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Dan Risley Talks to Autobody News about ASA by Chasidy Sisk
Federal Anticompetition Lawsuit Against GM Program Dismissed Again but Amended Complaint is Allowed A federal judge in Louisiana has again dismissed an aftermarket parts retailer’s lawsuit challenging GM’s ‘Bump the Competition’ program designed to boost sales of originalequipment parts at dealerships, but he gave the plaintiff, Felder’s Collision Parts Inc., permission to amend its complaint. The initial complaint, filed in October 2012, was dismissed in April 2013 by U.S. District Judge James Brady. The complaint said the program, which requires dealerships to ‘sell OEM parts below dealer cost,’ is a violation of the Sherman Act, the
Only a month after beginning work with the Automotive Service Association (ASA) as their Executive Vice President, collision industry veteran Dan Risley was offered the position of ASA Interim Executive Director. With 26 years of industry experience under his belt, Risley intends to offer his expertise to benefit ASA and the auto repair industry as a whole. He took time out to share his goals for ASA and his stance on several industry concerns with Autobody News readers. Though Risley has served the auto See Dan Risley Talks ASA, Page 30
Two More California Body Shop Owners Plead Guilty
insurance fraud, grand theft and forgery following an in-depth investigation by the California Department of Insurance. The investigation revealed San Miguel, an Allstate adjuster, fraudulently inflated repair estimates and improperly issued payment checks, prosecutors said. Several Salinas auto body shops, including Central Coast Auto Body and Specialty Auto Body, were linked to the fraudulent claims, according to CDI. These shops were owned by Ramirez and Garibay, respectively. The investigation linked Robledo, who worked in both shops, and See Two More Plead, Page 9
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The Salinas Californian has reported that five men indicted two years ago on insurance fraud, grand theft and forgery charges will be sentenced in July after the final two entered guilty pleas June 10, according to a release from the Monterey County District’s Attorney’s office. Meliquiades “Micky” Garibay, 42, and David M. Ramirez, 45, both of Salinas, pleaded guilty to insurance fraud and forgery charges. Their pleas joined those of Ricardo “Pee Wee” Robledo, 33; Jorge “George” Torrez, 35; and Sergio San Miguel, 40, who pleaded guilty in May to committing insurance fraud. All five were indicted Sept. 30, 2011, on various counts of automobile
VOL. 31 ISSUE 7 JULY 2013
Robinson-Patman Act (which prohibits anticompetitive pricing) as well as the Louisiana unfair trade practices and anti-trust laws. Court documents describe antitrust, monopoly, and predatory pricing concerns. Felder’s Collision alleges that GM and original-equipment parts distributors such as All Star Automotive Group engaged in illegal “predatory pricing” practices to undercut aftermarket prices and drive aftermarket competitors out of business. The suit alleges violations of federal and state antitrust and state consumer protecSee Anticompetition Suit, Page 24
Judge Rules The Hartford Owes Connecticut Body Shops $20 Million For Unfair Labor Rate Practices
A Superior Court judge has ordered The Hartford Insurance Company to pay $20 million to Connecticut auto body shops for an unfair trade practice related to hourly labor rates for vehicle repairs. The judge’s recent decision for punitive damages is in addition to a jury award of nearly $15 million decided against the company in 2009. On Nov. 17, 2009, a jury hearing the case awarded $14.77 million to the auto body association, saying that the insurer engaged in a practice that resulted in a loss to the repair shops. Judge Alfred J. Jennings Jr. has now added $20 million in punitive damages in his ruling on June 5. The Auto Body Association of Connecticut alleged that The Hartford pressured its in-house appraisers to put artificially low labor rates in their appraisals. The jury found that the company’s practices regarding hourly rates paid for auto body repairs were unfair, and the judge said the company tried to cover up its conduct by instructing employees not to write anything down about labor rates in favor of off-the record conversations.
“The punitive damages award is intended not only to punish The Hartford for its unfair trade practices, including what the court cited as The Hartford’s intentional efforts to conceal its conduct from regulators and the public, but also to deter all insurance carriers in the market from engaging in the same unlawful conduct,” said David A. Slossberg, attorney for the Auto Body Association. Slossberg is with the firm Hurwitz, Sagarin, Slossberg & Knuff in Milford, CT. “The court has placed the entire industry on notice that forcing their appraisers to violate the code of ethics by writing estimates at unreasonably low labor rates must stop,” Slossberg said. Slossberg said he believes it’s the largest punitive damages award under the unfair trade practices law in state history. The insurance company is disappointed and plans to appeal, said The Hartford’s spokesman, Thomas Hambrick. The company contends its conduct was not improper. See CT Shops to get $20M, Page 3
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COLUMNS Attanasio: Five Common Misconceptions about Websites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Franklin: Deciding on a Marketing Course of Action Using Referents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Insider: Stop Obsessing about Parts Profits When You’re Not Managing the Profit Centers You Have . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Yoswick: CIC Discusses Forthcoming Changes to Standards Effort and MSDS . . . . . . . . . . 26
NATIONAL 2013 WMABA Labor Rate Survey Results Show Stagnant Rates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 3M Gives $250,000 Worth of Tape to 312 Repair Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 ABRA Auto Body and Glass is NABC’s Newest Diamond-Level Member . . . . . . . . . 58 ABRA Moving Minnesota Headquarters . . . . . 60 Airbag Solutions Donates Database Subscriptions to School Programs . . . . . . . 54 ASA Opposes PARTS Act—Coalition’s Letter Highlights Quality Concerns . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Automaker, OEM and Recall News . . . . . . . . . 34 Automakers Reduce Summer Recess, Except Nissan, Honda, & Toyota . . . . . . . . . 46 Axalta Coating Systems Launches New Identity . 50 Axalta to Invest $50 Million in Shanghai, China, Facility. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Boyd Group Acquires 61 Auto Glass Locations . 42 Car-O-Liner Supports WorldSkills 2013 Autobody Repair Contestants . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Cars are Selling Like Hotcakes after Oklahoma Tornadoes Destroy Thousands of Vehicles . 19 Chief Automotive to Sponsor SkillsUSA Again . 38
Collision Foundation Hosts Golf Ball Drop Fundraiser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Dan Risley Talks to Autobody News about ASA. 1 Denise Caspersen Joins National Autobody Parts Warehouse in Grand Prairie, Texas. . . 60 Election Results Announced for New SEMA Board of Directors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Federal Anticompetition Lawsuit Against GM Program Dismissed Again but Amended Complaint is Allowed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Florida Carjacking Ordeal Begins at Body Shop . 45 GEICO Surpasses Allstate in Auto Insurance Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 I-CAR Announces More Speakers for July Meeting. 38 I-CAR Makes Changes and Updates to Steel Sectioning Qualification Test . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 I-CAR’s Margaret Knell Named Chair of WIN . . 58 Industry Invited to Sponsor Uniforms for Students . 50 Industry Leaders to Convene During ASRW . . 28 Industry Veterans Move to Marketing and Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Judge Rules The Hartford Owes Connecticut Body Shops $20 Million For Unfair Labor Rate Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Legendary Customizer Barris Inducted into SEMA Hall of Fame. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Mac Tools Donates $10,000 to Collision Repair Education Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Man and Woman Arrested for Body Shop Theft in Omaha. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Maryland Shop “Not Going to Take it Anymore” —Wins Short Pay Lawsuit Against GEICO . 44 May 28 Hailstorm in Amarillo, TX, Causes $400 Million in Damages, Shops Have Seen Hundreds of Cars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Mike Stanton, CEO of Global Automakers Assn, to Retire After 35 Years Representing OEMs . 58 NADA Foundation Mobilizes Emergency Relief to Help Victims of Oklahoma Tornado . . . . . 61 New App is Designed to Lower Shops’ Energy Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 New Product Showcase Benefit of SEMA Show . 28 NHTSA May Expand GM Airbag Recalls . . . . . 59 North Carolina Body Shop Wins Short-Pay Arbitration Case Against Nationwide Insurance . 36 OEConnection Earns ‘Top 20’ Call Center Distinction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 PA Shop Robbed, Gun Stolen . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 PPG Announces MVP Fall Conference in FL . . 60 Progressive Gave 59 Vehicles to Military Veterans . 38 Quality Parts Coalition Gets New Executive Director . 48 Ryan Collision Becomes First Nebraska ABRA Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 SCRS Says Insurer-Mandated Parts Procurement Still Shows No Benefits . . . . . 42 SEMA Reaches Out to Young Entrepreneurs . . 49 SEMA Receives Presidential Award For Export Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 SEMA Show Attendees Get Low Cost Rooms at Dozens of Hotels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 SEMA Show Grows with International Buyers in Attendance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes Sets 2013 Third Quarter Training Schedule. . . . . 41 State Farm Continues Three Major Building Projects . 49 State Farm Ordered to Pay Gunder’s Legal Fees from Two Initial Lawsuits, Totalling $83,400 . 44 Summit Software Launches AutoVoto Platform . 54 Teresa Bolton Gets WIN’s 2013 Cornerstone Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 TX Shop Collects Water for Tornado Victims . . 19 Thieves Steal $1M in Copper from Louisiana Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 U.S. Chemical and Plastics Receives Presidential Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 U.S. Warns Against General Use of Self-Driving Cars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 US Marine Presents Flag to Automotive Lift Institute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Vandalism Charge on RI Body Shop Owner Dismissed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
The case may apply to about 1,500 shops in Connecticut. “This shows the breadth and extent of the damage caused by the defendant’s misconduct,” Stamford Superior Court Judge Alfred J. Jennings Jr. wrote. The judge concluded that The Hartford “knowingly and purposefully for the enhancement of its own profits engaged in conduct in willful or reckless disregard” of the rights of its appraisers to conduct independent appraisals of damage to vehicles. That had the effect of suppressing hourly labor rates paid to the body shops and led to lost revenue, he said. Jennings also issued an injunction prohibiting the company from interfering with the independence of its employee appraisers or from threatening them with adverse employment consequences based on their determination of labor rates. Judge Jennings, in his 20-page opinion, wrote that “the neutrality
REGIONAL $70 Million Rate Reduction Announced for Automobile Club of Southern California Drivers. 6 ASA-AZ Meets on PartsTrader . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 CAA Glendale/Foothill Hosts Cory King on Wage Changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 CAA San Diego Holds 19th Annual Golf Tournament with 80 Competitive Players . . 24 Caliber Acquires Hank’s Auto Body Shops in Denver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Caliber Collision Centers Acquires European Auto Body of Escondido, CA, . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 California Writing New Rules of the Road for Driverless Cars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 CAWA Appoints Kaufman to Manufacturers Council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 CAWA Appoints Rudy Ruiz to Council . . . . . . . 11 Don’t Text and Drive While Vacationing in Hawaii . 9 East Bay College Reaches Out to Help Auto Tech Student . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Kadel’s Raises $22,000 for Children’s Cancer Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 LA CAA Met with Tom Brizuela of BMW on June 19. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Marco’s Collision in Pasadena Now Certified Mercedes ELITE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Mike Anderson Wows Body Shops at CAA Santa Clara. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 New Car Sales Jump 13% in California . . . . . . . 4 Portland Iraq War Veteran with 8 Kids Wins Needed Car . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Register for ASA-AZ Annual Convention by July 12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 San Rafael Body Shop Refurbishes Civic for a Mom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Santa Clara CAA & Cory King Discuss Wage Changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 South Los Angeles Man Dies in Overnight Shop Fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Traveling Symposium Series Heads to West Coast in July . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Two More CA Body Shop Owners Plead Guilty . 1 WA Driver Gets $1,103 Ticket. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 We Asked Google: Will Self-Driving Cars Be Accident-Free? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 WESCO Acquires Two Locations in Portland, OR . 4
CT Shops to get $20M
and independence of licensed vehicle damage appraisers has been seriously compromised, thereby diluting public confidence in their role and the respect they should be afforded as state licenses.” The Auto Body Association of Connecticut, which represents more than 1,000 auto body shops, originally filed its lawsuit in 2003 against Hartford Fire Insurance Co., which is part of The Hartford Financial Services Group. Originally certified as a class of 1,000 Connecticut body shops, Artie’s Auto Body, Inc., et al v. The Hartford Fire Insurance Company, the class has grown to an estimated 1,500 shops affected. The very size of the class is an aggravating factor in determining punitive damages, Jennings wrote. It “shows the breadth and extent to the damage cause by defendant’s misconduct.” The association alleged that The Hartford engaged in a pattern of unfair and deceptive acts and practices, violating state law, by steering customers who had been in a crash to certain preferred auto
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AAPEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .46 Automotive ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Autowest Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram .29 Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . .5 Bill Luke Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . .27 Bill Luke Fiat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . .55 Bob Smith BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Bob Smith MINI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Car-Part Pro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) . . . . . . . . . . .13 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 Completes Plus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Downtown Motors of LA (Audi, VW, Porsche) . . . . . . . . . . .25 Drew Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 East Bay BMW-MINI . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Elk Grove Toyota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Enterprise Rent-A-Car . . . . . . . . . . .12 Equalizer Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers AZ, CA, & NV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Galpin Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22, 37 Garmat USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Glass Technology, Inc . . . . . . . . . . .15 Glenn E. Thomas Chrysler-JeepDodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . .61 Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32-33 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . .42 Innovative Tools & Technology, Inc .36 Intertape Polymer Group . . . . . . . . . .8 Kearny Mesa Subaru-Hyundai . . . . .18 Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers .51
See CT Shops to get $20M, Page 36
Serving California, Nevada and Arizona, Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2013 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 721-0253 Fax www.autobodynews.com Email: email@example.com
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LKQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 Los Gatos Luxury Cars . . . . . . . . . .26 Maita Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Malco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .58 MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .54 Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers .50 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . .43 Moss Brothers Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . .7 NACE Trade Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57 Nick Alexander BMW . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Nick Alexander MINI . . . . . . . . . . . .64 Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 North County Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Oneida Air Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Power Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge of Arizona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Pro-Spray . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Renick Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Replica Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Riverside Metro VW-Honda-HyundaiNissan-Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10, 11 Shingle Springs Nissan-Subaru . . .41 Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-MazdaSubaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 Sonnen BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .59 Timmons VW-Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .52 Urethane Supply Company . . . . . . .31 VIM Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers .56 Volvo Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . .60 Weatherford BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
Santa Clara CAA & Cory King Discuss Wage Changes
The Santa Clara chapter of the California Autobody Association met June 11 in San Jose with guest speaker Cory King, partner with Fine, Boggs & Perkins LLP. King discussed “FlatRage Wage Plan Solution.” In March, the California Court of Appeals in Los Angeles affirmed a 2011 trial court decision that changed the face of flatrate compensation. An appeal to the California Supreme Court is underway, but shops paying on a flat-rate system must make changes now to protect themselves.
CAWA Appoints Kaufman to Manufacturers Council
Marco’s Collision Centers, a MSO based in southern California, recently announced that its Pasadena location is now a Mercedes ELITE Certified Collision Center. This certification is required to complete aluminum structural repair on Mercedes SLS and SL models, as well as future Mercedes C and E Class. There are only eight ELITE shops in the U.S., and Marco’s is one of only two in California. Marco’s also received VeriFacts Automotive’s ACE “Commitment to Consumers” award.
CAWA Chair of the Board, Ed Jimenez, recently appointed Larrow Kaufman of Richporter Technology, Ltd., to CAWA’s Manufacturers’ Advisory Council (MAC). Kaufman joined the Richporter team with more than 12 years of original equipment automotive aftermarket experience and most recently was the Program Manager-North American Aftermarket Sales at Hitachi Automotive Systems, Inc. He resides in Los Angeles, CA, and will oversee all sales support activities for the North American Western region, along with key national account responsibility. “We are pleased to welcome Larrow to the CAWA leadership and look forward to his participation and contributions to the automotive aftermarket industry out west,” said Chair Jimenez following the appointment. Jimenez went on to say “We are pleased he has stepped forward to give something back to our industry, through his commitment to CAWA.” Kaufman will join the MAC in September and serve on the Association’s Public Affairs Committee.
WESCO Acquires Two Locations in Portland, OR
Caliber Acquires Hank’s Auto Body Shops in Denver
Marco’s Collision in Pasadena Now Certified Mercedes ELITE
WESCO Group, one of the founding members of Refinish Distributors Alliance (RDA), acquired two more locations in Portland, OR. The stores operate under two separate brands—Quality Paint Products & Rainbow Finishes. WESCO also recently opened a new store in Portland. WESCO Group has over 200 employees, 33 store locations, and three warehouses in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. WESCO is a full-service distributor involved in shop layout, design and build. Wesco also has two equipment divisions that sell, install, and service Chief Equipment, Prospot, and Global Finishing Solutions Booths in seven states. The paint lines they carry are PPG, Axalta Coating Systems (formerly DuPont) and BASF. WESCO Group is headquartered in Mountlake Terrace near Seattle, WA.
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Caliber Collision Centers recently announced that it has acquired three Hank’s Auto Body locations in the greater Denver market. Caliber’s three-shop acquisition represents 80,000 square feet of collision repair facilities in Denver, Littleton and Wheat Ridge, CO. “Caliber’s acquisition of Hank’s Auto Body locations in the Denver market represents Caliber’s continued commitment to expand into the southwestern U.S.,” said Steve Grimshaw, Caliber Collision Centers’ Chief Executive Officer. “After getting to know Vince Vecchiarelli and his team in Colorado, it became very apparent that their culture is a perfect fit with Caliber’s customer service focus centered on our employees,” he said. “Our acquisition of the three Hank’s Auto Body locations in Denver increases the total number of Caliber locations across the southwest to 129 as we continue to execute on our mission of becoming the collision repair provider of choice in every community we serve,” said Mark Sanders, Chief Operating Officer for Caliber Collision Centers.
4 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
CAA Glendale/Foothill Hosts Cory King on Wage Changes
The California Autobody Association chapter of Glendale/Foothill will host guest speaker Cory King on June 13 at 6 p.m. King, a partner with Fine, Boggs & Perkins LLP, will give a wage and hour compliance update, based on a recent court ruling that has changed the way to pay commission to employees. Also speaking is Brian Ekstrand from Alldata, who will give a presentation about their new estimating compliance software and other new products. The CAA chapter will meet at Brookside Country Club, 1133 Rosemont Dr., in Pasadena. Social hour begins at 6 p.m. and the meeting starts at 6:45. Cost for members is $40 and $150 for non members. The meeting will also include a fundraiser for CAA President Linda Holcomb who is battling breast cancer. RSVP to Cindy Shillito at 714944-4028 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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WA Driver Gets $1,103 Ticket
A Washington state man got a hefty speeding ticket after getting clocked going 130 mph on his new motorcycle in central Oregon. Gregory Zaser, 61, of the Lake Washington enclave of Medina, east of Seattle, told the trooper that he’d just purchased the Ducati bike and wanted to see what it could do. The ticket for going 130 mph in a 55 mph zone is $1,103—that’s the automatic fine for going more than 100 mph in Oregon. Oregon State Police Lt. Steve Mitchell says Zaser could also have his license suspended.
New Car Sales Jump 13% in California, Better than Nation
California new car sales jumped nearly 13% in the first quarter of this year, reaching the highest firstquarter total since 2008. The California New Car Dealers Association said vehicle sales hit 403,658 in the first quarter, a 12.6% improvement from a year earlier. The association said the sales increase in California surpassed the improvement on the national level.
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www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 5
Caliber Collision Centers Acquires European Auto Body of Escondido, CA, Near San Diego Caliber Collision Centers, operator of high-quality collision repair facilities throughout the southwest, recently announced that it has acquired European Auto Body of Escondido, located in north San Diego county. With this acquisition, Caliber increases its total number of southwest locations to 126. The new 14,300-square-foot facility is Caliber’s 13th shop in the San
Diego market. The company now operates 126 collision centers overall throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma. “Caliber’s acquisition of European Auto Body of Escondido increases the number of San Diego locations to 13 as we continue to be-
come the provider of choice in every community we serve,” said Steve Grimshaw, Caliber Collision Centers’ Chief Executive Officer. “Our acquisition of European Auto Body further increases our penetration in the San Diego region that now stretches from Murrieta to National City.” Caliber Collision’s 126th center is located at 655 Venture Street, Escondido, CA. The new Escondido location is 14,300 square feet and is centrally located within Caliber’s San Diego region. “After spending time with European Auto Body’s management and team members over the past few months, we firmly believe they will provide the operational consistency, singleminded customer focus and cost management our clients are demanding for the repair of advanced structural materials using the latest bond, weld and rivet technologies,” added Mark Sanders, Chief Operating Officer for Caliber Collision Centers.
$70 Million Rate Reduction Announced for Automobile Club of Southern California Drivers
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and Robert Bouttier, CEO of the Automobile Club of Southern California, recently announced an auto insurance rate reduction for Auto Club policyholders in California totaling $70 million. This represents an overall decrease of 4.1% and is effective for new or renewed policies after July 1, 2013. “With the economy still recovering, this significant decrease delivers savings to more than one million drivers in Southern California,” said Commissioner Jones. “The Auto Club has again stepped-up and put their policyholders’ interests first. They have a history of rate decreases and have set an example I hope other insurance companies will follow.” New discounts being introduced include increased multi-policy discounts for homeowners’, new group discounts for alumni association members, expanded discounts for medical professionals (doctors, nurses, dentists) and CPAs, and student-away discounts for children who are away studying at college and don’t have a vehicle.
“We want to thank the Commissioner for approving our rate decrease,” said Robert T. Bouttier, President and CEO of the Auto Club. “This is the fourth auto rate reduction over the past nine years, collectively saving policyholders over $380 million and continuing to fulfill our ongoing commitment to offer our members the best insurance at the best possible price.” Since Commissioner Jones took office, the Department, through April 30, 2013, has reduced the overall amount of requested rate increases by $311 million and approved over $962 million in rate reductions, totaling over $1.27 billion in savings to California consumers and businesses. This total includes approximately $460 million in rate reductions for personal auto coverage and $256 million in rate reductions for personal homeowners’ coverage.
Register for ASA-AZ Annual Convention by July 12
Registration is open for the Automotive Service Association of Arizona’s Sunrise 2013—Automotive Training Expo & Convention. Packed with peer networking opportunities, educational sessions, golf and other fun activities, Sunrise 2013 will be held July 19-21 in Prescott, AZ. This annual event is open to members and nonmembers. “Doing things the same way over and over is a recipe for failure in this constantly changing business environment,” said ASA member Mike Gabrielson of Simmons 4x4 Auto Service Center in Tucson, AZ. “Talking with others in the business—who are facing the same problems we are facing, and learning how they overcame those challenges—has allowed our business to continue to grow.” Registration deadline is July 12. Attendee registration includes all educational sessions, the Friday reception, lunch and dinner on Saturday, breakfast vouchers for Saturday and Sunday, golf and other entertainment. (Vendors must use the sponsorship form to register or call (602) 5442600 for details. Sponsorships are still available.) “I really want to encourage everyone to take advantage of this
convenient and valuable opportunity. At a single location you’ll get topquality training, opportunities to network with your peers and meet vendors who can provide you with business tools and benefits to help maximize the profitability of your business,” said Luz Rubio, ASA–Arizona executive director. “I also encourage attendees to book their hotel rooms early!” Sunrise will be held at the Prescott Resort & Conference Center. Presenters include Doris Barnes, Walt Commans, Bob Cooper, Mike Hinman and Gary Wagnon. Register at http://www.asaaz.org/ members/. For more information, visit www.asaaz.org; or contact Luz Rubio at (602) 544-2600 or email@example.com. The Automotive Service Association is dedicated to and governed by independent automotive service and repair professionals. ASA advances professionalism and excellence in the automotive repair industry through education, representation and member services. The association serves an international membership base that includes numerous affiliate and chapter groups from both the mechanical and collision repair segments of the industry. Learn more at www.asaaz.org.
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California Writing New Rules of the Road for Driverless Cars Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law allowing Google’s self-driving vehicles to operate in California. Now, Sacramento officials are working to come up with a whole new set of rules of the road, the Sacramento Bee recently reported. Several questions need to be addressed: Will blind people be allowed to operate a self-driving car? Can kids drive themselves to soccer practice? Can the vehicles handle all types of weather? And, who is at fault when a robotic car crashes? The Department of Motor Vehicles is tackling these and other issues in the latest scramble to keep up with technological advances. “Laws are not able to keep pace with some of the changes taking place in the technology sector,” said Sanjay Varshney, dean of the business school at California State University, Sacramento. When it comes to self-driving cars, California is trying to move from behind the curve to ahead of it. The technology could be widely available in five years, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said at last year’s signing of Sen-
ate Bill 1298. Brown signed the bill at Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA. The bill allows autonomous vehicles to operate on state roads, but the measure leaves it up to the DMV to work out the details. The process is just getting started, but signs of tension have already emerged between state regulators and carmakers who want wide latitude to test their inventions on California roads, the Bee reported. Google recently hired a long-time traffic-safety bureaucrat to head its public policy effort on autonomous cars. Officials from multiple state agencies—including motor vehicles, highway patrol, transportation and insurance—meet regularly to hammer out just how Californians will use autonomous vehicles in their daily lives. They aim to have all the rules in place by the end of next year. “Our challenge as government agencies is to look several years down the road at where the technology might be. Are our laws ready for the technology that the private sector might intro-
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duce?” said Chris Shultz, who sits on the committee drafting the regulations as a deputy director at the Department of Insurance. New rules for auto insurance will be necessary, he said, because under current law, rates are determined by drivers’ years of experience and the number of miles they drive per year. “Autonomous vehicles raise an interesting issue because (eventually) there might not even be a licensed driver in the vehicle,” he said. That possibility is still several years out. The rules state officials are making now anticipate that a person will operate the car. First they’ll craft rules for carmakers testing autonomous technology, and second, rules for the public to operate the cars. Officials have not yet determined what criteria those people would have to meet, in terms of age, vision or driving skill. Bernard Soriano, a deputy director with the DMV, said California may require a special license for operators of driverless cars. Google made a splash last year with a video of a man who is legally
blind behind the wheel of an autonomous car. The car pulls out of the driveway, makes several turns as it goes through town and stops a couple times for the man to pick up his dry cleaning and some tacos. He says on the video that the self-driving car gives him a new level of independence. “We organized the test as a technical experiment last year, but we do think it’s a promising look at what autonomous technology might one day deliver, if the right safety standards can be met,” said Google spokesman Jay Nancarrow. Several car manufacturers are working on developing autonomous driving technology too. Industry representatives say they need to test the technology in all kinds of conditions. Liability remains a huge area of unanswered questions. Google and Chrysler argue that they have a business incentive to make sure their products are safe before putting them out to market, and that the state should allow them to determine themselves when the cars are ready for the public.
LA CAA Met with Tom Brizuela of BMW on June 19
The Los Angeles chapter of the California Autobody Association met June 19 at Nick Alexander Los Angeles Imports, 6000 Alameda St. in Huntington Park. The meeting showcased the new BMW i3 technology. Guest speaker Tom Brizuela of BMW North America introduced and reviewed the new BMW i3 platform that features carbon and aluminum composite technology. The meeting included an actual cutaway view of the BMW i3 platform to review the repair methodology crash worthiness of its new generation platform. Tom Brizuela is the body and paint technical team leader for BMW North America. Meeting included cocktails, dinner and a preview of the brand new state-of-the-art collision center at Nick Alexander Los Angeles Imports. Fore more information about joining CAA, contact Cindy Shillito, CAA southern California representative, at (714) 944-4028 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t Text and Drive While Vacationing in Hawaii
Hawaii has become the 40th U.S. state to ban texting while driving and the 11th state to ban use of all handheld electronic devices while driving. Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie recently enacted a new state law prohibiting the use of cell phones and other mobile electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. The law will officially take effect July 1. The fine for a first offense is a minimum of $100. “I commend Governor Abercrombie and the Hawaii legislature for taking an important stand against the danger of distracted driving today,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This new law banning texting while driving will ultimately save many lives and prevent injuries on Hawaii’s roads.” NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said, “We are making a difference in the fight against distracted driving through a combination of good laws, tough and consistent enforcement, and extensive public education. Hawaii is sending a strong message that it wants all drivers to be free of distractions.”
Traveling Symposium Series Heads to West Coast in July
Collision Repair Experts (CRX), a division of Fix Auto USA, recently announced additional dates and locations for its popular “Are You an Expert?” symposium series. The “Are You an Expert?” symposium series will travel to Portland, OR, on July 16, Orange County and Los Angeles area in California on July 18 and San Diego, CA, on August 8. The program provides practical insights and subject matter that will help repairers compete in a rapidly evolving industry and provide actionable steps that attendees can put in place when returning to their businesses. Attendees will hear from industry leaders such as Susanna Gotsch and Raymond Chew from CCC, Ron Kuehn from Collision Business Solutions and Tim Clark from Fix Auto USA. Information regarding industry consolidation and insurance trends and their effect on collision repairers kicks off the meeting agenda. For more information, go to www.industryupdate.org or call 866490-3468 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
ASA-AZ Meets on PartsTrader
ASA of Arizona will host an evening program to help collision repairers learn more about State Farm’s PartsTrader program which is rolling out statewide soon. ASA-AZ will present a program called “PartsTrader 8.13” on Tuesday, August 13 from 5–9:30 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Airport, 3422 E. Elwood Street in Phoenix, AZ. Cost is $50 for ASA members or $80 for non members and includes a buffet dinner. See www.asaaz.org for more information. Continued from Cover
Two More Plead
Torrez, also engaged in the industry, to the ring that attempted to defraud Allstate Insurance Co. Robledo and Torrez were also aided by San Miguel in submitting fraudulent claims, prosecutors said. The men will be sentenced July 16. The maximum penalty is five years in prison and a $50,000 fine. California Department of Insurance Detective Keri Larsen, Sgt. Felicia Dolores and Capt. Kathleen Harris led the investigation.
www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 9
The Insider is a corporate-level executive with a Top 10 auto insurer in the U.S.. Got a comment or question you’d like to see him address in a future column? Email him at Auto.Insurance.Insider@gmail.com
Stop Obsessing about Parts Profits When You’re Not Managing the Profit Centers You Have with The Insurance Insider
Body shops continue to wring their hands over insurance companies imposing their will on their business and profit margins. Shops contend that insurance companies have no right meddling in their business. I can understand shops wanting to protect their profit margins on parts. And who wants anyone telling them what to do and how to do it? For those of you who are married, you know what I am talking about. Thankfully, I learned early on in life that taking orders was something I wasn’t good at. Thus, I am happily divorced, and the only person I take orders from is the guy who does my annual review at work. Wouldn’t it be great if all of you could divorce yourself from the death grip that direct
repair programs have on your business? Unfortunately, most of you reading this won’t say no to insurers, or can’t. Direct repair programs
should be regulated because of their addictive qualities. The addiction might be stronger than crack cocaine. Not that I can speak from experience on that. It’s been interesting to watch from afar as shops complain about State Farm and PartsTrader, even if they’re not in a State Farm Select Service contract. The general message and outcry seems to be about profit margin. Why does it take an insurance company to introduce a new program for you to raise a ruckus about profit centers? Think about it: There are things that are within your control today that impact
your bottom line that you don’t manage. If you spent a little less time fighting the evolution of technology in parts ordering and instead focused on managing your business, you might have a few extra dollars in the bank. Did someone ask for an example? Here’s one: paint and materials. Paint and materials are one of the many profit centers in a shop. At least it should be a profit center. There are some shops that report 30% profit on paint and materials while others cry the sky is falling. If you are losing money, why haven’t you taken action? Paint and materials shouldn’t be a losing department for your business. It should be a profit center similar to labor, parts, storage and sublet. So now you complain that your parts profit margins will erode as a result of State Farm’s PartsTrader requirement. And your response is outrage, and combative, desperate
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cries for help even though you still say “yes” to State Farm. It’s important to note that you still will make a profit—just potentially a few dollars less. Please also note that this is going to happen with or without your approval. As you’ve probably heard, State Farm is rolling it out nationwide. So how does this relate to paint and materials? I would like to know what your response is if you are losing money on paint and materials or making low single digit profit? What are you doing about it? Outrage? No. Combative? No. Desperate cries for help? No, again. Why do shops raise hell about potentially losing money on parts profitability when the profit centers they do have control over are ignored. This
is something you have direct control over. We as insurers don’t have a direct impact on your profit in this area. I’m aggravated by the lack of management and operational excellence that would benefit everyone in the supply chain. So let me suggest a few solutions to a problem you don’t think you have. Why would your enemy help you be more profitable? Because if you are successful, everyone in the supply chain wins, including the consumer. And besides, I like to lead by example. Give me a solution over a sob story any day. I’ve never worked in a shop, so you might not find these recommendations valid, but here they are. I suggest you could improve your profit on paint and materials by:
• Reducing employee theft. • Implementing standard operating procedures to reduce waste. • Creating an incentive plan for your painters and manager that gives them a bonus if you are profitable. • Tracking the amount of waste (if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it). • Invoicing separately for non-paintrelated materials • Tracking your costs better. • Negotiating a better discount with your jobber. I’m sure there are more but I don’t think you want any more insurance company intrusion into your business. Or anything taking up time that you’d rather spend complaining about PartsTrader.
CAWA Appoints Rudy Ruiz to Council
CAWA Chair of the Board, Ed Jimenez, has appointed Rudy Ruiz of ADVICS North America, Inc. to CAWA’s Manufacturers’ Advisory Council (MAC). Ruiz started with Bendix Brakes in 1985 in Chicago. He continued under parent Allied Signal for 15 years and ended up in Dallas, TX, in the Heavy Duty Air Brake Division. He was an operations manager for repair shops in Arizona then came back to Dallas and worked for another air brake company called MGM as the South Central Fleet Manager. Ruiz worked for Akebono for two years until his employment with ADVICSNA as the Western Regional Manager. “We are pleased to welcome Ruiz to the CAWA leadership and look forward to his participation and contributions to the automotive aftermarket industry out west,” said Jimenez. “We are pleased he has stepped forward to give something back to our industry, through his commitment to CAWA.” Ruiz will join the MAC in September and serve on the Association’s Membership and Education Committee.
Kadel’s Raises $22,000 for Children’s Cancer Association
Kadel’s Auto Body based in Tigard, OR, recently raised $22,000 for the Children’s Cancer Association through its 20th Annual Golf Classic at Langdon Farms Golf Course. More than 140 golfers and sponsors turned out to contribute the organization that supports families with children diagnosed with cancer. Paul Gulick, CCA board member, thanked the participants and spoke about the organization’s mission during a dinner after the outing.
Thieves Steal $1M in Copper from Louisiana Company
The DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office is searching for three suspects in the theft of about $1 million worth of copper wire from a Frierson, LA, company. Local media reports said the thefts happened in six separate incidents at Trinidad Drilling Co. The most recent theft happened May 26, deputies say. Authorities say a silver Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck is suspected of being used to haul away the material in at least some of the incidents. www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 11
Social Media for Shops
Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Five Common Misconceptions about Websites Debunked with Ed Attanasio
When I see a body shop that doesn’t have a website, two things happen. First I have to recover from my surprise, then I start asking questions. I sat down recently with Angel Iraola, the owner of Net Business Consulting & Solutions in Santa Rosa, CA, and he blew huge holes in the following arguments, each of which is a common misconception about websites. Here are the top five: 1) Too expensive to create a site. One body shop owner was crying on my shoulder recently. “My website cost me $7,000 and it still doesn’t work. Websites are a waste of money!” Not true. By doing it yourself using any of the new website building sites out there, it can cost you in the hundreds, rather than thousands. Do-It-Yourselfers (DIYs) are building their own websites more and more, because the technology has become so much easier to use. And with so many developers out there competing for your business, the prices for websites are lower than ever! “You can get a basic one-page website now that will cost you $99, but when it comes to anything it’s always image perceived, mission achieved,” Iraola said. “If you’re really tight on funds and can’t find enough money to dedicate a modest budget for a website, find a hungry webmaster and if he charges you more than $400 for a simple 1–3 page website, just keep looking.” 2) Too costly to maintain. A collision center manager I know wanted to strangle his web developer, but I explained to him that’s illegal. “My Internet guy (a friend of a friend—first bad move) is charging me $300 every month to supposedly maintain my website, but if he’s spending 10 minutes on it I would be amazed. It is a money drain!” This happens, but it does not have to. By working with a company like www.CollisionWeb sites.com, you can maintain a website easily and affordably. And by using Word Press, for example, it’s easy to make changes and add features. The old days of developers charging you top dollar to hold your website hostage are long gone. Iraola agreed that website devel-
opment is now affordable for any business of any size, but shops should still do their due diligence before contracting any developer. “Everyone and their brother is jumping into this industry and many of them don’t know what they’re doing. Make sure you meet with several people before you make a decision, because I am hearing horror stories all the time now and if you hire the wrong company, it can be an absolute nightmare. Ask them what platform they use and always look at samples of their work. Ask them for references and call them, because if they miss deadlines (a chronic problem in this industry) that is a bad sign right off the bat.” 3) Takes too much time. One shop’s marketing manager was changing content on his site, and because he had an old platform, he was sunk. “Six hours and I couldn’t even add an address! The hours keep adding up and it’s not worth it!” Another legend that just isn’t true. If your website is welldesigned, it will not require a large amount of additional time once it’s been built. “If you work smart and get the right developer, a basic website can be up and online rather quickly,” Iraola explained. “For a 2–3 page site, I can usually get it done within 7–10 working days. For something a little more elaborate (5–10 pages) it can take as much as three weeks to a month. These developers that take 3–4 months to do a website are either stalling or inexperienced, because it should never take that long. In this business, we have cycle times too, but many of these website companies aren’t as deadline-focused as they should be.” 4) It does not get results. Too many shops expect the phone to start ringing one day after launching their website. “I’ve had my site up for three months and I got just one phone call!” one shop owner whined. “How do you track your new customer responses?” I asked him. When he revealed he doesn’t, I asked him how do you know how many leads you’ve received from your website? The Internet isn’t going away and it’s a proven vehicle for you
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getting new business. Body shops all over the country are getting 10–80 cars or more on a monthly basis via the Internet, so if it’s not working for you, you need to re-analyze your site, as well as the way you track results. “I tell everyone that marketing your shop online is an ongoing endeavor and not something that will realistically get you instant results,” Iraola said. “It’s not like a DRP that will bring you cars right away. Online marketing does not have a start and completion date like a car repair. If you’re in the game, you’re in it for the duration, and you better be in it to win it! If a web developer tells you that the phone is going to start ringing the same day your site goes live, they’re lying, because no one can claim that.” 5) Everybody already knows us. When I hear this objection, I am always shocked. “We’re the #1 shop in this area, so a website isn’t necessary,” a body shop owner smugly explained
to me one evening at an industry event. “Really? Really?” is all I could say. Maybe everyone in your region knows about you right now, but what are you going to do when another shop opens up down the street? If you mention Coca-Cola to anyone on this planet, they will know the brand. Yet, the soft drink manufacturer spends millions and millions of dollars annually on advertising, including online. Are you more well-known than Coke? Not likely. No company is so successful that it does not need a presence on the Internet, so unless you’re getting ready to close the doors and retire, you NEED a site and you need one yesterday! “When company owners tell me they can succeed without having a website or any presence online, I tell them they’re being silly,” Iraola said. “Just because you’ve been doing business in the same area for many years See Common Misconceptions, Page 24
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East Bay College Reaches Out to Help Auto Tech Student took him out and they practiced driving in a local mall parking lot, before Through benevolence programs and eventually progressing to the streets other efforts, the collision industry in and then onto the freeway. In addition, the Bay Area is well known for giving James paid for professional driving cars to people that need and deserve lessons. When he felt he was ready, them. In this scenario, an auto tech White scheduled his driving test and school gave a vehicle to one of its stu- in the meantime, the advisory comdents, which allowed him to land a job mittee members decided that their at a body shop. It’s a story of turning next benevolence project would be to your life around and overcoming all give him a car so that when he got his obstacles in your way. license he could drive to work rather than take the bus. When Peter Lock, the head of the auto tech department at CCC, observed White’s skills and his work ethic, he decided to help him to find a job at a shop. But, the fact that Will did not have a driver’s license was obviously an issue. Subsequently, Lock took White to the DMV where he passed the driver’s test. UnfortuCCC Auto Tech student William White received a 1993 Honda so that he can travel to and from his new job at nately, the DMV could not Regal Collision in Vallejo, CA. (Second from right standing issue him a license because is his teacher Peter Lock.) he could not pass the eye exWilliam White grew up on the amination. Acting quickly, the people tough south side of Richmond, CA, at CCC’s Auto Technology Program where on some days shootings are made arrangements for Will to see an more common than car accidents. Be- eye doctor and receive eye glasses for cause his parents weren’t in his life, the first time in his life at the age of other family members raised him in- 34. After getting his glasses, White stead. He dropped out of high school called Lock, who was vacationing in and worked a series of low-paying Hawaii, and announced, “I can finally jobs with no future. White wanted a see!” better life for himself, so he started atThe plans were afoot and to keep tending classes at Contra Costa Col- it a secret, everyone involved had to lege (CCC) in San Pablo, CA, and enrolled in the school’s collision repair program. During the fall semester of 2008, White had a “lifechanging” experience at CCC as he embraced the college experience and flourished while impressing his teachers. Through his hard work, White received a Certificate of Completion in Auto Repair and passed his William White proudly displays his new driver’s license SWQT, AWQT and strucwhile Peter Lock looks on tural tests. In addition, he has enrolled in general education tap into their acting skills. “Will had courses to earn his Associate of Sci- no idea what was in store for him reence degree. garding the car,” Lock said. “As a Every day, White rode his bicycle ruse, we set up a verbal interview at to and from school because he didn’t the college with Jim Boyle of Regal have a car or even a driver’s license. Collision Repair in Vallejo. Jim, his So one of CCC’s advisors and part- wife and partner Shellie Malone time faculty member, James Davis, Boyle and production manager, Kirk by Ed Attanasio
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Kapfenstein talked with Will and set up a shop tour for the next week. The following Tuesday, Will took four buses to get from Richmond to Vallejo to tour the shop.” The charade was working and White evidently had no clue as the
ceedings to say ‘He might have a job but he doesn’t have a way to get there.’ At that point, Jim Gardner, our tool room assistant, drove up with the newly redone 1993 Honda with a big red bow on it. Will was obviously speechless. “It was awesome,” Lock said. “The Send Your Car to College program played a huge role, and although the students in the collision repair and refinishing program didn’t know who was going to receive it, many took part in its repair—stripping paint, disassembling bumpers and repainting most of the car.” Along with the donated With the support of the local collision industry, William car, William received six White also received six months of free auto insurance, months of free auto insura gas gift card and a FasTrack card for crossing the ance. Carquinez Bridge to get to work in Vallejo The car also came with presentation approached. “I invited many added donations from industry Will to our annual end-of-year barbelocals. James Davis donated one cue, scheduled for May 20,” Lock ex- year’s use of a FasTrack Pass to get plained. “Before the festivities began, across the Carquinez Bridge to work in front of the assembled group, Jim in Vallejo. Dennis O’Keefe from 3M and Kirk ‘offered’ Will a job at their donated car wash supplies and gas shop, but then I interrupted the procards. Rich Gomon from AkzoNobel
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donated a gift card for Craftsman tools at Sears. I-CAR instructor Kurt Money, Kathy Mello from TGIF Body Shop, Gigi Walker from Walker’s Auto Body, Sean Kopec from FinishMasters and Tiffany Silva from Accurate Auto Body donated money for insurance and registration. Jim Gardner from CCC donated a steering wheel lock to keep the car safe. Steve Kahn donated the new transmission, catalytic converter, smog certification and service. Lucille Beatty, auto tech professor and current department chairperson, acquired the car through the “Send Your Car to College” program. Another CC student, Michiko Wagner, used this opportunity to create a student project—a photographic essay of this benevolence project. The photos accompanied this article were taken by Wagner, Lock said. White started his new job at Regal Collision Repair on June 3 and owner Jim Boyle is already praising his newest employee. “William is working closely with one of our body men, Dustin Flazer, to learn how we do things around here. William interned here for a
while first, to shadow our parts guy, our detailing guy, etc. He’s very methodical and I’m seeing some very good things from him. I attended CCC myself way back in the early ‘80s, so to have him working here is huge.” And with his new car, eye glasses and driver’s license, White has been able to get to work right on time every day, according to Boyle. “Yes, he’s here and ready to roll right on time and he’s not afraid to work. When someone shows an attitude like William’s, it makes it easy to help him in any way we can.”
Man and Woman Arrested for Body Shop Theft in Omaha
A man and a woman were arrested in connection with a car theft from an Omaha auto body shop. Police said Stephen Monarrez, 34, was booked on suspicion of robbery, use of a weapon to commit a felony and other charges. Bail was set at $50,000. Sandra Partida, 22, was booked on suspicion of being an accessory to a felony. Police said Monarrez entered Chepo’s Auto Shop, displayed a firearm and demanded a white Chevy Tahoe that was being worked on. He fled south in the vehicle.
Portland Iraq War Veteran with 8 Kids Wins Needed Car
An Iraq War veteran in Portland, OR, got a much-needed boost from the local community. United States Army Cpl. Kevin Kirby and his wife have eight kids and they did not have a working vehicle. However, in June, the family was awarded a refurbished 2007 Hyundai Tucson, courtesy of Progressive Insurance. The award was part of a national program called “Keys to Progress.” Cpl. Kirby was selected for the honor because he volunteers much of his time helping disabled veterans. “I never asked for anything in return and this, out of the blue, was amazing,” Kirby said. “I don’t like to ask for help—I’m more of a giver— and this is unbelievable.” Progressive Insurance donated the car and International Collision Repair refurbished it. The National Auto Body Council, local body shops, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, 1 800 Charity Cars, local VFWs and other military charities also participate in the program.
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San Rafael Body Shop Refurbishes Civic for a Mom
Expectant mother Elizabeth Foster was the surprise recipient of a silver sedan, a refurbished 1997 Honda Civic donated by Novato Toyota and Crebassa’s Auto Body Shop of San Rafael, CA. She received the car on June 11. Another partner in the give-
Elizabeth Foster is happy after receiving a refurbished 1997 Honda Civic from Crebassa’s Auto Body Shop
away was Center for Domestic Peace, a Marin-based institution that advocates against domestic violence. The Novato auto shop has donated a refurbished vehicle to a mother in need for the past five years, participating in Center for Domestic Peace’s transitional housing program, Second Step, a long-term, transitional living facility for women and their children from Marin and throughout the Bay Area who have experienced domestic violence.
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Mike Anderson Wows Body Shop Attendees at CAA Santa Clara by Ed Attanasio
Combining his seemingly limitless knowledge of the collision game and his commitment to making it a better industry, Michael Anderson from CollisionAdvice.com gives a spirited, high-energy presentation that is more revival than keynote speech. By intertwining useful statistics with his sage projections on the future of the body shop business, Anderson talks quickly and moves like a skilled boxer. To find out that he Michael Anderson, was actually a the owner of Collihighly-regarded sionAdvice.com, amateur boxer shared his amazing isn’t a shocker. In knowledge and fact, if he hadn’t insight with the Santa Clara chapter lost to the evenof the California tual gold medal Autobody Associawinner Pernell tion on May 22 in Whitaker, AnSan Jose, CA derson would have represented the United States in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. On May 22, Anderson spoke to the members of the Santa Clara chapter of the California Autobody Association (SC-CAA) in San Jose, CA. If there was an amusement park for the collision industry, there would undoubtedly be a ride called The Mike Anderson Experience, featuring one of the fastest roller coasters in the world. His talk moves quickly and covers almost every aspect of the collision business, so note takers are in trouble, unless they know shorthand. (I brought a tape recorder). With a Powerpoint presentation consisting of almost 200 slides, it’s full of information that Anderson has compiled over the years. As the former owner of Wagonwork Collision Centers in Alexandria, VA, Anderson spends more than 250 days a year on the road doing workshops, seminars and consulting shops across the country, as well as in Canada and Mexico. In 2010 he sold his highly successful shop and founded CollisionAdvice.com. Anderson is a featured AMI-approved seminar presenter on numerous topics for both collision repair shops and jobber operations. Participants in Mike Anderson’s seminars consistently rate them as exceeding their
expectations and highly recommend his seminars to others, providing CSI results any automotive repair shop would be proud of. Anderson also serves on the Motor Advisory Board, and the ASE test review committee. Mike is the past director of the ASA Collision Operations Division and currently serves on the ASA Collision Operations Committee. He also serves as a facilitator for DuPont’s highly recognized Business Council 20 Groups as well as an in-demand facilitator of DuPont’s SMART Damage Analysis Course, Cycle Time II course, Process Management course and DuPont’s two-day Lean Manufacturing course. Mike received the National Auto Body Council’s exclusive PRIDE Award for service to mankind above and beyond his business. Last year, Anderson was on the road 331 days and visited shops in every state except North Dakota. After briefly explaining his history, he laid down the ground rules. “Please don’t mistake my passion for arrogance,” he said. “I’m not married, I don’t have any kids and this industry is my life. If you disagree with anything I said tonight, call me out on it. Discussion is good and if you agree say ‘amen’!”. A n d e r son must have been on the money with his comments all evening long, because definitive ‘amens’ resounded throughout the room during his spirited 70-minute presentation. To set the table, Anderson shared a wide range of industry statistics at the outset, all of which are invaluable to anyone in the collision game. Some of the more pertinent facts will tell you that the vehicle population is aging, because people are keeping their cars longer. Another vital stat is that drivers are getting into fewer accidents than ever (now roughly every 10 years) and how it will impact the industry within the next five years. Even more interesting to body shop owners are Anderson’s Best of the Best findings, which can act as a performance barometer for any shop. Anderson talks to hundreds of body shops every year, so he knows the premier operators in the country and is happy to share those numbers. Based on stats assembled by CollisionAdvice.com, top shops have cycle times of 1.2-1.8 days (drivable vehicles) and 3.6-5.1 days (non-dri-
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too many shops rely on credit. Number two is many shops don’t invest in new training, technology and the proper tools, according to Anderson. And the #3 reason is some shops can’t or won’t comply with EPA 6 H Rule requirements for a wide range of reasons. Rather than give away his invaluable information in this article through a series of “spoilers” you should find out where Michael Anderson will be speaking next and get there. Fernando Gallegos (left) and Hugo Sanchez from Russo’s Collision He’s always a feain Watsonville, CA, made a trek over the hill to listen to Michael tured speaker at Anderson’s presentation NACE and SEMA, vable) of touch time on each and for example. His schedule is listed on his website at www.collisionadevery repair. vice.com and with his road warrior One section that got everyone’s attention dealt with Anderson’s top status it’s likely that he’s coming to your region soon. three reasons why body shops fail. In conclusion, Anderson admitThe first one is cash flow, because vable vehicles). Their touch time for all cars is 5.96 hours per day and the very best shops spend 12.2 hours (drivable) and 6.9 hours (non-dri-
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Greenblat received the organization’s coveted Member of the Year award for 2013 at their First Quarter Board Meeting on April 20. The current president of the SC-CAA, Greenblat is all about service to his industry and a worthy recipient of the award, according to CAA Executive Director David McClune. “Randy has consistently given his time and expertise to the California Autobody Association,” McClune said. “He is willing to get involved in special projects CAA State President Ben Mendoza (left) and CAA Executive Director and his can-do attiDavid McClune (far right) congratulates SC-CAA President Randy tude is very reGreenblat with CAA’s 2013 Member of the Year award freshing. Every If you’re going to get stressed out organization needs someone like about this industry, save the hassles Randy, who isn’t afraid to jump in and get a job with a pension. Otherthere and make an impact.” wise, it’s an amazing business and On May 14, the East Bay chapthere are a ton of passionate, good ter of CAA (EB-CAA) met at Dublin people in the collision industry.” Chevrolet to hear a presentation by In other northern California Rick Carroll, Western Region CAA news, SC-CAA chapter long- Trainer for GM Clinics, about GM time member and officer Randy body shop training, and how to work ted that collision repair is indeed a tough business, but if it’s done right, it’s a great ride, he explained. “It’s still a very good way to make money. Where else can you make a gross profit of 15 to 18%? It’s a game and that’s exactly how you should treat it.
South Los Angeles Man Dies in Overnight Shop Fire
A man found dead early on June 16 after an automotive repair shop fire in South Los Angeles had been residing in a converted living space inside the densely packed business, which did not have smoke alarms or a sprinkler system. Firefighters discovered the body in a building at 80th and San Pedro streets, where crews responded at about 1:40 a.m. Fire officials said the victim was residing in a makeshift living space within the 900-square foot building. Those in the community mourned victim, a man they knew as “Victor,” who was a fixture in the neighborhood. Lillie Jordan, a friend of Victor’s, said she smelled gas near his home soon before the blaze. She asked him about it, and he just told her not to worry, she told NBC4. Omar Arias, 13, called 911 after smelling smoke. “We heard a guy yelling ‘help’ in Spanish,” Arias said. The body was found just inside the doorway, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The front security door was equipped with a double-cylinder deadbolt, which requires a key to enter or exit the building.
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with the manufacturer’s newest hybrid vehicles. Highlights included an introduction to hybrid high voltage safety procedures and basic troubleshooting, including service techniques on how to properly power down a two-mode system and how to enable the high voltage system. Tiffany Silva, the owner of Accurate Autobody in Richmond, CA, and the president of EB-CAA, brought four of her metal technicians to the meeting and gave Carroll’s training session five stars. “We have received a ton of training from Toyota about their hybrids and this was the first chance we had to learn about GM’s hybrids. It was a refresher course, because the technology is essentially the same, but we feel like we can never know enough about these cars. Rick is a wonderful speaker and all of us walked away with a lot of useful knowledge,” Silva said.
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18 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
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Cars are Selling Like Hotcakes after Oklahoma Tornadoes Destroy Thousands of Vehicles The Oklahoma Insurance Department reported on June 11 that more than 28,000 claims have been filed for private vehicle losses following the May tornadoes that hit Moore and El Reno. Now, car owners are replacing their vehicles and metro-area dealerships are seeing a surge in business as those affected are replacing their damaged cars, The Oklahoman recently reported. Insurance companies have been cutting checks to customers who suffered a loss, and those people have begun shopping for a replacement vehicle, dealers say. Nearly 20,000 private auto claims were filed for the May 19 and 20 storms, worth $51.7 million, and 8,215 have been filed for May 30 and 31, worth another $8.2 million, according to the state Insurance Department. Total vehicle losses, including commercial claims, are more than $62 million. David Stanley Chevrolet is advertising a “tornado relief sale” to capture sales. The dealership is offering a gasoline voucher for three months and down payment assistance of $1,000.
“Our telephone and floor traffic are increasing,” said Rob Stanley, president of the David Stanley Auto Group. “We haven’t seen the majority of it yet. A lot of people are still waiting on insurance checks.” Internet sales representative Jeff Nguyen said the dealership has been collecting donations, delaying car payments for new buyers and issuing loaner cars to those affected by the storm. “Obviously, we’re a business and we love to sell vehicles and help people out, but this is a little different. We hate selling vehicles in a situation like this. We want to be able to sell people a vehicle because they want a vehicle, not because they need a vehicle,” he said. Big Red Sports & Imports in Norman has been verifying insurance claims and putting the customer in a vehicle, even before the funds come in—something they wouldn’t normally do, said Richard Howard, general manager. “We’ve done well because we’re so close (to Moore.) We’re neighbors. We consider Moore and Norman the same,” Howard said.
Texas Shop Collects Water for Tornado Victims A North Dallas auto repair and body shop pitched in to help Oklahoma tornado victims by organizing a water drive and matching the donations case for case. Linear Automotive Repair in Plano, TX, is an auto repair and full collision repair/body shop servicing the North Dallas area. The owner, Joel Ozbun, asked people on May 24 through his Facebook page to donate water. “How could we enjoy a Memorial Day weekend with all those victims suffering in Oklahoma? Something had to be done,” he said. His Facebook post read: “Please open up your wallet and take a little time out of your day to make a difference, it will make you feel better, we promise.” An hour after the posting, people started showing up with cases of water. The team at Linear Automotive’s body shop put in extra time to keep the shop on schedule due to all the activity from the water donation logistics. There was a steady flow of people and businesses showing up with donations. The original plan was for the staff at Linear Automotive Repair to drive the water up to the Oklahoma victims. Once the cases of water started
stacking up, it was soon obvious that a bigger truck was going to be needed. MLE, a construction company in Plano, TX, heard about what was going on and offered to help transport the water. They supplied three big trucks and trailers to get the job done. The project ended up totaling over 1,200 cases of water and a little more than the trucks and trailers could carry after being loaded to full capacity. There are too many generous people and businesses that donated to mention, but a few include: MLE Construction in Plano, Main Street Tavern in Richardson, FinishMasters in Dallas, English Color in Plano, O’Reilly Auto Parts in Plano, HHHB, Sapparo Ramen & Sushi in Richardson, and Paul Coon. Paul Coon’s 9-year-old daughter gave her full allowance savings and contributed 12 cases of water on her own. Linear Automotive Repair services North Dallas including Richardson, Plano, Addison, Garland, Allen, McKinney, Frisco, The Colony, Carrollton, and surrounding areas. Linear specializes in helping people save money with affordable collision repair services and discounts on deductibles whenever possible. Linear Automotive is located at 905 Avenue K in Plano, TX.
www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 19
On Creative Marketing
Tom Franklin has been a sales and marketing consultant for fifty years. He has written numerous books and provides marketing solutions and services for many businesses. He can be reached at (323) 871-6862 or at email@example.com. See Tom’s columns at www.autobodynews.com under Columnists > Franklin
Deciding on a Marketing Course of Action Using Referents with Thomas Franklin
Many of the decisions we make at key decisive moments determine the course of our business thereafter. Buying expensive equipment, hiring a high-priced employee, investing in a management system—each of these decisive choices may be what I like to call “pivotal decisions.” The cost of making a wrong decision could set back the progress of your entire business. But the value of making the right choice may launch your shop into a significantly higher profit position. The future of your business may balance on this pivotal moment. Unfortunately not many shop owners or managers regard a marketing decision as having this powerful, pivotal effect, but considering the cost of deciding badly I suggest that this choice is as important as any. In business, it would be nearly impossible to get through the day without what I call “reliable referents.” The one we refer to the most these days is probably our cell phone, to keep us informed of the day and the time and messages. When travelling we rely on a map or G.P.S. or even a compass. In the body shop industry our referents are highly specific. These days it would be nearly impossible to write an accurate estimate without a crash estimating guide, either in book form or as a computerized estimating program. So what referents can we rely on when making a marketing decision? A good referent or rule-of-thumb is how directly the marketing efforts reach real probable prospects. Marketing decisions made in the past may no longer apply. Mailing pieces used
to be effective, but ‘junk mail’ is immediately tossed out today. At one time newspaper and magazine advertising were effective, but today, these are no longer the primary media to attract new business. In today’s electronic world the Internet, websites, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and other peer-to-peer social sites are more effective. But it’s still not the time to completely eliminate the print and publication world. Press releases can have a powerful positive effect when implemented properly. The real key to reaching specific job prospects is how we decide to target our marketing efforts and spend our marketing dollars. These days marketing efforts go in several different directions. Fortunately for many shop owners, there may be someone in the family who is comfortable with Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and more. The reliable referent here is familiarity. Putting someone to work on this on a regular basis is a must today and could be inexpensive. On the opposite side, the most expensive dimension will be having a highly professional person call on dealerships and commercial fleets. The reliable referent here is the rule that this activity requires real sales and negotiating skills. If the owner really wants to target this dimension, it would be foolish to do less than put a real professional on the job. An additional use for this individual can be reaching into the community by having him or her participate in the local Chamber of Commerce and other local professional groups. If a shop owner decides to just
SEMA Show Grows with International Buyers in Attendance
With more than 15,000 international buyers expected at the 2013 SEMA Show, exhibitors at the upcoming event have an opportunity to learn about new markets and what they can do to grow their businesses internationally. “As global demand for the industry’s products soars, there is huge opportunity for our members,” said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA VP of events and communications. “We have a comprehensive international relations program to help U.S. manufacturers connect with buyers in the
most relevant markets.” The SEMA Show offers a list of resources specifically designed to help international buyers work more effectively with exhibitors at the SEMA Show. These benefits include online registration, badge pickup, Center for International Commerce, exhibitor directory and networking. The association’s international relations program includes trade missions to key countries throughout the year, international research to identify developing markets, legislative issues and more.
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target damaged vehicles in the area, an inexpensive solution could be putting one or more retired ex-bodyshop workers on the street. The reliable referent here is that quantity pays. By using a business-card-size rough estimate to put on damaged vehicles, the key here would be quantity of vehicles looked at. Also perhaps the quantity of people on the street or in parking lots doing the rough estimates. This activity could be commission only for vehicles that come in for the complete estimate. Now we come to what people often think of when we talk about marketing: the use of literature, fliers, ads and press releases. Ads are costly and rarely targeted at specific job prospects. Bus ads, bus bench ads, billboards, banners and print ads all call for professional design. The reliable referent here is unprofessional ads will do more harm than good. There is great potential in using press
releases instead of ads for print publications. The target here is public interest and just developing respect for the shop. A reliable referent is that people respond to concerns for children. Selecting a charity for children or a school or even little league opens the door for many press releases about the shop’s contributions to events. Every time the school or charity puts on an event, the shop should sponsor it in some way and be certain a highly professional press release goes out to all local newspapers, local radio and TV stations, and school, church and college publications if appropriate. These also go to DRP business partners and on the shop’s website and social media connections. Marketing decisions become simple when reliable referents are consulted for each marketing target, and the marketing activity is viewed as a team effort rather than an impossible task for one marketing person.
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www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 21
We Asked Google: Will Self-Driving Cars Be Accident-Free? by Ed Attanasio
Years from now, we’ll be telling our grandchildren that back in the day we actually had to drive our own cars, navigating through commute traffic and fighting off road rage. Old cars driven by actual humans will sit in automobile museums and things like steering wheels and brake pedals will eventually be obsolete. No longer will men be able to claim they’re better drivers than women. Is this something out of a science fiction movie? Well, not anymore. After almost four decades developing self-driving vehicles and currently led by Google, Toyota and Audi, driverless cars have gone from fiction to reality and many believe they will eventually be the norm. Recently, U.S. auto safety regulators laid out plans to study the safety risks and benefits associated with selfdriving cars. A study by J.D. Power and Associates in late April illustrated that consumers are warming to the idea of self-driving cars, but still want features such as automatic park assistance or emergency braking on a fully
The testing of these cars has been thorough and intense, according to Google. Their widely-publicized selfdriving project team maintains a fleet of 10 vehicles, consisting of six Toyota Prius, an Audi TT, and three Lexus RX450h, each accompanied in the driver’s seat by one of a dozen drivers with perfect driving records and in the passenger seat by one of Google’s engineers. San Francisco is an ideal testing course for any driver or vehicle and one of the first things the Google fleet did was tackle the City by the Bay’s Lombard Street as well as crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, traveling along the Pacific Coast Highway and circling Google’s self-driving cars are now legal in a handful of states, Lake Tahoe. The cars including Nevada, California and Florida are designed to drive at Administration (NHTSA) announced the speed limit in each area, stored on that they “do not recommend at this its maps and maintaining its distance time that states should permit operafrom other vehicles, by utilizing its tion of self-driving cars for purposes system of sensors. The system proother than testing.” vides an override that allows a human autonomous car. In addition, these same regulators strongly recommend that anyone operating a driverless car should have a special license and appropriate training. Most everyone in the know has expressed a cautious “let’s wait and see” attitude about these new vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety
driver to take control of the car by stepping on the brake or turning the wheel, just like a cruise control system in many of today’s cars. Last year in March, Google posted a YouTube video showing a Morgan Hill, CA, resident, Steve Mahan, being taken on a ride in its self-driving Toyota Prius. In the video, Mahan said, “Ninety-five percent of my vision is gone, so I’m well past legally blind.” In August 2012, the Google team announced that they had completed over 300,000 autonomous-driving miles accident-free and were ready to start testing its fleet with single drivers instead of in pairs. Three U.S. states have passed laws permitting driverless cars as of September 2012: Nevada, Florida and California. While Google has no immediate plans to commercially develop their autonomous vehicle technology, the company hopes to develop a business division to market the system and deliver the data behind it to automobile manufacturers, according to veteran automotive journalist Michael Coates, the editor of www.cleanfleetreport.com.
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“Google isn’t really in the automotive business,” Coates said. “But they’re in the technology business, so it makes sense for a lot of reasons. Their real plan is to develop the technology further and find out a way to leverage it. I wouldn’t be surprised if all autonomous cars in the future will be made by the world’s leading carmakers, but each containing some aspect of Google’s technology.” So, no one really knows when autonomous cars will be prevalent on our streets and highways and with every form of new technology numerous questions also arise, especially within the collision industry. By taking the human element out of the mix, will self-driving vehicles be safer to operate? Will the collision industry be negatively impacted due to fewer accidents and eventually even become obsolete? Will these vehicles be affordable for John and Judy Doe and what will they cost? And how will this fleet of self-driving cars most directly affect the daily lives of people in the U.S. and worldwide? After inquiring for several months about the possibility of seeing or actually being a passenger in one of
Google’s self-driving cars, I received a response and the answer was a polite and succinct “No.” I was told: “You can ask us whatever you want and we’ll send you multiple photos of the car, but at this point we’re not making it available to the media.” A spokesperson from Google laid out the big picture for its new cars and outlined the benefits associated with them for Autobody News recently.
every year, and we think self-driving technology can help significantly reduce that number. Self-driving cars never get sleepy or distracted, and their ability to make driving decisions 20 times per second helps them run smartly. Already there are indications that a self-driving car can operate more safely than an average driver. “At heart, driving is an information problem. We’ve been teaching our self-driving cars to intelligently deal with all the signals and information that we normally process every day,” Google’s spokesperson said. “We’ve successfully driven over half a million miles in self-driving mode across a wide variety of terrain and road conditions, and we’re very pleased with the performance. We haven’t deterGoogle believes that its self-driving technology can greatly mined exactly how we will reduce the number of automotive fatalities worldwide by get the technology into peotaking most of the human element out of the equation ple’s hands, but we’re con“Our main goal with self-driving tinuing to develop and refine the cars is to transform mobility—to im- technology, particularly the reliabilprove people’s lives by making driv- ity.” ing safer, more enjoyable and more ABN asked the #1 question any efficient. Over 1.2 million people are body shop would want to know—do killed in traffic accidents worldwide these cars get into accidents and how?
“Our technology has never caused an accident,” a Google spokesperson said. “We did get rear-ended once at a traffic light while the computer control was off, and another time, one of our drivers caused a minor fender bender while manually driving the car. Neither of these cases involved injuries. It is a primary goal of the project to prevent incidents like these? Of course.” For body shop owners who covet the latest technology the next question is—are Google self-driving vehicles affordable at this time? Not unless you’re Donald Trump or someone super rich like Taylor Swift. Currently, Google’s driverless test cars contain $150,000 in onboard equipment, including a $70,000 LIDAR (laser radar) system and a Velodyne 64-beam laser range finder mounted on the vehicle’s roof. Once they hit the market and are produced in larger numbers, experts believe these vehicles will sell for between $80,000 to $100,000 and more. So, get your car counts up, body shop owners and make some money if you want to be one of the early adopters in this brave new world of self-driving cars!
www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 23
CAA San Diego Holds 19th Annual Golf Tournament with 80 Competitive Players
First place winners were (l to r) Ross Johnson, Jeff Johnson, Kirk Henson and Zac Brown
The San Diego chapter of the California Autobody Association held its 19th Annual Golf Tournament on Saturday,
The winners were: Low Gross 1st place: Jeff Johnson, Ross Johnson, Kirk Henson and Zac Brown with team Milo Johnson Auto Body and Henson and Son Auto Body scored a 58. Low Gross 2nd place: Kevin Kupka, Richard Ouchida, Rob Blue and Donny Nicoll with team Enterprise and 3M scored 61. Low Gross 3rd place: Team Autobody News with Jeremy Hayhurst, Barbara Davies, Sean Hartman and Kyle Robinson with a score of 62.
Mitchell team (l to r) Scott Miller, Kyle Drob and Shelton Byrd
Continued from Page 12
does not mean you don’t need to do any advertising or marketing. That’s absolutely ridiculous, especially when there is a ton of competition out there. If you don’t have a working website, it means you’re leaving a ton of money on the table and in the end, some other shop will be getting those cars. Unless you’re Donald Trump or just won the lottery, you need a website and it’s not even open for discussion, in my opinion.”
PA Shop Robbed, Gun Stolen
Finishing second place were (l to r) Rob Blue, Donny Nicholl, Richard Ouchida and Kevin Kupka
June 8 at Twin Oaks Golf Course in San Marcos, CA. The day was enjoyed by 80 players who competed fiercely to win top placement. Continued from Cover
tion regulations. It is believed to be the first such U.S. suit against any automaker, lawyers for All Star and Felder’s said. All Star has a parts distribution center that services its three Chevrolet stores, according to dealer lawyer Michael McKay of Baton Rouge. GM’s Bump the Competition program launched in 2009. It lets parts distributors such as All Star sell OEM parts at what the suit alleges were “bottom line prices” one-third below their aftermarket equivalents, then seek rebates from GM. Felder’s Collision Parts claims he incentive program hurt aftermarket parts sales in its operating territory, cutting into profits and forcing four competitors into bankruptcy. The suit contends that the defendants are engaged in an illegal conspiracy, the sole purpose of which is to eliminate the competition posed by sellers of aftermarket parts. The aftermarket parts company says its business has declined by a third from more than $3 million in 2008, just before the GM
Teter’s Autobody in Williams Township, PA, was robbed between May 30 and June 3. Items stolen included a Smith & Wesson MP 15 centerfire AR15 .223 rifle with a red dot sight and front rails and five 30-round magazines for the gun, according to state police. In addition to the gun and clips, eight NAPA car batteries and two Kicker L3 car speakers also were stolen.
3rd place low gross winning team was Autobody News, (l to r) Kyle Robinson, Sean Hartman, Barbara Davies and Jeremy Hayhurst
Men’s closest to the pin and men’s longest drive: Kyle Robinson. Women’s closest to the pin and women’s longest drive: Monique Buduan with Hertz.
program launched, to approximately $2 million per year in 2011. According to court documents, Felder’s argues that the pricing program has only been instituted with respect to OEM parts with a comparable aftermarket alternative. GM does not incentivize OEM dealers to sell parts without an aftermarket alternative at prices below cost. Then, once the competition has been “bumped,” Felder’s argues, the defendants will reap monopoly profits by ceasing to offer reduced prices on parts that currently have aftermarket alternatives. Defendants will be able to maintain these supracompetitive prices, according to Felder’s, because “high and difficult” barriers to entry in the automobile parts industry will prevent new entrants from competing with the defendants. The judge wrote in his opinion that “Here, Felder’s is willing to amend and it does not appear that such a request would be futile. Given the sudden and drastic difference between standard OEM prices and the prices offered under the challenged pricing program, there is reason for suspicion.” See Anticompetition Suit, Page 40
24 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Women’s closest to the pin and longest drive winner was Monique Buduan from Hertz
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—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has a body shop in the family and has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
Industry Insight with John Yoswick
CIC Discusses Forthcoming Changes to Standards Effort and MSDS It was announced at the latest Collision Industry Conference (CIC) meeting in Phoenix that CIC’s multi-year discussion of “industry standards” may be coming to a close later this year. Chairman George Avery announced that after “two months of talking to many individuals” about the issue, he plans to sunset the committee focused on the topic at the end of this year. Avery said some people expressed concern that CIC was “overreaching,” particularly when it began to suggest a structure for a new organization to oversee the final development and implementation of standards. He said he wants to guide CIC by its published mission statement, which states CIC is to serve solely as a forum where “industry stakeholders come together to discuss issues, build broad understanding, find common ground and communi-
cate…findings and possible solutions.” That mission statement, he said, “is not going to change on my shift (as chairman) unless we do that in January.” “I need something that’s stable and that we’ve used and has been in place, and I’m going to use it the rest of this year,” Avery said. “If the body would like to revisit how it’s written, that can occur in January.” Avery laid out a two-pronged approach to the standards issue at CIC for the rest of the year. First, he said, the CIC Definitions Committee will conclude its work on updating the list of shop equipment and caBrandon Thomas pabilities currently used as CIC’s definition of a “Class A” repair facility. Though that com-
mittee continues to discuss whether that document will be renamed, it has been used in a variety of ways over the years by insurers, associations, government agencies and other organizations looking to establish a list of the equipment, training and other items that distinguish professional repair facilities. Meanwhile, Avery will give the committee focused on standards time at the July and November CIC meetings for final presentations on “findings and possible solutions” related to two aspects of standards. In July in Boston, the committee will seek to address six specific questions Avery said he heard from those he spoke with regarding how OEM repair procedures can serve as a standard. Those questions include whether OEM “recommendations” should also be considered “standards,” and how to address situations for which there are no OEM-established procedures.
In November, Avery said, the committee will address the “inspection and verification of shop compliance” aspect of the topic, given that at a CIC meeting earlier this year, 79% of attendees thought shops should be inspected for compliance. “Then I’m closing that committee,” Avery said. “We’re not going to saw sawdust any more with the topic. Because CIC comes up to a point and stops. Then if companies want to take it from there and create inspections and verifications and programs, that’s for them to figure out and offer to the repair industry. They’ll find out whether it flies or not. That’s someone else’s bailiwick.” Avery said he believes his decision “is in the best interests based on the feedback I’ve gathered as CIC chair.” In addition, participants at the most recent CIC meeting overwhelmingly said it’s time for information
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providers and others accessing shop estimate data to convert from using the old EMS data exchange standard to the newer BMS standard. The fact that a poll of more than 200 CIC attendees at the meeting in Phoenix, AZ, found that 84% supported such a move was perhaps more surprising given that a similar poll at the CIC meeting in January found that only one in three CIC attendees said they even understood the key difference between the two standards. The education effort about the two standards has been led at CIC by Data Privacy Committee chairman Tony Passwater, who once again in Phoenix said the change could have significant impact for shops, insurers, parts suppliers and other industry vendors. Without going into to much technical detail, Passwater reiterated that while the EMS standard transfers all data from the estimate—including customer, vehicle, parts and labor information—the newer BMS standard provides shops with more control over what data gets shared, thus making it easier for them to protect the privacy of data for cus-
tomers, business partners and themselves. A parts vendor, for example, can be sent just the vehicle information and parts list—not the customer’s name, address and phone number. A rental car company or CSI provider doesn’t need every line item of the estimate. “There’s just unnecessary personal and business data that is being transmitted and captured by other parties that’s not necessary,” Passwater said of the industry’s continued use of EMS. He also pointed out that EMS, which was developed in 1994 and not updated in over a decade, lacks standardized transfer of email addresses or cell phone numbers, which weren’t as ubiquitous back then. While some information providers have moved to BMS for some or all data transfer, the vast majority of transactions are still handled through EMS, Passwater said. By the end of Passwater’s presentation, 84% of CIC attendees said they had a better understanding of the key differences between EMS and BMS— and that same percentage said information providers should move to BMS and eliminate EMS.
That change, and the elimination of EMS entirely should happen quickly, according to CIC attendees; one-third said it should happen in the next six months, another third said it should happen in a year, and 22% said within two years seems reasonable. Only 10% said EMS should never be eliminated.
MSDS to change Another coming change previewed at CIC in Phoenix involves an overhaul of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations regarding hazard communications. Part of the change: “Material Safety Data Sheets,” or MSDS, will become just “Safety Data Sheets” (SDS) over the next three years. That may sound like little more than a semantic change, but it will have real repercussions, beginning this year, for collision repair shops (and virtually all employers), according to Brandon Thomas of GMG Envirosafe, a regulatory compliance consulting firm. Thomas said the change is designed to make the warnings and other information provided through the sheets more consistent among products and manufacturers.
He said the 3-year phase-in includes requirements for shops this year. Primarily, all employees must by December of this year complete a training course on the new hazard communication requirements. Thomas also recommended that shops designate a “SDS library manager” to replace the old MSDS with the new SDS as they arrive between now and December 2015. That person, Thomas said, must compare the new sheet to the old to see if the defined hazards posed by the chemical have changed under the new OSHA guidelines (and some will, according to Thomas); if so, the employer must communicate that to employees and provide any additional personal protection equipment needed. Manufacturers have until the end of 2015 to convert over to SDS, and shops will have until mid-2016 to have their libraries completely converted. But with many manufacturers already issuing SDS, and with most shops using 500 to 600 chemicals each with its multi-page SDS, Thomas said it makes sense for shops to get a system in place now to begin to organize the transition.
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New Product Showcase Benefit of SEMA Show
For exhibitors looking to maximize exposure at the 2013 SEMA Show, the New Products Showcase serves as one of the greatest opportunities for reaching thousands of industry buyers and media. Exhibitor applications for the showcase are now available at www.SEMAShow.com/newproducts. “If an exhibitor wants to get their product out in front of buyers, entering the New Products Showcase is a no-brainer,” said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of communications and events. “An overwhelming majority of buyers look to the Showcase, all in hopes of finding products that they can add to their business.” Open to all exhibitors, the New Products Showcase offers categories for all-new products as well as previously introduced products. Products that do not meet specific criteria in terms of when they are available for shipment are included in the Showcase as a Featured Product. Products are submitted and featured based on market categories. There is no cost for the first product category submission, provided that the submission is entered before the early registration deadline and received online. In addition to increased exposure at the SEMA Show, every product in
the Showcase is photographed and featured in SEMA News. The trade magazine is distributed to 18,000 industry professionals monthly. Images and details of all products from the Showcase are also made available to media throughout the world. An analysis of SEMA Show media coverage showed that exhibitors who participated in the 2012 New Products Showcase had higher levels of exposure in stories after the Show. SEMA has also partnered with Autoweek magazine to further increase exposure for all products in the Showcase. All products will automatically be enrolled at no cost into Autoweek’s exclusive SEMA Collection digital marketplace, where the products will be promoted to enthusiasts throughout the year. To learn more about Autoweek's exclusive SEMA Collection digital marketplace, visit http://sema-collection.autoweek.com/register. Taking place November 5-8, 2013, the SEMA Show is the premier automotive accessories trade show in the world. Featuring more than 2,000 manufacturers and more than 130,000 industry professionals from all over the world, the SEMA Show includes educational seminars and events.
Industry Leaders to Convene During ASRW Automotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW), the industry’s premier networking event, is excited to announce the following events will take place during ASRW: the ASA Affiliate Association Leadership Forum and the 3rd Annual MSO Symposium. ASRW is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, Oct. 17-18, with educational classes beginning Wednesday, Oct. 16 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
ASA Affiliate Association Leadership Forum ASA will be hosting this event on Wednesday, October 16th from 8:30 a.m.– 4:30 p.m. for affiliate association executive directors and their board members. This meeting provides an opportunity for state associations around the country to share best practices and concerns, as well as strategically plan for the coming year. “As affiliate leaders, it is our job to provide direction to our members at a state level and create a vision for the future. This meeting gives us a chance to work together to set goals and strategize on the necessary steps for success for the health of the automotive service and collision repair industries, our respective state associations, and most
importantly, our members,” said ASA Michigan president Ray Fisher, AAM.
3rd Annual MSO Symposium The 2013 MSO Symposium will again take place in conjunction with ASRW. The event will take place Wednesday, October 16th at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Registration for the symposium is open. To date, the MSO Symposium is sponsored by BASF, DuPont Performance Coatings, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Mitchell and UniCure Spraybooths. “The MSO Symposium has quickly become a very important event for the collision repair industry. Holding it in conjunction with NACE, where everyone attending is part of and committed to our industry, makes it convenient, valuable and efficient for shop owners, and we’re looking forward to attending again this year,” said Tim O’Day, President & COO, Gerber Collision & Glass. “We’ve been inundated with interest from industry groups, new and returning, requesting to be a part of ASRW this year, and these functions represent just the first of many that will be taking place in conjunction with ASRW. We’ll be announcing others in the coming weeks,” said Dan Risley, ASA interim executive director.
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US Marine Presents Flag to Automotive Lift Institute While serving his country in Afghanistan, one thing that kept U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Ryan Anderson connected to life back home was Facebook. Last October, Anderson won an Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) Facebook giveaway for an ALI/Petty’s Garage hat autographed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard “The King” Petty. In appreciation of this support, Anderson flew a U.S. flag over FOB Geronimo in Afghanistan on ALI’s behalf. Anderson presented that flag to R.W. “Bob” O’Gorman, ALI president, at the Petty’s Garage Spring Fling Car Show in Level Cross, NC, while on leave May 25. The flag was accompanied by a United States Marine Corps certificate which states: “This certifies that the accompanying United States Flag was flown over FOB Geronimo, amid the battlefields of Afghanistan, during the decisive operations against enemy forces in Helmand Province of Afghanistan on 15 March 2013. Presented to Automotive Lift Institute.” O’Gorman, himself a Gulf War veteran, said he was honored to accept the flag on ALI’s behalf and plans to frame it with the certificate for display in the organization’s Cortland, NY, headquarters. “To think that a small gesture made through the ALI Facebook page
inspired a Marine to fly this flag on our behalf while serving in harm’s way and then to carry it home to personally give it to us is truly humbling,” O’Gorman said. “We thank Gunnery Sgt. Anderson for his service to our country and for taking the time to be with us.”
While stationed in Afghanistan, U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Ryan Anderson (left) won an Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) Facebook giveaway for a hat autographed by Richard Petty. In appreciation of this support from back home, Anderson flew a U.S. flag over FOB Geronimo on ALI’s behalf. Anderson presented this flag to ALI President R.W. “Bob” O’Gorman (right) at the 2013 Petty’s Garage Spring Fling Car Show while on leave May 25
www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 29
Continued from Cover
Dan Risley Talks ASA
body industry in many roles throughout the past three decades, he most recently worked as a market claims manager for Allstate Insurance Company. His previous experience includes work with CCC Information Services, BASF, and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS). After six years working in the insurance industry, Risley looks forward to reintegrating himself into the repair industry. His most recent position with Allstate involved overseeing part of the insurer’s DRP network. “I was the market claim manager for the Good Hands Repair network. I had oversight of the program in half of the country and the staff that oversees them. It was a very unique perspective that I was able to attain, because I got to see firsthand what was really important to insurance companies,” he said. While visiting New Orleans to attend ASRW near the end of 2012, Risley expressed interest in pursuing new opportunities to Darrell Amberson, ASA chairman-elect at the time, and be-
fore long a new opportunity presented itself. ASA offered to add Risley to their board. ASA named Dan Risley to the position of Executive Vice President of their organization effective March 18, 2013, and soon after, Risley was offered the position of Interim Executive Director. While there are many issues impacting the auto body industry in particular, Risley believes “The biggest concern for the industry is profitability and [sufficient] compensation to complete a safe and proper repair. The complexities of today’s vehicle and those in the future require significant capital investments in tooling, equipment and training. In addition, insurance company requirements or mandates will continue to negatively impact a collision repairers’ ability to maintain a profit which could inhibit their ability to reinvest in the business and staff.” Risley’s primary focus in resolving the concerns facing the industry today begins by listening to ASA members to ensure that the association is representing their best interests in the matters most important to them. Longterm, he hopes “to strengthen the association and extend our influence in the
industry from both a legislative and interindustry perspective.” Moving on to some of the specific issues plaguing body shop owners in particular, Risley addressed PartsTrader. He has said in the past that “ASA does not support PartsTrader and, by the way, nor should we. As an association it’s not our role to support or endorse a given product. ASA does not support State Farm [either] and nor should we.” He continues, “Any insurance company’s attempts to mandate a specific product or service since repairers should be free to choose the product that best fits the needs of the individual repairer. As such, ASA will continue to educate members and provide feedback to State Farm and PartsTrader in hopes of improving their product/program.” Risley recognizes that these types of programs will not go away. “If State Farm was to eliminate PartsTrader, it would not be long before another, similar program, took its place.” It is because PartsTrader is not illegal that it appears to be inevitable, at least for State Farm. Risley believes that industry professionals should focus on educating themselves so they are equipped to provide useful feedback, in hopes of
influencing the direction in which the insurers are headed. One issue that Risley believes has not received enough attention from repairers is most favored nation (MFN) clauses in DRP contracts which... “not only affects your State Farm business, but it has the possibility of impacting every job that comes through your shop. So for us this is a much larger issue,” he said. MFN is a concept borrowed from international trade agreements (hence the reference to nation) but in this case it should be termed the most favored customer clause. It is a contract provision in which a seller (shop) agrees to give the buyer (insurer) the best terms it makes available to any other buyer (or insurer). In this way the DRP ensures that it is getting the best deal available to any insurer. A law was recently passed in Michigan to ban insurers’ use of MFN clauses, but it did not include property casualty insurers, something Risley says ASA is working with Michigan legislators to change. Risley explains, “MFN’s do not benefit any of the stakeholders in the industry except the company enforcing the MFN Clause. These types of clauses
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have a negative impact on collision repairers (including those that are not on State Farm’s Select Service program), consumers and other insurance companies. These types of clauses have a dramatic impact on the marketplace. High performing collision repairers may elect not to be on the Select Service program because of their relationships with other carriers and the impact it will have on the profitability on the State Farm business. Conversely, some high performing shops may elect not to participate on any other carriers direct repair program because of the negative impact it would have on their State Farm business. In both cases, the consumer has less choice. An argument could be made that, in some instances, the consumers’ choice may not include the best in class shops in their area.” ASA also opposes Right to Repair, and Risley sees no compelling reason to change their stance on this issue. “Information is readily available. In those few instances where there was an issue, it was quickly resolved because of the collaboration with the car manufacturers and NASTF. Why involve the government to legislate and regulate something that appears to be already functioning and effective?” he asks.
Similarly the organization opposes the PARTS Act and its stated goal of reducing OEMs’ parts patent protection to 30 months. (See related article this issue, p. 37.) Risley is also taking careful note of ASA’s operation of its industry repair week (Automotive Service & Repair Week, ASRW, in Las Vegas this year.) “We need to make changes. We know that,” he has acknowledged. “It’s a good time for us to take a hard look at NACE and make wholesale changes where necessary. “We’re going to be making some fundamental changes to the 2013 program, and significant changes to the 2014 program.” As Risley becomes more involved with ASA, he is aware that priorities will change constantly, but he insists that ASA’s primary focus will always be their dedication to members. “As the industry changes, the issues and priorities change. An overarching priority that doesn’t change is ensuring that we are representing our membership in every board room, meeting and conference that is changing or setting the future direction of the collision and service repair industries. See Dan Risley Talks ASA, Page 59
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32 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
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www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 33
AUTOMAKER, AU A UTO OM MA M AK AK ER OEM OEM AUTOMAKER KE R,, OEM, M,, AND AND RECALL RE R E C AL CA ALL LL EC Autobody News
Toyota Recalls 242,000 Prius, Lexus Hybrids
Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling about 242,000 of its Prius and Lexus hybrid vehicles due to problems with braking systems. The recall applies to about 233,000 Prius vehicles made between March–October 2009 and about 9,000 Lexus HS250h models made between June–October 2009. The automaker said brake pressure parts in the vehicles are made of a weak material that could crack due to vibration, slowing response times. It said there were no accidents or injuries caused by the problem so far, but the company has received dozens of complaints.
Ford Recalls 465K Vehicles, Fire Risk is Biggest Problem
Ford Motor Co. recently issued three recalls for 2013 models, including a call back on 465,000 vehicles for fire risks after 600 complaints of fuel leaks. Additionally, the automaker also announced small recalls of the 2013 Lincoln MKZ because insulation on the engine block heater cord could catch fire, and of 2013 Ford Fusions that could have improperly assembled steering gears, which could cause loss of steering ability. The first recall, for potentially leaky fuel tanks, affects 465,000 vehicles including 2013 Ford Explorer, Taurus, Flex, Fusion and Police Interceptor utilities and sedans, and Lincoln MKS, MKT and MKZ.
Toyota Donates $250,000 to Oklahoma Tornado Relief
Toyota will make a $250,000 donation to support relief and rebuilding efforts for victims of the tornado that hit Moore, OK, and the greater Oklahoma City area on May 20. Funds will be allocated to immediate response and for mid-to-long term needs in the areas of food, small business revitalization and home rebuilding. Toyota will also match employee contributions.
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GM Recalling 2013 Cadillacs for Loosening Lug Nuts
General Motors is recalling certain model year 2013 Cadillac SRX vehicles, manufactured January 31, 2012, through March 18, 2013, and equipped with 18 inch wheels. On the affected vehicles, the wheel lug nuts may loosen. If the lug nuts loosen, they may fall off or cause the wheel studs to fracture. Either condition would allow the wheel to separate from the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.
Chryler Rejects NHTSA Call for Recall on Jeep Models
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, after a lengthy probe into rear-end collisions in which at least 51 people died, asked Chrysler Group LLC to recall 2.7 million Jeeps it believes are at risk of a fuel tank fire. But on June 4, Chrysler refused, standing by the safety of its SUVs. It is rare for an automaker to refuse a recall request. NHTSA can call public hearings into the issue and order a recall, but it needs a court order to enforce it. According to NHTSA’s tentative assessment, plastic gas tanks behind the axles of 1993–2004 Grand Cherokees and 2002–07 Libertys can be punctured and catch fire when the SUVs are hit from behind. Chrysler, which moved the gas tank location in later Jeep models, says the former design is safe and the automaker “does not intend to recall the vehicles.” “The subject vehicles are safe and are not defective,” Chrysler said in a statement issued June 4. “We believe NHTSA’s initial conclusions are based on an incomplete analysis of the underlying data, and we are committed to continue working with the agency to resolve this disagreement.” NHTSA said at least 32 fatal rear-impact fire crashes involving Grand Cherokees have resulted in 44 deaths, and at least five fatal rear-impact crashes involving the Liberty have resulted in seven fatalities.
34 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Ford F-150 Trucks Studied for Engine Problems
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said May 26 it is opening a preliminary investigation into 400,000 of Ford’s best-selling F150 trucks for acceleration problems. NHTSA said it received 95 reports of incidents of reduced engine power during hard accelerations in 2011–2013 Ford F-150 trucks equipped with 3.5L EcoBoost gasoline turbocharged direct injection engines. Some complaints allege unexpected sharp reductions in engine power during hard accelerations at highway speeds, such as attempted merging or passing maneuvers. NHTSA said one-third of the reports received say the incidents occurred while driving in humid or rainy conditions. Many complaints allege safety concerns associated with overtaking vehicles. NHTSA said Ford has issued three technical service bulletins related to intermittent stumble/misfire on acceleration from highway cruise in humid or damp conditions in some of the 2011 and 2012 F-150 vehicles. In one complaint, the owner of a 2011 F-150 said, as they attempted to pass a slow-moving vehicle, the “truck shuddered and lost ability to accelerate.”
Chrysler Recalls 630k Jeeps to Fix Transmission, Airbags
Chrysler Group said June 6 that it will recall more than 220,000 units of the Jeep Wrangler to fix a transmission flaw and 409,000 units of the Jeep Compass and Patriot worldwide to fix a software glitch that could stop airbags and seat belts from working in a crash. The first new recall affects 2012 and 2013 Wranglers with 3.6-liter engines and automatic transmissions. A flaw in vehicles built between Jan. 23, 2011 and Feb. 23, 2013 can cause the power steering line to rub on the transmission oil cooler line, wearing a hole that can leak transmission fluid.
GM Recalls 2013 Cadillac, ‘14 Impala for Brake Light Issues
On June 5, General Motors Co. announced it is recalling about 1,600 of its 2013 Cadillac ATS and XTS cars—and some 2014 Chevrolet Impala cars—to fix flickering brake lights and a cruise control issue. The Detroit automaker said it is recalling 1,621 new vehicles with brake lights that are flashing when the brake pedal is not engaged. The problem may also disengage the cruise control. About 1% of the recalled vehicles are believed to have the condition, which could falsely signal a following driver that the lead driver was slowing to a stop. The recall includes about 800 2014 Impalas and about 800 Cadillac cars. The condition was discovered at the Lansing Grand River Assembly plant “and due to fast action by GM, only about 80 cars in the recall population were in use. There are no customer complaints or known crashes or injuries,” GM spokesman Alan Adler said.
Ford to Stop Making Cars in Australia after 90 Years
Ford Motor Co. will stop manufacturing vehicles in Australia in 2016, a continent where the Dearborn automaker has produced automobiles for about nine decades. Ford said two manufacturing sites will close, resulting in 1,200 job losses. Ford said it has lost about $581 million in Australia in the last three years. The Australian car market comprises about 1.1 million annual newvehicle sales split among more than 65 brands. A weakening Japanese yen compared to the Australian dollar has resulted in import vehicles that are less expensive. Ford said it will maintain a presence in Australia through 1,500 team members and more than 200 dealers. Ford will also launch updated versions of three popular Australian cars and will continue to offer global products like the Ranger pickup truck and Focus compact car.
U. S. Probes 400K GM Cars for Possible Air Bag Defects
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is opening an investigation to determine if General Motors Co. should recall 400,000 additional vehicles for defective air bags. The U.S. auto safety agency opened an investigation to determine whether GM went far enough in issuing two small recalls for air bag problems in October 2012 and January 2013. Those recalls addressed a defect in electrical connectors for the driver’s front air bag in certain 2012 Chevrolet Cruze, Sonic and Camaro models as well as Buick Verano vehicles that could prevent the air bag from deploying in a crash. The Detroit automaker recalled about 7,000 cars in total, but now NHTSA is investigating whether 400,000 2012 Chevrolet Camaros, Cruzes and Sonics, and Buick Veranos should be included. GM initially issued a service bulletin in August 2012 to address the air bag defect in 2012 Cruze and Verano vehicles built before June 21, 2012. GM issued a safety recall covering about 3,000 2012 Cruze, Verano and Sonic vehicles built from April 2, 2012 to June 29, 2012. A second recall covers about 3,900 2012 Cruze, Verano, Sonic and Camaro vehicles built from Dec. 16, 2011–Feb. 1, 2012.
Every 2014 Buick Model Will Offer Active Safety Suite
Every 2014 Buick model: Verano, Regal, LaCrosse, Encore and Enclave; will be offered with a suite of available active safety systems that watch the front, side and rear of the vehicle to help prevent crashes. Buick will be the first brand in the industry to offer Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Warning, and a Rear Vision Camera as options on every vehicle. Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning are a pair of technologies that use a single forward-looking camera to read traffic and lane markers on the road ahead. Visual warnings and audible tones alert the driver to unsignaled lane changes or a slowed vehicle. Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Side Blind Zone Warning use radar to watch spots the driver may not see and provide visible and audible warnings to help prevent collisions. When the vehicle is in reverse and the Rear Vision Camera is active, Rear Cross Traffic Alert will flash a red icon and directional arrow if another vehicle is approaching from either side, which is especially useful backing out of a tight driveway or parking space in a busy lot.
Ford is First OEM to Sign Up For NACE/CARS in Vegas
Ford will exhibit at the 2013 Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW). Ford is the first of the major OEMs to commit to exhibiting at this year’s ASRW. The event includes NACE, for collision repair industry professionals, and CARS, for those on the automotive service side. ASRW will take place Thursday and Friday, Oct. 17–18, with education beginning Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
Chrysler: Pickups and Darts
Chrysler Group said it will recall about 37,000 model year 2013 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks on two separate issues, neither of which had led to any accidents or injuries. Chrysler also said it is recalling about 14,800 of its 2013 Dodge Darts because the vehicles’ engines may stall at cold temperatures. The two recalls come a week after Chrysler said it refused a request from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall 2.7 million 1993–2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002– 2007 Libertys for an alleged fire risk caused by fuel tanks mounted behind the rear axle.
Tesla and Chrysler Trade Tweets on Repaying Loans
Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to respond to Chrysler’s barb that Tesla wasn’t the first American automaker to repay the U.S. government for aid. Tesla, which recently paid off the remaining $451.8 million on its 2010 Department of Energy loan, received $465 million under the highly politicized Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program. It is the first company with a loan from that program to repay its debt. In its official announcement, Tesla said it is “the only American car company to have fully repaid the government.” The pronouncement didn’t go over well with Gualberto Ranieri, Chrysler’s senior vice president of corporate communications, who posted a blog entitled, “Not Exactly, Tesla.” “The information is unmistakably incorrect,” Ranieri wrote. “It’s pretty well known that almost exactly two years ago—May 24, 2011—Chrysler Group LLC repaid (in full and with interest) U.S. and Canadian government loans more than six years ahead of schedule.”
www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 35
North Carolina Body Shop Wins Short-Pay Arbitration Case Against Nationwide Insurance
Michael Bradshaw, VP of Operations of K&M Collision in Hickory, NC, was awarded claimed short-pays in a court ordered arbitration. The binding arbitration was the result of Bradshaw filing a lawsuit on behalf K&M Collision’s customer against Nationwide Insurance for the insurer’s underpayments of what was determined to be reasonable and necessary repair costs. In North Carolina every lawsuit files goes to binding arbitration and only after same can either party then seek a trial if so inclined. The insurer’s short-pays included: labor rates ($48 Body & Refinish, $80 Mechanical and $65 Frame), procedures (i.e. sand and buff, final detail, road test, color tint and collision access time), invoiced paint & materials, sublet markup, fixture usage and a $250 Damage Analysis fee which included a comprehensive part-by-part inspection of all components including: exterior panels, inner structure, mechanical components and SRS and seat belt systems. The award also included storage charges at a rate of $50 per day for the total amount of $2,506.98 plus accrued interest until the insurer’s full payment is made.
“I’m glad the courts recognized whom the repair experts were,” said Bradshaw. “From the beginning I was very confident we would succeed through our legal system in proving all our charges to be both reasonable and necessary. For any insurer to expect all shops to operate by the same rates, procedures and charges regardless of training, manufacturer certifications, equipment and facilities is ludicrous. The fact is we have made a commitment to repairing vehicles properly, adhering strictly to all manufacturer repair methods and guidelines and what we’re consistently finding with some insurers is they care very little about manufacturer certifications and proper repairs and only about bottom line cost and the cheapest repairs possible. “My father (CEO) and I decided if we were going to stay in business and continue to repair vehicles properly we could no longer accept insurer dictated repair costs. We found that short-pay litigation was necessary to stop insurer underpayments and provide our customers with the factory certified repairs their policy affords them.”
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CT Shops to get $20M
body shops. The lawsuit also alleged that The Hartford provided incentives to its appraisers to establish artificially low hourly rates for auto body repair work. Labor rates are not uniform across the state, Slossberg said, and the rate The Hartford used was low, at $50 an hour. Slossberg said The Hartford should have used a higher rate that was more comparable to the rates of mechanics, which are about $90 an hour. The Hartford’s spokesman, Thomas Hambrick, said, “We are disappointed in the ruling and plan to appeal.” None of the money has been paid to auto body repair shops yet. At the end of the legal process, there will be a fund of money that includes the $14.7 million in compensatory damages and the $20 million in punitive damages, said Slossberg. “In most class actions, when you have a common fund like that, you then allow each member of the class to apply and there will be a process that
will be set up to distribute the money to members of the class,” Slossberg said. Ultimately, payment will depend on whether The Hartford wins an appeal. Fees for the lawyers will be set later, according to Slossberg, who noted they have worked on this case for 10 years without collecting any fees. He said there is a bigger issue here, however, because the activities of The Hartford have hurt some small businesses. Slossberg said prior to the first insurance company creating a network of preferred repair shops, auto body businesses were making a 6% profit. Today, they’re at 2%, he said. In Connecticut, the shops have a lot of expenses related to equipment and environmental regulations, Slossberg noted, and the shops need to pay for talent. “They’re craftsmen,” he said. Tony Ferraiolo, president of the ABAC and owner of a lead complainant, Wallingford-based A&R Body Specialty, said that despite the wins, insurers don’t appear to be getting the message.
“We certainly feel great about the judge’s decision,” he said. “We don’t feel very good about The Hartford actually doing what they court has put in place.” Besides the payments, The Hartford was issued a cease-and-desist order related to its appraisals. But Ferraiolo said he’s not [yet] seeing any changes in the way it and other insurance companies are settling
bills. He said sometimes shops are being paid at lower labor rates, and the shops then have to take the insurer to small claims court. Besides The Hartford, ABAC is also suing Progressive in U.S. Federal Court regarding similar claims. Thomas D. Rohback, of Axinn Veltrop, referred questions about the case to his client, the Hartford Fire Insurance Co. Spokesman Thomas
Hambrick said, “We are disappointed in the ruling and plan to appeal.” Robert Langer, of Wiggin & Dana, and a CUTPA expert, declined to comment. He is expected to handle the appeal. The Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act provided remedies for economic practices that are immoral or harmful to the public, even if they violate no specific law.
Jennings took into account the “large net worth of the Harford” which was approximately $12 to $13 billion, in order to fashion an award that has meaningful “deterrent motivation.” The plaintiffs had requested punitives of $59 million, or four times the jury’s award of $14,765,556. The actual award is a multiple of approximately 1.35 times the jury award.
sign patent to: 1) make, test or offer to sell within the U.S., or import into the U.S., any article of manufacture that is similar or the same in appearance to the component part claimed in such design patent if the purpose of such article is for the repair of a motor vehicle to restore its appearance to as originally manufactured; and 2) use or sell within the U.S. any such same or similar articles for such restorations more than 30 months after the claimed component part is first offered for public sale as part of a motor vehicle in any country. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) asked members of Congress to oppose similar legislation in the previous congresses in which the bill was introduced. ASA joined a
coalition of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), new car dealers, labor unions and other trade associations in sending a letter to Reps. Howard Coble (R-NC), chairman, and Mel Watt (D-NC) ranking member, of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet, asking that they oppose H.R. 1663. The letter outlined the following concerns: “Manufacturers of unlicensed automobile parts have to meet only one basic threshold, to produce a copy that passes off as an original part. Those who produce such parts incur no costs attributable to original design, research and development and most impor-
tantly, product safety testing. Accordingly, the manufacturer of the original product for whom such unlicensed replacement parts are made does not know how these parts will perform with the rest of the vehicle and how their use will impact the quality and integrity of the original product. Automotive collision repairers are very concerned about the quality of replacement crash parts. Permitting this intellectual property infringement also exposes consumers to significant safety, performance or durability risks without their knowledge.” To view the full text of this legislation, along with the letter sent to Coble and Watt, visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.
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U.S. Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Ca.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Ca.) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and U.S. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Ut) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in the U.S. Senate, recently introduced legislation titled the Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade and Sales Act of 2013. Known as ‘‘PARTS Act,’’ this legislation provides for an exception from infringing U.S. design patents for certain component parts of motor vehicles. The bill would amend the U.S. design patent law to change the period of design patent protection for automakers from 14 years to 30 months. The Congressional Research Service reports that the bill makes it not an act of infringement with respect to a de-
ASA Opposes PARTS Act—Coalition’s Letter Highlights Quality Concerns
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www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 37
Chief Automotive to Sponsor SkillsUSA Again For the 27th consecutive year, Chief Automotive Technologies will sponsor the Collision Repair Technology Championship at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. The 2013 conference, held June 24-28 in Kansas City, MO, brings student winners from statewide competitions together to compete for national championships in more than 90 disciplines. Chief will supply most of the structural repair equipment for the Collision Repair Technology (CRT) event, including a frame rack, computerized measuring system and damage simulators. Chief also developed the written structural repair test to be administered during the contest. The winning CRT student will receive free registration for a future Chief University training class, and all participants will receive a Chief-branded flashlight. Several Chief staff members will volunteer their time to help manage the event. Independent Chief University instructor Ken Soupene leads the CRT committee, which also includes Chief Global Repair Product Manager Richard Perry; Mike Croker of Chief distributor Automotive Tech-
I-CAR Announces More Speakers for July Meeting
I-CAR continues to announce its 2013 Inter-Industry Conference speakers for July 24 and 25 in Boston. The following technology leaders will present key industry topics such as: advancements in integrated vehicle safety systems, evolving vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-vehicle communications, driver and pedestrian safety, the impact of CAFE on vehicle design, and the potential for autonomous vehicles. Additional speakers include: • Nathaniel Beuse, Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety and Research, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) • David Zuby, Chief Research Officer, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) • Richard Wallace, Director, Transportation Systems Analysis, Center for Automotive Research (CAR) • Dr. Kay Stepper, Director, Driver Assistance Systems, Chassis Systems Control, Robert Bosch LLC These speakers join previously announced speakers, including keynote speaker Reginald R. Modlin, Director of Regulatory Affairs, Chrysler Group LLC. ®
nology Inc.; Tom Beachem and John Ressler of Nationwide Insurance; Marty Hettle, retired; and Bob Keith of CARSTAR. The group will help set up the structural repair CRT area, oversee testing, answer questions and supervise all week. “We first got involved with SkillsUSA in 1986 to promote educational programs and give back to the industry,” said Perry. “It has been a very rewarding partnership. By working together, we can ensure the next generation of technicians is properly trained in the evolving field of structural damage analysis and repair.” This year’s SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference is expected to draw more than 15,000 students, teachers and business partners from across the country. All championship competitions will be held Thursday, June 27. For the CRT contest, students will work against the clock and each other to demonstrate their metal straightening, welding, plastic repair and structural analysis abilities. Judging is based on the overall appearance of the finished product, safety practices employed, speed, written exams and an interview.
Ryan Collision Becomes First Nebraska ABRA Center
Ryan Collision Center recently had a name change. The auto body shop is now ABRA Auto Body & Glass. However, ownership and employees will remain the same, co-owner Jim Ryan said. “I saw it as an opportunity for us to graduate to the next level in terms of the performance that we can give our customers,” Ryan said. It’s the first ABRA to pop up in Nebraska, but Ryan said most of the chain’s locations are concentrated in the Midwest. Ryan said the shop now offers additional services, such as software that helps manage the repair process, a call center that allows the shop to schedule repairs outside of its business hours and a 24-hour towing service. After the change, the business hired three employees, with plans to add more in the future, Ryan said. ABRA is based in Minneapolis, Minn., with locations in Colorado, Iowa, South Dakota and Illinois, among others.
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38 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Progressive Gave 59 Vehicles to Military Veterans
On June 12, 59 veterans drove away with refurbished cars, courtesy of Progressive Insurance and the National Auto Body Council (NABC). The one-day event called ‘Keys to Progress’ took place at several Progressive’s Service Centers across the country. Progressive worked with NABC member body shops to recycle and donate damage vehicles. They were restored for the veterans as part of a special NABC Recycled Rides project. “Whether they need the car to go to work, volunteer or get medical treatment, we’re happy that we’re able to help them keep moving forward,” said Tom Minnick, senior claims director at Progressive Insurance Enterprise Rent-A-Car will provide insurance for each donated vehicle for the first six months. “Between the NABC, Enterprise, local body shops, 1 800 Charity Cars, local VFWs and other military charities, we’ve worked together to find and restore vehicles for some great families. We really enjoy using our Service Centers for community events like this,” added Minnick. Keys to Progress is one of the single largest donations of vehicles in the history of the Recycled Rides program.
“Recycled Rides started in 2007 with five vehicles donated across the country the entire year, so seeing 59 donated in one event with one insurer just six years later is really outstanding,” said Chuck Sulkala, executive director of the National Auto Body Council. “Keys to Progress and other Recycled Rides events are made possible by everyone making the effort to go the extra mile—doing a little more each day to help make life better for those who need a helping hand.” Progressive Service Centers in the following cities participated in Keys to Progress (some cities had multiple vehicles): Phoenix and Tempe, AZ; San Diego, CA; Denver, CO; Hartford, CT; Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach, FL; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Indianapolis, IN; Kansas City, KS; New Orleans, LA; Baltimore, MD; Detroit, MI; Minneapolis, MN; St. Louis, MO; Albany, NY; Las Vegas, NV; Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus, OH; Oklahoma City, OK; Portand, OR; Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, PA; Providence, RI; Austin, Dallas, Houston, TX; Richmond, Springfield and Virginia Beach, VA; Seattle, WA; and Milwaukee, WI.
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email@example.com www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 39
Continued from Page 24
Judge Brady continued, “This demonstrates that the program allows OEM dealers to cut pricing by nearly half for an OEM part with an aftermarket counterpart. Given the nature of antitrust suits, in which the plaintiff’s access to information is often limited, the Court is inclined to grant Felder’s’ request for leave to amend. The judge based his decision in part on an earlier case from which he quoted, “We believe that summary procedures should be used sparingly in complex antitrust litigation where motive and intent play leading roles, the proof is largely in the hands of the alleged conspirators, and hostile witnesses thicken the plot.” Judge Brady said, “Felder’s contends that once the competition has been ‘bumped,’ the defendants will reap monopoly profits by ceasing to offer reduced prices on parts that currently have aftermarket alternatives and will be able to maintain these supracompetitive prices because ‘high and difficult’ barriers to entry in
the automobile parts industry will prevent new entrants from effectively competing.” In a joint court filing, GM and All Star said the incentive program lowers resale prices “to be more costcompetitive” with non-OEM parts. Brady ruled that the suit, as filed, is deficient in many ways. Felder’s must show that there is “a dangerous probability” that GM and All Star will recoup profits that were lost on below-cost parts sales, and that they “engaged in the alleged predatory practice with the specific intent to gain monopoly power,” he said. Felder’s will file its revised complaint and start pretrial discovery if the case is determined to have merit, said plaintiff’s lawyer Peter Hilbert Jr. of New Orleans. McKay, the dealer lawyer, said, “Obviously we don’t think the case has merit and will defend it strongly.” A GM spokeswoman said she could not discuss pending litigation.
40 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
U.S. Warns Against General Use of Self-Driving Cars
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration unveiled new guidelines to states for self-driving cars, urging they be used only for testing and requiring safeguards to ensure they can be taken over by a driver in the case of malfunction, the Detroit News recently reported. The auto safety agency is laying the groundwork for nationwide regulations if autonomous vehicles become commercially available. A number of states have sought input from the agency, which doesn’t want states setting their own safety requirements. NHTSA said it was embarking on a four-year research effort on selfdriving or autonomous vehicles as it considers requiring features like automatic braking to prevent crashes. NHTSA wants test drivers to get special licenses. If a state was to allow use of self-driving vehicles by the public, the agency urged them to require a special license and to mandate that person sit in the driver’s seat, ready to take over. Driverless cars use video cameras, radar sensors, laser rangefinders and detailed maps to monitor road and driving conditions.
3M Gives $250,000 Worth of Tape to 312 Repair Schools
3M recently helped 312 secondary and post-secondary collision school programs nationwide by donating more than 15,000 rolls of 3/4” tape and more than 22,000 rolls of 2” tape through the Collision Repair Education Foundation. This donation, with a monetary value of roughly $250,000, will help ease the pain of budget cuts to these programs. Mark Algie, Business Development Manager of the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division, said, “We believe in what the Collision Repair Education Foundation stands for and this is just our simple way in which we can help as many schools as possible. It is our hope that these donations help in some small way, so that the students, schools and ultimately the industry will benefit.” Collision instructor Rich Chandler of the George Stone Technical Center in Pensacola, FL, said, “On behalf of the George Stone Automotive Collision Repair and Refinish class we would like to thank you for your generous donation. The cost of consumable supplies eats up a major portion of our budget and your donation helped tremendously.”
Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes Sets 2013 Third Quarter Training Schedule; Check Online Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes offers training sessions that provide collision repair industry professionals advanced knowledge in their field. Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes recently announced the latest courses and training sites for the third quarter, 2013, available July 9 through Sept. 30, 2013. Training is available to all shop owners, managers, painters, and technicians, who can choose to advance their business-building, production-excellence and/or paint application techniques, as needed. Participants will learn through a combination of classroom, digital, and hands-on settings at various metropolitan Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes training centers. The following courses will be offered during the third quarter: • AWX Performance Plus™ Waterborne Refinish System Painter Certification • Color Adjustment and Blending • Estimating Solutions for Profit • Painter Certification
“All of our courses this year reflect the Sherwin-Williams philosophy of lean operations,” said Rod Habel, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes Director of Training Operations. “We’re always seeking to introduce concepts that support sustainable practices, increase productivity and minimize or even eliminate waste-all factors that are necessary to the success of a collision center,” he said. The upcoming curriculum has a strong emphasis on the company’s breakthrough AWX Performance Plus waterborne coatings technology, while other classes will focus on painting excellence with its ULTRA 7000®, Dimensions®, Genesis® and ATX refinish systems. For more information about Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes training, visit its training section at: http://www.sherwin-automotive.com/ Training/TrainingCourseSchedule.asp x or call 1-800-SWULTRA (1-800798-5872).
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Car-O-Liner Supports WorldSkills 2013 Autobody Repair Contestants from United States, Canada Car-O-Liner®, a provider of collision repair equipment to the automotive aftermarket, recently trained representatives from the United States and Canada who will be competing in the Autobody Repair skill at the 42nd WorldSkills Competition held at the Leipzig Trade Fair and Exhibition Center in Leipzig, Germany July 2-7, 2013.
George Mason, the representative for the United States, trained with Carolina Collision Equipment, the regional Distributor for Car-O-Liner products in North and South Carolina. George attended the Lexington Technology Center and is employed at Gilbert Paint & Body in Gilbert, SC. This year, more than 1,000 competitors from more than 50 countries/regions
will test their skills in Leipzig, Germany, as they compete for the coveted title of WorldSkills Champion. Considered the best of the best, contestants compete for four days in 45 occupational skill areas. Accompanied by their teachers, trainers and industry technical committee experts, these young people compete before the public in contests that are run and judged using demanding international standards. In the WorldSkills Autobody Repair contest, competitors must: correct all structural misalignment of the unitized body shell using hydraulically operated repair equipment to pull/push the body back into proper alignment; verify the accurate realignment of the unitized body, including suspension attachment points using industry recognized Autobody measuring equipment; replace a damaged structural (frame) member using internationally accepted procedures; repair cosmetic damage to an exterior steel and/or aluminum and /or plastic body panel (fender, door, quarter panel, roof, etc.) by metal finishing (or repair product in the case of a plastic panel); and, replace cosmetic non-structural exterior steel and/or aluminum body panel (fender, door, quarter panel, roof, etc.).
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Boyd Group Acquires 61 Auto Glass Locations
The Boyd Group Income Fund has acquired majority ownership in the retail auto glass business of Glass America Inc. Glass America operates 61 auto glass locations throughout 23 U.S. states under the trade names Glass America and Auto Glass Services. The Boyd Group already operates Gerber National Glass Services, an auto glass repair and replacement business with roughly 3,000 affiliated service providers throughout 12 U.S. states. With the acquisition of Glass America, the Boyd Group said it is now the second largest retail auto glass service business in the United States in terms of footprint and annual sales. Brock Bulbuck, president and CEO of the Boyd Group, said the company will now offer glass replacement services in 28 U.S. states to 50% of the U.S. population. Glass America and Gerber National Glass Services together are expected to generate more than $60 million of annual revenue. Glass America generated revenue of $43 million in 2012, while Gerber National Glass Services generated revenue of $19 million.
SCRS Says Insurer-Mandated Parts Procurement Still Shows No Benefits
SCRS said in a recent press release, “Despite public criticism and concern expressed by multiple affected industry segments, neither State Farm nor PartsTrader has provided any wellconstructed explanation of how the program provides any substantial benefit to those being required to utilize it, other than to comply with the mandated programs. “While PartsTrader has made various software updates to address the plentiful concerns expressed by their end-users, correcting and enhancing software issues is a necessary function of being in a technology business, and the industry still expects that technology companies should be able to provide a better value proposition for why we should be using their product than ‘because we got the insurance company to tell you to,’” said SCRS Chairman, Ron Reichen. “Perhaps the best questions to PartsTrader, and other companies... is to ask if their platforms can benefit the market enough that they could, and would, grow organically without the insurer influence over their enduser?” Other similarly mandated programs have begun to receive more attention as well, as insurers involved
continue to require the use of programs despite a recognition that there is growing frustration from shops who are obligated to change their internal business practices to accommodate the changing rules of the DRP relationships. In an email from one American Family field adjuster to a group of repair businesses on the program, he stated, “I’ve received lots of feedback from almost everyone about APU [Solutions]. There is some good with it, and then there are some very frustrating/difficult stuff to deal with. One of the major concerns I’m hearing about right now is APU recommending all these little outlying suppliers that are requiring credit cards before you can order a part. Shops are not set up to be dealing with credit cards all over the country, and truly local suppliers such as Keystone don’t require them. Another concern is freight and more specifically, how returns are handled. None of these are making things easier for you and that’s frustrating for everyone.” Another concern mentioned is when parts that are recommended by APU are located in multiple different states, or from multiple vendors. If there are 15 parts on an estimate, a re-
Mac Tools Donates $10,000 to Collision Repair Education Foundation
Mac Tools recently donated $10,000 in tools to six collision school programs through the Collision Repair Education Foundation. The collision school programs that received the product donations had applied for the Education Foundation’s 2012 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant and noted their specific need for tools within their grant application. Through the Mac Tools product donation, collision school instructors are able to incorporate current model tools and equipment for teaching proper collision repair to students. The six schools that received the Mac Tools donations are: • Manhattan Area Technical College (Manhattan, KS) • Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville (Shelbyville, TN) • Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES at Ellicottville (Ellicottville, NY) • Tuscola Technology Center (Caro, MI) • Madison Area Technical School (Madison, WI) • Lake Washington Tech College (Kirkland, WA) “The Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville deeply appreci-
ates the generous donation of tools from Mac Tools,” said Ivan Jones, director of the Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville. “With the continued decrease in state appropriations to higher education institutions, this donation allows the TTCS to utilize scarce resources more efficiently. With the additional tools, the learning pace and hands-on learning increases since students do not waste valuable project time waiting for tools to become available. This donation directly helps the quality of the collision repair technology program.” Added Collision Repair Education Foundation Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode, “I would like to thank Mac Tools for their annual donation of $10,000 of tools to the Collision Repair Education Foundation and joining in our efforts to support the future professionals of the collision industry. Through the collision school programs participating with our Ultimate Collision Education Makeover school grant, we were able to match their specific request for Mac Tools products and fulfill the requests due to the company’s generosity.”
42 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
pair facility could potentially be expected to purchase parts from 15 different vendors in 15 different states based solely on APU’s recommendations. “I’ve passed on your concerns to my boss,” the email continued, and “in turn, he will be in a series of meetings this and next week with his boss as well as other managers from around the region. He tells me he’s going to bring up your concerns to be discussed. Hopefully, some less frustrating answers will be coming out of these meetings.” “Despite the obvious recognition of the hardships these mandates are potentially creating, and despite the rapidly evolving market place where it appears more and more online parts procurement solutions are entering into the marketplace, it is baffling why carriers continue to dictate process, rather than seeking a results-driven relationship with repairers,” said Aaron Clark, SCRS Immediate Past Chairman. “It certainly leaves the impression that there is more to gain for the insurance industry than the desire for increasingly informed selection of parts choices from reasonable vendors and more efficient processing.”
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www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 43
Maryland Shop “Not Going to Take it Anymore” —Wins Short Pay Lawsuit Against GEICO
A judge awarded Mark’s Body Shop of Baltimore, MD, full damages and court costs for insurer’s short-pay to their customer. Mark Schaech, co-owner of Mark’s Body Shop, filed a lawsuit against GEICO for a short pay of $392.95 in repair costs of which the insurer refused to provide on behalf of their policyholder. The underpayments included: degreasing vehicle prior to repair, feather-prime and block repaired panels, clean vehicle for deliver, clear OBD fault codes, reset electronics (recorded settings), mask for primer, and overhaul door handle for its refinishing. Upon learning of the court’s judgment in his favor, Schaech said, “We offer exceptional quality and service to our customers and to continue to do so without being properly compensated is simply unreasonable and unsustainable. While my father (partner) and I would rather avoid having to take such legal actions, something had to be done as the insurer’s efforts to underpay our customers continued to increase. I felt like that guy on the movie Network
where he stuck his head out the window and yelled: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not taking it anymore!” “While Maryland does not allow the recovery of legal fees to the prevailing parties in such issues, we couldn’t allow that to be a deterrent in our being able to properly serve our customers and our employees. Insurers have continued cutting their costs while our costs for labor, materials and overhead have steadily increased. The only way we could survive was to either concede to the underpayments and cut our quality of materials and labor… or push back. We found shortpay litigation necessary to stop the insurer’s practice of underpaying our customers and to enable us to provide the quality repairs that earn our customer’s (and their referrals) for life. “In April 2012, I had the opportunity to attend a free legal seminar in Florida where I met...Ray Gunder and Ray’s attorney, Brent Geohagan. This was a turning point for us. To hear Ray talk about how he knew that if he hadn’t done something he would be out of business struck a chord in me and I knew then that I too needed to do something or we’d lose our business...”
State Farm Ordered to Pay Gunder’s Legal Fees from Two Initial Lawsuits, Totalling $83,400 by Barrett Smith
A judge has ruled in a fee dispute that State Farm is to provide payment of $76,157 to Ray Gunder for legal fees relative to one of two initial lawsuits Ray Gunder levied against the nation’s largest auto insurer for shortpays on behalf of two of Gunder’s customers. Gunder and his attorney, Brent Geohagan, have reached a tentative out of court agreement in the other case for the insurer to pay legal fees in the amount of $7,250 plus accrued interest which brings the total amount to be paid by State Farm to an estimated $83,400 in these two matters alone. Efforts were initially made by the insurer to condition a non-disclosure agreement in exchange for payment but Ray refused and the court’s award was not contingent upon same. “The extensive fees were incurred due to the substantial time our attorney invested to research and combat State Farm’s initial efforts to defend against the short-pay lawsuits and their efforts to discourage and stop me,” said Ray Gunder.
“We didn’t do it alone, besides having a great legal counsel; we had the ongoing financial and moral support of many repairers and friends across the country,” said Gunder. “We’ve hung in there because we knew we were right and to blaze a trail up that mountain so other repairers wouldn’t have to make the significant investment we did. The path is now clear and easy to navigate. The heavy lifting is done and many other repairers are now following our lead and even more are looking into doing the same.” Gunder added, “I’m very proud of climbing that mountain and the view from where we sit is awesome! We’re currently receiving full payment for our labor rates, procedures and materials from nearly 50 insurers and we will be adding more to that list in the weeks and months ahead. “We have more lawsuits against State Farm in the courts currently, including one against an appraiser individually, and we’ll continue to share our journey with the industry as we continue pounding the rock!”
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May 28 Hailstorm in Amarillo, TX, Causes $400 Million in Damages, Shops Have Seen Hundreds of Cars
Rylee’s High-Tech Collision is booked for two months fixing hail storm damage. Photo credit: Rylee’s High-Tech Collision
The Insurance Council of Texas reported an estimated 35,000 vehicles and thousands of homes were damaged in a massive hailstorm that hit Amarillo May 28. Insured losses are expected to reach $400 million. Hail up to the size of baseballs pounded vehicles, knocked out windshields and damaged roofs. The storm moved directly through the center of this city of nearly 200,000. Amarillo body shops will be busy for months to come. Forest Holt, owner of Southwest Body Shop, 6359 Canyon Drive
in Amarillo, said his shop has written hundreds of estimates. “Things are just crazy here. We’re swamped. We have 35,000 claims here in Amarillo.” Ginger Moore, owner of Rylee’s High-Tech Collision at 4245 S. Georgia in Amarillo, says the business generated from the hail storm is “good and crazy.” She estimates they’ve seen at least 60 cars in the first few days following the storm. “We are booked for two months,” she said. They are telling customers they will have a two-week wait. Derin Dunlay, an estimator with Texas Body Shop located at 4900 McCarty in Amarillo, said they have seen “hundreds and hundreds” of damaged vehicles. He estimates the hail storm lasted 45 minutes with hail stones as large at golf balls or larger. The shop is booked out until the end of September and he said the typical wait for a customer will be 2 1/2 to 3 weeks. He said this latest hail storm was big, but not quite as bad as the storm that hit the area in 2004.
Florida Carjacking Ordeal Begins at Body Shop
Gary DeGaetano was shutting the front gate of his auto body shop in Hudson in Pasco County, FL, May 29 when a man appeared with the word ‘Karma’ inked just below his Adam’s apple. He said he’d been walking all day and needed a ride, the Tampa Bay Times reported. DeGaetano’s wife, Tracy, who had taken another car to visit him at the shop, watched as the man, who deputies later identified as 29-year-old William Robert Boyd, climbed into the passenger’s side of DeGaetano’s pickup truck. They pulled out onto U.S. 19, headed north for Spring Hill. Tracy DeGaetano followed. She watched them stop for gas near Walmart in Hudson and head north again. Then, the truck hung a Uturn and pulled into a Circle K parking lot. Tracy’s phone rang. It was her husband Gary. “The guy has got a gun to me,” he told her. “He wants the money.” At Boyd’s demand, she said in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, her husband told her to go into the convenience store to pull money from the ATM. Inside the store, she dialed 911. When she wasn’t coming out with the cash, a Pasco sheriff’s report
states, Boyd panicked. He told the body shop owner to drive. Through the store’s window, Tracy DeGaetano watched the truck disappear. The carjacker forced DeGaetano down the labyrinth of roads west of U.S. 19. Later, they came back onto U.S. 19, where authorities were waiting. Boyd forced DeGaetano out of the truck, then jumped in the driver’s seat and peeled out, the reports state. Boyd zoomed up U.S. 19, turned right on State Road 52 and gunned the truck past 80 miles per hour. He hit spikes deputies had laid near the intersection with Moon Lake Road. The tires flattened. The truck rolled. Deputies cuffed Boyd at the wreck scene. They found him with an airsoft plastic pellet gun. He was booked into the Land O’Lakes jail on charges of robbery with a weapon, kidnapping, possession of methamphetamine, fleeing to elude, driving with a suspended license and reckless driving with property damage. Deputies added another charge of attempted carjacking with a deadly weapon in relation to an incident earlier in the day. Boyd remained in jail the next day in lieu of $370,150 bail.
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Axalta to Invest $50 Million in Shanghai, China, Facility
Axalta Coating Systems will invest more than $50 million to build a new facility in Shanghai, China, which will manufacture and supply up to 25,000 metric tons of auto paint for auto manufacturers that are expanding in south and central China. Axalta said the plant will be dedicated to production of its waterborne coatings that meet both manufacturer and regulatory environmental standards. Construction of the facility is expected to break ground during the second half of 2013. Production at the facility is scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2015. Axalta, which generates annual revenue of roughly $4.3 billion, currently operates 35 manufacturing plants, seven research and development facilities, and 42 training locations worldwide. “Our board’s decision to invest and grow with our customers reflects our long-term commitment to the auto industry in China and around the world. That’s what Axalta customer focus is all about. Proximity enables us to respond immediately to our customers’ needs,” said Charles Shaver, chairman and CEO of Axalta.
Automakers Reduce Summer Recess, Except Nissan, Honda, & Toyota
The Detroit-based automakers are generally passing up the traditional two-week summer break at their factories and instead are speeding up production to meet buyers’ growing demand for new cars and trucks. Chrysler, Ford and General Motors traditionally shut factories for 14 days around July 4 to do maintenance and change the machinery for new models. But this year they will work through the period. U.S. demand for new cars and trucks has been strong—up 7% through April, led by strong demand for full-size pickup trucks as home construction rebounds. Not all automakers are changing their schedules, however. Honda and Nissan said they still plan to close their U.S. plants for a week around July 4. Toyota is also planning to shut down its U.S. plants for a week this summer. That includes Nissan’s Canton manufacturing plant, which builds seven brands, from the Altima midsize sedan to the Titan fullsize pickup, and Toyota’s Blue Springs facility, which produces the Corolla. Toyota spokesman Victor Vanov said the plant near Tupelo will take its typical weeklong break in July despite occasionally operating into overtime
Election Results Announced for New SEMA Board of Directors
Doug Evans of Source Interlink Media has been elected the Chairman-elect of SEMA and joins two newly elected board members to help lead the association for the 2013–2015 term. Evans fills the position held for the past two years by Nate Shelton of B&M Automotive Group. Shelton will begin serving his term as Chairman in July. The newly elected SEMA Board volunteers are Kyle Fickler of Weld Racing and Tim Watts of Superlift Suspension. Jeff Bates of Bob Cook Sales was re-elected and will serve another term. 2013–2014 SEMA Board of Directors are: • Chairman of the Board: Nate Shelton, B&M Automotive Group • Chairman-elect: Doug Evans, Source Interlink Media • Immediate-Past Chairman: Scooter Brothers—COMP Performance Group Board Members are: • Jeff Bates–Principal/Partner, Bob Cook Sales • Jim Bingham–President and CEO, Winner’s Circle Speed & Custom Inc. • Luanne Brown–President & CEO, eTool Developers
• Nick Gramelspacher–National Sales Manager, Meyer Distributing • John Hotchkis– President, Hotchkis Performance LLC • Kyle Fickler-Vice President of Sales, Weld Racing • JR Moore–Director, Warehouse Operations, Performance Warehouse • Russell Stephens–President, MSD Performance • Tim Watts–Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Superlift Suspension • Steve Wolcott–CEO, ProMedia LLC John Johnson of The Spartan Group will serve as secretary/treasurer, and Russ Deane of Trainum, Snowdon & Deane continues as general counsel. The newly elected SEMA Board of Directors will be recognized during the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser on July 26 at the Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center, Pomona, CA. Also during the banquet, outgoing board members Greg Adler, Joel Ayres, Jim Chick, Donnie Eatherly, Myles Kovacs, Tim Martin, Van Woodell and Jeep Worthan will be recognized and honored for their service and their contributions to the industry.
46 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
so far this year to meet vehicle demand. Workers’ pay isn’t impacted by the changes, since the shutdowns are paid vacations. Here are automakers’ summer plans: • GM offering 20 new models. General Motors Co.’s North America President Mark Reuss said GM might pause work to change over some machinery but won’t have full shutdowns. The nation’s biggest automaker is in the midst of releasing 20 new models, including the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. Reuss said GM hasn’t had formal two-week shutdowns since it emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2009. • Chrysler cranking out Vipers, Cherokees. Chrysler Group has canceled downtime at three assembly plants, including the two Detroit facilities where the SRT Viper and Jeep Grand Cherokee are made and the Toledo, Ohio, factory that makes the new Jeep Cherokee. Chrysler said four of its plants— Brampton and Windsor assembly plants in Canada, which make large cars and minivans, and two Detroitarea plants that make the Ram pickup
and midsize cars—will close for a full two weeks in July. • Ford is pushing for 240,000 more vehicles in 2013 in North America. Ford said it will produce 40,000 vehicles during the week it’s staying open. It will soon add a second shift to its Flat Rock, MI, plant to make the Fusion sedan and a third shift to the Kansas City, MO, plant where the F150 pickup is made. It’s also increasing the speed of its assembly lines, allowing plants that might have made 60 vehicles per hour to make 65. James Tetrault, Ford’s vice president of North American manufacturing, said that a decade ago Ford had to idle factories because each only made one vehicle. Now, it has flexible plants that make multiple vehicles on the same assembly line. “It’s a lot easier to figure out how to make more than to shut down a plant,” he said.
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Vandalism Charge on RI Body Shop Owner Dismissed
A vandalism case against a Warwick, RI, auto body shop owner accused of damaging cars at a dealership has been dismissed. Stevie D’s, a car dealership in Warwick, has had dozens of cars vandalized over the years. The dealership’s owner, Steven Davis, set up surveillance cameras to try to catch the vandals responsible. The video captured a man on camera apparently keying cars. Davis said he quickly recognized the man as Tony Lombardi, owner of Airport Body Shop, where Davis sends cars to get repaired. According to police, the surveillance video shows Lombardi hanging out at the dealership. In the video, he gets out of his car, looks in the store, and then walks along two cars, dragging his key along the way. Court records show the case against Lombardi was dismissed on May 13. When asked why the charges were dropped, Kerry Rafanelli, a prosecutor for the city of Warwick, told local media that there were several problems with the surveillance video.
Quality Parts Coalition Gets New Executive Director
The Quality Parts Coalition (QPC) has appointed Dan Morrissey as the Coalition’s new executive director, effective immediately. In addition to serving as an active Board member of the QPC, Morrissey is currently vice president of Operations at PartsChannel Inc. and chairman of the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA). “It has been a true honor to serve the QPC over the years as executive director,” said outgoing Executive Director Eileen A. Sottile. “I am confident that with Dan’s leadership we will further build upon our momentum to secure a legislative fix to our design patent challenge.” The organization is dedicated to ensuring consumers continue to have access to quality and lower-cost collision repair parts. Sottile will continue participating as an active member of the QPC. “Eileen has led the Quality Parts Coalition admirably for the past seven years,” said Morrissey. “On behalf of the Coalition, I thank her for her many years of service and look forward to continuing to work with her to achieve the Coalition’s legislative objective.”
OEConnection Earns ‘Top 20’ Call Center Distinction
OEConnection LLC announced that its Customer Care Department placed in the top 20 in the SmallSized Centers Category of the Top 100 Call Center award for 2013 from BenchmarkPortal. The Top 100 competition compares the performance of contact centers throughout North America by evaluating their key metrics against industry peers. Entries are all cross-checked, validated and approved by certified call center experts, and the resulting submissions are scored on the basis of both quality and cost efficiency. In addition to this award, the OEConnection Customer Care Department, having consistently ranked among the top 10% of all call centers surveyed worldwide, has earned the Center of Excellence designation by BenchmarkPortal for five consecutive years. “This award acknowledges the hard work of our talented Customer Care team as well as our company’s ongoing commitment to exceptional customer service,” said Paul Johnson, Senior Vice President, Sales/Service & Chief Administrative Officer at OEConnection.
New App is Designed to Lower Shops’ Energy Costs
GRC-Pirk Management recently released RO-PEPtalk, an add-on software tool to assist automotive repair shops in lowering energy costs and improving work performance on the Mitchell RepairCenter ToolStore, which allows shops to connect with their collision repair trading partners and third party add-on tools. Offerings in the ToolStore integrate directly with RepairCenter without need to open another program to use one of the tools. According to GRCPirk, providing shops with energy efficiency feedback offers an effective method for measuring process performance by applying the science of self-satisfaction. Research has shown that self-satisfaction feedback, sometimes referred to as virtuous feedback, improves efficiency because it stabilizes human behavior. Energy performance feedback is a persuasive factor in support of team spirit. By promoting team spirit through performance feedback, shop managers can amplify and reinforce worker behavior. Labor-hour efficiency is easily compared to utility-hour efficiency using the RO-PEPtalk proportional analysis calculator.
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SEMA Receives Presidential Award For Export Service
U.S. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank presented the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) with the President’s “E” Award for Export Service at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The “E” Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. “As a trade association, SEMA seeks to help member companies grow and expand their businesses,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO. “One of the many ways SEMA helps its members grow is through exporting. For many of our members, exporting products to key international markets is integral to their success, and SEMA is available to help identify strategic markets and guide members along the way.” “SEMA has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion,” said Blank in her congratulatory letter. “The ‘E’ Awards Committee was very impressed with SEMA’s International Vehicle Measuring Program. The organization’s work to support the developing legal frameworks for emerging specialty-equipment industries in China and UAE was particularly compelling.”
SEMA Reaches Out to Young Entrepreneurs
The SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN) is seeking young entrepreneurs to compete in the first-ever “SEMA Launch Pad” competition, which culminates at the 2013 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. It offers executive-level innovators under the age of 40 a platform to showcase their business plans for marketing new automotive products or services. “Our industry is made up of innovative visionaries,” said Bryan Harrison, SEMA Launch Pad Project Manager. “Through the SEMA Launch Pad, we’re hoping to discover new leaders who will pave the way to the future. We’re looking for folks to follow in the steps of the pioneers who started our industry nearly 50 years ago.” Open to leading executives (president, CEO or owner) who are YEN members, the competition begins with an online application that requires applicants to submit a short video detailing the company’s functioning prototype/ concept or product/service available for sale. For more information visit www.SEMA.org/launch-pad or contact Bryan Harrison at: bryanh@SEMA.org, or 909-9786691.
State Farm Continues Three Major Building Projects
State Farm Insurance is building a huge new office complex in Richardson, TX, and is constructing two more similar facilities in suburban Phoenix and in Atlanta. Real estate sources say the Richardson complex has grown in size to more than 2.5 million square feet. The Richardson and Phoenix projects are two of three big regional operations centers the Illinois-based insurance company is creating. Officials in Tempe, AZ, released details of what will be the largest single office complex ever built in the state. The State Farm office complex will contain 2 million square feet and will cost about $600 million, developers have told local media. The 20-acre complex near Arizona State University will include retail facilities and other amenities for the thousands of State Farm workers that will be relocated to the new Arizona project. The new Arizona complex opens in 2017. State Farm has a third major complex in the works in the Atlanta area, which is expected to range in size from 1– 1.5 million square feet and cost about $300 million. The insurance firm is already renting temporary office space in Atlanta.
Industry Veterans Move to Marketing and Advertising
Long-time collision repair industry professionals Tony Lombardozzi and Peter Abdelmaseh are forming an advertising and marketing agency to specifically serve independent body shops. The firm will work with shops that do not operate with contractual agreements with insurers. “For far too long, shop owners have made important business decisions based on fear,” Lombardozzi said in a statement. “It has been proven over time that an owner can operate successfully without contracts with insurers, especially if they use sound marketing practices. We intend to help these shop owners directly reach the customers they need so that they can serve those customers more effectively, make more profit, and operate without third-party interference.” Lombardozzi is the president of the Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (CCRE) and recently sold his Hudson, NH, body shop, which he owned and operated for more than 40 years. Abdelmaseh is the president of ECD Associates Inc. of Belmont, MA, a marketing and management company.
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Axalta Coating Systems Launches New Identity
Axalta Coating Systems, a global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, recently rolled out a new corporate brand identity that captures the scope of its business around the world. The new logo highlights the Axalta name as well as its focus on performance and will provide a consistent and clear symbol of the company and the products and services Axalta provides to over 120,000 customers in 130 countries. “We’re tremendously excited about our new look and what it says about our future. It embodies our commitment to move ahead in the marketplace, putting customers first and offering an exciting portfolio of brands,” explained Axalta Chairman and CEO Charles Shaver. “As a leading global company that is 100% dedicated to developing, manufacturing and distributing coatings, we are poised to perform and deliver on our customer commitment.” Axalta develops coatings for a diverse customer base and holds leading positions in four core market segments. The company supplies paint to automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and has approvals
for the use of its products from many leading OEMs. In the refinish segment of the car market, flagship brands are Standox®, Spies Hecker® and DuPont™ Refinish, along with regional and national brands as a global supplier of paint to collision and body shops. Transportation customers who rely on Axalta’s Imron® brand include manufacturers of heavy duty trucks, body-builders and trailers and locomotives and light rail cars. “Our 35 operations centers are focused on producing the highest quality coatings and are located close to our customers on four continents to ensure we can respond quickly to their needs. For example, we just announced a decision to build a new facility in China to support the growth in new vehicle production,” said Shaver. “With over 145 years in the coatings industry, we’ve got a tremendous foundation on which to continue to innovate in the future and give our customers cutting edge resources from the hottest colors to the best application technologies.”
Industry Invited to Sponsor Uniforms for Students
The Collision Repair Education Foundation invites collision industry businesses to help provide their local secondary and post-secondary collision students with a professional appearance by sponsoring Cintas technician shirt and pant work uniforms for this upcoming fall school year. The Education Foundation is looking to connect industry members across the country with their local collision school programs as the more engaged they are with the school, the better prepared the collision students will be to enter the industry after graduation. Kadel’s Auto Body, a 17 multishop operator in Oregon, recently sponsored the purchase of uniforms for Portland Community College collision students and instructor George Warneke noted, “I want to give a huge thanks to Kadel’s Auto Body for the generous sponsorship of uniforms for my students through the Collision Repair Education Foundation. The timing of this donation was perfect! This term has just ended and these students are preparing to start their last term of their 2-year certificate in Auto Collision Repair. They are now arranging their last term which is an individual cooperative work experience with an auto collision repair
shop, where they will work for 300 hours to complete their training. The uniforms help them to feel and look professional as they go out into the work force. It also has helped them have confidence by looking the part when interviewing for the cooperative work experience and they feel like part of the team in a shop on the first day.” Collision Repair Education Foundation Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode said, “Over the years we have found that many industry members aren’t aware of their local collision school programs and in order to fulfill the industry’s dire need of capable and efficient entry-level workers, we all need to start taking an active role with these collision programs. Sponsoring these work uniforms is a great initial opportunity to support local collision school programs.” The work uniforms can be sponsored for $50 per student, which includes a pair of Cintas work pants and technician shirt. Those companies that sponsor at least 100 uniforms will have their corporate logo screen printed on the back of the shirts. Industry members should contact Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation.org or 847.463.5244.
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Legendary Customizer Barris Inducted into SEMA Hall of Fame George Barris and three others will be inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame, an honor that recognizes an elite group of individuals for raising the stature or growth of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Hundreds of industry professionals will gather and pay tribute to the new Hall of Fame members during the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, Friday, July 26, at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center in Pomona, CA. Those interested in learning more about the celebration or how to attend may visit http://www.sema.org/sema-installation-banquet-gala-fundraiser or contact Jamie Eriksen at email@example.com, (909) 978-6737. George Barris is a legendary vehicle customizer, well-known for his celebrity creations that include the Batmobile, Munster Koach, KITT from Nightrider and the Dukes of Hazard’s General Lee. In addition George Barris has to building vehibeen customizing cles, Barris aucars for film and thored many “how TV and major to” articles for celebrities for the magazines, such past 60-plus years and is being as Hot Rod Magainducted into zine, Motor Trend, SEMA’s Hall of Car Craft and Rod Fame on July 26 & Custom. As a pioneer and icon in the industry, Barris continues to actively influence the industry’s styles and trends. A regular attendee at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Barris is admired and respected by many in the industry. We recently sat down with Barris to take a journey through his amazing career.
Q: Tell us about the first car you got paid to customize and a little about your childhood.
GB: My parents owned a restaurant called Dan’s Grill in Roseville, CA, right on the edge of town. When I was 15, my dad taught me how to be the dishwasher but it didn’t interest me at all, so I focused on my models pretty much. About a year later, we moved to San Juan, CA, and that’s where I got my first customizing job. A kid drove up in a 1932 Ford and told me
he wanted to customize the car. I told him that I was going to put in a set of cat eye tail lights and he agreed to pay me 10 bucks. 10 bucks! And that’s when I determined that I would make it a career. I thought, I’m going to be a big customizer and a billionaire! I made up my mind right there that I would name my company Kustoms of America. I threw that “C” out of there and turned it into a “K.” People use it now all the time, but I was the one who came up with it when I was 16.
Q: Your first passion was building models as a teenager and you won a lot of awards for doing it. Please talk about that hobby and how it turned into bigger and better things.
GB: As I said before, we grew up in Roseville, CA, and one day I went to the five and dime store and saw a flyer announcing a model airplane contest. I would go in there with a model car and they would tell me, “This is for airplane models,” and I told them I’m into cars. I want four wheels, not two wheels! We (my brother Sam and I) stuck to it and eventually we started winning some contests. That’s how we started in the model business with Revell. Then, in 1960, I started working with Aluminum Model Toys (AMT), a company that was making models for all the car companies. So, I was able to see how the new cars looked before they hit the market. That way, I could create models of them well before anyone had seen them, so I had an advantage there. I made custom kits for those vehicles and then eventually we started making 3-in-1 model kits, so that the hobbyists could pick which design to use. That way, they could customize the models and use their creativity. During that time Lee Iacocca from Ford Motor Company started something called the Ford Custom Car Caravan, where they would take this little racing track and go out there and do model racing. We went to all the World of Wheels and Motorama shows and it got very popular real fast.
Q: Meeting Robert E. Petersen (the founder of Hot Rod and Motor Trend) was also a big deal and brought you a lot of worldwide attention. Your “How-To” articles in these magazines became popular as well. Describe that long-running relationship with Pe-
52 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
tersen and how it brought the Barris name to the hot rod world.
GB: We called him “Pete” and I met him when he was 18 and he was putting on a car show in L.A., and everyone loved it. After that, he started Hot Rod, then Car Craft, Rod & Custom and I got involved in all of it. As a result, people all over the world got to know my name. I wrote columns and helped Pete with his “little book” series and we also started the very first Motorama car show, which we held right next to the Chinese Grauman’s Theatre in Los Angeles and that was a winner and a half. I had 60 cars in
show in the world. They closed down Hollywood Boulevard and that was the first time that ever happened. Don Prudhomme did a burnout with his dragster right down the middle of the street. Boy, that was an exciting time! Q: Of all the celebrities you customized vehicles for over the years, who was your favorite?
GB: There was one young man and I was doing a limousine for him and he would come into the shop to visit and check on our progress now and again. One day, he walked into the garage area where we were working on the car and started talking to my guys one by one. He knew everyone’s names and everything about them, asking about their kids and families, etc., because he really cared about them. He wasn’t just doing it to Of all the cars Barris created, he is best known for the original impress anyone, he was Batmobile doing it because he there, including the Batmobile and the wanted to. And that was Elvis PresMunsters cars and it was the #1 car ley—a really wonderful man. He
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cared about people and did everything for everybody. He was an exceptional individual. I did a Cadillac, a bus and a limousine for Elvis and we became very good friends with him and Priscilla. He was a real car guy, that’s for sure.
Q: Some of your first film work involved working with Alfred Hitchcock. After that you worked with Orson Welles and provided special vehicles for movies like “The Car,” “The Silencers,” “Thunder Alley” and “Fireball 500.” How was it working with top names and creating cars for the film industry?
GB: My first movie was “High School Confidential” with John Barrymore. Jr. where we built a cute little chopped Chevy for that film. They wanted to use it in a race scene and roll it over. But as hard as I tried, I could not roll that car, because it was too low to the ground. So we had to get a lift and a cable down on that vehicle, to flip it and drop it. A whole career started right there. We went on to work with “Sonny and Cher,” “Fireball 500,” “Gone in 60 Seconds,” “Super Van,” “Mag Wheels” and
“High School Confidential” was the start. As far as Alfred Hitchcock, yes we worked with him on “North By Northwest.” He wasn’t a car guy, but he was interested in what we were doing to get this car in his film. The most interesting film or TV car that we created was for the TV show “Knight Rider.” The studio wrecked
This 1921 Oldsmobile jalopy was Barris’ first T.V. car, created for the 1960’s hit the “Beverly Hillbillies.” He found it behind a feed store in San Bernardino, CA, in 1960 and made it a star
the car every episode, so we had to fix it pretty much every week. They always broke the fiberglass nose piece on it and one day the producer told me this is costing us a lot of money. So, I made a mold of that nose and created a rubber one and didn’t tell them about it. The next time they wrecked it, I just walked over there, popped it off and
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showed them! We had to do a lot of funny stuff to make these cars work and it was a lot of fun. We also did the “Blues Brothers” film, building a lot of police cars, “Blade Runner” and “Thunder Alley.” We worked with Clint Eastwood, the Rat Pack, Michael Jackson and Bob Hope and so many more!
Q: In the 1960s, you got more involved in T.V., which is where you really made your name. During this time, Batman, The Munsters, Mannix, the Beverly Hillbillies, My Mother the Car, The Monkees, Starsky and Hutch, Banacek and Power Rangers were touched by the Barris magic.
GB: The Batmobile is definitely the most well-known of all the cars I’ve created. I wanted it to be the star of the show, right along with Batman and Robin. I told the producers, I’m going to have rocket launchers, oil squirters—I am going to make this car a star. And that’s why it was such a hit, because it had all these different things it could do. The oil squirters were made out of lawn sprinklers and those were what we used. I was on that set all the time and it was a great
experience. The first Batmobile they wanted was all flat black, but when it came out of that Bat Cave, it looked terrible. So, I found some glow orange paint and outlined the car with stripes so they would reflect and man, that made it pop. It was a people car and that’s why it became so popular. The first show I did was the “Beverly Hillbillies” in 1960. I met with the producer and they said we need a jalopy. How am I going to find a jalopy in Beverly Hills? So, I traveled to San Bernardino and that’s where I saw a feed store. The owner of the store had an old 1922 Oldsmobile four-door sedan and he cut the back off of it and made it into a feed truck so he could carry his hay. So, I took pictures of that and went back to the producers and that eventually became the car for that show. Q: You’ve been nominated to the SEMA Hall of Fame. Please tell us some of your greatest memories of SEMA Shows over the years.
GB: I remember back when SEMA first started in 1963 and they had 18 tables. It was basically a hot rod show See Barris Inducted, Page 54
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Summit Software Launches AutoVoto Platform
Summit Software and Marketing Solutions recently launched its new AutoVoto platform, a mobile app based productivity, marketing, file sharing, communications, documentation and customer retention platform. According to Summit, the AutoVoto platform provides auto body and repair shops the ability to use smart phones and tablets to share and store photos and videos, enter notes and documentation in the customer’s file, send email, text, social media and website based repair status updates, use two-way text and email communications, capture customer information through a mobile customer greeting form and integrate wirelessly with Summit’s body shop management software and its eMarketPlace digital marketing, communications and customer retention platform. Frank Terlep, Summit’s CEO said, “We believe AutoVoto will change the way shops communicate, market to and service the consumer. AutoVoto makes a shop’s smart phones and/or tablets powerful productivity, sales, marketing, communication, file sharing, documentation and customer retention tools.”
Continued from Page 53
Airbag Solutions Donates Database Subscriptions to School Programs Airbag Solutions recently announced that 60 secondary and post-secondary collision repair school programs have received access to the AirbagSolutions.com SRS service database to support training of the next generation of automotive technicians. Offered in conjunction with the Collision Repair Education Foundation, the gift subscriptions will arm the automotive trainers and faculty members with OEM airbag service requirements information for over 5,000 vehicles enabling their students to have a single point of contact for their airbag service information. “We are committed to supporting the efforts of training facilities around the country,” said Ruth Weniger, CEO of Airbag Solutions. “By partnering with CREF, we know that instructors will have the critical SRS information they need to get these students on the right track to doing high quality, OEM compliant repairs.” The AirbagSolutions database provides OEM requirements for service of SRS systems following an accident. “Systems are changing so fast that it’s virtually impossible to remember proper procedures for every year, make
and model of vehicles on the road,” said Doug Gan, COO of Airbag Solutions. “Our goal is to make it easier and faster to locate the information necessary in order to properly service vehicles following an accident.” “I would like to thank Airbagsolutions.com for their continued support of the Collision Repair Education Foundation in providing up-to-date technical information to secondary and post-secondary collision school instructors,” said Brandon Eckenrode, CREF’s Director of Development. “As vehicle technology is changing and updating year after year, it’s vital that the educators of the future professional of the industry have this information in order to keep the students current. With many collision school budgets being reduced, donations such as this from Airbagsolutions.com are helping these instructors in a time of need.”
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back then. All the old-timers were there and I was representing California Custom Accessories. I did all their aerosol paints and the different parts we designed for them. That’s how I started with SEMA and then of course it exploded to where it is today. They asked me recently do you want to be in the SEMA Hall of Fame and I said of course. At first they said, you don’t qualify because you don’t manufacture aftermarket parts. And I told them I was making aftermarket parts www.autobodynews.com before you were born! I’m honored to CHECK OUT!and proud be associated withIT SEMA to be in their Hall of Fame.
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2013 WMABA Labor Rate Survey Results Show Stagnant Rates The Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) recently released the results of the 2013 independent labor rate survey conducted by CSi Complete for Virginia, MD, and the District of Columbia. At a time when virtually every business expense imaginable is on a steep rise, the yearto-year door rates of shops in the WMABA demographic have stayed essentially the same—especially when considering a +/- 5% margin of error that may have led to some of the slight variances in the figures. To access the results, go to: http://wmaba.com/labor-rate-survey/ WMABA shows that a range of rates (as well as an average) further clarify that the industry is stagnant. “Depending on which area you’re in, it doesn’t seem that the actual rate has changed in most of these markets for close to 10 years,” said WMABA President Barry Dorn. “Looking at this survey shows that there is a big difference between what you’re told is the rate within a market and what a statistically valid survey shows. Shops are merely existing; they’re not able to make a return on their investment or able to plan for future equipment and updates. They’re not able to give raises to their employees or add benefits.”
“The rates that are paid by insurance companies have stayed pretty steady; it’s a daily struggle because every expense we have has gone up year after year,” added Don Beaver, WMABA Board member and collision center manager at Antwerpen Nissan in Clarksville, MD. “If we don’t do something to bring those rates up, our meager profits are going to be nothing.” Numbers aside, perhaps the most positive aspect of the 2013 Survey was shops’ willingness to participate. At least 50% of the shops that took the survey did so online with a substantial increase of participation over last year. The range of rates reported is the most important area for repairers’ attention. This figure show the high and low of a particular region and how a repairer could fall somewhere in there and be within “normal.” “Shops were more likely to participate because they understood the process from last year,” said WMABA Executive Director Jordan Hendler. “They definitely had less concern this year, because last year’s process was new to them and they weren’t sure how it was going to go. But after going through it once already, it was easy for them to do it and they knew
their personal shop data wasn’t going to be shared.” Moving ahead, Dorn is confident that shops will take future surveys and assist the association in truly differentiating between door rates and the concessionary figures derived from DRP contracts. “Insurers take contractual information and somehow want to use that to show what the market is,” he says. “I think some shops do the same thing; they assume that because that’s what a carrier said the rate was within the market, it must be what it is.” Although the 2013 results show little change over the 2012 project, Beaver believes that this year’s survey is merely a step in a much greater undertaking—one that will require a great deal of patience and participation. “I really hope we continue to do this every year so that it becomes more commonplace for everybody to fill it out. It may be three or four years before this survey actually shows a trend.” “A labor rate survey is what it is. It’s not speculation; it’s just really good insight for the association and the industry to have into what our areas look like in these categories. It is a snapshot of fact. The fact is, rates are the same as last year.”
GEICO Surpasses Allstate in Auto Insurance Sales
The Chicago Tribune reported that for the first time ever, GEICO outsold Allstate in personal auto premiums, projecting that GEICO will be the number two auto insurer in the U.S. by the end of 2013. The projection is based on data in a new report from SNL Financial, a financial services consulting firm. The SNL data showed that GEICO wrote $4.72 billion in private auto premiums compared to Allstate’s $4.53 billion. The nation’s fourth largest insurer, Progressive, wrote $3.91 billion in premiums during the first quarter. In a separate report from SNL Financial, GEICO also outspent its competitors in advertising during all of 2012. In fact, GEICO was the top spender both in terms of total dollars spent and the percentage of premium dollars spent on ads. While Allstate’s ad spend increased 14.8% year over year to $828.8 million and State Farm reduced its advertising expense 4.4% from the year before to $777.9 million, GEICO boosted its ad spend by 12.4% to more than $1.1 billion in 2012, a budget that was 35% larger than that of Allstate.
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Mike Stanton, CEO of Global Automakers Assn, to Retire After 35 Years Representing OEMs Mike Stanton, 68, president and CEO of the Association of Global Automakers, the trade association representing primarily Asian and luxury automakers, says he will retire early in 2014. Stanton has spent over 35 years representing motor vehicle manufacturers before Congress, the White House and state legislatures. He announced the move to give his members enough time to find a replacement. “It’s bittersweet because I clearly love the industry and all of the issues, but it’s time for the next generation,” Stanton said in an interview with the Detroit News. “Mike has done an impressive job invigorating Global Automakers, delivering growth and developing a clear and progressive vision,” said John Krafcik, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor America and Global Automakers’ chairman of the board. “I have enjoyed working with Mike in a period of great progress for the association and hope to find a new president and CEO who can continue to lead the organization on the path that has been set.”
I-CAR’s Margaret Knell Named Chair of WIN
I-CAR is applauding Margaret Knell, Director of Corporate Administration, for her recent appointment as Chair of the Women’s Industry Network® (WIN). Margaret has been with I-CAR for over 25 years and is an integral member of the organization, serving I-CAR and its 22-person I-CAR Board of Directors and associated Board Committees. Knell works closely with the Board who sets the overall strategic direction for I-CAR and assists in obtaining resources in support of the I-CAR Mission. “Margaret’s legal and board relations expertise, as well as her related industry experience, allows her to influence critical areas of I-CAR’s business and I believe she will be highly effective leading the WIN Board and developing strategies that will enable the organization to continue delivering the WIN mission. Her deep level of commitment and strategic focus make her an ideal person to serve as WIN Board Chair,” said John Van Alstyne, ICAR CEO & President. In 2012, Knell was awarded the prestigious Cornerstone Award by WIN. ®
Stanton has been involved in every major auto regulatory issue over the last three decades. He has often joked that long-running battles over fuel efficiency standards helped him put his children through college. The group’s members include American Honda, Aston Martin, Ferrari North America, Hyundai, Isuzu Motors America, Kia Motors America, Maserati North America, McLaren Automotive, Nissan North America, Peugeot Motors of America, Subaru of America, Suzuki Motor of America and Toyota Motor. Global Automakers will retain an executive search firm and establishing a search committee composed of member automakers to help find the organization’s next chief. The Association of Global Automakers represents international motor vehicle manufacturers, original equipment suppliers and other automotive-related trade associations. Stanton was also a longtime lobbyist for Detroit’s Big Three.
Teresa Bolton Gets WIN’s 2013 Cornerstone Award
During the Women’s Industry Network 7th Educational Conference in Phoenix, May 5–7, 2013, the WIN Board of Directors awarded Teresa Bolton, WIN’s treasurer and scholarship committee chair, with the WIN Cornerstone Award. As an allvolunteer organization, WIN holds the efforts of its many volunteers in the highest regard. The WIN Cornerstone award recognizes the efforts of an individual board member whose actions and unique contributions demonstrate their commitment to the WIN mission and vision, and set an example for others to follow. The award was presented to Bolton by Victoria Jankowski, WIN’s immediate past chair, during the organization’s membership meeting. “Teresa has made tremendous contributions to WIN through her board role, as the organization’s treasurer, as chair of our Scholarship Committee and as an active participant on our Membership Committee,” said Jankowski. “She holds a special place in our hearts for her tireless hard work, positive attitude and leadership as we continue to build upon the important role WIN plays within the industry.”
58 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
ABRA Auto Body and Glass is NABC’s Newest Diamond-Level Member The National Auto Body Council (NABC) announced the diamondlevel membership of ABRA®Auto Body & Glass. For nearly 30 years, ABRA Auto Body & Glass has been committed to being a socially conscious company dedicated to giving back to the communities in which it operates. The mission to communicate this involvement effectively to the general public is the driving force behind the company’s desire to become a diamond-level member, the highest level of NABC sponsorship. “One of the long-term goals of ABRA is to have all of our repair centers actively and positively involved in local communities,” said Tim Adelmann, ABRA’s executive vice president. “With our Diamond level membership this goal can be a reality, especially since it meshes with the National Auto Body Council’s mission to improve the image of the collision industry across the country.” In addition to creating a larger impact by combining its message with the National Auto Body Council and others in the industry, ABRA
believes it can leverage its substantial footprint of 173 collision repair facilities in 17 states to support NABC and its efforts to promote the industry. “ABRA is a recognized industry name with a long history and a solid reputation not only for quality work, but for giving back to the localities in which they do business,” stated NABC Executive Director Chuck Sulkala. “Their philosophy not only aligns with the goals of the National Auto Body Council, but ABRA’s visibility in doing selfless good work will directly contribute to our mission to elevate the image of our industry. It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome them aboard.” Companies and collision repairers interested in changing the industry for the better are invited to become a member of the NABC. Membership applications are available on the website at www.autobodycouncil.org.
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Dan Risley Talks ASA
We accomplish that through several means. We have a dedicated lobbyist in Washington DC, dedicated ASA board seats with groups such as I-CAR and CIECA and board members and affiliate members that are on various boards and committees throughout the industry. If you want to play a role in facilitating positive change, you need to be there when the change is happening and
create the future you envision.”
For more information see: Automotive Service Association 8190 Precinct Line Road, Suite 100 Colleyville, TX 76034 800-272-7467 www.asashop.org www.TakingTheHill.com (ASA’s legislative website)
Executive Director Dan Risley 817-514-2900 ext. 112 firstname.lastname@example.org
NHTSA May Expand GM Airbag Recalls
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering expanding two small airbag recalls issued by General Motors to a far larger recall of about 400,000 vehicles. In two notices, one in late 2012 and another in early 2013, GM recalled a total of 6,845 2012 Buick Verano sedans and 2012 Chevrolet Cruze sedans, Sonic hatchbacks and Camaro sports cars because the company had found that a shorting bar inside the dri-
ver’s front airbag inflator module could contact the primary state airbag terminal and prevent the airbag from deploying in the event of a crash. But NHTSA said in a document posted on its website that it is considering whether the recalls should be expanded to affect approximately 400,000 vehicles. Though GM states that it investigated the defect, the safety agency says it’s unclear whether the automaker has properly investigated the root cause of the defect.
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www.autobodynews.com | JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 59
Denise Caspersen Joins National Autobody Parts Warehouse in Grand Prairie, Texas Mike Dolabi, owner of the National Autobody Parts Warehouse, Inc., headquartered in Grand Prairie, TX, recently hired 16-year industry veteran Denise Caspersen. Denise joined the National Autobody Parts Warehouse, Inc. on June 3, 2013, in the capacity of industry relations with a focus on project management and innovative strategic planning. National Autobody Parts Warehouse is a 72,000 sq.-foot facility that has achieved NSF distributor certification, is ISO9001 certified and an exclusive distributor for TYC lighting, Depot lighting and Mirka Body shop supplies. “Having Denise join our team is a perfect piece to our growth puzzle. We are excited to have her skills, knowledge, enthusiasm and experience as the newest member of our staff.” “It’s an honor to join the National Autobody Parts Warehouse team,” Caspersen said. “Having known Mike for a few years, his positive and forward thinking approach to business is an inspiration to me. Time and again, Mike has shown his efforts are about quality and customer service and his expectations are about
SEMA Show Attendees Get Low Cost Rooms at Dozens of Hotels
SEMA showgoers can obtain reliable, low-cost hotel rooms from Travel Planners, the official housing partner for the 2013 SEMA Show. Reservations made at www.SEMAShow.com/travel-and-lodging offer discounts at dozens of hotels, with rates as low as $56 per night and many more properties agreeing to waive the standard “resort fees.” Go to www.SEMAShow.com/ travel-and-lodging, or call 800-2213531 or 212-532-1660.
Collision Foundation Hosts Golf Ball Drop Fundraiser
The Collision Repair Education Foundation is hosting their 12th Annual Golf Fundraiser on July 25 at the South Shore Country Club in Hingham, MA. Participate by sponsoring one or more golf balls to be dropped from a helicopter over the golf course onto one of the greens. Whoever’s sponsored golf ball goes in the hole (or closest to it) will win a $1,000 American Express gift card. $25 per golf ball or $100 for 5 balls. No need to be present to win.
doing what is right. When I think of leading by example and incorporating innovation and inclusion, Mike and the National Autobody Parts Warehouse team are top of mind. I’m looking forward to growing with Mike’s team and adding to their success.” Caspersen has built her professional career in the collision repair industry through eight years of statistical research and eight years industry engagement, with her most recent efforts focused on aftermarket parts and electronic parts procurement. In 2012, Caspersen’s efforts with the ASA collision division provided the industry with fact-based analysis of the State Farm/PartsTrader electronic parts procurement application in pilot. These actions were well documented in various industry trade publications and during many public presentations. Caspersen participates on the Women’s Industry Network (WIN) board of directors, recently elected to vice chair of WIN along with completing her chairmanship of the Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) in 2012.
U.S. Chemical and Plastics Receives Presidential Award
U.S. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank recently presented U.S. Chemical & Plastics with the President’s “E” Award for Exports at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The “E” Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. “Exporting has always been and continues to be an important segment of our business, and we are honored to receive the “E” Award,” said Tom Perry, U.S. Chemical & Plastics’ President. “We have been exporting for nearly four decades. During the past five years, export sales more than doubled, enabling us to sustain jobs and even expand our work force.” “I am delighted to be recognizing this year’s Presidential ‘E’ Award winners for their outstanding contributions to U.S. exports and congratulate U.S. Chemical & Plastics on its outstanding export achievement,” said Acting Secretary Blank. “It is businesses like U.S. Chemical & Plastics that are strengthening the economies of local communities and creating jobs.
60 JULY 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
ABRA Moving, Expanding Minnesota Headquarters
Abra Auto Body & Glass is moving and expanding its corporate headquarters to an office building in Brooklyn Park. The company, which employs more than 400 Minnesotans, recently signed a lease for 33,000 square feet at the Northland Corporate Center in Minneapolis. Abra has been on an acquisition spree the past two years and doesn’t have room for all its employees in its current Brooklyn Center offices. Abra Auto Body now operates 173 repair shops in 17 states. Last month, Abra purchased 23 Precision Collision Auto Body repair centers in the state of Washington. In the past few months it has announced expansion in Seattle, WA; Omaha, NE; Wilmington, NC; Lebanon, TN and Clearfield, UT. Abra had about $350 million in revenue in 2012, up from $250 million in 2009, according to Twin Cities Business. The acquisitions and growth have been fueled by New York-based Palladium Equity Partners, a private equity firm that recapitalized Abra in 2011.
PPG Announces MVP Fall Conference in Florida
PPG will hold its Fall MVP Business Solutions Conference at the luxurious Omni Amelia Island on September 8-10 in Amelia Island, FL. The PPG MVP Business Solutions Conferences have continued to grow in customer participation because of the outstanding keynote and seminar offerings that addresses the industry’s dynamic marketplace challenges. Past conferences have been complete sell-outs largely because there is no better way to get your business energized for the future than by attending the PPG MVP Business Solutions Conference The conference is open to owners and managers of collision centers using PPG Refinish products. MVP conferences are biannual events and key components of PPG’s ongoing commitment to provide advanced business thinking and innovative solutions to its MVP customers. For more information, visit www.ppgmvp.com for registration details. Additional information about PPG MVP Business Solutions and future conferences may also be obtained by calling (866) 237-8178.
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NADA Foundation Mobilizes Emergency Relief to Help Victims of Oklahoma Tornado
The National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation moved quickly May 21 to inform dealership employees affected by the Oklahoma tornado that financial assistance is available through its Emergency Relief Fund. “We already know of nearly 60 dealership employees who have suffered either total loss of their homes or significant damage,” said David Hyatt, NADA vice president of public affairs. The greatest destruction occurred in Moore, OK, a suburb of 55,000 south of Oklahoma City. The massive tornado killed at least 24 people, including nine children, and injured more than 230. The National Weather
Service described it as an F5 twister that stayed on the ground for 40 minutes, with winds of at least 200 mph, the first EF5 tornado this year. It left an area of about four square miles devastated, with entire blocks of houses flattened, widespread power outages, lack of water and phone service. Peter Hodges, president of the Metro Auto Dealers Association of Oklahoma City, said its charitable foundation began distributing checks to some of the dealership employees hardest hit by the tornado. “But we will soon run out of money,” he said. “I have also distributed information to let the employees know how to
apply for financial assistance from the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund,” he added. NADA will continue to work with the state and metro dealer associations to notify dealers and their employees that financial assistance from the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund is available. Employees can apply directly to NADA for emergency assistance or dealers can apply on behalf of their affected employees. The Emergency Relief Fund is also providing financial assistance to dealership employees affected by the recent explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant. Last year, after Hurricane Sandy
I-CAR Makes Changes and Updates to Steel Sectioning Qualification Test
I-CAR® has introduced several enhancements to its Steel Sectioning Qualification Test (SPS05). Enhancements include updated rail design, material thickness, and welds. I-CAR Technical Director, Jason Bartanen stated, “A technician’s ability to properly perform sectioning procedures extends well beyond the shop floor. Improper repairs can impact the structural integrity of the ve-
hicle, passenger safety, and airbag performance. The Steel Sectioning Qualification Test is an excellent way to help verify that technicians are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to improve their in-shop performance and to reinforce the importance of following proper repair procedures.” A unique benefit to this training experience is that the training and test-
ing take place in-shop, allowing students to use the tools and equipment that they work with regularly. During the course, technicians will be able to demonstrate their measuring, cutting, and GMA (MIG) welding skills while sectioning steel structural parts. Each student will completely section a rail made from thin and thick steels and perform welding joints as he/she would on the repair
hit the Northeast, more than $500,000 was distributed to 700 dealership employees. Since the fund was established in 1992, more than $5.4 million has been provided to nearly 8,500 dealership employees in need. The NADA Foundation, established in 1975, is the philanthropic arm of the National Automobile Dealers Association. Funds contributed by new car and truck dealers and friends of the industry provide financial support to schools, private colleges and universities, emergency disaster relief and other community service programs. For more information, visit: www.nada.org/charitablefoundation.
floor. Throughout the course, the student uses a true-to-life body repair manual as a guide to meeting repair specifications. To learn more about the Steel Sectioning Qualification Test (SPS05), or to request a welding event at your shop, visit the course catalog under the “Training” tab at www.i-car.com or call I-CAR Customer Care at 800-4227872.
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