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Tesla Starts 2022 Model Y Customer Deliveries from Giga Texas by Maria Merano, Teslarati
Tesla has kicked off the 2022 Model Y’s customer deliveries from Gigafactory Texas. One of the first customers to receive a Model Y from Giga Texas shared a review of his new vehicle with the public. According to the host of YouTube’s Spoken Reviews channel, he recently received a Tesla Model Y Standard Range from Giga Texas. The Tesla owner said his Model Y was one of the first 1,700 units out of the Texas plant.
The Texas-made Model Y has a dual motor badge at the back. The owner also showed the Model Y shelf at the back of the car and the carpet, which reportedly goes up higher in Texas-built vehicles compared to those made in Tesla’s Fremont Factory. The build quality of the Model Y from Gigafactory Texas seemed pristine. The panel gaps appear to be well-aligned, worthy of a review from car expert Sandy Munro. The Model Y’s paint looked pretty smooth too. It would be interestSee Customer Deliveries, Page 12
New-Vehicle Prices Flirt with Record High in May New-vehicle average transaction prices (ATPs) increased to $47,148 in May, according to new data released by Kelley Blue Book, a Cox Automotive company. Prices rose 1% ($472) month over month and remain elevated compared to one year ago, up 13.5% ($5,613) from May 2021. The average price paid for a new vehicle in the U.S. in May was the second-highest on record, behind only December 2021, when ATPs reached $47,202. New-vehicle inventory days’ supply stayed in the mid-30s in May—holding steady since
mid-January—while customer demand remained stable. These conditions enabled most dealers to continue selling inventory at or above the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). The average price paid for
a new vehicle has been “over sticker” throughout 2022. In May, new vehicles from Honda, Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz See New-Vehicle Prices, Page 14
Vol. 40 / Issue 7 / July 2022
Arizona to Spend $76.5M in EV Charging Stations on Highways by Tom Joyce, The Center Square
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) plans to invest in electric vehicle charging stations in the coming years. The state is set to receive $76.5 million in federal dollars through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program over the next five years. This will allow the department to establish publicly accessible EV charging stations along Arizona’s federal interstate highways. “The first step of the plan will focus on deploying EV fast chargers
along Arizona’s currently designated alternative fuel corridors—the interstate system—to reduce range
anxiety and encourage vehicle purchasers to consider EVs as a viable alternative to gasoline or diesel-powSee Charging Stations, Page 6
Insurers Too Late for Subrogation in Auto Parts Price-Fixing Case, Court Rules by Jim Sams, Insurance Journal
Insurers waited too long to intervene in anti-trust litigation that brought settlements requiring dozens of auto parts manufacturers to pay a total of $1.2 billion to resolve price-fixing allegations, a panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeal ruled June 1. In a published decision, the appellate panel affirmed a U.S. District Court ruling that denied a motion to intervene filed by Financial Recovery Services on behalf of eight insurers that sought “equitable subrogation” for the payments it made to insureds for the total loss of their vehicles. FRS did not seek to intervene in the litigation until long after settlement negotiations were concluded and final-approval hearings were held in 41 coordinated cases. The 6th Circuit panel said in its opinion that allowing intervention would require the court to revisit issues that were settled while FRS “watched from the sidelines.” “Allowing FRS to claim subro-
gation rights after settlement would uproot earlier efforts to define classes, expend considerable resources to amend allocation plans and increase costs associated with the claims-administration process, thereby reducing the amount of settlement proceeds available,” the panel said in an opinion written by Justice Karen Nelson Moore. Attorneys representing consumers in 2012 filed anti-trust lawsuits against dozens of auto manufacturers. The Department of Justice launched an investigation into price-fixing allegations, resulting in guilty pleas by 26 manufacturers that paid millions in fines. The civil lawsuits were consolidated into a single case assigned to the U.S. District Court for Eastern Michigan in Detroit. The court approved four separate settlement agreements between the plaintiffs and 73 of the defendants from 2016 through November 2020. FRS, a third-party administrator for auto insurers, did not get See Price-Fixing Case, Page 16
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11 Members of Car Theft Ring Busted
Time ������������������������������������������������������������ 34
in Denver ����������������������������������������������������� 10 Arizona to Spend $76.5M in EV Charging Stations on Highways ����������������������������������� 1 CARSTAR Owner Opens Two Locations in
CIECAST Looks at Unintended Consequences
of Data Sharing in Collision Repair �������������� 20 CIF to Hold Gala July 20 ���������������������������������� 40 Collision Repairers Actually Lament Lack of
Serving Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas, Colorado, Arizona, Utah and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2022 Adamantine Media LLC.
American Icon Automotive Finishes ��������������� 16
LKQ Corporation ��������������������������������������������� 17
Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 47
Mac Haik Ford-Lincoln ����������������������������������� 33
Auto Data Labels �������������������������������������������� 23
Malco Product, SBC ��������������������������������������� 11
Setting Another New Record ���������������������� 44
AutoMart Mitsubishi �������������������������������������� 31
Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������� 45
Global Finishing Solutions, 1Collision Partner �� 27
Axalta Coating Systems ����������������������������������� 5
Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts ��������������������������� 36
Anderson - 3 Phrases I’ve Heard with Potential
Insurers Too Late for Subrogation in Auto
BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������������� 40
MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������� 29
Bob Utter Kia �������������������������������������������������� 30
NOROO Paint & Coatings �������������������������������� 13
Car-O-Liner ����������������������������������������������������� 15
North Freeway Hyundai ��������������������������������� 26
Mercury Adds Digital Claims Processing �������� 14
Certified Automotive Parts Association ���������� 20
Northside Chevrolet ��������������������������������������� 27
NABC Announces Mitchell as Sponsor ����������� 14
Chevyland ������������������������������������������������������ 32
Part of the Club ���������������������������������������������� 31
New-Vehicle Prices Flirt with Record High
Christopher’s Dodge-Ram ������������������������������ 31
Peak Kia ��������������������������������������������������������� 31
Classifieds ������������������������������������������������������ 46
Platinum Auto Trends ��������������������������������������� 6
Emich Chevrolet ��������������������������������������� 19, 31
Santa Fe Kia ��������������������������������������������������� 35
Equalizer Auto Glass Tools ����������������������������� 14
SATA Dan-Am Company ���������������������������������� 7
Fisher Acura ��������������������������������������������������� 31
Schmelz Countryside �������������������������������������� 31
Fisher Honda �������������������������������������������������� 31
Schomp Mazda ���������������������������������������������� 28
Flatirons Subaru ��������������������������������������������� 31
Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center ������������������������� 8-9
Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 39
Shoot Suit ������������������������������������������������������ 10
Fowler Honda ������������������������������������������������� 35
Spanesi Americas �������������������������������������������� 2
Freeman Mazda ��������������������������������������������� 35
Stevinson Toyota West ���������������������������������� 31
GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������� 37
Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������� 41
Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers ������24-25
Symach ���������������������������������������������������������� 12
Horne Kia ������������������������������������������������������� 22
Toyota of Laredo �������������������������������������������� 18
Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������ 44
Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������� 34
Industrial Finishes and Systems ��������������������� 48
Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������ 40
Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������� 43
Wrenchers ����������������������������������������������������� 21
EOS Linx, Lone Star Business Association
Insurance Adjusters in Shops ���������������������� 38 Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index:
Cooperative to Expand EV Charging Network
Attention Turns from COVID-19 to Inflation,
Across Texas ������������������������������������������������ 6
High Costs, Tight Inventory ��������������������������� 4
Owners of EVs, Hybrids in Louisiana to Pay Annual Road Usage Fee ������������������������������ 10 Tesla Snubbed by New Home State’s EV Rebate Program ������������������������������������� 12 Tesla Starts 2022 Model Y Customer Deliveries from Giga Texas ���������������������������� 1 Texas Resident Bought a $1M Hybrid Porsche, Taxpayers Subsidized it with a Rebate �������� 11
Power in the Collision Repair Industry ��������� 28 Strandberg - How to Sell Your Automotive Distribution Business—An Insider’s Perspective ������������������������������������������������� 26 Yoswick - CIC Committees Tackle Ongoing Shortage of Collision Repair Technicians ����� 30 Yoswick - What Role Should a Current Backlog of Work Play in Auto Body Shops’ DRP Decisions? ��������������������������������������������������� 36
Ford EVs Post New Sales Record in May �������� 42 Ford F-150 Lightning Customer Deliveries Beginning ���������������������������������������������������� 32 Ford Launches More Tech Training Programs, Expands Curriculum to Add BEV Courses ���� 38 Ford Recalls 2.9M Vehicles For Inability To Shift Into Gear, Risking Crash ���������������������� 16 Gas Prices Jump in Leaps and Bounds,
Parts Price-Fixing Case, Court Rules ������������� 1 May Auto Sales Expected to Fall to Slowest Pace in 2022 ����������������������������������������������� 40
in May ����������������������������������������������������������� 1 Pennies From $5: Gas Prices Continue Daily Record High Trend ��������������������������������������� 41 Purty to Lead Global Workplace Safety ����������� 14
NATIONAL 2023 Cadillac LYRIQ Sells Out in 4 Hours �������� 19 ASE Agenda, Speakers Announced ����������������� 46
Total U.S. Automotive Aftermarket Sales Forecasted to Increase 8.5% in 2022 ���������� 45 Toyota Auto Body California Donates Nearly
Autel U.S. Enters EV Charging Industry ������������� 4
1,000 Quarter Panels to Collision Students
Auto Body Shop Veteran Says DRPs Can
Through CREF ��������������������������������������������� 46
Be Profitable If Done Right �������������������������� 22 Automakers Report May Sales ������������������������ 45 Automotive Specialty-Equipment Sales Increase to $50.9 Billion ������������������������������ 35 Average New-Vehicle Price Sets New Record �� 16 Briones is Crash Champions’ Marketing Officer ��������������������������������������������������������� 11 Businesses Fear Shutdowns if Inflation Doesn’t Ease ����������������������������������������������� 40 Capture the Keys Uses Geofencing to Find
Usage-Based Auto Insurance Takes Center Stage as Satisfaction Flatlines �������������������� 41 Used Car Prices Beginning Road Back to Normal �������������������������������������������������������� 18 UTI Opening Campuses to High School Juniors Interested in Automotive Technician Training �������������������������������������� 42 WIN Names 2022-23 Officers, New Board Members ���������������������������������������������������� 44
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Stacey Phillips Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Norman Morano, (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bryan Malinski Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Abby Andrews Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Permissions Editor: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray
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Autobody News P.O. Box 1516 Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com email@example.com
Larry H. Miller Ford Mesa ������������������������������ 26
autobodynews.com / JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index: Attention Turns from COVID-19 to Inflation, High Costs, Tight Inventory U.S. automobile dealer sentiment in the second quarter of 2022 softened as U.S. auto dealers’ attention turned to inflation, high costs and tight inventory, marking the fourth straight quarter-over-quarter decline in market sentiment. The current market index peaked at 67 in Q2 2021 and has been trending downward since. Still, at 54, the current market index remains above the positive threshold of 50 in the Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index (CADSI). The key drivers of sentiment saw disparate shifts in Q2. The three-month, forward-looking market outlook index sharply dropped from the previous quarter and, at 53, is well below the 63 recorded a year ago in Q2 2021. The economy index increased slightly in Q2 to 50, up from 49 in the prior quarter. With the index now at 50, dealers are right at the positive threshold in judging the economy as strong. “U.S. auto dealers are certainly feeling the pressure of inflation and tight inventory,” said Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke. “Franchised dealers continue to be very profitable, but the steep drop in the market outlook index indicates dealers are less enthused about the future. While all dealers are impacted by higher costs of doing business, the profit story is also different for independent dealers, as used vehicles have started depreciating again.” The Q2 2022 CADSI research was in market from April 25 to May 9, when COVID cases had retreated from omicron-driven records and activity was normalizing compared to the situation in January. Inventory Continues to Impact Sales One worrisome sign in the latest CADSI report is the small improvement in the new-vehicle inventory mix index for franchised dealers. The index increased only two points from Q1 and remains historically low at 25, an eight-point year-overyear decrease. “Today’s market continues to be framed by constrained new-vehicle inventory,” added Smoke. “Low
new-vehicle inventory and the associated low level of incentives and lack of discounting have priced many would-be buyers out of the market and into the used-vehicle market. Others may be delaying purchases, waiting for supply to improve, but supply has yet to see much change.” On the used-vehicle side, the inventory index dropped in Q2 2022 to 35, one point lower than the previous quarter but up fourteen points year over year. The used-vehicle inventory mix index improved among franchised dealers versus independent dealers, showing a 5-point increase year over year in Q2 to 55. All index scores associated with inventory, however, remain below the 50 threshold, indicating dealers are still facing significant inventory challenges for both new and used vehicles. Consistent with last quarter, limited inventory ranks as the No. 1 factor holding back dealer business in Q2. While new-vehicle inventory remains tight, the view of new-vehicle sales improved, increasing from 50 to 52, meaning dealers are now more optimistic about new-vehicle sales. One year ago, the index score was 65, meaning significantly more dealers saw the market as good. The new-vehicle incentives index dropped by two points quarter over quarter to 21, the lowest level since the question was added to the CADSI in Q3 2019. On the other hand, the used-vehicle sales index fell five index points to 47. For franchised dealers, the used-vehicle sales index increased by one point for Q2, breaking a downward streak but is still below year-ago levels. For independent dealers, the index fell six points from the previous quarter to 42 and is down 14 points from a year ago. Overall, most dealers view used-vehicle sales as weak. Dealers Worried About the Economy and Costs In Q2 2022, the cost index—specifically the cost of running a dealership—was at the highest level since the survey began in 2017. After reaching a record low in Q2 2020 of 51 at the height of the pandemic, the cost
4 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
index has been steadily increasing. Overall inflation in the U.S. economy is clearly contributing to this view. The economy is the second leading factor impacting dealer business at 46%, up from 37% in Q1, with market conditions, expenses and political climate following closely behind. Dealers are worried about inflation and the possibility of a recession along with lagging consumer confidence.
minor shifts in Q2, but three factors—economy, expenses and political climate—saw significant quarter-over-quarter increases. Limited inventory remains in the top spot. The economy rose to No. 2 ahead of market conditions. Expenses ranked fourth overall; political climate rounded out the top five factors. Notably, COVID-19 is no longer a top factor holding back business, falling to No. 7.
Profits Remain Strong for Franchised Dealers The overall profit index saw a small decline to 53, down from 54, but remains higher than at any point before the COVID-19 pandemic. The five highest profit index scores since 2017 have all been recorded in the past five quarters. The profit index also indicates franchised dealers believe profits are particularly strong, at 82, whereas more independent dealers now see profits as weak, with an index score of 44. Importantly, the cost index increased by 11 points in Q2 versus a year ago and reached a new record high of 76, suggesting the overall cost of running a dealership continues to grow. On the plus side, the price pressure index increased only slightly in Q2 to 41, up from 37 in Q1, but remains historically low, indicating fewer dealers feel pressure to lower their prices.
Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index Methodology The Q2 2022 CADSI is based on 1,099 U.S. auto dealer respondents, comprising 568 franchised dealers and 531 independents. The survey was conducted from April 25 to May 9. Dealer responses were weighted by dealership type and sales volume to represent the national dealer population. For each aspect of the market surveyed, respondents are given an option related to strong/increasing, average/stable, or weak/decreasing, along with a “don’t know” opt-out. Indices are calculated by creating a mean score in which: Strong/increasing answers are assigned a value of 100. Average/stable answers are assigned a value of 50. Weak/declining selections are assigned a value of 0. Respondents who select “don’t know” at a particular question are removed from the related index calculation. The total metrics reported have a +/- 3.0% margin of error.
Business Impact of COVID-19 Drops from Top 5 The top five factors holding back the business across all dealers saw
Source: Cox Automotive
Autel U.S. Enters EV Charging Industry Autel U.S. announced its entry into the EV charging solutions provider industry with the release of its MaxiCharger Home and Commercial Level 2 AC chargers. These new chargers, available in 40 amp and 50 amp flexible charging configurations, are compatible with all plug-in electric vehicles and feature innovative software solutions that are the hallmark of all Autel products. MaxiCharger Home 40 amp
chargers are available as either an in-body holster or a separate holster, with either a NEMA 6-50 or a NEMA 14-50 plug. The MaxiCharger Home 50 amp is an in-body holster style and is ready for hard-wire installation. The MaxiCharger Commercial Level 2 AC charger offers 50 amp flexible charging. Visit www. autelenergy.us or contact an authorized Autel dealer for more information. Source: Autel
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Continued from Cover
Charging Stations ered vehicles,” ADOT said in a press release. The state may put EV charging stations on non-federal highways in the coming years, if the funding becomes available, according to ADOT. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Arizona has 924 EV charging stations. As of June 2021, DOE said Arizona had 28,770 registered EVs. ADOT said it hired AECOM Consultants to get input from the public and industry leaders about this topic, like the electric vehicle industry and utility companies. ADOT said it will seek comments and suggestions on its plan starting in August. This will include, among other things, surveys as well as online and in-person public meetings. More information on ADOT’s plan is available at azdot.gov/EVplan.
CARSTAR Owner Opens Two Locations in Houston CARSTAR, North America’s largest leading multi-store network of independently owned and operated collision repair facilities, announced the opening of two CARSTAR locations. Owner Mohammad Shuaeb joined CARSTAR with the opening of CARSTAR Ambassador Tidwell, located at 159 Tidwell Road, Houston, TX 77022, and CARSTAR Ambassador Montgomery, located at 11837 W Montgomery Road, Houston, TX 77086. Both facilities are proudly family-owned and operated. General Manager Moe Adas is Shuaeb’s brother-in-law. Adas has worked in the industry since he can remember, having worked as a mechanic and been around body shops his whole life. “Both of our locations feature the newest and best equipment on the market so we can facilitate a large volume of repairs,” said Shuaeb, owner. “Our teams are very talented, well-trained and certified to conduct business at the level of quality promised by CARSTAR. We are ready to serve our customers
in the Houston area with the added support of CARSTAR.” The CARSTAR Ambassador Tidwell facility is more than 30,000 square feet on a lot that is about 2 acres. Currently, there are 25 trained employees. Additionally, the facility is I-CAR Gold Class certified and working to obtain more OEM certifications to enhance its services. CARSTAR Ambassador Montgomery is a 25,000-square foot facility located on about 3 acres of land. The team is looking to bring in more talented employees within the area to continue growing their operations. Both large facilities are equipped with the necessary tools and expert resources to provide quality repairs to serve all customer needs. “CARSTAR provides independent owners with dedicated resources to enhance their operations, training tools, enhanced buying power for their procurement needs and much more—all geared at helping owners take their business to the next level,” said Dean Fisher, collision group president, Driven Brands. “Mohammad and his teams are poised to de-
liver the highest level of repair quality and services, with the resources of CARSTAR, partnered with the large and equipped facilities like the CARSTAR Ambassador Tidwell and CARSTAR Ambassador Montgomery. We can’t wait to see the team in Houston thrive!” Join us in welcoming CARSTAR Ambassador Tidwell and CARSTAR Ambassador Montgomery to the growing CARSTAR family. CARSTAR Ambassador Tidwell 159 Tidwell Road Houston, Texas 77022 (713) 691-4836 Monday to Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m.–3 p.m. CARSTAR Ambassador Montgomery 11837 W. Montgomery Road Houston, Texas 77086 (281) 448-2771 Monday to Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information on CARSTAR, visit CARSTAR.com. Source: CARSTAR
EOS Linx, Lone Star Business Association Cooperative to Expand EV Charging Network Across Texas EOS Linx, a provider of solar-supported electric vehicle (EV) chargers with data-driven digital advertising displays, has partnered with the Lone Star Business Association Cooperative (LSBAC) to expand its EV charging network at petro-convenience stores across Texas. EOS Linx is currently in discussion with members of LSBAC, a network of petro-convenience stores primarily centered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and across North Central Texas, to determine the most suitable locations for installing its EOS Charge Stations. To date, EOS Charge Stations already are installed in the cities of Mount Vernon and Canton, with more locations to follow in the coming months. Through the partnership, EOS will install up to 100 EV chargers at LSBAC member stores. The charging stations feature a 75inch digital display that is designed to maximize brand exposure and engagement by reaching consumers when and where they are making purchasing decisions. “Our universal EOS Charge
Stations include multiple EV charging sockets and robust data analytics tools that provide stores what they need to succeed,” said EOS Linx CEO Blake Snider. “We also are helping reduce range anxiety and expand charging options for residents and visitors alike across Texas.” Under the Biden Administration’s infrastructure law, Texas is eligible for $400 million over the next five years to install EV charging stations. In a state as large as Texas, EV drivers can sometimes run out of charging options in smaller, more rural areas. This partnership will bring more EV chargers to those areas, reducing the charge anxiety felt by many EV drivers. “EOS Charge Stations provide many benefits in one unique solution. We’re talking about marketing and media combined with EV charging stations that will drive incremental traffic and revenue for stores, and that’s a winning combination for our members,” said Ziad Baddour, LSBAC vice president. Source: EOS Linx
6 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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800-888-4251 autobodynews.com / JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 9
Owners of EVs, Hybrids in Louisiana to Pay Annual Road Usage Fee by Alex Reid, CarScoops
Electric and hybrid vehicle owners in Louisiana will soon be paying a new fee in order to make it fairer for ICE owners, USA Today reported. According to Republican Baton Rouge Rep. Barbara Freiberg, EV and hybrid owners pay no gasoline taxes or a reduced amount in the case of hybrids and therefore have been getting a “free ride” on publicly owned roads and bridges. “I think it’s only fair everyone who uses our roads pays something,” Freiberg said. Freiberg put forth House Bill 1031 which won final passage in the Legislature on June 5 and will ensure electric vehicle and hybrid owners pay their fair share of road taxes. All-electric vehicle owners will be charged an annual fee of $110, while the fee will be $60 for hybrid owners. Seventy percent of the revenue collected from the fees will go toward the upkeep of state roads and bridges, while 30% would go to local roads and bridges. Twenty cents per gallon are
collected as part of the state gasoline tax, which goes toward the maintenance of existing roads and bridges. The amount of gas taxes that the average driver of gasoline-powered engines pays varies by the make, model, and number of miles driven, but in Louisiana, that number is $148 per year on average. The bill required a two-thirds vote for passage in both the House and Senate since it institutes a new fee. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is expected to sign the bill into law, and his Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson testified in favor of the legislation. “This intent is to establish the principle of paying a fair share,” Wilson said. Taxes or fees on EVs and hybrids have already been imposed in 30 states so far, and Freiberg said Louisiana’s fees are “in line or lower than surrounding states.” Owners will begin paying the fees through their income tax form starting in 2023, and the state will rely on voluntary compliance to report the tax.
11 Members of Car Theft Ring Busted in Denver by Steven Symes, Motorious
Eleven people have been busted for allegedly being part of an auto theft ring in Denver, CO, accused by the Denver District Attorney’s Office of stealing at least 130 cars valued at more than $3 million. According to the DA’s office, these 11 individuals allegedly stole all those cars to support their drug habits. That’s not shocking in the least since we know drug addictions fuel other illegal activity, but this is helping to shed some light on what’s behind the vehicle theft crime wave. This crime spree started in February 2021 and lasted all the way into the middle of May 2022. Reportedly, the accused used electronic key programmers to reprogram cars to accept aftermarket key fobs. We’ve seen this trick used over and over across the nation and in other countries. According to legal filings, these individuals would also break into car dealerships and repair shops in the middle of the night, breaking open whatever was used to store the keys, then stealing
whatever cars they wanted. It sounds like this car theft ring was well-organized and smart. They allegedly did counter surveillance on the police, driving unpredictably and recklessly to flush out undercover cops. In some instances, they rammed police vehicles and drove over obstacles to flee law enforcement. They’re also accused of running at high speeds, sometimes in oncoming traffic lanes. Prosecutors allege these individuals used social media to coordinate their crimes and to sell the stolen cars, and even to evade law enforcement. Money obtained by selling the stolen vehicles allowed the suspects to buy fentanyl, methamphetamine and heroin, as alleged by the DA’s office. So far, a Denver grand jury indicted the 11 suspects on 74 counts. We’ll see what happens with this case, but it would be nice to see car thieves finally face serious consequences for their actions. As Motorious reported previously, police in the Denver metro are frustrated as they claim thieves they catch are almost immediately released, then steal again.
10 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Texas Resident Bought a $1M Hybrid Porsche, Taxpayers Subsidized it with a Rebate by Brett Rowland, The Center Square
A Texas taxpayer-funded electric vehicle rebate program gave a resident $2,500 for buying a rare hybrid Porsche that costs about $1 million. The base price for the Porsche 918 Spyder, a limited production hypercar, was $845,000, but Motor Trend reported in 2020 that prices range between $1.1 million and $1.7 million. The street-legal plug-in hybrid, which goes from zero to 60 mph in 2.2 seconds, has a top speed of more than 200 mph. In all-electric mode, the car has a range of 12 miles, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The resident got the rebate through the state’s Light-Duty Purchase or Lease Incentive Program. The program doesn’t have a cap on the price of vehicles that qualify for rebates and the most-popular selling electric vehicle models in the U.S., which are made by Tesla, don’t qualify for the rebate program because Tesla doesn’t have dealerships. The rebate program handed out more than $14.3 million in taxpayer-funded rebates to people who
bought or leased 5,931 vehicles from 2014 through August 2021, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. There are more than 22 million registered vehicles in Texas, according to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
Another Texas resident was reimbursed $2,500 for buying a Karma Revero GT. The 2021 version of that sports car has a sticker price of between $144,800 and $152,800, according to Edmunds. Most rebates awarded through the incentive program went to buyers of more moderately priced vehicles, according to a report from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which runs the program. The Nissan Leaf, one of the least expensive electric vehicles offered for sale in the U.S., ac-
counted for 1,416 rebates totaling $3,064,645. The next most popular was the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which accounted for 758 rebates totaling $1,895,000. That was followed by the Chevrolet Volt, which accounted for 663 totaling $1,640,000, according to records from 2014 through August 2021. Those three models alone accounted for rebates of $6,599,645 or 46% of the total rebates granted from 2014 through August 2021. Luxury car buyers got the same rebates as those who bought less expensive cars. Audi buyers got rebates worth $628,298. BMW buyers got rebates of $1,490,400. Porsche buyers got rebates of $201,665. Buyers of vehicles from luxury automakers Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volvo got combined rebates of $2,784,528. That’s 19% of the total amount of the grants awarded through the program from 2014 to 2021. Critics of the rebate program, such as the Texas Public Policy Foundation, are calling for it to be ended.
Briones is Crash Champions’ Marketing Officer Crash Champions, LLC, announced June 7 it has named Daniel Briones as chief marketing officer. Briones, previously vice president of marketing and brand for the company, will oversee go-to-market and brand strategies as a key member of Crash Champions’ executive leadership team. Briones has 25 years in the automotive space, 15 of which have been as an experienced, tenured marketing leader. Briones joined the Crash Champions team as a marketing consultant in July 2021, and then transitioned into the role of vice president of marketing and brand later that year. In that time, Briones led Crash’s marketing and brand strategy, playing a critical role in building-out the company’s national platform by driving measurable business growth and successfully positioning the brand for continued expansion. Source: Crash Champions
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Tesla Snubbed by New Home State’s EV Rebate Program time in the state thanks to Gigafactory Texas, was deemed ineligible for the state’s EV credit. The reason for this seems to be something Tesla has been dealing with since its earliest days— auto dealerships. Laura Lopez, media and community relations manager for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which runs the rebate program, explained Tesla’s absence in a statement. “The program currently requires that eligible vehicles must be purchased or leased from a licensed new vehicle dealer or leasing company in Texas. Under Texas law, vehicles purchased directly from the manufacturer or an outof-state dealer not licensed to sell or lease new vehicles in Texas are not eligible for a rebate,” she said, according to The Center Square. Texas law currently prevents Tesla and other automakers from selling vehicles directly to consumers. Despite notable support from car buyers, dealers in states like Texas insist the use of franchised dealers is still the optimal
by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati
Tesla may consider Texas its new home after establishing a Gigafactory in the state, but the EV maker is still getting the cold shoulder from the local auto market. Just recently, Texas released a list of electric and electrified vehicles eligible for its light-duty motor vehicle purchase or lease program. No Teslas were included in the list. The program offers rebates of up to $2,500 for the purchase or lease of specific electric and electrified vehicles. The list of eligible cars is extensive, comprising 142 different models from practically every major automaker. These include 22 BMW models, 17 models from Porsche, 15 from Audi, six from Mercedes-Benz and 14 from Ford. Even Bentley has two models on the list. What was absent in the eligible vehicles list was every Tesla offered today. Tesla, the Austin-based EV maker poised to provide at least 20,000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs over
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Customer Deliveries ing to compare the paint work between Model Ys from Giga Texas and Giga Berlin, which CEO Elon Musk has touted as having the most advanced paint shop. The new Model Y owner observed his vehicle showed no indications it was a standard vehicle. The Model Y’s window sticker also showed no signs it was a standard vehicle. It simply stated the Model Y was an all-wheel drive variant. The sticker showed the Model Y’s price was $39,990 with an additional charge of $1,000 for the tow hitch. It also showed a $20,000 charge for all-wheel drive. The charge time for the Texas-made Model Y is nine hours at
240V, according to the vehicle’s sticker. It has an EPA range of 279 miles. The Model Y’s battery structure is not indicated, though Tesla is expected to start deliveries of Model Y vehicles with 4680 cells soon to customers in Texas. Tesla announced Giga Texas would also produce Model Ys with 2170 cells. For those waiting on their Giga Texas Model Y deliveries, VIN numbers containing the letters “NA” are from Tesla’s new headquarters. According to Spoken Reviews, Tesla did not give him instructions about charging his Model Y to 100%. He believes Tesla is being careful about divulging too much information about Giga Texas cars because customers might cancel orders from Fremont to receive orders from its new HQ.
way to purchase vehicles. The Texas Automobile Dealers Association has also maintained the state’s law preventing direct sales is a way to protect competition. “Texas franchised dealer laws protect competition and provide the most efficient and effective delivery model for new and used car sales in Texas. The current system works well for Texas and Texans,” said Jennifer Stevens, a spokesperson for the Texas Automobile Dealers Association. If Texas does not change its laws, Tesla would have to ship its made-in-Texas vehicles out of state first before delivering them to Texas buyers. This setup is ridiculous, and is being challenged even by numerous entities, including politicians in the state. State Rep. Cody Harris, a Republican representing District 8, introduced a bill in 2021 that aimed to acquire exceptions to Texas’ dealer franchise law, but his efforts were unsuccessful. Harris noted he believes Tesla would thrive regardless of what happens.
12 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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“As markets and technologies change, we want to be the go-to state for businesses who are being crushed by burdensome regulation in other parts of the country, which is why Tesla chose to move here from California,” he said. Carla Bailo, president and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research in Michigan, is on the same page. “It certainly hasn’t slowed down Tesla’s sales—they are still selling in all these places they don’t have dealerships—and a lot more companies are starting to go that way because the consumer really likes it. (Dealership laws) are protecting something that might be going by the wayside in any case. The dealer, unfortunately, hasn’t always been a pleasant experience for a lot of people,” she said.
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NABC Announces Mitchell as Sponsor The National Auto Body Council Body® (NABC) is proud to announce Mitchell, an Enlyte company, has joined the collision repair industry’s premier philanthropic organization as a level one sponsor. At this sponsorship level, Mitchell will work alongside an elite consortium of collision repair facilities, rental car companies, parts and materials providers, insurance companies, automotive recyclers, towing companies, industry consultants and more to serve communities across the country with programs that help change and save lives every day. Founded in 1946, Mitchell provides collision repairers with a suite of technology solutions designed to reduce cycle time, streamline operations, improve customer satisfaction and support proper, safe vehicle repairs. These cloud-based solutions leverage Mitchell’s comprehensive data and more than 75 years of industry expertise. Source: NABC
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New-Vehicle Prices were transacting on average between 6.1% and 9.3% over MSRP. On the other side of the spectrum, Buick and Lincoln were selling at nearly 1% below MSRP. “Prices for both new and used vehicles are showing signs of stabilizing, and price growth will likely decline over the course of the summer as the anniversary of the ‘big squeeze’ in inventory passes,” said Rebecca Rydzewski, research manager of economic and industry insights for Cox Automotive. “However, no one should expect price drops, as tight supplies in the new market will hold prices at an elevated level into 2023.” The average price paid for a new non-luxury vehicle in May was $43,338, up $709 from April. Car shoppers in the non-luxury segment paid on average $1,030 above sticker price. Consumers have paid more than MSRP in each month of 2022, whereas one year ago, non-luxury vehicles were selling for more than
Purty to Lead Global Workplace Safety
Mercury Adds Digital Claims Processing
General Motors on May 27 announced Marcos Purty will be appointed vice president of global workplace safety, effective June 1. Purty will replace Jim Glynn, who will retire after more than 40 years of dedicated service, effective Sept. 1. Purty returns to GM from Amazon, where for the past 18 months he was vice president of North America fulfilment, Amazon Robotics Sortable Operations. Purty spent the first 25 years of his professional career with GM, beginning in 1994 at GM’s former Pontiac Assembly. Purty will report to GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra and report indirectly to Gerald Johnson, executive vice president of global manufacturing and sustainability. Purty built a strong leadership foundation in both operations and engineering. His extensive global experience began in 2002 with an international assignment at Oshawa Assembly in Canada. Source: GM
Mercury Insurance announced a new web-based application to help policyholders file a claim digitally immediately following an accident with ease and security. Through a series of recognizable prompts, the software allows drivers to submit their claim with the help of maps and emoji-driven questions. Policyholders will be able to step through every part of the accident with a series of easily understood questions without being asked for repetitive information. Drivers can indicate precisely where their vehicle was damaged by dropping a pin on a map highlighting their location and even the weather at the time of the incident, along with photos submitted from their smartphones. While filing a claim, policyholders will be given access to connect either through the app, web portal, an integrated URL link or by telephone that will match their information. Source: Mercury Insurance
14 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
$400 under MSRP. In May, the average luxury buyer paid $65,379 for a new vehicle, down $511 month over month but still $1,071 above sticker price. For comparison, luxury vehicles were selling for nearly $1,300 under MSRP one year ago. Luxury vehicle share remains historically high, but decreased to 17.3% of total sales in May, down slightly from 17.4% in April. For comparison, luxury share in May 2021 was 15.9% and, pre-pandemic, luxury share in May 2019 was 13.1% of the total market. The average price paid for a new electric vehicle (EV) dropped again in May compared to April, as more lower-priced models enter the market and offset the many luxury EVs already available. The Chevrolet Bolt, with average transaction prices below $40,000, is available on dealer lots after an extensive recall, and the new Kia EV6 is selling well. Even Tesla had slightly lower ATPs month over month in May. Still, the average price for a new electric vehicle—over $64,000 according to Kelley Blue Book es-
timates—is well above the industry average and more aligned with luxury prices than mainstream prices. New-vehicle average transaction price changes month over month by segment saw all segments increasing except cars, mirroring April. With an ATP of $56,216, trucks saw the largest increase of $888. With an ATP of $48,671, vans saw an increase of $726 in May, while SUVs increased by $526 to an ATP of $46,073. Cars had an average transaction price of $41,902 in May, a $179 decrease month over month. Meanwhile, vans still had the lowest incentives (expressed as a percent of ATP) at 1.4%, and trucks had the highest at 2.9%. Incentives dropped to a record low level in May, averaging only 2.5% of the average transaction price. Source: Kelley Blue Book
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Average New-Vehicle Price Sets New Record
Ford Recalls 2.9M Vehicles For Inability To Shift Into Gear, Risking Crash
New-vehicle prices continue to set records, with the average transaction price expected to reach a May record of $44,832— a 15.7% increase from a year ago and the third-highest level on record despite rising interest rates, according to J.D. Power. Average interest rates for new vehicle loans have risen. The average interest rate for loans in May is expected to increase 62 basis points from a year ago to 4.92%. However, elevated used-vehicle values continue to help affordability for new-vehicle buyers who have a vehicle to trade in. The average trade-in equity for May is trending towards a record of $9,922, a 59.4% increase from a year ago. Due to the lack of inventory, discounts from manufacturers continue to be sparse. For May, the average incentive spend per vehicle is $965, a decrease of 64.6% from a year ago.
Ford Motor Co. is recalling 2.9 million vehicles that may shift into different gears than intended or roll away while parked, the third major recall for the automaker this month. The latest recall affects certain 2013-2019 Escape, 2013-2018 C-Max, 2013-2016 Fusion, 20132021 Transit Connect and 2015-2018 Edge vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “A damaged or missing bushing may prevent the vehicle from shifting into the intended gear, and cause the vehicle to move in an unexpected direction. Additionally, the vehicle may roll after the driver selects the ‘Park’ position,” the government website says. Each vehicle model affected is listed separately on the regulatory site, totaling 2,925,968 vehicles. The agency acknowledged the automaker’s June 10 report to safety regulators in a letter dated Tuesday. Ford said in its filing that the company is aware of six reports alleging property damage and four reports alleging injury, related to this concern.
Source: J.D. Power
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Price-Fixing Case involved until May 2018. It sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Marianne O. Battani giving notice that its eight insurer clients had a subrogation interest in the settlement payments because they made total-loss payments to policyholders. Court documents do not reveal the identities of FRS’ clients, except for a claim assignment agreement with Selective Insurance Co. that was included in the court’s electronic file. FRS said denying the insurers equitable subrogation would “undeniably result in a double payment to total loss insureds.” But by the time FRS gave notice of its claims, three settlement agreements had already been approved and a fourth agreement was pending a final hearing. The court had set a Dec. 31, 2019, deadline to file claims, but delayed the deadline twice at the request of the plaintiffs’ attorneys. FRS filed a formal motion to intervene on June 18, 2020, the
by Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press
date of the final deadline. FRS did not provide supporting information about the claims it was attempting to subrogate. It said in pleadings that it “would not be practical to submit claims for many thousands of total loss vehicles before resolving the threshold legal question whether such claims would be permitted.” U.S. District Judge Sean F. Cox denied the motion to intervene. He said in his order that FRS had ample opportunity to intervene earlier but failed to act until after three settlement agreements had been approved. Allowing more claims to be litigated at that late stage would delay distribution of the settlement proceeds, Cox said. The 6th Circuit panel said Cox did not abuse his discretion. “If it were to allow intervention, the district court would have to decide whether FRS has a right to any of the settlement proceeds,” the opinion says. “This would require, for all practical purposes, revisiting the class definition and the plan of allocation, issues that have long been resolved.”
16 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
“The transmission may not be in the park position, even though the shifter position indicates that the vehicle was shifted to park. The driver does not receive a warning message or audible chime,” Ford wrote in its recall letter to federal regulators. “Root cause is unknown,” the automaker said in the letter. “Based on Ford’s root cause investigation, heat and humidity have the potential to contribute to the hydrological breakdown of the bushing material.” A Ford spokesman declined to provide additional comment Wednesday. In the filing, Ford said its dealers will replace the under-hood shift bushing and add a protective cap over the shift cable bushing, free of charge. Ford said it plans to mail letters June 27 to approximately: • 1,726,763 Escape owners • 143,220 C-Max owners • 439,483, Fusion owners • 107,102 Transit Connect owners • 509,400 Edge owners Mustang Mach-E, Expedition woes Also this week, Ford confirmed recalling 48,924 model year 2021-22 electric Mustang Mach-E vehicles
because they could lose power while driving. The 2021 Ford Bronco has also been recalled for “catastrophic” engine failure. Ford recalled 350,000 SUVs, including about 39,000 for engine fire risk in May. Customers who own a 2021 Ford Expedition and 2021 Lincoln Navigator revealed last week they’re suing for the fire risk that potentially affects 39,013 vehicles and currently has no identifiable fix. In February 2020, prior to becoming CEO eight months later, Jim Farley said in a public speech that the company had to get control of warranty costs that were taking a huge bite out of profits. “We know what we need to do,” he said. “We need to lower our warranty spending.” John Lawler, Ford chief financial officer, said late Wednesday morning during the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference 2022 livestream that Ford must reduce warranty costs as part of its overall financial strategy. He was not asked specifically about the recent recalls, nor did he offer comment on them specifically.
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Used Car Prices Beginning Road Back to Normal While used car prices showed modest declines in early 2022, overall prices remain near all-time highs, at an average of $31,450, according to a new monthly report from CoPilot, a car shopping app. CoPilot market analysis further revealed used vehicle prices are likely to accelerate their decline in the coming months, with the greatest pressure on the more recent year models consumers have been turning to as a substitute for new cars in the wake of record inventory shortages. In order to offer a real-time metric to track price inflation in used cars, CoPilot has created the first-ofits-kind Used Car Price Premium Index, tracking the “return to normal,” showing the differential between what any individual used car would have been worth today if not for the extraordinary dynamics of the past two years and the resulting unprecedented inflation in car prices, which have historically only depreciated. CoPilot has also launched Price Pulse, a free tool for car shoppers.
Price Pulse allows consumers to check current prices and the price premium on any car; this helps them confidently choose the right car, and know when is the right time to buy. As of May, CoPilot’s index showed average used car prices
are $9,375, or 42.5%, above their projected normal levels. The index also revealed which brands and types of vehicles have the highest price premiums and which are furthest along the road back to normal prices.
While the May Used Car Price Premium level is higher than at any time in the past, CoPilot’s data also revealed significant downward price pressure building in the market for recent model year used vehicles. While the price premium for 1- to 3-year-old vehicles reached an all-time high of $11,765, the average time these vehicles have spent on dealer lots has jumped by 47% over the past year. This glut of aging inventory is building pressure on dealers to start dropping prices more aggressively. When combined with increasing payment levels due to higher interest rates, price declines among more recent used car models are likely to accelerate significantly in the coming months. “CoPilot created the Used Car Price Premium Index as the first consumer-centric measure of inflation in the used car market. No one wants to be one of the last people to dramatically overpay for anything, whether it’s a car, a house or a stock,” said Pat Ryan, CEO and
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founder of CoPilot. “While the current market remains one of the most challenging in history for consumers, our index shows that, in particular, 1- to 3-year-old and 4- to 7-year-old vehicles are starting the long road back to normal. “Consumers are tired of paying new car prices for used cars, Ryan continued. “At the beginning of 2022, consumers were paying 98% of the original sticker price for 1- to 3-year-old cars; historically these vehicles sold for 71% of the original sticker price. Our Used Car Price Premium Index is the first metric to show where prices are versus normal times, not just last month or last year. And our free Price Pulse tool for consumers uses that data to help car shoppers decide what and when to buy.” One part of the index is likely to lag behind the rest of the market in the return to normal: older used car models. Inflated prices of more recent used car models continue to push more consumers into the market for older vehicles, resulting in record high prices for 8- to 13-year-old cars.
Given the heightened demand for vehicles at these price points, the price premium for older used cars have reached their all-time high, at $6,027, and prices for these vehicles are not expected to return to normal levels as quickly as newer models. “CoPilot’s Used Car Price Premium Index is the only index in the market that provides consumers with a retail-based metric of where they would expect prices to be in a normal economy, rather than a month-over-month comparison,” Ryan added. “While there are some promising signs that we may soon see a softening in the used car market, consumers are still paying record-high price premiums for many of the most popular brands and segments. As CoPilot reports this data on a monthly basis, we aim to serve as a resource for consumers navigating an unprecedented set of conditions in the car market.” Source: CoPilot www.autobodynews.com
2023 Cadillac LYRIQ Sells Out in 4 Hours by Maria Merano, Teslarati
General Motors’ all-electric 2023 Cadillac LYRIQ has sold out, but customers can still pre-order one. “2023 LYRIQ orders are full. Pre-order yours today,” reads Cadillac’s website for the electric luxury midsize SUV/crossover. “Pre-ordering may give you the chance to order a 2023 LYRIQ based on availability, or you will have the first opportunity to pre-order the 2024 LYRIQ.” On May 19, GM opened the order bank for the 2023 LYRIQ RWD and AWD models. The electric luxury SUV/crossover sold out in four hours after the order bank opened, Cadillac spokesman Mike Albano told The Detroit Free Press. “This week marked a historic moment in Cadillac’s journey to an all-electric future as the brand’s first EV went on sale,” Albano said in a statement. “Customer demand for the LYRIQ has matched our expectations, and we look forward to exceeding their expectations when they take de-
livery of their LYRIQ.” Albano did not disclose how many LYRIQ orders Cadillac received. However, GM reported 233,000 people expressed interest in the LYRIQ in March. Cadillac estimated about 10% of people interested in the LYRIQ might actually purchase the vehicle. Earlier this year, GM told suppliers to prepare to produce 25,000 LYRIQ units for 2022. To preorder a LYRIQ, customers must pay a refundable deposit of $100 to dealers. Cadillac aims to start 2023 LYRIQ Debut Edition deliveries this summer. LYRIQ RWD deliveries are expected to start this fall. The RWD variant has a $62,990 MSRP and an EPA estimate of 312 miles. The AWD model starts at $64,990 and has a second drive unit. The variant’s EPA-estimated range will be announced closer to the start of production. Cadillac plans to begin initial deliveries of the LYRIQ AWD variant in early 2023.
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autobodynews.com / JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 19
CIECAST Looks at Unintended Consequences of Data Sharing in Collision Repair by Abby Andrews
CIECA on May 24 hosted its latest CIECAST webinar, “Data Sharing in the Collision Industry and Its Unintended Consequences.” The roughly 40-minute broadcast, featuring Pete Tagliapietra, managing director of DataTouch, LLC, can be viewed at any time at https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=x6M14qGIo5c Tagliapietra, who also founded NuGen IT before it was acquired by OEConnection, discussed the lack of security and control around the now-ubiquitous Estimate Management Standard (EMS) export, and the importance of giving collision repair facilities and customers the ability to control personal information sharing in the future. CIECA first released the EMS Standard in April 1994, designed to allow shops to import estimate data into their management system of choice— CCC, Mitchell or Audatex. “It was designed for internal shop use only,” Tagliapietra said. “It was never intended to be secure or used externally for ecommerce purposes.” But since then, several companies have recognized its value as an “excellent external ecommerce tool,” Tagliapietra said, including those offering claims processing, data mining and reporting and integration with any collision repair industry stakeholders. “Pandora’s box was opened and the EMS Standard is entrenched in the industry,” he said. “That data today is widely used for many different purposes.” Tagliapietra said ActiveX controls and data pumps have become prolific on shops’ computer systems—which seamlessly grab EMS export data and share it wherever the data pump directs it. “Once a data pump is installed, it will copy all estimates indefinitely until it is uninstalled,” Tagliapietra said. “That means if a shop switches and no longer uses that partner, but doesn’t uninstall the data pump, it will keep sending [data.] “We see that as a very key issue as to what’s going on now,” he said. Tagliapietra said repair data is the “newfound gold” in the industry. “That data is being used way beyond what most people recognize,” he
said. “It goes way beyond vehicle reporting.” As an example, Tagliapietra said, startup electric vehicle manufacturers are looking at repair orders of competitors’ EVs, to learn what is being
“Businesses can no longer ignore the potential liabilities by not protecting personal information,” he said. “It needs to be dealt with. And it will be dealt with, but it’s just going to take time to do that.”
repaired and when, as well as demographic information on who is buying those EVs. It’s a common misconception among shops that third party providers can successfully manage personal ID info and repair data, Tagliapietra said. “There’s no surefire way to manage it successfully unless it happens right where the shop writes an estimate,” he said. He showed a flow chart, illustrating how customers’ personal information and vehicle repair data can get from a shop to a completely unaffiliated third party. A shop creates an estimate, then uploads the data to its estimating system provider, which attaches the EMS report via an ActiveX control or data pump. To help facilitate the repair, the EMS data goes to parts search databases, parts providers, third party claims processors and business management systems—and it can also end up in vehicle history reports and information on parts pricing, vehicle repairability and vehicle owner demographics. This has led to a complete lack of control of the vehicle owner’s personal info, Tagliapietra said. “It started happening in the mid to late ‘90s, so it’s nothing new, but it now has grown to the point it’s been identified by states,” he said. California now has strict regulations on personal information security, and other states, like Virginia and Ohio, are looking into it. Tagliapietra said many more states will follow.
Paul Barry, executive director of CIECA, talked about the difference between data security and information privacy. “Data security—think of it like home security,” Barry said. “It’s really about keeping the bad guys out.” Businesses need to manage their
20 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
own data security to prevent unwanted access, he said, using routers, firewalls, VPNs, passwords and anti-virus software. Information privacy is a business’s policies and procedures aimed at protecting that data. “Each business should develop a program of controls to ensure info is protected and shared appropriately,” Barry said, including password, system access and information sharing policies, and training. “Larger companies usually have this, but it doesn’t scale down well,” Barry said. “It’s something every business needs to be aware of.” When CIECA realized EMS data was being shared broadly, Barry said, it started focusing on data segmentation—sharing only the data necessary for a particular job—which gave rise to the newer BMS standards and is figuring into developing CAPIS standards. “If we don’t need to share a customer’s personally identifiable information, then we shouldn’t,” Barry said. “For example, a parts provider doesn’t See Data Sharing, Page 28
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autobodynews.com / JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 21
Auto Body Shop Veteran Says DRPs Can Be Profitable If Done Right by Ed Attanasio
Autobody News recently sat down with Jim Huard to talk about what’s important to him and the current state of the collision repair industry. Jim and Kelly Huard are the co-owners of Painters Collision Centers with two locations in Queen Creek and Chandler, AZ. Their goal is 10 locations within the next two years through smart and strategic expansion.
Q: A: Q:
As a body shop owner, what are your top concerns?
sub-par repairs or compromise our quality to save money.
Are most of your DRPs profitable and are you satisfied with
I believe that all DRPs are profitable for all shops. How do you repair a car? And how do you write the estimate? Are you focused on the sales mix and writing a complete estimate? Are you complacent and write poor estimates and what does your throughput model look like?
A shop owner told me one time the tug-of-war between body shops and insurance companies will never cease, although it will change and evolve. Do you agree, and how and why have your relationships with your insurers changed? I respectfully disagree; I am different in how I view this. All repairers can work effectively with carriers if they know how to navigate through the process. It’s not always just about being right. But instead of having the facts, the correct documentation and the right attitude about the relationship is what is truly important.
Jim Huard of Painters Collision Centers in Arizona is not afraid to share his ideas and opinions with body shop owners and the industry as a whole.
I again respectfully disagree, because from my experience, all insurers will pay to repair the vehicle correctly. I also believe it is a choice to repair a car correctly. Scans, calibrations and the like will be reimbursed as long as they are properly documented. I am a DRP work flow guy. I am fanatical about quality repairs, and we are super picky about what we repair. The insurance companies are always watching the bottom line and there is nothing wrong with that. But I don’t think they ever want us to do
Do your insurance partners constantly ask you to incorporate more aftermarket and recycled/remanufactured parts into your repairs? Are some of these parts OK to use, or would you want to use OE parts on every repair if you could? I will answer this carefully. In a perfect world, we would use all OE. This frankly would improve the carrier’s profit. We did a case study on this topic. What we discovered is that with the downtime of getting a used part, and the fact that most come damaged or not useable, we often have to return and wait for another. It’s incredibly time-consuming and costs the carriers thousands of dollars per day in rental costs.
This does apply to some aftermarket and reconditioned parts. The carriers put a ton of pressure on the rentals and cycle time. Most carriers spend $5 million per day on rental replacements while vehicles are being repaired. I also believe that if a consumer purchases a policy that requires aftermarket parts, that is on the consumer. Most aftermarket parts today fit well and are crash tested. Depending on what it is, a reconditioned part is more than acceptable, in my opinion. But as I stated, in an all-OEM world, all parties involved will gain throughput and profit.
From your experience, is it better to pay techs salary/ hourly or flat rate?
I have many opinions here. But from my experience, hourly you will realize low profits, lack of productivity, poor cycle times and usually a sub-tribe of people who are not truly genuine in their efforts. See Can Be Profitable, Page 32
Profitability is predicated on good quality estimates and throughput. This is a proven fact. A shop that produces 1.5 HPD will put 1.8% to the bottom line, give or take. A shop producing six HPD will put 18% to 20% to the bottom line or better.
Another body shop owner told me the main problem in this industry is the simple fact the insurance companies, in general, don’t pay enough for repairs. Do you agree?
Hiring and retaining skilled labor is our No. 1 concern.
basket. One of our DRPs generates 37% of our revenue, and another one is at 21%, for example. I work with five partners in total and will not add any more. This is how we are able to provide top level KPIs with compliance and overall stellar performance for each partner.
How has all of the new technology impacted your productivity? Customer service? Marketing? Online? We have had to adapt several times over. We created processes to repair higher level technology vehicles effectively while positively impacting our CSI. We also work with a stellar marketing company, Stratosphere Studio, that is engaged, in tune and really knows the collision repair industry.
Are you ever worried you’re too dependent on your DRPs?
I am not, because we are very strategic on how we operate. We do not put all of our eggs in one
22 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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autobodynews.com / JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 25
Guest Columnist with Cole Strandberg
Cole Strandberg is a principal with FOCUS Investment Banking, specializing in automotive aftermarket mergers and acquisitions. Cole works closely with automotive equipment providers, paint jobbers and collision centers. For more information, contact him at email@example.com or (561) 400-1015
How to Sell Your Automotive Distribution Business—An Insider’s Perspective I left my first stint in investment banking for the less glamorous world of automotive equipment distribution. Going from suits and boardrooms to jeans and paint booth pits was quite a transition, but it helped me realize what more and more people are finding out: the path to wealth is often found in owning a blue collar, service-oriented business, and then eventually selling that business. But if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you already know that. In my case, the catalyst to leave investment banking was to join my family’s 30-year-old automotive equipment company following a strategic buyer’s interest in purchasing the business. I loved the idea of working with my family, and it was a truly great experience. At the time, I felt my banking experience would be helpful in the
sales process and I would like to experience it firsthand, which is also how I got back into banking. But until that initial acquisition interest, my family had not fully realized how valuable our company would appear to outside buyers. In fact, it was such a niche business that selling had never become a serious discussion. After all, who would buy a business in an industry that 99% of the country has never thought about? Spoiler alert: There was a ton of interest from all sorts of potential buyers. Distribution is sometimes overlooked as the key cog it is in the automotive aftermarket ecosystem. Whether you sell coatings and parts, paint booths and frame machines, or alignment equipment and compressors, you’re vital to the success of your customers. They rely on you to help them make money,
plain and simple. Now, with massive levels of consolidation among your customers—be they collision repair centers, tire stores or car dealerships—you’re at a bit of a crossroads yourself. As your customers get bigger and more sophisticated, they expect you to do the same—or exit the industry. This “grow or go” conundrum is leading to significant M&A activity among the distribution companies that service those customers. Consolidation is underway, and valuations are high. In short, despite all the challenges you face in the business world right now, it’s a good time to be an owner—and potential seller— of a distribution company in the automotive space. So, if you’re open to selling your distribution business but not sure where to start, here are some
things to think about from someone who’s been involved as both a seller and a banker. The first order of business is to make sure your organization is ready for a transaction. Here are some steps to do just that: Consult an investment bank or M&A advisor: Find the right team to market your business and have your back throughout the M&A process. Your investment bank is an extension of you and your company in the marketplace, so make sure you are well represented. Look for investment banks that specialize in your space and market. It certainly helps when they’re familiar with your industry, its valuation trends and its buyers. Some key things my family and I considered when selecting our investment bank included industry experience and expertise, a high-quality team, FIN-
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RA licensing and a good cultural fit. The right investment bank will help you focus on the right metrics to get you where you want to go, even if you’re not there yet. They will also help guide you through some of the less obvious potential pitfalls that come with selling a distribution business, such as informing your suppliers beforehand and working with them to ensure a smooth transition. That’s what my family did, and it ended up opening a whole new world of potential buyers, allowing us to maximize the business’s value and find the right partners for longterm growth and success. Get your finances in order: One of the biggest factors hampering transactions from taking place is less-than-stellar financial records. If that sounds familiar, don’t fret! When we sold our family business, we recognized our financials were lacking in sophistication and brought in an ace CPA firm to help. It made a significant impact and changed the entire selling process for the better. In our case, we were introduced to our accounting firm
by our investment bank. If you don’t have an accountant, ask your investment banker to refer you to one. Stay focused on growth: When a sale is looming, it is easy for owners to focus on that sale as much or more than the daily operations of the business itself. This is a major trap. Keep pushing the growth! Doing this will ensure you get the best valuation possible and avoid any cold feet from buyers at the finish line. Stability within the business throughout the M&A process is key. Rely on your investment bank to handle the sales process while you concentrate on running your business. Map out the future: Some owners want to be done with their business entirely and ride off into the sunset that is retirement. And that’s perfectly OK. Others don’t want to get out entirely, but they’d like to take some money off the table and find the right partners to fuel growth within the business. Both cases attract two entirely different types of buyers. Based on what you want your business to look like after the sale, your investment bank or M&A advisor will help you
find the right partner. In our case, we wanted to keep some skin in the game and play a major role in the company’s future growth. Selling your distribution business is an exciting proposition, but there are many moving parts and roadblocks that can make the process daunting. You’ve dedicated blood, sweat, tears and—perhaps most importantly—a lot of time to your business. Nailing the transaction to ensure all that hard work is rewarded properly is paramount. After all, you don’t want to fumble at the goal line following a beautiful 99-yard return, right? Selling your business can often be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so when that opportunity comes, make sure it’s executed properly. Find yourself the right partners and maximize your valuation. You’ve worked hard to get here, now finish strong!
Global Finishing Solutions, 1Collision Partner Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) is excited to announce a new partnership program with 1Collision. GFS is dedicated to providing high-quality finishing equipment and production-boosting technologies to help automotive body shops and collision repair centers grow their business. 1Collision is an organization of independent and dealer-owned collision repair businesses, offering corporate-level support in all aspects of collision repair center operations. Under the partnership program, GFS will provide 1Collision affiliates with lifelong support and service of industry-leading finishing equipment and technologies that improve paint finish quality, increase throughput and exceed performance requirements. 1Collision affiliates can also take advantage of GFS’s expansive distribution network, which provides support on a local level. Source: Global Finishing Solutions
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From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson is the president and owner of Collision Advice, a consulting company for the auto body/collision repair industry. For nearly 25 years, he was the owner of Wagonwork Collision Center, an OEM-certified, full-service auto body repair facility in Alexandria, VA.
3 Phrases I’ve Heard with Potential Power in the Collision Repair Industry I’ve recently heard three people I respect in the collision repair industry each quote a different phrase that really resonated with me. I found myself continuing to think about how what they said is very applicable to our industry. So I thought I would pass those things along here. First, I was recently at a conference where Dan Risley of CCC Intelligent Solutions used the term “post-collision emotional support.” That brought to mind a couple of experiences I’d heard just recently from owners of General Motors vehicles. In the first, a Texas collision repairer told me his daughter had been in an accident in his vehicle. Not only did OnStar notify him of the accident, but they stayed in contact with him the whole time he was getting to the hospital where his daugh-
ter was taken. In another instance l heard from a GM owner, OnStar not only contacted him at the time of the accident to make sure he was OK, but followed up with him the next day just to confirm. I think that’s pretty amazing. It reminded me that about a year ago, after I’d had a medical procedure, both my doctor and the anesthesiologist called me the next day just to follow up, to make sure I was OK and wasn’t having any side effects. It meant a lot to me that they took the time to do that. I think the automakers are recognizing the opportunity that telematics offer them to provide that “post-collision emotional support” Dan was talking about. I think the GM stories are examples of that, and it’s going to help the OEMs leverage their brand and create raving fans
Continued from Page 20
EMS, to a more sophisticated standard, that’s easier to manage so we don’t give away data simply to anyone who wants to take it,” he said. Tagliapietra said currently, shops don’t have a way of finding out which data pumps are running in their systems, but that technology is coming. “Shops should be able to identify data pumps running on their system, validate them and determine which data should be shared,” he said. “Auditing software will be available before the end of the year to detect and advise a shop on how many [pumps are running] and who’s operating them.” Barry said there is no silver bullet that will eliminate the problem; it will require collision repairers choosing to work only with partners that will protect personal information. “It will take shops demanding it,” Barry said. “Millions of transactions are done every year through EMS. Shops will have to say, ‘I won’t do business with you unless you’re doing it through BMS.’” Barry said CIECA’s developing CAPIS Standards will use more current technology, but he thinks it’s going to take a while.
Data Sharing need a customer’s home address.” Tagliapietra said the industry as a whole is addressing the problem, but there’s a lot of work to be done. “When you’re standing on the basement floor, there’s nowhere to go but up,” he said. “That’s where the collision repair industry is in protecting personal identification information.” Tagliapietra said a solution needs to be offered to shops that addresses data segmentation and deletes customers’ personal information before sharing data with “practically everybody,” controlling what is shared based on what the partner—be it a parts provider, salvage yard, rental car company, etc—actually needs. He said he believes a solution to control data flow will be available to collision repairers by the end of 2022. “Like any other problem the industry has faced, I’m confident, Paul’s confident, it will be dealt with,” Tagliapietra said. “We need to move away from
28 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
out of customers who are in an accident in a GM vehicle. So is there a way for us as shops to similarly provide post-collision emotional support? I think there is. How about a follow-up call to the customer the day after they pick up their vehicle, just to ask if everything is good with their vehicle? I know shops struggle with all the demands they have on their time, but couldn’t this be a great way to cement customer loyalty? A second quote that really jumped out at me recently was shared by a Collision Advice teammate, Sheryl Driggers, who I have so much respect for. We were having a team meeting, and she said something like, “Where there is no communication, negativity fills the void.” It made so much sense in the context of our discussion that I
asked her about it. She said she was paraphrasing Jon Gordon, author of “The Energy Bus,” “The Power of Positive Leadership” and other best-selling books. The actual quote from Jon: “Where there is a void in communication, negativity will fill it. Fill the voids so negativity can’t breed and grow.” To me, this really brought to mind all the supply chain issues we’re struggling with. If there are delays with the repair of a vehicle because of back-ordered parts or insurer-caused delays, are you keeping those customers actively informed about what’s happening? If there’s a void in your communication, they may be filling that void with negativity: “Man, that shop has really dropped the ball and isn’t getting my car fixed.” See 3 Phrases I’ve Heard, Page 42
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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.
CIC Committees Tackle Ongoing Shortage of Collision Repair Technicians
It’s not uncommon during discus- said. “No, he was mowing the shop sions within the collision repair in- owner’s yard. When I spoke to the dustry about the technician shortage owner of the body shop about this, with Ed Attanasio for body shop representatives to he said, ‘I had to pay my dues. point to what they see as the inad- They’ve got to pay theirs. As long equate entry-level skills of students as the school keeps sending peocompleting auto body training pro- ple, I never have to mow my yard.’ grams. Educators and others speaking at this spring’swith Collision Industry Ed Attanasio Conference (CIC), however, offered their own perspectives on the issue. “We do not have a recruiting problem. We have a retention problem,” Virginia Oden, a trade and industrial education program specialist with Oklahoma Career Tech, said at with Ed Attanasio Virginia Oden of Oklahoma Career Tech said the meeting held in Oklahoma City. how entry-level technicians are treated when “How we treat our employees is key. they enter the industry impacts whether they If you don’t provide them with opstay in the industry portunity, they will look elsewhere. They will tell you it’s because of My point: Do not assume these kids the dollar. But people do not leave need to do what you and I did.” with Ed Attanasio a job they love and where they feel Bud Center, chairman of the appreciated. They leave because of CIC Talent Pool and Education management, period.” Committee, said too often he hears She said she has seen technical shops and schools pointing to the education teachers “work hard every other as the cause of the technician day to instill the passion they have shortage. for this industrywith into those students, Stacey Phillips “There needs to be more conand then when they get out into the versation. People need to get on the industry, they are treated terribly. same page,” Center said. They may leave your shop and go To that end, the discussion at down the street to the next shop. CIC included panelists sharing ideas But if they’re treated terribly at that about ways to improve the technishop, they will leave industry.Phillips cian shortage. Oden said collision withthe Stacey “They can get better work and repair and other technical training better hours, with less hard labor, programs in her state hold summer working at Amazon,” Oden said. camps that give fifth and sixth grade “So it’s important once we get them students some exposure to the differrecruited and passionate about what ent programs. During eighth grade, we do, we’ve got to treat them with students tour technical training prowith Stacey Phillips respect. It’s not about ‘kids to- grams in their area. day.’ It’s every single person who’s “It’s all about planting seeds. breathing. We all want to be treated It’s making students and parents and with respect.” counselors aware of the opportuniSpeaking from the floor at CIC, ties that are out there,” Oden said. Dane Rounkles of American Honda “At the same time, having done said he once went to a collision this for a while, the industry tends with Staceyshop Phillips in the Southeast to visit a student to want the fruit off the tree. They interning there while completing don’t want to help plant the seed the Honda Professional Automotive to grow the tree. So they’re not inCareer Training program at a local volved in those summer camps and school. eighth grade visits and sophomore “He wasn’t there, and I asked, showcases. It’s like anything: If that ‘Did he not show up?’” Rounkles student has seen your face, they be-
Social Media for Shops
SEMA Show Goes On
come comfortable with you. You’re building that relationship. You’re starting that investment.” Amber Alley, manager of Barsotti’s Body & Fender in San Rafael, CA, has spoken at a number of past industry events about the success her shop has seen from its involvement with a local college taking part in a pilot project funded by the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation. The students in the two-year program rotate spending eight weeks at school, then eight weeks working in a shop. At CIC, Alley said she sees strong evidence of student interest in the trade. “I’ve done job fairs and that type of thing, and it’s not that people aren’t attracted to the industry,” Alley said. “It’s the presentation of the industry that they get once they come in.”
Media and Publicity for Shops
Too often, she said, shops aren’t willing “to invest in people, and to offer them fair wages and a career path, because they’re scared that someone down the street is going to give them a dollar more. But not everyone is going to make it at your shop. We all have to be willing to take the calculated risk of investing in someone. We can’t have the attitude that they need to prove themselves to us. We need to prove ourselves to them.” Oden agreed that offering a career path is essential to keep young people in the industry. “They want to know what those steps are: This is where you are going to start. This is the compensation package, and here’s how you grow that,” Oden said. “I can tell you: Every single student in our career tech programs wants to see that.” But at the same time, Alley said, the industry needs to have “a serious
Body Shops Giving Back
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30 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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conversation” about what it will take for shops to pay competitive wages that attract and retain technicians in the industry. “None of this is going to matter if we can’t keep our doors open, if we can’t charge what the work costs, if you can’t pay the people what they need to earn to stay in the industry,” she said. “That needs to be a priority, having that conversation. We need to be big boys and girls about it, and be really serious…None of this is going to get solved unless we can pay people what their value is.” Center said when he asks shop owners what they are personally doing to help address the technician shortage and if they are involved with local schools, they often say they don’t have the time. “If you don’t have time as the owner or manager of a business in this industry to help solve this problem, who is going to do it? If you don’t have time, designate someone on your team to take that responsibility, and get this stuff done,” Center said. “Somebody has to take the lead.”
Continued from Page 22
Can Be Profitable Salary with a bonus incentive again creates a comfort zone for most. A person will learn to live on their salary and can become complacent in regard to the bonus. The bonus becomes meaningless this way. Commission or flat rate works for us. I pay flat rates to my techs and commission sales plans with KPI drivers to my repair planners and GMs. Your sales commission percentages are based on the KPIs you provide. These percentages range from 3% to 4.5% of the repair planners top line sale. So, for example: If a repair planner does $150,000 in sales, provides a five-day cycle time, a 97% CSI and a repair ratio of 77% or higher, they yield the highest percentage. So driven writers that get it love this plan. I have writers stacking cash monthly doing it this way.
Imagine this industry in 20 years and share your vision.
I see very advanced technologies, but in many cases, this technology creates accidents; there is just too much going on in the vehicle’s cockpit. It distracts people from being able to focus, hence causing an accident. I also do not see the EVs taking the roads over. Frankly, I believe that will never occur. I see many shops dropping out because they cannot afford to purchase what it takes to stay up with current times. This happens because many owner operators are marginal at what they do. MSOs and consolidators take a very interesting approach to this as well.
Do you have problems finding top techs, estimators, painters and office people in your region?
This is difficult in any region or market in the U.S. I have created mentor programs that have yielded several quality techs. We have exceptional pay plans, incentives and provide a quality work environment. We upgrade our equipment regularly to ensure happy tech teams. Happy
people are good producers. We work hard to attract and retain top people.
MSOs are eating up small independent shops throughout the country. Is this also true in your state?
Yes, but it’s not at the same pace here in Arizona as compared to some other states. I frankly like having consolidators/MSOs on the same street because the majority of them cannot perform. So, we gain in a big way as a result. Carriers have become increasingly frustrated with MSOs and their poor performance. Scale will be the death of these companies due to the lack of control and the lack of care. Many of them are in it for a paycheck and nothing more. I talk to hundreds of people each year from these companies, and the good ones want to run because they see the demise of the MSOs coming. www.autobodynews.com
Ford F-150 Lightning Customer Deliveries Beginning by Joey Klender, Teslarati
Ford has officially started making deliveries of the F-150 Lightning, with the first unit of the all-electric pickup being delivered May 26 to a Michigan resident. According to oneguynick, a member of the F-150 Lightning Forum, a Ford public relations member confirmed he was officially the first customer to take delivery of the all-electric pickup. After placing an order May 20, Nick took delivery of a Platinum Trim configuration of Ford’s second electric vehicle May 26. The order of the F-150 Lightning was confirmed in January when Ford opened up the order bank for reservation holders of the truck. It was built April 18, according to Nick’s scheduling. He is a Michigan resident; Ford builds the F-150 Lightning at its plant in Dearborn, MI. Late the previous week, Ford F-150 Lightning units were spotted in lots outside of Dearborn, evidently awaiting deliveries to dealerships around the country. Luckily for some Michigan residents, they will
be receiving their F-150 Lightning builds before Ford dealerships in the U.S. just because of their location. The Lightning, which has exceeded Ford’s expectations for demand, has already accumulated 200,000 orders in the year it has been available to order. CEO Jim Farley has implemented a lofty and challenging manufacturing plan for Ford’s electric vehicles, doubling output capacity twice for the F-150 Lightning to reach 150,000 units per year. Production of the F-150 Lightning kicked off April 26 after Ford held an event to commemorate the truck’s initial manufacturing. Many of the units were set to be delivered as dealership demos, and Ford told salespeople they would be held accountable for offloading them into a customer’s hands. The F-150 Lightning Platinum has 300 miles of range and starts at $90,874. It has a towing capacity of 8,500 pounds and can travel on more than 130,000 miles of divided highways in North America handsfree with Ford BlueCruise.
32 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Capture the Keys Uses Geofencing to Find Customers in the Right Place at the Right Time by Ed Attanasio
Thomas Zoebelein, owner of Stratosphere Studio in Bel Air, MD, creates marketing concepts for body shops well-known for pushing the envelope. His latest product is Capture the Keys, a software product that can target and pinpoint potential customers who have physically visited competing shops. It’s totally legal and ethical, and has been highly effective in gathering viable leads for Zoebelein’s shop customers since he unveiled it in 2020. Stratosphere Studio has evolved with the collision repair industry since it opened its doors in 2011. “Back then, we were doing primarily digital marketing for body shops—websites, blog content, email marketing and some consumer advertising, and it worked very well for a while,” Zoebelein said. “We found out about geofencing back when it was new, and thought, wow, this is the perfect thing for body shops because you can actually target people that are walking into a facility. I realized that geofencing was the solution, as long as it’s used strategically employed the right way.” The biggest question is how to find that customer immediately after they get into an accident. “Collision repair marketing is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle,” Zoebelein said. “You have to know when the lightning is going to strike in order to be able to put your lid on the jar, right? So, with geofencing we know if somebody’s walking into a competitor’s location and they’re not a vendor or an employee, they’re in the market.” I could write 5,000 words to describe how geofencing works, but Zoebelein can do it in less than 60. “In short, geofencing enables a user to capture any device’s ID’s and Mobile Ad ID’s (MAIDs) for any device that enters a fenced zone,” he said. “Then we can serve ads into the app’s websites and social media feeds of that device. You can also track that back to the activity that the device does after it has been served an ad, such as counting it as a walkin.”
Once Zoebelein saw the potential benefits for using geofencing, he began telling his shop customers about it in 2019—but without luck, at least initially. “It fell on deaf ears at first,” he said. “Nobody was really ready to jump in on the technology at that time. So then when COVID happened, people were starting to hear a little bit about geofencing for shops. One of my shop customers called me and said that he scrubbed down his frame machine for the second time, and his paint booth was spotless. He said I need to get some cars in here, so let’s give that geofencing thing a shot; what’s the harm? It generated a few walk-ins that clearly came from a competitor’s location. And so, I thought, wow, we might be onto something here.” Further testing led to the collection of solid leads, and soon Stratosphere decided to offer Capture the Keys to its clients, primarily independent shops. “We went to another shop with two locations in Pennsylvania and asked them if we could test it with them and they said sure,” Zoebelein said. “So, we ran a second test and had similar positive results. So that’s when we decided to launch geofencing as a service, and then eventually we turned it into a product. “It includes Facebook ads, Instagram ads, as well as Instagram and Facebook content, with geofencing and an in-depth reporting feature,” he continued. “It enables us to show our customers every two weeks how many leads we’ve collected. We send them a video walk-through of all the numbers and it shows how many phone calls they receive, how many walk-ins they get, how many lead submissions they collect and how many clicks they receive from the ads.” Capture the Keys helps shops with their search engine optimization (SEO) as well. “They see an immediate 3035% increase in traffic to their Google My Business page,” Zoebelein said. “We officially launched Capture the Keys at Kristen Felder’s first World’s Fair & Expo in 2020 and that’s when it really took off for us. Shops can send postcards to peo-
34 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
ple all day long. TV and radio does a good job to build awareness, but it’s a really inefficient way of getting in front of people who are buying right now. “The best way to get in front of buyers is to be able to identify them in real time, and we can do it with geofencing.” Stratosphere is working with a company that tracks devices back to where the phone spends the night, and from there they can tell the physical address and name of the head of household. In some cases, it can pull email addresses in as well. “I can even tell you the year make and model of their vehicle, and even get their birthday in a lot of the cases,” Zoebelein said. “We draw these fences around our customer’s competing locations—whether they’re another body shop or a dealership—including their parking lots. “One of the reasons why geofencing works so well is due to the fact that it doesn’t care what you look at online,” he said. “It’ll start serving ads because it’s tracking the
device, not the user. Many of our clients are getting a considerable amount of walk-ins with people sending in photos of the damage, and filling out submission forms immediately after getting into accidents, and it all happens because of geofencing.” So, what happens when somebody starts getting a banner ad on their device via geofencing? “First, they’ll Google the shop by name,” he said. “So, this is different than doing an auto body repair search. The idea is that you’re going to find your body shop by searching for it online even if that was the only thing available to you. It’s a guaranteed branded search, so we actually don’t care where they click once they’re there. “If they want to go to the website, Yelp or Facebook, it doesn’t matter,” Zoebelein said. “Accessing the shop’s Google My Business page is the last mile in any buying decision for auto repair and it just makes it the very next step. Everything they need to know about the
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shop is right here. They can read reviews on the shop, see photos of the shop, they can book an appointment right from there or just click to call. They can click to get directions or even save it to their phone to access later. “The third thing the user can do is then click on the ad, which takes them to a landing page that explains why they should consider getting a second opinion outlining all of their services, certifications and capabilities.” Zoebelein explained Stratosphere is in the mind-changing business, and Capture the Keys can also help the fight against steering. “Capture The Keys was designed to help collision repair facilities combat insurance steering through a proprietary blend of geofencing and paid media strategies,” he said. “It is designed to find prospects and get a ‘second opinion quote’ from our body shop customers. Leads are handled through our own custom-built CRM for collision repairers and remove the friction in the transition from prospect lead to paying customer.”
The blogs Stratosphere creates for its customers are built to inform and promote the industry as a whole. “We’ve rewritten just about every single OEM position statement out there in layman’s terms,” Zoebelein said. “I like to say we reinvented the blog. It’s not strictly for SEO, but more for customer education and to solidify the fact that each one of our body shop customers is the No. 1 industry expert in their particular region. The whole point in advertising in simple terms is to find, identify and connect the buyer with the seller of a service or product, and we can achieve it all with geofencing.” Fifty shops are currently using Capture the Keys and Zoebelein is looking to work with 50 more. Each shop’s region is protected and spots are limited. So, if you’re on the fence about geofencing, maybe this article will prompt you to consider this technology and its benefits for your business. Learn more at capturethekeys.com.
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Automotive Specialty-Equipment Sales Increase to $50.9 Billion Sales of specialty-equipment parts reached a new high in 2021, increasing to $50.9 billion in retail sales for the first time in history—up from $47.9 billion in 2020. The finding comes from the new “2022 SEMA Market Report,” available for download at www.sema.org/research, providing the automotive aftermarket industry a comprehensive review of the specialty equipment market in 2021. The report includes new data on the U.S. market size, consumer profiling, industry trends and changes in the vehicle population. SEMA estimates the growth was driven by strong consumer interest in working on their car or truck, as more than 80% of specialty-equipment consumers reported spending as much, if not more, time working on their personal vehicles as they did during 2020. “The 2022 SEMA Market Report can help member companies identify key areas of interest for consumers, and where the most money was spent on parts in 2021,” said SEMA Director of us “As about Market Research GavinContact Knapp. price matching our biggest research report of the year, through the Mazda this is a must-read for any business Collision Parts
owner who wants to make strategic, data-driven decisions.” Restrictions on in-person shopping eased in 2021, prompting consumers to become more comfortable going back into stores to buy parts. The split of in-store versus online sales in 2021 was roughly 50/50—versus 54% online in 2020, and 45% online in 2019. This normalization is expected to continue in 2022. Pickups remain the single biggest segment in the specialty-equipment parts market. An estimated 13.6 million pickups were modified by consumers in 2021, accounting for a combined 31% of specialty-equipment parts sales. Ongoing supply chain issues are also a concern in 2022. More than 90% of specialty-equipment manufacturers, distributors and retailers feel their business has been impacted by supply-chain-related challenges. This, in turn, is softening expectations regarding 2022 sales. For more data on the opportunity available in the automotive specialty-equipment market, download the 2022 SEMA Market Report for free today at www.sema.org/research. Source: SEMA
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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.
What Role Should a Current Backlog of Work Play in Auto Body Shops’ DRP Decisions?
A national survey in April found specialized and OEM-certified in at auto body shops on average have a least five or six brands, minimum. work backlog topping four weeks, You need to know how you are gowith Ed Attanasio and during the Society of Collision ing to create your own customer Repair Specialists’ (SCRS) Repairer stream and own your portion of the Roundtable this spring, a panel was market in a smart way.” asked whether that “unique scenarSome collision repairers have io” in the industry should play into chosen locations with little street a collision repair business’ decisions visibility, Hendler said, lowering related to participation in direct re- their overhead because they knew with Ed Attanasio pair programs. direct repair referrals would bring Three association leaders and work to the door. two shop owners responded. “If you just shut those [DRPs] Jill Tuggle, who has been ex- off, you now have no customer visecutive director of the Auto Body ibility,” Hendler said. “There’s a lot Association of Texas (ABAT) for of pressure just to get rid of all your five years, thinks it should play into DRPs [without a plan] and think with Ed Attanasio a shop’s decision. you’ll be fine. I think that’s a dan“If there ever was a time that gerous trap for shops. We’ve seen you could test the waters on operat- that happen.” ing independently of those contracts, Aaron Schulenburg of SCRS it would be now,” Tuggle said. “Be- agreed each business has to evaluate cause you’re going to get work. its own situation. with Ed the Attanasio The work is there. You already can’t “I don’t think any one model is repair everything you have. If that’s right or wrong,” he said. “There’s a a business decision you have been lot of successful businesses up here toying with, now would be a good [on this panel] and in the audience time to do that.” and in our membership base that Other association leaders with have found success in every type of longer tenures with offeredStacey some caumodel.” Phillips tions to consider. He said the current situation “In order to do that, they have does provide collision repairers with to have alternative plans,” Jordan an opportunity to “prioritize where Hendler of the Washington Met- their profitability lies,” noting even ropolitan Auto Body Association large multi-shop operations (MSOs) (WMABA) saidwith of shops choosing that focus on DRP work are saying Stacey Phillips to exit DRPs. “I don’t think you can they are evaluating which of those programs offer the best fit. Ron Reichen of Precision Body & Paint, which is opening its fifth location in Oregon this year, said he sees too many shops operate based with Stacey Phillips on fear. “Fear is an emotion, and good business decisions aren’t based on emotion,” Reichen said. “We’ve always believed that calculated risk is Jordan Hendler said shops can end direct important. But the first part of that repair agreements, but first need to have a is ‘calculated.’ Do your research. Do with Stacey Phillips solid plan about how they can address the your homework. Is it a good fit for changes that will entail you? just sever those relationships. I think “I think the insurance carriers you have to have a solid plan for ei- have leveraged fear: ‘We’re going to ther marketing or getting into OEM shut you off and you’re not going to certifications. In our association, have any of our work.’ That’s a falthe most successful members are lacy,” Reichen said. “Even if you’re
a DRP model, you’re building relationships with that client base. Those clients are still going to come back
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SEMA Show Goes On
Oregon shop owner Ron Reichen said he sees too many shops making business decisions based on fear
to you. They may change insurance carriers two or three or four times in their driving history. So [the insurer] doesn’t own that customer, but you do. Even if you are a DRP model, work at owning that customer. Then you can wean yourself off of [DRPs] and not make decisions out of fear.
Media and Publicity for Shops Shop Strategies
“Would you [be happy with] 20% less work if you made 20% more on the remaining 80%? Of course. That’s a calculated risk,” he added. Andy Tylka was operating a six-location MSO in Indiana until recently, when two MSOs in other markets chose to sell their businesses to Tylka rather than to a national MSO. That expanded his company to 15 shops in 2.5 years. He acknowledged his choice to stay with a DRP model is, as it is for many shops, based to a degree on fear. “Because, obviously, growth results in loans,” Tylka said. “So if I’m not having customers come into my shops, I’m not paying these loans, and I’m responsible for 185 families.” He said collision repairers should recognize the current backSee DRP Decisions?, Page 42
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36 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Collision Repairers Actually Lament Lack of Insurance Adjusters in Shops by John Yoswick
Aaron Schulenburg of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) said he was surprised by one of the findings of the association’s survey earlier this year asking shops about what changes could have a positive impact on their business.
Kyle Bradshaw of K&M Collision in Hickory, NC, said repeated in-shop interactions with insurance adjusters gave his company an opportunity to “educate” them.
“I never in a million years thought the response from a collision repair facility would be: Have more adjusters come back out to my shop,” Schulenburg said, noting multiple respondents shared such statements. During a Repairer Roundtable
panel discussion of the survey findings this spring, Kyle Bradshaw, director of operations for K&M Collision in Hickory, NC, said he understands the sentiment.
ington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) said when the law in Virginia was being changed in 2016 to allow for photo estimates, the association fought hard to make
“I never in a million years thought the response from a collision repair facility would be: Have more adjusters come back out to my shop,” — Aaron Schulenburg “We spend a lot of time trying to educate insurance appraisers,” Bradshaw said. “So if it’s somebody who comes to our shop frequently, I don’t have to explain the same operations on every single job. However, [with remote claims handling] it’s basically like playing roulette; you don’t know who you’re going to get. It’s burdensome. It takes a long time. Fortunately, in our state, physical inspections are required. Our members have started to lean back on the administrative code: ‘Listen, you need to physically inspect the vehicle.’” Jordan Hendler of the Wash-
sure a caveat was included in the legislation that “if there is any disagreement with the repairer, then a physical inspection is required.” “That’s something we pushed for, and I’m glad that we did because that’s become really important in the last couple of years,” Hendler said. But later in the discussion, when panelists were asked what they think will not return post-pandemic, Andy Tylka of the Tag Auto Group, which operates 15 shops in Indiana, kept his response brief. “Simple answer: Adjusters being in the shops,” Tylka said.
Schulenburg said he agreed photo-based estimating isn’t going away, but insurers need to recognize they
Andy Tylka of the Tag Auto Group in Indiana said he doesn’t foresee a widescale return on in-shop inspections by insurers.
may not “reap the gains and expect the process to work well” if they also do away with their knowledgeable staff. “That’s one of the things we hear quite a bit from our membership, about the length of approvals, because the process ends up going back into a human’s hands, and the technical acuity of the human who is handling it just isn’t the same as it once was,” Schulenburg said. “So it’s just leading to longer cycle times, longer interactions, that negatively affect the consumer experience.”
Ford Launches More Tech Training Programs, Expands Curriculum to Add BEV Courses Ford is expanding the curriculum and adding locations to its premier training program designed to add more specially trained automotive technicians to a fast-growing field that now includes electric vehicles. The initiative, known as Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET), is a collaboration between Ford Motor Company, Ford and Lincoln dealers and select community colleges and technical schools. The program provides Ford and Lincoln dealerships and their customers with technicians highly trained in Ford service technologies and diagnostic & repair methods. Three new ASSET programs are starting this year at the following community colleges: Pima Community College, Tucson AZ Wake Technical College, Raleigh, NC Gwinnett Technical College, Lawrenceville, GA Also, ASSET will be incorporating Ford EV curriculum including courses on high voltage systems safety,
hybrid vehicle components and operation, battery electric vehicle (BEV) components and operation and an introduction to high voltage battery service, as well as a Ford instructor-led class on hybrid and EV operation and diagnosis. Ford has provided 25 PHEV or BEV vehicles to ASSET locations, so students receive hands-on training. “The ASSET program puts these kids in in the classroom and then in the stall applying it. To me getting those two at the same time is going to give a dealer better technician retention and the student a better understanding of the information,” said Josh Fichter, general manager, Five Star Ford in North Richland Hills, TX. “It also breeds loyalty because if you’re not proactively growing your own technicians right now, you’re going to be in a world of hurt.” Ford is also adding a mobile service technician certification to the ASSET curriculum. This program is a pathway for students that may be sponsored at one of the 300+ dealers in the U.S. currently operating mobile service fleets. The mobile
38 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
service technician certification pathway enhances students’ maintenance and light repair aptitudes early in the program timeline, on their way to becoming more comfortable with larger repairs, working to become an A-level technician and ASSET graduate. “My experience with ASSET been great,” said Josh Lilley, an ASSET student at Five Star Ford in Dallas, TX. “As far back as I can remember, I’ve been tinkering on my dad’s first-generation Bronco. I would wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone pursuing an automotive career at the dealership. It’s such a great program, especially if you don’t know anything, they’ll sit you down and help you grow those skills. I learned a lot more than I ever thought I would need or know.” Over a two-year period, an ASSET student can earn up to 100% of Ford’s Service Technician Specialty Training (STST) credentials, earn an associate degree in automotive technology, and have one year of work experience at a Ford or Lincoln dealership. ASSET graduates also can achieve Ford’s high voltage systems
certification, in addition to the 12 certifications the program already offers. Since 1985, more than 12,000 students have graduated from the ASSET program with 1,800 Ford and Lincoln dealers participating as sponsors. The ASSET program is one of three post-secondary Ford-sponsored automotive training programs through New Ford Tech, an initiative within the company aimed at supporting and growing a solid pool of qualified automotive repair technicians to help meet increasing demand. Learn more at www.newfordtech.com. Source: Ford
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Businesses Fear Shutdowns if Inflation Doesn’t Ease by Kevin Bessler, The Center Square
A new poll shows small businesses fear they will have to shut down within six months if inflation continues. The Alignable Small Business Inflation poll asked 5,268 businesses in May if they were concerned about inflation and over half said they fear they won’t be able to stay open over six months. Illinois was in line with the national average, with 49% of small business owners concerned over inflation-driven shutdowns. Many business owners said this is a more difficult time than the pandemic, researcher Chuck Casto said. “In one of our polls we asked point blank, what has been more damaging for your business, inflation or COVID, and over 60% said inflation,” Casto said. Rastaurants are the most concerned sector of the economy. Of those asked, 72% said they were concerned about shutting down because of inflation this
CIF to Hold Gala July 20 As the industry gathers for industry week in Pittsburgh, PA, the Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) is thrilled to announce its 11th Gala event will be held on July 20 at Howl at the Moon, in close proximity to the Omni William Penn Hotel. Starting at 6:30 p.m. ET, directly following the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) special session, you can expect a great time, with great food, open bar, entertainment, dueling pianos, silent auction and a live raffle with lots of prizes. Through the generous support of many industry donors, continuing the vital mission of CIF is possible. Thanks to these donors, hundreds of individuals have received disaster relief assistance over the years, including survivors of hurricanes, wildfires, flooding or other significant losses.
year. That was followed by beauty salons (65%) and gyms (63%). According to the poll, 49% of small business owners said their costs have increased by more than 25%, but only 16% are able to pass those expenses onto customers. The states with the most-worried small business owners included Maryland, Connecticut and Tennessee. One business owner said fuel costs would be the death of his business. In Illinois, gasoline is averaging $5.40 a gallon, putting a strain on many businesses. Relief doesn’t appear to be coming anytime soon. Laffer Tengler Investments’ Arthur Laffer Jr. told Fox News inflation will get “higher” and be here a while. “We think that inflation is going to be here higher and longer than we would have thought. But, this is pretty ugly. We have CPI coming out Friday, so we’ll see what it is. But this is definitely putting pressure on the economy. I think these prices are here for a while,” he said.
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May Auto Sales Expected to Fall to Slowest Pace in 2022 With no relief from elevated prices and tight new-vehicle inventory, U.S. auto sales in May are expected to drop to their lowest level of the year. According to the Cox Automotive forecast released May 25, the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of new-vehicle sales in May is expected to hit 13.1 million, a step backward from April’s 14.3 million level and far below the 16.9 million level posted in May 2021. May sales volume is forecast to finish near 1.14 million units, down 9% from last month and nearly 28% from one year ago. Last year, in May 2021, new-vehicle sales reached 1.59 million, the second-best month of 2021 by volume, behind only March. While high prices and tight inventory are negatively impacting new-vehicle sales this month, the low sales volume can also be attributed to the calendar. There are 24 selling days this month, three fewer than last month and two fewer than May 2021. Tight inventory isn’t the only
headwind facing the market. Other issues may be having a growing impact. Rising interest rates and higher prices, and the resulting increase in monthly payments, are likely hurting demand as well. Vehicle affordability in the U.S. continues to worsen, according to the Cox Automotive/ Moody’s Analytics Vehicle Affordability Index. In addition, lower consumer optimism in the wake of high inflation, surging gas prices and a volatile stock market may be keeping some potential buyers from entering the market. “Historically, the daily sales pace is higher in May than in most other months, with spring optimism in the air, thoughts of summer road trips on the horizon, and the buzz of Memorial Day sales,” said Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive. “But many of the industry’s normal patterns have been overturned by tight inventory and the lingering effect of the global pandemic.” Source: Cox Automotive
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Usage-Based Auto Insurance Takes Center Stage as Satisfaction Flatlines A record high number of serious collisions, skyrocketing used-vehicle prices and surging repair costs have created an unenviable scenario for auto insurers: raise rates or go out of business. It should come as little surprise that the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, released June 13, found customer satisfaction with the price of auto insurance has declined sharply, but notable industry efforts to improve customer engagement has kept overall customer satisfaction at a level similar to a year ago. “The current situation is a tough one for auto insurers, but it is not impossible in the current inflationary environment to build customer satisfaction and retention,” said Robert Lajdziak, director of insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “J.D. Power finds two bright spots in the data for insurers. “First, those insurers that are transparent and notify customers in advance of price increases can blunt the negative effects of a price increase,” Lajdziak said. “Second, usage-based insurance is growing quickly, with an all-time high number of customers adopting these programs and due to their experience using them, overall
customer satisfaction levels have significantly risen.” Following are some of the key findings of the 2022 study: • Rising prices stifle customer satisfaction: Overall customer satisfaction with auto insurance providers is 834 (on a 1,000-point scale), down from 835 a year ago. However, customer satisfaction with the price of their policies is 769, down a significant five points from 2021. • Usage-based insurance sees record adoption: Participation in usage-based insurance programs, which use telematics technology to monitor driving habits and assign risk and pricing accordingly, has doubled since 2016, with 16% of auto insurance customers now participating in such programs. Price satisfaction among customers participating in these programs is 59 points higher, on average, than among customers overall. • It pays to get out in front of bad news: Premium increases do not bode well for customer satisfaction, but insurers that are proactive about such increases and notify customers in advance are able to mitigate the negative effects they generate. In the
past year, 59% of customers experiencing a price increase were notified in advance by their insurer---up from 44% in 2016—and overall satisfaction scores are 37 points higher, on average, among those pre-notified customers. The phone is the most effective channel for this type of notification. Agents benefit when customers use online self-service tools: When customers engage with their insurer via both digital channels and live channels—such as agents or customer service representatives (CSRs)—satisfaction with the live channel increases. The reason is efficiency, as customers can handle transactions quickly while spending more valuable time with an agent or CSR. A multi-channel strategy is a successful approach, and the same is true when live channels are added for customers who primarily take a digital-first approach. 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 (879) (for a third consecutive year) Central: Shelter (866) (for a second
consecutive year) Florida: The Hartford (860) Mid-Atlantic: Erie Insurance (867) New England: Amica Mutual (862) (for a 10th consecutive year) New York: New York Central Mutual (834) North Central: Erie Insurance (876) (for a second consecutive year) Northwest: The Hartford (842) Southeast: Farm Bureau Insurance-Tennessee (876) (for an 11th consecutive year) Southwest: State Farm (848) Texas: Texas Farm Bureau (873) (for an 11th consecutive year) The 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, now in its 23rd year, examines customer satisfaction in five factors: billing process and policy information; claims; interaction; policy offerings; and price. The study is based on responses from 36,935 auto insurance customers and was fielded from January through April 2022. 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
Pennies From $5: Gas Prices Continue Daily Record High Trend by Casey Harper, The Center Square
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Gas prices hit a national average price of $4.92 a gallon June 7, according to AAA, the highest price for regular unleaded gas on record, marking yet another record-setting day for gas prices as the national average nears $5 per gallon. Motorists in 13 states are now paying an average of $5 a gallon or more. New Jersey and Massachusetts joined Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Right now, Americans are paying about double the prices they paid when President Joe Biden was elected. Gas prices have consistently risen, hitting new record highs every day for
more than a week. California leads the nation with a national average price of $6.37 per gallon. Several other states are above $5 per gallon and almost all 50 states are at least over $4.50 per gallon. Diesel gasoline also hit a record high Tuesday at $5.68 per gallon. Critics have continued to blast Biden for the high prices, which come alongside soaring inflation. “With average gas prices now more than double what they were when Biden took office, it’s no surprise that only 27% told a recent ABC poll they approved of his handling of gas prices,” U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-NY, wrote on Twitter. “We need an all-of-the-above approach to drive down prices.”
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Continued from Page 36
DRP Decisions? log the industry enjoys “won’t last forever.” All that said, he acknowledged he’s using this time to make some changes. “Those with the DRP model should be re-evaluating what relationships they do want to keep and which ones they don’t, even if they stay with a DRP model,” Tylka said. “That’s pretty much what we did.” Schulenburg said SCRS works to highlight collision repairers, like some of those on the panel, who have the confidence to operate in a model of their choosing, such as without DRPs. “I think there are a lot of businesses that I speak to that don’t realize there are businesses that operate that way,” Schulenberg said. “It’s not a matter of saying one model over another. But there are businesses that operate successfully in ways that may feel foreign, but it’s their degree of confidence that drives the success.”
Ford EVs Post New Sales Record in May Ford sold 154,461 vehicles in May, a 4.5% decrease from its May 2021 sales figures, but a 3.5% increase in the company’s market share over this time a year ago—to 13.5%—despite the continued global industry semiconductor chip shortage.
Gains came from battery electric vehicles, F-Series and Ford SUVs. Nearly 50% of retail sales were comprised of previously placed orders, compared to approximately 9% at this time last year. “While the global semiconductor chip shortage remains an issue for the industry, our inventory continues to turn at record rates with nearly 50% of our retail sales com-
ing from previously placed orders,” said Andrew Frick, vice president of sales, distribution and trucks, Ford Blue. “Our newest models, including Bronco, Bronco Sport and Maverick, continue to enhance our sales volume. Our electric vehicle sales, with the addition of F-150 Lightning this month, increased 222%—growing at almost four times the rate of the industry.” Ford battery electric vehicle sales totaled 6,254 for the month, up 222% over last year, while growing almost four times faster than the overall U.S. electric vehicle segment in May. The Mustang Mach-E posted a new monthly sales record—sales up 166% over last year. E-Transit sales had its best monthly sales since its launch earlier this year with 874 vans sold, while F-150 Lightning recorded its first customer sales at the end of May. F-Series was the only full-size pickup nameplate to post a gain in May over a year ago, with sales up 6.9%. F-Series was able to improve
UTI Opening Campuses to High School Juniors Interested in Automotive Technician Training As part of its ongoing effort to address workforce need for skilled transportation technicians, Universal Technical Institute is bringing its three-week Ignite program back to full capacity at its UTI campuses nationwide this summer. The program, which is free to high school juniors, offers students an introduction to the training they’ll need to prepare to enter the workforce as a technician in the transportation industry. Ignite participants are given an introductory sample of the technician training programs completed by fulltime UTI students. Students explore career opportunities in the transportation field and receive hands-on training on current technologies in UTI’s state-of-the-industry classrooms and labs.“It’s important to educate high school students about the demand for skilled technicians, and the extensive opportunities that exist in transportation and the skilled trades,” said UTI CEO Jerome Grant. “Our summer Ignite program gives students invaluable real-world training and can help open doors to lifelong careers they may have not considered. We’re ex-
cited to bring the program back to our campuses at full capacity this year, with the goal of hopefully providing our employer partners with more talented technicians in the future.” Industry demand remains strong for trained automotive and diesel technicians. The U.S. Department of
so many motivated, goal-driven young people willing to spend part of their summer taking our classes and getting a jumpstart on training for a career.” UTI launched Ignite nationwide in summer 2018 following a successful pilot program at campuses in Avondale, AZ.; Houston, TX; and Orlando,
“It’s important to educate high school students about the demand for skilled technicians, and the extensive opportunities that exist in transportation and the skilled trades,”” — Amber Ritter Labor projects a combined annual average of 111,000 job openings nationwide in the automotive, diesel and collision repair industries. “It’s been encouraging to see growth in the Ignite program. We look forward to welcoming new students to our campuses this summer and opening their eyes to the educational opportunities available to them after high school,” said Sherrell Smith, executive VP of campus operations and services at UTI. “These students are the future of the trade, and it’s promising to see
42 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
FL. Participation steadily increased in 2019, before the program went on hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of the three-week program, students have the opportunity to earn UTI credit that can be applied when they enroll.The Ignite program is now accepting applications across UTI’s campuses in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Texas. For more information or to enroll, visit www.uti.edu/ignite. Source: UTI
on its sales lead, outselling its second-place competitor by 24,300 pickups through May. F-Series continued to turn at record rates, while 59% of its retail sales in May came from previously placed orders. Maverick added an additional 6,089 truck sales in May, while turning on dealer lots in just five days. 97% of Maverick retail sales in May came from previously placed orders. Bronco family, Maverick and Mustang Mach-E continued to be a hit with customers new to Ford, with nearly 70% of sales coming from competitive conquests. Ford’s newest SUVs, Bronco and Bronco Sport, totaled 18,985 vehicles, while improved inventory flows gave both Explorer and Edge a sales gain of 18.7 and 81.2% respectively. Customers are equipping new vehicles with Ford’s BlueCruise hands-free driving technology. More than 38,000 customers have activated the BlueCruise feature, driving a combined 4.5 million miles using the technology. Source: Ford
Continued from Page 28
3 Phrases I’ve Heard The fact Sheryl brought this concept to my attention hit home again just a few days later when I heard Ray Chew of CCC talk about what he termed a “no-update update.” Ray was talking about reaching out to customers just to let them know there’s nothing new you can tell them—there’s still no timeline from the supplier for the arrival of the part we need, for example—but you wanted to at least give them that update. The “no-update update” will help fill those communication voices to prevent negativity from creeping in. I’d love to hear how you’re offering “post-collision emotional support” or “no-update updates” to help avoid “voids in communication” at your business. Or if there’s a phrase or quote you’ve recently heard that’s resonated with you, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. www.autobodynews.com
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WIN Names 2022-23 Officers, New Board Members The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) has named its 2022-23 Leadership Officers and Board of Directors. The WIN Board of Directors consists of representatives from numerous industry segments including collision repair organizations, distributors, suppliers, consultants, paint manufacturers, insurance companies and others. By making policy decisions that execute on the WIN vision and mission, the Board of Directors works to ensure the growth and viability of the organization by setting overall strategic direction and executing its signature programs and key initiatives. “The diverse experience, skill and talent brought by these industry professionals will keep WIN thriving, focused and on track with our mission,” said Tanya Sweetland, WIN 2022-23 chair. “I am looking forward to serving the WIN organization with this dynamic team of leaders as we head into our next strategic planning session.” Meet the 2022-23 WIN Officers and Executive Committee: Chair Tanya Sweetland, OEC
Vice Chair Susie Frausto, Boyd Group/Gerber Collision & Glass Immediate Past Chair Jenny Anderson, Entegral powered by Enterprise Treasurer Kathy Coffey, AkzoNobel Coatings Admin Vice Chair Liz Stein, OEC Secretary Laura Kottschade, Jerry’s ABRA Auto Body & Glass New Board Members for 2022-23: Hannah Whitesides, Maaco (Driven Brands) Holly Whitley, Gerber Collision & Glass Blair Womble, Caliber Collision Continuing their service on the Board in 2022-2023: Janette Andrade, Consolidated Dealers Co-Operative, Inc. Kristle Bollans, Hertz Jeanne Esquivel, Entegral powered by Enterprise Trista Anger, BASF Kimberly Frasher, Axiom Accident & Hail Repair Kathy Mello, TGIF Body Shop, Inc. WINConnect Program Expands In Second Year
Designed to increase networking and career building opportunities among its members, the WINConnect program is one of the key initiatives for WIN in the 2022-23 year. WINConnect is available exclusively to WIN members interested in expanding their professional capabilities and knowledge. Participants of the WINConnect program will gather virtually in monthly cohort sessions where they will be able to network and learn throughout the year. Sessions will include a mix of small group check-ins along with professional and career development sessions led by coaching experts. “This initiative will enable WIN members to connect regularly, share experiences and further develop industry talent,” said Frausto. “Working with professional business coaches is important for women who are looking to excel in the collision repair industry.” The second chapter of the WINConnect program will run from July 2022 to May 2023 with its carefully selected cohorts meeting every other month. WIN is making a strategic in-
vestment to fund much of program’s facilitation expenses, though there is a small financial commitment ($100) in addition to the WIN membership fee. Accommodations are available for WIN members in need of additional financial assistance. In brief, the WINConnect initiative will further service WIN members by: • Making consistent and meaningful connections among women in the industry • Sharing experiences and learning from others in an authentic, confidential environment • Building key business skills and acumen applicable across industry segment and experience level • Developing and strengthening a professional support network All current WIN members are eligible and encouraged to participate. To sign up for WINConnect today, visit: https://thewomensindustrynetwork.site-ym.com/page/connect Not a WIN Member yet? Sign up here: https://thewomensindustrynetwork.site-ym.com/page/Membership Source: WIN
Gas Prices Jump in Leaps and Bounds, Setting Another New Record by Casey Harper, The Center Square
Gas prices spiked 10 cents in just two days the first week of June, setting new records almost daily. The national average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline jumped five cents to $4.72 June 2, a record high according to AAA. That increase comes after AAA reported a nickel increase in prices the day before, which was its own record. The price of $4.62 on Memorial Day was an all-time high just a few days ago. California is the only state topping $6 per gallon, though several states are averaging more than $5 per gallon. All 50 states have an average price well over $4 per gallon. Diesel gasoline prices are also elevated with a national average price of $5.56, just below the record high of $5.58 set in May. As prices rise, Americans are increasingly feeling the pain at the pump. Surveys show that soaring inflation and gas prices
have already pushed many Americans to cancel or change their vacation plans. A recent poll from Echelon Insights found “75% of parents say they are concerned about the rising cost of everyday purchases like food or gas.” The poll also found 51% of families said they “changed or canceled plans for a family trip” due to inflation while 41% said they have “changed or canceled activities for my children like camp or extracurricular activities.” The recently released BMO Real Financial Progress Index, a quarterly survey from BMO and Ipsos, found 31% of surveyed American adults are “driving less to offset the soaring cost of gas.” “Prices across the board— from cars and gasoline to groceries and other everyday essentials—are rising at the fastest pace since the 1980s,” said Paul Dilda, head of consumer strategy for BMO Harris Bank.
44 JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Total U.S. Automotive Aftermarket Sales Forecasted to Increase 8.5% in 2022 The automotive aftermarket continues to demonstrate its market strength with higher-than-expected sales in 2021 in the wake of a slow economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. Total U.S. light duty automotive aftermarket sales are forecasted to increase 8.5% in 2022, totaling $356.5 billion, according to the “2022 Joint Channel Forecast Model” produced jointly by the Auto Care Association and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA). This data will be examined in a joint, member-exclusive webinar led by Shane Norton of S&P Global Mobility at 1 p.m. EDT June 9. An additional 5% growth is expected for 2023 and growth will average more than 3% in 2024, bringing the light-duty aftermarket to $401.5 billion by 2025. The compound average annual growth rate from 2019 to 2022 will be 5.7%, more than making up for losses seen in 2020 due to the pandemic. “Year after year, the auto care industry continues to show its strength and reliability,” said Bill
Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “In the midst of the highest gas prices on record and an inflation rate at a 40-year high, coupled with persistent supply chain disruptions and war in Eastern Europe, vehicle miles driven, vehicles in operation and consumer spending all increased in 2021 and are projected to increase into the coming years as well.”
landmark market size of $400 billion in 2025. But as the industry advances to that landmark number, look for a new challenge to emerge as we may shift from a market supported by high demand and availability to
“The automotive aftermarket once again shows its resiliency with a stronger than expected recovery from the pandemic,” — Paul McCarthy a battle for market share. With that, we’ll see one more strength of the aftermarket emerge, collaboration with the right partners to ensure the same pace of success in this next phase of industry dynamics.”
“The automotive aftermarket once again shows its resiliency with a stronger than expected recovery from the pandemic,” said Paul McCarthy, president and CEO, AASA. “In fact, the automotive aftermarket rose nearly 25% in the past two years despite ongoing headwinds, and we are excited to see the
channel And more The market sizing and forecast are conducted on behalf of the Auto Care Association and AASA by S&P Global Mobility (formerly the auto-
Key data in the joint channel forecast model include: • Market trends influencing the aftermarket • A 2021-2025 review of industry growth and forecasts • Industry sales by channel including history and forecasts • Industry sales by distribution
motive team at IHS Markit), a leading business intelligence firm. The forecast is based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s Economic Census; IMR Inc.; and proprietary data, economic analysis and forecasting models from S&P Global Mobility. The Joint Channel Forecast Model is available in the Auto Care Association’s 2023 Auto Care Factbook at digital.autocare.org/ 2023factbook and in AASA’s Aftermarket Size & Forecast Report available at https://www.aftermarketsuppliers.org/resource. Source: Auto Care Association
Automakers Report May Sales Automakers on June 1 began releasing May sales results.
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Mazda Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) reported total May sales of 15,312 vehicles, a decrease of 63.7% compared to May 2021. Year-to-date sales totaled 127,673 vehicles; a decrease of 18.5% compared to the same time last year. With 24 selling days in May, compared to 26 the year prior, the company posted a decrease of 60.7% on a Daily Selling Rate (DSR) basis. CPO sales totaled 5,077 vehicles in May, a decrease of 26% compared to May 2021. Hyundai Hyundai Motor America reported May retail sales of 59,432 units, a 30% decrease compared with May 2021. May was an all-time record month for Santa Cruz retail sales. Hyundai had no fleet sales in May 2022. Kia Kia America announced May sales
of 57,941 units with the Niro family of hybrid, PHEV and EV models posting best-ever May sales, up more than 28% over the previous record set in 2021. In addition, the first full month of deliveries of the all-new Sportage HEV charged ahead in May, with 2,417 units sold. Sales of Kia’s electrified models were up 132% over the previous May record set in 2021, and up 5% over the all-time monthly sales record for the vehicle category set in March. Subaru Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) reported 42,526 vehicle sales for May 2022, a 24.8% decrease compared with May 2021 (56,558). The automaker also reported year-to-date sales of 220,620, a 20.8% decrease compared with the same period in 2021. Subaru continues to face inventory challenges as the result of microchip and supply chain issues affecting automakers across the globe. Source: Mazda, Hyundai, Kia, Subaru
autobodynews.com / JULY 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 45
ASE Agenda, Speakers Announced
Toyota Auto Body California Donates Nearly 1,000 Quarter Panels to Collision Students Through CREF
The ASE Education Foundation has announced the agenda and keynote speakers for the upcoming ASE Instructor Training Conference. Scheduled for July 12-15 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Frisco, TX, the conference will feature several informative panels plus a timely keynote panel discussion. Hosted by the ASE Education Foundation, the training conference is open to high school and college instructors from auto, truck and collision repair programs nationwide. The keynote session will be a panel discussion moderated by Catherine “Cat” Treanor, UK business development manager for Electude. The discussion will cover women in auto repair and will focus on what changes need to be made to training programs and workplaces to make them more welcoming to everyone, as well as identifying barriers and ways to overcome them by people who have lived it. Source: ASE Education Foundation
Toyota Motor North America, Inc. believes in taking charge of the future—and that’s exactly why it connected the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) to Toyota Auto Body California, Inc., for a donation of 944 quarter panels, valued at $632,480, which will benefit collision repair educational programs around the country. Quarter panels will be distributed to more than 100 schools, immediately impacting more than 3,000 students by allowing them to practice the skills needed to success in this field; however, the long-term impact will be much higher as instructors often reuse these panels in multiple semesters with many more students. “Technician shortage concerns come up every time I talk to our certified collision centers, field offices and the industry,” Toyota Motor North America Collision Repair & Refinish Manager Kazuyo Jones said in explaining why it’s important to connect the industry with schools. “When Toyota comes across those part or vehicle dona-
tion opportunities, our organization wants to utilize those opportunities for people who need them. We need to energize the industry by doing what we can to support its future workforce.”
across the U.S.,” said CREF Director of Marketing and Project Management Amber Ritter. “This is truly an example of a donation that allows students to learn, practice and hone the important skills that lead to
“This type of in-kind donation is mentioned as one of the most needed items by collision programs across the U.S.” — Amber Ritter Collision education programs are frequently underfunded, limiting instructors’ ability to purchase vehicle parts to use while training students. By partnering with CREF, Toyota is helping ensure that the next generation of collision repair professionals receive the hands-on experience necessary to graduate with the skills they need to successfully join the industry as entry-level technicians. “This type of in-kind donation is mentioned as one of the most needed items by collision programs
rewarding careers. Repetitions are an important part of the learning process, and Toyota’s donation is helping to make that possible.” Industry members interested in getting involved and supporting CREF’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs should contact Brandon Eckenrode, managing director, at 312-231-0258 or Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation. org. Monetary donations can be made online. Source: CREF
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