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The Georgia Collision Industry Association Discusses PartsTrader with George Avery The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) will feature George Avery from State Farm for an indepth discussion on their PartsTrader pilot program at its Sept. 20 meeting. According the to GCIA newsletter, “Unless you live under a rock, you have probably heard of State Farm’s PartsTrader program being tested in several markets in the U.S. However, State Farm has not provided much in the way of details on the program. Industry media have been mostly unsuccessful getting State Farm to respond to requests for more information. “Now you have an opportunity to hear first-hand about PartsTrader from State Farm’s own George Avery. Mr. Avery has agreed to be the featured speaker at the September 20th GCIA meeting. If you don’t attend but one GCIA meeting this year, this is the one.” This meeting is open to all collision repair professionals and industry supporting vendor representatives. Cost is

$10 (member/$20non-member). Members may pay at the door and check or cash is accepted. “This may be the most important collision industry George Avery meeting you will attend all year,” said Howard Batchelor, GCIA Executive Director. Due to an overwhelming response, the meeting location changed from MAADA headquarters in Marietta, GA, to the Wyndham Atlanta Galleria, 6345 Powers Ferry Road NW in Atlanta. See website for directions. In other GCIA news, the 16th Annual Golf Tournament is set for Oct. 3 at the Trophy Club of Atlanta. Contact Howard Batchelor to learn more about sponsoring or reserving your player spots. Email to Howard@GCIA.org or call 770-367-9816.

VOL. 3 ISSUE 8 OCTOBER 2012

Gunder’s Has 15 Insurers Paying New Labor Rate “15 and Counting,” answers Ray Gunder. “That’s how many insurers, since this past August, have seen fit to pay our revised labor rates rather than to try and legally defeat what we deem to be ‘reasonable and necessary!’” Gunder goes on to state: “It’s been a busy few weeks, and while 14 of the 15 insurers conceded without so much as a whimper, Infinity Insurance needed a bit of persuasion. With the help of our legal counsel, Attorney Brent Geohagan’s representation of Gunder’s Auto Center, Inc., they too came to the right conclusion and are paying our new labor rates for body and refinishing, as well as an elevated labor rate for frame/unibody repair. Of course they are also paying applicable legal fees and costs for the lawsuit as well.” Gunder has 12 current lawsuits pending against State Farm, Allstate, USAA and GEICO for their failure to pay “reasonable and necessary” al-

lowances for labor and materials and five lawsuits against the insurers for labor rates alone. “I can’t express what a feeling of freedom and an incredible sense of independence it gives me to once again have control over my business and its destiny,” said the founder of the Central Florida-based 44-yearold colliRay Gunder sion repair shop. “For the first time in a long time, I able to offer my employees a pay raise! They have stuck with me through thick and thin and it’s time they were rewarded for their loyalty and support.” Gunder went on to say, “Like many, I suppose, I’d forgotten what it was like to operate my business without other’s telling me what I could and couldn’t do.”

ranties, paint booths and other issues. The questions on the survey included: “Do you use the procedure pages to prepare estimates?” Every shop answered ‘yes.’ “Are there any procedures identified by your database as not included in the published repair labor allocation which you do not intend to be paid for? If so, please identify them.” While the terminology differed with the persons filling out the survey, the conclusion was 100% in that every shop intends to be paid for all the required performed procedures. Not one shop identified a procedure they did not expect to be paid for. “This association intends to seek fair treatment for its members from the insurance industry,” Mosley said. “We will no longer sit back and have an industry tell the member shops ‘I won’t pay this because you’re the only one in this market area asking to be

paid.’ This is a deceptive tactic used to intimate or scare a small business and it will not be tolerated any longer. Not in Mississippi, anyhow. “The member shops are growing and are learning we can stand together united in a cause while competing for business in a fair manner. Every day, more shop owners are realizing we are not enemies because we seek the same customer. As allies, we have a powerful voice. Our voice is being heard.” The survey also addressed the PartsTrader issue, and member consensus was “100% that PartsTrader is being considered for nothing more than State Farm’s profit and will be not any benefit to the consumer or repair industry,” Mosley said. For more information about the Mississippi Collision Repair Association, please contact acting president John Mosley at (601) 924-2159 or email him at clintonbodyshop@comcast.net. No website at this time.

Mississippi Collision Repair Association Plans to Expand to the North and South the October meeting will be held in north Mississippi. “Our goal is to have three well-organized districts addressing the local members’ needs on a regular basis,” said acting president John Mosley. “We will have the membership vote on having a statewide meeting/convention annually.” The MCRA recently submitted a survey to their membership, addressing training, database providers, war-

Change Service Requested

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The Mississippi Collision Repair Association met Aug. 20 to discuss how shops can collect the balance on short paid claims. Attorney Melvin Pace explained how by having vehicle owners sign Power of Attorneys to give shops the right to make repair decisions and collect all money owed for repairs. The newly revived association has plans to expand in north and south Mississippi. The next meeting will be held in Gulfport, MS, on Sept. 20 and

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2 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com


COLUMNISTS Attanasio: What You Don’t Know about SEO Can Cost You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Evans: Building Body Molds from Plugs is No Easy Task . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Franklin: Information Mining for Profit. . . . 22 Sisk: DuPont Performance Coatings, A Big Change but Much Stays in Place . . . . . 42 Sisk: What the Associations Are Doing and Have Done Recently . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Yoswick: Shops Can Put News, Trends Related to Insurers to Good Use. . . . . . 34 NATIONAL 2012 SEMA Show Provides Expansive Activities for Collision Repair Professionals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 A Little Piece of ‘57 Chevy Blue Heaven to Debut at SEMA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 AAIA Releases 2012 Digital Repair Trends Report. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 AAPEX Invites Auto Instructors . . . . . . . . 38 AASP-MA and CCRE to Host Educational Seminars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 AASP-MA Talked Parts Procurement at State Meeting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Allstate Reveals Best Drivers . . . . . . . . . . 22 ASA Issues Timeline for State Farm to Prove PartsTrader Benefit. . . . . . . . . 20 ASA Speaks with NWLCRA Regarding PartsTrader Pilot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 ASRW Adds Auto Body Repairers Assembly Oct. 10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 ASRW Announces Content, Speakers for Industry Forum, Oct. 12 . . . . . . . . . . 8 ASRW Hosts 2nd Annual MSO

Symposium Oct. 12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 ASRW Parties at the Mardi Gras World in New Orleans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Attract Customers with a Clean Shop: 10 Tips to a Pristine Look . . . . . . . . . . 17 Automaker, OEM and Recall News . . . . . . 30 CAA Sends Legislative Alert and Call to Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Carbon Fiber Advances Enable Mid-Volume Production Vehicles from MI Factory by 2013. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Carlyle to Buy DuPont’s Auto Paint Business for Nearly $5 Billion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Connecticut Association Voices Alarm About PartsTrader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Copart Gives $15,000 to CREF for scholarships, grants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 CREF Offers Free Industry Classes for Students at NACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 CREF Reception at SEMA Invites All with RSVP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Go Where Your Customers Are—You’ll Find Them Online. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Hertz Buys Dollar Thrifty . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 How to Increase Your Sales With Proven Creative and Metrics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Is New Vehicle Technology Endangering Your Business? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Mitchell's Industry Trends Report: Auto Physical Damage Edition . . . . . . . 13 NABA Survey Shows OEM Parts Still Majority in Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 New York Body Shop Owner Wins LKQ Calendar Contest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 NHTSA Finalizes Airbag Rule . . . . . . . . . . 22 NJ Shop Owner Goes Round and Round with State Farm on Material Reimbursements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 PartsTrader will Come to Chicago Market’s 450 State Farm Select Service Shops in December . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 President Obama Takes on Chinese Auto Parts, Alleging Illegal Subsidies, and Gov. Romney Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Rich Evans' SEMA Appearance Schedule . 49 SCRS Presents International Perspective on Parts Procurement . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Service King Gives $10,000 for Student Scholarships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Shop Owner Nets $3.4 Million in Paint Contract Lawsuit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Shop That Helped Bullied Teen Inspired to Start a New ‘Pay it Forward’ Program. . 47 Silver Sails Paints Launches in USA . . . . . 51 State Farm Releases PartsTrader Update, Goal Includes Fewer Totals. . . . . . . . . . 38 Van Tuyl Group Joins NABC as New Diamond Member . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 WMABA Hosted PartsTrader Meetings in Two Locations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Women Prefer Sedans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

We’ll pass the information along in future issues.

PartsTrader Updates in this Issue Pages 1, 10, 12, 20, 28, 31, 38

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Assistant Editor: Melanie Anderson Contributing Writers: Tom Franklin, Stefan Gesterkamp, John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Rich Evans, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Sean Hartman, Jay Lukes (800) 699-8251 Sales Assistant: Kristy Navarro Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia

Indexof Advertisers

REGIONAL Body Shop Move Enforced by Judge for PA Route 29 Expansion . . . . . . . . . 18 Body Shop Owner Opens Tavern at Convenient Location across the Street in Eustis, FL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Florida Body Shop Owner Arrested in Tax Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Garage Replica in Ormond, Florida, Would Be a Salute to City’s Racing History . . . . 9 Gerber Opens Plant City Shop . . . . . . . . . . 4 Gunder’s Has 15 Insurers Paying New Labor Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Mississippi Collision Repair Association Plans to Expand to the North and South . 1 New Online Tool for FL Drivers . . . . . . . . . . 4 Overnight Fire Destroys Cars in FL Body Shop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Shop Security Guard Arrested for Killing Vandal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 The Georgia Collision Industry Association Discusses PartsTrader with George Avery . 1 Use myAAPEX to Connect with Exhibitors before Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Autobody News wants to know what readers in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi have to say about the industry in your region. Stop by our booth (#N924) at ASRW (NACE-CARS) during the Expo and tell us!

Southeast

Contents

Serving Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and adjacent metro areas, Autobody News is a monthly publication for the auto body industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2012 Adamantine Media LLC.

Autobody News

Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018; (800) 699-8251 (760) 721-0253 Fax www.autobodynews.com Email: news@autobodynews.com

Allan Vigil Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 BASF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 47 CCC Information Systems . . . . . . . 23 Chief Automotive. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Classifieds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Delray Honda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Don Reid Ford. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Equalizer Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Extractor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers FL, GA, AL, MS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Garmat USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Global Imports MINI . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Gray-Daniels Auto Family . . . . . . . . . 5 Gus Machado Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Haydell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26-27 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . 44 Intertape Polymer Group . . . . . . . . 25 Kendall Mitsubishi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers. 33 Lythos Studios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Malco. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Mattei. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Mazda Wholesale Parts . . . . . . . . . 49 Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts

Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 47 Mitchell International. . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers. 45 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 36 Nalley BMW. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Nissan Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . 44 Palmers Toyota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 PCL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 PPG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers . 50 Preval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Reliable Automotive Equipment . . . 31 Sam Galloway Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . 14 SATA Spray Equipment . . . . . . . . . 21 SCA Appraisal Company . . . . . . . . 22 Serra Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Serra Automotive Group . . . . . . . . . 29 Silver Sails. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Solution Finish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Southtowne Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Subaru of Gwinnett . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 49 Tameron Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 50 Valspar Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Wanda Refinish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 3


Shop Security Guard Arrested for Killing Vandal

A security guard with a criminal background was arrested in mid August for allegedly shooting and killing a man outside of his workplace at a south Fulton County mechanical shop near Union City, GA. Authorities say Marvin Copeland, a 46-year-old resident of College Park, is being held at the Fulton County jail. Copeland has been charged with murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was working as a security guard when he fatally shot a man who was with a group of people trying to vandalize All Star Automotive in unincorporated Union City. Copeland’s brother is the owner of the business, where the body of the unidentified person was discovered the next morning, according to Fulton County police. Police said he is being charged under Georgia law which states it is illegal to use deadly force to defend property. Police said evidence in the case has not shown that Copeland���s life was in danger.

Florida Body Shop Owner Arrested in Tax Case

Gary P. Chung, the owner of Gary Chung’s Auto Works in Dunnellon, FL, was arrested on charges that he withheld more than $2,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, according to the Florida Department of Revenue. Chung, 57, of Dunnellon, was arrested by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 22 on felony and misdemeanor charges relating to theft of state funds, and refusal to file and pay taxes due. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of stolen tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs. According to Revenue Department investigators, Chung collected tax from customers at his shop. However, during various periods beginning in 2010 and lasting through periods in 2012, he failed to send in to the state all of the sales taxes that he had collected or file tax returns as required by law. Under state law, sales tax is the property of the state at the moment of collection.

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Body Shop Owner Opens Tavern at Convenient Location across the Street in Eustis, FL Smashed customers are a given at his auto body repair shop, but he doesn’t want to see them at his newest venture. Rich DeMarco, owner of All County Collision and Repair in Eustis, FL, recently opened a tavern across the street from his shop. Turkleton’s Tavern, at 12 S. Bay St. in Eustis, FL, joins a successful line up of food and beverage entertainment venues downtown and will feature weekly live entertainment, craft beer on tap, bottled domestic beers, select wines and a light food menu in its 1,660-square-foot facility. “We want to make it a place for good times,” he said. DeMarco plans for a grand opening in the fall to incorporate the 8,000square-foot courtyard portion of the establishment for outdoor events and barbecues. Also on the horizon is the opening of an additional 3,200square-foot area to serve as a dining area with nightclub entertainment and pool tables. His overall dream is to add a microbrewery. “We are a work in process and will continue to evolve as we hope to grow Turkleton’s Tavern into Lake County’s most popular entertainment destination,” DeMarco said. “Support

from the city of Eustis and the community has been totally amazing.” DeMarco named the business after a special pet. “It wasn’t scientific,” he said. “But it happens to be the name of my son’s turkey.” Turkleton was owned by DeMarco’s son, Richie for 1 1/2 years before he went off to college. The turkey now has a new home at Uncle Donald’s Farm in Lady Lake, and a tavern named in her honor. DeMarco owns the building, which has a long history since its construction in 1920. It originally served as a citrus packing house, followed by a liquor warehouse, and ultimately an auto body repair shop. In 1999, the building was completely renovated with new windows and paint. “Eustis is gaining the reputation of being the entertainment mecca of Lake County,” said Kevin Robson, president of the Lake Eustis Area Chamber of Commerce. “The addition of Turkleton’s to the downtown business core will reinforce this reputation, and the opportunities for future business expansion in the building are very exciting.”

4 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

Overnight Fire Destroys Cars in FL Body Shop

An overnight fire at a Fort Myers, FL, auto body shop destroyed several vehicles and caused approximately $70,000 in damages. The Fort Myers Fire Department arrived around 2:45 a.m. to find three cars at Pro-Tech Automotive Services fully engulfed in flames. “It was 2:30 in the morning, to get that kind of phone call — I was in shock,” said manager Denney Rush. Fire crews were able to quickly knock out the fire, but it left four vehicles destroyed and two others badly damaged. Rush said he was thankful the fire didn’t spread to the nearby building, which also houses his dog, named Baby. Surveillance video from the shop shows the fire started in the engine of a 2005 Mercedes-Benz. When it ignited, the sparks jumped to nearby cars. “It’s caught on camera and it helps the police take care of the business and I’m glad we have the camera system in, since it did show the cause of fire,” Rush said. A fire marshal deemed the fire an accident, caused by an electrical problem in the car’s engine, which is why the Benz was at the shop in the first place.

New Online Tool for FL Drivers

Drivers in Florida have a new statesponsored tool to shop around for cheaper auto insurance rates. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation said that CHOICES, its online program to search for homeowners insurance, has been expanded to include the auto insurance market. Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said his goal is to educate consumers and make the rate process more transparent. The site, www.floir.com/choices, is searchable by county. It shows the most recent rate filings approved by regulators.

Gerber Opens Plant City Shop

The Boyd Group Inc. recently opened a new collision repair center in Plant City, FL. The new repair center is approximately 24,000 square feet in size and will operate under the Gerber Collision & Glass trade name. The Boyd Group now owns and operates 11 locations in Florida, which brings the total number of U.S. locations to 152. “Consistent with our growth strategy, the Plant City location will serve the eastern Tampa area customers and insurance partners,” said Tim O’Day, President and COO.


Gray-Daniels Gray-Daniels Nissan Nissan of of Jackson Jackson

GENUINE SERVICE & PARTS

• Trained Wholesale Crew • In State Next Day Shipping w/Quick Local Delivery • Great Discounts

Visit our E-Store:

www.graydanielsnissannorthparts.com Participating in Collision Link Parts Manager: Steven Hill 800-530-7522 601-899-7462 fax shill@graydaniels.com Hours: Monday - Friday 7 am - 5:30 pm 6080 I-55 North Frontage Rd., Saturday 8 am - 4 pm Jackson, MS 39211

Gray-Daniels Gray-Daniels Chevrolet Chevrolet • Prompt, Accurate and Free Local Delivery • Dedicated Wholesale Staff • Large Inventory Hours: Monday - Friday 7:30 am - 5:30 pm Saturday 8 am - 4 pm

Parts Manager: Eddie Williamson 800-729-6160 601-206-5894 local 601-206-5899 fax ewilliamson@graydaniels.com 6060 I-55 North, Jackson, MS 39211

Gray-Daniels Gray-Daniels Lincoln Lincoln • Trained Wholesale Crew • In State Next Day Shipping w/Quick Local Delivery • Great Discounts Hours: Monday - Friday 7 am - 6 pm Saturday 8 am - 12 pm

Parts Manager: Bill Styrone 800-898-1944 601-591-2648 fax bstyrone@graydaniels.com 201 Octavia Drive, Brandon, MS 3904

Gray-Daniels Gray-Daniels Nissan Nissan of of Brandon Brandon

GENUINE SERVICE & PARTS

• Collision Parts Price Matching • Dedicated Wholesale Staff • Large Inventory Hours: Monday - Friday 7 am - 6 pm Saturday 8 am - 4 pm

Participating in Collision Link Parts Manager: Jack Willoughby

800-530-7989 601-985-3753 fax jwilloughby@graydaniels.com 108 Gray-Daniels Blvd., Brandon, MS 39042

Gray-Daniels Gray-Daniels Ford Ford • No Order Too Big or Too Small • Highly Experienced Parts Personnel • Great Discounts Hours: Monday - Friday 7 am - 6 pm Saturday 8 am - 12 pm

Parts Manager: Bill Styrone 800-898-1944 601-591-2648 fax bstyrone@graydaniels.com 201 Octavia Drive, Brandon, MS 39042

Gray-Daniels Toyota • Prompt, Accurate and Free Delivery • Dedicated Wholesale Staff • Large Inventory Hours: Mon. - Fri. 7am - 6 pm Saturday 8 am - 4 pm

Participating in Collision Link Parts Manager: Steve Calhoun 800-530-7955 601-948-0576 601-965-8458 fax scalhoun@graydaniels.com 104 Gray-Daniels Blvd., Brandon, MS 39042

Gray-Daniels Gray-Daniels Scion Scion • No Order Too Big or Too Small • Highly Experienced Parts Personnel • Great Discounts Hours: Mon. - Fri. 7:30 am - 6 pm Saturday 8 am - 4 pm

Participating in Collision Link Parts Manager: Steve Calhoun 800-530-7955 601-948-0576 601-965-8458 fax scalhoun@graydaniels.com 104 Gray-Daniels Blvd., Brandon, MS 39042

WWW.GRAYDANIELS.COM For All Your Collisions Part Needs www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 5


How to Increase Your Sales With Proven Creative and Metrics by Lythos Studios

Lythos Studios created a highly successful marketing campaign for Baugh Auto Body in Richmond, VA, beginning in 2010. The next two and half years generated over 85% growth in sales by using a clever campaign with feminine overtones but placed in highly watched venues on television, radio, digital banners, and some print.

Would you like an ROI of 800% or more?

This campaign was so successful, Lythos Studios has spun off a new division called 1066, LLC that is a company whose sole mission is expanding this successful template. Lythos Studios is an advertising agency born in 1998 that has clients who have doubled in size in just under two or three years through effective creative and analytical processes. As effective as the auto body campaigned proved to be, it was only logical to market outside of the Richmond Virginia market. “We are not reinventing the wheel, just fine tuning a successful marketing campaign that has proven results.” The campaign has run on various media including cable, broadcast, radio, highly targeted websites, and some print venues such as neighborhood newsletters within a narrow radius of the store front. The point of the template is not having to recreate the wheel because

the results of the campaign have been so extremely effective. Although we can’t guarantee the exact same results with every body shop, we can prove this venue works with our Google analytics data and we can provide references from Baugh Auto Body to back our claims. Each auto body shop participating in this program will have the creative with its logo and name copy righted for protection from anyone else attempting to create a similar campaign. Copyright will be provided by the US copyright office and the legal work is included in the fees. “This work is similar to getting a national campaign with a local budget.” Body shops, like any other business, should devote approximately five percent of their gross sales to marketing. Lythos Studios works with many clients using this formula and when used properly, the success becomes anticipated in a very short time period of three to six months. Baugh Auto Body has become one of the largest auto body shops in Virginia and along with its marketing, it sports a stellar reputation for being the best body shop in town. Fantastic marketing can’t keep the engine running if the product isn’t just as great as the packaging. Lythos Studios works with each client to analyze and evaluate their existing database of clients. We determine who the target audience is and where the target audience is derived;

Use myAAPEX to Connect with Exhibitors before Show

The Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) launched this year’s myAAPEX for buyers on Aug. 30. The tool, myAAPEX, is a free service that automatically matches and selects the best possible connections for you based on the information you provided when you registered. myAAPEX lets you search for exhibitors, products, brands and educational sessions. You can view exhibitors’ profiles, videos, products, press releases and special offerings, as well as schedule meetings before, during and after the show. It also provides handy tools to create a personalized expo plan with a printable floor plan that syncs in

real-time with your profile on the myAAPEX mobile apps. To start using this important networking service, visit myAAPEX on the AAPEX website and enter your email and badge number as the password. Your badge number was provided on your badge confirmation email. You must be a registered buyer to use myAAPEX. AAPEX runs October 29—November 1 in Las Vegas.

Search:

Autobody News on Facebook

6 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

how to get to that audience effectively and efficiently; then create a marketing plan with a budget that can be sustained. In this instance the creative package has already been created with only the addition of the company logo and name needing insertion into the template. We will work within a 150 mile radius so there is no overlap of body shops within a competitive environment. The template works very similarly to that of Marks and Harrison, attorney’s at law using the voice and face of the actor Robert Vaughn. The reasoning is simple. When you have created a perfect advertising and marketing venue, there is no need to change it. After all, being the body shop at the top of mind when anyone has an accident is the key to a successful marketing plan. Autobody News has a large audience of body shops in the United States and we have decided to target each region of the country specifically so that we control how fast we grow with new clients and prevent any overlap of the creative in the broadcast markets.

The team at Lythos Studios is comprised of Clay Hamner, Gratton Stephens, Darrell Cahoon, Kenny Sink and many others. Kenny Sink, formerly of the Martin Agency in Richmond Virginia was part of the creative team for Nissan’s Zoom Zoom campaign. Stephens was the president and owner of Cherry Heart in Nashville, Tennesee where he managed many country music artists and their music businesses. Cahoon is an award winning graphic designer and has been featured in publications such as Communication Arts, US Ad Review and has been critically acclaimed at the Richmond Show. Hamner is the grandson of the artist who drew Mr. Peanut in the 1920’s and has worked in a family advertising business most of his life except for a few years as an analytical chemist in northern Virginia. This team has created a unique product with limited competition and huge monetary results. It is our hope and expectation that we can make any body shop as successful as Baugh Auto Body.


www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 7


ASRW Announces Content, Speakers for Industry Forum, Oct. 12 The Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW) Industry Forum is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 12, from 8:30–10:15 a.m. and will again feature collision and mechanical specific sessions. Tickets for the forum are included in the purchase of a Super Pass or may be purchased individually during online registration or on-site for $50. Attendees may select the forum sessions of their choice. “More than ever, the ASRW Industry Forum sessions are addressing the most current, controversial topics on both sides of the industry, and participants can expect not only lively discussion, but thought-provoking comments from those at the center of each issue,” stated Ron Pyle, ASA president.

The schedule for the forum is: 8:30 AM–9:15 AM: What Else Is in the Box? More Than Just the Part! (mechanical) Top manufacturer members of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) will discuss the intangibles and value-added services

that go into quality parts in this panel discussion including: ● What goes into a product from concept, design, testing, manufacturing, distribution and service after the sale. ● Brief comments on specific processes followed by their respective companies to ensure the highest quality products. ● Question-and-answer session with attendees. Moderated by: Jack Cameron, AASA vice president. Panelists include: Bobby Bassett, Gates Corp.; Scott Howat, Affinia; and Jack Vollbrecht, Remy International.

Insurance Panel Discussion (collision) The insurance panel discussion will focus on where the insurance industry is headed, and provide the audience with an understanding of where these major insurers see their industry going, including: ● Consolidation of the market ● Integration of cloud computing ● Retaining their policy holders. Moderated by: Dan Stander, AAM, Fix Auto Highlands Ranch. Panelists include: George Avery, State

Farm Insurance; Randy Hanson, Allstate Insurance; Robert Knott, Nationwide Insurance; and James Spears, USAA.

9:30 AM–10:15 AM: Paving the Road to Success: The Next Generation (mechanical) Moderated by: Dave Kusa, Autotrend Diagnostics. Panelists include: Taylor Hill, Larson’s Service Inc.; Josh A. Ingram, AAM, Colchin Automotive & Diesel Inc.; and Charles “Chip” Wright, Pete’s Garage Inc. A special thanks to these individuals who served as consultants to this session: Pete Rudloff (coach), Pete’s Garage Inc.; and Amanda Clements Mooney (adviser), C&C Automotive Inc. Parts Supplier Panel Discussion (collision) The parts supplier forum discussion will focus on the pressures of the industry from the suppliers’ perspective, including: ● How suppliers distinguish themselves through distributor certification and customer service; and

● How suppliers interact with information providers in bringing their parts to market. Moderated by: Denise Caspersen, Automotive Service Association (ASA). Panelists include: Mike Dolabi, National Autobody Parts Warehouse; Terry Fortner, Keystone/LKQ; and Dan Morrisey, PartsChannel Inc. The ASRW Industry Forum was created in 2010 as a professional platform for interactive discussion of the industry’s hottest, most current topics. Sponsors for the event include the National Auto Body Council (NABC), the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), Women’s Industry Network (WIN), National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and the Automotive Management Institute (AMI). All proceeds from the forum benefit the training and education of these organizations.

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8 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com


Garage Replica in Ormond, Florida, Would Be a Salute to City’s Racing History Randy Crabtree, owner of Randy’s Auto Body Inc., in Ormond, FL, has been rebuilding a replica of the 1903 Winton Bullet. In a few months, he will need a place to store his vintage replica racing car. Someday, he might even have a replica garage to put it in. A project to pay homage to the city’s racing roots is nearing the finish line as officials continue to collect donations to build a model of the Ormond Garage. “We’re close to raising funds to make this happen,” said Suzanne Heddy, director of the Ormond Beach Historical Society. After a three-year campaign, the Motor Racing Heritage Association is on the verge of bringing a version of the historic landmark back to Ormond Beach at the city’s Birthplace of Speed Park. The original building, constructed in 1904, housed and serviced some of the most famous race cars in the world, which could be compared to horseless carriages, before they would make history on the nearby beach. The garage was first used in 1905 and burned to the ground in 1976. The modern day version, however, will be much smaller. It will be about 20 feet long, 12 feet wide and 8 feet high.

Once the garage is in place, replicas of two of the most famous race cars will make a triumphant return to the city park. Years ago, sculptures of the Bullet and Olds Pirate, which are known as the first two vehicles to compete in a timed race on the beach, were placed in the Birthplace of Speed Park, at the

Randy Crabtree, owner of Randy’s Auto Body Inc., stands with the replica of the 1903 Winton Bullet his shop has been rebuilding

northeast corner of Granada Boulevard and State Road A1A. The Winton Bullet No. 1 is known for setting many world speed records at the time and won by less than a second over the Pirate, likely topping out at 55 mph, Crabtree said. “At that time, people were wor-

ried if they went too fast they would lose oxygen and suffocate,” Crabtree said with a chuckle. The sculptures were a hit at the park, but harsh coastal conditions and vandalism, caused them to rapidly deteriorate. Dan Smith, a member of the board of directors for the Motor Racing Heritage Association, said he tried to wash and care for the replica cars every week, but to no avail. “Nature overpowered me,” he said. The sculptures were removed from the park and given to Crabtree to rebuild. The Ormond Beach auto body mechanic said he’s spent nearly 300 hours on the Bullet — building a chassis from scratch and coating the vehicle parts in porcelain to withstand the harsh climate. Crabtree said he plans on making the sculpture a full-fledged car, though it will not run. The quest to build a replica garage was first proposed for the city’s Birthplace of Speed Park in 2009. So far, organizers have gathered about $16,000, though about $25,000 is necessary to build the replica garage.

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Service King Gives $10,000 for Student Scholarships

Service King Collision Repair Centers has joined the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s Industry Leadership Circle with a $10,000 donation to the organization. The Education Foundation said the donation will be used to provide scholarships to post-secondary collision repair students near the markets that Service King’s repair facilities serve. The student scholarships will be included as part of the Education Foundation’s scholarship and tool grants that will be awarded next spring. “We are honored to be able to contribute to such an important foundation,” said Danny Wilkins, associate vice president of staffing and development for Service King. “Supporting collision repair education is key to growing the industry so that we continue employing highly skilled technicians and painters for years to come.” Clark Plucinski, executive director of the Education Foundation, said, “Through Service King’s donation, collision students located near their repair facilities will have the opportunity to apply for financial support this upcoming spring.”

www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 9


CREF Reception at SEMA Invites All with RSVP

Members of the collision industry are invited to a reception highlighting the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s work. The reception will be held during this year’s SEMA Show, on Oct. 30 from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at The Las Vegas Hotel (formerly a Hilton prop-

Clark Plucinski

erty). At the event, attendees will learn about the Education Foundation’s work in supporting collision repair students, and donors and supporters will be acknowledged. The Education Foundation will also announce two schools who will be chosen for the 2012 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant, a $50,000 gift. “We hope the industry will join us during this reception, as we not

only will be highlighting our industry supporters and hear directly from collision instructors on what the millions of dollars in donations has meant to them, but we will be announcing both the secondary and post-secondary makeover grant winners,” said Clark Plucinski, executive director of the Education Foundation. “The collision industry should be celebrating the fact that, through their support, the Education Foundation has gone from providing $300,000 in support in 2008, to $4.1 million last year, and we plan on providing over $10 million annually to schools by the end of next year. This is only possible through the industry’s direct involvement with collision students and instructors nationwide. Please join us as we celebrate our recent successes in providing support and learn about our work towards enhancing the industry’s future.” Anyone who wants to attend the reception will need to RSVP by emailing info@ed-foundation.org. For questions, call Associate Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at 847-463-5244 or e-mail him at Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation.org.

CREF Offers Free Industry Classes for Students at NACE

The Collision Repair Education Foundation is offering several free industry sessions for secondary and post-secondary collision students and their instructors attending the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE), set for Oct. 11-13 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The sessions will be held Friday, Oct. 12 and will provide helpful industry and career information to collision students who wish to enter the industry after graduation. Session descriptions are as follows: • 11 - 11:45 a.m. – LKQ Corporation – “Repair and Recycling an Opportunity” – Presentation will include discussion on perception and reality of motor vehicle recycling; LKQ Corporation company overview; employment need and segmentation; jobs and careers in motor vehicle recycling. • 1 - 1:45 p.m. – Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes – “Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes training prides itself on our class offerings, which brings to our customers the products and processes that provide our collision repair customers with the knowledge they need to be productive and profitable into today’s business en-

vironment. Join us for a walk through Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes Standard Operating Practices and our products that will help any shop become lean and process-driven by using the latest in technologies.” In addition to the student sessions during ASRW, all attending secondary and post-secondary collision students and instructors will be provided complimentary Cintas technician uniforms to wear on the show floor and back home within their school’s collision programs. The sponsors of the 500 technician shirts include CAPA, CCC Information Services, FenderBender, LKQ Corporation and LORD/Fusor. “These attending collision students are the future of the industry, and the Collision Repair Education Foundation is proud to work together with NACE to help educate this group on upcoming industry trends and career advice,” said Collision Repair Education Foundation Executive Director Clark Plucinski. “I would invite all industry members to join in our efforts to support this group as only through assisting them in their technical education will there be a greater promise of the industry’s future.”

10 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

AASP-MA Talked Parts Procurement at State Meeting

The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts (AASP/MA) tackled the parts procurement issue with a panel of industry representatives from across the country at its statewide meeting on September 12. The panel provided an update on the parts procurement issue, including the latest developments with State Farm’s PartsTrader program. AASP/MA President Rick Starbard was joined on the panel with Toyota Wholesale Development Manager Jerry Raskind and Toyota Collision Consultant Rick Leos Raskind, as well as Society of Collision Repair Specialists [SCRS] Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg, Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (CCRE) President Tony Lombardozzi, and Gary Danko, Balise Auto Group’s Connecticut wholesale parts representative. “The insurance industry has attempted to present parts bidding programs, most notably, PartsTrader, as so-called ‘win-win’ situations for all parties involved,” said Starbard. “In looking at these programs in-depth, we fail to see any ‘win’ for anyone but the insurance industry. In a state like Massachusetts, where our only real profit

margin is derived from parts markup, programs like the one State Farm is attempting to introduce could have devastating effects. We’ve set up this panel to not only educate members on the parts bidding issue in general, but also to give a wake-up call to those who think it can’t happen in Massachusetts. Parts procurement is not a DRP issue; it’s a profit issue. I encourage any repairer who is concerned with maintaining profits in his or her shop to attend this meeting; it will be an eye-opener.” Added Schulenburg, “I believe the association’s decision to host a panel that will offer perspectives from all sides of the industry that will be impacted by these types of insurermandated programs is a great one.” “I believe the more communication and information exchanged on this issue, the better,” notes Lombardozzi. “Around here, I hear some people saying, ‘State Farm doesn’t have Select Service in Massachusetts, so PartsTrader won’t affect me.’ Wrong. As soon as State Farm and PartsTrader are successful in one market, it’ll only be a matter of time before other insurers take the lead with similar parts procurement systems. Programs like PartsTrader could very easily make their way into Massachusetts and beyond.”

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www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 11


Connecticut Association Voices Alarm About PartsTrader The Auto Body Association of Connecticut (ABAC) released this following statement, taking a position on State Farm's PartsTrader program: The ABAC stands with our brother and sister organizations across the country decrying State Farm’s PartsTrader program. The endeavor is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It is bad for repairers, part manufacturers, and most importantly, consumers. The only two enterprises in place to profit – and profit handsomely – are State Farm Insurance and PartsTrader. PartsTrader is a web-based, collision part sourcing, quoting and ordering system. According to its website, “PartsTrader is a tool to improve the collision replacement parts sourcing, quoting and ordering process. We are not a parts retailer. We facilitate the matching of collision repairers with replacement parts suppliers.” Currently, PartsTrader is open only to State Farm Select Service repairers and parts suppliers nominated by Select Service repairers. According to PartsTrader, however, its long-term goal is to make PartsTrader available to the entire U.S. collision repair industry. The idea, as we see it, is to hood-

wink the part suppliers and repairers into negotiating away their respective profit margins in the name of greater profits for State Farm. Despite the program being sold as a benefit to repairers and consumers, it quite clearly benefits neither. There are already programs in place to ensure competitive pricing. What PartsTrader does is infuse a grossly inefficient process at the expense of the repairers and OEM vendors. Thus, not only is the program redundant, it is also inefficient. What is more, insurers simply cannot continue to draw profits from an already besieged industry without further affecting quality and safety. It just can’t happen. Similar to what is happening in the health care market, the insurer model of perpetually taking in more premiums, while perpetually finding new ways to pay less on claims, is fundamentally corrupting both industries. If State Farm and PartsTrader are successful in penetrating the entire U.S. parts market, State Farm will find itself flush with new profits hot off the backs of repairers, retailers and consumers. It will not take long for the likes of Allstate, Progressive, GEICO and others to follow suit. History and experience

12 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

have taught us that any time an insurer endeavors to “improve” the auto body industry, bad things happen. Instead of focusing on the business of insurance, State Farm has, once again, taken it upon itself to meddle with the collision repair industry for its own selfish motivations. Insurers should not be involved in collision repair decisions, collision repair standards, setting pricing on repairs or establishing a new system for the sale and distribution of auto parts. None of this relates to the business of insurance. Members of the ABAC and others across the country have unsuccessfully sought to secure the contractual documents detailing the specifics of this plan and respective rights and duties of State Farm, PartsTrader and the participating auto body shops. As with any program of this scope and degree, the devil is undoubtedly in the details. Seeing as the auto body industry had no say in this endeavor, the specifics are being kept from us, and because we know State Farm’s history of selfishly interfering in our industry, we can only presume that what we do not yet know is even worse than what we already know. All of the facts, not just those selected by State

Farm and PartsTrader, should be on the table. The ABAC surveyed all of its supporting OEM vendors to ask a simple question: Do you intend on participating in PartsTrader? For many of the reasons articulated in this press release, every OEM vendor, all 76 of them, said they will not. Not one OEM vendor said it would agree to participate in PartsTrader. Indeed, we are unaware of any OEM vendor in Connecticut who intends on participating. Given the origin of the PartsTrader program, State Farm’s apparent objectives, the obvious inefficiencies and harms caused by the program, together with the litany of problems already experienced and highlighted by industry leaders across the country, the ABAC felt it imperative to interject its voice into the national debate. For all of the aforementioned reasons, we write to strongly oppose the PartsTrader program. Further, in light of the long-term damage this program will likely cause our industry, we are respectfully encouraging those of you who have not yet weighed in on this debate to carefully examine the pilot program and voice your opinions.


Mitchell’s Industry Trends Report: Auto Physical Damage Edition by Greg Horn, Vice President of Industry Relations, Mitchell International Special to Autobody News

In this issue’s feature article, I updated the Mitchell Collision Parts

Price Index and touched on how it is affecting severity. In the charts of the Industry Trends Report, you will see that when the development factor is applied to the most recent average repairable collision severity, it is once again above $3,000. I wanted to give additional insight and data to my most engaged readers to help you better under-

Avg Parts Dollars

$1,400 $1,200 $1,000 $800 $600 $400 $200 $0 2011Q1

$16,000 $14,598

$14,380

$12,000

$13,788

$13,560

$13,205 $12,698

$10,000 $8,000 $6,000 $4,000 $3,038/

$2,000

$3,001

$2,851

$3,031

$2,866

$3,087

$2,910

$0 Avg. Veh Age

Q4 2009 6.34

Q2 2010 6.22

Q4 2010 6.62

Q2 2011 6.50

* Values provided from Guidebook benchmark averages, furnished through UltraMate.

Q4 2011 6.92 Appraisals

Avg Paint and Materials

$1,600

Average Appraisal Values, ACVs and Age | Collision Coverage*

$14,000

Avg Labor Dollars

Q2 2012 6.81 ACV’s

2011Q2

stand what is changing the environment. As you will note in the chart (left), the average parts dollar spent is the highest inflationary factor in the increase, with only a mild labor dollars increase. Therefore, we can conclude that the root of the overall severity increase is parts price inflation. Additionally, we are seeing an interesting development in the average age of vehicles being appraised. While the whole-

2011Q3

2011Q4

2012Q1

sale auction houses show a softening of prices (and we associate a lowering of used car value with an increase in total loss percentages), we are seeing a slightly newer car with a slightly higher value being appraised across all coverage types. This phenomenon seems to indicate that we won’t be seeing rapid decline in values and therefore should not see an increase in the percentage of vehicles being appraised marked as totals. For more information about Mitchell and their Industry Trends Reports, go to: www.mitchell.com.

www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 13


Social Media for Shops

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

What You Don’t Know about SEO Can Cost You with Ed Attanasio

So you spent a considerable amount of money on your website. But now no one can find you online and it’s starting to look like a waste of time and money. Then one day a slick salesperson calls you and catches you on the phone. “We’re Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts and we can get you #1 on Google or Yahoo in your area by using our secret (hush hush) strategy.” They drop words like “meta tags” or “embedded codes” and “hyperlinks” and “secret keywords,” but the only thing they’re optimizing is their ability to fleece you for whatever they can get. Bryan Fikes, the managing partner and chief strategist at Zenergy Works in Santa Rosa, CA, works with an assortment of mechanical and collision repairers to enhance their websites, social media and SEO and is an endorsed vendor of the Automotive Service Councils of California (ASCCA). “Be careful when someone promises you top rankings and makes outlandish guarantees,” Fikes said. “If someone tells you that they can get you the #1 ranking in your city on Google, for instance, that’s a definite red flag. We never promise the top position to any of our clients, because that’s an impossible claim. It all depends on the market you’re doing business in and how long you work at it. In a narrow market with 5–10 players, it’s obviously easier. But, if you’re in a larger market with 20–50 shops competing against you, guaranteeing a top position is ludicrous.” Ideally SEO efforts work in close conjunction with a plethora of other media and have to be maintained carefully to reap positive results, Fikes explained. “SEO is just a spoke in a big wheel. We do a competitive analysis for each client, to determine what their needs are and how to build a plan. It

might include pay-per-click marketing, blogs, online reputation defense and certain forms of social media, as well as the search optimization strategies that are specific to each customer.” Zenergy Works provides longterm solutions that take time to achieve top results, Fikes said. “Many shops want it tomorrow, but I tell them there’s never an overnight fix. There’s no easy button when it comes to SEO, because if your competitors are also hiring people like us, everyone is vying for those top spots. The shops that have embraced this science and know how to use it will have a definite advantage now and a very distinct one in the next 5–10 years.” Mark Claypool is the Chairman and CEO of Optima Automotive, a company that works with body shops nationwide to enhance their presence online. He has more than 25 years of experience in collision and is considered a cutting-edge expert in SEO and social media. Claypool shared some useful tips for shops that are currently developing or re-working their websites and/or trying to improve their SEO. “First off, you need to refresh and add new content to your site periodically, because otherwise you’re missing a wide range of SEO advantages over your competitors. We analyze approximately 50 body shops’ websites every month, and one of the things we see is that many of them have been sitting dormant for way too long. I find sites that haven’t been changed in 8–12 years, in some cases. If you don’t change with the times, you get left behind and you can lose your ranking fairly quickly.” Claypool offered three quick tips about how to improve your SEO. “First, you need to add new content all the time, because the search engines are attracted to original, fresh content. You also need to make sure that your

Give us your opinion on matters affecting the industry.

write us! publisher@autobodynews.com

14 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

keywords are the best you can have. There are free tools from Google available to help you in determining that. And lastly, you should constantly be looking around to get involved in new things like Google Places for Business, mobile apps and emerging social media.” Managing your SEO isn’t something you should assign to one of your techs or front office people to do on a part-time basis, Claypool said. Staying on top of the most recent changes with Google, Yahoo and Bing, for instance, is a huge, unending job. “Google and Yahoo are changing their algorithms all the time,” Claypool said. “They’ve changed them at least 400 times over the years and the only way we can find out is by accessing blogs on the subject. Google just recently changed their algorithm twice and set SEO on its ear in many ways. It’s very challenging, because

the only way to learn is to constantly use the search engines. We can’t predict what’s happening next, because companies like Google don’t tell us. If you’re even just 60–80 days behind the times, you’re lost—especially in a busy area where other body shops are also vying for improved search rankings.” When it comes to SEO, finding and implementing the best keywords available is crucial, Claypool said. “Devising superior keywords is a science and based on hours and hours of research. This industry wants to get away from calling them ‘body shops’ and moving toward phrases like ‘collision repairers’ or ‘collision centers.’ But, the public still uses words such as ‘body shop’ or ‘auto body’ and ‘autobody shop’ much more than anything that contains the word ‘collision.’ Knowing the users’ habits is a big part of devising keywords that work.”

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www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 15


2012 SEMA Show Provides Expansive Activities for Collision Repair Professionals Very soon, the doors of the 2012 SEMA Show opens to automotive industry professionals all over the globe. Earlybird pricing for show admission and registration for the Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ (SCRS) Repairer Driven Education (RDE) series is still available until October 15th. Now is the perfect opportunity to plan out your trip to Las Vegas! Experience the premier automotive trade event in the world while taking advantage of all the networking opportunities and education classes offered by SCRS and other collision industry organizations at the SEMA Show. SCRS is pleased to provide an overview of some of the collision repair meetings and events made available to the industry: Tuesday, October 30th 10:00 - 12:00PM LVCC, North Hall, Upstairs SCRS’ RDE Headline: Is New Vehicle Technology Endangering Your Business? (Free, registration required; register at www.semashow.com/scrs) 12:30 - 2:30PM LVCC, North Hall, Upstairs SCRS’ RDE Sessions (Register at www.semashow.com/scrs)

3:00 - 5:00PM LVCC, North Hall, Upstairs SCRS’ RDE Sessions 5:30 - 7:00PM LVCC, North Hall, CRR Stage SCRS Annual Report (open meeting) 9:30 - 11:00PM LVH, Pavilion 9 Collision Repair Education Foundation Industry Reception

Wednesday, October 31st 8:00 - 12:00PM LVH, Pavilion 9-10 Collision Industry Conference (CIC) 12:00 - 2:00PM LVH, Ballroom B Collision Industry Awards Luncheon 12:30 - 2:30PM LVCC, North Hall, Upstairs SCRS’ RDE Sessions 3:00 - 5:00PM LVCC, North Hall, Upstairs SCRS’ RDE Sessions 6:30 - 9:00PM LVH, Ballroom C-G Collision Industry Conference (CIC) Reception Thursday, November 1st 8:00 - 12:00PM LVH, Pavilion 9-10 Collision Industry Conference (CIC)

12:30 - 2:30PM LVCC, North Hall, Upstairs SCRS’ RDE Sessions 3:00 - 5:00PM LVCC, North Hall, Upstairs SCRS’ RDE Sessions 5:30 - 7:30PM LVH Collision Repairer Reception 8:00 - 12:00PM LVH, Verona Sky Villa SCRS RDE Sky Villa After Party (Register at www.semashow.com/scrs)

Friday, November 2nd 10:00 - 12:00PM LVCC, North Hall, Upstairs SCRS’ RDE Headline: Game Changers - Innovation Forum 12:30 - 2:30PM LVCC, North Hall, Upstairs SCRS’ RDE Sessions

A complete listing of the SCRS RDE sessions can be found at www.semashow.com/scrs. The RDE series is made possible thanks to contributions and support from SEMA, PPG, GM Genuine Parts, BASF, Ford Motor Company, DuPont Performance Coatings, LKQ, Sherwin Williams, AASP, PBES and Akzo Nobel.

Van Tuyl Group Joins NABC as New Diamond Member

The Van Tuyl Group Inc. has become the newest diamond-level member of the National Auto Body Council (NABC), the highest level of NABC corporate sponsorship. The Van Tuyl Group provides management consulting services to 70 automotive dealerships nationwide. The company also operates multiple dealership locations with 36 collision repair facilities throughout Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico and Texas. The NABC said the Van Tuyl Group brings a unique perspective and skillset to the organization as a national dealership MSO. “The ownership model may be different than those found in the independent collision repair market, but our focus is common—facilitating quality repairs that bring the damaged vehicle back to its pre-crash safety and integrity,” said Chuck Sulkala, executive director of the NABC. “We are pleased to have such a prestigious group lend a hand to our efforts and welcome the thoughts and opportunities they will provide to support and promote the good work our industry achieves both on the job and away from it.”

The NABC said the Van Tuyl Group will be highly involved with the 2012 Recycled Rides program, an initiative through which NABC members refurbish vehicles for donation to families and organizations in need. The Van Tuyl Group will donate 36 vehicles for this year’s effort—one vehicle from each of its collision center locations. “Our goal is to help NABC reach its long-term goal of 500 simultaneous vehicle donations in 2012,” said Rafael Hinojos, director of collision business development for the Van Tuyl Group. The Van Tuyl Group said its Recycled Rides donations will be a collaborative effort with the company’s collision center managers and technicians, insurance partners, rental car partners, PPG Automotive Coatings and 3M. “Van Tuyl Group Inc. and our dealer partners are committed to the industry and the communities in which we operate, so we want to partner with an organization like NABC,” said Darren Huggins, the Van Tuyl Group’s national collision director. “We are honored and humbled for the opportunity to contribute Recycled Rides to families who need a safe and reliable means of transportation.”

16 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

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Hertz Buys Dollar Thrifty

Hertz will acquire Dollar Thrifty after years of back and forth negotiations. Hertz Global Holdings and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group announced Aug. 26 that the two companies have entered a definitive merger agreement. Hertz will purchase Dollar Thrifty for $87.50 per share in cash, translating into a purchase worth a corporate enterprise value of approximately $2.3 billion. Each of the two companies’ boards has unanimously approved the transaction. The company stressed that the “closing of that divestiture is conditioned upon, among other things, Hertz completing an acquisition of Dollar Thrifty.” Hertz chairman and chief executive officer Mark Frissora said, “We are pleased to have finally reached an agreement with Dollar Thrifty after a lengthy—but worthwhile—pursuit. We have always believed that a combination with Dollar Thrifty is the best strategic option for both companies. The transaction provides Hertz instant scale with two new, well-established brands with airport concession infrastructure in the mid-tier value segment.”


Attract Customers with a Clean Shop: 10 Tips to a Pristine Look As the automotive service industry becomes increasingly competitive, shop owners are frequently looking for ways to differentiate themselves. Often, the overall cleanliness of the shop can directly influence customer perception and satisfaction with the business. The Cintas Corporation, a leading provider of automotive facility services, has 10 tips to help shop owners improve cleanliness, boost customer satisfaction and impact the bottom line. 1. Shop floor cleanliness is increasingly important as many technicians take customers into the service area to discuss their vehicle’s condition. Develop daily floor cleaning protocols to remove any debris accumulated throughout the day. Create cleaning schedules based on peak business times and train employees in proper techniques. In addition to sweeping and mopping, use agitation tools such as brushes and autoscrubbers to keep fluids and oils from building up on flooring surfaces. 2. Equip the shop with proper chemicals and supplies. Chemical dispensing units guarantee that solutions

are mixed correctly. These units also save time by eliminating manual mixing and providing quick access to properly diluted chemicals. Microfiber mops and dual chamber mopping buckets reduce the spread of contaminants from the service area to customer facilities. 3. Mats capture shop lubricants and fluids and prevent their spread into customer areas. Combine scraper and carpet mats at all entrances to prevent the spread of debris throughout the shop. Place anti-fatigue mats in high-productivity zones to catch any spills and reduce worker injury. 4. While daily cleanings remove dirt and debris, they aren’t always sufficient in the total removal of buildup from lubricants, antifreeze, brake and power-steering fluids. Schedule periodic deep cleanings through the entire shop to remove grime and ease daily cleaning duties. A combination of temperature, agitation, chemicals and extraction effectively removes chemical residue, oil and dirt from all shop surfaces. 5. Ensure that personnel look and feel their best by implementing a uni-

form program. Partner with an apparel rental service to make sure that employees consistently greet customers with a freshly-laundered uniform. Provide scratchless belts to ensure that customer vehicles stay in top condition while employees execute services. Promote the shop’s image with uniforms that display company logos and employee names to personalize the guest experience and boost employee morale. 6. Since technicians are constantly working with harsh oils and liquids, ensure they are greeting customers with clean hands. Provide hand washing stations supplied with heavy-duty soaps to cut harsh grease and oil. Make sure that clean paper towels are readily available and employees aren’t wiping freshly-cleaned hands on soiled shop towels. Additionally, provide protective gloves for employees performing more intensive services. 7. Prevent the accumulation of unsightly soiled shop towels throughout the shop by partnering with a laundry service provider. Service providers will deliver laundered shop

towels based on individual shop needs so a constant supply is available for employees. 8. Refrain from using solventbased parts cleaners as inhalation can cause nervous system damage, lung injury and death. To keep employees safe, make sure that the washer uses bio-based and pH-neutral cleaning solutions to reduce hazards and improve indoor air quality throughout the shop. 9. As a customer’s first impression of the auto shop occurs in the waiting area, this space should always remain in top condition. Develop daily cleaning schedules to disinfect and sanitize all hard surfaces including chairs, tables and floors. 10. Whether the shop has customer-only restrooms or shared facilities, restrooms should always be pristine. Ensure that restrooms have a continuous supply of the essentials including soap, paper towels and toilet paper. At least once a day, all restroom surfaces should be sanitized and disinfected. To keep restrooms smelling fresh and reduce unpleasant odors, use time-release air fresheners and urinal screens.

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Body Shop Move Enforced by Judge for PA Route 29 Expansion In a legal battle that involved a body shop owner, his former attorney, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the expansion of Route 28, a judge recently ruled that William Lieberth Sr., 56, owner of an auto repair shop on Route 28, must agree to a PennDOT settlement, pay his former attorney and vacate his North Side business by Oct. 1. Lieberth said he plans to appeal. In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he said he is prepared to die for his building. After the order was issued, Leiberth said he planned to continue to fight for his building and that he would consider it an honor to die for it. He did not elaborate on what that meant but said, “I’m pure German descent. We know how to fight. I am fully prepared, if I have to.” PennDOT, which acquired the land through eminent domain, has said the ongoing Route 28 work requires demolition of Lieberth’s building and the adjacent parking lot. Lieberth ignored a letter he received from PennDOT in July telling him he must vacate his building by Aug. 6. Lieberth has owned and operated Allegheny Auto Body since 1976. He said he ignored the vacate notice because he had nowhere to move his business. The Allegheny County Common Pleas Court order, written by Judge Michael E. McCarthy, enforces a settlement that representatives for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Harvey Robins, a former attorney for Lieberth, said they agreed to in early August. “There can be little real controversy in this matter that an enforceable agreement was reached and must be honored,” Judge McCarthy wrote. Lieberth owns the last business located along the north side of the Route 28 expansion construction area and refused to leave after receiving an order to vacate the property on East Ohio Street. He insisted that he never agreed to a $245,000 settlement with PennDOT to give up his business for the widening project. Allegheny Auto Body sits just 10 feet from the road. Lieberth fired his attorney Aug. 22, saying he did not agree to the $245,000 settlement with 30% due to

the attorney and a move-out date of Oct. 1. Lieberth also said he should not have to pay his attorney. “I didn’t authorize him to accept this offer,” Lieberth said. “I did not sign this agreement.” According to Lieberth’s former attorney, his client agreed to a $245,000 payment plus $3,500 in interest. In addition, he was able to extend the date Lieberth must vacate the property from the end of July to Oct. 1.

William Lieberth will have to move his shop to make way for a road project

“He said, ‘Well, that’s a good number. Do the best you can,’” Robins told the court, prompting a shout from Lieberth in the gallery, saying, “That’s not true.” Lieberth was admonished by Judge McCarthy who ordered him to wait his turn. “That’s why I fired him Aug. 22. They tried to get me to sign it. I said I’m not going to sign it. I just told you in court; now it’s recorded. I didn’t authorize him to put the $245,000 on the price,” Leiberth said. Lieberth had previously stated that given the percentage of attorney’s fees and no guarantee he can relocate close by, he didn’t think $245,000 was quite enough and doesn’t equal the shop’s value. “The whole gross amount, including moving fees and possibly attorney fees, I can gross here in two years,” Lieberth said. “They aren’t doing me any favors.” A company he hired to do an appraisal set the land value at $285,000. The Allegheny County Board of Viewers set it at $215,000. The shop owner’s former attorney told the court the two sides met close to the middle. “I don’t know what else I could do for the client,” Robins said. Lieberth’s main concern is that he has no place to move his business. “I have nowhere to go,” he said. “They’re trying to force me to accept this settlement, and I said no.”

18 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

He asked PennDOT as part of the settlement negotiations to provide him with another property where he could move his business. But the agency did not do that. “I have nowhere to go, that’s the main thing,” Lieberth said, adding that he wants to remain in the vicinity of his current address, visible to his customer base and separate from the competition of other auto repair shops. “They think because they have eminent domain, and the sheriffs can kick you out, they can do anything,” Lieberth said following a hearing prior to the ruling. “I’m getting screwed over. I just told the county police I’m not gonna fight with them when they come down to my building,” said the body shop owner before the ruling. “They’re going to evict me. I know they are. That’s why I didn’t even dress up for them.” “They’re going around the church and around my body shop. I looked at the plans. I’m right beside the church,” Lieberth said. PennDOT has said that the construction phase requiring the property

occupied by Lieberth’s auto body shop will begin in late 2013 and be completed in 2014. “I’ve been there 37 years. My son’s been there 18 years. We’re the only shop on the North Shore. We’re serving the whole community,” Leiberth said. He had planned on leaving the shop to his son and grandson. “No more body shop and it’s the same old thing,” Leiberth said. “PennDOT doesn’t care. They don’t care that I’m the last shop. Me and my son are historic. We are the last humans on 28. It’s very sad that we’re the last humans for 40 miles. They took everything from this highway and they took my neighborhood.” PennDOT first contacted Lieberth about acquiring his property and relocating his business in March 2007 but failed to reach agreement for years, even as 15 residents and 24 businesses were relocated, most with amicable settlements, the state agency has said. PennDOT paid Mr. Lieberth $115,000 in estimated just compensation for his property in November 2011, including liens.

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ASA Issues Timeline for State Farm to Prove PartsTrader Benefit In late August, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) issued a request to State Farm to prove its PartsTrader benefit to repairers within a timeline, which wasn't specified. The ASA issued this statement on August 22: Since early May 2012, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) and its volunteer leaders have taken a transparent and methodical approach to State Farm’s electronic parts ordering application currently being piloted. Seeking context regarding the specifics of the pilot, ASA previously presented the industry with verified details of the State Farm pilot and the application developed by PartsTrader at State Farm’s request. For ASA to continue in good faith to provide accurate information to its members – and act on their behalf as advocate and industry liaison – ASA has now entered into a phase in which data delivery will be associated with a timeline. If State Farm cannot provide data showing how this application benefits collision repairers (operationally/financially) within a feasible, specified time frame, ASA will respond appropriately. ASA acknowledges the pilot is

still in process and State Farm is currently reviewing data. This follows a public request by ASA June 12 to State Farm on behalf of ASA’s collision repair members for factual evidence of how the electronic parts ordering application would benefit collision repair facilities. Within this request ASA clearly stated that if this application does not provide benefits to the collision repairer, then ASA would not support the application moving forward. On July 17, ASA made another public request to State Farm for data demonstrating that the pilot application benefits repair facilities, receipt of which was confirmed by the insurer. George Avery, State Farm industry liaison and claims representative, said during a recent phone interview with ASA that State Farm is still sifting through the feedback received from the 158 shops using the system in four U.S. markets, and is implementing changes in the pilot that, in turn, put them in a position of needing to go back to repairers to gather further data. Avery stressed it is a fluid process. Although lacking current data to provide specific answers, he assured ASA that State Farm would respond to the association

20 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

when answers were available. Previously published, ASA’s areas of concern regarding the pilot – as expressed by collision repairers – includes efficiency issues, additional administration costs, reductions in shop profits, potential compromises to local repairer-to-supplier relationships and increasing insurer involvement in the repair process. More than 100 formal and informal interviews have been conducted by ASA, primarily with collision repair businesses and other industry groups. “For ASA members, the factual results of the pilot are essential to the discussion. ASA will continue to engage with all parties necessary, as we seek the supporting data that this application benefits the collision repairer. ASA stands by its statement that if this application does not provide benefits to the collision repairer, ASA would not support the application moving forward,” said Denise Caspersen, manager of ASA’s Collision Division. “ASA has a responsibility to our membership to be the unyielding, professional voice speaking clearly about their concerns and advocating for favorable resolutions.”

WMABA Hosted PartsTrader Meetings in Two Locations

The Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) hosted two meetings Sept. 19 in Virginia and Maryland to discuss issues related to State Farm Insurance’s parts procurement program through PartsTrader. Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), gave an in-depth presentation on State Farm’s pilot program. “Understanding that not every repair facility can participate and hear the discussions taking place at national meetings, we wanted to bring the discussion to the local level and share with regional areas of the country,” Schulenburg said. “These insurer mandated parts procurement programs have the potential to drastically affect every repairer if our industry isn’t cautious about understanding the potential ramifications. This isn’t about one carrier, one process or one business model. It is about insurer control over repair facility processes, and insurer intrusion into your business. If these programs are launched nationally, and the repair industry watches it happen, business for repairers and parts vendors will be affected.”


ASRW Hosts 2nd Annual MSO Symposium October 12 Automotive Service & Repair Week will host the second annual MSO (Multi-Store Owner) Symposium on Friday, October 12, during ASRW at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA. Designed for collision repair multi-shop operators, the MSO Symposium will be held during ASRW, which is scheduled Oct. 10–13. The MSO Symposium debuted at ASRW in 2011 specifically for multi-shop owners. Registration for the MSO Symposium is $125 and is available online for qualified MSOs only. The symposium was created specifically for shop owners with two or more locations. “Our success with last year’s inaugural MSO Symposium generated tremendous enthusiasm and interest among MSOs in the U.S. and Canada. It has also proven to be a draw for our speakers who want to share their thoughts with this growing segment of the collision repair industry,” said symposium facilitator and co-producer Matthew Ohrnstein, Symphony Advisors. “We are especially

pleased to be able to tailor this year’s content to respond to specific feedback from last year’s attendees.” The 2012 Schedule-at-a-Glance is as follows: 8:30 a.m.–8:45 a.m. Welcome & Opening Comments 8:45 a.m.–9:45 a.m. Developing a Sustainable Culture, facilitated by Marcy Tieger, Symphony Advisors Guest Panelists: ● Andrew C. Taylor, Chairman and CEO, Enterprise Holdings ● Pam Nicholson, President and COO, Enterprise Holdings ● Christine B. Taylor, Assistant Vice President, Enterprise Holdings 9:45 a.m.–10:45 a.m. Strategic Brand Development: Differentiate Through Innovation Facilitated by David Lingham, IBIS Conference Director. Guest Speaker: Sasha Strauss, Founder and CEO, Innovation Protocol; Professor, University of Southern California 10:45 a.m.–11:15 a.m. Networking Break 11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Building Lasting Business Relationships Through Performance Facilitated by Matthew

Ohrnstein, Symphony Advisors Guest Panelists: ● Bill Brower, Assistant Vice President and Manager, APD, Personal Market Claims, Liberty Mutual Insurance ● Patrick Burnett, Assistant Vice President, Nationwide ● Michelle Dereszynski, Assistant Vice President, APD National Operations and Strategy, Farmers Insurance ● Susanna Gotsch, Director, Industry Analyst, CCC Information Services ● James Spears, Assistant Vice President, USAA 12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m. Lunch 1:30 p.m.–2:45 p.m. What a Difference a Year Makes, facilitated by Matthew Ohrnstein, Symphony Advisors Guest Panelists: ● Steve Grimshaw, Caliber Collision Centers, CEO ● Chris Abraham, Service King Collision Centers, CEO ● Brock Bulbuck, The Boyd Group, President and CEO ● Duane Rouse, ABRA Auto Body & Glass, CEO 2:45 p.m.–3:15 p.m. Networking Break

3:15 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Show Me the Money: Private Equity’s View of the Collision Repair Industry, facilitated by Rex Green, BB&T Capital Markets, Head of Consumer Group Guest Panelists: ● Warren Feldberg, Partner, Champlain Capital Partners, LP ● Lorin Knell, Partner, KCB Management ● Luis Zaldivar, Managing Director, Palladium Equity Partners ● TBA, The Carlyle Group ● Other(s) to be announced 4:30 p.m.–4:45 p.m. Closing Comments 4:45 p.m.–7:00 p.m. Networking Reception “The MSO Symposium was one of the most anticipated events of 2011, and this year’s event is on pace to exceed our expectations once again,” said Ron Pyle, ASA president. “The overwhelming response and support by the sponsors of this event have truly shaped it, and we are grateful to each of the sponsoring companies who have played a critical role in this year’s symposium,” he added.

www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 21


On Creative Marketing

Information Mining for Profit with Thomas Franklin

I've written about ways to use the customer information form to build business many times, but I still come across estimators who either expect front desk people to handle it and then ignore it, or just capture the minimum info about the vehicle and insurance company. Somehow many estimators simply don't understand the value of this form as a sales and profit tool. Perhaps an estimator's boss, the shop owner or manager, foolishly pays estimators a flat rate with no meaningful incentive to increase business volume and profits, but even estimators I know who are paid incentives still fail to use the form intelligently. I have to conclude they simply don't grasp the real meaning or value of this form. This form may be one of the most valuable of all forms in a shop! Used properly it can open the door to business and family referrals, provide many ways to make a customer a customer for life, and a wealth of ways to close the sale. In addition to the obvious questions like family and children's birthdays, anniversaries, and other key events, a good info sheet asks for business or employer info and any company vehicle info. A lazy estimator will expect front desk people to capture as much info as they can, but a smart estimator seizes the opportunity to talk with the customer and fill in the form for him or her. A smart owner sends out birthday, anniversary and holiday greetings, but a smarter esti-

mator gets to ask about other family members and associates and their vehicles. This is a perfect time to offer a family or company discount or free car wash or detail to bring in other family members or business associates. While all of this should be standard customer sales mining, there is an even more important sales use for this form. With the sluggish economy, vehicles are being kept longer. One estimate is now eleven years on average. This means that people keeping their vehicles longer may not be adding collision coverage to their auto insurance. This has increased the volume of self-pay jobs to what may be 20 percent or more for many shops. Unfortunately if the estimator hasn't used the info form to see if it's an insurance pay or self-pay job, he or she might write an estimate that assumes an insurance level of payment to restore the vehicle to pre-accident condition. If the estimator knows it will be a selfpay job, he or she will usually ask the customer just how much restoration is desired and how much the person's budget will bear. Knowing there is a limited budget, an estimator may suggest used or aftermarket parts and other cost-saving measures. I spoke to one estimator recently who told me most self-pay jobs were very low-priced minor repairs that probably cost more to process than they were worth. I asked if this was always true, and he had to admit that occasionally they would get a self-pay

Allstate Reveals Best Drivers

NHTSA Finalizes Airbag Rule

The best drivers in the country, according to Allstate, are in Sioux Falls, SD, and Boise, ID, where the average driver will suffer a collision only every 13.8 years. Presumably these are bad areas in which to own a collision facility. They may also offer the best insurance rates for non-rural residents in the US. The best place on the list, in theory, for a collision facility is Washington, DC, where the average driver can expect to need a repair every 4.7 years, 112% of the national average of approximately 10 years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has extended its rule for retrofitting on-off switches on vehicle airbags, according to an announcement from the Automotive Service Association (ASA). NHTSA’s current regulation allows automobile dealers and repair businesses to install retrofit on-off switches for airbags in vehicles made prior to Sept. 1, 2012. The agency’s new rule extends the ability to retrofit vehicle airbag on-off switches for three more years through Sept. 1, 2015, according to the ASA. The rule is effective immediately.

22 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

Tom Franklin has been a shop sales and marketing consultant for fifty years. He has written numerous books and provides marketing solutions and services for many businesses. He can be reached at (323) 871-6862 or at tbfranklin@aol.com. See Tom’s columns at www.autobodynews.com under Columnists > Franklin

job worth many thousands of dollars. He had to admit that a couple of these jobs would compensate for a great many low or no-profit jobs and that it was probably still worth while to take the time to do the self-pays when they came along. Once again, the customer information form could be a key to profitable self-pay. When faced with a thousand-dollar deductible, even some insurance-covered damage might be profitably converted to selfpay. Most people know that if they have the insurance company pay for repairs, there is a fair chance their premium will rise. A repair job in the $2000 range with a $1000 deductible could easily be a wash if the probability of a premium rate increase is factored in. And if the job became self-pay, once again the estimator could show the customer ways they could reduce the cost of the repair (without reducing the shop's profit). The low-budget self-pay indica-

tion on the form is just one heads-up advantage for the estimator. A more profitable opportunity might be suggested for more affluent types. Some customers might choose to replace an external part with a more cosmetically appealing part and be willing to pay for an upgrade. Pinstriping, graphics, clear-bra or other paint-related addons might be suggested. Mothers transporting children or pets might be in the market for additional safety items or restraints. Truck owners might be interested in any number of add-ons. Handicapped people could be looking for a specific upgrade like a power running board. A careful reading of the form can reveal many possibilities before even looking at the vehicle. Handled properly, the customer information form can be a window into the customer's mind. That little bit of information mining could turn into some gold mining for the shop.

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www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 23


A Little Piece of ‘57 Chevy Blue Heaven to Debut at SEMA ate future. The history behind this vehicle and When you call your rebuilt car “Blue Tom and Mitch’s role in the story goes Heaven,” AKA “Bad to the Blue,” you back several years, Mitch Kelly exbetter have something special. plained. “This car was sitting right next to my house for the longest time. It belonged to my neighbor’s father. I was looking at it one day and I thought, hey— let’s buy this car and fix it up for SEMA. That way, when my dad and I are standing there at the PPG booth [Kelly’s main sponsor], it will give people something to look at Mitch Kelly of Kelly & Sons Crazy Painters in Bellflower, California and something we can readies his SATA spray gun as he begins painting his classic 1957 Chevrolet, to be displayed at this year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas talk about. My neighbor agreed to the sale, We all know how a restored car so we started working on it.” can go from sitting in a backyard to With more than 200 hours of becoming a beautiful piece of auto- work into “Blue Heaven,” Tom and motive art, but it doesn’t happen by Mitch are thrilled about how the car chance. In this case, it took a pair of will look when completed and ready master painters/artists like Tom and Mitch Kelly from Kelly & Sons Crazy Painters in southern California to take this 1957 Chevrolet and convert it into a highly-collectible one-of-a-kind showroom gem. When the Kellys finally complete this current project and unveil it at this year’s “Blue Heaven” will soon be a shining blue star for Kelly & Sons SEMA show, there Crazy Painters and their sponsors at SEMA will be more than just a few “oohs!” and “aahs!” along the for the SEMA floor. “It’s going to get way. There may be some outstanding some attention, that’s for sure,” Mitch reviews and maybe even a magazine said. “The plan is to keep it and show cover in this classic vehicle’s immedi- it for at least the next year. Unless someone makes me a crazy offer on the car, I want to keep it, because we’re so proud of it and the work that went into it.” Some notable enhancements to his ’57 Chevy include Crazy Paint’s signature “surprise graphics,” which appear underneath the car’s hood on the engine firewall, Mitch After purchasing the car, Mitch Kelly discovered that it has a explained. “When special racing frame that was made for use in NASCAR races and available on a limited basis to the public people see this car, by Ed Attanasio

24 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

they want to look at the engine,” Mitch Burnout series; Quick Cut sanders said. “So, we’re giving them somedistributed by All-American Tool thing new and different to look at Corp., in Orting, WA; SATA Spray when the hood’s up. It just adds a difGuns; Kaeser air compressors; sandferent look and is a conversation paper from Surf Prep; and waxes, starter. We’re always searching for polishes, and cleaners from Mothers ways to make our cars stand out, and Polish in Huntington Beach, CA. By doing things like unexpected graphics is one way to achieve that.” Here are the details of the build, explained by Mitch in a Reader’s Digest-style. “We used PPG Envirobase and their 280 primer, as well as their ECS-27 Black Envirobase sealer. The Envirobase is easy to apply and we’re adept If you look closely, you can see the vehicle’s “surprise graphics” on its engine firewall at using it. The finished product is superior and I love collaborating with their sponsoring this PPG blue.” companies and using their best-ofWhen Mitch took possession of the-best products, Tom and Mitch the car and started breaking it down, Kelly can build a vehicle like this he and his crew discovered something amazing 1957 Chevy. unique about their Chevy. “When it “Without our sponsors, we’d be came back from sandblasting, it left hanging. With their help and their looked like nothing I’d ever seen. We top-tier products, we’re able to create quickly found out it has a very rare an amazing vehicle,” Mitch said. “We specialty racing frame. Back then, scored with this build, because now Chevrolet had to manufacture a few we have a very unique finished prodcars that could meet NASCAR’s re- uct and something we’re anxious to quirements and make them available show at SEMA.” to the general public in addition to the On the morning of SEMA’s openracing community. So, we had a gem ing day, (Tuesday, October 30) “Blue here and we didn’t even know it until Heaven” will be sitting under a Covwe were into the build.” ers Direct car cover at SATA’s booth Companies that Tom and Mitch (#10609), awaiting an unveiling that Kelly want to thank for contributing will take place between 10–11 a.m. At their products and time to building that same time, SATA will be distheir 1957 Chevy Blue Dream in- playing their new SATAjet 4000 B Camouflage spray guns, Mitch said. “No one is going to see this vehicle until we pull that cover off of it, so if you’re there, stop by and get the first look at this car.” Tom and Mitch Kelly will both be on hand to display their artwork and sign posters at SEMA’s PPG booth (#24501) Tom Kelly holding the concept rendering of “Blue Heaven” every day during the entire show, Kelly said. “Come see all clude Classic Performance Products in Anaheim , CA, that provided the of the PPG products we used on this A-arms, power steering brakes, gas beautiful classic car. It’s our SEMA tank and front suspension; American surprise and we’re obviously very Racing for wheels, called the proud of it!”


www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 25


+ 26 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com


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888-893-4984 407-521-1115

877-544-2249

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7-5 cdunlap@penskeautomotive.com

800-748-8676 601-957-3400

Milton Martin Honda

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-5 pmartin@pattypeckhonda.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 8-4 parts@classichonda.com

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Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6; Sat 8-4 Prafferty@vtaig.com

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800-232-1098 561-844-8089 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 7:30-5 tonyrocha@edmorse.com

Dul uth

Bir min gh am

800-277-8836 678-957-5151

800-987-0819 205-949-5460

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-5 gphwholesaleparts@hendrickauto.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5; Sat 8-3 mpowell@serrahonda.com

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800-334-3719 770-933-5870 Direct Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7-6 hondaparts@edvoyles.com

866-362-8034 770-306-4646 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-7; Sat 8-5 hondawp@nalleycars.com

Southern Motors Honda S ava n na h

888-785-8387 912-925-1444 Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-5 angela@southern-motors.com

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888-941-7278 904-777-1008

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800-899-7278 770-422-3138

800-264-1739 256-533-1345

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-8; Sat 7-5; Sun 9-3 msweeney@acuraoforangepark.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-5 rubenramos@rickcase.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7-5 byoung@nalleycars.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-5:30; Sat 8-4 Rkeel@damson.com

Duval Acura Jack so n vi ll e

800-352-2872 904-725-1149 Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 8-5 cecil.adams@duvalacura.com

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www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 27


ASA Speaks with NWLCRA Regarding PartsTrader Pilot

Denise Caspersen, manager of the Automotive Service Association's collision division, recently attended a Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association (NWLCRA) meeting to present to its members the ‘facts to date’ regarding the State Farm electronic parts ordering application. The State Farm pilot is currently taking place in Birmingham, AL; Tucson, AZ; Grand Rapids, MI; and Charlotte, NC. Following the NWLCRA August business meeting, Caspersen discussed the verified facts about the pilot along with clear statements of concern from repairers, based on ASA member feedback to the association. During the three-hour meeting, repairers and suppliers in the Northwest Louisiana area asked follow-up questions and expressed their concerns with the pilot and its potential impact on their relationships with suppliers and consumers. “We are very thankful to Denise and ASA for bringing to collision industry professionals of Northwest Louisiana, East Texas and South Arkansas such a timely discussion of the facts concerning this pilot program. Everyone gained tremendous insight from the up-to-date facts and ASA’s continuing investigation of the

pilot program. We feel complete and open disclosure of those facts by all parties involved is critical,” said Bill Burnside, secretary-treasurer, NWLCRA. “When all the facts are present, good decisions can be made.” Caspersen, who will meet with ASA members in Ohio in September, said, “ASA welcomes the opportunity to speak with repairers and suppliers on this important industry issue. To date, the majority of the industry has a negative view of this pilot. The facts, the pilot results, and most importantly, the concerns of repairers about how this application will affect their business, are what remain vital to ASA. We will continue to work with as many parties as possible to find the answers our members require. ASA is now focused on a timeline in which results of the pilot will be provided.” ASA announcements regarding the State Farm pilot are conveniently located at www.ASAshop.org. Click on ‘Tools & Resources’ (in the blue menu bar), then ‘State Farm Pilot Program.’ ASA reminds members to share their concerns, comments and experiences regarding the pilot by contacting Caspersen at denisec@ASAshop.org, or by phone at (800) ASA-SHOP, ext. 106, or (817) 514-2906 (direct).

AASP-MA and CCRE to Host Educational Seminars

The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts (AASPMA) will host a series of three seminars presented by the Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (CCRE). The ‘Three Days to Transform Your Body Shop’ series will cover repair authorization vs. repair contracts, job costing, ROI and interpretation of legal documents. The three Saturday sessions are spread over a 10-week period and will take place at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel of Marlborough from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. “The CCRE has made a name for itself over the years as a group of consultants who work diligently to help shops be the best they can be,” said AASP-MA President Rick Starbard. “As with past CCRE educational offerings, this series of seminars has been met with rave reviews in locations such as Cleveland, Philadelphia and Birmingham, AL. We knew there was an incredible value in the information being presented in these seminars, but the reality is that many repairers can’t afford to spend extra time away from the shop traveling. So we worked with CCRE to develop a plan and bring these great seminars right to AASP-MA members’ own backyards.” The series is offered for $495 to

a body shop's first registered representative, and additional attendees from the same company will be admitted for $295 per person. “Since transforming one’s business may take more than one person, we encourage shop owners to bring managers or other influential shop members as well,” Starbard said. CCRE’s “Level One” presentation kicked off on Sept. 15. Level Two, scheduled for Oct. 20, will continue the interactive discussion, focusing on helping participants run their shops without third-party interference and taking back control of their business. The third seminar, slated for Dec. 1, will be facilitated by longtime automotive industry attorney James Castleman and will focus on helping shops better understand legal issues including Assignment of Proceeds/Rights, as well as various documentation and regulations surrounding the auto repair industry. By the end of the three sessions, attendees will gain a new perspective on running a successful, independent shop; a blueprint for putting appropriate administrative and operating procedures in place; and the legal documents needed to comply specifically with Massachusetts laws and regulations that can be used every day.

28 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

PartsTrader will Come to Chicago Market’s 450 State Farm Select Service Shops in December State Farm Insurance is planning to expand its Web-based parts procurement pilot through PartsTrader in Chicago, Dick Luedke, media relations specialist for State Farm, said Sept. 14. Luedke said State Farm’s Select Service shops in Chicago will begin using the program in December. A specific date has not yet been set. That means the program will be required in five U.S. markets, including Chicago; Tucson, AZ; Grand Rapids, MI; Charlotte, NC; and Birmingham, AL. About 600 State Farm Select Service shops exist throughout those five markets. State Farm selected Chicago as the next location for its pilot due to the city’s size, which will allow the company to test the program on a larger scale, Luedke said. Roughly 450 Select Service shops exist in Chicago, while the other four markets where the pilot is currently active have about 150 participating shops combined, less those who dropped the program.

“The reason we’re doing this is because that market is such a big metropolitan area. We want to test the scale and technology of the program in a larger metropolitan area,” Luedke said. “That allows us to scale the program and the technology in that unique environment. Obviously, Tucson and Birmingham are good size metropolitan areas, but Chicago is much larger so we want to do it there.” Luedke said State Farm does not currently have plans to launch the PartsTrader pilot in any other markets. State Farm has said its PartsTrader process should improve part availability, process efficiency, order accuracy and create a better experience for customers.

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www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 29


AUTOMAKER, AU A UTO OM MA M AK AK ER OEM OEM AUTOMAKER KE R,, OEM, M,, AND AND RECALL RE R E C AL CA ALL LL EC Autobody News Ford Issues Third Recall of 2013 Escape for Fire Risk

Ford Motor Co. issued a third recall of its newly launched 2013 Escape on Sept. 5, saying an improperly installed part could cause a fire in the engine compartment. The recall affects about 7,600 Escapes equipped with a 1.6-liter engine and built between Oct. 5, 2011, and Aug. 31, 2012. In some of these SUVs, a component called a cup plug was not installed properly, Ford spokeswoman Marcey Zwiebel said. A loose or dislodged plug would cause an immediate loss of engine coolant. If the glycol concentration in the coolant comes in contact with the hot engine components, it may catch fire. The new Escape was redesigned for the 2013 model year. The latest recall is the second due to a fire risk. Ford recalled the vehicle for the first time in July to correct a carpeting flaw that could cause braking problems. Days later, Ford recalled the Escape again, citing a fuel line problem that could cause an engine fire. The issue forced Ford to take the rare step of telling owners to stop driving immediately. Zwiebel said the cup plug defect is not related to the fuel line issue. Ford has determined there is a low likelihood of a plug dislodging and an “even lower likelihood” of a fire, she said. Replacement parts are available at dealerships now. About 6,150 of the vehicles affected by the plug issue are in the United States and 1,300 are in Canada. No customer vehicles have caught fire, but in mid-August an Escape caught fire on a dealer lot in Tennessee. The plugs at issue were manually installed at a Ford engine plant in England, Zwiebel said. Manual installation at that time was used as a back-up when the automated systems were having problems, something that Zwiebel said is no longer the case.

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GM Halts Chevy Volt Production

2013 Range Rover Unveiled

Ram 1500 Pickups Will be First to Offer Hands Free Texting

Suzuki Recalls Forenza, Reno

General Motors has again stopped Chevrolet Volt production. According to Automotive News, the Volt’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant will be shut down for four weeks—from September 17 until October 15. This will affect about 1,500 workers. Earlier this year, the plant was shut down because GM had a 150-day supply of Volts, but sales have been good this summer. Still, AN says, as of August 1, GM had an 84-day supply. There may be more inventory than demand justifies. Some deals have surfaced recently that are considered underpriced.

The 2013 Ram 1500 pickup will be the first American–built vehicle to offer hands-free voice responses to text messages. “We would like people to put their phones away and drive,” said Joni Christensen, Chrysler Group’s head of marketing for its UConnect mobile telecommunication systems. The new pickup uses a computer–generated voice to read received text messages aloud. Connecting to a separate ‘cloud-based’ server, the driver can then vocally dictate a response. The message is voiced back to the driver and, upon vocal approval, it is sent through a Bluetooth-connected cellphone as text. “We know that although it is dangerous and illegal in many states, people are still pulling out their cellphones while driving to text message,” Christensen said. “Some, especially young people we call ‘screen-agers,’ actually don’t talk on their phones as much as they communicate through text,” he said. “This is a generation that does not know life without the Internet, but this is technology that can make using cellphones safer.” The new texting capabilities were announced when the extensively redesigned pickup was introduced to the motoring press in Nashville, TN. The Ram 1500 pickup will be in dealerships by the end of September.

30 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

An all–new Range Rover has just been unveiled, and while it features evolutionary styling, there's been a complete revolution beneath the skin. Most significantly, the new car swaps the steel body of the current Range Rover for an all-aluminium structure, which is around 39% lighter. That weight saving—along with other smaller ones and improved aerodynamics—helps make the new Range Rover both faster and more efficient than an equivalent version of the current car. In addition, it has allowed Land Rover to offer a new entry-level V6 diesel. Nearly 102,000 Suzuki Forenza and Reno sedans are being recalled by American Suzuki Motor Corp. The small cars have wiring issues that may cause the headlamps to work only intermittently, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Sudden loss of illumination reduces driver visibility and increases the risk of collision, warns the safety agency. According to NHTSA, poor contact between the terminals of certain wires can generate heat in the wires of the 2004-06 Suzuki Forenza and the 2005-06 Suzuki Reno that lead to the cars’ headlights.

GM Recalls 2012 Sonics

General Motors Co is recalling nearly 45,000 2012 Chevrolet Sonic cars to fix faulty windshield wiper reservoirs. The Detroit automaker said the windshield wiper washer hose on 44,668 Sonic vehicles may separate from the washer fluid reservoir. If this happens, washer fluid will not be available to the windshield. GM said a lack of washer fluid could impede the driver’s view, increasing the risk of a crash. GM dealers will ensure the washer hose is properly connected to the reservoir. The automaker said it notified dealers on Aug. 14 and notified owners on Sept. 7. GM said it had an elevated number of warranty reports of separating washer hoses and an investigation found an inappropriate lubricant used in the assembly process was to blame.

www.autobodynews.com

October 2012 Nissan Recalls 2012 Infiniti

Nissan’s luxury-badged 2013 Infiniti JX35 sport-utility vehicles are being recalled for a defect in the fuel gauge system, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The fuel gauges in more than 7,800 Infiniti SUVs may display higher levels of fuel than what’s actually in the tanks, which may cause drivers to unexpectedly run out of gas. The company has told the NHTSA that the fuel gauge problem with the Infiniti JX35 SUV is due to a fuel transfer tube inside the vehicle’s fuel tank. During production of the SUV, the tube was incorrectly routed, which subsequently prevents the internal fuel level float sensor from properly measuring the amount of gas in the tank. Last month, the federal safety agency also began a probe of the Infiniti JX35’s brakes. At issue is the Driver Assistance Package, which automatically applies the SUV’s brakes based on the vehicle’s on-board radar sensors.

Fire Causes Karma Recall

Fisker has been in the hot seat due to troubles with its Karma extended-range hybrid-electric luxury sedan that resulted in two recalls, ownership hiccups, and more recently the second Karma to catch fire. The first one to combust was in Texas earlier this year, the second one in California. The most recent incident has been traced to a faulty cooling fan, and the company voluntarily issued its third recall over the weekend. Incident investigators, including Fisker engineers and an independent fire expert, isolated the combustion cause to a sealed fan component that had an internal fault, leading to overheating and eventually a slow-burning fire. Notably, this problem is not directly connected to the battery pack or powertrain. Fisker has contacted its dealers, who will reach out to the approximately 1,000 owners to have the cooling fan replaced. In addition, a protective fuse will be added.


SCRS Presents International Perspective on Parts Procurement

For collision repairers concerned about the impact of insurance mandated parts procurement models and looking to gain more knowledge on the impact they have had in other global markets, the 2012 SEMA Show is a perfect venue to gather information. As part of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ (SCRS) Repairer Driven Education (RDE) series, registrants will be able to participate in an interactive presentation with Rex Crowther, Editor of Panel Talk Magazine in New Zealand, and David Newton-Ross, Editor of The National Collision Repairer in Australia and The NZ Collision Repairer. The two hour session, ‘Bidding Wars: A Global View on the Possible Economic Impact of Insurer Involvement in Parts Procurement,’ is set for Nov. 1 at 12:30. To register for this RDE seminar or to find other seminars being offered, please visit www.semashow.com/scrs. While online bidding requirements for parts procurement have only recently entered the U.S. market,

other countries such as New Zealand have dealt with parts tendering mandates by carriers for many years. This session will provide attendees with a global perspective on the economic impact of NZ based bidDavid Newton Ross ding programs, Australia procedural impacts the program has had on cycle times and estimating practices, and changes the program has had on repairer/supplier relationships. It will also include a historical overview of the national rollout, changes made to the program along the way, and market impact from inception to present day; including an oration of market response at various points throughout the past eight-plus years. “Having seen firsthand the impact PartsTrader has had on the industry here in NZ and hearing how different both PartsTrader and State Farm are saying it is going to be in the U.S., I struggle to see any advantage for repairers, or much real advantage

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for State Farm,” shared Crowther who has been involved in the NZ collision repair industry since 1967. “This makes me suspicious of the end game, as all repairers’ margins are vulnerable through this program and surely any insurer is out to maximize their profits for their stakeholders.” Crowther is no stranger to repairer reaction to the launch of programs such as these, as former owner of two Auckland, NZ based repair facilities for 28 years, and before he sold the business. Crowther served as the Executive Chairman of the New Zealand Collision Repair Association from 1999 to 2004, representing a membership base that performed more that 80% of the insurance paid collision repair work in the country. He has also served on the board of I-CAR NZ for the last ten years and was chairman for two years prior to stepping down in April of this year; and since 2004 Rex has been on the board of the Motor Industry Training Organisation (MITO), which is responsible for all motor industry apprentice and advanced training.

Rex is passionate about the collision repair industry and keen to help people on their journey from collision repairer to successful business owner. “The real winners of this program are the shoddy suppliers and the disorganized repairers in NZ because from our experience, PartsTrader does not discriminate between the good and the average,” he concluded. “While the program in itself can be a good tool for difficult-to-find parts, especially here in NZ with our huge recycled parts market, it certainly has a huge detrimental effect on relationships between suppliers and repairers when its use and parts margins are mandated. It is not unusual for a parts supply that previously would have taken Rex Crowther 24 hours to reNew Zealand ceive, to now take three to four days; despite reports from the U.S. proponents that say it will improve the parts supply process and efficiency.”

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www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 31


Shop Owner Nets $3.4 Million in Paint Contract Lawsuit by Melanie Anderson

In a two-year battle about waterborne paint and paint company contracts, Austin, TX, shop owner Richard Wood, 48, recently won a $3.7 million jury verdict against paint companies BASF and jobber FinishMaster, but the jury also found that he should pay damages for breach of contract. Wood owns Richard’s Paint and Body Shop, which operates under the name Custom Car Crafters. Wood, who has been in business since 1984, has two shops, a 30,000 square-foot building on the north side of Austin and a 12,000 square-foot shop on the south side of town. On Aug. 30, a federal jury unanimously found BASF and FinishMaster guilty of fraud and breach of warranty to paint supplied to Custom Car Crafters, awarding the shop punitive damages of $1.5 million from BASF and $750,000 from FinishMaster. Custom Car Crafter’s was also awarded $1.5 million in compensatory damages. The legal troubles began in 2010 when the paint companies sued Custom Car Crafters for breach of a paint contract. Wood quickly countersued. The court also found that BASF suffered as a result of the shop’s breach of contract and they were awarded $176,000. Additionally, the jurors found that the body shop failed to prove that its failure to pay FinishMaster liquidated damages was excused, awarding $100,000 in damages to FinishMaster. Custom Car Crafters will net $3.4 million. At the heart of the matter is Wood’s claims that the BASF 90-line waterborne paint they sold the shop was “unfit and defective” in Austin’s heat and humidity and that instructions for easy-to-use standardized mixing ratio of 2:1 was inaccurate. Custom Car Crafters was obliged to follow the paint instructions to maintain the BASF and FinishMaster warranty on cars they painted, but Wood said in the Texas climate, the paint would not dry in a timely fashion or sometimes not at all. In court documents, the paint was described as resulting in “seediness, bubbling, fish eyes, side casting, dye back and delamination, among other problems.” Wood said he notified BASF and FinishMaster in a timely fashion about

the defective paint and instructions and of the severe impact these defects were having on his business. In response, BASF and FinishMaster

When Richard Wood was sued by the paint companies, he filed a countersuit. After a two-year battle, Wood won a $3.7 million jury verdict

blamed the problems on shop employees and their application of the paint. So Wood requested that the BASF send himself and another employee, along with a FinishMaster rep, to a training course. According to court documents, while at the training course in California, a BASF instructor informed Wood that BASF and FinishMaster’s training and instructions were inappropriate for the Texas heat and humidity and that no proper manual existed for that region. The BASF instructor also told Wood that BASF and FinishMaster failed to sell him the correct supplies and additives. After a year of struggling with the paint, Wood claims the companies admitted there was not a set 2:1 formula for the paint. After repeated failed efforts, the shop acted to mitigate its damages by terminating its contract, halting use of the BASF and FinishMaster Paint, and obtaining the paint that was necessary for the shop to conduct its business. Wood said he tried to return the paint and materials back to the paint companies but that they refused to collect them. Wood noted that as a result of the defective paint and its instructions, his shops had to repaint 565 vehicles and that it incurred costs in excess of $100,000 for labor and materials and another $100,00 for rental cars during

32 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

repainting. Wood expects these costs to increase as additional vehicles are returned for repainting under their lifetime warranties. “I did not track most of the repaints for the first three to four months due to the fact that BASF blamed the painters. I also was already spraying [another] water base for over four years and had the same painters with no problem,” Wood said. He also said he spent $500,000 on paint materials, but only collected $320,000 from insurance companies for reimbursement of paint materials. In addition, the shops had to turn down other work in order to repaint the cars. To make matters worse, three of his painters quit due to the paint companies ‘blame game’ and the number of re-dos required. Wood also claims the defective paint and instructions harmed his shops’ highly valuable reputation and relationships with insurance carriers. Wood said the defective paint caused his business to suffer from loss of earnings and profits, loss of earning capacity, damage to reputation, loss of staff, out-of-pocket costs and

costs of storing the paint when the companies refused to take it back. Wood also said BASF and FinishMaster told him if he switched to 90line he could end his previous PPG paint contract without penalty. Wood said he still had to pay $73,000 to PPG. In its suit, BASF and FinishMaster said the shop failed to purchase BASF products for five years as part of a contract in which the shop received $320,000 cash from BASF and FinishMaster. According to co-counsel Broadus Spivey, the court has not yet entered a judgment on the verdict, which means the judge orders the jury’s verdict into judgment. “I am sure there will be an appeal. We are ready for that too,” Spivey said. “It is a privilege to represent Richard Wood, who worked so hard to build his business and his reputation,” said co-counsel Karen Burgess. “The jury system worked for justice.” “I feel justice was served,” Wood said. “We won because there was a legitimate problem. They knew they had a problem and they tried to cover it up.”

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www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 33


Industry Insight

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

Shops Can Put News, Trends Related to Insurers to Good Use with John Yoswick

It’s easy as a shop owner to get so caught up in day-to-day operations that it can be a challenge to follow the news directly affecting collision repairers. But there’s plenty of “insurancerelated” news that shops also should know about, because it can help them educate their customers, market their business, and maybe even alter how they vote or shop for insurance themselves. Loyalty doesn’t always pay. Have a customer with an insurer you’d rather not work with? You might want to tell them about a new study that found that a policyholder who stays with the same auto insurance company for more than eight years could save 19 percent on annual premiums by switching. “Consumers must shop their policies to ensure they aren’t overpaying for insurance,” Deeia Beck of the Texas-based Office of Public Insurance Counsel (OPIC), said. Beck said her organization’s data shows “the longer a policyholder stays with the same company, the more likely it is that they are overcharged.” Even after just three years, Beck said, a consumer stands to save 5.2% by switching. Despite this, a 2010 study from Deloitte found that four out of 10 auto policyholders were with their insurer for more than a decade, and that six out of 10 of policyholders “rarely or never shop their policy for a better deal.” Read more about this study at: http://tinyurl.com/bq8s5cv.

Feds still considering regulation The role of financial institutions in the economic meltdown from which the U.S. is still struggling to recover has helped keep federal regulation of the insurance industry on the table. A recent report released by the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) states that American International Group (AIG, now selling auto insurance as “21st Century”) is still in need of “effective, comprehensive and rigorous” regulation to ensure history does not repeat itself at the in-

surance giant. The report notes that four years after a $161 federal billion bailout of AIG, there is currently no designated federal regulator of the company. Meanwhile New Jersey’s Rep. Scott Garrett, a senior Republican member of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced legislation in August that would bar federal regulators from designating insurance companies as ‘systemically significant,’ more commonly referred to as ‘too big to fail.’ Garrett’s bill would prevent insurers from having to comply with heightened regulation and capital standards placed on other types of financial institutions that are categorized as too big too fail.

Progressive stumbles on social media Progressive had taken a pummeling in the social media world recently after a New York man posted a blog with the provocative title, “My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer in Court” (read it at: http://tinyurl.com/8jqtdwa). Turns out Progressive believed that its own insured (the sister of comedian and blogger Matt Fisher) was at fault in the accident that took her life, and assisted with the defense of the driver of the other car (who had a suspended license and little insurance). Though Progressive may have been in the right, it didn’t help its cause in trying to explain the complicated situation by making public statements parsing words, and sending out tweets (some of which originally had Flo’s smiling face accompanying them) saying such things as it had “properly handled the claim within its contractual obligations.” A New York Times article explains the situation well, and could be a good reminder for all insureds to check the amount of uninsured motorist coverage they carry (read at: http://tinyurl.com/8vtzfd7).

Long-standing parts-related lawsuit comes to an end A federal court in California has tossed out class action and individual

34 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

lawsuits against Allstate, GEICO, State Farm and Liberty Mutual, saying the plaintiffs in the case failed to provide an admissible method for determining which replacement parts are inferior. The suits, originally filed in 2006, alleged that the insurers created a ‘sham organization’ (CAPA, the Certified Automotive Parts Association, also a defendant in the case) and used other means to conspire to unfairly compete by specifying use of inferior crash parts. The judge’s decision to dismiss the cases was not based on the quality of the parts, but rather on the fact that he found the testimony of the plaintiffs’ expert for evaluating the parts was unreliable. The expert witness for the plaintiffs was Allen Wood, a retired California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) investigator who subsequently was executive director of the Collision

Repair Association of California. Wood argued that six non-OEM part categories and four salvage part categories are ‘inferior’ and have at least a 25% probability of ‘significantly lessening’ the quality of vehicle repairs (in terms of ‘safety, fit and structural integrity’). Insurers called Wood’s testimony “biased, junk-science research” because Wood “is not a statistician or engineer, lacks a rudimentary understanding of basic mathematical concepts and statistical principles, and therefore lacks the relevant expertise to identify and offer quantitative assessments of the alleged ‘inferiority’ of imitation and salvage automotive repair part categories.” Allstate again ranks best and worst drivers Allstate’s annual ranking of the 200 largest U.S. cities in terms of how frequently drivers are apt to file a claim

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ranks Sioux Falls, SD, as having “America’s Best Drivers” (for the fifth time in eight years), and Washington, D.C. at the bottom of the list. The report indicates that nationally drivers are in a collision once every 10 years; that average is 13.8 years in Sioux Falls, but just 4.7 years in Washington, D.C. Other cities where drivers average 12 years or longer between accidents include Boise, ID; Fort Collins, CO; Madison, WI; Lincoln, NE; Hunstville, AL; Chandler, AZ; Reno, NV, Knoxville, TN, and Springfield, MO. Phoenix led the list among cities of 1 million or more people, with drivers there averaging an accident every 10.2 years. In addition to Washington, cities where drivers average under six years between claims are Newark, NJ; Glendale, CA; and Baltimore, MD. To see the full list, see: tinyurl.com /cx2dz75. Insurers should sell more coverage, not less. A recent claims satisfaction report by J.D. Power and Associates found that insurers are better off selling policyholders broader coverage with lower deductibles rather than lower-priced policies with

more limitations and higher deductibles. “Settlement satisfaction falls significantly among claimants paying in excess of $300 beyond their deductible, with satisfaction 89 index points (on a 1,000-point scale) lower than among those who pay only their deductible,” J.D. Power reported. The finding indicates insurers may improve customer retention if they do a better job convincing consumers they’ll be better off in the long run with a more all-encompassing policy. Think quality, not just price. ConsumerReports.org in September reminded readers that its surveys find that, depending on the insurer involved, between 10% and 26% of those filing an auto insurance claim encountered a problem. The article encourages consumers to choose a “top-rated insurer” rather than one that costs less but “may cost you more overall by low-balling loss estimates, forcing the repair shop to cut corners and making you pay extra for OEM parts if you choose them over cheaper knock-offs.” Go here to read the article: http://tinyurl.com /cjspd4k.

Growth of telematics spurs concerns As Allstate, Progressive, State Farm and The Hartford continue to expand availability of their policy discounts based on use of data from in-car monitoring systems, many consumers continue to voice privacy concerns. California Department of Insurance spokeswoman Pat McConahay said some state regulators have lingering “concerns about the technology” used in the programs, which can track both how and when a vehicle is being driven. “There are concerns that insurers might penalize drivers for factors outside of their control,” she said. “One example might be charging more to a customer for their occupation that forces them to drive at night.” An insurance industry blog this fall quoted a Deloitte Consulting analyst who believes even many good drivers have privacy concerns that make them unwilling to provide data to an auto insurer through telematics just to save $100. The consultant argues that insurers may miss out if they just presume these drivers “have something to hide.”

ASRW Adds Auto Body Repairers Assembly Oct. 10

Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW) introduces the “Auto Body Repairers Assembly.” This new special event is limited strictly to qualified collision repairers and will take place Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 4:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Admission is complimentary for repair professionals, and registration is available online for the event. The urgent need for collision repairers to have a forum to openly discuss their issues amongst their peers was brought to the attention of ASRW organizers by repair community leaders across the industry. In response, the Auto Body Repairers Assembly was created as an inaugural event and hosted as a natural extension of the activities that take place during ASRW. Depending upon repairer response and interest, future events will be scheduled and the assembly will become an ongoing venue for repairers to ensure their voice is heard. “Like other organizations, repairers need their place to openly discuss issues important to them without filters and having to be politically correct,” said Scott Biggs, Assured Performance Network CEO.

www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 35


AAIA Releases 2012 Digital Repair Trends Report

AAIA has released the 2012 Digital Collision Repair Trends: Industry Statistics & Analysis report, which combines the latest available industry data from original AAIA research, government and independent research sources. The work was designed to capture the size and scope of the collision repair sector of the automotive aftermarket industry. This online publication is the seventh edition of this report series. “Collision repair shop sales in 2011 totaled an estimated $38.7 billion, up 3.3 percent from $37.5 billion in 2010,” said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO. “Independent paint and body repair shops made up $25.7 billion or 66 percent of the total market. Stats like these, and so much more, are featured in this new study... to help our members run successful businesses.” The report covers such topics as fatalities from vehicle crashes, 2011 retail distribution, collision repair shop sales and direct repair programs. To order, visit www.aftermarket.org and click “Market Intelligence,” or call AAIA market research at 301654-6664.

Women Prefer Sedans

According to Market Insight Corporation, although still popular with U.S. female auto shoppers, preference for the “Crossover” body styles have been decreasing as “Sedan” body styles are becoming increasingly popular. This insight is based on thousands of female auto shoppers visiting MyProductAdvisor.com from Jan. 1, 2012 to July 31, 2012. In July, the midsize sedan was the single most popular body style among U.S. female shoppers after beginning the year behind the compact and midsize crossover body styles. The top 5 most preferred body styles by US female shoppers in July were as follows: 1. Midsize sedan 2. Compact crossover 3. Midsize crossover 4. Compact sedan 5. Large sedan Preference for body styles is not uniform by age for U.S. female auto shoppers. The four categories of sedans were most preferred among all body styles by the 18-24 age group in the first half of 2012. Compact and medium crossovers had the highest preference for the 35-49 age group during the same time period.

NJ Shop Owner Goes Round and Round with State Farm on Material Reimbursements

In an exchange of several letters between body shop owner Don Harvey of International Collision Service in Englewood, NJ, and State Farm, the problem of material reimbursement is yet to be answered. Harvey initiated the request in a letter to State Farm CEO Ed Rust in February 2012 to address what he felt was an inadequate paint and materials reimbursement rate. Despite State Farm responding to his queries, Harvey says he still hasn’t received a satisfactory answer to how the reimbursement rate was determined from a “yes or no” question on the insurer’s survey. The yes or no question on the survey he referred to is, “Do you use an automated paint and materials rate calculator?” In response to another letter Harvey wrote dated July 10, State Farm stated that it believed the best opportunity to provide him with a more complete understanding of their survey was to facilitate a oneon-one discussion between him and their estimatics leadership in New Jersey. Harvey first replied by stating,

“It seems State Farm is ‘dancing’ around these issues as this now is the fourth letter and yet no answers to either the material reimbursement or the explanation on how the rate got determined from a yes or no question on State Farm’s survey.” In a letter dated August 21, Harvey thanked them for the invite but turned it down. “My concerns as a member of the New Jersey auto body community is an answer to how a paint material rate has been determined from State Farm’s ‘survey’ when a yes or no is the only option,” said Harvey. “This clearly is a question that can be answered in writing and doesn’t require a one-on-one meeting to address.” For details on the back and forth search “Don Harvey” at www.autobodynews.com.

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CAA Sends Legislative Alert and Call to Action The California Autobody Association issued this Legislative Alert-Call to Action: The CAA has been opposing insurer-sponsored legislation that would weaken long-standing law that provides for fair and reasonable auto body repair practices. CAA has also opposed legislation that would provide legal presumptions that aftermarket crash parts are equal to OEM crash parts in all instances. Insurer sponsored bills this year include SB 1460 (Yee) and AB 1098 (Hagman). Both failed. However, CAA has learned that insurers are now trying to usurp the democratic process by “gutting and amending” a bill during the final days of the legislative session. “Gut and amend” is a last-minute move which strips a bills original contents and inserts new unrelated language to the original bill, thus by-passing open hearings, negotiations and amendments. We are asking all our CAA members to call their Assembly members and Senators today and tell them to say ‘No’ to last minute “gut and amend” bills which significantly weakens consumer law pertaining to aftermarket crash parts and fair auto body repair practices.

Any such legislation should be properly vetted through the normal process, fairly negotiated with all stakeholders and not rushed in the ‘middle of the night’ with no public or industry input. These types of practices undermine public trust. We suspect this ‘gut and amend’ will drastically change current law regarding aftermarket crash parts. Legislators may be led to believe by insurers that aftermarket crash parts are equivalent to OEM parts in all instances, and that they should be legally considered as such. CAA needs our members to educate their legislators. When you call your legislator, please offer them information to support the facts, as you know them. Here are some ideas for discussion: Although quality of aftermarket crash parts has improved over the last 10 years, they are still inconsistent. Sometimes they fit and perform and sometimes they don’t. Protect your business and stop these types of underhanded legislative practices. Please call your senator and assembly member today. Call both district offices and Sacramento offices. To locate your legislator please goto: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/yourleg.html.


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State Farm Releases PartsTrader Update, Goal Includes Fewer Totals State Farm Insurance has sent a letter to all of its Select Service shops to offer the latest updates and answers to common questions surrounding the company’s parts procurement pilot through PartsTrader. In the letter, State Farm said it believes customers will benefit from competitive pricing, high quality parts and a strong parts supply chain for auto repairs. The company said the PartsTrader platform will ensure that State Farm can work with repairers to fix more cars rather than total them. “State Farm believes technology is changing the driving experience and customer expectations. While we don’t know what the future holds, trends suggest changes are ahead for insurers and repairers,” State Farm said. “We understand that the ideal ordering solution for repairers will leverage the benefits of technology to provide the opportunity to locate the highest quality parts, at the most competitive prices, as quickly as possible.” State Farm offered the following information to its Select Service shops in attempt to address “misunderstandings and misgivings” that many people have developed regarding the program: ● Pricing information: State Farm said it cannot see repairer costs or part margins within the PartsTrader tool. ● Efficiency: State Farm said repairers have commonly asked how PartsTrader can increase efficiency after hearing that it takes longer to order parts through the program. The company said that information is inaccurate. “The process to create a quote takes only a few mouse clicks. While there is a waiting period to allow suppliers to submit their available parts and pricing to the tool, that time is not ‘active’ for the repairer, unlike the phone calls, faxes and follow-ups common to the industry today,” State Farm said. “Like many new technologies, it takes time to gain efficiencies. A racecar may not turn its best time on the first lap. When computerized estimating first appeared in the industry, many thought it would take longer than handwriting an estimate—and for a time, it did. In time, electronic estimating technology increased efficiency. We are convinced that over time, repairers will also gain effi-

ciency with the use of the PartsTrader application.” ● Quote pricing time: State Farm said the default time for parts suppliers to respond to price quotes is two hours, but repairers can reduce that to one hour. State Farm said future program enhancements based on feedback from pilot participants will allow repairers more flexibility with quote times. ● Supplier selection: State Farm said it does not require shops to use certain suppliers, and there are no requirements to purchase the lowest priced parts. “The repairer will always maintain control over which supplier is selected for parts purchases,” State Farm said. “Among the many options available in customizing the tool, you can include or exclude suppliers as you wish, including selecting a single supplier with whom you prefer to do business.” State Farm added that shops are also able to work with parts suppliers that do not participate with PartsTrader. The tool includes an option for shops to send faxes to any designated supplier. ● PartsTrader impact on Select Service scorecard: State Farm said overall performance of Select Service shops will continue to be monitored using its existing Repairer Performance Management (RPM) report— which focuses on quality, efficiency and competitive price. “To the degree that repairers utilize the PartsTrader application to improve these elements, the technology can improve their overall performance,” State Farm said. ● Supplier access to price quotes: State Farm said parts suppliers cannot see price quotes and information provided by other organizations. “Further, repairers can only see the pricing information after the quote period has closed. Protecting the integrity of the quoting process is an important aspect of the program, and at no point does the PartsTrader tool involve a ‘reverse auction’ or bidding process,” State Farm said. State Farm’s letter went on to state the following: “As we introduce electronic parts ordering, it may be helpful to review the tenets of the Select Service program. As you know, the pillars of Select Service are quality, efficiency, and

38 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

competitive price. Select Service repairers are encouraged to balance these three important considerations in serving our shared customers. “The electronic parts ordering pilot does not change the basic components of Select Service; in fact, we believe the process will aid repairers in optimizing performance and repairing more vehicles. Now and in the future, measurements of performance will continue to weigh these important considerations in evaluating repairers, who will continue to manage their performance to demonstrate this balance. “With several billion dollars of policyholders’ premiums spent on repair costs every year, we continue to manage our business effectively and efficiently by seeking out those repairers who will work with us to meet the needs of our customers. “As you know, State Farm has chosen to work with PartsTrader as a technology vendor for electronic parts ordering in Select Service facilities in four pilot markets. Feedback from these markets continues, and discussion of the pilot has spread industry-

wide. “Along with PartsTrader, we are working with many collision industry participants on further development of the application, addressing concerns and making improvements. We look forward to many resulting enhancements. While we believe the pilot demonstrates our commitment to meeting changing marketplace conditions and customer expectations, we also understand that this process has resulted in some misunderstanding and misgivings on the part of many.”

AAPEX Invites Auto Instructors

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President Obama Takes on Chinese Auto Parts, Alleging Illegal Subsidies, and Gov. Romney’s Comments President Barack Obama confronted China’s alleged auto parts subsidies on Sept. 17, accusing that country of unfair trade practices that “harm working men and women [in the US].” Beijing has acknowledged strategies to support industries targeted for development, ranging from clean energy to mobile phones to autos. Companies can receive tax breaks and low-cost bank loans, energy and land. Exports accounted for about one-sixth of the $300 billion in sales by Chinese auto parts makers last year, according to research firm AlixPartners Asia. The United States was by far the biggest destination for Chinese auto parts last year, with sales rising 26 percent to $12.9 billion. Exports to the No. 2 region, Western Europe, rose by a similar margin to $7.8 billion, said Alixpartners. “Today, my administration is launching new action against China—this one against illegal subsidies that encourage companies to ship auto parts manufacturing jobs overseas,” President Obama said in a campaign speech in Ohio, the heart of auto

parts manufacturing in the United States. “Those subsidies directly harm working men and women on the assembly line in Ohio and Michigan and across the Midwest. It’s not right; it’s against the rules; and we will not let it stand,” said Obama, who has faced criticism from his Republican rival Mitt Romney over not being tough enough against China on trade. Obama has criticized Romney for sending American jobs to China by investing in Chinese companies while he was at the helm of Bain Capital. The United States Trade Representative’s office announced a request for dispute settlement consultations at the World Trade Organization with China about auto parts. The trade representative Ron Kirk said the subsidies give an unfair advantage to Chinese auto parts exporters which compete with producers based in the U.S. and other countries. Chinese automakers are down in the past year. China exported only about 500,000 autos last year, mostly to the Middle East, Southeast Asia and other developing markets. But its pro-

ducers of tires, aluminum wheels, radios and other components are making inroads in U.S., European and Japanese markets. They have yet to break into the top ranks of suppliers along with companies such as Delphi, Visteon or Europe’s Michelin and Bosch. At the lower end of the market, Chinese suppliers are increasing their global share, putting pressure on smaller Western competitors. “We insist upon having a level playing field on which our world-class manufacturers can compete. Today we are continuing to make it clear to our trading partners that we will fight to support each job here at home that this sector supports,” Ambassador Kirk said. Obama’s speech also took a new swipe at Gov. Romney, accusing him of not supporting actions that the administration has taken against China trade practices. “You can talk a good game, or you can play one—and my experience has been waking up every single day doing everything I can to give American workers a fair shot in the global economy,” Obama said.

The New York Times reported Sept. 17 that the domestic auto parts industry lost about half of its jobs from 2001 to 2010. The official said imports of Chinese auto parts grew by seven-fold over the same time period. But some of the jobs losses could have been due to a shrinking economy and lower demand for autos (which has since begun to pick up). Some may have been due to automation too. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office said it was also taking the next step in a separate World Trade Organization case it launched in June against Chinese duties on U.S. auto exports. The USTR’s announcement came not long after China filed a complaint at the WTO Monday to challenge a new U.S. law on “countervailing duties,” or tariffs intended to combat export-promoting subsidies. The complaint potentially affects close to 30 products that have previously been targeted by U.S. duties, a trade official familiar with the case said. The Chinese government had no immediate response to the latest U.S. complaint.

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Carbon Fiber Advances Enable Mid-Volume Production Vehicles from MI Factory by 2013 According to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a 10% reduction in vehicle mass increases fuel efficiency by 7% on average, so it’s clear what advantages lighter weight and stronger materials can bring to future vehicles. As the automotive industry absorbs CAFE regulations and consumer desire for fuel efficient cars, the goal of mass reduction has enabled some startling improvements in production time and costs for carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is emerging as a practical and cost-competitive alternative for mid-volume production cars.

Hitherto used only in exclusive lowvolume vehicles like the Corvette ZR1 pictured, Plasan Carbon Composites based in VT and owned by Plasan Sasa, an Israeli defense contractor, will be producing carbon panels for a midvolume production vehicle as early as January 2013 from its locations in Western Michigan. This means that by early 2013 body shops could be tasked with carbon fiber repairs. “It will be the first time that carbon fiber has been used this extensively on a base production car anywhere in the world,” said Gary Lownsdale, Chief Technology Officer of Plasan Carbon Composites. The key enabler for this up to 50,000units-per-year vehicle application is Plasan’s patented Pressure Press processing technology. A secrecy agreement prevents Plasan officials from naming the vehicle or the automaker, but details about the vehicle will emerge soon. January 2013 marks the start of body panel production at Plasan’s new 200,000-sq-ft facility in Walker, MI. The new press technology developed by Plasan has lower investment costs and reduce the lead time on tooling. The global increase in raw carbon fiber further enables Plasan Carbon Composites to provide lightweight, economical solutions on low- to midvolume vehicles. Plasan Carbon Composites is the leading Tier 1 supplier of carbon fiber

parts and assemblies in the United States. We specialize in the production of Class A and structural parts for mid-volume production cars. As a Tier 1 supplier, Plasan can work with all OEM clients to analyze, design and implement mass reduction challenges and take advantage of carbon fiber’s range of superior material properties beyond just weight reduction. Carbon fiber allows for significant mass reduction while containing costs through part consolidation, lower capital investment, simplified assembly process and other life cycle savings such as reduced warranty costs and leaner supply chain. Carbon fiber’s production applications have included roofs, hoods, and other Class A surfaces on low-volume sports cars. But the upcoming global production vehicle will have 75% of its body (including the hood, fenders, and roof) comprised of carbon fiber. Plasan has developed what it calls a ‘Total Systems Approach’ to maximize the cost-competitive potential of carbon fiber. More than just dollars-per-pound, carbon fiber means: ● Part consolidation ● Reduced capital investment ● Shorter lead times ● Reduction in assembly process time ● Life-cycle cost reduction such as reduced warranty costs ● Increased fuel efficiency ● Elimination of secondary pyrotechnic devices for pedestrian protection By using this Total Systems Cost Approach in the design process, Plasan is bringing carbon fiber to midvolume production vehicles including hybrids, crossovers, and sedans. What began in aerospace and moved to the racetrack, is now being used at Plasan and introduced to volume production. Through automotivespecific materials, increased efficiency in carbon fiber processing methods and reduction in direct labor requirements, Plasan is rethinking carbon fiber. “We’ve been molding parts at our Wixom, MI, R&D center, which has two of the new pressure presses. We’re moving one of those presses to the Walker facility and adding five more pressure presses by 2013,” Lownsdale said, adding the new facility has the capacity to house 12 pressure presses.

40 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

The novel pressure press technology shatters the 90 minutes needed by Plasan to mold a body panel with autoclave processing. Materials processing time with the pressure press is a 17-min machine cycle. “It took us about a year and a half to synthesize fully the process of what

happens inside the autoclave. But once we were able to find out exactly what happens physically and chemically inside the autoclave at discreet time increments, that enabled us to plot a whole new thermal dynamic curve and a whole new pressure curve with our patented pressure press technology,” said Lownsdale. A provisional patent addresses the entire process while eight separate

pending patents involve Plasan as well as the equipment provider Globe Machine Manufacturing Co. of Tacoma, WA. The new process applies up to 150 psi (10.3 bar) of surface pressure at up to 450°F (232°C). Plasan’s cure cycle can be as low as 7 min, depending on the resin formulation. (Technical specialists at Plasan have achieved a 2-min cure time in the lab by producing an 18-in (457-mm) long, 6-in (152-mm) diameter cylinder made of thermoplastic resin.) Like Plasan’s other carbon-fiber body panel production applications, the same thermoset epoxy-based resin will be used for several of the new base vehicle’s exterior panels, including the hood, fenders, and roof. “The density of the carbon fiber components is the same as our current autoclave production parts,” Lownsdale said. “Weight savings for all of the components will be similar to what was achieved on the current Chevrolet Corvette and SRT Viper production programs.” See Carbon Fiber, Page 42

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New York Body Shop Owner Wins LKQ Calendar Contest

Guy Sisson, owner of Sisson’s Body Works in Delevan, NY, spent two years restoring this 1937 Packard for his daughter’s wedding. A photo of the car won the grand prize for the LKQ Calendar Contest and will be featured on the cover

Guy Sisson, owner of Sisson’s Body Works in Delevan, NY, spent two years restoring a 1937 Packard Club Sedan for his daughter’s 2010 wedding. Recently, he entered the car in the LKQ Triplett annual calendar contest. With over 300 entries, Sis-

son’s car made the top 13 finalists and was assured a spot in the calendar. On Sept. 4, Sisson was notified that his car was picked as the Grand Prize winner to be featured on the calendar cover. The grand prize includes an all-expense paid trip to Las

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5 years old, and she has always been equally interested in vintage things. I told her that someday we would restore the old Packard for her wedding. Well, the car was put on the back burner, and life went on.” In 2008, Sisson could no longer ignore the Packard waiting for his attention. “My future son-in-law came to me and said he was going to ask Ashley to marry him and wanted my permission (very unusual these days). He also knew the plans for the car and knew that I would need some time to restore it. I started on the car immediately. We worked on it daily for two years and still wondered if we would make it,” Sisson said. One week before the wedding, on Sept. 4th, 2010, the car was finished. “It was a wonderful day,” says the proud father of the bride. “Next to the

bride, it was the star of the day. The wedding was a complete 1930s theme. My wife and I were in heaven.”

Sisson said it wasn’t until he started restoring the car that he realized how rare the car actually was. “Packard was one of America’s premier luxury cars at this time and they only made 2,489 of this model,” he said. “This car is one of only seven known to survive today. We use the car regularly on weekends, going out to dinner and to car shows. The car represents a very unique time in America’s history. Everyone that sees it seems to go back in time. I did most of the work myself, however I still owe many thanks to my employees at Sisson’s Body Works and my father and son for their help.”

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Vegas to be recognized at the SEMA show. The story about Guy Sisson and his 1937 Packard began 25 years ago. A local farmer had bought it from an old farm auction where the vintage car had been stored in a barn. The farmer took it home, tore it apart and quickly realized it was much more than he could handle. “I have always had a fascination with the 1930s era,” Sisson said. “I heard about the car and ended up buying it from the farmer. When I first bought the car my daughter was only

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Company Connections with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

DuPont Performance Coatings, A Big Change but Much Stays in Place A big news item in the auto body industry has been DuPont’s decision to sell DuPont Performance Coatings (DPC) to the Carlyle Group for $4.9 billion after around 90 years in the business (see story adjacent). Such a major transaction concerning one of the largest and most important suppliers of automotive paints has garnered much interest and concern. Because of this, I took the opportunity to sit down with Mike Bennett, North America Marketing Director at DPC to get more details about the upcoming transition, expected to close during the first quarter of 2013. DuPont’s decision to sell DPC came from their strategic decision to focus on other aspects of their business, and since the automotive paint industry is not aligned with these intentions, they decided to sell that portion of their business with the belief that “DuPont and DPC are best served by focusing on these separate market

segments,” according to Bennett. Regarding how this sale will benefit DPC, Bennett claims “this will better allow us to focus on our customers. Currently, DPC’s profits are funneled back into the DuPont corpoMike Bennett ration, but this transition will allow DPC to funnel profits back into our own growth... providing a great opportunity for us and our customers and allowing us to focus on what is most important to DPC.” The transition will also allow DPC to increase their efficiencies and synergies, but there are no plans to make personnel changes or changes to the products and services offered. DPC’s separation from DuPont will simply allow them to focus on what they do best: manufacturing automotive paint.

Continued from Page 40

plan calls for the development of breakthrough technology every three years. This is just the first of what’s to come,” said Lownsdale. The parts Plasan is producing and intends to produce include both Body Panels and Structural components:

Carbon Fiber

Carbon-fiber body panels on the future vehicle will be a combination of exposed weave and painted finish. “There are some new components with unusual shapes that required innovative mold tooling. We developed removable sections of the mold tools to attain detailed design shapes for fine character line definition in order to meet the stringent design studio requirements,” explained Lownsdale, who cannot reveal the specific components. Plasan’s new production center and its equipment represents a $30 million investment. The company initially will employ 202 workers, including 20 engineers, at the production facility. Providing body panels for a medium-volume production vehicle is just a first step for Plasan. “We’re processing carbon fiber with a breakthrough piece of technology. It’s not RTM (resin transfer molding), and it’s not autoclave. It’s something entirely new. Our 10-year

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42 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

Eventually, DPC’s name will change as they end their affiliation with DuPont; however, while there will obviously be some rebranding, DPC promises that they will continue to maintain their efforts to provide their auto body customers with the best possible products. “DPC is absolutely committed to our individual distribution network, and we have no plans to change that. In fact, we expect that this transition will help us grow our position in the market,” Bennett assures Autobody News readers. DuPont and the Carlyle Group are working together to ensure a smooth transition for customers, and they insist that DPC’s eventual rebranding should not significantly impact end-users. Since DPC’s paint lines were a major contributing factor in the Carlyle Group’s decision to acquire the company, they plan to continue producing and selling their popular brands which include Spies

Hecker, Standox and Imron, among others. Bennett stressed that DPC has no intention of changing their commitment to their network of individual distributors; he also adds that this transition will allow DPC to focus on their specific market, and “through this renewed focus, DPC hopes to fuel our customers’ growth and market share.” The intended transaction was announced on August 30, 2012, ending a year-long uncertainty concerning DPC’s future. Rumors of a possible sale of DPC first began in November 2011 when sources claimed that DuPont was searching for potential buyers. After the sale is official in early 2013, DPC will become an independent company, but the company’s management team fully recognizes the importance of a smooth transition for their valued customers. DPC has stated that they will indefinitely continue to operate at the Coatings Technology Center (CTC) established at the

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DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington, Delaware in December 2010. DuPont Performance Coatings has approximately 100,000 square feet of space at the CTC devoted to their laboratories, applications development and office space, and their primary focus is researching and developing high-performance, sustainable coating products.

NASCAR Sponsorship Intact Though DPC is bound to experience some changes as they move away from DuPont, one thing that will not change is their sponsorship of Jeff Gordon’s #24 NASCAR team. DPC began their partnership with Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motor Sports in 1992, and DuPont has decided that the sponsorship will continue with DPC. In fact, the appearance of the #24 car has already changed to reduce the image of DuPont’s name and logo, and to change its emphasis to the Performance Coatings aspect of the business. DPC’s current contract with Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motor Sports lasts through the 2013 season, but Bennett notes that DPC hopes to continue this important relationship beyond that.

Carlyle to Buy DuPont’s Auto Paint Business for Nearly $5 Billion Carlyle Group LP, the world’s secondlargest private equity firm, agreed to acquire DuPont Co.’s auto-paint unit for $4.9 billion, giving it control of the second-biggest maker of coatings for cars and trucks. DuPont is the biggest producer of coatings applied to used autos, typically via body-repair shops, and the largest supplier of new-car coatings after PPG, according Gregg Schmidt, a DuPont spokesman. Carlyle will fund its investment with equity from Carlyle Partners V and Carlyle Europe Partners III, the companies said in a joint statement. The transaction value is $5.15 billion including Carlyle’s assumption of $250 million in unfunded European pension liabilities, DuPont Chief Financial Officer Nicholas Fanandakis said. The sale marks DuPont’s exit from the auto-paints market, which it has served since the invention of the motor car. U.S. auto output is still less than its pre-recession peak while the price of titanium dioxide, a raw material used in paint, has surged. DuPont Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ellen Kullman is focusing on other industries such as food and biofuels. DuPont hired Credit Suisse

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Group AG in October to seek buyers for the unit. Kullman told investors in December that she would give the business, which has the company’s narrowest profit margin, a chance to meet company targets. DuPont’s longterm goals for coatings included sales rising by 3% to 5% annually, the smallest targeted rise among the company’s eight divisions. The DuPont deal will close in the first quarter of 2013, subject to regulatory approvals, the companies said. It would be the largest in the coatings industry globally in at least a decade, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The next biggest was PPG Industries Inc. (PPG)’s 2.2 billioneuro ($2.76 billion) acquisition of SigmaKalon Group BV in 2008. The DuPont auto-paint unit, which employs more than 11,000 people, saw second-quarter pretax operating income climb 26% to $92 million as revenue fell 1.4% to $1.09 billion. Sales will be more than $4 billion this year, Carlyle and DuPont said in their statement. Coatings in the last 12 months generated “slightly less than” $500 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

From the third quarter, DuPont will report the unit’s results as earnings from discontinued operations, which it expects will be 41 cents to 47 cents a share for 2012. DuPont became an auto-paints industry leader with its $1.9 billion acquisition of Herberts GmbH from Germany’s Hoechst GmbH in 1999. DuPont cut 1,500 coatings jobs and shut factories in Europe seven years later after the business failed to achieve financial targets. Kullman is focusing DuPont’s growth on what she calls “megatrends” arising from global population growth: Improving food quality and agricultural productivity, cutting reliance on fossil fuels, and protecting the environment and people. She expanded last year in food ingredients and biofuel enzymes with the purchase of Danisco. DuPont, which also makes plastics for auto parts, supplied General Motors Co. (GM) in the 1920s with a spray-on coating that cut the weekslong process of painting a car to six hours, according to DuPont’s website. After the Carlyle deal is completed, DuPont will still sell more than $3 billion of advanced materials to the auto industry, it said today.

Is New Vehicle Technology Endangering Your Business?

Some say the age of autonomous vehicles is almost here and they promise a crash-free future. The question for many in the industry is whether a roadway filled with self-driving cars is really that close, and what will that mean for repair businesses that would be impacted by a speculated decline in vehicle damage occurrences? To help decipher what the emerging trends in vehicle technology are, and how those vehicle design features will truly impact the industry, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has announced that it will be hosting an additional Repairer Driven Education (RDE) session at the SEMA Show. “Is New Vehicle Technology Endangering Your Business?” will be presented from 10:00 am to noon on Tuesday, October 30, by Kim Hazelbaker, Senior Vice President of the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI). This session, which will be free to all pre-registered attendees will look at the current state of vehicle advancements, both crashworthiness and crash avoidance technologies. Through extensive use of crash test video and real world results, Hazelbaker will outline what is state of the art in safety today and how it is rapidly changing. Using timelines for the

adoption of other automotive technologies, he will suggest what the pace of change may be in the future. If you are concerned about how existing and future technologies could potentially decrease the amount of repair work entering into the market, you won't want to miss this interesting and informative update on vehicle technology. “SCRS understands that the industry gathers at annual events like SCRS’ RDE series and the SEMA show to acquire information that can help them run their business and forecast how they need to adapt to remain relevant,” stated SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg. “The dramatic pace at which we are seeing new technology, and understanding the impact that technology has on our businesses, is perhaps one of the most critical pieces of information our members need to ensure the success of their businesses. We are thrilled that we could partner with Mr. Hazelbaker and his well-respected organization to develop a customized presentation that spoke to such a critical industry topic.” HLDI is a private non-profit organization that gathers, processes, and publishes insurance data concerned with human and economic losses.

www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 43


Go Where Your Customers Are—You’ll Find Them Online by Melanie Anderson

In late August, the California Autobody Association’s Inland Empire Chapter hosted special guest speaker, Frank Terlep, CEO and Lead Sherpa of Summit Software and Marketing Solutions. Terlep, with 25 years experience in the industry, addressed the Inland Empire CAA group Aug. 29 at Don Marcos Restaurant in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, on the topic of “Digital Marketing = More Customers, Revenue and Profit.” Back in 2000, 132 million Americans had access to the Internet. Today, that number has increased to 274 million. Additionally, recent statistics show that customers would rather be contacted by email or text Frank Terlep than by phone. About 98% of people read their text messages within three minutes. The bottom line, according to Terlep, is that body shop owners need to be where their customers are, and

they’re online, engaging in Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+. “Shops have no choice. They have to market their businesses to younger

Ron Guilliams, formerly of Fix Auto & Michael Ramirez with Gyant Compliance

customers digitally,” Terlep said. And it’s not just the younger generations who are online. Terlep reports that in addition to 112 million Generation X (those born during the 1960s to early 1980s) and Generation Y (those born in the early 1980s to early 2000s) consumers who grew up in a digital world, there are 60 million Baby Boomers who are actively using Internet, email, text and social media. Although many customers prefer to receive status notifications by text,

email is still the most powerful digital marketing tool, says Terlep. Use your email marketing for education, branding, special promotions and coupons. “But, don’t spam your customers— give them value,” he says, such as tips to car care. Build your customer database by collecting your customer email addresses. Of the group in Rancho Cucamonga that evening, only three shops collected email addresses from their customers. But all three reported they had no problem asking for or receiving email addresses. One shop uses a form that asks for a customer’s email address right beneath the name—it’s the second question on the form. Terlep cites a statistic that more than 80% of consumers prefer to be marketed to via email. According to Stan Rapp, the father of direct email marketing, an email address is worth $118 to business. Got a website? Great. It’s your online lobby. It’s how potential customers find you. But it’s no longer good enough to have just a website. Terlep says small businesses that are successful digital marketers need to utilize all the marketing tools, tech-

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tomer Googles ‘auto body repair’ in that you may have never heard of, your area, will your shop show up on such as Squidoo, Reddit, HubPages, the first page? Rarely, will someone StumbleUpon, FeedBurner, Weebly, go to page 2 of the search. For this and Zimbio. According to Terlep, reasons, shops should be frequently phone-based CSI surveys will someand changingEdition? their website. day soon be a thing of the past. to updating this Southwest Another reason: “You have between Most people have accidents every 5–15 seconds to capture their atten- 7–10 years. Do your customers retion,” Terlep says. Terlep suggests member you? Your customer is your autobodynews.com shops hire an SEO (search engine op- customer because they had a negative timizations) consultant to make sure event occur in their life. It was a huge their site is found. disruption to their daily routine. Most Another good use of your web- people just want to forget and move nesssite with Promotepositive your business is to incorporate re- on.with And they are probably forgetting featuring an exclusive article views and testimonials because 82% featuring where they had their car repaired. Beof consumers select repair facility cause of a customer’s tendency to forservices. youraproducts or services. based on customer reviews and rat- get, Terlep says this is why body ings. shops need to be continually marketGetting good online ratings and ing to their existing and future cusreviews is imperative to the success of tomers. Terlep strongly advises shops or details! Call forTerlep details!to offer services other than collision a body shop in today’s world, says. Shops could be get getting dam- repair so their customers won’t forget 251 aging reviews and 800-699-8251 not even know them between accidents. Offer these about it. There are dozens of plat- services as coupons in your email forms out in cyberspace besides Yelp campaigns.

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12 Digital marketing tools your shop should use to capture more customers, revenue and profit: 1. Your website 2. Online advertising—Pay Per Click 3. A powerful digital marketing database 4. An email marketing and retention platform 5. A text based marketing and retention system 6. An automated unsold estimate follow up and sales system 7. 24/7 connectivity to consumers smart phones 8. Social media tools and techniques 9. Validated customer reviews and ratings 10. Digital ads, promotions and e-coupons 11. A customer loyalty and retention system 12. Reputation management system

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Associations Assembling

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

What the Associations Are Doing and Have Done Recently with Chasidy Rae Sisk

GCIA 16th Annual Invitational Golf Tournament The Georgia Collision Industry Association has sent out invitations for their 16th Annual Invitational Golf Tournament which will be held at the Trophy Club of Atlanta in Alpharetta, GA on Wednesday, October 3, 2012. The event will be a four-man “best ball” tournament. The playing fee is $75 per person which includes lunch, dinner, unlimited snacks and drinks, trophies, a chance at over $1000 worth of door prizes and a Hole-inOne car. Registration begins at 11 a.m., but those who come early have access to free range balls starting at 10 a.m. unch will be held at 11:30 with tee-off at 12:30 p.m. Dinner will be served after the tournament. Those interested can register by completing the form and faxing it to Tournament Coordinator, Howard Batchelor, at 770-590-3881. More information can be obtained by contacting Howard at 770-367-9816. GCIA is also looking for sponsors for the golf outing. Interested sponsors can acquire a hole sign for $200 or a hole sign and the opportunity to staff a hole for $500. The $1000 Bronze sponsorship includes 1 playing spot, a banner and a hole sign. The $1500 Silver sponsorship consists of 2 playing spots, a banner, a hole sign and the opportunity to staff a hole. For $2000, Gold Sponsors receive 4 playing spots, a banner, a hole sign, the opportunity to staff a hole and the chance to stuff the goodie bags. For more information, contact Howard Batchelor at 770-367-9816 or fax sponsorship forms and golf sign-up sheets to 770-590-33881. Checks should be mailed to GCIA at 595 Commerce Park Dr., Marietta, GA 30060.

National Autobody Council Upcoming Events The National Autobody Council will hold an Open Board meeting at NACE on Tuesday, October 9th, 2012 from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. The next day, Wednesday, October 10th, they will hold their Annual Meeting and Election from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m., and from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m., they will hold a Closed Board of Directors meeting to elect officers for 2013. For

information on sponsorships or registration, please contact Mike McManus at 414-908-4957 ext. 119 or at m.mcmanus@autobodycouncil.org.

IABA Dubs First Annual Golf Outing A Success The Indiana Autobody Association held their first annual golf outing on Thursday, August 23, 2012 at Noble

Hawk Golf Course in Kendallville, IN. The event was a 9-hole scramble, and 13 teams participated in the event with around 30 vendors helping out with hole sponsorships and door prizes, allowing each player to leave with several prizes. IABA was very pleased with the turnout for their first golf outing, and in fact, the event was such a success that IABA has already booked the event again for next year. According to IABA President Mike Hartman, “The money [raised] is being set aside in a special account. Our goal is to be able to give out a scholarship to a local student who will be entering the auto body industry… we want to be able to give it to someone who is really driven towards a career in the Auto Body business.” For more information on IABA and additional events, visit www.IABAmeetings.com.

ARA Hosting 69th Annual Convention and Exposition The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) will host their 69th annual convention and exposition from October 24–27, 2012 at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The event offers attendees an opportunity to meet face-to-face with key industry leaders, to see new products and services, and to remain a

46 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

step ahead of the competition. The convention and exposition will be preceded by ARA’s Annual Golf Tournament which will be held on Tuesday, October 23 at Celebration Golf Club. Registration begins at noon, and the tournament is scheduled for 1-6pm. ARA’s International Expo focuses on networking and learning about new products and services. It will be open on Thursday, October 25 from 5–9pm, on Friday, October 26 from 1–5pm, and on Saturday, October 27 from 8–11:30am. This event offers many educational seminars and lectures. The full schedule is available on the convention brochure which can be downloaded at ARA’s website. Pay attention to the dress codes posted for certain events to ensure you pack appropriately as some events require more formal dress. Additionally, attendees can attend non-related activities for an additional fee, such as Emeril’s Cooking Class.

Discounted tickets for local attractions can be purchased in advance through ARA’s website. ARA offers various levels of registration with varying prices, such as a price specifically targeted toward spouses. The event is family-friendly, and children under the age of 12 enter for free, but children between the ages of 12 and 18 will be charged a reduced admission fee. Those interested in attending can register online at www.araexpo.org or by faxing the registration form to 571-208-0430. For more information on any aspect of this event, please visit www.araexpo.org or contact Maria Miller at 571-208-0428 or maria@a-r-a.org.

Proceeds from AASP MA’s Annual BBQ Benefit Students’ Tool Grants AASP-MA hosted their Midstate Chapter’s Annual BBQ on Friday, September 7, 2012 at Hudson Elks. See Association Activity, Page 51

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Shop That Helped Bullied Teen Inspired to Start a New ‘Pay it Forward’ Program A shop that repaired and restored a bullied student's car received so many emails, cards and phone calls thanking them for what they did, that the auto body shop is inspired to do it all over again for another deserving individual. “I wanna pay it forward every year so we’re calling it operation pay it forward and once a year we’re going to overhaul a deserving person’s car,” says Richard Henegar Jr, a manager at Quality Auto Paint and Body in Roanoke, VA. In August, a bullied gay teen made headline national news when the auto body shop repaired his Volkswagen for free and prompted a community to take action. The Radford University student's car was vandalized four times, once at home and three times on-campus, with anti-gay slurs and death threats. For several months, college student Jordan Addison had to drive his car with its windows bashed in and the words “die fag” keyed into his door. Addison said no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get rid of the slurs entirely. “The first time there were some homophobic slurs keyed into the side of it,” said Addison. “Then the second time I had ‘die’ keyed into it. The low-

est estimate I got just to fix the damage to the doors was like $2,500, and for a college student that's a lot of money.” Henegar heard about Addison's car and teamed up with 10 other businesses to repair the car and added on several extras. Henegar said he was shocked when he first saw Addison’s trashed car. The student had tried unsuccessfully to hide the slurs with spray paint and because he couldn’t afford new tires, had fitted several mismatched pair to his axles. “Once I saw the vandalism that was done to it, I said, ‘That’s uncalled for. We’re gonna fix your car. That’s the least we can do,’” said Henegar. “We don't take kindly to discrimination of any sort here,” Henegar saids. “I was bullied in high school and a little bit in the service and I saw an opportunity to help somebody out.” Henegar and fellow volunteers spent 100 hours and over $10,000 adding a new scratch-resistant paint job, new tires, tinted windows, a new stereo, and a new security system to Addison’s 1999 Volkswagen. The $10,000 worth of extras were provided by ten local businesses: Parts Unlimited, Advance Auto Parts,

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Moon's Auto Body, Rice Toyota, Val's Automotive, The Rod Shop, B&C Exterminating, Twists & Turns, AJ's Landscaping and Sunnybrook Auto Spa. The effort came together in beginning of August. Addison was given a small, red Fiat thanks in part to an Enterprise car rental agency for the two weeks of repairs. At that point, Henegar had only told Addison that his door would be repaired. Working at night after hours and on weekends, Henegar and his team repaired the damaged car, inviting Addison back in August 20 for his big surprise. “I was entirely speechless,” the student told the Daily News. “I just walked around saying, ‘Oh, my God, this is not my car. It just restored my faith, my good faith, in people.” Henegar and Addison appeared on the 10th season premiere of the Ellen show where Ellen DeGeneres repeatedly plugged Quality Auto Paint and Body and had her star guests, Pink, Patrick Demsey and gymnastic Olympic gold medalists film an allstar commercial for the shop. As an additional surprise, CoverGirl Cosmetics gave both men $25,000 each as a gift “for sharing their story and being a good example to the rest of us.”

NABA Survey Shows OEM Parts Still Majority in Use

A recent study by the Nebraska Auto Body Association (NABA) showed that the average repair bill for a collision-damaged vehicle was $2,593 during the first quarter of 2012. Insurers used policyholders’ reserves to pay for 72% of repairs performed by Nebraska collision shops, while 24% of payments were paid directly by customers. OEM parts accounted for 51% of parts used. Certified aftermarket parts accounted for 32%, while recycled parts were used 14%. Regarding sales during the first quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter of 2011, 50% of shops reported no change, 8% of shops reported an increase and 42% of shops reported a decrease in sales. A surprise was the number of shops that did not have any DRP affiliations. Approximately 58% of survey respondents did not have any DRPs, 8% participated in one DRP and another 8% belonged to two DRPs. Finally, 17% of respondents belonged to two DRPs and 8% said they were on at least six DRPs. The average number of years in business was 24, and 76% of shops said they were family-owned.

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www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 47


Custom Corner

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

Building Body Molds from Plugs is No Easy Task with Rich Evans

This month’s column is Part 2 of my hood and trunk is one section. I make a June column about building a junior flange using a fiberglass 1/8 inch sheet, motor sport body for a motor sport vetwo inches wide. This flange is where hicle for an 11-year-old driver. we are going to bolt this mold together. You can read or download it at Then we’re going to use locating buttons along the top to keep everything towww.autobodynews.com in my columns section if you missed it. gether. We use clay, hot glue, and wood In the last column, I talked about to give it structure. Then I come back with Thomas Franklin building the plug to make a mold. As with FBS brown tape that allows me to we left it, I was creating the plug form. draw out my lines, tape two inches, then I was working to get the plug comcome back and glue blocks of wood all pleted so it was totally true to where I the way down where I put the tape. Then was satisfied enough to make a mold. I cut and make a flange that goes all the Doing body work is one thing, but way around that perimeter. After I do making a plug and going to a mold is that, then I wax everything once again,

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Action Counts with Lee Amaradio Jr. just repeating steps and you can’t even use release agent, then put tooling gel see the light at the end of the tunnel. I coat down. Any cracks or imperfections am totally exhausted from it. The hunare filled with clay, like sculpturing. dreds, almost thousands, of hours I’ve Then, we’re gonna lay mat down and put into it just to get a part. After you use cloth and a Squeegee to get all the get a mold made, it’s amazing how you air bubbles out, then pull off the cloth can put out a part every 30–35 hours, and let that cure. We also use a paste, after the hundreds of hours I spent too, to get down in the corners where the making the mold. So, there are rewith Sheila Loftuscloth might not sink down and pull up. wards at the end of it—to make that We do that once, then we come part in that short amount of time and back the next day and grind everyget exactly all the details you wanted. thing, put another mat down, another Getting back to the plug, I left it at cloth, and do it again for a total of five 400 grit. I did a wet sand after primertimes. That way, you have a total of aling: 80 grit, 150 grit, with 400 grit, then most a half inch of thickness. I’m ready for sealer. Next, I wipe it After we finish that, we tear off the down with carbon wax twice, then come flange, we go to the left and right side of back with a release agent that I spray on. the car and make another part and do the Then, I mask all the areas off, to break same thing: the wax, the tooling gel coat, this down into a form of how everything the mat, the cloth, the same process. comes apart to get the body out. We Then we go to the rear of the car mark off a section of the car—the roof, and do the same thing, plus the wheel

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48 OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

wells, the rocker, the rear part of the bumper. There are 14 pieces to the mold by the time I am done. That’s hundreds of hours just to make this one mold. Then I have to build a frame because the mold is so heavy. I have to build the frame while the mold is connected to the plug to make it even. I build the frame out of thick gauge 2x4 square tubing, then we mount casters on it, connect supporting bars, and then take it off, finish welding it, and turn it upside down. Next we take the mold off the plug, clean it up with water, then bolt it together. After that,

we repeat the process of cleaning the mold, putting it all together, sanding down the imperfections on the mold with 400 grit to make sure its all smooth, then we go back and wax everything, put release agent, gel coat (not tooling gel coat), then repeat the same process on all the pieces. I’m using mat and cloth to get air bubbles out and make it stronger. Then I come back with some reinforcing 5mm Cormat which will fill up with resin to add density to flat areas. The next day, I come back and put everything toSee No Easy Task, Page 50


Rich’s SEMA Appearance Schedule

SEMA 2012 is approaching faster than we could expect. As we all know, the Specialty Equipment Market Association is the biggest automotive show of the year. I am totally looking forward to it and I wanted to give you the low-down on what Rich Evans Designs has been doing and how we are gearing up for SEMA. On Tuesday, October 30 at 1 p.m. in the FBS Booth #11177, we will be unveiling the project we built in Canada, a 2004 H2 Hummer which was built in 10 days on our new show “World Wide Car Building.” We will have all nine builders from the U.S. there, as well as the team from Curtis Customs in Canada. At 3 p.m. in the Wyotech Booth #12073, we will be unveiling our second project from the recent build in Canada, which was also filmed for “World Wide Car Building.” The second vehicle we built is a 1954 panel truck. We will have scissor reels playing in both booths with highlights from the filming. Please stop by and say hello at any

of the following scheduled celebrity appearances: Tuesday, October 30 9:30-10 am: Solution Finish Booth #13043 12:30-1: FBS Booth #11177 (before the unveiling of the H2 Hummer) 2:15-2:45: Wyotech Booth #12073 (before the unveiling of the 1954 panel truck) 3:30: MGP Booth #48107 4-4:30 pm.: Solution Finish Booth #13043

Wednesday, October 31 9:30-10 a.m.: Solution Finish Booth #13043 12:30-1: FBS Booth #11177 2:15-2:45: Wyotech Booth #12073 3-3:30: MGP Booth #48107 4-4:30 Solution Finish Booth #13043 4:30-5 FBS Booth #11177

Thursday, November 1 9:30-10: Solution Finish Booth #13043 12:30-1: FBS Booth #11177 2:15-2:45: Wyotech Booth #12073 3-3:30: MGP Booth #48107 4-4:30: Solution Finish Booth #13043 4:30-5: FBS Booth #11177 Friday, November 2 9:30-10: Solution Finish Booth #13043 12:30-1: FBS Booth #11177 2:15 - 2:45: Wyotech Booth #12073 3-3:30: MGP Booth #48107 4-4:30: Solution Finish Booth #13043 I also will be participating in a celebrity build, the 2012 HRIA Pinewood Derby display of the race cars, located in Hot Rod Alley at HRIA Booth. I’ll be com-

peting against other celebrity car builders to build and race a pinewood derby car to benefit two charities, Child Help and Victory Junction Camp. I’ve competed in this race the past three years and have come in 2nd place. Come by and see my rocket car! I also wanted to mention two announcements regarding Solution Finish. First is a new product line called Rich Evans DIY kit, a complete package for the do-it-yourselfer. It includes everything needed to completely restore plastic, vinyl, rubber on any vehicle without needing to scrounge around looking for the professional items that are essential for getting the same results as master detailers. Secondly, Solution Finish has made a major breakthrough in the formulization of its gray fusion, a restoring product that is the first of its kind. This product allows you to restore gray bumpers and trim to a better than new condition with one application, and it removes tiger striping. Check it out in action at Booth #13043. See ya at SEMA!

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Continued from Page 48

No Easy Task

gether, using paste, cut out strips of mat, connect everything together, bolt the mold together. Three or four hours after that, we’re ready to pull it apart. Then I spend five hours cleaning everything. Finally I’m done with the first Rich Evans-designed motor sports body. This doesn’t count all the accessories… the wings, scoops, side scoops, front bumper, etc. Seems like now I am getting away from parts and addons. Now I’m making complete bodies. Who would have figured? I have major respect for guys who are building molds out there. It’s a whole different task. Props to the guys who are making molds day in and out, because as a car builder, you can see daylight at the end of the tunnel. But in this field, you don’t even know how many sand strokes you need to get to the end. I’m excited about the project and to see it on the track in full motion. Then I can sit back and enjoy.

The body is ready to sand down, seal and paint, and it’s ready to go. I’ve got scribe marks to cut the doors out, and scribe marks for the hood and the deck lid. The whole idea is for this to look like a real car featured in the motor sport world. Stay tuned to see where this car will be seen and what

it’s going to be doing on the track. Follow me on Rich Evans Designs on Facebook, RichEvansDesigns.com, BuilditwithRichEvans.com, and HuntingBeachBodyWorks.com. Thanks to all my sponsors, with a shout-out to FBS, a title sponsor of World Wide Car Building, and my other sponsors listed on my website. See ya at SEMA. It’s a great month to be around automobiles.

Copart Gives $15,000 to CREF for scholarships, grants

In its commitment to the future of the collision industry, Copart recently contributed $15,000 to the Collision Repair Education Foundation. The $15,000 contribution will support the Education Foundation’s Collision Repair Education Campaign fund, which allows the Foundation to provide its annual student scholarships, school grants, and the annual Ultimate Collision Education Makeover $50,000 school grant. “Copart is proud to support the efforts of the Collision Repair Education Foundation as this organization continues its on-going educational work. It is critical that there be investments in collision school programs and most importantly, investments in the next generation of collision repair industry professionals. We are happy to do our part to ensure the industry thrives and grows,” noted Copart CEO Jay Adair. Clark Plucinski, Collision Repair Education Foundation Executive Director stated, “On behalf of the Collision Repair Education Foundation staff, Board of Trustees, and the collision students that we support nationwide, thank you to Copart for joining in our efforts to support the future of the industry. Secondary and post-secondary collision school programs, in-

structors, and students are facing a difficult crossroad. The advance technologies and materials for today’s (and future) vehicles will require a well-trained, skilled workforce to repair them safely and efficiently. While all of these advanced skillsets and higher technical education will be needed by tomorrows repair technicians, there has never been a time in history when school budgets have been under such exceptional pressure. Programs like collision repair bear the brunt of funding cuts. The industry supporters, such as Copart, allow the Education Foundation to assist these schools with needed tools, equipment, and supplies for their collision programs.” Copart, founded in 1982, provides vehicle sellers with a full range of remarketing services to process and sell salvage and clean title vehicles to dealers, dismantlers, rebuilders, exporters and, in some states, to end users. Copart remarkets the vehicles through Internet sales utilizing its patented VB2 technology. Copart sells vehicles on behalf of insurance companies, banks, finance companies, fleet operators, dealers, car dealerships and others as well as cars source from the general public. The company currently operates 155 facilities.

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Continued from Page 46

Association Activity

As a result of AASP MA’s recent partnership with the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), the proceeds from the event will go towards providing tool grants to students. Midstate Chapter President Molly Brodeur notes “AASP-MA is the first association to create a Tool Grant, and our BBQ is the primary fundraiser for the grant. I am very excited as it looks like the proceeds will fund 10 $500 tool grants. What makes the grant even better is that a student applies and ultimately receives (if chosen) the $500 tool grant but is awarded with $1000 in tools courtesy of Mac Tools.” AASP-MA raised $5400, making the event the most successful fundraiser they have had to date for the Tool Grant. There were 165 attendees at the family-friendly event. AASP-MA’s event featured food from Firefly’s Bodacious BBQ and a number of raffle prizes. Norm Audette won the live auction, acquiring a Becca Gun Washer, valued at $2300, which was contributed by

Managed Air Systems. Other grand prizes include Carrie Underwood tickets donated by Long Automotive Group, a LCD TV donated by Imperial Parts, a Bose Wave Radio donated by Finishmaster, a BBQ grill contributed by Bernardi Auto Group, and a Kids Go-Cart which was donated by Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Donations were made to the Tool Grant fund by Imperial Parts, Venue Sponsor, Dinner & Dessert Sponsor, and Bald Hill Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep & Kia. Direct Tool Grant donations were also made by Lexus of Northborough and Relco Products. General Raffle Sponsors included the following: 1-800 Radiator, 3M, BASF, Best Chevrolet, Boston Bumper Supply, Don Kennett Inc./Bob Levy, Enterprise RentA-Car, Herb Chambers/Bill Enross, Herbert Berg Florist, Hertz Local Edition, Inskip, Linders, Inc., LKQ/Keystone, Long Automotive Group, Marcotte Ford, Marlborough Wellness Center, NAPA-Hudson, Ollie’s Used Auto Parts, Rodman Ford, Arrow, Wellesley Volkswagen, Sherwin Williams, Town Fair TireShrewsbury, Tuck’s Truck Sales, and Wellesley Toyota.

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ASRW Parties at the Mardi Gras World in New Orleans Automotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW) will hosts its annual ASRW Welcome Party at the iconic Mardi Gras World on Thursday, Oct. 11, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and will again be sponsored by CCC Information Services. Complimentary transportation will be provided for ASRW attendees. Upon arrival, attendees will begin the evening by walking through the ‘working warehouse’ of Mardi Gras parade floats and sculptures. The party culminates at the Grand Oaks Mansion next door – an indoor antebellum mansion replica. “We’re very happy to sponsor this terrific event for the fifth straight year,” said Jim Dickens, senior vice president of the Automotive Service Group at CCC. “We’re really looking forward to seeing our customers and industry partners in New Orleans this year.” “Mardi Gras World represents quintessential New Orleans and it’s the perfect backdrop for a memorable evening and lively celebration,” said Ron Pyle, ASA president. “What a great place to kick-off another ASRW!” About the Events ASRW is scheduled for Oct. 10-13 at the Morial Convention Center in New

Orleans, LA, and includes the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) and the Congress of Automotive Repair & Service (CARS), which makes it the industry’s leading event for dedicated professionals to conduct business, network and engage in industry issues. NACE – the world’s collision repair event – represents the only B2B event of its kind specifically designed for collision repair industry professionals from around the globe. NACE features a comprehensive educational Conference and Exposition with hundreds of diverse exhibiting companies displaying the latest equipment, products, services and technology available to today’s collision repair industry. CARS – the premier event for automotive service professionals – features a high-quality education lineup led by industry leaders, along with an exhibitor showcase of automotive service and repair related equipment, products and services.

About the Sponsor The Automotive Service Association (ASA) is the sponsor of ASRW and two of its shows, NACE and CARS. ASA is the largest international notfor-profit trade association of its kind.

Silver Sails Paints Launches in USA

Yin Fan Chemistry, one of China’s largest auto paint manufacturers, launched the Silver Sails Paints brand of automotive finishes this year. Yin Fan Chemistry has been successfully exporting its products to the USA for over three years. Yin Fan Silver Sails, a pioneer auto paints producer with a long history in China, has become one of the highest ranking and most reliable manufacturers of quality auto paints in China. Silver Sails produces primers, basecoats, clearcoats, and a line of ancillaries. It supplies paints to 30 automotive and truck manufacturers and over 700 jobber outlets in China. Yin Fan was chosen as coatings supplier to Da Chang Jiang, the biggest motor bike manufacturer in China. Yin Fan in English means “Silver Sails.” Its products have become known for their superior quality and reasonable pricing. In 2006, Yin Fan Silver Sails established the “Nano Coatings Technology Center” in conjunction with Shanghai University. Silver Sails HS403, 10 minute bake “Nano Clearcoat,” is a result of the Nano Coatings Technology Center cooperation. Yin Fan has received several International Standards certifications,

including: ISO 9001-2000, ISO/ TS16940-2002, and SGS International’s testing certificate for 2.1 low VOC compliant clearcoat. Silver Sails guarantees a highquality automotive finish at a price body shops can afford. The Silver Sails High Solids mixing system includes 66 toners with liquid pearls and Zirallic pearls.

Jobbers wanted Silver Sails Paints is looking for quality distributors who are interested in distributing superior products at an affordable price, says Larry Wagreich, Sales Director. If interested, he can be reached by email at sales@silversailswww.autobodynews.com paints.com. For more information www.silCHECK IT OUT! versails-paints.com.

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www.autobodynews.com | OCTOBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 51



October 2012 Southeast Edition