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Vol. 36 / Issue 5 / May 2018

State Farm Responds to Claims of Influencing Non-OEM Auto Repair

Todd Tracy’s 10 Ways to Avoid a $42 Million Verdict

by Katherine Coig,

Attorney Todd Tracy’s recent lawsuit against a dealership body shop marks the start of a profound shift for collision repairers. Below is his list of 10 Ways to Avoid a $42 Million Verdict, co-authored by Gene Bilobram, who wrote “The Pre and Post Scan Revolution” featured in Autobody News last spring.

A jury recently found Texas-based John Eagle Collision Center liable for injuries sustained by Matthew and Marcia Seebachan following a 2013 crash because a repair was not done according to OEM specifications, according to the verdict. Now, State Farm is in the spotlight for its alleged role in influencing that repair. The couple is suing for negligence and breach of warranty. The lawsuit stems from a non-OEM roof repair, which used an adhesive instead of being welded as Honda’s

specifications outlined. According to John Eagle’s director Boyce Willis, State Farm wouldn’t pay the shop unless the repair was done according to its specifications as opposed to Honda’s. “No insurance company should ever dictate to a collision repair center or body shop how to repair a vehicle. To do so is extremely negligent, and shows a wanton disregard for human life and the safety of others,” said Todd Tracy, attorney for the plaintiffs. “John Eagle did not repair the subject 2010 Honda Fit to Honda’s body repair specSee State Farm Responds, Page 53

MSO Drops Use of PartsTrader, Remains on State Farm’s ‘Select Service’ Program by John Yoswick

State Farm is allowing Caliber Collision centers participating in the “Select Service” program to remain on the program without using PartsTrader for State Farm claims. Caliber’s corporate office declined to comment on the change, but sources have told CRASH Network that Caliber CEO Steve Grimshaw announced at a company gathering in February that Caliber was curtailing its use of PartsTrader. “We’re now using PartsTrader only for The Hartford,” a source at a

Caliber location in North Carolina confirmed. “I’m not sure if it’s a pilot for [State Farm] dropping PartsTrader, or what.” It is unclear whether the change was initiated by State Farm or Caliber. One source within Caliber said that he expects the company’s use of PartsTrader for The Hartford to end in the near future as well. An estimator at a Caliber location in Georgia said he was happy with the change. “You still have to do your due diligence in searching for alternative parts [for State Farm claims],” he See ‘Select Service’, Page 18

by Gene Bilobram and Todd Tracy

1) Always Follow OEM Repair Specifications Refer to vehicle-specific (year, make, model) and repair-specific OEM repair manual information on every repair. Follow up by seeking any OEM position statement, Technical Service Bulletin (TSB), recall or general procedure applicable to the OEM and its vehicles.

2) Always Follow I-CAR OEM repair procedures do not always exist in a particular vehicle repair situation. In those cases, published I-CAR best practices should be sought out and followed to assure an industry best practices repair. After OEM procedures, always follow I-CAR. 3) Remember Who Your Customer Is The vehicle owner and future owners will live with the consequences of the repairs you make. Keep the customer informed about the high standard of repairs the shop is striving to provide with any insurer resistance to same. It’s the shop’s duty to involve the customer rather than make unilateral decisions which can compromise repairs. The shop’s overriding duty is to provide the safest repair See 10 Ways to Avoid, Page 12

Wrecked Vehicle Stolen from Dealership Body Shop in Houston by Maria Salazar, FOX 26 News

The Houston Police Department needs help identifying a man captured on surveillance video leaving a car dealership’s lot with a customer’s wrecked Jeep Compass. The incident happened on March 24 shortly before 4 p.m. at the Mac Haik Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram dealership on the North Freeway. The dealership’s sales department was still open, but the body shop was closed. Jeffrey Goss said the stolen sport utility vehicle belonged to him. He thought things were looking up on March 26 when he got a text from the dealership saying his car would be ready for pick-up at the end of the day. An hour later, he said he got a call from the dealership to inform him his car had been stolen.

“This is a very random incident,” said Shaun Jones, body shop manager with Mac Haik Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram. “We do everything we can to keep vehicles safe. This could have happened to anybody.” In the surveillance video, a man is seen crawling under a garage door. He then opens another garage door while driving away in a Jeep Compass with front end damage. He steps out of the car to close the garage door and then gets back in the SUV and drives away in it. “In watching him in the video, it looks like he just didn’t have a care in the world,” added Jones. “I mean, didn’t care if anybody saw him. He had a mission and that’s what he was there to do.” Jones said he has worked at the See Vehicle Stolen, Page 12



Change Service Requested

P.O. BOX 1516, CARLSBAD, CA 92018




CONTENTS 1936 Ford Donated to TX Auto Collision and

Phillips - Mitchell’s Comprehensive Database Provides Precise Dimensions Required

Management Technology Program . . . . . . . . 8

for Proper, Safe Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

ABAT Skeet Tournament is on the Horizon . . . . . 6

Sisk - Get to Know WIN’s 2018 MIW Honorees . 28

Antonelli - Aspiring TX Engineer Discovers

Yoswick - Problems With Non-OEM Radiators

Passion for Auto Body Repair . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Led to CAPA Certification Program . . . . . . . 38

Arizona Suspends Uber’s Driverless Car Tests . . 60 ASA-AZ Members Race Go-Karts . . . . . . . . . . . 6


ASA-CO Hosts Service-Selling Seminar

2 Great Danes Reign at Top Dog Garage . . . . . 57

Presented by Greg Marchand . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 ASA-CO to Host Maylan Newton for Leadership Presentation on May 7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Auto Body Shop Keeps Phoenix-Area Man’s Car for 2 Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 CAWA Asks AZ to Educate Public on Vehicle Warranty Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 HABA Collision Industry Appreciation BBQ . . . . 10 Hail Damage Keeps Brazos Valley, TX, Body Shops Busy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Maylan Newton Teaches ASA-CO About

ACA Joins Trade Groups to Address Tariffs. . . . 60 Access Insurance Company Ordered Into Liquidation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Affectiva Launches Emotion Tracking AI for Connected Car Drivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 ASA ‘Not-Included Operations’ Update . . . . . . 61 ASA Endorsement of OEM Service

Body Shops Anticipate Claims Overflow as Severe Weather Approaches in TX . . . . . . . . 10 D&V Autobody Gets Top Automakers

Financial Freedom. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Recognition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

New Mexico Readies for Driverless Vehicles . . 16

Dealer’s Association Concerned About Tariffs . . 3

Phillips - Colorado-Based Business

FedEx Orders 20 Tesla Semi Electric Trucks . . 42

Introduces New Method of Applying PDR to Conventional Repair Process . . . . . . 24 Sherwood, AR, Body Shop Restores Pricey Cars With Wild Stories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 West-MEC Collision Repair Students at AZ SkillsUSA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Wrecked Vehicle Stolen from Dealership Body Shop in Houston. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

How Self-Driving Car Policy Will Determine Life, Death and Everything In Between . . . . . 4 James Roach Receives I-CAR Founder’s Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Mopar Masters Guild Annual Meeting Mixes Business With Fun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 MSO Drops Use of PartsTrader, Remains on State Farm’s 'Select Service' Program . . . . . 1 New Auto Aftermarket Insurance Provider

COLUMNISTS Attanasio - Assured Performance Develops Technology to Provide Shop Accountability. . 46 Attanasio - Fill the Void - How to Find, Retain Good Employees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Attanasio - Shop Owner Invents Revolutionary Repair Estimating Tool. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Attanasio - The Amazing Art of Chris Harsh . . . 30 Phillips - Award-Winning MSO Experiences Tremendous Financial Growth, Expansion . . 40 Phillips - Dave Kindig Fronts New Custom Paint Line: Modern Classikk Kindig . . . . . . . 52 Phillips - Following OEM Procedures Will Help Avoid Surprises, Injuries, Delays . . . . . . . . . 20

be passed on to the American consumer. Car shoppers looking for a deal will instead find that they are paying a new tax to transport themselves and their families.” Steel and aluminum tariffs could directly counteract any benefits American manufacturers have seen from tax and regulatory reform. An analysis of tariffs on steel imposed in 2002 found that the Bush steel tariffs cost 200,000 jobs, including 30,000 in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania alone. America’s 9,600 international nameplate auto dealers, the majority of which are family-owned businesses, employ more than 577,000 Americans, resulting in a payroll of $32 billion and an additional 527,000 indirect jobs. Last year, they sold 8.4 million vehicles to American consumers, 59 percent of total U.S. retail vehicle sales. Visit

Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Won’t Ding You On Premiums . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Robot Cars: Safety and Liability. . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Shelly Bickett Receives MIW Award. . . . . . . . . 57 State Farm Responds to Claims of Influencing Non-OEM Auto Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Tesla Says Autopilot Was Engaged During Model X Fatal Crash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Todd Tracy’s 10 Ways to Avoid a $42 Million Verdict . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Toyota Suspends Self-Driving Test Program . . 58 Uber’s Former Self-Driving Chief Still Believes in Dream of Safer Roads . . . . . . . . 59 WAC Signs Association Paperwork, Elects Officers at Recent Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61



Dealer’s Association Concerned About Tariffs

The American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) expressed opposition on 3/1/18 to President Trump’s plan to place a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. Both metals are crucial to the production of cars and trucks sold in America and would raise the sale prices of those vehicles substantially. In addition to paying more for their vehicles, American consumers and workers can also expect to bear the brunt of the retaliatory tariffs other countries will almost certainly place on goods manufactured and exported from the United States. “These proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports couldn’t come at a worse time,” said AIADA President and CEO Cody Lusk. “Auto sales have flattened in recent months, and manufacturers are not prepared to absorb a sharp increase in the cost to build cars and trucks in America. The burden of these tariffs, as always, will

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk, David Luehr, Stacey Phillips, Victoria Antonelli, Gary Ledoux Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Sean Hartman, Bill Doyle, Norman Morano (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bill Pierce Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Michelle Lucas Online and Web Content Editor: Rochelle Beckel Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Editorial/Sales Assistant: Randi Scholtes

Ancira Volkswagen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Audi South Austin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 AutoNation Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 AutoNation Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram NRH . 12 AutoNation Chrysler-Jeep-DodgeRam of North Phoenix. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Berge Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Big Mike Naughton Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Bill Luke Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram. . . . . . . 28 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Bob Howard PDC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Chapman Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Chevyland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Christopher’s Dodge World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Christopher’s Mitsubishi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Classic BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Dallas Dodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Dent Magic Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Diamond Standard Parts, LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Don Carlton Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Emich Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Emich Volkswagen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 EMS Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Equalizer Industries, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Finnegan Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Fisher Acura . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Fisher Honda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Flatirons Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11, 19 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 GM Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Greeley Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 GYS Welding USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Serving Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas, Colorado, Arizona, Utah and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2018 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax

H.E.W. And Associates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32-33 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 59 Intrepid Direct Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Ken Garff Mopar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 49 Launch Tech USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Malco. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 61 Mercedes-Benz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Mercedes-Benz of Littleton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 57 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . 37 North Freeway Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Original One Parts™ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Part of the Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Peak Kia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 PPG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5, 10 Premier Collision Equipment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Prestige Imports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Ray Huffines Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Rickenbaugh Volvo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Robaina Industries, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 SATA Dan-Am Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 South Pointe Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . . . . . . 14 Spanesi Americas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Subaru of Little Rock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 47 Symach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Toyota of Laredo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 56 Valspar Automotive. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Young Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 / MAY 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


How Self-Driving Car Policy Will Determine Life, Death and Everything In Between by Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger, Motherboard

Self-driving cars are here. More are on their way. Major automakers and Silicon Valley giants are clamoring to develop and release fully autonomous cars to safely and efficiently chauffeur us. Some models won’t even include a steering wheel. Along with many challenges, technical and otherwise, there is one fundamental political question that is too easily brushed aside: Who decides on how transportation algorithms will make decisions about life, death and everything in between? The recent fatality involving a self-driving Uber vehicle won’t be the last incident where human life is lost. Indeed, no matter how many lives self-driving cars save, accidents still will happen. Imagine you’re in a self-driving car going down a road when, suddenly, the large propane tanks hauled by the truck in front of you fall out and fly in your direction. A split-second decision needs to be made, and you can’t think through the outcomes and tradeoffs for every possible response. Fortunately, the smart system driving your car can run through tons of scenarios at lightning fast speed. How, then, should it determine moral priority? Consider the following possibilities: 1. Your car should stay in its lane and absorbs the damage, thereby making it likely that you’ll die. 2. Your car should save your life by swerving into the left lane and hitting the car there, sending the passengers to their deaths—passengers known, according to their big data profiles, to have several small children. 3. Your car should save your life by swerving into the right lane and hit the car there, sending the lone passenger to her death—a passenger known, according to her big data profile, to be a scientist who is coming close to finding a cure for cancer. 4. Your car should save the lives worth the most, measured according to amount of money paid into a new form of life assurance insurance. Assume that each person in 4

a vehicle could purchase insurance against these types of rare but inevitable accidents, and then, smart cars would prioritize based on their ability and willingness to pay. 5. Your car should save your life and embrace a neutrality principle in deciding among the means for doing so, perhaps by flipping a simulated coin and swerving to the right if heads comes up and swerving to the left if it’s tails.

Credit: Shutterstock

6. Your car shouldn’t prioritize your life and should embrace a neutrality principle by randomly choosing among the three options. 7. Your car should execute whatever option most closely matches your personal value system and the moral choices you would have made if you were capable of doing so. Assume that when you first purchased your car, you took a self-driving car morality test consisting of a battery of scenarios like this one and that the results “programmed” your vehicle. There’s no value-free way to determine what the autonomous car should do. The choice presented by options 1–7 shouldn’t be seen as a computational problem that can be “solved” by big data, sophisticated algorithms, machine learning, or any form of artificial intelligence. These tools can help evaluate and execute options, but ultimately, someone— some human beings—must choose and have their values baked into the software. Who should get decision-making power? Should it be politicians? The market? Insurance companies? Automotive executives? Technologists? Should consumers be allowed to customize the moral dashboard of their cars so that their vehicles execute moral decisions that are in line with their own preferences? Don’t be fooled when people talk about AI as if it alleviates the


need for human beings to make these moral decisions, as if AI necessarily will take care of everything for us. Sure, AI can be designed to make emergent, non-transparent and even inexplicable decisions. But since the shift from human drivers to passive passengers in self-driving cars shifts decision-making from drivers to designers and programmers, governance remains essential. It’s only a question of which form of governance gets adopted. The scenario we’ve described is based on an old philosophical thought experiment called the trolley problem. In the original experiment, a person is faced with the decision about pulling a level to divert a trolley from one track to another and in doing so, save five lives but take another. MIT developed a modern interactive version called the Moral Machine. It’s not surprising that the trolley problem comes up in virtually every discussion of autonomous vehicles. To date, the debate has primarily focused on death-dealing accidents and raised important questions about who gets to decide who lives and dies. Some insist that the question of who decides must be resolved before autonomous cars are given free rein on the roads. Others argue that such decisions concern edge cases and should be deferred to the future so that innovation won’t be stalled. And some deny that the trolley problem scenarios are even relevant, once super smart braking systems are built into each car. The critical social policy questions need to be addressed proactively while systems are being designed, built, and tested. Otherwise, values become entrenched as they’re embedded in the technology. That may be the aim of denialists pining for perfectly safe systems (unless they’re truly deluded by technoutopian dreams). The edge case argument is more reasonable if you focus exclusively on the trolley problem dilemma. But the trolley problem captures one small, albeit important piece of the puzzle. To see why, we need to consider scenarios that don’t involve life-or-death decisions.

Let’s focus on accidents. Selfdriving cars will reduce the number of accidents, but again, do not be fooled by the siren’s call of perfection. There still will be accidents that cause:

• considerable bodily loss, such as the loss of limbs, but not death;

• considerable bodily damage that disables the injured person for 24 months;

• considerable mental damage that limits the injured person’s ability to ride in an automobile and forces the person to use less efficient modes of transportation;

• considerable damage to the person’s vehicle; or • damage and delays.

Assume that the smart system driving your car is presented with various options that allocate these costs according to the logics reflected in the death-dealing accident scenario. Again, there’s no value-free way to decide, and it’s not an ad hoc decision. Engineers will embed the ethics in decision-making algorithms and code. Again, society must determine how to proceed proactively. Keep in mind that this governance issue is not about assigning fault; it is only about how to determine moral priority and who should bear the social costs. (Of course, as we transition to smart transportation systems over the next few decades, determining fault may be quite important.) Now, put aside accidents, and still, there are many other costs and benefits that smart transportation systems will be asked to manage. Suppose weather causes a disruption and smart traffic management systems kick in. What should the systems optimize? Should the objective be to minimize congestion or the social costs of congestion? Perhaps letting some folks wait for a while on a fully congested road would allow other folks to get to their destination more quickly. Maybe people should be able to pay for higher priority, in which case their vehicles receive See Self-Driving, Page 61 / MAY 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


ASA-CO Hosts Service-Selling Seminar Presented by Greg Marchand by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On March 12 and 13, ASA-CO and Advance Auto Parts co-hosted a seminar, presented by Greg Marchand from Service Sales Academy, on “Service Counter Selling Skills” at Western Community College. According to ASA-CO Board Member Darrin Barney, “It was very informative with lots of information, a great syllabus and even a book written by the instructor. It encouraged us as a company to really look at our sales process and make sure that we had all of the pieces in place to help everyone succeed at selling—including the sales process, our individual truths about selling, how the shop is perceived and how we perceive our market. Greg is very knowledgeable about the customer experience and how to create the best environment for the customer to feel comfortable.” Marchand taught attendees about four types of customers. Type 1 customers engage in quick transactions because they appear trusting, don’t need to know much about the service being performed and view having a

vehicle serviced as an inconvenience. Type 2 customers want to understand what is done and why, leading to slower transactions, and they are more inclined to ask for old parts. Group 3 customers lead to the slowest of all transactions. They like to engage in conversations and storytelling, but may seem distrustful. Type 4 customers are very peopleoriented and friendly, but may be easily upset and ask pointed questions. These folks prefer quick, efficient transactions. Attendees found Marchand’s presentation very informative. “It was great that Greg Marchand was able to adapt his class to accommodate the technicians in the audience and even made my son feel welcome. My team was also on fire when they came back from class and have implemented different ways to improve how our business is perceived by our customers,” Barney said. “For my personal shop, we had our technicians and service writers attend together. It was eye-opening for both groups to see the other’s perspective on customer service and the sales process. I have been to quite a few of Greg’s classes, and

ASA-AZ Members Race Go-Karts by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On March 14, members of ASAAZ’s Tucson Chapter gathered for a fun evening of go-karts at their annual Kart Night.

According to ASA-AZ Coordinator Diana DeLeon, “It was another great success. Members bring their employees and families to Kart Night each year, making it a night to look forward to. Shop members



and associate business members come together for a fun family night of food and go-kart racing. This is the one meeting each year where business is put aside and friendly competitions come out! “Networking is key to our industry. The automotive business is a large business, but a small community in the same. Working together for the community is what makes our members and shop owners the best in the industry. We want to offer more than just sit-down meetings to our members. We want the opportunity to get to know one another, which then turns business contacts into friends. We are always happy to see that Kart Night brings new interest to the association, and new members come from it each year.”

For more information about the association, visit



when my son heard that I was coming, he wanted to join me. He is only 11 years old and came away with a lot of great information and knowledge. It kind of concerns me that he is already selling me on things that he wants, and he isn’t even a teenager yet!” ASA-CO hosted the meeting to help shops improve their customer counter selling skills by considering the customer perspective; building on previously learned processes; fine tuning what they’re good at; continuing improvement; and exploring the sales process, techniques and tools. “ASA is a great association to be a part of. They are constantly looking for ways to help shop owners improve their business and the automotive industry as a whole,” Marchand noted. “Association-sponsored events are very important for shop owners to grow and improve to provide the best customer experience possible—especially in the automotive industry, where there is a lot of mistrust and inaccurate information. If your customers are happy, it makes for a great experience for both parties!”

ABAT Skeet Tournament is on the Horizon

It’s that time of year again. The Auto Body Association of Texas is ramping up for its 2nd annual ABAT Skeet shoot. Come out and “aim to win” or just to “shoot the breeze.” Either way, you’re sure to have a great time. ABAT Statewide meeting Friday, May 18th Time & Location TBD

ABAT Skeet Shoot Saturday, May 19th Elm Fork Shooting Sports 10751 Luna Rd., Dallas, TX 75220 Registration starts at 10:30

ABAT will give away thousands of dollars in prizes and top shooters and teams will win beautiful, mantle-worthy guns. $2,000 for a team of four shooters; individual shooting positions will be sold for $500. Entry fee includes eye and ear protection, golf cart and scorekeeping. Shotgun rental, training and safety orientation available. Payments are due 5/11/18 and space is limited, so register online here.

Rates Starting at 5%

EQUIPMENT FINANCING When Your Bank Says No, We Say Yes! PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: • Approvals for credit scores as low as 500 • Financing available for any equipment starting from $5,000 • We work with startups & A - D credit levels rates starting at 5% • 90 Day deferred payment option potentially available



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Randal Duhon Phone: 225-480-1150 / MAY 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


CAWA Asks AZ to Educate Public on Vehicle Warranty Rights

After CAWA Legislative Advocate Stuart Goodman met with the Attorney General’s Office to discuss the importance of alerting consumers of their rights under the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act (MMWA), the Office amended its website to include information on the MMWA. See this link to view the information: https://www.azag .gov/consumer/cars. “This action on the part of Arizona’s Attorney General is in the consuming public’s interests and sends the message that they have the right to choose where they have their vehicle serviced and repaired even while it’s on the manufacturers’ warranty,” commented Rodney Pierini, CAWA President & CEO. Contact Jennifer Zins, CAWA Director of Government Affairs, to be informed because it could mean more parts sold and services performed in the aftermarket when the vehicle is still under the manufacturers’ warranty. She can be reached at Jennifer@perrycom. com or 916-871-0603.


1936 Ford Donated to TX Auto Collision and Management Technology Program

didn’t, he would just stare at it waiting to work on it again,” Gill said. After Charles Gill passed away in December 2017, Ms. Gill debated selling the vehicle. When she did not receive a quality offer, she elected to celebrate her husband’s life by to donating it to TSTC. “I prayed about it and talked to friends and decided that it was best to donate it to the folks at TSTC so the students could experience it and let them learn and get joy out of it like he did,” Ms. Gill said. TSTC’s Auto Collision and Management Technology program was honored and excited to receive the Texas State Technical College in Waco’s Auto Collision gift, and will begin restorand Management Technology program recently received ing the vehicle this fall. a 1936 Ford Tudor Sedan as a donation “I think this will make an excellent recruitment Marye Gill donated her late tool and showpiece for the departhusband’s favorite project of over ment and the school. We will have 25 years to TSTC in hopes of shar- students do all the work with the ing the same joy it brought to her help of instructors, but it will be all husband. the students,” said Clint Campbell, “He worked on the car whenever the program’s statewide chair. he had the money to, and when he The restoration will take sev-

Texas State Technical College’s Auto Collision and Management Technology program in Waco recently received a 1936 Ford Tudor Sedan as a donation from the Gill family of Lott.


eral years to allow multiple students access and will then be used as a showcase piece and potentially as a fundraiser for the technical program. “My husband and I, and our three sons, are all college graduates, so we appreciate programs like TSTC that aren’t the four-year university that still give an opportunity to change someone’s life and offer a higher education,” Ms. Gill said. TSTC’s Auto Collision and Management Technology program provides hands-on experience to prepare students for careers in auto body repair and related work fields.

For more information about Texas State Technical College, go to tstc .edu.




West-MEC Collision Repair Students at AZ SkillsUSA

casing the state’s trade, technology and service high school and college students. David Melian, automotive collision instructor at West-MEC Northeast Campus in Phoenix, AZ, entered some of his students in both the Refinish and Body Repair competitions. “I am proud to say I had my first female student, Nathalie Marin, take first in Refinish and bring home the gold,” Melian stated. “We also had Bryson Rush take third in Refinish and Anthony Reyes finished third in Body Repair. They worked very hard to prepare for state.” According to Melian, Marin will go on to represent Arizona in the Refinish competition at (Top-left) Alexis Rafael and Nathalie Marin compete at Nationals in Louisville, the SkillsUSA competition.(Top right) Students paint in the KY, in June. booth. (Lower left) Alexis Rafael sprays Clear Coat. (Lower For more information right) Doug Turan of Sherwin-Williams Automotive judges on West-MEC, visit http: the competition // The SkillsUSA Arizona State ChamFor more information on Skills pionships took place April 3–4, show- USA, visit

Maylan Newton Teaches ASA-CO About Financial Freedom by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On April 2, ASA-CO hosted a training session on “10 Critical Steps to Financial Freedom,” presented by Maylan Newton of ESI.

The meeting was held at the Kenz & Leslie BG Training Center in Wheat Ridge, CO, as part of the Professional Development Series with ESI and NapaElite BDG. According to Bryan Gossel, ASA-CO member, “The meeting was held to provide a better understanding of our finances and the steps needed to get out of debt, such as understanding spending, controlling debt and having a plan for saving. Our partners know the steps that it takes to be successful, and they want to help us win.” Evaluating budgets, financial

structuring and hourly rates were included in Newton’s discussion on utilizing the correct information to make financial decisions. He stressed the importance of charging properly, setting a budget, setting goals, reducing debt, being productive and saving. He also shared tips on protecting assets, making smarter purchases, funding retirement plans and developing succession plans. “Attendees all took away great ideas on how to keep an eye on the little things that can get away from you and really hurt you in the long run if you don’t catch them,” Gossel said. “But I wish more people had attended. We really need to find the shops that are struggling because they are the ones who need this kind of help.” For more information on ASA-CO, visit


4x Monthly E-Newsletter. / MAY 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


HABA Collision Industry Appreciation BBQ

The Houston Auto Body Association (HABA) will host its ninth Annual Collision Industry Appreciation BBQ at the Jackson Street BBQ in Houston, TX, on May 8

from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. This free event includes dinner and two drink tickets, but an RSVP is necessary at rsvp/. Event sponsors include PPG, Sherwin Williams, Tasco Auto Color, Enterprise, Beacon, PAL-Z Automotive Paint & Supply, LKQ and Hunter Engineering Company. For more information on HABA, visit

Sherwood, AR, Body Shop Restores Pricey Cars With Wild Stories by Rob Evans, THV11

Inside an auto body shop in Sherwood, AR, you will hear and see things you might not expect: exotic cars, supercars, Ferraris, Porsches and classic cars that can cost more than most homes.

Brian Bowers of Two Rivers Auto

“Most people ask where all these cars come from,” said Brian Bowers of Two Rivers Auto Body & Restoration. “‘I don’t see them out driving in Little Rock every day.’” These pricey cars drive in or get towed in after a bad day on the roads. Those bad days are sometimes too wild to believe. Will Bowers is the shop owner. And he’s seen his share of jaw-dropping car damage.

Body Shops Anticipate Claims Overflow as Severe Weather Approaches in TX by Pheben Kassahun,

As we near the storm season, the Big Country is expecting hail, thunderstorms and wet roads ahead. Experts said it is important to plan ahead when it comes to your vehicle. 2014 had a hail storm to remember, leaving cars dented and glass busted. “That was grapefruit-sized hail that we had. Especially [in] downtown Abilene, in the north side by Hendrick Hospital. It was very severe,” said Rocky Champion from Barrett Collision Center. With the recent forecasts, Champion is anticipating an overflow of claims. “We’re kind of like farmers out here. We depend a little bit on the weather,” Champion said. “Wrecks happen one at a time, but when we have severe weather like a hail storm, we get thousands at one time.”



However, the forecasted weather is no match for his long-standing business of more than 55 years. “The first thing that we do is contact your insurance company if you’re going to file a claim, and follow their direction on what you should do—whether you go to a shop to get an estimate or if they’re going to send someone out to look at it themselves,” Champion said. Picking an auto body repair shop is your choice, but regardless, Champion said it is important to check your vehicle, even if you don’t notice any damage after the storm. “We want to look at something and see if it’s worth turning in a claim. Sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not, but we can direct our customer in a way that would best help them,” Champion said. We thank for reprint permission.



“One of the Ferraris that we’ve had the pleasure [of working on] was chewed up by a German shepherd,” he said. “That was pretty interesting. I asked if he still had the dog. He said that he did.” Bowers and his team spend hundreds of hours restoring classic cars to be better than new, including a 1963 Jaguar Etype roadster—a car that can go for hundreds of thousands of dollars at an auction. “Just to get it to this point, I think we’re five years into the restoration,” Bowers said. “It’s a labor of love.” Vernon Blocker did the body work on the Jaguar. “It’d been beaten up pretty bad,” he said. “There wasn’t a straight panel on it.” And he admitted that once the car is out of his hands, the nerves set in. “Once it’s in paint and we get it out here in these lights, [I think,] ‘Did I get all the imperfections out of it? Is it perfect?’” he said. “And that’s what it has to be, is perfect.”

The Jag made it out of the paint booth successfully, thanks to a veteran crew that looks past the emblem on the hood. “[It’s] just another car,” Todd Stephens said. He stood casually next to a Ferrari he painted. “I’ve driven lots of cars over the years,” Bowers said. “Driving one like this Ferrari, I’d be worried about rock damage or dogs pulling out in front of you. Just get in the old convertible Volkswagen and go. No worries at all, carefree.” Will’s wife is in charge of their social media accounts. You can follow them on Facebook for more inside looks at the cars. We thank THV11 for reprint permission.




Continued from Cover

10 Ways to Avoid


4) Up to Date Research Each repair plan should be researched with all available resources in existence, at the time, to achieve the best repair. Because the shop worked on the same or a similar vehicle before doesn’t make the prior repair information necessarily reliable. What was true 6 months ago may be superseded. What works on a 2015 model may not work on the 2016, even if the body style appears identical. 5) Proper Documentation and Record Keeping There is a memorable quote from Alonzo Harris, the detective played by Denzel Washington in the movie Training Day. “It’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove!” It’s crucial to document proper repairs with multiple photos and/or video plus any supporting documentation. If no specific repair information exists, it is prudent to document the atContinued from Cover

Vehicle Stolen

dealership for almost a decade and had never had a vehicle stolen from the body shop. “Out of the thousands of vehicles on this lot that are new and drivable, why would you take something missing front end parts, having suspension damage and just looking like a train wreck?” asked Jones. He said he believes the man in the video was tired of walking and used the car to get somewhere, and likely abandoned it after arriving or nearly arriving to his destination. Jones added that the SUV cannot be too far from the dealership and spent the afternoon of March 26 driving around the area to see if he could find it. Jones didn’t have any luck, but he hopes someone else will recognize the SUV and the man in the video. “I hope the guy gets caught,” said Jones. “People entrust us with their vehicles.” 12

tempt. Keep good records! There are no excuses with today’s vast array of digital technology. So, ditch the shoe box of receipts and learn to digitize to back up your hard copies.

can suffer compromised safety and vehicle devaluation. Same goes for accepting imitation parts or skipping proper repair methods.

6) Reporting A key issue, early on in the John Eagle Collision case, was the omission of the repair on a CARFAX report. You may think, “What does it have to do with me” if an unsuspecting consumer buys a vehicle we repaired which was not picked up by CARFAX or other service? Perhaps these words from Eldridge Cleaver will change your mind, “There is no more neutrality in the world. You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem.” Ask yourself, would you rather be the problem shop or the solution shop?

8) Never Overpromise What You Can Deliver The repairer should never overpromise with outlandish statements like our repairs make a vehicle “better than new,” “good as new,” or “perfect,” as examples. The following appeared on the John Eagle Collision website, “....our goal is to achieve ‘better than new.’” Those words came back to bite them. When you overpromise, even a tiny speck of dirt in the paint can be a lawsuit in the making.

7) Never Put Profits Over Safety Besides the obvious ethical reasons, cutting corners to increase profits is not a sound long-term business strategy. The shop should not agree to repair a part based solely upon the insurer’s repair versus replace cost analysis. As a result, the customer He said the keys to vehicles in the body shop are usually left inside the cars, but now he’s considering locking them up when the shop is closed. “You’d never think somebody’s going to steal a car taken apart,” Jones told FOX 26 News. Anyone with information on the Jeep Compass or the man in the video can leave a tip with Crime Stoppers of Houston by phone at 713-222-8477 (TIPS) or contact the Houston Police Department Auto Theft Division at 713-308-3500 or by email at HPDAutoTheft.Division @HoustonPolice.Org. We thank FOX 26 News for reprint permission.

Your leading source for SOUTHWESTERN Collision Repair News!


9) Never Allow the Insurance Company to Dictate the Repair “The Devil made me do it” is an excuse as old as time. It didn’t work for Eve in the Garden of Eden, it didn’t work for John Eagle Collision and it won’t work for you. We all know the misguided influence exerted on repairers by Insurance Company Bullies. However, you are ultimately enticed

by your own desires. Make it your desire to service the “true” customer (#3 above) and you can’t go wrong. 10) Be a HERO and Stand Up to the Insurance Companies Inform the insurance company and the customer in writing that the insurer’s approved repairs violate OEM repair specifications and can cause serious injury or death should the vehicle have another accident. Tell them you will not repair the vehicle in that manner knowing you are placing someone’s life at risk. If the insurance company still refuses to make equitable allowances to repair the vehicle to OEM specifications, tell them that YOU WILL perform the work required by the OEM, take what the insurance company pays and then SUE THE INSURANCE COMPANY FOR THE DIFFERENCE! This list is available in PDF file format at:

Courtesy of: www.vehiclesafetyfirm .com ©2018 Todd Tracy and Gene Bilobram - all rights reserved. / MAY 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


New Auto Aftermarket Insurance Provider Won’t Ding You On Premiums

Intrepid Direct Insurance welds industry experience with factory-direct pricing. Intrepid Direct Insurance (Intrepid) is the option you wish existed when you shopped insurance last year. Better coverage, better service and better pricing all combined is their commitment. Headed by a

leader in automotive aftermarket and insurance industries, Intrepid is driven to provide quality insurance solutions for quality automotive business owners. A leader in auto aftermarket insurance for more than 25 years, David Willett heads up Intrepid’s new auto repair garage insurance operations. Willett helped form every customer touchpoint of the business, drawing from his knowledge of the complex landscape facing auto repair garage owners today. He designed Intrepid’s auto aftermarket division


to be a clear, efficient insurance op- they can make fast decisions and tion to add value to customers’ busi- have a single point of contact for all nesses. claims, no matter what line “Intrepid Direct Inof business. surance is auto aftermarket business insurance the • Better price: No midway it ought to be,” said dleman to pay means a David Willett, general lower price for customers manager, Auto Aftermardue in one monthly payket for Intrepid Direct Inment with no fees or fisurance. “We developed nance charges. David Willett an intuitive technology solution to create a better collision re- About Intrepid Direct pair business owner experience.” Insurance Better coverage, better service Intrepid Direct Insurance is a techand a better price at IntrepidDi- advanced, comprehensive direct all make In- insurance provider that saves custrepid a clear choice: tomers 15 percent on insurance, on average. Intrepid Direct Insurance • Better coverage: Customers maximizes ease by eliminating the personalize one bundle, choosing traditional buying process, providfrom garage liability, property, ing quotes in less than 48 hours, cyber risk, garage keepers, work- making purchasing, payments and ers’ compensation, owned auto- claims quick and easy. Owners can mobile, auto inventory, pollution start a free quote at IntrepidDirect liability, general liability, um- .com. brella and EPL, including discrimination/harassment. Contact: David Willett • Better service: Customers work Intrepid Direct Insurance directly with Intrepid. They are the agent and the insurance carrier so 913-217-4268


ASA-CO to Host Maylan Newton for Leadership Presentation on May 7

On May 7, ASA-CO will host Maylan Newton and the ESI team to walk attendees through the steps to becoming a good leader and

avoiding the pitfalls of the wrong moves in “What is Good Leadership?” Scheduled for 6–9:30 p.m., the meeting will be held at the Kenz & Leslie BG Training Center in Wheat Ridge, CO. Those interested in registering should contact ASACO Executive Director Julie Massaro at or 303-202-5231.

For more information, visit www

Auto Body Shop Keeps Phoenix-Area Man’s Car for 2 Years by LiAna Enriquez,

A Valley man took his classic El Camino in to be restored, but after more than two years, he still doesn’t have his car back from the shop. “I’ve always had a passion for cars, for older, classic cars. Anything from low riders to cruisers to customs, to hot-rods,” Gabe Betancourt said. And, when it comes to his favorite car, Betancourt said it’s his 1983 Chevy El Camino that he has had from back in his teen years. “I remember driving and filling up with like $3 worth of gas in the ‘90s,” he said. Betancourt said he wanted to restore the El Camino so he started fixing it up a few years ago. However, when it came to doing bodywork and painting, he started looking around for a body shop and that’s when he came across a place called Lamont’s Auto Body. “I went right in the middle with Lamont’s Auto Body in Glendale. He’s got a great Facebook page, his reviews were decent so he wasn’t the least expensive, he wasn’t the most expensive, that’s why I chose

him,” he said. Betancourt said Lamont’s drew up an estimate detailing how they could finish the restoration job, including painting the vehicle.

Betancourt said after 3 On Your Side visited the business, the body shop told him his vehicle should be finished within the next few weeks. Credit: 3TV

Betancourt said the total came to about $4,500 and went ahead with hiring the shop to do the work. But, that was more than two years ago and the El Camino still isn’t finished. On the Facebook page for Lamont’s Auto Body shop, the business profiles the El Camino, but just like the picture shows, the vehicle is not fully restored. And, even though Betancourt

said he’s almost paid for the job in full, he still doesn’t have his car. “At this point, $4,900. The price did increase from $4,500 to $5,500 and explained that there was [sic] more man-hours and material going into the car and it was a little bit higher than he estimated,” Betancourt said. Betancourt told 3 On Your Side that he’s satisfied with the work that has been done but said two years is long enough. “I think I’ve been very patient, pretty reasonable. Hopefully, you guys can just put a little fire where it needs to be to complete the project,” he said. 3 On Your Side got involved and we went to Lamont’s Auto Body for answers. We weren’t allowed on the property, but an employee there came out and told us that Betancourt’s El Camino is inside the garage still unfinished. We wound up leaving, but the owner of the body shop wrote 3 On Your Side an email saying Betancourt’s project was “labor intensive.” However, he went on to say that he intends on finishing the El Camino very soon.

In fact, Betancourt said after 3 On Your Side visited the business, the body shop told him his vehicle should be finished within the next few weeks. Betancourt said it’s about time and he’ll be glad when he gets it back. “I was like, I put all my faith in this shop and two years. I don’t feel like I was scammed, or duped or a victim of anything. I just feel like I’m a victim of an unreasonable timeline,” he said. We’ll stay on top of this one, and make sure the car is done in the next few weeks. When it is, we will give an update. We thank for reprint permission.



Autobody News / MAY 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


New Mexico Readies for Driverless Vehicles by Matthew Reichbach, NM Political Report

Autonomous vehicles are coming. Soon—and New Mexico needs to be ready. That was the message from a recent summit on autonomous, or driverless, vehicles organized by the state Department of Transportation. Local officials, technology experts and even industry representatives all agreed legislators need to understand the technology before changing laws or other policies. Earlier this year, Sen. James White, R-Albuquerque, introduced a memorial asking NMDOT to organize the summit and get New Mexico ready for autonomous vehicles. While some predict widespread use of fully autonomous vehicles is decades away, White said it could be closer to 5-to-10 years away. And in fact, some semi-autonomous vehicles are already on the road today. “The industry is fast defining what we do here in this realm,” Charles Remke, director of New Mexico Department of Transportation ITS, told attendees. Tyler Svitak, the Connected and Autonomous Technology Program Manager at the Colorado Department of Transportation, said states need to define what they want and need from autonomous vehicles—before the fast-growing industry does it for them. Industry is open to partnerships with states, he said, but states must first establish goals and lay out a strategy. While commercially available vehicles that can safely drive without any human interaction are years away, semi-autonomous vehicles are already on the roads, including on New Mexico’s highways. Automated semi trucks cruise across I-10 in southern New Mexico on regular trips between Los Angeles and El Paso, TX. Jonny Morris is the Head of Public Policy at Embark, the company that operates those trucks to deliver air conditioning equipment. He explained that the company uses the automated systems from “exit to exit” on highways, though human drivers still navigate surface streets in cities. Even when automated, those trucks still have CDL-licensed drivers who are required to have their hands on the wheel at all times and to take 16

Steve Boyd, the Founder and Vice connectivity and has a $72 million President of External Affairs for Pelo- connected vehicle network in the ton Technology, talked about the tech- works, in partnership with Pananology that would allow semi trucks to sonic. The system will run from communicate with one another and Golden to Vail on I-70, 90 miles of “draft.” While drafting, trucks sync the most dangerous road in the counwith those in front of them, try, and will eventually help autoallowing them to match the mated vehicles more safely travel the acceleration and braking of area by interacting with the vehicles. The most costly part of this is the lead truck. Drafting increases fuel mileage and may the new infrastructure—and its digital technology is “invisible” when decrease accidents. This can already take place compared to infrastructure such as on New Mexico’s highways roads and bridges. without any needed upgrades to existing systems. Safety Concerns The infrastructure auto- Shortly before the meeting in March, mated vehicles need is in an autonomous vehicle from Uber Waymo Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid undergoing testing in the line with what many human killed a pedestrian it failed to detect San Francisco Bay Area. Credit: Dllu drivers want already. crossing the street. The incident “We need well-maintained roads, hung over the meeting, and a repretion (NHTSA), which adopted the standards, Level 1 includes vehicles well-marked roads,” Embark’s Mor- sentative from the company, schedwith automatic braking and cruise con- ris said. uled to speak about Uber’s trucking Ed Bradley, a Program Manager efforts, canceled. trol. Level 2, or partial automation, cars assist with steering or accelera- with Toyota, agreed and added that Still, experts anticipate that action, but the driver must stay engaged. connectivity with systems put in cidents will decrease when fully auThe next big leap is to Level 3, place along roads would “help, but tomated cars are on the roads. conditional automation, where a it’s not required.” “If we have autonomous vehiSee New Mexico Readies, Page 27 Colorado is already working on driver is needed and expected to jump in and take over. This includes currently available products such as “autopilot” modes in cars such as Your One-Stop Shop for Teslas. At Level 4, the vehicle can drive itself under certain conditions, with no input from the driver. The driver would have the option to take over and control the vehicle themselves. At Level 5, the vehicle can Parts Dept. Hours drive itself under all conditions— Mon - Fri: 7:30am - 6pm and might not even have the option Sat: 8:30am - 5pm 6324 Bob Bullock Loop / Laredo, TX 78041 for the human to take over. Levels 4 and 5 are what most people think of when picturing fully GENUINE TOYOTA COLLISION PARTS automated, driverless cars. It isn’t necessarily personal vehicles where automation will occur first on the roads.

over if there is a problem. The SAE, an organization of scientists and engineers in the automotive industry, has five levels of automation with cars. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administra-

Cruising I-10 Already Like Embark, other trucking companies and manufacturers are already exploring automated vehicles. Budweiser used “Otto,” a self-driving truck, to deliver beer in a highly promoted public relations act. But in New Mexico, it’s the I-10 corridor that could see big advances in automated trucks. And already, something called “platooning” is being used to make hauling cargo by truck more efficient.



Toll Free


956-718-4200 local 956-718-4259 fax / MAY 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Hail Damage Keeps Brazos Valley, TX, Body Shops Busy by Rebecca Fiedler, The Eagle

Business at local insurance agencies and auto body repair shops was brisk in March after a hail storm that passed over parts of Brazos Valley, TX, on March 18 caused damage to homes and vehicles.

Hail from a Burleson County resident after the storm on March 18

Burleson County received the brunt of the damage, with Caldwell residents taking to social media with photographs of large chunks of hail. While there have been no injuries reported, the same can’t be said of homes, businesses and vehicles. Dan McElroy, a shop manager of Caldwell’s Auto Frame & Body Works, said the small family business saw a significant uptick in customers that week. “We’ve had about 15 cars in here, many with windows blown out, things like that,” he said March 20. Windows and windshields were shattered, frames were dented and in some cases, entire roof panels needed replacing. Some vehicles’ damage was so extensive that the replacement of entire pieces was recommended. “It was incredible,” McElroy said. “I’ve lived here a long time, and I’ve never seen anything like this before.” McElroy noted that insurance adjusters from various agencies were Continued from Cover

‘Select Service’

said. “But this saves us a lot of time. I’m not a PartsTrader fan myself. They say there’s some of those out there—PartsTrader fans—but I don’t know any.” Caliber locations in at least three other states also confirmed they are no longer using PartsTrader for State 18

stopping by frequently to take stock of their clients’ cars. At Anco Insurance in Bryan, claims manager Oliver Sims confirmed that adjusters’ plates were full that week. “We’ve reported easily five times the number of claims that we usually do,” he said March 20. “We’re seeing cars, personal property, commercial property.” Most of these claims came from either Caldwell or Bryan-College Station. Hail and heavy winds also caused damage in Huntsville, so Anco assisted customers there as well. There were more reports of vehicular damage than structural damage, he said. But roofs on homes had been battered, resulting in leaks, as had sky lights. Isaac Lopez, a Farmers Insurance agent in Caldwell, said on March 20 that his office received, in that one day alone, the amount of claims normally dealt with over five months. “I stopped counting claims after around the number 50,” he said. Farmers Insurance has not, as of March 21, classified the storm as a catastrophe, and Lopez said his branch would be able to handle the heavy workload. Lopez advised those whose property received damage to call their insurance agents immediately. He explained that a person’s insurance agent will help them decide, based on their policy, whether the damage to their home or vehicle is worth filing a claim. In some instances, he said that filing a claim might financially burden a customer in the future, as there can be negative consequences of filing too many weather-related claims. Most of Lopez’s clients are dealing with home and auto damage,

Farm claims, yet remain on the Select Service program. A State Farm spokeswoman said the company considers its agreements with repair facilities to be “confidential and therefore we will not be providing any comment.”



although he noted one person in Snook reported that their farm animals had been killed by the storm’s strong winds.

Windows were broken in vehicle during the hail storm at Caldwell County Chevrolet Credit: Dave McDermand

Some businesses took a big hit in the storm, too. At Caldwell Country Chevrolet dealership, the vehicles parked outside didn’t stand a chance. “We sustained significant damage to almost all of our inventory on site in Caldwell, but our other locations weren’t affected,” wrote Zach Hester, the dealership’s general manager, in an email to The Eagle in March. “We have been working closely with Chevrolet and have re-

placements on the way and will be offering significant discounts on the repairable vehicles that we have. We also have both body and paint [loss] dent repair people onsite to help with both our inventory and the general public that was affected by the storm.” Duane Strange, Emergency for Coordinator Management Burleson County, said hail and wind weren’t the only things that hit the Caldwell area hard. First responders were called to a gas tank in Caldwell city limits on March 18 that had caught fire due to a lightning strike. The area around the natural gas line had been secured and the fire extinguished quickly and safely. A portion of Texas 36 that tends to flood frequently was temporarily waterlogged on March 18, too. In Brazos County, Sheriff Chris Kirk and the Community Emergency Operations Center reported no weather-related emergencies or road closures. We thank The Eagle for reprint permission.

Parts: (303) 986-2245 Parts: (303) 590-7040 Toll -Free: (800) 426-6032

Parts: (303) 758-7739 Wholesale: (720) 544-0450

Parts: (303) 433-3883 Watts: (800) 274-0985 x228

Every qualifying invoice with a completed entry card from Part of the Club dealerships (received through May 31st) will be entered into our next drawing held in June.

Parts: (303) 703-2270

The winning card will be drawn at random and the winning shop will receive a free catered lunch by Elle’s Catering Un-Limited on us! Parts: (303) 415-1528 Watts: (800) 274-0985 x226

Parts: (303) 343-1396

Enter once for each unique invoice by returning completed cards with any of our parts drivers.

Phone: (303) 904-7820 Parts: (303) 628-1409

Ask your dealer for additional entry cards if you run out!

Denise Wells (303) 726-3575 Club Number: (303) 245-6439

Parts: (303) 443-2919 / MAY 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Following OEM Procedures Will Help Avoid Surprises, Injuries, Delays by Stacey Phillips

Now more than ever, it is crucial to follow OEM procedures and focus on the operations of every vehicle during the repair process so there are no surprises, according to Jake Rodenroth, director of industry relations for asTech. “If certain procedures aren’t followed, you could either injure the person working on the vehicle or cause additional damage, which can lead to bill payer friction and delays,” Rodenroth said during a Guild 21 podcast in March, sponsored by Verifacts Automotive. During the podcast, Rodenroth, along with Doug Kelly, CEO of Repairify, and Bram Paris, director of calibration at asTech, shared information about some of the new vehicles and technology being introduced to the market. Kelly and Rodenroth spoke about pre- and post-scanning and recalibration during a prior Guild 21 podcast in January. “There are things that I think as repairers, we’re missing the boat


on—fundamental skills that we’ve overlooked throughout the years,” said Rodenroth. “This is not going to get any easier. It’s going to get more complex.” He mentioned common repair procedures such as battery disconnects, changing a headlight and taking off a mirror.

demonstrate the importance of doing the necessary research to ensure a proper repair. “Even though the system is described the same way and, from a vehicle owner’s perspective, behaves the same way, actually Mazda has three different variations of the same BSM system,” he said. “However, it

“These are all steps that we do every day, but what we fail to realize is that in the last couple of years, those steps have changed,” he explained. “Scanning is the precursor to something much bigger and more complex on the calibration front,” said Kelly. “Cars produced today need this activity done and many people don’t understand it.” Paris highlighted Mazda’s Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system to

wouldn’t be obvious to anyone looking at the vehicle.” All three versions are part of Mazda’s I-Activsense package and use the same icons and indicators; however, the vehicle detection pattern is different between version one and versions two and three. Although the three systems don’t outwardly look any different to consumers, Paris said they work differently, react to the environment differently and are calibrated differently.

“Scanning is the precursor to something much bigger and more complex on the calibration front. Cars produced today need this activity done and many people don’t understand it.” — Doug Kelly


BSM Version 1, mainly on Mazda’s models prior to 2016, uses radar-based detection. The sensing area on these early builds is small, approximately 23 feet, which Paris said isn’t a lot of space to pick out a car in a blind spot. “Because BSM is subjective to a person’s blind spot, 23 feet may or may not detect a vehicle in that person’s blind spot,” he said. A vehicle with Version 1 cannot detect a car coming into the blind spot or leaving, and only senses a vehicle in its detection area. It is unable to detect speed or distance. One of the most important differences between this version and Version 2 is that a reflector is required to calibrate the system. BSM Version 2 is only applicable to 2016–2018 Mazda XC-3 and MX-5 vehicles and uses Doppler radar. Another difference between Versions 1 and 2 is that the detection area is significantly larger—about 164 feet. “The system is much more intelligent,” he said. “It can actually

detect a vehicle entering and exiting that zone.” This version can monitor the speed of the Mazda and detect the speed and distance of a vehicle entering the blind spot. Rather than using a reflector, Version 2 requires a Doppler simulator for a radar test to determine if the sensors are mounted correctly and working as designed. This device is specific to these types of vehicles. BSM Version 3, used on 2016 CX-9 Mazdas and future models, is very similar to Version 2 in the way it functions. It has the same detection area and technical benefits and uses Doppler radar. The difference is the way in which it calibrates. Version 3 uses the same reflector as Version 1. Paris said that with all three versions, there are detailed procedures required to set the reflector or Doppler simulator in a very specific place to test the vehicle and know it is within OEM specifications and calibrated correctly. “It’s very important that the OEM procedures get followed and OEM equipment is used to do that,” he added.

Rodenroth then shared examples of three new vehicles with complex technology: the 2018 Cadillac CT6, the 2018 Audi 8 and the 2018 Buick Regal. 2018 Cadillac CT6 With multiple substrates on this vehicle, Rodenroth said joining methods need to be followed correctly, or else a repairer will fail to have electrical continuity throughout the car. A fully loaded CT6 is equipped with a Bose Panaray sound system, which includes 34 speakers in the vehicle. “I think about collision repairers and the amount of interior trim that we take out for protection and welding operations,” said Rodenroth. “Did we plug them all in? These are things that can easily be missed that will cause heartburn when we deliver that vehicle.” The CT6 also includes a Super Cruise capability, which allows for hands-free driving on “approved” highways. “It’s a very intelligent system and uses a concert of sensors in the car to make sure the system is working properly,” he added.

2018 Audi 8 Considered a mild-hybrid vehicle, the 2018 Audi 8 has a 48-volt electrical system onboard. Historically, it has been an aluminum vehicle since 1992, but a hybrid construction is expected in 2019, which Rodenroth said will change how the vehicle is repaired. The Audi A8 uses a nineand-a-half horsepower electrical supercharger, which he said is the first engine of its kind in a production vehicle. “This is where those fundamental skills that we have to research play such a big role,” he said. “Things like battery disconnect and making sure our employees aren’t electrocuted when they are servicing a vehicle like this.” 2018 Buick Regal The Buick Regal uses a “rope” impact sensor, which is embedded inside of the absorber ahead of the rebar behind the bumper cover. “When you look at it, you need to treat these systems very much like a live airbag system,” said Rodenroth. The vehicle requires a very spe-

cific enable-and-disable procedure similar to airbags. The front bumper cover on the Buick Regal is not repairable. If damage is found, the bumper fascia or sensor system will need to be replaced. In addition, the hood, hinges and two actuators will need to be replaced if there is a deployment. “Think about a technician who happens to be leaning on a bumper cover and the system is not disabled,” said Rodenroth. “There could be a deployment and cause damage to the car.” Although very few people will have the opportunity to work on some of the more complex vehicles being introduced, Rodenroth said it gives repairers some insight about what they can most likely expect to be included in the mainstream cars of the future. “All of this technology is coming out like a fire hose and affects us in the repair center when we are trying to repair-plan around all of this,” he said. “This will change the entire repair cycle, claims process and even the customers shops interface with on a daily basis,” he said. / MAY 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Techs of Tomorrow with Victoria Antonelli

Victoria Antonelli is a freelance writer and model, based in Los Angeles. She has been writing for the collision industry since 2013. She can be reached at

Aspiring TX Engineer Discovers Passion for Auto Body Repair Houston native Eloy Escobedo said he was never really interested in cars; he simply viewed them as objects that got people from point A to point B. However, that all changed when he entered Jeff Wilson’s auto body class. “I grew a burning desire for cars and everything about them,” Escobedo said. “I am grateful every day that my high school counselor at

“Any spot of bondo not sanded down to the correct level will show up looking horrible in your paint,” Escobedo explained. “But after putting in a lot of effort and time, my bondo work has improved greatly.” He added that his ability to paint in a professional manner is his biggest triumph. “When I’m in the paint booth with my respirator and safety glasses, holding my paint gun perpendicular to a panel, shooting paint with finesse, I’m truly amazed by the abilities I’ve gained in the program,” Escobedo explained. Escobedo joined the Kingwood Park Science National Honor Society this year and has been a member of the Humble Robotics Team, called “Cyber Shock,” for three years now. “I was lead programmer Eloy Escobedo is a member of the Science National Honor for my robotics team and Society and the Humble Robotics Team at Kingwood Park now mentor rookies in elecHigh School tronics and any other asKingwood Park decided that Mr. Wil- pects they need to know about the son’s auto collision class would be robot, such as building, programsomething I’d enjoy.” ming and coaching,” he explained. The 16-year-old enrolled in the Escobedo has also been working Kingwood Park High School colli- at Chick-fil-A for a year and a half, sion repair program in Kingwood, teaches guitar lessons and is a tutor TX, during his sophomore year in for physics students on the side. 2016, and said his favorite project so “My plan after graduation is to far is the one he’s currently working pursue an engineering degree at on. Texas A&M and eventually become “Mr. Wilson gave me a Harley a petroleum engineer,” he said. “I Davidson motorcycle tank to repair want to use my experience in the coland refinish,” Escobedo said. “The lision industry to make connections challenges brought on by the curva- and help me further my education.” ture of the panel is what has made it Escobedo added that if his plans so fun.” change, his next dream job would be The most challenging aspect of in the auto body industry. his schooling so far has been working “I’d love to work as a body techwith bondo, which is an all-purpose nician for race cars such as those in the putty used as an auto body filler. Formula 1 and NASCAR,” he said.

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Eloy Escobedo dreams of becoming either a petroleum engineer or a roadside technician for Formula 1 or NASCAR

Escobedo reiterated that even though his focus is STEM, Wilson’s collision repair program at Kingwood Park has actually helped further him in that field, as well as made

him passionate about auto body repair. “Eloy is a bright young man with a positive outlook on what he is going to do in the future,” said Wilson. “He is a straight-A student in all his courses, and he exhibits exceptional behavior and diligence in his pursuit of perfection on all his collision and refinishing abilities. “He is a sponge when it comes to knowledge and learning. This young man can do it all and will do it better as time goes by and he broadens his experiences.”

For more information on Kingwood Park High School in Kingwood Park, TX, visit /kphs. / MAY 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


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

Shop Strategies with Stacey Phillips

CO Business Introduces Method of Applying PDR to Repair Process Axiom Accident & Hail Repair is applying a unique business model to the collision repair industry. With extensive backgrounds in the automotive industry, Bill Park, Ryan Hampton and Tony Frasher joined forces about a year ago to establish The 300 Advantage, a catastrophic hail staffing company. The partners also have businesses in accident and hail repair, Cat-Hail Insurance claims management, and a platform technology firm to support the various entities and the market at large.

Rowley’s Accident & Hail Repair recently installed Symach equipment, including the FixStation pictured above

Autobody News recently spoke to Bill Park, CEO, to find out more about these companies and their vision for the future. Park previously owned four collision repair shops in Arizona before selling to an MSO in 2009. He has built and sold various companies over the years and said his passion is to grow successful businesses where people enjoy showing up to do awesome work.

Can you tell us about the 300 group and your areas of focus in the collision repair industry?


The vision of our company is to create a variety of highvalue niche businesses within the automotive smart repair industry worldwide. Previously, Ryan had started a business called The Hail Company, which used a unique approach to support local paintless dent repair (PDR) businesses in medium hail frequency markets. The model was to plug into existing local PDR companies when a storm hit their area and become their hail management partner.

Last year, we amalgamated that company into a new entity called The 300 Advantage and plan to grow and scale it in a larger way. We help body shops staff for catastrophic hail damage and have currently placed about 600 technicians across the country. What is the technology platform that the 300 group has created?


About four years ago, we created what we call PDR Mobile Solutions. The back office support system is referred to as PDR BOSS. PDR Mobile Solutions is a full enterprise application that is specifically designed for catastrophic hail management. It can be used on mobile devices and includes estimating, integrated scheduling, a call center, workflow management and production. The technology provides a very transparent connection among body shops, PDR companies and insurers. We call it a ‘One Entry Technology’ that connects the entire supply chain for catastrophic hail.


Q: A:

What is your businesses’ third area of focus?

We also established a smart repair business called Axiom Accident & Hail Repair. The model is based on small-damage nonstruc-



Durfey Thompson, PDR technician, demonstrates PDR Mobile Solutions

tural repairs that are completed in three days or less. We’re currently launching the business in high-frequency hail markets, as the demand for nonstructural repairs is beyond


We’re able to take our expertise in PDR and apply it to a typical crash repair job and really shrink the repair zone. For example, using our model we are able to repair a damaged quarter panel that most conventional repair shops would normally replace. In many cases, this maintains the classification of the car and saves a lot of its diminished value by preserving the factory panels. If you look at a pre-owned Rowley’s Accident & Hail Repair is located in Loveland, CO certified Lexus or Toyota, it land, Colorado and is actually called states in their lease agreements that if Rowley’s Accident & Hail Repair a weld on a panel has been replaced, because we partnered with an exist- that car will no longer be classified as ing business owner. Our second lo- a certified pre-owned car. We also use glue pulling and cation is in Englewood, Colorado partner with a company named and scheduled to open in May. KECO that specifically manufactures What makes your business tools designed for the PDR industry; however, there are slight modificamodel unique?

the supply. There are literally thousands of customers in these markets that wait up to eight months to have their vehicles repaired. Our first location is in Love-




tions to accommodate larger dent repair. In many cases, for crashes or small accident jobs, the paint is already scratched to the extent that it needs to be refinished. We can take a dent that a technician would typically hammer out and apply a lot of body filler to, and what we’ll do instead is shrink that required amount of filler to just a skim coat in a very small area, so we preserve the metal. We’ve found that this increases the speed and accuracy of the repair time and is about twice as fast as using the conventional method, depending on the market. This is how we can ensure that 85 percent of cars we have on property will be delivered within 48-72 hours. Another key component of our business is the use of Symach technology, which we recently installed at the Rowley’s location. Basically, we are combining PDR, just-in-time scheduling and the use of Symach gas catalytic drying equipment to ensure we have continuous workflow in our process.


Can you tell us about the Symach equipment you in-

stalled at Rowley’s and how your technicians responded?

We purchased the FixStation, Drytron portable dryer and Drybox. We found that they have been great additions to the shop. For example, we recently had an aluminum repair job on a Ford that a refrigerator fell on; the hood and fender were both cracked. The vehicle came in first thing in the morning and was ready and painted by 1:30 in the afternoon. The technicians love it. I think it takes a little time to get used to combining PDR in conjunction with a conventional repair, so there has been a learning curve with the technicians. However, our technicians have been very open to that and we are fortunate in that regard. Osvaldo Bergaglio, CEO of Symach, and his team are great strategic partners for us. Osvaldo is really dedicated to our business model and what we are trying to accomplish, and he is so willing to work with our needs to specifically meet our objectives. We’re currently working on building our third location, a 22,000-


square-foot facility that is fully equipped with Symach technology and is scheduled to open later this year. We’ve invested considerable resources into the business to help support our long-term vision. Even with that said, I think our biggest differ-

Cole Brunsig, GM at Rowley’s Accident & Hail Repair, stands in front of the Symach Drybox

entiation is going to be the philosophy of how we approach our people in our business to deliver a worldclass customer experience. Everything we do is customer-centric.

How is employee satisfaction tied in to providing excellent customer service?


If employees aren’t happy doing their jobs and we aren’t supporting them, our customer experience is going to feel it—end of story. As a result, we give our employees the best of everything to do their best work. That’s why we invested in Symach equipment and that’s why we are spending time epoxying the floors and creating a workspace environment in our new location where employees can be at their best. We also hold training seminars for our employees. As part of the 300 Advantage, we recently held a one-day conference with 300 PDR technicians. We talked about things like personal development, the books they are reading and how to grow professionally. We understand that most people aren’t going to work for us for a lifetime, but what we want to do is be their best starting point for their professional career. We want our people to be excited about their future, whether we are in it or not. With a transparent culture like that, our people know we have their best interests at



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heart, and that becomes sticky.

What is your advice to collision repair shops looking to hire employees?


There are plenty of young people out there who can do the work that we need to have done. Especially in our business, it’s going to be easy for us to scale and help our technicians grow. We’re not really concerned about that. Typical collision repair shops need to segregate their business specialties and focus on people in that regard. When the repair requires a level of skill, such as structural repair, aluminum repair and the more exotic types of metals and plastics, you have to find a true craftsman and pay a premium to that person and train…train…train. It’s no different than going to a specialty doctor. You’re going to pay that doctor more money for that work. I think people need to get away from the excuses that the market can’t afford that. If you build and design your model well enough and you have an


operating model that can deliver higher gross margins than your competition, you can afford to pay your specialty people more. They won’t leave you for more money if your culture is aligned.

Q: A:

What are your expansion plans?

I think when you look at the pieces of our business model from a holistic standpoint, we can certainly duplicate it. We have 37 locations that we have mapped out in 16 markets across the country. We have a long-term commitment to grow and build a great company. Our hail catastrophe business is expanding with our strategic partnership with DentSmart, the addition of our Smart Claims Services business and an ever-expanded Certified Network Partner program with local PDR companies. For more information about PRR Mobile Solutions, visit www For more information about The300Advantage, visit www.the300

Continued from Page 16

New Mexico Readies

cles programmed to follow the law, what are we going to do?” State Police Chief Pete Kassetas joked. He said that a reduction in accidents would reduce the work for state police. Kassetas also said drug traffickers using autonomous cars might no longer be pulled over for traffic violations, such as speeding. vBut the tradeoff is good,” Kassetas said. Not all accidents would be eliminated, which brings up its own series of questions: Who would pay for a serious injury or death when an autonomous vehicle hits a pedestrian? And how would liability for crashes between two autonomous vehicles differ from current law? Those are questions that Santa Clara University School of Law Professor Robert Peterson studies. And there are no real answers yet. Right now, 94 percent of crashes are due to human error or judgment, he said. That would change with au-

tonomous vehicles, as would the liability for manufacturers. Currently, accident claims go through auto insurance. In the future, they may go against the manufacturer—which has higher caps than auto insurance claims. And damages to equipment would also be more expensive, since expensive equipment would be placed behind the bumper, causing potentially thousands of dollars of damage in relatively minor accidents. Despite the negative attention from the fatal Uber accident and the uncertainty facing the technology’s future, White doesn’t see any opposition to legislation that comes from the summit and other meetings before next year’s legislative session. “This is kind of a bipartisan issue,” he said. “Usually the pushback comes from social issues and not technology stuff like this, improving safety.” White expects to introduce legislation in next year’s legislative session to bring New Mexico into the autonomous vehicle future. We thank NM Political Report for reprint permission.

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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

Get to Know WIN’s 2018 MIW Honorees The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) recently announced that four women will be honored as Most Influential Women (MIW) in 2018. They will be celebrated at the MIW Gala and Awards Ceremony, held during WIN’s Educational Conference in Indianapolis May 7–9. Originally established by AkzoNobel in 1999 and taken on by WIN in 2013, the MIW program aims to recognize women whose leadership, vision and commitment to excellence have enriched the collision repair industry. The 2018 MIW honorees are Shelly Bickett, Director and CoFounder of Fix Auto USA; Mary Mahoney, Vice President of the Insurance Replacement Division for Enterprise Holdings; Marie Peevy, Owner of Automotive Training Coordinators LLC; and Collisionista Petra Schroeder. While all of these women are involved with WIN, the association does not select the MIW honorees. Established criteria focused on industry influence, professional accomplishments, mentorship and community service are considered by an independent third-party company that reviews the nominations and selects each year’s winners. This year’s honorees all graciously agreed to discuss with Autobody News their careers, involvement with WIN and how they feel about receiving this recognition. After years in the corrugated box industry, Peevy began her collision repair industry career by chance when she relocated and needed a new job. She recalled, “I liked it from day one, but I began to love it after my first year when I attended an industry conference. I developed a tremendous respect for collision repairers, owners, managers, technicians—all of them. I found the industry interesting and challenging, [and] always providing an opportunity to learn. I have been in the industry since 2005, and I find it hard to believe those 13 years have gone by so quickly.


“It’s difficult for me to discuss my career without first stating I have five boys ranging in age from 5 to 32! I think this is important because, as most women know, your priorities revolve around your kids first. However, it is important you do something for yourself, so that you leave an example of what is possible for your children. Honestly, my real career accomplishments began when I took a chance on an idea. I saw collision repairers struggling to meet and maintain training requirements and all of the details associated with it. My passion for their struggles drove me to develop and continue to refine an approach that simplifies the process. Every day, I am excited because I know my company, Automotive Training Coordinators LLC, is helping collision repairers and making their lives just a little easier. I am grateful to the people who coached me and even for those that said I couldn’t be successful. Today, my company makes a difference every day.” Mahoney began her career with Enterprise as a management trainee in 1985, learning all aspects of the business and taking on increasing levels of responsibility until she moved to its worldwide headquarters in St. Louis in 1994. There, she spearheaded the company’s first insurance replacement department and was tasked with improving the communication process between branches, insurance companies and collision centers. The same year, she was involved with developing and implementing the Automated Rental Management System (ARMS®). She recalled, “After being part of such a significant milestone, I knew from then on that this was the segment of our business in which I belonged.” In 2004, Mahoney was promoted to overseeing the management of Enterprise’s insurance replacement and collision business throughout North America. “Each promotion at Enterprise has been a personal accomplishment


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

for me,” she said. “What has been important within each promotion is that I’ve been fortunate to be part of the growth of the Insurance Replacement division and team as well. Being a leader and mentor to this team, many of them women, has been very rewarding, and I’m so proud of the work and advancements being made in the industry. I’ve also been fortunate to be part of important efforts such as NABC’s Recycled Rides and Progressive’s Keys to Progress. These initiatives play key roles in getting vehicles to individuals, [including] veterans, who wouldn’t have otherwise had one.” Mahoney also sits on the board of the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF). Bickett became involved in the industry in 1984 when she opened her first collision repair facility in Southern California, a business that

has since grown to include nine locations with more than 250 employees and more than $30 million in annual revenue. The shops are part of Fix Auto USA, which Bickett cofounded. She shared, “I saw the opportunity for success in an industry that was ready for improvement, both in processes, measurements and financial enhancement. My business knowledge, accounting expertise and process improvement training made this a good business venture.” Over the past three decades, Bickett has been on the cutting-edge of industry changes, participating in a variety of industry initiatives and serving roles in several associations. She was a founding member of Caliber Collision in 1991 and co-founded Fix Auto USA in 1997, a franchise that now includes 126 locations. She SeeWIN MIW Honorees, Page 32 / MAY 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Day Job/Night Job

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

with Ed Attanasio

The Amazing Art of Chris Harsh

lucky to meet Bryan Hilleary, who was willing to teach me how to paint. He told me that he would teach me everything he knows and pay me while I was learning, so it was a perfect situation. Over the years, we’ve worked together a few times at different shops, so we’ve been friends for a long time now.” Looking back on his career as a painter, there were a few obstacles along the way, but Harsh always stayed positive and focused on doing a good job wherever he worked. “I was painting camper shells for a while, and that’s definitely a completely different way of working,” Harsh said. “They prepped the shells and loaded them in the booth and I was spraying like a robot. It wasn’t challenging at all, but I could work fast and log eight hours after working only 4–5 hours.” A technical instructor at the AkzoNobel training facility in Always looking for a silver Orange, CA, Chris Harsh is also a highly talented artist lining in every cloud, Harsh Harsh, 41, who is married with used the camper shell job to learn anthree children, started painting cars other valuable skill that would later in high school back in the 1990s, but help him in his current position as a can still vividly remember his very teacher. first body/paint job. “Most of the preppers there “My grandfather left me an old were Hispanic, so I took the oppor1970 Chevelle,” he said. “He was the tunity to learn Spanish,” he said. original owner, so it needed some “Talking to them every day really work. But I got it running, so once I helped, and now I am completely got my license, I was ready to drive. I proficient in Spanish. I am officially worked on the car one summer in my friend’s garage and he showed me how to mix up some body filler. I started sanding the car, fixing dents and applying the primer, and eventually I painted it yellow. People to this day still remember that big yellow car.” Once he realized that he Harsh’s creations are hanging on walls all over the world liked painting cars, Harsh landed a job working for a collision a bilingual instructor, and recently I center in Huntington Beach, CA, was in Mexico City training the Akwhere he met his first mentor. zoNobel technical crew there. I have “I started working there the day met Spanish-speaking painters from I turned 18, so yes—I was ready to all over the country, and connecting work and learn,” Harsh said. “I was with them through language is very When he isn’t working as a technical instructor at the AkzoNobel training facility in Orange, CA, Chris Harsh is pursuing his passions—skateboarding, surfing and art. Thanks to his unique style and integration of different aspects of his background into his paintings, Harsh is getting rave reviews for his seascapes, tree images and even some abstract work that he’s been experimenting with recently.



rookie or a veteran,” he said. “If I can make them better painters and teach them something they didn’t know in one of our three-day classes or by coming to their shop, [that is] even more gratifying.” Back in 2002, Harsh was working at a Buick, Pontiac and Mazda dealership, where he became interested in pinstriping. “On the Buicks at that time, they featured handpainted pinstripes, so I started Some of his creations use AkzoNobel paint, which is applied watching their pinstripper in to paint can lids action,” he said. “He gave me chapter. Teaching people how to use some tips and some of his oldest AkzoNobel products was immedi- brushes. I got a kit and practiced, and after a while I got pretty good at it. That ately attractive to him. “I really enjoy what I’m doing kind of fueled my art career.” Seven years later, Harsh began because I am able to share my knowledge and experience with so many working with ink markers and penSee Chris Harsh, Page 50 different people, whether they’re a satisfying.” After 23 years on the body shop side, Harsh was ready to enter a new

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Continued from Page 28

WIN MIW Honorees

helped found CIECA, Cyncast and the Collision Career Institute and has spoken at several conferences. The breadth and extent of Bickett’s knowledge and experience are astonishing and surpassed by few industry professionals. After Schroeder finished high school, her father fell sick, so her parents recommended an apprenticeship that she began in 1969 at Herberts/Standox, a chemical company in Germany, with the intention of resuming her studies. However, she discovered an interest in the industry, sticking with the company to become the first female senior employee in 1992 and the first female assigned to an ex-patriot position in 1995 when she was sent to the United States. Her involvement with the company continued after it was sold to DuPont and then later to Axalta. She was recognized on many occasions, receiving a Clear Coat Technology Research and Marketing Award, a Double Duty Award and an

award for Excellence in Customer Experience and Loyalty. In addition to acting as a judge for the Skills USA competition over the past four years, Schroeder has volunteered with SCRS, NABC and WIN where she is now serving her second year as the association’s Chair. Additionally, she volunteers for Emmanuel House, Girl Scouts and other community service projects. “There were a lot of opportunities to just apply myself, and I have a great passion for this industry and the people in it, especially students and other females,” Schroeder said. Schroeder attended her first WIN conference in 2007 and became interested very quickly, volunteering on the association’s committees and joining its board in 2013. She has served as WIN’s Chair since 2016. “Networking with so many women provides steady and mutual learning,” she said. “There is not a conversation that I have without learning from someone else. WIN’s mission to encourage more females to join the collision repair industry fits perfectly with my interests and

passions, and receiving the honor of being named a 2018 MIW makes me want to continue volunteering even more.” “I feel very honored, humbled and excited to be recognized as an MIW. As WIN’s Chair, I’ve worked with former MIWs, and it’s great to be part of this impressive list of names. I think all of us who have been honored find that we like this work and we do these things because we have a passion for it; that it’s recognized is just icing on the cake.” Having been involved with the association since it began, Bickett is also passionate about WIN’s mission, which aligns with her involvement in the National Charity League. “Working with younger women in my business, I have watched them grow organically, but there wasn’t anything industry-specific that encouraged and developed women before WIN,” she said. “The women in this industry were mostly surrounded by men, but WIN gives us the opportunity to work together, promote each other and develop our careers and leadership skills.” “Like many women, I just want

to get things done: work, improve businesses and take care of employees, business associates, family and friends. It’s nice to validate all of my contributions by being recognized in this way.” Mahoney is inspired by WIN members and their efforts to work together to address the industry’s many challenges. “While there aren’t as many women in the industry as there could be, we are seeing women’s roles grow and advance,” she said. “We’re moving forward very quickly in all aspects of the automotive industry, especially the collision repair industry, and I am so excited to be a part of it.” “I am passionate about what I do every day, and I am passionate about helping others achieve personal and professional success. Being recognized by WIN as an influential woman is a great honor, and I am humbled. It tells me maybe I can make a difference in the industry and in the lives of women I meet on a regular basis. That is so important to me and to Enterprise. It is important that we continue to bring aware-

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ness to the collision industry and the criticalness of training and advancement that needs to continue [in] this area, and especially for women.” Peevy said she was nervous when she attended her first WIN conference in 2012 because she only knew one person. “[However,] it didn’t take long before many people were introducing me to others and taking time to help me feel like I belonged,” she said. “I found being involved with WIN and attending the WIN conferences provided a great opportunity to grow and learn. There’s an important lesson in this: get involved, take a few chances and engage others. Networking will help anyone take it to the next level.” “It’s humbling to be recognized as a MIW, especially when I think of all the past winners and even those wonderful women who also are being recognized with me this year. It is an honor to think you are being recognized for being a positive influence. It’s been difficult to believe because this industry is made up of some of the most amazing, kind and generous people you could

ever know.” All of this year’s MIW honorees agree that including women in collision repair is important because the industry truly needs a feminine perspective and a healthy balance, and they have all witnessed an increase in females in a variety of roles within the industry over the years. Each woman shared her views as well as advice for young women interested in pursuing a career in the automotive industry. “Women have a growing influence within our industry and we need to recognize those contributions, which are required for the industry to have the healthy balance it needs to succeed,” Peevy said. “Young women should know they will be respected if they show an interest in learning the industry, earning a place in it and respecting it. There’s tremendous opportunity for women in our industry, and by that, I mean there are literally hundreds of roles women can play. In fact, there’s really no role women can’t hold successfully.” Acknowledging that there are not as many women in the industry as

there could be, Mahoney stated that there have been definitive growth and advancements in women’s roles. She praised Enterprise for its promotefrom-within philosophy that rewards employees based on performance and has led to women being well represented in senior leadership positions throughout the company. “It can be a tough process, but it’s also fair and is opening doors for women in every one of our lines of business,” she said. “I think this industry offers a fantastic opportunity for anyone, but especially women, to have a career in so many areas, and I encourage women not to shy away from segments that haven’t historically been considered as a career opportunity for them.” “As I progressed throughout my career and considered each next big promotion, I often questioned whether I was qualified, but support and mentoring taught me that I’d never know what I could achieve unless I got outside of my comfort zone and took a chance. The opportunities are endless!” Bickett said, “The collision industry needs the diversity that women

bring. We are different, and this is a benefit to businesses because women bring different experiences and skill sets that complement men’s and can bring synergy to this industry. There are many opportunities for women in the automotive industry, and this can become a career with many avenues. Young women interested in working in this industry should engage with other women, but men also. Network and find a mentor. Have a clear career vision, and empower yourself.” Schroeder also mentioned that women and men offer different skill sets and different perspectives that complement one another, but she believes it’s important “to remain firstclass ladies instead of trying to be second-class men. It’s important to be aware of how you present yourself and women in general. Behavior, wardrobe and language are all important. You cannot demand respect, but once you show that you do what you say and you apply your knowledge and experience, respect will come.” Congratulations on being named 2018 MIWs to these four spectacular women! / MAY 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Media and Publicity for Shops with Ed Attanasio

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

Fill the Void - How to Find, Retain Good Employees You’re short a technician and an estimator, and your last painter took a job to paint government vehicles for the city because they’re going to pay his medical insurance and offered him a pension. How can a small independent shop (or even an MSO, for that matter) compete with that? What happens when your business is booming and the cars are lining up to be repaired, and suddenly you don’t have the people in place to do the work? For how long can your existing employees work overtime and weekends to catch up before they suffer from major burnout? Comebacks caused by shoddy work are often performed by overloaded and exhausted techs, and after a while it becomes a vicious cycle. Your DRPs are unhappy and after a while, they will start looking elsewhere. Don’t feel alone. It’s getting increasingly more difficult to find the best people who can fit into your company culture and contribute to your organization. And once you have them on staff, what do you do to keep them onboard? I interview body shop owners all over the country all the time, and their #1 concern is how to find good techs, painters, estimators, front office people and customer service representatives. The shortage of talented and well-trained collision professionals is a problem that isn’t going to get any better, so proactive shops are now investing in marketing and recruiting efforts in a big way. So, here are some suggestions on how to find good employees and keep them in the fold, because in the end, you’re only as good as the people who work for you. Loni Amato, the owner of Ingenious Solutions, worked in Silicon Valley for many years and helped a wide range of different companies with their staffing and recruitment. By using several of the techniques listed here, Amato was able to find top talent and keep them onboard. “In any service-oriented, consumer-facing company, the strategies


are basically the same,” Amato said. “In the end, it comes down to identifying your needs and continually working to fill them with the best people you can find. Many shops find the right people and say, ‘Okay, our work is done.’ But that’s a mis-

fully woo.

• Check job boards for potential candidates who may have resumes online, even if they’re not currently looking.

“In the end, it comes down to identifying your needs and continually working to fill them with the best people you can find” — Loni Amato

take, because you never know when someone will move, find a better job or retire, for that matter. MSOs have a definite advantage over independent shops when it comes to recruiting and retaining talented people. One of the main reasons is that many chains maintain fully staffed human resources departments that mom-andpop shops can’t compete with.”

Assemble your own inventory of candidates Shops that hire new employees based on the candidates who walk in their door or answer an ad in the paper or online are often missing out on the best candidates. “Some of the best people in the collision industry are likely working for someone else and they may not even be considering a new position elsewhere,” Amato said. “So, here are several simple steps that can help you put more qualified names in your pool of job candidates. By assembling your own inventory of possible candidates, you won’t have to restart the hiring process from scratch every time. The key is to assemble your candidate pool before you need it.”

• Use professional association websites and magazines to advertise for professional staff.

• Look for potential employees on LinkedIn and other social media outlets. Bring in your best prospects to meet them before you need them. “I do not encourage poaching employees from the shop down the street for obvious reasons,” Amato said. “Instead, the goal is for you to

be in the right place at the right time when someone starts looking around to make a move.” Stay connected to your local schools Engage with the tech schools in your area and play a role as a mentor. If you can get young people to work at your shop, they will likely attract some of their classmates and/or graduates. “Some shop owners work with local schools through mentoring programs,” Amato said. “If you want to hire fairly inexperienced people and then train them to do the job your way, this is an ideal strategy.” Establish an employee referral program Human Resources departments at large corporations have strong employee referral systems that have beSee Fill the Void, Page 42

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• Invest time in developing relationships with tech school placement offices, recruiters and other organizations that help people find viable careers.

• Enable your current employees to actively participate in industry professional associations and conferences where they are likely to meet candidates you may success-


Charles Luera, Parts Manager 4720 W. 24th St. // Greeley, CO 80634 / MAY 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Historical Snapshot with John Yoswick

—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, 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

Problems With Non-OEM Radiators Led to CAPA Certification Program 20 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (May 1998) The Collision Industry Conference (CIC) task force considering alternatives to the current method of calculating shop compensation for paint materials has drawn up a list of proposed guidelines for any new paint materials calculations system. The task force, which includes collision repairs, insurers, auto and paint manufacturers and estimating system providers, has called for a system that: • is based on surface area of the part being refinished, as provided by the manufacturer of that part; • includes no caps; • uses a multiplier for repaired (versus new) panels; • includes as “refinish materials” only those items listed as such in the Mitchell guide; • includes all refinish surfaces or areas with no deduction for overlap of adjacent panels; • includes a blend allowance that averages 50 percent of materials calculated for full painting of a panel; and • offers different allowances based on the use of different VOC-content products.

Representatives of CIC and the task force said some members of the industry have voiced concerns about changing the current system. But Phil Cunningham of Motor Information Systems pointed out that the changes are inevitable. His company’s customers, he said, have asked Motor to create a refinish materials estimate system, just as Mitchell International has. “So we are going to develop one,” Cunningham said. “We [have] also been told that the current method that takes a rate multiplied by an hourly refinish allowance is not preferred. The method that is preferred is a rate times the surface area. They’re going to be competing refinish materials estimating products out there. The question to the industry is: Does the industry want to be involved in developing the methodology on 38

which material estimating is predicated, or do they prefer the three information providers go off and each develop their own methodology?” – As reported in The Golden Eagle. A wide variety of alternative methods of calculating refinish materials have been proposed over the years, but no single one has gained widespread usage; only about 1-in-4 shops, for example, report using an alternative materials calculator / invoicing system.

15 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (May 2003) The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) last month gathered industry leaders from around the country to discuss what they see as key issues facing the industry, and to draft “position statements” based on those discussions. About 80 people, including shop owners and representatives of SCRS state and regional affiliate associations, attended the National Industry Issues Forum and voiced support for five “resolutions” created during the meeting. Perceived problems associated with third-party claims auditing, sometimes referred to as “desk audits” or “remote audits,” were among the issues generating the most discussion during the meeting. The group agreed that a starting point in addressing the problem would be for the CIC to develop some definitions of such terms as “desk audit” and “third-party administrator,” which are often used interchangeably. Shop owners pointed out that “remote auditing” may actually violate some state laws, which can require physical inspection of the vehicle or licensing of claims adjusters, appraisers or estimates. Among the practices of some third-party claims auditors that the group listed to be addressed were: taking of arbitrary discounts without explanations; sending payment without explanation of what was charged on the estimate; not using one estimating system, but “cherry-picking” labor times or procedures from multiple systems; and seeking shop


agreement prior to providing paperwork to the shop. Shops at the event said they are again more frequently being told certain items are part of their “shop overhead” and thus not billable; again, the group felt CIC could assist by revisiting its definition or explanation of “overhead.” – As reported in Autobody News. 10 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (May 2008) Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty last week signed into law legislation backed by the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) that prohibits an insurer from “unilaterally and arbitrarily disregard(ing) a repair operation or cost identified by an estimating system (that) an insurer and collision repair facility have agreed to utilize in determining the cost of repair.”

The language was not as strong as that originally proposed which, without using the term “arbitrarily,”

In 2008, Judell Anderson of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota helped enact a state law prohibiting an insurer from “unilaterally and arbitrarily disregard(ing) a repair operation or cost identified by an estimating system.”

prohibited failure to use an estimating system in its entirety or refusing to compensate a shop for documented paint and materials charges identified through industry-recognized systems. Still, AASP-MN Executive DiSee Non-OEM Radiators, Page 42

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Shop Strategies with Stacey Phillips

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

Award-Winning MSO Experiences Tremendous Financial Growth, Expansion Named one of America’s fastestgrowing companies in 2015 by Inc. 5000, New Look Collision has been referred to as a model collision repair center by its peers, customers and insurance partners. The family-owned-and-operated MSO specializes in repairing European vehicles and has received numerous accolades since it opened its first location in Henderson, NV, in 2004. In 2011, the company expanded its operations and opened an additional location in Shelbourne, located in the southwestern part of Las Vegas. In June 2017, Michael Whittemore and his wife, Theressa, bought out a competitor in Central Las Vegas. Their fourth location is adjacent to the

Body shop owners, suppliers, equipment companies and the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed New Look Collision during the company's grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony in March

Henderson shop and was built as an overflow facility. The Whittemores’ son-in-law, Paul Williams, is New Look’s general manager and is married to their eldest daughter, Jessica. Together, Paul and Jessica oversee the shops in Nevada. With four locations in Nevada, the MSO opened a new facility in Scottsdale, AZ, in March. Autobody News sat down with Michael during the grand opening celebration on March 27 to find out how this entrepreneur started out in the collision repair business and learn about the processes he has incorporated over the years to operate and expand a successful MSO. Can you tell us about the journey that led to the opening of New Look Collision?



I grew up in the business. My cousin owned an auto body shop, so I spent time helping him out. I also enjoyed restoring old muscle cars. In 1985, I enrolled at a trade school in Johnson City, New York called OTC—Occupational Training Center. After the first year, my instructor, Mr. Heier, told me that I had a knack for doing this type of work and encouraged me to pursue collision repair after I finished school. I graduated from the two-year program at the top of my class out of 50 students. I was 20 years old at the time. The experience prepared me to work in the collision repair industry, but I didn’t realize how green I was. OTC helped me find a job at a Porsche dealership in Vestle, New York. That’s when I found out that I was really green. I just knew the very basics. Fortunately, I had a couple of older technicians take me under their wing. After about a year, I worked at another body shop and then a Ford dealership. Theressa and I decided to move out west to Nevada where her family lived. I spent the next 20 years working as a technician. However, I always had a vision of opening my own shop. It was kind of hard though. In 2003, I was a good technician making a lot of money, but my four kids were pretty young at the time, so I didn’t want to take a risk. As they started getting older, I put a business plan together and with the help of my family and friends, we were able to raise $700,000 to open our first New Look Collision location in 2004 in Henderson. After about 10 years, Theressa and I bought out our investors and silent partners.


What prompted the decision to move into another state to open your fifth location?

we had already established a relationship with them over the years. They would often ask us about opening a shop in Phoenix due to our cycle time, quality and the fact that we score really well on our KPIs. That’s how we ended up opening our fifth location in Scottsdale. It took about two months to renovate the building to meet our needs. The 23,000-square-foot facility has a

The team at New Look Collision’s new location in Scottsdale, AZ. This is the MSO’s first in the state of Arizona

17,000-square-foot shop workspace and the remainder is allocated to office space, which we will use as we continue to expand in Arizona.

What are some of the challenges of operating in a different state?


It definitely has its challenges. There are different tax laws and employee laws and we’re learning as we go along. My advice to other shops thinking of moving into another state is to do your homework and make sure that you understand the laws before going in. The people here in Scottsdale and Arizona in general have been very receptive and welcoming, which is nice. Even during our grand opening today, neighboring body shops are coming to support us. We are part of the Nevada Colli-


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Theressa and I always liked Arizona and we bought a cabin in the Flagstaff area of Northern Arizona two years ago. Many of the claims managers in Nevada are hubbed out of Phoenix, Arizona so



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sion Industry Association (NCIA) and plan to join an industry association in Arizona as well to connect with the industry.

Q: A:

What is the importance of setting up duplicable processes?

All of our locations are pretty much run the same way. We set them up like Ray Kroc set up McDonald’s. You can go into any of our shops and see the same processes: how the vehicles get checked in and tagged and how they run through the shop. There have been times when we’ve had to move employees from one location to another because they were on vacation or sick. Because the locations are run the same, an employee can work at another location with minimal training. Our employees know one another well and keep in contact. If one of our customer service representatives (CSRs) has a question, he or she can call another CSR or office manager at the corporate location to find out the information needed. We also put together standard operating

procedures (SOPs) for each of the job duties at the company, so everyone knows what is expected.

How have OEM certifications benefited your business and what is your advice to other shops about obtaining them?


I started obtaining OEM certifications before they became popular. A business advisor warned me about the recession coming. All of the key indicators were there. OE certification has helped set us apart from our competition; however, one of the challenges is the cost. With some certifications, such as Mercedes-Benz and Audi, it’s about a $1 million investment by the time you factor in the cost of the equipment and training required to be on the program. Not only is the training expensive, but you also have to consider that your top technicians are going to be away for seven to 10 days. It’s a large investment, but it has paid off tremendously for us. My advice for shops, especially the smaller ones, is to focus on one


certification at a time and then add on.

Q: A:

Where does most of your business come from?

We’re currently contracted with 22 insurance partners, which include small DRPs that give us about five vehicles a month to large DRPs that give us more than 100 a month. We used to be heavily dependent on DRPs, but now it’s about 60/40—60 percent is DRPs and 40 percent is from dealerships and OEM certifications. There are some DRPs we don’t work with because they want too many concessions. We still repair their cars, but we charge our door rate. I think DRPs are always going to be there in some form, so it’s important to build that relationship with your local claims managers and adjusters. I think our DRPs in Nevada know they can trust us. We’re honest and we make sure to put every customer back in a safe car, so we can all sleep at night. We also have the dealerships pushing cars on us. Now, when peo-

ple get into a wreck, they usually call their dealership before the insurance company. Some of the cars have a button, such as Cadillac, so the car prompts the owner to the nearest certified collision center. Other car manufacturers are moving toward that as well.

Congratulations on being named one of the top three body shops in Henderson in 2018 by ThreeBest Rated. How has your team managed the shops, the growth and the DRPs so successfully?


Basically, it’s because we have good people working for us. That’s the key. Having good people, training them well and giving them a competitive wage definitely make a difference. We also look out for our employees and provide perks that other shops don’t offer, such as a nice retirement package and health benefits. Many of our employees come from big MSOs and haven’t received training. The techs themselves have had to pay for it. Word gets around


See Award-Winning MSO, Page 47

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FedEx - 20 Tesla Semi Electric Trucks

FedEx Corp. recently announced it has placed a reservation for 20 Tesla Semi trucks. The fully electric trucks, which are scheduled to begin production in 2019, will be operated by FedEx Freight, its less-than-truckload unit. “FedEx has a long history of innovation and incorporating sustainability efforts throughout its global network,” said FedEx Freight President and CEO Mike Ducker. “Our investment in these trucks is part of our commitment to improving road safety while also reducing our environmental impact.” Tesla said its new big rig will deliver a far better experience for truck drivers while increasing safety and significantly reducing the cost of cargo transport. Its advanced technologies, such as surround cameras and onboard sensors, help aid object detection while also enabling Enhanced Autopilot for automatic emergency braking, automatic lane keeping and lane departure warning. The company also touts electric energy cost savings that are half that of diesel.

Continued from Page 36

Fill the Void

come their bread and butter for attracting and hiring top people. One shop owner told me that one of his technicians had brought him three top estimators and one highly experienced painter through his company’s employee referral program, earning more than $5,000 in bonuses as a result. Some of these programs offer generous bonuses, including things like all-expense paid vacations, tickets to concerts and sporting events, etc. for employees who refer their friends and associates. Instead of conducting “cattle calls” and interviewing semi-qualified people, why not find top candidates through the connections your existing employees already have established? You will quickly find out that good body techs hang out with other good body techs, as do painters, estimators, etc. Build from within and reward top work 42

Non-OEM Radiators

rector Judell Anderson views the legislation as a win for the industry. “Under this bill, insurers will no longer be able to selectively use these estimating systems,” she said. – As reported in CRASH Network (, May 12, 2008. CRASH Network in 2009 interviewed Minnesota shops about the impact of the law six months after it went into effect. “It’s still all over the board who is paying what, but we’re seeing changes,” one shop owner said. “It’s improved the awareness and understanding of the P-pages.” More insurers, he said, are paying for feather, prime and block operations, and for de-nib and polish. Another shop owner said, “Where it’s helped us is with wheel alignments and mechanical labor. Some insurance companies like to pay a flat price for wheel alignments or say that procedures designated in the (estimating system) as mechanical labor are body labor. Now I hold up the book and say we use the whole book and nothing Providing promotional and lateral opportunities for current employees positively boosts morale and makes your current staff members feel their talents, capabilities and accomplishments are appreciated. Always post positions internally first. “I always tell shop owners to give potential candidates an interview, even if they are not currently looking for new people,” Amato said. “It’s a chance for you to know them better. They learn more about the goals and needs of the organization.” Be known as a great employer Amato makes a strong case for not just being a great employer, but also letting people know that you are a great employer. “This is how you build your reputation and your company brand,” Amato said. “You’ll want the best prospects seeking you out because they respect and want to work for your brand. Google, which frequently tops Fortune’s Best Companies list, for example, receives around 3,000,000 applications a year.”


but the book.” He pointed out the law allows for deviations from an estimating system if agreed to by the insurer and shop, so thought it probably hadn’t helped shops on DRP programs. “But it has helped shops that are not on the programs do a lot better in quite a few areas,” he said. “It allows me to say, ‘We’ve got a law, and we only deal with law-abiding companies.’” Montana lawmakers passed similar legislation in 2011. 5 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (May 2013) Speaking at the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) convention this month, Jack Gillis of the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) said his organization is working on certification requirements for air conditioning condensers and radiators. “We did some preliminary testing on very popular radiators, and we found there are some problems,” Gillis said. “There are great radiators out there and there are not-so-great radiators out there. One of the issues is that radiator failures generally occur six to 18 months down the road when the consumer has forgotten they even

had the radiator put into their vehicle.” Gillis said CAPA compared nine non-OEM radiators to their OEM counterparts for the 2004–07 Chevrolet Silverado, the 2005–07 Honda Accord and the 2000–07 Ford Taurus.

In 2013, Jack Gillis of the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) said his organization found problems with non-certified non-OEM radiators

Seven of the nine, Gillis said, failed to match the OEM part. Problems found, he said, included radiator caps that failed pressure testing, premature corrosion issues, leaks dues to poor welding and tube fractures. – As reported in CRASH Network (, May 27, 2013. Two years later, CAPA began certifying non-OEM radiators. Gillis retired from CAPA this year after nearly three decades leading the organization.

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Product Innovation

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

with Ed Attanasio

Shop Owner Invents Revolutionary Repair Estimating Tool Justin Forkuo, the owner of 290 Auto Body, Inc. in Worcester, MA, is now the proud father of a baby girl named Mia, 7 lb., 14 ounces. Another creation he is proud of is a tool called Crash Point Systems. Crash Point Systems makes taking photographs for estimates and appraisals on a vehicle faster and less problematic than ever before by taking

no need to write or attach anything to the vehicle’s surface, thereby reducing prep work. The tool also aids those who have difficulty taking good pictures, regardless of their level of experience. “Most of my technicians speak some type of Spanish and their English is very limited, so that’s when I started using the color-coded wands,” Forkuo said. “Right away, I could see that we were saving time, because we weren’t going back and forth with the insurance companies over the phone. Instead of sitting on hold, which is highly unproductive, my guys were able to keep moving and getting more down.” The color-coded wands are simple and direct, the way Forkuo likes it. Repair is designated with the color Justin Forkuo is the owner of 290 Auto Body, Inc. in yellow. Replace is red; ReWorcester, MA, and the creator of Crash Point Systems move and Install (R&I) is language barriers out of the process, green; Point of Interest (POI) and according to Forkuo. Paint are represented by the color “This tool provides a clear solu- blue. By using the system for 18 tion for the problem of taking colli- months, the crew at 290 Auto Body sion photos that previously were is communicating more effectively difficult to interpret,” Forkuo said. “I than ever. Forkuo’s invention is stripfirst tried it here at my shop to see if ping out language and documenting my crew would embrace it, and I was every aspect of the repair more presurprised by how well it worked. I cisely by using the wands. was looking for a better method to Forkuo wasn’t destined to be a perform vehicle appraisals by creat- collision repair lifer. He began working a standard process for taking ing for a restoration shop and later for photographs and taking all of the a body shop after graduating from colguesswork out of the equation.” lege, and liked the industry right away. Three years ago, Forkuo began “It was a great education belooking for an uncomplicated device cause at the restoration shop I learned designed with maximum efficiency how to use body filler and do metal in mind. Based on a series of wands fabrication,” he said. “Then when I that are becoming better known as started working at a collision repair crash pointers, he devised a one- shop, it was more like changing parts, handed ambidextrous design that al- but it was also a valuable experience. lows for greater mobility. The Instead of fixing an entire car at the lightweight, durable plastic polymer restoration shop, I was fixing panels. reduces fatigue and resists wear dur- It was a completely different busiing heavy usage. The five wands are ness.” color-coded and use known industry One day, Forkuo decided he terms to relay accurate information wanted to do everything he could to to everyone involved in the repair open his own shop. His inspiration process. was monetary, he said. As a touch-less system, there’s “I was replacing a hood on a



Honda Accord and when I saw the final bill, I thought, ‘Wow, there is a lot of profit here,’” he said. “I did the math and told myself that one day I was going to have my own shop. I still had a lot to learn about the industry, but I was confident that I could do it, so I changed my whole mindset that day and started thinking about going out on my own.” A few years later, Forkuo rented a small shop where he did it all by himself, and surprised many when he achieved $1 million in sales. In 2010, he opened 290 Auto Body, Inc. in Worcester, a city well-known for its bad drivers. “The roads here are not as congested as in surrounding areas. I think that leads to excessive speeds and a lot more accidents,” he said. “Cities like Baltimore and Boston are higher on the list, but we get a lot of accidents in a town of approximately

200,000 people. So I knew the work was there and the market would handle another shop in the area.” Crash Point Systems is now selling its wands in three sizes to accommodate several applications. “For estimators out on the road, we have a set of 7-inch wands that are pocket-size,” Forkuo said. “We also offer them in 18-inch and 25inch sizes, depending on how they’re being used. For example, many people like the 18-inch wands because they allow you to get close enough to touch the area you’re pinpointing, but far enough way to get a clear shot.” The Crash Point System wands also help estimators learn how to take effective photos of damaged areas that adjusters, techs and even painters will be able to decipher easily. “It’s also a teaching tool, because See Estimating Tool, Page 50

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National News

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

with Ed Attanasio

Assured Performance Develops Technology to Provide Shop Accountability Scott Biggs, CEO of the Assured Performance Network, recently responded to our article from last month (OE Certifications, John Eagle Case Raise Questions of Accountability) to share what his company is doing for its member shops to help ensure they don’t end up like John Eagle Collision. Assured Performance is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that was created specifically to assist consumers identify certified collision repair providers that meet OEM requirements to properly and safely repair the next generation of vehicles using advanced materials and technology.

Q: A:

What did you think about the article?

Your article was a good callto-action, but it really didn’t offer a viable solution. Well, we have made huge strides in that regard and that’s why I wanted to respond to the piece. We’ve made a significant investment in technology to try and give our shops the ability to control and deliver a better quality output. Tell us about the technology you’ve developed to add accountability and transparency for your network members.


Five years ago, we approached several IP companies and other tech companies to build something, and they all said no. So, years later, we decided to build it ourselves, actually hoping that some other companies would predictably try to build something better once they saw it. This year, we are finally seeing some other companies coming up with pieces of the puzzle in an attempt to emulate or improve what we’re doing, and that’s fine because it just feeds the need. There are three main reasons and benefits for having this app, which we call our Quality Assurance and Control System (OE-OC). For one, if you think about the John Eagle case, how does a shop mitigate their liability exposure and avoid it from happening to



them? There are shops out there right now that are scared by this landmark case and are looking around for a solution. By law, you want to make sure as a shop owner that certain things take place. First, that all your technicians are following OE repair procedures and second, that everything is documented so that you have some sort of proof if you ever end up in court. Third, shops obviously don’t want re-dos, because that can cost them a fortune. If you have shoddy work going out the back of the shop, you’ll have a lot of unhappy customers and DRPs as a result, so shops are already motivated to do quality work for obvious reasons. The response from shops about the OE-QC system has been very positive, but now the challenge is to get their technicians to use it. It’s an integration process that will probably take a year or even more to get shops to use it on an everyday basis. As other companies come out with their own versions of this system, we have no issues with that. If someone has a better product in this space, we’re happy for them. We did it because it was desperately needed at the time, but we know it’s not going to be the only solution. We now require our member shops to adopt this tool or another tool that is functionally equivalent to cover them with documentation and prove that their technicians are following and using OE repair procedures. As a shop owner, you want to cover your act. [You want to] have accountability from your technicians and produce a better quality product—it is really that simple. So we built this tool and tried to keep it as simple as we could, because we know that if it’s too complex, no one will use it. [We decided to build] something that could allow the shop to quickly and easily identify what their technicians are doing through a limited number of clicks and by taking a few photos of the repair process. We also decided to create a quality checklist for all jobs based on the vehicle and the OE procedures that were used in the repair. We made it easy for technicians to be


assigned to a repair then document it all right in their hands. It’s very seamless and feeds to the smart app easily, plus it’s all electronic and based on the shop’s data available to them through their management or estimating system. We built it, and then we streamlined it and finally realized that we needed to develop a system where specific technicians can be assigned to specific jobs based on their skill sets. So we created that part of the app and released it two days after the John Eagle case was announced during our annual conference in Scottsdale, AZ. It was just serendipity, but the timing is indeed significant. If we wanted to charge shops for this app, it would cost them thousands of dollars every year. But because we internalized the cost of it and made it part of our certification, we’re able to give it to our certified shops at no cost. So now the shops will have the tools


918-627-6457 Fax


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they need as OEs and insurers begin to jump onboard. As an example, General Motors recently announced that output quality documentation is fundamental to its future certification program. Our shops now have access to at least one tool to help them.

Q: A:

Tell us more about your repair compliance app?

This app transforms the shop’s estimate repair line information into an interactive checklist on the technician’s smart phone, tablet or desktop. Then in just seconds, the technician can use simple touch commands to take photos and provide other documentation as they follow OEM repair procedures in the proper and safe repair of any vehicle. It allows management to review and approve the technician documentation See Shop Accountability, Page 50

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Award-Winning MSO

and they hear that New Look pays a great rate per hour, trains employees and offers health benefits. We try to be fair and foster a safe environment where they feel comfortable to work and earn money to take care of their families. All of our techs are ASE- and ICAR-certified and our shops are ICAR Gold Class. I believe we are one of only two shops in the state that is Class A with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. “Class A” is a higher level of licensing where we provided proof of having the necessary equipment to repair cars properly and have ongoing annual training. Not only do these certifications set us apart from our competition, but our customers can rest assured that they are going to a premier collision repair shop. I think our employees like the culture we have built. Every day isn’t going to be perfect or 100 percent for them, but they know we’re looking out for them.

How has it been helpful to your business to attend a performance group?


Prior to joining AkzoNobel’s Acoat Selected performance program, we weren’t even using an integrated management system.


thought I’d lose customer pay work. However, I quickly found out that I didn’t lose any pay work. It ended up driving up 5 percent profit right to our bottom line. Performance groups are priceless. They give you the opportunity to talk to other shops across the country about similar challenges you are facing. What I like best is that you have the opportunity to hear other people’s solutions to the same problems we’re having and we can work together to improve the industry.

Can you tell us about the Mobile Estimating application you created?


(l to r) Owners Michael and Theressa Whittemore with their daughter Jessica, sonin-law Paul Williams and their grandchildren

We’re now using the CCC ONE estimating and management system, which has helped us run multiple locations and track everything. After the first group meeting we attended, we also realized that we had to increase our door rate. I was nervous about doing that because I

We created Mobile Estimator in 2008. It took a while for the app to gain traction, but we spent time advertising it and getting the community to use it and have found that it has been very beneficial. It gives customers an option to have some freedom and be able to get a quote with the simple use of their cell phone or electronic device.



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The best part is that consumers do not have to download anything to their phones to use it. If they visit and click the red button labeled “Get a Free Estimate,” it takes them directly to the Mobile Estimator. Once there, all they have to do is provide their information and upload a few images of the damage. Once done, the data is quickly sent to an estimator and the estimator will reply within three business hours. Most of the time, it’s much faster.

Q: A:

What are your company’s expansion plans?

We already purchased property in Flagstaff to build another location and we’re breaking ground in less than a month. We’re learning every day. The eventual goal is to open new Arizona locations in Mesa, Queen Creek and Tempe. I still enjoy fixing customers’ cars and seeing that smile on their face when they pick them up. Something about that keeps driving me. I’ve been doing this for 34 years and I still have that passion. ARKANSAS

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Mopar Masters Guild Annual Meeting Mixes Business With Fun With the ultimate goal of becoming better managers in order to During this year’s NADA Show in deliver the best service to its cusLas Vegas, held March 22–25, 35 tomers, MMG is always promoting members of the Mopar Masters Guild open communication. This year, they (MMG) converged to network, attend focused even more intently on the meetings, elect its officers for 2018 topic. and enjoy a little fun along the way. Some of the highlights during the annual meeting included presentations from FCA/Mopar executives and supporting vendors. “Our vendors play an important role and we are always anxious to meet with them and find out how they can help us as members and as an organization,” McDaniel said. “With six tier-one and seven tier(l to r) MMG Secretary Mike Opperman, President Susan two vendors on our roster, McDaniel, Barbara Davies from Autobody News, Vice they make us stronger and President Joe McBeth and Treasurer Don Cushing at more effective through their MMG’s annual meeting in Las Vegas, March 22–25 efforts and that’s why we MMG President Susan Mc- greatly value their participation.” Daniel was re-elected for another Subjects that MMG members two years, along with several other discussed at the meeting included a officers who represent top dealership wide range of marketing and effiparts departments nationwide. ciency strategies and systems to do a McDaniel is encouraged by what better job. MMG was able to achieve during the annual four-day meeting. “When we get together, we’re able to share ideas about best practices. That’s invaluable because we can take what we’ve discussed and use it to improve our departments,” said McDaniel, who is the parts director at Bill Luke The formula for every MMG annual meeting is to work hard Dealerships in Phoenix, and share ideas, but also have a little fun too! The week AZ. “Networking is a huge ended with a party at Drai’s After Hours, located in the part of every year’s annual Cromwell Hotel in Las Vegas meeting and this year was surely no exception.” “We talked about a new tire Mopar is the parts, service and marketing program that’s designed customer care organization that sup- to sell more tires; customer strategies ports Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for recalls; the wiADVISOR™ and (FCA). Established in 1992, MMG’s how to use it to process customers motto is “The exchange of informa- quickly and accurately and how to tion by like-size dealers in a non- get more customers to fill out surcompetitive environment.” veys and get better feedback from by Ed Attanasio

Call Email Now for Rates:





them,” McDaniel said. “In addition, we discovered phone techniques that can be used to more effectively get back to customers more promptly, especially when departments are

the year. “Currently, Don Cushing is working on our database and soon we will be making a big push to build membership,” McDaniel said. “We will reach out to eligible candidates through our members to let them know that joining MMG will benefit them on many levels. It all starts with our members reaching out to their colleagues and associates and getting the word out to the right people.” During the meeting, the following individuals started their two-year terms:

(l to r) Marvin Windham (longtime member of MMG and Executive Committee), President Susan McDaniel and Laura Windham network at MMG’s annual meeting

busy and backed up. These types of presentations foster better communication, and that is one of the main advantages of being a member of the MMG.” Another goal that the organization discussed at its annual meeting was a member drive to add 30 active members to the group by the end of

President: Susan McDaniel, Bill Luke CJDR

Vice President: Joe McBeth, Dallas Dodge

Treasurer: Don Cushing, Bald Hill DCJR

Secretary: Mike Opperman, Baxter Auto Group



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Continued from Page 46

Shop Accountability

and see alerts when no documentation is provided. This provides the shops with an efficient and cost effective ability to conduct robust quality assurance programs and build quality into the repair process based upon following OEM repair procedures where they exist. [The program’s simple touch-screen functionality only takes seconds for the technicians to properly document so as to not put quality control at risk or leave it to an unlikely third-party and after-the-fact spot check.]

Q: A:

What is ShopOps?

ShopOps is like a business toolbox. Inside of the program, shops will find many critical tools they need to help run their business. The Quality Assurance Program is one, but there are others too. For example, every shop should have a skills inventory based on the staff they have employed, but how

Continued from Page 30

Chris Harsh

cils to create images, but quickly gravitated to paint. “I reached the point where I thought buying a set of oil paints or acrylics and a bunch of canvases might be my next move,” he said. “But then I thought, ‘Why don’t I just use the same paint I use at my job every day?’ So I started working with Sikkens Autowave, one of our waterborne products, and I loved how it worked. Then I discovered that I needed something to paint on, and for whatever reason, I started doing it on paint lids. I was around all of these paint cans, so why not put these lids to use? That’s how it began, and since then I’ve painted more than 400 images using automotive paint on paint lids.” After a while, Harsh’s art gained some local recognition, which fueled him to do even more of it, he said. “I have been a skateboarder my entire life, so one day I was at a local skate park and I ran into Steve Ca50

many shops actually know which of their technicians have what skills and are trained to repair what types of vehicles? That’s a pretty tall order for your average shop to do, so we’re working with I-CAR to give another tool to our shops as part of ShopOps. Inside this application there is a human resources feature functionality that enables the user to assemble and maintain a skills inventory for every employee they have. This way, they can keep track of each technician’s skills based on training or assessments they have, including I-CAR classes, OEM courses, ASE testing, and paint and equipment training classes. It becomes part of that particular shop’s skills inventory, which allows them to have the right mix of skills to accomplish the types of repairs they perform. That way, they can assign only the right technician to the job they’re trained to do and in the future, they can hire techs who can bolster their skills inventory while getting training for those who need more or specific knowledge and skills. This part of our efforts is focused on the foundation of this industry—employees and quality! ballero, a pro skater,” he said. “We started talking and I showed him some of my work, and he liked it. He then referred me to some of his friends and they liked it too, so they invited me to display my artwork at the Ventura Nationals, an annual car show. They gave me a booth and I sold a lot of art that day, including some art I created right on the spot. It was great to see that people wanted to purchase my stuff, and that inspired me to keep going.” Since then, Harsh’s art has appeared in art shows and other events. Many people have his images on their walls, but he still wants it to be a passion as opposed to a profession, he said. “I do it for the love of it, so I don’t ever want it to be like painting those camper shells,” he said. “I want to work on it at my pace and keep it a hobby, so that I won’t lose that great feeling every time I create a new piece.”


Continued from Page 44

ASA Endorsement of OEM Service Procedures

In January 2018, Indiana Sen. Mark Messmer, R-48, introduced Senate Bill (SB) 164 which unanimously passed the Senate Jan. 30 and moved quickly through the House Committee on Insurance. It returned to the Senate with amendments by a vote of 83–13 Feb. 28. The Senate balked and filed a motion to dissent in early March .An amendment, adopted by the House Insurance Committee, would allow a work-around for insurers by recommending adherence to “industry standards” as an alternative to the vehicle manufacturer’s repair procedures. The CDOC of the Automotive Service Association has reaffirmed ASA’s position endorsing the use of required OEM service procedures when such procedures are available. COC members recently discussed several legislative initiatives being monitored. Language in one such initiative in Indiana would have endorsed the use of vaguely defined “industry standards” over the recommended OEM service procedures in the course of collision repair.

Estimating Tool

once you use the system a few times, you can pick it up [and] people get better at taking good photos quickly,” he said. “It saves us time and money and assists us with every aspect of each repair. The other ways that were available to us before we developed this tool weren’t working. Highlighting the damage with markers, stickers and magnets was problematic at times. We also needed a clean and dry surface, requiring prep time. In addition, we are often outside doing estimates in inclement weather, which was also a problem when we were using those other methods.” Now, developing software to accompany his wand system, Forkuo is excited about the future of his company and the viability of his secondnewest baby. “It’s all about education through communication and making processes easier as a result,” he said. “A lot of shops need this product, but they don’t know it yet. Once they use the wands in action, they’re sold.”

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Product Innovation with Stacey Phillips

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

Dave Kindig Fronts New Custom Paint Line: Modern Classikk Kindig by Stacey Phillips

Dave Kindig launched a new custom paint line, Modern Classikk Kindig, in April, with Akzo Nobel. Kindig, the owner of Kindig-It Design in Salt Lake City, UT, and star of the hit Velocity show “Bitchin’ Rides,” collaborated with the automotive refinish company to share their passion for color and paint. Autobody News sat down with Kindig to discuss the development of the paint line and what automotive professionals can expect. “A renowned master craftsman, Dave Kindig is a visionary who truly understands the endless hours of hard work that go into turning a unique vision into a reality,” said Darlene Eilenberger, North American marketing manager of AkzoNobel vehicle refinishes. “He’s spent years honing his skills in the art of restoration and knows that nothing less than perfection will do when it comes to choosing the right color for a ride.” Congratulations on the launch of Modern Classikk. Can you tell us about the collaboration with AkzoNobel?


Thank you very much. It has been a great partnership and it’s very exciting to introduce Modern Classikk to the market. It all started when I met a gentleman at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nevada, a few years ago who worked at AkzoNobel. He introduced me to some of the executives at the company and they flew out to talk to me about creating a custom paint line. It was exactly what I wanted to do.


What were some of the important criteria when creating Modern Classikk?


I had always wanted to create a high-end, good Europeanbased paint system, so it was a perfect match. It was amazing to be able to work with the guys who do pigment development in Troy, Michi-



gan, to create custom colors. Having a company that has a chemical system that actually works and has been proven was the most important thing for me right out of the gate.

team and I really connected, and they immediately understood what I was saying and my vision. I felt that we were able to speak the same lingo. Most designers and custom builders want to show off the shape of the vehicle. We call that flop, color shift or Chroma. Basically, we wanted those aspects to add to the work that goes underneath the paint so it brings out all the shape and the work of the car. By having that color shift, you are able to identify the sharp lines of the body and the different angles of the body down the side, which adds a Modern Classikk Kindig’s “Teal Later” was used on a 1958 lot of depth. When shops are Lincoln Continental named “Maybellene,” which was showcased during the Los Angeles Classic Car Show in going to be spraying our February paint, they’re going to be able to show off the shapes of the clasCan you tell us about the sic cars, or whatever they are painting, process involved to create the to really amplify and direct the eye to new paint line?


I had so many colors in mind. It’s very easy for me to come up with colors and imagine what they will look like based on my experience. I’ve been drawing cars since I was a little kid and of course still do it professionally now. I had

the car and see the depth, shape and characteristics of the vehicle. I think that’s really the biggest thing for us, is having that depth—the ability to get the depth where it looks like a candy paint job but it’s something that can be touched up easily. We currently have four reducers and depending on the technology, up to 25 Basecoat colors, such as Sweet and Sour, Ruby Slippers and one of my favorites, Teal Later. There will be additional colors launching throughout the year and beyond.

Can you tell us about the color ‘Teal Later’ and how you came up with that name?


It was actually really funny. We were in a large meeting room and going over the final colors we had developed together. I remember standing next to the window and I looked at



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There are currently 25 Modern Classikk Kindig colors

these ideas of how pigments could look and how you could have shift and depth. Working with the color lab at AkzoNobel, [which does] a lot of the color development for cars such as McLaren, was a really natural fit. The


the spray card of Teal Later and I couldn’t let it go. I was just blown away. It was everything I had envisioned. I looked over at everyone at the table and they had a big smile on their faces, and I had a big smile on my face. They asked me what I wanted to name it. I didn’t know right then, but later the name Teal Later just clicked. You can see how the color flops. On the highlights, the color looks violet-blue and on the lower lights it looks teal. I thought, ‘It’s violet-blue now and will be teal later.’ That’s why we called it Teal Later. The name is so awesome. We had a blast coming up with the colors. The creative juices were really flowing. I’ve enjoyed my experience every time I’ve been there, but that is one of the days that stood out the most. What are some of the characteristics of the paint that make it unique?


I think it’s a combination of the vision of the colors I had— I’m very passionate about that—and that they are timeless. It’s also a high quality of paint. The actual liquid it-


self is composed properly, it’s easy to use and the results are great. I’m extremely excited about it.

What has the reaction been from your employees at KindigIt Design?


At the shop, everyone is very excited about it. Bryce Green, the body shop manager, is very passionate about Modern Classik and he is very quality-minded. He has told me, ‘You’re making my job easier because I have a great product that works and it’s exciting because it’s new and different from everyone else’s.’ We’re filming season five of ‘Bitchin’ Rides’ right now and we’ll be featuring a lot of the colors from Modern Classikk. We’re currently working on a fantastic vehicle. I can’t divulge anything about it until the show is aired but I think it’s going to blow a lot of people’s socks off! For more information, visit https: //


Continued from Cover

State Farm Responds

ifications due to State Farm’s instructions, threats and/or coercion.” State Farm attorneys have responded to the allegations, denying the insurer had any influence over the repair. “To the extent alleged, Defendant denies that it coerced or enticed any body shop to not follow vehicle manufacturer’s procedures, cut corners, take safety shortcuts, or do anything that jeopardizes members of the motoring public,” the response reads. “Defendant denies that it forced John Eagle to use deadly, dangerous, unproven, and untested adhesive rather than welds. Defendant also denies that it forced John Eagle to do anything in violation of OEM requirements.” State Farm is motioned to have the lawsuits dismissed, claiming the defense of unconstitutionality. A scheduling order for the case has yet to be filed. We thank for reprint permission.

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D&V Autobody in Sterling, VA, located at 42789 Trade West Drive near Arcola, has been certified by Assured Performance, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, for maintaining the tools, equipment, training and facility necessary to repair the participating automaker brand vehicles according to the manufacturers’ specifications. D&V Autobody is officially recognized by Assured Performance, FCA, Infiniti, Nissan, Hyundai and Kia. Less than 5 percent of body shops across the nation are able to meet requirements to become certified. “This certification supports our reputation for superior customer service serving our is important to provide our customers with peace of mind that their vehicles are being repaired by highly trained professionals that care about them,” stated owner Kevin Maharaj. We thank LoudounNow for reprint permission.

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Mitchell’s Comprehensive Database Provides Precise Dimensions Required for Proper, Safe Repair by Stacey Phillips

Autobody News recently visited Mitchell’s Technical Research Center (TRC) in San Diego, CA, to learn more about how the company collects automotive frame and unibody measurements for the collision repair industry. “This facility and the data we capture are really unique to our industry,” explained John Bachman, manager, Auto Physical Damage at Mitchell International. “By building our own database, Mitchell is better suited to respond to customer needs and provide industry-leading solutions. The data we collect are criti-

This includes scheduling vehicles to come in for measurement. Timothy Simoneau, Dan Kovar and Ed Donohue are content specialists. They measure vehicles and then add the information to the database. Timothy is a database administrator, and Dan specializes in CAD and 3D modeling. Matthew Mayercin is a graphics specialist who works out of Mitchell’s main headquarters about a mile and a half away from the TRC.

Q: A:

Barbara Davies, co-owner and general manager of Autobody News, received a demonstration of Mitchell Diagnostics from GeengYee Chong, product manager for Mitchell Auto Physical Damage

cal to collision repairers and others, so that vehicles can be properly repaired.” Mitchell started measuring vehicles in 1986 for its Vehicle Dimension Manuals. The TRC with 3D scanning equipment originally opened in 2012 and relocated to a larger space about a mile and a half away about a year ago. Bachman and Gil Silva, senior director, vendor relations at Mitchell, gave an overview of the facility, and then discussed the process and 3D scanning technology used to measure approximately 100 new vehicles every year.

Q: A:

John and Gil, how many are part of the team at TRC?

We have a team of five that works on this process of building the vehicle dimension database. Tom Beres is our supervisor and runs the day-to-day operations. 54

Q: A:

What do the measurements include?

Not only are we collecting vehicle dimension xyz-coordinate data, but we also take digital photos as part of our products. We create a composite image of the underbody and then produce a technical drawing. I liken it to a blueprint of the vehicle’s underbody. Our 3D coordinate measuring machine (CMM) allows us to probe and scan points on the vehicles. After we probe, we are able to do a high-definition scan to generate a 3D virtual image of the vehicle.

that measures in microns, which are thousandths of a millimeter. It provides repair technicians the level of accuracy necessary for a proper and safe structural repair. The level of detail we are able to gather provides highly accurate information for our collision repair partners, who use the data to realign the vehicles and restore them to their original specifications.

Q: A:

What makes Mitchell’s process unique?

I believe we are the only company in the collision repair industry that collects this level of measurement data. We have measured vehicles for 30 years in different forms. We started out printing books with dimension diagrams. Then we began offering the information on CDs. At one time, the information filled 17 CDs! When DVDs were introduced, we transferred everything to those. Eventually, we began offering the information online in our TechAdvisor product.

Mitchell standardizes the information for the industry and looks at the process from a collision repair aspect. We provide the same level of detail and information for all vehicles. Our goal is to be accurate, complete and easy to use.

Q: A:

Do you incorporate data from the OEMs?

We have access to OEM data as well. Some of the car manufacturers share information, but not in a database format. Often, the information is provided as a diagram and varies depending on the OEM. Others provide very little, if any, data. However, we do consider any OE data we receive. Occasionally, they will send us engineering data we can include. We collaborate with the OEM and share the same goal: to provide the information required to complete a proper and safe repair for all makes and models—the goal of everything we do related to vehicle repairs at Mitchell. See Mitchell’s, Page 57

Can you tell us about the 3D measuring equipment used?

The equipment we use is definitely unique. It’s very expensive and sophisticated, and typically, you wouldn’t see anything like this in a body shop.

There are three different pieces of equipment involved in the process. We use a CMM Arm, HD laser scanner and a spherical scanner. It’s basically a very precise 3D digitizer, and its primary purpose is to collect xyz coordinates and QA inspection.

What are some of the main benefits of providing this level of detail?


Having that 3D data is a lot more robust, detailed and accurate. Probably the most important thing is the accuracy of the equipment. We use very precise equipment





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Robot Cars: Safety and Liability

tems can be easily tricked or hacked. Virtually every automaker has The robots are coming—robotic cars, embarked on some sort of authat is. Are they safe? Will they be an tonomous driving program, scrambling to resolve technological issues economic boon or bust? According to the National High- to get to market. To date, little has way Traffic Safety Administration, in been done on the regulatory side to 2015, the last year for which it had ensure that these vehicles will not final statistics, car accidents were the crash when, say, a sensor fails or a dense fog rolls in. Some leading cause of death in the players in the car industry U.S. for 16- to 23-year-olds. have lobbied intensely to That year, 2.44 million peoavoid responsibility for ple were injured in car their vehicles on the road, crashes. In nearly one-third seemingly hiding defects in of all motor vehicle fatal actheir system by failing to cidents, alcohol played a comply with reporting rerole. Automated driving veAdam Blank quirements and fighting efhicles are being pitched to the public, legislators and regulators forts that would allow consumers to by industry groups on the premise, but hold them accountable for collisions not yet on the promise, that if we take they cause. Legislation must be crafted to away the drunk, drowsy and distracted human element and shift to automated allow these manufacturers to bring automated cars to the masses while driving, crashes will be eliminated. Vehicles equipped with auto- ensuring that manufacturers are remated driving systems will come in sponsible when their vehicles fail. many varieties. Some will need a Safety depends on accountability. If human driver, either to get to where manufacturers are allowed to evade the automation can take over or as a accountability, they have incentive to fallback in case the automated system create a potentially dangerous vehifails. Others are being designed never cle. This is a fraught time for the auto to allow human intervention by phys- industry—fortunes will be made and ically removing the steering wheel lost in automated driving, and withand pedals. However, all of these ve- out proper rules the public may be the hicles will share one defining charac- greatest victim. But, if we can get the teristic—when the automated driving rules right, this technology has the system is engaged, any human being potential to save millions of lives. Even if robotic cars can be in the vehicle is no longer in control. Removing humans from the wheel made safe, the question of their ecodoes not necessarily guarantee safety. nomic impact still looms. Business Today, we already see stories about and government must consider the the trouble automated vehicles have impact these cars will likely have on with bridges, turning left, bicycles or them, their employees and their conanimals in the road. Their vision sys- stituents. If, as anticipated, this techby Adam Blank, Westfair Online

James Roach Receives I-CAR Founder’s Award

James Roach, Immediate Past Chairman of the I-CAR® International Board of Directors, was awarded the Founder’s Award for his dedication and service to I-CAR at the 2018 I-CAR Volunteer & Instructor Conference held recently in San Antonio, TX. Roach was on the I-CAR International Board of Directors from 2011 to 2018. During that time, he served in various roles, including the I-CAR Executive Committee. Roach’s term as Chairman ran from 2016 to 2018. 56

“This is a wonderful surprise,” Roach stated, “I am personally humbled to have invested my time in I-CAR, working with so many industry people committed to helping I-CAR meet its vision that every person in the collision repair industry has the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.”


nology can avoid all car crashes, it likely will alter insurance—potentially changing the profit structure of insurance companies and putting a dent into the business of auto body shops, insurance adjusters, medical professionals and attorneys. Theoretically, these vehicles will not violate traffic safety laws, so the $3 billion to $6 billion of revenue that governments receive annually from traffic tickets will evaporate and the police officers who write tickets will no longer be necessary. About 300,000 taxi drivers and upwards of 2 million truck drivers could be made jobless. Driverless cars coupled with ride-sharing systems, such as Uber and Lyft, may mean fewer privately owned vehicles and more fleets, hurting local car dealers and lessening demand for urban parking—a substantial revenue stream for municipalities and private businesses who have invested in costly parking structures. Automated driving vehicles also should have many positive economic benefits. Traffic congestion should

lessen substantially; this, coupled with a decline in travel costs, should make it easier for employers to hire employees from a wider geographic area. Shipping costs should decrease with the elimination of human drivers and the ability of robotic trucks to communicate with one another and travel in a “train” formation. An entirely new market will emerge for technology, entertainment and data companies as they compete to improve the car-riding experience by harvesting data on occupants and advertising to them, providing an “office” or “living room” on the road. The robots are coming. Whether they are safe or not, and how we maximize their economic potential, remains to be seen. Adam Blank serves on the State of Connecticut Task Force to Study Fully Autonomous Vehicles and is an attorney at Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky, where he practices in the areas of land use and personal injury law.

We thank Westfair Online for reprint permission.



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2 Great Danes Reign at Top Dog Garage

Shelly and Rod Cotton, the owners of Top Dog Garage in Halendale, CA, (also known as Silver Lakes) have two Great Danes—Hercules (6.5 years old) and Scarlett (3.5 years old)—that are well-known for running their shop.

an NBA center (7 ft. 2 in. when standing on his back paws), but he is starting to slow down. Now, his #1 job is taking long naps, although he still maintains his I-Canine certification. Scarlett has quickly exhibited some amazing abilities to connect with customers and many people ask about Scarlett before they inquire about their vehicles. “’Where is Scarlett?’ they ask,” Shelly Cotton said. “From the beginning, I could see that she loved meeting the customers and our crew

people and work with our DRPs.” Already, Scarlett has impacted the lives of many customers, including a young child who was frightened by dogs for years.

Even working dogs are entitled to two 15-minute bone breaks

Scarlett greets customers at Top Dog Garage in Halendale, CA

Doing primarily collision repair and some restoration work on classic cars in a little town with a population of fewer than 6,000, Top Dog Garage gets 5-bark reviews from the locals for its doggone good work. When the shop opened in 2012, Hercules was there to help wherever he could. Now, however, Scarlett is the lead dog working with customers and chasing away some insurance adjusters if needed. Hercules could be

Hercules helped to open the shop six years ago, and now he’s semi-retired. (Pictured with Co-owner Rod Cotton)

loves her too. I think she could be a great therapy dog, so we’re thinking of maybe getting her certified to help

Continued from Page 54


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“When this little boy came into the shop, you could see he was reluctant to greet Scarlett. But she slowly walked toward him, and it was so touching to see the transformation,” Cotton said. “She did her natural thing and as a result, this little boy is now okay with dogs. Her presence here is so calming and people pick up on the vibes. While some customers wait for their cars, Scarlett will jump up on the couch right next to them and explain things like the difference between solvent and waterborne paint and why we try to use O.E. parts whenever we can.”


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How is the information shared with the industry?

We are working with approximately a half a dozen equipment companies that license our database. They reference our data for an accurate structural realignment of the vehicle. The Mitchell dimension information is universal and can be used with any equipment found in collision ‘frame’ shops. This ranges from tram bars, mechanical systems and jig fixtures to modern 3D electronic measuring systems. These measuring systems are used in conjunction with a frame rack to pull or realign the vehicle structure to the correct dimension. The frame or unibody is the foundation of the vehicle, and it must be straight before the rest of the repair process can be completed properly and safely. Computerized measuring systems can reference the Mitchell database and document the dimensions and produce a damage report. Measuring before and after a repair is

Shelly Bickett Receives MIW Award

Fix Auto USA is excited that cofounder and franchise partner Shelly Bickett has been recognized as one of the Women’s Industry Network’s (WIN) Most Influential Women of 2018. She will formally accept her award during the 2018 WIN Educational Conference gala in Indianapolis in May. In addition to being actively involved in the development and growth of Fix Auto USA, Shelly’s decorated career includes the management of an eight-location body shop organization in Southern California, the birth of Collision Career Institute, participation in various corporate boards, leadership roles within industry associations, numerous speaking engagements at industry events and active involvement with the National Charity League. “It’s an absolute honor to be recognized as one of the most influential women in our industry, alongside my colleagues Mary, Marie and Petra,” Bickett stated.

important for assessing damage, helps technicians repair the vehicle accurately and provides confidence in the quality of the repair. We also provide the information through Mitchell’s TechAdvisor product for our customers. Over time, Mitchell’s RepairCenter TechAdvisor product has evolved. It’s much more comprehensive and detailed than what we were able to provide in book form. Over the last 20 years, we have been building an interactive database that consists of 3D data and photos. TechAdvisor is cloud-based and provides collision repairers integrated access to critical repair data and OEM procedures. This offers technicians the ability to locate the information they need to return vehicles to their original specifications in the safest, most efficient way possible. We offer a “Gold Standard” database that collision repairers can use when comparing a damaged vehicle to its original specifications, so they can see where the deviation is and how badly the vehicle is damaged. The only way you can really assess and repair hidden damage is by measSee Mitchell’s, Page 60 / MAY 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Tesla Says Autopilot Was Engaged During Model X Fatal Crash by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

Tesla recently released an update confirming that Autopilot was activated on the ill-fated Model X when the SUV crashed into a concrete barrier in March near Mountain View, CA. According to the company’s update, the Model X’s Autopilot was engaged with the car’s adaptive cruise control set to minimum in the moments leading up to the crash. Tesla also noted that the Model X’s driver received several visual and

The aftermath of a fatal Tesla Model X accident. Credit: ABC News Radio/Twitter

one audible hands-on warning earlier on in the drive. The driver’s hands were not detected on the steering wheel for six seconds before the accident occurred as well. Ultimately, Tesla stated that the driver of the ill-fated Model X had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider before the accident took place. Logs from the electric SUV, however, revealed that no action from the driver was taken. Tesla also highlighted that the

absence of a crash attenuator—a highway safety device designed to absorb the impact of a collision— was a key reason why the fatal Model X crash was so severe. Tesla noted that it has “never seen this level of damage to a Model X in any other crash.” As Teslarati noted in a previous report, the crash attenuator, better known as a crash cushion, was destroyed in a vehicular accident 11 days before the fatal Model X crash. This is in line with an image that Tesla provided on its first blog post about the incident, when the company showed a picture of the damaged crash cushion a day before the Model X’s collision. Local news agency ABC7 News was able to get in touch with the driver of the vehicle that collided with the crash cushion 11 days before the Tesla accident. According to the news agency, the previous crash involved James Barboza, who was driving a 2010 Toyota Prius at 70 mph. Barboza walked away from the crash with lacerations on his face and complaints of pain all over his body. The Toyota Prius driver was eventually arrested for driving under the influence. In a statement to ABC7, Steven Lawrence, a lawyer who specializes in highway safety, stated that the crash cushion, which could have saved the Model X driver’s life, should have been repaired long be-

Access Insurance Company Ordered Into Liquidation by Katherine Coig,

A Texas district court judge has issued an order of liquidation of Access Insurance Company, an auto insurer incorporated in Texas but headquartered in Atlanta, after the Texas Insurance Department found the insurer unable to pay off its debts. The company, which was founded in 1994, has license to do business in 22 states, including California, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. According to the California In58

surance Department, the insurer’s unaudited 2017 preliminary statutory income statement reflected a negative $27.6 million policyholder surplus as of Dec. 31, 2017, and its unaudited 2018 preliminary statutory income statement reported that its policyholder surplus was a negative $29 million as of Jan. 31, 2018. Additionally, the insurer neglected to file its required yearly statutory statement. Only two states out of the 22 have reported on how many policyholders in their respective states


fore the accident. According to Lawrence, 11 days is far too long to fix a crash cushion, especially in areas where the Model X accident took place.

The aftermath of a fatal Tesla Model X accident. Credit: ABC News Radio/Twitter

“Some states have as short as a three-day repair time for high traffic locations. And if you look at the material in California, this thing should have been repaired within a week. Again, there are a lot of questions about what happened and what went wrong, but it should have been repaired in under 11 days,” Lawrence said. On March 29, CalTrans issued a statement to the local news agency addressing the delay in its repair of the road safety device. While CalTrans admitted that the crash cushion should have been repaired within seven days after the 2010 Prius collided with the crash attenuator, the agency noted that storms in the area delayed the repair. “Once our maintenance team has been notified, the department’s goal is to repair or replace damaged guardrail or crash attenuators within seven days or five business days, de-

will be affected. Pennsylvania Insurance Department released a statement citing the insurer has 42,785 policies in the states. South Carolina Department of Insurance director Ray Farmer said the insurer has approximately 15,500 private passenger auto insurance policies, in a statement from the state’s insurance department. Access policyholders had until April 12 to find new coverage. We thank for reprint permission.

pending on weather. These are guidelines that our maintenance staff follows. “However, as in this case, storms can delay the fix. In this incident, as soon as maintenance was aware of the damaged attenuator, efforts were made to place cones or safety barricades at the site, and the replacement work was scheduled.” As noted in a previous report, the Tesla Model X has a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) because of its safety features, such as its 12-airbag system and its huge crumple zone. Roughly 85,000 successful autopilot trips have been done by Tesla owners in the same stretch of road as the illfated Model X since the driver-assist feature was introduced in 2015, with around 200 trips being conducted every day. We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.

Toyota Suspends SelfDriving Test Program by Brandy Betz, Seeking Alpha

Toyota Motor Corp. has halted its Chauffeur self-driving system test program after the fatal pedestrian accident involving an Uber autonomous vehicle. Toyota’s statement to Bloomberg: “Because we feel the incident may have an emotional effect on our test drivers, we have decided to temporarily pause our Chauffeur mode testing on public roads.” Toyota was doing on-road testing in Michigan and California and, before the accident, was discussing plans to team with Uber on autonomous driving. Toyota shares are up 1 percent to $129.12.

We thank Seeking Alpha for reprint permission. AUTOBODY

Uber’s Former Self-Driving Chief Still Believes in Dream of Safer Roads by Aaron Aupperlee,

The former head of Uber’s self-driving car operations urged the entire industry to keep working through what he called a “tough moment” to achieve safer streets and roads for all. John Bares, who left Uber in August and returned to Carnegie Robotics, said he has not lost faith in Uber or the promise of autonomous vehicles. “The company and the dream of the employees is a mode of transportation that is safer and more efficient for everyone, and clearly events like this are a huge step back, but the dream is still there,” Bares said. “And we’re going to get there.” Elaine Herzberg was killed March 18 when a self-driving Uber crashed into her as she walked her bike across a street in Tempe, AZ. Herzberg, 49, is believed to be the first pedestrian killed by a self-driving car. Uber suspended its testing of self-driving cars in Tempe, Pitts-



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car industry into a tailspin with critics asking whether development of autonomous vehicles is worth the risk it poses to pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists as these cars are tested on city streets. Bares said the crash caused pain and difficult conversations not just at Uber, but across the many companies working in the field. More than 40,000 people died in traffic crashes in 2017. It’s a statistic that nearly anyone involved in self-driving cars knows by John Bares, director of the new Uber Advanced Technologies heart and is working to lower. Center in Lawrenceville, speaks during a panel discussion of the closing plenary June 3, 2015, at the ITS (Intelligent “It’s going to be tough on Transportation Systems) America’s 25th Annual Meeting people emotionally,” Bares and Expo at the David Lawrence Convention Center. said. “As an industry, we Credit: James Knox, Trib Total Media have to pull through. For the Tempe police and officials from longer good of humanity, we have to the National Highway Traffic Safety pull through.” Toyota announced the week of Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are in- March 18 that it was halting its selfvestigating. Uber has said it is coop- driving operations in the wake of the crash. Boston’s mayor last year asked erating with the investigation. The crash threw the self-driving nuTonomy and Optimus Ride, two self-driving car companies testing in the city, to pause testing. Hyundai, which partnered with Aurora Innovation this year to develop self-driving cars, said it is cautious about mass producing autonomous vehicles, according to Reuters. Aptiv, which bought nuTonomy last year and has a large engineering center in Pittsburgh where it is developing self-driving technology, did not stop tests in Las Vegas and elsewhere, a company spokesman said. Argo AI, which is testing cars in Utah Pittsburgh for Ford, has also continFINDLAY HYUNDAI ued testing, a Ford spokesman said. Saint George Waymo CEO John Krafcik, 1405 S. Sunland Dr. talking about the Tempe crash at the 435-986-8835 National Automobile Dealers Associ435-986-8822 Fax ation in Las Vegas, said its self-driving Mon-Thu 7am - 7pm; Fri 8am - 5pm; Sat 8am - Noon car could have “handled that situation,” according to Forbes. Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company, is planning to begin an autonomous car service with no driver behind the wheel in the Phoenix area this year. Raj Rajkumar, a long-time autonomous vehicles researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, told USA Today that the Uber’s lidar and sensors should have picked up the woman long before the car hit her.

burgh, San Francisco and Toronto following the crash. The fleets remained grounded March 26, more than a week later, as the investigation into the crash continued.

“Clearly there’s a problem,” Rajkumar said. “Maybe it’s the sensors not working correctly or the hardware that processes it, or the software.” In an email to Bloomberg, Marta Thoma Hall, the president of Velodyne, which makes the lidar sensors used by Uber, wrote the crash “baffled” the company. “Certainly, our lidar is capable of clearly imaging Elaine and her bicycle in this situation. However, our lidar doesn’t make the decision to put on the brakes or get out of her way,” Hall said. The New York Times reported that Uber’s tests in Arizona were struggling and the team was scrambling to prepare for an upcoming visit from new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who at first wanted to shutter the self-driving car project. The safety driver inside an Uber had to take control more often than the company would like. Bares said he was not concerned about Uber’s self-driving program when he left. Uber lured Bares away from Carnegie Robotics, a company he helped found, to start its Advanced Technologies Group. Improving safety and saving lives has been at the core of Bares’ nearly 40 years of work in robotics. In the early 1980s, Bares worked on robots that went into Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station after its partial meltdown. Carnegie Robotics designed robots to detect land mines and improvised explosive devices. At Uber, Bares wanted to prevent traffic deaths and injuries. “Can we make our roads safer?” Bares asked in a 2016 interview. “That’s the thing that tugs me, and I think we can do that over time.” Bares left Uber in August and returned to Carnegie Robotics. He said he was thrilled with his time at Uber. He said Uber’s operation grew to the point where he wanted to return to the small company he helped start. We thank for reprint permission. / MAY 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Arizona Suspends Uber’s Driverless Car Tests by Mark Huffman, Consumer Affairs

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has ordered an indefinite suspension of Uber’s public road testing of driverless cars. The decision comes in the wake of a fatal accident involving one of the cars. Uber voluntarily suspended its tests a day after the accident, but the ride-sharing company will not be able to resume its tests until Ducey lifts his suspension. A 49-year-old female pedestrian was struck and killed as she pushed her bicycle across a four-lane highway at night in Tempe, AZ. Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir said her initial investigation, based on the Uber car’s video, showed the woman abruptly step in front of the autonomous vehicle. A different view Apparently, Ducey had a decidedly different impression after viewing the video. In a letter to Uber, released to the media, the governor called the accident “an unquestionable failure” on the part of the technology. “In the best interests of the people of my state, I have directed the

ACA Joins Trade Groups to Address Tariffs

The Auto Care Association joined with more than 100 trade groups April 11 to express concern to Congress regarding the Trump Administration’s decision to use tariffs to address China’s unfair trade practices. In the letter addressed to the Chair and ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, the groups stated China’s “ongoing intellectual property rights violations, forced technology transfers and state intervention harm U.S. companies, workers, consumers and our competitiveness.”... “the proposed tariff list, and escalating tariff threats made by the administration, however, will not effectively advance our shared goal of changing these harmful Chinese practices.” “We are pleased to stand together with this broad range of industries in order to demonstrate our shared concerns to Congress and the Trump Administration over the possible imposition of tariffs that are already having a negative impact, Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. 60

Arizona Department of Transportation to suspend Uber’s ability to test and operate autonomous vehicles on Arizona’s public roadways,” Ducey wrote.

Credit: JasonDoiy, Getty Images

Arizona initially welcomed Uber with open arms in 2016 when the company ended road tests in California because of a disagreement over regulations. Uber issued a statement March 26 saying it hoped to work with the governor’s office to clear up any issues. Consumers aren’t asking for selfdriving cars The automotive and technology industries have collaborated to push development of self-driving cars, despite public opinion surveys that consis-

Continued from Page 57

tently show consumers aren’t asking for them. In fact, many surveys suggest consumers have qualms about their safety. In February, a survey conducted by Solace found nearly 60 percent of consumers who drive “connected cars” featuring smart technology said they wouldn’t buy a self-driving car, even if money weren’t an object (these cars cost around $250,000). Consumer and highway safety groups charge autonomous vehicles are being rushed onto America’s roads without adequate testing. In June 2017, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety issued a statement urging lawmakers to slow down. “As the proverbial way is paved for AV (autonomous vehicles), it is critical to ensure public safety and that industry not be given free rein on our roads and highways without a system of basic safeguards and oversight in place,” the group said in a statement. “Also, states should not be preempted from taking action to protect their motorists in the absence of federal oversight and regulation.” We thank Consumer Affairs for reprint permission.


uring the vehicle. If you can validate the integrity of the vehicle before you start the repair process, you can better understand what’s going to be involved in the repair. This aids in the collision repair blueprinting process.

How long does it usually take from the time the vehicle is measured until the information is uploaded into Mitchell’s product?


It usually takes one to two days to collect all of the measurements, photos and 3D scan data. Then we process the data over the next few days at our headquarters before adding it to TechAdvisor. All of the information is then available to customers online. Currently, we are processing the data monthly. Eventually, we expect it will be available in “real- time,” as soon as the data processing is complete. For more information, visit: Mitchell TechAdvisor.


Affectiva Launches Emotion Tracking AI for Connected Car Drivers by Sooraj Shah, Internet of Business

Affectiva, an MIT Media Lab startup, has launched the Automotive AI service. The service enables the manufacturers of connected vehicles and in-car systems to track drivers’ and passengers’ emotional responses. The system is designed to boost road safety. Affectiva said that its AI model offers a deep understanding of driver and occupant emotions, cognitive states and reactions to the driving experience, including joy, surprise, fear and anger. More significantly for road safety, it can also identify drowsiness, yawning and other signs of fatigue. It does this by measuring facial expressions and voice tones in real time. The system tracks heads, faces, emotions and eye movements to understand the states of mind of both drivers and passengers. Affectiva said it is working with the likes of Porsche, Daimler, BMW, robotaxi startup Renovo and vehicle safety system providers such as Autoliv, as well as hardware providers NVIDIA and Intel. This suggests that new connected cars will come


equipped with the AI in the near future. Affectiva’s aim is to combine its software with other onboard systems to make for a more connected drive. For example, the AI could trigger au-

Credit: JasonDoiy - Getty Images

diovisual alerts or seat belt vibrations to ensure that the driver remains engaged, or intervene in dangerous driving situations that may stem from fatigue or distractions. By sensing fatigue, anger or frustration, the AI can determine if an autonomous car should take control from its driver—and when it is safe to pass back that control. The software could also call upon a virtual assistant to guide drivers through alternative “road ragefree” routes if they seem angry, or play a soothing playlist to calm them down.

The system isn’t just focused on drivers: passengers are equally important, said Affectiva. Passenger reactions could be used to personalize music or video playlists, or adjust heating and lighting, while the autonomous driving style could be altered if passengers seem anxious or uncomfortable. Affectiva used a database of 6 million faces from 87 countries to build its AI model. The startup has also developed a voice analysis tool for the makers of AI assistants and social robots. Internet of Business says: This innovative mix of AI, incar systems, connected cars and autonomy holds great promise for the future of safer motoring for all—if these systems are designed and deployed sensitively. Too intrusive or insistent a presence in cars may trigger some of the problems that AI is designed to solve. At heart, both driving and personal transport are about people; too machine-like an experience, and many car owners or users may begin to feel that the humanity is being taken out of the picture. We thank Internet of Business for reprint permission

WAC Signs Association Paperwork, Elects Officers at Recent Meeting by Chasidy Rae Sisk

During the March 13 meeting of Women in Automotive and Collision (WAC), the association signed the documents required to make the group official and elected officers. According to WAC President Shelly Jones, “The main purpose of this meeting was to elect officers, finalize the organization’s structure, discuss marketing/branding and vote on membership dues. I’m very excited to see how much trouble we can stir up on behalf of the automotive industry. And by trouble, I mean career awareness!” In addition to electing Jones as WAC’s President, members chose Jess Crump as Vice President, Peggy Vorwald as Secretary and Julie Hemann as Treasurer. Tricia Belz will fill the role of Social Media Manager, while Suzie Collum will be WAC’s Marketing Coordinator. WAC’s meeting began by thanking everyone who has supported them, talking about their rules of engagement and recapping their previous meetings. The group revised its mission statement to be

simpler and less limiting: “Passionate women in the automotive industry collaborating and leading members to create industry career awareness.” Jones said, “Everyone participated by sharing ideas, asking questions and electing officers. I was so

WAC members gathered on March 13 to sign official association documents, elect members and much more

impressed with the group. I absolutely love that we have dialogue and share ideas like we have known each other for years. Some of us met just that night, and others have met throughout the group’s creation. We got a lot accomplished.” After creating bylaws and setting up a bank account, WAC agreed on a membership fee and discussed branding and marketing initiatives. Jones explained, “During the meeting, we discussed having mem-

bership dues of $100/year. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was unanimous that we should have dues. Most wrote a check or paid cash on the spot. This money will give WAC the opportunity to promote industry career awareness at April events. We will get our swag, collateral, and table cloth made. Members will buy WAC shirts to promote the group. Without membership dues, we would have to wait for the execution of our fundraiser over the summer.” Two new faces joined WAC at its March 13 meeting and joined the group. Jones noted, “This group is growing. We will keep reminding people that it is never too late to join. Too many people fall into this industry vs. seeking it out as a student— including myself, my sister and a lot of women in our group! You should become one of the rock stars that are going to have fun changing that.” WAC’s next meeting will be held on April 17 at 5:30 p.m. at Gateway Motorsports. Dinner will be sponsored by ABRA. Continued from Page 4

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special treatment? Today, police cars, ambulances and buses sometimes get special treatment. But these narrow exceptions aside, our roads are managed without prioritization. First-come, first-served is the default. In the future, however, we will be able to make finer discriminations about the identities, destinations and activities of individual passengers. Armed with this information, would you place some folks in the fast lane and stick others in slower ones? Perhaps a woman on her way to a business meeting should get priority over a woman who is attending her son’s music recital. Or should it be the other way around? The decisions don’t end there. Suppose only one of the drivers is going to make her event on time and the other will arrive too late even if she speeds. Should the smart traffic management system determine who gets to go and inform the other person to stay home? Over time, these sorts of decisions can be

ASA ‘Not-Included Operations’ Update

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has released the latest updates to its “Not-Included Operations” charts. The resources are available for free to the industry and are designed to ensure collision repairers consider all of the possible operations when they write an estimate. These new resources, “Reference Chart of Not-Included Operations When Installing New Replacement Parts” and “Reference Chart of Not-Included Operations When Installing LKQ Parts” are available on the ASA website and serve as a quick summary of general, not-included operations. They should be used in addition to procedure pages supplied by individual information providers.“...I find that one of the best tools for me to improve the quality of my estimates are the ASA Not Included Charts for New and Recycled Parts,” said Mike Anderson, AAM, of Collision Advice. “In addition, I find the ASA Not-Included charts to be a great tool for training entry-level estimators.”

expected to occur frequently. Traffic management is a form of social planning. Decisions that get made in any single instance of solving the trolley problem, or any of the other scenarios we’ve noted, reflect broader governing principles and ethical logics embedded in technology. These decisions aggregate and over time become social patterns. So, don’t be fooled when engineers hide behind technical efficiency and proclaim to be free from moral decisions. “I’m just an engineer” isn’t an acceptable response to ethical questions. When engineered systems allocate life, death and everything in between, the stakes are inevitably moral. Brett M. Frischmann is a Charles Widger Endowed University professor in Law, Business and Economics at Villanova University, and Evan Selinger is a professor of philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology. They are co-authors of Re-Engineering Humanity, Cambridge University Press: forthcoming in April 2018.

We thank Motherboard for reprint permission. / MAY 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS



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May 2018 Southwest Edition  
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