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Auto Body Shops Asked to Submit Experiences with SRS Inspections by John Yoswick

I-CAR is seeking help from collision repairers as it reviews OEM safety inspections related to secondary restraint systems (SRS). Scott VanHulle, manager of I-CAR’s Repairability Technical Support and OEM Technical Relations, said the project grew out of a virtual summit the training organization held in March with 150 shops, insurers and automakers. The discussion centered around whether the industry had adequate information about what inspections

were required and when, what the inspections should “look like” and the “why” behind the inspections. The OEMs may not be aware of shortcomings in their procedures related to this, VanHulle said, because traditionally much of the feedback they receive is from dealership service departments that aren’t dealing with collision-damaged vehicles. I-CAR hopes to develop industry-vetted best practices related to the inspections, provide feedback to the automakers about any potential repair information improvements See SRS Inspections, Page 20

No Signs Microchip Shortage is Delaying Crash Parts by John Yoswick

PartsTrader’s Greg Horn said in May his company isn’t seeing any significant disruption in crash parts availability based on the global microchip shortage, which is impacting new vehicle production. He pointed to a number of data points that led him to that conclusion. Enterprise’s most recent “length of rental” data showed the average number of days replacement vehicles were in use in the first quarter of 2021 was “essentially flat” when compared to the same quarter in

2020. His company’s internal data showed the average quoted delivery times for parts going through PartsTrader across all model vehicles did not change significantly in the past 13 months. Looking at parts for just model year 2020 and 2021 vehicles showed even a modest improvement in April, compared to April of 2020. Parts on the system are also receiving the same number of bids or quotes on average over the past year. “As we look at all those components, we really don’t see any See Microchip Shortage, Page 22


AUTOBODYNEWS.COM Vol. 39 / Issue 7 / July 2021

Toyota Says It’s Still Too Soon to Focus on Electric Cars by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs

Toyota continues to assert its vehicle lineup will offer a variety of options over the next 30 years, a stance it reiterated at the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

Toyota has been pushing hybrids and hydrogen for years, and it still insists it’s not time to focus on

electric cars. An investor asked during the meeting why Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, has a different view from that of Honda. The competing Japanese brand has set a goal to have a fully electric lineup by 2040. Toyota Director Shigeki Terashi, who joined the call from Toyota’s Aichi headquarters, reportedly replied, “It’s too early to concentrate on one option.” Terashi added between now and 2050, the brand needs to offer mulSee Focus on Electric Cars, Page 22

California to Resume Work Search Unemployment Requirement by Cole Lauterbach, The Center Square

Out of work California residents will soon have to prove they’re on the job hunt before receiving their weekly benefits. California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) announced, starting July 11, unemployed residents must start verifying they’re searching for work when they apply for weekly or bi-weekly funds.  “This requirement applies to finding suitable work that is safe to return to and is comparable to the worker’s skills, experience, usual occupation, age and health,” EDD said in a release June 17. The agency listed what qualifies as seeking employment. Prepare for Job Searches―Set up an account on CalJOBS, participate in reemployment services, post a profile on various job search or networking sites. Expand Networks―Let friends, prior employers or community members know you are looking for work. Participate in networking, job fair

events or clubs. Apply for Suitable Work―Apply for positions with employers reasonably expected to have suitable openings matching skills and experience, including government jobs and exams. Participate in Training―Engage in permissible education and training opportunities that assist in obtaining employment and do not interfere with an ability to accept suitable full-time work. The requirement was in place until the state suspended it in March of last year, when the department suspended it amid the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that change, California has processed 20 million unemployment claims, sending more than $128 billion. “When claimants were asked if they had looked for work when completing their weekly certification for benefits, they could answer ‘No’ and maintain their eligibility for benefits. As California reopens, most claimants See California to Resume, Page 26



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Axalta Names Scanlan Head of HR��������������������14

CA Businesses Can’t Fill Openings; Economists

BMW 3-Series Vehicles Recalled Over

California to Resume Work Search Unemployment Requirement���������������������������1 CAWA Announces 2021 Scholarship Winners����18 Commentary: Yes, Our Electricity Grid Can Support an Electric Vehicle Future�����������������12 Focus Advisors Represents Able Body Shop in its Sale to Classic Collision������������������������26 GM Supports California Emissions Reductions, But Wants Flexibility�������������������26 Mask Requirements Remain for California Workers�����������������������������������������18 Nearly 20 CA Legislators Call for More Funding for Hydrogen Infrastructure��������������25 Predictive AI Used to Reduce Speeds and Crashes in Southern Nevada���������������������������6 Redwood Materials Opens New Facility Just Miles from Tesla Giga Nevada����������������16 Tesla Cameras Help Catch Suspect in BB Gun Shootings on CA Freeways���������������23 Tesla Under Review by California’s DMV for Claims About FSD������������������������������������14 The Boring Company Officially Starts LVCC Loop Operations with Las Vegas Convention Center Trade Show���������������������24 VW Shows ID.4 EV Off-Road Concept at Petersen Automotive Museum�����������������������24

Explosive Airbags������������������������������������������52 Caliber Names Chief People Officer�������������������25 Car Insurance Customer Satisfaction Stalls

Anderson - Scanning—It’s Not Just for DTCs Anymore (And Never Was)��������������������32 Attanasio - Painter/Car Restorer Miguel Perez Produces a Podcast and Creates a Brand������46 Phillips - Jake Rodenroth of asTech on Vehicle Tech’s Relation to Collision Repair Diagnostics����������������������������������������34 Sisk - Collision Training on ADAS, EVs,

J.D. Power Finds���������������������������������������������4 CARB Votes to Transition Ride-Hailing Fleets to Zero-Emissions by 2030���������������������������27

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk, Stacey Phillips Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Norman Morano, Johnny Barrett (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bryan Malinski Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Abby Andrews Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Permissions Editor: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray

Serving Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the collision industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2021 Adamantine Media LLC.

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Lithia Honda of Medford���������������������������������� 44

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on Electric Cars����������������������������������������������1

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U.S. House Members Advocate for RPM Act������32

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Celebrate Collector Car Appreciation Day July 9����������������������������������������������������40 CIF Announces Axalta as Annual Donor�������������23 CIF Elects New Trustee�������������������������������������44 Cox Automotive Study Examines Best Practices of Dealerships Thriving in an Accelerated Digital Landscape�����������������55 Driverless Cars Make People Feel Less Safe: Study��������������������������������������������������������������4 Ford Partners with Mile Auto�����������������������������20 Ford Reports Huge Growth in EV Sales, Best May for SUV Sales Since 2003��������������55 GM Vehicles Recalled for Airbag Warning Lights��50 Hertz’s Reorganization Plan OK’d by Bankruptcy Court������������������������������������������52 I-CAR Supports Inter-Industry’s First OEM Glass Repair Certification Program����������������52 Jaguar XE Recalled for Missing Welds���������������53 Lamborghini Outlines Massive $1.8 Billion Lordstown Motors Explains It Has a Lot of Real Orders Too����������������������������������������45 Mazda, Sunbit Partner���������������������������������������16 Most Unreliable Cars in the U.S., According to Google Data����������������������������������������������37 MSO Symposium Announces Format����������������55 No Signs Microchip Shortage is Delaying Crash Parts�����������������������������������������������������1 P&C Insurers Stuck at Providing Only ‘Good Enough’ Digital User Experience:

X50 Conference��������������������������������������������38

J.D. Power����������������������������������������������������49

from Auto-Emergency Braking, Changes to Powertrains����������������������������������������������41

Registration Open for 2021 AWDA Conference��48 Research Shows Auto Care Industry Expected to Reach $477B by 2024������������������������������50 SafeAuto Insurance to Join Allstate�������������������18

NATIONAL asTech Acquires Mobile Tech RX�����������������������10 Auto Body Shops Asked to Submit Experiences with SRS Inspections��������������������������������������1 Auto Care Association to Host Webinar on E-commerce Trends in Auto Aftermarket�������30 Auto Care Association’s Auto Care Caucus Renewed with 117th U.S. Congress��������������53 Average Age of U.S. Cars Reaches All-Time Record of 12.1 Years�������������������������������������48 Axalta Names Jordan to Board��������������������������27


CarAdvise, Affirm to Offer Long-Term Payment��24

Total Losses and Phone Skills at ASA’s Yoswick - HLDI Shows Impact on Claims



Despite $18 Billion in Premium Relief,

Plan to Shift to Electrification������������������������54 COLUMNISTS


SEMA Show Exhibitors Begin to Select Booth Space�������������������������������������������������53 The Real Impact of AI Across the Claims Lifecycle�������������������������������������������������������36 Toyota Says It’s Still Too Soon to Focus

USAA to Acquire Noblr, Inc.����������������������������������4 Will We Have Enough Juice to Get Us to an All-EV World by 2035?����������������������������������30


Warn of Slowed Recovery�����������������������������10

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Autobody News P.O. Box 1516 Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com editor@autobodynews.com

Industrial Finishes and Systems������������������ 7, 56

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Car Insurance Customer Satisfaction Stalls Despite $18 Billion in Premium Relief, J.D. Power Finds The auto insurance industry voluntarily returned more than $18 billion in auto insurance premiums to customers in 2020 to address the sharp decline in miles driven during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the magnitude of this historic relief effort, the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, released June 15, finds overall customer satisfaction with auto insurers is flat, following four consecutive years of improvement. “What we’re seeing in this year’s study is a case of insurers delivering with their actions but missing the mark on effective communication to their customers,” said Robert Lajdziak, senior consultant for insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “The refunds provided to customers during the pandemic were significant, representing nearly 7% of total industry premiums, but only half of customers were even aware of them. “Worse, when customers needed to communicate with their insurers, either via phone, website or chat, many came away feeling less satisfied with the result than in the past.” Following are some of the key

findings of the 2021 study: Overall satisfaction stagnates: Overall customer satisfaction with auto insurance providers is 835, on a 1,000-point scale, this year, unchanged from a year ago. This is the first time since 2017 that auto insurance customer satisfaction has not improved year over year. Insurers miss the mark in communication: While price is the lowest-scoring factor in the study, it has seen the greatest improvement year over year. This improvement is overshadowed by significant declines in satisfaction with interaction. Satisfaction with the assisted online channel, which is comprised of chat and e-mail functions, declined 12 points from a year ago, with decreases also seen in contact center (-5), website (-3) and local agent (-1). Customer awareness of COVID-19 relief efforts boosts brand perception: As of March, just 52% of auto insurance customers were aware of their insurer’s COVID-19 premium relief efforts. Overall brand impressions are significantly higher among customers who were aware of these relief efforts, which was also

reflected in their intent to renew their policy. Pandemic as catalyst to telematics growth: More than one-third (34%) of auto insurance customers say they are willing to try usage-based insurance (UBI), which uses telematics technology to track customer driving patterns and includes discounts based on safe driving and fewer miles driven. Currently, 16% of customers say they are already using the technology, which is double the volume seen just five years ago and is the largest year-over-year increase to date. Ready to switch at hint of a premium increase: Nearly half (45%) of auto insurance customers say they would switch if they could receive a savings of $200 or less. Of those who recently switched due to a premium increase, 57% did so for increases of $200 or less.   The study measures customer satisfaction with auto insurance in 11 geographic regions. Highest-ranking auto insurers and scores, by region, are as follows: California: Wawanesa (853) (second consecutive year) Central: Shelter (856)

Driverless Cars Make People Feel Less Safe: Study by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

Driverless cars scare people, a fact repeated in multiple studies and reports which collected consumer attitudes about sharing the roads with autonomous vehicles. In the latest research conducted by AAA and the Technology and Public Purpose Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, only a small percentage of consumers believe driverless vehicles will make the roads safer. According to researchers, 38 states and the District of Columbia have active programs that allow self-driving test vehicles to operate on public roads, a fact many consumers know nothing about. Support of these programs was split, with 34% of drivers in favor, 36% opposed and 31% unsure about allowing autonomous test vehicles on the highways. Research results from AAA and Harvard indicate the majority of the public believes sharing the roads with driverless cars will

make the roads less safe, no matter if the autonomous vehicles are cars or tractor-trailers.

Sharing the road with: • Self-driving semi-trucks: Feel less safe: 53% / Feel more safe: 11% • Small, self-driving delivery vehicles: Feel less safe: 43% / Feel more safe: 12% • Self-driving vehicles on a highway: Feel less safe: 47% / Feel more safe: 13% • Self-driving vehicles on local roads: Feel less safe: 44% / Feel

4 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Florida: State Farm (848) Mid-Atlantic: NJM Insurance Co. (867) New England: Amica Mutual (867) (ninth consecutive year) New York: State Farm (859) (second consecutive year) North Central: Erie Insurance (857) Northwest: State Farm (844) Southeast: Farm Bureau Insurance-Tennessee (883) (10th consecutive year) Southwest: American Family (850) (second consecutive year) Texas: Texas Farm Bureau (850) (10th consecutive year) The 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, now in its 22nd year, examines customer satisfaction in five factors, in alphabetical order: billing process and policy information; claims; interaction; policy offerings; and price. The study is based on responses from 38,938 auto insurance customers and was fielded in February and March. For more information about the U.S. Auto Insurance Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/ resource/jd-power-us-auto-insurance-satisfaction-study. Source: J.D. Power

more safe: 13% However, research participants say there are things that would at least make them feel safer sharing the roads with autonomous vehicles. Simply clearly marking a driverless car as a self-driving car would make about 60% of the public feel safer, as would having designated driving lanes for autonomous vehicles. About 30% of respondents say they would feel more comfortable if there were restrictions on the times of day or days of the week when self-driving vehicles can use the roads. Researchers also learned about 50% of the public believes consumers should be educated about how to behave around driverless cars. And a self-driving car should also operate consistently and provide predictable behavior, something which should be defined by safety regulators.

USAA to Acquire Noblr, Inc. Sunbit, the buy now, pay later (BNPL) technology for everyday needs and services, announced June 8 it has entered into a relationship with Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) as the recommended financing solution for MNAO’s 550 dealership auto parts and service centers. Sunbit technology is currently available in 111 MNAO dealerships. During a limited rollout in 2020, Sunbit’s solution generated more than $2 million in revenue for participating Mazda dealership parts and service centers. Sunbit’s technology, designed for in-person and contactless transactions with a digital approval process within 30 seconds with nearly no data entry, does not perform hard credit checks for applicants, making it an ideal financing solution at dealerships. Source: Sunbit

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Predictive AI Used to Reduce Speeds and Crashes in Southern Nevada Waycare, a leading artificial intelligence (AI) traffic management and transit solutions provider, announced June 14 the results of a year-long program aimed at curbing traffic incidents on Southern Nevada roads. The program included the collaboration of the Nevada Department of Public Safety (DPS) Highway Patrol (NHP) Division, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) and the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT). The results showed an 18% reduction in primary crashes and a 43% reduction in the percentage of speeding drivers along key corridors on I-15 and US-95 in Southern Nevada. A cost-benefit analysis showed a return 16 times greater than the initial investment, and more than $3 million in economic benefit and savings. The program, funded by the National Safety Council’s Road to Zero grant, was awarded to the agencies to expand the use of AI, intelligent transportation system (ITS) devices and strategic police positioning to decrease speed on high-risk roads. By implementing an innovative approach combining AI and predictive analytics,

the program was able to strategically identify high-risk corridors and deploy dynamic preventative measures.

Strategic Traffic Management Site (STMS) at I-15 Southbound near Lake Mead Boulevard.

Waycare uses proprietary AI algorithms to identify specific corridors and times at a higher risk of crashes derived from existing local data sets. Based on the analysis of Southern Nevada, the deployment focused on three key corridors along I-15 Northbound near Russell Road, US95 Southbound near Jones Boulevard and I-15 Southbound near Lake Mead Boulevard. NHP troopers were periodically positioned at strategic traffic management sites to increase driver caution and vigilance. In tandem, the RTC regularly activated dynamic messaging signs to reinforce speed limits and

preemptively slow traffic. “The Nevada DPS Highway Patrol’s priority is the safety on Nevada’s roadways. This program is one way we can work together with our partnering agencies to help prevent fatalities and serious injury crashes,” said Col. Anne Carpenter with the Nevada DPS Highway Patrol Division. “The combination of emerging technologies together with the collaboration of law enforcement has proven to be successful in enhancing safety, preserving capacity and effectively communicating with Southern Nevada drivers,” said M.J. Maynard, RTC CEO. “The use of AI-based insights helped identify potential target areas, allowing us to increase safety and plan for preventative actions in the future.” In addition to safety benefits, the program resulted in substantial economic savings—totaling just over $3 million—as a result of preventing property damage, medical costs, productivity loss caused by travel delays and other agency incurred expenses due to road crashes. “Waycare’s innovative program has shown real promise in helping

improve traffic safety across Southern Nevada,” said Kristina Swallow, director of NDOT. “As NDOT continues to build wireless infrastructure throughout Nevada, programs leveraging crowdsource technology such as Waycare may prove to be a cost-effective strategy in providing quick and proactive incident response.” “Educating drivers and changing roadway design is not enough to combat the rising number of fatalities on our roads,” said Noam Maital, CEO of Waycare. “AI offers an opportunity to change the rules of the game—we can leverage predictive analytics to proactively prevent crashes. The Road to Zero program should serve as a blueprint for scalable and effective future strategies combining both technology and interagency collaboration.” A full report of the project’s findings and results can be found in Waycare’s white paper: Southern Nevada Road to Zero Program: A Comprehensive Report on the Impact and Economic Savings of Predictive Analytics and Preventive Activities on Driver Speed and Vehicle Crashes in Las Vegas. Source: Waycare


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asTech Acquires Mobile Tech RX

CA Businesses Can’t Fill Openings; Economists Warn of Slowed Recovery by Cole Lauterbach, The Center Square

Employers in California cannot find workers and it is affecting the state’s economic recovery, a new survey shows. The National Federation of Independent Business’ monthly survey of small business trends shows optimism from job creators nationally took a pause as the COVID-19 pandemic waned.

owners expecting better economic conditions over the next six months fell 11 percentage points to a net negative 26%. Economists warn that labor shortages, especially pronounced in California’s service industry, will stymie a recovery effort. “This is not the type of news we would have preferred hearing heading into the vacation months in our state’s tourist-heavy econo-

“If small business owners could hire more workers to take care of customers, sales would be higher and getting closer to pre-COVID levels,” — Bill Dunkelberg “May saw a slight pause in the recovery of small business optimism after steadily increasing each month in 2021,” NFIB said in a statement. “As reported in NFIB’s monthly jobs report, a record-high 48% of owners reported unfilled job openings.” The NFIB’s survey included questions about business conditions in the coming months. Business

my,” said John Kabateck, NFIB California state director. “I think some warning lights, if not alarm bells, should be raised especially for our State Legislature.” Kabateck hopes lawmakers will hold off on new proposals he said would hurt employers but isn’t optimistic they will do so. Nationally, job openings and workers walking away from cur-

rent employment remain at near-record highs. “The labor shortage is holding back growth for small businesses across the country. If small business owners could hire more workers to take care of customers, sales would be higher and getting closer to pre-COVID levels,” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said. “In addition, inflation on Main Street is rampant and small business owners are uncertain about future business conditions.” An April poll from The Conference Board found 44% of firms said they have job openings they cannot fill right now―the highest percentage in the poll’s 47-year history, the authors said. “On the supply side, many working-age adults may avoid entering the workforce because of factors that include the fear of being infected, the need to take care of young children at home and high federal unemployment benefits that may reduce the incentive to find work,” The Conference Board said. The board said the labor demand is also increasing wage rates.

Repairify, Inc. d/b/a asTech, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC, announced June 15 the acquisition of Mobile Tech RX. Mobile Tech RX is an automotive and collision reconditioning application that enables technicians to estimate, invoice, manage teams and collision workflow, process repair orders and capture data on-the-go through its mobile devices. Mobile Tech RX also provides instant damage pricing estimates using machine learning enabled AI and computer vision with dispatch functionality to their technicians across the country in their own marketplace. The company represents the 12th add-on acquisition for asTech and Kinderhook’s 112th automotive-related transaction. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Source: asTech


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Commentary: Yes, Our Electricity Grid Can Support an Electric Vehicle Future duces more energy than we currently use. Our steady supply of renewable energy means our excess power is sold to neighboring states, Canada and Mexico. Research from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found the national, western grid and Washington state regions can handle electric vehicle fleet sizes of  up to 24 million, 9 million and 1 million, respectively, without requiring any additional power plants. With managed charging, the  number increases to 2.7 million for Washington State. The state has 74,000 EV’s registered as of 2020. Meanwhile, Washington State imports more than $5 billion worth of oil, most of which is used to power our transportation sector. As a former petroleum engineer, I can tell you that not only is oil harmful to the environment, but it is also an inefficient fuel.  About as much energy goes into just refining a gallon of gasoline as an electric car uses to go a gallon-worth of miles. Most of the energy stored in oil is burned and emitted as heat, with only one-fifth of the original energy actually powering your car.

by Charlie Michel, Energy News Network

The beauty of a seamless, well-functioning electric grid is when everything goes right, you don’t have to think about it. You flip a switch or plug into an outlet, and energy is there, ready and waiting. On the other hand, the weather-induced failure of the power grid in Texas earlier this year has exposed fears about grid stability and renewable energy’s ability to provide consistent, reliable energy to our homes and businesses. These concerns sometimes come up when discussing Clean Cars 2030, a bill in the Washington State legislature that sets a target for all model year 2030 or later passenger and light-duty vehicles sold in the state to be electric. Skeptics question if the electrical grid can handle an enormous influx of electric cars. The short answer is this: Transitioning to electric vehicles does not pose a threat to our grid or our electricity supply. In fact, if managed strategically, electric vehicles can make our grid more robust and resilient. To start, Washington State pro-

In contrast, almost all the energy produced by renewable sources like wind, hydro and solar is usable as energy. This means we can power our cars, trucks and SUVs with less energy input overall. What’s more, electric vehicles can help make our grid more stable by storing power and functioning as a backup power source when necessary. Vehicle-to-grid technology that would allow electric vehicles to provide energy to the grid during times of high demand is being piloted in North Carolina and the United Kingdom. With this technology, electric vehicle batteries store energy generated during off-hours when people are at work or asleep and cars are sitting idle. When energy demand is high during peak hours, electric cars can return the stored energy back to the grid until demand declines and the vehicle returns to charging. In the event of a natural disaster causing power failure, a fully charged electric vehicle could provide enough backup energy to power a home for two days. Finally, Clean Cars 2030 gives Washington State a clear timeline to




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prepare our grid for the coming EV evolution. The goal established in the bill applies only to the sale of new cars, model year 2030 or later. Fewer than 5% of cars registered in Washington State each year are new—roughly 302,000 vehicles out of 6.4 million vehicles on the road. The date specified in the bill gives ample time to make any needed updates to Washington’s power grid to support a larger number of electric vehicles expected to be on the road in the coming decade and beyond. Clean Cars 2030 is an opportunity for Washington to be a national leader in the transition to cleaner, healthier transportation. We have the energy and the grid capacity, and with a clear goal, we’ll be able to make further improvements to our grid that result in a more efficient and more resilient system for everyone. Charlie Michel is a retired petroleum engineer who resides in Bremerton, WA. He submitted this column in cooperation with Coltura, a nonprofit working to improve climate, health and equity by accelerating the transition from gasoline and diesel to cleaner alternatives.



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Tesla Under Review by California’s DMV for Claims About FSD by Gustavo Henrique Ruffo, Inside EVs

First, a Munich court ruled July 14, 2020, that Tesla was misleading customers by saying its cars had “full potential for autonomous driving.”  Then, also in July 2020, the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport started an investigation into Autopilot’s “suspect defects.”  The latest strike came from California’s DMV, which is investigating Tesla’s claims about driving assistant software. The Associated Press has confirmed this news, stating: “The [California DMV] confirmed the review May 17 in an email to The Associated Press. State regulation prohibits advertising vehicles for sale or lease as autonomous if they can’t comply with the regulatory definition, it said.” According to the Associated Press, the DMV is reviewing what the company says about Autopilot and FSD. If it concludes Tesla is misleading customers about

the true capability of these driving aids, it could suspend or revoke “autonomous vehicle deployment permits and manufacture and dealer licenses.”

The issue is Tesla does not have these permits as far as we know. The company’s strategy is to offer beta versions of what it intends to become its full self-driving software for regular customers to test it, and provide Tesla with data about its performance, with a legal disclaimer that clients may only use it at their own risk and only under proper supervising. Those drivers are also the ones at stake with another sanction the DMV can establish. According to a DMV spokesperson, vehicles operating on public roads using autonomous technology without

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first obtaining a permit “can be removed from the streets by the police.” In other words, people who paid for FSD may have their cars impounded. However, it will heavily depend on law interpretation. Tesla classifies both Autopilot and FSD as Level 2 driving aids. In theory, they are like GM’s Super Cruise or Ford’s Active Drive Assist. In practice, people believe they are autonomous driving systems that will swerve obstacles, make turns left or right and reach destinations on their own—which is precisely what autonomous systems are expected to do.  The more recent crash involving Autopilot happened in Lake Stevens, WA. Luckily, no one was hurt. DMV’s review comes after two fatal crashes that could involve Autopilot: one in The Woodlands, TX, which killed William Varner and Everett Talbot, and one in Fontana, CA, which killed Steven Michael Hendrickson. NHTSA is investigating both of them.

Axalta Names Scanlan Head of HR Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. on May 26 announced the appointment of Jacqueline Scanlan as senior vice president and chief human resources officer, effective June 14. Scanlan joins Axalta from Haemonetics, a publicly traded global medical technology company, where she served as senior vice president, global human resources, leading the company’s integrated HR strategy worldwide, including culture and employee engagement, talent management, compensation and benefits, HR operations and communications. Previously, she served in roles of increasing responsibility at Novo Nordisk, Campbell Soup Company, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Accenture. Scanlan earned her B.A. in political science from St. Joseph’s University and her M.A. in organizational dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. Source: Axalta


autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 15

Redwood Materials Opens New Facility Just Miles from Tesla Giga Nevada by Joey Klender, Teslarati

Redwood Materials, a battery and e-waste recycling venture from former Tesla executive J.B. Straubel, has opened up a new manufacturing facility in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Park, just miles from Tesla’s Giga Nevada production facility. At Giga Nevada, Tesla has a joint venture with Panasonic to produce electric vehicle batteries. Tesla also manufactures electric motors for the Model 3 there. In 2017, Straubel founded Redwood Materials to work on the recycling processes of lithium-ion batteries and electronic waste materials. He kept his post as Tesla’s chief technical officer until July 2019, when the company gave him an advisory role. Over the past several years, Redwood has started to expand its business, taking on new products to recycle like solar panels, and establishing new partnerships and recycling deals with companies like  Nissan LEAF battery supplier AESC and Tesla. The partnerships contribute to around 3 GWh annually, equating to about 45,000 cars or 60 tons of waste every day. With more partnerships and more products being taken on by Redwood in its attempts to expand the recycling of batteries and sustainable energy products, the company recently purchased a 100-acre land plot in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center. The purchase of a new

property expands Redwood’s potential battery recycling efforts. With the ever-growing electric vehicle market, battery recycling efforts and ventures will be a highly sought-after entity in the coming years as vehicles begin to reach the end of their life cycle. It goes past EVs because cell phones, laptops, solar panels and other consumer products that use lithium-ion batteries for operation will also need to be sustainably handled at the end of their life cycle. While Redwood is only a few short years into its journey as a company, it has been working on expanding its potential footprint into the industry. While its initial facility in Carson City, NV, sits just 20 miles south of the new property in Reno-Sparks, Straubel said Redwood is working on expanding, but it’s not concerned about publicity. “We’ve been on the quiet side because we prefer to make progress and get things done,” he said to the Reno Gazette Journal. “All that said, [the company] has been growing rapidly, and business has been great. We felt it was time to connect a bit more with the local community and help raise awareness for hiring and make sure people realize this is a worthy and unique opportunity here as well.” The expanding market of consumer products that use lithium-ion batteries is huge, and it’s also global. AirPods, electric bikes, toothbrushes, cell phones. You name it,

it probably has a battery in it, and Straubel said the environmental impact is great during the product’s lifetime. However, when it breaks or dies, what to do with the batteries is the real concern. Recycling the batteries to give them a second use, especially in the application of electric vehicles, is what Straubel seems mostly concerned about. “It’s a great thing for the environment, but it puts massive pressure on the supply chain and resources to build all these cars and batteries,” he added. The Carson City facility is currently undergoing a 150,000-square foot expansion project, making it 550,000 square feet in total. The reason for the Tahoe-Reno location in Reno-Sparks is simple: Tesla Gigafactory. In 2019, Panasonic and Redwood inked a deal that would allow the company to take the scrap generated from the Gigafactory and recycle it. It also has a deal with Amazon and will recycle the e-com-


Mazda, Sunbit Partner Sunbit, the buy now, pay later (BNPL) technology for everyday needs and services, announced June 8 it has entered into a relationship with Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) as the recommended financing solution for MNAO’s 550 dealership auto parts and service centers. Sunbit technology is currently available in 111 MNAO dealerships. During a limited rollout in

2020, Sunbit’s solution generated more than $2 million in revenue for participating Mazda dealership parts and service centers. Sunbit’s technology, designed for in-person and contactless transactions with a digital approval process within 30 seconds with nearly no data entry, does not perform hard credit checks for applicants, making it an ideal financing solution at dealerships. Source: Sunbit

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merce giant’s lithium-ion batteries and other e-waste materials. Another reason for the Nevada location was Straubel’s familiarity with the area, he said. “It’s a very business-friendly climate politically and economically, and there’s generally more space to grow. You could also build a company a little bit faster and do so without some of the constraints… you have in California or other places like that.” The act of recycling EV batteries and other lithium-ion-based products adds an extra environmental element to the entire process. Of course, the lifespan of electric vehicles is extremely environmentally conscious. Still, with Redwood’s recycling efforts, it’s becoming a completely well-rounded supply chain in terms of Earth-safe production and manufacturing. Redwood is also looking to expand its workforce by creating around 500 additional jobs starting this year, a drastic increase from its 130 current employees.



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Mask Requirements Remain for California Workers by Cole Lauterbach, The Center Square

California’s workplace safety department says workers must wear masks unless all employees are confirmed to have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board approved revised guidelines June 3, stressing it is likely to revisit them as the state’s anticipated June 15 “reopening date” draws closer. The changes are set to take effect June 15 but could be approved earlier. Despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines saying vaccinated people shouldn’t have to wear masks in the company of others, OSHSB approved standards that said workers who are vaccinated but in a workplace with one or more unvaccinated employees have to keep masks on.  The standards apply to nearly all businesses in California except industries that require more stringent safeguards, remote businesses and single-employee enti-

ties. Employees at outdoor “mega events” with more than 10,000 attendees will have to stay masked. This mandate applies to things such as outdoor concert workers or theme park employees.

Employers no longer will be required to mandate physical distancing for workers but only if they offer respirators such as N95 masks to unvaccinated workers for voluntary use. This proposal was criticized by employers who said the mandate would be costly and ineffective. “Cal/OSHA should be adopting the same rules and protocols for workers that Gov. Gavin Newsom has adopted for the rest of the state—beginning June 15—

and that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adopted for the rest of the country,” California Chamber of Commerce President Allan Zaremberg said. State regulators aren’t following the science, he said. “If you are fully vaccinated, you don’t need to wear a mask inside or outside. That’s the science! Under the rules now being considered by Cal/OSHA, workers cannot control their own destiny, like the rest of Californians,” he said. “Under these rules, workers’ freedoms will be controlled by their fellow workers’ decisions to get vaccinated, not by their own choices.” The board initially narrowly rejected making any changes to their mitigations. The meeting had been postponed to June 3 after the CDC’s May 13 announcement that vaccinated people didn’t need to wear masks when going about their pre-pandemic activities. The board is scheduled to meet again June 17, two days after the state lifts its COVID-19 mitigations entirely.

Jayson Fuentes, Drexel University This year, three students received the prestigious Mort Schwartz Award as the highest rated students out of 80 applications for scholarships. The primary scholarship fundraising effort by CAWA is its annual dinner gala held the Sunday night before the AAPEX and SEMA shows. This year it will be held Oct. 31 at the Venetian in Las Vegas. Scholarship funding also comes, in part, from a grant provided by the University of the Aftermarket Foundation. To contribute to the association’s scholarship fund or to donate prizes for the annual fundraising auction, contact Pierini at 800-332-2292, ext. 1201, or admin@ cawa.org, or visit www.cawa.org. CAWA is a regional auto care trade association, which represents auto parts jobbers, warehouse distributors, retailers, manufacturers, manufacturer representatives and program groups. The association provides education, legislative, regulatory and business support to the industry and its membership. It is one of the largest trade associations of its kind in the U.S. and recognized as a leader in the auto care industry. Source: CAWA

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SafeAuto will add capabilities and distribution with its 24-hour, 7-days-a-week customer contact centers at 1-800-SafeAuto and its website. The combination will leverage National General’s direct-to-consumer non-standard auto insurance operations and leverage National General’s track record of acquiring and integrating companies to accelerate growth. “I am confident that combining forces with National General with the backing of Allstate will allow SafeAuto to grow its platform in the non-standard space,” said Ari Deshe, co-founder and chairman of SafeAuto. “I wish to thank all of our past and present associates for their contributions to our success during our 27-year history.” The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2021, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Source: SafeAuto

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CAWA Announces 2021 Scholarship Winners CAWA, representing the automotive parts industry, is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2021 scholarship awards. CAWA provided $10,750 in scholarships this year to 10 individuals. “Once again, CAWA is proud to assist these young people in pursuing their education and careers in the auto care industry,” said Rodney Pierini, president and CEO, in announcing the awards. Recipients of the scholarships include: Trino Guerrero, Mort Schwartz Award, Rio Hondo College Duminda Edirisinghe, Mort Schwartz Award, Rio Hondo College Harout Youssoufian, Mort Schwartz Award, Citrus College Ryan Zangler, Universal Technical Institute Stassa Cappos, California Polytechnic University Matthew Anczelowitz, Universal Technical Institute Matthew Wolfe, Universal Technical Institute Alexander Siegenthaler, Universal Technical Institute Kevin Berrios, Los Angeles Trade Technical College

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Continued from Cover

SRS Inspections that are needed, and press for some level of standardization among the automakers. To do this, VanHulle said, “We need more data on what’s being found in the real world. Right now we have a lot of anecdotal examples of strange things that were found during inspections,” such as when a shop discovers a “bad actor” has installed resistors on a vehicle to mask that an airbag module is missing or inoperable. “We need a lot more than just those anecdotal examples,” VanHulle said. I-CAR has posted a brief form (https://rts.i-car.com/srs-inspection-feedback-form) shops can use to submit information on the SRS inspections they perform, what triggered the inspections and what was found. “And pictures, pictures, pictures,” VanHulle said. “I’m sure any of the people who deal with estimating have seen not very good pictures

from the industry. If you give us a picture that is so extremely close I have no idea what part that is even on, it’s not a great picture. I need ones with geography. I need to be able to see what the part looks like

I-CAR has posted a brief form they are asking shops to use to submit information on the SRS inspections they perform

and where it’s located, and have it as clear as it can be.” By providing real-world findings to the OEMs, he said, the automakers may be able to include common things to look for during inspections, and it could be incorporated into I-CAR training. Vague references to “inspect for damage”


could be replaced by step-by-step processes. “The more data we can get, the more accurate information we can then have to work with,” VanHulle said. “This is not something we’re going to do for a week. This is a long-term data gathering.” I-CAR’s effort was welcomed by Jason Bartanen, vice chairman of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) Emerging Technologies Committee. He points to one automaker whose procedures call for removing an undeployed airbag to inspect it, then reinstall it using new fasteners. “But they only service the fasteners with the airbag,” Bartanen said. “That presents huge obstacles. You’re essentially replacing an undeployed airbag because we had to take it out and inspect it. That’s where I think we can do a lot of good with this. “The OEMs have shown that they are responsive. The more information we can get them, the ideas for solutions…They are open to it and they’ve shown a willingness to change.”


Ford Partners with Mile Auto Automotive giant Ford Motor Company is teaming up with Mile Auto, a next-gen insurtech innovator using computer vision and decision analytics to offer an affordable car insurance option based on mileage to low-mileage drivers. Ford owners who drive fewer than 10,000 miles per year could potentially save between 30% and 40% of their current rates. Mile Auto is changing the way car insurance is purchased with an offering that requires drivers to pay only for what they use. By leveraging onboard telematics data from current Ford models, Ford owners can choose to share mileage data with Mile Auto. Mile Auto does not require smartphones, mobile apps or other hardware to take advantage of lower rates. Mile Auto insurance is currently available in Arizona, Georgia, Illinois and Oregon. The company expects to expand its coverage to 50% of the U.S. auto insurance market by the end of 2021. Source: Mile Auto


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Continued from Cover

Microchip Shortage impact on the collision industry, through the middle of May, when

absolutely are reporting they had short staff due to a COVID outbreak in that area. So the parts were there, but the plants were not able to get them packaged into the boxes and shipped out. But that is a very

PartsTrader said parts on its system are receiving the same number of bids or quotes on average over the past year, indicating good access to replacement crash parts.

PartsTrader data shows the average quoted delivery times for parts going through its system did not change significantly in the past 13 months, one indication that microchip shortages aren’t widely impacting availability of replacement parts.

it comes to parts shortages,” Horn said. “The only real information we had on collision [parts] shortages…is around the packaging plants that two OEs have in Mexico. They

temporary situation and we’re not seeing any big impact from that.” The global microchip shortage has occurred after microchip production was curtailed last spring

Continued from Cover

tomers choose.” As we previously reported, Toyota is saying publically it will leave the decision to car shoppers. However, Toyota isn’t just citing a lack of demand for EVs as the only concern. Rather, according to Automotive News, it also suggests the materials needed to make EV batteries “could account for a larger share of total emissions than those from tailpipes.” Nonetheless, Toyota did say it will make an effort to reduce production costs associated with EVs, though it will do so by producing them alongside other vehicles that don’t use battery-electric powertrains. Toyota says to truly reduce carbon emissions, automakers must look at a vehicle’s entire lifecycle, not just its tailpipe emissions.

Focus on Electric Cars tiple options, such as hybrids and fuel-cell cars. He also said these vehicle types need to compete with one another to offer people the best options. While Ford, GM and Volkswagen have made it clear they’re going “all in” related to a future of EVs, Toyota argues battery-powered cars aren’t necessarily the way of the future. Moreover, it believes “non-electric cars” will continue to thrive in markets across the globe. “Some people love battery-electric vehicles but others don’t see the current technologies as convenient,” Toyota’s Chief Technology Officer Masahiko Maeda explained. “In the end what matters is what cus-

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early in the pandemic, followed by a sharp uptick in demand for cell phones and gaming devices for those spending much more time at home. “Meanwhile, as that was ramping up, automotive manufacturers were sort of the last to resume production, and when they started coming back online, they realized they were all of a sudden at the back of the line for ability to buy

them,” Horn said. Microchip producers are working to boost supply, but forecasters don’t expect the shortage to be resolved for some months.


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Tesla Cameras Help Catch Suspect in BB Gun Shootings on CA Freeways by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

Anaheim, CA, resident Jesse Leal Rodriguez was recently charged with three counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault on a person causing great bodily injury, as per the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. Rodriguez is suspected of being responsible for a string of attacks involving BBs shot through vehicles’ windows on freeways in Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles counties. Since mid-April, windows have been shot out of about 100 vehicles. The incidents remain under investigation. Authorities noted they are not certain if Rodriguez acted alone, or if he’s responsible for other shootings.   Rodriguez’s arrest was made possible with the assistance of one Tesla’s in-vehicle cameras. On May 25, the 34-year-old decided to attack the all-electric car. The Tesla’s driver reported his windows were shot out near

the intersection of Hamner Avenue and Hidden Valley Parkway in Norco. But while the incident was frightening, the Tesla’s built-in cameras captured the image of the suspect’s vehicle—a red Chevy Trailblazer.

Partly thanks to the information from the Tesla, Rodriguez was stopped by police near the 91 Freeway and Tyler Street, since his vehicle matched the description of the vehicle recorded by the Tesla. Rodriguez’s three attempted murder charges are for the Tesla’s three passengers. If convict-

ed, Rodriguez could face up to 57 years to life in prison. Rodriguez is currently being held on $750,000 bail. His arraignment is scheduled for June 1. But considering Rodriguez is suspected of being involved in other attacks, there is a good chance he may see more charges filed against him in the near future. “The DA’s office anticipates more charges could be filed in the future,” the agency said.  This was not the first time Rodriguez found himself on the wrong side of the law. He has previous convictions for carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in public and participating in criminal street gang activity. He was sentenced to 32 months in prison in April 2013, though the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation stated he was paroled in January 2015. He was discharged from parole in January 2018.

CIF Announces Axalta as Annual Donor The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) is delighted to announce Axalta Coating Systems has joined the CIF Annual Donor Program at the URGENT CARE level with a $5,000 pledge. The Annual Donor Program was designed to bring needed, recurring resources to CIF, so it can deliver on its mission to Answer the Call when those in the industry have been impacted by unforeseen catastrophic events. CIF depends solely on the generosity of donations to conduct its work. The CIF Annual Donor Program offers five levels of annual funding options; each comes with a suite of benefits to the donor throughout the calendar year. All donations to CIF are tax deductible. To become a CIF annual donor, visit www.collisionindustryfoundation.org or reach out via email to collisionindustryfoundation@gmail.com. Source: CIF

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VW Shows ID.4 EV Off-Road Concept at Petersen Automotive Museum and battery pack with only a modified off-road suspension and racVolkswagen announced June 7 the ing interior. one-off ID.4 off-road concept that It proves standard EV tech is recently completed the Nation- capable and can reliably withstand the challenges of the races. Once the ranges and charging will further improve, we will see more and more examples of successful race entries. The Volkswagen ID.4 For NORRA Mexican 1000 will be on display only for a limited time, although we don’t know the timeline. It’s a great opportunity to see also other electric cars, including the Tesla RoadVolkswagen ID.4 at NORRA Mexican 1000. Credit: VW ster, extended to June 11. Volkswagen’s display includes al Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA) Mexican 1000 race in also a presentation of the MEB the Baja Peninsula of Mexico is platform: “The exhibit consists of five now part of Volkswagen’s “Building an Electric Future” exhibit at rooms showcasing how Volkswathe Petersen Automotive Museum gen’s modular electric drive main Los Angeles. trix, or MEB platform, was engi Let’s recall it’s the first and neered, the variety of models that only EV that entered the event and will be built, the uniquely flexible it had a stock powertrain (RWD) nature of the platform and how by Mark Kane, Inside EVs

the vehicles will be assembled,” Volkswagen said. “Through the incorporation of multimedia features in each room, visitors have a variety of engaging ways to visualize new challenges faced by modern automakers and explore what driving will look like in the future. The final room of the exhibit will now include the Volkswagen ID.4 EV off-road concept and give visitors an inside look at the company’s first all-electric SUV.” We look forward to seeing an all-wheel-drive Volkswagen ID.4 at some racing too---maybe next year.

The Boring Company (TBC) officially started transporting passengers through its Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) Loop. The LVCC Loop’s first official passengers were attendees of the World of Concrete trade show, which started June 8. The trade show is the first major convention for the Las Vegas Convention Center since the pandemic began.  At the same time, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) officially opened doors to the convention center’s newly-built West Hall. Boring Company’s LVCC Loop connects the Las Vegas Convention Center’s West Hall expansion with the Central Hall and South Stall.  Before the trade show, The Boring Company conducted test drives in the LVCC Loop and  surpassed expectations. According to the LVCVA’s CEO and President Steve Hill, the LVCC Loop’s capacity exceeded 4,400 passengers per hour (pph). TBC was happy with

the results and believes the LVCC Loop could reach up to 5,050 pph in the future. As TBC’s LVCC Loop starts operations, its other tunneling project in Sin City, the Vegas Loop, is getting attention. Las Vegas Raiders President Marc Badain noted he is ready to welcome a Boring Company station at the team’s new $2 billion Allegiant Stadium. “As soon as they’re ready to tell us where they want to put the station, we’ll make the space for it,” Badain told the  Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I think it really depends on how it connects to the rest of the Strip, to the airport and the rest of the community where they’re building the entire tunnel system.” The Las Vegas City Council unanimously approved TBC’s special use permit application for its Vegas Loop project last December. The Vegas Loop will connect several notable places in Las Vegas, including Allegiant Stadium, The Strip, McCarran International Airport and some resorts and casinos.

CarAdvise, an online vehicle maintenance, scheduling and discounted repairs marketplace, has launched a new partnership with Affirm, a financial lender of installment loans. This partnership will give CarAdvise members availability to choose a long-term payment option for their vehicle maintenance and repair purchases. CarAdvise’s platform allows members to search, compare prices and book vehicle and maintenance appointments online. Until today, members only had the option to pay at checkout via credit card. Now members will have the option to select Affirm as a payment method at checkout, allowing them to pay off maintenance over time. The Affirm payment program will allow CarAdvise members to pay for their maintenance or repair over a three-, six- or 12-month period. Source: CarAdvise


The Boring Company Officially Starts LVCC Loop Operations with Las Vegas Convention Center Trade Show by Maria Merano, Teslarati

CarAdvise, Affirm to Offer Long-Term Payment


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Nearly 20 CA Legislators Call for More Funding for Hydrogen Infrastructure A bipartisan coalition of nearly 20 lawmakers on June 2 called on California Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) to increase funding for hydrogen by $300 million in the state budget, and set aside 20% of the state’s Clean Transportation Program funding to bolster hydrogen fueling infrastructure in California. “For all communities to truly participate in this exciting transition, hydrogen fueling infrastructure will be critical,” wrote the legislators. “Both zero emission vehicle technologies are essential to meet the needs of all consumers and assure public acceptance. These recommendations will provide the support and signal needed for private sector investments to enable California’s zero emission vehicle future.” Signing the letter were Sens. Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera), Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), Bill Dodd (D-Napa), Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), Melissa

Hurtado (D-Sanger), Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) and Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita), as well as Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo), Tom Daly (D-Anaheim), Vince Fong (R-Kern County), Chad Mayes (I-La Quinta), Adrin Nazarian (D-North Hollywood), Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach), Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton), James Ramos (D-Highland) and Robert Rivas (D-Hollister). In addition, Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Fairfield), also penned his own letter urging increased state support for hydrogen infrastructure. “Intended to support Executive Order N-79-20 related to zero emission vehicles, the 2021-2022 revised budget proposal provides $500M in general fund dollars for near-term investments in fueling infrastructure,” wrote the legislators. “We respectfully request $300M be made available to bring the light-duty hydrogen market to

Caliber Names Chief People Officer

a point of self-sufficiency, as illustrated by the Air Resources Board. “The 2021-2022 revised budget proposal also calls for the reauthorization of the Clean Transportation Program. Outside of the broadly-available Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program, the Clean Transportation Program is the only program directly supporting hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Therefore, we request the reauthorization maintain the existing 20% set aside for hydrogen while shifting focus to the heavy-duty fueling market, including transit agencies.” Source: California Hydrogen Coalition

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Caliber, parent company of Caliber Collision, Caliber Auto Glass, Caliber Auto Care and Protech Automotive Solutions, announced June 7 the appointment of Sherry Vidal-Brown as chief people officer. In this role, Vidal-Brown will support the company’s purpose, Restoring the Rhythm of Your Life, while leading all facets of teammate resources, including professional development programs, organizational strategy and teammate services operations. Vidal-Brown comes to Caliber most recently from G6 Hospitality, where she led HR strategy, business transformation and internal communications as chief HR and communications officer. Prior to G6 Hospitality, VidalBrown built a distinguished career serving in various human resources leadership positions and consulting roles with FedEx, American Airlines, Bain & Company and Korn Ferry. Source: Caliber

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Continued from Cover

California to Resume will need to answer ‘Yes’ next month to maintain eligibility,” EDD said. The change is likely welcomed news to employers who have seen historic numbers of job openings not being filled. EDD announced June 18 the state’s unemployment rate fell to 7.9% in May as the state’s employers gained 104,500 non-farm payroll jobs. While the falling unemployment numbers signify a return to the workforce, California’s labor force grew by only 12,400 workers last month, meaning thousands of workers are still sitting on the sidelines.

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Focus Advisors Represents Able Body Shop in its Sale to Classic Collision FOCUS Advisors is proud to announce the sale of its client, Able Body Shop, to Classic Collision of Atlanta, GA. Able operates three large, well-equipped shops in and around Anchorage, AK. All locations will operate under the Classic Collision brand. This acquisition marks Classic Collision’s first acquisition into the Northwest market. Classic now operates 74 shops in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, California and now Alaska. “Able Auto Body and Ryan Cropper are great additions to the Classic Collision family,” said CEO Toan Nguyen. “Adding shops and management talent of this quality continue to accelerate our growth and broaden our geographic reach.” David Roberts, managing director of Focus Advisors, who led the transaction, observed the Able acquisition by Classic represents its first expansion beyond the lower 48 states. “This acquisition shows how large organizations gain confi-

dence in growing over geographically larger distances,” Roberts said. “The demonstrated quality of Able’s operations and management in its market reduced the risks to Classic.”

“Adding shops and management talent of this quality continue to accelerate our growth and broaden our geographic reach.” — Toan Nguyen Able Body Shop was started in 2002 by Cropper with the purchase of a shop in downtown Anchorage. Expansion followed with subsequent openings of two much larger shops over the next 18 years, as Anchorage and Able continued to grow. Recognized in the industry as a superior operator with an effective flat management culture, Cropper will continue operate and expand operations as Classic as it builds out the Alaska market. “The growth and development of my shops was an incredibly rewarding experience,” Cropper said. “Deciding to sell wasn’t

GM Supports California Emissions Reductions, But Wants Flexibility by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs

According to a new report by Automotive News, General Motors is now officially supporting the emissions requirements outlined by California in 2019. However, the automaker reached out to the Biden Administration requesting greater flexibility as it aims to comply with the rules beginning now through 2026. The information reportedly came from a letter written by GM CEO Mary Barra, delivered to EPA Chief Michael Regan. Prior to November, GM was still publicly supporting the Trump Administration’s loosening of emissions targets. However, more recently, the company made it public it would join hands with other automakers in support of California’s much stricter rules. It’s important to note, back when GM was pushing back against California’s policies, Ford, Honda and Volkswagen banded together to publicly support the emissions reduction strategy. The article notes GM and other automakers will be “out of compli-

ance for the current 2021 model year and 2022,” based on California’s standards. GM’s plan is to work toward compliance by 2023, and then ramp up more aggressively from 2024 to 2026. Barra notes automakers should be able to work toward the more stringent rules at a later date, likely since they already made earlier plans to follow Trump’s guidelines in the near term. She also points to the years 2027 to 2035 as a time when a focus on battery-electric vehicles will be paramount. Automotive News shared part of Barra’s email stating companies could “comply with higher-level performance standards in the later part of the program through increased sales of pure EV vehicles.” Despite GM’s continued announcements about an onslaught of EVs coming to market, it hasn’t really made much progress since it launched the Chevrolet Bolt EV years ago. A redesigned Bolt---as well as a Bolt EUV crossover—is in the mix for the 2022 model year, but all other projects seem to be further off.

26 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

easy but I could see the direction the industry was moving and knew more capital, more scale and being part of a larger organization was the future. And Classic is a great fit for the team at Able and

for myself. “I consider myself a pro in collision repair,” Cropper said. “I had been approached many times over the years about selling but I knew I wasn’t an M&A professional. Having seen the success of Focus in representing some of my industry friends, I reached out to Dave Roberts and Chris Lane at Focus. They did a great job, working for nearly six months to set us up for a successful sale. We had multiple parties interested and I’m sure we chose the right partner to continue our growth.” Source: Focus Advisors

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CARB Votes to Transition Ride-Hailing Fleets to Zero-Emissions by 2030 by Fleet Forward Staff

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted May 20 to approve the nation’s first standard to transition ride-hailing fleets to zero-emission vehicles by 2030. The Clean Miles Standard dictates by 2030 ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft should produce zero greenhouse gas emissions and ensure 90% of their vehicle miles are fully electric. Uber and Lyft had already announced last summer they would transition entirely to electric vehicles in North America and Europe by 2030. In written comments to CARB before the May 20 vote, the ride-hailing giants said they supported the regulation’s goals. However, they called for government subsidies to help fund their drivers’ transition to EVs and charging infrastructure, citing the financial burden on their lower and middle-income drivers. CARB board member Nathan Fletcher expressed concern the rule doesn’t ensure ride-hailing companies bear the costs to address the

greenhouse gases they’re creating. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) agrees. “Ride-hailing companies have not delivered on their promise of a future with fewer cars and lower pollution. Instead, ride-hailing services in urban areas have increased pollution and congestion and reduced climate-friendly, public-transit ridership,” said Elizabeth Irvin, a senior transportation analyst at UCS, in a statement. UCS points to numerous studies showing the growth of Uber and Lyft has siphoned riders away from public transit and other climate-friendly forms of transportation and increased air pollution in U.S. cities. Surveys of California riders, for example, indicate 24% of non-pooled rides and 36% of pooled trips would have been taken via mass transit, walking or biking, or not taken at all. And, according to a 2020 UCS analysis, ride-hailing trips are 69% more polluting than the trips they replace, and a non-pooled Uber or Lyft ride is 47% more polluting than a private car trip.  Irvin cited California’s ballot

measure last year that considered whether ride-hailing drivers are considered employees as opposed to contractors―which Uber and Lyft spent more than $100 million to defeat. “That’s why it is so essential that regulators at CARB and the California Public Utilities Commission requires the companies, not their drivers, shoulder the upfront cost of transitioning to electric vehicles and ensure that drivers enjoy the benefits of driving cars that are less expensive to operate and maintain,” she said. Last year,  Uber  pledged to invest $800 million through 2025 to help its drivers make the switch, though the actual cost is estimated to be more than double that. CARB is offering California drivers various incentives such as the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, though funding is now only available to select low-income groups. The  Clean Fuels Reward  offers a time-of-sale credit of up to $1,500.


Axalta Names Jordan to Board Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, announced Tyrone Michael “TJ” Jordan has been appointed to its Board of Directors, effective immediately. He will serve on the company’s Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. With the appointment of Jordan, Axalta’s board is composed of 10 directors, all with unique backgrounds and experience in areas important to Axalta’s business, including executive leadership, finance, audit, management consulting and global operations, and in relevant industries, including specialty chemicals and several of Axalta’s end markets. Jordan, 59, is the former president and COO of DURA Automotive Systems, a tier one supplier of mechatronic control systems for hybrid/electric vehicle systems, Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) and luxury trim systems for premier automotive brands. Source: Axalta


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Will We Have Enough Juice to Get Us to an All-EV World by 2035? by Ed Attanasio

You don’t need to be a Californian to know electric vehicles (EVs) are coming whether we like them or not. In 2035, if you go to a new car dealership and mention gas, they will likely escort you off the lot. Well, maybe it won’t be that bad, but rest assured if you don’t own an electric car by 2035, your neighbors will talk. So, is there going to be enough juice in the box to make California―let alone the rest of the country―all-EV in the next 14 years? Recently, Autobody News interviewed Chuck Reynolds, the owner of Cyber Switching, Inc. in San Jose, CA. Cyber Switching’s power management solutions are targeted to small- and medium-sized commercial buildings. As a 40-year veteran of the electricity game, Reynolds was working on EV charging back when it was a novelty rather than the norm. He started his business in 1983 with a handful of electricians who shared

his vision of the future, including everyone driving an EV.


We’re going to need enough electricity to power an enormous fleet. Do we have it and if not, can we have it by 2035?


We installed charging systems in Cisco Systems back in 1996 because several of their employees had EVs, but that was very obviously forward-thinking at the time.


There shouldn’t be any technical or economic reason why the grid won’t support electrification. There is likely enough generation capacity out there right now, but it’s just not going to the right places. The biggest problem is going to be the infrastructure and getting the power to where it’s needed. A really good example is that in California now existing buildings, like condo developments and other multi-unit dwellings, can’t just say OK―we are going to install charging stations here, but the problem is they have limited power.


You can see the future of EV charging through some of your clients, so what have you learned?

Chuck Reynolds owns Cyber Switching, Inc., a power management company in Silicon Valley. He said there will be enough electricity out there to power all EVs by 2035, as long as it’s properly managed

So, one of the biggest issues is infrastructure. When you come to work in the morning and you plug your vehicle into one of our charging stations, there are sometimes 20 to 30 people doing the same thing at the same time, with just as many waiting in line. Right now, people have to go out to their cars to take them off the charger, and that’s obviously not very efficient. Studies have shown that large companies are losing a lot of money while their employees have to stop what they’re doing so that they can move their EVs.


Will companies that are not prepared end up paying through the nose if they don’t manage their power?

When many of these buildings were built prior to 1995, for example, these weren’t designed to handle all of these additional loads. With some of our clients who are in buildings built in the early 2000s, they’re not prepared when people hook up their vehicles and start charging.


Well, that’s going to put a spike on the grid because everyone is plugging in at the same time and if there are others waiting, they will roll it over every two hours approximately. That’s going to put a strain on the grid and is a concern for whomever is providing that power.

Auto Care Association to Host Webinar on E-commerce Trends in Auto Aftermarket by Camille Sheehan, Auto Care Association

The Auto Care Association announced it will host a webinar at 1 p.m. EDT June 30 to examine the latest e-commerce trends developing in the auto care industry. The latest research published in the 2022 Auto Care Factbook indicates the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated e-commerce activity for both suppliers and consumers. This one-hour webinar will include a panel discussion on e-commerce trends in the automotive aftermarket, with subject matter experts discussing: Current and forecasted retail activity through this channel Which categories saw greater e-commerce fulfillment and consumer spend via different providers and platforms B2B trends regarding fulfillment Panelists for this event will include: Mike Chung, director, market in-

telligence, Auto Care Association Jonathan Carey, Jefferies, LLC Bill Della Giustina, Jefferies, LLC Jim Lang,  Lang Marketing Resources, Inc. Scott Luckett, GCommerce, Inc. Nathan Shipley, The NPD Group To register for the webinar, click here. The webinar is free to attend and open to both Auto Care Association members and guests. Attendees are encouraged to submit questions ahead of time using the registration form. To view the latest e-commerce aftermarket data, including revenue trends, market trends, average spend, industry penetration and consumer activity, access the latest Auto Care Factbook report here. Source: Auto Care Association


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That’s why the utilities are now charging “demand charges” for the peak amount of usage during that month for 15 minutes. It’s essentially a penalty that could be anywhere from $18 to $20 per kilowatt. So, if you have a large number of EVs coming in at the same time every morning, that’s going to be a big spike, especially since that’s when all of your other machinery will start kicking in. The problem is that if we want to achieve the 2035 regulations, we will need more and better infrastructure to handle the huge load. The user can install a power management system in order to spread the load evenly, so that not everything will come on at the same time. You can do the same with your EV charging to reduce the demand charge, and we are already doing that here at Cyber Switching, Inc. We have several patents on rotational charging systems. We currently have eight EV chargers in front of our building and it’s on one circuit that is staggered, which enables us to avoid paying the demand penalties. If you have

a power management system like the ones we have patents on, outages won’t ever happen. Most people don’t realize that there are many alternatives when it comes to power management. With so many EVs on the roads within the next few years, people will be charging their vehicles all at the same time, in many cases. There will be some pretty significant spikes and that puts a strain on the grid in that area. The worst thing that can happen is when you trip a breaker. That tells you you’re overloading the grid. I think that’s going to be the No. 1 problem that we can potentially encounter with large-scale EV charging.

home. With many of these homes that have been built starting in the 1970s, the utility company never anticipated this demand when everything comes on at the same time. It will be the same scenario, but in reverse. People will come home from work and plug-in all at the same time and it’s going to be a big load. It’s not like turning on a lightbulb― even with the small charges, it’s still going to be a 120V load, 1,400 watts or more. Even if you’re using one of the smaller chargers, turning it on is comparable to 14 100-watt lightbulbs simultaneously. The grid wasn’t set up for this originally, so it will have to change and adapt to handle these larger loads.





Will EV owners have to adapt in order to get their vehicles charged when needed?

Yes, people are always going to want to charge their cars at work, and by 2035 that will mean large parking lots full of EVs that are waiting to be charged. It will also be a problem at




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Will people be forced to charge primarily during the day to accommodate the huge spike in usage?

Yes, I think that is what will eventually happen. You want to charge when that power is available, so that’s why the utility companies are pushing from 4 to 9 p.m.

If you don’t have solar on your house to supplement your power, you might be in trouble. With many of those tract home developments built in the 1970s, there is not a lot of excess power there. So, that is where you’re going to have to spend the money―in infrastructure. Power management is a better alternative for companies on many levels. To meet their growing needs, they will have to upgrade their service to allow for more charging. But, that’s a large expense. With our system, you can use the power that’s available, and for most companies, they won’t have to change their electrical service and their employees will still get a charge for their vehicle. To avoid people moving their cars, we install what we call ‘dumb units’ that don’t have all of the bells and whistles, but they save time because employees won’t have to move their vehicles. This means that the ROI on these chargers is very fast because they don’t realize how much it can cost them in lost productivity when you have EVs in the picture.



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From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

Mike Anderson is the president and owner of Collision Advice, a consulting company for the auto body/collision repair industry. For nearly 25 years, he was the owner of Wagonwork Collision Center, an OEM-certified, full-service auto body repair facility in Alexandria, VA.

Scanning—It’s Not Just for DTCs Anymore (And Never Was) Those of you watching TV back in the 1970s probably remember the slogan, “It’s not just for breakfast anymore”―the Florida Orange Growers Association’s way to encourage folks to think about drinking OJ more often than just in the morning. I’ve been paraphrasing that slogan in relation to scanning to emphasize to people that scanning isn’t just about finding DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes). A real “aha moment” I had in relation to this about a year ago was when my father told me there was something just not right about the way his vehicle was driving. He’d had a broken windshield replaced on the car, and afterward, they scanned the vehicle and said everything was OK. But after driving it, and still noticing a problem, he took it to a dealership that confirmed the vehicle scan they performed showed no DTCs. That’s when I got involved, hooking my asTech device to the vehicle, and asking my friend Jake Rodenroth and his team to help me

out. They scanned the vehicle: Sure enough, no DTCs. But that’s when the asTech technician said, “Let me check something else.” He checked the data from the scan tool that shows how the vehicle’s steering angle sensor is set, and then compared it to the automaker specifications. You can guess what he found: The steering angle sensor was out of spec. My dad was right: There was something wrong with the vehicle. But it didn’t set a DTC. That opened my eyes to something I’m concerned about in our industry. Scanning isn’t just about checking for DTCs. It’s important, whether conducting scanning in-house or using a mobile or remote supplier or even a dealership, that you have a knowledgeable person who really understands the collision repair process involved. Someone who is going to dig further, ask the right questions. Someone who doesn’t assume no DTCs means everything is A-OK. Since that incident, I’ve done more research. I came across some

documentation from other automakers about the need to look beyond the just the presence (or absence) of DTCs. Whoever is scanning should also pull the “freeze-frame” or “snapshot” or “live” data. That can show data, for example, when a fault code occurred: the date, vehicle mileage, how many key cycles have occurred, or even―in one example I’ve seen― how much gas was in the car at the time. This kind of information can be critical as part of diagnosis, documentation and reimbursement. One example of the need for this step: With some Honda and Acura vehicles, an issue with the lane-watch system or seatbelt pretension won’t trigger a DTC; you have to check the “live” data. As an industry, I think we’ve overlooked the skillset needed for those scanning vehicles in our busi-

nesses. These aren’t just auto parts store scans (with no offense to those businesses). You can’t presume all that’s needed is to just plug it in. There’s so much more to it than that. You need someone who understands how to dig further, and who understands the “set conditions” that must occur in order to set a DTC. If a vehicle is towed to the shop directly from the accident scene, for example, it might not have been driven for the distance or time or speed needed for that DTC to be set. I think our industry is doing itself and its customer a disservice when it presumes anyone is qualified to conduct a scan. It’s insulting to knowledgeable technicians who really understand all that this important and potentially complicated process entails. That’s why I say: Scanning. It’s not just about DTCs anymore.

U.S. House Members Advocate for RPM Act By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2021 (RPM Act), HR 3281, enjoys strong bi-partisan support in the U.S. House of Representatives as lawmakers voice their enthusiasm for passing the legislation. With the racing world’s eyes on the Indy 500 over Memorial Day weekend, the Indy Star printed an article from U.S. Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN) that advocated for Congress to pass the RPM Act, entitled “Indiana’s auto-racing tradition is under attack. Here’s how we save it.” Pence is a leading voice on the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee for the RPM Act and understands the importance of racing and the motorsports parts industry in Indiana and throughout the country.

Back in Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. Fred Keller (R-PA) took to the U.S. House floor to speak to his colleagues about why he was proud to serve as an original co-sponsor of the RPM Act. Support for the RPM Act continues to grow with each week that passes. Currently, 58 members of the House have cosponsored the bill, including new cosponsors Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-NY) and Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN). For details, contact Eric Snyder at erics@sema.org.

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Tips for Busy Body Shops

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

with Stacey Phillips

Jake Rodenroth of asTech on Vehicle Tech’s Relation to Collision Repair Diagnostics Telematics, Advanced Driver Assis- nostics involves having technicians tance Systems (ADAS) and OEM first confirm the vehicle model and repair procedures are all predicted trim level and then determining the to significantly with impactStacey the way Phillips ve- cause and correction. It also involves hicles are repaired in the fuinspecting the severity of ture, according to Jake Rodamage by confirming body denroth, director of OEM specification and suspension and industry technical relageometry using pre-aligntions for asTech. ments and 3D measuring During a virtual presystems. sentation co-sponsored by with Victoria Antonelli “The trim level designates the Nebraska Auto Body Jake Rodenroth, how many features and conAssociation (NABA) and asTech’s director of trol modules it has,” said the Kansas Auto Body As- OEM and industry Rodenroth. “All collisions sociation (KABA), Roden- technical relations, are inheritably different wearing augmented roth shared insight about and there is nothing routine reality glasses several vehicle technoloabout each vehicle repair.” gies and how they relate collision Often dealing with the newest with EdtoAttanasio repair diagnostics. He also discussed vehicles in the worst shape, technisome of the future concerns techni- cians need access to all vehicle concians will likely face. trol modules and features to ensure a safe and proper repair. Welding Diagnostics and painting operations, as well as In the evolving landscape of vehicle vehicle disassembly, may impact diagnostics, Rodenroth said Ledoux body the vehicle control systems. In addiwith Gary shops must recognize the difference tion, many labor operations require between collision diagnostics and ADAS calibration. mechanical diagnostics. “After a collision, we should be “Collision repair technicians really focused on making sure we and mechanical technicians will look see all of the modules and identify at the same vehicle from a very dif- all of the problems as proactively as ferent perspective,” said Rodenroth. possible,” said Rodenroth. with Stacey Phillips Speaking from firsthand experience working as a master technician for OEM Repair Procedures & Scan Tools a large OEM in his earlier career, he Although some collision repair techshared the difference between the nicians turn to YouTube when looking two. for information to repair a vehicle, On the mechanical side, most of Rodenroth highly advises checking the repairs revolve around a concern the OEM repair procedures. Mike Anderson or the vehicle’s with maintenance sched- “I feel like we learn on every ule. car,” he said. “We have to humble “The technician’s job is to iden- ourselves and research what is intify the cause of that concern and volved so you can get it right. You’ll then recommend the correction or be amazed at what you’ll find,” he repair on the vehicle,” said Rodren- said. roth. He recommends starting small Since many mechanical repairs and researching how to remove a are routine, he said the correction bumper cover, disconnect a battery is usually predictable. Therefore, a or perform a four-wheel alignment. variety of tools can be used to ac- Increasingly, Rodenroth said, cess the systems responsible for the dealer groups, OEM certified repair cause. Ultimately, mechanical diag- shops and many independent facilnostics comes down to first identify- ities are committed to following ing the concern, and then the cause OEM procedures. and correction. Rodenroth encourages techni In comparison, collision diag- cians to use the scan tools identified


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in the service manual to ensure the repair is completed correctly and can be defended if necessary. Some shops use aftermarket tools to help keep costs down, but Rodenroth cautioned they might not capture everything regarding scanning and diagnostics. “Scan tools aren’t magic wands,” he said. “They don’t just fix the problem for you. We need to figure it out. Only the combination of the correct tools, the OEM service manual and a trained technician can repair a vehicle effectively.” When it comes to invoicing, Rodenroth recommends itemizing everything done with the vehicle, and says this is especially important with ADAS calibration. He advises shops to research the marketplace and identify the price of scans being charged and the tooling used.

Rodenroth estimates the current market value of a scan is $50 while OEM diagnostics, whether done by a dealer, mobile vendor or another third-party, averages about $120. New Customers, Telematics & Over the Air (OTA) Updates Looking forward, Rodennoth said vehicle owners will increasingly become more connected to their vehicles, especially with a new generation of consumers, Generation Z. Often referred to as “Zoomers,” those included in this demographic were born middle to late 1990s to the early 2010s, and are what Rodenroth refers to as “digital natives.” “They aren’t afraid to use mobile apps in everything they do, whether it’s ordering a coffee or checking the health of their car,” he said. Over the next five years, Rod-

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enroth predicts there will be a substantial increase in the number of communications going on in the connected car, including the use of telematics and OTA updates. The majority of OEMs now use telematics to update a vehicle’s infotainment system, consisting of radio and multimedia video capabilities. Telematic connectivity to a vehicle will also help owners benchmark if they received a good repair. “They are going to start asking probing questions, maybe those they didn’t ask in the past,” said Rodenroth. “We need to be aware if they are connected to dealer-type services.” This will allow the dealer or independent repair facility to predict the maintenance needed on the vehicle and whether the diagnostics were performed. ADAS Calibration In terms of conducting an ADAS calibration, collision repair facilities are finding they have three options: sending vehicles to dealerships, having their own technicians do the calibrations in-house or arranging for a

third-party company to come in. Regardless of the decision, Rodenroth said shops will need to audit that the calibrations were done correctly. In the event of a failed calibration, Rodenroth reminded repairers to document it failed and then showed it passed. “It’s important to document the corrective repairers you did to make it pass,” he said. “You don’t want it to come back and haunt you, so document accordingly.” He also cautioned repairers to ensure the correct parts are used on vehicles and the procedures are followed. “When you start changing the way a vehicle is designed, you create variables for yourself that could create calibration failures,” said Rodenroth. “Remember that service manuals are written on perfect vehicles, not vehicles that have been repaired or have non-OEM parts fitted to them.” Electric Vehicles With automakers committed to an electric vehicle (EV) future, Rodenroth said OE factories and suppliers

are expected to change dramatically. This includes new types of manufacturers, in particular technology companies, such as Rivian, Lucid, SF Motors, Mahindra and Faraday Future. “Tech companies are winning the race to electrification,” he said. Rodenroth estimated dealer service volume might decline by as much as 35%, while tire replacement, glass and visibility services, and length of ownership are all projected to increase. “Collision repairers are also going to see a lot of parts, steering systems, braking systems and cooling systems that may require scan tools,” he said. “If a scan tool is involved in the repair, make sure you have the capability in-house or plan for it.” Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Rodenroth said VR and AR are predicted to change how the industry is trained in the future. It will also impact how repair procedures are written and followed. “Repair procedures can be challenging to follow, especially if you

haven’t been formally trained with that OEM,” said Rodenroth. “AR/ VR offer an interactive way of dissecting the vehicle’s requirements and, best of all, explaining them.” Details like fluid quantities, measurements and torques specs are often overlooked; however, Rodenroth said they are important to ensure a safe and documented repair. “We, as an industry, need to slow down to have a chance at speeding up,” said Rodenroth. “Our consumers deserve better when it comes to whom they trust to repair their vehicles.” He said the industry should be an institution of learning and specification. “Every shop in America would hire at least one more technician if they could and with so many ‘tech jobs’ now available, it is even more important that we attract and retain as many young people as possible,” he said. “We need to find new ways of recruiting young people with different backgrounds and skill sets.”


The Real Impact of AI Across the Claims Lifecycle Artificial Intelligence (AI) has changed the auto insurance world— from mitigating risk, to creating streamlined efficiencies and improving customer experiences. CCC, the leader in AI with more than 75 insurers actively using its AI-enabled solutions, saw the number of claims processed with two or more of CCC’s advanced deep-learning AI more than double in 2020 alone. CCC’s AI is at work across the life of a claim, speeding and improving the claims process for both carriers and their policyholders. Recently, Jason Verlen, CCC’s SVP of product management, led a case study presentation at this year’s DIGIN: AI & Automation event. During the discussion, Verlen emphasized how the industry is at an inflection point where adoption and digital engagement are not only taking off, but growing rapidly. He went on to explain how CCC’s AI, plus machine and deep learning, is accelerating decisions, making estimates actionable and helping insurers achieve the industry’s vision of straight-through processing.Verlen was joined by Josh Thompson, State Auto’s VP of auto and property

claims. Out front in bringing innovation to life for policyholders, Thompson shared how State Auto’s early adoption of AI contributes to dynamic customer journeys and an end-toend digital claims process. Watch the full session recording at https://cccis. com/news-and-insights/blog/the-real-impact-of-ai-across-the-claimslifecycle. Listeners will find CCC’s approach to AI  is inherently different, because AI alone cannot deliver transformation. CCC’s extensive network connects insurers, collision repairers, parts suppliers and more to create a seamless, efficient experience for industry players and their customers. And adding to the convenience factor, CCC’s AI solutions also integrate with CCC’s mobile and workflow solutions. From identifying potential vehicle damage and digitally generating detailed estimates, to processing third-party casualty claims and applying AI to fully digitize the estimating process, CCC’s technology brings precision and innovation to key decision points throughout the claims lifecycle. Source: CCC

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1/7/21 3:46 P

Most Unreliable Cars in the U.S., According to Google Data Ford has come out as the least reliable car manufacturer in the U.S., according to a new study by Scrap Car Comparison that analyzed the data of more than 2 million Google searches. When we encounter a problem with our car, many of us turn to the internet for help, and this new study

least reliable, with more than 64,000 Google searches logged per year from Ford owners looking for advice around a fault in their car. Mazda, Honda and Nissan, whose cars are all produced across factories in the U.S., Japan and Mexico, feature in the top five manufacturers you can rely least upon.

“As we see many of the same makes and models getting scrapped on a daily basis, we wanted to find out whether this stacked up against car reliability,” — Dan Gick got under the hood of which particular car models are causing their owners to frequently turn to Google for troubleshooting assistance. The investigation analyzed breakdown, fault and repair related search volumes for almost 500 different car models. The data was then cross-referenced with the sales figures for each model to achieve a fair comparison.   The resulting Crap Car Comparison Index reveals America’s second-largest automaker, Ford, is the

Brands such as GMC and Volkswagen fared better, sitting outside of the top 15 thanks to their comparatively low Google searches for problems vs. their high yearly sales. In the U.S., Ford, Mazda and Nissan are the car manufacturers that are getting the most Google searches for problems relating to their cars. Specifically, the Nissan Rogue and Nissan Titan are causing owners to constantly Google what’s wrong with them, as is the Mazda CX-9. The sporty Kia Stinger takes the

unfortunate crown of being the least reliable car in the U.S., with relatively low sales figures suffering against comparatively high search volumes for breakdown related searches. While Ford comes out as the worst car manufacturer, according to Google search data, none of its specific models actually make the top 15 least reliable car models in the U.S. The reason Ford comes out so high is because it has so many models lower down the model rankings― for example, the Ford Edge, Escape, Expedition, Explorer, Focus, Transit and EcoSport all feature in positions 20 through 50 for worst models, and their combined Google searches put Ford in the top spot as the least reliable manufacturer.  Scrap Car Comparison’s research also looked at which cars were troubling owners overseas, and found that Vauxhall is the least reliable brand in the UK, while the Kia Stinger was also found to be the least reliable model in the likes of Australia and Canada.  “As we see many of the same makes and models getting scrapped on a daily basis, we wanted to find

out whether this stacked up against car reliability,” said Dan Gick, managing director of Scrap Car Comparison. “The results seem to show that it does, as the Google search and sales data revealed Ford as the third least reliable brand in the UK, and most unreliable in the U.S. “This is something that particularly stood out to me, as Fords and in particular their Focus model, have been the most scrapped cars in the UK every year since 2017. We hope the results of our Crap Car Comparison Index can help car buyers in their decision making when looking for their next car.” To see the full results of the study, including international analysis, visit: https://www.scrapcarcomparison. co.uk/blog/most-unreliable-cars/ Source: Scrap Car Comparison


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Associations Assembling

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

with Chasidy Rae Sisk

Collision Training on ADAS, EVs, Total Losses and Phone Skills at ASA’s X50 Conference

Southeast News

The recent ASA X50 Conference & repair network processes, which inExpo offered more than 50 live train- cludes benchmarking industry competing sessions, including five classes itors, soliciting feedback from dealers with Chasidy Rae Sisk specific to collision repair profes- and the collision industry, and collabsionals. orating cross-functionally with Global “Our engaging platform will Aftersales Engineering, CCA Collision provide attendees with an inviting Wholesale Dealer Channel and Proexperience to learn from and inter- duction Engineering. act with instructors, sponsors and “There’s no compromise when Chasidy Rae Sisk their peers in awith way that uses techit comes to safety,” Blackmore connology to strengthen their networks cluded. “OEM repair procedures must and build their industry knowledge,” be used 100% of the time, but the insaid ASA Executive Director Ray dustry should stay close to the OEMs Fisher. since technology is changing rapidly.” GM’s John Eck and Chris Roger Cada of Accountable with Chasidy Rae Sisk Blackmore presented “GM Driving Estimating LLC presented “EstimaTechnology: Advanced Technologies tion, Education and Documentation in ADAS and the Impact to the Re- that Drive Bottom Line Results.” pair Industry,” stressing the impor- “The facts of the loss are critical tance of scanning and calibrations because they tell you what damagand providing updates on GM’s Coles are on that car… Since COVID, with Chasidy Rae Sisk lision Repair Network processes. you’ve become the eyes and ears for “[GM has] planned over 20 new the insurer, impacting the estimate models in the coming years to move and if it starts off wrong, it will nevto an electric vehicle fleet,” Eck er end up right,” Cada began. “And said, noting regulations, safety ex- the process begins when you first talk to the customer and get the facts pectations and ADAS features have with Chasidy Rae Sisk influenced changes in the industry. of the loss so you can write the most “And that’s exciting times, but it accurate estimate every time. also presents a mound of problems “We have to build evidence and issues for our industry that we through documentation,” Cada conhave to resolve. tinued. “It’s critical that we capture “Gas regulations lightthe evidence well so we can properly with required Chasidy Rae Sisk er vehicles, while also enhancing assess the damage and have an outsafety expectations,” Eck explained. come that actually restores it to its “Safety is king, and custompre-accident condition. The evidence you’ve collected ers are continually looking also justifies your charges, for safety options to prowithand Chasidy Rae Sisk preventing insurers from tect their occupants the investment they’ve made. saying no. But once you That requires a change in start repairing the vehicle, how vehicles are built and the evidence isn’t there, so the technology offered on you need to collect it at the Mark Allen them, including the creation with Chasidy Rae Sisk very beginning.” of new ADAS systems. More fea- Cada proceeded through a steptures being added to vehicles, forc- by-step breakdown of the documening evolutionary change. The goal tation required to provide evidence is a world with zero crashes, zero justifying the repairs performed, emissions and zero congestion.” such as pre-scans, clear images, Eck discussed the importance of measurements and test drives. scanning and calibration as Attanasio it pertains “Audi North America: EV and with Ed to vehicles equipped with ADAS, in- Evolving Technology,” presented by cluding how to access GM’s calibra- Audi’s Mark Allen, focused on the tion documents. OEM’s progress towards an electric Blackmore then discussed the fleet. changes GM is making to its collision Discussing high voltage aware-

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ness and training, Allen stressed, tically, that moment is already past “Everyone in our dealerships and our history,” he quipped. “We’re already collision network has to be trained to involved with these vehicles and reknow and identify EVs to recognize pairing them. So, in all this confuthat they shouldn’t touch the cabling sion, ask yourself, ‘Are you feeling and that it will require special care. lucky?’ Or are you ready for the fuOur high voltage technicians are ture of the e-tron?” trained to run diagnostics Kristen Felder, CEO of and de-energize the system, Collision Hub, taught two and high voltage experts are classes during ASA’s X50 trained in all high voltage Conference. The first, “Tosystems and can repair all tal Loss File Handling,” exsystems, including the batplored the total loss process. tery.” “Running a collision repair Allen discussed the shop has become more about Kristen Felder safety concerns related to accounting, law, psychology repairing EVs, noting the high volt- and other administrative tasks than age technician must observe three about actually repairing the vehicle,” safety rules before beginning the re- Felder said. “The administrative side pair: de-energize the vehicle, secure has become almost overwhelming.” the system against restarting and Shops should be aware of multicheck no voltage is present. ple legal terms to be prepared to con “You might think you’re a reb- tend with a total loss situation. Felder el living in the moment, but realis- defined bailment and explained how

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a law of contracts “gives you the ability to ensure a vehicle doesn’t get abandoned or pulled from you without your fees being paid.” She warned, “When it comes to total losses, having a ‘repair contract’ may not protect you from having vehicles removed and you not getting paid, or it may not protect your customer from having settlements diminished because of that.” After becoming familiar with civil and contract laws, Felder emphasized knowing state and municipal regulations is imperative since certain jurisdictions clearly identify who is qualified to be a storage or towing company, and those laws may also “govern what you can charge and lay out actions that are required on your end. If you have a regulation and don’t comply, you may not be able to collect what you’re charging.” Discussing how to establish services and pricing for total losses, Felder said, “If you’re in a contractual agreement that says you can’t charge for any services on a total loss, you’re stuck at this point, but if you don’t have that agreement, what do you charge?

“Your duty is to be able to describe the reasonableness of your decisions. Whatever you charge, you’d best be able to explain each line to every 10th or every penny you have on the estimate because that’s going to be compared to ‘reasonable’ in other places.” Felder discussed common reasons related to the total loss process, which collision shops may charge, including fees related to intake, notification, securing the vehicle, administration, collision access time, cataloging and storing removed parts, environmental protection, photo documentation, repair planning, vehicle mobility, vehicle disposition, OEM access, DMV/lien/legal expenses and storage. Next, Felder recommended shops create and store pre-written form letters, which can easily be updated with the client and vehicle-specific information. She provided a list of pre-written letters to keep on hand, such as confirmation of pickup disposition, summary of charges for pickup, status update total loss, notice of total loss, summary of inspection with fees, authorization for inspec-

Celebrate Collector Car Appreciation Day July 9 by Elizabeth Puckett, Motorious

For the 11th consecutive year, the SEMA Action Network (SAN) is encouraging people to celebrate their collector car during Collector Car Appreciation Day on July 9. The day is officially recognized by resolutions in the U.S. Senate and House as “an annual event to celebrate and raise awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society,” according to SAN. The co-chairs of the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus, including U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), U.S. Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) and U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-GA), introduced the resolutions as part of SAN, the lobbying arm of SEMA. “These Congressional leaders are strong advocates for the automotive hobby in Washington, D.C.,” SAN said. “The caucus is an informal, non-partisan member organization that pays tribute to America’s ever-growing love affair with the car and motorsports.

“Intended to celebrate the classics of the past and the future, the U.S. Congress helped launch CCAD by passing resolutions each year since 2010 at the SAN’s request,” SAN continued. “The previous resolutions were sponsored by co-chairs of the SEMA-supported Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus. “These Congressional leaders have been strong advocates for the automotive hobby in Washington, D.C., and recognize the integral role collector cars have played in fostering our nation’s appreciation for the automobile’s unique historical place in our history,” SAN concluded. “In fact, the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia and Wisconsin, as well as most of the Canadian provinces, officially marked the occasion.” SAN has a list of officially scheduled events to commemorate the automobile, and individuals and clubs can use the network to promote any event they are hosting for free. For a full list of events to attend in your area, check out the list at www. semasan.com/collector-car-appreciation-day/2021-events.

40 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

tion with fees, notice of visual total loss and request for invoices. Examining examples of these forms, Felder identified which important aspects to include, repeatedly stressing the value of explaining the standards and regulations the shop must follow as well as the identification of the shop’s ethics in cost containment. “Proper documentation will get you paid down to the penny!” Felder said. During “Phone Skills for Collision Repair,” Felder pointed out, “The phone is probably one of the most important tools we have in the body shop. We’re on it all day and interact with customers more over the phone than face-to-face, but we’re really bad at the phone―and our skills are degrading!” Diving into the evolution of connection, Felder explained there are three layers of connection in the human brain. The neocortex is the rational brain, the limbic brain is the emotional aspect and the reptilian brain is guided purely by instinct and survival. “We want the people we’re deal-

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ing with to be on the upper level, but first, we need to work through the first two layers. Understanding where someone is at mentally will help you communicate, connect and get them to do the things you want them to do.” Because the brain reacts to sound, the voice is a powerful tool that can be used to influence the customer when used correctly. Felder provided several tips for using the phone. Don’t use a script, use your name and theirs, ask questions, mirror their tempo, be kind and polite and speak inclusively by using “we” instead of “you.” To improve communication sessions, designate a talking space where the customer is the primary focus, designate a person who talks on the phone and keep a log system. “Cell phones are one of the worst things that ever happened to customer connection,” Felder warned. “We forget that our brain chemistry desires that connection. Don’t forget about the power of your voice or feel that you’re too overwhelmed. The more connected we are, the happier we are.” For more information on ASA, visit asashop.org. Michael

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Industry Insight with John Yoswick

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

HLDI Shows Impact on Claims from Auto-Emergency Braking, Changes to Powertrains

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Matt Moore of the insurer-funded ly avoid that hit altogether,” he said. the potential benefits of AEB go away Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) AEB is expected to reduce front- if consumers turn the system off. offered some insights into the im- end crashes that result in injury by But Moore said HLDI stationed with Ed Attanasio pact auto-emergency braking (AEB) more than 50%, Moore said. Of course, researchers at some dealerships to could have on the frequency and severity of front-end crashes in the coming years, during his presentation at the recent Women’s Industry Network (WIN) virtual conference. HLDI’s rating system for AEB with Ed Attanasio systems involves two crash tests conducted at 25 mph and 12 mph. Those speeds may sound slow, he said, but “the more speed you can drop out of a crash, you drop out an exponential amount of energy.” A 25 mph crash of a Merwith Ed Attanasio cedes C-Class resulted in more than $28,000 in damage, for example, Moore said, but when the speed was reduced to 12 mph, “the cost is reduced by more than half,” to $5,715. “Of course,with if youEd canAttanasio go from The percentage of new vehicles for which auto-emergency braking is optional or standard has grown 12 mph down to zero, you can total- significantly

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check vehicles being dropped off for service. They found the lane departure systems on those vehicles were only left on 50% of the time, and Moore said he suspects even more drivers would turn that system off if doing so was easier. But the AEB remained active on almost 92% of the vehicles equipped with that system. “Folks like it. They leave it on,” Moore said. While automakers have voluntarily agreed to equip all new vehicles with AEB by September of 2022―and many automakers are ahead of schedule toward that goal―it still will take a long time for a majority of vehicles on the road have AEB, he said. He shared a series of charts to demonstrate this. The first (slide 1) showed the percentage of new vehicles for which AEB is optional or standard has grown significantly.



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But the second (slide 2) showed even in 2019, HLDI estimated only about 6% of registered vehicles were equipped with AEB. A third chart (slide 3) showed how that is likely to grow over the

of vehicles [in operation] have this technology,” Moore said. Another factor driving up severity of claims Moore pointed to involves changes to vehicle powertrains. Moore shared a slide (slide 4)

“What we’re predicting is by 2030, over 45% of vehicles will either be turbo-charged, super-charged, hybrid or electric, and that matters,” Moore said. He shared charts showing hy-

hybrid vehicles are heavier,” he said. “More complex to repair, more parts.” Electric vehicles, which Moore said will soon outnumber hybrids, have lower frequencies but higher severity. And turbo- or super-charged

Despite widespread availability, vehicles equipped with auto-emergency braking comprise only a small percentage of those on U.S. roads, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute

The percentage of registered vehicles vehicles equipped with auto-emergency braking will grow over the next two decades, but the 50% mark is not expected to be reached until about 2030

next two decades, but still, the 50% mark is not expected to be reached until about 2030. “We’re predicting it’s going to be about 2045 until the vast majority

brid vehicles have higher collision and property damage liability losses than their conventional engine counterparts. “This is, in part, because these

showing how far hybrid, electric and turbo- or super-charged vehicles have grown, and will continue to grow, in relation to vehicles powered by conventional gasoline engines.

vehicles are also associated with increases in severity. “For collision losses, about a 4% increase,” Moore said. “You take an already crowded engine compart-

CIF Elects New Trustee The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) is excited to announce the election of Yvette Burke, vice president of replacement and leisure division at Enterprise Holdings Inc., to the CIF Board of Trustees. CIF provides emergency relief by securing and distributing donations to collision repair professionals who have experienced significant losses due to natural disasters or other catastrophic events. Burke has a long history of philanthropic involvement, including within the collision repair industry as a member of the Women’s Industry Network (WIN), where she has contributed on numerous committees and as a mentor, and the National Auto Body Council as a member of the St. Louis Golf Tournament Committee. She is a current board member of the Alzheimer’s Association, chairing the “Walk to End ALZ” and participating on the ALZ Gala Committee.

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ment, and jam a whole lot more stuff under that hood as you would with a turbocharger or supercharger, and you increase the amount of damage it’s going to have when those crashes occur.” Claims have also been impact-

with that little power.” A 1983 Toyota Camry had 92 horsepower; the 2019 model had either 203 or 301 horsepower. A 1983 Jeep Grand Cherokee had 180-220 horsepower; the 2019 model had

The Highway Loss Data Institute projects hybrid, electric and turbo- or super-charged vehicles will continue to grow in relation to vehicles powered by conventional gasoline engines

ed by a steady growth in vehicle horsepower over the past four decades, and increases in speed limits over the past 20 years. “In 1981, most vehicles had less than 100 horsepower,” Moore said. “These days you can’t buy a vehicle

285-360 horsepower. The 1981 Ford F-150 had 115-165 horsepower; the 2019 model has 250-370. “More horsepower at any age nets you higher insurance losses,” Moore said. “The faster a vehicle is, the faster people are going to drive it.”

Lordstown Motors Explains It Has a Lot of Real Orders Too by Mark Kane, Inside EVs

After a small earthquake at Lordstown Motors on June 14, when the CEO and CFO “resigned,” the company’s President Rich Schmidt said a little bit more about the demand for the Lordstown Endurance pickup. He said at an Automotive Press Association event in Detroit there is a lot of “basically binding” orders, enough for production for 2021 and 2022. “Currently, we have enough orders for production for ‘21 and ‘22. Those are firm orders we have for those two years,” Schmidt said. “I don’t know the exact facts of the legal aspect of that, but they are basically binding orders that are committed here in the last two weeks, reconfirmed orders,” he added, according to Automotive News, when asked if they were binding orders. “They’re pretty solid, and I think that’s on the light side or conservative side.” That throws new light on the situation with a high number of pre-orders that were considered doubtful. The production is expected to start in September; the expect-

ed volume in 2021 is probably not too high. We guess it’s maybe up to 1,000. However, judging from the initial manufacturing capacity of up to 15,000 to 20,000 units a year, we can guess there must be at least 15,000 of those “firm orders.” It would be very positive news for Lordstown Motors if there really is 15,000 solid orders for the Endurance. Schmidt said also the company has more than $400 million. According to Bloomberg’s article, it would be enough to build 15,000 trucks.To continue, the company would need to raise additional capital, which is one of its main tasks. The price of the pickup will start at around $55,000, according to the most recent news, $2,500 more than the $52,500 stated initially. The increase is related to “supply chain pressures.” After deducting the federal tax credit of $7,500, it would be $47,500. Increasing the price is a challenging thing as customers can choose to go with the Ford F-150 Lightning, starting at $39,974, or the Tesla Cybertruck, starting at $39,900.

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Day Job/Night Job

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

with Ed Attanasio

Painter/Car Restorer Miguel Perez Produces a Podcast and Creates a Brand Many painters are content when on one particular vehicle for several they’re able to get their work done years, he said. on time while keeping the quality “My brother’s 1989 BMW Gary Wickertblew up, so I took it to school and high, but that’swith just the beginning for Miguel Perez, head painter and we worked on it there. We thought manager at Extreme Paint Shop, a that we were doing an awesome job, division of Extreme Performance in but when I look at that project now, I have to laugh. It shows how far I’ve South Florida. While running a paint crew come and how much I’ve improved and working on some of the world’s my skills and processes over the years.” most unique andwith expensive vehicles, Stacey Phillips Perez has created a large following After graduating from high of painters, metal shapers/fabrica- school, Perez took a year off to regtors and other collision repair and roup and figure out his next move. Then he enrolled at WyoTech, majoring in collision refinishing with a minor in with Stacey Phillips metal fabrication. It was a good experience where he learned more, but he also realized school is only a platform and not just a ticket to employment. “Some people graduate with Stacey Phillips from WyoTech and think they’re going to enter the industry as a tech or a painter,” Perez said. “But the reality is that they’re goMiguel Perez, head painter and manager at Extreme Paint ing to start at an entry level Shop in South Florida during the day, hosts a podcast at and it might take five to 10 with Stacey Phillips night years to get to where you automotive restoration professionals think you want to be. I tell people worldwide with podcasts, merchan- that school gives you the basics and dising and videos. builds a foundation, but it’s only the His brand is Refinisher Porn (@ beginning.” refinisherporn on Instagram) and his Refinisher Porn is a brand that with Stacey Phillips merchandising company is Refinish can relate to any refinish techniciKulture (@refinishkulture), and cur- an in the world, not only those in rently more than 100,000 followers North America. It’s also not limited have joined the network. to painting automobiles either, Perez Perez, 34, began his career in said. paint/restoration as a teenager, whe- “It can be cars, trucks, boats, re he was exposed working on planes―anything that moves and withtoVictoria Antonelli cars and boats. can be custom painted is on our list. “My dad retired from the Coast We’re a strong and very connected Guard and he started a boat restora- group because we share the same tion business called Marine Perfec- goals and dreams. I use Refinisher tion,” he said. “I was working the- Porn to showcase work that has re after school and I learned a lot. been done by some of the finest rewith Victoria Antonelli Restoring boats helped me with my finishers on the planet. They value abilities, but working on cars was the feedback and we often discuss where I wanted to be.” things like processes, paint, tools While attending Martin Coun- and equipment to do a better job ty High School in Stuart, FL, Perez and create an amazing product every took auto tech classes and worked time.”

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Perez is a busy man, as the head of the paint department at Extreme Performance, a huge operation in

as one of the top custom shops in the U.S., and if you’ve ever attended a SEMA show, you’ve seen more than a few of their game changing creations. Perez was on teams that played roles in restoring vehicles for Michael Jordan, Vanilla Ice and actor/ comic/podcaster Joe Rogan, who inspired Perez to eventually produce a series of podcasts himself. But despite all of the work this busy shop generates, Perez still finds time to When he’s not in a paint booth or doing metal work, Perez manage his popular Instagshares ideas, photos and short videos with a huge network ram account while creating he created six years ago on @RefinisherPorn mega-cool T-shirts, hoodies Palm City, FL, that employs more and other products emblazoned with than 30 people in several buildings his Refinish Kulture logo, available equaling in excess of 66,000 square at www.refinisherporn.bigcartel.com. To interact with his Instagram feet. Extreme Performance is known followers, many of whom are con-

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sidered top-tier painters and metal fabricators, Perez throws an epic bash at SEMA. It didn’t happen last year, obviously, and no one really knows what the show will look like this year, but people are still talking about the party he threw in 2019. “We do it at a different restaurant every year, and more and more people show up each time,” he said. “We don’t talk about paint enzymes or color matching at the party. We just hang out and get to know each other away from the show, and meeting new members in person is always great!” Perez is like the Bo Jackson of custom paint and body work because he can easily cross over from paint to metal and back, if needed. “I have always been attracted to fabricating and doing metal work, and that’s why I’ve always pursued it and worked to get better. Some painters are happy in the booth, but I have always wanted to play a larger role. I always tell people, especially if they’re new to the industry, be open to new things and don’t be afraid to develop new skills, because that way you will be more apprecia-

ted and more sought after.” Perez gives his followers a simple message―never stop learning and don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way. “I got better because I had good teachers and a lot of my mistakes led to valuable lessons. New techniques, better processes, little tricks―always be working to improve and you’ll benefit in many ways down the road.” Perez is delighted with what he’s done on Instagram with @RefinisherPorn. “My initial goal was to turn @ RefinisherPorn into a network where people would come together, showcase each other’s work, and get better as a result,” he said. “I never imagined that this would turn into what it is today and I’m excited about where it’s headed.” Wherever it’s headed, you know Perez will be there to help other refinishers, metal fabricators, car rebuilders and collision repairers from Los Angeles to NYC and everywhere in between.


Average Age of U.S. Cars Reaches All-Time Record of 12.1 Years by Matthew Crisara, Motor1.com

Among many profound lifestyle changes we all endured in 2020, Americans drove quite a lot less and scrapped their old cars more―about 5% of the total U.S. fleet went to the junkyard in 2020. That move had an unusual effect, though. Here in the States, our transition into pandemic life led to an increase in the average age of our vehicles to a record-setting high of 12.1 years. You’d be led to believe scrapping so many vehicles would lower the average vehicle age. To offer some perspective, 15 million vehicles were scrapped in 2020, while vehicle miles traveled declined by 13%. Sure, discarding such a staggering amount of vehicles would normally lower the average age, but the combination of distance traveled and the chip shortage led to the contrary. Keen readers will know these manufacturing difficulties led to new vehicles skyrocketing in price―if you could even get your

hands on one. This meant more people than ever opted to purchase a used car. Even with buyers pivoting towards the used market, pre-owned vehicles weren’t immune from similar price hikes. Unfortunately, many automakers are currently struggling with more than just chip shortages. GM recently suspended orders for its 2021 C8 Chevrolet Corvette amidst another parts shortage. Details remain sparse, but we know Chevrolet won’t reach its original production goal for 2021―the aim is to ensure 2022 models will roll out on schedule. Thankfully, vehicle age is forecasted to go back to normal later this year after owners trade in their current set of wheels for a newer model. Until then, the market will remain the oldest it’s ever been.


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Registration Open for 2021 AWDA Conference by Camille Sheehan, Auto Care Association

The Aftermarket Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), a community of the Auto Care Association, on June 15 announced registration is open for its 74th Annual AWDA Conference. The event will be held Oct. 31–Nov. 3 at The Venetian Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. The AWDA Conference is an annual business event that brings together the premier companies of the industry for high-level, private, one-on-one business meetings. The AWDA conference, sponsored this year by Dorman Products, will signify the dynamic in-person return of the industry at the start of Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW). For 2021, the AWDA conference will be implementing these new approaches: Shifting to Align with AAPEX: The AWDA Conference will shift from its typical days and now offer one-on-one meetings all day Nov. 1, followed by the afternoons of Nov. 2 and Nov. 3.

Access to One-on-One Meeting Suites: The designated one-onone meeting suites in the Venetian Guest Tower will now be accessible by all guestroom elevator banks to allow for more efficient access. “AWDA is extremely excited at the opportunity to host our long standing, premier event in person,” said Larry Northup, executive director, AWDA. “While we were still able to successfully stay connected this past year, that does not rival the experience and the importance of face-to-face engagements. The industry is ready to reunite and forge on.” All companies must register by Aug. 20 to participate in the AWDA One-on-One meetings. For further details, eligibility, hotel and registration information, visit autocare.org/awdaconference.

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48 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

©2021 MINI USA, a division of BMW of North America, LLC. The MINI name, model names and logo are registered trademarks.

P&C Insurers Stuck at Providing Only ‘Good Enough’ Digital User Experience: J.D. Power With more property and casualty (P&C) insurance customers than ever migrating to digital channels during the past year, expectations for a superior user experience have grown, and many insurers are struggling to keep pace. According to the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study, released May 25, overall customer satisfaction with insurers’

digital in new ways to drive growth and engagement,” said Tom Super, head of property and casualty insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “The real challenge for insurers is pushing the envelope on digital innovation. “Customers’ pace of expected change is accelerating, and insurers must be able to take steps to go beyond the basics of simply digitizing

“The bar just continues to get higher for customer expectations around digital, and while many insurers are hitting the mark on the digital basics, few insurers are using digital in new ways to drive growth and engagement,” — Tom Super digital offerings does not improve this year, despite industry-wide improvements in best-practice competency. “The bar just continues to get higher for customer expectations around digital, and while many insurers are hitting the mark on the digital basics, few insurers are using

customer tasks. Those that can make this leap will be poised to separate themselves from the pack.” The study, now in its 10th year, evaluates digital consumer experiences among both P&C insurance shoppers seeking quotes and existing customers conducting typical policy-servicing activities.


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©2021 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trademarks.

The study examines the functional aspects of desktop, mobile web and mobile apps based on five factors: ease of navigation; appearance; availability of key information; range of services; and clarity of the information. The study was conducted in partnership with Corporate Insight, the leading provider of competitive intelligence and user experience research to the financial services and health care industries. “Being ‘good enough’ doesn’t cut it in a world where consumers are managing so much of their lives through digital interfaces and upending conventional notions of customer engagement,” said Michael Ellison, president of Corporate Insight. “While most insurers are making it possible to perform basic functions online or via mobile, very few are delivering a markedly improved, highly personalized overall experience via digital, even though innovative firms are showing that it is possible to do that now.” Key findings of the 2021 study: Insurer digital solutions not keeping pace with customer expectations: Overall customer satisfaction with the P&C insurance customer service experience improves to 860 (on a 1,000-point scale) from 858 in 2020, and overall satisfaction with the shopping experience declines to 788 from 800 a year ago, as record numbers of insurance customers transitioned to digital during the height of the pandemic. Beneath these headline figures, many individual insurers saw volatile year-over-year swings in their overall satisfaction scores. Basic digital competency not enough to drive improvements: Overall digital competency scores improve for nearly every insurer in the study,

but many customers still cite challenges with several account service and shopping tasks. Notably, satisfaction scores improve about 100 points or more when customers say completing tasks is “very easy” vs. “somewhat easy.” Complex tasks become new customer experience battleground: Across all account service and shopping engagements evaluated, the study finds customer satisfaction scores consistently decline as tasks become more complicated. Complex tasks such as requesting a quote, researching policy information, adding a driver/vehicle and viewing policy-related information are among the areas in which insurers struggle to delight digital customers. Tech-savvy mobile app users set stage for future of digital insurance experience: Satisfaction is substantially higher across all factors in the study among mobile app users and those who describe themselves as tech savvy. Mobile app usage increases 26% this year.   Study Rankings GEICO ranks highest in the service segment for a fourth consecutive year with a score of 879. Progressive (868) ranks second. Farmers (867) and The Hartford (867) rank third in a tie. Mercury ranks highest in the shopping segment with a score of 821. Auto-Owners Insurance (816) ranks second and State Farm (807) ranks third. The 2021 U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study is based on 11,548 evaluations and was fielded in February and March. For more information about the U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study, visit https://www.jdpower. com/business/insurance/us-insurance-digital-experience-study Source: J.D. Power

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autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 49

Research Shows Auto Care Industry Expected to Reach $477B by 2024 by Camille Sheehan, Auto Care Association

The Auto Care Association on June 9 released its award-winning and industry-leading online publications, the 2022 Auto Care Factbook and the 2022 Auto Care Factbook & Lang Annual.  The annual reports are the go-to source for automotive aftermarket industry data and include critical insight for aftermarket businesses to make informed, data-based decisions for the future. This 31st edition of the Auto Care Factbook report provides new data and insight on how the auto care industry fared from the COVID-19 pandemic, emerging consumer and industry trends, international market performance and more. While the total U.S. auto care industry size took a hit in 2020, the industry fared better than forecasted and is now expected to be a $477 billion industry by 2024. Industry shifts during COVID-19 have presented new opportunities for the aftermarket, including increased e-commerce growth, increased delays in vehicle maintenance; an increase

in the average age of vehicles in operation, an increase in vehicle miles driven nearing pre-pandemic levels and more. In this 142-page Auto Care Factbook report, readers will find: New e-commerce section including trends and sizing of this important aspect of the aftermarket including penetration and product category performance standouts (pg. 61) Expanded data and insights on hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles including adoption rates, replacement rates for selected parts, registrations and state incentive data (pg. 86) Expanded medium and heavy duty vehicle data including vehicle counts, proportions, registrations and demand by distribution channel and growing component subgroups (pg. 68) Expanded replacement rate data, from 94 to 184 parts and jobs (pg. 56) Expanded international section, including highlights of the Mexican, Chilean and Vietnamese aftermar-

kets, including VIO and other pertinent stats (pg. 120) Guidelines on how to use TrendLens™ to interactively compare data series with our trend comparison tool The 2022 Auto Care Factbook also provides Auto Care Association members access to many of the latest numbers included in the report through the association’s Auto Care TrendLens™ interactive data platform. There, members can drill down on data points, and filter and overlay with other data sets to get the full picture of the industry. “The COVID-19 pandemic is not the first time the auto care industry has proved its resiliency during economic hardship,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “Our industry growth continues to exceed expectations— despite recent challenges—and we’re confident that the new opportunities emerging from the past year will strengthen our future. This year’s Factbook equips readers with the latest data and in-depth industry analysis needed to navigate their business decisions with confidence

and clarity.” The 2022 Auto Care Factbook & Lang Annual  includes the  Auto Care Factbook plus the Lang Annual, which provides a supplemental, comprehensive overview of the U.S. light vehicle aftermarket and presents information and analysis available from no other source. All Auto Care Association contacts at member companies receive a complimentary digital copy of the 2022 Auto Care Factbook report as a member benefit. The non-member price for the publication is $2,450. The  Auto Care Factbook  &  Lang Annual report can be purchased for $995 for members and $3,445 for non-members. To order any of these digital publications, visit digital.autocare. org/2022factbook or contact the Member Services department at publications@autocare.org or 301-6546664.  Source: Auto Care Association


GM Vehicles Recalled for Airbag Warning Lights by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

More than 301,000 General Motors vehicles are recalled because the airbag warning lights may stay illuminated and fail to provide warnings if the airbags fail. However, the warning lights stay activated only on alternating ignition cycles in these vehicles. 2021 Buick Envision 2021 Cadillac CT4 2021 Cadillac CT5 2021 Cadillac Escalade 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe 2021 Chevrolet Corvette 2021 Chevrolet Suburban 2021 GMC Yukon 2021 GMC Yukon XL The airbag warning light stays illuminated because the communications gateway module incorrectly processes a loss of communication with the sensing diagnostic module. GM learned in April about a possible problem and in May engineers opened an investigation to review field and warranty data, find-

ing 19 warranty claims possibly related. This caused GM to issue the recall, but the automaker says it’s unaware of any crash or injury reports. The U.S. GM recall includes 285,622 vehicles, while in Canada, about 16,071 GM vehicles are recalled. Recall notices will be mailed July 19, with details about dealerships updating the communications gateway module software. Owners who have accepted the terms and conditions will be able to receive the software changes using wireless over-the-air (OTA) technology without having to bring their vehicles to dealerships. However, owners may schedule to have the updates performed at GM dealers. Buick owners may contact Buick customer service at 800521-7300, Cadillac customers may call 800-458-8006, Chevrolet owners can call 800-222-1020 or GMC customer service can be reached at 800-462-8782. GM’s recall reference number is N212338110.

50 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 51

I-CAR Supports Inter-Industry’s First OEM Glass Repair Certification Program Leveraging the collision repair expertise of I-CAR (Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair), Mopar is launching its Mopar Certified Glass Installer Program, the industry’s first OEM glass repair certification. I-CAR’s training and support of the new Mopar program is a perfect extension of I-CAR’s 42-yearold vision, explained John Van Alstyne, CEO and president.

“I-CAR’s mission is to provide education, information, services and solutions,” he said. “This program represents a solution that brings to life the breadth of our mission. Along with education, audits, reporting and network support in collaboration with the Mopar team, this makes I-CAR a unique and perfect fit for Mopar’s new

program.” I-CAR currently has five glass-related courses as a requirement for the Mopar Certified Glass Installer program. Additionally, I-CAR will conduct virtual audits of glass installers to meet Mopar requirements, which were established jointly. Van Alstyne added I-CAR is uniquely positioned to support the Mopar Certified Glass Installer Program given its leadership position in the industry, expansive course portfolio and ability to reach glass installers and collision repairers nationally. Some of I-CAR’s educational support have included: The FCA Certified Collision Network has required I-CAR Gold Class® since its launch more than five years ago. Alfa Romeo Certified Collision Network shops require all four roles be at ProLevel 3, the highest level of individual recognition in addition to the shop maintaining I-CAR Gold Class. Maserati requirement for ProLevel 2 technicians within its certi-

fied network. Creation of FCA-specific educational courses and continued development of additional courses, including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Collision Repair Overview and 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL “As vehicle glass installation continues to become a much more advanced repair given today’s technology-laden vehicles, Mopar’s new program is a step forward for the inter-industry,” said Van Alstyne. “In pursuit of complete, safe and quality repairs, this program reinforces the many new ways we can accomplish this overarching goal.” To sign up for the program, contact I-CAR Customer Care at 1-800-I-CAR-USA (800-4227872) or visit I-CAR’s course catalog. Source: I-CAR


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The bankruptcy court overseeing Hertz Global Holdings Chapter 11 proceedings has approved Hertz’s reorganization plan, the company reported June 10.

Hertz achieved payouts to equity, which are virtually unheard of in Chapter 11. Credit: Photo via flickr, www.dhub.com

The court’s approval clears the way for Hertz to emerge from Chapter 11 by the end of June. According to Hertz, creditors will be paid in full while existing shareholders will receive more than $1 billion in value. The plan will erase more than $5 billion in debt and provide more than $2.2

billion in liquidity. Hertz will emerge with $2.8 billion in credit and an approximately $7 billion of asset-backed vehicle financing facility. “As a result of its restructuring efforts, Hertz will emerge from Chapter 11 with a substantially stronger balance sheet and greater financial flexibility than it had prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hertz said in a statement. “With the court’s approval of our plan today and a committed new investor group, we are poised to exit Chapter 11 by the end of this month as a well-capitalized and even more competitive company, with the flexibility and resources to pursue exciting new growth opportunities,” said Paul Stone, Hertz’s president and CEO. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath said in hearing June 10 that payouts to equity are virtually unheard of in Chapter 11. The case “surpasses any result that I’ve seen in any Chapter 11 case that I’ve faced in my 20-plus years,” Walrath said, according to a Bloomberg report.

52 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

A BMW airbag recall includes more than 4,500 of these vehicles equipped with non-azide driver airbag inflators (NADIs) manufactured by Takata. 2000-2001 BMW 323Ci 2000-2001 BMW 325Ci 2000-2001 BMW 328Ci 2000-2001 BMW 330Ci 1999-2001 BMW 323i 2000-2001 BMW 328i 2000-2001 BMW 330i 2000-2001 BMW 330xi The driver-side Takata airbag inflators were previously inspected but not replaced under previous recalls. BMW says moisture can invade the inflator and cause it to explode. BMW dealers will replace the driver-side air bag inflators with newly designed inflators. Owner recall notification letters are expected to be mailed July 19. Concerned owners may contact BMW at 800-525-7417.

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BMW 3-Series Vehicles Recalled Over Explosive Airbags

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SEMA Show Exhibitors Begin to Select Booth Space As exhibitors prepare to choose their exhibit locations for the 2021 SEMA Show, excitement continues to grow for the annual trade show taking place at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Nov. 2-5 in Las Vegas, NV. “SEMA is the place to showcase what is new within the industry, which creates excitement and enthusiasm,” said Kristen Damberger, Cometic Gasket director of promotions, advanced. “As an exhibitor, we want to fuel that fire. We want to be a part of that energy.” Cometic Gasket is one of more than 1,700 companies that will take part in the annual SEMA Show Priority Space Selection process, held June 7-23. Like Cometic, these companies all committed to exhibiting at the 2021 SEMA Show before the May 7 priority deadline, and they are now preparing to showcase their new products and reconnect with buyers in person for the first time in nearly two years. “Anticipation for this year’s SEMA Show has increased as we get closer to Priority Space Selection and exhibitors begin making

plans,” said Tom Gattuso, SEMA vice president of events. “Exhibitors are excited to know where their booth is going to be so they can start to plan what their exhibit is going to look like and how to effectively connect and conduct business with attendees.” Many exhibitors experienced growth during the nationwide stayat-home orders and maintained production with new products. Others have hot products from early 2020 that they have not had a chance to debut industry-wide. “The SEMA Show is a great place to do business, and not being able to connect last year only amplified our enthusiasm to get back to Vegas and get back to business in person,” said Rob Fisher, E3 Spark Plugs vice president of motorsports, marketing and business development. “We recently launched a new line of ultra-lightweight lithium batteries, and these were originally going to be showcased last year, but we will naturally showcase them at SEMA 2021 so that our customers and the industry can see them firsthand.”

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This year’s show will include exhibit space in all four Las Vegas Convention Center halls, including the newly constructed West Hall, a 1.4 million-square feet facility that will be used to enhance the attendee experience. As exhibitors select their space, the floor plan will be updated several times throughout the day at www.semashow.com. Once the Priority Space Selection process is completed, show organizers will begin adding meeting rooms for seminars and areas for special displays and interactive attractions throughout the 3.2 million-square foot Las Vegas Convention Center. “Our work creating this year’s floorplan to meet the demands of the aftermarket industry has only just begun,” said Gattuso. “The enthusiasm to reconnect in person can be felt throughout the industry, so this year’s SEMA Show will be essential in helping businesses move forward.” For more information or to register to attend the 2021 SEMA Show, visit www.semashow.com. Source: SEMA

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by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

Jaguar is recalling three model year 2017-2018 and 2020 Jaguar XE vehicles that received replacement rear rail assemblies as part of service repairs. Missing spot welds may weaken the strength of the rear rail assemblies. Jaguar says the weakened rear rail assembly may allow the rear bumper beam to detach when the vehicle is being towed, or could cause the tow-bar assembly to detach when towing a trailer. The Jaguar recall should begin May 28. Jaguar dealers will replace the rear rail assemblies. XE owners may call 800452-4827 and refer to recall H349.




Auto Care Association’s Auto Care Caucus Renewed with 117th U.S. Congress by Camille Sheehan, Auto Care Association

CALIFORNIA Circle Porsche

Jaguar XE Recalled for Missing Welds

The Auto Care Association on June 7 announced the Auto Care Caucus has been formally renewed in the 117th U.S. Congress. The caucus will be co-chaired by U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-PA, and Brendan Boyle, D-PA, who both share an enthusiasm and understanding of the auto care industry and will help facilitate communication about industry issues to their peers on Capitol Hill. Congressional caucuses are classified as Congressional Member Organizations and are made up of lawmakers who share common public policy goals pertaining to a particular interest, demographic or political party. The Auto Care Caucus mission statement explains, in part, that its purpose is to “…maintain a competitive free market for the motoring public; protect consumers’ vehicle data and the right to be the ultimate owners and stewards of their data; and to help ensure consumers have access to quality,

convenient and affordable auto repairs, maintenance and parts.” “I’m excited to see the continuation of the Auto Care Caucus with this new Congress and to witness our co-chairs’ support for the auto care industry,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “With technology being used more and more to tilt the competitive playing field in the vehicle repair industry, now more than ever we will be looking to Congress to support initiatives aimed at ensuring choice for car owners on where they have their vehicle serviced. The Auto Care Caucus will surely play a significant role in those efforts.” To learn more about the Auto Care Association’s Auto Care Caucus and the association’s government affairs initiatives, visit auto care.org/government-relations. Source: Auto Care Association


autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 53

Lamborghini Outlines Massive $1.8 Billion Plan to Shift to Electrification by Joey Klender, Teslarati

Lamborghini is planning to shift from gas-powered to electric for its world-class supercars. The company recently outlined a $1.8 billion plan, its largest in history, to shift away from combustion engines and toward electrification. CEO and President Stephan Winkelmann presented the company’s plan to decarbonize its future models. Known as “Direzione Cour Tauri,” or “Towards Cor Tauri,” the roadmap shows how the Italian automaker plans to begin electrifying its fleet by using its carbon-neutral site at Sant’Agata Bolognese in Northern Italy. The site has been free of CO2 emissions since 2015 and is the location of the Lamborghini Museum. The focus is simple: continue making the legendary, high-performance cars Lamborghini is known for, but make them environmentally friendly. Lamborghini will continue to identify technologies and solutions that guarantee top performance and driving dynamics that align with its “marque’s tradition.” A $1.8 billion

investment will be spread over four years. It seems, according to Lamborghini’s press release on the matter, the main goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by the beginning of 2025. While Lamborghini will celebrate the combustion engine that has brought it to the peak of automotive performance, it plans to bring a fourth fully electric model in the latter portion of the decade. “Lamborghini’s electrification plan is a newly-plotted course, necessary in the context of a radically changing world, where we want to make our contribution by continuing to reduce environmental impact through concrete projects,” Winkelmann said. “Our response is a plan with a 360-degree approach, encompassing our products and our Sant’Agata Bolognese location, taking us towards a more sustainable future while always remaining faithful to our DNA.  “Lamborghini has always been synonymous with preeminent technological expertise in building engines boasting extraordinary performance: this commitment will continue as an

absolute priority of our innovation trajectory,” he continued. “Today’s promise, supported by the largest investment plan in the brand’s history, reinforces our deep dedication to not only our customers, but also to our fans, our people and their families, as well as to the territory where the company was born in Emilia-Romagna and to Made in Italy excellence.” Lamborghini will complete the process in three phases: a celebration of the combustion engine from 2021 to 2022, a hybrid transition that will see the company launch its first hybrid series production car in 2023 with the rest of the fleet being fully electric by the end of 2024, and finally, the first fully electric Lamborghini, to be released in the second half of the decade. The celebration of the combustion engine may appear to be somewhat ironic in Lamborghini’s plan to launch an electric fleet. However, the company intends to pay tribute to the success provided by combustion engine vehicles. It will announce two new V12 models later this year. The hybrid transition planned by the end of 2024 will fuel the compa-

ny’s initial attempts to develop a hybrid series production car. This timeframe will be crucial for engineers to learn how to develop high-performance vehicles while compensating for additional weight provided by the battery pack. Finally, the first all-electric Lamborghini will be introduced in the second half of the 2020s. “Acceleration in the second part of the decade will be dedicated to full-electric vehicles, with the vision of a fourth model in the future,” the company said. “Once again, technological innovation in this phase will be oriented towards ensuring remarkable performance and positioning the new product at the top of its segment. “This is how Lamborghini sees the culmination of this part of its journey: Cor Tauri, the brightest star in the constellation to which the company’s roadmap points, is represented by a fourth fully-electric model.”



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Cox Automotive Study Examines Best Practices of Dealerships Thriving in an Accelerated Digital Landscape Cox Automotive on June 15 released a new study, “How to Thrive: Best Practices for an Accelerated Digital Landscape,” examining effective strategies dealerships are adopting  to  find profits and  thrive  in  today’s marketplace.  With the industry’s abrupt shift from an in-person dominant to a digital-first model,  Cox Automotive’s survey of more than 450 franchise dealerships found those embracing new business solutions and digital capabilities became more efficient and profitable, while seeing consumer satisfaction scores soar to record highs.   “Through this study, we’ve learned that whatever the market conditions may be, it’s the experience you provide that will drive satisfaction and retention,” said Lori Wittman, senior vice president of dealer software solutions at Cox Automotive. “Right now, consumers may come to you for a particular piece of inventory you have, but they’ll come back to you for the experience you gave them.”  Given the current inventory and supply chain constraints, deal-

ers can take advantage of this lull to tune up systems and processes so they are fully optimized when supply of vehicles rebounds. “After a year of momentous change across our industry, Cox Automotive set out to better understand the most effective strategies for dealership success. Our ‘How to Thrive’  findings reveal the dealerships that capitalized on new strategies and capabilities flourished amid challenging circumstances,” added Wittman.  According to the “How to Thrive” study findings, most dealerships fall into two dueling mindsets―those that are either adapting and thriving or static and struggling.  The study found commonalities and advantages among the most successful dealers, aka Thrivers―those who  have overcome recent challenges and defied the odds to improve their KPIs. Thrivers  are  doing things differently, including: 

tailing into their dealership’s sales process.

during this time,” said a small franchise Thriver.

Adapting to customer desires in fixed ops: 70% of Thrivers are using text and/or email for quote approval, including pictures and videos, while 65% are also offering service pickup and delivery to enhance convenient solutions for customers.

“Implementation of digital contracting reduces turnaround time for paperwork for customers whether they are at home, in our showrooms or the service lane,” said a medium franchise Thriver.

Offering digital options across the experience: 59% of Thrivers have a strategy to incorporate digital re-

“Being flexible with online sales and remote deliveries has gained more loyalty and more referrals

Maximizing usage of data: 86% of dealers agree having accurate and complete customer data is a priority at their dealership.

“We are marketing a ton more. We are reaching out to the customers that haven’t seen us in 18 months or more,” said a large franchise Thriver.

Investing in their staff: 73% of Thrivers make employee satisfaction as important as CSI scores.

For more information on this study, download our Thrivers eBook at www.coxautoinc.com/thrivers/

Cox’s findings from the “How to Thrive” study underscore how investing in the right transformational technologies today will drive tomorrow’s better business outcomes. Direct comments from the qualitative portion of the study include: 

Source: Cox Automotive

Ford Reports Huge Growth in EV Sales, Best May for SUV Sales Since 2003 Ford on June 3 reported its May sales results, including a new EV sales record, the best May sales since 2003 for Ford SUVs and the best May sales ever for Lincoln SUVs. “Ford sales were up 4.1% on tight inventories, while year-to-date sales increased 11.3%,” said Andrew Frick, vice president, Ford

Sales U.S. and Canada. “Ford and its dealers are working harder than ever to match the right mix of inventory to best meet the needs of our customers at the local level. We have been receiving a massive number of reservations for our all-electric F-150 Lightning over the last two weeks―totaling over 70,000 trucks. Ford brand SUVs had their best May sales in 18 years, while Lincoln SUVs posted a new May record.” Ford electrified vehicle sales grew 184% in May, achieving a

new EV sales record, with sales of 10,364 vehicles. Growth came from the Mustang Mach-E, which totaled 1,945 vehicle sales, while the F-150 PowerBoost totaled 2,852 for the month and Escape electrified sales totaled 3,617―up 125% over last year. Explorer Hybrid sales also had a big increase of 132% over a year ago, with sales of 1,156 SUVs. New products continue to drive transaction pricing. Average transaction prices at Ford were up approximately $3,400 over a year ago. Ford’s newest products―the Bronco Sport and Mustang Mach-E― expanded their sales relative to April, with sales of the two totaling 16,892 vehicles, while turning quickly on dealer lots. Overall F-Series sales through May are up 4.7% on sales of 316,359 trucks. With tight inventories, F-Series continues to turn at record rates. Retail orders for F-Series trucks are up threefold over last year. Ford continues to fill orders as more semiconductor chips become available. Ford brand retail SUVs posted their best May sales since 2003,

while Ranger sales recorded their best May sales since 2004. Ford brand SUVs were up 51.8% over a year ago on new product introductions of Bronco Sport and Mustang Mach-E, along with the continued momentum of Escape, Explorer and Expedition. With total sales of 14,303 for the month, Ranger sales expanded 41.8% relative to last year. With the all-new Bronco Sport and Escape, Ford greatly enhances its share of the small SUV segment. Ford’s May retail share is up almost 4 full percentage points in the small SUV segment, with sales of both Bronco Sport and Escape expanding their sales within two very different customer groups. Escape sales were up 51.4%, while the majority of Bronco Sport customers are coming from outside the Ford brand. Lincoln SUVs posted another record sales result in May. Lincoln SUV sales were up across the entire lineup in May with a total of 7,871 SUVs sold―up 24.3 percent. Source: Ford


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MSO Symposium Announces Format The Automotive Service Association is pleased to announce the 2021 MSO Symposium will be taking place as a live and in-person event Nov. 1 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV. The MSO Symposium is an annual collision industry event where repair facility executives from large, small and regional MSOs come to gather with like-minded peers. The 2020 event was held virtually over a week and was made available to everyone in the industry. This year’s oneday program will return to its original format. The event will begin at 10 a.m. PDT and will feature a unique line-up of presentations and panelists, concluding with an evening reception. Registration to this closed event will be made available in late June. Stay informed by visiting www.msosymposium. com. Source: MSO Symposium

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