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House Passes Financial Stability Act, Includes Office of National Insurance The U.S. Senate passed the “Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010” May 20. S. 3217, authored by Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, aims to promote financial stability by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system, to end “too big to fail,” to protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts, and to protect consumers from abusive financial services practices. S. 3217, which has been amended since originally passing the Senate Banking Committee, establishes an Office of National Insurance within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The office will be headed by a director who is to be appointed by the secretary of the treasury. The office’s main functions will be:

• to monitor all aspects of the insurance industry, including identifying issues or gaps in the regulation of insurers that could contribute to a systemic crisis in the insurance industry or the U.S. financial system; • to recommend to the Financial Stability Oversight Council that it designate an insurer, including the affiliates of such insurer, as an entity subject to regulation as a nonbank financial company supervised by the Board of Governors pursuant to Title I of the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010; • to assist the secretary in administering the Terrorism Insurance Program established in the Department of the Treasury under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002;

by John Yoswick Special to Autobody News

place. The demonstrations have led at least four insurers to pull back from asking shops to use certain non-OEM parts, and has led to new testing and certification efforts related to such parts. Chess’ Eileen Sottille of QPC latest presentation on such parts at CIC in April was halted at the last minute after he said he was threatened with a lawsuit by LKQ Corporation, parent company of Keystone Automotive.

See House Passes Act, Page 12

ABPA Conference Airs Aftermarket Parts Certification Issues Again The fallout in recent months from concerns raised about non-OEM bumper and structural parts raised by industry trainer Toby Chess was clearly on the minds of the parts manufacturers and distributors gathered in Indianapolis, Ind., this spring for the Automotive Body Parts Association’s 30th annual meeting. At the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) this past November and January, Chess demonstrated key differences between some non-OEM structural parts and the OEM parts they are being sold to re-

See ABPA Conference, Page 47

VOL. 28 ISSUE 6 JUNE 2010

Congresswoman Jackie Speier Wields Her Own Reciprocating Saw on Rebar Parts

Earlier this month Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) launched her own exploration of the structural differences between certain vehicle safety parts by sawing through an aftermarket reinforcement bar in her San Mateo district office. The reciprocating saw she used reportedly didn’t dent the bar from the vehicle manufacturer. Speier, author of California’s original anti-steering law, stated, “I’m concerned that vehicle owners who’ve been in an accident are unaware that replacing a reinforcement bar with one not designed by the manufacturer may compromise the safety of vehicle occupants in a subsequent collision. Airbag deployment can be thrown off by a reinforcement bar that doesn’t absorb shock in the way intended by the vehicle manufacturer.”

Speier conducted the test with the help of two well known collision industry experts: Lee Amaradio, president of the Collision Repair Association of California (steadying the saw) and Allen Wood, the association’s See Jackie Speier, Page 25

Giant Toyota Teams with Tiny Tesla to Build Next Generation Cars at Fremont, CA, Plant A $50 million investment will create a partnership between Toyota Motor Corporation and Tesla Motors to produce electric vehicles and bring jobs back to the former plant owned by GM-Toyota called the New United Motor Manufacturing (NUMMI) plant in Fremont, CA, said the smiling CEOs on May 21. CEOs Elon Musk of Tesla and Akio Toyoda of Toyota were joined for the announcement by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who also spoke, saying the deal was aided by tax incentives. “What we are witnessing today is an historic example of California’s transition to a cleaner, greener, more prosperous future,” Schwarzenegger said. According to the deal, both giant Toyota and tiny Tesla will be working together to manufacture Tesla model S sedan, which is a high performance electric sedan, competing with cars like the BMW 5-series. Initially, the automakers are expected to produce 20,000 vehicles. The partnership could create 1,000 jobs initially and eventually as many as 10,000 worldwide. Half of the jobs are expected to be at NUMMI and the other half would be with suppliers, Musk said. Less than a day after the an-

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (r) listens to Elon Musk announce the partnership

nouncement, United Auto Workers (UAW) was urging Toyota to hire workers that were laid off at the old GM-Toyota plant. UAW president, Ron Gettelfinger, said in a statement, “Our union’s hope is that this venture will give first hiring preference to former NUMMI employees who are already trained and highly skilled.” Toyota President Akio Toyoda got misty-eyed about his first drive in a Tesla Roadster in Southern California six weeks ago. He enthused, “Not only was I impressed by Tesla’s technology, but I also felt their energy, seeing that they made the vehicle in an extremely short time. “I felt the wind—the wind of the future,” Toyoda said.

See Toyota-Tesla, Page 35

Change Service Requested P.O. BOX 1400, OCEANSIDE, CA 92051-1400

Presorted Standard US Postage PAID Ontario, Ca. Permit No. 1


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2009 Historic Loss in Vehicle Population . . . . . . . 26

Headaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

ABPA Conference Airs Aftermarket Parts . . . . . . . 1

Gunder’s Case Not Over—Court Mediation . . . . . 34

AkzoNobel's Most Influential Women . . . . . . . . . 15

House Passes Financial Stability Act, Includes

AkzoNobel Honors Top Independent Distributors . . 4

Office of National Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Amaradio - Beating a Dead Horse . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

I-CAR Industry Conference Registration Open . . . . 5

Arnold - PBE Jobber: Friend or Ally . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Insure.com Figures Least Expensive to Insure . . . 19

Attanasio - Shop Credits Mitchell’s Tools . . . . . . 20

Kniesel’s Hosts Extrication Class . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Attanasio - Murietta Shop Goes to DuPont™

LKQ Says Wheel Reconditioning Passes All

Cromax® Pro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Testing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Auto Supplier Plasman Wants AL Plant . . . . . . . . 39

Martin Senour Vortex® Waterborne Basecoat. . . . 24

Autobody News to Walk the Walk . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Matrix System Teams with Miller Electric . . . . . . . 26

Automotive Aftermarket Industry Objects to

Mercury Faces Discrimination Accusations . . . . . . 9

‘Misleading Public Relations Initiative’ . . . . . . . 16 AWRS and Ride-On Form Strategic Alliance. . . . . 26 BAR Shuts Down Five Service Shops for Fraud . . 13 BMW Expands Factory Tour at New Price . . . . . . 24

Mercury Insurance Piles On for Prop. 17 . . . . . . . . 8 Mercury: Military Must Not Be ‘Responsible’ Drivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 MIT Prints Solar Cells on Paper; Could It Work as Car Paint? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

CARQUEST Returns to CARS 2010 as Exhibitor. . 27

MO Auto Dealer Pleads Guilty to Helping Al-Qaida 38

Car-Toon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

NCOIL to Introduce New Anti-Steering Measure . . 38

CDI Notice to ‘All Admitted Insurers and Other

Nissan Says There will Be Leaf Shortage. . . . . . . 33

Indexof Advertisers

CAA Provides Workshops Detailing Inspections . 24

Interested Parties’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Old Chrysler Repays $1.9B, Treasury Loses Rest . 5

Chrysler CEO Says IPO May Come in 2011 . . . . . . 5

PPG Says 10,000 Techs Converted . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Chrysler Unveils 2011 Grand Cherokee . . . . . . . . . 5

Randy A. Harris Wins Design Contest . . . . . . . . . 49

Commerce Secretary Visits E-car Facility. . . . . . . 13

Rouse Named ABRA President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Congresswoman Jackie Speier Wields Her Own

Senate Exempts Auto Dealers in Regulations . . . . 13

Reciprocating Saw on Rebar Parts . . . . . . . . . . 1 CRA Exchanges Letters with CDI Commissioner’s

Schroeder - Silsbee Texas Gets New Fasulo’s . . . 44 Shreveport, Louisiana’s Caddo School Named

Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

‘2010 School of the Year’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Equipment and Tool Institute Founder’s Award . . . 27

Speaker Pelosi on Auto Emission Standard . . . . . 13

Espersen - Was this Noise Caused by the Repair? 31

Spray Gun Repair Inc. Gets Full Value from Guns . 10

Evans - Building a Custom Trophy . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Sterling Autobody Earns BBB A+ . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Ford Fiesta Now in the 40 mpg Category . . . . . . . 26

Students Apply For Craftsman Tool Grant . . . . . . 33

Ford Promotes Favorable Repair and Insurance

Study Pokes Holes in Air Bag Standards . . . . . . . 14

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: Tom Franklin, Dick Strom, John Yoswick, Lee Amaradio, Rich Evans, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Mike Causey, Tom McGee Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Christina Shubert (800) 699-8251 Sales Assistant: Stephanie Bowling Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia 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. ©2010 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1400, Oceanside, CA 92051-1400 (800) 699-8251 (760) 721-0253 Fax www.autobodynews.com Email: news@autobodynews.com

Western

Contents

AEGIS Tools Intl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32

Johnson’s Super Service . . . . . . . . . . .34

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . .52

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . .21

Alldata Collision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41

Auto Body Guru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 Autoland Scientech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27

Automotive ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 BMW of Riverside . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . .37 British Motor Car Distributors . . . . . . . .42

Buerge Chrysler-Jeep . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

Chassis Liner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54-55

Completes Plus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43

Crevier BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Downtown Motors of LA

(Audi, VW, Porsche) . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Cost Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

The California Autobody Association: 43 Years . . 22

DuPont . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Franklin - Save Money By ‘Piggybacking’. . . . . . . 50

Toyota Makes $2.2B Annual Profit . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Express Metal Recycling . . . . . . . . . . . .34

Gesterkamp - Open Clearcoat Blends. . . . . . . . . . . 4

Toyota President Says 2003 Was Turning Point . . 16

Giant Toyota Teams with Tiny Tesla . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Tucson Student Wins Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Gonzo's Toolbox - Mr. Gorillalilla . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

U.S. House Committee Passes Auto-Safety Bill . . 54

Gulf Coast Oil Spill Causes More Than Eco

West Leads Country in Stolen Vehicle Statistics . . 38

Enterprise Rent-A-Car . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 Folsom Lake Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . .16 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers

AZ, CA, & NV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33

Galpin Motors . . . . . . . . . . .25, 28-29, 35 GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . .39 Honda/Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers 52 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . .45

Kearny Pearson Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

LKQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Matrix System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . .54

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .53

Mobile Lift Jack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .23 Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .46

Pacific BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Power Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . . . . . . . .7

PPG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Pro-Spray . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 RBL Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Replica Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 SCA Appraisal Company . . . . . . . . . . .18

Shoot Suits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Soft-Sanders from Style-Line, Corp . . .49

Spray Gun Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . .9 Suzuki Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . .50

Timmons VW-Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .38 Volvo Crash Wholesale Dealers . . . . . .47

Weatherford BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24

www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 3


Paint Management

Open Clearcoat Blends with Stefan Gesterkamp

Although I know better than being surprised about issues that never seem to go away, it still puzzles me how we can hold on to some for as long as we do. Open clearcoat blends have been attempted and discussed for many years and not once since the departure of lacquer type technology has anybody with technical knowledge decided that they are a really good idea. Granted, from a non-technical, purely financial point of view, they appear worth exploring. Fewer products applied should theoretically lower the cost of the repair, but the reality is quiet the opposite. Let’s pretend, for the sake of conversation, that an open clearcoat blend within a panel would actually be durable enough to last. Prepping the panel for a successful spot repair is far more involved and labor intensive than a complete refinish of the surface. As a result, it eats up more expenses in labor cost than the additional clearcoat would ever be worth. Let’s take a closer look into the prep requirement to make this repair happen. After you thoroughly clean the surface and remove any wax or grease, the body tech must repair the damage very carefully. It’s critical to not unnecessarily disturb any paint film surrounding the repair. I know that it is frequently underestimated, but keeping a repair small requires a better trained technician and a higher skill level. It also takes more time to keep it small. The next step is key for this type of repair to stand a chance of success. It requires the shop to pre-polish the paint surface that you are going to blend your clear over with a heavy duty compound. This is followed of course by another round of surface cleaning.

At this point the paint department would prep and prime the repaired area and, again, spend extra time in the process of keeping it small. After the primer is cured, the surface is being prepped for the paint and blending process. This process requires the painter to step the sanding grid down in size as you get further out into the surrounding surface. The surface preparation also requires the technician to know exactly where his final blend is going to be. The clearcoat blend has to be over a sanded surface to give it a remote chance of durability, but it must be fine enough to be able to be buffed easily, without burning the edge. A successful paint application for this type of repair also requires a higher skill level on the painter’s part and actually more time to get it done right. The color match has to be closer; there is not much room to really effectively blend out a questionable color. Keeping the surface clean during paint application is also more critical and time consuming. The very thin, solvent-blended clearcoat edge is not giving you much product to work with when it comes to buffing out any particles. Now, after you have successfully overcome all these hurdles, it is back to polishing the panel for the second time. In all honesty, clients everywhere have expressed to me that it is sometimes hard to get properly paid for color-sand and buff the way it is, what are your chances to get paid twice? If you really take a close look into what it takes to perform an open clear blend within a panel, common sense would dictate that you simply abandon this type of procedure. The second part of the equation is that most major paint manufacturers will not

AkzoNobel Honors Top Independent Distributors Accolades for the top 2009 AkzoNobel distributors were given during the closing ceremonies at the 2010 AkzoNobel Independent Wholesalers Conference. The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana was the location for the two day program which focused on market trends and business growth opportunities. Awards were given in the following three key categories:

Outstanding in Winning New Customers: Color and Equipment – Pelham, AL, PF3 Paint Supply – Wixom, MI, Hyman’s Specialty Paint – Chicago, IL, Automotive Color Inc. - Jackson, MS, Metro Automotive Paint – Miami, FL, Grinstead Group, Inc. – Louisville, KY

Outstanding CSI Achievement: Tri-State Coatings – Shreveport, LA, Ohio

Automotive Supply – Findlay, OH, C & D Supply – Bridgeview, IL

Outstanding Overall Sales Growth: PF3 Paint Supply – Wixom, MI, Professional Automotive Paint – Atascadero, CA, Cajun Color Supply – Broussard, LA, TriState Coatings – Shreveport, LA, Automotive Color Inc. – Jackson, MS

“2009 marked one of the most challenging years in the history of our industry,” noted Doug Holmberg, Director of Sales for AkzoNobel Car Refinishes North America. “Each of the businesses recognized excelled due to a high level of knowledge, integrity and professionalism that are mainstays of their businesses.”

4 JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

Stefan Gesterkamp is a Master Craftsman and BASF representative who has been in the automotive paint industry for 27 years. He started his career in a custom shop before turning to collision repair. Stefan graduated from the University of Coatings and Colorants in Germany and is the author of “How to Paint Your Show Car.”

warranty an open clearcoat blend. The failure rate on this is too high. The more sun exposure a blend edge will get, the faster the deterioration of the edge. We have all seen the clearcoat blends on sail panels breaking down. Car manufacturers like Toyota and others clearly express their opinions on this subject and require full-panel clear coating on all of their vehicles. If you start thinking about it, it makes good sense to avoid open blends for more then one reason. Besides the obvious culprits, UV-ray-exposure and chemical fallout, that continuously deteriorate the paint’s surface, do you even know what type of clear is on a vehicle you are trying to repair? If you are not sure if the clear coated surface of the car is either a pre-flexed, anti scratch, self healing, powder coated or nano technology type clear, then how can you determine the proper technique or product choice? Different clearcoat technologies have different properties and they may require

customized solutions. Let’s just take a look at one of those properties that is unique and directly related to the specific paint technology on the vehicle. It is the expansion and contraction ratio of the paint film itself. This ratio can greatly impact the blends durability. If the OEM clearcoat expansion and contraction ratio differs during weather related heat-up and cool-down from that of the refinish product, the super thin transition between both coatings will not stand a chance to overcome the ongoing physical stress. By the way, these differences are not a problem for surfaces that are going to be completely clear coated! And even if you would know the exact expansion and contraction ratios, making this type of repair consistently work for you will be challenging. Insurers and shops alike say that they want the best possible repair and pre-accident conditions for their clients’ vehicles. If this is the case, then why are we still playing with the idea of sub-standard repairs?


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www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 5


I-CAR Industry Conference Registration Now Open

I-CAR has announced that online registration for the 2010 I-CAR Industry Conference is now open. The half-day conference will be held on July 21 from 8–12 noon at the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, IL. This year’s event will coincide with several other industry meetings being held during the same week. During the conference, I-CAR will introduce its redesigned, role-based curriculum structure to the interindustry. “For the past two and a half years, ICAR has been allowed to facilitate an industry-wide conversation on the training needs of the auto collision inter-industry. The industry has told I-CAR what is required of I-CAR to deliver on its vision that every person in the collision industry, current and future, has the necessary knowledge and skills relevant to their position to achieve a complete and safe repair,” said John Edelen, I-CAR President and CEO. “I-CAR has focused on clearly defining industry roles, identifying the knowledge and skills needed to be effective in each role, and developing a training and recognition structure that we believe aligns with the direction of the industry,” he continued. “With the introduction of the role-based curriculum, I-CAR will present the outcome of that effort—a significant re-engineering of I-CAR’s training, the

Chrysler CEO Says IPO May Come in 2011

Chrysler will "probably" launch its public offering in 2011 and expects that 2010 will be a better year than it originally had forecast, the company's chief executive said on Thursday. Marchionne said that he expects Chrysler to get clearance for U.S. Department of Energy loans for green car manufacturing this year. The Obama administration has set a target of putting 1 million rechargeable cars on the road by 2015. Chrysler recently said it will introduce an all-electric Fiat 500 to the U.S. market in 2012 and drop plans to develop a hybrid version of the 2011 Ram pickup truck.

organization of its curriculum, its industry recognition programs, and the transition that will take place.” Jeff Peevy, I-CAR Director of Field Operations said, “These changes will provide tremendous value to a broad range of inter-industry segments. The redesigned role-relevant training model provides organization and structure for career development paths, linking training more closely to the performance of an individual’s role.” For registration information and event details, visit www.i-car.com/meetings. Questions regarding registration should be directed to Jolinda Ottum at jolinda.ottum@i-car.com or 847-463-5247.

Chrysler Unveils 2011 Grand Cherokee Nearly two decades ago, Jeep invented the premium sport-utility vehicle segment with the introduction of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Now Jeep delivers an all-new Grand Cherokee for 2011 and Chrysler Group has released images of the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, as a flagship symbol of the new Chrysler.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is available in Laredo, Limited and Overland models and arrive in Jeep showrooms in the USA next month.

“The production launch of the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee signals the rebirth of the Chrysler Group,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler Group LLC CEO. “The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a signature vehicle for Chrysler. It represents the best of this Company, the direction we’re moving toward producing high quality, technologically advanced vehicles. We are confident the Grand Cherokee will receive the proper recognition for what it stands for when it hits the road in June.”

Production began on May 21, 2010. Capability highlights include a choice of three 4x4 systems, new Jeep Quadra-Lift™ Air Suspension and Selec-Terrain™ systems and towing capability of 7,400 lbs. There’s a new independent front and rear suspension systems and a new body structure that dramatically increases torsional stiffness. The 2011 Grand Cherokee features Chrysler’s all-new 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine with an 11 percent improvement in fuel economy and delivers up to 23 mpg and more than 500 miles on one tank of gas. The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is built at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) in Detroit. The nearly 3-million-square-foot assembly plant has been the site of Grand Cherokee production since its introduction in 1992. JNAP went through a complete transformation as part of World Class Manufacturing (WCM), an extensive and thorough process to restore all Chrysler Group facilities. JNAPemployees have planned and executed hundreds of projects aimed at improving the work environment, maximizing quality, minimizing waste and preparing for the new product. JNAP is producing the new Grand Cherokee in an all-new flexible body shop that will deliver the most precise body dimensions ever built. Chrysler Group invested $686 million on the Grand Cherokee program. Chrysler is the only automotive manufacturer still producing vehicles in the city of Detroit.

6 JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

‘Old Chrysler’ Repays $1.9B, Treasury Loses Rest of $4B The U.S. Treasury Department has received a $1.9B loan repayment from Chrysler Holding, the parent Chrysler company that filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Chrysler Holding is owned by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, which bought majority stake in Chrysler from Daimler AG in 2007. Chrysler came so close to running out of money at the end of 2008 that U.S. government stepped in, authorizing $15.5 billion in aid and appointing Fiat SpA to run the new Chrysler after it emerged from bankruptcy protection. The old Chrysler, made up mainly of debt and unprofitable assets, along with its finance arm, became Chrysler Holding. The repayment was “significantly more” than the department expected, the agency said. Treasury had made the $4 billion loan on Jan. 2, 2009, approved by the Bush administration, which went into default when Chrysler LLC was forced into bankruptcy by the Obama administration in April 2009. The original $4 billion loan went into default when Chrysler filed for bankruptcy in April 2009. In June 2009, the assets of old Chrysler were sold to the holding company as part of the bankruptcy court proceedings.When assents of Old Chrysler were sold to the new company in June, the loan was reduced by $500 million, according to the statement. Liquidation of the bankrupt carmaker didn’t result in recovery of the debt.

Chrysler Holding has no ownership stake in Chrysler Group LLC, which isn’t directly affected by the repayment, however Treasury has said it hopes to get another $500 million from Chrysler Group LLC. Treasury said it has received repayments of $3.9 billion to date, including the $1.9 billion repayment and a $1.5 billion loan paid off by Chrysler Financial. Chrysler also assumed $500 million of Old Chrysler's debt, reducing the debt to the government. Under the financing arrangement the U.S. government can own up to 35% of Chrysler Group but officials said that the government had no plans to add to its stake in the new Chrysler. The remainder of the company is now 68 percent owned by a United Auto Workers retiree health care trust, 10 percent by the U.S. government and just over 2 percent by the Canadian government. Treasury also acknowledged another $1.9 billion in potential losses from a separate loan that had been made to Chrysler Holding before it went through bankruptcy proceedings. It indicated slim hopes of recouping much if anything from that separate $1.9 billion loan. Treasury said that as a result of the repayment, Chrysler Holding and Chrysler Financial, the auto financing arm of the company, no longer have outstanding obligations to the $700 billion TARP bailout fund. Chrysler Group LLC still does.

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www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 7


Mercury Insurance Piles On for Prop. 17 Mercury Insurance has dumped another $3.5 million into the campaign for Prop 17, the car insurance rate increase initiative on the June ballot, as it escalates its television ad buy in the final weeks of the campaign. Mercury has now spent approximately $13,840,000 on Prop 17. The remaining $60,000 or so to the campaign appears to come almost exclusively from Mercury agents. Mercury Insurance, as sponsor of Prop 17, is pushing regulators to allow a $32 million rate increase for California drivers insured by the company and its affiliates. The company is seeking the rate hike even as it is spending millions on an ad campaign promoting that Prop 17 would lower car insurance costs. The nonprofit organization Consumer Watchdog has challenged the proposed rate hike, saying the company has played fast and loose with data in an attempt to improperly raise rates and should actually be lowering prices by 11% for policyholders. “Mercury Insurance is spending millions to try and convince voters that Prop 17 would lower premiums, while it's working behind the scenes to jack up car insurance rates before the election,” said Doug Heller with Stop Prop 17. “If Mercury raises rates by $32 million, it would recoup every dime spent on its deceptive campaign for Prop 17, with policyholders picking up the tab.” Consumer advocates have slammed Mercury's rate hike proposal as excessive and improper. Among other problems with the company's plan, Mercury has changed the actuarial formula it selected to use when it became apparent the originally selected formula would result in lower rates. The company originally argued, in 2008, that it should look back at two years' worth of data to determine future trends and claimed it was due a rate increase as a result. But when, in late 2009, the data indicated that the two-year trends would lead to a rate decrease, the company suddenly changed its position and argued for the right to use five years of data to determine its future trends. “As with Prop 17, Mercury doesn't care about the facts, it just looks for any angle to squeeze more money out of drivers,” said Heller. If approved as Mercury has proposed, the rate hike would force its insured drivers to pay an average of about $145 more than they should, based on Consumer Watchdog's calculations. The Department of Insurance has not made a decision on the proposal.

8 JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

S&P Downgrades Mercury's Ratings The ratings agency Standard & Poor's has downgraded Mercury's financial strength rating of the company. Among other reasons, S&P cited “its business concentra-

tion in California” and the fact that “in its home state of California, Mercury faces keen competition.” Mercury's Prop 17 gambit is an effort to improve its bottom line in California, on which so much of the company's profits rely. Mercury claims that Prop 17 is needed to make California a competitive market, but consumer groups opposed to Prop 17 point out that Prop 17 would actually limit availability of auto insurance for millions of drivers and that California, as reinforced by this S&P analysis, is currently one of the most competitive car insurance markets in the country. The Stop Prop 17 campaign noted that not only is Mercury wrong in claiming California is not a competitive insurance market, the proposed rate hike shows that Mercury plans on using Prop 17 to bolster its bottom line not create savings for drivers. The Department of Insurance analysis of Prop 17 suggests that if insurance companies were to provide even minimal discounts to customers, others customers would necessarily face surcharges. In response, Mercury and its representatives have, on several occasions, attempted to refute this analysis by suggesting that instead of imposing any surcharges under Prop 17, insurance companies would lower everyone's rates so nobody would be punished. This rate increase suggests, instead, that the opposite is more likely true. Rather than lowering rates to avoid surcharging drivers as Prop 17 would require, Mercury plans to increase rates ahead of Prop 17 to avoid giving any customers any real discounts. “The insurance company promising that Prop 17 will give drivers discounts is actually trying to raise its customers' premiums first. Only an insurance company like Mercury could try and sell a policy as worthless as that,” said Heller. “Mercury thinks that all it has to do is keep throwing money into the deceptive ad campaign for Prop 17 to pass this car insurance rate hike initiative,” said Doug Heller with Stop Prop 17. “Insurance companies don't spend millions of dollars on an initiative to save consumers money and we hope voters will see through Mercury Insurance's phony promises and vote no on 17.” Prop 17 would create an insurance surcharge on drivers who have had a lapse in car insurance coverage for virtually any reason during the past five years, or whose policy was cancelled after missing a single payment. Under the measure, people who stopped driving and didn't need insurance for a time would be required to pay up to a thousand dollars more for car insurance when they sought to restart coverage. Currently, insurance companies are prohibited from imposing such a surcharge in California.


Mercury Insurance Faces Accusations of Discrimination The campaign against Prop 17 released documents May 20 revealing that Mercury Insurance, the initiative's sole sponsor, required its agents to withhold auto insurance policies from military personnel, diabetics, women married to younger men, and drivers thought to be of Middle Eastern descent even if they had good driving records. The declarations from three former insurance agents, obtained by Consumer Watchdog, corroborate key findings regarding discriminatory practices at Mercury from a series of California Department of Insurance (CDI) investigations released earlier this year. "Every week there's a new revelation about how Mercury illegally discriminates against its customers and targets Californians with higher car insurance rates. Now Mercury wants voters to pass Prop 17 and give insurance companies new power to raise rates," said Doug Heller with the Stop Prop 17 campaign. Two of the agents were employed by Auto Insurance Specialists (AIS), which was one of the largest Mercury agencies at the time and is now owned by Mercury. A third was employed by another Mercury agency. The insurance agents' declarations were made in the

late 1990s at about the same time the California Department of Insurance (CDI) was investigating wide-ranging discrimination by Mercury. Last month the CDI filed an administrative lawsuit against Mercury for approximately 35 illegal practices as well as for failing to correct the unfair rating practices over the past 15 years despite prior agreements to do so. According to one of the agents, Michael Feldman: [Mercury Insurance underwriting managers] Ms. Norris and Ms. Harris directed [AIS Agency branch manager] Mr. Heywood to instruct me that I could not write "poor caliber risks" such as diabetics, salvaged cars or middle easterners for any Mercury insurance policies, including Proposition 103 good driver policies... with regard to middle easterners, they stated that if I could not pronounce a name, I should not write that person. California law prohibits auto insurance companies from considering the national origin or medical condition of good drivers when deciding whether or not to sell an insurance policy. Under the 1988 insurance reform measure Proposition 103 insurance companies are required to offer their best-priced policy to any customer who qualifies as a good driver.

Mercury Insurance: Military Must Not Be ‘Responsible’ Drivers Mercury Insurance, the sponsor of Prop 17 is peppering the state’s voters with new mailers that tell military servicemen and women that they are not responsible drivers if they serve their country stateside without a car. Consumer advocates fighting Prop 17 said the flier, which promises “Lower rates for responsible drivers,” denigrates our nation’s military, only because they don’t bring their car to base while on duty. “The insurance company backers of Prop 17 are saying that people like servicemen and women who don’t drive while on base are irresponsible if they drop car insurance during their service,” said Brian Van Riper, Iraqi war veteran and retired Lance Corporal, US Marines. “What’s irresponsible is this insurance company initiative to punish good drivers who have done nothing wrong.” Prop 17 would create an insurance surcharge on drivers, including soldiers, who have had a lapse in car insurance coverage for virtually any reason during the past five years, or whose policy was cancelled after missing a single payment. Under the measure, people who stopped driving and didn’t need insurance for a time would be required to pay up to a thousand dollars more for car insurance when they sought to restart coverage. Currently, insurance companies are prohibited from imposing such a surcharge in California.

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Prop 17 is opposed by military, consumer and citizen groups including VoteVets.org, USAA, Consumers Union, Consumer Watchdog, Consumer Federation of California, and California Alliance of Retired Americans. The San Diego Union-Tribune in its rejection of Prop 17 wrote: ...there are two reasons to have sharp doubts about Proposition 17. The first is that Proposition 17 is a perfect example of the deplorable way the state initiative process is used by private companies for their own benefit. The second has to do with the fact that a member of the U.S. military would not be protected from losing his or her “continuous coverage” discount if transferred within the United States. The protection extends only to those transferred abroad. This is why the United Services Automobile Association, an insurer which specializes in military families, strongly opposes Proposition 17. Especially in a time of war – and especially as the newspaper of a community with such a rich history and relationship with the U.S. armed forces – we find this very difficult to accept. For this reason, we recommend a “no” vote. The campaign in favor of Prop 17 is 99% funded by insurance companies, with Mercury Insurance having spent over $10.3 million to date.

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www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 9


Spray Gun Repair Inc. Helps Customers Get Full Value from their Guns Paul Masters, the owner of Spray Gun Repair Inc. of 344 Chase Rd in Thompson, Connecticut, has been rebuilding and cleaning Spray Guns since 1976. At that time, he was working at his family-owned business, Masters Auto Body Supplies, where he learned to rebuild and properly clean spray guns to meet customer needs and to extend the useful life of their automotive paint spray guns. Masters has heard the same stories from spray gun users in applications as different as furniture and cabinet refinishers to auto painters. He knows the prevailing attitude is “When my spray gun stops working properly, I toss it under my bench and buy a new one.” This he knows to be a senseless waste of time and money. He’s identified four basic levels of spray gun maintainance: daily lubrication, periodic maintainance (best performed at the end of the work week), thorough cleaning (if the periodic maintainance doesn’t prevent the problem), and eventually rebuilding the spray gun (replacing all the gaskets, seals, and packings). Masters views his business as both lean and green, in the same way a shop would view any more efficient, cost effective process. But he sees even greater demands now given the new EPA regulations

for efficient transfer, whether a shop is spraying waterborne or solvent, or both. Replacing a good gun that only needs correct service is both expensive and wasteful. You can recondition a gun for a fraction of the cost of replacing it.

cility, Paul Masters of Spray Gun Repair Inc. is known throughout the industry as the place to send your guns to be repaired.

Evolution of The Company Spray Gun Repair Inc. has been in business since February 1995, and the company has literally exploded in size. Starting with only a few customers, Spray Gun Re-

State of The Art Service With the requirements of the customer increasing, and speedy service a big part of those requirements, the company has adapted to the demands of its customers. With the introduction of computers and state-of-the-art software, Spray Gun Repair Inc. can handle any sort of request

pair now has well over 2200 customers that request Paul Masters’ services on a regular basis. The great majority of those customers are jobbers and warehouses that need a good and reliable high quality cleaning facility that Spray Gun Repair Inc. provides. With his numerous skilled employees and state of the art cleaning and repair fa-

with the professionalism and respect the customer is looking for. The advanced computer and diagnostic network systems employed at Spray Gun Repair Inc. can help the customer realize full value from his or her investment in the equipment. Not unlike a comfortable pair of shoes which fit better in the latter half of their life than when they’re being broken

in, a good and familiar spray gun performs better and more consistently than an unfamiliar one, regardless of the new ones’ quality. With multiple workstations and start of the art shipping software, the company can record when the spray gun was repaired, shipped to, received by whom and what parts were utilized. This gives the customer a tremendous amount of information and the assurance that his or her company will receive the spray gun on time and in good condition. If future repairs need to be made, this data is helpful in diagnosing and forestalling any new repairs. Over the years, Paul Masters has shared his knowledge of spray guns in many ways. He has been featured in a video called How to Master your Spray Gun which is an informative demonstration of how to rebuild various Models/ Brands of spray guns. Produced by Spray Gun Solutions Inc. of Arvada, CO, and available at his website: www.spraygunrepair.com. Below left is Masters’ recommended procedure for periodic maintainance. To read a more complete version of “The ABCs of Spray Gun Maintainance” contact Paul Masters at his website, or call toll free: 888-452-1095.

! P O

ST Step-1. Start by brushing the outside of the air cap using the GP brush.

Step-2. Locate the needle in your seven piece needle set that fits the air holes in the face of the air cap and make sure they are open.

Step-3. Locate the appropriate brush in the five-piece mini brush kit and clean the center hole of the air cap (fluid passage).

Step-4. Using the same kit, clean the air horns of the cap (front and back).

Step-5. Use the 3/16-in. end brush to clean the inside of the fluid tip.

Step-6. Using the five-piece mini brush kit, clean the needle seat (center hole) of the fluid tip.

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Step-8 and 9. A brush in the same kit is also used to clean all the air holes in the baffle (front and back). Wipe your needle and lubricate. Be sure to lubricate the needle packing, air valve and trigger stud. The best time for this procedure is a Friday afternoon so your equipment is ready for use at the start of the next week.

10 JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

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Continued from Page 1

House Passes Act

• to coordinate federal efforts and develop federal policy on prudential aspects of international insurance matters, including representing the United States, as appropriate, in the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (or a successor entity) and assisting the secretary in negotiating International Insurance Agreements on Prudential Measures; • to determine whether state insurance measures are preempted by International Insurance Agreements on Prudential Measures; • to consult with the states (including state insurance regulators) regarding insurance matters of national importance and prudential insurance matters of international importance; and • to perform such other related duties and authorities as may be assigned to the office by the secretary. The Office of National Insurance is also required to conduct a study within 18 months of enactment and report to the Congress on how to modernize and improve insurance regulation: • In General - Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this section, the director shall conduct a study

and submit a report to Congress on how to modernize and improve the system of insurance regulation in the United States. • Considerations - The study and report shall be based on and guided by the following considerations: • Systemic risk regulation with respect to insurance. • Capital standards and the relationship between capital allocation and liabilities, including standards relating to liquidity and duration risk. • Consumer protection for insurance products and practices, including gaps in state regulation. • The degree of national uniformity of state insurance regulation. • The regulation of insurance companies and affiliates on a consolidated basis. • International coordination of insurance regulation. • Additional Factors - The study and report required under paragraph (1) shall also examine the following factors: • The costs and benefits of potential federal regulation of insurance across various lines of insurance (except health insurance). • The feasibility of regulating only certain lines of insurance at the federal level, while leaving other lines of insurance to be regulated at the state level.

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• The ability of any potential federal regulation or federal regulators to eliminate or minimize regulatory arbitrage. • The impact that developments in the regulation of insurance in foreign jurisdictions might have on the potential federal regulation of insurance. • The ability of any potential federal regulation or federal regulator to provide robust consumer protection for policyholders. • The potential consequences of subjecting insurance companies to a federal resolution authority, including the effects of any federal resolution authority - on the operation of state insurance guaranty fund systems, including the loss of guaranty fund coverage if an insurance company is subject to a federal resolution authority; - on policyholder protection, including the loss of the priority status of policyholder claims over other unsecured general creditor claims; - in the case of life insurance companies, the loss of the special status of separate account assets and separate account liabilities; and - on the international competitiveness of insurance companies. - such other factors as the director determines necessary or appropriate, consistent with the principles set forth in paragraph (2).

• Required Recommendations - The study and report required under paragraph (1) shall also contain any legislative, administrative, or regulatory recommendations, as the director determines appropriate, to carry out or effectuate the findings set forth in such report. • Consultation - With respect to the study and report required under paragraph (1), the director shall consult with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, consumer organizations, representatives of the insurance industry and policyholders, and other organizations and experts, as appropriate. To view a complete summary of the legislation, along with the full text, visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.

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Senate Exempts Auto Dealers in Regulations

As the two houses of Congress prepare to merge their financial overhaul bills, the Senate voted 60 to 30 to recommend that the nation’s auto dealers be exempted from assisting on customer loans on May 25. Auto dealers have lobbied fervently to escape new regulations, arguing that existing regulators already have power to crack down on abusive practices and that the Senate bill would still cover firms that issue auto loans. The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) President Phil Brady said in a statement, “Dealers across the country are pleased that both the Senate and House are now on record supporting language which ... preserves dealer-assisted financing as an affordable, convenient and competitive source of credit. Senators clearly understand that dealers are not lenders—they do not underwrite, fund or service auto loans.” The vote came as Senate leaders prepared to appoint conferees to meet with counterparts from the House to hammer out differences between new financial rules approved by each chamber. The effort will be chaired by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who has said he hopes to deliver a final bill to President Obama by July 4.

BAR Shuts Down Five Service Shops for Fraud

Five California automotive repair shops have been shut down because of fraud allegations. Five Purrfect Auto Service Centers were closed early day May 20 until further notice. "People were sold computers ... that control your auto nowadays that were not needed," said Dan Povey of the state Bureau of Automotive Repair. The following five Purrfect Auto Service shops are involved: * 9701 Folsom Blvd. in Sacramento * 2344 Sunrise Blvd. in Rancho Cordova * 525 Cirby Way of Roseville * 6800 Fair Oaks Blvd. in Carmichael * 2525 N. Texas St. in Fairfield State investigators started getting complaints in December. Using undercover vehicles, the state documented fraud and abuse at the centers. "This was a situation where these people were just stealing left and right," Povey said. "This was our only option, to shut it down and protect people of the area." Some 18 victims so far have been identified. The corporate owner, Alabani Inc., of Las Vegas, may also face criminal charges as well.The auto shops have the right to an administrative hearing at which they may contest the charges.

Commerce Secretary Visits E-car and Battery Facility

CODA, a California-based battery system and electric car company, hosted U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke at the site of the battery manufacturing facility. The visit was part of the Obama administration's first cabinet-level trade mission. Discussions will focus on U.S.China cooperation with respect to the development and manufacturing of clean energy technology, in this instance, battery systems for transportation and utility applications. U.S. representatives of CODA's supply chain, including Nexteer Automotive and BorgWarner, will attend. Production of CODA's all-electric sedan, slated for delivery in the fourth quarter of this year. "International green technology partnerships can produce rapid job growth back home and deliver energy solutions abroad, and CODA's venture proves it," Locke said. "Together, CODA and Lishen have created a battery system with the potential to power a new generation of cars creating sustainable manufacturing industries that ultimately reduce our dependence on oil." CODA is also a large-scale producer of power battery systems for transportation and utility applications. CODA is slated to begin delivering its all-electric car in the fourth quarter of this year and anticipates that it can deliver more than 14,000 vehicles to customers by the end of 2011.

Speaker Pelosi’s Statement on Auto Emission Standard

Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on the Obama Administration’s announcement today on new auto emission standards for our nation’s fleet of cars and trucks: “Today’s announcement by the Obama Administration builds on the work of Congress to reduce our dependence on oil and increase our energy security. Every year, we send billions of dollars overseas to countries that are hostile to U.S. interests in order to feed our addiction to oil. “Increasing the fuel efficiency of all vehicles on the road, including trucks and buses, enhances our national security, reduces global warming pollution, and saves families and small businesses money. It will also encourage American entrepreneurship, as innovators race to create the next generation of energy-efficient vehicles. And it will enable consumers to buy technology made in America. “The Administration’s efforts will also build upon the American Clean Energy and Security Act, passed by the House last June, which will create clean energy jobs here in America, protect consumers, reduce our dependence on dirty and foreign fuels, and help ensure our national security. “Congress will continue to work with the Obama Administration to secure our clean energy future.”

www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 13


Study Pokes Holes in Air Bag Standards But No Explanation Provided to Why Belts Not an Advantage New research into front air bags in automobiles is raising troubling questions about their effectiveness for drivers wearing seat belts. About 80% of all drivers buckle up, but air bag standards are intended to maximize protection for unbelted drivers. In fact, the effectiveness of driver’s side air bags may actually be lower when you’re wearing a seat belt, according to a report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The research suggests that when compared with the versions they replaced, the newest air bags, required in all vehicles beginning in 2008, may place belted drivers at greater risk of death. Government standards for air bags are intended to maximize protection for unbelted drivers, a holdover from years ago when very few drivers buckled up. According to the IIHS research, male drivers not wearing seat belts in cars with advanced features had a 38% lower death rate than drivers strapped into cars that didn’t have advanced features. However, buckled-up drivers in cars with the special features and met the newest certification standards had a 21% higher risk of death

LKQ Says Wheel Reconditioning by Transwheel Passes All Testing

Keystone Automotive Industries and Transwheel Corp., subsidiaries of LKQ Corp., said a recent series of tests confirmed their wheel reconditioning technologies. All of the wheels tested met or exceeded the SAE J2530 and SAE J175 Technical Standards for dynamic radial and dynamic cornering fatigue, and impact testing. Keystone and Transwheel employ Independent Test Services (ITS) to monitor their wheel reconditioning capabilities. The reconditioned wheels of Keystone and Transwheel are analyzed by ITS under conditions that are more extreme than those specified by SAE International. All three fatigue and impact tests are performed on each wheel, and at double the required rotation levels for the dynamic cornering fatigue test. Frequent testing enables the subsidiaries of LKQ to ensure their production processes meet or exceed the industry’s technical standards. “We stand behind the quality of our wheel reconditioning program,” stated Jim Devlin, vice president of manufacturing for LKQ Corp. “We want installers and auto insurers to feel confident that they are using the highest quality wheels to repair their customers’ vehicles. Our wheels are reconditioned using production processes validated to meet SAE’s demanding testing requirements.” SAE Technical Standards serve as the common design requirements for the wheel manufacturing industry. Independent Test Services (www.wheeltest.com) has been providing testing services to Transwheel since 2000.

than drivers in cars with air bags that met older certification standards. These findings weren’t replicated for passengers. The newer air bag problems could be because supposedly “smart” sensors aren’t prompting cars to respond correctly to specific conditions. For instance, sensors that detect a short driver might not actually trigger the airbag to deploy or react fast enough, leading to more risk than protection. But despite the recent findings, safety officials still advise that drivers and passengers all wear seat belts. The finding has surprised carmakers, which were required to install the so-called smart bags in response to concerns that older versions were injuring drivers and passengers. The carmakers, along with federal safety regulators, are now trying to determine if there is cause for alarm. The research conducted by IIHS will be published this year in The Annals of

Epidemiology. Safety experts agree that wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to prevent death or serious injury in a crash. Air bags, meanwhile, have been credited with saving more than 25,000 lives, according to federal estimates. But the new research, based on a statistical analysis of more than 3,600 deaths of drivers and front-seat passengers in frontal crashes, seems to turn some of that conventional wisdom on its head, suggesting the newest air bags are helping unbelted people more than belted people. A 21 percent greater chance of belted drivers dying in cars equipped with the latest model of air bags, than those in vehicles with the previous model, is more than statistically significant., especially when the risk for unbelted drivers was unchanged. Within the auto industry, the research is heightening objections to the federal

safety standards that require carmakers to protect unbelted drivers. The study offers no explanation for the increased risk to belted drivers, but safety experts say that several factors could be at play: the complex new air bag systems must assess a number of conditions before determining whether to deploy: new crash-test requirements may have altered when and with how much force the bags deploy; changes to vehicle design, may be increasing the amount of life-threatening force that occupants absorb during crashes. For manufacturers, protecting unbelted drivers adds a layer of complexity to air bag design, since the systems must detect whether an occupant is belted or unbelted and deploy with an appropriate amount of force, or suppress deployment, depending on the person’s size and proximity to the air bag.

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AkzoNobel Honors Most Influential Women in Collision Repair Industry at Eleventh Annual Celebration Six industry leaders were honored at the eleventh annual Most Influential Women in the Collision Repair Industry awards program held at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta on Wednesday, April 14, 2010. Janet Chaney, Stevensville, Montana; Erica Eversman, Bath Ohio; Kimberly Hicks, Highland Park, Michigan; Beth Ann Meckel, Glen Burnie, Maryland; Linda Sommerhauser, Kansas City, Missouri; and Marcy Tieger, Irvine, California, were honored as the 2010 Most Influential Women in the Collision Repair Industry. The awards ceremony marked the eleventh anniversary of the Most Influential Women in Collision Repair. “In the spirit of sustainability, AkzoNobel is proud to honor an exceptional group of leaders who are working for the betterment of our industry and our global communities and to provide opportunities for future leaders through the

“As the Most Influential Women program begins its second decade, we continue to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of women in a traditionally male-dominated industry,” Loden notes. “The program has helped to establish collision repair as an industry that respects diversity and Left to right in the photo are: Marcy Tieger, Irvine, CA; Kimberly Hicks, Highland Park, MI; Janet Chaney, Stevensville, MT; Linda Sommerhauser, Kansas City, recognizes contribuMO; Erica Eversman, Bath, OH; and Beth Meckel, Glen Burnie, MD. tions despite gender.” The Most Influential I-CAR Education Scholarship Fund,” said Women in Collision Repair 2010 represent AkzoNobel Car Refinishes Americas Direc- the leadership and influence of women tor of Marketing, Tim Loden. throughout the industry, including collision

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repair shops, industry associations, manufacturers, distributors, and public affairs. The winners are as follows: ● Janet Chaney, owner of Cave Creek Business Development, brings a variety of experiences in the collision repair industry to her work with collision repair shops, state associations, and a group of auto recyclers. Chaney is secretary of the National Auto Body Council and co-chair of the PRIDE award. ● Erica Eversman is founder and chief counsel of Vehicle Information Services, Inc., a company that provides information on diminished value of automobiles to insurance companies, financial institutions, government agencies, and consumers. Eversman is a nationally recognized industry advocate and an expert on the legal rights and responsibilities of the collision repair professional. ● As president of Micro Rim, Kimberly Hicks manages the only U.S. owned manufacturer of automotive replacement bumpers, and she oversees more than 100 employees at two plants. Active in promoting quality aftermarket parts, she serves as a board member of the Automotive Body Parts Association and Overseas Automotive Council, and other industry groups. ● Beth Meckel, body shop manager for Mile One Collision Center in Glen Burnie, Maryland, has helped to increase the shop’s business with her professional knowledge and outstanding management skills.As a craft advisor at area vocational/technical schools and segment leader and judge for Maryland’s Skills USA competition, she is committed to training and mentoring young students to prepare them for successful careers. ● Linda Sommerhauser, owner of Autobody Color Company, Inc., manages a successful auto paint business with four locations. Her influence is felt nationwide as a founding member of Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and the first woman to serve on the board of Automotive Service Industry Association. A member of the Women’s Industry Network, she is personally involved in bringing young women into the industry. ● Marcy Tieger, managing director of Symphony Advisors, LLC, consults with collision repair shops, suppliers, and insurance claims organizations. A former attorney, Tieger frequently lectures and contributes articles to industry publications. She is a founding member and board member of the Women’s Industry Network (WIN), a trustee and officer of the Collision Industry Foundation, and a member of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC), Industry Relations Committee. Akzo Nobel continued its awarding of a scholarship of $25,000 in the name of the Most Influential Women to the I-CAR Education Foundation. The funds will be used for prospective female students pursuing a career in the collision repair industry.

www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 15


Automotive Aftermarket Industry Objects to What it Calls ‘Misleading Public Relations Initiative’ by AutoMD The following is a joint statement by the Automotive Service Association (ASA) and Automotive Service Councils of California (ASCCA). The organizations are national and statewide membership organizations, respectively, of aftermarket service repair facilities and represent thousands of small business owners. “Recent public relations initiatives by AutoMD, a division of US Auto Parts Network, warrant a strong and clear response from the automotive repair and service industry. The company’s recent activities include a press release ranking U.S. cities according to the “honesty” of auto repair facilities in each city, as well as a television segment on the CBS Early Show. In both of these PR efforts the company makes several claims and promotes a set of conclusions that are inaccurate and based on flawed logic and biased methods. We take particular issue with two of AutoMD’s efforts: 1) In a press release (Feb. 24, 2010), the company reported that it had “conducted a fairness check of over 600 shops in the top-50 DMAs” (including a range of dealers, independent shops, and franchises like Pep Boys)” to create a “Repair

Shop Fairness Report” that ranked the “best and worst cities for auto repair.” A company that distributes auto parts knows better than anyone that parts quality and price varies substantially by brand, often 100% or more, and no mention of parts brand or quality was included in the survey. It also failed to account for differences in technician training, warranties included with the parts used, quality of equipment used and level of service provided by each type of facility. Furthermore, in each of the 50 cities included in their survey there are thousands of dealers, independent shops and chain stores. Their survey included an average of 12 shops per city, a number not anywhere close to what is needed to get an accurate or representative sample. Using biased methods allows US Auto Parts to reach whatever conclusions it desires. 2) In a segment on the CBS Early Show (April 14, 2010), the company brought its specially prepared vehicles to shops and dealerships in several states, asking for quotes on a front brake pad replacement at several shops. The CEO, Shane Evangelist, claimed the job should cost “about $180” and stated emphatically that mechanics were ripping off consumers by charging more than

16 JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

$180. One mechanic that offered to do the job for $169 was widely praised for his honesty. Once again, no mention of parts quality, technician training or the quality of the equipment used in the facility was ever made, especially since quotes were being compared across multiple cities, each with different labor rates. More important, at no time during the broadcast was it revealed that AutoMD is owned by US Auto Parts, and according to its CEO during investor presentations, is using AutoMD as a lead generation platform for selling its parts. Taking the auto repair industry to task for its lack of transparency while failing to disclose its own self-serving motives is misleading. Overall, US Auto Parts’ publicity campaigns are misleading to consumers and undermine our longstanding efforts to educate the motoring public and continually improve the professionalism of the industry. They perpetuate consumer mistrust of automotive professionals, devalue the development of expertise through ongoing training and education, ignore best practices and promote a race to the bottom. US Auto Parts’ attacks put repairers in a bad light and undermine the work of honest and reputable automotive service shops.”

Toyota President Says 2003 Was the Turning Point in Quality Decline

The president of Toyota told Automotive News that 2003 was the turning point for the automaker’s decline in quality. The company was unable to follow “The Toyota Way,” the production system that put Toyota among world’s most respected automakers. Akio Toyoda said in the interview: “In 2003, we surpassed the 6 million sales mark, and after that the rate of increase kept growing... We look at that as the turning point... When we hit the 6 million mark, we maybe couldn’t apply the Toyota Way as thoroughly as we should have.” Toyoda says getting too big wasn’t Toyota’s only problem: He blamed the company’s inability to communicate with itself around the world for part of the problem, which makes it look like Toyota has tried to hide its troubles. “Toyota doesn’t go about hiding things and trying to deceive people,” said Toyoda. “But if you are looking from the outside, and we are taking a long time to give a response or do something, they come to the conclusion that maybe we are hiding something.” Toyota needs to wean itself off sales incentives in the U.S. and revive the sagging Scion youth brand, said Toyoda. The Scion brand will get special attention in trying to turn around Toyota. Sales are slumping there, especially in the U.S., with few new models.


www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 17


CDI Notice to ‘All Admitted Insurers and Other Interested Parties’ The California Insurance Commissioner's office released the following NOTICE April 30, 2010, saying, in part, that “certain aftermarket bumper reinforcement bars may be significantly different in terms of like kind, quality, safety, fit, and performance as compared to the original equipment manufacturer replacement part. All insurers doing business in California are reminded of the above noted standards for the use of non-original equipment manufacturer (aftermarket) replacement crash parts.” TO: All Admitted Insurers and Other Interested Parties

SUBJECT: Important – Requirements of CCR §2695.8(g), Use of Non-Original Equipment Manufacturer Replacement Crash Parts – Please Read

California Code of Regulations, Title 10, Chapter 5, Subchapter 7.5, Article 1, Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations, Section 2695.8(g) reads: g) No insurer shall require the use of non-original equipment manufacture replacement crash parts in the repair of an automobile unless: (1) the parts are at least equal to the orig-

inal equipment manufacturer parts in terms of kind, quality, safety, fit, and performance; (2) insurers specifying the use of non-original equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts shall pay the cost of any modifications to the parts which may become necessary to effect the repair; and, (3) insurers specifying the use of non-original equipment manufacture replacement crash parts warrant that such parts are of like kind, quality, safety, fit, and performance as original equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts; and, (4) all original and non-original manufacture replacement crash parts, manufactured after the effective date of this subchapter, when supplied by repair shops shall carry sufficient permanent, non-removable identification so as to identify the manufacturer. Such identification shall be accessible to the greatest extent possible after installation; and, (5) the use of non-original equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts is disclosed in accordance with section 9875 of the California Business and Professions Code. Requirement for Permanent, Non-Removable Identification.

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Insurers are reminded that CCR Section 2695.8(g)(4) requires that “all original and non-original manufacture replacement crash parts, manufactured after the effective date of this subchapter, when supplied by repair shops shall carry sufficient permanent, non-removable identification so as to identify the manufacturer.” An admitted insurer shall not require that a repair shop install non-original manufacture replacement crash parts, or limit payment to the cost of a non-original manufacture replacement crash part, unless those parts comply with section 2695.8(g)(4) and carry sufficient permanent, non-removable identification so as to identify the manufacturer. An admitted insurer shall not limit payment to the cost of a non-original manufacture replacement crash part for any part that does not carry sufficient permanent, non-removable identification so as to identify the manufacturer. Use of Non-Original Equipment Manufacture Replacement Crash Parts. Insurers are also reminded that CCR Section 2695.8(g)(1) provides that no insurer shall require the use of non-original equipment manufacture replacement crash parts in the repair of an automobile unless “the parts are at least equal to the original

equipment manufacturer parts in terms of kind, quality, safety, fit, and performance” (emphasis added). CCR Section 2695.8(g)(3) requires that “insurers specifying the use of non-original equipment manufacture replacement crash parts warrant that such parts are of like kind, quality, safety, fit, and performance as original equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts.” The required use, or payment of the cost, of a non-original equipment manufacturer replacement crash part that is not equal in terms of like kind, quality, safety, fit, and performance as compared to the original equipment manufacturer replacement part may subject the insurer to further action by this Department. It has come to the Department’s attention that certain aftermarket bumper reinforcement bars may be significantly different in terms of like kind, quality, safety, fit, and performance as compared to the original equipment manufacturer replacement part. All insurers doing business in California are reminded of the above noted standards for the use of nonoriginal equipment manufacturer (aftermarket) replacement crash parts. Any questions should be directed to Teresa Campbell, Senior Staff Counsel, at (415) 538-4126 or campbellt@insurance.ca.gov


Toyota Makes $2.2B Annual Profit

Rouse Named ABRA President

Sterling Autobody Earns BBB A+

PPG Says 10,000 Techs Converted

In a fiscal year marred with recalls and lawsuits, Toyota still managed to report a substantial profit these last 12 months and expects to earn even more in the coming fiscal year. Toyota reported a $2.2 billion annual profit, up from a $4.4 billion loss the previous year. This $6.6 billion swing happened despite the recall of nearly 10 million cars and a 7.7% dip in global sales. Toyota is still the world’s most profitable car company and expects its net profit to increase by 48% to $3.3 billion in the fiscal year that ends in March 2011.

Sterling Autobody Centers has earned the highest possible rating of A+ for its network of 62 stores repairing over 79,000 cars a year from BBB. Businesses are rated on 17 elements including the length of time in operation, overall complaint history with the BBB, and whether consumer complaints have been resolved in a timely manner and in good faith. Said Nick Notte, Sterling Autobody President, “It is a great honor and privilege to lead a team of over 1200 employees who keep customer service and operational excellence at the forefront of all they do.”

ABRA Auto Body & Glass announced March 17 the appointment of Duane Rouse, currently Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, to the position of President & Chief Financial Officer. Rouse joined ABRA in 1996 as Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer. In 1998 he was promoted to Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer. Rouse is a Certified Public Accountant with a degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse. He was employed by Price Waterhouse and held senior management positions in several companies prior to joining ABRA.

More than 10,000 technicians across the United States and Canada have attended the PPG “Convert with Confidence” training program to help their transition to waterborne basecoat. PPG began the Convert with Confidence program in 2007 to provide shop owners, managers, and technicians with training and support before, during and after the conversions. Low VOC basecoats will also be mandated for twelve northeastern states and the District of Columbia as early as 2012. It is only a matter of time until waterborne systems will be recommended or required throughout the country.

Insure.com Figures Least Expensive to Insure Back in March, Insure.com released a study that revealed the top 20 most- and least-expensive vehicles to insure in America. Now, more research has determined the top 10 least-expensive vehicles to insure by class, and Insure.com is naming the least-expensive vehicles to insure in America today by class. The Mazda Tribute I SUV is the least-expensive vehicle to insure in the U.S. today when configured with a fourcylinder engine a FWD only. All told, it will cost you an average of $1070.25 to insure annually, just $25.01 than the runner-up Honda Odyssey LX. Splurging on AWD won't hurt you much, as the fourcylinder Tribute I with AWD is just $1103.29 per year on average and ranks third. Interestingly enough, the top 20 least-expensive vehicles to insure are all vans and SUVs. Naturally, the Tribute also earns the distinction of being the least-expensive SUV to insure as well as the least-expensive vehicle to insure overall. In the Car category, the boxy Dodge Caliber takes the win, costing just $1196.27 per year on average. The Buick LaCrosse CX and Toyota Yaris hatch trail closely behind in second and third place respectively. As noted above, the Honda Odyssey LX came in second overall, costing just $1095.26 per year on average. That ensures it a victory in the Van category as

If Your Profits are in Question, Are These the Answers YOU Want to Hear?

well. It's followed by a one-two punch from Chrysler with the Chrysler Town & Country LX and Dodge Grand Caravan SE in second and third respectively. Like the Car category, the winner of the Truck category didn't land in the top five overall, or even the top 10. But while the Dodge Caliber didn't even make the top 20, the Truck category winner just sneaked in at number 20 and it's the GMC Canyon Work Truck. When configured as a regular cab model with the four-cylinder engine and RWD only, it'll run you just $1152.39 per year on average in insurance costs. Coming in second and third are the two-door, RWD Toyota Tacoma and the four-door, RWD Chevrolet Colorado Work Truck. Insure.com hired pollster Quadrant Information Services to calculate the average insurance premiums for a single, 40-year-old male driver who commutes 12 miles to work. This fictional driver has good credit, a clean record, a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage and carries a typical coverage plan consisting of uninsured motorist coverage, $100,000 of injury liability coverage for one person, $300,000 of coverage for all injuries and $50,000 of coverage for property damage. Averages were drawn from rates offered by six major insurance companies for 10 zip codes in each of the 50 states.

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www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 19


Shop and Product Showcase with Ed Attanasio

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

California Shop Credits Mitchell’s Ultramate and RepairCenter for Managing Growth

Precision Body Shop & Detail, with two expanding with an additional adjacent “It’s been a huge part of everything allowed us to concentrate on other locations in Colma and San Rafael, CA, 6,000-sq.-ft of space within the year. we’re doing here,” Caprini said. “I look at things—like acquiring new business and has grown rapidly, with more and more Precision’s relationship with Mitchell it a minimum of 6–10 times every day. It’s cutting our cycle times.” cars coming through every month. Having has been highly beneficial for controlling our lifeline and we love it because it’s alOne of the main benefits Caprini aplots of work can be a blessing or a curse, and monitoring the company’s production ways on. The most important things it preciates about Mitchell includes the because organizational and production flow. bottlenecks can arise in minutes within a “You can’t store 120 cars every busy work environment. month in your head. You’re going to lose Precision has not only survived, but track of where each vehicle is in the repair thrived during a recession. They give a lot process, if you can’t accurately keep this of credit to Mitchell International Inc. and information in one location that you can the decision to adopt their market-leading access and alter easily. That’s what the business management systems. Mitchell’s RepairCenter brought to our Precision Body Shop & Detail was business and it’s proven to be invaluable,” started 10 years ago with just three em- Caprini said. ployees detailing cars primarily for new Precision initially purchased the Ulcar dealerships throughout the Bay Area. tramate Estimate program then added ReIn 2004, Precision’s dealerships started in- pairCenter last year, and the shop has quiring about doing minor body work on already seen some significant improveThe detailing crew at Precision processes approximately 300 vehicles per month. their fleets and the company jumped at the ment on several fronts. opportunity. does for us are by acting as a virtual real- training his shop received when they con“We started out doing pritime whiteboard; the parts management verted to RepairCenter. marily paint, panel and hang“Mitchell’s trainer came here for and vendor management aspects are also ing bumpers to go with our very important, because it helps us to ef- three full days and made an extremely detailing for dealerships,” fectively order, receive and track parts. By professional presentation. He was easy to See Precision and Mitchell, Page 50 Caprini said. “Then, we realmaking our daily lives easier, Mitchell has ized we should do it all. So, starting in ’06, we began pursuing all forms of collision rerffectt pair and it’s been a great Perfe We’ re the Pe e’re Precision’s Body Prep Techs (from left) Robert Lucero, Manuel business model for us.” Lucero and Alejandro Perez. ur your n fo or yo na tion nattio De stin esti Caprini and his partner Lou Hanhan have tapped into their com“We’ve used their RepairCenter now s rts a Pa arts al Kia al Ki ina Orrig igin plementary skills to create a company that for about seven months and it’s been a makes a profit and is poised for expan- great experience. They help us manage the sion. entire day-to-day repair process and give “I’m more of a numbers person and a us real-time control and analysis of every- LESALE PARTS WHOLESALE PARTS WHOLESALE PARTSWHOLESALE production process guy and Lou is very thing we do. It’s quickly become a big part Our Team has 300 years of combined experience. connected to the car dealerships in this of our lives around here and it’s provided area, so we make a very effective team. us with a shop’s single integrated access We have over 35,000 sq. ft. of parts inventory on On top of that, we have an excellent crew. point. That’s maybe the most important hand with a combined value of over $2,000,000 They’ve definitely played a major role in thing. Every tech, painter and estimator our success,” Caprini said. accesses identical updated information, so We have a large fleet of vehicles for delivering we’re all on the same page all the time,” your parts with-in San Diego & Imperial Counties. he said. According to Mitchell, “The ReWe have a large Shipping & Receiving pairCenter is the collision repair indusDepartment for National and World try’s first single shop workspace to Wide Shipping. manage the repair, the customer and the www.kearnypearsonkia.com business—and just about everything in between. RepairCenter’s repair and opportunity management capabilities help shops to capture more business, identify workflow bottlenecks and improve funcIf you are an Automotive Repair Shop, Precision Body Shop & Detail Co-owners Anthony Body Shop or Fleet for Wholesale Parts. tionality.” Caprini (left) and his partner Lou Hanhan attribute When Precision added Mitchell Re858-560-5033 or improved production to adopting Mitchell’s RepairpairCenter in order to access all of the proCALL 800 635-6669 Center system. gram’s additional features the shop Today, Precision does nearly $4 mil- wanted to incorporate, it proved to be a lion in sales annually and employs 59 peo- wise decision. Caprini feels that the Reple working out of two locations totaling pairCenter is indispensible to his opera22,000-sq.-ft. The Colma location will be tion. 20 JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com


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The California Autobody Association: 43 Years of Representation by David M. Brown Special to Autobody News

The largest state collision association in the U.S., the California Autobody Association (CAA), formed in 1967 by merging two organizations in Glendale and Long Beach, making it the first group to represent the industry throughout all of California. Now, at age 43 and based in Sacramento, the CAA represents 1,000 members in 18 chapters from San Diego to Eureka.

“Some of our members do have mechanical facilities, and we have dealership body shops as members, but primarily, most members are independent collision repair shops,” explains David McClune, executive director and chief operating officer for the association. Six state board members represent the CAA executive committee. The 2010 president is Gigi Walker, owner of Walker’s Auto Body in Concord. She notes: “An association is a place for knowledge, camaraderie and keeping up to date with legal issues facing an industry—and the CAA is fulfilling all of those roles admirably.” McClune explains that the organization has been consistently involved in the issues facing the country’s most populous state—for cars and people. In the ‘70s, the CAA was involved when the Bureau of Automotive Repairswas started in 1972. BAR oversees automotive repair operations in the state. Six years later, the CAA wrote the California Motorists Bill of Rights — providing a template for other states, and, when I-CAR was formed in 1979, Gorden Holcomb, a long-time CAA member, represented the association. The CAA started an industry trade show in 1980—the largest collision expo in the country before NACE began four years later. The Collision Industry Conference also started in 1984; former CAA state president, Al Estorga, helped with the CIC formation. In 1991, CAA formed CARPAC, a political action committee supporting candidates supporting the industry. Five years later, the BAR created a committee to create autobody repair standards. This group comprised CAAmembers, insurance representatives and BAR officials. Later, in 1999, CAA helped reverse a State Board of Equalization position regarding a sales tax on “new part paint labor”—a savings of thousands of dollars for every shop in

California, McClune says. He adds: “The CAAhas sponsored numerous legislative bills over the years that have improved the collision repair industry and consumers’ rights.” The organization provides a variety of benefits, says Ted Stein, service director/manager at Drew Ford in San Diego, where he is a member of the city’s CAA chapter. “CAA offers everything from member benefits to the best lobbyist in Sacramento [Jack Molodanof], who keeps a watchful eye on the bills that affect our industry,” says Stein, who has served on the state board for CAA. “I am very proud to be a current member.” He believes that the personal friendships generated from volunteering with CAA are one of many membership perks. “I have made great, really great, friendships that will last a lifetime, up and down the state that would have never happened if not for the CAA,” he says. Stein adds: “These are people that I can call at any time for advice or just to bounce something off of them. I have referred customers to other members when they have relocated out of the area, and the same has happened for us. It’s the best ‘fraternity’ that you could be in.” Gigi Walker, CAA’s current president, believes that the services the CAA chapters offer the community is another benefit of membership. A participant in the collision repair industry for 30 years, she started as an auto painter and has owned Walker’s Auto Body in Concord since 1988. From 1998 to 1999, she was the past president of the East Bay Autobody Association, which joined the CAA as a chapter in 2001. “The EBAA felt the need to join because of some legislation issues in Sacramento regarding steering and labor-rate setting,” she recalls.

The EBAA also saw the benefits the CAA offered such as pooled workers compensation and garage keepers liability insurance. What’s more, the EBBA board liked the quality of guest speakers the CAA regularly brought into its chapters. The CAA sponsors scholarships for young people to enter collision repair programs as well as supports Regional Occupational Programs—tuition-free job training—at the high school level. Another outstanding CAA-supported program which promotes the industry to young men and women is Careers with Cars, held annually in various locations statewide. One of the larger CAA-sponsored events, Gigi notes, is the East Bay Chapter

22 JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

Toys for Tots Model Truck Customizing Competition, held at the prestigious Black Hawk Auto Museum in Danville, CA. Some CAA chapters have scheduled events supporting new technologies such as

CAA Truck competition.

introductions to waterborne paints, legal issues that affect the collision repair industry and proper handing of hazardous materials. “Ongoing education is a large part of what the CAA is about,” she notes. Even though we have a legislative arm, we pride ourselves in being diversified in many ways as a true trade association should be.” The CAA is both sword and shield at the capitol. “It puts itself between its members and the issues, so that no one member can be singled out for retribution on unpopular issue and gives a voice to all— from the smallest of repair facilities to the largest,” says Don Fee-

ley, owner of City Body & Frame in Riverside and twice CAA president, 2000 and 2009. A member of the Inland Empire Chapter, he also helped develop the CAAWeb site in ‘94 as well as SCRS-CIC. Feeley adds that CAA also helps to facilitate better pricing for its members on many business items such as insurance products, credit card processing—even sandpaper. “This association has been fighting for its members for more than 40 years on all fronts,” he notes. “Wherever there is an issue in the collision repair industry, you will find a member of the California Autobody Association.” As a result, Feeley isn’t just lukewarm about his 20-year CAA association: “I am damn proud,” he says, “to be part of an organization with such a rich history.” For more information search: www.autobodynews.com and www.calautobody.com. To join, contact CAA at: 555 UniversityAve, Ste 236, Sacramento, CA 95825 State Office: (800) 454-3368 Fax: (916) 646-8113 www.calautobody.com Also representing the state is the Collision Repair Association of California (CRA)— to be covered in a future article.

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www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 23


CAA Provides Workshops Detailing Inspection Requirements The California Autobody Association (CAA) partnered with the Economic and Employment Enforcement Coalition (EEEC), a coalition from EDD, CalOsha, and Department of Industrial Relations that presented six industry specific workshops to CAA chapters during the first quarter of 2010. These workshops addressed why this coalition is doing onsite inspections of businesses in California and specifically what each one of these agencies are looking at. These inspections by the EEEC will continue and the CAA is working at assisting the coalition on their efforts. “I am glad that I attended the EEEC workshop,” commented Nathan Solesbee, owner of Solesbee Auto Crafts in Yorba Linda. “We are preparing our shop so we won’t be caught off guard if we receive an inspection.” March Gluchow, President, Valley Motor Center in Van Nuys also commented on the value of the workshops, “We appreciate those California state agencies that took time to explain the project they’ve undertaken. The information we got at the EEEC workshop will prove to be invaluable in our ongoing efforts to be totally compliant in all ways. However, we can’t help but hope these agencies focus even more on those businesses which consistently perform substandard and often dangerous work, than on inspecting those of us

who play by the rules. Those are the shops that give the collision industry a bad name, and are what we consider to be the “bad” competition.” The following are the most common violations from recent EEEC inspections: not having up to date workers comprehensive coverage; not providing deduction statements for employees; not paying minimum wages; not documenting meals and rest periods; not reporting or submitting proper paperwork for employees; work permit for minors under 18 not filed (obtain from school district); unsecured compressed gas cylinders; spray booths not equipped with manometers; electrical panels must have proper covers over circuit breakers and all switches must be installed; painter masks must be fit tested and certificates on file; frayed electrical cords; and improper covers on grinders. Fines start at $18,000. The above are only a few of the potential violations. The following are websites that CAA members can go to and review what is required. Employment Development Department www.edd.ca.gov, CalOsha www.calosha & www.dir.ca.gov/ dosh, Labor Board www.labor.ca.gov, Department of Industrial Relations www.dir.ca.gov, Department of Toxic Substances Control www.dtsc.ca.gov and Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov.

Martin Senour Vortex® Waterborne Basecoat

While body shop owners in California and Canada recently switched over to waterborne finishes, collision centers nationwide also have a premium solution from names they can trust - The Martin Senour Company and NAPA. The Martin Senour Company has seen a significant acceptance and conversion to Vortex® Waterborne Basecoat, its innovative waterborne basecoat/ clearcoat system. Utilizing a proprietary resin system that behaves like the solvent-borne systems of today, Vortex Waterborne Basecoat is designed to meet the strict VOC emissions limits in California and Canada, while adhering to the environmentally-friendly guidelines that may be implemented throughout the Midwest and Northeastern United States. “The bottom line is Vortex® Waterborne Basecoat provides compliance without complications. Our goal when we convert a shop to Vortex Waterborne Basecoat is to get it right up front. We work with our team and the local NAPA jobber to do a comprehensive facility assessment and eliminate issues from the beginning. There are significant amounts of anxiety surrounding conversion to waterborne. Our technicians are familiar and comfortable with the process, requiring minimal training and start-up costs,” said Jeff Green, Director of Sales.

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24 JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

BMW has been welcoming visitors and tourists into its Spartanburg, SC, assembly plant since the 1990s. But it now plans to offer a more upscale factory visit for $99 a head. “The Ultimate BMW Experience,” a reservation-only, three-day-a-week factory tour package will include a behindthe-scenes guided walk through the plant, a tour of the plant’s on-site Zentrum museum and theater, and a two-hour driving experience at its Performance Center driving school across the street. The luxury-class visitors will have access to rare-vehicle demonstrations and what the factory is calling “unique culinary events.” Spartanburg already charges $7 per person to take a tour into limited areas of the plant, which builds the X5 and X6 models. Drop-ins can tour the Zentrum free of charge. The plant hosts about 30,000 visitors a year, according to plant spokeswoman Bunny Richardson. The new tours will provide a concierge who takes guests into previously restricted areas, like the paint shop and the door line. Richardson says the staff will tailor a tour for premium visitors; plan the event around speakers, receptions and catered meals.

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Kniesel’s Collision Centers Hosts Extrication Class

Toby Chess staged a free advanced extrication class for 44 Sacramento Fire Fighters and First Responders May 12, 2010. It was hosted by Kniesel’s Colllision Centers, at 4680 Pacific St. in Rocklin, CA, run by Robert and Tom Kniesel. Progressive Insurance furnished two vehicle that were 2007 and later and Kniesel’s furnished Forty-four Sacramento fire fighters took the extrication class. the other three cars. Kent Automotive supplied would like to host this class this summer and lunch for everyone and Captain Jason Mar- fall, call Toby Chess at 310-995-7909. tin of the CFD taught the hands on extricaton part of the class (assisted by Mr. Chess). About Kniesel’s: Holmatro Rescue Equipment furnished Kniesel’s has three locations in the greater the latest extrication tools. Class started at Sacramento area. The original Kniesels 8:30 am and lasted to 3:30 pm. If anyone were a family of small business owners who lost nearly everything during World War II. From a refugee camp in their native Austria, the Kniesel family headed for America. Within five years of emigrating, they had started a mechanical and auto body repair business. In 1968, Richard Kniesel opened what is today Kniesel's Collision Centers. His wife Lilo and each of his five children joined him at the shop daily. In 2003, Kniesel’s opened their second shop in Rocklin. A third shop was opened A well-simulated collision realistically depicts the crash in Natomas in 2008. scene.

Continued from Page 1

Jackie Speier

executive director (holding the rebar). Amaradio stated, “Congresswoman Speier has always taken time to hear our industry’s concerns. The issue of aftermarket safety parts is of national importance. Hundreds of thousands of vehicle owners are driving around in repaired cars that won’t withstand a collision the way the manufacturer intended.” Speier said that the use of vehicle safety aftermarket parts have been pushed by certain insurers that apparently want to save money without regard for passenger safety. “I am opposed to reengineering a vehicle through the claims process,” she said. “Parts such as reinforcement bars that affect the vehicle safety restraint system should not be replaced by parts of inferior quality.” She said she would be contacting the appropriate regulators to determine what is being done to inform consumers about the installation of aftermarket safety parts. She said she was also concerned about reports that many inferior aftermarket parts are made overseas and shipped to the United States without adequate manufacturer information stamped on the parts, as required by California law.

“My first step will be to assess how well California and federal laws covering vehicle repair, including insurance benefits for collision work, are being enforced,” stated Speier. “Additionally, I want to determine the extent to which unsafe parts made overseas are finding their way into shops in this country.” Speier invited interested parties to contact her district director, Richard Steffen, at 650-342-0300 or Richard.steffen@mail.house.gov if they have information they wish to share with her on the prevalence of unsafe vehicle parts in the collision repair business. Fundraiser for Jackie Speier California Congresswoman Jackie Speier has been the Collision Repair Industry's staunchest advocate for years. A fundraiser is being organized to help her get re-elected to Congress this November. Join your colleages at a fundraising dinner in her honor in San Francisco. The event takes place Friday, June 18th at 8pm. Join other shop owners and industry representatives in their efforts to keep our strongest voice in office. For details concerning the event please contact Peter Bizaca at G&C AutoBody, 707591-3365, or see www.autobodynews.com, or pbizaca@gandcautobody.com.

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Service, Service, Diagnostic Diiagnostic D gnostic and an d Mechanical M e cchanical h aniccal al NEWS nd Mec echanical Mech ech ec hanical ca

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2009 Historic Loss in Vehicle Population Western Edition

Three forces combined to reduce the number or cars and light trucks in the U.S. last year. First, new vehicle 2008 and 2009 volume dropped more than 25% from 2007. Second, Cash-for-Clunkers mandated the crushing of over 700,000 vehicles and eliminated hundreds of thousands of cars and trucks that would have remained in operation for many years. Finally, the light vehicle scrappage rate is near record-high levels. As a result, U.S. vehicles suffered their first peace-time decline during 2009, and prospects are strong for a further drop this year.

CALIFORNIA • NEVADA • ARIZONA

The dramatic 3.4% drop in 2008 mileage was recorded despite a 0.5% gain in cars and light trucks on U.S. roads. Last year, as the light vehicle population suffered its first decline in more than 65 years, mileage by all types of vehicles increased a razor-thin 0.2%. Prospects for mileage growth are not strong for 2010, given stubbornly-high unemployment rates, low consumer confidence, and the likelihood that cars and light trucks in operation will recede further during the year. Through March 2010, year-to-date mileage by all types of vehicles sank 0.7%.

Vehicle Mileage Struggles Even with rising numbers of cars and light trucks on U.S. roads, annual mileage struggled for growth over the past three years. Notwithstanding the 1.6% increase in car and light truck population during 2007, mileage by all types of vehicles in the U.S. inched-up only 0.5%.

Age Growth Fueled by New Vehicle Drop The average age of cars and light trucks in the U.S. is soaring. Light vehicles of all types reached record-high age levels at the beginning of 2010. Domestic car age is skyrocketing, driven by new domestic car sales plunging almost 40% during 2008 and 2009.

Ford Fiesta Now in the 40 mpg Category

AWRS and Ride-On Form Strategic Alliance

The 2011 Ford Fiesta, with its the sixspeed automatic transmission, has been certified by the EPA at 40 mpg highway and 29 mpg city. The five-speed manual transmission model is rated 23 city and 37 highway. Ford is projecting a price of $13,995 when Fiesta hits showrooms this summer. At 40 mpg, Ford says Fiesta is five miles a gallon better than Honda Fit and four miles a gallon better than Toyota Yaris. “The new Fiesta is yet another car in Ford’s lineup that delivers class-leading fuel economy,” said Barb Samardzich, Ford’s vice president of global powertrain engineering. The Mexican-built Fiesta has a 1.6-liter Duratec engine with with variable camshaft timing, good for 120 horsepower and that impressive mpg. Others in the 40-mpg club are Audi A3 diesel, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Honda Civic, Honda Insight, Mercury Milan Hybrid, Smart ForTwo, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Golf diesel and Volkswagen Golf diesel. All get at least 40 mpg on the highway.

Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists, Inc. (AWRS), the world’s largest mobile wheel repair company, and Inovex Industries, Inc, the manufacturer of the only proven high-speed tire sealant, Ride-On Tire Protection System, announced their strategic alliance giving AWRS the exclusive rights to introduce Ride-On into the automotive dealership market place. The company will also distribute to the retail tire, quick lube, and mass merchandiser market segments. “The automotive retail market place represents an enormous opportunity for sales growth,” says Mark Farkhan, CEO of Inovex, “and due to the vast nature of this marketplace and the resources required to penetrate it, we decided that it was in the best interest of our company to form a strategic alliance with another company that already has sales, marketing, and distribution channels established. We are extremely excited that we were able to form a partnership with a company as committed to providing quality service and cutting edge technology as AWRS to help expand Ride-On’s reach into this $2.4 billion dollar market segment.”

26 JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

At the beginning of 2010, average age of domestic cars in the U.S. topped 12 years, up one-fifth since 2000. Rapid growth of vehicles 12 years and older is generating high rates of vehicle scrappage, which is exerting downward pressure on the light vehicle population.

Foreign and Domestic Vehicle Mix As the average age of cars and light trucks in the U.S. increases, the age gap between foreign and domestic models continues to grow, reflecting the expanding foreign vehicle share (imports and transplants) of new car and light truck sales. While domestic vehicles (not including transplants) currently comprise only 45% of 2010 new vehicle sales through April, domestic cars and light trucks represent over 75% of vehicles in the highest age groups. Just as vehicle-crushing mandated by Cash-for-Clunkers claimed a much higher percentage of domestic than foreign models, a disproportionate share of vehicles

June 2010 currently being scrapped are domestic cars and light trucks.

More Miles on Older Vehicles While the possibility of fewer vehicles on U.S. roads during 2010 will create challenges for car and light truck aftermarket product growth, more miles accumulating on older vehicles will help boost light vehicle 2010 product volume.

'From Aftermarket Insight™ by Jim Lang, President of Lang Marketing Resources, Inc., www.langmarketing.com.'

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Matrix System Teams with Miller Electric to Sponsor Jet Dragster Matrix System Automotive Finishes announced its shared sponsorship of the jet dragster with Miller Electric and Larsen Motorsports. The vehicle was unveiled on May 10, 2010 and is expected to draw the attention of the racing community for its vibrant colors and intricate details. Elaine Larsen, the highly regarded jet car driver, has been a part of the drag racing community for over a decade. She began racing jet dragsters in 2004 and hasn’t looked back since. She is one of only a few women in the world who currently drive jet dragsters for a living. Regarded as one of the nation’s leaders in turbine-powered race vehicles, Elaine and Larsen Motorsports are among the most requested exhibition jet dragster teams in North America. The Miller Jet Dragster features a General Electric Model J-85 engine that generates 2,500 horsepower and a Larsen Motor Sports custom designed afterburner that adds another 2,500 horsepower. The biofuel-powered jet dragster will make its debut May 15 – 18, 2010 at the Cavalcade of Stars located in Norwalk, OH. This Miller Electric dragster was custom designed by Larsen Motor

Sports, fabricated by Worthy Motorsports, and custom painted by Matrix System Automotive Finishes. Overall, the dragster will appear in 11 Regional Race Events and 4 National Events. According to the Matrix System Technical Department, they could not wait to start spraying its waterborne basecoat, Aqualution, on the Miller dragster. As Chris Butler, Technical Advisor stated, “If Matrix System products can be put to the test to withstand 5,000 horsepower along with speeds over 300MPH in less than 5 seconds our products can handle anything.” This experience has been one that we will all remember for a long time. About Matrix System Matrix System Automotive Finishes, headquartered in Walled Lake, MI, has grown to become one of the industry’s most successful aftermarket manufacturers of high quality clear coats, primers, hardeners, and reducers. With an excellent product line, Matrix System has been able to convince body shops once loyal to a particular brand to convert and experience huge cost savings.


CARQUEST Returns to CARS 2010 as Exhibitor CARQUEST returns as a CARS 2010 exhibitor, having not exhibited since 2007. In keeping with the CARQUEST philosophy of being committed to helping professional technicians stay on top of the latest trends, components, techniques, skills and tools—CARS provides the perfect platform. Along with 400 square feet of exhibit space, CARQUEST will be presenting two technical training sessions within the CARS Conference Program. These courses will focus on Domestic Vehicle Security System Diagnosis and Electronically Controlled Transmission Diagnosis. “We are excited to once again support our customers by providing a quality learning experience at CARS,” said Chris Chesney, Director, CARQUEST Technical Institute. “Events such as CARS give the industry the chance to experience the value that CARQUEST Technical Institute delivers on behalf of our CARQUEST Auto Parts Stores. We will also be showcasing our TECH-NET Professional and CARQUEST eServices programs as well as CARQUEST Virtual Vehicle.” Bill Haas, ASA vice president, education and training, added, “It is always a pleasure to work with Chris Chesney at CARQUEST Technical Institute. Chris and his team have a reputation for developing technical training designed to solve problems technicians are confronted with in the service bay. CTI instructors some-

how always manage to make complex systems simple enough for everyone to understand. The addition of CTI technical classes to the ASRW conference will be a great value for the attendees.” The ASRW 2010 events will take place Oct. 10–13 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas (no longer during AAIW). ASRW is a stand-alone event specifically created for all automotive service and repair professionals, enabling even more industry segments to join under the umbrella. The high-quality educational program is scheduled Oct. 10–13, a Sunday through Wednesday day pattern; and the comprehensive exhibits will be open from Oct. 11–13, Monday through Wednesday. ASRW currently features the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE), sponsored by the Automotive Service Association (ASA), the only event of its kind designed for the collision repair professional, and the Congress of Automotive Repair & Service (CARS), also sponsored by ASA, the premier event for automotive service professionals. Many new show features and industry forums are currently in development for ASRW 2010. Online registration is scheduled to open in May and will offer various package options starting at $210 and Expo registration available for just $15 until the August 17 early cut-off. Online housing will open in early-May for low hotel rates.

ASA Offers Year-round and Nationwide Education

Education opportunities provided by the Automotive Service Association (ASA) are delivered to repair professionals at the national, regional and local level. With its affiliate and chapter groups, ASA is the leading provider of education among associations of its kind. To help members and nonmembers alike stay informed about ASA-hosted education offerings in their area or nationwide, ASA has enhanced the education section at www.ASAshop.org /smart. Student information, a directory of ASA educational members, shop owner/technician information, a calendar of educational events and a list of ASA sponsored benefit providers who provide education and training products and services to ASA members are just a few of the enhancements made to the education section of the ASA website. The May issue of AutoInc., the official publication of ASA, contains a sneak-peek of the many education sessions scheduled to be offered at the association’s annual trade shows—NACE and CARS—which will be held during Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW) Oct. 10–13, 2010, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Additional information about ASRW events will be available soon. “ASA delivers more education and training to automotive service and repair

Equipment and Tool Institute Presents Founder’s Award

Greg Potter, of Dearborn Group Technology, has been awarded ETI’s 16th Founder’s Award at this year’s ToolTech 2010 in Napa Valley, California. The ETI Founder’s Award was established to honor those individuals who have made numerous contributions to the Institute. As with most trade associations ETI thrives on volunteerism from its members as well as its business partners. Greg Potter has demonstrated unselfish dedication to the principles that drive ETI since he began his involvement with ETI over 16 years ago. Potter is currently on ETI’s Board of Director’s and Chairs ETI’s Scan Tool Vertical Group. He has also served as President of ETI’s Board of Directors.

professionals than any other organization in the industry,” said Ron Pyle, ASA president. “We understand that it can often be taken for granted, but as vehicles become increasingly more complex and the business model becomes more challenging, the need for training and education resources will continue to grow.” The ASA Web site also includes consumer tips, shop locator, and the new ASA Marketplace, the association’s member benefits portfolio. Visit www.ASAshop.org or (800) 272-7467, ext. 295.

www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 27


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Gonzo’s Toolbox

Mr. Gorillalilla

with Gonzo Weaver

Excerpted from Scott “Gonzo” Weaver’s 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 Scott Weaver at Gonzosae@aol.com and see his website at www.gonzostoolbox.com.

With all the talk about the cars with push button starting systems and the runaway acceleration problems it made me think of what everyone has been talking about as the best method to safely stop a vehicle in these instances. Most everyone will agree that turning off the ignition is NOT the best solution, however, not everyone can agree on whether or not a driver in a panic situation will remember to put the car in neutral instead of reaching for key, or that they shouldn’t turn the key back to the “steering” lock position. And for those vehicles with push-tostart, would an operator remember that you have to hold the “start” button down for several seconds before the car will shut off unless it’s in park position. So a lot of these conversations I’m involved in cycle back to the steering lock mechanism, which, in a panic situation is the deadly “lose control” factor. Let’s not forget that during this so-called emergency situation you might be traveling at close to 100 miles per hour, which could be scary enough without having to worry about shutting the car off. The conversations I get involved in usually end up with whether or not the “general public” will remember and follow the procedures each and every time they are in an emergency situation. This made me think of a situation I had with a customer a few years ago. Let’s call him “Mr. Gorillalilla.” Gorillalilla is a nice

guy and all, but he was a huge muscular dude and as strong as an ox. His mid-80’s Jeep CJ was equipped with a key and lock setup that allowed you to turn the key off without it going all the way to the steering lock position. There was a lever that had to be pushed down in order to rotate the key back to the off position. You could then remove the key from the ignition lock. Mr. Gorillalilla had brought his CJ in because he couldn’t get the key out of the ignition lock. Examining the problem led to the linkage arms inside the steering column that had been bent, which allowed the key and tumbler to rotate around the lock-out mechanism. No parts were really needed; I just had to take it apart and straighten the bent section of the mechanism, then reinstall everything. He was relieved that the problem was nothing major and was soon off on his way. The very next day he was back, but this time he wasn’t a very happy rock crawler like he was the first time. “It’s doing the same thing,” he angrily yelled back to me. “Hmm, I wonder how that could be,” I said, curious as to how it left in perfect working order but now it’s back they way it was. “Let me get it into the shop and check it out.” Once I had pulled the steering column back down to where I was the day before I noticed the same parts were bent in the same manner as they were when I first seen

them. Now how can that be? Not knowing the whole story I went ahead and put everything back to working order again. “Here ya go, I haven’t a clue how in the world that happened sir, sorry about that,” I said. Mr. Gorillalilla thanked me for my time and proceeded to leave. Before he left the parking lot he tried it several times to make sure it was working. It wasn’t long before he was back through the door yelling at me again. “What do I have to do to get you guys to fix this right?” he shouted at me. I was totally taken by surprise. I went out to the parking lot and looked at his problem again. This time he followed me out to his car. Just a few minutes ago I had personally seen the switch move just like it was supposed to and I tried it myself several times. This time, I’m not moving the car. I went back into the shop and grabbed my tools. Right there in the parking lot I pulled it down as he watched me perform the operation on his steering column. I tried it several times myself before I let him try it. As soon as Gorillalilla got behind the wheel and grabbed the key, I knew right away what the problem was. He wasn’t using the lever to release the key mechanism!… Somehow, someway his vice grip hands were strong enough to rotate the key over the lever mechanism and that was what was causing all the problems. The astonishing thing was he couldn’t see that he was the cause of the problem and

insisted that it was a defect in the column. After all the debating I told him that I could remove the “safety” and then he could turn the key off without using the lever anymore. That was fine with him. I tore into the column for a fourth time and removed the latching arm that was attached to the outside release lever. Now I want to complain, but complaining about it doesn’t do any good. This big brute had such strong hands he could pull the tumbler back across the stops. The whole thing could have been avoided if the vehicle operator was even slightly aware of how to operate his vehicle correctly. It seems no matter how many times I run across a problem like this I’m the one that ends up putting the labor hours in even though the whole time the problem wasn’t my workmanship but this Gorilla’s brute strength. My point about this whole affair? This was a personal experience of a safety system that failed because the owner didn’t follow the procedures, and didn’t seem to notice that the key might feel a tad hard to turn. This wasn’t even a panic situation. I’m glad I’m not the engineer because I don’t know how I would solve these issues we are having with these latest designs and technologies (drive by wire). But, when it comes to adding or changing the systems in the cars to alleviate problems from the driver’s seat, I hope they go all the way and make the designs and procedures “Gorilla” proof.

Mitchell International and CCC Crash Course both produced industry updates in May and both comment on the impact of the declining economy on the insurance industry, among other issues. In Mitchell International’s second quarter 2010 edition of its Industry Trends Report (ITR), Mitchell's Vice President of Industry Relations, Greg Horn, delves into insurance deductible data from 2003 through 2009 for collision and comprehensive (excluding glassonly) losses. “Let’s face it, many of us reason with ourselves that we really don’t think we’ll file a claim to justify increasing our deductibles because of the concrete benefit we can see in a lower insurance premium,” said Horn. Mitchell’s analysis shows that the trend to light-comprehensive deductibles is rising at a 160 percent faster rate than collision deductibles.

In CCC Crash Course’s report more general economic terms over the last decade are drawn upon for analysis. During the first eight years of the last decade, the average repair cost for collision losses had always increased at a higher rate than that for liability according to CCC Crash Course. That changed in 2008 and 2009, when liability repair costs increased at a higher rate than collision in 2008, and declined less in 2009 than collision. These differences may imply that during a recession, a consumer whose vehicle was damaged during an accident where another driver was at fault may opt to handle his/her claim through the other insurer versus their own. How consumers are marketed to by insurers, shop for auto insurance, purchase it, and experience the claims process have changed over the last decade as insurers compete for market share. The last decade has also posed significant challenges for the collision repair in-

dustry. Declining accident frequency, more total losses and lower dollar repair orders have meant fewer dollars coming in. The introduction of new materials, technologies and regulation has required significant investment in new equipment and training. The recession has further impacted miles driven, and more consumers are opting to own and/or insure fewer vehicles. Despite the potential for rising employment numbers to increase miles driven, claim frequency declined early in the last decade while miles driven were still increasing, suggests the industry will not see much if any increase in claim frequency in the coming decade. Automakers introduced numerous new technologies in areas such as telematics, crash avoidance, materials, fuel economy and ‘green’ technologies recently. Most of these technologies have been positive contributions to the driving experience, although some are being blamed for

driver distraction and increasing the cost of vehicle repair. As for vehicle sales during the recent economic recession, a total of 10.4 million new vehicles were sold in the U.S. in 2009. The $3 billion government sponsored program ‘Cash for Clunkers’ gave a much needed boost to new vehicle sales in August, with consumers exhausting the funds in a matter of weeks. Auto analysts believe the program led to 346,000 additional sales that otherwise would not have happened in 2009. Also, last year was the first in which more vehicles were scrapped than sold. Assuming new vehicle sales in 2010 will reach 12 million analysts predict, and if the scrappage rate stays steady or drops slightly, we may see scrapped vehicle counts exceed sales for a second year. The latest Industry Trends Report may be downloaded for free by visiting www.mitchell.com or www.ccc.cccis.com.

Mitchell International and CCC Crash Course Highlight 2010 Industry Changes

30 JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com


ALL OEM Information

Was this Noise Caused by the Repair? with Dan Espersen

Almost everyone in the collision industry has experienced this scenario: You repair a vehicle – in this case, a Chevrolet® Suburban® – to the highest standard possible. The owner takes delivery and drives off smiling. A few days later, he brings it back with a noise that he insists was not present before the repair. He describes a buzzing noise from the right-hand fender. What do you do? If you have OE information, including technical service bulletins (TSBs) available to you, you do a little research. Technical service bulletins are published by automobile manufacturers primarily to identify factory defects, safety related problems and recognized issues for which the manufacturer has published a solution. As it turns out, the General Motors® had already issued a TSB describing the exact situation I just described.

Body - Buzz/Rattle From R/H Front Fender on Acceleration Subject Loud Buzz or Rattle Noise from Right Front Fender Area on Moderate to Hard Acceleration and/or Braking Torquing Around 1800-2000 RPMs or Before 1-2 or 2-3 Shift (Install Closed Cell Foam to Right Front Fender) Models: 2007-2008 Cadillac® Escalade®, Escalade ESV®, Escalade EXT® 2007-2008 Chevrolet® Avalanche®, Silverado®, Suburban®, Tahoe® 2007-2008 GMC® Sierra®, Yukon®, Yukon Denali® Condition Some customers may comment on a buzz or rattle noise from the right front fender area on moderate to hard acceleration and/or brake torquing around 1800-2000 RPMs or just before the 1-2 or 2-3 shift. Cause The radiator surge tank and/or the inner wheelhouse liner may be contacting the right fender. Correction Always refer to ALLDATA® Collision for safety procedures, identification of material types, recommended refinish materials, and removal and installation procedures. Always refer to the vehicle manufacturer for questions relating to applicable or non-applicable warranty repair information. Install closed cell foam to the right front fender using the steps below: Verify the condition. Open the hood.

Remove the air cleaner assembly. Remove the four bolts from the air cleaner adapter bracket.

Dan Espersen is ALLDATA® CollisionSM Program Manager. Dan is a Gold Pin Member of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and holds an AA Degree in Automotive Technology. He has 17 years of experience in the collision industry and 17 years of experience in the automotive industry.

move the nut and bolt from the radiator surge tank. Do Not disconnect any hoses or drain the coolant. Remove the radiator surge tank from the fender retaining slot by pulling upward. Reposition the radiator surge tank away from the fender. Cut three pieces of closed cell foam, P/N P4615, to 50 mm (2 in) lengths. Clean the area above the marks on the right front fender with glass cleaner.

Remove the air cleaner adapter bracket. Remove the plastic retainer (1) from the right front center inner wheelhouse liner (Figure 1). Cut a piece of closed cell foam, P/N P46510, to 32 mm (1-1/4 in) length. Make a hole in the center of the foam with a 6 mm (1/4 in) drill bit by hand. Install the piece of foam between the wheelhouse liner and the fender from inside the engine compartment at the removed retainer location. Tip: Line up the hole in the foam with the hole in the fender and wheelhouse liner. Install the plastic retainer into the right front wheelhouse liner, foam (1) and the fender (Figure 2).

the radiator surge tank (Figure 6). Install the radiator surge tank plastic tab into the matching retaining slot inside the right inner fender. Install the air cleaner adapter bracket while aligning and centering the front mounting hole for the radiator surge tank. Install the four bolts for the air cleaner adapter bracket and tighten. Tighten the bolts to 10 N.m (89 lb in). Install the nut and bolt securing the radiator surge tank. Tighten the nut and bolt. Tighten the nut and bolt to 10 N.m (89 lb in). Install the air cleaner assembly. Close the hood. Verify that the condition has been corrected.

PA R T S I N F O R M AT I O N

Start by installing the center piece of foam vertically at the hole (1) in the fender 20 mm (3/4 in) above the right fender retaining slot (Figure 4). When attaching the foam, try to keep the foam uniform and even across the top for appearance purposes.

Mark the two locations on the right fender where the radiator surge tank mounting tabs contact the fender, (Figure 3). Re-

Attach the other two pieces of foam vertically with no gaps to the left side and right side of the center piece of foam as shown above (Figure 5).

Tip: Use a plastic putty scraper to help prevent the rolling of the foam when installing

Part Number P46515 P46510

Description

Adhesive Back Shim Stock (25 mm x 30 ft roll) [15 mm (9/16 in) thickness] Adhesive Back Shim Stock (25 mm x 30 ft roll) [8 mm (5/16 in) thickness]

Written by Dan Espersen, ALLDATA Collision Program Manager. Dan is a Gold Pin Member of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and holds an AA Degree in Automotive Technology. He has 17 years of experience in the collision industry and 17 years of experience in the automotive industry. ©2010 ALLDATA LLC. All rights reserved. All technical information, images and specifications are from ALLDATA Collision. ALLDATA is a registered trademark and ALLDATA Collision is a mark of ALLDATA LLC. All other marks are the property of their respective holders. General Motors, Cadillac, Escalade, Escalade ESV, Escalade EXT, Chevrolet, Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, GMC Sierra, Yukon and Yukon Denali are registered trademark names and model designations of General Motors. All trademark names and model designations are being used solely for reference and application purposes.

www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 31


Ford Promotes Favorable Repair and Insurance Cost Data and Leads in Perceived Quality Gain Ford Motor Company is promoting that its vehicles cost less to repair, after a collision on average, than all other vehicles in their segments, according to a new U.S. government report based on insurance claims database. Auto insurance companies often factor in model-specific claims data in setting premium costs. Approximately 78 percent of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models rated at or better than the industry average, says Ford. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 2010 Relative Collision Insurance Cost Information Booklet shows more Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles lead their segments for the lowest collision insurance cost than any other automaker. The report will be available in all dealerships this spring to help consumers anticipate repair costs that insurers rely on for setting insurance rates. Ford has 10 segments leaders, including Taurus, Focus and F-Series trucks, from the 2007â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2009 model years. The NHTSA ratings based on claim costs data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. According to NHTSA, Fordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 10 segment-leading 2009 model year vehicles include: Ford Focus â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Small Cars

(four-door), Ford Taurus â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Large Cars (four-door), Ford F-150 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Large Pickups (two-door), Ford F-150 Super Cab 4WD â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Large Pickups (two-door-plus), Ford F-250 4WD â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Very Large Pickups (two-door), Ford F-250 Super Cab â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Very Large Pickups (two-door-plus), Ford E-350 Econoline wagon â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Cargo/Passenger Vans (tied with Chevrolet Express 3500), Mercury Grand Marquis â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Very Large Cars (fourdoor), Mercury Mariner 4WD â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Small SUV and Lincoln Town Car â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Very Large Luxury Cars. In 2009, Ford opened a Paint and Body Technology Center to leverage the combined expertise of Fordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s repair and safety experts, auto repair technicians and insurance companies to identify design solutions and repair procedures that will lower repair costs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If your vehicle costs less to repair, it generally costs less to insure,â&#x20AC;? said Gerry Bonanni, Ford damageability collision repair senior engineer. In another key area of vehicle affordability, Fordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resale values outpaced the industry by rising 23 percent according to the latest National Automobile Dealers Association auction data. The gains resulted from stronger

Tucson Student Wins Hyundai at Project Graduation Lindsay Johnson, a 2010 graduate of Ironwood Ridge High School, capped off her high school career by riding off into the sunrise in the early y morning after her grad night in a bright red Hyundai freshly refurbished by 911 Collision Centers, a sponsor of Project Graduation.

and its success â&#x20AC;&#x153;has everything to do with the grand prize car giveaway, which would not have been possible without 911 Collisionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s generous contributions.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is very rewarding to again be part of this important program to keep our kids safe,â&#x20AC;? said Michael Quinn, co-founder of

demand for Fordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new vehicles and improved quality and durability ratings. Ford Leads Industry in Perceived Quality Gains Ford Motor Company achieved the largest gain of any automaker in Automotive Lease Guideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest Perceived Quality Score, bringing customer perceptions more in line with Fordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s improved vehicle quality. Ford this month was ranked as the most improved brand in the ALG study, showing a 7.6 percent improvement since fall 2009, building on gains over the past two years. Improving perceptions of Fordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quality has been a key driver behind Fordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent market share gains and improving resale value. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have made huge strides in vehicle quality in recent years but customer perceptions donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t change overnight â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so it is gratifying to see our real-world improvements begin to fully register with consumers,â&#x20AC;? said Jim Farley, Fordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s group vice president, Global Marketing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The benefits of improved perception of quality are huge â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from market share to residual values and purchase considerations.â&#x20AC;? ALG noted that Ford residuals have seen a â&#x20AC;&#x153;huge upswing.â&#x20AC;? Fordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s av-

erage residual gained $2,420 (JanuaryJune 2010 residual guides) compared to the year-ago period; the average brand change was about $615. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goals have been supported by an entire portfolio of all-new or redesigned products that have been wellreceived both in the marketplace and among automotive critics,â&#x20AC;? said Matt Traylen, chief economist for ALG. ALG said Fordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s improvement in perceived quality likely can be traced to several factors: * Ford has improved its vehicle quality and launched well-received new products * Ford avoided bankruptcy and a taxpayer bailout unlike its domestic competitors * Ford limited brand-damaging incentive spending and daily rental fleet sales ALG noted in particular that the new Ford Taurus and Fiesta have been well received by the press and public. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Customers want to see that you can be reliable in your quality month after month, year after year,â&#x20AC;? Farley said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Demonstrating steady improvements in initial and long-term durability over time is helping us close the gap between perception and reality.â&#x20AC;?

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Lindsay Johnson, recent 2010 Ironwood High graduate, receives keys to newly refurbished car from Mike Quinn of 911 Collision Centers, which has sponsored Project Graduation since its inception in 2004.

Johnson was the lucky grand prize winner in a drawing that highlighted Project Graduation, a drug/alcohol free, allnight evening of fun and safety on graduation night. The national programâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goal is aimed at keeping graduating seniors off the roads on one of the most dangerous nights of the year. According to Sue Conto, chair of Project Graduation, 95% of the senior class participated in the event this year

A beaming Lindsay Johnson in the driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seat of her first ever car which she won at Ironwood Highâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Project Graduation, an all-night drug/alcohol free event aimed at keeping teens off the road and safe on graduation night.

911 Collision Centers, who has sponsored Project Graduation since its inception in 2004. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to thank all of our team members and DuPont Performance Coatings who poured countless hours and expertise into refurbishing this vehicle. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Most of all,â&#x20AC;? Quinn continued, â&#x20AC;&#x153;we thank the parent volunteers and the Oro Valley community for their tireless efforts and support to make Project Graduation such a big success.â&#x20AC;?

32 JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

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www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 33


Students Apply For Craftsman Tool Grant From I-CAR in Record Numbers Nearly 100 students applied for a Craftsman tool grant through the I-CAR Education Foundation this spring, a record number of applicants for a foundation grant and/or scholarship.

Sophanara Khoeun.

Out of the student applicants, 17 were selected to receive a set of Craftsman tools valued at $575 each. The donated tool kits included a 268 piece Mechanic Tool Set with Lift-Top Lid Case plus Microtork Torque Wrench, a Craftsman 20 piece Super-Duty Punch and Chisel Set, and a Craftsman seven-piece Fiberglass Handle Body and Fender Repair Tool Set. The student winners of the spring Craftsman tool grant include: Bryce Collins, Daniel Garbee, Christian Garfio, Guy Groth, Tyler Henshaw, Ryan Kelley, Sophanara Khoeun, Michael Laue, Amanda Middlebrook, Brock Miner,

Nicholas Perez, Theodore Schuck, John C. St. Denny, Marissa Stegriy, Cara Ashlyn Stevens, Steven James Tarnowski and Eric Vazquez. “We are thrilled to partner with I-CAR Education Foundation to arm these students with Craftsman tools and in turn help them on their journey to becoming professionals in their trade,” said Laura Sardegna, brand director for Craftsman. I-CAR Education Foundation Executive Director Scott Kruger commented. “We thank Craftsman for their generous tool donation to the Education Foundation and joining us in helping to equip these future professionals of the Amanda Middlebrook. industry with the proper tools and equipment. This was the first time the Foundation offered a ‘tool scholarship’and we were overwhelmed with applications from deserving students from around country. This incredible response helps show students' need for tools for their eventual career within the industry.”

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MIT Prints Solar Cells on Paper; Could It Work as Car Paint?

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Italian company Eni have successfully printed solar cells onto a piece of paper, an achievement could go a long way toward advancing solar technology and its everyday applications. The thinner the solar cell, the easier it is to install and the more versatile its uses. The Eni-MIT Solar Frontiers Research Center is pursuing many methods of creating thin-film solar cells that can be sprayed onto any material during the manufacturing process, from plastic to paper to metal foils. The obvious application from an automotive perspective is the paint on your car. If the entire body were essentially one large solar cell it would make the paint a significant power source. Don’t start celebrating yet, basic commercialization, let alone widespread adoption, of any of this technology is still a decade or two away, according to one MIT researcher.

Nissan Says There will Be Leaf Shortage

The Nissan Leaf won’t go on sale until later this year, but Nissan already predicts a shortage of the all-electric vehicles within three months of it hitting the market. The automaker says it already has 7,000 pre-orders in the United States and another 4,000 in Japan, with pre-orders in the United Kingdom set to begin in July. All told, Nissan expects demand for the first mass-market all-electric car to outstrip supply in a relatively short time. However, Nissan must also control expectations of what an electric car can do. Hence, if you sign up for a Leaf, you’ll be asked how far you drive each day. Nissan’s chairman of the Americas said that dealers may redirect customers to other vehicles if their driving needs or living situations would make owning an all-electric vehicle a burden.

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12207 Branford Street Sun Valley, CA 91352 1033 N. Fuller Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90046-6603 34 JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com


Continued from Page 1

Toyota-Tesla

“Through this partnership, by working together with a venture business such as Tesla, Toyota would like to learn from Tesla’s challenging spirit, quick decision-

Initially only a small corner of the 5.4-million-square-foot plant will be used, but Musk said he expects the entire facility will eventually be utilized. No mention, yet, of an IPO for Tesla, but some in the industry have speculated that this announcement could speed that process, perhaps enabling it even before GM’s likely offering early next year, and Chrysler’s—expected to follow GM’s. Chrysler Group LLC said it is considering a public stock offering sometime in 2011, Sergio Marchionne said on May 20. Marchionne said there is enough demand in the marketplace to support initial public offerings for Chrysler and GM,

Musk (l) and Toyoda (r)

making and flexibility. That is a big part of the reason we decided to partner with Tesla. Musk said Tesla is purchasing the NUMMI plant for an undisclosed sum. Toyota and GM closed the plant in early April and terminated 4,700 workers, but thousands of others who worked for parts suppliers—as many as 25,000 by some accounts—were also affected. Tesla will begin production of its Model S electric sedan in 2012. A 300-mile range, seven-seat SUV will also be manufactured at NUMMI, he said. Once it reaches full production, Tesla expects to produce 20,000 vehicles a year at the NUMMI plant.

both of which were restructured in government-funded bankruptcy protection cases last year. He said he never wants to see the company lose money again. “I expect 2010 will be a much better year than we originally forecast,” he said, predicting that U.S. vehicle sales to top 11 million this year and 12 million in 2011.

Gunder’s Case Not Over—Court Mediation Ordered On May 18, the Federal Court of Appeals in Atlanta, GA, ordered State Farm Insurance to undergo mediation with Gunder’s in an effort to bring a satisfactory resolution to Gunder’s claim against State Farm for Tortious Interference and Slander. (Tortious interference of business occurs when false claims and accusations are made against a business or an individual’s reputation in order to drive business away.) The Appelant court order was in response to Gunder’s Auto Center’s request for appeal of a Florida courts recent summary judgment. “If you read recent articles by some industry writers, they’ve made it sound as if we lost our case against State Farm and the matter was over and done with” says Ray Gunder, founder of the 42-year old family owned and operated Gunder’s Auto Center in Lakeland, Florida. “It would appear that some writer’s intent is to vindicate Sate Farm’s actions and to discourage other repairers from stepping up and defending their good names and their businesses. Our case is far from over! We got knocked back a bit, but not knocked down or out. “The slander case (which was summarily discharged by the lower court) allowed us a great deal of discovery and through many hours of depositions and review of ac-

quired documentation we uncovered extensive evidence to support our claims. Says Gunder, “No, this is far from over; we just need our day in court to allow a ‘jury of our peers’ to decide who did what to whom and why. I believe this recent ruling by the Appellate court is telling State Farm that our case has merit and you’d better make this go away or else.” They (the court) could have merely declined to address it and they Ray Gunder didn’t. We have a great deal of time and resources invested and I’m not giving up until we have exhausted every avenue of the legal system to reconcile the damages and harm State Farm has caused our family, my business, my employees and our customers.” The mediation is currently scheduled for June 10th in Florida.

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Shop and Product Showcase with Ed Attanasio

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

Murietta Shop Goes to DuPont™ Cromax® Pro for One-Coat Coverage

Doug Albin, owner of Body Works Collision Center in Murietta, California, knows paint. He’s been painting cars since he was in high school and has owned a body shop for nearly a decade, so he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to paint and painting systems. Body Works Collision Center operates out of a 5,000-square-foot shop, generates $250,000 per month in sales, and performs 65–70 repairs monthly. The company employs 12–15 people depending on workload and seasonal spikes in business. Body Works specializes in repairing Toyotas, Hondas, Acuras and Mazdas, but they’ll work on any non-exotic vehicle on the road. Albin, 41, has been in the body shop business for his entire life, as a master tech and a painter. He’s a second-generation shop owner who worked every summer with his father’s body shop while in high school and also completed training to be a master painter shortly thereafter. “My dad’s shop was called Albin’s

that’s undoubtedly been a big part of our success.” After working with the same paint vendor for nine years, Albin made a change to DuPont™ Cromax Pro® when he ran into problems with his long-standing paint vendor during his switchover to waterborne last year. DuPont stepped in to deliver a system featuring their Cromax Pro® waterborne product. And the results are exemplary, Albin said. He’s saving money, matching every color, reducing waste, and producing more vehicles in less time than ever before. Albin was almost instantly enamored with Cromax Pro’s exceptional coverage ability. “When our conversion to waterborne began, there was an issue with our original paint company, so we inquired about other vendors and DuPont stood out in a big way. They came to the shop and sprayed a car and we were instantly impressed. Our original vendor’s paint was requiring 3–4 coats per vehicle and it was taking us way too long. With Cromax Pro, we can paint a car in a maxi-

Body Works Collision Center is a second-generation shop that stresses quality and customer service.

Classic Cars in Newport Beach, and he worked restoring high-end expensive cars,” Albin said. “It was a great education, because I was allowed to step in and work on different types of vehicles. Some people are born to follow their parents’ career path and I gravitated toward the body business from day one.” By doing rather than simply delegating every aspect of collision repair over the years, Albin has a unique and invaluable perspective of how to run a body shop from top-to-bottom and front-toback. “I know how to hang a bumper and paint a car, so I know what’s expected. Natural progression in this industry doesn’t really exist anymore. Many body shop operators don’t have those abilities. As a result, there’s a growing separation between the front office and the back shop in a lot of shop environments. I’ve learned every aspect of this business hands-on and

mum of two coats without a flash and in many cases we’re doing the job with just one coat. Their wet-on-wet procedure makes our lives so much easier,” said Albin. “With DuPont’s waterborne product, we quickly discovered that every color has one-coat coverage capability and that’s never happened before ever in this industry, I believe. They told us it would happen and we were a bit skeptical. Then they showed us they were right and we were very impressed. I went from painting three cars daily to 12 vehicles with the change to Cromax Pro®.” Albin says he has saved a significant amount of money and time since he signed on with DuPont, but the overall quality of the finished product is what he values over everything else. “We’re producing more finished cars more quickly now since we switched to DuPont. The products, their system and

36 JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

the support people who helped us so much—they offered us the complete package and we’re happy we made the move. It’s costing us less now, but it’s not all about the money. The performance of the paint system is more critical and the quality of the finished product is the top priority.” Increased productivity is one of the major reasons why Albin’s so enthused about DuPont’s Cromax Pro®. “Time is money in any business and anything that will save time is invaluable

means that the vehicle is returned back to the manufacturers’ standards and nothing less,” he said. “We don’t cut corners; we never take short cuts and we avoid comebacks as a result.” DuPont’s New Accounts Specialist Kevin Harrington was pleased when Albin adopted Cromax Pro®, after been working with another vendor for several years. “Doug is what I call a raving fan for Cromax Pro® . He went from doing 3–4

Body Works Collision Center operates out of a 5,000-square-foot shop, generates $250,000 per month in sales and performs 65–70 repairs monthly.

to my operation. I have one painter who works with four helpers and they get all of the cars done fast and efficiently, with a perfect uniform paint color and optimum coverage every time without fail.” Another one of the benefits Albin cited about Cromax Pro® is the accuracy of the computerized color-matching system. “It’s incredible. Color matching was always an issue with our former system. It didn’t provide matching for

coats per car to approximately 1.5–2 coats, without a flash when he switched. He saw a spike in his productivity right away and he was using less paint, so the savings were immediately evident.” Harrington has converted hundreds of body shops to the DuPont Cromax Pro® system throughout Southern California during the rush to change to waterborne last year, and he normally witnesses a rapid learning curve when shops are first exposed to his products and his system.

Body Works is now painting more vehicles in less time since adopting DuPont’s Cromax Pro and its matching system (right).

certain types of vehicles, but DuPont climbed to the top of our list when we got a chance to use it. It’s extremely user-friendly and my crew adapted to it right away.” Albin’s customer service approach is fairly simple. “Our main customer service goal is to do the repair right the first time, which

“It’s a relatively simple process and most painters can adapt quickly,” Harrington said. “We didn’t have to re-educate Doug very much, because he’s a painter and his staff was onboard all the way. Embracing the new system with waterborne wasn’t easy with every shop I worked with, but

See Body Works Collision, Page 39


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www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 37


MO Auto Dealer Pleads Guilty to Helping Al-Qaida According to reports from Associated Press and Reuters, a used car dealer in Kansas City, Missouri, pleaded guilty on May 21 to providing support to al Qaeda by sending about $23,500 to the militant group, the U.S. Justice Department said. www.autobodynews.com Khalid Ouazzani, 32, a naturalized CHECK IT OUT! U.S. citizen from Morocco, was accused of swearing allegiance to alQaida in 2008 and using money from a commercial loan to give to the To advertise group in 2007, call Advertising Sales at: prosecutors said. Ouazzani admitted Khalid Ouazzani he sent $23,500 to e-mail: al-Qaida between August 2007 and midadvertising@autobodynews.com 2008. Prosecutors said Ouazzani provided www.autobodynews.com false information to obtain a $175,000 line-of-credit commercial loan in April

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West Leads Country in Stolen Vehicle Statistics

NCOIL to Introduce New Anti-Steering Measure

The Property Casualty Committee of the Although auto theft rates have declined 2007 to run his business, Truman Used National Conference of Insurance Legisfor six straight years, some cities in the Auto Parts. The business opened in 2006 lators (NCOIL) will consider all new lanstolento car Contribute rates in the Give inustheyour opinion Want to th and specialized retail business of on matters affecting the industry. West had the highest guage in an anti-steering model bill at its nation last year, the National Insurance buying and selling of used auto parts and upcoming summer meeting in Boston, Crime Bureau has reported. used cars. Massachusetts. The city with the highest auto theft Ouazzani submitted a “borrowing Committee Chair Sen. Ruth Teichrate in the nation is the border town of base certificate” in May 2007 substanman (KS) has offered a substitute amendLaredo, Texas, and it’s followed by other publisher@autobodynews.com publisher@autob tially overstating the amount of busiment based on Rhode Island and Virginia smallto mid-size Western cities. It isn’t ness inventory Truman Auto Parts had, requirements for review at the July meetuntil you hit No. 7 on the list until the claiming that the business inventory toing. The new language is far more comcountry’s larger cities start showing up, taled over $680,000. It was a further prehensive than the original three-sentence and they, too, are in the West. part of the scheme to defraud Union Promote your business w proposal and includes sections on insurer The ranking: Bank that in April 2007, Ouazzani prohibitions, consumer disclosure and 1. Laredo, TX an exclusive article featu caused Union Bank to make a penalties for violation. 2. Modesto, CA your products or servic $175,000 commercial loan line of NCOIL representativeTo Susan Nolan 3. Bakersfield, CA advertise credit from Union Bank to Hafssa The source for timelyexplained in an email that the amendment call Joe Momber at: 4. Stockton, CA LLC, dba Truman Used Auto Parts for is in response to discussions on the current 5. Fresno, CA information that every “working capital” based on material anti-steering model that took place at the 6. Yakima, WA false and fraudulent financial informabody shop needs! NCOIL Spring Meeting. "We are asking 7. San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, CA e-mail: tion Ouazzani submitted. A sentencing interested parties to submit specific 8. Visalia/Porterville, CAJoe Momber for det CALL: jmomber@autobodynews.com date has not been set. Ouazzani waived markups of any proposed revisions-rather 9. Las Vegas/Paradise, NV his right to a grand jury; the charges than general comments-on the substitute 10. Albuquerque, NM against him hadStart been sealed since FebYour FREE amendment. Thewww.autobodynews.com Committee will give priNICB’s Hot Spots report examines ruary 3. ority consideration to comments submitvehicle theft data obtained from the Na-

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ted in markup form," Nolan said. tional Crime Information Center for each Under the substitute amendment, inof the nation’s metropolitan areas. Of the surers cannot require use of a certain body 366 metropolitan areas within the U.S., shop but may recommendRegister a certain shop. Your304, or 83%,for reported lower thefts in 2009 Email Our However, once a consumer chooses a than 2008. The bureau says in the FBI’s shop, the insurer may not "interfere with" 2009 preliminary semi-annual crime rethat decision once it is made. The substiport, published last December, that vehitute amendment would entirely replace the cle theft may drop by as much as 18 at language. www.autobodynews.com originally proposed anti-steering percent from 2008’s numbers.

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and we were dialed in within several days.” Once the DuPont Cromax Pro® system was in their shop and Albin’s crew was using it on a daily basis, fine tuning made it more effective and productivity spiked even more. “It’s great and getting better as we learn more about it, believe it or not. As we paint more cars with it, we’re improving our quality and our cycle times. One coat is the norm now and we’re so pleased. There are a lot of moving parts in this business and issues can arise every day, but our paint is something I feel 100% confident in and when the cars come out of here, the paint jobs are impeccable.” Body Works Collision Center, 26871 Hobie Circle, Murietta, CA 92562, (951) 696-4779

Continued from Page 36

Body Works Collision

once they saw what we can offer in relation to their overall productivity and quality, they were happy to say goodbye to solvent.” Albin praised the efforts of DuPont’s Brand Specialist Steve Shaparro, who came to his shop to train the paint crew at Body Works during the conversion to Cromax Pro. “Steve was a great source for educating us about the system and the ideal ways to paint these cars. When I saw the system in action for the first time, I was definitely blown away. I actually giggled because I was ecstatic and surprised! Steve had us trained

Auto Supplier Plasman Wants Fort Payne, AL, Plant A Canadian auto supplier has selected Fort Payne as the site of its first U.S. manufacturing facility and plans to bring hundreds of jobs to an area of northeast Alabama that has suffered heavy losses in its hosiery-mill operations. Plasman Corp, part of A.P. Plasman Corp. of Windsor, Canada, expects to invest $14 million to $16 million in the plant, which initially will employ 200 people and could ramp up to more than 350 in a few years. The facility will do plastic-injection molding, painting and assembly of automotive exterior parts and tool re-

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Autobody News to Walk the Walk

Autobody News has been reporting for years on what shops are doing, plan to do and need to do to be both “Lean and Green.” Can a modern shop really be one without the other? We are about to walk the walk, not just the talk, in our upcoming issues. Starting next month, Autobody News will be doing special country-wide coverage on the “lean and green” issues that shops are implementing both now and in the future. Our summer theme is “what does it mean to be lean and green?” and we will explore the business consequences of what we see as the new norm in collision repair and in business in general. Future cars will be more sensitive to repair procedures both in efficiency, safety, and performance aspects. Safety will involve both the owner-customer and the shop employees. More attention will be required on how to make your shop operate at peak efficiency. To keep up and make a profitable business operate, will be a challenge and an opportunity for shop owners and managers. As Green as we can be To reinforce our shared commitment with the industry we’re going to do the newpaper equivalent of going waterborne for our next two issues, July and August. All 21,000 shops and related businesses will be getting an ultragreen copy of our papers in the mail. We’re going to change our newsprint to the highest practical recycled content and make corresponding changes in the printing inks we use. No penguins, seals, or additional trees will be harmed in the process. That’s the green phase, not the lean, and it’s not permanent because we have a better long term solution.

Lean and Green In September 2010 (our 29th anniversary) we will be making a more permanent change to Autobody News’ print editions which may make us look like more of a newsmagazine than a newspaper. We’re not reducing the regional coverage we offer—quite the opposite, we want more regional emphasis. We’re just changing the way it is printed. At the same time we will adjust our design to take advantage of a newer, higher tech printing process. We’re going to a slightly smaller format with a glossier paper stock to make the paper lighter and brighter. Come September Autobody News will be a bit smaller in its page area (trim size). It’s still going to be environmentally friendly but we want to take advantage of new technology to make photos and advertising graphics crisper and higher resolution. Because the paper stock will be lighter in weight we will be able to offer more pages, and more news items to our readers. Truth be told, we’re also responding to our own regulators—in our case the U.S. Post Office—which is making “required recommendations” (a phrase only a government agency could coin) to the kinds of publications that go through the main mail channels. Mailing our current editions’ format is eventually not going to be in compliance with the Post Office’s guidelines so we are facing our expected future now. We are making our changes in a coordinated way so that readers, advertisers, mail carriers and—yes, business owners—can coexist profitably. We want you, our readers, to share in the benefits of a brighter publication.

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Gulf Coast Oil Spill Causes Far More Than Just Ecological Headaches On April 20th, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon while drilling in an oil well off the Gulf Coast of Louisiana left 17 workers injured and 11 missing and presumed dead. Since that day, oil has been spilling from a BP offshore drilling well in the Gulf of Mexico. The leak is currently discharging 200,000 gallons of crude oil a day, according to the official estimate, and ef-

This oil spill is on track to become the worst oil spill in history, surpassing the damage done by the Exxon Valdez tanker that spilled 11 million gallons of oil into the ecologically sensitive Prince William Sound in 1989. Unlike the Exxon Valdez tragedy, in which a tanker held a finite capacity of oil, BP’s rig is tapped into an underwater oil well and could pump more oil into the ocean indefinitely until the leak is plugged. The oil reached the Louisiana shoreline May 14, posing a serious threat to fishermen’s livelihoods, marine habitats, beaches, wildlife and human health. The slick has forced the shutdown of the gulf’s rich fishing grounds and could also spread to the busy shipping lanes at the mouth of the A worker shovels oil off Fourchon Beach in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, on May 24 Mississippi River, tying up the cargo vessels that move forts to manage the spill with millions of tons of fruit, rubber, grain, controlled burning, dispersal and plug- steel and other commodities and raw ging the leak were unsuccessful. It is materials in and out of the nation’s inestimated that more than 6 million gal- terior. lons of crude oil have spewed into the There’s no denying the impact this Gulf so far. spill will have on the seafood and fish-

A map by infographic shows the extent of the oil spill in the Gulf Coast

Oil is seen on an island near the Mississippi River on the coast of Louisiana on May 21

ing industries, mainstays of the south Louisiana economy, but other industries may bgin feeling the affects as time goes on. Undoubtedly the tourism industry of hot spot summer vacation states will begin to feel the impact of this spill. Though a total shutdown of the shipping lanes is unlikely, there could be long delays if vessels are forced to wait to have their oil-coated hulls power-washed to

avoid contaminating the Mississippi. Some cargo ships might choose to unload somewhere else in the U.S., possibly driving up costs.

Workers construct a dam to prevent more oil from entering wetlands on Elmer's Island in Louisiana, on May 20

www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 41


with Gonzo Weaver

Jobber Journal with Richard Arnold

PBE Jobber: “Friend” or Ally?

Richard Arnold is owner of Key Concept Services, a marketing firm based in Millerville, AL. He has provided marketing services to the collision industry since 1994 and served as the Marketing Director for Auto Color, Inc., now Finishmaster, in Atlanta, GA. He may be reached at keycon@centurytel.net or 256.276.9389.

Most Jobbers are staffed by experiThis month we begin a new column in Autobody News which we’re calling Jobber enced and knowledgeable personnel who Journal. Our first columnist/contributor have worked in and around the collision is Richard Arnold.with In future we’ll repair industry for years. The one I worked Edmonths Attanasio bring you additional opinions and invite for had a total combined work experience of over 1000 years. Why not tap that recontributions from readers. source to your advantage? Just about any In my many years of working with a major question you have related to your shop opPBE Jobber in the Southeast, I have ob- eration can usually be answered by your served that many of their shop customers Jobber. If they don’t know the answer right undervalue them. Granted, a small minor- away, a good Jobber will get the answer with Erica Schroeder ity of their customers totally understood back to you. the value jobbers brought to their shop. They know how a shop operates and Over time I watched how this small mi- want to help you cut operating expenses nority of shops communicated with the and increase productivity. You just have to Jobber sales reps and tech reps and used let them help you. Ask questions. My dad their knowledge and experience to grow always told me: the dumbest question is their businesses. All the while the large the one not asked. And yes, ask for your majority of customers just kept on doing discount on paint and materials, but don’t the same bad things over and over and get- make this the main issue. If you utilize ting the same poor results. Albert Einstein your Jobber properly, the discount will be called insanity the act of “Doing the same the last thing on your mind when you see thing over and over again and expecting the improved bottom line numbers. different results.” I’m no Einstein, but I According to the latest 2009 industry have to agree on his definition. data, collision shops (including both DRP I believe a good PBE Jobber is a & non-DRP) spend on average $2500 per friend and ally, not a foe. A PBE Jobber month just on paint. The average ticket can be a shop’s best friend or vendor part- (RO) is right at $2300. The average shop ner. I don’t mean “friend” because they writes 19 estimates per week, converts give you the biggest discount on paint and 67% of them to actual jobs and performs materials. I mean “friend” in the true sense 12 jobs per week. of the word. A true friend wants to see you What if a Jobber can show you how succeed, prosper and be happy. The best to go from 12 to 13 jobs per week? Or help PBE Jobbers want to see all of their cus- you increase the closing percentage from tomers succeed, prosper and be happy. 67% to 70% or higher? And what about When their shop customers do well, they upselling? How much could you increase do well. Make your Jobber your ally. your sales and profits if someone showed The collision repair industry is chang- you the many different ways to increase ing at a faster pace now than ever before. each RO just by asking the customer the New metals, waterborne coatings, lean right questions? A good PBE Jobber can production process, and multi-media mar- do all of this and more. keting, just to name a few changes. A good As the marketing guy for the Jobber I relationship with your Jobber can pay big worked with, I often went on sales calls dividends. Consider them a member of when a shop showed interest in improving your board of business advisors. Ask them their marketing efforts. As we all know, for their thoughts and advice. Their an- marketing for the majority of collision swers may surprise and benefit you. shops consists of an ad in the Yellow What if your shop could get one more Pages. We also know the world is moving repair job out per week or even increase faster than a big, thick paper book is now. the output by just one more RO per According to the latest data, shops remonth? More work should equate to more port that 77% of their business comes from profit. A good PBE Jobber team can help word-of-mouth advertising and only 45% you increase your business. So instead of from their DRP. OK, I already admitted beating him up for more discounts, listen I’m no Einstein, nor brain surgeon, nor to what he is telling you about how to in- rocket scientist, but this statistic tells me a crease your business and productivity. lot. When it comes to advertising, there is A good PBE Jobber has many value- nothing better than a word-of-mouth recadded programs to help their shop cus- ommendation from a satisfied customer. tomers succeed. Many programs are in And you know something else? A good coordination with the paint manufacturer(s) PBE Jobber can provide you with access they represent and some are straight from to seminars and training that will show you their own minds and experience. how to improve your overall marketing

strategy to increase word-of-mouth advertising which will in turn increase your sales and profits. The average busy shop will see his Jobber sales representative about once a week and if you’re a really busy shop, probably more often. These visits from your Jobber are your (and your staff’s) opportunity to ask questions and tap this valuable resource. Anything you want to know about new products, new and better procedures, technical questions and more. And the Jobber sales rep can help in the front office, too. From improving your sales and marketing efforts to increasing your closing ratio and improving insurance relations; your Jobber can help your shop be the best at what it does. We’re into baseball season now and I love my Atlanta Braves. Just as a major league baseball team tries to put together the best talent in spring training to hit the field in April to win it all, you’re always trying to make sure you have the best team possible at your shop to win, too. And when the owners/managers of a baseball

Shop and Product Showcase Shop Showcase

42 JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

team see they have a deficiency, they go out seeking additional talent to shore up where they are weak. Think of your Jobber as a free agent talent just waiting to be called upon to help your team. Whether your shop is weak in production, painting, front-end office, sales, marketing or other areas, your Jobber has the experience and knowledge to help improve your team. Just like any great free agent in baseball, that talent does not come at a big discount. But, just like a big slugger or dominant closer will draw more fans to the ballpark and increase revenues for the baseball team, your Jobber is compensated by your increased purchases because your shop is growing and improving its bottom line profits. So the next time your Jobber sales rep visits your shop, look at him like the ace hurler you picked up to be your closing pitcher. Make him feel welcomed in your clubhouse because you know he’s going to help you win. Utilize his talent and experience to the fullest. The Jobber is your friend and he can help make your shop a winner.

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CRA Exchanges Letters with CDI Commissioner’s Office The California Department of Insurance (CDI) has sent a notice (see story p. 18 this issue) to all California insurers reminding them of their requirement to warrant all non-original equipment manufacture replacement crash parts to be at least equal to original equipment in terms of kind, quality, safety, fit, and performance. This reinforces their liability in the process. The CDI also warned insurers as to the use of non-compliant parts in settlement offers. CRA President Lee Amaradio stated “This official notice was the culmination of numerous meetings with CDI, numerous letters written that required a response from the Commissioner and a press conference that was held by Assembly Member Dave Jones in which Toby Chess was a participant. We have received numerous calls from the Industry asking, why our position is so drastically different than CAA, and why are they claiming that the notice is a result of their efforts. First and foremost they are entitled to their position. Their position was limited to tracking and identification of parts. The only entity that voiced similar views is the Aftermarket parts industry. Our position is based on the law and before you make a decision you should take time to review the regulations and statutes that relate to

this issue.” Amaradio added, “When Non-compliant parts are used to establish settlement the claim is paid short. CRA’s position is to protect the consumer and have CDI enforce the laws and regulations that require insurers to warrant non-original equipment replacement crash parts are at least equal. Determinations of parts being equal is manifested in the claims process, prior to repair. We feel that, to categorize tracking as the most important issue, is to divert attention from the real issue. Insurers requiring and specifying usage of parts that are non-compliant. It is important to note how the CDI notice tracks with our letters to the Commissioner. If there is a small scale issue it is tracking. Currently systems exist to track parts. It is not done because insurers chose not to comply. The real issue is vehicle and occupant safety.” Executive Director Allen Wood stated CDI also asked why our position was so different from CAA. CRA Director Allen Wood advised “ I don’t know specifically, but possibly it is due to their close affiliation with the A/M industry.” CRA board member John Tyczki stated “These issues are about the business of insurance not auto repair and we will do all we can to keep it that way.We can

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only hope others identify this important fact.” Allen Wood said, “I want to extend my thanks to our members and our Board. Many have stood up and been the lightening rod while bringing these issues to the light of day. Some have felt the brunt of insurers and in one case a threat from a supplier. This group has put the benefit of the industry above a threat of personal consequences. This is representative of how an association should work for the good of all.” CRA advises Repair facilities to keep the attached notice on hand for reference. If insurers attempt to specify usage of a part that is not equal to OEM or utilize such parts in settlement offers, you may wish to provide them a copy, then file a complaint. It will be of interest to see how insurers respond. But even more interesting how CDI responds to insurers continued specification of non-compliant non-original equipment manufacture replacement crash parts. The collision repair industry now has an opportunity to gain significant ground on this issue. The collision repair professional should be wary of knowingly installing a substandard part. The burden of determination of the compliance is that of the insurer, keep it there. We plan to continue to push the CDI to fulfill their regulatory mandate. CRA continues: “Preparation of this notice was delayed in order to initiate moving this issue to the next level, watch for the next press release. We are taking action not just a position! Our response to Commissioner Poizner will be in second document. I do not think the Commissioner will get a sense that we applaud his recent in-action.”

Exchange of Letters (see pp. 45 & 52-53) An exchange of letters between CRA and Commissioner Poizner’s office has highlighted both agreements and disagreements on the state of aftermarket parts regulation. On April 12, shortly after the CRA media demonstrations, Allen Wood.wrote to the Commissioner’s office asking, in essence for leadership on substandard aftermarket parts, The letter read, in conclusion: The law requires insurers to warrant that aftermarket parts are the same as OEM. Please require insurers that limit benefits to aftermarket reinforcement bars to prove to you that these parts are as good as OEM—it’s the law! It also addressed the jurisdiction issues between CDI and body shops: “The warranting of equal, kind, quality, safety, fit, and performance is regulated as part of the business of insurance and not auto repair. Any shifting of liability is not sup-

ported by current regulation as this issue is rooted in the business of insurance and not repair”

Conlin Writes Back On April 16, Peter Conlin, Counsel to the Commissioner, wrote back to Allen Wood, quoting the above passage. Specifically, Conlin questioned the CRA’s assumption that civil liability would not lie with the repair shop in the case of substandard repair parts. The letter reads in part: “The jurisdiction of the California Department of Insurance reaches insurers but not auto repair shops, CDI regulations could not impose liability on a repair shop. You had offered the statement quoted above as a response to a statement you attributed to a representative of the aftermarket industry that “it is the repair professional’s responsibility to determine if the aftermarket part meets the quality standard.” Is it the CRA position that a repair shop would face no civil liability knowingly installing a substandard replacement part? As a related issue, is it the CRA position that the Uniform Commercial Code, and its implied warranty of merchantability, does not apply to a repair shop? In the final paragraph of the letter, found on page three, you write that “forming a working group, or calling for a study, should not be the first response.” As I have researched aftermarket parts issues, the apparent absence of any uniform and broad-based processes for parts-testing and parts-tracing has struck me as a significant defect in public policy. In offering the statement quoted immediately above, was it your intention simply to convey your sense of priorities or would you consider a study or working group focused on testing and tracing not to be a worthwhile endeavor? I do appreciate your offer that the CRA “stands ready to assist (CDI) staff” as to how “to assess the quality of aftermarket reinforcement bars.” To that end, I will repeat the request I made during our March 4th meeting that the CRA forward to the department specific identifying information on any aftermarket bumper reinforcements it believes are substandard, including the name of the manufacturer and model and lot numbers, as well as information on parts distributors that supply these products to repair shops. I would appreciate any further guidance you could provide. Please contact me if you have any questions. I will be contacting you within the next several weeks with an update on department activities. See both letters reproduced in full on pages 45 and 52-53.

www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 43


with Ed Attanasio

Erica Schroeder is a writer and editorial assistant for Autobody News in Oceanside, CA. She can be reached at eschroeder@autobodynews.com.

Shop Showcase

Silsbee Texas Gets New Fasulo’s Paint and Body Shop with Erica Schroeder

Fasulo’s Paint and Body Shop unveiled their second Texas location in Silsbee, TX, 20 miles north of their flagship shop in Beaumont, this April and was able to receive over $70,000 in repair jobs during just their first month. David Fenner, the owner of both locations, couldn’t be happier with the productivity of both shops during this challenging economic period. The Fasulo family originally approached Fenner about buying Fasulo’s Paint and Estimator Chris SwanBody a few years son at Fasulo’s Beauago; Fenner has been mont location renovating and growing the business ever since he purchased it in 2005. “We’ve actually been growing in Beaumont as well as in the Silsbee location,” said Fenner. Fenner and his wife, Lisa, have managed to preserve the family-run shop feel while still growing the business and even opening a second location.

companies he works with expressed to him a need for a good repair shop to service clients in the Silsbee area.

Body Technician Matt McGlothin at the Beaumont location

The Beaumont location boasts a 22,000 square-foot facility, employing 18 people and pulling in about $2 million in revenue per year. The Silsbee location operates out of a 7,500 square-foot air-conditioned facility and employs 6 people;

needs. The Beaumont location employs 2 estimators while the Silsbee location employs 1 to better service incoming customers. “We care, we do good work, and we treat the customer right,” said Fenner.

Betty Jo Fertitta at the Silsbee front desk

Fasulo’s has a lot of great female employees, which is somewhat out of character for a local body shop. Including Fenner’s wife, Lisa, who has been working with both shops’ finances since Fenner bought the company, Fasulo’s also employs two female customer service secre-

tarial employees, Pamela Cooper in Beaumont, who has been with the company for 3 years and Betty Jo Fertitta in Silsbee who has been with them for 3 months; Johnna Lea, who has been a parts orderer with Fasulo’s for two-and-a-

Owner David Fenner and estimator Bill Slocum at the Silsbee location.

half years; and Jimmie O’Brien, an autobody painter who’s been with them for three years. Jimmie and her husband Russell, who also works at Fasulo’s as a body man, are a husband and wife team and often work together on repair jobs. See Fasulo’s, Page 51

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Parts Orderer Johnna Lea

Painter Jimmie O’Brien

“Usually if I’m in one shop, she’s in the other so one of us is always at each location,” said Fenner.

Body Technician Damon Smith at the Beaumont location

The decision to start up another location during a declining economy came easy to Fenner, who said several insurance

Fenner hopes this location will be able to draw in about $1 million annually once it gets going. Both Fasulo’s locations are all about making the customer’s experience easy and enjoyable; including their use of insurance Direct Repair Program (DRP) referrals and trying to keep a neat, clean, organized facility at all

Pamela Cooper at the Beaumont front desk

times. Fenner said the shop really cares about their repairs and they want to get them done as quickly and precisely as possible to accommodate customer

44 JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

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Shreveport, Louisiana’s Caddo School Named ‘2010 School of the Year’ Caddo Career & Technology Center, a vocational high school in Shreveport, LA, was named the Tomorrow’s Technician/Chicago Pneumatic 2010 School of the Year. Students’ training begins outside the classroom, where instructor Mike Falkner and other instructors greet them at the door with a firm handshake and a good morning. Shirts must be tucked in, name tags must be visible and they’re reminded to look people in the eye when they speak. “We run our class just as though they were going to work,” said Gary Weese, who with Falkner teaches students about everything under a car from bumper to bumper. On hand to present the award and tools to the school were representatives from Tomorrow’s Technician, program sponsors Chicago Pneumatic and WIX Filters and custom hot-rod designer, builder and painter Rich Evans of Huntington Beach Bodyworks. More than 300 applications from secondary and community colleges were submitted for the contest, which recognizes the top automotive technical schools and instructors throughout the country. This was the first time a high school has won the award.

Stevens said the selection committee received a four-inch binder full of heartfelt recommendations from students, teachers, parents and community members about the school’s program.

About 80 students are in the automotive technology program and, yes, there are a few girls. “They really want this program to work, and it has gotten better every year,”

Student-teacher ratio, graduation rates and awards and recognitions also were considered. “It’s impossible to get a job at a dealership without this (program),” said senior Jacob Miller. His internship at Mansfield Auto World will transition into a full-time job next month as an automotive technician.

said Bobby Frugé, assistant service manager at Chevyland on Youree Drive. The dealership recruits and hires interns from the program every year, said Frugé, who meets quarterly with nearly local 20 service managers to discuss ways to improve the training program. Students interview with local dealerships and are selected for summer internships that often

lead to full-time jobs. Strong relationships with the business community has led to more than $400,000 worth of equipment and cars being donated to the school. The program was the first in the state to receive the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation certification, and students have competed and placed in various tournaments, including the Ford AAA in Alexandria and the National Automotive Technology Competition in New York. Besides the bragging rights of being named the nation’s best automotive school, CC&TC will also receive: $10,000 in Chicago Pneumatic Tools; $5,000 in WIX Filters; one-day WIX Filtration Learning Experience at the school; a trip for 4 to Charlotte, NC; one-day WIX Institute of Filtration Technology and WIX Factory Tour; Joe Gibbs Racing Tour and Chicago Pneumatic tool demonstration; and Chicago Pneumatic and WIX Filters gear. See also Rich Evans’ column this issue.

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Wagman and another potential new Smith also said the non-OEM “... none of us can look at these parts ABPA board member were defeated in parts industry—even those that and make an informed decision about the election for three open board seats by sometimes resent LKQ/Keystone whether or not they will perform the current board members winning reelec- for its dominant position in the same as car company brand parts” market—owes the company In an unsuccessful bid for a seat on tion. Like Wagman, ABPA Treasurer Jim thanks for its actions in preventthe ABPA board, Rob Wagman, of LKQ —Jack Gillis of CAPA Corporation, told attendees if elected he Smith, a consultant in the non-OEM ing Chess’ planned demonstration would push ABPA to be more proactive on parts industry who was reelected at the at CIC about problems with nonthe Insurance Institute for Highway meeting to his position on the associa- OEM hood latches. such issues. Safety (IIHS) to perform low- and hightion’s board, told those at the “I don’t care if you like LKQ or not, speed crash tests on non-OEM bumper “of all the things that could happen to our ABPA meeting that the non- but what they did in quieting Toby Chess parts. The testing, he said, will include OEM parts industry is under was absolutely necessary for our industry,” angle-barrier tests to determine whether industry, being regulated by the governattack like at no time since Smith said. “While you may want to kick such parts “impact on keeping the two ment has to be right there at the bottom” the State Farm parts lawsuit a them in the butt when they’re doing things frame rails together.” —Jim Smith of ABPA decade ago. in your market that make you scratch your Gillis said the Smith pointed to the Automo- head, you need to pat them on the back involvement of the “I reached out to the association in tive Service Association’s meeting this when they spend the money to do the IIHS is an indication November after the first CIC demon- spring with senior officials from the Na- things that make your business survive,” of insurer’s interest stration, and quite frankly, I didn’t tional Highway Traffic Safety Administra- Smith said. in the issue. “The think ABPA did enough to get out in tion (NHTSA) at which ASA reiterated its bottom line is: If front of this thing,” Wagman told the request that the agency regulate non-OEM CAPA’s Gillis addresses distributors these bumpers do not Also speaking at the meeting, Jack Gillis 150 people attending the ABPA event. crash parts. protect occupants or of the Certified Automotive “I think on the board I would push to (allow) more dam“what they did in quieting Toby Chess was Parts Association (CAPA) said get the association out there, defending age to vehicles, it’s Jack Gillis of CAPA he titled his remarks, “Coulda, absolutely necessary for our industry” its membership and really getting in insurers that are front of these guys who are coming —Jim Smith of ABPA Woulda, Shoulda.” He said the going to pick up the cost of either the percurrent controversy over non- sonal injury associated with the problems, after the industry. If we don’t act soon, “Of all the things that can happen to OEM structural parts could have been or the additional damage associated with I think we’re in a lot of trouble as an industry. If I was on the board, I’d want to our industry, being regulated by the gov- avoided if distributors had refused to ac- poor-performing bumpers in low-speed Givemake us sure... yourthat opinion matters Want tobut Contribute ernment hasthe to beindustry. right there at the bot- cept anything quality parts. to this Southwest everyoneon knows we’re affecting collisions,” GillisEdition? said. “Imagine the position you would be a quality industry that’s trying to help tom,” Smith said. “It’s a shame that ASA the [rest of the] industry and not bring it would try to take our industry in that di- in right now if 10 or 15 years ago, you Fighting OEM patent protection rection.” simply said to your vendors that you Also speaking at the meeting was down.” wanted only CAPA-certified parts,” Gillis Eileen Sottile of the Quality Parts publisher@autobodynews.com publisher@autobodynews.com said. He said complaints by manufactur- Coalition (QPC). She said that organiers that getting a part certified by CAPA zation has amassed $713,000 to use in is too time-consuming and expensive are its effort to enact federal legislation unfounded. that would design Promote your business with(HR 3059) Promote yournullify business with “What has it cost you that you haven’t patent protections on automotive and an exclusive article featuring an exclusive article featuring insisted on CAPA certification?” Gillis other repair parts. your products or services. your products services. asked distributors in his address. “What is The coalition, made up or primarily of To advertise The source for timely the expense to this industry of the contin- insurers and non-OEM parts manufacturcall Joe Momber at: uing attacks against the aftermarket parts ers and distributors, says automakers are information that every industry?” increasingly seeking design patents on 800-699-8251 body shop needs! Gillis said CAPA began testing non- crash parts to prevent non-OEM versions e-mail: OEM CALL: bumpersJoe overMomber a year agofor anddetails! pre- of the parts from Callbeing for produced details!and jmomber@autobodynews.com CALL 800-699-8251 sented to its board “data showing sold. S80 ‘10 significant inconsistency between car Dan Morrissey, a consultant in the www.autobodynews.com 800-699-8251 800-699-8251 Start Your FREE company brand parts and aftermarket non-OEM parts industry and co-chairman Mail Subscription. bumper parts.” He said “the majority of of the QPC, told distributors at the ABPA parts we reviewed did not compare favor- annual meeting that as of late April only ably to the car company brand parts,” even 14 businesses had contributed to the fund. some non-OEM parts that appeared visu- The QPC, he said, now is asking more Trust your order to the collision parts specialists at these fine Dealers: NEW Register Your Email for Our ally to match the OEM. distributors for a $50 donation for every “The bottom line is that none of us shipping container they import into the So.California No.California can look at these parts and make an in- United States. Galpin Volvo Carlsen Volvo formed decision about whether or not they “I hope everyone realizes this is a VAN NUYS PALO ynews.com at ALTO www.autobodynews.com will perform the same as car company life or death issue for the aftermarket,” 818-778-2005 650-493-3205 brand parts,” he said. Morrissey said at the meeting, “If the 818-778-2090 Fax 800-70-VOLVO Gillis said that as CAPA finalizes OEMs are successful in patenting www.galpin.com www.carlsenvolvo.com its new certification standard for non- parts, it could be the end of our indusOEM bumper parts, it is working with try.” Arizona Continued from Page 1

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www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 47


Custom Corner

Rich Evans is the owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks and an award winning painter and fabricator. He offers workshops in repair and customization at his facility to share his unique talents. For contacts and design samples visit www.huntingtonbeachbodyworks.com

Building a Custom Trophy for ‘The School of the Year’ with Rich Evans

This month we’re going to cover a little ‘how am I going to weld that?’ Then I different category than repair steps and scrounged up a few drill bits and headed procedures or building rods orEvans repair- over to a local metal material shop and withhotRich ing vehicles We’re going to talk about get- bought a metal ball and some design metal ting creative and using your mind to build stamp feather-looking leaves that would with car parts. I wrote a column in Auto- look good in a trophy. Then hunted in my body News (Sept. 09) about building a tro- garage to see what kind of toy cars that I phy for a Long Beach car show which was had laying around, had a ‘51 Merck. I also a big charity event last year. Ed Sunkin, an had a Chicago Pneumatics 7740 impact with Thomas editor from Tomorrow’s TechnicianFranklin (a wrench and I called John from Ray Ward Babcox company), contacted me saying “I and asked him to get a hold of a WIX filter. read that article on that trophy you built. I wanted to incorporate that into the trophy We’ve got this school of the year award as well as the traditional logo for Tomorcoming up and we wanted to know if you row’s Technician School of the want to build a trophy?” Year/Chicago Pneumatics and so I got a I said “You know what, I’m into it. I copy of the artwork and a piece of stainless with Thomas Franklin dig stepping away from everyday routine steel. I blew up the photo of the artwork and trying out something different. I actu- and got it symmetrically proportioned for ally had fun when I built the trophy for the the size of the trophy I was going to build Long Beach Car show.” and cut a half-inch piece of stainless steel to weld it to the trophy. Obviously I would need to weld it to the trophy before I could with Dick Strom paint on the face of it so that’s the last step of the project. So accumulating all these parts, I’ve got to figure out what my base is going to be, and when I did the other build for the Long Beach car show I used the pistons. I didn’t want to make the same trophy, but I liked the platform and I incorporated with Dick Strom the two pistons for the back part of the trophy so it would be the base, and also incorporated the pulley with the generator/alternator hardware—so that it Rich gets a grip on Caddo Career and Tech Center’s would spin. I had a few obstacles to figure School of the Year award. out. I knew I wanted the trophy to spin at I started wrapping my head around it the top, right above the leaf spring but I had with LeePneumatics Amaradio Jr. to weld onto the pulleys so what I and with help from Chicago nothing and Tomorrow Technician, also WIX had did is I drilled some holes in the pulley, joined us for this, our third year into this found some bolts that I could weld to and event and contest. This year there were found the positions where I needed to weld more than 300 applications nominating to stabilize everything. I took the logos, more than 163 schools, the four finalists welded them to the bolts so it was the facwith Lee Amaradio were Arapahoe Community College, Little- ingJr. of the of the trophy and then I was able ton, CO; Caddo Career and Technical Cen- to take two half-inch drill bits and weld ter, Shreveport, LA; Spokane Community them to the other two bolts that I drilled College, Spokane, WA; and Carroll County through the pulley and use that to stabilize Career & Technology Center, Westminster, the base to the pistons. Then I used a brake MD. shoe to wrap around the back to stabilize We wanted to build something cool as the two pistons, so it kind of anchored them Sheila Loftus a trophy so insteadwith of something made out together. Then I welded the coil spring to of plastic, we used car parts; parts that are the additional pulley that I had on top, and junk and ready to throw away. I just looked brought a half of a circle which I covered around the shop, found a couple pistons the top of the coil spring with. I took four laying around, found a brake shoe, found spark plugs; I thought it was cool to incorsome cut coils, scavenged up some spark- porate those on the inside of the coil spring, plugs, and then had a traditional Rich welded those in, and from that top I took a Evans logo, or Huntington Beach Bodywith Sheila Loftuspiece of fence decorative metal and use that works shield, cut out of metal that hyper- to gain a little bit more height. I placed the therm had cut out at a previous SEMA ball on top of that, welded it, secured it, saw show. I found an old generator that was another place for the other spark plug stripped out, has the pulley on it and the which would be a single one that would go pulley is made out of cast so I had to think between that decorated piece of metal.

Custom Corner

On Creative Marketing

Then I made a stand for the ‘51 Merc and placed that using two mounting points. I took a piece of stainless steel, mounted it to the car and then took a piece of stainless steel round tubing tacked it, then took the plate back off the car, re-welded it. The

On Creative Marketing

Opinions Count Opinions Count

The finished trophy ready to ship.

Action Counts Action Counts Your Turn Your Turn

Shop Showcase

48 JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

with Janet Chaney

Shop Showcase

Phone: (360) 687-3451

model car is plastic on the bottom so if you weld it, it’s going to heat it up and cause your mounting bolts to melt. Then you won’t have a secure base to mount to. So after going back and forth with tha,t I took these feathers, which only come one way so I twisted them to complement the car and centered them in front of the car after mounting the car on the top of the trophy. One’s a little lower than the other, but they’re both centered, if you look at it sideby-side. They kind of complemented the car and made it look more trophy-ish. Then I searched and found a lug nut from a semi-truck where the washer turns, so I thought I wanna see the WIX filter be able to be manually turned and so I welded the base of the head of the lug nut to half of the metal ball and welded the washer portion to the filter first so that it would have a pivot so you could move it. I took the Chicago Pneumatics 7740 and welded that to the ball so it displayed. What this trophy represents is Chicago Pneumatics, and WIX. I welded my stainless steel plate to the front of the trophy. I painted the face


of that logo black. I used my plotter to cut out the art and basically I just had to use white and I used a little bit of red for the CP logo. I shot two coats of clear over that and added my name and logo for Rich Evans Designs. Then I did a little bit of work with the CP engraver and engraved “Building for Life” on the front of the trophy and signed it. At this point I had a three-and-ahalf-foot trophy. Looking back on it, it doesn’t take a lot of time but it’s the creativity you put behind it. It tells a story without words. I’d like to see some of you guys get out there and gather up some scraps, some old car parts and create your own trophy and submit them to me. Email photos to R.Evans@huntingtonbchBodyworks.com. The first two people that send me photos of a trophy they attempted will receive a traditional billet Huntington Beach Bodyworks logo, which you can place as a grill or pretty much anywhere. I’m sure you’ve seen it on the front of my vehicles, It’s worth over 100 dollars. I will present this to you as a contest of creativity of you putting your efforts in and taking the time to build something cool. I just want you guys try it and just to set aside all work and just have fun with it. I’m interested in seeing you guys get creative and also having fun doing it. I had

a blast, you know I’ve put maybe three hours into this trophy, counting an extra hour for the art, but you don’t have to go to that extent. Just gather up some old parts, tools, whatever and create something. I want to see you guys get creative. I’d like to write about it in one of my upcoming columns. It’s a good way to get a little recognition for yourself and a good way to have fun at doing something besides just fixing cars or building hot rods and just kind of think outside the box. I’m looking forward to seeing couple guys step up. Hopefully I get more than a few, and I’ll be more than glad to display any trophies that that have been built by any individual out there on my website and also in one of my future columns. The best part is that this was shipped out to the school of the year winner, Caddo Career and Technology Center in Shreveport, Louisiana. Caddo Career and Technology Center took home $10,000 worth of Chicago Pneumatic Tools as the winner of the 2010 School of the Year competition. Caddo is a high school and this is the first time a high school has won the award. When I went out there I was very, very impressed with the setup that they had and their instructors. I told these guys that they’re definitely one step ahead of the next high school I’m aware of and

that’s due to having a well-organized facility. Gary Weese and Mike Falkner are the instructors and they founded the program at the Caddo center. They built the foundation of their award-winning program on real-life experience which is which is phenomenal and that is what everybody needs. So hats off to you guys. They’re not a college. They’re a high school and I’m very impressed with everything they’ve going over there. The kids there are definitely very fortunate to be one step ahead

of going to college and getting all this reallife experience. I had to build a crate to ship it off to the school. I flew back there on the 27th of April for a one-day visit and enjoyed myself.

Any schools or colleges that are not familiar with the school of the year go to Chicagopneumatics.com and then look for the school year or get yourself Tomorrow’s Technician magazine and that will give you all the details about it. I’d like to see more students sign up for that. It’s a very good program. You get to get out and see all the different schools and colleges and what they’re doing and be involved with the colleges as well. Next week we will be back to steps and procedures of repairing or hot-rod. I think we’ll get back on the Thunderbird. I should finalize that project so you guys can see the final repair, completed project. I’d like to thank my sponsors, Chicago Pneumatics, MicroFlex, all the guys who give me the tools I need to do and create safely. 3M is a big part of my daily routine. Everybody picks up a 3M product almost every day so I’m thanking the companies out there for putting better products in our hands and saving us time. Time is money. Take Care.

Randy A. Harris, Collision Student at Ohio Tech College Wins Flying Tiger Design Contest Writes Randy: “I was born in Cleveland Ohio, and grew up in a small city called Wickliffe where four siblings, a nephew and I were raised by my single mother. Since I can remember I’ve had a pencil in my hand, drawing. I couldn’t get enough of it and had a passion for cars.

Nothing can beat old American Muscle cars: Camaros, Cudas, Mustangs, etc. While looking for a way to implement both of my passions into one for a career, I found OTC. Here is where I developed these passions through the collision and repair and custom paint courses. One day my class was told about a contest to design a picture for a tiger statue for the 2010 Year of The Tiger Celebration. The Year of The Tiger public art project celebrates Cleveland’s Asian Town community. St. Clair Superior’s blossoming arts district and its thriving business community. The project is in

commemoration of the Chinese Year of the Tiger which began with the new moon February 14, 2010. I knew I wanted to do something noble, strong. A protector. The tiger statue was given to me where the first thing I started ground off the main under the jaw. The second thing was laying out my design. Third, start sculpting the armor out of a material called magic sculpt. This product gets rock hard and needs to be sanded. The wings have a metal frame that is welded together and actually sit over the tiger’s shoulders like a saddle and then I put magic sculpt over the frame. And fourth, I painted and cleared it and the finished product is what you see here.

Rich congratulates the winner, Randy A. Harris.

www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 49


On Creative Marketing with Thomas Franklin

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

Save Marketing Money By ‘Piggybacking’ A local collision shop recently set up a driver training programs, there is a good table at a Volvo dealer’s Customer Car opportunity for collision shops to proCare Clinic on a Saturday. While not the mote opportunities for events like this in exclusive authorized repair facility for the local high schools. An insurance partner Volvo dealer, the shop does a fair amount is likely to participate, and it shouldn’t be of repair work for the dealership’s cus- too difficult to recruit a local driving tomers. The cost for the body shop for pig- school and possibly even a towing comgybacking on the Volvo dealer’s event was pany to join in. very little. Two people attended to pass out Another shop has capitalized on a T-shirts, pens, and other specialty items. strong relationship with the owner’s with Dick Strom They also prompted questions from atten- church congregation. The church has a dees on the condition of their vehicle’s au- high school and the shop provided free tobody, and offered a free diagnosis for repairs on a school bus as a contribution paint wear, structural problems and more. that resulted in an invitation to share in a Several potential jobs came out of these church’s community event and to be discussions. listed in the church bulletin. Other local With business volume and profits community events like parades and famdown these days, shops need to look for ily fair days can provide a shop with an ways to cut costs and this includes mar- opportunity to have an information booth keting. Generally when business is slow and to be listed in any event literature. the last expense a shop should cut is mar- Most of the costs of attracting attendees keting, but piggybacking is a great way to these events have been covered by the to stretch those marketing dollars. This hosting organization, and these are the with Lee Amaradio Jr. costs in putting on any event. I same shop took advantage of another op- biggest portunity to share in an inexpensive know of one dealership where about event at a local high school. The school $10,000 was spent on a one-day open held a driver awareness day sponsored by house. The cost of catering was far less the Department of Motor Vehicles, the that the promotional costs. The shop pigAuto Club and a local TV station. A per- gybacking on such events incurs practisonal connection enabled the shop to set cally no costs by comparison. up an information table during the event. Another way to do an inexpensive Since schools in this state no longer offer event is to put on a co-op event with an-

Opinions Count

Action Counts

10 hours, for example, I can see where we’re at right there on the computer with Sheila Loftusscreen. If we’re ahead or behind on any repair, we can make changes on the fly, bework with as he trained our entire front of- cause the Shop Clock feature keeps us fice staff. He answered all our questions current and allows us to anticipate what while he was here on-site, and was avail- we need to do to get it done within the alable for follow-up questions for several lotted hours.” “Our cycle times are much improved weeks afterward. We can call them anytime and they’re quick to get back to us. If and we’re able to better manage our shop we ever have an issue, they’re right there overall. We’re doing 25% more work, yet we haven’t had to hire anyone new. Our to help us and that’s so important.” A series of how-to videos produced efficiency is up and our productivity is the by Mitchell also provided Precision with best it’s been. So, we’re feeling more confident about pursuing more business, bevaluable ongoing education. “Their videos are excellent. You can cause we know we can do it and do it well. get a grasp of what they’re doing quickly Instead of spending all our time dealing with Janet Chaney and easily. We refer them to them all the with problems, we’re producing great time and our estimator and office manager work and Mitchell has played a significant don’t have to deal with that whiteboard role in our success.” ever again, because everything is right there on the RepairCenter. Their lives are Precision Body Shop & Detail 245 Collins Avenue easier now thanks to Mitchell,” he said. Three months ago, Precision also Colma, California 94014 added Mitchell’s Shop Clock, adding fur2nd location: 623 Irwin Street ther track ability to its shop. “Now we’re able to see how long it San Rafael, California 94901 takes take to do each job. If a repair takes (650) 992-9775

other vendor with a similar customer base. This might be a tire dealer, a glass vendor or an accessory shop, or it might include three or four vendors. The costsaving advantages are many but most valuable of all is the breadth of the combined databases for promoting the event. A typical tire shop probably has a database of several thousand prior customers and the body shop easily has as many if not more. As long as the vendors are not in competition with one another, a single mailing piece can include every business participating. Bulk mail can keep mailing costs down and if the businesses have been collecting e-mail addresses, promoting the event can be much cheaper. While piggybacking and co-op events are by far the least expensive way to approach marketing events, a shop shouldn’t overlook the advantages to putting on its own event. At the Volvo Customer Car Care Clinic many of the problems customers asked Volvo techs to address were issues easily addressed at a collision center. Headlight alignment,

windshield wiper fixes, tire adjustments and other problems with the car’s body rather than the motor or mechanical parts were most frequently requested. A body shop putting on a Customer Car Care Clinic could actually expand to include protective coatings, upholstery fixes, dash repairs and other elements generally addressed during autobody repair and refinishing. As the number of collisions diminishes and other elements reduce the volume of straight repair and refinish work coming to many shops, a shop owner might be wise to begin to create an image of the shop as more than just a place for autobody paint and repair. Automotive shops press customers to come in for an annual mechanical checkup. A forward looking autobody shop owner could make a good case for customers coming in for an annual vehicle interior and exterior finish evaluation, and with a little creative sales effort turn those evaluations into some added annual revenue.

Your Turn

Continued from Page 20

Precision & Mitchell

Shop Showcase

Industry Overview

50 JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

with Janet Chaney

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Opinions Count with Dick Strom

Action Counts

Beating a Dead Horse with Lee Amaradio Jr.

The truth is that nothing has changed I try to write articles to help others out; articles that try to motivate shop owners and and it never will because we can’t even demanagers to do a better job. I have come cide what change we want. If I were a with Lee Amaradio Jr. under attack many times from some in our commanding officer heading to battle and industry for voicing my opinion and being I ordered the troops to go in one direction the person that is willing to speak up and and they just chose to go their own way and started fighting each other we would say the hard truth. Our industry wants “Change” but no certainly lose any battle we were to fight. one can agree what that change should be To win any battle the troops need to all be or what direction we need to go to get on the same page and they all need to supLoftus there. I have shopwith owners Sheila that hate me be- port one another and have each other’s cause I have DRPs and stand up for those back, not stab each other in the back. This insurers that I think are doing a good job. is why things will never change; we are not Some shop owners think we need to hate in agreement on anything as an industry. Here’s what I believe: all of the insurers and saying anything less I believe that DRPs are nothing more than that makes me a hypocrite. Some think DRPs are the problem than a way to process claims and DRPs are while others think with they are Sheila fine. SomeLoftus think the most efficient way to expedite the repairs. I believe the repair shop is the repair the insurance company is our customer while others think the vehicle owner is the expert and is responsible for the repair customer. Some like aftermarket parts process (not the insurer). I believe the repairer carries the entire while others stand against them. Some think the insurers are responsible for the re- liability for the repair of the customer’s vepair process while others think it’s the hicle. shops liability forwith the repair. We cannot Janet Chaney I believe the vehicle owner is my cuseven agree on some of the simplest things. tomer and the repair contract is between

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Lee Amaradio, Jr. is the president and owner of “Faith” Quality Auto Body Inc. in Murrieta, California. Lee is president of the CRA as well as an advocate for many other industry groups. He can be contacted at lee@faithqualityautobody.com

the shop and the customer. I believe the insurance company is a third party payer and their contract is with the policyholder to perform to the terms of the policy. I believe that due to the fact that we have a term called “industry standards” those standards need to be defined as “OEM collision repair requirements.” I believe that cost should never be the primary driver dictating the repair process. I believe aftermarket parts defraud the consumer and should never be considered in the cost of settling a claim. I believe that the vehicle should be repaired exactly as the final bill states and there should be no cost shifting. I believe that each shop should charge whatever they think is necessary to make a fair profit. I believe that if a shop wants to give concessions it is their business and others are under no obligation to offer the same discounts. I believe DRP’s can be good or bad depending on the insurer and or the concessions involved. I believe it is up to each shop owner to negotiate the rates that they expect to get paid. I believe that a lot of shops would be paid a higher rate if they only negotiated for the higher rate and proved why it is necessary. I believe I am the only one responsible for making a profit. It’s my business. Now that I have made some things Continued from Page 44

Fasulo’s

clear about what I think you will find that a few will agree with me and many will disagree with me. This is exactly my point and this is the reason that nothing will change. If you want to change the industry I suggest that you change the way you do business and let the industry take care of itself. One would think that if enough shops united that they would be able to gather enough support for a major change to follow, not true! We are in an industry that continues to pass the buck and pass the blame on to others whether it be some shops or the insurers. The sad thing is that because we have always been able to blame someone else we fail to take the necessary actions to make anything different. It’s just easier to blame someone else and say “its not my fault”, this thinking dominates our entire industry. Everyone is very quick to complain and very slow to get involved. Take care of your own backyard and watch your own bottom line if you do this you will see the change you have been looking for. If you work with profit as your primary goal you will make a profit. If you work to produce quality you will produce quality. If you negotiate for a higher labor rate you will get a higher labor rate. If you change things will change. If you keep beating a dead horse you will get the status quo, a beaten horse that is no less dead. the switch to teaching high school paint and body courses. He also worked as an insurance claim adjuster shortly before moving in to the shop side of the industry. Fenner’s diverse background has helped him to become very knowledgeable in the industry.

Fasulo’s has been working with waterborne paints as of late; they decided to make the switch from solvent-based to waterborne paint when the new Silsbee location opened to coincide more with factory paint standards. Fenner said that since factories are now using waterborne paints when they manufacture cars he wanted to work with it as a repair shop. “It’s just the newest David Fenner in front of his new Silsbee shop. thing, they’re putting it on all the new cars,” said Fenner. In addition to starting up a new webDavid Fenner has had a diverse auto site for the business in the coming months, background; he graduated from Texas Fenner also said he is planning to shoot a State Technical College and started out commercial to promote Fasulo’s and the working as a technician. Fenner then made new Silsbee shop. www.autobodynews.com | JUNE 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 51


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U.S. House Committee Passes Auto-Safety Bill To Install Brake-Override Systems In Vehicles A U.S. House committee May 26 passed a sweeping auto-safety bill with a number of changes in the original legislation that had been sought by the auto industry and Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich. The new House Energy and Commerce Committee bill, which now goes to the floor of the House, would require installation of brake-override systems and event-data recorders, or black boxes, in the wake of Toyota's unintended acceleration problems. Regulators also would have to consider standards for foot-pedal placement, electronic systems, push-button ignition systems and transmission configuration. The bill leaves it to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to decide on the timetable for industry to carry out many of the requirements. The original legislation outlined a time frame that automakers said was burdensome. The committee also dropped a requirement that black boxes record crash data for 75 seconds, leaving it to NHTSA to decide on the technology provisions. In addition, the legislation would increase maximum fines on automakers for safety defects from $16.4 million to $200

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ate Commerce Committee or by the full House. Doubling funding The House measure would beef up NHTSA funding by phasing in fees on automakers of $9 a vehicle and by doubling federal funding to $280 million over three years. “This bill will dramatically improve the safety of motor vehicles,” said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the energy and commerce panel. The Transportation Department also would have the authority to order recalls if it determines that there is an “imminent hazard” of public danger. But the agency would have to give notice to the manufacturer and offer the automaker the right to appeal. This appeal right, which was not in the original bill introduced by Waxman, had been sought by Dingell. “The bill is going to be a hard one for the industry to accept, but I believe it's in the public interest and is good overall,” Dingell said. Although Waxman bowed to Dingell on a number of provisions, he got the committee to add a revolving-door restriction. It would impose a one-year pro-

hibition on lobbying of NHTSA by former NHTSA officials who join the industry. The bill also contains a new requirement for an alert sound on electric or hybrid vehicles that allows detection by blind pedestrians. Although the auto lobby got many of the changes it sought, the new bill still left many Republicans dissatisfied. “I think this is a very bad, bad bill,” said Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the senior Republican on the committee. “It's certainly not good for the automotive industry in America.”

Honda takes action In a related development, Honda Motor Co. today formally announced plans to install brake-override technology in Honda and Acura models. “We are committed to applying brake priority logic on 100 percent of Honda and Acura passenger vehicles produced for the North American market by the end of calendar year 2011, with our first application coming to market in late August 2010,” Honda said in a statement. A spokesman had outlined the initiative earlier this month.

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Western June 2010 Autobody News  

regional auto body and collision newspaper for Califoria, Nevada, and Arizona

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