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GM to Idle 3 Plants in North America Due to Semiconductor Shortage by Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press

General Motors is idling three of its assembly plants in North America and running a fourth in S outh Korea at half capacity for one week as it struggles with the ongoing semiconductor shortage that has already impacted production at F ord Motor Co., S tellantis and others globally . On F eb. 8 , GM will idle the following plants―which run two shifts― for a week: • F airfax Assembly and S tamping Plant in Kansas City , KS : About 2,000 hourly workers build the Chev -

rolet Malibu sedan and Cadillac X T4 S UV • CAMI, Ingersoll, Ontario Canada: About 1,5 00 hourly workers build the Chev rolet Eq uinox S UV • S an Luis Potosí , Mexico: GM builds Chev rolet Eq uinox and Trax and GMC Terrain S UVs S ome related GM plants that supply engines and other parts to the plants to be idled may be minorly impacted. F or example, the engine plant at GM’ s S pring Hill Assembly complex will reduce a shift on one See Semiconductor Shortage, Page 16

States Revive Push for Virus Liability Protections for Employers by Chris Marr, Bloomberg Law

More than a doz en states at the start of the 2021 legislativ e season are renewing a push to shield businesses from lawsuits ov er customers’ or employ ees’ COVID-19 exposure. F rom F lorida to Montana, state lawmakers hav e declared liability protections to be a top priority this y ear. Republican lawmakers are mostly leading the charge, but in a few cases they ’ re coordinating with Democratic legislators or gov ernors. If these states enact liability shields, they would j oin more than a

doz en others that did so in 2020. These state laws broadly shield all or most ty pes of businesses from coronav irus-related liability lawsuits, unless a plaintiff can show the company was grossly negligent or guilty of intentional misconduct. After a federal proposal championed by S enate Republicans failed to win approv al, the attention is back on the states and expected to stay there, now that Democrats will control both chambers of Congress and the W hite House as of Jan. 20. “W e do not anticipate liability See Virus Liability Protections, Page 19



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AUTOBODYNEWS.COM Vol. 39 / Issue 3 / March 2021

President Biden Signs Executive Order to Strengthen Buy American Act Provisions by Roger Abbott and Karl Means at Miles & Stockbridge P.C.

On Jan. 25 , President Joe Biden issued an executiv e order on Ensuring the F uture Is Made in All of America by All of America’ s W orkers. The order is part of his “B uild B ack B etter Recov ery Plan” to strengthen American manufacturing and has potentially far-reaching effect. The order will tighten the federal gov ernment’ s req uirements to buy American products, support American j obs and rationaliz e the enforcement of the country ’ s patchwork of

“Made in America” laws. Companies that supply goods and serv ices to the federal gov ernment may no longer benefit from statutes like “B uy American.” The Jan. 25 order will tighten agencies’ purchasing by increasing domestic content req uirements and close loopholes for determining country of origin under Made in America laws. Companies that benefit from domestic preferences now must re-examine whether they will continue to benefit under the proposed new regulations. Contractors and subcontracSee Buy American Act, Page 18

Schools and Scans Among Topics Addressed at CIC on upcoming meeting dates for any industry adv isory committees for A new position statement related collision repair training programs at to what is―and isn’t―included in any U.S. schools―particularly for v ehicle scan charges, and a plea for any such program that is struggling information about any school’ s colli- or in danger of being closed. sion repair training programs that is Arrants contends “the pipeline struggling, were among the topics at containing the future workforce is collapsing,” offering some indirect ev idence of a not insignificant decline in the number of such programs. S / P2, he said, which offers online safety and pollution prev ention training used by some automotiv e training programs, reported 22,7 3 5 collision repair students took the training in 2020, down nearly 3 7 % ASA is drafting a position statement indicating that a from 2019. charge for a vehicle scan is distinct from charges for That decline can’ t be other procedures such as researching diagnostic codes and system initializations blamed on the pandemic; the number of students in the first Collision Industry Confer- automotiv e serv ice or heav y -duty truck training programs who took S / ence (CIC) of 2021, held v irtually P2 training rose by as much as 2% in online in January . G eorg e Arrants of the AS E 2020 compared to the prev ious y ear. Education F oundation said his orArrants also said of the more ganiz ation is seeking information See Schools and Scans, Page 20 by John Yoswick

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CONTENTS REGIONAL Colors on Parade Opens Two New Franchises in Northwest Arkansas ....................................6 Larry H. Miller Group of Companies Launches Larry H. Miller Insurance Services ...................6 NADA Donates $25,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank in New Orleans ..............................6

Certified Collision Group Announces Significant Start to ‘21 ..................................47 CIECA Announces Board, Award Recipients .......20

Advertise in our Classified Section for $50 per column inch!


CIECA Forms New Committee ...........................20



Collision Industry Mourns the Loss of


Bano Ramirez ...............................................50 COVID’s Impact on Insurance Pricing, 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. ©2021 Adamantine Media LLC.

American Icon Automotive Finishes ................. 28

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers ................ 41

Audi South Austin ........................................... 37

LKQ Corporation ............................................... 5

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers .......................... 49

Malco ............................................................. 19

AutoNation Collision Parts ............................... 13

Marc Miller Buick-GMC ................................... 10

Bill Luke Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram ............... 20

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ...................... 51

BMW of South Austin ...................................... 37

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts ............................. 42

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ........................ 43

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers ..................... 31

Bob Utter Kia .................................................. 34

NOROO Paint & Coatings ................................. 17

CCC Information Services Inc .......................... 21

North Freeway Hyundai ................................... 30

Certified Automotive Parts Association ............ 16

Parker LORD ................................................... 11

Chevyland....................................................... 32

Part of the Club ............................................... 33

Christopher’s Dodge World .............................. 33

Peak Kia ......................................................... 33

Classic BMW................................................... 35

Santa Fe Kia ................................................... 20

of Federal Vehicles with EVs ............................4

Classifieds ...................................................... 50

SATA Dan-Am Company .................................... 2

2021 SEMA HoF Nominations Open ..................43

Scholarship Application Deadline is March 31 ...12

Eckler’s Automotive ........................................ 25

Schmelz Countryside ...................................... 33

ABRA Auto Body Repair of America Adds

Schools and Scans Among Topics Addressed

Emich Chevrolet.............................................. 33

Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center......................14-15

Equalizer Industries, Inc .................................. 18

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes ...........8-9

Fisher Acura.................................................... 33

Spanesi Americas ........................................... 52

Fisher Honda .................................................. 33

Steck Manufacturing Company ....................... 12

Flatirons Subaru ............................................. 33

Stevinson Toyota West .................................... 33

Its Own Service Centers ................................43

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers .......................... 45

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers...................... 38

Toyota Remains R&D Patent Leader ..................10

Fowler Honda ................................................... 6

Sunmight USA ...........................................22-23

U.S. Electric Vehicle Market Poised for

Freeman Mazda .............................................. 24

Toyota of Laredo ............................................. 29

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ........................... 39

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers....................... 47

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers .......26-27

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers .............. 51

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers .................... 46

Young Chevrolet .............................................. 36

Tesla Gigafactory Texas’ First Giga Press Takes Form at Incredible Pace.......................11 Tesla Insurance Eyes Imminent Entrance in Texas ........................................................10 Texas, With No Income Tax, is Fastest Growing State in U.S. ....................................12

Coverage & Digital Trends .............................48 Distracted Driving Trend Persists Despite Passenger Complaints ..................................50 Edmunds Experts Forecast 15.5 Million New Vehicles Will Be Sold in 2021 ................51 Ford, Google Partner ...........................................4 GM to Idle 3 Plants in North America Due to Semiconductor Shortage.............................1


Herb Lieberman—A Life of Service ...................32

Anderson - How to Improve Paint Materials

Hyundai Isn’t Building the Apple Car After All .....42

Reimbursement ............................................28 Attanasio - Social Media Strategist Identifies Keys to Your Body Shop’s Online Success .....44 Phillips - COVID-19 Vaccinations in the

Industry Members Share Their Predictions for the Year ...................................................51 Jeff Peevy Shares Growth Plans Related to I-CAR Tech Center .....................................40

Workplace: What to Consider for Your

Kia Niro EV Winner in Ownership Study .............48

Collision Repair Facility .................................34

Merchants Fleet to Buy BrightDrop EVs .............47

Sisk - CIECAST Prepares Collision Repairers for the EV Revolution.....................................30 Yoswick - Forecast: Expect More Private Equity Coming Into the Industry ....................39

Nearly 600 Hydrogen Fueling Stations Launched in 33 Countries .............................38 President Biden Signs Executive Order to Strengthen Buy American Act Provisions .........1 President Biden: We’ll Replace Entire Fleet


Four New Facilities .......................................46 ACA Launches New Website..............................12 ASE Announces New Officers, Board Members..11 asTech Device Supports GM Network ................11 Auto Thefts Surge In 2020, National Insurance Crime Bureau Reports ...................................47 C.A.R.Score Now on CARFAX Report .................12 Caliber Announces New Board of Directors Member ........................................................20 CCC Information Services Inc. Merges, Will Go Public ................................................48

at CIC .............................................................1 States Revive Push for Virus Liability Protections for Employers ...............................1 Tesla Will Now Handle Collision Repairs at

Record Sales in 2021: Edmunds .....................4 US Department of Labor Issues Stronger Workplace Guidance on Coronavirus .............24 WIN Calls for Board of Director Candidates........29


Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk, David Luehr, Stacey Phillips, Victoria Antonelli, Gary Ledoux Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Griffin Reinhard, 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

Splashy Louisiana Debut for Carvana ................10

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

Insta Finish ....................................................... 7

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President Biden: We’ll Replace Entire Fleet of Federal Vehicles with EVs by Tom Moloughney, Inside EVs

President Joe Biden isn’ t wasting any time in making his policy clear on electric v ehicles. In a speech Jan. 25 , less than one week into his presidency , B iden announced he plans to replace all federal v ehicles in serv ice with domestically -made EVs. According to the General S erv ice Administration’ s 2019 F ederal F leet Report, that’ s a total of 6 45 ,000 v ehicles. Howev er, the president didn’ t lay out any plans or timeline whatsoev er, only a commitment to transition the eet to z ero-emission electric v ehicles. “Together, this will be the largest mobiliz ation of public inv estment and procurement infrastructure and R& D since W orld W ar II,” B iden said. B iden also added that all of the electric v ehicles would be domestically made, which would narrow down the choices when ordering replacement v ehicles. Tesla Model 3 s hav e already prov en to make great police cruis-

ers for some departments willing to giv e the v ehicle a chance. It appears to be paying off, as the B argersv ille Police Department in Indiana announced the Model 3 sav ed $ 6 ,7 5 0 in only one y ear of serv ice, as compared to a Dodge Charger cruiser.

Mail deliv ery v ehicles are perfect candidates for electric v ehicles because they hav e set routes, do a lot of stop-and-go low-speed driv ing and in many instances don’ t need to cov er many miles to complete their daily route. The 140,000 federal mail

“Together, this will be the largest mobilization of public investment and procurement infrastructure and R&D since World War II,” — Joe Biden W e can only imagine how much the gov ernment would sav e by replacing more than half a million vehicles with efficient EVs. Nearly 22% of the v ehicles in the federal eet are mail trucks, which are long ov erdue for replacement. The av erage age of a Grumman mail deliv ery truck is 28 y ears, and they lack basic essential functions of modern v ehicles including airbags, anti-lock brakes and air conditioning.

trucks currently in serv ice should be the first eet to be converted. If we take B iden’ s announcement literally , then we hav e to assume he means he’ ll be ordering a new all-electric presidential limo, affectionately known as “The B east.” Perhaps it will be a custom stretched Hummer EV-based Cadillac S UV? W e t h a n k In s i d e EV s f or rep ri n t p erm i s s i on .

Ford, Google Partner F ord and Google announced F eb. 1 a uniq ue strategic partnership to accelerate F ord’ s transformation and reinv ent the connected v ehicle experience. F ord has also named Google Cloud its preferred cloud prov ider to lev erage Google’ s world-class expertise in data, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML.) As part of this new, six-year partnership― beginning in 2023―millions of future ord and Lincoln vehicles at all price points will be powered by Android, with Google apps and serv ices built-in. To driv e ongoing innov ation, F ord and Google are establishing a new collaborativ e group, Team Upshift. Leveraging the talent and assets of both companies, Team Upshift will push the boundaries of F ord’ s transformation, unlock personaliz ed consumer experiences and driv e disruptiv e, data-driv en opportunities. This may include proj ects ranging from dev eloping new retail experiences when buy ing a v ehicle, creating new ownership offers based on data and more. S ource: F ord, Google

U.S. Electric Vehicle Market Poised for Record Sales in 2021: Edmunds Electric v ehicle sales are poised to hit their highest lev el on record in 2021, according to the car shopping experts at Edmunds. Edmunds data shows EV sales made up 1.9% of retail sales in the U.S . in 2020; Edmunds analy sts expect this number to grow to 2.5 % this y ear. “After y ears of speculation and empty promises, 2021 is actually shaping up to be a piv otal y ear for growth in the EV sector,” said Jessica C aldw ell, Edmunds’ executiv e director of insights. “W e’ re not only about to see a massiv e leap in the number of EVs av ailable in the market; we’ re also going to see a more div erse lineup of electric v ehicles that better re ect current consumer preferences. “And giv en that the new presidential administration has pledged its support for electrification, the U.S . is likely to see incentiv e programs targeted at fostering the growth of this technology further.” Edmunds analy sts anticipate 3 0 EVs from 21 brands will become av ailable for sale this y ear, compared to 17 v ehicles from 12 brands

in 2020. Notably, this will be the first year these offerings represent all three maj or v ehicle categories: Consumers will hav e the choice among 11 cars, 13 S UVs and six trucks in 2021, whereas only 10 cars and sev en S UVs were av ailable last y ear.

This div erse spread of EV offerings should help encourage stronger loy alty among EV owners, which has dwindled ov er the y ears as shoppers hav e grav itated toward larger v ehicles. According to Edmunds data, 7 1% of EV owners who didn’ t buy another EV traded in their v ehicle for a truck or S UV in 2020, compared to 6 0% in 2019 and 3 4% in 2015 . “Americans have a love affair with trucks and S UVs, to the detriment of EVs, which hav e until recently been mostly passenger cars,”

said Caldwell. “Automakers should hav e a much better shot of recapturing some of the EV buy ers who they’ve lost now that they can offer larger, more utilitarian electric v ehicles.” Edmunds analy sts note that this infusion of fresh new products comes at a time where the market is also seeing a positiv e shift in consumer interest in EVs. According to Google Trends data, consumer searches for electric trucks and S UVs hav e recently hit a high point after trending upward for y ears. “ esides affordability, one of the biggest barriers to increased EV sales has simply been tepid consumer reception―it’s been tough for companies that aren’ t Tesla to crack the code of how to get shoppers hy ped up for these v ehicles,” said Caldwell. “B ut in the past y ear we’ v e seen automakers throw huge adv ertising dollars behind their EV launches in an attempt to drum up some buz z , and it’ s promising that consumers seem to at least be more aware of the options out there.” As more consumers look to EVs as a possibility for their next

car purchase, Edmunds experts emphasiz e that shoppers should take extra time to consider their alternativ es and do their research. “B uy ing an EV is an entirely different beast than a traditional car purchase, so extra research and diligence are key ,” said I van Drury, Edmunds’ senior manager of insights. “Range and weather conditions play a huge factor in determining whether certain EVs make sense for y our ev ery day needs, and whether y ou own a home with a garage or rent an apartment could affect y our charging situation. “F ederal and state tax incentiv es are at play with these purchases. And with a number of manufacturers following Tesla’ s direct sale model, there might not be opportunities to take a test driv e, or ev en to trade in y our current v ehicle, like y ou would at a traditional dealership.” S ource: Edmunds


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Larry H. Miller Group of Companies Launches Larry H. Miller Insurance Services

NADA Donates $25,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank in New Orleans

Utah-based L arry H. Miller (LHM) Group of Companies, in partnership with Leav itt Group, announced Jan. 26 the launch of Larry H. Miller Insurance S erv ices, an independent insurance agency that will offer LHM customers auto, home, life and business insurance. This new v enture expands the LHM Group’ s portfolio of automotiv e businesses, which includes Larry H. Miller Dealerships, Total Care Auto Powered by Landcar and Prestige F inancial. “Adding an insurance agency to our automotive-related offerings allows us to prov ide a more seamless and full-serv ice experience for our customers, particularly during their car buy ing j ourney ,” said Dean Fitz p atrick, president, Larry H. Miller Dealerships. “Combining expertise with the Leav itt Group, who bring nearly 7 0 y ears of experience in the insurance industry made this partnership a great fit.” Like the LHM Group, Leav itt Group is a priv ately -held Utah company . Leaders of both organiz ations describe their partnership

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) announced a $ 25 ,000 donation to the S econd Harv est F ood B ank of New Orleans in adv ance of NADA S how 2021. W hile the coronav irus pandemic has impacted NADA’ s ability to host the annual NADA S how in-person in New Orleans, NADA remains committed to keeping its y early tradition of making a philanthropic donation to a local organiz ation in the city where NADA S how is held. “W e are so honored by this gift,” said N atalie Jayroe, S econd Harv est president and CEO. “It is especially meaningful that NADA made this generous donation ev en though circumstances kept them from coming to New Orleans for their annual show. It is because of support from partners like NADA that our team is able to prov ide meals and emergency food to our neighbors across South Louisiana during this difficult time.” NADA’ s donation will be used to help S econd Harv est respond to the alarming increase in food insecurity in New Orleans caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. S ince the

as a natural one since they share the same v alues of integrity , hard work and serv ice.

“W e are thrilled to be partnering with the Larry H. Miller Group in launching Larry H. Miller Insurance S erv ices,” said E ric L eavitt, chairman and CEO of Leav itt Group. “We are unified in our desire to serv e LHM customers well in their insurance buy ing j ourney and to prov ide an additional element of v alue bey ond what they hav e come to expect from Larry H. Miller Group companies.” LHM Insurance S erv ices will be av ailable at Larry H. Miller Dealerships locations, by phone and online at lhminsure.com. Source: L H M

pandemic hit in 2020, S econd Harv est has nearly doubled its food distribution despite a drastic increase in the organiz ation’ s operating costs, including staffing, transportation and food. Given difficult economic conditions, the organiz ation expects the need to remain elev ated through 2021. “This has been an unprecedented y ear for all of us. Now, more than ev er, it is important that we, as dealers, continue to come together and support our local communities,” said NADA Chairman Rhett Ricart. “I am so pleased we are able to continue this y early donation in conj unction with NADA S how and support this amaz ing organiz ation as they address food insecurity in the city of New Orleans.” NADA S how 2021 will stream liv e F eb. 9-11, offering attendees ward-winning dealer education, franchise meetings, industry networking and the NADA Expo, the v irtual dealer marketplace. F or more information on NADA S how 2021, please click here. F or more information on the S econd Harv est F ood B ank, please click here. Source: N AD A


Colors on Parade Opens Two New Franchises in Northwest Arkansas Colors on Parade, an eco-friendly mobile automotiv e paint and dent repair serv ices franchise, is pleased to announce the opening of its newest franchise units in northwest Arkansas. S erv icing the northwest Arkansas/ southwest Missouri region, the new franchises are owned and operated by Billy Routt and Jon N orton. W orking alongside area dev elopers Daniel Billing sley and Josh L eaton, Routt and Norton will bring EcoS mart mobile automotiv e paint and dent repair serv ices to their communities at an affordable price. In addition, the new franchises will prov ide car dealerships with the highest q uality reconditioning serv ices for their inv entory with a q uick turnaround time. W ith a robust background working in the automobile industry , Routt brings more than 20 y ears of collision and restoration experience to Colors on Parade. Prior to j oining Colors, Routt worked as a paint rep for nine

y ears, where he gained an appreciation for matching colors and found a special talent in matching metallic and pearl paints. He has j ust completed the new franchisee certification program and is successfully running his new business in southwest Missouri. Norton has more than 10 y ears of auto industry experience with a strong foundation in mobile reconditioning, airplane restoration and body shop repairs. “I’ m confident in the promising future that Colors can prov ide me and I’ m excited about the great pay , flexible schedule and the ability to grow my skills on a day -to-day basis,” Norton said. He has j ust completed the new franchisee certification program and is in northwest Arkansas growing his Colors on Parade business. “As we continue to grow Colors on Parade with more locations across the country , it is a goal to make conv enient, affordable mobile paint and dent repair serv ices accessible for our cus-

tomers,” said Jef f C ox , president of Colors on Parade. “A key component to doing so is our group of passionate franchisees who prov ide a high-lev el of expertise and professionalism to our customers. W e are excited to welcome B illy and Jon to the team and look forward to their success with Colors on Parade! ” W ith more than 3 0 y ears of experience and more than 25 0 operating franchises across the U.S ., Colors on Parade is consistently ranked by Entrepreneur magaz ine as one of the nation’ s top automotiv e franchise sy stems. The company ’ s extensiv e training and certification process allows new franchisees to prov ide customer serv ices safely onsite while using an exclusiv e process. F ranchise opportunities still remain av ailable throughout the U.S . More information can be found at http: / / www.colorsonparade.com/ franchise-opportunities/ .

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Tesla Insurance Eyes Imminent Entrance in Texas by Joey Klender, Teslarati

Tesla is ey eing an entrance into Texas for its insurance initiativ e, possibly making it the second state to welcome the electric automaker’ s exclusiv e v ehicle cov erage program. New documents submitted to the Texas Department of Insurance indicate Tesla Insurance could be entering a j oint v enture with Texas-based Redpoint County Mutual Insurance. Redpoint County Mutual Insurance is listed as the filing company in the documents, with Tesla Insurance S erv ices listed as the rate-rule attached company . This effectively means Tesla Insurance will adopt the same rates as Redpoint County Mutual. The more than 5 00-page document elaborating on the partnership shows Tesla is planning to expand its insurance initiativ e, a plan that has been put into place since its program went liv e in late August 2019. Much like Tesla’ s v ehicles, the company ’ s insurance program

aims to “use the technology in v ehicles to lower costs and improv e the customer experience through automated underwriting, rating and claims, including direct data feeds with customer permission, that eliminate frictional costs and inefficiencies inherent in traditional insurance processes,” the filing states. The Tesla Insurance program in Texas is expected to start soon. According to a January filing: “Redpoint County Mutual Insurance Company is pleased to announce its new Priv ate Passenger Auto (PPA) Tesla Insurance Program for priv ate passenger auto in the S tate of Texas. The program will be distributed through the digital InsurTech platform from Tesla Insurance S erv ices of Texas, Inc., formerly called S amson General Agency , Inc.” It is not much of a surprise Tesla is expanding to Texas, as the company has made it ev ident many of its executiv es, including CEO E lon Musk, are relocating to the Lone S tar S tate. Musk said in an interv iew with

Splashy Louisiana Debut for Carvana by Auto Remarketing Staff

Carv ana made its Louisiana debut on F eb. 3 . The online retailer announced it was bringing its as-soon-as-nextday touchless home deliv ery to Lafay ette, then made three subseq uent announcements that it was launching in the Louisiana cities of Alexandria, Lake Charles and B aton Rouge as well.

Credit: Courtesy of Carvana

In the first announcement on Cavana’s offering in Lafayette, Carv ana’ s founder and CEO E rnie G arcia said the company was confident Louisiana customers

would embrace its easy , transparent car-buy ing experience. “Today ’ s debut in Louisiana means we can offer as-soon-asnext-day deliv ery of thousands of v ehicles to Lafay ette area residents, giv ing them a great selection, at great prices, with great customer serv ice,” Garcia said in the initial news release. “W hether y ou’ re looking for a Jeep W rangler or a Honda Civic, we’re confident customers in Louisiana will embrace our easy , transparent car-buy ing experience.” Garcia said steadily growing Carv ana’ s Louisiana presence allows it to bring Carv ana’ s selection, safety and transparency to thousands of new customers. W ith all four Louisiana announcements, Carv ana now offers as-soon-as-next-day v ehicle deliv ery to customers in 27 0 U.S . cities. W e t h a n k Aut o R em a rk et i n g f or rep ri n t p erm i s s i on .


Automotiv e News one of the main factors for choosing Texas as the location for its next Gigafactory was because many of Tesla’ s executiv es were interested in mov ing to Austin. “W hen talking to key members of the team that would need to mov e to Austin from California in order to get the factory going, Austin was their top pick to be totally frank,” Musk said. “That was a big factor in choosing Texas and Austin. Specifically Austin. I guess a lot of people from California, if y ou ask them what’ s the one place y ou’ d mov e outside of California, it’ s Austin.” Tesla Insurance aims to cut insurance premiums by 20% to 3 0% , by hav ing distinct and explicit knowledge of its own v ehicles. Additionally , Tesla has agreed to prov ide parts to accredited body shops in Texas at a discounted rate, leading to another 15 % discount on the cost of repair, the filing states. W e t h a n k T es l a ra t i f or rep ri n t p erm i s s i on .

Toyota Remains R&D Patent Leader The U.S . Patent and Trademark Office awarded Toyota more patents than any other automaker in 2020, according to an annual ranking by the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO). Toy ota’ s engineers and scientists were granted a total of 2,8 19 patents in 2020, up 4% from 2019 and far outpacing any other automaker in the U.S . Toy ota continues to inv est heav ily in its robust research and dev elopment pipeline and has receiv ed more than 1,400 patents related to autonomous v ehicle technology since 2003 . Ev ery hour, Toy ota inv ests more than $ 1 million in emerging technology globally , and has inv ested more than $ 1 billion in R& D related to automated v ehicles and robotics since 2017 . Source: Toyota



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Tesla Gigafactory Texas’ First Giga Press Takes Form at Incredible Pace by Maria Merano, Teslarati

The installation of Tesla Gigafactory Texas’ fi rst Giga Press has made signifi cant progress. Parts of the mammoth Giga Press IDRA Group made for Tesla’s Model single-piece castings were spotted in the Giga Texas complex the week before the company’s earnings call, and over the last weekend of January, one of the machines has already taken form. The Model Giga Press is the first to be installed at Giga Texas and is a good sign of progress for the all-electric crossover’s production in Tesla’s Austin factory. The exact number of Giga Presses Gigafactory Texas will have is unknown so far. There will be eight Model Giga Press machines installed at Tesla’ s Gigafactory in Germany, based on documents fi led about the pro ect. Tesla remont actory has two Giga Press machines from IDRA placed on the

complex’s grounds, which hints at the sheer siz e of this machinery. “We started and we’re able to ramp to volume production at the single-piece castings for Model . or the fi rst time in history, the entire rear third-skeleton of the car is being cast as a single piece in the largest and most adv anced casting machine ever made,” said CEO E lon Musk in the 2020 earnings call. Tesla’s Model single-piece casting ramp may gain more momentum in the future. The Model doesn’t seem to be the only vehicle with a single-piece underbody. Tesla plans to order an even bigger casting press for the Cybertruck’s rear underbody casting, for example, and there are indications the new Tesla Model S Plaid and Plaid may feature “megacasted” underbodies as well. W e t h a n k T es l a ra t i f or rep ri n t p erm i s s i on .

ASE Announces New Officers, Board Members

asTech Device Supports GM Network

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) has announced the offi cers and board members for the coming year, according to T im Z ilke, ASE president and CEO. Mark Polke, osch Workshop Concepts, North America, Robert osch LLC, will serve as chairman, and Brad Pellman, Pellman’s Automotive, as vice chairman. Homer Hog g , Travel Centers of America, and Brian Sz alk, CA, will serve as treasurer and secretary, respectively. Bob b y Bassett, formerly of Gates Corporation, will remain on the board of directors as past chair. Additional board members are John Hanig hen, Cloyes Manufacturing T ed Hayes, Hayes Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep Mark Miller, GM Global Technical Center T om Palermo, Preferred Automotive Specialists Jason Rainey, NAPA AAA T om T risdale, Toyota Jeff a er, Walker’s Automotive Service John , Snap-on usiness Solutions and ilke. Source: ASE

asTech, a Repairify Inc. company, is providing GM with key scanning, diagnostics and calibration solutions. asTech is OE certifi ed and is committed to providing customers with safe and proper repair, protecting customer safety and maintaining product integrity. The GM Collision Repair Network is designed to provide tools to assist in the pre- and post-repair scans, usage of OEM repair procedures, completion of recalibration and quality-control checks. Using asTech’s remote diagnostic solutions within the GM Collision Repair Network, customers can receiv e diagnostics and calibration of their GM vehicles. This latest announcement demonstrates asTech’ s commitment to providing superior quality automotive diagnostic and vehicle electronic services to professional repair organizations. As automotive electronics become more adv anced asTech is committed to the safe and proper repair. Source: asTech


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C.A.R.Score Now on CARFAX Report C.A.R.S core, a div ision of Dealer S pecialties, LLC, announced Jan. 22 its v ehicle condition reports will now be av ailable on the CARF AX Vehicle History Report. The v ehicle condition details that C.A.R.S core captures will live indefinitely within the CARF AX Vehicle History Report for applicable v ehicles. C.A.R.S core v ehicle inspectors perform a full, cosmetic ev aluation of the v ehicle including photos of any v isual damage. After the inspection is completed, the car is giv en a star rating for consumers to better understand the v ehicle’ s current condition. C.A.R.S core reports display the exterior and interior condition of the v ehicle including instrument and control panels, mirrors, upholstery and ev en reports the scent of the v ehicle. These interactiv e condition reports show specific details that car shoppers are looking for, y et, until recently , were not av ailable on v ehicle history reports. S ource: C.A.R.S core

Texas, With No Income Tax, is Fastest Growing State in U.S. by Bethany Blankley, The Center Square

More people mov ed to, or were born in, Texas last y ear than in any other state, making it the fastest growing state in the nation.

Houston skyline. Credit: Shutterstock.com

Texas added the largest number of residents, nearly 3 7 4,000 last y ear on net, according to U.S . Census B ureau 2020 state population estimates. F lorida added the second largest number of residents of 241,000, followed by Ariz ona’ s

Scholarship Application Deadline is March 31

ACA Launches New Website

The Univ ersity of the Aftermarket F oundation (UAF ) issued a reminder that March 3 1 is the deadline to submit applications for automotiv e scholarships at its Automotiv e Aftermarket S cholarship Central website at www. Automotiv eS cholarships.com. B y completing a single application online, students will be considered for multiple scholarships for which they are eligible. The streamlined website allows applicants to v iew the details of all scholarships av ailable and continue to update their application until the March 3 1 deadline. Nearly 5 00 scholarships, including new scholarships for IT/ cy bersecurity students, will be awarded for the 2021-22 academic y ear to students enrolled in four-y ear and two-y ear colleges as well as ASE NATE certified automotiv e, collision and heav y duty post-secondary schools.

The Auto Care Association launched its new website experience, autocare.org, prov iding its members a one-stop shop for the tools and resources most important to running an auto care business. Inspired by and designed for an ev olv ing industry , the new website prov ides an enhanced user experience to engage with new content, explore member benefits and expand business efficiency. Innov ativ e tools, digital collaboration and robust educational content are at the heart of this update. The new user profile experience prioritiz es optimiz ation and efficiency, ensuring Auto Care Association members get the most out of their membership each time they interact with the website. ACA members will receiv e more information in the coming weeks about additional key features and resources av ailable to them through the new website. S hare y our feedback on the new website experience at communications@ autocare.org. S ource: Auto Care Association

S ource: Univ ersity of the Aftermarket F oundation

additional 13 0,000. Texas gained an estimated 3 7 3 ,96 5 people between July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020, including migration and births. As of July 1, Texas’ population was 29,3 6 0,7 5 9, with a 1.3 % y ear-ov ery ear rate of growth. In terms of the largest percentage y ear-ov er-y ear increase, Idaho ranked first with 2.11 growth reported between 2019 and 2020. Ov er the past y ear, the S outh accounted for 8 5 % of the nation’ s growth, the report found, with roughly 1 million people relocating to or being born in southern states. The W est saw a population gain of 3 5 0,000. The Midwest reported a loss of 20,000; the Northeast lost more than 15 0,000 residents. The populations of Ariz ona, Nev ada and Utah grew by 1.4% . Texas ranked fifth in terms of yearov er-y ear percentage increase.

S ite selectors’ forecasts indicate Texas and S outh F lorida are the leading states in attracting businesses from California and New Y ork. Of the 10 states reporting the greatest increases of population, six were from the S outh; the rest were from the Intermountain W est. California lost 7 0,000 residents in 2020, the first population loss reported there in more than a century . S ilicon Valley -based companies and California residents mov ed to tax-friendlier states, primarily landing in Texas, where no state and business income taxes provide significant incentives. Ov erall, the national population growth rate declined. In 2011, the U.S . population grew by 0.7 3 % , which fell to 0.3 5 % in 2020. In 2019, the population gain was 0.46 % . W e t h a n k T h e Cen t er Sq ua re f or rep ri n t p erm i s s i on .


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Semiconductor Shortage engine line next week because GM sends that engine to F airfax. In addition, GM will run its B upy eong 2 assembly plant in S outh Korea at half capacity beginning the week of F eb. 8 . GM builds the Chev y Malibu, Trax and B uick Encore S UV there for sale in the U.S . On Jan. 22, B usiness Korea reported GM planned to cut v ehicle production by suspending ov ertime and extra work at its B upy eong plant because of the semiconductor shortage. It uses the chips in its electronic control units and infotainment sy stems. “No production disruptions,” GM spokesman David Barnas told the F ree Press the last week of January . “There were rumors last week from suppliers that our Korea operations were being disrupted. B ut GM Korea corrected those stories.” B arnas said GM will not idle B upy eong, but will merely run it at half capacity for a week, starting F eb. 8 . Workers get paid The UAW reacted to GM’ s news by say ing its leaders continue to work with maj or employ ers, the B iden administration, Congress and suppliers to address the semiconductor shortage. “Ov er the past 3 0 y ears, production of semiconductors has been off shored to S outh Korea, Taiwan and more recently , China,” said UAW spokesman Brian Rothenb erg in a statement. “Today , the United S tates only controls manufacturing for about 14% of all semiconductors.” The union negotiated worker protection in the ev ent of parts shortages interrupting production in its contract, he said. Union workers will receiv e supplemental pay and unemploy ment that pay s 7 5 % to 8 0% of salary and continued benefi ts. “Howev er, the UAW is working with employ ers to minimiz e the impact on auto manufacturing production as much as possible,” Rothenberg said. GM said union workers at CAMI, represented by Unifor, will be paid through the prov isions of their labor agreements, noting that represented

seniority employ ees will receiv e about 7 5 % of their compensation through a combination of unemploy ment and supplemental benefi ts. Protect pickups and SUVs Demand for semiconductor use is up in part because of the coronav irus pandemic and an increase of laptop computers, which use the semiconductor chips. Cars also use them in a v ariety of parts and infotainment sy stems. The union said if the parts were made in America, the industry would hav e “more ability to respond to these demand issues,” Rothenberg said. He added the UAW is calling on the gov ernment to dev elop trade and policy solutions to bring adv anced technology production back to the U.S . GM’ s B arnas said semiconductor supply for the global auto industry remains very uid and its supply chain organiz ation is “working closely with our supply base to fi nd solutions for our suppliers’ semiconductor req uirements and to mitigate impacts on GM.” GM is assessing the ov erall impact to production and B arnas declined to prov ide an estimated production impact from the planned plant closures. “Our focus is to keep producing our most in-demand products―including full-siz e trucks and S UVs and Corvettes―for our customers,” B arnas said. GM builds its heav y -duty , fullsiz e pickups at F lint Assembly Plant and its light-duty , full-siz e pickups at the F ort W ay ne Assembly Plant in Indiana. It builds its midsiz e pickups at W entz v ille Assembly in Missouri and its full-siz e S UVs at Arlington Assembly in Texas. All four plants will continue to run on three shifts and weekend ov ertime, B arnas said. GM builds the Corv ette at B owling Green Assembly in Kentucky . GM’ s assembly plants in Lansing and other parts of Michigan will continue to operate regularly . “Due to the uidity around the av ailability of parts, our current plan is to update the plants each week,” B arnas said. “Our intent is to make up as much production lost at these plants as possible. Importantly , this issue will not impact our commit-

ment to an all-electric future.” Ford impact GM will prov ide further details on the semiconductor issue when it reports its 2020 earnings F eb. 10. F ord has been hit hard by a global parts shortage with factory workers in sev eral states receiv ing temporary layoff s or shift reductions. F ord has reduced shifts at its Michigan Dearborn Truck Plant, which employ s 4,6 00 hourly workers and builds the 2021 F -15 0 pickup. Likewise, it has shortened ev ening and day shifts at Kansas City Assembly , which employ s 7 ,3 00 hourly workers and builds the F -15 0. At the Chicago Assembly Plant, which employ s 5 ,3 00 hourly workers and builds the 2021 F ord Explorer, Lincoln Av iator and Police Interceptor, F ord is expected to announce a potential production disruption. F ord’ s Louisv ille Assembly Plant is down through F eb. 7 because of the shortage. That aff ects about 3,900 hourly workers building the F ord Escape and Lincoln Corsair. S tellantis planned to shutter plants

in Mexico and Canada, building the Jeep Compass and Chry sler 3 00, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger, through the end of January . A S tellantis spokeswoman said W ednesday that its North American facilities are running in F ebruary and the automaker continues to work closely with its global supply chain network to monitor the industry -wide issue. Automakers globally that hav e been impacted by the chip shortage and hav e cut production include Toy ota, Volkswagen, Honda, Mercedes-B enz , Audi, S ubaru and Nissan. GM’ s Global Purchasing and S upply chain organiz ation has managed to fend off plant disruptions until now in part due to getting a j ump start on the problem, a source familiar with the matter said, but declined to be named because he is not authoriz ed to share information with the media. The group also has a lot of experience from setting up v entilator manufacturing in a matter of day s last spring and managing GM through the 2010 tsunami in Japan. W e t h a n k t h e D et roi t F ree P res s f or rep ri n t p erm i s s i on .



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Buy American Act tors will need to closely monitor dev elopments to implement the order to ensure compliance and maximiz e their ability to continue benefiting from these preferences. The federal gov ernment spends some $ 6 00 billion annually on goods and serv ices. F ederal law req uires gov ernment agencies to giv e preferences to American firms. In the past, B uy American req uirements hav e not been consistently enforced and waiv ers of the req uirements hav e become common. The executiv e order aims to “strengthen and enforce ‘ B uy American’ so that the massiv e amount of taxpay er money the federal gov ernment spends ev ery y ear on ev ery thing from defense eq uipment to steel to auto eets is used to help American manufacturers and their workers.” Among other things, the executiv e order will close loopholes that allow companies to offshore production and j obs while still q ualify ing for domestic preferences. F ederal agencies are directed to close current loopholes in how domestic content is measured and increase domestic content req uirements. To accomplish this, the Jan. 25 executiv e order: Directs an increase in the threshold amount of domestic content for a product to be made in the U.S . and q ualify under the B uy America law. “The content threshold of 5 0% isn’ t high enough,” according to B iden’ s remarks before signing the executiv e order. Directs a change in how domestic content is measured, basically changing how the gov ernment

decides if a product is sufficiently “Made in America” : “The way we measure the content doesn’ t account for U.S j obs and economic activ ity ,” and that will change, B iden said. The new proposed test would measure domestic content by the v alue that is added to the product through U.S .based production or U.S . j ob-supporting economic activ ity . Creates a new Made in America Office within the Office of Management and B udget (OMB ) and appoints a new “Director of Made in America” to ov ersee implementation of the executiv e order. Directs a central rev iew of agency waiv ers of B uy American req uirements, to reduce the number of unnecessary waiv ers. The rev iew process makes issuing a waiv er more cumbersome and time-consuming for agencies. It also includes the publication of waiv ers on a publicly av ailable website. Directs an increase in the price preferences for domestic goods― the difference in price over which gov ernment can buy a product from a non-U.S . supplier. This pricing premium was recently increased significantly under a inal Rule issued Jan. 19, from 6 % to 20% for large businesses and from 12% to 3 0% for small businesses. It is unclear whether the F ederal Acq uisition Regulatory (F AR) Council will propose additional increases. Directs the F AR Council to rev iew existing constraints on the extension of the req uirements in Made in America Laws to information technology that is a commercial item and dev elop recommendations for lifting these constraints. S upports enforcement of the Jones Act, req uiring the use of U.S .agged vessels carrying cargo between U.S . ports, to support U.S . pro-

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duction and U.S . workers. Although it is unclear whether the proposed changes will simplify compliance with the Made in America laws, it is likely they will significantly affect which products qualify for preferential treatment. That said, it is worth highlighting sev eral important limitations to the scope of the order: The Administration’ s goal to increase federal purchasing of domestic products is limited by a number of treaty obligations. Under the Trade Agreements Act (TAA), foreign end products produced in certain countries must be treated as eq uiv alent to U.S . products for purposes of the B AA if they are part of an acq uisition that is eq ual to or exceeds certain monetary thresholds set forth in S ection 25 .402 of the F ederal Acq uisition Regulations (F AR). The Department of Defense (DOD) has entered into reciprocal procurement agreements with 27 foreign counterparts, and has determined that it would be inconsistent with the public interest to apply B uy American Act restrictions on prod-

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ucts from these 27 q ualify ing countries. Unlike the TAA, offers that fall under these blanket DOD waiv ers are not subj ect to any threshold. W ithin 18 0 day s (on or before July 24), the F AR Council must consider for publication and comment amendments to the F AR. Howev er, recent history indicates that any changes will likely not be effective for at least another y ear. Nonetheless, the executiv e order fulfills a promise of the iden campaign and is intended to ensure the federal gov ernment is inv esting taxpay er dollars in American businesses, both small and large. The administration’ s policy is to buy from all of America―including minority entrepreneurs and businesses―so that “Made in America” means “Made in All of America.” Opinions and conclusions in this post are solely those of the author unless otherwise indicated. The information contained in this blog is general in nature and is not offered and cannot be considered as legal adv ice for any particular situation. W e t h a n k J D Sup ra f or rep ri n t p erm i s s i on .


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Virus Liability Protections protection popping back up” at the federal lev el, said Ashley C uttino, an attorney who co-chairs the COVID-19 litigation practice for Ogletree Deakins. W isconsin came close on Jan. 12 to enacting the fi rst liability protection law of 2021, but fell short because of diff erences between the Assembly and S enate v ersions of a broad COVID-19 relief bill. B oth include liability protections but diff er in other provisions, such as the Assembly bill’s proposed ban on employ ers mandating COVID-19 v accines for their workers. Democratic Gov . Tony Ev ers said he would sign the Senate version if the Assembly agrees to it. Montana’s Senate passed a liability shield bill Jan. 18 that now goes to the House for consideration. Republican Gov . G reg G ianf orte has said he supports the measure. S tate-lev el liability protections, unlike the federal proposal the S enate GOP promoted for much of last

year, don’t shield employers from coronav irus-related claims under federal employ ment statutes, such as anti-discrimination or anti-retaliation laws, Cuttino said. They do prov ide an extra lay er of protection against claims such as a workplace wrongful death lawsuit or a complaint of unsafe working conditions, she said. Those ty pes of claims are often, but not alway s, preempted by workers’ compensation laws or federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration j urisdiction, she added. No Flood, But Litigation ‘Fear’ Chambers of commerce, restaurant associations and other business groups hav e been calling for liability protections since the pandemic gripped the U.S . last March. They contend that even the threat of a ood of lawsuits would make it diffi cult for businesses to reopen after v irus-related shutdowns, and that litigation could lead some to close permanently . The American Legislative Exchange Council, an idea-exchange for conserv ativ e state lawmakers,

last y ear drafted model legislation for states to use to enact liability protections. Cuttino and some state legislators adv ocating for the protections, including F lorida Rep. L aw rence McC lure (R), acknowledged there still hasn’t been a rush of liability litigation, in line with ev idence from litigation trackers and court dockets. B ut they say the threat remains signifi cant. “It’s the fear of liability. Our businesses hav e been through j ust an unbeliev able, uncertain time. Once in a hundred y ears, right? ” McClure, who’s sponsoring lorida’s H. . 7, told a House committee that v oted to adv ance the bill Jan. 13 . “Although the courts aren’t packed, I’ll submit, it’s the fear of friv olous lawsuits as this ev olv es. We have the obligation to defi ne that and put the business community at ease.” Trial lawyers’ associations, labor unions and worker adv ocacy groups oppose liability shields, arguing that limiting people’s ability to hold businesses accountable in court takes away an important incentiv e for com-

panies to follow proper health and safety protocols to protect workers and customers―a point that Pennsy lv ania Gov . T om W olf (D) echoed when he v etoed a liability shield bill in Nov ember. The language in the F lorida measure is unconstitutional because it would remov e the right to trial by j ury , turn a j udge into the j ury and set “an impossibly high standard, to be honest, to prov e by clear and conv incing ev idence gross negligence on the part of the property owner in failing to follow the guidelines,” said C urry Paj cic, treasurer of the lorida Justice Association and a past president of the American oard of Trial Advocates. The lorida A L-CIO also obj ected to the bill on similar grounds. Eyes on Indiana, Texas B ills proposing COVID-19 liability limits also have been fi led for 2021 in Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota. Gov ernors or legislativ e leaders hav e v oiced support for enacting liability protections this year in Arizona and South See Virus Liability Protections, Page 24

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CIECA Forms New Committee

Continued from Cover

Schools and Scans

CIECA has announced the formation of a new S tandards Dev elopment Committee, the Emerging Technologies Data S tandards Committee. All industry stakeholders, including CIECA and non-CIECA members, are inv ited to j oin. CEICA Executiv e Director Pa arry said that unlike other committees that focus on a single business problem, this committee will look broadly across the industry to identify emerging needs that may not be readily v isible. The committee will provide defi nitions for new terminology to be documented and shared with the industry , prov ide accurate information to allow industry work ows to be documented, determine the data req uirements to share this information electronically , and ev elop new messages and modify existing messages to share the req uired data. To j oin the Emerging Technologies Data S tandards Committee, fi ll out the form at https: survey.zohopublic.com zs VPCN7M Source: CIECA

than 900 collision repair training programs around the country , 17 AS E-accredited programs went inactive this year―and potentially another 2 could in the next few months― and 8 7 schools dropped their I-CAR subscriptions last y ear.

CIECA Announces Board, Award Recipients

Caliber Announces New Board of Directors Member

During the Jan. 12 v irtual Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) board meeting, the organiz ation’ s B oard of Trustees elected new offi cers for 2021 and announced the recipients of the 2020 CIECA Awards. 2021 CIECA B oard of Trustees offi cers include Past Chair K im DeV allance C aron, Enterprise Holdings; Chair Jeff S hr er, Car-Part.com Vice-Chair Phi Martinez , Mitchell International; Treasurer G reg Best, California Casualty Management Company ; and S ecretary h ey eni n, Caliber Collision. A awards were Outstanding Contribution: n y Bob er, a software engineer at Entegral; Lifetime Achiev ement Award for Outstanding Dedication: har ey irt, former technical proj ect coordinator for CIECA; Chairperson’ s Award: Phi artine , senior technical consultant at Mitchell International and v ice-chair of CIECA; and Electronic Commerce Company of the Y ear: Mitchell International. S ource: CIECA

Caliber on Jan. 25 announced the appointment of y in e i to its oard of Directors, eff ectiv e that day . Lewis, the former chairman, president and CEO of Potbelly Corporation and a former top executiv e at Kmart, S ears and Y um! B rands, brings a long track record of leadership and performance to Caliber’ s board. In addition to the position on Caliber’ s board, Lewis currently serv es on the boards at Marriott International, Voy a F inancial and Chef’ s W arehouse. In the past, Lewis has held board roles with Halliburton, Kmart, Red Robin, S ears, S tarwood Hotels and the W alt Disney Company . As part of Caliber’ s board, Lewis will help ov ersee and guide the company ’ s 1,200-plus serv ice centers that restore 1.5 million v ehicles and customer liv es each y ear, and support more than 21,5 00 teammates and the communities they serv e. S ource: Caliber

that’ s struggling, once spring break is ov er, those decisions hav e been made by [ school] administrators and there’ s nothing we can do to rev erse it. W e need to know as q uickly as possible to get them the help they need now.” Any one aware of industry adv isory committee meeting dates can reach Arrants by email at george.arrants@ aseeducation.org.

“We need to know those programs that are in jeopardy as early as possible,” — George Arrants Arrants said because industry adv isory committee meetings hav e largely mov ed online during the pandemic, it is easier for his organiz ation and others seeking to support such programs any where in the country to attend to help struggling programs or those slated to be shuttered. “W e need to know those programs that are in j eopardy as early as possible,” Arrants said. “If we wait to fi nd out about a program

Also during the meeting, the Automotiv e S erv ice Association shared a draft of an industry position statement distinguishing a charge for v ehicle scanning as distinct from “all other procedures necessary to correctly and safely identify and address a v ehicle’ s electronic sy stem faults or diagnostic trouble codes… [ which] are considered additional operations and not included in the scanning operation.” A draft of the position statement


say s those additional operations include such procedures as prepping the v ehicle for a scan; researching, v erify ing and documenting manufacturers’ data; v ehicle diagnostics; sy stems programming or initiation; ADAS calibrations; and test driv ing. During CIC, Mike L eV asseur of AS A’ s Collision Div ision Operations Committee said clarify ing what is and isn’ t included in a scanning procedure charge, and documenting it within the estimating sy stems, will prov ide “needed distinction to reduce the friction” that exists between shops and insurers relativ e to charges for the operations. The draft statement makes reference to use of “a qualifi ed scan tool,” and when asked, LeVasseur said that is among the elements of the position statement still to be fi naliz ed. “W e’ re v ery close, but there are things open to interpretation that need to be clarifi ed,” LeVasseur said. “W e will get it, but we’ re not there y et.” www.autobodynews.com



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US Department of Labor Issues Stronger Workplace Guidance on Coronavirus The U.S. Department of Labor announced Jan. 29 its Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued stronger worker safety guidance to help employers and workers implement a coronavirus prevention program and better identify risks which could lead to exposure and contraction.

President Joe Biden directed OSHA to release clear guidance for employers to help keep workers safe from COVID-19 exposure. “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace” provides updated guidance and recommendations, and outlines existing safety and health standards. OSHA is providing the recommendations to assist employers in

Continued from Page 19

Virus Liability Protections Carolina, and business groups also are urging lawmakers to pass them in New Hampshire and Texas. The specific language varies somewhat from state to state―as with the laws that states passed in 2020―but many include protections for nonprofits, individuals and government entities such as schools and prisons. “Our businesses, our health care providers and educational institutions should not be put at risk or competitive disadvantage through no fault of their own, particularly after following safety protocols,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) said in calling for liability limits during his Jan. 13 State of the State speech. “We should be careful not to let litigation kill what the pandemic could not.” In 2020, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming enacted broad liability restrictions that protect many or

providing a safe and healthful workplace. “More than 400,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and millions of people are out of work as a result of this crisis. Employers and workers can help our nation fight and overcome this deadly pandemic by committing themselves to making their workplaces as safe as possible,” said Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Labor M. Patricia Smith. “The recommendations in OSHA’s updated guidance will help us defeat the virus, strengthen our economy and bring an end to the staggering human and economic toll that the coronavirus has taken on our nation.” Implementing a coronavirus prevention program is the most effective way to reduce the spread of the virus. The guidance recommends several essential elements in a prevention program: ▪ Conduct a hazard assessment ▪ Identify control measures to limit the spread of the virus ▪ Adopt policies for employee absences that don’t punish workers as

all businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits. A number of other states adopted narrower restrictions to protect specific industries, such as health care providers or makers of personal protective equipment, while a few governors issued orders to establish liability protections. A handful of those states could take further action this year. In Georgia, for example, a coronavirus liability shield law is due to expire in July, and House Speaker David Ralston (R) has voiced an interest in extending it. In Arkansas, Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) has called on state lawmakers to extend and reaffirm his declaration of a state of emergency, which would allow his order imposing liability restrictions to remain in effect. With assistance from Jennifer Kay in Miami. W e t h a n k B l oom b erg L a w f or rep ri n t p erm i s s i on .

a way to encourage potentially infected workers to remain home ▪ Ensure that coronavirus policies and procedures are communicated to both English and non-English speaking workers ▪ Implement protections from retaliation for workers who raise coronavirus-related concerns “OSHA is updating its guidance to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus and improve worker protections so businesses can operate safely and employees can stay safe and working,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick. The guidance details key measures for limiting coronavirus’s spread, including ensuring infected or potentially infected people are not in the workplace, implementing and following physical distancing protocols and using surgical masks or cloth face coverings. It also provides guidance on use of personal protective equipment, improving ventilation, good hygiene and routine cleaning.

OSHA will update the uidance as developments in science, best practices and standards warrant. This guidance is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. It contains recommendations as well as descriptions of existing mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content and are intended to assist employers in recognizing and abating hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm as part of their obligation to provide a safe and healthful workplace. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. Source: OSHA


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with Stacey Phillips

From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

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

How to Improve Paint Materials Reimbursement I’ v e been getting some phone calls recently from shops concerned about materials reimbursement when refi nishing vehicles with three- or four-stage fi nishes. I thought I’d address this―and the subj ect of materials reimbursement in general―here. F irst, it’ s important to know all three estimating sy stems hav e formulas related to three-stage fi nishes. CCC Information S erv ices and Mitchell International do not hav e formulas for four-stage. Audatex say s it believ es the three-stage formula should apply to a four-stage vehicle―that’s a whole conversation for another day . As I outline any time I talk about negotiating pay ment for something, materials reimbursement comes down to four key q uestions: Is what y ou’ re asking for req uired? Is it included? Is there a pre-determined time? And if not, what is it worth? Y ou can watch a new three-minute v ideo I created with S CRS on those four q uestions here: https: / / www.y outube.com/ watch? v = eGv 9z JHn6 Jg S o let’ s walk through those. F irst, is added materials reimbursement req uired for three- and four-stage v ehicles? One way to document the answer is y es is to

and if it’s a three or four-stage fi nish, it lists that as a special color. B ut here’ s another cool idea: Y ou can check online for sales literature from the v ehicle manufacturer related to that v ehicle. I’ v e found Honda and Toy ota brochures, for example, that clearly show new car buy ers who choose v ehicles with

I know Axalta Coating S y stems, for example, giv es an estimator the ability to print off from the scale a guide to specialty colors. It’ s a regularly updated list of what make, model and y ear v ehicles hav e three- or four-stage fi nishes, or that req uire a “limited use toner.” Other paint manufacturers may

off er something similar. It’s another way to demonstrate why additional reimbursement for materials is needed for those v ehicles. The next two of the four negotiation q uestions can be answered q uickly . All of the estimating sy stems clearly state materials are not included in the refi nish labor times,

The “Who Pays for What?” surveys have found a growing percentage of shops use invoicing systems to bill for refinish materials

certain colors pay a premium for those fi nishes. It seems to me that rather than telling shops they won’ t pay more for the necessary materials when specialty fi nishes are involved, insurance companies should be assessing premiums based on the paint code, given it takes more to refi nish those v ehicles.

The New

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A 2020 “Who Pays for What?” survey found the majority of shops who bill for refinish materials using an invoicing system say they are paid by the eight largest insurers based on those invoices “always” or “most of the time.”

check the OEM repair procedures. W hen y ou decode a VIN in Toy ota’ s Technical Information S y stem, for example, it identifi es the paint code,

Another possible source of negotiation help when dealing with specialty fi nishes: The manufacturer of the paint line y ou are spray ing.

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28 MARCH 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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and there’ s no pre-determined “time” for materials. Don’ t forget y ou can alway s use the Database Enhancement Gateway (www.DEGweb.org) if there’ s a q uestion about whether something is included or not-included. So in terms of refinish materials, it comes down to the fourth negotiation q uestion: W hat’ s it’ s worth? W e’ ll hav e some of the v ery latest industry data on that in March, when the report on our “W ho Pay s for What ” survey related to refinish, which took place in January , is compiled. B ut ev en the 2020 surv ey report offers some good insights. Although about 7 0% of shops still rely on the traditional multiplier method―dollars per refinish hour―to attempt to cov er their cost of paint and materials, that’ s been changing. The percentage of shops using inv oicing systems to bill for refinish materials has steadily risen over the past five y ears, from 19% to 28 % . And the maj ority of shops who use them say they are paid by the eight largest insurers “alway s” or “most of the time” when they bill

based on the charges calculated by their inv oicing sy stem. S hops report with the exception of GEICO, the top eight insurers all agree to the inv oiced amount 6 0% to 7 0% of the time. More than half of shops using a materials inv oicing sy stem say they use their paint company scale to produce these inv oices; that’ s more than twice the percentage that scale-produced inv oices as recently as 2016 . More than one in four shops using inv oicing sy stems use Mitchell’ s Refinish Materials Calculator. And about 15 % say they use some other sy stem, such as PMC Logic, PaintEx, etc. I believ e this shift toward using inv oicing v ersus the multiplier method will continue, particularly as the use of three-stage, four-stage and other specialty finishes increases, and as the paint companies continue to improv e the integration of their paint scales and sy stems with the estimating and shop management sy stems.


WIN Calls for Board of Director Candidates The W omen’ s Industry Network (W IN) is now accepting applications for its B oard of Directors. W IN’ s board consists of representativ es from numerous industry segments including collision repair shops, distributors, suppliers, consultants, paint manufacturers, recy clers, insurance companies and others. Participants from all segments of the collision repair industry are welcome, with the only req uirement being that applicants are W IN members in good standing. “W e are excited to continue to driv e the future of collision repair through our amaz ing win members and v olunteers. W e are seeking new board members to help continue the great work of W IN,” said C heryl Bosw ell, W IN chair and chair of the B oard Nominating Committee. “The board could use all skill lev els including marketing, finance, membership relations and ev ent planning, among others. W IN and the industry needs y ou! ” The W IN B oard of Directors prov ides ov erall strategic direction for the W IN and is responsible for making policy decisions that exe-

cute on W IN’ s v ision and mission. “Each y ear the board updates its strategic plan and each member contributes to the execution of that plan,” said Jenny Anderson, W IN v ice chair. “The v olunteer board members work together to foster an env ironment that encourages the recruitment, retention, education and networking of women in the collision repair industry .” New board members will begin their term and will be introduced to the organiz ation at large at the 2021 W IN Virtual Educational Conference, May 4-5 . The deadline for applications is F eb. 28 . F or application req uirements and further details, v isit www.womensindustry network. com. Completed applications should be submitted on the website at https: / / thewomensindustry network. site-y m.com/ general/ custom.asp ? page= serv e S ource: W IN


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Midwest Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

National Associations

Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance technical writer from Wilmington, Delaware, who writes on a variety of fields and subjects, and grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. She can be contacted at crsisk@gmail.com.

with Chasidy Rae Sisk

CIECAST Prepares Collision Repairers for the EV Revolution

Northwest Associations

As electric v ehicles become increas- manufacture the v ehicle. Regardless ingly prevalent―the Edison Elec- of sev erity , follow the OEM procewith Chasidy Rae Sisk tric Institute anticipates 18 .7 million dures without exception to ensure EVs will be on the road by 2030― the v ehicles are safe.” how will these v ehicles impact the B arry asked about possible collision repair industry in general changes in the way OEMs commuand your shop specifi cally How can nicate with the collision industry rey ou prepare? garding repair standards. General Motors’ John E ck, “W e need to make it easier for with Ed Attanasio C hris E vans from S tate F arm, and repairers to access; we want to work Pete T ag liap ietra of NuGen IT, an with the industry to ensure they can OEC company , answered these q ues- repair these v ehicles safely ,” Eck

Shop Showcase

Advertising Advantages with Ed Attanasio

Associations Assembling with Ed Attanasio

Association Meetings with Thomas Franklin

pact is damaged most freq uently , rear impact damage seems to be more freq uent in this population; howev er, a lot of the damage is on the front of the v ehicle in total loss scenarios. “Regardless of sev erity , most EV repairs req uire some sort of recalibration, and there’ s a lot of mov ement and trending in the industry around OE repair procedures.” Mentioning that some OEMs hav e implemented security gateway modules that present a hurdle for repairers, Ev ans expressed excitement to see F ord and other OEMs opening their communication sy stems. “The data that exists in ev ent data recorders is going to become more relev ant in the future,” Ev ans said. “Communication from the v ehicle is only going to increase. Howev er, the data that’ s captured is owned by the v ehicle owner or lessee, so we hav e to contend with the added chal-

lenge of introducing consumers into the exchange of data.” Ev ans prov ided a brief sy nopsis of S tate F arm’ s collaboration with F ord, announced in August 2020, in which the insurer is integrating directly with the car itself as they look at solutions around rating, policies and driv ing behav iors. “The obj ectiv e is to dev elop and understand the capabilities, lev erage the sophistication, and use this technology to increase effi ciencies in claims handling,” he said. “There’ s still a lot to learn.” Tagliapietra, business dev elopment leader for NuGen IT, rounded out the series of presenters. He began by discussing recent trends related to OEs’ inv olv ement in the repair process. “With the rise of and refi nement to certifi cation networks, there’s an See CIECAST Prepares, Page 43

North Freeway Hyundai Th e right The right part part r makes makes the the difference. diff ffeerence. renc .

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tions and more Jan. 26 during CIE- said. “W e are exploring better and CAS T: Preparing for the EV Rev olu- deeper integration of our content into with Ed Attanasio tion, moderated by CIECA Executiv e the work ow process through a vaDirector Paul Barry. riety of means to make the process Eck, collision manager of GM’ s easier.” customer care & aftersales wholesale Eck also adv ocates for imdealer channel, began by discussing prov ed collaboration among OEMs, some of the opportunities EVs create insurers and repairers, pointing out with Chasidy for v ehicle manufacturers, such Rae as Sisk the many shared metrics as well the ability to work on new technolo- as the shared consumer ev ery one gy and an opportunity for diversifi ca- wants to serv e. tion across the industry . Next, Ev ans, P& C claim con“The build of the [ electric] v ehi- sultant for S tate F arm Insurance cle is diff erent, and though the impact Companies, shared proj ections that may not be as with sev ereThomas structurally Franklin , it 20% to 3 0% of new cars on the road shouldn’ t be v ery dissimilar to what will be an EV by 203 0, noting S tate [ collision repairers] currently see,” F arm has seen the number of EVs Eck said. they insure q uadruple since 2018 . “As long as shops follow the “The market is signaling growth,” OEM repair procedures and safety he said. protocols, repairers should be able to “F rom a claims standpoint, with Attanasio handle EV repair,” EckEd emphasiz ed. we’ v e noticed an interesting dy nam“OEs know the v ehicles better than ic with EVs,” Ev ans added. “Unlike anyone―we design, engineer and most collisions where the front im-

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Herb Lieberman—A Life of Service and wholesale sales to the professional repair industry .” Many in the collision repair business Lieberman’ s father and grandfaknow industry icon Herb L ieb er- ther continued their side of the busiman from so many CIC meetings, ness, and Lieberman started buy ing and his well-known relationship late-model totals, mostly Chev rolets with the recy cle industry and after- and Cadillacs because their parts market collision parts industries. were in the most demand at the time. Lieberman recently retired after Under Lieberman’ s direction, a 6 0-plus y ear professional career. the business name changed to CADAutobody News caught up with him nCHEV Inc DB A Lakenor Auto S alfor an in-depth look at his life. v age. “The first car I brought in Early Beginnings 195 7 was a 195 4 Pontiac… The Lieberman family has hit in the rear,” Lieberman been associated with the remembered. “One of our auto wrecking industry maj or sources of totals was since 1904. B ut this story the Auto Club of S outhern starts in 195 2, at the corner California. They had a large of Lakeland Road and Norlot in Gardena (CA) and Herb Lieberman walk B oulev ard in S anta F e only sold to state licensed S prings, CA, near the intersection dismantlers and dealers.” of the now-super busy I-5 and I-6 05 freeway s. Lady Bird Strikes At that time, the area was pretty Things started to change dramatidesolate. It was on this corner, in a cally for the auto-wrecking business 3 .5 -acre abandoned cow pasture sur- during the L yndon Johnson adminrounded by oil wells, where Herb’ s istration, between 196 3 and 196 9. father, Alex L ieb erman, and grand- F irst lady L ady Bird Johnson was father, W illiam L ieb erman, found- on a highway beautification crusade ed The Lakenor S crap Metal & Auto to rid all federally -funded highway s W recking B usiness. of unsightly billboards and “j unkLieberman’ s grandfather re- y ards.” This meant many wrecking mained on site while his father drov e y ards were issued “conditional use around to industrial accounts collect- permits,” meaning the city could reing scrap metal. Ev entually , the scrap mov e the y ard by simply not renewroutes were discontinued and both ing its annual business license. father and grandfather worked on site “This also led to city and state collecting metal and end-of-life cars. regulations of our industry as well as “These were not y our late-mod- federal regulations, such as federal el totals but true end-of-life cars― storm water permits and storm water j ust scrap, purchased as scrap,” run-off testing,” Lieberman noted. “I Lieberman said. “If any retail cus- personally , v ia the Automotiv e Retomer wanted to buy a part off one of cy clers Association, worked on the the cars, they pulled the part them- Highway eautification Act, as well selv es and it was plus-money .” as the federal act req uiring the VIN In the early day s, recy cling was to be put on 16 maj or components of very profitable, noted Lieberman. the v ehicle by the OEM.” “Y ou almost couldn’ t lose money . Cost of inv entory was low, cost Beyond Chevrolet and Cadillac of labor was low and there was little Initially , under Liberman’ s direcgov ernment interference.” tion, Lakenor did business primarily Lieberman’ s U.S . Army serv ice with Chev rolet and Cadillac dealer ended in 195 7 . body shops. B ut the collision indus“My father asked me to come try was changing. The DRP concept into the business as a partner,” he was growing and DRP shops were said. “I told him that I really appreci- req uired to work on all makes. ated the offer but I was not interested To stay current with the indusin the scrap metal side of the busi- try , Lakenor adj usted its inv entory ness. I wanted to mov e the company to all domestic brands, five years into late-model total loss v ehicles old and newer. B ut the growing U.S . by Gary Ledoux

eet also included many foreign nameplates, and Lakenor could not carry ev ery line and be “inv entory efficient.” “S o we established respectful working relations with ten other good recy clers,” Lieberman said. “W e agreed to refer sales to each other with no mark-up in price and referred all potential sales to each other with the agreement that we would deliv er direct and bill direct but not try and steal each other’ s accounts. The group we formed was called TeleW recker.” “Only processing late model domestic v ehicles,” Lieberman continued, “allowed us to maximiz e our req uest-to-sales ratio. W e turned our inv entory four times per y ear. W e also had long-term professionals on our team who knew their business and how they were expected to operate. “Our sales v olume was in the top 2% of our industry nationally . W e also had a complete computeriz ed and priced inv entory . Our employ ees were v ery loy al. At one

time, not including any Lieberman family members, the av erage longev ity of our company employ ees was 20 y ears.” LKQ Comes Knocking Lieberman’ s son, Barry L ieb erman, was born in 196 0. He completed high school, spent a few y ears at UC S anta B arbara and then decided school was not for him. W anting to giv e his son the same opportunity offered by his father and grandfather, Lieberman made B arry part of the family business, and he ev entually became the fourth-generation family member to run the company . In fact, B arry was running the company , and Lieberman was semi-retired when LKQ came knocking in 1999. B eing semi-retired, Lieberman thought it was not his place to make the decision to sell or not. His father, now fully retired, had started the business so he had a big sentimental stake in the company , and his son See Herb Lieberman, Page 38

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with Ed Attanasio

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Stacey Phillips is an award-winning freelance writer and editor for the automotive industry. She has 20 years of experience writing for a variety of publications, and is co-author of “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops.” She can be reached at sphillips.autobodynews@gmail.com.

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COVID-19 Vaccinations in the Workplace: What to Consider for Your Collision Repair Facility Body Shops Giving Back As COVID-19with v accines roll Phillips out and well-being best practices. Stacey across the U.S ., employ ers must deRegardless of the approach taktermine whether they will req uire en, Cherv eny said, there are foundav accinations in the workplace and tional things to consider. S he recomif they should set up a program to mended employ ers determine if their administer them. culture will sustain a workplace v acThere are essentially three op- cination program, the financial cost Stacey tions av ailable,with according to C Phillips ar- of launching a program and complirie B. C herveny, E sq . senior v ice ance issues, as well as whether they president of strategic client will be able to recruit and solutions for the south reretain talent if they mandate gion of HUB International. a program. Employ ers can m a n d a t e v accinations for all Employment Law with Stacey Phillips employ ees with some legalCherv eny shared informaly req uired exceptions; m otion about general employ t i v a t e and create v oluntary Carrie B. Cherveny, ment law to understand programs with built-in mobefore building a v acciEsq. senior vice tiv ators to driv e ev ery one to president of strategic nation program and some get the v accine; or ed uca t e client solutions, for business and legal considerthe south region of staff about the vaccine and HUB International ations. This applies whether with Victoria Antonelli companies administer the then leav e it up to them to choose. program themselv es or bring in a “B usinesses hav e some really third-party v endor who is contracted big decisions to make, and while to deliv er the v accine. the safety conv ersation that we hav e all been hav ing since March 2020 Americans with Disabilities Act was filled with a lot of nuances and The Americans with Disabilities Act EdtheAttanasio choices to make,with I think v accine (ADA) requires qualified employconv ersation is ev en more complex ees with disabling health or mediand difficult to navigate,” said Cher- cal conditions, under the ADA, are v eny . “Health care has been doing it prov ided with reasonable accomfor y ears, but these are new conv er- modations. Although state laws may sations and topics for other indus- v ary , Cherv eny explained the ADA tries... This is unchartered territory .” ty pically applies to businesses with During a v with irtual Gary pan- Ledoux 15 or more employ ees who el discussion focused on work for 20 or more weeks “COVID-19 Vaccine in the in the prior or current y ear. W orkplace,” Cherv eny and “The employ ee and the two other representativ es employ er exchange inforfrom HUB International, mation to arriv e at an aca global insurance broker, commodation that allows discussed some with of the Stacey rules Cory the employ ee to remain at Phillips Jorbin, Esq. and implications when setwork performing the essenchief compliance ting up a workplace protial functions of the j ob,” officer, employee gram. They included C ory benefits, west region, said Cherv eny . “The emJorb in, E sq . chief compli- HUB International ploy er ultimately gets to deance officer, employee bentermine the accommodation efits, west region and W endy K ing , that makes the most sense in light of director of health and performance. the medical information and docuwith Mike Anderson To help companies plan and mentation prov ided by the employ ee dev elop strategies, Cherv eny , Jorbin and the nature of the j ob.” and King shared their expertise about Under ADA guidelines, ememployment law, benefits regulations ploy ers are strictly limited in the

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medical information they can ask for also not considered a medical inq uiprior to an offer of employment. ry under the ADA, although the nec“Y our conv ersation with a j ob essary and related pre-v accination applicant is limited to the essential q uestions are. functions of what it takes to perform Regardless of the ty pe of prothe ob,” she said. After an offer is gram established, once employ ers become aware there is a medimade and before an employ cal condition that prohibits a ee begins working, compateam member from receiv ing nies hav e the most latitude to the v accine, they must detergather medical information. mine if there is a reasonable In terms of the v accine, accommodation av ailable. Cherv eny said asking workF or example, this could ers to prov ide proof of v acmean working remotely or in cination is not a medical inWendy King, q uiry regulated or managed director of health and an office with a closed door or plexiglass or wearing adby the ADA. performance, HUB International ditional personal protectiv e “Y ou can simply ask an eq uipment, such as an N95 employ ee to prov ide proof of receiv ing the v accine and it’ s not or double mask. considered a medical inq uiry under ADA Legitimate Business Justification the ADA,” she said. Administering the v accine is If an employ ee chooses or is not able

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to g feels spre plac

to re in e wor the C have anal the dire

man veny ting polic mod only clud

ploy (EE Con struc wor the e

req u spec

to get a v accine and the employ er feels this represents a direct threat of spreading COVID-19 in the workplace, Cherv eny said to be cautious. “B e v ery careful if y ou want to rely on the direct threat defense in excluding an employ ee from the workforce because they can’ t get the COVID v accine,” she said. “Y ou have to go through a very specific analy sis to determine whether or not the employ ee actually represents a direct threat.” One of the biggest q uestions management asks, according to Cherveny, is if staff can be fired for not getting the v accine if there is a mandatory policy in place. If there is no accommodation av ailable, Cherv eny said, only then may an employ ee be excluded from the workforce. Howev er, both the Eq ual Employ ment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Centers for Disease Control and Prev ention (CDC) instruct employ ers to explore remote/ work-at-home options before ending the employ ee’ s employ ment. Additionally , ADA guidelines req uire businesses to go through a specific process before determining

if an employ ee cannot remain in the workplace. There are also local health and state rules to abide by . “Do not start firing employees for failure to get the v accine without first talking to outside counsel and being sure that y ou are up to speed and up to date on any local req uirements or prohibitions from firing employ ees for failure to get the v accine,” said Cherv eny . “Proceed with extreme caution! ”

v eny said there is no obligation to accommodate a pregnant indiv idual. “Howev er, we v ery much recommend you be exible with your pregnant workforce and allow them accommodation-like opportunities as well,” she said. Cherv eny said to keep in mind some pregnant women may hav e medical complications associated with pregnancy that may q ualify under the ADA.

Religious Exemptions In addition to the ADA, there are religious exemptions associated with the v accine. “There are many religions that are opposed to v accinations and under Title VII of the Civ il Rights Act,” said Cherv eny . As a result, companies are req uired to engage in a cooperativ e, collaborativ e process to identify an appropriate accommodation, much like the ADA interactiv e process.

Medical Confidentiality W hile information is being gathered in the process of administering a v oluntary or mandatory v accination program, employ ers will become aware of confidential, private medical information about their employ ees. Cherv eny said there are a limited number of people whom it can be legally shared with, such as immediate managers and superv isors, and human resources―those who “need to know,” which is construed v ery narrowly .

Pregnancy Discrimination Act As of January , the v accine had not been tested or approv ed for pregnant women. W hen it is av ailable, Cher-

Workers Compensation If an employ ee seeks medical attention or misses time at work due to

any side effects associated with the v accine, workers compensation may kick in depending on the insurer carrier and the state. National Labor Relations Act S ection 7 of the National Labor Relations Act allows workers to freely discuss the terms and conditions of employ ment. “Employ ees who want to talk about y our v accine program hav e a right to do so; y ou generally can’ t discipline or fire them,” explained Cherv eny . Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) OS HA includes the General Duty Clause that states businesses must prov ide a safe working env ironment for employ ees. Cherv eny said there are two schools of thought regarding v accines in the workplace. One is that it is unsafe to req uire a v accine in the workplace because it is only under emergency use authoriz ation. As a result, she said some law firms and other sub ect matter experts adv ise against mandatory programs. On the ip side, others are taking the position that the CDC and F DA

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recommend people get v accinated, so it would be unsafe not to v accinate. “Either way , it’ s important to talk to counsel as y ou make these important decisions,” said Cherv eny . “Y ou may or may not stumble into some risk exposure or claim later that mandating or not mandating, offering or not offering it created an unsafe working env ironment in y our workplace.” Regardless of the approach taken, Cherv eny reminded attendees that the CDC and OS HA guidance instructs employ ers to continue their COVID-19 safety programs. This includes wearing masks, apply ing disinfectant, social distancing and following all safety protocols. Employee Benefits Regulations Jorbin addressed employee benefit regulations associated with the v accine, including cost. “Essentially , all health plans, except for grandfathered plans, need to cov er the cost of the v accine,” he said. This includes fully -insured and self-insured plans, non-ERIS A (Employ ees Retirement Income S ecurity Act of 197 4), MEC (Minimum Essential Cov erage), indiv idual market plans, Medicare and Medicaid. W hile the federal gov ernment is funding the cost of the v accine, the health plan must pay the administration fees. Jorbin said the amount will v ary based on prov ider, geographic area and contract negotiations. Those without health cov erage will be able to obtain the v accines for free, although the timeframe is currently unknown. “Part of that will depend on the state they liv e in and what phase of distribution they fall into,” he said. W hen it comes to deciding between in-network and out-of-network prov iders, Jorbin said in-network prov iders must be paid the negotiated rates under the insurance plan. If going out-of-network, the official language states, “Providers must be reimbursed an amount that is reasonable, as determined in comparison to prev ailing market rates for such serv ice.” The federal gov ernment has set the minimum amount considered reasonable the same as what Medicare pay s for the v accine. In a situation when an out-of-

network prov ider doesn’ t accept the price paid by the plan as reasonable, there is a potential for what is called “balance billing.” This is where the prov ider seeks full pay ment of the charge. As a result, Jorbin said it usually pay s to go to an in-network prov ider.

F or businesses that operate in multiple states, Jorbin said there might be different prevailing market rates for the v accine depending on location. Wellness Programs Employ ers must also decide if the fees associated with a v accination program should be associated with a health plan or another cost center, such as a wellness plan or safety program. King pointed out depression and serious psy chological distress are factors to consider. Prior to the v accination being rolled out, depression and anxiety were at an all-time high, she said― anxiety rates were three times higher in 2020 than in 2019, and depression and diagnosis of depression q uadrupled ov er the same period. “W e would be remiss not to start with the foundation around employ ee state of mind,” said King. “The v accine is a hot topic. It’ s one more lay er that many employ ees are stressing ov er right now.” W hile some feel it is the light at the end of the tunnel and the v accination signals an end to what has been going on, King said others are hesitant. S he encourages management to acknowledge many hav e anxiety and fear the unknown. Howev er, people are beginning to think of the risk and reward like any other decision. “They are going through the process to determine if it is worth the risk to get to the reward, which we know is getting back to some sense of normalcy ,” said King. As businesses decide if they will

mandate a program or begin with a voluntary offering, King recommends approaching it in a way that treats people like people. “B eing cogniz ant that employ ees are already hav ing a lot of personal anxiety around the v accine will help y ou to really approach it in a humanistic way and balance y our corporate goals with the culture goals in y our organiz ation.” As of January , about 40% of Americans say they will take the v accine as soon as it is av ailable, said King. According to the Kaiser F amily F oundation, another 3 0% will probably get it. “Therefore, about 7 0% will get the v accine whether or not y ou structure it as mandatory or v oluntary ,” said King. The top reason for hesitancy is the worry about potential side effects. Howev er, statistics are showing interest is growing with time. “The closest thing we hav e to compare it to is the u vaccine, but we can’ t compare it eq ually to the u because it’s a new vaccine,” she

said. “Today , studies show that phy sicians are the highest trusted authority , not the employ er; people want to talk to a doctor, understand the facts and feel comfortable taking the v accine,” she said. F or businesses considering offering individual financial incentives, King pointed out it can pose complexities. “It’ s not like rewarding an employ ee for going to an annual v isit with a phy sician,” she said. “This is a personal decision for many .” or those who decide to offer incentiv es, she recommends those with a lower financial value, such as gift cards and water bottles, so indiv iduals don’ t feel they are missing out on a big incentiv e. Another option is to offer a group incentive, such as a lunch or a competition among departments. Like most wellness programs, King said companies must think through the req uired steps to ensure that the engagement, medical information, appropriate disclosures and incentiv e limits are set up in a way See COVID-19 Vaccinations, Page 42

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autobodynews.com / MARCH 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 37

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Continued from Page 32

Herb Lieberman was now running it. Lieberman left the decision up to them. B arry enj oy ed the recy cle business, but hated the management side. W ith Lieberman soon to fully retire, B arry j ust didn’ t want the responsibility . S o, the decision was made to sell to LKQ . B arry stay ed on for two y ears while LKQ found a suitable replacement. B arry went on to sell real estate in California’ s beautiful Lake Arrowhead area. Herb Lieberman continued his work with the Automotiv e Recy cling Association. A Lifetime of Service Nev er one to sit on the sidelines, Lieberman knew it would take inv olv ement by himself and others in the recy cle business to improv e the industry . He is a past president of both the Auto Dismantlers of S outhern California and the Automotiv e Recy clers Association, and past member of the California Auto Dismantlers

Association Executiv e Committee. He was activ e in and helped establish the California Auto B ody Association, and participated in many Collision Industry Conference committees, including the Parts and B est Practices committees. He was activ e with AS A and I-CAR, as well as working with sev eral OEs on their recy cling operations, including American Hon-

da, Cadillac, F ord and B MW North America. “I was inv ited by B MW to v isit and comment on their motor v ehicle recy cling operation in Germany ,” Lieberman said. “I v ery much enj oy ed working with all of the industry associations, as well as the OEMs.”

Lakenor Today The S anta F e S prings property originally occupied by Lakenor is now leased by Caterpillar’ s parts div ision. The area is completely commercializ ed. The recy cled parts business, now owned by LKQ Corp., has a 200,000-sq uare foot warehouse in S anta F e S prings, fed by a 45 -acre dismantling operation in California’ s high-desert area. S anta F e S prings is now the LKQ distribution hub for S outhern California. Today’s Market Asked about today ’ s challenges in the recy cle business, Lieberman said, “The industry today is fraught with challenges...v ery high cost of goods with total loss salv age no longer sold only to dismantlers and dealers by sealed bid. They are sold to the highest bidder any where in the world v ia open auction on the internet. “Moreov er, recy clable parts inv entory av ailability and pricing is av ailable to any one driv ing prices

craft and maritime v essels. Japan is a clear global leader in deploy ments with close to 1 0 hydrogen stations, Jaffery said, but the fastest growth is in China where more than a hundred hy drogen stations hav e gone into operation. B y 203 5 , the study said, hy drogen stations will blanket most of the U.S ., W estern Europe, China, Japan and S outh Korea. The sums of money being poured into hy drogen station deploy ments are staggering, mostly raised through public-priv ate partnerships. The 200-plus page study is based on extensiv e research spanning sev eral months. It prov ides a comprehensiv e analy sis of hy drogen station deploy ments. In addition to the study , Information Trends has put together a comprehensiv e database of hy drogen stations globally . S ource: Information Trends


Retirement Lieberman said he greatly misses all the people in the industry he worked with ov er a 6 1-y ear career. B ut these day s, he spends time with the lady he married in 195 7 , his children and grandchildren, shoots some photography and is activ e in the street rod world with his 193 8 Chev y two-door sedan and his 195 2 Chev y short-bed pickup. B oth v ehicles are what Lieberman calls “sleepers” with a “tame” exterior but a potent small block Chev y engine under the hood, coupled with a Turbo 3 5 0 transmission. Carry on, Herb! www.autobodynews.com

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Nearly 600 Hydrogen Fueling Stations Launched in 33 Countries The hy drogen fueling station market is witnessing a dramatic acceleration in growth, with 5 8 4 hy drogen stations deploy ed by the end of 2020, according to a study released by Information Trends, a market research company . The study , “Global Market for Hy drogen F ueling S tations, 2021,” say s the number of countries that hav e deploy ed hy drogen stations now stands at 3 3 , with more countries gearing up to enter the market. The deploy ments are a positiv e sign for the uptake of hy drogen fuel cell v ehicles from Hy undai, Toy ota and Honda, said N aq i Jaffery, president and CEO of Information Trends. As hy drogen fuel cell buses and trucks gain greater market acceptance, hy drogen stations for heav y -duty transportation are increasingly being deployed, Jaffery said. In the next few y ears, he added, hy drogen fuel cells will be widely used to driv e trains, air-

down. S o, we are forced to compete worldwide, pay the highest prices for our inv entory and then sell our products for the lowest prices listed....and still try to be profitable.” Of aftermarket collision parts, Lieberman noted, “The q uality is better than ever and the returns for fit and or performance is way down.”

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38 MARCH 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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with Erica Schroeder

Industry Insight

—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.

with John Yoswick

Forecast: Expect More Private Equity Coming Into the Industry

Shop Showcase

During the MS O S y mposium in No- one such company , F rontenac Com- significant market share, “this is still v ember, industry consultant V incent pany , a Chicago-based priv ate eq ui- a really fragmented market relativ e Romans said there are a doz en pri- ty firm looking to invest in the colli- to many others” where consolidation with Ed Attanasio has play ed out more, S ahney said. vate equity firms with investments sion repair sector for the first time. During an MS O S y mposium Lastly , he said, “S cale presents in U.S . collision repair organiz ations, including Caliber, Gerber, panel discussion, S ahney said three a real adv antage in this space,” giv S erv ice King, Crash Champions and things make the industry appealing en the inv estment needed because of v ehicle technology , and the reto inv estors. Classic Collision. q uirements of direct repair “Just a decade ago, there was programs and OEM certifione, when ONCAP acq uired Caliwith Ed Attanasio cations. ber,” Romans said. “The play ers who conCollision repair businesses with tinue to generate scale will priv ate eq uity inv estments currently hav e a real adv antage ov er produce about $ 10.9 billion of rev the smaller play ers,” S ahney enue, or more than 28 % of the total Neal Sahney and Jonathan Seiffer, representatives of predicts. market, according to Romans, who two private equity firms, said investors like the stability Another panelist, Jonforesees more inv estment in the in- and scale opportunities they see in collision repair with Ed Attanasio athan Seiffer of Leonard dustry forthcoming. Green and Partners, a priv ate eq uity F irst, it’ s “a highly stable space,” “I believ e that we will see at least two or three more priv ate eq - he said, less in uenced than other in- firm invested in Caliber, said scale uity firms settling down with invest- dustries by economic shifts, and with can also help address the long-standments in MS Os within the U.S . in insurance reducing some of the “risks ing human resources challenge in the industry in that “people can find related to being paid.” the next six months,” said. withRomans Ed Attanasio S econd, though MS Os now hav e adv antages and security working for N eal Sahney is a principal at

Social Media for Shops

SEMA Show Goes On

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larger organiz ations.” Seiffer and Sahney, speaking a month before the first COVID-19 v accine had receiv ed F ood and Drug Administration approv al, said the pandemic and its impact on v ehicle miles trav eled and auto claims hav en’ t deterred inv estors’ interest in acq uiring shops. “I think there was bit of hesitation, as it relates to figuring out the deals, at the start of COVID,” S ahney said. “I think we’ v e [ since] shifted now to, ‘ OK, this is the new reality that we’ re going to liv e in for a while. S o how do we adapt our deal-thinking to the reality we’ re in.’ “And I think folks hav e become very creative in finding ways to look at where businesses were pre-COVID, what happened during COVID and what do y ou believ e about the future,” S ahney continSee More Private Equity, Page 46


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autobodynews.com / MARCH 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 39

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Jeff Peevy Shares Growth Plans Related to I-CAR Tech Center by Stacey Phillips

In 197 9, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) was established as a result of the introduction of the frontwheel-driv e unibody v ehicle, according to Jeff Peevy, v ice president of technical products, programs and serv ices for I-CAR. “The industry came to the realiz ation that it didn’ t know how to safely repair that ty pe of v ehicle,” said Peev y , who has been inv olv ed with the organiz ation for the past three decades. “I-CAR came into existence to fulfill that need to teach the industry to help understand the correct way to repair the car.” rom there, I-CAR began offering welding training and certification to meet the needs of the industry . As new automotiv e features were introduced ov er the y ears, such as seatbelts, airbags and anti-lock brakes, Peev y said I-CAR has been a driv ing force in prov iding the industry with the knowledge and skills necessary to repair v ehicles correctly . Today is no different. With an increase in the number of electric and high-v oltage v ehicles on the road as well as the dev elopment of ADAS features that need to be calibrated so the car can function as designed, I-CAR has new challenges to take on. “W e need to make sure we are able to support the collision repairers out there with accessible, on-demand and relev ant education,” said Peev y . “W e hav e to do this work as early as we possibly can to keep the industry on top of it.” I had the opportunity to talk to Peev y about his new role at I-CAR and its initiativ es related to technical training and the growth of I-CAR’ s technical capabilities and capacities.

Q: A:

Can y ou tell us about y our new role?

I’ v e been inv olv ed with I-CAR as a v olunteer or instructor since 1990 and part of its staff for 17 years. I oined the organiz ation as a regional manager in 1998 , and hav e also worked as a national field manager, director and, ultimately , held a senior director position.

I temporarily left I-CAR in 2015 to help the Automotiv e Management Institute (AMi) rebuild its accreditation program and stay ed there for five years. Throughout my career, I alway s felt the role of technical training was v ery important to ensure a complete, safe and q uality repair. F rankly , I missed working in this area, and rej oined I-CAR in July 2020. My current role was dev eloped to help the organiz ation meet its

industry .

Q: ship?

How will I-CAR meet this obj ectiv e under y our leader-


W e nev er lose sight of our v ision: “That ev ery person in the collision repair industry has the information, knowledge and skills req uired to perform complete, safe and q uality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.”

The I-CAR Tech Center has extensive video and lighting equipment to produce the various training and information products for the industry

obj ectiv es in terms of technical positioning. This includes working on the future dev elopment of I-CAR’ s curriculum and training to support the industry .


W hen it comes to technical positioning and training, what is I-CAR’ s goal?


B y nature, I-CAR is a natural collaborator in the industry . It’ s in our DNA. W e serv e and are represented by all of the inter-industry segments. Although we’ re already in a global leadership position, things are growing and changing so rapidly that we needed to get in another gear to keep up and ensure we are prov iding the knowledge, skills, testing and information the collision repair industry req uires. Our technical obj ectiv e is to increase I-CAR’ s global leadership position and technical presence by expanding our technical capability , capacity and expertise to meet the growing needs of the collision repair

As a result, we took a hard look at what we needed to do technically to ensure our vision is fulfilled, as well as expand how the information is deliv ered. It comes down to our strategic technical planning, expansion and ov erall execution. W e face the v ery same things a collision repair shop faces in needing to add tools and eq uipment, space and expertise to keep up with the increasing momentum of change.

Q: A:

Can y ou tell us about the I-CAR Tech Center?

The I-CAR Tech Center, in Appleton, W I, houses the eq uiv alent of a body shop with a spray booth, welding stations, lifts and a lot of eq uipment. Additionally , it has extensiv e v ideo and lighting eq uipment to produce the v arious training and information products and serv ices most of the industry sees. S ince the main role of the center is to support the dev elopment of I-CAR’ s curriculum and training,

there must be a higher lev el of understanding of technology coming down the road. F rom this facility , we support OEMs, suppliers and all industry segments in some capacity . I don’ t believ e the industry has had a chance to be exposed to I-CAR’ s world-class technicians who ty pically work out of the Tech Center. They are the ones who do the research to understand v ehicle and repair technology . Many hav e been with I-CAR for y ears. It’ s an amaz ing group and it’ s important to recogniz e the lev el of dedication and knowledge they hav e. They are really serious about their role in understanding the information and dev eloping way s to teach it. In addition, our talented group of subj ect matter experts working with our instructional designers, v ideo and graphics teams work y ear-round at the facility to dev elop I-CAR’ s curriculum, which consists of both online, v irtual and hands-on classes. W e’ re all working from home right now due to the pandemic, except when in-shop work is needed, but hope to be back in the center when it is safe to do so.

Q: A:

W hat are some of the expansion plans in the works?

Q: A:

W hat can we expect to see from I-CAR in the future?

W e are currently building a world-class ADAS calibration lab, so we can expand our research and development specific to ADAS -related activ ities, and do so in an effective and efficient way. This also allows us to expand our support of the car manufacturers. One of our next proj ects includes building a dedicated electric v ehicle lab so we continue our leadership position in understanding the repairs of these v ehicles and further support the OEMs. B y keeping up with the latest repair procedures and collision repair information, it allows us to be the link between collision repairers and car manufacturers.

Not only will the q uality of our courses continue to grow, but the industry is also going to see an increased lev el of accessibility

40 MARCH 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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unming ility , d all city . ustry d to who nter. arch echCAR

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through online and hands-on learning. W e hav e plans to do some v ery innov ativ e things to help learners be more engaged and learn more efficiently . W e’ re blessed to hav e a lot of instructors who currently teach both v irtual and in-person, and we want to make sure to support them. I also think it is important I-CAR continues to increase our technical leadership in light of the changes taking place. Just as our industry is growing and our shops are taking more training to keep up with changes in technology , our organiz ation’ s technical department has to do the same. W e recently brought Dirk F uchs onboard as I-CAR’ s director of technical programs and serv ices. He ov ersees the repair technical support (RTS ) and has a strong global understanding of electric v ehicles, as well as ADAS calibration. W e already hav e subj ect matter experts around those disciplines; howev er, coming from Germany , he brings deeper knowledge from other parts of the world. The changing technology in

these cars req uires a close relationship with car manufacturers. As a result, I see us continuing to grow deeper relationships with OEMs and increasing our ability to support them, which will enable us to better support collision repairers. ou will see us get very specific on what we share with the industry . W e’ re currently working on a social media strategy to share information about our great technical team and all of the work they do behind the scenes. W e’ d really lov e the industry to hav e access to the inner-workings and get to know the personalities and the impressiv e lev el of expertise av ailable. I think it will be v ery interesting to our industry . As we mov e forward with our initiativ es, we will continue to collaborate with the industry and welcome feedback. W e really want all stakeholders to understand what we are doing and get inv olv ed. It’ s all about supporting the industry and those who are repairing vehicles, which ultimately benefits the consumer with a complete, safe and q uality repair.

Continued from Page 36

COVID-19 Vaccinations that keeps the organiz ation compliant. In terms of v accination distribution, as of January , there is no national onside v accination prov ider. Vaccine rollouts across the country currently differ, depending on the state; ev en age req uirements v ary . Therefore, King recommends referring to state regulatory websites, connecting with local pharmacies and encouraging staff to reach out to their phy sicians. King said this is a good time to hav e conv ersations with managers about what’ s in store and educate them. S he said it could go a long way in ensuring they are going to embrace the approach and be a positiv e word of mouth in the organiz ation. “Howev er y ou decide to coordinate this within an organiz ation, whether it’ s mandatory or v oluntary and with or without a financial incentiv e, leadership is really going to need to get in front of the communications around it,” said King.

Hyundai Isn’t Building the Apple Car After All by Chris Bruce, Motor1.com

The Apple car is dead again. Hy undai Motor Group said it and the tech giant are no longer in negotiations to create a partnership on an automotiv e proj ect, according to Automotiv e News. In January , Hy undai confirmed the two companies were in the early stages of discussing the collaboration. “W e are not hav ing talks with Apple on dev eloping autonomous v ehicles,” Hy undai said in a statement to inv estors, according to Automotiv e News. It’ s not clear which side suspended the negotiations. On Hy undai’ s side, there was allegedly concern among some execs the automaker would j ust be a contract manufacturer for Apple, like the tech company does for F oxconn, making the iPhone. According to the rumor at the time, Kia was going to build the Apple car at a new factory in Georgia. There was speculation the companies might hav e ev en had a concept v ersion of the v e-

hicle ready in 2022. S ales could hav e started as soon as 2024. W hile the news about the negotiations only came out in the last few weeks, these talks had apparently been happening since 2018 , according to Automotiv e News, citing a Reuters report. As of early 2021, Apple reportedly still has a small, internal team working on its car. The crew allegedly includes some former Tesla engineers. A complete v ehicle could be ready between 2024 and 2028 if the proj ect comes to fruition. B efore Hy undai, Volkswagen Group was allegedly going to be Apple’ s partner on the automotiv e proj ect. They were going to start by creating an electric, autonomous v ersion of the VW Transporter v an for use on the tech company ’ s campus. W hile this was heav ily rumored, the collaboration was never officially announced. W e t h a n k M ot or1 . com f or rep ri n t p erm i s s i on .

“It’ s a complex situation and going to req uire dedicated communications.” This may include yers, postcards and other educational materials offered by the CDC and organiz ations like HUB International. Looking ahead, King predicts there will be a lot more education circulating about the v accine. When talking to staff, King said to not focus on the benefits to the company or the bottom line. “Make it about the safety of y our patrons, clients and the health of employ ees so from a corporate perspectiv e, it’ s not j ust about numbers or business goals, but more about how we can thriv e together.” This is the first in a series of COVID-19 v accination articles. Next in the series is “Implementing an Employ ee Vaccination Program: Cost, Access and Communication.” HU International offers an e-book with more information: https: / / www.hubinternational. com/ -/ media/ HUB -International/ PDF / Employ ee-B enefits/ bey ondCOVID-19-employ ment-laws-v accines .pdf

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42 MARCH 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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oing ica-


dicts tion

said om-

our empecs or how

s of Next EmCost,

an ion: nal. nal/ ondcines

2021 SEMA HoF Nominations Open S EMA, the S pecialty Eq uipment Market Association, is accepting nominations for its Hall of F ame at www.sema.org/ hof. Established in 196 9, the S EMA Hall of F ame recogniz es people who hav e contributed a signifi cant body of work to the industry ov er a long period of time, and is the most prestigious award presented to an indiv idual by the association. It is designed to honor the leaders, innov ators, creators and enthusiasts who transformed small, burgeoning businesses into an industry worth more than $ 46 .2 billion annually . To nominate an indiv idual who epitomiz es the essence of ingenuity in action, v isit www. sema.org/ hof before the deadline March 19. To learn more about the S EMA Hall of F ame and for a list of inductees, v isit www.semahof. com or contact Lindsay B ianco at lindsay b@ sema.org or 909-97 8 6 6 92. S ource: S EMA

Continued from Page 30

CIECAST Prepares enhanced ability to interact with the networks the manufacturers are establishing and see how the v ehicles are being repaired,” Tagliapietra said. “There’ s a changing paradigm of how OE repair information is utiliz ed and deliv ered, and following the OE repair procedures exactly as they ’ re written is absolutely critical for properly repairing EVs. “OEM Certifi cation network shops must follow repair procedures to be aligned in understanding what repairs are needed to restore EVs to their pre-loss condition,” Tagliapietra continued. “The future of these networks is going to be j ust as important to insurers as they are to the OEMs, emphasiz ing the fact that there needs to be a lev el of collaboration and understanding between manufacturers and insurance companies that has not prev iously existed to the lev el that will be necessary with EVs.” Acknowledging shops’ struggle to obtain OEM repair procedures effectiv ely , Tagliapietra suggested the

repair procedures should be av ailable before the estimate is ev en written. “S hops need to understand the safety measures that need to be considered before they touch the car, and we are examining diff erent ways to deliver that information more effi ciently . Education is v ital,” Tagliapietra said. “Repairers will be req uired to access OEM repair procedures on ev ery single v ehicle going forward, not ust for structural damages―we cannot continue down that path as an industry and stay in alignment. “Insurers, as well as shops, need to understand and agree on these procedures so that shops can be fairly reimbursed for their eff orts.” Tagliapietra believ es the data in the repair orders needs to be made available to the diff erent key stakeholders in the industry . “CIECA standards are essential to prov ide access to the data participants need to achiev e their business obj ectiv es,” he said. “S o many entities participate in the repair process now, not j ust the insurer, OEM and collision repair shop. W e need to ev aluate how that information is accessed, ingested and memorializ ed

so it can be play ed back to the industry for the benefi t of everyone. “Collaboration is critical. These relationships need to be fostered if ev ery one is going to succeed and win,” Tagliapietra continued. “Ev ery one is dependent on collision repairers to complete a q uality repair, but it’s fi rst incumbent on manufacturers, insurers and information prov iders to facilitate that and share the information the shops need. “W e cannot allow a few to monopoliz e that information when it’ s essential for the good of the whole industry .” CIECA then opened the webinar up for a q uestion-and-answer session. As January ’ s CIECAS T concluded, B arry reminded attendees the webinar is eligible for credit through the Automotiv e Management Institute. The next CIECAS T, scheduled for F eb. 25 , will highlight the next generation of CIECA standards. The organiz ation is looking for interested parties to j oin in the dev elopment of those standards. F or more information on CIECA and the next CIECAS T, v isit cieca. com.

Tesla Will Now Handle Collision Repairs at Its Own Service Centers by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs



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Tesla alerted owners and customers at the end of the last week of January its serv ice centers will now off er collision repair. CEO E lon Musk mentioned this back in 2018 , and it’ s something people hav e been waiting for. The message was titled, “Collision Repair is Here,” and it said Tesla S erv ice Centers can “F ix minor dents, scuff s, scratches and more.” The message also talked about collision repair, including “suspension and axle damage, front and rear bumpers, hoods, liftgates and side mirror caps, along with doors, wheels and all glass repairs.” According to the report by CNB C, owners can simply v isit their Tesla app to make an appointment. Choose the “Collision & Glass Repair” tab from the app’ s S erv ice Menu. After an appointment is made, owners can track the progress on the app. A select few Tesla S erv ice Centers have been off ering larger repairs for some time though; in

most cases, those repairs were reserv ed for Tesla-approv ed collision shops. Now that Tesla will mov e collision repair “in-house,” it will add y et another consistent rev enue stream to its bottom line. W hile EVs need less maintenance than gas cars, that doesn’ t mean they don’ t need repairs. In fact, Tesla has been specifi cally dealing with quality and fi t and fi nish issues for y ears. W e’ v e heard and shared plenty of reports of owners dealing with serv ice centers often. Moreov er, there is now an increasing number of Tesla v ehicles on the road that are out of warranty , which means Tesla could benefi t signifi cantly going forward. Tesla owns and operates j ust 140 serv ice centers in North America. Howev er, during the recent Q 4 2020 Tesla Earnings Call, President of Automotiv e Jerome Guillen said the company has plans to open more facilities in the fi rst half of 2021. W e t h a n k In s i d e EV s f or rep ri n t p erm i s s i on .

autobodynews.com / MARCH 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 43

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with Ed Attanasio

Social Media for Shops

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

with Ed Attanasio

Social Media Strategist Identifies Keys to Your Body Shop’s Online Success In the old day s, body shop marke- co-branded v s. independent, etc., our approach for body shops has a lot of ting and adv ertising was relativ ely simple, with only a few things to similarities in what we do across the consider―direct mail, Ed phone book board with clients we hav e worked with Attanasio adv ertising, radio or TV adv ertising with for y ears in other industries. and, if y ou decided to think outside of the box, billboards or ev en sky writing. And don’ t forget about putting with Ed Attanasio a big in atable gorilla on your roof Today , marketing and adv ertising is so much more sophisticated due to technology that changes daily . How can a shop owner or manager know what to do with so many options out there? Phillips Owners hav with e to navStacey igate F acebook marketing and adv ertising, social outreach on multiple platforms, Joe Conte, CEO/lead strategist at Auto Moto reputation management, web design Digital (AMD) in Sausalito, CA, creates marand dev elopment, Google Adwords keting plans that grow exponentially using and ratings, custom v ideo, email cutting-edge modalities such as Artificial Intelligence with Stacey Phillips marketing, online podcasts/ webinars, Our initial goal is to define the blogging and v logging, showcasing story of who the body shop is and testimonials and speaking at ev ents. help tell that story to define their Phew―where do you begin Aut ob od y N ew s recently sat down customers, and how best to creawith Joe C onte, CEO and lead stra- te compelling content that engages with them on a personal lev el. tegist of Auto Moto (AMD) withDigital Stacey Phillips W e do this through a number (www.automotodigital.com) in S ausalito, CA, and discussed how his com- of different strategies and solutions pany uses digital marketing and soci- that enable us to learn more at each al adv ertising to build a body shop’ s stage―it is through this AI integrated business affordably and exponentially, and algorithmic learning solutions v ia “social conv ersion strategies” using their proprietary sy stem. Stacey Phillips that we can target specific types of Conte grewwith up working on Porsches with his father, and began fo- indiv iduals and their behav iors, that cusing on the collision repair indus- further help to create conv ersions of users into pay ing customers. try more than a decade ago. AMD deliv ers AI algorithmic How can a small independent social data solutions for its client shop or mini-MS O compete partners. S A data integrated process with a activ ates audiences and conv erts with Victoria Antonelli large chain of shops with a them into loy al brand supporters, v ia huge marketing budget? prov en data mining analy tics and alThere are a lot of firms out gorithmic based solutions. there that promise the moon Digital adv ertising/ marketing and groups that create generic confor body shops is completely tent, basic S EO, websites, etc., and different from any other type of busiwith Ed Attanasio strategies that are not specific to the ness and y ou’ v e worked with. W hat body shop itself. are some of the main differences Our goal is to work with the owners, no matter if they are a part It’s not as different as you of a larger MS O or mini-MS O, and would imagine. As body help them create an online identity shops differ from DRP vs. non-DRP, that galv aniz es consumers into ac-

SEMA Show Goes On


It is through this identity -based social engagement strategy that we help them grow their online identity and their online presence. A key factor for this is defining who the body shop is and who they work with, from a business-to-business standpoint. The ty pes of paint, paint booth, machinery , etc., all adds to the lay ers of who they are and how they do what they do. W e are not solely focused on the body shop when we work with them―we also work with their partners to help understand the entire landscape and ecosy stem that surrounds them. This philosophy helps to build a strategy that focuses not only on direct-to-consumer conv ersion solutions, but data marketing strategies for manufacturers, brands and distributors who work with the body shops. It is this multi-faceted promotional strategy that enables us to create a div erse, long-term growth solution not only dev eloping bottom-up outreach to consumers, but cross-brand pollination strategies that help grow social engagement through the entire landscape. This approach not only helps the shop itself, but all up- and downstream strategic partners that help build the network.

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W hat can y ou say to a shop owner who claims that social media is ineffective


The main goal with social engagement is to create a network effect. This enables the locations to grow and build relationships on the [ business to business] and business to consumer side― giv ing body shops loy al customers that help promote and support the growth of their business. It is during this outreach process where we start to build customer loy alty . W e also do it v ia online reputation management solutions that help to build a shop’ s online credibility and shift the conv ersation

that comes from the actual customer, and not j ust outreach from the body shop. This is what social engagement is all about and why working with smaller shops at times tends to be a greater v alue proposition for the shop than with the larger MS Os.


There are so many way s to go with digital marketing, with new social media coming out all the time. W hat social media do y ou suggest for y our clients and why ?


F acebook foundational work is where we begin, because the information y ou can discov er with the ad-based network and ad manager sophistication they hav e is what feeds all other ty pes of outreach techniques we offer. There are a number of techniques, from location-specific ads and strategies like “geo-fencing, geo-targeting” to behav ioral analy tics based micro-targeted ads that enable us to find who is clicking on what and why―all of these strategies are designed to create cost-effective ad spend solutions and the most affordable conv ersion solutions and content, to really find what makes the consumer who they are and help align them to the right body shop. What we find that resonates the most with today ’ s consumers is the story of the owner, their work ethic and philosophy , and the culture of their shop. Ev ery shop is uniq ue, and by sharing original content and educating body shop owners that being the v oice of their shop matters, it not only empowers them to see their potential, but it ultimately helps customers make their decision easier because they can relate to the business and they see the shop as a partner who cares. That’ s where the long-term loy alty comes in that helps a business grow. The beauty of all of this is the exponential factor; once y ou lay down the proper online and social marketing foundation, the right stra-

with Gary Ledoux

44 MARCH 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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tegy and the right content are gifts that keep on giv ing. The data starts to come in, and the growth of the business and actual decisions about the future of the company come from this data. This is where it then starts to spiral, when one customer talks to another potential customer and the “network effect” that we discussed earlier starts to take shape. In the end, it is not about the shop next door, it’ s about the story . The best thing about a body shop is its story , and ev en if shops are next to each other, ev ery one has their own story . Our goal is to help them get to the right customer and help them build a strong in-bound customer base, while growing their car count exponentially .

Your leading source for SOUTHWESTERN Collision Repair News!


Continued from Page 39

More Private Equity ued. “There’ s all sorts of hy potheses about where we will land. I think we will land in a new normal that may look different than where this industry was before COVID, but it’ s going to look something closer to that than where we’ v e been the last six months.” Seiffer agreed COVID is likely not a long-term negativ e in this industry . “Ev en if it lingers, people’ s behav iors hav e adapted,” he said, acknowledging resumption of traffic has rebounded to v ary ing degrees around the country . “If y ou’ re looking for a platform, y ou’ re presumably looking to build something much bigger ov er time. S o a shortterm blip shouldn’ t really change y our v iew on the opportunity .” He said there will no doubt be permanent changes that will negatively affect other parts of the economy , but there may actually be some upsides to the pandemic in the medium-term for collision repairers.

“There will be some subset of people who will be slow to return to mass transit and other forms of transportation, and I don’ t think working from home is going to be an option forever,” Seiffer said. How does priv ate eq uity v iew the potential longer-term impact of adv anced driv er assistance sy stems (ADAS ) and autonomous v ehicles? S ahney noted it takes a long time for new technologies to be in place in a large percentage of the v ehicle population on the roads. “The feeling on it is we’ re still decades away from that truly hammering away at the industry ,” S ahney said. In addition, he said, MS Os are going to be in a much better position than a single-shop operation to make the inv estments in being able to serv ice those technologies. Seiffer agreed, saying he sees ADAS as likely to hav e a bigger impact on personal inj ury claims than collision claims. “S o we pay attention to it, but people tend to ov erestimate how q uickly the world will change,” Seiffer said. “We pay attention to it,

but v iew it a little bit as noise, and try to focus on the bigger picture. “There are going to be a lot of cars in the U.S . for a long time, and those cars are going to get into accidents because of weather, congestion and distraction. Cell phones have been a huge benefit for the industry .” Ev en if collision repair work declines ov er time, he said, well-run MSOs will find other ways to use a network of bay s with skilled workers. “If y ou hav e talented folks, and a distribution network with points of access, there will be new business opportunities that arise if others start to go down,” Seiffer said. Autonomous v ehicles may result in a larger population of cars rather than smaller, and those v ehicles will hav e serv ice and repair needs bey ond collision repair. “The infrastructure that’ s built may move a bit over time,” Seiffer said. “Y ou may not need city center locations, or Main S treet locations, but I think [ shops] will still hav e tremendous v alue to the automotiv e transportation infrastructure.”

ABRA Auto Body Repair of America Adds Four New Facilities AB RA Auto B ody Repair of America is celebrating its growth as the company added four new shops to its network―one each in Montana, Minnesota, Iowa and Georgia. The company has been able to support its communities with the essential serv ices it prov ides, despite the many challenges brought on by the pandemic. F ranchisees within the network hav e continued to inv est in additional capacity , bringing more v alue to their customers. “I am deeply proud of our AB RA facilities, who hav e been able to adapt on the y to the changing demands of our industry ,” said Mark W ahlin, VP of franchise dev elopment and operations, AB RA. “The team has seamlessly enhanced its repair processes to include increased sanitiz ation on key touchpoints and has found way s to safely perform estimates---all to maintain a positiv e customer experience.” F rom S outh Carolina to Minnesota, AB RA facilities across the country hav e pushed themselv es to enhance their service offerings,

find new areas of opportunities, expand their market reach and participate in additional training. “Our owners’ commitment to exceptional customer satisfaction extends bey ond the repair as they are activ ely inv olv ed in their communities,” said W ahlin. “S eeing our franchisees host food driv es, giv ing back to causes close to their customers during a challenging y ear for most shows why AB RA has been in the business for ov er three decades.” AB RA facilities throughout the country also took time to giv e back to the communities they serv e in 2020. AB RA S t. Cloud in Minnesota used its mobile glass v ehicle for Meals on W heels deliv eries to support seniors in need. F acilities also gav e back to the Cy stic F ibrosis F oundation through fundraising initiativ es throughout the y ear. Visit AB RA W oodstock, AB RA B illings, AB RA Duluth and AB RA North Liberty websites to learn more about the new facilities.

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S ource: AB RA

46 MARCH 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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Auto Thefts Surge In 2020, National Insurance Crime Bureau Reports A preliminary analy sis by the National Insurance Crime B ureau shows auto theft took a dramatic leap upward in 2020 compared to 2019, rev ersing two y ears of auto theft declines. According to its initial study , there were 8 7 3 ,08 0 auto thefts in 2020, a 9.2% increase ov er 2019, which had 7 99,6 44 thefts, a boost of more than 7 3 ,000 thefts. “Preliminary reports indicate a sharp increase in automobile thefts for 2020,” said NICB President and CEO David G law e. “All indications are 2020 will be the largest theft y ear in the past decade by a significant margin.” According to the findings, every month in 2020 showed increases compared to 2019. Ov erall, the y early increase was 9.2% ; howev er, each month from June through December showed double digit gains. “B ased on the preliminary nature of the data, the cause of this increase will req uire a thorough intelligence assessment,” said Glawe. “Considerations such as the pandemic, economic downturn, loss of j uv enile outreach programs and

public safety budgetary and resource limitations are likely contributing factors. “Thiev es exploit opportunities and may look for v ehicles parked in the same location or citiz ens not taking proper measures to secure their v ehicles.” If y ou see something, say something by contacting local law enforcement if y ou suspect q uestionable activ ity in y our neighborhood. Giv en the uniq ue circumstances of 2020, the NICB is distributing this data in adv ance of its much-anticipated annual Hot S pots report, to be released in mid-2021. Due to the scrutiny the data receiv es from NICB analy sts, the Hot S pots report will likely differ to a small extent from this initial analy sis. Vehicle owners must guard against complacency and remember to heed simple tips to safeguard their v ehicles. NICB recommends driv ers follow four lay ers of protection to guard against v ehicle theft. Common sense: Vehicle owners should alway s remov e key s from the ignition, lock doors and windows and park in well-lit areas.

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W arning dev ices: These include v isible and audible alarms. Aftermarket alarms are av ailable for all makes and models of cars. Visual dev ices include column collars, steering wheel locks and brake locks. I mmob iliz ing devices: The third lay er of protection prev ents thiev es from by passing the ignition and hot-wiring the v ehicle. S ome examples are smart key s; fuse cutoffs kill switches starter, ignition and fuel pump disablers; and wireless ignition authentication. T racking devices: Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recov er stolen v ehicles. S ome sy stems combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a v ehicle. If the v ehicle is mov ed, the sy stem will alert the owner, and the v ehicle can be tracked v ia computer. Any one with information concerning insurance fraud or v ehicle theft can report it anony mously by calling toll-free 8 00.TEL.NICB (8 008 3 5 -6 422) or submitting a form on the NICB website. S ource: NICB

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Merchants F leet, the nation’ s fastest-growing eet management company , announced F eb. 2 its plans to further electrify its portfolio with B rightDrop, the new business backed by General Motors, offering electric first-to-last-mile products and software serv ices. Merchants F leet is working with B rightDrop to procure 12,6 00 B rightDrop EV6 00s, an all-new, electric light commercial v ehicle purpose-built for the deliv ery of goods and serv ices ov er long ranges. The EV6 00 is powered by the Ultium battery sy stem and combines z ero-emissions driv ing with segment-leading safety features. Merchants F leet expects B rightDrop EV6 00s to enter its clients’ eets starting in early 2023 .B rightDrop is building a smarter way to deliv er goods and serv ices. Its ecosy stem of electric first-to-last-mile products, software and serv ices are designed to help businesses deliv er goods and services more efficiently, while improv ing ov erall sustainability . S ource: GM

Certified Collision Group Announces Significant Start to ‘21 Certified Collision Group (CCG), the OE certifications and KPI-focused solutions prov ider to the collision repair and insurance communities, announced Jan. 3 1 the addition of 24 new locations in the first month of 2021.


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“W ith the coming of the new y ear, CCG is v ery mindful of the increasing challenges facing repairers nationwide,” said Marty E vans, CCG’ s CCO. “W e are also acutely aware that the highly reputable, OE certified, customer-focused independent operator is v ital for consumers; CCG will keep leveling the playing field for those operators so they can compete.” These 24 new locations are located in five states―North Carolina, Penssy lv ania, Virgina,

S outh Carlina and W isconsin. CCG now operates in 3 9 states with more than 5 5 0 locations and 5 0 v endor prov ider partners. The focus remains prov iding the insurance community with a sustainable alternativ e that is differentiated by 25 00+ OEM badges and the v ery best KPI results. “The extraordinary support of our v endor prov iders and insurance partners allows us to continue deliv ering stability and long-term profitability to our best-in-class independent affiliates,” Ev ans continued. “W e remain bullish on opportunity as we expand our internal team and infrastructure to maintain our position and outperform the marketplace.” Source: Certified Collision Group


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COVID’s Impact on Insurance Pricing, Coverage & Digital Trends by Steve Hallo, PropertyCasualty360

As we mov e into 2021, the insurance sector should expect continuing hard market conditions, according to Jim Bramb let, managing director-insurance lead for Accenture’ s North American operations, who explained the pandemic will shape pricing and cov erage in the y ear to come.

Investing in a digital brand presence can help keep an insurer top-of-mind among its potential clients in the community, making social marketing even more important during a time when face-to-face interactions are limited. Credit: RAGMA IMAGES, Shutterstock

“Carriers are going to hav e to continue to look at pricing v s. risk, and ask themselv es what are the current consumption patterns for assets they ty pically insure,” he said, giv ing for example the number of rebates around personal lines seen in the past y ear. “W hat is that

going to look like going forward? ” He added ev en outside the pandemic, carriers should think about changing consumption patterns for personal lines, giv en the rev iv al in home improv ement inv estments and “cocooning” trends. This makes it paramount that insurers find the right pricing for these fundamental changes in consumption patterns. Concerning cov erage, the past y ear exposed a gap in policies around pandemics and business operations. This is particularly true for business interruption claims, which might take a public-priv ate partnership to cov er. “There has to be some collaboration between gov ernment and insurers, whether through primary insurance, reinsurance or a gov ernment backstop,” he said, adding more needs to be done than “waiting for relief packages to run through the gov ernment.” As prev iously reported, the enormity of losses stemming from COVID is believ ed to be bey ond the abilities of the priv ate market to cov er. F rom consumer-facing technologies to in-agency sy stems, the pandemic has propelled the industry ’ s inv estment in digital tools, ac-

cording to B ramblet, with spending on distribution and customer-facing tools showing the best ROI. F or the industry to capitaliz e on this, the transition from a digital env ironment to a more traditional insurer/ policy holder connection should be seamless. Regardless of how a client wants to buy a policy―in person, through a website or on a mobile app―the insurance education and research process almost alway s start digital now, B ramblet explained. “Y ou want to make it as easy as possible for them to bridge from the digital world into y our carrier sy stem,” he stressed. The ability to build a personal social brand digitally is also growing in importance because of the pandemic, according to B ramblet, who explained agencies cannot at this time hav e a presence in their communities through traditional means such as sponsoring little league teams or attending a family picnic. “Make the inv estment in a digital presence and digital brands. They hav e to be built,” he cautioned. W e t h a n k P rop ert y Ca s ua t l y 3 6 0 f or rep ri n t p erm i s s i on .

Kia Niro EV Winner in Ownership Study The Kia Niro EV has been ranked No. 1 among mass-market brands in the J.D. Power 2021 Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX ) Ownership S tudy . F or this inaugural study , J.D. Power surv ey ed nearly 10,000 electric v ehicle (EV) owners on factors including cost-of-ownership, battery range and driv ing enj oy ment to determine the likelihood of repurchasing and recommending an EV. The U.S . EVX Ownership S tudy , driv en by a collaboration with PlugS hare, sets the standard for benchmarking satisfaction with the critical attributes that affect the EV ownership experience. The ov erall EVX ownership index score measures electric v ehicle owners’ satisfaction in premium and mass-market segments across sev en factors: accuracy of stated battery range; av ailability of public charging stations; battery range; cost of ownership; driv ing enj oy ment; ease of charging at home; and v ehicle q uality and reliability . S ource: Kia Motors North America

CCC Information Services Inc. Merges, Will Go Public CCC Information S erv ices Inc. and Dragoneer Growth Opportunities Corp. on F eb. 3 announced a definitiv e merger agreement between Dragoneer and CCC’ s parent holding company . Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company is expected to be renamed CCC Intelligent S olutions Holdings Inc. and is expected to be listed on the New Y ork S tock Exchange in the second q uarter of 2021. CCC’ s mission-critical S aaS platform prov ides adv anced AI, IoT, customer experience and network management work ow solutions to the P& C insurance economy . CCC enables more than $ 100 billion of transactions annually among a v ast ecosy stem of interconnected businesses. CCC’ s network includes thousands of customers including insurers, repair facilities, automotiv e manufacturers, parts suppliers and other industry participants who lev erage CCC’ s platform to digitiz e operations, improv e business performance and power better decisions in an increasingly complex and rapidly

changing market. Under Chairman and CEO G ithesh Ramamurthy, who will continue to lead the company following the close of the transaction, CCC expects to report approximately $ 6 00 million of rev enue in 2020, and has deliv ered a consistent track record of profitable revenue growth for 20-plus y ears by focusing on deliv ering best-in-class innov ations for its customers. “Today is an exciting day for CCC as our return to the public markets prov ides us with additional sources of capital to accelerate innov ation and increase the v alue we prov ide customers,” said Ramamurthy . “Throughout our history , CCC has dev eloped pioneering technology solutions focused on enabling growth, increasing efficiency and empowering new possibilities for all participants in the P& C insurance economy . “W e serv e a large and interconnected market that is still in the early stages of digitiz ing its operations and is growing in complexity . W e believ e CCC is well positioned to support customer digitiz ation in this

dy namic market. “W e are incredibly excited to begin this new partnership with Dragoneer, one of the most highly respected inv estors in the world, and to continue our relationship with Advent, who have been terrific partners for the past four y ears,” Ramamurthy continued. “Together, I am confident CCC will continue to generate meaningful v alue for our customers and shareholders.” “Under Adv ent’ s ownership, CCC has cemented itself as a leading S aaS platform for the P& C insurance ecosy stem,” said Eric W ei, managing director at Adv ent. “S ince 2017 , we’ v e partnered with Githesh and the CCC management team to accelerate organic growth through a focus on innov ation, and we believ e this sustained inv estment in R& D will deliver significant ROI for customers for decades to come. “Adv ent is excited to partner with Dragoneer, with its preeminent technology inv esting franchise, to support CCC’ s continued focus on digitally transforming the insurance economy . W e hav e strong conv iction in CCC’ s growth potential and are

not selling a single share as part of the transaction.” “CCC is one of those rare software companies that serv es as the backbone of a critical industry―the P& C insurance economy ,” said Marc S tad, founder and portfolio manager at Dragoneer. “As the products we use and the cars we driv e become more and more sophisticated, insurers, consumers, manufacturers and serv ice prov iders req uire increasing amounts of support and coordination whenev er issues occur. “CCC’ s adv anced technology platform enables the right groups to connect quickly and efficiently, and its twenty-plus years of profitable growth are a testament to the v alue the company prov ides to its customers. The CCC team’ s impressiv e track record of execution and financial performance speaks for itself, and we are thrilled to partner with them and Adv ent as they work to realiz e their ambitious v ision for the business.” S ource: CCC


48 MARCH 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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autobodynews.com / MARCH 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 49

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Distracted Driving Trend Persists Despite Passenger Complaints by Steve Hallo, PropertyCasualty360

Incidents of distracted driv ing persist despite more than 97 % of passengers confronting a motorist who had let their focus slip from the road, according to a surv ey of U.S . consumers by LeithCars.com. The surv ey also found 22.5 % of respondents had been a passenger in a crash caused by a distracted driv er. Texting and browsing the internet were cited as the leading accident-causing distraction by passengers who had been in a crash initiated by an unfocused driv er. They were also the most common ev ents leading to complaints from a passenger, as 5 2% and 3 3 .3 % of riders, respectiv ely , said they confronted someone about these behav iors. The risks from distracted driv ing are so sev ere that LexisNexis Risk S olutions suggested distracted driv ing could potentially riv al DUI v iolations as a factor in road safety and insurance rating. Concerning the latter point, insurer The Z ebra reported getting a ticket for texting, or otherwise using a phone while driv ing, can raise in-

surance rates by an av erage of 23 % . In some states, that increase can be more than 6 3 % . Drinking alcohol, falling asleep and using a cell phone to surf the web or text were among the distractions perceiv ed to be most danger-

While most will speak up to family, friends or colleagues driving dangerously, more than 60% of people don’t address distracted and dangerous driving issues when in a taxi or rideshare. Credit: guteksk7, Shutterstock.com

ous, the surv ey rev ealed, with reaching around for an item rounding out the top five. Comparing attitudes around drunk driv ing and texting risks, the surv ey found that baby boomers see using a cell phone while driv ing as being more dangerous than drinking

and driv ing, while millennials found the adv erse to be true. W hen it comes to incidents of drinking and driv ing, more than one in four surv ey respondents had ridden with someone who consumed alcohol while driv ing, according to LeithCars.com. Y et, slightly less than 13 % felt compelled to address the obv ious danger. This comes on the heels of recent news that nearly half of U.S . motorists admit to drinking and driv ing. The surv ey also found an alarming number of rideshare driv ers are also partaking in distracted driv ing, with nearly 8 5 % of those surv ey ed say ing they had experienced dangerous or distracted driv ing in a taxi or ridesharing v ehicle. Speeding, weaving through traffic and being too chatty were the most cited experiences. W hile most will speak up to family , friends or colleagues driv ing dangerously , more than 6 0% of people don’ t address these issues when in a taxi or rideshare. W e t h a n k P rop ert y Ca s ua l t y 3 6 0 f or rep ri n t p erm i s s i on .

Collision Industry Mourns the Loss of Bano Ramirez It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Bano Ramirez , a member of Mitchell International’ s S olution S pecialist team, on Jan. 25 . Ramirez touched many liv es in his ov er 40-plus y ears in the collision industry . He spent 12 y ears with Mitchell International and prev iously owned and operated B ob ’ s B od y a n d F en d er in Van Nuy s, CA, where he was an activ e member of the community , hosting many industry training ev ents. Ramirez was a longtime member of the California Autobody Association and an inv aluable contributor to its Glendale/ F oothill chapter. His positiv e attitude, loy alty , integrity and hard work will be remembered by all. Ramirez is surv iv ed by his lov ely spouse Alison, daughters Sylvia, Rosie and Amanda, eight grandchildren and sev en great-grandchildren.


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Edmunds Experts Forecast 15.5 Million New Vehicles Will Be Sold in 2021 The car shopping experts at Edmunds say the auto industry is on track for greater stability and healthier sales this y ear, forecasting 15 .5 million new cars will be sold in 2021. Edmunds analy sts note this would represent a 6 .5 % lift ov er 2020. “2020 was an incredibly tumultuous y ear for the industry , but some uniq ue market conditions helped retail sales end up in a much stronger place than anticipated, and the good news is that these should serv e as some decent tailwinds into 2021,” said Jessica C aldw ell, Edmunds’ executiv e director of insights. “Despite the economic hardships faced by so many Americans during the pandemic, there’ s still a large population of well-off consumers who hav e been taking adv antage of favorable fi nancing conditions and sustaining healthy demand in the new car market.” Edmunds experts put together some of the biggest trends that they predict will shape the road ahead in 2021: The new v ehicle market will continue to grow more pricey and exclusiv e as the

pandemic driv es an income div ide among Americans. New car prices are sky rocketing: In December 2020 the av erage transaction price for a new v ehicle hit an all-time record high of $ 40,5 7 3 . Edmunds analy sts expect this number to go up as a uent consumers benefi ting from lower interest rates and healthy stock and housing markets continue buy ing bigger, more expensiv e new trucks and S UVs. At the same time, more aff ordable options in the new car market are growing increasingly scarce as automakers shutter their car lines, which Edmunds experts say will create a barrier to entry for many consumers and force them into the used car market. COVID-19 v accines will help keep auto sales steady but won’ t boost them dramatically . Unlike other industries such as airlines or entertainment, automotiv e sales are not expected to see a dramatic retail lift post widespread v accination distribution―in 2020, retail sales were down only 8 .6 % . Howev er, Edmunds experts say that a return to an in-person work

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env ironment should help maintain sales, and they anticipate a boost in daily rentals in 2021, which generally make up 12% of new v ehicle sales but sank to 7 .4% in 2020. Exciting new products will help breathe life into the automotiv e industry . 2021 will be a standout y ear for new v ehicles. It will see the birth of a brand-new segment in EV pickup trucks, at least seven new electrifi ed SUVs, and some popular off -road nameplate rev iv als including the F ord B ronco and Jeep W agoneer. “It comes down to production cy cles and a little bit of luck, but ev ery so often there’ s a truly exciting product y ear for the automotiv e industry like we’ re about to witness in 2021,” said Caldwell. “B etween the GMC Hummer, the Tesla Cy bertruck and a debut v ehicle from Riv ian, the EV pickup truck segment is about to explode and we’ re going to see ev en more electrifi ed SUVs enter the market. “And under the new presidential administration, there could be the possibility of new tax credits or incentiv es for indiv iduals that could fi nally help move the needle

for electric v ehicles, which for y ears hav e been slow to grow in popularity in the U.S .” Although 2021 is looking to be an exceptional y ear for the industry from a product standpoint, Edmunds experts note there are a number of uncertainties that could negatively aff ect sales. “The chip supply shortage could throw a big wrench in production for automakers, which hav e only j ust gotten back into a good groov e after shutting down during the pandemic,” said Caldwell. “And there is the bigger q uestion about what consumer demand for v ehicles is going to look like in a post-v accine world. “Lots of additional wealth and resources hav e been pushed into new car purchases for now, but people hav e been cooped up for nearly a y ear. They might choose to shift their spending to experiences rather than goods, which could be a threat to car purchases.” More insight into recent auto industry trends can be found in the Edmunds Industry Center at http: / / www.edmunds.com/ industry -center/ . S ource: Edmunds

Industry Members Share Their Predictions for the Year by Emmariah Holcomb, glassBYTEs.com

F Y 2021 is in full swing and auto glass senior leadership and business owners hav e shared why they think this year is fi lled with optimism. “F orecasting for 2021 was quite diffi cult, but we were fortunate enough to open up a couple of new stores, as we believ e in the brick and mortar,” explained Jon L aski, CEO at City Auto Glass, during Auto Glass W eek Prev iew Day held earlier in January . Laski said that City Auto Glass has increased its staff after hav ing a few promising months in 2020. B ut he’ s not the only one who’ s grown from the pandemic, as Peter Brow n, president of Tiny & S on’ s Auto Glass, said he’ s made changes to his business too. “I j ust added two new trucks and hav e trained four new technicians,” said B rown. “I think it’ s going to be okay now that people know what’ s going on and how to work with us [ since the start of the pandemic] .” T ed Andersen, v ice president

of franchising at Nov us Inc., headq uartered in S t. Paul, MN, said he’ s focused on bringing the company’s fi nancials back to what they were prior to COVID, in 2019. “As it pertains to forecasting we are going to do some expansion this y ear, we’ re bringing our collision business into the U.S . and that’ s going to allow us to grow on the collision and auto glass sides,” explained Andersen. Andersen also noted that the anticipated growth aimed for 2021 will be “tricky ” as many states are still issuing lock down orders, California being one of them. “W e’ re fortunate enough that we were deemed as an essential serv ice,” said Andersen. “I think that [ now] ev ery one understands how to operate through this [ pandemic] and it’ ll be good going forward.” W e t h a n k g l a s s B Y T Es . com p ri n t p erm i s s i on .

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March 2021 Southwest Edition  

March 2021 Southwest Edition