or had not taken effect at all. Even Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has thrown his support behind ending the payments, saying earlier in August he’s done with the extensions. The benefits are currently set to expire in September. “Month after month, Labor Department data has shown that Republican governors are leading in reopening their states and getting people back to work,” Republican National Committee ChairwomA help wanted sign hangs in a shop window May 16 in New an Ronna McDaniel said Orleans. Credit: Scott Colesby/Shutterstock earlier in August, hitting a Republicans, though, have recurring talking point for Repubbeen pointing for months to a dif- licans. ferent source of ongoing unemploy- The ongoing new jobs data as ment despite widespread job availability. They argue $300 weekly federal unemployment benefits, when added to the already existent state benefits, are making it more advantageous for regular Americans to stay home than to reenter the workforce. In a Morning Consult survey from July, 1.8 million unemployed Americans said they had P H: turned down job offers because M-F 7:30-5:30
Registration Open for RDE at SEMA Show The Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ (SCRS) announced registration is open for the Repairer Driven Education (RDE) series at the 2021 SEMA Show. Explore and register for the RDE lineup at www.scrs.com/ rde. The RDE series is developed by SCRS and delivered annually during the SEMA Show, connecting collision repair professionals with the industry’s most notable subject matter experts. The program is designed to address real-world factors af-
fecting collision repair businesses and establish implementable solutions and positive outcomes for attendees when they return home from the Show. Source: SCRS
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unemployment changes take effect will likely help shape federal unemployment benefit policy going forward. One state, though, faces a new challenge with the payments. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt was one of many Republican-led states to turn away the $300 benefits via executive order, but an Oklahoma County district judge overturned that decision Aug. 9 in an injunction, keeping the state in the federal program until the judge rules on a challenge to Stitt’s order. Stitt had argued the payments were keeping Americans from returning to work. “Since our state has been open for business since last June, the biggest challenge facing Oklahoma businesses today is not reopening, it’s finding employees,” Stitt said in his announcement earlier this year. “For Oklahoma to become a Top Ten state, workforce participation must be at a top level and I am committed to doing what I can to help Oklahomans get off the sidelines and into the workforce.”
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Mercedes-Benz Announces All-Electric Strategy from 2025 Onward by Joey Klender, Teslarati
Mercedes-Benz is going all-electric starting in 2025, with plans to launch three electric-only architectures that year and install more than 200 Gigawatt hours of battery cell capacity across eight factories. On July 22, Mercedes-Benz, a German automaker based in Stuttgart, announced its plan to be fully
ny said in a press release. Mercedes-Benz is just one of many automakers now choosing to transition to fully electric lineups. As the dynamic of the automotive industry continues to work toward a transition to electric powertrains, more companies are announcing their plans to ditch combustion engines in favor of battery-powered cars. Lamborghini is one of the
“The EV shift is picking up speed-especially in the luxury segment, where Mercedes-Benz belongs,” — Ola Källenius electric by the end of the decade. However, any newly launched architectures will be electric-only starting in 2025, the company said. “Mercedes-Benz is getting ready to go all-electric by the end of the decade, where market conditions allow. Shifting from electric-first to electric-only, the world’s preeminent luxury car company is accelerating toward an emissions-free and software-driven future,” the compa-
more notable car companies that has announced this strategy. The market shift is most certainly the root cause of Mercedes’ decision to transition to a fully electric lineup in the coming years. “The EV shift is picking up speed―especially in the luxury segment, where Mercedes-Benz belongs,” said Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG CEO Ola Källenius. “The tipping point is getting clos-
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er, and we will be ready as markets switch to electric-only by the end of this decade.” Electric automotive enthusiasts are often skeptical of legacy automakers and OEMs alike, especially when plans or announcements come out indicating a long-time ICE giant is planning to transition to electrification. There needs to be more than an announcement to convince shareholders and skeptics of their plan. Mercedes has a comprehensive game plan put in place that will solidify its intentions to ditch ICE vehicles, and it starts with a massive investment into battery EVs, which totals more than $47 billion. The automaker has broken down its plan into four parts: technology, production, people and financial. The tech plan includes three new architectures: the MB-EA, the AMG.EA and the VAN.EA. Each architecture will power a specific class of vehicles, from performance vehicles to medium and large passenger cars to light commercial vehicles. The production plan outlines
how Mercedes plans to transition to BEV manufacturing, including assistance from GROB, a German global leader in highly innovative battery production and automated systems. Mercedes said it also plans to install a new battery recycling factory in Kuppenheim, Germany, which will help develop and secure recycling capacity. This will be operational in 2023. The people plan outlines the retraining and reskilling of current employees. This has already been started, as Mercedes-Benz said it has already trained about 20,000 employees in aspects of e-mobility. Finally, the financial plan shows the company will reallocate its capital from “EV-first” to “EV-only.” Mercedes-Benz writes: “Investments into combustion engines and plug-in hybrid technologies will drop by 80% between 2019 and 2026. On this basis, Mercedes-Benz projects company margins in a BEV world which are similar to those in the ICE era.”
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NHTSA Launches Tesla Autopilot Investigation Over Crashes with Emergency Vehicles By Simon Alvarez, Teslarati
The United States government has announced that it is formally opening an investigation into Tesla Autopilot, stating that the driver-assist system has issues spotting parked emergency vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) posted the probe’s announcement on Monday. The investigation would be covering 765,000 vehicles from the start of the 2014 to the 2021 model year that were sold in the United States. It would also cover vehicles from Tesla’s entire lineup today: the Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y. The NHTSA has identified 11 collisions since 2018 involving Teslas on either Autopilot or Traffic-Aware Cruise Control which ended up hitting parked emergency vehicles. The NHTSA’s The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) resume notes the following. “ODI has opened a Preliminary Evaluation of the SAE Level 2 ADAS system (Autopilot) in the Model Year 2014-2021 Models Y, X, S,and 3. The investigation will assess the technol-
ogies and methods used to monitor, assist, and enforce the driver’s engagement with the dynamic driving task during Autopilot operation. The investigation will additionally assess the OEDR by vehicles when engaged
to ensuring the highest standards of safety on the nation’s roadways. In keeping with the agency’s core safety mission and to better understand the causes of certain Tesla crashes, NHTSA is opening a preliminary evalua-
“NHTSA reminds the public that no commercially available motor vehicles today are capable of driving themselves.” — NHTSA in Autopilot mode, and ODD in which the Autopilot mode is functional. The investigation will also include examination of the contributing circumstances for the confirmed crashes listed below and other similar crashes.” The NHTSA cited crashes in Culver City and Laguna Beach, California; Norwalk, Connecticut; Cloverdale, Indiana; West Bridgewater, Massachusetts; Cochise County, Arizona; Charlotte, North Carolina, Montgomery County, Texas; Lansing, Michigan; and Miami, Florida. An NHTSA spokesperson has issued the following comment about the investigation: “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is committed
tion into Tesla Autopilot systems and the technologies and methods used to monitor, assist, and enforce the driver’s engagement with driving while Autopilot is in use. “NHTSA reminds the public that no commercially available motor vehicles today are capable of driving themselves. Every available vehicle requires a human driver to be in control at all times, and all State laws hold human drivers responsible for operation of their vehicles. Certain advanced driving assistance features can promote safety by helping drivers avoid crashes and mitigate the severity of crashes that occur, but as with all technologies and equipment on motor vehicles, drivers must use them cor-
rectly and responsibly.” Tesla’s Autopilot is a hands-on system, and the company makes it a point to remind drivers to pay close attention to the road whenever they engage the feature. Tesla also detects pressure on the steering wheel, and lately, video camera feeds, to determine if drivers are operating Autopilot properly. But despite this, the robust capabilities of the system have resulted in Autopilot abuse among careless drivers, many of whom are all too willing to operate the driver-assist suite as a hands-free system. One of these, a Model 3 owner, actually got arrested after he insisted on operating his Tesla from the backseat of his car. While Autopilot tends to attract a lot of attention and controversy, the advanced driver-assist system’s safety statistics are quite notable. As per the company’s accident data as of Q1 2021, Tesla only registered one accident for every 4.19 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged. By comparison, the NHTSA’s most recent data shows that in the United States there is an automobile crash every 484,000 miles.
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Recall: 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trucks by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com
General Motors is recalling 15 model year 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 trucks because the front driver’s airbag modules may be missing one or more metal tabs that secure the plastic airbag covers to the housings. The missing tabs can prevent the airbags from deploying. The U.S. recall includes 12 trucks, and in Canada, three. GM dealers will possibly replace the driver frontal airbags after owner notification letters are mailed Aug. 16. Chevy Silverado 1500 owners may call 800-2221020. GM’s number for this recall is N212336560.
Nikola Founder Trevor Milton Indicted on 3 Counts of Fraud by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati
A federal grand jury has indicted Nikola Motor founder and former CEO Trevor Milton on three counts of criminal fraud for allegedly lying about “nearly all aspects of Nikola’s business.” The indictment was unsealed July 29. Milton, whose ambitious vision of a zero-emission, hydrogen-powered trucking revolution caught the interest and admiration of many—including Tesla skeptics and short-sellers—was accused by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of two counts of securities fraud, including making false statements about the company, and wire fraud. As noted in a CNBC report, prosecutors focused on how Milton allegedly lied about Nikola’s products, the company’s technology and its future sales. “Milton’s scheme targeted individal, non-professional investors— so-called retail investors—by making false and misleading statements directly to the investing public through social media and television, print and podcast interviews,” prosecutors stat-
ed, adding the former Nikola executive was “motivated to engage in the fraudulent scheme in order to enrich himself and elevate his stature as an entrepreneur.”
has “cooperated with the government throughout the course of its inquiry.” The hydrogen trucking company, which is looking to launch a battery-electric truck later this year,
“We remain committed to our previously announced milestones and timelines and are focused on delivering Nikola Tre battery-electric trucks later this year from the company’s manufacturing facilities,” — Nikola Milton has reportedly surrendered to authorities, and he is expected to be in a New York court July 29, per information related by U.S. Attorney’s office spokesperson Nicholas Biase. According to the grand jury, Milton shall forfeit all properties traceable to the commission of his offenses. These would likely include the more than $1 billion Milton acquired after Nikola Motor went public last year. Milton’s spokesperson has so far declined to comment on the indictment, though Nikola has stated it
highlighted the grand jury’s indictments are against Trevor Milton, not against Nikola Motor itself. It should be noted in February, Nikola said its internal investigations revealed Milton issued a number of inaccurate statements from 2016 all the way to the company’s IPO last year. “We remain committed to our previously announced milestones and timelines and are focused on delivering Nikola Tre battery-electric trucks later this year from the company’s manufacturing facilities,” Nikola said. Quotes courtesy of CNBC.
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Pro Spot Denver Training Center Open House Aces the Test by Barbara Davies and
Autobody News attended Pro Spot International’s open house at the company’s brand new Pro Spot Aces of Denver Training Center, located at 5280 Steele Street in Denver, CO, on the evening of July 30. “It was a wonderful event, and I am proud of our team and the Colorado crew that made this possible,” said Ron Olsson, president of Pro Spot International.
Windshield Repair Kit, the NP-3 Nitrogen Plastic Welder, Dent Pulling Stations, the i4S and i5 spot welders, PR205MV and PR220MV Synergic MIG Welders, Dust-free Sanding Stations, the PR-5 Rivet System for aluminum riveting and the SP-1, SP-2 and SP-5DP Pulse MIG Welders. “The open house was a great time,” Fahey said. “Almost every piece of equipment that we carry is on display in the Pro Spot Aces of
will be used for training. “We have brand new offices and a 40-by-40-foot training center and classroom,” said Fahey. “The industry in this region badly needed
Hands-on Training: Ryan Swanson gives Barbara Davies of Autobody News some hands-on welding instruction on Pro Spot’s Aluminum Pulse SP-5DP MIG Welder.
Pro Spot Team: The Pro Spot Team proudly hosted guests for the July 30 open house at the new Pro Spot training facility in Denver. Pictured, left to right, is Ryan Swanson, training development manager; Bob Pluth, technical services manager; Lorinda Teague, sales administrator; Keith Fahey, sales manager; Bud Larson, Pickens Technical College; Ron Olsson, president; and Dennis Rogers.
The open house began with a tour of the 6,400-square foot facility, comprised of a warehouse distribution center, office space, classrooms and a complete hands-on training center that will allow Pro Spot to better serve its distributors and customers in the surrounding markets.
Official Ribbon Cutting: Ron Olsson and Keith Fahey make it official by cutting the ribbon at the Pro Spot Aces of Denver Distribution and Training Center.
Olsson was joined by Keith Fahey, sales manager at Pro Spot Aces of Denver, as they conducted the official ribbon-cutting ceremony. As the open house proceeded, Pro Spot provided guests with live and hands-on demonstrations of more than a dozen products, including the Ion Spot anti-static gun,
Denver Distribution and Training Center, providing the opportunity for our customers to come experience and receive hands-on training on nearly every product Pro Spot manufactures.” Fahey approached Pro Spot about his future plans and interest in solidifying his company to be a part of Pro Spot. “My dad started Aces of Denver 40 years ago, and I have been in the collision industry my entire life, selling and servicing Pro Spot for 28 years. It’s been extremely rewarding being part of such a great company,” said Fahey. “I’m so pleased that my son, Luke, and long-time service technician, Steve Hoff, along with myself, can continue doing what we have been doing so long—selling and servicing the collision industry in Colorado and Wyoming with Pro Spot products.” Pro Spot acquired Aces of Denver in November 2020 and began renovating the facility, adding a training center and classrooms to the distribution site. Half of the building still functions as a warehouse service center, while the remaining half
26 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
a local training center, so Pro Spot provided it, and we’ve received an overwhelming number of positive responses. The Pro Spot Aces of Denver Training Center is like
a miniature version of the Carlsbad headquarters, and we look forward to helping all the shops in this area with their training and service needs.”
A good time was had by all: Pro Spot showed guests and employees a great time during the Aces of Denver open house. Pictured, left to right, is Bob Pluth, Ron Olsson, Johan Huwaert of Garmat USA, and Ryan Swanson.
Pro Spot currently has training centers at its headquarters in Carlsbad, CA; Nashville, TN; Venice, FL; and now in Denver, CO, providing regional locations for its distributors and customers across the country. For more information, visit https:// prospot.com/
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autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 29
How Could Gaming Change the Future of Collision Repair Training? by Chasidy Rae Sisk
“Do we need to look differently at how we approach training and education?” asked Jeff Peevy, I-CAR’s vice president of technical products, programs and services, during the July 22 CIECAST webinar. “The momentum of change today is so much greater than it ever has been. The way we’ve always thought and approached building training content, the collection of information and how we can simulate that into training and information has to be rethought, reinvented because of the speed at which it’s coming at us.” Before launching into “Technology’s Impact on the Future of Training: Welcome to the Gamer Culture,” Peevy briefly described I-CAR’s role within the collision repair inter-industry, as well as its vision that “every person in the collision repair industry has the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.”
Giving a shoutout to I-CAR’s collaboration and coaching one aninstructional design team, Peevy other, rather than the Boomer genemphasized I-CAR’s interest in col- eration, which was accustomed to laborating with the industry: “Col- adult coaches telling us what to do.” laboration is in our DNA.” Gamers are more comfortable Addressing technology’s im- making quick decisions and taking pact on people as individrisks; things are always uals, Peevy explored the easy in the gaming world, impact of electronic-based but they’re ultimately degames on youth during their signed for success. They formative years. Based on enjoy being heroes, but it’s a study conducted by Cogimportant to realize games teach them to avoid bosses, nitive Science Magazine, so Peevy encouraged shop people retain 10% of what Jeff Peevy owners and managers to they read, 30% of what they “be more of a strategy guide than a hear and 70% of what they do. “As trainers in this industry, if traditional boss.” we don’t recognize this, we’re going Additional ways gamers’ mindsets vary from older generations to miss the boat,” Peevy said. He pointed out the difference include being more flexible, being gaming creates in the younger gen- able to better move between tasks erations’ mindsets: “When things and being better at stepping outside go bad in a game, you hit the reset their own perspective to see situbutton; you can always start over. In ations from someone else’s viewthe real world, Boomers are devas- point. tated by a layoff, but the gamer gen- The gamer generation also exerations bounce back quicker―they pects life to be fun. simply reset and move on. They’re “Attention is the scarcest realso used to relying on peer support, source in the world,” Peevy quoted
from “The Attention Economy,” by Thomas Davenport and John Beck. “Everything must be more engaging and entertaining in order to keep gamers’ attention.” Using data gathered by the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), which shows the average technician age is 41, Peevy noted traditional gamers range in age from under 21 up to 51. The introduction of games on smartphones enhanced exposure to older and younger people as well. “Almost everyone, at some level, are playing games, and it may not have a direct influence on how we approach training, but it certainly should be something that we consider.” According to Peevy, technology impacts training approaches by making new demands to meet users’ training and learning needs. “Training needs to involve decisions, be entertaining and be fun. It must be relevant, engaging and challenging, though doable. It would be beneficial to build training that
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involves teams. It needs to allow students to practice new knowledge and skills and also allow students to compare their performance to others.” Peevy believes there are practical uses of extended reality, which refers to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables, including augmented and virtual reality. Through the use of headsets that create their own environment, virtual reality provides training in complete immersion. “There are no distractions,” Peevy stated. “You’re in a world that’s been created ideal for learning. You can focus on whatever it is. As we continue to learn about the practical application of this, there are ways this will become very beneficial in the future.” In augmented reality, the headset overlays digital objects in the real world. “It allows you to see the real world and see things over it that you actually can do and get a more realistic experience, so you can gain knowledge, as well as improve your skills and understanding of the topic
without being in a dangerous environment,” Peevy said. Gamification is the application of gaming mechanics to non-gaming environments and is used to increase knowledge and skills for specific industry tasks. “The objective needs to be to gain new knowledge,” said Peevy. “You have the opportunity to apply this knowledge in a game and then practice your skills. You practice for accuracy and speed, and then when you apply that in the real world, you can be much more prepared, when done correctly.” Peevy mentioned the value of video-based and online training as a means of engaging collision repair professionals. He suggested online training allows for an environment that’s “more engaging and more relaxed. It’s less formal, and it’s more relatable and relevant. The interactive branching approach assesses how much you know over a series of questions and then ultimately can move you from a mainstream course design into a more basic or challenging position; it can adjust itself. Wherever you start is not important.
Our goal is to bring everybody up to the same level, at your pace.” Looking at technology’s impact on training content in the collision repair industry, Peevy stressed, given the speed of technological advances, I-CAR feels “the responsibility to work with the industry and collaborate with the industry to gain knowledge as quickly as we can. When a new technology shows up on the horizon, it’s our responsibility to explore and understand it. It may never go mainstream, but if it does, we’ll do our best to prepare the industry. We won’t wait for that technology to come to us.” I-CAR is focused on providing relevant training for the many ongoing changes impacting the collision repair industry today and in the future. Peevy looked at some of the programs related to ADAS, EVs and
I-CAR’s goals of figuring out “how we can do this differently, and we’ll continue to do that. We’d love to collaborate with anyone in the industry with interest or knowledge to share. We have this massive challenge that we all have to face with speed and momentum of change.” Peevy encouraged collision repair industry professionals interested in collaborating on these exciting initiatives to contact him at Jeff. Peevy@i-car.com. A replay of the July CIECAST is available at https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=yAkM0nbzrAk The next CIECAST, scheduled for Aug. 19 at 2 p.m. EST, will feature Marc Friedman, chief strategy officer, and Shivani Govil, chief product officer, of CCC Intelligent Solutions, as they discuss “Activating AI and Network Connections.”
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ADAS: Here to Stay, Not Driving Away by Rebecca Barnabi, glassBYTEs.com
“One of the most important things we try to convey [about calibration training] is the best practice, knowing your environment and really what the manufacturer needs or what that system needs to calibrate,” said Emily Jackson, marketing director of Mygrant Glass, during a special ADAS session held during Auto Glass Week. Jackson said the company has eight hours a day to train each individual. George Lesniak, director of sales and training at Autel Automotive Intelligence USA, emphasized training as well. “There are so many important things when it comes to training, let alone ADAS training,” Lesniak said. “I guess the first thing is, ADAS training is not a one-and-done. It’s not something you do once, and you’re trained.” According to Lesniak, individuals continue to learn about ADAS even after the official training period
is complete. “The best practices are what help you perform proper and accurate calibrations,” he added. “It doesn’t matter what equipment you use. If you’re not following instructions to the letter and understanding why you’re performing the calibration, it’s hard to do it accurately.” Eric Newell, executive vice president of AirPro Diagnostics, said understanding systems and processes is also important for training. “And understand, more importantly, the why behind the calibration,” he said. Jackson cautioned installers should also be aware some systems are best suited to particular environments. “Do not purchase on price,” she said. Lesniak added owners and managers should not only ask themselves, “What should I buy?,” but also, “Should I buy?” “ADAS calibration is not right for everyone,” he said. “I’ve learned that the hard way by selling equip-
32 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
ment to people who should not have calibration equipment.” A company needs the technicians, location and equipment to perform calibrations properly. Chris Guiterrez, director of technology and innovation at Protech Automotive Solutions, agreed with the other panelists but said a prequel to training exists. “Know your audience, know where you’re at and know what you’re doing and know what you’re about to get into,” Guiterrez said. He asked audience members to describe themselves. Do they mainly install glass, mostly interact with customers or do they work with collision centers. “Your audiences are different. How you approach things is different. How you’re going to get into this whole thing is different,” he said. Jacques Navant, technical director for frogitout and Don’s Mobile Glass and chairperson of the Auto Glass Safety Council’s (AGSC) ADAS Calibration Committee, said the committee is plan-
ning CE courses for shop owners, fleet managers, technicians and insurance providers. “So we’ll be able to kind of take all the shade and shadows off of all things ADAS,” Navant said. “And really educate everyone involved.” Bob Beranek, president of Automotive Glass Consultants, began in the industry in 1973 as a tech and is the AGSC’s AGRSS Standards Committee chair. “Because ADAS is a major part of the automotive design of the future, we have to address it,” Beranek said “… we’re going to need to develop parts of our standard to address the issue.” Navant said the industry keeps hearing the future is now. His son is about to start driving, and he will be operating vehicles maintained to the standards set forth by the industry now. “But holistically as [an industry], we have a long way to go to catch up to the technology in these vehicles,” Newell said. See ADAS: Here to Stay, Page 35
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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.
Daily Release Meetings a Must for Successful Collision Repair Shops An Autobody News reader recently emailed me a question he had about daily release meetings at his shop. I always like hearing from shops because that’s often where I get ideas for this column. So let’s talk a little about release meetings: when they should be held, who should attend, what should be discussed. I want to start with the caveat that some people tell me they think release meetings are a waste of time. I disagree. I think they are critical for a shop’s success. And I suspect people who think that probably aren’t leading―or aren’t attending― good release meetings. When thinking about release meetings, I suggest thinking about a football game. At a football game, the play comes from the sidelines out to the quarterback on the field. The quarterback has 30 seconds to
get that play off. So the team huddles so the quarterback can tell everyone the play, and the huddle ends with everyone voicing an enthusiastic “Break!” That huddle is really what a release meeting is all about for a collision repair facility.
Mike Anderson said a daily release meeting gets the entire shop on the same page, just like a huddle for a football team
When I had my shops, we held a release meeting every single morning. My team was required to get to work by 7:30 a.m., and at 7:45 a.m.,
they had to be in uniform. That’s when the meeting began. Not at 7:50 a.m., not even at 7:47 a.m. It began at 7:45 a.m. Who was there? Everyone. The people who washed cars, the painters, the body techs, the parts manager, the estimators, the customer service reps. Everyone. Now, I will say I’m currently working with a shop that does $1 million a month in sales. For an organization of that size, it doesn’t make sense to have everyone come together for a single release meeting. But that company is divided into multiple teams, or “cells,” and each of those has its own release meeting with everyone on that team. In either case, the key purpose of the release meeting is to make sure everyone is on the same page about the vehicles scheduled to be delivered that day, or on either of the
next two days. So you’re looking out in advance three days. We’d discuss if there are any issues with any of those vehicles, in order to take a proactive rather than reactive approach. The parts guy might say, for example, “We have all the parts for these cars, but the taillight for Mrs. Smith’s Toyota won’t be here until 2 p.m. today.” We’d make sure the painters knew everything that needed to painted that day, and in what order we wanted them painted. We’d let them know what they would be painting tomorrow, so they’d know what to move on to if they got through today’s work early. We’d make sure the customer service reps had the information they needed in order to communicate with customers. We’d review any appointments coming in that day, and find out
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there if there was any equipment that needed repairs or service, or any facility maintenance work needed. We’d make sure any sublet work had been scheduled to be handled by vendors. We’d discuss any warranty or customer request items we needed to process. We’d talk about who was going to be out on vacation, and make sure their responsibilities were being covered. As the only time of day when everybody is together, it can be a good time to highlight if it was an employee’s birthday or work anniversary, and give them some highfives. In any case, try to end each meeting on a positive, enthusiastic note, just like the chant of “break” at the end of a huddle. Here’s another thing: I don’t think the release meeting should ever last more than 15 minutes. In my shop, we started at 7:45 a.m., and everyone knew we had to be done by 8 a.m. when we opened our doors for business. A couple of cautions: When I talk to people about their grievances about release meetings, two things
are the primary buzzkills. Those who show up on time don’t want to be left standing around, wasting their time, because whoever runs the meeting isn’t there. They also aren’t going to have much tolerance―nor should they―for a meeting leader who isn’t prepared. So in order to be prepared to lead your 7:45 a.m. release meeting tomorrow, you likely will need to have some other brief, smaller meetings throughout the day. I liked to have a meeting with some key employees right before or right after lunch to make sure we were still on track for the day. I also liked to meet with my paint team at the end of the day to see if everything got accomplished. If it didn’t, I could update their list for the next day before the release meeting. I’ve got a document I’d be happy to send you that includes a sample SOP for release meetings, and highlights the topics that should be covered. If you’d like a copy, just email my assistant Tiffany at tiffany @collisionadvice.com and put “release meeting document” in the subject line.
The Right Part Makes the Difference
Continued from Page 32
ADAS: Here to Stay Guiterrez added that not only does the collision repair industry need to catch up to technology in vehicles, “the customer is as naïve with what they have in their car like everybody else.” Nobody is ready for the technology coming out in vehicles right now, according to Guiterrez. Tara Taffera, AGRR editorial director, moderated the session, and asked the panelists what myths they would like to end. Newell’s choice was the myth that if a light does not come on in the dashboard warning of a problem in a car, nothing is wrong. Lesniak cited myths about liability. “If you worked on the car, you’re liable,” he said.
Jackson said the glass is not always the problem and warned, “Your ego is not always your amigo.” During a question-and-answer period, Taffera asked the panelists why a shop should not pursue ADAS. Newell said proper space and environment, as well as training, are necessary. “If you can’t do it correctly, don’t do it at all,” he said. Jackson said shops that want to cut corners should not pursue ADAS. “They should. Every shop should,” Beranek said. “It’s here, it’s part of us, it’s not going away,” Lesniak said. (C) 2021 by glassbytes.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. For more information contact www.glassbytes.com.
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Industry Insight with John Yoswick
—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
Why Collision Repair Shops, Insurers Often Disagree on Repair Plans
The Collision Industry Conference Another panelist, consultant and (CIC) Industry Relations Commit- former insurance executive Roger tee held a panel discussion this sum- Wright of Vector Squared, concurred with Ed Attanasio mer centered around a fundamental claims personnel often lag in their question: Why is there so often a technical knowledge as vehicle techdisconnect between auto body shops nology evolves. “In the 1970s, I started out [in and insurance companies during the repair planning stage, particularly the insurance industry] and I went to when it comes to procedures related Vale Tech and became a ‘three-week to advanced driver sys- wonder,’ and realized shortly therewithassistance Ed Attanasio tems (ADAS)? after I knew nothing,” Wright said. Michael Giarrizzo, CEO of “The collision repair shops trained DCR Systems, which operates eight me for the next 20 years. I went in as collision repair shops under partner- an insurance representative or indeships with dealers in four Eastern pendent appraiser and would listen states, sees training as the key issue to what they had to say and learn. I leading to the frequent lack of align- guess we’ve lost that, maybe.” with Ed Attanasio ment on repair plans between shops and insurers. Giarrizzo said OEM-certified shops like his continue to get significant amounts of training as vehicle complexity continues to Attanasio increase, with Ed but insurance claims personnel often aren’t getting that ongoing technical training. He equated it to a medical insurer questioning a surgeon. Oregon shop owner Ron Reichen said one “Someone handling a medical size-fits-all solutions don’t work because the claim may not have that same level time to scan and analyze trouble codes on two of education [as with the doctor], but they Stacey Phillips different brands of vehicles can vary widely have trust in that education,” Giarrizzo said. “Whether you’re up to That said, Wright said he can speed with it all or not, there’s got to understand insurance company rebe a trust level in whoever has gone sistance to what could be seen as out and invested in the education.” blanket position statements or pro Ron Reichen of Precision Body cedures from automakers. Wright with Stacey Phillips & Paint in Oregon agreed keeping said it was 2016 when he first saw up with vehicle technology is “a an automaker statement calling for challenge for us, and we’re con- all of its vehicles to be scanned after stantly training.” He said collision a collision. repairers “trying to get alignment “It didn’t designate a year or [with insurers], often find ourselves anything, just that all vehicles are with Stacey Phillips being the educators for the bill-pay- to be scanned,” Wright said. “If we er.” The shift to virtual claims settle- asked everybody in the audience ment doesn’t help, he said, because then, how many of those cars that it adds to the challenge of showing you repaired last week did you scan, or explaining what a vehicle re- it may have been maybe three or quires. four or five or one. Was it necessary He said he also sees a “one size to recall all those other cars because with Stacey Phillips fits all” approach that isn’t helpful. we didn’t do it right or safe? The time needed to scan a vehicle “No, the shop believed they and analyze the information and fixed the car properly, to OEM stanincorporate that into a repair plan dards, and all of a sudden we have might take 45 minutes on one make a bulletin that says we have to scan of vehicle and two hours on another, everything. That causes an insurer even on similar hits, Reichen said. some consternation. How can that
Social Media for Shops
SEMA Show Goes On
be? What happened between yesterday and today?” A seemingly sudden shift by an OEM can have real financial consequences, Wright said. “For even a medium-sized insurer that has 10,000 claims a day, if you throw a number out for pre- and post-scans, you come out with about $2.7 million a day in average increased costs. Per day,” Wright said. “They didn’t price that in. Now, don’t cry for the insurers. They’ll get this all priced in with the next rate increase. But in the meantime, which can be months or years, they’re losing $2.7 million a day. That’s real money to them. “So they push back a little bit, and say, ‘Do we need it on every car? Maybe the Saturn that’s in the parking lot that got hit by a shopping cart doesn’t need to be scanned.’ It’s not that we don’t want to fix a car
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36 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
right. But it creates a concern for us.” But Reichen argued neither shops nor insurers should be deciding how to repair a vehicle. “No one knows the vehicle better than the person who built the vehicle, so from a repairer’s position, if the manufacturer says we need to do it…I’m going to follow those repair procedures,” Reichen said. He noted an empty chair is now always placed on the stage at CIC to remind attendees of an important industry constituent not generally represented at the meetings: the consumer. That began after a Texas couple won a $42 million judgment against a dealership auto body shop after a jury found the shop’s failure to follow OEM repair procedures contributed to the couple’s severe injuries in that vehicle in a subseSee Often Disagree, Page 46
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Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, Training specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his work with first responders and advocacy for body shops and consumers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
with Toby Chess
Deciding When Used Parts are Appropriate in the Collision Repair Process Recently, I was training in a body be addressed when you install a used shop in the Los Angeles area and no- door: ticed a used door for a vehicle repair 1. De-trimming the used door for paint access (not included) in the technician’s stall. The tech complained he needed more time to fix the door than what was negotiated between the shop with David McClune and wrecking yard. When I finished testing, I pulled out my PDR lamp and highlighted all the damage (See Figs 1 & 2).
You will also need to check the glass for the correct tint. 6. If the door has an applique, you will need to remove the old one from the used door and order and install a new one, another not-included item.
California Autobody Association
Figure 5 shows a used front suspension received by a body shop. You will notice red coating on some of the parts. The shop was charged $60 for Magnafluxing the part. Let’s take a look at Magnafluxing and die checking. A Magnaflux test is a non-destructive testing (NDT) process for detecting surface and subsurface cracks in materials such as iron (Figs 6&7). Magnetic particle inspection can be
Year in Quotes with John Yoswick Fig. 1
used only on ferrous materials like iron and steel. The Magnaflux process does
Removing paint finish to com-
ply with your paint manufacturer’s Collision Repair Association of CA. warranty. Most company’s paint
with Richard Steffen warranty will only cover between
12 to 13 mils of paint thickness, a not-included item. Also, check the door for prior damage repair. Fig. 2 3. Prior damage to the door is I marked all the damage on now the responsibility of the body the door other than the large dent. I shop that sells the part to the cusasked the owner of the shop a cou- tomer. ple of questions about the door. The 4. Check for corrosion and apshop and owner negotiated a $50 re- plied seam sealers. duction in price to fix the large dent. 5. Check to see if vehicle glass is with John Yoswick I used that amount to represent the tempered or laminated. More vehicles are using laminated door glass shop’s hourly door rate. instead of tempered. (See Fig 4.) Here are the questions I asked: It should be noted laminated door 1. Who is paying for the primer, glass is thicker than tempered glass. blocking and sandpaper on the entire repaired door? 2. Since you are charging one hour to fix the door, who is paying the rest of the repair time? 3. Who is going to make up forHendricks the with Karyn lost billing time? 4. What about the cycle time delay fixing the used door?
There are a few items that need to
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not work on aluminum, but penetrating dyes are available to test aluminum parts in a similar way. Magnetic Particle Inspection is performed in four steps: • Induce a magnetic field in the specimen. • Apply magnetic particles to the part’s surface. • View the surface, looking for particle groupings that are caused by defects. • Demagnetize and clean the part.
testing technique, also known as liquid penetrant inspection (LPI), is a method used to locate surface breaking flaws such as cracks, porosity, laps, seams and other surface imperfections. The procedures for using these products are as follows: • Spray the part to checked with the cleaner SKC-S and wipe dry with a clean rag. (See Fig 9)
crack(s). • Follow the cleaning process with developer SKD-S2. Any crack(s) will be red in color. See Fig 10 for aluminum panel that was damaged and then repaired and welded. Notice all the cracks.
Looking at the suspension parts, the wrecking yard sprayed penetrant on the aluminum parts, but did not apply developer. They charged for Magnafluxing, but they used dye penetrant. They should have disassembled the parts when they did dye penetrant. They also should have checked the knuckle for cracks. Moving on to a used sub frame.
Dye penetrant can be used on steel as well as aluminum. Fig 11 shows dye penetrant being used on a steel brake rotor.
Dye penetrant inspection (DPI) is widely used to detect surface cracks. This non-destructive, three-part
• Apply Penetrant SKL-SP2 to the area that needs to be checked. Wait about 10 minutes for the product to wick into the crack(s). (See Fig 9) • Clean entire panel with a clean rag and cleaner. Do not spray cleaner directly to the panel, which will wash away the penetrant in the
There are several things that need to done to this part prior to purchase. First and foremost, you will need to check for square. This can be done with a tram gauge that has adapters. (See Figs 13 & 14) Since a subframe controls camber and caster, the part needs to be
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straight and symmetrical. If you want a printout verification, you could use the Metrix Wand, Car-OLiner Point X or Chiefs Velocity. This would be a non-included item.
Next you will need to check for corrosion. If it checks out, you need to clean and refinish the part and again, this would be a non-included item. If the part has replaceable bushings, you may want to replace and again, the labor and parts to replace would not be included. Let’s look at everyone’s favor used part, the used quarter panel.
When a used quarter panel arrives at the shop, the first thing that needs to be checked is the paint thickness and any body filler from previous repairs. Most shops will drill out the spot welds to remove the outer quarter panel. This is Honda/Acura’s position state-
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ment: “Preparation of the salvaged/recycled parts can negatively affect installation, which may have an adverse effect upon crash energy management and occupant safety in any subsequent collision. For example: If the factory spot welds are drilled out of a rear outer (quarter) panel leaving holes in the flanges, there may not be enough flange material remaining to attach the salvaged/ recycled part with the BRM-specified spot welds. This would require substitution of MAG plug welding to attach the panel. Substitution of BRM-specified welding methods is never approved by American Honda. Additionally, in cases where outer panels attach to certain ultra-high-strength steel (UHSS) structural parts, weld method substitution may weaken the UHSS parts.” What this statement means is a quarter panel should be removed from the inside out so the panel does not
have a drilled out metal. (See Fig. 16) Some more line items you would need on your estimate include: removing any attached parts, removing any foam from the used panel, removing all sealant and undercoating from mating surface areas, removing broken glass from flanges, removing finish thickness, repairing any holes from the removal process necessary for removal, repairing all hems on the used panel (including holes that occurred when removing the panel) before installation and finally disposing of the donor remains. When you add up all the associated costs, it may be more cost effective to use a new OEM panel. Furthermore, many dealers will price match. A used quarter panel will be a better option if: • Need additional attached part(s) and not just the outer panel. • It is more cost effective • OEM is backordered or not available See Used Parts, Page 47
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Generating More Profit in Your Auto Body Shop with Windshield Repair by Stacey Phillips
When Richard Campfield was looking into starting a retail windshield repair business 35 years ago, he conducted some direct marketing to determine if it was worth pursuing. When he approached consumers with a chip or stone break, the typical response was, “It has been there for years; give me your card.” However, a consumer with a long crack asked if it could be fixed immediately.
Campfield, founder of Ultra Bond, opened a mobile service in 1986 focused on windshield crack repair and fixing the long cracks and chips that weren’t being addressed. At the time, there was not much information or technology about how and when to repair cracks. He began by trial and error and field testing followed by lab testing, to find out what it took to meet the same federal safety standard (FMVSS 205) as a new windshield and confirm the safety and efficacy of the field tests. He kept explicit details on every invoice and eventually developed his own windshield repair criterion, tools, resins and methods. In 1990, he began manufacturing and selling the tools, resins and kits to repair long cracks and chips. During his career, he has been granted 14 windshield repair patents. Since then, new vehicles have been introduced with an increasing amount of technology and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), such as lane departure warning, collision avoidance alert and heated wipers and windshields. These systems may use lidar, radar, cameras, sensors and other devices. As a result, Campfield said replacing
automotive glass is not as straightforward as it once was and the cost has tripled. Campfield recently teamed up with one of his competitors, Korey Gobin, sales manager at Delta Kits, to share information on how collision repairers can conduct windshield repairs in the age of ADAS and generate more profit in their facilities. Their presentation was held during Auto Glass Week 2021 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Over three days, a wide range of presenters discussed current trends and issues in regard to automotive glass repair and replacement. Step one, according to Gobin, is to know yourself. “Know who you are,” he said. “Know your value and what you bring to the table. A lot of people forget that.” With the addition of ADAS features in new vehicles, Gobin said there are opportunities now available with windshield repair and replacement, and highly recommended repairers consider generating more with what they already have. For those considering adding or increasing windshield repair in their auto body shops, Gobin said it is a simple and easy process that takes about 15 minutes. In addition, windshield repair has very low overhead and costs approximately $1 or less in supplies. “We all know that time is money and time is very valuable,” he said. “If you’re not doing windshield repair, you should ask yourself, ‘Why not?’” Three Ways to Generate More Profit Gobin offered three ways to generate more profit with windshield repair: word of mouth, creating a referral program and what he referred to as “old-school” methods. The best business card, according to Gobin, is word of mouth. “If you do a good job, someone is going to tell somebody,” he said. Therefore, he stressed the importance of being very vocal and letting existing customers know the business’s services. “We tend to think that everyone
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knows the services we offer, but a lot of people actually don’t,” said Gobin. “It’s your job to let existing customers know the services you offer, windshield repair in particular.” Many customers also don’t understand what is involved in a windshield repair and the value of doing it, so Gobin recommended taking the time to explain.
“Instead of assuming, actually state what windshield repair is and the actual value you bring them,” said Gobin. This includes letting customers know it is easy to do and won’t take much time, and they can save money having the windshield repaired rath-
er than replaced. Another way to generate more profit in an auto body shop with windshield repair is by creating a referral program. This involves offering customers a giveaway or reward for recommending the business to someone. “Your customers have a network they know and those are potential customers for you,” said Gobin. “It’s a numbers game; the more people you reach, the more potential customers you have, which could help generate more revenue for you.” He suggested being creative when coming up with an incentive to refer someone to the auto body shop. Examples include offering a discount on the next purchase, a free product, paying for a related product and/or a bonus upgrade. Some businesses are also finding success using “old-school” methods, such as cold calling and partnering with other companies. Gobin suggested reaching out to high-volume companies in high-traffic areas that
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deal with vehicles, such as car dealerships, lube shops and car washes. After explaining the value the business can offer to them and their customers, Gobin recommended aligning with them. “Be alert and aware of what’s out there and work with them,” said Gobin. “Having these types of businesses potentially offer or mention your business for windshield repair doesn’t take away from their existing business… and can help generate more revenue.” Campfield recalled securing this type of business relationship at a carwash in 2012. When he asked customers about chips in their windshields, he received the same response he did when first opening his business in 1986: “It has been there for years.” He began telling potential customers they have already paid for the repair in their insurance policy instead of saying it was free. “The word ‘free’ often brings up skepticism, so that got their attention,” said Campfield. “I found a way to say it more effectively and they seem to be more susceptive to getting a repair.” About half of Campfield’s local retail auto glass repair income for decades has come from windshield cracks. “Even though it is about onethird of our business, it is half the income because the amount charged for a crack is higher than that of a chip,” he said. Through his extensive experience repairing and replacing windshields over the years, Campfield has found the efficacy of fixing cracks is
there. “Structurally, it’s the most superior repair you can do,” he said. The resin for chips is limited to thin, low viscosity resin, whereas the resin used in cracks with the proper tools can be 10 to 100 times thicker. “When a consumer comes in with a chip, they say, ‘I don’t want it to crack.’ When they have a crack, they say, “I don’t want to replace it,’” he said. In either case, Campfield said always be up front with customers. “Your customers deserve respect, to be told the truth and to be given their options on whether the windshield is repairable or not,” he said. In 2007, Campfield helped create the American National Standard Institute (ANSI)―Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard (ROLAGS). This standard has been updated in 2014 and is currently being updated again. It can be used to evaluate damages on laminated auto glass, aid in the decision to repair or replace the glass and codify the current best practices of laminated auto glass repair. Campfield said the importance of having a National (ANSI) Standard is two-fold. “First and foremost, it is to prevent consumers from being misled into unnecessary replacements,” he said. Campfield gave the example of being told a crack cannot be repaired if it is longer than a dollar bill or 6 inches. “This is not true,” he said. “The ROLAGS is 14 inches, not 6 inches.”
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shields surveyed, there were 767 cracks and 2,202 stone breaks/chips. Campfield said windshields are the most frequent auto insurance claim in the U.S. and the recalibration of ADAS has increased both the number of claims and claim costs. “Insurers favor repairs over replacements and so do consumers,” he said. For auto body shops looking to make more money, Campfield highly recommends adding windshield repair to their businesses. Gobin agreed. “It’s best to educate your customer on what windshield repair is and the benefits of it,” he said. “Windshield repair restores the structural integrity of the windshield, retains the original factory seal [which avoids leaks], enhances the cosmetic appearance of the windshield and protects the environment by keeping laminated glass out of the landfills.” For more information, email Rich Campfield at rich@ultrabond. com or visit www.ultrabond.com, or email Korey Gobin at kgobin@ deltakits.com or visit www.deltakits. com.
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ASE Presents Chairman’s Scholarship The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) has awarded the ASE Chairman’s Scholarship for the 2021-22 academic year to Brock Voegele of Bismarck, ND. The ASE Chairman’s Scholarship recognizes the strong technical skills and foundational knowledge required to support the collision repair industry as an entry-level technician. The ASE chairman is a voluntary leadership position, and the scholarship recognizes and honors the dedication of the ASE chairman to the ad-
Second, he said it requires windshield repair manufacturers and sellers to lab test their products to ensure repairs meet visual, durability and mechanical strength restoration. This helps makes sure businesses buying windshield repair kits, tools and resins would know they were safe to use on their customers’ windshields. Some cameras have built-in windshields that must be calibrated after a replacement so they operate properly. Currently, Campfield said there is no evidence any type of repair under the ROLAGS has caused problems with ADAS. “However, to be on the safe side, the Auto Glass Safety Council is developing the ROLAGS II to address if any of the break types at certain distances from the camera[s] will cause any alteration to any ADAS functions,” he said. Campfield shared the results of surveys he has conducted over the years that demonstrate the size of this untouched market. Parking lot surveys of windshield damage from 12 states showed out of 5,523 vehicle wind-
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Where Film and Auto Body Shops Collide by Ed Attanasio
A few years back, a British company produced a comedy series about life in an auto body shop that dealt with all of the crazy and wacky things that can happen in this industry. The characters they created were classic. First, there was the boisterous semi-retired owner who was well-known for randomly dropping in to yell and throw things. Then, there was the manager who spends all of his time hiding from the owner while taking it out on the shop’s employees. The techs are an interesting group, all in their 40s and all working on flat rate, so it’s a dog-eat-dog environment. The painters are all spraying solvent and constantly lobbying for waterborne, and everyone there calls the front office “Drama Central.” Imagine “Taxi” meets “Cheers” with a lot of soap opera thrown in. Any of this sound familiar? It might just work, but getting any TV series greenlit in today’s
Hollywood can be difficult, though many of the newer streaming channels―Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Peacock, etc.―are constantly searching
In 2007, a production company created a sitcom, “American Body Shop,” but after one short season of nine episodes, it was not renewed. Credit: IMDb
for new ideas and hungry for fresh content. Maybe a sitcom about the collision repair industry could be
done in an animated series, like “Family Guy” or “The Simpsons”? In 2007, a production company created a series, “American Body Shop,” for a one-season run of nine episodes. The storyline featured Desert Body & Custom, an auto body shop in Phoenix, AZ, described on IMDb as “the professional home for a bunch of twisted (and bent and sometimes, smashed) characters, including Sam, the owner; Rob, a technician whose solutions are usually much more complicated than any problem; Johnny, a displaced (and very kinky) Brooklynite; Tim, who has a penchant for inappropriate pranks; Luis, a Peruvian immigrant who feigns a lack of English to mask a mysterious personality; and Denise, the harried receptionist who can barely tolerate her coworkers.” In one of the first episodes, the shop’s owner, Sam, decides to sell the business and pursue his dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail. In another one, the shop fails an EPA inspection and is threatened with a potential shutdown.
Eventually, poor ratings shut this series down, even though it had some excellent acting, notably from Nick Offerman, who went on to fame starring in “Parks & Recreation.” The creator, Sam Greene, broke all the rules by filming the pilot and then sending it around to the networks, which rarely works. But in this case, it did―at least for one season. Body shops have appeared in a lot of movies. In most cases, nefarious and highly illegal things happen there. There were body shops in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Mad Max” (“You bend it, we mend it.”), “Corvette Summer” and “Christine”―I almost forgot Big Pussy had a shop in “The Sopranos.” In the Canadian series, “The Trailer Park Boys,” the main characters start a body shop, Success Auto Body & Repair, in an episode titled “Countdown to Liquor Day.” After being released from prison, the boys start a body shop, figuring they learned collision repair while in prison. But, as we all know, it’s not
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that easy and the Trailer Park Boys failed terribly. Film producer Jose Herrera of Mio Productions in Silicon Valley has an impressive resume in film that includes producing award-winning films. He believes a body shop would be an outstanding setting for either a reality show or a sitcom, and that’s why he is working on a screenplay and a treatment for a dramatic series. “The environment in a busy body shop, with a whole slew of characters who all have their own agendas, is perfect for TV,” Herrera said. “The David vs. Goliath relationship between the insurance companies and the collision repair industry is ideal for the screen because every protagonist needs at least one villain. Then, of course, you have the customers, each with their own backstory as well.” Herrera knows he wants to depict a body shop as accurately as he can, so he started hanging out in shops until the pandemic hit. “I want to pick up the vibe and meet these people. Every shop needs that one old technician who is
fighting new technology and another younger one who is excited about doing things a little more out-ofthe-box,” Herrera said. “New technology has changed the industry on many levels and a lot of shops are struggling to catch up, so that is another angle we want to include in both of our concepts.” Has Herrera thought of any particular actors or actresses to be cast in his proposed series? “We won’t have a huge budget, so we will probably be going with some new, unproven people,” he said. “In a perfect world, I’d love to have someone like Matt Damon or Matthew McConaughey as the shop owner, Bill Hader or Jim Carrey as technicians, Steve Buscemi as the painter and Melissa McCarthy running the front office. That would be awesome!”
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Mondragon Joins CIECA Board of Trustees Ed Mondragon, a property and casualty (P&C) claims consultant in State Farm’s Consulting Services department, joined CIECA’s board of trustees effective immediately. In his new role, Mondragon will support CIECA’s mission to develop and promote electronic data integration standards. A State Farm representative has been involved on the CIECA Board of Trustees since the organization’s inception in 1994. This is Mondragon’s first opportunity to sit on an industry board. He has attended and participated in CIECA meetings over his career and said he is looking forward to helping CIECA fulfill its mission and vision. As the vehicle and collision industry continues to evolve, Mondragon said there has been and will continue to be considerable advancement in technology. Source: CIECA
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quent accident. “As repairers, that looms over us every day,” Reichen said, saying that’s why a shop can’t decide a called-for procedure doesn’t have to be done. “Common sense might say it doesn’t. But we also have to come back and weigh that liability exposure if we don’t do it.” Giarrizzo was among those during the discussion to suggest insurers should voice their concerns about OEM repair procedures to the automakers, not shops. “I could agree that some of the manufacturers’ guidelines or procedures seem like they are there to cover [the OEM’s] liability, but that’s a discussion between the manufacturer who builds the car and the folks that insure the car,” Giarrizzo said. “As a repairer, you have no choice but to follow those guidelines, period. If those guidelines need to be changed or have some flexibility, that’s a discussion for a room in Detroit or wherever
that car is built.” Wright didn’t disagree. “We [as insurers] need to trust the shop because they’re the expert. They’re the one repairing the car. They’re the one guaranteeing the repair,” Wright said. “I think the insurers need to work with the OEMs a little more in understanding the engineering behind [the procedures]. Is there really engineering that says we have to replace the rack and pinion on every single car in an accident, even when they don’t define ‘accident’?” Wright noted insurers worked with GM when the Corvette C6 came out. “We wanted bolt-on panels. We wanted sectional front and rear rails,” he said. “They wanted a low insurance rate [for the vehicle] so they put those things on that car. We worked together. “We need to work on getting the insurers and the OEMs in a room together to talk about the engineering rational for doing some of the things they [call for] so we can protect the collision repair shop. They have to fix the car right.”
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Used Parts You should understand if a vehicle is still under warranty, that warranty is still enforced except for the used part. That warranty falls in your lap, possibly the insurance company and/or the parts
vendor. If an attached part fails due to the used part, that part would also be the responsibility of the repair shop. You will also need to inform your customer a used part was installed on their vehicle.
site and it should also be considered when ordering that used part: “Additionally, Audi does not support the use of parts that have been removed or salvaged from another vehicle that was previously involved in a collision. These parts are compromised by being exposed to weathering, rust, environmental damage and heat damage from welders used to remove the parts from vehicles that were previously involved in a collision. These elements can cause Audi’s high-strength steel, aluminum and carbon fiber vehicle unibody parts to lose their structural integrity, which can cause the vehicle to not perform properly if involved in a future collision.” I believe used parts are necessary in the collision repair process, but you need to do your due diligence when you make the decision to replace an OEM new part with that used part. www.autobodynews.com
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1,000-Plus Attend ASE Instructors Training Conference More than 1,000 instructors, presenters and industry guests from across the country participated in the ASE Instructors Training Conference held virtually July 26-30. The sold-out event featured training classes for high school and post-secondary instructors from automotive, truck and collision repair programs. “The ASE Instructors Training Conference is the largest training conference of its kind in the nation and this year’s event was a huge success,” said Mike Coley, president, ASE Education Foundation. “Because ASE continues to set the standard for offering innovative and informative resources for automotive educators, we had instructors from across the country participate in their choice of virtual sessions. “We want to thank our conference sponsors ASE, Advance Auto Parts, asTech Training, Daimler Truck, Goodheart-Willcox, Isuzu Commercial Truck and Snap-on, along with all our other industry partners, all of whom
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gave exceptional presentations and provided valuable training that instructors could not receive anywhere else.” Conference participants were able to view sessions in three different tracks: auto, collision and truck, each track offering more than 20 hours of technical update training. Those who registered for the conference by July 30 and were unable to attend any live sessions can view the recordings through Aug. 31. All live and recorded sessions viewed will count toward the ASE Education Foundation training requirement and will be shown on individuals’ training certificates. To view the conference schedule, visit https://aseeducationfoundation.org/events/ase-instructor-training-conference To log in to view recorded training sessions and download handouts, visit https://www.eventsquid. com/event.cfm?id=13050 Source: ASE
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Ford Statements on Electric Vehicle Sales and White House Announcement Ford Motor Company Executive Chair Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley released the following statements on Ford’s electric vehicle sales and the White House’s fuel economy announcement. “It has been said that this generation is the first to feel the impact of climate change, and the last that can do something about it. I am proud that Ford is leading the electric revolution and standing for stronger standards that protect people and the environment as we progress towards a zero-emissions transportation future,” said Bill Ford. “Ford has always been a leader in sustainability and our employees continue their tremendous efforts to leave our children and our grandchildren with a cleaner planet.” “Ford is on an ambitious trajectory to lead the electrification revolution---from being the only full-line American automaker to side with California in favor of stricter greenhouse gas emissions, to electrifying our most iconic and popular vehicles, like the F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit,” said Farley. “Customer demand has exceeded
our expectations. So, we expect to be well positioned to have fully electric vehicles account for 40% to 50% of our U.S. sales by 2030. We’re counting on strong cooperation among the Biden Administration, Congress and state and local governments, and are doing our part by developing high-quality, zero-emission vehicles that customers want.”
Background Ford is America’s No. 1 auto manufacturer and the only one to stand with California in support of stronger vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards during the Trump Administration. Ford believes making great vehicles for its customers, protecting the planet and maintaining a strong business are complementary goals. That’s why Ford has committed to investing more than $30 billion in
vehicle electrification through 2025, and previously said it plans on at least 40% of its global sales volume being EVs by 2040. Ford is proud to be the first fullline automaker to bring all-electric full-size pickup trucks and commercial vans to customers in the U.S. The E-Transit will be available to customers later this year, the F-150 Lightning will be by mid-2022, and both will be assembled in the U.S. by UAW workers. Ford is also proud to lead on sustainability. It is committed to being fully carbon neutral worldwide by 2050, and Ford is the only full-line American automaker to advocate for one national standard to set the country on a path to a zero-emissions transportation future in alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement. Ford assembles more vehicles and employ more hourly workers in the U.S. than any other automaker. With dealerships in every state, and more than 5,300 U.S.-based supplier sites, Ford supports more than 1 million American jobs. Source: Ford
4 Added to I-CAR Board The I-CAR Board of Directors on July 29 announced the election of four individuals to fill open board seats, including two members returning for a second three-year term. The board’s election process concluded July 14 and new board members will assume their roles immediately following the Aug. 25 I-CAR Board of Directors meeting. The newly elected members of the I-CAR BOD are Barry Dorn, vice president of Dorn’s Body & Paint, Inc., representing the collision repair segment; and Jennifer Goforth, director of global aftersales mechanical engineering for General Motors Co., representing the OEM segment. Re-elected to second threeyear terms are Chris Evans, P&C auto claim consultant for State Farm, representing the insurance segment; and Sandee Lindorfer, auto claims design director for Allstate Insurance Co., representing the insurance segment. Source: I-CAR
Repairify Awarded Patent for Remote Automotive Diagnostics Technology Repairify, Inc. d/b/a asTech, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC, announced July 22 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has awarded Repairify patent serial no. 16/202,642 for remote automotive diagnostics. The patent is directed to aspects of Repairify’s industry-disrupting technology, including systems and methods that allow ASE technicians to use a mobile device to read a vehicle’s identification number (VIN), transmit the VIN to a diagnostic database and assist in determining whether an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) diagnostic tool—or aftermarket tool—is required for proper diagnosis and/ or repair of the vehicle. As a result, automotive technicians can accurately select the correct OEM and/ or aftermarket remote diagnostic tools for the effective and safe diagnosis of vehicles. “asTech’s technology is an industry game changer by providing unique functionality to access vital OEM and aftermarket remote diagnostics data via VINs, and this
newest patent will help us in protecting that technology,” said Cris Hollingsworth, president of Repairify, Inc. “ASE technicians will be empowered to quickly access the correct automotive tools to accurately and safely address unique vehicle functionalities via diagnostics and repair data. This newest patent to be issued will be another competitive strategic step for accelerating our solutions and offerings across the entire automotive ecosystem.” The patent is expected to be directed at aspects of Repairify’s technology that serve as the brains of a revolutionary solution asTech is launching to the automotive aftermarket industry later this summer. The product will accurately address vehicles’ OEM and aftermarket remote diagnostic needs for three important automotive repair sectors: collision, mechanical and glass. These innovations further assist Repairify to expand and accelerate its proprietary tools, technology and service offerings across the Americas and Europe. Source: Repairify
48 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Tesla Superchargers to Adopt Time-Based Pricing for Non-Tesla EVs by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati
Just recently, CEO Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla’s Supercharger Network would be opened to other electric vehicles later this year. More details about this upcoming initiative were shared in the second-quarter earnings call, including the process involved for non-Tesla EVs to access a Supercharger station, as well as the pricing for the service. According to Musk, owners of non-Tesla electric vehicles would have to download the Tesla App to access the Supercharger Network. Users would then have to indicate which stall they would be charging in, before plugging in their electric vehicles and initiating the charging session. Musk noted this Tesla App-based system would likely work with any other manufacturer’s cars. The CEO noted, however, pricing for the Supercharger Network among non-Tesla EVs would be time-based, especially among vehicles not designed to charge as rapidly as Tesla’s vehicles. Peak and off-
peak rates would be implemented as well. “There will be time constraints,” Musk said. “If the charge rate is super slow, then somebody will be charged more because the biggest constraint at the Supercharger is time, how occupied is the stall. And we’ll also be smarter with how we charge for electricity at the Supercharger.
“So rush hour charging will be more expensive than off-hours is charging because there are times when the Superchargers are empty and times when they’re jam-packed. And so it makes sense to have some time-based discrimination.” Opening the Supercharger Net-
work in China and Europe would likely be simple enough, Musk noted, as EV charging connectors are pretty standardized in these regions. This is not the case in North America, where Tesla uses its own proprietary connector. As such, non-Tesla EVs in North America would have to use an adapter. Musk then noted Tesla Supercharger adapters would be available for purchase, with some being offered in actual Supercharger Stations. “In Europe and China and most parts of the world, it’s the same connector for everyone, so this is a fairly easy thing to do,” Musk said. “We developed our own connector, which in my opinion is actually the best connector, it’s small and light and looks good and above standard. So an adapter is needed to work for EVs in North America. But people could buy this adapter. And we anticipate having it available at the Superchargers as well if people don’t sort of steal
them or something.” While numerous Tesla owners have expressed their reservations about the Supercharger Network being opened to other electric cars, Senior VP for Powertrain and Energy Engineering Andrew Baglino noted the initiative would likely pave the way for an even more aggressive expansion of the rapid charging infrastructure. Musk agreed with this point, noting Tesla has to grow the Supercharger Network more than ever before. “Obviously, for the Supercharger Network to be useful to other car companies’ cars, we need to grow the network faster than we’re growing vehicle output, which is not easy,” Musk said. “We’re growing vehicle output at a hell of a rate. So Superchargers need to grow faster than vehicle output. “This is a lot of work for the Superchargers team, but it is only useful in the grand scheme of things. Just only useful to the public if we’re able to grow faster than Tesla vehicle output. So that is our goal.”
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GM Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Airbag Failures Kill People by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com
A GM class action lawsuit alleges the sensing and diagnostic modules prevent the airbags and seat belt pretensioners from deploying in certain frontal crashes. According to the class action lawsuit, at least 1,298 people were killed or injured in frontal collisions in which the airbags failed to deploy in GM vehicles. The lawsuit alleges that statistic is based on information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 1999 to the present. According to the class action: “The ‘Class Vehicles’ herein include all vehicles in the United States that contain the SDM [sensing and diagnostic module] Calibration Defect that were (1) manufactured, sold, distributed, or leased by Defendants or (2) manufactured, sold, distributed, or leased by Old GM and purchased or leased by Plaintiff or a Class member after July 10, 2009.” The General Motors class action lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs
Jamar Chism (2012 Chevrolet Traverse), Ashley DeGruy (2014 Chevrolet Equinox), Kissy Elliott (2014 Chevrolet Traverse), William Garrison (2014 Chevy Silverado), Matthew Mastracci (2014 Chevy Silverado), Arthur Ray (2010 GMC Sierra 2500), Mark Silver (2014 Chevrolet 1500 Express) and Kenith Yates (2014 Chevrolet Silverado LD.) None of the plaintiffs allege their GM vehicles experienced any airbag or seat belt failures. But those plaintiffs allege millions of vehicles are dangerous to drive because the airbags and seat belt pretensioners can fail right when they are needed the most. The plaintiffs claim the airbag control units are defective, components GM refers to as sensing and diagnostic modules. The GM sensing and diagnostic module commands the airbags to deploy and the seat belts to tighten when the control unit senses a crash. The GM vehicles are allegedly equipped with airbag control unit software calibrated to prevent the airbags and seat belt preten-
sioners from deploying 45 milliseconds after a crash has begun. The lawsuit says this is a serious problem where a crash involves multiple impacts and the airbags fail to properly deploy. The lawsuit alleges occupants will never be protected in certain GM frontal crashes that involve multiple impacts. The class action provides an example where a vehicle first hits a curb and then veers and hits a tree, or a vehicle first hits a speed bump and then crashes into the vehicle in front of it. These are “concatenated” crashes which involve multiple inputs for the sensing and diagnostic modules to detect during a crash sequence. “In concatenated crashes, the first part of the incident (hitting a curb) sends the SDM into its ‘wake up’ or ‘stand by’ mode. The initial curb hit does not trigger the airbag or tighten the seatbelt, but the SDM ‘wakes up’ to confirm whether further irregular signals will follow and indicate a need for the seatbelts or airbags,” the GM class action lawsuit alleges.
Hyundai Trunk Latch Recall: Emergency Releases May Fail by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com
A Hyundai trunk latch recall has been announced for more than 348,000 vehicles because people could get trapped in the trunks without access to working internal emergency release latches. The 2017-2018 Hyundai Sonata, 2016-2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, 2018-2020 Hyundai Accent and 2016-2017 Hyundai Azera trunk latches may become damaged. The damage can prevent the emergency trunk release latch to fail, a violation of federal safety standards. The Hyundai trunk latch pawl can contract and crack when exposed to high ambient (room) temperatures, causing damage to the pawl and the inability to use the emergency trunk release. Hyundai says the material used to manufacture the pawl isn’t strong enough to handle high temperatures. It’s possible a Hyundai owner will know of a problem if the trunk has trouble opening. In June, Hyundai was contacted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asking the
automaker to look into a complaint from the owner of a 2017 Hyundai Sonata. The customer reported the trunk wouldn’t open and Hyundai learned the trunk latch assembly pawl had fractured. Hyundai had opened an investigation in 2017 after increased claims were filed in high temperature regions of the Middle East. The trunk latch assembly’s pawl material and shape was updated to better withstand the heat damage and fractures of the pawls. Hyundai dealers will replace the trunk latch assemblies once owner recall notices are mailed Oct. 1. The new trunk latch assembly pawl has improved material increasing its resistance to heat damage. Additionally, the new pawl contains steel reinforcement to prevent damage and fractures. Owners of Hyundai Sonata, Sonata Hybrid, Accent and Hyundai Azera vehicles may call 855-371-9460. Hyundai’s reference number for this recall is 208. In addition to the Hyundai trunk latch recall, Kia recalled more than 253,000 vehicles for the same problem.
50 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
The GM airbags and seat belt pretensioners can allegedly only be triggered “within 45 milliseconds of a first, irregular signal. If a second signal occurs after 45 milliseconds, the SDM purposefully, by design, disregards signals that would otherwise trigger airbag deployment.” This, according to the class action lawsuit, results in a “dead zone” beginning just 45 milliseconds into a crash after which occupants are completely vulnerable. General Motors has recalled millions of vehicles due to problems with the sensing and diagnostic modules, including a recall of 4 million vehicles in 2016. The modules also caused another recall of about 88,000 GMC vehicles in 2018. The GM class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan: Chism, et al., v. General Motors, LLC, et al. The plaintiffs are represented by the Miller Law Firm, P.C., Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, Baron & Budd, P.C., and Birka-White Law Offices.
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Toyota Debuts Mobile Collision Assistance Service Toyota and Lexus drivers now have a new assistance service available to them in the moments following a collision. Collision Assistance, a just-intime support service, is now available to drivers within the Toyota and Lexus mobile app. The feature within the Toyota and Lexus Owners Apps offers guided instructions to help drivers navigate a post-collision repair process.
Toyota worked with CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc., a leading SaaS platform for the multi-trillion-dollar P&C insurance economy, to develop Collison Assistance. The CCC mobile technology combines guided accident documentation and access to claims and management services to assist drivers following a collision. Toyota transmits accident and vehicle telematics data to CCC to initiate the program.
Collision Assistance is designed to let the customer choose how they’d like to handle the claim and repair processes, providing convenience and safety while also ensuring owners are informed about the process through completion. “Safety for our customers is paramount,” said Steve Basra, Toyota Motor North America, Connected Technologies group vice president. “The minutes following an accident can be critical---drivers are often confused and uncertain about what to do. By incorporating Collision Assistance into our owner app, we can offer help when it is needed. We aim to deliver innovative features to our drivers. With Collision Assistance, we’re offering additional safety and peace of mind.” Collision Assistance is an extension of the Safety Connect suite of features available to Toyota and Lexus owners who have an active subscription or are within the trial period of select 2018 model year or newer Toyota and Lexus vehicles. After the driver has confirmed they are safe and without injury, the Collision Assistance app can be used to guide drivers to collect important
accident documentation, connect them to a network of auto insurers for optional claim submission and provide search capabilities to help locate a collision repair facility. The feature will prompt drivers through the entire process, from data gathering and insurance claim management all the way through collision repair. “Toyota is taking a comprehensive approach to post-collision management, and we’re proud to support its mission to deliver world-class safety experiences to drivers,” said Andreas Hecht, CCC’s OEM Services Group SVP. “By using CCC’s technology to establish a personal, near-real time connection with drivers, automakers can positively impact the often-stressful post-collision experience.” The Collision Assistance Feature is made available to Toyota and Lexus owners through the Owners App. Toyota and Lexus Owners App downloads are available for iPhone or Android smartphones. To learn more about Collision Assistance, visit Toyota USA on YouTube. Source: Toyota, CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc.
General Motors Names Global Leads
General Motors announced the appointment of Kent Helfrich as vice president, Global Research and Development, chief technology officer and president, GM Ventures; and Omar Vargas as vice president and head of Global Public Policy. Both appointments were effective Aug. 1. Helfrich is currently executive director, Advanced Technology and Partnerships. He replaces Matt Tsien, who has elected to retire after 45 years with the company. Vargas was most recently senior vice president and chief Government Affairs officer for 3M Company. Vargas held multiple government affairs positions at 3M between 2017 and 2021, including being named senior vice president and chief Government Affairs officer in April 2021. Source: GM
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U.S. EV Buyers Will Get $7,500 Tax Credit With a Few Catches by Joey Klender, Teslarati
The U.S. electric vehicle tax credit is one of the most notable advantages of purchasing a battery-electric car. The $7,500 check sent to buyers by the federal government incentivizes the purchase of sustainable passenger vehicles, so long as the company you are buying from has not sold 200,000 electrified units, which disqualifies Tesla and General Motors from the program. However, the reintroduction of the EV tax credit is being discussed as the bipartisan infrastructure bill is moving closer to implementation, but there are a few extra stipulations that will disqualify many vehicles and many buyers from receiving the incentive check, based on the cost of the car and the buyer’s annual income. A new amendment passed by the U.S. Senate on Aug. 10 will require the cost of the vehicle to be under $40,000. Otherwise, the car will be disqualified from the incentive program. Additionally, consumers who make more than $100,000 annually will have to say goodbye to receiving that check.
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As U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska said, “Everyday Americans are living paycheck to paycheck because of the sharp rise in costs due to #Bideninflation. We shouldn’t be subsidizing luxury vehicles for the rich using money from hard-working taxpayers.” The amendment was passed in a vote of 51-48, with the difference being three Democratic senators who voted in favor of the stipulations: Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, according to ArsTechnica. The rollout of electric vehicles is supported by President Joe Biden, who attempted to increase EV sales goals of GM, Ford and Stellantis in the U.S. to 40% by 2030. Instead, each automaker pledged to a 50% margin following Biden’s executive order, supporting the highly-anticipated release of more electrified models from these three legacy automakers. The infrastructure bill has set aside $7.5 billion for EV charging infrastructure, which many automakers, including Tesla, will qualify for as long as multiple car companies can use the chargers.
Earlier this year, a $12,500 EV tax credit was discussed. The new amount and requirements would have removed the cap limit on how many vehicles could be sold by the manufacturer before the credit would disappear. A part of the Clean Energy for America Bill, the credit would apply to cars that were less than $80,000. The full $12,500 would be earned in increments: $7,500 for the electric vehicle, an additional $2,500 for vehicles assembled within the U.S. and another potential $2,500 for cars built at production facilities whose workers are members of or are represented by a labor union. The sub-$40,000 requirement for the EV tax credit would eliminate many vehicles from the running, including all but one of Tesla’s cars. Only the Model 3 SR+, starting at $39,990, would qualify for this incentive. It is unknown how the $40,000 price point was used to determine what vehicles should and should not qualify for the incentive, but according to Kelley Blue Book, the average cost of a new vehicle in the U.S. is $40,957.
Wilbert Nominated for ARA Committee The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) on July 26 announced professional automotive recycler Eric Wilbert of Wilbert’s U-Pull-It, LLC in Williamson, NY, has been nominated to join the association’s Executive Committee as secretary for 2021-22. Wilbert’s U-Pull-It was started as a one-man collision shop in 1952 by the late Arthur Wilbert. The family and company have been members of ARA since 1976, and now operate five locations in New York. Eric Wilbert is a third-generation professional automotive recycler who began his career with Wilbert’s at the original full-service location in Webster, NY. Wilbert will be formally confirmed by the ARA Board of Directors and Membership during the ARA’s 78th Annual Convention and Exposition, taking place Nov. 10-13 in Dallas, TX. Source: Automotive Recyclers Association
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FTC Issues Rule to Deter Rampant Made in USA Fraud The Federal Trade Commission finalized a new rule that will crack down on marketers who make false, unqualified claims that their products are Made in the USA. Under the rule, marketers making unqualified Made in USA claims on labels should be able to prove that their products are “all or virtually all” made in the U.S. Commissioner Rohit Chopra was joined by Chair Lina Khan and Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter in a statement, which noted the rule will especially benefit small businesses that rely on the Made in USA label, but lack the resources to defend themselves from imitators. The new rule codifies a broader range of remedies by the FTC, including the ability to seek redress, damages, penalties and other relief from those who lie about a Made in USA label. It will enable the FTC for the first time to seek civil penalties of up to $43,280 per violation of the rule. While stiff penalties are not appropriate in every instance, they send a strong signal to would-be violators that they abuse the Made in USA label at their peril. “The final rule provides substantial benefits to
the public by protecting businesses from losing sales to dishonest competitors and protecting purchasers seeking to purchase American-made goods,” said Chopra. “More broadly, this long-overdue rule is an important reminder that the commission must do more to use the authorities explicitly authorized by Congress to protect market participants from fraud and abuse.” In 1994, after the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect, Congress enacted legislation authorizing the FTC to seek penalties and other relief for Made in USA fraud, but only after the commission issued a rule. However, there had long been a bipartisan consensus at the FTC that Made in USA fraud should not be penalized. The final Made in USA Labeling Rule changes course on the commission’s longtime approach. The rule does not impose any new requirements on businesses. Instead, it codifies the FTC’s longstanding enforcement policy statement regarding U.S.-origin claims. By codifying this guidance into a formal rule, the commission can increase deterrence of Made in USA fraud and seek restitution for victims.
Over the course of the rulemaking, the FTC heard from hundreds of ranchers and shrimpers concerned about Made in the USA labels that mislead consumers. The commission is pleased that in conjunction with this announcement, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the USDA will complement the FTC’s efforts with its own initiative on labeling for products such as beef, and other agricultural products regulated by the Food Safety and Inspection Service. The commission issued a notice of proposed rulemaking for this rule in June 2020. The commission received more than 700 comments on the proposed rule, most of which either were supportive, or sought changes that were not legally permissible. The final rule adds a provision allowing marketers to seek exemptions if they have evidence showing their unqualified Made-in-USA claims are not deceptive. The Made in USA Labeling Rule, which will be published in the Federal Register, incorporates guidance set forth in the commission’s previous decisions and orders and its 1997 enforcement policy statement on U.S. origin claims.
Consistent with this guidance, the rule will prohibit marketers from including unqualified Made in USA claims on labels unless: final assembly or processing of the product occurs in the U.S., all significant processing that goes into the product occurs in the U.S. and all or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the U.S. The rule applies only to labeling claims. The FTC will continue to bring enforcement action against marketers that make deceptive U.S.-origin claims falling outside the rule under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. The FTC is authorized to seek penalties for violations of the rule. It does not supersede, alter or affect any other federal statute or regulation relating to country-of-origin labels. The commission vote approving publication of the final Made in USA Labeling Rule in the Federal Register was 3-2. Commissioner Christine Wilson also issued a dissenting statement on the rule, and another dissenting statement regarding the overall meeting agenda. Source: FTC
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CCC Promotes Goodson to CTO CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc. named John Goodson senior vice president and chief technology officer. Goodson joined CCC in 2020, successfully driving innovation across the business, accelerating application of AI throughout solutions and expanding industries served by the CCC Cloud platform, which today serves 30,000 businesses. Goodson succeeds Pete Morowski, who is retiring after eight years with the company. As chief technology officer, Goodson will lead research and development, product development, architecture, security, IT operations and infrastructure, business applications and data science. This will enable CCC to continue powering mission critical workflows, intelligent automation and better experiences for clients and the millions of drivers they serve. Source: CCC
Boyd Group Reports 44% Sales Increase and Demand for Labor in U.S. As the business world continues to operate nearly a year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, The Boyd Group announced Aug. 11 sales are up and demand has increased in the U.S. for the company’s services to the point more staff is needed, and the company acquired more locations. The Boyd Group is one of the largest operators of non-franchised collision repair centers in North America, operating under various brand names in Canada and the U.S. The company owns Gerber Collision & Glass, Gerber National Claims Processing, Glass America, Boyd Auto Body & Glass and Assured Collision Repair Professionals. “Comparing the second quarter of 2021 to the same period of 2020 demonstrates how significantly the business was impacted by the pandemic one year ago and how far we have come since that time,” Timothy O’Day, the Boyd Group president and CEO, said in an announcement Aug. 11 about the company’s second quarter of 2021 results. “During the second quarter, we saw infection numbers and restrictions decrease,
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while vaccination levels increased.” The company “achieved strong same-store sales growth in the quarter,” which ended June 30. “Although we continued to experience reduced demand in certain markets at the beginning of the second quarter, demand accelerated in most U.S. markets as the quarter progressed, O’Day said in the announcement. “By the end of the second quarter, demand in the U.S. was at meaningfully higher levels than we experienced in the first quarter of 2021.” According to O’Day, the company still has work to do to meet the increasing level of demand when it comes to staff and technicians. While still at below pre-pandemic levels, demand for collision repair accelerated in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2021 “in stark contrast with the second quarter of 2020 where demand was significantly diminished due to the COVID-19 pandemic and expenses were aggressively reduced accordingly,” the announcement said. Boyd’s sales increased by 44.4% in the second quarter of 2021,
to $444.6 million from $308 million during the same period in 2020. The company’s cash balance was $35.6 million. Boyd acquired 39 locations, including 16 locations previously operated as John Harris Body Shops in Georgia and South Carolina. Just after the second quarter ended, Boyd followed up and acquired 39 additional locations, 35 of which operated as Collision Works in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. O’Day said, as demand continues to increase in 2021 and sales are still below pre-pandemic levels, “demand is exceeding our capacity in all U.S. markets.” The company is working on adding more staff. In Canada, however, demand remains significantly lower than before the pandemic. “Looking to the balance of 2021 and beyond, we continue to be confident that we will maintain progress toward our long-term growth targets and operational plans,” O’Day said. (C) 2021 by glassbytes.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. For more information contact www.glassbytes.com.
GM Has Two New All-Electric Commercial Vehicles In Development by Anthony Alaniz, Motor1.com
BrightDrop, GM’s new commercial vehicle endeavor, is still on schedule to deliver its first model, the EV600, this fall. It’ll launch alongside the GMC Hummer EV pickup and before the all-electric Cadillac Lyriq crossover arrives in early 2022. However, General Motors has even bigger commercial plans as company CEO Mary Barra announced Aug. 4 it’s planning to introduce two new EVs designed to target commercial and small-business customers. Aug. 4, GM reported its second-quarter sales results, and Barra revealed the two new EVs during a conference call with analysts afterward, according to Automotive News. One will be a full-size all-electric cargo van that will wear the Chevy bowtie. The other, which Barra didn’t link to a specific GM brand, will be a medium-duty truck, though it won’t be just all-electric. The truck will pack GM’s Ultium battery technology and offer its Hydrotec hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain.
Barra told analysts the two new commercial vehicles would “complement BrightDrop,” while growing its commercial fleet market share. According to Barra, GM will have an EV “for almost any hauling or towing job you can imagine.” GM has ambitious plans to offer a plethora of electric vehicles in North America and China—30 models by 2025. It’s not clear when the two commercial EVs will hit the market, but we don’t expect it’ll be too long of a wait. The two new commercial vehicles are just the latest in a string of soft reveals from GM. Earlier this year, Chevy confirmed there’ll be an all-electric version of its Silverado pickup that’ll be built alongside the Hummer EV. Both will use GM’s Ultium platform and battery tech, which will also underpin the new commercial models. Electric vehicles may not be mainstream yet, but one sector that could benefit from them is commercial businesses, which will be critical to GM’s overall electrification strategy.
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