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CA Introduces Manufacturing Equipment Sales Tax Exemption Legislation California Assembly Member Tim Grayson, D-Concord, has introduced legislation, AB 1951, that would create the California Manufacturing Attraction and Development Exemption (CA MADE). If passed, the CA MADE exemption would eliminate the sales tax on most manufacturing equipment purchases. If enacted, California would join 38 other states that currently have full exemptions on manufacturing equipment from sales and use tax. Don’t delay! Please contact the California legislature immediately
in support of AB 1951. Lawmakers must hear from you right away. Request support for this legislation by using the following SAN website link for an overview and lawmaker contact: https:// w w w. v o t e r v o i c e . n e t / S E M A / campaigns/91764/respond?utm_ source=ET&utm_medium=email&utm_content=759291&utm_ campaign=LegAlert This effort is supported by SEMA, the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) and the SEMA Action Network (SAN.) Source: SAN
EV Chargers Will Soon Outnumber Gas Stations in U.S. by Andrei Nedelea, InsideEVs
The charging station infrastructure in the U.S. will soon catch up to and surpass traditional fuel stations for the number of individual pumps, or charging stalls. There are currently between 110,000 and 150,000 fuel pumps, while the number of individual chargers is around 110,000, according to Jerry Insurance. The number of gas stations has been going down for the last two decades, while increasing sales of electric vehicles has spurred constant and
sometimes rapid expansion of the charging infrastructure. There are now more than 2 million EVs on U.S. roads compared to just 16,000 a decade ago.
One major challenge ahead will be for the charging infrastructure to See EV Chargers, Page 22
Vol. 40 / Issue 3 / March 2022
CAA Offers Updated Labor Rate Surveys The CAA is pleased to provide its members with new labor rate surveys updated as of February. New surveys from American Family, CONNECT, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, General and USAA are now available on the CAA website. After logging in to the CAA website, all Labor Rate Surveys can be found under the “Labor Rate Surveys” link. If you are a CAA member but have not signed up on the website, you can do so through the “Sign Up” button on the top left of the homepage banner, or call the office for assistance at (916) 557-8100 ex.1.
Once you are registered, you will have access to all of the CAA’s “Members Only” information and
See Labor Rate Surveys, Page 14
A Review of Collision Repair Acquisitions in 2021 by David Roberts and Chris Lane, Focus Advisors Automotive
With 2021 now in the rearview mirror, the industry is catching its breath after a year of sprinting that saw extraordinary acquisition activity. In one of the busiest years since 2019, the most mature consolidators—Caliber and Gerber—have gotten much bigger, while the third largest, Service King, has continued to shrink modestly. And the adolescents of 2020, Classic Collision and Crash Champions, have dramatically grown into impressive, fully realized competitors seeking their own national footprint, each more than tripling their number of shops over the last 12 months. Newer private equity backed MSOs also found fertile ground in 2021 with Quality Collision, Kaizen Collision and Collision Right more than doubling their shop counts during the year. The franchisors and networks continued to find both growth challenges and opportunities as Driven
Brands, Certified Collision Group and 1 Collision continued to expand in every direction. Based on Focus Advisors’ proprietary data, a total of 62 MSOs were acquired in 2021 with a transfer of 327 locations that formerly belonged to independent MSOs. What happened with the largest consolidators? Caliber just kept doing what Caliber does at the same relentless and effectively measured pace—buying, converting and developing. We estimate Caliber added about 201 shops; nearly 25% were brown and greenfield location. In addition, it continued to grow its initiatives in ADAS, glass and retail service locations. Caliber only acquired one large MSO during the year, Main Auto Body in Oregon, as well as several three and four shop MSOs. However, its most notable acquisition was the acquisition of 17 AutoNation shops in 15 different markets. Caliber continues to densify its footprint, market-by-market, both through acquisitions of single shops See Acquisitions in 2021, Page 22
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Industry Leaders to Provide Innovative
Allstate ‘Overcharging’ Customers, New
Programs ���������������������������������������������������� 24
CA Gov. Outlines $10B Zero-Emission Vehicle Package ������������������������������������������ 10 CA Introduces Manufacturing Equipment Sales Tax Exemption Legislation ������������������� 1 CAA Offers Updated Labor Rate Surveys ���������� 1 CAA Provides Update on Bills to Watch During
Automakers Report January Sales ������������������ 54
Bill to Ensure Consumer Choice in Auto
Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Stacey Phillips Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Norman Morano, (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bryan Malinski Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Abby Andrews Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Permissions Editor: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray
Serving Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the collision industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2022 Adamantine Media LLC.
American Icon Automotive Finishes ����������������� 8
Kia of Carson �������������������������������������������������� 38
asTech/Driven by Repairify ������������������������������� 6
Kia of Irvine ���������������������������������������������������� 27
Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 45
Larry H. Miller Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram ������ 24
AutoNation Infiniti Tustin �������������������������������� 32
Lithia Honda Medford ������������������������������������� 30
Axalta Coating Systems ��������������������������������� 11
Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������� 53
BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������������� 44
Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers ������� 53
Car Pros Kia ������������������������������������������������������ 8
Michael Hohl Motor Company ������������������������ 22
Car Pros Kia Renton ��������������������������������������� 20
MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers ����������������������� 44
Certified Automotive Parts Association ������������ 6
MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������� 33
Classifieds ������������������������������������������������������ 54
Niello Audi ����������������������������������������������������� 31
Batteries ����������������������������������������������������� 27
Colortone Automotive Paints �������������������������� 16
Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������� 47
GM Doubles its Climate Equity Fund ��������������� 24
Courtesy Chevrolet San Diego ������������������������ 35
Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������� 52
Hertz Partnering with UFODRIVE to Improve
DCH Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram-Fiat �������������� 20
PPG ���������������������������������������������������������������� 15
Dominion Sure Seal, Ltd ��������������������������������� 19
Reno Buick-GMC �������������������������������������������� 16
Eagle Abrasives ��������������������������������������������� 17
Sandberg Volvo Cars �������������������������������������� 24
Equalizer Auto Glass Tools ����������������������������� 10
Santa Monica Audi ���������������������������������������� 14
FH Dailey Chevrolet ���������������������������������������� 40
SATA Dan-Am Company ���������������������������������� 2
Repair Introduced in U.S. House ������������������ 55 CCC Acquires Insurtech Safekeep ������������������� 34 Certain Metallic Finishes May Interfere with ADAS Radar Systems, PPG Expert Says ����� 38 CIECA Announces 2022 Board Officers ����������� 16
2022 legislative session has begun and bills
CIECAST Inspects Trends Affecting Collision
are starting to be introduced ����������������������� 18
Now Open ����������������������������������������������������� 8 Crash Champions Acquires American Auto Body in Montana ����������������������������������������� 11 LA-Area Man Pleads Guilty to Fraudulently Obtaining Luxury Cars from Victims Who Wanted Out of Leases ��������������������������������� 19 ProColor Collision Adds Two New Locations in Sacramento ����������������������������������������������� 8 Staged Car Accident Fraud Ring Uncovered in Washington State ������������������������������������� 6 Tesla Driver Charged with Felony After Deadly Crash Killing 2 ��������������������������������� 16
Repair in 2022 and Beyond ������������������������� 52 CIF Announces 2022 Annual Donors ��������������� 18 Cox Automotive January Forecast: Auto Sales Volume Holds Steady, Inventory Levels Remain Tight ������������������������������������ 45 DOT Issues National Roadway Safety Strategy with Focus on Safer Vehicles �������� 55 Emporia Energy, BREK Electronics to Develop First Home Bi-Directional EV Charger ������������ 4 EV Buyers Not Researching Charging Options Until After Purchase: Study ������������������������� 52 EV Sector Growth Driving up Lithium, Cobalt, Nickel Prices ����������������������������������������������� 20 Ford, Volvo Partner with Redwood Materials in Pathways Program for End-of-Life EV
COLUMNISTS Anderson - Resources to Combat Collision Parts Supply Chain Challenges �������������������� 30 Attanasio - The ‘California Godfather’ of Collision Repair Taps Into His Artistic Side �� 48 Phillips - Matrix Trade Institute’s Efficiency Bootcamps Help Collision Repair Industry Grow and Retain Employees ����������������������� 31
Axalta Commits to Sustainability Goals ���������� 51
2022 CA Legislative Session California’s
CAWA 2022 Scholarship Application
EV Rental Experience ���������������������������������� 50 Honda Civic is Best-Selling Retail Passenger Car in U.S. for 6th Straight Year ������������������� 34 J.D. Power Announces New Hires, Promotions �������������������������������������������������� 30
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
Documents Claim ���������������������������������������� 14
Autobody News P.O. Box 1516 Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Labor Rate, Tech Shortage, ADAS Panels
Fix Auto USA ��������������������������������������������������� 5
SCA Claim Services ��������������������������������������� 21
Must Ensure ADAS Calibration Procedures
Highlight Updated Educational Slate at
Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 39
Spanesi Americas ������������������������������������������ 25
Are Followed ����������������������������������������������� 36
NORTHEAST 2022 �������������������������������������� 51
Future Nissan of Roseville ������������������������������ 31
Steck Manufacturing �������������������������������������� 14
Galpin Motors ������������������������������������������������ 37
Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������� 51
Garden Grove Kia ������������������������������������������� 27
Sunmight USA ������������������������������������������ 12-13
State Farm, Ford Introduce UBI ����������������������� 54
Glenn E. Thomas Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep ������������ 9
The Bay Area Automotive Group �������������������� 41
Tesla’s Most Important Product in Development
GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������� 49
Valspar Refinish ����������������������������������������������� 7
Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers ������28-29
Volkswagen Pasadena ����������������������������������� 36
Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������ 50
Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������ 46
Industrial Finishes and Systems ��������������������� 56
Volvo Wholesale Parts Dealers ����������������������� 50
Kearny Mesa Subaru-Hyundai ������������������������ 26
Wedge Clamp Systems ���������������������������������� 18
Kia Downtown Los Angeles ��������������������������� 34
Wrenchers ����������������������������������������������������� 23
Yoswick - Automakers: Collision Repairers
Yoswick - Collision Repairers Discuss How They Are Coping with Parts Supply Chain Issues ��������������������������������������������������������� 40 Yoswick - Remote Scanning Companies Foresee More ADAS Calibrations for Auto Body Shops in the Future ������������������� 46
Registration Open for WIAC Conference ��������� 19 Some Auto Parts Cheaper at Walmart, Fixed Ops Director Shocked to Find ���������������������� 44
is Optimus Humanoid Robot ������������������������ 53 Toyota Research Institute Programs Car to
Autonomously Drift Around On-Track
8 out of 10 of Car Shoppers Paid Above Sticker
Obstacles ������������������������������������������������������ 4
Price for New Vehicles in January ��������������� 26 AirPro Diagnostics Announces New Hire �������� 50 ASE Education Foundation Partners with
U.S. Crude Oil Production Fell by 8% in 2020, Largest Decrease on Record ����������������������� 53
Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������� 42-43
autobodynews.com / MARCH 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
Emporia Energy, BREK Electronics to Develop First Home Bi-Directional EV Charger Emporia Energy and BREK Electronics announced a new partnership to develop a bi-directional electric vehicle charger that will not only transfer power from the grid and home to the vehicle, but also from the vehicle back to the home and grid. This product will be the first of its kind available in North America and is predicted to hit the market in 2023 at less than $1,500. The collaboration brings together the specialties of both companies, with BREK developing the power electronics core and hardware and Emporia developing the connector strategy and smart home integration system. BREK and Emporia share an overarching mission of providing accessible and affordable products. Emporia, led by founder and CEO Shawn McLaughlin, already offers a line of energy management technology products that can be combined to create the Emporia Smart Home Energy Management System. These products include level 2 EV chargers, customizable whole-home batteries with capacity from 8.2kWh to 49.2 kWh, smart plugs and real-time energy monitors that allow
users to assess and control their total home energy usage in real-time via the Emporia app. The partnership’s bi-directional EV Charger will be the newest addition to this system and give customers new options for power management. Consumers will now be able to power their home through their EV,
applications, including solar string inverters that can provide significantly higher power at lower cost with longer life, in a more compact design than existing commercial string inverters. BREK’s and Emporia’s collaboration will develop and adapt this hardware specifically for bi-directional EV charging.
“Emporia has mastered energy management technology and smart home integration with their system of products and is the perfect match for the power electronics development we do here at BREK. Our hardware expertise combined with Emporia’s experience in energy management will drive the creation of a truly groundbreaking product in the EV charging space.” — Dr. Kala Majeti insulating them from costly utility bills and protecting them from power outages. BREK is reimagining silicon-carbide based power electronics technologies. BREK’s silicon-carbide based platform has a variety of
As explained by McLaughlin, “80 to 85% of electric vehicle charging currently takes place at the vehicle owner’s home, so the EV should really be seen as an extension of the home energy system. This is critical to why we want to make a
bi-directional EV charger readily available—being able to transfer energy from the vehicle back into the home or grid will enable widespread adoption of distributed renewable energy without taxing the grid, while generating substantial savings for the homeowner, but there isn’t a cost effective option on the market yet. Our collaboration with BREK will create that option.” “This is an ideal partnership for us,” said Dr. Kala Majeti, president and co-founder of BREK Electronics. “Emporia has mastered energy management technology and smart home integration with their system of products and is the perfect match for the power electronics development we do here at BREK. Our hardware expertise combined with Emporia’s experience in energy management will drive the creation of a truly groundbreaking product in the EV charging space.” For more information about Emporia, visit www.emporiaenergy.com. To learn more about BREK Electronics, visit www.brekelectronics.com. Source: Emporia Energy, BREK Electronics
Toyota Research Institute Programs Car to Autonomously Drift Around On-Track Obstacles On Feb. 2, Toyota Research Institute (TRI) demonstrated a new research milestone in autonomy, providing a glimpse into the future of safer mobility for all.
TRI researchers successfully programmed a vehicle to autonomously drift around obstacles on a closed track—a world first. Combining a deep knowledge of both vehicle dynamics and control design, TRI’s Nonlinear Model Predictive Control (NMPC) approach extends the vehicle’s operational domain to the very limits of its performance. The idea behind this research is to use controlled, autonomous drifting to avoid accidents by navigating sudden obstacles or hazardous road conditions like black ice.
“At TRI, our goal is to use advanced technologies that augment and amplify humans, not replace them,” said Avinash Balachandran, senior manager of TRI’s Human Centric Driving Research. “Through this project, we are expanding the region in which a car is controllable, with the goal of giving regular drivers the instinctual reflexes of a professional race car driver to be able to handle the most challenging emergencies and keep people safer on the road.” Every year, car crashes result in nearly 40,000 fatalities in the U.S and about 1.35 million fatalities worldwide. While most crashes occur in mundane situations, in some extreme situations, drivers may need to make maneuvers that take their vehicle close to and, at times, beyond normal limits of handling. One year ago, TRI and the Dynamic Design Lab at Stanford University set out to design a new level of active safety to help avoid crashes and prevent injuries and fatalities. With the support of automotive performance specialist GReddy and drift legend Ken Gushi, this achievement is another step in that journey.
4 MARCH 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
By building skills comparable to an expert driver, this technology can amplify and augment a regular driver’s ability to respond to dangerous and extreme situations, helping keep people safe on the road.
This achievement brings TRI researchers closer to understanding the full spectrum of vehicle performance. The software advances announced Feb. 2 calculate a whole new trajectory every 20th of a sec-
“When faced with wet or slippery roads, professional drivers may choose to ‘drift’ the car through a turn, but most of us are not professional drivers,” said Jonathan Goh, TRI research scientist. “That’s why TRI is programming vehicles that can identify obstacles and autonomously drift around obstacles on a closed track.” — Jonathan Goh “When faced with wet or slippery roads, professional drivers may choose to ‘drift’ the car through a turn, but most of us are not professional drivers,” said Jonathan Goh, TRI research scientist. “That’s why TRI is programming vehicles that can identify obstacles and autonomously drift around obstacles on a closed track.”
ond to balance the car gracefully as it goes around the track. Looking ahead, Toyota will continue to push the limits of vehicle safety technology by researching ever more effective ways for emerging safety technologies to amplify human capabilities on the road. Source: Toyota Research Institute
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Staged Car Accident Fraud Ring Uncovered in Washington State by Lyle Adriano, Insurance Business
Nearly two dozen individuals have been charged in connection to an auto insurance fraud ring in Washington State, which took place from 2017 to 2020. According to federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Washington, 23 people have been charged for their roles in staging automobile collisions. The defendants named in the indictment are Ali Abed Yaser, Hussein A. Yasir, Insaf A. Karawi, Hasanein A. Yaser, Ahmad K. Bachay, Mashael A. Bachay, Mohammed Bajay, Hussain K. Bachay, Noor Tahseen Al-Maarej, Ali F. Al-Himrani, Rana J. Kaabawi, Amar F. Abdul-Salam, Ameer R. Mohammed, Mohammed F. Al-Himrani, Maria Elena Sanchez, Seifeddine A. AlKinani, Abdullah Al-Dulaimi, Firas S. Hadi, Farooq S. Yaseen, Khalil Abdul-Razaq, Jesus George Sanchez, Sinan Akrawi and Mohammed Naji Al-Jibory. An 81-page indictment was unsealed regarding the case, naming the defendants. The New York
Times reported the defendants live in Washington, California, Nevada and Michigan, as well as in British Columbia in Canada. The charges filed against the defendants included wire and mail fraud, witness tampering, attempted tampering with evidence, conspiracy to commit health care fraud and
attempted obstruction of an official proceeding. Court documents said the fraud ring collected a total of nearly $1 million in false insurance claims by staging car collisions. The documents also noted the suspected perpetrators performed the staged collisions at night on deserted roads, to ensure there would be no witnesses. To maximize the payouts, some
of the claimants involved in the staged crashes installed weights on their car seats in order to get the airbags to deploy. Authorities also said others fastened a seatbelt around a case of bottled water to achieve the same effect. The fraudsters also used hammers to smash windows and pursued emergency medical treatment even if they did not sustain any injury. Investigators also said the conspirators concluded they could get more money out of totaling the cars and filing insurance claims for them, overselling the wrecked vehicles to a used car dealer. The group staged a total of 14 collisions, the indictment said. In one instance, one of the defendants intentionally drove a Toyota Sienna minivan into an Infiniti FX35, which carried other defendants including the driver, near an intersection in Franklin County, WA, in January 2019. The driver of the minivan revealed to an FBI informant he had purchased the insurance on the same day the staged accident was performed.
In another case involving a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a Chevrolet Traverse in September 2019 in Pasco, WA, two of the defendants used hammers to deliberately damage the vehicles in an attempt to make the collision appear worse before the authorities arrived. And in April 2020, one of the defendants rammed his Chevy Malibu into another Chevy Malibu three times at an intersection in Kennewick, WA. Four of the defendants also fabricated a story about how an FBI agent and an informant had solicited a $22,000 bribe to turn a blind eye, an investigation by the Justice Department uncovered. Court records also noted the defendants rehearsed what they would say when confronted by the authorities. One defendant purportedly instructed another to say “what Americans say here,” which was to claim they “didn’t know.”
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ProColor Collision Adds Two New Locations in Sacramento ProColor Collision on Jan. 31 announced the launch of two new shops in Sacramento, CA. ProColor Collision Sacramento South East, formerly known as Collision Express Center, and ProColor Collision Sacramento North East are state-of-the-art repair facilities offering premium collision repairs. These new ProColor locations will continue to build on an already excellent reputation for delivering quality and consistency in the Sacramento area. Both locations are full-service collision repair facilities fully equipped with the latest dustless sanding system, aluminum rivet gun and a downdraft paint booth to repair everything from the smallest details to major collision repairs on all types of vehicles, including boron steel, aluminum and hybrid vehicles. The ProColor Collision Sacramento South East location is I-CAR Gold certified which means technicians at ProColor prioritize exceptional customer service, personal relationships and quality of repairs ensuring all aspects of a repair ex-
ceed complete satisfaction. The ProColor Collision Sacramento North East location is in the process of I-CAR Gold certification. ProColor Collision Sacramento South East and North East reflect owner-operator Tony Buryakov’s drive to deliver superior quality craftsmanship in vehicle repair while offering exceptional customer service. According to Buryakov, customer satisfaction is the utmost important consideration. “From the first phone call to the point of handing the keys back to a satisfied customer, partnering with their insurance company and doing a thorough inspection with standard repairs, our I-CAR-certified staff has won the hearts of customers who have experienced the shock of being involved in a car accident,” Buryakov said. “Our undeniable quality performance and excellent reputation among our customers and insurance companies have earned us a high rating in the community.” With 25 years of collision repair industry experience under his belt, Buryakov has a passion for collision repair, as well as strong
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beliefs in honesty, integrity and respect, propelling his business to experience strong, consistent growth. Always eager to advance his range of services to meet the needs of motorists in the Sacramento area, Buryakov saw ProColor Collision as the perfect opportunity to fulfill his drive to succeed. “ProColor Collision is a leader in the collision repair industry and is committed to operating with transparency and trust,” said Buryakov. “ProColor Collision’s robust network and years of successful operations will benefit and help grow our business.” “ProColor Collision continues to make a positive impact with the addition of passionate franchise owner, Tony, who has the drive to propel ProColor Collision’s reputation in the U.S. market,” said Peter Polito, ProColor Collision’s general manager for Western U.S. “Tony understands the value of integrity, quality and superior customer service, and along with his team, will do an exceptional job representing ProColor Collision.” Source: ProColor Collision
CAWA 2022 Scholarship Application Now Open CAWA announced the application is open for its 2022 scholarships, now through March 31. Interested in receiving a CAWA scholarship for your employees, children, family members and others who would be welcomed into the auto care industry?Applying is easy. The online application process allows students interested in aftermarket careers to submit one application each year online at www.automotivescholarships. com and receive consideration for several scholarships. Funds for scholarships come from generous CAWA members and the University of the Aftermarket Foundation.For more information, see www.cawa.org or contact CAWA Member Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. Source: CAWA
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autobodynews.com / MARCH 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 9 8/2/21 3:57 PM
CA Gov. Outlines $10B Zero-Emission Vehicle Package Gov. Gavin Newsom on Jan. 26 outlined his historic $10 billion zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) package to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles and fight climate change. This package is a critical part of Newsom’s overall plan to cement California’s status as a world leader in forging an oil-free future. “The future is electric, and we’re making it easier and cheaper than ever before to go electric. That means more assistance to
help folks buy clean cars and more charging stations in more communities throughout the state,” said
Newsom. “California is eliminating our dependence on oil and providing a blueprint for the entire world on how to aggressively fight the climate crisis while growing the state’s clean energy economy.” This $10 billion ZEV package builds on Newsom’s first-in-thenation action to shift the automotive industry entirely to all electric by 2035, using California’s market dominance to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles across the world and dramatically reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuels. Electric vehicles have become one of the state’s top exports, and California represents half of the U.S. ZEV market. These actions are tackling the single largest culprit of pollution in California—the tailpipe. “To achieve California’s climate goals we must focus on the needs of the most polluted and underserved neighborhoods. Gov. Newsom’s ZEV investment
10 MARCH 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
proposal recognizes this reality,” said Alvaro Sanchez, vice president of policy at The Greenlining Institute. “We’re excited to work with the governor and the Legislature to prove to the rest of the country that we can not only advance our climate agenda but also advance equity.” Building upon last year’s historic $3.9 billion investment in zero-emission vehicles, Newsom is proposing to inject another $6.1 billion to accelerate this transition---a total $10 billion ZEV package that will help make these vehicles more affordable and convenient for all Californians, while building out the infrastructure and charging stations needed to facilitate this transition.
will focus on planning and deploying a range of charging options to support communities, including grid-friendly high-power fast chargers and at-home charging.
Significant investments include:
Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicles and Supporting Infrastructure: $935 million to add 1,000 zero-emission short-haul (drayage) trucks and 1,700 zero-emission transit buses; $1.5 billion Proposition 98 to support school transportation programs, including advancing electric school buses in a coordinated effort between educational, air pollution and energy agencies; $1.1 billion for zero-emission trucks, buses and offroad equipment and fueling infrastructure; and $400 million to enable port electrification.
Low-Income Zero-Emission Vehicles and Infrastructure: $256 million for low-income consumer purchases, and $900 million to expand affordable and convenient ZEV infrastructure access in low-income neighborhoods. These investments
Zero-Emission Mobility: $419 million to support sustainable community-based transportation equity projects that increase access to zero-emission mobility in low-income communities. This includes supporting clean mobility options, sustain-
able transportation and equity projects, and plans already developed by communities that address mobility. These locally-driven projects continue to be a direct response to critical mobility needs identified by community-based organizations and residents working on the front lines to lift up priority populations. Emerging Opportunities: $200 million to invest in demonstration and pilot projects in high carbon-emitting sectors, such as maritime, aviation, rail and other off-road applications, as well as support for vehicle grid integration at scale. These investments will help maintain California’s role as the hub of ZEV market creation and innovation, creating economic development opportunities while accelerating zero-emission solutions in the hardestto-reach segments of the transportation system. California has become a working model for how to aggressively fight the climate crisis while bolstering the clean energy economy, and what the state is doing is unprecedented in
both nature and scale: • Exceeded 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target four years ahead of schedule, while growing the state’s economy by 26%. • First state in the nation to end the sale of new gas cars by 2035, and the first in the world to require heavy duty truck manufacturers to transition to zero-emission vehicles by 2045. • Moving to prevent oil drilling in our local communities, and taking steps to phase out oil drilling and fracking entirely. • 485,000 clean energy jobs, more than twice as many as any other state, and six times more jobs than fossil fuel jobs. • Electric vehicles are one of the state’s top exports, and California represents roughly half of the U.S. ZEV market. Source: Office of Gov. Gavin Newsom www.autobodynews.com
Crash Champions Acquires American Auto Body in Montana Crash Champions, LLC, announced Feb. 15 it has grown its presence in Montana through the acquisition of American Auto Body, a single shop located at 650 S. 20th St. W. Billings, MT 59102. This transaction follows the company’s entry into Big Sky Country through the acquisition of Raisin, a five-location shop with properties extending from Billings to the greater Bozeman area. “For over 35 years, the talented professionals at American Auto Body have demonstrated the highest levels of craftsmanship and customer care, making them an ideal addition to our new presence in Montana,” said Matt Ebert, founder and CEO of Crash Champions. “Through this acquisition, we are happy to provide another convenient location for top-tier collision repair and service. It is my pleasure to welcome American Auto Body to the Crash Champions family.” “It is an exciting day to become part of the Crash Champions family—both because of the new
opportunities it will create for our employees, and the enhanced experience it will provide for our customers,” said Todd Litton, owner of American Auto Body. “Since opening our doors in 1985, we have made superior quality repairs and service a cornerstone of our organization, and Crash Champions operates with the same mentality. This milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team members, and I look forward to our next stage of growth under the Crash banner.” For more information about Crash Champions, visit www. crashchampions.com. For those collision repair companies interested in selling their business, Crash has made it easy. Visit crashchampions.com/ sell-your-shop to learn more. Source: Crash Champions
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Allstate ‘Overcharging’ Customers, New Documents Claim by Lyle Adriano, Insurance Business
A pair of newly public documents filed with a California administrative law judge have accused Allstate Insurance of overcharging policyholders it believed to be price insensitive. The court documents recently filed with a California administrative law judge reveal both the state insurance regulator California Department of Insurance (CDI) and Consumer Watchdog have made the accusation. The documents, initially filed in October, allowed the state to intervene in an investigation into Allstate’s alleged practice of “price optimization”—the practice of charging higher premiums to customers that are unlikely to change to a competitor. Both the CDI and Consumer Watchdog have accused Allstate of engaging in price optimization by giving smaller-than-appropriate discounts to the least price-sensitive of its customers—customers with clean driving records who held multiple policies with Allstate, or who
had several decades of driving experience. “Since Allstate’s selections were not based on underlying costs, the final rates that Allstate charged these policyholders were actuarily unsound and unfairly discriminatory,” said CDI senior casualty actuary Edward Cimini Jr.
“Those policyholders were known by Allstate to have a lower elasticity of demand and were more likely to renew with Allstate even though they were charged premiums in excess of those based upon an actuarially sound estimate of the cost of risk transfer,” Allan Schwartz, an actuarial consultant retained by Consumer Watchdog, explained. Both documents were filed
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following an investigation into Allstate’s pricing by technology newsgroup The Markup in 2020. In that investigation, The Markup found Allstate withdrew and never used a rating plan in Maryland, which would, it suggested, have unfairly targeted its highest-paying customers. The investigation also found Allstate proposed plans with a customer “retention model” in other states. The Markup reached out to Allstate for comment on the allegations—the insurer has denied them. “Allstate does not employ, and has never employed, price optimization in determining premiums in California because Allstate does not take into account an individual’s or class’s willingness to pay a higher premium relative to other individuals or classes,” a company spokesperson told the news outlet in an email statement.
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Labor Rate Surveys protected content. Protected content is for CAA members only. It is CAA’s understanding that new surveys are currently being sent to shops. It is vitally important shops take the time to fill out this survey completely and return it in a timely manner. For questions about the Labor Rate Survey process or how to challenge one, please consult the following Shop Tips available on the CAA website: Shop Tip 20: Labor Rate Surveys: “What Shops Need to Know” Shop Tip 25: “How to Challenge Non-Standard Labor Rate Surveys” Shop Tip 26: “Can a Standardized Labor Rate Survey be Challenged?” These tips can be found under “Shop Tips and Resources” in the CAA Members Only section. Source: CAA
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autobodynews.com / MARCH 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 15
Tesla Driver Charged with Felony After Deadly Crash Killing 2 by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs
According to a recent article in The Washington Post and also reported by Electrek, Reuters and other publications, a Tesla owner/driver has been charged with a felony after running a red light with Autopilot engaged, which caused a deadly crash, though it seems Autopilot isn’t being blamed for the terrible situation. This may mark the first time in history a driver has been charged with a felony while driving a car that caused an accident during which advanced driver-assistance features were likely activated. However, the prosecutors in the case don’t mention Autopilot. The Washington Post shared via Electrek: “The defendant appears to be the first person to be charged with a felony in the United States for a fatal crash involving a motorist who was using a partially automated driving system.” The Tesla driver faces two counts of vehicular manslaughter for the accident that occurred a few years ago near Los Angeles. The
crash happened in 2019, though the charges were just filed in October. According to The Washington Post (via Electrek): “California prosecutors have filed two counts of vehicular manslaughter against the driver of a Tesla on Autopilot who ran a red light, slammed into another car and killed two people in 2019.” The driver, 27-year-old Kevin George Aziz Riad, was driving a Tesla Model S on Autopilot when he continued through a red light and crashed into a Honda Civic. One person inside the Model S was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. However, both of the Civic’s occupants were killed in the crash: Gilberto Alcazar Lopez and Maria Guadalupe Nieves-Lopez. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reportedly confirmed Autopilot was in use in the Model S, the Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving assistant isn’t being mentioned by the prosecuting attorneys in the case. This is because it is always the driver’s responsi-
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bility to safely pilot the vehicle. If the prosecutors were to try to blame Autopilot, it would open a whole can of worms. If they won, the win would be against Tesla. However, it would potentially make it so future crashes which were the fault of a human driver not paying attention could be blamed on the car. Any car’s lane keep assist or automatic emergency braking features could fail at any time, which could easily cause an accident if the driver was not attentive. Riad has pleaded not guilty and is out on bail for the time being. This is a developing story.
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CIECA Announces 2022 Board Officers During the Collision Industry Electronic Commerce (CIECA) Board of Trustees meeting in Phoenix, AZ, on Jan. 19, the organization’s Board of Trustees elected the following officers for 2022. Chairman Phil Martinez, Mitchell International, an Enlyte Company; Vice Chair Greg Best, California Casualty Management Company; Treasurer Ashley Denison, Caliber Collision; Secretary Brady Bonner, Safelite Solutions; and Past Chair Jeff Schroder, Car-Part.com. The officers will serve on CIECA’s executive committee, which oversees business matters throughout the year and plans the agenda for CIECA board meetings. CIECA also named a new Board of Trustees member, Dave Braun, owner of Nexsyis Collision. Source: CIECA
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CAA Provides Update on Bills to Watch During 2022 CA Legislative Session California’s 2022 legislative session has begun and bills are starting to be introduced
CIF Announces 2022 Annual Donors
CAA expects approximately 2,400 new bills to be introduced this year. The deadline for bill introduction is Feb. 18. The legislature is also dealing with the remaining twoyear bills.
The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) announced several companies committed to participate in the CIF Annual Donor Program. AirPro Diagnostics signed up for a second year, at the Urgent Care tier with a $5,000 pledge; CCC Intelligent Solutions committed to its second time in a row, as a First Responder with a $10,000 pledge; Enterprise Holdings committed to participate a second year at the Urgent Care tier with a $5,000 pledge; and LKQ Corporation committed to pledge $10,000, achieving the highest support tier, First Responder. The Annual Donor Program was designed to bring needed, recurring resources to CIF, so it can deliver on its mission to Answer the Call when those in the industry have been impacted by unforeseen catastrophic events. To become a CIF annual donor, visit www.collisionindustryfoundation.org and or reach out via email to email@example.com. All donations are tax-deductible. Source: CIF
CAA will continue to monitor closely and provide updates. Below is a summary. Legislative Bills Towing & Storage AB 294: CAA opposes, unless amended. This bill treats all auto repair facilities as “towing companies” and moves them under a new regulatory Towing and Storage Board. The bill also prohibits auto repair shops from charging fair and reasonable rates for any storage. Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee. Catalytic Converter Theft AB 1622: This bill would require smog shops to provide signs informing customers about strategies for deterring catalytic converter theft, including etching of identifying in-
formation on the converter. Status: Introduced. AB 1659: Revises the definition of auto dismantler to include a person who keeps or maintains two or more used catalytic converters not attached to a motor vehicle. Status: Introduced. Employment Bills CAA has concerns about AB 95, which would provide for 10 days of employee bereavement leave without pay. Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee. AB 995: Extends current three days of sick leave to five days. Status: Assembly Floor. State Budget The governor’s budget includes funding for the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to implement last year’s SB 158, which created a new hazardous waste oversight board and the subsequent increase in hazardous waste fees. CAA
will monitor and report. BAR Meeting and Workshop The BAR Advisory Committee meeting and Citation and Fine Regulatory Workshop is scheduled for Jan. 27. The proposed regulations would provide the BAR the ability to issue citations and fines to auto repair facilities, up to $5,000 per citation. The BAR has held two workshops on these proposed regulations. Due to the passage of AB 471, the regulations will include the ability for shops to informally appeal citations before an independent panel and the option to take remedial training to prevent the citation from being posted on the BAR website. CAA plans on attending the BAR meeting and workshop and will report. See here for BAR Workshop information: https://www.bar.ca.gov/pdf/ Workshops/202201_ARD_Citation _Program/Presentation.pdf Source: CAA
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1.800.615.9949 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wedgeclamp.com Distributor territories available. ©2021 Wedge Clamp Systems Inc. All rights reserved. www.colbertcreative.com 18 MARCH 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com (604) 681-5386
LA-Area Man Pleads Guilty to Fraudulently Obtaining Luxury Cars from Victims Who Wanted Out of Leases A Baldwin Hills, CA, man pleaded guilty Jan. 20 to a federal criminal charge for conning victims nationwide into giving him their highend and exotic vehicles with bogus promises he would find other people to take over their car leases. Geoffrey Eldridge Hull, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. According to his plea agreement, from April 2016 to November 2019, Hull marketed himself and his companies as being able to find people to take over leases for highend and exotic cars—such as Bentleys, Ferraris and Maseratis—from people no longer wishing to continue those leases. Despite assuring victims his venture was successful, Hull and his companies did not find people to take over these leases. Hull agreed to cover monthly lease payments and promised leaseholders he would quickly find credit-qualified buyers to legally assume the lease through the original finance company. Hull used a longtime friend and business associate to vouch for the quality of the program.
In fact, Hull offered the luxury cars for rent and passed little of the rent money to the original leaseholders, who were still responsible for lease payments. Furthermore, Hull made few, if any, timely car lease payments. Hull ignored victims’ requests for the return of their vehicles, prompting some to make stolen car reports to law enforcement agencies. When some victims’ cars were returned after law enforcement seizures, repossession and other means, the cars were often damaged, had incurred toll and parking violations, or had been driven over the allotted mileage. When victims posted negative reviews online about Hull and his company, Hull would change his company name and resume the scheme. The company names Hull used to operate his scheme included Exotic Lease Transfer, Luxe Lease Transfer, Shift Lease, Veer Lease, Torque Transfer, Haven Transfer, Early Lease and Open Lease Transfer. Hull, who has three prior con-
victions for grand theft auto, also used a series of aliases as part of the scheme, including “Geoff Eldredge,” “Geoff Eldridge,” “Jefrii Eldridge,” “Geoffrey Hulle,” “Jeff Bluthenthal” and “Jeff H.” In total, Hull defrauded at least 128 individuals and caused an actual loss of at least $1.56 million. U.S. District Judge Fernando M. Olguin scheduled a May 26 sentencing hearing, at which time Hull will face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. Homeland Security Investigations investigated this matter. Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn S. Small of the Major Frauds Section is prosecuting this case. Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office Central District of California
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Registration Open for WIAC Conference Women in Auto Care, a community of the Auto Care Association, announced the opening of registration and the keynote speaker for its upcoming Women in Auto Care Leadership Conference, taking place March 23-25 in Indianapolis, IN, at the Marriott Indianapolis Downtown. The 2022 conference theme is “Reconnect and Revitalize” and will feature a range of sessions and activities focused on personal and professional development, including roundtable discussions and leadership stories. The conference will feature keynote speaker Sherron Washington, founder and CEO, P3 Solution, a full-service marketing and communications firm located in the Washington, D.C., area that specializes in providing easy marketing strategy, messaging, design and social media solutions for businesses. For more information and to register, visit www.autocare.org or contact email@example.com. Source: Auto Care Association
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EV Sector Growth Driving up Lithium, Cobalt, Nickel Prices by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati
The electric vehicle revolution is fully underway. Led by successful vehicles like the Tesla Model 3, EV sales are taking off. The momentum of EVs as a whole may hit some challenges soon, however, partly due to the rising prices of raw materials critical to the production of batteries. The prices of lithium-ion batteries have seen a 90% decline to just about $130 per kWh. That’s very close to the widely targeted $100 per kWh level, estimated to be the point where EVs could become fully competitive with ICE cars in terms of cost. Expectations were high the battery industry would hit $100 per kWh in 2024, but recent trends in the market suggest this may not necessarily be the case. Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, a company that tracks the worldwide battery supply chain, noted lower costs helped boost EV sales by 112% in 2021 to more than 6.3 million units globally from the previous year. And sales are only poised to increase.
EV leader Tesla, which sold nearly 1 million pure electric cars on its own in 2021, is looking to grow its deliveries by 50% this year, and estimates among TSLA bulls suggest the company’s growth might be even more impressive. Benchmark Mineral Intelligence said battery-grade cobalt prices are up 119% from Jan. 1, 2020, through mid-January 2022. Nickel sulfate prices saw a 55% rise in price, and lithium carbonate saw a whopping 569% increase. Benchmark Mineral Intelligence Chief Data Officer Caspar Rawles, in a statement to The Wall Street Journal, said some battery cell makers that typically offered long-term fixed-price contracts have ended up shifting to a variable price model instead. This allowed them to pass on some of the costs of rising material prices to consumers. Battery materials may remain in short supply for some time. China, which dominates the battery supply chain, is also aggressively increasing its electric vehicle production. And considering it generally takes about seven to 10 years
to deploy a new mine, a lot of key battery components may end up being supply-constrained in the coming years.
The rising prices of battery raw materials do not mean the EV revolution would likely be slowed down, however. The battery recycling industry is now gaining some momentum, with companies like Redwood Materials—led by Tesla co-founder and former CTO JB Straubel—already preparing to sell recycled battery components to Panasonic for the production of battery cells at Tesla’s Gigafactory Nevada later this year. This helps foster a closed-loop system since Redwood also receives Panasonic’s battery scrap from Tesla’s Nevada facility.
Other initiatives that may help the auto sector weather the rising costs of battery materials involve a focus on batteries that use less expensive, more abundant components. Tesla China is among the companies at the forefront of this movement, with Giga Shanghai using lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries for the Model 3 and Model Y. LFP batteries use iron in their cathodes instead of nickel and cobalt, making them less controversial and far more affordable. And while LFP batteries typically result in vehicles with shorter range than cars equipped with nickel-based cells, tests from veteran electric vehicle owners in countries such as Norway are starting to reveal iron-based cells are nothing to scoff at. Longtime EV advocate Bjorn Nyland, for example, recently conducted one of his 1,000-km tests in a base Model 3 equipped with an LFP battery produced in Gigafactory Shanghai. The vehicle performed amazingly despite the cold conditions and its relatively small 60 kWh battery pack.
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Body Shop Professionals Seizing New Career Opportunities with SCA Claim Services SCA Claim Services has firmly staked its claim as a leader in the claim servicing industry. For more than 40 years, the company has expanded its nationwide capabilities, providing a broad menu of services to insurance companies, most notably adjusting and appraisal services in the auto, specialty, and property verticals. Now a well-known and highly respected name among insurance professionals everywhere, SCA has become a prime destination for people possessed with the entrepreneurial spirit and seeking new opportunities to apply their skills and expertise. That includes many auto body professionals.
Taking Ownership of Your Future Erik Clayton was once a body shop estimator. In 2009 however he made the career decision to become a contract auto damage appraiser for SCA. After just a few months, recognizing an even greater opportunity, he became an SCA franchise owner in Dallas County. Just six months later, he added North Dallas County too. “I saw the opportunity to make more money,” says Clayton. Another major draw was being his own boss. “You work for yourself and make your own schedule. You get out of the building and the monotony of it all. Every day in the field is different.” What makes the Franchise Ownership Program at SCA special is the company’s commitment to its franchisees’ success. “At SCA we say, ‘As a franchise owner, you are in business for yourself, but not by yourself,’” says Chief Operating Officer Jon Gironda. “SCA gives you all the tools you need to be successful,” agrees Clayton. “And they are always adding new clients.” SCA offers franchise owners not just initial training but ongoing partnership and support. That includes file reviews by its fully licensed, centralized Quality Control team, dedicated Customer Care teams, and technology to help provide industry-leading
accuracy and cycle time. For more details on becoming a SCA franchise owner, visit SCAClaims.com/franchise-opportunities/
Being Your Own Boss Franchise ownership isn’t for everyone with the itch to pursue a career change. Many auto body professionals have instead decided to put down their tools and pick up a phone or tablet to become a contract auto appraiser. Skills acquired in the shop easily translate into insurance auto damage appraisal, and when it comes to the necessary education and certification, SCA offers guidance and support. In select markets, SCA will even pay a signing bonus to contract auto damage appraisers. Contract auto damage appraisers can set their own hours and decide how much they want to work, and therefore how much they can earn. The workforce in the auto claims industry is aging out of the business, creating a need to infuse it with fresh blood. Auto body professionals eager to be their own boss and chart their own course are recognizing this and the opportunity SCA provides. Ambitious appraisers can pursue additional training in specialty or housing claims to truly stretch their earning potential or, like Clayton, purchase their own SCA franchise. Additional details about becoming an auto appraiser for SCA can be found at SCAClaims.com/appraiser-opportunities/
autobodynews.com / MARCH 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 21
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Acquisitions in 2021 and opening new shops. Responding to the constant demands of its insurance “partners” for performance across multiple markets, Caliber now operates in more than 40 states and in 80 of the top 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the U.S. Gerber/Boyd Group really stepped up to the plate with two significant transactions: the acquisition of Oklahoma-based Collision Works and South Carolina-based John Harris Body Shop for a total of 51 shops out of the 97 additional shops they acquired or developed in the U.S. during the year. Gerber also acquired a large, four-shop MSO in Wisconsin and a plethora of single shops and smaller MSOs, ending the year with an estimated 684 shops in the U.S. Service King continued to shrink its footprint but only modestly, ending the year with seven fewer shops for a total of 336. While much has been written and speculated about Service King’s financial situation, they celebrated the new year by opening a brownfield in Illinois. 2022 should bring more clarity to their situation. The new kids on the block grew into robust adults. The next two largest consolidators accelerated
Continued from Cover
EV Chargers keep up with the rapidly increasing number of EVs in the U.S. Projections say by 2030, the country will have 30 million EVs on its roads, which, according to the source, would require the construction of 478 charger stalls per day for eight years in order to meet the need. The Biden administration is aiming for 500,000 stations by decade’s end. The study also notes which states are best when it comes to the ratio of charging stalls to EVs. North Dakota, Wyoming and West Virginia are the three states where you are most likely to find an empty charging stall, while the worst are New Jersey, Hawaii and Arizona. In the last three there is a higher chance you may find all local
their acquisitions at an incredible pace. Chicago-based Crash Champions grew by more than 300% during the year to a total of 175 shops after beginning the year at 53. Crash’s appetite included the 24-shop Signature Collision MSO based out of Annapolis, MD, but covering multiple markets in the east and southeast. They acquired MSOs from the Pacific Northwest to Florida and many places in between from Montana to Nebraska, New Mexico and Ohio, acquiring dozens of single shops and MSOs. Equaling Crash’s dramatic expansion was Classic Collision, which grew to 174 shops from a base of 54 at the year’s inception. Classic entered Texas with a blockbuster transaction, acquiring 45 shops that previously operated under the Procare and Austin Motor MileEllis & Salazar brands. Procare was owned by private equity firm Kinderhook, which had been invested in the company for approximately five years. The rest of the Classic story included some large MSOs, such as Central Collision with 13 shops in Oregon, Platinum Collision Center’s eight shops in Southern California, and Fender Mender’s eight shops in South Carolina. Classic also entered Alaska in dominant fashion by acquiring two MSOs, Able Body Shop and Fix Auto Alaska, for a total of public chargers are taken and you may have to wait or find a way to charge the EV at home. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Energy, the ideal ratio of EVs to charging stations is 40 Level 2 charging ports and 3.4 DC fast chargers (DCFC) per 1,000 EVs. A DCFC charger usually has three ports. Currently, there are 41 Level 2 charging ports and 5.7 DCFC charging ports per 1,000 EVs, respectively, or about 21 EVs for every charging port. There are 2,514 internal combustion engine (ICE) cars per gas station. EVs are currently at a disadvantage compared to ICE vehicles when it comes to their average range—259 miles versus 360 miles. And the time it takes to charge an EV is longer than simply filling up a gas tank, so vehicles will be occupying more of the available charging stalls for longer.
22 MARCH 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
nine shops in the state. With more than 300% growth in 12 months and backed by $15 billion private equity firm, New Mountain Capital, Classic is also on its way to becoming a billion-dollar company. Joe Hudson’s three years into its ownership under new sponsor, TSG Consumer, grew by 23 shops, which seems modest compared to Crash and Classic but still increased store count by 20%. Up and comers went on an acquisition spree as well. Seemingly from out of nowhere, private equity-backed Collision Right, formed in 2020, added 39 shops to its base of 19. So far, Collision Right’s model has retained the local branding of its acquisitions rather than rebranding as most of its competitors do. Another up and comer has a similar branding strategy: Quality Collision Centers added 10 locations during the year including B&S Hacienda Auto Body, a large sixshop MSO in Northern California. Kaizen Collision, a new private equity-backed MSO based in Southern California, more than doubled
its size to a total of 19 shops in California, Arizona and Colorado. Franchisors and Affiliate Groups continued their expansion. Premier franchisor Driven Brands grew both its franchise footprint with CARSTAR, Fix Auto, Maaco and ABRA as well as its corporate portfolio. By acquiring another 10 shops in the Pacific Northwest, Driven now operates a total of 18 corporate CARSTAR and Fix Auto locations. Even after the sale of a number of CARSTAR MSOs and single shops, the total number of franchisees continues to expand. Final numbers for 2021 are not yet available. Affiliate networks Certified Collision Group and 1Collision continued to expand, with CCG claiming more than 707 affiliates by year end and 1Collision claiming 50 locations in the U.S. Fix Network World acquired ProColor, a 172-unit franchise in Canada. It began signing its first franchises in the U.S. in February and by year-end claimed a total of nine locations. Source: Focus Advisors
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GM Doubles its Climate Equity Fund General Motors on Feb. 14 announced it will expand on its philanthropic commitment to equitable climate action by doubling its Climate Equity Fund, dedicating a total of $50 million to help close equity gaps in the transition to electric vehicles and other sustainable technology.
This is in addition to the company’s commitment to invest $35 billion globally in EV and AV programs, research, technology, manufacturing and charging infrastructure. The news comes as General Motors builds awareness and excitement for EVs as a key part of tack-
ling climate change. “As the effects of climate change take hold across the globe, it has never been more urgent to ensure inclusion and equity guide our sustainable solutions,” said Kristen Siemen, GM chief sustainability officer. “Doubling our Climate Equity Fund will help meet this urgency with deepened engagement at the community level, where we believe our support will have the greatest impact in accelerating the transition to an inclusive zero-emissions future.” Since creating the Climate Equity Fund eight months ago, GM has supported 21 nonprofit organizations helping to implement inclusive solutions for a zero-emissions, carbon-neutral future. These solutions, led in part by the following grantees, align with GM’s three climate equity social outcomes and prioritize impact at the community level: Clean Energy Jobs: Supporting the current and future workforce through
ASE Education Foundation Partners with Industry Leaders to Provide Innovative Programs By partnering with leading industry organizations, the ASE Education Foundation continues to provide innovative programs that help increase the number and diversity of service professionals entering the industry. “We want to thank all of our industry partners who step up year in and year out to provide much appreciated support for the ASE Education Foundation,” said Mike Coley, president, ASE Education Foundation. “Our partners are the backbone of the foundation and continue to provide us with their expertise and needed resources to implement our programs. They will be instrumental as we expand our new Adopt-A-School program, implement new registered apprenticeships and increase diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the coming year.” New partners ALLDATA, Auto Care Alliance, Automotive Lift Institute, Collision Repair Education Foundation, Goodheart Willcox, Hertz, ExxonMobil, Noregon and Permatex will join the following list of returning partners who support
the ASE Education Foundation: ACDelco, Acura, ASA, ATech Training, Audi, BMW, Bridgestone, CarMax, CARQUEST, CCAR, CDK Global, CDX, Cengage, Electude, Federated/ Pronto, FedEx, Ford, Garage Gurus, Gates, General Motors, HDA Truck Pride, Honda, Isuzu Truck, Lexus, Mack Truck, Mercedes-Benz, Motor Age, NADA, NAPA, Navistar, Nissan, NTB, PepsiCo, Porsche, Ryder, S/P2, SkillsUSA, Snap-on, Stellantis, Subaru, TA Petro, TechForce Foundation, Tire Kingdom, Toyota, UPS, Volvo Truck, Volkswagen and WD-40. “We are proud to join forces with these fine organizations and leverage their vast experience in order to recruit, nurture and inspire the next generation of service professionals,” said Coley. To learn more about supporting the ASE Education Foundation and its mission to improve the quality of automobile, collision repair/refinish and medium/heavy truck training programs, visit www.ASEeducation Foundation.org/partners. Source: ASE
education, training and hands-on experience. Valley Clean Air Now The Greening of Detroit Sustainable Transportation: Increasing EV accessibility and adoption so more consumers can enjoy the benefits of affordable EV ownership while helping to develop ubiquitous charging solutions. EVHybridNoire Clean Fuels Ohio Forth Mobility Fund GRID Alternatives Community Climate Action: Community-level action that helps residents mitigate, build resilience toward and adapt to the effects of climate change. Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice WE ACT for Environmental Justice GM encourages nonprofits focused on implementing community-based solutions for a zero-emissions future to apply for grant funding. Organizations must be a U.S.based 501c3 organization in good
standing. GM prioritizes programs that benefit underserved populations and community-based organizations. Projects are evaluated based on three social outcomes: Increasing the number of adults prepared for clean energy jobs. Increasing access to more sustainable transportation, including but not limited to, EVs and EV infrastructure. Community-level programs aimed at mitigating local climate effects, adaptation and community resilience. In early 2021, GM announced it plans to become carbon neutral in its global products and operations by 2040 and is working toward a transition to 100% zero tailpipe emissions for new light-duty vehicles by 2035. The company plans to introduce more than 30 electric vehicle models globally by 2025. Source: GM
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8 out of 10 of Car Shoppers Paid Above Sticker Price for New Vehicles in January More car shoppers than ever are paying above sticker price amid inventory shortages and elevated consumer demand. According to the car shopping experts at Edmunds, buyers paid above MSRP in a record 82.2% of all new vehicle purchases, compared to 2.8% in January 2021 and 0.3% in January 2020. Edmunds data reveals the average transaction price for a new vehicle climbed to $728 above MSRP in January 2022, compared to $2,152 below MSRP in January 2021 and $2,648 below MSRP in January 2020. “The fact that an overwhelming majority of consumers are paying above sticker price would have been unthinkable even just a year ago,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of insights. “This is in part driven by affluent consumers being willing to shell out more cash to get the vehicles that they want, but there’s also a vast population of individuals who are being forced to do so simply because they need transportation and have no other choice.” Edmunds analysts took a look at the difference in new vehicle average transaction prices and compared them to the average MSRP across automak-
ers to identify the brands commanding the largest amounts above sticker price and the brands yielding the greatest discounts. Cadillac topped the list of brands that commanded above-sticker price, with an average markup of $4,048 in January, followed by Land Rover, with an average markup of $2,565, and Kia, with an average markup of $2,289. Alfa Romeo topped the list of brands that brought below-sticker price, with an average discount of $3,421 in January, followed by Volvo with an average discount of $869 and Lincoln with an average discount of $510. “All eyes have been on Ford and GM since they both publicly called for their dealers to stop charging over MSRP for vehicles,” said Caldwell. “Of all automakers, they might be in the most precarious position since they have very high-profile launches in the near future that appeal to a new type of customer. But looking at the numbers, there are clearly some other automakers who might want to follow suit. Savvy dealers, though, are conducting business during this wave of inflation in a way that’s mindful of the possible adverse reaction of their customers.”
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Edmunds’ experts say holding off on a new car purchase would be the most pragmatic move for consumers in this market, but they also note this course of action might be unrealistic for some individuals given prices aren’t expected to normalize for quite some time. “Consumers might be waiting up to a year or longer if they want to hold off until the market resembles anything close to the pre-pandemic normal, but some buyers simply cannot wait,” said Ivan Drury, Edmunds’ senior manager of insights. “If you know you need a new vehicle soon—or if you have a vehicle coming off lease and its term can’t be extended—doing extra research is critical to get an advantage, and using the list set forth below is a decent starting point if you’re looking out for price discrepancies among different brandse.” Drury advises car shoppers can get ahead by: • Being flexible. Consider alternative vehicle types, brands and colors and be willing to compromise on features. • Expanding your search. Widen your geographic search for more selection if you’re in a market with lower inventory. But before you hop on a plane,
make sure to lock down as much of the deal as possible. • Reevaluating before jumping straight into another lease. Lease incentives are becoming increasingly difficult to find, but APR specials are still available. If you prefer leasing, use a car lease calculator like this one on Edmunds to make sure it is going to provide you the value you’re looking for. • Negotiating for more value. If you’re facing markups above MSRP, try to negotiate the adjustment to include add-ons such as warranties, service contracts, protection packages or dealer-installed accessories. • Leveraging your greatest asset: your current vehicle. Your car’s value is one of your biggest negotiating tools in offsetting the purchase price of your next vehicle. Use it wisely and shop around for appraisals, including on edmunds.com/appraisal/ • Acting quickly. If you find a vehicle that meets all your needs, don’t wait to immediately reach out and communicate your interest to your local dealer to maximize your chances of driving it home. Source: Edmunds
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Ford, Volvo Partner with Redwood Materials in Pathways Program for End-of-Life EV Batteries by Joey Klender, Teslarati
Ford and Volvo have partnered with Redwood Materials for pathways for end-of-life electric vehicle batteries. Founded by Tesla co-founder JB Straubel, Redwood Materials has now expanded its partnership with electric vehicle manufacturers to see that EV batteries are responsibly disposed of or recycled when they have reached the end of their life cycle. Redwood currently holds several partnerships, including one with Tesla and another with AESC, the manufacturer of Nissan LEAF battery packs. The program will start in Redwood’s home state of California, the company said in a blog. The program is the most comprehensive EV recycling process globally, which aims to establish safe, efficient and effective recovery pathways for end-of-life electric and hybrid-electric vehicles. Ford and Volvo are the first two automakers to join the program. “To truly make electric vehicles sustainable and affordable, we need to create pathways for end-of-life battery packs to be collected, recycled and remanufactured into new battery
materials,” Redwood said. “Scaling production of EVs, increasingly from recycled materials, domestically, is the only way we can create a circular and, therefore, sustainable and secure
“This new program with Redwood Materials will help Ford lead America’s transition to sustainable and carbon-neutral EV manufacturing and ultimately help make electric vehicles
“We are excited to be strengthening our partnership with Redwood Materials in identifying solutions for electric vehicle batteries that have reached the end of their useful lives,” — Jim Farley supply chain to meet the U.S.’s electrification plans. While the first major wave of end-of-life electric vehicles is still a few years away, Redwood and our initial partners at Ford and Volvo are committed to creating these pathways now.” Ford and Redwood established a partnership to recycle EV batteries last year. “We are excited to be strengthening our partnership with Redwood Materials in identifying solutions for electric vehicle batteries that have reached the end of their useful lives,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said regarding the new layer of the partnership.
more sustainable and affordable for our customers. I want to thank JB and the Redwood team for bringing their world-class technology and knowhow to our joint effort.” Volvo’s XC40 Recharge EV is the beginning of the company’s trek to be climate neutral by 2040 and fully-electric by 2030. CEO of Volvo Car USA Anders Gustafsson said the company’s lofty goals for sustainability have the company excited about the partnership with Redwood. “At Volvo cars, sustainability is as important as safety. We aim to be climate neutral by 2040, and fully electric by 2030, and embracing a
circular economy,” Gustafsson said. “This is why we are excited about Redwood Materials’ forward-thinking solutions for end-of-life battery packs to be collected, recycled and remanufactured. California is the right place to start such a program.” Redwood said its pathways program will require it to work directly with dealers and dismantlers in California to identify and recover endof-life packs. The packs will then be transferred to its facility in Northern Nevada to be recycled back into domestic cell production. “Our goal is to learn and share those learnings with the industry,” Redwood said. “We will demonstrate the value of end-of-life packs today and how we can steadily improve those economics as volumes scale up. Ultimately, our aim is to create the most effective and sustainable closedloop system that physics, and chemistry will allow for end-of-life battery packs to re-enter the domestic supply chain. We look forward to working with the State of California, dismantlers, dealers and other automakers and hope to be a resource, sharing our results and learnings as we go.”
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Please contact these dealers for your Honda or Acura Genuine parts needs. HONDA CALIFORNIA
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autobodynews.com / MARCH 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 29
From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson is the president and owner of Collision Advice, a consulting company for the auto body/collision repair industry. For nearly 25 years, he was the owner of Wagonwork Collision Center, an OEM-certified, full-service auto body repair facility in Alexandria, VA.
Resources to Combat Collision Parts Supply Chain Challenges I can’t speak with auto body shop owners, managers or estimators for long these days without the subject of parts supply challenges being raised. The fact there’s a lot of parts backorders is just the reality we’re living with, and I can’t offer you any magic wand to change that. What I can do, however, is point you toward some parts-related resources out there I think many people in the industry may not be using. Let me start by saying long before any of our current challenges arose, I firmly believe every shop should be using some type of electronic parts ordering solution. When incorporated into good parts processes within your shop, these systems will improve the speed, accuracy and completeness of your parts ordering. Many will help identify availability of the parts you need. But I also recognize even with these systems, you may still come up short identifying or locating the parts you need. So here are some additional resources you may not be familiar with in regard to locating parts. One great website is www. partsvoice.com. It’s a free resource. You enter the vehicle information, the part number or numbers, and
your ZIP code. Up pops a list of the dealers around the country who have that part in stock, showing you the number they have and when that inventory was last updated.
example, you’ll find a long list of parts-related websites separated by automaker. We’ve tried to catalog all the websites we can find that can be used either to search for parts for a specific OEM, or to allow you to view detailed parts diagrams. One of the first ones on the list, for example, is www.partslink24.com. It requires a paid subscription—on a daily, monthly or yearly basis—but enables you to see the exact same part diagrams the The “free forms, links and tools” section of the Collision dealers have access to for Advice website includes a list of parts-related websites any model of Audi, Porsche separated by automaker or Volkswagen. That can Another great website is www. really help you identify needed parts partseye.net. When you enter that when you’re writing an estimate. web address, it takes you to SmartAs an aside, sites like these are Co, whose “smart inventory pro- why I’m a big proponent of using gram” is called PartsEye. Click on dual monitors when writing repair the “Parts Locator” tab at the top of the page, and you’ll be able to search the country for parts for Kia, Mazda, Subaru and several other lines of vehicles. Want to find more websites like these? Go to my company’s website (www.collisionadvice. com) and click on the link to “free forms, links and tools.” Click on the “links” section, and scroll down to “parts.” In the OEM section, for
Lithia Honda of Medford
J.D. Power Announces New Hires, Promotions J.D. Power, a global leader in data analytics and consumer intelligence, on Jan. 31 announced staffing changes within its automotive division. Those changes include the hiring of Elizabeth Krear as vice president of the new EV practice and Jack Dolan as vice president of product quality performance improvement. Long-time J.D. Power executive Dave Sargent is becoming vice president and head of the newly-created connected vehicle practice and Kristin Kolodge is being promoted to fill
plans. You can have the estimating system on one screen, while looking at parts diagrams on the other. The list of parts related sites includes www.fordparts.com, www. estore.honda.com, www.mazdausa.com, www.volvopartswebstore. com and many others—just a lot of resources I believe most people are not familiar with. As I’ve said, these sites may not resolve all of your parts challenges. But they can be another tool in your toolbox. Have you found other websites helpful in identifying and locating needed parts? Go to collisionadvice. com/contact and let me know. We’ll check it out to see if we should add it to our list. And hang in there. It sounds like parts supply chain issues won’t be fully resolved soon. But things should start to get better this year.
the role vacated by Sargent as vice president and head of auto benchmarking and mobility development. “The automotive industry is undergoing massive disruptions, and our customers are counting on us to help them make critical business decisions and seize opportunities,” said Doug Betts, president of the automotive division at J.D. Power. All four executives will report to Betts in this new structure. Source: J.D. Power
30 MARCH 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Techs of the Future with Stacey Phillips
Stacey Phillips is an award-winning writer for the automotive industry based in Southern California. She has more than 25 years of experience as an editor and writer and has assisted a wide range of businesses and fields. In addition, Stacey has co-authored two books. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Matrix Trade Institute’s Efficiency Bootcamps Help Collision Repair Industry Grow and Retain Employees worrying about recruiting them is wasted energy.” Peugeot said retention is where MTI is making a difference by offering four-day, 30-hour, 80% handson Efficiency Bootcamps to employers so they can provide employees with specific skills and efficiencies to accelerate their growth. “MTI’s Efficiency Bootcamps are a core part of our program and what makes us truly unique from any other school,” said Peugeot. “This business-to-business offering was designed to help shops upskill and retain employees efficiently and cost effectively.” Employers provide their technicians with MTI’s self-assessment, which allows workers to feel valued and play a role in their own career development. “When the technician’s goals and desire for growth meets the
Many say one of the most alarming issues in the collision industry right now and in the foreseeable future is the desperate need for technicians. The industry is losing techs to retirement, and competition for tradespeople is at an all-time high. While the need to recruit thousands of techs into the industry isn’t going away anytime soon, the need for a disruptive retention model is even more important, according to Dustin Peugeot, CEO of the Matrix Trade Institute (MTI) located in Beachwood, OH. “We need thousands and thousands of them over the next 10 years, but the current model shows that over two-thirds of people who graduate from a post-secondary school defect from the industry in less than a year,” said Peugeot. “If the industry can’t find better ways to retain and grow technicians, then
shop’s need to increase capacity and retain valuable employees, then MTI is the connection point,” he
MTI instructor Jim Schnitz teaches proper mapping in MTI’s Blueprint/Technical Estimating Bootcamp. Participants included Kelly Henry from Classic/DCR Systems, Christopher Lutz from Rutherford Autobody and Mitchell Rife from CollisionRight’s Rife’s Autobody (with pen)
said. “Matrix bootcamps provide an experience that shops can’t offer in addition to a return on investment (ROI) that pays short- and long-term dividends.” Over the years, Peugeot has found more and more shops are recognizing retention must be prioritized over recruiting to ensure the next generation stays in the industry and with the companies who hire them. “This industry doesn’t just have a recruiting problem; it has a retention problem,” said Peugeot. “Retention is different today than it used to be… you have to have a better offering with a better path and execution, and it has to be fulfilling and meaningful for employees. There’s too much competition to be able to afford not getting it right.” With people defecting from the industry for jobs with companies
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like Amazon or Walmart that promise career paths filled with attractive promises and benefits, or competing trades that are paying more and more for services every day, Peugeot said the industry is missing a vital connection point between the skills needed to succeed and the industry’s ability to provide ongoing career development that allows new hires to see the vision and grow as fast as they’d like to. “Employees need real, tangible career education so they can learn and earn simultaneously and have confidence that it’s going to connect to real development,” he said. “I think that’s what the traditional model is missing right now and that’s what we offer.” To help address the growing concern of recruiting, developing and retaining the next generation of technicians, Peugeot established MTI in 2019 with Rick Blum, COO. When the institute first opened, its primary focus was to offer automotive efficiency training for auto technicians and mechanics. Peugeot and Blum soon recognized the vital need for collision technicians and expanded the program to include a collision repair technical efficiency program. The training encompasses a 20week, employer-centric, 80% handson repetition-based curriculum with an eight-to-one teacher-student ratio. The goal is to prepare graduates to work in dealerships, collision centers and franchised and/or independent repair facilities. Students attend class in the mornings throughout the week and are encouraged to intern with a repair facility in the afternoons. This allows them to apply the hands-on training they learn at school. With tradespeople in such high demand, MTI aims to provide jobready automotive and collision technicians who don’t necessarily have industry experience. Peugeot said MTI differs from the traditional model where students attend a couple of years of school and receive a broad certification. Instead, the institute teaches skills that provide students with a good foundation. This includes hands-on repetitions and relevant skills so they can be productive, confident and efficient. “We try to make sure that we
are preparing them mentally for how they can contribute,” Peugeot noted. “We are giving them a dose of what life is like in a shop as they grow their skillset.” Peugeot and Blum both have 25 years of experience in the industry. While Peugeot’s career has focused on dealer operations and collision centers, Blum is a master technician who successfully transitioned into a service director before embarking on the Matrix journey. “We are industry people who went about creating a new type of school, not education people who added automotive and collision programs,” said Peugeot. “We think there is a large differentiator there.” Since the program started, more than 250 students have graduated from MTI. That number is expected to increase substantially since adding the collision focus. Future plans include adding ASE and federal accreditation in 2022 and then expanding to other locations across the country. Three of the initial supporters of the automotive program, Conrad’s Tire Express & Total Car Care, Penske Automotive Cleveland and Serpentini Chevrolet, have become foundation level sponsors of MTI’s auto program. “These are some of the early adopters who recognized that this is a different model focused on real efficiency and the skills employers are looking for,” said Peugeot. After adding collision repair training to the program, Peugeot said MTI connected with DCR Systems, located 15 minutes away in Mentor, OH, almost instantly. “DCR was quick to identify itself as a company that recognizes that their future was all about their ability to train their own,” he said. The company became MTI’s first corporate sponsor of collision repair. “Forward-thinking companies like DCR challenge the norm and help keep Matrix at the forefront of what’s new and meaningful in this constantly evolving industry,” said Peugeot. “The alignment of DCR’s lean philosophy and the way Matrix teaches skill-specific hands-on efficiency makes for a natural alignment between the two companies.” Michael Giarrizzo, president and CEO of DCR Systems, said
32 MARCH 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
MTI is a forward-thinking school that isn’t focused on teaching students to repair vehicles the old and traditional way. “They are teaching students the baseline skills needed in a repeatable, process-centered environment,” said Giarrizzo. “We’re proud to partner with an organization that is looking for our feedback to grow the technicians of tomorrow.” Since sponsoring MTI, DCR Systems has offered input on the school’s curriculum, provided information about its repair processes and supplied tooling. Giarrizzo and Dave Martin, director of operations at DCR Systems, regularly visit MTI to talk to students about the industry and invite technicians to tour DCR. In addition, several MTI students have been hired by DCR and attend boot camps to continue career development. “Schools like Matrix are looking at technology and the industry as it is today and trying to prepare them for the increasing challenges of the industry,” said Cheryl Boswell, CFO and managing partner at DCR Systems. “The industry has changed
so much that it’s important to find those tech schools where they are grooming the students for today’s world.” Adrian, an operations support technician from DCR Systems, attended an MTI Blueprint/Technical writing boot camp focused on becoming an effective blueprinter. “I’m learning to be as accurate as I can be, make the process work and slow down to achieve first time quality—a savings for everyone,” he said. “The DCR Systems family cares for me. They want me to improve and build a career and I want to improve for the company.” Rife’s Autobody, a three-shop MSO in Ohio now owned by CollisionRight, has had success with the MTI Collision Bootcamps for its employees. Don Rife, former owner and current operator of the business, learned about MTI about a year ago and sent Tyler, a metal tech apprentice with no prior industry knowledge, to one of the boot camps. “The experience seemed to work out really well and we have other technicians that we are planning to send in the future,” said Rife.
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After attending a blueprinting Efficiency Bootcamp at MTI, Tyler said he learned how to be more accurate in his job. “MTI made the environment so it’s not stressful,” he said. “It’s going to help everyone in the shop; not just me, but our estimators, the parts department and the people I work with, making things quicker, faster and more efficient.” Rife has initiated internal training programs in the past but found that partnering with others who are experienced at training technicians, such as MTI, results in better success. “Unless you are some amazing operator and have unlimited resources, you are better to partner with somebody who has already done this and understands what’s necessary than trying to recreate the wheel,” he said. Since Rife’s initial success with Tyler, CollisionRight has become the second foundation level partner of MTI’s Collison Program, and is in the process of providing employee assessments to its young technicians to take advantage of the growth and
retention the bootcamps provide to CollisionRight’s growing list of shops. Peugeot said businesses like DCR Systems and CollisionRight, that invest in their people and provide a great career experience, will be the ones that are ultimately successful. “There are too many employers who want to hire people the old-fashioned way and pay them a little and not do progressive things to develop them or provide onboarding experiences that are positive and culturally right for this generation,” noted Peugeot. He said shops that want to pay ransom and steal technicians from other shops aren’t fixing the industry. “They are hurting the industry… but in a world where they don’t have a better option, it’s all that they can do,” he observed. Peugeot stressed the importance of recognizing young technicians are an asset and recommends employers offer competitively paid internships and tuition reimbursement, as well as devote the time and resources to ensure there is a good onboarding
experience. This includes providing a career path and letting technicians know management cares about their growth. “They want to feel like they are connected to the goals of the employer and feel part of something larger,” said Peugeot. Peugeot’s advice to shops is to take time to understand their next technicians are already in their market. “They just don’t understand how to get into the collision industry and learn what they need to learn fast enough in an organized fashion to make the leap,” he said. “Shops willing to take that seriously and provide the training they’ll need to have confidence to make the leap find this magical thing that occurs over time—they no longer have a recruiting problem.”
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CCC Acquires Insurtech Safekeep CCC Intelligent Solutions announced it acquired Safekeep, an AI leader in subrogation claims management technology. Safekeep is an enterprise platform that leverages AI to speed and improve subrogation management across auto, property, workers’ comp and other insurance lines of business. The acquisition of Safekeep is a natural next step in CCC’s vision to deliver end-to-end straight-through claims processing. The acquisition of Safekeep extends CCC’s AI-powered claims software to include subrogation management, a critical function in achieving claims resolution, and now part of CCC’s completely digital, AI-enabled, end-to-end claims solutions. Safekeep solutions are available to any insurer. Subrogation protects consumers and insurers from paying for losses where the insured is deemed not at fault or only partially at fault. Source: CCC Intelligent Solutions
Honda Civic is Best-Selling Retail Passenger Car in U.S. for 6th Straight Year Driven by the popularity of the all-new 11th-generation Civic, recently named the 2022 North American Car of the Year, the Honda Civic is the best-selling retail passenger car in the U.S. for the sixth year in a row. Civic has also dominated the compact car segment for 12 consecutive years and in 2021, captured one in four retail sales in the category. A major gateway to the Honda brand, Civic continues to lead the industry with key customer groups: since 2011, Civic is the No. 1 vehicle among Millennial buyers, and it also has captured the most Gen Z buyers, first-time buyers and multicultural buyers in the industry for the past six years. Honda has sold nearly 2 million Civics in the U.S. since 2016 and Civic is the No. 1 selling certified pre-owned car in America in each of the past three years. And now the all-new 2022 Civic leads its competitive segment in residual value, according to J.D. Power.
“Our all-new 11th-generation Civic is the benchmark for the compact car class and a runaway success with young, first time and multicultural buyers,” said Mike Kistemaker, assistant vice president, Honda national sales. “Coupled with the HR-V and our CPO program, Honda has a strong three pillar approach to capturing young and first-time buyers into the future.” The 2022 Civic Sedan, sporty Civic Hatchback and performance Civic Si Sedan deliver fun-to-drive dynamics, stylish design, an award-winning interior, excellent fuel efficiency and cutting-edge standard technology. An all-new, high-performance Civic Type R will join the lineup this year. Introduced in 1973, Civic is the longest-running automotive nameplate in Honda history and is one of the top three best-selling cars in America over the past five decades with more than 12 million units sold. Source: Honda
34 MARCH 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Industry Insight with John Yoswick
—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon who 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.
Automakers: Collision Repairers Must Ensure ADAS Calibration Procedures Are Followed
The importance of proper ADAS cal- line in the service information is: do ibrations was a key focus as the So- this on a flat floor.” Kaboos said the other noted reciety of Collision Repair Specialists with Ed Attanasio (SCRS) brought collision repairers quirements—proper air in the tires, a and automakers together at an event full tank of gas—are also important. in Las Vegas during the SEMA Show. “Anything that changes the ride Scott Kaboos, assistant man- height or ride angle of the car is going ager of collision repair training and to throw off all the geometry,” he said. technology for American Honda, told those attending with the OEM Collision Ed Attanasio Repair Technology Summit that automakers call for many calibrations to be done on a level floor with good reason. “We did a little test,” Kaboos said, noting Honda’s service information says there can be no more with Ed Attanasio than 1 degree of pitch or slope to the Scott Kaboos of American Honda said testing floor when performing calibrations. at the automaker’s training center demonstrat“Traveling around to a lot of our dealed the need to perform ADAS calibrations on a erships, we found that most of their level floor when called for in the procedures floors do not meet that requirement. So we started asking How “You’ve got to pay attention to all of withourselves: Ed Attanasio important is this? Is this really detri- that.” mental?” Subaru of America’s Ted Hicks Kaboos said the Honda training said during the same SCRS session center in Illinois drove a new Civic at that complete repair of the underlying the NHTSA target used to test emer- metal where an ADAS camera or ragency auto-braking, and the system dar is attached is also critical. worked 10 timeswith in a row, stopping Stacey Phillips “I asked a panel of technicians in the vehicle three or four feet from the Dallas: what’s the single biggest probtarget as designed. lem you’re having with calibrations of “So then we took that same car blind-spot monitoring radar units and and put the rear wheels in our drain the EyeSight cameras that come from in our wash bay at our training cen- body shops after a repair,” said Hicks, ter,” Kaboos said. “We Stacey calculatedPhillips the a regional technical training manager with slope on that, and found that the car for the automaker. “They said that the was sitting at a 1.6 degree incline. We panel that the camera or unit mounts re-aimed the radar, using the factory to has got to be exactly correct. If the specifications and tools. When we sheet metal behind it is bent, the radar were done, the scan tool said aiming unit or camera will never point in the was complete. There were no codes. right direction.” with Stacey Phillips One problem: that metal is often We test drove the car around the block. It gave us no indication there was any- behind trim or covered by the bumper thing wrong with the car. There were cover, so some shops may not repair no lights on the dash.” it. But then the vehicle was driven at “Nobody cares what the sheet the same NHTSA target. metal looks like, right,” Hicks said. “We had very different results,” “It can be wrinkly as all get-out and with Stacey Phillips Kaboos said. “It honestly blew nobody’s going to care because the through that target at 20 miles an hour bumper cover is going to cover it or like it wasn’t even there. The light on the EyeSight camera is going to covthe dash didn’t blink. It didn’t beep at er it. I’m here to tell you: It matters. us. It just punted that target. That was Please find the reference points in the a big eye-opener to us on the training service information.” side as to how important that one little Kaboos said he also has some
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concerns that shops often aren’t doing needed calibrations. He estimated between 5% and 10% of Honda’s certified collision centers are doing their own ADAS calibrations in-house, while some use a mobile service or a stand-alone calibration center in their market. “But still, the majority are subletting to the dealers,” Kaboos said. “I’m not going to make a judgment either way, as long as you’re getting it done properly.” He said CCC Intelligent Solutions pulled final repair appraisals for Honda vehicles over the course of a year that “had an event that would have required a calibration of one of these systems.” Of those, only 20% listed a calibration. “Eighty percent of the cars that were in accidents that needed to have a calibration did not get one,”
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Kaboos said. “At least it wasn’t on the estimate. So unless they did it for free, and they didn’t put it on the estimate—highly unlikely, right—it didn’t get done. That scares me.” Also during the session, Taylor Jozwiak, collision R&D workshop manager for Rivian, talked about how that new company produces collision repair procedures for its vehicles. Jozwiak said his “internal body shop” in California, which includes body and paint technicians and an “estimating specialist,” works closely with the Rivian service engineering team, “which creates our repair procedures in CAD.” “As we all know, CAD is great from an engineering standpoint, but some things get lost in translation when transferred over into reality,” Jozwiak said. “So that’s where my team comes in. We take the repair proSee Procedures Are Followed, Page 39
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Certain Metallic Finishes May Interfere with ADAS Radar Systems, PPG Expert Says by Ed Attanasio
A decade ago, ADAS was an acronym very few people in the collision repair industry were familiar with. But now every collision repair professional on the planet knows what it means and how it affects them every day. More and more auto body shops are taking their diagnostics in-house and hiring techs who have the proper training to do the job right. If ADAS does not work correctly or one of the systems is misaligned, people’s lives could be in jeopardy. Within the last two years, paint manufacturers have discovered certain metallic finishes interact with the electromagnetic radiation used by radar. It may interfere with radar transmission and if it goes above a threshold set by the vehicle, it can potentially present a serious safety issue. Paint and coatings suppliers such as PPG have evaluated swapping the aluminum pigments in the metallic finish with alternatives to significantly enhance radar transmission. These reformulated colors will maintain a good match to the car’s original finish while reducing the radar transmission loss, so safety systems can function as designed. PPG’s Global Products and Segments Director Nick Tullett has been working with carmakers to develop refinishing products that won’t interfere with ADAS. One of his top deliverables is to help the OEs to fully understand the impact of certain metallic finishes on ADAS. Even a low-speed fender bender can damage these advanced systems, reducing driver safety—a concern for every stakeholder involved. “ADAS technology is actually located in areas of the car that are easily and frequently damaged,” Tullett said. “Carmakers have been installing ADAS such as forward collision, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings and adaptive cruise control in peripheral, easy-to-damage vehicle parts like windshields and bumpers. These parts often house radar, a system that uses radio waves to detect people, autos and other objects close to it, to enable many of these safety
features. “ADAS is presenting new challenges for collision centers and for the repair industry in general,” Tullett said. “There are so many stakeholders involved, from the vehicle makers to the collision repair shops to the paint companies. Our main concern at PPG is how do we repaint and repair certain metallic
PPG’s Global Products and Segments Director Nick Tullett has been working with carmakers to develop refinishing products that won’t interfere with ADAS
colors without impeding their performance? We believe there’s not yet enough leadership and direction out there to navigate through this, so our goal is to help all of the different stakeholders to make the right choices when it comes to ADAS. “We have some numbers that indicate that about 50% of all new cars were equipped with at least one radar system and by 2025 we’re expecting it to be more like 85%. So, being able to effectively repair these cars is really important for our collision center customers.” One of the main challenges associated with ADAS is the fact many of these safety systems can be hard to detect visually. “Collision repair shops now rely on customer discussions, visual indicators and automaker data to pinpoint ADAS,” he said. “Training to spot these various systems more precisely may be necessary for techs to determine the repair process more carefully. For example, body shops could simply repair minor bumper damage by filling scratches and then spot painting before the advent of ADAS. However, body filler compounds and new paint can impair today’s vehicle sensors. “In addition to considering the ADAS automobile’s technical safety and functionality components, techs
38 MARCH 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
will need education on how certain colors and particular finishes can impact the sensors of these safety components.” Acquiring the right devices to perform repairs and calibrations is key, but training is also a big piece of the picture. “Techs will also need training on recalibrating sensors using specific equipment and software for diagnostics, services, replacements and repairs to meet automaker specifications,” Tullett said. “However, it may be some time before most shops are equipped to offer in-house calibrations because most independent collision centers don’t have the proper calibration equipment inhouse. Right now, many body shops use outside diagnostic companies or take the vehicles to their local dealerships, but soon that may become impractical with ADAS in literally every new car built.” Shops will also have to consider investing in more sophisticated estimation tools, along with technician training, in order to assess the costs
of damage to driver safety technology installed in areas such as bumpers. Using historical data, predictive analytics and VIN integration, the estimation software can build a more accurate estimate for collision repair professionals. “Until recently, automakers opted to replace instead of repair the damaged bumper, which proved expensive and with significant pushback from car insurance companies,” Tullett said. “As such, automakers have turned to paint and coatings suppliers to identify a better solution. “PPG has partnered with many OEs to calculate the impact of all their colors,” he said. “These include metallic finishes on repainted bumpers to better understand the transmission loss of radar signals. Data shows that while the vast majority of colors do not impact the functionality of ADAS, a handful of metallic finishes do pose an issue. At certain concentrations, the aluminum pigments used in metallic paints reduced the transmission of radar signals and interfered with the
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operation of the ADAS. “It’s a concern for paint companies because one fourth of all new cars produced every year are painted with metallic colors,” Tullett said. “It’s a very popular color space, and we don’t think that car makers are going to abandon that color space. They’re looking for us to come up with solutions so that they can maintain that color space. “We’ve identified a number of existing materials that we can use, so that they won’t impede with radar performance, and still give us a good color match,” he said. “In the paint business, color accuracy is everything. Everybody wants their car back looking like it was never in an accident, right? The most visual thing they see is the color. So, we’ve identified alternative materials, and some of them are already present in our paint systems. We’ve identified that small number of colors which are affected and developed alternatives.” Collision repairers will need to consider the repair guidelines and technical and service bulletins provided by automakers to keep safety intact. PPG plans to issue a technical
bulletin relating to radar and the impact of certain metallic finishes for collision repair professionals. In addition, the company recently launched the PPG KNOWLEDGE COLLEGE™ online learning management system that provides the refinish industry with the most comprehensive online training programs available. Over the last couple of years, PPG has done a lot of joint work with carmakers, looking at their color palettes and measuring the radar transmission of the colors in their color ranges. “We have identified any potential problem colors where the interference in the radar with the radar signal is enough to actually impair the correct functioning of the radar,” Tullett said. “It’s worth pointing out that the very vast majority of colors in your own cars today are absolutely fine. They don’t interfere with the radar transmission, and they won’t affect the safe working of the ADAS. “Now one of the ways that carmakers have dealt with this up until now is to make a blanket recommendation that says, when you have a
car that’s equipped with radar if the bumper is damaged, you may not repair that, you must simply replace it,” he said. “And by doing that what they’re saying is when you replace it, it’s going to have one layer of paint applied to it. And they’re OK with that. What they’re concerned about is if you have a repair using body filler, multiple layers of paint might interact with a radar to an extent where the performance of the radar is degraded.” PPG is currently researching and developing a wide range of novel materials to devise solutions that won’t compromise radar in some vehicles. “We want to retain our capability to stay within that coveted silver metallic color space that is much more transparent to radar than aluminum or other existing pigments,” Tullett said. As ADAS evolves, companies such as PPG will be working hard to develop products that will complement rather than impede ADAS, especially radar.
Continued from Page 36
Procedures Are Followed cedures and validate them on bodies in white, looking for accuracy, quality of repair and ultimately safety. If we find any discrepancies or things that should change, we provide that feedback to our engineering team, and they make the necessary adjustments to repair procedures. At the end of the day, we want to make sure the people out in the field, the people in your shops, are getting high quality repair information.” The process also involves tracking repair times. “We try to replicate what the technicians are using in shops—the tooling, the equipment,” Jozwiak said. “We use all the same stuff as a traditional body shop would. We collect those times, and that helps us publish times in the estimating systems.”
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Industry Insight with John Yoswick
—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon who 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.
Collision Repairers Discuss How They Are Coping with Parts Supply Chain Issues
A Collison Industry Conference they repair. (CIC) committee presentation earliBut Matt Radman of Coach er this year confirmed parts supply Works Auto Body in Mesa, AZ, notwith Ed Attanasio chain issues continue to plague col- ed that solution is not without its lision repairers. own challenges. A poll of repairers in the room “We had a [Hyundai] Sonata at CIC in Phoenix found about one- that we couldn’t get the side garthird said parts-related issues lead nish that goes from the bottom of them to delay scheduling about 40% the door and across the wheel well,” of jobs. Another one Ed in four said Radman said. “Right behind that is with Attanasio parts issues lead to delayed schedul- an exposed hole and unless you seal ing 60% of the time, and almost an it somehow, moisture is getting beequal number said it was 80% of the hind there. So you have to address time. this on a case-by-case basis.” Greg Horn of PartsTrader said Something as simple as a misshis company’s data indicates the me- ing window moulding could allow dian number of days for parts deliv- moisture to get into the door, he with Ed Attanasio eries was fairly stable over 2021. said, noting that returning unfin“What’s changed is the number ished vehicles requires thinking of outliers, the number of delays for through these issues and making individual components, which has sure everyone involved, including increased pretty radically,” Horn the customer and insurer, is on the said, reaching 14.7 days Decem- same page. with EdinAttanasio ber, up from 7.4 days in February Ben Clymer Jr. of Ben Clyand March of last year. mer’s The Body Shop in Southern He said if some relief from the California said he’s experienced microchip shortage enables auto- parts supply chain issues firsthand: makers to ramp up production this he’s driving his own vehicle with year, that should reduce used vehi- damage from an accident because cle values, putting moreStacey of those Phillips ve- five of the needed parts are on backwith hicles into the recycled parts supply order. chain. He said, like Radman, his com“It is probably the latter half of pany is returning more otherwise this year when we start to see some repaired vehicles to customers missrelief on both OEM and the recycled ing cosmetic parts, though he said that requires letting customers know parts side,” Hornwith said. Stacey Phillips Still-elevated transportation costs, well in advance that’s a real possihowever, have non-OEM parts man- bility, and also “triggers having an ufacturers in Taiwan rethinking what additional tracking system for all they ship. those vehicles.” “We’re also triple-checking “Should I put in one bumper cover that would take up the space of what can actually be repaired. Our with Stacey Phillips 10 headlight units, or do I ship those repair percentages are going up,” 10 headlights at a bigger margin,” Clymer said. Horn said. “So in the short term, I Rich O’Leary, manager of Fix think we’re going to see [shortages Auto Sierra Vista in Arizona, said or] price increases on larger after- another challenge of releasing vehimarket components.” cles with a cosmetic part that hasn’t The committee repairers arrived is the customer satisfaction withasked Stacey Phillips at the meeting what they are doing survey question related to whether to address parts issues. A majority they had to bring their vehicle back (70%) said one response has been to the shop. to return more vehicles to customers He said his shop has “invested with cosmetic parts still on order. in some steel and aluminum pulling Nearly two in five said that’s hap- equipment, and we do find ourselves pening with 30% or more of the cars repairing a lot more than we used
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to,” though he noted that entails understanding when that can be done as part of a safe repair, and what should not be repaired. O’Leary said they also use the PartsVoice website to locate needed OEM parts beyond the local market. “Often you’ll find a dealership around the country that has the part sitting on their shelf collecting dust,” he said. “It costs more to have them package and send it, but that’s an alternative.” But some at the meeting said searching for parts at dealerships out of your shop’s market doesn’t always resolve the issue. Some suppliers, for example, may not be willing to sell a part to ensure they have it for those in their market. “There’s a natural inclination when supply is short to take care of your best customers,” said Ken Weiss, who moderated the CIC dis-
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cussion. “One of my other concerns is that all of the parts platforms that I’m aware of on the shop or insurer retail side expect the supplier to pay for shipping. Because of that, I know there’s a lot of parts that are probably not put into the search network because the supplier is not going to absorb the shipping when it’s a low-cost part. “Or if it’s what we refer to as dimensionally-challenged; shipping a sheet metal quarter panel could cost more than the quarter panel is worth,” Weiss said. “But to me it’s better, especially if you’re the insurance company, to get the quarter panel and pay the shipping rather than have the car sitting in limbo for two months.”
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Some Auto Parts Cheaper at Walmart, Fixed Ops Director Shocked to Find by Ed Attanasio
After giving his wholesale parts customers deep discounts through price-matching programs and taking a miniscule profit, Charlie Monteleone, corporate fixed operations director for the Ancira Automotive Group, recently discovered he can buy some of his parts cheaper at Walmart than through his own jobber. It was an eye opener and surely not a warm and fuzzy moment for Monteleone. “I am a Walmart shopper and the type of guy who will walk down every aisle when I’m there, whether I need something or not,” he said. “If you’re in the business and you see a Mopar or an AC Delco filter, for example, it catches your eye. I compared their prices to our dealer net prices on the exact same filters and 50% of all the parts that Walmart has on their shelves is [12-14%] less than what we can purchase them for.” Monteleone started his career as a Ford master technician. Today, he is the top guy at Ancira, head-
quartered in San Antonio, TX. The company, which has 11 locations in Texas, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022. Ancira offers both mechanical and collision repair services for Chevy, Nissan, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Kia, VW, Ford, GMC, Buick and RVs, and has the largest collision center in San Antonio—45,000 square feet—that employs 55 people and stocks more than $1 million in crash parts. The Ford Motor Company played a major role in Monteleone’s household during his formative years. “My father started out as a Ford tech and then worked his way up to become a parts and service director,” Monteleone said. “I’ve followed in his footsteps and became a Ford master technician, and my journey has been very similar to my dad’s career.” The journey now in 2022 is a little different and Monteleone is facing issues Dad never had to deal with. Competing in the dealership world is already tough with tight
margins, but throw in the pandemic and the fact people are keeping their vehicles longer—it’s a whole new ballgame. The dealers that are succeeding are thinking outside of the box and adapting on the fly, so when the industry throws Monteleone a curve, he must respond quickly and definitively. On pace to do $31 million in wholesale parts sales this year, Monteleone admitted problems within the supply chain have impacted his business tremendously. “We’re feeling it and the shops are definitely feeling it even more,” he said. “Right now, my repair fill rate off-the-shelf is 70%, which is not horrible. Our pre-pandemic numbers were around 85% with our same-day at 94%. We’re doing a lot more major repairs because people are not buying new vehicles during the pandemic, and the availability of parts has been an ongoing concern.” To get the parts they need for their in-house repairs as well as for their wholesale clients, Monteleone’s parts managers have had to
hustle and leverage relationships to succeed. “My parts people are very active, going dealer-to-dealer or getting the manufacturers to approve the use of aftermarket parts on warrantied repairs,” Monteleone said. “We’re winning doing it that way, but I always tell my parts managers that they have to be on their toes and be really, really focused on their work in process.” With his OEs’ warehouses located in Dallas—4.5 hours away by car—Monteleone obviously can’t rely on them to complete his parts orders. But luckily there are several competing dealerships selling the same brands in close proximity, he said. “We source them for anything we don’t have on-hand and when we recondition used cars, we always now opt mainly for aftermarket parts on those jobs.” Acquiring parts from the competition means Monteleone is paying premium prices, which impacts his bottom line.
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“From our neighboring dealerships, the going rate charge is cost plus 15%, which is a premium price and a little steep,” he said. “If you’re selling the part to one of our wholesale shop customers, we’re already giving them a deep discount. So, we are taking a real beating on those orders and selling those parts at a loss. Serving the customer is our priority here, and this is one of the realities we have to deal with.” In today’s wholesale parts world, the contenders are separating themselves from the pretenders, a trend that will continue, Monteleone said. “The differences between a parts manager who is a strong retailer and focusing on profitability versus someone who is slinging a lot of paper to sell at a high volume are becoming more and more evident,” he said. “We definitely want to be on the right side of this and that’s why we work so hard to be keep our wholesale customers happy while being profitable overall.” What’s the solution? “I can buy the parts from Walmart and make more money, so
that’s what I did,” he said. “I made a big purchase and when my factory rep came in for a visit, she was surprised and a little perplexed to see a wall of parts I bought at Walmart. I told her I won’t be buying certain parts from you anymore because I can get them cheaper at Walmart. She didn’t know what to say! I originally discovered this a few years back in Florida and the same thing is happening now in Texas.” Right now, Walmart isn’t retailing crash parts and is focusing on marketing DIY types of parts. But no one would be surprised if this trend could gain momentum in some states to the point where certain collision parts and products could be undercut by large retailers. “The OE wants to cut out the middle man and eliminate the jobbers, to be honest,” Monteleone said. “They all want to go direct and that’s why they’ve done things like cutting their return allowances in half, for example. Why are we selling our parts at a deep discount while the manufacturers have decided to work with Walmart? It makes no sense.”
Cox Automotive January Forecast: Auto Sales Volume Holds Steady, Inventory Levels Remain Tight New-vehicle sales in January are expected to reach 1.01 million units, a drop of 8.9% compared to January 2021, according to a forecast released Jan. 26 by Cox Automotive.
The January pace of U.S. auto sales, or seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), is forecast to show a sizable monthover-month improvement and finish near 15.3 million, up from 12.4 million in December, which was the slowest pace since May 2020. Improvement in the January sales pace is a positive sign for the market, but it is mostly due to seasonality adjustments. In
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fact, there haven’t been any significant market changes to positively impact sales. New vehicle sales remain stuck in the 1 million to 1.2 million range. January is expected to continue this trend, as the market continues to be held back by tight inventory. New-vehicle inventory is starting 2022 down 61% from last year—that means 1.2 million fewer vehicles available at the start of 2022 compared to the start of 2021. According to Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive: “A large decline in sales to start the year after a robust holiday shopping period is expected, and adjustments are made to sales data to reflect this. In January, the seasonal factors will reveal that, even though sales volumes are stuck in their current range, the market is moving in the right direction and, importantly, not getting worse.”
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Industry Insight with John Yoswick
—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon who 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.
Remote Scanning Companies Foresee More ADAS Calibrations for Auto Body Shops in the Future
Nick Dominato, a senior vice presi- replaced. By 2021, those requiredent at asTech, said he believes col- ments had been broadened to call lision repairers should be prepared for calibrations after a windshield is with Ed Attanasio for automakers to broaden their removed or replaced, and after any ADAS calibration requirements. structural body repair. “Because the automakers un“Again, moving from a narrowderstand that vehicles are being mar- er calibration requirement of only keted, sold, driven and experienced when you touch the sensors, to these via those advanced driver assistance broader calibration requirements features, and it’swith important for safe- that reflect the concern that a sensor Ed Attanasio ty and the customer experience that might have been jolted or shifted or those things work after a collision,” moved,” Dominato said. Dominato said during a CIECA He was asked if he foresees webcast in January. automakers shifting toward more self-calibrating systems. He said most sensors have some self-calibration cawith Ed Attanasio pability, but that post-collision calibrations are not likely to go away. “A sensor may be able to compensate for mechanical wear and tear, settling with Ed Attanasio of the suspension, or some bumper warping as a result of cold winters or hot He said OEM service informa- summers, things of that nature,” he tion that may have initially called said. “But when we’re talking about for calibration only after a sensor a quarter panel that’s being replaced, is removed or replaced, for examor an impact bar that’s smashed as with Stacey Phillips ple, now may say—as in the case of a result of a front-end collision, I Nissan—that radar sensors must be don’t think the technology is ever calibrated “after any repair situation going to get to a place where it can to the front of the vehicle that would completely self-calibrate.” During another industry event, cause the radar sensor to be shifted, Eric removed, reinstalled or jolted in the with Stacey Phillips Newell, vice president of business development at AirPro collision.” Honda in 2017 called for cal- Diagnostics, said he believes how ibration of camera or radar units calibrations are performed may when they had been removed or change. replaced, after a front-end collision “I’m from Chicago. Dynamic or when doors were adjusted or calibrations are very difficult come
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this time of year because of snow, inclement weather,” Newell said at an SCRS Repairer Driven Education session during the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. “And the OEMs are seeing it. We’ve had discussions with Tier 1 vendors and OEMs. So we’re predicting that there’s going to be a shift toward more static calibrations as time goes on.” Newell also discussed what to consider before a collision repair business equips to perform calibrations. If you expect to do retail work for other shops in addition to internal work, Newell said, it may be preferable to set up a calibration center off-site, with a different name, potentially as an LLC or separate business structure, to avoid other shops not wanting to send work to a “competitor.” “If you’re Newell’s Autobody, I probably wouldn’t name it Newell’s
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Calibration,” he said. An off-site facility also gives you some flexibility in terms of location—the back of an office park with little traffic, or a high-traffic street corner with good visibility— and what you will therefore have to spend for rent, signage, building improvements, etc. For MSOs, he said, a location convenient to all of your shops allows for a hub-and-spoke model. Alternatively, find a location with a lot of other independent shops within a reasonable radius, Newell suggested. An off-site location and separate business entity makes it easier to get paid when subletting the work to yourself, including transport of the vehicle from your shop and back. “If it’s your existing business and in your own building, that becomes more difficult,” Newell said.
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Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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The ‘California Godfather’ of Collision Repair Taps Into His Artistic Side Charlie Vigiani owns Vigiani’s he was a fixture there. The painter/ Auto Body & Paint in Yuba City, owner of the shop was a guy named CA, where people call him “The Cheo. with Gary Wickert “He gave me three pairs of nice Godfather of Collision Repair.” He’s well-known for perfor- shoes to shine, so I was thinking I’m ming quality work for all of his cus- rich. He gave me $5 and I figured I tomers—an offer they can’t refuse. can retire now,” Vigiani said. “I starHe has also received a lot of praise ted observing what was going on in for his wire sculptures from his cus- the shop, and pretty soon, I started tomers, employees and even other meeting the customers, mostly Itaartists. with Stacey Phillips Viagini has 50 years of experience in collision repair from several different perspectives, as a former technician, manager, independent appraiser and finally as an auto body shop owner. with Stacey Vigiani believes fixing a Phillips car correctly is an art form, and techs and painters are truly artisans whose work should be in museums and art galleries. A pristine panel or a stellar paint job displayed alongside a Warhol or a Van Gogh? It could happen. with Stacey Phillips Vigiani gets rave reviews for his creations, As an artist himself, Vigiani has including a saxophone player and a bull made been creating wire sculptures for the out of wire past 30-plus years, receiving accolalian, and saw what a perfectionist des from people worldwide. Even when things get hectic at Cheo really was. It was a great learthe shop, Vigiani finds the time to ning experience.” create something unique using simwith Stacey Phillips Vigiani broke into the indusply wire and his creative zeal. It’s try the old school way—by starting art therapy and a great way for him at the bottom sweeping floors and to unwind when things get stressful dumping the trash. In the Bronx, after a long day returning vehicles to working on wise guys’ Lincolns their pre-accident condition, he said. and Cadillacs, Vigiani must have Vigiani’s story begins in the thought Martin Scorsese was direcwith Phillips ting the movie of his life. Bronx, where his first Stacey job was shi“I worked at that shop for three ning shoes for local businessmen. After running out of local custo- years and Cheo taught me everytmers, Vigiani ventured outside of hing,” he said. “The man stressed his neighborhood looking for more things like precision and quality and I absorbed it all.” people and more shoes to shine. One day, Cheo died—of natural One day, a beautiful red Corvetwith Victoria Antonelli te came backing out of an alley and causes—which left Vigiani without nearly hit him. The man pushing the a job or a mentor. “I missed the day-to-day and vehicle was a car painter who owned a small shop and he had a few the interaction that happens in a pairs of shoes that needed shining. busy shop,” he said. “I also missed «Bonanza,» Vigiani thought, but he the money that I was making there, with Victoria Antonelli was also intrigued about what was so I got a job as a dishwasher at a restaurant and figured my days fihappening inside the shop. Living a life that looked like xing cars were over.” A few weeks later, Vigiani ran something out of the movie «Goodfellas,» Vigiani started hanging out into a gentleman in his neighborhood at the body shop, and pretty soon who said, “Hey kid, how much do
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you charge to fix a quarter panel?” I heard changed my life. I thought Vigiani saw dollar signs instantly and I knew everything, but I learned so knew all the right answers. much that night,” he said. “They “I told the guy $50 and he said introduced me to the BAR, I-CAR, do it,” he said. “I borrowed my OE certifications—things that are dad’s toolbox without telling him vital for any shop. I needed to beand eventually bought some new come a student and pretty quickly, I tools once I had a little cash in my stopped destroying vehicles and bepockets. I started getting a ton of re- gan fixing them the right way.” ferrals and doing two to three cars Vigiani has been the president every week. Now I look back at it of the Santa Clara chapter of CAA and realize my work was terrible, several times and encourages his but they loved it anyway! technicians, estimators and front “This body stuff is cool, I office people to take I-CAR classes thought, and the money was great. and continually enrich themselves. I could earn $50 washing plates for “I’ve worked for a lot of different eight hours, or take home $100 to shops over the years, including as a $200 every day fixing cars. I did the senior manager for an MSO and as an body work and these people were independent insurance appraiser for thrilled.” two years. Each time I gained a lot of Was Vigiani making more mo- knowledge that I still use today.” ney than all of his classmates? FugTwelve years ago, Vigiani gedaboutit! bought an existing shop in Yuba City After selling cars for and put his name on the sign a short time and pursuing out front. other job opportunities in “We had zero cars, no tools and no employees New York, California beat first, but things steadily gan calling Vigiani’s name, came together and pretty so he made the big move soon we had seven people from NYC to Silicon Valley, home of Apple and lots When the time to working here.” Viagini learned how to of expensive vehicles with retire finally arrives, Vigiani will be able do wire sculptures in the accident-prone drivers. “I opened my first body to dedicate more 1970s when he was living time to his artistic in Puerto Rico after reloshop in San Jose, and I naendeavors med it Dent City,” he said. cating there from NYC. He “I was only 21, but I had been in- was looking for a way to make some volved in the industry for 10 years money, and repairing cars was not by then. Forty-three years later, I am an option at that time. still using a lot of the things I lear“I saw these guys on the beach ned during those years.” selling these wire sculptures and As a young entrepreneur who I thought—wow, I can do this!” was fearless but a little over confi- Vigiani said. “So, I began making dent, Vigiani experienced a reality sculptures of bows and arrows, check that changed his life both per- boats, fishermen, birds—you name sonally and professionally. it. I sold them for $10 to $15 each “I found out about a meeting and on some days, I could sell three of the Santa Clara chapter of the to four of them. Each one takes me California Autobody Association two to three hours to complete, and (CAA), so I thought I’m going to I love doing them. I actually made a check it out. When I walked into the living doing it for a while at age 18 room, I saw a packed room full of to 19, and the experience also helped people in suits. I thought, I must be me with my sales techniques.” in the wrong room,” he said. Haggling with tourists who “An old body shop owner told wanted to buy his creations is part me to sit down next to him and what of the game, and Vigiani wasn’t af-
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raid to negotiate his prices in order to make a sale. Being bilingual was definitely a plus too, he said. “People just assumed that I spoke only Spanish, so I would go with it,” he said. “But it gave me an advantage because I knew what they were saying. ‘See if he will take less,’ they would say, but once I started talking in English, they were a little surprised and I usually got my asking price.” With several of his sculptures displayed in his shop’s reception area, Vigiani is proud of his art and has no plans to stop doing it. “I have an abstract sculpture of a man reading a newspaper that our customers see when they walk in, and they always go right to it—they love it!” Although he does not have any plans to retire from the collision repair industry any time soon, Vigiani, 64, can envision a future involving his sculptures. “I love fishing and I love doing these sculptures, so both of those things will be on my to-do list when I finally step away from the business.”
AirPro Diagnostics Announces New Hire AirPro Diagnostics, the leader in remote diagnostics, scanning, programming and ADAS calibration solutions, is proud to announce Ted McClintic has joined AirPro Diagnostics as director of field support. McClintic started his career at Church Brothers Auto Body in Indianapolis, IN, in 1998 and went on to hold executive positions with large MSOs in operations, OEM certification and quality control. The AirPro tool and calibration devices meet rigorous vehicle manufacturer requirements by having OEM licensed software and multi brand diagnostic applications resident and directly connected to the vehicle. ORION, AirPro’s cloud-based diagnostic management system, is the hub by which all services are delivered within the company’s 10-Minute Response Pledge. Contact AirPro Diagnostics at (904) 717-1711 to sign up or visit at www.airprodiagnostics. com Source: AirPro Diagnostics
Hertz Partnering with UFODRIVE to Improve EV Rental Experience Hertz on Feb. 15 announced an investment in UFODRIVE---the leading self-service electric vehicle rental company and eMobility service provider in Europe---as part of Hertz’s commitment to lead the future of mobility. UFODRIVE is the first all-digital, all-electric car rental service controlled from an app. Its advanced eMobility SaaS Platform makes transitioning to electric easy for both customers and fleet providers---delivering lean operations, lower energy costs, better charging and optimal fleet utilization using advanced AI tools. UFODRIVE’s technology delivers a two-minute “arrive and drive” entirely digital EV customer experience. The partnership builds on Hertz’s announcement in October 2021 that it is investing in EVs, with a commitment to offer the largest electric vehicle rental fleet in North America and to grow its EV fleet globally. Hertz also committed to providing the best rental and recharging experience for leisure and business customers around the
world. Also in October, the company announced an exclusive partnership with Uber to make Tesla electric vehicles available for drivers to rent when using the Uber network. UFODRIVE’s Series A financing round was co-led by Hertz and Certares, in partnership with Knighthead Capital Management, and included participation from existing investors. Hertz Senior Vice President of Strategy Jayesh Patel and Venture Lead at Certares Chantal Noble Haldorsen will join the UFODRIVE board. “Our partnership with UFODRIVE is yet another major step in Hertz becoming an essential component of the modern mobility ecosystem,” said Mark Fields, Hertz interim CEO. “Together, we will pilot ways to make renting an EV even easier using UFODRIVE’s digital platforms for both the rental experience and fleet management. For customers, this partnership will help us create the future rental car experience that is all-digital and EV-centric.” “Born from a vision to deliver what we call ‘Radically Better Car
Rental,’ this investment is a major validation of that dream,” said Aidan McClean, UFODRIVE CEO. “We are proud that we are helping to accelerate the transition to zero-emissions mobility, and our investors see the opportunity ahead.” McClean added: “We pioneered and are now the premier operating system for electric fleets and already service a growing list of high-profile mobility companies.” Following successful live testing in 2021, Hertz aims to deploy UFODRIVE’S market-leading digital rental and fleet management technology to enhance its global EV fleet operations. Starting with Hertz’s key partners in the U.S. and Europe, this will offer a fully digital rental experience, charge point wayfinding, touchless smartphone access and online customer support with live telematics using UFODRIVE’s SaaS platform. UFODRIVE will use the additional capital to accelerate product development and to expand globally, with a focus on the U.S. market. Source: Hertz
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Axalta Commits to Sustainability Goals
Labor Rate, Tech Shortage, ADAS Panels Highlight Updated Educational Slate at NORTHEAST 2022
Axalta, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, announced its commitment to an absolute reduction of 50% of certain greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, on its way to becoming carbon neutral in its operations by 2040— one decade ahead of the deadline set by the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. In addition, the company has made 10 new sustainability commitments for 2030. Key among these is the commitment to produce sustainability benefits from 80% of Axalta’s new product developments.To set these goals, Axalta conducted a comprehensive environmental, social and governance (ESG) materiality assessment with internal and external stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, investors, board members, community and local government leaders, and company executives. Axalta also worked to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in developing its ESG framework. Source: Axalta
The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) is excited to share its updated slate of educational programming for its flagship event, the NORTHEAST® Automotive Services Show, which will return live March 18-20 to the Meadowlands Exposition Center (MEC) in Secaucus, NJ. AASP/NJ is proud to announce the inclusion of several exclusive panel discussions, beginning with “The Continuing Tech Shortage: How Do We Fix It?”, which will be moderated by Michael Bonsanto of Passaic County Technical Institute and I-CAR and will include a number of subject matter experts: Brandon Eckenrode of the Collision Repair Education Foundation, Keith Egan of Betag North America, Josh Laurent of Automotive Business Management, Bart Mazurek of CCC Intelligent Solutions and Greg Settle of Techforce. A panel discussion on “Mastering the Appraisal Clause” provides NORTHEAST attendees with insights into this complex topic, shared by AASP/NJ Executive Director Charles Bryant, Robert McDorman of Auto Claim
Specialists, Barrett Smith of Auto Damage Experts, Inc. and John Walczuk of ZB Negotiations. This conversation, as well as the following two panels, will be moderated by industry veteran journalist Joel Gausten. “Labor Rate 2022 and Beyond: How to Get What You’re Worth” will feature panelists AASP/NJ President Jerry McNee, Lucky Papageorg of AASP/MA, Burl Richards of ABAT, Smith, and Sam and Richard Valenzuela of National AutoBody Research. Anyone curious about “The Future of ADAS” won’t want to miss the opportunity to listen to Nick Barbera of ADAS Diagnostics/Union Collision, George Lesniak of Autel, Eric Newell of AirPro Diagnostics and Frank Terlep of Auto Techcelerators, LLC, dive into the nuances of this complex, ever-changing topic. Timothy Morgan of Spanesi Americas, Inc. joins forces with BASF’s John Shoemaker to present “Beyond Blueprinting to Guiding the Repair Process.” Later on, Morgan will partner with Chuck Olsen of AirPro Diagnostics to educate attendees on how they can “Get it Straight to Calibrate.”
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Gerry Bonanni of Ford Motor Company will discuss “Accessing Ford Repair Information, Collision Sectioning Procedures for Aluminum,” while Lee Rush of Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes will offer advice on “Managing the Customer’s Experience.” New Jersey shops also have the opportunity to qualify for their auto body license renewal certificate by attending “OEM Certification Success: Dos and Don’ts,” taught by Dave Gruskos of Reliable Automotive Equipment. “None of us know it all, but NORTHEAST gives attendees a great chance to learn something new that they can immediately implement to improve their businesses,” McNee said. “All classes are designed to educate attendees and give back to the industry. If you attend one class that helps your shop generate additional income or improve your business practices, it’s a win-win! We’re excited to see everyone at NORTHEAST in March!” To register and to keep up with the latest information and announcements related to NORTHEAST 2022, visit aaspnjnortheast.com. Source: AASP/NJ
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EV Buyers Not Researching Charging Options Until After Purchase: Study Most electric vehicle (EVs) owners conduct little to no research on charging infrastructure before purchasing new vehicles until they bring their electric vehicles home, according to a study released Jan. 31 by clean energy software leader Uplight and See Change Institute. Added to this, most did not consider their utility when looking for any information around EVs, despite an abundance of utility EV-related resources. The majority of those surveyed qualify as “reactive chargers,” only pursuing in-depth charging research after encountering a charger-related issue with their electric vehicles, such as high electricity bills after charging at home. For these participants, the extent of their charging research before purchasing the vehicle is limited to checking for an outlet in the garage. Many participants admit to “figuring it out as they go,” rather than researching charging options, capabilities and cost before the major purchase of the vehicle itself. While participants acknowledged the importance of conducting research on charging options, few
were familiar with the guidance offered by their utilities. The findings also convey a hesitancy to purchase Level 2 chargers proactively, with participants most often considering Level 2 chargers only after experiencing slow charging times with Level 1.
“Many of the EV owners we talked to cited busy lifestyles or lack of time for doing their own research on charging cost, tools and options,”— Devren Hobbs Participants in the focus group overwhelmingly preferred charging their vehicles at home rather than at community chargers, but they are largely unaware of the tools readily available to guide them in doing so efficiently. Those participants who did conduct in-depth research failed to take advantage of the utility offerings and primarily relied upon social media and YouTube for information, rather than seeking information specific to their home or lifestyle or by contacting qualified professionals. The ongoing switch to EVs requires a paradigm shift for consumers to look to
CIECAST Inspects Trends Affecting Collision Repair in 2022 and Beyond by Autobody News Staff
CIECA hosted its latest CIECAST webinar Jan. 27, “2022 and the New Norm in the Collision Industry,” featuring Susanna Gotsch, senior director, industry analyst for CCC Intelligent Solutions. The one-hour broadcast, available on CIECA’s YouTube channel for replay, looked at how claim counts have been influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues, microchip shortages and labor and wage pressures. Gotsch said claim counts slowly recovered in 2021—they were 10% higher than 2020, but 2020’s count was 20% lower than 2019’s, before pandemic-related shutdowns. Further recovery in claim frequency is expected in 2022. The number of miles being driven is now only down less than 5% as of November, but where and when people are driving remains
their utility when they typically look to dealers and gas stations when it comes to fueling their car. “Many of the EV owners we talked to cited busy lifestyles or lack of time for doing their own research on charging cost, tools and options,”
different, Gotsch said. Remote work and reduced congestions is expected to continue through at least the first half of 2022. “We will see how much a hybrid workforce changes things going forward,” Gotsch said. Reduced congestion is also leading to people driving at faster speeds and many more reports of reckless driving, Gotsch said, which means of the claims that are made, many more are non-drivable or a total loss. Repairs that can be made are costing more, and not just because of the severity of the damage, but also because of parts and microchip supply issues. Gotsch said there will also be more pressure on labor and wage costs in 2022, which will also continue to drive up the cost of repairs. The presentation also looked at vehicle prices, which are still high for both new and used vehicles.
52 MARCH 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
said Devren Hobbs, vice president of product of emerging technology at Uplight. “The research on recent EV owners echoed my personal experience purchasing an EV this fall, the lack of education and engagement and the decision to charge at home. We believe these insights show an excellent opportunity for utilities to become a trusted energy advisor and create a one-stop customer experience that helps walk customers through all available options, help them identify rebates and better understand how owning an EV will affect their electric bill. “Uplight’s EV Solutions help
utilities get ahead of the EV curve and their decarbonization goals while helping customers proactively understand and optimize charging while creating a deeper utility-customer relationship that extends beyond electric vehicles.” Other research highlights: While participants hadn’t previously used their utility’s EV resources, they were open to doing so in the future, and preferred a single EV resource on cars, chargers, rebates and related costs. Participants said had they known about the offering, they would have taken advantage of it. Most participants charge their EVs at home and overnight. This is driven by convenience and a perception that public chargers are a hassle, risky and/or time-consuming. Participants were hesitant to install Level 2 chargers even after research because of the need to find an electrician for installation and electric panel upgrade. Most participants are unaware of EV specific rates or other EV and charging-related offerings from their utility. Source: Uplight
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U.S. Crude Oil Production Fell by 8% in 2020, Largest Decrease on Record by Bethany Blankley, The Center Square
U.S. crude oil production fell by 8% in 2020, the largest annual decrease on record, the U.S. Energy Information Agency reported. This plunge occurred one year after the U.S. reached a record annual average high of 12.2 million barrels a day in production in 2019. In January 2020, U.S. crude oil production reached a peak of 12.8 million b/d. But with federal and state lockdowns halting travel over coronavirus fears, demand for oil dropped and production became too expensive to maintain. By March 2020, the oil and gas industry experienced a “bloodbath,” and by April, the WTI was negative $40 a barrel for the first time in history. Prices at the pump also reached historic lows. To stop the hemorrhaging, crude oil operators shut in wells and limited the number of wells brought online, laying off large numbers of workers, all of which resulted in significantly lower output. By May 2020, U.S. crude oil production reached its lowest average monthly volume for the
eraging 4.87 million b/d. Its production still represented a 4% decrease of 205,000 b/d from the record high of 5.07 million b/d set in 2019. After the state shut down in mid-March last year, wells closed, rigs stopped operating and tens of thousands of workers were immediately laid off. Texas’ oil output fell in March by an estimated 235,000 b/d, the largest monthly decline ever recorded, according to the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. The Alliance’s benchmark Texas Petro Index fell to 172 in April from 181.9 in March, the second largest monthly decline on record (the September to October Oil well and storage tanks in the Texas Panhandle. 2015 11-point drop is the Credit: Jim Parkin/Shutterstock.com largest on record). By June 2020, Texas led the naIf there was a silver lining to be found, it was in Texas and New Mex- tion in oil and gas bankruptcies. New Mexico also reached a ico fueled by drilling in the Permian Basin. In Texas, more crude oil was new record. In 2020, it saw the largproduced than in any other state or est statewide increase in crude oil region of the U.S. in 2020. production in its history. It increased Texas produced 43% of the na- production by 15%, or 133,000 b/d, tional total of crude oil in 2020, av- reaching a record annual average year at 10 million b/d, EIA reported. Overall, U.S. crude oil production dropped 935,000 b/d to an average of 11.3 million b/d in 2020. The 2020 decrease in production was the largest annual decline in the EIA’s records, the agency said. It’s been tracking U.S. annual crude production since 1940.
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high of 1.04 million b/d. New Mexico also became the second-largest oil producer in the U.S. in fiscal year 2021, behind Texas. Its oil and natural gas industry contributed $5.3 billion to state and local governments in tax revenue in FY21, the highest figure recorded in state history. By contrast, decreases in production were seen in the Gulf of Mexico, Oklahoma, and North Dakota. The Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico saw the largest decrease in crude oil production in 2020, dropping 245,000 b/d, or 13%, to an annual average of 1.65 million b/d. Much of this was due to weather related events such as hurricanes and tropical storms in the Gulf that forced operators to evacuate platforms and shut-in production. Oklahoma had the largest percentage decrease of production of 19%, with an annual average of 469,000 b/d. North Dakota saw the second-largest decrease of crude oil production of 242,000 b/d, or 17%, dropping to an annual average of 1.18 million b/d.
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During Tesla’s Q4 2021 and full-year earnings call, CEO Elon Musk talked about the company’s product goals. He said the production of Tesla’s humanoid robot, internally dubbed Optimus, is one of the most important products in development at the moment. At the latest earnings call, Musk announced Tesla will not be introducing new vehicle models in 2022. He explained Tesla was still experiencing some part constraints, undoubtedly affecting production on several exciting projects, including the Cybertruck, Semi and Roadster. However, Musk said Tesla would continue to do “a lot of engineering and tooling” on products it has already launched, such as the Optimus humanoid robot. “So, in terms of priority of products, I think actually the most important product development we’re doing this year is actually the Optimus humanoid robot. This, I think has the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business over time,” Musk said. “If you think about the economy, it is—the foundation of the economy is labor. Capital equipment is distilled la-
bor. So, what happens if you don’t actually have a labor shortage? I’m not sure what an economy even means at that point. That’s what Optimus is about. So, very important,” he elaborated.At the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit, Musk also said the Tesla Bot could address labor shortage issues. He further explained rapidly declining birthrates were a risk for civilization. At the Q4 2021 earnings call, Musk said Optimus (or Optimus Sub-prime’s) first job would most likely be at Tesla factories. Thus far, Tesla’s work on its humanoid robot seems to be moving along as scheduled. After revealing its venture into humanoid robots during AI Day last year, Tesla announced a prototype of Optimus would be unveiled by 2022. Tesla certainly didn’t seem to waste time forming a team to work on the humanoid robot. In the same month the Tesla Bot was announced, the head of Tesla’s Mobile Robotics, Chris Walti, started looking for engineers and technicians to add to the humanoid robot program. By November 2021, Tesla posted even more job openings for the initiative. Photo: Tesla robot
autobodynews.com / MARCH 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 53
State Farm, Ford Introduce UBI
Automakers Report January Sales Automakers on Feb. 1 began releasing sales results from January. Mazda Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) reported total January sales of 21,079 vehicles, a decrease of 16.5% compared to January 2021. With 24 selling days in January, compared to the same number the year prior, the company posted a decrease of 16.5% on a Daily Selling Rate (DSR) basis. CPO sales totaled 3,119 vehicles in January, a decrease of 41% compared to January 2021. Kia
Kia America announced January sales of 42,488 units. Highlights include best-ever January perfor-
mance by the Niro family of electrified SUVs, which bested their previous record set in January 2018 by 26%. Kia also set a new January record for overall electrified vehicle sales, exceeding the previous mark by 36%.
were up 35%, representing 79% of retail volume. Venue, Tucson, Palisade, Kona and Ioniq set new January retail records.
State Farm® and Ford announced the launch of Drive Safe & Save™ Connected Car for customers with eligible connected Ford or Lincoln vehicles, to benefit from usage-based insurance (UBI). State Farm customers with eligible connected vehicles can opt into the State Farm UBI program, Drive Safe & Save, which adjusts premiums to an individual vehicle’s mileage and customer driving behavior. State Farm will debut Drive Safe & Save Connected Car in Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Oregon, for policies effective on or after Feb. 27, followed by a rollout across more states, excluding California, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Eligible 2020 Model Year and newer connected Ford vehicles, with the consent of the vehicle owner, can share information directly with State Farm to enable Drive Safe & Save.
Hyundai Motor America reported total January sales of 47,872 units, a 10% increase compared with January 2021 and the highest January sales total in company history. Venue (+70%), Tucson (+64%), Palisade (+12%) and the Ioniq (+51%) also established new January total sales records. Hyundai did not have any fleet sales during the month. Hyundai achieved its best January retail sales ever, increasing 18% year-over-year. Hyundai eco-friendly vehicle retail sales grew 312%, while SUV retail sales
Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) reported 44,158 vehicle sales for January, a 4.8% decrease compared to January 2021 (46,400). Like much of the automotive industry, SOA continues to face production challenges because of the semiconductor shortage and supply chain issues. In January, Forester was the top performer by volume and achieved its best January ever with 13,531 vehicle sales. Ascent sales for January increased 15.3%, while Impreza sales increased 6.1% compared to January 2021. BRZ sales for January 2022 increased 103.1% compared to the same month in 2021. Source: Mazda, Kia, Hyundai, Subaru
Source: Ford Motor Company
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Bill to Ensure Consumer Choice in Auto Repair Introduced in U.S. House U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) introduced the Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair (REPAIR) Act, to ensure the preservation of consumer choice, a fair marketplace and the continued safe operation of the nation’s 288 million registered passenger and commercial motor vehicles, 70% of which are maintained by independent repair facilities. The move is applauded by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Auto Care Association, CAR (Consumer Access to Repair) Coalition and Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). The REPAIR Act will accomplish this by: Preserving consumer access to high quality and affordable vehicle repair by ensuring vehicle owners and their repairers of choice have access to necessary repair and maintenance tools and data as vehicles continue to become more advanced. Ensuring access to critical repair tools and information. All tools and equipment, wireless transmission of repair and diagnostic data, and access to on-board diagnostic and telematic systems needed to repair a vehicle must be made available to the independent repair industry. Ensuring cybersecurity by allowing vehicle manufacturers to secure vehicle-generated data and requiring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop standards for how vehicle generated data necessary for repair can be accessed securely. Providing transparency for consumers by requiring vehicle owners be informed that they can choose where and how to get their vehicle repaired.
Creating a stakeholder advisory committee and providing them with the statutory authority to provide recommendations to the FTC on how to address emerging barriers to vehicle repair and maintenance. Providing ongoing enforcement by establishing a process for consumers and independent repair facilities to file complaints with the FTC regarding alleged violations of the requirements in the bill and a requirement that the FTC act within five months of a claim. As vehicle technology continues to advance, new barriers to a competitive auto repair market are emerging. These barriers limit consumer choice in where to repair their motor vehicles and increase the cost to repair and maintain vehicles. The REPAIR Act will reduce these barriers, putting consumers’ interests first. “Today is one of the most memorable and important days in the history of the aftermarket. The REPAIR Act will help guarantee consumers’ rights and the ability of the industry to ensure their vehicles operate safely,” said Paul McCarthy, president and CEO of AASA. “From the repair shop to the board room, this effort has been fueled by the people of the aftermarket, and we couldn’t be prouder of that alignment behind this important legislation. This effort supports principles of competition, consumer choice, and safety that we believe will benefit the whole automotive industry in the long run. We look forward to working with Rep. Rush and our industry colleagues towards passage of this critical legislation.” “Ensuring consumer choice while retaining a free and competitive market across the vehicle lifecycle is at
the heart of this legislation,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “As personal transportation has become more essential than ever, we need to make sure that 288 million American motorists have access to affordable, safe and secure repairs for their vehicles. The tenets of this bill are principles-based, balanced, and address concerns shared across the automotive industry. Passage of this bill will keep consumers at the wheel while preserving an industry that contributes 4.4 million U.S. jobs and 2% GDP.” “The CAR Coalition is proud to support the REPAIR Act,” said Executive Director Justin Rzepka. “According to a recent YouGov poll, 93% of respondents agreed that they should have the right to choose where and by whom their vehicle is repaired. The REPAIR Act will ensure consumers will have more, not fewer choices, when they need a repair shop. They will also have access to the data they need to make sure the repair is done safely. This is important, consumer-first legislation and we look forward to working with lawmakers and industry partners to pass it.” “Free and fair competition is a core value in the United States,” said Daniel Ingber, vice president of government and legal affairs, SEMA. “Protecting a consumer’s personal choice when purchasing, servicing, repairing or modifying a motor vehicle is what the REPAIR Act will deliver. As technology continues to reshape the automotive landscape for vehicle safety, convenience and comfort, Congress needs to enact this important legislation. The REPAIR Act is essential to protecting access to vehicle systems,
tools and information necessary for independent repair and modification services for millions of consumers.” “Americans should not be forced to bring their cars to more costly and inconvenient dealerships for repairs when independent auto repair shops are often cheaper and far more accessible,” said Rep. Rush. “But as cars become more advanced, manufacturers are getting sole access to important vehicle data while independent repair shops are increasingly locked out. The status quo for auto repair is not tenable, and it is getting worse. If the monopoly on vehicle repair data continues, it would affect nearly 860,000 blue-collar workers and 274,000 service facilities.” The bill is introduced on the heels of three pivotal moments for consumer choice in repair. In November 2020, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly voiced their support for Ballot Question 1—also known as Right to Repair—with 75% of the vote, which preserves their right as vehicle owners to have access to and control of their vehicle’s mechanical data necessary for service and repair at the shops of their choice. In May 2021, the FTC released its “Nixing the Fix” report, which highlighted barriers that vehicle manufacturers have instituted to squash a consumer’s right to repair. The FTC strongly supports expanding consumer repair options and found “scant evidence” for repair restrictions imposed by original equipment manufacturers. And in July 2021, President Joe Biden issued the “Promoting Competition in the American Economy” executive order, which encouraged the FTC to address anti-competitive repair restrictions. Source: Auto Care Association
DOT Issues National Roadway Safety Strategy with Focus on Safer Vehicles by SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a new national strategy for addressing roadway safety, saying it has an “ambitious longterm goal of zero roadway fatalities.” The National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS) is a five-pronged approach to safety focused on safer people, safer roads, safer vehicles, safer speeds and post-crash care. Sec. of Transportation Pete Buttigieg maintains the NRSS is a first, noting it is a “comprehensive
plan to significantly reduce injuries and deaths on America’s roadways.” In the first half of 2021, roadway deaths were up 18.4% compared to the first six months of 2020, which was likely integral in DOT’s creation of the NRSS. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an agency within the DOT, will play a vital role in ensuring the NRSS is successful. To address vehicle safety, the NRSS incorporates safety provisions already required by the infrastructure law passed in 2021. This includes a direc-
tive that NHTSA update the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include newer safety technologies within the five-star rating program such as automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist. These advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) help prevent or mitigate the impact of crashes. SEMA will continue to monitor these updates and promote consumers’ ability to modify their vehicles that have ADAS equipment installed. The agency is also scheduled to begin a rulemaking by 2024 to require instal-
lation of automatic emergency braking systems as standard equipment on new vehicles to avoid collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians. NHTSA will also consider ways in which alcohol-detection systems and systems to detect distracted driving may be installed on new motor vehicles. As NHTSA moves forward with these regulatory actions, SEMA will closely participate in the rulemaking process. For more information, contact Caroline Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org. Source: SEMA
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