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AUTOBODYNEWS.COM Vol. 11 / Issue 10 / December 2020
AutoNation Partners with Neighbors 4 Neighbors to Adopt 50 Families for the Holidays
2020 Collision Repair Industry: A Year in Review
AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE: AN), AutoNation, America’s largest and most recognized automotive retailer, today announced that they are “adopting” 50 local families through a partnership with Neighbors 4 Neighbors, Adopt a Family 4 the Holidays Program. AutoNation is asking the public to join in by dropping oﬀ unwrapped toys at any AutoNation store in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. AutoNation has a long track record of supporting communities, most notably through its DRV PNK Mission which has raised more
It’s undeniable that 2020 has been a year for the history books—the amount of change over the past 12 months is unprecedented and has been disruptive in every imaginable way. As 2020 comes to its conclusion, the world reﬂects on the year’s events, and a handful of collision repair industry leaders share their thoughts on the most impactful memories for their associations in 2020. The strongest force this year has been the spread of COVID-19, and attempts to curb it. This has translated into many virtual events, and Zoom has become much more than
than $25 Million to help drive out cancer. In alignment with our ONE AutoNation initiative, this new
partnership supports underserved communities and provides us the opportunity to touch the lives of families that may be facing hardships this holiday season. See AutoNation Partners Page 8
by Chasidy Rae Sisk
onomatopoeia, with nearly every association adopting the new normal. “The Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation (AWAF) was able to quickly pivot to virtual events after the start of the pandemic, which enabled us to continue to serve our members,” said Susan Rokosz, the association’s president. “From happy hours to professional development events, going virtual enabled us to remain connected to our members. ‘AWAF also committed to increasing the diversity of both the membership and the board, and we are working to increase diversity in the talent pipeline for the automotive See 2020 Collision, Page 4
Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine 94.5% Effective in Phase 3 Study, Doesn’t Require Extreme Cold
Internal Memo From Bill Ford Offers Reassurance, ‘No Matter Who is Running the Country’
by Bethany Blankley, The Center Square
by Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press
Biotech company Moderna announced Nov. 16 that its new COVID-19 vaccine has proven to be 94.5% eﬀective. The company said it intends to submit for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks and expects the EUA to be based on the ﬁnal analysis of 151 cases and a median follow-up of more than two months. Known as the COVE study, Moderna enrolled more than 30,000
Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Co., emailed the Ford team Nov. 6 “a message on the U.S. Election” as protesters gathered in Detroit and tensions nationally ran high over the presidential election. Ford, 63, is known to send periodic messages when he feels such communication is appropriate. The outcome of the 2020 election remained uncertain though polls closed Nov. 3. He urged calm and reassured employees globally that, separate and apart from the political outcome, the company his great-grandfather founded has a clear vision and focus on the future. He emphasized that the company has weathered political change all over the world. “As I have said many times, we always look to establish and follow our own North Star of values and objectives that allow us to thrive— and to be stable—regardless of the political environment,” Ford wrote. “This has been a diﬃcult and un-
Credit: Ted S. Warren/AP
participants in the U.S. to test the vaccine. The study was conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DisSee Vaccine 94.5%, Page 20
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certain year,” he wrote. “But no matter what results this election yields, the importance of our values—our work, our people, our families, doing the right thing and building a better tomorrow—will transcend, as they always have.”
Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford poses for a photo in Michigan Central Station in Detroit. Credit: Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press
The letter, which appears to have a 5:31 p.m. time stamp, was obtained by the Free Press shortly after it was sent. It reads in full: Dear Ford Team: See Bill Ford Page 18
11/17/2020 5:05:16 PM
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2 DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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CONTENTS REGIONAL Carlos Sandoval Receives Cox Automotive and NAMAD Rising Star Award������������������������6 Craigslist Car Fraudster Serving 6 Years for Vehicle Fraud���������������������������������������������8
Bentley to Go Carbon Neutral by 2030 with Fully Electric Fleet�����������������������������������������45
Advertise in our Classified Section for $50 per column inch!
Body Crafters: A COVID-19 Experience��������������36
CARSTAR 92nd Among Franchise Systems��������11 CCC Introduces ADAS Insights���������������������������28 Serving Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2020 Adamantine Media LLC.
American Icon Automotive Finishes����������������� 16
IGO Insurance Agency������������������������������������� 14
Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 41
Innovative Tools & Technologies���������������������� 17
AutoNation Collision Parts��������������������������������� 9
Jim Cogdill Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram����������� 10
AutoNation Ford-Lincoln��������������������������������� 33
John Heister Automotive��������������������������������� 28
BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers������������������������ 47
Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������� 43
Body Loc, Inc�������������������������������������������������� 48
Killer Tools & Equipment Corp.������������������������ 11
Charlotte’s Premier Wholesale Parts Source���� 35
Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������������� 47
City Kia of Greater Orlando������������������������������ 34
Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers�������� 42
MINI of Charleston������������������������������������������ 34
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Buick GMC Cadillac������������ 31
MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 47
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet���������������������������� 31
MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers��������������������� 29
Eckler’s Automotive���������������������������������������� 19
NOROO Paint & Coatings��������������������������������� 13
Schedule ASE Tests Now�����������������������������������46
Equalizer Industries, Inc.����������������������������������� 6
Prima Welds Inc.��������������������������������������������� 15
Set Yourself Up for 2021 Marketing Success
Florida Filtration & Spray Booth Services��������� 12
Professional Maintenance & Equipment������������ 8
Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 45
RGI Spray Booth Company������������������������������ 18
GM Wholesale Parts Dealers��������������������������� 39
Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Naples���������������������� 20
Gus Machado Ford������������������������������������������ 26
Riverside Ford-Lincoln������������������������������������ 38
Hendrick Automotive Group����������������������������� 37
SATA Dan-Am Company������������������������������������ 5
Universal Collision, State Farm Donate
Hendrick BMW/MINI������������������������������������������ 7
Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes�������������� 2
2020 Collision Repair Industry: A Year in Review�1
Refurbished Vehicle to Veteran in
Hendrick Honda Pompano Beach�������������������� 30
Southside Kia�������������������������������������������������� 32
asTech Shares Information About Its Services &
Conjunction with NABC Recycled Rides���������12
Hendrick Kia Cary������������������������������������������� 27
Spanesi Americas������������������������������������������� 21
Hendrick Kia Concord������������������������������������� 27
Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������������� 40
Hendrick Volvo Cars of Charleston������������������� 34
Tameron Hyundai�������������������������������������������� 36
Aston Martin Repair Bill Now Ordered
Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers�23, 24-25
Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������� 44
to Pay $250,000�������������������������������������������41
Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������� 45
‘Ally Sees Her’ Award������������������������������������10 Jim Ellis Buick GMC Team Supports Education,
Customer Service is King: The Modern Customer Journey����������������������������������������38 Deer Mating Season Increases Chances
Safety, Local Economy������������������������������������6
Judge Rules Against Release of Documents��������8
Financial Incompetence is No Excuse!���������������32
Mitsubishi Motors Extends ‘Small Batch—Big
Ford Fund Pledges $200K to Keep Students
Impact’ Partnership With Nashville-Based Community Resource Center�������������������������16 Relentless Collision Opens Luxury Auto Body Shop in Raleigh, NC��������������������������������������11 Safelite Group Acquires Lee & Cates Glass Auto Glass Division���������������������������������������16 Volkswagen Takes a Page from Tesla’s Automation Playbook in Transition to E-Mobility�����������������������������������������������������12
Learning During Pandemic����������������������������44 Grade Insurers’ Performances���������������������������18 IGONC Delivers Value to Members Through Series of Educational Webinars���������������������19 Internal Memo From Bill Ford Offers Reassurance, ‘No Matter Who is
Anderson - Hands-On Testing Shows Limitations
Manufacturers Continue to Offer Exclusive Discounts to SEMA360 Attendees�����������������47
with Hemophilia Foundation��������������������������40 Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine 94.5%
of Relying Solely on DTCs or Aftermarket
Effective in Phase 3 Study, Doesn’t
Require Extreme Cold�������������������������������������1
Attanasio - Marketing in 2020: Will People Find You and What Will They See?�����������������42 Sisk - A Tennessee Auto Body Revival: TCRA’s First Quarterly Meeting����������������������14 Yoswick - Perspectives, Ideas Shared by Dealership Management Helpful for Independent Shops as Well���������������������������26
New Vehicle Subscription Platform��������������������22
with Shop Marketing Pros�����������������������������34 Tesla About to Make Producing 1 Million EVs Per Year Unremarkable���������������������������44 Tesla Changing the Cybertruck, Will Unveil ‘In a Month or So’�����������������������������������������22
Importance of Scanning During SEMA360�����39 AutoNation Partners with Neighbors 4 Neighbors to Adopt 50 Families for the Holidays��������������1 Be Prepared and Be Ready: Tips for Selling Your Business�����������������������������������������������30
Autobody News P.O. Box 1516 Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Running the Country’��������������������������������������1
Mike’s Auto Body Gives 2 Cars in Conjunction COLUMNISTS
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk, David Luehr, Stacey Phillips, Victoria Antonelli, Gary Ledoux Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Norman Morano, Griffin Reinhard (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bryan Malinski Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Abby Andrews Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Permissions Editor: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray
GA Dealership Sales Manager Receives
Volvo Airbag Death Causes S60 and S80 Recall����������������������������������������������������46 Woman Who Sued Body Shop Over
autobodynews.com / DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
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2020 Collision industry.” When ASA Northwest’s ATE 2020 had to be canceled a week and a half before the event due to COVID restrictions, the association’s leaders “went into scramble mode and canceled our live event with over 1000 attendees,” said ASA Northwest President and Executive Director Jeff Lovell. “We knew we needed to keep our ASA Northwest members engaged and let them know that we are here for them, so we started having Zoom meetings, called ‘Lunch and Learn,’ with members every week to keep them updated on the latest information,” Lowell said. “ASA Northwest has adapted to the new technology and was the first automotive trade association to do a full-blown virtual training event with the help of Advance Professional, CTI-WTI and Worldpac. We hosted the first Virtual ATE in August with 32 classes and close to 200 attendees from all over the world, it was truly amazing to put that together.” COVID-19 also provided an opportunity for associations to find new ways to support their members, outside of virtual training. “This year, our biggest impact for members was partnering with Alerus Bank, a small local bank, to help shop owners apply for and receive their much-needed Paycheck Protection Program loans,” said Diana DeLeon, executive director of ASA-AZ. “Many members submitted applications to larger banks with no success, so we were very happy to have this relationship in place to help.” “The opportunity to offer our members-only an exclusive health insurance plan was most memorable for AASP/NJ; we partnered with World Insurance, a global leader in benefits, and more members participating will help lower our group rate, something individual shops can’t do,” said Jerry McNee, president of AASP/NJ. “With a potential average saving of 30% and annual premiums increasing yearly, offering an option for members to save thousands of dollars in premiums, this is a welcome benefit, considering all other
yearly increases within our businesses—this is truly a game changer, helping our members. “COVID-19 has affected everyone, so having the ability to offer a health plan that benefits members in a positive way is outstanding.” “Since March 2020, as COVID-19 hit the United States and began to shut down the country, ARA went into high gear to stay ahead of the situation,” said Sandy Blalock, executive director of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA.) “This multi-pronged, proactive response is the most important thing ARA accomplished this year and included many parts. “With the assistance of amazing industry partners, we created an automotive recyclers COVID Relief Fund, with over $46,000 distributed to auto recyclers in need,” Blalock said. “Through active regulatory work and connections with policymakers, ARA ensured that automotive recyclers were an ‘essential business’ to continue operating through the pandemic, and the association acted as a watch dog of all COVID legislation, for both the states and federal government, as well as providing members with information to help them navigate the crisis.” ARA also “partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s COVID Liability Coalition to educate Congress about the need for businesses to have liability protections related to COVID-19, and to urge Congress to pass legislation that would protect businesses from liability associated with COVID-19,” Blalock added. “In addition to creating a COVID-19 dashboard on our website with federal and state guidelines impacting the industry, ARA put together a guide detailing important information relating to the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program,” Blalock said. “This guide provides background information on the EIDL program and also describes its costs and benefits.” Adapting to change was a huge theme among industry associations this year, as it has been for shops. “Just as our members did, AASP-MN had to quickly shift gears in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Judell Anderson, executive director of
AASP-MN. “Members turned to the association like never before to get the information they needed to navigate this new environment and maintain their business operations. The alliance responded by providing ongoing member updates containing ‘need-to-know’ information about COVID-19 related legislation, regulations and other measures relevant to auto service and collision shops. “We also connected shops to share experiences, best practices and lessons learned for adapting business practices due to COVID-19, and we moved networking events and educational programming to virtual platforms,” Anderson said. “Another highlight would be the release of our membership video, which features authentic and sincere testimonials about what it means to be a member of the alliance. It reinforces the work that we do each day to be their champion and their ally.” The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) had to really “think outside the box when it came to fundraising and how we can continue to support collision school programs in 2020,” said Brandon Eckenrode, director of development for CREF. “Instead of holding physical career fair events, our team quickly coordinated online presentations with companies to help instructors with industry guest speakers for their students,” Eckenrode said. “We also helped communicate which companies opened up their online technical training to help instructors with industry resources. “With regards to fundraising, we had to be respectful and sensitive of what companies were going through when asking both annual and new partners for funding,” Eckenrode continued. “Our insurance partners and their 2020 support essentially saved CREF by being able to continue to support us. Also, we got creative by utilizing our industry member partnerships with their ‘celebrity’ brand ambassadors, connections and create unique auctions and fundraiser initiatives.” CREF wasn’t the only industry association focused on the next generation of technicians in 2020. “I am proud of WIN for stepping up and continuing to focus on our goals during this unusual year,” said the Women’s Industry Network
(WIN) Chair Cheryl Boswell. “WIN ‘Resourced the Industry’ by sponsoring uniforms for 100 vo-tech women students and by conducting a survey to understand the collision repair technician pipeline and how to attract and retain technicians. “WIN ‘Strengthened the Network’ by offering seven educational webinars, and by launching the first WIN-developed technical class,” Boswell said. “In the true spirit of WIN, it was an honor to celebrate 12 scholarship recipients and three Most Influential Women in 2020.” In a year ravaged by turmoil, many associations are celebrating their survival and their ability to keep members informed about the ongoing changes. “Through our leadership, we managed our operations and finances well, like many other companies, through an unknown virus and its impacts on our members, the aftermarket industry and the association itself,” said Rodney Pierini, president and CEO of CAWA. “Our first thought was how can we help the ASA Northwest members during this time,” Lovell recalled. “Within a week, we were able to turn our ASA Northwest website into a resource center for members to get information on COVID-19. Our regional allied member, Integrated Claims Management, worked with us to make sure ASA Northwest was the place to turn for information.” “One of the most important things we have been able to do is keep our membership informed of all the issues regarding running their business in the shadow of the COVID crisis,” said AASP/MA Executive Director Lucky Papageorg. “This is important because our members and their customers are our number one concern as they are the reason we exist as an association. We are here to protect their interests in the insurance claim and repair process.” “ASA Arizona made sure our members were updated almost daily with changing information as we all navigated through the unknown of COVID-19,” DeLeon added. “Offering members online meetings and networking was a success to keep everyone connected when we couldn’t be together. We took an extra step to reach out and offer all these connections and information to shop owners See 2020 Collision, Page 20
4 DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Carlos Sandoval Receives Cox Automotive and NAMAD Rising Star Award Cox Automotive, in partnership with the National Association of Minority Automotive Dealers (NAMAD), awarded its Rising Star Award to Carlos Sandoval, partner and fixed operations director at Bartow Ford located in Bartow, FL, among the largest volume Ford dealers in the nation and a 22time President’s Award Winner. Sandoval was chosen based on nomination criteria, including being a NAMAD NEXTGEN member, demonstrating a strong commitment to community and making contributions to the automotive industry. Keisha Duck, vice president of talent, learning and culture for Cox Automotive, was joined by NAMAD President Damon Lester to virtually present the award to Sandoval. “On behalf of Cox Automotive and in partnership with NAMAD, I am honored to recognize Carlos Sandoval as the 2020 Rising Star,” Duck said. “Not only does Carlos exemplify the words ‘Rising Star,’ but he also exemplifies a core value of Cox and the Cox family—community service.” “Carlos is a true testament that ordinary people do extraordinary things,” Lester said. “He an example
of a next-generation dealer and shows this industry has a bright future.” Sandoval joined the Bartow Ford team in 2005. Then-principal owner Benjamin Robles Sr. became a mentor and has been instrumental in shaping Sandoval’s career and supporting his ambition to become a dealer principal. In 2012, Robles selected Sandoval as part of his succession plan and provided an opportunity for him to buy shares of the dealership. Today, Sandoval oversees three departments, 125 employees and 69 service bays. Under his leadership, his team boasts combined annual sales revenues of $23 million and manages more than $2 million in parts inventory. Also, Sandoval guides the company’s philanthropic efforts supporting various causes, including Achievement Academy, Club Hispano de Lakeland, Central Florida Speech and Hearing and Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine. He also supports Bartow Ford efforts in supporting the community through its own events, including Drive for Excellence, Winter Wonderland—a free event for children to experience snow and see Santa—and Back the Blue Luncheon.
Sandoval has served on the board of directors for the Women’s Care Center and Bartow Chamber of Commerce and earned the title of “Mr. Bartow” by raising the most money for Main Street Bartow, Inc. to nurture the growth of new local businesses. “Thank you, Cox Automotive, Damon Lester and NAMAD for honoring me with this prestigious award,” said Sandoval. “I am very humbled and truly grateful for this acknowledgment. To receive recognition for two of the things I am most passionate about—my career in the automotive industry and working in my community—makes this a highlight of my career. “Thanks to my beautiful wife Laurie, who has been my inspiration and rock. I would also like to thank my mentor Benny Robles Sr., who empowered me to grow and learn the Bartow Ford way of treating our employees and customers, and Benny Robles Jr., who continues to push me to be an innovator and take chances to stay ahead of our ever-changing business. I would like to recognize my amazing team at Bartow Ford; I believe
they are the best of the best in the industry.” Cox Automotive is donating $5,000 in Sandoval’s honor to Women’s Care Center, a nonprofit organization that provides a transitional housing and support services for women and their children. In addition, Cox Automotive will also donate a disaster response vehicle to the American Red Cross Mid-Florida chapter on Sandoval’s behalf. Cox Automotive is a longtime partner and member of the Red Cross Disaster Response Program and this will be the 17th donated disaster response vehicle. Bartow Ford has been serving the Central Florida community for more than 70 years. Founded in 1948 by Ernest Smith, Bartow Ford continues to operate on the same philosophies it was founded on—trust, integrity and honesty—under the leadership of Benjamin Robles Jr. Cox Automotive is now accepting applications for the 2021 Rising Star Award. Nominate an up-andcoming leader today. Source: Cox Automotive
Jim Ellis Buick GMC Team Supports Education, Safety, Local Economy by Auto Remarketing Staff
Hoping to bring happiness to educators and first responders amid their workday, the Jim Ellis Buick GMC Mall of Georgia team, along with Vice President Stacey Ellis, recently delivered 171 meals for the Gwinnett County Sherriff’s Office, Gwinnett County Fire Department Station 24 and teachers at Buford Elementary. The team placed meals inside a GMC Yukon XL Denali. Jim Ellis Buick GMC Mall of Georgia said it held the event in appreciation of police officers, teachers and first responders in its community. Also, noting that restaurants have taken the brunt of pandemic difficulties, the team performed an additional grassroots effort to support the local economy. The team chose a local restaurant, Bare Bones Steakhouse, to prepare boxed meals for community members who are committed to the health, safety and education of Gwinnett County.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to give back to your local providers who assist you with so many things that you don’t even think about on a daily basis,” Jim Ellis Buick GMC General Manager Jason Dowdy said in a news release. “From our amazing school systems to first responders. They’re always there to help us and any opportunity we get to thank them for all they do for us, we are happy to do so.” Jim Ellis Buick GMC said it was important to support first responders and teachers and a local and family-owned restaurant to stimulate economic growth within their own backyard of Buford, GA. By purchasing locally, the dealership seeks to revive local businesses such as Bare Bones Steakhouse. That business recently reopened after shutting down because of COVID-19. We thank Auto Remarketing for reprint permission.
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6 DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Continued from Cover
Judge Rules Against Release of Documents by Emmariah Holcomb, glassBYTEs.com
“South Florida is home to our Corporate Headquarters, 31 AutoNation locations and thousands of Associates who care about making our community a better place,” said Marc Cannon, AutoNation’s, Chief Customer Experience Officer. “We are looking forward to providing deserving families with the resources they may need for joyful holiday celebrations.” Katy Meagher, Executive Director at Neighbors 4 Neighbors said, “Since 1992, Neighbors 4 Neighbors has been connecting those in need with those who can help. We are so grateful for outstanding community partners like AutoNation.” Drop off new unwrapped toys at any AutoNation location in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties from November 9 through December 6. Source: AutoNation
The judge in the case of Allstate* vs Auto Glass America and its owner, Charles Isaly (AGA), has ruled that certain documents provided in the case will remain confidential and not be made public. AGA had asked U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida in Orlando to remove the designations of “confidential” or “highly confidential” from certain documents including: • Contracts between Safelite Solutions and Allstate and other contracts between Safelite Solutions and Auto Glass Inspection Services (AGIS) • Telephone transcripts of information given and obtained by Safelite Solutions during phone calls with AGA and its customers • Claims data • Pricing agreements between Allstate and out-of-network shops • The reports of Allstate’s experts, among others AGA contended that all Allstate’s expert data relies heavily on detailed
claims data spreadsheets and do not contain trade secrets. AGA cited public court documents provided by Allstate that identified 2,784 glass companies and the instances in which they were paid more than 100% of NAGS and/or more than $85 per labor hour for windshield replacements. Allstate filed the lawsuit in December 2018 alleging that AGA had engaged in a plan to unlawfully obtain payment for excessive and/ or unreasonable charges by submitting inflated invoices which the insurer paid at a reduced rate (known as short-rating.) Allstate alleged AGA would then sue them when it paid less than the invoice amount. AGA has since filed a counterclaim against Allstate. The defendants contended that, if Allstate had its way, “the case would be conducted in secret even though it was Allstate who commenced this action against AGA and Isaly, based on the information that it does not want to be made public. Allstate’s ‘Kafkaesque’ approach should be rejected in its entirety,” reads AGA’s
response to Allstate’s motion to keep the documents under seal. Judge Leslie Hoffman denied both of AGA’s motions on Oct. 29, citing a number of reasons, including a lack of specificity. Hoffman said AGA did not provide the court with the documents at issue so that no determination of the appropriateness of the issue could be made. She also found the motion untimely and that no persuasive argument was provided for removing the “Confidential” designation as Islay was permitted to review the documents under a confidentiality agreement in place between Allstate and AGA. *Note: Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company and Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company (collectively Allstate). They, as well as Auto Glass America and Charles Isaly (known as AGA) are all represented by outside counsel. We thank glassBYTEs.com for reprint permission.
Craigslist Car Fraudster Serving 6 Years for Vehicle Fraud By Elizabeth Puckett, Motorious
Robert Brandon Malone, 35 from Prattville, Alabama was sentenced to 71 months (5.9 years) in prison for wire fraud and the transportation of a stolen vehicle. It all started in April of 2017 with a RAM 1500 that a client had brought in to trade at the dealership that he was working at at the time. Malone proceeded to post a listing for it on Craigslist and sold the truck, after discovering that the truck did not belong to Malone the buyer returned it to the dealership expecting a refund that he did not receive. Next, in January of 2018, while working on a Chevy C10 pickup truck for someone at his repair shop, he posted yet another listing on Craigslist for said pick up truck. Eventually, the truck was returned to Its rightful owner however, yet again, there was no refund. His final scam would be the one to cost him his freedom. Malone was in the process of completing the paperwork to purchase an Audi R8 before the purchase could be completed Malone hopped in the vehicle and drove from the dealership (in Georgia) back home to Prattville Alabama. He then contacted someone
that he knew was in the market for an Audi and sold it to them. They had left their F-150 at his place and we’re coming to retrieve it but good ole Robby just wasn’t waiting around for ‘em so he posted an ad on Instagram. He sold the truck and both owners eventually discovered that the cars were not his to sell; all of the vehicles were returned to their respective owners but no money was refunded to anyone. He was eventually indicted by a federal grand jury on 3 counts of wire fraud and 1 count of transporting a stolen vehicle in October of 2019. He was put on a pre-trial release in November of that same year which was eventually revoked in Feb. of 2020 after he had been discovered doing the same thing in Pelham, Alabama. Malone was said to have been relatively unconcerned about getting caught even after having already been arrested for it. He is now serving a 71-month sentence on 3 counts of wire fraud, transportation of a stolen vehicle, along with other violations of Alabama state law he was also ordered to pay an amount of $93,784.68 as restitution to the victims of his crimes.. We thank Motorious for reprint permission.
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GA Dealership Sales Manager Receives ‘Ally Sees Her’ Award Ally Financial Inc. and the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) have joined forces to name Grené Baranco, the new and used sales manager of Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead in Atlanta, the recipient of the third annual “Ally Sees Her” award, in
es me and what I represent, an African-American woman having a successful career in retail automotive. This is also an important message for our industry as we seek new leadership and talent in areas that may not have traditionally seemed available to some.”
“The award is our way of lifting women of color by spotlighting a leader who is making a diﬀerence in her community and at her dealership. We want to showcase leaders like Grené, who inspire other women,” — Jacqueline Howard recognition of her automotive leadership and commitment to community and diversity. In conjunction with the award, Ally is donating $10,000 to Meals on Wheels Atlanta in Baranco’s honor. “A lot of women, younger than me, have not been able to see themselves in this industry,” Baranco said. “This award is really about telling women of color that their contributions are valued. It recogniz-
Ally developed the “Ally Sees Her” award with NAMAD three years ago to recognize the next generation of promising minority women leaders in auto retail who also are highly involved in their communities. The award was inspired by the Association of National Advertisers #SeeHer campaign to elevate women in media and marketing. “The award is our way of lift-
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as the food they bring. “The relationships they build during the visits are equally as important as the meals they serve,” she said. Baranco began her auto career in 1997 at her family’s Pontiac GMC dealership in Lilburn, GA, where she created the internet sales department. She also has managed internet sales at Infiniti of Beverly Hills and at Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead, and served as general manager for the Baranco family’s Smart dealership franchise. Baranco is a graduate of Georgia State University and the National Automobile Dealers Association Dealer Academy. “Grené is the true example of being a leader, innovator and trailblazer in the auto industry,” said Damon Lester, president of the NAMAD. Baranco received her award during a virtual NAMAD recognition ceremony Oct. 27 that can be viewed on the NAMAD site at https://namad. org/virtual-conference/
ing women of color by spotlighting a leader who is making a difference in her community and at her dealership. We want to showcase leaders like Grené, who inspire other women,” said Jacqueline Howard, senior director of corporate citizenship at Ally. “Grené has kept her eye on innovations throughout her career, implementing one of the first-ever auto internet sales departments in the country in 1997. She’s dedicated to continually improving the industry while also forging a path for the women who follow her.” Baranco, whose parents, Greg and Juanita Baranco, bought the Buckhead dealership in 2003, serves on several boards in Atlanta, including Meals on Wheels Atlanta, Common Cause Georgia, the Georgia State University Department of Religious Studies Alumni Board and The Arts Xchange. In response to Ally’s donation to Meals on Wheels Atlanta on her behalf, Baranco said the nonprofit is special to her because it provides nourishment for the community’s “body and soul” as recipients benefit from the volunteer visits as much
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Relentless Collision Opens Luxury Auto Body Shop in Raleigh, NC Relentless Collision has opened its ﬁrst and ﬂagship collision repair center in Raleigh, NC. Additional locations are forthcoming in Durham, Cary and Charlotte, NC. The collision centers are equipped with industry-leading technology and full OEM approved aluminum repair technologies.
“At Relentless Collision, we offer the best collision repair services with our extensive high technology tooling and training. Your car might look good to you outside but can be incorrectly serviced and actually have disabled or malfunctioning safety systems,” said Todd McGowan, owner. “We built a complete collision ADAS system into the workshop. Modern vehicles require extensive electronic diagnostics, scanning and calibrations. We built the shops with the kind of equipment needed to properly repair our own vehicles.”
Relentless Collision’s auto body shop oﬀers solutions to people who already have insurance for their vehicles. In the case they need to repair their vehicle, the team does not charge any extra cost on the repair of their vehicles, as they are adept at helping people handle their insurance claims. Repairs are available at no additional cost to customers regardless of insurance referral lists. Insurance companies and customers will enjoy the certainty of proper repairs with a lower cost as expensive or slower third-party vendors are not needed. The team at Relentless Collision oﬀers numerous auto-related services to its clients, such as auto body paint, collision repair, rental cars and more. They are all factory trained and are experienced in perfecting vehicles such as Tesla, Maserati, Jaguar, Ford, Toyota, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Clients also get a lifetime warranty on all auto body repair services. They are so conﬁdent in their quality they do not require an arbitration clause to receive collision repair services. Customers can call, visit the
shop or website. Vehicle pickup and delivery are available at no additional cost. Online estimating is always available but customers will beneﬁt from in-person estimating for the greatest accuracy. Clients are welcome to visit the safe, clean workshop for a viewing and compare the space to anyone. The shop has already obtained I-CAR Gold Class certiﬁcation and extensive welding certiﬁcations, and will have announcements soon on OEM certiﬁcations. Members of the Raleigh community who also need to get their trucks or cars towed are welcome to contact the team, as their emergency services are available 24/7. People of the Raleigh community who need the services of a certiﬁed auto body shop with experience can visit Relentless Collision at 2620 Westinghouse Blvd., Raleigh, NC 27604, or call 919-747-9165. For additional information regarding their services, visit the auto body shop’s website, or send an email to email@example.com. Source: Relentless Collision
CARSTAR 92nd Among Franchise Systems CARSTAR, North America’s premier network of independently owned collision repair facilities, has risen in its rank among the top 100 in Franchise Times magazine’s Top 200, the most comprehensive ranking of the 500 largest U.S. franchise systems.
Recognized by entrepreneurs and franchisors as a top competitive tool of measurement, the Franchise Times Top 200 placed CARSTAR 92nd on the list, up from the 99th position. CARSTAR was the top collision repair company for the overall automotive category. It leads the industry with a North American customer service score average of 85%, record-breaking annual sales in 2019 and accelerated growth in total locations. Source: CARSTAR
autobodynews.com / DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS 11
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Volkswagen Takes a Page from Tesla’s Automation Playbook in Transition to E-Mobility By Joey Klender, Teslarati
Volkswagen has drawn inspiration from Tesla in many ways, especially in its quest to transition to a lineup of fully-electric vehicles. But the German automaker plans to take another piece from
robots at three of its plants to help with production eﬀorts, it said in a press release. German plants in Emden and Hanover and the Chattanooga, TN, plants are being outﬁtted with machines that will automate its EVs’ production process.
“At Emden and Chattanooga, we are developing two of the most advanced production facilities in the automotive industry for the transformation to e-mobility,” — Christian Vollmer Tesla’s playbook under the manufacturing chapter with an adoption of automation in several of its production facilities. The German Volkswagen has already started to attempt its transition to all-electric cars with its ID.3 and ID.4 EVs, along with a little-known model known as the ID.BUZZ. However, the company is now turning its focus to less on the product and more about the process, installing more than 2,200
Ordering 1,400 robots from Japanese manufacturer FANUC for the Emden and Chattanooga plants and 800 from Swiss company ABB for the Hanover plant, Volkswagen will work to improve the manufacturing processes of its future ﬂeet of sustainable cars. Perhaps, Tesla’s focus on manufacturing, which has partially led to the company maintaining a sizeable lead over other companies in the sector, could have inspired
Universal Collision, State Farm Donate Refurbished Vehicle to Veteran in Conjunction with NABC Recycled Rides Recently, a deserving veteran experienced a life-changing event— the presentation of a vehicle to provide him independence and
the ability to reach his goals— thanks to Universal Collision and car donor State Farm, along with the National Auto Body Council Recycled Rides® program. The presentation was held at Universal Collision in Tallahassee, FL. The deserving recipient was selected by Volunteers of America, Florida/Tallahassee Veterans. “We are grateful for his service and honored to provide this vehicle to him,” said Emory Davis of Universal Collision. The recipient, Clyde Thomp-
son, received a 2009 Toyota Yaris. “It is a true blessing,” Thompson said. “It gives me the ability to do all the things that I really need to do in terms of following my dreams.” NABC Recycled Rides is a unique program in which businesses representing all facets of the collision repair industry team up to repair and donate vehicles to individuals and families in need of reliable transportation. Since the inception of the NABC Recycled Rides program in 2007, members of the National Auto Body Council have donated more than 2,600 vehicles valued at more than $36 million. Additional partners in the NABC Recycled Rides presentation included 1-800 Charity Cars. Source: NABC
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Volkswagen to focus on how its cars are made on the lines. “At Emden and Chattanooga, we are developing two of the most advanced production facilities in the automotive industry for the transformation to e-mobility,” said Christian Vollmer, Volkswagen’s Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand responsible for production and logistics. “We are investing in the latest technologies such as digitalization and automation for this purpose, even in the present situation.” Interestingly, Tesla has been extremely vocal about its focus on automation and manufacturing processes for several years. CEO Elon Musk has been the main proponent behind the company’s focus on making the manufacturing process more eﬃcient than ever before, believing that ﬁguring out production could put Tesla “head and shoulders” above other companies. Eventually, Musk believes that Tesla will no longer have superior EV tech. Everyone will make longrange, high-performance EVs, but how they are made is what will set
the companies apart from one another. “Eventually, every car company will have long-range electric cars. Eventually, every company will have autonomy. But not every company will be great at manufacturing. Tesla will be absolutely head and shoulders above anyone else in manufacturing. That is our goal,” Musk said at the company’s Shareholder Event and Battery Day in September. Musk and Volkswagen Chairman of the Management Board Herbert Diess are friendly with one another, and Musk even stopped by VW’s unoﬃcial Airport in Braunschweig to test drive the ID.3. Volkswagen must know that Tesla is doing something right, and to have more of the American automaker’s strategies in place puts them in prime position to strengthen their presence in the global EV market. We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.
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Southwest Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk
Southeast Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk
Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance technical writer from Wilmington, Delaware, who writes on a variety of fields and subjects, and grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
A Tennessee Auto Body Revival: TCRA’s First Quarterly Meeting a quick overview of the asNortheast offered Associations sociation committees, shared that 28
by Chasidy Rae Sisk
Chasidy Rae Sisk new members have joined TCRA in The Tennessee with Collision Repair Association (TCRA) has been gaining the past four months and announced momentum the past few months, and the association has obtained its tax their efforts were on display at the ID. association’s first quarterly meeting, “Everything we do is about fixheld Nov. 5. ing cars properly, and we want to with has Chasidy Rae Sisk collaborat Although TCRA provide the training and knowledge ed on some training with the Caro- for you guys to thrive,” Kent said. linas Collision Association (CCA), “This is a team effort, though. We arthis was the association’s first solo en’t going to tell you how to run your meeting since Josh Kent assumed business; we’ll give you the tools to the role of executive director earlier make educated business decisions, with Chasidy Rae Sisk but those decisions are ultimately this year. Kent opened by welcoming yours to make.” TCRA Member at Large Ranattendees and reading the antitrust statement, and then, he facilitated in- dy Haranin of PPG introduced the troductions with over two dozen at- evening’s featured presenter, PPG’s Mike Gunnells, who discussed “Actendees sharing with what they want from Chasidy Rae Sisk curate Meticulous Disassembly.” TCRA. Association leadership and mem- Gunnells explored the delays caused bers, along with vendors and spon- during the repair process, such as insors, discussed their mutual desire to correct parts and missed damage, and grow the association and improve the he identified how those delays can be collision repair industry in Tennessee. prevented through repair planning. A local vo-techwith instructor expressed Gunnells walked attendees Ed Attanasio an interest in examining the discon- through each step of the meticunect between students and the indus- lous disassembly process, stressing, try. “There has to be a change in our TCRA President Mark Smith mindset and shop culture. We also explained that the association’s goal need to evaluate our terminology— is “to make sure carsEd areAttanasio repaired collision repair facilities no longer with correctly. We want vehicles fixed do ‘teardowns’ because that term right. OEM procedures must be fol- doesn’t qualify as a complete and lowed by every shop, and we’d like accurate disassembly. It doesn’t give to see legislation that would force the impression of meticulous.” shops to make safer repairs. Our in- Examining who is responsible dustry needs training—there’s so for each part of the process and how Attanasio much to learn, with and weEd want to pro- it should be documented, Gunnells vide training all across the state.” repeatedly stressed, “Error proof, After agreeing “there’s only error proof, error proof! How good one way to fix a car and that does can you get at what you’re trying to not change from state to state,” Kent do? Challenge yourself to get better
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every single day! “You must develop standards, as they are required to create a sustainable process, and then you need to communicate those standards to everyone on your team. You have to be able to measure your progress, and then investigate, educate and negotiate. But don’t forget that following OEM repair procedures is not optional—it’s mandatory! “How good can we get?” Gunnells asked. “Can we achieve 100% disassembly and get it perfect? Maybe not, but that shouldn’t stop us from striving towards 100% every single day. We should be so good that we could close the repair order as soon as the vehicle leaves the process. Ask yourself how good you can get every day.” While this was TCRA’s first official meeting, members were invited to join CCA for two training sessions
in October. asTech’s Jake Rodenroth presented “Live Calibration and OE vs. Aftermarket” on Oct. 15. Kent recalled, “Jake showed everyone the process of calibrations, and walked through what everything meant. Then, he went over new technology and answered questions. Jake does a great job, and we were very grateful for the invaluable information he shared.” On Oct. 22, Laura Gay, owner of Collision Consultants, educated attendees on “Profit and Loss Statements.” According to Kent, “Laura showed shops what they might be missing, and regarding how numbers can look skewed at times, she identified what to look for and demonstrated how to fix it. It was hugely insightful for a lot of shops.” For more information on TCRA, visit mytcra.net.
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Mitsubishi Motors Extends â€˜Small Batchâ€”Big Impactâ€™ Partnership With Nashville-Based Community Resource Center Nashville is bracing for winter amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with cold temperatures, indoor gatherings and flu season compounding concerns. Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) announced Nov. 10 it will extend its loan of a 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV) to the Community Resource Center (CRC) for an additional six months, allowing CRC staff and volunteers the flexibility needed to deliver essential supplies directly to families and nonprofits in need across Middle Tennessee. â€œIn a year when so much seems out of our control, Mitsubishi Motors committed to doing what we can to make our Middle Tennessee community safer and stronger,â€? said MMNA Chief Operating Officer Mark ChafďŹ n. â€œThe Community Resource Center has been at the heart of disaster response efforts since day one, and we are proud to continue supporting their important work with the reliability and efficiency of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.â€? The partnership between MMNA and the CRC began in March, following a devastating tornado outbreak
across Middle Tennessee, and has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. With a flexible cargo space and the ability to travel up to 22 miles on all-electric power before switching over to its 2.0-liter gasoline engine, the Outlander PHEV has been used by the CRC since March for the following:
Delivery of hygiene kits and cleaning supplies to some of the CRCâ€™s more than 100 nonprofit partners, including The Store, a year-round free grocery store; St. Lukeâ€™s Community House, which serves seniors with disabilities; and Project Connect Nashville, which serves individuals stuck in the cycle of poverty. Delivery of household goods to Nashville tornado victims, including mattresses, bed frames, clothing, groceries, hygiene kits and cleaning sup-
plies. Pickup of COVID and tornado relief supplies such as groceries, clothing, blankets and shoes from area stores and donations from local businesses. Shuttling of supplies back and forth from donation centers and CRC warehouses. In partnership with Mitsubishi headquarters staff and vehicle fleet, delivery of more than 6,000 plus teacher PPE kits to 135 Metro Nashville Public Schools. The CRC provides new household goods, bedding, kitchenware, cleaning supplies, clothing and personal hygiene items to more than 100 nonprofits in Middle Tennessee, serving a diverse client base, including at-risk children, disadvantaged seniors, domestic violence victims, refugees resettling in Middle Tennessee, the homeless and those with mental and physical challenges. Normally, agencies pick up supplies from the CRC warehouse, but COVID-19 has necessitated the CRC to move into a direct-service model. â€œWhile the situation surrounding COVID-19 changes daily, the need
for basic household essentials remains constant across our communities. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has allowed us greater flexibility in responding to those needs,â€? said Community Resource Center Executive Director Tina Doniger. â€œIn delivering these supplies, we are delivering hope, we are delivering peace of mind, and Mitsubishi is very much a part of that story.â€? The CRC partnership is a continuation of MMNAâ€™s corporate social responsibility initiative, known as â€œSmall Batchâ€”Big Impact,â€? under which the company and its dealer partners plan to redefine the term â€œCUVâ€? to mean â€œCommunity Utility Vehicle.â€? The CUV program is creating a series of vehicle loans to small nonprofits to help support local communities. Other CUV donations have been made to Las Vegas-based Goodie Two Shoes Foundation and Dallas-based Record the Journey, with both charities using their Mitsubishi vehicles to further their respective outreach and mission. Source: Mitsubishi Motors North America
Safelite Group Acquires Lee & Cates Glass Auto Glass Division SafeliteÂŽ Group, a nationwide vehicle glass services and recalibration company and owner of SafeliteÂŽ AutoGlass, announced Nov. 10 an agreement to acquire the assets of the Lee & Cates Glass auto glass business.
The transaction was completed Nov. 6. â€œWeâ€™re honored to welcome associates from Lee & Cates to our business,â€? said Tom Feeney, president and CEO of Safelite Group. â€œLike Safelite, they have a rich history steeped in a commitment and dedication to their people and the customers they serve. Itâ€™s a fantastic opportunity to leverage the skills and talents of this team, honor their legacy and strengthen our national footprint.â€? Lee & Cates Glass was found-
ed in 1926 by brothers-in-law Thomas D. Lee Sr. and Raymond H. Cates in Jacksonville, FL. The company ultimately grew into a full-service glass business with locations throughout Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia, and has remained family-owned since its inception. With a strong reputation for their customer service, craftmanship and work ethic, the company also expanded their services to include flat/residential glass. â€œThe acquisition by Safelite includes the auto glass business and provides Lee & Cates with the opportunity to further invest into their flat/residential operations,â€? Feeney said. â€œTheir history will continue as they move forward to further evolve their business.â€? Source: Safelite Group
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Continued from Cover
Bill Ford As I write this, the results of the United States election are not fully known and still may not be for some days. No matter where you might be on the political spectrum, I think you will agree that this has been quite a year. Today, I want to share with you my perspective as someone who has been through plenty of turmoil and turbulence, and who has helped lead a company that has always risen to meet challenging times. In the 117 years Ford has been in business, we have worked with 20 presidents, with the time split almost evenly between both parties, and 25 governors in the state of Michigan. When you add political churn within the 200 countries in which we operate worldwide, shifts in the political and regulatory environment have been constant. Change is not the exception, it is the rule. Our relationships with every U.S. president since Theodore
Roosevelt have been built squarely on the credibility and independence of our company. Ford is one of the largest manufacturers and largest employers in America, and our company has always charted its own path. As I have said many times, we always look to establish and follow our own North Star of values and objectives that allow us to thrive—and to be stable—regardless of the political environment. We have also been through all manner of external challenges— economic meltdowns, World Wars, oil shocks, natural disasters and global pandemics. And in the face of every one of those threats, we battled, survived and became a rallying point for Americans and for the world. Ford steps up in times of need, and we are still very much in a time of need. Regardless of which party will control the diﬀerent levers of government, a strong manufacturing base will be essential, and Ford will have an important role to play. No matter who is running the country, our responsibility and commit-
ment to Ford’s role as an engine of progress for America and the world will not change. This has been a diﬃcult and uncertain year. But no matter what results this election yields, the importance of our values—our work, our people, our families, doing the right thing and building a better tomorrow—will transcend, as they always have. Bill When asked for a response to the internal message, Mark Truby, chief communications oﬃcer, said, “It speaks for itself.” Bill Ford is a former CEO of the Dearborn automaker and widely viewed as a comforting presence to employees and the public during times of uncertainty. We thank the Detroit Free Press for reprint permission.
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IGONC Delivers Value to Members Through Series of Educational Webinars by Chasidy Rae Sisk
The Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina (IGONC) oﬀered more than a half dozen educational opportunities in October for the local automotive and collision repair industries. “Since the ASTE had to be cancelled, we’ve pivoted to focus on more virtual training sessions for members,” said Tricia Sauls, executive director of IGONC. “We’ve restarted our monthly chapter meetings, and we’ve created a members-only Facebook page. A lot of out-of-state members have recently joined the association, and since everything is virtual right now, it’s the perfect time to build value for them as well as our local members.” IGONC has oﬀered members, as well as non-members in some cases, access to important industry information through its educational webinars. “One of our board members has been doing a great job persuading our vendors and sponsors to teach our members, so we hosted one in-person training session and six
educational webinars last month,” Sauls said. The association kicked oﬀ its educational series Oct. 19 with a socially distanced, in-person preview of Dale Carnegie’s “Leadership and Communication” at Carﬁx in Garner, NC. “Attendees learned a lot of leadership skills, and the meeting was very well-attended and interesting,” according to Sauls. The next evening, David Roman of My Repair Shop Marketing taught a webinar entitled “How to Create a System to Attract and Hire Rockstar Technicians and Service Advisors.” During this members-only event, Roman explained the importance of understanding and being speciﬁc about what a shop is seeking in an employee. He shared interviewing tips, explained how to choose reliable employees, and discussed when to oﬀer bonuses upfront—and when to refrain. Nick DiCarlo of AmeriTrust, an IGONC vendor member, discussed “The Value of Workers’ Compensation Return to Work Program” on Oct. 21; during this webinar, he
shared details of AmeriTrust’s new insurance product for its workman’s comp programs. The following day, Roman; John Bridgewater, of Wright’s Automotive Service; and Autoshop Solutions’ Margaret Palango joined IGONC’s board and members for a “Fireside Chat with Industry Experts: COVID-19 a Second Wave.” “That was a really cool, well-attended Zoom meeting,” Sauls recalled. “The conversation started about what shops and other businesses can do to prepare for a second wave of COVID, but then it turned into a discussion about how shop owners are preparing for other upcoming events, like the Right to Repair Act.” On Oct. 26, Tanner Brandt of Worldpac Training Institute taught “Turbo Charger Oil Diagnostics.” IGONC’s NC Auto Apprentice webinar on Oct. 29 was the association’s best attended Zoom meeting yet. Shante Bell of NC Apprentice joined Sauls in providing a general overview of the program and answering attendees’ questions. “There are a lot of people who are really interested in this program.
The administrative side is complicated, but it’s deﬁnitely worth the work to make sure it’s easier for the participating employers,” Sauls said. “Our industry is experiencing a shortage of technicians, and if we don’t address the problems, shops won’t have enough qualiﬁed techs to repair customers’ vehicles.” IGONC has started developing its lineup for November. In addition to Mike Reynolds’ “ADAS Intro Class,” held Nov. 10, the association is hoping to host a ﬁnancial webinar and has invited autotextme.com founder Chris Cloutier to present to members. “Our oﬀerings are based on members’ needs,” Sauls explained. “We’re hoping to have an insurance agency partner provide information and answer shops’ speciﬁc questions. Several shops have had incidents they weren’t prepared for, only to ﬁnd they were underinsured. We want to help members with these concerns and support them in making sure they’re adequately covered.” For more information on IGONC or to ﬁnd out what’s happening next, visit igonc.com.
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Continued from Page 4
2020 Collision in our surrounding states.” “2020 has definitely been a challenging year for everyone,” said Cathi Webb, executive director of the Northwest Automotive Trades Association (NATA). “Between COVID, the riots in Portland and the election year, we have encountered a lot turmoil here in the great Northwest. “The most memorable event for our members is the fact that the automotive industries were deemed essential businesses,” Webb said. “Our association members stayed strong and some members had their best months during this COVID shutdown. NATA members were blessed that we could all stay in business. My heart goes out to all the small businesses that had to close because of COVID and then could not reopen.” Despite everything, some associations managed to grow in 2020. The Carolinas Collision As-
Continued from Cover
Vaccine 94.5% eases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Moderna details the criteria used for the analysis of cases evaluated in its statement, including which number of volunteers received the vaccine or a placebo and how many days apart. The vaccine combines Moderna’s messenger RNA delivery platform with the stabilized SARSCoV-2 spike immunogen developed by NIAID scientists at NIH. “This is a pivotal moment in the development of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate,” said Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna. “Since early January, we have chased this virus with the intent to protect as many people around the world as possible. This positive interim anal-
sociation (CCA) was formed from the merger of the NCACAR and the SCACAR. In addition to combining the two associations, “we added 20% new members and retained 98% of our current membership,” said CCA Executive Director Josh Kent. “We established a Code of Ethics, and we put together a consumer, legal and trade school committee.” Kent recently assumed the executive director’s role for the Tennessee Collision Repairers Association (TCRA). “We rejuvenated TCRA and added 25 more people to our membership,” Kent said. “We started a new website, added training videos and hosted our first quarterly meeting this year.” “The NABA had a great year,” according to James Rodis, vice chair of the Nebraska Auto Body Association (NABA.) “We more than doubled our association size, plus added some amazing shops that are now part of our committees. Our vender committee has blown our expectations out of the water, offering us a completely different perspective. “We interviewed lobbyists this ysis from our Phase 3 study has given us the first clinical validation that our vaccine can prevent COVID-19 disease, including severe disease.” The NIH announced an independent data and safety monitoring board oversaw the Phase 3 trial of the COVID-19 vaccine mRNA1273 and found “the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in adults.” In its interim analysis of 95 cases of symptomatic COVID-19 volunteers, it found that after they received the vaccine, they tolerated it well. NIH reported “a vaccine efficacy rate of 94.5%,” which it says is “statistically significant, meaning they are likely not due to chance.” Moderna says it expects to ship roughly 20 million doses of the vaccine to the U.S. by the end of the year. Next year, it expects to distribute roughly 500 million to 1 billion doses worldwide. We thank The Center Square for reprint permission.
year and are proud to say we have hired Plucker/Kelley to represent the association and push some legislation for our members and guests,” Rodis said. “Due to COVID, we were not able to have our Annual Education Day, so we opted for a great series of seven virtual events, in collaboration with KABA, that will feature great names like Kristen Felder, Mark Olsen, Tim Ronak, GM, Ford and even Rivian at the start of next year.” Legislation is always an important effort associations make on behalf of their members, and although 2020 presented even more challenges in this respect than normal, leaders’ devotion to doing the right thing for consumers fortified them in their battles. The Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT) developed customer complaint forms to be sent to state legislators and the Texas Department of Insurance (DOI.) “Legislators need to know that their constituents aren’t being indemnified properly for safe and proper repairs, and it helps educate the customer on the issue,” said
ABAT President Burl Richards. CCA was also “able to pass legislation on towing and storage, preventing changes to the wording,” Kent said. “We also created a consumer page with videos and simple education regarding a customer’s rights and the difference between OEM and non-OEM parts.” For Bob Amendola, president of the Auto Body Association of Connecticut (ABAC), the year’s most exciting success was when “our association’s legal counsel, attorney John Parese, helped national efforts to successfully preserve the 1963 Consent Decree.” The collision repair industry changed and developed in a variety of ways in 2020, and the experiences gained have positioned the industry’s associations to continue enhancing their membership benefits, training opportunities, efforts on behalf of the next generation and legislative initiatives as 2021 rolls around. Autobody News looks forward to continuing to provide all the latest association news in 2020. Happy holidays from our family to yours!
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11/16/2020 4:25:00 PM
Tesla Changing the Cybertruck, Will Unveil ‘In a Month or So’ by Joey Klender, Teslarati
Tesla CEO Elon Musk mentioned recently the Cybertruck would be undergoing “small improvements” to the all-electric pickup’s design. The Tesla community wondered what could possibly be revised for the company’s soon-to-be-produced truck, but as of now, the revisions are being kept under wraps. That is for about a month or so, in Musk’s words, who said Nov. 1 that Tesla would release some images of the Cybertruck’s newly-revised design to the public. Based on Musk’s past statements, who was responsible for unveiling the Cybertruck to the world a year ago this month, some indicators prove the new design could be better than the initial one. It is no secret the Cybertruck’s design is massive. After rolling out onto the stage at the event in Hawthorne, CA, the truck’s size was immediately noticed by anyone in attendance or viewing the unveil online. However, big trucks are no stranger to many automotive markets, especially the one in the U.S.
Americans love their trucks, but they have to be able to ﬁt in parking spaces, residential garages and on narrow streets. After an augmented reality app showed the Cybertruck would be a tight ﬁt with the average-sized U.S. home’s garage, Musk told Teslarati the width of the Cybertruck could likely be reduced by 1 inch and length by 6 inches. The revisions would also be advantageous for owners who live in other regions, especially Europe and Asia, where highly-populated areas are ﬁlled with narrow and tight roadways. Musk’s suggestion on revising the vehicle’s dimensions took place less than a month after the Cybertruck’s unveiling in November 2019. The all-electric pickup dimensions could be set for a reduction to make travel and storage an easier project for an owner, all while not sacriﬁcing cabin room or cargo capacity. Musk has hinted toward the addition of several redesigns of the Cybertruck that would simply increase the ability to haul large items. One of these is a midgate, which would have
the rear window of the Cybertruck roll down to open the cabin and extend it through the truck’s bed.
This would be advantageous for construction workers who are hauling long pieces of wood, pipe or other materials. However, it would also be great for the weekly grocery haul, which can be sizeable with a large family. With plenty of uses, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Musk and Tesla add or revise the rear window’s capabilities just to increase cargo. After all, the CEO said the idea was “worth considering.” Perhaps Tesla’s Sentry Mode is one of the greatest automotive security features of all time. However, a thirst for constantly improving infrastructure is always attractive to Tesla, and Musk jokingly stated a “zapper” would come standard with the Cybertruck.
Deer Mating Season Increases Chances of Collisions by Jozsef Papp, The Augusta Chronicle
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is warning motorists of an increase in deer on roads because of mating season. Charlie Killmaster, the state’s deer biologist with DNR’s Wildlife Resource Division, said the state is in the peak of deer-vehicle crashes. He said the increase in crashes is directly correlated with deer entering their breeding period. “Deer are kind of genetically programmed to have their breeding season this time of year, and it’s kind of triggered by the day length,” he said. “You have to pay extra attention to the roadsides.” According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, there were 16,416 crashes involving deer in Georgia in 2018 and 17,274 in 2019. According to the 2018 South Carolina Highway Patrol Traﬃc Collision Fact Book, there were 2,743 such crashes in 2018. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there were over 1.9 million insurance claims
involving crashes with animals in the U.S. between July 2019 and June 2020. In 2018, there were 189 in Burke County, 327 in Columbia County and 291 in Richmond County. Richmond County saw 30 more crashes in 2019 for a total of 321, while Columbia County saw an increase of 55 for a total of 382, according to Georgia DOT data. Columbia County Animal Services has already picked up 174 dead deer since Oct. 1. In the Augusta area, most of the deer crashes were reported in October, November and December, which is typically when deer mating season occurs. During mating season, male deer go into rut and begin searching for mates. Killmaster said it greatly contributes to the increased movement of deer, resulting in many crossing roads. He said the ending of daylight saving time also contributes during the fall as rush hour tends to fall during the same hours in which deer are most active. At Rick’s Paint & Body Shop,
owner Tyler Smith has started seeing about 10 to 15 vehicles damaged by deer a week. He said repair costs depend on the vehicle but average around $3,000 to $5,000. “You get a few of them throughout the year, but as the fall starts and as the deer start moving around, you start getting a lot more deer collisions,” he said. Although costly, Killmaster said it might be better to strike a deer than swerve around it, which can cause a crash with another vehicle or the driver to lose control and crash into a tree. He said people need to be more aware of their surroundings and slow down if traveling on heavily wooded areas. “In most cases, if you see one deer cross the road, it is very likely that a second deer may potentially cross the road,” he said. “If you see one deer cross, make sure that you continue to slow down until you get pass that spot where the deer crossed.” We thank The Augusta Chronicle for reprint permission.
Interestingly, this wasn’t a farfetched idea because tasers’ use is legal in 49 of 50 U.S. states. It would only improve the security features, but it seems unlikely the Cybertruck will actually shoot a shock through an intruder’s body. Whatever the additions are, Musk knows that the revisions will make the Cybertruck better. During the recent Q3 2020 Earnings Call, Musk talked about other automakers and their desire to revise currently oﬀered models, all to decrease the usefulness and appeal of their cars. “Car companies would unveil these awesome looking cars, like, great. You can’t wait until they make that. And then the car they actually make is like much worse, and—but it’s just—it’s like really disappointing?” Musk said. Knowing that the newly-revealed Cybertruck is just a year away from production, Tesla will likely blow minds once again when the time comes. We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.
New Vehicle Subscription Platform Automotive retail innovator Scott Painter on Oct. 29 announced a new venture, NextCar Holding Company (NXCR.) NXCR was launched in response to COVID-19 and the heightened relevance and expected demand for a Car-as-aService (CaaS) mobility model for consumers. Vehicle subscription allows consumers to pay a monthly usage fee for a ﬂexible term, eliminating the long-term commitment of a traditional loan or lease. Subscription services bundle insurance, maintenance and other vehicle operating costs into a single, aﬀordable monthly payment. According to a recent Mckinsey study, “The New Realities of Premium Mobility,” 20% of the automotive retail market is forecast to be used for car sharing driven primarily by subscriptions and autonomous taxis by 2025. Source: NXCR
22 DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
11/17/2020 5:10:03 PM
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11/16/2020 4:25:00 PM
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24 DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
11/16/2020 4:25:00 PM
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autobodynews.com / DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS 25
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with Erica Schroeder
Industry Insight with John Yoswick
—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
Perspectives, Ideas Shared by Dealership Management Helpful for Independent Shops as Well
In a series of webinars in October, fected every service advisor’s office of her focuses, asking service advidealership fixed operations and ser- and all the technicians’ work stations, sors at each morning meeting to share vice department managers shared even though the dealer had a compa- something positive that happened the with Ed Attanasio their experiences and lessons learned ny already doing that overnight. day before. They’ve bought lunches during the pandemic, including per- “I sprayed everything,” Kroeger or brought desserts out to employees. spectives and ideas that could be said. “I just did it myself “This is going to sound helpful for independent collision re- because then I knew it was really silly, but I went out pairs as well. done. I felt safe. My biggest and bought a huge num During one of the online group focus day in and day out is ber of smiley face helium discussions, three of the four panelkeeping my parts and serballoons and placed one at with Ed Attanasio ists said they’d had personnel test vice people safe so that we every advisor’s office, one positive for COVID-19. at the parts counter and on can stay open.” the tables in the café in the “It got pretty scary for a little bit, She said early on, the Scott Doering of when we had a couple people who dealership owner chose to Volvo Cars USA said dealership,” Kroeger said. tested positive,” said Becca Kro- offer free maintenance labor customers want an “I bought helium replace“Uber-like experieger, service manager at Universal for all first responders. ment, and for the month and ence” from shops Nissan in Orlando. “We got right on “It was amazing how offering pick-up and a half when things were really with Ed Attanasio it. As soon as we found out someone much business it brought delivery of vehicles rough, we kept those smiley had symptoms, they had to self-quar- in during those times,” she faces going. You’d be amazed antine for two weeks. They would said, noting that service advisors of- how much people appreciated it. It just have to be tested and get a negative ten found other needed work on those reminded everybody to smile, even beresult to come back.” vehicles. “We were able to upsell. So hind the masks.” Each time, with she said, she went Her advice as the pandemic conEd Attanasio we absolutely came out ahead.” into the dealership herself and disin- Keeping up morale has been one tinues?
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“The thing I learned from day one is to be flexible,” she said. “You never know what another [employee] has going on personally, or what they’re thinking. If they’ve needed to go home, I absolutely let them. It did not matter what the situation was. I didn’t question them.” Francisco Mora, service manager for Esserman International Volkswagen in Doral, FL, said management at the dealership considered closing for a time after a parts counter employee, who delivers parts to technicians, tested positive. Instead, they sent half the staff out to be tested and quarantined for two weeks, then sent the other half out for two weeks when the quarantined employees returned. “So I was half-staffed for a month,” Mora said. “We’ve done that process probably four or five times when other people have had [COVID-19]. So a lot of employees have had to wear other
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hats. I was a cashier for about a week. My parts manager was a parts counterperson for about a week. We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. The point was to stay open.” Mora said the dealership kept employees incentivized even for the two slowest months in the spring by paying time and a half for flat rate workers, and by ensuring everyone would make what they averaged the prior year. “A lot of our employees said, ‘You know what, the owner has our back, so we’ll have his back,’” Mora said. “They came to work when we asked them to work. They worked hard.” The management team went through the difficult process of building a furlough list of employees just in case, he said, but it fortunately wasn’t needed. The hourly techs in the dealership’s express department were high on the list, given their expense and the lack of business in that department last spring, but they were kept on to instead handle all the pick-up and delivery of customer vehicles to keep the rest of the shop busy, Mora said. By June, the shop’s repair order count was close to normal, and more
recently it was a “September to remember,” he said, “the best month for parts and service we’ve had since March of 2017.” His lesson heading into the end of the year: “Consistency. We have to remain consistent,” he said. “What happens is if people get too comfortable, they’ll forget to put the mask on, they won’t wash their hands, they won’t keep social distancing,” Mora said. “For the coming months, we have to make sure we remain consistent in enforcing PPE. Because we want to remain open, and I want to continue to grow. But we have to continue to work through this together.” With body shops more frequently offering pick-up and delivery of customer vehicles during the pandemic, they may be interested in what some automakers and dealers are learning about using that service to draw more work into dealership service departments. Scott Doering, vice president of customer service for Volvo Cars USA, said his company was about a year into a pilot of Volvo Valet with about 20 dealers when the pandemic hit, so
they could ramp it up quickly. It has had 21,000 bookings since March. “With COVID-19 hitting, consumers were looking for different solutions. They wanted convenience,” Doering said. “It’s a user-friendly platform for our retailers, and provides consumers with an Uber-like experience, a fully-transparent experience.” Consumers can use an app or call to schedule pick-up, and the app allows the customer to see where the driver coming to get their vehicle is, and when the driver will arrive. That driver generally is dropping off a loaner at the same time, taking images of the condition of both vehicles at the handoff. Customers receive notification when their vehicle arrives at the dealer’s shop, and a similar process is used when the vehicle is ready to be returned. Dawn Matthews, service and parts director for the David Auto Group in Glen Mills, PA, said they are working with a third-party vendor to provide a similar service for their Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler customers, and agrees that transparency is the key. “That Uber-like experience,
where a customer can track the driver on their phone, I think customers really yearn for that,” she said. “The customer is looking for all the tools they have when they use DoorDash.” Doering said though it’s too early for Volvo to know if its valet service will positively affect customer retention as hoped, service ROs for customers using the valet service have been 21% higher compared to non-valet service ROs. “I think it comes down to trust and taking care of the customer’s problem,” he said. “If we can administer service in a way where we can be very transparent and provide convenience, consumers are willing to pay.” He said Volvo this year is providing a per-leg reimbursement to dealers to cover their labor costs for valet drivers, but is working toward implementing a convenience-fee model next year. “In every other industry, consumers pay for convenience,” he said. “People pay to have groceries or food delivered because the convenience is a value to them. Why shouldn’t that be the case with something like pickup and delivery?”
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with Stacey Phillips
From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson is the president and owner of Collision Advice, a consulting company for the auto body/collision repair industry. For nearly 25 years, he was the owner of Wagonwork Collision Center, an OEM-certified, full-service auto body repair facility in Alexandria, VA.
Hands-On Testing Shows Limitations of Relying Solely on DTCs or Aftermarket Scan Tools I’ve had the good fortune recently to spend some time working with Nissan/Inﬁniti as they prepare some new hands-on training they are developing, and it gave me a chance to spend some time scanning and learning about calibrations on their newest vehicles. That led to a couple of key takeaways that I wanted to share with you here. The ﬁrst item I discovered made its way into a six-minute video that can be found on Jake Rodenroth’s LinkedIn page (https://www.linkedin. com/feed/update/urn:li:activity: 6712096365968666624/). Jake and asTech were also at the Nissan/Inﬁniti training pilot, and his video demonstrates that shops can’t rely solely on the absence of diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) as an indication that all advanced driver assistance systems on a vehicle are calibrated and ready to function properly. It also shows why even minor damage to a vehicle is enough to warrant a scan. “I have a 2020 Nissan Titan, my personal vehicle, with some minor freight damage on the front,” Jake said. “There are no DTCs present for the radar. But because of the damage, the radar is actually oﬀ-center. The horizontal alignment is measured in degrees, and the spec is plus or minus 3 degrees. My truck is pointing at negative 3.38. It’s out of spec according to Nissan’s manual. But it hasn’t triggered a DTC.” That’s why shops need to do
a thorough review of a pre-repair scan—not just checking for DTCs— to identify the need for something like that to be adjusted. Don’t rely just on the presence or absence of a DTC to determine an ADAS requirement. Aside from checking for DTCs, check the “values” of the ADAS components—the horizontal and vertical speciﬁcations, for example. Just like a four-wheel alignment, you can’t verify if something is properly aligned unless you verify what it is and what it should be, given any acceptable tolerance. You simply cannot determine if speciﬁc ADAS components are within specs on a Nissan or Inﬁniti vehcile without using a scan tool. The second thing I conﬁrmed while I was working with Nissan is something I don’t always win friends by saying, and that’s this: What you ﬁnd when scanning a vehicle absolutely varies depending on whether you are using a factory scan tool or an aftermarket scan tool. We did side-by-side comparisons on four brand new Nissans and a new Inﬁniti, and every single aftermarket tool we tried failed to connect with at least one or more of each vehicle’s control modules. On a Sentra, for example, the aftermarket tool we used picked up three control modules. The Nissan scan tool picked up 22. You read that right: 22. The aftermarket tool didn’t get past the gateway to be able to pick up anything more than data from the emissions-related controllers.
There’s also another key distinction. Scanning tools aren’t just about reading a module to determine if there are DTCs. It’s about bidirectional control. Can that tool not just read the data, but can it “talk back” to the vehicle? Can it send that vehicle a command that it reacts to? “When you do ADAS calibrations, that’s all you’re doing,” Jake said of bidirectional control. “You’re telling the camera, ‘Hey, I’m going to calibrate you, and so I want you to look for a particular pattern.’” It’s a similar process If you’re doing a radar calibration. You’re using the scan tool to send the module a command to activate the radar. Because otherwise that radar doesn’t even activate until the wheels are turning. Makers of aftermarket scan tools talk about having “coverage” for a wide swath of vehicles. But does that
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mean full coverage? Can that tool not just read codes but clear codes? Can it reach all the modules on board? So while some people don’t like that I point out key diﬀerences between factory scan tools and aftermarket, I will challenge them to prove me wrong. I’ll meet you wherever you like with a brand new Nissan and the factory scan tool. You bring whatever aftermarket scan tool you like, and together we’ll do a side-by-side comparison. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for aftermarket scan tools. It’s just important to recognize the key limitations, and as with any tool, not to presume it can do things that it cannot. And when it comes to scanning and ADAS calibrations, any such limitations can have serious consequences for the driver and passengers in that vehicle post-repairs.
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Be Prepared and Be Ready: Tips for Selling Your Business by Chasidy Rae Sisk
If you own a collision repair business, you will eventually have to ask: “Is it time to sell?” Rick Schwartz of Schwartz Advisors discussed this important decision Oct. 21 during “Tips on Selling Your Business,” part of ASA’s Webinar Wednesday series. Tony Molla, ASA vice president of industry relations, introduced Schwartz and the presentation: “While it’s not uncommon to have a succession plan in place, changing circumstances can and often do require a different strategy. It’s an individual decision that can only be made by a business owner.” Beginning by looking at mergers and acquisitions (M&A) over the last decade, Schwartz pointed out the strength of M&A in the automotive aftermarket industry. Though COVID-19 had a significant impact earlier this year, this industry is recovering faster than many others, with private equity firms investing and selling companies. “Be prepared and be ready,” Schwartz advised. “If you haven’t already, you will have to address mergers and acquisitions eventually—whether it’s your business, your competitors or others in your market. There’s a lot of opportunity to take advantage of M&A.” Although current M&A interest creates a lot of opportunities, buying or selling a business is a personal decision made by the business owner. “This might be the most important business decision you’ll ever make, so you have to be clear about what your objectives are,” Schwartz said. “If you’re ready to consider selling your business, be prepared! Business owners that do their homework before starting the sale process get better results.” According to Schwartz, automotive repair business valuations are high right now because large corporations want to grow and many are backed by private equity investors, causing a rush to consolidate local and regional chains; however, “valuations ebb and flow with the economy, and they will not always be this unbelievably high,” he cautioned. Those considering selling must
determine what they need to net, if they want to continue working, what the value of the business is and who potential buyers might be. “Buyers who see the strategic value in your business will always be inclined to pay a little more for your company,” Schwartz stressed. After making the decision to sell, you must decide if you will work for the new owner or if you will leave after a transition period. You should also be clear about which employees will continue to work for the new owner. “Your business is probably one of the most important assets that you own,” Schwartz said. “Figuring out what it’s really worth and who the likely buyers are is not easy, but it is possible to get a handle on things. This is your decision, so think through what your needs are and be prepared before you decide to start a sale process.” Before beginning the process, there are three topics that Schwartz suggests being well-versed on: your numbers, what makes your business valuable and your legal business structure. The sales process begins with the numbers, but many business owners are concerned this first step is too complicated. In addition to providing three years of financial statements, the seller must show a schedule of adjustments, identifying one-time expenses the new owner won’t have to pay for. “This is really critical in getting the optimal valuable for your company,” Schwartz explained. Reasonable projections for the next three to five years must also be included. Determine what makes the business valuable may not be as clearcut as you’d think—besides your customer list, key suppliers, physical assets and intellectual property, your employees and your own skills and reputation may be part of what makes the purchase so attractive. “A lot of times, YOU are what makes the business valuable, so how will it thrive if you’re leaving? You need to be able to show that the business will be able to survive without you, and then you need to be able to communicate this to a potential
buyer,” Schwartz said. “Knowing what makes your business exciting and valuable will help you negotiate with a buyer.” The legal structure of the business also has a significant impact on valuations and can help determine the best form of a transaction. Taxation laws also vary depending on whether the shop is registered as a corporation, partnership, LLC, etc. Selling your business is very emotional and disruptive, but Schwartz assured, “It does end. If you’re prepared and can avoid any hiccoughs, you have a shot at getting a better deal… even while you’re in the middle of the sales process, you have to continue running your business to take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace. Selling a business feels like a full-time job, but you can’t neglect your current job.” The bottom line, according to Schwartz, is that figuring out what your business is worth and sizing up your options for the future is doable. “It’s not rocket science, but it does take some thought and effort.
You have the ability to choose a path that works best for yourself, your family and your employees. Know what you want in the deal! If you only sell your business once in your life, make sure you plan for a successful deal.” ASA’s Oct. 21st Webinar Wednesday presentation was sponsored by DELL Technologies. ASA’s next three webinars include: “Tax Tips for Closing 2020: Are You Ready?” presented Oct. 28 by Eric Joern of James Hamling & Companies CPAs and Advisors; “Using Technology to Create a Competitive Advantage,” presented Nov. 18 by Chris Cloutier and Craig O’Neill of autotext.me; and “ASE Entry-Level Certification Helps Shop Owners Find New Talent,” presented Dec. 9 by John Saia from ASE Education Foundation Management. For more information or to register for ASA’s webinars, visit asashop. org/webinars. www.autobodynews.com
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Financial Incompetence is No Excuse! by Dave Luehr
Struggling businesspeople can often be heard reciting all the reasons they aren’t making enough money. When pressed, however, they rarely know how to make money. In fact, they usually can’t even tell me what their revenue is so far this month or how much they need to make to be profitable! Look, I agree. It’s tough out there. But I really believe the ones doing most of the complaining are often the ones who need to do most of the learning! In most countries, we have been given the legal right to open and conduct a business; however, we do not have the right to operate a business successfully, unless we learn business skills! More precisely, financial skills. Let me take you back to 1991. There I was on another typical gray, rainy, Oregon afternoon. I was traveling at a speed which felt dangerously high for my Mazda pickup. I knew the I-5 corridor very well from
the many trips between my shop in Salem and Portland, where all the large dealership parts warehouses were. I knew where most of the cops would hide. On that particular day in 1991, though, I was looking extra hard for them because I had my name painted down the entire side of the truck, “Luehr’s Auto Body” in bright colors. Plus, I really couldn’t afford to get caught. Here’s why. You see, 30 minutes prior, I was notified by my receptionist that I didn’t have enough money in the bank to meet payroll today unless the blue 1986 Buick got picked up and fully paid for! The only problem was we didn’t have the parts we needed to finish the Buick! Thank God Ron Tonkin Chevrolet had these parts in stock. Now, if I could just get to Portland and back in just under two hours, we may be able to deliver the car, get the check and race my employees to the bank so their checks would clear! The ridiculous thing? This was not the first time this race had taken
place. No, far from it. If I was going to survive in business, this madness had to stop! The Decision This was when I decided to take personal responsibility for my financial incompetence and learn how to take back control of my business by knowing, proactively and in advance, what my financial situation was going to be each and every day so that I could make adjustments and take action in the moment to “make my month” every day. If you can relate to my story, or if you often say things like, “I can’t make any money,” I want to ask you something: how do you know? The truth is a huge percentage of the shops I talk to in North America are simply not equipped with the financial knowhow required to be highly successful in today’s challenging marketplace. They think they are not making money because the checkbook is out of checks! It is a shame shops continue to struggle with this, because it is a rel-
atively easy fix if they are willing to put forth some effort into learning. If you are anything like I was way back in my early business days, you can—and you must—seek to acquire a basic understanding of how to operate a business by the numbers. If a guy like me, who barely made it out of high school, can run a successful business by the numbers, so can you! Here are some suggestions to get you started. The Basics While I recommend shop owners learn as much as they can about the financial side of their business, I believe they should at least learn the basics. The more advanced stuff can be outsourced in many cases to trusted partners such as bookkeeping services or CPAs. If you need help getting started or need an ongoing financial expert, we at Elite Body Shop Solutions also have advisors who can help. Or maybe you are like me? Once I learned the basics, I became
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addicted to mastering the financial stuff! After all, once you master the math, you can master the money! So, what are the basics? To begin with, a shop leader needs to understand these four things: 1. Profit and loss Profit and loss is the simple equation that shows revenue coming in the various departments like parts, labor, materials and sublet, then subtracts the expenses involved, thereby leaving a profit or a loss in revenue. The bottom of a P&L statement shows your net profit. Profit and loss statements are usually produced each month, after the month is over. This is a great way to analyze past performance; however, it is a history report. Smart operators also use the same basic P&L structure to analyze each job during the month. This is an opportunity to check profit centers such as parts, labor and materials on each job so shops can optimize profitability on each job before it’s too late. This practice, commonly called job costing, is a proactive approach and is a critical component of running a business by the numbers.
The profit and loss statement, P&L or Income Statement is a document most shops produce monthly to show operating performance. This document will indicate if the business is operating profitably or not; the only problem is that, as important as this information is, it doesn’t tell the whole story. 2. The difference between profit and cash It is important to know the difference between profit and cash. I know many businesses that are actually profitable, while running negative cashflow. That is something I learned the hard way back in 1991. I grew my business so fast I had too much work in process and ended up draining all my cash. In other words, I was buying parts and materials for cars I wasn’t going to begin repairs on for several more weeks. Another area that chews up cash in an otherwise profitable business is accounts receivable. I learned early on I needed to keep my paperwork and supplements in real time with the vehicle repairs so I could keep A/R to a bare minimum.
3. Breakeven What is breakeven? My friend Bruce King describes breakeven as the day of the month where you make exactly zero money! As funny as that sounds, he is exactly right. Breakeven is usually described as a moment in time, typically a day in the month, when the shop has earned enough gross profit from revenue to meet the shop’s indirect costs. Simply understanding a shop’s breakeven number allows proactive action from management to reach the number as early in the month as possible and to start accumulating profit during the remaining days. And, unless a shop owner knows his or her numbers every day along the way, compared to a goal, the shop is flying blind! Finally, there are several numbers that shop owners should keep track of every single day! 4. Five Numbers You Need to Know Every Day
MTD Deposits vs. Goal WIP vs. Goal Scheduled WIP vs. Goal Wrapping It Up I don’t want to come off too harsh here, but it is critical for shop leaders to understand this. We work in a time and in an industry that is becoming dominated by “businesspeople” who understand how to run businesses by the numbers. Financial incompetence is no longer an acceptable excuse for poor business performance primarily because the education is so widely available. Whether a shop owner chooses to obtain some basics and then outsources the complicated stuff or wants to master it him or herself, it is time to start creating a prosperous financial future! Like I said, if I can learn this stuff so can you!
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Set Yourself Up for 2021 Marketing Success with Shop Marketing Pros by Chasidy Rae Sisk
With 2020 quickly coming to an end, collision repair shop owners should start thinking about their marketing plans for next year. “It’s easy to get so focused on the here and now that we forget about the future, but it’s time to think about what you want to accomplish in 2021 and how to plan for that,” said Kim Walker of Shop Marketing Pros. “What are your overall business goals? You need to know your goals in order to determine your marketing plans.” In Shop Marketing Pros’ newest class, Walker explains how aligning your overall business goals with your marketing plans can help increase revenue, attract new customers, increase the frequency of existing customers’ visits, improve web traffic and add social media followers. The first step in designing your marketing plan is to set some time aside to really think about what you want from your business. Schedule some time in an environment where you won’t be interrupted and think about “what works for you and your shop,” Walker said. “Your tactics may be different from other shops’—everybody’s plan is going to be different, and that’s OK.” Next, evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats impacting your business. Develop related SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely) goals, but “don’t make them too easy,” Walker cautioned. “Your goals should be something you have to reach for.” Examine your marketing KPIs. These include website visitors, social reach, EMM, Google Ads and more. Calculate your marketing budget for 2021, and look at how you spent your advertising budget in 2020. Figures should be based on facts, such as your total revenue. Examine what’s working and what isn’t working—keep doing the things that generate revenue and stop doing the things that don’t. Most importantly, know your target audience; who are your ideal customers, and how can you capture their attention?
“Once you know who your audience is, figure out how to present yourself as a guide that’s going to solve the customer’s problems,” Walker advised. “Set time aside to develop your marketing plan; the more often you meet with yourself, the shorter each meeting can be!” After determining what you want from your marketing plan, it’s time to develop an action plan. To accomplish your goal, break it down into smaller, quarterly actions, and determine which tactics will be needed at each stage. Establish your core message, and take a look at your calendar to make specific plans for the slower times of the year. If you want your marketing plan to succeed, you need to get everyone on board. Educate your team to make sure they know what’s going on and understand their part in it. “Each employee is an extension of your marketing team,” Walker stressed. “Out of sight, out of mind,” Walker pointed out. “Make it visible
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so everyone can see it. Put your goals on display. Include quarterly benchmarks, and have a monthly meeting to discuss the goals and your progress.” Once you’re ready to make it happen and implement your marketing plan for 2021, break your quarterly goals down to weekly action plans. “Get it planned out, put it on your calendar and invite others from your shop to join you in creating content. If you listen to customers’ questions, you’ll have content and marketing material forever—if customers are complaining about allergies, record a short video for your website and social media channels explaining why it’s important to replace their cabin air filter,” Walker suggested. “Marketing is about sharing useful information and helping customers solve their problems,” she continued. “We have to be proactive because marketing fails when it’s reactive. Be thoughtful and intentional in your marketing. How do
you know if your marketing plan is successful? Track your results, and conduct regular progress checks, adjusting as needed until you reach your goals.” Don’t forget to celebrate! As you reach each small goal, you should be rewarding yourself and your team. Ringing a bell, taking the team out for dinner or distributing bonuses are all great ideas for celebrating your successes, but how you take your victory lap is really about “what’s relevant to you and your team,” Walker said. “Figure out what actually matters to them, and cater your rewards to your team. “You’re going to have bumps in the road, but you need to fail forward,” Walker said. “Pick yourself up and move on—just keep swimming and be better than you were yesterday.” Shop Marketing Pro’s presentation, “Set Yourself Up for 2021 Marketing Success,” has been presented to ASA Florida and ASA Northwest. To learn more or schedule a presentation, visit shopmarketingpros.com.
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Body Crafters: A COVID-19 Experience by Gary Ledoux
It’s tough enough, even in the best of times, to buy a second shop that needs updating. But when you buy that shop and a pandemic hits that keeps people at home and off the roads, that’s a real challenge. Jon Wise started his collision repair career right out of high school, at Body Crafters Auto Body in Broadhead, WI. After a few years, Wise decided to strike out on his own and open Midwest Fox Rods, a small shop in Rock City, IL, where he combined his love of building custom cars and trucks with some collision work to help pay the bills. He partnered with a technician who was supposed to specialize in mechanical work. But soon his potential partner bailed, out leaving Wise on his own. Undaunted, Wise carried on and his reputation in both collision work and custom work grew. People were coming to him for miles around for everything from quality collision repair to customizing modern Mustangs to classic Chevelles. Then Wise hit a patch of bad luck, and through a series of bad turns, he found himself homeless. With nothing else to do, and a need to survive, Wise worked in his shop 16 to 18 hours a day and slept on a couch in his office when he got tired. Eventually things turned around, his reputation grew, business improved and he hired two other techs to help him. As both the collision repair and customizing businesses improved, Wise knew he needed a bigger shop. One evening, while having a casual dinner with the people who still owned Body Crafter Auto Body, the first shop where Wise worked, a discussion ensued about how the present owners wanted to retire and get out of the business. They had been at it for 30 years and wanted to move onto the next chapter of their life, but didn’t want to sell it to just anyone. They knew Wise turned out quality work, and he let them know he needed a way to expand. One thing led to another and on Sept. 1, 2019, Wise pur-
chased Body Crafters Auto Body. “The shop was doing alright when I took it over; it was making money, but I knew we could take an already great shop and make it better,” said Wise. “The shop badly needed some updating, and new and better procedures to put cycle times where they should be.”
Wise continued, “We first retrained the young crew, basically restructuring how they worked and what their duties were so there was as little worker overlap as possible. Changing paint lines with better color match technology and clears with less bake time saved us on materials, faster color matches and cut our utility costs in half. “New LED lighting in the shop was also done, not only to brighten the shop up but cut our light bill down. Savings on clear coat alone saved enough money to pay for part of my technicians’ medical and dental insurance each month, which they didn’t have before.” Another problem was the equipment. “Some of the equipment was 20 years old,” said Wise. “The paint booth had seen little maintenance. The poor physical condition of the shop slowed everything down. We consolidated equipment and added some new pieces like a couple electric sanding stations to keep a cleaner shop and less reliance on air-powered tools.” But the biggest problem, said Wise, was “the techs were not working together and did not understand their roles.” It seems the painter was never happy with the finish sanding job the body techs gave him, so the painter would spend even more time sanding the same spot, again, slowing production to a crawl.
Eventually, Wise had to consolidate things. He laid off one tech at each shop and combined all his personnel from both shops at the Body Crafter location. The techs from the two shops learned how to work together, cut waste and be more efficient. Things were looking up. Cycle time had been cut in half, waste was minimized and the shop was making more money. And then COVID-19 hit. Just when his new business was starting to gain traction, March 2020 saw a dramatic drop in cars coming through the door. But Wise kept advertising and promoting the shop. “It was scary for a while,” said Wise. “But then things picked right up again. We are in a rural area just south of Madison, one of only three shops in this area. We have been able to pull some business from Madison and because we are close to my old shop, my existing customers followed me. It worked out.” When asked if they did anything special to generate business during the height of the pandemic, Wise replied,
“We do a lot of radio ads. In one of our ads we offered to write the estimate at the vehicle owner’s home. If they agreed to have us do the work, we would pick up the car, complete the repair and return a repaired and disinfected car to the customer. They would never have to leave their home. “Despite all the talk about staying home and staying safe, no one ever took us up on our offer. Work kept rolling in the door.” Now, a year after taking over Body Crafters, and despite the COVID-19 slowdown, Wise is setting sales and profit records for the shop. “We have only one DRP arrangement, and that’s with State Farm,” said Wise. “We have a good working relationship with them. We have plenty of collision work, and few insurance company issues.” And as for the custom work, Wise replied, “Custom work is fun and interesting, but sometimes it’s tough getting paid, so I pick and choose what I work on. Right now, I have a two-year backlog on custom work. It’s nice to be in demand!”
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Customer Service is King: The Modern Customer Journey by Ed Attanasio
During SEMA360, SCRS hosted a series of educational offerings with topics that deal with scanning and diagnostics, repair procedures and marketing. One of the latter was “The Modern Customer Journey,” presented by Enterprise Account Executive/ Professional Services Bob O’Brien at Podium. Podium is a privately held technology company headquartered in Lehi, UT, that develops cloud-based software to help businesses that want to modernize customer interactions through Podium’s Interactive Management System. This class outlined the way customers are changing and how body shops can adapt to succeed, but it requires forward thinking and a proactive approach because the technology is changing rapidly. The pandemic has changed everything, but those shops that are rolling with the punches and making alterations to their marketing, adver-
tising and customer service processes will stay ahead of the game. O’Brien set the stage to open his presentation. “Within the last half decade, we have all witnessed one of the world’s most significant shifts in the customer journey,” he said. “Mobility and technology are impacting how customers communicate with your business and how businesses interact with customers.” One of the largest shifts is directly connected to the fact that customers now expect immediate and convenient information delivered promptly. The average consumer will no longer sit on hold, and pretty soon the personal phone call will approach extinction, he explained. Phones are literally pocket-sized computers, offering instantaneous searchability for anything we desire. They are valuable tools body shops can use to improve their customer service, as long as they are willing to change. O’Brien concentrated on three main points: Understanding expec-
tations, adapting to customers and navigating the new modern customer journey. “The only constant is change,” he said. “It’s no longer all about the big fish eating the small fish. Today it’s the fast fish eating the slow fish.” Those who resist change or are slow to adapt, especially during COVID-19, are going to struggle. “There are more digital channels than ever and people’s expectations have changed as a result, notably in the world of collision repair. In the old days, customers could come to the shop, shake the manager’s hand and talk to an estimator, parts person or technician, for example.” New platforms can provide a more attractive, convenient and efficient way to communicate, and texting is now leading the way, O’Brien said. “The surge in ‘near me’ searches illustrates that we want immediate solutions and we want them right now. Consumers are looking for new ways to leverage these devices that are in their pockets and performing
more and more tasks with them at an exponential rate.” Already popular during normal times, texting has gained even more momentum since the pandemic became a daily part of our lives, O’Brien said. “Over 90% of people now prefer texting over any other form of communication. Therefore, using phone calls and emails as your main channels of communication is becoming a liability to the efficiency and quality of your business.” With new technology, consumers expect your shop will use the latest systems in order to provide optimum customer service. “Studies have revealed that 85% of all consumers expect local businesses to offer more convenient communication and services now more than prior to the outset of COVID-19.” Things aren’t going to revert back any time soon, and that’s why body shops will be forced to change the ways they’ve been doing business for decades, he said. “More than half of all consum-
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ers say that shops who will not provide pandemic-friendly services will lose their patronage,” he said. “People are going elsewhere and seeking out shops that are focused more on customer safety, such as all employees wearing masks and cleaning every vehicle inside and out before and after the repair.” Consumers are more tech savvy than ever and unfazed by new technology. “As one industry changes, everyone then drags their expectations across other industries,” he said. “If a customer loses any confidence in a shop, more and more people are more than willing to pivot and go online to find a new one.” As a result, people demand a smooth and easy process from start to finish. Finding a shop online, scheduling appointments, communication during the repair—consumers anticipate an “in and out on the go” approach, O’Brien said. It also benefits the shop as well, because the payment process and getting a positive review from customers is also streamlined. Efficiency and convenience for the shop and
its customers has changed the consumer experience forever. Capturing online reviews is an ongoing process because people covet more recent reviews less than three months old. “Some companies proactively pursue reviews for a period of time and then stop, which is a mistake,” he said. “If you have a bunch of reviews from 2018 and then very little after that, it’s not a good sign.” People are not afraid to change their habits if they see a logical and convenient way of doing things, he said. “Consumers will pivot and go online without hesitation. You can have long-term customers who will alter their behavior if you can engage with them in a timely and easy manner.” Customer service has always been important, but even more essential in a modern world. “Customer service is overtaking price and product,” O’Brien said. “It’s the differentiating quality. Price and quality are still a part of the decision, but customer service is now king.”
asTech Shares Information About Its Services & Importance of Scanning During SEMA360 by Stacey Phillips
During the SEMA360 virtual show, asTech shared detailed information with attendees about the services the company offers and what sets the company apart from others in the industry. “Most people think of asTech as providing hardware, but we’re really a service provider,” said Don Mikrut, asTech’s chief development officer. Mikrut explained that asTech ASE-certified and dealer-trained technicians use their patented technology to run OEM scanning tools remotely and ensure electronic vehicle systems are returned back to OEM standards post-collision repair. The asTech tool is currently going through an iteration expected to be complete in late summer or early fall 2021. “One of the exciting things about the next generation of the asTech tool is that it allows for enhanced communication for the industry,” said Mikrut.
During SEMA360, 20 asTech team members were on-hand to provide information about the company and its offerings. “The asTech unit is an enabler and I think that’s one of the things we were able to share during the virtual show this year,” Mikrut said. asTech coordinated a variety of roundtable sessions throughout the week, focusing on topical industry issues. They also spent time talking about how the industry looks at scanning, and educated attendees on the differences between OEM data and OEM tools. Mikrut said the team received a lot of great reviews from current clients who visited the virtual booth, as well as prospective customers who wanted to learn more about the company’s offerings. “We jumped in with both feet to support SEMA360 this year,” said Mikrut. “It was sad that the show had to go virtual, but we certainly understand. We love what SEMA has done for the industry.”
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Mike’s Auto Body Gives 2 Cars in Conjunction with Hemophilia Foundation by Ed Attanasio
Mike’s Auto Body is celebrating its 20th anniversary of giving cars to deserving individuals, families and nonprofit organizations, with a grand total of 92 vehicles donated since 2000. On Oct. 21, the company collaborated with the Hemophilia Foundation of Northern California, Farmers Insurance and NABC Recycled Rides to present two refurbished cars to two Bay Area families. Javier Caro Valdez received a 2015 Hyundai Elantra, and Nicholas DeFalco was presented with a 2016 Honda Fit, with trunks full of gifts, gas cards and car safety kits. All local guidelines regarding public gatherings were followed at the event, including social distancing, and the wearing of masks. The presentation also included the grand opening of Mike’s Auto Body’s newest location in Pleasanton, CA. The Hemophilia Foundation of Northern California (HFNC) serves the needs of people impacted by
bleeding disorders through enhancing quality of life by providing support, education, outreach, advocacy and research. This marks the fourth time Mike’s has found worthy recipients from HFNC through its benevolence program. Mike’s Sal Contreras has emceed its car presentations for many years, but he never gets tired of working with local nonprofit organizations to help people in need. “We are excited to work with the Hemophilia Foundation of Northern California, NABC Recycled Rides and Farmers Insurance as we celebrate our 20th anniversary,” he said. “It’s always so satisfying to see how the lives of these individuals and organizations change dramatically through the gift of transportation.” Owner Mike Rose described the program and its value to the community. “We feel very fortunate to be involved with such a wonderful program and are very excited to be able to give back to that communi-
ties that have supported us along the way,” he said. “After receiving hundreds of applications over the years and reading the heartbreaking stories, we only wish that we could do more. But hopefully with increased publicity of our program, other shops will adopt similar programs of their own.” Director of Marketing Dane Dearlove talked about all of the people needed in order to give away 92 cars over the last two decades. “One Team, One Mission says it all,” he said. “Without our business and insurance partners, as well as our managers and employees, we wouldn’t have been able to do this for 20 years at this level. It’s an honor to work with this company and these people.” After Contreras opened the presentation with an invocation, speakers included Dearlove, Vice Mayor of Pleasanton Kathy Narum, Pete Barbounis from the Hemophilia Foundation of Northern California, Farmers Insurance district managers Daniel Brown and Rachel Craw-
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11/16/2020 4:25:15 PM
Woman Who Sued Body Shop Over Aston Martin Repair Bill Now Ordered to Pay $250,000 by Michael Karkafiris, Car Scoops
A judge rejected claims by the owner of a crashed Aston Martin DB9 that a body shop tried to scam her, and was ordered to pay more than CA$330,000 or about US$250,000 in current exchange rates. The three-year legal battle between Jessica Liu, the owner of a crashed Aston Martin DB9, MCL Motor Cars, a dealership based in Vancouver, and Burrard Autostrasse, the body shop in question, came to an end as the owner now has to pay almost twice the value of her car. Jessica Liu crashed her 2014 Aston Martin DB9—worth around CA$200,000 at the time— in December 2015 into a rock and had the car towed to Burrard Autostrasse. Liu, who only had basic insurance, received a formal initial estimate of between CA$85,000 and CA$132,000 Canadian (US$65,000 to US$100,000) as the car had suffered structural damage. Liu paid a deposit of CA$50,000 (US$38,000) but refused to pay the remaining sum, filing instead a lawsuit against
the auto shop and the dealership. In her lawsuit, Liu claimed that she had been taken advantage of due to her lack of English skills and perception of wealth, and accused the dealership and the auto shop
In her lawsuit, Liu was seeking CA$300,000 Canadian (US$226,000) as compensation as she claimed she suffered a long list of personal injuries that included depression and anxiety, sleeping disorders and low self-esteem among others. She went through four different law firms before eventually representing herself in court. In her ruling of the case, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Nitya Iyer found there was no evidence and no legal basis for any of Liu’s claims. The judge ordered Liu to settle not only the unpaid cost of the repairs and indoor storage fees, 2012 Aston Martin D89. Credit: Stock photo courtesy of which amount to about Aston Martin US$330,000 Canadian of breach of contract and collusion (US$250,000), but to pay some of between the two defendants, Rich- Burrard’s legal costs as well. “Ms. Liu’s claim is meritless mond News reports. Since the owner didn’t pick up and she has made resolution of the the car, Burrard Autostrasse stored the issue virtually impossible,” Iyer Aston Martin DB9 indoors for pro- wrote, as reported by TheBreaker. tection and charged her CA$200 per “Objectively assessed, her allega-
tions of fraud, conspiracy, fraudulent misrepresentation, or breach of fiduciary duty are without legal foundation and she should not have advanced them. It is clear that Ms. Liu’s conduct of the litigation has been frustrating and extremely unpleasant for Burrard. “Notably, over $97,000 of this amount represented the cost of the parts Burrard purchased from Aston Martin to perform the repair. Burrard’s labour cost was about $12,000, or just under 9% of the total invoice,” the judge continued. “She claims damages for various personal injuries and for travel to and from China, along with the value of a new vehicle, $300,000 and increased costs,” said Iyer’s verdict. “The stated legal basis for her claims is coercion, breach of fiduciary duty and extortion of her as a ‘financially well off’ person whose first language is not English. None of the evidence before me supports these allegations.” We thank Car Scoops for reprint permission.
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SEMA Show Goes On with Ed Attanasio
Media and Publicity for Shops
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Marketing in 2020: Will People Find You and What Will They See? The marketing game is more import- to marketing online has to do with ant in 2020 than ever before. Are images, and Grieve went through a people finding your business online, series of examples to illustrate their with Phillips importance. and if they are what areStacey they seeing? He showed slides of shops with Are you getting leads online or di- photos of unflattering of things, sappearing altogether? These were some of the ques- such as cluttered waiting rooms, tions that were answered dirty shop floors and beatduring a presentation at up cars in parking lots. He with Stacey Phillips SEMA360, part of the SCRS warned shops should never 2020 Repairer Driven Educapost about unrelated things tion series, co-hosted by PR online—like politics, for Media Coach Eric Reamer example—and that if you and Owner Robert Grieve have photos of vehicles, you at Nylund’s Collision Center, PR Media Coach Eric must not show cars’ license a 30-year-old shop in Englehelps body numbers, a mistake many with StaceyReamer Phillips shops and small wood, CO. make. Reamer and Grieve businesses with their “Photos are more importonline presence addressed two critically ant than ever, especially in important aspects of markethe COVID place where we ting your shop—how to force Goo- are right now,” Grieve said. “More gle to attract more of the right cus- and more people are now shopping tomers to your business, and howPhillips to online and doing their research onwith Stacey win their business before they ever line. It was a preference for many step foot on the property. years, but now it’s more like a ne In this class, Reamer and Grie- cessity. ve described exactly how to jump “We believe that images are a the line in Google search results by critical piece because images such as answering the same questions your photography and multimedia have prospects are asking day. And an immense impact on the consuwithevery Victoria Antonelli once they find you—how to mer’s purchasing behavior seal the deal by appealing to because they provide a way what matters most to them. for them to make a visual Grieve specifically shaconnection with a product red valuable information abbefore they buy it,” he conout how shops can accelerate tinued. “The goal is to convisibility online and close nect to a consumer without with Ed Attanasio more sales with people al- Owner Robert Grieve them being in your shop ready leaning in to their offe- at Nylund’s Collision physically. Good images Center has been rings. will foster confidence in the doing his shop’s “‘If you didn’t know customer’s eyes and it haponline marketing pens in milliseconds.” where you’re going, it really since day one Reamer strengthened the doesn’t matter what you do to get there’ is an old saying that ap- case about images by citing the fact with Gary Ledoux plies in many ways to the way shops that 90% of all visual messages, with photos, will stick in someone’s mind, market themselves,” Reamer said. To point collision repairers in while only 20% will read your webthe right direction, Reamer initially site’s content. Sixty-three percent cited some stats to support his claims. reported images are more important One number that stood out was the to them than a product description, fact 92% of all people use Google to for example. In addition, people who with Stacey Phillips perform their searches. shop on their phones say images are “Almost every computer out the most important feature. there comes with Bing installed, but Body shop people need to think no one uses it,” Reamer said. like their customers if they want to One of the main components win on Google.
Body Shops Giving Back
Tips for Busy Body Shops My SEMA
“Stop looking through our lenses and eyes and look through our existing and potential customers’ lenses,” Reamer said. One of the best ways to connect with new and old customers is by creating relevant content that meets Google’s standards. “Making Google happy is key,” Reamer said. “Coming up with original articles, for a blog or social media, and optimizing them is important. To do this right, you have to do Google-speak and play by their rules. We’re in their sand box, so they call the shots. “Google is a god online, but with a lower ‘g’. If you do everything correctly, Google will funnel people onto your site, Yelp or social media, and connect to the 4% of all customers who are out there already thinking about you.” The mission for any piece of
new content is to get customers to share it with their friends and colleagues online. “It’s so much more powerful when your customers tell you story for you,” Reamer said. “Your website is one of the only places online where you can control everything, so determining what people are looking for is key. Maybe they want to see your facility, talk about specific vehicles, compare prices, online reviews, etc.—you want to be able to address all of their questions through your content.” Reamer explained shops don’t need to attract the masses, only the 1% to 4% of those people who are already within your potential market. It’s not rocket science, he said, but in the end, you have to learn about things such as meta tags, search engine optimization (SEO) and what See Marketing in 2020, Page 45
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11/16/2020 4:25:19 PM
Tesla About to Make Producing 1 Million EVs Per Year Unremarkable by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati
It’s a bit amazing that just over two years ago, Tesla was struggling to hit a production rate of 5,000 Model 3 per week at the Fremont Factory in California. The target, which proved elusive enough to warrant extreme attention from TSLA short-sellers, was achieved at the end of Q2 2018, six months behind the company’s initial schedule. Over the course of 2018, Tesla delivered a whopping 245,240 cars, a new record for the company. Since then, Tesla has steadily ramped its vehicle production capabilities, and Nov. 11, the company is aiming to deliver around half a million electric cars by the end of the year. That’s despite a pandemic that has shaken the world, which has resulted in shutdowns in Tesla’s two production facilities, the Fremont Factory and Gigafactory Shanghai. Giga Shanghai is only in its first year of operations too and is not yet fully ramped. But Tesla, if any, is a beast of optimism and possibility. It’s the one carmaker that is still growing during a pandemic, and its vehicles, particular-
ly the Model 3 sedan and the Model Y crossover, are seeing strong demand from consumers.
Credit: The Kilowatts/Twitter
With this in mind, Tesla has noted that it intends to ramp its vehicle production capabilities to the millions within the next years. It would not be surprising at all if the company announces that it would be producing and delivering 1 million cars by next year. Such an idea might sound implausible now, but so was the idea of pursuing a delivery goal of 500,000 vehicles in a year that’s weighed down by a pandemic. What is rather noteworthy is that over the years, Tesla has steadily established itself as a capable automaker that has what it takes to deliver on its goals. The company may not always be on time and it may hit snags with the build quality of its first-pro-
duction vehicles, but it does stay true to its word. The same is true for Elon Musk. FSD may have been delayed for some time, for example, but the limited beta that’s testing today is very real, and its potentials are vast. With these milestones comes a normalcy of sorts for Tesla. While the company made headlines when it first broke the 5,000 Model 3 per week barrier, for example, such things are simply unremarkable today. And that’s really where Tesla’s magic lies. The company simply has the capability to make something remarkable seem normal. This was true with regards to the public’s perception of the power and capabilities of electric cars against their gas-powered rivals. This will likely be true when it comes to vehicle production capabilities as well. This is already starting for the electric car maker. Just recently, data from the Chinese Passenger Car Association (CPCA) revealed Tesla China was able to produce 22,292 Model 3 in Gigafactory Shanghai in the month of October. This translates to a run-rate of 275,148 vehicles per year. Interestingly enough, leaks from
industry insiders have suggested that Tesla China is aiming to produce 550,000 cars in 2021, with 300,000 of those being the Model 3. Considering Tesla China’s October production figures, it would appear the company is already well within striking distance of its 2021 Model 3 production goal. It wouldn’t be surprising if Tesla hits a run-rate of 300,000 China-made Model 3s by the end of the year, and it would be quite silly to assume the company would stop optimizing Gigafactory Shanghai at that level. If Gigafactory Shanghai can build 550,000 cars in 2021, Tesla would have a pretty solid chance of producing 1 million vehicles in one year. This would no doubt be a milestone for the company. But if Tesla’s previous years are any indication, it would only take a few years before vehicle production rates in the level of millions will be considered expected, or even better, unremarkable. Once that happens, then one could probably declare the electric car age is truly beginning. We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.
Ford Fund Pledges $200K to Keep Students Learning During Pandemic by Kyle Johnson, The News Wheel
Ford Motor Company Chief Customer Experience Officer Elena Ford and Ford Fund made a $200,000 investment in October to support education services for students affected by the pandemic. The funds help students in the Dallas, Houston and Phoenix areas by covering 30,000 books and putting must-have supplies in the hands of 1,500 educators. This investment is the latest step in a partnership between Ford Fund and First Book. Since 2015, the partnership has provided 130,000 books to students across the U.S. Ford Fund’s contributions over the life of the initiative total $600,000. Elena Ford kicked off this latest round of contributions with a virtual reading for 10,000 students. She and author Andrea Beaty read the latter’s “Rosie Revere, Engineer,” which lines up with Ford’s push to encourage girls to get involved in the
STEAM fields. After the reading, educators received gift cards to cover books, classroom supplies and cleaning goods like sanitizer. The $200,000 donation helps students from underserved communities hit hardest by COVID-19. “We’re showing the kids that no matter where you learn— school or home—books can inspire dreams and spark interest in subjects that could be the beginning of an exciting career,” said Elena Ford. “We want kids to understand that reading is fun and rewarding and will allow them to take advantage of educational opportunities that can help them achieve personal success.” Ford Fund invests over $13 million each year in education programs and initiatives. In 2020, Ford Fund has committed almost $3 million to help communities deal with the ongoing pandemic.
Orlando Volkswagen South Orlando
Volkswagen of South Mississippi D’lberville
M-F 7:30am-6pm; Sat 7:30am-5pm firstname.lastname@example.org
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We thank The News Wheel for reprint permission.
44 DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Continued from Page 42
Bentley to Go Carbon Neutral by 2030 with Fully Electric Fleet by Loukia Papadopoulos, Interesting Engineering
Bentley Motors has announced it plans to become a global leader in sustainable luxury mobility with what it calls its Beyond100 strategy. The firm is promising to deliver truly sustainable luxury vehicles by reinventing its business to become an end-to-end carbon neutral organization.
The plan includes a switch to offering exclusively plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicles by 2026 and fully electric vehicles only by 2030.
Bentley will achieve its lofty goals through a structured, business-wide sustainability program that includes the development of
throughout all of its present and future cars. Bentley has already achieved an important milestone in its quest to
“Within a decade, Bentley will transform from a 100-year-old luxury car company to a new, sustainable, wholly ethical role model for luxury.” — Adrian Hallmark electrified models and upgrades on its operational environmental impact. In addition, by 2023, every model line will be offered with the option of a hybrid variant and Bentley’s first fully electric model will be introduced in 2025. By 2026, Bentley’s offerings will focus exclusively on plug-in hybrid and electric models, and by 2030, this will change to solely producing battery electric vehicles. Furthermore, the firm will use only sustainably sourced materials
be carbon neutral. Its production facility in Crewe became the first luxury automotive factory in Britain to be certified carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust in the last year. Looks like the carmaker is well underway to a zero-carbon future. Adrian Hallmark, chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, said in a statement, “Driving this change includes, and also goes beyond our products, delivering a paradigm shift throughout our business, with credibility, authenticity and integrity. Within a decade, Bentley will transform from a 100-year-old luxury car company to a new, sustainable, wholly ethical role model for luxury.” We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission.
Marketing in 2020 exactly constitutes of original content. “I would search your topic— ‘how to find the best body shop,’ for example—online and create a better article that is better than 10 others you can find. Look at what your competition is doing and do it better. You don’t have to outrun the bear, just the guy in front of you,” Reamer said. By taking some of these ideas and using them after SEMA360, shops will hopefully be able to win when it comes to Google, because what we’ve learned is that it is truly the only game in town.
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Volvo Airbag Death Causes S60 and S80 Recall by David A. Wood, Car Complaints
A Volvo airbag death has led to a recall of more than 54,000 model year 2001-2003 S60 and S80 vehicles that were sold or registered in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan) and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Volvo airbag death involved a driver-side frontal airbag inflator manufactured by ZF Group that exploded and sent metal fragments into the driver. The automaker didn’t release information about the death, but Volvo, ZF and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) believe it’s the only reported Volvo airbag rupture fatality worldwide. Volvo, ZF and NHTSA investigated the inflator rupture and believe moisture affected the propellant used to deploy the airbag. Although it’s similar to stories
involving exploding airbags supplied by Takata, the Volvo airbag death involves a different propellant. Takata airbag inflator ruptures were caused by the propellant ammonium nitrate which became unstable when affected by heat, humidity and moisture. But according to Volvo, the airbags in the S60 and S80 vehicles “are from the introduction of propellant 5 AT 148 N.” It may be a different propellant which caused the Volvo airbag death, but the surrounding circumstances do involve heat, humidity and moisture as in the Takata inflator explosions. Volvo says if the propellant tablets are exposed to elevated moisture levels and frequent high airbag inflator temperatures, the tablets can start to decay and form dust particles. Dust increases the burn surface area and burn rate, resulting in higher combustion chamber pressure and increasing the risk of a ruptured inflator. According to documents filed
with NHTSA, Volvo first learned about the airbag death in June 2019 when contacted by an attorney concerning the fatality.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) encourages service professionals to visit the new myASE.com web portal and register now to renew certifications expiring Dec. 31. “Because we extended ASE certifications expiring June 30 to the end of December due to the pandemic, more service technicians than usual will be scheduling tests before their certifications expire at the end of the year,” said Tim Zilke, ASE president and CEO. Each order for ASE tests automatically includes the new, lower registration fee of $34. Test fees remain the same. ASE tests are conducted days, nights and weekends at nearly 500 secured, proctored test centers. Before registering, check test center availability.
Volvo Airbag Replacements May Take Months Model year 2001-2003 S60 and S80 owners will likely have concerns after hearing about the Volvo airbag death, but the automaker says replacement airbags aren’t ready to go. Volvo will send interim recall notices to owners beginning Jan. 4, 2021, then second recall notices will be sent when replacement airbags are available. According to the automaker, the parts should be available sometime during the first quarter of 2021. A dealership will install a new “driver airbag with a modern state-of-the-art propellant/inflator.” Concerned S60 and S80 owners may call 866-870-2046 and ask about recall number R10058. We thank Car Complaints for reprint permission.
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Manufacturers Continue to Offer Exclusive Discounts to SEMA360 Attendees by Della Domingo, SEMA
Following up on previous SEMA eNews items, below are additional specials, discounts and previews from SEMA360 manufacturers. 1-800EveryRim OEM Wheels will offer qualifying companies a onetime, 10% discount valid through 2020 on any non-special order whee(s). During SEMA360, the company will be featuring its RimText system (951-RimText/951-746-8398) and online portal www.EveryRim. com. ALLDATA will offer 25% off its ALLDATA product bundles, as well as host live product demos and oneon-one interaction with account reps providing details on its OEM repair information software, diagnostics and shop management solutions. Fluidampr will have tech support staff ready to share information about their products, along with downloadable catalogs and educational materials. They will also have best-of content and influencer contributions, including videos from industry-leading engine builders Gale Banks and Mike Kojima, and two “Learn @
Lunch with Fluidampr” presentations, at noon PST Nov. 3 and Nov. 5. SCANGRIP A/S is offering almost half off the regular price of its Nova-UV S, MiniMatch, and Multimatch R. They will also feature the UV-Gun, Scangrip’s newest UV curing lamp that helps speed up the curing process in the collision repair industry, and a new and improved design for its popular wheel stand. Miller Electric Manufacturing Co. LLC will hold live training and demonstrations of aluminum welding theory and techniques. They will also cover basic and advanced machine settings using the Multimatic 220 AC/ DC and answer welding-related questions, each at 11 a.m. PST Nov. 3, 4 and 6. TWN Industries will offer free training ($2,000 value) and $1,500 off to SEMA360 attendees for its we manufacture films and paints used to turn boring plastic dashboards and interior trim into carbon fiber or realistic wood grain finishes. Bolt On Technology will be waiving set up fees for purchases made during SEMA360. The company offers Digital Vehicle Inspection
reports to new and used car dealer service centers, auto body shops, parts vendors, import car, truck, RV, motorcycle and marine repair specialists, fleet managers and other sectors of the automotive aftermarket. The reports give drivers the ability to see photos of their repairs and read technician recommendations on a mobile device. Bishop Innovations—HOZEEZ will have a discount code available for download from its Showcase, which can be used on their website after SEMA360. The company offers HOZEEZ, which allows consumers to wash cars without the hose getting stuck under tires, and Merchandising Display to display HOZEEZ. On their Showcase, attendees will also see product videos, including one featuring a 5,000-lb. SUV driving over the HOZEEZ. Clean Supply Pro—Sanitizer and Multi-Surface will offer 35% off all products at www.TheCleanSupply.com/SEMA. The company offers hand sanitizer, sprays and multisurface cleansers formulated with 80% ethyl alcohol and health care-grade ingredients to meet all WHO recommendations.
Intercomp Racing will be highlighting new products that make it possible to use a mobile device as a second wireless indicator via Bluetooth on all of its wireless scale systems. Other new products include a wireless load stick and billet scale pad levelers. Additionally, the company is featuring its line of valve spring testers, shock dynos and digital camber/ caster gauges. Illinios Lock Company (ILC) will showcase its Blue Origin, Electronic Rotary Latch Series and Position Control Hinges, with product specialists available throughout the week. Blue Origin is ILC’s latest product that allows access to the truck or cab of a vehicle via Bluetooth. Manufacturer Showcases are only available on SEMA360. Login for SEMA360 will be provided to all those who register and are approved to participate. Early registration is recommended to receive login details as early as possible. Additional details about SEMA360 taking place entirely online on Nov. 2-6 are available at www.sema360.com. We thank SEMA for reprint permission.
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©2020 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trademarks. autobodynews.com / DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS 47
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