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Western Edition California Nevada Arizona



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.


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


Contents COLUMNS

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

Indexof Advertisers

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 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 Email:



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 | 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.


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. CHECK IT OUT!

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. | 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

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.”


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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855-511-0479 Hours: Mon-Fri 7 am - 6 pm Sat 8 am - 2 pm 240 N. Gibson Rd. Henderson, NV 89014 | 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.


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 | 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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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.


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: ● ● 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. | 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-

Linda Holcomb

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


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,, 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. | 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,


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

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 See Tom’s columns at 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


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 Contact him by email at

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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Education and Industry Partner to Bring Top Training to Arizona East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) in Mesa, AZ, has partnered with Leading Edge Auto Refinishes and Kachina Automotive Equipment to establish one of the premiere educational programs and training centers for Collision Repair Technology in the United States. New training begins in January. EVIT is Arizona’s first Joint Technological Education District and was formed in 1991. Recently recognized as an A+ School in Arizona, it serves adult and high school students in over 40 occupational specific programs. This private/public enterprise partnership fulfills the mission for EVIT’s CEO & Superintendent Dr. Sally Downey. “We must bring industry to the table if we are going to provide the finest training in the world and to accomplish that goal we needed to partner with two of Arizona’s most influential market leaders,” said Dr. Downey. “Leading Edge and Kachina Automotive are recognized as innovative market leaders and industry visionaries in Arizona. When I asked

them to outline their vision of what they believed our program could become I was taken back at the depth, the vision and their comprehensive strategy of implementation that greatly exceeded EVIT’s short and long term vision for our collision program.” It has long been a dream of John Rang, managing partner of both Leading Edge Auto and Kachina Automotive Equipment, to provide stateof-the-art training for the collision industry in Arizona. “When Dr. Downey approached us we quickly realized that we shared a similar vision for industry training in Arizona. We lacked a brick and mortar facility and EVIT lacked the knowledge and industry connections to bring EVIT’s dream to reality. Dr. Downey describes our relationship as a ‘public/private enterprise partnership.’ I would describe it as a win-win opportunity for students and our collision industry partners. Our relationship with EVIT is beyond anything I could have imagined,” said Rang. “Dr. Downey has big ideas and by collaborating we are going to have a signif-

TV Public Service Commercial for Body Shops Aimed at the Dangers of Texting and Driving PreFab Ads recently introduced “Text Crash,” a TV/Internet commercial aimed at increasing public attention of the hazards of texting while driving, making it available to auto body shops nationwide.

Chuck Jessen of Jessen Productions in San Rafael, CA, wrote, directed and produced “Text Crash,” which opens with a young woman texting her boyfriend while driving. As a result, she runs a red light and Tbones a van in the intersection. In the eerie aftermath, amidst the wreckage and against the wail of the approaching sirens, a “ping” is heard—a text from her boyfriend, wondering where she is. The words “Please don’t text

and drive. We don’t need the business that bad” fade up, followed by the logo sponsoring auto body shop. Designed as a body shop-sponsored public service announcement (PSA), “Text Crash” will be making its December debut in 14 U.S. markets and one Canadian market, with more body shops signing on to run it every week, according to Jessen. “Body shop owners seem to easily recognize the potential good will this PSA could generate in their local communities,” Jessen said. “Nearly all the shops running this spot say they have fixed cars damaged from a texting-while-driving incident. Hopefully the awareness generated by this spot will help take this tragic trend in another direction.” “Text Crash” is just the latest of 17 collision repair commercials Jessen offers through PreFab Ads (, a division of Jessen Productions, LLC. It can be viewed on and YouTube. To view “Text Crash” go to:


icant impact on students and industry. This is going to be a unique collision program.” On Nov. 7, 2012, Dr. Downey was proud to present Rang and Leading Edge the prestigious Sam and Olga Bender Award for Business, one of EVIT’s highest honors. The award is given to a business partner who makes the greatest contribution of time, energy, and commitment to the school. Rang’s efforts were acknowledged just as the Collision Repair facility was in the final stages of completion. The renovated facilities will begin hosting manufacturer’s training programs in January, 2013 beginning with Chief Automotive “Design Based Repairs and Advanced Frame Analysis” training classes. EVIT has served high school students in collision repair classes for more than 20 years. However, the new facilities and programming expands that vision by offering students secondary education and advanced training for professional technicians currently working in the industry. “It’s essential that we keep technicians current with the technology

and repair techniques in our industry, so we leveraged our local and national industry relationships. To say they stepped-up would be a gross understatement,” says Rang. “I-CAR embraced the opportunity immediately along with several nationally recognized manufacturers who are offering industry training at EVIT during 2013. The 18,000 square foot facility, with new state-of-the-art equipment, and factory supported training, offers the perfect environment to address one of the greatest weaknesses of our industry, a severe lack of qualified technicians.” “We have great expectations for our new collision program. As a current member of the national ‘Automotive Youth Educational Systems’ (AYES) executive board, I am convinced that the opportunities for EVIT in our collision programs are unlimited,” said Dr. Downey. Leading Edge Auto Refinishes is a single-line BASF ColorSource™ distributor. Kachina Automotive Equipment, founded in 1978, supplies collision shop repair equipment and training to the collision industry.

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Ford Fusion Wins ‘Green Car of Year’ Title

Ford Motor Co.’s all-new Fusion won Green Car Journal’s “Green Car of the Year” title at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show. The Fusion beat out the Dodge Dart Aero, Ford C-Max, Mazda CX-5 SKYACTIV and the Toyota Prius c. It is the eighth consecutive year that Green Car Journal has recognized a “Green Car” of the year. Previous winners include the compressed natural gas-powered Honda Civic in 2011 and the range extended plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt in 2010. The Fusion comes with multiple internal combustion engine options, and as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid model. Ford’s Fusion has a base price of $21,700; the hybrid model, which gets a combined 47 miles per gallon, starts at $27,200. The C-Max hybrid, which also gets a combined 47 miles per gallon, starts at $25,200. The winner was selected by a jury of environmental leaders, including Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, Ocean Futures Society President JeanMichel Cousteau, Global Green USA President Matt Petersen, “Tonight Show” host and auto enthusiast Jay Leno, and Green Car Journal staff.

GM Recalls 2012 Buick Verano, Chevy Cruze, Sonic

GM is recalling 2,949 model-year 2012 Buick Verano, Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Sonic vehicles because the airbags could fail, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The recall involves the driverside front airbag, which contains a shorting bar that could intermittently contact the airbag terminals, NHTSA reported. If the bar and terminals are contacting each other at the time of a crash, the airbag may not deploy. This increases the risk of injury.


Volkswagen Beetle Recall

Volkswagen is recalling certain model year 2012-2013 Beetle vehicles, manufactured from Feb. 2012 through Aug. 2012, and equipped with leather sport seats. If the right front passenger seat gets wet, the occupant control module may not properly detect the presence of a child restraint installed in the seat. If the control module does not detect a child seat installed, the airbag will not turn off. If the airbag does not turn off, in the event of a crash necessitating front airbag deployment, a child secured in the child seat may be at an increased risk for serious injury. Volkswagen will notify owners, and replace the control modules, free of charge.

Ford Recalls Escapes, Fusions for Engine Fires

Ford Motor Co. issued its fourth recall Nov. 30 for its 2013 Ford Escape SUV, citing a fire risk. The recall affects 73,320 Escapes, as well as 15,833 midsized 2013 Ford Fusions. Some 80,000 of the recalled vehicles were in the U.S. It’s the latest setback for the Escape, introduced in June and a key vehicle in Ford’s lineup. The Dearborn automaker urged owners of the vehicles with 1.6-liter engines to contact dealers immediately, to arrange loaners. But unlike an earlier Escape recall, this one didn’t caution drivers to stop driving them. The recall is for Escape and Fusion SE and SEL models with a 1.6-liter engine. The company said it has not yet established repair procedures, and can’t say when owners will be able to get their cars fixed. A Ford spokesman said engine overheating can lead to fluid leaks, which may come in contact with a hot exhaust system and trigger a fire. Ford said it received 13 reports of engine fires that followed overheating. No injuries have been reported. Ford told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the first report of an Escape fire was Sept. 7 in Florida.


150,000 Toyota Tacoma Trucks Recalled Due to Rust

Toyota is recalling its popular Tacoma pickup truck, sold in certain parts of the country. At issue is the carriers that hold the emergency spare tire underneath the truck may not be adequately protected from the chemical road deicers used in several states. If the tire carrier rusts, the spare tire may fall off the truck and present a road hazard, increasing the risk of collisions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the rust problem affects 150,000 2001 to 2004 model year Toyota Tacoma fullsize pickup trucks sold in so-call “rust belt” areas of the U.S., including: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, DC. Toyota has not yet developed a remedy to this situation, but they will notify owners when a fix is in place.

Hyundai, Kia Faces $775 M Lawsuit Over Fuel Economy Lies

A lawsuit was filed against Hyundai Motor Corp. and Kia Motors Corp for over $775 million in damages due to the auto companies admitting they overstated the fuel economy in close to 1 million vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. Reuters reported the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for Central California on behalf of 23 Hyundai and Kia vehicle owners. The lawsuit is expected to challenge Hyundai and Kia’s compensation plan that they have set to satisfy disappointed customers. The South Korean automakers admitted they had overstated the fuel economy on 13 Kia and Hyundai models after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a report about the mistakes. The agency looked into the matter after over a dozen customers filed complaints.

January 2013

GM to Hasten Development of Electric Vehicles in China

General Motors Co. said it is increasing the speed of its development of electric vehicles in China, where it will build and sell an all-electric Chevrolet Sail Springo in addition to selling the Chevrolet Volt extendedrange plug-in electric. GM recently announced plans to build 500,000 vehicles a year by 2017 that would be powered in some way by electricity. That would include plug-in electrics, pure electrics, mild hybrids that use the company’s eAssist technology and full hybrids, according to the automaker. GM China opened an advanced materials lab in Shanghai in Sept. 2011 where employees work on battery technology and lightweight material research. Workers there can build cells for lithium-ion batteries.

Volt Sales Plummet Due to Inventory Issue

Chevrolet sold 1,519 Volts in November, a 33% rise over the same month a year ago. But that was only about half the record 2,961 vehicles sold in October and 2,851 in September. Don Johnson, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet sales and service, attributed the fall in Volt sales from its record-setting tally in October as an inventory issue, felt particularly hard in California. “Dealers are just clamoring for more,” he said of the California market, where GM sells about 34% of Volts and where it recently had just an eight-day supply of the vehicle. Inventory is now up to 23 days for California and about 60 days for U.S. supply, which Johnson described as ‘ideal.’ Volt sales through 11 months this year totaled 20,828. It’s difficult to tell whether expiration of favorable sales incentives also led to the fall in Volt sales. Without special incentives, the Volt costs $39,145 before a $7,500 federal tax credit. That’s more expensive than the base prices for Toyota’s Prius plug-in ($32,000), Ford Motor Co.’s C-Max Energi plug-in ($32,950) and Nissan Motor Co.’s allelectric Nissan Leaf ($35,200).

Continued from Cover

Record Year

California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Fix Auto’s increased its presence in the Seattle market to six locations, while doubling locations in the Pacific Northwest from six to 12 stores in the last year. Fix Auto USA CEO Erick Bickett said, “Extinction [in the collision business] has already begun with the shift of market share at a time when there is a declining demand for the repair services that we provide. If you aren’t considering or making changes, you are being left behind. The big get bigger and the smaller will disappear, unless they are in a niche market. Independent repair operators can survive if they evolve their business and participate in a collision repair solution that is less expensive to do business with.”

Boyd Group Last week Boyd Group has announced the opening of their 180th location. The 15,000 square foot facility in Orlando, Florida, previously Colonial Auto Body, will now operate

under the Gerber Collision & Glass trade name, the Boyd Group’s largest U.S. brand. The Boyd Group now owns and operates 37 repair centers in Florida, a state in which the company didn’t even do business in until a year ago. President and COO of the Boyd Group’s U.S. operations Tim O’Day said, “We strongly believe that Florida is an attractive market for the Boyd Group. In June this year Boyd Group announced that it would acquire the assets of Pearl Auto Body, which owns six collision repair centers in the Denver area. At the end of last year, the Boyd Group owned 136 locations in the United States. In the past 12 months, the company has added 44 stores including the two recent acquisitions of Autocrafters and The Recovery Room which accounted for 23 of this year’s new locations. And Boyd is not the only consolidator growing rapidly this year.

Caliber Collision Caliber is a multi-shop operation with 112 locations—including 49 in Cali-



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fornia, 48 in Texas, eight in Arizona, and two in Nevada. The company also completed its third acquisition in the greater Oklahoma City market. 2011 revenues were $365 million, a 15.5percent growth over 2010, said Steven Grimshaw, president and CEO. Caliber Collision began 2012 with 94 locations and ended the year with 112. Most of their purchases were one and two-shop operations with their biggest purchase being the five locations of 101 Collision in California, in February. Mark Sanders, Chief Operating Officer for Caliber, recently said, “We will continue to increase our market penetration in this and other southwestern U.S. markets in the months to come.”

ABRA Auto Body & Glass ABRA Auto Body & Glass has also been on an acquisitions streak. ABRA announced the acquisition of all five Collision Solutions locations in Indianapolis, IN. ABRA’s five newly acquired repair centers are located in Kensington Commons, Robbins Park, Beech Grove, Shelton Heights, and Westfield. The deal increases the num-

ber of ABRA repair centers nationwide to 132 in 14 states. ABRA now operates 128 stores in 14 states. At the end of last year, ABRA had just 112 locations in 12 states.

Service King Richardson, TX-based Service King was itself acquired by a management team backed by the investment firm, Carlyle group. Service King grew by 16 shops this year to a total of 63 locations. With 49 stores all within the state of Texas, Service King expanded to the state of Arizona with its acquisition of Auto Body World and also became the latest industry consolidator to attract Wall Street’s attention when the Carlyle Group stepped in to acquire a majority ownership in the chain.

Adding in a few additional acquisitions this year by the smaller consolidators like Cooks Collision (which added 8) and Collision Revision (2), the year 2012 has seen 104 repair facilities acquired by these six companies alone. That is more shops than the total number of locations Caliber Collision owned just 12 months ago.



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Women’s Industry Network Reports Winning Growth in 2012 by Kelly McNalis

In retrospect, it’s apparent that 2012 was another “winning” year for WIN, the Women’s Industry Network®. WIN is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing women in the collision repair industry with educational opportunities that create a platform for success, as well as recognition for excellence and leadership within the industry. WIN has reported growth in several areas of the organization in 2012, from enhanced membership services and additional sponsorship opportunities, to improved internal operations and a refined governance structure. The organization reported a 50% increase in member engagement since 2010 and a nearly 13% average increase in conference attendance since 2007. The organization published its first annual Report to the Industry, which gave visibility and transparency to the organization’s activities, financial data, and sponsors. Victoria Jankowski, WIN Chair stated, “While this committee-run organization has come a long way, focus

on the core mission remains the same; a strong sense of community, scholarship support, and ongoing educational efforts for our members.” WIN has increased its visibility within the industry in a variety of ways. Its members have made an impact on membership through networking, personal connections, and corporate awareness.

Enhanced publicity efforts around the 2012 Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA, generated buzz beginning three months prior to the event and featured an expanded scope of speakers covering a variety of topics. As an example, Robyn Benincasa, adventure racer, firefighter and motivational speaker, addressed the conference’s theme of, “Be the Change.” “Her message of strength, perseverance, and accomplishment both resonated and inspired everyone in the


room,” said Ruth Weniger, WIN Communications Chair and CEO of Airbag Solutions. A variety of sponsorship levels and conference sponsorship opportunities have helped spread organizational awareness of WIN within sponsoring companies, as well as the industry at large. The greatest expenditures in the WIN budget are related to the Annual Educational Conference, which provides attendees with an opportunity to interact with their collision industry peers and receive educational opportunities. Once sponsorship is secured, WIN subsidizes 35% of each attendee’s cost to attend the conference. To continue strengthening its program and providing measurable improvements in 2013, the WIN Board Strategic Planning Session identified three primary objectives at the start of 2012: ● Enhance the value of WIN membership and sponsorship ● Increase industry visibility of WIN, our activities and our members ● Establish a more robust operational and governance structure for the Board of Directors

Jankowski stated, “Like any growing organization, WIN will continue to be challenged with building stronger operational processes, creating consistency in communication that supports the WIN mission, and tracking progress so we can support continued success.” The Board and committee members are engaged and confident that these objectives will align WIN for another successful year in 2013 and enable the organization to continue its momentum. “WIN will continue to explore new ways to connect with women in the industry, keep our sponsors engaged, and support the positive energy our network brings to the overall industry community. As the organization grows, expect to see more ways WIN can contribute,” Jankowski said. “We are ever grateful for the continued generosity of our sponsors who support our efforts to engage women in the Collision Repair Industry and we welcome new members and sponsors who are similarly committed to advancing our mission,” she said. To learn more about WIN, visit

Continued from Cover

Still Recovering

clean their tools and equipment. Since then, Collision Depot has installed some generators. Even though they are now fully operational, they are still restoring their building and replacing the $750,000 loss in equipment as they go, due to a lack of insurance. More than 250,000 cars in the NY and NJ area have been totaled due to severe flooding, and Zigman notes a decrease in business because of the vast number of destroyed cars and the influx of rental vehicles in the area. He shares that though he is receiving occasional repair requests caused by the storm, his only hope for now is for the general public to get back on their feet. Zigman says he has noticed increased difficulties with insurance companies as they are investigating claims in greater depth and just generally giving consumers a harder time obtaining repairs. They’ve opted to total many of the damaged vehicles. The insurers have also given Collision Depot some problems regarding partially and fully repaired vehicles that had not yet been picked up; the insurers are objecting to

paying for the repairs on vehicles that were totaled by Sandy’s flooding. Despite the challenges that he faces daily, Zigman maintains a positive outlook and puts his efforts and focus into rebuilding. He states, “What gets me through living with this tragedy is remembering 9/11 and knowing this is nothing but lifestyle changes compared to what others went through then. We will get through this.” Burnside Collision of Inwood, NY, was similarly struck by Sandy’s devastating impact. With several feet of water in their office, all computers and desks were destroyed and had to be replaced. Over two feet of water in their work area demolished their equipment, submerging and ruining their spray booth motor and their Car-O-Liner’s mechanisms. Additionally, the flooding destroyed a number of partially and fully repaired vehicles stored on the property, including police cars and Burnside’s tow truck. All of this destruction forced owner Ronnie Marciano to shut down for two and a half weeks. Though Marciano has noticed an influx in repair business since the storm, he initially had to turn away a great deal of business due to the damage done to his shop, thus losing po-

tential business in addition to the loss of work-in-progress. Several completed cars were also destroyed, and one completed repair which was being stored was completely flooded out, forcing Marciano to fight with the insurance company in order to get paid for the work he had already completed. In addition to the general frustration of declining customers’ repair requests, Marciano faced the difficulty of expenses without the ability to capture business and revenue. Burnside Collision’s current focus is on repairing and replacing the equipment damaged by the storm. Marciano’s house was also flooded, as was his estimator’s and office manager’s homes. Employees who were not affected came to the shop to start working on repairs and get the business back up and running, said Marciano—a credit to his employees’ dedication and his relationship with them. Because of this extra effort, Burnside Collision was able to meet payroll obligations instead of utilizing FEMA’s layoff program. Noting that insurance companies are currently focused on picking up submerged cars, Marciano expects to see more storm-damaged vehicles in

the future. He suggests that many consumers may not yet realize that their cars were damaged by salt water, and he also suspects that some people have avoided submitting claims for fear their insurer will total their vehicle. Though insurers are totaling many cars, Marciano notes that they’ve returned to standard procedure with handling claims. Initially, the volume of claims was overwhelming, causing delays, but by using independent appraisers to manage their volume, insurers have been able to return to normal processing times. Burnside Collision has seen very few flooded cars come in for repairs due to the challenge that owners face when trying to retain their vehicles. Marciano believes that insurance companies should be making decisions on a caseby-case basis instead of making a blanket decision to total so many vehicles. In spite of their own problems, Marciano and his staff helped unload a truck filled with supplies sent from Florida to provide relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Marciano sees this tragedy as a learning experience, stating “We will pick up the pieces and work diligently to move forward and See Still Recovering, Page 42

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Society of Collision Repair Specialists Takes a Look Back at 2012 by Aaron Schulenburg Executive Director, SCRS

2012 was an interesting year in the industry; a year that was filled with both new and pre-existing challenges for collision repair business owners. Business activity fluctuated from week to week causing market uncertainty, daily reports of consolidation filled the headlines of the trade press, insurance companies continued to develop ways to interject themselves into collision repair business management, and reports of technology development cast a long term question mark over the future of collision repair businesses. When concern and uncertainty occupy the marketplace, businesses often look to the collective power of community to find information, lean on support from their peers, and collaboratively innovate solutions. As a trade association that has spent more than three decades solely dedicated to educate, inform and represent the collision repair professional in all aspects of the industry, 2012 was a remarkably busy year for the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS).

In taking stock of the past year, I am confident that the entire staff and volunteer board of directors of SCRS are proud of the work that we embarked upon in each of the three areas of our mission. While the ultimate results of those efforts may not be fully realized, the momentum from that work will serve the organization and its membership well, leading into 2013. As a member driven organization, the success of our efforts is often best gauged by the response of our membership. For SCRS, our actions in 2012 have been met by significant levels of growth in every individual and corporate membership category. In addition to welcoming individual businesses, SCRS has proudly added new state and regional Affiliate Associations to our network with the Northern Michigan Body Shop Association, the Texas Independent Automotive Association, Idaho Autobody Craftsmen Association, Alabama Automotive Repair Industry Society of Excellence and the Utah Auto Body Association. These state groups extend the reach of SCRS’ informative network, bringing our Affiliate Asso-

ciation relationships to more than 40 affiliated groups across North America, and strengthening the breadth of our voice as we represent the industry. It is through this growth that our organization is able to further our resolve, knowing the message points, the areas of focus, and the activities we have undertaken have spoken to those we aim to represent, spurring unsolicited growth in support and participation. But a thriving trade association requires more than simply the ability to boast one of the broadest networks of collision repairers such as SCRS’; it requires action and activity that speak to the heart of the memberships issues. Our members give us the tone and tenor behind our voice, but it is our responsibility to make sure it that collective voice is raised at the right time, for the right reasons, and that our chorus echoes through the industry’s halls. In fact, vocalizing repairer’s perspectives at a national level was not just a continued responsibility for the Society in 2012, but a centerpiece of the association’s efforts. From entering into the year with a written re-

sponse to an article in USA Today that claimed that auto body shops say they, not insurers, should set costs, to an end-of the year announcement that SCRS would be working with other repairer groups to facilitate ongoing repairer-only forums in conjunction with other industry events; 2012 has marked a year where repairers understood the need to embrace the power of community, and to stand up for their business independence. No issue became a bigger focus for SCRS, or the industry, than that of insurer mandated parts procurement programs, which first received focus due to the launch of State Farm’s pilot program with PartsTrader in several markets across the U.S. in the spring. As part of our responsibility to both inform and represent our membership and our industrial community, SCRS issued a series of informative releases on this program throughout the year; the first being issued as early as April, and marking one of the industry’s first glimpses into the new program at the time. This release was followed with an interview SCRS conducted with representatives from

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New Zealand highlighting the impact that similar insurer-mandated parts procurement models have had in that geographic market. The purpose of this information was simple; the more informed and educated collision repairers in the U.S. are about the potential impact and ramification of such programs, the more equipped they are to form a proactive individual business strategy on how to address such a mandate if their business is faced with it in the future. There was perhaps no greater industry advocate on this issue in 2012, because our membership made it clear that this issue was paramount to virtually all others. Additional releases, presentations, debates and efforts centered on this issue throughout the year, mirroring the concern and pushback expressed by the both the industry and by individual businesses alike. The end result of such communication and industry activism is yet to be seen, but the repairer’s voice was certainly heard. People are paying attention, and more repair facility owners today understand what has happened in countries like New Zealand and Canada, because of information that only became available through an organized

international network such as the one provided by SCRS. Representing an industry takes the confidence and understanding to know when collaboration will generate the most substantial and beneficial results for the industry, and SCRS has been proud to continue our history of work with other associations and entities in 2012. In November of 2011, SCRS and other collision repair organizations released a monumental joint position statement officially recognizing OEM vehicle manufacturer published repair procedures as the industry’s standard of repair. As continuation of that effort in 2012, SCRS hosted a face-to-face meeting in April of national repair associations, I-CAR, the OEM Roundtable and top automakers in Oklahoma City, OK. The meeting was a continuation of the step taken by SCRS and more than two dozen additional state, regional, national and international collision repair organizations. The initial positioning, along with the leadership provided by SCRS and others in ongoing meetings and communications have led to major OEM vehicle manufacturers responding with amazingly innovative solutions that have the potential to change the face of our

free industry resource that was developed and funded by industry trade associations to address user-identified errors, inaccuracies or omissions in electronic estimating system data. In 2012 we proudly watched as this trade association-funded industry tool saw both its 4000th and 5000th inquiries. The DEG also made headway launching a major website overhaul to enhance the end-user experience, and adding a functionality to address the top ten user requested enhancements to estimating platforms. Addressing estimating data has long been a part of SCRS’ history, and in addition to the collaborative work with other trade associations, SCRS has provided other resources that aim to provide collision repairers with the most effective tools in their toolbox. In 2011 SCRS provided the industry with the SCRS Guide to Complete Repair Planning; an exhaustive list of legitimate operations and services our technicians provide that often go unrecognized in the estimate development and final billing processes. It had been initially developed by the late March Taylor, who was a former board member of SCRS and owner of See SCRS Look Back at 2012, Page 38



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industry. One such tool with potential is TOYOTA’s recently announced predictive estimating technology that is under development, and a direct work product of these ongoing repairer driven discussions. Perhaps one of the most notable areas in which we have actively embraced other groups to address critical industry wide topics include a joint letter to the Information Providers in January of 2012, regarding the collection and reporting of repairer business data. The statement served as a public request from the collision repair industry to Audatex, CCC and Mitchell, seeking removal of contractual clauses within end user license agreements which require permissive access to aggregate and collect end-user data as a point-of-sale requirement to purchase those estimating programs. This communication generated responses from CCC, Mitchell and Audatex as the year progressed, and served as an ongoing source of discussion for the Collision Industry Conference Data Privacy Committee. SCRS continued to collaborate with our colleagues at AASP and ASA in the management and oversight of the Database Enhancement Gateway; a

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Inside Insurance

The Insider is a corporate-level executive with a Top 10 auto insurer in the U.S.. Got a comment or question you’d like to see him address in a future column? Email him at

Not All Insurance Executives Are Created Equal with The Insurance Insider

Being an insurance executive has its a different world. It’s people like Bob pros and cons. I guess it’s not really that cause lower-level insurance comdifferent from any other job – with pany employees that you have to work with Rae with Siskto think and act like empowered one exception. We are Chasidy the ones with the gold, and the evil body shops are dictators towards shops. the ones that are trying to get it. That makes my job unique because not everyone gets with to Chasidy Rae Sisk play the role of the leprechaun. Although I am joking, there are a lot of similarities between insurance company employees and the leprechaun at the end of the rainbow protecting the pot of gold. We are unique, misunderstood, It isn’t a healthy situation but it’s deceptively sneaky at times – and con- one that is tolerated at various levels tinuously worried about someone tak- because Bob is a company man, and ing our money. he watches our money and is helping With the holiday season here, to eliminate fraud. When Bob identiperhaps I should be making comparfies a shop that he thinks is over-writisons between Santa Claus and insuring estimates or not properly repairing ance executives, but that would be vehicles, his view is considered justiridiculous. We are nothing like Santa fied. Sadly, Bob’s word is taken as if it because we don’t give anything away. were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke I guess we more closely resemble or John. Ebenezer Scrooge, if trying to stay An even sadder reality is that Bob within the holiday theme. never worked on a car in his life. He Why am I telling you something couldn’t tell you a weld nugget from a you already know? After all, we all chicken McNugget, yet he is judge know that grass is green, there is no and jury on a proper repair and repair such thing as paint caps or Santa Claus, hours. and insurance executives are all misers How is this possible? Because (present company excluded). Actually, most insurance company executives I’m telling you all of this because not are born on a different side of town all insurance company executives are and have years and years of drinking created equal. Even though it is fun to from the same water fountain. I’m throw jabs at defenseless suits, the renot sure how I escaped because I ality is that there are a few good ones was drinking the same stuff. But for among us (present company included). most of us, all of our experience is But please meet Bob. Bob is an insurance-related, so we don’t know insurance executive who works with what’s really on the other side of the me. Although Bob doesn’t wear green, wall. Depending upon your mentors isn’t short and doesn’t have red hair, within an insurance company, your he is very much a leprechaun. I don’t vision of body shops can end up know when or why he became so bit- being tainted. ter and perpetually worried about the I am grateful that I’ve had many evil body shops stealing money. But level-headed bosses over the years. I he has more conspiracy theories than do recall one in the early 1980s that the George Bush administration. looked just like the nutty professor. It’s extremely difficult to work I’ve never asked Bob, but I am willwith guys like Bob because he lives in ing to bet that he spent a lot of time

Northeast News Shop Showcase

working for that mad scientist. He despised body shops, and Bob is exactly the same. I think he wakes up every morning with sole purpose of penalizing shops. While Bob actually does find some shops that are thieves and couldn’t repair a Radio Flyer wagon correctly, the vast majority of his hysteria should be viewed as nothing short of a witch hunt. This story doesn’t have a happy ending. Bob isn’t a mythical character. He is someone who is still very active in our business. I believe he will retire in a few years but the damage has already been done. I think every insurance company has a Bob. Insurance companies have made positive changes over the past 30 years, but they’ve been unable to fully rid themselves of the cancers like Bob. They are the old-timers who are carry-overs from a time when shops and insurance companies were sepa-

Mainstream Media


rated by the Berlin Wall. I’m grateful to have been there when both that wall was erected and when it was torn down. I found out that the people on the other side of the wall are just like me. You can’t fight with the Bobs of the world because you won’t win. There is no answer or fix. The best you can do is to know your enemy. Debating, arguing and offering personal opinion will surely raise the ire of the cunning and deceptive leprechaun. Only facts and documentation are worth their weight in gold. Just don’t tell Bob that. He might try taking both of them for his overflowing pot. “The Insider” is an auto insurance company executive who wishes to remain anonymous. This column reflects solely the opinion of The Insider as it offers an unvarnished look at various issues impacting the collision industry.


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ASCCA, CAWA to Host 4th Annual Joint Summit

The Automotive Service Councils of California (ASCCA) and CAWA, representing the Automotive Parts Industry, are hosting the 4th Annual Aftermarket Industry Summit Feb. 9 in Newport Beach, CA. The Summit continues to grow, and the two organizations expect to attract participants representing independent repair facilities and aftermarket parts manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Additionally, the California Autobody Association (CAA), California Automotive Business Coalition (Cal-

ABC), State of California Auto Dismantlers Association (SCADA), the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and the California Automotive Teachers (CAT) have also been invited to participate. Issues to be discussed include: • Where does the distributor buy parts? Who within the company makes the decision to buy? Does the repair shop have any say in the purchasing decision? • What does it mean for California aftermarket businesses now that the

“Right to Repair” legislation and initiative have passed in Massachusetts? • SB 750: A lesson in grassroots advocacy • How will I know if the brake pads I sell or install are compliant with the new regulations? • What can the two associations work on in 2013 to improve the recruitment of individuals into the automotive aftermarket in California? Jack Crawley, ASCCA 2013 president, said, “The rate of technological changes in our industry, and environ-

mental influences, as well as legislative and regulatory impacts, will continue to grow exponentially. The outcome of these factors will shape our individual and collective futures as well as the industry. Together we must reflect that growth to be effective in protecting our interests and having our collective voices heard, respected, and acted upon.” Ed Jimenez, 2013 Chair of CAWA’s Board of Directors, stated, “As manufacturers, distributors and retailers, See Joint Summit, Page 47


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Continued from Page 35

SCRS Look Back at 2012

Auto Body Hawaii, who worked tirelessly to find ways to standardize the blueprinting process within his own repair facility. The purpose of the Guide was to aid repair facility personnel in formulating the most accurate repair plan in the estimate preparation process, to minimize the need or expense of a supplement. Taylor worked with other SCRS board members looking at commonly overlooked or forgotten non-included operations, building a list that would help benefit a more comprehensive blueprint. After his passing, SCRS sought to compile his work into a resource that would benefit all in the industry by releasing the guide. In 2012 SCRS saw tremendous growth in the use of the free resource, being featured in estimating education programs offered by every major refinish company, incorporated into 3M training programs I addition to many others. Early in the year, SCRS announced that the data from the association-crafted estimating tool would be featured in the free online estimate review tool The year also brought about a renewed focus in the development of SCRS member benefit programs, featuring discounted services from companies such as Alldata, AutoWatch, AdminConcepts, Summit Software & Mobile Solution, Siriani & Associates, Total Merchant Services and as of 2012, GRC-Pirk. The GreenSweep program with GRC-Pirk launched an energy and pollution performance program, online tracking tools and free sustainability education programs to educate the industry on the benefits to environmental responsibility. But SCRS’ education agenda wasn’t only focused on the environmental issues; the Education Committee continued its efforts throughout the year, bringing eye opening topics to SCRS open board meetings around the country. As part of the association’s emphasis to inform and educate repair businesses, the Society started working with CollisionHub to record and produce free copies of those presentations during 2012, making discussions such as safety considerations in glass replacement, squeeze-type resistance spot welders, and blueprinting tools for collision estimating available for all colli-

sion repairers on the SCRS website. But when it comes to education, no other industry venue provides more opportunity, possibility and inspiration than SCRS’ involvement at the SEMA Show, which prominently features SCRS’ Repairer Driven Education series. In looking back on the week at SEMA, and the events that took place during it, you can’t help but feel reminded about how important a strong sense of community is to professional betterment and personal enrichment. A sense of community provides grounding, balance and camaraderie when faced with challenges. This is exactly what organizations such as SCRS are here to do; provide our members with a community network that offers them the opportunity to strengthen their relationships and their connection to the industry. At the SEMA Show, that sense of community was noticeably heightened this year. SCRS has been very proud to work with the wonderful show organizers, and to lead the development of the collision repair industry footprint within the show over the past several years. It was hard not to notice that this section of the Las Vegas Convention Center - a complex housing an astonishing one million square feet of booth space, and hosting over 135,000 attendees – had a noticeable spark of positive energy flowing through the halls inspiring those seeking new business ideas. The traffic in the aisles was dense with individuals searching for collision repair business solutions, and the classrooms were alive with impassioned subject matter experts leading idea exchanges with over a thousand repair professionals from around the globe looking to soak in information offered by SCRS. These classes are directly designed to help attendees bring tangible results home to their businesses. This year’s lineup delivered tremendous information that supported interests in all areas of business development, while bolstering that sense of community. We saw personal, inspiring and occasionally humorous discussions between U.S. entrepreneurs, well known for their innovative approach to business development; riveting elaboration of how forthcoming technical development in other areas of the automotive industry is going to have cross-over effects on our work capacity over the next 40plus years; and information exchanges from global representatives from Canada, Australia and New Zealand,


demonstrating the impact of insurerdriven parts procurement initiatives in international markets. This is what community is about. It is about sharing our best attributes, whether it is a product, a service or an idea, and showing our peers how to use it to their advantage. It is the recognition that while collision repairers have clearly and definitively decided that the SEMA Show is THE national venue for collision repair business solutions in the United States, that it has become a melting pot of collision repair attendees from dozens of countries. It is a place to run into old friends, and to meet new ones. It was a place that the attendees and exhibitors have both grown to realize the importance of the show and its content directly offering solutions specific to our niche industry, but understanding (and benefiting from the fact) that we are really an integral part of the broader automotive industry. It is that sense of community that will support the success of collision repair businesses around the globe. Connecting with our peers, through our associations; learning the basic foundations of successful business management, to the cutting edge of products

and technologies; making friendships that span a globe and last a lifetime; these are the things that make SCRS proud to be a part of the SEMA Show, and the things that really define the work of a trade association. The end of the year provides the opportunity to reflect, to look back at accomplishments and shortcomings from the past year, in an effort to better yourself in the coming one. As we look back over the past 12 months, the actions, activities, and the engagement from our members highlights an exemplary period where our organization can proudly say, we have been the voice our membership expects from us. We have advocated on the issues that resonate with those who support us; and we have been an organization that provides our members with leadership, but allows our ideals to be led by our membership. As an organization, we are proud to be Repairer Driven, and we believe the work speaks for itself. 2012 was a difficult year, but it was a year where collision repairers came together, and learned the value of community. We look forward to the opportunity that creates going into 2013, and we are proud to be the Society which collision repairers can call home.

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Mike’s Auto Body Gives Away 5 Cars for a Total of 40 in 12 Years every year to pick the most deserving, because there are so many people out The Christmas season got a whole lot there who really need a car just to jollier for a handful of people in Con- make a living and survive. We’ve retra Costa County, CA, when Mike’s ceived approximately 2,000 letters Auto Body presented five refurbished during the 12 years we’ve been doing vehicles to four families and one non- this, and it’s always hard making these profit organization on Dec. 12 as part decisions. It’s also very emotional of the company’s annual benevolence when we call the recipients to tell program. them they’re getting a car. To me, that is the most satisfying part.” The five recipients of refurbished vehicles this year were: Sam Utu, who has been a reservist in the California Army National Guard since 2004 and deployed twice—one tour in Iraq and once at Guantanamo Bay Cuba as a terrorist cell holding guard. After he and his wife lost their jobs, home and car, they had to move into a family homeless shelter. By working odd jobs, Sam was Army National Guard Reservist Sam Utu (back row) and able to scratch his way out of his family received a 2007 PT Cruiser donated by GEICO Insurance during a ceremony at Mike’s Auto Body in the shelter for his wife and Antioch, Calif. Photo credit: Helene Paz their two teenage boys. He Since 2001, Mike’s Auto Body applied for and was granted a chance has presented a total of 40 automo- to attend Truck Driving School. He biles to families and organizations in excelled in the course graduating in need, according to Sal Contreras, the top five people of the class and marketing director at Mike’s Auto was recently hired on as a part-time Body, with 10 Bay Area locations. cross country driver. Every year, the collision repair industry comes across cars that are “written off” by owners or insurance companies as total losses. The existence of these cars prompted Mike Rose to get involved in a National Benevolence Program, a community relations program that presents refurbished cars to deserving people or organizations during the holidays. Several years ago, Mike’s Auto Body took this program to the next level, by giving away more cars and getting more insurance companies onboard, Contreras explained. “This is a win-win for the entire inMike Rose, owner of Mike’s Auto Body, redustry, because everyone gets involved, ceived a proclamation from the City of Conincluding the insurance companies, the cord, honoring him and his family for giving local Contra Costa Fire Department, the away 40 cars over the past 12 years. Photo City of Concord and tons of vendors credit: Helene Paz “Receiving a dependable vehicle that contribute products, money or services. The whole community steps up will greatly help my family,” Utu said. “I am so happy that there are people and the program has gained more molike this out there. Unbelievable!” He mentum every year.” After receiving 150-200 letters and his family received a 2007 PT every year in which applicants explain Cruiser donated by GEICO Insurance. Single mom Constance Gutierwhy they need a vehicle, only five are chosen, Contreras said. “It’s tough rez, whose lack of reliable transportaby Ed Attanasio


while earning minimum wage. She recently applied for a management training position at Burger King and was accepted. Walker received a 2008 Ford Focus donated by Mercury Insurance. “I can’t believe this car is so amazing,” Walker said. “It looks brand new and I still can’t believe it’s mine. You don’t know how much easier my life is going to be now that I have reliable transportation.” Single mom Constance Gutierrez (far left) received a 2008 Single mother Amanda PT Cruiser donated by Safeco Insurance. Photo credit: Arroyo is the proud mother Helene Paz of two beautiful girls. While going to college and working, re- pregnant with her second child, she received a 2008 PT Cruiser donated by ceived the worst news she could have possibly imagined. Safeco Insurance. “I got a phone call from the CHP Twenty-two year-old single telling me that my fiancé Adrian had mother Kayla Walker had been struggling every day to overcome a violent gotten in a car accident and that he didn’t survive,” Arroyo explained. “It childhood and to become self-sufficient. She was raised on welfare and was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to accept. I then realized that my girls in shelters and wants a better life for would have to grow up without their her and her child. After relocating to father and that was heartbreaking. I California at age 17, Walker held several jobs, but could never afford a car See Mike’s Auto Body, Page 42 tion made it extremely difficult to recover from a very abusive relationship of 12 years while raising two children,

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Continued from Page 33

Still Recovering

develop better plans for the future to become a better, more prosperous business than before.” Of the three shops described here, Tony D’s Auto Body of Atlantic Highlands, NJ, seems to have suffered the most severe losses. Owner Tony Dellapietro notes, “We lost everything. And I mean everything!” With five feet of water in the shop, all of his tools and equipment were destroyed. With the help of his parents and dedicated employees, Dellapietro has begun cleaning and oiling his equipment, but not his personal toolbox, which he began accumulating when he was 11 years old. He laments, “I started this business in 2003. What I built in ten years was wiped out in ten hours.” Because of difficulties with his insurance, Dellapietro has been forced to explore loan options to avoid having to close. He has purchased new office desks and computers, and an electrician has replaced outlets in the shop. For now, everything is still up in the air as the funds for shop repairs just aren’t there. Dellapietro has been forced to

utilize his savings and other assets, and being forced to turn business away has been devastating. “You just don’t get rich in this business,” says Tony. He has been unable to turn a profit since Sandy, and the bills just keep accruing. Employees of Tony D’s are currently relying on unemployment insurance since the shop is still closed. Dellapietro is busy dealing with disaster unemployment issues. On the day that Sandy hit, police had to force Dellapietro out of the building, but he could not extract the cars he was working on as there was already three feet of water in the yard. All seven cars in his shop were totaled, whether partially or fully repaired. Dellapietro admits that he was very emotional when he saw how badly his shop was damaged, and he has been seeking spiritual comfort. He has no clue when he will be able to reopen, and he notes “It feels like I’m starting over again.” These three shops are just a small sampling of the businesses that were damaged by Sandy. There are many options to contribute aid for Sandy’s victims. One such option is Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, P. O. Box 95, Mendham, NJ 07945-0095.

Foster A Dream, a program that serves foster youth in several Bay Area counties, received a 2008 Chevrolet van donated by AAA Insurhope to re-enter school and find a ance. The non-profit organization’s great job, and now with this car it can mission is to build the hopes, dreams become a reality. I can now get my and future of youth in the foster care girls to daycare and then get myself system and be a guiding source for successful transmission into the adult world. In addition, Enterprise donated several children’s car seats and the Contra Costa Fire Department donated bikes and helmets to the recipient’s families with children. Owner Mike Rose is proud to help people, the community and the collision industry as a whole. “We are in an industry that has the means to get these vehicles road Mike’s Auto Body’s Vice-President Brennan Rose (left) and his sister, Operations Manager Ragen Rose, adready,” Rose said. “It’s just a dressed the 200-plus people at their annual benevolence matter of getting all of our program car giveaway. Photo credit: Helene Paz vendors on the same page. to work or school. I want to be suc- For the sake of the other applicants cessful and provide a bright future for that are still in need of reliable transmy girls, and now I have a chance.” portation, we only hope that more Arroyo received a 2007 Chevrolet shops can create a similar program of Cobalt donated by Farmer’s Insurtheir own to give back to their respecance. tive communities.” Continued from Page 40

Mike’s Auto Body


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Mitchell recently announced a new technology integration with as a partner in the RepairCenter™ ToolStore, making it possible for body shops to search for green parts in the Car-Part Pro marketplace directly from the RepairCenter Workspace. The Car-Part Pro value added marketplace, designed for body shops and insurance appraisers, is now seamlessly integrated into RepairCenter through the RepairCenter ToolStore. Car-Part Pro allows professionals to search by delivery date, warranty, recycler certifications, and part quality, and returns all inclusive pricing results from a database of 140 million parts, 4,200 recyclers, and hundreds of alternative parts providers. The built-in Live Service™ messaging feature allows realtime communication with part suppliers, and’s exclusive SmartVin™ technology decodes VINs to simplify part choices during the search. “This integration gives Mitchell customers the ability to search for green parts and see only those that can be delivered within their cycle time window, meet their warranty criteria,

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ASA Collision Division Recaps 2012, Moves Forward into 2013 The ASA Collision team, composed of ASA staffer Denise Caspersen and ASA collision members participating on the ASA Collision Division Operations Committee, led by team director Dan Stander, owner of Fix Auto Highlands Ranch, with input from the ASA Board of Directors, had a productive 2012 representing the ASA membership and engaging with the various segments of the industry that affect the ASA collision repair membership. ASA is fortunate to have willing volunteers with diverse backgrounds actively donating their time, mindshare and leadership in addressing actions and issues of the association. “ASA’s collision division functions extremely well as a team and approaches things just that way, as a team,” said Caspersen. Just as the collision repair industry faced multiple challenges and changes in 2012, so did the volunteers and staff of ASA’s collision division. Following the release of a revised ASA crash parts policy, supporting the original part as the standard of measure, and a joint statement with AASP and SCRS recommending that original manufacturer

repair procedures be considered as the standard, the ASA’s collision team began 2012 with the announcement of a strategic alliance with alternative parts manufacturer, Diamond Standard, that afforded ASA members with product liability protection against the unlikely scenario of damage or personal injury directly related to use of Diamond Standard parts in the repair. In early 2012, ASA Arizona played a vital role in bringing about the removal of language from House bill 2394 which would have forced shops, in many situations, to absorb the costs associated with vehicle storage or bill it to the vehicle owner. This was accompanied by ASA Texas bringing forth opposition to proposed licensing ordinances in early 2012 followed by ASA Texas challenging the state’s franchise tax law in mid 2012. At the federal level, ASA began the year monitoring an auto parts bill, H.R. 3889, Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade and Sales Act (PARTS). The bill would amend the U.S. design patent law to change the period of design patent protection for automakers from 14 years to 30 months. ASA

joined with 10 other automotive groups in opposition to the bill while monitoring actions in the U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee. Continuing a long-standing tradition of ASA calling for the repeal of McCarran-Ferguson, ASA showed support for federal bill, H.R. 5 asking for the restoration of the Application of Antitrust Laws to Health Sector Insurers, which passed on the House floor in the first quarter. Also related to insurance, ASA attended a workshop in the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice review of Most Favored Nation (MFN) clauses within the insurance industry. Prior to the workshop the FTC noted: “The most commonly used MFN provisions guarantee a customer that it will receive prices that are at least as favorable as those provided to other buyers of the same seller, for the same products or services. Although at times employed for benign purposes, MFNs can, under certain circumstances, present competitive concerns. This is because they may, especially when used by a dominant buyer of intermediate goods, raise other buyers’ costs or fore-

close would-be competitors from accessing the market. Additionally, MFNs can facilitate collusion and stabilize coordinated pricing among sellers.” ASA will continue interest in Most Favored Nation discussion in 2013. The 2012 ASA legislative objects and can also be located on the ASA legislative website at – sidebar – Legislative Objectives - 2013 ASA legislative objects will be appearing there in the very near future. In addition to working with SCRS and AASP on seeing vehicle manufacturers repair procedures recognized as the standard for repair procedures, ASA continued in the three’s mutual support of the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG) program, which continues to provide free industry support for addressing questions of information provided the industry leading information providers. Throughout 2012, ASA’s collision division also provided the ASA membership with representation by taking part on the on the I-CAR Board of Directors, the CIECA Board of Direc-

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tors, the WIN Board of Directors, CIC meetings and the CIC Data Privacy committee. ASA looks forward to continued interactions with these bodies in 2013. These items were in addition to the lengthy and extensive engagement of ASA’s collision team centered on the electronic parts procurement application currently piloted by State Farm. During many conversations, ASA’s collision division has been met with both support and disappointment of ASA’s approach of professionalism, factual understanding and industry engagement in addressing this pilot. During the early stages of the pilot, information was presented to the industry which brought both concern and confusion to the ASA membership. In early April, the ASA collision team took on the challenge of providing ASA’s membership and the collision industry with as much verifiable information as possible through the engagement with as many segments as possible, in addition to speaking directly with State Farm and the application’s designer, PartsTrader. Over the past months, this approach also called for the ASA collision volunteers to express the concerns

of the ASA membership (initially centered around the repairer/supplier relationship, and then expanding to specifics of the application, and now on ‘what happens to the collision repair shop’s profit on parts?’) and follow up on requests for data on what are the affects of the pilot are on those participating. The December 2012 expansion of the pilot to the 475 Select Service shops in the Chicago, IL, area will broaden the test market to approximately 600 collision repair facilities currently on the Select Service program. To date, ASA has provided the industry with 13 statements focused on the State Farm Select Service pilot, including: initial details of the pilot; public request for result data of the pilot; overviews of industry meetings; changes to the pilot and detailed coverage of ASA’s ongoing conversations with State Farm. ASA will continue to be a part of conversations, advocacy and communications about the State Farm electronic parts procurement application in 2013. ASA’s communication pieces specific to the State Farm pilot can be located on the ASA website at Click on “Tools

& Resources,” then “State Farm Pilot Program.” And lastly, the ASA collision team spent many hours designing and leading in the educational elements of Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW), which took place in New Orleans, LA, in October. During the week, ASRW conducted more than 80 educational sessions, along with NACE forums and the Assembly, a town hall type discussion for repairers only. For those attending ASRW in 2012 and taking part in the invaluable educational activities, it’s likely you heard from ASA’s collision team in various sessions, panels and forums. ASA’s communications pieces specific to all the other above mentioned actives of the ASA collision division for 2012 are found at Click on “News & Events,” then Latest News – 2012 Press Releases. The key driver in ASA collision team actions continues to be centered on the engagement of the ASA collision leadership and the ASA membership at large. To be a part of the conversation, continue to contact ASA’s collision division manger, Denise Caspersen by email; or phone at (817)-514-2906.

44 Techs Honored at ASE

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) recognized 44 automotive professionals at its Fall Board of Governors meeting held Nov. 14 at the Hilton Palacio del Rio in San Antonio, TX. The annual awards banquet spotlights top scorers on the ASE Certification Tests. Thirty-seven companies from both OEM and Aftermarket segments sponsored the individual technician recognition awards in the Auto, Truck, Collision and Parts categories, along with three instructor awards, and one recognizing a U.S. Air Force technician. In addition to looking for top scores on ASE tests, award sponsors may also consider such factors as on-the-job excellence, community service and more when selecting honorees. “ASE has been honoring the best of the best in our industry for more than 30 years, and we are proud to once again recognize 44 outstanding individuals from all across the nation,” said Tim Zilke, ASE President & CEO. “This is all made possible by the support of our many award sponsors, whose ranks include some of the best-known names in the industry.”






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American Honda Launches Two New Consumer Websites by Ed Attanasio

American Honda recently launched two consumer-related websites to provide pertinent and timely information to owners of Hondas and Acuras. See next story for new collision center focused Honda website.

Another need for education about parts became apparent through their focus groups, Ledoux said. “We learned that most people do not know that aftermarket parts could be installed when their cars are being repaired at a body shop or collision center. They understand that after- tells owners of Hondas and Acuras what to do when they get in an accident in its Accident Assistant section, while they get a glimpse into what happens when their cars get fixed by accessing the site’s Collision 101 section

Earlier this year, the manufacturer launched its collision consumer site,, after years of development and the early reviews are very positive, according to Gary Ledoux, Honda’s Assistant National Manager of Wholesale Parts Marketing. Last month, the carmaker also launched, a site the company created in response to the burgeoning problem associated with the proliferation of counterfeit airbags on the market. After polling its customers and getting their feedback through several focus groups, Honda saw a need for both new websites, Ledoux said. “We conducted several focus groups in 2009, and we learned some very interesting things. The average consumer knows that their car gets wrinkled up, they take it to the body shop and a few days later they get it back and it’s straight and shiny again, but they have absolutely no idea what goes on in the background. So, one of the main things that we cover on is an in-depth look into the collision industry from the consumer’s perspective,” Ledoux said.

market parts are used in the mechanical world, because they drive by the parts stores every day, but they’re not aware that aftermarket parts exist in the collision industry. In the past, they assumed that OE parts were being used in their cars. They didn’t realize there was an alternative. When we explained this fact to the people in our focus groups, some of them were visibly upset, because they all thought they were getting OE parts.” In the past, Honda created collateral pieces to convey important messages to its owners, but now they’re embracing the Internet to achieve the same thing, Ledoux said. “Years ago, we created a brochure called “What to Do When You Get in an Accident”, designed for new owners of Hondas or Acuras. We put them in every car we manufactured, and did it for several years. It cost a lot of money to produce them and when we conducted a survey, we found out that most of these brochures died a slow death in the bottom of peoples’ glove boxes. So, we decided to put the information online, so that people could access it quickly and easily.”


The Accident Assistant section of the site deals with what to do after an accident, and the section titled Collision 101 focuses on factors and issues drivers can and should deal with before an accident takes place, Ledoux explained. “Collision 101 is a primer on how to deal with body shops, by providing a glimpse into the industry from a consumer’s perspective. It’s a very thorough approach with a ton of value-added features.” The website includes pages that deal with repairs, parts, insurance relationships (DRPs), safety tips, a shop locator, a collision glossary (that goes from Accident Forgiveness all the way to Waterborne Paint), news, views and a special section that features Honda’s position statements can be found in the Collision 101 section. Honda has included a series of position papers on as well. “We didn’t know what the response would be to the position papers, but it’s been exceptional,” Ledoux said. “They deal with all of the topics that people are concerned about and they want to know our

stance on all of them. They deal with subjects like aftermarket vs. OE parts, wheel repairs, safety recalls, structural parts replacement, salvaged and used airbag components and unibody repairs and salvaged/recycled parts. It covers the entire gamut and evidently it’s going to be a very popular part of the site.” In the News, Views and More section, users can access the latest and greatest stories about the collision industry, with a focus on relevance to the consumer, Ledoux said. “This is an ever-changing section of the site, because we’ll be posting new articles on there all the time. In addition, we have a Hall of Fame page in that section, which consists of stories about people or companies within the collision industry that do good things for other people on a regional basis. That means that only the people in those areas know about it. Our Hall of Fame will bring national attention to these efforts and we want them to get out there, because they deserve the accolades. Also, our Rear View section is going to be a lot of fun,

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providing historical capsules that relate to the automotive history, as well as the world of collision repair.” In addition to creating, Honda also recently launched a second consumer-related site,, an effort that became necessary when the carmaker encountered a growing problem associated with counterfeit airbags. “A few years ago, we began seeing more and more of these counter-

feit airbags,” Ledoux explained. “Consumers need to know the facts so they can insist that only OE airbags are used. It’s a life and death situation, so we’re very concerned and want to be proactive in providing valuable information to the public about this controversy.” A i r b a g Aw a r e . H o n d a . c o m launched in mid-December and is full of useful data, including safety advisories provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), useful news about airbags,

videos, and documentation that explains the difference between a Honda and a non-Honda airbag. One of the featured videos appearing on both websites is called “Use Your Melon,” a 30-second commercial that shows exactly what happens to a watermelon when an airbag opens too late. “It’s quite a visual and people have been talking about it since we produced it,” Ledoux said. “It illustrates how crucial airbags are and how things can go wrong if they’re not genuine.”

Continued from Page 37

Joint Summit

we find it informative and valuable to have thought-provoking discussions with the repair segment of our industry. These discussions strengthen our respective businesses and build unity throughout the aftermarket distribution channel.” For more information, contact: CAWA CEO Rodney Pierini, at 800.332.2292; or ASCCA Executive Director Jackie Miller, at 800.810.4272; 916.924.9054. NO. CALIFORNIA




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State Farm Updates ASA on PartsTrader Pilot Program State Farm recently provided ASA with a PartsTraders update. Dan Stander, AAM, ASA’s collision division director and owner of Fix Auto Highlands Ranch in Littleton, CO, and Denise Caspersen, ASA collision division manager, received updates from State Farm about the insurer’s current pilot, which uses the PartsTrader electronic parts ordering application. Representing State Farm on the call was George Avery, claims representative, and State Farm staffer Duane Willemain. The November update was the first of several expected from the insurer, which has committed to keeping ASA members abreast of the pilot and its potential effect on future State Farm Select Service participants. The ASA collision leadership and staff continue to focus on providing ASA members and the industry with accurate information about the pilot, while engaging and advocating on behalf of collision repairers. The pilot expanded into Chicago, IL, on Dec. 10, and will increase involvement to nearly 600 Select Service collision repair facilities of the

10,300 shops participating nationwide in the State Farm Select Service program. The following updates were provided to ASA during the call: ● Pilot locations in Charlotte, NC, and Birmingham, AL, now have the ability to do 30-minute quotes—resulting in all four original pilot markets now having a 30-minute quote window. ● Regarding estimating systems, Audatex; CCC Information Services; and Mitchell International all have twoway integration in all four markets. ● A change has been made in the process of writing estimates to better accommodate alternative pricing. According to State Farm, if a shop has alternative pricing available through a different source, State Farm is recommending Select Service shops write estimates with those prices—therefore utilizing price matching. ● In Chicago, business meetings are set with multi-shop organizations and all Select Service repairers. Chicago is recognized as a heavy consolidator market. Items for the meetings include:

– An overview of the program – Handouts about the program – Preparation material for the Dec. 10 “live” date – PartsTrader started hosting meetings Nov. 12 for dealers and parts suppliers. – Select Service shops have been asked to identify suppliers. – To date, 466 letters from State Farm to suppliers have been sent out. – 500–600 suppliers have been identified in the Chicago market. – To date, 475 of 477 Select Service shops have registered. ● Regarding cycle time improvements, State Farm said it was hard to prove, at this point, any cycle time improvements linked to the application. State Farm does not expect an immediate or large reduction in cycle time. ● Regarding “saving of total losses,” State Farm said that at this point there is not enough data to validate this. Nor is there data that demonstrates an increase in recycled or alternative parts. ● PartsTrader is moving forward with integration into the various collision management systems.

● No evidence to date on reductions in parts profit, according to State Farm. ● The length of the Chicago pilot is unknown. According to State Farm, once a change is introduced into the application in pilot, it is necessary for the change to “mature” to determine the impact of the change. This impacts the end date. ● The PartsTrader application has undergone at least seven updates since the initial pilot release in March 2012. ● PartsTrader has announced it will not charge suppliers until 2014. “For the ASA collision membership volunteering on the operations committee, the focus continues to be one of information, engagement and impacting the outcome in the most positive way on behalf of repairers. It was apparent early on that the ‘train had left the station’ in regard to stopping this application from being piloted. The ASA team made the decision to focus on accuracy and engagement, and will continue to do so as this pilot continues and future items arise,” said Caspersen.

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Sandy Forces Automakers to Scrap over 15,000 New Vehicles In the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s de- ties, destroyed homes and eroded natstruction, automakers were forced to ural barriers such as beaches after it scrap more than 15,000 new vehicles struck Oct. 29. Fisker Automotive Inc., a startup damaged by the storm. Nissan estimated more than 6,000 maker of luxury plug-in hybrids, lost Nissan and luxury Infiniti brand cars 338 of its $103,000 Karma sedans at and light trucks were not going to be the port of Newark, New Jersey, inable to be sold because of storm dam- cluding 16 that burned in a fire trigage. Including used autos and those of individual owners, approximately 200,000 will have to be replaced, said Larry Dixon, senior analyst for the National Automobile Dealers Association. “Total vehicles affected may be about one-third of what we saw with Hurricane Katrina, and that was about Cars damaged in Manhattan from Hurricane Sandy. 600,000” used and new vePhoto by: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg hicles, said Dixon, based in gered by salt water, said Roger McLean, VA. Sandy, the biggest Atlantic storm Ormisher, a spokesman for the Anain U.S. history, raked New Jersey, heim, California-based company. “We don’t have a full estimate of New York and the surrounding region with 100 mile an hour winds and led the cost to replace them yet,” he said. to at least 100 deaths. The storm’s The closely held company’s cars were surge of more than 13 feet inundated being processed for delivery to dealtransit tunnels and underground utili- ers when the storm arrived. Replacing

338 Karmas at the $103,000 base price would total $34.8 million. Some 4,000 Toyota and Lexus vehicles were at the company’s port facility in Newark, CA, when the storm hit, said Jana Hartline, a spokeswoman for Toyota’s U.S. unit in Torrance, CA. “We have about 1,300 that we are taking a second look at” that may be salvaged, she said. “A little bit under 3,000 will likely be scrapped.” Another 825 vehicles in dealer inventory were damaged by Sandy and can’t be sold, Hartline said. Honda and Acura dealers expect to have to scrap about 3,440 vehicles, said Chris Martin, a spokesman for Honda’s U.S. unit in Torrance, CA. Scrappage decisions will be determined by dealers and their insurers, he said. Additionally, about 500 U.S.-built vehicles Honda was preparing to export from the FAPS Inc. port facility in Newark were also damaged, Martin said. Chrysler dealers lost about 750 vehicles from their stock due to hurricane damage, said Ralph Kisiel, a

spokesman for the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based carmaker that’s majority-owned by Fiat. Hyundai Motor Co. U.S. unit lost 400 vehicles, said Lori Scholz, a company spokeswoman in Costa Mesa, CA. Kia Motors Corp., a Hyundai affiliate also based in Seoul, has about 200 vehicles “damaged beyond repair,” said Scott McKee, a spokesman for the company’s U.S. unit in Irvine, CA. The company’s dealers in Bay Ridge, New Jersey, Jersey City and Staten Island “lost most or all of their inventory,” McKee said. New York and New Jersey are among the top 15 U.S. states for vehicles in operation and auto dealerships, NADA said in a report. The two states also have a larger portions of cars than trucks and non-U.S.-based brands account for a significant share of total sales, the dealer organization said. There are 886 auto dealerships in New York and 463 in New Jersey, according to NADA. CHECK IT OUT!

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A Busy 2012 is Remembered by Bay Area’s CAA Chapters by Ed Attanasio

It was an exciting year for the California Autobody Association’s (CAA) northern California chapters. Here are year-end recaps from the East Bay and Santa Clara chapters reported by former Chapter President/State Board Member Gigi Walker and 2012 Chapter President Randy Greenblat, respectively.

East Bay Chapter Year in Review The chapter began the year by appointing its new President Tiffany

The Having Too Much Fun Team (Enterprise Foursome #1) finished third and featured (from left) Razo Navari, Shawn Saidi (with cigar), Chad Iken and Ron Nelson at the CAA Santa Clara chapter's annual golf tournament

Silva from Accurate Autobody. “As a target and we surely want him back to second-generation body shop owner, speak again.” The sponsors for the Tiffany has been an exceptional pres- evening included LKQ, Diamond ident,” Walker said. “She took the Standard and Enterprise. reins and hit the ground running. Her industry knowledge and leadership skills were apparent almost immediately and we’d like to thank her for her contributions to the chapter this year.” At its March meeting, the chapter hosted bestselling author and motivational From left, Trish Pickens, District Manager for Audatex, speaker Mike Robbins, who Melissa Perez, District Sales Manager for FinishMaster works as a life coach for the and Gigi Walker from Walker’s Auto Body network at the East Bay CAA chapter July meeting, held at PPG’s San San Francisco Giants, as well Francisco Business Development Center in Concord, CA. as management and staff. It In April, Gene Lopez from Iwas definitely one of the highlights of CAR updated the chapter on the orgathe year, Walker said. “Mike’s program was designed nization’s changes and how it would for our industry and the challenges we impact their businesses. “Gene is a face in running a shop and dealing great speaker and always provides us with so many different personalities in with a ton of useful information,” the work place. Robbins really moti- Walker said. “I-CAR has undergone a vated our members and got us ready lot of changes with its curriculum and to run our shops with a better outlook Lopez was there to convey the news.” In May, industry expert Richard for the year. His message was clear and his delivery to our group was on Forness spoke about the future of the

collision industry along with statistics and in-depth analysis. Forness was invited to speak on behalf of Audatex and kept the chapter’s membership engrossed for more than an hour, Walker said. The chapter’s golf tournament ended up in the rough this year and unfortunately had to be canceled. “Our annual tournament was hampered by scheduling conflicts which resulted in a small number of signups,” Walker reported. “But, we’re poised and ready to make sure it’s going to happen in 2013.” In July, the East Bay chapter cohosted a summer barbecue sponsored by PPG that took place at the PPG training center in Concord, CA. The evening’s guest speaker was Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of SCRS, who talked about the PartsTrader Program that State Farm has implemented across the U.S., as well as other collision industry trends. In September, the East Bay chapter broke new ground when they sponsored a joint meeting with the Automotive Service Council of California (ASCCA) for the very first time. The

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evening’s guest speaker was Chris Risdon, one of the administrators for educational development for University of Toyota. “Risdon was the most appropriate speaker to educate a room full of collision repairers (from CAA), along with mechanical shops in attendance (from ASCCA),” Walker said. “One of the main topics at the meeting concerned hybrid vehicles and how to repair them.” The chapter’s 2012 schedule was triumphantly completed with its annual Toys for Tots Model Truck Customizing Competition. “It was a success due the effort of our great and longtime members, schools and sponsors,” Walker said. “We’d also like to thank Ed Attanasio from Autobody News for volunteering his time and emceeing the night!” The East Bay CAA Board members for 2012 were: Lisa Daves (D&S Auto Body), Gigi Walker (Walker’s Auto Body & Fleet Repair), Mike Govette (FinishMaster), Kathy Mello (T.G.I.F Auto Body), Trish Pickens (Audatex), Jack Sandri (Dublin Buick GMC), Peter Lock (Contra Costa College) and Bill Andrews (City of Alameda).

be stronger and more effective.” On the chapter’s list of guest speakers for 2012, there were presentations by 3M in April, the Labor Enforcement Task Force LETF in July and Collision Billing Solutions in October. The chapter was well-represented at CAA’s annual Legislative Day in Sacramento, with members Tabias Padilla, David Mello, Miguel Espana, Randy Greenblat and Shawn Saidi in attendance. Espana, Mello, Greenblat and Alex Ornelas also attended the CAA State Meeting in San Jose during the third quarter of 2012. In May, the chapter made a presentation at the Central County Occupational Center (CCOC), a program that Santa Clara CAA Chapter President Randy Greenblat teaches students in both col(left) discusses legislation affecting the collision industry lision and mechanical rein the State Capitol with Senator Leland Yee at CAA’s pair. “We donated $250 to 2012 Legislative Day. the school’s top students in the value in organizations such as their paint and auto body programs. CAA, for a wide range of reasons. “We Special thanks go to Don Dutra from work very hard in this business and in Martin Auto Color for championing many cases we lose sight of the big picthis cause and getting it done.” ture. Reaching out to other body shops Chapter board member Tabias in your region is so valuable, because Padilla received the annual I-CAR by sharing concerns and issues that we Founders Award, honored for his servall encounter in our daily lives, we can ice to the educational organization. CAA Santa Clara Chapter Year in Review Highlighted by a successful golf tournament and a series of informative meetings, the Santa Clara CAA chapter flourished and helped the collision industry in the South Bay by providing networking opportunities at meetings featuring top guest speakers. Chapter President Randy Greenblat is an industry veteran and a longtime member/officer of CAA. He sees

Continued from Page 22

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tomizing Competition for 15 years. He never gets tired of the amazing creations he sees from the body shops and schools over the years. “The people in this industry are artists in so many ways,” Govette said. “And this is a very rare opportunity for shops and ROPs to showcase their talents. Every year we see a few trucks that really stand out and this year was no exception! Hours and hours go into these trucks, so it’s a big deal.” Sponsors of the evening included Owen-Dunn Insurance Services, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Audatex, a Solara Company, PPG, FinishMaster, LKQ/Akzo Nobel, Hertz and Dublin Chevrolet/Cadillac/Buick/GMC/KIA. Celebrity judges for the event were Rich Evans, world-famous car customizer, reality television star and the owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks; Customizer Mike Taylor of House of Kolor and Kirk Kapfenstein, a local customizer and a painter for Regal Collision in Vallejo, CA.

“Tabias is an integral member of our chapter and we’re proud of him for his service to our membership and ICAR,” Greenblat said. “He has organized our golf tournament for the past few years and he makes it a special event every single time. Our success hinges on people like Tabias, who give their valuable time without question or hesitation.” The chapter’s annual golf tournament was held at Cinnabar Hills and attracted 73 golfers, raising a considerable amount of money for the operational fund. The East Bay CAA Board members for 2012 were: Shawn Saidi (Active Autobody), Dave Mello (Anderson-Behel Body Shop), Chad Iken (Enterprise), Nathan Chukes (CCOC), Bob McTaggert (CCOC), Tabias Padilla (Hertz), Don Dutra (Martin Auto Color), Miguel Espana (Espana’s Collision Repair), Adam Piper (FCC Collision Centers), Alex Ornelas (Toyota Palo Alto), Steve Sturken (Sturken Auto Body) and Rudy Solorio, (B2 Perfection Auto Body).

Florida GrowsITinOUT! BoydCHECK with 14 New Locations

In early December, the Boyd Group Income Fund announced it had completed the acquisition of three organizations known as Autocrafters, which operates 14 collision and To advertise glass centers Sales in northern call repair Advertising at: Florida. 800-699-8251 Boyd acquired three different companies under the trade names e-mail: Autocrafters Collision Repair, Walker Collision Repair and S&L Auto Glass, which collectively operate as Autocrafters. The organization serves the Florida markets of Jacksonville, Gainesville and Tallahassee, and generated sales of $32.6 million in 2011. See the N The $19.5 million transaction, which is the Boyd Group’s fourth multi-location acquisition this year and its third in Florida, www.autobodyn was completed Nov. 30. The Boyd Group now operates 37 locations in Florida. At the end of last year, Boyd did not have any shops in Florida. With the Autocrafters acquisition, the Fund adds 14 new locations to its North American footprint, bringing the total number of locaTo advertise tions to 220 across 14 U.S. states call Sean Hartman at: and four Canadian provinces.

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Continued from Cover

Year in Review

so they can ‘short pay’ the claim,” Borek wrote in his follow-up letter to the Department of Insurance.

March Chrysler became the latest automaker to announce a certification program for both independent and dealership collision repair shops. Certification requires meeting more than 40 standards including maintaining I-CAR Gold Class status and using squeezetype resistance spot welding equipment. Under the program, if all OEM parts are used on a job, that will be noted on the vehicle’s CARFAX report, along with the fact that the vehicle was repaired a Chrysler-certified shop.

April LKQ Corporation worked to counter ongoing liability concerns for shops about use of alternative parts by announcing that in addition to a lifetime warranty on its nonOEM parts, it would indemnify shops against injury or damage caused by a defective vehicle part distributed by LKQ. The “Promise of Protection” says it covers a “licensed automotive repair shop” that purchases the part from LKQ, excluding claims arising from shop negligence or malfeasance. LKQ’s move followed Diamond Standard’s announcement in January that it was offering ASA member shops coverage under a $40 million liability insurance policy for any liability issues related to the performance of Diamond Standard non-OEM structural parts.

May Eileen Sottile of the Quality Parts Coalition (GPC) urged attendees at the Auto Body Parts Association (ABPA) conference to contact Congress to support the coalition’s legislation (HR 3889) that would reduce the time automakers can use design patents to prevent other companies from producing replacement crash parts. Sottile said the bill would reduce the patent protection from 14 years to just 2.5 years. Despite a public relations and lobbying effort funded by LKQ Corporation ($3.7 million), Nationwide and State Farm ($115,000 each), All-

state ($92,000) and others, the bill never got beyond a hearing in the U.S. House.

June Insurer groups’ radio ads and other efforts were successful in convincing Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee to veto legislation that would have given shops in that state the right to sue insurers directly in small claims court over disputed repair costs. Chafee said he believed the bill would have given shops rights that exist in “no other state in the nation,” and would have “hurt Rhode Island consumers” by raising the cost of auto insurance. The legislation, supported by the Auto Body Association of Rhode Island and passed by lawmakers, also would have strengthened the state’s anti-steering law, and would have required that damages exceed 75% of a vehicle’s value before that vehicle can be declared a total loss. The association issued a statement expressing its disappointment with Chafee’s action. “Though his veto message states that he is concerned about the consumer, he clearly put the consumer and small business’ interests aside and bowed to the pressure of the real ‘special interest group’ —the billion-dollar insurance companies,” the association’s statement read.

July Some good news for shops worried about the growing amount of accident-avoidance technology in vehicles: It’s not all working. The July issue of “Status Report” from the Highway Loss Data Institute examined insurance claims data to see what impact crash-prevention technology is having. “Forward collision avoidance systems, particularly those that can brake autonomously, along with adaptive headlights, which shift direction as the driver steers, show the biggest crash reductions in the studies,” the publication stated. “But one feature, lane departure warning, appears to hurt rather than help, though it’s not clear why, and other systems aren’t showing clear effects on crash patterns yet.” August DuPont announced it was selling its 11,000-employee automotive paint business to private equity firm The


Carlyle Group for $4.9 billion in cash. “Through targeted investments we will support DPC’s product development and growth objectives as it transitions to a stand-alone company,” Greg Ledford of The Carlyle Group said. The Carlyle Group earlier in the summer had announced it was acquiring majority ownership in the Texasbased Service King Collision Repair Center chain.

September The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) jointly held a workshop on the topic of most-favored-nation (MFN) clauses, such as the basis for State Farm’s pricing requirements for its Select Service shops. “Although at times employed for benign purposes, MFNs can, under certain circumstances, present competitive concerns,” the two agencies noted. “This is because they may, especially when used by a dominant buyer, raise other buyers’ costs or (prevent) would-be competitors from accessing the market. Additionally, MFNs can facilitate collusion and sta-

bilize coordinated pricing among sellers.”

October Speaking at NACE in New Orleans, representatives of State Farm, Allstate and Nationwide said that any MSOs on their DRPs are measured as individual shops and must compete to perform as-such. George Avery of State Farm said his company’s experience with M2, the 27-shop consolidator in California that closed suddenly back in 2005, led his company to focus on finding top-performing individual shops, whether stand-alone or part of an MSO. Rob Knott of Nationwide concurred. “We think the mom-and-pops still have a place,” Knott said. “Some of the challenges that the MSOs have is over-saturation in certain marketplaces, so you’re not going to put (all their shops in a market) on (the direct repair program). And then there’s the consistency issue, when they expand too fast and aren’t able to maintain the same service levels and quality.” See Year in Review, Page 55

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Sherwin-Williams Hosts A-Plus Network Vision Conference Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes hosted its invitation-only APlus Network Vision Conference in Palm Springs at the beautiful La Quinta Resort Dec. 5–7. The theme of the conference was “Focus on Your Business.” More than 100 leading A-Plus network collision repair owners and managers from the U.S. and Canada attended. The event kicked-off with a round of golf at the TPC Stadium Course “PGA West” and was followed by an outdoor welcome reception at La Quinta’s “Hotel Waterfall.”

and 3. Private equity funds are now fully engaged in the pursuit of MSO’s which will bid up the price of acquisitions. His presentation concluded with his prediction that: ● Large MSO operators will expand into all regions of the country over the next 10 years ● Independent collision repairers and small MSO’s will work harder for less revenue as insurance carriers ‘guide’ their customers to larger MSO operators ● The larger MSOs will start having

“The Four Horsemen of Consolidation” presented by Rex Green, Director of BB&T Capital Markets

Thursday’s keynote presentation was given by Rex Green, Managing Director of BB&T Capital Markets. The presentation comprised an investment banker’s view of the collision industry. Rex started his presentation by stating “Don’t shoot the messenger.” His three key takeaways were: ● DRPs will continue to increase their influence in the market ● Shops with high DRP volume are attractive to MSO’s (the ‘Four Horsemen’ of the Current Consolidation),

strong brand recognition among car owners, influencing the flow of claims away from independents ● Independents and small MSOs should be considering one of three options: ► Sell “sooner” or at an otherwise advantageous time ► Grow now and sell later ► Change their business model to offset the decline of insurance-pay customers Green’s presentation was fol-

lowed by Matt Ohrnstein’s presentation, “The Collision Repair Industry Competitive Landscape” and “The KPI’s of Integrity Leadership” by Marcy Tieger, both from Symphony Advisers. Gary Ledoux from American Honda Motor Co. presented Honda’s “ProFirst” new body shop recognition program and explained the benefits to shops Gary Ledoux (increased opportunities to reach more customers),

Joe and Jessica McKenna, owners of Golden West Collision Repair in Sunnyvale, CA

what’s required to qualify and the benefits of participation. For more information on the ProFirst program, go to or The afternoon concluded with a “Current State of the Industry” presentation by Raymond Chew of CCC Information Services and a roundtable discussion by Sherwin-Williams Business Consulting Services titled “Keys to Keys.” Thursday’s dinner was well attended (l to r): Dave Dewalt, Steve Feltovich, Lee Rush, and featured a silent auction to Managers of Business Consulting for Sherwin-Williams Automotive benefit Operation Comfort.

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Continued from Page 52

Year in Review

November Toyota previewed a new “predictive estimating” system it is creating that incorporates all necessary parts and Toyota-recommended procedures along with links to all related Toyota bulletins and published documentation. Toyota’s Jerry Raskind called the system a “game-changer,” in that rather than having an estimator start

from a blank page and add line items based on what they know or can locate about OEM procedures, the system begins with a complete estimate and allows the user to omit items as appropriate. “Everything you need to fix our cars correctly and to our standards is there,” Toyota’s Rick Leos said.

December The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released revised estimates indicating that 230,000 vehicles in East-

ern states had been damaged by superstorm Sandy. New York had the most vehicles affected by the storm with 130,000 while New Jersey generated 60,000 claims.

John Yoswick, a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988, is also the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4week trial subscription, visit He can be contacted by email at


NC Shop Sues Six Insurers

A Belmont, NC, auto body shop recently filed 16 lawsuits on behalf of their customers. Pack Brothers Collision Center filed lawsuits against Nationwide, State Farm, Allstate, GEICO, Penn National and Amica. The suits allege that the insurers refused to pay for “reasonable and necessary” parts, procedures and materials to return customers’ vehicles back to “pre-accident condition.” The total amount sought in the lawsuits is in excess of $23,000, plus legal fees and court cost.

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January 2013 Western Edition  

Auto body information for industry in western United States.