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Greg Coccaro Settles with Progressive Insurance

After eight years of battling each other in court, Progressive Insurance and Greg Coccaro, owner of North State Custom in Bedford Hills, NY, have reached a settlement ahead of a Jan. 28 trial date. Coccaro said he could not discuss the specifics of the settlement agreement, but he did express relief that he could finally put this behind him now. “After eight years, it’s pretty weird not having to think about this anymore,” said Coccaro. “I basically can now have my life back and spend a little more time working on my business. You would have to go through the stress that I did to understand it. Once it was over, I still couldn’t stop thinking about it. It took me two to three weeks to get out of ‘legal mode.’ It never left me night or day for those eight years. It was very difficult for everyone involved, but we did what we did, stood up and didn’t cave. “I think a lot of good came out of the whole thing for the industry in a lot of ways. Anyone who has followed this can understand why. I’m very glad it’s over, and so is my family. It was a

little difficult to live through some of the more stressful times, but I’m back and trying to get back to myself and how I was before.” Asked what advice he has to other shops considering legal action against insurers, Coccaro said it depends on the circumstances. “One has to think long and hard before taking on a billion-dollar corporation,” he said. “In my case, I felt I had no choice. The problem is that it has to be something that’s pretty egregious for you to do it. I felt if I didn’t do it, I had a chance of losing my business, so Greg Coccaro that’s why I did it. I don’t think it’s something that a single shop wants to take on. Anything similar to what I did would have to be done on a class-action where there are multiple shops rather than laying it on the shoulders of one individual shop. Don’t take anything on alone unless you absolutely have to.”

PartsTrader Costs “$800 in Unseen Business a Month” Says Michigan Parts Wholesaler

See PartsTrader Costs, Page 48

P.O. BOX 1516, CARLSBAD, CA 92018

Tom Kellogg—the wholesale director for the Zeigler Automotive Group’s 13 franchises in Grandville, MI—has been using PartsTrader the past several months as one of the first test markets in State Farm’s PartsTrader program.

Kellogg has been with Zeigler since 2003 and in the industry since 1975. He says he wishes programs like PartsTrader would just go away. “We all know that PartsTrader isn’t the greatest thing out there,” said Kellogg. “I don’t know what I am going to do to stop it, because

Change Service Requested

by Melanie Anderson

VOL. 31 ISSUE 2 FEBRUARY 2013

California Department of Insurance Approves New Aftermarket Part Regulations Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced that the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved amended regulations submitted by the California Department of Insurance (CDI) regarding the use of non-original equipment manufacturer (OEM) replacement crash parts, generally known as aftermarket parts. These regulations were sought by Commissioner Jones to further protect California consumers from physical and financial harm caused by defective or inferior aftermarket parts and to enhance insurer accountability in the claims process, said CDI. The new regulations, originally released by CDI in June 2012, are to

go into effect on January 30. Insurers will be required to comply on and after March 30, 2013. “The amendments build on existing protections by requiring insurers to settle automobile insurance claims using repair standards described by the Bureau of Automotive Repair, and not the insurer’s own standards of repair,” said Commissioner Jones. “This also places greater accountability on the insurer when they require use of an aftermarket replacement part so that damaged automobiles are repaired properly and safely.” After investigating complaints from consumers and automobile re-

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America issued the following statement pertaining to the new California regulations governing aftermarket parts: New California Department of Insurance (CDI) regulations approved by the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) are likely to drive up auto body repair costs for consumers and micromanage how insurers develop auto body repair estimates, cautioned the Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC). “We want to send a cautionary message to consumers because these new regulations give auto body repair shops a distinct advantage in preparing scope of work estimates, which could drive up repair costs,” said Armand Feliciano, ACIC vice president. “Auto insurers write the checks for approximately 80% of all auto body repairs in the nation. Insurers work hard to give policyholders quality repairs and get them back on the road, while managing costs to keep

premiums affordable. These regulations essentially require insurers to pay whatever auto repair shops demand. Insurers no longer have the ability to negotiate the most effective, less costly repair.” The CDI regulations were originally released in June 2012. ACIC provided comments expressing concerns in August 2012. The OAL approved the regulations on December 31, 2012 and will become effective on January 31, 2013. “These regulations let auto body repair shops—who have a financial stake in the repair process—to unilaterally set the repair prices, and insurers will not be allowed to counter those prices,” said Feliciano. “Additionally the regulations will incentivize repair shops to use original manufacturer parts—which are 60% more expensive than aftermarket parts even though the aftermarket part is equivalent, or in some cases better.” Under the new aftermarket parts regulations, insurer estimates for auto

See Department of Insurance, Page 20

PCIA and ACIC Complain About New California Aftermarket Regulations Citing Consumer Costs

See ACIC Complains, Page 16

Presorted Standard US Postage PAID San Bernardino, CA Permit #2244


More Mobility. CCC ONE™ Repair Workflow users can do even more with the CCC ONE™ Tablet, accessing production, parts and labor dashboards to manage all of their work-inprocess and assign work based on individual roles from anywhere. The CCC ONE Tablet also includes the CCC ONE message center, taking inter-shop communications to the shop floor and eliminating the need for handwritten notes or informal reminders that can fall through the cracks.

CCC ONE™ Tablet Delivering more functionality in the palm of your hands.

To learn more about CCC ONE™ Tablet, logon to www.ccc-one.com/tablet or call us at 888-832-1764. ©2013 CCC Information Services Inc. All rights reserved.

2 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

Where it all comes together.®


Contents

COLUMNS Attanasio: Why Should Body Shops Have a Website? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Franklin: Aligning with Agents . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 I-CAR: Necessary Culture Changes for Blueprinting Process. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Insider: Changes at I-CAR a Good Foundation to Build Upon . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Yoswick: Action on Insurer ‘Most-Favored Nation’ Clauses May be on the Horizon. . . 36

NATIONAL 1Collision Network Adds 6 Locations in 3 States . 49 3M Assists 19 Collision School Programs with $160,000 in Production Donations . . 42 8 Quirky Traffic Laws . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 AASP Elects New Leaders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Actor/Activist Danny Glover Joins Nissan Workers’ Right to Unionize Campaign . . . . 32 Alcoa Awards $40,000 Aluminum Training Grant to Collision Repair Education Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Audatex’s AutoWatch App Updates Customers . 50

heavy-duty vehicles). The ACC program includes revisions to California’s low-emission vehicle (LEV) program as well as its zero-emission vehicle program. By today’s decision, the EPA has also determined that CARB’s amendments to the ZEV program as they affect 2017 and prior model years (MYs) are within the scope of previous waivers of pre-emption granted to California for its ZEV regulations. In the alternative, the EPA’s waiver of pre-emption for CARB’s ACC regulations includes a waiver of pre-emption for CARB’s ZEV amendments as they affect all MYs, including 2017 and prior MYs. In addition, the EPA is including CARB’s recently adopted ‘deemed to comply’ rule for GHG emissions in today’s waiver decision. This decision is issued under section 209(b) of the Clean Air Act, as amended.” Automaker associations had urged the EPA to deny the state’s waiver request for the program or at least defer the program for model year 2021; and later required an additional review.

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Assistant Editor: Melanie Anderson Contributing Writers: Tom Franklin, David Brown, John Yoswick, Rich Evans, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Sean Hartman, Jay Lukes (800) 699-8251 Sales Assistant: Louise Tedesco Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .52 Automotive ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . .43 Bob Smith BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Bob Smith MINI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Buerge Chrisler-Jeep-Dodge . . . . . .27 Car-Part Pro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 CCC Information Services . . . . . . . . .2 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Downtown Motors of LA (Audi, VW, Porsche) . . . . . . . . . . .19 Drew Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 DuPont . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Elk Grove Toyota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Enterprise Rent-A-Car . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Equalizer Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Euro Spray Guns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers AZ, CA, & NV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Galpin Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24, 36 Garmat USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . .51 Henderson Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28-29 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . .34 Innovative Tools & Tech . . . . . . . . . .12 Kearny Mesa Subaru-Hyundai . . . . .44 Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers .39

Serving California, Nevada and Arizona, Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2013 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 721-0253 Fax www.autobodynews.com Email: news@autobodynews.com

Western

Automaker, OEM and Recall News . . . . . . . . 30 Automotive Ladies Lauded at Urban Wheels Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Automotive Scholarship Applications Now Available . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 CARSTAR Adds New Location Outside Chicago . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 CARSTAR Expands Business Development Team. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Centenarian Donates Rolls-Royce to Museum after 78 Years of Use, Noting U.S. Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Cintas Typecasts the Worst Driving Offenders and Offers Safety Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Class A Shop Requirements May Change, CIC Says . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Collision Repair Education Foundation Offers $300,000 in Scholarships and Tool Grants . 42 DuPont Launches GM-Sponsored Parts Rebate Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 FHWA Estimates 2012 Fatalities . . . . . . . . . . 32 Global Electric Vehicle Sales Could Reach 3.8 Million by 2020, Research Firm Says . . 54 Greg Coccaro Settles with Progressive Insurance . 1 I-CAR Hosts Automotive Training Expo in March . 44 Missouri Dealership Donates Parts to School Repair Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 NABC Gives Update on ‘Operation Comfort’ Mission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 NABC Launches Newly Revised Corporate Website . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 NADA Hosts 48 Workshops at 2013 Convention. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 NADA Lines Up Keynote Speakers for Feb. 8–11 Convention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 NADA Names New President Peter Welch to Post . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 New App Gives Shops New Way to Update Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 New Drivers Banned from Cell . . . . . . . . . . . 55 NHTSA Wants Loud Electric, Hybrid Cars for Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 O’Reilly Announces Asset Agreement with VIP Auto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Ohio Shop is Excellent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 PartsTrader Costs “$800 in Unseen Business a Month” Says Michigan Parts Wholesaler . 1 PartsTrader Releases Supplier Feedback Results . 12 PPG Awards $20,000 to Collision Repair Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Private Equity Firm Buys CCC Information Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Safelite Acquires Windshield World in Vermont . 38 Safelite Group Acquires Boston-Based Giant Glass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 SCRS Holds Open Board Meeting Jan. 23 at CIC. 45 Service King Acquires AutoBody America . . . . 8 Stafford, VA, Shop Sold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Subaru to Expand Production in Indiana . . . . 49 Think Outside the Truck Box: Spray Lining, A Coating Profit Engine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Thousands of Sandy-Ruined Cars to be Crushed. 34 Top Safety Picks for 2013. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Toyota Working on Safety Technology to Reduce Traffic Deaths, Create Self-Driving Car . . . 52 TUFF TV Greenlights New Reality Series, Auto Wars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Two Jobbers Expand with Acquisitions . . . . . 52 U.S. Fines Toyota $17 Million for Not Quickly Reporting Problems, Delaying Recall . . . . 54 Vote: 2013 ASA Board Elections . . . . . . . . . . 32 West VA Court Bars Insurer from Selling Used and Aftermarket Parts . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Work-Related Vehicle Accidents, Claims Down During Recession . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved California’s request to waive the Clean Air Act to implement several new cleanvehicle rules. The rules include the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) limits for vehicles, strict zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) requirements and a particulate matter (PM) standard for 2025 vehicles. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) believes that nearly 40% of new car sales across the U.S. will be subject to the new regulations. The EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy signed off on the notice to be published in the Federal Register. The notice includes: “The Environmental Protection Agency is granting the California Air Resources Board’s request for a waiver of Clean Air Act pre-emption to enforce its Advanced Clean Car (ACC) regulations. The ACC combines the control of smog and soot-causing pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions into a single coordinated package of requirements for passenger cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles (and limited requirements related to

Indexof Advertisers

REGIONAL Arizona Shop Gives Away $250 Weekly to One Winner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Autobody News’ Columnist to Speak at Santa Clara CAA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Body Shop CEO Named Chamber of Commerce Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Bodycraft Collision Centers and Golden State Merge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 CAA Holds Board Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Caliber Collision Adds 10 New Locations in LA, OC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 California Department of Insurance Approves New Aftermarket Part Regulations . . . . . . . 1 CAWA Appoints Jeanette Lorenzo to Advisory Council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 EPA Grants California Clean Car Rule Waiver. . 3 Finishmaster Closes Two Acquisitions, CA and NJ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Fire at Las Vegas Body Shop Causes $300k in Damages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Fix Auto USA Continues Growth in Northwest with Two New Locations in Washington . . . 6 Golden State Collision Repair Centers Donate 4 Restored Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Hanford Chef Wins New 2012 Hyundai Elantra . 4 Honda ‘Follow Your Dreams’ Float Leads 2013 Rose Parade in Pasadena . . . . . . . . 13 Judge to Rule Soon on Batmobile Copyright Suit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 New CARSTAR Shop Opens in Federal Way, WA. 12 New Insurance Laws Take Effect in 2013 . . . 46 Northern Calif. Body Shops Gave Big in 2012. 14 Oregon Lawmakers Again Consider a Mileage Tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Original Batmobile Sold for $4.6 Million at Auction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 PCIA and ACIC Complain About New California Aftermarket Regulations . . . . . . . 1 Rydeen Showcases In-Vehicle Safety Product Line. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Santa Delivers Gifts to Family of 11-Year-Old Leukemia Patient in Refurbished Vehicle . . . 7 Shop Plans Green Campagin for 35th Anniversary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 ToolTech 2013 to be Held in San Diego April 23–25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Traffic Fatalities Down Across U.S, But Up in Calif. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Veteran Who Used Bicycle and Cart to Transport Daughters Gets Refurbished Car . . . . . . . . 8

EPA Grants California Clean Car Rule Waiver

Levan Group, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 LKQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 Los Gatos Luxury Cars . . . . . . . . . .17 Maita Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Malco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Matrix Wand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .54 MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .42 Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers .46 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . .35 Moss Brothers Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge .15 Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 North County Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Replica Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Riverside Metro VW-Honda-HyundaiNissan-Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Shingle Springs Nissan-Subaru . . .49 Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-MazdaSubaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Spray-Lining and Coatings . . . .11, 23 Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .41 Timmons VW-Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .38 VIM Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers .20 Volvo Crash Wholesale Dealers . . .48 Weatherford BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 Wedge Clamp System . . . . . . . . . . .16

www.autobodynews.com | FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 3


Body Shop CEO Named Chamber of Commerce Chair

Oregon Lawmakers Again Consider a Mileage Tax

ToolTech 2013 to be Held in San Diego April 23–25

Tool Institute’s ToolTech Conference will be held in San Diego, CA, on April 23–25 and registration is now open. The three day networking opportunity will include OEMs, tool and equipment companies, national accounts, large suppliers, dealer groups, distributors, manufacturer reps, and many other industry leaders. The conference includes presentations, one-on-one meetings, and a “Company Showcase” exhibit. The event will be at the Hyatt Mission Bay in San Diego.

Oregon’s state legislature is again considering instituting a per-mile tax on super-fuel-efficient cars and electric vehicles. The state is looking to recuperate revenue lost because more fuel efficient vehicles on the road result in fewer dollars being collected from gas taxes. According to the Associated Press and as reported in AutoBlog, Oregon may write a bill that would apply a mileage tax to vehicles getting at least 55 miles per gallon. Lawmakers would track a car’s mileage with technology such as a smartphone application or GPS data. No rates have been proposed, and lawmakers may simplify things by offering a flat annual fee instead of vehicle tracking, the AP says. Oregon has been proposing such a measure for the past decade or so, though the most recent attempt at such a law was rejected in 2011. One bill proposed applying a 1.2-cent permile tax. That would equal out to $144 a year for 12,000 miles a year of driving. A few years ago, Oregon tested a GPS-based system that was accurate and reportedly did not encroach too deeply into personal privacy.

Shop Plans Green Campagin for 35th Anniversary

Hanford Chef Wins New 2012 Hyundai Elantra

Laura Bertolli has been named the new chairwoman of the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce. She is president and CEO of Bertolli’s Auto Body Repair Laura Bertolli Inc. and has served on advisory boards for Bank of Marin and the San Rafael Pacifics.

Certified Green Investment Shop Da-Les Auto Body in Sunnyvale, CA, is currently planning its 35th anniversary celebration with a campaign to promote green business community practices. The Sunnyvale auto body and collision repair specialists serve the San Jose and Sunnyvale areas catering to foreign and domestic vehicles. While Da-Les Auto Body has been named the number one collision repair facility for the past four years by Consumer Business Review, the auto body collision repair specialists are equally proud of their award from the City of Sunnyvale for “Outstanding Commitment to Environment Protection.” As an authority in Japanese, European, and American vehicles, Da-Les Auto Body provides numerous automotive repair services ranging from auto body repair, collision repair, dent repair, and auto painting. Fluid spills and unsafe emissions are carefully monitored and routed for proper disposal. The environmentally isolated paint shop features three spray booths with separate downdrafts of clean, filtered, heated air for optimal painting conditions.

Pete Paramo, a resident of Hanford, CA, recently won a new 2012 Hyundai Elantra, courtesy of Dashers Insurance and Clear Channel Radio. His win wraps up a three-month radio promotion that encouraged listeners to visit a Dashers location in the Fresno, Stockton, Modesto, Sacramento, Merced, Visalia and Bakersfield areas to get a free quote and enter to win. “I couldn’t believe they pulled my name because I originally wasn’t going to enter,” said Pete, a chef at iHop. “When they called me, my face went numb. I’m still in shock, but I am very grateful for Dashers Insurance and the car, and I can’t wait to start driving it around town and on the road trips I have planned.” The car was recently presented to him by a Dashers representative at Selma Hyundai in Fresno. Future road trip destinations including Pismo Beach, CA, and Ensenada, Mexico. “We welcome Pete as a new customer to the Dashers family and hope that he enjoys the new 2012 Hyundai Elantra for many years to come,” said Mike Weinstein, CEO and President of Dashers Insurance Services, Inc.

4 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

Bodycraft Collision Centers and Golden State Merge

Bodycraft Collision Centers and Golden State Collision Centers recently merged operations to form a new 19-location entity in the greater Sacramento, CA, area that will be called Golden State Collision Centers, a Bodycraft Company. The two companies, which had a management agreement in place in early 2012, formally merged their operations Dec. 2012. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Golden State’s Roseville location, which opened September 2001, contains 14,000 square feet of production space, 3,000 square feet of office space and one acre of fenced yard. The combined company now has shops in Antelope, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Lincoln, Orangevale, Rocklin, Rancho Cordova, Roseville, Sacramento, Shingle Springs and Yuba City. Golden State was founded in 1993 by Dave Finkelstein in a 2,400-square-foot facility in Sacramento. The company added its fifth facility in Yuba City in 2009. Bruce Mackie, owner of Bodycraft, will serve as the president of the merged operation and Finkelstein has taken the title of chief marketing officer.

CAWA Appoints Jeanette Lorenzo to Advisory Council

Jeanette Lorenzo with the Robert Bosch Corporation was recently appointed to CAWA’s 2013 Manufacturers Advisory Council. She was appointed by the association’s board chairman, Steve Sharp. Jeanette Lorenzo has been District Sales Manager for Robert Bosch since February, 2012. She has been in the Automotive Aftermarket industry for over 21 years. Prior to working at Bosch, she was Managing Partner for J. Lorenzo Enterprises, which managed sales nationally for DEC Catalytic Converters. She also was Western Regional Sales Manager for ZF/SACHS , and worked as an independent sales Representative with Wayne Krantz and Associates. She has a diverse background and has enjoyed working with many manufacturers over the years. “We are pleased to welcome Jeanette to the CAWA leadership and look forward to her participation and contributions to the automotive aftermarket industry out west,” said Sharp. CAWA is a regional automotive aftermarket trade association, representing auto parts jobbers, warehouse distributors, retailers and manufacturers in CA, Nevada and Arizona.


www.autobodynews.com | FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 5


Fix Auto USA Continues Growth in Northwest with Two New Locations in Washington Fix Auto USA recently announced the addition of two locations in Washington State to its growing network of collision repair centers. The new locations are: Fix Auto Gig Harbor, previously Denny’s Harbor Auto Body Fix Auto Puyallup, previously Denny’s Valley Auto Body

Patty Denny, Mark Denny and Pam Denny

With the additions, Fix Auto’s presence in Washington now totals eight locations, while its presence in the Pacific Northwest has expanded to 14. “We’ve watched Fix Auto signs pop up all over Seattle in the last year,” commented Fix Auto Gig Harbor and Fix Auto Puyallup owner, Patty Denny. “Marketing and community involvement has always been important to

us. By becoming a Fix Auto franchisee, we like that we immediately benefit from the group’s previous marketing efforts, while continuing to improve our own through pooled resources and a larger scale marketing strategy. It gives us a significant advantage over independent shops in our area,” Denny said. Co-owner Mark Denny added, “Most independent repairers have felt the impact of consolidation in some form or another. Our hard work will now be backed by a corporate infrastructure, national insurance representation and the advantage of working together with other top performing shops.” “Fix Auto Gig Harbor and Fix Auto Puyallup are great additions for Fix Auto USA,” commented Fix Auto President and COO, Paul Gange. “Having them on board continues the strategic expansion of our footprint in the Pacific Northwest with best-inclass operators committed to delivering a high-quality collision repair experience for our carrier and vehicle owner customers.” For information about becoming a Fix Auto member, please contact Director of Sales and Field Operations, Rich Pannazzo at rpannazzo@fixauto.com or by calling 714-676-8267.

Rydeen Showcases In-Vehicle Safety Product Line

Rydeen Mobile Electronics, an aftermarket supplier of driver safety products and solutions, recently showcased its new product line at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center Jan. 811. “For the past few years we’ve worked hard to make safety a prime category in the automotive aftermarket,” said Rydeen President Phil Maeda. “We’ve learned from our customers and refined our products along the way. This year, we are presenting a strong and diverse lineup that will solidify our brand as a leader in driver safety.” Rydeen is presenting its flagship MN312S navigation mirror, which replaces the factory mirror and features a 3.5-inch, touch screen-controlled navigation system along with Bluetooth-enabled hands free phone functionality, rear-view camera connection and optional vehicle recovery and driver safety services by Guidepoint Systems. The MN312S has undergone firmware updates to improve its Bluetooth voice quality and add more userintuitive features. The MV311S and MV311T replacement mirrors target value-minded consumers who want the safety of a

rear-view camera system without changing the radio or adding a monitor on the dash. Both feature an “invisible” 3.5-inch monitor behind the mirror glass, with the MV311T adding a compass and temperature display. Rydeen is also introducing an addition to the MINy™ line of cameras. The MINy LED2 benefits from a series of infrared LEDs that improve low-light visibility, all while retaining the small size of the original MINy. In addition, all MINy models can attach to a new bracket (part No. BL-01) that mounts behind the license plate to present a factory look. A full year of research and refinement went into Rydeen’s newest parking sensor systems. All three offerings—BL-422P, BL-412PM and BB-411PM—are designed to double the sensing distance of other systems while enhancing the sensing accuracy. Rydeen is also showing an upcoming six-sensor system that provides both front and rear protection. Many of Rydeen’s newest products are installed in the company’s new 2013 Honda CR-Z, with professional customization completed by Al & Ed’s Autosound in Sherman Oaks, CA.

6 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

Traffic Fatalities Down Across U.S, But Up in Calif.

The number of people killed in traffic accidents last year dropped to its lowest point in more than six decades in the nation, but rose in California, according to new federal transportation figures, the Los Angeles Times reported. Across the country, deaths of cyclists and pedestrians surged in 2011, despite the overall downward trend in fatalities. According to the recently released report, 32,367 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2011, a decrease of 1.9% from the year before and the lowest number since 1949. But in California, fatalities increased 2.6% in 2011 to 2,791, according to the report. California had more traffic fatalities than any state except Texas. Federal officials highlighted the overall decrease in deaths. But at least one traffic safety group said the figures were alarming, particularly a 3% increase in pedestrian deaths and an 8.7% increase in cyclist fatalities from 2010 to 2011. “We are still concerned about the numbers of cyclists and pedestrians at risk on our roadways,” said Paul Oberhauser, co-chairman of the Chicagobased Traffic Safety Coalition, which is partly funded by the traffic safety cam-

era industry. “This new report is a reminder we still need to be cautious and share the road.” In Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the addition of new “highly visible” painted crosswalks at more than 50 of the city’s most dangerous intersections. “Los Angeles is in the midst of a transportation renaissance,” Villaraigosa said in a news release, referring to new rail and other investments. But pedestrian safety must remain a priority “to create a 21st century transportation network that works for everyone,” he said. The new crosswalks feature 2foot-wide white or yellow stripes and a new stop line for motorists, to cut down on vehicles encroaching on the paths of pedestrians. The targeted intersections are scheduled to be painted by March. Officials hope to eventually repaint crosswalks at all of the city’s 5,000 intersections. Funded through Measure R, the half-cent transportation sales tax voters approved in 2008, the new crosswalks cost about $2,500 each, more than twice the expense of traditional crosswalks.

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Santa Delivers Gifts to Family of 11-Year-Old Leukemia Patient in Refurbished Vehicle

Golden State Collision Repair Centers Donate 4 Restored Vehicles to Sacramento Needy Families

This Christmas gift for Isaiah, his mother, Serina, and 8-year-old sister Angelique, was Caliber Collision’s 14th Recycled Rides donation this year. The 2009 Honda Civic was donated by the Automobile Club of Southern California and refurbished by Caliber team members who volunteered personal time to repair the vehicle as well as collect gift certificates, toys and other gifts for the family. Isaiah was diagnosed last year with leukemia and has been undergoing treatment at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. The family

In an annual holiday-time event, the Golden State Collision Repair Centers’ community benevolence events have benefited 25 local families with restored vehicles over the past six years. The 2012 event was held in partnership with Farmers Insurance Group, Allied/Nationwide Insurance, Safeco Insurance, Cottage Housing, Inc., and St. John’s Shelter for Women and Children. “Each year, there are numerous vehicles that are written off by either

For an 11-year-old boy with leukemia in Redlands, CA, Santa arrived this year not in a sleigh but in a newly refurbished 2009 Honda Civic, fully loaded with gifts and toys from local businesses.

does not have a car and has had to rely on other patients’ families to coordinate and arrange rides for the frequent 100-mile round trip from their home to the hospital. “Having to deal with a child’s life-threatening illness is difficult enough, but having to do so without having reliable transportation is unimaginable to those of us who take transportation for granted,” said David Goldstein, Caliber Collision Vice President of Operations. “We are proud to partner with Caliber Collision and Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital to ease the burden of transportation for this deserving family,” said Rick Lewis, unit manager for claims at the Automobile Club of Southern California. “We hope this gift of transportation will give Isaiah and his family a special reason to celebrate and look forward to continued healing in the coming year.” A beaming 11-year-old Isaiah expressed his gratitude of behalf of his family, saying, “This is awesome. We got a brand new car, we really needed it. Thank you everyone, have a very Merry Christmas and just live life to the fullest because life is awesome, so don’t take anything for granted.”

Golden State Collision Repair Centers, a Bodycraft Company, presented four rehabilitated vehicles to local families in need in Sacramento, CA. The vehicles were presented during the company’s sixth annual “Community Benevolence Event” Dec. 11 at the Golden State Collision Repair Center, in Sacramento, CA.

the owner or the insurance company. Often, these older vehicles are simply in need of mechanical or body work to get them road-ready and safe to drive. Following the merger between Bodycraft and Golden State Collision Centers, we are pleased to embrace this tradition of giving back to our communities,” said Bruce Mackie, President of Golden State Collision Repair Centers. “We are thrilled to continue the gesture of helping people who have suffered economically and are working toward bettering their lives. Our hope is that this gift will be a door opened to hope and a brighter future for the recipients and their families.” Local vendors, including John L. Sullivan Chevrolet, Auto West Honda, LKQ, Keystone Automotive, Roseville Toyota, AkzoNobel, Les Schwab Tires, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, Placer Insurance Agency, Robert Nielsen Insurance Agency, Bertolino Insurance Agency, Enterprise Holdings, Inc., Farmers Insurance Group, Safeco Insurance, Allied/ Nationwide Insurance and employees of Golden State Collision Centers, donated their time and services as part of this program.

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Veteran Who Used Bicycle and Cart to Transport Daughters Gets Refurbished Car from Vallejo’s Regal Collision Repair and Other Supporting Businesses A Vallejo, CA, collision repair firm recently rewarded a 43-year-old married veteran and father of three with a 2006 PT Cruiser convertible, thanks to Regal Collision Repair’s Benevolence Program. Prior to receiving the car, Brian Sepolen of Vallejo used a bicycle and cart to get his daughters to and from school and soccer practice. Sepolen and his wife, Vinita, 44, were surprised with the gift at Regal’s Tuolumne Street shop, thinking they were there to receive a community award for his military service. With a crowd of several dozen well-wishers, including last year’s recipient, John and Cheryl Zimmerman of American Canyon, applauding, the family climbed into their new, blue ride. “I’m humbled and awed,” U.S. Army Specialist Brian Sepolen said. “We just know Vallejo’s a great town, with a lot of wonderful people and we want to make sure people know that.” A substance abuse counselor at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, Vinita Sepolen said the new car is going to change the family’s life for the better. “I’m just surprised. It’s a bless-

ing,” she said. “We needed a car, we really did, and we want to thank everybody.” A couple dozen local businesses, from car dealers to upholstery, insurance, auto parts and repair firms and others, pitched in to make the gift pos-

Benevolence Program “is like a Christmas present to someone who needs it but would never ask for it,” Jim Boyle said. “We adopted it eight years ago.” Sepolen came to the attention of Fighting Back Partnership’s John Allen nearly two months ago. “I hired him from our (United Way) SparkPoint program, on a very limited basis, to do some fixes to our computer system and to create a database for the (parolee) Second Chance (Mentoring) program,” Allen said. “He gets paid next to nothing and I felt so bad when the first day that he came in to work, he came in carrying a bicycle tire and the seat post. He told me he had chained the kid cart and Brian Sepolen and his wife Vinita sit in the conbike downstairs, but wasn’t taking vertible PT Cruiser given to them as part of the chances with anyone trying to steal Regal Collision Repair Benevolence Program. the bike. He told me he used that to (Chris Riley/Times-Herald) take his kids to and from school, sible, Regal’s owners Jim and Shellie because his wife used their car, a gas Boyle said. guzzler, to commute to work.” “I’m choked up,” Jim Boyle said. Soon after, Allen’s contacts at Regal “It’s my gift to the community. I do it be- mentioned they were still accepting cause I can and it makes me feel good.” nominations for the Benevolence ProAn outgrowth of a 15-year-old gram and were hoping to find a deconcept that started in Utah, the serving veteran needing support.

Service King Acquires AutoBody America

AutoBody America, a 20-shop collision repair operation with locations in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas, was acquired by Service King Collision Repair Centers on Dec. 30. The transactions include markets in Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Jackson, TN, Jackson, MS, and Fayettville. Service King said it will retain AutoBody America’s 250 employees throughout the 20 locations, which will have the capacity to repair more than 40,000 vehicles annually. “We are very excited to partner with a great company in AutoBody America,” said Mike Abbott, market vice president for Service King. “Our two companies have similar histories, which makes this merger a natural fit. AutoBody America and their great team will provide a strong platform for Service King in the southeastern United States,” Abbott added. Jeff McFadden, president of Service King, said, “It’s comforting to partner with an organization that delivers the level of customer service that Service King customers have grown accustomed, and we are very excited to welcome the professionals at AutoBody America to the Service

King family.” Pat James, president of AutoBody America, and Will Johnston, vice president of AutoBody America, will continue serving in leadership roles with the company. “I am so thrilled at this opportunity to join forces with such a solid company that will help my team reach their potential for professional growth,” James said. Texas-based Service King now operates a total of 83 repair locations with 16 in Tennessee, 55 in Texas, one in Mississippi, three in Arkansas and eight in Arizona. “Pat, Will and their team have done a wonderful job of serving their customers and insurance partners. We are so excited to build on that level of customer service and become a part of each community,” said Chris Abraham, CEO of Service King. “Our new team members at AutoBody America will enhance our already talented and tenured leadership team and we are excited about this partnership continuing to spur future growth for the company,” Abraham said. Service King currently employs more than 1,800 individuals in Texas and Arizona.

8 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

Caliber Collision Adds 10 New Locations in LA, OC

In early January, Caliber Collision Centers acquired Hi-Tech Collision and Glass Centers. Recognized as one of the premier collision repair companies in California, Hi-Tech Collision and Glass Centers has 10 locations in the Los Angeles and Orange County markets. Steve Grimshaw, Caliber Collision Chief Executive Officer said, “Our acquisition of Hi-Tech Collision and Glass Centers increases our market coverage and further improves customer convenience in California.” “Our acquisition of Hi-Tech Collision and Glass Centers increases the total number of Caliber locations across the southwest to 122 as we continue grow into the collision repair provider of choice in every community we serve,” added Mark Sanders, Caliber Collision Chief Operating Officer. “We are proud that Hi-Tech Collision and Glass Centers is now a part of the nation’s leading collision repair provider,” said George Boukather, Hi-Tech Chief Executive Officer. “This partnership will allow the company to continue to grow, while providing Hi-Tech’s customers with the same high standards of quality repair and personal service.”

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Think Outside the Truck Box: Spray Lining, A Coating Profit Engine by Ed Attanasio

By guiding body shops, distributors and dealers in the right direction, Spray-Lining and Coatings can advise companies such as collision repairers, automotive restoration companies and car detailers to get into the industrial coatings field and succeed at a high level. Billy Simmons, owner of Bottom Line Coatings in Houston and Texas City, TX, an automotive detailing business added Spray-Lining to its capabilities several years ago. “At first, we were coating truck beds, which we still do. But, now we’re doing big jobs, mostly marine applications for boat builders and marine structures such as piles and piers,” Simmons said. “It’s been a great source of revenue for us, because the profit margins are high and the product is well-supported. You can apply high-spec coatings to pretty much anything.” Spray-Lining’s Dealership Support Director Jeff Powell is a seasoned veteran of the industrial coatings game, so he knows how to make it or break it in this business, he explained. Powell works closely with each of his distributors nationwide to show them where there’s money to be made by tapping into all of the applications that require industrial coatings.

Before: This truck bed looks hopeless!

“We provide the training for body shops that want to look for different sources of revenue. Collision repairers, detailers and customizers have gravitated toward this business model, because it all starts in the automotive niche, doing truck beds primarily. But then if they want to go for larger jobs, such as doing things like larger com-

mercial trucks, warehouses, garage Lining and Coatings on a daily basis. “We don’t just push inventory and floors, waterscapes, koi ponds and pools—it’s like a blood transfusion. then watch you sink or swim, like some of the other companies out There are more and more applications out there that need these products, and there,” he said. “The true value of with our body shop’s technical ex- working with us is our expertise. It’s pertise, coupled with decades of really that simple. Anyone can get the Spray-Lining experience, we’re able to guide body shops to new business they could not get otherwise.” By marketing their dealers via the Internet and through direct mail, trade shows, custom signage, broadcast and print advertising in protected regions, Spray-Lining and The applications for Spray-Lining and Coatings are countless Coatings sets up its right equipment and learn how to automotive partners for success, Powapply the coatings themselves. But, ell said. can they land big ticket jobs and keep “We’ve done the same thing for the ball rolling, while avoiding comhundreds of companies all over North mon mistakes the competition might America, so it’s proven. It’s even proven in British Columbia, where the make?” Michael Knab, owner of Shammy government controls the collision Shine in Antigo, WI, sells car wash claims process. We know how to chemicals and installs car wash equipmake money in the linings business ment. He is a Spray-Lining and Coatand can turn a small investment into ings dealer and has developed the serious income with equity rather quickly using promos, training, equip- endeavor into a lucrative side business, he explained. ment and technical savvy. We’re in“Your imagination is the limit terested in selling products, of course, with how you can use these coatings, because there are so many applications out there. Truck beds are definitely a good portion of the work we get, but we also do a lot of agricultural applications, trailers, boats, swimming pools, waterscapes, and bumpers on commercial vehicles, for example. I’ve even used them on steel-toed boots for a customer, believe or not. It’s a great product, because it is easy to apply once you get used to it. You can match colors or shoot it clear and it’s extremely versatile and adaptable.” As a new Spray-Lining and Coatings distributor or by using a DIY kit, As a new Spray-Lining and Coatings distributor or by using a DIY kit, body shops can get body shops can get involved in an ininvolved in an industry that’s exploding dustry that is currently flourishing and but we focus more on promoting our growing, Powell said. dealers locally versus the national “We will loan you the equipment brands, so that they can make a solid for free for the first year and steer you markup and build their businesses.” in the right direction for more jobs and Support is the key, because withnon-automotive applications. We asout it, body shops can’t easily create sist you with the big job pricing, bidan ancillary business like the one ding processes and by working with Powell does for companies via Spray- our support department, you’ll have

10 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

answers available to you 24/7. Truck beds will bring you some additional revenue to your collision customers and you’ll also get phone calls and emails asking for bids on a wide range of different projects. By providing a better alternative to Rhino or Line-X at a lower cost, income streams can propagate rapidly. For that reason, we’re looking for body shops that want to look outside the truck bed and consider other new sources of income relevant to their experience.” By leveraging its understanding of the industry, Spray-Lining and Coatings can take on the competition and prevail against any of the “national” names in the business, Powell said. “We started in agriculture doing slip-proofing on large trailers and livestock barns and anti-stick coatings on chutes, bins, hoppers and dump trucks, well before the term “bed liner” was coined.” “We’re an alternative for companies such as Rhino, Line-X, Scorpion Coatings and DuPont Paint Protection films because our products provide a lower-cost solution to bed liners. By providing a wide range of variable textures and high-tensile clear, we’re able to offer an affordable and proven system that can supersede the usual solutions,” Powell said.

Money making applications include jobs such as the surfacing of playgrounds

Collision repairers are often careful about exploring anything not within a comfort zone, but Powell has found forward thinkers from Massachusetts to Arizona and everywhere in between, he said, that have chosen to work with Spray-Lining and Coatings. “Most shops can see the synergy between the collision business and what we’re doing,” Powell said. “Many of our body shop dealers are using this system and doing very well performing automotive-related jobs. But, others have embraced other uses for these products. 2013 may be the right time to look around for newest methods to profit, depending less on collision, insurance or low profit DRPs: Raising profit in the end.”


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Take on the Big Boys! www.autobodynews.com | FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 11


Autobody News’ Columnist to Speak at Santa Clara CAA

Autobody News columnist Ed Attanasio is the guest speaker at the Santa Clara Chapter meeting of the California Autobody Association meeting on Jan. 23. Attanasio will speak on social media and why this platform is essential for branding in today’s marketplace. His talk will include how collision repairers can use the Internet and social media to build their businesses and attain new customers. Attanasio is a freelance writer, advertising copywriter and automotive journalist with more than 30 years of experience. He is an editorial contributor for Autobody News, covering the collision repair industry in northern California, and also writes a monthly column about social media and Internet marketing for body shops. Dinner and program start at 6 p.m. at the Three Flames Restaurant, 1547 Meridian Ave. in San Jose. Cost is $25 for members and $35 for nonmembers. For more information, contact chapter president Randy Greenblat at (650) 994-9900.

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Arizona Shop Gives Away $250 Weekly to One Winner

As a way to help people who need auto body repair services, Premier Coach Works Auto & RV Body Shop in El Mirage, AZ, began a marketing initiative last December that continues into 2013. The shop is giving away a $250 gift card towards any auto body repair work done at their collision shop every week to one lucky winner. Owners, Karl Copenhaver and Matt Gorges said, “We felt like helping people. During the holiday season, we knew people were stressed out financially and distracted. With all the shopping that goes on, more accidents occur and people need auto collision repairs. But they may not be able to handle the entire cost. “We thought this might be a way to help some people to catch a break, but still get top quality body repairs done. Of course, we hope that even the people who don’t win will feel more comfortable working with us, since we are willing to try to help people in the community and build trust. So we decided to make this offer for a limited time to see how people would respond to it.”

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12 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

New CARSTAR Shop Opens in Federal Way, Washington

CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts, North America’s largest multishop operator network (MSO), is expanding in Washington with the opening of Complete Collision CARSTAR in Federal Way, WA. Complete Collision CARSTAR, located at 34627 16th Avenue South, is the third location for owner Jeff Middleton, who also owns Exhibition Automotive CARSTAR in Kent, WA, and Ballard Collision CARSTAR in Seattle. Middleton was recognized by CARSTAR in 2011 as the top franchisee of the year for operational excellence. The new CARSTAR store will benefit from the CARSTAR Management System, which provides resources to improve key business metrics. “We congratulate Jeff Middleton on his expansion to a third store and his continued commitment to operational excellence,” said David Byers, CEO of CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts. “We are thrilled to expand our presence in Washington with another top-notch collision repair center,” Byers added.

PartsTrader Releases Supplier Feedback Results

PartsTrader contracted with CSi Complete, an independent research organization, to survey participating parts suppliers within its first four pilot markets. PartsTrader says 67% of parts suppliers gave high marks to the functionality of the PartsTrader product. Over half (53%) of the suppliers indicated a score of 7 or above regarding their overall satisfaction with PartsTrader—on a scale of 0 (Poor) and 10 (Excellent). When asked specifically about their overall opinion of PartsTrader as a procurement tool, 67% responded with a score of 7 or higher. PartsTrader said a 93% satisfaction score was given to the efforts of PartsTrader employees. During early internal surveys of repairers and suppliers, the performance of PartsTrader staff had been identified as an area needing improvement. The survey also identified some areas where improvements should be addressed. PartsTrader will continue to work with industry stakeholders both within and outside of their Advisory Council to make service and product improvements as needed.

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Honda ‘Follow Your Dreams’ Float Leads 2013 Rose Parade in Pasadena

The Honda 2013 Rose Parade float entry, “Follow Your Dreams,” was the first float in the 124th Rose Parade, themed “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!™,” on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. The float’s design captured the theme through its imaginative depiction of innovative Honda technologies and Dr. Seuss-inspired features. This year marks the 52nd year Honda has collaborated with the Tournament of Roses and its third year as presenting sponsor. The allnew 2013 Honda Accord Sedan was the parade’s official pace car and the all-new 2013 Honda Accord Coupe served as the sound car. “The world of endless possibilities that awaits us all is creatively displayed on the Honda float, and it truly captures the spirit of the 124th Rose Parade theme, ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go!,’” said Tournament of Roses president Sally M. Bixby. Parade-watchers witnessed a 100-foot-long whimsical festival of dreams, imagination and youth that included three world-champion athletes riding on the float: U.S. sprinter Carmelita Jeter, and from the summer’s “Fierce Five” gymnastics team, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross. For the third straight year, Honda’s float was propelled by a spe-

cially configured hybrid, low-emission engine to help the float function more efficiently and reduce its carbon footprint. “Honda believes in The Power of Dreams, and their ability to empower us to help make society a better place,” said Stephan Morikawa, assistant vice president of American

Honda Corporate Community Relations. “The Rose Parade is an opportunity to showcase innovative Honda technologies and to wish a happy New Year to everyone watching along the Parade route and on television.” The Honda float featured more than 5,000 roses, 11,000 carnations and 2,500 gerberas. A variety of flowers, plants and seeds were be used, in-

cluding lavender dendrobs, pink pincushion protea, white queen Anne’s lace, dark blue iris, light pink carnations, orange roses, yellow button mums, bronze fine cut strawflower, purple fine cut statice, red hanging amaranth, Kermit green mums, brown flax seed, green ground parsley flakes, black onion seed, green ground split pea, shiny grey silverleaf, red large kidney beans and cream corn husk, among many others. All of these natural materials were ground up for mulch after the conclusion of the parade activities. Honda first collaborated with the Tournament of Roses in 1961 to provide two-wheeled vehicles for 1962 Parade operations. Honda has been a float participant in the Rose Parade since 1977 and has provided the official Tournament of Roses vehicle since 1994. Honda continues to supply two-wheeled vehicles and also provides side-by-side (multiutility) vehicles for Parade operations. As presenting sponsor, the Honda float is annually the first in the Parade and showcases the theme. As a result, it is not considered a commercial entry and did not compete during the judging process. Prior to becoming presenting sponsor in 2011, Honda floats won awards in 15 of the previous 16 years.

Fire at Las Vegas Body Shop Causes $300k in Damages

A fire at a Las Vegas auto body garage injured one employee and caused $300,000 in damage on New Years Day. Clark County investigators believe the fire started by welding a vehicle at Perry’s Auto Tech at 3375 Pinks Place, near Desert Inn Road and Valley View Boulevard. Firefighters found heavy smoke and fire coming from a single story auto body garage. The flames had extended to several cooling units on the roof. Eleven units and 29 firefighters aggressively knocked down the fire, preventing it from spreading to adjacent businesses. Authorities say one male employee received minor injuries in the fire.

CAA Holds Board Meeting

The California Autobody Association will hold its 1st Quarter 2013 Board of Directors’ Meeting Feb. 8–9 at Doubletree Irvine Spectrum, 90 Pacifica, in Irvine, CA. Quarterly board meetings are open to all members. A welcome reception will be from 6–8 p.m. on Friday. Saturday meetings are 8 a.m. to noon and from 1-4 p.m. Lunch on Saturday is $30. To make reservations, call (949) 4718888 and ask for the CAA group block. Group rate is $99 for single or double.

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Northern California Body Shops Gave Big in 2012 by Ed Attanasio

Charity giving is alive and well for body shops in Northern California. Four collision repairer companies were among those who gave away refurbished cars through charitable efforts during 2012. G&C Auto Body, Golden State Collision, Regal Collision and Mike’s Auto Body all stepped up last year and reached out to their respective communities in a huge way. By providing 15 needy families or non-profit organizations with vehicles, these shops changed their recipients’ lives literally overnight by giving them a new start and the independence of transportation. On Nov. 11, Mike Rose’s Auto Body held the first of its two Benevolence presentations on Veteran’s Day at its Fairfield location. The second presentation was held at its Antioch location on December 12. A total of six cars were given away by the company, setting a bar for charity amongst body shops in the Bay Area. “Mike Rose’s Auto Body has been participating in the Benevolence Program for the last 12 years and with this year’s 40th Anniversary, we have now donated 40 cars to the community, one for each year in business,” Mike Rose’s Auto Body’s Marketing Manager Sal Contreras explained. “It’s been a great journey and we’re already working on the car giveaways for 2013 right now.”

surance, Safeco Insurance, Cottage Housing and St. John’s Shelter for Women and Children, Golden State Collision’s Marketing Manager David Finklestein explained. “Community outreach is a big part of our whole approach to doing business. The value of all the things we do, including giving away food and clothing to people in need, is essential to our mission and integral to our role here in the cities we serve.

First Sergeant Quintavious Newsom and his family received a refurbished PT Cruiser from Mike Rose’s Auto Body on Veteran’s Day, 2012

With all of our car giveaways, we try to find recipients who really just need some help, in the form of much-needed transportation. In many cases, these cars provide the last piece of the puzzle and will allow these individuals to succeed in their lives.” On December 20, Regal Collision in Vallejo gave a refurbished 2006 convertible PT Cruiser to Brian Sepolen, a 43-yearold married veteran with three children. As a participant of the Akzo Nobel National Benevolence Program since 2004, Regal Collision’s Owner Jim Boyle always gets emotional every time he gives away a vehicle. “I’m choked up,” Boyle said. “This is our annual gift G&C Auto Body gave away four cars in 2012 and plans to the community and we do it to give away more this year because we can and it just On December 11, Golden State makes sense. Brian is definitely a very Collision in the Sacramento area gave worthy recipient and we’re proud to four refurbished vehicles to local fambe a part of this. In the collision inilies. Presented in four giant wrapped dustry, this program provides a wonboxes and then revealed at the comderful opportunity to get everyone pany’s 6th Annual Community involved, including our parts Benevolence Event, Golden State providers, insurance companies and Collision partnered with Farmers Inother local vendors. Plus, almost our surance Group, Allied/Nationwide Inentire crew steps up and plays a role,

14 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

which is exceptional.” will surely never change.” Toward the end of last year, G&C During the holidays, G&C doAuto Body donated four refurbished nated $15,000 during a radio telethon vehicles to North Bay families that for Secret Santa, a Sonoma-based orhad come upon tough times for a wide range of reasons, including financial stress and/or health issues, according to the company’s COO Shawn Crozat. “We gave away four vehicles in 2012 and we plan to gift a vehicle every month to a family in need. In 2013, we will be expanding the program to Mendocino and G&C Auto Body gave away four cars in 2012 and plans to Solano County. We normally give away more this year don’t like to advertise our charitable contributions, but we’re ganization that fulfills the Christmas also a major sponsor for Secret Santa, wishes of 16,000 local people that a program that gives gifts to low inhave fallen on hard times, according come or at risk people. We’re also into Crozat. “I am proud to say that our volved with Helping Hands and The company made up 12% of the total Children’s Village, whose main purdollars donated to help people at pose is to keep young family members Christmas through this promotion on together instead of separating siblings radio station KZST.” to different foster parents. As a comKent Bjugstad, general manager pany, we are in the business of makof Maverick Media, a company that ing money, but we’re continually owns and operates several radio stagiving back to people in need, and that See California Shops Give, Page 16


www.autobodynews.com | FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 15


Continued from Cover

ACIC Complains

repairs must do the following: (1) Be in “an amount that will allow for repairs to be made in accordance with accepted trade standards”; (2) Must not “deviate from the standards, costs, and/ or guidelines provided by the third-party automobile collision repair estimating software”; and (3) Require insurer adjusted estimates to be in either “an edited copy of the claimant’s repair shop estimate or a supplemental estimate..., and the adjusted estimate must “identify specific adjustment made to each item and cost ....” “The new rules also require insurers that encourage the use of aftermarket parts to provide written warranties on parts that the insurers did not manufacture,” said Feliciano. “The enabling legislation that authorizes these regulations required manufacturers to warrant the aftermarket parts, not insurers.” Under the new aftermarket parts law, insurers who try to control costs by specifying the use of aftermarket

parts must do the following: 1) Must disclose in writing that it warrants aftermarket parts to be “at least equal to the original equipment manufacturer parts in terms of kind, quality, safety, fit, and performance”; 2) Cease using the aftermarket parts if the insurer has knowledge that a part is unequal to the original equipment manufacturer parts”; and 3) Pay for the costs associated with “returning the part and the cost to remove and replace” the aftermarket parts “The use of aftermarket parts is a proven way to make quality car repairs while containing costs which then keeps premiums reasonable,” said Feliciano. “These regulations will make it more difficult for insurers to provide policyholders with affordable alternatives and choices. Limiting the use of aftermarket parts is like taking away the option to saving money by using generic drugs.” Feliciano said the new regulations give auto body repair shops “a distinct advantage in preparing scope of work estimates, which could drive up repair costs.” Feliciano told media sources that, “Auto repairers have resorted to

16 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

legislation via the regulatory process. We feel that some of these regulations that have been put into place are outside of what the CDI has the authority to do.” Former president of the ACIC, Sam Sorich, discussed the new regulations in his law blog this week and explained some of the insurance industry’s concerns. Sorich is now an attorney with the law firm Barger & Wolen LLP in Sacramento. “Insurers argued that the department lacked the authority to impose auto body repair shop regulations on insurers,” Sorich wrote. “Insurer representatives also contended that the regulatory provision that an insurer must warrant a non-OEM part is inconsistent with a Business & Professions Code statute which explains that non-OEM parts warranties are provided by the manufacturer or distributor of the parts. Insurers pointed out that the amendments would be harmful to the public because the amendments’ restriction on the use of non-OEM parts will lessen competition in repair parts and will lead to higher repair costs.

www.autobodynews.com C

Continued from Page 14

California Shops Give

tions, worked with the Crozat family to create the car giveaway promotion. “We gave the cars away through our station 104.9 The Mix during our weekly morning show, hosted by Bob and Sheri. Gene and Shawn Crozat came to us and said we want to give some cars to people in need. But, whenever Gene does something he does it in a big way, because the man has a huge heart. After looking at some of the letters people submitted, Gene said let’s give away more than just one car. To date, G&C has given away four cars to people who really need them. In some cases, Gene took the recipients to the store to get clothes and other essentials. It’s rare when you find people like the Crozat family who are willing to give back without taking credit or having an agenda. They do it just because they can and because they care. Shawn has embraced his father’s charitable nature, and I know he’ll be continuing Gene’s legacy of giving to the community for many years to come.”


On Creative Marketing Aligning with Agents

with Thomas Franklin

As insurance companies set up 800 number claims lines or move away from agents altogether with direct sales and service on-line, agents have become less of a marketing target for many shops. Nevertheless, there are still numerous agents almost everywhere, and many of their customers still call them when they have an accident. Agents are still a good referral source for collision repair business, but today an agent might be more particular about who he or she refers business to. Getting and keeping an insurance customer has become more difficult for agents today. Competition from no-agent, direct online companies is very intense these days. There are continual advertisements on TV, radio and the Internet, and low-ball rates to hook customers are common. It’s not easy for an agent to get new customers. Some shops go to great lengths to get an agent’s referrals. I’ve heard of

some that invite them for hunting parties, fishing trips, barbecues, golf tournaments, and trips to exotic places. A while back, one shop had a threemonth promotion where anyone bringing his or her car in for repair would have a chance to win a paid vacation to Hawaii. But the shop went further than that: They notified the agents that whichever agent referred the winner would also win a trip to Hawaii! Another shop initiated the practice of filling every customer’s tank with gas, and noting that the fillup was “Courtesy of the Agent.” Some insurance companies forbid their agents from accepting any gift. But what an agent would value above all else is not a gift, but rather a new customer. But how can a shop help local agents in their search for new customers? Many shops now ask customers to fill out a “Customer Satisfaction Survey” when a job is completed, or have a CSI company call

Tom Franklin has been a sales and marketing consultant for fifty years. He has written numerous books and provides marketing solutions and services for many businesses. He can be reached at (323) 871-6862 or at tbfranklin@aol.com. See Tom’s columns at www.autobodynews.com under Columnists > Franklin

them. Those with a view to building a stronger relationship with the agents can include a question on the survey regarding the customer’s satisfaction with his or her agent. These are then passed along to the agent as a free service. Many agents seek to sell their expertise as a way to get new customers. Not everyone is happy with the impersonal nature of online insurance services. These days, insurance companies try to bundle home, health, life and auto insurance as a package. Covering all of these aspects of a customer’s life and family can raise many questions. Clever agents try to get speaking opportunities at networking groups, professional association meetings and chambers of commerce where they can demonstrate their wide range of knowledge and their value as an agent. These are groups that a good shop marketing person will also be trying to address, so there may be an

opportunity for a cooperative presentation. Most insurance agents probably assume that people who have been insured with a competing company for a long time will be harder to convert than someone who hasn’t yet purchased much insurance. This suggests reaching the kind of audience that is a natural for a collision repair facility: young and beginning drivers. Smart shop marketing people like to speak at high schools and colleges and driving schools. When one of these is scheduled, it would be an ideal time to invite a key agent to also speak. The more a shop can align itself with an agent’s purposes, the more likely it will be to become an exclusive referral point for that agent. One shop I work with frequently also hosts agent manager meetings regularly. This brings agents into the shop where they can see the modern equipSee Aligning with Agents, Page 34

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www.autobodynews.com | FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 17


Social Media for Shops

Why Should Body Shops Have a Website? with Ed Attanasio

I was at a collision-related event recently when a body shop owner asked me, “Why should I have a website? The only reason I have one now is because my main competitor next door has one,” he explained. My first response was “That’s a very good reason right there.” I am surprised when I find so many successful body shops that don’t have websites. So, I decided to poll some industry and Internet experts to assemble a list of convincing reasons. Ten years ago, having a website was something to consider and weigh the advantages, but in today’s world, it’s a no-brainer for many reasons. I recently received a direct mail piece by a company that has a new DIY site that can help body shops to create websites easily and affordably. It’s called Collision Websites and the owner is David Moore, a collision veteran who has helped countless shops to develop award-winning websites over the years. Now, he’s made the process of creating a site so easy that even shops that are dragging their feet can step up and have a website within hours, rather than weeks or even months. His letter started out with some tough love questions, but very timely ones for body shops that don’t currently have websites and/or don’t see any value in them. His opening line immediately got my attention. • Are you on the cutting-edge or about to get cut? • As this industry gets younger and smarter, are you falling behind? Working hard used to be the formula for success, but now technology has changed the game. Did you know that nearly 9 out of 10 people requiring collision work will search the Internet to find someone to repair their vehicle? Statistics show that 95% of all people in the United States expect a reputable business to have a website. Unless your customer base is made up of that non-tech 5%, you’re not impressing or even reaching most of your market. If you currently don’t have a website, you’re losing revenue while reading this. And even a lousy website could cost you even more. So, for those who are still doubters,

here are my main reasons for having a website:

1) Affordable Websites are less expensive and can produce quality leads when compared to other forms of media. The Internet is a proven leader when it comes to cost per response. If you’re using a content management system such as Word Press, you can keep your website fresh and up-to-date by adding new content all the time. Because you’re big on the Internet doesn’t mean you should abandon other forms of advertising altogether. Print, radio, TV and direct mail advertising are still very strong when integrated into a media mix, and can be used to entice people to access your site and find out more about your shop. Think of a big hand with each finger representing one form of media, working in conjunction to reach customers and get cars in your shop.

2) Accessible The Internet enables body shops to break through geographical barriers and become accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. With sites like Google Maps and MapQuest, the days of getting lost while attempting to find your shop is greatly diminished, even for the directionally challenged. We always suggest that you should have a map showing your shop displayed prominently on your home page containing directions and landmarks. Since body shops are brick and mortar businesses obviously, finding you is essential and making it as easy to your potential advertisers is key. The evolution of websites has made the yellow pages and other phone directories fairly obsolete. In the old days, shops that had moved or added new locations were forced to wait until the phone books came out to tell the world where they are. Because a website is flexible, you can change the content as often as you like, which is ideal for shops that are moving or adding locations.

3) Convenient It is far more convenient for a person to research a product on the Internet than it is to get in a car, drive somewhere and look for or ask someone for information on a product. They don’t

18 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

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

have to call around or go to a library— it’s all there on their desk top, lap top or smart phone. The potential customer can visit your website whenever they want in their own privacy and comfort, without the stress and disruptions that exist in the real world. Your website is a self-service entity that can bring you customers while you sleep.

4) Valuable Your website can deliver real value by offering a ton of valuable information, such as useful tips, sage advice and general interest content that can entertain and inform your customers. This will also help them to remember your name when they get in an accident. You can use features on your website such as visitor polls, online surveys and other things and then access your website statistics to find out what your customers like and don’t like. Website statistics show you how much traffic your website receives, how the visitor

got to your website and where, geographically, the visitor is from.

5) Credible A website offers you a forum to tell prospective new customers why you’re a solid company and thereby warrant their respect and adulation. One of the best things about the Internet is that a little mom and pop shop can get as much exposure as a big chain with multiple locations. Solid shops doing exemplary work will always succeed—but by telling the world how good you are as often as you can, it surely does not hurt. If you’re not selling your brand 24/7, who will? By having a website that is full of content, simple to navigate through and easy to find, you’re instantly in the game and will be recognized as a player almost overnight. By having a presence online, you can take full advantage of all the advantages the Internet offers—and a good website is definitely the very first step.


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NADA Lines Up Keynote Speakers for Feb. 8–11 Convention The National Automobile Dealers Association hosts its 2013 Convention & Expo in Orlando, FL, Feb. 8–11. The NADA Convention & Expo is the automotive industry’s retail event of the year and the world’s largest international gathering place for franchised new-vehicle dealers. The convention offers dealers the opportunity to meet Bill Underriner face-to-face with executives of major auto manufacturers, and features hundreds of exhibitors showcasing the latest equipment, services and technologies and dozens of workshops with the industry’s best trainers. Keynote speakers include the NADA Chairman’s address by 2012 NADA Chairman Bill Underriner, an industry message by John Krafcik, President and CEO of Hyundai, an inspirational message by astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, an address by incoming 2013 Chairman David Westcott, and a keynote address by Continued from Cover

Department of Insurance

pair shops and evaluating the law, CDI drew the conclusion that defective or otherwise non-compliant aftermarket parts continued to infiltrate the repair process due to insurers’ failure to perform the necessary steps to ensure public safety. CDI had been made aware of defective aftermarket bumper reinforcements, hood latches, and other safety related parts being required by insurers that otherwise were not compliant with current repair standards. CDI had also been made aware of substantial costs borne by automobile repair shops and their customers associated with installing defective or poorly fitting parts required by insurers. Performing repairs that do not comply with current repair standards or placing an inferior aftermarket part in a vehicle may cause the vehicle’s value to depreciate. Defective parts may cause injury or even death if they malfunction. Prior to beginning the formal rulemaking, CDI listened to stakeholders

Robert Gates, former secretary of defense.

NADA Chairman’s Address Bill Underriner, 2012 NADA Chairman, will address convention attendees on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 2:30 p.m. at the Orange County Convention Center in Exhibit Hall D. Underriner, president and coowner of Underriner Motors in Billings, MT, was 2012 chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association and represents Montana’s franchised new-car dealers on the association’s board of directors. In the automobile business since 1984, Underriner took over the family business in 2001. He currently owns Honda, Hyundai, Buick and Volvo franchises in Billings. Previously, he served three terms as Treasurer of NADA and on the association’s Executive, Industry Relations, Dealership Operations and Membership committees. He has also served as chairman of the association’s Finance and Convention committees. Underriner has held a variety of offices with the Montana Automobile Dealers Association, representing consumers, insurers, automobile repair shops, distributors, and automobile manufacturers. CDI also held a pre-rulemaking workshop in November 2011, which included strong representation of many stakeholders involved in the process. Specifically, this rulemaking will strengthen and enhance current law by: • Requiring an insurer to pay for the costs associated with returning a defective part and the cost to remove and replace the defective part with a compliant non-OEM part or an OEM part; • Requiring the current insurer’s warranty be expressly stated in the estimate of repair generated by the insurer; • Requiring an insurer to cease use of a part known to be non-compliant, and to notify the part distributer within thirty (30) days; • Requiring an insurer to pay for an amount to repair the damaged vehicle to its pre-loss condition in a good and workmanlike manner, based upon the repair standards required by auto body repair shops licensed by the Bureau of Automotive Repair.

20 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

including chairman of the board. He has been a member of the Dealers Election Action Committee’s (DEAC) Presidents Club for five years.

Industry Message John Krafcik, President and CEO of Hyundai, also will present his message at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9 in Exhibit Hall D in the Orange County Convention Center. Krafcik, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor America, is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the company’s operations in the United States. Krafcik joined Hyundai in 2004 as vice president John Krafcik of Product Development and Strategic Planning after a long tenure at Ford Motor Company. With his guidance, Hyundai reshaped its American lineup with industryleading positions in design, innovation, and fuel efficiency. After moving to his current role in

late 2008 as president and chief executive officer, Krafcik and his team have increased Hyundai’s U.S. market share over 50% under challenging market conditions on the strength of growing accolades, breakthrough products, and innovative marketing programs.

Inspirational message Captain Mark Kelly, Commander of the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s final mission, speaks at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10, in Exhibit Hall D at the Orange County Convention Center. Kelly is an American astronaut, retired US Navy Captain, best sellingauthor, prostate cancer survivor, and an experienced naval aviator who flew combat missions during the Gulf War. The winner of many awards, including the Legion of Merit, two Defense Superior Service Medals Capt. Mark Kelly and two Distinguished Flying Crosses, Kelly was selected as an astronaut in 1996. He flew

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his first of four missions in 2001 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, the same space shuttle that he commanded on its final flight in May 2011. He has also commanded Space Shuttle Discovery and is one of only two individuals who have visited the International Space Station on four different occasions. Already a celebrated American, Kelly became the center of international attention after the January 2011 assassination attempt on his wife, former US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. In their bestselling memoir, Gabby, the couple shares their story of hope and resilience with the world. The inspirational memoir has topped multiple best-seller lists. Kelly and Giffords appeared in an exclusive Diane Sawyer interview, and on Nightline and The Daily Show. Kelly has a new children’s book titled Mousetronaut: A Partially True Story. Kelly’s identical twin brother, Scott, is also an astronaut who served as commander of both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. They share the distinction of being the only siblings who have traveled in space.

Incoming NADA Chairman’s Address David Westcott, the 2013 incoming NADA chairman, will address convention attendees on Monday, Feb. 11 at 3:30 p.m. in Exhibit Hall D in David Westcott the Orange County Convention Center. Westcott, president of Westcott Automotive, in Burlington, NC, was the 2012 vice chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association and represents North Carolina’s franchised new-car dealers on the association’s board of directors. A new car-dealer since 1981, Westcott previously was NADA’s Region II vice chairman and a North Carolina Auto Dealers Association (NCADA) chair to the Self-Insurance Fund. He was also chairman of the Buick National Dealer Council, GM President’s Council and Buick’s Brand Team. From 1995 through 1996, Westcott was president of the NCADA, during which time he also received the TIME Dealer of the Year Award from NADA and TIME Magazine.

Keynote Address Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense from 2006-2011, will also speak at 3:30 on Monday, Feb. 11 at the Orange County Convention Center in Exhibit Hall D. Dr. Robert M. Gates served as the 22nd Secretary of Defense and is the only Secretary of Defense in U.S. history to be asked to remain in that office by a newly-elected President. President Barack Obama is the eighth president Gates has served. He previously served under President George W. Bush. On Gates’ last day in office, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. Before becoming Secretary of Defense in 2006, Gates was the president of Texas A&M University, the nation’s sixth largest single campus university. Prior to assuming the Texas A&M presidency, on August 1, 2002, he served as interim dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M from 1999 to 2001. Gates joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966 and spent nearly 27 years as an intelligence professional. During that period, he spent

nearly nine years at the National Security Council, The White House, serving four presidents of both political parties. Gates served as director of Central Intelligence from 1991 until 1993. He is the only career officer in CIA’s history to rise from entry-level employee to director. He served as deputy director of Central Intelligence from 1986 until 1989 and as assistant to the President and Deputy National Security AdRobert Gates viser at the White House from January 20, 1989, until November 6, 1991, for President George H.W. Bush. Gates has been awarded the National Security Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal, has three times received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and has three times received CIA’s highest award, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. He is the author of the memoir, “From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insiders Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War,” published in 1996. See NADA Keynote Speakers, Page 25

www.autobodynews.com | FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 21


Inside Insurance

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

Changes at I-CAR a Good Foundation to Build Upon with The Insurance Insider

Training…What is it good for? Ab- anyone with a toolbox on wheels is a solutely nothing. Say it again. professional body technician. Hopefully, you were able to sing I-CAR still has a lot of other with Chasidy Rae changes Sisk to make, but this is a solid along to the modified lyrics to the song “War,” a hit performed by foundation to build upon. I wish they Edwin Starr. If you aren’t familiar would have made these changes with it, it is a famous song protesting sooner but it is indicative of the entire war. And that probably also means that you were born in a different generation where war andChasidy protests areRae Sisk with things you’ve only read about. Speaking of protests, there was an informal one staged by collision repairers a few years ago. Leaders in the industry were dissatisfied with I- industry. Repairers and insurers are CAR’s direction and the level of serv- notoriously slow to adopt and impleice I-CAR provided. The training ment change. Why should a supplier I-CAR offered was deemed outdated to the industry like I-CAR be any difand to some degree was becoming ferent? more irrelevant by the day. I realize that there are some chalI-CAR listened and took action, lenges with the new I-CAR Gold making significant change to its train- Class system and cost is at the top of ing curriculum, structure and delivery the list. Small independent shops to methods. This led to additional, much large consolidators have publicly exneeded changes in the requirements to pressed their concerns with the cost of attain I-CAR Gold and Platinum sta- the training. But aside from the cost, tus. there is no denying the need for ongoIn my humble but wise opinion, ing education specific to your job and I-CAR finally did something right. responsibilities, especially when you They listened to their customers. They consider the alarming rate of change asked the entire industry for input – in the way vehicles are being manuand then delivered. factured. You will not be equipped to There are pundits out there who properly repair many vehicles without question I-CAR’s motives. “They did training. it for the money,” stated one uninI realize that there is still a lot to formed repairer. “They did it because be desired relative to I-CAR training, insurance companies made them do but at the present time there isn’t a it,” cited another uninvolved repairer. better alternative. I believe that the If improving the level of training cost to train technicians would be a and competency of technicians is an moot point if there was a financial inulterior motive, then I-CAR guilty is centive. Most shops don’t believe that as charged. While you may not like there is a return on investment. In the new requirements or costs, the de- some ways, I agree with the premise cisions were not made in a vacuum. that there is no direct return, even Many of the brightest minds in the in- though there are least a few insurance dustry participated this cataclysmic companies that require Gold Class stashift within I-CAR. And yes, if you tus. Insurance companies should pay were wondering, the brightest minds a higher labor rate to those shops that in the industry aren’t solely insurance have made significant investments in company representatives. training as well as tooling and equipHas I-CAR’s implementation of ment. Pro Level training requirements been “If you truly believed that, you beneficial? From an insurer’s perwould change it,” you might be thinkspective, it was a significant win for ing. My answer is that it isn’t that simthe entire industry. The days of a ple. The complexities of labor rates painter taking a class on steering to at- and the impact it can have on the prictain I-CAR Platinum are now as out- ing of our insurance products could dated as the misconception that make a carrier non-competitive and

Northeast News Shop Showcase

lose market share almost overnight. That is one example of the differences between repairers and insurers. Repairers can make a decision for their business, take accountability and understand the short- and long-term impact. Insurers do not have that luxury or the latitude to take immediate action. A decision made in one department could adversely impact several others, unknowingly to those taking the action. Policyholder retention and growth are the primary drivers of most decisions made by carriers in today’s extremely competitive marketplace. That is why there is such a focus on cost and customer service. For now, a shop’s return on investment in training can be found in a safe and proper repair, professional technicians and reduced cycle time. Although I would never say that I-CAR Platinum or Gold Class designations guarantee a proper repair, I believe that they increase the probability

Mainstream Media

22 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

of one. Ongoing training through the Pro Levels 2 and 3 ensure that a technician’s knowledge improves and that he or she grows professionally. I-CAR still has a lot of work to do but the longest journey starts with the first step. Hopefully, 2013 will bring about the next level of change that is needed, including more testing. This has always been a sore subject amongst those who have ever paid for or taken an I-CAR class. The reality is that unless more insurers require I-CAR Gold Class or Gold Class shops are compensated at a higher rate, the altered lyrics in Starr’s song will continue to resonate with many in the industry. “The Insider” is an auto insurance company executive who wishes to remain anonymous. This column reflects solely the opinion of The Insider as it offers an unvarnished look at various issues impacting the collision industry.

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I-CAR Tech

This article first appeared in the I-CAR Advantage Online, which is published and distributed free of charge. I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, is a not-for-profit international training organization that researches and develops quality technical education programs related to collision repair. To learn more about I-CAR, and to subscribe to the free publication, visit http://www.i-car.com.

I-CAR: Necessary Culture Changes for Blueprinting Process Blueprinting is a term often heard in the will be involved. To be successful, implement small changes at first, so the steps necessary to repair a vehicle. For example, the “extra work” at perceptions must be changed. that the people who are resistant to collision repairDistinctive industry. Blueprinting those Dealerships means different things to different peowith Larry Williams ple, but blueprinting really is establishChanging Staff Perceptions ing a standard operating procedure The blueprinting process requires a (SOP) that allows for the discovery of culture change throughout the repair all the damages before repairs begin. As facility. It also requires input from the part of the blueprinting process, all the entire team, not just management, to parts should be identified right down to be successful. To change the culture, the blend panels and the clips that are with Lee Amaradio Jr. needed. The correct repair information should be found along with any color matching that needs to be done. Following these steps and others, before repairs begin, will eliminate the problems that arise from finding additional damage during the repair process, which can interrupt and delay the repairs on that Figure 1 The estimator is working with a vehicle. Worse yet, is when the vehicle disassembly technician at the vehicle, as it is being disassembled is repaired incorrectly because vehicle maker repair procedures were not folit may take some time for everyone to lowed. get onboard with the changes. They One of the biggest challenges to may feel that the new system will afimplementing the blueprinting process fect their efficiency and the work they may be the staff’s perception of what produce. That is one of the reasons to

Amaradio Explains CRA

Consumer Callout

making the changes can see positive results immediately. It is also important to change the staff’s thought process from being an individual to a team concept (see Figure 1). This is where everyone involved in the repair process is responsible for all the repairs of all the vehicles, not just the person who did a particular task. This does not mean that everyone does the same tasks or needs to work on all the vehicles that come through the repair facility. What this does mean is that the words “that’s not my job” should be eliminated from everyone’s vocabulary. By changing to a team approach, when one person is struggling with something, there is always someone to offer assistance or guidance. The people involved in the blueprinting process also need to understand that one of the main concepts of blueprinting is rearranging the order of

ALL OEM Information with Dan Espersen

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with Janet Chaney

the beginning of the repair process may be incorrectly perceived as additional work. However, in reality it is work that

Figure 2 An estimator is taking preliminary measurements using the Matrix Wand measuring system

was traditionally done throughout the repair. By doing this work in the beginning, all of the repairs can be completed in a complete, efficient, and timely manner. An example of this would be disassembling a blend panel before the vehicle enters the repair technician’s stall, and finding that a door molding is a one-time use molding. By identifying


this one-time use molding in the beginning of repairs, it allows the part to be ordered and prevent the vehicle from being delayed due to a missing part. Some staff members may not be willing to make the necessary changes to the new blueprinting process. In this case, the person in charge may have to make some hard decisions. If this person can be convinced to try the changes, they’ll most likely get onboard with the changes. If the person refuses to change what they’ve always done, the blueprinting process will be difficult, if not impossible to implement. Unfortunately, it may end in the manager and technician deciding to part ways; this is never an easy decision. A disassembly blueprint estimator is an example of one of the many options for implementing the blueprinting process. With this option, the person that does the disassembly is also the one submitting the completed damage report. Another option is a dedicated technician and estimator working together in a dedicated stall. This system allows for the two people to develop an SOP so that they can be consistent in the blueprinting process. How blueprinting is implemented will be influenced by the size and con-

figuration of the repair facility (see Figure 2). Whatever system will work in the repair facility is what should be implemented. While all vehicles and collisions are different, the blueprinting process for each repair can remain consistent. It is important that once the process starts, the same blueprinting process must be followed on each vehicle. However, this does not mean that the blueprinting process cannot evolve and change. Once the blueprinting process is in place, there will be steps in the process that may require modification and improvement. For more information on implementing the blueprinting process, take the I-CAR Live Demo “Blueprinting Process and Damage Discovery (BLU01)” course. This interactive course defines the blueprinting process and helps improve repair quality while streamlining efficiencies through a standardized approach to collision repair planning. During this course, the instructor uses an actual vehicle to demonstrate technique to help students uncover hidden damage that impacts the repair process. To find a class near you and to register, visit www.i-car.com and use the Live Class Search Feature.

Finishmaster Closes Two Acquisitions, CA and NJ

FinishMaster, Inc. announced two new acquisitions in two states. On December 28, 2012 the company acquired the Ewing, NJ, location of Mid-State Automotive Paint and Body Shop Supply, Inc. Mid-State has been servicing the local collision repair industry for more than 32 years. FinishMaster also completed on January 7, 2013 the acquisition of the assets of Central Paint and Car Specialty in Ukiah, CA. Central Paint was founded more than 20 years ago. F in is h M as ter currently operates five other locations in New Jersey and 29 in California. “These acquisitions expand our footprint in the New Jersey and California markets, giving us the ability to better serve our customers,” stated Steve Arndt, President and Chief Operating Officer. FinishMaster is headquartered in Indianapolis, IN, and operates three major distribution centers with 165 branches in 25 of the largest metropolitan areas in the country.

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NADA Keynote Speakers

Until becoming Secretary of Defense, Gates served as chairman of the Independent Trustees of The Fidelity Funds, the nation’s largest mutual fund company, and on the board of directors of NACCO Industries, Inc., Brinker International, Inc. and Parker Drilling Company, Inc. Gates currently serves on Starbucks’ Board of Directors. He has also served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the American Council on Education, the Board of Directors of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges and the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America. He has also been president of the National Eagle Scout Association. A native of Kansas, Gates received his master’s degree in history from Indiana University and his doctorate in Russian and Soviet Give us Georgetown your opinion on ma history from University. Gates was installed as Chancellor of the College of William and Mary in 2012.

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DuPont Launches GM-Sponsored Parts Rebate Program by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Jan. 1, DuPont Performance Coatings (DPC) launched their newest program, a parts rebate program sponsored by General Motors. This program, available to DPC’s network of collision repair shops, rewards registered shops with a rebate whenever they choose 100% Genuine GM Parts for selected repairs through CollisionLink. DPC’s new GM Sponsored Parts Rebate program offers Independent Repair facilities the opportunity to receive a 5% cash rebate from GM when the program’s criteria is met. “There has been a tremendous response from the market since the program was formally announced at the beginning of this month. We are constantly striving to bring added value to our customers in the autoGary S. Scott, motive collision OEM Accounts repair industry and Manager, are confident this Collision Services program will be popular,” said Gary S. Scott, OEM Accounts Manager, Collision Services at DPC. DPC’s new rebate program is already popular with its current participants. Kim MacManus, owner of Glidden Auto Body in Bangor, ME, notes that registration was extremely easy since she was already registered with CollisionLink. Furthermore, the rebate “lowers our cost, allowing us to put that money back towards the cost of the part…it’s free money you’re getting back!” Scott Gudmunson, shop manager of Lehman Garage in MN, does not feel that there are any drawbacks to the program, but he finds getting money back to be a great benefit of participation. Don Murphy, owner of The Wreck Room in Villa Park, IL, points out “we’re buying the parts anyway; this is just a direct rebate so it’s like getting free money, plus it is all done automatically so there is no need for additional bookkeeping.” The 5% rebate, minus a 1.25% administrative fee which results in a 3.75% net rebate, will be electronically transferred to the shop’s designated account on a quarterly schedule. Unlike other programs, shops do not have to

apply for their automated rebate after registering for DPC’s rebate program. No additional forms or steps are required in order to obtain the rebate. In order to participate in this program, shops can sign up at www.performancegateway.com/partsrebate using their existing login for either the DuPont Performance Alliance or Per-

formance Claims websites. Following onscreen instructions, shops will complete their general and GM Parts Rebate Program profiles, and they will also complete an ACH form and W9 which will be faxed to 608-210-8040, authorizing their rebates to be electronically deposited in the indicated account. Shops may enroll at any time throughout 2013; however, shops may only participate in one GM sponsored rebate program annually, so shops already participating in another, similar program may only change their program administration during the month of January 2013. Beginning February 1, 2013, DPC’s rebate program is only available to shops who aren’t currently participating in a similar program through another vendor. Upon registration, it will be validated that shops are not actively engaged in another program, and shops will be notified if they are ineligible. Similarly, they will be informed when they become an active member of the GM Parts Rebate Program. After a shop has completed program registration, their estimate must meet GM requirements for GM replacement parts, and the shop will receive verification that their estimate meets the necessary criteria after transmitting the estimate through CollisionLink. Shops must transmit their parts order to their selected dealer through CollisionLink in order to receive the rebate. Estimates that qualify will be tracked, and shops will receive a monthly report. Qualified parts consist of parts ordered for vehicles with model years of two or more years, and rebates do not apply to part orders on current model year vehicles; parts must be new, genuine GM OE parts supplied by a licensed dealer in order to qualify for the rebate. A list of the parts eligible

26 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

for the program are defined by GM. Beyond the obvious monetary incentive, DPC’s rebate program offers additional benefits to participants. The automated rebate deposit allows shop to receive the rebate without increasing their workload. Also, the shop’s customers can receive a Certificate of Authenticity for their Genuine GM OEM replacement parts which aids shops’ credibility and increases the integrity of repairs. The program can also assist in reducing cycle time which will lead to higher customer satisfaction ratings. Since rebates are processed through Gates Business Solutions and paid directly from GM, there is no need for a shop to change their existing ordering dealership. Shops will begin receiving rebates automatically on a quarterly basis after registration. Shops are unable to add additional parts to a transaction order after the CollisionLink software has extracted the order for processing. If a transaction contains non-OE parts designated as exceptions by GM, the transaction can still be submitted and may qualify for a rebate if all other requirements are met. If a shop

feels that specific parts should be classified as an exception, they should identify the line item containing the part believed to be an exception and submit it through CollisionLink for review. The transaction will be held pending review of the possible exception; if approved, the transaction may proceed, but if it is rejected, the corresponding transaction will also be rejected. Approved exceptions are added to the database for automatic processing of future transactions containing the approved exceptions. For shops that also participate in GM-sponsored price-matching programs, the price-matched parts must be identified. These may or may not disqualify the transaction, depending on the manufacturer. Discounted parts do not qualify for rebates, but including parts that are eligible for price-matching will not disqualify a transaction if parts are purchased at the shop’s normal discount level. To register for DPC’s rebate program or to obtain more information about the program, please visit: www.performancegateway.com/partsrebate.

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AUTOMAKER, OEM, AND RECALL Autobody News

GM Recalls Nearly 119,000 Pickups for Missing Latches

General Motors Co. is recalling 145,000 pickups that may not have a secondary latch to prevent the hood from unexpectedly opening. The recall covers the 2010-2012 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks that may not have a back-up hood latch, including 118,800 in the United States, along with 15,264 in Canada, 7,492 in Mexico and 4,069 around the world. If the primary latch isn’t engaged while the vehicle is in motion, the hood could strike the windshield potentially causing a crash, GM said in a report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. An analysis of one hood showed the latch assembly had no evidence of welds for the secondary latch, suggesting the latch assembly missed the weld station at the latch plate supplier. GM said the production process did not have any error-proofing to prevent material from bypassing the end of line weld station. Dealers are to inspect for the presence of the secondary hood latch. If the latch is missing, dealers will replace the hood.

Audi Plans 2016 Start in Mexico

Audi is firming up plans for its plant in San Jose Chiapa, Mexico. Mattias Rust, project manager for staff in Mexico, said construction will begin in 2014 and production will start in May 2016 with about 3,800 employees. Audi plans annual output of about 150,000 units of its Q5 crossover. Training of Mexican employees is scheduled to start this year at Audi’s Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm plants in Germany. Some Audi employees from Germany will help with the launch in Mexico. The automaker is recruiting German workers for deployments ranging between four and 15 months, as well as for stays of up to five years.

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BMW Sales Surge in China

BMW Group said sales of its cars and SUVs in China rose 73% in December to 30,470 vehicles. Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 72% to 28,184, while deliveries of Mini brand vehicles surged 96% to 2,286. In November, BMW Group reported a sales leap of 62.3% to 31,090, which the automaker said was due to strong demand for its X1 small SUV and series 3 long wheelbase models. Full-year group sales in China rose 40% to 326,444 vehicles, BMW said.

Dealer Lawsuit Against Tesla Dismissed by Judge

Dealers trying to block Tesla Motors Inc.’s retail stores in Massachusetts lost another round when a judge dismissed their lawsuit against the electric vehicle maker. In a recent ruling, Norfolk County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fishman said the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association and other plaintiffs lacked standing to sue. It was the same reasoning the judge used in a November ruling denying a preliminary injunction against Tesla’s suburban Boston store. “We disagree with his decision,” Robert O’Koniewski, the association’s executive vice president, said. He contends the association has standing under changes made to the state’s franchise law in 2002. “If you read the statute, it’s pretty clear: a factory cannot own a store, and a dealer can sue for injunctive relief if they feel the public is being harmed.” Tesla, in a statement, said the ruling validated its retail strategy in Massachusetts and other states. “We are confident that other states will also come to this same conclusion and look forward to following through on our commitment to introduce consumers to electric vehicle technology in an open, friendly, no-pressure environment,” Elon Musk, Tesla co-founder and CEO, said. Tesla’s first Massachusetts showroom opened in September.

30 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

GM Could Face $918 Million Hit from Bankruptcy Lawuit

A U.S. bankruptcy judge could soon rule on whether the 2009 government-led restructuring of General Motors improperly favored hedge funds, and an adverse ruling could cost the automaker nearly $1 billion. Judge Robert Gerber must decide whether a ‘lock-up agreement’ in the restructuring sent $367 million to a group of hedge fund noteholders at the expense of other creditors. A trust representing unsecured creditors has sued to undo the lockup agreement, arguing that it was a last-minute deal secretly folded into GM’s bankruptcy to ensure the hedge funds’ support. After the automaker, or ‘Old GM,’ filed for bankruptcy in 2009, its best assets were sold to the new General Motors Co. The remainder of the company once known as General Motors Corp. then was liquidated for the benefit of creditors. While the hedge funds, which hold notes with about $1 billion in face value, received the $367 million under the lock-up agreement, unsecured creditors received just pennies on the dollar. The hedge funds and other investors in the notes also received a claim against ‘Old GM’ for $2.67 billion. In its lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, the creditors’ trust alleged that the lock-up agreement was unfair to ‘Old GM’ creditors. The trust said the deal took place after the bankruptcy filing.

GM Recalls Trucks, SUVs

General Motors is recalling almost 54,700 of its 2013 trucks and sport utility vehicles because of a roll-away danger, according to a report the automaker filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The action covers the Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV and Escalade EXT; Chevrolet Avalanche, Express, Silverado (1500 and heavy duty), Suburban and Tahoe; GMC Savana, Sierra (1500 and heavy duty) and the Yukon and Yukon XL. All are 2013 models.

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February 2013

Subaru Recalls 634,000 Cars

Subaru is recalling as many as 634,000 vehicles in the United States for potential lighting problems that could lead to smoke or fire, according to U.S. safety regulators. The recall potentially affects some Forester vehicles 2009-2012, all Legacy and Outback vehicles 2010-2012, and some Tribeca vehicles 2006-2012. The 633,842 vehicles potentially affected by the recall may be equipped with accessory puddle lights that when lit brighten the areas under the doors, according to NHTSA documents. A short circuit can develop when the light or connector are exposed to an electrolytic moisture source such as road spray that has road salt in it, the NHTSA said. That can cause heat that could melt the plastic, resulting in smoke or fire.

Nissan Reprices Leaf

Nissan announced that U.S. pricing for the new 2013 Nissan LEAF will start at an MSRP of $28,800 for the newly-added S grade, making it the lowest priced five-passenger electric vehicle sold in the United States. Depending on location, some consumers may purchase the vehicle for as low as $18,800 with qualifying federal and state tax credits, putting the LEAF on par with gas-powered vehicles of its size. Nissan’s objective for the LEAF has always been to produce an affordable zero-emission vehicle for the mass market, and the 2013 LEAF is a prime example of that commitment with increased value at every trim level, making it more accessible for more people. “With nearly 50,000 LEAFs on the road globally, we are the leaders in zero emissions vehicles and our class-leading product just got better,” said Billy Hayes, Global vice president of LEAF sales for Nissan. ‘From the very outset, Nissan has continuously advanced and refined the affordable zero emissions vehicle ownership experience. Now customers won’t have to pay a premium for owning a green car that’s really fun to drive, and that’s exciting.”


Toyota Top in U.S. Recalls

Toyota Motor Corp. recalled more vehicles—5.3 million—than any other automaker in the U.S. in 2012. It was the third time in the last four years that Toyota led in U.S. recalls. A Detroit News review of recall data found that 16.2 million cars, trucks, motorcycles and RVs were recalled in 2012, a 4.5% increase over the 15.5 million vehicles recalled in 2011. Combined, the seven biggestselling automakers in the U.S. market recalled about 13.5 million vehicles last year, up from 12.5 million in 2011. The number of recall campaigns fell slightly in 2012 to 593, from 587 campaigns in 2011. Several big recall trends emerged: Fire issues, air bag problems, rust and rollaway vehicles accounted for most of the major recalls in 2012. And U.S. regulators fined three major automakers—Toyota, BMW AG and Volvo Cars—for failing to issue timely recalls. Toyota had the most difficult year on the safety front. Honda Motor Co., which led 2011 with 3.9 million recalls, called back 3.4 million vehicles in 2012, second among automakers. Third among automakers was General Motors Co.

Hyundai Recalls Velosters

Hyundai is recalling Veloster cars for sunroof and parking brake flaws for certain Veloster 2012 coupes. The first recall includes 13,500 cars built Nov. 1, 2011–April 17, 2012 and equipped with panoramic sunroofs. The sunroof assemblies in these cars may break while the car is being driven. In a separate action the car maker is recalling 4,490 Velosters built from July 2, 2011–Feb. 27, 2012 and equipped with manual transmissions. The cars’ parking brake mechanisms might bind after exposure to moisture and road grime.

GM Volt Sales Tripled in 2012

General Motors Co. said its 2012 sales of the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt tripled from 2011. U.S. sales of the Volt for 2012 topped 23,000 for the year, said Michelle Malcho, a spokeswoman for GM. GM had sold 20,828 extended-range electric Volt cars through November. In 2011, it sold 7,671 Volt cars, below its forecast of 10,000 for its first full year of sales. Volt sales got a boost when California granted solo drivers access to carpool lanes. GM spokesman Jim Cain says 1-in-3 Volts are now sold in the Golden State.

NHTSA Clears Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Freestar

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is ending its investigations into the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2004-05 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey without seeking recalls, saying the issues don’t pose a serious safety concern. The U.S. auto safety agency recently closed both investigations and posted a report disclosing the decisions. In July, NHTSA opened an investigation into 107,000 Chrysler SUVs of power steering hose blowoffs that could result in fires. Chrysler said the condition would typically occur early, with less than 8,000 miles. Chrysler modified the cooler assembly process to address factors that may contribute to hose blow-offs. Separately, NHTSA said it was closing an investigation into 205,000 2004-05 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans over complaints of faulty jacks to change tires. NHTSA said about half the consumers in complaints were using the jack for something other than tire changing. About half had also not properly chocked a wheel or set the parking brake.

Toyota to Fix Faulty Trunk Release Lever in Lexus

Toyota is expected to alert about 700,000 vehicle owners of 20072013 Lexus ES, 2006-2012 Lexus IS, and 2013 Lexus GS models due to a problem with the emergency trunk release found by Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports found that the emergency interior trunk escape lever on the 2013 Lexus ES and GS can easily snap off during use, potentially leaving a trapped occupant without any way to escape. When the lever is pulled straight or toward the passenger side of the vehicle, it worked fine, Consumer Reports said. However, when pulled toward the driver’s side, the plastic surround acts as a fulcrum and snaps the emergency release handle off easily, preventing the trunk from opening. Consumer Reports immediately notified both Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about its findings. Toyota was able to reproduce the problem, and it identified another model, the IS, that also was prone to the release breaking. Toyota is replacing the ABS plastic release with a more robust polypropylene unit, strengthened with supporting ridges.

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Actor/Activist Danny Glover Joins Nissan Workers’ Right to Unionize Campaign A group asking for the right to vote on the unionization of a Nissan plant in Mississippi accused the automaker of intimidation at a protest Jan. 14 in Detroit, the Detroit News has reported. Along with actor activist Danny Glover, members of the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan (MAFFAN) held its protest just steps away from Cobo Center and the 2013 North American International Auto Show. According to the group, workers who show any interest in talking about organizing the plant in Canton, MS, are intimidated by management hints that the plant would close if they unionized. “When workers at Nissan began to organize a union, Nissan responded with implied threats that they would leave Mississippi if workers unionized,” said the Rev. R. Isaac Jackson, president of the General Missionary Baptist State Convention of Mississippi and chair of MAFFAN. The UAW is supporting the group in its efforts to start a union at the factory, which has 5,000 full and contract laborers. According to Jackson, employees at the Canton plant—which assembles seven different vehicles, including the Titan and Frontier pickups, Armada and Xterra SUVs, Altima sedan and

two Nissan vans—have been seen wearing T-shirts reading “Want a union? Move to Detroit.” MAFFAN also stated that salaries and benefits to contract employees at the plant were half of its full-time workers.

Actor Danny Glover advocates for the right to unionize at a plant in Mississippi

“The right to work doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to organize,” Glover said. “They have unions in South Africa and Japan. We’re only asking for the right to vote on a union and not face intimidation.” David Reuter, Nissan’s vice president of corporate communications, denied the accusations. “Those allegations are unfounded,” said Reuter, who is in Detroit for the auto show. “As to the T-shirts, those are freely worn by some of our employees as a show of support

New App Gives Shops New Way to Update Status

Audatex North America, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Solera Holdings, Inc., the leading global claims solutions provider serving the automotive industry, recently launched a new iPhone app for AutoWatch, its web-powered repair tracking solution. The new app follows the July introduction of an AutoWatch Android app and is available as a free download to all AutoWatch customers via iTunes and the iPhone App Store. AutoWatch gives collision repair facilities a proven way to enhance customer service and improve customer communication by allowing vehicle owners to view the progress of their repairs online. Repairers use the solution daily to upload and post digital photos and the latest vehicle repair status information to an interactive website, keeping customers up to date through completion of the job. Now, repair facilities can upload this same repair status information quickly and conveniently via their iPhones—whether they’re away from the office or working on the shop floor. At the same time, vehicle owners can choose to receive AutoWatch vehicle status updates on the web, via email or text message, and can even share updates with friends via Face-

book. “With both Android and iPhone apps now available for AutoWatch, we’re covering every corner of the smart phone market in order to give shops all the options they need to connect more effectively with vehicle owners,” said Gordon Henderson, Vice President, Collision Repair Services, Audatex North America. “Better communication not only leads to an improved claim experience, but also translates into more referral business as well as stronger DRP relationships.” Hundreds of AutoWatch users are now taking advantage of the mobile apps to issue instant repair updates from their smart phones, according to Henderson. “I really like the ease and convenience of the AutoWatch iPhone App,” said Greg James, Manager of Rick Warner Body Shop in Salt Lake City, UT. “Having AutoWatch in my pocket on my phone has certainly helped me keep my customers better informed of their repair status.” Henderson added, “The mobile apps are taking off as AutoWatch has been proven to reduce incoming customer phone calls, compress cycle times and, ultimately, increase customer satisfaction.”

32 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

for the company. We have a large contingent in our plant who want to make sure the union understands they don’t want a union in our factory.” Reuter pointed out the annual manufacturing wage in the Canton area has increased since Nissan moved its plant into the area. “Their annual average wage is one of the highest, if not the highest manufacturing wages in Mississippi,” Reuter said. “As for unionization at the factory, that is something for our employees to decide, and we respect their right to do so. But when you get to the bottom line, we know internally that there is little interest in being unionized.” Michael Carter is one of the workers at the Canton plant who is pushing for the right to vote on a union. “It’s not about pay; it’s about respect,” said Carter, who earns $23.50 an hour. “We want a voice in what’s going on at the factory.” The UAW has been frustrated in its efforts to organize Nissan workers in the South. “This is not only a fight for the workers in Mississippi, it’s for all workers,” Glover said. “For the right to stand up and say ‘I am a man.’”

Vote: 2013 ASA Board Elections

Voting is open through the end of February to elect the 2013 Automotive Service Association (ASA) national board of directors. All regular members in good standing with ASA are eligible to vote for one position of general director. Casting a vote is done by calling a toll-free telephone number or visiting a secure voting site, which may be accessed from ASA’s website at www.ASAshop.org. The voting line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until voting closes at 5 p.m. Central Time on Feb. 28, 2013.

FHWA Estimates 2012 Fatalities

A statistical projection of traffic fatalities for the first half of 2012 shows that an estimated 16,290 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This represents an increase of about 9% as compared to the estimated 14,950 fatalities that occurred in the first half of 2011. Preliminary data reported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) shows that vehicle miles traveled in the first six months of 2012 increased by about 15.6 billion miles, or about a 1.1% increase.

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Cintas Typecasts the Worst Driving Offenders and Offers Safety Tips According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 32,310 motor vehicle traffic fatalities occurred in 2011. With snowfall and the potential for icy roads now part of many forecasts, it’s even more important for drivers to be cautious and follow the rules of the road. To remind commuters to avoid hazardous driving behaviors, Cintas Corporation, a leader in first-aid and safety products, has identified the seven worst driving offenders. The seven worst driving offenders are: 1. The Beauty Queen—Women have been known to occasionally apply lipstick, mascara and even nail polish while driving. But without both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, it’s easy to lose control of a vehicle. To avoid a fender bender and a botched makeup application, drivers should leave beauty products in their purses at all times. 2. The Hungry Commuter—Eating while driving is yet another habit that results in hands-free driving. Hungry commuters are often involved in accidents or near misses because they can’t react quickly to sharp curves or properly handle lane changes. Drivers should eat before they drive or plan a roadside stop in order to grab a meal.

3. The Tech-Obsessed—Although many states have laws prohibiting or limiting texting or talking on cell phones, drivers still obsess over gadgets like phones and GPS systems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 25% of drivers in the U.S. admitted to “regularly or fairly often” talking on cell phones while behind the wheel. Drivers should refrain from these activities since reflexes are slowed when their attention is on technology. 4. The Sleepy Traveler—Oftentimes commuters refuse to pull to the side of the road when they feel tired, choosing instead to drive. In fact, a 2011 poll by the AAA Foundation found that nearly a third of drivers admitted to driving when they had trouble keeping their eyes open. Drowsy driving has even been likened to drunk driving because it impairs reaction time and judgment. Sleepy drivers should look for a rest stop if they feel unable to keep their eyes open and concentrate on the road. 5. The Daydreamer—These drivers are often lost in their own thoughts and thinking about everything but driving. According to the CDC, nearly 15 people die each day in the U.S. in car crashes that involve distracted

8 Quirky Traffic Laws

Thousands of Sandy-Ruined Cars to be Crushed

This list of unusual traffic laws in the United States comes from The Allstate Blog. 1. No honking after 9 p.m. Little Rock, AR, banned the “sounding of horns at sandwich shops” to stop drivers honking for curbside service. 2. No Jumping from a Vehicle In Glendale, CA, it is illegal to jump from a car while it is in motion. 3. No Betting On Driving In Massachusetts, it is illegal to drive on a bet or a wager. 4.Too Young for a Driver’s License? In Indiana, there is no minimum age requirement for driving a horse-drawn buggy down the road. 5. Blink and You’ll Miss the Signal Utah drivers must signal two seconds before turning. 6. Too Many Passengers? In Nebraska, there is no rule against adults riding in a cargo area. 7. Ok to Work Behind the Wheel? According to the ‘2011 Colorado Motor Vehicle Law Resource Book,’ “the use of computers in motor vehicles is specifically permitted.” 8. Check Your Feelings at the Car Door Although it’s not exactly a law, the Arizona driver’s manual warns against angry, excited, worried and depressed drivers.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) says progress is being made in identifying and removing thousands of vehicles damaged beyond repair by Sandy. The estimate of 230,000 insurance claims for vehicle damage in the areas affected by Sandy remains unchanged at this time. Many of those vehicles were flooded and are being towed to holding areas where they will be loaded on car haulers and taken to facilities to be crushed.

Continued from Page 17

driving. Focusing on the road, rather than the destination, personal problems or to-dos will keep daydreamers’ heads out of the clouds. 6. The Road Rager—Road ragers are far from courteous. They tailgate, cut others off and become angry easily. To curb their emotions, drivers should allow themselves enough time to reach their destination and have patience with others on the road. If commuting via car is too stressful, they should take a mental break at a rest stop or consider alternate routes of transportation. 7. The Rule Breaker—According to the Governors’ Highway Safety Association (GHSA), speed is involved in about one third of traffic deaths each year, and is a problem that has seen little improvement over the past 30 years. Rule breakers are those who don’t wear seatbelts, frequently speed and ignore important signs and signals. To avoid costly tickets and car accidents, drivers must take proper precaution by fastening seatbelts, watching their speed and taking note of stop signs and red lights. For more information on firstaid and safety solutions from Cintas, please visit www.cintas.com/firstaidsafety.

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ment and highly-trained technicians at work. An agent will be reluctant to refer a customer to a shop that will reflect badly on the agent. Hosting meetings allows the shop to showcase its best features and to plan a shop tour for the visiting agents and managers. Several shops have also done well with what I would call a “goodwill ambassador.” To make this work, it’s necessary to have a person who can make the rounds of the agents every month without fail, with pens, notepads or other promotional specialties, and who will be in it for the long haul. When the same person stops by every month for several years running, the agent’s people get to know this person well and trust becomes established. An older, semi-retired person is ideal for this job. Agents are still a good referral source for collision repair shops. Many of their customers still call them when they have an accident, and an agent will gladly refer the business to a shop that he or she knows is competent, trustworthy and attractive so it will reflect positively on the agent.

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www.autobodynews.com | FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 35


Industry Insight with John Yoswick

—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has a body shop in the family and has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.

Action on Insurer ‘Most-Favored Nation’ Clauses May be on the Horizon A key element of some direct repair collision repair industry in 2006 when program (DRP) contracts is indirectly State Farm announced some significoming under increasing scrutiny by cant changes to its Select Service with Ed Attanasio federal regulators—leading some to agreements. One of the changes was predict insurer pricing demands on an MFN requirement. George Avery, a claims consultshops soon may be forced to change. The contract clause in question is ant with State Farm, defended the new often referred to as the “most-favored requirement at the time by saying that nation” clause in that it requires a sup- because State Farm writes more than plier—such as a body shop—to pro- twice as many estimates as its nearest vide the buyer with with which it has a competitor, it felt it should be getting Ed Attanasio contract such as an insurer—with the any discounts that shops offer to other same pricing it offers its “best” or insurers or customers. “If you choose to give no discounts “most-favored” customer. Most-favored nation (MFN) whatsoever, that’s perfectly fine with clauses have been the subject of law- us,” Avery said in a 2006 interview. “I suits and regulatory scrutiny in the don’t have a problem with that. But if health care industry in recent years, your business model includes some disand the Automotive Service Associa- counts, then we want to be part of it.” He said he recognizes that shops tion (ASA) is among the groups hoping to turn that attention to similar may offer one insurer a discount on parts but not labor, and another insurer clauses in DRP contracts. a discount on labor but not parts. Under the new agreement, Avery said, State Farm initiates MFNs first gained prominence in the the shop must provide State Farm with

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36 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

all the best discounts it offers in any category. “If anyone or everyone gets a 10% discount except State Farm, for example, if you’re interested in our program and I select you, I would like that 10%,” Avery said. “That’s when repair facilities need to make a decision. Please understand I’m saying this with the most respect I can muster: If your business practice is that you give discounts but you can’t afford to give me the discount, then perhaps this program is not for you.” State Farm said it could check on how a shop bills other insurers when subrogating claims paid by the other carrier for which State Farm is ultimately responsible. “Am I going to scour that stuff? I’m not going to look at your business. I’m going to trust you,” Avery said. “But if it comes to my attention, I’m going to take appropriate action and I’m going to take it now.”

Shops, regulators, courts respond Collision repair shops took a variety of paths in dealing with the new MFN policy, which has since been emulated by a number of other insurers. Those that had previously offered other insurers little in the way of discounts were not widely impacted. Some that had offered discounts didn’t see it as a good business option to extend those discounts to the largest auto insurer—and raised their charges to the other insurers or dropped those programs. Still others just began giving State Farm the MFN status the insurer was seeking. Some, too, parted ways with the State Farm program—of their own choice or that of the insurer. State Farm reduced the number of shops participating in “Select Service” by about 40% in 2006 and 2007 as it rolled out the new agreement. But by 2010, MFNs that insurers had implemented in the health care in-


dustry were beginning to creep in the news: • In March 2010, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal challenged the MFN clause of a health insurer-provider contract. Blumenthal notified the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary of his ongoing investigation into what he termed the “anti-competitive clause” that Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Connecticut has in its contracts with hospitals and doctors. Blumenthal said such clauses “may drive up health care costs and drown out competition.” • In late 2010, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Detroit seeking dismissal of a federal antitrust lawsuit that alleges that the “most favored nation” clauses of the insurer’s contract with hospitals is anti-competitive. The U.S. Department of Justice and Michigan’s Attorney General had brought the lawsuit against the health insurer, saying MFN clauses raise hospital prices, discourage discounting and prevent other insurers from entering the marketplace. It said that some Blue Cross clauses required Michigan hospitals to charge the insurer’s competitors up to 40% more for services. Blue

Cross was unsuccessful in arguing the suit should be dismissed because as a state-created entity, the company is protected from federal antitrust lawsuits, and because the government failed to show specific economic harm caused by its behavior. “This cannot be allowed in Michigan, and let me be clear: We will challenge similar anti-competitive behavior anywhere else in the United States,” Christine Varney, the U.S. Assistant Attorney General’s Office antitrust chief at the time, said. • Most recently, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a joint workshop this past fall that many saw an indication that anti-trust regulators have “a reinvigorated focus on mostfavored-nation (MFN) clauses.” “Although at times employed for benign purposes, MFNs can, under certain circumstances, present competitive concerns,” the two agencies noted prior to the workshop. “This is because they may, especially when used by a dominant buyer, raise other buyers’ costs or (prevent) would-be competitors from accessing the market. Additionally, MFNs can facilitate collusion and stabilize coordinated

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pricing among sellers.” ASA’s Bob Redding participated in the workshop and said, “What was evident from the workshop is that public policy regarding MFN clauses is still evolving. There are a number of outstanding questions such as whether these clauses - a common practice in many business sectors have a net benefit for consumers. The FTC and the DOJ have a difficult task in determining how to regulate MFN clauses in order to protect consumers and small businesses.” Following the workshop, ASA wrote a letter to the Department of Justice asking for a full review of the clauses as used in direct repair agreements. “The anti-competitive nature of these clauses ensures both our members and consumers are at a disadvantage,” Redding said in the letter. Redding seems hopeful the issue will remain within the focus of regulators. “This is an area that has not worked in our favor as collision repairers in the past,” Redding said. “But we’re going to see more interest in this area by the FTC and the Department of Justice.”

Private Equity Firm Buys CCC Information Systems

Investcorp confirmed that it has successfully completed the sale of CCC Information Services to the Los Angeles based private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed however Investcorp noted that the sale of CCC unlocks over $550 million in proceeds for Investcorp and its investors. CCC was a publicly held company prior to the Investcorp acquisition. Investcorp acquired CCC in 2006 for $26.50 per share. At the time, the value of the transaction was reported to be approximately $495 million. Investcorp said that during the period of their ownership of CCC, since February 2006, CCC’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) grew organically by over 50 percent. Investcorp said that transaction volumes in the industry have been relatively stable and growth has needed to come from market share gains by winning new auto body and insurance customers, or from new product introductions. Investcorp reported that the CCC client base includes more than 350 insurance companies and more than 21,000 repair facilities.

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Safelite Group Acquires Boston-Based Giant Glass

Safelite Acquires Windshield World in Vermont

Safelite® Group, the nation’s leading vehicle glass company, acquired Boston-based Giant Glass, effective December 31, 2012. Owned and operated by Dennis Drinkwater and Lance Cramer since 1978, Giant Glass includes 54 employees; 30 mobile vans; and five locations in the Boston area: Lawrence, North Andover, Peabody, Weymouth, and Worcester. “I am proud of the company that my business partner Lance and I have built,” Drinkwater said. “We have a strong customer base and excellent employees and we wanted both of them to be well taken care of in the future. We trust that Safelite® will take care of them both.” The acquisition is the continuation of Safelite AutoGlass’s mission to profitably grow in the U.S. and to become the customer’s “natural choice” for vehicle glass repair and replacement services. Giant Glass is a well-respected company with a prominent vehicle glass replacement brand in the greater Boston area. Giant’s geographic locations and brand recognition made it highly attractive to Safelite AutoGlass®. Drinkwater and Cramer will remain working for Safelite®.

Safelite® Group, the nation’s leading vehicle glass company, reached an agreement to acquire substantially all of the vehicle glass related assets of Windshield World, based in Barre, VT. The deal was finalized December 31, 2012. Windshield World is a well-respected vehicle glass repair and replacement company in upper New England, which is an area Safelite® has not had a strong physical presence, which made the acquisition highly attractive to Safelite AutoGlass®. Established in 1984, Windshield World employs 40 people and operates in 20 cities and towns in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York. The acquisition is the continuation of Safelite’s mission to grow in the U.S. and to become the customer’s “natural choice” for vehicle glass repair and replacement services. It will allow for more coverage to better serve customers and meet insurance client needs. “We are happy to welcome Windshield World’s employees to the Safelite® team,” said Tom Feeney, president and CEO of Safelite® Group.

West VA Court Bars Insurer from Selling Used and Aftermarket Parts

Automotive Ladies Lauded at Urban Wheels Awards

West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw recently announced that the Circuit Court of Kanawha County has issued a permanent injunction against Liberty Mutual Insurance Company from using salvaged or aftermarket crash parts to repair motor vehicles that are less than three years old. The court’s order upholds current state law that requires insurance companies and body shops to obtain a consumer’s written authorization before salvaged parts are used for the repair of new vehicles. “This is a victory for West Virginia consumers,” said McGraw. “Every consumer has the right to know the type and quality of crash parts used to repair their damaged vehicles.” Liberty Mutual admitted in court documents that it had repaired nearly 200 vehicles using junkyard and aftermarket parts in violation of the Aftermarket Crash Parts Act, and defended its use of these parts which McGraw believed jeopardized consumers’ safety and diminished the value of consumers’ vehicles.

It was ladies’ night during the 17th Annual Urban Wheel Awards Jan. 13 at the Sound Board, MotorCity Casino Hotel. The official multicultural event of the North American International Auto Show honored diversity-centered automotive initiatives and funds scholarships. This year’s event lauded the hard work of women in the automotive industry and those companies committed to the advancement of women, said Randi Payton, president and CEO of Decisive Media, which puts on the event. The lavish affair included performances by entertainers such as Grammy-nominated gospel singer Vicki Winans. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and 2013 NAIAS Chairman Jim Seavitt made opening remarks. The event was co-hosted by actors Niecy Nash (“Clean House” and “The Soul Man”) and Edward James Olmos (“Battlestar Galactica” and Oscar-nominated for “Stand and Deliver”). Some awards included the Cadillac ATS, Urban Car of the Year; and the Ram 1500 Urban Truck of the Year; and the Urban Green Vehicle of the Year is the Tesla Model S.

38 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

Class A Shop Requirements May Change, CIC Says

Changes to the existing “Class A Shop Requirements” are being proposed by the Collision Industry Conference’s (CIC) Definitions Committee. During its November 2012 meeting in Las Vegas, the CIC said several repairers voiced concerns about the “Class A Shop Requirements” and requested revisions. In response, the CIC changed the title of the document to “Minimum Shop Requirements,” and has proposed a new set of minimum equipment, capabilities, training and certifications that repairers should meet. The CIC’s Definitions Committee is still working on the revision of the document, and is seeking input from professionals in all segments of the repair industry. Anyone interested in providing input, suggestions or feedback can contact Chris Evans at chris.evans.ca1b@statefarm.com, or Ron Guilliams at ron@servicedynamics.net.

www.autobodynews.com

Work-Related Vehicle Accidents, Claims Down During Recession

Work-related vehicle accidents declined during the recent recession, and likely helped reduce the number of workers compensation claims, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) recently reported. In a report, Boca Raton, FLbased NCCI said that frequency for large truck accidents declined 16% from 2007 to 2010, while passenger vehicle accidents declined 8% during that period. The report said the recession left fewer drivers on the road due to unemployment, and resulted in fewer truck shipments as the recession limited consumer spending. NCCI said the trend likely had a positive impact on workers comp claim trends. The share of lost-time comp claims resulting from non-fatal vehicle accidents fell from 3.5% of all traffic accidents in 2005 to 3.1% in 2010, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Vehicle accidents tend to creyour opinion on ate Give costlierus comp claims than the average workplace accident, NCCI said.

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NADA Hosts 48 Workshops at 2013 Convention

NADA Names New President Peter Welch to Post

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Several workshops will be available to attendees of the 2013 NADA Convention & Expo. Workshops are available to those in the dealer, manager or allied w/workshop registration categories. Workshops are on a first-come, first-serve basis and there is no additional registration or sign-up necessary. Workshops subject matter include executive leadership, Internet solutions, legal and regulatory, managing resources, parts and accessories, sales, leasing and finance, and service and body shop. Some of the workshops offered are: • Meet NADA: Not Your Daddy’s Orientation • Bring Disney Customer Service to Your Dealership • Cause Marketing: Your New Tool for Higher Profits • Coffee Stains: Poor Customer Service in Your Store • Current Trends in Today’s Buy/Sell Market • Managers and Family: Keys to Your Succession Success • Overcome Burnout and Reclaim Your Fire • Healthcare Reform and the Impact on the Dealership

• NADA Workforce Study: How to Compete in Your Market • Is Your Website Built for Fail or Sale? • Are You the Dealer You Say You Are? • Digital Moments That Matter: Local, Mobile, Social • Avoid Fraud and Embezzlement in Your Dealership • Keep Top Talent on Your Employee Roster • Discover Hidden Profit in Your Parts Department • Eliminate the F&I Bottleneck for Good • Five Winning Strategies to Sell More Used Cars • Pre-Owned War: Dealers Versus Private Individuals • A Multipoint Inspection Process That Really Works! • Improve Your Body Shop’s Scorecard For more information, about NADA, visit www.nada.org. To register for the 2013 NADA Convention & Expo, go to: nadaconventionandexpo.org/nada2013. Registration costs vary due to membership status, number of attendees, and date of registration. Hotel and travel information is also included on the website.

The National Automobile Dealers Association, located in McLean, VA, recently appointed Peter Welch as its new president. Welch served as president and chief executive officer of California New Car Dealers Association since 2003. The NADA Board of Directors held a special meeting Jan. 8 in Dallas, where they unanimously approved Welch as president. He was selected after a nationwide search and will officially take office on Feb. 1. Welch, 59, is leaving the statewide new-car dealers Sacramento-based organization after 23 years. He managed the association’s government affairs office, including legal, legislative and regulatory affairs, since 1990. “I’m excited and honored to be selected as the Peter Welch is leaving the position next NADA president,” he said, of CEO for the adding “NADA is California New Car Dealers Association a well-run organization. I look forto become president of the National ward to following Automobile Dealers in the tradition of strong leadership Association

at NADA. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get started.” Current NADA chairman Bill Underriner said, “Peter will be a great leader at NADA. He has an impressive track record in California, where every day he faced some of the toughest regulatory and legislative issues in the industry. He’s a car guy who comes highly recommended not just from people in California, but also across the nation.” Dave Westcott, NADA vice chairman and incoming NADA chair, said, “Peter Welch is a great selection. He is the right person to help lead our organization as we confront the challenges ahead.” “For 23 years, Peter has successfully guided our organization through the twists and turns of the legislative and regulatory maze in California, leaving CNCDA with a well-deserved reputation as a tough and nimble champion of franchised new-car dealers in this state,” said Darryl Holter, a Los Angeles auto dealer and the organization’s chairman. “No wonder NADA picked Peter for the job.” Welch said he’ll “miss California and miss working for the state’s best entrepreneurs.”

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PPG Awards $20,000 to Collision Repair Foundation

The PPG Industries Foundation has awarded the Collision Repair Education Foundation a $20,000 grant that will provide named post-secondary collision student scholarships. The scholarships will be part of the Education Foundation’s spring 2013 offerings, valued at more than $300,000, and will greatly assist collision students facing financial barriers. “PPG is privileged to take an active role in supporting the industry’s future professionals through these

scholarships,” said Domenic Brusco, PPG Automotive Refinish senior manager, industry relations, and Collision Repair Education Foundation Board of Trustees member. “By providing collision repair students with support for the best technical education possible, we are giving collision repair businesses a chance to hire well-trained students who can be productive, efficient and capable employees from day one of the job.”

“PPG is happy to offer these opportunities and continue its strong relationship with the Collision Repair Education Foundation,” Brusco said.

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Missouri Dealership Donates Parts to School Repair Program

Springfield Imports recently gave $11,000 worth of parts to Crowder Colleges’ Collision Repair Department. Students will use the vehicle pieces to practice air bag installations, sheet metal replacements, and frame work. “Anything that we can get is greatly appreciated and sometimes we can’t get the things we actually need to do instruction with and things like this can really help us,’ said Doug Donnel, Crowder Repair Instructor. NO. CALIFORNIA

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3M Assists 19 Collision School Programs with $160,000 in Production Donations via Foundation

Alcoa Awards $40,000 Aluminum Training Grant to Collision Repair Education Foundation

Collision Repair Education Foundation Offers $300,000 in Scholarships and Tool Grants This Spring

YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE AT THE FIRST REPAIR.

3M has come to the aid of 19 secondary and post-secondary collision programs across the country by donating their Hookit II sets through the Collision Repair Education Foundation. This product donation, valued at $160,000, will ease collision department budgets by providing students with the opportunity to work with upto-date supplies. 3M Marketing Manager Dale Ross said, “3M is honored and pleased to continue our support of the Collision Repair Education Foundation and the many career and technical schools around the country. We are keenly aware that providing stateof-the-art products to these students during their education is vital to ensuring their future and the future of our industry.” Collision Repair Education Foundation Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode said, “According to the surveys and information we receive back from instructors, secondary and post-secondary collision school programs on average have a budget of $6,000 to run their program each year. Through our industry supporters, such as 3M, we are able to as-

The Collision Repair Education Foundation is offering more than $300,000 in scholarships and tool grants to collision students this spring. Secondary and post-secondary collision students attending career and technical schools and colleges have the opportunity to apply for $300,000+ in available scholarships and tool grants available through the Collision Repair Education Foundation and the organization’s industry supporters. The spring 2013 opportunities include: • 3M Hire Our Heroes Veteran Scholarships & Tool Grants • Alliance of Automotive Service Providers Massachusetts (AASP-MA) Tool Grants • ABRA Auto Body & Glass Tool Grants • Alcoa Foundation Aluminum Training Grants • CCC Michael Salvatore Memorial Student Repair Technician Scholarships • Chicago Pneumatic Student Tool Grants • Collision Repair Education Foundation Board of Trustees Scholarships • Collision Repair Education Foundation Scholarships

sist instructors with this minimal budgetary amount to instruct proper collision repair training to the future professionals of the industry. 3M has lead the way in providing product donations to collision school programs the past several years and their commitment to the industry.” Inter-industry organizations and individuals who are interested in supporting the Education Foundation and increasing the amount of assistance provided to collision schools and students should contact Education Foundation Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at Brandon.Eckenrode@edfoundation.org or 847463-5244. The Collision Repair Education Foundation, founded in 1991, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to securing donations that support philanthropic and collision repair education activities that promote and enhance career opportunities in the industry. For information on how to donate to programs supported by the Education Foundation, visit us on the Internet at: www.CollisionEducationFoundation.org

• GEICO Scholarship and Tool Grants • I-CAR Northwest Region Scholarships • The Lon Baudoux Legacy Scholarships • PPG Automotive Refinish Scholarships • Service King Tool Chest Grants • Sherwin-Williams Primer Pack Grants • Sterling Autobody Centers Scholarship & Tool Grants Students may apply for scholarships online at CollisionEductionFoundation.org by February 15. All students who apply will receive a free safety kit which includes a complimentary technician shirt/uniform, safety glasses, mechanic gloves and a disposable dust respirator.

Alcoa Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Alcoa, the world’s leading aluminum company, recently awarded the Collision Repair Education Foundation a $40,000 grant that will provide educational and aluminum repair training to post-secondary collision instructors and students. Collision instructors and students will have the opportunity to apply for the aluminum repair training grant as part of the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s spring 2013 student scholarship/tool grant opportunities. Seventeen collision instructor/student pairs will be selected to attend aluminum repair technical training at the I-CAR Tech Centre in Appleton, WI, during the summer of 2013. “The work of the Collision Repair Education Foundation is spot on with our desire to educate and train people for important STEM-related trades including automotive repair,” said Randall Scheps, Director of Marketing for Alcoa Automotive. “As the mix of materials in this market continues to change as consumers seek more fuel-efficient vehicles, this work is even more important. Though it will also make it evident

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that working with and repairing aluminum is actually no more difficult that any other material—it’s just different,” Scheps said. Collision Repair Education Foundation Executive Director Clark Plucinski noted, “As more and more of today’s and future vehicles are being constructed with aluminum, it is crucial that repair professionals complete aluminum repair technical training in order to repair consumer’s collision damage properly. Through this Alcoa grant, not only will instructors gain technical training that they can bring back to their classroom for additional students, but the students will have completed industry recognized, I-CAR aluminum repair training making them more employable to the industry. I thank Alcoa for their support and we look forward to working together with them and ICAR on training the future repair professionals of the collision industry.” Collision Repair Education Foundation spring 2013 scholarship and tool grant applications are available online at www.CollisionEducationFoundation.org. Questions? Call 847.463.5244 or email Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation.org.

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CARSTAR Expands Business Development Team CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts recently expanded its business development team by hiring Sean Darcy as director of network development for the Western U.S. and Southern California markets, and Tom Pelletier as director of network development for the South and Southeast markets. Darcy was recently with Fix Auto and was responsible for sales and conversions. He brings more than 15 years of professional experience in collision repair and the automotive insurance industry. Previously, he served as vice president of ICC Collision Centers, and business development manager at Philip Thearle’s Autowerks. Pelletier comes to CARSTAR from the Automotive Training Institute, where he served as a senior management consultant. He has 20 years of experience in the automotive business, both in the collision business and sales. Former positions include director of sales for ALLDATA, vice president of sales and marketing for Maxwell Emissions, and distribution/regional business manager with Snap-On Tools.

NHTSA Wants Loud Electric, Hybrid Cars for Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed a minimum sound standard for electric and hybrid vehicles to help reduce pedestrian fatalities. Electric and hybrid vehicles are very different than their gas-only counterparts in that they are virtually silent at low speeds, but such quiet operation makes it difficult for pedestrians (and those who are visually impaired) to detect an approaching vehicle. The proposal would require these ‘quiet’ vehicles meet a minimum sound requirement when they travel under 18 miles per hour. Above that speed, there is sufficient noise. Automakers can determine the sounds they want, but the characteristics would need to meet the new regulation. Also, vehicles of the same make and model must emit the same sound. NHTSA estimates this proposal could prevent thousands of injuries per year. Currently, a number of models already have these artificial sounds, including the Fisker Karma with a Jetson’s-like whir and the Nissan Leaf has a high-pitched whine.

I-CAR Hosts Automotive Training Expo in March

Automotive Scholarship Applications Now Available

I-CAR hosts the Automotive Training Expo (ATE) on March 1 in Seattle, WA, at the Doubletree Inn. The Automotive Training Expo is the west coast’s largest training event of the year. Don’t miss out on these exciting training opportunities and more.

Applications for automotive scholarships are now available through the 2013 SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund (SMSF) at: www.sema.org/scholarships. Students preparing for careers in the auto or auto parts industries may be eligible for financial awards of up to $5,000. The $5,000 Top Student award marks an increase from the award’s previous amount of $4,000. Similarly, scholarships for students attending four-year programs are up from $2,000 to $3,000, and awards for students attending two-year programs increased from $1,000 to $2,000. Awards are granted to eligible applicants based on academic achievements, work experience, community involvement, essay content and recommendations. Students may re-apply each year, provided that they still meet the eligibility criteria. The application deadline for all SMSF awards is March 29, 2013. For additional details, visit: www.sema.org/scholarships or contact us your opinion on JulietGive Marshall at julietm@sema.org or 909-978-6655.

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SCRS Holds Open Board Meeting Jan. 23 at CIC

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) held an open board meeting from 8–10 a.m. in Palm Springs, CA, on Jan. 23. The meeting, preceding the National Auto Body Council (NABC) golf tournament, was held in the Plaza A & B rooms of the Palm Springs Hilton. The two-hour meeting included updates from the SCRS staff and committees, outlining current and future work initiatives the association has undertaken on behalf of its membership. The meeting also included a detailed presentation from the SCRS Education Committee, led by committee member Toby Chess. The topics focused on areas of friction between repair facilities and insurance companies surrounding proper frame and structural repair approaches; including specific misunderstandings that exist in the marketplace and the proper methodology to address welding, pulling, repairing or replacing frame's on today's modern fleet. “Understanding the highly specific requirements that automobile manufacturers expect of repair facilities, should foster an appreciation for the level of complexity involved in these types of repairs,” said SCRS Ed-

ucation Committee Chairman, Paul Val. “Toby and the committee have done a great job compiling information that exists in the marketplace, and sculpting it into a presentation that should hopefully eliminate some of the tension that exists in this area by broadening the understanding of necessary procedures and equipment,” he said. This meeting was open to any member of the industry and there is no registration fee. SCRS also encouraged collision repair professionals to attend the Repairer-Only Forum at the Palm Springs Hilton from 5–7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24. This meeting was a continuation of the previous Repairer-Only Forum held at the SEMA Show in November. The Forum enabled repairers to receive timely updates on current industry topics and trends discussed at the last meeting, or at the CIC meeting earlier in the day. Additionally, the January meeting served to determine the structure, function, time, date and locations for future meetings in 2013. This event is limited to collision repairers and direct representatives of collision repair businesses. Attendees presented a business card to gain access at the meeting.

TUFF TV Greenlights New Reality Series, Auto Wars TUFF TV recently announced its acquisition and distribution of the new original reality television show Auto Wars. The half-hour series, produced by Dart Entertainment, will follow two auto body shops in direct competition with each other, whose owners are best friends.

“We’re excited to be working with Dart Entertainment on Auto Wars. Our viewers are going to love the drama that this new show brings with it. The body shop owners are so passionate about their businesses and protective of their families, that when they butt heads it’s unlike anything else. We have looked at numerous original reality shows, and Auto Wars was simply one of the best,” said Lou Seals, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of TUFF TV. Body shop entrepreneurs Jimmy Garrison and Anthony Fortunato are best friends and the show’s leading characters. Anthony Fortunato has

been the owner of his highly successful auto body shop for nearly 10 years. But when Jimmy opens up a nearby auto body shop of his own, the drama begins. The series also revolves around Jimmy’s wife and Anthony’s girlfriend (also best friends) who are regrettably in the middle of the business/friendship drama. Tensions rise and boiling points are reached as the guys engage in serious “wars,” such as paint balling each other’s cars and stealing each other’s business deals. “Finding these guys was a producer’s dream. When I first sat down with the guys, I had wished the cameras were already rolling. It’s always ideal to walk into a real story with cameras instead of making it all up. That’s what reality television is all about,” said Artie Davis, the show’s Executive Producer from Dart Entertainment. “Partnering with TUFF TV has proven to be a perfect fit for us,” Davis added. “They have been there every step of the way and have been crucial in the development of the series. We are already in the development stage of more original programming with them.” TUFF TV (www.tufftv.com) is the first digital broadcast network to offer original programming targeted at men and their specific pursuits, interests, and hobbies they are passionate about.

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Original Batmobile Sold for $4.6 Million at Auction

Judge to Rule Soon on Batmobile Copyright Suit

at Barrett-Jackson, the Scottsdale, AZ, rare and classic auto auction house. There was a reserve price for the car, built and owned by famed car customizer George Barris. The one-of-a-kind 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car was originally created by a design team at Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln styling department. The 19-foot-long, two-seat, bubble-topped grand touring car prototype was entirely hand-built in 1954 by Ghia Body Works in Turin, Italy, and unveiled in 1955 at the Chicago Auto

A Gotham Garage replica of the “1966 car,” the television Batmobile

The iconic Batmobile from the 1960s television show sold for $4.6 million at the Barrett-Jackson classic car auction held in Arizona the weekend of Jan. 19–20. The midnight-black and fluorescent-red-pinstriped car that Adam West’s Batman used to battle villains in Gotham was up for grabs Jan. 19

Show. In late 1965, 20th Century Fox Television and William Dozier’s Greenway Productions tapped Barris to come up with a car to foil Batman’s enemies. Barris said he bought the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car from Ford for $1, then transformed the Lincoln in just 15 days for $15,000. The car features bulletproof plexiglass bubble windshields and the Bat Ray (dual 450-watt laser beams that blasted obstacles to bits). It also has a Bat-O-Meter, which identified the location of the bad guys, as well as oil squirters (fashioned from lawn sprinkler heads) to foil evil-doers. “I saw the script and it said, ‘Bang,’ ‘Pow,’ ‘Boom,’” Barris, now 87, said. “That’s exactly what I wanted the car to do. I wanted it to be as big a character as the actors.” Since the television show ended in 1968, the Batmobile has been on display at Barris Kustom Industries in North Hollywood, CA, in a gallery. “It’s difficult to part with,” Barris said. “Whoever the lucky buyer is, I hope they have as much fun with it as I did.” The buyer of the car is Phoenixarea logistics company executive Rick Champagne.

New Insurance Laws Take Effect in 2013 New insurance-related laws will take effect in 2013 in a number of states.

California The California workers’ comp benefit delivery system will undergo changes in 2013 as part of SB 863, the Workers’ Compensation Reform Package, which passed in the 2012 legislative session. SB 863 is intended to reduce system costs as a set-off for increased worker indemnity benefits. SB 863 is designed to contain costs in several ways, while increasing permanent disability (PD) benefits for workers. Two goals of the bill were to change the way in which the system deals with PD, and how medical liens and billing disputes are handled.

Florida The Sunshine State’s HB 119 Motor Vehicle Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance was signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott last May. The bill, which has been described as the most significant auto insurance law in years, seeks to clamp down on alleged abuse and fraud, and improve the state’s no-fault PIP system. The medical benefits provisions of the law took effect on Jan. 1, 2013. They include the requirement that accident victims report an auto-related injury and seek

treatment within 14 days. Policyholders could receive up to $10,000 in benefits for emergency medical care, and $2,500 for less serious injuries.

New Jersey The Garden State planned to implement new rules regarding motor vehicle PIP insurance on Jan. 4, 2013. Proposed changes included adding more procedures to the physicians’ fee schedule to slow rising auto insurance costs. Critics say the new fee schedule limits the types of procedures that could be reimbursed at ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), and sets hospital outpatient surgical facility fees higher than ASC fees for certain services. The N.J. Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers is seeking a stay from the court on the implementation of the new rules.

Illinois Beginning in January, SB 0275 will allow state agencies that issue occupational or professional licenses to provide expedited temporary licenses to service members and their spouses who meet certain requirements. This could make it easier for military veterans to enter the insurance profession. Visit InsuranceJournal.com for more information.

46 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

A copyright case involving DC Comics, custom-car builders and the Batmobile from the 1960s Batman television series could reach a conclusion later this month, the Wall Street Journal’s Driver Seat recently reported. In 2011, DC, a unit of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., sued car builder Mark Towle, who runs Gotham Garage, a Santa Ana, CA, shop whose business

includes selling hand-built Batmobile replicas. Both sides filed recently for summary judgment and a hearing with a judge is scheduled for Jan. 30. The judge could find in favor of either party or decide the case has to go to trial. The company said the replicas violate copyrights associated with vehicles Batman has used dating to the character’s early comic-book days. Towle and his Los Angeles lawyer, Larry Zerner, counter that

cars are not subject to copyright protection and the Batmobile from the television show—known to fans as “the 1966 car”—has virtually no design connection with earlier comicbook versions. The television car that people of a certain age recall fondly began life in the mid-1950s as a Lincoln Futura concept vehicle for display in auto shows. Legendary car customizer George Barris built the car and, Zerner said, many car builders including his client have made and sold replicas since then. Indeed, another custom car shop called Fiberglass Freaks could play a part in deciding the case. The Logansport, IN, company has been building Batmobile replicas for about nine years and has done so under a license from DC Comics since 2010. Shop owner Mark Racop said the problem started when Gotham Garage began offering its cars through online auctions. Descriptions of the cars included statements suggesting the Batmobile design isn’t protected under copyright and licensing laws, Racop said. The case happens to be unfolding as the original 1966 Batmobile was recently purchased for $4.6 million at auction. See adjacent story.

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Continued from Cover

PartsTrader Costs

from what I understand, it’s pretty much here to stay. We’ve got to figure out how to work around it. Not enough writing was done on it. It’s just going to be the pathway of all things in the future to come. It’s PartsTrader today, and tomorrow it’s going to parts for you, parts for them, and pretty soon there’s a plethora of third-party people involved in our business,” he said. “The ‘beautiful part’ is they are going to allow me to do business with the same people I’ve been doing business with for the past 10 years and there’s a fee. I don’t know how that’s better for me. So far, I can’t get anything out of PartsTrader or CollisionLink/OE Connection because they are under a non-disclosure agreement,” Kellogg added. Kellogg is unhappy with how PartsTrader has affected his business. “It’s absolutely terrible. It gets me very small visibility. We are a multiprogram dealer. I deal with wholesale parts. It’s imperative I see the entire estimate. I can’t see the entire estimate

the way PartsTrader works, and so far they haven’t been too keen on my suggestions on how to become more visible. We just want to be 100% visible. We want every opportunity to sell our parts.” Kellogg continued, “In our business, or in any business, you want full visibility. But they (PartsTrader) narrow what can be seen in their program. If you send over the estimate through CollisionLink, I get to see everything, all the things you are looking for a quote on—aftermarket pricing, everything you can possible do— and we get to submit a quote on that. When it comes through as a PartsTrader order, all I get is ‘quoted new’ or ‘quoted aftermarket.’ Well, the rules of the Mopar Conquest Program are that I have to have an estimate. Do I quote it as an aftermarket part, a competitive part, or a new part? If they are not asking for an aftermarket part, all I can do is quote it as new. Once I made the bid and they come back and say “Hey, I had to go aftermarket” and I could say “Hey, I wish you’d give me a shot,” they aren’t going to retype all that information in again. They’re gonna say they already got the part ordered.”

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Kellogg said he loses about 50 or 60 claims a month now and estimates his loss of gross income at $800 a month because of PartsTrader. He’s hoping that in the future, PartsTrader will bought out by OE Connection as they have a current non-disclosure agreement between the two of them, and it’s his opinion that a sale between the two is a possibility. The current system through OE Connection has full visibility. While Kellogg’s main complaint is not having complete visibility for an estimate on PartsTrader, he also says, it’s “duplicating something over and over again, and having a bunch of ankle biters, not in the wholesale business, turning the business into a pricing war because they are not sitting on large inventory” trying to undercut him. He bases his business on larger shops and MSOs because they already understand that discounting isn’t everything. While PartsTrader is a thorn in his side, Kellogg admits it hasn’t been the biggest game-changer in the business over the past several years. “It’s just another hurdle. It’s a puddle. It hasn’t become a giant pothole yet.”

But, he said, if wishes could come true, he’d wish it away. He’s worried about other insurance companies following suit. “I am worried about what’s coming down the line. Who’s next?” He added, “The fear I have with PartsTrader, and if you understand how State Farm works—State Farm does a $3.6 billion [annually in parts] business—they have to pay sales tax on what it is they do at retail level. So if they get a bunch of idiots who don’t understand this business, who are selling parts to everyone, and they get them to lower the manufactured suggested retail price, then they may only have to pay taxes on $2.6 billion off retail, which would decrease their taxable liability by a billion dollars. And it would also ruin our business. I don’t want to see that happen. But I think this is one reason why they are doing it. That’s my opinion.” Kellogg said he sees how the ‘PartsTrader effect’ is trickling down to affect other businesses. “I just don’t know how to make it go away, but I wish that it would. Anytime when you start decreasing our revenue, we have to let something go, like advertising or people. There is always a ramification for everything,” Kellogg said.


Subaru to Expand Production in Indiana Subaru will expand production capacity at its existing assembly plant in Indiana, rather than build a new factory, and will start making a new model there in 2016. Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president of Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy Industries Inc., said Subaru expects U.S. sales to climb 9% to 365,000 units in 2013. “We'll be selling 1,000 cars every day,” he said. Global sales will rise 6% to 750,000. Yoshinaga said he will release details of the capacity-expansion plan by March 31. The company is considering several ways to boost output at its Lafayette, IN, factory, its only overseas assembly plant. It could add a line to the two already there, extend the line that is currently dedicated to Subaru or possibly glean capacity from the second line, which makes Camry sedans for Toyota Motor Corp. “We are considering many options,” said Jun Kondo, Fuji Heavy’s deputy president and global manufacturing chief. “It was decided expanding the current plant was better than building a new one.” Subaru declined to identify the

new model to be made there, but it might likely be the Impreza, the Impreza-based XV entry-level car or the Forester crossover. Those vehicles are all imported from Japan now. The Impreza is the brand’s No. 2 selling vehicle in the United States, after the Outback wagon. Impreza sales roughly doubled to 81,799 units in 2012 after the introduction of redesigned version. The Forester ranked third, with sales of 76,347 last year, unchanged from 2011. The decision comes as Subaru seeks ways to boost North American output to meet booming demand for its cars there after a fourth year of record sales. Yoshinaga told Automotive News in November that his company could sell 400,000 units in the U.S. as early as 2016, up from a record 336,441 in 2012. Subaru's 2012 U.S. sales rose 26%, well above the industrywide gain of 13%. Yoshinaga did not give a target capacity for Indiana. But in November, he said Subaru would likely need a further expansion to between 250,000 and 300,000 units a year. Last May, Subaru said it would boost capacity at its Indiana plant to 200,000 by mid-2014.

1Collision Network Adds 6 Locations in 3 States

1Collision Network recently added six locations in Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. The six new locations are: Nick & Ernies Autoworks1 in Skokie, IL; Link Collision Center1 in Rice Lake, WI; and the four BODYPROS locations in Des Moines, IA, that consist of Ace Body and Motor1, Altoona Auto Body1, Ankeny Auto Body1 and RJones Collision1. Nick & Ernies Autoworks1 owner Ernie Loggarakis said, “Our decision to affiliate with the 1Collision Network was based on their Midwest focus, diverse variety of services and support offered, and their emphasis on performance and marketing.” Daniel Clark, COO at Link Collision Center1, said, “Link Collision is very excited to be given the opportunity to join the 1Collision Network.” Bob Jones, president of BODYPROS, added, “The 1Collision Network provided an opportunity for BODYPROS to become a part of a regional group of shops, providing us with solutions for the many business challenges shops face in today’s competitive marketplace.”

Stafford, VA, Shop Sold

The owner of an auto body shop in Spotsylvania County, VA, recently purchased a similar operation in Stafford County. Olaf Herrick purchased Barnes Auto Body, which is on Commerce Parkway off U.S. 17 in Stafford. The sale, which included both the real estate and the operating business, took effect Jan. 1. Herrick bought the collision repair business from James and Anne Barnes, who ran it for the past 22 years before deciding to retire. Herrick has owned and operated Southern Auto Body on Houser Drive in Spotsylvania for the past 25 years and will continue to do so. Herrick said he knows James Barnes well and worked with him for many years. The Barnes Auto Body name will remain, as will all the company’s employees. Herrick said he has installed new equipment at the facility, which specializes in European cars. He said the operation will continue to run as it had before the sale.

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Audatex’s AutoWatch App Updates Customers

Audatex North America, Inc. recently launched a new iPhone app for AutoWatch, its web-powered repair tracking solution. The new app follows the July introduction of an AutoWatch Android app and is available as a free download to all AutoWatch customers via iTunes and the iPhone App Store. AutoWatch gives collision repair facilities a proven way to enhance customer service and improve customer communication by allowing vehicle owners to view the progress of their repairs online. Repairers use the solution daily to upload and post digital photos and the latest vehicle repair status information to an interactive website, keeping customers up to date through completion of the job. Now, repair facilities can upload this same repair status information quickly and conveniently via their iPhones—whether they’re away from the office or working on the shop floor. At the same time, vehicle owners can choose to receive AutoWatch vehicle status updates on the web, via email or text message, and can even share updates with friends via Facebook.

“With both Android and iPhone apps now available for AutoWatch, we’re covering every corner of the smart phone market in order to give shops all the options they need to connect more effectively with vehicle owners,” said Gordon Henderson, Vice President, Collision Repair Services, Audatex North America. “Better communication not only leads to an improved claim experience, but also translates into more referral business as well as stronger DRP relationships.” Hundreds of AutoWatch users are now taking advantage of the mobile apps to issue instant repair updates from their smart phones, according to Henderson. “I really like the ease and convenience of the AutoWatch iPhone App,” said Greg James, Manager of Rick Warner Body Shop in Salt Lake City, UT. “Having AutoWatch in my pocket on my phone has certainly helped me keep my customers better informed of their repair status.” Henderson added, “The mobile apps are taking off as AutoWatch has been proven to reduce incoming customer phone calls, compress cycle times and, ultimately, increase customer satisfaction.”

Centenarian Donates Rolls-Royce to Museum after 78 Years of Use, Noting U.S. Manufacturing Allen Swift died in 2005 at the age of 102 and had owned a Rolls-Royce automobile longer than anyone else in the world. He had the forethought and funds to ensure its future preservation after his death.

The young man was passionate about his green-over-green soft-top convertible, not only driving it on a regular basis, but maintaining it meticulously over the decades (the two door-received a complete bodyoff restoration and engine rebuild in 1988). Rolls-Royce acknowledged Mr. Swift in 1994, awarding him a crystal Spirit of Ecstasy award for his length of ownership. By 2005, Swift had logged more than 170,000 miles on its analog odometer and he was recognized as the oldest living person to have owned a car from new. He passed away that year. Swift left the Lyman & MerAllen Swift drove his Rolls-Royce for 78 years rie Wood Museum of Springfield before donating it to a museum to ensure its History a $1 million gift to crepreservation ate a new exhibition to care for In 1928, while living in Spring- his roadster and tell the story of field, MA, Swift’s father gave him a Rolls-Royce manufacturing in the 1928 Rolls-Royce Piccadilly P1 Massachusetts town. Roadster as a graduation present. Today, Mr. Swift’s beautiful PicSpringfield and Rolls-Royce cadilly P1 Roadster is prominently have a history—from 1920 to 1931, displayed in the museum’s Transthe British automaker built 2,944 ve- portation Collection. hicles in the city as part of its attempt to establish a U.S. plant.

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AASP Elects New Leaders

The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) has elected its Executive Committee for 2013-2014. The election was held at AASP’s board of directors meeting on October 31, 2012, in Las Vegas, NV. Pennsylvania shop owner, Jeff Walter, Zimmerman’s Auto Service, Mechanicsburg, PA, will serve as President. The following AASP board members will join Walter on the Executive Committee: A.C. Guarino, A.C. Automotive, Winston-Salem, NC;

Bruce Tschida, Lake Marion Collision, Lakeville, MN; Ron Reiling, AASP-Missouri, St. Charles, MO; Mike Moehlenkamp, Gary’s Auto Service, Florissant, MO; Rick Starbard, Rick’s Auto Collision, Revere, MA. Walter recently completed two terms as president of AASP-PA. He stated, “It’s an honor to have been chosen as President of AASP National. My goal is to positively impact the ever-increasing challenges to both

the collision and service repair industry on a national level.” The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers is a coalition of 12 state/regional associations representing over 9,000 automotive aftermarket businesses in 24 states.

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Ohio Shop is Excellent

Action CARSTAR Auto Body & Frame in Euclid, OH, recently received the Nationwide Insurance Midwest Claim Zone Showmanship of Excellence Award for ‘12. Nationwide recognizes On Your Side Auto Repair Network facilities and employees for their efforts to provide the best possible repair experience for collision repair customers. Action CARSTAR Auto Bodyus & Frame, by Tony Give your owned opinion on Perrino, was one of four shops in the network considered as finalists. Perrino’s facility received a trophy.

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Toyota Working on Safety Technology to Reduce Traffic Deaths, Create Self-Driving Car Toyota Motor Corp. said it is working to develop new vehicle safety technologies that could help reduce traffic deaths and lead to a fully self-driving car, the Detroit News recently reported. At the 2013 International CES— the annual consumer electronics show —Toyota and its Lexus unit said while research “could lead to a fully autonomous car in the future, the vision is not necessarily a car that drives itself.” “In our pursuit of developing more advanced automated technologies, we believe the driver must be fully engaged,” said Mark Templin, Toyota group vice president and general manger of the Lexus Division. Toyota was showing off a futuristic vehicle, based on a Lexus LS, that shows some of the new features that could help drivers avoid crashes. Toyota says the research vehicle can scan movement of objects around it, identifying a green light versus a red light, while measuring its trajectory. A 360-degree LIDAR laser on the roof detects objects around the car up to about 75 yards, while three highdefinition color cameras detect objects about 165 yards away, including traffic lights and approaching vehicles.

The vehicle has radars on the front and sides of the vehicle that measure the location and speed of objects to create a comprehensive field of vision at intersections. Automakers, including Toyota, are already using some vehicle monitoring systems including cameras and radar to help drivers avoid crashes. They include lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist systems, blind-spot warning systems, forward-collision warning and prevention systems, and adaptive cruise control. All are aimed at stepping in when inattentive drivers are about to crash. Google Inc., which has been testing driverless vehicles on public roads with a person sitting in the driver’s seat, has lobbied states to allow the vehicles. It has logged more than 300,000 miles using a retrofitted fleet of autonomous vehicles on U.S. roads and has won permission to conduct the tests in Nevada and California. Toyota and other automakers are also working on connected vehicles for an Intelligent Transportation System that could allow cars to warn each other about impending crashes through ‘vehicle to vehicle’ or ‘vehicle to infrastructure’ communication.

A ‘smart stop sign’ could warn a car that an oncoming driver was about to ignore the sign. Toyota began full-scale operations in November at new 8.6-acre ITS proving grounds, located within the Higashi-Fuji Technical Center in Toyota City, Japan. The proving grounds replicates urban roads and traffic signals and simulates real-life traffic situations using other vehicles, pedestrians and traffic lights. Last August, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood kicked off a yearlong test of nearly 3,000 smart cars in Ann Arbor that’s also looking at the same issue. The study will show whether drivers averted crashes because of the vehicles communicating with one another. The Transportation Department is funding 80% of the $25 million project, partnering with eight major automakers, including General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Toyota, Honda Motor Co., Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG, Hyundai Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. In addition, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute is conducting the test of about 2,800 cars, trucks and buses.

Two Jobbers Expand with Acquisitions

National Coatings & Supplies (NCS), a national paint and body equipment distributor headquartered in North Carolina with over 75 locations in 28 states, has acquired the Grinstead Group, a Louisville, KY-based operation that includes distributor locations in 11 cities in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia in addition to its corporate office and a customer service center. Grinstead was founded in 1968 and distributes AkzoNobel and BASF automotive refinish products as well as industrial coatings from a variety of manufacturers. NCS distributes DuPont, BASF, PPG & AkzoNobel.

Wesco buys Automotive Paint Specialties Wesco Auto Body Supply, Inc., a paint, body and equipment supplier based in Mountlake Terrace, WA, acquired Automotive Paint Specialties, a jobber with eight locations based in Bend, OR. The acquisition will give Wesco a total of 33 locations throughout Idaho, Oregon and Washington State. Wesco plans to keep the APS locations operating under the Automotive Paint Specialties name and Ben Tuma, founder of Automotive Paint Specialties, has agreed to stay on with

the Wesco Group to assure a smooth transition. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “We are very excited about this latest acquisition in the Oregon market,” says Wesco VP Roger Howe, who handles acquisitions and corporate affairs for the company. Wesco was started as a single location in Everett, WA, more than 40 years ago by its founder and President Lloyd J. White. “The combined strength of the two companies is very exciting, we will be better positioned to service our customers in all the markets we serve,” said White. “The real success and strength of both companies continues to be the incredible employees. We look forward to continued growth and success as the market continues to consolidate.” This deal, which closed on December 31, is the third acquisition for Wesco in the past 12 months. The company also acquired LDI Automotive Paints, Inc. in Tacoma, WA, and Evergreen Paint, Inc. in Longview, WA, during 2012.

O’Reilly Announces Asset Agreement with VIP Auto

O’Reilly Automotive, Inc., a leading retailer in the automotive aftermarket industry, announced Dec. 17 that it had entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the auto parts related assets of VIP Parts, Tires & Service. The asset purchase was expected to be completed on or about December 31, 2012. VIP is a large, privately-held automotive parts, tires and service chain in New England, and has provided outstanding service to New Englanders for over 30 years. Based in Lewiston, ME, VIP currently operates 56 stores located throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, as well as a distribution center located in Maine. After the completion of the asset purchase agreement, VIP will continue to own and operate the tire and service components of the business and O’Reilly will own and operate the automotive parts sales and distribution operations of the business.

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NABC Launches Newly Revised Corporate Website

The National Auto Body Council (NABC) recently launched an updated version of its corporate website—www.autobodycouncil.org— that includes a timely and comprehensive approach to presenting information on the organization and the programs and services it provides. In addition, the website contains details—some of it being published for the first time—regarding the NABC’s most recent events and initiatives, including Distracted Driving, InLanguage and Operation Comfort. New material is also being made available on long-standing, established projects like Recycled Rides and First Responders Emergency Extraction (FREE). An expanded history on the National Auto Body Council and why it came into being is another noteworthy addition. The website’s layout and organization has been re-designed to be more inviting to visitors, making it easier to find and access the desired information. Online forms make it vastly simpler to submit registration information to the National Auto Body Council, including that for NABC membership and sign-ups and sponsorships for the annual golf fundraiser. Descriptive overviews of the recently introduced

Award of Distinction and Bodyshop Image Award are also available, complete with printable PDF forms for those wishing to nominate individuals for the awards. “Though the website has always contained useful information for our members and those interested in the work of the National Auto Body Council, we thought we could do a better job of delivering it,” said Liz Stein, NABC marketing co-chair. “And since we were going to streamline the website, what better time to bring the information it contains up-to-date to reflect the variety of new programs and services we have begun to deliver. We think visitors will be pleasantly surprised by the changes they’ll see when they land on our site.” Please note that the transition to the redesigned website is in process and that some sections may still under construction. Completion is slated for the upcoming weeks. The National Auto Body Council extends an open invitation to its members and the industry to let us know what they think. Please contact Liz Stein at (888667-7433) or e-mail chuck@autobodycouncil.org if you would like to provide feedback.

NABC Gives Update on ‘Operation Comfort’ Mission

The National Auto Body Council (NABC) recently announced an update to its formal plan to raise $1.5 million to provide I-CAR curriculum and training to wounded veterans in a partnership with Operation Comfort. Along with NABC website updates, a weekly update of the committees progress, activities and plans will be communicated to the industry atlarge via press releases or “Mission Status” updates. Chuck Sulkala, executive director of the NABC, said “This project has been given highest priority by the NABC board and we will give ongoing updates and total transparency to the entire industry of our efforts.” The plan includes raising $1.5 million to purchase, completely renovate, and equip a 30,000-square-foot training facility in San Antonio, TX, on behalf of Operation Comfort’s Automotivation program. The NABC has raised over $200,000 to date towards this goal. “There is no other program in our industry that connects wounded veterans with entry-level job opportunities in auto body repair. Participants will receive training in collision re-

pair, estimating, vehicle refinishing and other related topics toward the goal of preparing them for full-time employment in our industry. We have an obligation to help those who have given so much for the freedoms we treasure,” said Sulkala. Founded in 2004, Operation Comfort is a 501 C-3 nonprofit organization that complements the rehabilitation efforts carried out by the U.S. Army at the Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC). As a form of occupational therapy, the organization runs the AutoMotivation program through which disabled veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan—in many cases those that have lost one or more limbs—are helped with rehabilitation through automotive-related repair activities. Visit www.operationcomfort.org/ automotivation/ for more information. All collision repair-related associations, businesses, body shops and individual collision repairers are strongly encouraged to make donations for this project. For any further information, contact Chuck Sulkala at chuck@autobodycouncil.org or call (888) 667-7433.

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U.S. Fines Toyota $17 Million for Not Quickly Reporting Problems, Delaying Recall The U.S. government hit Toyota Motor Corp. with a record $17.4 million fine for failing once again to report problems in a timely manner to federal regulators and for delaying a safety recall, the Claims Journal reported in December. The fine against the world’s biggest automaker from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency that monitors vehicle safety, is the maximum allowed by law. It’s the fourth fine levied against Toyota in the past two years for similar infractions, and it’s the largest single fine ever assessed against a car company over safety defects. In 2010, Toyota paid a total of $48.8 million in fines for three violations. The latest infraction raises questions about whether the fines are big enough to deter automakers that withhold information from NHTSA, and whether the government agency can do enough to stop repeat offenses. The fine is a tiny fraction of Toyota’s earnings. The company posted a $3.2 billion profit in the third quarter alone. Toyota said it agreed to pay the penalty without admitting any violation of the law. It also pledged to strengthen data collection and evaluation to make sure it takes action more quickly.

“We agreed to this settlement in order to avoid a time-consuming dispute and to focus fully on our shared commitment with NHTSA to keep drivers safe,” Ray Tanguay, the company’s chief quality officer, said in a statement. The latest fine stems from a June recall of SUVs from Toyota’s Lexus luxury brand. About 154,000 of the 2010 Lexus Rx 350s and RX 450h models were recalled because the driver’s-side floor mats can trap the gas pedal and cause the vehicles to speed up without warning. The problem was similar to troubles from 2010 that prompted a series of embarrassing safety recalls by the company. Toyota has recalled more than 14 million vehicles globally to fix sticky gas pedals and floor mats. The recalls tarnished the company’s sterling reputation for reliability and cut into sales. Recently its sales have rebounded as it appeared to put the safety problems in the rear-view mirror. But NHTSA said that Toyota failed to report acceleration problems in the Lexus SUVs within five business days of discovering them, as required by U.S. law. The agency said it began investigating the SUVs early this year after receiving complaints

Global Electric Vehicle Sales Could Reach 3.8 Million by 2020, Research Firm Says

Sales of plug-in electric vehicles and of hybrid electric vehicles are expected to grow exponentially throughout the decade as the number of affordable vehicles increases and the charging infrastructure to support them continues to improve, says a new report that claims that the market for electric vehicles is still in its early stages.

Nissan Leaf

According to the report from Pike Research, this will lead to sales of more than 3.8 million a year by 2020. “Sales of electric vehicles have not lived up to automakers’ expectations and politicians’ proclamations, but the market is expanding steadily as fuel prices remain high and consumers increasingly seek alternatives to internal combustion engines,” says senior research analyst Dave Hurst. “Indeed,

sales of plug-in electric vehicles will grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 40% over the remainder of the decade, while the overall auto market will expand by only 2% a year.” Hybrid electric vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, which use a traditional petrol or diesel engine alongside an electric motor, have been on general sale throughout the world for over a decade, and as cheaper mass-produced plug-in electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, plus plug-in hybrids electric like the Chevrolet Volt (that use a petrol or diesel engine to charge the electric battery) have started to come to the global market since 2010. In the US, the latest figures from the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) projected that sales of plug-in electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales more than doubled in 2012, hitting 44,888 compared with 17,735 in 2011 (this includes business fleet as well as individual consumer sales). However, the figure represents less than 0.5% of all types of cars sold in the country over the same period, estimated by EDTA in December to total 13.08 million, and this week projected to reach 14.5 million, according to Ward’s Auto and Autodata.

54 FEBRUARY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

from consumers. In May, the agency contacted Toyota about the problem, and it took the company a month to report 63 incidents of floor mats trapping gas pedals, NHTSA said. “I expect Toyota to rigorously reinforce its commitment to adhering to United States safety regulations,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. Next year, the maximum fine NHTSA can assess will double to $35 million. Toyota, NHTSA said, agreed in a settlement to make internal changes to comply with U.S. laws. In an August interview, Jim Lentz, Toyota’s highest-ranking U.S. executive, told The Associated Press that the company was obeying the law in giving information to NHTSA. In 2010, Toyota paid two $16.4 million fines and one $16 million fine, all for reporting violations. NHTSA said at the time that the company didn’t report problems with sticking gas pedals in a timely manner, nor did it report problems with floor mats trapping gas pedals. Toyota also told NHTSA that a recall of commercial trucks in Japan for a steering problem did not affect U.S. vehicles. But a year later, the company recalled similar vehicles in the U.S.

Top Safety Picks for 2013

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently awarded 13 vehicle models with its Top Safety Pick+ award for 2013. The vehicle models named as IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ for 2013 include the Acura TL, Dodge Avenger, Chrysler 200, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord two-door, Honda Accord four-door, Kia Optima, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Suzuki Kizashi, Volkswagen Passat and Volvo S60. To earn the Top Safety Pick+ accolade, all 13 vehicles received “good” or “acceptable” ratings in the IIHS’ new small overlap test, an evaluation that simulates safety performance when the front section of a vehicle hits another vehicle or permanent object, such as a tree or utility pole. The IIHS said small overlap crashes account for roughly 25% of frontal crashes that result in serious injuries or fatalities to occupants. The IIHS said midsize, luxury cars were the first group of vehicles evaluated through its small overlap test. Midsize, moderately priced cars will be evaluated next, and the organization will announce additional Top Safety Pick+ winners after tests are conducted. Safety results for small SUVs will be announced this spring.

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CARSTAR Adds New Location Outside Chicago

CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts recently announced the opening of West-Hill CARSTAR in Hillside, IL, expanding CARSTAR’s presence throughout the Chicago market. Owned by Joseph, John and Mark Esposito, West-Hill CARSTAR has been family-owned and operated since John Esposito founded it in 1960 and is a member of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Illinois.

West-Hill CARSTAR will offer services and products for collision repair, including the latest in repair technology, rental vehicles, national warranties on repairs and turnkey service for customers. The new store will benefit from the CARSTAR Management System, which provides resources to improve key business metrics such as cycle time, participation in CARSTAR’s 19 corporately-managed DRP pro-

New Drivers Banned from Cell

grams, and improved purchasing power from 45 corporately-managed purchasing programs. “We are thrilled to expand our presence in Chicago with this new topnotch collision repair center,” said David Byers, CEO of CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts.

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed legislation prohibiting novice drivers from using a cell phone while behind the wheel. The bill applies to holders of Level 1 licenses who must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or another driver at least years old.opinion It also covers Give21us your on Level 2 licenses, which allows driving alone with limits on hours and carrying of young passengers.

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February 2013 Western Edition