December 2021 Southwest Edition

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AZ / AR / CO / LA / NM / OK / TX / UT

Texas Tesla Crash: Both Model S Front Seats Were Occupied by David A. Wood,

A Texas Tesla crash, in April, did have an occupant in the driver seat when the 2019 Tesla Model S P100D crashed and burned, killing 59-yearold driver Dr. William Varner and 69-year-old engineer and passenger Everett Talbot. The latest findings come from an ongoing investigation conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board which determined initial reports of no driver behind the wheel were wrong. The Texas Tesla crash occurred

at about 9:07 p.m. April 17, in Spring, Harris County, TX.

According to the NTSB, owner Varner entered the driver’s seat and Talbot entered the passenger seat at the owner’s home, as confirmed by a See Texas Tesla Crash, Page 13

Vol. 39 / Issue 12 / December 2021

OEConnection Acquires VeriFacts Automotive and Assured Performance Network by Stacey Phillips

In November, OEConnection (OEC) confirmed it recently acquired VeriFacts Automotive and Assured Performance Network. Both companies are based in California and provide Certified Repair Network services to OEMs and collision repair shops with customer relationships in North America.

SEMA Coverage:

“Over the last few years, we’ve been working to expand OEC’s val-

ue proposition to collision industry customers,” said OEC in a statement. “In late 2020, we entered the See OEConnection Acquires, Page 16

2021 SEMA Largest Show Since Pandemic Began SEMA New Product Winners See - Search “SEMA” For More

p.4 p. 32

Fix Auto Sierra Vista Named March Taylor Award Winner by VeriFacts Automotive

Ford, Purdue Patent Charging Station Cable That Could Lead to EV Recharges as Fast as Gas Station Fill-Ups

VeriFacts Automotive, LLC, announced Fix Auto Sierra Vista, located in Sierra Vista, AZ, and its store manager, Richard O’Leary, are recipients of a March Taylor award for 2021, recognizing them as one of the top collision repair professionals in the country. O’Leary was honored with the March Taylor “Doing Things Right as a Shop Manager” award for his commitment to process, teamwork and performance. He has served as general manager for this location for the past 26 years. “It is a tremendous honor to see

Ford and Purdue University researchers have taken an important early step to make recharging EVs simple and time saving. Through a research alliance, researchers from both groups are working to develop a new, patent-pending charging station cable that could combine with in-development vehicle charging technology, making it even easier for people to transition to EVs with seamless re-charging. “Today, chargers are limited in how quickly they can charge

one of our team members recognized for their hard work and many contributions to serving our customers

Pictured, left to right, are VeriFacts Automotive Coach Robert Apodaca, Richard O’Leary and Ian Morton. See March Taylor Award Page 6

an EV’s battery due to the danger of overheating. Charging faster requires more current to travel through the charging cable,” said Michael Degner, senior technical leader, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “The higher the current, the greater the amount of heat that has to be removed to keep the cable operational.” Purdue researchers are focusing on an alternative cooling method by designing a charging cable that can deliver an increased current. The cable uses liquid as an active cooling agent, which can help extract more heat from the cable by changing phase from liquid to vapor—the key difference between this and current liquid-cooled technology on the market. This innovation could one day deliver significantly more power than Ford researchers have successfully completed an today’s leading systems to early step with Purdue University inventing a new, re-charge electric vehicles, patent-pending method for charging stations that could one day deliver significantly more power compared to making the potential of today’s leading systems.

See Ford, Purdue Patent, Page 22



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ASA Announces Regional Executive Director �����36

AutoNation Opens Second AutoNation USA

ASE Education Foundation Launches Program ��20

Store in Denver Market ���������������������������������14 Daughter of CARSTAR Owners Wins the 2021 SKUSA SpringNationals Pro Tour Event and Championship �����������������������������������������������12



Autobody News attended Pro Spot’s Distributor Awards Event at Top Golf, Las Vegas on Wednesday, November 3rd ���������������������������46 Biden Administration Acts to Help Relieve

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

ASP Clips �������������������������������������������������������� 22

Larry H. Miller Ford Mesa �������������������������������� 30

Audi South Austin ������������������������������������������� 35

Mac Haik Ford-Lincoln ������������������������������������ 21

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������������� 41

Malco ������������������������������������������������������������� 12

AutoMart Mitsubishi ���������������������������������������� 27 ������������������������������������ 10

Axalta Coating Systems ������������������������������������ 7

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������������� 42

BMW of South Austin �������������������������������������� 35

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts ����������������������������� 42

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 40

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������� 31

Bob Utter Kia �������������������������������������������������� 33

NOROO Paint & Coatings ��������������������������������� 15

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

North Freeway Hyundai ����������������������������������� 32

Chevyland ������������������������������������������������������� 36

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Christopher’s Dodge-Ram ������������������������� 27, 28

Part of the Club ����������������������������������������������� 27

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Peak Kia ��������������������������������������������������������� 27

DeVilbiss Automotive Refinishing �������������������� 13

PPG ���������������������������������������������������������������� 11

and Assured Performance Network �����������������1

Emich Chevrolet ���������������������������������������������� 27

Santa Fe Kia ��������������������������������������������������� 36

Yoswick - Auto Body Shop, College Working

Pro Spot Announces VW Group Approval �����������18

Equalizer Industries, Inc ���������������������������������� 18

SATA Dan-Am Company ���������������������������������� 48

in Tandem to Transform Collision Repair

Repairify Names VP of Development �����������������33

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

Schmelz Countryside �������������������������������������� 27

Program �������������������������������������������������������37

Repairify™ Unites Company Brands,

Fisher Acura ��������������������������������������������������� 27

Schomp Mazda ����������������������������������������������� 33

Fisher Honda �������������������������������������������������� 27

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Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet �������������������������� 18

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������������� 45

Spanesi Americas ������������������������������������������� 17

Fowler Honda ������������������������������������������������� 36

Steve Landers Auto Group ������������������������������� 20

Freeman Mazda ���������������������������������������������� 34

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GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������������� 39

Toyota of Laredo ��������������������������������������������� 16

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

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Valspar Refinish ������������������������������������������������ 5

Tesla’s Original Home State Hits 1M EV

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Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������� 44

American Automotive Trade Show Since

Milestone as Electric Cars Become

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������� 47

Wrenchers ������������������������������������������������������ 19

Pandemic’ ������������������������������������������������������4

CA’s Biggest Export ���������������������������������������18

Kwik Bench ������������������������������������������������������ 6

Young Chevrolet ���������������������������������������������� 32

First-Ever U.S. Auto Tech National Championship Qualifying Event Comes to Utah Oct. 28-30 ���12 Fix Auto Sierra Vista Named March Taylor Award Winner by VeriFacts Automotive ������������1

Supply Chain Woes ���������������������������������������38 CIC Panel Discusses AI in Collision Repair Estimating ����������������������������������������������������43 Cox Hires VP of Inclusion and Diversity ��������������29

Lincoln Tech, Kindig-It Design Partnership to

Ford, Purdue Patent Charging Station Cable

Bring Custom Vehicle Fabrication Program

That Could Lead to EV Recharges as Fast

to Denver Campus ����������������������������������������10

as Gas Station Fill-Ups ������������������������������������1

Service King Donates $45,000 to Cornerstone Ranch Through Golf Tournament Donations ���10 Tesla Officially an Energy Provider in Texas ���������6 Texas Tesla Crash: Both Model S Front Seats Were Occupied �����������������������������������������������1

Helping Others is Contagious, and You Don’t Need to Wear a Mask ���������������������������40 Hertz Partners with Uber to Add Up to 50,000 Teslas to Uber Network by 2023 �������������������14 Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle Aftermarket Will Grow to 2030 and Beyond ����������������������20


Mitchell Providing Tech for PDR Program ����������22

Anderson - The Collision Repair Training

Molla Announces Retirement from ASA �������������13

Program We Need in Every Market ����������������28 Phillips - How to Grow Skilled Technicians & Improve Performance in Your Collision Repair Facility �����������������������������������������������26

MSO Symposium Looks at Post-Pandemic Recovery of Collision Repair Industry ������������43 OEConnection Acquires VeriFacts Automotive

Introduces asTech® Duo, Tru-Point NATIONAL ‘Insurer Report Card’ Open for Collision Repairers to Grade Insurers ��������������������������44 ‘Who Pays for What?’ Survey: Continued Increase in Auto Body Shops Billing for Destructive Weld Testing �������������������������������42 1Collision Continues Expansion �������������������������44 2021 SEMA Show Deemed ‘Largest North

ADAS Calibration System ������������������������������34 Rivian Production Capacity Target: At Least 1 Million a Year by 2030 ��������������������������������46 SEMA Announces Collision Repair & Refinish New Product Award Winners �������������������������32 Survey: 78% of Vehicle-Owning Voters Support Federal Right to Repair Legislation ����������������44


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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2021 SEMA Show Deemed ‘Largest North American Automotive Trade Show Since Pandemic’ by Stacey Phillips

Automotive celebrities, vehicle debuts from major OEMs and the latest developments in equipment and tooling were all part of the live Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show this year in Las Vegas, NV. The four-day event took place Nov. 2-5 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Organizers said the show was “…the largest North American automotive trade show since the pandemic shut everything down in 2020.” It included approximately 1,000 vehicles and more than 100,000 attendees, exhibitors and media. “The industry was clearly excited to be back in-person at the SEMA Show, both to capture business opportunities and to network and celebrate the world’s greatest collection of innovation on wheels,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “Our industry was waiting to reconnect, and the SEMA Show was a welcome homecoming after nearly two years apart.” SEMA, a trade-only industry event, was founded in 1963 and represents the $47.8 billion specialty automotive industry. Organizers said SEMA was 100% committed to delivering a great show in 2021 with COVID-19 protocols in place, including face masks required indoors. This year, exhibits were set up in four halls, including the newly constructed 1.4 million-square foot West Hall. The Collision Repair & Refinish exhibits, typically located in North Hall, were relocated to the South Upper Hall. This section showcased collision repair products, paint booths and equipment, tools, accessories and software and management programs. A new way to travel through the show this year was using the Vegas Loop at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The tunnel system, built by Elon Musk’s The Boring Project in Las Vegas, offered showgoers free transportation underground in a Tesla to the West, North, Central and South halls. It currently consists of two approximately 0.8-mile-long tunnels and is expected to eventually connect Las Vegas casinos along the

strip to McCarran International Airport, Allegiant Stadium, downtown Las Vegas and Los Angeles. During the week, SEMA attendees had the opportunity to view an estimated 1,000 modified project vehicles—customs, exotics, hot rods, lowriders, muscle cars and more— throughout the 4.6 million square feet of convention space and 2.2 million square feet of outdoor space.

These included the top trending cars of the year, which were announced on November 1. Here are the winners: • Car of the Year: Ford Mustang • Sport Compact of the Year: Toyota Supra • 4x4/SUV of the Year: Ford Bronco • Full-size Truck of the Year: Ford F-Series • Mid-Size Truck of the Year: Toyota Tacoma One of the new additions to the show this year was SEMA Member Central, where attendees could learn about the association and its membership. Several industry events also took place during the week, including the MSO Symposium on Nov. 1 at the Mandalay Hotel, and the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) on Nov. 2 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. Prior to the official opening of the SEMA Show, at 9 a.m. Nov. 2, Jay Leno helped kick off the event as the featured guest of the New Products Breakfast, where the best new product award winners were announced. Awards are presented in 16 categories, including Collision Repair & Refinish, and were showcased in the New Products Showcase throughout the week. More than 70 free and 30 paid educational seminars took place Monday through Friday. The Society of Collision Repair (SCRS) held its Repairer Driven


Education Series, which featured industry experts. The courses are designed to deliver relevant content covering industry trends and best business practices. Highlights included the OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit on Nov. 4 and the IDEAS Collide Showcase presentations on Nov. 5. Presentations were held this year by SCRS and I-CAR throughout the week at the SEMA Collision Repair and Refinish Stage in the South Upper Hall. Topics included an I-CAR Technical Update; information about accessing Ford repair information; safety inspections, following Honda/Acura OEM procedures to replace laser-brazed roofs; and a panel on admin time and research. All of the sessions were recorded and available online at Celebrity appearances also took place. Ant Anstead, host of “Celebrity IOU: Joyride,” showcased some of his favorite vehicle builds. These consist of a custom 1962 Buick converted into an electric car in collaboration with American actor James Marsden and a Radford Lotus Type 62/2 Gold Leaf car built in collaboration with Jenson Button, 2009 Formula One world champion and Super GT Series champion. Other vehicles were on display, such as the new 2023 Nissan Z and a 1953 Corvette-inspired carbon fiber concept car by Dave Kindig from the MotorTrend show “Bitchin Rides.” Car enthusiasts had the opportunity to see a collection of more than 20 vehicles built by Chip Foose in a special section of the SEMA Show in the North Hall. Some of the vehicles in the Chip Foose Experience Exhibit included a ’56 Ford F-100 “FD-100” built for Foose’s “Overhaulin’” television series and the “0032,” which won the Grand National Roadster Show’s “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” award in 2000. There were also several Ridler Award-winning builds, such as “Impression,” “Imposter,” “Grand-

master” and “Stallion,” as well as Foose automotive design sketches on display. Another new feature in the North Hall this year was the SEMA Electrified section. The exhibit was intended to demonstrate the latest innovations and solutions for electric vehicle (EV) platforms. There were about a dozen EV projects and products on display. Some of the cars included a Solo by ElectraMeccanica; an electrified Trophy Truck built by new company Hypercraft to race in the SCORE Baja 1000 unlimited class, a 1966 Ford Bronco Roadster and Team Vesco 444 reVolt Systems’ “Little Giant” streamliner, which broke the national Electric E3 record twice at the Bonneville Salt Flats this past October. The SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet, attended by approximately 2,500 automotive icons, professionals, supporters and celebrities, was an annual celebration of the specialty-equipment industry. During the event, awards were given out in the following categories: • 2021 SEMA Person of the Year: Sara Morosan, LGE-CTS Motorsports • 2021 SEMA Manufacturer of the Year: ORACLE Lighting Inc.; runners up: KW Automotive and CSF Racing & High-Performance • 2021 SEMA WD of the Year: Turn 14 Distribution; runners up: Meyer Distributing and Keystone Automotive • 2021 SEMA Gen-III Innovator of the Year: Matt Kossoff, Driven Lighting Group; runners up: Justin Hartenstein and Keith Ferry In addition, tributes were made to the 2021 Hall of Inductees: Jessi Combs, Rick Love, Bob Moore and Carl Schiefer. When the SEMA Show closed at 4 p.m. Nov. 5, vehicles from the event paraded toward the West Hall parking lot and the SEMA Ignited after-party as part of the SEMA Cruise. For more information about the 2022 SEMA Show, visit https://

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Continued from Cover

March Taylor Award

Tesla Officially an Energy Provider in Texas by Joey Klender, Teslarati

with high-quality repairs,” said Ian Morton, owner of Fix Auto Sierra Vista. “We work closely with VeriFacts Automotive on training, process improvements and repair standards. Our dedication to quality and service, combined with the insight we gain through this relationship, is demonstrated in everything we do. Congratulations to Richard on this well-deserved recognition.” Each year, VeriFacts Automotive presents the March Taylor Award, named in honor of industry leader March Taylor, to individuals who contribute to the success of VeriFacts VQ facilities by excelling in their role. Source: Fix Auto


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Tesla has officially entered the Texas market as an energy provider, new documents from the Texas Public Utility Commission state. In August, Tesla Energy filed an application with the Texas Public Utility Commission to sell power in the Lone Star State. Initially reported by Texas Monthly, Tesla’s subsidiary, known as Tesla Energy Ventures, had filed to provide energy and retail electric services to several regions around Texas, including those served by ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Now, a document from the Public Utility Commission has confirmed Tesla is able to supply electricity to residents in the state. The document states: “Tesla Energy Ventures has demonstrated: (a) it has the capability to comply with all applicable ERCOT policies, protocols, guidelines, procedures and rules; (b) it has the capability to comply with all applicable ERCOT registration and certification requirements; (c) it will comply with all renewable energy portfolio

standards; (d) its principals or permanent, managerial employees have at least 15 years combined experience in the competitive retail electric or gas industry; (e) it has at least one principal or permanent employee with five years of experience in energy commodity risk management of a substantial energy portfolio; (f) it has adequate staffing and employee training to meet all service level commitments; (g) it has the capability and effective procedures to be the primary point of contact for retail electric customers for distribution system service; and (h) it has a customer service plan that complies with the Commission’s customer protection and anti-discrimination rules.” As a result of these approvals, Tesla is now officially a certified energy provider in Texas. The story was initially reported by Gizmodo. Tesla acts as an energy provider in several regions, most notably in South Australia at the Big Battery. It also has an active Virtual Power Plant in California currently in its Beta stages. Tesla’s energy program has unique advantages compared to traditional energy providers. Due to the

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company’s use of solar energy and energy storage systems, Tesla Energy users are more likely to avoid outages and blackouts, especially as the excess energy is stored in a Powerwall for residential or Powerpack and Megapack for commercial uses. Texas residents experienced widespread blackouts in February 2021. Tesla Energy could end up being one of the company’s most valuable sectors. CEO Elon Musk has said for some time he feels the Energy side of Tesla will be roughly the same size as its carmaking operation. “So, I mean, the energy business is collectively bigger than the automotive business,” Musk said during the Q2 2020 Earnings Call. “In order to achieve a sustainable energy future, we have to have sustainable energy generation, which I think is going to be primarily solar and followed by wind, and those are intermittent…The mission of Tesla is to accelerate sustainable energy, so I can’t emphasize enough. Yes, the battery and solar will both be enormous, and they kind of have to be in order to—for us to have a sustainable future.”

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Lincoln Tech, Kindig-It Design Partnership to Bring Custom Vehicle Fabrication Program to Denver Campus Lincoln Educational Services Corporation is launching the Kindig Academy at its Denver, CO, campus in early 2022. Lincoln Tech has entered into a collaboration with Dave Kindig, owner of Kindig-It Design and star of MotorTrend TV’s “Bitchin’ Rides,” to offer advanced instruction in this highly specialized field. Kindig offers start-to-finish builds for custom vehicles—known as RestoMods—unlike anything on the road today. With an extensive waitlist, his services are in high demand. At the same time, the need for skilled, qualified professionals throughout the industry has never been greater. The Kindig Academy at Lincoln Tech will help students take their skills to the next level in the custom vehicle design and fabrication industry. “Earning a Kindig Academy certification is a unique credential for a custom vehicle designer and fabricator,” said Chad Nyce, Lincoln Tech’s executive vice president and chief innovation officer. “And it will be available exclusively at Lincoln

Tech.” Kindig founded and operates Kindig-It Design, the nation’s premier custom vehicle fabrication company. Since 1999, Kindig-It Design has been the leading name in creating one-of-a-kind custom rides. In 2014, he helped launch “Bitchin’ Rides” on MotorTrend TV, a series still going strong in its eighth season. The show spotlights the oneof-a-kind rides Dave and his team produce and is seen in more than 169 nations worldwide. Thousands of shops across the country offer custom design and fabrication services, and Kindig sets a high industry standard. He attributes much of the demand to the unparalleled performance machines his team turns out, while also noting how challenging it has become to attract and retain talent with the skills needed to excel in this highly specialized field. “We’re really excited about this partnership and about combining our name with Lincoln Tech,” Kindig said. “We’re very thankful for this opportunity to partner with an educational institute that’s known

Service King Donates $45,000 to Cornerstone Ranch Through Golf Tournament Donations Service King Collision is carrying out its tradition of supporting local communities by fundraising for various organizations at its annual Charity Golf Tournament. On Oct. 12, Service King held its 26th annual Charity Golf Tournament at the Cowboys Golf Club,

where 144 golfers came together at the Dallas course to raise funds for local nonprofits. This year, as part of Service King’s 45th anniversary and vision of “building for tomorrow,” the collision repair operator presented a $45,000 check to Cornerstone Ranch—a residential community created for adults with special needs to live an abundant life—following the tournament.

for delivering quality training. The Kindig Academy and its advanced skills program will be great for both organizations, and most importantly for the technicians we train.” The seven-week program will provide students with 240 instructional hours covering topics such as specialty welding, custom fabrication, part design, custom painting, custom exhaust fabrication, custom electrical system design, custom powertrain programming, mechanical assembly and more—14 topics in all. Students entering the program will be expected to possess foundational skills in most areas and will be asked to demonstrate those skills as part of the application process. Entering the program with a basic knowledge of the fundamentals allows instructors to deliver training in the highly advanced skills needed to produce high-end custom vehicles. Lincoln Tech will transform an area of its Denver campus, which offers collision repair and refinishing technology training, into the new Kindig Academy with its own entrance, showroom and merchan-

dise shop. Nyce said a substantial investment has been made to make the Kindig Academy at Lincoln Tech a landmark training center for an exciting career field. With class sizes expected to include no more than 12 students at a time, applicants will apply into a competitive admissions process. Prior experience will be a prerequisite and candidates will be asked to detail why they want to advance in the custom vehicle fabrication industry. “This is an incredible opportunity for all sides,” said Nyce. “We’re looking forward to launching the Academy and we’re grateful to have been chosen by Kindig-It Design to host the program at Lincoln Tech.” According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the collision repair and refinishing industry is projected to fill more than 130,000 openings by 2028. Lincoln Tech’s collision repair and refinishing technology program, in tandem with industry leaders like Kindig, will help employers nationwide maintain skilled, competitive workforces. Source: Lincoln Educational Services Corporation


“For 45 years, Service King has had a steadfast passion to help others,” said Service King President Jeff McFadden. “Cornerstone Ranch is a local McKinney nonprofit organization that we’re proud to partner with and join their efforts in enriching the lives of people with special needs in our community. We’re also extremely grateful for our loyal business partners and golfers that came out to show their support at this year’s tournament. We look forward to continuing to live out our mission of ‘building for tomorrow’ by continuing to donate to organizations that empower the communities we serve.” For the past 26 years, Service King’s annual Charity Golf Tournament has benefitted a variety of local nonprofit organizations. To learn more about Service King, visit

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Daughter of CARSTAR Owners Wins the 2021 SKUSA SpringNationals Pro Tour Event and Championship

First-Ever U.S. Auto Tech National Championship Qualifying Event Comes to Utah Oct. 28-30

Hannah Greenemeier, 19-yearold daughter of Gunnar and Lynette Greenemeier, owners of CARSTAR Highland–Denver North and CARSTAR Highland–Denver South, won the SKUSA ProTour X30 Pro Championship. She was also named the EKN Driver of the Month for May. Greenemeier has been racing karts since she was 5. She recently brought home the series title for the 2021 Superkarts! USA Pro Tour at New Castle Motorsports Park in New Castle, IN, only the second woman to earn the championship. She was the first female driver in SKUSA history to win the X-30 ProTour Championship class, as well as the first female in SKUSA history to win an X30 ProTour race, which took place in Salt Lake City at Round Four of the ProTour Series in May. “It’s been an amazing year of racing and so exciting to bring home the championship,” said Greenemeier. “We’ve been working hard all season on improving the speed and handling of the kart,

Ideal Industries, Inc., a family business that designs and manufactures products for the professional trades, and Intersport, an independent award-winning marketing agency headquartered in Chicago, have announced the inaugural U.S. Auto Technician National Championship (USATNC) competition. A regional qualifying event is open for registration and will take place Oct. 28-30 in Springville, UT. The competition was created this year to celebrate and showcase the incredible skills of auto technician professionals and students across the country. The program centers around a one-of-a-kind competition series, including four months of online and live qualifying challenges across the country to find the best 64 auto technicians—32 professional and 32 student—and brings them together for a national championship event scheduled to take place Dec. 13-14 in Nashville, TN. The Utah regional qualifying event will be held at Little Giant

and I’ve been spending a lot of time learning these tracks, working on my conditioning and preparing for these races. Now, I’m ready to go to Vegas for the season finale.” Greenemeier races a Kosmic kart which carries the CARSTAR brand. She and her family campaign the team out of Rolison Performance Group in Portland, OR. Her father even fills in as a mechanic for some local races. She has worked her way up the ranks through a variety of karting series, and is now exploring new opportunities with full-bodied cars and other racing series while she continues in this karting series. Superkarts! USA is the outright leader in the shifterkart category and a dedicated supporter of TaG sprint competition, presenting both regional and national events that all lead up to the program’s crown jewel, the annual SuperNationals. As a privately-owned karting organization that is steadily expanding its reach. Source: CARSTAR

Ladders HQ, 1198 Spring Creek Pl., Springville, UT 84663. The regional tour qualifying event is one of seven that will determine the 64 finalists who will be invited to Nashville for the championship event. From the finalists, three professionals and three students will be crowned first, second and third prize winners, and will divvy up $200,000 in cash and prizes. Sponsors for the USATNC include 7-Eleven, Discount Tire, Duluth Trading, Garage Gurus, Little Giant Ladder Systems, Lucas Oil, ServiceTitan and the University of Northwestern Ohio. Registration for the competition is open at Source: Intersport


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Texas Tesla Crash security camera. The Model S left the house and traveled about 550-feet on a residential road before losing control on a curve, driving over a curb and then slamming into a drainage culvert, raised manhole and a tree. As seen in the photo, the fire destroyed the car and the onboard storage device located inside the infotainment console. The restraint control module was recovered but sustained fire damage and was taken to the NTSB recorder laboratory. The 2019 Tesla Model S was equipped with Autopilot which requires two features be engaged. Traffic Aware Cruise Control is an adaptive cruise control system that provides acceleration and deceleration. And Autosteer is a lane-keeping system that steers the car in its lane. The NTSB confirmed Traffic Aware Cruise Control could be engaged but Autosteer was not available on that part of the road.

There were no speed limit signs in the crash area, but Texas officials say the speed limit is 30 mph. Initial police reports said the Tesla driver was found in the back seat, leading to statements that suggested the driver wasn’t in the driver’s seat when the crash occurred. Based on results from the NTSB investigation, the driver was in the driver’s seat when the crash occurred, but results from the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences also found Varner’s blood alcohol level was nearly double the legal limit of 0.08%. An autopsy showed Varner died from “blunt force trauma and thermal injuries with smoke inhalation.” Tesla Model S Steering Wheel Damage/Event Data Recorder As part of the investigation into whether the Tesla Model S had an occupant in the driver’s seat, the NTSB analyzed the steering wheel and how it was deformed in the crash. In addition, the damaged event data recorder was repaired which allowed the NTSB to extract important crash data.

The NTSB found part of the steering wheel was damaged by heat from the fire, but another section was deformed from an impact to the steering wheel. Data from the recorder shows both Tesla Model S front seats were occupied and the seat belts were buckled at the time of the crash. NTSB investigators also determined the driver was applying the accelerator pedal as high as 98.8% and the highest speed in the five seconds leading up to the crash was 67 mph. The Texas Tesla crash investigation isn’t complete as investigators continue to study the event data recorder and compare it with evidence from the crash scene. will update its website when the government releases additional details.

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Molla Announces Retirement from ASA The Automotive Service Association announced Nov. 8 that Tony Molla, vice president of industry relations, will retire from the organization at the end of the year. In this case, calling Molla’s career “storied” is literally true. Prior to joining ASA in May 2015, he spent 15 years as the vice president of communications for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) in Leesburg, VA. After attending Temple University with a major in journalism, he began his automotive career in the Philadelphia area in 1973, working as an automotive technician, service manager at a Fiat dealership and manager of an independent parts store before joining the Chilton Book Company in 1981. He joined the staff of Motor Age Magazine in 1986, and spent his last nine years with the company as the editorial director of Motor Age magazine and Automotive Body Repair News (ABRN). Source: ASA


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Hertz Partners with Uber to Add Up to 50,000 Teslas to Uber Network by 2023 Hertz and Uber on Oct. 27 announced an exclusive partnership to make up to 50,000 Teslas available by 2023 for drivers to rent when using the Uber network. This partnership is the largest expansion of electric vehicles on a mobility platform in North America and one of the largest globally, marking another step toward Uber’s zero-emissions goal.

Starting Nov. 1, drivers can rent Teslas from Hertz through this program in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Washington, D.C—with a nationwide expansion planned in the coming weeks. For Hertz, the partnership is part of its commitment to lead the future of travel, mobility and the auto industry. This includes Hertz leading in electrification, shared mobility and a digital-first customer experience. On Oct. 25, Hertz announced its most significant investment to offer the largest EV rental fleet in North America and one of the largest in the world. This includes an initial order of 100,000 Teslas by the end of 2022

and new EV charging infrastructure across Hertz’s global operations. “Today’s partnership with Uber is another major step forward in Hertz becoming an essential component of the modern mobility ecosystem and executing on our commitment to being an environmentally forward company,” said Mark Fields, Hertz interim CEO. “We are creating the new Hertz and charting a dynamic, new course for the future of travel, mobility and the auto industry.” “Climate change is an urgent global challenge we must all tackle together, and now is the time to drive a green recovery from the pandemic,” said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. “This combines the

power of Tesla, Hertz and Uber to help accelerate the transition to zero-emissions mobility. We look forward to seeing more EVs on the road right away.” For drivers looking to rent a

AutoNation Opens Second AutoNation USA Store in Denver Market AutoNation, Inc., America’s largest automotive retailer, on Oct. 18 announced the opening of AutoNation USA Denver Broadway, the third of five new AutoNation USA stores the company will open this year. The company expects to open 12 additional AutoNation USA stores in 2022. AutoNation is projecting to have more than 130 AutoNation USA stores in operation from coastto-coast by the end of 2026. The AutoNation USA stores will continue to leverage the AutoNation brand, scale and proven customer-centric processes to capture a larger share of the used vehicle market. “We are incredibly excited about the opening of AutoNation USA Denver Broadway. We look

forward to providing a peerless customer experience and connecting with our community through our Drive Pink initiative, which has raised and donated over $28 million to cancer research and treatment,” said Jeff Thorpe, AutoNation Market president. AutoNation USA Denver Broadway is the second AutoNation USA store in Denver the company has opened this year. The store is located at 5501 S. Broadway, Littleton, CO 80121. AutoNation USA Denver Broadway is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The store can be reached at (720) 703-7800 or online at www.AutoNationUSA. com. Source: AutoNation


Tesla, this is the best deal available in the market today. It offers drivers gas savings, higher earnings potential, access to the Tesla Supercharger network and Uber’s exclusive EVgo discounts, and other financial benefits through Uber’s Green Future program, which provides incentives—such as $1 more per trip up

to $4,000 annually—for drivers to transition from gas-powered vehicles to EVs. Globally, consumer interest in electric vehicles is skyrocketing because of environmental concern, convenience and reduced operating costs. Access to carpool lanes for solo-occupant vehicles—for both personal and ride-sharing vehicles—also is a major motivator. Drivers are becoming increasingly interested in EVs. A recent survey of more than 6,000 internal

combustion engine (ICE) drivers using the Uber app showed 47% are interested in a battery EV as their next car. Uber and Hertz have partnered since 2016 to provide drivers with vehicle rental options. With this partnership, Hertz will kick off the program by providing up to 50,000 vehicles by 2023 exclusively to drivers. If successful, the program could expand to 150,000 Teslas during the next three years. Hertz pointed out these ambitions could be affected by factors outside of its control, such as semiconductor chip shortages or other constraints. Participating drivers receive a preferred weekly rate for Hertz rentals, which includes insurance, basic maintenance and unlimited miles. The Hertz-Uber offering can also make it easier for drivers to source a vehicle, by eliminating the long-term commitments that buying or leasing a car often require. Source: Hertz

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OEConnection Acquires Certified Repair Network arena with the acquisition of Summit Consulting, Inc. (SCI) to create a flexible and dynamic solution for the CRN space. “With VeriFacts and Assured Performance joining the OEC family, we will continue to enhance the value we bring to our collective cus-

dent third-party certification for collision repair providers. OEC first launched in 2000 with the mission of helping OEMs sell more genuine parts. “As the industry evolves and increases in complexity, the best way we can continue to serve our customers is by connecting the aftersales industry through solutions that help deliver efficient repair lifecycles, OEM parts and procedures, and proper vehicle repairs,” said an

“NuGen IT brings high-quality collision market solutions and repair expertise that will help expand our value to the collision industry,” — Ike Herman tomer base with the primary goal of driving safe and proper vehicle repairs.” VeriFacts, established in 2002, is an independent, third-party verification service that offers oversight, analysis, coaching, education and technology for collision repair facilities. Assured Performance Network, formed in 2003, provides indepen-

OEC representative. Based in Northeast Ohio, OEC is a leading technology provider for OEM distribution networks. The company equips many of the world’s largest automotive and heavy-duty original equipment manufacturers, their franchised dealers and distributors, and customers with online parts marketing, procurement and inventory management solutions

that facilitate efficient and accurate wholesale services. As a provider of SaaS-based solutions for OE parts, OEC focuses on data management, ecommerce, pricing, supply chain, cataloging, service and business intelligence (BI) solutions, across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. In November 2020, the company acquired SCI, a BI consulting and solutions provider for the automotive industry headquartered in Dallas, TX. Following the acquisition, SCI President Bob McDonald said, “This is a very exciting time for the SCI team. OEC has a tremendous track record of delivering value to its customers. OEC’s proven, high-quality solutions, combined with SCI’s domain expertise and BI platform, position us to deliver even more value to our customers.” Earlier that year, in July 2020, OEC acquired NuGen IT, an award-winning software firm based in Kansas City that develops management tools for the automotive repair industry. In a press release issued at that

time, the company said NuGen IT will add collision repair industry expertise to augment OEC’s growing collision business. “NuGen IT brings high-quality collision market solutions and repair expertise that will help expand our value to the collision industry,” said Ike Herman, OEC’s EVP of corporate development. “I am extremely proud of all that the NuGen IT team has accomplished and couldn’t be more excited about this next step in our evolution,” said Pete Tagliapietra, founder and president of NuGen IT, after the acquisition. “OEC has a tremendous and successful track record of delivering solutions to body shops and automakers, and I look forward to what this partnership will mean for our collective customer base.”




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Tesla’s Original Home State Hits 1M EV Milestone as Electric Cars Become CA’s Biggest Export by Maria Merano, Teslarati

California officially sold 1 million electric vehicles in November, according to the California Energy Commission (CEC) Chair David Hochschild. California is home to many EV automakers, including Tesla, the leading pure electric car manufacturer in the market today. “We just hit this month a very significant milestone, reaching 1 million electric vehicles sold in California,” Hochschild said during an event hosted by The Washington Post on Nov. 15. “There are almost three dozen companies making EVs in the state, which are now its largest export.” Tesla’s Fremont Factory is located in California. Tesla spearheaded the recent EV revolution, and many credit the company for encouraging legacy automakers and new companies to manufacture electric vehicles. Through its most tur-

bulent years, California was home to Tesla. During the event, Hochschild emphasized the roles local and state leaders played and continue to play in decarbonization. “Local and state leadership is really how change happens in our world,” Hochschild said. “It’s really from the bottom up. And what we need at the local and state level is support from the national government.” At the height of the pandemic in 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk threatened to move the company away from California, even filing a lawsuit against Alameda County after officials refused to allow the Fremont Factory to reopen. By the time Musk made the announcement, Tesla had already made several attempts to fulfill the requirements of Alameda County with regards to infection prevention at the Fremont Factory. Tesla had also made several attempts to contact Alameda

Pro Spot Announces VW Group Approval Pro Spot International, a leading manufacturer of welding products for the collision repair industry, is proud to announce the approval of its SP-5.3 MIG welder, VAS 821 007, by the Volkswagen Group based in Wolfsburg, Germany, for the North American market. The Pro Spot SP 5.3 is a multi-process double pulse MIG welder that has been widely accepted since its introduction three years ago. The welder was tested with different wire types and approved for all three materials: aluminum, steel and MIG brazing (CUSI). The SP-3 is very easy and quick to use, and is unique in that it has three built-in torches always attached to a wire spool. This means no need for changing liners and wires when switching materials—just click the desired torch trigger and the welder sets the weld controller and gas automatically. For more information, contact Pro Spot International at 1-877-776-7768 or info@prospot. com, or visit Source: Pro Spot

County to get the green light to open. Musk made the announcement after California Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered new guidance on the pandemic, allowing lower-risk businesses, including those in manufacturing, to reopen with limited operations. Despite Newsom’s announcements, Tesla was not permitted to reopen while other car manufacturers in the country already restarted operations at a limited capacity. Tesla still has a strong presence in California, with Musk announcing the company would be expanding the Fremont Factory’s capacity by 50%. However, Tesla has officially moved its headquarters to the Lone Star State, where Giga Texas will start operations soon. Giga Texas fits the company’s current position as the leader of the EV industry and has ample space to accommodate Tesla’s growing ambitions and future plans.




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ASE Education Foundation Launches Program As a means to foster partnerships between businesses in the transportation industry and schools in their local communities, the ASE Education Foundation has introduced a new Adopt-A-School program. This mutually beneficial program enables businesses to provide support to local schools while simultaneously providing those businesses with access to up-and-coming service professionals entering the work force. The ASE Education Foundation has created a landing page, which explains the AdoptA-School concept and allows users to link to the free online toolkit which can help businesses launch and maintain partnerships with schools. The toolkit provides information about connecting with students, supporting a school’s training program and educators, and putting students to work in the industry while they are still in school. Source: ASE Education Foundation

Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle Aftermarket Will Grow to 2030 and Beyond “Internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles will achieve significant U.S. automotive aftermarket product growth to 2030 and beyond, contrary to the widely-held expectations that electric vehicles will rapidly eliminate ICE aftermarket product sales,” said Jim Lang, president of Lang Marketing Resources, a leading automotive market intelligence firm headquartered in Fort Wayne, IN, with more than 25 years in the vehicle product industry. “Peak ICE aftermarket, the year when internal combustion engine vehicles reach their maximum automotive aftermarket product volume, will not arrive until after 2030,” predicted Lang. “This is significant to the more than 400,000 business locations across the U.S. that repair vehicles and sell automotive products.” Millions More ICE Vehicles Despite growing annual EV sales, the number of ICE vehicles on the road will increase between 2021 and 2030.

Regular hybrids and mild hybrids (both have batteries recharged by internal combustion engines) are included as ICE vehicles in this analysis because most mileage of non-plug-in hybrids is ICE powered. EV Future VIO While EVs will steadily increase their share of new car and light truck sales in the U.S., their share of vehicles in operation (VIO) will climb at a much slower pace. Even with aggressive annual sales growth, EVs will account for only approximately 7% of the total VIO by 2030. BEVs will represent an even smaller share. EV Aftermarket Impact Delayed Aside from tires and certain accessories, cars and light trucks do not make substantial contributions to aftermarket product volume until they are at least five years old. This will delay the impact of the rising annual sales of new EVs on the ICE aftermarket.

EV Low Average Age Since the runup in the number of EV vehicles on the road will occur late in the 2020s, EVs in operation during 2030 will have a very low average age, less than three years. BEV average age will be even lower, less than two years. ICE Vehicle Aftermarket Growth to 2030 and Beyond With their relatively small VIO and low average age, electric vehicles (PHEV and BEV models) will eliminate less than 2% of ICE aftermarket product sales in 2030, aside from tires and certain accessories. BEVs will eliminate an even smaller portion of ICE aftermarket product volume. As a result, ICE cars and light trucks will continue to increase their aftermarket product volume through 2030 and beyond. Source: Lang Marketing Resources

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Mitchell Providing Tech for PDR Program Mitchell on Oct. 26 announced PDR Testing and Certification, LLC has selected it as the exclusive diagnostics supplier for the Vale PDR Technician Certification Program. Technicians will now be able to use Mitchell’s MD-500 all-in-one solution for vehicle diagnostic scanning, calibrating and estimating. As vehicle complexity increases, diagnostics has become critical to proper, safe repair. Recognizing its importance and the need to train, test and certify nearly 30,000 PDR technicians nationwide on scanning and calibration, Vale recently made diagnostics a core addition to its PDR Technician Certification Program. Mitchell’s MD-500—which leverages Bosch’s best-in-class vehicle coverage and hardware— will help technicians quickly and accurately assess damage, complete an appraisal and perform the necessary repair work. Source: Mitchell International

Continued from Cover

Ford, Purdue Patent faster re-charging times possible if vehicle charging and other technology enhancements are made in parallel. Ultimately, this could eventually lead to re-charging EVs as quickly as conventional gas station fill-ups. The idea for this technology originated based on the Ford team’s understanding of the challenges faced going to faster charging rates, as well as Purdue researchers’ area of expertise. The teams collaborate regularly to review the latest results and give feedback on areas of focus as the technology is developed. “Electric vehicle charging time can vary widely, from 20 minutes at a station to hours on an at-home charging station, and that can be a source of anxiety for people who are considering buying an electric vehicle,” said Issam Mudawar, Betty Ruth and Milton B. Hollander Family professor of mechanical engineering, Purdue University. “My lab has come up with a solution for

situations where the amounts of heat that are produced are beyond the capabilities of today’s technologies.” Mudawar says his lab intends to begin testing a prototype charging cable in the next two years to determine more specific charge speeds for certain models of electric vehicles. “Ford is committed to making the transition to electrification easy,” said Degner. “We are glad to work closely with Purdue’s research team, which has the potential to make electric vehicle and commercial fleet ownership even more appealing and accessible.” The alliance with Ford and Purdue is part of hundreds of strategic alliances the company has with university professors around the world. Providing graduate students with opportunities to work on real world-challenges helps them develop their skills while introducing Ford to students who may choose to start their career at the company. “The research that we are conducting in a project such as this is really advanced, and we view it as a benefit for us, the future of

charging electric vehicles and as a pipeline to young talent—and we’ve seen success in doing this,” said Ted Miller, Ford’s manager of electrification subsystems and power supply research. “Students get engaged, they like the work they’re doing, and it’s a sustained investment in their laboratories, while helping us solve problems.” While the fast-charging cable won’t be on the market for some time as research continues, Mudawar has been developing ways to more efficiently cool electronics for the past 37 years by taking advantage of how liquid captures heat when boiled into a vapor. “Ford has been actively involved in battery research and electric vehicles dating back to the days of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison,” Miller said. “We’ve secured more than 2,500 U.S. patents in electrification technologies and we have more than 4,000 more pending. Working with Professor Mudawar and his students is the perfect fit to help us research the charging solutions of the future.” Source: Ford Motor Company

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800-456-9568 719-955-1715

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6; Sat 8-4 LOUISIANA


Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-2 TEXAS

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Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7-5 / DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 25

Techs of the Future with Stacey Phillips

Stacey Phillips is an award-winning writer for the automotive industry based in Southern California. She has more than 25 years of experience as an editor and writer and has assisted a wide range of businesses and fields. In addition, Stacey has co-authored two books. She can be reached at

How to Grow Skilled Technicians & Improve Performance in Your Collision Repair Facility Auto body shop owners and managers across the U.S. are struggling to attract, motivate and retain skilled technicians in their facilities. Many say this has worsened since the COVID-19 pandemic. During an Elite Body Shop Academy webinar, Dave Flockhart, chief operating officer of BETAG Innovation, talked about ways to develop and shape the next generation of high-performance apprentices and journeyman technicians to address this challenge. “The reality is, and we can’t blame it all on COVID, we’ve been thrown a curveball,” said Flockhart. “We’re all contending with the fact that claim volumes are down and driving patterns have changed, perhaps irreversibly.”

form better.” This includes implementing new ideas, systems and processes in shops. As the current population of technicians continues to age, Flockhart said it is critical to find ways to attract new and younger people to the industry to learn the trade. The furlough that occurred during the pandemic and people leaving the industry for other sectors has contributed to the current shortage of skilled technicians. In addition, many say there is an inadequate apprentice pipeline to draw from. Flockhart said shops are feeling it more acutely now and trying to recharge as people begin spending again. With increasing pressure to find skilled workers, shops have been hiring technicians from competitors for higher labor rates and/or signing-on bonuses. “We’re seeing techs walk down the road to the competitor for a small raise or a signing-on bonus,” observed Flockhart. “In the short-term, that’s fine. But BETAG’s small damage repair course is part of its Outer Panel Repair Specialist (OPRS) program in the medium-term, I think it’s a zero-sum game.” However, he encouraged repairers to come to grips with the The Focus on High Performance situation and be open to embracing Flockhart said there is a strong corvirtual claims. relation between the skills shortage “Although COVID has led to and performance. He described a series of challenges, a lot of those high-performance workers as those were in play pre-COVID and the who have a combination of knowlpandemic has just accelerated some edge, skills and process. of them,” he said. Using the analogy of a pit crew, He shared one of his favorite he shared some of the things a crew quotes from Vivian Greene as a way does to enhance performance during of thinking about the current circum- a race. He pointed out how each stance: “Life isn’t about waiting for team member focuses on a very spethe storm to pass. It’s about learning cific skill. how to dance in the rain.” “When they come together col In times of challenge, Flockhart lectively, they can deliver the whole has often found there is also tremen- in an amazingly short period,” he said. “That comes down to the same dous opportunity. “We just have to go looking for three factors: knowledge, skills and it,” he said. “We need to find new process.” ways to think and act differently as By incorporating excellent techwell as identify ways we can per- nique, consistent application, good 26 DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS /

communication and teamwork, Flockhart said all of the team members know what each other is doing with absolute clarity. “I think trusting, empowering, recognizing and rewarding are critical,” he said. “As a result, the team begins to behave more cohesively and comes together around a shared objective.” Although the focus and attention are typically on the driver, Flockhart said the team is critical in order to experience success. The same is true in collision repair. “A high-performing pit crew can actually win a race for a team or lose a race for a team almost regardless of what the driver of the car has done on the track,” said Flockhart. “By working together, it provides everyone with a sense of purpose and clarity around what their role is and ultimately creates a competi-

tive advantage and improves performance.” Flockhart said that collision repairers are under constant pressure to deliver, whether that’s for their insurance partners against performance metrics and scorecards, or for customers. At the same time, they need to deal with increasing expectations, demand and knowledge of what it takes to repair a car properly. “We’re under this constant pressure to perform,” he said. “When we don’t have the right people in place to do the right jobs at the right times, we drive these operational inconsistencies, which start to negatively affect the very metrics that we are striving to achieve and create a vicious cycle.” Breaking the Cycle Besides thinking differently, FlockSee Grow Skilled Technicians, Page 30


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

From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

The Collision Repair Training Program We Need in Every Market I know that easily one of the top challenges at many collision repair businesses around the country is finding skilled technicians, either entry-level or those with more experience. That’s why I was so encouraged and impressed by what I’ve seen at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, MO. At this stage in my career, it can be hard to impress me, but I’ve been blown away by what I’ve seen at Ranken the half-dozen times I’ve visited there. So much so, I’ve chosen to bring all the auto body shops in a number of my 20 Groups to the school to check it out. Here’s what I think sets Ranken apart from many other collision repair training programs: First, the facility is phenomenal. It’s probably equally or even better equipped than most shops in

the auto body shops that will employ them. But here’s what I love most about the Ranken program. Every student in the Collision Engineering program is on an eight-week rotation. They attend classes and hands-on training at the school for an eightweek period, learning the basics like shop safety, vehicle disassembly and dent repair—an awesome part of the program is that researching OEM repair procedures is one of the first skills students learn. During eight-week rotations at Ranken Technical College, Then they spend the next students learn the entry-level skills they need for their next eight weeks actually workeight-week rotation working in an auto body shop ing in a shop, performing skills they will need by working on the skills they have learned—along that type of vehicle. But at Ranken, with being exposed to more of the students are working on exactly the type of work they will be doing as late-model vehicles they will find in technicians. If they’re not performthe U.S. Second, when I’ve visited other collision repair training programs, I often see students working on older cars or even restoration projects. Sure, students can learn some

ing a skill within the shop to the level they should be, the shop can contact the school’s instructors and have them work with that student further. This eight-week rotation between the school and the shop continues throughout the student’s time in the two-year Ranken program. Rather than going to school for a full year, being introduced to skills they may well forget before they have a chance to practice them, Ranken students are getting a real-world chance to use, improve and demonstrate those skills. At some point in the rotation, they need to choose whether they want to become a body technician or a painter, and from that point on, that’s what their training at the school and work in the shop will focus on. As with any collision repair training program out there, a stu-

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dent who completes the Ranken program is not going to immediately be a journeyman A-tech. But Ranken graduates will be really strong B-techs. At many programs, students learn just a little about a lot. At Ranken, they come away with the specific training and hands-on experience to be productive at the basic skills needed in a shop right away to continue to progress in their career. They also start that career with a basic set of tools, and a bunch of I-CAR training credits.

The facility for Ranken Technical College’s Collision Engineering program rivals that of the best shops in the industry

As I said, I’m not easy to impress. But the quality of the welds I saw students at Ranken doing was phenomenal. One of the times I visited, an instructor was working with students on a quarter panel replace-

ment. Everything was being done exactly how the OEM procedures— which the students had access to— call for it to be done. For more information about the Ranken program, contact Shelly Jones at Now you might be thinking: That’s great, Mike, but my shop is nowhere near St. Louis. So here are a few more things you should know. I have been so impressed with the Ranken facility, I moved the hands-on ADAS training we do for Nissan/Infiniti from Florida to Ranken. So come take that training and see Ranken for yourself. The school has a dorm and cafeteria for students who don’t live in the area. I know a shop owner in Colorado who, like me, was so impressed with Ranken, he’s having his own son attend the program there. If I still had my shops and I found good prospective apprentices, I would definitely have them attend the Ranken program. I’d tell them they would need to line up the grants, scholarships or loans needed initially to pay for the program

themselves. But I’d also have an agreement with them that as long as they were working for my company and doing a good job, I would make their student loan payments. They’d have some skin in the game up front, but also a strong incentive to stay at my company. And here’s the really good news for the industry: I want to give a big shout-out to the Enterprise Rent-ACar Foundation, because they have gotten behind the Ranken program. What’s more, the foundation is helping fund a pilot project to bring the Ranken model, including that awesome eight-week rotation system, to other schools around the country, including Contra Costa College in San Pablo, CA; Texas State Technical College in Waco, TX; and College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL. As the pilot project continues, participating schools, shops and students are perfecting an awesome model for what entry-level collision repair training should look like. Get involved if you can. I truly believe it will be a key part of improving the development of the entry-level technicians this industry so badly needs.

Cox Hires VP of Inclusion and Diversity Cox Enterprises has hired Erin Mitchell Richeson as the vice president of inclusion and diversity (I&D), effective Oct. 29. In this role, Richeson will lead the implementation of the company’s inclusion, diversity and equity (ID&E) strategy and will report directly to EVP and Chief People and Operations Officer Jill Campbell. She will consult on and support Cox’s efforts around diversity recruitment, employee engagement, diversity learning, talent development and supplier diversity across our divisions. Prior to joining Cox, Richeson was vice president of global inclusion and diversity at the Kimberly-Clark Corporation. She designed and managed the execution of sustainable I&D workforce plans globally and in key markets. Her work in this area helped improve business results through inclusion-based strategies that enabled workforce diversity growth. Source: Cox Enterprises

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Continued from Page 26

Grow Skilled Technicians hart encourages repairers to act differently. “If we keep doing the same things, we are going to keep getting the same results,” he noted. “We know we have to find ways to attract new talent, but we also have to find ways to reduce staff turnover, which is in a business owner’s control.” Flockhart cautioned shop owners and managers to not lose sight of the significant cost attached to someone leaving an organization and having to find a replacement. “The cost is approximately one and a quarter times their salary and benefits package,” he said. Flockhart shared five ways to improve a team’s performance in a collision repair facility: 1) Identify the skill gaps 2) Attract people with potential even if they don’t have the skills today 3) Create a career path for them and invest in their development 4) Ensure they have a sense of purpose and recognize their efforts 5) Reward their performance, not necessarily financially Flockhart recommends moving away from the structure of A, B and C technicians and focus instead on apprentices, entry-level journeymen and master technicians. He also encouraged owners and managers to focus on the culture in their shop so it is considered a great place to work. Although it can be challenging at times, he said business owners shouldn’t lose sight of how much of a positive impact that can make. How Work Mix Impacts Performance The typical work mix in shops today, according to Flockhart, is 6065% outer panel repair, 15-20% structural repair and 20% total loss. “The percentage of outer panel repair is increasing as a portion of the total because ADAS features are reducing impact speeds and by extension, the heaviness of the hit,” explained Flockhart. “However, severity in terms of dollars is increasing because of the cost of repairing/ replacing the same ADAS technolo-

With OEMs incorporating more on the complex repairs that demand complex, lighter-weight materials in experience.” vehicles, such as aluminum, thinner To help find ways to attract, train steels and composites, repair meth- and develop the skills of apprentice ods have not kept up. and entry-level journeyman techs, “The challenge is that we have BETAG created a technicians’ trainthis ever-present pressure to focus ing and accreditation program for an on the repair,” he said. “I think this outer panel repair specialist (OPRS) has manifested itself and has be- to help businesses increase produccome disruptive in the shop. This is tivity and repair quality. Flockhart where the skill shortage comes in.” said the program aims to help equip By focusing on outer panel re- the technician of tomorrow with the pair work, Flockhart said shops have skills they need to have a direct iman enormous opportunity to become pact on business performance today. more proficient in this area For more information about and improve performance BETAG, email Dave Flockhart: metrics, increase touch time and reduce cycle time, and For more information about lead to higher gross margins Dave Luehr’s Elite Body Shop and more workflow. Academy and to watch this webinar, “If we can find a way visit: https://elitebodyshopsolutions. as repairers to become bet- com/academy. ter than we currently are in For more information about that section, the opportu- BETAG’s program to grow skilled nities are significant,” said technicians and perform better, visit: Flockhart. “It enables ap- prentices and journeyman nicianAccreditation.php. Part of BETAG’s Outer Panel Repair Specialist (OPRS) technicians to become suprogram includes aluminum panel repair training per productive outer panel vehicles—one in five coming into repair specialists, allowing the the shop—were deemed to be total ter technicians to focus their skills losses. Not only are these vehicles taking up space, but they also take up estimating time. The Ford Wholesale Parts You Need Now! Although shops must deal with the total loss side of the business, Hours: Flockhart said they are ultimately in M-F 7am - 7pm the business of repairing vehicles. Saturday 7am - 4pm “With some very good reasons, the focus and investment tend to center on structural repairs,” said Flockhart. “If we are going to be in the business of repairing cars, there is no question as repairers we must be able to do that properly.” However, he pointed out that structural repairs represent the smallest part of the work mix but take up a disproportionate amount of investment dollars, time, training butch.lemen and technicians. In light of this, Flockhart recWholesale Hotline : 480-530-9720 ommends shops put their focus and investment dollars toward outer pan24 Hr. Fax: 480-530-9708 el repair to improve performance. Although it has typically been an 460 East Auto Center Dr., Mesa, AZ 85204 overlooked area over the years, Flockhart said it represents the majority of work now and continues to grow. “Materials have evolved but repair methods have not; performance is suffering as a result,” he said.

gy when there is a collision, even if it is at a slower speed.” During COVID, with less traffic on the road, the average impact speed trended upwards but this should be an anomaly when considered over a longer timeframe, he added. Approximately five years ago, total losses were about 13-14% of the work mix, according to statistics from CCC Intelligent Solutions shared by Flockhart. He pointed out for the first time, just over 20% of







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ABN_Southwest_COL15_2019.indd 1 / DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 31 7/7/21 8:56 AM

SEMA Announces Collision Repair & Refinish New Product Award Winners by Ed Attanasio

If you’re the inventor of a cutting-edge piece of equipment, tool or product that can help auto body shops to do a better job, the people at SEMA will give you an opportunity every year to honor your achievement and recognize it throughout the automotive industry worldwide. These are the Academy Awards for automotive product innovators, and you can almost guarantee success for an established or growing business by capturing one of these highly-respected awards. This year, more than 1,300 products were entered into 16 different showcase categories to be considered for the SEMA New Product Awards. Each category has one winner and two runners-up. Winners were judged on a wide range of criteria, including quality, marketability, innovation, technology and consumer appeal, among others. SEMA’s annual New Product Awards competition recognizes

outstanding achievements in the development of products being introduced to the automotive specialty-equipment market at the SEMA Show. This year’s New Product Award Winners Collision within the Repair & Refinish Product category are:

clean and tidy.” The system’s ideal for technicians looking to simply rough out damage that will ultimately need

Winner: The Keco Collision Glue Pull Repair System made by Keco Body Repair Products Runner-up: The Eagle made by Celette, Inc. Runner-up: The Drain Cleaner SR250 made by Reliable Automotive Equipment, Inc. The winning Keco Collision Glue Pull Repair System includes all of the tools required to complete level 1 repairs requiring minimal body filler to finish. The company website claims “this kit handles medium to x-large damages with ease and precision. Tools are easily organized on the designated GPR cart. The tab organizer will ensure you limit lost tabs and keep your shop looking

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Chris White, owner of Keco Body Repair Products, holds the trophy his company received when its Keco Collision Glue Pull Repair System was named a SEMA Best New Product Award winner in the Collision Repair and Refinish category

a filler for finishing, and features K-Beam® and Slide Hammers to provide the ability to make double-action pulls, and the K-Bar to

perform leverage pulls that move tons of metal fast. JVF Body Hammers and Slappies are great for knocking down crowns and releasing tension while repairing damage, and include medium-sized crease tabs as well as large and x-large Centipede and Supertabs in all the most popular shapes, sizes and materials. It also includes a designated glue pull cart and tab organizer to keep tools and tabs clean and organized in your auto body shop. One of the two runners-up awards goes to the Eagle 3D Electronic measuring system made by Celette, Inc., headquartered in Lombard, IL. It’s a high-definition laser system that shoots the target in milliseconds with the measuring results displayed in the software. It features a self-learning user interface that enables users achieve more accurately when compared to traditional technology. A 65-year-old company, Celette delivers highly productive and

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innovative auto body repair equipment to the collision repair industry. With everything they make, Celette designs products with the aim to offer solutions for repairing accident damages as well as to increase profitability of the body shop by reducing process time and the insurance man-hour time. The company is well-known for its worldwide Celette Technical Training Academy, and recently expanded its international footprint by establishing a new training facility in Chonburi, Thailand. Other features of the Eagle 3D Electronic measuring system features include online 3D software for vehicle database; and wireless connectivity between the laser gun, targets and software, with WiFi technology. Unlike traditional technology, the Eagle does not require reference points measurement. Leveling of the vehicle is not required and it provides an insurance diagnosis report after the measurement to create documentation using OE data. With Eagle, users can perform a complete vehicle body measurement in less

than 10 minutes with an accuracy of +/- 0.5 mm. Celette’s North American National Manager Bob Stevenson is thrilled to capture one of the two runner-up spots at SEMA because he knows the value of this coveted award. “We want to do a simple thankyou to the people of SEMA and recognizing us for being an innovative company and a leader in the collision repair industry,” Stevenson said. “We did a soft launch of the Eagle starting back in 2019 and the feedback we received from body shops all over the country has been very positive. Technicians appreciate its ease of use and body shop owners love the price, which is 75% less than the competition.” The other runners-up award went to The Drain Cleaner SR250 made by Reliable Automotive Equipment, Inc. (RAE). Founded in 1987, RAE designs and markets equipment solutions to the ever-changing automotive market in the U.S., Europe and Asia, as it produces repair training curriculum and certification programs for

use by collision repair facilities. In partnership with the OEMs and equipment manufacturers, RAE has both influenced and provided instructor-led training in OE repair procedures and their related tools and equipment. With RAE’s experience and its connection to those who engineer both the vehicle and its repair, the company has built a reputation for outstanding product performance, unsurpassed product quality and most of all, the human touch. Field Engineer at RAE Robert Gruskos made a statement immediately receiving the award. “We at Reliable Automotive Equipment and Wielander & Schill are honored to be selected as a runner-up for SEMA’s New Product Showcase,” Gruskos said. “We have developed a reputation for being problem solvers and our new Drain Cleaner SR250 definitely falls neatly into that category.”


Repairify Names VP of Development Repairify™, Inc., a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC, announced Nov. 1 it has hired automotive training and development veteran Chris Chesney as its new vice president of training and organizational development. In this role, Chesney will establish a comprehensive training initiative for customers, industry partners, employees and the network of technicians throughout the global Repairify ecosystem. In a career spanning 50 years, Chesney has held nearly every primary role in the automotive service sector, including master technician, service advisor, shop owner and technical and management educator. He most recently spent nearly 22 years leading Advance Auto Parts’ Carquest Technical Institute (CTI), widely considered the industry’s most successful automotive technical training organization. Source: Repairify, Inc.


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Repairify™ Unites Company Brands, Introduces asTech® Duo, Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System by Stacey Phillips

As new vehicles are manufactured with complex electronic systems that require extreme precision to function safely, Repairify’s Chief Technology Officer Maurice Tuff said the company will continue to focus on providing solutions to ensure the electronic vehicle systems are returned to OEM specifications post-collision repair. Repairify, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, recently made several announcements as part of its strategic initiative to support the collision repair industry. These include a rebranding of its company, the introduction of a new product, asTech Duo, and a process for validating if an aftermarket tool can or cannot be used in place of an OEM tool on specific vehicles within the car parc. “By growing our organization through the acquisitions of like-minded industry innovators, we have established a powerhouse of brands that are all playing critical roles in transforming the way today’s increasingly complex vehicles are repaired, serviced and maintained,” said Cris Hollingsworth, president of Repairify. “Repairify continuously provides innovative solutions to meet the evolving demands of the industry,” said Tuff. “We are now a full solution provider; once a vehicle is scanned, we identify the ADAS calibrations required and then provide tools necessary to perform the calibrations on-site, ensuring the vehicle is returned to OEM specifications.” Uniting Under the Repairify Brand Lesley Sparkes, Repairify’s vice president of global marketing, explained Repairify was traditionally the holding name for the business, which operated as asTech and owned FleetGenix. Over the last year, the company has made four acquisitions: adasThink, BlueDriver, Mobile Tech RX and RED (EU). “All our companies were strategically acquired in order to deliver an end-to-end solution and uniting them under the Repairify name gives our customers a single trusted

source they can rely on for the full repair process,” said Sparkes.

Maurice Tuff, left, and Lesley Sparkes, right, stand near the Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System

The strategic initiative brings together the company’s six brands: • asTech provides remote diagnostic and calibration services to collision repair shops. • adasThink is a platform that integrates with a shop’s estimating system to identify required ADAS calibrations based on the estimate lines and provides the documentation needed for the repair. • BlueDriver provides consumer aftermarket diagnostic scan tools and services. • FleetGenix offers mobile/remote technicians for key replacement, pre- and post-vehicle scans, calibration and personal identifiable information removal services. • Mobile Tech RX delivers an app for auto repair technicians to estimate, invoice, manage teams and capture data. • RED (EU), based in the UK, is a distributor of advanced aftermarket diagnostic tools. Tuff said the goal is to build out an ecosystem where Repairify can provide shops with a beginning-to-end solution. “This will give shops the ability to fully understand that the vehicle has been properly serviced, calibrated and is safe to go back on the road,” said Tuff. “As a result, it makes it easier on a shop to not have


to use multiple vendors, providers and tools, throughout the different parts of the process.” Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System With the support of asTech’s 400plus ASE and I-CAR certified master technicians, the company has been offering remote scanning to customers by connecting a device to the vehicle to obtain access to the OEM tools at the data center. “Our solutions, combined with our trained technicians, keep up with the ever-changing vehicle technology so the shop can focus on the repair,” said Tuff. To help shops perform static calibrations in-house, he said asTech teamed up with Snap-On to deliver the easy-to-use all-in-one Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System. The product, which combines camera technology, targets and advanced software, is currently being used by shops across the country and was on display in November at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. “With cars becoming more so-

phisticated, more calibrations are necessary. Traditionally, shops have to send those out to the dealership and the car may be gone for days,” said Tuff. “We’re enabling our customers to do more calibrations in-house,” added Sparkes. “This greatly enhances efficiency resulting in a more profitable shop.” asTech Duo Prior to the SEMA Show, asTech introduced asTech Duo, a solution that provides local and remote scanning, diagnostics and calibrations for collision and mechanical repair as well as dealerships. “Our customers expressed the need for an integrated solution with access to both local and remote scanning options in one device,” said Tuff. “With Duo, we are pleased to deliver this choice to our customers, giving them the flexibility and convenience to safely and accurately complete repairs.” Tuff said they were finding shops were buying aftermarket tools,

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unaware if they were accurate on a particular vehicle. As a result, the company began validating when an aftermarket tool is compatible with the OEM tool and when it is not. “We made a significant and ongoing investment in validating when a local aftermarket scan can be performed versus when a remote OEM

“Customers always have the choice to use our OEM tools. Our focus remains on the safest and most accurate way to repair the vehicle. If a user would like to perform an aftermarket scan, with Duo, they know if it has been validated as OEM compatible for that vehicle before performing the scan.”

“Our solutions, combined with our trained technicians, keep up with the ever-changing vehicle technology so the shop can focus on the repair,” — Maurice Tuff scan is required,” said Tuff. “In all cases, we always leave the choice to the user which type of scan they perform regardless of our recommendation. The choice is always with the customer.” Moving forward, shops will have access to both a remote OEM scan supported by ASE and I-CAR certified technicians or a local OEM-compatible scan. Tuff said there was some concern in the market that the company was shifting away from OEM tools. “That isn’t true,” he clarified.

Currently, the company uses more than 1,000 OEM tools, and Sparkes said that number is growing every day. In October, the company began offering the OEM scan report, in addition to the comprehensive diagnostic scan report that has always been provided. “This gives shops extra peace of mind,” said Sparkes. “The delivery of the original OEM scan report will provide our customers with an additional layer of confidence and transparency so

they can remain focused on properly repairing today’s complex vehicles,” said Hollingsworth. The reports are also available in asTech Connect, which includes a mobile application for both iOS and Android. Connect allows customers to view the status of their devices, talk with master technicians in multiple languages and access invoices, reports and more. In November, Chris Chesney was hired as vice president of training and organizational development. In this role, he will establish a comprehensive training initiative for customers, industry partners, employees and the network of technicians throughout the global Repairify ecosystem. “As we look toward continued expansion of our global footprint, we are proud of the Repairify brand and the technology and expertise we’re bringing to the market,” said Tuff.


ASA Announces Regional Executive Director The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has named Julie Massaro, the current executive director of ASA Colorado, as the new regional executive director of the Mountain region of ASA. In September, ASA, the oldest and largest association representing the independent automotive repair industry, announced it is transitioning to a new and innovative association model leveraging its expansive history to create a single, unified industry voice. Under the new model, existing state affiliate agreements will be dissolved, and a 50-state regional structure will take its place. The Mountain Region covers the territory of Colorado, Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah, Kansas and Missouri. Massaro will continue to be based in Colorado and will report to Blair Calvo, the newly promoted vice president of regional services. Source: ASA


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Auto Body Shop, College Working in Tandem to Transform Collision Repair Program

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Collision repairers sometimes at the meeting she previously knew grouse about the body shop training nothing about the collision repair inprograms at schools in their area. dustry other than being “a frequent with Ed Attanasio But Justin Clubb didn’t just com- flier of Campbell’s Auto Body, beplain. He did something about it. cause I kept running into things.” Speaking as part of a panel discussion at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) on Nov. 2 in Las Vegas, Clubb, general manager of Deery Collision in BurwithCenter Ed Attanasio lington, IA, said he’d served for some time on the advisory council for the collision program at nearby Southeastern Community College. He came to realize, however, the program seemed to be more about “restoration” and “working on stuff with Ed Attanasio Justin Clubb of Deery Collision in Iowa has that is not relevant to the collision been helping improve the collision repair trainindustry.” ing program at community college in his area When the school announced a new dean, Ashlee Spannagel, for But she had concerns of her its career and technical education own about the collision program programs, Clubbwith askedEd to meet with when in response to her own quesAttanasio her. Spannagel told CIC attendees tion at an advisory council meeting,

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she was told “OSHA didn’t apply to the industry.” “I knew nothing, but I did know enough that OSHA did apply,” Spannagel said. “That was the biggest thing I had to do as a leader and educator, to figure out how to not be so ignorant about this industry,” even while overseeing dozens of other degree and certificate programs at the school as well. Clubb spent a lot of time working with Spannagel, and helped connect her with contacts at I-CAR, Tradiebot, the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) and the ASE Education Foundation. Along with faculty and other volunteers, the two spent hours moving and sorting through dozens of totes of tools and supplies stored in the program’s shop, including 3,000 rolls of electrical tape, and more than 12 pallets of bulk tools.

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“If you need 800 10-millimieter wrenches, I am your girl. I know where they are,” Spannagel said, soliciting laughter from CIC attendees. About 18 months later, she said, their combined efforts have “completely transformed” the school’s collision repair program. “We now have invested over $500,000 into a state of the art facility,” Spannagel said. “We now have a relationship with the industry. The industry before was specifically telling us that our students were not what they needed, but in some cases, we simply weren’t listening. We are listening now. We are acting now. We are changing as a result of that. We are undergoing a curriculum revision right now. As a result, we will have better qualified students, more well-equipped students, and more students in the future.” Clubb and Spannagel agreed



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such a turnaround requires the buyin—and “hundreds of hours” of work—by faculty and the industry, but Clubb especially credited Spannagel’s outlook and commitment.

Aaron Schulenburg, who chairs the CIC Parts and Materials Committee, said CIC attendees have become more interested in the committee addressing the topic of parts supply chain disruptions

“Teach me what I need to know, so that we can move forward and serve our local communities the way community colleges were designed to do,” Spannagel said, drawing applause at CIC. Lidar coming to a car near you soon Another panel discussion at CIC

focused on how lidar works as part of a vehicle’s advanced driver assistance systems, and what collision repairers will need to know about the technology. General Motors, Lucid and Volvo have announced some new vehicles in 2022 and 2023 will include lidar. “Most of the major manufacturers have a desire to put lidar on their vehicles by 2024 or 2025,” said Cibby Pulikkaseril, chief technology officer and co-founder of Baraja, an Australian company developing lidar systems. “It will be a major trend in automotive.” Whether positioned at the front roof line, behind the windshield or within the grill or headlamps, lidar needs a surface in front of it that is clean and free of abrasions. “Definitely paint is something you’d never put over the lidar,” Pulikkaseril said. Typical laminated windshields are designed to block the type of infrared lasers used in lidar systems, so any replacement windshield installed in a vehicle with windshield-mounted lidar will need to

meet the proper specifications, including related to tinting. “The windshields have to be designed for lidar transmissivity, so you would not be able to just replace it with any other windshield,” he said. “You’d need to get the specified one.” Abrasions from road debris or other sources to the windshield or other glass in front of lidar will also obscure the system’s “view” of the road ahead. “I think what you’ll see is that many of the lidars mounted to the vehicle will have ‘obscure detection,’ so it will self-report that the windshield, or whatever the lidar is going through, has stopped transmitting,” Pulikkaseril said. Upcoming CIC meetings Citing the stricter COVID-related restrictions in place in Palm Springs, CA, CIC organizers announced in November the January CIC will instead be held in Phoenix, AZ. Details are available at www.CIClink. com. One topic that may be on the agenda: the disruptions in the global

parts supply chain. Aaron Schulenburg ended the Parts and Materials Committee session in Las Vegas by polling meeting attendees about whether they currently see parts delays as an issue—90% said yes—and whether they wanted “supply chain disruptions” to be a topic the committee explores at future meetings. When the committee asked that same question last April, fewer than half—44%—of CIC attendees said yes. But in Las Vegas in November, nearly twice that percentage—83%—answered affirmatively, clearly an indication of changed business conditions in recent months. “I don’t think it was a big enough issue when we asked the first time, but I think it is now, and that’s obviously reflected in the response,” Schulenburg said.


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Biden Administration Acts to Help Relieve Supply Chain Woes By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

President Joe Biden announced the Port of Los Angeles will begin operating around the clock as part of an effort to help speed up shipping delays arising from global supply-chain backlogs. Issues up and down the supply chain, from ships waiting days longer than usual to come to port, to goods waiting at the dock to be picked up and truckers being unable to unload at warehouses, have created massive delays and concerns about inflation and the coming rush of Christmas shopping. The Port of Long Beach, which along with the Port of Los Angeles handles 40% of shipping containers entering the U.S., began 24/7 operations in September. However, shortages of available truckers and warehouse operators stalled much of the progress expected from the extended hours. Biden created a Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force in June to identify transporta-

tion bottlenecks across the nation and identify solutions. The Task Force has been meeting with business and union leaders to help coordinate actions by the many private firms that control the country’s transportation and logistics supply chain. To help address the problem, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union announced its members are willing to work the extra shifts created by the extended hours of operations at the Ports of LA and Long Beach. Large shippers and retailers such as UPS, FedEx, Walmart and Target have made commitments to use the extended hours of operation to unload cargo, which will allow ships to dock quicker. Additional measures across the country will be pursued in the coming weeks to address transportation congestion and delays. For more information, contact Caroline Fletcher at Source: SEMA


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Helping Others is Contagious, and You Don’t Need to Wear a Mask by Ed Attanasio

When I got my first writing assignment from Autobody News in 2006, I was excited. I was also a little anxious because I knew very little about the collision repair industry at the time. I also don’t know anything about cars, and can’t even change my own oil. So, I’ve been basically faking it for the past 15 years! At my very first SEMA Show, I met some of my fellow automotive journalists and picked their brains about hot topics to write about and other tips they were willing to share.

Ed Attanasio is now the publicist at Oscar’s Place, a donkey sanctuary in Hopland, CA

One veteran reporter painted a rather unpleasant picture of the state of the industry and all of its issues. He described insurance companies coercing auto body shops into bad— and unprofitable—“partnerships,” and midnight shops sneaking around and doing unsafe and poor-quality repairs performed by shady types not afraid to break local regulations while cutting corners on every repair. My first impression was wow— this is going to be a lot of fun. That reporter’s account of the industry turned out to be a gross exaggeration. Yes, there are positives and negatives as in any industry, but in the end, the good things outweigh the bad. I have never seen a midnight shop—because I don’t stay up that late—and most shops must perform quality work to keep the doors open. Plus, unless you’re an investigative journalist, you normally end up writing about the more successful

shops and collision-related companies out there. One thing I noticed right away is many body shops—from large MSOs all the way to mom-andpops—aren’t afraid to help local nonprofits and people in need in each of their respective communities. Giving cars to deserving people is a perfect charity model for body shops because it involves the shops, their employees, local vendors and the insurance companies that normally provide the vehicles to be given away. The National Auto Body Council (NABC) Recycled Rides program has turned into a huge nationwide effort, with collision repairers all over the country getting involved. Since its inception in 2007, they have given away more than 2,500 vehicles valued at $36 million, and more than 300-plus auto body shops have been involved. Many shop owners covet the opportunity to be involved in the program, while others do not. One shop manager told me, “We are in the business of fixing cars, not giving them away!” But then he attended an NABC Recycled Rides event at a SEMA Show one year and was so moved he changed his mind, and now the shop gives away two or three vehicles every year. When people see others helping those in need, it creates a ripple effect, and pretty soon it takes on a life of its own. Helping people is infectious and there’s no vaccine for it. Once it gets in your blood, you’re hooked. I don’t often remember famous quotes, but for some reason this one from Muhammad Ali stuck with me: “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” When I began witnessing these Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs) with body shops stepping up to help others, it made a strong impression on me. My first thought was how can I give back? I’m not rich, so donating money is not an option. So, I began looking around for things that I could do as a writer and an artist. I have been to countless car giveaways over the years and every time I cry. I am a crier, what can I say?


One of the first ones I attended took place in 2007 in Northern California’s East Bay, when Mike’s Auto Body gave five cars to deserving families during the holidays. Eventually, they asked me to be their Santa Claus at their annual presentations, and of course, I was happy to oblige. This

Attanasio started the Pandemic Pet Project, using his art to raise more than approximately $100,000 for 200-plus pet rescues all over the world

month, Mike’s Auto Body will be giving away its 100th vehicle as part of its 21-year Benevolence Program. Over the years, I’ve interviewed a lot of people in the collision repair industry who are well-known for their charitable efforts.

Jimmy Lefler, the owner of Lefler Collision and Glass, embarked more than a decade ago on an amazing journey to help people in Myanmar, formerly Burma. Lefler, his family and some of his crew work closely with an organization, Uncharted International, that has 12 orphanages with more than 600 orphans in Myanmar. He established a home for elderly widows, a human trafficking recovery center and The Loom House, which provides jobs for the children who grow up in the orphanages and for the women who, without a job, would end up in horrible situations. Another article I wrote recently was about Kendrick Paint & Body, a third-generation MSO with eight locations in Georgia. This shop sponsors more than 40 to 50 charitable events every year, giving lunches to first responders and raising monies for organizations such as SafeHomes Domestic Violence Center, American Red Cross and the City of Augusta, just to name a few. In another story I wrote, Tim



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Morgan, COO at Spanesi Americas, founded Second Chance Ranch, a nonprofit pet rescue organization, in 2018 when he witnessed pit prejudice and felt it was just a bunch of bull. So, he purchased a 3-acre farm and converted his barn into a kennel that can accommodate a pack of pit bulls. Morgan’s total dedication to helping animals really resonated with me, so I began looking around to play a role myself in some capacity. For many years, I volunteered at the Humane Society—walking dogs and doing laundry and for a time, I went to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco to catch feral cats. One day, an angry feline scratched me so bad people thought I was in a fight. So, I decided to stick with helping dogs to avoid cat scratch fever. A lot of other people in the collision repair industry have influenced me to become a chronic giver. I started Amazing Groceries a few years back, buying groceries for needy folks during the holidays. During the pandemic, I started the Pandemic Pet Project, using my art to raise money for pet rescues all over the world.

Then, it led me to the donkeys. Randomly and wonderfully, the people at Oscar’s Place in Hopland, CA, found me and asked me to be their publicist. Most people aren’t aware of the fact thousands of donkeys are being destroyed every month to be used as medicine in other countries. At Oscar’s Place, they go to donkey auctions in Texas and California to outbid representatives from Canada and Mexico, thereby saving them from certain deaths. I tell people I have been working for donkeys for many years, and now I am working for them! If you’ve been thinking about giving a vehicle to a deserving family, organization or individual, NABC Recycled Rides is always looking for auto body shops to get involved. If you want to help your community, just look around or even better—create your own benevolence program and pick the causes and charities close to your heart. Make 2022 the year you step up and make a difference in your community and make it part of your DNA. Good things happen to good people and if you can do it, why not?

‘Who Pays for What?’ Survey: Continued Increase in Auto Body Shops Billing for Destructive Weld Testing With six years of data now available from “Who Pays for What?” surveys, Mike Anderson of Collision Advice can point to some changes within the industry the survey results reflect. “This summer, nearly three of 10 shops—29%—reporting being paid to set-up and perform destructive weld testing ‘always’ or ‘most of the time’ by the eight largest national insurers,” said Anderson, who conducts the surveys with CRASH Network. “That’s more than twice the percentage—just 12%—who found that to be true back in 2015 when we started the surveys.” In 2015, Anderson said, about 81% of shops said they’d never sought to be paid for performing test welds. That’s fallen to about half that today, just 43%. “Whether through the surveys or other training, shops are increasingly understanding the requirement to perform destructive tests on welds before welding on a vehicle, and can choose whether to bill for it when appropriate,” Anderson

said. He said the final of the four 2021 “Who Pays for What?” surveys, which focuses on scanning, calibrations, shop supplies and aluminum repair, is scheduled to close at the end of October at XC67NPT Survey participants receive a free report with complete survey findings along with analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented. Anderson said the survey, which will take about 15-20 minutes, can be completed by anyone in a shop familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of at least some of the largest national insurers. Each shop’s individual responses are held in the strictest confidence; only aggregated data is released. The results of previous surveys are also available online ( collisionadvice). Source: CRASH Network

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CIC Panel Discusses AI in Collision Repair Estimating by John Yoswick

A panel discussion at the Collision Industry Conference on Nov. 2 in Las Vegas focused on the current state of artificial intelligence within estimating in the industry, acknowledging current shortcomings and challenges, but also offering a glimpse into the coming growth in the use of the technology.

Among the panelists at the Nov. 2 CIC were, left to right, Bud Center of the CIC Talent Pool and Education Committee; Amber Alley of Barsotti’s Body and Fender; Ashlee Spannagel, dean of CTE at Southeastern Community College; and Justin Clubb of Deery Collision Center.

Jason Verlen of CCC Intelligent Solutions, for example, said AI alone doesn’t currently ad-

dress all estimating scenarios, but it already can significantly speed many initial claims processes for consumers. Also during the meeting, Bud Center of the CIC Talent Pool and Education Committee held a panel discussion with shop managers discussing successful efforts they have made in working with schools trying to improve collision repair training in their market. Amber Alley, of Barsotti’s Body and Fender in San Rafael, CA, said she’s working with a school with a two-year program that cycles students from eight weeks at the school to eight weeks working in a shop. Justin Clubb, of Deery Collision Center in Iowa, said he brought concerns about a local community college’s collision repair program to a dean at the school, Ashlee Spannagel; she recently worked with him and others in the industry to overhaul the program’s facility and curriculum. A full write-up will be posted to the website soon

MSO Symposium Looks at Post-Pandemic Recovery of Collision Repair Industry by John Yoswick

After being held virtually in 2020, the MSO Symposium returned to an in-person format Nov. 1 in Las Vegas, with opening speaker Susanna Gotsch of CCC Intelligent Solutions asked to tackle the question: “2022: Will the pandemic finally be in the rear view mirror?” Vincent Romans, left, of The Romans Group, and Susanna Gotsch, right, of CCC Intelligent Solutions, spoke during the MSO Symposium, held Nov. 1 in Las Vegas. Credit: John Yoswick Gotsch said with 30% to 40% of repair industry, calling MSOs “just workers likely to continue work- as aggressive” about acquisitions ing at home at least one day a during the pandemic as before. A full write-up of the MSO week, congestion—and result- ing accidents—during traditional Symposium will be posted to the commute times will not fully re- website soon, and will be printed bound next year. But the increased in the December issue of Autodistracted driving and speeding body News.



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1Collision Continues Expansion 1Collision announced the addition of Center Collision in Tacoma, WA, and Sudden Impact Collision Center’s two locations in Glen Burnie, MD. “A good friend recommended 1Collision to me after he had a great experience in the network and after looking into it myself, I can see the benefits of being part of a much bigger organization with the support to overcome many of the common struggles in this industry,” said Kevin House, owner of Center Collision. “After extensive research, 1Collision was appealing to because of the rebate deals in place, and a great support team of people committed to helping me grow, while allowing me to stay as independent as possible,” said Dennis Marsch, owner of Sudden Impact. 1Collision and partner CSN Collision Centres, a Canada-based network, have a combined presence of more than 240 locations in North America. Source: 1Collision

‘Insurer Report Card’ Open for Collision Repairers to Grade Insurers More than 1,000 collision repair professionals each year grade the performance of the auto insurers in their state through CRASH Network’s “Insurer Report Card”—and the insurance companies and consumers are paying attention. “No one sees on a daily basis which insurers really stand behind their promise to deliver top-quality repairs and customer service after an accident better than those providing that collision repair work,” said John Yoswick, editor of CRASH Network. “The ‘Insurer Report Card’ helps the repair industry get that unique perspective out to vehicle owners, and gives the highest-graded insurance companies another way to communicate what sets them apart from the companies that receive lower grades from shops.” Yoswick said Forbes Advisor, which offers independent information to consumers about financial decisions, now incorporates the “Insurer Report Card” grades into its auto insurance rankings. Insurers like Chubb and Acuity that have consistently received top grades

tout that in their marketing and social media. The latest “Insurer Report Card” is now open to shops at www. It asks collision repairers to grade each company based on how well the insurers’ claims practices help ensure quality repairs and customer service. By assigning insurers a grade from A+ to an F, shops can let consumers know which insurers push for quality repairs and provide great customer service when consumers have a claim— and which may have some room for improvement. “Because each state has a different mix of insurers, the ‘Insurer Report Card’ allows repairers to grade insurers specific to their state,” Yoswick said. “As in the past, we’re asking about more than 160 different auto insurance companies across the country, making it far more extensive than any similar surveys, which generally focus on just the 10 largest national insurers.

Survey: 78% of Vehicle-Owning Voters Support Federal Right to Repair Legislation The CAR Coalition has released the results of a national survey of vehicle-owning voters, showing strong support for action on federal right to repair legislation, such as the bipartisan Save Money on Auto Repair Transportation (SMART) Act. The survey by the CAR Coalition, a growing group of independent automotive parts, management and repair companies, associations and insurers committed to preserving consumer choice and affordable vehicle repair, shows: • 78% of voters support right to repair legislation that allows consumers to choose where and how to repair their vehicle; reduces design patent enforcement time from 15 to 2.5 years for collision repair parts, as proposed by the SMART Act; and makes vehicle data more readily available • 92% of voters agree consumers should be able to choose between automaker-branded and aftermarket car parts when making repairs. • 85% of voters support vehicle

data being made available to consumers and any repair shop they choose. • Only 25% of voters believe design patents should be used for common car items, like side mirrors or bumpers. “Repair restrictions on automobiles are driving prices higher at a time when many Americans can least afford it,” said Justin Rzepka, executive director of the CAR Coalition. “It’s time for Congress to get serious about solutions, including the SMART Act, to ensure consumers have options for quality, safe, affordable auto repairs and more control over their data.” The survey, conducted nationally and in select states, including Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington, found consistent strength for federal right to repair legislation from coast to coast. In states and Washington, D.C., the right to repair movement is gaining ground. Last November, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative to


mandate automakers install standard open data platforms in all vehicles starting in car model year 2022. In July, the White House issued an executive order on competition, encouraging action on right to repair. Later that month, the FTC voted to increase enforcement against restrictions that limit consumers’ right to repair, including the automotive industry. In a policy statement, the FTC reiterated its view that “providing more choice in repairs can lead to lower costs, reduce e-waste by extending the useful lifespan of products, enable more timely repairs and provide economic opportunities for entrepreneurs and local businesses.” The national survey was conducted Oct. 11–19, among 1,008 vehicle-owning voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.09% voters. For more information, visit Sign the letter to Congress: w w w. C a r R e p a i r C h o i c e . o r g / take-action. Source: CAR Coalition

The results of the ‘Insurer Report Card’ can help consumers know, for example, if some smaller or regional insurers they may not be as familiar with are really great at taking care of customers.” The “Insurer Report Card,” open only to collision repairers, can be completed in less than three minutes—though shops are encouraged to spend time to explain why they gave each insurer the grade they did—and all individual shop grades and identification information will remain confidential. Shops that complete the “Insurer Report Card” and provide an e-mail address will be sent the results to share with their customers, at no charge, once they are compiled. Shops can go to to grade the insurers. For more information about the weekly CRASH Network newsletter, visit www.CrashNetwork. com. Source: CRASH Network

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Rivian Production Capacity Target: At Least 1 Million a Year by 2030 by Mark Kane, Inside EVs

Rivian successfully launched its IPO and now has almost $12 billion, on top of $10.5 billion raised previously, to expand its EV business. According to Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe, via US News, the company has to grow quickly and reach a volume of at least 1 million electric vehicles per year by 2030. That’s a level of today’s Tesla. “We better be growing at least that quick; certainly before the end of the decade is how we think about it,” Scaringe said in an interview ahead of Rivian’s market debut on the Nasdaq on Nov. 10. Today, the company produces its EVs at its only manufacturing site in Normal, IL, acquired several years ago from Mitsubishi and upgraded. This site is technically equipped for 150,000 vehicles annually, but after an upcoming upgrade it should be ready for

200,000 per year. All three types of EVs announced so far—the Rivian R1T and Rivian R1S, as well as the Rivian EDV vans—will be produced in Normal. The R1T has been ramping up since September, while the other two will follow in December. The long-term plan for Rivian is to have a total of four assembly plants around the world, including one additional factory in the U.S. and probably one in Europe and one in China. The second factory in the U.S. is expected to also produce in-house developed battery cells, potentially in-house developed. All those things sound ambitious, but let’s not forget this company is the first to launch a modern all-electric pickup truck with a 300-plus mile EPA range, not imaginable a decade ago when the first generation Nissan LEAF with a 24 kWh battery struggled with a 100-mile range—it was rated at 73 miles EPA.

Autobody News attended Pro Spot’s Distributor Awards Event at Top Golf, Las Vegas on Wednesday, November 3rd Pro Spot International again hosted its annual Distributor Awards Fun evening at the 2021 SEMA Show at TopGolf Las Vegas. “We were so pleased to be able to have our Annual Distributor Appreciation Night this year,” said Ron Olsson, Pro Spot president. “Our distributors work so hard for us and we really like to show our apprecia-

tion with a fun night and present our Annual Distributor Awards. “With the cancellation of SEMA 2020 because of COVID, we really wanted to have a very special evening this year,” Olsson continued. “With such great successes during 2021, we are really looking forward to what 2022 will bring.”

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Eastern Regional Sales Award: (l to r): Ron Olson, Kevin Walters

U.S. Distributor of the Year: Advanced Equipment Solutions

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