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Southeast Edition Florida Georgia Alabama Mississippi



SCRS Claims SEMA Now the Premier Show for Collision Repairers, Citing Traffic, Exhibitors Half a decade ago, the SEMA Show was less than a blip on the collision repair industry’s radar. Those days are long gone as the show continues to solidify its standing as the premier event for the industry, with filled aisles, packed booths, a burgeoning number of collision-repair-related industries on the show floor, and an infectious energy that collision repairers just can’t seem to resist. “From our vantage point in the booth, you can’t help but notice the enthusiasm of the collision repair customers walking the aisles,” said Brian Shenk, director of marketing services

for Sherman-Williams Automotive Finishes. “I think it’s because the Show is infused with the colorful, cool fun of the custom car segment, which carries over to collision repair participants. Two years ago, we moved our booth to the North Hall, home to the collision repair section, and we haven’t looked back since. Having a presence here has really paid off, and our custom paint group is totally on board, as well.” The SEMA Show is attracting increasing numbers of collision repairers and exhibitors for a variety of practical reasons, too. At the top of the list is the See SCRS on SEMA, Page 19

Sandy’s Total Economic Damage May Reach $50 Billion, 250,000 Flood-Damaged Vehicles

Toyota Develops and Announces ‘Predictive Estimating’ Tool—Called ‘Game-Changer’ by John Yoswick

Representatives of Toyota drew multiple rounds of applause at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Las Vegas in November as the automaker previewed what it is referring to as a “predictive estimating” system for its vehicles. Toyota’s Jerry Raskind called the system a “game-changer” in that rather than having an estimator start from a blank page and add line items based on what they know or can locate about OEM procedures, the new system begins with a complete estimate that incorporates all necessary parts and Toyota-recommended procedures, along with links to all related Toyota bulletins and published documentation.

The system allows the user to adjust the estimate, such as changing the type of part to be used or omitting a procedure not necessary based on the actual damage to the vehicle. Repairs can be substituted for parts replacement. But Toyota believes Jerry Raskind the system will help ensure estimates are more likely to be completed based on the automakers’ prescribed procedures. “They’re more likely to include all the appropriate repair methodologies, procedures and parts, and won’t miss any of the key repair items,” Raskind said. See Predictive Estimating, Page 8

SEMA Panel Discussion Reviews InsurerBacked Parts Ordering in Other Countries by John Yoswick

A parking lot full of yellow cabs is flooded as a result of superstorm Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in Hoboken, NJ. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

$3 billion to its already substantial debt. Eqecat said that the damage from the storm will likely be far worse than See Sandy Damages, Page 23

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Widespread power outages and subway shutdowns, added to the tremendous physical damage to property, may make Superstorm Sandy the second most expensive storm in U.S. history, according to the forecasting firm Eqecat. That would rank it right behind Hurricane Katrina. Estimates also suggest that Hurricane Sandy will rank as the nation’s second-worst storm for claims paid out by the National Flood Insurance Program. With 115,000 new claims submitted and thousands more being filed each day, the cost could reach $7 billion at a time when the program is allowed, by law, to add only an additional


The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) held a variety of training sessions and panel discussions aimed at collision repairers during the SEMA show in Las Vegas in November. Among the best-attended was one entitled, Bidding Wars, in which collision industry representatives from Australia, New Zealand and Canada discussed what they have seen in their countries after an insurer mandated use of a particular David Newton-Ross electronic parts procurement system. “We’re not going to tell you what’s going to happen here in the United States,” David Newton-Ross, editor of a trade publication in Aus-

tralia, said as he opened the session. “We’re going to tell you what’s happening in other countries. What happens here is up to you.” Rex Crowther, who sold his two New Zealand shops in 2008 and is now editor and publisher of a collision repair trade magazine in that country, said PartsTrader launched there in 2005, and use of it was manRex Crowther dated initially by one large insurer. With no domestic automakers and a vehicle population that averages 13.5 years in age (compared to 11 years in the U.S.), used parts dominate the New Zealand market, accounting for between 55% and 65% of all parts used, Crowther said. Mark-up on those parts dropped from 25% to 20% See Other Countries, Page 10

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Contents in Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Boyd Group Adds 11 Shops in Florida . . . . 4

CARSTAR Adds Florida Shop to

Hottest Car, Sport Compact, Truck

and 4x4 SUV at 2012 SEMA Show

in Las Vegas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

How Marketing Can Help Customer-Pay

Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

MSO Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Many NJ and NY Shops Still Closed

New Ownership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Matrix Wand Captures Top New Product

PartsTrader, P-Pages and Material

MD’s Mark’s Body Shop Releases

Jackson Collision Center Under

MCRA Continues to Grow, Discusses

Invoicing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

New Alabama Association to Kick off

Advertising Campaign . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Robert Matthews, Owner of Matthews Auto

in Aftermath of Sandy . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Award at SEMA Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Car-O-Liner Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

New Mitchell ITR Trends Report Looks at Rising Deductibles

and Severity Trends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Body Repair Shop, Died Nov. 4 in Florida . 7

PartsTrader Produces Video of MI Shop

for Police . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Repairer-Only Meeting at SEMA 2012

Students Paint, Refurbish Bomb Truck


Owner Who Likes PartsTrader . . . . . . . . 3 Provides Forum for Unfiltered

Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Franklin: The Value of a Lifetime

Rich Evans and Crew Unveil 2004

Insider: Customer Service Has the Power—

Safelite Group To Acquire Southern

Customer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Don’t Perfume the Pig . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16


ABRA Buys Colorado Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

H2 Hummer at SEMA 2012 . . . . . . . . . 36 Glass & Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Sandy’s Economic Damage May Reach

$50 Billion, 250,000 Flood-Damaged

Vehicles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

American Suzuki OK’d for $45M to

School Winner of Hood Art Contest

ASRW Releases Numbers from

SCRS Claims SEMA Now the Premier

Audatex Announces Winner . . . . . . . . . . . 34

SEMA Awards Best New Cutting-Edge

BASF and Finishmaster Win New Trial

SEMA in Pictures: Car Candy . . . . . . . . . . 24

Close US Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 2012 Event . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Automaker, OEM and Recall News . . . . . . 22 in Paint Lawsuit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Car Project for Kids Gives Hands-On

Fun, Experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Chess Teaches How to Make More

Money Without Spending $$$$ . . . . . . 27

Voted at SEMA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Show for Collision Repairers . . . . . . . . . 1

Automotive Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

SEMA Panel Discussion Reviews

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers. 31

Day” Federally . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Car-Part Pro. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Nalley BMW. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

SEMA Seeks “Collector Car Appreciation

Elected to Congress. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

of the Year’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

State Farm Donates $70K to Collision

Education Foundation Donations . . . . . . 7

Toyota Develops and Announces

Going Green Doesn’t Have to Be

Expensive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Guilty of Junk Thinking? ‘How to

Think Better’ at SEMA 2012 . . . . . . . . . 28

Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018; (800) 699-8251 (760) 721-0253 Fax Email:

BASF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Shelby Tribute Held at SEMA 2012 . . . . . . . 6

Makeover Grants at SEMA . . . . . . . . . . 26

Autobody News

in Other Countries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

CynCast Wins CEICA’s ‘E-Commerce Co.

Education Foundation Awards $50,000

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.

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts

Seven Experienced Auto Dealers

David Brunori of Matrix System Boosts

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

Allan Vigil Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Insurer-Backed Parts Ordering

Clemson Students Unveil Deep Orange 3

at SEMA 2012 Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

way to incorporate that in my sales process so I don’t have to give an estimate on site to the customer while they are standing there waiting. I will do my preliminary notes and come back in at my convenience and write the estimate and send it off for a quote request. It allows me at that point to free up myself to do other things internally, and then I go and review the estimate or quote…I can review it and export it back into my estimating software, and if I’ve already booked the job, I can go on after hours and order the parts for the estimate to the customer and keep moving. It has given me a lot of flexibility in my day. I really believe that this software is going to level the playing field for us smaller operators against the MSOs and some of the big players. I can do more in a day now than I was able to do before. With PartsTrader, I found a way to carve more time out of my day and truly operate more efficiently.” To view the PartsTrader video, go to and search “likes Partstrader”. Steve Tomaszewski is a member of the “industry advisory council” that PartsTrader created last summer.


ACE Auto Body Celebrates 31 Years

PartsTrader recently produced a video titled “PartsTrader Feedback from MI Owner” which features Steve Tomaszewski who has 36 years experience in the industry. Tomaszewski started out working in a small car dealership before getting a university degree in auto body repair and eventually owning his own business. In the 3:21 minute video, music plays and the words “First Impressions of PartsTrader” briefly scan across the screen before Tomaszewski starts to speak. “I worry about the future and the sustainability of a business model my size...,” Tomaszewski says, “My initial thoughts were panic. Something new, something forced upon me by an insurance carrier…I was frustrated and angry…It was clunky and clumsy…” The video suddenly stops, then flashes the words “After Using PartsTrader” and Tomaszewski is now making positive comments about PartsTrader: “I like the program, I like the concept. I like the efficiency that it gives me as a smaller repair facility. It gives me time to work the estimate and order parts on my schedule. I find that it takes away work. I’ve found a

Indexof Advertisers


PartsTrader Produces Video of MI Shop Owner Who is Also on its Industry Advisory Council

Repair Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

‘Predictive Estimating’ Tool—Called

‘Game-Changer’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Train Sends Big Rig Crashing into

Body Shop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

WD-40 Keeps on Truckin’ When it

Comes to Helping Others . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Auto Data Labels. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 37 Chief Automotive. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Classifieds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Don Reid Ford. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Equalizer Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers

FL, GA, AL, MS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Garmat USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Gray-Daniels Auto Family . . . . . . . . . 2 Gus Machado Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Haydell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts

Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20-21

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . 32

Jim Ellis Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers. 33

Mazda Wholesale Parts . . . . . . . . . 35

Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 26 Nissan Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . 34 Palmers Toyota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers . 37

Preval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Reliable Automotive Equipment . . . 11

Sam Galloway Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . 10

SCA Appraisal Company . . . . . . . . . 6 Serra Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Serra Automotive Group . . . . . . . . . 17

Solution Finish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Southtowne Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Subaru of Gwinnett . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 38 Tameron Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 35 | DECEMBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 3

Jackson Collision Center Under New Ownership

Jackson Collision Center, an auto body repair and paint shop in Jackson, GA, celebrated new ownership with a ribbon-cutting event on Oct. 25. New owner Barry Kenney recently bought the shop from his brother. Kenney has spent the past 26 years working at his brother’s shop, repairing and restoring cars from the 1930s to 2012 models. “I treat everybody’s car like it’s mine,” he said. Kenney said he recently decided it was time he branch out with his own business, so he bought Jackson Collision from his brother. He said he’s looking to expand the business. The shop does everything from repairing small dents and dings, to more extensive work. “And if you’ve got a train wreck, we can help there too. We’ve got the equipment to handle pretty much anything,” Kenney said. The shop also mixes its own custom paint and can install window tint. Kenney, along with his wife Kelly, and children Shelby, 10, Anna, 11, and C.J., 9, currently call Pike County home, but enjoy Jackson Lake.

ACE Auto Body Celebrates 31 Years in Business

ACE Auto Body owned by Myron Thompson in Hartselle, AL, is celebrating 31 years in business. Thompson started his business in 1981 and attributes much of his success to hard work, determination and the fact that he and his wife, Freda, are team players. The couple is active in their community and donate countless hours to civic projects and making the Hartselle area a better place to live, work and play. The Thompsons have been members of Hartselle Kiwanis Club since 1991, Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce (HACC) members since 1985, the Hartselle Beautification Association (HBA) and have been active in the Hartselle Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (HCPAAA) for approximately five years and donate much of their time to projects involving these three civic organizations. One of the recent awards presented to Myron was the E. R. Roberts Business and Civic Award earlier this year, which is only presented to business professionals in the area that exhibit a reputation of honest and fair treatment to their customers and maintain a strong civic pride and support.

Students Paint, Refurbish Bomb Truck for Police

Wallace Community College students in an auto body repair class in Eufaula, AL, helped prepare a bomb truck for the Dothan Police. The Dothan Police got the bomb truck at a bargain price, thanks to some help from the students at the school’s Sparks campus in Eufaula. Auto body students helped prepare the vehicle for duty with the Dothan Police Department by repainting and doing other minor refurbishing work. Police and college officials said the project benefited both institutions–giving college students the opportunity to perform real world work and learn more about law enforcement, and the police department a bargain deal on work and community outreach opportunities. The 2005 model vehicle was obtained for about $31,500 and the department spent about $40,000 outfitting it for use with Dothan police. If purchased new, the vehicle would have cost about $394,000. The vehicle was paid for with drug seizure funds. “This didn’t cost the City of Dothan a dime,” Dothan Police Chief Greg Benton said. The new bomb truck replaces a 1985 pick up truck the department

previously used, which was prone to breakdowns. Benton said the new vehicle has room enough for all of the squad’s gear, including robots used to handle explosives. Benton said he hopes to be able to collaborate with Wallace Community College on more projects in the future. He said he wants the department to soon obtain a SWAT vehicle. Instructor Dwight Baker said the project gave his students real world experience in performing a job for a client and also allowed them to work offsite, as the painting was done in Dothan. Baker said he hopes publicity from the work will convince more students to participate in his program. Zacchaeus Warren, 35, a student in the program, said he learned a lot about the value of teamwork from the project. At a presentation, bomb squad members gave students a demonstration of their gear, including heavy bomb suits worn by team members. Dothan Police Capt. Keith Gray, head of the bomb squad, thanked the Wallace students for their work. A Wallace graduate himself, Gray encouraged the students to continue their education.


Boyd Group Adds 11 Shops in Florida

The Boyd Group Income Fund recently announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of The Recovery Room of Central Florida, which owns 11 collision repair centers in the Orlando, FL, under the trade name The Recovery Room Collision Repair. The acquisition was scheduled to close Nov. 16. With 11 locations, TRR is expected to generate annual sales of approximately $23 million. “Acquiring TRR is another important strategic undertaking that will double our number of locations in Florida,” said Brock Bulbuck, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Boyd Group. “Currently, there is no other major multi-location collision operator in Florida, and we are the first to build significant presence in the state. We believe Florida is an attractive market for our business and has many growth opportunities.” The total of approximately $7.3 million, plus a work-in-progress inventory adjustment, will be funded through a combination of cash, bank debt and third-party financing. The Fund will not be issuing any new equity to fund the transaction.

CARSTAR Adds Florida Shop to MSO Network

CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts, North America’s largest multishop operator network (MSO), recently opened two new locations, Orlando American CARSTAR Collision in Winter Park, FL and Hi-Tech CARSTAR Eastside in Washington. Orlando American CARSTAR Collision, located at 2822 S. Forsyth Road, Suite 101, is a family-owned business that has been serving the communities of Seminole and Orange Counties since 1991. It was founded by Orlando Torres, who still owns and manages the repair facility. In Washington, the new shop at 702 East 64th St. in Tacoma marks owner Tracey Copeland's fourth CARSTAR location. “We are excited to welcome Orlando Torres and Orlando American CARSTAR Collision to the CARSTAR network,” said David Byers, CEO of CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts. “We are thrilled to expand our presence in Florida with this new top-notch collision repair center. “We also congratulate Tracey Copeland on adding a fourth store in Washington state,” added Byers.

“The last thing you do to a car is the first thing you see.” — Sam Foose (Chip’s dad)

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MCRA Continues to Grow, Discusses PartsTrader, P-Pages and Material Invoicing The Mississippi Collision Repair Association continues to grow to the north and south. The MCRA held a meeting in north Mississippi Nov. 13 in Oxford. Other recent expansion meetings included one in Gulfport in September and in Cleveland, MI, in October. “The association here is gaining members at a brisk pace. Member shops are sharing information and we are beginning to be paid for things we have never been paid for in the past,” said member Bill Fowler, owner of Bill Fowler’s Bodyworks in Southaven. Fowler reports the average attendance at each meeting has been about 25 participants, comprised of shop owners and managers and vendors, including English Color, and Michael Joe Cannon, who owns several dealerships across north central Mississippi. With a network of member shops being established across the state, consumers have a support network equal to or greater than some of the networks touted by insurers as an attribute formerly exclusive to multi-shop operations managed by many of the chain stores and franchise operations, Fowler said. “Member shops now have the ability to communicate with other

member shops to stay current with market trends and overcome some of the problems typically associated with the distances that separate them. Consumer education to overcome insurer steering, the use of inferior parts, and the proliferation of inferior repairs will be addressed by a very aggressive advertising campaign and a MCRA website that is currently under construction and will be up and running in the near future,” said Fowler. In addition, MCRA is also discussing the PartsTrader issue with its members. Steve Plier, a former estimatics team manager for State Farm and now president of C.A.R.E., an industry consulting firm, spoke how the PartsTrader program is being received in test markets and how the program can affect Mississippi shops. Like many other shops across the country, Mississippi shop owners feel a “nagging question” remains unanswered by both State Farm and PartsTrader as to what tangible benefits the program offers consumers, vendors and shops, Fowler said. “At this point, it does not appear the program will be well received in Mississippi, judging by observations made by meeting attendees,” Fowler reported.

With the passing of Carroll Shelby on May 10, 2012, the automotive industry lost one of its most legendary entrepreneurs. His creative efforts and partnerships resulted in a legacy of unmatched high performance—leading many to consider him not only the man behind the term “American muscle,” but a driving force for the specialty-equipment market as well.

meant to them. Above the wall, a large screen displayed historical images depicting Shelby, his career and his creations. Several iconic Shelby vehicles, courtesy of Ford Motor Company, were also on display. “Carroll Shelby was among the greatest game-changers in the performance automotive industry. He was one of our true living legends and will always be a tremendous inspiration to enthusiasts, racers, designers and those who revel in making horsepower,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “He shared with so many his passion for performance, customization and style. And he set himself apart not only with international racing breakthroughs, but by bridging the gap between hot rodders and automakers, turning stock vehicles into supercars of global renown.” “Carroll Shelby was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame in 1986. His life and accomplishments meant a lot to the automotive aftermarket,” said SEMA Show Director Tom Gattuso.

Shelby Tribute Held at SEMA 2012

Throughout this year’s Show, SEMA honored Shelby with a special exhibit entitled, “The SEMA Shelby Tribute.” Located in the northwest corner of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall, the exhibit included a large wall where attendees could write their own personal remarks about Shelby and what he


Other issues discussed at the recent Mississippi Collision Repair Association meetings include material invoicing being presented as a better alternative to current methods that have been used for decades in calculating charges for paint and repair. Plier gave a demonstration using PMC Logic to illustrate the inadequacy of the labor X rate formula. “It was widely agreed that an invoice system must be utilized in order to properly document material usage, cost and generate a more accurate accounting of actual material costs and subsequent charges on repair orders,” Fowler said. Plier also presented information regarding proper observation of and adherence to P page operations as shops have become all to familiar with the words “We don’t pay for that”—a phrase that is hard to defend when confronted with procedures specifically outlined in the procedure pages explained by every data provider, Fowler said. “As the MCRA gains membership, they are sure to become a formidable presence in the state of Mississippi. Outreach to the public, shops, vendors and legislators has already begun and response has been positive,” said Fowler.

Car Project for Kids Gives Hands-On Fun, Experience

In Phoenix, AZ, kids are invited to participate in a program called Hands-On Street Ministries, a dropin center that allows youngers to work on cars and get some life lessons along the way. Recently, a 12year-old boy helped remove a car hood, take apart a door and unhook an engine, the Star Phoenix reported. Hands-On started the car restoration project to engage kids in a proejct, teach life lessons along with some tangible skills. “Look at these little guys. They are getting right in there and they want to work. They are pulling wrenches and having fun,” said Tom Bissonette, organizer and owner of Parr Auto Body. He worked closely with Hands-On director Rick Langlais to make the project happen. The Hands-On center had some room to spare. With the help of donations, the shop got renovated and stocked with new tools. Every volunteer has some kind of auto body or mechanic interest, but they aren't all professionals in the field. Bissonette says with a shortage of auto body technicians in the city, this may be a way to foster interest in the profession.

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David Brunori of Matrix System Boosts Collision Repair Education Foundation Donations

David Brunori, executive vice president/GM of Matrix System Automotive Finishes, and Collision Repair Education Foundation Board of Trustees member, recently was recognized for boosting contributions to the Collision Repair Education Foundation. He helped coordinate a $11,000 donation in equipment to the collision program at Oakland Schools Tech Southwest Campus in Wixom, David Brunori MI, and also personally donated $5,000 to the Foundation. The $11,000 donation provided to the school’s collision program was the effort of several industry organizations. Dedoes Industries donated a paint mixing machine system, various cabinets and additional painting supplies. Matrix Systems supplied all the automotive refinish paint to the school, and The CRC Line Inc. donated masking paper, plastic sheeting and mixing cups. Brunori’s personal donation of $5,000 will help purchase requested

tools, equipment and supplies for a Michigan school that applied for the Education Foundation’s 2012 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover school grant, as well as assist with the organization’s Collision Repair Education Campaign general operating fund. “We have been very lucky to receive these donations. In times where there is very little money available for our collision program, it is great to know that there are companies that can help,” said David Hollinger, collision instructor at Oakland Schools Tech Southwest Campus. “It is amazing to me how a few gallons of paint can make a huge difference to a group of teachers and students,” said Brunori. “Technical campuses around the United States are in desperate need of corporate and personal donations to ensure our industry continues to educate the next generation of technicians. One could say it is our corporate responsibility to get involved. I knew immediately our donations were deeply appreciated just by the looks on the kids’ faces. It is a great feeling to know you made a difference.”

Robert Matthews, Owner of Matthews Auto Body Repair Shop, Died November 4 in Florida

Robert E. Matthews, 85, died suddenly on Sunday, Nov. 4 in Ormond Beach, FL. He was born on Oct. 22, 1927, in Brooklyn, to Robert Richard Matthews and Beatrice Morell Matthews. He is predeceased by a younger brother, Bruce Matthews. Bob’s early career was as a Draftsman for Republic Aviation in Farmingdale, NY. He then opened Matthews “Mobile” gas service station and then Matthews Auto Body Repair Shop, which later led him to become the Founder of Matthews Buses Inc. and owner of Upstate Transit in Saratoga Springs, both later became wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Matthews Group Inc., which now includes Matthews Specialty Vehicles, Rifled Air Conditioning, and Matthews Mobile Media, all located in Greensboro, NC. He was happily married to Justine Hackett Matthews for 63 years, living first on Long Island and then later in Dansville, NY, where they raised their family of five sons. Bob retired in 1995 and moved to Florida and also spent many years traveling the USA with Justine in their motorhome. They later returned to Dans-

ville, to make it ‘home’ once again. Bob was passionate about aviation and was a licensed multi-engine and instrument rated pilot and a glider pilot. He put his love of aviation to good use when building Matthews Buses, making countless trips with customers to visit the Thomas Bus manufacturing facility. He took great pride in being a member of the Ancient & Secretive Order of Quiet Birdmen since1982. He also earned the coveted Distributor of the Year Award for excellence for Thomas Built Buses twice. He is survived by his wife, Justine Hackett Matthews; five sons, Guy (Betsy), Mark (Kate), Rob (Rhonda), Glenn (Lori) and Brad (Nancy); 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, to whom he was affectionately known as “Bunky.” A private memorial service was held on Nov. 17, followed by a celebration of life open to all friends. Memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warriors of America at or via a mail form downloaded from this site and sent to: Wounded Warrior Project PO Box 758517 Topeka, KS 66675. | DECEMBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 7

Continued from Cover

Predictive Estimating

As demonstrated, the system requires the user only to select the damaged portions of the vehicle (left front fender, for example), and all items related to that section of the vehicle are automatically listed, including such item as one-time use fasteners, necessary information labels, and procedures such as color sand and polish (with a link to Toyota’s bulletin indiRick Leos cating that is a procedure necessary even at the factory). “Everything you need to fix our cars correctly and to our standards is there,” Toyota’s Rick Leos said. “I don’t need all kinds of opinions on how to fix our cars when I have engineers who are telling me how to fix our cars. That’s who I’m relying on. So now if someone wants to challenge this stuff, we have engineers to give them the answers. It’s no longer just you and your opinion, and the guy down the street who ain’t doing it.” Leos, who said he is in discussions about the system with CCC Information Services (and has contacted the other estimating system providers), used the system at the meeting to prepare a $10,000 estimate in two minutes. He said he hopes to have the system completed on Toyota’s top four vehicles during the first quarter of 2013, and he said other automakers are interested in working on the project as a joint venture.

Response to Toyota tool When asked about insurer response, Leos said he believes the system will help smooth out some of the variances in estimating. “We have had some talks with insurance companies…and they’re not

negative on this at all,” he said. Herb Lieberman of LKQ Corporation called the system “the right thing to do,” but asked Leos about what he termed the “unintended consequence” of more cars being totaled but ending back on the road after being rebuilt to no standard. Leos Herb Lieberman pointed out that the system allows the user to adjust the estimate, for example, to use alternative parts. “But what if a car totals because we’re going to fix it right? Then that’s probably where it needs to be,” Leos said. “I can’t stop the rebuilders in this industry. They’ve been around for years. They always will be. Salvage value will actually go down, not up, if that’s the case. So the insurance company might want to throw a little more money into fixing that car.” One shop owner at CIC told Leos this could reduce both the number of estimators he needs and the experience level they would need to prepare thorough estimates. Iowa shop owner Bob Jones said he had considered something similar in years past, perhaps ordering everything needed for a corner hit as kit, for example, but that insurers would balk if the unneeded items included initially were removed from the bill later in the process. Leos reiterated that he envisions an estimator taking the estimate that the system generates out to the car to omit parts or procedures not needed for that vehicle’s particular damage. Some of the groups who earlier this year called on automakers to help the industry establish OEM procedures as the industry’s “repair standards” praised Toyota for getting shops this easy access to the company’s repair procedures. “We really appreciate what you’ve done to lead the pack,” Scott

Biggs of Assured Performance Network told the Toyota representatives. “You opened the door for us,” Raskind told the groups who have pushed for OEM procedures as the industry’s repair standards. “We’re now taking a bold step through it.”

New chairman offers perspective Also in Las Vegas, Mike Quinn of Caliber Collision completed his final meeting as chairman of CIC, and George Avery of State Farm offered his thoughts as the incoming chairman. Avery acknowledged that his selection to lead CIC, which was made by those who have previously chaired the conference, has not been universally popular – particularly among those discussing it on “social media” – given his role at State Farm. “The past chairs did select George Avery, not necessarily the company that he works for,” Avery said. “The George Avery that accepted was the one who started as a painter’s helper and over the years has made his way through the collision industry.” Avery’s career at State Farm has now spanned more than 30 years. He is not the first insurance company representative to chair CIC. Joe Landolfi

chaired the conference in 1995 and 1996 when he was an executive with Kemper Insurance. And Roger Wright joined AIG Insurance several months into his two years as CIC chairman in 2003 and 2004. Avery in Las Vegas reiterated his believe in the value of CIC, noting that the industry in Canada used CIC as a model for a similar organization in that country, and that the restoration industry on the property insurance side is “desperately today trying to get a CIC to get all stakeholders in the room.” “So we can’t lose sight that CIC is a place where we can all talk,” Avery said, “We all go to meetings with our own folks, our own disciplines, and that’s healthy and good. But having an opportunity to all get together is very important.” Avery said he is working on a system to give more participants at CIC “a voice” even if they don’t get up to the microphone at the meetings. He will chair his first CIC meeting on January 24-25 in Palm Springs, CA. That meeting is CIC’s biennial “planning meeting” at which the committees and broad subject matter for the coming two years are developed.


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ABRA Buys Colorado Shop

ABRA Auto Body & Glass recently acquired Southeast Auto Body, a collision repair shop based in Highlands Ranch, CO. The acquisition marks ABRA’s 19th repair center in Colorado, and the company’s 127th location overall. ABRA has a presence in 14 U.S.

states. “Our increased presence in the Colorado market is part of our strategy to accelerate ABRA’s national growth over the next five years,” said Duane Rouse, president and CEO of Brooklyn Center, MNbased ABRA.


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Continued from Cover

Other Countries

under PartsTrader, Crowther said, and shops found themselves having to buy from many more different suppliers (Newton-Ross said he spoke with one New Zealand shop that now has 300 suppliers rather the 30 the shop bought from previously). Some suppliers were dumping low-quality parts through the system, Crowther said. The insurer offered a $3 increase in labor rates, but Crowther said that had been the first increase in three years and did not offset the loss of parts profit. In his own $4 million business in 2006, he estimated that use of the PartsTrader system accounted for a decline in margins equal to about 4% of his sales. He cautioned that the PartsTrader system used in New Zealand is different than the one being mandated by State Farm in some U.S. markets. Insurers in New Zealand (almost all of which have now adopted the use of PartsTrader), for example, can see all prices quoted in the system there. And much to Crowther’s surprise, he said, an online survey that his magazine conducted in late 2011 found that 53% of shops (and 48% of suppliers) felt that PartsTrader had had a positive effect on their business. “I tried to find these people, but I can’t find them,” Crowther said.

Canadian shops face challenges John Norris, executive director of Collision Industry Information Assistance, a trade association in Ontario, Canada, said a major insurer in that market now requires use of an John Norris electronic parts

New Alabama Association to Kick off Advertising Campaign

Alabama repairers are forming a new collision association called ALARISE (Alabama Automotive Repair Industry Society of Excellence) and are working on a new advertising campaign (TV and radio) during December aimed at consumer awareness. The association is also finalizing the details for a meeting for its charter/founding members, and planning a membership drive. For more information contact Steve Plier at (205) 623-9307 or email

procurement system. The insurer has about 22% market share overall (for comparison, State Farm has about 18% market share in the United States, and Allstate has about 10%), but as much as 50% market share in Northwestern Ontario. Norris said the parts system is forcing some participating shops to endure delays in delivery of parts from sometimes distant suppliers because only suppliers willing to pay the insurer a fee (generally 3% of the part price) on every part sold may participate. The insurer contends the system has reduced parts returns from 15% of all parts ordered to just 10%. “The program supports our (direct repair) shops in reducing cycle time and improving the overall cost of repair,” the insurer told a Canadian trade magazine. Norris is unconvinced, however. He cited a shop in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, that used to walk across the street to pick up parts from a Honda dealer but now must wait three to five days for parts to be trucked from a Honda dealer nearly 400 miles away. “He cannot go across the road and buy a part even if at the same price,” Norris said. “If the other supplier that is working with the insurer has that part, he must buy it from that dealer.” Norris said a shop in Thunder Bay, Ontario, has had to buy used parts from a supplier in Welland, Ontario, 933 miles away. Hamilton, Ontario, has a population of about half a million people, but shops there—Norris said—must order General Motors parts out of Niagara Falls, Ontario, which is 43 miles away; the delivery trucks pass 11 other GM dealers while bringing the parts to Hamilton shops.

Attendees share their views A brief question-and-answer session

BASF and Finishmaster Win New Trial in Paint Lawsuit

On Aug. 30, a federal jury awarded Custom Car Crafters, of Austin, TX, $1.5 million from BASF and $750,000 from FinishMaster. Custom Car Crafter’s was also awarded $1.5 million in compensatory damages. However on Nov. 5 the court reversed itself and agreed with BASF and FinishMaster that the jury’s verdict was inconsistent. It has has ordered a new trial, vacating the misrepresentation and fraud claims of Custom Car Crafters.


following the panel discussion included a variety of comments from attendees. Charles Lukens, co-founder of APU Solutions, a web-based parts procurement system company recently acquired by Solera (parent company of Audatex), said he felt the panelists lumped all parts systems together, unfairly indicating they all have a negative impact on shops. “Not in any scenario are we increasing cycle time and decreasing margins, so I think it’s an unfair statement to say all parts procurement solutions are doing that,” Lukens said. Bobby Price of Prices Collision Centers, which operates five shops in Tennessee, said he is currently on State Farm’s “Select Service” program but “expects not to be” if the PartsTrader mandate comes to his market. “I don’t need State Farm telling me how to run my business,” Price said. “I believe that that’s what this is about.” Price said he is working to build his company’s brand directly to consumers through increased marketing and advertising. Newton-Ross cautioned that shops in the United States should view the issue as something larger than just

State Farm and PartsTrader. “It’s every insurer,” he said. “Because if State Farm is successful with what they do, do you think the other insurers are going to sit there and let them have an edge in the marketplace? No, they’re going to have their own deal with PartsTrader or someone else.”

SEMA Attracts 60,000 Buyers SEMA organizers acknowledged that attendance at this year’s event was curtailed somewhat by Hurricane Sandy-related impacts on the East Coast. Still, SEMA CEO Chris Kersting said as the event was ending that close to 60,000 “buyers” attended SEMA, with about an equal number of others at the event, including exhibitors representing more than 2,250 companies, returning the show to about pre-recession levels. The “collision repair and refinishing” section of the show, now in its third year, featured about 160 companies, with many of the paint manufacturers and equipment vendors that sell to the industry located elsewhere on the massive show floor. SEMA will return to Las Vegas next year on November 5-8.

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Repairer-Only Meeting at SEMA 2012 Provides Forum for Unfiltered Discussion In a packed, standing-room only venue, the second in a series of repairer-only meetings was held Nov. 1 at the 2012 SEMA Show in the LVH Hotel Conference Center. Assured Performance Network (APN), the OEM Roundtable, and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) sponsored the event. This special event for representatives of collision repair businesses was designed to provide a place where collision repairers could engage in candid conversation about the challenges facing their industry, without any undue influence from opposing agendas. The unanimous feedback at this event, and other recent assemblies of repairers, was to hold a ‘repairer only’ forum-assembly in conjunction with other industry events on a quarterly basis starting with Palm Springs events in late January. According to Scott Biggs, CEO of Assured Performance Network, “Repairers have overwhelmingly expressed their interest to make the repairers only forum-assembly an ongoing organized event to ensure there is always a place for repairers to express their opinions openly and without filters and interference.” “There was a lot of emotion and passion as repairers articulated their

concerns and discussed solutions,” said Jordan Hendler, Executive Director of the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association. “This was a great start to bring repairers and repairer groups together to talk specifically about repairer issues and how to collectively resolve some long-standing problems.” The forum is not a replacement or competition for participation in other inter-industry events. While the Las Vegas gathering had no set agenda, the open discussion agenda provided for lively and passionate discussions covering a wide range oftopics. Insurer-mandated parts procurement programs dominated conversation, but a variety of other issues surfaced during the course of the twohour event highlighting the mounting frustration felt by repairers. “We attended the first two repairer meetings and were overwhelmed by the experience of the repairers that attended,” said Eddie Okahara, President of Oka’s Auto Body, Hawaii. “This type of meeting, where repairers attend to share common challenges from the perspective of one repairer to another, is refreshing. This industry changes so quickly, and it is a great benefit to talk with others that are involved in the day-


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to-day business of repairing and refinishing vehicles safely based on the manufacturers specifications; rather than former employees of repairers, retired owners, or people that have moved on to teaching or consulting and are no longer directly involved as we are.” SCRS was an integral part of the forum’s formation. “I was impressed with the turnout at this event and the level of participation from all that were in attendance,” said SCRS Chairman Aaron Clark. “Every major organization, including SCRS, has a forum to discuss their issues. This style of repairer-only meeting that is not organization specific seems to provide a great opportunity to allow repairers the time and place to talk openly and without filters or other interests muting the opinions. The repair industry has identified a hunger for ongoing repairer-only meetings and the industry responded.” The next repairer-only meeting will take place in conjunction with the industry events scheduled for Jan. 23-25 in Palm Springs, CA. For more information, contact SCRS Executive Director, Aaron Schulenburg ( or APN Executive Director, Liz Stein (

Train Sends Big Rig Crashing into Body Shop

A freight train in southern California struck a big rig trailer in Montebello, CA, sending the big rig careening into an auto body shop, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Union Pacific freight train clipped the trailer of a big rig truck Nov. 13, pushing it into an auto body shop. The train struck the back of the trailer, which was carrying frozen food as it was crossing tracks traveling south on Vail Avenue at Mines Avenue at 6:06 a.m., Montebello police said. The trailer was crumpled and partially overturned as it was thrown into the Fleet Body Works auto body shop on Mines Avenue. Police say there were no injuries but major damage was done to the auto body shop. Union Pacific and police were investigating the cause of the accident. The train, which was carrying cargo from the Port of Long Beach to Chicago, was not significantly damaged and continued along its route by 6:30 a.m. “It did not derail so we were able to move it along pretty quickly,” said Aaron Hunt, a Union Pacific spokesman.

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WD-40 Keeps on Truckin’ When it Comes to Helping Others by Ed Attanasio

We know how many uses there are for WD-40® and you’ve probably been using it for many years. But are you aware of all the charity outreach that the company performs every year, through its SEMA Cares vehicles program?

Here is the initial mockup of the WD-40®/SEMA Cares Foose ’53 Ford F-100

After the last three WD40®/SEMA Cares vehicles raised a combined $400,000 for children’s charities during previous shows, Chip Foose and WD-40® Company teamed up this year one more time to build two more custom trucks, a 1953 Ford F100 and a 2012 Ford F-350, that will eventually be auctioned off to benefit the SEMA Cares program.

The WD-40® Specialist/SEMA Cares Foose Ford F-350 is a custom 2012 Ford Super Duty work truck

This year’s first project vehicle, the WD-40®/SEMA Cares Foose ’53 Ford F-100, was created to commemorate the 60th anniversary of WD-40®. Six decades ago, engineers in San Diego, CA, developed this product to displace moisture on the Atlas missile, and today WD-40® is sold in 187 countries worldwide. Featuring a vintage “shop truck” look with an updated drive train and suspension, one-off Foose wheels and custom paint, this one-of-a-kind pickup truck looks similar to the truck used to deliver the first case of the product in the early ‘50s, back when the company was called Rocket Chemical Company. Proceeds from the auctioned vehicle will benefit two SEMA Cares charities—Childhelp®, an organization that provides services to abused and neg-

lected children, and Victory Junction, which provides life-changing camping experiences to special needs and chronically ill children. WD-40® Brand Manager Shannon Edwards passionately believes in supporting causes that help children while strengthening the automotive industry in the process, she said. “Victory Junction is a great organization and Childhelp offers a wide variety of services to abused and neglected children, as well as to treatment counselors, educators, parents, foster care families the community and law enforcement professionals.” Leading aftermarket manufacturers and other companies that chipped in to build and promote the vehicle include: Foose Design, Street Scene Equipment, Barrett-Jackson, LMC Truck, L&R Automotive, Egge, MHT Wheels, Pirelli Tires, BASF Paint, American Auto Wire, Painless Performance, Quiet Ride, K&N Filters, Red Kap and McGard. “This year, we’re upping the ante and building two vehicles – one that pays tribute to WD-40® Company’s history, and one that celebrates some of its newer specialty products that help auto pros like me get the job done right,” Foose explained. “With the help of some great aftermarket partners and a lot of WD-40® brand products, we’ll be able to build two vehicles that honor those who work hard every day.” The second project vehicle, the WD-40® Specialist/SEMA Cares Foose Ford F-350, is a custom 2012

vehicle represents the new WD-40® Specialist line of products that help skilled trade professionals get their specific jobs done with ease. Following its debut at the 2012SEMA Show inside the WD-40®

Media, Icon Vehicle Dynamics, DynaTrac, Custom Truck Shop, BFGoodrich, Magnaflow, Takit, Husky Liners, LEER, Katzkin, Pro Comp, Polk Audio, Audio Innovations and PowerBass.

The WD-40®/SEMA Cares Foose ’53 Ford F-100 commemorates the 60th anniversary of WD-40®

Company booth, this vehicle will hit the road for several months making special appearances before being auctioned to help fund the SEMA Cares scholarship fund. Leading aftermarket manufacturers and other companies that chipped in to build and promote the vehicle include: Foose Design, Street Scene Equipment, Ford, Source Interlink

After its unveiling at SEMA, both vehicles will embark on a tour at automobile shows and other events throughout the West, before being auctioned for charity at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, AZ, Jan. 13–20, 2013. Edwards is happy to work with See WD-40, Page 18


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SEMA Awards Best New Cutting-Edge Automotive Products The Specialty Equipment Market Association announced the winners of the New Products Showcase Awards held at the 2012 SEMA Show on Oct. 30. The event recognized the most cutting-edge automotive products on the market or about to hit the market. This year, more than 2,000 new products were submitted for consideration. Criteria that ranked high on the judges’ selection for the New Product Showcase Awards included superiority of innovation, technical achievement, quality and workmanship, consumer appeal and marketability. The 2012 New Product Award Winners are:

Collision Repair & Refinish Product Winner: Matrix Wand 3-D Blueprinting System, Matrix Wand 3-D Blueprinting and Discovery System Runner Up: Goliath Carts, D1-A ‘Mobile Detailer’ Detail Cart Runner Up: PRO-TECH-IT, PROTECH-IT Reusable Covers

The Matrix Wand 3-D Blueprinting and Discovery System wand has cameras on both ends, and when passed in front of a damaged car, identifies damaged and ‘trusted’ areas. It allows for three-dimensional XYZ measurements, while the repair analysis software allows comparison of any two XYZ points. The D1-A “Mobile Detailer” from Goliath Carts utilizes the standard Goliath technology of a “closed system” that provides security and control of all tools and materials required by the detail and car wash departments of a collision repair shop. The cart is designed to minimized contaminants on the paper rolls and detailing supplies. Power tools can be connected on a mounted power strip. Pro-Tech-It was also granted a runner up spot for the Collision Repair and Refinish category for its magnetic car covers. The durable, reusable covers are designed to replace disposable car covers, reducing both costs and waste. SEMA recognizes a wide array of products, many of which aren’t confined to the collision repair industry.

Engineered New Product Winner: Mastershift, Magnum Paddle and Sequential Type Shifter Runner Up: Detroit Speed, 1964.51970 Mustang Aluma-Frame Runner Up: MSD Performance, MSD

Atomic LSTM, EFI for LS Engines

Exterior Accessory Product Winner: Husky Liners, Husky® 5th Wheel Tailgate w/ Backup Camera Mount Runner Up: Rampage Products LLC, Self Contained Electric mirror and power supply Runner Up: Hornblasters Inc., HornBlasters Jackass 228VX Interior Accessory Product Winner: Edge Products/Superchips, TrailDash Runner Up: Xtreme Outfitters, Cargo Assault Mount Runner Up: U-Ace Inc./Formosa Saint Jose Corp., 3D MAXDURA FLOOR LINER

Merchandising Display Winner: Extang/Truxedo/UnderCover, UnderCover Flex Runner Up: AMP Research, PowerStep POP Runner Up: Extang/Truxedo/UnderCover, UnderCover SwingCase

Mobile Electronics Product Winner: INTRAPHEX, Smartphone Integration Device (S.I.D.) Runner Up: Auto-i (Canada) Corp., Special OE Fit Camera for Commercial Van Runner Up: Brandmotion, Loftlite LED Interior Lighting Kit

Off-Road/4-Wheel Drive Product Winner: BedRug Inc., BedRug and BedTred for Jeep® Runner Up: Fuel-Tool, Fuel-Tool PT500 Fuel Transfer System Runner Up: Hi-Lift Jack Co., Hi-Lift Off-Road Base

Packaging Display Winner: Edge Products/Superchips, TrailDash Runner Up: MSD Performance, MSD Atomic EFITM, Master Kit Packaging Runner Up: Solution Finish Trim Restorer, Solution Finish, Rich Evans DIY Kit

Performance-Racing Product Winner: ATI Performance Products, ATI Cast Aluminum T-400 SuperCase Runner Up: Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, CTAP-001 Clutch and Throttle Activation Position Switch Runner Up: Zeitronix Inc., Ethanol Content Analyzer with Flow Through Sensor


Performance-Street Product Winner: COMP Performance Group, COMP Cams 4-Pattern Camshafts Runner Up: ProCharger, ProCharger i-1® supercharger Runner Up: COMP Performance Group, Inglese Sidedraft EFI System

Powersports Product Winner: K&N Engineering Inc., K&N Street Metal Intake System Runner Up: Warn Industries Inc., WARN Vantage 3000-S Powersports Winch Runner Up: AMSOIL Inc., AMSOIL DOMINATOR Octane Boost

Street Rod/Custom Car Product Winner: MSD Performance, MSD Atomic LSTM, EFI for LS Engines Runner Up: Powertrain Control Solutions (PCS), 6 SPEED VALVE BODY Runner Up: Circle Racing Wheels Inc., ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT STYLE BILLET WHEEL

Tire and Related Product Winner: Pirelli Tire North America, Pirelli Cinturato P7 All-Season Runner Up: Mickey Thompson Per-

formance Tires & Wheels, ET Street Radial Pro Runner Up: Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, Street Comp

Tools & Equipment Product Winner: Miller Electric Manufacturing Co., MultimaticTM 200 TIG/MIG/Stick Welder Runner Up: Del City, Brake Line Wrench Kits Runner Up: Wray Products, The Stand Hand Plus

Van/Pickup/Sport-Utility Product Winner: CURT Manufacturing LLC, Easy Mount Electrical Brackets Runner Up: AnzoUSA, 2007 and up Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 5 Function LED Tailgate Spoiler Runner Up: Elephant Stand, Elephant Stand Swivel Hitch

Wheel and Related Product Winner:Hotchkis Sport Suspension, Hotchkis Performance Wheels Model - H Sport Runner Up:Concept One/Klutch Wheels, Concept One Executive CSL5.5 Runner Up:Enkei Wheels, COMPE

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Seven Experienced Auto Dealers Elected to Congress

All seven current and former auto dealers running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives won on Election Day. Winners include Roger Williams, R-Texas, a former Texas secretary of state who runs a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram store in suburban Fort Worth, and Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, the co-owner of a Chevrolet dealership that was rejected as General Motors went through bankruptcy. True to form in Ohio, the race included heated debate about Washington’s handling of the auto industry. Winning re-election by more comfortable margins were: • Scott Rigell, R-Va, who owns Ford and Volvo dealerships. • Mike Kelly, R-Pa., who owns a Chevrolet store. • Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., who has sold some of his several dealerships and had his Dodge dealership rejected during the Chrysler bailout. • John Campbell, R-Calif., who sold several dealerships, including one of the first Saturn stores, when elected in 2004. • Bill Shuster, R-Pa., who sold his Chrysler dealership when first elected in 2000.

SEMA Seeks “Collector Car Appreciation Day” Federally

SEMA and its Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) and Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) Councils announced that the next “Collector Car Appreciation Day” will be celebrated on July 12, 2013. The date marks the fourth consecutive commemoration in what has become an annual event to raise awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society. SEMA and its Councils will once again seek a Congressional resolution to recognize the day’s significance. The industry endeavors to preserve our nation’s automotive heritage while providing well-paying, high-skilled jobs nationwide. Collector Car Appreciation Day is a singular tribute to the collector car industry and the millions of hobbyists it supports. “The U.S. Senate helped launch Collector Car Appreciation Day by passing Resolutions each year at our request,” said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. “Collector Car Appreciation Day is quickly taking on a global character, with events held in the United States, Canada, and Australia.”

Safelite Group To Acquire Southern Glass & Plastics

Safelite® Group, the nation’s leading vehicle glass company, has reached an agreement to acquire substantially all of the vehicle glass division assets of Southern Glass & Plastics. The deal is expected to be finalized by November 17, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. Southern Glass is a well-respected company with a prominent vehicle glass repair and replacement brand in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina since 1990. Owned by Alan Epley, the company employs 25 people and operates five retail locations: Savannah, GA; Charlotte, NC; Charleston, SC; Columbia, SC; North Augusta, SC The acquisition is the continuation of Safelite AutoGlass’s mission to profitably grow in the U.S. and to become the customer’s “natural choice” for vehicle glass repair and replacement services. “While much of our growth has come organically from expanding the company’s existing sales and profit base, we’ve also had various strategic, targeted acquisitions in the last several years,” said Tom Feeney, president and CEO of Safelite® Group. “We expect that Southern Glass’s clients, customers, business partners and employees will benefit from our commitment to be the leader in the vehicle

glass industry.” Safelite® Group is a subsidiary of Belron®, the world’s largest and most successful retail vehicle glass repair and replacement company. Belron® operates in 34 countries. Southern Glass’s owner Alan Epley will continue as a consultant during the transition before he officially retires. In addition, general manager David Packett will play a significant role in the integration. With their vehicle glass repair and replacement expertise, they will offer excellent contributions to the Safelite® team. “Even though we have been healthy competitors in the past, Safelite® offered the best option for me and my employees, particularly in today’s challenging economic times. I look forward to my upcoming retirement after the transition period,” said Epley.


Autobody News on Facebook | DECEMBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 15

Inside Insurance

The Insider is a corporate-level executive with a Top 10 auto insurer in the U.S.. Got a comment or question you’d like to see him address in a future column? Email him at

Customer Service Has the Power—Don’t Perfume the Pig with The Insurance Insider

Customer service has taken on a life unto itself. If you don’t have a job in which customer service is Priority Number One, then you won’t be employed for very long. Why? Because your company will lose business and eventually downsize or go out of business. We’ve become a society where outstanding customer service is no longer just expected. It’s demanded. And it’s demanded NOW! Remember that old slogan at Burger King: “Have It Your Way.” To elaborate how extensive the desire to please the customer goes, here’s my embarrassing tale of my teenage grandson. He was visiting the other day and told me that he’d gone into a “BK” the day before and immediately after ordering had asked them to make fresh French fries because he didn’t want the ones already made. And I suppose their answer will be anti-climactic at this point: They did it. I asked him why? Were the fries old? He said, acting very surprised, that they weren’t at all. But they told me, he said, that “I can have it my way.” Wow. I wish I could employ those tactics at home with my wife. It’s never my way. Customer service seems to be the primary driver and motivation for virtually every large corporation today. At times, profitability seems almost secondary. Okay, maybe not quite, but the fact is that customer service motivates companies to take action and change. JD Powers and Associates’ customer service reports seem to draw the same focus as quarterly earnings reports. Executives await the results to see if their attempts to drive results have become a reality. Employees await the congratulatory email or a call-to-action to improve results. In the shrinking market for auto insurance, carriers are focused on gaining and retaining their customer base. We spend millions of dollars on marketing to new customers. Has that translated into new policyholders? The results have been mixed. If it was that easy, even a caveman would do it. If it was as easy as throwing money to create commercials and trendy gimmicks, everyone would be following that model AND reporting record sales. Spending millions hasn’t proven to cre-

ate the desired result. There have been a few success stories, but far more examples exist of money wasted for 30 seconds of air time. As a result, companies are now

evaluating whether or not spending the ridiculous amounts of money on marketing and advertising pays dividends. Buying customers through trendy advertising still requires you to deliver an exemplary product and service. My dad used to say, “Son, you can’t put perfume on a pig.” The pig may smell nice but he’s just as dirty and sloppy as he was before. The bottom line is that he is still a pig. I think that’s what consumers have experienced with those companies that have spent significant amounts of their annual budget to attract but not retain. So, you may ask, if companies aren’t growing, what are they doing to retain business? They’re doing a myriad of things but let’s focus on their direct repair programs (DRP). As a direct repairer for a given insurance company, do you have any idea the power you have to influence the customer’s perception? If you don’t, you are missing the best opportunity you have to grow your business. You aren’t really in the business of repairing vehicles, nor are we insurers in the business of paying for their loss. All of us are in the business of providing service in a time of need. The easiest thing any of us can do is help the customer through something that happens once every seven or so years on average. We should be providing respect, courtesy, information, updates, smiles, reassurance and comfort to name a few things. The cost to provide those items? Nothing. Assuming that you don’t charge for effort, care and


compassion. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can win the game. Customers and insurers expect the car to be repaired properly and on time. We both demand customer service. Depending upon the carrier, the vehicle owner will spend more time in your facility and interacting with your staff than they will with their insurance company. If you wow the customer, the customer is going to be satisfied with you and more than likely the insurance company. If they don’t like you, you can bet your last customer service survey that they don’t have a lot of nice things to say about us either. In my opinion, insurance carriers allow the repair facility to have too much influence on the customer experience. Carriers have become acclimated to pushing additional responsibilities onto the shops. Customer service is something that insur-

ance companies need to reclaim more of a share in. Unfortunately, insurance companies are beset with shrinking budgets and are reducing staff because of the lack of growth and fierce competition. That’s good news for shops. It creates an opportunity, obvious or not. Find a way to deliver consistently outstanding customer service, and your direct repair business is going to grow exponentially because insurance carriers need you. Don’t try putting perfume on the pig. You can’t fake good customer service. You either create a culture of service in your business or you will be left behind with the other swine. “The Insider” is an auto insurance company executive who wishes to remain anonymous. This column reflects solely the opinion of The Insider as it offers an unvarnished look at various issues impacting the collision industry.

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On Creative Marketing

Tom Franklin has been a 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 See Tom’s columns at under Columnists > Franklin

What’s the Value of a Lifetime Customer with Thomas Franklin

What is the value of a lifetime customer? Let’s just take 15 years. A typical driver has some sort of vehicle damage once every three to five years. If we count little parking lot scrapes and minor dents, three years may be just about right. That means a good customer might visit the shop five times in 15 years, but at least three times. How important is it that this customer becomes a repeat customer? Of course that depends on the size of the shop, the referral sources the shop relies on, and the number of repeat customers the shop relies on to maintain a steady, profitable business. A shop with many DRPs providing a steady flow of new customers may not be as concerned with repeat customers as a small to medium sized shop that needs at least half of all customers to come back again—and hopefully again and again. In just those 15 years, a repeat customer might generate $5,000 worth of business, and possibly much more. In his unique book on marketing, “Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got,” author Jay Abraham says: “Until you identify and understand exactly how much combined profit a client represents to your business for the life of that relationship, you can’t begin to know how much time, effort and ... expense you can afford to invest to acquire that client in the first place.” Cable, phone and other similar companies offer a low rate for the first

year to gain new users. It’s well known that repeat buyers and users become far more profitable as time goes on. How can this approach apply to a body shop? Visiting many shops over the years, I’ve often heard the viewpoint that fixing dings and small dents is a losing proposition. They say the time and effort just generating the paper work costs more than the small profit made for the repair. Obviously this viewpoint is not taking into account the lifetime value of a customer. It also overlooks the habit principle that says the number of repeat experiences determines how deeply a habit is ingrained in an individual. Just getting someone to come to the shop multiple times (without having a bad experience) will accustom that person to having a repetitive relationship with the shop. How deeply the habit is ingrained will also determine how resistive the customer will be to being pressed by his or her insurance company to go to their selected DRP shop. For many people, a strong, personal relationship is necessary to be willing to reject their insurer’s insistence on using a different shop than yours. So, how far would you go to get many, if not most, customers to become lifetime friends and customers? Jay Abraham says it starts with viewing the person as a ‘client’ rather than as a ‘customer.’ A customer is one who


dustry, we were able to get two amazing trucks that efficiently communicate our message while capturing a point in the company’s history with the ’53 Ford F-100.” WD-40®’s marketing VP thanked everyone involved, with special kudos for Foose and his finished product. “These charity vehicles would not have been possible without the hard work and vision of Chip Foose and his team, as well as the time, energy, dedication and resources of our build partners,” said Tim Lesmeister, vice president of marketing for WD-40® Company. “After raising a combined $400,000 for SEMA Cares with our last three project vehicle builds, we expect these trucks to turn a lot of heads and continue to help a great cause.”

Continued from Page 12

Chip Foose for a wide range of reasons. “He lives our values and makes a lasting impression in everything he does. The way we run our company and the way Chip operates his business are very similar, and that’s why we’re very pleased to be associated with him, especially on great projects like this one.” Ford Motor Company sold WD40® its Ford F-350 for one dollar, Edwards said, and in just eight months it went from blueprint to reality. “Ford stepped up and Foose with Mike Spagnola from Street Scene Equipment in Costa Mesa, CA, made this truck a one-of-a-kind vehicle. By using some of the best of the best in this in-


purchases a product or service, but Jay notes that a client is defined as “a person who is under the protection of another.” He advises becoming a trusted adviser who they can look to for protection—in our case from predatory shops seeking obscene profits or making fraudulent claims, or insurance companies directing them to a shop that is more to the advantage of the insurance company than to the customer/client. I’ve seen the length some shops will go to, to find a less costly part or to provide service above and beyond what is generally expected. The customer/client loyalty to these shops is quite remarkable. But is there something more a shop can do to cement a lifetime relationship during that first visit to the shop? Many businesses now provide customers with a ‘reward’ card and department stores provide customers with a credit card only good at their store. Most reward cards just ac-

cumulate points for gifts or to apply credit against a future purchase. I’ve heard of a few shops that were in the process of creating a similar card to give to first time repair job customers. But the card could also be used for car washes, detailing, pin-striping and other vehicle related services. A completely different approach is providing an estimator with special incentives to build a more personal relationship with first time customers. If a shop has a long-term estimator who can be counted on to stay with the shop far into the future, the personal touch is often key to getting people to come back. Letting the estimator be the good guy, cutting some costs or speeding up repair time, can endear him or her to the customer. Many people come back simply because they like and trust a specific person at a place of business. When future business is taken into account, a shop is always wise to calculate profits in the long run.


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search for alternative revenue streams, as more and more collision repairers understand the need to think out of the box when considering products and services that can increase their bottom line. At the show, they get exposure to these kinds of options, like customization and specialty paint work that often can be accomplished with a collision repairer’s existing tools. Vendors of products and services that align with a repairer’s core work, such as those related to mechanical repair, are also well represented at the SEMA Show. “Repairers that keep their eyes open to opportunity can walk the aisles of the show and get any number of ideas to diversify their businesses,” said Frank Terlep, owner of Summit Software Solutions Inc. “Reduced claims and increased consolidation are dictating that repairers refine their business model; this is the place to get inspired to do it. Just this afternoon I saw a vendor selling aftermarket collision avoidance systems, and another selling backup cameras. These products are ideal

complements to the services repairers already provide,” said Terlep. Jonathan Barrick, marketing manager for Global Finishing Solutions, has similar feelings. “Basically collision repair owners and managers can come to this show and find everything they need to improve their business,” he stated. “This includes the quality educational material that SCRS provides and promotes through Repairer Driven Education (RDE). Our company likes being here because the attendees seem so open to learning about new products. That makes the SEMA show the perfect place to illustrate what our company is all about. It’s a venue that allows us to show our personality and make a good brand impression. We’ve increased our booth space every year.” The benefits of expanded markets resonate throughout the exhibitor side, as well. “Our company has been coming to this show for many years,” noted PPG Senior Manager Business Solutions/Industry Relations Domenic Brusco, “primarily as a well-received provider of custom finishes for hot rods, motorcycles and other specialty vehicles. The traction that is growing in the collision repair section—which I think

can be attributed in part to the work SCRS has done to build the industry’s identity at the show—is great for us because it also gives us the opportunity to connect with our collision refinish business customers. It’s a nice synergy.” SEMA also exhibits a set of intangibles that adds to its allure. “The show brings together everyone that is an auto enthusiast, which makes it unique,” said Jeff Kern, president of Car-OLiner, another company that has increased its booth size every year and was one of the first collision repair vendors to host a booth on the SEMA show floor. “Attendees get a sense of ‘we are all in this together’ and feel a part of a greater automotive-related whole, perhaps, they never would have gotten to experience otherwise.” SCRS Board Member Kye Yeung likewise sees benefit in the distinctive nature of the show. “Because the SEMA show includes all auto-related businesses, it provides a kind of neutral background which, for some reason, seems to encourage networking between shop owners,” he said. “I guess you could say it takes us out of the dayto-day mindset we fall into as we are grinding away in the trenches, so we can look at our competitors more objectively

and appreciate what they have to offer.” Top-notch education of the type SCRS provides through RDE is yet another reason repairers find the show compelling—explaining why so many collision repair vendors have stepped up to support the program. Simply put, RDE attracts collision repair professionals to the North Hall, placing exhibitors in close proximity to the prospects that can best benefit from what they have to offer. Conversely, the SEMA show has proven to be the perfect venue for education of RDE’s ambitious scope. “It works both ways,” explained SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg. “The energy this show generates carries over to how people perceive our curriculum, to which our healthy enrollment numbers will attest. And it’s satisfying—and frankly humbling—to hear the success of RDE translates into success for collision repair exhibitors, including RDE’s sponsors that provided significant financial support for the program. We extend our deepest thanks to the sponsoring companies, who by their actions demonstrate their understanding of the need for quality education. The SEMA show is on the rise, no question.”

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Toyota to Recall 2+ Million Vehicles Worldwide for Steering, Water Pump Problems Toyota Motor Corp. said it will recall 2.77 million vehicles worldwide, including some of its popular Prius hybrid cars, for steering and water pump problems. It is the carmaker’s second multimillion-car recall in a little more than a month. Toyota is recalling the vehicles to fix a steering component that could be damaged by wear and tear, and 630,000 gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles to replace water pumps, company spokesman Joichi Tachikawa said. Many vehicles are targeted by both recalls, resulting in overlap. The recall affects 496,000 vehicles in Europe, 670,000 vehicles in the United States and 1.5 million vehicles in Japan. The defects, which Toyota said had caused no accidents and could each be fixed in an hour or so, could cost hundreds of millions of dollars to repair, according Deutsche Securities autos analyst Kurt Sanger. While the recall is widespread, the flaws are less serious and any damage to Toyota’s reputation would likely be limited compared with massive recalls in 2009 to 2011 when unintended acceleration problems in Toyota vehicles were the suspected cause of fatal crashes in the United States.

Jaguar Recall for XF Model

Jaguar is recalling certain model year 2010-2012 XF vehicles equipped with a 5.0L gasoline engine. The affected vehicles may have a fuel tank fuel outlet flange that may crack. The cracked flange may result in fuel leakage onto the ground. This leaking fuel, in the presence of an ignition source, may result in a vehicle fire. Jaguar will notify owners, and dealers will replace the affected fuel tank fuel outlet flanges, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on, or before, December 7, 2012. Owners may contact Jaguar at 1-800-452-4827.


Mack Trucks Get Recalled

Mack Trucks is recalling certain model year 2008-2009 GU, LEU, and MRU trucks, manufactured from Dec. 12, 2007, through May 8, 2008 and equipped with a certain focal mounted retarder control box. The control box may lose its electrical ground. If the control box loses ground, it may have localized overheating. This could lead to a vehicle fire. All affected vehicles, 260, were sold to one customer that has already been notified. An official owner notification letter was mailed to the one customer in early November 2012. Mack will replace the suspect control box on the affected vehicles, free of charge. Owners may contact Mack Trucks at 1-800-866-1177.

BMW Recalling 7-Series Cars Over Software Glitch

BMW AG is recalling 7,485 2005-07 7Series vehicles that may have a software glitch that may allow the doors to inadvertently open when they appear closed. BMW says “the door may unexpectedly open due to road or driving conditions or occupant contact with the door. The sudden opening may result in occupant ejection or increase the risk of injury in the event of a crash.” The German automaker said the recall covers vehicles equipped with both Comfort Access and Soft Close Automatic options, and built from August 2004 through September 2007. The automaker says no crashes or injuries have been reported related to the condition. The recall is taking place five years after BMW recalled vehicles in Japan and five years after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration first asked BMW about the issue. Even though BMW didn’t think it was a safety issue, it ultimately recalled the vehicles in Japan in September 2007. BMW made a software update as part of production change in 2007 to address the issue. In February, BMW agreed pay a $3 million penalty for failing to recall vehicles in a timely fashion.


Chrysler Recalls Jeeps for Airbag Deployment Concern

Chrysler is recalling certain model year 2002 and 2003 Jeep Liberty vehicles manufactured Jan. 9, 2001, through March 28, 2003, and 2002 through 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles manufactured Feb. 13, 2001, through May 23, 2003. A component in the air bag control module may fail causing the front airbags, side curtain airbags, and/or seatbelt pretensioners to deploy inadvertently while the vehicle is being operated. The recall covers Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty SUVs for a part in airbag control modules that may fail, according to documents filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Chrysler. A failure of that module could cause the front airbags or side curtain airbags to deploy inadvertently while the SUVs are being operated, increasing the risk of injury or accident, according to NHTSA documents. Of the vehicles recalled, 744,822 were in the United States; 49,430 in Canada; 21,828 in Mexico; and 103,465 outside North America, Chrysler said.

GM Investing $450 Million in Argentina Facility

General Motors Co. said recently it will invest $450 million to build an all-new global Chevy vehicle at its Rosario Automotive Complex in Argentina. The Detroit-based automaker said it would make the investment between 2013 and 2015. “We are pleased to be making this investment in Argentina, which remains a very important market for us,” GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said in a statement. “We have a long, proud history here dating to 1925 and our latest investment is certainly good news for our GM Argentina employees, our extensive dealer and supplier network and the local economy.” The Rosario facility produced more than 136,000 vehicles in 2011.

December 2012

GM Unveils Faster, Fuel Efficient Engine for Corvette

General Motors Co. recently debuted its faster, more fuel-efficient small block, LT1 6.2-liter V-8 engine, which will power the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette. In what GM is calling the most significant redesign in its history, the fifth-generation small block for the Corvette will include a direct-injection fuel system, continuously variable valve timing and active fuel management, or cylinder deactivation, all of which will help give owners more miles out of a gallon of gas. The biggest fuel saver for the Corvette is active fuel management, which GM has said can boost fuel economy up to 12% in cars. It saves fuel by deactivating four of the eight cylinders in light load situations, such as coasting on an exit ramp or cruising on the highway.

VW to Build New SUV in U.S.

VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said the company expects to build an all-new SUV in the U.S. designed for American customers after the success of the new Passat sedan. A final decision is expected next year. Strong demand for the Passat, also designed for Americans, has transformed the U.S. into a growth hub for VW, which faces rough conditions in Europe. The company recently said its profit margins narrowed in the third quarter as pricing and demand for cars deteriorated. While operating profits were down for the first time this year, its results exceeded expectations. “Many of us wondered if VW’s long period of outmaneuvering and outperforming the horrible European market was going to come to an end,” said analyst Max Warburton at Bernstein Research. “Yet third-quarter results show little evidence of such pressure.” For the year to date, VW’s operating profit is up 2% at 9 billion euros, or $11.7 billion, and VW retained its forecast for slightly higher sales revenue and flat earnings this year.

Many NJ and NY Shops Still Closed in Aftermath of Sandy

by Chasidy Rae Sisk

When Hurricane Sandy struck the Caribbean and Eastern United States in late October, she left behind $52.4 billion in damage and a couple of hundred fatalities. Sandy touched land in Atlantic City, NJ, and wrought havoc on the Jersey shoreline and throughout New York City, causing severe flooding and a loss of electricity. With such a vast amount of damage, collision shops in the area affected have taken a huge hit. Ed Kizenberger, Executive Director of LIABRA (Long Island Auto Body Repairmen’s Association), notes that Hurricane Sandy was “one of the most catastrophic, weather-related events that the collision industry has had to endure.” He notes that many shops in the NYC area are still closed, due not only to flooding and a lack of electricity, but also because of the damage sustained to equipment, computers, etc. The largest challenge that owners currently face is the fact that many live near their shops, so they are working on restorations for both their businesses and their homes. In addition to facing up to six feet of water, shops also have to contend with the partially or fully repaired vehi-

cles in their facilities that were flooded during the hurricane. Most of the vehicles that sustained damage from the storm have been declared total losses, but there are some more fortunate whose vehicles were damaged by felled trees and debris, and undamaged shops are starting to process these repairs, though there is a devastating backlog due to the sheer volume of damaged vehicles. Though Sandy hit hardest in NJ and NY, her effects were also felt farther north. While Al Brodeur’s Auto Body, Inc. of Marlborough, MA, never lost power, Molly Brodeur notes, “We have definitely noticed an uptick in business since the storm—a lot of damaged panels from debris, but we haven’t had any issues with parts or receiving products in a timely manner since the storm.” According to Jeff McDowell, President of AASP/NJ, many shops in NJ have suffered severe damage as a result of the storm. All low-lying areas were hammered, and many continue to be closed due to lack of power even now, three weeks later. Recovery efforts are still ongoing. McDowell notes that tens of thousands of vehicles were affected by the storm, causing an extreme back-up in repairs, especially

since so many shops are currently out of operation. Many of these vehicles have been declared total losses and have been moved to parking lots pending processing while recovery efforts are being made. As a result of such a large quantity of lost vehicles, rental cars are in an extreme shortage, and many people are without transportation at the moment since importing rentals from nearby states still is not enough to maintain supply for the demand of rentals. Despite the many challenges caused by Hurricane Sandy, NJ shops are determined to rebuild. Many AASP/ NJ members’ shops managed to escape damage from the storm, and these owners have volunteered their services to help their peers in the industry. McDowell states, “That’s one thing you can always count on. As much as we compete, we are all part of the same brotherhood. Sometimes the worst brings out the best in us. We have seen a lot of that since the storm, and I am proud of those who have stepped up.” Anyone interested in helping the NJ victims can send donations to Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, P. O. Box 95, Mendham, NJ 079450095. Continued from Cover

Sandy Damages it initially predicted, largely a result of Sandy hitting the most densely populated part of the country. The firm doubled its previous estimate for the total bill and now says Sandy may have caused between $30 billion and $50 billion in economic losses, including property damage, lost business and extra living expenses. The cost to insurance companies could run as low as $10 billion and as high as $20 billion. The new numbers square with an earlier estimate from IHS Global Insight. IHS said Sandy could cause about $20 billion in property damages and between $10 billion and $30 billion in lost business. The firm pointed to two reasons that Sandy will leave a bigger bill than it first thought. Power outages are more widespread than in a typical Category 1 storm, Eqecat said. Sandy knocked out electricity for more homes and businesses than any other storm in history, according to the Department of Energy.

The lack of subway service in New York City and blocked roadways will also push the total cost higher, Eqecat said. Before the storm hit, Eqecat had estimated that total economic losses from Sandy could range as high as $20 billion and that losses to insurance companies could reach $10 billion. Payouts for insurance claims are typically a fraction of the overall cost to the economy. If the damages hit $50 billion, it would make Sandy the second-costliest U.S. storm after Katrina in 2005. Katrina’s overall costs were $108 billion. Taking inflation into account, that works out to $128 billion in today’s dollars. Even after adjusting for inflation, the high end of Eqecat’s damage estimates for Sandy would be higher than those caused by previous major storms. Andrew, which struck in 1992, cost $44 billion in today’s dollars, and the Ike storm of 2008 cost $32 billion. Estimates by a California-based risk modeling firm have placed insurer losses from Hurricane Sandy to as high as $25 billion. Risk Management Solutions projected that insurers may face losses between $20 billion and $25 billion. Initial estimates on property and casualty claims from the hurricane by Fitch Ratings were roughly $5 billion, similar to that of last year’s Hurricane Irene. RMS said that it has two reconnaissance teams out surveying the damage. The firm has offices in Hoboken, NJ, where floodwaters stranded thousands of people. Eqecat’s estimates only cover private losses, not costs covered by the government through the National Flood Insurance Program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Max Mayfield, the hurricane center director during Katrina, said the costs to FEMA can be $2 to $2.5 for every dollar of losses covered by private insurance. A FEMA official said the government-backed flood insurance program expects to take a $6 billion to $12 billion hit from Hurricane Sandy, making it very likely the heavily indebted program will soon turn to Congress to raise its borrowing authority. Ed Connor, deputy associate administrator at FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, told the Treasury Department’s Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance that he estimates that Sandy would inundate the program with about 143,000 claims. See Sandy Damages, Page 39 | DECEMBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 23

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Education Foundation Awards $50,000 Makeover Grants at SEMA by Melanie Anderson

The Collision Repair Education Foundation announced the two winning schools who will each receive a $50,000 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant. The winners were surprised at an Oct. 30 reception held at the Las Vegas Hotel during SEMA. This year, for the first time, both a secondary and a post-secondary school received a $50,000 makeover grant. The two winning schools are

Nichols Career Center in Jefferson City, MO, (a secondary school) and Manhattan Area Technical College located in Manhattan, KS. The Education Foundation awarded two grants so secondary and post-secondary schools didn’t have to compete with each other. Seventy schools from 31 states applied for the 2012 Makeover grant. Over the next several months, the Education Foundation will be working to fulfill the two schools’ collision programs $50,000 wish lists of needed tools, equipment and supplies. Although he was unable to attend the reception due to Superstorm Sandy, Collision Repair Education Foundation Executive Director Clark Plucinski later noted, “It was great bringing the collision industry together during our industry reception to not only highlight the support the organization has provided to collision school programs through the generosity of our industry donors, but also to surprise both of these instructors that their collision programs will have their $50,000 wish lists fulfilled. We look forward to working together with not only the two winning schools but also focusing support on all of the ap-

plicant schools, as they took the time and effort to let us know their specific collision needs. Congratulations again to both Nichols Career Center and Manhattan Area Technical College!” The two instructors attending the late-night Las Vegas reception were awestruck when they learned they had won the makeover grants for their schools. The $50,000 for tools and equipment means their programs, barely surviving on miniscule budgets, can now offer the newest and latest in industry technology for their students. Dennis Bruemmer, instructor at Nichols Career Center Automotive Collision Technology in Jefferson City, MO, said he was “totally overwhelmed” when the announcement was made that his school was one of the winners. “Before being hired as their instructor in 1998, I had served on the Nichols Career Center Automotive Collision Advisory Board,” Bruemmer said. “My personal goal has always been to improve the quality of education for the students in this program. Winning this grant will help tremendously in my quest to achieve this goal. I am extremely grateful to those involved for choosing my program to receive this award.” The Automotive Collision Technology program at Nichols Career Center has been in existence for 36 years, from its inception during the 1976-1977 school year. “I am proud to say I was a student in that first class at Nichols Career Center,” said Bruemmer. “My instructor at that time was Fred Bremmerkamp, who now runs a successful collision repair business. He, as well as many other area collision repair facilities, have participated in internships and shop tours for our students. These internships have led to full-time positions for some of our students, as well as encouraged others to continue their education in collision repair after they have graduated from our program.” The collision repair program at Nichols currently has 27 students. The Manhattan Area Technical College in Kansas has offered their automotive program to students since the 1970s. Typically, the program has 1820 students, but this year, only nine are enrolled. With a budget of only $8,600, instructor Linn Schroll can’t buy much in the way of materials, tools or equipment. Due to the constrained budget, students get hit with lab and material


fees. He plans to spend some of the Makeover grant money to beef up his program and attract more students. “Winning the Ultimate Makeover grant from the Collision Repair Education Foundation was one of the biggest surprises of my life,” said Schroll. “My wife and I were standing at the back of

Instructors Dennis Bruemmer, left, and Linn Schroll, right, accepted $50,000 makeover grants from the Collision Repair Education Foundation for their schools

the room because I don’t win these kind of things, so why move up in the room? When they started reading part of the application letter for the postsecondary winner, I looked at my wife and said, ‘Holy cow, that is my writing, I think I just won.’ I am not really sure how I made it to the stage.”

Even though he’s had time to digest the news, Schroll said his head is “still spinning. I still can’t believe that we won but I am excited about what it will mean to this program. I have put many hours into this program over the last six years and it feels really good to be recognized for my efforts on a national level. I am also very pleased that so many things that I have wanted for the program will be completed because of this Makeover grant. I think most teachers who are committed to improving a program donate so much of their own time and money to help make a program better, but with limited resources, there is only so much you can do out of your own pocket. “By winning the Makeover grant, I will be able to accomplish in a short time what would have taken years to accomplish, if at all. We are being contacted by vendors who are donating materials and the Foundation is making contact with a lot of people to get things moving. I can’t thank the selection committee and the Foundation enough for what this will mean to the school, students and myself,” Schroll said.

Chess Teaches How to Make More Money Without Spending $$$$ by Melanie Anderson

I-CAR instructor, Autobody News columnist, and shop consultant Toby Chess, AAM, entertained and taught a small crowd at SEMA about how to make more and spend less within the normal daily operations of a collision repair shop. In the industry since 1969, Chess’ background includes wrecking, restoration and collision. Falling asleep in Chess’ class wasn’t an option as he kept the presentation lively, heckling those attendees who were sitting in the back of the room and pulling out the ‘ladder of success’ from his attaché bag to

A Few Toby Tips:

kick off the talk. Make More Money Without Spending an Arm and a Leg focused on how businesses can cultivate positive changes without spending a huge amount that many shops can’t justify in the current economy. Chess presented simple, straightforward tips to help shop owners and managers streamline operations and increase profits by reducing waste and expenses. “For collision repair businesses, there is a ton of opportunity to improve your business with very little investment if you know where to look,” said Chess. “This session offers a number of proven ideas that will decrease cycle time, reduce comebacks

• Belong to an association, such as SCRS, to become more powerful as a group. • All owners and managers should be asking ‘why’ if something isn't right. • Write your goals down. If it's not written down, it's just a dream.

and increase quality; and the investment costs will be under $500. Forget about learning fancy buzzwords associated with process improvement. This session will give time-tested examples of ways to improve your business and make more money for very little, if any, up front expense.” And with that promise, Chess was off to the races, touching on several topics including time wasters, setting goals and developing SOPs. To set the tone, Chess re-defined the industry by saying, “You do not fix or repair cars. You re-manufacture cars.” Chess got the audience involved by asking the question, “How much is

• It takes 30 days to develop a new habit. • Don't put a car up on the frame racks without having all the parts there. • A waste of time is the devotion to useless activity. • Take advantage of training and seminars by vendors. • Organize your shop. Clutter in a shop is a waste of energy. • List the items needed in the tear down stall.

spent on a supplement?” Most of the shop owners and managers thought the cost of adding a supplement to an estimate was $40 or $50. Some said $100. One brave soul said $300 and

Toby Chess always gets the audience to participate. In this scenario, Chess simulates a car needing a push.

Chess zeroed in on him wanting a firm commitment to his answer and the gentleman didn’t waver. Chess then turned the classroom into a spontaneous live production, getting audience members to role play a scenario where a supplement is needed. Turns out, according to Chess and his theater See Make More Money, Page 35 | DECEMBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 27

Guilty of Junk Thinking? ‘How to Think Better’ at SEMA 2012 by Melanie Anderson

business development, including, but not limited to: green-field and startups, process development, venture capital, financial literacy, acquisitions and disposition. He also holds an MBA and previously owned four collision repair locations in Arizona that were sold three years ago to Gerber Collision & Glass. “The purpose of this presentation is to identify junk thinking, act on it, change it, and improve business thinking,” said Park. In short, junk thinking is “thinking that leads to a train wreck.” Junk thinking is a major reason why businesses fail. The top 5 reasons a business fails are: 1) lack of experience 2) insufficient capital 3) poor location 4) poor inventory management 5) over-investment in fixed assets “The commonality here is junk thinking,” Park said. Junk thinking happens because it’s easier. “Thinking is hard,” Dr. Bissell said. “Good thinking takes effort, discipline, and learning how to have good thinking. Good thinking doesn’t come naturally. Start the journey to good thinking first by admitting to engaging in junk thinking.” An example of junk thinking, Park said, is that employers will often hire workers based on their work skills, which is only 20% of their total skills—the other 80% being “soft skills”—such as how they get

Two powerhouse thinkers thought they could change the way we think and so presented “Change the Way You Think at a CORE Level” at SEMA 2012 in Las Vegas. The purpose of the presentation was to provide a clear understanding of what junk thinking is, show evidence of existence of junk thinking in the market, and provide a clear direction to depart from the junk Byron Bissell thinking environment. According to speakers Bill Park and Dr. Byron Bissell, junk thinking is responsible for at least 80% of the problems in one’s business. “The lack of quality thinking has led to enormous disasters and disappointments. And it’s not only thinking through the solutions to the gnarly problems. More often than not, it’s the painful reality you’re working on the wrong problems,” said Dr. Bissell. Dr. Bissell is a retired associate professor of business from the University of Arizona and is currently a blogger for mPowerU, a website dedicated to providing insight and information to the auto body collision repair industry. His background includes working as a manager, an educator, scholar, academic administrator, behavioral consultant, psychiatric social worker and child welfare caseworker. He holds a PhD in business and a Master’s degree in psychiatric social work and in public administration. Bill Park currently trains and consults small to medium sized businesses in the auto- Bill Park (l) and Dr. Byron Bissell (r) encouraged SEMA attendees to motive collision stop junk thinking and to think better along with people, their work ethic, repair industry. His passion is to “Add attitude, presentation. Basic job devalue. Period.” Bill also has founded and operated multiple businesses over scription skills can be taught, especially for those employers who want the years, ranging from small, 2-3 person entities, to a medium sized 100- their people to follow particular stanemployee corporation. Bill has over dards. Other examples of junk think20 years experience in all facets of ing include crisis management,


wishful thinking, biased thinking, and denial. Dr. Bissell described how our brain thinks. Our five senses capture data from an external environment and our brain interprets the data and processes it. The brain then identifies what the information means to us and selects the behavior we will engage. In a nutshell, Bissell and Park said there are two types of thinking. The first is called System 1 and is the type of thinking we do lightning fast, that is automatic and effortless. For example, we automatically stop at a red light. We don’t have to think about it. System 2 thinking is slower, methodical, deliberate, controlled and ruled-governed. It uses up a lot of energy and it’s a lot of work. Most of us avoid that type of thinking. To visualize System 2 thinking, think of a turtle working on a Rubik’s Cube. When an event happens, we take about a nano-second to compartmentalize it. System 1 thinking is, do we pay attention to it, ignore it, deal with it now or later? If it’s later, we move it into System 2, where we give it a great deal of thought later.

In System 2 thinking, we pull information from memories and beliefs. “The reality is, knowledge is based on beliefs,” said Dr. Bissell. System 2 thinking comes into play when we ask ourselves, “Is what I know enough?” If you say yes, then you take action. If you tell yourself no (which we rarely do because it takes strength to admit we don’t know enough), we move on to System 2 thinking and seek more information. Junk thinking is a result of System 1 thinking when we should be using System 2 thinking. “The trick is to know when to activate System 2 thinking,” said Bissell. “If the costbenefit ratio of time and energy to use System 2 thinking is positive, then engage it.” Success in the auto repair industry starts with good System 2 thinking, and tuning up your CORE, Bissell said. CORE thinking is an acronym for: Cognition (the way you think) Organization (how information is stored and retrieved) Reference (based on your identity, See Got Junk Thinking?, Page 31



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Make us your one-stop shop today! | DECEMBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 29

How Marketing Can Help Customer-Pay Sales by Melanie Anderson

Shop owners and managers learned how to market to self-paying consumers in a presentation led by Steve Trapp and Robert Rick at SEMA 2012 in Las Vegas. Steve Trapp, Program Manager at DuPont Performance Services and DuPont Performance Alliance, and Robert Rick, President of RR Custom Solutions Training and Consulting, presented “Marketing to Consumers Supporting Customer-Pay Sales Efforts.” Current statistics show that 35-40% of customers are asking repairers to write a customerRobert Rick paid estimate, with a historical 50% closing ratio on these

Marketing Tips

• One marketing tool that really stands out is a lighted exterior sign. “A new standard sign does not stand out after a week. It becomes a tree,” Trapp said. Instead, he suggests shops invest in a lighted sign that includes the time and temperature because it becomes a landmark in your town. “As you drive around your town, do you know what businesses display the time and temperature?” he asked. Everyone in the room raised their hand. • If you have the customer’s attention and they decide to call you, do not waste the opportunity with a mundane greeting and impersonal phone interaction. This is your next customer, so treat them like your mother, Rick said. • To brand your business, make sure people see a sign outside of the building and another sign the first thing they see when they walk in. Every member of the team also needs to be wearing a name badge. Trapp suggests shops invest in interior foam logo signs and exterior fabric banner signs to help support sales and shop branding. • Posters showing photos of a step-bystep repair process help customers understand how much work is involved in their repair. Use the posters as a visual when talking to your customers about their repair. Trapp said DuPont will customize these posters for their customers

estimates. Improving sales skills for these more price-sensitive customers is key. This SCRS Repairer Driven Education course reviewed the advisory sales process and how it uniquely applies to this segment of prospective customers. “Customer pay is going up,” said Rick. “People are freaked out about turning in an insurance claim because consumers are afraid of being dropped or having their premiums go up.” Because most shop owners don’t have a marketing degree, Trapp and Rick presented a mini “Marketing 101” class to teach shop owners and managers the basics of marketing techniques. In layman terms, marketing is getting someone to contact you or bringing someone to your door. “Marketing happens when someone comes into your shop or when you

and other paint companies offer similar posters. • Don’t use lingo and acronyms that customers won’t understand. • Giving customers a shop tour will help close the sale. • Customers, especially younger people, love text messages for status and updates. • Use an iPad and hand it to your customer for the CSI, so you know it’s done immediately. When you get a negative remark on the CSI, call the customer and try to resolve the problem. • Develop a plan to stay in touch with customers for five years. Ideas include sending periodic enewsletters, offering special coupons for seasonal services, such as spring detail or headlight aiming, offering a 24-month paint protection plan, or mailing out letters a year or two after service offering lifetime warranty or a coupon. Mail a lottery ticket and ask for a referral. • Create good will and public relations opportunities by holding community events at your location. Community events can include teen driver nights, ladies’ nights, vehicle extractions and participating in the NABC Recycled Rides program. • And the #1 marketing tool body shops should use, Trapp said, is to have solid customer service and using customer relationship management to maintain a relationship.


Steve Trapp, Aaron Schulenberg and Robert Rick

pick up the phone,” said Rick. “How much time and money is spent getting people in the door? When your phone rings, how many people in your repair shop look at the ringing phone like it’s the devil?” Rick said he wishes he could change the sound of a ringing phone into dollar signs because the person on the other end of the phone could be your next $2,000 customer. Trapp added, “They are already in the door, so why not close them?” Depending on your shop size, increasing

closing sales ratio by 5% on customer self-pays could increase annual repair center sales by $200,000. “Getting work to the door is most repairers biggest need,” said Rick. “At the end of the day, we are here to bring in more customers.” Estimators don’t want to see customer pays because they are comfortable with DRPs, said Rick. But, with customer-pays, “your market opportunities to close are limitless,” he said. Trapp suggested that shops call

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their sales advisors ‘service advisors or customer care advisors.’ “Earn your customers’ trust by giving good advice,” Trapp said. “Get rid of the E-word,” Rick agreed. “Stop using the ‘estimator’ word.” Shops need to remember that the key needs of a customer are convenience, empathy, needing a trusted advisor and superior service. The average

remember you. Build a relationship. One way to do that is to always thank your customers. Don’t send an email—that’s too impersonal and they get deleted. A mailed handwritten note is best. What should your marketing budget be? For new shops just starting out, spending 10% of your budget on marketing is best. For shops that are five years or less into the business and growing, spending 5% of your budget on marketing is good. And for shops that are more mature and have been in business longer than five years, only 3% of your budget is needed for marketing. Social media is a whole other subject, but Trapp and Rick briefly spoke on website presence. Your website is your virtual lobby that is open 24 hours a day. It manages your virtual branding. Basically, a Steve Trapp and Robert Rick reprise their NACE talk website should provide directions, consumer reports an insurance claim answer frequently asked questions, every 10 years. They don’t know the provide status updates and include an claims process. Your job is to help amateur video to boost website conthem get through it. tent and interest. The website content It’s important to do what you can should be relevant and current. Don’t to get your customers to remember let it become stale. Remove outdated you. Create a story so your customers information.

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Got Junk Thinking?

who you think you are) Energy (mental) To think better, prepare yourself to make thinking changes. Change the way you think; change what you believe; change your perception of who you are; change how you direct your

Bill Park

mental energy. “We seem to have a prime directive inside all of us that says ‘we shall not change,’” Bissell said. “In order to change, you have to

be willing.” “What we can do better from a business perspective is better understand the real business we are in, which, by the way, is not fixing cars,”said Park. “People feel stuck, they don’t have the control they want. A business has to be under constant experimentation and testing based on sound thinking principles.” Park asked the audience to speak up and admit to a major mistake they had made based on junk thinking. A shop owner from Hawaii said he made a million dollar expansion to his business without utilizing the knowledge and expertise of others, particularly vendors. The owner didn’t design the expansion properly and ended up changing the shop layout, which cost him time and money. Assumptions and emotions can get in the way of good thinking. We think we know best. Bissell cautioned that emotion is an important part of decision making but needs to be controlled, not eliminated. Dr. Bissell pointed out that we need to think about what could go wrong. We need to do due diligence. “You have to be willing to hear what you don’t want to hear,” he said.

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Going Green Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive Says GRC-Pirk by Melanie Anderson

Contrary to popular belief, going green doesn’t have to be expensive, said Steven Schillinger of GRC-Pirk Management. “Shops can save a lot of money by greening their practices,” said Schillinger. “Marketing tricks and television advertising do their best to convince us that in order to become more eco-friendly, we have to buy more stuff—but that’s not true. If you replace a perfectly good item just to buy a new ecofriendly one, you aren’t really doing anything to benefit the environment.” Steven Schillinger Schillinger is a registered environmental assessor and president of ReComply, an environment records management company. Schillinger’s presentation, Going Green Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive, discussed 101 ways that shops can save money by practicing green. (See abbreviated list below). The talk helped attendees understand what it means to

Do-It-Yourself Tips to Save on Energy

• Realign or re-hang windows or doors that do not close properly. • Make sure automatic door closing mechanisms work properly. • Replace or repair faulty gaskets in garage or on other overhead doors • Resize exterior doors, such as delivery door, to make them smaller to reduce excessive infiltration. • Add expandable separate enclosures where practical. • Install self-closing doors on openings to unconditioned spaces. • Install a switch on overhead doors that prevents activation of heating and cooling units when doors are open.

‘go green’ and how to be a good environmental steward, what sustainability, energy conservation and pollution prevention means, and that shops can’t

condition, or reduction, of greenhouse gases, in a shop. The amount of greenhouse gas created in a shop is caused 70% from energy use, 10% from con-

manage what isn’t measured, such as carbon footprint = greenhouse gas. Sustainability is defined at a condition which natural and social systems survive and thrive together indefinitely. Schillinger said that a carbon footprint verifies the environmental

sumption of metal, wood and plastic, 15% from waste, such as paint, solvent, soap and trash and only 5% is from VOCs and other chemicals. The energy used in a typical collision repair shop includes 33% for the

• Install vestibule doors at major entrances. • Replace worn and/or broken weather-stripping and caulking. • Replace broken or cracked windows. • Recycle your old refrigerator. Do not have multiple refrigerators. • Reduce hot water heater temperature • Shut down exhaust fans after hours. • Use economy sensors on your spray booth. • Use a timer on the photocopier. • Add a surge tank to the air compressor. • Create incentives to conserve energy. For a free ROI (return on investment) checklist, email Schillinger at


spray booth, 31% for lighting, 18% for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, 12% for miscellaneous and 6% for the air compressor. For an idea of how much GHG (greenhouse gas) pollution cars create, envision 65 million cars on United States roads, with an average car emitting five tons of carbon dioxide each year, Schillinger said. Benefits of going green include receiving tax credits, 30-year shared savings funding, discounts, rate reduction or rebates with the local utility, reduced workers’ comp insurance and business insurance, and promotion by your local city. To attain recognition for being a green shop, go to, a public service website. For more information about going green, see the Federal Trade Commission website to download free copies of FTC green guides at: Businesses who promote or advertise themselves as ‘green’ need to prove it with hard evidence. A lack of proof is See Going Green, Page 35


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M-F 7-7, Sat 8-4 | DECEMBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 33

ASRW Releases Numbers from 2012 Event

Automotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW) released its final numbers from its 2012 event in New Orleans, LA, highlighted by 43 new exhibiting companies. “By all standards and measurements, ASRW 2012 was a successful event,” Ron Pyle, president of the Automotive Service Association, said in a statement from ASRW. “We continue to adjust the content and activities to best meet the needs of today’s repair professional.” ASRW featured 237 exhibiting companies, with 43 new exhibitors and 16,652 attendees. By contrast, the 2011 event sold more than 20,000 tickets to its industry sessions and more than 1,000 allaccess super passes, as was reported last year. The strong showing in 2011 earned ASRW a place on Trade Show News Network’s Fastest 50 list for growing trade shows.

CynCast Wins CEICA’s ‘ECommerce Co. of the Year’

CynCast has been chosen as CIECA’s 2012 Electronic Commerce Company of the Year. CIECA’s annual Electronic Commerce Company of the Year award is presented to companies that demonstrate outstanding leadership, contribution and dedication to CIECA and the collision repair industry. “CynCast is most deserving of this year’s award,” said Fred Iantorno, executive director of CIECA. “Doug Kelly, Mike Hastings and their team have promoted the use of standards within the industry and adopted an implementation strategy with their clients and partners.” CynCast’s chief technology officer Mike Hastings received the 2012 CEICA Outstanding Contribution award. Both awards were presented during the 2012 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

Audatex Announces Winner

Nora Chambers of Randy’s Customs Auto Collision Center in Pigeon Forge, TN, was awarded a new Smart Car at the Audatex NACE 2012 booth in front of a large crowd of other hopeful contest participants. The drawing capped an eventful week in which Audatex marked the successful North American debut of AudaNet, its intelligent, next-generation claims and collision repair platform. The company also showcased a range of updated, new and forthcoming AudaNet products.

American Suzuki OK’d for $45M to Close US Dealers

American Suzuki Motor Corp. won interim court approval to borrow as much as $45 million as it shuts auto dealerships and revamps motorcycle and boat sales under bankruptcy protection. Suzuki Motor Corp. will try to avoid long court battles with its 216 dealers by offering cash payments within 10 days if they voluntarily scrap their franchise agreements. The company will also offer dealers the option to become parts and service outlets, including warranty work, for Suzuki customers. Various state laws normally protect dealers when auto manufacturers try to force them to shut down, Richard Pachulski, another American Suzuki lawyer, said in court. On Nov. 5, Suzuki put the distributor into bankruptcy to end U.S. losses, avoid the costs of tightening federal regulations and to shut down a sales network in which 69% of dealers sell fewer than five cars a month, according to company attorney James Stang. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Scott C. Clarkson gave the company interim authority to borrow the money.

State Farm Donates $70K to Collision Repair Schools

State Farm Insurance recently donated $70,000 to the Collision Repair Education Foundation to help the organization provide financial support to collision repair schools and students nationwide. The Education Foundation said State Farm’s donation will be used for annual student scholarships, school grants and the annual Ultimate Collision Education Makeover $50,000 school grant. “State Farm’s support of collision repair education is consistent with our long-term commitment to education overall,” said Russ Hoffbauer, claims director for State Farm. “Collision repair education is very important to State Farm and to our customers. As technology in the automotive industry changes rapidly, it is critical to have students entering the field and learning the latest repair methods to be able to provide remarkable service to our customers.” Clark Plucinski, executive director of the Education Foundation, said State Farm has donated nearly $1 million to the organization overall since it was created. “On behalf of Collision Repair Education Foundation and the collision students and instructors we support, I would like to thank State Farm for their donation,” Plucinski said.


Hottest Car, Sport Compact, Truck and 4x4 SUV Announced at 2012 SEMA Show in Las Vegas

This year’s SEMA Award for the top trending vehicle models in four categories were announced Oct. 30 at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The Ford Mustang was named Hottest Car, the Scion FR-S took the Hottest Sport Compact honors, the Ford F-Series won Hottest Truck and the Jeep Wrangler received the Hottest 4x4-SUV award.

“The SEMA Show has always been about innovative products and trends,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “The SEMA Award amplifies the industry’s special ability to identify and set trends that consumers follow.” The SEMA Award recognizes ve-

hicle models that specialty-equipment manufacturers believe are the best platforms for accessorization and that showcase the year’s coolest products. It also underscores the cooperative relationship between the automakers and SEMA-member companies. “The SEMA Award helps guide consumers toward the hottest-trending and most accessory friendly vehicles on the market,” added Kersting. “Our SEMA Show exhibitors are industry visionaries who determine the winners of the SEMA Award based on the vehicles they showcase in their booths. Each booth vehicle represents a ‘vote’ and the most prominent models in each category are the winners.” The 2012 SEMA Show features more than 2,000 exhibiting companies that manufacture thousands of products designed to improve performance, safety and convenience, as well as those that enhance appearance and comfort. While products are available for every make and model, exhibitors are investing more in the Ford Mustang, Scion FR-S, Ford F-Series, and Jeep Wrangler than any other vehicles. Consumers, therefore, can expect to find great specialty products for accessorizing these vehicles.

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School Winner of Hood Art Contest Voted at SEMA

The Collision Repair Education Foundation and the LKQ Corporation announced the winner of its “Hood Art Contest” during the Education Foundation’s reception held at the Las Vegas Hotel during SEMA. Reception attendees were asked to vote for their favorite hood art and the winner of the ‘attendees’s choice” was Madison Area Tech College of Wisconsin. Continued from Page 32

Going Green

called ‘greenwashing.’ Those companies who ‘greenwash’ hide the hidden tradeoff, have no proof, are vague, incorporate irrelevant practices or outright lie. Currently in progress is a Energy Star Green Garage Challenge sponsored by the EPA. This program encourages consumers to use repair shops that have attained green certification under official government programs. Automotive industry suppliers, associations and organizations compete for prominent mapping position based on improved energy perform-

ance and greenhouse gas reduction. For more information on the Green Garage Campaign, go to Within the website is an energy tracking tool called Track Green Garage, an automated system that collects and reports electronic data acquired from local utility companies and suppliers. The Energy Star-based data processing procedure converts electricity, gas, water and waste usage into greenhouse gas ‘GHG’ metrics. The metrics are compared to a previous period on a time-weighted-work average basis to determine a more or less percent of green sustainability.

Continued from Page 27

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demonstration, that chasing down a supplement wastes a lot of time and takes people away from work, thereby costing the shop about $288 per supplement. Chess also touched on the importance of Standard Operating Procedures, or SOPs. SOPs are not needed for every operation, he explained, but for those areas where there are problems. “Look at what obstacles are blocking production,” he said. He stressed the importance of creating the SOPs with shop employees so they have a buy-in to the new procedure. “The number one thing an employee wants is to be treated with respect, and the best way to do that is to ask for their input,” Chess said. He went on to give an example of how he helped a shop in Gardenia, CA, go from $88,000 in the red to more than $100,000 in profit and one of the things he did was implement an Employee Appreciation Month. The benefits of creating Standard Operating Procedures include:

• reducing system variations • facilitating training • facilitating cross training • reducing waste • creating regular evaluation of work • improving work activity As an example of a SOP, Chess shared what information he marks on a windshield when a car comes into the shop: • Repair order number • Customer last name • Insurance information or COD • Date of arrival • Target date of repair completion • Name of estimator • Name of technician • Any sublets needed (such as alignment) • Note whether have been CHECKpictures IT OUT! taken.

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Rich Evans and Crew Unveil 2004 H2 Hummer at SEMA 2012 Rich Evans and crew unveiled this 2004 H2 Hummer at SEMA 2012. The H2 Hummer was built in 10 days in Canada for the first taping of Evans’ new show, “World Wide Car Building.” All nine U.S. builders were there, as well as the Canadian team from Curtis Customs.

MD’s Mark’s Body Shop Releases Car-O-Liner Video

Mark’s Body Shop of Baltimore, MD, an Auto Damage Experts coaching/ consulting client, released a new informational video in their ongoing efforts to help inform and educate consumers. Mark Schaech, owner and President of Mark’s Body Shop’s said, “Through our relationship with Auto Damage Experts, we have learned the importance of continually edifying consumers within our marketplace and beyond to enable them a better understanding of the benefits of proper and thorough repairs and to help prepare them to make informed decisions before the need arises. Most consumers are just not prepared to make the important decisions on matters that often affect their personal safety and economic welfare when it comes to the repair of the damaged vehicle. They oftentimes rely upon the advice of others, whose interest may not be in the overall best interest of the consumer.” Schaech continued, “With the assistance of Lee Emmons of Absolute Perfection Tinting & Graphics, we are putting together a series of videos on the various aspects of collision repair and issues consumers should be aware of.”

Mark’s prior video showed a post repair inspection of a poorly performed repair. “Such aspects will be the necessary equipment, quality parts, materials, training and knowledge which are required to perform a repair that will restore a vehicle’s original safety, performance, appearance and value to the best of human ability. A level of repair that unfortunately fewer consumers are receiving today. We want to help consumers to understand it is their property and it is their choice of repairer and help them to make the right choices.” “It’s interesting that upon release of the video, we were contacted by Car-O-Liner corporate and they asked if they could show our Car-O-Liner video during the recent NACE and SEMA expositions and their training seminars. We were very gratified in this request and of course authorized their use of the video. We have heard many positive comments since their showing it,” Schaech said. The video can be viewed at CHECK IT OUT!


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Clemson Students Unveil Deep Orange 3 at SEMA 2012 Show Clemson University automotive engineering students unveiled Deep Orange 3, a third-generation vehicle, at SEMA 2012 in Las Vegas on Oct. 31. Deep Orange 3, the third-generation Deep Orange vehicle prototype designed and engineered by the automotive engineering students is a whole new vehicle, inside and out. Working at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), the students have free reign to push the boundaries of conventional design and engineering. They designed the vehicle in partnership with Mazda North American Operations and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. Deep Orange 3 features a unique TwinEngine hybrid powertrain that automatically chooses front-, rear- or all-wheel-drive; a load-bearing structure based on innovative sheet-folding technology patented by Industrial Origami; and a groundbreaking 3+3 seating configuration in sports car architecture all packaged in an exterior design created by students at the Art Center College of Design.

Paul Venhovens, BMW Endowed Chair in automotive systems integration, who leads the Deep Orange program, said the latest design not only provides solutions to the effi-

“The students’ design is truly innovative,” Venhovens said. “With each new concept, the class must push the boundaries of conventional thinking to produce a vehicle that is both groundbreaking and functional. “The students at CU-ICAR represent tomorrow’s engineering leaders who will need to combine deep knowledge of a particular field with the breadth to place it in context,” Venhovens said. “Deep Orange 3 is evidence Deep Orange 3 is the third-generation vehicle prototype designed and of that.” engineered by Clemson automotive engineering students. Image by Deep Orange Clemson University runs the course of ciency-vs.-sportiness debate, but also two academic years in parallel with delivers driving pleasure, practicality Clemson’s two-year masters proand flexibility in a setting where gram in automotive engineering. The program provides students with exeveryone enjoys the ride. The vehicle accelerates from perience in financial and market zero to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds with a analysis, vehicle design, developtop speed of 125 mph, achieving 42 ment, prototyping and production city and 49 highway miles per gal- planning, and gives them an opportunity to work with automotive inlon. Original BMW Parts

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dustry partners to develop ideas. Robert Davis, senior vice president of U.S. Operations for Mazda North American Operations and a Clemson alumnus, said the experiences Clemson students gain from Deep Orange makes them very attractive to industry. “These engineers will design and build the cars we drive tomorrow,” Davis said. “The work they contribute to the Deep Orange project is outstanding, and we at Mazda are honored to support their efforts.” John Waraniak, vice president of vehicle technology for SEMA, also a CU-ICAR partner, said the Deep Orange project demonstrates Clemson’s vision to develop CU-ICAR as the world’s premier auto manufacturer, performance aftermarket and motor sports research and education facility. “Deep Orange encourages open innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity,” Waraniak said. “Next-generation vehicle enthusiasts want the fastest and coolest cars, as well as the smartest cars. For this alone, CUICAR and SEMA is an obvious partnership.”

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Matrix Wand Captures New Collision Product Award at SEMA by Ed Attanasio

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) announced its New Products Showcase Awards on the eve of its 2012 show to recognize the world’s most cutting-edge automotive products in the collision industry today. With more than 2,000 new products submitted for consideration, only a handful received accolades and the trophies that accompany them. It’s the Oscar, the Emmy and the Lombardi Trophy of collision combined and surely one of the most coveted awards out there, because it comes with the SEMA stamp of approval and all of the benefits associated with it. First place in the Collision Repair & Refinish Product division went to the Matrix Wand 3-D Blueprinting and Discovery System, manufactured by Matrix Electronic Measuring, Inc., a company that was founded in 2003 and is located in Salina, KS. Judged on its superiority of innovation, technical achievement, quality and workmanship, consumer appeal and marketability, the Matrix Wand was launched in April 2012 and received

positive reviews almost immediately. This handheld, electronic measuring system accurately and precisely measures collision damage so that a body shop can repair a vehicle back to factory specifications.

tion electronically for retrieval and subsequent analysis. Three feet long and weighing about 12 pounds, the device is extremely precise and easy to operate. By passing it over the vehicle like a magician’s imaging wand, technicians can complete the entire process in 15 minutes or less. Jan Srack is the cofounder and president of Matrix Electronic Measuring Inc. and a 25-year veteran of the collision industry. She’s obviously pleased about winning the award and has great plans for the product’s potentially bright future. “We’ve got the Matrix Wand currently in body shops from Ron Chiles, director of sales and marketing at Matrix Electronic Hawaii to Connecticut and Measuring, Inc. poses with the Matrix Wand system and the soon it will be available introphy for first place in the Collision Repair & Refinish Product ternationally. This is an exdivision from SEMA. citing time for us because Consisting of the wand, cameras, the industry has embraced the Wand computer, and software, the Matrix and without that, we wouldn’t be Wand collects measurements and data where we are right now. The fact is that so many people have supported utilizing stereoscopic photo documenand assisted us in our success. Withtation and archives all of the informa-

out them, we wouldn’t be where we are today and I sincerely mean that. It takes so many levels within this industry to make a product successful. ” SEMA’s award kicked off a great show for the company and Srack hopes to ride that momentum into 2013, she said. “To share our victory with our team was really wonderful. We always knew there was a need for effective electronic measuring in this industry, and the Wand provides it. We’ve been developing this product since 2008, so it hasn’t happened overnight. We introduced it to the collision industry in April 2012 after much work, because we wanted to make sure it was dynamic and marketready before we made it available to body shops. We got the call from SEMA at 10 p.m. on Monday, October 29 to tell us that we had won, so it was a thrill. There were a lot of great products in consideration, so it means even more to us to be recognized.” The Matrix Wand’s journey from conception to completion took a total of 4.5 years, but it has paid off with the SEMA award and burgeoning sales. “There was a lot of work in-

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volved in developing it and testing it,” Srack said. “We received approval recently on our three patents, which is huge, so this award was even more meaningful to us and our distributors nationwide. SEMA is a great organization, so being a part of that is significant. This industry is full of amazing companies and people, so it definitely means a lot.” What are some of the main reasons for the Matrix Wand’s success and acceptance within the industry? “The documentation in 3-D is instrumental,” Srack explained. “It’s a winwin-win all the way around, because from the body shop owner to the estimator to the technician and onto the customer and the insurance company, this product benefits all of them and makes their lives easier. The Matrix Wand decreases the friction between the shops and the insurers, and takes the drama out of the blueprinting and measuring process, because it provides accurate information that every party involved can rely on. That’s an ideal situation and how often does it really happen in any industry, let alone collision repair?” Costing approximately $31,000 each—but with an affordable lease op-

tion, the complete Matrix Wand system is a substantial investment for any shop, but by paying for itself within a reasonable period of time, it makes sense for any size operation, Srack said. “Our customers are justifying the cost after just six months, in most cases. How often can you buy a piece of equipment and say that you’ll recoup all your money within half a year? One of the advantages of innovative technology, even in a poor economy, is that people will still invest in cutting-edge technology.” How is the Matrix Wand different than laser measuring systems out there on the market? “Most lasers are twodimensional, but our imaging is threedimensional and you have access to the information much easier, within 15 minutes or less with the Matrix Wand. Without our product, it takes 1.5 hours on average to do the job, and you’re still guessing because you don’t have three dimensions to refer to. By discovering the structural damage upfront, body shops can quantify it and triage the car throughout the shop, meaning that cycle times are greatly improved. For the first time, the insurance companies have 3-D validation of the damage on their customers’ vehi-


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cles. This is not a CAD drawing or an overlay; this is really the actual customer’s vehicle. Mobility is another benefit of using this product, because it’s a handheld device and you don’t have to worry about the car being level. With the complexity of these cars today, the Matrix Wand is more essential than ever.” SEMA’s Vice-President of Events and Communications Peter MacGillivray discussed the importance of the award and how it impacts the industry worldwide. “The number one reason why people go to the show is for new products. These product awards are judged by industry peers and that’s why they mean so much to the winners. We always announce them before the show begins, so that the winners can enjoy the benefits of this very special achievement.” For more information see: To schedule a demonstration contact: Toby Chess at, or by phone at 310-995-7909. Matrix Electronic Measuring Inc. Box 1246 Salina, KS, 67402 Toll Free: 800-424-8023 email:

Continued from Page 23

Sandy Damages

Flood claims from Hurricane Sandy are expected to cost the National Flood Insurance Program at least $8 billion, far above the roughly $4 billion the government-backed insurance program can currently pay, according to the Consumer Federation of America. According to the consumer group, Hurricane Sandy will give rise to 200,000 claims for wind damage and an additional 200,000 claims for flood damage.

Flood Damaged Vehicles While most reports say Sandy flooddamaged cars will not exceed 250,000, Black Book’s Ricky Beggs said Superstorm Sandy will have an even bigger industry impact than Hurricane Katrina did seven years ago, which he estimated at 640,000 units destroyed. The National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates than Katrina damaged ‘only’ 325,000 vehicles. Insurance companies so far concur with the lower estimates for Sandy. State Farm, Progressive, New Jersey Manufacturers, Nationwide and USAA have received about 40,000 car-damage claims as of Nov. 10.

New Mitchell ITR Trends Report Looks at Rising Deductibles and Severity Trends The latest quarterly Industry Trend Report from Mitchell features the article, “Are Rising Deductibles Driving Severity Trends?” by Greg Horn. The article examines the link between flat collision repair severity and the rise in deductibles over the past six years. Consumers are opting for raised deductibles in an effort to cut expenses, but are then reticent to seek repairs for which they will shoulder more of the financial cost. This data is in alignment with data from Enterprise, which found the average rental time remained consistent across the U.S. in the third quarter of 2012. Mitchell expects an increase leading into the fourth quarter of the calendar year as weather and holidays come into play. “While higher deductibles are good for the insurance industry since consumers carry more of the repair bill, this is not as positive for the repair shops or rental car companies, which are seeing less business. It’s important to examine whether there is a causal relationship here, or if other factors are influencing the severity trends,” said Horn. “Our latest ITR explains our findings on which factors do and do not have the greatest influence on the rise in repairable severity.”

The Auto Casualty Edition article, “Coping with Compliance in the Property & Casualty Industry” by Mitchell’s Vice President of Information Management & Client Services Michele Hibbert-Iacobacci, discusses the increasing challenges P&C insurance carriers face due to new or changing legislation. Federal regulations and Accountable Care Organizations require skilled navigation and following arduous processes for compliance and success, while maintaining a focus on quality and service. Carriers must stay informed and continuously analyze the impact of such initiatives on their policyholders and businesses. “Most legislation is put in place to benefit the consumer, but it’s difficult to predict the impact on any party once it becomes law,” said Hibbert-lacobacci. “Changes to processes are often relevant in the areas of billing, payment models and privacy. Even when the intent is well meaning, many causal relationships arise when laws change. The latest Mitchell ITR guides P&C carriers in their quest to learn from the past and gain better insight into what changes may come.” See | DECEMBER 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 39

December 2012 Southeast Edition  
December 2012 Southeast Edition  

Auto body information for industry in southeast United States.