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Vol. 36 / Issue 6 / June 2018

CA Jury Awards Fired Allstate Employee More Than $18 Million

ASCCA/CAA Takes On the Capitol at 2018 Annual Legislative Day

by Denise Johnson, Claims Journal

by Ed Attanasio

A former Allstate Insurance Co. employee who was fired following an arrest has been awarded more than $18 million in damages. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported a San Diego jury awarded 55-year-old Michael Tilkey about $2.6 million in actual damages and nearly $16 million in punitive damages in his wrongful termination lawsuit. Tilkey was fired by Allstate in 2016 after he was arrested in Arizona the prior year following an ar-

gument he had with his then-girlfriend. According to the original complaint, Tilkey had worked for Allstate for 30 years, starting with the company soon after receiving his bachelor’s degree. He worked his way up to field sales leader, advising 30 independent agents and support staff. He alleged that despite his stellar work performance, he was fired without warning in May 2015. The reason given for his abrupt termination was that “threatening anyone” was against company policy. The See Jury Awards 18M, Page 22

Autobody News to Collaborate with Discovery Channel on Previews Promoting Auto TV Shows

Autobody News is excited to announce a new collaboration with the Discovery Channel. ABN will be running weekly features, including an exclusive video on our website at Keep an eye on our site and social channels for updates! Shows featured are: Street Outlaws – Street racing in the U.S. is the basis of this docu-reality series, produced for Discovery Channel by Pilgrim Media Group, which features action both on the road and behind the scenes. In Oklahoma City, for example, racers boast having the fastest street cars in the country, and the racing, they say, comes first—before family, before friends and before work! Misfit Garage follows the projects of “Fired Up” Garage Mechanics Tom Smith and Jordan Butler with fellow car pros Thomas Weeks and Scot McMillan. The venture rivals well-known See Discovery Channel, Page 3 Gas Monkey garage—featured

Every year, the California Autobody Association co-hosts CAA/ASCCA /Joint Automotive Aftermarket Industry Legislative Day as automotive repair industry members in the Golden State convene at the Capitol in Sacramento to let their voices be heard. On April 24, 80 collision and mechanical repairers were on hand at the Capitol Event Center to discuss crucial issues that can affect their businesses in one way or another while preparing to meet with their representatives. Body shops are opposed to AB 2276 (Burke), the Auto Body Labor Rate Survey Bill that allows insurers to conduct an “alternative labor rate survey” but eliminates standards set forth in the CDI regulations that pro-

(l to r) Rick Lezcano, the owner of Simply Superior Auto Body in Concord, CA, and ASCCA/CAA Political Analyst Jack Molodanof network at ASCCA/CAA Joint Legislative Day held on April 24 in Sacramento

duce consistent, accurate and reliable labor rate results. It instead allows insurers to skew the results in a manner that will suppress market rates. “On behalf of the CAA, we must regretfully oppose AB 2276, the successor to AB 1679 which failed earlier See Legislative Day, Page 29

13 Arrested in Auto Insurance Fraud Ring in Merced, CA by Staff, Dutra’s The Paper

Thirteen people were arrested May 11 following a lengthy investigation by the Merced, CA, County District Attorney’s office into an automobile insurance fraud ring involving 10 different insurance companies that paid out more than $430,000 in bogus claims, District Attorney Larry D. Morse II announced. In April, a Merced County Grand Jury indicted 21 people for their role in orchestrating staged auto accidents and vandalism and then submitting bogus claims. The scheme began in September of 2011 and continued through June 2016, during which time there were 20 fraudulent claims submitted to insurance companies for payment, Morse said. The insurance fraud ring was brought to light in January 2016 when

an investigator with the Special Investigation Unit of Allstate Insurance contacted Merced County District Attorney Investigator Sheri Carpenter regarding a claim that she believed was a staged accident. Carpenter started her investigation by running the names through an insurance database provided by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which linked the claim to 19 other similar claims. During the investigation, it was discovered that some of the same vehicles were being used for multiple claims with the same damage being reported. The main method of theft, according to Carpenter, came from the alteration of hospital bills that were submitted by the suspects to the insurance companies for which they were paid directly. Carpenter found that many of the same bills were used in See 13 Arrested, Page 22



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Discovery Channel

Apple Now Has 50+ Self-Driving Cars on the Road in California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 ASCCA/CAA Takes On the Capitol at 2018 Annual Legislative Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Automotive Entrepreneur Opens 1st

Nissan/INFINITI Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Yoswick - Association Leader 5 Years Ago Called for DRPs to Include ‘Grandfather Clause’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Yoswick - Chipotle Executive Offers Concepts That Resonate With Collision Repairers . . . . 54

CARSTAR Location in ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Body Repair Shop in WA Earns Assured Performance Certification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 CA Air Resources Board Officer to Address CAWA Members. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 CA High School Senior’s Auto Body Skills Earn 1st in State SkillsUSA . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 CA Jury Awards Fired Allstate Employee

NATIONAL 13 Arrested in Auto Insurance Fraud Ring in Merced, CA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 ABPA Annual Meeting & Convention Exceeds Expectations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 ACA Adds Filter Manufacturers Community . . . 18 Aftermarket Professionals Applaud FTC’s

More Than $18 Million . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Compliance Warning to Hyundai . . . . . . . . . 32

Charlie’s Auto Body to Expand in Lynden, WA . . 16

Alltrade Tools Supports CAWA Scholarships. . . . 6

East Idaho Hailstorm Hits Auto Dealerships . . . . 6

ARA’s 2018 Hill Days and State Legislative

G&C Auto Body Adds, Expands Shops in Sonoma, Solano Counties in CA . . . . . . . . . 26 Gerber Collision & Glass Opens 3 Shops in WA. . 9 Mike’s Auto Body Opens its 16th Location in Alameda, CA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Regal Collision Creates Greek Canine Chariot for Dog Fundraiser in CA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Willits, CA, Body Shop Seeks Car Giveaway Nominations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Summit Is Most Successful Yet!. . . . . . . . . . 23 ASA Northwest Prepares for 2018 Semi-Annual Summer Retreat. . . . . . . . . . . 15 ASA Testifies on Repair Procedures Bill . . . . . . 16 Autobody News to Collaborate with Discovery Channel on Previews Promoting Auto TV Shows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Belle Tire to Pay $342,000 in Back Wages After Department of Labor Investigation . . . . 1 CNN’s John King to Deliver AAPEX 2018

COLUMNISTS Attanasio - Does Email Marketing Still Work for Body Shops?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Attanasio - Voyomotive Takes Telematics to Whole New Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Ledoux - AMi: Out of the Shadows . . . . . . . . . 30 Ledoux - Dave Illg Collision Repair Center: The Risen Phoenix. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Ledoux - Oldest Body Shops in America: Sirl’s Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Phillips - 10 Simple Steps to Collision Repair Success From VECO Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Phillips - Experts Weigh In on the Future of the Automobile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Phillips - Repair Versus Replace—What A Body Shop Should Consider . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Sisk - ‘Why WIN? Why Conference?’ Webinar Provides Useful Conference Tips . . . . . . . . . 58 Sisk - Mike Anderson’s 3rd Webinar Discusses

Keynote Session . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Finishmaster Donates $50,000 to CREF . . . . . 49 Free Auto Data Labels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 FTC’s Compliance Warning to Hyundai . . . . . . . 4 How Much Would You Trust an Autonomous Vehicle? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 How Safety Shapes Driverless Car Technology . . 4 Mission 2 Hire Program: 400th Veteran . . . . . . 12 Nominations Now Open for 2018 Impact Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Nominations Open for NABC Awards . . . . . . . . . 4 RV Repair Has Different Set of Obstacles, Advantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 SCRS Meeting Includes Election, Awards, Info Related to DEG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Self-Driving Cars’ Shortcomings Revealed in DMV Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 WAC Takes Shape at April Meeting . . . . . . . . . 67



in Discovery’s series “Fast N’ Loud” and owned by Richard Rawlings. Bad blood is rampant and tensions are high between the two shops, since Tom Smith and Jordan Butler worked for Gas Monkey and were previously fired by Rawlings. Currently shown on the Discovery Channel Wednesdays at 9PM PST. For more information visit: www.Velocity .com, www.Motortrend .com, and www.DisTom Smith and Thomas Weeks of Misfit Garage Credit: the Discovery Chennel Continued from Cover


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

Serving Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the collision industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2018 Adamantine Media LLC.

Anchorage Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . 24 Assured Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 63 AutoNation Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram-Fiat. 14 Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 BMW of North America, LLC.. . . . . . . . . . . . 5 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 67 Bob Smith BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Bob Smith MINI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Capitol Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Chevrolet of Anchorage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram of Seattle . . . . 49 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Colortone Automotive Paints . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Courtesy Chevrolet San Diego. . . . . . . . . . 15 Cutter Auto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Dave Smith Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 DCH Auto Group Temecula . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Del Grande Dealer Group. . . . . . . . . . . 20-21 Dent Magic Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Diamond Standard Parts, LLC . . . . . . . . . . 45 Downtown Motors of LA (Audi, VW) . . . . . . 35 ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 EMS Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Enterprise Rent-A-Car. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Equalizer Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 First Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Ford of Kirkland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 53 Galpin Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Glenn E. Thomas Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep . . . 11 GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . 65 H.E.W. And Associates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Haddad Dodge-Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . 36-37 Hyundai of Kirkland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Hyundai of Seattle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 62 Kearny Mesa Subaru-Hyundai. . . . . . . . . . 61 Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . 56-57 Launch Tech USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Matrix Automotive Finishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 64 Mercedes-Benz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 52 MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 66 Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . 58 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 39 Moss Bros. Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . . . . . 27 Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 59 O’Reilly Auto Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Original One Parts™. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Penske Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Polyvance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 50 Puente Hills Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Red Kap Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Riverside Kia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Robaina Industries, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 SATA Dan-Am Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Shingle Springs Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-Subaru . . . . . . . . 29 Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 69 Symach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Tacoma Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram . . . . . 19 The Bay Area Automotive Group . . . . . . . . 33 Valley Auto Dismantlers Association, Inc.. . 42 Vintage Flatz/Cumberland Products . . . . . 23 Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 60 Volvo Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 58 Western Water Products Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Autobody News P.O. Box 1516 Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


How Safety Shapes Driverless Car Technology by TJ Martinell, Lens

A new WA state law that takes effect in June creates a state work group that assists the Washington State Transportation Commission on making annual recommendations to state lawmakers for public policy on the use of driverless or self-driving vehicles. Meanwhile, self-driving tech companies such as Waymo intend to have driverless vehicles available for public rider service by the end of the year with level four technology,

tests that had employees operating them. “You have someone texting, not paying attention to the road, fumbling around with cords,” he said. “It’s actually very easy for humans to start trusting the technology. I made a decision at that point that we would only pursue level four autonomy, because it’s the safest.” He added that complications arise with creating level 2–3 self-driving cars where the driver frequently takes and yields control, which also compounds liability issues.

As driverless technology develops, one company is focusing solely on near-fully autonomous vehicles (AV), a move they believe will address public safety concerns Credit: National League of Cities

which means the car can operate without human control under certain conditions. The highest is level five, where the vehicle is fully autonomous under all conditions. At an April 18 event in Seattle hosted by the Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) and the U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC), Waymo Senior Counsel David Tressier outlined how it created the technology to make the vehicles work and in what ways public concerns over safety have driven development. “We are very excited at the prospect of bringing self-driving car technology to the public and improving road safety,” he said. The way to do that is by “building the world’s most experienced driver” through a combination of public road testing and aerospace simulation. Formerly the Google self-driving car project, Waymo later split off to form its own separate company in 2016. Since 2009, its AV software has driven 5 million autonomous miles on public roads. Unlike other autonomous vehicle (AV) companies, Waymo is only focused on level four technology, a decision made based on its experience with Google’s self-driving car 4

One barrier they hope to surmount is public anxiety. A 2017 Pew Research Center survey of 4,135 U.S. adults found that “although they expect certain positive outcomes from these developments, their attitudes more frequently reflect worry and concern over the implications of these technologies for society as a whole.” That worry was perhaps demonstrated after a recent deadly accident in Arizona involving a self-driving Uber vehicle. Although the driver was found to be not at fault, Uber quickly pulled those vehicles from the roads. In January, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced plans to release a new set of guidelines for autonomous vehicles this summer, in part to promote greater safety. “The deployment of self-driving cars is going to depend on the public acceptance and public trust, so we do feel a responsibility to start educating the public about how it works,” Tressier said. He also argued that part of public acceptance comes with understanding how the technology can eliminate the kind of human error that causes around 90 percent of car accidents in the U.S. In 2016, there were almost 40,000 vehicle accident


fatalities. There are also costs that might be saved. In 2010 alone, motor vehicle crashes cost the U.S. $871 billion in economic loss and societal harm. That same year, there were 32,999 fatalities, 3.9 million non-fatal injuries and 24 million damaged vehicles. “The status quo is not acceptable,” Tressier said. “As we think then about the future of torts and the … liability regime for this emerging technology, I think it needs to be with the consideration of the backdrop of the status quo. (It) shouldn’t be acceptable. “The prospect and the promise of self-driving cars when deployed… is to reduce these traffic fatalities and increase road safety. They don’t get drowsy … they can see 360 degrees, they can respond, and they can see up to three football fields in every direction.” A 2017 RAND Corporation study concluded that waiting for “nearly perfect” driverless cars could waste an opportunity to reduce accident fatalities. “At best, fatalities are comparable, but, at worst, waiting has high human costs. Under none of the conditions we explored does waiting for significant safety gains result in fewer fatalities.” Another RAND study released that year recommended “an approach in which AVs are introduced gradually as the vehicles meet a set of incremental, performance-based benchmarks” and “that the target benchmark of AV performance can determine the cap on vehicles’ deployment or, conversely, the number of vehicles desired can determine what benchmark should be set.” Also released in 2017 was Waymo’s safety report, the first of its kind, which described in detail how the vehicles operate. One feature of these vehicles is overlapping sensors, which Tressier said “will be important when it comes to liability, because it is so critical for safety. It (AV software) has to make sense of what it’s seeing in the world.” We thank Lens for reprint permission.

Nominations Open for NABC Awards

The National Auto Body Council (NABC) announced online nominations are now open for its Annual Awards Program. Nominations are being accepted in two award categories:  The Award of Distinction recognizes individuals who have gone above and beyond in volunteerism, charitable, selfless acts and made a difference in changing and saving lives. Any individual, business organization or group employed in a collision industry-related segment, such as collision repair facility, vehicle manufacturer, supplier/vendor, educator, insurer, independent appraiser or trade association is eligible to be nominated.  The Body Shop Image Award recognizes the most significant improvements made to a shop’s interior, exterior and operations and as a result, helped enhance the customer's experience with the collision repair process. Any body shop completing a remodeling during the calendar year 2017 is eligible to be nominated.

FTC’s Compliance Warning to Hyundai

On April 9, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a “compliance warning” to Hyundai Motor Company regarding violations of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act's (MMWA) prohibition against tie-in sales of branded products and services as a condition of warranty coverage. FTC specified the following website statement as problematic: “The use of Hyundai genuine parts is required to keep your Hyundai manufacturer’s warranties and any extended warranties intact.” Should Hyundai fail to eliminate such statements, FTC may take “legal action.” While AOCA, Auto Care and the Tire Association of America wish that the FTC action had been stronger, they are pleased that the agency has publicly warned the companies that it is illegal under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act to require the use of a manufacturer part or service in order to maintain a warranty. / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


East Idaho Hailstorm Hits Auto Dealerships

not covered by insurance. In addition, some customers’ The hailstorm that hit east Idaho in cars being held for repairs were also early April is having some costly damaged. Many of the dings on the side effects for several local busi- vehicles are the size of a pencil tip, Hernandez said. nesses. “Some of (the dings) will come Teton Toyota/Volkswagen Owner Mario Hernandez told EastIdaho out naturally when the heat comes because the metal will try to regain its original configuration,” said Hernandez. “We are going to make sure their cars are repaired at no cost to them.” There are many cars, according to Hernandez, that can be fixed fairly inexpensively or sold at a discounted rate. Hernandez said the credit union they partner with is also offering lower Shop crew fixes hail damage. Credit: Teton Volkswagen, interest rates to Teton Teton Toyota group’s customers. If the hailstorm damaged tomers are unhappy with a repair es420 cars on its lot. The damage ranges timate from their insurance company, from $25 on some vehicles to $8,000 Hernandez said they can trade in their on others, with insurance deductibles vehicle at Teton. Hernandez encouraged people totaling about $1,000 per vehicle. To put that in perspective, that’s impacted by the hailstorm to get their costing them about $400,000 in de- vehicle inspected because sometimes ductible payments on top of repairs the damage is hard to see. by Rett Nelson,

CNN’s John King to Deliver AAPEX 2018 Keynote Session

John King, CNN’s chief national correspondent and anchor of Inside Politics, will take the stage at AAPEX 2018 to discuss the upcoming mid-term elections and the impact the various outcomes could have on Washington, D.C. His grand opening keynote, “Breakfast with John King,” will wrap up with a Q&A session with the audience. AAPEX 2018 represents the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry and will be held Tuesday, Oct. 30 through Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. The grand opening keynote session will take place Oct. 30, from 7 a.m.–8:45 a.m., PDT, in the Palazzo Ballroom of The Venetian. King is an award-winning journalist who has covered the past eight presidential elections and reported from all 50 states and more than 70 countries. In addition to anchoring Inside Politics—the 30-minute Sunday morning program—King also anchors Inside Politics’ segments weekday mornings on CNN’s New Day. In his role as chief national correspondent, based in Washington, D.C., he is instrumental in CNN’s daily reporting and breaking news 6

coverage. Most recently, King was a prominent part of the network’s 2016 Election Night in America coverage offering insight and analysis throughout the evening. As part of CNN’s America’s Choice 2012 election coverage, King reported from the trail and moderated three presidential primary debates. His analysis and use of the “Magic Wall” to visually bring the results and their impact to viewers was an integral part of the network’s Emmy awardwinning 2012 election night coverage. King’s keynote session will be preceded by a State of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry presentation by Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association, and Bill Long, president and chief operating officer of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA). With more than 50 years of combined industry experience, Hanvey and Long will spotlight the trends and technologies having the greatest impact on the industry today. The AAPEX 2018 grand opening keynote session is a ticketed event. To reserve a table, contact AAPEX Event Management, Chris Kalousek, CEM, at


Alltrade Tools Supports CAWA Scholarships

The Smith Group also had significant hail damage to units on its automotive and RV lots. Owner Cannon Smith said they plan to fix all their new vehicles and forego repairs on some used vehicles. “We’ve sold a lot of the haildamaged units already. A lot of our customers are electing to get the discount rather than getting them fixed. We’re letting our misfortune be to the customer’s benefit,” Smith said. Smith said hail sales are not something people in eastern Idaho are familiar with because hailstorms are uncommon there. In other parts of the country, Smith said customers chase hail sales because people can get cheap cars. Prior to this hailstorm, Smith said the only other hailstorm he remembers causing significant damage was about three years ago. “We thought the one three years ago was a total fluke because not many units were damaged,” Smith said. “The other dealers, for the most part, didn’t get hit.”

CAWA is pleased to announce that Alltrade Tools, thanks to CAWA Board member Greg Livingston, will make available “$500 Powerbuilt gift certificates” to the 2018 association scholarship awardees. “We are delighted that Alltrade Tools has partnered with CAWA to give our future industry associates the financial and tool resources to assist them in their educational pursuits,” commented CAWA President & CEO Rodney Pierini. “Alltrade is pleased to support this next generation of students as they pursue a role in the automotive aftermarket. Our goal is to partner with them for their entire career, with quality Powerbuilt tools and assist them in their success,” continued Livingston, Executive Vice President of Alltrade Tools. The scholarship awards will be announced in May. The association received 57 award applications from students in California, Nevada and Arizona—the highest number in recent years. For more information, contact Pierini @ 800-332-2292, ext. 1201 or

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Regal Collision Creates Greek Canine Chariot for Dog Fundraiser in CA by Ed Attanasio

Canines and the collision repair industry seem to go together, which is why there are so many shop dogs working for free as they help their crews all over the country.

Owner Jim Boyle and Production Manager Kirk Kapfenstein pose with their Greek Doggy Chariot

From Great Danes who run a shop in California called Top Dog Auto Body all the way to other collision centers that have a small pack onsite at all times greeting customers, many shop owners love their dogs and involve them in their daily business activities. All they ever need is a little love and an occasional treat, and they never growl about overtime,


so there is definitely a strong bond between man’s best friend and the body shop world. Jim and Shellie Boyle, the owners of Regal Collision Repair in Vallejo, CA, do not paws for a millisecond when it comes to helping pet organizations in their area. Each year without exception, they step up and support the Humane Society of the North Bay (HSNB) in Vallejo through their participation in its annual Barkitecture Gala and Auction and other activities. This year, the theme for the Barkitecture fundraiser featured an ancient Greek theme called “Animal House, Party Like An Animal.” Held on April 14 at the USA World Classics Event Center in downtown Vallejo, more than 150 people attended a great evening complete with togas and olive wreathes. The Barkitecture’s evening included festive music, food from local restaurants, a premium raffle, a silent auction and a live auction of items generously donated exclusively for the Greek soiree. Every year, the crew at Regal Collision, led by Production Manager Kirk Kapfenstein, designs and builds a vehicle or other pet-related piece of usable


art for this fundraiser. This year, they took a children’s toy car and turned it into a Greek temple on wheels. Known for his nationally acclaimed paint jobs on literally hundreds of motorcycles, Kapfenstein owns and operates Killer Candy in Concord when he isn’t running the production at Regal. Kapfenstein dedicated more than 50 hours of his time to help the pets’ cause as a passionate artist/painter and the owner of two dogs named Simba and Nala.

year, because we believe in what the HSNB does and we’re also of course big dog owners ourselves,” Jim said. “We do as much charity work as we

A children’s old pedal car looked like this before its amazing conversion into a dog chariot/bed ideal for a lucky dog or cat

Kapfenstein goes all out every year, and 2018 was surely no exception

Jim loves doing community work. Barkitecture is just another way to give back to the City of Vallejo, he said. “We always put a lot of effort into our creations for this event every

can because we have been an integral part of this community for many years. Lots of dogs are abandoned and need to find forever homes and these types of fundraisers can help [make] this happen. Plus, the Barkitecture allows us to reach into our creative side and Kirk always excels with his concepts. Everyone here enjoys seeing what he will do next.” The Humane Society of the North Bay provides much-needed shelter, care and adoption services to thousands of abandoned and neglected animals in the Vallejo area.

Body Repair Shop in WA Earns Assured Performance Certification

No. 1 Automotive Body Repair in Bellingham, WA, has been officially certified by Assured Performance, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization for maintaining the right tools, equipment, training and facilities necessary to repair the participating automaker brand vehicles according to the manufacturers’ specifications.

Repair passed the rigorous certification process essential to help ensure a proper and safe repair of the new generation of advanced vehicles. Less than 5 percent of body shops across the nation are able to meet the stringent requirements to become officially certified and recognized. The certified network is

In achieving its certification, No. 1 Automotive Body Repair is now an integral part of the most advanced repair-capable and efficient auto body repair network in the world. Adding to its credentials, No. 1 Automotive Body Repair is officially recognized by Assured Performance, FCA, Nissan, Hyundai and Kia. To become certified and officially recognized by the various automakers, No. 1 Automotive Body

made up exclusively of best-in-class collision repair businesses that have met or exceeded the strict requirements of the certification program. According to No. 1 Automotive Body Repair Executive Vice President Jason Cooper, “We’ve worked hard to stay ahead of the curve in the collision repair industry. This official certification demonstrates that commitment to our customers. We take pride in our highly trained technicians who use the latest tools and

“Consumers need the confidence and peace of mind to know their vehicle is being repaired by a shop that has what it takes to ensure the vehicle safety. No. 1 Automotive Body Repair is officially a collision care provider™,” — Scott Biggs

equipment to deliver a top-quality repair and the best customer service.” The certification criteria are based upon auto manufacturer requirements. These are critical to ensure the vehicle fit, finish, durability, value and safety following an accident. As new model vehicles are being introduced that use light weight high-strength materials and advanced technology, a proper repair according to manufacturer specification is even more important than ever to ensure the passenger safety and proper performance of the vehicle. Auto manufacturers want to ensure that consumers have the option of certified collision repair wherever they live, work or travel. “Consumers need the confidence and peace of mind to know their vehicle is being repaired by a shop that has what it takes to ensure the vehicle safety. No. 1 Automotive Body Repair is officially a collision care provider™,” said Scott Biggs, CEO of Assured Performance Collision Care™. “They represent the standard by which all other body shops are measured.”

Gerber Collision & Glass Opens 3 Shops in WA

The Boyd Group Inc. recently announced the April 17th acquisition and April 18th opening of three collision repair locations in the Seattle, WA, area. These centers were previously operated as Professional Collision Group and are located in northern Seattle and the suburbs of Mukilteo and Lynnwood. The Seattle metropolitan area is one of the fastest-growing in the United States and all three centers are located in proximity to the heavily traveled interstate 5 and 405 highways. “These new locations are a reflection of our continuing strategy to increase our presence in the most attractive U.S. markets,” said Tim O’Day, President and COO of the Boyd Group. “They also complement our other centers in the region and establish a foothold in new communities, allowing us to better serve new customers and our insurance partners. We look forward to continuing to serve Seattle with the Gerber brand of professional and friendly service.” / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Free Auto Data Labels

Auto Data Labels has announced it will continue to supply vehicle replacement labels (VIN labels, tire, emission and under-hood labels) free of charge to collision repair training programs at schools across the United States and Canada. Offering this service recognizes the important role students in these programs play in the future of the industry, as well as the importance of bringing the vehicles students work on back to factory specifications with these labels. The students in these programs are being educated on the importance of the safety data on such labels, which often indicate federal emissions information, vehicle production date, recommended tire pressure, towing weight, paint codes, seating capacity and wheel base specifications. In some cases, the lack of availability of replacement labels, or the cost of such labels, can be a challenge for schools, giving them no choice but not to install the labels. Now Auto Data Labels is ensuring they can. Instructors can orders labels at

Mike’s Auto Body Opens its 16th Location in Alameda, CA by Ed Attanasio

In an effort to serve more of the East Bay, Mike’s Auto Body recently opened its 16th location in Alameda, CA. The 13,000-square-foot facility employs 13 people and is managed by Lester Branson, with Kristen Story as the shop’s new office manager. “Our 46-year-old, family-owned company is, and always will be, only as strong as the people who work there,” said Mike’s Auto Body CEO Brennan Rose. “Our hard-working, dedicated employees have allowed us the opportunity to expand our business in the Alameda market and we’re grateful for that. We’ve been able to assemble a great team here and are always looking for more dedicated people to join the Mike’s Auto Body family. Expansion is the byproduct of our team motto, which is ‘One team, one mission.’” The newest Mike’s Auto Body location was formerly known as Alameda Classic Collision Center, which was opened in 2007 by CJ Miller as a restoration/collision shop. Mike’s Operations Manager Steve Kelly is delighted with the acquisition and how it can help the

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company. “The new location is ideally situated between several of our other locations, specifically Lafayette and Fremont,” he said. “When we saw this opportunity, we knew that the company culture at Alameda Classic Collision Center was very similar to ours; that’s why we made the move. Before we decide to expand, we look at the market and in this case, we found a great location with an existing business that had an excellent reputation. The owner could have sold his business to another company, but CJ decided to go with us because he wanted his employees to be treated well and retained for the long haul.” Lester Branson, newly promoted to location manager, is bringing his managerial skills and experience to Alameda. “I’m excited for the challenge and I’ve got great support from the Mike’s Auto Body team, so I’m anticipating a seamless transition,” he said. “We have all the tools, training and equipment here to repair our customers’ vehicles back to their pre-accident condition and with some great employees, I am confident that we

will quickly be an integral part of the Mike’s Auto Body organization. One team, one mission—that’s always our approach and a formula that works!” Story will operate the front office in Alameda by incorporating the company’s existing management systems currently in place in its 15 other locations. “The CSR training I received from Mike’s is going to help me emulate the systems we use every day at all of our other locations,” she said. “I have been working with some of the best people in the industry for several years now, so I’m ready to manage this office and help this staff perform at a high level.” Miller, 36, is ready to take on another challenge, although he isn’t sure what his next move will be. “I’m so happy that Mike’s is taking over Alameda Classic Collision, and my employees feel the same,” he said. “I’ve been in this business since I was 16, washing cars for my father, so it’s been a great journey and now I am looking for my next opportunity. Selling a shop isn’t easy, but by selling it to Mike’s Auto Body, it’s definitely a win-win for me and my crew.” / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


CA High School Senior’s Auto Body Skills Earn 1st in State SkillsUSA by Risa Johnson, Oroville Mercury-Register

A Las Plumas High School senior in Oroville, CA, was recently awarded first place at a statewide SkillsUSA competition in the automotive refinishing category and is now heading to nationals.

Anna Miller will head to the national SkillsUSA competition in Louisville, KY, in June. She said that inspiration to pursue this career path comes from her dad and grandfather, who have spent much of their lives working in auto shops. She has picked up skills on the job at 5th Avenue Auto Body and also from her grandfather, who used to own a shop in Quincy. He is “ecstatic” that she is following the family tradition, Miller said. “He asked me to come in and paint a fender for him, and after that,

I really got into it,” Miller said. “I painted my own truck, my own car. From there, I just fell in love with it.” That was about two years ago, at 15 years old. Automotive quickly became her favorite class, offering a chance for hands-on learning. West Upton, Miller’s auto shop teacher, said she is a joy to have in class and a self-starter. The skills needed to compete in that category came from Miller’s work outside of the classroom because the campus auto shop does not have the resources to teach that skillset, Upton said. Usually, there are anywhere from 100–150 kids taking classes in the automotive program. The fact that automotive classes and the competition have been maledominated doesn’t faze her, Miller said. “It doesn’t bother me,” she said. “A lot of the time, people support me more than anything else.” This was the first time that one of Upton’s students placed first in the category. Miller said she was shocked to win first place. “I wasn’t expecting to win,” she

Apple Now Has 50+ Self-Driving Cars on the Road in California by Peter Cao, 9 to 5 Mac

Apple’s autonomous vehicle program is one of the biggest known secrets in the tech industry.

While the company has yet to confirm anything, information about the project has been leaking out sporadically over the past several years. On May 14, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) confirmed (via macReports) that Apple now has 55 vehicles and 83 drivers permitted to test autonomous vehicles. One important thing to note 12

here is that Apple has yet to apply for a separate driverless testing permit, which would allow the company to test autonomous vehicles without a person in the car. The California DMV began issuing driverless permits in April of this year. To put this into perspective, Apple had roughly 45 self-driving vehicles back in January of this year. Apple’s self-driving efforts have been somewhat confusing over the past year or so, with most rumors suggesting that Apple will build its autonomous software/ hardware suite, but will license it to other manufacturers to use it rather than building its own Applebranded car. We thank 9 to 5 Mac for reprint permission.



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said. “I was there to have fun and do the best I could do and enjoy the experience of being in Ontario. When they called my name for it, I almost fell out of my seat.”

Las Plumas High School senior Anna Miller talks about her award-winning auto body skills May 2 at the school. Credit: Bill Husa, Mercury-Register

Four days after graduating from high school, Miller will begin classes at Yuba College, where she plans to take automotive and welding classes and get her associate degree. “From there I’ll likely be working in shops, working my way up, and hopefully one day owning my own business,” Miller said. Copyrighted article reprinted with permission.

Mission 2 Hire Program: 400th Veteran

On May 2, Service King Collision Repair Centers officially welcomed its 400th U.S. Military veteran to the family as part of the organization’s ongoing Mission 2 Hire initiative. With the recent milestone, the company remains ahead of its original goal to successfully recruit and hire 500 U.S. Armed Forces veterans and family members in five years. Service King President Jeff McFadden stated, “We are always looking for top-tier talent to join our growing team and recognize the intangible qualities that so many U.S. Armed Forces veterans provide.” All U.S. Military Veterans, spouses and family members interested in a career at Service King are encouraged to visit the dedicated veterans hiring page at; providing an intuitive platform to learn more about current opportunities at Service King, connect with the company and even features a skills matcher that connects prospective candidates with positions based on their military experience. / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Willits, CA, Body Shop Seeks Car Giveaway Nominations by Aura Whittaker, Willits News

After a successful partnership with Willits Furniture Center last year, Yokum’s Body Shop in Willits, CA, has teamed up with three more local businesses to host a second car giveaway in 2018. With high hopes of making the event “bigger and better,” Adam’s Tire & Auto Service Center, Ace Copy & Shipping and Mehtlan Insurance Agency signed on to provide services, gas and insurance to sweeten the deal for one lucky winner of a silver Nissan Versa four-door hatchback. Jeff Yokum said the overall goal of the car giveaway is to “give back to our community [that] has helped us grow to this point.” He said the event is a way to thank loyal customers and local businesses for supporting Yokum’s Body Shop. Yokum also said he wants to help make a difference in someone’s life by giving them a car that will allow them to better themselves and the community in which they live. “The idea is to give (the car) to somebody who already contributes a lot to the community by volunteering in town, and maybe they have a job


but they don’t have a good car. So the perfect person would be somebody that lives locally, has a job and does a lot of community service and needs help getting ahead, so the car will help them be able to do more,” he said.

Jeff and Lisa Yokum of Yokum’s Body Shop are hosting the 2018 car giveaway with Willits Furniture Center, Adam’s Tire & Auto Service Center, Ace Copy & Shipping and Mehtlan Insurance Agency. Credit: Aura Whittaker

According to Yokum, the car being offered this year was a Yokum’s Body Shop loaner car until the transmission went out. He said he contacted Adam Meza of Adam’s Tire & Auto Service Center and asked him to help get the car into tip-top running condition by performing a “safety point inspection,” putting in a new transmission and making sure “it was all good to go.” “We put in a used low mileage


transmission because the one in the car was no good at all...” said Meza. “We are always motivated to help people. I hope someone that really, really needs (the car) will get it.” Yokum also enlisted the help of Martin Rodriguez of Ace Copy & Shipping and Eric Mehtlan of Mehtlan Insurance Agency. Both business owners have donated $500 toward gasoline and auto insurance, respectively. The owners of Willits Furniture Center, Mike and Margie Smith, are contributing to the cost of advertising and marketing the car giveaway. Mike Smith is also participating as a member of the four-person Rotary Club selection committee, as he did last year. To nominate someone you know, stop by any of the sponsoring businesses or visit yokumsbodyshop .com/car-giveaway and fill out the form online. The winner of the car will be presented the keys during the annual Hometown Celebration scheduled for June 22. More information and updates can be found on Yokum’s Body Shop Car Giveaway Facebook page. 5285379564383/ We thank Willits News for reprint permission.

Nominations Now Open for 2018 Impact Award

On May 6, the Auto Care Association announced it is accepting nominations for the 2018 “Impact Award: Four for the Future.” The annual award recognizes four aftermarket professionals aged 40 or younger who have made outstanding contributions to the auto care industry. The recipients will be awarded at Auto Care Association’s 2018 Fall Leadership Days, taking place Sept. 5–7 in Austin, TX. The Impact Award provides businesses within the auto care industry the opportunity to highlight the success of individuals in their roles who demonstrate hard work, dedication, professionalism and exceptional abilities. The online nomination form is now available and the deadline to submit nominations is June 30, 2018. A resume or professional biography must accompany the nomination. Nominees must have at least two years of relevant work experience in the auto care industry and applicants can be self-nominated or nominated by a peer or manager.

ASA Northwest Prepares for 2018 Semi-Annual Summer Retreat by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On June 21–24, ASA Northwest will hold its 2018 Semi-Annual Summer Retreat and Management Conference at the Red Lion Hanford House in Richland, WA. “We are very fortunate to have a great group of members who are willing to take time away from their businesses to join us at our retreats,” stated Jeff Lovell, President and Executive Director of ASA Northwest. Thursday will begin the summer retreat with either a free day or a day of golfing fun, followed by an afternoon Board of Directors meeting. ASA Northwest will host a Hospitality Suite that evening. Thursday’s fun opportunities will also feature a “Hogs & Dogs” event with more than 2,000 motorcycles on display at the Bombing Range Sports Complex in nearby West Richland. On Friday morning, attendees will participate in the association’s General Business Session while the Ascettes, a group of women who

support the association by raising funds for ASA Northwest activities and scholarship initiatives, hold their business meeting. A game of croquet will follow in the afternoon. Association members will spend their afternoon at the Mechanical/Collision Roundtable. Friday evening’s fun will be focused on Cool Desert Nights. Classic cars will be parked in front of the hotel for several hours and the evening will conclude with ASA Northwest’s Hospitality Suite. ASA Northwest will host an AMI-approved speaker on Saturday morning, followed by a luncheon. The evening will include fun lawn games and a BBQ in the hotel courtyard before the group returns to the Hospitality Suite for the Ascettes’ raffle prize drawings. The 2018 Semi-Annual Summer Retreat and Management Conference will conclude on Sunday morning with a Business Roundtable. For more information on ASA Northwest, visit www.asanorthwest .com.

CA Air Resources Board Officer to Address CAWA Members

Richard Corey, Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), will be a speaker at the upcoming CAWA Leadership Meeting on June 22, 2018 in Newport Beach, CA. He will join other industry colleagues in presenting contemporary automotive issues to the attendees. All association members and

industry friends are invited to attend (click this link for reservations) https://events.r20.constantcontact .com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07e fajvtcs5c1a8e12&oseq=&c=&ch= The association presented Mr. Corey with the following list of discussion issues in preparation for the meeting: •

OBD cyber security measures

VOC issues/regulations (if under

Emissions issues/regulations

the purview of CARB)

• R-134 a refrigerant issues/consumer education

• Impending new regulations on the Prop 65 deadline of August 30, 2018 •

Examination of other and future automotive-related issues to be undertaken by CARB

• How CAWA, as an automotive trade association, assist CARB in its mission and communications to the industry “This is the first time that the CARB Executive Officer, the main person, will take the time to discuss issues of mutual interest with our members and colleagues and we are pleased to bring this event to the industry,” according to CAWA President & CEO Rodney Pierini.

To discuss this matter personally with the president & CEO, contact him directly at

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Automotive Entrepreneur Opens 1st CARSTAR Location in ID

CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts recently announced that its first location in Idaho has opened, bringing its U.S. locations total to 33 states. CARSTAR of Hayden, located at 1770 W Hayden Ave., Hayden, ID 83835, is owned by Greg and Rachelle Solesbee. It is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The 8,000-square-foot facility specializes in duplicating factory repairs with advanced equipment such as the CAR-O-LINER Bench Rack, GYS NeoPulse Welder for aluminum, steel and silica bronze and GYS Resistance Spot Welder. The CARSTAR location offers free collision repair estimates, bumper repair, expert color matching, towing assistance, vehicle pick-up and delivery, a nationwide warranty for most repairs and rental cars through Enterprise. Solesbee got his start in the collision repair industry with his family. His father, Wendell, started repairing vehicles when he was in high school and continued to work on cars throughout his career as an electrical engineer at Rockwell. Solesbee’s mother, Martha, also did her part to help, even long-blocking cars while

pregnant, handling the finances as CFO and raising seven children alongside Wendell. “My wife and I decided to branch out with our four children and take everything we learned from Mom and Dad to establish our own dream of creating a stellar work environment,” said Solesbee. “Our employee team is like none other and we really enjoy helping bring people’s lives back together one car at a time. We want to put a smile on every customer’s face. “Rachelle and [I] had originally designed our own business blueprint. As we shared what we were looking to do, we had a friend tell us we should look at CARSTAR. We took their advice and did so. After investigating what they were about, I turned to my wife and said, ‘They literally took our business plan and already made it into 500 locations!’” The technicians at CARSTAR of Hayden are I-CAR- and ASE-certified and trained to work on all makes and models. They participate in ongoing education programs on the latest vehicle technologies and materials. As part of the CARSTAR network, CARSTAR of Hayden can ac-

Charlie’s Auto Body to Expand in Lynden, WA by Staff, Lynden Tribune

Charlie’s Auto Body will keep up with the rapid pace of change in auto technology by doubling its production space and expanding services offered in order to better meet the needs of a new generation of vehicles and their owners. The expansion will allow for a quicker turnaround of damaged vehicles as well. The expansion will add 5,300 square feet to the existing west Lynden, WA, shop and nearly double the number of workstations from 11 to 21. “I want our shop to keep pace with the best, and we are building something I hope can inspire others,” said Brent Maier, owner. ”Vehicles need so much more now, and it’s the collision industry’s responsibility to stay current.” The expansion will include updated workstations and an aluminum clean room capable of handling repairs frequently seen in newer vehicles. With General Motors’ announcement of an aluminumbodied truck, Maier expects the lightweight metal to become more common in vehicle manufacturing. The new workstations are also designed to accommodate more of the 16

larger vehicle types common in the area. “Our community loves fullsize trucks and SUVs, and unfortunately most collision shop designs only take into consideration a small handful of these vehicles at any one time,” Maier said. “Our new layout is designed to effectively handle a higher number of these larger vehicles as they come in.” The 60-yearold Lynden company had been eyeing an expansion for some time. Maier was eager to decrease the turnaround time for customers and kept an eye out for inefficiencies in the repair process. “I spent a lot of time and energy looking for our repair bottlenecks and exploring options on how we can better improve the process,” Maier said. Part of his research included touring other repair shops in the states to learn their procedures and reading reports on the latest developments in vehicle repair technology. Charlie’s Auto Body plans to wrap up the equipment portion of the expansion in May 2018, and will host an industry-only open house to showcase its facility this summer. We thank Lynden Tribune for reprint permission.


cess the North American collision repair leader’s advanced tools, technology and training, along with a well-known brand, purchasing efficiencies, national insurance relationships and more. CARSTAR of Hayden is also involved in giving back to the community. The shop donated nearly $10,000 in parts to the Auto Body Tech School at NIC (North Idaho College) in Rathdrum, ID. CARSTAR of Hayden is also working with Sherwin Williams, NIC and GYS welding to put on a tech information (proper welding) training night. In addition, it is involved in the City of Hayden and the Chamber of Coeur d’Alene. “We are excited to expand the CARSTAR presence in the Northwest with our first location in Idaho and to welcome innovative entrepreneurs like Greg and Rachelle Solesbee to our CARSTAR family,” said Michael Macaluso, President, CARSTAR. “This region is growing quickly, and we are honored to have the Solesbees lead CARSTAR’s entry into Idaho. Their commitment to the highest quality collision repairs and excellent customer service is stellar.”

ASA Testifies on Repair Procedures Bill

On April 24, the RI House Committee on Corporations held a hearing on House Bill (HB) 8013. Certain provisions in the bill would not allow insurers to require “repair specifications or procedures” not in compliance with vehicle manufacturer recommendations. ASA submitted written testimony—in support of the OEM compliance requirements within HB 8013—that outlined the importance of adherence to OEM repair standards for the shop, as well as the consumer. “Vehicle manufacturers issue recommended repair procedures for a reason,” said Scott Benavidez, ASA Collision Division director and owner of Mr. B’s Paint & Body in Albuquerque, NM. “The use of materials such as highstrength steels, and the need to recalibrate modern electronic vehicle control systems, demand specific processes, tools and equipment in order to achieve a proper and safe repair. ASA Collision Operations Committee strongly supports the position outlined by House Bill 8013 to protect both the repairer and the consumer.” / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Self-Driving Cars’ Shortcomings Revealed in DMV Reports by Ethan Baron, The Mercury News

A demand from the California DMV of eight companies testing self-driving cars has highlighted a number of areas where the technology falls short of being safe to operate with no human back-up. All companies testing autonomous vehicles on the state’s public roads must provide annual reports to the DMV about “disengagements” that occur when a human back-up driver has to take over from the robotic system. The DMV told eight companies with testing permits to provide clarification about their reports. More than 50 companies have permits to test autonomous vehicles with back-up drivers on California roads, but not all of them have deployed vehicles. It turns out that a number of the issues reported are shared across technology from different companies. Some of the problems had to do with the way the cars sense the environment around them. Others had to do with how the vehicles maneuver on the road. And some had to do with what you might expect from systems made up of networked gadgets: hardware and software failures. The disengagement reports themselves identify other problems some self-driving vehicles struggle with, for example heavy pedestrian traffic or poorly marked lanes. In describing the events that caused their back-up drivers to take the controls, the companies have provided a new window into the roadworthiness—or not—of their cars and systems. Baidu, a Chinese internet-search giant, reported a case in which the

driver had to take over because of a faulty steering maneuver by the robot car, several cases of “misclassified” traffic lights, a failure to yield for cross traffic, delayed braking behind a car that cut quickly in front, drifting out of a lane and delayed perception of a pedestrian walking into the street.

A Chrysler Pacifica minivan equipped with Waymo’s self-driving car technology is tested with the company’s employees as a biker and a pedestrian at Waymo’s facility in Atwater, CA. Credit: Julia Wang, Waymo via AP)

Automotive supplier Delphi noted that its autonomous system “encountered difficulty identifying a particular traffic light” and also said a GPS problem meant a vehicle didn’t know where it was. Delphi’s system also had issues with unexpected—usually illegal—behavior by other drivers, the company said in its report to the DMV., which makes artificial intelligence software for self-driving vehicles, cited reasons for disengagement that included the swerving of a vehicle within a lane and “jerky or uncomfortable braking.” The firm also noted a “localization error” that meant a vehicle was uncertain of its location, and a discrepancy in data from different sensors on a vehicle. GM’s Cruise Automation, which is building autonomous cars, said its onboard sensors didn’t always capture all data on vehicles approaching in opposite lanes, and its system did-

n’t always combine all the data at hand for analyzing the movement of another vehicle entering an intersection. Cruise vehicles also planned a turn into a lane of traffic where there wasn’t enough space, failed to give way to another vehicle trying to enter a lane and planned a turn into a roadway with oncoming traffic approaching quickly. Other faults noted by Cruise included not braking hard enough when approaching a stop sign, taking a right turn too wide and difficulty around construction cones. Cruise, like Delphi, said its cars had trouble when other drivers behaved badly. Other drivers had failed to yield, run stop signs, drifted out of their own lane and cut in front aggressively, all forcing human intervention, Cruise reported. Nissan, testing its own autonomous cars, reported a software “crash” and said its system’s location accuracy could be affected by a notalways-steady GPS signal. Telenav, a connected-vehicle technology company, reported that its system didn’t always keep to the

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ACA Adds Filter Manufacturers Community

The Auto Care Association recently announced the addition of a new community to its membership with the introduction of the Filter Manufacturers Community (FMC). The group will join 10 additional auto care communities currently represented by the association. The formal announcement was made at the Auto Care Association’s annual Spring Leadership Days event, which took place May 9–11 at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta. The addition of FMC to the Auto 18

Care Association provides the opportunity for current Auto Care Association members to collaborate with filtration businesses and experts, translating to more and better access for association members, such as distributors and retailers, to filter-related data, catalog data and market intelligence. For more information about the Filter Manufacturers Community, please contact liaison Jonathan Larsen at or visit


three-second following distance it was supposed to maintain between a car and the vehicle in front of it. Also, the system steered a vehicle too close to a lane boundary, parked poorly at time and mistook a bridge overpass for a car stopped in front. Google spin-off Waymo described one of its vehicles failing to see that a “no right on red” signal had been turned on, and the company also cited hardware and software problems requiring disengagement. The number of miles driven during testing and the number of disengagements varies considerably among companies. And the firms are at varying stages of developing self-driving vehicle technology. As Telenav put it, “Our autonomous system is still being developed and we are working on improvement cycles. At this stage we expect that (the) driver will be taking over the car control from time to time due to the fact that it is new technology.” We thank The Mercury News for reprint permission.

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Continued from Cover

Jury Awards 18M

prior year he stated he had been falsely arrested based on complaints made by a former girlfriend who was under psychiatric care. The charges were later dropped. Allstate’s human resources department conducted an interview with Tilkey about the charges in late 2014. He said he had heard nothing further until his sudden termination. In his suit against Allstate, he contends he had never been convicted of a crime before or since then. Tilkey’s first cause of action alleged Allstate violated the California Labor Code, since it prohibits an employer from using an arrest that Continued from Cover

13 Arrested

multiple claims with the names and dates of service being altered to reflect a new claim date. In some cases, she noted, the totals on the hospital bills

didn’t result in a conviction as a reason for termination. Tilkey’s second cause of action cited wrongful termination in violation of public policy and the third cause of action cited defamation. Additional case documentation revealed that Allstate discovered the situation when an email between Tilkey and his ex-girlfriend about the incident was flagged for review. Allstate conducted an internal investigation and initially determined no action would be taken; however, after the girlfriend sent an emotionally charged email directly to an Allstate CEO discussing the situation, the decision to terminate Tilkey was made. His attorney, Joann Rezzo, said the firing violated state labor law, which prohibits employers from con-

sidering arrest records that don’t result in a conviction when considering termination. She explained that on May 3, the jury found in favor of Tilkey on his two claims for wrongful termination in violation of California Labor Code Section 432.7 and coerced selfpublication defamation. As a result, the jury awarded Tilkey $2,663,137 in compensatory damages ($960,222 for the wrongful termination claim and $1,702,915 for the defamation claim). According to Rezzo, “The jury concluded that Allstate had violated Labor Code 432.7 when terminating Mr. Tilkey by basing its termination decision on records of his arrest and/or participation in a diversion program. The jury also determined

that Allstate’s stated reason for the termination (i.e. alleged threats made by Mr. Tilkey) was not true and that Allstate failed to use reasonable care in determining the truthfulness of the stated reason for termination. The jury also concluded that Allstate had acted with malice, oppression and/or fraud (a prerequisite to an award of punitive damages).” The next day, the jury awarded Tilkey $15,978,822 in punitive damages, making his total award $18,641,959. An Allstate spokeswoman said the company disagrees with the verdict and plans to appeal. The Associated Press contributed to this article. We thank Claims Journal for reprint permission.

were altered to reflect a larger amount so that the payouts to the suspects would be higher. “Not only is insurance fraud a crime, [but] it costs Merced County residents substantially more in premiums and insurance costs every year,” Morse said.

He praised the work done by Carpenter in “unraveling this sophisticated and far-reaching conspiracy to defraud insurance companies and consumers. Investigator Carpenter worked this complex case relentlessly for the last two years in addition to her other work and did an incredible

job of putting all the pieces together. It was a first-rate effort,” Morse said. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), auto-related insurance fraud, particularly staged accidents, is a significant component of the $30 billion to $32 billion lost to insurance fraud


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each year. “Unfortunately, many individuals view insurance companies as their personal piggy banks and they engage in fraudulent behavior without any concern for the economic harm they cause all consumers,” said Frank Scafidi, public affairs director for the NICB. “NICB commends District Attorney Morse and the participating law enforcement agencies for their diligence and extensive investigative efforts in this case.” Joanna Tucker, 29, from Livingston, was described by Carpenter as the “ringleader” of the scam and directly involved in 19 of the 20 claims. Deputy District Attorneys Walter Wall and Scott Drexel presented the case over several days to a Merced County Grand Jury in April, which returned with 19 felony counts of insurance fraud and 17 felony counts of grand theft against Tucker. The grand jury also handed down indictments of 20 other defendants on charges of insurance fraud and grand theft. Tucker’s boyfriend, Johnathan Huerta, 30, also of Livingston, was

indicted on 10 felony counts of insurance fraud and nine counts of grand theft. Investigators from the District Attorney’s office, with assistance from Merced Sheriff’s Department, Merced Police Department, Merced County Probation, Livingston Police Department, Atwater Police Department, State Parole and the Merced Area Gang and Narcotics Enforcement Team (MAGNET), arrested Tucker, Huerta and 11 other defendants in a coordinated sweep on Friday. Tucker was being held on $500,000 bail. Huerta’s bail was set at $100,000, Carpenter said. Three defendants were already in custody outside Merced County on unrelated charges, Carpenter noted. Also taken into custody May 11 were Rhonda Valencia, 45; Diana Tucker, 26 and Freddy Barajas, 29, all of Livingston; Jessica Valencia, 27; Alejandro Cervantes, 31; Patricia Diaz, 31 and Angelina Galvan, 35, all of Atwater; Britney Groves, 29; Charlece Scott, 27 and Monique Eguiluz, 28, all of Merced. Others for whom arrest warrants See 13 Arrested, Page 26

ARA’s 2018 Hill Days and State Legislative Summit Is Most Successful Yet! by Chasidy Rae Sisk

Members of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) from around the United States gathered in Washington, DC on April 9 and 10 to participate in the association’s annual Hill Days and State Legislative Summit.

ARA President David Gold called this year’s event “one of the most informative and productive Washington D.C. events yet.” “Recyclers from nearly two dozen states participated in over 60 Congressional appointments to ask their federal representatives for assistance in putting pressure on the

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to implement a 2015 federal law requiring automakers to provide OEM parts data for recalled parts,” he said. “The Congressional feedback from the ARA member visits has been astounding, and ARA staff

has already met with numerous Congressional offices to follow up on the issue. We have several more meetings scheduled for the coming weeks.” During the 11th Annual ARA State Legislative Summit, ARA members focused on in-depth state See ARA’s Hill Days, Page 66 / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


RV Repair Has Different Set of Obstacles, Advantages by Ed Attanasio

Snowbirds and weekend warriors love their motor homes, trailers, 5th wheels, sprinters and even luxury buses for those who can afford them. They log a lot of miles on the open road, and once in a while they get into accidents by hitting poles, walls, animals and other vehicles. Joe’s RV Collision Center in Hillsboro, OR, with its sister shop, Reedville Auto & Paint, is a thirdgeneration business that repairs both RVs and regular passenger vehicles and serves several local RV dealerships as well. Joe Garcia started the

is limited,” he said. “They rely on us to give them an estimate and they rarely argue with it. In addition, they don’t try to squeeze us on our labor rates. For RV repair, it’s $125 per hour, and the collision repair labor rates are less than half that in this area. So overall, the process with RVs is easier, although we do have issues getting parts and that can cause our cycle time to explode on some repairs.” Joe began working on RVs in 2012 when he started Joe’s Mobile RV Repair. He bought a mobile trailer, set it up with all the tools he would need and started working on-

“I was tired of fighting with the insurance companies on the collision side, so this type of work was refreshing,” — Joe Garcia

collision shop in 1991 and in 2014, site at local RV dealerships doing spot he and his son, Chris, established work. Joe’s RV Collision to respond to a “I was tired of fighting with the market that saw great potential. insurance companies on the collision Dad is getting ready to step side, so this type of work was refreshaside and sell the business to his son, ing,” he said. “I could get in there and but for a while, Joe wasn’t enamored work quickly; it was very convenient. with the idea of Chris entering the in- But working on location was a little dustry. problematic with all of the rain here “My dad didn’t want me to work in Oregon, so 18 months later, we in a shop, so I went off to college and opened our RV repair shop and began worked a few different jobs—in bank- taking on more and more work.” ing and as a server at a restaurant,” Now, Joe’s does primarily strucChris said. “I dropped out of college tural and fiberglass repairs on RVs after one year because I realized that I was wasting my time and my parents’ money. I returned back to the family business 11 years ago, and it’s by far the best decision I’ve ever made. I started out here at an entry level and when the shop’s manager didn’t work out, I stepped in.” In the world of collision Joe’s RV Collision Center in Hillsboro, OR, with its sister shop, repair, there’s a continuing Reedville Auto & Paint, is a third-generation business that repairs both RVs and regular passenger vehicles. It serves tug-of-war between the in- local RV dealerships as well surance companies and the shops as one tries to save money and a lot of warranty work for RV while the other struggles to do the dealerships. same without sacrificing quality. In “We don’t deal with the interithe RV repair industry, the relation- ors of the RVs, in most cases,” Joe ship with insurers is a little different said. “These vehicles are just like and easier overall, Chris said. homes in a lot of ways with appli“The insurance adjusters don’t ances, electrical, plumbing or genertry to tell us what to do because es- ators, etc., but that type of work is sentially, their knowledge about RVs done more by the dealership. Some24


times, we will fix awnings and roofs to provide more complete customer service, but 90 percent of the time we’re dealing with strictly the exteriors, which are our strength.”

their mercy. Locating the right parts and developing good relationships with parts suppliers is more crucial in this business, and that’s why we are always looking for reliable sources for parts. If we can’t find a specific part, we work with local fabricators to make it and that, of course, can often set back the timeline.” RVs have changed dramatically over the years with all types of new technology onboard, just like with cars. By knowing how to work effectively on these Today, Joe’s does primarily structural and fiberglass repairs larger vehicles and learning on RVs and a lot of warranty work for local RV dealerships how to fabricate things on While the RV repair process is a the fly, the shop is thriving. “We are growing and staying little less traumatic, one major hindrance is finding the right parts for busy,” Chris said. “We now work on high-end $400,000 buses and the each job. “There isn’t any aftermarket, so newer sprinter vans, so it’s an exciting and challenging time to be in this inwe have to work with the manufacturers and their inventories aren’t as dustry. RV and regular collision work large as they are with cars,” Chris both offer a different set of chalsaid. “They don’t offer hot shot deliv- lenges, but in the end we’re doing the eries and it’s rare to be able to get same thing—helping people get their something the next day, so we’re at vehicles back on the road.” / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


G&C Auto Body Adds, Expands Shops in Sonoma, Solano Counties in CA ago when the company was generating $250,000 a month and $3 million a year, he said. But last year, revG&C Auto Body has a dozen shops in enues were $56 million, up 13 perfour North Bay, CA, counties with the cent from 2016. addition of a second Santa Rosa loca“I never want to forget about our tion earlier this year. That number is primary job, which is fixing cars,” expected to grow by a few more this Crozat said. “I wanted the operations year. people close to how we do business.” The Santa Rosa-based automoBy July, G&C will have a baker’s tive repair business acquired Larkfield dozen shops, with the opening of a Body & Paint at 15 Lark Center Dr. Benicia shop with 20 repair bays and in the Larkfield area north of Santa 10 employees. The company acquired Rosa from third-generation owner an existing body shop, the only one for David Hartman on Jan. 1. the affluent city of 30,000, but it didn’t “I found out a competitor was fit the G&C business model, Crozat looking to buy them and then reached said. So the company has been spendout to them,” said Shawn Crozat, ing $900,000 on equipment and reCEO of G&C. modeling. Those talks went on hiatus in That will give G&C its fourth October because of the wildfires, but Solano County shop, after openings picked up in time to close the deal by in Fairfield, Vacaville and Vallejo in year-end. recent years. The 10,000-square-foot Fairfield shop is set to grow by 50 percent in May. A 5,000-square-foot addition has been added, doubling the number of repair bays to 40. “That store is one of our best-performing, and insurG&C Auto Body acquired Larkfield Body & Paint in northern ance companies have been Santa Rosa, CA, on Jan. 1. The new location is seen here. waiting for us to expand it Credit: G&C Auto Body to give us more business,” At the same time, the 250-em- Crozat said. ployee company is repositioning its G&C has other Sonoma County back-office functions to accommo- shops in Rohnert Park, Petaluma, date sales growth. G&C leased 2,700 Windsor and Sonoma, which is the square feet of office space at the 100 chain’s smallest at 4,500 square feet. Stony Point Road office building in The company has one in Mendocino west Santa Rosa. County (Ukiah) and two in Marin Workers involved in payroll, (Novato and San Rafael). human resources, accounting and However, it may appear that safety were relocated from offices G&C has more than one San Rafael above the Santa Rosa shop and cus- location because the tight local real tomer lounge to make room for estate market has forced the comCrozat and operations staff to be pany to expand to multiple locations housed near the shop. Having all in along Mill Street. There currently are the shop building worked 25 years three shop spots there, and G&C is by Jeff Quackenbush, North Bay Business Journal

Continued from Page 23

13 Arrested

have been issued were Maria Hernandez, 59; Celina Garza-Hernandez, 27 and Sarai Bernal, 27, all of Merced; Rico Tucker, 28; Carlos Tucker, 26; Heena Birly, 25 and Jessica Barajas, 30, all of 26

San Jose and Jairo Barajas, 29, of Livingston. We thank Dutra’s The Paper for reprint permission.



tance of one another so personnel can be shifted between them if needed. That would make a Napa expansion work as a “stepping stone” between Sonoma, Marin and Solano counties. But the East Bay is an area where G&C could be going next, Crozat said. He is the oldest son of G&C founder Gene Crozat, who died in November 2016 at 72. The elder Crozat had raised the children to be inG&C Auto Body’s main shop, seen here, is located in south volved in the business as Santa Rosa. Credit: G&C Auto Body teenagers. “We were running operations in scouting ventures, because the population density and income levels the last couple years of his life,” Shawn wouldn’t support a shop the size of Crozat said. Stephen Skinner and Shawn the one in Sonoma, Crozat said. Napa County has been a target for years, Johnson of Keegan & Coppin Co. Inc./Oncor International represented but it has been a waiting game. “When real estate prices are that G&C in the 100 Stony Point lease high, you have to look at acquisition,” deal. Johnson, Brian Keegan and Crozat said. “We continue to talk to Dave Peterson represented building owner SR Stony Point DE, LLC. existing owners.” To effectively manage these many locations, Crozat has liked to We thank North Bay Business Jourkeep them within easy driving dis- nal for reprint permission. looking for a fourth. The company plans to open two other shops this year. Lake County has been ruled out, after a couple of / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


How Much Would You Trust an Autonomous Vehicle? how people gain trust in autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles, and Would you trust a car that does the how to build trust factors into the dedriving for you? Do you trust the sign of those vehicles. Lu Feng is a adaptive cruise control available in computer scientist working on computer systems for aunewer cars? What about the tonomous cars that would traction control feature? benefit riders. And Inki Would you trust a car to brake for you in an emerKim is a human factors engineer who specializes in gency? understanding how humans Passengers’ trust of and technologies interact. these features is based on The two researchers, still many factors, most particu- Computer scientist larly their experiences with Lu Feng said that if early in their investigations, elements that can transfer a designers can’t win are using driving simulators certain amount of the driv- people’s trust, they and sensors to test the physwon’t sell many iological responses of peoing to the car. But few peoautonomous cars ple who are in simulated ple have any experience with autonomous cars, and so will autonomous vehicles on road-like need to see—and eventually experi- circumstances. Eventually Feng and ence—how these self-driving vehi- Kim plan to conduct similar tests cles work, with proof that they will using an actual autonomous vehicle. “Human factors engineering is operate safely. It takes a lot of trust to relinquish control and leave the human-centered design,” Kim said. “Instead of forcing people to adapt to driving to the car. Two University of Virginia re- the design of an engineered system, searchers in the School of Engineer- we are focused on engineering sysing and Applied Science have tems that are adapted to the needs of teamed up to begin understanding the human. In this case, we’re workby Fariss Samarrai, UVA Today

ing to understand what factors influ- behave in the same situation. That ence trust in autonomous systems, builds trust. Likewise, the vehicle the intersection of human and vehi- must be responsive to the human rider’s actions and intents, such as cle interaction.” when the human wants to To build trust in autake over as the driver. That tonomous vehicles, Feng also builds trust. and Kim said, there must be Feng and Kim will use interaction between the syssensors on human particitem and the people who are pants to detect brain signals, riding in such a vehicle. The eye movement, heart rate vehicle must provide to the and perspiration, as well as passengers indications of situational awareness and Inki Kim, a human collect questionnaire data to factors engineer, “intent”—that the vehicle said the cars must see how people respond to “knows,” in a sense, what it somehow signal to different scenarios while actheir human pastively driving a simulator, is doing—and then follow sengers that they while being driven around in through in an orderly, raare aware of situaautonomous mode, while actional way. For example, tions, and how they tually driving a car on the the car could demonstrate in will react to them some manner—a tone, a highway and eventually while voice warning, maybe a seat vibra- riding in an autonomous vehicle. They want to compare responses tion—that it “sees” a bicyclist or pedestrian ahead, and therefore is in experiments as people shift bemoving over in the lane. But it also tween actively driving a car and pasmust not overload its passengers sively being driven in a car, and also with too much information or un- under changing external circumstances, such as when weather condineeded communications. The vehicle must behave simi- tions change—from rain to ice, for larly to how a human driver would example. Trust levels change over

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time as conditions change, the researchers said. Data from such tests will help inform the design of au-

as the technologies prove trustworthy. Building experience with a system is important to developing trust. We are interested in how trust factors can be built into the design, safety being the biggest issue—or people will under-trust, and just won’t buy autonomous cars.” Feng and Kim work together in the UVA Engineering School’s Link Lab, a new $4.8 million, 17,000square-foot facility that Using a simulator, for now, UVA researchers are probing the brings together researchers factors that lead people to feel more or less comfortable from five departments to with letting go of the steering wheel Credit: Dan Addison, collaborate on a range of University of Virginia big-issue, multidisciplinary tonomous systems for a wide range engineering problems and challenges. of scenarios, so the cars can respond very similarly to how human drivers We thank UVA Today for reprint perwould when driving safely. mission. “We know that early adopters of new technologies accept the changes to technologies better than people SUBSCRIBE TO OUR who are later adopters,” Feng said. YOUTUBE CHANNEL: “But as technologies emerge and become more commonly and widely used, even later adopters often come to trust and accept the technologies

Autobody News


Continued from Cover

Legislative Day

this year in the Assembly Appropriations Committee,” CAA stated in a letter to Assembly member Burke, the bill’s author. “Although AB 2276 offers improvement over AB 1679, concerns are still present and the bill remains fundamentally flawed.”

(l to r) CAA Northern California Representative Pete Bezeck and Manager Alvaro Valencia and Owner Bill Stone of A&B Collision in Lower Lake, CA at ASCCA/CAA Joint Legislative Day

ASCCA/CAA Political Analyst Jack Molodanof always opens with a joke or humorous anecdote, but after that he’s all business. Coaching the members of ASCCA/CAA about how to approach their local representatives is always crucial, which is why Molodanof always sets down the rules first. By strategically scheduling appointments throughout the Capitol’s offices


all day long, ASCCA/CAA members break into smaller groups to cover as much territory as possible and then hit the halls immediately after their morning briefing. Speakers this year included Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (San Luis Obispo), who discussed AB 1743 (O’Donnell), the Career Tech Education (CTE) Incentive Grants Bill; Betty Jo Toccoli, California Small Business Association; and Pat Dorais, Bureau of Automotive Repair. Cunningham discussed AB 1743 and the importance of CTE in California. “CTE programs like auto shop have the potential [to engage] students who may be otherwise disengaged and at risk of dropping out,” he said. “These programs provide hands-on learning and can lead to solid careers down the road, so we need to keep funding these programs and make them available to our young people. It’s important to the future of our workforce, and that’s why AB 1743 is so important. By providing $500 million annually to these programs, this is a vital bill and we need to support it in every way we can.”


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AMi: Out of the Shadows

tions, phone skills and more. To best describe what AMi does, think of it as The Automotive Management Insti- “I-CAR for the collision shop’s front tute, better known simply as AMi, office, customer service representabegan in 1989 as the Automotive tives, estimators, shop managers or Service Association Management In- owners”—anyone who has direct constitute. tact with the customer. Perhaps because it was With that said, there are so closely tied to the Autoplaces where AMi works motive Service Association hand-in-hand with other in(ASA), which focuses heavdustry training and support ily on the mechanical, rather entities. For example, AMi than the collision side of the has two estimator profesbusiness, and/or perhaps besional designations: ACE cause AMi did not have a and AMCE. They require Jeff Peevy high-profile person to repreverifiable achievement from sent the organization to the collision AMi, I-CAR, ASE and estimating repair industry, AMi stood mostly in systems. It is the most comprehensive the shadows and was for years virtu- recognition in the industry for estimaally invisible to the collision repair tors. world. But this did not belie the fact In 2015, Jeff Peevy, former Ithat AMi provided and continues to CAR senior director, was hired as provide a great service for both the president of AMi and tasked with mechanical and collision sides of the updating the organization’s infrabusiness. Eventually, the orstructure, designations and ganization became known accreditation process to ensimply as AMi. sure ongoing relevance and As described on its value to the industry. Fiwebsite, AMi is a 501(c)(3) nally, AMi had a high-prononprofit organization dedfile person to help raise its icated to providing indusvisibility to the collision intry-recognized professional dustry. And most recently, Mike Cassata management designations, industry veteran Mike Cascertificates and career paths to the sata joined the AMI team and was service and collision repair segments named Director of Industry Outreach of the automotive industry. As a non- for Collision for AMi. profit, AMi collaborates with trainRecently, Autobody News caught ing providers across the industry, up with Peevy and Cassata to check on reviewing, recognizing and awarding their current status and future plans. credit hours for quality management and leadership education. ABN: Mike, those who are able to atIn other words, and contrary to tend CIC and other industry events what one may think, AMi does not have seen you at these events for actually create training content, but several years. But please give our rather vets and approves content cre- readers a quick review of your backated by other entities within the in- ground. dustry that fits into a pre-determined curriculum as designated by AMi. Cassata: I grew up in Rochester, NY, When the student completes the as- where my family had a body shop. I signed curriculum, they earn a pro- did some repairs but knew I was not fessional management designation cut out to be a technician. But I cersuch as AAM (Accredited Automo- tainly knew the business, so I ended tive Manager) or AMAM (Accred- up running the shop for over 10 ited Master Automotive Manager). years. Eventually, I sold the shop and The curriculum focuses not on the became an independent appraiser. technical side of the automotive busi- That led to my long career with ness, but on what might be called “soft Amica Insurance where, among skills.” To earn the AAM designation, other things, I was their DRP mana student must complete courses on ager, catastrophe manager and salsuch areas as time management, effec- vage manager. I got to work with a tive communications, customer rela- lot of shops and learned a lot about by Gary Ledoux



the industry.

ABN: Mike, how did you first get involved with AMi?

Cassata: For years, I have been very active with I-CAR and served as the Committee Chairman in Rochester. So of course, I knew Jeff Peevy. Working as the DRP manager with Amica, I got to know our DRP shops pretty well. I knew their technical skills were good at making safe and complete repairs. But for some shops, their customer service skills and financial and business management skills needed some help. This is true of many shops around the industry. AMi provides the help these shops need. So when Jeff called me about the position at AMi, I knew it was a perfect fit. ABN: Who in particular are you trying to reach? Cassata: I will be reaching out to shop owners, estimators, shop foremen—basically anyone in the shop

who touches the customer. I also want to reach others, including paint company representatives, insurance estimators, insurance managers, independent adjusters—basically anyone who supports the industry. In a nutshell, this would be anyone who attends events like CIC. If we are going to raise the level of professionalism of the industry, it’s important that everyone be involved. We need full industry support to continue our work. ABN: How is AMi relevant to today’s collision industry?

Peevy: Walk into any hospital in America and look around. Most of the people that you see working there have to be accredited or have some sort of degree to work at their profession, and must take additional training each year to maintain that accreditation. Why? Because it is a profession. They do a job where people’s lives and well-being are at stake. They are expected to act responsibly and be knowledgeable

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about the business of medical care and what they do. This is the same for many professions. In collision repair, we have the I-CAR individual Platinum status for technicians and estimators, but little emphasis is placed on people skills or other business skills for shop management, the front office and many others in support positions. This is what makes AMi relevant—to help increase the professionalism of the entire industry, including most support people—not just technicians.

ABN: What makes AMi relevant now? Peevy: It’s no secret [that] the entire industry is growing more complicated in the way cars are built and repaired and in the way we do business. Customers are more sophisticated and discerning. And the industry is contracting. Fewer accidents in the future will mean a need for fewer shops. Competition for the next repair is more intense than ever. At AMi, our core belief is “Knowledge equals competitiveness; learning then is the only source of a sustainable competitive advantage.” And I believe that is true. The knowledge you gain today may be obsolete tomorrow. So we must keep learning and growing, both with technical information and with people and business skills that help sustain your shop’s business model. Cassata: The more we learn, the more we empower ourselves.

ABN: Mike, what is your overall vision for your new job as Director of Industry Outreach?

Cassata: I am going to start by approaching the people I know and branch out from there. Jeff Peevy and I will be attending industry events and, between the two of us, will become the face of AMi. ABN: Jeff, what are you doing to reach and communicate with shops?

Peevy: We send out email blasts called the “Management Minute” to over 13,000 shops. It contains, among other things, a note from myself, a short profile on an AMi graduate, information about one or more courses and other helpful information. 32

ABN: Jeff, you have been AMi’s president for about three years and already have brought AMi to a higher visibility within the industry. Besides naming Mike Cassata as your Director of Industry Outreach, what other changes have you made?

Peevy: I spent my first seven months just looking at the company and learning everything about AMi. I had to get my arms around it, and that took a while. AMi had been basically “flat” for several years—out of sight and out of mind. It needed a “jolt.” I’m not sure that anyone had a vision of AMi out this far into the future. But we put some great people on our team—like industry veterans Darrell Amberson of LaMettry’s Collision and Bob Keith of Assured Performance, and things started happening. On June 20, 2016, we launched what we called the “next generation of AMi” initiative with a state-of-the-art website and Learning Management System with over 130 online courses. ABN: How many different classes do you have now? Peevy: We presently have about 350 instructor-led classes and 160 online courses. Some of our instructor-led courses are taught by some of the best people in the business, including veterans Mike Anderson, Mark Claypool, Frank Terlep and of course our own Mike Cassata. ABN: Jeff, do you have plans for any new or additional classes?

Peevy: We are constantly looking at new classes. It seems like every day we have different companies presenting us with great material. But it takes time to review the material, vet it and see if it fits our model. It just takes time. ABN: Jeff, what is the toughest challenge to get people to take advantage of AMi classes?

Peevy: Basically, it’s just becoming visible and letting industry people know we are out here, we exist and can help professionally and personally. ABN: Do you have any future plans?


Peevy: We are working on a curriculum for high school students and will be looking for local body shops to sponsor a student. This is in the early stages.

Cassata: I spoke at a high school a short time ago about a career in the collision industry. All the students had the same preconceived idea that everyone in the industry simply bangs on fenders for a living. They had no idea there were so many other positions and career paths open to them, or that it took so many people to support that one person banging on that one fender. ABN: Mike and Jeff, what is your end game? What is your vision for AMi?

Cassata: I’m hoping to increase the visibility of AMi and obtain industry support from all stakeholders. This includes stronger participation in donations and of course, class participation. Peevy: We want to play a part in raising the professionalism of the industry. We want AMi to be the instrument of change. We want to be out of the shadows—and we have a good start.

Aftermarket Professionals Applaud FTC’s Compliance Warning to Hyundai

On April 9, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a “compliance warning” to Hyundai Motor Company regarding violations of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act’s (MMWA) prohibition against tie-in sales of branded products and services as a condition of warranty coverage. FTC specified the following website statement as problematic: “The use of Hyundai genuine parts is required to keep your Hyundai manufacturer’s warranties and any extended warranties intact.” Should Hyundai fail to eliminate such statements, FTC may take “legal action.” While AOCA, Auto Care and the Tire Association of America wish that the FTC action had been stronger, they are pleased that the agency has publicly warned the companies that it is illegal under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act to require the use of a manufacturer part or service in order to maintain a warranty.


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Dave Illg Collision Repair Center: The Risen Phoenix “Make integrity your first priority,” said Dave Illg, owner of Dave Illg’s Collision Repair Center in Nashua, NH. “Charge for what you do, don’t charge for what you don’t do, treat everyone with respect and your shop can’t help but be successful.”

Gurette and Rantilla), one of the oldest, largest and most respected shops in the city. The shop had been in business since the early 1950s in a large purpose-built building right off one of the city’s main thoroughfares. All of the principal owners had worked in dealer body shops prior and thought they could do a better job as an inde-

Sage words for sure, from a man who learned through some extreme strife and struggle. Lesser men would have bailed out of the bad situation Illg found himself mired in a few years ago. You might say the body business is in Illg’s blood. In 1977, at 19 years old, Illg went to work at a shop partially owned by a family member. An uncle, John Illg, was the “I” in BIG&R Auto Body (Belowski, Illg,

pendent shop. At one point, in the days before companies such as Garmat, Accudraft and such, Dave Illg’s father, Victor Illg, built the shop’s two spray booths—out of 2X4’s and drywall, high-tech for their time. For the next eight years, despite being a relative of one of the owners, Dave Illg worked in the shop as a regular employee learning the trade and doing quality work. He became adept with his pick-hammers and dollies …

by Gary Ledoux

“It got so bad that at one point, I would walk into the bank to cash my paycheck and if I was fifth or sixth in line, the cashier would see me and check the account,” — Dave Illg

and lead filler. Despite plastic filler being introduced in the mid-1950s, the body men at BIG&R used body lead right up until the late ‘70s. Around 1985, there was some upheaval amongst the owners. Of the four original owners, two were still active in the business, with one running the shop and the other running the front end. Neither saw eye-to-eye with the other. The man running the shop felt the entire operation could be run “from the hood of a car,” meaning there was little concern for office procedures, keeping records and the like. The man running the front end, of course, had different ideas. Ultimately, the “front-end” man left, leaving a hole. Dave Illg was named General Manager and filled the position. For the next three years Illg ran the front of the business, writing estimates, scheduling work and so forth. He was able to increase business and profits. But the internal strife between himself and his uncle, the last remaining owner, put a big strain on Illg, so he decided to leave the shop.

His next stop was as an independent appraiser. “This was a welcome relief from the everyday grind at the shop,” noted Illg. “I learned how to negotiate. I worked fewer hours and made more money. Life was good … for a while.” Then the appraisal company’s business took a down-turn.

BIG&R Auto Body circa early 1970s. Vehicle owner unknown

“It got so bad that at one point, I would walk into the bank to cash my paycheck and if I was fifth or sixth in line, the cashier would see me and check the account,” Illg said. “If there was no money to cash the check, she would just wave me on so I wouldn’t have to wait for five or six people

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only to walk away empty-handed.” And then came another job offer—one that would set him on the path to the lowest depths of his life and to his crowning success. The local Lincoln-Mercury dealer was in need of a body shop manager. Its body shop had been through four managers in the last year. It was losing thousands of dollars per month. It was located a few blocks away from the main dealership in a small brick building that had once been the warehouse for the local Sears store. “It was rather odd to go to work at a place where I had picked up my new washer and dryer only a few years before,” said Illg. The building obviously was not designed as a body shop and was very tough to work in. Illg laughed, “If we had to bring a truck in the shop, we had to take the mirrors off. That’s how small the door was!” Nevertheless, Illg made it work and the shop showed a profit within the first month. Once again, he had taken a shaky business and turned it around and the dealer-principal, Dick Stahl, appreciated it.

Time went on, and eventually Stahl decided to sell the Lincoln-Mercury business and buildings. Unlike some dealer buy-sells where the new dealer “cleans house” and removes all existing managers and employees, the new dealer kept all body shop personnel. It was a blessing, as everyone was able to retain their jobs. But it was a curse, because of what would eventually happen. As part of the new dealer’s plan, the shop moved out of its “Sears building” and into a large, modern building a block away that had been built as a service department for a Ford dealership, also owned by Stahl, but that had been purchased by the same party that purchased LincolnMercury. It had recently been outfitted with over $100,000 worth of brandnew equipment, including a frame machine and spray booth. Things were looking good. But then, things began to unravel under the tutelage of the new dealer. Vendors who provided paint, parts and other services were not getting paid. Long-time vendors would not sell to the Lincoln-Mercury body shop any longer. Some would only

deliver if they got paid in cash—on the spot. They had not been paid in months. But there were still cars in the shop and work to be done. Illg broke out his own credit card and started paying people himself and purchasing parts and supplies, not knowing

exactly how he was going to be reimbursed, but hoping that it would all work out. Customers were depending on him, and his crew and their families were depending on him. He couldn’t let them all down. It didn’t take long for things to turn desperate. Vendors still weren’t getting paid. Illg had run his personal credit cards up to their limit. There was no longer any health insurance

or 401K plan. The shop had essentially gone out of business—but nobody told the customers, who kept coming. And nobody told the body shop crew, who kept on working. It was time to take drastic action. The shop needed some strong leadership—immediately. Illg knew he had no choice. He had to buy the shop and run it himself. And he knew he could do it; he had already turned two other shops around. And now it was his turn to help himself. Illg was able to purchase the shop from the then-current dealer. The original dealer, Stahl, showed him how to work with the banks, purchase the business and get back on an even keel financially. He was even able to purchase all the shop’s fairly new leased equipment for virtually pennies on the dollar. Illg was never reimbursed for all the purchases made on his personal credit cards but eventually, he was able to pay those off as well. The shop needed a new name, as it was no longer associated with the Lincoln-Mercury franchise. Stahl suggested simply calling it Dave Illg See The Risen Phoenix, Page 43

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

Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

10 Simple Steps to Collision Repair Success From VECO Experts Collision repair facilities can typi- “This is where the disconnect often cally increase profits by raising prices comes in,” said Olson. “We have to and/or working to become more effi- follow the procedures, and this recient, according to Mark Olson, quires a culture shift.” CEO of VECO Experts (Vehicle ColHe used the example of technilision Experts, LLC). cians welding. “Raising your prices can some“Even great techs will say, ‘I times be difficult,” said Olson. “There took 20 welds out; I’m going to put are a number of ways to achieve effi- 20 back in.’ Well, sometimes they are ciency in your body shop and have a going to want 30 back in or a slot predictable high-quality reweld or a MIG braze,” he pair outcome.” said. “We may repair the VECO Experts provehicle differently than it vides onsite assessments was built originally.” and repair inspections at When repairers tell body shops across the counOlson that they have been try to ensure manufacturers’ doing it a certain way for processes and materials are more than 30 years, his reMark Olson followed. sponse is that if you want Olson shared 10 steps to provide to repair cars with 30-year-old techquality collision repairs as part of nology, work on cars that are 30 Dave Luehr’s Elite Body Shop Solu- years old. He recommends looking tions webinar held in April. Luehr, the closely at the following procedures: founder of Elite Body Shop Solu- weld count, electronic reset, corrotions, hosts monthly webinars to help sion protection, sectioning locacollision repair shops reach their busi- tions, parts removal/location, etc. ness goals and achieve their true personal potential. 5. Proper welds

Olson’s “10 simple steps to collision repair success:”

1. Pre-health check scan (post and electronic reset /calibration) on every car


Procedures at time of estimate

Olson stressed the importance of knowing as much as possible about a vehicle prior to the repair and including the information on the original estimate. He recommended accessing repair information from the I-CAR Repairability Technical Support Portal (; information providers, such as ALLDATA and Mitchell; OEM 1 STOP (www and position statements from the car manufacturers.

3. Procedures given to technician or sublet vendor during the final repair plan meeting before beginning repairs

4. Procedures followed 38

In addition to ensuring shops are utilizing the proper welding equipment, Olson suggests doing a test weld and destroy every time. “This is not new—I-CAR has been saying this and teaching this since the 1980s and it is in accordance with American Welding Society (AWS) standards,” he said.

6. Proper corrosion protection

Olson advises shops to be aware of how much cavity wax they are buying. “If you aren’t buying a can a week per technician, you’re probably not properly corrosion protecting,” he said. “If you don’t corrosion protect it, whatever work you do is likely not going to last.”

7. Proper use of quality control (QC) sheet

Although the majority of body shops use a QC sheet of some kind, Olson


said they are often not used correctly. “It’s either being ‘pencil whipped,’ meaning you put it [the QC sheet] on a car and at the end of the job, the detailer checks every box, or it is in the paint department not filled out yet, but miraculously at the end of the job it is,” said Olson. “That’s not a quality control system; that’s a pencil whip form. You might as well not even have it because what you are teaching your techs to do is just fill in the boxes.”

8. Proper refinish

When doing a repair, Olson pointed out the importance of a proper refinish. “The color has to match the exterior as well as the underhood,” he explained. This means the vehicle needs to look the same as it did before, rather

than painting the underhood color the same as the exterior. He also said to pay close attention to the texture, back sides and gravel guard.

9. Proper use of intake (check-in) SOP

“The proper use of an intake checkin SOP is to fill out every blank every time,” said Olson. “If you have a box on the form that you aren’t going to use, take it off the form.” A free check-in form can be obtained by emailing info@elitebody with the subject line “Request Check-in Form.”

10. Proper vehicle protection

Are the vehicle’s windows rolled up or the openings covered? Are fluid lines capped and pigtails covered? These are just some of the items

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Olson said to be aware of in regard to proper vehicle protection. Risks to Avoid Every month, VECO Experts visits body shops throughout the United States to help them find their weak spots and elevate their operations. Part of this includes addressing the 10 steps to quality collision repair. Those that have been completed the way they were designed are marked green, the ones partially done are marked yellow and red is for tasks not being addressed at all. “When you look at these 10 checkpoints, you can see very quickly what the scope of your shop is,” he said. “The goal is to get all of these green, [indicating they’re] appropriate.” He highlighted the “Big Rocks” he notices in shops—those things he considers high risk to their companies. “These are the things that could possibly put you out of business,” he said. They include not using the quality control sheet as designed, 200 amp welders not being used when appropriate and neglecting to review and follow OEM procedures. Olson recommends reviewing all of the information relevant to the vehicle with the technicians and manager, having them sign it, then taping it to the car and taking a photo. “Accountability will go way up with that very simple step, and that way you know it happened,” he said. Another high risk for body shops is not using enough cavity wax. “Every technician—if doing heavy structural repairs—should be using at least a can a week of cavity wax,” said Olson. “What we find is that they might buy two or three cans a month or they might buy one can per quarter. That’s clearly not enough.” Olson said many shops do not understand the importance of doing a test weld and destroy. He suggested documenting this test every time in the file in case the information is needed later. In addition, he reminded participants on the call to ensure equipment is properly maintained and operable. “Equipment that is not being maintained properly definitely cuts into your profitability,” he said. 40

Also, he talked about buying a new set of welder tips to be used on a squeeze-type resistance spot welder for every single major collision repair that is done in the shop, and then including the cost on the invoice. Afterward, the tips can be given to the customer or saved so the copper can be traded in later and the shop can buy the technicians lunch with the money. Some of the “Medium Rocks” he notices in shops are risks that are customer service-oriented and may or may not affect the body shop. These include check-in sheets not being completed, electronic files not being fully documented and frame measurements not being completed. In some shops, Olson has noticed copper weld-through primer being used instead of zinc. “No manufacturer recommends copper,” he said. “It should not be in your shop under any circumstance because no manufacturer recommends it.” In addition, he said epoxy primer is often not present or it is used incorrectly, vehicle protection is not complete and painting is done under urethane set glass. The other medium-risk item he mentioned is having self-etch primer in the body department. “Many technicians use it under seam sealer or body sheets, and it doesn’t belong there,” he said. Is your company embezzling from you? During the webinar, Olson also talked to attendees about their business process and how to avoid the net profit being negatively affected. He then explained the “Canary in the Coalmine” principle. “A Canary in the Coalmine is an advanced warning of some danger,” Olson explained. “The metaphor originates from the times when miners used to carry caged canaries while at work; if there was any methane or carbon monoxide in the mine, the canary would die before the levels of gas reached those hazardous to humans.” In this case, Olson said the canaries are the problems in your shop that can affect profitability. 10 “Canaries” to look out for:


1) Come-back rate This is when a car comes back to your shop for any reason to have something repaired, even if it is parked outside and a customer notices something before driving away. “For shops that properly track this, the average we find is 20 percent come back,” said Olson. “We haven’t found one below 10 percent.” He said the minimum average cost of come-backs is $400–$500 per vehicle. “If you take the number of cars you repair every month and 20 percent on average are coming back, multiply this by $400–$500 to calculate what is being embezzled from your company,” said Olson. “Track it for 30 days and it will blow your mind. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but the exception is not the rule.” 2) Internal come-back rate between departments Olson said the internal come-back rate can also cost a shop more than $400–$500 per vehicle. He mentioned three different types. The first is when a technician re-

ceives a vehicle from another department, notices something that needs to be repaired and does the work himself/herself. “That technician is going to lose 10–15 minutes of productivity and you’re going to spend more on materials,” said Olson. “If that technician is a 200 percent effective tech, you just lost 20–30 minutes of production from your shop.” A second type is when a technician receives a vehicle and brings another employee over to repair something. “Now you have two technicians wasting time,” said Olson. The third is when a technician receives a vehicle and sends it back to a prior department. “If you track that, you’ll be shocked at how much inefficiency you have,” he said. 3)

Average start-stop rate

This is when a vehicle comes in and the work has to stop for some reason. That might be due to parts not being available or another car becoming a See 10 Simple Steps, Page 64 / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Media and Publicity for Shops with Ed Attanasio

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

Does Email Marketing Still Work for Body Shops? produce a better ROI than just about any other marketing strategy. “Email marketing is still the best way to put your message in front of your target audience. You don’t have to wait for them to Google the types of products or services that you offer and you don’t have to hope that they will notice your Facebook campaign. Email marketing delivers the content directly to them.” Email marketing does not need to be expensive, Middendorf explained. “It’s relatively low-cost,” he said. “We actually utilize the free version provided by MailChimp for a number of our clients. Their only costs are content development and building out email lists.” What are the key elements of a successful email marketing campaign? “There are two critical components to any effective email market-

How many emails do you get every day and how many of them should really be in your spam folder? Did you sign up for something and then the company sold your email address to everyone on the planet? Every once in a while, so-called marketing gurus announce the death of email marketing, but Luke Middendorf, the owner of WSI Connect in Northern California, is happy to tell the world that it’s still alive and actually thriving. “I think it was about a decade ago that I first read an article boldly proclaiming that email marketing was dead,” he said. “I laughed at the time as I could plainly see from our internal metrics that email marketing was still highly effective. Year after year, new technologies try to make the elimination of email marketing their claim to fame. Yet, year after year, email marketing continues to

key. I learn something that I can apply to the growth of my business; therefore the content is very valuable to me. After receiving six months of valuable information from them, I decided to utilize their services. By giving away valuable information, the consulting firm was able to establish themselves as industry experts and convert me into a client.” Trading useful and pertinent information for an email address also works well. “We often create an eBook or white paper, set up a landing page and give it away in exchange for an email address,” he said. “Mine your LinkedIn contacts. Most people make their email addresses available to their first degree connections. I still recommend a personalized email beforehand. We also often experiment with lightboxes. We use SumoMe on a couple of the websites that we sup-

ing campaign: providing high-quality content and building a great list,” Middendorf said. “Building a list is the second important component of any successful email marketing program. There are tons of different ways to build an email list. The first one is just good old-fashioned networking. If you exchange business cards with another professional, you have their email address. I recommend sending them a personalized email before you add them to any email marketing campaign.” Educating and engaging your readers is paramount because they’re savvy and can see an ad from a mile away. “One of the best newsletters that I subscribe to is produced by a business consulting firm,” Middendorf said. “Each week I receive 2–3 emails from them and I learn something useful in each email that I read. That’s the


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port. This provides an easy way for readers to add their email to the subscriber list.” Other tips for email campaigns:

• Specialization is key. Some body shops do separate email campaigns for their customers and insurance partners with specialized content that caters specifically to each. • Present your email using the same tactics as you use for blogs or social media. Open with interesting, engaging content and funnel readers through to your company’s landing pages. • Think mobile: Most of your customers are perusing email on their phones today, so design your emails to be mobile-friendly. • Present small bites: Separate content using headlines, subheads and bullet points. Give your readers information that can be quickly scanned and absorbed. People will not read lengthy articles, because they just don’t have the time. • Make it personal: Email is a personal form of media, so cater your campaigns to be as personalized as

possible. • Avoid spam: Set up a regular contact routine, but don’t flood your contacts with advertisements and products. You want your readers to look forward to hearing from you, so be consistent and courteous. • Unsubscribe link: Make it easy to unsubscribe. Small or hidden unsubscribe links are very annoying. So, the $64,000 question is: Does email marketing still work? “Absolutely,” Middendorf said. “Email marketing is considered an important part of any robust online marketing campaign. Your company should still consider other well-established marketing strategies, such as blogs and branded websites; however, email is an affordable way to reach more people with minimal expense. For the best results, turn your online marketing campaign over to a company experienced in the field that is able to assist you with keyword strategies and reaching target audiences.”

Continued from Page 35

The Risen Phoenix

Collision Repair Center, noting, “The name Illg is different; people will remember it. In business, you want people to remember your name.” As soon as he started getting the shop back on its feet, he was able to get some of his former DRP agreements reinstated—insurance companies that had bailed when they saw the trouble the shop was in. He made arrangements with the local paint jobber, Towers Motor Parts, for an open line of credit as well as a Ford dealer in a neighboring city, as he worked on so many Ford products. On Feb. 3, 2010, Dave Illg Collision Repair Center opened for business as a “reborn” shop—a phoenix risen from the ashes of a financial meltdown. Illg now not only owns the business, but the property it sits on and some adjacent property for parking. Illg explained, “People tell me how brave I was going into business for myself. I laugh and tell them

brave had nothing to do with it. I had no choice. My family was depending on me. The shop personnel were depending on me. I couldn’t let them down. I just had to do it.” Those who have done it know that going into business for yourself is a big undertaking—not for the faint of heart. When asked what went “right” with the process, Illg replied, “I had a lot of support, both financial and emotional from a number of family members—my brother, my motherin-law and my wife all believed in me. I also had a lot of help from the original owner of the Lincoln-Mercury dealership, Dick Stahl. Not only is he a mentor, but he believed in what I could do with the business.” When asked what he might have done differently, Illg said, “I should have gone into business for myself a long time ago. I turned BIG&R around, and basically, there was no reward for it. I turned the LincolnMercury shop around, and for my efforts, I took a financial beating. Now, this shop—my shop—feels right … for the right reasons.” / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


SCRS Meeting Includes Election, Awards, Info Related to DEG

He said he suspects the discrep- has,” Yoswick said. “But those of the “Who Pays for What?” surveys ancy is likely the result of you who know Mike know with an “Industry Service Award.” During several days of events in documentation for the ownhe won’t rest until that per- SCRS board member Amber Alley, Denver in mid-April, the Society of ers’ manual and the repair centage is closer to 100 per- who presented the award, said the surCollision Repair Specialists (SCRS) procedures being prepared cent, so we keep working veys have “helped reshape the converelected new board members, pre- by different groups within with him on other ways to sation that so many of us have on a sented several awards and held a any given automaker. He pack more information into daily basis.” meeting that offered presentations on said the vast scale of all the “It has provided the industry the survey reports to help technical issues and free tools avail- automakers’ operations hit Danny Gredinberg shops.” with a tool that has made negotiations able to the industry. home for him when he reHe said the latest such ad- more transparent, and for many of us Three current SCRS board mem- cently had an opportunity to tour the dition will be links to DEG inquiries has made this complicated industry bers were reelected to another term. Fiat Chrysler of America headquar- that relate to the procedures feel a little more manageRetaining their seats on the board ters, which encompasses 5 million being asked about in each able,” said Alley, who mansurvey. Gredinberg has been were Michael Bradshaw of K&M square feet. ages Barsotti’s Body & “So the left arm might not al- tracking down those inCollision in North Carolina, Bruce Fender, an OEM-certified shop in San Rafael, CA. Halcro of Capital Collision Centers ways be talking with the right arm,” quiries so they can be in“As a shop operator, I find cluded in the 2018 reports in Montana and Paul Sgro of Lee’s McDonnell said. Also during the meeting, Danny on the “Who Pays” survey this resource to be valuable Garage in New Jersey. A fourth open seat on the board Gredinberg of the Database En- findings. beyond words. It has given Amber Alley was filled by Dominic Brusco of hancement Gateway (DEG) (www me and my shop the confi“In addition to providPPG, who had previously spent five shared a presentation ing survey participants with more in- dence to say, ‘I know I’m not the only years on the SCRS board earlier this on what’s often referred to as “the formation and resources for using one.’” decade. He defeated incumbent Mark gap.” That’s the necessary process the results, we think this will keep Yoswick accepted the award, Bodreau of Caliber Collision, who between when repair work ends the DEG in front of a lot of shops noting that Anderson regretted that during his 5-year term on the board (with the technician finishing off a regularly throughout the year, and he couldn’t be there as well. had sold his Virginia collision repair panel at 150 grit), to getting that will help get DEG resources out to “But he is out on the road doing business to that consolidator. panel to the equivalent of the industry,” Yoswick said. what he does 300-plus days of the SCRS Chairman Kye Yeung new and undamaged, which During an awards luncheon fol- year, which is helping improve this See SCRS Meeting, Page 62 said Bodreau had been “an is when the estimating sys- lowing the meeting, SCRS recognized integral part of the board,” tems say paint labor times and hoped he would conbegin. To get to that level tinue to play a role in the asrequires the feather, prime sociation. and block process, finishing During discussions and the repaired panel to 320 Matthew presentations at the “open grit. Gredinberg shared inforMcDonnell meeting” portion of the asmation from the estimating sociation’s board meeting in Denver, system providers related to this not-inMatthew McDonnell of Big Sky Col- cluded process—such as whether it is lision in Montana (who was ap- identified as a paint labor operation pointed to the board earlier this year rather than body—noting there are following the departure of another some differences among the systems. board member) said he had found “One thing that all three [estisome discrepancies between the own- mating system providers] mention is ers’ manuals for some vehicles and that the material allowance for feather the automakers’ repair procedures for prime and block, if necessary, is not those vehicles. included,” Gredinberg said. For two different automakers, John Yoswick of CRASH Netfor example, “Within the repair pro- work provided an update at the meetcedures, it says that [seatbelts] need ing on the “Who Pays for What?” to be inspected for frays or any dam- surveys his company conducts with age” following a collision, McDon- Mike Anderson of Collision Advice. Parts Hours: nell said. “But within the owners’ He said the four quarterly surveys Monday-Friday 7 am - 6 pm / Saturday 8 am - 3 pm manuals, it says to replace every seat- ( belt” that was in use during the crash. advice), each of which asks about “So we just want to [know] shop billing (and insurer payment) whether or not we are to look at the practices for about 25 different notowners’ manual, which is crazy, or is included operations, also ask shops there something like a position state- if participating in the surveys has ment we could get that [states] one helped them improve their business. 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Mike Anderson’s 3rd Webinar Discusses Nissan/INFINITI Technology tion, and the page explains what is included and excluded. It includes On Monday, April 23, Mike Anderservice manuals, TSBs, TechTalk son of Collision Advice presented Magazine and ELearning training for the third webinar in his Learn to Re- both Nissan and INFINITI for model search, Research to Learn series. The years 1989 to current. It will not inwebinar focused on “Using Nissan/ clude diagnostic software, ECU reINFINITI Technology.” programming files or any other item He was joined by Will Latuff of not listed as being included. Latuff Brothers, Justin Miller of Online subscriptions cost $720 Nissan and Mark Zoba of Nissan/ for a year or one day for $19.99. INFINITI. The webinar was created Monthly and quarterly subscriptions by Collision Advice in collaboration are also available. Nissan’s certified with FCA, but Anderson also thanked collision centers receive a free subCIECA for its contributions to the in- scription to Nissan’s technical infordustry. mation portal. The website provides Explaining why he decided to a legend to explain the icons used host these webinars, Anderson re- throughout the website. ported that his annual Who After logging in, there will Pays for What surveys, conbe tabs on the right-hand ducted in conjunction with side. The “What’s New” tab the Crash Network, have shows additions and updates led him to determine that to the technical service bulshops are not researching letins. Clicking the “eye” OEM repair procedures 100 icon allows document viewpercent of the time as they ing. Mike Anderson should be. Anderson pointed out, file photo Because of this, Colli“This is a great feature since sion Advice will be hosting a webi- it lets you know if something has nar with a different OEM each changed since you last looked somemonth to raise awareness of the re- thing up.” sources each OEM offers to research The next tab is Technical Trainrepair procedures. He will guide at- ing, which has mostly mechanicaltendees on a step-by-step tour of related resources, but Anderson each specific OEM’s website, in- demonstrated how he found value in cluding logging in, areas of the web- them. He encouraged attendees to resite and how to improve search view this document on vehicles not results. He will also demonstrate previously repaired to better underhow to research some common pro- stand the vehicle. There are also cedures needed by collision repair- eLearning modules available for ers, explore the differences between download, or users can purchase spean OEM scan tool and aftermarket cialized training videotapes in DVD scan tool and investigate OEM parts or VHS format. information and support tools. Accessory Instructions require Nissan/INFINITI has two sites, that you select a vehicle (model, year both of which require paid access. and accessory type), and hit “Search” Information is available through to research all the accessories that or www may be on that vehicle. Proper access “Now you have a way to underto the websites requires Internet Ex- stand how this accessory feature is plorer, the most recent version of supposed to work,” Anderson said. Adobe Reader and the disablement Next, the menu offers subscribed of pop-up blockers. users the ability to view current or back “If your hyperlinks do not work, issues of Nissan/INFINITI’s TechTalk it’s probably because of one of these Magazine, which can be opened and reasons,” he said. printed as a PDF. On the site, select your country “There’s a ton of information in and then the main screen will load. there, and I would encourage you to Going to “Purchase Subscription for print as a PDF and share with your Viewing Publications” provides the team,” he said. opportunity to purchase a subscripAnderson was excited as he by Chasidy Rae Sisk



tions,” and choose a publication type from the drop-down. Anderson focused on the service manual during his webinar, but noted, “I found so much cool stuff for Nissan/INFINITI [that] I couldn’t fit it into one webinar. So Team Nissan/INFINITI has agreed to do a part two, and when we do that, we’ll take you through the other options available.” Users can search by publication title or for publications related to certain models or years. Explaining the search feature, Anderson said contents of all the boxes are used together to narrow the search, but an empty box will not affect the search. The search is not case-sensitive, but it does match all typed characters, so it’s better to only type part of a word if you’re not confident about it. After selecting your model and year, you’ll be able to click on the service manual for the vehicle. Nissan uses an HTML 5 interface for any vehicle from 2018 forward; older models’ service manuals are view-

started covering the Purchase Tools/ Equipment tab. Nissan/INFINITI provides special discounted pricing on a variety of equipment and tools for certified collision centers, and certified collision centers can receive up to 15 percent bonus cash back on qualifying orders. Additionally, they now offer special financing opportunities on equipment orders for qualifying collision shops. The Recall Information tab offers the opportunity for research into any open recall on a Nissan. Anderson explained that customers are looking for trust, empathy and direction when they are choosing a body shop. “What creates more trust than inputting the consumer’s VIN and being able to tell them the specific recalls on their vehicle? It’s very VIN-specific,” he said. At the bottom of the homepage, Nissan provides links to NASTF, Nissan USA, Nissan 4 Parts and INFINITI TechInfo. To begin researching repair procedures, click “View Nissan Publica-

See Mike Anderson, Page 50

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Historical Snapshot

—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit Contact him by email at

with John Yoswick

Association Leader 5 Years Ago Called for DRPs to Include ‘Grandfather Clause’ 20 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (June 1998) Caliber Collision Centers has announced the appointment of Bill Lawrence as its chief operating officer and senior vice president. Lawrence, a 28-year veteran of Allstate Insurance, was an architect and corporate strategist responsible for Allstate’s “Pro Shop” direct repair network. He also previously served as president of Allstate’s “Tech-Cor” subsidiary, which includes a collision repair shop research center. Lawrence will have responsibility for all of Caliber’s collision repair operations as well as the associated corporate support functions. “Bill is a highly talented, wellknown and highly regarded insurance industry executive who’s been thinking ‘outside the box’ about collision repair for more than a decade,” Caliber’s Chief Executive Officer

Matthew Ohrnstein said. “We are pleased to welcome him as our head of operations, and we expect he will continually lead change in the industry.” Founded in 1991, Caliber is a consolidator with operator collision repair facilities in California and Texas. In addition to its corporateowned centers, it also manages a preferred provider network of 120 independently owned collision repair centers. – As reported in The Golden Eagle. The first to bring Wall Street investment into collision repair, Ohrnstein left Caliber after seven years and launched a private consulting firm involved in many consolidation transactions; he died in 2013. Lawrence left Caliber in 2004. He is now an executive with the 7-shop 1st Certified Collision Centers chain in Southern California, which is also

the parent company of Certified Collision Group, a national network of more than 200 OEM-certified shops.

15 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (June 2003) Maaco announced that is it beginning a new campaign to “expand the brand” and give greater emphasis to collision repairs. Maaco is changing its name to “Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting” from “Maaco Auto Painting & Bodyworks.” Maaco has traditionally been a repaint operation offering little in the way of crash damage repairs. The new slogan is “America’s Body Shop.” Maaco’s 530 franchisees claim to paint more vehicles than anyone else in America—about 800,000 a year, and 20 percent of that is fleet work. It recently offered its franchisees additional collision repair training.

Maaco has been “so busy owning the repaint business that it forgot to remind the public that it also performs collision and spot repairs, and does them well, even on newer vehicles,” the company said. While maintaining its core paint business, Maaco will target “newer vehicle spot paint and repairs,” which it identifies as lease returns and outof-pocket paid collision work. – As reported in Autobody News. Maaco’s website says it still has more than 500 locations (though prior to that it had dipped to as low as 470 in 2015). It was acquired in 2008 by Driven Brands, operated by the same private equity firm that acquired CARSTAR in 2015. 10 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (June 2008) Mike Poulard, State Farm estimatics section manager, wrote in a letter last









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week that after several months of review, the insurer will no longer include a full rear-body sectioning procedure (or “clip”) on State Farmprepared estimates. “As a result of this review, we have determined that this repair method is less feasible on newer model vehicles which incorporate special or alternative metals,” Poulard wrote to Pam Pierson of Princeton Auto Body in Princeton, IL.

In 2013, Dan Risley of the Automotive Service Association said insurers that change requirements for a direct repair program should give participating shops a “grandfather clause” to decide whether to adopt the change or drop the program

He said although full rear-body sectioning may be practical in some situations, State Farm will not include it on its estimates and will leave that

decision to the customer and shop. “If your repair facility, while working on a vehicle involved in a State Farm claim, receives a State Farm written estimate for a full body section, please contact the assigned claim person,” Poulard wrote. Pierson has been doggedly contacting State Farm and shop association leaders on this issue for several months after seeing the procedure called for on State Farm estimates. – As reported in CRASH Network (, June 16, 2013. 5 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (June 2013) Now that State Farm has said it will begin rolling out PartsTrader to more markets this summer, the trade associations are focusing their criticism less on PartsTrader itself and more on the broader issue of insurers requiring the use of any particular product or service. “Insurance company mandates don’t work,” said Dan Risley, executive director of the Automotive Service Association (ASA). “We went through a similar thing many years

ago with the estimating systems, and we had shops paying for three different estimating platforms that all did the same thing. And who’s to say that a product won’t come out tomorrow that’s three times better than one being mandated? So now I have to use an inferior product because of a mandate from an insurer?” Risley said although direct repair agreements obligate a shop that wants to stay on the program to accept changes made to the insurer requirements, he thinks insurers should give shops more time to make a decision and prepare for either implementing the change or dropping the program. “I would like insurance carriers to consider what I’ll call a grandfather clause, where shops have six months to adopt the change in the program,” Risley said. “At least then you have six months to start building a business model moving away from that program so that dropping it doesn’t have such an immediate negative impact on your business.” – As reported in CRASH Network (, June 10, 2013.

Finishmaster Donates $50,000 to CREF

FinishMaster has donated $50,000 to the Collision Repair Education Foundation in celebration of the company’s 50th Anniversary. The contribution from FinishMaster provides crucial support for the Education Foundation and its ability to support high school and college collision programs, instructors and students nationwide and help connect graduates with employers “FinishMaster is grateful for the opportunity to support the Collision Repair Education Foundation and the work it does to connect students with training and career opportunities,” said Steve Arndt, President and Chief Operating Officer of FinishMaster. Industry members interested in joining the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s roster of supporters to assist high school and post-secondary collision school programs should contact Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at 847-463-5245 or email Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation .org









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Continued from Page 46

Mike Anderson

able as PDFs. On the left-hand side, you’ll see a series of dropdowns. You can also input a symptom code to research a DTC much quicker. Looking at the Armada service manual, Anderson navigated to BRM Body Repair in the table of contents and then Fundamentals to access general repair information. Looking at electric resistance spot welding, he revealed where Nissan instructs repairers to perform a destructive test weld before welding on the vehicle. The site also explains how to perform the test weld and includes information about using the weld through primer. He reminded participants, “I’m going through this rather quickly, but the goal is to create awareness so you will be able to find this information in the future.” Responding to a participant’s question, Anderson clarified that OEM repair procedures cannot be researched by VIN—only by year, make and model. Nissan’s representatives also clarified that shops certified through the Assured Performance Network will still need to reach out directly to Nissan for access to the site and discount programs. After Fundamentals, the site shows Repair Information Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 refers to the information available for USA and Canada, whereas Type 2 refers to information for Mexico. Under the Vehicle Information tab, the section starts by showing the exterior paint colors, trim codes and hard clear. It also identifies which vehicles are two stage, three stage, or pearl. This tab also provides the tensile strength of the steel and lists the components. Another useful item in this section is Preparation, which advises which foams and adhesives should be used. The same tab shows Body Component Parts, which complements what is found in the substrate list. Moving to Corrosion Protection provides useful information and warnings as well.

Talking about his estimating classes and viewing several examples in the manual, Anderson stated, “If you want to get paid, your opinion doesn’t mean jack. The only thing that matters is what you can prove, substantiate or justify. We encourage shops to stick to the facts. Is what you’re asking for required? Is it included? Is there a predetermined time? If not, what is it worth? This is going to help us prove the things that we need to do and justify adding them as line items.” Anderson continued to look at service data and specifications that provide vehicle dimensions. He explained the quick reference index works like a home page before going to Common Repair Research Operations. In this section of the webinar, he demonstrated how clearly Nissan indicates non-reusable parts in their removal (symbolized by a black circle with a white x in illustrations) and installation process manuals. “This is why we must research every component we remove from a vehicle to make sure we know if it’s a non-reusable part,” he said. An additional example showed that seat belts must be replaced after a collision. He covered required wait times when the battery is disconnected, required recalibrations after the battery is disconnected and wiring diagrams that show what the connector is. He also took a detailed look at repair requirements related to blind spot monitors and telematics systems. He then explored NissanConnect, which makes the car very interactive for drivers, and what this means for repairers. Anderson repeatedly stressed the importance of researching OEM repair procedures. The webinar continued with Anderson exploring sectioning procedures and demonstrating how to search the publications available on the website. He discussed painting requirements and removing the 12V battery before diving into requirements on the 2016 Nissan GT-R requirements. Nissan’s training on this vehicle, which is constructed with aluminum, is delivered through I-

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CAR. As the webinar drew to a close, Anderson covered the steps to take when unable to find the information being sought. First, exhaust your search of the Service Manual, then submit a question to Ask I-CAR and provide a link. If I-CAR doesn’t know, certified collision centers can email nnacollisionrepairnetwork@ Shops that are not certified should complete the “Help Make This Service Manual Better” form on the third page of the Service Manual. Nissan also offers its Identifix Hotline, a complimentary service to help shops identify procedures or help diagnose an issue. The hotline is open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST at 1-855-828-4018 and is available to the entire industry. Anderson also shared some other helpful websites:, www.collision.nissanusa .com/genuine-parts-advantage and http: // -parts-advantage/. He discussed the benefits of shops acquiring Nissan /INFINITI certification. After looking at OEM position statements, Anderson stressed, “I am

concerned that as an industry, we are becoming too reliant on OEM position statements to tell us how to repair a vehicle safely! OEM position statements CANNOT and SHOULD NOT replace the emphasis and importance of researching OEM repair procedures.” He emphasized that researching OEM repair procedures is “the only way to guarantee a safe and proper repair!” Anderson will be doing a deeper dive into some of the other publication types from Nissan/INFINITI in Part 2 of the Nissan webinar in the near future. Anderson fielded questions throughout the webinar, but since all of the attendees’ questions could not be answered during the webinar, Collision Advice will be sending out a document containing responses to all attendees’ questions. The next webinar in the series will be held on Thursday, May 24 at 2 p.m. EST and will feature Ford. The Nissan webinar is available free of charge at .com/watch?v=FEqIjoLLGk4&list= PL1aFHg6buULn0MyuhG5EkbYf AIyvRqkTG

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Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

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

Repair Versus Replace—What A Body Shop Should Consider With nearly 23 million vehicles involved in accidents annually—a statistic that is trending upward, according to Vincent Romans, The Romans Group—body shops across the country are being faced with deciding if they should repair or replace non-structural components during the repair process. “Sometimes we jump to replace and don’t consider certain things when a repair might be a better bet,” said George Avery, Avery Consulting LLC, during a recent Guild 21 podcast sponsored by VeriFacts. The podcast focused on the decisionmaking process in regard to interior parts and plastic repair. Avery said there are five decision points body shops can consider. First, is if the damage is an appearance issue that doesn’t affect the part, such as a scrape on a transmission case. Next, an analysis is typically done to determine if a repair should be performed. If the answer is “no,” the body shop can then decide to use a recycled part, aftermarket or new OEM. “It all depends on critical thinking,” said Avery. “Through repetition or habit, sometimes our critical thinking doesn’t work so well.” As a result, he encouraged podcast attendees to use critical thinking and consider all options and expenses when making a decision. “The repair procedures are our guideline,” said Avery. “If new is the best bet, there is nothing else you can do. If you think of the mantra ‘fix it right, fix it smart,’ repair certainly has a place.” During the podcast, Avery talked about making the decision of whether it makes sense to repair versus replace and some of the challenges with estimating, tools, technicians, subletting and overall business decisions. Many estimators don’t consider repairing the part for a variety of reasons, said Avery. They may be new to the job and unfamiliar with certain repair techniques; they may have had a bad past experience; it could be because of the tools and


technicians; or they may not be compensated in a way that a repair is conducive or desirable based on performance goals. During the Guild 21 podcast, Scott McKernan, president of #1 Vinyl & Leather Repair, and Kurt Lammon, president of Polyvance, were invited to speak about some of the important considerations when making repair versus replace decisions.

Interior Parts McKernan, a 35-plus year collision claim industry veteran, said that many shops—even those that have operated for many years—are uninformed and often have no idea that certain parts can be repaired. “A large portion of trim panels that are currently being replaced could have easily been repaired if they would have just gotten a ‘trim quote’ first, thus simplifying and expediting the return of the car to the customer,” said McKernan. The company currently offers the trim quote system primarily in California and plans to expand to other states soon. McKernan said there are a variety of benefits for a shop by choosing to repair, including decreasing claims severity, length of rental and overall customer satisfaction, but the biggest benefit, he said, is cycle time. “Body shops are paid by their gross sales on vehicles delivered,” said McKernan. “What they fail to see is that by reducing cycle time by not waiting on trim panels, they actually get more cars out, thus increasing their sales.” As a result, he said cycle time is greatly reduced and outweighs any parts mark-up they would have in most cases. When a body shop is deciding whether to repair or replace, McKernan’s company uses a method in which a shop can text a photo and within five minutes, will receive a trim quote that gives the estimator an informed decision of whether something is repairable.


“About half of the estimators at body shops, as well as insurance companies, don’t even know these things can be repaired,” he said. “There are a lot of new estimators in the industry

Before image of a 2017 Land Rover Discovery SE that had surface damage to the right front door trim panel

who haven’t been trained to try it. They see minor interior damage and write it for replacement. They don’t even know they don’t have to wait three weeks for a door trim.”

Some of the interior repairs that McKernan said are often repairable include dashboards, leather seats, door trim panels, center consoles, minor glass damage and bumpers. He said in

After repair image of a 2017 Land Rover Discovery SE that had surface damage to the right front door trim panel

most cases, minor glass damage is repairable. He also said several major insurers have implemented a reject slip See Repair v Replace, Page 62

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Industry Insight with John Yoswick

—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit Contact him by email at

Chipotle Executive Offers Concepts That Resonate With Collision Repairers

Why did the chief financial officer of charging more than comparable “fast so from the start he wanted to use the with customers, something that he actype of quality ingredients he planned knowledged had suffered at Chipotle the 2,400-location Chipotle Mexican casual” restaurants. “We find efficiencies throughout to use at that higher-end restaurant. following an E. coli outbreak in 2015. Grill chain speak at this spring’s the rest of our P&L so we can invest People told him at the time that few The company’s stock, trading at “Repairer Roundtable”? nearly $750 at the time, tumbled and Aaron Schulenburg of the Sociwas trading at half that when Hartung ety of Collision Repair Specialists “Trust is an incredibly valuable, intangible spoke at the event this spring. (In the (SCRS), which organizes the event, capital investment,” — Jack Hartung weeks following, it rose by about said he invited Chipotle CFO Jack $100 to above $400.) Hartung to speak to help shops “think “Trust is an incredibly valuable, outside the box” about how compa- more in the food,” Hartung said. “We customers really thought or cared nies differentiate themselves in terms looked at the restaurant: Can we make about where or how their food was intangible capital investment,” Hartung told shops at the SCRS event. it smaller? We don’t spend sourced. of their commitment to— “He didn’t care. He had a vi- “When they trust you, they trust you much on advertising. Would and investment in—quality. your customers rather have sion,” Hartung said. “He wanted to all the way. When you break their “Communicating that you spend more money on elevate the food. He didn’t care if his trust, it takes time to get it back. message [to consumers] can advertising, or on the mate- customers noticed. He knew. And he We’re on that page right now. We’d be challenging,” Schulenbuilt the trust, the expectarials you use to repair their knew he was going to serve burg said. “Creating sustaintions, so high. We said you them food that he was cars?” able business models that should expect more from Hartung said the company proud of. You have to start support that also can be reAaron Schulenburg food, in terms of where it founder originally opened a with what you stand for. ally challenging.” comes from and how it’s Hartung said that’s something Chipotle in 1993, hoping to generate Then make sure the busicooked, keeping the impact his company has accomplished, pay- enough cash-flow to eventually open ness model supports that.” on the animals and the enHartung discussed the ing more for humanely raised, hor- a fine dining restaurant (which he vironment as low as possimone-free meat, for example, but not never did, given Chipotle’s growth), importance of building trust Jack Hartung



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ble. We care about all those things. for a McDonald’s Big Mac has 30 We taught our customers to expect items in it. that.” Part of this has been enabled by He said shops can do the same the company’s decision to open other thing, pointing to the trust he’s de- restaurant chains rather than adding veloped in the shop that restores more items to the Chipotle menu. his small collection of muscle cars. That resonated with Robert Grieve They do that through time and trans- of Nylund’s Collision Center in Denparency, he said, taking him ver, who participated in the back in the shop to show panel discussion with Harhim things, taking time to tung. Nylund’s shop speeducate him. cializes in luxury vehicles, “I’m learning while getincluding Lexus, Mercedes, ting to know them, even getAudi and BMW. ting to know their family,” “I think we may start Hartung said of the shop. paring off brands, and speRobert Grieve “There’s a bonding that hapcialize more in stand-alone pens.” facilities for [each of] those brands,” He also said part of what has Nylund said. “We could get those made Chipotle successful is keeping people really understanding those parthe menu simple, not trying to be ticular vehicles, so they’re the very, “all things to all people,” so the food very best.” can always be fresh and the process Hartung also offered shops a is efficient and easy to master for number of tips regarding employees. employees. (Hartung said Chipotle’s He said investing in people through fastest location can serve 300 peo- training is a great way to motivate ple an hour, with a customer mov- them and demonstrate that the coming through the burrito line every 12 pany appreciates them. seconds.) Chipotle’s entire menu in“There’s nothing worse than cludes only 52 ingredients. By com- working a job where you’re insecure parison, he said, just the sauce alone [because] you’re not sure if you’re

doing it right, because no one really trained you,” Hartung said. Trained employees who understand the company’s vision “will work really hard for you,” because “people want to work for something bigger than themselves,” Hartung said. “If you just tell people to work hard and kick them in the ass now and again, keep kicking them and they’ll keep working hard,” he said. “But when you leave, their energy level will drop dramatically.” He said it’s also important to not keep mediocre employees around because doing so can cause good employees to leave. “They will feel underappreciated. ‘Why am I working so hard to cover for the person next to me who is just mailing it in?’” Hartung said. Those employees will assume management is dumb if they don’t

know who the weaker workers are. If you really don’t know, Hartung said, take some employees aside and ask. “You’ll be shocked at how much they’ll tell you,” he said. “Be ready with the flood gates. You’ll get an earful.” He said young motivated workers want to be someplace where they see a chance for growth and a career path. He said his son worked at a dealership after graduating from an automotive tech school, but found the company didn’t respond to his desire to do more. “Eventually he quit and ended up at Tesla, because there wasn’t a system [at the dealership] to satisfy this young guy’s appetite,” Hartung said. “He’s a kid with passion. Imagine what can happen when you can find people like that, who have a passion, and then you have a leader who can channel that passion.”

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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

‘Why WIN? Why Conference?’ Webinar Provides Useful Conference Tips On Wednesday, April 25, Michelle Sullivan, Membership Committee Chair for the Women’s Industry Network (WIN®), hosted an informative webinar highlighting what to expect during WIN’s 2018 Educational Conference in Indianapolis, IN, on May 7–9. Sullivan began by identifying WIN’s mission to engage women in collision repair and explained that WIN is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging, developing and cultivating opportunities to

sion repair industry across the U.S. and Canada.” WIN is supported by sponsors and powered by its all-volunteer membership. The Board of Directors makes up the association’s Executive Committee, and WIN currently has 12 active committees with specific descriptions, time commitments and KPIs. “WIN is one of the best ways to expand your network and demonstrate an ability to step up to a leadership position,” Sullivan stated. WIN began strategic planning in 2008 and narrowed its focus to two

attract women to collision repair. WIN recognizes excellence, promotes leadership and fosters a network specifically for and among women. All segments of the industry are represented. WIN’s purpose is to offer educational and leadership development opportunities, such as WIN board and committee opportunities and scholarship programs, to build skills that are important for success. The group provides networking opportunities for women in the collision repair industry through its annual educational conference, industry events, panels, webinars and regional events. Additionally, WIN recognizes the contributions and achievements of female industry leaders through the Most Influential Women (MIW) award. “For decades, a small group of female pioneers made significant contributions to a highly male-dominated industry,” Sullivan said. “Recognizing the critical need for an organization to support this group and attract more women to join them, WIN was born in 2006. Over a decade later, we achieved a milestone of over 500 WIN members, and we continue to grow! Members include females and males from all segments of the colli-

goals in 2015: facilitate the growth of the WIN network and build organizational capacity to better serve WIN’s growing network. Both goals include key initiatives with KPIs and dashboards for each committee, and WIN holds a monthly board review to track progress. Turning to the benefits of WIN membership, Sullivan shared information about WIN scholarships, noting that six scholarship winners will be recognized at this year’s conference. She also talked about the MIW program and mentioned that four MIW honorees will receive awards this year. In 2017, WIN also began hosting regional network events in Atlanta, Chicago and Southern California due to member requests. More than 150 women participated in last year’s events as well as the two additional events held earlier this year. Additionally, WIN has increased its presence by participating in major industry events, such as NACE, SEMA, CIC and more. Sullivan believes that the industry needs WIN because “women influence the majority of the buying decisions in households so we ask, ‘What does the face of your business look like?’ We help position your or-

by Chasidy Rae Sisk

“WIN is one of the best ways to expand your network and demonstrate an ability to step up to a leadership position,” — Michelle Sullivan



ganizations for growth by encouraging gender diversity and ensuring industry sustainability. Scholarships help attract women into the industry, and membership in WIN helps retain them.” Encouraging webinar participants to get involved with WIN, Sullivan emphasized the value of engaging in WIN committees, encouraging women in their businesses to join WIN and becoming corporate sponsors. She also suggested attending regional network events and WIN’s Annual Conference. Turning her attention to the 2018 Conference on May 7–9 at the Hyatt Regency in Indianapolis, Sullivan shared details about the conference agenda. She urged attendees to attend a member orientation on Monday afternoon and explained that the following seminar with Dr. Goldstein was scheduled because members have ex-

OEM Parts You Need and Trust.

pressed the desire to learn more about themselves and others. After the Welcome Reception, attendees will have a free evening during which they are encouraged to find new friends or connect with old friends. Tuesday will be a full day. It will begin with the WIN Scholarship Walk, which benefits the association’s scholarship programs. At 9 a.m., Dr. Louis Frankel of Corporate Coaching International will deliver the keynote presentation, “Leadership is a Women’s Art.” Additional seminars on Tuesday and Wednesday will focus on a variety of beneficial industry topics. After sharing the rest of the agenda details, Sullivan provided some tips for making the most of the conference experience. “Attend an orientation session at the start of the conference,” Sullivan See Conference Tips, Page 61

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New Product Showcase

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

with Ed Attanasio

Voyomotive Takes Telematics to Whole New Level Voyomotive, a 7-year-old company in San Francisco, has developed VOYO, a highly sophisticated telematics system that increases driving safety, convenience and fuel efficiency. VOYO connects your car to your phone to stream data to the Voyomotive Cloud and to the OBD-II port of any car that has been sold in the U.S. since 1996. In addition to the VOYO device, Voyomotive will release wireless relays later this year that can be used for additional security. Company CEO Peter Yorke has identified a wide range of advantages for VOYO, many of which will improve the referral and scheduling process for body shops. “The VOYO system can tell us about defective systems or worn parts so that they can be repaired before an accident occurs,” Yorke said. “We can determine when a vehicle’s systems are out of specified values,

such as low tire pressure. It can also determine if vehicle safety systems are not operating correctly, including ABS, traction control and stability control, all of which are vital to main-

taining vehicle control and avoiding collisions. In addition, with data analytics it will be possible to determine when key vehicle components, including brakes and tires, need to be inspected and/or replaced. VOYO

can also use odometer values and other vehicle data such as remaining oil life to determine when service is due, which provides an opportunity for a wider vehicle inspection.” Yorke knows that his company is smack in the middle of a rapidly evolving industry and is happy to be announcing his company’s newest feature: VOYO with Scan Pro. It runs an advanced diagnostic on the vehicle once every minute and enables users to know what diagnostic codes were set just before and immediately after a collision. “The codes set by the collision will provide some indication as to the extent of vehicle damage, what type of roadside/towing service is required, and possibly which shop might be best suited for a specific

type of repair and parts needed,” Yorke said. “It will also give an insurance company a record to determine what type of repairs should be covered or not for collision-related reimbursement. The diagnostic data combined with odometer values and accelerometer data may also allow a determination for First Notice of Loss (FNOL) at the time of the collision. FNOL is the process by which an insurance company determines whether a car is a total write-off or should be repaired.” By monitoring every system within a vehicle, VOYO is covering all its bases and providing consumers, insurance companies, and mechanical and collision repair companies with more pertinent information than ever before. “We can look at things like tire pressure and changes in tire pressure, coolant temperature and battery health—things that are relevant to



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the operating condition of the vehicle and how they can tie into a repair and things such as first notice of loss,” Yorke said. “We can also then look at things such as driver behavior—has the vehicle been swerving, were the car’s doors open and were the passengers wearing their seat belts, in addition to the activation of safety systems. We’re also in discussions with mapping and navigation

trollers is made for the consumer market and utilizes Bluetooth low energy to connect to the Cloud via the driver’s cell phone,” Yorke said. “In addition, we have a line called Passport that is designed for commercial fleets [and] has a cellular modem embedded and does not require a cell phone.” Voyomotive also provides a plethora of useful data for its various applications.

companies that need more precise weather data, such as barometer, temperature and the usage of windshield wipers, and VOYO can make a car a rolling weather station. So, what you get is the ability to use multi-factorial data in order to reconstruct the operating condition of the vehicle, the conditions it was driving in and what the driver is doing at the time of a collision.” VOYO is penetrating several markets with its product offerings. “Our VOYO line of OBD con-

Yorke said, “Our partners can transfer data using our Web API on the backend, or an App API if they want to create their own application. That way, our data can appear in a body shop’s app, for example, so that they can control their customers’ user experience rather than going through our app.” With so many new vehicles coming out every year, Voyomotive has to be able to stay current and adapt quickly to car manufacturers’ rapid changes in design and functionality.

“The VOYO system can tell us about defective systems or worn parts so that they can be repaired before an accident occurs,” — Peter Yorke




MON-FRI 7-6 / SAT 8-5

e. It ju st ma ke s se ns

“The core of our strategy is an ability to acquire various advanced data off of vehicles that rivals that of an OEM telematics system,” Yorke said. “We have a program where we reverse-engineer data off of vehicles in our R&D center near Ann Arbor to learn what data is available and how we can acquire it from that vehicle’s architecture. We then download our software to adapt the hardware to the architecture of that specific model. “Vehicle data is increasingly becoming central to the driving experience, and we are only now seeing how data can be used to create new services for drivers and owners that will impact the service business. With the advent of onboard telematics systems, OEMs intend to make themselves the central players to decide who gets access to the data, how it can be used and what it will cost. Service providers and collision shops need to keep abreast of both emerging technologies and changing policies in this rapidly developing field. The availability of VOYO will provide alternatives to an industry looking to connect to their customers.”

Continued from Page 58

Conference Tips

said. “It’s a great way to meet people you don’t know. Sit with people you don’t know, and set a goal to meet 10 new people a day to expand your network. Stay engaged and resist the urge to use breaks to be consumed in email or texts; use that time to network instead. Introduce yourself to the board members, scholarship winners and MIW honorees. Sign up for the scholarship walk and wear what makes you comfortable. Most come in business casual apparel, but the Gala is a festive event, and most people dress up. The most important thing is to have fun.” Reporting that 202 attendees were signed up as of that morning, Sullivan concluded, “Bring your business cards, be comfortable, be ready to engage with other members and have fun!” For more information on WIN and the 2018 Educational Conference agenda, visit: thewomensindustry



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Continued from Page 52

Repair v Replace

system where an estimator looks at a vehicle, takes a photo and can quickly determine if the vehicle is repairable before writing the estimate. “If you’re a repairer, bumpers are often seen as rejects,” he said. “What reject slips accomplish is actually training an untrained estimator to see what is repairable or not.” Plastic Repair When deciding if a repair is the best route to go, Lammon stressed the importance of first checking OEM repair procedures, especially with newer vehicles where the damage is in the vicinity of a sensor. “Most of the plastic parts on a vehicle are non-structural,” said Lammon. “You can repair these things without any risk of it affecting the vehicle’s crash energy management.” He used the example of bumper fascia and headlight tabs. “It’s really a lowrisk sort of repair, unlike sectioning a frame rail.” Continued from Page 44

SCRS Meeting

industry,” Yoswick said. “Mike and his team at Collision Advice, and Chuck Cogan and I at CRASH Network, while we’re grateful to receive this, feel it’s actually the 3,237 shops that have taken at least one of the surveys over the three years … that are the ones who make possible what we have done with the surveys.” SCRS Board Member Brett Bailey, who chaired the association’s awards committee, said the award is not presented every year but recognizes organizations that “provide the industry and its members with a critical resource.” Past recipients include I-CAR, the National Auto Body Council and the Collision Repair Education Foundation.

Lammon also advised shops to look at the replacement cost of the parts. “As the price of the replacement part goes down, it makes it less appealing to do the repair,” he said. “You want to go the route that is going to make more money, but also need to find a win-win situation between the shop and the bill-payer.” In the example of a replacement part that costs $400, if the shop makes 25 percent gross profit on parts, they receive $100 of gross profit and the bill-payer is out $400. If this part is repaired and the shop is paid for six hours of work at $50 per hour with a 50 percent gross margin on labor, the shop makes $150 of gross profit and the bill-payer is only out $300. “The shop is making more profit by repairing it and it’s saving the billpayer money,” said Lammon. “That’s what you define as a win-win scenario.” The bottom line, according to Lammon, is that anything that increases the price of the replacement part will make it more appealing to do the repair. This includes the availHe said the “Who Pays” surveys are well-deserving of the award because “the tool that they have put in place is delivering information to shops that aren’t able to be in this room, information that is invaluable to shops … across the country.” PPG Director of Business Development Bill Shaw was also honored at the luncheon, receiving the SCRS “Humanitarian Award” for his work as president of the Collision Industry Foundation (http://collision The nonprofit organization assists members of the industry impacted by natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. Most recently, the Foundation helped 78 families with ties to the industry in Texas and Florida after hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

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ability of the part. “Maybe it’s a $200 part but it’s on back order for five days. That’s a great opportunity to do a repair,” he said. Lammon said plastic repair is also a great opportunity for new technicians to step into a more skilled type of work without the risk of them working on a structural repair. “The technician shortage is huge for everybody,” he said. “Why not give new techs coming out of trade schools a nitrogen plastic welder? They are more likely to embrace the new technology and not have preconceived notions about plastic repair like some of the techs who got burned by comebacks 20 years ago.” Another consideration is the number of total losses, which have been shown to be on the rise. Lammon said that repairing more vehicles would not only benefit the body shop, but would also reduce premiums in the long run. “Total losses have been creeping up over the years and this is a tool [nitrogen plastic welder] that you can use to get that down,” he said. Lammon said a big incentive

for plastic repairs is the increasing cost of replacement headlights. “Now that the IIHS is grading headlights for their Top Safety Pick, OEMs are adding more complications and expenses to their lights, like LEDs, moveable elements and so forth,” he said. “As long as the light is functioning and the lens and optics are not damaged, mounting tabs can be repaired with a nitrogen plastic welder,” he continued, saying that repairing damaged headlights offers the opportunity to keep the job in the shop rather than totaling it out. For more information, contact Scott McKernan, #1 Vinyl & Leather Repair, at 714-476-0682 or Kurt Lammon, Polyvance, at 800-633-3047. Email photos to scott@numberone


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Oldest Body Shops in America: Sirl’s Automotive by Gary Ledoux

From November 2017 to February 2018, Autobody News ran an ad looking for the oldest continuously operated body shops in America.

Sirl’s Automotive is documented as being the third-oldest towing company in the United States

The oldest was George V. Arth and Son in Oakland, CA, founded in 1877 and still going strong. However, we received information from a number of other long-running businesses, several of which will be featured in this column over the next few months. Sirl’s Automotive It was 1914. Ford Motor Company initiated the eight-hour work day. A worker on Ford’s assembly line made Continued from Page 40

10 Simple Steps

priority. Olson advises shops to look at how many times technicians stop during a repair. 4)

Supplement number record

“If there are one or two supplements, it’s not a real big deal,” said Olson. “Every time you find more damage or change the repair, that is a change that hurts productivity.” However, he often says shops have eight to 12 supplements. “That’s killing productivity,” he said. “All you have to do is track it. If you can’t measure it, you can’t fix it.” 5) Are SOPs used the way they are designed? 6) If you are using SOPs the way they are designed, do they work? 7) Gross profit/net/expense percentage

Olson said it’s very important to a


other “side lines” of work. In one season in 1939, he built 80 to 100 trailer hitches. His fame at this type of manufacturing spread over northern Ohio. Eventually, Ralph’s son, Dale, also joined in the family business and has been the owner since the mid-1960s. While running the business, Sirl’s Automotive is currently a full mechanical and Dale was also a vocational collision repair shop, along with 24-hour towing service. Sirl’s Automotive has ranked on the Towman automotive school teacher for 500 “Most Experienced Towmen in America.” Valley Forge High School, in Parma, OH. Some of his stuLike other blacksmiths of dents are still working for Dale in the his time, he could see that body shop, mechanical and towing dechange was coming. He partment. Dale is the third-generation owner. knew automobiles would be the next wave of personal Dale’s sons, Dale Jr. and Gary, are curtransportation, and he could rently working at the business, looking see that the blacksmith trade at taking over as the fourth-generation was disappearing. He knew to own Sirl’s. Sirl’s Automotive is documented he had to turn to repairing automobiles. Michael’s son, as being the third-oldest towing comRalph, joined him in the pany in the United States. Sirl’s Automotive is currently a auto repair business. At one point, Michael de- full mechanical and collision repair cided to build trailer hitches shop, along with 24-hour towing servfor the new motorized vehi- ice. Sirl’s Automotive has ranked on Dale is the third-generation owner. Dale’s sons, Dale Jr. cles. It was not uncommon the Towman 500 “Most Experienced and Gary, are currently working at the business, looking at taking over as the fourth-generation to own Sirl’s for service garages to have Towmen in America.”

a minimum of $5 per day—good wages and hours in those times. Babe Ruth made his debut with the Boston Red Sox and WWI was under way in Europe. On August 14, 1914, Michael Sirl started Sirl Automotive at 7541 York Rd., Parma, OH. Like many “transportation businesses” at that time, Sirl’s started out as a blacksmith shop shoeing horses and mending farm equipment. Before long, “horseless carriages” started appearing on Ohio’s muddy roads. Michael became curious and bought one.

shop’s success to understand these three basic principles—gross profit, net and expense percentage. 8)

Days to repair (keys to keys)

Keys to keys is the total amount of time the car is at the shop—from the time it is dropped off until it is picked up. “A lot of people call this cycle time, but it’s not,” said Olson. “It’s how long the car is there. A car might be there for a week before it is touched.” 9)

Cycle time or touch time

This includes the time the vehicle enters production through the day it is ready for delivery. 10) Safety

Olson asked webinar attendees how many of their technicians wear safety glasses in the shop. “You can talk about safety all you want, but you need to demonstrate it in your shop,” he said. In addition to wearing safety glasses, he


said safety includes a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), training plans, safety meetings and respirators. “People have different concerns in the shop and every business runs a little differently,” said Olson. Rather than trying to focus on changing everything, he recommends picking one or two items and working with technicians to address them to be successful. “Take it one step at a time,” he said. “Everything has to go in a process. You can’t do it all at once.” To watch a replay of this webinar, visit https://attendee.gotowebinar .com/register/7978064457470349825. All registered attendees will automatically be notified of upcoming Elite Educational Webinars held each month. For more information about Elite Body Shop Solutions and to sign up for the next monthly webinar, email

For more information about VECO Experts, LLC and the 10 steps to quality collision repair, call Mark Olson at 206-771-2111.

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ABPA Annual Meeting & Convention Exceeds Expectations by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On April 24–27, the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) hosted its 2018 Annual Meeting and Convention at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa in San Diego, CA. According to Edward T. Salamy, executive director of ABPA, “The event went extremely well and exceeded our

expectations. Attendance was at an alltime high and we set a record with corporate sponsorship. The annual ABPA convention is a gathering of aftermarket collision part distributors, manufacturers, insurers and other industry partners. “Our members lead busy lives running their businesses and have little time to travel to related industry events where they may or may not be able to meet. The ABPA convention is important for our members as it is

Continued from Page 23

ARA’s Hill Days

legislative activity that impacts the professional automotive recycling industry. As usual during this event, ARA members gathered to identify and prioritize legislative issues, share strategies and experience and enhance ARA’s grassroots advocacy. Norman Wright, Chair of ARA’s Governmental Affairs Committee, led the day’s program. It began with a roundtable discussion that included updates from more than 20 states and topics that included state association lobby days, storm water fees, environmental regulations, used tire legislation, detitling bills, taxation and counterfeit airbags. ARA Director of State Government and Grassroots Affairs Jessica

the perfect opportunity for them to meet with the leaders of their industry as well as make new business connections. In short, if you are a distributor or manufacturer of aftermarket collision parts, you need to be at this event. “In addition to being our best annual convention in years, the ABPA is proud to have partnered with the National Auto Body Council (NABC) in once again participating in their Recycled Rides program. This was the second time that the ABPA has done this, and once again, the event did not disappoint. A disabled Marine veteran was the recipient of this year’s vehicle, a 2016 Sentra. ABPA members such as Quality Plus Automotive in San Diego and LKQ donated parts to the cause.” Tuesday featured a Board of Directors meeting and Open Reception with a golf tournament, cocktail reception, tradeshow and reception dinner. In addition to a keynote by Steve Fodor of Customs Services & Solutions Inc. on “The Ever-Changing World of Importing into the USA,” Thursday and Friday both offered many educational seminars for attendees to choose from, presented by

Andrews shared, “Attendees spent additional time focusing on the impact that OEM repair procedures are having and will have on the recycled parts market, relationships with environmental groups, electronic reporting and the continuing problem of illegal dismantlers. The success of the state of California’s government-backed task force on illegal dismantling was reviewed and is a great example to other states. During this same time, a delegation of Canadian recyclers visited the Canadian embassy along with ARA staff to discuss a variety of issues impacting recyclers on both sides of the border.” ARA will hold its 75th Annual Convention and Expo on November 1–3, 2018 in Orlando, FL. For more information on the association, visit

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companies such as LKQ, NSF, Intertek, and PartsTrader. “The response from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. In addition, initial results from the attendee survey are coming in with a 35 percent response rate as of this morning. One question we ask is if they felt the ABPA meeting was a valuable experience, and all respondents have answered ‘yes.’ This is something we take pride in as we try to not only offer our attendees many educational topics, but we also incorporate a fun social atmosphere,” Salamy noted. “The event exceeded our expectations with a higher than expected attendance rate and record sponsorship. At the last minute, we had to raise meal counts with the hotel and add tables to our ballroom meeting space. This is a problem that we do not mind having.” The ABPA represents the interests of the aftermarket collision parts distributors and manufacturers, primarily in the United States and Canada. The site for the association’s Annual Meeting and Convention is chosen by the ABPA Convention Committee, which is led by association Chair Kim Hicks and ABPA President Dolores

Richardson. Richardson shared, “This being a male-dominated industry, Kim and I are humbled to have been voted by our board to serve as Chairman and President during the past year. We worked with Ed for our 2018 conference and will continue for 2019. Since his debut in this position, he has done a tremendous job increasing membership and sponsorship.” ABPA’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Convention will be held April 30–May 3, 2019, at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort in FL. Salamy added, “After we made the announcement in San Diego, the ABPA members seemed extremely pleased with the selection, and there is already interest raised from sponsors.” For more information on ABPA, visit




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Experts Weigh In on the Future of the Automobile by Stacey Phillips

“Fasten your seat belt, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride over the next decade or two,” forewarned John Rossant, who recently spoke during “The Future of the Automobile Conference,” a special event at

tion of everything, vehicle connectivity, the arrival of the autonomous world, etc.,”he said. Rossant, the founder and chairman of NewCities, a global nonprofit institution, and the leader of L.A. CoMotion, was among those who gave their perspective on the rapidly ap-

The Petersen Automotive Museum, in partnership with the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, recently held “The Future of the Automobile Conference” Credit: Petersen Automotive Museum

the Petersen Automotive Museum held in partnership with the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. “We’re at the cusp of massive disruption, which is why we’re having this conference—the electrifica-

proaching transition to autonomous vehicles. Co-hosted by the Petersen Automotive Museum and the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, the day-long event aimed to bring to-

gether leading voices from manufacturers, technology companies, urban planners and regulatory agencies. From artificial intelligence to autonomous vehicles, every presentation and discussion featured companies that are innovative in the automotive market. “We are experiencing a fundamental change in the future of transportation probably as significant as the switch from horse-drawn carriages to gasoline-powered cars back in the beginning of the 20th century,” said Peter Mullin, chairman of the board of directors for the Petersen Automotive Museum, which has had an estimated 4 million visitors. “The Petersen, as an organization, has almost 25 years of history,” said Mullin. “We think our job is to continue to remain curious, to ask questions, to push the envelope of destructive change and share the history and art of this extraordinary passion for the automobile.” Terry McCarthy, the executive director of the Los Angeles World Af-

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fairs Council, moderated the opening panel in which nine speakers talked about their perspectives on the future of the automobile. Here are some of the highlights:

Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for Digital Future at the University of Southern California

The Petersen Automotive Museum, based in Los Angeles, CA, has had an estimated four million visitors

“I think driverless cars are going to change the world. I think they are the most important development of the next 30 years. They are going to change everything about commerce, housing patterns, human activity and the potential to eliminate 34,000 deaths a year, as well as greatly re-

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duce traffic. I think that in 60 years, our grandchildren are going to marvel at the fact that we ever let human beings sit behind the wheel of dangerous weapons.”

Dan Eberhart, CEO of Canary and author of Switching Gears: The Petroleum-Powered Electric Car “I started thinking about the electric car phenomenon and what it is going to mean for industry … I think it is going to be transformative for what energy we are going to need in the future and how we use energy. About 29 percent of the total energy consumption in the U.S. is used as transportation fuel. These internal combustion engines we are using are roughly about 25 percent efficient in how they displace energy. It is thought that with these electric cars, we’re going to be able to achieve about 70 percent efficiency. In terms of displacement in what we are doing, we’re potentially going to have 45 percent more efficiency, which is over double of where we are currently, and it could really be transformative for how much energy we need and how much energy we use and where we need to find it.”

Stefan Krause, CEO of EVelozcity “We will not solve this problem that urgently needs to be solved with companies that think like combustion engine companies, that have business models by combustion engine companies, market like combustion engine companies and have a mindset like combustion engine companies. That’s the big issue today and why some people are still not believing that this change will occur because we are coming at this whole industry with a different mindset.”

Kent Kresa, former chair of GM and Northrop Grumman and member of the board of directors at Petersen Automotive Museum “This transformation of the automobile in the next 30 years will change everything. This is extremely disruptive and the world in 30 years will be very, very different. We’ll have two different worlds—the urban



world where the trucks will play the same way they play today and then we’ll have this electrified world where nobody owns cars and people will lease them for their short moments of driving. This will be very

hicles to come and the form factor and talk about them as machines and metal boxes … Any of these devices—cars that have been and the cars that will come—operate for the human, the human that is at the center of that design equation. This transformation is coming and we have this opportunity in front of us to shape it. We can shape it well or shape it poorly. I believe if we start with the human at the center of that equation we can shape it extremely The museum’s mission is to explore and present the history well. The relationship that of the automobile and its global impact on life and culture we have had with cars over using Los Angeles as a prime example the past 125 years has really disruptive to many, many industries. been deeply emotional at its core. We There are predictions ranging all over think of the car as almost a member the map. Some say this will happen of our family. We assign meaning to rapidly, some say it won’t happen at it. I think that meeting that emotional all. I believe that it will be huge.” need to have connection is something that really provides an opporDakota Semler, founder and CEO tunity, and how are we going to have of Thor Trucks that emotional connection with the “About 10 years ago, we were autonomous vehicles of the future? operating a fleet that had about 300 If we have anything to do with it, trucks in L.A. County and we were there’s going to continue to be vehiforced out of compliance. We were cles, but smart vehicles in a smart forced within three years to replace all world.” of our trucks with newer technology. We realized that it was a customer need that started this electrification interest in the commercial and heavy duty electric space. We set out to develop heavy duty electric trucks to fulfill that need. We think that this acceleration will actually happen a lot quicker than the consumer space in the passenger car realm because of a few key things, including forced compliance and a clear TCO (total cost of engine) case … we can actually create a compelling savings for fleets that operate electric vehicles over the diesel vehicles, so instead of them making the option to be electric because it’s sexy or trending or the next best thing, it’s actually a clear economic case, and that’s what we want to drive home.”

Ryan Westrom, mobility partnerships lead for Greenfield Labs at Ford Smart Mobility “I think today, as we talk about the technologies of autonomous ve-



Brian Witten, senior director, advanced technologies for Symantec “Over the last 20 years, I’ve built security for spacecraft, aircraft, consumer electronics, computers, and tens of millions of connected cars. What I’ve learned is there’s never any single silver bullet. Building security into anything is about protecting the communication, protecting the cars themselves, and keeping them up to date—because security is never done—and then having a way of looking for those really stealthy, sophisticated attackers. That’s not easy to do. The good news is that a lot of the auto makers have started doing this for millions of cars. The bad news is there are about 100 million cars a year that shipped. The majority of them are without enough security, and the ones that are building security in the cars are just starting to build one or two of those cornerstones, not all three or four. We’re still very early in this journey. We’ve already seen cars run off the road, and that’s disconcerting. For our cars to be safe in the future, they are going to need to be digitally secure.”

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June 2018 West Edition  
June 2018 West Edition