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Northeast Shops Still Recovering from Sandy by Chasidy Rae Sisk
When Hurricane Sandy charged into the East Coast in late October, she devastated many homes and businesses. Her most vicious attack was perpetrated in NY and NJ, leaving millions with flooded properties and no power. Sandy’s effects on the auto body industry were no different. Many collision repair facilities in the area were destroyed, and equipment and tools were demolished. Some have still not reopened as of the middle of December. Three shop owners took the time to share their stories. Bobby Zigman, owner of Colli-
sion Depot in Oceanside, NY, suffered personal and business losses as a result of Sandy since his home is near his shop and both were flooded. Zigman notes that the storm left five or six feet of water in his shop and parking lot, completely wiping out all of his shop and office equipment. Though Collision Depot technically remained open after the storm, the flooding ruined equipment and lack of both phone connections and electricity prevented them from performing any actual repair work for about two weeks. Zigman’s dedicated employees still went to work, and he paid them to help restore the shop and See Still Recovering, Page 33
2012 Adding Up to a Record Year for MSO’s Shop Consolidation, All Major MSO’s Add Shops
FIX Auto USA Fix Auto USA added a franchise model to network membership in January 2011, and currently has 50 franchise locations operating in four states: See Record Year, Page 31
P.O. BOX 1516, CARLSBAD, CA 92018
CARSTAR CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts is North America’s largest Multi-Shop Operator (MSO) Network of independently owned collision repair facilities with more than 400 locations in 31 states and 10 Canadian provinces. CARSTAR recently expanded its business development team to accelerate the expansion of the
MSO network into two of the fastest growing regions—the Western U.S. and the Southeast. Shops that join CARSTAR pay a one-time joining fee ranging from $5,000 to $15,000, and then pay a percentage of sales each month, according to former CARSTAR CEO Dan Bailey. Typical monthly royalty fees are .75 percent to 2 percent of sales.
Change Service Requested
The pace of acquisition of both smaller MSOs by larger ones and independent shops has substantially increased during 2012. The rate of acquisitions has been running at more than two shops per week for 2012.
VOL. 31 ISSUE 1 JANUARY 2013
California Autobody Association Recaps its Legislative Efforts from 2012 The California Autobody Association had another successful year in 2012, reports David McClune, CAA’s Executive Director. CAA President Dave Picton implemented an aggressive marketing campaign for the association in 2012, which brought in over 75 new members. In addition, the president and the board made improvements in the CAA website to further educate the association members.
CAA state chapters continued to work with the Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) by scheduling meetings to educate members, explaining their inspection process and the areas that the task force focused on to fight the underground economy through education and enforcement. CAA has continued in 2012 to improve on Rule 1147 that passed Sept. 9, 2011 in the South Coast Air Quality Management District
by John Yoswick
(Chicago) for a total of about 600 Select Service shops.
See CAA Recaps 2012, Page 9
Industry Year in Review—A Month-by-Month Look at the Most Interesting Collision News of 2012 A lot happens in the collision repair industry, so trying to compile it all into a single year-end review is a challenge. But here’s our look at what we saw as among the most important or just plain interesting and memorable news item, event or quote from each of the last 12 months.
January State Farm’s George Avery announced that his company is testing the electronic parts ordering system “PartsTrader” with two collision repair businesses. He declined to identify the shops, saying that it is too early in the testing “to put those folks George Avery under the microscope and ask, ‘What do you think of the new system?’” Lots of shops have since voiced what they think of the system. By the end of the year, the program was being rolled out to a fifth market
February John Borek of Autocraft Bodywerks in Austin, TX, wasn’t accepting the explanation from American National Property and Casualty Company (ANPAC) that an appraiser working on its behalf was just using “an outdated document” when denying the shop’s supplement for color sand and buff. In a follow-up letter to the Texas Department of Insurance, Borek pointed out that the document looked like a page from the Audatex guide to estimating, but shows that color sand and buff is included in refinish times; Borek says an Audatex manager who searched the Audatex/ADP “Database Reference Manuals” back to 1993, concluded that the page is “most certainly not a document from ADP/Audatex.” “This manufactured document can only achieve one goal, which is to convince uneducated consumers and shops that this operation is included See Year in Review, Page 52
Presorted Standard US Postage PAID San Bernardino, CA Permit #2244
2 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
A Busy 2012 is Remembered by Bay Area’s
Attanasio: How Body Shops Can Use LinkedIn . 16
ASCCA, CAWA to Host 4th Annual
Insider: Not All Insurance Executives Are
CAA East Bay Hosts 15th Toys for Tots
Yoswick: Advocate of Collision Industry
CAA Chapters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Joint Summit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Model Truck Competition . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Caliber Collision’s 2012 Included Expansion
and Giving to Communities in Need . . . . . . 4
California Autobody Association Recaps
its Legislative Efforts from 2012 . . . . . . . . . 1
California Remodels Quake Insurance,
Rates Drop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Franklin: Integrity Sells!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Created Equal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Standards in the U.K. Sees Need for
Them Here . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 NATIONAL
2012 Adding Up to a Record Year for MSO’s Shop Consolidation, All Major MSO’s
Add Shops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
CDI’s Commissioner Dave Jones Warns on
26 Insurers Now Paying Gunder’s Rate
City Attorney Sues San Francisco Shop Owner . 6
44 Techs Honored at ASE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Workers’ Comp Potential Insolvency . . . . . . 6
Increases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Education and Industry Partner to Bring
American Honda Launches Two New
Gerber Collision & Glass Open New
ASA Collision Division Recaps 2012, Moves
Glendale/Foothill CAA Chapter President
Automaker, OEM and Recall News . . . . . . . . 30
Goodguys 30th Anniversary Season Includes
CAPA’s Lighting Standard Expanded to Include
Mark Cali Appointed to CAWA Advisory
Education Foundation Wants Facebook Likes . 12
Repair Center in Nevada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Looks Back at 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Events in the Western Region . . . . . . . . . . 13
Council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Mike Rose Auto Body Opens 10th Location
in Napa, CA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Consumer Websites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Forward into 2013 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Boyd Grows in Florida with 14 New Locations. 51
Top Training to Arizona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Testing of HID Lamps, Positioning Motors. . 3
Industry Year in Review—A Month-by-Month Look at the Most Interesting Collision
News of 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Mike’s Auto Body Gives Away 5 Cars for
Mitchell Repair Center ToolStore Integrates
NASCAR Scam Leads to Prison . . . . . . . . . . . 4
NC Shop Sues Six Insurers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
a Total of 40 in 12 Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
New Tech Center Building is Upgrade for
Palomar College’s Collision Repair Program . 10
Phoenix Body Shop Collects Christmas
Toys for Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Phoenix Collision Centers Donate Six Vehicles . 20
San Diego Body Shops Give the Gift of
with Car-Parts.com Pro Search. . . . . . . . . 42
NHTSA Expects to Propose Black Box
Requirement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Northeast Shops Still Recovering from Sandy . 1
Rhode Island Shop Owner Arrested Again. . . 13
Sandy Forces Automakers to Scrap over
15,000 New Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Vehicles to Those in Need . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Society of Collision Repair Specialists
Vision Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
State Farm Updates ASA on PartsTrader
in Pasadena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
TV Public Service Commercial for Body Shops
Sherwin-Williams Hosts A-Plus Network Toyota’s Predictive System Showcased
Valley Motor Center of Van Nuys, CA, Donates
Two Vehicles to Disabled Veterans . . . . . . . 6
Yuma Body Shop Celebrates 60 Years
of Family Ownership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Takes a Look Back at 2012. . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Pilot Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Aimed at Dangers of Texting, Driving. . . . . 26
WIN Seeks 2013 Sponsors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Women’s Industry Network Reports Winning
Keeping pace with the latest lighting technology, the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) has added new testing requirements to cover electric motors, actuators, and high intensity discharge (HID) lamps. The new requirements were approved by CAPA’s Technical Committee, an inter-industry consensus body made up of collision repairers, distributors, insurers, technical experts, and manufacturers. CAPA is the only independent certification body in the U.S. for aftermarket lighting parts that tests for, and confirms compliance to, FMVSS 108, as well as true comparability to the car company brand counterpart. “I’m proud to report that CAPA Standards are keeping pace with the latest technology and complex components used in today’s headlights,” said Jack Gillis, CAPA’s Executive Director. “Thanks to CAPA’s Technical Committee, which is undoubtedly one of the greatest quality resources in the industry, the CAPA standards enable informed choices in even the
Growth in 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
very newest products. The fact is, nobody can simply look at an aftermarket light and know if it truly matches the car company brand part or fully complies with FMVSS 108—that’s why CAPA’s independent certification program is so important,” said Gillis. The CAPA 301 Lighting Standard include: headlamps, taillamps, stop lamps, turn signals, and fog lamps. Parts that have been certified to the CAPA Lighting Standard are clearly marked with CAPA’s unique, tamper-proof Quality Seal. The CAPA Seal, each with a unique number, represents independent verification of both compliance to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 and comparable performance to the car company brand parts. Like all CAPA Standards, the updated CAPA 301 Lighting Standard test procedures and tolerances are available to the public at no charge via the CAPA website. “Full transparency is a critically important component of the CAPA Certification Program,” said Gillis.
Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Assistant Editor: Melanie Anderson Contributing Writers: Tom Franklin, David Brown, John Yoswick, Rich Evans, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Sean Hartman, Jay Lukes (800) 699-8251 Sales Assistant: Louise Tedesco Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia
Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .46 Automotive ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Autowest Chrisler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram .21 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . .43 Car-Part Pro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Completes Plus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Downtown Motors of LA (Audi, VW, Porsche) . . . . . . . . . . .17 Drew Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 DuPont . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Elk Grove Toyota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Enterprise Rent-A-Car . . . . . . . . . . .49 Equalizer Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers AZ, CA, & NV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Galpin Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25, 33 Garmat USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Glenn E. Thomas Dodge-ChryslerJeep . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . .37 Haydell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Henderson Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28-29 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . .48 Intertape Polymer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Kearny Mesa Subaru-Hyundai . . . . .35 Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers .41 Levan Group, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45
Serving California, Nevada and Arizona, 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. ©2013 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 721-0253 Fax www.autobodynews.com Email: email@example.com
CAPA’s Lighting Standard Expanded to Include Testing of HID Lamps and Positioning Motors
LKQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Maita Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Malco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Matrix Wand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .54 MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .42 Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers .40 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . .27 Moss Brothers Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge .11 Nick Alexander BMW . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Nick Alexander MINI . . . . . . . . . . . .56 Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 North County Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Replica Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 Riverside Metro VW-Honda-HyundaiNissan-Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Safety Regulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Shingle Springs Nissan-Subaru . . .31 Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-MazdaSubaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .47 That’s Included . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Timmons VW-Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .51 VIM Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers .26 Volvo Crash Wholesale Dealers . . .52 Weatherford BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Wedge Clamp System . . . . . . . . . . .12
www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
Mike Rose Auto Body Opens 10th Location in Napa, CA
Mike Rose’s Auto Body recently announced the opening of their 10th location in Napa, CA. According to Brennan Rose, Vice President, “Our Fairfield acquisition made it very easy to expand into the Napa County, which is a community we have wanted to be a part of for several years now. When the opportunity to acquire an existing business in downtown Napa came available, we opened discussions immediately.” The shop, formerly Miracle Auto Painting and Body Repair, is located at 804 Napa St. Mike Rose, president of Mike Rose’s Auto Body, says that being family owned and operated makes ensuring the right community fit essential. “We will continue to grow at a pace where maintaining the core values of our company can be accomplished. We will never compromise quality, and we will always put the customer first, by delivering the best repair experience possible,” he said. Celebrating their 40th year in business this year, Mike’s Auto Body employs over 225 and is headquartered in Concord, CA. See related story, p. 40 herein.
California Remodels Quake Insurance, Rates Drop
In California, two earthquake insurance carriers are lowering their rates due to revised models and less risk. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced Dec. 2 that he approved a 15.5% rate reduction for Chubb Insurance. The average annual premium will fall to $5,021 from $5,940, according to the state Department of Insurance. Chartis Insurance earthquake coverage rates are going down 15%, with average annual premiums dropping to $6,061 from $7,292, the Department of Insurance said. Overall savings to consumers will total about $15 million, it said. The rate reduction followed an update to models used to estimate probable earthquake damage. Jones said he hoped the lower rates would persuade more Californians to buy earthquake insurance. Currently, the Insurance Department said, only 12% of the state’s homeowners have the coverage. “We live in earthquake country and the danger is real,” Jones said. “Anything we can do to make coverage more affordable for consumers is a good thing.”
Caliber Collision’s 2012 Included Expansion and Giving to Communities in Need
As Caliber Collision grew from 94 locations to 112 during 2012, its associates also helped many families and communities in need throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma. Throughout the year, Caliber Collision participated in several community events. Last January, the company said it would refurbish and donate at least 12 vehicles to families in need. Caliber surpassed this goal by 25% by gifting at least 15 vehicles to families across California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada. Caliber team members volunteered hundreds of hours to repair and refurbish these vehicles, as well as collect gifts and cash donations from local businesses and vendor partners. Beneficiaries of these efforts included a grandmother raising two grandsons on her own in north Hollywood, CA; a disabled veteran in Texas who selflessly volunteers to help mentor and support disabled veterans; and a mother and her two teenage daughters in Orange County, CA, who escaped an abusive situation with only the clothes on their backs. Realizing that as many as one in
five Americans go without sufficient food each day, 112 Caliber Collision locations partnered with local food banks to help fight hunger in the spring of 2012. Caliber’s first-ever food drive resulted in over 172,000 meals being donated in just two weeks. Caliber associates recently completed a three-week fall food drive and provided even more meals for those in need just prior to Thanksgiving. Caliber Collision has also joined with the American Heart Association Heart Walk across all participating communities including the Dallas Heart Walk that raised a record $4.7 million dollars in donations. “We are deeply grateful for the passion our associates have demonstrated in 2012 to help restore the rhythm of lives in need across every community we serve,” said Steve Grimshaw, President & CEO of Caliber Collision. “As we continue to bring our vision of improving the image of the collision repair experience to life in every community we serve, our associates have rallied around communities large and small,” he said.
4 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Phoenix Body Shop Collects Christmas Toys for Children
Capitol Collision Repair, an auto body shop located in Phoenix AZ, is collecting toys for the local fire department to give to underprivileged children. Capitol Collision Repair collected unused toys during November and December to try and make a child’s Christmas a little bit merrier. “We are all coming together to try and collect as many toys as possible, and knowing how it will impact a child is a Christmas miracle in itself,” said body shop owner Dan Deary. Capitol requested help from their customers, employees, neighboring businesses, and insurance companies for new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages. Once all the toys have been received, they will be given to the fire department for them to hand them out to children in need. The toys or cash donations can be dropped off at Capitol Collision in a big wrapped box that says “Toy Drive.” Any donation will be greatly appreciated and will help to make a child’s Christmas more special.
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Gerber Collision & Glass Open New Repair Center in Nevada
The Boyd Group Inc. recently announced the opening of a new collision repair center in Las Vegas, NV. The new repair center is approximately 10,000 square feet and previously operated as Coachworks Collision Center. It now operates under the Gerber Collision & Glass trade name. With this addition, the Boyd Group owns and operates four repair centers in Nevada, which brings the total number of U.S. locations to 166.
NASCAR Scam Leads to Prison
A Los Angeles man was sentenced to 6-1/2 years in prison for his involvement in a $13.5 million fake NASCAR merchandise business. Federal prosecutors say 66-year-old Eliott Dresher was also ordered to pay $8.8 million in restitution. Dresher is accused of taking money from family, friends and others over an 11-year period to invest in a business that would buy overstock NASCAR apparel and sell it at a profit. In reality, he had no relationship with the car racing organization, nor its licensed manufacturer or distributor.
www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 5
Toyota’s Predictive System Showcased in Pasadena
Members of the CAA Glendale/ Foothill Chapter will meet Jan. 30 to learn about Toyota's new ‘Predictive Estimating’ system. The system, which debuted at SEMA last month, begins with a complete estimate and allows the user to omit items as appropriate, rather than having an estimator start from scratch and add line items. The system requires the user only to select the damaged portions of the vehicle (left front fender, for example), and all items related to that section of the vehicle are automatically listed, including such items as one-time use fasteners, necessary information labels, and procedures such as color, sand and polish (with a link to Toyota's bulletin indicating that it is a procedure necessary even at the factory). Rick Leos, Body & Collision Business Development Consultant with Toyota, will present the system Jan. 30 at Brookside Country Club, 1133 Rosemont Ave. in Pasadena. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $45 for CAA members or $100 for non-members. RSVP to CAA Southern California representative Cindy Shillito at 714-944-4028 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Attorney Sues San Francisco Shop Owner
San Francisco, CA, city attorney Dennis Herrera announced a suit against Brother’s Auto Body Shop owner Raul Amilcar Vasquez Dec. 6, calling the Bayview shop “a scofflaw enterprise” that has expanded into illegal construction and unsafe housing. The lawsuit contends that Vasquez, owner of the shop at 1270 Thomas Ave., has operated the automotive repair business for years without the needed permits and has defied city inspectors and repeat notices of violation. In fact, Vasquez aggressively expanded his operations, including illegally converting a single-family home into multi-unit housing without permits and “leasing unsafe and uninspected residential housing units to tenants,” Herrera said in announcing a legal filing that outlines disputes Vasquez had with city agencies including the Department of Building Inspection to the Police Department. The city is seeking civil penalties of up to $1,000 per day for each housing code violation; $500 per day for each building code violation; and $2,500 for each act of unfair and unlawful competition.
Valley Motor Center of Van Nuys, CA, Donates Two Vehicles to Disabled American Veterans Valley Motor Center on Dec. 10 presented two refurbished vehicles to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) of California, local chapters #13 in North Hills, CA, and #55 in Simi Valley, CA.
DAV State Commander Kirk Johnson, Marsh Gluchow, owner of Valley Motor Center, and Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield
The donations, a 2006 Toyota Sienna and a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica, were part of the center’s annual participation in “Recycled Rides,” a nationwide project of the National Auto Body Council (NABC) to donate vehicles to needy charities in local communities. Valley Motor Center, supported by auto insur-
ers, paint and parts vendors, and other collision repair industry partners, all donated resources to make this possible. The vehicles were donated by Mercury Insurance and Farmers Insurance. “Our goal is to help as many people who are in need as we can, in the communities we serve,” said Marsh Gluchow, owner of Valley Motor Center. The donated vehicles will be used at the DAV Transportation Division, and the DAV Hospital in North Hills, to transport disabled or elderly veterans and family members to and from VA Medical facilities for treatment, as well as to physical therapy, rehabilitation, continuing education after military service, and to and from community events. “We commend the DAV for their invaluable support and services they provide to help our disabled veterans, who have fought so hard for the freedom we enjoy every day as Americans,” said Gluchow. “Recycled Rides is a wonderful program that enables so many of us in the collision repair industry to partner with our insurance colleagues and vendors to make a positive impact in so many peoples’ lives.”
6 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
CDI’s Commissioner Dave Jones Warns on Workers’ Comp Potential Insolvency, Proposes Premium Boost Warning about potential insolvency among workers’ compensation insurers, state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is supporting an increase in employer-paid premiums—even though an overhaul of the compensation system for injured and ill workers, passed by the California Legislature this year, promised savings to employers. Jones’ “recommendation” is not binding on insurers, who are free to set their own premiums, but the insurance commissioner’s positions are generally followed in the industry. He is, in effect, responding to insurers’ complaints in recent years that their costs of providing cash benefits, medical care and rehabilitation to disabled workers have outstripped their revenues. Jones described his “pure premium” recommendation of $2.56 per $100 of payroll as “a modest 2.8% increase” over the current ‘filed rate’ of $2.49. With workers’ compensation insurance premiums running about $12 billion a year, Jones’ recommendation, if adopted by insurers, could cost employers more than $300 million a year. “We cannot afford to set the pure premium rate based on over estimates of the potential reform
savings that (Senate Bill) 863 will bring when insurers are already paying out more in claims than they are collecting in premiums,” Jones said. “Today, companies are paying out 116% more in claims than they are collecting in premium. It’s a recipe for history to repeat itself with a significant number of insurers becoming insolvent just a few years ago.” Earlier this year, following months of private negotiations between business groups and labor unions, the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown enacted a workers’ compensation overhaul—following the traditional pattern of the once-a-decade change in the multibillion-dollar system—that increased cash benefits by an estimated $740 million a year while promising employers more than enough offsetting savings from systemic reforms. Some medical care providers and workers’ compensation attorneys opposed the changes because of the impact on their incomes while insurers continued to press their case for more premium revenue to offset operational losses, which they said were driven by rapidly increasing medical costs.
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www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 7
Yuma Body Shop Celebrates 60 Years of Family Ownership by Joyce Lobeck, Yuma Sun
Over the past 60 years, Smitty’s Paint and Body Shop has been in a variety of locations, but one constant is that the business has always been owned and operated by the Schmidgall family.
As the Yuma business grew and prospered, glass and upholstering were added to the services. And Smitty was joined by his sons, Kenneth, Hank and Bob. Kenneth, who was farming in Idaho for a while, would come to Yuma in the winter
The Schmidgall family celebrated 60 years in business with an anniversary party Nov. 29. Family members who work at Smitty’s include third generation Rob and Debbie Schmidgall (current owners) and their daughters, fourth generation, Jennifer and Jill. Pictured here are Chris Quamen (son-in-law), daughter Jill Quamen, owner Rob Schmidgall, his mother Carol Schmidgall (wife of Kenneth, second generation owner), daughter Jennifer Trevino, and co-owner Debbie Schmidgall
Even as they celebrate the notable milestone, that’s a tradition current owners Rob and Debbie Schmidgall hope will continue with their children and grandchildren for years to come. Smitty’s was established in 1952 in a little shop behind Dunbar Chevrolet by Rob’s grandfather, U.M. “Smitty” Schmidgall, according to a 1963 newspaper article that is yellowed and brittle with age but lovingly preserved by the family.
Smitty’s Shop in 1955
A photo accompanying the article shows the front window of the business with a sign that says “Baked enamel paint jobs $39.99.” The article stated that Smitty started the shop as a specialist in paint and body work, bringing more than 30 years of experience in automobile work to the business. Before coming to Yuma, he had owned and operated a body shop in Jerome, ID.
months and lend a hand in the shop. The shop also changed locations a few times, with that history preserved in a series of business cards. It was located in Somerton at 200 Main St. for a short time, then moved back to Yuma to 228-1/2 2nd Ave. It finally settled in at 206 Orange Ave. for a number of years. In 2005, Rob realized his dream of a new and larger building by moving the shop to its current location at 2685 E. 24th St. Debbie believes that was a move that was meant to be. Right after the couple built the new shop, the market went “sky high,” she said. And since they moved, the area around the shop has built up with other businesses. “It was a great move ... it’s a good location,” Debbie said as she surveyed the modern, attractive office. It also gave them space to bring on board their two daughters, Jennifer and Jill, and one son-in-law. And perhaps one day their grandchildren, Debbie observed. Although that will be awhile as the couple’s seven granddaughters are young and their one grandson is only 5. In 1970, the shop was passed on to the second generation when Kenneth, Rob’s father, and Kenneth’s wife Carol bought the business.
8 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Rob got an early start in the business. He recalled sweeping floors when he was about 12 years old. In high school, he began doing assembly work with his uncle. In 1983, he was thrust into the management of the business when his father was killed in a Jeep accident. Seventeen years later, Rob purchased the business from his mother, Carol. Asked if he had ever wanted to do something different than follow his grandfather and father in the business, Rob replied that he had taken welding classes at Arizona Western College and thought about maybe working on the Alaska pipeline. He never got to Alaska, deciding he wanted to stay in Yuma and work with his father instead. Someday, he might like to go to Alaska just for a visit, though. And his welding skills have come in handy on occasion. The Schmidgalls attribute the continuing success of their business for 60 years to dedication, hard work and an emphasis on customer service. And
they take pride in restoring their customers’ cars to their original condition. The company also runs an Enterprise car rental service, so customers can conveniently rent cars to drive while theirs are being repaired. This all earned the third- and fourth-generation family-owned business the No. 1 ranking in 2007 as Yuma’s Best Auto Body Shop, chosen by Yuma Sun readers.
In response, Debbie was quoted: “I think it's pretty awesome for the people of Yuma to have confidence in us to do the job right and vote us Yuma’s Best. We appreciate them as customers supporting us over the years. It’s important to us that we put out quality of work and safety of the vehicles ... We put safety above all.”
Mark Cali Appointed to CAWA Advisory Council
The California, Nevada and Arizona Automotive Wholesalers Association recently appointed Mark Cali of ZF Services, LLC, to the association’s 2013 Manufacturers Advisory Council. He was appointed by CAWA chair Steve Sharp of WORLDPAC. Cali has been with ZF Services for more than 12 years, where he began as a product manager for light truck. He later took on sales for that unit as well as for passenger car, where he was responsible for launching the Aftermarket Automatic Transmission program. Cali progressed through the sales ranks at ZF and has served as the national sales manager for retail for the past 2 1/2 years. He was recently promoted and currently heads up the product and marketing department at ZF. “We are pleased to welcome Mark to the CAWA leadership and look forward to his participation and contributions to the automotive aftermarket industry out west,” said Sharp. Sharp went on to say, “We are pleased he has stepped forward to give something back to our industry, through his commitment to CAWA.”
Continued from Cover
CAA Recaps 2012
(SCAQMD ). There were many concessions approved, but a very important one was that almost no one would have to purchase a low NOx burner until 2017, which has saved shops thousands of dollars. The district is now required to do a technology assessment, a cost effectiveness study, and an affordability study. These studies may further exempt shops, which is an on-going project that CAA and other groups are working hard to accomplish. CAA co-sponsored the California Retail & Trade Business Conference in Los Angeles on Nov. 1. This conference was hosted by the California State Board of Equalization and titled Minimize the Frustration of Taxation. This was one of many ways that CAA and its chapters provided on-going education to its members. There were a number of legislative bills that were defeated in 2012 that would have been very detrimental to the collision repair industry that involved CAA and other groups who worked hard to defeat these bills.
SB 1460 (Yee) CAA was opposed. This bill would have eliminated current law, which requires insurers who compel consumers to accept non-OEM crash parts when vehicles are repaired to warrant the parts are “of like kind, quality, safety, fit and performance” as OEM crash parts. The bill would have shifted all insurer warranty responsibility of aftermarket crash parts to the repair shop, third party vendors and suppliers. The bill also would have created a new legal presumption that all certified crash parts are presumed sufficient to return the motor vehicle to its pre-loss condition, even though the part may not fit properly or is defective. This bill did not pass. AB 1098 (Hagman) CAA was opposed. The amended version of the bill would have eliminated longstanding law that provided for fair and reasonable auto body practices. It was a last minute “gut and amend” and similar to SB 1460 (Yee). The automotive repair version was defeated. AB 2505 (Ma) CAA was opposed. This bill would have required that non-original equipment manufacturer certified aftermarket crash
parts, including the name of the certifying entity, be identified on the written estimate and invoice without providing definitions for “certified” and certifying entity. This bill died. The CAA worked closely in 2012 with the Department of Insurance (DOI) on improving and clarifying some of the current regulations. The DOI released the final version of the proposed regulations dealing with standards for reasonable auto body repairs and procedures and use of aftermarket crash parts. The CAA believes these regulations are fair and reasonable for consumers, repair shops and insurers. The CAA is supporting the passage of the regulations and feel these will be very important for auto body shops. These should be finalized in early 2013. The DOI will also be releasing the latest draft of regulations pertaining to clarifying labor rate survey standards for conducting surveys and clarification of customer steering. The CAA has been actively involved with these important issues as well and will continue working with the DOI in providing input and keeping members advised.
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The wand allowed my estimating staff to furnish the insurance appraisers with a detailed analysis of all structural damage upon appr their arrival at the shop and this has reduced our friction costs. Gary Wano–GW and Son Auto Body Incorpo ur repair repaiir process rep ro s has brought brou ou a visible increase to our labor sales. Labor hours on those Incorporating the Matrix Wand into our RO s have ha increased approximately 7.6 hours. Though unlike Gary, we did notice a reduction of 3.8 days in our cycle times on RO’s j those jobs. Being remotely away from any parts availability, uncovering the full extent of damages sustained at the beginning extre is extremely important to us. It has also allows us to give our customers a more accurate “Delivery Date” Dale Matsumoto, Autobody Hawaii
To schedule a demonstration email Toby at email@example.com www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 9
New Tech Center Building is Upgrade for Palomar College’s Collision Repair Program by Melanie Anderson
The beautiful new ITC building was constructed just a year ago and Wright is patiently waiting for his new refinishing area to be completed. In the meantime, they use a temporary, makeshift paint booth. The new paint booth and refinishing area is scheduled to be finished next fall, and Wright plans to immediately begin a level 1 refinishing class and add a level 2 class when more students are trained. While construction is underway, the refinishing part of the program remains in hiatus. The recent renovation of the new trades building has brought life back to the collision repair program. Years ago, it had become “generic and run down under ROP,” Wright said. “My goal is to individualize classes and get the program up to standards,” he said. Another big goal is to the get the pro-
Palomar College in San Marcos, CA, recently upgraded its collision repair program and other technical programs with a new Industrial Trades Center building. Space dedicated to auto body repair is approximately 4,700 square feet. Cost for the new ITC building, which also houses diesel technology and auto technology programs, cost $7.7 million paid for by Proposition David Wright M building funds, which was approved by voters in November, 2006, to maintain and modernize the 60-year-old campus and to create new educational opportunities. The community college collision repair program has been in existence for more than 30 years at Palomar College, located in San Diego county, and over the years the program has seen a few changes, including being a part of ROP for several years. Collision repair is again part of the regular community college two-year curriculum and offers four classes, two each in Repair 1 and Repair 2. All Auto body repair students at Palomar College work on a four classes are taught by the project program’s single teacher, David Wright, who has been an auto gram NATEF certified, which he body professor at Palomar for 12 years. hopes to do in about four years. On his Currently, the program has space for ‘wish list’ for items he would like to about 26 students in its new spacious provide his students are lap top comclassroom and lab. puters and a virtual reality spray sim-
ulator so students can practice spraying. Wright’s love of cars began a long time ago when as a kid he visited his uncle in Las Vegas who owned a pin striping business. The hot rods sparked
Gerdel’s interest in collision repair is personal. His dream was to own a restored Datsun 240Z. He had wanted once since he was 13. He
The temporary refinishing booth
his interest and so he took an auto body class at Santana High School in Santee, CA. One of Wright’s students, Nik Gerdel, 18, is in his fourth semester in Palomar College’s collision repair program. He took the first class with his dad, who owns a shop across the street from the college. “Dave is an awesome instructor and always happy to help,” Gerdel said.
Student Nik Gerdel and David Wright
bought one but soon realized he had been “swindled.” He bought another Datsun 240Z so he could use parts from the first car to restore the second. Gerdel’s future plans include transferring to Cal Poly, Pomona to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.
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877.484.4870 916.484.4876 Fax: 916.484.4878 Palomar College auto body repair instructor David Wright teaches the collision program in a new classroom and lab 10 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
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San Diego Body Shops Give the Gift of Vehicles to Those in Need this Holiday Season Three San Diego charities and one needy family were the recipients of an early holiday gift. On Nov. 19, several San Diego collision centers teamed up with Progressive Insurance to gift two PT Cruisers, a Toyota Sienna and a Dodge Caravan at a special Recycled Rides event held at Progressive San Diego Service Center.
Four vehicles gifted in San Diego. Photo: Hilary Castro
Participating body shops included Eurotek Autobody, Qualtech Collision, A&G Collision Center and Miller Collision. Paint suppliers, parts vendors and others who also donated products or services included Sherwin Williams Automotive Paint, Perfection Glass, Keystone/LKQ Parts, Rancho Chrysler Auto Group, Quality Plus Parts, Snyders Electrical, AB Mobile Glass, Central Auto Wrecking
Parts, Safelite Auto Glass and 1800 means to helping in finding a cure. Radiator. Enterprise Rent-A-Car also This donation will create a better qualdonated to this special event to help ity of life for a local family. I am those in need. happy to help and very thankful to all Charities receiving the special gift the vendors that helped support in this of a vehicle were National Multiple project.” Sclerosis Society, Calvary Chapel Church, Historic Bario Logan District and a local San Diego family. National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) received a 2000 Toyota Sienna, and Angela Northrup, senior director, said that receiving the vehicle before the holidays was a great blessing. NMSS has a vehicle loan program where families living with MS can borrow the vehicles to get to doctor apFrom left: Anna Bevier, Mark Tyler, Angela Northrop. pointments. Photo credit: Hilary Castro “The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is an organization The event marked San Diego that I hold close to my heart,” said Progressive Insurance's first annual Mark Tyler, owner of Qualtech Col- participation with the national Recylision. “My mother-in-law, Lillian cled Rides program. Sedgwick, has MS. When you have a Anna Bevier, claims center manfamily member that has MS, you see ager, stated that she was overwhelmed how it affects your entire family. You with the generosity of all the collision want to do everything you can to get shops and vendors who participated. involved so no other family is affected “The local automotive community by MS. My wife and I do all we can to came together and made this event fundraise, get involved, and donate in memorable for all,” she said.
12 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Education Foundation Wants Facebook Likes
The Collision Repair Education Foundation and LORD Corporation, the maker of Fusor products, are partnering to provide safety glasses to collision students. Until Dec. 31, for every individual who “Likes” both organization’s Facebook pages, LORD will donate a pair of safety glasses (up to 10,000) to collision school programs through the Collision Repair Education Foundation. “Like” the organization’s Facebook pages by visiting: ● www.facebook.com/CollisionRepairEducationFoundation ● w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / p a g e s / LORD-Fusor-Automotive-RepairAdhesives/531537473524134 Collision Repair Education Foundation Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode noted, “Due to school budget reductions, there are many collision school instructors who don’t have the ability to purchase safety glasses for their students. Through LORD’s generosity, we can help keep up to 10,000 collision students safe. Please “Like” both of our Facebook pages before the New Year so that we can provide the full amount of safety glasses to collision students this upcoming spring semester.”
Rhode Island Shop Owner Arrested Again
The owner of a Pawtucket car shop accused of scamming customers was arrested again by Rhode Island State Police. Dino Coccia was taken into custody in North Providence by the Violent Fugitive Task Force Nov. 29 on four Superior Court Bench Warrants: Failure to Appear/Unlawful Appropriation; Failure to Appear/Unlawful Appropriation; Failure to Appear/Obtaining Money under False Pretenses; Failure to Appear/Obtaining Money under False Pretenses. Coccia is the owner of America Sales and Collision Center. He was arrested in May after he was accused of selling two customers the same car and renting out cars he was supposed to be repairing. More than two dozen people have come forward, claiming to be victims of his scheme. In July, the Attorney General filed 50 new charges against him, including obtaining money under false pretense, unlawful appropriation, uttering bad checks and one count of attempted larceny.
Goodguys 30th Anniversary Season Includes Events in the Western Region The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association celebrates their 30th anniversary in 2013 marking three decades of promoting and producing some of the nation’s favorite rod & custom events. Goodguys will stage 19 dynamic events in 2013 welcoming a wide range of hot rods, customs, muscle cars, trucks and classic cars to the country’s premier event venues.
Goodguys 2013 event schedule (Western region): March 8–10—Goodguys 4th Spring Nationals, Westworld, Scottsdale, AZ – Season opener! Hot rods, customs, classics, trucks and muscle cars thru 1972 vintage. Vendor exhibits, swap meet & car corral, Goodguys AutoCross, All American Sunday.
March 23 & 24—Goodguys 31st All American Get-Together Presented by J. Rockcliff Realtors, Pleasanton Fairgrounds, Pleasanton, CA–Featuring all years of American made & powered show cars & trucks, vendor exhibits, swap meet & car corral, Goodguys AutoCross.
April 5–7—Goodguys 13th Meguiar’s Del Mar Nationals, Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar, CA—Hot rods, customs, classics, trucks and muscle cars
thru 1972 vintage. Vendor exhibits, swap meet & car corral, Goodguys AutoCross, All American Sunday, special awards and more.
June 1 & 2—Goodguys 20th Summer Get-Together Presented by J. Rockcliff Realtors, Pleasanton Fairgrounds, Pleasanton, CA—Featuring all years of American made & powered show cars & trucks, vendor exhibits, swap meet & car corral.
July 26–28—Goodguys 26th Pacific Northwest Nationals Presented by Wesco, Puyallup Fair & Event Center, Puyallup, WA—Hot rods, customs, classics, trucks and muscle cars thru 1972 vintage. Vendor exhibits, swap meet & car corral, All American Sunday, special awards, Friday Night Drags @ Pacific Raceways and more.
August 16–18—Goodguys 12th Great Northwest Nationals, Spokane Fair & Expo Center, Spokane, WA - Hot rods, customs, classics, trucks and muscle cars thru 1972 vintage. Vendor exhibits, swap meet & car corral. August 23–25—Goodguys 27th West Coast Nationals Presented by Flowmaster, Pleasanton Fairgrounds, Pleasanton, CA—The Goodguys
“Crown Jewel.” Over 3,500 hot rods, customs, classics, trucks and muscle cars thru 1972 vintage. Vendor exhibits, swap meet & car corral, special awards and more.
November 9 & 10—Goodguys 24th Autumn Get-Together Presented by J. Rockcliff Realtors, Pleasanton Fairgrounds, Pleasanton, CA—Featuring all years of American made & powered show cars & trucks, vendor exhibits, swap meet & car corral, Goodguys AutoCross, special awards and more.
November 15–17—Goodguys 16th Southwest Nationals, Westworld, Scottsdale, AZ—Hot rods, customs, classics, trucks and muscle cars thru 1972 vintage. Vendor exhibits, swap meet & car corral, Goodguys AutoCross, All American Sunday, special awards and more.
November 22–24—Goodguys 3rd Fall Del Mar Nationals Presented by Meguiar’s, Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar, CA—Season finale! Hot rods, customs, classics, trucks and muscle cars thru 1972 vintage. Vendor exhibits, swap meet & car corral, Goodguys AutoCross, All American Sunday, special awards and more.
www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 13
Glendale/Foothill CAA Chapter President Looks Back at 2012 by Linda Holcomb, Chapter President
As chapter president of the California Auto Body Association Glendale/Foothill-Pasadena chapter, my fellow members and I can look back upon our meetings and remember that we had some very educational and informative gatherings last year. We were one of the three chapters chosen in the state of California to host the LETF-Labor Enforcement Task Force auto body compliance presentations. This enabled our chapter members to prepare for LETF visits and know what to expect and how to properly comply. We also tackled the issue of the Bureau of Automotive Repairs Ethics and Integrity. In addition, we hosted a panel discussion by Gene Lopez, Western Regional Manager of I-CAR, on “Cuttings Costs and Improving Shop Efficiencies and Profits.” Five distinguished body shop owners contributed some very interesting information. We had over 70 people at that meeting and I guarantee you everyone learned something they could put to work in their shops the next day. The chapter hosted a pre-SEMA equipment showcase. Tom Gattuso, SEMA trade show director, gave us the complete insight on the SEMA show, which is now the largest trade show of its kind in the automotive industry. We saw some of the newest equipment technology in the automotive industry that later won prestigious SEMA awards. Toby Chess, I-CAR instructor, talked about “Where is our industry going in the future and what are you going to do about it?” It was very ed-
ucational and informative. We have been keeping our chapter informed about the AQMD Rule 1147, regarding installing and converting your heaters to low NOx burn-
ers on your spray booths. Our chapter focuses on what the needs are for collision repairers in today’s competitive market place. As we move into 2013, as predicted a few years ago, the large consolidators are rapidly moving forward with their acquisition of MSO’s (multiple shop owners) at a high rate of speed. My dear friend George Beaucather of Hi-Tech Collision Centers just recently sold all of his shops to Caliber Collision Centers. Tom Holmes of Holmes Body Shops sold all but one of his eight shops to Cook’s Collision Centers. There will be many more in 2013. We have other consolidators moving into the California market from out of state to acquire their market share. This will make it much more difficult for single shop owners to compete with this type of competition. It is my firm belief that the insurance companies think they are getting a “better deal.” But when it comes to dealing with a single shop owner, generally speak-
WIN Seeks 2013 Sponsors
The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) is seeking corporate sponsorships to help expand its 2013 educational and mentorship programs offered to women in the automotive industry. WIN offers several levels of corporate sponsorship opportunities, including bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond, as well as sponsorship of its annual Educational Conference. Each sponsorship enables the organization to provide women in the collision repair industry with educational opportunities that position them for future success.
All sponsors of WIN are recognized on the organization’s website, promotional items, signage, and membership functions and activities. Visit WIN’s website to view the monetary donation amounts associated with each level of sponsorship. “WIN is dedicated to providing women in the automotive industry with a platform for growth,” said Victoria Jankowski, chair of WIN’s board of directors. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, contact WIN board member Susanna Gotsch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
14 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
ing, the customer who owns the car is getting the better deal, such as more personalized service, higher quality repairs and better communication. The customer is not “just another number.” There is room for both in our industry. It is high time that the major insurance companies realize this. The single shop owners are going to have much more difficulty in affording the new type of equipment that will be required to repair aluminum and the new high-strength steel automobiles that are coming out, and the expense involved in all of the special training classes for technicians. The insurance companies need to not shut out the independent shops. If they do this, how will these shops afford to stay up with the current technology? It is a time in our industry when we really need to stick together and make all of this work for the independent shop owners and the insurance companies. There are many good Class A independent shops out there that deserve the respect and equality from the insurance companies. They, too, need an equal stake in this business of repairing cars. There is no
need for the insurance companies to pass up the independent shop owner for a consolidator. Didn’t most consolidators once start as a single shop owner in the beginning? I look forward to working with my CAA chapter members and giving them the tools they need to survive these changes. I look forward to working with all of my body shop customers, helping them acquire the proper equipment at fair prices, assisting my clients with wise marketing strategies, and representing all of the body shops in Southern California to stop the AQMD from making the shops install costly low NOx burners on their older spray booths as a part of Rule 1147. Wishing everyone a good beginning and prosperous 2013.
Linda Holcomb owns J.R. Sandoval Enterprises & Consulting located in Monrovia, CA, www.jrsandoval.net, specializing in selling body shop equipment since 1973. Holcomb has been the president of the CAA Glendale/Foothill Chapter for over two years, and looks forward to many informative and well attended meetings in 2013.
www.autobodynews.com | JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 15
Social Media for Shops
How Body Shops Can Use LinkedIn with Ed Attanasio
A LinkedIn expert and a Forbes Top 30 Social Media Power Influencer, as well as the creator of the AdAge Top 100 Global Marketing blog and the owner of Windmill Networking, Neal Schaffer is a global social media conference speaker who is also known for his two award-winning and critically acclaimed social media books: Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing, and Windmill Networking: Maximizing LinkedIn. He currently speaks on social media at approximately 50 events each year. I sat down with Schaffer recently and asked him the question many collision repairers nationwide are asking--how can I use LinkedIn to help my business?
Q: With all of the social media sites out there, does LinkedIn have a role in the entire mix when it comes to body shops and the collision industry in general? NS: It’s ideal for what I call outwardfacing employees. These are your estimators, front office people and even the techs that deal with the public on a regular basis. And, of course, the shop owner needs to have his own LinkedIn profile, with a picture and a bio. LinkedIn is designed for business people who want to interact with other professionals in their respective fields. People are using it to constantly look for new products and services and vice-versa. Are you looking for a new piece of equipment or a better management system? Finding the top decision makers in each business segment can be done quickly and easily using LinkedIn.
Q: What should we know about creating a profile? NS: Make it complete, with your employment history and keywords that will make it easy to find by other collision professionals. Use LinkedIn for yourself and then also create a page for your company. Users will want to link to you and others will link solely to your company page. You can do so much once you learn the bells and whistles of LinkedIn. We instruct companies how to recommend sales and build a marketing program via
LinkedIn and if they follow the plan, it works without fail.
Q: Now I have created my profile and a company page on LinkedIn and a lot of people want to connect with me— hundreds of them. Should I accept all of them or carefully handpick each one? NS: Some folks haven’t completely grasped the whole purpose of LinkedIn and want to limit their connections for one reason or another. But, think about it—how many people do you meet in the course of running your company or doing your job--maybe 500 or even 1,000? You never know how someone can help you in your business in the future. An old college buddy may want to invest in your business and help you to open up a new location? A former employer may now have a job with a vendor you want to purchase products from? How many people do you meet at shows like SEMA, AAPEX, etc.? I give my clients this easy formula: Take your age and multiple it by 10 times and that’s how many LinkedIn connections you should have. Don’t just connect with people you know— go broader and connect with their friends and their vendors. The wider your audience the more likely you’ll find beneficial deals and relationships through LinkedIn. Reach out as much as you can and never take social media personally. Let as many into your net that want to be there and then devise techniques for keeping them on your boat.
Q: Okay, I have 500 connections now. What’s next? NS: Engagement is the key. Too many newbies create their profile and invite a bunch of people, but then they drop the ball completely and say, hey LinkedIn didn’t work for me. Create some interesting things for people to look at, such as niche applications or slideshows showing your shop and stressing your strengths. And always be looking out to meet new people, by joining special groups or entering discussion forums. Spend some time every week (maybe less than an hour) on LinkedIn and comment, discuss,
16 JANUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at email@example.com.
offer your expertise and provide useful information whenever you can. Any form of social media is only as valuable as what you are willing to do with it.
Q: Can I start my own group to discuss things that are important to me, such as green practices, the ins and outs of DRPS and how to use my management system the best way? NS: Definitely—groups are a great vehicle for becoming a magnet for more connections today and down the road. Groups can position you as an expert on any subject and will bring you a ton of secondary connections. You can also join as many as 50 other groups to further connect you to your industry. Many of the paint companies have groups and all of the professional trade organizations also have one, in most cases. Staying in touch with your existing friends, colleagues and associates is important,
but finding new ones is even just as valuable. Once they establish a group, we tell our clients to create a very targeted ad campaign around the group. It’s inexpensive and you can use it to pinpoint people ten miles from your shop if that’s what you want to do. They might be future vendors or even customers. Being involved with top professionals in any area can be valuable to the further success of any company. Q: If my shop hasn’t done any social media up to this point, does that mean I’m too late to the party? NS: I tell people, it’s never too late to be a part of the social media game. All it takes is a few hours weekly and pretty quickly; you’ll be a pro at it and have a significant following. Let it build gradually and create new content; join groups and start your own and within six months--you’ll see the value of LinkedIn!
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On Creative Marketing Integrity Sells!
with Thomas Franklin
We recently ended an election campaign season during which exaggerations, misrepresentations and outright lies were rampant. It made me think of John, a small shop owner who surprised me when I asked where his customers came from. He had been in business for nearly 30 years, but he told me he didn’t rely on any corporate referrals, dealership business or any of the other usual sources that many shop owners tell me are vital to keeping them in business. “So,” I said, “where does your business come from?” He replied, “My customers just keep coming back. After 30 years, you accumulate a lot of customers.” Right away I thought about many other owners who complain to me that they have lost a lot of their old customers. They tell me their customers are swayed by steering, websites, ads, and news stories designed to scare them away from small shops. I asked John if that happened to him. “Sometimes,” he replied, “but mostly when they try to sway my customers, they fail. My customers are my friends. Good friends never desert you.” John isn’t the only small shop owner in business for more than 20 years. What does he do different that binds his customers to him with such loyalty? I overheard a couple of conversations with his customers. I noticed that John was scrupulously honest. He went to great pains to get the truth of the situation across to each customer. It
appeared to me that no prospective customer would ever doubt John’s integrity. There was no phony “trust me” kind of selling on his part. He simply came across as 100% sincere and 100% determined to give or get for his customer the best deal possible. That kind of integrity speaks for itself. I’m sure some would say to me, “Of course he comes across with integrity after 25 or 30 years! Who wouldn’t? But how can you communicate integrity instantly when you are meeting a prospective customer for the first time? Or when you’ve only been in business for less than a year? I recently had some work done on my house. The handyman that did the work sent me a thank-you note (not something I’ve ever received from a handyman before) and also he sent me something else I had never received from a handyman before: something he called “The Code of a Handyman.” It was a statement of his personal commitment to do a good job, to be on time, to perform as promised, to provide top service for a fair price, and a few other commitments to reassure me and his other customers that neither he nor anyone working with him would ever steal anything or knowingly damage any property or falsely represent what had been done. In short, it was a code of handyman honor, a pledge of integrity far more effective than verbally boasting of his integrity. Ralph Waldo Emerson once commented on a
NHTSA Expects to Propose Black Box Requirement
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to propose a rule requiring event data recorders, the so-called black boxes in vehicles that record crash data, in all new light vehicles. The White House Office of Management Budget completed a review of the proposal, clearing the way for NHTSA to finalize the standard for all cars and light trucks. NHTSA estimates it could cost automakers $24.4 million to put the recorders in all vehicles. About 90% of new vehicles have the recorders, including all by General Motors, Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. The Alliance of Automobile
Manufacturers urges the government to consider driver privacy, it said. “Event data recorders help our engineers understand how cars perform in the real world, but looking forward, we need to make sure we preserve privacy,” alliance spokeswoman Gloria Bergquist said. “Automakers do not access EDR data without consumer permission, and any government requirements to install EDRs on all vehicles must include steps to protect consumer privacy.”
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Tom Franklin has been a sales and marketing consultant for fifty years. He has written numerous books and provides marketing solutions and services for many businesses. He can be reached at (323) 871-6862 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. See Tom’s columns at www.autobodynews.com under Columnists > Franklin
boastful political speaker. He noted, “The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our valuables.” The dictionary defines ‘integrity’ as follows: 1. Rigid adherence to a CODE of behavior. 2. The state of being sound; unimpaired. 3. Completeness; unity. Codes of ethics are often provided by various industry associations and also franchise operations. Such a ‘code,’ posted in a conspicuous place, can serve to reassure the prospective customer that this place of business is committed to following a definite criterion of ethical behavior. Of course the prospect can only hope the business owner and employees will actually adhere to the code they have posted, but at least the promise is there for all to see. Recall that the third definition of ‘integrity’ was “completeness; unity.” It comes from the same root word as ‘integrated.’ That word has come to have a racial connotation, but actually
means “to make into a whole by bringing all parts together.” The business owner who has ‘integrated’ into his or her community and become an ‘integral’ part of that community, is generally viewed as concerned and thus trustworthy. It is no longer necessary to ‘sell’ the public on one’s integrity. During the worst of the recession in the early 1990s, John Baraona, owner of ‘Fussy Cleaners’ in Akron, OH, offered free dry-cleaning services to temporarily unemployed customers. When they finally landed new jobs in the cleaned and pressed clothes John had provided for them, they became his most loyal customers. Was there any further need for John to publicize his integrity? Integrity sells! In the short run, it may always be possible to lie and deceive, to gain a temporary victory. But in the long run one’s reputation for integrity, trustworthiness and honesty is the best sales and marketing asset of all.
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26 Insurers Now Paying Gunder’s Rate Increases
As of late November, 26 insurers have elected to provide full compensation for Gunder’s Auto Center’s labor rates and material invoicing. This past August, Ray Gunder placed a notice in his reception area and provided handouts to all auto appraisers and insurer claim representatives who visited his shop that new labor rates and allowances were in effect. As reported Sept. 12, (“15 and Counting”), with the exception of a handful, most insurers have conceded to paying without argument (excluding Infinity who later acquiesced after a Gunder filed a lawsuit against them). The increases include labor, refinishing labor, frame labor, mechanical labor rates and the invoicing of PMC Logic for all body and refinishing related materials. Currently, those insurers include: MetLife; Kemper Services’; Westfield Comp.; Auto Owners; Acceptance Casualty; Liberty Mutual; Amica Mutual; Horace Mann; The Hartford; Direct General; Zurich American; Mercury; Esurance; Security National; *Infinity; Occidental; First Acceptance; GMAC; Esis; Specialty Products Claims (a division of Nationwide); Sentry; Michelin Tire Company; Grange Mutual; CNA; Global Indemnity; and Commerce In-
surance. Some insurers are taking Gunder to court, arguing that Gunder, with the Power of Attorney, has no standing to file lawsuits on behalf of his customers. It’s anticipated that the court will hear arguments from all defendants and render a joint verdict for all 25 cases. The hearing occurred on Dec. 13. See adjacent story. Defendants include: State Farm, Allstate, USAA, Travelers, Infinity, and Geico. “This hearing and the judge’s ruling will be significant and may set a strong precedent regarding similar efforts of quality-minded independent repairers across the country,” Gunder said. “We are very confident that the decision will be in the favor of our customers and support the right for repairers to stand in the shoes of their customers if and when such issues regarding the full payment of any and all “Reasonable and Necessary” charges should arise. I’m excited to bring this matter to closure as it will only embolden us to move forward in serving our customers in an unencumbered fashion. This will also hopefully open a door to better communications and cooperation with insurers to better serve our mutual customers.”
Phoenix Collision Centers Donate Six Vehicles
The lives of six deserving families in Phoenix, AZ, will be changed with the gift of a refurbished car through the National Auto Body Council (NABC) and its Recycled Rides program. The vehicles were donated by six Phoenix area collision centers affiliated with the Van Tuyl Group, Inc. The families received their new vehicles during an event held Dec. 17 at Camelback Toyota, one of six local area dealership collision centers affiliated with the Van Tuyl Group, Inc. The six local collision centers that donated their labor to refurbish the vehicles are: • ABC Collision Center • Collision Center of Peoria • Bell Collision Center • Camelback Toyota Collision Center • Midway Collision Center • Van Collision Center Companies that made contributions to the vehicle giftings include Enterprise Rent-A-Car, LKQ Corporation, 3M, PPG, Travelers Insurance, Wal-Mart, Jiffy Lube, Shell Oil, Cobblestone Auto Spa, Lakeshore Learning Center, Airpark Tint, All-City Towing, Valley Towing and many other sponsors. “We’re happy to give these families the reliable transportation that can help provide them a fresh start,”
said Recycled Rides Co-Chairman Jim Ocampo of DuPont Performance Coatings. “We’re also very pleased to be able to say that the Phoenix gifting represents only a small fraction the 150 families that received vehicles this year through Recycled Rides. It’s great to be part of a project that clearly illustrates the giving nature of NABC members and the collision repair industry at large.” Recycled Rides is a national initiative through which National Auto Body Council members—men and women putting their superior craftsmanship to benevolent use—refurbish donated vehicles and gift them to families in need and organizations dedicated to assisting others. The program is an intra-industry effort, so in addition to body shops donating their labor, insurers, paint suppliers, parts vendors and rental car companies are recruited to contribute. “At its most basic, the goal of Recycled Rides is to help people help themselves,” noted Rafael Hinojos, collision business development director for the Van Tuyl Group. “And all of the industry segments commit to playing a part in seeing that happens. Most that participate find it a life-changing experience,” he said.
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CAA East Bay Hosts 15th Toys for Tots Model Truck Competition plain white Nylint die-cast truck and turned it into a unique piece of art. The California Autobody AssociaFirst place went to Jim’s Auto tion’s East Bay chapter once again Body for its beautiful red, silver and hosted its Model Truck Customizing black 18-wheeler, capturing the covCompetition on Nov. 20 at the Black- eted trophy and winning an Iwata Twilight chrome 1.3 W-400 spray gun. Second place went to the College of Alameda with a Coca-Cola truck and received a 3M Speedglas 100 welding helmet, and third place went to Mission Valley ROP, for its red sparkling limousine, for which they received a DeWalt buffer with a case and gloves. Jeff Rogers, manager of The Marines were on hand representing Toys for Tots Jim’s Auto Body, was obviwith from left, Staff Sergeant Harry Easter, East Bay CAA ously pleased to walk away chapter President Tiffany Silva and Corporal Richard with the trophy and the bragSalas ging rights that accompany hawk Auto Museum in Danville, CA. it, he said. “Sam Spinelli, one of our More than 200 CAA members and body techs, did all the work on this friends attended this hugely popular truck, approximately 40 hours total. event consisting of a dinner, raffle, We’ve won before, but this was speand spirited truck competition, which raised toys for Toys for Tots and money for four northern California Regional Occupational Programs. Eight companies customized model trucks and entered them into the competition, including T.G.I.F Auto Body, Crockett’s Premier Auto Body, Jim’s Auto Celebrity Judges who picked the evening’s winners were Body, FinishMaster, D & S Kirk Kapfenstein, Rich Evans, organizer Mike Govette and Auto Body, National Auto Mike Taylor Parts, Uptown Auto Body and NEO Autoworks. In addition, all cial because the competition was infour regional occupational schools en- tense. It’s nice to win, but in the end tered trucks for the contest. Each com- it’s all for charity, which is the most peting organization took an identical important thing. We bought the truck to display in our office, so that customers can see it and appreciate it.” The People’s Choice award went to T.G.I.F Auto Body, for its “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas” creation. Kathy Mello, the owner of T.G.I.F., enters a truck every year and her staff really gets involved to make it a special occasion. “Two of my body techs and From left, Sam Spinelli from Jim’s Auto Body, event one of my painters put 120 organizer Mike Govette, James Maltbie from Jim’s Jeff hours into this truck,” Mello Rogers, manager of Jim’s Auto Body in Concord represaid. “Every year, it’s a team sented the winning truck and captured the Best Truck Trophy building experience and very by Ed Attanasio
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beneficial to the shop, the chapter and the industry as a whole. It’s ideal for team building here in the shop. We love to have fun with it, so that’s why we decided to go with this theme this year.” The Educational Best-of-Class award, given to the best truck entered by an educational institution, went to the College of Alameda.
all received grants from the CAA East Bay chapter. “Without grants from organizations such as the CAA, it would make it difficult for us to maintain our program,” Peter Lock, department chair of the auto technician program at Contra Costa College, said. “The CAA East Bay chapter has always been an outstanding supporter of our program,
Jim’s Auto Body won first place with this red, silver and black 18-wheeler
The CAA East Bay chapter also gave several educational institutions money for their auto repair programs and the head instructors from each program were in attendance. Contra Costa College (Peter Lock), Mission Valley ROP (John Cimino), Eden Area ROP (Daniel Pareja) and the College of Alameda (Bill Andrews)
and we greatly appreciate it. The students always get into designing and building these model trucks, and every year we see more and more top entries from the schools involved.” Mike Govette, branch manager for FinishMaster in Concord, has been organizing the Model Truck CusSee Truck Competition, Page 51
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Industry Insight with John Yoswick
John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has a body shop in the family and has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
Advocate of Collision Industry Standards in the U.K. Sees Need for Them Here Include Mike Monaghan as among the proponents of the benefits of collision repair industry standards. What effect did he see such standards having in the United Kingdom? “The bad repairers went away. The incompetent and inefficient and illegal repairers went away,” Monaghan said. “The insurance carriers got more integrity, better safety, better customer service. They got better value from their supply chain.” Monaghan spoke at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Las Vegas in November. As a three-shop operator in the United Kingdom in 1988, he said was discouraged with having to compete with other repairers that he didn’t feel had made the investment he had in equipment and training. He wrote a white paper outlining what he felt a “good shop looked like,” and over the course of three years helped craft one of the first set of collision repair standards in the U.K.
Though some others have pointed to some downsides to the standards program in the U.K., Monaghan was unequivocal about the positive impact of the standards. He began his argument for standards in the U.S. by noting that change is inevitable, and that too often collision repairers allow themselves to remain only on the receiving end of that change. “The tragedy for our industry is we react too late. We react to everything and then we seek to blame,” Monaghan said. “Can the collision industry take control of its market and its destiny? Yes, it absolutely can, but what it can’t do is constantly wait and react. It has to take control.”
Are minimum requirements enough? He challenged whether repairers or insurers clearly have defined what “good” looks like. He pointed out one example in a draft revision of CIC’s
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definition of the minimum requirements for a shop, which calls for shops to have a minimum of one technician certified in welding. Monaghan asked about a shop that has six or eight technicians, only one of which who is certified and who is gone for a day when welding is done on vehicles. “Is that safe? Is it right? I seriously don’t think so,” Monaghan said. “If you’re welding a car, you should be tested before you get to weld.” He said that part of the problem with not having standards is that repairs are too often designed based more on negotiated cost. “You need to understand there is an independent correct repair, and that has to come first, and only… then do you figure out, and if necessary negotiate, the cost,” he said. Monaghan said over the course of three years, he took his white paper to shops, insurers and automakers for
input, and by 1991 it was ready to be implemented as a standard. “The good shops that wanted to differentiate themselves stepped up and said, ‘If that means I have to be audited four times a year, front door to back door, looking in every dark corner, then that’s the standard I want to be identified with,’” Monaghan said. The standard was eventually adopted by 13 insurers (who required it be met by shops on their programs) and 11 auto manufacturers, Monaghan said. Though Monahan didn’t mention that another set of standards was also vying for adoption by shops and insurers, he did say that in 2007 he stepped aside and the current single standards program in the U.K., implemented by the insurer-funded research firm Thatcham, moved forward.
The issue of costs Monaghan returned several times at
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CIC to the topic of the impact of standards on costs. He acknowledged that in some instances in the U.K., repair costs (and the percentage of vehicles declared total losses) have risen. But he said the reduction in costs associated with variability and other issues declined. “If you get the right people, the right repairers with the right materials and the right skills and training—if you get all those things more frequently—then you reduce the variables,” he said. “There is less rancor, less rework, less supplementaries. All those factors were contained and scaled back considerably.” Monaghan, who recently moved to the United States, clearly has an interest in playing a role in the development of standards here. “I’m living here now, and I’m willing to help CIC or anybody else in this industry with my knowledge and background,” Monaghan said. “I think the U.S. can achieve something quite spectacular (and) does not need to go through the pain we went through… “If the repair industry does not embrace this and take charge of its own destiny, then it will be a victim of change.”
Other perspectives on standards in the U.K.
As an advocate for implementation of a set of collision repair standards here, Mike Monaghan, at the most recent CIC, spoke mostly of the upside of the standards he helped develop in the United Kingdom. But others there, even those who support the standards, acknowledge some challenges they pose. In the U.K., more than 840 shops (out of an estimated 1,400 that participate in insurer direct repair programs) have earned certification under the 5year-old set of repair standards. Although the standards were developed by an inter-industry effort, the implementation of those standards and certification of the shops is overseen by Thatcham, an insurer-funded research organization. “It’s basically a get-of-jail-free card for insurers,” said Chris Mann, publisher of Bodyshop Magazine in the U.K., has said of the standards program. “If something goes wrong and
they are asked, ‘Why did you choose this body shop,’ just saying, ‘It’s cheap and it’s there,’ is not a very good answer to a court. But ‘I chose this body shop because it is independently-audited through this standards program,’ means you’ve taken the due care that a reasonable organization should do. I think that’s a big, big plus for insurers.” But Mann also points out that without such standards “against which their suppliers can be measured...the only criteria insurers can use is price.” Certified shops also have the benefit of using the “Kitemark” logo, somewhat equivalent to the “Good Housekeeping” seal of approval in this country in that it is widely recognized by U.K. consumers as a designation of some level of performance among the companies and products that have earned its use. Paul Gange, the president and chief operating officer of Fix Auto USA,
said that while he believes in the value of standards for the industry, he’s observed some of the challenges with the program in the U.K., where a similar Fix Auto organization has more than 60 franchises. Gange noted that at one point in the U.K., there were multiple competing sets of industry standards, and shops found themselves being required by different insurers to implement multiple standards “This was, at the very basis, a bit of a mess,” Gange said. Gange also said that while single standards program now in the U.K., is “at its essence positive, it’s riddled with bureaucracy, and along with bureaucracy comes costs.” Gange said that shops in the U.K. feel they bear the burden of these costs, which include $30,000 to $80,000 in terms of an initial implementation fee, along with the equivalent of just under $8,000 a year in annual training.
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