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Auto Body Shops Asked to Submit Experiences with SRS Inspections by John Yoswick

I-CAR is seeking help from collision repairers as it reviews OEM safety inspections related to secondary restraint systems (SRS). Scott VanHulle, manager of I-CAR’s Repairability Technical Support and OEM Technical Relations, said the project grew out of a virtual summit the training organization held in March with 150 shops, insurers and automakers. The discussion centered around whether the industry had adequate information about what inspections

were required and when, what the inspections should “look like” and the “why” behind the inspections. The OEMs may not be aware of shortcomings in their procedures related to this, VanHulle said, because traditionally much of the feedback they receive is from dealership service departments that aren’t dealing with collision-damaged vehicles. I-CAR hopes to develop industry-vetted best practices related to the inspections, provide feedback to the automakers about any potential repair information improvements See SRS Inspections, Page 12

Service King Donates Car to Centennial Resident Through NABC Recycled Rides Program Service King Collision recently repaired and donated a 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe to Roy Edwand Manville Jr., a local Centennial, CO, resident, through the National Auto Body Council’s (NABC) Recycled Rides program. Recycled Rides is a unique community action initiative through which members of the NABC and others in the auto body repair industry unite with local nonprofit organizations to provide deserving individuals and families with the gift of a fully restored vehicle. Service King has consistently

donated vehicles through the Recycled Rides program for more than 10 years. For this donation, Travelers Auto Insurance provided the car that Service King repaired.

Manville, a U.S. Air Force veteran, was nominated by Colorado See Service King, Page 16


AUTOBODYNEWS.COM Vol. 39 / Issue 7 / July 2021

Toyota Says It’s Still Too Soon to Focus on Electric Cars by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs

Toyota continues to assert its vehicle lineup will offer a variety of options over the next 30 years, a stance it reiterated at the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

Toyota has been pushing hybrids and hydrogen for years, and it still insists it’s not time to focus on

electric cars. An investor asked during the meeting why Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, has a different view from that of Honda. The competing Japanese brand has set a goal to have a fully electric lineup by 2040. Toyota Director Shigeki Terashi, who joined the call from Toyota’s Aichi headquarters, reportedly replied, “It’s too early to concentrate on one option.” Terashi added between now and 2050, the brand needs to offer mulSee Focus on Electric Cars, Page 12

CarParts.com to Expand Grand Prairie, TX, Distribution Center, Add 125 New Jobs CarParts.com, Inc. on June 16 announced its Grand Prairie, TX, distribution center is nearly doubling in size with a 156,000-square foot expansion, bringing the facility to a total of 366,000 square feet. The expanded warehouse footprint will increase CarParts.com’s total distribution center network to more than 1 million square feet and allow the company to add 125 full-time positions to its Grand Prairie location when fully operational in early 2022. “The Grand Prairie distribution center has played a key role in getting us closer to our customers and increasing our inventory footprint. Now, from the talented workforce to its prime location, the expansion of our Grand Prairie facility is a natural next step in growing the business and getting products to customers even faster,” said CarParts. com’s COO and CFO David Meniane. “We’re also excited to open a dedicated will call service center at the location, offering a convenient pick-up option for both online and commercial customers in the area.” Since making a home in Grand

Prairie in 2020, CarParts.com has become a part of the community, creating more than 200 jobs to date and donating $100,000 to Feeding Texas’ relief efforts during the winter storms in early 2021. “I’m thrilled that CarParts.com is expanding its operation here in Grand Prairie,” said Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen. “We love seeing new opportunities for our community and CarParts.com continues to be a great partner of our city and Texas as a whole.” The Grand Prairie distribution center currently stocks a variety of collision, repair, maintenance, tools and accessory products from wellknown domestic and European brands including Moog, Raybestos, Monroe, TRW, Beck/Arnley, Bestop, Curt and more. This expansion will not only increase inventory for brand partners, but also create more space for CarParts.com’s own premium brands like TrueDrive, DriveWire, DriveMotive, JC Whitney and the recently launched SureStop brake product line. Source: CarParts.com



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©2021 FCA US LLC. All Rights Reserved. Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Mopar and SRT are registered trademarks of FCA US LLC. 2 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com 26756_COL11_F_ABN.indd 1

4/1/21 8:27 AM

CONTENTS AutoNation Expands AutoNation USA Footprint to New Market������������������������������������������������6 CarParts.com to Expand Grand Prairie, TX, Distribution Center, Add 125 New Jobs�����������1 Eagle Auto Body Shop Now Open in LaPlace, LA���8

with SRS Inspections��������������������������������������1 Auto Care Association’s Auto Care Caucus Renewed with 117th U.S. Congress��������������32

Car Insurance Customer Satisfaction

Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires Collision

Relief, J.D. Power Finds����������������������������������4

from General Spending to Roads�������������������19 New Mexico Businesses Still Struggle with Lack of Workers��������������������������������������������20 Oklahoma Rideshare, Delivery Drivers Avoid Over-Regulation with SB999�������������������������11 Texans Aren’t Allowed to Buy Texas-Built Teslas�����������������������������������������������������������18 Texas Police Puts ‘Ghost Camaros’ Into Action to Catch Reckless Drivers���������������������8 Texas Senate Passes Street Racing Bill�������������22 Tucson-Based Auto Dealership Opens Car ADAS Calibration Center��������������������������������22 TX Gov. Signs Bill to Punish Businesses that Require Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination���������10

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

Serving Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas, Colorado, Arizona, Utah and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2021 Adamantine Media LLC.

American Icon Automotive Finishes����������������� 20

Insta Finish����������������������������������������������������� 21

Audi South Austin������������������������������������������� 37

Ken Garff West Valley Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram� 29

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

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������� 39

AutoNation Collision Parts��������������������������������� 7

LKQ Corporation����������������������������������������������� 5

Axalta Coating Systems���������������������������������� 10

Marc Miller Buick-GMC����������������������������������� 12

BMW of South Austin�������������������������������������� 37

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������������� 43

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers������������������������ 34

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts����������������������������� 36

Bob Utter Kia�������������������������������������������������� 30

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers��������������������� 33

Car-O-Liner���������������������������������������������������� 13

NOROO Paint & Coatings��������������������������������� 23

Certified Automotive Parts Association������������ 26

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

Chevyland������������������������������������������������������� 32

Northside Chevrolet���������������������������������������� 19

Christopher’s Dodge-Ram������������������������������� 31

Part of the Club����������������������������������������������� 31

Classic BMW��������������������������������������������������� 18

Peak Kia��������������������������������������������������������� 31

Classifieds������������������������������������������������������ 46

Santa Fe Kia��������������������������������������������������� 16

Eckler’s Automotive���������������������������������������� 11

SATA Dan-Am Company���������������������������������� 17

Emich Chevrolet���������������������������������������������� 31

Schmelz Countryside�������������������������������������� 31

Equalizer Industries, Inc������������������������������������ 8

Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center���������������������14-15

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

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes�������������� 9

Fisher Acura��������������������������������������������������� 31

Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet���������������������������� 6

Toyota Introduces Data Privacy Portal���������������19

Fisher Honda�������������������������������������������������� 31

Spanesi Americas������������������������������������������� 48

Toyota Says It’s Still Too Soon to Focus

Flatirons Subaru��������������������������������������������� 31

Stevinson Toyota West������������������������������������ 31

on Electric Cars����������������������������������������������1

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 41

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������������� 35

U.S. House Members Advocate for RPM Act������28

Fowler Honda������������������������������������������������� 16

Toyota of Laredo��������������������������������������������� 27

USAA to Acquire Noblr, Inc.����������������������������������4

Freeman Mazda���������������������������������������������� 26

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers����������������������� 38

Will We Have Enough Juice to Get Us to

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

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������� 43

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

Young Chevrolet���������������������������������������������� 22

CarAdvise, Affirm to Offer Long-Term Payment��12 CIF Elects New Trustee���������������������������������������8 Cox Automotive Study Examines Best Practices of Dealerships Thriving in an Accelerated Digital Landscape�����������������44 Driverless Cars Make People Feel Less Safe: Study��������������������������������������������������������������4 Ford Partners with Mile Auto�����������������������������11 Ford Reports Huge Growth in EV Sales, Best May for SUV Sales Since 2003��������������44 GM Vehicles Recalled for Airbag Warning Lights�����������������������������������������������������������38 Hertz’s Reorganization Plan OK’d by Bankruptcy Court������������������������������������������43 I-CAR Supports Inter-Industry’s First OEM Glass Repair Certification Program����������������43 Lamborghini Outlines Massive $1.8 Billion

COLUMNISTS Anderson - Scanning—It’s Not Just for DTCs Anymore (And Never Was)�����������������������������28 Attanasio - Painter/Car Restorer Miguel Perez Produces a Podcast and Creates a Brand������42 Phillips - Jake Rodenroth of asTech on

Plan to Shift to Electrification������������������������46 Most Unreliable Cars in the U.S., According to Google Data����������������������������������������������16 MSO Symposium Announces Format����������������44 P&C Insurers Stuck at Providing Only ‘Good Enough’ Digital User Experience: J.D. Power���40

Vehicle Tech’s Relation to Collision

SafeAuto Insurance to Join Allstate�������������������22

Repair Diagnostics����������������������������������������32

Service King Donates Car to Centennial

Sisk - Collision Training on ADAS, EVs, Total Losses and Phone Skills at ASA’s X50 Conference��������������������������������������������34 Yoswick - HLDI Shows Impact on Claims from Auto-Emergency Braking, Changes to Powertrains����������������������������������������������36

NATIONAL asTech Acquires Mobile Tech RX�����������������������18 Auto Body Shops Asked to Submit Experiences



Explosive Airbags������������������������������������������43

Stalls Despite $18 Billion in Premium

Louisiana Legislature Shifts Vehicle Tax Revenue


BMW 3-Series Vehicles Recalled Over

ERCOT Requests Texans Conserve Energy����������6

Repair Center in Amarillo, TX�������������������������20


Resident Through NABC Recycled Rides Program������������������������������������������������1

an All-EV World by 2035?������������������������������26



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

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

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������� 40

autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 3

Car Insurance Customer Satisfaction Stalls Despite $18 Billion in Premium Relief, J.D. Power Finds The auto insurance industry voluntarily returned more than $18 billion in auto insurance premiums to customers in 2020 to address the sharp decline in miles driven during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the magnitude of this historic relief effort, the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, released June 15, finds overall customer satisfaction with auto insurers is flat, following four consecutive years of improvement. “What we’re seeing in this year’s study is a case of insurers delivering with their actions but missing the mark on effective communication to their customers,” said Robert Lajdziak, senior consultant for insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “The refunds provided to customers during the pandemic were significant, representing nearly 7% of total industry premiums, but only half of customers were even aware of them. “Worse, when customers needed to communicate with their insurers, either via phone, website or chat, many came away feeling less satisfied with the result than in the past.” Following are some of the key

findings of the 2021 study: Overall satisfaction stagnates: Overall customer satisfaction with auto insurance providers is 835, on a 1,000-point scale, this year, unchanged from a year ago. This is the first time since 2017 that auto insurance customer satisfaction has not improved year over year. Insurers miss the mark in communication: While price is the lowest-scoring factor in the study, it has seen the greatest improvement year over year. This improvement is overshadowed by significant declines in satisfaction with interaction. Satisfaction with the assisted online channel, which is comprised of chat and e-mail functions, declined 12 points from a year ago, with decreases also seen in contact center (-5), website (-3) and local agent (-1). Customer awareness of COVID-19 relief efforts boosts brand perception: As of March, just 52% of auto insurance customers were aware of their insurer’s COVID-19 premium relief efforts. Overall brand impressions are significantly higher among customers who were aware of these relief efforts, which was also

reflected in their intent to renew their policy. Pandemic as catalyst to telematics growth: More than one-third (34%) of auto insurance customers say they are willing to try usage-based insurance (UBI), which uses telematics technology to track customer driving patterns and includes discounts based on safe driving and fewer miles driven. Currently, 16% of customers say they are already using the technology, which is double the volume seen just five years ago and is the largest year-over-year increase to date. Ready to switch at hint of a premium increase: Nearly half (45%) of auto insurance customers say they would switch if they could receive a savings of $200 or less. Of those who recently switched due to a premium increase, 57% did so for increases of $200 or less.   The study measures customer satisfaction with auto insurance in 11 geographic regions. Highest-ranking auto insurers and scores, by region, are as follows: California: Wawanesa (853) (second consecutive year) Central: Shelter (856)

Driverless Cars Make People Feel Less Safe: Study by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

Driverless cars scare people, a fact repeated in multiple studies and reports which collected consumer attitudes about sharing the roads with autonomous vehicles. In the latest research conducted by AAA and the Technology and Public Purpose Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, only a small percentage of consumers believe driverless vehicles will make the roads safer. According to researchers, 38 states and the District of Columbia have active programs that allow self-driving test vehicles to operate on public roads, a fact many consumers know nothing about. Support of these programs was split, with 34% of drivers in favor, 36% opposed and 31% unsure about allowing autonomous test vehicles on the highways. Research results from AAA and Harvard indicate the majority of the public believes sharing the roads with driverless

cars will make the roads less safe, no matter if the autonomous vehicles are cars or tractor-trailers.

Sharing the road with: • Self-driving semi-trucks: Feel less safe: 53% / Feel more safe: 11% • Small, self-driving delivery vehicles: Feel less safe: 43% / Feel more safe: 12% • Self-driving vehicles on a highway: Feel less safe: 47% / Feel more safe: 13% • Self-driving vehicles on local roads: Feel less safe: 44% / Feel

4 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Florida: State Farm (848) Mid-Atlantic: NJM Insurance Co. (867) New England: Amica Mutual (867) (ninth consecutive year) New York: State Farm (859) (second consecutive year) North Central: Erie Insurance (857) Northwest: State Farm (844) Southeast: Farm Bureau Insurance-Tennessee (883) (10th consecutive year) Southwest: American Family (850) (second consecutive year) Texas: Texas Farm Bureau (850) (10th consecutive year) The 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, now in its 22nd year, examines customer satisfaction in five factors, in alphabetical order: billing process and policy information; claims; interaction; policy offerings; and price. The study is based on responses from 38,938 auto insurance customers and was fielded in February and March. For more information about the U.S. Auto Insurance Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/ resource/jd-power-us-auto-insurance-satisfaction-study. Source: J.D. Power

more safe: 13% However, research participants say there are things that would at least make them feel safer sharing the roads with autonomous vehicles. Simply clearly marking a driverless car as a self-driving car would make about 60% of the public feel safer, as would having designated driving lanes for autonomous vehicles. About 30% of respondents say they would feel more comfortable if there were restrictions on the times of day or days of the week when self-driving vehicles can use the roads. Researchers also learned about 50% of the public believes consumers should be educated about how to behave around driverless cars. And a self-driving car should also operate consistently and provide predictable behavior, something which should be defined by safety regulators.

USAA to Acquire Noblr, Inc. Sunbit, the buy now, pay later (BNPL) technology for everyday needs and services, announced June 8 it has entered into a relationship with Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) as the recommended financing solution for MNAO’s 550 dealership auto parts and service centers. Sunbit technology is currently available in 111 MNAO dealerships. During a limited rollout in 2020, Sunbit’s solution generated more than $2 million in revenue for participating Mazda dealership parts and service centers. Sunbit’s technology, designed for in-person and contactless transactions with a digital approval process within 30 seconds with nearly no data entry, does not perform hard credit checks for applicants, making it an ideal financing solution at dealerships. Source: Sunbit

• Automotive diagnostics • Re-flash • Pre-post scans • Air Conditioning Services– 1234YF on site

• Electrical/Electronic and Wiring Repairs • Full Mechanical Services (excluded in some market areas) • ADAS calibrations

F OR MO RE I N F OR M AT I ON , PLE ASE C ON TAC T U S AT: 888-8-ELITEK | (888) 835-4835 WWW.ELITEKAUTO.COM autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 5

ERCOT Requests Texans Conserve Energy by Bethany Blankley, The Center Square

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the regulatory agency that manages Texas’ power grid, said tight grid conditions are expected the week of June 14 due to high number of forced generation outages, and urged Texans to conserve energy. The announcement came one month after it published its latest seasonal assessment projecting a less than a 1% chance of blackouts occurring this summer. It also came just four months after the state’s historic power grid failure left millions of Texans in the cold and dark. Without heat and water during sub-zero temperatures in mid-February, 111 Texans died. On June 14, ERCOT asked Texans to reduce electric use as much as possible through June 18. ERCOT reported tight grid conditions after a significant number of forced generation outages occurred with record electric use for the month of June. Generator owners reported approximately 11,000 MW of generation was on forced outage for repairs. Of that, approximately 8,000 MW is thermal, whereby water is heated to drive

an electrical generator, and 3,000 MW was from intermittent sources like solar and wind. According to the summer Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy, a typical range of thermal generation outages on hot summer days is around 3,600 MW. One MW typically powers around 200 homes on a summer day, ERCOT states. “We will be conducting a thorough analysis with generation owners to determine why so many units are out of service,” ERCOT Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson said in a statement. “This is unusual for this early in the summer season.” Wind output—which is generally unreliable, because wind does not blow all the time or every day—was expected to be between 3,500 and 6,000 MW between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. June 14, roughly 1,500 MW lower than what is typically available for peak conditions. Wind output is expected to increase as the week goes on, when and if, there is more wind. June 14’s peak load forecast may exceed 73,000 MW—more than the peak demand recorded for June 27, 2018 of 69,123 MW between 4 and 5

AutoNation Expands AutoNation USA Footprint to New Market AutoNation, Inc., America’s largest automotive retailer, on May 25 announced the opening of AutoNation USA San Antonio, the first of five additional stores the company will open this year.

AutoNation is targeting to have more than 130 AutoNation USA stores in operation from coast to coast by the end of 2026. The AutoNation USA stores will continue to leverage the AutoNation brand, scale and proven customer-centric processes to capture a larger share of the used vehicle market. “We are excited to welcome customers to our newest AutoNation USA store in San Antonio,” said Steve Kwak, AutoNation USA president. “We are also ex-

cited to offer employment opportunities to the local market. Our responsibility is to provide a peerless customer experience in San Antonio and support the community through our Drive Pink initiative. Drive Pink has raised nearly $27 million in the fight against cancer. AutoNation is committed to serving the local communities in which we serve.” AutoNation USA offers a 1Price Pre-Owned model that features low, haggle-free pricing and a customer-centric process that makes buying a pre-owned vehicle easy. Additionally, AutoNation offers “We’ll Buy Your Car,” which enables customers to sell their vehicles directly to AutoNation, with no purchase necessary. AutoNation USA San Antonio is the first AutoNation store in the San Antonio, TX, market. The store is located at 15423 West I-10, San Antonio, TX 78249. AutoNation USA San Antonio is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and closed on Sundays. Source: AutoNation

p.m., ERCOT warned. After ERCOT’s massive failures in February, bills were introduced in the state legislature and recently signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott to reform ERCOT. Abbott vowed that through these reforms, the Texas power grid would be more reliable. Yet weeks later, ERCOT continued “to exaggerate its reserve margins of electricity available to Texans, claiming there’s less than a 1% chance of more blackouts this summer,” the Texas Public Policy Foundation argues.ERCOT’s overconfidence one month ago “is a slap in the face to the Texans it is supposed to serve,” TPPF’s Jason Isaac said in a statement. “The problem is straightforward, if not simple—reserve margin calculations overestimate performance of wind and solar, which make up a significant and growing chunk of our electric generation,” Isaac said. “Unlike natural gas, clean coal and nuclear—which produce a near-constant flow of electricity with reliability percentages rarely falling below the mid-90s—wind and solar production fluctuates wildly. For example, in just one summer week in 2019, wind gen-

erated between 2% and 63% of its installed capacity.” Isaac warned last year summer blackouts were coming to Texas. Outages would have occurred last August if there hadn’t been a lower electricity demand during the state shutdown, he added. A recent close call on a mild April day “should have been a wakeup call,” Isaac argued. Instead, ERCOT was “citing a deceptively rosy 15.7% reserve margin projection for this summer and 28.8% for 2022.” Its faulty calculation was based on relying on wind and solar energy generation, Isaac said; “and bad policies that discourage building reliable generation, we should get used to blackouts unless something changes fast.” ERCOT has not adjusted its reliance on unreliable sources of wind and solar for energy and is asking Texans to reduce electric use. Texans are encouraged to set their thermostat to 78 degrees or higher, turn off lights and pool pumps and avoid using large appliances like ovens, washing machines and dryers for the rest of the week. Texans are also encouraged to turn off and unplug all electrical devices if they aren’t using them.




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6 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com Sorbothane_AutoBodyNews-Ad.indd 1

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autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 7

CIF Elects New Trustee The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) is excited to announce the election of Yvette Burke, vice president of replacement and leisure division at Enterprise Holdings Inc., to the CIF Board of Trustees. CIF provides emergency relief by securing and distributing donations to collision repair professionals who have experienced significant losses due to natural disasters or other catastrophic events. Burke has a long history of philanthropic involvement, including within the collision repair industry as a member of the Women’s Industry Network (WIN), where she has contributed on numerous committees and as a mentor, and the National Auto Body Council as a member of the St. Louis Golf Tournament Committee. She is a current board member of the Alzheimer’s Association, chairing the “Walk to End ALZ” and participating on the ALZ Gala Committee. Source: CIF

Eagle Auto Body Shop Now Open in LaPlace, LA by Brooke Robichaux, L’Observateur

Andrea Arguello and Francisco Lopez are the owners of Eagle Auto Body Shop LLC, a new automotive repair shop that opened last month at 108 Magnolia Drive in LaPlace, LA. Bodywork, dent repair, part replacement and paint jobs are among the services offered for automotive exteriors. Efficiency and quality of service are at the heart of the business, according to Arguello and Lopez. Arguello is breaking barriers as a 24-year-old woman in a male-dominated field. She never imagined herself working in the automotive industry until she brought a wrecked car to a body shop in Kenner, LA. “That’s where I met my partner, Francisco Lopez. They were looking for someone to work at their office and run the administrative side,” Arguello said. “I worked with them for two years, and then we decided that we wanted to open a body shop in a new market.” Arguello learned the ins and outs of running a business. While she started out knowing very little about cars, she quickly learned how to identify parts and how they come

Texas Police Puts ‘Ghost Camaros’ Into Action to Catch Reckless Drivers by Loukia Papadopoulos, Interesting Engineering

It’s an all-too-common occurrence. Someone is speeding a little too fast and suddenly they see a hard-tomiss police car. They stop in their tracks and slow down just in time. But what if they couldn’t spot the police car? Houston, TX-area Harris Country Sheriff’s Office has a new fleet of cars and instead of the usual clear writing, the vehicles are equipped with ghost decals that blend into the cars’ paint, making it difficult to spot on the road, reported CHRON. They also don’t have the top emergency light. According to the Harris County Sherriff’s Office, the ghost decals are meant “to support our multipronged efforts to get dangerous drivers off our streets so that we might ultimately shed our region’s dubious distinction for having the nation’s deadliest roads.”  The new fleet of police Chevrolet Camaros looks just like regular cars from most angles, meaning they can operate inconspicuously.

Their presence, however, may not be well-received by civilians. Unmarked police cars have often been a contentious subject. Civilians argue they are just used to issue more fines and burden them economically. Their proponents, however, argue they add an extra layer of safety to the roads as drivers will be forced to behave more carefully knowing they can be caught at any moment. The new cars are an in-between of completely unmarked vehicles and regular police cars.  When stopped by a ghost car, civilians can be certain they are indeed being accosted by the police as the decals will be visible up close. This can assuage fears that impostors might be playing cops. The latter seems to be the only real advantage to having the decals as for all other purposes it would be more convenient for traffic  police cars to be completely unmarked. Regardless, a Twitter user has already begun warning people about the new discreet cars. How many drivers will be caught off guard?

8 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

together. She’s also learning the process of painting exteriors to give old cars new life. “I was not planning on doing this. I just grew to love learning everything about the vehicles. It came easy to me,” Arguello said. Meanwhile, Lopez has more than 20 years of experience in bodywork, and opening Eagle Auto Body Shop gives him a chance to continue doing what he loves. Lopez wakes up every morning ready for a new challenge. Every car and every job is different, and even though he’s done repairs for 20 years, there’s always opportunities to learn something new. As a complete automotive services body shop, Eagle Auto Body Shop specializes in repairs on the exterior of a vehicle, including doors, bumpers, fenders, headlights and hoods. In addition to restoring vehicles with paint, Eagle Auto Body Shop can also perform custom work. One custom job included installing vertically rotating “scissor doors” on a Lamborghini. Arguello explained Eagle Auto Body Shop doesn’t do mechanic

work, which deals with the engine, suspension and other aspects of the interior of the vehicle. However, if a customer is getting body work done in the shop and needs some supplemental mechanic work done, the Eagle team will coordinate with a specialist to get the job done in house. “There are people who can come to us and do the work so our customers can have everything done at the same place. We try to help everyone,” Arguello said. “One of the cars we worked on needed a windshield changed. Since it was already going to be at the body shop, we were able to get a glass guy to come here and do it. We are very flexible with helping the customers get what they need.” Arguello said Eagle Auto Body Shop is also happy to assist customers with insurance questions. Business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, email eagleautobodyshop@gmail.com or call 504470-7831. Eagle Auto Body Shop LLC is on Instagram at instagram.com/eagle autobodyshopllc/


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TX Gov. Signs Bill to Punish Businesses that Require Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination by Karen Brooks Harper, The Texas Tribune

Texas businesses that require customers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will be denied state contracts and could lose their licenses or operating permits under legislation Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law June 7. “Texas is open 100%, and we want to make sure you have the freedom to go where you want without limits,” Abbott said before signing the law, in a video he posted June 7 on Twitter. “Vaccine passports are now prohibited in the Lone Star State.” Senate Bill 968 by state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, is a sweeping piece of legislation passed in the final days of the legislative session that includes a clause banning businesses from requiring proof of the vaccine from their customers. Those that violate the ban may not contract with the state, and state agencies that oversee various sectors of business may decide to make compliance with the state law a condition of getting licensed or permit-

ted. Just under half of all Texans have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine. About 36.5% of Texans are fully vaccinated. Abbott issued an executive order in April banning state agencies, political subdivisions and organizations receiving public funds from creating “vaccine passports” or otherwise requiring someone to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to receive services. Businesses may still implement “COVID-19 screening and infection control protocols in accordance with state and federal law to protect public health,” according to the new law, which goes into effect immediately. Abbott’s signature on the new law comes as Carnival Cruise Line announced June 7 it would be restarting its cruises leaving from Galveston, TX, in July but only allow vaccinated passengers on board, after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it will allow the cruise industry to restart on the condition that 95% of crew members and 95% of customers are

vaccinated. The CDC shut down cruise lines in March 2020. Carnival Vista sails out of Galveston on July 3, followed by Carnival Breeze on July 15. It was unclear June 7 how the new Texas law would affect those plans. “We are evaluating the legislation recently signed into law in Texas regarding vaccine information,” Carnival spokesperson Vance Gulliksen said in an email, according to the Houston Chronicle. “The law provides exceptions for when a business is implementing COVID protocols in accordance with federal law, which is consistent with our plans to comply with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s guidelines.” Miami-based Carnival, Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and other cruise companies are still in a  standoff  with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over restarting their cruises with only vaccinated passengers in spite of new legislation that DeSantis signed in May that bans companies from requiring proof of vaccination from customers.

“We appreciate the progress and support for our U.S. restart from the CDC and other key federal agencies; however, the current CDC requirements for cruising with a guest base that is unvaccinated will make it very difficult to deliver the experience our guests expect, especially given the large number of families with younger children who sail with us,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “As a result, our alternative is to operate our ships from the U.S. during the month of July with vaccinated guests.” The Florida law fines the businesses $5,000 for each customer required to do so. Norweigan has threatened to leave Florida if it is fined by the state for complying with CDC guidelines and checking vaccine status of its passengers. Norwegian said June 7 it would be restarting its cruises from Miami in August with fully vaccinated passengers and crew. The company does not currently operate out of Galveston but plans to start next year.


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Ford Partners with Mile Auto

Oklahoma Rideshare, Delivery Drivers Avoid Over-Regulation with SB999 by Kimberly James, The Center Square

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed into law Senate Bill 999, freeing ride share and delivery services from being regulated like the trucking industry.

Credit: vaalaa|Shutterstock.com

Oklahoma Director of the National Federation of Independent Business Jerrod Shouse said a distinction will be made for “light-property carriers” to help keep the cost of food or grocery delivery and courier services down for customers. “With Senate Bill 999, a dis-

tinction will now be made between the traditional for-hire motor carrier services that are regulated by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, and light-property carriers such as food and grocery delivery and courier services,” Shouse told The Center Square. “Under the new law, courier drivers avoid over-regulation, which is good for the consumer because it can help keep costs down.” The Courier Application Services Act, protecting businesses that use an app or digital services for daily on-demand operations, goes into effect Nov. 1. Shouse said with more people working from home, restaurant and grocery delivery popularity has increased, allowing the light-property courier opportunities to continue growing, which is good for both the driver and consumer. “Delivery services like Uber

Eats, Door Dash, Grub Hub and even Amazon Flex have exploded in popularity over the past year, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sen. Michael Bergstrom, R-Adair, said in a news release. “This measure ensures these delivery companies can safely operate in our state without over-regulation, but with consumer protections as well. It’s a win-win for Oklahomans, and these companies who provide an in-demand service in the digital age. This ensures that Oklahomans will have these types of opportunities to supplement their income.” According to the bill summary, courier application services (CAS) must adopt a zero-tolerance policy for CAS drivers operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol while providing services. CAS networks must require drivers to submit information regarding ones’ address, age, driver’s license and other information required by the CAS prior to being admitted into the network as a driver.

Automotive giant Ford Motor Company is teaming up with Mile Auto, a next-gen insurtech innovator using computer vision and decision analytics to offer an affordable car insurance option based on mileage to low-mileage drivers. Ford owners who drive fewer than 10,000 miles per year could potentially save between 30% and 40% of their current rates. Mile Auto is changing the way car insurance is purchased with an offering that requires drivers to pay only for what they use. By leveraging onboard telematics data from current Ford models, Ford owners can choose to share mileage data with Mile Auto. Mile Auto does not require smartphones, mobile apps or other hardware to take advantage of lower rates. Mile Auto insurance is currently available in Arizona, Georgia, Illinois and Oregon. The company expects to expand its coverage to 50% of the U.S. auto insurance market by the end of 2021. Source: Mile Auto


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CarAdvise, Affirm to Offer Long-Term Payment CarAdvise, an online vehicle maintenance, scheduling and discounted repairs marketplace, has launched a new partnership with Affirm, a financial lender of installment loans. This partnership will give CarAdvise members availability to choose a long-term payment option for their vehicle maintenance and repair purchases. CarAdvise’s platform allows members to search, compare prices and book vehicle and maintenance appointments online. Until today, members only had the option to pay at checkout via credit card. Now members will have the option to select Affirm as a payment method at checkout, allowing them to pay off maintenance over time. The Affirm payment program will allow CarAdvise members to pay for their maintenance or repair over a three-, six- or 12-month period. Source: CarAdvise

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Focus on Electric Cars tiple options, such as hybrids and fuel-cell cars. He also said these vehicle types need to compete with one another to offer people the best options. While Ford, GM and Volkswagen have made it clear they’re going “all in” related to a future of EVs, Toyota argues battery-powered cars aren’t necessarily the way of the future. Moreover, it believes “non-electric cars” will continue to thrive in markets across the globe. “Some people love battery-electric vehicles but others don’t see the current technologies as convenient,” Toyota’s Chief Technology Officer Masahiko Maeda explained. “In the end what matters is what cus-

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SRS Inspections that are needed, and press for some level of standardization among the automakers. To do this, VanHulle said, “We need more data on what’s being found in the real world. Right now we have a lot of anecdotal examples of strange things that were found during inspections,” such as when a shop discovers a “bad actor” has installed resistors on a vehicle to mask that an airbag module is missing or inoperable. “We need a lot more than just those anecdotal examples,” VanHulle said. I-CAR has posted a brief form (https://rts.i-car.com/srs-inspection-feedback-form) shops can use to submit information on the SRS inspections they perform, what triggered the inspections and what was found. “And pictures, pictures, pictures,” VanHulle said. “I’m sure any of the people who deal with estimating have seen not very good pictures

tomers choose.” As we previously reported, Toyota is saying publically it will leave the decision to car shoppers. However, Toyota isn’t just citing a lack of demand for EVs as the only concern. Rather, according to Automotive News, it also suggests the materials needed to make EV batteries “could account for a larger share of total emissions than those from tailpipes.” Nonetheless, Toyota did say it will make an effort to reduce production costs associated with EVs, though it will do so by producing them alongside other vehicles that don’t use battery-electric powertrains. Toyota says to truly reduce carbon emissions, automakers must look at a vehicle’s entire lifecycle, not just its tailpipe emissions.

from the industry. If you give us a picture that is so extremely close I have no idea what part that is even on, it’s not a great picture. I need ones with geography. I need to be able to see what the part looks like

I-CAR has posted a brief form they are asking shops to use to submit information on the SRS inspections they perform

and where it’s located, and have it as clear as it can be.” By providing real-world findings to the OEMs, he said, the automakers may be able to include common things to look for during inspections, and it could be incorporated into I-CAR training. Vague references to “inspect for damage”

could be replaced by step-by-step processes. “The more data we can get, the more accurate information we can then have to work with,” VanHulle said. “This is not something we’re going to do for a week. This is a long-term data gathering.” I-CAR’s effort was welcomed by Jason Bartanen, vice chairman of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) Emerging Technologies Committee. He points to one automaker whose procedures call for removing an undeployed airbag to inspect it, then reinstall it using new fasteners. “But they only service the fasteners with the airbag,” Bartanen said. “That presents huge obstacles. You’re essentially replacing an undeployed airbag because we had to take it out and inspect it. That’s where I think we can do a lot of good with this. “The OEMs have shown that they are responsive. The more information we can get them, the ideas for solutions…They are open to it and they’ve shown a willingness to change.”

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Most Unreliable Cars in the U.S., According to Google Data Ford has come out as the least reliable car manufacturer in the U.S., according to a new study by Scrap Car Comparison that analyzed the data of more than 2 million Google searches. When we encounter a problem with our car, many of us turn to the internet for help, and this new study

least reliable, with more than 64,000 Google searches logged per year from Ford owners looking for advice around a fault in their car. Mazda, Honda and Nissan, whose cars are all produced across factories in the U.S., Japan and Mexico, feature in the top five manufacturers you can rely least upon.

“As we see many of the same makes and models getting scrapped on a daily basis, we wanted to find out whether this stacked up against car reliability,” — Dan Gick got under the hood of which particular car models are causing their owners to frequently turn to Google for troubleshooting assistance. The investigation analyzed breakdown, fault and repair related search volumes for almost 500 different car models. The data was then cross-referenced with the sales figures for each model to achieve a fair comparison.   The resulting Crap Car Comparison Index reveals America’s second-largest automaker, Ford, is the

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Service King Veterans Project, a nonprofit organization that hosts special events in order to raise awareness and funds for local veterans and veteran organizations. Manville is 100% disabled with Veterans Affairs (VA) and has mobility issues and arthritis that affect his employment. Diagnosed with PTSD from his time serving and Type 2 diabetes, Manville has biweekly doctor appointments. For the past two months, he has been renting a car weekly to get back and forth to his chiropractic and doctor appointments at the VA. Service King’s donation will provide increased independence and financial stability for Manville. “Our team is honored and excited to prepare this vehicle for

Brands such as GMC and Volkswagen fared better, sitting outside of the top 15 thanks to their comparatively low Google searches for problems vs. their high yearly sales. In the U.S., Ford, Mazda and Nissan are the car manufacturers that are getting the most Google searches for problems relating to their cars. Specifically, the Nissan Rogue and Nissan Titan are causing owners to constantly Google what’s wrong with them, as is the Mazda CX-9. The sporty Kia Stinger takes the

Air Force veteran Roy Manville,” said Director of Operations Andy Haydusky. “Our company is dedicated to supporting our nation’s heroes, and we strive to show continuous support through current and future initiatives like this. Participating in the Recycled Rides program allows us to see firsthand how we can make a difference in someone’s life through collision repair. We are thrilled for Roy to gain reliable transportation and increased independence to support his medical needs through this donation.” This is the third vehicle Service King has joined hands with the NABC to restore this year, with additional donations planned for the remainder of 2021. To learn more about Service King, visit serviceking.com.    Source: Service King

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unfortunate crown of being the least reliable car in the U.S., with relatively low sales figures suffering against comparatively high search volumes for breakdown related searches. While Ford comes out as the worst car manufacturer, according to Google search data, none of its specific models actually make the top 15 least reliable car models in the U.S. The reason Ford comes out so high is because it has so many models lower down the model rankings― for example, the Ford Edge, Escape, Expedition, Explorer, Focus, Transit and EcoSport all feature in positions 20 through 50 for worst models, and their combined Google searches put Ford in the top spot as the least reliable manufacturer.  Scrap Car Comparison’s research also looked at which cars were troubling owners overseas, and found that Vauxhall is the least reliable brand in the UK, while the Kia Stinger was also found to be the least reliable model in the likes of Australia and Canada.  “As we see many of the same makes and models getting scrapped on a daily basis, we wanted to find

out whether this stacked up against car reliability,” said Dan Gick, managing director of Scrap Car Comparison. “The results seem to show that it does, as the Google search and sales data revealed Ford as the third least reliable brand in the UK, and most unreliable in the U.S. “This is something that particularly stood out to me, as Fords and in particular their Focus model, have been the most scrapped cars in the UK every year since 2017. We hope the results of our Crap Car Comparison Index can help car buyers in their decision making when looking for their next car.” To see the full results of the study, including international analysis, visit: https://www.scrapcarcomparison. co.uk/blog/most-unreliable-cars/ Source: Scrap Car Comparison

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asTech Acquires Mobile Tech RX Repairify, Inc. d/b/a asTech, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC, announced June 15 the acquisition of Mobile Tech RX. Mobile Tech RX is an automotive and collision reconditioning application that enables technicians to estimate, invoice, manage teams and collision workflow, process repair orders and capture data on-the-go through its mobile devices. Mobile Tech RX also provides instant damage pricing estimates using machine learning enabled AI and computer vision with dispatch functionality to their technicians across the country in their own marketplace. The company represents the 12th add-on acquisition for asTech and Kinderhook’s 112th automotive-related transaction. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Source: asTech

Texans Aren’t Allowed to Buy Texas-Built Teslas by Fabienne Lang, Interesting Engineering

If Tesla wants to sell its EVs made in Texas to Texans, it first has to send them out of the state or find incredible workaround systems. Given Tesla’s gigafactory in Austin plans to open its doors soon, it seems counterproductive

Credit: roschetzkylstockPhoto/iStock

for Tesla to ship those Texas-made EVs out of the state before Texans are officially allowed to buy them. It all comes down to Texas’ franchise law, reported The Drive, which the state legislature didn’t change this time around. It likely won’t do so at least until

18 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

2023, when it will reconvene. The Texas legislature reportedly ran out of time to make any changes to its dealership franchise laws, which block companies like Tesla from directly selling or delivering their locally-made vehicles to state residents. Instead, Tesla has to sell its cars to independent third-party dealerships who in turn sell them to residents. That doesn’t mean Tesla can’t sell its EVs to Texans, it simply means it has to find innovative ways to do so. For instance, Tesla has a number of “galleries,” per The Drive, in which Texans can take a look at Teslas, but employees aren’t allowed to mention pricing.  Texans can also simply jump online to Tesla’s website to purchase their EV, but those EVs must not be made in Tesla’s Texas factory. Once the vehicle is ready and has been paid for online, it’s shipped to one of Tesla’s service

centers where the new owner can go and pick it up―so the EV has not been delivered, in compliance with the law. No concrete details have been shared by either Tesla or CEO Elon Musk, but a recent Twitter post from Musk made clear his thoughts on the matter, as he stated, “Tesla sure would appreciate changing the law, so that this is not required!”―”this” referring to shipping Texas-built Teslas out of state before sending them back in.  The bill in question, HB 4379, was put forward after Tesla announced Austin was going to be the home of its next gigafactory, but it stalled during these recent legislature meetings.  So it looks like Tesla will have to stick to its Texas loophole antics for at least the next two years.


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Toyota Introduces Data Privacy Portal

Louisiana Legislature Shifts Vehicle Tax Revenue from General Spending to Roads by David Jacobs, The Center Square

Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) is proud to announce the creation of the Toyota Data Privacy Portal to increase data transparency, accessibility and control for Toyota and Lexus vehicle owners. Toyota created Data Privacy Portal to give consumers a clear understanding and control over how their personal data is used— including providing options to share data where it benefits them, while making it easy to de-enroll should they choose. Data Privacy Portal informs users when an impactful change has been made to their privacy settings. Data Portal can be accessed for Connected Services-capable vehicles, starting from model year 2013, through the “account settings” section of the Toyota and Lexus apps. If the user owns multiple Toyota or Lexus vehicles, they can select custom privacy and data sharing settings for each individual vehicle. Source: Toyota

The Louisiana Legislature voted June 10 to redirect most of the state sales taxes on vehicle sales from general spending to roads and bridges. The change is expected to raise up to $300 million annually for transportation infrastructure, which would mean those dollars couldn’t be used for other priorities. Legislators approved House Bill 514  during the final hour of this year’s regular session. Starting in 2023 and phasing in over two years, up to 60% of the vehicle taxes would go into a fund dedicated to transportation construction and maintenance. Twenty-five percent would go to preservation of existing infrastructure while the rest would be spent on major projects. Legislators also added guardrails to the bill to protect state finances. If the state is facing a deficit of at least $100 million, the amount of money that could go into the transportation fund

would be capped at $150 million. The amount of money that could be bonded out would be limited to that amount, which would give lawmakers flexibility.

A convoy of repair vehicles move along the I-10 freeway toward Baton Rouge. Credit: Frontpage|Shutterstock.com

HB 514 started as a proposal to tax medical marijuana. Sen. Rick Ward, a Port Allen Republican, proposed a successful amendment to make permanent a 0.45% state sales tax that is scheduled to expire in 2025 and redirect

the money to a fund dedicated to construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure. But it quickly became apparent the sales tax extension would not garner the support of two-thirds of the members of the House, which is required to raise taxes. So senators tried a different tack, completely gutting the bill and essentially replacing it with the proposal to redirect most of the proceeds of the existing tax on automobile sales and leases. Unlike the state’s gas tax, which has not been adjusted in three decades, auto sales taxes naturally will rise with inflation, Ward said. The downside is that the transportation money would come at the expense of the general fund, which could lead to budget problems and cuts to health care, higher education and other priorities.


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New Mexico Businesses Still Struggle with Lack of Workers by Elsye Kelly, The Center Square

As the state opens up, New Mexico’s businesses and hospitality industry were able to take advantage of Memorial Day Weekend visitors, but it was a struggle as they continue to deal with worker shortages and lack of a clear economic plan. Many hotels were fully booked over the holiday weekend. Carla Sonntag, president of the New Mexico Business Coalition, said the weekend was a boost for the state’s businesses, but still posed challenges. “A lot of businesses, restaurants, retail were very busy, and that was very good for business and yet it was challenging because we have not resolved the employment issue,” she told The Center Square. New Mexico has the third-highest unemployment in the nation, while businesses across the state have job openings. “The hotels, restaurants, retail—everybody is still struggling with not having a full staff, and so many of them are having to reduce hours or reduce capacity because

of staffing,” she said. “And that is quite a blow to businesses in New Mexico after what they’ve been through over the last year and a half.”

“We’ve been incentivizing people to stay home and we’ve got to find new ways to get them back to work,” she said. Stopping the $300 weekly federal unemployment supplement has been encouraged, Sonntag said, as most Republican-led states across the country have already enacted. No Democratic governor in any state, including New Mexico, has turned away those federal dollars yet, however. The Department of Workforce Solutions has reinstituted the reOutdoor shop in Santa Fe, NM. Credit: Zachary C Person, quirement that those on Shutterstock unemployment report searching for work week New Mexico imposed among ly, which Sonntag said should be the tightest restrictions on business- helpful. “I don’t know that we’ve seen a es during the pandemic, leading to one of the highest unemployment huge impact from that yet, but it’s been less than a month since that rates in the country. Sonntag said businesses now are was instituted,” she said. Sonntag pointed out there is looking to the government to do something to incentivize the work- still concern that another shutdown could be waiting in the wings as the force.

state never laid out a clear plan for reopening. “What they’ve wanted from the beginning is for the governor to have a plan and stick with a plan so that they know, because we’ve done a lot of open and close and open and close and it’s been hard on business,” she said. There is still worry about a COVID-19 surge in the fall despite widespread vaccination availability, Sonntag said. Confidence in a reliable plan for the economy is what businesses are looking for, she points out. Right now, people are bracing for whatever may come next, she said.


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Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires Collision Repair Center in Amarillo, TX The Boyd Group Inc. announced the acquisition of a collision repair center in Amarillo, TX. This location operated as a new car dealership and has great curb appeal on a major roadway. Amarillo is the county seat for Potter County, is the 14th most populous city in Texas and the primary city in a metropolitan area of nearly 310,000 people. A major draw in the Amarillo area is Palo Duro Canyon State Park, which includes the second largest canyon in the country. “Acquiring this repair center, our second in Amarillo since February, strengthens our brand in this market and will further assist our

insurance partners in the region,” said Kevin Burnett, COO of Gerber Collision & Glass. “We are excited to welcome this team and serve customers in this community, providing outstanding service and high-quality repairs.” The Boyd Group is continuously looking to add new collision repair locations to its existing network in Canada and the U.S. Interested collision repair center owners are asked to contact Jason Hope, vice president of business development and strategic projects, at (530) 774-3887 or jason.hope@ boydgroup.com. Source: The Boyd Group, Inc.

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SafeAuto Insurance to Join Allstate SafeAuto will add capabilities and distribution with its 24-hour, 7-days-a-week customer contact centers at 1-800-SafeAuto and its website. The combination will leverage National General’s direct-to-consumer non-standard auto insurance operations and leverage National General’s track record of acquiring and integrating companies to accelerate growth. “I am confident that combining forces with National General with the backing of Allstate will allow SafeAuto to grow its platform in the non-standard space,” said Ari Deshe, co-founder and chairman of SafeAuto. “I wish to thank all of our past and present associates for their contributions to our success during our 27-year history.” The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2021, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Source: SafeAuto

Tucson-Based Auto Dealership Opens Car ADAS Calibration Center AirPro Diagnostics and Car ADAS Solutions announced an affiliate of Tucson-based O’Rielly Chevrolet will open an ADAS calibration center, Tucson ADAS Calibration Center LLC (TACC), to serve the Tucson and Southern Arizona markets. “We welcome TACC to the Car ADAS Solutions family of best-in-class calibration centers,” said Greg Peeters, Car ADAS founder and CEO. “Protecting lives through the precise calibration of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems is the Car ADAS mission, and in partnership with AirPro Diagnostics we look forward to working with the TACC team to deliver safe and complete calibrations to all of their valued customers. “Our patent-pending process of training, implementation, validating, documenting and supporting that only the specific OEM requirements have been met on each and every calibration is the highly disciplined Car ADAS approach.” “Taking the lead in Tucson is what O’Rielly Chevrolet is all

Texas Senate Passes Street Racing Bill by Steven Symes, Motorious

People in Texas have had it with illegal street racing and street takeovers, which helped a bill aimed at stopping the illegal activities pass the State Senate recently. Now that bill is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott. It will allow law enforcement to seize racers’ cars, which hopefully will act as a deterrent. The bill makes it easier for law enforcement officers to seize a vehicle if the driver has been participating in street racing or a takeover event and has multiple offenses, is intoxicated or causes a death. That sounds pretty reasonable, but we already know some will shout about how this is a case of government overreach. Sadly, street racing is far from a victimless crime. Sure, you can participate in it without any incidents for months or years, but the fact is speeding around on public roads with other cars “in the way” can end tragically. Two street-racing teen drivers killed an 11-year-old girl, leaving one adult in the vehicle in critical condition and another in serious condition, after

they plowed into the back of a Toyota RAV4 in Central Florida recently. Another street racer driving a Dodge Charger slammed into another car in a Los Angeles intersection, killing the driver. In Dallas, a 54-year-old woman was shot and killed after an intersection was shut down in a street takeover. We could go on, but hopefully you get the point. If you think street racing is cool and totally fine, it’s time for a reality check. Sure, Vice did some documentary trying to glamorize how these people stick it to the cops and the system, but the reality is starkly different. Street racing and street takeovers are a selfish activity, especially if you’re using public roads where families, young drivers, the elderly or anyone else is driving. Those other people didn’t sign up for your thrill-seeking, reckless behavior, but they might pay the ultimate price for it. Take it to the track instead, where you might hone your skills and you can make more legitimate friends. It’s anticipated Abbott will sign this bill, which will then become the law in Texas starting Sept. 1.

22 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

about,” said Rob Draper, O’Rielly Chevrolet president and general manager. “We are excited to launch TACC and to be a part of the partnership with AirPro Diagnostics and Car ADAS Solutions. For over 97 years, O’Rielly Chevrolet has been a pioneer in automotive sales, service and collision repair and now, through TACC, in delivering ADAS calibration services in Southern Arizona. We did extensive due diligence and chose the most comprehensive, most efficient solution in the market today.” Brian Guerrero, TACC general manager added, “We’ve been educating ourselves on ADAS calibrations for more than two years. We were looking for a more robust, comprehensive solution than what we’ve seen being used in the marketplace. The more I learned about this space―the OE requirements for each and every calibration, from setting up our shop environment, to wheel alignment verification, to road tests to ensure that each vehicle’s dynamic systems are tested and operation-

al―the simpler the decision became to move forward with AirPro Diagnostics and Car ADAS Solutions. Our stand-alone calibration facility will be the first of its kind in Southern Arizona.” “We’ve been working with Brian and his team, creating an end-to-end solution for diagnostics and calibrations,” said Eric Newell, executive vice president, AirPro Diagnostics. “This has positioned TACC as the go-to calibration expert in Southern Arizona. I look forward to visiting the new center once it is operational on June 14.”



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autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 25

Will We Have Enough Juice to Get Us to an All-EV World by 2035? by Ed Attanasio

You don’t need to be a Californian to know electric vehicles (EVs) are coming whether we like them or not. In 2035, if you go to a new car dealership and mention gas, they will likely escort you off the lot. Well, maybe it won’t be that bad, but rest assured if you don’t own an electric car by 2035, your neighbors will talk. So, is there going to be enough juice in the box to make California―let alone the rest of the country―all-EV in the next 14 years? Recently, Autobody News interviewed Chuck Reynolds, the owner of Cyber Switching, Inc. in San Jose, CA. Cyber Switching’s power management solutions are targeted to small- and medium-sized commercial buildings. As a 40-year veteran of the electricity game, Reynolds was working on EV charging back when it was a novelty rather than the norm. He started his business in 1983 with a handful of electricians who shared

his vision of the future, including everyone driving an EV.


We’re going to need enough electricity to power an enormous fleet. Do we have it and if not, can we have it by 2035?


We installed charging systems in Cisco Systems back in 1996 because several of their employees had EVs, but that was very obviously forward-thinking at the time.


There shouldn’t be any technical or economic reason why the grid won’t support electrification. There is likely enough generation capacity out there right now, but it’s just not going to the right places. The biggest problem is going to be the infrastructure and getting the power to where it’s needed. A really good example is that in California now existing buildings, like condo developments and other multi-unit dwellings, can’t just say OK―we are going to install charging stations here, but the problem is they have limited power.


You can see the future of EV charging through some of your clients, so what have you learned?

Chuck Reynolds owns Cyber Switching, Inc., a power management company in Silicon Valley. He said there will be enough electricity out there to power all EVs by 2035, as long as it’s properly managed

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Will companies that are not prepared end up paying through the nose if they don’t manage their power?


Well, that’s going to put a spike on the grid because everyone is plugging in at the same time and if there are others waiting, they will roll it over every two hours approximately. That’s going to put a strain on the grid and is a concern for whomever is providing that power.


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So, one of the biggest issues is infrastructure. When you come to work in the morning and you plug your vehicle into one of our charging stations, there are sometimes 20 to 30 people doing the same thing at the same time, with just as many waiting in line. Right now, people have to go out to their cars to take them off the charger, and that’s obviously not very efficient. Studies have shown that large companies are losing a lot of money while their employees have to stop what they’re doing so that they can move their EVs.


That’s why the utilities are now charging “demand charges” for the peak amount of usage during that month for 15 minutes. It’s essentially a penalty that could be anywhere from $18 to $20 per kilowatt. So, if you have a large number of EVs coming in at the same time every morning, that’s going to be a big spike, especially since that’s when all of your other machinery will start kicking in. The problem is that if we want to achieve the 2035 regulations, we will need more and better infrastructure to handle the huge load. The user can install a power management system in order to spread the load evenly, so that not everything will come on at the same time. You can do the same with your EV charging to reduce the demand charge, and we are already doing that here at Cyber Switching, Inc. We have several patents on rotational charging systems. We currently have eight EV chargers in front of our building and it’s on one circuit that is staggered, which enables us to avoid paying the demand penalties. If you have

a power management system like the ones we have patents on, outages won’t ever happen. Most people don’t realize that there are many alternatives when it comes to power management. With so many EVs on the roads within the next few years, people will be charging their vehicles all at the same time, in many cases. There will be some pretty significant spikes and that puts a strain on the grid in that area. The worst thing that can happen is when you trip a breaker. That tells you you’re overloading the grid. I think that’s going to be the No. 1 problem that we can potentially encounter with large-scale EV charging.

home. With many of these homes that have been built starting in the 1970s, the utility company never anticipated this demand when everything comes on at the same time. It will be the same scenario, but in reverse. People will come home from work and plug-in all at the same time and it’s going to be a big load. It’s not like turning on a lightbulb― even with the small charges, it’s still going to be a 120V load, 1,400 watts or more. Even if you’re using one of the smaller chargers, turning it on is comparable to 14 100-watt lightbulbs simultaneously. The grid wasn’t set up for this originally, so it will have to change and adapt to handle these larger loads.





Will EV owners have to adapt in order to get their vehicles charged when needed?

Yes, people are always going to want to charge their cars at work, and by 2035 that will mean large parking lots full of EVs that are waiting to be charged. It will also be a problem at

Will people be forced to charge primarily during the day to accommodate the huge spike in usage?

Yes, I think that is what will eventually happen. You want to charge when that power is available, so that’s why the utility companies are pushing from 4 to 9 p.m.

If you don’t have solar on your house to supplement your power, you might be in trouble. With many of those tract home developments built in the 1970s, there is not a lot of excess power there. So, that is where you’re going to have to spend the money―in infrastructure. Power management is a better alternative for companies on many levels. To meet their growing needs, they will have to upgrade their service to allow for more charging. But, that’s a large expense. With our system, you can use the power that’s available, and for most companies, they won’t have to change their electrical service and their employees will still get a charge for their vehicle. To avoid people moving their cars, we install what we call ‘dumb units’ that don’t have all of the bells and whistles, but they save time because employees won’t have to move their vehicles. This means that the ROI on these chargers is very fast because they don’t realize how much it can cost them in lost productivity when you have EVs in the picture.

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

From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

Scanning—It’s Not Just for DTCs Anymore (And Never Was) Those of you watching TV back in the 1970s probably remember the slogan, “It’s not just for breakfast anymore”―the Florida Orange Growers Association’s way to encourage folks to think about drinking OJ more often than just in the morning. I’ve been paraphrasing that slogan in relation to scanning to emphasize to people that scanning isn’t just about finding DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes). A real “aha moment” I had in relation to this about a year ago was when my father told me there was something just not right about the way his vehicle was driving. He’d had a broken windshield replaced on the car, and afterward, they scanned the vehicle and said everything was OK. But after driving it, and still noticing a problem, he took it to a dealership that confirmed the vehicle scan they performed showed no DTCs. That’s when I got involved, hooking my asTech device to the vehicle, and asking my friend Jake Rodenroth and his team to help me

out. They scanned the vehicle: Sure enough, no DTCs. But that’s when the asTech technician said, “Let me check something else.” He checked the data from the scan tool that shows how the vehicle’s steering angle sensor is set, and then compared it to the automaker specifications. You can guess what he found: The steering angle sensor was out of spec. My dad was right: There was something wrong with the vehicle. But it didn’t set a DTC. That opened my eyes to something I’m concerned about in our industry. Scanning isn’t just about checking for DTCs. It’s important, whether conducting scanning in-house or using a mobile or remote supplier or even a dealership, that you have a knowledgeable person who really understands the collision repair process involved. Someone who is going to dig further, ask the right questions. Someone who doesn’t assume no DTCs means everything is A-OK. Since that incident, I’ve done more research. I came across some

U.S. House Members Advocate for RPM Act By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2021 (RPM Act), HR 3281, enjoys strong bi-partisan support in the U.S. House of Representatives as lawmakers voice their enthusiasm for passing the legislation. With the racing world’s eyes on the Indy 500 over Memorial Day weekend, the Indy Star printed an article from U.S. Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN) that advocated for Congress to pass the RPM Act, entitled “Indiana’s auto-racing tradition is under attack. Here’s how we save it.” Pence is a leading voice on the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee for the RPM Act and understands the importance of racing and the motorsports parts industry in Indiana and throughout the country.

Back in Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. Fred Keller (R-PA) took to the U.S. House floor to speak to his colleagues about why he was proud to serve as an original co-sponsor of the RPM Act. Support for the RPM Act continues to grow with each week that passes. Currently, 58 members of the House have cosponsored the bill, including new cosponsors Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-NY) and Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN). For details, contact Eric Snyder at erics@sema.org.

documentation from other automakers about the need to look beyond the just the presence (or absence) of DTCs. Whoever is scanning should also pull the “freeze-frame” or “snapshot” or “live” data. That can show data, for example, when a fault code occurred: the date, vehicle mileage, how many key cycles have occurred, or even―in one example I’ve seen― how much gas was in the car at the time. This kind of information can be critical as part of diagnosis, documentation and reimbursement. One example of the need for this step: With some Honda and Acura vehicles, an issue with the lane-watch system or seatbelt pretension won’t trigger a DTC; you have to check the “live” data. As an industry, I think we’ve overlooked the skillset needed for those scanning vehicles in our busi-

nesses. These aren’t just auto parts store scans (with no offense to those businesses). You can’t presume all that’s needed is to just plug it in. There’s so much more to it than that. You need someone who understands how to dig further, and who understands the “set conditions” that must occur in order to set a DTC. If a vehicle is towed to the shop directly from the accident scene, for example, it might not have been driven for the distance or time or speed needed for that DTC to be set. I think our industry is doing itself and its customer a disservice when it presumes anyone is qualified to conduct a scan. It’s insulting to knowledgeable technicians who really understand all that this important and potentially complicated process entails. That’s why I say: Scanning. It’s not just about DTCs anymore.

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Tips for Busy Body Shops

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

with Stacey Phillips

Jake Rodenroth of asTech on Vehicle Tech’s Relation to Collision Repair Diagnostics Telematics, Advanced Driver Assis- nostics involves having technicians tance Systems (ADAS) and OEM first confirm the vehicle model and repair procedures are all predicted trim level and then determining the to significantly with impactStacey the way Phillips ve- cause and correction. It also involves hicles are repaired in the fuinspecting the severity of ture, according to Jake Rodamage by confirming body denroth, director of OEM specification and suspension and industry technical relageometry using pre-aligntions for asTech. ments and 3D measuring During a virtual presystems. sentation co-sponsored by with Victoria Antonelli “The trim level designates the Nebraska Auto Body Jake Rodenroth, how many features and conAssociation (NABA) and asTech’s director of trol modules it has,” said the Kansas Auto Body As- OEM and industry Rodenroth. “All collisions sociation (KABA), Roden- technical relations, are inheritably different wearing augmented roth shared insight about and there is nothing routine reality glasses several vehicle technoloabout each vehicle repair.” gies and how they relate collision Often dealing with the newest with EdtoAttanasio repair diagnostics. He also discussed vehicles in the worst shape, technisome of the future concerns techni- cians need access to all vehicle concians will likely face. trol modules and features to ensure a safe and proper repair. Welding Diagnostics and painting operations, as well as In the evolving landscape of vehicle vehicle disassembly, may impact diagnostics, Rodenroth said Ledoux body the vehicle control systems. In addiwith Gary shops must recognize the difference tion, many labor operations require between collision diagnostics and ADAS calibration. mechanical diagnostics. “After a collision, we should be “Collision repair technicians really focused on making sure we and mechanical technicians will look see all of the modules and identify at the same vehicle from a very dif- all of the problems as proactively as ferent perspective,” said Rodenroth. possible,” said Rodenroth. with Stacey Phillips Speaking from firsthand experience working as a master technician for OEM Repair Procedures & Scan Tools a large OEM in his earlier career, he Although some collision repair techshared the difference between the nicians turn to YouTube when looking two. for information to repair a vehicle, On the mechanical side, most of Rodenroth highly advises checking the repairs revolve around a concern the OEM repair procedures. Mike Anderson or the vehicle’s with maintenance sched- “I feel like we learn on every ule. car,” he said. “We have to humble “The technician’s job is to iden- ourselves and research what is intify the cause of that concern and volved so you can get it right. You’ll then recommend the correction or be amazed at what you’ll find,” he repair on the vehicle,” said Rodren- said. roth. He recommends starting small Since many mechanical repairs and researching how to remove a are routine, he said the correction bumper cover, disconnect a battery is usually predictable. Therefore, a or perform a four-wheel alignment. variety of tools can be used to ac- Increasingly, Rodenroth said, cess the systems responsible for the dealer groups, OEM certified repair cause. Ultimately, mechanical diag- shops and many independent facilnostics comes down to first identify- ities are committed to following ing the concern, and then the cause OEM procedures. and correction. Rodenroth encourages techni In comparison, collision diag- cians to use the scan tools identified


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in the service manual to ensure the repair is completed correctly and can be defended if necessary. Some shops use aftermarket tools to help keep costs down, but Rodenroth cautioned they might not capture everything regarding scanning and diagnostics. “Scan tools aren’t magic wands,” he said. “They don’t just fix the problem for you. We need to figure it out. Only the combination of the correct tools, the OEM service manual and a trained technician can repair a vehicle effectively.” When it comes to invoicing, Rodenroth recommends itemizing everything done with the vehicle, and says this is especially important with ADAS calibration. He advises shops to research the marketplace and identify the price of scans being charged and the tooling used.

Rodenroth estimates the current market value of a scan is $50 while OEM diagnostics, whether done by a dealer, mobile vendor or another third-party, averages about $120. New Customers, Telematics & Over the Air (OTA) Updates Looking forward, Rodennoth said vehicle owners will increasingly become more connected to their vehicles, especially with a new generation of consumers, Generation Z. Often referred to as “Zoomers,” those included in this demographic were born middle to late 1990s to the early 2010s, and are what Rodenroth refers to as “digital natives.” “They aren’t afraid to use mobile apps in everything they do, whether it’s ordering a coffee or checking the health of their car,” he said. Over the next five years, Rod-

Product Innovation

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enroth predicts there will be a substantial increase in the number of communications going on in the connected car, including the use of telematics and OTA updates. The majority of OEMs now use telematics to update a vehicle’s infotainment system, consisting of radio and multimedia video capabilities. Telematic connectivity to a vehicle will also help owners benchmark if they received a good repair. “They are going to start asking probing questions, maybe those they didn’t ask in the past,” said Rodenroth. “We need to be aware if they are connected to dealer-type services.” This will allow the dealer or independent repair facility to predict the maintenance needed on the vehicle and whether the diagnostics were performed. ADAS Calibration In terms of conducting an ADAS calibration, collision repair facilities are finding they have three options: sending vehicles to dealerships, having their own technicians do the calibrations in-house or arranging for a

third-party company to come in. Regardless of the decision, Rodenroth said shops will need to audit that the calibrations were done correctly. In the event of a failed calibration, Rodenroth reminded repairers to document it failed and then showed it passed. “It’s important to document the corrective repairers you did to make it pass,” he said. “You don’t want it to come back and haunt you, so document accordingly.” He also cautioned repairers to ensure the correct parts are used on vehicles and the procedures are followed. “When you start changing the way a vehicle is designed, you create variables for yourself that could create calibration failures,” said Rodenroth. “Remember that service manuals are written on perfect vehicles, not vehicles that have been repaired or have non-OEM parts fitted to them.” Electric Vehicles With automakers committed to an electric vehicle (EV) future, Rodenroth said OE factories and suppliers

are expected to change dramatically. This includes new types of manufacturers, in particular technology companies, such as Rivian, Lucid, SF Motors, Mahindra and Faraday Future. “Tech companies are winning the race to electrification,” he said. Rodenroth estimated dealer service volume might decline by as much as 35%, while tire replacement, glass and visibility services, and length of ownership are all projected to increase. “Collision repairers are also going to see a lot of parts, steering systems, braking systems and cooling systems that may require scan tools,” he said. “If a scan tool is involved in the repair, make sure you have the capability in-house or plan for it.” Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Rodenroth said VR and AR are predicted to change how the industry is trained in the future. It will also impact how repair procedures are written and followed. “Repair procedures can be challenging to follow, especially if you

haven’t been formally trained with that OEM,” said Rodenroth. “AR/ VR offer an interactive way of dissecting the vehicle’s requirements and, best of all, explaining them.” Details like fluid quantities, measurements and torques specs are often overlooked; however, Rodenroth said they are important to ensure a safe and documented repair. “We, as an industry, need to slow down to have a chance at speeding up,” said Rodenroth. “Our consumers deserve better when it comes to whom they trust to repair their vehicles.” He said the industry should be an institution of learning and specification. “Every shop in America would hire at least one more technician if they could and with so many ‘tech jobs’ now available, it is even more important that we attract and retain as many young people as possible,” he said. “We need to find new ways of recruiting young people with different backgrounds and skill sets.” www.autobodynews.com

Auto Care Association’s Auto Care Caucus Renewed with 117th U.S. Congress by Camille Sheehan, Auto Care Association

The Auto Care Association on June 7 announced the Auto Care Caucus has been formally renewed in the 117th U.S. Congress. The caucus will be co-chaired by U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-PA, and Brendan Boyle, D-PA, who both share an enthusiasm and understanding of the auto care industry and will help facilitate communication about industry issues to their peers on Capitol Hill. Congressional caucuses are classified as Congressional Member Organizations and are made up of lawmakers who share common public policy goals pertaining to a particular interest, demographic or political party. The Auto Care Caucus mission statement explains, in part, that its purpose is to “…maintain a competitive free market for the motoring public; protect consumers’ vehicle data and the right to be the ultimate owners and stewards of their data; and to help ensure consumers have access to quality,

convenient and affordable auto repairs, maintenance and parts.” “I’m excited to see the continuation of the Auto Care Caucus with this new Congress and to witness our co-chairs’ support for the auto care industry,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “With technology being used more and more to tilt the competitive playing field in the vehicle repair industry, now more than ever we will be looking to Congress to support initiatives aimed at ensuring choice for car owners on where they have their vehicle serviced. The Auto Care Caucus will surely play a significant role in those efforts.” To learn more about the Auto Care Association’s Auto Care Caucus and the association’s government affairs initiatives, visit auto care.org/government-relations. Source: Auto Care Association


32 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 33 4/5/21 10:27 AM

Associations Assembling with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

Collision Training on ADAS, EVs, Total Losses and Phone Skills at ASA’s X50 Conference

Southeast News

The recent ASA X50 Conference & repair network processes, which inExpo offered more than 50 live train- cludes benchmarking industry competing sessions, including five classes itors, soliciting feedback from dealers with Chasidy Rae Sisk specific to collision repair profes- and the collision industry, and collabsionals. orating cross-functionally with Global “Our engaging platform will Aftersales Engineering, CCA Collision provide attendees with an inviting Wholesale Dealer Channel and Proexperience to learn from and inter- duction Engineering. act with instructors, sponsors and “There’s no compromise when Chasidy Rae Sisk their peers in awith way that uses techit comes to safety,” Blackmore connology to strengthen their networks cluded. “OEM repair procedures must and build their industry knowledge,” be used 100% of the time, but the insaid ASA Executive Director Ray dustry should stay close to the OEMs Fisher. since technology is changing rapidly.” GM’s John Eck and Chris Roger Cada of Accountable with Chasidy Rae Sisk Blackmore presented “GM Driving Estimating LLC presented “EstimaTechnology: Advanced Technologies tion, Education and Documentation in ADAS and the Impact to the Re- that Drive Bottom Line Results.” pair Industry,” stressing the impor- “The facts of the loss are critical tance of scanning and calibrations because they tell you what damagand providing updates on GM’s Coles are on that car… Since COVID, with Chasidy Rae Sisk lision Repair Network processes. you’ve become the eyes and ears for “[GM has] planned over 20 new the insurer, impacting the estimate models in the coming years to move and if it starts off wrong, it will nevto an electric vehicle fleet,” Eck er end up right,” Cada began. “And said, noting regulations, safety ex- the process begins when you first talk to the customer and get the facts pectations and ADAS features have with Chasidy Rae Sisk influenced changes in the industry. of the loss so you can write the most “And that’s exciting times, but it accurate estimate every time. also presents a mound of problems “We have to build evidence and issues for our industry that we through documentation,” Cada conhave to resolve. tinued. “It’s critical that we capture “Gas regulations lightthe evidence well so we can properly with required Chasidy Rae Sisk er vehicles, while also enhancing assess the damage and have an outsafety expectations,” Eck explained. come that actually restores it to its “Safety is king, and custompre-accident condition. The evidence you’ve collected ers are continually looking also justifies your charges, for safety options to prowithand Chasidy Rae Sisk preventing insurers from tect their occupants the investment they’ve made. saying no. But once you That requires a change in start repairing the vehicle, how vehicles are built and the evidence isn’t there, so the technology offered on you need to collect it at the Mark Allen them, including the creation with Chasidy Rae Sisk very beginning.” of new ADAS systems. More fea- Cada proceeded through a steptures being added to vehicles, forc- by-step breakdown of the documening evolutionary change. The goal tation required to provide evidence is a world with zero crashes, zero justifying the repairs performed, emissions and zero congestion.” such as pre-scans, clear images, Eck discussed the importance of measurements and test drives. scanning and calibration as Attanasio it pertains “Audi North America: EV and with Ed to vehicles equipped with ADAS, in- Evolving Technology,” presented by cluding how to access GM’s calibra- Audi’s Mark Allen, focused on the tion documents. OEM’s progress towards an electric Blackmore then discussed the fleet. changes GM is making to its collision Discussing high voltage aware-

Western Associations

Southwest Associations Southeast Associations Northeast Associations

ness and training, Allen stressed, tically, that moment is already past “Everyone in our dealerships and our history,” he quipped. “We’re already collision network has to be trained to involved with these vehicles and reknow and identify EVs to recognize pairing them. So, in all this confuthat they shouldn’t touch the cabling sion, ask yourself, ‘Are you feeling and that it will require special care. lucky?’ Or are you ready for the fuOur high voltage technicians are ture of the e-tron?” trained to run diagnostics Kristen Felder, CEO of and de-energize the system, Collision Hub, taught two and high voltage experts are classes during ASA’s X50 trained in all high voltage Conference. The first, “Tosystems and can repair all tal Loss File Handling,” exsystems, including the batplored the total loss process. tery.” “Running a collision repair Allen discussed the shop has become more about Kristen Felder safety concerns related to accounting, law, psychology repairing EVs, noting the high volt- and other administrative tasks than age technician must observe three about actually repairing the vehicle,” safety rules before beginning the re- Felder said. “The administrative side pair: de-energize the vehicle, secure has become almost overwhelming.” the system against restarting and Shops should be aware of multicheck no voltage is present. ple legal terms to be prepared to con “You might think you’re a reb- tend with a total loss situation. Felder el living in the moment, but realis- defined bailment and explained how

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34 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com



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a law of contracts “gives you the ability to ensure a vehicle doesn’t get abandoned or pulled from you without your fees being paid.” She warned, “When it comes to total losses, having a ‘repair contract’ may not protect you from having vehicles removed and you not getting paid, or it may not protect your customer from having settlements diminished because of that.” After becoming familiar with civil and contract laws, Felder emphasized knowing state and municipal regulations is imperative since certain jurisdictions clearly identify who is qualified to be a storage or towing company, and those laws may also “govern what you can charge and lay out actions that are required on your end. If you have a regulation and don’t comply, you may not be able to collect what you’re charging.” Discussing how to establish services and pricing for total losses, Felder said, “If you’re in a contractual agreement that says you can’t charge for any services on a total loss, you’re stuck at this point, but if you don’t have that agreement, what do you charge?

“Your duty is to be able to describe the reasonableness of your decisions. Whatever you charge, you’d best be able to explain each line to every 10th or every penny you have on the estimate because that’s going to be compared to ‘reasonable’ in other places.” Felder discussed common reasons related to the total loss process, which collision shops may charge, including fees related to intake, notification, securing the vehicle, administration, collision access time, cataloging and storing removed parts, environmental protection, photo documentation, repair planning, vehicle mobility, vehicle disposition, OEM access, DMV/lien/legal expenses and storage. Next, Felder recommended shops create and store pre-written form letters, which can easily be updated with the client and vehicle-specific information. She provided a list of pre-written letters to keep on hand, such as confirmation of pickup disposition, summary of charges for pickup, status update total loss, notice of total loss, summary of inspection with fees, authorization for inspec-

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tion with fees, notice of visual total loss and request for invoices. Examining examples of these forms, Felder identified which important aspects to include, repeatedly stressing the value of explaining the standards and regulations the shop must follow as well as the identification of the shop’s ethics in cost containment. “Proper documentation will get you paid down to the penny!” Felder said. During “Phone Skills for Collision Repair,” Felder pointed out, “The phone is probably one of the most important tools we have in the body shop. We’re on it all day and interact with customers more over the phone than face-to-face, but we’re really bad at the phone―and our skills are degrading!” Diving into the evolution of connection, Felder explained there are three layers of connection in the human brain. The neocortex is the rational brain, the limbic brain is the emotional aspect and the reptilian brain is guided purely by instinct and survival. “We want the people we’re deal-

ing with to be on the upper level, but first, we need to work through the first two layers. Understanding where someone is at mentally will help you communicate, connect and get them to do the things you want them to do.” Because the brain reacts to sound, the voice is a powerful tool that can be used to influence the customer when used correctly. Felder provided several tips for using the phone. Don’t use a script, use your name and theirs, ask questions, mirror their tempo, be kind and polite and speak inclusively by using “we” instead of “you.” To improve communication sessions, designate a talking space where the customer is the primary focus, designate a person who talks on the phone and keep a log system. “Cell phones are one of the worst things that ever happened to customer connection,” Felder warned. “We forget that our brain chemistry desires that connection. Don’t forget about the power of your voice or feel that you’re too overwhelmed. The more connected we are, the happier we are.” For more information on ASA, visit asashop.org.



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Industry Insight with John Yoswick

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

HLDI Shows Impact on Claims from Auto-Emergency Braking, Changes to Powertrains

Shop Showcase

Matt Moore of the insurer-funded Moore said he suspects even more Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) drivers would turn that system off if offered some insights into the im- doing so was easier. But the AEB rewith Ed Attanasio pact auto-emergency braking (AEB) mained active on almost 92% of the could have on the frequency and vehicles equipped with that system. severity of front-end crashes in the “Folks like it. They leave it on,” coming years, during his presentation Moore said. at the recent Women’s Industry Net- While automakers have volwork (WIN) virtual conference. untarily agreed to equip all new HLDI’s rating system for AEB with Ed Attanasio vehicles with AEB by September systems involves two crash tests of 2022―and many automakers conducted at 25 mph and 12 mph. are ahead of schedule toward that Those speeds may sound slow, he goal―it still will take a long time said, but “the more speed you can for a majority of vehicles on the road drop out of a crash, you drop out an have AEB, he said. He shared a seexponential amount of energy.” ries of charts to demonstrate this. A 25 mph crash of a Mer- The first (slide 1) showed the with Ed Attanasio cedes C-Class resulted in more than percentage of new vehicles for $28,000 in damage, for example, which AEB is optional or standard Moore said, but when the speed was has grown significantly. reduced to 12 mph, “the cost is re- But the second (slide 2) showed duced by more than half,” to $5,715. even in 2019, HLDI estimated only “Of course,with if youEd canAttanasio go from about 6% of registered vehicles 12 mph down to zero, you can total- were equipped with AEB.

trains. Moore shared a slide (slide 4) showing how far hybrid, electric and turbo- or super-charged vehicles have grown, and will continue to grow, in

relation to vehicles powered by conventional gasoline engines. “What we’re predicting is by 2030, over 45% of vehicles will ei-

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Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips braking is optional or standard has grown The percentage of new vehicles for which auto-emergency significantly ly avoid that hit altogether,” he said. A third chart (slide 3) showed AEB is expected to reduce front- how that is likely to grow over the end crashes that result in injury by next two decades, but still, the 50% more than 50%, Moore said. Of course, mark is not expected to be reached the potential benefits of AEB go away until about 2030. with Stacey Phillips if consumers turn the system off. “We’re predicting it’s going to But Moore said HLDI stationed be about 2045 until the vast majority researchers at some dealerships to of vehicles [in operation] have this check vehicles being dropped off for technology,” Moore said. service. They found the lane depar- Another factor driving up seture systems on those vehicles were verity of claims Moore pointed to only left on 50% of the time, and involves changes to vehicle power-


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ther be turbo-charged, super-charged, hybrid or electric, and that matters,” Moore said. He shared charts showing hybrid vehicles have higher collision and property damage liability losses

Electric vehicles, which Moore said will soon outnumber hybrids, have lower frequencies but higher severity. And turbo- or super-charged vehicles are also associated with increases in severity.

The percentage of registered vehicles vehicles equipped with auto-emergency braking will grow over the next two decades, but the 50% mark is not expected to be reached until about 2030

than their conventional engine counterparts. “This is, in part, because these hybrid vehicles are heavier,” he said. “More complex to repair, more parts.”

“For collision losses, about a 4% increase,” Moore said. “You take an already crowded engine compartment, and jam a whole lot more stuff under that hood as you would with a

GM Vehicles Recalled for Airbag Warning Lights by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

More than 301,000 General Motors vehicles are recalled because the airbag warning lights may stay illuminated and fail to provide warnings if the airbags fail. However, the warning lights stay activated only on alternating ignition cycles in these vehicles. 2021 Buick Envision 2021 Cadillac CT4 2021 Cadillac CT5 2021 Cadillac Escalade 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe 2021 Chevrolet Corvette 2021 Chevrolet Suburban 2021 GMC Yukon 2021 GMC Yukon XL The airbag warning light stays illuminated because the communications gateway module incorrectly processes a loss of communication with the sensing diagnostic module. GM learned in April about a possible problem and in May engineers opened an investigation to review field and warranty data, find-

ing 19 warranty claims possibly related. This caused GM to issue the recall, but the automaker says it’s unaware of any crash or injury reports. The U.S. GM recall includes 285,622 vehicles, while in Canada, about 16,071 GM vehicles are recalled. Recall notices will be mailed July 19, with details about dealerships updating the communications gateway module software. Owners who have accepted the terms and conditions will be able to receive the software changes using wireless over-the-air (OTA) technology without having to bring their vehicles to dealerships. However, owners may schedule to have the updates performed at GM dealers. Buick owners may contact Buick customer service at 800521-7300, Cadillac customers may call 800-458-8006, Chevrolet owners can call 800-222-1020 or GMC customer service can be reached at 800-462-8782. GM’s recall reference number is N212338110.

38 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

turbocharger or supercharger, and you increase the amount of damage it’s going to have when those crashes occur.” Claims have also been impacted by a steady growth in vehicle horsepower over the past four decades, and increases in speed limits over the past 20 years.

A 1983 Toyota Camry had 92 horsepower; the 2019 model had either 203 or 301 horsepower. A 1983 Jeep Grand Cherokee had 180-220 horsepower; the 2019 model had 285-360 horsepower. The 1981 Ford F-150 had 115-165 horsepower; the 2019 model has 250-370.

The Highway Loss Data Institute projects hybrid, electric and turbo- or super-charged vehicles will continue to grow in relation to vehicles powered by conventional gasoline engines

“In 1981, most vehicles had less than 100 horsepower,” Moore said. “These days you can’t buy a vehicle with that little power.”

“More horsepower at any age nets you higher insurance losses,” Moore said. “The faster a vehicle is, the faster people are going to drive it.”

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P&C Insurers Stuck at Providing Only ‘Good Enough’ Digital User Experience: J.D. Power With more property and casualty (P&C) insurance customers than ever migrating to digital channels during the past year, expectations for a superior user experience have grown, and many insurers are struggling to keep pace. According to the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study, released May 25, overall customer satisfaction with insurers’

web and mobile apps based on five factors: ease of navigation; appearance; availability of key information; range of services; and clarity of the information. The study was conducted in partnership with Corporate Insight, the leading provider of competitive intelligence and user experience research to the financial services and health care industries.

“The bar just continues to get higher for customer expectations around digital, and while many insurers are hitting the mark on the digital basics, few insurers are using digital in new ways to drive growth and engagement,” — Tom Super digital offerings does not improve this year, despite industry-wide improvements in best-practice competency. “The bar just continues to get higher for customer expectations around digital, and while many insurers are hitting the mark on the digital basics, few insurers are using digital in new ways to drive growth and engagement,” said Tom Super, head of property and casualty insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “The real challenge for insurers is pushing the envelope on digital innovation. “Customers’ pace of expected change is accelerating, and insurers must be able to take steps to go beyond the basics of simply digitizing customer tasks. Those that can make this leap will be poised to separate themselves from the pack.” The study, now in its 10th year, evaluates digital consumer experiences among both P&C insurance shoppers seeking quotes and existing customers conducting typical policy-servicing activities. The study examines the functional aspects of desktop, mobile

“Being ‘good enough’ doesn’t cut it in a world where consumers are managing so much of their lives through digital interfaces and upending conventional notions of customer engagement,” said Michael Ellison, president of Corporate Insight. “While most insurers are making it possible to perform basic functions online or via mobile, very few are delivering a markedly improved, highly personalized overall experience via digital, even though innovative firms are showing that it is possible to do that now.” Key findings of the 2021 study: Insurer digital solutions not keeping pace with customer expectations: Overall customer satisfaction with the P&C insurance customer service experience improves to 860 (on a 1,000-point scale) from 858 in 2020, and overall satisfaction with the shopping experience declines to 788 from 800 a year ago, as record numbers of insurance customers transitioned to digital during the height of the pandemic. Beneath these headline figures,

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many individual insurers saw volatile year-over-year swings in their overall satisfaction scores. Basic digital competency not enough to drive improvements: Overall digital competency scores improve for nearly every insurer in the study, but many customers still cite challenges with several account service and shopping tasks. Notably, satisfaction scores improve about 100 points or more when customers say completing tasks is “very easy” vs. “somewhat easy.” Complex tasks become new customer experience battleground: Across all account service and shopping engagements evaluated, the study finds customer satisfaction scores consistently decline as tasks become more complicated. Complex tasks such as requesting a quote, researching policy information, adding a driver/vehicle and viewing policy-related information are among the areas in which insurers struggle to delight digital customers. Tech-savvy mobile app users set stage for future of digital insurance experience: Satisfaction is sub-

ltedesco@autobodynews.com www.autobodynews.com

40 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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stantially higher across all factors in the study among mobile app users and those who describe themselves as tech savvy. Mobile app usage increases 26% this year. Study Rankings GEICO ranks highest in the service segment for a fourth consecutive year with a score of 879. Progressive (868) ranks second. Farmers (867) and The Hartford (867) rank third in a tie. Mercury ranks highest in the shopping segment with a score of 821. Auto-Owners Insurance (816) ranks second and State Farm (807) ranks third. The 2021 U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study is based on 11,548 evaluations and was fielded in February and March. For more information about the U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study, visit https://www.jdpower. com/business/insurance/us-insurance-digital-experience-study Source: J.D. Power



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Day Job/Night Job

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

with Ed Attanasio

Painter/Car Restorer Miguel Perez Produces a Podcast and Creates a Brand Many painters are content when took auto tech classes and worked they’re able to get their work done on one particular vehicle for several on time while keeping the quality years, he said. Gary Wickert “My brother’s 1989 BMW high, but that’swith just the beginning for Miguel Perez, head painter and blew up, so I took it to school and manager at Extreme Paint Shop, a we worked on it there. We thought division of Extreme Performance in that we were doing an awesome job, but when I look at that project now, I South Florida. While running a paint crew have to laugh. It shows how far I’ve and working on some of the world’s come and how much I’ve improved my skills and processes over the yemost unique andwith expensive vehicles, Stacey Phillips Perez has created a large following ars.” of painters, metal shapers/fabrica- After graduating from high tors and other collision repair and school, Perez took a year off to regautomotive restoration professionals roup and figure out his next move. worldwide with podcasts, merchan- Then he enrolled at WyoTech, madising and videos. joring in collision refinishing with Stacey His brand iswith Refinisher PornPhillips (@ a minor in metal fabrication. It was refinisherporn on Instagram) and his a good experience where he learned merchandising company is Refinish more, but he also realized school is only a platform and not just a ticket to employment. “Some people graduate from WyoTech and think with Stacey Phillips they’re going to enter the industry as a tech or a painter,” Perez said. “But the reality is that they’re going to start at an entry level and it might take five to 10 years to get to where with Stacey Phillips you think you want to be. I tell people that school gives you the basics and builds a foundation, but it’s only the beginning.” Miguel Perez, head painter and manager at Extreme Paint Refinisher Porn is a brand Shop in South Florida during the day, hosts a podcast at night with Stacey Phillips that can relate to any refinish technician in the Kulture (@refinishkulture), and cur- world, not only those in North Amerently more than 100,000 followers rica. It’s also not limited to painting have joined the network. automobiles either, Perez said. Perez, 34, began his career in “It can be cars, trucks, boats, paint/restorationwith as a teenager, wheplanes―anything that moves and Victoria Antonelli re he was exposed to working on can be custom painted is on our list. cars and boats. We’re a strong and very connected “My dad retired from the Coast group because we share the same Guard and he started a boat restora- goals and dreams. I use Refinisher tion business called Marine Perfec- Porn to showcase work that has tion,” he said. “I was working the- been done by some of the finest rewith Victoria Antonelli re after school and I learned a lot. finishers on the planet. They value Restoring boats helped me with my the feedback and we often discuss abilities, but working on cars was things like processes, paint, tools where I wanted to be.” and equipment to do a better job While attending Martin Coun- and create an amazing product every ty High School in Stuart, FL, Perez time.”

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Perez is a busy man, as the head of the paint department at Extreme Performance, a huge operation in Palm City, FL, that employs more than 30 people in several buildings equaling in excess of 66,000 square feet. Extreme Performance is known as one of the top custom shops in the U.S., and if you’ve ever attended a SEMA show, you’ve seen more than a few of their game changing creations.

or color matching at the party. We just hang out and get to know each other away from the show, and meeting new members in person is always great!” Perez is like the Bo Jackson of custom paint and body work because he can easily cross over from paint to metal and back, if needed. “I have always been attracted to fabricating and doing metal work, and that’s why I’ve always pursued it and worked to get better. Some painters are happy in the booth, but I have always wanted to play a larger role. I always tell people, especially if they’re new to the industry, be open to new things and don’t be afraid to develop new skills, because that way you will be more appreciated and more sought after.” Perez gives his followers a simple message―never stop When he’s not in a paint booth or doing metal work, Perez learning and don’t be afraid shares ideas, photos and short videos with a huge network to make mistakes along the he created six years ago on @RefinisherPorn way. Perez was on teams that play- “I got better because I had good ed roles in restoring vehicles for teachers and a lot of my mistakes Michael Jordan, Vanilla Ice and led to valuable lessons. New techniactor/comic/podcaster Joe Rogan, ques, better processes, little tricks― who inspired Perez to eventually always be working to improve and produce a series of podcasts himself. you’ll benefit in many ways down But despite all of the work this the road.” busy shop generates, Perez still finds Perez is delighted with what time to manage his popular Instag- he’s done on Instagram with @Reram account while creating mega- finisherPorn. cool T-shirts, hoodies and other pro- “My initial goal was to turn @ ducts emblazoned with his Refinish RefinisherPorn into a network wheKulture logo, available at www.refi- re people would come together, showcase each other’s work, and get nisherporn.bigcartel.com. To interact with his Instagram better as a result,” he said. “I never followers, many of whom are con- imagined that this would turn into sidered top-tier painters and metal what it is today and I’m excited abfabricators, Perez throws an epic out where it’s headed.” bash at SEMA. It didn’t happen last Wherever it’s headed, you year, obviously, and no one really know Perez will be there to help knows what the show will look like other refinishers, metal fabricators, this year, but people are still talking car rebuilders and collision repairers about the party he threw in 2019. from Los Angeles to NYC and ever “We do it at a different restau- ywhere in between. rant every year, and more and more people show up each time,” he said. AUTOBODY “We don’t talk about paint enzymes

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42 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

I-CAR Supports Inter-Industry’s First OEM Glass Repair Certification Program Leveraging the collision repair expertise of I-CAR (Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair), Mopar is launching its Mopar Certified Glass Installer Program, the industry’s first OEM glass repair certification. I-CAR’s training and support of the new Mopar program is a perfect extension of I-CAR’s 42-yearold vision, explained John Van Alstyne, CEO and president.

“I-CAR’s mission is to provide education, information, services and solutions,” he said. “This program represents a solution that brings to life the breadth of our mission. Along with education, audits, reporting and network support in collaboration with the Mopar team, this makes I-CAR a unique and perfect fit for Mopar’s new

program.” I-CAR currently has five glass-related courses as a requirement for the Mopar Certified Glass Installer program. Additionally, I-CAR will conduct virtual audits of glass installers to meet Mopar requirements, which were established jointly. Van Alstyne added I-CAR is uniquely positioned to support the Mopar Certified Glass Installer Program given its leadership position in the industry, expansive course portfolio and ability to reach glass installers and collision repairers nationally. Some of I-CAR’s educational support have included: The FCA Certified Collision Network has required I-CAR Gold Class® since its launch more than five years ago. Alfa Romeo Certified Collision Network shops require all four roles be at ProLevel 3, the highest level of individual recognition in addition to the shop maintaining I-CAR Gold Class. Maserati requirement for ProLevel 2 technicians within its certi-

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The bankruptcy court overseeing Hertz Global Holdings Chapter 11 proceedings has approved Hertz’s reorganization plan, the company reported June 10.

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by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

A BMW airbag recall includes more than 4,500 of these vehicles equipped with non-azide driver airbag inflators (NADIs) manufactured by Takata. 2000-2001 BMW 323Ci 2000-2001 BMW 325Ci 2000-2001 BMW 328Ci 2000-2001 BMW 330Ci 1999-2001 BMW 323i 2000-2001 BMW 328i 2000-2001 BMW 330i 2000-2001 BMW 330xi The driver-side Takata airbag inflators were previously inspected but not replaced under previous recalls. BMW says moisture can invade the inflator and cause it to explode. BMW dealers will replace the driver-side air bag inflators with newly designed inflators. Owner recall notification letters are expected to be mailed July 19. Concerned owners may contact BMW at 800-525-7417.

Hertz’s Reorganization Plan OK’d by Bankruptcy Court

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fied network. Creation of FCA-specific educational courses and continued development of additional courses, including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Collision Repair Overview and 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL “As vehicle glass installation continues to become a much more advanced repair given today’s technology-laden vehicles, Mopar’s new program is a step forward for the inter-industry,” said Van Alstyne. “In pursuit of complete, safe and quality repairs, this program reinforces the many new ways we can accomplish this overarching goal.” To sign up for the program, contact I-CAR Customer Care at 1-800-I-CAR-USA (800-4227872) or visit I-CAR’s course catalog.

BMW 3-Series Vehicles Recalled Over Explosive Airbags

Hertz achieved payouts to equity, which are virtually unheard of in Chapter 11. Credit: Photo via flickr, www.dhub.com

The court’s approval clears the way for Hertz to emerge from Chapter 11 by the end of June. According to Hertz, creditors will be paid in full while existing shareholders will receive more than $1 billion in value. The plan will erase more than $5 billion in debt and provide more than $2.2

billion in liquidity. Hertz will emerge with $2.8 billion in credit and an approximately $7 billion of asset-backed vehicle financing facility. “As a result of its restructuring efforts, Hertz will emerge from Chapter 11 with a substantially stronger balance sheet and greater financial flexibility than it had prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hertz said in a statement. “With the court’s approval of our plan today and a committed new investor group, we are poised to exit Chapter 11 by the end of this month as a well-capitalized and even more competitive company, with the flexibility and resources to pursue exciting new growth opportunities,” said Paul Stone, Hertz’s president and CEO. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath said in hearing June 10 that payouts to equity are virtually unheard of in Chapter 11. The case “surpasses any result that I’ve seen in any Chapter 11 case that I’ve faced in my 20-plus years,” Walrath said, according to a Bloomberg report.

autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 43

Cox Automotive Study Examines Best Practices of Dealerships Thriving in an Accelerated Digital Landscape Cox Automotive on June 15 released a new study, “How to Thrive: Best Practices for an Accelerated Digital Landscape,” examining effective strategies dealerships are adopting  to  find profits and  thrive  in  today’s marketplace.  With the industry’s abrupt shift from an in-person dominant to a digital-first model,  Cox Automotive’s survey of more than 450 franchise dealerships found those embracing new business solutions and digital capabilities became more efficient and profitable, while seeing consumer satisfaction scores soar to record highs.   “Through this study, we’ve learned that whatever the market conditions may be, it’s the experience you provide that will drive satisfaction and retention,” said Lori Wittman, senior vice president of dealer software solutions at Cox Automotive. “Right now, consumers may come to you for a particular piece of inventory you have, but they’ll come back to you for the experience you gave them.”  Given the current inventory and supply chain constraints, deal-

ers can take advantage of this lull to tune up systems and processes so they are fully optimized when supply of vehicles rebounds. “After a year of momentous change across our industry, Cox Automotive set out to better understand the most effective strategies for dealership success. Our ‘How to Thrive’  findings reveal the dealerships that capitalized on new strategies and capabilities flourished amid challenging circumstances,” added Wittman.  According to the “How to Thrive” study findings, most dealerships fall into two dueling mindsets―those that are either adapting and thriving or static and struggling.  The study found commonalities and advantages among the most successful dealers, aka Thrivers―those who  have overcome recent challenges and defied the odds to improve their KPIs. Thrivers  are  doing things differently, including: 

tailing into their dealership’s sales process.

during this time,” said a small franchise Thriver.

Adapting to customer desires in fixed ops: 70% of Thrivers are using text and/or email for quote approval, including pictures and videos, while 65% are also offering service pickup and delivery to enhance convenient solutions for customers.

“Implementation of digital contracting reduces turnaround time for paperwork for customers whether they are at home, in our showrooms or the service lane,” said a medium franchise Thriver.

Offering digital options across the experience: 59% of Thrivers have a strategy to incorporate digital re-

“Being flexible with online sales and remote deliveries has gained more loyalty and more referrals

Maximizing usage of data: 86% of dealers agree having accurate and complete customer data is a priority at their dealership.

“We are marketing a ton more. We are reaching out to the customers that haven’t seen us in 18 months or more,” said a large franchise Thriver.

Investing in their staff: 73% of Thrivers make employee satisfaction as important as CSI scores.

For more information on this study, download our Thrivers eBook at www.coxautoinc.com/thrivers/

Cox’s findings from the “How to Thrive” study underscore how investing in the right transformational technologies today will drive tomorrow’s better business outcomes. Direct comments from the qualitative portion of the study include: 

Source: Cox Automotive

Ford Reports Huge Growth in EV Sales, Best May for SUV Sales Since 2003 Ford on June 3 reported its May sales results, including a new EV sales record, the best May sales since 2003 for Ford SUVs and the best May sales ever for Lincoln SUVs. “Ford sales were up 4.1% on tight inventories, while year-to-date sales increased 11.3%,” said Andrew Frick, vice president, Ford

Sales U.S. and Canada. “Ford and its dealers are working harder than ever to match the right mix of inventory to best meet the needs of our customers at the local level. We have been receiving a massive number of reservations for our all-electric F-150 Lightning over the last two weeks―totaling over 70,000 trucks. Ford brand SUVs had their best May sales in 18 years, while Lincoln SUVs posted a new May record.” Ford electrified vehicle sales grew 184% in May, achieving a

new EV sales record, with sales of 10,364 vehicles. Growth came from the Mustang Mach-E, which totaled 1,945 vehicle sales, while the F-150 PowerBoost totaled 2,852 for the month and Escape electrified sales totaled 3,617―up 125% over last year. Explorer Hybrid sales also had a big increase of 132% over a year ago, with sales of 1,156 SUVs. New products continue to drive transaction pricing. Average transaction prices at Ford were up approximately $3,400 over a year ago. Ford’s newest products―the Bronco Sport and Mustang Mach-E― expanded their sales relative to April, with sales of the two totaling 16,892 vehicles, while turning quickly on dealer lots. Overall F-Series sales through May are up 4.7% on sales of 316,359 trucks. With tight inventories, F-Series continues to turn at record rates. Retail orders for F-Series trucks are up threefold over last year. Ford continues to fill orders as more semiconductor chips become available. Ford brand retail SUVs posted their best May sales since 2003,

44 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

while Ranger sales recorded their best May sales since 2004. Ford brand SUVs were up 51.8% over a year ago on new product introductions of Bronco Sport and Mustang Mach-E, along with the continued momentum of Escape, Explorer and Expedition. With total sales of 14,303 for the month, Ranger sales expanded 41.8% relative to last year. With the all-new Bronco Sport and Escape, Ford greatly enhances its share of the small SUV segment. Ford’s May retail share is up almost 4 full percentage points in the small SUV segment, with sales of both Bronco Sport and Escape expanding their sales within two very different customer groups. Escape sales were up 51.4%, while the majority of Bronco Sport customers are coming from outside the Ford brand. Lincoln SUVs posted another record sales result in May. Lincoln SUV sales were up across the entire lineup in May with a total of 7,871 SUVs sold―up 24.3 percent. Source: Ford


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MSO Symposium Announces Format The Automotive Service Association is pleased to announce the 2021 MSO Symposium will be taking place as a live and in-person event Nov. 1 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV. The MSO Symposium is an annual collision industry event where repair facility executives from large, small and regional MSOs come to gather with like-minded peers. The 2020 event was held virtually over a week and was made available to everyone in the industry. This year’s oneday program will return to its original format. The event will begin at 10 a.m. PDT and will feature a unique line-up of presentations and panelists, concluding with an evening reception. Registration to this closed event will be made available in late June. Stay informed by visiting www.msosymposium. com. Source: MSO Symposium


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autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 45

Lamborghini Outlines Massive $1.8 Billion Plan to Shift to Electrification by Joey Klender, Teslarati

Lamborghini is planning to shift from gas-powered to electric for its world-class supercars. The company recently outlined a $1.8 billion plan, its largest in history, to shift away from combustion engines and toward electrification. CEO and President Stephan Winkelmann presented the company’s plan to decarbonize its future models. Known as “Direzione Cour Tauri,” or “Towards Cor Tauri,” the roadmap shows how the Italian automaker plans to begin electrifying its fleet by using its carbon-neutral site at Sant’Agata Bolognese in Northern Italy. The site has been free of CO2 emissions since 2015 and is the location of the Lamborghini Museum. The focus is simple: continue making the legendary, high-performance cars Lamborghini is known for, but make them environmentally friendly. Lamborghini will continue to identify technologies and solutions that guarantee top performance and driving dynamics that align with its “marque’s tradition.” A $1.8 billion

investment will be spread over four years. It seems, according to Lamborghini’s press release on the matter, the main goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by the beginning of 2025. While Lamborghini will celebrate the combustion engine that has brought it to the peak of automotive performance, it plans to bring a fourth fully electric model in the latter portion of the decade. “Lamborghini’s electrification plan is a newly-plotted course, necessary in the context of a radically changing world, where we want to make our contribution by continuing to reduce environmental impact through concrete projects,” Winkelmann said. “Our response is a plan with a 360-degree approach, encompassing our products and our Sant’Agata Bolognese location, taking us towards a more sustainable future while always remaining faithful to our DNA.  “Lamborghini has always been synonymous with preeminent technological expertise in building engines boasting extraordinary performance: this commitment will continue as an

absolute priority of our innovation trajectory,” he continued. “Today’s promise, supported by the largest investment plan in the brand’s history, reinforces our deep dedication to not only our customers, but also to our fans, our people and their families, as well as to the territory where the company was born in Emilia-Romagna and to Made in Italy excellence.” Lamborghini will complete the process in three phases: a celebration of the combustion engine from 2021 to 2022, a hybrid transition that will see the company launch its first hybrid series production car in 2023 with the rest of the fleet being fully electric by the end of 2024, and finally, the first fully electric Lamborghini, to be released in the second half of the decade. The celebration of the combustion engine may appear to be somewhat ironic in Lamborghini’s plan to launch an electric fleet. However, the company intends to pay tribute to the success provided by combustion engine vehicles. It will announce two new V12 models later this year. The hybrid transition planned by the end of 2024 will fuel the compa-

ny’s initial attempts to develop a hybrid series production car. This timeframe will be crucial for engineers to learn how to develop high-performance vehicles while compensating for additional weight provided by the battery pack. Finally, the first all-electric Lamborghini will be introduced in the second half of the 2020s. “Acceleration in the second part of the decade will be dedicated to full-electric vehicles, with the vision of a fourth model in the future,” the company said. “Once again, technological innovation in this phase will be oriented towards ensuring remarkable performance and positioning the new product at the top of its segment. “This is how Lamborghini sees the culmination of this part of its journey: Cor Tauri, the brightest star in the constellation to which the company’s roadmap points, is represented by a fourth fully-electric model.”



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autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 47

48 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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July 2021 Southwest Edition  

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