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State Farm to Offer Electronic Parts Ordering to its Own Select Service Shops State Farm has announced that in the coming months it will develop a new electronic parts ordering system for its Select Service shops. The new parts ordering plan was rolled out to the DRP shops through an online video. In the video, claims consultant Gregg McDonald outlines State Farm’s plans, stating that the company will work with repairers, parts suppliers and technology vendors to develop a new electronic ordering solution. To view the video message online, go to http://www.statefarm.com/landing/b2 b/eparts-ordering.asp. McDonald said the insurer will work with all segments of the industry
to develop a system to “reduce the amount of time and effort needed to search for, source and order all part types,” and “to give suppliers a better view of the process, and access to complete parts orders.” McDonald also said that the system will include a review tool to allow shops and vendors to provide feedback on the parts ordering experience, saying “Supplier choice and decisions regarding which parts are best suited for the individual repair will remain in your hands.” In 2009, State Farm ended an electronic parts ordering test it had rolled out in California and Indiana, See State Farm Parts, Page 39
SCRS Announces Achievement Awards: Winners Include Toby Chess and Collision Hub On March 16, 2011 the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) held its AnnualAwards Banquet at the Crowne Plaza Meadowlands in Secaucus, New Toby Chess wins Jersey. As always, SCRS’ Humanitarian the highlight of the award for generosevent was the pres- ity to the industry entation of the SCRS Industry Awards, through which the Society recognizes those that demonstrate outstanding service and achievement within the collision repair industry.
“Two Hawaiian words characterize these awards and their recipients,” explained Dale Matsumoto, chairman of the SCRS Awards Committee. “The Kristen Felder, first, ‘aloha,’is famil- founder of Collision iar to us as a greeting Hub, accepts the and farewell; but it award for Non-indialso can be used to vidual Service to the industry mean the giving of one’s self—a lifestyle encompassing a life of giving, sharing, caring and love.” See SCRS Awards, Page 18
VOL. 29 ISSUE 5 MAY 2011
The Curious Case of Hibbs vs Allstate— Does An Insurer Have the Right to Repair? Let’s say your car is damaged in an accident and you’re properly insured. Most policies say that an insurer can either pay for the repair or fix the vehicle. You feel that the vehicle is too badly damaged and you want the money so you expect your insurer to total the vehicle and give you a check. But instead the insurer says it will pay a shop to fix the vehicle. No other compensation is offered or given. In fact the vehicle is ultimately fixed against your will even though you refuse to explicitly authorize it or pick it up. It’s eventually sold at auction—to the body shop owner holding the deductible lien on the repair.
The California Court of Appeal, ruling in this situation, explained that there’s an 1867 case from New York that says this is OK—that the insurer can do whatever it wants. However, it also noted that “modern cases,” including cases in the last century from Missouri and Colorado, hold that the insured has a right to get the money if she prefers, notwithstanding the policy language. The insured should be able to get the money rather than have insurance funds spent on a repair she doesn’t want, right? Enter the real life situation and appelate decision of Hibbs vs Allstate. See Hibbs vs Allstate Page 38
PAINT FOCUS ARTICLES in this issue...
Getting OSHA-Compliant on Plans, Protection and Painting . . .p. 46 PPG’s MVP Spring Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 32
Painting with Waterborne at John Force Racing . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 42
New Jersey Shop Embraces PPG’s Envirobase® . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 27
Revisiting Paint by Numbers: A Deep Dive into Refinish Data . .p. 45
REGIONAL STORIES in this issue...
WIN Conference Comes to San Diego May 1st . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 4 CA Bill 753—Rental Firms and Recalls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 6 CA SB 631 Gives Insurance Commissioner More Power . . . . . . .p. 8 House Rejects Changes to Bill Banning Emissions Regulations .p. 10 CAA Honors Award Winners, New Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 12 CAWA-backed Proclamation Signed by AZ Governor . . . . . . . . .p. 13 Man Shot to Death at CA Repair Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 16
COLUMNS in this issue...
Danalevich—Parts Suppliers Purchasing Policy a
Benefit or an Expense? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 16
Gonzo’s Toolbox—On the Other Side of the Bookstore Counter .p. 29 Sisk—Rodi’s in Cherry Hill, NJ, Promotes Customer’s Right to
Choose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 49
Attanasio—CA Shop Owner Endorses Shop Education &
Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 50
Yoswick—East Coast Resolution Forum Meets in NJ . . . . . . . . .p. 52
Insurance Insider—Insurers Serve “Flavor of the Day” . . . . . . . .p. 54
Franklin—Summertime Means Event Time For Shops . . . . . . . . .p. 56
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P.O. BOX 1516, CARLSBAD, CA 92018
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2 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
COLUMNS Attanasio - California Shop Owner Endorses Shop Education and Training . . . . . . . . . . 50 Attanasio, Chief - Indiana Shop Owner Favors Chief for Quality, Durability & Support . . . . 19 Attanasio, PPG - 32-year-old N.J. Body Shop
Embraces PPG’s Envirobase® HP Waterborne Basecoat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Chaney - Three of Largest Auto Recycling Networks Merge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Chess - Getting OSHA-Compliant on Plans, Protection and Painting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Danalevich - Is Your Parts Supplier Purchasing Policy a Benefit or an Expense? . . . . . . . . 16 Franklin - Summertime Should Mean Event Time For Body Shops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Horn - Revisiting Paint by Numbers: A Deep Dive into Refinish Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Insurance Insider - Insurers Will Continue to Serve “Flavor of the Day” to Shops. . . . . . 54 PPG’s MVP Spring Conference—Excellent, Entertaining and Informative . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Sisk - Rodi’s in Cherry Hill, NJ, Reminds the Customer of their Right to Choose . . . . . . 49 Stoll - Painting with Waterborne at John Force Racing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Weaver - A Day to Reflect—On the Other Side of the Bookstore Counter . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Yoswick - ‘2011 East Coast Resolution Forum’ Meets in NJ to Discuss Ongoing Efforts and Ideas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Assistant Editor: Erica Schroeder Contributing Writers: Tom Franklin, David Brown, John Yoswick, Lee Amaradio, Rich Evans, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Mike Causey, Tom McGee, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Sean Hartman (800) 699-8251 Sales Assistant: Kristy Mangum Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia
AkzoNobel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . .54
Autoland Scientech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Automotive ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50
Serving California, Nevada and Arizona, Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2011 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 721-0253 Fax www.autobodynews.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NATIONAL Airbiquity to Supply Air-Over-Voice Technology to Onstar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 AkzoNobel Launches U.S. Wanda Waterborne . 53 ALLDATA and Boyd Group Enter Into Strategic Agreement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Collision Hub Launches Repair University . . . 52 Feds Open Probes of Imprezas and Sorrentos. 28 Ford Expands F-150/Lincoln Recall Due to Airbag Flaws . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Ford’s Electric Focus Will Not Lease Lithium-Ion Batteries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Full Deliveries From Japanese Suppliers Stalled Until July. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Gas Prices Take Toll on Miles Driven . . . . . . . 36 Honda Extends Production Cuts in North America to May . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Hyundai, Kia Running U.S. Plants at Full Speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Insurance Fraud Claims on Rise in New York. 51 Japan Supply Chain Will Rattle Earnings Worldwide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Legislation To Expand CA’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Introduced in State Assembly. 25 Microsoft and Toyota Join Forces in Telematics Venture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 NHTSA to Review Claim Corolla Air Bag Failed. 28 Nissan’s Leaf Experiences A/C Sensor Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 SCRS Announces Achievement Awards: Winners Include Toby Chess and Collision Hub . . . . . 1 State Farm to Offer Electronic Parts Ordering to its Own Select Service Shops . . . . . . . . . 1 Subaru Shows Off Impreza in 3-D at New York Auto Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 The Curious Case of Hibbs vs Allstate—Does An Insurer Have the Right to Repair? . . . . . 1 Used Vehicle Pricing Expected to Rise in Quake Aftermath . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Verizon Unveils Hybrid and Alternative-energy Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 When it Comes to Cars, Men Buy Looks, Women Seek Practicality . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
REGIONAL Allstate to Open 50 Agencies in Florida . . . . . 41 Are Southern Auto Workers Disinterested in Unions? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Ariz. Court Says Parents Liable for Kids’ Wrecks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Auto Companies Celebrate Ferraris in Old Pasadena This Spring. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Bill in NV Makes Not Wearing Seat Belt Primary Offense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Bill to Raise Auto Liability Rates Would Impact NV Drivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Bills Filed in Texas Aimed at Increasing Insurance Policy Transparency . . . . . . . . . 48 CA Assembly Bill 753 Would Force Rental Firms to Pull Recalled Vehicles from Fleet . . 6 CA Suspicious Claims Rise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 CAA Holds Quarterly Delegates Meeting in Sacramento, Swears in New Board, Award Winners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Calif. Has One-Fifth of All U.S. Questionable Insurance Claims . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 California Senate Bill 631 Would Give Insurance Commissioner More Penalty Powers. . . . . . 8 CAWA-Backed Proclamation Signed By Arizona Governor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Collision Repairers in Texas Mourn the Loss of Bob English—Founder, English Color . . . . 40 Florida Autobody Collision Alliance (FACA) Hosts 1st Annual First-Responder Extrication Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Gunder’s Loses Appeal to State Farm in FL— Court Says ‘Even False’ Claims are Priviledged . 22 Higher Standard Leads to Coveted Magna Society Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Honda to Invest $94 Million in Alabama Plant . 35 House Rejects Changes to Bill Banning EPA and Calif. from Regulating Emissions . . . . 10 Houston Auto Body Association, SCRS Association of the Year, Gathers at State Capitol in Austin to Support Senate Bill 1300 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Japan Tragedy to Affect Vehicle Supply, N.J. Dealer Group Says . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Man Shot To Death At San Diego, CA, Auto Repair Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 NV Bill Gets Tough on DUIs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 NWLCRA Hosts Supply Company to Talk About New Products. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Randall Swedlove Appointed to CAWA Board of Directors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Rutgers Engineer is Pioneer in Plastics Recycling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Ryder Acquires Portfolio of B.I.T. Leasing . . . . 4 Service King Acquires 8 Alamo Body and Paint Locations in San Antonio, TX . . . . . . . . . . 53 St. Philip’s College in San Antonio Rallies Around Skills-USA-Winning Classmate . . . 35 Tornado Strikes Toyota KY Parts Plant. . . . . . 20 Women’s Industry Network Conference, San Diego May 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Yancey Truck Centers Opens Macon, Ga., Location. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
LKQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59
Matrix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Mattei . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . .51
BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . .9
Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .57
Chief Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers .48
Completes Plus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Power Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . . . . . .17
Carlsen Volvo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 Crevier BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Downtown Motors of LA
(Audi, VW, Porsche) . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Drew Hyundai-Volkswagen . . . . . . . . . .36
Elk Grove Toyota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .21
PartsCheck Live . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60
PPG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Quality Stainless Products . . . . . . . . . .16
Rare Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
RBL Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Replica Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
Enterprise Rent-A-Car . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55
Riverside Metro VW-Honda-Hyundai-
Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers
Scorpion Coatings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Equalizer Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Nissan-Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
AZ, CA, & NV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-Mazda-Subaru .38
Garmat USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Timmons VW-Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
Galpin Motors . . . . . . . . . . .25, 30-31, 35
Glenn E. Thomas Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge .11
GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . .39
Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .37
Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . .46
VIM Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
Harbor Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers .44
Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . .47
Weatherford BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Honda/Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers .51
Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . .23
Volvo Crash Wholesale Dealers . . . . . .45
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
CA Suspicious Claims Rise
California has seen a 9 percent increase in suspicious insurance claims since 2008, according to a new report. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) said questionable claims originating in California and referred to NICB from Jan. 1, 2008, through Dec. 31, 2010, rose from 15,609 in 2008 to 17,082 reported in 2010. Member insurance companies referred 16,274 questionable claims from California to NICB in 2009. Questionable claims are those claims that NICB member insurance companies refer to NICB for closer review and investigation based on one or more indicators of possible fraud. A single claim may contain up to seven referral reasons. From 2008-2010, California spawned 20 percent of all of the questionable claims generated in the United States. Within California the top five cities posting the most questionable claims were Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and San Jose. The full report is at: https://www.nicb.org/File%20Library/Public%20Affairs/CA-QCs0810.pdf.
NV Bill Gets Tough on DUIs
Harsher punishments will kick in after fewer drinks if a Nevada DUI bill passes. The Senate Transportation Committee on April 5 passed SB91, which would require courts to send a first-time DUI offender to alcohol treatment if the blood alcohol level registers 0.15 percent, down from the existing 0.18 percent mark. Nevada DUI Law makes it a criminal offense to drive while intoxicated on drugs or alcohol. Common defenses include that the breath-testing equipment was faulty. It also draws that line for ignition interlock devices, requiring a court to order a breathalyzer device on the vehicle of a higher-level DUI offender. A 160-pound man reaches the 0.18 percent blood alcohol concentration after about eight drinks in the course of an hour. The 0.15 percent level comes after about seven drinks in an hour. The bill is sponsored by Clark County Democratic Sen. Mark Manendo and now heads for the Senate floor.
Ariz. Court Says Parents Liable for Kids’ Wrecks The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that parents of minors are on the hook financially for auto accidents that occur, even when the children are violating their parents’ instructions, according to reports made by Insurance Journal. The high court’s decision in Amy Young v. Kenneth L. Beck and Barbara Beck follows one in 2010 by the mid-level Court of Appeals. That court held that the parents of a 17-year-old Jason Beck were liable for an accident that caused serious injuries to another driver, Amy Young. The accident occurred after Beck drove friends around, although his parents had told him after a previous accident that he could only drive to school, church or work. The parents, Kenneth and Barbara, argued that they shouldn’t be held liable when their son drove the family car in violation of restrictions they imposed. The court said it was enough that the son had consent from the parents to drive the car “for his pleasure and convenience.” The court of appeals said the family purpose doctrine should not be abolished. The doctrine “subjects the owner of a [vehicle] to vicarious li-
ability when the owner provides an automobile for the general use by a family member,” court documents explain. “The family purpose doctrine imputes liability not because of the head of the family’s independent fault or breach of a legal duty, but because of the ‘agency relationship that is deemed to exist between the head of the household and the driver of the family car.’” Moreover the high court said the doctrine does not require that a parent give permission for every possible route taken or deviation made by a family member while operating the vehicle. Excusing the parents from liability because they did not give their son permission to drive the car recreationally would enable parents to “immunize” themselves from liability by imposing unrealistic or unenforced limitations on their child’s use of the vehicle, the court said. The Supreme Court of Arizona affirmed the ruling of the Court of Appeals from the Superior Court in Maricopa County, saying “although policy arguments can be made for and against the [family purpose] doctrine, it is firmly entrenched in our common law and has been repeatedly applied by Arizona courts.”
4 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Women’s Industry Network Conference, San Diego May 1
The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) will host their 5th annual WIN Conference May 1 through 3 at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego. The conference will be led by two keynote speakers; Jennifer Sertl and Lauren Fix. Jennifer Sertl will focus on what it means to be strategic in the 21st century, what it takes to be a leader and how the soul of your business as well as your personal soul will drive your business and personal success in years to come. J e n nifer is founder and president of Lauren Fix Agility3R, an organizational effectiveness company which fosters collective wisdomacross all levels within organizations. Lauren Fix will draw upon her experiences to share tips for success in our day to day interactions with males and females alike. She will address staying connected to those you network with,
Higher Standard Leads to Coveted Magna Society Award
Rusnak Auto Group With Audi Dealerships in Pasadena and Westlake Offer Customers Outstanding Service, Value and Selection Audi established the Magna Society Award program in order to recognize U.S. dealerships that stand out as the best of the best. To qualify, dealerships can’t just meet or exceed sales targets. They must also demonstrate the ability to maintain a solid financial foundation, merit high customer satisfaction scores and demonstrate that their facilities and staff represent a progressive, Audi culture. The Rusnak Auto Group is proud to announce its two Audi stores, located in Pasadena and Westlake, won the 2010 Audi Magna Society Award. By offering two stores in Southern California, Rusnak Audi is able to offer greater value along with a superior selection. Rusnak Auto Group enjoys a 45-year history as one of the strongest auto retail groups in Los Angeles and sells nine brands of automobiles as well as high-quality Certified Pre-Owned and pre-owned vehicles from 11 locations in Arcadia, Loma Linda, Pasadena and Westlake. Visit Rusnak Auto Group at www.rusnakonline.com.
both male and female; the glass ceiling as related to networking and advancement; as well as using your “feminine force” for positive change and other things to achieve success in our professional and personal lives. Lauren is the owner of Automotive Aspects Inc., a consulting firm that provides media consulting, broadcast messaging strategy services and motivational seminars. She has been a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) since 1980 and is ASE Certified. WIN’s Conference Speakers will include Greg Horn with Mitchell and Helen Todd with Collision Buzz, among others. To register online for this conference please visit: www.regonline.com/2011_WIN_co nference or www.womensindustrynetwork.com.
Autobody News on Facebook Ryder Acquires Portfolio of B.I.T. Leasing
Ryder System completed the acquisition of the lease, rental and maintenance portfolio of B.I.T. Leasing, a privately owned, 58-year-old full-service truck leasing and fleet services company headquartered in Hayward, Calif. The acquisition was completed in two phases: the first phase completed in August 2010 and the final phase completed in March 2011. Ryder acquired BIT’s fleet of approximately 364 full-service lease, 121 rental, and 72 contract maintenance units serving 131 contract customers from BIT’s service locations in Rohnert Park, Hayward, San Jose and Watsonville. Ryder began operation at BIT’s former Rohnert Park location in December. Customers who were being serviced from BIT’s former locations in Hayward, San Jose and Watsonville will now be served by one of Ryder’s six existing locations in the Bay area. BIT’s existing dealership business will continue to operate as Bayshore International Trucks. The acquisition is expected to add approximately $9 million in annualized operating revenue to Ryder’s Fleet Management Solutions business segment.
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 5
Randall Swedlove Appointed to CAWA Board of Directors
Randall Swedlove has been appointed to the California/Nevada/Arizona Automotive Wholesalers Association’s (CAWA) Board of Directors representing Morris Automotive Supply in Fontana, California. He was appointed by Chair of the Board, Mary Davis of NGK Spark Plugs in Sacramento, California. “Mr. Swedlove is a long time CAWA member and represents a segment of our membership that has historically supported the Association throughout the three states we represent” said Davis. “Mr. Swedlove’s participation will be critical to the Association’s future goals and we’ll welcome his contributions to the automotive aftermarket industry and its trade Association”, said Chair Davis following the appointment. CAWA is an automotive aftermarket trade association, which represents auto parts jobbers, warehouse distributors, retailers, manufacturers and manufacturer representatives in California, Nevada and Arizona. The Association provides education, legislative, regulatory and business support to the industry and its membership.
CA Assembly Bill 753 Would Force Rental Firms to Pull Recalled Vehicles from Fleet California lawmakers have taken a step toward enacting what would be the nation’s first law forcing rental car companies to pull recalled vehicles off the road. The legislators have been encouraged by a mother who testified that such a rule could have saved the lives of her two daughters. A state Assembly committee voted 6-2 in favor of a bill named for Carol Houck’s daughters, who died in 2004 while driving a rented car that was the subject of a safety recall. “Consumers need to know that when they rent these cars, that these cars are safe,” said Assemblyman Bill Monning, D-Monterey, who presented AB753 to the committee. Auto dealers are not allowed to sell or lease cars that have been recalled, Monning said. His bill would close a loophole that allows rental car companies to continue doing so. Representatives of several rental car companies said they repair 90 percent of vehicles within 30 days of receiving a recall notice and that their safety policies make the bill unnecessary.
Bill in NV Makes Not Wearing Seat Belt Primary Offense Refusing to wear a seatbelt in Nevada could land drivers in a community service program under a bill considered March 30 by the Senate Transportation Committee. SB235 I would make not wearing a seat belt a nonmoving violation for passengers and drivers. Punishment could include community service or a $25 fine. It would also allow police to pull drivers over if they suspect anyone in the vehicle has not buckled up. Nevadans are currently required to wear seatbelts but police cannot use it as a reason to pull over vehicles. Supporters of the bill provided emotional testimony, like that of Tina LaVoie, who cried while recounting her last conversation with her daughter, Hillary. LaVoie said that as a parent she did all the right things. “I did lead by example. I wore my seatbelt all the time.” Her daughter, she said, “was always the first person with her seatbelt on.” But the Shadow Ridge High School senior was killed in a September 2010 car accident in which she was traveling with friends. LaVoie said Hillary knew the law. “She knew she could take the seat belt off.”
Supporters also included Chuck Reider, chief safety officers at the Nevada Department of Transportation. Reider said 32 percent of all people killed in Nevada automobile accidents from 2005 and 2009 died because they did not buckle up. There was, however, opposition and it centered around two key issues: racial profiling and human nature. Orrin Johnson with the Washoe County Public Defender’s Office said SB235 creates a muddy area for law enforcement because “it’s not easy to see what’s happening on the inside of the car,” so it would be difficult to defend pulling over a vehicle on those grounds. Rebecca Gasca with the American Civil Liberties Union added that the bill could be used as a tool “for stopping a car in order to search, interrogate or simply harass a driver.” Sen. Elizabeth Halseth, R-Las Vegas, said her problem with the bill was far more basic. The Oregon native said her home state is proof that laws like SB235 won’t save lives. Four of her friends were killed in vehicle crashes. No action was taken on the bill March 31.
6 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
They also said that adopting such a law in California could prompt other states to do the same, creating a patchwork of laws that would be difficult for them to follow. They said the bill targets their industry unfairly and ignores other vehicle fleets, such as those operated by taxi, limousine and shuttle bus services, private companies and governments. “If something needs to be done —and there are different opinions about that—we think it needs to be done at the federal level,” said Thomas Laffey, general counsel for Enterprise Holdings, after the hearing. Enterprise is the largest U.S. car rental company, with $12 billion in annual revenue and 1.1 million vehicles in its fleet. It includes the Alamo, Enterprise and National brands. Houck’s daughters—Raechel, 24, and Jacqueline, 20—were killed in 2004 when the steering failed on a Chrysler PT Cruiser they had rented from Enterprise in central California. The car crashed into a truck and caught fire. The company had re-
ceived a recall notice for the vehicle about a month earlier. “The PT Cruiser my daughters were killed in was rented out three times after they received the notice,” said Carol Houck, of Ojai. Investigators hired by the Houck family said the power steering fluid line that was the subject of the recall leaked and caused the steering to fail. Enterprise fought a wrongful death case brought by the family for five years before admitting negligence. Last year, a jury awarded the parents $15 million. Laffey testified that Enterprise has had 3 billion car rental-days since the Houck accident without a single similar incident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently asked rental companies to answer detailed questions about how they handle recalls, following up on an inquiry to auto manufacturers. The agency “believes that rental car companies have a responsibility to provide safe vehicles to their customers,” NHTSA said in a statement.
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www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 7
California Senate Bill 631 Would Give Insurance Commissioner More Penalty Powers In February this year, California Senator Noreen Evans introduced legislation expanding the Insurance Commissioner’s restitution authority which at present is only allowed in limited circumstances. Simply put, SB 631 would grant explicit authority to the state Insurance Commissioner to order restitution as part of an administrative enforcement action against an insurance company. The new powers could be used to punish broker-agents and other licensees in all instances where the Commissioner finds any violation of the California Insurance Code. The expanded authority would protect consumers from what Senator Evans described as the “David and Goliath” dynamics that can occur when a consumer seeks repayment of monetary losses or out-of-pocket costs associated with wrongful insurance company conduct. SB 631 would allow the Commissioner to “impose upon an insurer, licensee, or other entity or person subject to the commissioner’s authority specified remedies, either by way of
settlement or following a hearing, whenever the commissioner finds that there has been a violation of an applicable insurance provision.” “The status quo allows insurance companies to violate the law and then simply nudge consumers away from regaining the monetary losses they experienced,” said Senator Evans. “Restitution-granting authority already exists in several other state departments. Senate Bill 631extends this same authority to the Insurance Commissioner and simultaneously provides built-in safeguard for all parties.” Evans said the bill also provides safeguards for insurers should they disagree with the restitution order by the Insurance Commissioner, because under SB 631 insurers may still seek a judicial appeal and go to court. Should a consumer wish to directly pursue judicial action against an insurer, rather than receiving restitution through the Insurance Commissioner, the bill still allows them to do so, she added. “The Department of Insurance is required by law to protect consumers against misconduct from insurers,” In-
surance Commissioner Dave Jones has said. “However, the Insurance Commissioner does not have the authority to order insurers to restore outof-pocket expenses or money wrongfully obtained due to insurer misconduct. This needs to change, and it needs to change now.” Senator Evans’ office issued an SB 631 Fact Sheet that provides further information on the proposed legislation. According to the Fact Sheet, insurance consumers occasionally suffer monetary losses at the hands of their insurance providers, for example, when they receive less money than they are entitled to on a claim. Currently, when an insurer breaks the law and causes monetary damages to a consumer, the only path to remedy for consumers is to sue insurers in court, which is time-consuming, expensive,
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Bill to Raise Auto Liability Rates Would Impact NV Drivers State lawmakers are debating whether the minimum auto liability coverage Nevada drivers need to carry should be raised for the first time since 1954. Assemblyman William Horne (D-Dist. A34) says some Nevadans were driving Edsels and gas cost less than 50 cents a gallon the last time state lawmakers set the minimum rates for auto liability insurance. Horne, who chairs the Assembly Judiciary Committee, says he found out from personal experience that the current liability minimums don’t provide enough to pay to get you to the hospital, let alone pay for treatment, if you are the victim of a serious accident. “It was an auto accident that I had, the gentleman who hit me had the minimums, as did I. You quickly know, I mean... I got transported to UMC Trauma and the minimums won’t even cover that.” If the measure passes, Nevada drivers would have to carry at least $50,000 in liability coverage for an accident that injures a single victim. About 40 percent of Nevada drivers would see rate increases, and opponents say poor people in the state wouldn’t be able to af-
ford the extra payments which are expected to run about $300 per year. Horne says he is looking out for poor Nevadans especially, because they are the most likely not to have additional health insurance, or a savings account that could help them pay for medical costs if they are an accident victim. “Missing time off of work due to the accident, those things affect the poor more. So, on the other side, the bill actually helps the poor, not hurt them.” Horne agrees the increase would impact four-in-10 Nevada drivers, but says all of those Nevadans are driving around carrying only enough liability coverage to pay for medical expenses in 1950 dollars. “Gas was 24 cents a gallon, the top TV shows were ‘Gunsmoke’ and ‘The Rifleman’ - this gives you an idea about how long ago this was put in place.” Horne says he is willing to compromise, but coverage needs to be increased. The measure, AB 120, could come up as early as April 12 before the Assembly Transportation Committee.
8 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
and further burdens the courts. Insurance advocacy group Insurance Brokers and Agents of the West (IBA West), representing some 14,000 agents and brokers, said it is concerned because persons entitled to receive restitution are defined so broadly as to include insurance companies—meaning broker or agents could conceivably be required to pay restitution to their own insurers in the event of even minor violations of Insurance Code or regulatory provisions. The association also is concerned that the bill lacks “meaningful” limits on the Commissioner’s ability to impose financially devastating punishments. The bill was most recently amended on March 24 and a hearing in the Senate Insurance Committee has been scheduled for April 27.
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www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 9
House Rejects Changes to Bill Banning EPA and Calif. from Regulating Emissions The House late Wednesday rejected Democratic attempts to soften a bill to bar the Environmental Protection Agency and California from regulating tailpipe emissions but delayed a final vote until April 7, according to the Detroit News Washington Bureau. The legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., would block the EPA and California from issuing new regulations limiting tailpipe emissions — and other sources of greenhouse gases. “I’m from Michigan. I know what a struggling economy looks like. And I think it is a travesty that this government is deliberately imposing policies that will harm job creators and working families,” Upton said on the House floor April 6. After debating the bill, the House rejected a series of Democratic amendments on a mostly party-line vote. The Upton-Inhofe measure would overturn a 2007 Supreme Court
decision giving the EPA authority to regulate tailpipe emissions as a danger to public health under the Clean Air Act. That ruling allowed California to impose its own tailpipe emissions limits. The prospect of a patchwork of separate state and federal emissions limits has been harshly criticized by automakers. Although the House is expected the pass the measure, it faces an uphill battle in the Senate, which on April 6 rejected a measure similar to the House plan. That measure was tacked to a small business bill sponsored by Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky. The amendment was defeated on a 50-50 vote — 10 votes less than necessary to end debate in the Senate. Other similar amendments to delay EPA rules, including one by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, also were voted down. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney hailed the Senate vote
Auto Companies Celebrate Ferraris in Old Pasadena This Spring Ferrari Club of America’s Southwest Region, with the patronage of new and returning sponsors, will host the 3rd Annual Concorso Ferrari on Sunday, May 22. Approximately 140 dazzling Ferraris and various sponsors will line historic Colorado Boulevard in Old Pasadena, Calif., between Raymond and Pasadena Avenue from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. “Our celebration of the cars by Ferrari will be one of the most memorable days in Southern California,” said Marv Landon, event organizer of the Concorso Ferrari and board member of FCA SW. “Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, the public will be able to enjoy these fantastic cars at no cost.” The Concorso is opened to Judged and Non-Judged Ferraris. Ferraris from 1999 and earlier are eligible for judging in 10 classes by a panel of 30 Ferrari experts. The judging will follow the FCA National guidelines of the International Advisory Council for the Preservation of Ferrari Automobiles. The Concorso Ferrari will also host local luxury brand dealerships during the event. With more than 4,000 vehicles in stock at 10 of its franchises in Southern California, Galpin Motors Premier Collection will feature a gathering of new
model cars by Lotus and Aston Martin at the event. As the leading new and preowned Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Porsche and Audi dealer in the Greater Los Angeles area, The Auto Gallery will also be present during the Ferrari celebration with a display of its latest new models. The largest Nissan dealer in the country, Sage Automotive Group will showcase the new GT-R supercar and its Mercedes-Benz collection with the SLR Roadster. From its headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz., the Barrett-Jackson Endorsed Collector Car Insurance will also have a booth on-site to speak with local collector car owners. Partnering with TDC Risk Management, Barrett-Jackson Insurance offers premier insurance for classic, antique, exotic, special interest or limited edition vehicles that owners show in car club activities, exhibitions, parades or private collections. Sponsorship opportunities are still available, and interested companies should contact Tim McGrane with Events International Company at tim.mcgrane@EventsInternationalCompany.com or (818) 706-3814. For more information, visit www.fca-sw.org.
10 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
to defend the EPA’s “ability to protect public health under the Clean Air Act.” “The Senate also rejected an approach that would have increased the nation’s dependence on oil, contradicted the scientific consensus on global warming, and jeopardized America’s ability to lead the world in the clean energy economy,” he said. Automakers have stayed neutral on the Upton-Inhofe bill. The United Auto Workers and other major unions have opposed the bill. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, said on the floor that EPA regulators “drink their lattes” and work in “marble palaces” as they write tailpipe emissions regulations. “The EPA is on a mission to destroy American industry,” Poe said. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision, the Obama administration reached a deal with California and automakers in May 2009 to set nationwide fuel efficiency standards for the 2012-16 model years, hiking
fleetwide efficiency to 34.1 mpg by 2016. The deal essentially extended California’s proposed standards nationwide, but gave automakers additional flexibility early on. The pact will cost the auto industry about $52 billion over five years, but save 1.8 billion barrels of fuel over the life of the vehicles. The Obama administration says it would save $3,000 per vehicle in gas over the life of the vehicles. The House measure would bar the EPA and California from taking part in the 2017-25 tailpipe emissions limits. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, however, could go forward with fuel efficiency standards for the same period.
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www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 11
CAA Holds Quarterly Delegates Meeting in Sacramento, Swears in New Board, Award Winners The California Autobody Association (CAA) held its Quarterly Delegates meeting in Sacramento on March 11 and 12. David McClune, Executive Director for the CAA, swore in the new 2011 State Board of Directors which include Gigi Walker, Past President, Dave Picton, First Vice-President, Ben Mendoza, Vice President,
Chuck Reyes, 2011 President, Mike Passof, Treasurer, Don Feeley, Secretary. Linda Holcomb, President of the CAA Glendale-Foothills chapter, was awarded with the organization’s President of the Year, 2010 Award at the groups State Board meeting in Sacramento March 12. “I have concentrated on bringing
left to right: Gigi Walker, Past President; Dave Picton, First Vice-President; Ben Mendoza, Vice President; Chuck Reyes, 2011 President; Mike Passof, Treasurer; Don Feeley, Secretary (not pictured)
12 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
back old members who had let their dues expire, and also new members that were not familiar with the CAA. With my knowledge and contacts in the Automotive Industry I have had the opportunity to bring in some excellent guest speakers. The attendance at our meetings are up,” said Holcomb, “It was such an honor to receive the President’s of the Year Award from the CAA.” In addition, Gene Lopez with ICAR received the CAA’s annual Darrell Malott Memorial Award for Member of the Year for 2010 and 1800-Radiator received the CAAAssociate Member of the Year award for 2010. “I was honored to receive the 2010 Darrell Malott annual Award,” said Lopez, “I remember when the first one was given out in 1999.” The Darrell Malott Award is given each year to the CAA member who contributes most to the organization. For more information please visit www.calautobody.com.
left to right: Chuck Reyes, CAA President, Linda Holcomb, Glendale-Foothills CAA Chapter President, David McClune, CAA Executive Director
left to right: David McClune, CAA Executive Director, Gene Lopez, I-CAR, Chuck Reyes, CAA President
CAWA-Backed Proclamation Signed By Arizona Governor The California/Nevada/Arizona Automotive Wholesaler’s Association (CAWA) sponsored gubernatorial proclamation that recognized the contributions of the aftermarket industry provides to consumers was passed and signed by Arizona Governor Janice Brewer in March. The proclamation states that the aftermarket industry encompasses all products and services purchased for vehicles after the original sale, including new, recycled and remanufactured replacement parts, tires and accessories, repairs and the tools and equipment necessary to make repairs; the aftermarket industry is a significant sector of the economy with annual aftermarket sales in Arizona of approximately $6 billion and employs approximately 41,000 people; the aftermarket industry supplies consumers with choices for high-quality and affordable replacement parts and services for their vehicles that are fundamental to maintenance and repair; the aftermarket industry historically leads the
world in innovation for service equipment, repair procedures, maintenance programs, and safety equipment for the state’s fleet of vehicles; the aftermarket industry promotes a long-running, sustainable practice of recycling and utilizing remanufactured and recycled auto parts to conserve materials and energy; the aftermarket industry contributes to greenhouse gas reductions by fostering awareness that a well-maintained vehicle leads to lower tail-pipe emissions; the aftermarket industry is committed to educating motorists about the benefits of regular vehicle maintenance and repair to ensure that vehicles are safer, more dependable and fuel-efficient, by participating in consumer awareness initiatives such as the Car Care Council’s “Be Car Care Aware” campaign and the designation of April as National Car Care month. At the end of the proclamation, Governor Brewer recognized CAWA’s contributions to the automotive industry in Arizona.
“We pursued this with her administration to give recognition to the aftermarket, it’s importance and contributions to the economy, environment and the motoring public,” said CAWA’s President Rodney Pierini. Pierini also mentioned that CAWA is working on a similar legislative proclamation for Nevada this session in Carson City. CAWA backed a similar proclamation that was signed in California last year. For more information please visit www.cawa.org.
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Rutgers Engineer is Pioneer in Plastics Recycling
Axion International , a leading producer of industrial building products and railroad ties made from 100% recycled plastic, has announced today that Dr. Tom Nosker, a professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Rutgers University and inventor of Axion’s Recycled Structural Composite (RSC), was recognized along with five of his peers as one of the nation’s top Mechanical Engineers. The designation appears in the April issue of Inventors Digest magazine. “This is a terrific recognition of Dr. Nosker’s tremendous contribution to the world of recycling, and the incredible legacy he’s created,” stated Axion President and Chief Executive Officer, Steve Silverman. “Tom’s contribution to the world of plastic recycling goes back to the mid 1980’s, when he helped develop PET resin recovery recycling technology, and continues to this day with his work in advances in thermoplastics composites, design of structures, and even flame retardant materials. Axion is extremely proud to be associated with him and we’re grateful for the contributions he’s made and continues to make to our society.”
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 13
Used Vehicle Pricing Expected to Rise in Quake Aftermath
Automotive News Reporter Arlena Sawyers writes that since the earthquake in Japan, used-vehicle prices have become so volatile that price experts are scrambling to keep up. And dealers, anticipating new-car shortages, are going beyond usual channels to stock usedcar lots, often paying more for those vehicles and then worrying about having shelled out too much. Prices already were high. The recession led to a shortage of used vehicles, and when demand rose as credit eased for used-car customers, prices soared. Then the quake struck. Reduced production by Japanese automakers, such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., and the threat of production cuts by virtually all automakers means a reduced new-vehicle supply. Dealers who are short of new vehicles look to the used-car lot to meet demand. And prices could go even higher. If new-vehicle incentives dry up, as many predict, prices of used vehicles will rise as new-car transaction prices go up.
Full Deliveries From Japanese Suppliers Stalled Until July
Automotive News Editor Jason Stein reports that as inventories of Japanese products continue to dry up, Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. have warned U.S. dealers: Full deliveries from Japan likely won’t arrive until July at the earliest, and perhaps as late as September. Parts shortages have forced Toyota and Nissan to prepare several scenarios in which full production in Japan wouldn’t begin until at least 30 to 90 days after the country’s upcoming holiday break, said people who have been briefed on the situation. In the best-case scenario, both automakers will begin full production a month after Japan’s Golden Week holiday that ends May 9. In an internal document sent to dealers Friday, April 15, Toyota said it will keep building cars in Japan at half of the original plans until June 3, which will cost the automaker another 120,000 vehicles in lost production. A decision on Toyota production at Japanese plants after June 6 “will be made at a later date after assessing the situation of its suppliers and other related companies,” the document says.
14 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Honda Extends Production Cuts in North America to May
Automotive News is reporting that Honda will extend reductions of vehicle output at its U.S. and Canadian plants through May 6. The automaker had previously said it would reduce vehicle output through April 22. Decisions have been made on a plant-by-plant basis on how much to cut back production in order to conserve parts. Affected plants include East Liberty, Ohio, which makes the Honda Accord Crosstour and CR-V; Greensburg, Ind., which builds the Honda Civic and Civic GX; Lincoln, Ala., which makes the Honda Odyssey, Pilot and Ridgeline; Marysville, Ohio, which produces the Accord and the Acura TL and RDX; and Alliston, Ontario, which builds the Civic and the Acura CSX, MDX and ZDX. Honda has been altering production schedules at those plants since March 30 in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The automaker said it anticipates that additional production adjustments will continue after May 6. Honda has already restricted dealer orders for June, so that allocated colors and trim levels for U.S.-built vehicles cannot be altered. It also has suspended U.S. dealer orders for Japan-built models that are sold here.
Hyundai, Kia Running U.S. Plants at Full Speed
Hyundai and Kia, South Korea’s biggest carmakers, are running full shifts at their U.S. plants with overtime, unaffected by parts shortages that are curbing output for Japanbased competitors. Hyundai’s plant in Montgomery, Ala., aims to squeeze out 10 percent more Sonata and Elantra sedans than its 300,000-unit capacity this year, said Robert Burns, a spokesman for the factory. About 80 miles east, Kia’s plant in West Point, Ga., has run extended weekday shifts and Saturday work since last year and expects that to continue for the foreseeable future, said Corinne Hodges, a spokeswoman for Kia. Expanded U.S. output at Hyundai and Kia contrasts with assembly reductions at the North American plants of Toyota, Honda and Nissan implemented after Japan’s earthquake on March11. U.S.based General Motors and Ford also cut some assembly, and Chrysler Group canceled overtime shifts to conserve supplies of parts that might grow scarcer. Globally, 1.5 million units of auto production might be lost temporarily because of damaged operations at Japan-based parts and materials suppliers.
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email@example.com www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 15
Shop Strategies for Savings
Walter Danalevich, AAM, has been the owner of Santa Barbara Auto Refinishing since 1979. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is Your Parts Supplier Purchasing Policy a Benefit or an Expense? with Walter Danalevich
This month let’s take a look at parts ordering considerations that will improve your bottom line. Think for a moment of all your part suppliers both OEM and aftermarket. Do you know what the return parts policy is from each supplier? You should if you want to maximize your business profits. What is their return policy on parts that do not fit? Will they reimburse you for full labor or just the part cost and leave you with a “catch you on the next one” policy? Not too long ago, it was no “big deal” to return parts for credit months later. Some of us may even remember credits issued with certain part suppliers for returns where we did not even produce evidence in the form of an invoice. Well, times have changed considerably when ordering auto body parts. Today we have the option of ordering parts by the traditional voice phone communication or a variety of electronic options which include fax, text, digital and e-mail. Before ordering parts, Do you know if there is a 1) Maximum part return date 2) Credit for returns for damaged parts 3) Credit for returns on electrical parts 4) Warranty for reconditioned wheels 5) Warranty for off road usage 6) Warranty for CAPA aftermarket
parts (like kind & quality) 7) Warranty for Mechanical Parts 8) Warranty for Chrome parts 9) Warranty for New sheet metal rust through 10) Warranty for Non-CAPA aftermarket parts 11) Optional mechanical service warranty Agreement 12) Transferable warranty to a nonoriginal owner 13) Policy for compensation to shop for wrong parts received 14) Fee for shipping cost on special order parts 15) Restocking fee after 30 Days
Having answers to the above parts ordering warranty concerns will assure you maintain and improve your parts department profit margins. For example, recently our auto body shop in Santa Barbara, California had a very positive parts warranty experience involving our aftermarket parts supplier. Our repair shop had customer approval to proceed with repairs to their 2010 Honda Civic. Their insurance company, to my complete surprise, stipulated in the repair estimate the use of an aftermarket fender and front bumper. I questioned the insurance company adjuster to make sure there was no mistake on their proposed estimate for such a new vehicle. The Insurance adjuster replied the insured’s
Man Shot To Death At San Diego, CA, Auto Repair Shop A man found shot at a Point Lomaarea auto repair shop was declared
dead at the scene the morning of April 19, according to reports made by San Diego’s 10 News.
A customer dropping off her car found the man at Joe’s Auto Repair in the 1900 block of Rosecrans Street in San Diego around 7:30 a.m. Witnesses reported hearing gunshots at the location at around 7:15 a.m. The owner of Point Loma Smog, which is located next door, told 10News that owner of Joe’s Auto Repair is the person who was shot. Police are looking for an oldermodel, green sedan that might be connected to the incident. More information about the investigations as it progresses can be found at www.autobodynews.com.
16 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
policy stipulates using aftermarket parts when available in exchange for a lower annual policy premium. Upon hearing this news I decided not to make a fuss and proceeded with repairs. All appeared well until the car bumper was installed. After the body tech installed the bumper it was quite obvious there was a “quality of fit” problem. The bumper end did not meet the attachment point of the aftermarket left fender. Additionally, there were noticeable one-inch gaps in front of both headlamps. How Sweet!!! I immediately addressed the issue with our aftermarket supplier who referred me to the district manager. The district parts manager asked me to take a few digital pictures of the misfit and send them to him to forward onto the manufacturer. Within 24 hours he authorized the aftermarket parts manufacturer to pay 100% of all the body & paint labor, including paint
supplies. We then reported the potential catastrophe to the insurance company who authorized us to install an OEM bumper. We proceeded with completing the repairs. A couple of weeks later we received payment in full for $653.93 from the aftermarket parts supplier. The insurance company even commented on how well we handled potential part warranty replacement crisis. This could have turned ugly if we choose to involve a less reputable aftermarket part supplier whose warranty did not conform to full reimbursement for parts and labor. By choosing carefully your suppliers part sales warranty, you will experience increased productivity and retained shop profits. May you all receive many “PERFECT FITTING PARTS” and added income to your bottom line!
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“The second, ‘kina’ole,” means flawless-as in doing the right thing for the right reason with the right feeling. Most individuals can, and will, do the rights things; but it is the deep feelings in our heart that makes us to things, for the right reason. This year’s winners embody the meaning of both these words.” Below is a summary of this year’s awards, their recipients, and the achievement being recognized.
Humanitarian Award: Toby Chess This award recognizes an individual or group within the industry whose efforts advance the industry through support of humanitarian activities in their community outside the industry. As one of the industry’s premiere instructors, Toby Chess has a long history of providing enlightening information in an entertaining, thoughtprovoking way. In all that time, he has never lost sight of the individual’s role in the community and the ability one person has to make a difference for those who need it most. Toby spent much of 2010 travelling the nation, educating first responders on the technological advancements in today’s vehicles and delivering the knowledge they need to respond to emergency situations quickly and efficiently, in order to keep themselves and vehicle occupants safe. Toby’s community service didn’t stop there. During the holidays he led a team of “Santa’s helpers” to donate toys and gifts to families of U.S. Marines. These presents included over 100 new bicycles, four SUVs, a 12passenger van, two cars and a giant box truck filled to the brim with toys. “Toby truly leads by example,” noted SCRS Past Chairman Gary Wano. “We thank him for his generous spirit and his dedication to helping those less fortunate.”
Collision Industry Non-Individual Service Award: Collision Hub This award recognizes contributions to the collision repair industry that originate at a corporate or company level. Collision Hub has served as a catalyst for the explosion of inter-industry dialog upon the national scene. A premier professional networking site for the collision repair industry that deploys a suite of modern communi-
cations technologies, including live Web broadcasts of industry meetings, Collision Hub has been extremely effective at helping associations like SCRS expand their message to a greater audience. Collision Hub, and its founder Kristen Felder, are prime examples of service to the industry.
Affiliate Association Award: The Houston Autobody Association (HABA) The Affiliate Association Award recognizes an SCRS affiliate that exhibits exemplary actions on behalf of the collision repair professional. The recipient of this year’s award was selected based on the volume of feedback from SCRS’ other affiliate associations as the Houston Auto Body Association mixed their vigor for ad-
vancing their market with some out-ofthe-box thinking to achieve greater transparency in their state’s claims settlement practices. Working with the Texas Insurance Department, and solicited participation from the entire market, they facilitated a documented survey of carrier practices and made them available to the public. The initiative’s success sparked interest from our other associations interested in creating greater transparency in their own areas toward the ultimate goal of improved understanding of the carriers’ processes in a non-legislativeway that brought benefit to all repairers.
Regional Lifetime Achievement Award: Eddie Kizenberger For decades Ed Kizenberger has
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worked on behalf of the collision repair industry in his native New York. He founded the New York State Auto Collision Technicians Association and the Long Island Auto Body Repairers Association, and serves as executive director for both. In addition, the Northeast Leadership Meeting would not exist without his influential involvement. He has broken significant barriers regarding legislation at his state capital by showing lawmakers that the collision repair industry is not afraid to voice its opinion and stand up for itself. He has never hesitated to assist other states or associations when a helping hand is needed. “Ed is never shy to roll up his sleeves to display the leadership and See SCRS Awards, Page 20
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Indiana Shop Owner Favors Chief for Quality, Durability & Support by Ed Attanasio
Jimmy Lefler owns and operates five extremely busy body, mechanical, and glass shops based in Evansville, Indiana, that are repairing more than 200 cars per week, juggling eight DRPs, employing 80 people and doing approximately $9 million in annual sales. So, when it comes to purchasing equipment to run his shops, CEO Lefler expects that his machines will perform day-after-day without breaking down or requiring extensive maintenance. That’s why he’s been buying his racks, computerized measuring systems and lifts from Chief Automotive Technologies, a leading manufacturer of pulling, measuring, anchoring and vehicle specification products. Lefler is a third-generation body shop owner whose grandfather, Leroy, founded Leroy’s Paint & Fender Repair as a dirt floor garage in 1952. Times have changed. For almost 60 years, Lefler has been a household name for fixing cars in the tri-state area on the borders of Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. Leflers has been winning national awards for the family’s contributions to the collision industry, while expanding and succeeding in a very competitive market with more than 60 body shop/collision centers listed in the southern Indiana region. Jimmy started working in the family’s business in 1986 in the parts department. “I did it all in the beginning—fixed cars, washed vehicles, worked as an estimator and cleaned floors—anything and everything to learn the business. In 1996, I bought out my father and starting running the operation,” he said. The Lefler family has had a longterm mutually beneficial relationship with Chief, he said. “We bought our first rack from them in 1982, after we saw their demonstration. That was the key, because it was very informative and they showed us everything that the machines could do. We have one Chief machine right now that’s been here for 18 years and it’s still going strong. It’s paid for itself several times over, that’s for sure. Today, we own three Chief measuring systems, four racks and a drive-over lift/pulling system.” Chief Automotive Technologies started manufacturing its first pulling systems in 1972, and it rapidly became a leader in the industry. The company has stepped up over the years, driving technology changes, including the introduction of computerized measuring systems and comprehensive vehicle specifications.
SHOP & PRODUCT SHOWCASE Lefler Collision & Auto Glass Centers
Location: Evansville and Newburgh, IN
Telephone: 812-423-4044 www.leflers.com Company At A Glance...
Type: Collision & Mechanical Repair Facility Employees: 80
In Business Since: 1952 DRP Programs: Eight
Number of Locations: Three collision body shops & two mechanical/glass shops
Lefler Auto Body Tech Rodney Blandford works on a vehicle using the shop's Chief Impulse frame rack, one of the Chief machines that Lefler counts on to repair approximately 200 cars weekly
Lefler’s VP/Operations Manager Ed Dietz praised Chief’s exemplary customer service for keeping his techs informed and productive while they are working with the manufacturer’s machines. “Our techs can get a Chief technical person on the phone immediately, and that’s critical,” Dietz said. “It allows my technicians to resolve their issue and stay productive, which is so important to our cycle times. If they have to sit on hold or wait to get a call back, that’s time that’s been lost.” Roger Tutt, production manager for Lefler’s Evansville North shop, has consistently received fast and accurate information from the Chief customer service team whenever he has needed it. “They make it easy. The only time I ever need technical service from Chief is a computer-related issue, and the technical service hotline walks me right through it every time,” he said. “The ability for a Chief technical person to log in remotely to see what the tech is looking at on the Genesis computerized measuring system computer is a ‘game changer’ for service.” Lefler has all his techs trained by Chief, he said, to ensure that they know every detail involved in the operation of these machines. “We recently brought Ken Soupene, a Chief instructor, on-site for a week of training for all of our technicians. It was great, because all of our employees were able to go through the training in a real-world setting, without costing us a decline in production or cycle times”. A big part of what Chief brings to the equation for Lefler is its training,
which allows techs to get certified and earn I-CAR credits in the process, Lefler said. “They make the training very effective and comprehensive,” Lefler explained. “It’s topnotch all the way. Soupene is one of the best instructors we have ever encountered from any company, and he taught most of my techs how to work these machines.” Chief’s support starts with training and continues after the sale via the company’s equipment reps on the ground, Lefler said. “Mark Lee is our equipment rep and he has proven to be one of the best we have ever worked with,” Lefler said. “He’s very responsive and is always readily available to answer any questions after the sale. Customer service is a big deal, because we’re using these Chief racks on a daily basis, and we work them hard. So, we need to have a guy like Mark who knows these machines inside and out and is dedicated to servicing our needs. I know that if we need a part in a hurry, he’ll drive it over here, even though his company is in Indianapolis, a 3.5-hour ride from here. That’s the kind of customer support we’ve been getting from Chief and reps like Mark.” Lee, owner of Lee Equipment, has been selling Chief equipment to Lefler for the past five years, and has a long history with the manufacturer, he explained. “Chief doesn’t make cheap machines, but the quality is there and the products’ longevity and durability is the proof. I have customers who are still using the same Chief machines that they bought 35 years ago.”
Combined Production Space: 47,800 square feet (combined)
All of Lefler’s shops are busy day and night, doing $9 million in annual sales despite a rocky economy
Jimmy Lefler is a third-generation body shop owner who owns five locations in Southern Indiana
Chief Automotive Technologies Phone: (800) 445-9262 email: email@example.com website: www.chiefautomotive.com
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 19
Continued from Page 18
creativity necessary to succeed,” said SCRS Immediate Past Chairman Barry Dorn. “He stands up for the rights of the consumer and repairer because it is the right thing to do; he doesn’t take ‘no,’ for an answer. I have learned a lot from him, as has our membership and the industry. He’s an invaluable resource.”
Special Recognition: Greg Coccaro There are years in which SCRS finds individuals deserving of recognition, yet are hard to fit into a specific category. In those cases, SCRS presents a “Special Recognition.” While we all strive to live honestly, lead by example, and like to think we would do the right thing in the face of adversity, Greg Coccaro has proven over the past year that he does. In the past year his character has been put to strenuous test, and he has come through-despite some significant struggles-placing his personal and professional integrity at the fore-
front of his life’s decisions. Where the less steadfast would have faltered, Greg wasn’t afraid to put it all on the line. For his dedication and tenacity of spirit SCRS acknowledged him with this very special award. Collectively this year’s award recipients, through a variety of accomplishments, represent the best of the best that the collision repair industry has to offer. “It’s satisfying to be able to devote this night to those individuals who set a positive tone for our profession and serve as an inspiration for us as we move forward,” added SCRS Chairman Aaron Clark. “Their enthusiasm for the industry is infectious, and as a result they motivate us to give our best as well.” In addition to the recognition of individual acheivments, SCRS was fortunate to also honor and thank those that make the association’s efforts throughout the year possible. As a token of appreciation, SCRS provided its long list of Corporate Members with a specific mention of gratitude and a commemorative display to recognize the ongoing support received by these corporations.
Calif. Has One-Fifth of All U.S. Questionable Insurance Claims PropertyCasualty 360.com has reported that in the last three years, California has seen a 9-percent increase in the number of questionable claims (QCs) reported, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). Dominated by questionable vehicle thefts and faked/exaggerated injuries, these QCs are referred to the NICB by the more than 1,100 member insurance companies and require at least one (and as many as seven) indicators of possible fraud. “California sees the most, by far, vehicle thefts per year,” said Frank Scafidi, director of public affairs for NICB. “Many of these are what we call ‘owner give-ups;’ thefts reported to police by owners who actually had a role in the vehicle’s disappearance.” Scafidi added that faked/exaggerated injuries are dominating not only California’s fraud activity, but all of the fraud we see across the country. “A lot of people will seize upon an auto collision as a means to seek illegitimate or excessive payments,” Scafidi said. The claims in Calif. made up just nearly 50,000 of the 250,350 QCs across the country between
2008 and 2010, though were few in comparison to the 235,000 claims reports that are submitted to ISO daily. When it came to policy type for California QCs, the most common (54 percent) was personal automobile, with other common policy types being personal property, workers’ compensation and employer’s liability, and commercial automobile. The most frequently used referral reasons for these QCs were questionable vehicle theft and faked/exaggerated injury followed by fictitious loss, prior loss/damage, and faked damage. Additionally, the most common overall QC loss types were bodily injury, theft, collision, bodily injury relating to automobiles, and vandalism and malicious mischief. The cities posting the most QCs were Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, and San Jose, comprising nearly 25 percent of QCs from 2008 to 2010. In all three years, Los Angeles far outweighed the other cities with between 1,500 and 2,000 QCs each year. Even in second place San Francisco, between 500 and 650 QCs were reported annually.
20 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Tornado Strikes Toyota KY Parts Plant A tornado struck a manufacturing plant on the southeast side of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, on April 4, tossing pieces of the roof, collapsing part
TGASK sustained damage to the east side of the plant after the tornado
of the aluminum structure and injuring seven people, officials said. The plant, Toyoda Gosei Automotive Sealing Kentucky (TGASK), makes weatherstripping for Toyota vehicles. The plant is located between Hopkinsville and Pembroke, Kentucky. About 184 employees were inside TGASK when the storm arrived shortly before noon, said Paul Ray, spokesman for the Hopkinsville Po-
lice Department. None of the injured had lifethreatening injuries, said spokeswoman Jessica Beckham of Jennie Stuart Medical Center. Ray said the injuries were mostly bumps and bruises. Tornado watches were in effect the rest of that night in portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, northwestern Florida, most of Alabama and northern Georgia, including Atlanta. Severe thunderstorms were moving through and flood warnings were issued in some areas. Numerous trees and power lines were down across the area, the Sheriff's Office said. “It could have been a lot worse,” Ray told CNN. The plant was “very fortunate that at that time, there were very few injuries, and only minor injuries.” All employees had been accounted for, he added. The full affect of the damages to the building and its possible affect on production at the plant have not been fully disclosed.
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Gunder’s Loses Appeal to State Farm in FL—Court Says ‘Even False’ Claims are Priviledged On April 7th, 2011 the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld a lower court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of State Farm Insurance in Gunder’s Auto Center’s claim against the nation’s largest personal auto insurer for slander and tortious interference with a business relationship. (See Autobodynews.com for background.) To recover for slander in Florida, the claimant must show (1) publication of a false statement; (2) about the plaintiff; (3) to a third party; and (4) damage resulting to plaintiff from the publication. To state a claim for tortious interference in Florida, the claimant must show (1) the existence of a business relationship; (2) knowledge of the relationship on the part of the defendant; (3) an intentional and unjustified interference by the defendant; and (4) damage from the breach of the relationship. The court found that, “although denied by State Farm, we assume the statements allegedly made by State Farm disparaging Gunter’s were made and are untrue. Nonetheless, we agree with the district court that State Farm’s statements were privileged: Under Florida law a privileged statement is one in which “A communication made in good faith on any subject matter by one having an interest therein, or in reference to which he has a duty, is privileged if made to a person having a corresponding interest or duty, even though it contains matter which would otherwise be actionable. The court continued: “Because all statements were made to State Farm insureds in the context of a claim under a State Farm insurance policy, and because all statements concerned a matter of mutual interest to the insureds andState Farm—the quality, timeliness and costs of vehicles repairs—the statements were privileged. The privilege raises a presumption of good faith on the part of the speaker, but the privilege is not absolute. The privilege is forfeited if the statements are made with express malice: [w]here a person speaks upon a privileged occasion, but the speaker is motivated more by a desire to harm the person defamed than by a purpose to protect the personal or social interest giving rise to the privilege,
then it can be said that there was express malice and the privilege is destroyed. Gunder’s failed to proffer sufficient evidence of express malice to raise a material issue of fact for a jury. The statements of which Gunter’s complains—even assuming their falsity—supports no inference of malice, and Gunter’s failed to proffer extrinsic evidence of express malice. Summary judgment was due on Gunder’s slander claim. On the tortious interference claim by Gunder, the court ruled “Gunder’s makes no allegation that State Farm interfered with customers or prospective customers of Gunder’s who were not State Farm insureds. As a matter of law, “[t]here can be no claim [for tortious interference with a business relationship] where the action complained of is undertaken to safeguard or promote one’s financial or economic interest.” The court continued, ““[u]nder Florida law, a defendant is not a stranger to a business relationship, and thus cannot be held liable for tortious interference, when it has a supervisory interest in how the relationship is conducted or a potential financial interest in how a contract is performed.” Gunder had argued in court that State Farm had lost the priviledge because it used improper means, but was unable to prevail because the testimony detailing the improper means had earlier been stricken from the court’s records. The court continued, “ On appeal, Gunder’s cites—for the first time— [a paragraph in the] amended complaint to claim it pleaded improper means. Even if Gunder’s has preserved this argument, the only arguably improper means Gunder’s alleged are the statements Gunder’s claims State Farm made to its insureds about the costs, quality, and timeliness of Gunder’s repairs. These statements are the same statements upon which Gunder’s grounds its slander claims. Even assuming the falsity of those statements, as earlier discussed, those statements were privileged; they fail to show the improper means needed to defeat State Farm’s privilege against a tortious-interference claim.” Ray Gunder, the founder of Polk County’s Gunder’s Auto Center,
22 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
a 43 year-old auto collision repair and mechanical shop, made the following statement after the judgment was delivered: “Last night, after getting the court’s decision, I re-read it and just sat in disbelief just staring at it for hours. Is it really possible in this country for a huge conglomerate like State Farm to attack my small business with what are known to be outrageous lies and be considered legally privileged? “As I understand it, the legal rule is that the so-called ‘privilege’ is forfeited if derogatory and defamatory comments re made with ‘Express Malice.’ “To be considered ‘Express Malice’ one would need to reach the level of calling me and/or my family murderers and rapists. “State Farm came after us in 2004 in an attempt to silence my voice by attacking our company’s reputation in our community and their attempt to financially destroy our business by steering customers away with totally untrue and outra-
geous lies… and that, according to the court, at least in my case… is legal!? This ruling is justice? “It’s important to understand that if this ruling stays; every honest and ethical shop owner in the industry is in jeopardy of similar efforts against them if they don’t fall in line and do as they’re told by this megalith insurer and other insurers who may chose to follow suit! Continued Gunder, “This ruling is scary for all of us. Although this is but one ‘leg’ of my legal journey to correct the harmful and predatory practices of some insurers, it’s a very bitter pill to swallow! “Know this; I’ve been knocked down but I’m not knocked out. I’m going to continue to “pound that rock” and find the justice that I believe exists in our legal system! While I’m not a poker player, the term ‘I’m all in’ is indeed applicable as I’m too far invested in time and finances to quit now and I’ve never been one to see a wrong and not try to make it right and with the See Gunder Appeal, Page 24
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When it Comes to Cars, Men Buy Looks, Women Seek Practicality
TrueCar.com has released a refreshed demographic study based on car-buying behavior in 2010, examining gender differences in auto buying. TrueCar.com’s study was based on over eight million retail purchases in 2010. “The study shows that women car buyers are more cost-conscious and purchased fuel-efficient vehicles while male buyers were completely the opposite, purchasing vehicles that were either big and brawny, like a large truck, or chose a high-priced, high-performance vehicle,” said Jesse Toprak, Vice President of Industry Trends and Insights at TrueCar.com.
Some of the key findings of the TrueCar.com study include: ● The brand with the highest percentage of retail sales to females in 2010 was MINI (47.9 percent), followed by Kia (46.8 percent), and Honda (46.0 percent) compared to 2009 when Saturn and Kia tied at 45.2 percent and MINI came in third at 45.0 percent. There were fifteen brands with a female ratio over 40 percent in both 2009 and 2010. ● The highest percentage of male buyers primarily purchased exotic brands. There were five brands in 2010 at 10 percent or less for retail sales to women, including Ferrari (6.4 per-
Continued from Page 22
best legal representation one could hope for, we will continue to move on. “What one doesn’t find in this decision is one of the most important parts; State Farm speaking improperly and slandering Gunder’s “once” is privileged in the courts opinion, but speaking lies “over and over” again knowing they are lies is indeed “Express Malice”, said Ray Gunder. “We will prove that State Farm has continuously committed Slander with Express Malice and have done so regularly with an evil intent. “I believe with right there’s might and Gunder’s will press on and we will begin by giving serious consideration to submitting a request for a review and appeal with the United State’s Supreme Court.” A copy of the court’s ruling may be found at: http://www.courtlistener.com/ call/26Fy/gunders-autocenter-v-state-farm/ In another lawsuit the shop has pending against the insurer in Polk County Court, a judge has granted the shop's request to compel State Farm to make documents and a number of witnesses available to the shop's attorney as part of the discovery process. Among those that shop attorney A. Brent Geohagan seeks to depose in the case are representatives of at least eight repair shops that serve State Farm insureds in Polk County.
cent), Lotus (7.2 percent), Lamborghini (7.4 percent), Maybach (8.0 percent), and Rolls Royce (9.3 percent) compared to 2009 when there were six brands; including Bugatti (0 percent), Maybach (3.7 percent), Ferrari (5.1 percent), Lamborghini (5.5 percent), Rolls Royce (8.0 percent), and Aston Martin (9.0 percent). ● The top ten models that had greater than 50 percent retail sales to females and at least 1,000 annual retail sales in 2010 were: Volkswagen New Beetle, Kia Spectra, Nissan Rogue, Volkswagen Eos, Hyundai Entourage, Volvo S40, Jeep Compass, Honda CR-V, Nissan Sentra, and Hyundai Tucson.
– The top ten models that had greater than 50 percent retail sales to males and at least 1,000 annual retail sales in 2010 were: Porsche 911, GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-Series, BMW M3, Ford Ranger, Toyota Tundra, Dodge Ram and Audi S5. TrueCar.com also examined the most current market prices and listed discounts for all of the brands and specific models that were tracked with over 1,000 vehicle sales annually.
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Legislation To Expand California’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Introduced in State Assembly Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco and San Mateo Counties) announced legislation March 24 to provide market certainty for the infrastructure that is needed to support California’s electric vehicle consumer fleet. The legislation, Assembly Bill 631, will place into law a decision by the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to not regulate electric vehicle charging stations as utilities. Assemblywoman Ma is joined at the press conference by the San Francisco Environment Department, Environmental Defense Fund, Plug in America, the San Francisco California Apartment Association and the California Business Properties Association. “Electric vehicles are the next generation of fuel for California’s green economy,” said Assemblywoman Ma. “AB 631 will provide the infrastructure to support President Obama’s goal of putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.” “Plug-in electric vehicles are the future of clean transportation, and we
Are Southern Auto Workers Disinterested in Unions?
Major foreign automakers have been placing their US factories in the south, including Montgomery, AL, due to the generous state and local incentives as well as a workforce that is resistant to unions, according to the Los Angeles Times. Montgomery is the home of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLC. UAW organizers are currently attempting to persuade southern-located companies to let the union make its case to workers. The paper reports, for example, that members of the United Auto Workers tried to lure HMMA employee Deric Golden into signing a union card, an offer he declined. UAW President Bob King wants Hyundai and the other companies to agree to a set of organizing principles for “fair elections” that will allow the union to make its pitch to employees in a setting that's free of workplace “tension, fear and discord,” according to the report.
need to do everything we can to make it easy for cities, businesses and private citizens to site and install EV charging stations,” said San Francisco Environment Department Director Melanie Nutter. “Assemblywoman Ma’s bill will help make a vibrant EV market in California, and will go a long way towards creating a charging infrastructure that will combat range anxiety that might otherwise discourage potential EV drivers from giving up their gasoline cars.” “Electric vehicles are a true ‘game changer’ that can save drivers thousands of dollars in gas costs while reducing pollution and increasing our energy independence,” explained Wade Crowfoot, Regional Director of the Environmental Defense Fund. “Assemblywoman Ma’s bill recognizes this opportunity. It will help attract entrepreneurs to build charging stations while keeping alive a structure that is able to ensure electric vehicles advance both environmental and infrastructure priorities.”
Yancey Truck Centers Opens Macon, Ga., Location
Yancey Truck Centers opened its newest full-service International truck sales and service location in Macon, Ga. Located at 1320 Guy Paine Rd. Yancey Truck Centers’ Macon store is the fifth Yancey Truck Centers store operating in the state. The Macon location will provide middle Georgia with the parts, service and warranty for entire lineup of International Trucks products including heavy-duty, medium-duty and IC bus, as well as new and used trucks. The new location will support IdeaLease for renting and leasing trucks, as well as being an International authorized PartSmart dealer. International Fleet Charge will also be accepted at the Macon store for customer convenience. And as a fully authorized International, Cummins and Caterpillar dealer, the Macon store will serve a wide variety of customer needs. In addition to Macon, Yancey Truck Centers also operates in Albany, Blackshear, Tifton and Valdosta, Ga.
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Florida Autobody Collision Alliance (FACA) Hosts 1st Annual First-Responder Extrication Training including Fire Department personnel from the areas of Lakeland, Auburndale and Winter Haven on April 13. I-Car certified instructor; Steve Laszlo, was on hand to assist in the training and provided information on current vehicle construction technology and related materials. Training forcused on avoiding areas on newer vehicles where airbags or electrical components could pose a potential risk. Newer hybrid and allTraining Instructor Steve Laszlo electric vehicles can be dangerous for The Mid-State Chapter of the emergency personnel unfamiliar with Florida Autobody Collision Alliance the cars mechanics. (FACA) provided hands-on training to Activities took place at 6:30 pm at Central Florida area First-Responders All Pro Used Auto Parts, 1425 Old Dixie Highway Auburndale, FL 33823-9505. All Pro Used Auto Parts provided the example vehicles for the training. Food and beverage served to participants was also provided by Gunder’s Auto Center and Subs and Such of Certified first responders and firemen learn electrical and airbag Lakeland. ‘hot spots’ to avoid on newer vehicles
26 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
The Florida Autobody Collision Alliance is a State-wide association of collision repairers and is committed to the future of the collision repair industry. FACA’s mission is to provide the leadership needed to raise the professional image of the industry and to develop new industry leaders. FACA’s goal is to educate, inform and represent the collision repair professional in all aspects of the industry. For more information on FACA please visit: www.FACAFL.com or contact Ms. Cathy Mills, Executive Director via email at: email@example.com or by phone at (904) 994-6516.
The proper equipment used in real-life scenarios was used during the training
Firefighters were able to put the information learned to work right away with vehicles from All Pro Used Auto Parts
32-year-old N.J. Body Shop Embraces PPG’s Envirobase® HP Waterborne Basecoat by Ed Attanasio
The conversion to waterborne paint in states like New Jersey is a reality for body shops throughout the Northeast, because by 2012 regulations will likely mandate the use of the new paint. While some collision businesses are not enamored with the idea of changing the way they’ve been painting cars for decades, many are happy to say ‘goodbye’ to solvent and ‘hello’ to waterborne. Proactive shops that see the value in making the changeover before they’re forced to do so by law are jumping on the waterborne bandwagon right now. One of these proactive shops is Andrews Auto Body in Brick, New Jersey; a shop that has embraced PPG Envirobase® High Performance waterborne paint in a big way. If you live in or around Brick, you know the name Andrews. This second-generation body shop has been around since 1979, when Rich Andrews, Sr. started his small body shop and built a substantial customer base, many, many years before waterborne paint was even something to consider. But growth dictates new procedures. In August of 2009, Rich, Sr., and his whole family moved to a new, 6,000 square-foot facility. I say they all “moved” there because the entire family works for the business. Mom (Linda) is the front office manager, her oldest son Keith, 36, is the shop’s manager; Rich Jr., 31, is the shop’s lead painter and their sister, Jennifer, is the shop’s assistant office manager. And dad is still there, watching his sons as they take their shop to a new level—which includes waterborne. Since the move, Andrews has purchased a towing company and does a lot of work for the town of Brick, Keith Andrews said, which has provided a new source of revenue for the shop. Simultaneously, Andrews Auto Body made the changeover to PPG Envirobase® HP basecoat in their new, larger facility. The moves have paid off in a big way, because the shop is hitting better numbers than ever. “We’ve tripled our revenue since moving here and now we’re repairing 50–60 vehicles per month,” Keith said. “Switching to the PPG waterborne paint has played a big part of it. This year, we’re on track to do $1.4 million, which is very encouraging news, especially since we’re still in a recession and all the snow this winter didn’t help us either. We switched
SHOP & PRODUCT SHOWCASE Andrews Auto Body Location: Brick, NJ
Telephone: 732-920-3692 www.????.com Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: Nine In Business Since: 1979 DRP Programs: Four
Number of Locations: One
Combined Production Space: 6,000 square feet
It’s a family affair at Andrews Auto Body in Brick, New Jersey. From left, Rich, Jr. is the shop’s lead painter; his sister Jennifer is the assistant office manager; Rich, Sr. started the shop 32 years ago; his wife Linda runs the front office; and Keith Andrews manages the shop
over to waterborne to stay ahead of the game. We know we don’t have to do it until 2012, but we decided— since we’re moving—why not use the opportunity to do it now? The PPG rep convinced me that their Envirobase® HP waterborne would be a better way of doing things, so we made the move and we haven’t looked back. PPG Envirobase® HP is a great product and we’re happy with it for several reasons.” As lead painter it was particularly important that Rich Andrews, Jr. was 100% onboard with the switchover to PPG waterborne, because he is the shop’s only painter and runs the company’s paint department from the mixing station all the way to the paint booth. The whole changeover started with the training provided by PPG, both on-site and through their training center in Maryland. Rich, Jr. explained, “They trained me on the waterborne system in shop and then they sent me to Maryland for further training. Scott Pearson, from PPG was great and he made the transition painless. Our paint jobber, Albert Kemperle Paint and Body Equipment Inc., played a big role too. The PPG people were here several times and they stayed with us until we were totally comfortable with the paint and procedures. They walked us through the process until the result was perfect. We’d been using solvent since 1979, so this was a significant change, obviously. “It was a huge change, so I admit I was a little reluctant at first,” Rich, Jr. said. “But I didn’t have to re-
do one single car, to be completely honest. The color matches are spoton and the finished product is better than solvent. There was a very small learning curve, but once I got into the groove on how to spray it and dry it, it was a pretty smooth transition. Keith Andrews knows that PPG has been instrumental in improving his production system and he continues to be pleased by the company’s top-notch customer service. “PPG has done a great job in helping us be more productive in general,” said Keith. “Everyone with PPG has been excellent in every aspect of what they do for us. If I ask them or Albert Kemperle, my PPG jobber, I get it. They respond to me almost immediately in every case, which is great. That’s all you can ask from a paint company. PPG has played a very integral part in getting us to where we are now, so it’s been a great relationship.” Now that he’s been using the waterborne basecoat for almost 18 months on a daily basis, what does Rich, Jr. think of waterborne in general? “It may slow you down for a few minutes, but in the end you won’t be re-doing jobs, because the color matches are perfect. With Envirobase® HP, the finished product is better, with zero comebacks or complaints. They make the simple matches so simple and it has pretty much eliminated spray outs. I’m now doing 3–4 cars a day, and I don’t have to do even one single spray out. I’ve reached a point where I can just trust it.”
Lead Painter Rich Andrews, Jr. doesn’t have to re-do jobs by using PPG Envirobase® HP waterborne paint, he said, because the color matches are on the money 100% of the time
It may take a few more minutes to paint a car with waterborne vs. the old solvent days, Rich Andrews, Jr., said, but the finished product is superior in every way.
PPG Automotive Refinish Company Contact: Cindy Piazza Phone: 440-572-2800 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.ppgrefinish.com
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 27
Service, Service, Diagnostic Di Diagnostic gnostic and an nd d Mechanical M e chanical ch aniccal al NEWS Mec echanical Mech ech ec hanical ca
CALIFORNIA • NEVADA • ARIZONA
Verizon Unveils Hybrid and Alternative-energy Vehicles
Ford Motor Co. is recalling almost 1.2 million F-150 pickups and some Lincoln Mark LTs due to faulty air bags. Federal regulators have received hundreds of instances of inadvertent air-bag deployment, many of which have resulted in bruises, cuts and even a chipped tooth. Two drivers said they were knocked unconscious. Ford, however, said it is not aware of any accidents related to the glitch. The recall affects Ford trucks from model years 2004 through 2006. “If the clockspring jumper wire comes in contact with the driver side frontal air bag lower horn plate, the wire insulation may become chafed, creating a potential short circuit,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. Ford had resisted expanding the recall because the car maker didn’t see it as necessary, but it finally caved to pressure from regulators. “We understand the government’s desire to reach a broad group of potentially affected consumers and will recall the remaining population of trucks for our customers’ peace of mind,” a spokesman said.
Airbiquity to Supply Air-OverVoice Technology to Onstar
Airbiquity, a provider of wireless connected vehicle services, announced at CTIA Wireless in Orlando, the company’s selection to provide data-over-voice technology to OnStar’s retail product, OnStar FMV. OnStar’s mirror-mounted retail device will bring connected vehicle services to virtually any vehicle. “We’re exceptionally proud of Airbiquity’s eight-year relationship with OnStar, the leading brand in connected vehicles,” said David Jumpa, senior vice-president of global business development, Airbiquity. Currently available on more than 40 MY 2011 GM models, OnStar soon will be available for installation on most other vehicles already on the road through local electronics retailers, including Best Buy. “With our underlying technology, OnStar continues to offer an innovative and cost-effective range of services to drivers,” Jumpa said. “Adding OnStar to a car is now as quick and easy as installing a new rear-view mirror.” According to Airbiquity, OnStar FMV will be available for purchase from North American consumer electronics retailers in 2011.
Nissan’s Leaf Experiences A/C Sensor Problem
Ford’s Electric Focus Will Not Lease Lithium-Ion Batteries
NHTSA to Review Claim Corolla Air Bag Failed
Ford Expands F-150/Lincoln Recall Due to Airbag Flaws
Nissan Motor Co. said there have been a few reports of Leaf electric cars failing to restart after they have been turned off because of an air-conditioning sensor problem. “If this sensor is activated it will illuminate a warning light on the instrument panel and may cause the vehicle to not restart once it has been turned off. We are actively investigating to determine the root cause and what action is necessary to address the issue,” the company said in a statement. Nissan isn’t planning a recall because the problem isn’t a safety issue. The company says the cars won’t not stop running while being driven. Nissan says it is trying to “promptly address this issue.”
Ford’s new all electric Focus is ready to hit the market, however it will be sold without a leased-battery option. The lithium-ion battery pack will be included with the car and will not be leased separately. Awaiting customer reaction, Ford is convinced that leasing the batteries is not the right strategy. Leasing batteries would have brought the initial price down and many predicted that Ford ultimately would make the decision to lease batteries. The Focus has a 28kWh electric motor with a top speed of 84 mph. It will take around 4 hours to recharge the car, about half of what its main competitor, the Nissan Leaf, needs.
28 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Verizon showcased some of the newest energy-efficient additions to its motor vehicle fleet at an event attended by President Obama on April 1. Verizon, which has the third-largest corporate vehicle fleet in the nation, was among five companies recognized by the president for adding substantive numbers of green vehicles. Verizon displayed three of its latest energy-efficient vehicles at the event, which featured alternative-energy trucks and cars operated by some of the nation’s largest corporations. “We’re bringing environmentally friendly innovation and advanced technologies to our motor fleet operations,” said Jim Gowen, chief sustainability officer for Verizon. “By seizing the opportunity to help improve the environment, our vehicles are saving energy, reducing emissions and improving our greenhouse gas profile.” At the event, held in Landover, Maryland, Verizon displayed a hybrid Chevrolet pick-up, an all-electric Chevrolet Volt and a first-of-its-kind hybrid aerial-splicing vehicle. Over the past few years, the company has added hundreds of hybrid Toyota Priuses, as well as more than 500
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has agreed to review a petition claiming the frontal air bag of a 2008 Toyota Corolla failed to deploy during a crash. The agency said in a statement on its website that it received a petition that “the frontal air bags in their MY 2008 Corolla failed to deploy during a 55-mph frontal impact with a large animal (a deer). During this crash, neither the driver nor front passenger was seriously injured in the incident.”
compressed natural gas vans and 700 hybrid pickups. Verizon is the first communications company to engineer and deploy a hybrid fiber splicing unit. Because of their weight, these vehicles (commonly known as “bucket trucks”) usually consume significant amounts of fuel. To reduce fuel consumption, the company incorporated a hybrid engine and innovative, onboard batteries that assist in the vehicles’ acceleration, and power the bucket lift and lighting units. “We’re replacing less-efficient vehicles with transformational, energyefficient cars and trucks—a move that will have a long-term impact on reducing and improving fuel consumption and reducing pollutants,” said William Roberts, president of Verizon Maryland. “This event is a clear example of what happens when companies are allowed to innovate and deploy different technologies to meet their needs while achieving our shared environmentally positive goals.” Verizon was also the first company in the nation to deploy hybrid pickup trucks on a large scale, in a commercial setting. Last year, Verizon deployed more than 700 of these vehicles and plans 300 more units in 2011.
Feds Open Probes of Imprezas and Sorrentos
Federal regulators have opened two new auto safety investigations into Subaru Impreza and Kia Sorento vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it opened an investigation into 50,000 2011 Kia Sorento SUVs. NHTSA said it has received four complaints alleging a loss of power because of a sudden failure of a transmission intermediate driveshaft. Another five complaints allege a loss of power because of transmission failure that could be related to a driveshaft failure.
This is a new story by Scott “Gonzo” Weaver as posted on his website, www.gonzostoolbox.com. See his book “Hey Look! I Found The Loose Nut”, which provides a Good Laugh for Mechanics of Any Age. The book is available at amazon.com. Contact Gonzo at Gonzosae@aol.com
A Day to Reflect—On the Other Side of the Bookstore Counter with Gonzo Weaver
Sometime ago I had my first book signing at a local book store: Steve’s Sundry—Books and Magazines. It’s a landmark bookstore in town. Everyone knows Steve’s place. It’s been in town for more than 60 years. It’s a great place for a large malt at the soda fountain, or to browse around the store to find a good book. I’m not a well known author; I’m a mechanic/technician who wrote a book. I really didn’t think there would be a crowd of potential buyers and admirers at the book signing. I’m not that naive to think I would be bringing in a flood of new customers to the book store. So, instead, I used the time to study the people that came in and out of the store. What a wonderful place, a book store. In the back of the store is an old counter with a bar and several bar stools. The counter, the soda fountains, and the bar stools are all
original 50’s decor. With malt shakes and great sandwiches. You could take the whole day to browse for books while sipping on a shake or coffee. It’s a very pleasant place, nostalgic and modern at the same time. One regular customer sitting at the end of the bar was sipping away on his coffee while texting messages on his Blackberry. On the other end there was an old couple who appeared to be in their 70’s reading the paper and browsing a book or two. I could see this Norman Rockwell painting of them pictured there for probably the last 40 years doing the same thing. My place for the day was at a little table next to the register. A large stack of my books was neatly spread
across the table. People would walk by, glance, and smile. The owner of the store would make short references to my book and try to get people interested in talking to this so called “author” sitting there all solemn and quiet. The register was busy with small book purchases and a few patrons from the bar. Very home spun and relaxing, a lot of ‘hellos’ and “how’s the weather” comments throughout the afternoon. Some people would ask about the football game coming up and others would want to know where a certain book was. All this was going on while I sat there patiently waiting for the clock to roll around to my designated leaving time. Not that I wanted to leave, oh no, I was enjoying the atmosphere and the quiet nature of the daily workings of the store.
That brings me to the thought that crossed my mind. Are these the same people that come to my shop with an attitude and misconceptions of the auto industry? Probably so. I have often wondered if it’s my attitude that brings out the worst in people, but, the whole time I was sitting there I was still the mechanic. I was still the guy they needed to fix their car. However these people didn’t know me as such. I was an unknown author signing books. When someone would ask about my book I would tell them that it was a book about people and the daily happenings at my repair shop. That it was funny, but informative, and you would definitely get something out of it. If you knew a person in the auto industry this would make a great gift and they would get a great kick out of reading it too. Well, See Day to Reflect, Page 37
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 29
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Publisher’s Page with Jeremy Hayhurst
Jeremy Hayhurst is a former geologist, university science publisher, and now newsmagazine owner who started working in a body shop in high school. Contact him with your ideas and suggestions at email@example.com
PPG’s MVP Spring Conference—Excellent, Entertaining and Informative PPG hosted its invitation-only Spring 2011 MVP Conference in Palm Springs at the spectacular Rancho Las Palmas Resort March 27 through 29. The theme of the conference was ‘Journey to Excellence’ and excellence on many levels was provided for more than 350 fortunate PPG customers and special guests in attendance.
Jim Berkey, Director of Business Solutions for PPG Refinish, introduced the keynote speakers
Imagine a collision repair training event that combines a golfing retreat at a top-notch Southern California resort, high-end illusionists and magic tricks, nationally known motivational speakers, excellent and abundant food, and of course, serious and substantial shop management training. Add in a spectacular location, beautiful weather, and an intimate cocktail party—with live music—to introduce a continuous two-day trade show, and it’s hard to imagine a collision shop owner who wouldn’t want to be part of it. Take note, industry, this is the way to hold a collision and refinish conference that leaves the attendees wondering what can possibily be done next year to top it. But it wasn’t just fun and games. In fact a good deal of the fun and games were designed with a serious purpose in mind, either to illustrate good and bad thought habits impacting business, or to invite introspection about running a collision
business in an era of change and uncertainty. Clearly a lot of planning, refinement, and foresight went into designing the curriculum that drives the MVP Business Development Series from PPG. The MVP program is a series of business development training courses covering every aspect of running a successful and profitable collision center. Add to that, the opportunity to attend MVP round table forums where participants brainstorm with their peers on ways to reduce cycle time, increase productivity and improve in areas where they might be underperforming, and the full import of the program comes together to benefit the shop, its employees, and its customers. Jim Berkey, Director of Business Solutions for PPG Refinish,and Norm Angrove, Senior Manager of
Business Solutions was the first program of its kind in the collision repair industry. Since then, thousands of collision center owners and managers have taken advantage of MVP’s innovative programs to improve the way they run their businesses. Said Berkey, “In anticipation of industry consolidation five years ago, we started rebuilding our programs. It was clear to us that the industry was going to demand stronger performance around quality cost and speed. Feeling good about the training received and feeling good about their paint supplier was not going to be enough.” “Our mission was to address cycle time reduction, the hardest metric to improve, by improving understanding about what really impacts cycle time.” Both Berkey and Angrove eloborated on what success means to PPG
From top left clockwise: The beautiful Rancho Las Palmas Resort; l to r: Shop Owner Tom Bissonnette (Parr Auto Body), Norm Angrove (PPG) and Jim Berkey (PPG); Bottom photos: Over 30 vendors participated in the Vendor Fair which was well attended by the participants.
PPG Value-added Programs, explained over lunch that, when introduced more than a decade ago, MVP
The conference kicked-off with a Golf Tournament. The winning 4-some shot a 63 (l to r) Ed Carwile, Chuck Anderson, Benjamin Mahoney and Walter Hughes 32 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
and a great deal of their motivation stems from helping shops survive and thrive due to improved performance. Yes, it means keeping a customer who uses PPG product, but success really means helping that shop maintain its DRPs by helping them improve continuously. Berkey said that most shops (say 90%) know what’s wrong with their operations, roughly half of those know how to change (say 45%), but only half of
Michael McMillan, Author of “The Pink Bat” was one of the motivational speakers at the event. His key message was that “Imagination is more important than knowledge”
those again (say 20%) can actually accomplish the change. When asked about trends in DRPs during one of the sessions, Berkey responded, “Look at State Farm. State Farm has decreased its DRPs from around 20,000 to somewhere around 11,000. It’s just getting more competitive. Shops must work on performance if they want to be one of those shops in competitive programs.” The Keynote speakers at the event, introduced by Berkey, set the tone with an energetic talk by Greg Smith titled Fired Up, Leading Your Organization To Achieve Exceptional Results. Smith’s talk stressed that success increasingly depends on keeping your organization heading in the right direction and accelerating performance across the board. To truly succeed you need a high-energy workplace that boosts performance, generates more profits, increases sales and provides outstanding customer service. You must develop a plan that will generate measurable, bottom-line performance improvement results immediately. This will allow you to adapt to changing trends and manage shifts in markets, competition and customer preferences in a changing work environment. Another motivational speaker was Michael McMillan, Author of Pink Bat: Turning Problems Into Solutions who spoke engagingly on the nature of problems, and the fear of a “problem pandemic.” Using events from his childhood, McMillan directed the audience to see how many perceived problems are actually unseen solutions. You either live each
day in a world filled with “problems,” or invert your thinking to perceive a world of unseen solutions. The keynotes helped pave the way for the larger message that MVP Services is all about continuous process improvement. The success of any collision center, now and in the future, is critically dependent on its ability to compete for business and repair vehicles more quickly without sacrificing quality or increasing costs. It requires new thinking, new processes, and a work culture devoted to continuous process improvement. Most critical are the leadership skills of managers, supervisors and team leaders, and their ability to implement and sustain continuous improvement throughout the organization. MVP Leadership training sessions provide a systematic approach for giving attendees the skills required to implement change in their collision centers. The MVP Business Solutions program is designed to provide collision centres with an ongoing, realworld assessment of their performance as it compares to topperforming shops of similar size. Once this benchmarking analysis and bodyshop assessment is in hand, an owner or manager can identify any critical areas of their business that need to improve in order for the shop to reach its full potential. The first day of breakout sessions were devoted to a variety of shop performance topics such as: 360 Degree Marketing, Load Leveling, Value Stream Mapping, and The Lean Journey in Collision. The second day consisted of follow-up workshops that were more interactive in nature and gave attendees an opportunity to see what type of material would be covered in the full PPG MVP classes, which are offered throughout the year in various US and Canadian locations. PPG has worked with customers on implementing Lean for years, and has identified critical and necessary steps to go through to work successfully with customers. One of the breakout sessions, The Lean Journey in Collision—A Road Map to Implementation, presented by Jim Berkey and Randy Dewing, pointed out some unvarnished facts about Lean—that the failure rate while implementing Lean is far too high. This can be very discouraging. On the other hand, those successful in implementing changes to their shop culture and process performance can rest assured they will
enjoy a competitive edge that others will envy. Thinking Lean and actually implementing are two different things. There is no one specific path that everyone must follow to implement Lean and develop processes with less waste. Another session, Value Stream Mapping, was designed to see and align your organization around the greatest waste elimination opportunity. Collision center owners and managers know changes to their shop processes must be made to obtain improvement; however, change can be difficult. It is important that collision centers develop a way of routinely evaluating where their real next opportunity lies in eliminating waste from the collision center process. The workshop included exercises with participants using their own shop data to develop a value stream map to illustrate their performance. A comprehensive implementation plan can be used as a starting point for those who have not yet started a Lean journey or as a benchmark for those who are somewhere on the implementation journey.
This session focused on the different generations that comprise a body shops’s customers, and the different ways they need to be communciated with. The Boomer generation (those born 1946–1964) grew up with newspapers, the nightly news, and phone calls. The X, Y and Z generations grew up with computers and Internet and prefer text-based communications. As the session pointed out, the “Unshakeable Issues” for body shop owners are that they must learn to communciate with customers the way the customers want to be communciated with, and learning to use social media is critical to any businesses success. As the presenters pointed out, “It took newspapers 100 years to reach 50% penetration in US households, and social media has reached 50% househould penetration in only 4 years!” Load Leveling Load Leveling with Mark Mueller, Brett Bialowas and David Knapp, was an interactive workshop to help level the volume of work in the shop
The closing Gala Dinner was held outdoors on the 15th fairway in perfect weather
Another breakout session, a ‘360Degree Marketing’Workshop—Developing Your Plan, provided guidance on building a personalized marketing plan for your business. Led by the marketing experts of the MVP Business Solutions team, Norm Angrove and John Martin, the two-hour workshop addressed the practical tools collision center owners and managers can use in their business. Starting with a marketing template, each participant focused on a target audiences and marketing techniques to attract and retain customers, covering strategies and needs of connecting with the four generations in the marketplace, social media engagement, elevating the customer experience and new insurer communication opportunities.
by understanding simple models like the law of the funnel (Little’s law, see sidebar). Most if not all collision centers are faced with high levels of variation in the incoming work to the shop. There is the classic dilemma of pressure to take too many sets of keys based upon current levels of work in the shop versus the real fear of losing those keys to the competition. As cycle time became a critical measure we have learned more about the relationship between work in process inventory at the shop, and the cycle time at the shop. As we know, as car count increases, so does cycle time. Thus it is more important now than ever before to influence incoming work flow to any degree possible. The workshop looked at the impact that variation in
A Funnel as a Metaphor for Your Cycle Time
Little’s Law dictates what drives cycle time in any process. Think about a funnel which you want to put marbles through. What affects the amount of time—or cycle time—that it takes to get each marble from the top of the funnel out of the bottom? First is the size of the funnel opening, which controls how fast things come out. This is the output rate. The second thing is the number of marbles already in the funnel. If the funnel is full it takes more time to get the next one out. If the funnel is empty, the next one in comes out more quickly. This represents the “work-in-process” inventory. A collision center works the same way. The output rate—or cars per day—is dependent on the resources the shop has to get work done. A collision center process also has work-in-process inventory. And the more inventory the shop has, the longer it takes to get the next car through. In the past it was thought a good thing to have the “security” of a large backlog of work at the shop. It’s a natural feeling. Imagine a shop with 50 cars sitting on the premises and seven technicians. How many cars can one technician touch at once? One! So 43 cars are sitting untouched while we are touching maybe seven. The more cars we have in process, relative to the number of cars we can touch or finish in a day, drives up cycle time. So at some point the very cars that have been making us feel secure can make us less competitive. We are not saying ‘complete fewer cars.’ We expect to complete as many or more as before. We want to get better at working on fewer cars at one time and having fewer idle cars in the system not being worked on. Anyone who has been successful doing something a certain way for a long time runs the risk of hanging onto traditional ways too long when the model or the paradigm changes. Today, those who are most responsive to change will survive, and those are the ones who maintain quality, cost, and speed.
work volume and mix has on the process and explored practical work load leveling systems that have been successfully used within collision center businesses. Perhaps the most entertaining speaker of all was magician and comedian, Kevin King, who billed himself as a practitioner of Verbal Perception Manipulation (VPM) and a “Master of Information” as well as “master of doubletalk.” King used verbal bafflegab in his talk purporting to describe “federal securities
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 33
and accounting practices” but which soon devolved into a rapid fire nonsensical speech delivered deadpan until the audience could not help but burst into laughter. He proceded to amaze with prodigious feats of memorization, identifying hidden items while blindfolded, and some interesting variations on standard card tricks. Along the way he offered a few tips on how to use verbal perception manipulation (double-talk) to fend off those you’d rather not communicate with. Of course, King’s real message was that clear and real communication is the core ‘secret’ of business success. When you end this two-day extravaganza with a gourmet sit-down dinner catered on the fairway adjoining the last green on the golf course, you begin to understand why a chipping contest over a water hazard would be the appropriate prelude to dinner. A rat pack of tribute singers provided a fifties-era Vegas after-dinner show underneath a brilliant moon. It’s hard to imagine a better ending—or is it just a temporary conclusion—to an event that, at its heart, wants to be better and better over time.
A rat pack of 50s-era tribute artists finished off the event under a picture perfect desert full-moon
About PPG’s MVP Business Solutions PPG’s MVP Business Solutions offers the industry’s most widely-attended training programs for helping collision centers learn practical, proven ways to improve their process improvement and succeed in a highlycompetitive marketplace. The MVP Business Development Series offers over 12 courses, encompassing all facets of managing a profitable collision repair business—from estimating, administrative and organizational management to sales, marketing and production management. In addition, the MVP Throughput Performance Solutions Series includes MVP Green Belt Training, the industry’s most
comprehensive training program for implementing the practical application of Lean Six Sigma for collision repair. As a follow-up to Green Belt Training, the Business Development Series also offers training on Job Instruction, Job Methods and Job Relations—critical skills for implementing and sustaining change. Keys to the success of the MVP training programs are the dynamic course topics and realworld expertise and experience of MVP Certified Instructors.
MVP Job Relations Positive employee relations is a critical factor for operating a successful business - and even more critical when implementing new processes and plans for improving performance. This insightful course teaches practical skills for enhancing employee relations and preventing problems from arising, while also providing a strucutred method to objectively solve problems when they do arise.
MVP Job Instruction Good training sessions with proper in-
struction are critical to the success of stabilizing performance and sustaining change. This course teaches a strctured, proven way of training that can be employed in the workplace to ensure learning is retained and consistently applied in support of established process procedures. Particular emphasis is placed on the “Learn by Doing” principle, an effective method for ensuring that the employee retains the knowledge and skills required to do the job. MVP Job Methods Finding opportunities for improvement you can’t readily see is essential to ensuring continuous improvement. This course teaches how to make the best use of people, equipment and materials by focusing on how to break down a job and question its every detail. Participants are taught skills for combining, rearranging or eliminating steps within the job to create a new, more productive standard operating procedure.
Learn more about the MVP series by calling 866-237-8178 or emailing MVPmailbox@ppg.com.
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34 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
St. Philip’s College in San Antonio Rallies Around Skills-USA-Winning Classmate
Students in St. Philip’s College’s Collision Technology Department have created a Student Organization with officers rallying around one of their classmates, Raymond Tolosa, who placed first at the Texas Skills USA competition in Vehicle Refinishing. The organization also recognizes the achievements of Jose Palomo, who is also a St. Philips auto collision student and finished second in the competition. The students are starting a fundraiser for travel expenses for Tolosa to travel to the Skills USA Nationals in Kansas City in June. The students are also creating a letter announcing the formation of the Student Organization and its purpose including the benefit to the industry and students relating to Skills USA accomplishments. St. Philip’s College Auto Collision Repair Program is a 2 year state accredited program that offers students three options in their auto collision industry education and career path, including a 2 year Associates in Applied
Science degree, a Collision Repair Certificate and a Refinishing Certificate.
SPC Skills USA winners Jose Palomo and Raymond Tolosa
Tolosa is a Veteran of the armed forces, and after his service to his country decided to take advantage of the opportunity to go to college. “Mr. Tolosa is a Husband and fa-
ther of 3, he has shown and continues to show tremendous leadership qualities in our lab activities and classroom,” said Chris Beardsall, Faculty for Repair and Manufacturing and Auto Collision Technologies courses at St. Philip’s College. According to Beardsall, Tolosa enjoys working on vehicles and has excelled rapidly in the 9 months he has been attending classes. Tolosa’s Skills USA win was his first attempt in the Refinishing competition, earning for the first time in 6 years St. Philips Colleges representation in the nationals portion of the competition. Aside from the Skills USA competition, Tolosa has also stepped up and was elected the St. Philip’s Auto Collision’s Student Organization’s first Treasurer. “Raymond Tolosa works hard at everything he does and all the faculty and staff are very proud of his achievements thus far,” said Beardsall. More information can be found at www.alamo.edu.
Honda to Invest $94 Million in Alabama Plant
Honda plans to invest $94 million in its manufacturing facility in Lincoln, Alabama, and will add 20 jobs at the facility, according to reports made by Automotive World. The Associated Press, citing Honda spokesman Mark Morrison, said this investment will go towards increasing production capacity and improving the flexibility of vehicle and engine manufacturing. The Lincoln plant employs more than 4,000 people. According to the report, the Talladega County Commission approved tax abatements for the project on the night of 28 March 2011. The project is expected to be completed in mid-2012, according to the Associated Press. Honda Manufacturing of Alabama produces Honda’s Odyssey minivan, Pilot SUV, Ridgeline pick-up and V6 engines for these vehicles. This facility is Honda’s largest light truck production source. Up to now, Honda has invested more than $1.4 billion in the facility, which has annual output capacity of 300,000 vehicles and V6 engines. In February, the US accounted for production of 81,717 Honda vehicles.
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Gas Prices Take Toll on Miles Driven
With gasoline costing more than $3.50 a gallon in all but one state, there are signs that Americans are cutting back on driving, reversing a steady increase in demand for fuel as the economy improves. For five consecutive weeks, Americans bought less gas than they did a year earlier, according to MasterCard Spending Pulse, which tracks the volume of gas sold at 140,000 service stations. For the week of April 1, drivers bought about 2.4 million gallons less than they did one year earlier, or 3.6 percent. That was the biggest decline since December, when people were staying home because of snowstorms. Before the decline, demand was increasing for two months. Some analysts had expected the trend to continue because the economic recovery is picking up, adding 216,000 jobs in March. “More people are going to work,” said John Gamel, director of gasoline research for MasterCard. “That means more people are driving, and they should be buying more gas.” Instead, about 70 percent of the nation’s major gas-station chains say sales have fallen, according to a March survey by the Oil Price Information Service. More than half reported a drop of 3
Subaru Shows Off Impreza in 3-D at New York Auto Show Subaru of America, Inc. will debut the all-new Impreza at its New York International Auto Show news conference via 3-D video. In a show first, attendees will throw on some 3-D glasses so they can experience the lives of Subaru owners—from mud running, to yoga, to car driving—as its new model is revealed to the world. You can also catch the show in plain old 2D on Subaru.com. The Impreza is being touted as the most fuel efficient all wheel drive vehicle in America. Marking its best sales in company history, Subaru’s April 20th news conference will take place on the floor of the Jacob Javits Convention Center. percent or more, the sharpest since the summer of 2008, when gas soared past $4 a gallon. This year, gas prices have shot up as unrest in North Africa and the Middle East has rattled energy markets and increased global demand for crude oil squeezed supplies. A gallon of unleaded regular costs $3.77 on average, and only Wyoming has an average lower than $3.50. Gas is already 41 cents more expensive than at this point in 2008, when it peaked at $4.11 in July.
Microsoft and Toyota Join Forces in Telematics Venture
Microsoft and Toyota Motor Corp. have forged a strategic partnership and plan to build a global platform for TMC’s next-generation telematics services using the Windows Azure platform. Telematics is the fusing of telecommunications and information technologies in vehicles; it can encompass GPS systems, energy management and other multimedia technologies. The two companies plan to participate in a $12 million investment in Toyota Media Service Co., a TMC subsidiary that offers digital information services to Toyota automotive customers. The two companies aim to help develop and deploy telematics applications on the Windows Azure platform, which includes Windows Azure and Microsoft SQL Azure, starting with TMC’s electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2012. TMC’s goal is to establish a complete global cloud platform by 2015 that will provide affordable and advanced telematics services to Toyota automotive customers around the world. As part of its smart-grid activities, aimed at achieving a low-carbon society through efficient energy use, TMC is conducting trials in Japan of its Toyota Smart Center pilot program, which plans to link people, automobiles and
homes for integrated control of energy consumption. TMC believes that, as electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles become more popular, such systems will rely more on telematics services for achieving efficient energy management. Microsoft has a long history of delivering platforms and services to the automotive market, including incar infotainment systems built on the Windows Embedded Automotive platform, in-car mapping services with Bing and the Microsoft Tellme voice application, and many other consumer solutions. “Our announcement of our partnership with TMC is a great example of how we continue to invest in the automotive industry and of our commitment to power the services that are important to consumers,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “It further validates the power of the cloud, as the Windows Azure platform will provide the enterprise-grade, scalable platform that TMC needs to deliver telematics in its automobiles worldwide.” Said Akio Toyoda, president of TMC: “To achieve this, it is important to develop a new link between vehicles, people and smart center energy-management systems.”
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36 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Continued from Page 29
Day to Reflect
something like that anyway. Most of the time I would get a disagreeable hmmm in response. Others had that pondering look as if they were going back into their memory trying to find what was so funny about getting the oil changed on their car. And then walk away shaking their head. I didn’t find that in anyway offensive, or disrespectful. I found it to be a logi-
cal, and a very intelligent way for a person to state their opinion without saying much at all. I admire folks like this, the ones that can speak their minds without uttering a word. As each and every one of these patrons would checkout at the register they gladly paid for their things and gave a big thank you to the person behind the counter. I never heard one person ever ask “why does this cost so much”, “I think you shouldn’t charge so much for this sandwich”, “I know a place down the street that can do the
same thing for half of what you’re charging.” Now that’s funny, that’s pretty much what I hear every day. What gives? Oh, now don’t get me wrong, it’s not every customer that complains about the prices. I have many, many customers that are eager to pay for my time and service, even a few that think I’m not charging enough for what I do. I even have some that feel the need to leave a tip. It’s those that want to complain and complain and complain that irks me. I have even had some tell me
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that I should give them the part for what I paid for it. Does the book store give you the book for what they paid for it? Come on people. I wish I knew why it is the way it is, but for some reason perfectly sane people arrive at an auto repair shop and become tyrannical evil forces. Is it the smell of 90 weight oil in the air? Could it be the constant groan of pneumatic tools in the background? I wish I knew. Maybe after I retire I’ll take a job somewhere pleasant. Quiet, reserved, and ever so nostalgic. Yeah. Like a book store.
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www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 37
Continued from Page 1
Hibbs vs Allstate
In Hibbs v. Allstate Insurance Company the Insurer was found to have Properly Elected To Repair Insured’s Vehicle against the insured’s wishes and thereby Satisfied Obligations Under Policy By Electing To Repair Damaged Vehicle Instead Of Tendering Costs Of Repair To Insured
In February this year, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District issued a decision reversing the trial court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer and holding that when an automobile insurance policy provides the insurer with the option to pay for damages to or repair an insured vehicle, the insurer satisfies its contractual obligation by electing to repair damages even though the insured refused to authorize repairs. However, the Court of Appeal also held that the insurer can be liable in bad faith if it pays for repairs not authorized by the insured and then recovers from the tortfeasor (civil wrongdoer) in sub-
rogation because the subrogation action the Hibbs’ deductible. Allstate eventumay be prejudicial to the insured’s di- ally recovered the cost to repair plus the rect action against the wrongdoer. Hibbs’ deductible from Brooks’ insurer Harry and Jessica Hibbs’ van was in a subrogation action and sent the deinsured by Allstate Insurance Com- ductible to Hibbs, which they never pany. On April 13, 2004, the van was cashed. struck by a vehicle driven by Jerome The Hibbs filed a complaint Brooks and the front was substantially dam- “The parties cite no California case aged. The van was taken to a repair shop where on point, and we have found none. Jessica Hibbs signed an There will be one now.” authorization to repair —Justice P.J. Gilbert the van. The repair shop later estimated the cost to repair the van was $6,500. Jessica against Allstate alleging, among other Hibbs contacted Allstate and advised things, breach of contract and breach of that she believed the van was a total the implied covenant of good faith and loss and refused to authorize the re- fair dealing. The trial court granted Allpairs. state’s motion for summary adjudicaOn April 22, 2004, Allstate was tion as to the breach of contract and advised by the repair shop that Jessica breach of the covenant of good faith Hibbs had authorized the repairs, and and fair dealing claims and denied Allthat the repairs were substantially com- state’s motion for costs. Both sides plete. On May 3, 2004, after the van timely appealed. had been repaired it was driven into anThe Court of Appeals first afother car by a repair man and again suf- firmed the trial court’s determination fered front end damage. The Hibbs that a triable issue of fact existed as to refused to authorize repairs and refused whether or not the Hibbs authorized the to pick up the van. Allstate paid the re- repair of their van. The Court of Appair shop the cost to repair the van less peals cited to Business & Professions
Code section 9984.9 which requires, among other things, that an automotive repair dealer give the customer a “written estimated price for labor and parts necessary for a specific job... before authorization to proceed is obtained from the customer.” The Court of Appeal found that the authorization to repair the van signed by Jessica Hibbs was void under section 9984.9 because the repair shop failed to provide Jessica Hibbs with a written estimate prior to obtaining her written or verbal approval for the repairs. The Court of Appeal next addressed an issue of first impression in California – whether an insurer that has elected to repair a vehicle under an automobile insurance policy that provides it with an option to repair or pay the costs of repair, is relieved of its obligation under the policy by its insured’s refusal to authorize repairs. After considering decisions from other jurisdictions, the Court of Appeal held that where the policy clearly and unequivocally provides the insurer with the option to repair and the insurer chooses that option, the insured’s prevention of the insurer’s performance by refusing See Hibbs vs Allstate Page 44
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38 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
SUBARU 1450 South Shamrock Ave. Monrovia, California 91016
HONDA 1450 South Shamrock Ave. Monrovia, California 91016
Continued from Page 1
State Farm Parts
saying it had no plans to implement such a program nationally, but that it had found that electronic parts ordering “has value.” The Select Service agreement that participating shops must sign gives the insurer the right to require electronic parts ordering. As of yet there is no firm start date for the test. According to George Avery, State Farm claims consultant,
the company has yet to work out details about which Select Service shops will participate or what kind of technology will be used. “We don’t have a timeline and we don’t know where we’re going to test it,” Avery said. “Our intent is to give the repairer the choice of the type of parts they want to use. We’ll thoroughly test this solution before we roll it out to our shops, like we do all of our projects.” The goal is to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the parts or-
dering process to minimize returns and potentially increase the speed of repairs. State Farm could potentially benefit through reductions in rental costs and overall repair costs by eliminating supplements and returns. The first electronic parts program, which was designed based on an OE discounting program, ran from 2007 to 2009. “This is just the next step in the process,” Avery said. “We’re taking what we learned and applying that to improve efficiency,
get the right parts and possibly fix the car quicker.” Avery emphasized that this program was not conceived to control what kind of parts repairers should get or where they should get them from. “That’s our message: the choice will be in their hands. State Farm has a deep desire and commitment for repairers to be able to make those decisions.”
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Collision Repairers in Texas Mourn the Loss of Bob English—Founder, English Color
The collision industry lost one of its leading members at the end of March; James Robert “Bob” English, Jr., founder of English Color in the southern US. Bob was raised in Dallas, and took great pride in having graduated from Texas A&M University, Class of ‘46, with a Business degree. Bob was known by his friends for his love of a good Aggie joke, so Bob English much so that he was given the nickname “Aggie Bob”, which was how he was identified for decades. “Bob was just a core Aggie,” said Michael McCabe with English Color, “Our corporate office in Richardson flies the American flag and the Texas A&M flag right below it.” Bob was an accomplished businessman who founded English Color & Supply, Inc. in 1946. The company has evolved from selling
automotive batteries out of a panel truck to becoming one of the largest distributors of automotive paint and supplies with 41 locations in 6 states and representing products from over 100 suppliers. Even after Bob’s retirement, he continued to have an active role in an advisory capacity and strived to maintain a personal relationship with his dedicated employees. “For our 60th anniversary, Bob designed a gold coin to give to all the employees to thank them for helping him achieve 60 years. Along with a coin for every employee, (approximately 250) he gave each employee 60 brand new One Dollar Bills. Bob wanted to shake the hand of every employee (sales reps, managers, counter personnel, delivery drivers, etc) and thank them for their support,” said Jim English, Bob’s son and English Color’s current Chairman. English Color has locations serving customers in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas.
40 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
bor kid, then his grandson Jeff ... to round out the “family” business. Bob English made us all feel like family and we want to stay around,” said Monique Flener, Sales and Marketing Coordinator with English Color. English Color was originally known as English Bros. After graduating from Texas A&M Bob borrowed $1,100 from his parents to start his own business. The name “English Bros.” was chosen because two of Bob’s father’s brothers had a surplus sign by that Jim English (son, left), Bob English (middle), and Phil Burnett name that they had used (son-in-law, right) breaking ground on store # 2 in Dallas, TX in their business, and in March of 1983 they were no longer “This was his business, that beusing it. They let Bob use it at no cost. came a family business when his son Bob’s biggest investment when Jim and son-in-law Phil came on he started out was a half-ton panel board, then Robert our VP was a neightruck.
Phil Burnett (left) and Bob English (right) and one of English Color’s signature red delivery trucks at the Auto Collision Repair Show hosted by English Color – April 29-30, 1988 at the Dallas Market Hall
Bob’s father was Southwest Sales Manager for the National Battery Company, so that’s why he started out selling automobile batteries. Bob purchased the panel truck to carry inventory until he could establish a location, which he eventually found in Frisco, Texas. Bob fell into the paint supply business just as the battery supply part of the business began to grow.
He was exploring other automotive supply options when he decided to dabble in becoming a Paint Representative, and English Color Supply was born. Bob worked tirelessly as an active leader in the automotive industry and his community, in which he was honored to receive many distinguished awards.
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Allstate to Open 50 Agencies in Florida
Allstate Insurance says it wants to open nearly 50 new agency offices in Florida. About half of those openings will be in north Florida, the company said, according to reports made by Insurance Journal. “North Florida has shown incredible growth for our agencies,” says Bob Jackson, regional sales leader for Allstate’s Florida region based in St. Petersburg. “In order to meet the demands of our current and future customers, we’ve made a decision to expand.” Allstate estimates that each new office will mean multiple job opportunities for licensed staff, perhaps as many as 130 new jobs statewide. The agencies will sell auto, home and life insurance, according to a spokesman. Allstate began scaling back on its property insurance writings in Florida in 2005, after the severe hurricane season but it has shown renewed interest in Florida business lately. Last spring, it launched an effort to write about 50,000 new multiline policies and began looking into taking out policies from state-backed
Citizens Insurance Corp. In Florida, Allstate operates as Castle Key Insurance Co.and Castle Key Indemnity Co. Allstate changed the names of its Florida subsidiaries to Castle Key in July 2009. The insurer said the name changes were made in order to “better reflect the fact that these property companies are separately capitalized from Allstate Insurance Co.” The company has about 1,000 agents in the state. Allstate agents operate as independent contractors selling Allstate policies. They can own their own franchise while drawing on support and resources from the parent company. The company said there is no franchise fee associated with owning an Allstate agency, although candidates need to have $50,000 to $75,000 in liquid capital. The company says that money does not go to Allstate; rather it shows the new agency can pay for the normal operation costs associated with opening and running an agency. Visit www.insuranceagent.floridajobs.com for more information.
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3940 Cherry Ave., Long Beach, CA 90807 www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 41
Painting with Waterborne at John Force Racing by Paul Stoll, PPG Trainer
Robert won NHRA’s 2011 Winternationals. Proving PPG Envirobase High Performance is not only Fast in the paint shop but also Fast on the track
John Force Racing drivers have won the last five National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) events, dating back
into late 2010. You don’t do that without some body damage to your Ford Mustang Fuel Funny Cars. John Force Racing has been
using PPG’s Envirobase® High Performance waterborne basecoat on their cars for two years now. Envirobase® HP is very easy to use and repair, something that the paint team has the opportunity to do on more than one occasion—when things go bad on the racetrack. PPG waterborne basecoat dries to a thinner film than conventional solvent basecoats, helping the team keep the Ford Mustang bodies light. And PPG’s Envirobase® HP waterborne paint has helped John Force Racing go green. I had the opportunity to go to the team’s Brownsburg, Indiana shop earlier this winter and spend four days helping paint the Ford Mustang bodies for 2011. I worked with Dean Antonelli, one of John Force’s crew chiefs and general manager of the Brownsburg facility. Paint shop manager and graphic designer Brandon Baker, painter Dave Gregory and Jesse Knox were all part of the team.
Creating Robert Hight’s 2011 Ford Mustang Body Last year’s carbon fiber bodies are
stripped of the PPG clearcoat and most of the basecoat too, to keep the weight down. We used a PPG citrusbased paint remover for various reasons: first to be safe over the carbon fiber; second, it’s a green product that’s safe for the environment; and
White covered up with transfer tape
finally, the water-based stripper works better than the caustic type paint removers traditionally used. Envirobase® HP is a latex resin basecoat that is very flexible and resists solvents and chemicals. The paint that is not removed, as well as the exposed carbon fiber, are then sanded with 400 grit dry sandpaper.
Spot primed and sanded Mustang Body ready to move in to booth to spray PPG EHP Silver Metallic base coat
SAVE TODAY! Mon-Fri 8am - 5:45pm • Sat 8am - 1:45pm 2 Coats PPG EHP White base coat
With the first color sprayed and Dry for 30 minutes Brandon and Dave begin the masking process
Yellow Paint Mask Brandon cut helps keep the design the same on all John Force Racing 2 Mustangs
Ready to cover up the white with Transfer Tape, and spray Blue
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Sanding carbon fiber will expose the fibers, so sanding is kept to a minimum. Areas that require a body filler and any fuzzy carbon fiber exposed from over sanding are sprayed with PPG’s ECP A-Chromatic Surfacer. After drying, we sanded with 400 grit dry sandpaper, and finished with 600 grit. Envirobase® HP basecoats should be sprayed over a 600 grit (or finer) scratch because of the thinner film build. A sealer could be used to fill sand scratches, but on these cars, sealer is left off to help keep the weight to a minimum. The Mustang body is now blown off and cleaned with PPG’s OneChoice® H2O-So-Clean waterborne cleaner. This evaporates quicker and pulls the sanding dust from the sanding scratches much better then solvent cleaner, leaving a nice surface that is ready to paint. Since we are working on a carbon fiber body, we do not get any static when wiping the body. The first color to go down will be a metallic silver. I spray three coats just in the area where we will mask off the silver with ½-inch tape for Brandon’s design. I use an Iwata LPH400
1st coat of PPG EHP Blue water base coat
Body unmasked, tacked, ready for Clear Coat
2 coats of PPG EHP Blue. White unmasked
1 Double coat of PPG ECS 700 Clear
gun with a gold air cap. I let the metallic silver dry between coats, which takes only five minutes thanks to the TurboAir Drying System® installed in JFR’s booth. Air movement is what makes waterborne paint dry fast, and the TurboAir unit is a turbine blower
that does the job quickly—speed is required at John Force Racing. After a 30-minute dry time in the booth, masking begins. We use a plastic/vinyl masking tape like FBS. Brandon also uses his computer skills to cut out a paint mask to aid in speeding up the process and, more importantly, to keep all the designs the same on all the John Force Racing Mustangs. The area of the car that will be blue is covered with plastic, so as to not add excess paint and weight to the car. The white stripes are sprayed next. Two coats of Envirobase® HP T400 white toner are sprayed, with five minutes dry time between coats and a 30-minute dry time before we’re ready for the blue. The white basecoat covers twice as fast as solvent, so this step goes quickly and weighs less due to fewer coats of paint. This also helps keep edges between colors much smoother. We mask off the white with a transfer paper that Brandon uses to transfer the vinyl decals he puts on the car. Again, this is faster than tape and paper. I am back in the booth, and I spray two coats of ‘AAA of Southern California’ blue. The Envirobase® HP formula covers quickly, and with the TurboAir blowing, I am ready for the second coat as soon as I can reload the paint gun. In just half an hour, I am ready to clean up and we are unmasking. We had a couple of small blow throughs on the first car—easily fixed. A quick mask of the blue and re-spray
PPG EHP finished cars getting sponsors logos
a little silver. The second car was perfect, no blow throughs. I blew the body off and tacked it with a PPG tack rag. Dave then stepped in and sprayed a double coat of PPG EC700 Production Clearcoat. While custom, multiple-color paint jobs are not considered to be very productive, with the tools at John Force Racing and the speed of the Envirobase® HP basecoats, we where able to spray a body a day while I was visiting. The last part of the job was applying sponsors’ logos on the cars, which I left in the experienced hands of Brandon.
Paul Stoll is a PPG Trainer, who, among his many duties, teaches custom painting classes at PPG training centers across the country. Classes include training using Envirobase® High Performance basecoats in custom paint jobs. When not traveling, Stoll can be found at the PPG training center in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., (909) 987-0924.
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Continued from Page 38
Hibbs vs Allstate
to authorize the repair, excuses the insurer’s obligation under the policy. The Court of Appeal also rejected the Hibbs’ contention that Allstate’s adjuster chose to settle the claim. Finally, the Court of Appeal addressed the Hibbs’ contention that Allstate breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The Court of Appeal held that Allstate did not act in bad faith when it authorized the repairs to the van finding that there was no authority indicating such authorization constituted bad faith and that any repair authorized by Allstate would still be subject to further authorization by Hibbs’ under Section 9884.9. The Court of Appeal also found that Allstate did not breach the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing by ignoring the Hibbs’ request for a mechanical and safety inspection to ensure the van was safe or for failing to respond to the Hibbs’ settlement demand for full market value, because Allstate was not obligated under the policy to provide such expert inspec-
tions or to pay full market value for the vehicle. However, the Court of Appeal found that a triable issue of fact existed as to whether Allstate breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing by prosecuting its subrogation claim against Brooks. The Court of Appeal found that because Hibbs did not consent to the repairs, the repair shop was not due any compensation. As a result, Allstate had no right to subrogation against Brooks. In addition, the Hibbs were prejudiced by Allstate’s subrogation action since Brooks would have a right to an offset against any cause of action the Hibbs might be able to successfully assert against him. As a result, the Court of Appeal reversed and remanded for trial on the issue of bad faith and awarded costs on appeal to Hibbs. So what does this mean for a body shop and its customer? It has been pointed out in legal commentary and blogs on the case that the ruling upholding the 1867 New York case basically lets the insurer do what it wants, regardless of the interests of the insured. That is the letter of the policy but Colorado and Missouri found oth-
erwise. It is poor public policy when what the insurer wants frustrates the legitimate desires of the insured. The only thing beyond the letter of the policy that the Judge cites is that an insurer might want to repair a vehicle rather than giving an “unsafe” (unrepaired) vehicle to the insured. But the vehicle couldn't be driven anyway. And even if they did, no way the insurance company would be liable. Good public policy suggests we should allow such recovery (instead of repair) as consumer friendly. Did the Hibb’s feel that the repairs wouldn’t be safe and so wouldn’t drive the vehicle even if repaired? Maybe someone in a similar situation thinks the insurer has incorrectly valued the vehicle and—rather than file a lawsuit (with resulting transaction costs) —thinks more can be gained if she takes the repair money and sells the unrepaired car for scrap. That might be better than accepting a repaired car and selling it to someone else. Perhaps the insured can find someone to repair the vehicle himself for less than the original shop, and wants to pocket the difference. None of these things hurt the insurer,
but they all help the insured. They should be allowed. So this is one of those rare instances where California law, rather than leading the pack, radically lags behind it. Following an outdated, anti-consumer opinion from 1867 in New York rather than the weight of modern, pro-consumer, authority. For stakeholders, the takeaway message is this: A. The body shop must give the customer a written estimate for price, labor and parts before authorization to proceed with repairs. An authorization for teardown and a verbal approval authorization over the phone does not satisfy Section 9884.9 B. Where an insurance policy has language similar to Allstate’s: “Allstate will pay for the loss in money, or may repair or replace the damaged … property at our option”—the language provides the insurer the option to repair. The insurer may elect to repair the vehicle instead of paying for the loss in cash.
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Revisiting Paint by Numbers: A Deep Dive into Refinish Data 1.46
Avg Blend Hrs Only Ests w/Blend
by Greg Horn, VP Mitchell
Recently, I published an article on refinish times broken down by vehicle type, age and origin in the Q1 Mitchell Industry Trends Report (ITR). I wanted to see if all vehicles received the same treatment in the refinish process regardless of these factors. “Paint by Numbers: A Deep Dive Into Refinish Data,” drilled down into the refinish data for a year’s worth of appraisals and compared these elements to determine if there were significant differences in the refinish process. At the outset, I want to state clearly that this article examines the data only and is not intended to be construed as advocating or refuting any OEM refinish procedure or recommendation. I firmly believe that every damaged vehicle is unique and the proper repair procedure must be done on an individual basis. This determination should include the vehi-
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cle’s design, age, condition, finish, location and extent of damage, automaker and paint company recommended procedures, and last but certainly not least, the customer’s expectations. Our data immediately pointed out that there are in fact differences in the refinish process appearing on the appraisals. According to the data domestic made vehicles, including trucks/SUVs and older vehicles, received slightly fewer additional paint operations. Trucks and SUVs have slightly fewer hours added for blending into adjacent panels, averaging 1.35 hours of blend vs. 1.4 on average for passenger cars on estimates where a blend was specified. Surprising? That’s one way to put it. The original ITR article spurred a great deal of discussion in the collision repair industry. Many expressed that the data didn’t represent what was truly indicative of the operations required; rather they felt it was representative of what insurers paid for. In fact, the data does reflect what was written and accepted for the repair because the estimates were “aged,” meaning at least 90 days had elapsed before we queried
the data. Note, I said accepted because these repairs reflect that an appraisal was written, a claim was made and presumably the repairs were done in accordance with the appraisal. I also received many questions about the difference in allotted hours for blend into adjacent panel time vs. full refinish operations and believe it is important to clearly state the differences between the two in the Mitchell Procedure Pages. In order to explain the differences we need to clarify our refinish labor time premises. The steps for refinishing a new undamaged E-Coated panel include: * Solvent wash * Scuff panel and clean * Mask adjacent panels * Prime or seal as required * Final Sanding and clean * Mix materials * Adjust spray equipment * Apply color * Clean equipment
Mitchell refinish labor times also allow for flash times between coats. See Paint by Numbers, Page 57
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 45
Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, Welding specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his charitable works, worthy causes, and magic tricks. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Getting OSHA-Compliant on Plans, Protection and Painting with Toby Chess
As I promised in last month’s article, program elements as well as manageI have put together a checklist to help ment of hazard specific to your shop. you get ready for an OSHA inspecA written plan which describes tion. This a not a complete checklist training, labeling, Material Safety and you will probably need some outData Sheet (MSDS) management and side help to help you achieve total other requirements of “Right-tocompliance, but it will help you have Know” must be in place. A good start a better understanding of what is for you and your employees is Iwith David McClune needed to get your facility ready for CAR’s 4-hour WKR 01 (Hazardous an inspection. Materials, Personal Safety, and RefinYou can also call your state ish Safety) class. The class deals with agency and they will come out a give MSDS sheets, personal protection you a courtesy inspection. All violaequipment and a number of hazards tions will need to be corrected, but that are common in the body shop. there is no fine/ticket issued at the A couple of other items that you time of inspection. You should know may want to incorporate into your plan. that they will return to check if the violations have been corrected and you ● A written procedure for handling inwill be on theirwith radar John screen. Yoswick I will house employee complaints regarding need another article to complete this safety and health. checklist, so stay tuned next month. ● An incentive program for reducing To see the OSHA standards, go to work place injuries Google.com and type in 29CFR 1910. ● A formal disciplinary policy relating 38. This is the official OSHA web site. to safety. I know one shop that will First off, do you have 10 or more write up techs who do not wear their employees? If ‘yes,’ you will need a safety glasses. Second time is a one written Emergency Contingency Plan. day suspension, third write up is 3-day I took this description from the OSHA suspension, and the fourth write up is Manual: termination. Do you have all your current and 1910.38(b) Written and oral with Richard Steffen past MSDS sheets? Are they in a conemergency plans. An emergency action plan must be in writing, kept in spicuous location? Did you know that you must retain all MSDS sheets for the workplace, and available to employees for review. However, employer 30 years after product is no longer being used? After the evacuation plan, with 10 or fewer employees may comthis is a big ticket item with OSHA inmunicate the plan orally to employees. spectors. You can obtain them from An example of an Emergency Exit Plan your jobber, manufacturer’s reps and on-line.
and paint suit. He is being exposed to isocyanates and doesn’t know it. Who is responsible for the Personal Protective Equipment (I will refer to it a PPE) and its use? Well, the employer is responsible for providing the equipment and the training in using it and the employee is responsible for actually using it.
California Autobody Association
Respirators: ● A respirator fit test is requires yearly (29 CFR 1910.134).
Year in Quotes
● Respirators must be placed a sealed container when not in use (29 CFR 1910.134) ● A program in place for training and proper use of respirators. ● The type of respirator used for specific products will be found in the Preventative Measures of the MSDS sheets. ● Respirator cartridges need to be replaced on a regular basis. 3M P100 cartridges need to be replacing after 40 hours of use or 30 days, whichever comes first. Here are some common questions that are asked about PPE: ● Are approved safety glasses required to be worn at all times in areas where there is a risk of eye injury? ● Are protective goggles provided and worn where there is any danger of flying particles and harmful vapors (isocyanates for example)?
Collision Repair Association of CA.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
with John YoswickLet’s talk about Personal Protective equipment. Look at the picture below and tell yourself what is wrong.
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with Karyn Hendricks Do you have a Written Hazard Communication Plan? OSHA rule 29CFR 1910.1200 states that you need to have an active safety and health program in operation that The refinish tech is mixing paint with deals with general safety and health no eye protection, gloves, respirator,
46 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
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● Are protective gloves issued for various toxic exposures? (Again, you can look in the Preventative Measures of the MSDS sheets for specific type of gloves that are necessary for a particular product). ● Do you have an eye-wash station and it is properly maintained? ● Is protective clothing supplied for painting (paint suit for protection against overspray and isocyanates) and welding (jackets and gloves)? ● Is proper hearing protection equipment furnished? Here is an example of an ear muff.
What Gets Most Scrutiny from OSHA? The area that receives the most attention during an OSHA inspection is the paint department. Let’s look at some
of the problem areas that need your attention. The painter is first on my list.
Photo courtesy of SATA spray equipment
All painters should be wearing a paint suit, glove and utilize a fresh-air system. I think that the fresh air system incorporates goggles and respirator into one system. Your painter can wear a half-mask fresh air system or a respirator, but must also wear goggles if used instead of the full fresh air system. (Did you know that the fastest route for hazardous materials to get into the blood stream is through the eyes?) You will also need a CO monitor if you use shop-supplied air. There are systems that use electric pumps that produce no carbon monoxide, oil vapors, or oil mist. The only drawback
is that the painter will need a separate air hose (The SATA unit pictured utilizes one hose. You plug your air line into a unit on a supplied belt and a small hose comes off the unit to the CO monitor and then delivers fresh air to the helmet.) I ask the same questions every time I conduct I-CAR’s WKR 01 class to refinish technicians and helpers. Do you mix paint? Do you clean the guns? When they answer ‘yes,’ I ask them if they wear goggles, respirators, paint suits, and gloves when they perform both task. The majority answer that comes back is they ‘only wear gloves.’ Isocycantes are present in all three operations: mixing, painting, and cleaning. The appropriate PPE must be worn at all times. You need to enforce this rule or you are setting yourself up for a lawsuit. Be forewarned. Here are some other areas in the paint department that need your attention. ● All containers need to have a workplace label. If you mix paint for the day, it is not necessary, but if the paint is not used that day, it will need a label. A piece of masking
tape with the paint code is not sufficient.
This is a disaster in the making. ● All metal flammable containers must be grounded ● A fire extinguisher must be within 10 feet of any inside storage area of flammable liquids (More on fire extinguishers in the next article). ● All solvent wastes and flammable liquids must be kept in fire-resistant, covered containers when not in use. ● All hazardous liquids must have a See Next Page
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www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 47
Bills Filed in Texas Aimed at Increasing Insurance Policy Transparency
spill containment system ● No smoking signs must be posted in areas of flammable liquid storage ● Paint mixing rooms/areas must have explosion proof lights. There are many companies that have these materials (Grainger is an example). Craig Oliveira of Kent Automotive gave me his parent company’s (Lawson Products) Safety
Catalogue and I found it to be extremely helpful in getting all the information and products necessary to be in OSHA compliance. It is free— check with your local Kent Automotive Representative or other reputable source. Next month’s article will focus on the rest of the shop. Stay safe.
Give us your opinion on matters affecting the industry.
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Two pieces of legislation recently HB 2724 contains similar provifiled in Texas would require insurance sions for residential property and percompanies to provide customers with sonal automobile insurance. more complete information on rate inAt the time of a policy renewal, the creases and expand resources avail- insurance company would be required able to consumers for shopping the to provide a side-by-side comparison of market. the new and old rates, as well as provide Rep. Armando Walle of Houston information on any changes in coverage says House Bill 2723 and House Bill and how to shop around. 2724 would “help consumers fully unThe bill also requires insurers to derstand the premium increases im- give the deductible in a dollar amount, posed by insurance companies and will rather than in a percent of the total give consumers information on how value of the policy. they can shop around.” Rep. Armando Walle is serving HB 2723 concerns accident and his second term in the Texas House of health insurance policies. Under the Representatives and serves on the measure, an insurer must notify con- House Committee on Insurance and sumers of the rate increase 60 days the House Committee on Homeland prior to it taking effect, according to Security and Public Safety. information posted on the Texas He represents House District 140, House of Representatives’ Web site. which includes northern portions of The notice would have to include unincorporated Harris County and the the amount of the increase and infor- City of Houston. mation about how to file a complaint. “Policyholders deserve clear inforAdditionally, the bill would re- mation about upcoming rate increases Want totoContribute to this Southwest Edition? quire the notice include Web site with enough time to plan accordingly or addresses where consumers can access shop around if they are unhappy with information regarding rate increase the product,” said Rep. Walle. justifications and alternative coverage For more information please visit options. www.house.state.tx.us. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance technical writer from Wilmington, Delaware, who works in a variety of fields and subjects, but grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
Rodi’s in Cherry Hill, NJ, Reminds the Customer of their Right to Choose with Chasidy Rae Sisk
Walking into Rodi’s Auto Body in Cherry Hill, NJ on a Saturday morning, the first thing I noticed were customers praising the convenience of Rodi’s being open on Saturdays for estimates, unlike other shops in the
Joseph Rodi, in the lobby of his Cherry Hill shop
area. The second thing that caught my eye was the prominent lettering on the rug spread across the floor: “The insurance company CANNOT tell you where to take your car for repairs.” Joseph Rodi, President of Rodi’s Auto Body, reinforces the message repeatedly that auto body work belongs to the auto body shop and the customer, not the insurance company.
Rodi’s Haddonfield Road location
Joseph Rodi moved to the United States from Italy in 1956 when he was seventeen years old. He worked in a bakery fifteen hours a day, seven days a week, before returning to the trade he wanted to pursue, auto body repair. After working for local shops and taking trade classes at Woodrow Wilson
High School in Camden during the night, Joseph Rodi was able to purchase a lot and open Rodi’s Auto Body in 1965. He received his Doctorate degree in Business Administration from Somerset University in 2006. As his website proudly states, “the pride he takes in his work has made the difference for thousands in his lifetime and has helped shape his success in achieving the American Dream.” Rodi’s Auto Body employs eleven individuals in addition to Joseph and his son, Anthony Rodi, who is the Vice President and Operations Manager of Rodi’s. Although all of Rodi’s employees have been trained in body, mechanic and/or welding school, Joseph Rodi believes the trade is in the shop and focuses his attention on training his employees accordingly. Their shop encompasses 10,000 square feet and utilizes all of the most recent equipment, including two downdraft spray booths, frame racks and two Car-O-liner alignment machines which enable them to tend to every end of the business, from “scratches to smashes,” as their motto states. Additionally, Rodi’s uses wateborne paints because they are better for the environment. According to Joseph Rodi, his success results from his insistence on
integrity, hard work and honesty which he delivers to his customers through his repairs. Customers choose Rodi’s Auto Body because they guarantee fast service, low prices and honesty, plus they reinforce with the customer that all of their work is under warranty as long as they own the vehicle.
What struck me in talking with Joseph Rodi was his genuine passion for the business. He has dedicated his life to serving people in need and in trouble because he is filled with a real desire to give back to his fellow man,
public. Most shop owners serve the insurance companies instead of the customer because they are afraid to speak up, but Joseph Rodi professes “Well, I’m not scared; when you’re an honest man, you have no reason to be scared.”
Joseph Rodi likes to display his shop’s numerous media stories
and he is clearly driven by the need to educate his customers. According to his website, he fights “for [his] customers because most of them don’t know what their insurance rights are.” Rodi refuses DRP agreements with the insurance companies because he believes it is the customer’s right to choose an auto body shop and the parts used in the repair, thus allowing the customer to control the resell value of their automobile. He compares choosing an auto body shop to choosing a doctor; people go to the doctor they trust and are comfortable with rather than letting their insurance company tell them which doctor to visit, and Joseph Rodi believes that treating your auto body needs should be handled in the same manner. Direct repair programs, Joseph Rodi says, are not the American-way because America was not founded on the principles of enriching some, the insurance companies, while impoverishing the general public. These insurance companies frequently send New Jersey auto body work to Philadelphia shops. Joseph Rodi refuses to allow insurance companies to mandate which materials he uses in his shop, and he has thrown insurance representatives out of his shop in the past for their demands. He insists that he will repair cars to the customers’ expectations, not the insurance companies’ liking, and he wonders what happened to honesty, integrity, hard work, fairness and perseverance. Joseph Rodi has served on the Camden County planning board for sixteen years and believes it is time for the public to talk to their legislators because these politicians have obligations to the
In fact, Joseph Rodi is working on plans for a car care warranty to replace many insurance policies, and he has begun an auto body guild to collaborate with other like-minded individuals.
Rodi’s Auto Body 904 Haddonfield Road Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 (856) 665-4455
Japan Supply Chain Will Rattle Earnings Worldwide
Global makers of products from motorcycles to mobile phones are finding it harder to get the parts they need after Japan’s earthquake and tsunami wrecked supply chains, and investors worry that the worst is yet to come for earnings, Reuters reports detail. Motorcycle maker HarleyDavidson lowered the bottom end of its 2011 shipments forecast on Tuesday because of problems getting hold of radio components. Revenue from phone handset maker Sony Ericsson missed forecasts because of difficulties with displays, batteries and other parts. Apple Inc, which obtains many parts for its top-selling gadgets from Japan, expressed concern that margins are coming under pressure as makers of electronic gadgets around the world compete for crucial components. Toyota said it would cut U.S. vehicle production and might have to lower its full-year U.S. sales targets if parts shortages extend into the summer. “Electronics are used in so many areas,” said Bryan Keane, equity analyst. “It has the potential to be very wide-ranging. To some extent, it’s going to affect everyone. Even if your direct supplier isn’t impacted, your supplier could get their materials from someone in Japan.”
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 49
Shop Showcase stories feature shop owners who are making a difference in the industry. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell your story. Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at email@example.com.
California Shop Owner Endorses Shop Education and Training with Ed Attanasio
Shawn Saidi, 48, owns Active Auto Body in Sunnyvale, Calif., a highly successful shop whose motto is “Making Friends by Accident.” It might be a catchy slogan, but Saidi has succeeded in the collision industry not by chance or by accident. He’s the current president of the California Autobody Association’s (CAA) Santa Clara chapter, and has enthusiastically embraced the leadership role, because he wants to make this industry better and help other shops in the process.
and meet all our deadlines. We’ll give it back to the customer better than what they were expecting.” After retiring from a successful career in the printing industry, Saidi went into collision repair and opened Active Auto Body in 2002, creating a dream and a new era for his wife Lisa and himself. “We found a location in Mountain View and we figured let’s give it a shot and it and see how it goes. We were there for five years, then we moved to this larger facility in Sunnyvale. We’ve been growing every year, even in this tight economy. Some of the credit goes to our new location. Our former facility was in a ‘body shop row’ area, but now we’re in a nicer part of Sunnyvale. We got the zoning changed in this area. There weren’t any Shawn Saidi and his wife Lisa have operated Active Auto body shops around here. It Body since 2002. This year, Saidi became the president on was zoned for R&D warethe CAA’s Santa Clara chapter houses, but no automotive. Active Auto Body is located in a Everyone said it’s not going to work 13,300 square-foot facility. They fix and we were really worried, but the 75–90 vehicles monthly and have two old customers came back and they say DRP relationships, from which the they like this new location much company derives approximately 25% more.” off their total business. Saidi works Saidi appreciates the two DRPs alongside his wife Lisa, who handles he has, but he’s also happy that they payroll and human resources. The make up just one quarter of his busishop employs 13 people, including ness, saying: “It’s tough, because you Saidi’s niece Desiree, who works part- want them, but you don’t want them, time as a receptionist. if you know what I mean? Some of Saidi’s journey into collision re- them want you to do things that aren’t pair began with his passion for restorright, and those are the ones I have ising classic cars. “I was relying on sues with. Of the two DRPs we have body shops to do the body and the right now, one of them is awesome paint on these older cars, after I had and the other one wants to have a litdone all of the mechanical work,” he tle more control. We try to keep the told Autobody News. customer informed, because in the end “But, I was running into prob- the person we want to make happy is lems with the body shops, because the customer. If aftermarket parts are they would tell me ‘three months’ and being put on their car, we let them the car would still be sitting there a know. We tell them that we prefer to year or more later. Then when I got put factory parts on their car, but we the cars back, the work wasn’t right, have to go with what’s in their policy. so I would basically lose interest in the Our hands are tied in that situation.” vehicle and just eventually sell it. It Why did Saidi join the CAA? was very frustrating because it kept “As an outsider looking in, I needed happening over and over. I told my to learn as much as I could about this wife that if I ever go into business for industry fast,” he said. “There are two myself, I’m going to get a body shop, ways to do it—go knock on other and I’ll make sure we do the job right body shops’ doors and start asking
50 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
questions, or join an organization like the CAA. When I first saw the CAA’s motto, Integrity, Honesty and Craftsmanship, I thought I want to be a part of that. Everyone has been absolutely
Active Auto Body is increasing its car count every year, even in recessionary times
great—from the Board of Directors all the way to each and every member. I can go in there and ask them questions like what type of paint booth should I use? What kind of spray guns should I use? How do you control your qual-
ity? These people are my competitors, but they’re more than willing to help me in any way they can.” One of the top concerns of the CAA’s membership involves finding properly trained techs that can carry this industry into the next decade and beyond. “There’s definitely a shortage of good, skilled techs out there. So right now, we’re talking to I-CAR. We’re pleased to see that their curriculum has gotten better and they’ve added more classes. We’re also working in conjunction with Bay Area high schools and junior colleges specifically to get auto body classes in their schools. That way, students can have a head start when they try to pursue this career. We feel that through education, we can get better, hirable techs.” Another issue the CAA is very interested in is the current state of insurance labor rate surveys, Saidi said.
“This is still a problem, and we’re working on it. We want to know how they come up with some of these num-
Painter Javier Espinosa paints roughly 80 cars per month for the growing body shop
bers, because we can’t figure them out. Right now, California is waiting to see
what (our new) Governor Jerry Brown get the business and it is definitely (ilwill do, so that we can try to get some legal) steering.” type of response. It’s still a huge probSaidi also does a considerable lem and we want to resolve it.” amount of work for customers who Steering by certain insurance don’t want to go through their insurcompanies is still also an industryance companies. “We get them in and wide problem, Saidi explained. “Oh out quickly, because we value this yes, we still encounter it quite a bit. It kind of customer. We’ve learned that occurs when customers want to bring these types of jobs can bring us more their car here, but the insurance com- work than the insurance companies panies tell them, ‘you have to take can, through referrals and word of your car to one of our preferred body mouth, because it goes a long way.” shops for the estimate.’ They give At the end of the year, Saidi’s them no options. In many cases, the term as the CAA Santa Clara Chapter customer has already brought their car President will expire, so does he have www.autobodynews.com to us and we’re in the process of dis- any plans to seek higher office within CHECK IT OUT! cussing the job with them. This kind the organization? of thing makes it so much harder to “I’ve considered it,” he said.
Insurance Fraud Claims on Rise in New York
Suspicious insurance claims in New York were up about 4.5 percent in 2010, an industry report shows. In 2010, insurers reported a total of 7,026 questionable claims in the state, compared with 6,726 in 2009, according to the insurance industry’s National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). Questionable claims (QCs) are
ones that NICB member insurance com- able claims reported in 2010, NICB panies refer to NICB for closer review says 4,016 of them—57 percent— To advertise and investigation based on one or more call wereAdvertising from New York City at: alone. The Sales indicators of possible fraud. A single rest were scattered around the state 800-699-8251 claim may contain up to seven referral with the ext highest number—145— reasons. originating from Buffalo. e-mail: The 2010 total represents about a firstname.lastname@example.org NICB has had task force in New 10 percent rise since 2007, when 6,378 York since 2002 to help the industry www.autobodynews.com QCs were recorded in the state. and officials target insurance fraud acOf New York’s 7,026 question- tivity.
“When I was at the recent CAA Board of Directors meeting in Sacramento, I started asking myself, what can I do after my term is over? I’ll definitely stay involved in some capacity, one way or another. If I want to go to the state level—fine. Either way, I’ll be working with the CAA, just to make sure that I’m one step ahead of the game, by knowing what’s going on out there. We need our message heard, because the insurance companies have a Give your on matters lot of us money andopinion they’re talking to each other all the time. If we only have 100 auto body shops working together, we’re surely not going to overpower publisher@autobod them. That’s why we need more members to keep our voices heard.”
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‘2011 East Coast Resolution Forum’ Meets in NJ to Discuss Ongoing Efforts and Ideas by John Yoswick
Collision repair associations leaders from around the country met in Secaucus, New Jersey, in March to share ideas and discuss state legislative or regulatory successes and efforts. The “2011 East Coast Resolution Forum,” an event sponsored by the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) of New Jersey, was held in conjunction with AASPNew Jersey’s NORTHEAST® 2011 trade show. Here’s a round-up of some of the news and discussion from the meeting:
Efforts to regulate mobile repairers Charles Bryant AASP-New Jersey said his group has been working for some time to get the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to regulate repair businesses that are performing work on a mobile basis in violation, AASP-New Jersey contends, with the state’s shop licensing law. That law requires that repairs be made inside a building zoned for au-
tobody repairs and that all paint work be done inside a booth or a room with a filtration system. Mobile repair work, such as that done on a dealership lot, Bryant said, clearly falls outside these parameters. The Commission, however, had proposed bringing mobile repairers in under the shop licensing program. AASP-New Jersey opposed this action, showing the Commission published ads by mobile re- Charles Bryant, AASP/NJ Executive pairers indicating Director they were doing far more than minor cosmetic repairs and paint work. Bryant said the Commission most recently has taken the proposal to license the mobile repairers off the table, placing the issue “on hold indefinitely.” Assignment of proceeds discussed Mike Parker of Parker’s Classic Auto Works in Rutland, Vt., said he recently
Collision Hub Launches Repair University
Collision Hub April 18 announces the launch of Repair University, a LIVE educational video series for the collision repairer and insurer, Powered By Chief Automotive Technologies. The first LIVE episode in the 2011 series, Facility Verification & Quality Processes: What It Means to You, will air May 4th at 9:00 AM PST on CollisionHub.com and will feature Mark Olsen of VeriFacts Automotive. The episode will explore “Exposing Your Greatness in Collision Repair”. By the end of this class you will have a better understanding of how minor changes can have a tremendous overall impact on your daily operations. We will cover how internal processes can effect cycle time, profitability and quality. Most importantly, we will cover the benefits of shop verification and the impact that has on your customer, both insurance companies and vehicle owner. With today’s informed customers, this is a MUST attend class. “With the invaluable resources provided by VeriFacts Automotive and the continuing support of Chief Automotive Technologies, Collision Hub is thrilled at the opportunity to provide ongoing educational resources to the collision repair indus-
try as a whole,” said Collision Hub founder and CEO Kristen Felder.
About VeriFacts Automotive Committed to ensuring that collision repairers have the correct information and skills necessary to repair today's diverse and complex vehicles, VeriFacts is recognized as one of the industry's only on-site, hands-on coaching and quality assessment solutions available to collision repair and claims professionals. VeriFacts' repair methodologies, technical competency and professional integrity position it to provide a wide array of valuable services to the collision repair, insurance and manufacturing communities.
About Collision Hub Collision Hub is the premier networking and multi-media marketing website created for the Collision Repair Industry. Collision Hub’s mission is to provide a central network for all participants in collision repair and related industries. The site encourages participation of all parties including: technicians, shop owners, suppliers, insurance companies, auto glass installers, towing companies and rental car agencies. For more information, visit www.collisionhub.com or contact Elizabeth Blackman at Elizabeth@collisionhub.com.
52 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
received nearly $12,000 from Nationwide Insurance after successfully suing the insurer in small claims court for unpaid amounts owed to 31 Nationwide insureds who had their vehicles repaired at Parker’s shop. Parker used the “assignment of proceeds” process in order to sue the insurer on behalf of the vehicle-owners for labor and materials on Parker’s final invoices that was not paid by Nationwide. He said Nationwide’s attorney at the 2-day trial last summer argued unsuccessfully that the case should be moved to Superior Court, in part because many in the jury pool had also had their vehicles fixed at the shop or had heard the shop’s radio ads. The jury decided in the shop’s favor Mike Parker after 45 minutes of deliberation, and Nationwide’s initial appeal was denied. The insurer then appealed to the state Supreme Court, and also offered to settle with Parker
for the amount owed (about $11,000) less only the interest on that amount the court had also ordered paid. Parker declined the settlement, and Nationwide subsequently dropped its appeal. Despite Parker’s success, another attendee at the event urged caution when using the “assignment of proceeds.” “It’s a very powerful document, but if it’s misused, it will come back and cost you a ton of money,” said Tony Lombardozzi of the Coalition For Collision Repair Excellence. Lombardozzi said anyone considering using the process should work with an attorney that is wellversed in how it works and who also understands the collision repair business. Massachusetts Labor rate bill returns Peter Abdelmaseh, executive director of AASP of Massachusetts, said that group hopes the third time will be the charm, as it tries again to get a labor rate bill passed in that state. Abdelmaseh said shop labor rates in Massachusetts are the lowest in the
country, an average of $5 less than those in the 49th state. Under the proposed legislation, a newly-established commission would determine the average labor rate nationally. The established rate in Massachusetts would be based on that rate but adjusted up or down based on how average technician wages there (as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, compare to other states. The commission would also define three levels of shops based on verifiable requirements for such things as equipment and training. “A level” shops would receive not less than the rate established by the commission; “B level” shops would receive not less than 90 percent of that rate. Shops that did not apply or meet the A- or B-level requirements would not have an established minimum rate. Abdelmaseh said the association has estimated that under the legislation, A-level shops would receive an
hourly labor rate above $50 rather the current mid-$30s. Insurers have said this would add $100 million to their annual costs, but Abdelmaseh said those estimates are based on all shops receiving the A-level rate. “We have said out of the 1,800 shops (in the state), we think that only 200 shops will be getting that A-level rate, and maybe 300 more getting the B-level rate,” Abdelmaseh said. “Those shops will be doing about 60 percent of the jobs, because they tend to be higher-capacity shops.” The association has estimated the rise in costs for insurers to the bill to be about $28 million per year, or about $6 per policyholder in the state. He said the association has proposed or worked with insurers on other changes to regulations that would help offset much of this higher cost.
ALLDATA LLC has entered into an agreement with Boyd Group Inc. Under this agreement, the 97 collision
repair facilities operated under Boyd Autobody & Glass and Gerber Collision & Glass in both the U.S. and
Insurer free speech discussed Those at the meeting in Secaucus also
discussed recent events in Rhode Island where the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is suing two Rhode Island officials in an effort to halt the enforcement of that state’s law that prohibits an insurer from recommending repair shops once a claimant has indicated that he or she has made a shop choice. The suit names as defendants Rhode Island Director of Business Regulation Paul McGreevy and the state’s Attorney General Peter Kilmartin. The PCI is asking a court to declare that the law is an unconstitutional interference with free speech, much as courts in several other states have when anti-steering laws have been challenged.
Taxing issue Janet Chaney of the Iowa Collision Repair Association said that group is making a second effort at pushing for a state law that would in essence allow
Iowa shops to transfer the expense of sales tax on paint materials they purchase to insurers or customers. Chaney said currently shops pay the sales tax on such purchases but a decades-old state law prevents them from seeking reimbursed for it by insurers. An Iowa House committee last year had approved a similar bill, but it failed to make further legislative progress. Chaney said another recent bill in Iowa, which would have established a commission to study the effects of direct repair programs on shops, insurers and consumers, was introduced on behalf of a shop in that state, not the association, and is not expected to pass.
John Yoswick, a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He can be contacted by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
ALLDATA and Boyd Group Enter Into Strategic Agreement Service King Acquires 8 Alamo Body and Paint Locations in San Antonio, TX
Texas-based Service King Collision Repair Centers has agreed to acquire Alamo Body and Paint, a multi-location operator in the San Antonio, Texas area with eight large scale, high volume locations. The addition of the Alamo Body and Paint locations will make Service King the largest independently and employee owned collision repair organization in the U.S. with 42 locations throughout the San Antonio, Dallas, Ft. Worth, and Houston areas. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to be completed by May 1, 2011. Mark Fuller, Alamo Body and Paint’s Co-Owner and President will be joining the Service King Team as Operations Manager. “We are very excited about Alamo Body and Paint joining the Service King Team,” stated Fuller. “For the past twenty-five years, our success has been driven by our unrelenting focus on complete satisfaction and respect for our customers and employees,” added Fuller. Co-Owner Dave Braun will dedicate all his time to Nexsyis Collision, Inc., a developer of a multiple location collision repair management system, where he serves as CEO.
Cathy Bonner, President of Service King said in a recorded message, “Stay tuned for more. We’ve got more expansion and more acquisitions in mind in Texas.” Bonner was hired by Service King in 2010 to lead the company through an ambitious national expansion. At the time she joined the company, Service King revealed its goal of doubling the size of the company within five years. The company had 31 locations at the time. Service King Collision Repair Centers was founded 35 years ago by Eddie Lennox, who now serves as its chairman and CEO. Service King’s Vice President of Central Texas, Brent McKinney, said, “We look forward to adding Alamo’s talented employees and skilled technicians to our base of over 1,000 Service King teammates throughout Texas.” Symphony Advisors, LLC acted as advisors to Alamo Body and Paint throughout the acquisition process. Service King Collision Repair Centers was founded 35 years ago by Owner, Chairman, and CEO, Eddie Lennox. Visit www.serviceking.com.
Canada will use ALLDATA Collision S3500 as their sole provider of OE collision repair information. ALLDATA is the trusted provider of vehicle manufacturers’ collision and mechanical repair information to the automotive service and repair industry. “We are excited to have been selected by Boyd Autobody & Glass and Gerber Collision & Glass,” said Wayne Mitchell, ALLDATA Director of Sales and Operations. “ALLDATA Collision provides the information for collision repair facilities to perform quality and safe repairs and it is clear that this is of the utmost importance to the Boyd Group.” “ALLDATA Collision is the right fit for Boyd Autobody & Glass and
Gerber Collision & Glass,” says Tim O’Day, President & COO of Gerber Collision & Glass. “We evaluated the options available in the market and selected ALLDATA Collision because of the depth of their product and ease of use. ALLDATA’s OE collision and repair information supports the accomplishment of our mission to ‘Wow every customer...Be the Best.’” ALLDATA Collision was developed at the request of the collision industry. It satisfies the industry’s long-time need for accurate collisionspecific repair information and now with the latest generation, ALLDATA Collision S3500, collision repair facilities can easily search the vast database of over 22,000 engine-specific vehicles.
AkzoNobel Launches U.S. Wanda Waterborne
With a successful launch into the Canadian collision repair market segment in February, AkzoNobel’s highly anticipated Wanda Waterbase basecoat system will be available to the U.S. collision repair industry in early second quarter, 2011. Built on Wanda’s core proposition of simplicity, color and value, the new Wanda Waterbase basecoat system provides an easy-to-use, low VOC option that helps make the process of “going green” easier than ever―and at an affordable price
point. Offering simplified mixing ratios, segment-leading color documentation, and “right-the-first-time” color matching capabilities, Wanda Waterbase is ideal for use on small repairs, or total re-sprays. “We’re very excited about what this system brings to U.S. collision repair professionals because it delivers the same great simplicity, color accuracy and value that our Wanda products are known for,” said Mark Rapson, AkzoNobel’s Business Manager of Trade Brands, North America.
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 53
The Insider is a corporate-level executive with a Top 10 auto insurer in the U.S.. Got a comment or question you’d like to see him address in a future column? Email him at Auto.Insurance.Insider@gmail.com
Insurers Will Continue to Serve “Flavor of the Day” to Shops with The Insurance Insider
you guess what the exception is? The Insider offers an unvarnished look at various issues impacting the Okay, it’s actually not just one thing. It collision industry from an insurers’ can be summarized in four words: flawith Chasidy Rae vor Sisk of the day. perspective. Similar to the ice cream shop in In past columns I have explored many your neighborhood, insurance compadifferent perspectives on the value of nies regularly serve shops a flavor of direct repair programs. I believe most the day (or week or month). Insurance DRPs provide value to the vehicle companies have a set of guidelines that owner as well as the shop, although shop must agree to in order to particwith Chasidy Rae aSisk based upon the responses I’ve received ipate in their program. These guidefrom readers, there are a lot of people lines are in writing and allow a shop who disagree with my position. owner to decide whether or not the pro-
Northeast News Shop Showcase
And unfortunately, sometimes these unwritten rules are weighted more heavily by the insurer than the written ones. Shops are routinely eliminated from a DRP for not adhering to everything that they never agreed to adhere to in writing. Sound fair? Not really. What can a shop do? You can say noand jeopardize your relationship with that carrier. Fair? Not at all. This is what we refer to in the U.S. as the 500-pound gorilla or the bully on the playground. How do these flavors of the day occur? Are they handed down from the insurer’s corporate headquarters? In most instances, no. It’s something that is usually a result of a local or regional claim office. Management in these offices have the autonomy to do whatever is necessary to meet their budgets. Thus the “flavor of the day.” Local or regional management analyzes data and identifies trends while
trying to figure out what number can be manipulated to give them the result they desire. That’s why the flavor is always different and ever-changing. Shops need to find a way to work within the system because you aren’t going to beat it. I’m not encouraging anyone to give into whatever the insurance company wants. Nor am I encouraging fraud. I am encouraging you to play the game. Continue to write complete, consistent estimates. Perform the work you write on the estimate. Document everything. As you know, the flavor of the day changes routinely. If you can hold out for a day or a week, something else will be a priority and today’s flavor can quickly become yesterday’s old ice cream. You can’t change the flavor but you can change what you do and how you react.
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But from my perspective, most vehicle owners reap tremendous value from DRPs. DRPs have raised the bar for body shops; it forces them to provide exemplary customer service and high quality repairs. They also need to continually train their staff and invest in equipment otherwise risk being left behind as technology evolves. As a result, insurance companies don’t want to do business with every shop in the countryand they shouldn’t. They should want the best-in-class repairing their policyholders’ vehicles. But there is one reason why the current DRP models sucks, regardless of insurance carrier. This exception provides absolutely no value to the shopalthough it does provide a lot of value to the insurance company. Can
gram is of value to them. I cautiously use the word guidelines because the literal translation is “concessions.” While I don’t agree with concessions, at least they are in writing. It allows the shop owner to make a business decision as to whether or not the concessions are worth the potential additional work. Unlike the guidelines, however, the “flavor of the day” isn’t in writing. Unlike in the ice cream shop, it isn’t posted or advertised. And it sure the heck doesn’t taste good. What I’m talking about is parts usage, paint labor hours, cycle time, repair times, rental car days and the like…whatever it is that the insurer decides that today is most important to them. There are enough flavors of the day to make Baskin Robbins jealous.
54 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
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Houston Auto Body Association, SCRS Association of the Year, Gathers at State Capitol in Austin to Support Senate Bill 1300
Jim Quinten, Automotive Parts & Services Association; George Perdue, Bear Creek Collision Specialist; Larry Cernosek, Deer Park Paint & Body; Mike Riner, Riner's Paint and Body Shop; Trey Perdue, Bear Creek; David Walla, Walla Company; James Brown, Hanley Bros. Certified Collision and HABA President, Don Ward, A-1 Auto & Collision; and Chris Singleton, Goodson Collision Center. HABA is the SCRS Association of the Year.
The Houston Auto their Direct repair Program policies and Body Association requirements. James Brown, HABA’s President, asked that members of the collision repair and many others with the HABA met in industry in Texas www.autobodynews.com Austin April 12 at 7am to show support bill. IT OUT! contact their Senators for this CHECK The Texas Department of Insurin support of SB ance is in full support of this bill as 1300, which was up well, according to Brown. for committee hearThe Committee Substitute vering on April 12. The Texas Senate sion of the bill was passed out of committee, it now heads to the Local & Business and ComTo calendar advertise and then it will go merce committee Consent call Advertising SalesCommittee. at: voted unanimously to to the House Insurance pass SB 1300 on that “I would also like to extend a 800-699-8251 date, which will respecial thanks to all those who made e-mail: quire more disclosure firstname.lastname@example.org phone calls and those who came to from insurers about Austin in show of support for this Bill.
NWLCRA Hosts Supply Company to Talk About New Products
The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association (NWLCRA) held their monthly meeting on April 5 in the Magnolia Room at the Louisiana Technical College in Shreveport, Louisiana.
The meeting was hosted by President, Chris Fielder and SecretaryTreasurer, Bill Burnside. The I-CAR schedule was discussed and the “test out” procedure that is now in place. Students have to
I especially want to thank Larry Cernosek us personally for the allon the matters time Give your opinion he spends in Austin on behalf of the HABA and the Collision Industry as a whole,” said Brown. To view the full text of this billpublisher@autobod search ‘SB 1300’ at www.autobodynews.com.
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register at least 2 weeks prior to the cost effective because it can be testing. See the NEWwashed without getting destroyed in If the deadline is missed, you the wash. won’t be able to test. The test will be Nichols Supply also doesn’t ingiven between 5 to 7 PM and the clude a “fuel charge” for deliveries. doors will be locked at 5:00 PM. Nichols brought several products for www.autobodynews.com For more information, contact the group to see. Bill Burnside or see the I-CAR webThe microfiber roll and box of site. microfiber towels were thick and apThe Skills contest will be held peared very durable, according to Thursday, April 7, at the Caddo Career Burnside, it was easy to see that they & Technology Center. could stand up to several washings A motion was made and passed and reuse. for the Northwest Louisiana ColliOn the chemical side, he brought sion Repair Association to provide a product called “ENZ-IT-DET”. breakfast for the competition. This product kills bacteria and odors The guest speaker for the meetin a number of hard to clean surfaces. ing this month was Charlie Nichols He also had a hand cleaner called of Nichols Supply. Red Dawg. He supplies cleaners for Nichols was the guest of Ken glass, stainless steel, and other surStephenson with Louisiana Glass & faces. Mirror, Inc. He also mentioned a product Nichols gave the group a brief called “Peet Sorb” which is better than history of his time and experience in the typical oil dry. the Industry. Peet Sorb is the only product that His business is located on Southis allowed to be disposed of in landern Ave. in Shreveport, LA. fills, so he said he sees a mandate His business handles all types of coming in the future. products for Industrial, Janitorial, Nichols is in the process of getand Office Supplies. He provides ting more catalogs ordered, so call at same day service on most of his (318) 841-4501 to request a copy. products. More information can also be Nichols also gave attendees a les- found at www.nwlcra.org. son about microfiber paper and how it is made. It is this procedure that makes microfiber paper the best prodSearch: uct when cleaning a surface. Because of this procedure, a microfiber towel can be washed and reused several times. This makes microfiber paper
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On Creative Marketing
Tom Franklin has been a sales and marketing consultant for fifty years. He has written numerous books and provides marketing solutions and services for many businesses. He can be reached at (323) 871-6862 or at email@example.com. See Tom’s columns at www.autobodynews.com under Columnists > Franklin
Summertime Should Mean Event Time For Body Shops with Thomas Franklin
Summer time is nearly here and shop of the estimating and management owners who are interested in attractsystems was provided in the body ing insurance or other referral busi- shop office. Tours of the entire dealerness may be considering putting on an ship were given every fifteen minutes. event. The cost of the event was in exThese can vary widely in terms of cess of $10,000. Was it worth it? One size and cost. I assisted one dealership small insurance company representaowner in creating quite a large event tive agreed to add the shop to their to build business for his body shop. In DRP list. The dealership got a few orwithDRP Dick Strom ders for new pick-up trucks, but very addition to insurance coordinators. Since he did a lot of work for few new commercial company people commercial contractors and also local came to the event and I didn’t hear of law enforcement, he invited many any new commercial contracts. Was company owners and managers and the event a wise investment? also sheriff’s department personnel. I don’t think the dealership owner He put up large umbrellas over considered it a success, but the uppicnic tables all along the driveway in grades to the shop were needed and the front of his body shop work bays. NatP.R. value of the event was substantial. urally food and drink vendors were lo- Could he have put on an event for less? cated along there. The answer is a definite “Yes!” LookEach work bay was converted ing back, I could see that a dealership with Lee Jr. would have difficulty resistinto a presentation space. By Amaradio the prep principal and spray booths, his paint jobber set ing turning a body shop promotional up demos of spray guns, a color- event into somewhat of a vehicle sales matching photospectrometer, and varevent. That increased his cost greatly. ious paint supply items. In general I’ve seen more shops His 3-M distributor used a bay to simply put on a barbecue along with a demonstrate special materials for tour of the shop. Others have made everything from windshield repair to their shop available for a small local simple repairs on plastic and fibertrade show with suppliers and other glass auto parts. Another bay housed vendors setting up their demonstraa paintless dent removal specialist, tions and presentations on long tables. and some attendees were provided One disadvantage of this is having with small dentwith removals from their other shop owners coming through. Sheila Loftus vehicles. An ongoing demonstration The barbecue event can be focused
purely on insurance company representatives and/or other referral sources. An even more economical approach to an event is to participate in someone else’s event. One local school put on a safe driving event. The Auto Club and a local radio station sponsored it. A couple of collision shop owners and also driving school owners were invited to set up tables with safe driving information. In a sense this was more of an event looking to the future when the high school kids would become new drivers, but parents were also there and had an opportunity to learn more about the participating collision repair shops. A more direct event for the general public was put on by a shop that became a voting location on an election day. The owner played patriotic music and had patriotic banners all over the place. He even hired a model dressed up in an Uncle Sam costume to conduct tours of the shop for anyone interested. Since many voters are longterm local homeowners with more expensive high-end cars, the shop owner felt he would reach the kind of customer he wanted. While a shop event aimed at insurance or commercial account attendees has to direct their promotional mail, phone calls and faxes to a very specific
list of prospects, the shop focusing on the general public could use radio, TV and print publication ads to get the word out. Shops located in a desirable residential area could also distribute flyers directly to homes in the area. Collision shops have one major advantage over many other businesses when it comes to putting on events. Most shops occupy a fairly large space overall. Like the dealership I described, most have many parking spaces and open repair bays where demonstrations and presentations can be carried out easily. Few people are aware of the size and complexity of a typical body shop. The event can be an ideal opportunity to educate prospective customers on the advantage of choosing a shop with state-of-the-art spray booths, frame measuring and straightening equipment, top quality welding equipment and the many special tools needed to perform repairs on today’s ever-changing vehicles. Putting on an occasional event is a good promotional effort for a shop because it not only provides a reason to invite key potential referral sources to see the shop, but it also motivates shop owners and managers to clean up the place and make it presentable for the event. That alone is worth at least a small investment.
joining forces. All groups have different strengths that we have brought to The merger of three of the largest inthe table and it just makes sense for us dependent auto recycling networks in to team up to ultimately better serve our the country was announced at the customers and our industry.” United Recyclers Group Annual ConThe merger came about quickly ference in Colorado. QRP Midwest, a after the first meeting between the renetwork of 33 independent recyclers cycler groups at which sharing delivhas joined TEAM PRP Janet affiliates,Chaney Ab- ery system resources was explored. with solute and Heartland, to form PRP Ultimately, they recognized the beneMidwest. This alliance unites 52 inde- fit of consolidation, leveraging a full pendent recyclers in the Central geo- integration of the three trading netgraphic region of the United States. works. Significant value will be ofKrystyn Roberts of County Line fered in better service to PRP Midwest Auto Parts, Kansas City, Missouri is the mechanical and collision customers Chair of QRP Midwest and feels the through the integrated delivery systiming is right, “Both PRP and QRP tems, expanded inventory and access Midwest are very excited for the future to better salvage procurement options. and the possibilities that will come from “The merger of these three qualour three independent recycling groups ity driven membership groups of in-
dependent recyclers will no doubt positively impact the repair community in the regions covered,” states Chris Northup, an independent industry consultant who is currently retained by the TEAM PRP National Board of Directors, “Realistically, this could provide the template for a go forward footprint of independent recyclers to compete on the national scale.” Kent Rothwell, Weaver Auto Parts, Carnesville, Georgia, a Team PRP National Board Member is pleased with the expansion, “Team PRP encourages individualism as we use our combined philosophy to build the strength of our network.” Mel Hunke, the General Manager of PRP Midwest has been working closely with all entities and sees the
positive change ahead, “ I am very excited about the potential resulting from these three networks of auto recyclers, who have a long history of commitment to excellence and outstanding customer service, joining forces to form one superior source of auto parts for all categories of customers,” Hunke continues, “I am optimistic that PRP Midwest will offer even greater customer benefits than the three groups have provided separately in the past. PRP Midwest is ready to assume a leadership role in providing “alternate source” auto parts to our customers”. About TEAM PRP: Team PRP is a national network of independent auto recyclers, offering expanded inventory, regional transportation systems and knowledgeable support staff.
Three of Largest Auto Recycling Networks Merge by Janet Chaney
Industry Overview with Janet Chaney
56 MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Japan Tragedy to Affect Vehicle Supply, N.J. Dealer Group Says
New Jersey’s association of auto dealers is warning of possible repercussions as a result of last month’s earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan, according to reports made by Asbury Park Press. See numerous individual reports in this issue. “At this time, there are more questions that answers, but it is clear that vehicle supply will be affected by the tragedy in Japan,” said James Appleton, president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, on April 5. “How much of an impact the interruption will have and which makes and models will be most affected are uncertain.” The earthquake and walls of water that followed put virtually all Japanese auto manufacturing on hold while the country assesses the damage, the association said. The manufacturing of parts for many makes and models, from paint pigments to computer chips, even for some vehicles assembled in the United States, has been interrupted as well, the group said. Few auto plants were seriously
damaged by the quake, but with supplies of water and electricity fleeting, no one can say when factories will crank up. Some auto analysts said it could be as late as this summer. Steve Kalafer, chairman of Flemington Car and Truck Family of Dealerships in Raritan Township, said customers are asking questions about how the crisis will affect availability. Among the company’s dealerships are Subaru, Mazda and Infiniti. The Kalafer family separately owns Clinton Honda. “We have been notified by the different manufacturers of different shortages, different schedule changes and they will be very severe over the next 60 days,” Kalafer said April 1. “These cars will be in very short supply, and we are very concerned for our customers being able to have all of their orders fulfilled in a timely basis that has been historic.” There are signs, though, that things might not be as bad as analysts are predicting. Nissan Motor Co., which has seen production stop in several areas,
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said last week that it expects factories to be back in operation in weeks rather than months. March 31, Honda Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. said they will resume limited production at several Japanese factories, but full production will depend on the availability of parts. Tom Stark, vice president at Joyce Honda in Denville, said the dealership has “plenty of inventory.” “Our pipeline of inventory is not affected going forward,” he said. On April 4, Toyota said some production interruptions in North America are likely, but the company could not predict location or duration. The majority of parts for its North American plants come from about 550 suppliers in North America, the company said. And Toyota continues to receive parts from Japan that were already in the pipeline. At Honda and Acura, more than 80 percent of the vehicles sold in the U.S. are produced in North America. The majority of its parts also come from the region, the company said.
Jim Schwartz, co-owner of Schwartz Mazda in Shrewsbury, said the dealership ordered more cars before the earthquake. “We have some extra cars to bolster our inventory as we see inventory may be a problem as we move through the spring and into the summer,” Schwartz said. “We should be OK.” Schwartz said he recently spoke with the president of Mazda who said there was no damage to the plants where cars are built. “It is just a matter of the supply line getting reopened and up and running.” For now, Appleton of the state auto dealer association said his group is watching the situation. Demand for new vehicles has increased as the economy has started to recover. The group said growing demand and a reduction in supply likely will result in higher prices for many new vehicles. “If the impact of the catastrophe in Japan has even a minor impact on supply, you will find that demand will significantly outstrip supply in the months ahead,” he said.
Continued from Page 45
flected in the uploaded estimate. Again, the fact that calling for a blend on a truck or SUV is less frequent than on smaller passenger cars points to the fact that with the larger panel areas found on trucks and SUVs there is more of an opportunity to blend within the damaged panel. Some may object to this conclusion and say cost shifting was involved, meaning that the additional costs were spread into other areas of the appraisal so that a shop could be compensated for what was truly required. Unfortunately, that may be the case and there is no way in the data to isolate instances where cost shifting is occurring. It is important to note that when we looked at blending within the panel, we did not evaluate how many refinish hours were specified on the appraisal for a specific panel vs. full refinish time. It is very likely that the full base and clear coat were specified in the damaged panel, however, that data is nearly impossible to separate in a data pool of several million estimates. We focused on the blend operation as called out in the appraisal. In looking at the results of the original refinish study, I did not
Paint by Numbers
When blending a panel the reduction in labor time is due to not having to perform the following steps:
Genuine Genu Ge nuin nu inee Mitsubishi in Mits Mi tsub ts ubis ub ishi is hi replacerrep epla ep lace la ce-ce ment ment Crash CCra rash ra sh Parts PPar arts ar ts are are close cclo lose lo se at at hand hand through tthr hrou hr ough ou gh the the following ffol ollo ol lowi lo wing wi ng quality qual qu alit al ityy dealerships. it deal de aler al ersh er ship sh ips. ip s. They TThe heyy offer he offer exceptional exce ex cept ce ptio pt iona io nall customer na cust cu stom st omer om er service, sser ervi er vice vi ce,, ce wide wide selection ssel elec el ecti ec tion ti on of of in-stock in-s in -sto -s tock to ck parts part pa rtss and rt and the the experience expe ex peri pe rien ri ence en ce necessary nece ne cess ce ssar ss aryy to ensure ar eens nsur ns uree your ur your repairs repa re pair pa irss proceed ir proc pr ocee oc eedd smoothly. ee smoo sm ooth oo thly th ly.. ly C A L IF O RNI A
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The largest portion of not included time is for flash time between coats. The blend formula is to be used in conjunction with refinishing an additional panel on the vehicle and therefore would not allow for the already included flash times on the original panel. Were vehicle owners charged for the additional operations that were not approved for reimbursement by insurers? While this occasionally does happen, and is not a great customer experience for the vehicle owner, it is safe to assume that this practice does not occur on every estimate where additional paint operations are performed but not re-
www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 57
fully explore the question of geography in the initial finding. Does the area of the country affect how many hours of blend time are reported? Herein lies the key; areas in the Midwest and South had fewer hours of blend time, and they also have the largest population of trucks/SUVs as well as more domestic vehicles than foreign. When broken out by West Coast, Midwest, Southern and Eastern states, the blend time is lower in states where there are higher volumes of trucks and SUVs being repaired. We can conclude that in today’s col-
lision repair environment, older vehi- been an area of contention between CHECK IT OUT! cles, domestic vehicles and trucks some collision shops and insurers, when the price of oil rises, so does the and SUVs receive fewer blend hours frequency of contention and the volin part because the panel is being blended within the panel and in part ume of questions our editorial department receives related to refinishing. because of the geography of where Looking towards the future, as we the vehicle is located. The focus on refinish operations start the away from large SUVs, Toshift advertise is particularly important as we see call the Advertising increasing number of at: smaller veSales dramatic increases in the cost of a hicles on the road will increase the 800-699-8251 barrel of oil. As Mideast turmoil ad- necessity of blending into adjacent panels. e-mail: versely impacts the cost of oil, Amer- email@example.com icans are shifting towards smaller Statements and opinions expressed vehicles. Increases in paint costs be- www.autobodynews.com cause of rising oil costs will soon fol- in this article are solely those of the author. They are not offered as and low. While refinish operations have
do not constitute legal advice or publisher@autobody opinion of Mitchell International, Inc.
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www.autobodynews.com | MAY 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 59