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Industry Year in Review—A Month-by-Month Look at the Most Interesting Collision News of 2012 by John Yoswick
A lot happens in the collision repair industry, so trying to compile it all into a single year-end review is a challenge. But here’s our look at what we saw as among the most important or just plain interesting and memorable news item, event or quote from each of the last 12 months.
January State Farm’s George Avery announced that his company is testing the electronic parts ordering system “PartsTrader” with two collision repair
businesses. He declined to identify the shops, saying that it is too early in the testing “to put those folks under the microscope and ask, ‘What do you think of the new system?’” Lots of shops have since voiced what they think of the system. By the George Avery end of the year, the program was being rolled out to a fifth market (Chicago) for a total of about 600 Select Service shops. See Year in Review, Page 42
2012 Adding Up to a Record Year for MSO’s Shop Consolidation, All Major MSO’s Add Shops
Society of Collision Repair Specialists Takes a Look Back at 2012, by Aaron Schulenburg Executive Director, SCRS
2012 was an interesting year in the industry; a year that was filled with both new and pre-existing challenges for collision repair business owners. Business activity fluctuated from week to week causing market uncertainty, daily reports of consolidation filled the headlines of the trade press, insurance companies continued to develop ways to interject themselves into collision repair business management, and reports of technology development cast a long term question mark over the future of collision repair businesses. When concern and uncertainty occupy the marketplace,
businesses often look to the collective power of community to find information, lean on support from their peers, and collaboratively innovate solutions. As a trade association that has spent more than three decades solely dedicated to educate, inform and represent the collision repair professional in all aspects of the industry, 2012 was a remarkably busy year for the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS). In taking stock of the past year, I am confident that the entire staff and volunteer board of directors of SCRS are proud of the work that we embarked upon in each of the three areas of our mission. While the See SCRS Look Back at 2012, Page 8
Oklahoma Schools Teaching Collision Repair Proudly Represent the Sooner State by David M. Brown
Four Oklahoma collision repair programs exemplify the state’s commitment to quality vocational education.
FIX Auto USA Fix Auto USA added a franchise model to network membership in January 2011, and currently has 50 franchise locations operating in four states: See Record Year, Page 27
P.O. BOX 1516, CARLSBAD, CA 92018
CARSTAR CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts is North America’s largest Multi-Shop Operator (MSO) Network of independently owned collision repair facilities with more than 400 locations in 31 states and 10 Canadian provinces. CARSTAR recently expanded its business development team to accelerate the expansion of the
MSO network into two of the fastest growing regions—the Western U.S. and the Southeast. Shops that join CARSTAR pay a one-time joining fee ranging from $5,000 to $15,000, and then pay a percentage of sales each month, according to former CARSTAR CEO Dan Bailey. Typical monthly royalty fees are .75 percent to 2 percent of sales.
Change Service Requested
The pace of acquisition of both smaller MSOs by larger ones and independent shops has substantially increased during 2012. The rate of acquisitions has been running at more than two shops per week for 2012.
VOL. 31 ISSUE 1 JANUARY 2013
Brittany Warner applies grit. Photo credit: Joe Payne, Tulsa Technology Center
Francis Tuttle Technology Center in the northwest Oklahoma City metro area offers a NATEF-accredited curriculum including basic and advanced training aligned with I-CAR advanced instruction for estimating damages, repair procedures and finishing vehicles. The school has offered the program since the early 1980s. “As the automotive collision repair industry is ongoing and everchanging, Francis Tuttle trains future technicians to be adaptable to new technologies, procedures and materials,” says Dennis Moore, instructor in the Automotive Collision Repair Technology program. Students may select one-year full time or two-year part-time programs. The student-instructor ratio is approximately 18:1. Students have the option of three majors: Refinishing, 645 hours; NonStructural Repair, 600 hours; or Structural Repair, 1,035 hours. They can earn multiple certifications and up to See Oklahoma Schools, Page 28
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Acura of Austin • Over $400,000 Parts Inventory • 15,000 Parts in Stock • Trained Experienced Crew • In State Next Day Shipping w/Quick Local Delivery • Great Discounts
Hours: Monday - Friday 7 am - 7 pm Saturday 8 am - 5 pm • Sunday Closed
Honda of Frisco
Participating in Collision Link Wholesale Parts Specialist: John Raygo » 512-401-5976 Watts 800-575-3553 Parts 512-401-5976 Fax 512-401-5988 firstname.lastname@example.org
Acura of Plano • Over $500,000 Parts Inventory • 15,000 Parts in Stock • Trained Experienced Crew • In State Next Day Shipping w/Quick Local Delivery • Great Discounts
Hours: Monday - Friday 7 am - 7 pm Saturday 8 am - 5 pm • Sunday Closed
Hours: Monday - Friday 7 am - 6 pm Saturday 7:30 am - 4 pm • Sunday Closed
Participating in Collision Link Wholesale Parts Specialist: Doug Grajczyk » 972-964-6044 972-964-6000 Fax 972-964-6070 email@example.com
Parts Manager: John Keith Phone 972-964-5000 Fax 972-985-3114 firstname.lastname@example.org
Nissan of Houston • Over 1.3 Million Parts Inventory • 28,000 Parts • Trained Experienced Crew • Texas & Louisiana Next Day Shipping • Great Discounts
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Hours: Monday - Friday 7 am - 8 pm Saturday 7:30 am - 5:30 pm • Sunday Closed
Phone 972-731-3175 Toll Free 866-442-2711 Fax 972-731-3179 email@example.com
Honda of Irving
Lincoln of Plano • Over $400,000 Parts Inventory • 8,000 Parts in Stock • Trained Experienced Crew • In State Next Day Shipping w/Quick Local Delivery • Great Discounts
• Over $600,000 Parts Inventory • 11,000 Parts in Stock • Trained Wholesale Crew: Mario, Phillip Participating in Collision Link • In State Next Day Shipping w/Quick Local Delivery Parts Manager: Chris Edgar • Great Discounts
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Honda of Houston
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Robert Quintero Phone 800-444-1263 Fax 713-948-1949 email@example.com
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Participating in Collision Link Parts Manager: Dick Graham Phone 800-231-9657 Fax 713-948-1949 firstname.lastname@example.org
2 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Contents Automaker, OEM and Recall News . . . . . . 26
Auto Body Shop Owner Trains
Boyd Grows in Florida with 14
Caliber Collision Accelerates Oklahoma
Education Foundation Plans for 2013
Winning Horse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Expansion with Grand Opening of
New Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Caliber Collision’s 2012 Included Expansion
New Locations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Summer Golf Fundraiser in Boston . . . . 22
Education Foundation Wants Facebook Likes. 22
Elektron Joins VSG Family of Brands . . . . 39
and Giving to Communities in Need . . . 19
Hurricane Sandy Fuels Auto Sales Not
for Defrauding Oklahoma Senior Citizens . 4
Industry Year in Review—A Month-by-Month
Goodguys 30th Anniversary Season
Includes Rod & Custom Events in
Southwest Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
HABA Protests Unfair Franchise Tax Margins. 4 Louisiana Commissioner Jim Donelon
Reports Another Decline in Auto Theft . . 4
MO Shop Owner Admits $2 Million
Seen in Four Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Look at the Most Interesting Collision
News of 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 with Car-Parts.com Pro Search . . . . . . 37
NC Shop Sues Six Insurers . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 New Low-VOC Bumper & Cladding
Adhesion Primer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Fraud on Bank Loans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
New SEMA Scholarship in Dick Dixon’s
Sooner State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
New Spies Hecker Sealer Delivers a
in Waco, Texas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
NHTSA Expects to Propose Black Box
Oklahoma Schools Proudly Represent Service King Grows with 3 Locations
TIAA Looks Back on 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 COLUMNISTS
Attanasio: How Body Shops Can
Use LinkedIn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Franklin: Integrity Sells! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Name Planned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Smooth Finish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Requirement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Northeast Shops Still Recovering
from Sandy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Rhode Island Shop Owner Arrested Again . 36
Sandy Caused Thanksgiving Car Rental
Shortage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Insider: Not All Insurance Executives
Sandy Forces Automakers to Scrap
Yoswick: Advocate of Collision Industry
Sherwin-Williams Hosts A-Plus Network
Are Created Equal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Standards in the U.K. Sees Need for
Them Here. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
2012 Adding Up to a Record Year for MSO’s Shop Consolidation, All
Major MSO’s Add Shops . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
3M Awards Final “Ticket to the Track”
VIP Grand Prize . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
44 Techs Honored at ASE . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
American Honda Launches Two
New Consumer Websites . . . . . . . . . . . 41
ASA Collision Division Recaps 2012,
Moves Forward into 2013 . . . . . . . . . . 32
Audatex Extends Contract with Boyd
for Estimating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Auto Insurance Consumers Shop for
Price ... Sometimes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
pacity in markets that require the customer focus, operational excellence and cost management that Caliber consistently delivers to our clients,” said Steve Grimshaw, Caliber Collision Centers’ Chief Executive Officer. “Our new Edmond location is Caliber Collision’s third location in and around the Oklahoma City market,” added Mark Sanders, Chief Operating Officer for Caliber Collision Centers. “We will continue to increase our market penetration in this and other southwestern U.S. markets in the months to come as we restore our customers to the rhythm of their lives,” said Sanders.
Mitchell Repair Center ToolStore Integrates
over 15,000 New Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . 36
Vision Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Sherwin-Williams Sets First Quarter
Training Classes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Society of Collision Repair Specialists
Takes a Look Back at 2012 . . . . . . . . . . 1
State Farm Updates ASA on PartsTrader
Pilot Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Study Finds Aging Population Won’t Increase Accident Rates as Baby
Boomers Get Older . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
TV Public Service Commercial for
Body Shops Aimed at the Dangers
of Texting and Driving. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
White Still Favored as Most Popular
Car Color . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
WIN Seeks 2013 Sponsors . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Women’s Industry Network Reports
New Caliber Collision Edmond, OK Location Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Assistant Editor: Melanie Anderson Contributing Writers: Tom Franklin, John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, David Brown, Rich Evans, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Sean Hartman, Jay Lukes (800) 699-8251 Sales Assistant: Louise Tedesco Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia
Former Insurance Agent Headed to Prison
Caliber Collision recently announced the grand opening of its newest Oklahoma location as the company continues to accelerate its expansion across the southwestern U.S. Caliber’s newest 22,000-squarefoot collision reCenter Manager pair facility opened John Fisher Dec. 14 at 3501 South Broadway in Edmond, OK. “Edmond’s grand opening is the latest example of Caliber’s continued commitment to provide additional ca-
Winning Growth in 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Caliber Collision Accelerates Oklahoma Expansion with Grand Opening of New Location
Serving Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico 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. ©2013 Adamantine Media LLC.
Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018; (800) 699-8251 (760) 721-0253 Fax www.autobodynews.com Email: email@example.com
Absolute Mitsubishi-Hyundai . . . . . 29 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 42 Car-Part Pro. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Chevyland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Classic BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Classifieds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Collision Websites. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Dallas Dodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 David McDavid Auto Group . . . . . . . 2 Don Carlton Auto Group . . . . . . . . . 32 Equalizer Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Finnegan Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . 15 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers TX, OK, LA, NM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Fowler I-240 Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge. 11 Garmat USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . 45 Haydell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24-25 Houston Auto Body Association. . . 36 Huffines Hyundai Plano . . . . . . . . . 28 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . 43 Intertape Polymer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers. 38 LKQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Malco. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 45 Mercedes-Benz of Oklahoma City . 39 Mike Calvert Toyota. . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers. 30 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 23 North Freeway Hyundai . . . . . . . . . 18 Ray Huffines Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Reliable Chevrolet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Replica Plastics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 River Oaks Chrysler-JeepDodge-Ram. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Safety Regulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Scoggin-Dickey Buick . . . . . . . . . . 31 South Pointe Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge. 21 That’s Included . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Toyota STAR Elite Dealers . . . . . 16-17 Toyota of Fort Worth . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Toyota of Laredo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 41 VIM Tools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Volvo Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 44 Young Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
HABA Protests Unfair Franchise Tax Margins
In a letter regarding franchise tax margins for dealer-owned body shops versus independently-owned shops, the Houston Auto Body Association protested the “unfair” margin. HABA president James Brown sent an email to Congresswoman Carolyn Saegert Nov. 29, on the day the Ways and Means Committee met, urging the committee to reconsider. “Our members are very troubled about the unfair franchise tax margin between new car dealer-owned body shops (1/2%) versus the 1% the independent-owned body shops are required to pay,” Brown said in his letter. “Given that both provide the exact same repair, it is unacceptable that the independent-owned body shops should pay twice the amount as dealer-owned body shops. This has caused undue financial burden on small businesses, especially in these tough economic times we are facing,” Brown said. He added, “We expect that the Ways and Means Committee would recommend that this unfair taxation on small businesses be corrected to both the House and Senate.”
Louisiana Commissioner Jim Donelon Reports Another Decline in Auto Theft Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon reported recently that the number of vehicle thefts in Louisiana has declined nearly 42% over a five-year period from 2006 through 2011. The latest figures from the FBI Uniform Crime Report show a steady decline in the rate of auto theft in Louisiana, dropping from 15,640 in 2006 to 9,123 in 2011. “We are pleased that we continue to see progress since, in addition to the trauma such instances inflict on vehicle owners, motor vehicle theft is one of several factors considered by insurance companies when setting our auto insurance premiums,” said Commissioner Donelon. “Proactive law enforcement strategies, coupled with the effective use of anti-theft technology such as license plate readers and alarm systems, plus increased public awareness about vehicle theft are really paying off through this significant reduction in crime.” The latest FBI data come as the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI), along with the Louisiana Automobile Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (LATIFPA), launched a statewide public awareness campaign to combat vehicle theft
Former Insurance Agent Headed to Prison for Defrauding Oklahoma Senior Citizens
The Oklahoma Insurance Department recently announced that former insurance agent Marshall Virden has been sentenced to two years in prison for defrauding senior citizens in Wagoner County. The punishment comes after a lengthy investigation by the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID). “Our Anti-Fraud Unit worked diligently to bring to light the full scope of Virden’s criminal activity in the state of Oklahoma,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak, who has made exploitation of the elderly a focus of his administration. “This heartbreaking crime cost several Oklahomans their life savings.” Virden pled guilty to one felony count of exploitation of elderly. He received a 10 year sentence with eight years suspended. He was also given credit for time served. District Attorney Brian Kuester said, “We are happy to get justice in this case. Mr. Virden received the maximum sentence, which includes prison time and probation, allowing the victims a chance to receive restitution.” OID investigators discovered
that Virden held investment seminars across the state. He would then convince these unsuspecting “customers” to cash in their life insurance and annuity products in exchange for precious metals such as gold and silver. Victims later learned that their investments were fraudulent and that Virden had fled the state. Thanks to the efforts of the Wagoner County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Marshals Service, he was eventually arrested in Florida. “This sentence is just the beginning,” said Doak. “Virden faces charges in two other counties, and we believe there are more victims who haven’t come forward. We encourage them to do so. We are determined to protect every Oklahoma senior against insurance fraud.”
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4 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
and fraud. That statewide campaign consists of billboard and radio ads that will help spread the message of how to avoid auto theft and burglaries, as well as address the impact of insurance fraud and how to report it. “While the number of auto thefts in Louisiana has declined, still too many cars are being stolen each year,” Donelon said. “Our new public awareness campaign will address vehicle theft and burglary, as well as insurance fraud, which all impact consumers through higher premiums passed along to policyholders.” According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, more than 10% of the insurance claims submitted each year are fraudulent. Insurance fraud accounts for as much as 10% of insurance premiums and the average household spends $950 a year in additional premiums to cover the cost of insurance fraud in America. The public awareness campaign includes billboards and radio ads. “We want to get the word out to consumers, especially around the busy holiday shopping season, do not leave valuables in your car and remember to always lock your car doors when leaving your vehicle,” added Donelon.
TIAA Looks Back on 2012
As it looks back on 2012, the Texas Independent Automotive Association notes several accomplishments. The TIAA began a branch for collision repair shops. The chapter elected a board and began heavily recruiting membership. In addition, the whole association started to grow and saw an increased participation. Activities included a one-day training featuring Sid Hurlbert. The association is planning a convention to be held in San Antonio in May, 2013. Multiple speakers will speak on management and upcoming technology.
NC Shop Sues Six Insurers
A Belmont, NC, auto body shop recently filed 16 lawsuits on behalf of their customers. Pack Brothers Collision Center filed lawsuits against Nationwide, State Farm, Allstate, GEICO, Penn National and Amica. The suits allege that the insurers refused to pay for “reasonable and necessary” parts, procedures and materials to return customers’ vehicles back to “pre-accident condition.” The total amount sought in the lawsuits is in excess of $23,000, plus legal fees and court cost.
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Service King Grows with 3 Locations in Waco, Texas
Wade Auto Body’s three locations in Waco, TX, was recently acquired by Service King Collision Repair Centers. With the three new additions, Service King now operates 55 collision repair facilities in Texas and 63 overall. The transaction was expected to close by Dec. 14. “Service King is very excited and proud to be able to service the community of Waco,” said Jeremy Lennox, vice president of Service King’s south Texas market. “This is a wonderful opportunity to add to our Texas footprint and connect our Dallas-Fort Worth and south Texas markets through our continued expansion along the I-35 corridor.” Wade Auto Body’s three locations total 46,000 square feet with 62 employees, and have the capacity to repair more than 550 vehicles per month. “We are very excited to welcome Wade Auto Body to the Service King family. Wade has grown to become a dominant player in the collision repair industry,” said Jeff McFadden, president of Service King. “Our mutual commitment to quality and customer satisfaction makes this a wonderful partnership for Service King and for our new customers in central Texas.” Paul Anderson, owner of
Wade’s Auto Body, started his career in the collision repair industry with Service King in 1987 before starting his own business in 1990. Service King said Anderson will rejoin the company’s leadership team after completion of the acquisition. “We are proud of our people, growth and achievements at Wade Auto Body. We know that Service King will feel the same way about our team and our relationship with our customers,” Anderson said. “I look forward to becoming a Service King team member again to support their continued growth. I am also excited about the future opportunities this partnership will bring to the employees at Wade Auto Body.” Service King—which now operates 24 shop locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, 12 in Houston, nine in San Antonio, six in Austin, Texas, and eight in Arizona—said it has plans for additional shop acquisitions by the end of the year.
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Goodguys 30th Anniversary Season Includes Rod & Custom Events in Southwest Region
The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association celebrates their 30th anniversary in 2013 marking three decades of promoting and producing some of the nation’s favorite rod & custom events. Goodguys will stage 19 dynamic events in 2013 welcoming a wide range of hot rods, customs, muscle cars, trucks and classic cars to the country’s premier event venues. The Pleasanton fairgrounds in the California San Francisco Bay Area will host four events, while Westworld in Scottsdale, AZ, and the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, TX, will host two events each. The biggest event of the year– the Goodguys 16th PPG Nationals returns to the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, OH, July 12–14. Of the 19 events, 16 will feature the Goodguys AutoCross which is free to all registered Goodguys event participants. The “All American Sunday” program, which welcomes all years, makes and models of American made or American powered vehicles on Sunday–only will return in 2013. For vintage drag racing fans, two popular Friday Night Vintage Drag programs featuring sportsman and ex-
hibition cars will be held July 12th at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, OH, and July 26th at Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA.
Goodguys 2013 event schedule (Southwest region): March 15–17—Goodguys 3rd Spring Lone Star Nationals, Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX—Hot rods, customs, classics, trucks and muscle cars thru 1972 vintage. Vendor exhibits, swap meet & car corral, Goodguys AutoCross, All American Sunday, special awards, track cruise and more. June 7–9 —Goodguys 16th Colorado Nationals, The Ranch Events Complex, Loveland, CO—Hot rods, customs, classics, trucks and muscle cars thru 1972 vintage. Vendor exhibits, swap meet & car corral, Goodguys AutoCross, All American Sunday, special awards and more. October 4–6 Goodguys 21st Lone Star Nationals, Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX—Hot rods, customs, classics, trucks and muscle cars thru 1972 vintage. Vendor exhibits, swap meet & car corral, Goodguys AutoCross, All American Sunday, special awards, track cruise.
6 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Auto Body Shop Owner Trains Winning Horse
In his spare time, Louisiana auto body shop owner Charlie Smith trains a couple of horses at the nearby River Point Equestrian and Training Center. His horse, String King, is a winner. String King won the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf in 2011, and it was the first victory as a trainer of record for Smith, who owns an auto body shop in Haughton, LA. A year after Smith’s first-ever win, String King won the Champions Day Turf again, running down loose-on-the-lead Lovely Vin to score by one length. The $60,000 winner’s share of the purse pushed String King’s bankroll to $324,052. Smith bred String King and owns him, too. “He’s sounder than I am, I can tell you that,” said Smith, 67. “I’m no spring chicken anymore but he’s sound as a dollar and I try to keep him that way. I don’t over-train him.” String King, with James Graham riding, ran past Lovely Vin in the final sixteenth of a mile to win. Racing over a soft turf course Graham said his mount didn’t relish, String King was timed in 1:45.92 for 1 1/16 miles. He paid $3.40 to win.
NHTSA Expects to Propose Black Box Requirement
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to propose a rule requiring event data recorders, the so-called black boxes in vehicles that record crash data, in all new light vehicles. The White House Office of Management Budget completed a review of the proposal, clearing the way for NHTSA to finalize the standard for all cars and light trucks. NHTSA estimates it could cost automakers $24.4 million to put the recorders in all vehicles. About 90% of new vehicles have the recorders, including all by General Motors, Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers urges the government to consider driver privacy, it said. “Event data recorders help our engineers understand how cars perform in the real world, but looking forward, we need to make sure we preserve privacy,” alliance spokeswoman Gloria Bergquist said. “Automakers do not access EDR data without consumer permission, and any government requirements to install EDRs on all vehicles must include steps to protect consumer privacy.”
www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 7
Continued from Cover
SCRS Looks Back at 2012
ultimate results of those efforts may not be fully realized, the momentum from that work will serve the organization and its membership well, leading into 2013. As a member driven organization, the success of our efforts is often best gauged by the response of our membership. For SCRS, our actions in 2012 have been met by significant levels of growth in every individual and corporate membership category. In addition to welcoming individual businesses, SCRS has proudly added new state and regional Affiliate Associations to our network with the Northern Michigan Body Shop Association, the Texas Independent Automotive Association, Idaho Autobody Craftsmen Association, Alabama Automotive Repair Industry Society of Excellence and the Utah Auto Body Association. These state groups extend the reach of SCRS’ informative network, bringing our Affiliate Association relationships to more than 40 affiliated groups across North America, and strengthening the breadth of our voice as we represent the industry. It is through this growth that our organization is able to further our resolve, knowing the message points, the areas of focus, and the activities we have undertaken have spoken to those we aim to represent, spurring unsolicited growth in support and participation. But a thriving trade association requires more than simply the ability to boast one of the broadest networks of collision repairers such as SCRS’; it requires action and activity that speak to the heart of the memberships issues. Our members give us the tone and tenor behind our voice, but it is our responsibility to make sure it that collective voice is raised at the right time, for the right reasons, and that our chorus echoes through the industry’s halls. In fact, vocalizing repairer’s perspectives at a national level was not just a continued responsibility for the Society in 2012, but a centerpiece of the association’s efforts. From entering into the year with a written response to an article in USA Today that claimed that auto body shops say they, not insurers, should set costs, to an end-of the year announcement that SCRS would be working with other
repairer groups to facilitate ongoing repairer-only forums in conjunction with other industry events; 2012 has marked a year where repairers understood the need to embrace the power of community, and to stand up for their business independence. No issue became a bigger focus for SCRS, or the industry, than that of insurer mandated parts procurement programs, which first received focus due to the launch of State Farm’s pilot program with PartsTrader in several markets across the U.S. in the spring. As part of our responsibility to both inform and represent our membership and our industrial community, SCRS issued a series of informative releases on this program throughout the year; the first being issued as early as April, and marking one of the industry’s first glimpses into the new program at the time. This release was followed with an interview SCRS conducted with representatives from New Zealand highlighting the impact that similar insurer-mandated parts procurement models have had in that geographic market. The purpose of this information was simple; the more informed and educated collision repairers in the U.S. are about the potential impact and ramification of such programs, the more equipped they are to form a proactive individual business strategy on how to address such a mandate if their business is faced with it in the future. There was perhaps no greater industry advocate on this issue in 2012, because our membership made it clear that this issue was paramount to virtually all others. Additional releases, presentations, debates and efforts centered on this issue throughout the year, mirroring the concern and pushback expressed by the both the industry and by individual businesses alike. The end result of such communication and industry activism is yet to be seen, but the repairer’s voice was certainly heard. People are paying attention, and more repair facility owners today understand what has happened in countries like New Zealand and Canada, because of information that only became available through an organized international network such as the one provided by SCRS. Representing an industry takes the confidence and understanding to know when collaboration will generate the most substantial and beneficial
8 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
results for the industry, and SCRS has been proud to continue our history of work with other associations and entities in 2012. In November of 2011, SCRS and other collision repair organizations released a monumental joint position statement officially recognizing OEM vehicle manufacturer published repair procedures as the industry’s standard of repair. As continuation of that effort in 2012, SCRS hosted a face-to-face meeting in April of national repair associations, I-CAR, the OEM Roundtable and top automakers in Oklahoma City, OK. The meeting was a continuation of the step taken by SCRS and more than two dozen additional state, regional, national and international collision repair organizations. The initial positioning, along with the leadership provided by SCRS and others in ongoing meetings and communications have led to major OEM vehicle manufacturers responding with amazingly innovative solutions that have the potential to change the face of our industry. One such tool with potential is TOYOTA’s recently announced predictive estimating technology that is under development, and a direct work product of these ongoing repairer
driven discussions. Perhaps one of the most notable areas in which we have actively embraced other groups to address critical industry wide topics include a joint letter to the Information Providers in January of 2012, regarding the collection and reporting of repairer business data. The statement served as a public request from the collision repair industry to Audatex, CCC and Mitchell, seeking removal of contractual clauses within end user license agreements which require permissive access to aggregate and collect end-user data as a point-of-sale requirement to purchase those estimating programs. This communication generated responses from CCC, Mitchell and Audatex as the year progressed, and served as an ongoing source of discussion for the Collision Industry Conference Data Privacy Committee. SCRS continued to collaborate with our colleagues at AASP and ASA in the management and oversight of the Database Enhancement Gateway; a free industry resource that was developed and funded by industry trade associations to address user-identified errors, inaccuracies or omissions in See SCRS Look Back at 2012, Page 14
www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 9
Sherwin-Williams Hosts A-Plus Network Vision Conference Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes hosted its invitation-only APlus Network Vision Conference in Palm Springs at the beautiful La Quinta Resort Dec. 5–7. The theme of the conference was “Focus on Your Business.” More than 100 leading A-Plus network collision repair owners and managers from the U.S. and Canada attended. The event kicked-off with a round of golf at the TPC Stadium Course “PGA West” and was followed by an outdoor welcome reception at La Quinta’s “Hotel Waterfall.”
and 3. Private equity funds are now fully engaged in the pursuit of MSO’s which will bid up the price of acquisitions. His presentation concluded with his prediction that: ● Large MSO operators will expand into all regions of the country over the next 10 years ● Independent collision repairers and small MSO’s will work harder for less revenue as insurance carriers ‘guide’ their customers to larger MSO operators ● The larger MSOs will start having
“The Four Horsemen of Consolidation” presented by Rex Green, Director of BB&T Capital Markets
Thursday’s keynote presentation was given by Rex Green, Managing Director of BB&T Capital Markets. The presentation comprised an investment banker’s view of the collision industry. Rex started his presentation by stating “Don’t shoot the messenger.” His three key takeaways were: ● DRPs will continue to increase their influence in the market ● Shops with high DRP volume are attractive to MSO’s (the ‘Four Horsemen’ of the Current Consolidation),
strong brand recognition among car owners, influencing the flow of claims away from independents ● Independents and small MSOs should be considering one of three options: ► Sell “sooner” or at an otherwise advantageous time ► Grow now and sell later ► Change their business model to offset the decline of insurance-pay customers Green’s presentation was fol-
Sherwin-Williams’ Team (l to r): Bill Mays, Director of Sales NE Region; Rob Lynch, Senior VP of Sales; Craig Williams, Director of Global Vehicle Refinish, OEM and Services; Kurt Hammond, Director of Sales West Region; Brandon Devis, Director of Sales Force Effectiveness; and Troy Neuerburg, Marketing Manager of Business Services 10 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
lowed by Matt Ohrnstein’s presentation, “The Collision Repair Industry Competitive Landscape” and “The KPI’s of Integrity Leadership” by Marcy Tieger, both from Symphony Advisers. Gary Ledoux from American Honda Motor Co. presented Honda’s “ProFirst” new body shop recognition program and explained the benefits to shops Gary Ledoux (increased opportunities to reach more customers),
Joe and Jessica McKenna, owners of Golden West Collision Repair in Sunnyvale, CA
what’s required to qualify and the benefits of participation. For more information on the ProFirst program, go to profirst.honda.com or profirst.acura.com. The afternoon concluded with a “Current State of the Industry” presentation by Raymond Chew of CCC Information Services and a roundtable discussion by Sherwin-Williams Business Consulting Services titled “Keys to Keys.” Thursday’s dinner was well attended (l to r): Dave Dewalt, Steve Feltovich, Lee Rush, and featured a silent auction to Managers of Business Consulting for Sherwin-Williams Automotive benefit Operation Comfort.
www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 11
On Creative Marketing Integrity Sells!
with Thomas Franklin
We recently ended an election campaign season during which exaggerations, misrepresentations and outright lies were rampant. It made me think of John, a small shop owner who surprised me when I asked where his customers came from. He had been in business for nearly 30 years, but he told me he didn’t rely on any corporate referrals, dealership business or any of the other usual sources that many shop owners tell me are vital to keeping them in business. “So,” I said, “where does your business come from?” He replied, “My customers just keep coming back. After 30 years, you accumulate a lot of customers.” Right away I thought about many other owners who complain to me that they have lost a lot of their old customers. They tell me their customers are swayed by steering, websites, ads, and news stories designed to scare them away from small shops. I asked John if that happened to him. “Sometimes,” he replied, “but mostly when they try to sway my customers, they fail. My customers are my friends. Good friends never desert you.” John isn’t the only small shop owner in business for more than 20 years. What does he do different that binds his customers to him with such loyalty? I overheard a couple of conversations with his customers. I noticed that John was scrupulously honest. He went to great pains to get the truth of the situation across to each customer. It
appeared to me that no prospective customer would ever doubt John’s integrity. There was no phony “trust me” kind of selling on his part. He simply came across as 100% sincere and 100% determined to give or get for his customer the best deal possible. That kind of integrity speaks for itself. I’m sure some would say to me, “Of course he comes across with integrity after 25 or 30 years! Who wouldn’t? But how can you communicate integrity instantly when you are meeting a prospective customer for the first time? Or when you’ve only been in business for less than a year? I recently had some work done on my house. The handyman that did the work sent me a thank-you note (not something I’ve ever received from a handyman before) and also he sent me something else I had never received from a handyman before: something he called “The Code of a Handyman.” It was a statement of his personal commitment to do a good job, to be on time, to perform as promised, to provide top service for a fair price, and a few other commitments to reassure me and his other customers that neither he nor anyone working with him would ever steal anything or knowingly damage any property or falsely represent what had been done. In short, it was a code of handyman honor, a pledge of integrity far more effective than verbally boasting of his integrity. Ralph Waldo Emerson once commented on a
Tom Franklin has been a sales and marketing consultant for fifty years. He has written numerous books and provides marketing solutions and services for many businesses. He can be reached at (323) 871-6862 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. See Tom’s columns at www.autobodynews.com under Columnists > Franklin
boastful political speaker. He noted, “The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our valuables.” The dictionary defines ‘integrity’ as follows: 1. Rigid adherence to a CODE of behavior. 2. The state of being sound; unimpaired. 3. Completeness; unity. Codes of ethics are often provided by various industry associations and also franchise operations. Such a ‘code,’ posted in a conspicuous place, can serve to reassure the prospective customer that this place of business is committed to following a definite criterion of ethical behavior. Of course the prospect can only hope the business owner and employees will actually adhere to the code they have posted, but at least the promise is there for all to see. Recall that the third definition of ‘integrity’ was “completeness; unity.” It comes from the same root word as ‘integrated.’ That word has come to have a racial connotation, but actually
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MO Shop Owner Admits $2 Million Fraud on Bank Loans
The former owner of a northwest Missouri auto body shop has admitted defrauding three banks of more than $2 million. The U.S. Attorney’s office says 35-year-old Clint Edward Dukes, of Mayview, pleaded guilty to bank fraud Nov. 28 in federal court. Dukes owned the now-defunct Dukes Auto Repair in Higginsville from 2004 to 2011. In his plea, Dukes admitted obtaining nearly $3 million in loans from First Community Bank, US Bank and First Central Bank by falsely claiming he had repair contracts with the state. He also used phony paperwork to hide the fact that he was using loans from each bank to
pay off previous loans from the other banks. Prosecutors put the total loss to the banks from the seven-year scheme at slightly more than $2 million.
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means “to make into a whole by bringing all parts together.” The business owner who has ‘integrated’ into his or her community and become an ‘integral’ part of that community, is generally viewed as concerned and thus trustworthy. It is no longer necessary to ‘sell’ the public on one’s integrity. During the worst of the recession in the early 1990s, John Baraona, owner of ‘Fussy Cleaners’ in Akron, OH, offered free dry-cleaning services to temporarily unemployed customers. When they finally landed new jobs in the cleaned and pressed clothes John had provided for them, they became his most loyal customers. Was there any further need for John to publicize his integrity? Integrity sells! In the short run, it may always be possible to lie and deceive, to gain a temporary victory. But in the long run one’s reputation for integrity, trustworthiness and honesty is the best sales and marketing asset of all.
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Women’s Industry Network Reports Winning Growth in 2012 by Kelly McNalis
In retrospect, it’s apparent that 2012 was another “winning” year for WIN, the Women’s Industry Network®. WIN is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing women in the collision repair industry with educational opportunities that create a platform for success, as well as recognition for excellence and leadership within the industry. WIN has reported growth in several areas of the organization in 2012, from enhanced membership services and additional sponsorship opportunities, to improved internal operations and a refined governance structure. The organization reported a 50% increase in member engagement since 2010 and a nearly 13% average increase in conference attendance since 2007. The organization published its first annual Report to the Industry, which gave visibility and transparency to the organization’s activities, financial data, and sponsors. Victoria Jankowski, WIN Chair stated, “While this committee-run organization has come a long way, focus
on the core mission remains the same; a strong sense of community, scholarship support, and ongoing educational efforts for our members.” WIN has increased its visibility within the industry in a variety of ways. Its members have made an impact on membership through networking, personal connections, and corporate awareness.
Enhanced publicity efforts around the 2012 Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA, generated buzz beginning three months prior to the event and featured an expanded scope of speakers covering a variety of topics. As an example, Robyn Benincasa, adventure racer, firefighter and motivational speaker, addressed the conference’s theme of, “Be the Change.” “Her message of strength, perseverance, and accomplishment both resonated and inspired everyone in the
room,” said Ruth Weniger, WIN Communications Chair and CEO of Airbag Solutions. A variety of sponsorship levels and conference sponsorship opportunities have helped spread organizational awareness of WIN within sponsoring companies, as well as the industry at large. The greatest expenditures in the WIN budget are related to the Annual Educational Conference, which provides attendees with an opportunity to interact with their collision industry peers and receive educational opportunities. Once sponsorship is secured, WIN subsidizes 35% of each attendee’s cost to attend the conference. To continue strengthening its program and providing measurable improvements in 2013, the WIN Board Strategic Planning Session identified three primary objectives at the start of 2012: ● Enhance the value of WIN membership and sponsorship ● Increase industry visibility of WIN, our activities and our members ● Establish a more robust operational and governance structure for the Board of Directors
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Jankowski stated, “Like any growing organization, WIN will continue to be challenged with building stronger operational processes, creating consistency in communication that supports the WIN mission, and tracking progress so we can support continued success.” The Board and committee members are engaged and confident that these objectives will align WIN for another successful year in 2013 and enable the organization to continue its momentum. “WIN will continue to explore new ways to connect with women in the industry, keep our sponsors engaged, and support the positive energy our network brings to the overall industry community. As the organization grows, expect to see more ways WIN can contribute,” Jankowski said. “We are ever grateful for the continued generosity of our sponsors who support our efforts to engage women in the Collision Repair Industry and we welcome new members and sponsors who are similarly committed to advancing our mission,” she said. To learn more about WIN, visit www.womensindustrynetwork.com.
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Continued from Page 8
SCRS Look Back at 2012
electronic estimating system data. In 2012 we proudly watched as this trade association-funded industry tool saw both its 4000th and 5000th inquiries. The DEG also made headway launching a major website overhaul to enhance the end-user experience, and adding a functionality to address the top ten user requested enhancements to estimating platforms. Addressing estimating data has long been a part of SCRS’ history, and in addition to the collaborative work with other trade associations, SCRS has provided other resources that aim to provide collision repairers with the most effective tools in their toolbox. In 2011 SCRS provided the industry with the SCRS Guide to Complete Repair Planning; an exhaustive list of legitimate operations and services our technicians provide that often go unrecognized in the estimate development and final billing processes. It had been initially developed by the late March Taylor, who was a former board member of SCRS and owner of Auto Body Hawaii, who worked tire-
lessly to find ways to standardize the blueprinting process within his own repair facility. The purpose of the Guide was to aid repair facility personnel in formulating the most accurate repair plan in the estimate preparation process, to minimize the need or expense of a supplement. Taylor worked with other SCRS board members looking at commonly overlooked or forgotten non-included operations, building a list that would help benefit a more comprehensive blueprint. After his passing, SCRS sought to compile his work into a resource that would benefit all in the industry by releasing the guide. In 2012 SCRS saw tremendous growth in the use of the free resource, being featured in estimating education programs offered by every major refinish company, incorporated into 3M training programs I addition to many others. Early in the year, SCRS announced that the data from the association-crafted estimating tool would be featured in the free online estimate review tool www.estimatescrubber.com. The year also brought about a renewed focus in the development of SCRS member benefit programs, fea-
turing discounted services from companies such as Alldata, AutoWatch, AdminConcepts, Summit Software & Mobile Solution, Siriani & Associates, Total Merchant Services and as of 2012, GRC-Pirk. The GreenSweep program with GRC-Pirk launched an energy and pollution performance program, online tracking tools and free sustainability education programs to educate the industry on the benefits to environmental responsibility. But SCRS’ education agenda wasn’t only focused on the environmental issues; the Education Committee continued its efforts throughout the year, bringing eye opening topics to SCRS open board meetings around the country. As part of the association’s emphasis to inform and educate repair businesses, the Society started working with CollisionHub to record and produce free copies of those presentations during 2012, making discussions such as safety considerations in glass replacement, squeeze-type resistance spot welders, and blueprinting tools for collision estimating available for all collision repairers on the SCRS website. But when it comes to education, no other industry venue provides more opportunity, possibility and inspiration
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than SCRS’ involvement at the SEMA Show, which prominently features SCRS’ Repairer Driven Education series. In looking back on the week at SEMA, and the events that took place during it, you can’t help but feel reminded about how important a strong sense of community is to professional betterment and personal enrichment. A sense of community provides grounding, balance and camaraderie when faced with challenges. This is exactly what organizations such as SCRS are here to do; provide our members with a community network that offers them the opportunity to strengthen their relationships and their connection to the industry. At the SEMA Show, that sense of community was noticeably heightened this year. SCRS has been very proud to work with the wonderful show organizers, and to lead the development of the collision repair industry footprint within the show over the past several years. It was hard not to notice that this section of the Las Vegas Convention Center - a complex housing an astonishing one million square feet of booth space, and hosting over 135,000 attendees – had a noticeable spark of positive energy flowing through the
halls inspiring those seeking new business ideas. The traffic in the aisles was dense with individuals searching for collision repair business solutions, and the classrooms were alive with impassioned subject matter experts leading idea exchanges with over a thousand repair professionals from around the globe looking to soak in information offered by SCRS. These classes are directly designed to help attendees bring tangible results home to their businesses. This year’s lineup delivered tremendous information that supported interests in all areas of business development, while bolstering that sense of community. We saw personal, inspiring and occasionally humorous discussions between U.S. entrepreneurs, well known for their innovative approach to business development; riveting elaboration of how forthcoming technical development in other areas of the automotive industry is going to have cross-over effects on our work capacity over the next 40-plus years; and information exchanges from global representatives from Canada, Australia and New Zealand, demonstrating the impact of insurer-driven parts procurement initiatives in international markets.
This is what community is about. It is about sharing our best attributes, whether it is a product, a service or an idea, and showing our peers how to use it to their advantage. It is the recognition that while collision repairers have clearly and definitively decided that the SEMA Show is THE national venue for collision repair business solutions in the United States, that it has become a melting pot of collision repair attendees from dozens of countries. It is a place to run into old friends, and to meet new ones. It was a place that the attendees and exhibitors have both grown to realize the importance of the show and its content directly offering solutions specific to our niche industry, but understanding (and benefiting from the fact) that we are really an integral part of the broader automotive industry. It is that sense of community that will support the success of collision repair businesses around the globe. Connecting with our peers, through our associations; learning the basic foundations of successful business management, to the cutting edge of products and technologies; making friendships that span a globe and last
a lifetime; these are the things that make SCRS proud to be a part of the SEMA Show, and the things that really define the work of a trade association. The end of the year provides the opportunity to reflect, to look back at accomplishments and shortcomings from the past year, in an effort to better yourself in the coming one. As we look back over the past 12 months, the actions, activities, and the engagement from our members highlights an exemplary period where our organization can proudly say, we have been the voice our membership expects from us. We have advocated on the issues that resonate with those who support us; and we have been an organization that provides our members with leadership, but allows our ideals to be led by our membership. As an organization, we are proud to be Repairer Driven, and we believe the work speaks for itself. 2012 was a difficult year, but it was a year where collision repairers came together, and learned the value of community. We look forward to the opportunity that creates going into 2013, and we are proud to be the Society which collision repairers can call home.
WIN Seeks 2013 Sponsors
The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) is seeking corporate sponsorships to help expand its 2013 educational and mentorship programs offered to women in the automotive industry. WIN offers several levels of corporate sponsorship opportunities, including bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond, as well as sponsorship of its annual Educational Conference. Each sponsorship enables the organization to provide women in the collision repair industry with educational opportunities that position them for future success. All sponsors of WIN are recognized on the organization’s website, promotional items, signage, and membership functions and activities. Visit WIN’s website to view the monetary donation amounts associated with each level of sponsorship. “WIN is dedicated to providing women in the automotive industry with a platform for growth,” said Victoria Jankowski, chair of WIN’s board of directors. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, contact WIN board member Susanna Gotsch at email@example.com.
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www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 17
Social Media for Shops
How Body Shops Can Use LinkedIn with Ed Attanasio
A LinkedIn expert and a Forbes Top 30 Social Media Power Influencer, as well as the creator of the AdAge Top 100 Global Marketing blog and the owner of Windmill Networking, Neal Schaffer is a global social media conference speaker who is also known for his two award-winning and critically acclaimed social media books: Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing, and Windmill Networking: Maximizing LinkedIn. He currently speaks on social media at approximately 50 events each year. I sat down with Schaffer recently and asked him the question many collision repairers nationwide are asking--how can I use LinkedIn to help my business?
Q: With all of the social media sites out there, does LinkedIn have a role in the entire mix when it comes to body shops and the collision industry in general? NS: It’s ideal for what I call outwardfacing employees. These are your estimators, front office people and even the techs that deal with the public on a regular basis. And, of course, the shop owner needs to have his own LinkedIn profile, with a picture and a bio. LinkedIn is designed for business people who want to interact with other professionals in their respective fields. People are using it to constantly look for new products and services and vice-versa. Are you looking for a new piece of equipment or a better management system? Finding the top decision makers in each business segment can be done quickly and easily using LinkedIn.
Q: What should we know about creating a profile? NS: Make it complete, with your employment history and keywords that will make it easy to find by other collision professionals. Use LinkedIn for yourself and then also create a page for your company. Users will want to link to you and others will link solely to your company page. You can do so much once you learn the bells and whistles of LinkedIn. We instruct companies how to recommend sales and build a marketing program via
LinkedIn and if they follow the plan, it works without fail.
Q: Now I have created my profile and a company page on LinkedIn and a lot of people want to connect with me— hundreds of them. Should I accept all of them or carefully handpick each one? NS: Some folks haven’t completely grasped the whole purpose of LinkedIn and want to limit their connections for one reason or another. But, think about it—how many people do you meet in the course of running your company or doing your job--maybe 500 or even 1,000? You never know how someone can help you in your business in the future. An old college buddy may want to invest in your business and help you to open up a new location? A former employer may now have a job with a vendor you want to purchase products from? How many people do you meet at shows like SEMA, AAPEX, etc.? I give my clients this easy formula: Take your age and multiple it by 10 times and that’s how many LinkedIn connections you should have. Don’t just connect with people you know— go broader and connect with their friends and their vendors. The wider your audience the more likely you’ll find beneficial deals and relationships through LinkedIn. Reach out as much as you can and never take social media personally. Let as many into your net that want to be there and then devise techniques for keeping them on your boat.
Q: Okay, I have 500 connections now. What’s next? NS: Engagement is the key. Too many newbies create their profile and invite a bunch of people, but then they drop the ball completely and say, hey LinkedIn didn’t work for me. Create some interesting things for people to look at, such as niche applications or slideshows showing your shop and stressing your strengths. And always be looking out to meet new people, by joining special groups or entering discussion forums. Spend some time every week (maybe less than an hour) on LinkedIn and comment, discuss,
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Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
offer your expertise and provide useful information whenever you can. Any form of social media is only as valuable as what you are willing to do with it.
Q: Can I start my own group to discuss things that are important to me, such as green practices, the ins and outs of DRPS and how to use my management system the best way? NS: Definitely—groups are a great vehicle for becoming a magnet for more connections today and down the road. Groups can position you as an expert on any subject and will bring you a ton of secondary connections. You can also join as many as 50 other groups to further connect you to your industry. Many of the paint companies have groups and all of the professional trade organizations also have one, in most cases. Staying in touch with your existing friends, colleagues and associates is important,
but finding new ones is even just as valuable. Once they establish a group, we tell our clients to create a very targeted ad campaign around the group. It’s inexpensive and you can use it to pinpoint people ten miles from your shop if that’s what you want to do. They might be future vendors or even customers. Being involved with top professionals in any area can be valuable to the further success of any company. Q: If my shop hasn’t done any social media up to this point, does that mean I’m too late to the party? NS: I tell people, it’s never too late to be a part of the social media game. All it takes is a few hours weekly and pretty quickly; you’ll be a pro at it and have a significant following. Let it build gradually and create new content; join groups and start your own and within six months--you’ll see the value of LinkedIn!
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Caliber Collision’s 2012 Included Expansion and Giving to Communities in Need As Caliber Collision grew from 94 locations to 112 during 2012, its associates also helped many families and communities in need throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma. Throughout the year, Caliber Collision participated in several community events. Last January, the company said it would refurbish and donate at least 12 vehicles to families in need. Caliber surpassed this goal by 25% by gifting at least 15 vehicles to families across California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada. Caliber team members volunteered hundreds of hours to repair and refurbish these vehicles, as well as collect gifts and cash donations from local businesses and vendor partners. Beneficiaries of these efforts included a grandmother raising two grandsons on her own in north Hollywood, CA; a disabled veteran in Texas who selflessly volunteers to help mentor and support disabled veterans; and a mother and her two teenage daughters in Orange County, CA, who escaped an abusive situation with only the clothes on their backs. Realizing that as many as one in
five Americans go without sufficient food each day, 112 Caliber Collision locations partnered with local food banks to help fight hunger in the spring of 2012. Caliber’s first-ever food drive resulted in over 172,000 meals being donated in just two weeks. Caliber associates recently completed a three-week fall food drive and provided even more meals for those in need just prior to Thanksgiving. Caliber Collision has also joined with the American Heart Association Heart Walk across all participating communities including the Dallas Heart Walk that raised a record $4.7 million dollars in donations. “We are deeply grateful for the passion our associates have demonstrated in 2012 to help restore the rhythm of lives in need across every community we serve,” said Steve Grimshaw, President & CEO of Caliber Collision. “As we continue to bring our vision of improving the image of the collision repair experience to life in every community we serve, our associates have rallied around communities large and small,” he said.
44 Techs Honored at ASE
Boyd Grows in Florida with 14 New Locations
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) recognized 44 automotive professionals at its Fall Board of Governors meeting held Nov. 14 at the Hilton Palacio del Rio in San Antonio, TX. The annual awards banquet spotlights top scorers on the ASE Certification Tests. Thirty-seven companies from both OEM and Aftermarket segments sponsored the individual technician recognition awards in the Auto, Truck, Collision and Parts categories, along with three instructor awards, and one recognizing a U.S. Air Force technician. In addition to looking for top scores on ASE tests, award sponsors may also consider such factors as on-the-job excellence, community service and more when selecting honorees. “ASE has been honoring the best of the best in our industry for more than 30 years, and we are proud to once again recognize 44 outstanding individuals from all across the nation,” said Tim Zilke, ASE President & CEO. “This is all made possible by the support of our many award sponsors, whose ranks include some of the best-known names in the industry.”
In early December, the Boyd Group Income Fund announced it had completed the acquisition of three organizations known as Autocrafters, which operates 14 collision and glass repair centers in northern Florida. Boyd acquired three different companies under the trade names Autocrafters Collision Repair, Walker Collision Repair and S&L Auto Glass, which collectively operate as Autocrafters. The organization serves the Florida markets of Jacksonville, Gainesville and Tallahassee, and generated sales of $32.6 million in 2011. The $19.5 million transaction, which is the Boyd Group’s fourth multi-location acquisition this year and its third in Florida, was completed Nov. 30. The Boyd Group now operates 37 locations in Florida. At the end of last year, Boyd did not have any shops in Florida. With the Autocrafters acquisition, the Fund adds 14 new locations to its North American footprint, bringing the total number of locations to 220 across 14 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces.
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www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 19
Northeast Shops Still Recovering from Sandy by Chasidy Rae Sisk
When Hurricane Sandy charged into the East Coast in late October, she devastated many homes and businesses. Her most vicious attack was perpetrated in NY and NJ, leaving millions with flooded properties and no power. Sandy’s effects on the auto body industry were no different. Many collision repair facilities in the area were destroyed, and equipment and tools were demolished. Some still had not reopened as of the middle of December. Three shop owners took the time to share their stories. Bobby Zigman, owner of Collision Depot in Oceanside, NY, suffered personal and business losses as a result of Sandy since his home is near his shop and both were flooded. Zigman notes that the storm left five or six feet of water in his shop and parking lot, completely wiping out all of his shop and office equipment. Though Collision Depot technically remained open after the storm, the flooding ruined equipment and lack of both phone connections and electricity prevented them from performing any actual repair work for about two weeks. Zigman’s dedicated employees still went to work, and he paid them to help restore the shop and clean their tools and equipment. Since then, Collision Depot has installed some generators. Even though they are now fully operational, they are still restoring their building and replacing the $750,000 loss in equipment as they go, due to a lack of insurance. More than 250,000 cars in the NY and NJ area have been totaled due to severe flooding, and Zigman notes a decrease in business because of the vast number of destroyed cars and the influx of rental vehicles in the area. He shares that though he is receiving occasional repair requests caused by the storm, his only hope for now is for the general public to get back on their feet. Zigman says he has noticed increased difficulties with insurance companies as they are investigating claims in greater depth and just generally giving consumers a harder time obtaining repairs. They’ve opted to total many of the damaged vehicles. The insurers have also given Collision Depot some problems regarding partially and fully repaired vehicles that had not yet been picked up; the insurers are objecting to paying for the repairs on vehicles that
were totaled by Sandy’s flooding. Despite the challenges that he faces daily, Zigman maintains a positive outlook and puts his efforts and focus into rebuilding. He states, “What gets me through living with this tragedy is remembering 9/11 and knowing this is nothing but lifestyle changes compared to what others went through then. We will get through this.” Burnside Collision of Inwood, NY, was similarly struck by Sandy’s devastating impact. With several feet of water in their office, all computers and desks were destroyed and had to be replaced. Over two feet of water in their work area demolished their equipment, submerging and ruining their spray booth motor and their Car-O-Liner’s mechanisms. Additionally, the flooding destroyed a number of partially and fully repaired vehicles stored on the property, including police cars and Burnside’s tow truck. All of this destruction forced owner Ronnie Marciano to shut down for two and a half weeks. Though Marciano has noticed an influx in repair business since the storm, he initially had to turn away a great deal of business due to the damage done to his shop, thus losing potential business in addition to the loss of work-inprogress. Several completed cars were also destroyed, and one completed repair which was being stored was completely flooded out, forcing Marciano to fight with the insurance company in order to get paid for the work he had already completed. In addition to the general frustration of declining customers’ repair requests, Marciano faced the difficulty of expenses without the ability to capture business and revenue. Burnside Collision’s current focus is on repairing and replacing the equipment damaged by the storm. Marciano’s house was also flooded, as was his estimator’s and office manager’s homes. Employees who were not affected came to the shop to start working on repairs and get the business back up and running, said Marciano—a credit to his employees’ dedication and his relationship with them. Because of this extra effort, Burnside Collision was able to meet payroll obligations instead of utilizing FEMA’s layoff program. Noting that insurance companies are currently focused on picking up submerged cars, Marciano expects to see more storm-damaged vehicles in the future. He suggests that many consumers may not yet realize that their cars were
20 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
damaged by salt water, and he also suspects that some people have avoided submitting claims for fear their insurer will total their vehicle. Though insurers are totaling many cars, Marciano notes that they’ve returned to standard procedure with handling claims. Initially, the volume of claims was overwhelming, causing delays, but by using independent appraisers to manage their volume, insurers have been able to return to normal processing times. Burnside Collision has seen very few flooded cars come in for repairs due to the challenge that owners face when trying to retain their vehicles. Marciano believes that insurance companies should be making decisions on a case-by-case basis instead of making a blanket decision to total so many vehicles. In spite of their own problems, Marciano and his staff helped unload a truck filled with supplies sent from Florida to provide relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Marciano sees this tragedy as a learning experience, stating “We will pick up the pieces and work diligently to move forward and develop better plans for the future to become a better, more prosperous
business than before.” Of the three shops described here, Tony D’s Auto Body of Atlantic Highlands, NJ, seems to have suffered the most severe losses. Owner Tony Dellapietro notes, “We lost everything. And I mean everything!” With five feet of water in the shop, all of his tools and equipment were destroyed. With the help of his parents and dedicated employees, Dellapietro has begun cleaning and oiling his equipment, but not his personal toolbox, which he began accumulating when he was 11 years old. He laments, “I started this business in 2003. What I built in ten years was wiped out in ten hours.” Because of difficulties with his insurance, Dellapietro has been forced to explore loan options to avoid having to close. He has purchased new office desks and computers, and an electrician has replaced outlets in the shop. For now, everything is still up in the air as the funds for shop repairs just aren’t there. Dellapietro has been forced to utilize his savings and other assets, and being forced to turn business away has been devastating. “You just don’t get See Still Recovering, Page 33
www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 21
Education Foundation Plans for 2013 Summer Golf Fundraiser in Boston Registration and event sponsorship is presented by LORD Corporation. Innow available for the Collision Repair dividuals can sponsor golf balls ($25 Education Foundation’s 12th annual each ball/ 5 for $100) that will be golf fundraiser event taking place dropped from a helicopter over a hole Thursday, July 25, 2013 in Boston, MA. Golfers will enjoy a round of golf at the South Shore Country Club, a championship par 72 golf course designed in 1922 by Wayne Stiles and features rolling topography, elevated approaches, and pristine conditions. As the Education Foundation’s 2012 golf fundraiser soldout six months in advance, industry professionals are encouraged to register for this year’s golf fundraiser early as it is anticipated If your golf shot is not so reliable, a helicopter golf to be sold-out by early 2013. This ball drop might be your best shot at a $1000 fundraiser takes place in conjunc- closest-to-the-pin win tion with the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and I-CAR industry on the South Shore Country Club golf meetings being held that week in course the day of the event. Whoever Boston, and funds raised through this sponsors the numbered golf ball that event assist the Education Foundation goes in the hole (or the closest to the in providing support to collision repair pin) will win a $1000 American Exstudents and their school’s collision press gift card. Participants do not programs. need to be present to win and only Even if you can’t attend in per- 1,500 golf balls will be sold. son, industry professionals can still Early-bird individual player regscore a hole-in-one through the heli- istration is $225 p/person ($900 fourcopter golf ball drop fundraiser that some team) before April 1, 2013 and will take place as part of the event, $275 p/person ($1,100 foursome
White Still Favored as Most Popular Car Color
White/white pearl dominates the global automotive color popularity ranks for the second consecutive year, according to the 2012 DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report, released Dec. 6. Black/black effect moves into second place in the global ranks this year, largely due to the increased popularity in the Asia Pacific market as this color has a worldwide perception of high quality and luxury. Silver fell to third, as its popularity has waned due to its overall gradual decline, especially in the critical large automotive markets of Europe and Asia. The DuPont report, in its 60th year, is the largest and longest running report of its kind in the automotive industry. It is the only report to include global automotive color popularity rankings and regional trends from 11 leading automotive regions of the world. North American vehicle color in 2012 was once again dominated by white/white pearl, with 24% market share, putting it in first place for the sixth consecutive year. It also led the compact/sport and truck/SUV segment. Black/black effect was at the top of the intermediate/CUV segment and
luxury/luxury SUV segment popularity ranks. It represented 19% of the overall market, maintaining second place in vehicle color popularity in North America. Compared to metallic versions, solid blacks are most favored in the truck segment. Metallic blacks brought interest to the market and have been widely used in all segments, especially in luxury/luxury SUV. For the first time since 1998, silver did not lead in any of the North American vehicle segments, which may be attributed to the increased influence of black and white as status symbols for luxury and quality. However, silver held steady in third place overall with 16% market share. Gray rose two percentage points this year with increases in the truck, luxury and intermediate vehicle segments. The top four preferences, white, black, silver, and gray, have represented the majority of popularity the last 10 years. Red rounded out the top five color choices across each vehicle segment and consequently, overall in the region, with 10% of the market. Popularity rankings of bright colors: red (10%), blue (7%), brown/beige (5%), yellow/gold (2%), and green (2%).
22 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Education Foundation Wants Facebook Likes
team) after April 1, 2013. Registration includes 18 holes of golf, cart rental, complimentary beverages/snacks on the course, BBQ lunch, dinner, attendee promotional items, and the opportunity to participate in several contests on the course. For those attendees who will be traveling into Boston to attend industry meetings that week, complimentary transportation will be provided to and from the industry events to the golf course. This fundraiser event is open to all industry professionals and registration spaces are availableon a firstcome, first-serve basis. Those interested in registering, sponsoring, and/or participating with the golf ball drop fundraiser should contact Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation.org, 847-463-5244, or visit www.CollisionEducationFoundation.org for more information.
The Collision Repair Education Foundation and LORD Corporation, the maker of Fusor products, are partnering to provide safety glasses to collision students. Until Dec. 31, for every individual who “Likes” both organization’s Facebook pages, LORD will donate a pair of safety glasses (up to 10,000) to collision school programs through the Collision Repair Education Foundation. “Like” the organization’s Facebook pages by visiting: ● www.facebook.com/CollisionRepairEducationFoundation ● w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / p a g e s / LORD-Fusor-Automotive-RepairAdhesives/531537473524134 Collision Repair Education Foundation Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode noted, “Due to school budget reductions, there are many collision school instructors who don’t have the ability to purchase safety glasses for their students. Through LORD’s generosity, we can help keep up to 10,000 collision students safe. Please “Like” both of our Facebook pages before the New Year so that we can provide the full amount of safety glasses to collision students this upcoming spring semester.”
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www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 23
24 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
The Honda and Acura Dealers Listed Here are H O NDA T E X AS
LOU IS I AN A
Honda of Burleson
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Cleo Bay Honda
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Don Carlton Honda
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Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8:30-5 Jscott@garciacars.com
Joe Marina Honda
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McDavid Honda of Houston
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Honda Cars of McKinney
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David McDavid Acura
Mac Churchill Acura
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Ford Fusion Wins ‘Green Car of Year’ Title
Ford Motor Co.’s all-new Fusion won Green Car Journal’s “Green Car of the Year” title at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show. The Fusion beat out the Dodge Dart Aero, Ford C-Max, Mazda CX-5 SKYACTIV and the Toyota Prius c. It is the eighth consecutive year that Green Car Journal has recognized a “Green Car” of the year. Previous winners include the compressed natural gas-powered Honda Civic in 2011 and the range extended plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt in 2010. The Fusion comes with multiple internal combustion engine options, and as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid model. Ford’s Fusion has a base price of $21,700; the hybrid model, which gets a combined 47 miles per gallon, starts at $27,200. The C-Max hybrid, which also gets a combined 47 miles per gallon, starts at $25,200. The winner was selected by a jury of environmental leaders, including Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, Ocean Futures Society President JeanMichel Cousteau, Global Green USA President Matt Petersen, “Tonight Show” host and auto enthusiast Jay Leno, and Green Car Journal staff.
GM Recalls 2012 Buick Verano, Chevy Cruze, Sonic
GM is recalling 2,949 model-year 2012 Buick Verano, Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Sonic vehicles because the airbags could fail, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The recall involves the driverside front airbag, which contains a shorting bar that could intermittently contact the airbag terminals, NHTSA reported. If the bar and terminals are contacting each other at the time of a crash, the airbag may not deploy. This increases the risk of injury.
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Volkswagen Beetle Recall
Volkswagen is recalling certain model year 2012-2013 Beetle vehicles, manufactured from Feb. 2012 through Aug. 2012, and equipped with leather sport seats. If the right front passenger seat gets wet, the occupant control module may not properly detect the presence of a child restraint installed in the seat. If the control module does not detect a child seat installed, the airbag will not turn off. If the airbag does not turn off, in the event of a crash necessitating front airbag deployment, a child secured in the child seat may be at an increased risk for serious injury. Volkswagen will notify owners, and replace the control modules, free of charge.
Ford Recalls Escapes, Fusions for Engine Fires
Ford Motor Co. issued its fourth recall Nov. 30 for its 2013 Ford Escape SUV, citing a fire risk. The recall affects 73,320 Escapes, as well as 15,833 midsized 2013 Ford Fusions. Some 80,000 of the recalled vehicles were in the U.S. It’s the latest setback for the Escape, introduced in June and a key vehicle in Ford’s lineup. The Dearborn automaker urged owners of the vehicles with 1.6-liter engines to contact dealers immediately, to arrange loaners. But unlike an earlier Escape recall, this one didn’t caution drivers to stop driving them. The recall is for Escape and Fusion SE and SEL models with a 1.6-liter engine. The company said it has not yet established repair procedures, and can’t say when owners will be able to get their cars fixed. A Ford spokesman said engine overheating can lead to fluid leaks, which may come in contact with a hot exhaust system and trigger a fire. Ford said it received 13 reports of engine fires that followed overheating. No injuries have been reported. Ford told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the first report of an Escape fire was Sept. 7 in Florida.
26 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
150,000 Toyota Tacoma Trucks Recalled Due to Rust
Toyota is recalling its popular Tacoma pickup truck, sold in certain parts of the country. At issue is the carriers that hold the emergency spare tire underneath the truck may not be adequately protected from the chemical road deicers used in several states. If the tire carrier rusts, the spare tire may fall off the truck and present a road hazard, increasing the risk of collisions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the rust problem affects 150,000 2001 to 2004 model year Toyota Tacoma fullsize pickup trucks sold in so-call “rust belt” areas of the U.S., including: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, DC. Toyota has not yet developed a remedy to this situation, but they will notify owners when a fix is in place.
Hyundai, Kia Faces $775 M Lawsuit Over Fuel Economy Lies
A lawsuit was filed against Hyundai Motor Corp. and Kia Motors Corp for over $775 million in damages due to the auto companies admitting they overstated the fuel economy in close to 1 million vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. Reuters reported the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for Central California on behalf of 23 Hyundai and Kia vehicle owners. The lawsuit is expected to challenge Hyundai and Kia’s compensation plan that they have set to satisfy disappointed customers. The South Korean automakers admitted they had overstated the fuel economy on 13 Kia and Hyundai models after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a report about the mistakes. The agency looked into the matter after over a dozen customers filed complaints.
GM to Hasten Development of Electric Vehicles in China
General Motors Co. said it is increasing the speed of its development of electric vehicles in China, where it will build and sell an all-electric Chevrolet Sail Springo in addition to selling the Chevrolet Volt extendedrange plug-in electric. GM recently announced plans to build 500,000 vehicles a year by 2017 that would be powered in some way by electricity. That would include plug-in electrics, pure electrics, mild hybrids that use the company’s eAssist technology and full hybrids, according to the automaker. GM China opened an advanced materials lab in Shanghai in Sept. 2011 where employees work on battery technology and lightweight material research. Workers there can build cells for lithium-ion batteries.
Volt Sales Plummet Due to Inventory Issue
Chevrolet sold 1,519 Volts in November, a 33% rise over the same month a year ago. But that was only about half the record 2,961 vehicles sold in October and 2,851 in September. Don Johnson, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet sales and service, attributed the fall in Volt sales from its record-setting tally in October as an inventory issue, felt particularly hard in California. “Dealers are just clamoring for more,” he said of the California market, where GM sells about 34% of Volts and where it recently had just an eight-day supply of the vehicle. Inventory is now up to 23 days for California and about 60 days for U.S. supply, which Johnson described as ‘ideal.’ Volt sales through 11 months this year totaled 20,828. It’s difficult to tell whether expiration of favorable sales incentives also led to the fall in Volt sales. Without special incentives, the Volt costs $39,145 before a $7,500 federal tax credit. That’s more expensive than the base prices for Toyota’s Prius plug-in ($32,000), Ford Motor Co.’s C-Max Energi plug-in ($32,950) and Nissan Motor Co.’s allelectric Nissan Leaf ($35,200).
Continued from Cover
California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Fix Auto’s increased its presence in the Seattle market to six locations, while doubling locations in the Pacific Northwest from six to 12 stores in the last year. Fix Auto USA CEO Erick Bickett said, “Extinction [in the collision business] has already begun with the shift of market share at a time when there is a declining demand for the repair services that we provide. If you aren’t considering or making changes, you are being left behind. The big get bigger and the smaller will disappear, unless they are in a niche market. Independent repair operators can survive if they evolve their business and participate in a collision repair solution that is less expensive to do business with.”
Boyd Group Last week Boyd Group has announced the opening of their 180th location. The 15,000 square foot facility in Orlando, Florida, previously Colonial Auto Body, will now operate
under the Gerber Collision & Glass trade name, the Boyd Group’s largest U.S. brand. The Boyd Group now owns and operates 37 repair centers in Florida, a state in which the company didn’t even do business in until a year ago. President and COO of the Boyd Group’s U.S. operations Tim O’Day said, “We strongly believe that Florida is an attractive market for the Boyd Group. In June this year Boyd Group announced that it would acquire the assets of Pearl Auto Body, which owns six collision repair centers in the Denver area. At the end of last year, the Boyd Group owned 136 locations in the United States. In the past 12 months, the company has added 44 stores including the two recent acquisitions of Autocrafters and The Recovery Room which accounted for 23 of this year’s new locations. And Boyd is not the only consolidator growing rapidly this year.
Caliber Collision Caliber is a multi-shop operation with 112 locations—including 49 in Cali-
fornia, 48 in Texas, eight in Arizona, and two in Nevada. The company also completed its third acquisition in the greater Oklahoma City market. 2011 revenues were $365 million, a 15.5percent growth over 2010, said Steven Grimshaw, president and CEO. Caliber Collision began 2012 with 94 locations and ended the year with 112. Most of their purchases were one and two-shop operations with their biggest purchase being the five locations of 101 Collision in California, in February. Mark Sanders, Chief Operating Officer for Caliber, recently said, “We will continue to increase our market penetration in this and other southwestern U.S. markets in the months to come.”
ABRA Auto Body & Glass ABRA Auto Body & Glass has also been on an acquisitions streak. ABRA announced the acquisition of all five Collision Solutions locations in Indianapolis, IN. ABRA’s five newly acquired repair centers are located in Kensington Commons, Robbins Park, Beech Grove, Shelton Heights, and Westfield. The deal increases the num-
ber of ABRA repair centers nationwide to 132 in 14 states. ABRA now operates 128 stores in 14 states. At the end of last year, ABRA had just 112 locations in 12 states.
Service King Richardson, TX-based Service King was itself acquired by a management team backed by the investment firm, Carlyle group. Service King grew by 16 shops this year to a total of 63 locations. With 49 stores all within the state of Texas, Service King expanded to the state of Arizona with its acquisition of Auto Body World and also became the latest industry consolidator to attract Wall Street’s attention when the Carlyle Group stepped in to acquire a majority ownership in the chain.
Adding in a few additional acquisitions this year by the smaller consolidators like Cooks Collision (which added 8) and Collision Revision (2), the year 2012 has seen 104 repair facilities acquired by these six companies alone. That is more shops than the total number of locations Caliber Collision owned just 12 months ago.
www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 27
Continued from Cover
One of his former students, David Venard, a Moore, OK, resident, worked about six years in the collision field while attending college, and now teaches at Canadian Valley Tech Center in El Reno, OK. The Collision Repair program is at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, a technical branch campus of Oklahoma State University in Okmulgee. The program offers a two-year, 81-credit six-semester Associate in Applied Science degree program, which features paid internships and ICAR certifications for students. Students rotate through three paid internships of two months each during their second year in the program. Accredited by NATEF, the program offers I-CAR certifications to students at a reduced rate. “Because the program is designed to convert those internships into permanent employment at graduation,
30 credit hours toward an associate’s of applied science degree offered through Oklahoma City Community College. “The curriculum is self-paced, which allows students with prior knowledge or related work experience to advance more rapidly,” Moore notes. Adult students can attend full time or both daily sessions, so they can complete the curriculum and begin their careers more quickly. High school students who live in the district attend tuition-free. In addition to technical training, the program assists students to develop leadership and personal skills necessary for improved employment opportunities through WorkKeys and portfolio development. SkillsUSA also plays a significant role in leadership development, Moore explains. One former student, Derek Rogers, says: “Best of all, it was fun and challenging and helped me prepare for a career in something I love doing.” Living in Yukon, OK, he works as a painter at Car Craft Auto Body in Bethany, OK. In Norman, the Moore Trenton Kendricks checks the masking alignment. Photo credit: Joe Payne, Tulsa Technology Center Norman Technology Center provides secondary and postsecondary students with NATEF- our placement rate is nearly 100%,” certified programs covering all as- says Bill Voorhees, division chair, pects of collision repair, including Automotive Technologies. Stevon structural, nonstructural, refinishing, Gregory is the assistant division mechanical and electrical. The pro- chair. gram began in 1978. The Automotive Technologies Di“One of our goals is to prepare vision also has five automotive servour students for the paint and body ice technology programs: MOPAR and collision field or higher education, CAP (Chrysler); Ford ASSET; GM and I feel we have had success doing ASEP; Toyota T-TEN; and Pro-Tech that,” says Joe Booker, an instructor (Independent Service Centers). at Moore Norman. “Our placement Three faculty members teach the rate is over 85%.” Collision Repair program: Geoffrey Assisting Booker, who is ASE- Constantine, Kelly Ingold, and John and ICAR certified, are one ASE- and Pemberton. The annual enrollment is I-CAR-certified instructor and an as- about 50 students. sistant. OSU Institute of Technology Secondary and post-secondary opened as Oklahoma A & M Tech in students can receive 15 credit hours. October of 1946 as a technical branch Post-secondary students can complete campus of Oklahoma A & M College, the program in one year, secondary serving returning veterans from World students two-years. War II. Auto Collision Repair was one “All of our students are Skills of the original programs. USA members, with 100% participaThe Collision Repair program tion,” Booker says. hosts the state of Oklahoma Skill-
28 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
sUSA hands-on competition. The contest is held in the program’s shops and labs totaling more than 22,000 square feet. Approximately 50 student
contestants compete annually from Oklahoma’s Career and Technology Centers in both secondary and postsecondary categories. Ignacio Trujillo, a four-year employee of Bodyworks Collision Center in Oklahoma City, attended OSU Institute of Technology during 20052007. OSU benefited him in numerous ways. “The instructors showed me that there was more to the profession than just applying body filler and paint. I got hands-on experience on the importance of straightening the structure of a ve-
hicle as well.” Trujillo was also certified in I-CAR welding. “I also was taught the basics of reading and writing an estimate and writing a supplement,” he adds, while noting that after graduating he specialized in painting. “I still use everything I learned every day. I always take the extra step and look over the area to see if it looks right before applying the proper undercoats and painting it. OSU taught me to treat every vehicle as if it was a family car; in other words, you wouldn’t fix your mother’s car half fast knowing that she drives every day,” he says. “You would fix it back to its original state.” Tulsa Tech maintains its Collision Refinish Repair Technician Program at the school’s Broken Arrow campus. Founded in 1965, the school was one of the original Oklahoma Career Tech centers. The collision-repair course began in 1975 and is accredited by NATEF, ODCTE and the Southern Region Educational Board. “We have been a NATEF-certified school
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were formally on four campuses, into a related field, leaning toward the cusa new 240,000-square-foot state-of- tomization of automobiles,” he exthe-art facility. plains. “We have expanded our transportation programs including an alternative fuel program to accommodate high school and adult students with 18 instructors,” he explains. The instructors are Tom Owens, collision instructor– secondary; Brian Buford, refinish instructor — secondary and post-secondary; and Jerry Flaming, colli(left to right) Kameron Hand, Robert Griffin, Luis Balderrama and Josh Young (Photo credit: Anna sion instructor — Trowbridge, MNTC) post secondary. Students are encouraged to join Skills USA “I attended class full time and and are actively involved in graduated in one school year,” leadership and skills compe- Faber reports. “While at school late titions in addition to profes- one day, a gentleman came into the sional development training. class and started talking with Mr. Tulsa Tech has hosted sev- Buford about a job for a student to eral state competitions, Van start installing vinyl graphics on Delft says. new cars. I went and interviewed One student, A.J. Faber, for the job and got it. I have worked ACRT student Derek Rogers at work on a design returned to Tulsa Tech after for the shop for two years now and spending six years in the Air do vinyl installation and prep body Tulsa Tech recently consolidated Force. “A.J. was looking to develop panels to be painted when the paint its transportation programs, which the skills to help him acquire a job in shop is busy.”
teaching collision/refinish, automotive and medium/heavy truck for over 25 years,” says Leo Van Delft, the school’s Transportation Program coordinator. The program is 1,050 hours in duration and can be completed by secondary students in two years; it is also offered in a 10-month program for adults who attend full time. Currently, 72 students are enrolled. “The partnership between industry and education has been instrumental in maintaining progressive programs that fulfill up-to-date training needs,” Van Delft says.
Auto Insurance Consumers Shop for Price ... Sometimes
An overwhelming majority of auto insurance buyers who switch carriers make the change based on price, but not many are actively shopping around, according to a survey from InsuranceQuotes.com. In a national telephone survey of 1,000 adults conducted in early November by Princeton Data Source for InsuranceQuotes.com, within the past 12 months only 21% of those surveyed say they shopped for car insurance. Of those shoppers, 43% switched carriers. The vast majority who switched, 81%, made the change because of price. “This suggests that many people who shopped around liked what they found,” says John Egan, managing editor of InsuranceQuotes.com in a statement. “Consumers don’t care as much about customer service or reputation—they want to know who’s going to save them the most money. Everyone should take an hour or two to compare a few different carriers. It can’t hurt, and you might be amazed by how much money you can save,” Egan said.
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www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 29
John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has a body shop in the family and has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
Industry Insight with John Yoswick
Advocate of Collision Industry Standards in the U.K. Sees Need for Them Here Though some others have pointed Include Mike Monaghan as among the proponents of the benefits of col- to some downsides to the standards lision repair industry standards. What program in the U.K., Monaghan was effect did he seewith such standards hav- unequivocal about the positive impact Ed Attanasio of the standards. He began his arguing in the United Kingdom? “The bad repairers went away. ment for standards in the U.S. by noting that change is inevitable, and that The incompetent and inefficient and illegal repairers went away,” Monaghan too often collision repairers allow said. “The insurance carriers got more themselves to remain only on the reintegrity, better safety, better customer ceiving end of that change. “The tragedy for our industry is service. They got better from with Edvalue Attanasio we react too late. We react to everytheir supply chain.” Monaghan spoke at the Collision thing and then we seek to blame,” Industry Conference (CIC) in Las Monaghan said. “Can the collision industry take Vegas in November. As a three-shop operator in the United Kingdom in control of its market and its destiny? 1988, he said was discouraged with Yes, it absolutely can, but what it can’t having to compete with other repairers do is constantly wait and react. It has to take control.” that he didn’t feel had made the investment he had in equipment and training. He wrote a white paper outlining what Are minimum requirements enough? he felt a “good shop looked like,” and He challenged whether repairers or over the course of three years helped insurers clearly have defined what “good” looks like. He pointed out one craft one of the first set of collision reexample in a draft revision of CIC’s pair standards in the U.K.
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definition of the minimum requirements for a shop, which calls for shops to have a minimum of one technician certified in welding. Monaghan asked about a shop that has six or eight technicians, only one of which who is certified and who is gone for a day when welding is done on vehicles. “Is that safe? Is it right? I seriously don’t think so,” Monaghan said. “If you’re welding a car, you should be tested before you get to weld.” He said that part of the problem with not having standards is that repairs are too often designed based more on negotiated cost. “You need to understand there is an independent correct repair, and that has to come first, and only… then do you figure out, and if necessary negotiate, the cost,” he said. Monaghan said over the course of three years, he took his white paper to shops, insurers and automakers for
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input, and by 1991 it was ready to be implemented as a standard. “The good shops that wanted to differentiate themselves stepped up and said, ‘If that means I have to be audited four times a year, front door to back door, looking in every dark corner, then that’s the standard I want to be identified with,’” Monaghan said. The standard was eventually adopted by 13 insurers (who required it be met by shops on their programs) and 11 auto manufacturers, Monaghan said. Though Monahan didn’t mention that another set of standards was also vying for adoption by shops and insurers, he did say that in 2007 he stepped aside and the current single standards program in the U.K., implemented by the insurer-funded research firm Thatcham, moved forward.
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CIC to the topic of the impact of standards on costs. He acknowledged that in some instances in the U.K., repair costs (and the percentage of vehicles declared total losses) have risen. But he said the reduction in costs associated with variability and other issues declined. “If you get the right people, the right repairers with the right materials and the right skills and training—if you get all those things more frequently—then you reduce the variables,” he said. “There is less rancor, less rework, less supplementaries. All those factors were contained and scaled back considerably.” Monaghan, who recently moved to the United States, clearly has an interest in playing a role in the development of standards here. “I’m living here now, and I’m willing to help CIC or anybody else in this industry with my knowledge and background,” Monaghan said. “I think the U.S. can achieve something quite spectacular (and) does not need to go through the pain we went through… “If the repair industry does not embrace this and take charge of its own destiny, then it will be a victim of change.”
Other perspectives on standards in the U.K.
As an advocate for implementation of a set of collision repair standards here, Mike Monaghan, at the most recent CIC, spoke mostly of the upside of the standards he helped develop in the United Kingdom. But others there, even those who support the standards, acknowledge some challenges they pose. In the U.K., more than 840 shops (out of an estimated 1,400 that participate in insurer direct repair programs) have earned certification under the 5year-old set of repair standards. Although the standards were developed by an inter-industry effort, the implementation of those standards and certification of the shops is overseen by Thatcham, an insurer-funded research organization. “It’s basically a get-of-jail-free card for insurers,” said Chris Mann, publisher of Bodyshop Magazine in the U.K., has said of the standards program. “If something goes wrong and
they are asked, ‘Why did you choose this body shop,’ just saying, ‘It’s cheap and it’s there,’ is not a very good answer to a court. But ‘I chose this body shop because it is independently-audited through this standards program,’ means you’ve taken the due care that a reasonable organization should do. I think that’s a big, big plus for insurers.” But Mann also points out that without such standards “against which their suppliers can be measured...the only criteria insurers can use is price.” Certified shops also have the benefit of using the “Kitemark” logo, somewhat equivalent to the “Good Housekeeping” seal of approval in this country in that it is widely recognized by U.K. consumers as a designation of some level of performance among the companies and products that have earned its use. Paul Gange, the president and chief operating officer of Fix Auto USA,
said that while he believes in the value of standards for the industry, he’s observed some of the challenges with the program in the U.K., where a similar Fix Auto organization has more than 60 franchises. Gange noted that at one point in the U.K., there were multiple competing sets of industry standards, and shops found themselves being required by different insurers to implement multiple standards “This was, at the very basis, a bit of a mess,” Gange said. Gange also said that while single standards program now in the U.K., is “at its essence positive, it’s riddled with bureaucracy, and along with bureaucracy comes costs.” Gange said that shops in the U.K. feel they bear the burden of these costs, which include $30,000 to $80,000 in terms of an initial implementation fee, along with the equivalent of just under $8,000 a year in annual training.
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ASA Collision Division Recaps 2012, Moves Forward into 2013 The ASA Collision team, composed of ASA staffer Denise Caspersen and ASA collision members participating on the ASA Collision Division Operations Committee, led by team director Dan Stander, owner of Fix Auto Highlands Ranch, with input from the ASA Board of Directors, had a productive 2012 representing the ASA membership and engaging with the various segments of the industry that affect the ASA collision repair membership. ASA is fortunate to have willing volunteers with diverse backgrounds actively donating their time, mindshare and leadership in addressing actions and issues of the association. “ASA’s collision division functions extremely well as a team and approaches things just that way, as a team,” said Caspersen. Just as the collision repair industry faced multiple challenges and changes in 2012, so did the volunteers and staff of ASA’s collision division. Following the release of a revised ASA crash parts policy, supporting the original part as the standard of measure, and a joint statement with AASP and SCRS recommending that original manufacturer
repair procedures be considered as the standard, the ASA’s collision team began 2012 with the announcement of a strategic alliance with alternative parts manufacturer, Diamond Standard, that afforded ASA members with product liability protection against the unlikely scenario of damage or personal injury directly related to use of Diamond Standard parts in the repair. In early 2012, ASA Arizona played a vital role in bringing about the removal of language from House bill 2394 which would have forced shops, in many situations, to absorb the costs associated with vehicle storage or bill it to the vehicle owner. This was accompanied by ASA Texas bringing forth opposition to proposed licensing ordinances in early 2012 followed by ASA Texas challenging the state’s franchise tax law in mid 2012. At the federal level, ASA began the year monitoring an auto parts bill, H.R. 3889, Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade and Sales Act (PARTS). The bill would amend the U.S. design patent law to change the period of design patent protection for automakers from 14 years to 30 months. ASA
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joined with 10 other automotive groups in opposition to the bill while monitoring actions in the U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee. Continuing a long-standing tradition of ASA calling for the repeal of McCarran-Ferguson, ASA showed support for federal bill, H.R. 5 asking for the restoration of the Application of Antitrust Laws to Health Sector Insurers, which passed on the House floor in the first quarter. Also related to insurance, ASA attended a workshop in the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice review of Most Favored Nation (MFN) clauses within the insurance industry. Prior to the workshop the FTC noted: “The most commonly used MFN provisions guarantee a customer that it will receive prices that are at least as favorable as those provided to other buyers of the same seller, for the same products or services. Although at times employed for benign purposes, MFNs can, under certain circumstances, present competitive concerns. This is because they may, especially when used by a dominant buyer of intermediate goods, raise other buyers’ costs or fore-
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close would-be competitors from accessing the market. Additionally, MFNs can facilitate collusion and stabilize coordinated pricing among sellers.” ASA will continue interest in Most Favored Nation discussion in 2013. The 2012 ASA legislative objects and can also be located on the ASA legislative website at www.takingthehill.com – sidebar – Legislative Objectives - http://www.takingthehill.com/objectives.htm. 2013 ASA legislative objects will be appearing there in the very near future. In addition to working with SCRS and AASP on seeing vehicle manufacturers repair procedures recognized as the standard for repair procedures, ASA continued in the three’s mutual support of the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG) program, which continues to provide free industry support for addressing questions of information provided the industry leading information providers. Throughout 2012, ASA’s collision division also provided the ASA membership with representation by taking part on the on the I-CAR Board of Directors, the CIECA Board of Direc-
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tors, the WIN Board of Directors, CIC meetings and the CIC Data Privacy committee. ASA looks forward to continued interactions with these bodies in 2013. These items were in addition to the lengthy and extensive engagement of ASA’s collision team centered on the electronic parts procurement application currently piloted by State Farm. During many conversations, ASA’s collision division has been met with both support and disappointment of ASA’s approach of professionalism, factual understanding and industry engagement in addressing this pilot. During the early stages of the pilot, information was presented to the industry which brought both concern and confusion to the ASA membership. In early April, the ASA collision team took on the challenge of providing ASA’s membership and the collision industry with as much verifiable information as possible through the engagement with as many segments as possible, in addition to speaking directly with State Farm and the application’s designer, PartsTrader. Over the past months, this approach also called for the ASA collision volunteers to express the concerns
of the ASA membership (initially centered around the repairer/supplier relationship, and then expanding to specifics of the application, and now on ‘what happens to the collision repair shop’s profit on parts?’) and follow up on requests for data on what are the affects of the pilot are on those participating. The December 2012 expansion of the pilot to the 475 Select Service shops in the Chicago, IL, area will broaden the test market to approximately 600 collision repair facilities currently on the Select Service program. To date, ASA has provided the industry with 13 statements focused on the State Farm Select Service pilot, including: initial details of the pilot; public request for result data of the pilot; overviews of industry meetings; changes to the pilot and detailed coverage of ASA’s ongoing conversations with State Farm. ASA will continue to be a part of conversations, advocacy and communications about the State Farm electronic parts procurement application in 2013. ASA’s communication pieces specific to the State Farm pilot can be located on the ASA website at www.ASAshop.org. Click on “Tools
& Resources,” then “State Farm Pilot Program.” And lastly, the ASA collision team spent many hours designing and leading in the educational elements of Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW), which took place in New Orleans, LA, in October. During the week, ASRW conducted more than 80 educational sessions, along with NACE forums and the Assembly, a town hall type discussion for repairers only. For those attending ASRW in 2012 and taking part in the invaluable educational activities, it’s likely you heard from ASA’s collision team in various sessions, panels and forums. ASA’s communications pieces specific to all the other above mentioned actives of the ASA collision division for 2012 are found at www.asashop.org. Click on “News & Events,” then Latest News – 2012 Press Releases. The key driver in ASA collision team actions continues to be centered on the engagement of the ASA collision leadership and the ASA membership at large. To be a part of the conversation, continue to contact ASA’s collision division manger, Denise Caspersen by email; firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at (817)-514-2906.
Continued from Page 20
rich in this business,” says Tony. He has been unable to turn a profit since Sandy, and the bills just keep accruing. Employees of Tony D’s are currently relying on unemployment insurance since the shop is still closed. Dellapietro is busy dealing with disaster unemployment issues. On the day that Sandy hit, police had to force Dellapietro out of the building, but he could not extract the cars he was working on as there was already three feet of water in the yard. All seven cars in his shop were totaled, whether partially or fully repaired. Dellapietro admits that he was very emotional when he saw how badly his shop was damaged, and he has been seeking spiritual comfort. He has no clue when he will be able to reopen, and he notes “It feels like I’m starting over again.” These three shops are just a small sampling of the businesses that were damaged by Sandy. There are many options to contribute aid for Sandy’s victims. One such option is Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, P. O. Box 95, Mendham, NJ 07945-0095.
www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 33
The Insider is a corporate-level executive with a Top 10 auto insurer in the U.S.. Got a comment or question you’d like to see him address in a future column? Email him at Auto.Insurance.Insider@gmail.com
Not All Insurance Executives Are Created Equal with The Insurance Insider
Being an insurance executive has its a different world. It’s people like Bob pros and cons. I guess it’s not really that cause lower-level insurance comdifferent from any other job – with pany employees that you have to work with Rae with Siskto think and act like empowered one exception. We are Chasidy the ones with the gold, and the evil body shops are dictators towards shops. the ones that are trying to get it. That makes my job unique because not everyone gets with to Chasidy Rae Sisk play the role of the leprechaun. Although I am joking, there are a lot of similarities between insurance company employees and the leprechaun at the end of the rainbow protecting the pot of gold. We are unique, misunderstood, It isn’t a healthy situation but it’s deceptively sneaky at times – and con- one that is tolerated at various levels tinuously worried about someone tak- because Bob is a company man, and ing our money. he watches our money and is helping With the holiday season here, to eliminate fraud. When Bob identiperhaps I should be making comparfies a shop that he thinks is over-writisons between Santa Claus and insuring estimates or not properly repairing ance executives, but that would be vehicles, his view is considered justiridiculous. We are nothing like Santa fied. Sadly, Bob’s word is taken as if it because we don’t give anything away. were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke I guess we more closely resemble or John. Ebenezer Scrooge, if trying to stay An even sadder reality is that Bob within the holiday theme. never worked on a car in his life. He Why am I telling you something couldn’t tell you a weld nugget from a you already know? After all, we all chicken McNugget, yet he is judge know that grass is green, there is no and jury on a proper repair and repair such thing as paint caps or Santa Claus, hours. and insurance executives are all misers How is this possible? Because (present company excluded). Actually, most insurance company executives I’m telling you all of this because not are born on a different side of town all insurance company executives are and have years and years of drinking created equal. Even though it is fun to from the same water fountain. I’m throw jabs at defenseless suits, the renot sure how I escaped because I ality is that there are a few good ones was drinking the same stuff. But for among us (present company included). most of us, all of our experience is But please meet Bob. Bob is an insurance-related, so we don’t know insurance executive who works with what’s really on the other side of the me. Although Bob doesn’t wear green, wall. Depending upon your mentors isn’t short and doesn’t have red hair, within an insurance company, your he is very much a leprechaun. I don’t vision of body shops can end up know when or why he became so bit- being tainted. ter and perpetually worried about the I am grateful that I’ve had many evil body shops stealing money. But level-headed bosses over the years. I he has more conspiracy theories than do recall one in the early 1980s that the George Bush administration. looked just like the nutty professor. It’s extremely difficult to work I’ve never asked Bob, but I am willwith guys like Bob because he lives in ing to bet that he spent a lot of time
Northeast News Shop Showcase
working for that mad scientist. He despised body shops, and Bob is exactly the same. I think he wakes up every morning with sole purpose of penalizing shops. While Bob actually does find some shops that are thieves and couldn’t repair a Radio Flyer wagon correctly, the vast majority of his hysteria should be viewed as nothing short of a witch hunt. This story doesn’t have a happy ending. Bob isn’t a mythical character. He is someone who is still very active in our business. I believe he will retire in a few years but the damage has already been done. I think every insurance company has a Bob. Insurance companies have made positive changes over the past 30 years, but they’ve been unable to fully rid themselves of the cancers like Bob. They are the old-timers who are carry-overs from a time when shops and insurance companies were sepa-
34 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
rated by the Berlin Wall. I’m grateful to have been there when both that wall was erected and when it was torn down. I found out that the people on the other side of the wall are just like me. You can’t fight with the Bobs of the world because you won’t win. There is no answer or fix. The best you can do is to know your enemy. Debating, arguing and offering personal opinion will surely raise the ire of the cunning and deceptive leprechaun. Only facts and documentation are worth their weight in gold. Just don’t tell Bob that. He might try taking both of them for his overflowing pot. “The Insider” is an auto insurance company executive who wishes to remain anonymous. This column reflects solely the opinion of The Insider as it offers an unvarnished look at various issues impacting the collision industry.
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Hurricane Sandy Fuels Auto Sales Not Seen in Four Years In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, 30,000 of the sales during November automakers reported the highest level were by consumers replacing Sandy of new vehicle sales —1.1 million— flooded, damaged or destroyed vehithe best month since January, 2008. cles. Some analysts say that those conSales for new cars rose 15% in No- sumers who meant to buy in October vember. The increase in sales is at- were delayed by the hurricane and tributed to totals due to the hurricane, waited to purchase in November when which slammed into the East Coast in things calmed down. In West Babylon, NY, the Honda late October. It is estimated that 200,000 vehicles will be replaced in dealership there move its entire new the Northeast. November, 2012, and used car inventory inland as the marks the industry’s best monthly sales rate in four years nationwide. Compared to last November, sales rose 11.9% from a year earlier, topping analyst forecasts. That put sales at an annual pace of 15.5 million vehicles, according to Autodata. So, how good were November sales? Honda and Cars totaled by Hurricane Sandy Nissan had the best November and BMW its best U.S. month storm approached because their reguever. Automakers sold more units in lar lot was swamped. November than in October, only the “I’ve been in business since 1964, second time that has happened in 24 and I’ve never had a month like this before,” said Gary Schimmerling, presyears of records. Analysts say that between 20,000- ident of the Honda dealership, about 45
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minutes east of Manhattan on Long Island. He sold more than 250 new vehicles in November, versus 100 in a typical November, Schimmerling said. The New York Times reported that preliminary figures showed that 1.14 million vehicles were sold in November, in contrast to 994,000 in the same month a year ago, according to the research firm Autodata. Because of Hurricane Sandy, it is expected that the industry will exceed 2012 sales forecasts and that recovery will continue into 2013. Kelley Blue Book sees the storm demand continuing through December which could possibly end up being the strongest month in vehicle sales in 2012. The storm damaged more than 230,000 vehicles, including 190,000 in New York and New Jersey, according to estimates from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. But analysts say only about 25% of those cars will be replaced with new ones because the replacement value in most cases would only be enough to replace a used car with another used car. In addition to Hurricane Sandy helping to lift auto sales to a four-year high, healthy sales in November are also attributed to the need to replace aging cars and a steady supply of fresh, new models with superior fuel economy, the New York Times reported. Typically, the end of the year is a good season for the auto industry anyway, especially for those offering good rebates. Analysts said the strong sales across the industry proved that the gain was the result of more than just sales delayed by Sandy. Most believe that sales would have been above the 15 million pace even without the storm’s effect. Besides the surge in new car sales due to the storm, reports say U.S. car buyers are returning to showrooms in recent months due to pent up demand and because Americans are feeling more confident in the economy, because there has been some improvement in the job market, and consumers have easier access to credit and financing. Jesse Toprak, an analyst at TrueCar, said that larger economic worries such as the fiscal cliff have had little impact on car buyers, at least so far. “Right now, consumers are feeling better about making big ticket item decisions,” said Toprak. But, he
added, that could change depending on the political climate and the stock market. However, automakers fear that talks of the ‘fiscal cliff’ could put a damper on the party, if Congress and the White House can’t reach an agreement. The ‘fiscal cliff’ term refers to the tax increases and government spending cuts set to roll into effect starting Jan. 1 if the government can’t come to an agreement to cut the deficit. Toprak and other analysts believe that car sales will get an additional lift from Sandy in the coming months, as consumers move to replace damaged cars after they’ve received checks from their insurers. “It typically takes 90 days to sort out the impact of a storm like this,” said Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst for Edmunds.com. AutoGuide.com reported one analyst who said he doesn’t read too much into the November increase of auto sales. “Automakers do not sell cars to customers, they sell to dealers,” said Jim Hall, Managing Director of 2953 Analytics. “And retailers replenish their inventory faster than consumers purchase vehicles, so that could explain a lot of the sales bump. There is nothing worse for a dealer than to be low on stock.” Toyota and Honda reported large increases in sales that were partially due to replacing storm-battered vehicles. Toyota said its November sales jumped 17.2%, and Honda reported at 38.9% increase. One analyst said Honda is the most popular brand in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Nissan said its sales increased 12.9% in November. General Motors reported a low sales of increase of just 3.4%, mostly because of a drop in truck sales. Ford Motor Company reported its sales were up 6.4% in November because of the popularity of the Focus sedan and C-Max hybrid models. Chrysler fared well with a 14.4% increase in November.
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Sandy Forces Automakers to Scrap over 15,000 New Vehicles In the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s de- ties, destroyed homes and eroded natstruction, automakers were forced to ural barriers such as beaches after it scrap more than 15,000 new vehicles struck Oct. 29. Fisker Automotive Inc., a startup damaged by the storm. Nissan estimated more than 6,000 maker of luxury plug-in hybrids, lost Nissan and luxury Infiniti brand cars 338 of its $103,000 Karma sedans at and light trucks were not going to be the port of Newark, New Jersey, inable to be sold because of storm dam- cluding 16 that burned in a fire trigage. Including used autos and those of individual owners, approximately 200,000 will have to be replaced, said Larry Dixon, senior analyst for the National Automobile Dealers Association. “Total vehicles affected may be about one-third of what we saw with Hurricane Katrina, and that was about Cars damaged in Manhattan from Hurricane Sandy. 600,000” used and new vePhoto by: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg hicles, said Dixon, based in gered by salt water, said Roger McLean, VA. Sandy, the biggest Atlantic storm Ormisher, a spokesman for the Anain U.S. history, raked New Jersey, heim, California-based company. “We don’t have a full estimate of New York and the surrounding region with 100 mile an hour winds and led the cost to replace them yet,” he said. to at least 100 deaths. The storm’s The closely held company’s cars were surge of more than 13 feet inundated being processed for delivery to dealtransit tunnels and underground utili- ers when the storm arrived. Replacing
Rhode Island Shop Owner Arrested Again
The owner of a Pawtucket car shop accused of scamming customers was arrested again by Rhode Island State Police. Dino Coccia was taken into custody in North Providence by the Violent Fugitive Task Force Nov. 29 on four Superior Court Bench Warrants: Failure to Appear/Unlawful Appropriation; Failure to Appear/ Unlawful Appropriation; Failure to Appear/Obtaining Money under False Pretenses; Failure to Appear/Obtaining Money under False Pretenses. Coccia is the owner of America Sales and Collision Center. He was arrested in May after he was accused of selling two customers the same car and renting out cars he was supposed to be repairing. More than two dozen people have come forward, claiming to be victims of his scheme. In July, the Attorney General filed 50 new charges against him, including obtaining money under false pretense, unlawful appropriation, uttering bad checks and one count of attempted larceny.
Sandy Caused Thanksgiving Car Rental Shortage
Superstorm Sandy created a shortage of rental cars as the storm damaged thousands of cars, including those owned by rental companies. Thanksgiving and Christmas are normallybusy rental periods. To help ease the shortage, car rental companies drove in thousands of vehicles from elsewhere in the country. They also kept older models that they would normally sell to used-car dealers. • Hertz held on to older vehicles that were scheduled to be sold. It also brought in extra cars and even rented trailers and generators to keep open some locations destroyed by the storm. • Avis Budget brought in 6,000 extra cars from elsewhere in the country. • Enterprise Holdings moved 17,000 cars to the Northeast region from other parts of the country. Another 10,000 brand new cars, set for other states, were instead redirected to New York and New Jersey. Thousands of people in the Northeast are still without vehicles. Some cars were flooded by surging waters and will be replaced with new ones once insurance checks are cut. Others were damaged by falling trees and debris and are in body shops.
36 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
338 Karmas at the $103,000 base price would total $34.8 million. Some 4,000 Toyota and Lexus vehicles were at the company’s port facility in Newark, CA, when the storm hit, said Jana Hartline, a spokeswoman for Toyota’s U.S. unit in Torrance, CA. “We have about 1,300 that we are taking a second look at” that may be salvaged, she said. “A little bit under 3,000 will likely be scrapped.” Another 825 vehicles in dealer inventory were damaged by Sandy and can’t be sold, Hartline said. Honda and Acura dealers expect to have to scrap about 3,440 vehicles, said Chris Martin, a spokesman for Honda’s U.S. unit in Torrance, CA. Scrappage decisions will be determined by dealers and their insurers, he said. Additionally, about 500 U.S.-built vehicles Honda was preparing to export from the FAPS Inc. port facility in Newark were also damaged, Martin said. Chrysler dealers lost about 750 vehicles from their stock due to hurricane damage, said Ralph Kisiel, a
spokesman for the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based carmaker that’s majority-owned by Fiat. Hyundai Motor Co. U.S. unit lost 400 vehicles, said Lori Scholz, a company spokeswoman in Costa Mesa, CA. Kia Motors Corp., a Hyundai affiliate also based in Seoul, has about 200 vehicles “damaged beyond repair,” said Scott McKee, a spokesman for the company’s U.S. unit in Irvine, CA. The company’s dealers in Bay Ridge, New Jersey, Jersey City and Staten Island “lost most or all of their inventory,” McKee said. New York and New Jersey are among the top 15 U.S. states for vehicles in operation and auto dealerships, NADA said in a report. The two states also have a larger portions of cars than trucks and non-U.S.-based brands account for a significant share of total sales, the dealer organization said. There are 886 auto dealerships in New York and 463 in New Jersey, according to NADA.
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Mitchell Repair Center ToolStore Integrates with Car-Parts.com Pro Search
Mitchell recently announced a new technology integration with CarPart.com as a partner in the RepairCenter™ ToolStore, making it possible for body shops to search for green parts in the Car-Part Pro marketplace directly from the RepairCenter Workspace. The Car-Part Pro value added marketplace, designed for body shops and insurance appraisers, is now seamlessly integrated into RepairCenter through the RepairCenter ToolStore. Car-Part Pro allows professionals to search by delivery date, warranty, recycler certifications, and part quality, and returns all inclusive pricing results from a database of 140 million parts, 4,200 recyclers, and hundreds of alternative parts providers. The built-in Live Service™ messaging feature allows realtime communication with part suppliers, and Car-Part.com’s exclusive SmartVin™ technology decodes VINs to simplify part choices during the search. “This integration gives Mitchell customers the ability to search for green parts and see only those that can be delivered within their cycle time window, meet their warranty criteria,
and conform to their quality standards,” says Jeff Schroder, founding CEO of Car-Part.com. “We know it’s crucial for shop’s profitability to have all the information they need at their fingertips, and we’re excited to provide a simple and powerful solution directly integrated into Repair Center.” In addition to passing data to facilitate parts lookup and ordering, the RepairCenter ToolStore also provides the ability to receive data back from Car-Part Pro. This two-way integration empowers shops to eliminate the manual steps required to update relevant parts costing and estimate information in RepairCenter, further simplifying workflow. CarPart Pro interface is offered at no additional cost in the RepairCenter ToolStore and takes just one click to activate. To learn more about RepairCenter, visit www.repaircenter.mitchell.com,or to get additional information about building your own application in the ToolStore, contact Mitchell by email atRepairCenterInfo@mitchell.com or telephone at 1-800-238-9111.
New Low-VOC Bumper & Cladding Adhesion Primer
Urethane Supply Company’s new Spies Hecker® introduces PermaBumper & Cladding Coat Adhesion solid® Spectro Sealer 5450, a premium 2K high solid system that can Primer is an advanced, low-VOC, solbe used as a wet-on-wet sealer, unvent-based primer designed to stick to derhood color or as a flexible sealer problem plastics, such as TEO, TPO for plastic repairs. Fast and easy to and PP, without sanding or pretreatapply, this low VOC sealer delivers ment. The primer is designed for easy excellent coverage and a smooth finrefinishing of new, unprimed OEM ish. Designed for use with all Spies replacement bumpers. Hecker® base coats, Permasolid® The Bumper & Cladding Coat Spectro Sealer 5450 is an excellent Adhesion Primer is compatible with choice to help increase productivity all popular urethane and waterborne and profitability. Spraying requires base-clear topcoat systems and many only 1.5 coats with no flash-off time single stage products. It does not between coats. have to be scuffed or sanded and may Permasolid® Spectro Sealer be topcoated at any time after appli5450 is currently available in black cation. Due to the primer’s low and white. Red, blue, green and yelVOCs, it can be used in all 50 states low will be available in 2013. All and Canada. colors can be mixed together to get “The low-VOC formula sprays an unlimited number of colors, insmoother and has improved topcoat cluding shades of gray. compatibility over our previous for“Permasolid® Spectro Sealer mula,” said Urethane Supply Com5450 helps technicians to achieve pany President Kurt Lammon. great results faster and easier,” said “Plus, the simple, ready-to-spray, 1K Debbie Curry, product manager, North formulation means there’s no waste, America. “It lays down quickly and if and what a technician doesn’t use can needed, nib sands easily. Additionally, be poured back into the can.” it can be used to make underhood colIn addition, technicians can mix Give us your opinion on matters affecting the industry. ors a one step process.” For more inshades to match the desired tint to reformation, visit SpiesHeckerUSA.com duce the amount of topcoat required or call 1-888-371-3313. to achieve the final color match.
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Sherwin-Williams Sets First Quarter Training Classes
Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes announced its training sessions designed to help automotive collision professionals in the first quarter of 2013. These upcoming business-building and production-excellence courses are being provided through classroom, web and hands-on settings at numerous Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes training centers located in metropolitan areas across the United States and Canada. The classes are designed to increase shop productivity as well as specifically focus on: painter certification, AWX Performance Plus™ waterborne refinish systems, color adjustment and blending, fleet refinishing, accurate estimating, workshop efficiency and much more. According to Rod Habel, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes Director of Training Operations, all the new classes have been developed for 100% digital training; the brand has converted all of its hands-on training classes from standard, printed manuals to digital textbooks. “Converting all of our Training Manuals from paper to digital has provided our employees and customers with an enhanced learning experience,” says Habel. “It has established Sherwin-Williams Automotive as a
category leader in training practices and demonstrated our environmental consciousness by eliminating the use of thousands of pages of paper each year.” Details on some of the 2013 first quarter training sessions include: Fleet CFR in Reno, NV, Jan. 7; AWX Performance Plus™ Waterborne Refinish System Painter Certification in Atlanta, GA, Jan. 14; AWX Performance Plus™ Waterborne Refinish System Painter Certification in Dallas, TX, Jan. 14; ATX™ Refinish System Painter Certification in Dallas, TX, Jan. 17; Color Adjustment & Blending in Atlanta, GA, Jan. 21; AWX Performance Plus™ Waterborne Refinish System Painter Certification in Philadelphia, PA, Jan. 21; Estimating Solutions for Profit in Atlanta, GA, Jan. 24; ATX™ Refinish System Painter Certification in Philadelphia, PA, Jan. 24; Painter Certification in Dallas, TX, Feb. 11;Fearless Plastic Refinishing, in Philadelphia, Feb. 22. For a complete listing and more information about Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes training or other products, visit the training section at http://www.sherwin-automotive.com/Training/TrainingCourseSc hedule.aspx or call 1-800-SWULTRA (1-800-798-5872).
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TV Public Service Commercial for Body Shops Aimed at the Dangers of Texting and Driving PreFab Ads recently introduced “Text Crash,” a TV/Internet commercial aimed at increasing public attention of the hazards of texting while driving, making it available to auto body shops nationwide.
Chuck Jessen of Jessen Productions in San Rafael, CA, wrote, directed and produced “Text Crash,” which opens with a young woman texting her boyfriend while driving. As a result, she runs a red light and Tbones a van in the intersection. In the eerie aftermath, amidst the wreckage and against the wail of the approaching sirens, a “ping” is heard—a text from her boyfriend, wondering where she is. The words “Please don’t text
Elektron Joins VSG Family of Brands
Vehicle Service Group (VSG) has acquired the assets of Elektron Bremen GmbH, a global manufacturer of resistance welders, plasma cutters and battery service equipment based in Bremen, Germany, since 1942. Elektron joins Chief Automotive Technologies™ in VSG’s portfolio of top collision repair brands. Chief is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of frame-pulling equipment, vehicle-anchoring systems, computerized measuring systems, and vehicle frame specifications. Chief is also a leading provider of comprehensive training on structural analysis, computerized measuring, collision theory and repair. “The Elektron acquisition enables us to offer collision repair shops a ‘total repair solution,’” explains Gary Kennon, president of VSG. “We can now supply equipment to diagnose and identify collision damage, repair the damage through pulling the frame, replacing parts or welding, and document that the vehicle was returned to the original manufacturer’s specifications. Elektron is an important strategic component as we continue building our global collision business.”
and drive. We don’t need the business that bad” fade up, followed by the logo sponsoring auto body shop. Designed as a body shop-sponsored public service announcement (PSA), “Text Crash” will be making its December debut in 14 U.S. markets and one Canadian market, with more body shops signing on to run it every week, according to Jessen. “Body shop owners seem to easily recognize the potential good will this PSA could generate in their local communities,” Jessen said. “Nearly all the shops running this spot say they have fixed cars damaged from a texting-while-driving incident. Hopefully the awareness generated by this spot will help take this tragic trend in another direction.” “Text Crash” is just the latest of 17 collision repair commercials Jessen offers through PreFab Ads (prefabads.com), a division of Jessen Productions, LLC. It can be viewed on prefabads.com and YouTube. To view “Text Crash” go to: http://www.prefabads.com/text_crash.php.
3M Awards Final “Ticket to the Track” VIP Grand Prize
Paint technician Neil Smith of Masters Auto Body in Charlottesville, VA, was the final VIP Grand Prize winner of 3M’s “Your Ticket to the Track” sweepstakes. Smith and his guests will attend an expense-paid trip to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas. Accompanying Smith during his Vegas experience are Masters Auto Body owner Jeff Cotton, E&M Auto Paint Supply representative Stan Fitzwater, E&M owner Terry Whitmore and their guests. Smith’s VIP prize package includes round trip airfare and hotel accommodations, admission into NASCAR Victory Lap and NASCAR After the Lap meet-and-greet with a NASCAR personality, tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony, and a 3M Racing merchandise gift bag.
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American Honda Launches Two New Consumer Websites by Ed Attanasio
American Honda recently launched two consumer-related websites to provide pertinent and timely information to owners of Hondas and Acuras. See next story for new collision center focused Honda website. Earlier this year, the manufacturer launched its collision consumer site, Collision.Honda.com, after years of development and the early reviews are very positive, according to Gary Ledoux, Honda’s Assistant National Manager of Wholesale Parts Marketing. Last month, the carmaker also launched AirbagAware.Honda.com, a site the company created in response to the burgeoning problem associated with the proliferation of counterfeit airbags on the market. After polling its customers and getting their feedback through several focus groups, Honda saw a need for both new websites, Ledoux said. “We conducted several focus groups in 2009, and we learned some very interesting things. The average consumer knows that their car gets
wrinkled up, they take it to the body shop and a few days later they get it back and it’s straight and shiny again, but they have absolutely no idea what goes on in the background. So, one of the main things that we cover on Collision.Honda.com is an in-depth look into the collision industry from the consumer’s perspective,” Ledoux said. Another need for education about parts became apparent through their focus groups, Ledoux said. “We learned that most people do not know that aftermarket parts could be installed when their cars are being repaired at a body shop or collision center. They understand that aftermarket parts are used in the mechanical world, because they drive by the parts stores every day, but they’re not aware that aftermarket parts exist in the collision industry. In the past, they assumed that OE parts were being used in their cars. They didn’t realize there was an alternative. When we explained this fact to the people in our focus groups, some of them were visibly upset, because they all thought they were getting OE parts.”
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In the past, Honda created collateral pieces to convey important messages to its owners, but now they’re embracing the Internet to achieve the same thing, Ledoux said. “Years ago, we created a brochure called “What to Do When You Get in an Accident”, designed for new owners of Hondas or Acuras. We put them in every car we manufactured, and did it for several years. It cost a lot of
Ledoux said. “They deal with all of the topics that people are concerned about and they want to know our stance on all of them. They deal with subjects like aftermarket vs. OE parts, wheel repairs, safety recalls, structural parts replacement, salvaged and used airbag components and unibody repairs and salvaged/recycled parts. It covers the entire gamut and evidently it’s going to be a very popular part of the site.” In
Collision.Honda.com tells owners of Hondas and Acuras what to do when they get in an accident in its Accident Assistant section, while they get a glimpse into what happens when their cars get fixed by accessing the site’s Collision 101 section
money to produce them and when we conducted a survey, we found out that most of these brochures died a slow death in the bottom of peoples’ glove boxes. So, we decided to put the information online, so that people could access it quickly and easily.” The Accident Assistant section of the site deals with what to do after an accident, and the section titled Collision 101 focuses on factors and issues drivers can and should deal with before an accident takes place, Ledoux explained. “Collision 101 is a primer on how to deal with body shops, by providing a glimpse into the industry from a consumer’s perspective. It’s a very thorough approach with a ton of value-added features.” The website includes pages that deal with repairs, parts, insurance relationships (DRPs), safety tips, a shop locator, a collision glossary (that goes from Accident Forgiveness all the way to Waterborne Paint), news, views and a special section that features Honda’s position statements can be found in the Collision 101 section. Honda has included a series of position papers on Collision.Honda.com as well. “We didn’t know what the response would be to the position papers, but it’s been exceptional,”
the News, Views and More section, users can access the latest and greatest stories about the collision industry, with a focus on relevance to the consumer, Ledoux said. “This is an ever-changing section of the site, because we’ll be posting new articles on there all the time. In addition, we have a Hall of Fame page in that section, which consists of stories about people or companies within the collision industry that do good things for other people on a regional basis. That means that only the people in those areas know about it. Our Hall of Fame will bring national attention to these efforts and we want them to get out there, because they deserve the accolades. Also, our Rear View section is going to be a lot of fun, providing historical capsules that relate to the automotive history, as well as the world of collision repair.” In addition to creating Collision.Honda.com, Honda also recently launched a second consumer-related site, AirbagAware.Honda.com, an effort that became necessary when the carmaker encountered a growing problem associated with counterfeit airbags. “A few years ago, we began seeing more and more of these counterfeit See American Honda, Page 45
www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 41
Continued from Cover
Year in Review
February John Borek of Autocraft Bodywerks in Austin, TX, wasn’t accepting the explanation from American National Property and Casualty Company (ANPAC) that an appraiser working on its behalf was just using “an outdated document” when denying the shop’s supplement for color sand and buff. In a follow-up letter to the Texas Department of Insurance, Borek pointed out that the document looked like a page from the Audatex guide to estimating, but shows that color sand and buff is included in refinish times; Borek says an Audatex manager who searched the Audatex/ADP “Database Reference Manuals” back to 1993, concluded that the page is “most certainly not a document from ADP/Audatex.” “This manufactured document can only achieve one goal, which is to convince uneducated consumers and shops that this operation is included so they can ‘short pay’ the claim,” Borek wrote in his follow-up letter to the Department of Insurance.
March Chrysler became the latest automaker to announce a certification program for both independent and dealership collision repair shops. Certification requires meeting more than 40 standards including maintaining I-CAR Gold Class status and using squeeze-type resistance spot welding equipment. Under the program, if all OEM parts are used on a job, that will be noted on the vehicle’s CARFAX report, along with the fact that the vehicle was repaired a Chryslercertified shop.
April LKQ Corporation Eileen Sottile worked to counter ongoing liability concerns for shops about use of alternative parts by announcing that in addition to a lifetime warranty on its non-OEM parts, it would indemnify shops against injury or damage caused by a defective vehicle part distributed by LKQ. The “Promise of Protection” says it covers a “licensed automotive repair shop” that purchases the part from LKQ, excluding claims arising from shop negligence or malfeasance.
LKQ’s move followed Diamond Standard’s announcement in January that it was offering ASA member shops coverage under a $40 million liability insurance policy for any liability issues related to the performance of Diamond Standard non-OEM structural parts.
May Eileen Sottile of the Quality Parts Coalition (GPC) urged attendees at the Auto Body Parts Association (ABPA) conference to contact Congress to support the coalition’s legislation (HR 3889) that would reduce the time automakers can use design patents to prevent other companies from producing replacement crash parts. Sottile said the bill would reduce the patent protection from 14 years to just 2.5 years. Despite a public relations and lobbying effort funded by LKQ Corporation ($3.7 million), Nationwide and State Farm ($115,000 each), Allstate ($92,000) and others, the bill never got beyond a hearing in the U.S. House. June Insurer groups’ radio ads and other efforts were successful in convincing Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee to veto legislation that would have given
shops in that state the right to sue insurers directly in small claims court over disputed repair costs. Chafee said he believed the bill would have given shops rights that exist in “no other state in the nation,” and would have “hurt Rhode Island consumers” by raising the cost of auto insurance. The legislation, supported by the Auto Body Association of Rhode Island and passed by lawmakers, also would have strengthened the state’s anti-steering law, and would have required that damages exceed 75% of a vehicle’s value before that vehicle can be declared a total loss. The association Rob Knott issued a statement expressing its disappointment with Chafee’s action. “Though his veto message states that he is concerned about the consumer, he clearly put the consumer and small business’ interests aside and bowed to the pressure of the real ‘special interest group’ —the billion-dollar insurance companies,” the association’s statement read.
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July Some good news for shops worried about the growing amount of accident-avoidance technology in vehicles: It’s not all working. The July issue of “Status Report” from the Highway Loss Data Institute examined insurance claims data to see what impact crash-prevention technology is having. “Forward collision avoidance systems, particularly those that can brake autonomously, along with adaptive headlights, which shift direction as the driver steers, show the biggest crash reductions in the studies,” the publication stated. “But one feature, lane departure warning, appears to hurt rather than help, though it’s not clear why, and other systems aren’t showing clear effects on crash patterns yet.”
August DuPont announced it was selling its 11,000-employee automotive paint business to private equity firm The Carlyle Group for $4.9 billion in cash. “Through targeted investments we will support DPC’s product development and growth objectives as it transitions to a stand-alone company,” Greg Ledford of The Carlyle Group said.
The Carlyle Group earlier in the summer had announced it was acquiring majority ownership in the Texasbased Service King Collision Repair Center chain.
September The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) jointly held a workshop on the topic of most-favored-nation (MFN) clauses, such as the basis for State Farm’s pricing requirements for its Select Service shops. “Although at times employed for benign purposes, MFNs can, under certain circumstances, present competitive concerns,” the two agencies noted. “This is because they may, especially when used by a dominant buyer, raise other buyers’ costs or (prevent) wouldbe competitors from accessing the market. Additionally, MFNs can facilitate collusion and stabilize coordinated pricing among sellers.”
October Speaking at NACE in New Orleans, representatives of State Farm, Allstate and Nationwide said that any MSOs on their DRPs are measured as individual shops and must compete to per-
form as-such. George Avery of State Farm said his company’s experience with M2, the 27-shop consolidator in California that closed suddenly back in 2005, led his company to focus on finding topperforming individual shops, whether stand-alone or part of an MSO. Rob Knott of Nationwide concurred. “We think the mom-and-pops still have a place,” Knott said. “Some of the challenges that the MSOs have is over-saturation in certain marketplaces, so you’re not going to put (all their shops in a market) Rick Leos on (the direct repair program). And then there’s the consistency issue, when they expand too fast and aren’t able to maintain the same service levels and quality.”
November Toyota previewed a new “predictive estimating” system it is creating that incorporates all necessary parts and Toyota-recommended procedures along with links to all related Toyota bulletins
and published documentation. Toyota’s Jerry Raskind called the system a “game-changer,” in that rather than having an estimator start from a blank page and add line items based on what they know or can locate about OEM procedures, the system begins with a complete estimate and allows the user to omit items as appropriate. “Everything you need to fix our cars correctly and to our standards is there,” Toyota’s Rick Leos said.
December The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released revised estimates indicating that 230,000 vehicles in Eastern states had been damaged by super-storm Sandy. New York had the most vehicles affected by the storm with 130,000 while New Jersey generated 60,000 claims.
John Yoswick, a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988, is also the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). He can be contacted by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.Yoswick
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Study Finds Aging Population Won’t Increase Accident Rates as Baby Boomers Get Older As baby boomers age, there has been a growing concern that traffic fatalities and vehicle crashes will spike, especially since older drivers already are a high risk segment, but a new study finds that these changing demographics won’t cause the crisis many are predicting, says Consumer Reports. The new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) looked at the changing demographics and how it could affect insurance claims and found that while the driving population is expected to increase and older drivers will account for a larger percentage, there will not be an increase in collision claims based on their predictions. In addition, while a higher number of older drivers will be on the road, there will be a decrease in drivers under age 30, who have the highest claims overall. HLDI analysts also looked at collision claims if more seniors continue to drive. They increased the rate of insured drivers by 20% for people over 65 and found that it still didn’t change the insurance claim frequency. Looking at current trends, the
overall claim rate is decreasing and will actually be lower in 2030 than in 2010. The study only looked at lowseverity crashes and didn’t make a prediction on fatal crashes, which is higher for older drivers because their fragility makes them more likely to die in a crash. There could be a higher rate of fatal crashes in the future, but health improvements could also make them less likely to die in those crashes. Safer cars may also help contribute to a reduction in fatality rate as new technologies can help older drivers avoid crashes in the first place. The issue of older drivers is a complicated one. In Consumer Reports’ October 2012 article “Risky Drivers,” crash risks of older drivers was looked at and found that it is not only high traffic fatalities that are of concern, but what they should do when they can’t drive anymore. Unfortunately, there aren’t many transportation alternatives for seniors who need to give up the keys. Small community organizations are working to increase mobility and offer ride shares, but not nearly enough to handle the future demand.
Audatex Extends Contract with Boyd for Estimating Audatex North America, Inc. announced a new multi-year agreement with The Boyd Group Inc. to provide estimating software and related tools to support the multi-shop operator (MSO) in the U.S. and Canadian markets. The Boyd Group operates more than 200 locations across the four Canadian provinces under the trade name Boyd Autobody & Glass, and in 14 U.S. states under the trade names Gerber Collision & Glass, Pearl Auto Body and The Recovery Room. Boyd also operates Gerber National Glass Services, an auto glass repair and replacement referral business with approximately 3,000 affiliated service providers throughout the United States. “Through an ongoing commitment to excellence, the Boyd Group is a leader in the collision repair industry and continues to build momentum as one of the fastest growing multi-shop operators in North America,” said Wolfgang Ahrens, Managing Director of Audatex US. “Audatex is pleased to extend our business alliance with the Boyd Group as we support their U.S. and Canadian operations with the industry’s most intelligent and complete estimating and collision repair solu-
tions,” Ahrens said. Boyd and its predecessor companies have been Audatex customers for more than 25 years. More than 100 of Boyd Group’s collision repair centers will use Audatex Estimating technology, leveraging features such as intelligent 3D graphics, colorcoded parts and digital imaging to ensure estimating accuracy and efficiency, as well as the highest levels of customer satisfaction. “We have established and maintained a long-standing alliance with Audatex because the company continues to innovate and address the dynamic business and technology needs of our repair centers and employees, so that they in turn can better serve www.autobodynews.com our customers,” said Tim O’Day, PresidentCHECK and COO of the Boyd IT OUT! Group’s U.S. Operations.
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New SEMA Scholarship in Dick Dixon’s Name Planned Plans are in motion to institute a SEMA Memorial scholarship in the name of Dick Dixon, long time SEMA member and educator from La Verne, CA, who lectured at Cal State University San Bernardino, and who championed higher education for young people who wanted a future in the automotive and related industries. Dixon passed away on Nov. 15 after waging a tough battle with cancer. Even as the disease had him in great pain, he spent some of the last days of his life among colleagues, friends, and students at the annual SEMA Show meetings in Las Vegas. “He was there to see his friends, and to pass the baton on in his way,” said Pat McInturff, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Management at San Bernardino. “He was weak, but every student, every friend that he spoke to about his ideas for new projects buoyed him up. He never allowed the conversation to become about himself and his problems; it was all about the future, the students.” “Dick was more than a colleague,” said McInturff, “He was an inspiration for all of us, he truly enjoyed teaching and he particularly loved helping students to understand the value that a solid business educa-
tion would have in their future in the automotive industry.” Dixon came to formal teaching somewhat later in life. A lifelong motorsports junkie, an open-wheel racing driver in his youth, a magazine publisher, writer, and skillful organizer, he was involved in countless facets of the automotive business throughout his life. He touched hundreds of lives in hundreds of different ways, but it always his boundless enthusiasm that
Dick Dixon Obituary
The SEMA website published the following obituary: Writer, educator and industry speaker Dick Dixon passed away in his sleep November 15 after battling cancer. He lived by the philosophy that life was a sandbox from which to learn, work and play. He thought of himself as an unconventional get-it-done-right guy, who “worked like a 270 Offy.” Dixon grew up in Hawthorne, CA, and earned his masters degree in management and marketing at California State University Dominguez Hills. Most recently, he was the director of the International Motorsports Alliance at California State University, San Bernardino and chairman of the Automotive Trades Institute. Dixon was a lifelong auto-
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motive and motorsports enthusiast and 30year member of the aftermarket and motorsports industry. A three-time SEMA Ambassador of the Year and Motorsports Legends Hall of Fame inductee, Dixon received numerous industry awards and spoke at industry events nationally. He authored the Cal State/SEMA-endorsed aftermarket management and marketing education certificate program and served on the SEMA Scholarship Committee for 13 years. Dixon was a former professor and motorsports administrator at Indiana and Purdue Universities. He was also managing editor and publisher of the Hot Rod Parts Guide and chairman and CEO of the Automotive Education Alliance. Dixon actively participated in SEMA’s ARMO, HRIA, YEN, and SBN councils.
airbags,” Ledoux explained. “Consumers need to know the facts so they can insist that only OE airbags are used. It’s a life and death situation, so we’re very concerned and want to be proactive in providing valuable information to the public about this controversy.” AirbagAware.Honda.com launched in mid-December and is full of useful data, including safety advisories provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), useful news about airbags, videos, and documentation that explains the difference between a Honda and a non-Honda airbag. One of the featured videos appearing on both websites is called “Use Your Melon,” a 30-second commercial that shows exactly what happens to a watermelon when an airbag opens too late. “It’s quite a visual and people have been talking about it since we produced it,” Ledoux said. “It illustrates how crucial airbags are and how things can go wrong if they’re not genuine.”
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his friends will remember and miss most of all. At Dick’s request, there was no funeral, and his wife Judi has asked that friends and associates remember Dick by contributing to this scholarship. Contributions should be made directly to SEMA. Checks should be made out to: SEMA Memorial Fund earmarked: “Dick Dixon” and sent to: 1575 S. Valley Vista Drive, Diamond Bar, CA 91785-0910.
Continued from Page 41
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State Farm Updates ASA on PartsTrader Pilot Program State Farm recently provided ASA with a PartsTraders update. Dan Stander, AAM, ASA’s collision division director and owner of Fix Auto Highlands Ranch in Littleton, CO, and Denise Caspersen, ASA collision division manager, received updates from State Farm about the insurer’s current pilot, which uses the PartsTrader electronic parts ordering application. Representing State Farm on the call was George Avery, claims representative, and State Farm staffer Duane Willemain. The November update was the first of several expected from the insurer, which has committed to keeping ASA members abreast of the pilot and its potential effect on future State Farm Select Service participants. The ASA collision leadership and staff continue to focus on providing ASA members and the industry with accurate information about the pilot, while engaging and advocating on behalf of collision repairers. The pilot expanded into Chicago, IL, on Dec. 10, and will increase involvement to nearly 600 Select Service collision repair facilities of the
10,300 shops participating nationwide in the State Farm Select Service program. The following updates were provided to ASA during the call: ● Pilot locations in Charlotte, NC, and Birmingham, AL, now have the ability to do 30-minute quotes—resulting in all four original pilot markets now having a 30-minute quote window. ● Regarding estimating systems, Audatex; CCC Information Services; and Mitchell International all have twoway integration in all four markets. ● A change has been made in the process of writing estimates to better accommodate alternative pricing. According to State Farm, if a shop has alternative pricing available through a different source, State Farm is recommending Select Service shops write estimates with those prices—therefore utilizing price matching. ● In Chicago, business meetings are set with multi-shop organizations and all Select Service repairers. Chicago is recognized as a heavy consolidator market. Items for the meetings include:
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– An overview of the program – Handouts about the program – Preparation material for the Dec. 10 “live” date – PartsTrader started hosting meetings Nov. 12 for dealers and parts suppliers. – Select Service shops have been asked to identify suppliers. – To date, 466 letters from State Farm to suppliers have been sent out. – 500–600 suppliers have been identified in the Chicago market. – To date, 475 of 477 Select Service shops have registered. ● Regarding cycle time improvements, State Farm said it was hard to prove, at this point, any cycle time improvements linked to the application. State Farm does not expect an immediate or large reduction in cycle time. ● Regarding “saving of total losses,”
State Farm said that at this point there is not enough data to validate this. Nor is there data that demonstrates an increase in recycled or alternative parts. ● PartsTrader is moving forward with integration into the various collision management systems. ● No evidence to date on reductions in parts profit, according to State Farm. ● The length of the Chicago pilot is unknown. According to State Farm, once a change is introduced into the application in pilot, it is necessary for the change to “mature” to determine the impact of the change. This impacts the end date. ● The PartsTrader application has undergone at least seven updates since the initial pilot release in March 2012. ● PartsTrader has announced it will not charge suppliers until 2014.
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Published on Dec 19, 2012