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Myrtle Beach, SC, Car Dealership About to Build a Nearly $20M New Location by Alan Blondin, The Sun News

The Myrtle Beach Hyundai dealership has outgrown its U.S. 501 location, and franchise owner Freddie Hyatt is about to begin construction on a new location he said will cost nearly $20 million. The automobile dealership will sit on nearly 7 acres at 760 Frontage Road East. The 35,000-square foot building will be “ultra modern,” Hyatt said. “We’re ready to roll,” said Hyatt, who lives in Murrells Inlet. “We’ve had some supply issues with steel

but we’ve gotten through all that and we’re ready to go.” Hyatt hopes to open the new location late in 2022.

Myrtle Beach Hyundai is holding a groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 18 for a new franchise dealership location at 706 Frontage Road East. Credit: Alan Blondin/ See Myrtle Beach, Page 18

The Boring Company Fort Lauderdale Loop Will Cost as Much as a ‘Cup of Coffee’ by Maria Merano, Teslarati

The Boring Company (TBC) and Fort Lauderdale continue to negotiate the terms for the Las Olas Loop project, expected to help the city with congestion. In October, the Fort Lauderdale Commission voted 4-1 to proceed with TBC’s Las Olas Loop proposal. The favorable vote allowed TBC to enter into more detailed negotiations with Fort Lauderdale about its underground tunneling project in the city. In his November newsletter,

Mayor Dean J. Trantalis provided a short update on the negotiations with Elon Musk’s tunneling company. “The city is in the midst of negotiations with Elon Musk’s The Boring Co. to build an underground transit loop between downtown and the beach. Using dedicated electric vehicles to navigate the tunnel network, passengers would be transported between locations in about three minutes for the cost of a cup of coffee,” Trantalis wrote. Unlike the Las Vegas ConvenSee Fort Lauderdale Loop, Page 22

Vol. 12 / Issue 10 / December 2021

OEConnection Acquires VeriFacts Automotive and Assured Performance Network by Stacey Phillips

In November, OEConnection (OEC) confirmed it recently acquired VeriFacts Automotive and Assured Performance Network. Both companies are based in California and provide Certified Repair Network services to OEMs and collision repair shops with customer relationships in North America.

SEMA Coverage:

“Over the last few years, we’ve been working to expand OEC’s val-

ue proposition to collision industry customers,” said OEC in a statement. “In late 2020, we entered the See OEConnection Acquires, Page 20

2021 SEMA Largest Show Since Pandemic Began SEMA New Product Winners MSO Symposium on Insurance Claims, Consolidation

p.4 p. 34 p. 48

Ford, Purdue Patent Charging Station Cable That Could Lead to EV Recharges as Fast as Gas Station Fill-Ups Ford and Purdue University researchers have taken an important early step to make recharging EVs simple and time saving. Through a research alliance, researchers from both groups are working to develop a new, patent-pending charging station cable that could combine with in-development vehicle charging technology, making it even easier for people to transition to EVs with seamless re-charging. “Today, chargers are limited in how quickly they can charge

an EV’s battery due to the danger of overheating. Charging faster requires more current to travel through the charging cable,” said Michael Degner, senior technical leader, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “The higher the current, the greater the amount of heat that has to be removed to keep the cable operational.” Purdue researchers are focusing on an alternative cooling method by designing a charging cable that can deliver an increased current. The cable uses liquid as an active cooling agent, which can help extract more heat from the cable by changing phase from liquid to vapor—the key difference between this and current liquid-cooled technology on the market. This innovation could one day deliver significantly more power than Ford researchers have successfully completed an today’s leading systems to early step with Purdue University inventing a new, re-charge electric vehicles, patent-pending method for charging stations that could one day deliver significantly more power compared to making the potential of today’s leading systems.

See Ford, Purdue Patent, Page 26



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REGIONAL Allstate v. Auto Glass America Dismissed in Florida ����������������������������������������������������������16 Atlanta Cop Has Recovered $1.7 Million in Stolen Cars �����������������������������������������������14 Colors on Parade Opens New Franchise in Broward County, FL �������������������������������������8 Crash Champions Acquires Auto Tech & Body in Florida ������������������������������������������������������10 Crash Champions Acquires Sunbeam Autobody in Northern Florida �������������������������16 HGreg Nissan Kendall on J.D. Power Dealers of Excellence List Second Consecutive Year ��14 Mullen Automotive Now Owns Mississippi EV Assembly Plant ������������������������������������������6 The Boring Company to Connect Brightline to Fort Lauderdale Beach in 3 Minutes ������������6 TN Gov. Signs on to Letter Opposing Extra Incentives for Union Labor to Build EVs ���������12 Toyota Alabama’s Future is Electrified, Turbocharged ������������������������������������������������10

Auto Insurance Claim Satisfaction Rises Thanks to Soaring Vehicle Values, Growth of Straight-Through-Processing ��������������������47 Autobody News attended Pro Spot’s Distributor Awards Event at Top Golf, Las Vegas on Wednesday, November 3rd ���������������������������55 AutoNation to Sell 17 Collision Repair Centers to Caliber Collision ���������������������������51 Axalta Launches Training Course �����������������������22 Biden Administration Acts to Help Relieve Supply Chain Woes ���������������������������������������52 Cadillac Losing 30% of U.S. Dealerships

Anderson - The Collision Repair Training Program We Need in Every Market ����������������30 Phillips - How to Grow Skilled Technicians & Improve Performance in Your Collision Repair Facility �����������������������������������������������32 Yoswick - Auto Body Shop, College Working in Tandem to Transform Collision Repair Program �������������������������������������������������������38 Yoswick - MSO Symposium Looks at What Lies Ahead for Auto Insurance Claims, Consolidation ������������������������������������������������48

CIC Panel Discusses AI in Collision Repair

‘Insurer Report Card’ Open for Collision Repairers to Grade Insurers ��������������������������54 ‘Who Pays for What?’ Survey: Continued Increase in Auto Body Shops Billing for Destructive Weld Testing �������������������������������50 100-Plus Lawmakers Rally Support for EV Tax Credit Bill �������������������������������������������51 1Collision Continues Expansion �������������������������54 2021 SEMA Show Deemed ‘Largest North American Automotive Trade Show Since Pandemic’ ������������������������������������������������������4 ADAS Analysis Sets Record Straight on U.S. Auto Claims Severity �������������������������������������46 ALLDATA Adds ADAS Quick Reference ���������������35 ASA Announces Regional Executive Director �����55 ASE Education Foundation Launches Program ����8

Serving Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2021 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516 Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax

ASP Clips �������������������������������������������������������� 25

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������� 53

Audi Gwinnett ������������������������������������������������� 38

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Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������� 49

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Carcoon America Workstation Portable Paint

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������������� 50

Cox Hires VP of Inclusion and Diversity ��������������26 Ford, Purdue Patent Charging Station Cable That Could Lead to EV Recharges as Fast as Gas Station Fill-Ups ������������������������������������1 Helping Others is Contagious, and You Don’t Need to Wear a Mask ���������������������������43 Lose Each Year? ��������������������������������������������52 Mitchell Providing Tech for PDR Program ����������12 Molla Announces Retirement from ASA �������������14 MSO Symposium Looks at Post-Pandemic Recovery of Collision Repair Industry ������������53 Myrtle Beach, SC, Car Dealership About to Build a Nearly $20M New Location �����������������1 OEConnection Acquires VeriFacts Automotive and Assured Performance Network �����������������1 Price and Range Continue to Hold Back EV Market �����������������������������������������������������18 Pro Spot Announces VW Group Approval �����������10 Repairify Names VP of Development �����������������31


Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Stacey Phillips Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Norman Morano, (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

by Going All-In on EVs �����������������������������������22

How Much Range Does an Electric Car COLUMNISTS



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Hendrick BMW/MINI ������������������������������������������ 7

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Hendrick Honda Pompano Beach �������������������� 43

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Valspar Refinish ������������������������������������������������ 5

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Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������� 50

Hendrick Volvo Cars of Charleston ������������������� 42

Wrenchers ������������������������������������������������������ 23

Repairify™ Unites Company Brands, Introduces asTech® Duo, Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System ������������������������������40 Rivian IPO Opens 37% Above Initial Pricing with $93.3B Market Cap �������������������������������45 Rivian Joins CIECA ����������������������������������������������6 Rivian Production Capacity Target: At Least 1 Million a Year by 2030 ��������������������������������55 SEMA Announces Collision Repair & Refinish New Product Award Winners �������������������������34 SUN Collision Repair Information Offers Complete OEM Procedures & Mechanical Insights ��������44 Survey: 78% of Vehicle-Owning Voters Support Federal Right to Repair Legislation ����������������55 The Boring Company Fort Lauderdale Loop Will Cost as Much as a ‘Cup of Coffee’ ������������1

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers �27, 28-29 / DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 3

2021 SEMA Show Deemed ‘Largest North American Automotive Trade Show Since Pandemic’ by Stacey Phillips

Automotive celebrities, vehicle debuts from major OEMs and the latest developments in equipment and tooling were all part of the live Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show this year in Las Vegas, NV. The four-day event took place Nov. 2-5 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Organizers said the show was “…the largest North American automotive trade show since the pandemic shut everything down in 2020.” It included approximately 1,000 vehicles and more than 100,000 attendees, exhibitors and media. “The industry was clearly excited to be back in-person at the SEMA Show, both to capture business opportunities and to network and celebrate the world’s greatest collection of innovation on wheels,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “Our industry was waiting to reconnect, and the SEMA Show was a welcome homecoming after nearly two years apart.” SEMA, a trade-only industry event, was founded in 1963 and represents the $47.8 billion specialty automotive industry. Organizers said SEMA was 100% committed to delivering a great show in 2021 with COVID-19 protocols in place, including face masks required indoors. This year, exhibits were set up in four halls, including the newly constructed 1.4 million-square foot West Hall. The Collision Repair & Refinish exhibits, typically located in North Hall, were relocated to the South Upper Hall. This section showcased collision repair products, paint booths and equipment, tools, accessories and software and management programs. A new way to travel through the show this year was using the Vegas Loop at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The tunnel system, built by Elon Musk’s The Boring Project in Las Vegas, offered showgoers free transportation underground in a Tesla to the West, North, Central and South halls. It currently consists of two approximately 0.8-mile-long tunnels and is expected to eventually connect Las Vegas casinos along the

strip to McCarran International Airport, Allegiant Stadium, downtown Las Vegas and Los Angeles. During the week, SEMA attendees had the opportunity to view an estimated 1,000 modified project vehicles—customs, exotics, hot rods, lowriders, muscle cars and more— throughout the 4.6 million square feet of convention space and 2.2 million square feet of outdoor space.

These included the top trending cars of the year, which were announced on November 1. Here are the winners: • Car of the Year: Ford Mustang • Sport Compact of the Year: Toyota Supra • 4x4/SUV of the Year: Ford Bronco • Full-size Truck of the Year: Ford F-Series • Mid-Size Truck of the Year: Toyota Tacoma One of the new additions to the show this year was SEMA Member Central, where attendees could learn about the association and its membership. Several industry events also took place during the week, including the MSO Symposium on Nov. 1 at the Mandalay Hotel, and the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) on Nov. 2 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. Prior to the official opening of the SEMA Show, at 9 a.m. Nov. 2, Jay Leno helped kick off the event as the featured guest of the New Products Breakfast, where the best new product award winners were announced. Awards are presented in 16 categories, including Collision Repair & Refinish, and were showcased in the New Products Showcase throughout the week. More than 70 free and 30 paid educational seminars took place Monday through Friday. The Society of Collision Repair (SCRS) held its Repairer Driven


Education Series, which featured industry experts. The courses are designed to deliver relevant content covering industry trends and best business practices. Highlights included the OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit on Nov. 4 and the IDEAS Collide Showcase presentations on Nov. 5. Presentations were held this year by SCRS and I-CAR throughout the week at the SEMA Collision Repair and Refinish Stage in the South Upper Hall. Topics included an I-CAR Technical Update; information about accessing Ford repair information; safety inspections, following Honda/Acura OEM procedures to replace laser-brazed roofs; and a panel on admin time and research. All of the sessions were recorded and available online at Celebrity appearances also took place. Ant Anstead, host of “Celebrity IOU: Joyride,” showcased some of his favorite vehicle builds. These consist of a custom 1962 Buick converted into an electric car in collaboration with American actor James Marsden and a Radford Lotus Type 62/2 Gold Leaf car built in collaboration with Jenson Button, 2009 Formula One world champion and Super GT Series champion. Other vehicles were on display, such as the new 2023 Nissan Z and a 1953 Corvette-inspired carbon fiber concept car by Dave Kindig from the MotorTrend show “Bitchin Rides.” Car enthusiasts had the opportunity to see a collection of more than 20 vehicles built by Chip Foose in a special section of the SEMA Show in the North Hall. Some of the vehicles in the Chip Foose Experience Exhibit included a ’56 Ford F-100 “FD-100” built for Foose’s “Overhaulin’” television series and the “0032,” which won the Grand National Roadster Show’s “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” award in 2000. There were also several Ridler Award-winning builds, such as “Impression,” “Imposter,” “Grand-

master” and “Stallion,” as well as Foose automotive design sketches on display. Another new feature in the North Hall this year was the SEMA Electrified section. The exhibit was intended to demonstrate the latest innovations and solutions for electric vehicle (EV) platforms. There were about a dozen EV projects and products on display. Some of the cars included a Solo by ElectraMeccanica; an electrified Trophy Truck built by new company Hypercraft to race in the SCORE Baja 1000 unlimited class, a 1966 Ford Bronco Roadster and Team Vesco 444 reVolt Systems’ “Little Giant” streamliner, which broke the national Electric E3 record twice at the Bonneville Salt Flats this past October. The SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet, attended by approximately 2,500 automotive icons, professionals, supporters and celebrities, was an annual celebration of the specialty-equipment industry. During the event, awards were given out in the following categories: • 2021 SEMA Person of the Year: Sara Morosan, LGE-CTS Motorsports • 2021 SEMA Manufacturer of the Year: ORACLE Lighting Inc.; runners up: KW Automotive and CSF Racing & High-Performance • 2021 SEMA WD of the Year: Turn 14 Distribution; runners up: Meyer Distributing and Keystone Automotive • 2021 SEMA Gen-III Innovator of the Year: Matt Kossoff, Driven Lighting Group; runners up: Justin Hartenstein and Keith Ferry In addition, tributes were made to the 2021 Hall of Inductees: Jessi Combs, Rick Love, Bob Moore and Carl Schiefer. When the SEMA Show closed at 4 p.m. Nov. 5, vehicles from the event paraded toward the West Hall parking lot and the SEMA Ignited after-party as part of the SEMA Cruise. For more information about the 2022 SEMA Show, visit https://

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Rivian Joins CIECA

The Boring Company to Connect Brightline to Fort Lauderdale Beach in 3 Minutes

Rivian joined CIECA as a corporate member. Founded in 2009, Rivian is privately held and employs 6,000-plus employees globally. The company has developed and vertically integrated a connected electric platform that can be applied to a range of applications. Brandon Chittenden, senior collision estimation analyst for Rivian, said the company’s launch products, R1T and R1S, were developed to provide performance, off-road capability and utility. Customer deliveries began in September out of Rivian’s manufacturing plant in Normal, IL. “We joined CIECA because the organization recognizes the importance of establishing, maintaining and bettering industry terminology, data exchange standards and actively participating with other OEMs to efficiently promote the movement of data,” he said. “This not only benefits our industry partners, but it also serves our customers’ needs for high-quality and safe repairs. Source: CIECA

by Maria Merano, Teslarati

The Boring Company’s (TBC) unsolicited proposal to Fort Lauderdale for a Las Olas Loop was recently made public, revealing some more details about the Miami tunnel project. TBC submitted an unsolicited proposal for the Las Olas Loop in Fort Lauderdale on June 21, paying a $25,000 fee to the city. Full details of the proposal were kept confidential according to state law until recently, when confidentiality rules expired. As per The Next Miami (TNM), TBC proposed a tunnel system that would bring passengers from Fort Lauderdale to the beach in three minutes. Similar to the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) Loop in Sin City, Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Loop will use Teslas to transport passengers through the system. The Tesla cars will be moving at an average speed of 50 miles per hour, as per the proposal. TBC leaves room for expanding the Las Olas Loop in its proposal through Brightline stations, specifically one located in Fort Lauderdale at 101 NW 2nd Ave. For the Las Olas

Mullen Automotive Now Owns Mississippi EV Assembly Plant Mullen Automotive, Inc., an emerging electric vehicle manufacturer, announced Nov. 15 it closed purchase of the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center (AMEC) without any debt, and will begin ramp-up of hiring for the initial set of skilled trades and support staff. AMEC is in Robinsonville, MS, in Tunica County, approximately 40 miles south of Memphis, TN. Mullen’s previously announced plans Nov. 5 to build out another 1.2 million square feet of manufacturing space to support class 1 and class 2 EV cargo vans and the Mullen FIVE EV Crossover at AMEC. The facility currently occupies 124,000 square feet of manufacturing space. The total available land on the property is more than 100 acres. On the expanded site, Mullen plans to build a body shop, fully automated paint shop and a general assembly shop. Mullen’s commitment to the facility is strong and growing with hiring ramp-up now beginning for

initial workers to support the preproduction build of class 1 and class 2 EV cargo vans. “This is a milestone for Mullen,” said David Michery, CEO and chairman of Mullen Automotive. “We now own this facility free and clear, with no associated debt or financial obligations on the property. AMEC is a tremendous asset for the company, and we are proud to begin hiring and build-out of the Tunica facility.” On Nov. 17, Mullen will debut to the world the FIVE EV Crossover at the Los Angeles International Auto Show (LAIAS). The FIVE will debut in the South Hall on Day One of international media and press days. The FIVE will continue on display in the South Hall during the consumer days of the show, Nov. 19-28. Mullen will display multiple variants of the FIVE model while also showcasing powertrain, battery and charging technology. Learn more about the Mullen FIVE at Source: Mullen Automotive, Inc.


Loop expansion, TBC proposed potential stations in the following locations: FLL Airport, the proposed Brightline Station next to FLL Airport, Port Everglades, the resorts area, Fort Lauderdale Tri-Rail station, The Galleria mall, Carter Park and DRV PNK Stadium. Las Olas, Downtown Fort Lauderdale and Lauderdale Beach are within range of the Brightline station via bike or rideshare. The Fort Lauderdale Brightline station also provides passengers access to the Museum of Discovery and Science, The Broward Center for the Performing Arts and NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale. Brightline has lines in Miami and West-Palm-Beach as well, with plans to add an Orlando station soon. TBC offered to build the initial tunnel system of the Las Olas Loop at its own expense, guaranteeing a solid maximum price. The city can opt to repay the tunneling company in installments. Fort Lauderdale sent a letter to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis requesting state funding for the TBC tunnel earlier this year. In the letter, Vice Mayor Heather Moraitis wrote the

city has welcomed an influx of new residents who decided to make Fort Lauderdale their new home after feeling the effects of the pandemic. She disclosed the Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) projects the city will add 845 residents daily until 2025. The city’s growth will likely sprout some challenges, including traffic congestion. Moraitis wrote that traditional solutions might not resolve future traffic challenges and sought support for Fort Lauderale’s TBC Las Olas Loop. “Building more bridges will congest our approximately 165 miles of intercoastal waterways, frustrate our marine industry and our commuters. While increasing rail options are a good thing, piling on top of current infrastructure doesn’t make long-term sense. Tunneling is that cost-effective and cutting-edge solution,” wrote Moraitis in the letter to DeSantis. In October, the Fort Lauderdale Commission voted to move toward the next step in the TBC project. The vote allows for more detailed negotiations with TBC about the Las Olas Loop.

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©2021 MINI USA, a division of BMW of North America, LLC. The MINI name, model names and logo are registered trademarks. / DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 7

ASE Education Foundation Launches Program As a means to foster partnerships between businesses in the transportation industry and schools in their local communities, the ASE Education Foundation has introduced a new Adopt-A-School program. This mutually beneficial program enables businesses to provide support to local schools while simultaneously providing those businesses with access to up-and-coming service professionals entering the work force. The ASE Education Foundation has created a landing page, which explains the AdoptA-School concept and allows users to link to the free online toolkit which can help businesses launch and maintain partnerships with schools. The toolkit provides information about connecting with students, supporting a school’s training program and educators, and putting students to work in the industry while they are still in school. Source: ASE Education Foundation

Colors on Parade Opens New Franchise in Broward County, FL Colors on Parade, the country’s largest eco-friendly mobile automotive paint and dent repair services franchise, is pleased to announce the opening of its newest franchise unit. Servicing Broward County, FL, the new franchise is owned and operated by Jack Grossman. Working alongside Area Developer Phil Grossman, who is also his father, Jack Grossman will bring ecoSMART automotive repair services to his community at an affordable price. In addition, the new franchise will provide car dealerships with the highest quality reconditioning services for their inventory with a quick turnaround time. Phil Grossman has been in the business for almost 30 years, so Jack Grossman learned the craft from a very early age, having worked as an employee for his dad for more than two years and enjoying his time doing so. Ultimately, Jack decided he wanted to make Colors on Parade his longterm career. When asked what excites him most about this opportunity, Jack Grossman said,”The

independence and flexible schedule of owning my own business but with the support of a large company and community.”

passionate franchisees who provide a high-level of expertise and professionalism to our customers. We’re excited to have Jack onboard with us and look forward to seeing him grow in the business! Welcome Jack!” With more than 30 years of experience and over 250 operating franchises across the U.S., Colors on Parade is consistently ranked by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the nation’s top automotive franchise systems. The company’s Jack Grossman has opened a new Colors on Parade extensive training and franchise serving Broward County, FL. certification process allows new franchisees “As we continue to grow to provide customer services safeColors on Parade with more lo- ly onsite while using an exclusive cations across the country, it is a process. goal to make convenient, afford- Franchise opportunities reable mobile paint and dent repair main available throughout the services accessible for our cus- U.S. More information can be tomers,” said Jeff Cox, president found at franchising.colorsonpaof Colors on Parade. “A key com- Source: Colors on Parade ponent to doing so is our group of


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Toyota Alabama’s Future is Electrified, Turbocharged Together with state and community leaders, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama (TMMAL) held an event to celebrate the first of Toyota’s latest engine products for the all-new 2022 Tundra to come off the production line. These new engines, a hybrid electric powered twin-turbo V6 engine and the gas-powered twin-turbo V6 engine, usher in the next era of powertrains being assembled in Huntsville, AL. Toyota’s new twin-turbo V6 engine line was part of a $288 million investment that also added 450 new jobs. That represented the largest hiring need in Toyota Alabama’s history, boosting the plant’s total employment to 1,800. Completion of this project— originally announced in February 2019—marked the fifth expansion at Toyota Alabama. Toyota Alabama’s total cumulative investment is $1.2 billion and now boasts an annual engine capacity of 900,000. Toyota Alabama is the sole producer of both engine models for the 2022 Tundra in North America, creating long-term employment sta-

bility for the plant’s 1,800 workers. “Our team members in Alabama recognize the confidence and trust Toyota places in us since we are the only plant selected to build engines for the all-new Tundra,”

said Jason Puckett, president of Toyota Alabama. “Launching the new twin-turbo V6 line and celebrating our 20th anniversary remind us here just how lucky we are to have such incredible team members who have made Toyota Alabama known as ‘the engine capital of the world.’” At 142 yards, both of the twin-turbo V6 engine options for the 2022 Tundra are being built on the longest Toyota engine line in

Crash Champions Acquires Auto Tech & Body in Florida Crash Champions, LLC, one of the nation’s fastest growing independent collision repair companies, announced Oct. 19 it has acquired Auto Tech & Body, a leading South Florida collision repair center located at 429 N. Dixie Highway, Pompano Beach, FL. The addition of Auto Tech will serve as Crash’s 11th location in the state and represents the company’s first expansion in Florida after initially entering the market earlier this year with the acquisition of Signature Collision. “Auto Tech has established itself as a go-to destination for collision repair services in South Florida thanks to its commitment to integrity, service and excellence, which are the same core principles that guide Crash Champions in everything we do,” said Matt Ebert, founder and CEO of Crash Champions. “After entering the Florida market this past June through our acquisition of Signature Collision, Auto Tech represents a tremendous complement to our existing footprint that will help to accelerate our growth in the

region. “On behalf of everyone at Crash, I am thrilled to welcome the talented professionals at Auto Tech into the Crash family, and I look forward to continuing their legacy of quality repairs and second-to-none service.” “For over 30 years, Auto Tech’s certified technicians have delivered superior workmanship in an environmentally friendly facility, and I look forward to continuing to service the automotive needs of our community as part of the Crash Champions family,” said Jay Ghanem, owner of Auto Tech & Body. “Matt and team have time and again shown a tremendous ability to successfully integrate like-minded repair shops into the Crash Champions platform, and I am confident that the additional resources, expertise and scale we gain as a result of this transaction will further elevate the experience we can provide to our neighbors in the community.” For more information about Crash Champions, visit Source: Crash Champions


North America. The V6 Turbo line will produce a new engine every 58 seconds, with a capacity to build 18,000 engines each month. These additional engines push the total capacity for Toyota Alabama engine production to up to 900,000 engines per year. The all-new 2022 Tundra goes on sale later this year. The standard i-FORCE 3.5L twin-turbo produces up to 389 horsepower and 479 lb.-ft. of torque. The i-FORCE MAX powertrain boasts 437 horsepower and 583 lb.-ft. of torque, making it the most powerful engine in the Toyota lineup. “For the last 20 years, our state and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama have shared a mutually beneficial relationship that has created remarkable outcomes for Alabamians,” Gov. Kay Ivey said. “Toyota’s $288 million investment to produce the all-new twin-turbo V6 engine continues to demonstrate that Alabama is not only open for business, but is the best place to do business.” Source: Toyota

Pro Spot Announces VW Group Approval Pro Spot International, a leading manufacturer of welding products for the collision repair industry, is proud to announce the approval of its SP-5.3 MIG welder, VAS 821 007, by the Volkswagen Group based in Wolfsburg, Germany, for the North American market. The Pro Spot SP 5.3 is a multi-process double pulse MIG welder that has been widely accepted since its introduction three years ago. The welder was tested with different wire types and approved for all three materials: aluminum, steel and MIG brazing (CUSI). The SP-3 is very easy and quick to use, and is unique in that it has three built-in torches always attached to a wire spool. This means no need for changing liners and wires when switching materials—just click the desired torch trigger and the welder sets the weld controller and gas automatically. For more information, contact Pro Spot International at 1-877-776-7768 or info@prospot. com, or visit Source: Pro Spot



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Mitchell Providing Tech for PDR Program

TN Gov. Signs on to Letter Opposing Extra Incentives for Union Labor to Build EVs by Jon Styf, The Center Square

Mitchell on Oct. 26 announced PDR Testing and Certification, LLC has selected it as the exclusive diagnostics supplier for the Vale PDR Technician Certification Program. Technicians will now be able to use Mitchell’s MD-500 all-in-one solution for vehicle diagnostic scanning, calibrating and estimating. As vehicle complexity increases, diagnostics has become critical to proper, safe repair. Recognizing its importance and the need to train, test and certify nearly 30,000 PDR technicians nationwide on scanning and calibration, Vale recently made diagnostics a core addition to its PDR Technician Certification Program. Mitchell’s MD-500—which leverages Bosch’s best-in-class vehicle coverage and hardware— will help technicians quickly and accurately assess damage, complete an appraisal and perform the necessary repair work.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee was one of 11 governors who signed a letter sent to U.S. Congressional leaders opposing legislation that would incentivize electric vehicle manufacturers using union labor. The letter, which was sent Oct. 27, also was signed by governors in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.“We oppose this legislation that seeks to exclusively increase tax credits for electric vehicles built by U.S. factories where employees have a collective bargaining agreement,” the letter reads. “One proposal would provide as much as $4,500 more in tax credits for the purchase of vehicles produced by union labor. We cannot support any proposal that creates a discriminatory environment in our states by punishing autoworkers and car companies because the workers in their plants chose not to unionize.” The Tennessee General Assembly approved $884 million in state

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spending the week before related to a $6.5 billion Ford electric vehicle plant to be built on 3,600 acres of a state-owned Memphis megasite.

Throughout that week’s special session, Lee and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe said Ford was coming to Tennessee for its “business-friendly” approach, and each wanted Ford to determine whether the operation and construction of the project would be conducted by union labor. “This

legislation is not about supporting emerging technology but is instead a punitive attempt to side with labor unions at the cost of both American workers and consumers,” the letter read. “By putting certain vehicles at a cost disadvantage, this legislation works against our states, undercuts our residents and negatively impacts the U.S. economy. Congress should not enact proposals that favor vehicles produced by one workforce over another, particularly when doing so dramatically limits consumer choice and undermines larger carbon emission reduction goals.” General Motors and LG Energy Solutions announced a partnership earlier this year to build a $2.3 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Spring Hill, TN. That 2.8 million-square foot plant is expected to employ 1,400 and be ready to open in late 2023.

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Molla Announces Retirement from ASA The Automotive Service Association announced Nov. 8 that Tony Molla, vice president of industry relations, will retire from the organization at the end of the year. In this case, calling Molla’s career “storied” is literally true. Prior to joining ASA in May 2015, he spent 15 years as the vice president of communications for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) in Leesburg, VA. After attending Temple University with a major in journalism, he began his automotive career in the Philadelphia area in 1973, working as an automotive technician, service manager at a Fiat dealership and manager of an independent parts store before joining the Chilton Book Company in 1981. He joined the staff of Motor Age Magazine in 1986, and spent his last nine years with the company as the editorial director of Motor Age magazine and Automotive Body Repair News (ABRN). Source: ASA

HGreg Nissan Kendall on J.D. Power Dealers of Excellence List Second Consecutive Year HGreg Nissan Kendall has been named to the J.D. Power Dealers of Excellence list for 2021—a second year in a row. The company was also recognized in 2020 for its exceptional customer service.

“To have one of our storefronts included yet again in this list is a real honor,” says John Hairabedian, president and CEO of “This recognition demonstrates the pride with which our staff services our customers and accurately reflects their dedication.” In addition to this recognition,

Atlanta Cop Has Recovered $1.7 Million in Stolen Cars by Steven Symes, Motorious

Car thieves suck, but thankfully there’s a police officer in Atlanta who’s taking a huge bite out of crime. Terry Holmer has recovered a whopping $1.7 million in stolen cars just since the beginning of April of this year. That’s amazing, but it also indicates just how bad the problem of car theft has become in Atlanta as well as other cities. Just like with many things, competition has brought out the best in Holmer. According to his superiors, he and Officer Ricardo Jones have a friendly competition going. Jones has a knack for finding drugs and guns, while Holmer can sniff out stolen cars. If you’re wondering, $1.7 million equals 37 stolen cars recovered by Holmer. Many of those are expensive vehicles, so that’s how it adds up to so much. Holmer said finding boosted rides makes him “excited” since he’s “able to help someone recover their vehicle they might have lost.”

As the lead for the department’s Zone 5 tactical traffic unit, Holmer gets plenty of opportunities to locate stolen cars in Atlanta. The department even sent him to some specialized training, and his superiors said he puts in time looking for vehicles even when he’s not on the clock. Holmer said he can just sense when a car is stolen, thanks to certain “red flags” he won’t elaborate on for obvious reasons. The man is also very good at uncovering when VIN tags have been altered, even if the alterations have been done expertly. We’ve covered the topic of increased car theft for some time. If you drive something collectable and therefore valuable, you can be at greater risk of being a target. There are a number of steps you can take to protect your ride, like using a Faraday cage for your keys if it has keyless entry, parking in a secured garage at night, installing an alarm which notifies your phone when tripped and using a GPS locator in the event it is stolen.

HGreg Nissan Kendall in April earned the title of No. 1 Nissan dealership in the U.S. among more than 1,200 in the Nissan network. To be named a Dealership of Excellence by J.D. Power, a dealership must meet three requirements: J.D. Power must receive positive feedback from more than 25,000 consumers, the dealership must rank highly in major customer satisfaction categories and, finally, the dealership must meet or exceed all J.D. Power sales best practices. From the very beginning, has understood the best way to help customers is to make sure its sales representatives do not receive a commission based on the value of a vehicle. At, sales representatives get a fixed commission regardless of a vehicle’s sales price, allowing customers to receive unbiased feedback, the best possible service and the right vehicle for their needs and budgets. The company sells quality new and pre-owned vehicles. Once a ve-

hicle has passed inspection, its image and details are added to the website where it can be reserved immediately and driven home that very same day. also offers a flexible return policy allowing customers to return their vehicles within three days or 300 miles for a refund if they are not completely satisfied with their purchase. In Florida since 2010, HGreg. com has become one of the leading new and pre-owned car dealership groups in the state. Currently, HGreg has four Nissan storefronts in the U.S. located in Palmetto Bay and Delray Beach in Florida; Buena Park and City of Industry in California and one Infiniti storefront in Monrovia, CA. The company owns seven pre-owned car storefronts in Doral, West Park, Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach and Tampa, as well as a boutique luxury vehicle storefront, HGreg LUX, in Pompano Beach. HGreg Nissan Kendall is located at 17305 S. Dixie Hwy., in Palmetto Bay, southeast of Kendall. Source:




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Allstate v. Auto Glass America Dismissed in Florida by Rebecca Barnabi,

The case of Allstate v. Auto Glass America was dismissed Oct. 22 in Florida. A settlement hearing with Judge Daniel C. Irick was held Sept. 28. Allstate v. Auto Glass America was a two-year battle in court that began with Allstate filing suit against the glass company, owned by Charles Isaly, in December 2018 for allegedly engaging in a plan to unlawfully obtain payment for excessive and/or unreasonable charges of submitting inflated invoices. As previously reported by, Allstate paid the invoices at a reduced rate and alleged AGA sued them 1,400 times when the insurance company paid less than the invoice amount. Allstate, which includes Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Insurance Company and Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance

Company, alleged AGA billed the insurance company on average $900 per invoice between Jan. 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2018. The average invoice amount from other Florida glass companies during the same time was reportedly $350. A Florida judge denied sanctions to Allstate in July to keep certain documents sealed and inaccessible to AGA. Allstate sought to have six sets of documents kept confidential and inadmissible as evidence, but the judge released five of the sets as evidence. Court documents from late July revealed court proceedings in the case were interrupted because both parties “in this case do not like each other, and counsel clearly do not play well together, particularly when it comes to engaging in discovery and related motions practice.” (C) 2021 by glassbytes. com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. For more information contact

Crash Champions Acquires Sunbeam Autobody in Northern Florida Crash Champions, LLC, one of the nation’s fastest growing independent collision repair companies, announced Nov. 9 it has acquired Florida-based Sunbeam Autobody, consisting of two Jacksonville locations—a 56,000-square foot facility at 5200 Sunbeam Road and a 15,000-square foot facility at 7135 Atlantic Blvd. With the addition of Sunbeam, Crash now has 15 locations across the state of Florida. “Sunbeam represents a very exciting addition to our growing footprint in Florida, having established itself as the largest privately owned auto body repair shop serving Jacksonville since its founding in 1983,” said Matt Ebert, founder and CEO of Crash Champions. “Their talented professionals have the certifications, training and technology needed to guarantee superior quality repair work and service to its customers, and I look forward to welcoming our new teammates into the Crash Champions family.” “While evaluating the opportunity to join the Crash Champions


platform, what stood out most was the company’s dedication and commitment to its people—customers, partners and employees alike,” said Bobby Andrews, owner of Sunbeam Autobody. “Despite having a national platform, Crash continues to operate by the same principles as a family-run business, making it the right cultural fit for our organization. They are laser focused on delivering exceptional repair work and top-tier service, a mindset that has been critical to our success at Sunbeam. “Becoming a part of Crash Champions will allow us to further elevate the services that we provide, and everyone is excited about the new avenues of growth that will be created as a result.” For more information about Crash Champions, visit For those collision repair companies interested in selling their business, Crash has made it easy. Visit to learn more. Source: Crash Champions, LLC

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Price and Range Continue to Hold Back EV Market Sales of battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S. are on track to set an all-time record in 2021, with sales up more than 88% through the end of September. With new players entering the field and consumer choice expanding rapidly, the EV market is on course to grow to 400,000 vehicles this year, and Cox Automotive is forecasting EV sales to double in the next 24 months. Still, despite the rapid growth, EVs will account for only 3% of the new-vehicle market this year and, according to new research released by Cox Automotive, many barriers to EV adoption remain. The 2021 Cox Automotive Path to EV Adoption Study provides a look at the major consumer barriers that continue to slow EV adoption. It also uncovers market perceptions and customer experiences with the EV shopping and buying process. The research was conducted in June and July and included a survey of nearly 5,000 in-market consum-

ers who owned, considered or rejected a pure battery-electric vehicle in that timeframe. Additional Cox Automotive studies were considered in the analysis. The study had three objectives: to understand the nuances of EV adoption and the key barriers to overcome, explore how the shopping experience for EV and traditional gas-powered vehicles differ, and uncover market perceptions and consumer experiences with EVs. Overall, the 2021 Cox Automotive Path to EV Adoption Study illustrates, while barriers remain, consumers in the U.S—particularly younger Millennial and Gen Z buyers—are becoming more open to the idea of an electric vehicle future. Availability of charging stations, vehicle range and battery concerns have become less of a barrier for potential buyers. Vehicle price, however, continues to be a major obstacle for many. “This latest round of EV research opened our eyes to a number

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said. “We’ve grown so much and we stock so many vehicles in inventory, we needed 500 parking spaces. Not just for our inventory but for employees, service customers and that.” Hyatt said he hasn’t decided what he’ll do with the existing dealership property, and is considering selling it. Hyatt has owned Hyatt Buick GMC in Myrtle Beach since 2001, just a few businesses north of the new Hyundai location on Frontage Road East. He has been in the car business for several decades, and at one time owned nine car dealership franchises in several areas, including those selling Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Daewoo makes and models. A groundbreaking at the new Myrtle Beach Hyundai location is scheduled at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 18. The event is expected to include a number of dignitaries and guests, including South Carolina Legislature members Greg Hembree and Russell Fry, several Myrtle Beach City Council members, Shannon Furtick of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Coastal Carolina baseball coach Gary Gilmore.

Myrtle Beach Hyatt bought the current building and property on U.S. 501 in 1999 from Bob Bible. He said the space near Grissom Parkway no longer meets the dealership’s needs. “We’ve grown it from selling 150 new Hyundais a year to this year we’re tracking to do roughly 1,200, and of course you’ve got used cars on that, so our customers deserve a nice ultra-modern facility, and we’re glad to get this done for our employees as well,” Hyatt said. “Our service department shop is going to be air-conditioned for our technicians. ... They’re all excited to have a place to come work and be proud of where you’re working.” The business will potentially grow from its current 45 employees to approximately 80 over the first year of the new location’s operation, according to dealership General Manager Robert Wingate. “We have nurtured this thing from a puppy to a full greyhound,” Hyatt


of shifts in the market,” said Vanessa Ton, senior industry intelligence manager, Cox Automotive. “As the traditional barriers come down, attributes like styling and affordability move to the front, much like traditional gas-powered vehicles. That’s an indication that consumers are looking at EVs more like automobiles, less like science projects.” During the research phase of the study over the summer, consumers had nearly 300 different models to choose from, but less than 20 pure electric models, with most being higher-end, luxury offerings. The average price paid for a new EV was close to $60,000 before rebates, and well above gasoline-equivalent vehicles. And while the number of EV models continues to grow, with new models being added every quarter, the Cox Automotive study shows the path to EV adoption remains difficult at best.

sideration Among Shoppers Among consumers in-market for a new vehicle, general consideration for a pure electric model is relatively high, at 38% of all shoppers. New research from Cox Automotive, however, indicates consideration drops off notably to 21% of in-market shoppers saying they are more than 50% confident their next vehicle will be an EV. Further still, only 3% of shoppers in the study indicate that their next will, for certain, be an EV. Vehicle range and price remain the top barriers, according to this research. The study also shows that automakers and dealers would benefit from focusing on those issues as they market their new EVs.

The Industry Must Build Higher Con-

See Hold Back EV Market, Page 25

Range Anxiety Shows Signs of Waning In good news for EV sellers, the study shows some select barriers to EV adoption are shrinking. For example, two years ago, 47% of in-market consumers noted low ve- / DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 19

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OEConnection Acquires Certified Repair Network arena with the acquisition of Summit Consulting, Inc. (SCI) to create a flexible and dynamic solution for the CRN space. “With VeriFacts and Assured Performance joining the OEC family, we will continue to enhance the value we bring to our collective cus-

dent third-party certification for collision repair providers. OEC first launched in 2000 with the mission of helping OEMs sell more genuine parts. “As the industry evolves and increases in complexity, the best way we can continue to serve our customers is by connecting the aftersales industry through solutions that help deliver efficient repair lifecycles, OEM parts and procedures, and proper vehicle repairs,” said an

“NuGen IT brings high-quality collision market solutions and repair expertise that will help expand our value to the collision industry,” — Ike Herman tomer base with the primary goal of driving safe and proper vehicle repairs.” VeriFacts, established in 2002, is an independent, third-party verification service that offers oversight, analysis, coaching, education and technology for collision repair facilities. Assured Performance Network, formed in 2003, provides indepen-

OEC representative. Based in Northeast Ohio, OEC is a leading technology provider for OEM distribution networks. The company equips many of the world’s largest automotive and heavy-duty original equipment manufacturers, their franchised dealers and distributors, and customers with online parts marketing, procurement and inventory management solutions

that facilitate efficient and accurate wholesale services. As a provider of SaaS-based solutions for OE parts, OEC focuses on data management, ecommerce, pricing, supply chain, cataloging, service and business intelligence (BI) solutions, across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. In November 2020, the company acquired SCI, a BI consulting and solutions provider for the automotive industry headquartered in Dallas, TX. Following the acquisition, SCI President Bob McDonald said, “This is a very exciting time for the SCI team. OEC has a tremendous track record of delivering value to its customers. OEC’s proven, high-quality solutions, combined with SCI’s domain expertise and BI platform, position us to deliver even more value to our customers.” Earlier that year, in July 2020, OEC acquired NuGen IT, an award-winning software firm based in Kansas City that develops management tools for the automotive repair industry. In a press release issued at that

time, the company said NuGen IT will add collision repair industry expertise to augment OEC’s growing collision business. “NuGen IT brings high-quality collision market solutions and repair expertise that will help expand our value to the collision industry,” said Ike Herman, OEC’s EVP of corporate development. “I am extremely proud of all that the NuGen IT team has accomplished and couldn’t be more excited about this next step in our evolution,” said Pete Tagliapietra, founder and president of NuGen IT, after the acquisition. “OEC has a tremendous and successful track record of delivering solutions to body shops and automakers, and I look forward to what this partnership will mean for our collective customer base.”




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Fort Lauderdale Loop tion Center (LVCC) Loop, the Las Olas Loop will be a paid service, more like TBC’s upcoming Vegas

fee shop prices, specifically Brew Next Door and Circle House Coffee, the average price for a cup of joe in the city appears to be $3 to $6. A three-minute ride between downtown Las Vegas to the LVCC, which is about 2.8 miles apart,

Credit: Mayor Dean J. Trantalis/Twitter

Loop. The speculated fare price for the Vegas Loop—which is still under construction in Sin City—is $5 to $10 per vehicle. Based on Fort Lauderdale cof-

might cost $5 per vehicle. It must be noted the speculated Vegas Loop prices are based on a one-way trip per vehicle. TBC is currently using Tesla

vehicles to transport people in it LVCC Loop, namely the Model 3, Model Y and Model X. The Model Y can accommodate at least four passengers with one seat for the driver. There are some reports TBC is already working on a shuttle for its tunnels that could transport more passengers during a single trip. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Association (LVCVA) hinted the LVCC Loop would eventually upgrade to vehicles that could accommodate up to 16 passengers. Trantalis seemed excited about the Las Olas Loop. “As a community, we need to find a public transportation system that is fast, convenient and inexpensive. It must be one that is also dynamic enough to meet needs of residents and visitors that change throughout the year. The Musk project fits the bill and is easily expandable,” he wrote.


Axalta Launches Training Course Axalta Refinish North America introduced a new training option, the Prepper to Painter Application Course. This course, offered through online and in-person blended learning, teaches refinish fundamentals to individuals who have some auto body shop experience. Upon course completion, an existing shop prepper will be able to transition into a painting role to help busy collision centers get more cars through the booth each day. Courses are enrolling now and include three 1.5-hour webinars (prework) and five days in an Axalta Learning and Development Center, where most of the time will be spent in the shop practicing hands-on application and blending processes and techniques. In the classroom, students will also learn color retrieval and color theory basics. Cost is $1,000. Customers can visit to enroll. Source: Axalta

Cadillac Losing 30% of U.S. Dealerships by Going All-In on EVs by Dan Mihalascu, Inside EVs

More than one-third of Cadillac’s US dealerships are disappearing this year as the luxury brand is starting the transition to an all-electric vehicle portfolio. The carmaker will have 560 dealerships across the U.S. when 2022 begins, down from 875 at the beginning of this year. However, the remaining stores account for more than 90% of Cadillac’s sales, a top executive told Automotive News. That’s because the majority of dealers who took a buyout owned low-volume stores, said Vice President of Global Cadillac Rory Harvey. The exec added the decline was driven by buyout agreements the company started offering to dealers a year ago, with offers to walk away from the franchise for dealerships not interested in Cadillac’s all-electric future ranging from $200,000 to seven digits. Cadillac’s buyout strategy was designed to ensure the dealership network was committed to selling and servicing EVs, as the brand plans to offer a full-electric portfolio in North America by 2030.

“We never actually had a number that we were looking for [percentage of dealers leaving the franchise],” said Harvey. “We believe that this will give us the foundation to be able to accelerate going forward, and we believe that it does give us the ability to be very effectively represented.” Even after shrinking to 560 U.S. stores, Cadillac would still have a retail network 60% larger than BMW and more than double that of Lexus, according to the Automotive News Dealer Census. Dealers are preparing to upgrade their outlets for EV sales and service by the end of the first quarter 2022. That’s when Cadillac’s first full EV, the Lyriq, is expected to arrive in select showrooms. Harvey said most Cadillac dealerships will start getting the Lyriq in June, after the midsize crossovers are initially delivered to early reservation holders. In September, Cadillac announced all 2023 Lyriq Debut Edition reservations were filled in mere minutes, although the carmaker did not say how many vehicles were part of the limited series.


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Continued from Page 18

Hold Back EV Market hicle range was a concern. In 2021, that number dropped to 37%. Notably, younger shoppers— Gen Z and Millennials—are far less concerned about vehicle range, with only 20% and 29%, respectively, indicating range was holding them back from buying an EV. Also noteworthy: In the most recent study, 57% of consumers point to a lack of charging stations in their area as a top barrier, but that percentage is down from 64% in 2019. Range expectations among consumers considering EVs continue to increase, but vehicle performance is increasing rapidly as well, which is one reason range anxiety is slowly dissipating among in-market shoppers. In 2019, the minimum expectation for range on a full charge was 184 miles, and, at the time, the average EV delivered 195 miles per charge, approximately 6% above the minimum acceptable level. In 2021, range expectations jumped to a min-

imum of 217 miles. Among EVs offered today, the average range is approximately 257 miles, 18% more than the minimal accepted range. “As EV battery performance improves and the charging infrastructure is slowly built up, traditional EV concerns will fade,” said Lea Malloy, head of electric-vehicle battery solutions at Cox Automotive Mobility. “Consumers are experiencing the typical learning curve with new technology. And we believe range will be even less of an issue as new generations of battery technology are launched. It is astounding how quickly improvements are being realized.” Reaching Price Parity Will Help Clear the Pathway to Adoption While range and charging station availability is becoming less of a concern for EV considerers, price remains a significant issue with half of all EV intenders. The new study shows 51% of shoppers said EVs were too expensive to seriously consider, a similar number to the results in 2019. EVs are in fact on average more

expensive to purchase than their gasoline-powered counterparts. In October, when average transaction prices for a new vehicle topped $46,000, the average EV was above $56,000, a premium of more than 20%. The research demonstrates that price parity would greatly improve serious EV consideration. Indeed, nearly 60% of vehicle intenders would consider an EV if there was no price premium, up from the 38% currently considering an EV. Further, that number jumps to 71% in a case where EVs are priced $5,000 below an equivalent gas vehicle. Dealers, Automakers Struggle to Effectively Reach Consumers Another key finding in the 2021 Path to EV Adoption Study suggests auto dealers need more help to prepare for an EV future. The study shows dealers play a crucial, influential role in the process, with nearly 80% of EV owners noting the dealer influenced their purchase decision. At the same time, in a survey of dealers reviewed for the study, 71% indicated they were “only some-

what” or “not at all” prepared to sell more EVs in the future. Many automakers continue to struggle with consumer awareness of their EV product offering, certainly a first step in consideration. While 83% of EV considerers are aware Tesla sells electric vehicles, only 44% of EV considerers are aware Ford has a competitive EV model, the all-new Mustang Mach-E, launched in the spring of 2021. Worse still, even though Nissan has been selling the all-electric Leaf model in the U.S. for more than a decade, only 37% of respondents in the survey were aware of Nissan’s EV offering. Chevrolet has similar issues. The all-electric Bolt was launched in late 2016, and yet 69% of current EV shoppers are unsure if Chevrolet even makes an EV. Source: Cox Automotive


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Cox Hires VP of Inclusion and Diversity Cox Enterprises has hired Erin Mitchell Richeson as the vice president of inclusion and diversity (I&D), effective Oct. 29. In this role, Richeson will lead the implementation of the company’s inclusion, diversity and equity (ID&E) strategy and will report directly to EVP and Chief People and Operations Officer Jill Campbell. She will consult on and support Cox’s efforts around diversity recruitment, employee engagement, diversity learning, talent development and supplier diversity across our divisions. Prior to joining Cox, Richeson was vice president of global inclusion and diversity at the Kimberly-Clark Corporation. She designed and managed the execution of sustainable I&D workforce plans globally and in key markets. Her work in this area helped improve business results through inclusion-based strategies that enabled workforce diversity growth. Source: Cox Enterprises

Continued from Cover

Ford, Purdue Patent faster re-charging times possible if vehicle charging and other technology enhancements are made in parallel. Ultimately, this could eventually lead to re-charging EVs as quickly as conventional gas station fill-ups. The idea for this technology originated based on the Ford team’s understanding of the challenges faced going to faster charging rates, as well as Purdue researchers’ area of expertise. The teams collaborate regularly to review the latest results and give feedback on areas of focus as the technology is developed. “Electric vehicle charging time can vary widely, from 20 minutes at a station to hours on an at-home charging station, and that can be a source of anxiety for people who are considering buying an electric vehicle,” said Issam Mudawar, Betty Ruth and Milton B. Hollander Family professor of mechanical engineering, Purdue University. “My lab has come up with a solution for

THE RIGHT FIT FOR THE PERFECT FINISH. Check out for resources, promotions and technical information.

situations where the amounts of heat that are produced are beyond the capabilities of today’s technologies.” Mudawar says his lab intends to begin testing a prototype charging cable in the next two years to determine more specific charge speeds for certain models of electric vehicles. “Ford is committed to making the transition to electrification easy,” said Degner. “We are glad to work closely with Purdue’s research team, which has the potential to make electric vehicle and commercial fleet ownership even more appealing and accessible.” The alliance with Ford and Purdue is part of hundreds of strategic alliances the company has with university professors around the world. Providing graduate students with opportunities to work on real world-challenges helps them develop their skills while introducing Ford to students who may choose to start their career at the company. “The research that we are conducting in a project such as this is really advanced, and we view it as a benefit for us, the future of

charging electric vehicles and as a pipeline to young talent—and we’ve seen success in doing this,” said Ted Miller, Ford’s manager of electrification subsystems and power supply research. “Students get engaged, they like the work they’re doing, and it’s a sustained investment in their laboratories, while helping us solve problems.” While the fast-charging cable won’t be on the market for some time as research continues, Mudawar has been developing ways to more efficiently cool electronics for the past 37 years by taking advantage of how liquid captures heat when boiled into a vapor. “Ford has been actively involved in battery research and electric vehicles dating back to the days of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison,” Miller said. “We’ve secured more than 2,500 U.S. patents in electrification technologies and we have more than 4,000 more pending. Working with Professor Mudawar and his students is the perfect fit to help us research the charging solutions of the future.” Source: Ford Motor Company


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Freeway Honda Birmingham

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Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5


Hendrick Honda Pompano Beach

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Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7-5

800-476-9411 828-684-4400

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AutoNation Honda Clearwater Clearwater

888-205-2564 727-530-1173


Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7-5; Sun 9-5

Milton Martin Honda Gainesville

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Nalley Honda

888-703-7109 704-824-8844 x 624

866-362-8034 770-306-4646

Vann York Automall

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Carey Paul Honda Snellville


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Patty Peck Honda

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Breakaway Honda Greenville

800-849-5056 864-234-6481

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-5

Piedmont Honda


Dept. Hours: M-F 8-7; Sat 8-5

Dept. Hours: M-Thu 7-11; Fri 7-6 Sat 7-5; Sun 11-5

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Ed Voyles Honda



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888-418-3513 305-256-2240

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Crown Honda Southpoint

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Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7-6

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 8-4

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South Motors Honda

Classic Honda Orlando


Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6


800-542-8121 954-964-8300


Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7:30-4

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 8-5; Sun 10-3

AutoNation Honda Hollywood


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Acura of Orange Park

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Nalley Acura

Leith Acura

888-941-7278 904-777-1008

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Duval Acura Jacksonville

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Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-5 GEORGIA

800-352-2872 904-725-1149


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Jackson Acura

Flow Acura

Karen Radley Acura

877-622-2871 678-259-9500

800-489-3534 336-761-3682

800-355-2818 703-550-0205

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Airport Honda

Hall Honda

800-264-4721 865-970-7792

800-482-9606 757-431-4329


Virginia Beach

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6:30; Sat 7:30-5

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-7; Sat 8-5

AutoNation Honda West Knoxville

Valley Honda


800-824-1301 865-218-5461

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6

Bill Gatton Honda Bristol

800-868-4118 423-652-9545

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 8-1


800-277-0598 540-213-9016

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 9-5

West Broad Honda Richmond

800-446-0160 804-672-8811

Dept. Hours: M-Fri 7:30-6:30; Sat 8-5

Wolfchase Honda Bartlett

800-982-7290 901-255-3780

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7 VIRGINIA

Checkered Flag Honda Norfolk

800-277-2122 757-687-3453

Dept. Hours: M-Sat 7:30-6 / DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 29

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.

The Collision Repair Training Program We Need in Every Market I know that easily one of the top challenges at many collision repair businesses around the country is finding skilled technicians, either entry-level or those with more experience. That’s why I was so encouraged and impressed by what I’ve seen at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, MO. At this stage in my career, it can be hard to impress me, but I’ve been blown away by what I’ve seen at Ranken the half-dozen times I’ve visited there. So much so, I’ve chosen to bring all the auto body shops in a number of my 20 Groups to the school to check it out. Here’s what I think sets Ranken apart from many other collision repair training programs: First, the facility is phenomenal. It’s probably equally or even better equipped than most shops in

the auto body shops that will employ them. But here’s what I love most about the Ranken program. Every student in the Collision Engineering program is on an eight-week rotation. They attend classes and hands-on training at the school for an eightweek period, learning the basics like shop safety, vehicle disassembly and dent repair—an awesome part of the program is that researching OEM repair procedures is one of the first skills students learn. During eight-week rotations at Ranken Technical College, Then they spend the next students learn the entry-level skills they need for their next eight weeks actually workeight-week rotation working in an auto body shop ing in a shop, performing skills they will need by working on the skills they have learned—along that type of vehicle. But at Ranken, with being exposed to more of the students are working on exactly the type of work they will be doing as late-model vehicles they will find in technicians. If they’re not performthe U.S. Second, when I’ve visited other collision repair training programs, I often see students working on older cars or even restoration projects. Sure, students can learn some


ing a skill within the shop to the level they should be, the shop can contact the school’s instructors and have them work with that student further. This eight-week rotation between the school and the shop continues throughout the student’s time in the two-year Ranken program. Rather than going to school for a full year, being introduced to skills they may well forget before they have a chance to practice them, Ranken students are getting a real-world chance to use, improve and demonstrate those skills. At some point in the rotation, they need to choose whether they want to become a body technician or a painter, and from that point on, that’s what their training at the school and work in the shop will focus on. As with any collision repair training program out there, a stu-

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dent who completes the Ranken program is not going to immediately be a journeyman A-tech. But Ranken graduates will be really strong B-techs. At many programs, students learn just a little about a lot. At Ranken, they come away with the specific training and hands-on experience to be productive at the basic skills needed in a shop right away to continue to progress in their career. They also start that career with a basic set of tools, and a bunch of I-CAR training credits.

The facility for Ranken Technical College’s Collision Engineering program rivals that of the best shops in the industry

As I said, I’m not easy to impress. But the quality of the welds I saw students at Ranken doing was phenomenal. One of the times I visited, an instructor was working with students on a quarter panel replace-

ment. Everything was being done exactly how the OEM procedures— which the students had access to— call for it to be done. For more information about the Ranken program, contact Shelly Jones at Now you might be thinking: That’s great, Mike, but my shop is nowhere near St. Louis. So here are a few more things you should know. I have been so impressed with the Ranken facility, I moved the hands-on ADAS training we do for Nissan/Infiniti from Florida to Ranken. So come take that training and see Ranken for yourself. The school has a dorm and cafeteria for students who don’t live in the area. I know a shop owner in Colorado who, like me, was so impressed with Ranken, he’s having his own son attend the program there. If I still had my shops and I found good prospective apprentices, I would definitely have them attend the Ranken program. I’d tell them they would need to line up the grants, scholarships or loans needed initially to pay for the program

themselves. But I’d also have an agreement with them that as long as they were working for my company and doing a good job, I would make their student loan payments. They’d have some skin in the game up front, but also a strong incentive to stay at my company. And here’s the really good news for the industry: I want to give a big shout-out to the Enterprise Rent-ACar Foundation, because they have gotten behind the Ranken program. What’s more, the foundation is helping fund a pilot project to bring the Ranken model, including that awesome eight-week rotation system, to other schools around the country, including Contra Costa College in San Pablo, CA; Texas State Technical College in Waco, TX; and College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL. As the pilot project continues, participating schools, shops and students are perfecting an awesome model for what entry-level collision repair training should look like. Get involved if you can. I truly believe it will be a key part of improving the development of the entry-level technicians this industry so badly needs.

Repairify Names VP of Development Repairify™, Inc., a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC, announced Nov. 1 it has hired automotive training and development veteran Chris Chesney as its new vice president of training and organizational development. In this role, Chesney will establish a comprehensive training initiative for customers, industry partners, employees and the network of technicians throughout the global Repairify ecosystem. In a career spanning 50 years, Chesney has held nearly every primary role in the automotive service sector, including master technician, service advisor, shop owner and technical and management educator. He most recently spent nearly 22 years leading Advance Auto Parts’ Carquest Technical Institute (CTI), widely considered the industry’s most successful automotive technical training organization. Source: Repairify, Inc.

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Techs of the Future with Stacey Phillips

Stacey Phillips is an award-winning writer for the automotive industry based in Southern California. She has more than 25 years of experience as an editor and writer and has assisted a wide range of businesses and fields. In addition, Stacey has co-authored two books. She can be reached at

How to Grow Skilled Technicians & Improve Performance in Your Collision Repair Facility Auto body shop owners and managers across the U.S. are struggling to attract, motivate and retain skilled technicians in their facilities. Many say this has worsened since the COVID-19 pandemic. During an Elite Body Shop Academy webinar, Dave Flockhart, chief operating officer of BETAG Innovation, talked about ways to develop and shape the next generation of high-performance apprentices and journeyman technicians to address this challenge. “The reality is, and we can’t blame it all on COVID, we’ve been thrown a curveball,” said Flockhart. “We’re all contending with the fact that claim volumes are down and driving patterns have changed, perhaps irreversibly.”

form better.” This includes implementing new ideas, systems and processes in shops. As the current population of technicians continues to age, Flockhart said it is critical to find ways to attract new and younger people to the industry to learn the trade. The furlough that occurred during the pandemic and people leaving the industry for other sectors has contributed to the current shortage of skilled technicians. In addition, many say there is an inadequate apprentice pipeline to draw from. Flockhart said shops are feeling it more acutely now and trying to recharge as people begin spending again. With increasing pressure to find skilled workers, shops have been hiring technicians from competitors for higher labor rates and/or signing-on bonuses. “We’re seeing techs walk down the road to the competitor for a small raise or a signing-on bonus,” observed Flockhart. “In the short-term, that’s fine. But BETAG’s small damage repair course is part of its Outer Panel Repair Specialist (OPRS) program in the medium-term, I think it’s a zero-sum game.” However, he encouraged repairers to come to grips with the The Focus on High Performance situation and be open to embracing Flockhart said there is a strong corvirtual claims. relation between the skills shortage “Although COVID has led to and performance. He described a series of challenges, a lot of those high-performance workers as those were in play pre-COVID and the who have a combination of knowlpandemic has just accelerated some edge, skills and process. of them,” he said. Using the analogy of a pit crew, He shared one of his favorite he shared some of the things a crew quotes from Vivian Greene as a way does to enhance performance during of thinking about the current circum- a race. He pointed out how each stance: “Life isn’t about waiting for team member focuses on a very spethe storm to pass. It’s about learning cific skill. how to dance in the rain.” “When they come together col In times of challenge, Flockhart lectively, they can deliver the whole has often found there is also tremen- in an amazingly short period,” he said. “That comes down to the same dous opportunity. “We just have to go looking for three factors: knowledge, skills and it,” he said. “We need to find new process.” ways to think and act differently as By incorporating excellent techwell as identify ways we can per- nique, consistent application, good 32 DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS /

communication and teamwork, Flockhart said all of the team members know what each other is doing with absolute clarity. “I think trusting, empowering, recognizing and rewarding are critical,” he said. “As a result, the team begins to behave more cohesively and comes together around a shared objective.” Although the focus and attention are typically on the driver, Flockhart said the team is critical in order to experience success. The same is true in collision repair. “A high-performing pit crew can actually win a race for a team or lose a race for a team almost regardless of what the driver of the car has done on the track,” said Flockhart. “By working together, it provides everyone with a sense of purpose and clarity around what their role is and ultimately creates a competi-

tive advantage and improves performance.” Flockhart said that collision repairers are under constant pressure to deliver, whether that’s for their insurance partners against performance metrics and scorecards, or for customers. At the same time, they need to deal with increasing expectations, demand and knowledge of what it takes to repair a car properly. “We’re under this constant pressure to perform,” he said. “When we don’t have the right people in place to do the right jobs at the right times, we drive these operational inconsistencies, which start to negatively affect the very metrics that we are striving to achieve and create a vicious cycle.” Breaking the Cycle Besides thinking differently, FlockSee Grow Skilled Technicians, Page 36


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SEMA Announces Collision Repair & Refinish New Product Award Winners by Ed Attanasio

If you’re the inventor of a cutting-edge piece of equipment, tool or product that can help auto body shops to do a better job, the people at SEMA will give you an opportunity every year to honor your achievement and recognize it throughout the automotive industry worldwide. These are the Academy Awards for automotive product innovators, and you can almost guarantee success for an established or growing business by capturing one of these highly-respected awards. This year, more than 1,300 products were entered into 16 different showcase categories to be considered for the SEMA New Product Awards. Each category has one winner and two runners-up. Winners were judged on a wide range of criteria, including quality, marketability, innovation, technology and consumer appeal, among others. SEMA’s annual New Product Awards competition recognizes

outstanding achievements in the development of products being introduced to the automotive specialty-equipment market at the SEMA Show. This year’s New Product Award Winners Collision within the Repair & Refinish Product category are:

clean and tidy.” The system’s ideal for technicians looking to simply rough out damage that will ultimately need

Winner: The Keco Collision Glue Pull Repair System made by Keco Body Repair Products Runner-up: The Eagle made by Celette, Inc. Runner-up: The Drain Cleaner SR250 made by Reliable Automotive Equipment, Inc. The winning Keco Collision Glue Pull Repair System includes all of the tools required to complete level 1 repairs requiring minimal body filler to finish. The company website claims “this kit handles medium to x-large damages with ease and precision. Tools are easily organized on the designated GPR cart. The tab organizer will ensure you limit lost tabs and keep your shop looking

Chris White, owner of Keco Body Repair Products, holds the trophy his company received when its Keco Collision Glue Pull Repair System was named a SEMA Best New Product Award winner in the Collision Repair and Refinish category

a filler for finishing, and features K-Beam® and Slide Hammers to provide the ability to make double-action pulls, and the K-Bar to

perform leverage pulls that move tons of metal fast. JVF Body Hammers and Slappies are great for knocking down crowns and releasing tension while repairing damage, and include medium-sized crease tabs as well as large and x-large Centipede and Supertabs in all the most popular shapes, sizes and materials. It also includes a designated glue pull cart and tab organizer to keep tools and tabs clean and organized in your auto body shop. One of the two runners-up awards goes to the Eagle 3D Electronic measuring system made by Celette, Inc., headquartered in Lombard, IL. It’s a high-definition laser system that shoots the target in milliseconds with the measuring results displayed in the software. It features a self-learning user interface that enables users achieve more accurately when compared to traditional technology. A 65-year-old company, Celette delivers highly productive and

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innovative auto body repair equipment to the collision repair industry. With everything they make, Celette designs products with the aim to offer solutions for repairing accident damages as well as to increase profitability of the body shop by reducing process time and the insurance man-hour time. The company is well-known for its worldwide Celette Technical Training Academy, and recently expanded its international footprint by establishing a new training facility in Chonburi, Thailand. Other features of the Eagle 3D Electronic measuring system features include online 3D software for vehicle database; and wireless connectivity between the laser gun, targets and software, with WiFi technology. Unlike traditional technology, the Eagle does not require reference points measurement. Leveling of the vehicle is not required and it provides an insurance diagnosis report after the measurement to create documentation using OE data. With Eagle, users can perform a complete vehicle body measurement in less

than 10 minutes with an accuracy of +/- 0.5 mm. Celette’s North American National Manager Bob Stevenson is thrilled to capture one of the two runner-up spots at SEMA because he knows the value of this coveted award. “We want to do a simple thankyou to the people of SEMA and recognizing us for being an innovative company and a leader in the collision repair industry,” Stevenson said. “We did a soft launch of the Eagle starting back in 2019 and the feedback we received from body shops all over the country has been very positive. Technicians appreciate its ease of use and body shop owners love the price, which is 75% less than the competition.” The other runners-up award went to The Drain Cleaner SR250 made by Reliable Automotive Equipment, Inc. (RAE). Founded in 1987, RAE designs and markets equipment solutions to the ever-changing automotive market in the U.S., Europe and Asia, as it produces repair training curriculum and certification programs for

use by collision repair facilities. In partnership with the OEMs and equipment manufacturers, RAE has both influenced and provided instructor-led training in OE repair procedures and their related tools and equipment. With RAE’s experience and its connection to those who engineer both the vehicle and its repair, the company has built a reputation for outstanding product performance, unsurpassed product quality and most of all, the human touch. Field Engineer at RAE Robert Gruskos made a statement immediately receiving the award. “We at Reliable Automotive Equipment and Wielander & Schill are honored to be selected as a runner-up for SEMA’s New Product Showcase,” Gruskos said. “We have developed a reputation for being problem solvers and our new Drain Cleaner SR250 definitely falls neatly into that category.”


ALLDATA Adds ADAS Quick Reference ALLDATA’s latest update makes it easy for auto repairers to instantly access Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) information, direct from the OEMs. Now, clicking on ADAS Quick Reference takes users directly to vehicle-specific ADAS information in ALLDATA Repair® or ALLDATA Collision®, the industry’s leading repair information software products. The ADAS Quick Reference feature links directly to the ADAS system/component by name, provides the location of the component that may have been damaged in a collision, identifies component removal/replacement that could result in extra labor for calibration or sublet costs and includes basic calibration information, required tools and prerequisites for servicing ADAS components. Source: ALLDATA

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Continued from Page 32

Grow Skilled Technicians hart encourages repairers to act differently. “If we keep doing the same things, we are going to keep getting the same results,” he noted. “We know we have to find ways to attract new talent, but we also have to find ways to reduce staff turnover, which is in a business owner’s control.” Flockhart cautioned shop owners and managers to not lose sight of the significant cost attached to someone leaving an organization and having to find a replacement. “The cost is approximately one and a quarter times their salary and benefits package,” he said. Flockhart shared five ways to improve a team’s performance in a collision repair facility: 1) Identify the skill gaps 2) Attract people with potential even if they don’t have the skills today 3) Create a career path for them and invest in their development 4) Ensure they have a sense of purpose and recognize their efforts 5) Reward their performance, not necessarily financially Flockhart recommends moving away from the structure of A, B and C technicians and focus instead on apprentices, entry-level journeymen and master technicians. He also encouraged owners and managers to focus on the culture in their shop so it is considered a great place to work. Although it can be challenging at times, he said business owners shouldn’t lose sight of how much of a positive impact that can make. How Work Mix Impacts Performance The typical work mix in shops today, according to Flockhart, is 6065% outer panel repair, 15-20% structural repair and 20% total loss. “The percentage of outer panel repair is increasing as a portion of the total because ADAS features are reducing impact speeds and by extension, the heaviness of the hit,” explained Flockhart. “However, severity in terms of dollars is increasing because of the cost of repairing/ replacing the same ADAS technolo-

With OEMs incorporating more on the complex repairs that demand complex, lighter-weight materials in experience.” vehicles, such as aluminum, thinner To help find ways to attract, train steels and composites, repair meth- and develop the skills of apprentice ods have not kept up. and entry-level journeyman techs, “The challenge is that we have BETAG created a technicians’ trainthis ever-present pressure to focus ing and accreditation program for an on the repair,” he said. “I think this outer panel repair specialist (OPRS) has manifested itself and has be- to help businesses increase produccome disruptive in the shop. This is tivity and repair quality. Flockhart where the skill shortage comes in.” said the program aims to help equip By focusing on outer panel re- the technician of tomorrow with the pair work, Flockhart said shops have skills they need to have a direct iman enormous opportunity to become pact on business performance today. more proficient in this area For more information about and improve performance BETAG, email Dave Flockhart: metrics, increase touch time and reduce cycle time, and For more information about lead to higher gross margins Dave Luehr’s Elite Body Shop and more workflow. Academy and to watch this webinar, “If we can find a way visit: https://elitebodyshopsolutions. as repairers to become bet- com/academy. ter than we currently are in For more information about that section, the opportu- BETAG’s program to grow skilled nities are significant,” said technicians and perform better, visit: Flockhart. “It enables ap- prentices and journeyman nicianAccreditation.php. Part of BETAG’s Outer Panel Repair Specialist (OPRS) technicians to become suprogram includes aluminum panel repair training per productive outer panel vehicles—one in five coming into repair specialists, allowing the the shop—were deemed to be total ter technicians to focus their skills losses. Not only are these vehicles taking up space, but they also take up estimating time. Although shops must deal with the total loss side of the business, Flockhart said they are ultimately in CBC1263946 CAC1817246 the business of repairing vehicles. Automotive, Marine and Industrial Paint Spray Booth Equipment “With some very good reasons, the focus and investment tend to center on structural repairs,” said Flockhart. “If we are going to be in the business of repairing cars, there is no question as repairers we must be able to do that properly.” However, he pointed out that 561-758-1878 structural repairs represent the smallest part of the work mix but Southern, Northern • We Service Sou • Repair, Service, e, Parts and Installation for and Centrall Fl Florida dC Most Types of P Paint Booths i B h take up a disproportionate amount • All Techs are Factory Trained and • Cleaning and Filter Plans for Paint Booths of investment dollars, time, training Certified and Fully Insured • In House Installation of all the Equipment and technicians. We Sell In light of this, Flockhart recommends shops put their focus and investment dollars toward outer panel repair to improve performance. Although it has typically been an Curtain Walls Rotary Vane Compressors Dirt Trap Compressed Air Filtration overlooked area over the years, Flockhart said it represents the majority of work now and continues to grow. Superior Exhaust Products Dust & Fume Extraction Aluminum Airlines “Materials have evolved but re402 North G Street, Lake Worth, FL 33460 pair methods have not; performance CRAIG S. HOWELL is suffering as a result,” he said. gy when there is a collision, even if it is at a slower speed.” During COVID, with less traffic on the road, the average impact speed trended upwards but this should be an anomaly when considered over a longer timeframe, he added. Approximately five years ago, total losses were about 13-14% of the work mix, according to statistics from CCC Intelligent Solutions shared by Flockhart. He pointed out for the first time, just over 20% of


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Auto Body Shop, College Working in Tandem to Transform Collision Repair Program

Shop Showcase

Collision repairers sometimes at the meeting she previously knew grouse about the body shop training nothing about the collision repair inprograms at schools in their area. dustry other than being “a frequent with Ed Attanasio But Justin Clubb didn’t just com- flier of Campbell’s Auto Body, beplain. He did something about it. cause I kept running into things.” Speaking as part of a panel discussion at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) on Nov. 2 in Las Vegas, Clubb, general manager of Deery Collision in BurwithCenter Ed Attanasio lington, IA, said he’d served for some time on the advisory council for the collision program at nearby Southeastern Community College. He came to realize, however, the program seemed to be more about “restoration” and “working on stuff with Ed Attanasio Justin Clubb of Deery Collision in Iowa has that is not relevant to the collision been helping improve the collision repair trainindustry.” ing program at community college in his area When the school announced a new dean, Ashlee Spannagel, for But she had concerns of her its career and technical education own about the collision program programs, Clubbwith askedEd to meet with when in response to her own quesAttanasio her. Spannagel told CIC attendees tion at an advisory council meeting,

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she was told “OSHA didn’t apply to the industry.” “I knew nothing, but I did know enough that OSHA did apply,” Spannagel said. “That was the biggest thing I had to do as a leader and educator, to figure out how to not be so ignorant about this industry,” even while overseeing dozens of other degree and certificate programs at the school as well. Clubb spent a lot of time working with Spannagel, and helped connect her with contacts at I-CAR, Tradiebot, the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) and the ASE Education Foundation. Along with faculty and other volunteers, the two spent hours moving and sorting through dozens of totes of tools and supplies stored in the program’s shop, including 3,000 rolls of electrical tape, and more than 12 pallets of bulk tools.

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“If you need 800 10-millimieter wrenches, I am your girl. I know where they are,” Spannagel said, soliciting laughter from CIC attendees. About 18 months later, she said, their combined efforts have “completely transformed” the school’s collision repair program. “We now have invested over $500,000 into a state of the art facility,” Spannagel said. “We now have a relationship with the industry. The industry before was specifically telling us that our students were not what they needed, but in some cases, we simply weren’t listening. We are listening now. We are acting now. We are changing as a result of that. We are undergoing a curriculum revision right now. As a result, we will have better qualified students, more well-equipped students, and more students in the future.” Clubb and Spannagel agreed

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such a turnaround requires the buyin—and “hundreds of hours” of work—by faculty and the industry, but Clubb especially credited Spannagel’s outlook and commitment.

Aaron Schulenburg, who chairs the CIC Parts and Materials Committee, said CIC attendees have become more interested in the committee addressing the topic of parts supply chain disruptions

“Teach me what I need to know, so that we can move forward and serve our local communities the way community colleges were designed to do,” Spannagel said, drawing applause at CIC. Lidar coming to a car near you soon Another panel discussion at CIC

focused on how lidar works as part of a vehicle’s advanced driver assistance systems, and what collision repairers will need to know about the technology. General Motors, Lucid and Volvo have announced some new vehicles in 2022 and 2023 will include lidar. “Most of the major manufacturers have a desire to put lidar on their vehicles by 2024 or 2025,” said Cibby Pulikkaseril, chief technology officer and co-founder of Baraja, an Australian company developing lidar systems. “It will be a major trend in automotive.” Whether positioned at the front roof line, behind the windshield or within the grill or headlamps, lidar needs a surface in front of it that is clean and free of abrasions. “Definitely paint is something you’d never put over the lidar,” Pulikkaseril said. Typical laminated windshields are designed to block the type of infrared lasers used in lidar systems, so any replacement windshield installed in a vehicle with windshield-mounted lidar will need to

meet the proper specifications, including related to tinting. “The windshields have to be designed for lidar transmissivity, so you would not be able to just replace it with any other windshield,” he said. “You’d need to get the specified one.” Abrasions from road debris or other sources to the windshield or other glass in front of lidar will also obscure the system’s “view” of the road ahead. “I think what you’ll see is that many of the lidars mounted to the vehicle will have ‘obscure detection,’ so it will self-report that the windshield, or whatever the lidar is going through, has stopped transmitting,” Pulikkaseril said. Upcoming CIC meetings Citing the stricter COVID-related restrictions in place in Palm Springs, CA, CIC organizers announced in November the January CIC will instead be held in Phoenix, AZ. Details are available at www.CIClink. com. One topic that may be on the agenda: the disruptions in the global

parts supply chain. Aaron Schulenburg ended the Parts and Materials Committee session in Las Vegas by polling meeting attendees about whether they currently see parts delays as an issue—90% said yes—and whether they wanted “supply chain disruptions” to be a topic the committee explores at future meetings. When the committee asked that same question last April, fewer than half—44%—of CIC attendees said yes. But in Las Vegas in November, nearly twice that percentage—83%—answered affirmatively, clearly an indication of changed business conditions in recent months. “I don’t think it was a big enough issue when we asked the first time, but I think it is now, and that’s obviously reflected in the response,” Schulenburg said.


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Repairify™ Unites Company Brands, Introduces asTech® Duo, Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System by Stacey Phillips

As new vehicles are manufactured with complex electronic systems that require extreme precision to function safely, Repairify’s Chief Technology Officer Maurice Tuff said the company will continue to focus on providing solutions to ensure the electronic vehicle systems are returned to OEM specifications post-collision repair. Repairify, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, recently made several announcements as part of its strategic initiative to support the collision repair industry. These include a rebranding of its company, the introduction of a new product, asTech Duo, and a process for validating if an aftermarket tool can or cannot be used in place of an OEM tool on specific vehicles within the car parc. “By growing our organization through the acquisitions of like-minded industry innovators, we have established a powerhouse of brands that are all playing criti-

cal roles in transforming the way today’s increasingly complex vehicles are repaired, serviced and main-

Maurice Tuff, left, and Lesley Sparkes, right, stand near the Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System

tained,” said Cris Hollingsworth, president of Repairify. “Repairify continuously provides innovative solutions to meet the evolving demands of the indus-

try,” said Tuff. “We are now a full solution provider; once a vehicle is scanned, we identify the ADAS calibrations required and then provide tools necessary to perform the calibrations on-site, ensuring the vehicle is returned to OEM specifications.” Uniting Under the Repairify Brand Lesley Sparkes, Repairify’s vice president of global marketing, explained Repairify was traditionally the holding name for the business, which operated as asTech and owned FleetGenix. Over the last year, the company has made four acquisitions: adasThink, BlueDriver, Mobile Tech RX and RED (EU). “All our companies were strategically acquired in order to deliver an end-to-end solution and uniting them under the Repairify name gives our customers a single trusted source they can rely on for the full repair process,” said Sparkes. The strategic initiative brings together the company’s six brands:


• asTech provides remote diagnostic and calibration services to collision repair shops. • adasThink is a platform that integrates with a shop’s estimating system to identify required ADAS calibrations based on the estimate lines and provides the documentation needed for the repair. • BlueDriver provides consumer aftermarket diagnostic scan tools and services. • FleetGenix offers mobile/remote technicians for key replacement, pre- and post-vehicle scans, calibration and personal identifiable information removal services. • Mobile Tech RX delivers an app for auto repair technicians to estimate, invoice, manage teams and capture data. • RED (EU), based in the UK, is a distributor of advanced aftermarket diagnostic tools. Tuff said the goal is to build out an ecosystem where Repairify can provide shops with a beginning-to-end solution.

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“This will give shops the ability to fully understand that the vehicle has been properly serviced, calibrated and is safe to go back on the road,” said Tuff. “As a result, it makes it easier on a shop to not have to use multiple vendors, providers and tools, throughout the different parts of the process.”

said Tuff. “With Duo, we are pleased to deliver this choice to our customers, giving them the flexibility and convenience to safely and accurately complete repairs.” Tuff said they were finding shops were buying aftermarket tools, unaware if they were accurate on a particular vehicle. As a result, the

“Our solutions, combined with our trained technicians, keep up with the ever-changing vehicle technology so the shop can focus on the repair,” — Maurice Tuff Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System With the support of asTech’s 400plus ASE and I-CAR certified master technicians, the company has been offering remote scanning to customers by connecting a device to the vehicle to obtain access to the OEM tools at the data center. “Our solutions, combined with our trained technicians, keep up with the ever-changing vehicle technology so the shop can focus on the repair,” said Tuff. To help shops perform static calibrations in-house, he said asTech teamed up with Snap-On to deliver the easy-to-use all-in-one Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System. The product, which combines camera technology, targets and advanced software, is currently being used by shops across the country and was on display in November at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. “With cars becoming more sophisticated, more calibrations are necessary. Traditionally, shops have to send those out to the dealership and the car may be gone for days,” said Tuff. “We’re enabling our customers to do more calibrations in-house,” added Sparkes. “This greatly enhances efficiency resulting in a more profitable shop.”

company began validating when an aftermarket tool is compatible with the OEM tool and when it is not. “We made a significant and ongoing investment in validating when a local aftermarket scan can be performed versus when a remote OEM scan is required,” said Tuff. “In all cases, we always leave the choice to the user which type of scan they perform regardless of our recommendation. The choice is always with the customer.” Moving forward, shops will have access to both a remote OEM scan

asTech Duo Prior to the SEMA Show, asTech introduced asTech Duo, a solution that provides local and remote scanning, diagnostics and calibrations for collision and mechanical repair as well as dealerships. “Our customers expressed the need for an integrated solution with access to both local and remote scanning options in one device,”

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supported by ASE and I-CAR certified technicians or a local OEM-compatible scan. Tuff said there was some concern in the market that the company was shifting away from OEM tools. “That isn’t true,” he clarified. “Customers always have the choice to use our OEM tools. Our focus remains on the safest and most accurate way to repair the vehicle. If a user would like to perform an aftermarket scan, with Duo, they know if it has been validated as OEM compatible for that vehicle before performing the scan.” Currently, the company uses more than 1,000 OEM tools, and Sparkes said that number is growing every day. In October, the company began offering the OEM scan report, in addition to the comprehensive diagnostic scan report that has always been provided. “This gives shops extra peace of mind,” said Sparkes. “The delivery of the original OEM scan report will provide our customers with an additional layer of confidence and transparency so

they can remain focused on properly repairing today’s complex vehicles,” said Hollingsworth. The reports are also available in asTech Connect, which includes a mobile application for both iOS and Android. Connect allows customers to view the status of their devices, talk with master technicians in multiple languages and access invoices, reports and more. In November, Chris Chesney was hired as vice president of training and organizational development. In this role, he will establish a comprehensive training initiative for customers, industry partners, employees and the network of technicians throughout the global Repairify ecosystem. “As we look toward continued expansion of our global footprint, we are proud of the Repairify brand and the technology and expertise we’re bringing to the market,” said Tuff.


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Helping Others is Contagious, and You Don’t Need to Wear a Mask by Ed Attanasio

When I got my first writing assignment from Autobody News in 2006, I was excited. I was also a little anxious because I knew very little about the collision repair industry at the time. I also don’t know anything about cars, and can’t even change my own oil. So, I’ve been basically faking it for the past 15 years! At my very first SEMA Show, I met some of my fellow automotive journalists and picked their brains about hot topics to write about and other tips they were willing to share. One veteran reporter painted a rather unpleasant picture of the state of the industry and all of its issues. He described insurance companies coercing auto body shops into bad— and unprofitable—“partnerships,” and midnight shops sneaking around and doing unsafe and poor-quality repairs performed by shady types not afraid to break local regulations while cutting corners on every repair.

My first impression was wow— this is going to be a lot of fun. That reporter’s account of the industry turned out to be a gross exaggeration. Yes, there are positives and negatives as in any industry, but in the end, the good things outweigh the bad. I have never seen a mid-

Ed Attanasio is now the publicist at Oscar’s Place, a donkey sanctuary in Hopland, CA

night shop—because I don’t stay up that late—and most shops must perform quality work to keep the doors open. Plus, unless you’re an investi-

gative journalist, you normally end up writing about the more successful shops and collision-related companies out there. One thing I noticed right away is many body shops—from large MSOs all the way to mom-andpops—aren’t afraid to help local nonprofits and people in need in each of their respective communities. Giving cars to deserving people is a perfect charity model for body shops because it involves the shops, their employees, local vendors and the insurance companies that normally provide the vehicles to be given away. The National Auto Body Council (NABC) Recycled Rides program has turned into a huge nationwide effort, with collision repairers all over the country getting involved. Since its inception in 2007, they have given away more than 2,500 vehicles valued at $36 million, and more than 300-plus auto body shops have been involved. Many shop owners covet the opportunity to be involved in the

program, while others do not. One shop manager told me, “We are in the business of fixing cars, not giving them away!” But then he attended an NABC Recycled Rides event at a SEMA Show one year and was so moved he changed his mind, and now the shop gives away two or three vehicles every year. When people see others helping those in need, it creates a ripple effect, and pretty soon it takes on a life of its own. Helping people is infectious and there’s no vaccine for it. Once it gets in your blood, you’re hooked. I don’t often remember famous quotes, but for some reason this one from Muhammad Ali stuck with me: “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” When I began witnessing these Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs) with body shops stepping up to help others, it made a strong impression on me. My first thought was how can I give back? I’m not rich, so donating money is not an option. So, I began looking around for things that

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I could do as a writer and an artist. I have been to countless car giveaways over the years and every time I cry. I am a crier, what can I say? One of the first ones I attended took place in 2007 in Northern California’s East Bay, when Mike’s Auto Body gave five cars to deserving families during the holidays. Eventually, they asked me to be their Santa Claus at their annual presentations, and of course, I was happy to oblige. This month, Mike’s Auto Body will be giving away its 100th vehicle as part of its 21-year Benevolence Program. Over the years, I’ve interviewed a lot of people in the collision repair industry who are well-known for their charitable efforts. Jimmy Lefler, the owner of Lefler Collision and Glass, embarked more than a decade ago on an amazing journey to help people in Myanmar, formerly Burma. Lefler, his family and some of his crew work closely with an organization, Uncharted International, that has 12 orphanages with more than 600 orphans in Myanmar. He established a home for elderly wid-

ows, a human trafficking recovery center and The Loom House, which provides jobs for the children who grow up in the orphanages and for the women who, without a job, would end up in horrible situations. Another article I wrote recently was about Kendrick Paint & Body, a third-generation MSO with eight lo-

Attanasio started the Pandemic Pet Project, using his art to raise more than approximately $100,000 for 200-plus pet rescues all over the world

cations in Georgia. This shop sponsors more than 40 to 50 charitable events every year, giving lunches to first responders and raising monies for organizations such as SafeHomes Domestic Violence Center, American Red Cross and the City of Augusta, just to name a few.

In another story I wrote, Tim Morgan, COO at Spanesi Americas, founded Second Chance Ranch, a nonprofit pet rescue organization, in 2018 when he witnessed pit prejudice and felt it was just a bunch of bull. So, he purchased a 3-acre farm and converted his barn into a kennel that can accommodate a pack of pit bulls. Morgan’s total dedication to helping animals really resonated with me, so I began looking around to play a role myself in some capacity. For many years, I volunteered at the Humane Society—walking dogs and doing laundry and for a time, I went to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco to catch feral cats. One day, an angry feline scratched me so bad people thought I was in a fight. So, I decided to stick with helping dogs to avoid cat scratch fever. A lot of other people in the collision repair industry have influenced me to become a chronic giver. I started Amazing Groceries a few years back, buying groceries for needy folks during the holidays. During the pandemic, I started the Pandemic Pet Project, using my art to raise money for pet rescues all over the world.

Then, it led me to the donkeys. Randomly and wonderfully, the people at Oscar’s Place in Hopland, CA, found me and asked me to be their publicist. Most people aren’t aware of the fact thousands of donkeys are being destroyed every month to be used as medicine in other countries. At Oscar’s Place, they go to donkey auctions in Texas and California to outbid representatives from Canada and Mexico, thereby saving them from certain deaths. I tell people I have been working for donkeys for many years, and now I am working for them! If you’ve been thinking about giving a vehicle to a deserving family, organization or individual, NABC Recycled Rides is always looking for auto body shops to get involved. If you want to help your community, just look around or even better—create your own benevolence program and pick the causes and charities close to your heart. Make 2022 the year you step up and make a difference in your community and make it part of your DNA. Good things happen to good people and if you can do it, why not?

SUN Collision Repair Information Offers Complete OEM Procedures & Mechanical Insights by Stacey Phillips

When a collision occurs, any damage to the body and frame is likely to affect the sensors, cameras and other mechanical components. Scott DeGiorgio, general manager at SUN Collision, said these must be repaired and/or recalibrated so the vehicle can be returned to its preexisting condition. To provide technicians with the information they need to properly fix a car, SUN Collision Repair Information was created by SUN®, a brand of Snap-on Incorporated. The web-based, mobile-friendly product includes all of the relevant repair details based on OEM procedures. This includes ADAS repair and recalibration information, OEM data for materials, paint, body and frame, the latest recalls and TSBs, as well as insights for mechanical repairs. “You can easily access all of the procedures and specifications needed to efficiently repair damaged ve-

he said. “It’s very comprehensive. We did some intuitive things with the application to assist the technician.” DeGiorgio explained SUN Collision was introduced to the market to offer collision facilities a single source of information that covers both collision, based on OEM procedures, and mechanical, using SureTrack® Real Fixes based on actual mechanical repair solutions. “Some shops are farming out the mechanical piece because they don’t have the knowledge to do it,” said DeGiorgio. “SUN ColliScott DeGiorgio, general manager at SUN Collision, consion assists technicians to ducted demonstrations of SUN Collision Repair Information be able to do more of that at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV, in November. Credit: repair, bringing more profit Stacey Phillips into the shop.” data related to just about any vehicle A significant challenge for techthat could pull into an shop’s bay. nicians is the time it takes to look up “If you were to print out the OEM repair procedures. As a result, data that is in this application, it DeGiorgio said SUN Collision was would be about 35 million pages,” designed to be easy to use. hicles,” said DeGiorgio. The database encompasses complete OEM-licensed procedures for 1960-2022 automobiles and is updated regularly by a team of editors. DeGiorgio said the product provides technicians with complete


“All of the information for vehicles is laid out in the same way across all makes and there is full access to both collision and mechanical information,” he said. By providing it all in one place, DeGiorgio said it will help shops reduce repair times and become more efficient. “I could take a B tech and turn him into an A tech with this information,” he said. “At $100/hour for a technician, I can’t have him spend a half-hour looking for information and struggling, so we made this as simple and fast as possible. They have all of the information they need with a few clicks of a mouse.” Since it was first introduced at the 2019 SEMA Show, new content, increased coverage and enhanced features have been added to SUN Collision. This includes an ADAS Quick Link, which provides technicians a complete picture of the ADAS repair details in a table with clickable links. “You can’t work on a vehicle

anymore without this type of information,” he said. “Technology is so complex that you have to have some type of resource for this knowledge.” SUN Collision also offers advanced search engine technology using 1Search™ Plus. DeGiorgio explained technicians can easily access the relevant information they need through the search function by clicking on what is referred to as a “data card.” These are subcategories that contain in-depth specifications and procedures for the car. SUN Collision was showcased during the 2021 SEMA Show at the Snap-on Total Shop Solutions booth, with its sister brands: Mitchell 1, John Bean®, Car-O-Liner® and Hofmann® products. DeGiorgio and other SUN Collision representatives conducted

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product demonstrations at the event and discussed the significant growth of the product. SUN Collision offers comprehensive training to shops that use the software to help maximize its effectiveness and customer service representatives are available to provide support. In addition, technicians have access to a large community of technicians online to ask questions and learn about the product. With a background in the automotive repair side of the business, DeGiorgio said the company is confident about what it has built for the industry. “As technology continues to change, we are changing with it,” he said. “We’re excited about what we built and hopefully, it’s in every shop soon.”


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Rivian IPO Opens 37% Above Initial Pricing with $93.3B Market Cap by Joey Klender, Teslarati

Rivian Automotive’s initial public offering, trading on the NASDAQ under the stock symbol RIVN, officially opened 37% higher than its initial pricing at $78 per share. Rivian shares started public trading at around 1 p.m. ET Nov. 10, with shares opening at $106.75. Rivian priced 153 million shares at $78 each, giving the automaker a massive valuation of $66.5 billion just a month after it started initial deliveries of the R1T pickup. However, the IPO price popped 60% to levels of around $120 per share, before settling into its $106.75 price, giving Rivian a valuation of $93.3 billion. Rivian is now the fifth most valuable automaker globally, with Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and BYD being the only car companies with a higher valuation than the Normal, IL-based company headed by CEO RJ Scaringe. By comparison, Tesla has a $1.063 trillion market cap, while

Lucid has a valuation of $67.68 billion. At the time of writing Nov. 10, Rivian shares were trading at $112.51. “It’s an exciting day,” Scaringe told Ed Ludlow of Bloomberg during an interview that morning. “For us, this is the result of lots and lots and lots of effort from a variety of different folks across the whole business. We spent years and years putting this together, and really what’s so exciting is seeing such a diverse group of people with diverse backgrounds and interests really coming together to create these products.” Rivian has sizeable financial backing from e-commerce giant Amazon, which owns 20% of the automaker. Amazon disclosed its 20% ownership position in Rivian in a 10-Q filing earlier in November. Rivian is currently producing and delivering the first of 100,000 units of an all-electric delivery van. Rivian intends to deliver all 100,000 units by the end of 2030.


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ADAS Analysis Sets Record Straight on U.S. Auto Claims Severity LexisNexis® Risk Solutions on Nov. 9 announced a new analysis of the relationship between Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) features and U.S. auto insurance claims, which counters common insurance industry sentiment that ADAS repair costs offset ADAS loss cost benefits. The results are featured in the new white paper, “True Impact of ADAS Features on Insurance Claim Severity Revealed,” which examines the effect of ADAS on claim severity in a multivariate setting. The findings represent the second half of a two-part study that also examined the relationship between ADAS and claims frequency. The combined findings show the change in claim severity in vehicles with ADAS were minimal; however, the decrease in claim frequency was significant. The LexisNexis Risk Solutions study shows an overall reduction in loss cost by coverage, which can warrant ADAS feature-based policy discounts and benefits for both drivers and insurers.

“Insurance companies can use this new ADAS data as part of their rating segmentation to better meet the expectations of insurers’ customers, who often purchase vehicles with advanced safety features with the expectation that it will help lower their insurance rates,” said John Kanet, director, auto insurance, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “U.S. insurers have been trying to get ADAS feature information at a VIN level for years, but many believe technology has advanced too quickly and the expense of repairing these features neutralizes the loss cost impact of ADAS. “LexisNexis Risk Solutions has good news for insurers—this ADAS data helps show there is a distinct loss cost benefit, and VIN-level feature information is now available through LexisNexis Vehicle Build,” Kanet continued. “Insurers focused on total risk analysis can begin to understand the safety features on the vehicle in combination with the risk factors associated with the driver.” Results from the LexisNexis Risk Solutions multivariate anal-

ysis reveal by having at least one core ADAS feature, there was a reduction in loss cost. Loss cost will vary—more or less—depending on the combination of core ADAS features and how each specific combination of features performs. According to the white paper, having ADAS feature information can result in the following: • 23% reduction in Bodily Injury loss cost • 14% reduction in Property Damage loss cost • 8% reduction in Collision claim loss cost in ADAS-equipped vehicles compared to non-ADAS vehicles “We find it interesting from an actuarial perspective that all coverages resulted in a decrease in severity in ADAS-equipped vehicles,” said Gabe Hinton, senior data scientist, insurance, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “An educated guess is that the decrease in severity for liability coverages can be justified by the idea that vehicles with ADAS may collide with less force, resulting in less damage to another vehicle (Property Damage claim) or in-

jury to a third party (Bodily Injury claim). “A decrease in Collision severity, however, deserved a deeper look. By controlling for common rating variables, we were able to isolate the impact of ADAS,” Hinton continued. “With collision, within a given cluster of values of control factors, there tends to be proportionally lower percentages of high severity claims with ADAS, resulting in an overall lower severity.” The level of warranted discount varies based on which ADAS features are present. Understanding which vehicles have which ADAS features, combined with loss cost performance, equips insurance carriers to apply appropriate discounts to the individual and the vehicle, delivering on consumer expectations along the way. In developing LexisNexis Vehicle Build, LexisNexis Risk Solutions identified core ADAS features shown to have the highest impact on claim frequency. Source: LexisNexis


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Auto Insurance Claim Satisfaction Rises Thanks to Soaring Vehicle Values, Growth of Straight-Through-Processing The nationwide surge in used vehicle prices has given an unexpected boost to auto insurance customers who experience a total loss---their vehicles might be worth more than they thought. This phenomenon of higher replacement values, combined with advancements in straight-through-processing (STP), has driven customer satisfaction with auto insurance claims to a record high in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, released Oct. 28. Despite these gains, however, the industry is facing new challenges with increased vehicle complexity thanks to the growth of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), which are contributing to rising severity cost. “The auto insurance industry has been investing heavily in streamlining the claims process and those investments are starting to pay off in the form of faster cycle times and record levels of satisfaction,” said Tom Super, head of property and casualty insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “The

challenge now will be continuing to drive service improvements as vehicle prices normalize and claim severity continues to increase. Those carriers with more sophisticated claimant triage will be better positioned to navigate the growing cost and complexity ahead.” Following are key findings of the 2021 study: • Record-high customer satisfaction: Overall satisfaction with the auto insurance claims process increases to a record-high 880 (on a 1,000-point scale), up eight points from 2020. This is the fourth consecutive year of improvement in auto claims satisfaction, which has been driven by year-over-year increases in performance across five of six factors measured in the study: first notice of loss; claim servicing; estimation process; repair process; and settlement. Growth in settlement, first notice of loss and estimation process factors were the primary drivers of the overall increase in satisfaction. • STP investments paying off: Claims that can be processed via a low-touch experience in

which the entire process from first notice of loss to a direct repair shop resulted in the highest levels of satisfaction (915) in the study. By contrast, claimants who had to interact more manually and with three or more representatives during the claims process had the lowest levels of customer satisfaction. • ADAS features add complexity, cost: Among claimants with low- to mid-severity claims, 66% indicated their vehicle was equipped with ADAS features. Claims associated with ADASequipped vehicles are about 13.5% higher on average than non-ADASequipped vehicles. • Claimant profile predictive of claims outcomes: Claimants whose at-fault status is in dispute have the lowest overall customer satisfaction scores. Claimants who are the most price-sensitive can still experience a positive claims process, in which case their likelihood to renew can be heavily influenced. Study Ranking The Hartford ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction with a

Source: J.D. Power


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score of 905. Erie Insurance (901) ranks second and Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group (897) ranks third. The redesigned 2021 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 7,345 auto insurance customers who settled a claim within the past six months prior to taking the survey. The study excludes claimants whose vehicle incurred only glass/windshield damage or was stolen, or who only filed a roadside assistance claim. The study was fielded from November 2020 through September 2021. For more information about the U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, visit https://www.jdpower. com/resource/jd-power-us-autoclaims-satisfaction-study.

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Industry Insight with John Yoswick

—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit Contact him by email at

MSO Symposium Looks at What Lies Ahead for Auto Insurance Claims, Consolidation

Shop Showcase

Vince Romans of The Romans more in annual sales control about Group consulting firm has been 43 percent of the total market. monitoring the growth of multi-shop Romans predicts that will rise to with Ed Attanasio operations (MSO) in the collision re- nearly 49 percent by 2025; he also pair industry for more than 15 years, shared a more aggressive forecast and at the “MSO Symposium” held showing their market share potenin Las Vegas in early November, he tially exceeding 61 percent by that said even the pandemic didn’t halt year, though he acknowledged “that consolidation within the industry. could or may not happen.” In fact, he said,with the recent growth Another mainstay speaker at the Ed Attanasio of MSOs has been “as aggressive MSO Symposium, Susanna Gotsch as almost any year that we’ve been of CCC Intelligent Solutions, oftracking this.” fered her annual look at where In 2020, Romans said, there were things stand in terms of auto insur26 MSOs (each with two or more lo- ance claims, and what may lie ahead as the nation continues to move with Ed Attanasio through the pandemic. Gotsch said that through the first three quarters of this year, overall claims counts are up about 9 percent – but still remain down a significant 15 percent compared to 2019. with Ed Attanasio The rebound varies widely by state. Non-comprehensive claims are up 13.4 percent through the third quarter of 2021 in Illinois, 15.2 percent in Ohio, 15.5 percent in Nebraska and 16.4 percent in Iowa – yet only 1.1 percent in North Dakota, 3.6 perSusanna Gotsch of CCC Intelligent Solutions cent in Minnesota, and 4 percent in Stacey Phillips said with 30 percent with to 40 percent of workers likely to continue working at home at least Colorado. one day a week, congestion – and resulting Gotsch noted a variety of changaccidents – during traditional commute times es in driving patterns have taken will not fully rebound next year place during the pandemic. Overall cations) that were acquired by other miles driven are up so far this year – chains; those acquired MSOs had a not surprisingly after the pandemic with Stacey Phillips total of 311 locations and $801 mil- shut-downs of 2020 – and in some lion in combined sales. This year is months are approaching 2019 levon pace to potentially match that, els. But recovery in urban road sysRomans said. Through the first 10 tems is substantially slower than in months of the year, 38 MSOs with rural road systems, and even inter254 locations and $698 million in state miles show substantially larger with Stacey Phillips growth in truck miles versus passencombined sales have been acquired. Romans said there are currently ger miles. 14 private equity firms with investMost critically, Gotsch said, is the ments in collision repair businesses. continued significant drop in traffic Of those he noted, not one was in- congestion during the morning and volved in the industry when the first afternoon traditional commute times MSO Symposium was Stacey held a decade that disproportionately contribute to with Phillips ago. Today, those MSOs have com- claims counts. Looking ahead, she bined annual sales of $9.1 billion, a said, a key factor will be the degree market share of about 26 percent of to which the 30 percent to 40 percent the entire collision repair market. of workers still working remotely Looking at the industry more return to offices. She foresees many broadly, all the collision repair busi- businesses offering more flexibility, nesses that each have $10 million or with employees across many indus-

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tries allowed to continue to work from home at least one day a week. On the other hand, she doesn’t foresee a sudden drop in the increased distracted driving and speeding that has taken root during the pandemic. “People do not unlearn bad driv-

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Vincent Romans of The Romans Group consulting firm said multi-shop operators (MSOs) have been “just as aggressive” about acquisitions during the pandemic as before

ing habits quickly,” Gotsch said. “They learn them quickly, but they do not unlearn them quickly.” Overall, she said, she thinks it’s likely that claim counts in 2022 will remain down from what they were in 2019. “But we expect we will continue to see steady growth, month over month, so by 2023, we will likely be more on par with where we were in 2019,” she said. She said overall cost of repairs has increased “way above anything I have seen historically.” One reason: the cost of parts. CCC data shows that the average cost per part – across all part types – has been fairly stable over the past couple of decades, typically rising 1 percent or 2 percent a year. That’s changed in 2021, however, with the average cost per part being around $130, up 7 percent so far this year, the largest

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increase CCC has seen going back to 1997. “With parts manufacturers paying significantly more for things like raw materials and shipping, the average cost per part has increased across the board,” CCC reports. But Gotsch projects that the rise in parts cost will not be the only factor raising overall cost of repairs. “We haven’t seen the same inflation in labor [rates] yet, but I think we’re going to,” Gotsch said. “Repairers, just like everybody else, are having significant wage pressures: signing bonuses, paying people with the [increasingly complex] skill sets required. It’s not just body work. It’s mechanical work, the knowledge of electronics, understanding how telematics and the systems of the car work, how to read the manuals from the OEMs. All of that requires a higher set of training and tooling. That cost will have to be passed on. So I think we’re going to see more inflation on labor. I think that’s going to start to find its way into appraisals as well. It just has to.” CCC has also seen a change in one of its metrics related to cy-

cle time for DRP claims. In the first three months of this year, fewer days elapsed between completion of an estimate and when the vehicle was brought in for repairs when compared to the same months in 2020 and 2019. Starting in April and continuing through July, however, the length of time between completion of an estimate and the vehicle being brought into the shop was longer this year than in the last two years. This was true for estimates for both drivable and non-drivable vehicles. Gotsch said parts delays caused by supply chain disruption could be one factor slowing how quickly shops are getting those vehicles in for repairs. She also pointed to findings by CRASH Network showing that shops’ backlog of work rose sharply in the third quarter of this year, with the national average scheduling backlog reaching an average of 2.6 weeks, a full week longer than shops reported just 90 days earlier.


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‘Who Pays for What?’ Survey: Continued Increase in Auto Body Shops Billing for Destructive Weld Testing With six years of data now available from “Who Pays for What?” surveys, Mike Anderson of Collision Advice can point to some changes within the industry the survey results reflect. “This summer, nearly three of 10 shops—29%—reporting being paid to set-up and perform destructive weld testing ‘always’ or ‘most of the time’ by the eight largest national insurers,” said Anderson, who conducts the surveys with CRASH Network. “That’s more than twice the percentage—just 12%—who found that to be true back in 2015 when we started the surveys.” In 2015, Anderson said, about 81% of shops said they’d never sought to be paid for performing test welds. That’s fallen to about half that today, just 43%. “Whether through the surveys or other training, shops are increasingly understanding the requirement to perform destructive tests on welds before welding on a vehicle, and can choose whether to bill for it when appropriate,” Anderson

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said. He said the final of the four 2021 “Who Pays for What?” surveys, which focuses on scanning, calibrations, shop supplies and aluminum repair, is scheduled to close at the end of October at XC67NPT Survey participants receive a free report with complete survey findings along with analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented. Anderson said the survey, which will take about 15-20 minutes, can be completed by anyone in a shop familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of at least some of the largest national insurers. Each shop’s individual responses are held in the strictest confidence; only aggregated data is released. The results of previous surveys are also available online ( collisionadvice). Source: CRASH Network

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AutoNation to Sell 17 Collision Repair Centers to Caliber Collision AutoNation, Inc., intends to sell 17 unspecified locations of its collision repair centers to Caliber Holdings LLC, according to a filing it registered Oct. 18 with the SEC.

The filing said the agreement was signed Oct. 12 and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. Certain AutoNation stores will continue to sell parts and refer business to those collision centers following the closing of the transaction, the filing said.

The 17 collision centers represented less than 0.5% of AutoNation’s total gross profit for the six months ended June 30. In the filing, AutoNation said it remains committed to its collision business and, following the closing of the transaction, will continue to own and operate the largest collision center footprint among its automotive retail peers, with 55 collision centers located from coast to coast, including the collision center it recently acquired in Hilton Head, SC. Caliber Holdings operates more than 1,300 Caliber Collision locations in 36 states. Source: SEC

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100-Plus Lawmakers Rally Support for EV Tax Credit Bill More than 100 U.S. House lawmakers on Oct. 12 urged Speaker Nancy Pelosi to keep a $4,500 tax credit incentive for union-built electric vehicles in a massive spending bill. In a letter seen by Reuters, 107 Democrats urged Pelosi to retain the credit supported by the United Auto Workers union, the AFL-CIO and U.S. automakers. The $4,500 credit would provide a significant boost to Detroit’s three automakers—General Motors, Ford and Chrysler-parent Stellantis. “We strongly support leveling the playing field between nonunion and unionized workforces by including the added $4,500 incentive to support union-made EVs,” the letter said. The push was led by Rep. Thomas Suozzi, D-NY, who said the incentives “help guarantee that working men and women are an integral part of that success story.” Pelosi’s office declined to comment. Foreign automakers do not have unions representing assembly workers in the U.S. and many have fought efforts to organize U.S. plants. Twelve major foreign automakers in September urged Democrats to reject the proposed $4,500 tax incentive

and have been lobbying lawmakers to reject the union incentive. A House panel last month approved legislation to boost EV credits to up to $12,500 per vehicle, including $4,500 for union-made vehicles and $500 for U.S.-made batteries. The foreign automakers said the proposal “would unfairly disadvantage American workers who have chosen not to join a union and produce more than half of all vehicles in the United States and the vast majority of American-made EVs.” The tax credits, which are part of a proposed $3.5 trillion spending bill, would cost $15.6 billion over 10 years.The EV proposal also does away with phasing out tax credits after automakers hit 200,000 electric vehicles sold, which would make GM eligible again for the $4,500 credit. Tesla vehicles would not get the credit. Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested on Twitter the EV proposal was “written by Ford/UAW lobbyists...Not obvious how this serves American taxpayers.” Source: Chicago Automobile Trade Association


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How Much Range Does an Electric Car Lose Each Year? by Andrew Lambrecht, InsideEVs

While electric vehicles have been proven to have considerably lower ownership costs compared to their ICE counterparts, battery longevity remains an equivocal subject. Similar to how consumers ask how long the batteries can last, manufacturers often question the same subject. “Every single battery is going to degrade every time you charge and discharge it,” Atlis Motor Vehicles CEO Mark Hanchett told InsideEVs. Essentially, it’s inevitable your electric car battery, or any rechargeable Li-ion battery, will lose the capacity it once had. However, the rate at which it’ll degrade is the unknown variable. Everything ranging from your charging habits to the very chemical makeup of the cell will affect your EV battery’s longterm energy storage. While many factors are at play, there are four main elements that assist in further degrading EV batteries. Fast Charging Fast charging itself doesn’t necessarily cause accelerated battery degradation, but the increased thermal load can damage the internal components of the battery cell. The damage of these battery internals leads to fewer Li-ions being able to transfer from the cathode to the anode. However, the amount of degradation the batteries face is not as high as some may think. Earlier last decade, the Idaho National Laboratory tested four 2012 Nissan Leafs, two charged on a 3.3kW home charger and the other two strictly charged at 50kW DC fast stations. After 40,000 miles, the results showed the one charged on DC only had 3% more degradation. That will still shave your range, but the ambient temperature seemed to

have a far greater effect on the overall capacity. Ambient Temperatures Colder temperatures can slow down an EV’s charge rate and temporarily limit the overall range. Warm temperatures can be beneficial for rapid charging, but prolonged exposure to hot conditions can damage the cells. So, if your car is sitting outside for long periods, it’s best to leave it plugged in, so it could use the shore power to condition the battery.

Mileage Like any other rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the more charge cycles, the more wear on the cell. Tesla reported the Model S will see around 5% degradation after breaching 25,000 miles. According to the graph, another 5% will be lost after around 125,000 miles. Granted, these numbers were calculated via standard deviation, so there are likely outliers with defective cells that weren’t shown in the graph. Time Time typically takes the worst toll on batteries. In 2016, Mark Larsen reported his Nissan Leaf would lose around 35% battery capacity at the end of an eight-year period. While this percentage is high, it’s because it’s an earlier Nissan Leaf, known to suffer from severe degradation. Options with liquid-cooled batteries should have much lower percentag-

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es of degradation. Preventative Measures To keep your battery in the best possible condition, keep these things in mind: If possible, try to leave your EV plugged in if it’s sitting for an extended period of time in the summer months. If you drive a Nissan Leaf or another EV without liquid-cooled batteries, try to keep them in a shady area on the hotter days. If your EV has the feature equipped, precondition it 10 minutes before driving on hot days. This way, you can prevent the battery from overheating on even the warmest summer days. As mentioned above, 50kW DC isn’t as detrimental as most think, but if you’re sticking around town, AC charging is cheaper and usually more convenient. Plus, the aforementioned study did not include 100 or 150kW chargers, which

most new EVs can use. Avoid getting your EV below 10-20% battery remaining. All EVs have a lower usable battery capacity, but avoiding reaching the battery’s critical zones is a good practice. If you drive a Tesla, Bolt or any other EV with a manual charge limiter, try to not exceed 90% in day-today driving. Are There any EVs I Should Avoid? Almost every used EV has an eightyear/100,000-mile battery warranty which covers degradation if the battery’s capacity drops below 70%. While this will offer peace of mind, it’s still important to buy one with enough warranty left. As a general rule of thumb, any old or high mileage option should be cautiously regarded. The battery technology available today is far more advanced than tech from a decade ago, so it’s vital to plan your purchase accordingly. It’s better to spend a little more on a newer used EV than paying for an out-of-warranty battery repair.

Biden Administration Acts to Help Relieve Supply Chain Woes By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

President Joe Biden announced the Port of Los Angeles will begin operating around the clock as part of an effort to help speed up shipping delays arising from global supply-chain backlogs. Issues up and down the supply chain, from ships waiting days longer than usual to come to port, to goods waiting at the dock to be picked up and truckers being unable to unload at warehouses, have created massive delays and concerns about inflation and the coming rush of Christmas shopping. The Port of Long Beach, which along with the Port of Los Angeles handles 40% of shipping containers entering the U.S., began 24/7 operations in September. However, shortages of available truckers and warehouse operators stalled much of the progress expected from the extended hours. Biden created a Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force in June to identify transporta-

tion bottlenecks across the nation and identify solutions. The Task Force has been meeting with business and union leaders to help coordinate actions by the many private firms that control the country’s transportation and logistics supply chain. To help address the problem, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union announced its members are willing to work the extra shifts created by the extended hours of operations at the Ports of LA and Long Beach. Large shippers and retailers such as UPS, FedEx, Walmart and Target have made commitments to use the extended hours of operation to unload cargo, which will allow ships to dock quicker. Additional measures across the country will be pursued in the coming weeks to address transportation congestion and delays. For more information, contact Caroline Fletcher at Source: SEMA

CIC Panel Discusses AI in Collision Repair Estimating by John Yoswick

A panel discussion at the Collision Industry Conference on Nov. 2 in Las Vegas focused on the current state of artificial intelligence within estimating in the industry, acknowledging current shortcomings and challenges, but also offering a glimpse into the coming growth in the use of the technology.

Among the panelists at the Nov. 2 CIC were, left to right, Bud Center of the CIC Talent Pool and Education Committee; Amber Alley of Barsotti’s Body and Fender; Ashlee Spannagel, dean of CTE at Southeastern Community College; and Justin Clubb of Deery Collision Center.

Jason Verlen of CCC Intelligent Solutions, for example, said AI alone doesn’t currently ad-

dress all estimating scenarios, but it already can significantly speed many initial claims processes for consumers. Also during the meeting, Bud Center of the CIC Talent Pool and Education Committee held a panel discussion with shop managers discussing successful efforts they have made in working with schools trying to improve collision repair training in their market. Amber Alley, of Barsotti’s Body and Fender in San Rafael, CA, said she’s working with a school with a two-year program that cycles students from eight weeks at the school to eight weeks working in a shop. Justin Clubb, of Deery Collision Center in Iowa, said he brought concerns about a local community college’s collision repair program to a dean at the school, Ashlee Spannagel; she recently worked with him and others in the industry to overhaul the program’s facility and curriculum. A full write-up will be posted to the website soon

MSO Symposium Looks at Post-Pandemic Recovery of Collision Repair Industry seen during the pandemic is likely to continue, leading claims counts to continue to rise next year as they have in 2021, getting closer to a full rebound to 2019 levels by late 2022. Vincent Romans of The Romans Group consulting firm also offered his annual assessment of the consolidation trend in the collision

by John Yoswick

After being held virtually in 2020, the MSO Symposium returned to an in-person format Nov. 1 in Las Vegas, with opening speaker Susanna Gotsch of CCC Intelligent Solutions asked to tackle the question: “2022: Will the pandemic finally be in the rear view mirror?” Vincent Romans, left, of The Romans Group, and Susanna Gotsch, right, of CCC Intelligent Solutions, spoke during the MSO Symposium, held Nov. 1 in Las Vegas. Credit: John Yoswick Gotsch said with 30% to 40% of repair industry, calling MSOs “just workers likely to continue work- as aggressive” about acquisitions ing at home at least one day a during the pandemic as before. week, congestion—and result- A full write-up of the MSO ing accidents—during traditional Symposium will be posted to the commute times will not fully re- website soon, and will be printed bound next year. But the increased in the December issue of Autodistracted driving and speeding body News.

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1Collision Continues Expansion 1Collision announced the addition of Center Collision in Tacoma, WA, and Sudden Impact Collision Center’s two locations in Glen Burnie, MD. “A good friend recommended 1Collision to me after he had a great experience in the network and after looking into it myself, I can see the benefits of being part of a much bigger organization with the support to overcome many of the common struggles in this industry,” said Kevin House, owner of Center Collision. “After extensive research, 1Collision was appealing to because of the rebate deals in place, and a great support team of people committed to helping me grow, while allowing me to stay as independent as possible,” said Dennis Marsch, owner of Sudden Impact. 1Collision and partner CSN Collision Centres, a Canada-based network, have a combined presence of more than 240 locations in North America. Source: 1Collision

‘Insurer Report Card’ Open for Collision Repairers to Grade Insurers More than 1,000 collision repair professionals each year grade the performance of the auto insurers in their state through CRASH Network’s “Insurer Report Card”—and the insurance companies and consumers are paying attention. “No one sees on a daily basis which insurers really stand behind their promise to deliver top-quality repairs and customer service after an accident better than those providing that collision repair work,” said John Yoswick, editor of CRASH Network. “The ‘Insurer Report Card’ helps the repair industry get that unique perspective out to vehicle owners, and gives the highest-graded insurance companies another way to communicate what sets them apart from the companies that receive lower grades from shops.” Yoswick said Forbes Advisor, which offers independent information to consumers about financial decisions, now incorporates the “Insurer Report Card” grades into its auto insurance rankings. Insurers like Chubb and Acuity that have consistently received top grades

The results of the ‘Insurer Report Card’ can help consumers know, for example, if some smaller or regional insurers they may not be as familiar with are really great at taking care of customers.” The “Insurer Report Card,” open only to collision repairers, can be completed in less than three minutes—though shops are encouraged to spend time to explain why they gave each insurer the grade they did—and all individual shop grades and identification information will remain confidential. Shops that complete the “Insurer Report Card” and provide an e-mail address will be sent the results to share with their customers, at no charge, once they are compiled. Shops can go to to grade the insurers. For more information about the weekly CRASH Network newsletter, visit www.CrashNetwork. com. Source: CRASH Network

tout that in their marketing and social media. The latest “Insurer Report Card” is now open to shops at www. It asks collision repairers to grade each company based on how well the insurers’ claims practices help ensure quality repairs and customer service. By assigning insurers a grade from A+ to an F, shops can let consumers know which insurers push for quality repairs and provide great customer service when consumers have a claim— and which may have some room for improvement. “Because each state has a different mix of insurers, the ‘Insurer Report Card’ allows repairers to grade insurers specific to their state,” Yoswick said. “As in the past, we’re asking about more than 160 different auto insurance companies across the country, making it far more extensive than any similar surveys, which generally focus on just the 10 largest national insurers.

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Rivian Production Capacity Target: At Least 1 Million a Year by 2030 by Mark Kane, Inside EVs

Rivian successfully launched its IPO and now has almost $12 billion, on top of $10.5 billion raised previously, to expand its EV business. According to Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe, via US News, the company has to grow quickly and reach a volume of at least 1 million electric vehicles per year by 2030. That’s a level of today’s Tesla. “We better be growing at least that quick; certainly before the end of the decade is how we think about it,” Scaringe said in an interview ahead of Rivian’s market debut on the Nasdaq on Nov. 10. Today, the company produces its EVs at its only manufacturing site in Normal, IL, acquired several years ago from Mitsubishi and upgraded. This site is technically equipped for 150,000 vehicles annually, but after an upcoming upgrade it should be ready for

200,000 per year. All three types of EVs announced so far—the Rivian R1T and Rivian R1S, as well as the Rivian EDV vans—will be produced in Normal. The R1T has been ramping up since September, while the other two will follow in December. The long-term plan for Rivian is to have a total of four assembly plants around the world, including one additional factory in the U.S. and probably one in Europe and one in China. The second factory in the U.S. is expected to also produce in-house developed battery cells, potentially in-house developed. All those things sound ambitious, but let’s not forget this company is the first to launch a modern all-electric pickup truck with a 300-plus mile EPA range, not imaginable a decade ago when the first generation Nissan LEAF with a 24 kWh battery struggled with a 100-mile range—it was rated at 73 miles EPA.

Autobody News attended Pro Spot’s Distributor Awards Event at Top Golf, Las Vegas on Wednesday, November 3rd Pro Spot International again hosted its annual Distributor Awards Fun evening at the 2021 SEMA Show at TopGolf Las Vegas. “We were so pleased to be able to have our Annual Distributor Appreciation Night this year,” said Ron Olsson, Pro Spot president. “Our distributors work so hard for us and we really like to show our apprecia-

tion with a fun night and present our Annual Distributor Awards. “With the cancellation of SEMA 2020 because of COVID, we really wanted to have a very special evening this year,” Olsson continued. “With such great successes during 2021, we are really looking forward to what 2022 will bring.”

Canadian Distributor of the Year: (l to r): Ron Olson, Alvin Krishanna, Ken Sheroob, Russ Duncan

Eastern Regional Sales Award: (l to r): Ron Olson, Kevin Walters

U.S. Distributor of the Year: Advanced Equipment Solutions

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Survey: 78% of Vehicle-Owning Voters Support Federal Right to Repair Legislation The CAR Coalition has released the results of a national survey of vehicle-owning voters, showing strong support for action on federal right to repair legislation, such as the bipartisan Save Money on Auto Repair Transportation (SMART) Act. The survey by the CAR Coalition, a growing group of independent automotive parts, management and repair companies, associations and insurers committed to preserving consumer choice and affordable vehicle repair, shows: • 78% of voters support right to repair legislation that allows consumers to choose where and how to repair their vehicle; reduces design patent enforcement time from 15 to 2.5 years for collision repair parts, as proposed by the SMART Act; and makes vehicle data more readily available • 92% of voters agree consumers should be able to choose between automaker-branded and aftermarket car parts when making repairs. • 85% of voters support vehicle

data being made available to consumers and any repair shop they choose. • Only 25% of voters believe design patents should be used for common car items, like side mirrors or bumpers. “Repair restrictions on automobiles are driving prices higher at a time when many Americans can least afford it,” said Justin Rzepka, executive director of the CAR Coalition. “It’s time for Congress to get serious about solutions, including the SMART Act, to ensure consumers have options for quality, safe, affordable auto repairs and more control over their data.” The survey, conducted nationally and in select states, including Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington, found consistent strength for federal right to repair legislation from coast to coast. In states and Washington, D.C., the right to repair movement is gaining ground. Last November, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative to

mandate automakers install standard open data platforms in all vehicles starting in car model year 2022. In July, the White House issued an executive order on competition, encouraging action on right to repair. Later that month, the FTC voted to increase enforcement against restrictions that limit consumers’ right to repair, including the automotive industry. In a policy statement, the FTC reiterated its view that “providing more choice in repairs can lead to lower costs, reduce e-waste by extending the useful lifespan of products, enable more timely repairs and provide economic opportunities for entrepreneurs and local businesses.” The national survey was conducted Oct. 11–19, among 1,008 vehicle-owning voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.09% voters. For more information, visit Sign the letter to Congress: w w w. C a r R e p a i r C h o i c e . o r g / take-action. Source: CAR Coalition

ASA Announces Regional Executive Director The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has named Julie Massaro, the current executive director of ASA Colorado, as the new regional executive director of the Mountain region of ASA. In September, ASA, the oldest and largest association representing the independent automotive repair industry, announced it is transitioning to a new and innovative association model leveraging its expansive history to create a single, unified industry voice. Under the new model, existing state affiliate agreements will be dissolved, and a 50-state regional structure will take its place. The Mountain Region covers the territory of Colorado, Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah, Kansas and Missouri. Massaro will continue to be based in Colorado and will report to Blair Calvo, the newly promoted vice president of regional services. Source: ASA / DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 55

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