January 2022 Southwest Edition

Page 1




AZ / AR / CO / LA / NM / OK / TX / UT

Toyota Busts the Car Microchip Shortage by Steven Symes, Motorious

Unless you’ve been living in a cave or under a rock, you know for about a year automakers have been suffering from a shortage of microprocessor chips, necessary for a number of features. This has meant auto giants shuttering factories for weeks on end, trimming back on production and even storing unfinished cars in hopes they can install the chips at a later date. With predictions of this situation being alleviated in a matter or months or even a couple of years,

it might be shocking to hear Toyota has already found a solution. That’s right, the only big automaker to have skipped out on most of the chip shortage nonsense in North America but ultimately had to scale production back by 40%, to the glee of its critics, is once again alone in its cherry situation. Toyota has announced it will be back to full global production capacity in December. In fact, the company said it anticipates churning out 800,000 vehicles in December, up from the 760,000 it made in December 2020. See Microchip Shortage, Page 20

ASA Texas to Become Texas Auto Care Alliance AllianceThe Automotive Service Association (ASA) of Texas Board of Directors have voted for a move to become the Texas Auto Care Alliance. This change comes as the ASA dissolved affiliation agreements with their local affiliates across the country. ASA Texas will join forces with the Midwest Auto Care Alliance (MWACA) and other alliances, including ASA Northwest (soon to be Northwest Auto Care Alliance), ASA Illinois (soon to be MWACA Greater Chicagoland) and the recently announced ASA Pennsylvania (soon to be Mid-Atlantic Auto Care

Alliance). “I am very excited that the ASA Texas Board of Directors has chosen to join forces with the Midwest Auto Care Alliance and other Auto Care Alliance members,” said Robert Gruener, president of ASA Texas and owner of Autotechtronics in Katy, TX. “I feel like this will benefit our members in a very positive way, and the future looks very bright for the independent automotive service professionals in Texas.” The ASA-Midwest affiliate, ASA’s second-largest affiliate at the time, left the ASA to form an independent organization, the Midwest See ASA Texas, Page 18

Vol. 40 / Issue 1 / January 2022

Collision Repair Industry Thought Leaders Share Innovative Ideas During IDEAS Collide Showcase talk about creative ways to help the industry evolve. Thought leaders from across the col- “The ideas that we’re explorlision repair industry had the oppor- ing really traverse a lot of different business models and a lot of tunity to share innovative different topics,” said Aarideas at the IDEAS Collide Showcase held during the on Schulenburg, executive 2021 SEMA Show. director of SCRS. “Some of them will be about how we The event was first introduced at the 2018 show approach the industry and by the Society of Collision some of them will be very Repair Specialists (SCRS) Ben Kaminsky, gen- specific solutions to specific as part of its Repairer Driv- eral manager, SEMA challenges.” Garage Detroit en Education (RDE) series. “We’ve always champi This year, eight speakoned that the topics in this See IDEAS Collide Showcase, Page 22 ers were given 10 minutes each to by Stacey Phillips

Tesla Makes it Official—Texas Now Truly New HQ by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

A recent Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Dec. 1 revealed Tesla has now made its headquarters’ move to Texas official. As per the filing, dated Dec. 1, the company’s headquarters is now located at Gigafactory Texas. “On Dec. 1, 2021, Tesla, Inc. relocated its corporate headquarters to Gigafactory Texas at 13101 Harold Green Road, Austin, Texas 78725,” Tesla officials noted in the filing. The statement clarifies speculations about the location of Tesla’s Texas headquarters. The company previously operated a separate HQ in California at 3500 Deer Creek Road in Palo Alto, about 23.5 miles away from the Fremont Factory. Looking at Tesla’s SEC filing, it appears Gigafactory Texas would be serving multiple roles for the company. Apart from being the location where key vehicles such as the Model Y and the Cybertruck will be produced, the facility will also host Tesla’s headquarters. Speculations suggest a 4680 production and recy-

cling plant may be built in the Giga Texas complex as well. Tesla’s move to Texas was previously announced by CEO Elon Musk. During the 2021 Annual Shareholders Meeting, Musk said the company would be moving its headquarters to the Lone Star State. Musk did not provide specific details about the move then, though the company did unveil an image of Tesla’s logo in a Texas-inspired belt buckle. The exodus of Musk’s companies to Texas has been going on for some time, though the departure of Tesla’s headquarters from California involved some drama. This was because Tesla’s departure was announced by Musk following a spat with Alameda County about the Fremont Factory’s reopening last year. Despite the Tesla headquarters’ departure from California, however, Musk noted the company remains determined to expand its operations in the state. “Just to be clear, though, we will be continuing to expand our activities in California. This is not a See Tesla Makes it Official, Page 16



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Axalta Among Most Responsible Companies � 28

Arkansas Thieves Swipe Beloved Classic Cars � 6

Biden Releases Oil Reserves to Address

Alliance ��������������������������������������������������������� 1 Austin Mobility Experience to Showcase

Energy, EVs ������������������������������������������������� 46 CIF Elects Trustee from Axalta ������������������������ 43

Motorsports Formats ���������������������������������� 18

Collision Repair Industry Thought Leaders

Photos with Santa’ Events at Arizona Dealerships ��������������������������������������������������� 6 Tesla Makes it Official—Texas Now Truly New HQ �������������������������������������������������������� 1 TSTC Students Secure Jobs Before Graduation in Auto Collision Field ���������������������������������� 16

Share Innovative Ideas During IDEAS Collide Showcase ������������������������������������������ 1 Ford Only Major U.S. Automaker to Report Year-Over-Year Sales Increase in November ��������������������������������������������������� 48 GM, POSCO Chemical to Build Factory to Process Material for Ultium Batteries ��������� 46 Industry Veteran Establishes


Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com ������������������������� 42

Anderson - When it Comes to Auto Body Shop

J.D. Power Study on Fully Automated

Technician Compensation, Something Has

Self-Driving Vehicles: Consumers

to Change ���������������������������������������������������� 28

Don’t Know What They Don’t Know �������������� 4

Chess - The Evolution of Dent Repairs ������������� 10 Yoswick - Auto Body Shop Billing Practices Related to Total Losses, Not-Included Procedures �������������������������������������������������� 30 Yoswick - MSOs Discuss Collision Parts Challenges, Increased Work-in-Progress ����� 40

NATIONAL 3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives Created to Improve Collision Shops’ Productivity, Efficiency and Cleanliness ��������������������������� 34 Apple Reportedly Accelerating Car Development, Wants Model to Be Fully Autonomous �������� 33 Apple’s AirTags Being Used to Track and


Biden Signs Executive Order on Clean

Electric, Autonomous Vehicles, New

Earnhardt Auto Centers Sponsoring ‘Drive-Up



Rising Gas Prices ���������������������������������������� 50

Retired Tech Looks Back at 67 Years in Collision Repair ������������������������������������������� 36 SEMA Industry Indicators: U.S. Economy Expected to Finish Q4 Strong, But Uncertainty Remains ����������������������������������� 44


ASA Texas to Become Texas Auto Care


Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Stacey Phillips Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Norman Morano, (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bryan Malinski Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Abby Andrews Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Permissions Editor: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray

Serving Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas, Colorado, Arizona, Utah 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. ©2022 Adamantine Media LLC.

3M Automotive Aftermarket Division ��������������� 5

Kwik Bench ���������������������������������������������������� 16

ASP Clips ������������������������������������������������������� 23

Larry H. Miller Ford Mesa ������������������������������ 18

Audi South Austin ������������������������������������������ 41

Mac Haik Ford-Lincoln ����������������������������������� 35

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 47

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������� 46

AutoMart Mitsubishi �������������������������������������� 37

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts ��������������������������� 40

BendPak ��������������������������������������������������������� 17

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������� 39

BMW of South Austin ������������������������������������ 41

NOROO Paint & Coatings �������������������������������� 15

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������������� 44

North Freeway Hyundai ��������������������������������� 28

Bob Utter Kia �������������������������������������������������� 32

Northside Chevrolet ��������������������������������������� 33

Certified Automotive Parts Association ������������ 6

Part of the Club ���������������������������������������������� 37

Chevyland ������������������������������������������������������ 34

Peak Kia ��������������������������������������������������������� 37

Christopher’s Dodge-Ram ������������������������������ 37

Pro-Spot International ������������������������������������ 21

Classifieds ������������������������������������������������������ 50

Santa Fe Kia ��������������������������������������������������� 36

DeVilbiss Automotive Refinishing ������������������� 12

SATA Dan-Am Company ���������������������������������� 7

Dynabrade, Inc ����������������������������������������������� 31

Schmelz Countryside �������������������������������������� 37

Autobody News P.O. Box 1516 Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com editor@autobodynews.com

Emich Chevrolet ��������������������������������������������� 37

Schomp Mazda ���������������������������������������������� 14

Shepherd Joins Advantage Parts Solutions ����� 46

Equalizer Industries, Inc ��������������������������������� 10

Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center ������������������������� 8-9

Stellantis CEO: EV Transition Costs ‘Beyond

Finnegan Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram ���������������� 2

Solera �������������������������������������������������������� 26-27

Fisher Acura ��������������������������������������������������� 37

Spanesi Americas ������������������������������������������ 29

Fisher Honda �������������������������������������������������� 37

Steve Landers Auto Group ����������������������������� 20

Flatirons Subaru ��������������������������������������������� 37

Stevinson Toyota West ���������������������������������� 37

the Limits’ the Auto Industry Can Sustain ��� 44 Tesla Has an Estimated 1.3M Cybertruck Reservations Worth $80B ��������������������������� 32

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 49

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������� 43

Toyota Busts the Car Microchip Shortage ��������� 1

Fowler Honda ������������������������������������������������� 36

Toyota of Laredo �������������������������������������������� 22

Transportation Secretary Buttigieg Cites

Freeman Mazda ��������������������������������������������� 32

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������� 42

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������� 45

Valspar Refinish ��������������������������������������������� 11

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers ������24-25

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������ 48

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������ 38

Wedge Clamp Systems ���������������������������������� 13

KECO Body Repair Products ��������������������������� 19

Wrenchers ����������������������������������������������������� 52

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������� 51

Young Chevrolet ��������������������������������������������� 30

Gas Prices, Promotes EVs ��������������������������� 48 U.S. DOT Announces Initial Framework for

Steal Luxury ������������������������������������������������ 38

EV Charging Station Programs �������������������� 38

ASA Announces Podcast Series ��������������������� 33

Volvo Invests in Imaging Start-Up ������������������� 34

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 3

J.D. Power Study on Fully Automated Self-Driving Vehicles: Consumers Don’t Know What They Don’t Know While the automotive industry continues to move toward fully automated, self-driving vehicles, the pace is not being matched by educational efforts that will help bring buyers into the modern mobility movement. According to the redesigned J.D. Power 2021 Mobility Confidence Index (MCI) Study, released Nov. 30, consumers possess inaccurate knowledge of fully automated self-driving vehicles. Survey respondents were asked to select one of seven possible descriptions to define fully automated self-driving vehicles. Based on the Society of Automotive Engineers’ definition of Level 4 and Level 5 self-driving, two descriptions correctly defined a fully automated self-driving vehicle, which only 37% of MCI respondents selected. More than half (55%) of respondents selected descriptions aligned with driver assist technology, which describe lower levels of automation currently available in many product offerings. The ability to accurately define a fully automated, self-driving vehicle is even lower (32%) among those with higher self-reported levels of automated vehicle (AV) knowledge. Survey findings show those who self-report knowing nothing at all about AVs are actually more accurate (37%) in defining fully automated self-driving vehicles. “This is a ‘Danger, Will Robinson’ moment for the fully automated self-driving vehicle industry,” said Lisa Boor, senior manager of global automotive at J.D. Power. “There is a significant gap between actual and perceived AV knowledge. Right now, consumers don’t know what they don’t know. Clear, consistent messaging from industry stakeholders is needed to improve the accuracy of consumer AV knowledge. The industry needs to be the catalyst for educating the public before running into such speed bumps. AV education must expand beyond current, traditional learning methods.” The study index is based on six unique attributes of consumer comfort with fully automated, self-driving vehicles. The comprehensive metric measures consumer readiness

for AV technology in several categories: personal vehicles; commercial vehicles; public transit; riding if unable to drive due to age or injury; sharing the road with other AVs; and consumer purchase intent. This year, the study has been redesigned as an annual offering from J.D. Power, MIT Advanced Vehicle Technology Consortium (MIT AVT) and Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE).

“The more people see and learn, the more they want to know. And we can help to quench that thirst for learning by providing clear, hype-free facts and simple, consistent terminology.” Today’s experiences build tomorrow’s customers and expectations: Leading the way for greater self-driving vehicle expectations and consumer acceptance are experiences with current Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

By merging the quarterly J.D. Power MCI Study with the annual MIT AVT Automated Driving Technologies Study, key metrics from both are maintained with a freshening of phrasing and survey terminology. The redesign also provides the opportunity to add several new topics not previously covered. The study is further strengthened by the participation and support of the PAVE coalition and its goal of raising public understanding of driverless vehicle technology.

Today, 41% of respondents are comfortable with driver assist technology being the maximum level of automation, which is 27 percentage points higher than those who would be comfortable with fully automated self-driving vehicles. Adding to the challenge is that 19% of respondents believe fully automated self-driving vehicles are available for purchase or lease today—an incorrect belief also shared by 16% of Tesla owners. “Tesla” was the most frequently mentioned word when respondents were asked what comes to mind when saying fully automated self-driving vehicles are available today. Consumer self-driving vehicle readiness rises: The score for confidence in fully automated self-driving vehicles improves to 42 (on a 100-point scale) from 34 a year ago and 36 two years ago. Positively trending is the excitement to use fully automated self-driving services when compared with the J.D. Power 2020 Q3 MCI Study: personal vehicles (+11 percentage points); delivery services (+3); taxi/ ride-hailing services (+4); and public transit (+2). Nearly one-third (31%) of respondents say they are very comfortable or extremely comfortable with transporting goods in a fully automated, self-driving vehicle, and the comfort level increases to 47% among those with an active driving assistance feature on their current ve-

Following are key findings from the 2021 study: Knowledge not the same as learning: Consumer interest in AVs increases 10 percentage points from the J.D. Power 2020 Q3 MCI Study, with 51% now having more general interest due to something they read or heard. However, only 29% of respondents have actively sought to find information about AVs. The majority (53%) of respondents believe the best way to learn about AVs is a driver’s education course for self-driving vehicles. A majority (58%) also say they are willing to complete specialized training for a special AV driver’s license. At the opposite end of the learning spectrum, 27% say they would prefer to learn by doing in a selftaught fashion. “These results demonstrate the power of knowledge,” said Tara Andringa, executive director of PAVE.

4 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

hicle. Respondents also see the benefit in fully automated self-driving vehicles for those unable to drive due to age or injury—a newly added index attribute for this year’s study—as respondents’ comfort levels are 27% overall and 45% among those with active driving assistance on their current vehicle. Consumer comfort is higher for AV applications that may not involve them: Of all fully automated self-driving modalities measured, consumers are most comfortable with goods being transported commercially and riding in a fully automated self-driving vehicle if unable to drive due to age or injury. The attributes more likely to affect a consumer personally—AV public transit and riding in fully automated self-driving vehicles—have the lowest levels of comfort. “Safety is paramount when building any self-driving experience,” said Bryan Reimer, Ph.D., research scientist in the MIT AgeLab and associate director of The New England University Transportation Center at MIT. “Organizations working as technology pioneers have the responsibility to create realistic and accurate consumer expectations for what their products can and cannot do. “Small setbacks in public trust triggered by misuse of systems or a failure of a system to perform based upon misconceived consumer expectations may hamper deployments over the coming decades, depriving consumers of the convenience and safety benefits the technology can potentially offer,” Reimer said. “Consumer overconfidence and lack of knowledge to date can lead to risk taking that will cause the AV industry to hit a lot of potholes.” The J.D. Power 2021 Mobility Confidence Index (MCI) Study is based on responses from 4,000 vehicle owners in the U.S. age 18 and older who completed a 15-minute online survey. The study results were balanced to basic census demographics to be nationally representative. The study was fielded in June and July 2021. Source: J.D. Power

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autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 5

Earnhardt Auto Centers Sponsoring ‘Drive-Up Photos with Santa’ Events at Arizona Dealerships Children and their parents are invited to special holiday events at Rodeo Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Queen Creek, AZ, and Earnhardt Lexus in Phoenix. All events are free, and it is strongly encouraged parents register through Eventbrite to ensure their spot. On Dec. 5, Santa Claus will visit Earnhardt Lexus for the second annual “Drive-up Photos with Santa” event at the dealership, and a photographer will be taking pictures. “Last year, we created this drive-up event in response to adhere to COVID protocols, and we discovered it was a real hit with parents and kids alike,” said Bull Earnhardt, general manager of Earnhardt Lexus. “It’s just pure joy to see how the children respond to Santa, and the staff at our Earnhardt family dealership really loves this free event. So we decided to invite the public again this year.” Santa will be available from 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 5. When drivers arrive, they will form a vehicle queue until they reach the designat-

ed unloading spots. “Our dealership already serves many families thanks to the popularity of such SUVs as the Lexus RX,” said Earnhardt. “We have heard from parents that it is a struggle to enjoy time with Santa in a regular store. As such, they wanted a different setting where their chil-

6 p.m. Dec. 8, 9, 15 and 16. There will also be a free hot cocoa bar and train rides on the No Bull Express. “Our dealership is excited to have Santa visit us again this year,” said Heath Wacker, manager at Rodeo CJDR. “This is the fourth time we’ve been able to host St. Nick at our dealership.”

“Last year, we created this drive-up event in response to adhere to COVID protocols, and we discovered it was a real hit with parents and kids alike,” — Bull Earnhardt dren could meet Santa Claus with less hassle and still capture those fond memories without sacrificing quality. “We hope this visit with Santa gives a lot of joy to area kids this year,” said Earnhardt, grandson of E.A.C. founder Tex Earnhardt. “On behalf of the Earnhardt family, we extend all our good wishes this holiday season.” At Rodeo CJDR, Santa will be available for pictures from 4 to

The No Bull Express is a trackless train that will cruise around the large dealership parking lot. It will be free to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis, during event hours. “Over the last three years, we’ve heard from parents that they appreciate the opportunity for their children to see Santa Claus in a low-key setting away from the mall or big box store,” said Heath. “We try to create welcoming surround-

ings where children can feel comfortable and create those special holiday memories right here in Queen Creek.” The event repeats four times in December to give more families a chance to visit with Santa Claus. “At Rodeo CDJR, our staff has been busy making room for the addition of the new Wagoneer brand,” said Heath. “We are happy to slow down a bit, give the gift of Santa photos to area families, and see the season through the eyes of children.” Due to time constraints, only one pose/sitting per family will be taken. Following both events, to make it easy to receive the pictures, the professional images will be available in a hi-res digital download. Parents will receive information on how to access their free pictures when they are at the dealerships for the events. Source: Earnhardt Auto Centers


Arkansas Thieves Swipe Beloved Classic Cars by Steven Symes, Motorious

A family in Jonesboro, AR, is grieving after someone broke into a storage unit and stole two beloved classic cars. Both a red Chevrolet truck and a blue Toyota FJ40 have been handed down through the family as

heirlooms, so they have considerably sentimental value to the family. The theft took place sometime in the first half of November and police are searching for a suspect. We also know quite a few of our readers might be shopping for vehicles like these so if you see one like it listed online, you might want to let the Jonesboro Police Department know. Stacy, the father of the cars’

owners, restored both the Toyota and Chevy. He passed away from COVID-19 a year ago, so the classic vehicles were a lasting memory of him. Now they’re gone, likely taken by someone who’s just looking to cash in. Adelaine, Stacy’s daughter, was given the FJ40 as a wedding present. She and her groom used the classic off-roader to leave the ceremony, creating even more of a connection to the Toyota. That would be a tough thing to process. Storage facilities can be popular targets for thieves to hit since they know you’re likely not coming by often. That gives them plenty of time to stake out the place, break in, hotwire the cars and get away without being caught. If you’re storing cars anywhere other than your home, you might want to consider some extra security measures like a GPS tracker or cameras. Those are also a good idea for any collectable vehicles you have at home.




6 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com


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800-888-4251 autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 9

Hey Toby! with Toby Chess

Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, Training specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his work with first responders and advocacy for body shops and consumers. He can be reached at tcspeedster@gmail.com

The Evolution of Dent Repairs From the Ford Model T until the hammer to pull out the dent, fol1970s, dents were a two-sided oper- lowed by a thick coat of Bondo. I ation. You would push from the in- remember when you looked at the side with a dolly and hammer on the back side of the panel and the bondo outside until you had a semi smooth flowed through the back. panel. Until 1955, lead was used as the filler. The with health David risk of McClune lead filler was becoming evident, it was difficult to work with and it was a tedious process, as lead was melted over the entire dent. Bondo—plastic body filler— was invented in 1955. Plastic body filler was becoming the material of choice and it was more widely accepted, as more auto body shops Fig. 3 switched from lead to the lightweight with John Yoswick plastic filler. Max Spitznagel, from Dent Fix, introduced the stud gun and slide hammer to body shops in 1979. (See Fig 4)

In 1999, another dent pulling device hit the market. The Maxi by Dent Fit (see Fig 6) is still widely used today.

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and dents in hard-to-access areas. The major drawback for these machines is the heat affect zone and a corrosion hot spot on the back of the panel. (See Fig7)

Fig. 6

Fig. 7

The Maxi Multiple Pull Dent Station (See Fig6) is a 120V or 220V single phase dent-pulling station that provides the technician with the power to shrink, pull rocker panels and fix hail damage, creases

To solve those problems, the Miracle pulling system was introduced around 2010. (See Fig 8) This system uses low voltage/ reusable pulling keys (See Fig 9). The keys were placed next to

Collision Repair Association of CA. with Richard Steffen

Fig. 1

-Capable of lifting up to 300 lbs. -Equipped with two PowerPumps™ for continuous suction -Enables one technician the ability to remove and replace windshields

Fig. 4

With holes no longer being drilled into the panel, it made a difference in the quality of the repair. (See Fig 5)

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Fig. 2

Shop Showcase

In the ‘80s, the vehicles started to go through an evolution, from body over framewith to unitized, andHendricks so Fig. 5 Karyn did the body repair methods. Doing hand work took a lot lon- This method of repairs took ger and someone came up with the dent removal to a whole new level idea to drill a bunch of holes (See and was the standard for the next Fig 3) in the panel and use a slide two decades.

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each other and a rod was inserted through the oblong opening. (See

hook system was attached to the bar. The pulling part of the bridge was

junk because the intrusion beam was destroyed in the collision). I got the dent out and used the hand puller to finish up the repairs to the door.

Another manufacturer that hit the market was the Flatliner, fol-

Fig. 10 Fig. 8

Fig. 9

Fig 10) Then a bridge pull was secured to the panel, and an arm or

set into motion. The deepest part of the dent was first to come up and as it was being raised, more and more of the eyes became engaged, thus pulling the entire dent out in one operation. In my first try with the Pro Spot dent-pulling system, I attached the keys to a body line (See Fig 11), which should be the first item of repair. I attached the lifting bridge to the door and pulled the body line until it was straight, using a steel ruler to check my pull. I removed the keys and pulled attached keys to the dent and pulled it out. (This door was

Fig. 11


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lowed first by Pro Spot International’s Pro Pull Complete using the PR-3 A. The PR-3A has two guns. The pistol-type gun is a single-sided attaching gun. You can use it to attach body pulling pins, washers, bolts and nuts to panels. The long narrow attachment is the keys attaching unit. You attach the key and hold it on the metal and the timer in the unit will come on and in less than a second, the key will be attached. After the pull has been completed, the key will twist off.

I reuse the keys by grinding a new point, usually necessary after three of four times. I have the reused keys on large rings for the various lengths of the reground keys. Three years ago, Dent Fix introduced three items to the Maxi System, a bridge puller, hand pull and magnetic key holder, along with two styles of keys. (Fig 12-15)

gun and then attach the magnetic key hold. Put the key on the dent and

pull the trigger. Done. I really like the magnetic header to hold the key in place. Moving on, the next big thing in dent repair is the GDR or Glue Dent Repair.

Fig. 14

First off, GPR (Glue Pull Repair) is not the same as PDR (Paintless Dent Repair). See Fig 17. I am going to use Keco Tabs for my examples of GDP because they have the widest range of tools and tabs designed for GDP. Figs 19 & 20 are a small sampling of all the different styles and sizes glue pulling tabs offered by Keco Tabs.

Fig. 15 Fig. 17 Fig. 12 Fig. 19

Fig. 13

To use this attachment, first remove the pulling electrode from the

Fig. 20

Why GPR?

Fig. 16


rame straightening doesn’t get any easier or more accurate than this. The Eclipse Plus laser precisely measures the frame at key points, then compares those measurements to the factory dimensions (included). Users can also create comparative and custom measuring points. Deviations appear red or yellow; green means a full restoration. And it’s all recorded on a printout for the customer and insurance company. System includes cabinet, Windows 10 computer and software, Intelligent Targets, comparitive side body adapters, all necessary tools, plus live online training and technical support. It’s an enlightened upgrade for every shop.

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GPR has a number of advantages over the traditional methods of dent repair: • Much of the original finish remains on the vehicle. • The dent is pulled out at one time instead of multiple pulls and attachments. • The same tabs can be used on steel and aluminum (Keco has tabs designed for aluminum). • It uses less body fillers, sand paper and primers when compared to stud welding, sometimes none at all. • No corrosion hot spots on the rear of the panel. • Easy to learn. • Small dents to a blend panel can be removed with original finish left intact. A lot of the time the dent is repaired by the repair facility at no charge to the customer. • It’s a very low-cost investment compared with specialized aluminum and steel pulling systems.

shops. Fetty asked anyone at the three classes if they had used glue tabs. A couple of techs in two of the three sessions said they had. He then asked if they had any problems and both said the glue did not stick very well. He asked the tech at each class to put a tab on a panel and use the Keco Tab leverage puller to lift the dent. Both times, the tab gave way with very little pressure. Fetty introduced the 6 C Keco tab process and proceeded to put the same tab on a Tesla quarter panel. (See Fig 22)

light to highlight the damage on the vehicle when taking a picture. In Fig 26, I had the estimator take a picture of the damage for the insurance company claim. It is

Fig. 25

Fig. 27

In conclusion, there is no one perfect system out there for every kind of dent repair, but having multiple systems, including the glue-on tabs, will give your technicians the best possible dent repair outcomes.

Fig. 26 Fig. 22

Fig. 21

One thing Keco Tabs has over its competitors is it offers in-house training for a shop or multiple shops. The hands-on training is a six- to seven-hour class with a limit of eight techs. See Fig 21 for s class at Scandinavian Coachcraft. Barry Dorn of Dorn’s Body and Paint signed up for a one-day class. He was so impressed with the training, he kept the Keco Training team for a second day. “The training was unbelievable and product and service stellar,” Dorn said. Chris White, CEO of Keco Tabs, and Gene Fetty, lead trainer, recently conducted three training classes in Los Angeles. Twenty-three techs from 11 collision centers attended one of the three six-hour classes. Keco sent out three units for the hands-on training that were immediately sold at the conclusion. Ten of the 11 shops bought the system and three of those bought a second system after use in their

of the light tubes is bent, indicating damage on the door. I had him take a marker and mark damage before sending the pictures. I have a few shops using the lights and the results have been terrific. It has reduced the friction time, as well as phone calls with the insurance companies.

The result was the tab held with all that pulling force. Fetty spent time with each tech on how to read a PDR light, which comes with the level 2 kit, and the use of it in the dent removal process. (See Fig 25)

very hard to see the damage to the left door. I put the PDR lamp on the part in Fig 27. You will notice one



Fig. 23

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Continued from Cover

Tesla Makes it Official matter of Tesla leaving California. As I said, our intention is to actually increase output from Fremont and Giga Nevada by 50%,” Musk said. Apart from Tesla, Musk’s other companies have established a strong presence in Texas. SpaceX is currently developing Starbase in Boca Chica, and it will be the location where future Starship flights to Mars may be launched. The Boring Company and Neuralink, while not acquiring as much land as Tesla and SpaceX, have also begun expanding their operations into the Lone Star State.

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TSTC Students Secure Jobs Before Graduation in Auto Collision Field Travis Hanson, of Mabank, TX, stood alone as he slowly mixed paint during the color analysis and paint matching class at Texas State Technical College. Afterward, he put on gray overalls, placed personal protective equipment on his face and ventured inside a booth to practice painting. “If you really want to do it, just do it and have patience,” he said. Hanson is a fall candidate for graduation with two associate of applied science degrees in auto collision and management technology— one each in refinishing and repair specialization—at TSTC. Hanson said doing collision work is interesting because every vehicle has its share of different problems. He also said collision work means making good money. “I like working on cars, but [I do] not like being a mechanic,” Hanson said. Hanson began working part time as a painter more than a month ago at Slaton Paint and Body in Athens, TX. He will begin working full time after graduation. He said his goal is to stay in the Mabank area to

work and it feels good already having a job before he graduates. Maxie Fowler, lead instructor in TSTC’s auto collision and management technology program, said paint and auto body shops continue to call seeking graduates to fill jobs. He said the job market is great for graduates. “If they get their foot in the door, they can work into what they want to do,” Fowler said. Angel Escamilla, of Mexia, TX, has worked part time in the last year in the body shop at Mike Terry Chevrolet Buick GMC in Mexia. He balances his job as he works toward an associate of applied science degree in auto collision and management technology-repair specialization and a certificate of completion in auto collision refinishing at TSTC. Escamilla is a candidate for graduation in December. Escamilla will move up to fulltime work after graduating this semester. He said he is glad he did not have to relocate to work. “I’ve always been interested in cars and working on them,” he said. Escamilla said students enter-

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ing the program should have an interest in vehicles, be confident and not be afraid. He said students can be successful in the profession when they follow instructions and use the right techniques to make repairs. Automotive body and related repairers in Texas can make a yearly median salary of more than $43,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop website. More than 13,000 workers will be needed by 2028, according to the website. TSTC’s fall 2021 commencement will be held at 10 a.m. Dec. 11 at The BASE at the Extraco Events Center in Waco. Registration continues for the spring semester. For more information, go to tstc.edu. Source: TSTC




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Austin Mobility Experience to Showcase Electric, Autonomous Vehicles, New Motorsports Formats The Austin Mobility Experience, a landmark celebration of all things mobile, electric and autonomous, will launch March 11-20 in Austin, TX. “There are lots of industry and consumer conferences that talk about mobility services and electric, connected and automated vehicles,” said Mat Yarger, program director, Austin Mobility Experience. “This

mous zero-emission vehicles and infrastructure, the 10-day Mobility Experience will feature four major components: EVENT: In the heart of downtown Austin, the audience will experience showcases of sustainable and AI-based mobility technologies on the ground, on the water and in the air through high energy motorsports

“Austin is charging forward to transform transportation in hopes of creating a more sustainable mobility ecosystem for everyone,” — Steve Adler will be the first time that people can truly use all five senses to embrace and learn what the future will hold in the form of an interactive experience with technology. We will be stepping ahead years and decades in Austin March 11-20.” Organized by Global Autonomous Vehicle Partnership, Inc. (GAVP), a nonprofit entity dedicated to advancing mobility and widespread adoption of autono-

Continued from Cover

ASA Texas Auto Care Alliance, in September 2018. Since departing, MWACA has grown in membership numbers and services provided to its members and the industry. The newly-formed Texas Auto Care Alliance plans to follow suit with the same proven success path. “The ASA Texas board is passionate about their organization and serving their members,” said Sheri Hamilton, MWACA executive director. “We look forward to assisting TXACA and its members with the numerous programs and benefits that have already been established through the Auto Care Alliance. As a member-focused and member-directed organization, MWACA has achieved

demonstrations. Participating mobility brands will host VIP guests in special hospitality areas and tickets will be sold to the public. FORUM: The Forum is where mobility leaders come to discuss, present and debate the biggest milestones in mobility and how to overcome the hurdles to progress innovations. Keynote addresses from the industry’s brightest minds and

much growth and success over the three years. With these new programs and benefits in place, TXACA will have the same results for their members, vendors and partners.” ASA Texas will immediately begin the transition to Texas Auto Care Alliance and will be contacting members to answer questions and assist them with the process. The changeover to the new brand will be completed by Jan. 1. More information can be found at www.asatx.org or by emailing Kathryne Buckley-Tessem, ASA Texas executive director, at texasautocarealliance@gmail.com. For more information about the associations that form the Auto Care Alliance, visit www.autocarealliance. org. Source: MWACA

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leaders will serve as the cornerstone of the Forum. TRACK: At the event, guests will be able to test drive upcoming electric vehicles, see the newest innovations behind the creation of advanced mobility platforms, and watch the motorsports vehicles push themselves to their limits. Participating at Austin Mobility Experience for displays, races and demonstrations will be the leading electric motorsports partners including Airspeeder, E1 Series, Nitro Rallycross, Roborace, ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and ExtremeE. RIDE: The different event locations are connected through test corridors where guests can experience new forms of mobility solutions—from Robo Taxi fleets, Robo Shuttles, e-scooters and new electric public transit formats. “Austin is charging forward to transform transportation in hopes of creating a more sustainable mobility ecosystem for everyone,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “I am very

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excited about the Austin Mobility Experience as the first time in the world you can see, touch and experience electrification in land, water and air, high performance mobility.” The event will be produced and filmed by Murphy Media Distribution LLC, for the content and licensing of the Austin Mobility documentary, live concert events, discussion panels and the Austin Mobility racing events, being planned by Crystal Ships Agency and partners. On March 12, Austin Mobility Experience will kick off the festivities with a live music concert from major recording artists to be announced at a later date. Austin Mobility Experience is partnering with Draper Startup House for after-hours entertainment during SXSW. For more information and to sign up for updates, go to www.mobilityexp.com. Source: Austin Mobility Experience


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Microchip Shortage This update should have Ford, GM, Stellantis, Volkswagen, Nissan and others absolutely seething. After all, it’s been proven consumers in North America and other markets have quite the appetite for new cars. If Toyota dealerships are the only ones with any vehicle stock to speak of, it doesn’t take a genius to realize the automaker will clean up. That might even mean some shoppers switch their brand loyalty to Toyota for years to come, meaning this change might cause some long-term market shifts. Speaking of Ford and GM, the two American automakers are reportedly looking into making their own computer chips as a way to get out of this horrible situation and never return to it. Ford told the media it’s in a strategic agreement with GlobalFoundries Inc., based in the U.S. We don’t know any details about that deal. GM President Mark Reuss disclosed his company is trying to

form some deep connections with chip makers, although it’s not clear which ones he’s trying to romance. He did say the move is supposed to cut down on the variation in chips used in GM vehicles, so this could have a very positive long term effect. Toyota could yet again be the largest automaker in the world, a title it’s claimed many times in the past. It’s forecasting making a total of 9 million cars for the year, which during this time of constrained production is impressive. Nobody inside Toyota is revealing how the automaker has been able to secure enough chips to return to full production levels. However, the company has said it will do so without removing features from its vehicles, a corner many automakers have been cutting so they can make their dwindling chip supply stretch further. GM recently revealed it will be axing items like heated seats, ventilated seats, blind zone monitoring and Super Cruise on several models. Just because Toyota has some unrevealed access to computer chips

doesn’t mean it doesn’t have other hurdles to overcome. Per reports, the automaker is dealing with shortages of different parts, but has been working with suppliers to alleviate the situation. That can-do attitude is refreshing at a time when everyone seems apt to blame any shortcoming on the pandemic. Even when Toyota was forced to cut back production dramatically it still kept scoring big wins. During the company’s fiscal second quarter, which ran from July through September, it posted a 48% increase in operating profits. Now, the automaker is forecasting close to a record level of full-year profits. Since the fiscal year for Toyota ends March 31, 2022, there’s still time to make up lost ground. Meanwhile, the chip shortage has led to a tremendous car shortage

for dealerships. You can probably drive around your local dealerships and see large swaths of empty lots. It’s the same thing north of the border in Ontario, Canada. A report out of Windsor, just over the river from Detroit, has detailed how many dealers are selling cars before they even arrive, so they’re keeping next to nothing onsite. That report went over GM, Volkswagen, Nissan, Kia, and other dealerships. This is why Toyota’s move to full production will attract shoppers who don’t want to wait weeks or months for a vehicle to be made and delivered. One dealer even admitted demand is so high if they had vehicles in stock they would be selling twice as many. It’s a good time to own a Toyota dealership, or it will be soon enough.

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Continued from Cover

IDEAS Collide Showcase session should rattle the status quo,” added SCRS Chairman Bruce Halcro. “I think the lineup of contributors this year was poised to do just that and I personally find this to be one of the most ambitious sessions that breaks out of what we traditionally expect from industry education.” Information about the SEMA Garage Detroit was shared by Ben Kaminsky, general manager. Kaminsky said the goal of SEMA Garage Detroit is to help SEMA members and partners develop new products, train and understand what they need to succeed in their businesses. The 45,000-square foot facility offers the capability to conduct emissions and horsepower testing. A large install center is being set up for influencer videos and instruction manuals. One of the highlights of the multi-million dollar project is the inclusion of an advanced driver as-

sist systems (ADAS) center that en- going forward and your success in recompasses two 40-by-60-foot rooms pairing vehicles in the future.” dedicated to ADAS and calibration. Todd Korpi, 3M global key ac While setting up the ADAS counts director, talked about the imcenter, the team reached out to in- portance of always following OEM dustry experts for their insight on procedures. what would be helpful to include. “There’s a lot of information As a result, they purchased a wide and training and it’s up to us to get variety of tooling for those that information to the techwho use the facility. nicians on the floor to make Lighting and wall colsure these vehicles are reors were also considered paired the right way every due to the specifications time,” said Korpi. of vehicles with advanced He acknowledged OEM camera and vision technolrepair procedures are not alogy. ways easy to find and naviTodd Korpi, global “Floors must also be gate; however, there are inkey accounts director, 3M dustry resources available, flat and level to achieve acsuch as OEM1Stop and the curate calibration results,” I-CAR Repairability Technical SupKaminsky said. Kaminsky encourages collision port (RTS) portal, to help provide repair specialists to think about how information. they will handle repairing future Over his 25-year career, Korpi vehicles in their shops with ADAS has found vehicle technology confeatures. tinues to change, and there’s more “The amount of ADAS-equipped coming. cars on the road in the U.S. is esti- “The documentation helps you mated to triple in the next five years,” get paid and it also ensures the vehe said. “If you don’t have a plan, I hicle is going to go back to pre-acciencourage you to think about it… It’s dent condition,” he said. going to be really important for you When making a material deci-

sion or selection, he cautioned auto body shops to be aware of generic claims such as “OEM approved” and “equivalence.” From his experience at 3M working with auto manufacturers over the years, Korpi said if a certain product is not included in the OEM documentation/repair procedure bulletin, he would question if it’s the right product to be used. Korpi said the 3M team works for years on test specification development and testing products. “There’s a lot of work that goes into making sure they meet the OEM repair procedures, guidelines and material specifications,” he explained. The bottom line, according to Korpi, is OEMs are the authority on repair procedures and recommended products required for a safe and quality repair. “It’s a high-stakes industry,” he said. “The OEM way is the only way.” An overview of data security was provided by Brandon Laur, vice president, business development and client experience at CCi

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Global Technologies. With hacking becoming a huge problem over the last several years, Laur noted collision repairers need to have systems to prevent data breaches. He encouraged facilities to have customers sign repair authorizations before the car is fixed. “If everybody is not getting those authorization agreements completed, we’re in trouble,” he said. He also recommended working with trusted vendors and find out where they are storing data, what it is being moved, how accessible it is and how quickly it can be removed. “Just because you delete it from your management system or estimating system doesn’t mean that it is deleted from all of the tables there,” he said. “We as an industry need to protect ourselves.” He shared information about a new solution available, extended detection and response (XDR), which allows businesses to monitor and mitigate cybersecurity threats. When looking at the business environment, Laur suggested taking a “zero trust” approach.

“This means that nobody within your collision center has access to all of the data,” he explained. “If somebody has access to all of the data, that means they are the vulnerability point where you can be hacked.” The No. 1 area where people are finding their way into a business’s system is through technicians’ phones, according to Laur. He advised shop owners and managers to check if their phones are encrypted before connecting to WiFi. He also recommended looking into cyber insurance. If a breach does occur, Laur said a business can survive; however, it must be transparent in what is communicated. “We need to start to hold this industry accountable to being able to take data security a lot more seriously than what we have,” said Laur. “It’s up to everybody to hold each other accountable and continue to look for ways to move this industry forward.” Jake Rodenroth, a diagnostic specialist, now working with Lucid Motors as of Dec. 6, discussed what

the collision repair industry must do to evolve. He pointed to five business areas to focus on: talent, product knowledge, their business model, OEMs and DRPs, and integrity. Rodenroth said new talent working in this field are looking for a career path. “When you see a young person, take them under your wing, and stop looking for things they do wrong,” he said. “Try to catch them doing something right and praise them.” Regarding product knowledge, Rodenroth noted customers are becoming even more intelligent about their vehicles than ever before. “We need to be experts at what we do,” he said. “Our customers expect that out of us and they want a painless process.” Looking to the future, Rodenroth indicated there will be changes in how vehicles are repaired using new methods, such as 3D printing and augmented reality. He encourages shops employees to be open-minded about these technologies to help repair vehicles, run the facility and provide an unbelievable customer experience.

He also advises owners and managers to be receptive to OEM and DRP partnerships, which are likely to become more common. “It’s not always easy to do the right thing and get along with everybody but integrity is everything,” said Rodenroth. “My father said to be great at what you do because perfect strangers are counting on you.” He reminded attendees that continuous education and integrity are the lifeblood of a true professional. This is Part 1 in a two-part series. The remaining four speakers will be highlighted in a future article. For more information about the SCRS Repairer Driven Education full series digital pass, which includes 20 regular sessions and three OEM Summit sessions, visit https:// rde.scrs.com.




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Mike Anderson is the president and owner of Collision Advice, a consulting company for the auto body/collision repair industry. For nearly 25 years, he was the owner of Wagonwork Collision Center, an OEM-certified, full-service auto body repair facility in Alexandria, VA.

From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

When it Comes to Auto Body Shop Technician Compensation, Something Has to Change Something has to change. I’ll tell you up front: I’m going to be repeating those four words a number of times as you read through this article. Something has to change. I have a family member who graduated from high school and went to work for Amazon. He is now 21, making more than $100,000 a year. He has stock options and they pay 100% of his health insurance. And they pay for all of his college. That’s what we’re competing against when we’re trying to recruit young people into our industry. Something has to change. I know a body tech who got out of the industry to work as a truck driver. He’s making more than $100,000 a year now. And he doesn’t have to buy any tools. He told me, “I have a lot less stress, Mike.” Something has to change. There’s a convenience store at the gas station near my home. That store starts people at $18 an hour. Just to work at a gas station convenience store. That’s almost $40,000 a year. Plus health insurance. There’s no liability in that work, and they’re not exposed to hazardous materials. They also offer up to $10,000 a year for child care reimbursement. Yet I talk to auto body shops trying to start people out at $10 to $15 per hour. That model is broken. Our industry has got to be able to offer a more competitive wage as well

as better benefits. Something has to change. Now I understand: We can’t compensate fairly unless we are being compensated fairly. This is absolutely not an anti-insurance article. It’s not. But at the end of the

day, either labor rates have to start to come in line with what we need to compensate more fairly, shops have got to be paid for more not-included operations, or some combination of the two. Somehow we need to collect additional funds to be able to recruit and retain people. I think we will see shops change who they do business with over this issue. They almost have to. I know one MSO has already told investors they’ve dropped some direct repair programs with “lower-margin clients that are not willing to increase pricing.” I’ve also heard from shops saying a competitor in their market is offering signing bonuses of as much as $10,000. I don’t believe in stealing fish from another man’s pond. That’s not the solution. What we need to do

is recruit by offering a more competitive compensation package. The problem is only getting worse. We all know body labor rates have been lower than those in the mechanical industry because of body techs being able to work at 135% or 150% efficiency. But as we see less “repair” and more “replace,” technicians’ efficiencies are dropping. If it pays you five hours to replace a door, it takes you every bit of those five hours. A technician can turn a screwdriver, wrench or other tool only so fast. The space required for the work has increased. It takes three times the space of an average auto body shop stall just to perform calibrations. The skills needed are also increasing. We need a much higher caliber person doing everything from the OEM procedure research

to the final ADAS calibrations. “It’s not just body work,” Susanna Gotsch of CCC Intelligent Solutions said at the MSO Symposium in November. “It’s mechanical work, the knowledge of electronics, understanding how telematics and the systems of the car work, how to read the manuals from the OEMs. All of that requires a higher set of training and tooling. That cost will have to be passed on. So I think we’re going to see more inflation on labor. I think that’s going to start to find its way into appraisals as well. It just has to.” My friends and colleagues, the industry model we have right now is broken, in terms of labor rates and compensation packages. I don’t know the answer. I’ve got some ideas, I’ve got some thoughts. But I do know this: Something has to change.

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Industry Insight with John Yoswick

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

Auto Body Shop Billing Practices Related to Total Losses, Not-Included Procedures

Shop Showcase

Disconnecting and later reconnect- connecting the battery often will set sought to be reimbursed for the change over time as the industry being a vehicle’s battery during col- diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). procedure by eight of the nation’s comes more aware of the need for lision repair work is no longer the You can’t check for those without largest insurers. Among those who the procedure to be performed, and with Ed Attanasio simple operation it used to be—and doing a post-repair vehicle scan in did, just 19% overall found insurers as more shops regularly bill for it. auto body shops are increasingly un The survey also found adminderstanding the need to research the istrative fees for total loss processOEM procedures for doing so, and ing have become increasingly comseeking to be paid for the labor enmon. Direct repair agreements often tailed. prohibit participating shops from That was among the findings charging administrative fees related with Ed Attanasio of a “Who Pays for What?” survey to processing of total losses. Califorin 2021. The survey of more than nia shops are also prohibited by state 500 shops around the country last regulation there for charging adminsummer found about 61% of suristrative fees. But the “Who Pays” survey last vey respondents reported being paid summer found the percentage of “always” or “most of the time” by U.S. shops saying they are paid such the eight largest insurers when they with Ed Attanasio an administrative fee has risen, with performed and invoiced for the pro- “Who Pays for What?” survey last summer found nearly one in five shops say they are paid all or most of the time when they invoice for the labor to clear a customer’s data from a total loss a strong majority (72%) saying they cedures required to reconnect a bat- vehicle tery. are paid always, or most of the time, Overall, the eight insurers in- conjunction with reconnecting the covering the bill “always” or “most when they bill for this work. That cluded in the survey proved fairly battery.” of the time”—and most of those in- compares to just 46% back in 2015. similar in terms of likelihood of The first of the four “Who Pays volved non-DRP repairs. Likewise, the percentage of with Ed Attanasio covering the bill for this work. But for What?” surveys of 2022, one Anderson thinks that will shops that say they have never billed all eight insurers appear to be more focused on not-included refinish lalikely to reimburse their direct repair bor operations, is being conducted shops for this procedure. throughout January; shops can visit This was particularly true in the https://www.crashnetwork.com/colParts for Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Oldsmobile, Pontiac case of State Farm. More than half lisionadvice to take the survey. (55%) of State Farm shops said Last summer’s survey also withDRP Stacey Phillips • 60,000 part numbers • Same day shipping until 5:30 EST they were “always” paid by the insur- found although a majority of shops • 13 parts pros eager to serve you • Next-day air until 4:30 EST er for this operation, but only 23% of surveyed said they had not yet billed • 15 radio-dispatched trucks • 4.2 million inventory • 97,000 square-foot warehouse shops not part of State Farm’s DRP for the time entailed in clearing cussaid they were. Additionally, 24% tomer data from a total loss vehicle, Camaro said State Farm “never” pays them some of those who have reported the largest insurers were paying for for this procedure. with Stacey Phillips When shops were asked a fol- those charges. low-up question about how often “Clearing the vehicle owner’s they research the OEM repair pro- personal data from a total loss vecedures necessary after a battery hicle is something we need to start is reconnected, just more than half thinking about for our customers,” (51%) said they do it most or all of Anderson said. “A vehicle owner with Stacey Phillips the time. But more than one in four today may have their home address (28%) acknowledged they research stored in their navigation unit of the the proper procedure only “occa- vehicle. Their contacts can be stored sionally” or even “never.” when they sync their phone. Garage “Researching procedures re- door opener codes might be stored. quired when the battery is discon- So we need to be asking the vehinected and reconnected is criticalPhillips to cle owner, when the vehicle is a toGenuine GM Parts at Genuine GM Prices with Stacey a safe and proper repair,” Mike An- tal loss, if they would they like us parts@youngchevrolet.com Toll Free: 800-451-0108 derson of Collision Advice wrote in to erase their personal information. www.youngchevrolet.com Main: 214-328-9111, Opt. 5 9301 E. R.L. Thornton Fwy, Dallas, TX the report with the survey findings. The process for this can be found in “I was analyzing the procedures the owner’s manual.” Direct: 214-328-8381 called for by one Asian OEM recent- Fewer than 20% of the auto Fax (main): 214-328-6675 ly, and found 11 procedures required body shops answering the survey Fax (wholesale): 214-328-0716 after reconnecting the battery. Dis- question last summer said they had

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for this fee also has declined steadily since 2015. Today, only 11% say they never charge a fee to process a total loss, but in 2015, that figure was 30%. “Processing a total loss has become more complex than it used to be,” Anderson said. “It can involve more teardown, more research of OEM procedures, vehicle scans and more.” According to the 2021 survey, 74% of shops itemize charges—as opposed to charging a flat fee—for total loss processing. In addition to the administrative time, these charges may include moving a non-drivable vehicle, covering the vehicle to protect it from weather, etc. Back in 2015, 38% of shops believed the top eight largest insurers in the “Who Pays” surveys “never” paid an administrative fee for total losses. Today, only 17% still think so. The “Who Pays” surveys also ask about a variety of other collision shop billing practices. A growing percentage of shops, for example, say they are using an invoicing system to track and bill for items such as clips and fasteners, seam-sealer,

eraser wheels or other shop supplies used during a repair. Slightly more than half of shops (54%) in last summer’s survey reported using some kind of commercially available invoicing system, such as those available from 3M, Kent Automotive or Wurth. That’s up from 41% in 2017. “Many of the items these systems can track, and generate an invoice for, are often inexpensive but one-time use items that may not seem worth tracking, like acid brushes or mixing nozzles,” Anderson said. “But added all together, it can be a sizable unreimbursed expense.” Virtually all shops (93%) using a system reported doing so generates additional revenue on their estimates. The survey asked shops to quantify that additional revenue. The largest group (37%) said it generates an average of more than $50 of additional revenue per estimate; the next largest group (29%) said between $26 and $50 per estimate. www.autobodynews.com

Tesla Has an Estimated 1.3M Cybertruck Reservations Worth $80B by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs

The Tesla Cybertruck story is really outright crazy if you think about it. The truck arrived on stage at its reveal and many people thought it was an Elon Musk joke, which would come as no surprise.

They were waiting for the “actual” electric pickup truck to appear on stage, but the crazy metal wedge was the real deal. Clearly, the wild, stainless steel behemoth has grown on many people, to the tune of more than a million. Tesla recently made it clear it won’t begin producing the Cybertruck for about another year. Contact us about People have already been waiting price matching two years, and it maythrough be years bethe Mazda fore all 1.3 million reservations are Collision Parts

filled. Meanwhile, people are still adding to the reservation list. Sure, not all these folks will follow through, but even if only half of them move forward, it’s triple the number of Ford F-150 Lightning reservations, which are incredible as well. The fact nearly 200,000 people have reserved an electric pickup truck from Ford is something many people would have never believed in the recent past. However, to put it into perspective, 250,000 people reserved a Cybertruck during the first week after it was revealed. According to a recent report on Electrek, Tesla’s roughly 1.27 million Cybertruck reservations add up to some $80 billion in future value. It’s important to note there’s no way to know for sure how many Cybertruck reservations exist, though a crowdsourced system is working to keep track. An analyst’s report from six months ago put Cybertruck reservations at 650,000, but orders continue to come in at a ridiculous pace.

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ASA Announces Podcast Series

Apple Reportedly Accelerating Car Development, Wants Model to Be Fully Autonomous

The first episode of the Automotive Service Association (ASA)’s Technology and Telematics Podcast Series was released Dec. 6 on the ASA podcast channel. The episode features a discussion between Wayne Weikel, senior director of state affairs for the Alliance of Automotive Innovation, and Bob Redding, ASA’s Washington, D.C., representative. Redding and Weikel give an overview of the political issues surrounding electric vehicles, including an update on the recently passed infrastructure package and the in-progress budget reconciliation package. This podcast is the first in a series of podcasts entitled “A Changing Fleet,” which will feature conversations with industry leaders about the automotive industry’s shift towards electric vehicles. Source: ASA

by Michael Gauthier, CarScoops

The Apple Car is the unicorn of the automotive industry as it’s often talked about, but never seen. That trend continues as Bloomberg is reporting the tech giant wants to speed up development of the vehicle and has refocused the project around its “full self-driving capabilities.” The publication goes onto explain the project has explored two possibilities for the model with the first having “limited self-driving capabilities focused on steering and acceleration.” The report doesn’t elaborate, but this sounds like relatively common features such as adaptive cruise control and lane centering. However, Apple has also been considering a “version with full self-driving ability that doesn’t require human intervention.” This suggests it would have a Level 4 system that could operate autonomously under certain conditions or even a Level 5 system that can operate fully autonomously.

While the company was said to be looking at both possibilities, Apple has now reportedly concentrated their efforts on the latter. The move would seem to make sense as a semi-autonomous vehicle wouldn’t really stand out in the market.

The report goes on to say that Apple is planning to launch the vehicle in four years, which means it could arrive in late 2025. That’s an ambitious target and it remains unclear if the company can achieve that goal as engineers were reportedly expecting the launch to occur in 2026, 2027 or 2028. Bloomberg goes on to suggest if the fully autonomous technolo-

gy isn’t ready in time, the company could still move forward with the launch and sell the vehicle with a less advanced semi-autonomous driving system. However, that seems somewhat doubtful as Apple is reportedly eyeing a vehicle with a lounge-like interior that lacks a steering wheel and pedals. While a number of questions remain, the project seems to be moving ahead as the publication says the team recently hit a “key milestone in developing the car’s underlying self-driving system.” The company is also said to have “completed much of the core work on the processor it intends to eventually ship in the first generation of the car.” The updated technology is expected to make its way into the company’s fleet of 69 Lexus prototypes, which have spent the past few years helping to refine Apple’s driving technology. However, the company has a long road ahead as more testing will be required.

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3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives Created to Improve Collision Shops’ Productivity, Efficiency and Cleanliness by Stacey Phillips

For decades, auto body shops across the industry have faced a quiet and sometimes unrecognized choice in regard to dust extraction, according to Nick Oberle, application engineer specialist in the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division. “To get the maximum benefits of dust extraction, body shops needed to sacrifice their overall productivity,” said Oberle. “Net abrasives, which capture more than 95% of the dust they create, often don’t deliver the cut and life of traditional abrasives, which have poorer dust capture.” As a result of this challenge, 3M introduced a solution, 3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives. Oberle explained 3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives use the company’s patented Precision Shaped Grain mineral to power the new discs. Each micro replicated grain is a sharp triangle he said cuts through material easier than traditional abrasive grains. “The Cubitron™ II Net family of abrasives cuts twice as fast and lasts twice as long as other net abrasive families and captures more than 95% of the dust they create,” said Oberle, who tested the new discs against the competition. Oberle says the reception has been great. “It’s exciting when you introduce a never-before-seen product and then watch technicians embrace

it in their shops and quickly realize its many benefits,” he said. Dust extraction is required in many countries across the globe. Five years ago, Oberle and the 3M engineering team began researching potential regulation changes to abrasives and dust extraction in the U.S. “When you look at global regulations, the United States is far more lenient than Europe,” said Oberle. “The last time the U.S. rewrote any type of regulation around particulates in the air was in the early 1970s.” According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), airborne shop dust “…may contain hazardous substances, such as lead and chromium from surface coatings and abrasives from sanding discs, that are harmful to the lungs and nervous system of workers.” “Technicians are not going to notice a negative health effect the next day, but over time, dust could cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, cancer and neural toxicity,” said Oberle. “Getting dust away from the tech, from a human perspective, is important to 3M.” NIOSH recommends what it calls “ventilated sanders” for auto body shops “…because they have been shown to be effective in reducing total dust concentrations during the sanding of body filling compounds … ventilated sanders have cut total dust concentrations to

one-tenth the levels produced using unventilated sanders.” Currently, dust capture is not a requirement in most of the U.S. “The moment that changes, there is going to be a very quick shift in the market to create dust extraction products,” said Oberle. Even without regulation, interest in dust extraction in the U.S. has been growing at the same time as the drive for reduced cycle times and greater shop efficiencies. Oberle said dust capture helps reduce loading, which can rob abrasives of their cutting power and shorten their life. In addition, less dust in the air can help reduce the risk of rework caused by dust settling into fresh paint. “The market is becoming more interested in dust extraction,” said Oberle. “3M is ready to satisfy that interest today.” In 2016, 3M partnered with Festool to develop dust extraction for the auto body industry. Oberle said the 90-year-old company has a long track record of creating high-quality,

dependable products. Festool was a pioneer in dust extraction tools and today, Oberle said it only sells sanders equipped for dust capture. “3M™ Net Abrasives allow Festool tools to achieve their maximum dust capture potential, which is great news for shops,” said Oberle. The family of net abrasives is offered in 3-, 5-, 6- and 8-inch discs as well as 70-, 80- and 115mm sheet rolls. The 3M™ Hookit™ hook-and-loop attachment allows unused portions of the abrasive to be used on a future job. The open net abrasive pattern means these net abrasives work with self-generating vacuum sanders, central vac systems and portable dust extractors. Overall, Oberle said the goal is to remove dust at the source. “3M™ Cubitron™ II Net Abrasives can help lead to less in-air dust-related contaminants, less rework and cleanup time, improved cycle time, process efficiency and technician mobility within the body shop,” he said.

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Volvo Invests in Imaging Start-Up Volvo Cars has invested in the optical and imaging technology start-up Spectralics through the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, the company’s venture capital investment arm. The investment gives Volvo Cars access to promising technology at an early stage of development that could contribute to making cars safer and revolutionise in-car user experience. Coming from a background in aerospace technology development, Israel-based Spectralics creates state-of-the-art imaging

and optical infrastructure spanning materials, hardware and software, enabling a wide variety of advanced optical capabilities. One of the company’s core solutions is the multi-layered thin combiner (MLTC) which is a new type of thin optics “film” applicable to see-through surfaces of all shapes and sizes. Integrated into a car’s windshield or windows, the technology could be used to overlay imagery on the glass. Source: Volvo Cars

34 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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Retired Tech Looks Back at 67 Years in Collision Repair by Ed Attanasio

Over the years, I have interviewed a lot of collision repair professionals as they retire from the industry. If someone can work in this business for 30, 40 or even 50 years, it’s obviously an impressive run. But when I heard Felix Cano Sr. of Texas retired after a 67-year career as a metal technician, I was shocked and pleasantly surprised.

The Cano family has always been all-in when it comes to becoming the best techs they can and imparting their knowledge to others. Pictured here is Felix Cano Jr., left, and his father, Felix Cano, Sr.

Longevity is always a factor with technicians or painters. They need to be adaptable and willing to learn, and—maybe most importantly—they need to be durable. The physical work associated with these jobs is what often becomes the deciding factor. The average veteran body man ends up experiencing injuries and wear and tear to his body over the years, and it adds up. When Cano entered the industry at age 16, he knew nothing, but at $8 an hour, he was the richest kid in school. He started out working for a collision center for a Chevy dealership in Texas as a body man’s helper. To say the learning curve was steep is a major understatement. “I learned fast and the guys I worked with were willing to teach me,” Cano said. “Bondo wasn’t even around back then, so I was doing mostly lead work. The cars back then didn’t have all of the plastic that they have now and fixing them was more straightforward. Today, you have to scan the vehicles and techs

are more like computer programmers compared to what we did.” Life wasn’t always a walk in the park for Cano and his family, as his father worked multiple jobs with the economy struggling. At one point, his parents and two siblings were one step away from homelessness. “For three weeks, we lived in our car, an old Bonneville, under a tree,” he said. “We bathed in an ice chest and it was a tough period. My first pay check was $488 for one week, and I thought I was wealthy. We got an apartment and things got better.” The only problem was Cano’s parents moved the family into an apartment where children were not allowed. “We had to hide the kids from the landlord so he wouldn’t find out,” he said. “We hid in the closet and under the bed. The apartment manager knew what we were doing, but he covered for us. After a while, my dad got enough money to buy a brand-new home for $40,000.” Wherever he worked, Cano was well-liked and highly respected, according to his son, Felix Cano Jr., who had a long career as a tech himself and is a collision tech teacher today. “When he was working for Chuck Fairbanks Chevrolet in DeSoto, TX, Mr. Fairbanks asked him to rebuild his personal car and was often recruited as a ringer for the company golf tournaments,” Cano Jr. said. “Dad was a decent golfer, so Mr. Fairbanks always wanted him as a partner. My father would also cook breakfast every Wednesday for the whole crew, regardless of where he worked. It was chorizo, bacon, eggs, tortillas—a big spread—and he usually paid for the whole thing himself.” Cano Sr. was working at three auto body shops at the time, repairing high-end luxury cars like Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis. His average workday started at 7 a.m. and often ended at 2 a.m., he said. “I learned how to do the lead work and realized that I had a skill that was much-needed,” he said. “I pretty much was able to set my prices and soon I was taking home $800

36 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

to $1,000 every week.” Not bad for a guy in his 20s. Lead work is a lost art and used primarily by car restorers today, but Cano was able to turn it into a moneymaker over the years. “It requires more training and practice to perfect and it’s a much

slower process,” he said. “Lead seals much better than body filler. You can apply it straight over welds, section locations, pillars or anywhere else where you need a solid seal. Lead will flex well without the metal cracking. Body fillers have

improved through the years and they flex as well, but lead is better for flexing without cracking.” Cano planted a seed and it sprouted when two of his six sons, Felix Jr. and Greg, decided to enter the industry. Felix Cano Jr. has made a name for himself as an award-winning instructor and is known for turning many of his students into winners at SkillsUSA competitions. The legacy continues with his son, Felix Cano III, who works for a body shop in Texas after learning the trade from his father, grandfather and uncle. The Canos treasure their roles as teachers. Cano Sr. was an instructor with I-CAR for several years. Just like his son, he’s anxious to share his knowledge and experience with anyone willing to learn. When Cano Jr. was 8 years old, he started going to work with his father and that’s when he realized he wanted to be like his dad. “I had one of the best teachers anyone could have and the one-onone instruction that I have from him

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was so beneficial,” Cano Jr. said. “I teach my students the way he taught me. One great thing about my dad was that he never yelled at me when I messed up. During all the years I’ve worked by his side, he never got mad and his patience was amazing. What he did for me was better than any apprenticeship because I could ask him questions all the time.” If it was his decision, Cano Sr. would still be working, he said. “Everyone wanted me to retire, except for me. But my wife wants me around the house, so what can I do? I go down to the shop every once in a while, to stay connected,” he said. “Like many other people who reach retirement age, I don’t want to stay home and die. I want to still be involved.” Cano Jr. is very proud of his papa and hopes he will live past 100. “He still wants to give back— that’s just the way he is. He was one of the old school ‘metal men’ from that era; the crème de la crème and true tradesmen,” Cano Jr. said. “He turned us into teachers because we wanted to be like him, and we still do!”

U.S. DOT Announces Initial Framework for EV Charging Station Programs The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) took the first steps in establishing programs for a national network of electric vehicle charging stations, as mandated in the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed earlier in 2021. The agency posted a request for comments from stakeholders on best practices to develop guidance for the electric vehicle charging station programs. In the request, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) cited a particular interest on how best to promote equity in the development of EV charging station infrastructure under these programs, including prioritizing grants in rural areas, low and moderate-income neighborhoods, and areas with a large ratio of multi-unit homes as opposed to single-family dwellings. The bipartisan infrastructure plan authorized two EV charging station programs, the National Electric Vehicle Formula Program and the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure program. The first program is designed to distribute money only to states, with

the amount calculated by formula. The second program differs because: It’s a discretionary grant program. Grants will be available for not only electric vehicle charging, but to hydrogen, natural gas and propane fueling stations.

Charging stations will not be required to be located on designated authorized fuel corridors. Grants are available to cities and other entities, not just states. Under the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure program, the federal share payable for projects funded will be 80%. According to the DOT request published in the Federal Register, funds must be

used for not only the acquisition and installation of EV charging infrastructure, but also the operation and maintenance of such infrastructure. The mandate also requires such charging infrastructure be used “only for EV charging station infrastructure that is open to the general public or to authorized commercial vehicle owners from more than one company.” This excludes Tesla, whose charging stations are proprietary and therefore only able to charge Tesla vehicles. Last year, electric vehicles as a whole made up only 1.7% of new light-duty vehicles sold in the U.S. However, as the automotive industry moves towards an increasingly electric future, it will be important for independent automotive repair shops to be prepared for this shift. The development of a national network of electric vehicle charging stations will present both a challenge and an opportunity for our industry. Stay updated with electric vehicle and other legislative news on TakingtheHill.org. Source: ASA

Apple’s AirTags Being Used to Track and Steal Luxury by Loukia Papadopoulos, Interesting Engineering

In August, there was the story of a cybersecurity expert in Brooklyn, NY, who was able to recover his stolen bike by tracking it down himself, thanks to an Apple AirTag he had hidden inside the bike. In November, however, we reported the story of an unidentified woman in Jonesboro, AR, who turned on her iPhone in her car only to get a notice informing her there was an AirTag somewhere nearby. She was being tracked without her consent or knowledge. The stories highlight both the advantages and dangers of AirTags. Recently, Canadian police reported car thieves have been using AirTags to track and steal luxury cars, according to a report by Ars Technica. York Regional Police shared the tales of five incidents in which thieves have hidden AirTags on vehicles parked in public in order to be able to track them down later and steal them. The incidents had

all taken place in the last three months. For the few who may still not know what they are, Apple’s AirTags are tiny tracking devices with a speaker that can be stuck on things most likely to be misplaced. The user can then activate them using their Apple device and easily locate them. It is obvious how such a device can be problematic. Apple has said it has engineered some anti-stalking functions into AirTags. However, they only work if you’re running iOS 14.5 or newer. The functions allow you to detect if you’re being followed by an unfamiliar device by alerting you of this fact. For some, these added functions are too little, too late. Robert Sexton, a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) detective with the Paragould Police Department who was in charge of the stalking case in Jonesboro, AR, said these types of events are becoming increasingly more common and people should watch out for such incidents.

38 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 39 7/7/21 8:56 AM

Industry Insight with John Yoswick

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

MSOs Discuss Collision Parts Challenges, Increased Work-in-Progress

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A panel of representatives from a in parking lots, waiting to be finalnumber of multi-shop collision re- ized.” pair operations at the MSO Sympo- Amberson, too, said his comwith Ed Attanasio sium in Las Vegas in November dis- pany has seen an increase of becussed how disruptions in the parts tween 10% and 20% in his compasupply chain are impacting their ny’s work-in-progress compared to pre-pandemic. business. “It’s a mixed blessing because All agreed the parts challeng- es are not limited to any particu- in today’s world we almost have to lar parts segments, new have more work-in-progress to keep withincluding Ed Attanasio our people busy,” Amberson said. OEM, used and non-OEM. “I think we have problems in all “Because there are too many jobs categories,” said Marty Evans, an for which we’re waiting for insurMSO operator in Washington who ance authorization or parts. But the also is COO of the Certified Colli- downside is it creates a lot of chaos, and delays for the customer, more sion Group banner network. cycle time for the insurers.” with Ed Attanasio In some cases, other panelists acknowledged, it is impacting their customer satisfaction. “As a general rule, yes, we are seeing CSI going down, with Ed Attanasio The panel discussing parts supply chain issues at the and that’s very painful,” MSO Symposium included, pictured left to right, Mark Evans said. “As much as Miller, Shawn Hezar, Darrell Amberson and Marty we try, as much as we be Evans proactive and communi Shawn Hezar, chief client offi- cate, you sometimes get the head cer for Caliber Collision, agreed all nod or yes, that they understand, but the parts industry segments are facthe survey goes out and that converwith Stacey Phillips ing the same challenges, in terms of sation never took place. We’re all labor and logistics. doing everything we can to commu “I live in Los Angeles where we nicate, but you’re not going to win can actually see the ships lined up, every time.” Hezar said Caliber was “knockwaiting to be docked,” he said. “And of course once they get docked, you ing it with Stacey Phillips out of the park” in terms of still need trucks and people to un- CSI in 2020 when work loads were load them. It’s evolving, and it’s down, but said 2021 “has been pretty painful.” tough.” That in turn, he said, can Darrell Amberson, president have an impact on employee morale. of operations for LaMettry’s Colli- “Our teammates aren’t feeling sion, which has 10 collision repair as good about what is taking place with Stacey Phillips shops and three mechanical shops in either. We have to remember that,” Minnesota, concurred. Hezar said. “We’re seeing it among Asian Parts supply chain challenges, manufacturers, Europeans, domes- the panelists said, are impacting tics,” Amberson said. “It often feels their costs in various ways—inlike we can build three-fourths of creases they will likely need to pass the job or even with more, Stacey but too often on. Parts delays, for example, can Phillips there’s that one critical part—even lead some jobs to expand beyond a a common part, like a bumper cov- customer’s rental car allowance, a er—that we’re waiting months for.” cost repairers can’t always bear in Hezar said that type of situation the name of customer service. now means Caliber has “somewhere “I want to be clear: We’ve about $50 million to $60 million of picked up a lot of rental car expenswork-in-progress…with cars sitting es. Our rental car expenses have

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gone up by millions of dollars,” Hezar said. “At some point you have to say, ‘It’s just no longer feasible. We can’t do that.’ You’re hoping the end [to the parts delays] is in sight, but based on everything we hear, these challenges are going to continue well into 2022. At some point, you have to stop.” Are the MSOs seeing changes in parts discounts? Amberson said he sees parts prices increasing overall but not changes in his agreements with suppliers. That wasn’t the case among other panelists. Hezar said parts margins get squeezed when a part has to be sourced from a supplier with which his company has not had a long-time relationship. “It’s very common that it’s not going to be the same discount. So in a lot of cases we do see it cost-

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ing us more,” he said. But suppliers have also come to Caliber this year to say their costs are escalating and they “have no choice but to lower” Caliber’s discount. “We’ve seen that from time to time,” Hezar said. Evans joked he thinks Hezar jinxed him on the topic of changes to supplier discounts after they spoke about it the week prior to the symposium. “I hadn’t heard a lot about it before then, but now it’s becoming more and more common,” Evans said. “Even with those you have a relationship with, we are hearing they are reducing [the] discount, which is very painful.” www.autobodynews.com


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autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 41

Industry Veteran Establishes Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com by Ed Attanasio

Steven Schillinger of Reno, NV, has worked as a collision repair industry consultant in different capacities for more than 40 years, as a compliance expert focusing on permits, license protection and record keeping. As a member of the Government Regulatory Compliance (GRC) Board of Directors, Schillinger has tried to retire several times over the years but has failed miserably. He thought fishing and golf would be his activities after retirement, but discovered both are “boring,” he said. Losing his dog also created a void in his life. During the COVID pandemic, Schillinger lost his beloved friend and canine mascot, George, at age 14, and it hit him hard. As a result, he began looking for a way for body shops and other auto repair businesses to help displaced pets. Many people have been abandoning their pets during the pandemic by dumping them in the Nevada desert. When Schillinger kept

seeing news stories about it, he decided to act, and that’s when he founded the Pet-Rescue-AutoShop. com campaign to help and promote animal rescue and shelter groups in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com is an exclusive automotive aftermarket program in support of Adopt-a-Pet. com to help pets and people in local communities all over North America, and with auto repair facilities— including body shops—playing an integral role. Approximately 7.6 million companion pets are surrendered to a shelter every year in the U.S. alone. That includes 4.2 million dogs abandoned—1.4 million of which are euthanized annually. “Animals have no voice of their own, no social safety net and very few rights under the law,” Schillinger said. “They are vulnerable and, unfortunately, mistreated more often than most of us can even imagine. The Pet Rescue Campaign is focused on automotive service and repair shop owners in North Amer-

ica that has gained recognition with regulatory agencies and insurance partners as well as community leaders.” When Schillinger saw a sudden surge in pet adoptions during the COVID lockdown, he was encouraged, he said. “It has definitely gone viral nationwide. Shelters, nonprofit rescue organizations, private breeders and pet stores have all reported more consumer demand than there were dogs and cats to fill,” Schillinger said. “Rescues were accepting dozens of applications for individual dogs and breeders were compiling waiting lists well into 2021. Dog lovers kept trying to fill voids with canine companions, either because they were stuck working from home with children who needed something to do, had no work and lots of free time, or felt lonely with no way to socialize.” American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) President Madeline Bernstein reported adoptions doubled during



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the lockdown, with 10 or 13 adoptions a day. A waiting list formed for certain types of dogs and for puppies in general, because so few were left in the shelter. But now, shelter directors are wondering what will happen as Americans start returning to school and work. Bernstein foresaw at the start of the pandemic many of these adoptions could potentially lead to more dogs being abandoned. She has also seen many people bonding with their pandemic pets and providing them with forever homes. “Like so many things concerning the pandemic, the territory is uncharted,” Schillinger said. “Just as nobody predicted that the start of a pandemic would lead to a huge spike in the number of adopted pets, nobody is quite sure what the end of a pandemic will mean for many of them, and that’s why we see some genuine value in the Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com campaign.” Animal rescues are typically privately-owned, and do not have a facility—often, they are run entirely


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These Dealers are Genuine Wholesale Parts Specialists. 42 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

by volunteers, including people who volunteer as fosters. Fosters care for animals at their homes for a few weeks or months until the animal gets adopted. In the last few years, a lot of rescues have shifted to promoting their animals on Instagram and Facebook, which serve as free marketing for getting their animals adopted. The Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com campaign is also supported by many members of the Alliance of Auto Manufacturing that are partnering with animal shelters. In addition, Subaru has joined with the ASPCA to help find thousands of animals their forever homes, and donated nearly $16.5 million to support shelters and adoption events. In conjunction with their dog rescue efforts, Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com supports local volunteer organizations that are too small to raise substantial funds themselves, and would fall through the cracks without us. “We network online 24/7 with business owners to provide instant assistance, boarding, medical care, food, medicine, training and trans-

port for desperate animals,” Schillinger said. “We are the place to go when there is nowhere else to turn. We rescue pets, and we rescue the rescuers—shelters and other animal welfare groups that are currently inundated with new pets.” You’ve likely heard about AMBER Alerts. Pet-Rescue-AutoShop. com has developed the same system for pets—Area Missing: Pet Emergency Response (AMPER) Alerts—which connects auto body shops with an assigned AMPER area-alert team to offer advice and assistance for confidentiality, as well as to transport pets to shelters, rescues and private owners. “It is designed to achieve a uniform, interoperable network of plans across the country, and to minimize potentially deadly delays because of confusion among varying participants,” Schillinger said. Every authorized AutoShop facility will have an email contact and telephone number assigned for AMPER alerts. Participants receive alerts of a recently lost or missing pet. If the pet is found/rescued, most do not go back home but instead go to a transitional facility, a Pet Halfway House.

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As the name implies, it is not a dog pound, but closer to a foster home. For an AMPER Alert to be effective in recovering a missing pet, Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com must have enough information to believe an immediate broadcast to the public will enhance the efforts to locate the pet. This element requires as much descriptive information as possible about the lost pet. Issuing alerts in the absence of significant information that the pet is actually lost could lead to abuse of the system and ultimately weaken its effectiveness. Vice President of Industry Relations at Automotive Service Association (ASA) Tony Molla sees real value in the Pet-Rescue-AutoShop. com campaign for several reasons. “It’s a great idea and much-needed,” he said. “We have two dogs, Luna and Lola, and if we ever lost them, we would be crushed. It’s simple—a dog is found and quickly an alert goes out and shops get to play an important role. Pet-Rescue-AutoShop.com is a great way for shops to help people and dogs to find their homes or new homes for dogs who have lost their way and just need a break.”

CIF Elects Trustee from Axalta The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) is proud to announce the election of Jim Ocampo, industry relations/strategic sales manager at Axalta Coating Systems, to the CIF Board of Trustees. CIF provides emergency relief by securing and distributing donations to collision repair professionals who have experienced significant losses due to natural disasters or other catastrophic events. During his extensive career at Axalta, Ocampo has been involved with numerous industry organizations and served on several boards such as CIECA, NABC and California Auto Body Association. He also brings fundraising experience. To become a CIF annual donor, visit www.collisionindustryfoundation.org and or reach out via email to collisionindustryfoundation@gmail.com. All donations are tax-deductible. Source: CIF



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autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 43

Stellantis CEO: EV Transition Costs ‘Beyond the Limits’ the Auto Industry Can Sustain by Maria Merano, Teslarati

Stellantis CEO Carlos Taveres said the pressure for legacy automakers to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles could threaten jobs and vehicle quality as traditional carmakers struggle to manage the higher costs of producing EVs. Taveres said the costs of transitioning to EV production are “beyond the limits” of what the current auto industry can sustain, in an interview with Reuters Next. He also highlighted the pressure legacy OEMs get from governments and investors to speed up the transition to EVs. “What has been decided is to impose on the automotive industry electrification that brings 50% additional costs against a conventional vehicle,” he said.” “There is no way we can transfer 50% of additional costs to the final consumer because most parts of the middle class will not be able to pay.” He said traditional automakers would have to either charge higher prices and make fewer cars or accept lower profit margins to keep up with

the additional costs of transitioning to electric vehicles. Taveres emphasized both paths lead to cutbacks. Many union leaders in Europe and North America agree thousands of people could lose their jobs if the auto industry transitioned to EV production. U.S. President Joe Biden is trying to tread the line between pushing legacy OEMs towards transitioning to EVs and providing job security in the auto industry. Biden has openly supported the Detroit Big Three’s—Ford, General Motors and Stellantis—EV goals, while puzzlingly ignoring Tesla’s role in the current electric vehicle revolution. Biden seems keen on only promoting automakers affiliated with unions in his bid to make the U.S. a powerhouse in the global electric vehicle market, all while ignoring the powerhouse that is Tesla, which already operates within the country. In the summer, the Detroit Big Three announced their commitment to increase each of their electric vehicle sales by about 40% by 2030. Some may argue the Detroit Big Three’s EV transition goals go

SEMA Industry Indicators: U.S. Economy Expected to Finish Q4 Strong, But Uncertainty Remains by Kyle Cheng, SEMA

While U.S. economic growth was underwhelming in the third quarter, incoming economic data suggests growth is revving up in the fourth quarter, barring any major setbacks from omicron or other major uncertainties. Consumers look positioned to continue to spend money. Savings rates remain well above pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, there continues to be extremely strong demand for workers and wages are rising as a result. However, rising inflation is dampening consumer confidence, with sentiment dropping to a decade low in November. Despite this, expect consumer spending to continue. The availability of things to buy, however, remains constrained. Inventory levels for new vehicles continue to be constrained. Dealer levels typically cover roughly two and a half months of sales. Today, on average, they can only cover about two weeks. Backlogs at West Coast ports also continues to grow. As a result, pent-up demand continues to build.

This will likely fuel solid growth through at least the first half of 2022. To learn more about the latest trends affecting the economy and the specialty-equipment industry, download the latest “SEMA Industry Indicators” report today at www.sema.org/research. Other reports on trends facing the specialty-equipment industry from SEMA Market Research: SEMA State of the Industry— Fall 2021: This report explores the current state of the specialty-equipment industry—how businesses have fared during the pandemic, how supply-chain disruptions are affecting the industry, current trends and sales performance and outlook for 2022 and beyond. SEMA Emerging Trends: Electrification, Alternative Power and Advanced Technology: This report examines the current landscape of electrification in the U.S., providing a realistic outlook for electric vehicles in the future as well as implications of advancing technology for the industry. Source: SEMA

44 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

against the current tides, considering a few countries have already committed to banning fossil fuel cars by the end of this decade, while others are seriously considering the move. In his recent interview, Tavares said automakers need time to test and ensure electric vehicle technology works. He said speeding up the process “is just going to be counterproductive. It will lead to quality problems. It will lead to all sorts of problems.” So far, Ford seems to be the only automaker in the Detroit Big Three taking serious steps to becoming an electric vehicle producer. The Ford Mustang Mach-E has proven to be a favorite amongst the OEM’s customers. The Mustang Mach-E is still far from perfect though, as some owners do have critiques about the vehicle and its infrastructure support. However, Ford seems to be failing forward and learning from its mistakes and improving on the fly--similar to Tesla in some ways. As for Stellantis, it has invested $30 billion into its electrification strategy. On Nov. 30, the company invested in solid-state battery startup Factorial.

“We can invest more and go deeper in the value chain,” Tavares said. “There may be other [investments] in the near future.” In July, the company held Stellantis EV Day 2021, where it announced intentions to become a market leader in low emissions vehicles (LEV) by 2030. Stellantis aims to make more than 70% of its sales in Europe and 40% in the U.S. be comprised of LEVs. The company also said all 14 of its brands are committed to offering best-in-class fully electrified solutions. “Over the next five years, we have to digest 10% productivity a year … in an industry which is used to delivering 2% to 3% productivity” improvement, Tavares said. It wasn’t clear whether he was referring to productivity in electric vehicle development only. Stellantis stills seem adamant in slowly transitioning into an electric vehicle producer. However, the CEO did get one thing right on the bullseye. “The future will tell us who is going to be able to digest this and who will fail,” Tavares said. “We are putting the industry on the limits.”



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autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 45

Shepherd Joins Advantage Parts Solutions Advantage Parts Solutions, a global leader in delivering strategic automotive parts solutions, is pleased to welcome David Shepherd to its global team in the role of non-executive director. Shepherd will work closely with Advantage’s global executive leadership team to help guide its long-term strategic business plan to remain a dominant brand in the OEM parts supply chain as it continues to deliver unrivaled value to the marketplace. Shepherd, a seasoned industry executive, joins Advantage’s global team after spending 13 years as regional managing director of Solera’s international region, where he was directly responsible for accelerating the company’s reorganization outside North America. Before Solera, Shepherd was an executive consultant for various collision repair brands, Thatcham Research and the Institute of the Motor Industry. Source: Advantage Parts Solutions

Biden Signs Executive Order on Clean Energy, EVs On Dec. 8, President Joe Biden signed the executive order on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability. The order is meant to make the federal government carbon neutral through the use of renewable power sources and building materials to construct and run federal buildings, and the purchase of electric vehicles for the federal fleet. Throughout Biden’s campaign and administration, environmental issues have been a major priority. This week’s executive order sets a timetable for the implementation of many policy goals. The order requires the federal government to achieve: • 100% net-annual carbon pollution-free electricity by 2030 • 100% zero-emission vehicle acquisitions by 2035 • Net-zero emissions from federal procurement, including a Buy Clean policy that will promote the purchase of environmentally friendly building materials • Climate-resilient infrastructure and operations, and a climate and

sustainability-focused federal workforce Not only does the executive order require federal agencies to purchase exclusively zero-emissions vehicles by 2035, it also requires them to comprise an annual zero-emission fleet strategy that includes deploying zero-emission fleet vehicle refueling infrastructure. This means the federal government will be investing in electric and other zero-emission charging stations. This initiative goes hand-inhand with the U.S. Department of Transportation initiative to use the $7.5 billion allocated for electric vehicle infrastructure, in the recently passed infrastructure legislation, to create 500,000 new public zero-emission charging stations across the U.S. The same week, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation released “Recommended Attributes for EV Charging Stations,” which provides guidance for installing publicly available electric vehicle charging. The recommendations focus on 10 key elements for public charging

stations: charging speed, charging connectors, payment methods, reliability and redundancy, accessibility, station layout, network and communication requirements, EV charging on federal highways, EV charging signage, and a standardized approach to communicate pricing. The Automotive Service Association (ASA), in partnership with the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, recently released the first episode in the Technology and Telematics Podcast series, featuring a conversation between Wayne Weikel, senior director for state affairs at the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, and Bob Redding, Washington, D.C. representative for the ASA. During the podcast, the pair discuss the legislative and regulatory environment for electric vehicle implementation, building a national network of electric vehicle charging stations and challenges and opportunities for the automotive industry as it moves toward an “all-electric future.” Listen to the podcast to hear about all these EV issues and more. Source: ASA

GM, POSCO Chemical to Build Factory to Process Material for Ultium Batteries General Motors and POSCO Chemical on Dec. 1 announced plans to form a joint venture through which the parties will construct a factory in North America to process critical battery materials for GM’s Ultium electric vehicle platform. The joint venture will process cathode active material (CAM), a key battery material that represents about 40% of the cost of a battery cell. The location of the facility, which will create hundreds of jobs when it opens in 2024, will be announced later. “Our work with POSCO Chemical is a key part of our strategy to rapidly scale U.S. EV production and drive innovation in battery performance, quality and cost,” said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, global product development, purchasing and supply chain. “We are building a sustainable and resilient North America-focused supply chain for EVs covering the entire ecosystem from raw materials to battery cell

manufacturing and recycling.” “We are very pleased to participate in the global battery supply chain project with General Motors,” said Kyungzoon Min, CEO of POSCO Chemical. “Through close partnership, we will innovate battery materials and contribute to accelerate the adoption of EVs based on our world-class product development, mass production capacity, and raw materials competitiveness.” The new facility will supply the Ultium Cells LLC facilities GM and LG Energy Solution are building in Lordstown, OH, and Spring Hill, TN. Two more U.S.-based Ultium cell plants are planned by mid-decade as GM drives mass adoption of EVs with high-volume Ultium-powered EVs, including a Chevrolet crossover priced around $30,000. GM and POSCO Chemical have signed a non-binding term sheet to create the joint venture and expect to execute definitive agreements soon. Source: GM

46 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 47

Transportation Secretary Buttigieg Cites Gas Prices, Promotes EVs by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs

Gas prices have had a tendency to rise and fall over the years, and they’re spiking again of late. Many EV advocates have noted if gas prices rise enough, people will be compelled to buy an EV. In the past, when gas prices soared, there weren’t a whole lot of compelling electric cars on the market, but times have changed. According to a report from our friends at Teslarati, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg mentioned people who buy an electric car will “never have to worry about gas prices again.” Still, gas prices aren’t that high right now. While they’re high enough that many folks are struggling, they’ve been higher in the past. If Buttigieg would work with President Joe Biden to keep his promise of doing away with the massive gas and oil subsidies, then prices at the pump would surely skyrocket. Buttigieg said soon EV buyers will get to take advantage of a $12,500 discount when they buy

an EV. However, few compelling EVs exist that would actually get such a credit. If passed as is, the full credit will only apply to union-made EVs. According to Teslarati, there’s currently only one—sort of two— cars in the U.S. that would qualify for the full credit, the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, neither of which is currently in production. Fortunately, buyers of other EVs may get a $7,500 or an $8,000 credit. It’s certainly interesting that in its mission to save the climate, the Biden Administration is putting all of its eggs in one basket, banking on only GM and CEO Mary Barra to be the leaders in EVs, though companies like Tesla, Ford, Hyundai and Volkswagen have already done a much better job proving they’re up to the task. Back to gas. A recent AAA report shows average gas prices in the U.S. at $3.39, though they’re much higher in states like California. A year ago, the average was just over $2. Some folks argue public fastcharging and Tesla Supercharg-

ing aren’t much cheaper than paying for gas. While that’s not necessarily true in many cases, most EV owners charge at home, which is much cheaper and exceptionally more convenient than driving to the gas station. Buttigieg went on to say via Teslarati: “The people who stand to benefit most from owning an EV are often rural residents who have the most distances to drive, who burn the most gas, and underserved urban residents in areas where there are higher gas prices and lower-income. They would gain the most by having that vehicle. These are the very residents

a bestever November sales performance on record sales of our allnew Bronco family. “We expect growth to continue, thanks to adding an additional 74,000 new vehicle orders in November.” Ford’s electrified vehicle sales in November grew at a rate more than three times faster than the overall electrified vehicle segment, taking Ford’s electrified vehicle share to 10% compared to 5.4% last year. This set up a record November on sales of 11,116 electrified vehicles—up 153.6%. New products are providing the boost, with Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Hybrid sales of 3,088 and 4,767, respectively. For the month, Ford took in 74,000 new vehicle retail orders, up 64,000 vehicle orders over November of last year. Customer orders continued to be filled at record rates. In November, 29% of Ford retail sales came from previously placed customer orders. Ford brand SUVs achieved record November retail sales on the

48 JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

With all of that said, even with the upcoming credit, EVs are still more expensive upfront than gas cars. It’s hard for people on a tight budget to afford the initial cost of an EV in the hope that it will save them money over the longer term. Buttigieg said the goal is to make EVs more affordable, and the credit is a step in the right direction. However, since the full credit doesn’t apply to any currently available EVs in the U.S., the legislation is arguably flawed, at least until vehicles like the Ford F-150 Lightning come to market.

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Ford Only Major U.S. Automaker to Report Year-Over-Year Sales Increase in November New breakthrough products and inventory improvements made Ford America’s No. 1 selling automaker for the third month in a row in November. Ford was the only major U.S. automaker to report a year-overyear sales increase in November— up 5.9% over last year, a total of 158,793 vehicles. Retail share totaled an estimated 13.8%—2.7 percentage points higher than November last year. “Our new products continue to roll, making Ford America’s best-selling automaker for the third consecutive month, a feat last accomplished in 1974,” said Andrew Frick, vice president, Ford sales U.S. and Canada. “Ford was also the only major U.S. automaker to beat year ago sales results for November. “On the strength of Mustang Mach-E, Ford delivered record electrified vehicle sales, growing more than three times faster than the overall segment,” Frick continued. “Retail sales were up 4.5% over a year ago, with SUVs having

who have not always been connected to electric vehicles that are viewed as kind of a luxury item.”

success of new products. Sales were up 25.6% over a year ago on total sales of 66,390 vehicles. The Bronco family had its highest combined sales since launch, totaling 19,773 SUVs. Mustang Mach-E sales were up 8.4% from October on sales of 3,088 SUVs. Combined, Ford’s newest musthave vehicles, including Mustang Mach-E, Bronco, Bronco Sport and Maverick, have the fastest turn rates on dealer lots. Ford’s newest products are having their best sales since launch and all are turning in under 12 days, with Maverick turning in just five days, essentially trailer-to-customer. Maverick Hybrid recorded its first sales at the end of November and more hybrids are on their way to dealers. Ford total pickup truck sales climbed 15.8% compared to a yearago, with sales totaling 70,839. F-Series sales rose 14.6%, expanding its leadership position over the second-place competitor to 144,049 trucks for the year. Source: Ford Motor Company

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autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 49

Biden Releases Oil Reserves to Address Rising Gas Prices by Casey Harper, The Center Square

President Joe Biden announced Nov. 23 his administration will release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help address skyrocketing energy costs. The announcement is part of a joint plan with China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom, and it comes as gas prices in the U.S. have risen about $1.20 a gallon in the past year. The White House said “32 million barrels will be an exchange over the next several months, releasing oil that will eventually return to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the years ahead. “The exchange is a tool matched to today’s specific economic environment, where markets expect future oil prices to be lower than they are today, and helps provide relief to Americans immediately and bridge to that period of expected lower oil prices,” the White House said. “The exchange also automatically provides for re-stocking of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

over time to meet future needs.” The American Automobile Association gas prices tracker reports the average price of gas at $3.40 per gallon of regular gasoline, up from $2.11 at the same time last year. Other energy costs also have risen sharply, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The energy index rose 4.8% in October after rising 1.3% in September,” BLS said. “The gasoline index rose 6.1% in October, its fifth consecutive monthly increase. The index for natural gas rose 6.6% over the month, its largest monthly increase since March 2014. The electricity index increased 1.8% in October, its largest one-month increase since May 2014, while the fuel oil index also rose sharply, increasing 12.3%.” The White House said the rising prices are the result of a surge in demand after a dip during the pandemic, but critics point to Biden’s energy policies, including shutting down the Keystone pipeline, discouraging drilling on federal lands and implementing stricter regula-

tions. “President Biden killed the Keystone pipeline and greenlit Putin’s Nord Stream II. Then he begged OPEC to produce more oil,” said U.S. House Republican Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-CA. “Dear Mr. President: Let us produce our own energy and create jobs right here at home. Stop putting America last.” Biden released the reserves as his job approval numbers continue to decline and Americans become increasingly concerned about the economy. He made the announcement alongside news he will seek reelection in 2024. Former President Donald Trump, who may face off against

Biden in that election, blasted Biden after the news and took credit for the oil reserves, saying he is responsible for “filling them up” in the first place. “For decades our Country’s very important Strategic Oil Reserves were low or virtually empty in that no President wanted to pay the price of filling them up,” Trump said in a statement. “I filled them up three years ago, right to the top, when oil prices were very low. ... We were energy independent one year ago, now we are at the mercy of OPEC, gasoline is selling for $7 in parts of California, going up all over the Country, and they are taking oil from our Strategic Reserves. Is this any way to run a Country?”

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