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Southwest Edition Texas Oklahoma Louisiana New Mexico



VOL. 30 ISSUE 5 MAY 2012 ww

Major ‘Chop Shop’ Busted in Jackson, MS, Owner Arrested, $500K in Nissan Parts Found

Dallas-Ft Worth Storms Take out 50,000 Autos and Damage 30,000 Homes

Police have uncovered a huge cache of parts stolen from a nearby Nissan plant, and from other sources, at a Jackson auto body business. Following tips from residents, officers raided Pre-

Insurers are finding out the recent severe weather in Texas took a heavy toll on vehicles. The tornadoes that ripped through Arlington, Lancaster and other parts of North Texas on April 3 left behind a load of business for roofers, body shops and tree services, according to Chad Hemenway, writing in Property

Some of the $500,000 in Nissan Parts found at the Jackson, MS, body shop labeled Nissan

cious Automotive Auto Body Restoration, on Gault Street, just off Highway 80 in Jackson, on April 18. Authorities said a majority of the merchandise came from the Nissan Plant in Canton. Crates full of Nissan parts and components were stored inside the building.

They include catalytic converters, airbags, wire harnesses, batteries and headlight assemblies. Several stolen vehicles were also recovered. J.P.D. detectives arrested the building owner, 48-year old Eric Brown. He is charged with operating a chop shop, auto theft, receiving and possession of stolen property and marijuana possession. “Detectives including officers arrived on scene and noticed approximately half a million dollars worth of merchandise that was from the Nissan production center,” said J.P.D. Officer Colendula Green. “We did surveillance on the property, came back out here today, did a chop shop inspection and from that inspection it revealed that there was items out here taken from different areas. Most items we discovered came from the Nissan plant,” said Sgt. L.C. Russell with the Auto Theft Division. “Nissan has been made aware that See Stolen Nissan Parts, Page 20



of 3 issues



Collision technician Scot Barnfield replaces a hail-damaged roof on a Nissan at the Caliber Collision Center in Keller on April 19. Photo Credit: Star-Telegram/Max Faulkner

Caliber Collision Centers, which operates 103 centers, including 16 in North Texas, has scheduled repairs on hundreds of cars damaged in the storm, said Todd Dillender, vice president of operations for North Texas. Repair centers in Lewisville, Corinth, Duncanville and Arlington have seen the most traffic, and Caliber is offering customers the option of having work done faster at less-busy Caliber centers in the area, Dillender said. “We’re able to leverage our scale

and size,” he said. Damage estimates from the storms continue to grow. Mark Hanna, spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas, said Friday that estimated insured losses from the storms have increased to $550 million from earlier estimates of $500 million. At least 50,000 autos and nearly 30,000 homes were damaged, up from earlier estimates of 45,000 autos and 25,000 homes, Hanna said. “I would not doubt that it is going to hit $600 million,” Hanna said. The storms have drawn contractors from outside the region, and Hanna stressed that consumers should deal only with firms whose reputations they can verify.

“The majority [of outside contractors] may be the nicest people in the world,” Hanna said. “But there are others who are going to take advantage of people, who are going to get up on a roof that doesn’t need work, who create damage just to get the job.” See 50,000 Autos, Page 4

Paint Focused Articles in this issue... Standox® Partnership In Excellence (PIE) Member Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 14 PCL Automotive Products Help Rich Evans Excel . . . . . .p. 13 Airbrush Artist Shannon MacDonald Uses PPG Envirobase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 32 Matrix Has World’s First Premium Low VOC Solvent Basecoat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 38 Collision Repair Estimates—Excellence Now Required . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 44

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COLUMNISTS Franklin - “Power Babes” Throw a Successful Event . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Mainstream Media - Complaints Lead to Arrest of Ohio Car Restoration Business Owner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Nigro - Reaching Beyond Traditional Advertising to Engage Your Customers. 11 Insurance Insider - ‘Survival of the Fittest’ Sherosky - Aluminum Stock—A Long-Term Auto-Related Opportunity?. . . . . . . . . . 43 Sisk - CCRE 2012 Seminar—Taking Back the Collision Repair Industry. . . . . . . . . 22 Sisk - Sharing the Message with CCRE President Tony Lombardozzi . . . . . . . . 30 Weaver - “GI—Think Like a Mechanic!” . . 27 Yoswick - Standards Program in the U.K. Offers Lessons for the U.S. . . . . . . . . . 35

NATIONAL AAIA and ASE Recognize World Class Technicians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Automakers Could Face up to $250M in Recall Fines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Boyd Group Achieves Record Sales in 2011, Acquisitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 CAPA Adds SF Insurance Executive to Board. 10 Carlsbad, NM, School Super Vernon Asbill Recalls a Lesson . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 CARSTAR & Mitchell Inc. Join Efforts on Store Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Chrysler Recalls Some ‘12 Jeep Patriot And Compasses for Suspected Fuel Tank Flaws. 26

Chrysler Recalls Some’12 Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravans for Machining . 26 Platform Now Available . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Diamond Standard Says its Warranty Exceeds the OEMs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 DOE to Accelerate New High-Tech Materials for Autos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Eastern Student of the Month Wants to Inherit Collision Repair Instructor’s Job Eventually . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Enterprise Elite Service Partner Program Launches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Farmers Recognizes Caliber Collsion as MSO of the Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Insurer Report Card in Oregon Ranks State Farm #1, Farmers and GEICO Replace Allstate at Lowest Rank . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Iowa Collision Repair Centers Raise $1,329 for Charity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 LKQ’s ‘Promise of Protection Program’ has Launched . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 MN Court Awards $157K in Progressive Ins. Underpays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Mopar Division Introduces First In-Vehicle Wireless Charging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 New Jersey’s Shade Tree Garage Wants Auto Related “Junk” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 NHTSA Proposes Standard for Brake-Throttle Override . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Oregon Body Shop Steps Up to Help Student’s Project Destroyed by Vandals, Assistance Helps him Graduate . . . . . . 16 OSHA Publishes Final “Right to Understand” Rule. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Peter Vann Joins Urethane Supply Company Sales Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Poway, CA, Navy Veteran Has Vehicle Painted to Honor Troops. . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Registration for SEMA 2012 is Now Open for Attendees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Rich Evans CoSponsors Fundraiser for Baby Cancer Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Sixth Baltimore Police Officer in Body Shop Scam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Study Says EVs Cost $1200 Less to Run . 26 VW Names OEConnection as Collision Program Provider. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Women’s Industry Network Adds New Boardmembers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18


Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Assistant Editor: Erica Schroeder Contributing Writers: Tom Franklin, John Yoswick, Lee Amaradio, Dan Espersen Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Mike Causey, Tom McGee, David Brown, Rich Evans, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Sean Hartman, Jay Lukes (800) 699-8251 Sales Assistant: Kristy Navarro Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia

Collision Repair Estimates—Excellence Now Required . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Matrix System Launches World’s First Premium Low VOC Solvent Basecoat . . 38 PCL Automotive Products Help Rich Evans Excel on Every Project he Touches . . . . 13 Schroeder - Airbrush Artist Shannon MacDonald Uses PPG Envirobase to Bring Icons to Life on Vehicles and Just About Everything Else. . . . . . . . . . 32 Standox® Partnership In Excellence (PIE) Member Conference Offers Insight Into Industry Trends, Human Resources & Marketing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14


REGIONAL Abilene Chamber of Commerce Business Expo Attracts Shops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 ASA’s Annual Business Meeting Set For May 7–8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 AutoBody America Opens 19th Location in Arkansas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Body Shop Owner Eddie Lopez Shot Dead in Early, TX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 BodyshopBids Helps Pay for Tornado Damaged Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Dallas-Ft Worth Storms Take out 50,000 Autos and Damage 30,000 Homes . . . . 1 GEICO Lowers Commercial Auto Rates in TX. 6 Houston Auto Body Assn’s Shop Appreciation Event . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Louisiana Woman Arrested for Insurance Fraud, Faces 5 Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Major ‘Chop Shop’ Busted in Jackson, MS, Owner Arrested, $500K in Nissan Parts Found . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 NWLCRA Meeting Hosts Diesel Mechanics Instructor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Obituary for Eddie Lopez, Brownwood Businessman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Paceline Adds Shop in Abilene . . . . . . . . . . 7 Service King Looks for Funding For National Expansion, Cathy Bonner to Direct Strategy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 SkillsUSA One of the Best Educational Values in Texas and USA . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Texas DMV’s Street Rod and Custom Policy called Flawed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 TIAA Holds May 23 Meeting, Jeff Franco to Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Melanie Anderson joined the Autobody News editorial team in April, 2012 as Assistant Editor. She received her Journalism degree from Humboldt State University and has been a professional writer for more than 20 years. Her background includes working as a newspaper reporter, a freelance writer and as a public relations and marketing communications professional. Melanie recently re-located back to San Diego county after Jay Lukes joined the Auhaving raised two kids in northern California. She tobody News sales and maris very happy to be back in the area. For fun, keting team in April, 2012 as a Melanie enjoys travel, photography, explorRegional Sales Manager. Originally ing locally, gardening and spending time from the Chicago area, he has spent with family and friends. If you have a the last 25 years in Southern California. story idea, please contact her at He has worked in the marketing and adver(800) 699-8251 or email to tising community since graduating from Cal manderson@autoboPoly San Luis Obispo and enjoys the relationships he builds with his clients. Jay’s most recent position was coordinating ad sales for Google’s online clients. When he’s not working, Jay likes spending time with his family, Notre Dame Football and traveling, preferably to Cabo San Lucas. He’s also an avid sailor having boated everywhere from Lake Michigan to Panama. Call Jay about an ad in any of our editions, or just to say “Hi” at 800699-8251 or email

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Serving Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico and adjacent metro areas, Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2012 Adamantine Media LLC.

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Accudraft. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 39 Chevyland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Chief Automotive. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Classic BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Classifieds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 CSS USA, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Dallas Dodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 David McDavid Auto Group . . . . . . . 2 Equalizer Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers TX, OK, LA, NM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Fowler I-240 Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge. . 9 Garmat USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Gene Messer Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . 27 GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . 40 Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24-25 Huffines Hyundai Plano . . . . . . . . . 18 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . 36 Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers. 29 LKQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 44 Mercedes-Benz of Oklahoma City . 34

Mike Calvert Toyota. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 23 North Freeway Hyundai . . . . . . . . . 31 PCL Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Ray Huffines Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Reliable Chevrolet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Replica Plastics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Russell & Smith Ford-Mazda . . . . . 20 Safety Regulations Strategies. . . . . 33 SATA Spray Equipment . . . . . . . . . 11 Scoggin-Dickey Buick . . . . . . . . . . 28 Solution Finish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 South Pointe Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge. 15 Star-A-Liner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Toyota of Fort Worth . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Toyota of Laredo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 41 Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Volvo Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 41 Young Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 | MAY 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 3

Service King Looks for Funding For National Expansion, Cathy Bonner to Direct Strategy Dallas-based Service King plans to embark on an ambitious national expansion led by new president Cathy Bonner intended to double revenue over the next five years. Service King Collision Repair Centers is actively looking for private equity to help fund a national expansion effort. The chain of collision-repair centers, founded in 1976 by current chairman Eddie Lennox, recently opened seven shops in Houston and the fact that some were profitable after three months prompted Lennox to expand beyond Texas. Jennifer Kirk, vice president of marketing for Service King, said Lennox is spearheading the Cathy Bonner effort. Lennox announced the growth strategy internally to the company’s 1,500 employees in a video broadcast April 17. “We were able to experiment with a lot of things in Houston that might work for us nationally,” said Lennox, 57, a former body-repair man who started Service King in a three-bay tin building in West Dallas. Most of Service King’s 31 shops and 1,000 employees are in the Dallas

area. The privately held company, which says it has a 20 percent market share in the area, expects to repair about 70,000 vehicles and earn $150 million in revenue this year. Service King is working with wealth management firm BB&T, based in WinstonSalem, NC, to help find the appropriate investment partner. Kirk said Service King’s goal of partnering with an investment firm is to help the company establish additional shop locations throughout the U.S.—beyond the 47 facilities it already operates in Texas. “We are not being sold or boughtout,” Kirk said. “Our goal is to become a national organization. We just want to grow beyond Texas, and become the largest and best-run collision center in the United States.” Service King has not yet decided much about the new locations, or how much capital it needs to acquire, or even which areas of the country it target, Kirk said. Those decisions will be made in conjunction with the eventual investment partner. Cathy Bonner, a Dallas native, is Lennox’s sister-in-law. She has started and managed three marketing and communications firms. She will take point on developing a strategic plan

Continued from Cover

tennis balls—which fell during the April 3 severe-weather outbreak in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Nicole Alley, spokeswoman for USAA, says the Texas-based insurer is also seeing many auto claims. The insurer has received about 3,800 total claims. Jerry Davies, spokesman for Farmers Insurance, says the storm system was a “huge hail event.” Farmers has received nearly 5,000 claims, and 3,120 are auto claims. The insurer sent its mobileclaims-center bus toArlington,Texas. The bus is equipped with communications equipment, laptops and phones for customers and non-customers. Stephenson says he has seen many storm sites, and every one affects him. “You go in knowing what you are going to see; you’ve seen it before,” he says. “But when you get there, it’s always overwhelming.” For many carriers, claims are accumulating fast as homeowners pile

50,000 Repairs At Caliber, Dillender estimated that it might take several months to work through the backlog of hail damage. “It’s a little early to tell,” he said on April 19. Insurance-claims activity is still fluid, “and I think it’s going to carry on for a couple more months.” Customers in Coppell were hit hardest by the storms, he said. Damage from hail and flying debris was the most common problem, he said. If customers at a busy center choose to have another Caliber facility repair their vehicle, Caliber will transport it to and from that center, Dillender said. All the work, however, stays within the region, he said. State Farm has logged 8,610 auto claims, and 1,221 vehicles can’t be driven. Most automobiles that cannot be driven suffered damage from the tornadoes, says spokesman Gary Stephenson. Other autos show significant damage from hail—some the size of

See 50,000 Autos, Page 14


for growth, determining which markets Service King should enter and overseeing that plan. “Eddie approached me and convinced me I don”t need to know how to fix a car,” said Bonner, 60, a finalist in 2007 for The Dallas Morning News” “Texan of the Year” award for her work to pass legislation creating the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. “I just get to build on their success.” Bonner said she intends to have a growth strategy plan completed by the first of the year. “I had a lot of experience identifying new markets and bringing in corporations when I was with the state,” said Bonner, who was part of a team of officials in the early 1990s that helped convince General Motors Corp. to not close its assembly plant in Arlington. “This relates to growth and getting someone who can help us achieve it—and not ex-technicians like myself,” Lennox said. Kirk said the growth initiative would not cause any changes to Service King’s business structure. Lennox

intends to remain involved with the company, and no employee layoffs are expected, she said. Bonner, does not get stock in Service King, says she doesn”t view her job as a long-term position. Lennox’s 34year-old son, Jeremy, will assist her. “I”m not going to dilute the stock,” she said. “I see my role as being short in terms of achieving the goals we want to attain.” Despite its moves to get larger, Service King has no interest in going public, said Lennox, who holds 80 percent of Service King’s stock along with his wife. Managers throughout the company own the remaining 20 percent. “We”re well capitalized, and we have good banking relationships,” he said. “We envision doubling our revenue in three to five years.” “This is strictly a growth strategy, and the result of a growth plan we”ve identified for 2012. The timing is right,” Kirk said. “It’s all good for the employees at Service King. It allows for more opportunity for everybody within the company to grow with us in the future.”


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ASA’s Annual Business Meeting Set For May 7–8

ASA’s next annual business meeting will be held May 7 and 8, 2012, at the Grand Hyatt at DFW International Airport, located at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in North Texas. Registration for the event is now open. The two-day event will include the association’s Affiliate Assembly; Board of Directors meeting; State of the Association Address; and the Association Leadership Summit. Ron Pyle, ASA president, will deliver a state-of-the-association address during a Tuesday luncheon, and a new chairman of the ASA board of directors will be sworn in during the event. All ASA members are invited to attend the event. Online registration is open until May 3 at the ASA website, If you prefer, you can also download the registration form on ASA’s website and fax it to (817) 514-0770. For additional information regarding the ASA annual business meeting, contact Carol Dennis at (800) 272-7467, ext. 120.

Texas DMV’s Street Rod and Custom Policy called Flawed

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has issued its policies and procedures for issuance of titles and specialty license plates to vehicle owners seeking registration as street rods or custom vehicles. The policy also provides for a basic safety equipment inspection to be performed by an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) master technician. These procedures were drafted pursuant to the 2011 enactment into law of SEMA-model legislation. Originally slated to go into effect September 1, 2011, the new law defines a street rod as an altered vehicle manufactured before 1949 and a custom as an altered vehicle at least 25 years old and manufactured after 1948. The law also allows for the use of non-original materials and creates a titling and registration criterion that assigns these vehicles the same model-year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble. In addition, the law only holds street rods, customs and replicas to the equipment standards specified by law during the model year listed on the title of the vehicle.

BodyshopBids Helps Pay for Tornado Damaged Vehicles

BodyShopBids, a Web-based platform that allows consumers to solicit repair estimates from local body shops, announced it will help cover repair costs for vehicles that were damaged during recent tornados in the Dallas metro area. BodyShopBids said it will pay for 25 percent of outof-pocket repair costs on consumer vehicles that were damaged in the storms throughout the month of April. “For those Dallas-Fort Worth residents who suffered damage to their vehicle, we’re hoping to alleviate at least some of the stress by providing a simple solution to get their car back into shape and defray some of the costs,” said Brad Weisberg, founder and CEO of BodyShopBids. Chicago-based BodyShopBids provides a Web and mobile platform to connect consumers who need auto body repairs with body shops through an online bidding system. Users are able to upload photos of their damaged vehicles and receive custom quotes from local body shops for free. For more information, visit


GEICO Lowers Commercial Auto Rates in Texas

Insurance direct marketer, GEICO, has announced that it is lowering commercial auto insurance rates for business owners in Texas. Commercial insurance packages cover the cars, trucks and vans used in conducting business, including for small businesses such as contractors, retailers, caterers, professional services and others. In addition to providing protection for a variety of business vehicles, GEICO’s business insurance products also include general liability insurance and business owner’s policies through the GEICO Insurance Agency. The company’s announcement did not specify a percentage decrease in rates that it plans to offer. GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Co.) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies. GEICO handles auto insurance coverage for 11 million private passenger auto policies and insures more than 17.5 million vehicles, the company said.


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800-699-8251 e-mail: 6 MAY 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS |

Houston Auto Body Assn’s Shop Appreciation Event

The Houston Auto Body Association (HABA) held their second annual Body Shop Owners and Managers Appreciation Event on Tuesday, April 24th from 7pm to 9pm at the Cadillac Bar & Grill in Houston. Members were asked to RSVP to this event by downloading the invitation at James Brown, President of the association, asked attendees to also hand out as many of these invitations to as many body shop owners and managers as possible. According to Brown, the association has a lot of Associate Members that will be key players in passing out these invitations to all the body shops they call on. The association held this event in lieu of a monthly meeting for April. Food and Beverages will be provided. “I am so proud of our Associate Members who are willing to sponsor events like these. Although we have the cost of this event covered, there is an opportunity for all of our Associate Members to participate by donating “Door Prizes” that will be given out that evening. Brown asked a for list of the door prizes members planned to donate so we can recognize you as we draw names throughout the evening,” said Brown.

AutoBody America Opens 19th Location in Arkansas

AutoBody America, a Nashville, Tennessee based operator of high-quality collision repair facilities in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas, announced the acquisition of Royal Coach Autobody in Fayetteville, Arkansas. This is the Company’s third location in Arkansas and increases the total number of AutoBody America stores to nineteen. The 10,000 square foot facility is located in the center of the business district and is convenient to the University of Arkansas campus. Patrick James, CEO of AutoBody America said, “Royal Coach fit perfectly into our growth plans for Northwest Arkansas. This facility has an excellent reputation in the community, an energetic team in place, a beautiful, wellequipped collision center and a desirable location. Richard Greene built a business to be very proud of, and we look forward to carrying on his legacy in the market for years to come.” “We are so grateful to pass our business on to Auto Body America,” said Greene. “My decision to retire was sealed once I met the ABA management team. I know our employees, customers, suppliers, and insurance partners will be well-served by such a fine group of individuals.”

TIAA Holds May 23 Meeting, Jeff Franco to Speak

Hunter Hooge, Membership Director the Texas Independent Automotive Association reminds members that on Weds., May 23, TIAA will be having a collision specific meeting. Jeff Franco, past president of the Arizona collision association will be speaking. The meeting will focus on: 1) Jeff's history and experience with the California Autobody Association, along with involvement in State legislation, aftermarket parts issues, along with insurance issues. 2) The benefits of belonging to an association, working as a team to tackle some of the everyday issues that collision shops deal with on a daily basis. 3) Dealing with issues on a national Level as well as being represented at Industry conferences such as CIC, SCRS, etc. Right now TIAA is seeing significant membership growth on the collision side of the organization. The meeting will be held at 6:30 pm at Pompeii Italian Grill, 16109 Nacogdoches Rd, San Antonio, TX 78247. Dinner starts at 7:00 pm. For more information, contact Hunter Hooge at (210) 445-7625.

Louisiana Woman Arrested for Insurance Fraud, Faces 5 Years A 26-year-old Lake Charles, La., woman was arrested for insurance fraud on March 26. Louisiana State Police say a vehicle registered to Natalie Fontenot was involved in an April 2010 crash in a private parking lot in Westlake. Investigators say Fontenot claimed she was driving and that her young son was with her at the time of the crash, but neither Fontenot nor her son was present at the time of the crash and in an interview she later admitted to not being in the vehicle when the accident occurred. She faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Paceline Adds Shop in Abilene

Paceline Collision Centers has added a fifth location in Abilene, TX. “We are proud to have a presence in Abilene. We are focused on underserved markets in Texas. We knew that both the residents of Abilene and the insurers who serve them were in need of a process-driven, customer-focused repair facility. We are pleased to fill that void,” said Paceline President Shannon Martin. Paceline is headquartered in Lampasas, TX, with locations in Killeen, Marble Falls and Copperas Cove.

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SkillsUSA One of the Best Educational Values in Texas and USA SkillsUSA, was founded in 1966 as Vocational Industrial Clubs of America and changed its name in 1999. It sends in skilled workers from various trades to train teachers and students alike on how to perform specialized work. Its

goal is to prepare students for a future in a wide variety of trade, technical and skilled service occupations. Easily recognizable by their bright red blazers at events, the students participate in competitions featuring a wide variety of

NWLCRA Meeting Hosts Diesel Mechanics Instructor

The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association (NWLCRA) held their monthly members meeting on February 7 at 6:30 pm at the Country Tavern Barbecue in Shreveport, LA. Membership dues for 2012 are due. Future meetings will be held during the day, starting with April’s meeting. Day meetings will be held from April to September. The NWLCRA provided drinks for the judges at the SkillsUSA judging in February. The night’s guest speaker was Clay Giecek, a Diesel Mechanic/Instructor for the Northwest Louisiana Technical College. Clay discussed the upcoming Shell Eco Challenge. The challenge is open to high schools and colleges and is a contest to see which team can design and build a car that gets the best fuel economy. Clay said that the Northwest Louisiana Technical College has been helping Benton High School, in Benton, LA, build their car for the last few years. Teams must have their cars complete a 10 lap race. This year the event is going to be held in Houston, TX. Clay said that the drivers accelerate, then coast when driving during the event; Clay said that they probably coast 9 of the 10 laps. The car is to be as light as possible. In 2010, the Challenge was held in France, and the winning car was able to get over 11,000 miles per gallon. The winner in the High School class in the United States last year got over 600 miles per gallon. Last year Benton High School was able to get over 500 miles per gallon on a Honda tiller motor. Clay thinks they will do better this year on mileage, but the car will be heavier. Teams that win this event will be on Good Morning America, as this is a World-Wide event. Any help that anyone can provide will be rewarded with a decal with their business name on the side of the car. There are different prizes for college and high school teams and also different levels of competition based on college and high school. Kevin Adams with Krystal Auto Collision, Inc., asked what was needed to help and said he would donate some materials that Clay said are needed. Chesapeake Energy will also be donating funds for this event. Clay added that next year, the North-

west Louisiana Technical College will be entering their own car in this event. For more information on this event, see the website at /home/content/ecomarathon/americas. NWLCRA Secretary Treasurer Bill Burnside then gave the group a demonstration on a new website for the Collision Industry. This website is for jobs in the Collision Industry, hence the name, Bill stated that this website allows the Professional Technician or Student-Entry Level Technician to add their application to it’s database. Owners and managers of Collision Centers can then review the applications in their state and city for any job openings they have. Owners and managers of Collision Centers can also place job openings they have on this website so unemployed technicians can review them. These services are free, users just need to request a user name and password. Bill stated that is just beginning so there might not be a lot of information available yet. He added that this site allows Instructors to make comments on the applicants/technicians that were/are their students, so shop owners would have a little better quality information on the applicant/technician. He added that under the Frequently Asked Questions section, you can print a simple sign that states Applications are taken online through, so owners and managers can focus on running their businesses and review applicants at their convenience, rather than being interrupted. Bill said that the site is funded by advertisers. Dick McDaniel of Car-O-Liner said he has been in the Collision Industry since 1968 as an owner of a Collision Shop and thinks this is the best idea that has happened to the Collision Industry that he has ever seen. Bill said that NWLCRA members can go to and review the website and give him feedback during the next NWLCRA meeting. He is also available at if you would like to email him feedback on the site. For more information about the association please visit


contests from graphic design to sheet metal assembly along with leadership conferences. SkillsUSA includes with its masonry of career training programs ethical lessons. The students recite a creed that teaches the importance of education, fair play, the satisfaction of hard work, the American way of life, and having moral and spiritual standards. “Forty-five years and not everyone knows about us,” said Linda Holcombe, executive director of the Texas Industrial Vocational Association (which works with SkillsUSA to train career technology teachers). However, awareness of SkillsUSA is building in Texas. Holcombe said that one of the highlights of the year for their teachers and students occurs during the SkillsUSA-Texas Day at the state Capitol, where a mock legislative session is held. The exposure at the Capitol is apparently paying off. “In 2007 ... we aligned 19 career and tech courses to fulfill the fourth year of science and math,” Holcombe said. “We’ve also created a career technology course for

a speech credit, and another for a finearts credit.” The organization recently wrapped up SkillsUSA Month in March, celebrated in many public schools. Holcombe said SkillsUSA saw a 10 percent membership increase over the past year. According to Holcombe, industry required certifications are tickets to well-paying jobs in specialized, hightech fields. “The certifications keep them from being ditch-diggers,” Holcombe said. “They prepare them for the world of work because they get the training industries need.” OSHA certifications are available for students at the entry level, which is a prerequisite in many manufacturing environments. If you know a junior high or high school student who is interested in 3-D animation, plumbing, advertising art, cosmetology, radio production, firefighting, aircraft repair, drafting, cabinetry, commercial baking, machinery, collision repair, nurse assisting, let them know about SkillsUSA.


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CAPA Adds SF Insurance Executive to Board

The Certified Automotive Parts Association has elected Carol Waldron of State Farm Mutual Insurance Company to CAPA’s Board. “CAPA is fortunate to have Carol join us in our effort to ensure truly high quality alternative parts are readily available to the market. Carol’s extensive background contributes to the broad range of industry expertise and organizations who’ve joined together on CAPA’s board to keep repairs affordable, cars repairable, and protect consumers from poor quality,” said Jack Gillis, Executive Director of the non-profit association. “State Farm, and many other diverse organizations, joining together in CAPA, provide a unique insight into issues facing the aftermarket parts industry and make an important contribution to CAPA’s continuing success. We look forward to working with Carol.” CAPA’s Board includes: Bill Brower, Liberty Mutual Insurance; Bill Daly, Allstate Insurance; Bill DeGrocco, GEICO; Jack Gillis, CAPA; John Palumbo, PartsChannel, Inc.; Clark Plucinski, Boyd’s Group /Gerber; Ed Salamy, K.S.I. Trading Corp.; Ben Steinman, Ben’s Auto Body; Carol Waldron, State Farm.

Registration for SEMA 2012 is Now Open for Attendees

The market for hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles is perking up significantly, with much of the credit going to the high price of gas. In the first three months of 2012, U.S. sales of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and EVs shot up 44 percent from the year-ago quarter, to 113,457. March sales of those vehicles were double those of January. It was a breakout quarter for sales of vehicles with alternative powertrains, which had been rising at a much slower pace than expected despite waves of fresh entries. The strong performance is a measure of validation for automakers that have persevered despite tepid demand for hybrids and criticism in political circles. Hybrids accounted for the bulk of alternative powertrain sales, 106,207, compared with 7,250 EVs and plug-in hybrids. Better sales of Toyota Prius drove much of the growth as buyers snapped up recently launched models, including a wagon and subcompact. Also providing a lift: launches of General Motors’ mild hybrid technology, dubbed eAssist, on volume models such as the redesigned Chevrolet Malibu, released in February.

Peter Vann Joins Urethane Supply Company Sales Team

Peter Vann, collision repair consultant and trainer, has joined Urethane Supply Company (USC) as the West Coast sales representative. Vann comes to USC with much aftermarket experience, including as a consultant for Caliber Collision Centers and a technical trainer for VeriFacts Automotive, Cerritos College, 3M, Pro Spot and Car Bench. He was also an estimator supervisor/production manager at a certified BMW collision center and a certified Mercedes-Benz collision center, both in California. Vann is based in Southern California. Beginning May 1, he will be responsible for all states west of the Rocky Mountains. Vann has been trained on USC’s new Nitrogen Welding System. In addition, he has training from I-CAR, Car Bench, Blackhawk Automotive, Chief Automotive Technologies (EZ Liner), Autorobot, Celette (Bench), MercedesBenz of North America, BMW of North America, the American Iron and Steel Institute, the American Welding Institute and Cerritos College. Said USC President Kurt Lammon. “His industry knowledge is exceptional, and he is a solid addition to our sales team.”

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Enterprise Elite Service Partner Program Launches

Assured Performance Network and Enterprise Rent-A-Car have introduced the Enterprise Elite Service Partner Program. This program, using the certification services of Assured Performance Network, allows collision repair facilities to take advantage of innovative service tools including Enterprise® Priority Pass, an upgraded level of replacement rental service designed to increase customer satisfaction. Shops enrolling in the program also will receive several communications tools. For example, Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s ARMS® Automotive suite of products streamlines communication between shops and Enterprise. In addition, Customer Status Notification software enables shops to keep consumers informed on the progress of their vehicle repairs. Enrollment in the Enterprise Elite Service Partner program is open to repair businesses that are able to become officially certified by Assured Performance and meet the qualifications to participate in its Certified Collision Care Partner Network. Please visit for more details.


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The Community-Focused Body Shop with Domenico Nigro

Domenico Nigro is the president of Nigro’s Auto Body, a very progressive shop for their community in Philadelphia. In addition to many productivity innovations, Nigro’s installs equipment for disabled drivers, has developed several phone Applications, and represents products which directly support charities such as United Way and the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Contact him at:

Reaching Beyond Traditional Advertising to Engage Your Customers We know that customers only use a body shop once every seven years on average. For this reason, marketing to the end user is tougher than most other industries. To make matters worse, the insurance company is engaged in almost constant dialog with your cus-

tomers. This relationship allows them to direct (steer) customers towards body shops that succumb to their demands and play by their rules. What commercials do your customers see on TV? Insurance companies dominate the airwaves but they aren’t the ones fixing your car and they don’t necessarily have the shop owners’ best interest in mind. If they did, they would always use the specifications and recommendations of the car man-

ufacturer to use original parts when necessary, and not using aftermarket or used parts that are not recommended and take much more to install. So how do we create our own relationships with the customers? Traditional advertising can miss the mark, and the message may be lost by the time they need your services. There are other sources of information for traditional marketing and advertising techniques, such as radio, tv and print media. I want to to discuss other ways you can make a lasting impression when reaching potential customers that may only need your services once or twice a decade. We’re fighting an uphill battle. How do we connect with new customers when most of them let the insurance company tell them where to take their car? There are several meth-

ods for making an impression and getting your message out, here a few that I’ve used successfully. Get involved with local and national charities. We’ve done several campaigns that benefit local and national charities. This is a great way to separate your shop from the competitors and creates loyalty and awareness for your shop. This can be as simple as hosting an Alex’s lemonade stand event (see outside your shop, or holding a toy drive, or something as complex as a benefit event. When you figure out what sort of involvement level suits your needs and resources, you can often receive press coverage by sending out a press release and most charities will assist with getting the word out. One example we found very successful was the our “Choose your Charity” program, where customers

were given a choice of five different charities that they could donate half of their deductible to. Each of the charities promoted the program (and our shop) themselves because they directly benefit from its success. Community involvement: Hold a class, sponsor a local event, volunteer for local non-profits. Community Involvement is a great way to reach your potential customers in a more intimate and effective setting. We’ve partnered with the local hospital and Safe Kids to serve as a Car Seat Inspection center and for a few hours each month we inspect and install car seats for free. This allows us time to engage the customer and show that we are dedicated to the community. Partner with local schools, sponsor a little league team, or get involved with your Local Boy Scouts chapter to offer a badge. Take part in a spring cleaning or beautification proj- | MAY 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 11

ect and ask your employees to volunteer too. Word of mouth: This can be one of your best sources and it’s “free.” Of course, nothing is really free, and if you want to boost word of mouth referrals there is effort involved. Car accidents are one of the worst things that can happen to a customer. How can shop owners help to turn that negative experience into a positive one? Make sure every interaction with your customers is a positive one. From the moment they pick up the phone or walk in the door, you’re creating brand impressions that could determine whether or not they would refer you others. Say “thank you,” educate them about the process, and never speak down to your customers. This may sound like common sense but you’d be surprised how many shops fail to follow these simple rules and loose referrals as a consequence. Take pride in your work and give them the best possible service you can offer. The effort will be appreciated and the customer is more likely to tell others about their positive experience. Ask for testimonials: If they seem satisfied, don’t be afraid to ask

for a testimonial. You can even offer a small incentive, such as a branded air freshener, for their time. Set up a computer at the office dedicated for online review sites so it’s easy for your customers to leave a review or testimonial while they’re still in your shop.

Keep in touch: Hopefully you’re already gathering customer emails. Keep a list and send out monthly newsletters with coupons, tips and news. This helps you stay on their radar so that when you are needed, it’s easier for them to remember you as their first phone call when they get in an accident. Offer referral rewards: You’re not going to go out of business by offering a referral reward. Many shop

owners feel like this is an unnecessary incentive but there’s no other marketing initiative that will guarantee you a better return on your investment. You can pre-print testimonial cards. Take advantage of your storefront traffic: Use your building’s storefront and curbside space. You can tastefully add ground displays or banners that alert street traffic to specific deals or services you want to feature. You can do it without being overwhelming or unsightly. The insurance companies have billboards, after all, and this is one way to compete in that market without the costs of billboard ad campaigns. Education: An educated consumer is your best customer. Most consumers are shopping for price and don’t know how to look for true value in a shop’s products and services. Do they know the difference between value and price? It’s your job to educate them on the difference and then explain how you shop provides that value. Teach them what to look for in an auto body shop, how the repair process works, and how claims are handled. This can be achieved through

a pamphlet, a video on your website, poster, floor displays, or face to face education. They should understand safety requirements and what they should expect from quality repairs and parts. Educating the adjuster: Educate the adjuster on your processes. Tell them what you’re doing and why you’re performing certain operations on a vehicle. Go over the P-pages logic and give proper documentation to the adjuster. If you can prove that what you’re doing is right, and educate them, you can make more money on existing claims by getting properly paid for the services you provide. This is an easy way to increase your revenue without any increase in the number of jobs your shop sees and it’s the first step in leveling the playing field between your shop and the insurance companies. That should be your overall goal.


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PCL Automotive Products Help Rich Evans Excel on Every Project he Touches by Ed Attanasio Almost every successful car builder/painter over the years has been able to find what they call their “go to” products—whether it’s paint, primers, sealers or even a certain tape product that they utilize in almost all their work. Rich Evans, reality television star, Autobody News columnist, and owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks, uses products made by Pacific Coast Lacquer (PCL Automotive) in every project he does. After 3,000 jobs performed over his 25-year career as a premier car builder and collision repair expert, Evans knows what he wants and what he needs to produce quality work time after time. That’s why he exclusively uses PCL’s refinishing products, primarily the company’s primers and clears, as well as their flat black topcoats, that have become increasingly popular with customizers and body shops alike. Evans has nothing but great things to say about PCL and identifies the manufacturer’s role in consistently saving time and money on every job that comes through the doors at Huntington Beach Bodyworks. “I use their products on a wide range of projects and they perform perfectly every single time. I started using PCL’s products in 2000, when

I built my Hummer Limousine (see photo) out a 2002 Chevy pickup with the 333-inch wheel base on it. That was the first time I was introduced to PCL, because I had miles of panel blocking to do on that vehicle.” Evans appreciates PCL’s primers because of their versatility and quality. “We use a ton of their #901 (gray primer) and the black primer, #903. What’s great about their #901 primer is that it’s a high build primer. I shoot it out of a 1.9 gun. I can pull the trigger and just blast on a panel and it will fill 36 and 80 grit scratches faster than most other types of primers. It’s actually a polyester product, so it’s just like spreading polyester putty on but with a gun, which allows me to

SHOP & PRODUCT SHOWCASE Huntington Beach Bodyworks Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Telephone: 714-842-9907 Company At A Glance...

Type: Collision Repair & Customization Facility Employees: One

In Business Since: 1992 DRP Programs: Zero

Number of Locations: One

Combined Production Space: 13,000 square feet Evans designed and built this stunning 1964 Lincoln Continental using PCL primers and clears on the TV show Autoholics on the Speed Channel

skip steps and spray it as opposed to spreading it.” Uniformity and consistency is vital to the way Evans does his body work. “My approach has never changed over the years and I won’t ever deviate because it works for me,” he said. “Basically, I shape with 36 grit sand paper and then get the 36-grit scratches removed with the 80 grit; then I move onto the 150 grit and then chase the 150 scratches with the 400 grit, either dry or wet. Then I’m ready to apply the PCL sealer which gives me a great foundation to lay down my paint. When I can do it all in one single step, I’m saving time and—as I always say— time is money! “At the end of the day, I’m not going to get any shrinkage or imperfections, and that’s key,” Evans emphasized. “Many of the primers out there right now on the market will cause shrinkage, which means you have to take mil build off of your clear to try and chase the shrinkage out. The shrinkage is like a dry river bed that shows all the imperfections. But PCL’s primers provide a solid platform so it does not move after it dries. It gives me a lot of options depending on the situation. In the end PCL’s primers can allow me to skip a few steps if I want to. By switching a step and filling those scratches in, I can complete the job faster. On average, it can save me 50% in time when I go that way, so it’s a big deal, especially when I’m super busy. Sometimes it can even save me up to 75% of the time I’d spend otherwise.

“When I do a hot rod and I’m in a hurry, I will take each panel and instead of just applying Bondo™ I can get everything in the ballpark with a heavy mil build. That way, I can then work with the product without putting Bondo™ on, or it allows me to work with the product and get my panels true. Because I can apply as much as a gallon on one panel and by the time I come back and hit it with 80, 150 and 400 grit, I’ve already removed 60% of the product while getting the build I need. That means I don’t have to put more Bondo™ on it. Anyone who does this type of work knows that it takes time to mix Bondo™ up and spread it.” Evans also appreciates the PCL’s customer support as well. “Our PCL field rep is Paul Casanova and he’s great. They’ve been sponsoring me for the past six years and I used their products on the reality show Car Warriors (see Corvette photo) where we were able to complete cars within 72 hours with a high quality, long-lasting paint job. Without PCL’s products, we never could have been able to do what we did on that show. And we probably wouldn’t have been able to be so creative and the quality would have suffered if we didn’t have the PCL primers and sealers when we did our Lincoln Continental (see photo) in just eight days on Autoholics. It’s a big part of my process and it helps me to do things in a speedy time. I tell people that I am a “mutt painter” because I never commit to one paint manufacturer or paint line, but I have stuck with PCL from day one!”

The first time he ever used PCL’s products, Rich Evans built a Hummer Limousine out of a 2002 Chevy pickup with a 333-inch wheel base.

Evans and his crew used PCL products while building this amazing 1976 Corvette on the T.V. car building competition Car Warriors

PCL Automotive Phone: (800) 752-1566 x 260 email: website: | MAY 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 13

Standox® Partnership In Excellence (PIE) Member Conference Offers Insight Into Industry Trends, Human Resources & Marketing Standox® recently hosted its 2012 Standox® Partnership In Excellence (PIE) Member Conference in Maui, HI, for collision center PIE members from the United States and Canada.

Keith Sena, Standox® Brand Manager

The PIE Program is a business partner with Standox® customers, maintaining a shared goal to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage, through quality networking, innovative marketing and intelligent programs. Member benefits include Member Conferences,

Training Programs, Strategic Partner Relationships, Business Council Membership and Bowtie Bucks Rebate. The meeting was held at The RitzCarlton, Kapalua on the island of Maui and gave PIE members the opportunity to network and learn from each other in a relaxing environment. The conference is an excellent forum for collaboration and networking among the collision center owners and managers who attend. Attendees also can take the knowledge they gain from conference sessions and from their peers, back to their collision centers, inspiring their future business decisions. Opening the conference were industry experts Greg Horn, Mitchell International; Bruce Cooley, DuPont Performance Coatings (DPC); and George Avery, State Farm Insurance. They each offered valuable insights into key industry trends impacting collision repairers and insurance business models. Steve Trapp from DPC also presented attendees with scorecard Improvement. The conference also featured an informative discussion by Dave Smith

of Enterprise Rent-A-Car on human resource insight. Scott Bragg of Marketing Associates closed the conference with a presentation about inbound marketing and digital strategy. “Standox® has been hosting PIE Member Conferences for over a decade. It allows our key customers the opportunity of three days of networking, learning and relaxing,” said Keith Sena, brand manager. “Our focus with the conference is to give our customers a detailed review of key industry trends that will affect them in the coming year, give them some specific tools that they can use to improve their businesses in areas that they’ve said are important to them—and of course, put a group of smart business people in the same room to allow them to learn from each other.”


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New Jersey’s Shade Tree Garage Wants Auto Related “Junk” Gather your old car parts, used motor oil, batteries, mercury switches and even old child car seats and bring it to Shade Tree Garage. The Morristown auto repair shop is one of the few in the area certified by the New Jersey Green Auto Repair Council and collects these materials for recycling. Grassroots is a feature of the Gannet-Daily Record and staff there interviewed owner John O’Connor what it means to be a green shop, and what he’s going to do with all that old stuff (hint: it won’t end up in a landfill!). Grassroots: What makes your auto repair shop “green?” John O’Connor: We have been recycling since before it was cool to recycle. We always recycled oil, antifreeze, refrigerants, tires, water pumps, alternators and starters. We go beyond the requirements, though. For example, we crush the used oil filters we take off our customers’ cars. By crushing them we squeeze the oil out to recycle it and then ship them to a recycler who strips the steel can off

and incinerates the paper element. We haven’t thrown a oil filter in the Dumpster in 20 years. What is GARP? The N.J. Green Auto Repair Program is run by the Green Auto Repair Council. It is a voluntary certification program which is partnered with the state

John O’Connor, right, and his son Dan in a Pontiac GTO. O’Connor owns the Shade Tree Garage in Morristown, a certified green auto body shop. / Courtesy of John O’Connor

DEP as well as several automotive associations. The GARC established an evaluation program that a shop owner uses to review their operation. They look at our procedures and how hazardous or environmentally nasty stuff is contained. After the owner submits a


self evaluation, the GARC comes to inspect and recommend areas of improvement. The scoring is tough and in order to re-certify they look for continuous improvement. How did you get into all this? I always recycled — after all I’m part of the Woodstock generation! I got involved with the GARC when I received a call from Mike Coppola at AAA after he heard about a similar program starting in Arizona that he had seen. Coppola, Jim Dodd from J.D. Auto in Dover, Jim Kowalak from Morristown Toyota and I met at AAA in Florham Park and cooked it up. We met for probably two years before it started to grow a life of its own. I can’t lay claim to the idea but I was there in the beginning. I have just rejoined the council. We even get extra use out of a car at the end of its service life. Before sending it to the junk yard to be recycled we give it to the Fire Academy and they use it to train firefighters and emergency responders in how to extract accident victims from cars.

Sixth Baltimore Police Officer in Body Shop Scam A sixth Baltimore Police officer was sentenced April 13 for his role in a massive kickback scheme involving an auto body shop, receiving two years in prison and being ordered to pay $24,000 in restitution. Officer Rafael Feliciano Jr., 31, admitted last year that he referred accident vehicles to the Majestic Auto Body shop in Rosedale after being introduced to the store’s owners by a fellow officer, Rodney Cintron, prosecutors said. Prosecutors estimate that Feliciano alone caused a loss of between $120,000 and $200,000. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Feliciano to two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay restitution of $24,084, of which $10,000 will go to the Baltimore Police Department, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland. Fifteen officers pleaded guilty in the scheme, and another was convicted by a federal jury, while dozens more were implicated in the probe. The six officers who have been sentenced have received between eight and 30 months in prison, putting Feliciano’s sentence on the higher end.

Continued from Page 4

50,000 Repairs up fallen tree limbs and destroyed contents and pieces from their homes. “Some are just able to get back to try and recover some belongings—see what they can salvage,” says Alley, who last night fol

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Abilene Chamber of Commerce Business Expo Attracts Shops

Carlsbad, NM, School Super Vernon Asbill Recalls a Lesson

The Abilene Chamber of Commerce’s Business EXPO was held at the Abilene Civic Center, March 27. It’s a good chance to create connections. Many businesses use the event to launch new products and services, she said, while others catch up with old friends or forge new alliances. The variety on display attracts longtime participants like Rocky Champion, owner of auto body repair shop Barrett Collision Center at 214 N Leggett Dr. in Abilene. Particularly useful, Champion said, is finding out about enterprises he didn’t even know existed in Abilene but might want to make use of himself. “It’s a great place to network,” he said, echoing what became a common reason for participating among businesses interviewed Monday. “Really, that’s basically what it’s all about. It’s a great way to meet and greet people, expand your business and learn about other businesses.” Champion also likes the event because it provides “top of mind” awareness for his own company, he said. “It does keep my name out there,” he said. “I like to have a presence in the community.”

Sen. Vernon Asbill, R-Eddy, retired Carlsbad Municipal Schools superintendent, related the story that while he was a superintendent a local car dealer mentioned to him the difficultly of hiring good auto body employees. Asbill said he got together with the high school principal at that time and the auto body class was formed. Asbill said one day a student with multiple facial piercings approached him and he learned a lesson. “We tend to stereotype people, and I did with that young man, until he spoke to me,” Asbill recalled. “He said: ‘You saved my life with this program. I could have been in prison or on drugs. But this program helped me, thank you.’” Asbill said meeting with the student has stayed with him all these years. It also validated to him that the program was working and helping students. He said had nobody brought to his attention the need, the successful program would not have been created. Asbill urged parents and the business community to help the school district help students to meet their full potential through their financial support and volunteerism.

Oregon Body Shop Steps Up to Help Student’s Project Destroyed by Vandals, Assistance Helps him Graduate When Air Force veteran Arthur Anderson, of Jacksonville, put out the call for a community to come together to help a North Medford High School student, Leif’s Auto Centers was one of the first to respond. High school senior Jase Philby was in the process of restoring his 1989 Chevy Silverado Pickup for his senior project when the car was destroyed by vandals, leaving Jase seemingly without hope of completing his project and receiving the necessary credits to graduate. Jase’s 1989 Silverado was among five Chevrolets stolen and vandalized during the last week of March 2012. Much more than a vehicle, this Silverado Pickup was a crucial key to graduation for the North Medford High School senior. Jase was restoring the vehicle, of sentimental family value, as a senior project; the final step towards graduation and his entrance in to the United States Air Force. The damage done to the vehicle extended beyond the cosmetic; into the steering column and transmission. All-told the destruction was significant enough for the insurance company to designate the truck as being totaled. The repairs costs would far

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exceed the actual worth of the vehicle. Leif’s Auto Centers heard about Jase’s situation and donated $5,000 worth of parts and work from their Phoenix, OR, location to help restore the vehicle and get Jase the necessary credits to graduate. The rest of the funding came from local businesses and individual donations to help restore the vehicle. Industrial Finishes of Medford donated all the paint, valued at $800. B&R Auto Wrecking halved the $300 price for a new steering column and glass. Though past the project due date, North Medford High School extended the deadline for Jase while work towards completing the repairs continues. “We strive to be an active member of our local communities and as such are glad to help out when circumstances require it. This young man had quite a unique story and situation and we saw an opportunity to help.” When Air Force veteran Arthur Anderson out of Jacksonville put out the call for people to come together and help Jase, Leif’s was one of the first to respond, and did so in a big way.


Body Shop Owner Eddie Lopez Shot Dead in Early, TX

Authorities said a heated dispute over a woman left a Brownwood body shop owner dead March 12 after he was shot at least six times in the parking lot of an Early doughnut shop, reports Denise Blaz, writing for the Abilene Reporter-News. The shooting marked the city’s first homicide in at least four years, officials said. Eduardo “Eddie” Lopez, 45, was shot shortly before 10 a.m. Monday while sitting in his idling Cadillac SUV in the 900 block of Early Boulevard, said Brown County Sheriff Bobby Grubbs. Lopez was owner of two Brownwood businesses: Eddie’s Auto Body Repair and the bar Tequila Nights. Rene Torres Pinon, 32, of Stephenville, was charged with murder after turning himself in at the Brown County Law Enforcement Center, telling a deputy he had committed a “crime of passion.” “The subjects had an ongoing conflict, I guess, and it appears due to the circumstances that they came together right there this morning,” Grubbs said. “I think they had a verbal argument going, and it appears that one of them had a gun, pulled it and did some shooting.” Grubbs said Lopez was shot multiple times with a .40-caliber Taurus

semi-automatic handgun, including once in the face. Four bullet wounds were found along Lopez’s rib cage and another bullet was found in his chest, Grubbs said. Early Police Chief David Mercer said Pinon turned himself in as authorities were en route to find him. Mercer said a caller had informed authorities that Pinon was sitting in his gray Chevrolet Camaro at his workplace, a Brownwood manufacturing plant. By the time authorities arrived at the plant, he had turned himself in, Mercer said. The broad daylight crime, Mercer said, marked the city’s first homicide in several years. “I’ve been here four years, and there hasn’t been one since I’ve been here,” Mercer said. “We’ve had aggravated assaults with handguns, but not like this. Luckily, no one else was hurt, no one that was just driving by.” Some patrons inside the doughnut shop witnessed the shooting, he said. “The only people that saw were in the store; they heard the shots. One of them looked up in time to see maybe a couple of more shots being fired, and then he saw him (the shooter) walk back to his car.”

Obituary for Eddie Lopez, Brownwood Businessman

A memorial service for Eddie Lopez was held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 16, at Victory Life Church, with pastor Stan Roberts attending. Eddie Lopez was born in Del Rio, Texas, Aug. 22, 1966, to Benito Lopez Sr. and Maria Lopez. Eddie moved to Brownwood in the early 80’s where he remained until his death. He married Ubaldina Torres in 1982 and from this union came three beautiful daughters. Eddie always had the spirit and pride of a great entrepreneur. While living in Brownwood he opened several businesses including Eddie’s Auto Body Shop, Tequila Nights Night Club, 30 Day Passion Clothing Store, and also Eddies Mexican Food Restaurant. He was a hard worker and provided well for his family. Eddie was an outgoing person who never met a stranger. He loved going to concerts, especially to hear his favorite singer Vicente Hernandez, and to go to comedian shows. He loved and enjoyed his grandchildren. Every year he made it a point to buy his grandsons new cowboy boots. He loved to give advice and gave many others opportunities to develop different professions.

“Know that when our tears fall, it is for you. When we smile it is because we are remembering one of your life stories. The world has lost a great man who dreamed big and enjoyed life to the fullest, he wasn’t afraid to chase his dreams Eduardo “Eddie” no matter if he Lopez failed at times. He was a living example that hard work does payoff. So no matter how big, how unreal your dreams are, go out there and chase it. This man was a loved husband, father and a grandpa. Now you can rest, We love you, Eddie.” Left to cherish his memories are his father, Benito Lopez Sr.; wife of Ubaldina Lopez; three daughters, Veronica Lopez, Holly Lopez, and Reba Lopez all of Brownwood; seven grandchildren, six brothers, and three sisters, a mother-in-law, brothers-in-law, and sisters-in-law. Predeceasing him are his mother, Maria Lopez; and father-in-law, Apolonia Torres Sr.

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MN Court Awards $157K in Progressive Ins. Underpays

GlassBYTES has reported that the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld a decision that gave Rapid Glass, an automotive glass repair and replacement company, $157,851.46 for 580 underpaid and unpaid claims from Progressive Insurance. The court ruled that the glass company’s charges were fair, reasonable and competitive. Rick Rosar, president of Rapid Glass, told GlassBYTES. “The windshield has become an integral part of the vehicle’s safety system. It is not a place to cut corners when a windshield needs to be replaced…” The court said the dispute was whether Progressive satisfied the contract by paying “the amount necessary to repair damaged property to its pre-loss condition.” “[Progressive] was not required to interpret the term ‘necessary’ because the contract provided the definition…,” the court wrote in its decision. “Under the terms of the contract, ‘necessary’ means ‘a competitive price that is fair and reasonable within the local industry at large.’”

AAIA and ASE Recognize World Class Technicians

Of the more than 759,000 automotive technicians working in the United States, 20 outstanding individuals have qualified for the prestigious 2012 World Class Technician Award. The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) work together to recognize these professional technicians who have tested and obtained ASE certification in 22 specialty areas during the 2011 test administrated by ASE. “The AAIAWorld Class Technician Award is for automotive diagnostic and repair professionals what the Super Bowl is for professional football players or what the Stanley Cup is for hockey players,” said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO. “Just imagine the knowledge and skills needed by a technician to pass 22 ASE tests. These folks are truly the best of the best and we are proud to be associated with them through our annual recognition in conjunction with ASE.” “This recognition partnership between AAIA and ASE goes back 26 years and represents the most significant achievement award available to our ASE-certified professionals,” said Tim Zilke, ASE president and CEO.

Women’s Industry Network Adds New Boardmembers

The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) welcomes Jessica Voss-Kehl, Senior Product Development Supervisor, 3M and Melissa Perez, District Sales Manager, FinishMaster Inc. as the newest Directors to its Board. The WIN Board consists of various industry segments including but not limited to: shop owners, jobbers, suppliers, consultants, paint companies and insurance companies. As an all volunteer organization, WIN Board members, serving 3 year terms, work together to guide the organization as well as foster an environment that encourages the education, recruitment, retention and networking of women in the collision repair industry. New board members will be introduced and officially welcomed by seated Directors and WIN members-at-large at the annual WIN Educational Conference, Be The Change, being held May 6–8 at the Intercontinental Buckhead in Atlanta, GA. To learn more about WIN, please visit or for information on becoming a member, please contact Denise Caspersen at

CARSTAR & Mitchell Inc. Join Efforts on Store Management

CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts has developed a proprietary store management system that integrates its technology solutions with the Mitchell RepairCenter Shop Workspace to deliver technology tools to its store owners. The system is the culmination of significant technical investments to realize the vision of a tightly integrated system that will significantly improve CARSTAR store performance, the company said. It enables the capture, processing and delivery of key data elements and metrics to help stores better manage their key performance indicators. The system also will provide the information required to forge strategic industry partnerships, CARSTAR said. Reporting to support both insurance relationships and purchasing will benefit user shops.” “The information gathered by using the CARSTAR Solution Software and the reports available are invaluable to our store and to the entire CARSTAR network in helping analyze our numbers and in selling to our local and national markets,” said Jan Combs, of Auto Body Specialists CARSTAR in Billings, Montana.

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Continued from Cover

Stolen Nissan Parts a significant amount of automotive parts were recovered today as part of a bust at an illegal chop shop operation in Jackson. We are cooperating fully with the Jackson Police Department, which

is to be commended for their efforts. Nissan is supporting the investigation efforts and will continue to ensure the highest levels of security throughout our operations,” said Nissan North America Inc. Corporate Communications Manager Steve Parrett. Investigators would not confirm if the thefts were an inside job at the Nissan plant, but said more arrests are expected.

“The items up here from Nissan were originally packed in Nissan packaging with tracing numbers still on them. At this point we don’t know how they got up here,” said Sgt. L.C. Russell. Jackson police have plenty of unanswered questions: • How did the new auto parts end up at the shop? •Who put them there? •Who were the potential buyers? The merchandise, which included catalytic converters, airbags, headlights and batteries, still had the Nissan tracking codes on them and were still in cartons and crates when they were found at Precious Automotive Auto Restoration at 5030 U.S. 80W, Sgt. L.C. Russell said. Officers showed up at the business to make sure it was operating legitimately after getting several tips about a possible chop shop there, he said. “We primarily went to check their operation license, but when we checked the license we found some other things,” he said. Shop owner Eric Brown, 48, was charged with multiple counts of reSee Stolen Nissan Parts, Page 42

Eastern Student of the Month Wants to Inherit Collision Repair Instructor’s Job Eventually Gregory Garvin is the April 2012 Student of the Month at Eastern Center for Arts and Technology in Willow Grove, PA. He is in his second year of Eastern’s collision repair technology program and a senior at Abington High School. Garvin maintains an A average in his collision repair technology program and is active in SkillsUSA as the Collision Repair Technology 2011-12 Class Treasurer. He received second place for collision repair technology at the SkillsUSA District Competition held earlier this year at the Western Center for Technical Studies in Limerick. Throughout the year, Garvin volunteered his time representing Eastern and his collision repair technology program at recruitment events such as Eastern’s Tenth-Grade Career Expo, and Garvin is the 2011 – 2012 student representative for Eastern’s Collision Repair Technology Occupational Advisory Committee. Last summer, Garvin was a teacher’s aide for Eastern’s Summer Fun Auto Mechanics and Collision Repair program for middle-school students.

Garvin received his SP/2 certification for collision pollution training and collision safety. Both his father and sister attended Eastern. At Abington High School, Garvin is a distinguished honor roll recipient. Outside of school, Garvin still finds time to participate on the Abington Township ice hockey team, and volunteers for the Glenside Youth Greg Garvin Athletic Club baseball team and Rau Animal Hospital. He has also been providing landscaping services locally since 2006. After he graduates, Garvin plans to attend Montgomery County Community College for business and eventually, he said he would like to take over for his collision repair technology instructor, Steve Parke. Eastern’s faculty, joint committee and the Willow Grove Rotary Club sponsor the Student of the Month program to highlight student excellence, success and service.


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Poway, CA, Navy Veteran Has Vehicle Painted to Honor Troops

Kano Williams, US Navy Veteran HM1(FMF/PJ), had his 2006 Dodge Magnum RT painted as a tribute piece for all armed forces, active and retired, in October of 2011. At first Kano had

decided to make the concept permanent by getting it airbrushed on my car,” said Williams. Kano’s car was featured at last year’s SEMA show and also just fin-

The beautiful artwork painted on the car was the work of Wesley Smith at Studio Wes in Lemon Grove. The inside of the car carries on the theme with purple upholstery and

an organization that uses all variations of vehicles as a way to create awareness for the past, present and on-going military related affairs. The group is a non-profit, veteran owned and oper-

the car wrapped with a vinyl graphic with a similar concept to the way the car is painted now. He decided to make the photos and concept permanent by having the design airbrushed on the car. All the photos on the vehicle are actual pictures of the 6 tours Kano has done throughout his career in the armed forces. The Purple Heart design is also inspired by Williams’ career as he is a Purple Heart recipient. “The car was really getting a lot of attention with the vinyl on it so I

ished the DUB Tour in Anaheim, CA, earlier this month, where it won Best of Show in Painted Graphics. Kano’s car will also be part of the inaugural Veterans’ Cruise for a Cause in Oceanside this year. The shop that did the build was Sinful Enhancements in Lemon Grove, CA. Owners Sinh and Han helped Kano accomplish his dream car.

more Purple Hearts embroidered in the headrests. Kano is the CEO for an organization called Vets Cruzin’ for a Cause,

ated organization. They hope to raise money to provide bi-annual bike and car shows in selected areas, as well as, hosting an annual bike/car ride/cruise. For more information about this organization visit: Sinful Enhancements 7666 Lemon Avenue Lemon Grove, CA 91945 (619) 466-0800 | MAY 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 21

Northeast News with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

CCRE 2012 Seminar—Taking Back the Collision Repair Industry When I first found out I was going to attend the Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (CCRE) legal seminar in Philadelphia on March 30th and 31st, I thought I would need a pillow and lots of caffeine, but I could not have been more wrong. The seminar offered a wealth of intriguing knowledge, much of which I’d never heard of or even imagined. CCRE represents

Tony began by saying that this problems that consumers have as a rewas a good industry when he first sult of repairers’ problems with insurbegan his career, but collision repairance companies and realized that ers gave it away over the past twentyconsumers have nowhere to obtain infive years in exchange for systems formation to understand the repair supposed to make their jobs easier. By accepting and following these systems, such as estimating guides, repairers have become manipulated by third-party influence. Repairers’ investment, in both time and money, should yield a profit. Through a planned program of taking John Parese and Erica Eversman confer control of your busiLeft to right: Robert McClallen, William Bensley and Ashly Van Earl ness and realizing process other than the insurance coma whole movement dedicated to rethat the insurance company has no pany or the repairer. Reiterating viving and regaining an industry that place in your business, collision repair Tony’s point about the combination of has been guided by third-party intershops can still make a profit. As Tony the two separate contracts, Erica noted ference for decades. The experienced stressed, “This has to become OUR that in DRP contacts, the insurer may collision repair shop owners and the collision repair industry.” or may not direct business to the relawyers in attendance presented much Discussing how this problem pair facility, yet they act as if the readvice to attendees as well as the opbegan, Tony noted that there has alpairer has obligations to the insurance portunity for shop owners to ask their ways been two separate contracts: one company while they feel no obligation own, personal questions. I will sumbetween the vehito the repairer. marize some highlights of the seminar cle owner and the In the contract between the vehihere with plans to exploring some of insurance comcle owner and the repairer, the vehicle these topics in greater depth in the pany, and another owner’s obligation is to pay while the near future; however, I highly recombetween the vehirepairer is obligated to provide a qualmend all shop owners to attend cle owner and the ity repair. As oral contracts are diffiCCRE’s next seminar, which they repairer; yet, cult to enforce, Erica recommends plan to hold in six months, in order to somehow, these having a written contract with the veErica Eversman learn first-hand that there are solutions two contracts have hicle owner to protect yourself. In this to the multitude of problems that arise joined each other as collision repair contract, it is important to define your shops now have contracts with insurcustomer, each party’s duties and what in the industry. Because it is your industry, and as CCRE President Tony ance companies through DRPs. Tony parts will be used. The specifics of Lombardozzi emphasized “no one asked: why do insurance companies these definitions vary based on indielse is going to take this industry back assume they have a say in the revidual state laws, but a valid contract except the repair shop owners thempairer’s contract with the vehicle makes it easier for the repairer to obselves.” owner while the repairer cannot intertain payment for the work they do. The event, hosted by the Pennsylvania Collision Trade Guild (PCTG), was held at the Airport Hilton in Philadelphia, PA. One hundred and ten people were in attendance from varying fields, including many lawyers who specialize in this field. Many of the attendees were nonCCRE members, and twenty-five From left, Rick Dotterer, Steve Behrendt, Truman Fancher, Tony Lombardozzi, and Mike Parker states were represented with people coming from as far away as Texas, fere with the insurer’s contract with Erica also explained that insurNew Mexico and Nevada. Tony Lomthe customer? ance policies give insurance compabardozzi moderated the majority of Erica Eversman, Ohio attorney nies three options: replace the vehicle, the seminar with presentations being and General Council for Vehicle Inpay for the loss in money, or elect to given by attorneys Erica Eversman formation Services, became involved repair. Insurance companies rarely of OH, John Parese of CT and with the issues in the collision repair elect to repair because it makes them Robert McClallen of VT. industry when she learned about the equally responsible as the shop for the 22 MAY 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS |

quality of the repairs; however, through DRPs, insurance companies are able to assume control of the repair without accepting liability. Erica went on to discuss several legal cases and examples of the insurance companies choosing inferior shops to save money. Insurance companies write estimates to verify there is damage and to find out how much money to reserve for the claim, but these estimates are written for internal purposes only and mean nothing because insurers do not fix cars—they just pay for repairs. Erica noted that contracts do not override consumer protection laws, but since few consumers know their rights or realize they are being taken advantage of, insurance companies often ignore consumer protection laws or try to pressure collision repair facilities to do so. Before introducing the next segment, Steve Behrendt of CCRE and PCTG noted that shops should have a solid contract customized for how they do business, and he revealed a sign that hangs in his shop specifying that insurance company paperwork, such as estimates, are used for informational purposes only and do Steve Behrendt not determine the methodology, extent or cost of repairs. Continuing her presentation, Erica agreed that the insurer’s estimate is for informational purposes only, emphasizing that the insurer has no place in your business. Spelling this out in the contract allows repair shops to control their relationship with the customer, keeping the shop in the role of a professional and the insurer in their proper role. She also suggests addressing replevin in the contract, granting shops a lien that allows them to retain possession of the vehicle until they are paid for their work. One section of her sample contract also grants the shop the right to recover their lost profit if the insurance company steers the customer to a different shop. See CCRE Seminar, Page 28

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Autobody News


NHTSA Proposes Standard for Brake-Throttle Override

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed an update to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 124, Accelerator Control Systems, according to the AAIA Capital Report. The proposal would require manufacturers to install a BrakeThrottle Override (BTO) mechanism in all vehicles. BTO systems would trigger the vehicle to stop should both the accelerator and brake pedals be applied at the same time, which would reduce the risk of drivers losing control of their vehicles due to the accelerator pedal sticking or the entire throttle system becoming disconnected. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has been pushing for regulators to take action on this issue for some time, and most manufacturers have already begun outfitting their new models with these systems, according to AAIA.

“America’s drivers should feel confident that anytime they get behind the wheel they can easily maintain control of their vehicles – especially in the event of an emergency,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “By updating our safety standards, we’re helping give drivers peace of mind that their brakes will work even if the gas pedal is stuck down while the driver is trying to brake.” This proposal would also modify the current standard by accounting for throttle disconnection during the testing procedure of all vehicles. Comments on the proposal must be submitted to NHTSA by June 15, 2012. Early last year, NASA engineers found no electronic cause for the claims of unintended acceleration levied at Toyota. The report prompted Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to blame the cases on “pedal misapplication.”

Chrysler Recalls Some 2012 Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravans for Machining

Chrysler Recalls Some 2012 Jeep Patriot And Compasses for Suspected Fuel Tank Flaws

Chrysler is recalling certain model year 2012 Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan vehicles manufactured from November 15, 2011, through November 21, 2011. Some vehicles may be equipped with right rear hub and bearing assemblies that were not fully machined. This could result in a decrease in durability, which may lead to wheel separation, increasing the risk of a crash. Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the right rear hub and bearing assembly, free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin during April 2012. Chrysler recall number is m13. Owners may also contact the national highway traffic safety administration’s vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (tty 1-800-4249153), or go to http://www.Safercar.Gov.

Chrysler is recalling certain model year 2012 Jeep Patriot and Compass vehicles manufactured from December 17, 2011, through January 2, 2012. Some vehicles may have been built with a fuel tank assembly containing a damaged roll-over valve. In the event of an impact or roll-over, fuel leakage could occur, increasing the risk of a fire. Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the fuel tank, free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin during June 2012. Chrysler’s recall number is m11. Owners may also contact the national highway traffic safety administration’s vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (tty 1-800-4249153), or go to http://www.Safercar.Gov.


Study Says EVs Cost $1200 Less to Run

Drivers of electric vehicles such as General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Motor Co.’s Leaf may save as much as $1,200 a year compared with operating a new gasoline-powered compact car, scientists studying improved fuel economy found. With gasoline at $3.50 a gallon, drivers who plug cars into electrical outlets would save $750 to $1,200 a year instead of buying gasoline for a new car that gets 27 miles (43 kilometers) a gallon when driving 11,000 miles a year, the Union of Concerned Scientists said in a study released today. “While in this early electric vehicle market these products have higher up-front costs, knowing how much one can save by using electricity instead of gasoline is an important factor for consumers,” the study by the Cambridge, Mass.based group said. Ford Motor Co., maker of a Focus electric car scheduled to go on sale this year, said last month the price will start at $39,995 before a $7,500 U.S. tax credit. Nissan’s Leaf starts at $35,200. The Focus costs more than the $16,500 base price for the gasoline-powered version, Eddie Fernandez, a spokesman for Ford, said in an e-mail. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rates the fuel economy of the Focus SFE, a gasoline-powered model, at 33 mpg for city and highway driving. The electric Focus was certified by the U.S. Environmental Agency to offer the equivalent of 105 mpg., an auto-researcher, predicts electric vehicles may reach only 7 percent of U.S. auto sales by 2017 even when consumers take rising gas prices into account. The average U.S. gas price was $3.91 as of Sunday, according to U.S. motorist group AAA. That’s a 19 percent increase so far this year.

May 2012

Automakers Could Face up to $250M in Recall Fines Automakers nationwide are likely clutching their wallets and clenching their teeth after the announcement that recall fines could cost them $250 million instead of the current $17 million fine. A bill affecting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that would raise the maximum fine for not issuing recalls in a timely manner $233 million from its current maximum already passed the Senate and is pending approval in the House of Representatives. Consumers Union, the advocacy group connected to Consumer Reports backing the surface transportation bill, says that the $250 million fine would elevate recalls for automakers to a level of concern instead of being a “cost of doing business.” This isn’t the first push to increase NHTSA’s involvement in automotive recalls. We told you last month about the push to get NHTSA to oversee recalls by car rental companies. Consumers Union also supports that position.

Mopar Division Introduces First In-Vehicle Wireless Charging

After being the first to eliminate heavy, bulky owner manuals from its vehicles, Chrysler Group LLC, through its Mopar® division, will now be the first to eliminate unsightly dangling power cords in its vehicles by offering in-vehicle wireless charging. The company will first make the technology available on the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart that arrives in dealerships in the second quarter of this year. “At Mopar, we look for every single opportunity to make our customers’ lives easier,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “Our industry-first in-vehicle wireless charging system is the perfect solution for those customers on the go.”

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Gonzo’s Toolbox with Gonzo Weaver

This is a new story by Scott “Gonzo” Weaver as posted on his website, Gonzo has been serving the Tulsa area at Superior Auto Electric for over 27 years. See his book “Hey Look! I Found The Loose Nut”, which provides a Good Laugh for Mechanics of Any Age. The book is available at Contact Gonzo at

“GI—Think Like a Mechanic!”

After high school I made the choice more like your typical size for any to join the Marine Corps. It was a big home office or school desk. Well, being the bright, eager step for a young guy who really didyoung n’t have a direction, nor thought about with Richard Arnold lad I was I had to ask. “Sargent, ever hear of a lawnthe future. So, off I went to boot mower before?” camp. I’ll admit it was tough, it was Not that I was being smart and physically demanding and very mentally challenging. But, I did very all… it just struck me as dumb they well, got a lot of good marks and even wouldn’t have a lawnmower to do this job. But, then again, why not get a couple of special awards. surprises was One of the biggest a couple of young recruits to clip the with Ed Attanasio when my platoon was on the “mess lawn with scissors… we’ll work and maintenance” week. I was ascheap. signed to the commandant’s head“Come here soldier, see what ya quarters building. I was to shine all think of this,” he said. the brass, wax the floors, and general In a hall closet just inside the building maintenance. One day the building there were four mowers with Schroeder Sargent in charge said Erica it was time to stacked up on top of each other. They mow the grass. He sent me and two all seemed to be the same brand of other recruits out with scissors to clip mower, but all of them seemed to the lawn in front of the headquarters have been taken apart and there were building. Really, I’m not kid- lots of parts missing. ding…scissors, and I’m not talking “Well, can we use them Sarge?” about a large pair of scissors, no… I asked.

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“Those things haven’t ran since I’ve been here, but if you think you can get one of them going, it would make us all look good,” the Sargent answered.

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Luckily, the Sargent had a small box of tools stashed away, which just so happened to have all the missing parts stored in it from the various mowers. After some careful maneuvering I managed to get the mowers separated, and within an hour I had three of them running. Talk about a proud bunch of Marines mowing the commandant’s lawn. OohRah! The Sargent got a promotion out of it, and I got a special award for my efforts. Not a bad day in boot camp after all. I really didn’t touch a car for a long time after that. I spent a long time overseas and cars weren’t on the top of the list of things to be concerned about. It wasn’t until I was stationed stateside, and I was leaving my barracks one day when I noticed these two guys sitting on the sidewalk with an entire four barrel carburetor laid out in pieces in front of them. These two jarheads had no clue what they were doing. They were taking apart anything that had a screw on it. Clearly, these guys needed some help. Now, I spent enough time back home working on my grandparent’s farms keeping the machinery running and reading a lot of old service manuals my dad had collected that I had a pretty good idea what I was doing. “Need some help?” I asked. “Sure could use a hand,” one of them said to me. The big challenge was to put all the parts back together on the carburetor without a new gasket kit, and make it work again. I’m telling you,

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this was one big mess for sure… these guys went as far as taking the small screws out of the butterfly flaps. (Never had much luck getting those things out when they are peened into place myself.) After I had the carburetor back together and installed on the car the last thing was to put the plugs back in and sort out the firing order. Only one problem, they broke one of the spark plugs off while taking them out. “Looks like we’ll have to run it on 7 cylinders for now,” I told them. It took a minute or so for the fuel to get up into the carburetor, but it did run. The exhaust was falling off, it was running pretty rich, but it was running. The guys were ecstatic! They bought the car for 50 bucks from another Marine who was getting shipped out, and the car had been sitting for about a year right there in the parking lot. Just hearing it run was an improvement. We all hopped into the car and drove around the barracks a few times belching smoke, backfiring, and making enough noise to bring the MP’s to the scene. (They thought it was pretty funny too… let us go with a warning.) After this little escapade I ended up being the barracks’ mechanic for everyone’s car problems. Most everything was “parking lot” type repairs, no engine rebuilds or tranny exchanges, just basic problems that could be handled with basic tools that a couple of young Marines could afford. It wasn’t til after I was out of the service that I realized repairing cars seemed to always fall into my lap. So I guess it’s safe to say I was destined to be a mechanic no matter what. A few tech classes, a little tutelage under an old watchful senior mechanic, and I was in business for myself. Well, here it is a few decades later and I’m still turning wrenches, I’m still scrapping a knuckle, and still making a living at it. I guess you could say it’s my career. Looking back on it now I guess I could have done something else with my working years, but like a lot of us See Think Like a Mechanic, Page 33 | MAY 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 27

Continued from Page 22

CCRE Seminar Turning the discussion to parts, Erica insisted that shops should never offer a warranty on parts, especially aftermarket parts, but they should warrant the quality of their repairs. While insurance companies can guarantee the work of a DRP shop, this means assuming liability. They usually offer Truman Fancher warranties on replacement parts but not on workmanship, unless specifically stated. Noting that warranties are like insurance policies in that they have more exclusions than coverage, Erica stressed that manufacturers’ warranties will often be void if aftermarket parts are used, yet many insurance companies require shops to use these parts in their DRP contracts. She also pointed out that insurance companies are great at propaganda; many insurance ads create the impression that insurers are involved in the repair, and they focus

on magical restorations. In the Question and Answer section of her presentation, Erica noted that insurers only fear bad press and litigation as it presents unknown and unknowable costs. While other businesses are forced to comply with consumer protection laws, insurance companies are generally exempt and are only investigated if there is proof that their actions are common practice. John Parese Esq., of CT presented next in regards to tort reform. Tort requires those responsible for harming others to compensate their victims, and the classical purpose of tort is to provide full compensation for proved harm. Tort reform proposes changes to reduce tort litigation on damages by setting procedural limits on the ability to file claims and capping the awards of damages, among other things. Advocates Tony Lombardozzi of tort reform include automobile manufacturers and insurance companies, in addition to the tobacco, chemical and pharma-

ceutical industries. John then proceeded to show clips from “Hot Coffee,” a documentary about Stella Liebeck’s lawsuit against McDonald’s when she spilled coffee in her lap. These clips show a different side to the case than what was seen in the media, validating this seemingly frivolous lawsuit. John stresses “If you

feel like there’s an ever-encroaching insurer presence changing fundamental ways of doing business, relentlessly grabbing for more and more of your business, in part through a perpetual public relations and legislative campaign of distorted information?” Continuing the presentation, John explained that consumers are misled

Left to right: Joe Talarico, A. Brent Geohagan, John Parese and Erica Eversman gave legal advice

don’t even know the basic minimal standard that you need to employ and then you harm someone, the consequences can be very significant. John noted that these same tactics are being used to change the collision repair industry as insurance companies come out on top through public relations. Some of their methods are DRPs, insurance involvement in setting repair guidelines, misleading commercials and legislative “reforms” to allow more steering and greater control over repairs. He asked “does it

by false perceptions that insurance companies fix cars and by propaganda reinforced by uninformed courts, legislators and state officials. They are also given false information regarding warranties, delays, quality, rentals and trust. Yet, most consumers do not even know they have been harmed! After watching several insurance company ads that show magical repairs and stress that the insurance company repairs vehicles, the audience erupted in applause to see an See CCRE Seminar, Page 45



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Tony Lombardozzi INTERVIEW by Chasidy Rae Sisk

Sharing the Message with CCRE President Tony Lombardozzi

If you’re in the collision industry and are not familiar with the Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (the CCRE), and you consider yourself a truly independent operator in the business, you need to look them up ( During CCRE’s legal seminar in Philadelphia on March 30 and 31, 2012, CCRE President Tony Lombardozzi repeatedly demonstrated himself to be a dedicated proponent for independence in the collision repair Chasidy Rae Sisk industry and a valuable source of information. Fortunately, he took the time to chat with me so that I might have the opportunity to share some of his wisdom with a wider audience of Autobody News readers. See my column on p. 22 of this issue for more on the CCRE. I was curious about how Tony originally got involved with CCRE. Back in 1996, Tony felt that the national collision associations were not looking out for the consumers’ best interest or the benefit of the collision repair industry as a whole. So, he researched CCRE and attended a meeting. Tony was impressed with the organization because they represent the portion of the industry that says they should be able to operate without thirdparty influence, and also, the shops involved with CCRE are fiercely consumer-oriented. CCRE helps member shops and other shops across the country through education. Their legal seminars focus on helping repairers understand what an insurance policy entails compared to a repairer’s contract with the consumer, and that there is no correlation between these two contracts. They also hold seminars on business management where they teach collision repair facilities about the cost of doing business, property business management and how to operate a profitable shop in an ethical manner. Additionally, CCRE helps independent shops learn about marketing tactics so that they can compete in the industry. In regards to CCRE’s legal seminar in Philadelphia on March 30 and 31, Tony notes that this seminar yielded

more positive feedback than any other seminar CCRE has held, increasing their organization by several new members.

Tony Lombardozzi

Tony believes that the information presented at the seminar is important because “the majority of this industry has a misconception about who the real customer is.” He goes on to clarify that many repairers have been trained to believe that they are just an extension of the insurance industry and will not be able to survive without allowing insurers to dictate the shops’ business practices. But that is not true. The collision repair industry is a separate entity that has nothing to do with the business of insurance unless a repair facility signs a DRP contract. Otherwise, there is no relationship. Tony notes that without pressure from insurance companies to accept their methodology of how this industry should work, “we wouldn’t be in the situation we’re in. Instead of understanding that we should be doing business as independent business owners with no influence by a third party, we allow insurers to dictate how we’re going to do business, and that’s a real problem.” Tony cites many collision repair conferences as part of the problem because the majority of guest speakers are from the insurance industry and the conferences are heavily influenced by this third-party presence. Collision repairers should not go to an event for the collision industry and be told by insurance companies how the shops will need to do business in the future. When asked about the most important message of the CCRE seminar, Tony stresses “basically what they should realize is no one else is going to take this industry back, except the repair shop owners themselves.” The insurance companies definitely will not


volunteer to relinquish control, so the best thing that repairers can do is step outside the box, understand the CCRE concept, compare it to what they are doing now and see if the shops are happy with the status quo. If they are okay, there is no reason to complain. Unfortunately, many collision repairers are afraid to look at the issues because they fear what they may find. According to Tony, “I don’t know if we have enough time to recover the industry that we gave away because it took thirty years to give it away and you’re not going to take it back in one year… The industry remains in a hole because of the fact—I mean, we’re stagnant, but fees paid to body shops have been stagnant for years—the reason we can’t get out of stagnation is because we’re allowing ourselves to be governed by a third party that has no interest in making us successful… People in this business are beginning to see that there’s no way out of the box unless they make changes. Hopefully,

they’ll realize that at a faster pace than they have in the past, and you’ll see a big turnaround in this industry.” Tony believes that a segment of the collision repair industry believes in the system the way CCRE does, and he hopes that those who attend CCRE’s seminars will take the information they learn, study it, practice it, and network with other repairers to encourage them to look into the CCRE Philosophy because it is a better way to do business. He insists that by following the methods learned at the seminar, repairers can become more profitable while streamlining production output. The problem is that the collision repair industry as a whole has been brainwashed by insurer buzz words such as “making things lean,” “cycle time” and “rental days.” Insurers have lured the industry into using systems that are supposed to increase the shops’ accuracy and efficiency, but all of that money saved in efficiency ends up See Tony Lombardozzi, Page 42

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Boyd Group Achieves Record Sales in 2011, Acquisitions The Boyd Group Income Fund reported record sales in 2011 thanks to several acquisitions made throughout the year that added $94.1 million to the company’s top line. The company also reported a same store sales increase of 6%, a more important indicator of business conditions. Brock Bulbuck, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Boyd Group, said, “The addition of Cars Collision to our operations had a strong positive impact on our results for the year, as both the performance and integration of this business continues to meet our expectations. We also saw meaningful positive samestore sales growth in 2011 despite the headwinds from persistent challenging market conditions as well as a difficult comparable period in 2010 given a significant hail storm experienced in the Arizona market late in the year. Miles driven continued its trend downwards this past year due, in part, to elevated levels in unemployment and gas prices. However, the merits of our business model and related strong industry position and geographical diversity have proven to counter this downside.”

Farmers Recognizes Caliber Collsion as MSO of the Year

Farmers Insurance announced that Caliber Collision Centers has been awarded the 2011 National Multiple Shop Organization of the Year Award for outstanding operational and customer satisfaction management. Under the leadership of Steve Grimshaw, President and CEO and Mark Sanders, Chief Operating Officer, Caliber Collision delivered the proactive management and self-discipline required by Farmers to further improve Farmers policy retention and customer value. “We wish to congratulate Caliber Collision on being named Multiple Shop Organization Group of the Year,” said Odom Wu, national director of auto specialty claims for Farmers Insurance. “Caliber Collision has consistently provided Farmers Insurance’s customers with excellent customer service, and a strong commitment to quality vehicle repairs, thus earning them the distinguished honor of MSO Group of the Year.” “Thanks to the hard work and commitment of Caliber Collision’s more than 2,500 associatese are honored to be awarded Farmers Insurance’s 2011 National MSO of the Year,” said Steve Grimshaw, Caliber Collision President and CEO.


nal air Pick Only Origi For Your Next Rep

! S T R A P A T O Y TO Platform Now Available announced that CollisionPartsSource .com, a parts e-commerce platform, is now available for free to collision repair facilities in the United States and Canada. CollisionPartsSource. com creates a marketplace where collision repair facilities can list parts they have on hand for sale or trade to other collision repair facilities or publish a parts wish list. Parts suppliers or other collision repair facilities can view shops’ wish lists and submit offers via email directly to the repairer from CollisionPartsSource .com for the listed parts. The process is designed to facilitate the communications between collision users of parts and those that wish to provide them. Parts such as assemblies that are still usable but not returnable, uniside assemblies that are only partially used, or parts that weren’t returned for what-ever reason and are in shops’ parts rooms can be made available to other repairers. For more information, or to use the free module, visit or

Diamond Standard Says its Warranty Exceeds the OEMs

Diamond Standard Parts says its Limited Lifetime Warranty from the Diamond Standard Brand and its associated manufacturers group, Reflexxion Automotive and Production Bumper Stampings, exceeds the service parts warranty on OEM structural bumper components, stepbumper assemblies and face plates, and replacement hoods. The company says the warranty on all of its new parts exceeds the warranty offered by the OEMs, who typically offer coverage for 12 months or 12,000 miles from the date of installation or purchase.According to Diamond Standard, state regulations regarding aftermarket or crash parts warranty are typically general and require insurer or collision center disclosure statements such as: “must disclose estimate is based on use of body parts not manufactured by the original car manufacturer and that warranty applicable to the parts is provided by the manufacturer.” One state, for example, goes a step further and requires that “a copy of the part warranty will be provided with the estimate.” Diamond Standard has published aftermarket parts regulations for all 50 states on its website, under the Certification banner.

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Airbrush Artist Shannon MacDonald Uses PPG Envirobase to Bring Icons to Life on Vehicles and Just About Everything Else by Erica Schroeder

Airbrush artist Shannon MacDonald, who exhibited her airbrush portrait of John Lennon at the Anest Iwata booth at SEMA 2011, uses PPG’s Envi-

KILLER (parrot) was created in 1991 by Shannon and made his way onto mall backlit duratrans, large street billboards, teeshirts, motorcycles, automobiles, night clubs and more. This particular painting was done in 1994 on a Camaro show car hood. It was painted with an airbrush using One Shot sign paint kicked with Dupont gloss hardener

robase waterborne paint to bring her art alive on just about every surface. Shannon’s art has been featured on guitars, drums, motorcycles, boats, cars, planes, helmets and of course traditional canvas or illustration board. “I use PPG’s Envirobase on everything now,” said Shannon, “I love it and it seems to love me.” Shannon, well known for her lifelike portraits of iconic celebrities such as The Beatles, Sylvester Stallone, James Dean, Jackie Kennedy and Elvis Presley—among others, failed art in high school due to differences she had with her art teacher. Instead of pasting macaroni on paper and throwing glitter on it she rebelled and went to the back of the room to study the “Old Masters” (Norman Rockwell, Michelangelo, etc.). Her teacher would insult her and say, “You will never get anywhere drawing those pigs”. Her teacher was referring to Shannon’s drawings and paintings of The Beatles. After a few years of failing art, Shannon’s already paved road to go onto college with scholarships was derailed. Depressed and aggravated, she gave up art and focused on a “still successful” music career. 15

years later, Shannon was given an airbrush, as a gift. This was the instrument in her life that gave her back her art. Her first airbrushed painting was of John Lennon. She entered the painting in a contest and won first place. Beatles fans saw Shannon’s painting and wanted more. Her fan base grew rapidly and she began to get invited to Beatles Conventions all over the USA. Owners of The Cavern Club (a Liverpool club made famous by The Beatles) discovered Shannon painting at a Beatles Convention in Connecticut. They took the news back to Liverpool and said of Shannon’s works, “We were Gobsmacked!” Eventually, so was the UK audience. With only a few years of airbrushing under her belt, Shannon was declared “The World’s Greatest Beatles Artist” in 1998 by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool. Shannon says of the art teacher that failed her, “My art teacher has to eat her words everyday. I will always be the “main course” in her life. As far as my art goes, I owe a lot to the airbrush.” After using mainly PPG solventbased paints for years, Shannon began using PPG’s Envirobase about a year ago and has decided to go totally green in her studio. “I love it now,” said Shannon, although she thought she’d never get the hang of using waterborne paint at first, Shannon is now very comfortable with it. According to Shannon, when she first started using waterborne she noticed a difference right away. The waterborne paint would stay just as

MINI-REVOLUTION was created in 2007 for the Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night Hotel in Liverpool, England. (detail done with IWATA Airbrush, electric eraser, and Createx paint)

she painted it—critical to an artist who paints with such detail. With the solvent, Shannon says, sometimes the fine details would melt and merge a bit as it dried.


“As far as changing from solvent to waterborne, all I had to do was be sold on the product and what it had to offer. I was visiting ‘Ideal Distributors

“LET ME TAKE YOU DOWN” is a 10’ tall Fender Stratocaster made of fiberglass. These were made for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Together artists from around the world such as Peter Max, Yoko Ono, Keith Richards and many others were featured on Good Morning America. On that early morning’s live from NYC program, Shannon’s guitar was declared the most outstanding of them all. Tony Perkins (weather man) spotlighted Shannon’s guitar three times during the program to show the audience the unbelievable detail. (Created using PPG, Sherwin Williams, and Createx paints using an IWATA micron and electric eraser.) © 2002

& Auto Paint’ in St. George, Utah to meet with Walter Rapp. While there, I had mentioned wanting to try the new PPG waterborne; PPG’s Envirobase® changed my mind about solvents,” said Shannon, “For me, solvents tend to ‘merge’ with each other in a way that detail is lost, especially when applying top coats. I am in the detail business! I can’t afford to see hours worth of work slowly disappear after topcoating with clearcoats and/or candies. Solvents easily ‘blur’ after top coating. PPG Waterbornes do not.” Shannon also appreciates that she is breathing in less paint fumes with the waterborne versus solvent. “If you are a painter that loves that 24 hour a day ‘sucking on helium rush’, you might miss solvent,” said Shannon. Shannon was also impressed with the cost savings associated with using waterborne and as a custom paint business there wasn’t a lot of cost in changing over from solvent.

“There was no big cost factor in changing over; being involved in the custom paint business is probably less invasive then a full body shop change over. As I move forward I can see the advantage; I am getting more done at a faster pace which makes way for more clientele and I am using less paint. I am saving every day,” said Shannon. Although waterborne sprayed differently, according to Shannon, the techniques associated with using waterborne were actually quite similar to much of her artistic education. She also noticed that with solvent, the color that it is in the can is just about the same as it comes out when you spray it; but with waterborne, the color looks a lot different in the can than when it is sprayed. So color matching with the waterborne was a bit of a challenge because you can’t really color match by eye,

This is a fine creation establishing the detail Shannon can get using an airbrush and an electric eraser. The new name attached to her creations is “Hyper-Realism”. This portrait was created for the IWATA/ANEST booth sponsored by ASET at SEMA 2011. (IWATA micron airbrush and an Electric Eraser on white baked aluminum panel) This was the first time SHANNON performed for an audience using PPG’s Envirobase Colors. (She had done so once before using PPG Envirobase shades of black and gray for the ASET produced show…ULTIMATE AIR AFFAIR) At this point, PPG is by far SHANNON’s favorite paint to use for both illustration and automotive painting

you’ve got to spray a bit of it to know what color you’re really working with. “I have probably 50 Anest Iwata guns,” said Shannon, who has been using their spray guns since 1994. She came to be very comfortable with the Anest Iwata guns after relying on the

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Iwata Custom Micron series when she painted her tribute stamp to Sylvester Stallone in 1996. Shannon’s process also differs from a lot of traditional custom vehicle painters; she doesn’t believe in using templates or taping off sections as she paints—she believes that gives her work too much hard edges. Shannon says she starts by outlining what she wants to paint with pencil, then she comes in with the spray gun free-hand. She starts out with the light colors, so at first it looks like a sepia-toned painting, then she comes in with an array of translucent color. Shannon says she prefers to paint Continued from Page 27

Think Like a Mechanic in this automotive repair business, this was my calling. I am one of many mechanics and technicians of any small town or big city who might have done something else with their life, but cars and tool boxes became our vocation. I may have chosen to be in

the ‘old-school’ way and doesn’t consider herself a graphic artist. Most of Shannon’s work has been labeled ‘hyper-realism.’ Shannon also uses an electric eraser, a drafting tool. A tool she calls her “second favorite”. She has been in the process of working on an air eraser for a few years now. It will come to fruition with the help of Anest Iwata. Her version will be more like a polishing tool like that of a dentist. It will have different variables and several eraser tips of various densities. “Speaking as the number one Beatles artist in the world, it’s a heavy ride to get to number one—but once you’re there it’s almost more difficult

to stay there and fend off all the number twos who want your spot,” said Shannon, “But I’m very lucky to have the spot I do.” Shannon is currently working on a Beatles tribute piece that represents and celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the last member to join and finalize the famous quartet, Mr. Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr). She will fly to the UK to unveil that piece in Liverpool. This August, in Salt Lake City, Utah, she will be one of the headlining artists at the event “ASET presents The Ultimate Air Affair”. She also plans to attend SEMA again this year with ASET (Automo-

tive Spraying Equipment Technologies) and Anest Iwata. Shannon will be displaying and painting live, as well as introducing some new SHANNON PRODUCTS including her air eraser mentioned earlier in this piece. Shannon is also teaching both custom automotive and illustration worldwide for those looking to start a career in airbrushing or for those who are accomplished looking to take it up a notch. For those interested call Shannon’s studio in New Jersey at 310-739-4930 or ASET at 800-6285449. See more of Shannon’s art, as well as her music, at

this business but quite honestly, it might have actually chosen me. Can’t say it’s been that bad of a deal. I’m sure everyone in the business has a story to tell of how they got started, and when I get the chance to hear someone else’s story I’ll take the time to listen. It’s really fascinating to me how we all ended up here… bending over the hood of a car or truck. I’m very proud of the auto indus-

try, and I’m proud to be a part of it. Whatever some people may think about the job of a “mechanic” or how they might try to degrade it, there’s one thing to keep in mind…. it’s a necessary part of the world we live in. This country is built on moving goods, products, and people from one place to another, and without mechanics everything would come to a complete stop. As a tribute to all of the mechan-

ics, technicians out there… a tip of the hat to one and all… your dedication and hard work should be commended. If no one else will say it… I will… Thank you for your continued efforts. You keep fixing them and I’ll keep telling your stories. Here’s a hand salute from an old Marine to everyone in the automotive trenches. I appreciate every one of you… 100 percent. OohRah!

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On Creative Marketing with Thomas Franklin

Tom Franklin has been a shop sales and marketing consultant for fifty years. He has written numerous books and provides marketing solutions and services for many businesses. He can be reached at (323) 871-6862 or at See Tom’s columns at under Columnists > Franklin

“Power Babes” Throw a Successful Event Last year, as summer approached, I wrote an article about holding an event in the summer to bring in new business. I was pleased recently to learn of an event put on by a shop in my area. “POWER BABES,” a professional womens’ networking group in the vicinity of the shop, meets regularly to explore and discuss issues of interest and importance to the members. The location of the meeting is different each time, and often held at a place of business of interest to the members. The marketing lady at the host shop learned of this group of about forty women and invited them to hold their next meeting at the shop. The current group president expressed an interest in holding a meeting that focused on a women’s car care clinic. It was agreed that the meeting would be held at the shop. Automobile repair people who describe a vehicle problem using the jargon of the industry can confuse not just women, but many uninformed people. Several automotive professionals would be invited to speak on car care issues in their area of expertise. To help the women in the group better understand what is going on when they need a vehicle repair, the professionals would be asked to make detailed presentations during the car care clinic. Several did agree to come. A lot of information for the meeting came from “Vehicle MD.” They were kind enough to provide everyone with a copy of their magazine ( A woman assistant manager at an auto parts company surprised the group by providing very detailed technical information they could all understand. And a manager from Americas Tire Company

provided a wealth of little known information about tire care. Several other of the shop’s vendors were invited to speak, but had to decline because of the short notice. A local Nissan dealership provided a technician along with a no-emissions “Leaf” vehicle from the dealership for the group to examine at great length. The ladies had this rare opportunity to learn many technical details about this state-of-the-art vehicle in a way they never could have without the help of an expert technician. The cost of providing food and drink for a group this size might convince many shop owners that an event like this could not be cost-effective. But the fact is this was a highly profitable venture. The tour of the shop alone convinced many women in the group that this was an exceptionally clean, technically advanced place to bring their car when they needed autobody repair. The close personal contact with the owner and marketing people also convinced many that this was a highly ethical, caring place to bring a vehicle. From the viewpoint of the shop, follow-up is what made the biggest difference in cost effectiveness. Photos of the event and key members of the group were posted on Facebook and the shop’s website. Comments by ladies attending the event were recorded by the host — especially comments praising the attractive layout and the shop’s neatness and cleanliness — and also posted on Facebook and the shop’s website. While this was obviously nice publicity for the shop, the women running the networking group were well aware that this would also be a big help in their recruiting efforts to get other

Iowa Collision Repair Centers Raise $1,329 for Charity BODYPROS Collision Repair, a group of Des Moines-based collision repair centers, has raised a total of $1,329 for the Iowa Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Team in Training during the Arena Football League Iowa Barnstormers’ home games. BODYPROS Collision Repair, the greater Des Moines area’s only collision network, will hold a a 50/50

raffle at all Iowa Barnstormers home games to benefit the Iowa Chapter of LLS Team in Training. “What an electrifying night, both outside and inside!” said BODYPROS Collision Repair’s Christy Jones of the April 14 game. “With the Iowa Barnstormers’ first home field win, BODYPROS Collision Repair raised $415 for the Iowa Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.”


women to join their network. If structured properly, events like this can be a win-win for both the shop and the attending group. Profiles of leading players in the group were also captured so acknowledgements could be sent to the key people and, in some cases, their subordinates and family. This action fitted in nicely with the shop’s effort to maintain broader profiles of repeat customers and prospective customers. A while back I wrote about a shift away from broadcasting to what has been called “narrow-casting” in promotional parlance. Using today’s powerful preference identification technology, advertisers know just about everything you like to eat, to wear, to read, and more. If you can build a database with searchable fields for gender, marital status, family members, occupation, professional affiliation, vehicles owned (also by

other family members), pets, social networks, birthdays, anniversaries and more, you have a tool for perfectly targeted promotional calls, mailings, emails and invitations. Because of the professional nature of the women in this group, I would call this a truly brilliant marketing event for this shop. Most of these ladies drove recent model, highend cars. Because most were also very active in business, they do a lot of driving and given the urban area in which they reside, a certain number of at least small accidents are bound to occur. Because of most of the ladies’ immaculate attire, you could see they cared a great deal about appearance and so would choose to keep their vehicle in spotless condition. All of these factors added together amount to a group of the very best prospective customers a shop could hope to attract.



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Industry Insight with John Yoswick

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

Standards Program in the U.K. Offers Lessons for the U.S. through observing the U.K. market As the discussion of how and whether and speaking with shops there. the industry should develop some sort He predicated his remarks by of formalized collision repair stansaying that Fix Auto USA is commitdards continues,with Paul Gange brings a Ed Attanasio ted to repair stansomewhat unique perspective on the dards, ensuring topic. that all of its franGange is the president and chief chises here, for exoperating officer of Fix Auto USA, ample, maintain which has 48 franchise locations in the I-CAR Gold four U.S. states, as well as 151 shops Class designation around the country using the comwith Ed Attanasio of ongoing trainpany’s services as part of a more Paul Gange ing, and use a loosely-knit “network.” third-party, VeriFacts Automotive, to But Fix Auto also has a similar help ensure repairs are being done organization in the United Kingdom, correctly. with 68 franchises in a market that has “Fix Auto is committed to repair implemented a repair standards prostandards that are universally adhered gram that is most often mentioned as a potential model for one in the United to and which ensure vehicles are reStates. turned to the road safely,” Gange said. Speaking recently on the ColliThat said, he offered the followsion Repair Executive Webcast ing prescriptions and warnings for (CREW), Gange shared some of the those involved in the standards effort perspectives on standards he’s learned here.

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● Discussion of standards can easily lead to multiple “standards.” Gange said the standards effort in the U.K. began in the 1970s along with the shift to unibody vehicles. One industry organization developed a standards program, which about 2,700 U.K. shops implemented over a fouryear period. But 300 other shops balked at that standard, and created and implemented a different set of standards. Eventually there were at least three such programs, and shops

found themselves being required by different insurers to implement multiple standards, just as U.S. shops often have multiple estimating systems to meet different insurer requirements. “This was, at the very basis, a bit of a mess,” Gange said. Some say the U.S. market is going down a similar road, with an increasing number of shop certification programs by the automakers and third-party certification pro-

Other Voices on Standards

Several other industry participants offered their view of the industry standards development process during a recent Collision Repair Executive Webcast (CREW). Mike Quinn, who co-chairs a Repair Standards Advisory Committee working on the issue, said crash testing of a vehicle repaired using methods considered safe just a decade ago showed that if used today, such Mike Quinn methods would compromise the safety of passengers in a subsequent crash. “The results were disastrous, and if we don’t think we’re under a microscope by litigious attorneys or governmental agencies, we’re kidding ourselves,” Quinn said. “The ostrich approach has not worked for our industry. The consumer expects and should have comfort that cars are being safely repaired to a standard so their family is safe in that repaired automobile. We have to move forward.” Denise Caspersen of the manager of the Automotive Service Association (ASA) Collision Division, agreed that standards could improve shop consistency and efficiency, as well as repair quality, customer satisfaction and the industry’s professionalism. But, she said, ASA members have expressed concerns about whether a standards program would be open to shops of all sizes, whether it would be recognized by consumers, and whether it Denise Caspersen would offer a return on investment for shops or rather just add another cost for shops. Steve Nantau of Ford Motor Company agreed that in order to be successful, a standards program would have be recognized as valuable by consumers and insurers. He believes if the industry doesn’t develop a single, recognized program, even more automakers and other groups will implement their own such program, none of which will end up with enough “traction” for Steve Nantau widespread recognition. | MAY 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 35

grams, such as one being launched by the Assured Performance Network. (See, or April edition)

● Create a system that is free from bias. While the industry in the U.K. has shifted in recent years toward a single standard, Gange said there’s some question as to whether that program treats all repairers equally. As an example, Gange said that most shops are subject twice a year to unannounced assessments of their compliance with the standards. “These are arduous assessments,” he said. “They are very, very detailed. And if you fail that assessment, you lose your certification.” But Gange said one mobile repairer organization in the U.K., which focuses on light hits and bumper repairs, faces such assessments at only a subset of their “locations,” which are essentially vans, rather than at all locations like most other repairers. That reduces their costs of compliance, Gange said, which some traditional repairers view as unfair. In addition to that type of sitation, Gange said he would like to see the

U.S. also avoid a standards system that isn’t open to anyone willing and able to comply. Automaker shop certification programs, for example, generally require an independent shop to have a relationship with a dealer, which may make such a program open to one shop but not to another, equally-qualified shop. “Repairers wiling and capable of investing, if that’s required, or adhering to standard specifications and doing the work that’s it’s going to take to ensure that they can repair vehicles properly should have a right to repair that vehicle,” Gange said. “I would not want there to be a standard that excludes a shop that wanted to adhere to the standard but perhaps wasn’t able to participate because it didn’t have the endorsement of another organization.” ● Don’t underestimate the cost of standards. Gange said that while the standards program in the U.K., is “at its essence positive, it’s riddled with bureaucracy, and along with bureaucracy comes costs.” Gange said that shops in the U.K. feel they bear the burden of these costs, including a

$30,000 to $80,000 initial implementation fee, along with the equivalent of just under $8,000 a year in annual training. Much of that training is provided through Thatcham, an insurerfunded research and training organization in the U.K. Gange said the industry here may want to ensure there are multiple organizations helping implement any standards program. “I think what we would want to have in this regard is a healthy marketplace for those that do the training and the assessments and the initial implementation,” Gange said. “That will help keep the prices down.” Gange was asked if the standards program in the U.K. has led to increases in repair costs and total losses there. “At some point you have to expect that when you’re spending $30,000 to $80,000 to implement a standard, and another $7,000 to $9,000 a year to maintain a standard, those costs have to come out somewhere,” Gange said. “And I think its fair to say they have come out in the cost of repairs ultimately with an increase in total losses.”

● There needs to be recognition of the standards by insurers and consumers. Gange said the U.K. standards program uses the “Kitemark” brand for shops meeting the standards; similar to the “Good Housekeeping” seal here, Kitemark is a well-recognized symbol among UK. consumers. Without recognition by insurers and consumers of the value of choosing a certified shop, Gange said, shops not meeting the standard will use their lower costs to market lower prices – generally for a lower-quality or even unsafe repair. John Yoswick, a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988, is also the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4week trial subscription, visit He can be contacted by email at


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Mainstream Media

This column reprints articles referring to the collision and auto repair industry as given in the general press. Autobody News thanks the copyright holder for giving permission to reprint such works.

Complaints Lead to Arrest of Ohio Car Restoration Business Owner by Jami Kinton, News Journal

Authorities capped a five-month investigation April 11 with the arrest of a Shelby, OH, man on multiple felony charges. Local officials say they were prompted by complaints from 17 cases of unhappy car-restoration customers, who combined said they lost more than $300,000. Keith Shellhouse, 46, was charged with aggravated theft, a thirddegree felony, and theft of a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony, said Richland County Deputy Sheriff, Rich Eichinger. “I’ve been doing car restorations for 30 years,” said Shellhouse, owner of Independent Autobody and Pro Restorations at 4952 PlymouthSpringmill Road. “Did I steal? No, I did not steal anything.” Richland County Sheriff’s Maj.

Dale Fortney said the department was assisted by the Attorney General’s Economics Crimes Division and the

Keith Shellhouse. owner of Independent Autobody and Pro Restorations, 4952 PlymouthSpringmill Road, Shelby, OH, is taken to the Richland County Jail on April 11/JAMI KINTON/NEWS JOURNAL

state Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the Ohio Department of Taxation, the Ohio Collision Repair Board and the Bureau of Motor Vehicle Investigations. He said there were more than 30 victims, but only 17 kept good

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enough records to take to a grand jury. “People had to refinance their houses, sell land,” Eichinger said. “He only finished one car since 2002 and he’s had 20-plus cars waiting. Yes, it does take time to restore cars, but then why would you continue to bring in new cars when you have so many you haven’t even started? “I think he just wanted more and more money coming in. It was kind of like a Ponzi scheme.” Shellhouse said previously his car restoration business has resulted in award-winning street rods. The shop also offers collision repair service, and its website promises customers a 100 percent money-back guarantee. Some customers report a different experience. Bill Stouval, of New York, found the shop online. “(Shellhouse) came to pick up my car on July 31, 2009,” Stouval said of his 1986 Chevy Camaro High Rock Z28. “He told me he would do a complete restoration. He told me when he was done it would be better than when it rolled off the showroom floor.” Stouval said Shellhouse estimated it would be a two-year project. Stouval said he paid $5,000 up front and was told it would cost $15,000 to complete the project. “I chased him down every month and asked how it was going,” Stouval said. “He was really good at ignoring my calls. I had to call from other phones, and his mailbox was always full. Neighbors said they’d see people beating on his door, knowing he was inside but he wouldn’t open it. “When I would get a hold of him, he did admit he hadn’t made much progress but had every excuse, ‘I’m waiting on parts. I’m about to get a divorce from my wife. I lost my cellphone.’ Normally, you’d say, ‘OK, well then you’re fired.’ But when this guy has thousands of your dollars, you can’t do much but say, ‘OK, when are you going to be back on track?’ “ Stouval said Shellhouse collected $9,400 from him. Judy Boyd had a similar story. “I had a 1972 Corvette and my husband at the time wanted to surprise me and have a restoration done on it,”

Boyd said. “He found Keith on the Internet, but I really didn’t want someone to touch my car because I was afraid something like this would happen.” Boyd said she paid Shellhouse $9,000. “I took my car over to him in one piece and got it back in pieces,” she said. On March 16, 2002, Boyd asked that the vehicle be stripped of all body paint, repainted and completely refinished within two years. “On Oct. 9, 2003, I went over there and found that he had disassembled it, but done absolutely nothing,” Boyd said. “He’d also left my frame out in the field and it had completely rusted.” Boyd said all calls were “short and argumentative” and emails received no response. She finally sought legal help. “I loved this car dearly. When I think about it, it just makes me want to cry,” Boyd said. Members of the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Shellhouse at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at his business. “Sure looked a lot different in there this time,” said Deputy Chuck Kochis, who was present in November when authorities searched the business and seized three vehicles. “It looks like he’s actually trying to work on cars now. I’m sure he’s upset because he’s trying to build his business back up. But he dug his own grave.” Shellhouse’s wife, Tammy, who works in Mansfield, was waiting to collect her husband’s possessions at the jail. “He did nothing illegal,” she said. “They raided my house with bogus search warrants.” Shellhouse is expected to be arraigned the week of April 15. Authorities ask people with complaints to call Eichinger at 419-774-3572.

Autobody News takes no position on the guilt or innocence of the persons featured in this article and all are innocent until proven guilty. This story is reprinted here by kind permission of the author, Jami Kinton, and the Mansfield News Journal. | MAY 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 37

Matrix System Launches World’s First Premium Low VOC Solvent Basecoat by Melanie Anderson

Matrix System Automotive Finishes, a Michigan-based company that distributes nationwide and in Canada, recently launched an entire line of toners that deliver 3.5 pounds per gallon or less VOC emissions. This revolutionary technology offers customers exceptional hiding with ease of application and no need to upgrade shop equipment. Matrix, a division of Quest Specialty Coatings, unveiled its new line at the NACE Show in Orlando, Florida, last October where professional vehiKen Papich, Matrix’ Director of Sales cle refinishers were the first to discover the Matrix System’s MPB-LV Premium Low VOC Basecoat system. MPB-LV (Matrix Premium BasecoatLow VOC) sprays like other premium high VOC solvent systems, which makes it “hard to believe that it is low VOC,” Ken Papich, Director of Sales, told Autobody News. Additionally, the MPB-LV utilizes the Matrix System Color Variant Selector System to ensure a great match every time. The new premium low VOC basecoat gives the California and Canadian markets, and other regions contemplating low VOC regulations, the opportunity to choose between waterborne or low VOC solvent basecoat. Matrix partners with several regional warehouse groups to distribute their products to jobbers that sell to body shops and the retail public across the United States and Canada. “Because of this network, Matrix now has inventories that are only hours, or minutes, away,” said Papich. “This really helps lower the operating costs of jobbers and they no longer need to stock so much product. We also have relations with an international distributor which takes Matrix all over the globe. It’s a great American story, as we make all our paints in Michigan and export all over the world.” Matrix System Automotive Finishes is one of the industry’s most successful manufacturers of high quality color, clear coats, primers, hardeners and reducers. Matrix was established as a company dedicated to developing

high performance and affordable refinishing products that perform as well as or better than the leading national brands. The company’s mission is to produce high-quality automotive finishes and provide great value to their customers. “Matrix products sell for less without sacrifice,” said Papich. Matrix has been in business for 30 years, starting with the production of premium clear coats, primers, hardeners and solvents. “We started when there was little competition, as the major paint brands owned the entire market,” said Papich. “We built great relationships with raw material suppliers, and because of lower operating

Company Facts

cuShade® Intermix System now leads the product line, giving body shops the ability to produce over 98,000 colors with exact formulas. It has been estimated that Matrix basecoat colors have been sprayed on over one million vehicles with accurate color match and excellent performance. Like its entry into the clear coat market, Matrix was a pioneer as an alternative automotive refinish brand. “We were able to save body shops nearly 40% of the paint cost and provide a consistent income for our jobbers,” said Papich. Today, AccuShade has evolved to a multi-quality intermix systems—premium to economy-

● Founded in 1983, Matrix employs over 100 full-time associates. ● Matrix products are manufactured in a 52,000-square-foot modern production facility in Commerce Township, Michigan. ● Matrix System’s corporate headquarters, warehouse, and training facility are located in Walled Lake, Michigan. ● 1.4 million gallons are produced annually. ● 4.0 million dollars of modern production paint equipment. ● Bulk resin and solvent tanks are hard piped to mixing tanks. ● 16 bulk resin and mixing tanks on electronic load cells hard piped to filling lines. ● 7 automated filling lines with batch coding systems and automated labeling systems.

Online Contest

Matrix is offering a “Peel to Win” online promotion to all their body shop customers who purchase a gallon of Matrix System’s MP-1000 “Coast to Coast” DTM Primer Surfacer Sealer. To qualify, customers need to purchase a specially marked gallon can of the MP-1000 DTM Primer Surfacer Sealer, peel the sticker, follow all instructions on the back and visit the Matrix website to register. Winning prizes include iPads, Iwata Air Guns and spray guns, VISA gift cards, mixing equipment and more. The program runs until September, 2012.

costs, produced premium products at nearly half the price of the major competitors. We never had to cheapen our products to keep the selling price low. This quest for staying true to our formulas paved the way for loyal end users.” Today, Matrix is one of North America’s largest clear coat manufacturers. Back in 1997, Matrix introduced the first Intermix Paint System, called AccuShade. Since bursting onto the national scene, Matrix System has been selling its AccuShade® Intermix Paint Systems, FX Series custom colors, clears, primers, and reducers to over 350 paint stores and thousands of body shop customers. The Ac-


priced basecoats, single stage paints, and now the world’s first premium low VOC solvent basecoat—MPV-LV. Not all the paints and products that Matrix offers are low VOC. Matrix sells multiple products for all markets, including international. “Many people think California must only use low VOC, but a large part of the state doesn’t require this. We comply by providing accurate information for our distributors regarding what’s legal and what’s not.” Moving forward, Matrix is creating “Coast 2 Coast” products that are legal in all of North America. “Our new paint products perform so well, we didn’t tell customers that they were

using low VOC coatings because we felt body shops wouldn’t want to buy products they didn’t ‘have to’ or would have preconceived notions that they wouldn’t perform,” said Papich. “So, some of our labels do not feature the scary words ‘low VOC’ but we do provide all the necessary regulatory information.” While some may think the current regulatory environment is complex, Papich doesn’t think so. “If you take the time to read and understand the rules, they are very simple. I only wish the rules didn’t vary between counties or states.” In addition to the Matrix label, the company manufactures coatings for several other brands and distributors. “Paint manufacturing is a complicated and costly endeavor,” Papich said. “Smaller distributors and manufacturers now contract with us for less than it costs to make paint themselves, and with consistent results.” Papich grew up in the paint business, working in his family’s paint store in San Diego, CA in the early 1980s as a teenager. He helped grow the family store into two large profitable locations. “I always wanted to be in law enforcement, but couldn’t give up my passion for the paint business. In the early 1990s, we sold our stores to Sherwin-Williams and my dad retired. I continued to work for SherwinWilliams in various roles, my last as the Regional Sales Manager overseeing 21 locations and 140 employees. In 2008, I moved to Matrix and have been truly blessed to work for such a great group of people.” Since 2007, the company has doubled in sales and Papich thinks it’s only the beginning. “Matrix is a lean company where we all wear a lot of different hats. I’ve learned so much in the past few years, and it’s all been fun. I look forward to our future as Matrix continues to experience record growth globally. “Matrix has definitely earned our place in the market as a premium line at great value,” Papich added. “Today, we’ve become a viable alternative to the major brands, without sacrifice. We’re committed to adding additional field resources, along with developing state-of-the-art technology. I see continued global growth for Matrix as we strategically increase market share and brand awareness. Matrix is a great line worth looking into. We have a great story to tell and can prove it.”


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DOE to Accelerate New HighTech Materials for Autos

The Department of Energy recently announced a new $14.2 million effort to accelerate the development of new high-tech materials for vehicles that will help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and pollution. The announcement specifically named carbon fiber composites and advanced steels and alloys as targets for the funding. “By investing in next-generation vehicle materials and components, we are helping U.S. manufacturers improve the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks and ensuring American companies remain at the cuttingedge of the global auto industry,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “Lighter, stronger materials will help improve the performance of our vehicles while saving families and businesses money at the pump.” The department acknowledged that replacing traditional components with lightweight materials, including advanced high-strength steel, magnesium, aluminum, and polymer composites, allows manufacturers to include additional safety devices, integrated electronic systems, and emissions control equipment on vehicles without increasing their weight.

LKQ’s ‘Promise of Protection Program’ has Launched

LKQ Corp., the largest provider of aftermarket and recycled collision replacement parts and refurbished collision replacement products in the nation, has announced what it describes as “the strongest warranty protection in the aftermarket category.” Effective immediately, LKQ says it will indemnify licensed auto repair shops against injury or damage caused by a defective aftermarket vehicle replacement product distributed by LKQ. LKQ says its “Promise of Protection” is unique in the auto parts industry offering unparalleled product liability indemnification. “We have always stood behind our product quality and offer lifetime warranties for all of our aftermarket crash parts, that’s not new,” said Rob Wagman, president and CEO of LKQ. “Our Promise of Protection goes one giant step further by offering product liability indemnification. “This new program clearly demonstrates our higher level of quality assurance beyond the lifetime warranty, so our customers can be totally confident when buying and using our products in their repair businesses.”

OSHA Publishes Final “Right to Understand” Rule

OSHA published its final rule aligning its Hazard Communication (HazCom) Standard with the Global Harmonization System for Classifying and Labeling Chemicals (GHS). The rule, known as HazCom 2012 or the workers’ “Right-to-Understand” rule, substantially changes OSHA’s current standard and affects over 40 million employees at more than 5 million facilities nationwide. Employers must train all employees on the new HazCom standard before December 1, 2013. Now that the final rule has been published, hazard communication procedures must change. Facilities must apply new chemical classification criteria, replace ALL MSDSs with new Safety Data Sheets, update or replace chemical labels, and train employees on the new standard. To help industry professionals understand the changes they must make, Lion Technology will offer the Preparing for OSHA’s New GHS Rule Web Seminar monthly through the end of the year, on May 15, Jun 21, Jul 17, Aug 16, Sept 25, Oct 23, Nov 15, and Dec18. More information:

VW Names OEConnection as Collision Program Provider

OEConnection LLC, the parts e-commerce technology leader for OEM distribution networks, announced today that it has been chosen by Volkswagen of America, Inc. (VWoA) to support their ongoing Collision Programs. Under the agreement, dedicated resources from OEConnection will conduct field visits to thousands of collision repair facilities and hundreds of Volkswagen dealers throughout the U.S. to promote the VW Genuine Advantage Parts Program. OEConnection field consultants will educate and train Volkswagen dealers and their wholesale body shop accounts on CollisionLink®, the online parts ordering and fulfillment solution from OEConnection, which was selected by VWoA in 2010 to automate its discount parts program and help VW dealers compete with aftermarket parts suppliers. The multi-year consulting agreement follows successful collision initiatives in 2011 that led to a marked increase in incremental sales of Genuine VW collision parts. Improved Genuine VW parts usage helps Volkswagen customers have the best possible repair experience and ensures optimum occupant safety.

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Rich Evans CoSponsors Fundraiser for Baby Cancer Foundation by Melanie Anderson

Autobody News columnist Rich Evans, owner of Huntington Beach

Bodyworks and award-winning painter and fabricator, co-sponsored an exclusive fundraising event held April 13 at the Lush Lounge in Long Beach. ‘The Party,’ co-hosted by Motor Media and Swipe 4 The Kids, raised awareness and $2200 for America’s Baby Cancer Foundation and the Orange County chapter of JDRF (formerly known as Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). The guest-list

only event featured a silent auction which included several unique items, including autographed footballs from former NFL stars Vince Ferragamo and Mike Lansford, autographed guitars and luxury watches. Spinning eclectic tunes for ‘The Party’ was guest DJ Chris Vrenna, formerly a drummer for Nine Inch Nails and keyboardist for Marilyn Manson. In 1994, Vrenna won a Grammy for his live performance with Nine Inch Nails at Woodstock.

Patricia & Rich Evans with friends

About the Charities

Racing personality Gordon “Lug Nutzz” Stewart, who has covered extreme sports, entertainment and the music industry on several radio and TV networks, hosted the party with his own brand of charitable enthusiasm.

America’s Baby Cancer Foundation was founded in 2000 in Long Beach, CA as Sebastian’s Baby Cancer Foundation by Bernard and Antonia Hicks following the loss of their child, Sebastian, at the age of 19 months. Sebastian was born with cancer of the neck and brain and during his short lifetime, his parents realized the desperate need for research, aid and education for families faced with baby cancer. ABCF is devoted to children and their families suffering from child-related cancers. Cancer is a leading cause of disease-related deaths among children in the United States and increasing every year. In addition, the number of cases of babies being born with cancer is on the rise. For more information, see JDRF has worked to improve lives and cure Type 1 diabetes for the past 40 years through research funding and advocacy. Its mission is to discover, develop and deliver advances that cure, better treat and prevent Type 1 diabetes. Last year, the foundation dropped its formal name of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation because 85% of those in the U.S. with Type 1 diabetes are adults. JDRF is an organization for all ages and all stages of the disease. For more information, see 40 MAY 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS |

Special guests included former NFL stars Mike Lansford (barefoot kicker for the Rams), former Raiders player Jim Weatherley and Lance Zeno of the Green Bay Packers, NASCAR and off-road racer Felix ‘Nighthawk’ Giles, Chef Steve Cassarino, Diggity Dave with MTV’s Pimp My Ride, and 11-yearold race car driver Brandon 11-year-old race car driver, Brandon Weaver Weaver of Bakersfield, CA. Custom car designer Rich Evans starred in the first season of Speed Channel’s Car Warriors and has several other TV credits, including Chop Cut Rebuild, Monster Garage and Chopper Nation. Rich is currently shooting a pilot for a new show which DJ Chris Vrenna and emcee Gordon “Lug Nutzz” Stewart he’ll produce—a doceration that working with their hands umentary about car building and learning something new is cool,” around the world. Evans said. “As a car builder, I hope to inEvans, his wife, Patricia, and spire and influence the younger genOUR PARTS IN THE T R AINE D H A N DS O F A P RO F E S SI O N A L

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their three children, Dylan, 20, Lytra, 12 and Drahcir, 8, have been hosting Christmas parties and other events for America’s Baby Cancer Foundation ( for the past

Chef Steve Cassarino with Rich Evans

several years at the shop. The kids visit with Santa, receive gifts and sit in several designer cars. “Our parties get the kids out of the hospital for the day and they get the chance to sit in really cool cars,” Evans said. “We try

to help them get their minds off their illnesses for a few hours and they look forward to coming to the shop and seeing the cars. My wife and I are very involved with America’s Baby Cancers Foundation because the children who die of this disease are very young and don’t get to see a glimmer of a long NFL alumni Jim Weatherley and Chef Steve Cassarino life. We want to bring and the diseases that affect us. Fightsome happiness into their ing cancer makes me feel grounded lives. We want to support and appreciate life more.” them, encourage them and make them feel special. “I do as much charity as I can to help bring awareness about disabilities and diseases,” said Evans. “People don’t recognize or slow down enough to pay attention to certain diseases until they or a loved one get it. For me, I try to get more involved and learn as much as I can about the body Felix “Nighthawk” Giles

Phillis Lane, co-founder and President of America’s Baby Cancers Foundation, attended ‘The Party’ which was held over the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend. “Rich and Patricia Evans are once again providing America’s Baby Cancer Foundation the opportunity to broaden awareness of what is a little discussed disease that affects children. Our organization and the families we help are most appreciative of their support.” Co-host of the ‘The Party,’ Swipe 4 Kids, is a brand new program that gives 50% of merchant electronic service fees towards endowing art, music, sports and educational enprograms at local schools. hancement For more information, see: CHECK IT OUT!

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Continued from Page 30

Tony Lombardozzi going to the insurers in the form of underpaid services. Collision repair facilities never see that added profit. Meanwhile, shops continue to bill at the same rates that they have been billing for quite some time. If a repair shop adds a $50,000 piece of equipment to their overhead to enable them to be more efficient and repair more cars, the insurer reaps the benefit of those savings by forcing the shop to accept a lesser value for their services. Usually in business, the business owner makes an investment and gets a return on that investment, yet that is frequently not the way things work in this industry due to third-party interference; however, without this influence, collision repair shops can work on less cars and increase profitability. When I questioned Tony about why many shops seem indifferent or unaware of these issues, he told me “what’s happened is, most of the younger people in this business have come up through the ranks believing the insurance industry is their partner.

Continued from Page 20

Stolen Nissan Parts ceiving and possessing stolen property, as well as a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge, JPD spokeswoman Colendula Green said.

They don’t know there’s another side to this business.” Frequently, industry events and meetings discuss making business decisions with their “insurance partners”, propagating this incorrect attitude toward the repairers’ relationships with insurance companies. Many collision repairers are never made aware that there is another side to this industry and a better way to do business which is removing the thirdparty influence from the equation. Through their direct repair programs, insurers teach repairers that they will always have work and never need to advertise which makes it seem like the insurance company has a right to be involved since the shop has an agreement with them; however, these repairers are never exposed to the other side of the collision repair industry, and when they try to learn about shop independence, they are threatened with losing their place in the program. “That’s called big business intimidation,” Tony points out. Too often, repair shops do not explore the option of independence because fear is the largest thing driving the collision repair industry. Shops fear that they will be blackballed or steered

how stuff got out of there in that amount without them noticing,” Russell said. Nissan uses independent trucking for some of its shipments, he said. In addition to the stolen Nissan parts, at least one stolen vehicle was on the property, Russell said. Several onlookers had gathered in the open area in front of the shop after the police arrived, but they all denied knowing Brown or anyone else who worked at the shop. Russell said he was unaware of Precious Automotive having had precious dealings with the law. He said, however, because of the conditions of

Some of the parts still have the Nissan tracking code labels

Nissan officials told police they had concerns that some items could be missing, Russell said. However, the company would not discuss the stolen parts beyond a statement acknowledging that Nissan had been told about the discovery. No current or former Nissan employees would comment on security related to tracking auto parts shipments. Police are looking into several ways the merchandise could have ended up unaccounted for. “I’m puzzled about

against if they take a stand toward independence. They fear losing work or going out of business completely, but Tony insists that there will always be work and these shops are failing to realize that their services are needed. They are taught by insurers that they will be rewarded for behaving as they are told and punished for going against the grain. The most important thing that independent shops have to learn is that they need another way to market their business. Tony believes that collision repair facilities across the country should be concerned with redirecting the way the industry is run because if they look at how bad this industry is compared to how it was fifteen years ago, they will see a major and disturbing difference. Instead of asking about the past, present and future of the industry, many repairers only ask what the insurance company wants them to do so they will continue to receive work, but at this rate, all that many shop owners will be left with is the real estate that they own. Tony recommends researching manufacturing industry statistics and looking at the collision repair industry which is at the bottom.

With inflation, the monetary value of a repair has decreased over time, but no one accounted for the disparity this causes. Many repairers believe that they cannot raise their rates because the insurance companies will not allow it. Tony warns, “If inflation changes and begins to escalate, you’ll see a lot of body shops go out of business. Because we’re too far behind. We can’t beat economics.” This is why he advises repairers to do their research and plan ahead. Though the CCRE would like to fund consumer education commercials in the future to inform consumers about the issues in the industry and their own rights, CCRE refuses to be influenced by any third party. The insurance industry has influenced every aspect of the collision repair industry, he laments. “Everybody’s got their hands in our pockets except us.”


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Industry Business Beat with Frank Sherosky

This is a new column in Autobody News. It will focus on investment opportunities in the auto industry and will feature guest columnists on a regular basis. Opinions herein are strictly those of the author. Autobody News accepts no responsibility for investment actions taken or not taken based on this column.

Aluminum Stock—A Long-Term Auto-Related Opportunity? This article is reprinted from Torque News with permission. Aluminum and light-weight automotive body structures surely go together, no less than light-weight bodies and lower MPG. So, it should be no surprise that the earnings of Alcoa (NYSE:AA) would bring the company into focus once again, especially with the advent of higher MPG requirements by 2016 and 2025. All of us know that forcing people into smaller cars is not advancement. Even a Ford engineering manager at 2012 NAIAS had the sense to say there is a limit to downsizing engines as well as auto bodies. In fact, he noted the next wave of gains for automotive will have to come from lighter body structures. Truth is, auto body structures are already becoming hybridized, but have a long way to go. They are still

made mostly of sheet steel stamped in complex forms, then welded together for that unibody construction. However, they are getting increasingly amounts of aluminum and magnesium pieces, too, especially for the unsprung portions like suspension parts. Looking at the future, consider the Tesla Model S and the Mercedes new SL. That’s where we need to go as an industry; and that’s where we are going as an industry. It’s simply a matter of time and investment. With regard to Tesla and Mercedes SL, both have all-aluminum structures. They cost more money, but so do lithium-ion batteries. Furthermore, a lighter body structure would provide greater driving range even for full EVs. Now, imagine an all-aluminum Chevy Cruze, for example, powered by a revised Ecotec engine with a split-cycle configuration or even a

downsized engine with an electric supercharger, stop-start and maybe even an air-hybrid component. Then the gas mileage would be awesome compared to what we have now even in the city; and the overall cost wouldn’t be formidable for the masses as what we have for EVs. Point is, any company that makes aluminum will be in the sweet spot, provided they can remain healthy during this latest downturn. Thus far, it seems Alcoa may be getting into fighting shape. Sure, there are other aluminum competitors, but AA is an American company; and its position to provide the American auto industry with what it needs can literally position itself like the companies that sold picks and shovels to gold miners of old.

Aluminum vs. Steel vs. Carbon Fiber One Torque News reader noted many months back that billet steel trades around $500/ton, while aluminum trades at $2,200/ton during a period of rock bottom aluminum prices. His implication seems clear: If you cut a thousand pounds off the weight of a car by going aluminum, the ton of aluminum you had would still add over a thousand dollars to every car. While he agreed that lowering the weight of cars is definitely the future, there are lots of other ways of doing it. He felt the auto industry could very easily take a page out of Boeing book and investigate carbon composite body structures. Or a page from the SmartCar book and investigate highstrength steel reinforcements. Fact is, the auto industry is already using those materials, just not extensively. Problem with carbon fiber is the cure time. Try doing that at the rate of 60 cars per hour. At least aluminum has the potential to have present welding technology, not to mention more use of extrusions which are far cheaper, thus eliminating many key stampings altogether. In highstress areas, castings could be used, as witnessed on the Mercedes SL. Alcoa Stock Chart Looking at a recent chart of AA, it is clear that aluminum and Alcoa have

not faired well since 2008. And that should tell you something. If the auto industry faired well before 2008, though, then crashed only to revive to its present position, perhaps aluminum use and production will likely follow that same pattern. It’s just shifted in its timing of recovery. AA is now trading at 9.32 with its lowest low in the past five years at 4.97 and its highest high of the past five years at 48.77. That makes today’s price look like a cheap option play, in my opinion. Granted, it is not my usual writ to recommend any stocks. I prefer to let the charts do the talking. However, I must admit this chart has yet to show a turnaround. Then again, today’s quarterly report may be the catalyst that might turn the trend; perhaps not all at once, but over the next year. Personally, I will be watching the prices of the options as well as the stock dynamics for opportunities. For sure, the general market is swaying the entire market including the auto sector stocks, but that will not remain forever. Frank Sherosky took early retirement from GM, Saturn and spent 39 years in the auto industry as a draftsman, product designer, CAD operator and Studio Design Engineer. His direct experience within the auto industry enables him to contribute insights into business, people, processes and technology; and has written as the Detroit Automotive Technology Examiner. He also trades stocks & commodities, writes books and ebooks, like “Perfecting Corporate Character,“ “Millennial World Order,” “Awaken Your Body to Healthy Aging” and “Awaken Your Speculator Mind.” He lives in Clinton Township, Michigan with his wife and best friend, Judi.He may be contacted via his forwarding email: and followed on Twitter under @Authorfranks CHECK IT OUT! | MAY 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 43

Collision Repair Estimates—Excellence Now Required by Steven Feltovich, Manager of Business Consulting Services, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes

“What can we do to improve the customer experience and our own profitability in a fiercely competitive market?” Faced with demanding customers and aggressive insurance companies, body shop owners around the world are forced to confront this question every day. Leaders in the collision repair industry say that an accurate estimate is critical to the success of their organizations. In fact, nearly every shop I have worked with over the past year has emphasized the importance of the estimate or, as they commonly referred to it, the “blueprint” for damage repairs. Many shops have moved toward a more comprehensive damage assessment process, which consists of initially identifying all of the damage, both visible and hidden. This approach provides tremendous value in terms of cycle time reduction Steven Feltovich alone. There is so much lost time and money in the redundant steps associated with traditional visible damage estimating. Consider the amount of time consumed by ordering parts multiple times per repair order, writing supplements, rescheduling delivery dates, extending rental car provisions and reallocating technicians to vehicles they can work on. Ultimately, this creates an environment of internal friction without any positive energy being directed toward process improvement. Some might refer to the improved process as “blueprinting,” “damage analysis,” or “repair planning.” Regardless of what you decide to call your comprehensive damage assessment process, the fundamentals remain the same. So, let us set out on our journey in search of how to achieve estimating excellence. We will begin by answering one significant question. “Why does traditional estimating still exist if it is so ineffective?” You can probably come up with several answers to this question on your own. Many of us were taught to do it this way. Man-

agement within some shops would claim that their customers expect a traditional estimate. Some would say that insurance companies demand a traditional estimate as the preliminary estimate. Often, we simply fear the attempt to try something new. Many people in our industry have proven that these obstacles are not insurmountable and there is a better way to assess collision damage. The real winners in collision repair are implementing and refining the “blueprinting” process. This process is designed to lower the shop’s overall costs while increasing productivity. Does it work? Absolutely. The objective here is a 100 percent complete damage assessment before loading the vehicle into the production area. The result is phenomenal: • More customer confidence in the shop’s capabilities • Reduced cycle time, predictable delivery dates • Increased technician touch time per day • Less administrative work All of these benefits are achievable with a process-driven damage assessment program in place. The correct process will reduce the common errors, variations and redundancies which are inherent in traditional estimating activities. When I am involved in a facility analysis to determine the root cause of scheduling problems, I frequently find the cause to be directly related to an inaccurate initial estimate. Since jobs are scheduled into the production area based on labor hours and the parts that are needed, inadequate estimates prove disastrous for shops using estimates as a guide for workshop scheduling. If the estimates are half right with what you consider to be a week’s worth of work you will have actually scheduled two weeks of real work into a one-week time slot. This creates bottlenecks and fires within your business that consume you and your staff, slow production and stop your business from ever moving forward. Due to the weaknesses of traditional estimating, we have become an industry of excess capacity in order to compensate for the flawed estimating practices ¾ more facility space and


equipment than we really need. And why do we need that extra space? That’s right, so we can park all of those dead cars in it! You know those dead ones which are waiting for parts,

supplement approvals and/or available technicians. How much does it cost your business to park and store those dead vehicles on the expensive real estate of your available production floor space? In some cases, the vehicles are even parked on the frame machine for a day or two due to a deficient estimate. Ultimately, our customers and insurance partners are the victims of our

broken and failing practices. We must implement a comprehensive damage assessment process designed with one goal in mind—get it right the first time. This requires getting the parts, number of labor hours and costs for materials right the first time and every time. One recent trend that I’ve observed is some shops have begun to make their frame repair pulls before completing the final damage assessment. This arrangement provides outstanding accuracy in the areas of parts orders, labor times and other associated products and services needed to complete all of the repairs. There must be a higher level of awareness of the estimate’s importance and its impact on our business. The estimate directly affects the following listed items: 1. Revenue 2. Profits 3. Negotiation Practices 4. Workshop Scheduling and Loading 5. Repair Processes 6. Cycle Time 7. Workshop Flow

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8. Production Efficiencies 9. Finished Product Quality 10. Customer Satisfaction and Referrals 11. Insurance Company Relationships 12. Organization’s Reputation 13. Employee Compensation/Morale At this point, you will begin to understand the motivation that some shops have for pursuing accurate, estimating excellence. Perhaps the time has come to change our old habits and begin to design and implement some new “lean” processes, starting with the estimating tasks and activities. You will soon come to find that your entire operation can be transformed by simply taking control of the estimating process—this is truly the “blueprint” for profit improvement. Removing the obstacles to implement a comprehensive damage assessment process is not easy. If it were, every collision repair shop in the country would have already embarked on this new frontier. But in today’s marketplace, an effective estimating process is no longer a “wish list” item. It is a crucial component in order to gain a substantial competitive advantage and remain a profitable organization. Several shops are now

posting a 40 percent decrease in their key-to-keys cycle time, which is primarily attributed to their new damage analysis procedures. Without adequate and appropriate training for the body shop management staff, estimating vehicle damage will continue to be a disorganized and underutilized tool. Our research and experience confirms that the collision repair industry lacks the skill and knowledge base in regard to estimating: only three percent of the front-line estimators have had any formal training within the last five years. However, with training and some exposure to a more complete process, it is far more likely to yield positive results—for the collision repair center, the insurers and most importantly the customers. The collision repair industry has many training resources on this subject. You’ll find them advertised in the trade press, and promoted by suppliers and automotive associations who are willing and ready to help your organization improve.

pay, and he won every single case. Mike emphasized the importance of making sure the customer knows exactly what they are signing so that, in a anti-steering commercial. The distrial, the insurance company cannot semination of this type of information claim customers were coerced or unis one way that the collision repair inaware of what rights they were assigndustry can fight back, through recog- ing. He also makes sure to explain nizing the problem and playing the what aftermarket parts are before using same game of public relations. Colli- them in his repairs, and most cussion repair shops’ goals should be to tomers refuse aftermarket parts, even get the insurer out of the repair when their insurance companies force process, remember who the customer them to pay the difference. Rob is and use a well-reasoned strategy of pointed out that the CCRE seminar is informing. Make things about the all about independence. Collision reprocess, not the money. pair shops do not work for insurance SCRS Executive Director Aaron companies, and documentation will Schulenburg then gave a brief but inhelp shops get paid which is their right. formative report on information they The forms will get a shop halfway had received regarding the new State there, but you have to truly believe that Farm parts bidding program (see re- you deserve to get paid for your work. lated story this issue) and the potenOn Saturday afternoon, a panel of tial impact the process could have on lawyers were brought to the front of repairer processes and profits. the room to answer attendees’ specific Attorney Robert McClallen of questions. The panel consisted of Joe VT then began discussing assignment Talarico of NY, A. Brent Geohagan of Give usThis your opinion on matters affecting of proceeds. document is useful FL, John Parese ofthe CT,industry. Erica Eversas it allows the repairer to effectively man of OH, Robert McClallen of VT, step into the consumer’s shoes in William Bensley of PA, and Ashly Van order to sue the insurance company Earl of LA. The panel answered many CHECK IT OUT! and get paid for their work. By signquestions from the audience pertaining an assignment of proceeds, the ing to contracts, writs of replevin, mitcustomer gives the collision repair igating damages and so forth. shop the right to force the issue and Several key points were made receive payment. In creating an asand reiterated during this session: signment of proceeds for your shop, it ● Because shops are the consumers’ is important to clarify and specify exa conflict of interTo advertise advertise The source forassigned. timely only advocate, it isTo actly which rights are being est for a shop to have a contract with call Advertising Sales at: call Joe Momber at: Genuine Mitsubishi Replacement Crash Parts are close information that every that the wording of the Erica stresses the insurance company. at hand through the following quality dealerships. 800-699-8251 800-699-8251 bodybeshop document must correctneeds! because ● Though collision repair facilities do Exceptional customer service, wide selection of in-stock e-mail: parts and the experience necessary to ensure shops will not have the right to sue if not work for insurancee-mail: companies, your repairs proceed smoothly. 800-699-8251 it only CALL grants them rights to proceeds; surance companies have completely it must also grant the right to act as the bought into the mentality that they do. Start Your FREE consumer in order to obtain payment. This allows shop the opportunity to use On Mail SaturdaySubscription. morning, the semi- this incorrect belief to their advantage. nar resumed with a presentation by ● The insurer’s estimate is a hypoRobert McClallen and Mike Parker of thetical, educated guess that can be See the NEW Register Your Email CCRE as they discussed how Mike used as a guideline, but the repairer’s was able to use his assignment of pro- invoice represents the cost of the receeds to successfully sue an insurance pair and is the final answer. 2012 Lancer Sportback company for repeated short pays. ● Class actions do impact insurance www.autobodynew During the trial, Mike stressed that he companies. If everyat shop reports their felt like he was a “co-conspirator to loss through a class action or through a TEXAS OKLAHOMA defraud consumers” when questioned credit reporting agency, the total amount West Loop Don Herring Cable Mitsubishi about why he asked to be taken off diwill show the insurer’s debt to repairers. OKLAHOMA CITY Mitsubishi - Irving Mitsubishi rect repair programs. Rob was able to When the seminar wrapped up, prove the insurance company pracattendees seemed reluctant to leave, 866-375-4074 SAN ANTONIO 866-751-1055 ticed steering against Mike as well. In but everyone walked away with a (469) 443-1872 Fax 800-224-1968 To405-787-6582 advertise his closing argument during the trial, vast amount of new information and #3 Volume Parts Dept. (210) 681-4583 Fax (405) 789-8500at: Fax call Sean Hartman Rob stressed that the insurance comideas for how to run their collision in the Nation. M-F 7:30 am - 6:00 pm panies have no legal way to do this. repair facilities independently. As 800-699-8251 $600,000 Inventory. #1 Volume Dealer in just doing it because they’re “They’re Tony Lombardozzi stressed repeate-mail: All of Texas. big and they think they can.” Rob edly throughout this seminar, they consolidated Mike’s 38 claims, all learned that “there is a better way to first-party claims because of short do business.” Continued from Page 28

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Insurer Report Card in Oregon Ranks State Farm #1, Farmers and GEICO Replace Allstate at Lowest Rank INSURER

State Farm Oregon Mutual Mutual of Enumclaw USAA California Casualty Travelers Unitrin American Family The Hartford American Commerce Insur. Liberty Mutual Ameriprise Country Companies North Pacific Esurance Progressive Nationwide 21st Century (formerly AIG) Safeco Allstate GEICO Farmers Insurance

Overall Grade* (followed by grade in 2011) B+ (B+) B (B+) B (B) B- (B-) C+ (C+) C+ (B-) C+ (B-) C+ (C+) C+ (C+) C+ (C+) C+ (C) C (C) C (C+) C (C) C (C) C (C) C (C) C- (C) C- (C-) C- (D+) D+ (C-) D+ (C)

Non-DRP Shops** B B B BC+ C+ C+ C C C C C C C C C CCD+ CCD+

DRP Shops** AAAn/a n/a n/a B B+ n/a n/a B n/a n/a n/a n/a C+ n/a C B n/a n/a B-

© 2012 by Northwest Automotive Trades Association

n/a = Insufficient responses from shops in the DRP to assign a grade. * Based on responses from all shops. ** Based only on responses from shops participating in (or not participating in) that insurer’s DRP.

State Farm and two smaller Northwest-based auto insurers continue to be among the best at taking care of their customers after an accident. And some of the other larger, best-known insurers – including GEICO, Allstate, Farmers Insurance and Safeco – are among the worst. That was the finding of the latest survey of businesses that interact with auto insurers on behalf of vehicleowners every day: Oregon collision repair shops. “Collision repair shops on a daily basis see how various insurance companies take care of Oregon drivers after an accident, so we feel it’s worthwhile to ask how they rate the various insurers,” said Barbara Crest, executive director for the Northwest Automotive Trades Association (NATA), which conducted the survey of Oregon shops. “We believe their views will be helpful to insurance companies and consumers.” About 600 collision repair shops throughout the state received the survey, which asked them to grade the Top 22 auto insurers in the state in terms of how well each company’s “policies, attitude and payment practices ensure quality repairs and customer service for Oregon motorists.” This is the sixth time the association has conducted such a survey since

• California Casualty is the most improved insurer over the years the survey has been taken. In 2004, the company earned a C- and was ranked 16th among the insurers. It has improved over the years to this year’s C+ and fifth-place finish. • One-third of shops gave Farmers a “F,” the most failing grades received by any insurer. (By comparison, GEICO, the second-to-lowest graded insurer received half as many Fs as Farmers.) State Farm received an “A” from nearly-two thirds of shops, twice the number of second-place finisher Oregon Mutual. • In most cases, the grades given a particular insurer from shops involved in that insurer’s direct repair program (DRP) were higher than those given by shops that are not part of that insurer’s

program. This was particularly true with Safeco and Farmers; their DRP shops gave them grades of B- or better while non-DRP shops gave these same insurers grades of D+. But even Progressive and 21st Century direct repair shops gave those insurers only average grades of C+ or lower. “Collision repairers say the insurers receiving the highest grades – which includes both larger and smaller insurance companies – do the best job of taking care of Oregon drivers after an accident,” Crest said. “We hope consumers will take these ratings into account when choosing an auto insurer, and that insurers that received lower grades will work to improve their performance.” Give us your opinion on matters More than 70 shops throughout Oregon responded to the survey.

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2004. Crest pointed to a number of items of interest in the findings of the To advertise latest survey: The source for timely • Repairers have consistently call Advertising Sales at: information that every given the same three companies a 800-699-8251 body shop needs! grade of B or better all six times the e-mail: survey has been conducted. State CALL 800-699-8251 Farm has continued to hold on to the top spot, receiving an overall grade of Start Your FREE B+ again this year. Two Northwest inMail Subscription. surance companies, Oregon Mutual and Mutual of Enumclaw, maintained WHEELS AMERICA a grade of B to again finish just below See the NEW Nine Locations in the USA! State Farm. State Farm is the largest • Thousands of OEM Remanufactured auto insurer in Oregon: Mutual of Wheels in Stock Enumclaw and Oregon Mutual are • Lifetime Guarantee 102 ranked 12th and 13th, respectively. • CNC Quality • Only two insurers, Allstate and • Powder Coated Liberty Mutual, saw their grades improve from the previous survey. All888-4-FIX-RIM $109 to repair with this ad state improved from its last place www.f i xri finish last year with a D+ (its grade since 2008) to a C- this year. That helped Allstate nudge up past GEICO To advertise and Farmers, whose grades dropped, call Sean Hartman at: making them the only two to receive 800-699-8251 D+ grades this year. But Farmers, GEICO, Safeco and Allstate remained e-mail: as the four lowest-ranked insurers they were last year. • Other insurers seeing half-grade drops this year were Oregon Mutual, Travelers, Unitrin, Country Companies and 21st Century (formerly AIG).



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