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Vol. 38 / Issue 1 / January 2020

AK / CA / HI / ID / MT / NV / OR / WA / WY

CIC Committees Offer Ideas for Better Welding Practices, Documentation of Test Drives

Mosaic ADT Created to Achieve Repeatable, Error-Free Calibrations

by John Yoswick

by Stacey Phillips

Collision Industry Conference (CIC) committees in Las Vegas in Novem-

Toby Chess and Kye Yueng offered tips and best practices related to improving shop welding. Credit: John Yoswick

ber tackled topics ranging from better welding practices to OEM procedures and new ways of documenting increasingly detailed vehicle test drives. Toby Chess, an industry trainer who leads CIC’s “Technical Presentations” committee and who has conducted more than 6,000 I-CAR welding tests over 15 years, said at least five automakers – Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Audi/VW /Porsche – have OEM procedures with detailed instructions for performing destructive testing on plug welds and spot welds prior to weldSee CIC Committees, Page 16

Two Veterans Get Benevolence Cars From Mike’s Auto Body

Lee Daugherty, vice president of global collision sales for Chief Collision Technology. Credit: Chief Collision Technology

See Retain Employees, Page 20



by Ed Attanasio

On Nov. 8, Mike’s Auto Body celebrated Veteran’s Day at its Fairfield, CA, location a few days early by presenting two completely refurbished vehicles to active military families who are stationed at Travis Air Force Base. It was all part of Mike’s annual Benevolence program, which is a community relations program whose mission is to present refurbished “new” used cars to deserving individuals or organizations in conjunction with NABC™ Recycled Rides® and local businesses.

There are an increasing number of vehicles on the road today with Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems

(ADAS). As the percentage continues to rise, the greater the demand will be for calibration to ensure a proper repair, said Lee Daugherty, vice president of global collision sales for Chief Collision Technology. To help meet this growing industry need, Chief Collision Technology teamed up with Burke Porter Group to create ADAS calibration equipment. After two years in development, Mosaic Advanced Diagnostics Technology (ADT) was launched in November at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. “When a vehicle is in a collision,


CA Court Issues Final Ruling on Glenn v. Hyundai Lawsuit United States Air Force Veteran Chris Coffelt, married with two daughters, wrote a brief letter that resonated with all of the people at Mike’s Auto Body. Credit: Ed Attanasio

Both of the Benevolence vehicles were covered and adorned with See Two Veterans, Page 26

by Emmariah Holcomb, glassBYTEs.com

California District Court judge has issued a final ruling in the Billy Glenn v. Hyundai exploding sunroof lawsuit. The court found Hyundai responsible for covering $5.4 million in attorney’s fees as a settlement. The court also stated $5,000 are to be awarded to the six class representatives, also paid for by the automotive maker. “The court further finds the requested service awards are fair and reasonable, given the time and effort expended by the class representatives on behalf of the class. The six class representatives are hereby awarded $5,000 each, to be paid by

[the] defendant [Hyundai] included as part of the $5.4 million attorney’s fee award, not in addition to that award, pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement,” a portion of the final ruling reads. The court overruled several objections, which include: • “Hyundai should recall or buy back the class vehicles. Although those remedies could arguably provide benefits beyond those negotiated, the extant settlement constitutes a fair compromise of plaintiffs’ and class members’ claims; • The extended warranty provided by the settlement should be of longer duration; See Glenn v. Hyundai, Page 24



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JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

CONTENTS Budco in La Grande, OR, Tricks Out Trucks With Custom Paint Creations . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 CA Court Issues Final Ruling on Glenn v. Hyundai Lawsuit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 CA Department of Insurance Arrests Suspects in $500K Fraud Ring . . . . . . . . . . 14 California Secures $23M in Settlements From Parts Manufacturers Accused of Bid Rigging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 CAWA’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Gala Better Attended Than Ever Before . . . . . . . . 10 Contra Costa College and Its Dean Shine at SEMA 2019. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Contra Costa College’s Collision Repair Program Receives Partnership . . . . . . . . . . 22 Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires Repair Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Happy Hour During AAPEX Highlights YANG’s Progress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Structure Damaged in Billings, MT, South Side Fire on Sunday, Nov. 17. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Two Veterans Get Benevolence Cars From Mike’s Auto Body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Western Association Event Announcements: January 2020 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Airbag Recall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 ASA Wage & Hour Attorney Discusses Overtime Exemptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Autoliv Introduces Airbag That Prevents Passengers From Colliding . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Automotive Industry Faces Disruption Driven by Societal Changes. . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Anderson - Reflecting on My Journey in the Collision Repair Industry . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Attanasio - First Paint Suits Designed for Ladies Announced at SEMA . . . . . . . . . . 28 Ledoux - The 1980s – The Advent of the Unibody . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Phillips - How to Position Your Collision Repair Shop for Sustainability . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Sisk - Collision Repair Industry Associations Make 2020 New Year’s Resolutions. . . . . . . 45

the Year Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk, David Luehr, Stacey Phillips, Victoria Antonelli, Gary Ledoux Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Bill Doyle, Norman Morano, Kelly Hall (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bill Pierce Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Alexis Wilson Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Editorial/Sales Assistant: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray

Serving Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the collision industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2020 Adamantine Media LLC.

American Innovative Manufacturing-AIM . . . . 24

Industrial Finishes and Systems . . . . . . . . . 7, 64

Anchorage Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram. . . . . . 28

Innovative Tools & Technologies, Inc. . . . . . . . 23

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Kearny Mesa Subaru-Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

AutoNation Collision Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Kia Downtown Los Angeles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

AutoNation Roseville. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-9

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . 48-49

AutoNation South Bay Wholesale . . . . . . . . . . 29

Kia of Carson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Kia of Irvine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Larry H. Miller Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram . . . . 6

Car Pros Kia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Matrix Automotive Finishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Mazda Recalls Vehicles Over Takata Airbags . . 60

Car Pros Kia Renton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Mirka AROS-B Named Global Media Award

Certified Automotive Parts Association . . . . . . 10

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 56

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Colortone Automotive Paints . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Mirka USA, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Courtesy Chevrolet San Diego . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 35

Cutter Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . . . . . . . 22

Moss Bros. Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge. . . . . . . . . . 25

Dave Smith Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . 55

DCH Auto Group Temecula . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 61

Solving the Tech Shortage: How Conditions,

Dent Fix Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Puente Hills Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Culture & Compensation Can Help Body

Downtown Motors of LA (Audi, VW) . . . . . . . . 53

SATA Dan-Am Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Enterprise Rent-A-Car . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Spanesi Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Equalizer Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Steamericas-Optima Steamer . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

First Auto Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . 52

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Symach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Frank Subaru. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Tacoma Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram . . . . . . . . 31

Galpin Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

The Bay Area Automotive Group . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Garden Grove Kia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Tonkin Parts Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18-19

Glenn E. Thomas Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep . . . . . 15

Vintage Flatz/Cumberland Products . . . . . . . . 21

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 54

Await 2020 Models, Cut Back Hours . . . . . . 60

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 32-33

Volvo Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

US Senator Wants Tesla Autopilot Disabled . . . 53

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 50

CARSTAR Miller Auto Body Contributes to SEMA Win . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Chrysler Lawsuit Involving Leaky Sunroofs Seeks Settlement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 CIC Committees Offer Ideas for Better Welding Practices, Documentation of Test Drives . . . . 1 Driven Brands Acquires Clairus Group . . . . . . . 14 GM CCA Grows My GM Partner Perks . . . . . . . 52 GM Files RICO Lawsuit Against FCA. . . . . . . . . . 3 Industrial Finishes Takes Equity Position . . . . . . 6 Jan. 21 CIECAst Webinar Announced. . . . . . . . 29 Jason Soto of MobileSoft Discusses New

AAPEX 2020 to Expand With Repair Shop HQ . . 63 Another 1.4M Vehicles Added to Takata

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

Smartphone Consumer During ASA’s Webinar Wednesday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Winner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Error-Free Calibrations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Shops Report More Success in Getting Paid for Frame, Mechanical Procedures . . . . . . . 56

Shops Attract & Retain Employees . . . . . . . 30 Subaru Forester Passenger Airbag Sensor Lawsuit Filed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Tesla Cybertruck Pickup Makes Its Public Debut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Tesla Model 3 Driver Ignores Road, Crashes Into Police Cruiser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4


tions have caused our company and to ensure a level playing field going forward,” said Craig Glidden, GM executive vice president.FCA was the clear sponsor of pervasive wrongdoing, paying millions of dollars in bribes to obtain benefits, concessions, and advantages in the negotiation, implementation, and administration of labor agreements over time. With this lawsuit, GM is seeking to reinforce that bargaining must be free from fraud and corruption.

Car-Part.com Receives Company of

Mosaic ADT Created to Achieve Repeatable, COLUMNISTS

General Motors Co. (GM) announced the filing of a lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and former FCA executives who have pled guilty in an ongoing federal corruption probe. At the core of this lawsuit are clear admissions of wrongdoing made by former FCA executives revealed through the continuing criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Michigan. “This lawsuit is intended to hold FCA accountable for the harm its ac-



GM Files RICO Lawsuit Against FCA

Three Weeks After GM Strike, Dealers

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS


Tesla Cybertruck Pickup Makes Its Public Debut by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati.com

Tesla has revealed its highly-anticipated pickup truck to the public, and it is every bit the monster that CEO Elon Musk has made it out to be. With its aggressive stance, high ground clearance, and massive frame, the Tesla’s Cybertruck is quite a sight to behold. DESIGN The Tesla Cybertruck does not look like a traditional pickup. True to Musk’s words, the vehicle does look like a futuristic armored personnel carrier that stepped out of the set of Blade Runner. Its straight sloping roof give the pickup a streamlined yet unique look. As the Tesla CEO

Credit: Tesla

has stated in the past, the Cybertruck won’t look like any other pickup on the road today. That being said, there are several key design aspects that are notable about the Cybertruck. These include its extremely angular body, its large bed, and its high ground clearance. The Cybertruck

also has a thick stainless-steel body, which Tesla demonstrated by having a sledgehammer hit the pickup’s door panel. The vehicle is also fitted with Tesla’s Armor Glass, which un-

Credit: Tesla

fortunately cracked after a large steel ball was thrown at it onstage. The metal ball didn’t go through the glass though, which is a plus. SPECS Tesla has pretty much mastered the art of keeping the specs of its upcoming vehicles’ secret. As it turns out, the Cybertruck’s performance figures are worth the secrecy, as they are flat-out insane. The vehicle is equipped with a standard single motor and can be upgraded to dual and tri-motors. Just as Musk said, the Cybertruck, despite its size, is quite nimble, thanks to its instant torque and four-wheel steering. These ultimately allow the Cybertruck to hit 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds, with handling comparable to a Porsche. Here are other notable specs of the Tesla Cybertruck:

• 250+, 300+, and 500+ miles of range; • 3500 lbs payload; • Towing rating between 7.5k to 14k lbs; • 250 kW charging; • Off-road performance with 35 degrees approach angle, up to 16″ clearance, and 28 degrees departure angle; and • 100 cubic feet of exterior storage.

SPECIAL FEATURES Pickups are utility vehicles by nature, and as such, they are used primarily for work on locations such as farms or construction sites. Luxury pickups exist that prioritize comfort over utility, but Tesla’s monster pickup has chosen to do both. The interior of the Cybertruck is classic Tesla in the way that it’s minimalist and airy, with plush seats and a massive touchscreen that’s op-

Credit: Tesla

timized for work and even entertainment. This, however, is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the pickup truck’s notable features.

Tesla Model 3 Driver Ignores Road, Crashes Into Police Cruiser by David A. Wood, CarCompaints.com

A Tesla Model 3 driver who crashed into a parked police vehicle and then hit a disabled car says he was checking on his dog in the rear seat when the crash occurred. As in multiple Tesla crashes, instead of paying attention to the road and surroundings, the Model 3 driver said he had Autopilot engaged and didn’t notice the flashing lights on two police cruisers. According to the Connecticut State Police, the crash occurred in the early hours of Dec. 7 when officers with Troop GBridgeport responded to a disabled vehicle on Interstate 95 in Norwalk. The stationary vehicle was sitting in the left center lane with the troopers parked behind the disabled vehicle, lights flashing, and a pattern of flares placed behind the patrol cruisers. 4

While the officers were waiting for a tow truck, the 2018 Tesla Model 3 slammed into the rear of one cruiser and then hit the disabled vehicle. The Tesla continued to travel slowly before being stopped several hundred feet ahead by the second trooper at the scene. The driver said he had Autopilot engaged and was checking on his dog in the back seat when the crash occurred. State police cited the Tesla driver for misdemeanor reckless driving and reckless endangerment, and Tesla hasn’t released information concerning logs that would indicate if Autopilot was indeed engaged. Even though the license plate said, "MODEL3," the driver must not have paid attention to the owner’s manual which says to keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road when Autopilot is activated.

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

But the Connecticut driver joins other Tesla owners who believed driver-assist technology equals a fully driverless car. Based on the Connecticut crash and other crashes allegedly involving Autopilot, drivers who should have common sense chose to deactivate it when Autopilot was activated. Multiple examples abound, including the unfortunate death of Joshua Brown who was killed when his Tesla traveled straight into a tractor-trailer. There is also the Model X driver who didn’t prevent the vehicle from traveling across highway lane markers and crashing into a construction barricade. Or the Model S driver who let the car crash into a firetruck while she looked at her cell phone, or a different driver who was behind the wheel when the vehicle slammed into a firetruck. Then there is the Chinese driver of a

Others include: • 110v/220v onboard outlets; • Full Self-Driving features; and • Autopilot as standard. PRICE Earlier this year, Musk has mentioned that the Tesla Cybertruck would start at $49,000 at the highest. Tesla has stayed true to its CEO’s words, pricing the futuristic pickup truck very

Credit: Tesla

aggressively compared to other EV trucks and ICE-powered luxury pickups. Tesla’s Cybertruck does have a number of higher-priced trims, and these cost substantially more, while offering significantly more. Here’s the complete pricing of Tesla’s Cybertruck depending on its trim. • Single Motor RWD – $39,900 before options; • Dual Motor AWD – $49,900 before options; and or • Tri-Motor AWD – $69,900 before options. We thank Teslarati.com for reprint permission. Model S who believed Autopilot would allow him to take his eyes off the road as his car crashed into another vehicle. In addition, a separate crash in China killed the driver who allegedly had Autopilot engaged when the car slammed into a street sweeper. His family said he put his faith in technology he believed would do all the driving. Another Tesla driver was killed when his Model X with Autopilot engaged slammed head-on into a concrete highway divider that could have easily been avoided if the driver would have been watching his surroundings. And in a crash of a Model S, the car plowed into a disabled car at 80 mph because the driver was looking at his cell phone, believing Autopilot would prevent the crash. We thank CarCompaints.com for reprint permission.

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS


Budco in La Grande, OR, Tricks Out Trucks With Custom Paint Creations by Lori Lovely, Construction Equipment Guide

It’s hard to miss the purple logging truck driven by Alex “Tater” Opdahl for Whitco Inc., a trucking company owned by Rick and Barb Whitcomb in Kamiah, Idaho. Whitco was founded on Sept. 5, 1984. On the day Rick married Barb, Rick’s father escorted the couple to Farmers State Bank in Uniontown, WA, to get a loan for a 1977 Peterbilt 359. That was followed by a second truck in 1986 and later by a third. Buying and selling trucks along the way included trading in one truck on the purchase of two Peterbilt glider kits in 1990. On May 5, 1996, Whitco incorporated and bought seven Mack trucks from KJ Weller Inc. Budco Custom Body & Paint Inc., owned by the Whitcomb’s son Bud, painted the purple 2019 W900 L Model Kenworth log truck in La Grande, OR, for the Whitco driver. The truck, which features a 265 wheelbase, also displays striping and lettering by Paul Mackie. In addition to logging trucks, Bud Whitcomb, owner of Budco since 2012, has painted long-haul trucks, insurance truck wrecks, show

trucks built and customized specifically for shows, cars, pickups, motorcycles, boats, horse trailers and more.

The Beginning Budco, a full-service auto, heavy truck and recreation body repair and paint shop, began as a one-man-show — a business launched in the back of Whitco Inc. “He spent many nights and weekends [going] back and forth from Lewiston to Kamiah, trying to get his business rolling,” said Whitcomb’s wife, Courtney, who works in the office. To get his own business off the ground, Whitcomb tried sandblasting and towing, but custom paint jobs put him on the map. Customers came from all over the Northwest for his work. Growth As business increased, Whitcomb bought a shop down the street from his father’s shop and added four new employees to his crew — but more changes were in store. His wife explains that Whitcomb fell in love with La Grande, OR, after attending a few games to watch one of his best friends play football for Eastern Oregon University. When the owners of Crisp

Industrial Finishes Takes Equity Position

Industrial Finishes & Systems Inc., a leading distributor of automotive paint, equipment and supplies, has announced that it has taken an equity partnership in US Autocure. Industrial Finishes & Systems previously acted as the distribution partner for US Autocure, working together to bring the “Phoenix” infrared curing system to market. Industrial Finishes & Systems will retain exclusive distribution rights for the Phoenix. According to Industrial Finishes & Systems President, Glenn Duckworth, “Taking an equity position in US Autocure reflects our confidence in infrared curing technology and the impact that it will have on our markets. Collision repair and refinish, tier one and tier two automotive OEM component suppliers, specialty vehicle and RV production, and industrial manufacturing environments all benefit from the speed and efficiency that this technology provides.” For more information regarding the US Autocure Phoenix, contact Industrial Finishes & Systems at 800-531-1305. 6

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Colors, an auto repair shop, were ready to retire after 29 years in business, Whitcomb decided to buy it and move his family and a few employees to Oregon. On July 1, 2016, Budco officially expanded to serve Union County. “This was a big change in business,” Courtney recalled. Double the number of employees, customers — and opportunities. Since July 2016, the shop has completed more than 200 custom paint jobs. Change It’s an impressive record, especially considering the changes in the paint industry. Budco uses top-of-the-line PPG paint products along with its paint booth and highly experienced professionals to work on the vehicles and equipment. Budco has to grow and change with the industry. Employees have taken numerous classes provided by PPG to learn new techniques and understand new products. The process begins with prep work, such as sanding, body work and repairs. Next, the vehicle undergoes masking to protect areas that don’t need paint. Once that’s done, painters apply a primer coat, perform a final sanding of any blem-

ishes and then apply the paint, a clear coat and a sealer. Continuity Not everything has changed. The homemade paint booth that Whitcomb and a few of his friends built one weekend is still standing and training in state-of-the-art equipment and techniques is ongoing. They still offer auto, truck and recreational vehicle body repair, specializing in sandblasting and custom painting. It’s not just a way to make a living, Courtney explained. Because they love what they’re doing, she says it doesn’t feel like work. They’re doing what they are passionate about, taking pride in producing exceptional results from using quality paint and products and providing top-notch customer service. The Whitcombs intend to continue producing th e same, consistent quality of work in the future. And, just as Whitcomb once worked in his dad’s shop after school and on the weekends, now his children are frequent visitors at his shop. We thank Construction Equipment Guide for reprint permission.

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS




JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS


CAWA’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Gala Better Attended Than Ever Before by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On the evening of Sunday, Nov. 3, the California Automotive Wholesalers’ Association (CAWA) held its Annual Meeting and Gala Dinner at Caesar’s Palace in conjunction with the 2019 SEMA and AAPEX Show in Las Vegas. Kicking off industry

Outgoing Chair Dan Hanson was presented with his red vest in honor of his service to CAWA. Credit: CAWA

week, CAWA’s event featured the association’s Memorial Scholarship fundraiser, installation of officers, and entertainment by comedian Cyrus Steele. According to CAWA President and CEO Rodney Pierini, “This year’s attendance was the best ever with over 140 members and guests. This is an annual opportunity for

CAWA members and guests to come together to focus on the association’s accomplishments and to raise funds for its scholarship programs.” During the meeting, CAWA held an auction to raise funds for the association’s scholarship program which benefits students and teachers from high school automotive programs. “A significant donation of $25,000 was given to CAWA’s scholarship fund that evening by Worldpac’s President and CEO, Bob Cushing, to the audience’s delight,” Pierini noted. “All proceeds from the event, totaling over $43,000, went to CAWA’s Memorial Scholarship Fund. CAWA thanks all that donated prizes for the auction and raffle, as well as those in attendance, for their support of the association’s scholarship program.” A traditional red vest ceremony was held with several past chairs from CAWA’s Board of Directors participating as Outgoing Chair Dan Hanson was presented with his red vest in honor of his service to CAWA. The event also included the installation of CAWA’s 2020 officers to serve on the board of directors. Tom

Seboldt will serve as the chair with Mike Mohler filling the role of vice chair. CAWA will also be guided by Treasurer Mike Rukov, Secretary Young Suhr, Jr. and Immediate Past Chair Dan Hanson, Jr. in 2020.

CAWA inducted its 2020 Board of Directors Officers during its Annual Meeting and Gala Dinner. Credit: CAWA

The evening concluded with an entertaining comedy act performance by Cyrus Steele. CAWA’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Gala Dinner was exclusively sponsored by Motorcar Parts of America. Next year’s event will be held on Nov. 1, 2020 at Caesar’s Palace with CAWA kicking off the 2020 Industry Week. For more information about CAWA and its upcoming events, visit cawa.org.

Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires Repair Center

The Boyd Group Inc. announced the acquisition of a collision repair center in Tacoma, WA. The location previously operated as Salatino’s Collision Center. Located in Washington’s Puget Sound, Tacoma is the county seat of Pierce County and the third largest city in Washington with a population of approximately 200,000 people. “The Boyd Group is committed to delivering high-quality service to our customers and insurance partners and this acquisition enhances our ability to do that,” said Tim O’Day, president and COO of the Boyd Group. “Our brand is strong in this region of the country and we look forward to growing our presence moving forward.” The Boyd Group is continuously looking to add new collision repair locations to its existing network in Canada and the U.S. Interested collision repair center owners are asked to contact Stephen Boyd at stephen .boyd@boydgroup.com.

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autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS


Contra Costa College and Its Dean Shine at SEMA 2019 by Ed Attanasio

Contra Costa College’s dean of its collision repair school Laura Salas had a great time at SEMA 2019 when her school was awarded a grant from the Collision Repair Education Foun-

Contra Costa College’s dean of its collision repair school Laura Salas participated in an all-female car build at SEMA 2019. Credit: Ed Attanasio

dation (CREF) in addition to gaining national acclaim for her involvement in an all-female car build sponsored by Girls Garage. Again this year, CREF awarded

scholarships to students and grants to auto tech schools in order to support collision repair educational programs, schools, and students to create qualified, entry-level employees and connect them with an array of career opportunities. A $5,000 grant from CREF will help the school, with the money that is already earmarked, Salas said. “We are going to use this money to apply epoxy to our laboratory floor, something that was much-needed. The grant will cover the materials and then during our winter break, we will do the work with our buildings and grounds people. Our floors get a ton of wear, so this money is timely and a pleasant surprise.” To participate in the all-female build, Salas traveled to Girl Gang Garage in Phoenix, AZ. “I got the call, and had 24 hours to get there, she said. “We had just hosted a CREF Job Fair, so I was a little tired. But, I thought this is a big deal, so I went there and worked on the ‘High Yellow’ truck for three days.” More than 50 women techs,

painters and mechanics worked on the vehicle in shifts, which provided a great opportunity for Salas to work with some of the industry’s best. “I

did a little wet sanding and assisted with some minor mechanical issues.” The producer of “Girls Garage,” a reality automotive TV series, project director Bogi Lateiner was in charge of the SEMA build and oversaw every little detail to create an eyecatching vehicle. “Yes, we built a ‘57 Chevy Pickup with a BMW S62 engine that was unveiled at SEMA at the BASF booth, but this build is about so much more than a car,” she said. “Gathering women from across the world of all skill levels, to send a statement that the automotive industry is a great place for a gal to be. We’re celebrating This eye-catching 1956 Chevy 3100 with a Blueprint 350CI each other, we’re celebratcrate engine known as “High Yellow” was built exclusively ing our passion for working by women with Bogi Lateiner of Bogi’s in charge. Credit: on cars and we’ve built one Ed Attanasio helluva awesome car. But it met more than a dozen women while doesn’t end there–the journey conI was working on this project,” she tinues!” Salas graduated from Contra said. “I handled a few paint emergencies; prepped before polishing, Costa College’s Automotive Colli-

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sion Repair Technology Department in 2010 and was named the school’s dean in 2016. Her full title is Collision Repair Faculty and Automotive Department Chair, a position her predecessor Peter Lock held for 36 years. CREF Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode enjoys SEMA for many reasons, and giving tech schools money to improve their departments is one. “Our Benchmark Grant Program (formerly the Ultimate Makeover Grant) has been in existence for ten years,” he said. “We get a ton of applications every year and we spend a lot of time reviewing them all before we pick our recipients. In some cases, the money is designated for a specific purpose, like buying computers, equipment or improving their facilities.” Girl Gang Garage Builds provide professional development for women in the trades, additional learning opportunities for newbies, and a consistent cadence of builds, according to their website. At one point in her career, Lateiner was an outsider to the automotive industry, but today she is

well-known as an advocate for young women entering the industry. After attending Universal Technical Institute, Lateiner went on to BMW factory training through the BMW STEP program and worked as a dealer technician for seven years. She then opened 180 Degrees Automotive in her driveway in 2006 and embarked on her mission of encouraging women, providing learning opportunities, and fostering connections between women of all ages and skill levels within the industry, she explained. Today, Lateiner’s shop is called Bogi’s, where she is able to continue on her journey to help women in the industry. “The goal is to provide an environment where newbies and experts can come together, commiserate, contrast, and collaborate in the real world, hands-on learning opportunities,” she said. In addition, Lateiner hosts the Automotive TV show “All Girls Garage,” is an industry spokesperson, teaches women’s car care classes, and performs shop evaluations for independent repair shops across the country.

Western Association Event Announcements: January 2020 by Chasidy Rae Sisk

ASA Northwest Plans 2020 Winter Retreat On Jan. 23 through Jan. 26, ASA Northwest will host its Semi-Annual Retreat & Management Conference at the Icicle Village Resort in Leavenworth, WA. The event will kick off on Thursday, Jan. 23 with a board meeting followed by a hospitality suite. During Friday morning’s general session, the Ascettes will also hold their business meeting. The evening will include a business roundtable while the Ascettes donate their time and energy to Backpacks for Kids. The evening will conclude with a fun arcade event and a hospitality suite. On Saturday morning, AMI’s Steve Beck will present “Reprogramming the Program,” and lunch will feature an update from ASA National. That evening, ASA Northwest will host their awards banquet to recognize last year’s leadership and the “Outstanding Member of the Year” which will be followed by a hospitality suite. For more information on ASA Northwest and its future events, visit asanorthwest.com.

ASA Northwest’s January Meetings and Events ASA Northwest’s chapters will meet in January to discuss industry issues. • Jan. 8 – Eugene Chapter Meeting at Lane Community College, Automotive Technology Building #9 in Eugene, OR. • Jan. 9 - Pierce Chapter Meeting at LaQuinta in Tacoma, WA. • Jan. 9 – North Sno-King Chapter Meeting at Bob’s Burger & Brew in Everett, WA. • Jan. 16 – Spokane Chapter Meeting at Mirabeau Park Hotel & Convention Center, Lilac Room, in Spokane Valley, WA. • Jan. 16 – South Sno-King Chapter Meeting at Bellevue Brewing Company in Bellevue, WA. • Jan. 21 – Olympic Peninsula Chapter Meeting at Kitsap Golf & Country Club in Bremerton, WA. • Jan. 27 – Southwest Washington Chapter Meeting at South Puget Sound Community College, Building 27, Percival Room in Olympia, WA. For more information, visit www .asanorthwest.com.

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CA Department of Insurance Arrests Suspects in $500K Fraud Ring by Staff, Insurance Journal

Investigators from the California Department of Insurance, San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, and the California Highway Patrol have arrested four suspects for alleged involvement in an organized auto fraud ring reportedly costing insurers $500,000. The auto fraud ring reportedly involved schemes with dealers purchasing damaged vehicles and then filing inflated claims, and even staging thefts. In total, ten suspects have been charged in this joint task force investigation dubbed Operation Dealer’s Choice. Operation Dealer’s Choice was initiated after the San Diego District Attorney’s Office received a consumer call claiming the ring was purchasing vehicles at local auto auctions, and after insuring and registering them, filing fraudulent total damage or theft claims to receive unearned payouts from insurance carriers. The case was investigated by the San Diego County Organized Automobile Insurance Fraud Task Force made up of the California De-

partment of Insurance, San Diego District Attorney’s Office and California Highway Patrol. The investigation determined the ring purchased vehicles at auction that were already damaged, had high mileage, or both, at a significantly low dollar amount. Once the vehicle was purchased, registered and insured by a carrier, the suspects filed a total damage or total theft claim and the ring shared the profits. Investigators discovered 35 possible fraudulent auto insurance claims were filed over a four-year period. Roughly 56 vehicles were used by the ring. Numerous vehicles purchased by the suspects in this case had the vehicles’ odometer mileages “rolled back” in order to increase the value of the vehicle before it was damaged or reported stolen. The remaining vehicles had significant damage prior to being insured unbeknownst to the carrier, or are believed to be damaged by the group after being insured. The ring victimized 12 insurance carriers including Nationwide, Stonewood, USAA, California Casualty, Allstate, State Farm, Liberty

Mutual, Esurance, GEICO, Kemper, Wawanesa and AAA. The dollar loss estimate for this case is in excess of $500,000 at this time. Suspects in this case reportedly used various schemes including incepting policies on a vehicle that had pre-existing damage, filing claims shortly after the policy’s date of inception, then letting the policy lapse shortly after collecting a check for their loss due to non-payment. They also reportedly filed suspected “staged collisions” in which they would purposely damage vehicles to the point of a “total loss” to collect an insurance claim check for the damage. Suspects also “staged thefts” in which they got paid for the theft of their vehicle after they, themselves, made the vehicle disappear. We thank Insurance Journal for reprint permission.


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Driven Brands Acquires Clairus Group

Driven Brands, North America’s leading group of automotive aftermarket brands, announced its acquisition of the Quebec-based Clairus Group (Clairus), a fast-growing, vertically-integrated leader in automotive glass distribution, replacement, and claims management. The move adds 240 physical service locations, over 330 mobile locations, 22 distribution centers, and a claims management platform to the Driven Brands portfolio. “We are thrilled to welcome the Clairus Group into the Driven Brands family. It’s a terrific platform offering great sought-after expertise,” said Jonathan Fitzpatrick, CEO of Driven Brands. In 2018, a U.S. based private equity firm became majority partner with Uniban Canada and PH Vitres d’Autos, to establish the Clairus Group, the second largest vertically integrated automotive glass and claims management provider in North America. Since affiliates of Roark Capital acquired Driven Brands in 2015, it has executed more than 30 acquisitions, including Clairus.

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Continued from Cover

CIC Committees

ing on a vehicle. Ford’s procedure, for example, is three pages long, with specifications for the size and shape the weld nugget should be based on the thickness of the metal being welded. Some automakers call for spot welding with the E-coat in place, Chess said, while others say it has to be stripped off. Also during the committee’s presentation in Las Vegas, Kye Yeung, owner of a Southern California shop, certified and specializing in high-end vehicles, said weld testing can be done using coupons, but that it’s important that the tests be done on comparable materials to what will be welded; he suggests using some of the damaged material removed from the vehicle or, if sectioning, using some of the excess material from the new part being installed. Yeung said electrical output can vary throughout the shop, so he suggests moving the vehicle – and doing the destructive test welds – in the area of the shop where you know there’s adequate power. He also said it’s a good idea for shops to have standardized operating procedures related to welding. “At our shop, we take the wire out of the welder after the repair,” he said. “So when a tech pulls up the procedure, he has to start from square one and not make the assumption that the welding wire that’s in the machine is for that job. It’s a process you should instill in your shop, even though it might take a little extra time. They could be getting a poor weld because they’re using the wrong material.” Yeung said his shop also holds “weld-off competitions,” with the winner receiving a free lunch. “It takes your A-techs who weld well, and your lower-skilled guys who are aspiring to do well, and allows them to do that comparison,” Yeung said. “It makes them practice during the week. It brings everybody up.” New Type of Vehicle Test Drive CIC’s “Emerging Technologies” committee has adopted a new definition of a “dynamic systems verification (DSV) road test,” in an effort to distinguish test drives done to check advanced driver assistance systems 16

(ADAS) with those more traditionally done just to verify standard vehicle performance, such as checking for wind noise, pulling conditions or vibrations. The DSV road test, according to the new definition, checks for those items but also requires “qualified shop personnel to identify and confirm performance of … advanced ve-

Scott Kaboos of American Honda discussed how OEM repair procedures are developed and tested. Credit: John Yoswick

hicle features and systems including driver assistance and safety systems, such as advanced cruise control and safety restraint systems.” The committee hopes to have the definition adopted and used by the automakers and estimating system providers. During the committee’s presentation at CIC in Las Vegas, Jake Rodenroth of asTech suggested that shops provide more documentation of what’s involved in such road tests. “How about you document the ‘in’ and ‘out’ mileage of the vehicle,” Rodenroth said. “How about you include a Google map of where you drove,” he added. “Uber gives us a little map of our trip on every receipt, yet we don’t do that when we do a road test. If you’re in L.A., maybe you had to get to the suburbs to meet the requirements for that road test. Explain that. What systems did you check? Tire-pressure monitoring, blind-spot monitoring, traction control? Explain what you did.” Failure to Follow OEM Procedures Can Be Costly Automaker repair procedures were the focus of another committee discussion at CIC in Las Vegas, including discussing how the procedures are developed and tested. Scott Kaboos, chief collision repair instructor for American Honda, said he was in Japan earlier this year and had an opportunity to see how the company’s body repair manual is written. Com-

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

puter simulations are used as the vehicle is being designed to consider, for example, how to address an area of a vehicle that will be inaccessible to a repairer needing to replace a spot weld. “If it can’t be spot-welded, we know that flange has to be wider so we can MIG braze it, or it has to be made of different materials so we can actually MAG weld it,” Kaboos said. “That kind of blew my mind when I saw it. I’ve been a technician all my life. I never thought that some manufacturer would be thinking about fixing this wrecked car two or three years before it’s built.” If the vehicle includes new materials or structure, or a sectioning procedure that hasn’t been tested and proven on other Honda vehicles, Kaboos said, more physical testing is done. “We actually do crush tests on those actual parts, and ultimately we end up with crash tests on vehicles.” Based on the discussion at CIC, collision shops – even dealership shops – that realize mid-repair that they failed to follow OEM repair procedures shouldn’t expect too much help from the automakers. John Eck

of General Motors (GM) said a dealership shop called GM because a technician had cut too far forward into a T1 truck, not realizing the automaker has a sectioning joint for the rear-end. “They said, ‘Now what,’ and I asked, ‘How much did you just buy that truck back for because it’s done,’” Eck said. “The technician had been chopping up trucks so long that he didn’t [research and learn] we actually made an easier repair process by putting a sectioning joint in the back so you could repair it in a more efficient, cost-effective manner, saving more vehicles by lowering the cost of repair. The technician made a big mistake that day. It would have been a simple one if he’d just looked at the procedures.” Mark Allen of Audi of America offered a similar experience about a shop – that had claimed it was I-CAR Gold Class and factory-trained by several European automakers, when it wasn’t – that made pulls to the all-aluminum rear structure of an Audi Q7. “That was about $86,000, because they cracked the cast-aluminum frame rails,” Allen said. “So, first, don’t misrepresent yourself. And second, follow the repair procedures.”

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Happy Hour During AAPEX Highlights YANG’s Progress by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Nov. 6, the Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG) held its Annual Networking Happy Hour at the Yardbird Southern Table and Bar, inside the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Held in conjunction with AAPEX, this event is YANG’s largest meet-up of the year. David Pinkham, Auto Care Association’s (ACA) liaison to YANG, stated, “The AAPEX Happy Hour was an enormous success. Our goal was to host an event that exemplified how far YANG has come, and we feel like we did just that. We chose a more convenient location, extended the event by 30 minutes, and offered a wider array of drink and food options. Within the first 45 minutes, we hit our goal of 280 attendees.” “The event exceeded our expectations in terms of both feedback and attendance. We did not believe we’d reach capacity that quickly, and unfortunately, not everyone could participate. Those who did make it into

the event were impressed,” Pinkham continued. Because YANG’s primary purpose is focused on industry networking, YANG attempts to schedule meet-ups at every industry event because “they bring in new members and demonstrate to our supporters that YANG is growing and vibrant,” Pinkham explained. “AAPEX is by far the largest gathering of YANG members, so we host a big event every year to bring everyone together and to thank our members, mentors and sponsors, while also ensuring attendees can network and enjoy themselves,” he added. Feedback from YANG members and supporters has been “overwhelmingly positive,” Pinkham shared. “Attendees were impressed by the venue and how quickly it filled up, but next year, we’re planning to set up a higher attendance goal and enable more people to participate.” For more information about YANG and its next meet-ups, visit autocare.org/yang.


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Structure Damaged in Billings, MT, South Side Fire on Sunday, Nov. 17 by Mitch Lagge, KTVQ News

A structure fire that damaged an auto body collision repair shop at 3050 First Avenue South on the Billings, MT, South Side occurred on Sunday, Nov. 17.

Credit: KTVQ News

Billings Fire Battalion Chief Ed Regele said no one was in the structure at the time the fire started around 3:18 p.m. Firefighters had the blaze knocked

down 30 minutes later. Regele said structure appeared to him to be a paintless car dent repair shop. A sign on the front of the structure read “Auto Hail Repair.” The fire was mostly contained to the west end of the building, Regele said. Some smoke permeated into the building’s east end, causing damage. Initially, firefighters had to force entry into the structure because all the doors were locked. For this task they used handheld power saws. To ventilate smoke from the building, firefighters sawed a hole in a garage door that had become inoperable during the fire. We thank KTVQ News for reprint permission.

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Continued from Cover

Retain Employees

its attributes change,” said Daugherty, who has worked with Vehicle Service Group, Chief’s parent company, for the past 24 years. “The goal of an ADAS calibration is to reorient the sensors to where the physical body of the vehicle is in relation to the drivetrain and how it goes down the road.”

Currently, when repairing cars with ADAS technology, repairers either conduct a dynamic calibration that requires test driving a vehicle


while it is connected to a scan tool, or a static calibration in a facility using specialized targets and equipment. Taking this into consideration, Daugherty said Chief Collision Technology and Burke Porter Group set out to offer repairers technologically advanced equipment to accurately and efficiently calibrate vehicles while following OEM requirements. Burke Porter Group provides assembly automation design, manufacturing and testing, as well as specialty equipment for both laboratory research and development, and production end-of-line (EOL) testing to OEMs. “The company has been a designer and supplier of endof-line OEM factory calibration systems since the early 2000s,” said Daugherty. “They have footprints in all of the OE factories across the world. They are very knowledgeable and able to understand what’s coming before it hits the streets in the aftermarket.” “Together, we are addressing a significantly unmet need for safe and

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

actly; only then is an access code provided to unlock the system. “Once the course is complete and the technician provides attestation that he has followed the OEM repair procedures to prepare the vehicle for calibration, the tablet will walk the operator through every step of what the OEM procedure says to do,” said Daugherty. Repairers then plug the tablet into the vehicle. Mosaic ADT gives a complete picture of the ADAS techMosaic ADT gives a complete picture of the ADAS nologies that are part of that technologies that are part of the car and all of the car, shows all of the OEM OEM repair procedures associated with it. Credit: repair procedures associChief Collision Technology ated with it and is automatlution using factory developed cali- ically updated. This might include questions bration technology to place vehicles such as: Is the gas tank full? Did you on the road safely.” Mosaic ADT can perform cali- check the tire pressure? Is the windbrations on both radar and vision sys- shield clean? What is the ride height? All of the information is stored in tems. Prior to using the equipment, an operator is required to go through the cloud so there is a vehicle repair an online Chief training course to be history for future reference. Daugherty instructed in not only how the equip- said that is a huge benefit for shops ment works, but also educated on helping them maintain control of the ADAS technology and why the cali- repair and limiting their liability. “Not only can they document that bration process must be followed exreliable calibrations as ADAS systems continue to quickly penetrate the market,” said David DeBoer, CEO of Burke Porter Group. “Mosaic ADT offers a cost-effective aftermarket so-

they repaired the car properly, but they can also attach the information to their estimating system,” he said. Daugherty explained that the calibration process involves structurally aligning the car and drivetrain as well as orientating the sensors. “No matter whose system you use, the position of the vehicle in relationship to the target is absolutely critical,” he said.

Chief Collision Technology showcased Mosaic Advanced Diagnostics Technology (ADT) during SEMA 2019 in Las Vegas. Credit: Chief Collision Technology

With most systems, repairers must manually adjust the target. Daugherty said this can be a very laborious process and can often take one to three hours, which slows down a shop’s cycle time. With Mosaic ADT, the system automatically finds the centerline of

the vehicle and adjusts the sensors. Once an operator positions a car within 100 mm of the target’s proper position, the system automatically places the target at the correct height, width and distance. All of the verification, alignment of the target and calibration of the sensors can be done in about 20 minutes, which Daugherty said allows for repeatable, errorfree calibrations. “What we’ve tried to do is take out as much human error as possible,” he said. Each time a calibration is conducted, a virtual, live diagnosis is performed remotely by an ASE-certified technician using an OEM scan tool. “We’re very excited to be able to bring to the industry a system that we believe helps shops properly calibrate vehicles,” said Daugherty. “With the ADAS technology in these vehicles, being able to have properly trained technicians understanding a complex process is a challenge and the more you can simplify that for the technician, the better results are you are going to have.” For more information, visit https: //chieftechnology.com/mosaic/.

Autoliv Introduces Airbag That Prevents Passengers From Colliding Autoliv Inc., the worldwide leader in vehicle safety systems, announced the development of a new front center airbag that is designed to save lives in side-impact crash situations. The head is one of the most frequently injured body regions in any road collision potentially resulting in devastating long-term

consequences for the victim. For side collisions from the opposite side, the passenger may hit the vehicle interior or the other front seat passenger, sustaining injuries to the head and chest. To improve protection for these injuries, Euro NCAP has introduced the far-side load

case in the rating program from Jan. 1, 2020. The new Autoliv Front Center Airbag helps avoid driver-to-interior and driver-to-passenger impact. The inboard seat mounted airbag deploys in the space between the driver and the front-seat passenger, providing protection for them from colliding during a side impact and reduces risk of trauma to head, shoulder and chest. “Research indicates that the new Front Center Airbag can reduce injuries caused by passengers colliding with each other by up to 80%. If there is no one in the front passenger seat, the airbag will offer enhanced driver protection from a far-side collision. It is a technology innovation that underlines Autoliv’s commitment to saving lives and preventing injuries on the roads across the world,” says Scott Dershem, Autoliv vice president of development. The Autoliv Front Center Airbag will be introduced in 19 car models in 2020. Obtained via PR Newswire.

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS


Contra Costa College’s Collision Repair Program Receives Partnership working in an automotive career and shared advice on entering the industry. Students and instructors of the auto“We’re going to create a partmotive department’s collision pro- nership that is going to hopefully gram can expect to see changes to create a pipeline of entry-level techthe shop and the learning curriculum nicians to the [automotive] industry,” for the coming years. Villarreal said. On Dec. 3, executives of ServHe said the automotive educaice King Collision Repair came from tional opportunities at CCC were ditheir headquarters in Richardson, verse, secure and well-crafted, all Texas, to Contra Costa College, lo- outstanding qualities that cemented cated in San Pablo, CA, to present a them as top candidates. Included with the partnership are plans to develop a strong curriculum and help identify the best opportunities for students after they graduate. Lakeitria Luter, senior manager of strategic sourcing at Service King, said, “One of the things we look at is the school’s commitment Roy Villarreal, learning program director of Service King to students and the relationCollision Repair (far right), speaks words of advice to collision repair students at a ceremony where he presented ship the school has with our a $5,000 check to the CCC automotive department on Dec. partner, CREF and us.” 3. Credit: Daniel Hernandez, The Advocate The collision center also $5,000 grant to the collision program serves as a recruiting hub for Service in hopes of establishing a well- King. founded partnership with the shop. Collision auto body repair major In collaboration with the Colli- Akim Henderson said, “Getting the sion Repair Education Foundation grant is outstanding. There have been (CREF), Service King hand-picked so many blessings coming though CCC from only a handful of schools this department.” to give the donation. Henderson sees himself landing The CCC collision center ap- a better position in his future career plied for the grant via CREF, which and finds it imperative that students was awarded in November at the have a good workplace and learning Specialty Equipment Market Associ- environment. ation (SEMA) event in Las Vegas. He also said, “As a student, it Around 25 collision program stu- shows that the work that I put in is dents gathered in front of the Automo- not only being recognized, but is also tive Technology Center for the appreciated. Personally, it gives me ceremony, where Roy Villarreal, the a better drive.” learning program director for Service Service King executives and colKing, spoke about the benefits of lision program instructors gathered by Daniel Hernandez, The Advocate

CARSTAR Miller Auto Body Contributes to SEMA Win

CARSTAR is proud to celebrate CARSTAR Miller Auto Body’s work highlighted at the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas in November. Approached by his friend Chris Hill, who was submitting his 2019 Toyota Supra, CARSTAR Miller Auto Body technician Joel Zabel was excited to support. “The Supra was the hot car this year and we knew a lot of the other submissions would have the same body 22

kit on it,” says Zabel, technician, CARSTAR Miller Auto Body. “This is why I spent every evening for about two weeks working on getting the gaps as close to perfect as possible.” Hard work payed off for Zabel, as Hill was able to bring home third place against large organizations who had heavily invested into their submission. “For our small facility in the Midwest to be a part of a huge win feels incredibly rewarding,” continues Zabel.

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

for a conference to discuss a “recruiting action plan” after the ceremony. Here, the first topic of discussion covered the hiring goals and expectations Service King wants maintained — such as hiring five or more students per graduating class. Mentorship programs between students and industry professionals, classroom presentations, tours of local collision shops and ultimately recruiting events are laid out in the strategy to meet the goal. The executives emphasize that they seek commitments from students who will follow through with a career path in auto collision repair because thousands of dollars are invested into their sponsorship. In turn, they want to develop a student’s social skills needed for working in a real shop by hosting workshops where mock interviews between students and shop managers are arranged. Henderson believes that Service King will build a facility that is accessible for all students that include new floors, equipment, production

and education with the partnership. The donors are planning on following through next year with a shop makeover that could involve anything from new machines and technologies to remodels. Along with the $5,000 grant, Service King has also paid material expenses for a new epoxy floor to be laid out. The Automotive Technology Center includes the collision center, auto services room, tool rooms and closets. Materials for the new floor are expected to arrive over winter break and be applied during the summer session. A new epoxy floor will bring additional safety to the shops when handling chemicals. In the meantime, the search is on for a contractor to professionally apply the new floor. “We are extremely pleased to be providing CCC with this check for $5,000. We hope that it truly helps and benefits the students to further their education here,” Luter said. We thank The Advocate for reprint permission.

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS


California Secures $23M in Settlements From Parts Manufacturers Accused of Bid Rigging by Marivic Cabural Summers, USA Herald

California secured more than $23 million in settlements from dozens of auto parts manufacturers that were accused of illegal bid rigging, a violation of antitrust laws. Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the state’s settlements with 52 auto parts manufacturers. According to AG Becerra, the auto parts manufacturers colluded to fix the prices of certain auto parts for decades. Their action eliminated and reduced competition in the market and affected domestic and foreign vehicles. As a result of their illegal bid rigging scheme, the auto parts manufacturers artificially inflated prices for consumers and made the market less competitive. Denso Corporation settled the antitrust lawsuit for $4.25 million, the largest among the settlements secured by California from the auto parts manufacturers. The state filed the Denso settlement on Tuesday, Dec. 3. Five auto parts manufacturers including Yazaki, Mitsuba, Mitsubishi Electric, JTEKT, and Hitachi Automotive Systems agreed to settle


for more than $1 million. In a statement, AG Becerra said, “A vehicle is one of the most expensive and important purchases working families can make. Competition is vital to sustain our marketplace and keep products affordable for consumers.” He added, “Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of work by our office to hold these auto parts companies accountable and to maintain a fair and competitive economy for Californians.” The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) conducted separate investigation into the pricefixing and bid rigging allegations against the auto parts manufacturers. Forty-six of the accused companies already pleaded guilty to the allegations and agreed to pay almost $3 billion in penalties to the federal government. Maruyasu Industries, one of the accused auto parts manufacturers, agreed to pay $12 million in fine last year. Separately, the auto parts manufacturers are also facing class action lawsuits filed by attorneys representing indirect purchasers. We thank the USA Herald for reprint permission.

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Continued from Cover

Glenn v. Hyundai

• The settlement should include compensation in higher dollar amounts than those that were negotiated; • Class members should be eligible to receive $200 even if they were not inside their class vehicle when the sunroof shattered; • Trade-in compensation should be provided to those who traded-in their vehicles before receiving notice of the settlement; and • Class members should be compensated for time spent on sunroof repairs.” Glenn filed a complaint against Hyundai four years ago claiming it knowingly sold vehicles that were prone to having its sunroofs explode. According to court documents, Glenn purchased a new 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport in September 2014 with a panoramic sunroof. In February 2015, the vehicle had about 10,000 miles and Glenn was driving with his wife and daughter when his sunroof spontaneously shattered. When

neither the dealership where he purchased his vehicle, nor Hyundai would cover the costs of repair Glenn filed a claim with his insurance company. His sunroof shattered again after the original sunroof was replaced. He then filed another claim. Hyundai responded to Glenn’s complaint by denying defect allegations in 2016. The case quickly became a statewide class-action lawsuit, although most of the lawsuit was dismissed in late July 2016, the presiding judge allowed the plaintiffs to move forward with claims of fraud. After several years since the original complaint, the presiding judge scheduled a final hearing prior to giving a ruling. The District Court judge’s final ruling in this lawsuit found Hyundai responsible for covering $5.4 million in attorney’s fees as a settlement. In addition to $5,000 which is to be awarded to the six class representatives, to also be paid for by the automotive maker. We thank www.glassBYTEs.com for reprint permission.

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Cover

Two Veterans

red, white, and blue bows as more than 100 business partners, vendors, local political representatives, Mike’s employees, and insurance companies were on hand for the presentation. U.S. Air Force Veteran Chris Coffle received a 2018 KIA Soul that was donated by Hertz and refurbished by the crew at the Vallejo, CA, shop location. In addition, TSgt. Carlos Carvagal Molina received a 2016 Toyota Forerunner that was donated by USAA Insurance and refurbished by the crew at the Fairfield, CA, shop location. Coffelt, married and with two daughters, wrote a brief one-page application letter that made an impact with all of the people at Mike’s Auto Body. “Owning a reliable car means … FREEDOM,” Coffelt wrote. “It means I’m free of worry, free to be safe, and free of the financial burden that owning an unreliable car brings. I currently own a 2004 Mazda 6 with over 160,000 miles—it drives, but it has many issues, and it makes me nervous driving on the highway.

From left, Dane Dearlove, Ragen Rose, Brennan Rose and Sal Contreras from Mike’s Auto Body enjoy the festivities. Credit: Ed Attanasio

Whether our family or another military family receives a free car, it’s a blessing what you’re doing for the military community.” “Normally I would have been happy with free pancakes and a car wash on Veterans Day,” Coffelt said. Getting a car, he said, takes it to a whole new level. Molina is an active duty Air Force member who has been serving our country for 12 years now. His family includes a wife, mother-inlaw and daughter. When he found out his mother-in-law had cancer, Molina and his family moved to Northern California. Their lives changed, because now they’re able to take care of their mother-in-law as she takes chemotherapy treatments. 26

“Everything in life happens for a reason, and we know this situation would get better. I want to thank all of the people at Mike’s Auto Body for this amazing vehicle because it’s going to make our lives a lot better in many ways.” The program opened with a moving invocation by Sal Contreras, marketing director for Mike’s Auto Body, followed by the colors presented by the Napa Post 113 Legion Guard; “American the Beautiful” played on the bagpipes by Kristopher Muse (Mike’s technician); the National Anthem played by the Vanden High School band directed by Mason St. Pierre; Fairfield’s Mayor Harry Price, “Thank

TSgt. Carlos Carvagal Molina was wowed by his completely refurbished 2016 Toyota Forerunner. Credit: Ed Attanasio

You for Your Service” presented by Mike’s Marketing Director Dane Dearlove and speeches made by Senior Field Representative for Congressman Garamendi Jack Batchelor; Nicole Stinnett of Operation Care and Comfort (North Bay); Adam Redfield of Sumaria Systems, project manager, Travis AFB Telecommunications Systems; Jacob Bender, MSgt Officer Associations Flight Chief 348th Recruiting Squadron, E Flight; Kristle Bollans of Hertz Corporation and David F. Morrissey United States Air Force (Ret.), senior military affairs, USAA Insurance and Molina, TSgt. United States Air Force Health Professions Recruiting 348th Squadron. Just like at every Benevolence event since day one, Contreras made a few welcoming and closing remarks. “We never get tired of giving vehicles to deserving people in the military, and this year was special because we were able to give away two cars,” he said. “By providing these recipients with these cars, we’re giving them the gift of transportation that offers them independence and a chance to improve their lives. We call this a hand up rather than a hand out

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

because these vehicles enable people to do great things.” The company’s next Benevolence presentation of 2019 is scheduled for Dec.11 at their Antioch, CA, ADAC location, where they will give away four more vehicles, making it a total of 88 cars since 2000.

From left, Hertz was represented by GM Kera Prell, GM Sergio Ortega-Bonaparte and Area Manager Kyle Parent. They donated the vehicle that was presented to TSgt. Carlos Carvagal Molina. Credit: Ed Attanasio

Mike’s Auto Body Benevolence program is a “community give-back program” whose mission is to present cars to deserving individuals or organizations during the holiday season. Everything is donated, including the cars, parts, paint, mechanical inspections, tires and one full year of insurance.

Special thanks to Fairfield’s Manager Cory Flies and Office Manager Krishauna Crites and technicians Thomas Wilson, Fernando Vallencia, Nick Salas, Shawn Teeter, Sheldon Ludlow, Arturo Ramos, Robert Maeder, Jason Wright and Christopher Ferrer who worked on the 2016 Toyota Forerunner that was presented to Molina. Vendor partners for the Forerunner include John L. Sullivan Toyota, MAB Towing Big Discount Tire Pros, Napa Auto Parts (West Texas Location), FinishMaster and Dan’s Glass & Dent Express. Special thanks to Manager Nino Apostol and Office Manager Mariah Snyder and technicians Robert Tuttle, Ryan Griswold, Jose Castillo, Daniel Gutierrez, Kristopher Muse, Gary Bissitt, Erik Hernandez, Mauricio Ramirez and Jason Cobb who helped to refurbish the 2018 KIA Soul for the Coffelt family. Vendor partners for the Soul include LKQ Corp/Keystone Concord Auto Dismantlers, Vallejo Nissan Wise Auto Group, John L. Sullivan Kia FinishMaster, and MAB Towing.

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Product Innovation

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

with Ed Attanasio

First Paint Suits Designed for Ladies Announced at SEMA Fear not, ladies—the Behind the Gun paint suit is made just for you and is finally here! If you’re a female refinisher or technician, this is great news and much needed, according to its creator Connie Manjavinos. Several years ago, Manjavinos, a head painter at Kiddy’s Classics in Jensen Beach, FL, and the person behind Girls Behind the Gun began approaching SATA about producing a paint suit designed specifically for women. As more and more ladies move to the forefront of this industry and gain respect for being top-performing technicians, Manjavinos is driven to play a meaningful role. With a mission of connecting to other females in the collision industry, Manjavinos created an outlet on social media: Girls Behind the Gun. It’s a place of appreciation for all women in the refinishing and collision repair industry. Manjavinos is


now connected with thousands of other female refinishers and technicians. The movement started four

At SEMA 2019, Connie Manjavinos unveiled her Behind the Gun paint suit, designed specifically for women. Credit: Ed Attanasio

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

years ago and has already reached an impressive 20,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram. Hilary Ann (@autobodybarbie) came to me with an idea to start “an exclusive Facebook page called Auto Body Gals and I responded with go for it! We have almost 1,100 women from all over the world who use it and share tips, tricks, and techniques while ultimately networking and celebrating each other. It’s going to take an army to make a difference for women in this industry.” Manjavinos has received national acclaim for her work and has participated in many events including 3M’S PPS World Cup. She also received second place in last year’s SATA Gun Design Competition for SEMA, and also participated in two all-female builds featured at SEMA. It’s still a male-dominated industry, but things are getting better,

Manjavinos said. “Yes, there are still a few guys out there who have issues with women, but they aren’t going to stop me from what I am doing. In a way, it’s inspiring and most of the men I encounter are so supportive, to be honest. That’s why networking with other female painters and techs is so needed, because there’s power in numbers.” When Tony Lartimer at DanAm Company and CHOKO Designs, a clothing manufacturer, gave her paint suit concept two thumbs up, it was go time, Manjavinos said. “In November 2018, the people at Choko approached me and after a while all three parties came together to do this. It was fate and pretty amazing. I was excited and we began the design process right away. We started with a rough draft and then it changed and evolved during the development stage.”

Most paint suits are made for men and this one acknowledges women,” she said. “Before this suit existed, we had to use a log of tape to get a good seal around the ankles and wrists—it’s a hassle. We got a lot of valuable feedback from female painters and we determined that it takes 15 minutes to tape up. In

straps replace tape and the Girls Behind the Gun logo is emblazoned on the back of the suit. The goal was to create a suit that will help us to be more efficient without completely sacrificing style.” Over the years, several companies came out with paint suits that were allegedly designed for women,

“The goal was to create a suit that will help us to be more efficient without completely sacrificing style.” — Connie Manjavinos addition, men’s suits are normally way too big for us, and we don’t want all that extra material that can touch the paint when we lean in, for example.” Other modifications make the suit ideal for women, Manjavinos said. “With our suit, we insisted on knee pads that might eventually be removable in future designs. We also got rid of the pocket on the chest, so we could use the princess cut design to achieve that feminine look. We also learned that most ladies don’t use their pocket anyway. Velcro

Manjavinos said. “There was no other women’s paint suit out there on the market. Other brands came out with pink suits as a special edition, but it would still be a men’s suit. When I first began thinking about the Girls Behind the Gun paint suits, I Googled it and when I saw that there was nothing out there, it inspired me even more.” Available in every size from extra small to triple extra large, the Girls Behind the Gun paint suit features a breathable full poly-cotton back; built-in padded knees; hook

and loop cuff closures; ergonomically shaped sleeves, easy to slip on wide paint legs adjustable hook & loop leg closures and underarm twoway zippers. Unveiling the suit at SEMA 2019 was an incredible experience for Manjavinos. “Every woman who saw it at the SATA booth loved it and every single one didn’t hesitate to try it on. This suit represents opportunity and I really believe that this is only the beginning, as more and more doors start opening up for us. The new Girls Behind the Gun is part of this revolution and proud to be part of it.” “I just want to help the women be able to walk in that paint booth with confidence,” she added. “I want to eliminate the stress or anxiety in the back of their heads to make sure that their paint suit isn’t in the way. That way, we can truly focus on our work and achieving a fantastic paint job. This is for all women with all backgrounds behind the gun who needs a protected paint suit!”

Jan. 21 CIECAst Webinar Announced

CIECA announced its next CIECAst webinar: “It’s 2020: Where Are Claims & the Collision Repair Market Heading?” The webinar will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 at 11 a.m. CST and feature Sean Carey, president of SCG Management Consultants. During the one-hour live broadcast, Carey will talk about where claims and the collision repair market are heading over the next 12 months and beyond. In addition to sharing insight about what to expect, Carey will also discuss how to best prepare based on industry segment: independent shop, MSO, insurer, OEM or supply chain provider. Carey has more than 30 years of experience in the automotive industry. A mechanical engineer by trade, he worked at one of the largest parts distribution companies in the United Kingdom. He then joined Nissan where he created and managed its certified collision repair program.


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Solving the Tech Shortage: How Conditions, Culture & Compensation Can Help Body Shops Attract & Retain Employees by Stacey Phillips

ditions, culture and compensation.

It wasn’t long ago when businesses Conditions looking for new employees put an ad When a business owner first opens a in the newspaper hoping for a re- new body shop, White said he or she sponse. About a dozen or more can- usually sees the potential for success. didates applied, and someone would Over time, this often changes, and be hired. Today, the scenario is much the focus becomes the problems or different. Rick White, preschallenges occurring at the ident of 180biz, said if that company. As a result, White same type of ad is circulated stressed the importance of now—printed or online— continuously working on a shop owners and managers business to create better conshouldn’t be surprised if ditions. there are no responses. “No matter how bad you During a recent webithink your current condiCredit: Rick White nar coordinated by the Altions are, there is another liance of Automotive Service person who would kill to be in your Providers (AASP), White shared ad- position,” he said. “See the potential vice on how to best attract and retain in your business and then grow and talent in the collision repair industry. make problems better by taking baby White said “chasing people” to steps—make things a little better come to work isn’t an effective strat- every month.” egy. Over the years working with “The reality is that you want the clients, White has found that conbest people working in your shop,” stant improvement can make a big he said. “Instead of chasing people, difference with a team. you have to start to attract them.” “All you have to do is make imThis requires a significant change provements and people are going to in mindset. Typically, White said busi- think it’s amazing,” he said. “They nesses search for help when an em- are going to value you and see you ployee leaves the company. Instead, care about them.” he recommends that owners and manSome of the examples he ofagers stop hiring and begin recruiting. fered that can help improve a facilThe best time to do this, accord- ity include good lighting, a system ing to White, is ALL the time. for parts, investing in equipment “You want to be constantly re- and training, and an organized parkcruiting so when somebody gives you ing lot. Good working conditions, notice, you’ll have somebody or according to White, can make the ‘somebodies’ to call,” he said. difference between a job candidate When an employee first gives working at your shop or finding emnotice, White discourages shops from ployment somewhere else. accepting it. White also recommended getting “Let them go unless they are a the whole team involved so there is superstar player,” he said. “If it is a buy-in and they feel part of the success. technician, you are going to have six months of comebacks because they Culture are no longer emotionally or men- White said that culture, which he detally in the game. I guarantee that no fined as how a team feels working at matter how bad it seems, it’s going your company, has to start with into be better than what you have to tention. deal with on the other end.” “Don’t accidentally create a culIn his one-hour presentation, ture,” he advised. “If you are not inWhite shared a hiring strategy used tentionally setting the culture—the by Apple, Google and Microsoft. values and everything you want your Rather than putting out ads looking company run by—somebody else is.” for candidates, companies such as It all starts with hiring a new these regularly receive resumes. He employee. White recommends havattributes this to their working con- ing two interviews as part of the 30

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

process. First, is a face-to-face interview at the shop going through a series of questions to better understand the person in a non-judgmental way. “You are not there to determine whether or not they are a good fit; you are there to get to know them,” he explained. The next step is to talk to his or her references. In addition to reaching out to prior employers and personal references, it can also be helpful to talk to peers. Many times, a shop owner is not going to share many details about a previous employee so there is one question White always recommends asking: Is this person eligible for rehire? “It’s a great question to ask and you are going to get a really solid answer,” he said. “You are either going to hear, “Yes, I wish they were here today,” or “No, I don’t want to see them again.” White said shops owners and managers should keep in mind they are hiring human beings, not machines.

“They have goals, fears, desires and nightmares,” said White. “You have to get to understand your employees and know them as well as you can.” He pointed out that when you hire an employee, you are hiring their entire family as well. “We have to recognize they have a life outside of the business… and they are concerned about their future,” he said. “When you get the family involved, it’s like having advocates at home that want them to stay working there.” White provided several suggestions on how to best connect with employees and their families, such as giving birthday gifts to their children or sponsoring their soccer team. He said it can be helpful to learn what employees enjoy doing in their spare time, so if they go above and beyond at work, you can tie in different rewards and give them something meaningful. He advised always being upSee Retain Employees, Page 37

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autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS


Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

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

How to Position Your Collision Repair Shop for Sustainability Over the last several years, the collision repair industry has undergone tremendous change and continues to do so, said John Shoemaker, business development manager at BASF Automotive Refinishing North America. During the November 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Shoemaker talked about how collision repair businesses can survive these changes and be successful and sustainable in the future. His presentation was part of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) Repairer Driven Education (RDE) Series. “If shops just want to survive, we can stay where we are and last another two to three years; with luck, we might last five,” said Shoemaker. “However, we are not going to sustain our businesses and move forward.” With the shift in how body shops operate, Shoemaker said it’s critical to work toward running a well-maintained and equipped business. This involves continuous improvement with training, certifications and developing best practices. Prior to working at BASF, Shoemaker ran a three-shop MSO for a dealer group in Southwest Virginia for 18 years. When the business held staff meetings and talked about moving to the next level, he recalled sharing information from a book titled “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson. “The book talks about the four characteristics that represent the simple and complex parts of ourselves: sniff, scurry, hem and haw,” explained Shoemaker. “Those who sniff, are open to change early; others scurry into action. Those who hem and deny, resist change fearing it will lead to something worse; and those who “haw,” eventually learn to adapt when they realize change can lead to something better.” When you look at these descriptions in terms of a body shop, Shoemaker said businesses that are wanting to move forward should not “hem.”


“We have a lot of people in this industry who are sitting in ‘hem’ right now and hope things are not going to get worse, and that we reached the plateau and are going to be able to ride this out for the next four to five years,” he said.

John Shoemaker, business development manager at BASF Automotive Refinishing North America. Credit: Stacey Phillips

Instead, he said more shops need to act like “sniff” and “haw” and adapt moving forward. A Shift in Focus With OEM Certification Programs In a conversation with Scott Biggs, CEO of Assured Performance Network, Shoemaker said the business owner talked about a series of events that created a perfect storm of conditions that led to the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) certification model. These included commonization, where shops weren’t differentiating themselves from their competition; the negativity buyers associated with having a poor collision repair experience; and the realization of liability, which remains with the repairer or body shop. The majority of shops also didn’t have the necessary equipment and training to repair vehicles properly. These points are detailed in the following Autobody News article: “The Best Body Shops’ Tips: How to Leverage the Certified Repair Model.” Meanwhile, the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) Definitions Committee was working toward creating an industry-wide definition for a collision repair provider. Part of the definition states a requirement that repairers, sublet providers and third-party service

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

providers meet OEM specifications regarding equipment, capabilities and training. Shoemaker stressed the importance of following OEM procedures and getting involved in OEM certification programs to best meet the needs ahead. He then discussed the different types of training programs currently available in the industry. They include the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (ICAR)® Professional Development Program™ (PDP), the Automotive Management Institute (AMi) Professional Recognition Program, and OEM training. When deciding on which OEM certification program to focus on, Shoemaker recommended looking at a shop’s competition to help determine if the OEM program will provide the best return on investment. “Ask yourself, ‘do you want to

get certified on vehicles you are already repairing or drive new business?’” he said. “There are two schools of thought.” Many obtain OEM certifications directly through a car manufacturer. Shoemaker explained that the majority of programs are very selective, with an estimated 80 percent needing a referral. Assured Performance Network, a third-party provider, is the administrator for several of these OEM programs. “Assured Performance Network’s collaborative approach allows shops to join several certification programs at one time and one price, which can save them a significant amount of money and avoid redundancy.” Each certification program has specific facility and training requirements that meet the CIC definition of a general repair facility.

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For example, as part of some of the OEM open networks, such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan, there is an estimator management training requirement. “Some of the OEMs are now requiring a certified estimator and certified management staff,” said Shoemaker. “That’s where AMi training comes in.” He pointed out the new expectation of office staff being skilled and trained. When it comes to equipment requirements, OEMs are brand specific. As a result, Shoemaker recommended that shops are forwardthinking to ensure the equipment will meet the shop’s long-term needs. He encouraged attendees to think about their purchasing decisions. He used an example of buying a new welder. “You need to do research and look at what’s going on in the industry and with cars,” said Shoemaker. “Then, determine if that welder is going to be the right welder to ensure it is going to be good for three to five years.” Shoemaker then discussed the benefits of getting certified. Along


with this comes a change to the way collision shops will find new business. “OEMs are now using telematics to locate certified collision repair shops,” said Shoemaker. “With telematics, First Notice of Loss (FNOL) is going to connect vehicle owners with certified collision repair shops.” Other benefits include better access to repair procedures and structural parts. With companies such as Volvo now restricting collision parts to its certified collision repair network, Shoemaker said this will become increasingly important. In addition, OEMs advertise for and refer shops that are part of their network. The Importance of Creating Best Practices Shoemaker also discussed the need for shops to change the way damage is documented and validate repair methods with OEM processes. “Make sure you have the documentation you need to tell insurers how the car is going to be fixed,” said Shoemaker. “There is only one way

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

to repair a car.” Shoemaker said we have all of the knowledge needed at our fingertips. He suggested accessing the free SCRS Complete Guide to Repair Planning and look into SCRS’s new estimate optimization software: Guide to Complete Repair Planning – Blueprint Optimization Tool. Other resources include the PPages (also called estimate guides), OEM1Stop, 3M Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), I-CAR information, owners’ manuals and OEM procedures. He also suggested “reprogramming” damage appraisers and training them to describe repair operations as they expect the technician to complete them, identifying each of the steps required, ensuring the information is communicated to all involved and being specific with the necessary processes. “Not only is that how they get paid, but it also reduces your liability and ensures the car is repaired correctly,” he said. “Vehicles are getting too complex to not be educated enough to fix them, so we have to develop some best practices to harness

all of this,” he said. He shared information from Dave Dunn’s book “Liquid Amalgam,” which talks about non-negotiables and core values. It is based on four principles:

1) Honesty—being truthful in all transactions and to all parties, 2) Excellence—to meet customers’ expectations and be equal to or better than the standards, 3) Accommodation—coming to an agreement with the customer and delivering on that agreement with the customer’s best interests in mind, and 4) Profitability—which gives stability and attracts desirable employees. “There is a lot of value in creating best practices and developing core values,” said Shoemaker. “I don’t think we spend enough time doing that.” He advised attendees to be consistent with principles and make sure they are clearly understood by all employees. “Ensure everyone knows their purpose; don’t waver and always ac-

centuate, not sometimes,” he advised. “There is a big difference between always and sometimes. Always gets you where you want to be; sometimes takes you back where you were.” Once a shop has changed its processes, Shoemaker said the next step is marketing them to customers. After recognizing what enables the shop to stand out among its competitors—whether that is being OEM certified, I-CAR Gold Class or a family-owned business—the next step is to promote those differences to customers. He also mentioned the book “How to Market to People Not Like You” by Kelly McDonald. “The message of the book is to know where your business is coming from and where it’s not coming from and learn how to market to people who are not like you,” explained Shoemaker. He talked about the eight-step process of successful change based on the book “Our Iceberg is Melting” by John Kotter. • Create a sense of urgency;

• Build a Guiding Coalition; • Form a Strategic Vision & Initiatives; • Enlist a Volunteer Army; • Enable Action by Removing Barriers; • Generate Short-Term Wins; • Sustain Acceleration; and • Institute Change.

The challenge, according to Shoemaker, is creating a business culture for the future. “You must move past the status quo to get to tomorrow to be successful. Get out of dark ages and into daylight,” said Shoemaker. “We have to pull our heads out of the sand and move forward. Today is the day to take control of our businesses.” He recommended body shops read “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops” and ended the presentation with a quote from co-author David Luehr. “Do not limit the majesty of your dreams to your current level of competence,” said Luehr. “Know that all the education you need will be available along your journey.”

Continued from Page 30

Retain Employees

front with employees, creating a safe place for them to work, letting them know what’s going on in the business so they don’t worry, and always showing appreciation for their efforts. “They need a mentor and a friend—someone who cares about them and wants to see them achieve the highest they possibly can,” he said. Once a business culture is created, the next step is to communicate it to employees and explain what is expected. “The goal of communication is to convey a thought or process or act to another person,” he explained. “You want them walking away with the same picture in their head as you have.” In order to best communicate the message, he recommended talking slowly, really listening, and using what he referred to as the seven “Cs.” These include being clear, correct, concise, complete, concrete, considerate and courteous.

Compensation It should come as no surprise that excellent compensation is going to help attract and retain quality people, according to White. When deciding whether or not to offer a raise, he advised not to give an incremental cost of living raises. He referred to this as “replacement raises”—the cost of replacing an employee. “When thinking of compensation, recognize it’s wages as well as bonuses. Money is not going to be the key driver,” he explained. “Instead, you have to tap into why they are in this industry, what brought them here, and what they want to do.” White encouraged shop owners to think differently about what is offered to employees. That might include providing health insurance, a flexible schedule, paying for tools, tuition assistance or retirement. “The reality is the status quo doesn’t work anymore,” said White. “It’s going to be new thinking and new actions that are going to make a difference and it all starts with you.” For more information, email White at rick@180biz.com or call 540-833-2014 ext. 11.

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ASA Wage & Hour Attorney Discusses Overtime Exemptions Stressing the need to be very precise about the definition of overOn Oct. 16, ASA’s Webinar Wednes- time, Farrington explained, “Overday focused on “Countering the Deal- time is often viewed as a reward for ership Overtime Exemption,” which an employee who works a long week. was presented by ASA’s Wage and Actually, it is a penalty on the emHour Attorney Brian Farrington of ployer for working an employee over Cowles & Thompson in Dallas. He 40 hours.” covered the basic elements of the “The primary purpose of overFLSA Section 7(i) overtime exemp- time is to spread employment. Overtion, which practices can lead to in- time is time and one-half of an eligibility for the exemption, and employee’s regular rate of pay for how to recognize when applicable hours worked over 40 in a workweek. state law can prevent shops from The intent is to make you go hire using the exemption. Tony Molla, more people instead of working peovice president of industry relations ple over 40 hours,” Farrington confor ASA, introduced Fartinued. “Given its actual rington, reminding associapurpose, it’s easier to undertion members that they have stand the reason for limited the ability to contact Farexemptions and why exrington for advice. emptions from overtime are Farrington began his very specific and limited webinar by explaining that only to those who clearly the Fair Labor Standards Act meet the terms of the exASA’s Wage and of 1938 (FLSA) is the basic emption.” Hour Attorney wage and hour law in the Brian Farrington of Pointing out that collision U.S. and establishes stan- Cowles & Thompson repair shops and mechanical in Dallas. Credit: dards in four areas: minishops also compete with Brian Farrington mum wage, overtime, child auto dealerships, Farrington labor, and recordkeeping. Noting noted that they start with a significant that these standards were “deter- disadvantage since overtime is not remined by legislation that’s well over quired for dealership salesmen, parts80 years old,” Farrington warned men and mechanics, according to that FLSA does not preempt state FLSA 13(b)(10)(a), with dealership laws. “The FLSA allows states to im- being defined as “an establishment pose standards which are more pro- which derives over 50% of its gross tective of employees than the federal revenue from the sales of automostandards. For instance, many states biles, trucks or farm implements.” and even cities have higher miniStill, shops have an opportunity mum wages than the federal standard to offset this disadvantage with anof $7.25.” other exemption, FLSA Section 7(i) This means that some states which exempts employees from have much stricter overtime stan- overtime if they meet three tests: 1) dards than the FLSA, compared to they work for a retail establishment other states which have no overtime (defined as a distinct physical localaw and defers to FLSA solely. Em- tion that has 75% of its income deployers in states with overtime laws rived from retail sales); 2) their must determine whether their state’s regular rate is more than 1.5 times the laws mirror the federal exemptions. federal minimum wage; and 3) they The example provided was Califor- are paid primarily by commission. nia which has a similar exemption In regards to the first test, it’s to FLSA 7(i), but it doesn’t apply to important to note that the analysis repair shop techs, so shops in Cali- must be completed separately for fornia must pay overtime to their each distinct physical location. Retechnicians. According to Farring- tail sales are “sales made to the genton, “Bottom line – employers must eral public … In a collision shop, know the state OT laws in every state this means the repair of vehicles for in which they operate, plus they must individual customers, even when an have a working familiarity with fed- insurance company pays for some or eral law, or talk to an attorney who all of the repair on behalf of the retail does.” customer,” Farrington said. by Chasidy Rae Sisk


JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Non-retail income generally falls into one of three categories in a typical shop: income from work on heavy trucks or specialized equipment, income from fleet work where work is done for a fleet customer pursuant to a contract or agreement and where the customer receives a fleet discount, or

income from sales for re-sale, such as a dealer engages a shop to refurbish a used car that the dealership sells, or a dealership farms out its body work to a collision repair shop. “In each case, the income to the shop is non-retail,” Farrington stated. “These count against your retail income and will disqualify you if it exceeds 25% of your establishment’s income. If 25% or less of your establishment’s income is from a non-income source, your facility qualifies


for the first test of the exemption from paying overtime to techs.” A couple important things that Farrington emphasized were “Transmission rebuilders are not considered retails, but manufacturers, and so cannot use 7(i). Income from private party tows, even if reimbursed by insurance, is retail. Income from police tows, such as where an employer has a contract with a city to tow cars to an impound lot, is not retail. Although there is no official position, in its enforcement, USDOL/ WH has taken the position that when a business pays a towing company to tow illegally parked cars from business parking lots, such income is not retail.” The second test requires the employee’s regular rate to be more than 1.5 times the minimum wage, which is $10.88 based on the federal wage, but in states with higher minimum wages, the employee’s regular rate must be 1.5 times the higher state minimum wage. Base rate and commissions, if applicable, are included, and the employee’s total compensa-

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tion for the workweek must be divided by the number of hours worked in order to determine if this number is met. The third test is that the employee must receive over half of total earnings in commissions, measured over a “representative period” which must be at least a month but no more than a year. “If the commission earn-

any amounts by which draws exceed commissions, and charge them against future extra commissions.” “Flat hours or book hours are interpreted as commission so this becomes entirely relevant to you,” Farrington added. “A commission is a situation where what the employee receives in earnings is a function of what the customer pays. One of the

“The FLSA allows states to impose standards which are more protective of employees than the federal standards.” — Brian Farrington ings are greater than the other income, the employee is exempt for the following representative period, when the analysis is done again, and so on,” Farrington explained. Farrington explored examples of draws against commission and explained, “The rate should always be 1.5 times the rate for the longest week they might work. Employers should ensure that their regular payments to the employees are not considered ‘salary’ payments. The best way to do this is to carry forward

most common forms of payment to mechanics is payment of ‘flat-rate hours.’ Under this system, a fixed number of hours is attributed to a particular job, regardless of how long it actually takes to do the job. The customer pays this number of hours to the shop at the shop’s labor rate, and the technician who does the job gets paid this number of hours times his/her flat rate or book rate or shop rate.” Investigators use the Field Operations Handbook (FOH) to deter-

mine how to enforce the law, and FOH 21h04(d) specifically addresses flat rate hours: “Some auto service garages and car dealers compensate mechanics and painters on the following basis: The painter or mechanic gets so much a ‘flat rate’ hour for the work he or she performs. A ‘flat rate’ hour is not an actual clock hour. The employee is given a certain proportion of that charge expressed in terms of so many dollars and cents per ‘flat rate’ hour rather than in terms of a percentage of the charge to the customer.” “The dealer does not change the employee’s share per flat rate hour if the charge to the customer is changed,” FOH 21h04(d) continues. “In such situations, Wage-Hour will not deny that such payments represent ‘commissions on goods or services’ for purposes of Sec. 7(i). Such employment will qualify for exemption under Sec. 7(i) provided all the other tests of the exemption are met.” Farrington stated, “This is critical! This interpretation by USDOL/ WH, that flat rate hours are commissions for purposes of 7(i), has been accepted by both the 11th and 7th

Circuits – see Klinedinst v. Swift Investments, Inc., 260 F.3d 1251 (11th Cir. 2001) and Yi v. Sterling Collision Centers, Inc., 480 F.3d 505 (7th Cir. 2007). If you are consulting with an attorney about possibly bringing a 7(i) case, be sure to bring these cases to the attorney’s attention.” If all three tests are passed, 7(i) can help offset the dealers’ advantage and blanket exemption, but employers should see competent legal advice before implementing a 7(i) compensation plan due to the complexity of the exemption. Farrington also reminded attendees, “Employers in states that have state overtime laws should consult local counsel to be sure that their state overtime law has an exemption analogous to 7(i).” Farrington concluded his webinar with a question-and-answer session. ASA’s next Webinar Wednesday will be held on Nov. 20 with “The New Smartphone Consumer,” presented by Jason Soto of MobileSoft Technology. To register for ASA’s webinars, visit asashop.org/webinars.


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From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

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

Reflecting on My Journey in the Collision Repair Industry I often talk about the need to look ahead, but in recent weeks, I found myself reflecting. My desire to reflect started forming during SEMA in Las Vegas. SEMA is a great opportunity to catch up with those in the industry who we may not have seen in some time. I turned 57 that week, and certainly most of us get reflective as we get older. There is a book that summarizes my journey well called, “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer. The narrator of the story is on a pilgrimage, and as he walks, he is joined by dozens of others – a knight, a squire, a weaver, a monk, a cook, a merchant – all of whom enrich and influence his journey. “The Canterbury Tales” resembles how I’ve been feeling as I reflect on how appreciative I am for those whom I have encountered on my journey in this industry. There’s

been those who have led the way ahead of me, folks like Jeff Hendler, Hank Nunn, Sheila Loftus, Mark Claypool, Elainna Sachire and so many others. These leaders have encouraged me along the way, and sometimes called me out when I wasn’t doing the smartest thing or when I let my mouth override my brain. There are amazing young leaders in the industry who keep me motivated, such as: Will Latuff, Tiffany Driggers, Tracy Dombrowski, Danny Panduro, Josh Kuehn, Jake Rodenroth and Cody Rinaudo. I’m grateful for the people who have gone ahead of me, the people with me on my journey, and those who are traveling with me and who will be the future leaders of this great industry. As I’ve been reflecting, I was thinking about one of my mentors, Jerry Dalton. Dalton died 20 years




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e. It ju st ma ke s se ns

ago, but he was one of the founders of Craftsman Auto Body in northern Virginia. I remember one time when I was young, I walked into a Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association meeting feeling frustrated.

Credit: Mike Anderson

I had a bad day, and I was griping to Jerry about one of my employees. He started laughing, and I told him I didn’t really think it was funny. “I’m not laughing at you,” he assured me. “You’re just kind of where I used to be.” I asked him what he meant. He

said, “Mike, you need to realize if other people had the same passion and energy as you do, they wouldn’t be working for you. They’d own their own business.” That was an eye-opener for me. I realized we have a right to expect that people will show up for work on time and do a good job; but, not everyone has the same level of passion. There are many people I’ve been blessed to meet on that journey who are every bit as passionate about this industry as I am. They’ve enriched my life, and I’m so grateful. Is there someone who has stood by you in this industry, past or present, who you should reach out to and thank? Don’t delay. Do it today. I am thankful for you – for reading my articles, for showing up to my seminars, and most importantly, for doing the right thing every day to ensure safe and proper repairs.



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Automotive Industry Faces Disruption Driven by Societal Changes by Gary Ledoux

“It is my belief that every aspect of the automotive industry value-chain will be disrupted in some way, shape or form. I also believe there will be a small percentage of existing businesses that will figure out how to be a disruptor, a large percentage of existing business that will be disrupted, and last but not least, there will be new companies that enter the automotive market as disruptors,” wrote industry leader Frank Terlep near the opening of his new book, Auto Industry Disruption – Who and What is Being Disrupted, and What To Do About it. Since the earliest days of the collision industry trade magazines in the mid-1960s, columnists, editors, industry leaders and pundits have consistently exercised two themes to talk about the state of the industry. The first one is, “We have seen more change in the last five years than we saw in the previous 20.” The other is, “We are roaring into the future and evolutionary or revolutionary changes will be taking place. Get ready now for the future.” Terlep’s book follows a similar theme, but the “intensity switch” is turned all the way up to its highest setting. It is not just the collision industry side of the business that is being affected. The entire automotive industry is changing, changing right now – changing before our eyes, in ways that are more profound than ever before. The changes are not evolutionary, not even revolutionary – but are best described as “a disruption” driven by technology, socioeconomic and demographic change and the emergence of new business models. Automotive technology is changing quickly. Cars are no longer cars but computers on wheels and technicians will need to learn how to properly repair, reset and recalibrate a damaged vehicle to make it roadworthy and safe again. Hardware technology is increasing computing power, miniaturizing it, and making components easier to install. Software technology is changing, allowing a vehicle to receive software updates on the fly without ever visiting a dealership. Broadband con42

nectivity will disrupt car ownership models allowing ridesharing and provide the foundation for intelligent transportation systems. Cameras are proliferating. Soon, six to ten cameras on a car will be the norm. So, while collision technicians debate the virtues of repairing sheet metal as opposed to panel replacement, the question becomes, “Will all ADAS systems components work as they should upon completion of repairs, and can the car still maintain internet connection?” A Brave New World Terlep’s vision of a “brave new world” of a disrupted collision repair industry includes:

• ADAS systems and related technology will make cars safer to drive. This, combined with autonomous cars and concepts like ride-sharing and improved ride-hailing technology, and the socio-economic acceptance of using different means of short-hop transportation in an increasingly urbanized world means fewer cars on the road and fewer accidents. • The era of the “two-car” family is quickly dying. Given the expense, there is less and less reason for having a second car when so many other alternatives are emerging. Hence, less cars, less accidents. • Fewer accidents means a consolidation of all areas of the collision industry including the number of shops needed, along with the infrastructure to support those shops. This includes parts suppliers (including OE’s), as well as paint and equipment suppliers.

• The proliferation of electric cars means less mechanical maintenance – good for vehicle owners as far as downtime and cost is concerned, a disruption for car dealers who depend on parts and service sales for a good portion of their gross profit and a disruption for independent mechanical shops and collision shops who will have to deal with technologies they are not familiar with.

• The proliferation of electric cars and their attendant technology, some

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

of which haven’t even been invented yet, will require shops to invest heavily in training and new tools and equipment – all of which will quickly become obsolete as technology moves forward at mind-numbing speed.

Sunrise – Sunset As the disruptive climate grows and expands, some companies will be greatly consolidating or “sun-setting” altogether, while others will experience birth and meteoric growth. Just as innovative companies found a way to make vast improvements in internal combustion cars, emerging companies, through technology and innovation, will find a way to improve electric car performance, the experience of driving an internal combustion car, and enhance the customer experience in the transportation field overall. “Sunrise” initiatives include: • A company is already working on a headrest that can “sense” a driver’s physical condition including fatigue, drowsiness, stress, etc., and

adjust the car’s ADAS systems accordingly … cutting down on vehicle accidents.

• A system will be developed to electronically handle all aspects of a collision repair from the moment the accident occurs. Sensors will determine the physical condition of the driver and occupants, the extent of damage, order the appropriate parts, send them to the closest OE certified body shop, and notify the insurance carrier – all in a matter of seconds – not hours or days. • A person’s daily commute will change into an end-to-end mobility experience with an interconnected ecosystem of multiple players and providers including one or more modes of transportation.

• Connected cars and their attendant systems will generate vast amounts of data. Terlep calls this data “the world’s new oil.” Those that learn how to capture, control, manipulate and leverage all this data


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will be the big winners in a disrupted world. Of course, this data must be stored and used responsibly.

• OE’s will use connected-car data to reverse its business model for designing and developing cars. Rather than build a car that executives think customers want and hope it sells, they will be able to capture how consumers use existing products and enhance that experience by providing products they know the customer will appreciate.

• Autonomous cars that sustain minor collision damage will be able to drive themselves to a pre-assigned repair facility. Meanwhile, an alternative car will be dispatched to provide service in the interim. Once the first car is repaired, it will be placed back into service, the insurance claim will be processed automatically within minutes … and life will go on. Some company, yet to be founded, will be controlling this whole operation. Auto Insurance Re-Invented Not unlike the collision repair industry, the auto insurance industry is

loath to change. However, as is the nature of “disruption,” time, technology, and consumer preference will eventually force their hand.

• New players will emerge in the auto insurance space and provide products and services never before seen. Imagine paying a flat fee per month for basic fire and theft insurance, and then pay only for the miles you actually drive by logging into an app on your smartphone. • New insurance products may include cyber-security insurance to ensure against hacking and malware.

• Consumers may be able to set their own prices ... In other words, come up with a monthly premium that fits their budget, and then see what that will provide.

• Consumers may be able to use “peer pricing” whereby they will apply for an insurance policy providing various characteristics such as year, make and model of car, ADAS characteristics, age, gender, family status, job, etc., and get a quote most


• Insurance company adjusters will all but disappear being replaced with vehicle sensors, digital photos and artificial intelligence. Exciting Times “This is an exciting time to be part of the automotive industry. Innovation and creativity can be found almost everywhere, while new entrepreneurs, investors and incumbents are all jumping into the ACES (Autonomous, Connected, Electric, Shared) pool!” wrote Terlep. “The way to be successful in a disruptive climate,” he says, “is to keep innovating. Remember, innovation is NOT technology. Innovation equates to any way you or your business find a way to do more for a client than anybody else does.” In his book, Terlep offers several ideas for collision repair shops, OE’s, car dealers and others to become the disruptor, rather than the disrupted. It’s not rocket science, but it does require a business owner to pay attention to what is going on around them, he said. In a telephone interview, Terlep noted, “If busi-


nesses don’t recognize these changes now and begin to adapt, they’ll be gone in five years.” As an example, Terlep noted the rather speedy demise of the Blockbuster video rental chain because they failed to realize the emerging streaming video business model of Netflix. By the time Blockbuster realized what was happening, technology and social change had occurred … and it was too late for them. Terlep has been a key player, innovator and disruptor in several collision repair-related companies over the past 40 years including AkzoNobel and Mitchell International as well as companies he founded including Automotive Solutions, CarStation.com, Summit Software and Summit E-marketing. Terlep’s book can soon be found on Amazon and all e-book platforms. For a FREE copy of Chapter One of this informative new book “Auto Industry Disruption, what and who is being disrupted and what to do about it,” please visit www.auto-disruption .com/pl/109601.



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National Associations

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

with Chasidy Rae Sisk

Collision Repair Industry Associations Make 2020 New Year’s Resolutions For many, making a New Year’s resolution is an important part of celebrating the calendar changeover, and the most common resolutions are intended to improve an individual’s life – losing weight, learning something new, or saving more money. Studies show that 46% of those who make a New Year’s resolution are likely to succeed. Associations supporting the collision repair industry have also begun to evaluate what improvements they can make as the old year draws to a close, and several industry leaders were willing to share their 2020 New Year’s resolutions with Autobody News. A common resolution amongst association leadership is focused on growing their organization’s membership and meeting their members’ needs. Judell Anderson, executive director of AASP-MN, began, “We will continue to work on increasing

member engagement. Members are the lifeblood of the association, and without their participation and input, the Alliance cannot be as impactful as we otherwise could be. Whether volunteering for committee service, communicating with legislators, utilizing member benefit programs or simply being aware of and supporting our various initiatives, the Alliance will ultimately be stronger and more effective in our work on behalf of the industry if members are fully engaged. To that end, the association will work to create a more robust social media presence and overall communications strategy to more effectively engage members in all aspects of our work in the coming year.” Ray Fisher, executive director of ASA National, stated, “Wow, it’s hard to choose just one with all we have planned for 2020. Our focus in


2020 is our members. To that point, we want to help our affiliates even more with their event promotion while leveraging new programs, like our podcasts, to achieve success. We’ll also see the return of C.A.R.S. at the ASA Annual Business Meeting in the Dallas-Fort Worth area next year.” ABAT Executive Director Jill Tuggle hopes that the group will continue expanding their membership base, and she said, “We have joined forces with HABA and will be looking to grow our membership especially in the western part of the state.” Burl Richards, president of ABAT, added, “Stay the Course … don’t take your foot off the gas pedal. We’ve made great strides, and we are educating and making the industry better and stronger by sticking together and taking the time to continually push the boundaries to move

the needle.” ASA Northwest’s 2020 Chairman Elect Bryan Kelley plans to enhance the association’s focus on members’ needs. “I often feel like we believe we know what our members want, and we then try to fill that belief. Instead, we should be constantly surveying and asking the big questions: what do our members really want from us? Once we have that information, we need to focus on the application and delivery. If you ask, they know you care, and if they know you care, they will continue to support you while you begin to navigate through change,” he pointed out. AASP/MA Executive Director Lucky Papageorg plans “to continue the momentum and growth of AASP/MA based on that platform of attaining a fair and reasonable labor rate while continuing to protect the consumers and collision repair in-


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autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS


dustry. We’ll also be putting together a two-year business plan for the association and setting obtainable goals with greater participation at all levels.” IABA has some exciting things coming up in 2020, including the transition to a new and improved website and members’ portal. IABA President Doug Martin shared, “This will help us push out info to the membership and keep them up to date with the event’s happening across the state. We will still have our quarterly chapter meetings, and several sponsors have committed to bring in key people to help us facilitate.” Legislative efforts continue to be a large priority for associations in the collision repair industry as 2020 approaches. Martin added, “A huge thing for the IABA is that we have hired Jack Molodanof, a California Auto Body Association lobbyist, as a government relations advisor to the IABA. Jack has tremendous knowledge of the collision industry and will help us build relationships in the state house along with the department of insurance. We are very excited for the new year.” CAWA plans to “complete a due diligence process to examine the establishment of a vehicle safety inspection program in the state of California,” Executive Director Rodney Pierini shared, and Fisher stated, “Expect more focus on our advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., particularly as it relates to PMVI program legislation, data access, cyber security and our ongoing efforts to represent the independent repair shop community on telematics and cybersecurity developments in 2020.” Bob Amendola, ABAC president, intends for the association to “continue to strive for increased consumer awareness and empowerment regarding OEM parts, safe and proper repairs and their legal rights after an accident/as the vehicle owner. We plan to do so through social media and a series of informative videos that we are in the midst of producing. They will be released through an upcoming social media campaign in the beginning of the coming year.” “Technology – including advanced safety and crash avoidance systems and new manufacturing materials – has resulted in the need for collision repair shops to make signif46

icant investments in tooling, equipment and training in order to conduct safe and proper repairs in accordance with manufacturer specifications,” Anderson shared. “Our OEM procedure legislative proposal aims to ensure appropriate insurer indemnification to insureds and third parties for the safe and proper repair of damaged vehicles, thereby improving the safety of the motoring public.” As technology continues to change constantly, the need for training becomes increasingly prevalent, and recognizing this imperative, many associations put a lot of emphasis on delivering valuable educational content to their member base. MSCRA Executive Director Ricki Garrett’s goal “is to host an even bigger and better conference and to provide our membership with excellent training opportunities. We also want to grow our membership through enhanced benefits.”

ASA Northwest President and Executive Director Jeff Lovell looks forward to growing the association’s new ATE East program, and NATA plans to host its second roundtable on April 25; Executive Director Cathi Webb said, “We hope to expand this meeting to reach even more influencers in our students’ career paths.” According to ARA Executive Director Sandy Blalock, the association plans to “continue to grow the educational content of the ARA University, incorporating training from industry suppliers and vendors as well as content submitted by ARA members themselves. The goal is to make the ARA University a living, breathing resource that is adding relevant content in real-time as the educational needs of the professional automotive recycling industry adapt to the dynamic automotive repair sector.” KABA Vice President Tony Adams noted the importance of getting “more information in the hands of our members to perform safe and proper repairs, so we can fulfill our

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

mission of protecting Kansas current and future drivers.” ASA North Texas President John Firm stated, “Our goal is to help our membership with reduced cost of training and bring purpose to our meeting to help manage our members manage and operate their business more profitable.” AASP/NJ plans to continue providing education to members and encouraging members to share their successes with one another. President Jerry McNee stressed, “We are all in this together!” The industry also recognizes the need to pull together to ensure the future of the collision repair industry, and to that end, many associations have implemented various programs to ensure that future technicians are being properly trained. In addition to “continuing to perfect our training event, the ASTE,” IGONC intends to “add to our apprentice program,” stated Tricia Sauls, associate executive director. “We are hoping to have 50 kids enrolled by graduation 2020.” NABA Vice President James Rodis said, “Our New Year’s resolu-

tion would have to be to get our youth opportunity council off the ground better. This is a program to help get more kids into our state’s auto body classes and try to break that mold of auto body technicians being a last resort job. We also want to just continue to grow the association so, as a group, our voices are louder.” WAC’s biggest goal in 2020 is “to stick with our path of working with the industry and schools to get industry related curriculum into all middle and high school classrooms as part of STEM learning,” President Shelly Jones stated. “We have started something big and intend to see it through. In addition, we intend to bring more speakers from various organizations into our meetings. These non-industry orgs have proven to be very valuable to our mission and great connections for our members and their companies.” Some associations believe that the future generation isn’t the only way to attract more talent, and these groups would like to incorporate a little more diversity into the industry. Jody Devere, founding board memSee New Year’s Resolutions, Page 63


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In Reverse

Gary Ledoux is an industry veteran with 48 years’ experience in the automotive and OEM collision parts industry. His column appears exclusively in Autobody News. He can be reached at YesterWreck@yahoo.com

with Gary Ledoux

The 1980s – The Advent of the Unibody The 1970s were quickly fading into the rear-view mirror and the 1980s were approaching with alarming speed. In August 1981, IBM introduced the personal computer. It sold for $1,565 – that’s $4,333 in 2019 dollars. In November 1985, the first version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system was released. On March 11, 1989, we were introduced to the web. Technology was poised to explode in ways not yet imagined. Some industries would embrace, leverage, and profit from the new technologies. The collision repair industry would drag their feet.

The Industry Enters “Puberty” It was also a time when the collision industry would “come of age.” Since 1945, the industry had been a mass of small, family-run, mostly singlepoint body shops that were not tied together in any way for any purpose. In fact, many fought with each other. The 1980s would see shops joining together through local and regional associations, and working for a common good. In 1980, depending on the source, there were an estimated 80,000 to 85,000 body shops in the U.S. In the spring of 1984, a more authoritative number was ascertained. Compiled from the yellow pages of 4,800 telephone directories, American Business Directories, Inc. said the official number of body shops was 59,768. In the spring of 1987, according to an ad for Sharpe Spray Guns, there were 55,000 paint shops in America. Whichever number you believe, it had been growing since the end of WWII; yet, vehicle building technology had remained virtually unchanged since the 1940s. Before the days of intrusive government regulations, and with few tools and few pieces of relatively inexpensive pieces of equipment to buy, it was easy to get into the collision repair business. That was all about to change. If the time prior to 1979 could be considered the industry’s childhood, it was about to go into a fast-paced puberty. 50

The Unibody Is Introduced The earliest part of the decade would also mark one of the most significant changes in the automotive business and certainly in the collision repair world – the change from body-onframe auto construction to a unibody model. Collision repair would never be the same. Long-time industry veteran Bruce Cooley spent years with paint companies Sherwin Williams and Axalta (then DuPont), retiring in 2013. Of the collision industry, Cooley noted in a March 2015 interview, “The biggest single change to the collision industry did not happen overnight, but over time starting at around the early 1980s. That was the birth of the unibody, and a time when auto manufacturers started building cars better so they would last longer. That changed everything. In the 1960s and 1970s many shops were called


‘body and paint’ shops, because they performed body work but did a fair amount of repaints and cosmetic work because OE finishes didn’t last. A lot of what shops did back then was repainting cars and fixing rust. Cars only lasted three to four years because they just rusted through. At 4-yearsold, the engine had 50,000 miles on it and was tired and the body was rusted through – it was time for a new car. Shops were fixing cars that were relatively lightly damaged. It didn’t take much to total a car back then. That all changed with higher-grade steel and new design. It revolutionized how we repaired cars.” Most people who were around then agree that prior to the early ‘80s, the industry had evolved very slowly. Technicians “worked the metal.” Parts were welded on, and lead was still widely used even though plastic filler had been around since 1956.

The advent of the unibody changed everything. Equipment Buying Frenzy Dean Fergus, then product manager for Applied Power said in an April 1983 trade magazine article, “The collision repair equipment market changed from a mature market to a growth market almost overnight with the introduction of the domestic unibody cars. Prior to the early 1980s, changes in the collision repair industry were gradual and evolutionary – rather than revolutionary. Prior to the early 1980s, technicians could easily keep up with body construction and repair technology because the technology moved at a rather slow pace. Our industry learned as we went along.” However, with the introduction of unibody construction, the rate of See Advent of the Unibody, Page 58



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Another 1.4M Vehicles Added to Takata Airbag Recall by Staff, Auto Remarketing

A development that an expert on the topic discussed during Used Car Week 2019 arrived on Wednesday, Dec. 4, involving older models that might be in your inventory or run sheet. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said another 1.4 million vehicles are being added to the massive Takata airbag recall. A letter written by Joshua Neff, who is chief of the recall management division with NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigations Enforcement indicated this batch of vehicles is from the 1995 through 2000 model years. “Tens of millions of vehicles with Takata airbags are under recall. Longterm exposure to high heat and humidity can cause these airbags to explode when deployed. Such explosions have caused injuries and deaths,” NHSTA posted on its website. “On Dec. 4, 2019, a separate group of 1.4 million vehicles was recalled because of defective Takata airbags. Unlike the airbag inflators in the larger Takata recalls, these vehicles contain Non-Azide Driver Inflators. The defect in the NADI inflators can result in the inflator ei-

ther exploding or underinflating during deployment,” the regulator continued on its website. “NHTSA urges vehicle owners to take a few simple steps to protect themselves and others from this very serious threat to safety,” NHTSA went on to say. Jerry Cox, who is chairman and chief executive officer with Potomac Strategy Associates, appeared at Used Car Week and shared insights that could help auctions and dealerships that might be handling vehicles still impacted by these Takata recalls. Cox also was a guest on the Auto Remarketing Podcast. In an email message to Auto Remarketing sent late on Wednesday, Cox elaborated on points made during his Used Car Week workshop and on the podcast. “Today’s recall is for Takata inflators that were made with a strontium nitrate oxidizer — before 2000, when they adopted the super-cheap option of ammonium nitrate as the propellant. It has taken more than 20 years, but the chemical in the affected vehicles has crumbled. This creates more surface area for ignition, and that results in a powerful

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explosion that turns the inflator into a hand grenade,” Cox said. “The ammonium nitrate propellant in the more recently designed inflators will crumble even faster,” he continued. “NHTSA pretended that a desiccant called Zeolite might slow that process when they recalled the first 42 million cars. The agency invited Takata (before it went bankrupt) to show that these desiccated inflators were safe for long-term use, but NHTSA said it would force the recall of another 30 million cars if it didn’t receive such proof before Dec. 31, 2019. “To the best of my knowledge, nobody can argue with a straight face that Zeolite is a magic bullet,” Cox went on to say. “If NHTSA is doing its job, it will bring the total number of vehicles under recall up to 70 million cars early next year. That will include millions of MY 2017 & 2018 cars and make life vastly more difficult and risky for dealers.” We thank Auto Remarketing for reprint permission.



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GM CCA Grows My GM Partner Perks

General Motors Customer Care and Aftersales announced milestone growth, as well as a new enhancement to my GM Partner Perks. Launched earlier this year, my GM Partner Perks provides enrolled repair facilities and collision shops with a comprehensive parts loyalty program. “my GM Partner Perks makes it easier for dealers, direct accounts and our independent aftermarket partners to conduct business with us,” said Kris Mayer, general director of retail and wholesale dealer channels, GM CCA. Starting Jan. 1, 2020, my GM Partner Perks members will be able to participate in a streamlined process for quarterly trade rebates through the my GM Partner Perks portal with just a few clicks. “GM CCA has been on a journey to strengthen our overall parts offerings and we are continuing to deliver for our business partners and customers as industry trends evolve,” said Mark Drennan, general director of ACDelco channel, GM CCA.


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US Senator Wants Tesla Autopilot Disabled Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) features received criticism from U.S. Senator Ed Markey during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Nov. 20. The Democratic senator from the State of Massachusetts stated the electric car maker should disable its “Autopilot” feature until the company implements safeguards that would decrease the possibility of drivers using the system to sleep while operating their vehicle. “Tesla should disable Autopilot until it fixes the problem,” Markey said during the meeting. The Senator cited YouTube videos and news reports of drivers falling asleep while Autopilot controlled the vehicle while it was in operation. “That’s not safe. Somebody is going to die because they can go to YouTube as a driver – find a way to (get around safety requirements). We can’t entrust the lives of our drivers and everyone else on the road to a water bottle,” he added. Chief of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) James Owens stated the organization would be in touch with Tesla to try and resolve the

issue that Markey was obviously worried about. The company has stated in the past that drivers must keep their hands on the wheel at all times, even if they are utilizing the Autopilot or FSD features such as Navigate on Autopilot with automatic lane changes. In fact, Tesla does not, and has never, condoned drivers to take their attention off the task of driving the vehicle, even if the person operating the car is utilizing Autopilot or FSD. “Before using Autopilot, please read your Owner’s Manual for instructions and more safety information. While using Autopilot, it is your responsibility to stay alert, keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times and maintain control of your car,” the company’s website states on its “Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability” page. “Before enabling Autopilot, the driver first needs to agree to “keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times” and to always “maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle.” Subsequently, every time the driver engages Autopilot, they are shown a visual reminder to “keep your hands

on the wheel.” Tesla has added features to ensure drivers maintain their focus on the road while the car navigates on its own. Some owners have tested a feature known within the Tesla community as “Autopilot Jail,” where the vehicle will prompt the driver to grab the wheel if it does not sense it is being controlled. The vehicle will send a warning message on its dash screen, telling the driver to “Hold Steering Wheel.” If the driver fails to grab the wheel and take control of the vehicle, the car will disable the features, stating, “Autosteer unavailable for the rest of this drive.” If the driver still does not take control of the vehicle, the Tesla will automatically come to a stop in a controlled fashion, activating the hazard lights as a precaution. While some drivers have used Autopilot and FSD as a way to get some extra shut-eye while driving, Tesla has never condoned these actions and has added safety features to prevent these events from occurring. Tesla vehicles are known for being involved in very few accidents. We thank Teslarati.com for reprint permission.

Mirka AROS-B Named Global Media Award Winner

The cordless sander, Mirka AROSB, was named 2019 Global Media Award Winner at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. it was picked among thousands of products by a panel of international judges. About 30 judges from 22 countries carefully reviewed and evaluated nearly 3,000 product entries at the SEMA Show before selecting the products that they felt would appeal most to consumers in their home countries. The Mirka AROS-B was selected for the award by Speed and Sound Magazine from South Africa. Mats Bystedt, portfolio manager for power tools at Mirka, is delighted to find out about the award. “We are extremely honored; it shows that the countless hours we’ve spent trying to understand the needs of the operators in the automotive industry have paid off. To meet the high expectations of professional users is not an easy task.”


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Jason Soto of MobileSoft Discusses New Smartphone Consumer During ASA’s Webinar Wednesday by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Wednesday, Nov. 20, ASA hosted its monthly Webinar Wednesday featuring Jason Soto of MobileSoft Technology who discussed “The New Smartphone Consumer.” Acknowledging that there were over 257 million smartphone users in the U.S. as of 2018, Soto pointed out that this technology has changed our lives forever and focused on how business owners can capitalize on this movement. Leona Dalavai Scott, marketing and communications consultant for ASA, welcomed attendees and introduced the webinar’s guest speaker. Soto began his presentation by praising attendees for taking the time to learn more, identifying the desire to learn as a quality of leadership and a factor that contributes to success. He then noted, “The smartphone has changed our lives, and it’s changed the way we do business as well.” MobileSoft boasts over 300,000 live active applications on 144 million devices, and the average smartphone consumers uses an average of 30 to 40 apps per day. “Baby boomers are using apps more and more, and 86% of users are getting their content from mobile apps installed on their phone instead of browsers,” Soto pointed out. “Today’s consumers want easy steps, and they like apps because they can collect information, schedule an appointment and more in one place. Customers can even include photos and an engine noise recording directly from the app when they schedule an appointment.” In addition to the benefit of allowing scheduling, mobile apps allow businesses to share coupons, send messages and more. “Consumers want exclusivity, such as in-app only coupons and loyalty rewards, and location-based messaging can be a huge draw for businesses; consumer interaction rates are 96% when seeing an in-app notification,” Soto said. “Apps provide new revenue funnels and operational efficiency.” Push notifications generate an average of three to 12 new appointments, and offering in-app loyalty cards provides customers with a reason to download the app onto their phone. “Shop owners already have 54

their own marketing methods, but apps allow those methods to be customized,” Soto pointed out. “Your logo comes across their phone and commands their attention, and that translates into revenue.” “Apps also provide a way for clients to connect to all of a shop’s social media channels, and it’s important to promote the shop’s app on all profiles to convert followers and fans into customers with your app on their phone,” Soto continued. “Mo-

bile apps can be set up to accept payments, to partner with a towing company and much more. Customized apps allow shop owners the freedom to decide what works best for their business.” Soto sees mobile apps as the next step in the digital marketing progression that began with the need for a website in 2004 and progressed to the requirement for businesses to engage on social media. “Both of those mediums changed how we do business,” Soto stated. “Today’s progression is mobile apps. You have the ability to put your shop icon on your customers’ phones, and you’re just one touch away.” The entire process, including designing, programming, publishing and launching the app, takes 21 business days. MobileSoft charges a $299 setup fee, and a monthly fee of $149, but ASA members receive $100 off the setup fee and a 10% discount on the monthly subscription as well as a free print kit, valued at $150. One of the largest reasons that apps fail to produce the desired response, according to Soto, is that many business owners forget to tell anyone that they developed an app. “MobileSoft delivers a complete kit that includes graphics for your website and social media so everyone knows you have an app. Once you start sending messages from your mobile app, that’s when you’ll see a return on your investment. I hope that you, as a business owner, will understand the value of mobile apps and the

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

way the industry is going.” As Soto’s presentation came to a close, he shared feedback from clients regarding their mobile apps. Dwayne Meyers, COO of Dynamic Automotive Corporation, said “The mobile app was a game changer. Simply put, our clients were more engaged in our shop, and it drove revenue.” Bryan Kauffeld, owner of Ulmer’s Auto Care Center, shared, “It’s time to get an app! Our customers stare at their phones while in the lobby waiting for their car. Now, they are staring at our app! Our app is allowing us to do what is best for our customer and the company we have grown to love.” During the question-and-answer session, Soto discussed the difference between a standard and custom build, though all of MobileSoft’s apps are custom built to market the individual business. Custom builds allow a variety of options, including integration with some shop management software providers. He encouraged interested shop owners to download MobileSoft Autoworks from their

phone’s app store for a sample mobile app that allows them to explore the features offered. Soto concluded, “Mobile apps are part of the digital evolution. They can help to establish a shop’s brand and drive business to the shop, but they help with retention as well. The client retention game has changed over the years. Once a client has your shop’s app on their phone, you can talk to them and keep them engaged.” MobileSoft’s dedicated landing page for ASA members can be found at mobilesoft.com/ASA. Scott encouraged attendees to download ASA To Go from their app store and reminded attendees to tune in for ASA’s new podcast, hosted by Vice President of Industry Relations, Tony Molla. ASA’s next Webinar Wednesday is scheduled for Dec. 18 and will feature Washington D.C. Representative Robert L. Redding Jr. who will discuss “What’s Happening With Data Access Policy and What’s in Store for 2020?” To register for ASA’s monthly webinars, visit asashop.org/webinars.



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Shops Report More Success in Getting Paid for Frame, Mechanical Procedures by John Yoswick

Something seemingly as simple as disconnecting and reconnecting a vehicle’s battery during the repair process may not sound like something that should require researching OEM procedures, and that might be why only 3 in 10 shops say they always do so, according to data from a recent “Who Pays for What?” survey. However, as Mike Anderson of Collision Advice, who conducts the “Who Pays” surveys in conjunction with CRASH Network, explained in a column in Autobody News last summer, increasingly complex or time-consuming procedures for battery disconnect-and-reconnects are becoming more common. “The procedure for the 2018 Chevy Cruze is seven pages long,” Anderson said. “It includes that you need to inform the customer that the ‘start/stop’ feature on the vehicle will not be available until the vehicle is allowed to sit for at least three hours. I was analyzing the procedures called for by one Asian automaker recently, and found the OEM had 11 procedures required after reconnecting the battery. And most automakers say disconnecting the battery will set diag-

does pay for this “always” or “most” of the time. (By comparison, more than 90 percent of DRP shops for State Farm and Farmers Insurance reported being paid “always” or “most” of the time when they itemized the procedures on invoices).

with one-third of shops still not negotiating for that procedure; about two-thirds of those who do, report regularly being paid for it. But the surveys also have found slow but steady improvement in billing and payment practices for

Among shops billing for post-repair test drives of vehicles, 31 percent reported being paid “always” or “most of the time” by the eight largest auto insurers in 2019, up from about 25 percent in 2018

There are four “Who Pays for What?” surveys a year, each focusing on different aspects of the collision repair process. The latest survey, which asks shops about their billing practices – and insurer payment practices – related to “not-included” refinish labor procedures, is open throughout January. Shops can click here to take the current survey before Feb.1.

several of the operations. In 2015, 81 percent of shops said they were not negotiating to be paid for performing destructive test welds – that has dropped dramatically to just 52 percent in 2019. Perhaps because performing

post-repair test drives is becoming increasingly necessary (and complex) because of advanced drivers assistance systems (ADAS), that is also being added to estimates at a higher rate than five years ago; nearly 1 in 3 shops now report being paid “always” or “most” of the time for such test drives, up from just 13 percent five years ago. Although roughly the same percentage of shops as five years ago are seeking to be paid for “pre-diagnostic alignment,” shops’ success in getting paid for it has increased steadily over the past five years. “Every shop is different and negotiates differently, but the “Who Pays” surveys have shown over and over again that shops won’t be paid for something they have done if they don’t at least know that it is ‘not-included,’ if they don’t determine a fair charge for it, and if they don’t put it on their estimates or invoices,” Anderson said. The surveys ask about shop practices beyond the labor procedures. Anderson has argued for some time


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nostic trouble codes (DTCs) that may be impossible to detect without completing a post-repair vehicle scan.” The good news is that 80 percent of the more than 650 shops responding to the “Who Pays” survey also said they are paid by the eight largest auto insurers “most” or “all of the time” for the procedures related to disconnecting and reconnecting a battery. Less than 1 in 10 shops said they are “never” paid when they bill for this “not-included” procedure. Even among the subset of respondents that the survey found is least likely to be paid for it – namely, Geico DRP shops – almost 3 in 4 (73 percent) of those shops said Geico 56

The battery disconnect/reconnect data was from a 2019 “Who Pays” survey related to “not-included” mechanical and frame labor procedures. It was the fifth year the survey was conducted, and it found some realworld improvement among the shops that participate in the surveys. For the two dozen procedures asked about in the survey, 7 percent more shops are negotiating to be paid for the procedures, and an average of 8.5 percent more shops are reporting being paid “always” or “most of the time” for them compared to five years ago. Some operations, like draining fuel tanks, have changed little over the five years of survey results,

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com


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that many shops lump far too many procedures into a flat fee charge for “set-up and measure.” The 2019 survey found some indication that his

and start line iteming every single thing we need to do for each vehicle, because it’s very vehicle-specific,” Anderson said.

Even something as seemingly simple as disconnecting and reconnecting a battery can involve multiple pages of important OEM procedures that should be reviewed, according to Mike Anderson

calls for more itemization of the procedures involved are taking hold. Back in 2016, for example, a “Who Pays” survey found that more than 81 percent of shops with a flat charge for frame set-up and measure said that fee included pulling the vehicle into the shop and lifting it up. In the same survey in 2019, fewer shops – about 75 percent – said that was included. In an even larger shift, only about 1 in 4 shops charging the flat fee for “set-up and measure” said it includes removal of wheels; in 2016, nearly 38 percent of shops included the time to remove wheels in their set-up and measure fee. “I think as an industry we need to move away from the flat two hours,

Among shops that are researching OEM repair procedures, the surveys have found a steadily rising percentage are going directly to the automakers’ websites for that information. Five years ago, just 32 percent of repairers said they used the automaker websites to obtain repair information, while a majority (67 percent) said they researched repair procedures through ALLDATA. Although a slightly smaller majority (63 percent) of shops still use ALLDATA in 2019, the percentage of shops using the OEM sites has nearly doubled to 59 percent in the 2019 survey. (The percentages add up to more than 100 because shops could indicate if they use multiple

Continued from Page 50

community. The show would grow exponentially until 1998 when, for a variety of reasons, attendance started to decline.

Advent of the Unibody

change increased dramatically. In 1977, 98% of domestic cars were built on a frame and 2% were of unibody construction. In 1981, 52% were frame-based vehicles and 48% were of unibody construction. A trade magazine article of the time predicts that by 1985, 4% of domestic vehicles would be frame-based and 96% would be unibody. The need for new and different equipment would spawn the National Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE) show, the first show being held in November 1983 in Nashville, TN. Other regionally based associations agreed to put off their own local shows in favor of a “national” show. Here, shop owners could meet and talk with representatives from the various equipment manufacturers about their shop’s needs and even purchase the equipment there. The show was open to all shops and featured equipment displays, members of the insurance community, and the educational 58

“Fragile” Cars The problems (or perceived problems) created by the new unibody technology were myriad. Without a traditional frame, cars were considered by some to be “fragile” and unable to take a substantial “hit.” The insurance industry claimed repair costs were skyrocketing. Many shops were unsure how to repair them – and insisted on “sending them down the road” so they didn’t have to deal with them. Some shops considered unibody construction to be a fad that would soon pass, and continued business as usual. The same mindset permeated the collision repair industry in the mid-1920s as the automakers transitioned from wood bodies to steel. In both cases, some shops refused to change with the times and learn the new technology. So, in the 1920s when they ran out of wooden cars to fix, or in the 1980s when they ran out of body-on-frame cars to fix,

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

sources). About 54 percent of survey respondents said they are OEM researching procedures all or most of the time compared to about 42 percent five years ago. “That’s an improvement, but this should still be done 100 percent of the time,” Anderson said. “You need to research that information every time, and save it on file, so if you ever get

each take about 15-25 minutes, and Anderson said they can be completed by any shop owner, manager or estimator who is familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of the largest national insurers. Individual responses are not released in any way; only cumulative data is released. At the website, shops can also download the results of previous sur-

Among shops charging a flat fee for “set-up and measure,” a recent “Who Pays” survey found shops tend to be including fewer specific procedures in that fee

audited for whatever reason, you can say, ‘The reason we did this procedure was because this is how the OEM said to do it at that time.’” Shops can take the current “Who Pays for What?” survey (or sign up to be notified about future surveys) at www.crashnetwork.com/ collisionadvice. The four different surveys, conducted one per quarter, the shop either went out of business, or became a “specialty” shop. Skill Has a Price Tag Smart shops were embracing the new construction technology, investing in the equipment and training to fix those vehicles, and promoting that fact to consumers and insurance companies. In fact, the ‘80s marked a time when consumers were being recognized in something more than just a passive role. A trade-magazine article appearing in early 1985 notes, “The collision repair industry needs to start educating the consumer to the importance of and necessity of accurate collision repair – educating the consumer that accurate repairs require skill, training and proper equipment. And finally, that this skill, training and equipment has a price tag – a price tag that is not necessarily ‘the lowest estimate.’”



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veys, reports that break the findings down by region, by insurer and by DRP vs. non-DRP. The reports also include analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented.


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Three Weeks After GM Strike, Dealers Await 2020 Models, Cut Back Hours by Kalea Hall, The Detroit News

General Motors Co. (GM) dealers are still dealing with the aftereffects of a six-week strike by the United Auto Workers. Three weeks after the walkout ended, dealers have begun getting some of the parts needed for service departments and body shops. And though the inventory of new cars and trucks remained fairly robust during the shutdown, some dealers are concerned about a lag in new deliveries as production gets back up to speed and car-haulers make their way to showrooms. The UAW’s national strike against GM shut down 55 facilities across the U.S., stopping production of parts and an estimated 300,000 new vehicles, costing GM nearly $3 billion. GM dealers say they took hits to their bottom lines on both the sales and service sides. At Motor City Buick GMC in Bakersfield, CA, new-vehicle sales were down 8% in October and are expected to be off 8% this month. “We are hopeful we can make up some of that due to pent-up demand in December, but December is

always a big month, so it’s kind of hard to set a new benchmark on top of an old benchmark,” said John Pitre, chief operating officer at the dealership. But three weeks after the strike ended, Motor City Buick GMC is feeling the pinch even more than it did during much of the walkout. “We didn’t feel it for the first three weeks of the strike because our pipeline is about two to three weeks long,” Pitre said. “We are feeling it much more now than we did in October.” At Matthew-Hargreaves Chevrolet in Royal Oak, MI, general manager Walt Tutak expects to see the sales side of the business feel a delayed strike impact as they await new models that normally would already be on the lot. Ideally, Tutak likes to have 500 vehicles — a two-month supply — on the ground, with another 250 coming in for delivery during the month to make up for the 250 that will be sold. When this process gets interrupted, he said, “You’re going to have a shortage.” GM still had an ample 81-day supply of cars, trucks and SUVs two

weeks into the strike, above the industry’s average of 66 days, according to. That cushioned the impact. “GM loaded up their dealers with inventory prior to the strike and so they had surplus inventory,” said Brad Korner, general manager of Cox Automotive Rates and Incentives. “They didn’t take their foot off the gas at all.” But analysts do think the inventory is under pressure somewhat now. Tutak hasn’t had a shortage of vehicles yet, but if he does, he predicts it will be Chevrolet Silverados, even though he tries to keep a four-month supply of the pickup on the Royal Oak lot. “We may have fewer sales in the Silverados, but we will make it up in the other areas where we have other inventory,” he said. “So, what we will do is push what we have.” The dealership’s sales did not suffer during the actual strike, which surprised Tutak because MatthewHargreaves Chevrolet is in a GM town, and out-of-work strikers weren’t expected to buy new vehicles. The work stoppage still hurt profitability at the Royal Oak dealership because of the hit to body

and service shops. Business in those departments is off roughly 25%, Tutak said. “It affects the bottom line because we are used to having customers come in and we repair their vehicles and they pay for them,” he said. “Now these vehicles are just sitting.” The parts most needed are engines, transmissions, fenders and bumpers. When the UAW ratified a new contract with GM on Oct. 25 and ended the strike, GM sent a note to dealers stating that a top priority was to restore the parts distribution network. GM spokesman Jim Cain said of the parts distribution: “We are still working to recover and make progress every day.” Pitre said he was still waiting on about $250,000 worth of parts for about 80 vehicles waiting to be repaired. There have been a lot of rentals for customers waiting for repairs, he said. “I’ve seen more $1,000 rental car bills in the last six weeks than I have probably seen in the last five years.” We thank The Detroit News for reprint permission.

Mazda Recalls Vehicles Over Takata Airbags by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

Mazda is recalling nearly 117,000 vehicles that were previously recalled to replace the passenger Takata airbag inflators. • • • • • •

2004-2011 Mazda RX-8 2007-2012 Mazda CX-7 2007-2012 Mazda CX-9 2003-2012 Mazda Mazda6 2004-2005 Mazda MPV 2006-2007 Mazda Mazdaspeed6 The Takata airbag inflators may explode due to degradation of the deployment propellant, ammonium nitrate, which is affected by high humidity and high temperatures. The Mazda Takata airbag inflator recall is expected to begin Dec. 18, 2019. Dealerships will replace the front passenger airbag inflators. Owners may contact Mazda customer service at 800222-5500 and refer to recall number 1317F. We thank CarComplaints .com for reprint permission.


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Subaru Forester Passenger Airbag Sensor Lawsuit Filed by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

Subaru Forester passenger airbag sensor lawsuit alleges the occupant detection systems have errors that cause the airbags to deactivate when adults are in the passenger seats. According to the plaintiff, 2015-2018 Subaru Foresters are affected by the problems, and her 2018 Forester is a good example. The lawsuit alleges the plaintiff took the vehicle to a dealership which found problems with the detection system. Technicians allegedly didn’t make any repairs but told the plaintiff not to place electronic items in the passenger seat. The plaintiff says the airbags work part of the time and fail other times whether a passenger is in the seat or not. This is a danger that can cause an occupant their life, and Subaru allegedly knows there are problems but has failed to warn consumers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation in August into passenger airbag sensor problems after receiving 51 complaints about 2016-2018 Subaru Foresters.

According to NHTSA, Subaru owners said the passenger airbag warning lights indicated the airbags were turned off when adults were in the seats. Customers reported the airbag sensors deactivated the airbags and also caused the seat belt alarms to continually give audible warnings.

Forester owners also reported paying as much as $1,000 to repair the passenger airbag systems, and many times the waits were long because replacement parts were backordered. Subaru recalled more than 366,000 model year 2015-2018 Foresters in October after finding the passenger occupant detection system sensor mat harnesses could experi-

ence problems because of contact pressure between the terminals. According to the automaker, the passenger airbags could deactivate and then reactivate without warning because of the terminal problems. Subaru also admitted what customers were reporting, namely that the airbag warning lights indicated the airbags were off when they should have been on. In documents submitted to NHTSA, Subaru said turning off the ignition then turning it back on would reset the system and correct the faults. But the automaker also said this could be a temporary condition until the problem reoccurred while driving. When the recall was announced, Subaru also confirmed what customers had been saying about long waits for replacement parts that were on backorder. Subaru also told NHTSA that in addition to the government receiving about 50 complaints, customers had filed more than 220 passenger airbag complaints direct with the automaker. We thank CarComplaints.com for reprint permission.

Car-Part.com Receives Company of the Year Award

On Nov. 6, Car-Part.com received CIECA’s Company of the Year award during the Collision Industry Red Carpet Awards Breakfast, honoring the company for its ongoing commitment to the collision repair sector. Held in conjunction with the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the third annual Collision Industry Red Carpet Awards Breakfast honored the industry’s most charitable and professional achievements. Among the winners was Car-Part.com, which received CIECA’s Company of the Year award. The company was selected based on its commitments to more than a dozen committees and organizations. Jeff Shroder, CIECA’s treasurer and the owner of Car-Part.com, accepted the prize on the company’s behalf, with Ed Weidmann, CIECA’s executive director, and Clint Marlow, CIECA’s past-chair and director of AllState posing by his side. CIECA said it is “tremendously grateful” for the company, which understands the importance of being innovative and the creation of new products.

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AAPEX 2020 to Expand With Repair Shop HQ

For the first time in many years, AAPEX will expand and add Repair Shop HQ to meet the needs of today’s service professionals. AAPEX represents the more than $1 trillion global automotive aftermarket industry and will take place Tuesday, Nov. 3 through Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Las Vegas. The AAPEX 2020 expansion also includes a new robotics and warehouse equipment and logistics section. “The ultimate goal of this expansion is to enable AAPEX and the entire supply chain to be more efficient, while proactively addressing changes in the industry by presenting solutions,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. “We will deliver solutions to the shop in order for them to be ahead of the curve. And we will champion opportunities for parts manufacturers to utilize data more efficiently to enhance their relationship with their customers,” added Paul McCarthy, president and COO of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA).

Chrysler Lawsuit Involving Leaky Sunroofs Seeks Settlement The ongoing lawsuit between David Cox and Chrysler could be settled soon. According to court documents, the 2014 class-action lawsuit could reach a settlement agreement of $350,000 for attorneys’ fees and $4,000 that would be awarded to Cox, the plaintiff in this case, as an incentive award. The lawsuit against Chrysler, which was first filed in 2014 by Cox, alleged the manufacturer was negligent in disclosing to owners that regular maintenance is needed on affected vehicles’ sunroof drain tubes. The Jeep Patriot, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Compass, Jeep Commander, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler Town and Country and Chrysler 300, from model years 2009 to present were named in the lawsuit. “FCA [Fiat Chrysler automobiles] US does not agree with all of the characterizations of the facts set forth by plaintiff in these motions. However, it does agree that the proposed class settlement is fundamentally fair, adequate, and reasonable, and that it should be approved by the Court. Furthermore, FCA US has no

objection to entry of an order awarding attorneys’ fees, costs, and an incentive award, provided that the amounts do not exceed the following: $350,000 for attorneys’ fees; $128,873.79 for costs; and $4,000.00 for an incentive award for plaintiff,” a portion of court documents read. In his original complaint, Cox stated he owned a 2010 Jeep Patriot for less than a year before the sunroof began leaking, which damaged the interior. “Cox brought his vehicle in to the Chrysler dealer’s service department to service the sunroof leak immediately. The Chrysler dealer replaced the radio and cleaned out the sunroof drain tubes. However, the sunroof has leaked several times since the first attempted repair, once again damaging the radio display and causing electrical malfunctions in the sunroof. Thus, on June 26, 2013, Cox brought the vehicle in to the Chrysler service department again to service the sunroof leak. However, Chrysler refused to repair the sunroof leak under the warranty stating that clogged drain tubes is a maintenance problem. As a result, Cox continues to observe water

Continued from Page 46

New Year’s Resolutions

ber of WIA, pointed out, “Only 26% of all employees are women in the automotive industry in all roles; in 2020, we would like to hit 30% or more. Gender parity is not just the right thing to do - it is the profitable thing for our industry to do. Equality for women could lead to a massive boost to the economy. Research from McKinsey found gender equality could lead to a global economic boost of between $12 trillion and $28 trillion by 2025.” AWAF would also like “to increase the number of younger women, both within our membership and on the board. AWAF offers mentoring, coaching, professional development, and access to senior executives, which are crucial to professionals beginning their careers,” according to President Susan Rokosz. WIN Chair Cheryl Boswell added, “One of the goals for WIN in 2020 is to resource the industry with new information regarding how to attract and retain more women (and

leaking into and through the sunroof and interior dome light that has resulted in electrical problems, a noticeable musty or moldy smell and water damage to the interior of his vehicle,” a portion of the complaint reads. Throughout his complaint, Cox claims he was never told by Chrysler that the vehicle’s sunroof drain tubes would need routine maintenance. Chrysler responded to the complaint by denying most of the allegations that were made against the company. The auto manufacturer also stood by its warranty in its response. “FCA US admits that it provides a written limited warranty for the vehicles it sells which covers the cost of repairs for certain items for three years or 36,000 miles from the date the vehicle is first put into service, whichever occurs first. Further FCA US states that the warranty document speaks for itself,” a portion of Chrysler’s response reads. Currently, both Cox and Chrysler are waiting for the judge’s response to the settlement motion. We thank www.glassBYTEs.com for reprint permission.

men) in this amazing industry!” For SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg, it’s important to evaluate industry needs and make changes every day, not just for the New Year. “The cultural aspects that guide SCRS into 2020 remain unchanged. It’s doing the right things, in the right way, for the right people, for the right reasons. The work we do for our members is for the right people. These small business owners, and the people they employ, work in a very challenging environment going into 2020,” he said. “I firmly believe that the programs and resources we’ve worked to build, driven by the culture described above, will help make their businesses more successful, and the conditions less challenging going forward. It’s not a new year resolution, but an ongoing commitment by the many volunteers and staff members around our table to help make this industry better than it was when we entered it.” With these association leaders leading the charge for 2020, the collision repair industry is in for another year of improvements, progress and inspiration. Happy New Year!

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS



JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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January 2020 West Edition  

January 2020 West Edition