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VOL. 29 ISSUE 9 SEPTEMBER 2011

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Ford Releases video showing differential performance between OE and A/M parts. Questions whether airbags would deploy correctly. See Ford and ABPA, Page 44

ABPA counters with their own video demonstration showing neglible differences in airbag deployment at low & high speed collisions. See Ford and ABPA, Page 44

Toby Chess clarifies the origin of the parts discussed in his CIC presentation this July. He says repairers should post images of parts, whether A/M or OE, that don’t fit correctly on a blog site. See Hey Toby Column, Page 40

Russell Thrall III

Greg Coccaro

Anthony J. Mamo

North State v. Progressive—What the NY Supreme Court’s Recent Decision Might Mean for Your Business by Anthony J. Mamo, Jr., Attorney

When I first met Greg Coccaro, the owner of North State Custom in Bedford Hills, New York, I was immediately struck by his passion for his business, his customers and his

industry. But it was his frustration with the inequities inherent in his chosen field that truly captured my attention. I listened as Greg explained to me what a DRP was, how his labor rate was determined by See North State v. Progressive, Page 56

Mike Condon

Autobody News Congratulates the Collision Industry’s Most Influential Women of 2011, Thanks to AkzoNobel Doug Craig

George Avery

The Debate about Industry Standards at CIC

See John Yoswick Column, Page 22

We were thrilled to have our Barbara Davies, General Manager and coowner of Autobody News, selected as one of the five most influential women in the collision industry in 2011. We know what she does and how hard she works. Pictured with Barbara (l to r, right photo) are Sharon Mazanec, Jennifer Justice-Hayley, Susanna Gotsch and Michelle Rolls.

With NACE and CARS in Orlando a little over a month away ... we wanted to know more about the keynote speaker, social media guru Chris Brogan... See NACE Crowds, Page 36

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2 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com


Contents NATIONAL AkzoNobel Presents 2011 FIT Sustainability Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 ASRW Expands its Town Hall Event to Include Health Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 ASRW Partners with Muscle Car Network of Florida at Expo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 BASF to Return to NACE Expo for First Time Since 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 BK Listings: Marketing Automotive Businesses Through Innovative Listings . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Chevy Volt Sales Slow to Grow, Nissan Leaf Worse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Chrysler Recalls Up To 370,000 ‘08 Minivans . 34 CollisionLink Represents ‘Inevitable Change’ Says Major Parts Dealer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 CREF and CCC Name Five Student Scholarship Winners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Domestics More Popular Among Auto Thieves Now . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Enterprise Rent-A-Car Makes $11,000 Donation to CREF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Ford Minivans Not Subject to Recall, Infrequent Issue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Ford Partners Azure on F-Series Plug in Hybrids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Ford Releases Another Crash Test Video Comparing OEM to Aftermarket Crash Parts, ABPA Responds with its own Crash Test Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Ford to Recall 1.22 M Trucks, Fuel Tank Straps. 34 GM Has No Recall on its Tahoe and Yukon SUVs. 34 GM Recalls Over 16K Cars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Handling People, Including Insurance Adjusters, Means Negotiating Effectively . . . . . . . . . . 42 Hertz Files Premerger Notice with Federal Antitrust Regulator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Hertz to Acquire Donlen in $930M Transaction . 46 Honda Accord, Buick Enclave, Chevy Traverse get 5 stars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Honda Recalls 2.5 Million Vehicles for Software Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Honda to Recall 1.5M CRVs, Elements, Accords. 34 How Shop Owners Can Take Advantage of Salvage Auctions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 I-CAR Board of Directors Welcomes New Board Member, James Roach, American Honda Motor Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 I-CAR Offers New Course on Electronics Damage Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Lincoln Electric Acquires Torchmate Parent. . 44 Mitchell Releases Industry Trends Report for Q3 of 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 My Take On the I-CAR Training Issue . . . . . . 28 NACE/CARS Program Expected to Draw Larger Crowds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 NHTSA Investigates BMW for Potential Rollaways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Repairer-Driven Education at SEMA Gets Support from PPG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 SCRS Conducts Survey of 17 Insurers on Aftermarket Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 The New Lean, Customer-Centric Body Shop. 56 Truck Driver Behavior Now Trackable with New Tech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Assistant Editor: Erica Schroeder Contributing Writers: Tom Franklin, David Brown, John Yoswick, Lee Amaradio, Rich Evans, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Mike Causey, Tom McGee, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Sean Hartman (800) 699-8251 Sales Assistant: Kristy Navarro Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia

AAPEX Trade Show . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .59 Autoland Scientech . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Automotive ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 BASF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 BK Listings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 BMW of Vista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . .43 Buerge Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . . .15 California Superstores . . . . . . . . . . .16 Carlsen Volvo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Chief Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 Completes Plus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Crevier BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Downtown Motors of LA (Audi, VW, Porsche) . . . . . . . . . . .53 Drew Hyundai-Volkswagen . . . . . . .44 DuPont . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Elk Grove Toyota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Enterprise Rent-A-Car . . . . . . . . . . .61 Equalizer Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers AZ, CA, & NV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Galpin Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32, 37 Garmat USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Glenn E. Thomas Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge .7 Global Finishing Solutions . . . . . . . .20 GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . .56 Honda/Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . .54 Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers .47 LKQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 Mattei . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38

Serving California, Nevada and Arizona, Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2011 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 721-0253 Fax www.autobodynews.com Email: news@autobodynews.com

Western

COLUMNS Attanasio, GFS - Trial by Fire: Indianapolis Body Shop Turns a Potential Tragedy into a Win-Win with a State-of-the-Art GFS Paint Booth . . 21 Attanasio, Mattei - Brown Auto Body Appreciates Mattei’s Rotary Vane Compressors. . . . . . 39 Attanasio, PPG - Pennsylvania Body Shop Outshines with PPG’s Aquabase® Plus Waterborne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Attanasio - How to Fix Your Damaged Online Reputation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Brown - Arizona’s Auto Body World Expands to Chandler with Eighth Location. . . . . . . . 18 Chess - Confusion over Certified Parts at CIC. 40 Espersen - Estimators – The Front Line in the Battle for Profitability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Evans - This Year’s Entry for the SEMA Pinewood Derby 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Franklin - Long or Short Ad—Which is Best? . 16 Insurance Insider - Ridiculous DRP Requirements? Guess Why They’re Asking . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Schroeder - TGIF Body Shop—Complete Body Repair and Fleet Services. . . . . . . . . 38 Sisk - NACE/CARS Receiving Renewed Enthusiasm from East Coast Shops . . . . . 61 Weaver - Is It ‘Change Is a Good Thing’ or ‘It’s Good That Things Change’?. . . . . . . . 35 Williams - Acura of Westchester . . . . . . . . . 32 Yoswick - CIC, Consultant, Seeking Views on Industry Repair Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Zurada - Tips for Negotiating a Commercial

Lease For Your Body Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Indexof Advertisers

REGIONAL 2012 NABC Annual Fundraiser to Be Held in Palm Springs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 BMW, Teamsters Reach Deal to Keep CA Parts Depot Open . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Bob Baptiste Appointed to CAWA Board of Directors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 CA Insurance Commissioner Announces 10.7 Percent Decrease in GEICO Auto Insurance Rates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 CAA San Diego Chapter to Hold Monthly Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 CAWA Will Install Officers for the 2012 Year at SEMA 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 CCAR Grows its GreenLink Shop Program . . . 4 Chief Automotive Technologies Opens New Research and Specifications Center in Irvine, CA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 East Bay CAA Chapter Hosts 25th Annual Chapter Golf Tournament . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Gene Crozat Family Opens Newest G&C Location in Novato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Gerber Glass Services Receives Award from CA Casualty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Google’s Self Driving Prototype Involved in Three-Car Collision. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Man Attempts To Steal Car From Escondido, CA, Auto Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Nevada Becomes First State to Issue Robo-Car Licenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Nevada Governor Takes Spin in Google’s Driverless Car. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Nevada Insurance Commissioner Resigns, Effective August 12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Two Southern CA Insurance Agencies Merge . 8

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .58 MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .48 Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers .59 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . .33 Moss Bros. Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . .11 NACE Registration . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 Nick Alexander BMW . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Nick Alexander MINI . . . . . . . . . . . .64 Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers .50 Normandin Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . .11 NRD Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 PPG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 PreFab Ads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Pro-Spray . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Rally Hyundai-Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Rally Mitsubishi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Rare Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 RBL Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Rely-On Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Replica Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57 Riverside Metro VW-Honda-HyundaiNissan-Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Safety Regulation Strategies . . . . . .40 SATA Spray Equipment . . . . . . . . . .23 SEMA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Shingle Springs Nissan-Subaru . . .22 Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-MazdaSubaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .51 Timmons VW-Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .60 VIM Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers .52 Volvo Crash Wholesale Dealers . . .48 Weatherford BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 3


CCAR Grows its GreenLink Shop Program

The Coordinating Committee For Automotive Repair announced the expansion of its GreenLink Shop program to include shops in New Mexico and North Carolina on July 28. GreenLink Shop serves to promote consumer confidence in local auto shop environmental awareness and stewardship. It is an expansion of the CCAR-GreenLink Environmental Compliance Assistance Center and S/P2 Safety and Pollution Prevention e-learning program. The recently certified shops are:

• Car Crafters, Albuquerque, NM • Darrell Allen Body Shop, Burlington, NC • F. Lofrano & Son Collision Center, San Rafael, CA Repair facilities pursuing GreenLink shop recognition must maintain high standards of excellence in environmental, health and safety practices in four categories: employee training, safety compliance and environmental management. Separate criteria are established for auto service facilities and collision repair shops. For more information visit www.ccar-greenlink.org.

Gerber Glass Services Receives Award from CA Casualty

California Casualty Management Company, based in San Mateo, CA, presented its 2010 Customer Service Excellence Award to Gerber National Glass Services. “We are very excited to receive the award from California Casualty,” said Mark Flasch, general manager of Gerber National Glass Services. “We are proud that our efforts have translated into the highest level of customer satisfaction for California Casualty policyholders.” California Casualty Assistant Vice President Michael Lloyd said the Gerber National Glass Services Team provides excellence in customer service to company policyholders. “We recognize that it is critical to acknowledge these efforts,” Lloyd said. “I was privileged to go to both of their Call Centers in Paducah, KY And Ft. Myers, FL recently to demonstrate how essential their daily work product is for California Casualty. We wanted to show Gerber’s associates how important their work is to our company and how much it is sincerely appreciated.” For more information on California Casualty, visit calcas.com.

CA Insurance Commissioner Announces 10.7 Percent Decrease in GEICO Auto Insurance Rates Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issued the following statement regarding GEICO’s recently approved rate filing, reducing auto insurance rates for its California policyholders by 10.7 percent: “I am happy to announce that the rate filing submitted to my Department by GEICO has been approved saving GEICO’s policyholders in California millions of dollars annually,” said Commissioner Jones. “It is good news when consumers pay less for premiums and are able to keep more of their earnings.” “We at GEICO are proud to have our regional headquarters in California and we’re even prouder to be able to deliver great rates and service to Californians,” said Shawn Burklin, GEICO regional vice president. “GEICO is committed to its policyholders in the Golden State and will continue to provide the great customer service they have come to expect from us.” According to GEICO, the rate filings were approved on June 2 and the rate decrease will be effective August 15, 2011. GEICO policyholders in the LA Metro area will realize an average savings of $238 on their premiums annually.

Approximately 98,000 policyholders in the San Diego area will save, on average, $163 on their premiums annually. GEICO’s policy holders statewide will realize an average annual savings of $127. The rate filing included GEICO, GEICO General and GEICO Indemnity, which provide coverage to, 717,443 GEICO auto policyholders in California. This premium reduction will save them $91 million dollars annually. GEICO has 841,000 GEICO policies in California, making the company the seventh largest auto insurer in the state and the fastestgrowing. GEICO’s premium rate reduction approval is the most recent rate decrease approved by the California Department of Insurance.

To advertise call Joe Momber at:

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jmomber@autobodynews.com

4 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

Bob Baptiste Appointed to CAWA Board of Directors

Bob Baptiste has been appointed to the California/Nevada/Arizona Automotive Wholesalers Association’s (CAWA) Board of Directors representing Performance Warehouse – Baxter Auto Parts in Sacramento, California. He was appointed by Chair of the Board, Mary Davis of NGK Spark Plugs in Sacramento. “Mr. Baptiste has a long and distinguished career in the automotive aftermarket industry starting in the family business as many of our members have done” said Davis. “Mr. Baptiste’s breadth of industry experience will be a great addition to the board of directors and we’ll welcome his contributions to the automotive aftermarket industry and its trade Association out west”, said Chair Davis following the appointment. CAWA is an automotive aftermarket trade association, which represents auto parts jobbers, warehouse distributors, retailers, manufacturers and manufacturer representatives in California, Nevada and Arizona. The Association provides education, legislative, regulatory and business support to the industry and its membership. For more information visit www.cawa.org.

CAWA Will Install Officers for the 2012 Year at SEMA 2011

At its annual meeting to kick off this year’s Industry Week in Las Vegas on October 30, 2011, the California/ Nevada/Arizona Automotive Wholesalers Association (CAWA) will install the following individuals to serve as officers for the 2012 year: • Chair of the Board – Steve Sharp, WORLDPAC • Vice Chair of the Board – Ed Jimenez, Riebe’s Auto Parts • Treasurer – Ron Cannon, Charleston Auto Parts • Secretary – Ron Aparicio, Walker Products • Immediate Past Chair of the Board – Mary Davis, NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.) , Inc. For more information please visit www.cawa.org.

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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 5


East Bay CAA Chapter Hosts 25th Annual Chapter Golf Tournament By Ed Attanasio

Some yelled “Fore” while others exclaimed “Duck!” but in the end, 62 golfers of varying skill levels participated in the California Autobody Association East Bay Chapter’s 25th Annual Golf Tournament at Diablo Creek Golf Course in Concord, Calif. on a sunny Saturday, July 30th.

From left, Volunteers Jen Gallego, Tiffany Silva, owner of Accurate Auto Body; and Jessica Cichon hosted the 17th Casino Hole at the East Bay CAA’s annual golf tournament

day of good weather. Matt Patterson from Airbagservice.com won the grand prize, a beautiful deluxe BBQ with all the bells and whistles that was donated by Hertz. From left, Hellen Pezzotti from Hertz; Gigi Walker, owner of Walkers Auto Repair & Fleet Repair; Kathy Mello, owner of TGIF Collision; East Bay CAA Chapter President Lisa Daves and Lynn Miller greeted the golfers and ran a flawless tournament

Followed by a great dinner and raffle prize giveaways galore, East Bay CAA members and their friends played 18 holes while enjoying a rare

From left, BMW Concord came out to play in a big way, with (from left) Parts Manager Gary Daniel; Collision Center Manager Kevin Miller; Parts Advisor Greg Chittum and Wholesale Parts Manager Doug Boam

BMW AG and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters reached a deal August 11 that will prevent the layoff of 68 workers at a parts distribution center in California, the union said according to the Detroit News. BMW had planned to lay off workers at the automaker’s Ontario, CA plant at the end of the month and to reopen the facility with an outsourced, low-paid managerial, clerical and warehouse work force, the union said. The Teamsters had protested at 50 BMW dealerships across the country this month in 11 states, including Michigan, California and New York. Under a deal announced August 11, the current contract will be extended for six months at BMW’s parts distribution facility. BMW management agreed to work with the Teamsters to reach a “mutually acceptable solution that addresses long-term employment” for the current BMW workforce in Ontario, CA, the union said in a statement. “This agreement shows what Teamsters can do when we stand together and fight back,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “Teamsters and unions that represent BMW and supply-chain workers across the globe, took part in numerous solidarity actions in support of these workers.”

The San Diego chapter of the California Autobody Association will hold their monthly members meeting on September 27th at 7PM at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse, 2150 Harbor Island Dr. San Diego, CA 92101. The main topic for the meeting will be “How to Capture, Service, and Retain More Cars, Customers, Revenue and Profit with Digital Marketing” with speaker Frank Terlep of Summit Software and Mobile Solutions, Inc. Terlep is the author of the book “The Digi-Lean Collision Repair System”, and the inventor of the patentpending “Help I Crashed My Car”, a next generation customer service, sales, marketing, advertising, and communication platform. Frank will be discussing key topics such as 10 new digital marketing tools and technologies. These topics include Using Digital Marketing to drive more cars, customers, and revenues to your shop; Social Media; The importance of on-line customer surveys, reviews, and comments; Mobile; And the Digital Deals. Mail your check and reserve your seats now. Check In and “Meet & Greet” starts at 6:30pm. Meeting Starts Promptly at 7:00pm.

BMW, Teamsters Reach Deal to Keep CA Parts Depot Open

CAA San Diego Chapter to Hold Monthly Meeting

6 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

If you haven’t played in a tournament like this and you’re not familiar with how these events go, here are three valuable tips: First rule: Always bring a ringer (or two). Second rule: Fudge your score (it’s not cheating unless you get caught and everyone else does it!) and Three: Have fun and don’t get too competitive (a rule many serious golfers always forget.) Lisa Daves, the East Bay CAA chapter’s president was thrilled to see a great turnout for the tournament.

Beshoff Motors Parts Director Randi Seuferer (left) and SSF Auto Parts Sales Manager/Collision Group Bill Foxworthy shot for the greens and stayed on the fairways at the East Bay CAA Golf Tournament. Duffers from Pebble Beach to Augusta are still talking about Seuferer’s monster shot that won the longest drive!

“We raised a lot of money for our scholarship pool and everyone had an outstanding time,” she said. “I’d like to thank all of the volunteers and the companies that donated raffle prizes. It’s amazing to think that this tournament has been going for a quarter century now without interruption and it shows that we’re a strong chapter supported by our membership and people in this industry who care.” Here is the list of the winners: 1st Place Team: Gary Phillips, Jim Ryan, Mike Reichmuth and Guy Weirich 2nd Place Team: Kevin Miller, Mike Foley, Dennis Manzer and Rick Stucken 3rd Place Team: Chris Martinez, Rick Ranger, Jim Weins and Brian Hales Closest to Pin #4: Kevin Miller (2’ 3”) Closest to Pin #13: Frank Imburgio (9’ 11”) Closest to Pin #17: Sonny Gonzales (8’ 5”) Winner-Putting Contest: Jerry Manzer (28”) Longest Drive: Randi Seuferer


www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 7


Nevada Governor Takes Spin in Google’s Driverless Car

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval got behind the wheel of a Toyota Prius on July 27 and left the driving to a computer for a test drive through the capital and a scenic valley, according to Claims Journal. Sandoval became the first governor in the nation to test drive the robot-car technology Google Inc. is testing in Nevada. “All of it is amazing,” Sandoval said after the gas-electric hybrid— with a spinning gizmo on its roof— pulled into a parking space in front of the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. “It’s another compliment to American engineering.” The gizmo is a laser range finder. The cars are also equipped with radar, sensors and computers that allow the vehicles to drive themselves. Nevada lawmakers approved a bill this year allowing the cars on Nevada roadways (see adjacent story). Another bill exempts operators of robotic vehicles from a texting-while-driving ban that takes effect Jan. 1. “I think it’s important for Nevada to be first on this,” Sandoval said. “This is going to be part of the

Two Southern California Insurance Agencies Merge

Two independent insurance brokers announced August 1 they are joining forces to become one of the largest insurance brokerages in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, according to Insurance Journal. The August 1st agreement combines Northridge Insurance Agency (NIA) in the San Fernando Valley with the Scanlon Guerra Burke (SGB) operation in Woodland Hills. In addition NIA brings their office locations in Ventura and Thousand Oaks. The two agencies combined will have over 70 employees and will offer all lines of insurance for both businesses and individuals. SGB was started by Scanlon’s father in 1964 and has developed a niche serving the manufacturing and tool industry in Los Angeles County, the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County areas. NIA was started in 1931 in the San Fernando Valley and expanded to three locations. Partners Stuart Lorch, Paul Newman, Paul Roth, Tom Leman and Steve Ruehlen purchased the company in June 2006. NIA offers all lines of personal insurance, business insurance, life and health insurance, and employee benefits.

future, and Nevada has always been a very progressive state.” Sandoval, with Google engineer Chris Urmson riding shotgun and DMV Director Bruce Breslow in the back seat, drove from the DMV offices to the middle of Washoe Valley about 10 miles north before turning around. The governor took manual control of the car for a while but was amazed at its maneuverings while on autopilot. “It accounts for all the safety issues,” Sandoval said. “It even tells you when a crosswalk is coming up.” The technology is not yet available commercially, and the DMV is in the process of developing regulations for licensing the cars, said DMV spokesman Tom Jacobs, who got to take a spin in the driverless auto earlier in the day. Meanwhile, Google officials, who did not want to speak with reporters, have been mapping the state’s roadways. If the car enters an area that hasn’t been mapped, Jacobs said a female voice will tell the operator, “Please drive.”

Nevada Becomes First State to Issue Robo-Car Licenses

Nevada is on course to become the first state to approve robo-cars on the road . The state passed a bill that authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to begin drafting rules for “autonomous vehicles” like the ones that Google is building and testing in California. Nevada residents won’t have their roads taken over by robotic cars overnight. The legislation is only a preliminary move. The bill goes into effect on March 1, 2012, and gives officials the go-ahead to work out car certification standards, insurance guidelines and other rules that would apply to robotic cars. The DMV also will mark out areas of the state where the cars can be tested. According to the bill, these rules would apply to cars that use sensors, global positioning systems and artificial intelligence to drive “without the active intervention of a human operator.” Google started testing the “automated cars” last year and logged 140,000 test miles in the Bay Area (with engineers in the front seat). Google’s cars are designed to navigate traffic using Google’s massive data centers.

Google’s Self Driving Prototype Involved in Three-Car Collision

Google has been developing automated cars that drive themselves, producing enough evidence to Nevada’s State legislature to create a licence especially for self-driving cars (see adjacent stories). Since then, its technology has been legally driving hundreds of thousands of miles in California, however mishaps have occured. Google’s Prius project car rear-ended another Prius just outside of Google’s Mountain View headquarters in California. Google released a statement on the incident highlighting that safety is their first priority. They also claim that the self-driving car was being driven by a person at the time, which is why it resulted in an accident. In fact, a total of three cars were involved, two Priuses (Prii) and a Honda Accord. Google’s driving cars use a complex combination of laser and imaging systems to help identify potential hazards. Google Spokesman Jay Nanacarrow pointed out to NBC Bay Area News that since Google’s self-driving prototypes hit the road last year, “the cars have traveled 160,000 miles autonomously without incident.”

Nevada Insurance Commissioner Resigns, Effective August 12

Nevada’s State Business & Industry Director Terry Johnson announced that two agencies within his department will see a change in leadership on August 1, according to Insurance Journal. Division of Insurance Commissioner Brett J. Barratt has resigned his post, effective August 12. He will be relocating out of state for personal reasons. Amy Parks, currently Chief Counsel for the Division, will be the Acting Insurance Commissioner. Labor Commissioner Michael Tanchek will leave his post to join the Division of Industrial Relations. Tanchek, a licensed attorney, will join the Division’s legal team. Larry Dizon, currently the Labor Commissioner’s Chief Investigator, will become Acting Labor Commissioner. Johnson said that he will immediately begin recruiting for a new Insurance Commissioner and a new Labor Commissioner. Parks and Dizon will serve as acting commissioners until final appointments are made.

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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 9


Chief Automotive Technologies Opens New Research and Specifications Center in Irvine, CA.

tions of measuring points as well as photos, to make it as efficient as possible for technicians to quickly and accurately measure a vehicle. If a technician runs into trouble during the measuring or repair process, Chief’s technical support staff are available to troubleshoot, and Chief Automotive Technologies opens its new Research and Specican even access the fication Center in Irvine, CA. (l to r): Brent Johnson, Global Specifitechnician’s Veloccations Manager; Mike Cranfill, VP of Collision, Vehicle Service ity system if it’s Group (VSG); Ken Boylan, Training & Specifications Manager; and Ruben Castorena, Data & Specifications Technician connected to the Internet. In a special press briefing in recogniKen Boylan, Chief Training and tion of the opening of its new center Specifications Manager, wrapped up devoted to research and specifica- the tour by explaining the benefit to tions, Brent Johnson, Chief Global shops of measuring the entire car durSpecifications Manager, explained ing the estimating process. “You can’t that Chief’s new 3,500 sq. ft. facility see a 3 mm alignment problem but it is used to measure every new passencan play a huge role in the repair if it ger vehicle sold in the U.S. isn’t identified during the estimating According to Johnson, Chief process,” he said. “Also, customers started measuring every new vehicle appreciate the extra effort a shop takes in 1993, but the company provides when it does a thorough evaluation. data on some models going back as Customers have more confidence that far as the 1970s. Chief uses OEM the repair will be done right when measurement data as often as possi- they see a thorough evaluation, inble, but they still verify that data by cluding measurements, done on the measuring every car independently. front end. By using Velocity to measIt takes approximately 12–14 ure a vehicle, the shop can provide a hours, or two full days, to completely customer with a printout showing exmeasure each new vehicle. Chief actly what is wrong with the frame. measures between 130–140 new ve- That is a powerful sales tool and conhicles in its U.S. Specification Center fidence builder. At the conclusion of every year. Another 300 vehicles are the repair, Velocity enables the shop measured by the other three Chief to printout a final report showing that specification centers around the the work was performed and the vehiworld. cle was returned to pre-accident conAll of the vehicle measurements dition. The customer confidence that are inputted to the Chief Velocity buys for the shop is priceless.” Computerized Frame-Measuring SysThe new center is the newest of tem. Shops with Velocity systems sub- Chief’s four global specification centers. scribe to receive updated vehicle The others are in the Netherlands, frame data regularly so they have all Malaysia and China. This global comthe information they need in order to mitment ensures that Chief can effiaccurately measure a collision-dam- ciently measure every vehicle produced, aged car and return it to pre-accident whether it’s in Europe, China or the Pacondition. Johnson pointed out that cific Rim. Chief’s U.S. specification the technicians in the Chief Specifica- center was previously located in Omaha, tion Center use the same Velocity sys- NE. Prior to that, it was in Torrance, CA. tem to measure the new cars that For more information about technicians use in the shop, so the Chief’s new Research and Specificatechs are getting real-world data. tion Center or the Chief Velocity ComThe information available puterized Measuring System, contact through Velocity includes descrip- Chief at (800) 445-9262.

10 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

2012 NABC Annual Fundraiser to Be Held in Palm Springs The National Auto Body Council (NABC) has selected January 11, 2012 for its upcoming annual golf event fundraiser, which will again take place at the Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort in Palm Springs, California. The event is held in conjunction with the NABC’s open board meeting, which will take place the previous day, January 10. Because it is a major source of funding for the NABC, the fundraising event plays an integral part in providing the resources that support the organization in its mission of improving the image of all dedicated collision industry professionals. Not only does it help NABC implement the programs and activities that define it and give shape to this purpose, it helps reduce the cost of NABC’s programs for participants, making them more affordable. The fundraising golf event is open to both individuals and teams, and will be played using a four-person scramble format. Breakfast will be served at the course prior to the 10 am shotgun start and the event will con-

clude with a buffet reception, awards ceremony, and prize package drawings. Transportation will be provided to and from the Palm Springs Hilton, the conference hotel, to the Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort. “As this event is the one and only fundraiser for the National Auto Body Council, we are excited that the new start time will allow for an entire day at the course,” said David Merrell of CSi Complete, who with Domenic Brusco of PPG is the NABC fundraising committee co-chair. “Without this event and the industry’s support we could not continue the mission and vision of the NABC.” Making the event even more special will be a vehicle gifting presentation which is part of NABC’s Recycled Rides® program. The vehicle gifting will take place at the golf course before play begins. Registration and sponsorship opportunities will open soon and the event has sold out on a regular basis. Contact the NABC at 888-6677433 or info@autobodycouncil.org.

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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 11


ASRW Partners with Muscle Car Network of Florida at Expo

CREF and CCC Name Five Student Scholarship Winners

ASRW announced a new partnership for 2011 with the Muscle Car Network of Florida. The Muscle Car Network plans to display approximately 80 vehicles on the ASRW show floor at ASRW, during the expo. The display includes rare, exotic and hot rod vehicles, which belong to members of the network. Additionally, the Muscle Car Network plans to make a donation to a local automotive charity Saturday, Oct. 8, to further education and training for the next generation of automotive service and repair professionals. “Our audience has a true passion for automobiles, and we know they’ll appreciate this collection of vehicles. We’re pleased to be partnered with this group, and to have something new and exciting to offer at the show this year,” said Ron Pyle, ASA president. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to give back to the local Orlando-area community, in appreciation of our time there.” “This is a win-win for everyone involved. We’re excited for the opportunity to show off our ‘pride and joy’ to the industry professionals who attend ASRW,” says J.R. Goodman, Muscle Car Network director.

The Collision Repair Education Foundation and CCC Information Services named five exceptional students as winners of the CCC Michael Salvatore Memorial Student Repair Technician Scholarship, renamed to honor the memory of longtime CCC team member Michael Salvatore. The CCC Michael Salvatore Memorial Student Repair Technician Scholarship awards scholarships to students currently enrolled at eligible technical schools throughout the country. The award recipients use the scholarship funds to reduce the balances on tuition loans or to reimburse tuition costs that accumulated during their education. Each student will receive a scholarship award in the amount of $5,000. The 2011 winners are: ● Manuel Aguilar, UTI (Sacramento, CA) ● Nabil Assad, Pennsylvania College of Technology (Williamsport, PA) ● Isaac Hostetter, Pennsylvania College of Technology (Williamsport, PA) ● Ian Hilner, Pennsylvania College of Technology (Williamsport, PA) ● Michael Releford, Sowela Technical Community College (Lake Charles, LA.)

Mitchell International released their third quarter Industry Trends Report this month; the report focused on gas prices and their affect on car-buying and car value trends. This issue also discusses how volatile and sustained high fuel prices are impacting insurance claims beyond a reduction in miles driven. Vice president of industry relations for Mitchell International Greg Horn talks about the role gas prices play in resale values of vehicles from fuel-efficient to so-called gas guzzlers. “Fuel efficient vehicles tend to rise more quickly and reliably in value during periods of high gas prices than gas guzzlers, which fall in value,” Horn said in the report. The insurance and collision repair industries need the accuracy of a true market survey method for valuing a total loss because constantly fluctuating fuel prices move too fast, with too great an impact, for slower traditional ‘book value’ valuations to accurately reflect the true actual cash value of total loss vehicles.”

Other valuable points of interest in the current issue of Mitchell’s ITR include: Mitchell’s Q2-2011 data reflect an initial average gross Collision appraisal value of $2,761-$90 less than this same period last year. However, applying the indicated development factor of 9% suggests a final Q22011 average gross collision appraisal value of $3,008. The average Actual Cash Value (ACV) of vehicles appraised for Collision losses during Q2-2011 was $13,705-an increase of $500 over the same period last year. In Q2-2011, the average gross appraisal value for Comprehensive coverage estimates processed through Mitchell servers was $2,854-compared to $2,625 in Q2-2010. Applying the prescribed development factor of 1% for this data set produces an increase in the adjusted value to $2,883reflecting the strong storm season with many hail claims. For more information about Mitchell, visit www.mitchell.com. To view the entire report please visit www.autobodynews.com.

Mitchell Releases Industry Trends Report for Q3 of 2011

12 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

Enterprise Rent-A-Car Makes $11,000 Donation to CREF

Enterprise Rent-A-Car is the first rental car brand to receive the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s Industry Leadership Circle donor designation through its $11,000 donation to the organization in 2011. This donation will support annual student scholarships, school grants, and the recently created Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant. “Our partnership with the collision repair industry has been a key to our success over the years,” said Bruce Clifton, vice president-insurance replacement for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. “We are happy to assist the efforts of the Collision Repair Education Foundation to identify and develop the next generation of industry leaders.” Collision Repair Education Foundation Executive Director Scott Kruger added, “Thanks to Enterprise Rent-A-Car for supporting the Collision Repair Education Foundation and joining our efforts in supporting collision repair school programs and their students. “The Industry Leadership Circle includes a wide cross-section of the entire collision repair inter-industry and we are pleased to have Enterprise as the first rental car company in the Circle.”

Domestics More Popular Among Auto Thieves Now

For the first time since 2002, NICB discovered thieves preferred domestic nameplates over foreign brands, as indicated by the list of the 10 most stolen vehicles in the U.S. Among the top 10, Ford took three spots, Dodge held two and Chevrolet held one, while the remaining four were held by Honda, Toyota and Acura. However, the top three positions continue to be held by Honda and Toyota models, a trend that NICB said has been consistent since 2000. According to an examination of vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center in 2010, the most stolen vehicles in the nation were— 1994 Honda Accord—1995 Honda Civic—1991 Toyota Camry—1999 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)—1997 Ford F150 Series/Pickup—2004 Dodge Ram—2000 Dodge Caravan— 1994 Acura Integra—2002 Ford Explorer—1999 Ford Taurus. NICB says certain older cars and trucks are popular with thieves because of the value of their parts — but many are not insured against theft. Whereas newer, more expensive and insured vehicles are often stolen to be resold intact with counterfeit VINs or shipped out of the country.


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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 13


Body Shop Law

Martin Zurada is a San Francisco-based attorney who regularly advises and litigates on behalf of California’s auto body repair businesses. Contact him at: m.zurada@sflawyer360.com

Tips for Negotiating a Commercial Lease For Your Body Shop with Attorney Martin Zurada

Signing a commercial lease is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, financial commitment your auto body repair business will make. Commercial leases are easy to commit to, full of traps for the unwary, and very hard to get out of without significant pain and expense. When you consider that a commercial auto body lease (five year lease at a rental rate of $5,000) is a $300,000 commitment, it really pays to develop a basic understanding of commercial leases and to learn how to avoid common pitfalls. Commercial leases are binding: A commercial lease is a specific type of contract. In a commercial lease, the owner (landlord) of a building or land grants your body auto body repair business (tenant) the exclusive right to use some or all of the building or land in exchange for monthly payments of rent. Commercial leases can be oral, though almost always the terms are spelled out in a very long written contract. Many commercial leases use pre-printed forms that are then further modified in the landlord’s favor by the landlord’s lawyer through an addendum attached to the back of the lease. Commercial leases can be enforced in court and the landlord almost always has the advantage in a lawsuit because the contractual language favors him.

Understand the lease and bargain: Your job is to understand the unfavorable terms and then bargain as hard as possible to improve them. Even if you don’t completely succeed in eliminating unfavorable terms, you will know what you are agreeing to and be better prepared to fulfill the responsibilities that you are undertaking.

Consider what may go wrong: Think like a lawyer. This means trying to figure out the different ways in which you and the landlord may end up in a dispute. Then negotiate the potential disputes with the landlord before signing the lease so that the two of you can figure out how to allocate responsibility in the written lease. It is always better to negotiate a resolution of potential problems before signing the lease rather than signing the lease

and then fighting in court over unclear or unfavorable provisions.

If it isn’t in writing, it doesn’t exist: When you bargain, never rely on oral promises made to you by the landlord before or after the lease is signed. Most written leases have an entire paragraph devoted to disclaiming (i.e. denying) the existence of any oral agreement outside of the written terms of the lease and stating that any modification to the lease must be made in writing. If the landlord promises you improvements to the building you are thinking about leasing, get the landlord to describe in detailed writing what improvements will be made, when they will be made, and that the landlord will pay for them. You can also attach drawings to the lease that illustrate the improvements to have further clarity. If the landlord objects to putting any promises in writing or waters down the promises once they are written down there is an overwhelming chance that you will not get what the landlord promised orally.

Rent isn’t the only lease obligation: Many business owners bargain hard over the rent and then happily sign any rental agreement given to them by the landlord thinking that they got a great deal. This is understandable. The written lease contract is usually difficult for a business person to digest because it is very lengthy, contains small type, and is commonly packed with legal terms that are hard to decipher. When you are signing the lease, it is hard to image that there will ever be any dispute between you and the landlord. The tenant may be excited about the new premises, the landlord is on his or her best behavior, and all the fine print in the lease seems irrelevant. Many business owners discover that the fine print in the lease obligates them not only to pay monthly rent but to also pay significant property taxes as well as maintenance and utility expenses on top of the rent. Do your homework: Most landlords will not guarantee that the rented premises are suitable for the type of business you are planning to

14 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

run. The lease may permit you to run “an auto body repair business” or more broadly a “car repair business” but not other businesses. However, this is not a guarantee that the city or county will permit you to run an auto body or any auto repair business in the rented location. You must check city and county records to determine whether the landlord has received any notices or warnings related to the property and talk to the zoning officials. An auto body repair use that was permitted 20 years ago may no longer be permitted today. Prior body repair shops at the premises may have been granted an exception (been “grandfathered in”) and this exception may not extend to you. Do not assume anything and whenever possible make the lease contingent on your business obtaining a use permit for your auto body repair business. You may be taking the premises

“as is”: Most of the time the owner will give you the rented premises “as is” meaning that they are not making any guarantees or warranting about the condition of the premises. Other leases may provide for a very limited warranty meaning that the landlord will fix certain problems but only if they are reported within 30 or 60 days from the beginning of the lease. Most auto body repair businesses may not look like palaces but the structural condition of the leased premises does matter. Have a good contractor inspect the premises you want to rent before committing to the lease and either get the landlord to commit in writing to fix items at the landlord’s expense or agree to fix the items yourself but ask for a rent credit. Common problems include cracking foundation, damaged walls, leaking roof, non-functioning HVAC, and lack of compliance with See Commercial Leases, Page 17

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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 15


On Creative Marketing

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

Long or Short Ad—Which is Best? with Thomas Franklin

If you’ve ever received a long sales letter, you may have wondered why it was four or more pages long—and who would expect you to read it all? In the days before the Internet, e-mail and Twitter, snail-mail marketing often included these long sales letters. At that time, statistics proved that recipients who read these long letters were often the ones who bought the product. My wife’s ex-husband was an ad copywriter who made a nice living from writing long ad copy, but no more. Today we’ve entered the era of the short message. Twitter is a prime example. Ad copy must be 140 characters or less. Most advertisers no longer believe people will read long copy. The assumption is most people have a very short attention span and a message must be fast, brief and dramatic to capture viewer interest and attention. Institutional advertising might lead a shop owner to think all an ad

has to do is have an attention grabbing image displaying the company name and product. Nothing could be farther from the truth. National corporate products have large advertising budgets and often simply try to keep the product name in front of the public eye. A gigantic billboard may have a huge photo of an attractive person drinking that company’s beverage and the company name might be so small you could miss it if you didn’t look closely. The thinking behind this is that repetitive viewings will encourage sales of the product. Unless you have very deep pockets, don’t even think about advertising like this. But one aspect of this kind of ad is very accurate: Repetitive viewing can result in a prospect trying or buying the product. The question is: what is the best media to use to convey that brief, repetitive message?

16 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

A good start is to think about where you can put a brief message so that it will be seen over and over. One obvious place is a lighted window sign if you have a window that can be seen from a street or road. If not, the entrance to your driveway may front on a road or street where you can put up a changeable sign. A hotel near me that has entertainment and a lounge has a high, lighted sign that can be seen from the freeway. The sign always has a joke or a humorous quote plus an invite to their lounge. When traffic backs up, it’s inevitable that most drivers will read the sign, out of boredom if nothing else. A changing message is the key to getting readership. If you have a website or Facebook page or even a Twitter account, these are obvious places to run a continuously changing message. Even a cheap, weeklychanging classified ad can be

effective. And of course, if you can afford it, radio and TV are ideal for this kind of advertising. Most ad sites are not very adaptable to a changing message. Bench ads, bus ads, print ads, flyers and business cards generally contain long-term messages. Nevertheless, the brief, easy to read and understand message is still a good choice. This often comes out in the form of a slogan. A good rule of thumb is to challenge the reader with an apparent contradiction: “Can cheap auto body repair also be high quality? Call us to find out!” “Can the dent or damage on your car be fixed while you wait? Call us to find out!” If someone is reading a short ad, time, speed and cost are sure to be high priorities for him or her. Your tougher job is selling them on coming in once they call. It’s also important to not forget that a picture is often worth a thou-


sand words. But even if you have the space for a picture, choosing the right one can be a difficult task. It’s generally best to just illustrate the message in some way. An image suggesting speed, like a race track pit crew, could work. Or just an illustration of a clock with wings. Shop owners like to show a picture of their shop, but this is unlikely to motivate a prospect to come in for repairs. And this raises the most important aspect of the message. It absolutely has to motivate the prospect to respond. There MUST be a demand for action: “Call us to find out!” “Come in for a free estimate.” “Come find out how cheap we can be!” As good as repetitive short ads may be, there’s nothing like a great repetitive slogan. “You’re in good hands with Allstate,” has been around forever. Even if you totally disagree with the slogan, you know that most people recognize it. That’s the kind of recognition you want to build with a slogan about your shop. Brief but powerful may seem like a contradiction in terms, but if you can create it, it can do great things for your business.

Continued from Page 14

Commercial Leases

ADA (lack of handicapped access). These issues can be very pricy to fix.

You may have to fix everything: Most commercial leases place the burden of fixing the premises mostly or entirely on the tenant. You may be obligated to fix all problems with the premises if the landlord does not provide a warranty or the warranty expires, and the lease makes fixing all problems at the premises your responsibility. Read the commercial lease carefully to determine whether the landlord is taking any responsibility for repairs and whether or not these responsibilities expire shortly after the lease begins. Negotiate so that the landlord agrees to fix any problems with the roof, walls, foundation, and the parking lot throughout the duration of the lease.

Get a shorter lease with options: Try to avoid signing a long term lease unless you are absolutely sure that you can get the same length of lease with a

shorter initial term followed by several options. A 10 year lease is not as good as a 5 year lease with an option for another 5 year extension or a 3 year lease with two 3 year extensions. Options give you flexibility because near the end of the term you can choose to either exercise the option or to let the lease expire and move to another location.

Use CPI index for rent increases: If possible don’t tie the annual rental increases to a fixed percentage per year unless the fixed annual rent increase is less than 3% per year. A low initial rent may grow significantly over time if the rental increases each year outpace inflation. It is advisable to tie the rental increases to the local Consumer Price Index that tracks the actual inflation in your area. This means that the rent will track inflation and therefore remain constant in today’s dollars.

Good attorneys are useful: A good attorney, like a good doctor or car mechanic, can be your best friend. It is always advisable to consult an attorney before signing any significant contract and this is especially true for a

commercial lease. Anyone who has gone to court over a written contract will confirm the old saying that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. No matter how hard you negotiate you may still sign a commercial lease that favors the landlord. However, given today’s poor economy and high vacancy rates, you owe it to yourself to get the best deal possible not just on the rent but on the entire lease. Martin Zurada regularly advises and litigates on behalf of California auto body repair businesses. Please contact him at: Zurada Law Group 785 Market Street, 16th Floor San Francisco, CA 94103 (415) 637-8483 www.SFLawyer360.com m.zurada@sflawyer 360.com

Please remember — this article only provides general legal information but not legal advice. You should consult a lawyer who will provide you with legal advice by applying the specific laws in your state to your specific factual circumstances.

www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 17


Shop Showcase

David M. Brown is a native of Philadelphia who has lived in Arizona for 30 years. He writes about subjects he is passionate about, including the car industry. A father of two, he is mentored by his border collie/pointer, Haylie, who is much more concerned with thrown tennis balls than with a beautifully repainted Aston Martin.

Arizona’s Auto Body World Expands to Chandler with Eighth Location with David Brown

Auto Body World, the largest collisionrepair company in Arizona, opened its eighth store in May at 6815 W. Chandler Blvd., near Interstate 10. “We’re conveniently located close to Ahwatukee, Sun Lakes and Tempe to better serve our customers in the East Valley,” says Mark Turner, the company’s president.

The 34,000-square-foot 40-bay facility was formerly occupied by Advanced Auto Body. The existing down-draft Ameri-Cure booths were refurbished to Auto Body World standards. Here, and at all ABW locations, PPG Waterborne Paint, distributed by Finish Masters, is used exclusively. The new facility is staffed by seven technicians and five administrative staff, and Turner hopes to increase the full-time employees to 28, led by Ryan Downs, the store’s gen-

through the following decades. Today, ABW’s eight facilities repair more than 10,000 vehicles annually. Auto Body World has received an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau since 1998 and won First Prize from Auto Body Repair News in its inaugural “2009 Top Shop” national competition. The repurposed Chandler facility was reconfigured and remodeled to incorporate ABW’s Lean-inspired Rapid Production Model process. The ABWtrademarked RPM ensures quality companywide—from greeters, initial acceptance of a vehicle, through estimating, parts ordering, completion of repairs by the technicians to quality control and follow-up after delivery of the customer’s vehicle. Seven years ago, to improve efficiency throughout the company, Fait and his management team began implementing Lean business concepts, based on the Toyota Production System (TPS) at its branches. “Lean teaches fundamental principles for

eral manager. The ABW administrative team includes David Fait, CEO, the 1999 Phoenix Chamber of Commerce “Small Businessman of the Year,” David Bybee, DFO, and Lorie Kinman, chief administrative officer. The company was started in 1946 in South Dakota by Warren Fait, David Fait’s father. He relocated his company to Phoenix in 1962, building his first collision center at 27th Avenue and Maryland Street in 1968. David slowly built the business

maximizing efficiency and continuous improvement, and our Chandler store personnel have learned and are implementing these beautifully,” explains Turner, who became ABW president in 2007. Since its implementation, RPM has eliminated waste in the process of delivering superior products: increased satisfaction levels with suppliers, insurance companies and customers. Turner: “Our goal at the new Chandler facility, as throughout the ABW family, is to process a vehi-

18 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

cle at the highest quality and speed in the most efficient manner.” Turner adds: “The success of our RPM and our people are the reason we survived the economic downturn and

that it will provide to us as an organization and the great people that work for us.” He notes that ABW plans further expansion following the new store.

have still been able to grow our business. We are excited about our Chandler addition and the opportunities

“We are currently prospecting for opportunities in acquisitions and startups,” he says.


www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 19


SCRS Conducts Survey of 17 Insurers on Aftermarket Parts The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) is conducting a survey of 13 major insurance companies to determine their use of aftermarket replacement parts. The survey was sent to Allstate, American Family, Farmers, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Mercury Insurance, Met Life Auto and Home, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, The Hartford, Travelers and USAA, according to Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of SCRS. He said the survey was “an effort to bring further transparency to our understanding of carrier’s approaches to use of aftermarket replacement parts.” The survey was motivated by input from SCRS members and ongoing discussions stemming from aftermarket replacement parts, Schulenburg said. “We are finding that members in different parts of the country are submitting conflicting reports about the policies of some major national insurance companies. In other words, we are hearing that in some cases field level practices may vary from official corporate policy on parts use. In some cases, an insurer may have a policy for use of only certified parts,

but when a certified part is unavailable, the shop is instructed to simply select a non-certified part by the field adjuster,” Schulenburg said. “It is also possible that, in those cases, some shops may assume that a non-certified part is what the carrier wants them to do, and may not realize that the insurer would prefer an OEM replacement part if the only available alternative is a non-certified part,” he continued. “Knowing what specific corporate policies exist, provides for a better, more transparent, understanding of the approach taken in settling a vehicle owners claim. “In the interest of transparency, and with an issue as important as aftermarket parts in structural repair, the SCRS board of directors felt that it would be worth our efforts to conduct this study, and share the results with the industry.” To see the insurer survey, search all or part of this heading at Autobodynews.com.

www.autobodynews.com

20 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

Repairer-Driven Education at SEMA Gets Support from PPG

For the second consecutive year, PPG Automotive Refinish has demonstrated support of collision industry education programs through their involvement with the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) hosted Repairer Driven Education (RDE) series during the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. PPG will contribute course content with a program led by Jim Berkey and Mark Mueller entitled Load Leveling - The hidden enabler for shop performance. "All of us at PPG are excited about helping promote education to the collision repair community with SCRS this fall," said John Parran, director, marketing, PPG Automotive Refinish. "Education is a key part of the value-added services we deliver to our customer base, and it is an honor to be a part of the growing and unique opportunity SCRS has put together with RDE. Last year we saw great value for the industry from our involvement, and it was an easy decision to continue our support in 2011." PPG will also co-host the much anticipated Afterburner evening event with SCRS on November 3rd. Visit www.semashow.com/specialevents.

ASRW Expands its Town Hall Event to Include Health Care For 2011, ASRW has expanded the Town Hall concept at the NACE/CARS show to look at the impact of health care reform included in the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (derisively referred to by some as “Obamacare.”) and an outlook for changes in health care laws in the future. Industry experts will review the new law's impact on independent automotive repair businesses and possible changes in health care laws. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask pertinent questions of health care experts.

BASF to Return to NACE Expo for First Time Since 2008 ASRW announced that BASF has returned to the show floor at the upcoming 2011 event for the first time since 2008. “NACE is the premier event for the collision repair industry and we understand how important it is to represent the BASF brand among this core audience who uses BASF products,” said Chuck Soeder, VP, BASF Automotive Refinish. “We look forward to supporting the industry this October.” BASF will be at booth N1413.


Trial by Fire: Indianapolis Body Shop Turns a Potential Tragedy into a Win-Win with a State-of-the-Art GFS Paint Booth by Ed Attanasio

Sometimes a negative, even tragic, event can lead to a positive outcome. When a serious fire hit Collision Solutions in Indianapolis, IN, and destroyed its paint booth, management took the opportunity to make lemonade from lemons. The fire offered the owners a chance to rearrange the shop’s layout and take the leap into the world of waterborne. Instead of being paralyzed by the devastation, the shop bought a new cuttingedge ECO Expert paint booth from Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) and converted one of their locations to waterborne paint before any restrictions mandated it. As a result, Collision Solutions was soon turning out amazing paint jobs and their crew quickly became fully comfortable with waterborne and the numerous benefits offered by their new GFS paint booth. “We took a couple of the prep stations and replaced all of the old equipment with GFS equipment after looking at several companies. We went with GFS based on what people out there in the industry were telling us about the company and its track record. Owner Aaron Clark, 40, is a second generation body shop owner whose parents operated a shop more than three decades ago. “I started working in our family’s shop when I was 16 and worked my way up from porter to technician,” Clark told Autobody News. “In 1994, my partner and I opened our own shop in friendly competition with my parents’ company. It was a very successful operation that eventually grew into a two-location business in the Indianapolis area.” In 1998, Clark sold his interest in the two shops and returned to work at his parent’s shop. By working harder and smarter, Clark starting adding new locations. “We’ve grown and currently have five stores in Metro Indianapolis with 75 employees. We fix 500--600 vehicles every month.” Today, Collision Solutions is an $11-$12 million business maintaining several DRPs. Clark is the current Chairman of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), and has served the organization on its Board of Directors for the past five years. Clark’s relationship with GFS– which bills itself as “the world’s leading provider of technologically advanced capital equipment solutions for the finishing industry” — started almost immediately after the

SHOP & PRODUCT SHOWCASE Collision Solutions Corporate Headquarters Location: Indianapolis, IN

Telephone: 317-787-8366 www.collisionsolutions.com Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: 75

In Business Since: 1978 DRP Programs: 10

Number of Locations: Five

Combined Production Space: 88,000 square feet (combined)

After a fire destroyed their old paint booth, Collision Solutions bought a new cutting-edge ECO Expert paint booth from Global Finishing Systems (GFS) and converted the location to waterborne paint before any restrictions mandated it

fire that nearly devastated the business. “We were in the process of changing over to waterborne anyway, so it was important for us to get a paint booth that was going to treat us well while using the waterborne finishes and that’s why we went with the GFS ECO Expert booth,” Clark said. “We put the four corner tower blowers in it and installed a double prep deck adjacent to the paint booth. We took the opportunity to move the booth to a better location and connect it to a mix room and installed additional overhead doors in the building to create a better flow through our paint department. Even though it was definitely a tragedy when our old paint booth caught fire, we have used it to get better equipment and improve our operation overall.” Clark says he wants to be able to buy a paint booth and then forget about it for a very long time. “we would like to enjoy 30 years of service out of this type of equipment and expect to see that from this GFS booth. We’re very excited to be working with GFS. This is our first GFS piece of equipment and by using it side-by- side with the other equipment we’re still using at our other locations, we can see that it performs better than the other equipment we’ve had. No question about it. We wanted a paint booth with all of the latest technology that’s currently available and the ECO Expert is exactly that. Everything is computerized and has all the features we were looking for.”

The process of installing the ECO Expert booth was painless and the power savings are considerable, Clark said. “Our rep, Don Putney of Indiana Booth Associates, installed it completely in October of 2009. Price-wise, GFS was very competitive, but we were more focused on all of the other things we were getting from the company. We were interested in the Variable Speed Drive (VSD) motors and the digital panel and the corner blowers we installed are totally controlled by the digital panel. Also, a big plus is that the booth pulls less electricity. We’ve seen an overall drop in our electrical bills, because the VSD motors pull less juice.” The GFS ECO Expert has been the real instrument in getting Collision Solutions up and running with waterborne. “We have never sprayed with solvent in that booth. We converted the first day we got the ECO Expert and we’re happy we did,” says Clark. “We’re not in an area where we have to use it by law, but we have five stores and since we were installing this new paint booth, we decided to spray waterborne to conduct my own internal testing. We’re still using solvent primarily at my other four stores, but by looking at the profitability and the performance, we will be converting another store at some point, definitely. It’s a better and safer product and if it’s being used at the OE level (for new vehicles), so it should be used by the collision industry.”

Collision Solutions has grown into a $11-12 million business with five stores in Metro Indianapolis that repair 500-600 vehicles every month

Aaron Clark is a second-generation shop owner and the Chairman of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS)

Global Finishing Solutions Phone: (877) 658-7900 email: autorefinishsales@globalfinishing.com website: www.globalfinishing.com

www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 21


Industry Insight

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

CIC, Consultant, Seeking Views on Industry Repair Standards with John Yoswick

The skittishness among some in the industry about how formalized repair standards may be developed or implemented was evident during discussion at the most recent Collision Industry Conference (CIC). At the meeting, the CIC-formed Repair Standards Advisory Committee offered an update on its work, including the hiring of a consultant to build a business case for the development and implementation of formalized standards. Russ Thrall, publisher of CollisionWeek and a past CIC chairman and who co-chairs the advisory committee, said the goal of the consultant’s work is to present a report by November about what consensus exists within the industry about standards and a possible new organization to oversee the development and implementation of standards. Thrall said that as of mid-July,

the committee had raised $26,600 of the $60,000 it needs in sponsorships for the consultant’s work and the development of an industry forum on the topic in November. More than 50 percent of the 21 sponsors to date are collision repair businesses, 38 percent are suppliers and less than 5 percent are insurers. Mike Condon, whose consulting firm has been hired by the committee, said he has conducted about 10 of the 40 interviews—about half with repairers and half with those in other segments of the industry—that he anticipates doing to prepare the report for the committee. That report, he said, will examine if there is support for the idea of a standard-setting body, and if so, how that body could be structured and funded. As part of the research, Condon also will examine standard-setting entities in other industries and in the collision repair in-

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dustry in other countries. He said he is also looking at what various segments of the industry view as “deal-breakers” in the concept. “We want to flesh those out so we don’t go down a path that ultimately will not work,” Condon said. Speaking for the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP), Aaron Schulenburg of SCRS said the two groups “believe standards are both necessary and a good thing,” but have concerns about the approach the CIC committee is taking. “Our members believe there are standards that exist today,” Schulenburg said. “They view the (automaker) recommendations and procedures as the standard. That standard is not followed every day because while that’s the overwhelming view of repairers, not every industry segment recognizes

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that or agrees with that statement. And some of those other industry segments and participants who don’t necessarily support that as the standard are involved in this activity and committee, and that is cause for concern.” Thrall said those opinions are part of what Condon’s research is designed to capture, and that the associations’ volunteer leadership are among those slated for interviews. While some CIC participants at the July meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, raised questions or concerns about the consultant’s research process or the questions being asked in interviews, Rollie Benjamin, CEO of ABRA Auto Body & Glass, called that “micromanaging the process.” “I trust Russell, I trust Mike. I think they will do a good job,” Benjamin said. “I think they’ll come out with the information we need to make a good decision on whether we move

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forward or not. Let’s let these guys do their job.” Scott Biggs of Assured Performance Network, who also is part of the leadership of the committee, said he understands that the standards issue may be “threatening to so many different organizations because it is such an enormous issue.” But he said those with concerns should understand that opposing viewpoints are held and being voiced even among those leading the effort. “There isn’t even general consensus within the executive committee,” Biggs said. “I can tell you that’s what Mike’s charter is: to see what people’s opinions are.” Dale Delmege, another former CIC chairman who has been asked by the committee to raise the additional $33,000 needed for the project, urged repairers to donate $100 per facility (insurers and vendor sponsors are also being sought) for the effort. Delmege said he sees the consultant’s work has having no bias toward shops, insurers or automakers. He also said his research of the repair standards program in the United Kingdom indicates it has been positive for the industry.

“They transformed their industry—about an hour and 15 minutes before regulators ‘helped them’ do so,” Delmege said. “Those people over there are pretty happy about where they got to.”

State Farm, others offer updates In other news and discussion at CIC in Salt Lake City: ● George Avery of State Farm said the insurer is continuing to work on an electronic parts ordering system it will require its Select Service shops to use. “The repairer will continue to have a choice on who they buy parts from, and they will have control over which parts they buy, regardless of the price,” Avery said. “We are not interested in purchasing parts. What we’re interested in is helping the industry smooth out the process. We believe in quality, efficiency and competitive price. As you know, we have a scorecard that we use to evaluate performance across the board in those three categories. So that’s why we think the repairer is the best person to make the choice on parts.” ● Doug Craig, collision repair manager for Chrysler, said Chrysler,

Ford and some other automakers are working to “commonize where we can” some of their “approaches to different repairs.” He said Chrysler also will be moving away from “recommendations” to instead offer much more specific “requirements on what process, procedure and/or components... should be used in a repair.” ● The National Auto Body Council said because 20 percent of all collision and mechanical repair technicians are Hispanic, it will soon be release a Spanish glossary of collision industry terms. The glossary, which will be downloadable and searchable, was funded in part by a grant from AASP. ● The CIC Insurer-Repairer Relations Committee released a draft of what the committee is compiling as elements of the “most beneficial and productive repairer-insurer relationships.” Those elements—11 of them in the current draft, some of which apply to non-direct repair program shops as well – include an explicit outline of the key performance indicators (KPIs) used to measure shop performance; consistency between corporate and field employees regard-

ing the selection and retention of DRP shops; an unbiased dispute resolution process with a designated point of contact to resolve issues “free of the fear or reprisal’: communication to the consumer about the relationship between insurer and shop; and a streamlined electronic communication process between repairer and shop. ● I-CAR’s Jeff Peevy said 11 percent of shops in the United State have achieved the “Gold Class Professionals” designation, and another 20 percent are involved in some level of consistent technician training. But 69 percent of shops, he said, have no consistent training for technicians “yet they claim to do collision repairs.” He urged more insurers to require their DRP shops to maintain the Gold Class designation. “If you do not require training of those shops that are doing repairs for you, you need to consider the rapid changes (in vehicle design and materials),” Peevy said. “You cannot properly repair a new car accidentally any more. You just can’t do it.”

www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 23


The Insider is a corporate-level executive with a Top 10 auto insurer in the U.S.. Got a comment or question you’d like to see him address in a future column? Email him at Auto.Insurance.Insider@gmail.com

Inside Insurance

Ridiculous DRP Requirements? Guess Why They’re Asking with The Insurance Insider

In a previous column, I offered some of my thoughts on the decision of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) to make the Farmers Insurance “Circle of Dependability” (COD) agreement public, and to question some of the requirements of that direct repair program agreement. In doing so, SCRS said that “the industry is often disadvantaged by restriction of communication from participants of these program.” I am little confused as to where the disadvantage lies? Okay, I am very confused. Explain to me the disadvantage. What would the advantage be if there were no restrictions? Shops should be deciding what is best for their individual business. That decision shouldn’t be predicated upon whether or not your competitor thinks it’s a good idea to participate. While SCRS makes a lot of good points in their press release, this is one it needs

to reconsider. Go ahead and publish all of the major insurance carriers direct repair program agreements and see what it changes. Would it really improve the industry or help shops? That said, here are a few more of my thoughts—some of which may surprise you—from an insurer’s per-

spective on the COD agreement and SCRS’s concerns about it. The agreement states that Farmers has the right to inspect a shop’s books to validate and audit files to ensure proper payment and compliance with the program requirements. Why insurers continue to infuse themselves into the body shop’s business in this way is beyond me. It’s wrong and they have no business inspecting your books. If SCRS wants to take a stand on an issue, this is an easy one. But association’s comments on this section of the agreement have me wondering, “Where’s the beef?” If you are going to call someone out, take a stand. Lead the way. Insurers will continue to ask and demand more until shops say ‘no.’ And here’s a news flash: If you aren’t following the guidelines, insurers don’t need to look at your books to find out. They have other ways of obtaining the same information. If you

are committing fraud, they aren’t going to casually walk into your shop and ask to inspect the books. They will probably have their legal team subpoenaing your records. There’s no need for this clause, and it just shows they will continue to make demands until the industry says, “Enough.” The COD agreement also says participating shops will conduct background checks on all employees and not employ convicted felons. SCRS is dead-on with its assessment: This is the most ridiculous clause I’ve ever read. Doesn’t everyone know that statistics show that nine out of 10 convicted felons prefer to work for a body shop? Just joking. Please don’t send any (more) hate mail. But seriously, the audacity of Farmers to prohibit shops from having a convicted felon on staff is trouSee DRP Requirements, Page 26

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Continued from Page 24

DRP Requirements

bling from many perspectives. I’m not advocating the hiring of mass-murderers or anything of the sort. But the fact is in some states you could be a convicted felony simply as a result of a DUI judgment. This isn’t a valid reason to not be considered for a job at a professional collision repair facility. Of course a shop should be concerned and do its due diligence before hiring anyone who has been convicted of a felony. But Farmers should remove this clause from the agreement unless of course they would like to subject their staff to the same scrutiny. In fact, how do you know it isn’t a convicted felon from Farmers inspecting your books? What if that person happens to be an unscrupulous individual who just hasn’t been caught yet? You could potentially have a convicted-but-rehabilitated Farmers staff member remove you from the COD program because you have a similar ex-con on staff. How’s that for irony? I’ve seen just as many thieves wearing white-collar shirts as those wearing blue-collar shirts. Insurers have no business telling you who you can or can’t hire. Shops should be

judged on the product and service they deliver, and not based on arbitrary and unjustified requirements. All that said, I hope you aren’t missing the overarching theme of my view of Farmers’ (or any insurer’s) DRP requirements: Quit whining. Quit saying it’s not fair. It’s like raising kids. Even the best kids will continue to misbehave until there is a consequence for their actions. You can threaten to ground them, tell them it’s their last chance, or insinuate a good old-fashioned butt-whuppin’ is acomin,’ but if you don’t follow through, the antics will continue. Until the insurers hear ‘no,’ they will only continue to ask for more, whether that more is “reasonable” or not.

“The Insider” is is a corporatelevel executive with a Top 10 auto insurer in the U.S. who wishes to remain anonymous. This column reflects solely the opinion of The Insider as it offers an unvarnished look at various issues impacting the collision industry. Got a comment or question you’d like to see him address in a future column? Email him at Auto.Insurance.Insider@gmail.com. To see the Farmers COD agreement referenced in the column, go to www.autobodynews.com and search “Farmers COD.” The SCRS press release about the agreement can also be found there. Search “SCRS Farmers agreement.”

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AkzoNobel Presents 2011 FIT Sustainability Awards

AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings Americas for the second year presented the collision repair industries “FIT” Sustainability Award. The by invitation only awards ceremony was conducted in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Grand America Hotel before an audience of approximately 100 key collision industry dignitaries. Receiving the 2011 award will be Mark’s Auto Body Ltd. of British Columbia, Canada, Moody’s Collision Centers Gorham, Maine and Lafontaine Automotive Group in Highland, Michigan. The “FIT” Award centers on the use of three key attributes: Focus, Innovation and Talent.

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Man Attempts To Steal Car From Escondido, CA, Auto Shop

A man attempted to steal a car from an Escondido, CA, auto sound business on August 20, according to reports made by 10News San Diego. The man did not get far because the car had no windshield and the steering wheel came off during the attempted getaway, police said. A witness told police a man broke the glass and entered Al and Ed's Auto Sound in the 1100 block of West Valley Parkway in Escondido, police said. The burglar allegedly sped away in a Volkswagen Beetle that did not have a windshield. Furthermore, the VW's seats and steering wheel were not properly attached, police said. Officers responded to an alarm at the business at 4:52 a.m. and spotted the missing vehicle shortly after, police said. Officers arrested its driver, identified by police as Alexander Josic, 35, of Escondido, on suspicion of burglary and vehicle theft.

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Pennsylvania Body Shop Outshines with PPG’s Aquabase® Plus Waterborne by Ed Attanasio

Proactive body shops that are embracing the inexorable change to waterborne paint in states where the laws are looming, but not yet a reality, are anticipating an advantage over their feet-dragging competitors over the next few years. One of these forward thinking shops is Old Forge Collision Centers, a 20-yearold company with two locations in Pennsylvania that repair an average of nearly 200 vehicles monthly. Old Forge’s General Manager, Bob Scarpello, 54, is a 30-year veteran of the collision industry and a former painter. Three decades ago, his first job out of tech school was as a painter’s helper and by continually learning and improving his skills, Scarpello eventually progressed up the ladder into upper management. One of the first things Scarpello did when he was hired at Old Forge, was to take a long, serious look at converting both of his locations to waterborne paint, he told Autobody News. “We were one of the first body shops in Pennsylvania to go with waterborne paint. When I came here in 2003, after reading everything I could get my hands on about waterborne painting systems, I realized that it would eventually be coming here. I mean, Europe has been using it for decades, and so what are we waiting for?” Before he could pursue the changeover, Scarpello had to persuade the owners. “Our owners, Peter Watson and Larry Schoppert, were environmentally conscious guys already, which made it easier. It didn’t really take much coaxing on my behalf to get them on board. I met with them and told them, ‘this is the way things are going and pretty soon we will have to do it anyway. I told them that the conversion will benefit us in two ways. First, we’ll get recognition around Pennsylvania for being a waterborne early adopter. Several local newspapers have published articles about our conversion process, so that was great. Second, we’re providing a safer environment for our crew and for the planet. It’s all positive stuff and from day one it’s been a great journey. I can’t complain about any aspect of it.” Scarpello met with several paint companies and decided to go with PPG and their Nexa Autocolor™ Aquabase® Plus waterborne product. “I wanted to be a step ahead of everyone else, so we met with PPG

SHOP & PRODUCT SHOWCASE Old Forge Collision Center Location: Two locations in Lansdale and Chalfont, PA

Telephone: 215-368-3100 www.oldforgecollisioncc.com Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: 25

In Business Since: 1981

DRP Programs: 12 (Lansdale)

and 8 (Chalfont)

Number of Locations: Two

Combined Production Space: 32,700 square feet (combined)

Miller is shown here painting a car with PPG’s waterborne product Aquabase® Plus

to discuss their waterborne products. I had used PPG solvent-based paint extensively at other shops where I worked before, so I knew that their quality was outstanding and the service was always excellent. So, we took two months to strategize the changeover and hash out the details. “My biggest concern was how the painters would react when they have to start using waterborne after using the solvent for so many years. But I didn’t need to worry so much. PPG made the switch as smooth as butter. They took all of my painters to their school in Baltimore and after one day there my paint crew came back and reassured me about the product. They were especially happy with the color matches and the blending aspect of the Aquabase® Plus. They were literally blown away, even my lead painter, Dave Miller. Now, we don’t have to spend time taking spray outs and tinting them for 45 minutes to get a color match. The color matching qualities of Aquabase® Plus is a lot better than what we encountered with the solvent.” The conversion took place in 2008, aided by Old Forge’s jobber Bill Flannery and his crew. “We had to reorganize our paint department in several ways. The drying system, of course, was considerably different with the waterborne. The old solvent system we were using was based on heat and now it primarily involves air flow. We had to revamp our paint booth and install

several air movers in there to get the air flow suitable for the waterborne. But my painters love it and they will never go back to solvent, guaranteed. Once they adapted to the PPG waterborne, they were saying ‘Why did we ever use solvent?’” Have any of Old Forge’s local competitors made the switch to waterborne? Some have, but Scarpello is baffled that other body shops are reluctant to make the move to waterborne. “The only switch involves the basecoat, because the sealers and primers and top coats are still solvent. So, it’s not like everything has changed. One piece of the puzzle is now different, but it’s so easy that I can’t believe when I hear that other shops are fighting the change.” “Some are in the process of converting, but we were definitely the first in this region,” Scarpello observed. “A lot of them are getting on board with it, but I know that many of them are waiting until the last minute to change, and we didn’t want to wait until the final hour. As a result, we got more attention from PPG and my jobber, because back then we were the only ones doing it. In the next few years, there will be a rush to these waterborne systems and body shops will be competing for their attention. A lot of shops around here will be struggling and shuffling to get it done, and we will already be using the waterborne for five years by then.” If you’re an educated consumer, who would you take your vehicle to?

Old Forge Collision Center’s Lead Painter Dave Miller appreciates the dead-on colors he gets with the Aquabase® Plus paint

Old Forge Collision Center’s General Manager Bob Scarpello has taken his operation into the waterborne age by embracing his PPG Aquabase® Plus system

PPG Automotive Refinish Company Contact: Cindy Piazza Phone: (440) 572-2800 email: piazza@ppg.com website: www.ppgrefinish.com

www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 27


My Take On the I-CAR Training Issue by Charles Bryant, Executive Director, AASP/NJ

There is no doubt that ongoing training in the collision industry is a must in order to keep the technicians up to date on proper methods of repair and safety related issues. The questions are Why isn’t the cost of such training being considered by the insurance industry when determining the labor rates that they are willing to pay for repairs? and Why isn’t I-CAR pushing or at least supporting this? Safe Charles Bryant repairs equal fewer future claims, both in property damage and personal injury, especially on the type of vehicles on the roads today. Rather than taking the high road and take the cost of training into consideration, the insurance industry appears to be taking the low road by attempting to force shops to maintain I-CAR Gold Class Status in order to get on or stay on Direct Repair Pro-

grams without any consideration for the associated cost. I-CAR too appears to be taking the position that insurer’s should simply force collision shops to maintain I-CAR Gold status, rather than attempting to take steps to help make training more affordable for shops. Back in March, I-CAR representatives, including the new I-CAR CEO, John VanAlstyne met with numerous representatives from various automotive trade associations from multiple North East States where an offer was proposed to I-CAR for the associations to get behind I-CAR and encourage their members to participate in I-CAR Training, including taking on the task of assisting with setting up and advertising training meetings in return for a discount for the members of the participating associations. I-CAR was supposed to consider the proposal and get back to the parties that participated in the meeting. To date and to my knowledge, the representatives of I-CAR, including Mr. VanAlstyne, have not responded back even to say “no thank you.” This

is not the first time that this proposal has been on the table and not the first time that I-CAR has failed to follow through. What makes things even worse is that I-CAR appears to be accepting insurance industry representatives as the acknowledged experts over the collision industry people that are actually repairing the vehicles. The fact is that simply taking I-CAR classes doesn’t make anyone an expert. To back up this statement one only need to go to court on an automotive related insurance claim issue in dispute and watch the process of qualifying the experts that are going to testify in the court proceedings. Usually the first question that is asked of the person being offered as an expert is how many vehicles have you ever repaired in your lifetime? Most of the time when an insurance appraiser is the party being presented as the expert, the answer is “none.” Or, that they have never actually repaired an automobile—as opposed to the average auto body shop owner who almost always grew up repairing automobiles. Naturally, the

body shop is the only one that can be fully qualified as an expert on any judgment call issue such as a repair or replace issue. The appraiser’s testimony is usually limited to issues such as the price for parts listed in the estimating program along with the hours to perform the operation listed in the books or program. In other words, the testimony of the appraiser without any hands on experience in repairing automobiles is usually limited to the cost of the repairs rather than the proper method of repair. Ultimately, the industry will get the training necessary to make the repairs on the complicated vehicles on the roads today. Unfortunately, it may not come from I-CAR, which would be a shame. Obviously, the training issue revolves around the associated cost. If the insurance industry is going to require specific training, including the level of training, they should also consider the related cost, either by increasing the labor rates to assist with cost or create or support programs to help lower cost such as the program See I-CAR Training, Page 42

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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 29


CollisionLink Represents ‘Inevitable Change’ Says Major Parts Dealer by Ed Attanasio

Back when Galpin Motors’ Parts Manager Butch Lemen was 12 years old, he worked with his father in the aircraft parts industry, some time before the advent of personal computers. Computers are now indispensible in parts departments and body shops worldwide. But, although many body shops have embraced the software and the Internet methods, there are still a ton of shops out there that are reluctant to accept what Lemen calls, “the inevitable.” Lemen is a strong advocate for CollisionLink, the Internet-based electronic parts ordering system designed by OEConnection for OEM parts dealerships and body shops. By using the system, shops can save time and money while including more original factory parts in their repairs. CollisionLink’s price comparison feature is currently used by shops of all sizes, from little independent facilities all the way to large chains. Lemen manages a multi-million dollar wholesale parts operation at Galpin Motors in North Hills, Calif.

With 75 employees in his department and selling parts for the 10 brands they represent (Ford, Lincoln, Subaru, Mazda, Honda, Volvo, Jaguar, AstonMartin, Lotus and Spyker), Lemen values the time-saving aspect associated with using CollisionLink.

waiting for a response. All of the correspondence through CollisionLink is handled via e-mails, and our parts people will call once we receive the order. It’s a streamlined process and allows shops to go on with the other multiple tasks that happen every day in your average body shop.” Lemen says he has seen CollisionLink work time after time in helping him to get orders and assist shops in getting OE parts on more repairs without paying more than From left, Galpin Motors Sales Rep Joe Jotikasthira; Sales Rep Gerthe aftermarket. ardo Sanchez; Warehouse Manager Tom Thompson; Ford Motor Co. Rep Anne Tran-Malone; Assistant Warehouse Manager Istvan Gerlei; “It’s a conduit for Wholesale Parts Manager Butch Lemen and Sales Rep Javier Gonzalez electronic parts orreceive yet another award for hitting top numbers year after year dering, but many “CollisionLink makes us more body shops are still in the habit of orefficient and can save time for the dering parts over the phone or via FAX. We can assist the body shops by shops that participate,” Lemen exproviding parts with better fit and finplained. “It frees up the shops’ time, because they don’t have to make ish while delivering the parts quickly phone calls searching for a part and/or and improving cycle times.”

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Lemen recognized the importance of this system more than a year ago when Galpin starting offering it, but now he wants his shop customers to see the light as well. “We’ve been an advocate for CollisionLink for awhile now and we do have customers who use it and like it and we’re trying to get more shops up and running with it on a daily basis, so that we can put some more OE parts into their hands. We have roughly 30 shops currently signed up with CollisionLink, and they tend to be shops that are computersavvy and already using the Internet as a tool to improve their business. The computer age isn’t the future anymore, we’re right in the middle of it, and still, many of my customers don’t even have computers in their shops yet.” Once his shop customers take the leap of faith and embrace CollisionLink, it quickly becomes a daily part of their lives, Lemen reasons. But, getting them to take that first step can be difficult. “It’s getting people to accept a change, it’s just that simple. Change comes along no matter what, but the old days of going through catalogs and writing

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down part numbers is tedious and no longer efficient. Now, if you went into these forward-thinking shops and told them they had to go back to using those books, they might beat you up. They were reluctant a few years back, but now they can’t do business without the computers and systems like CollisionLink. It’s just a matter of accepting the change

By utilizing CollisionLink, Galpin’s customers can incorporate more factory parts into their estimates without paying more than the aftermarket

and seeing a new way of doing things, in order to make their shops more efficient and profitable.” Using CollisionLink is easy and most people can be proficient at it within just several days, Lemen said. “The majority of the body shop management systems out there right now

contain all the parts pricing already. When the insurance company tells the shop ‘you need to use this aftermarket part to save money,’ that’s when CollisionLink steps in. Once their estimate is approved by the insurance company, they send it to us electronically and we call it the “1-2-3 Go,” because it’s just three steps, push a button and it’s done. Getting good at using it is a matter of repetition, just like anything else. To make it easier, I’ll send one of our reps to the shop and he’ll go through the training, both on-site and over the phone, with CollisionLink’s staff. It normally takes 15–30 minutes to learn the system and how to use it.” Once his customer sends him the invoice, Lemen and his staff can go through it and identify the parts to make certain they are correct for the repair. “Once I get the order, I simply open the file, import the file and push one button and everything else happens automatically. Once we’ve determined that it’s accurate, we can call the body shop and discuss the pricing or other options, for example.” If Galpin can meet or beat the aftermarket, it can obviously benefit both his operation and the body shop

involved, he said. “We can beat the aftermarket prices in many cases. We’re going up against the aftermarket and the used parts industry as well. For example, we received an estimate earlier today and within less than two hours, it was processed. We were able to meet or beat the aftermarket on 14 parts on the invoice and the shop bought them

Owner Maurice Starrantino (left) and Assistant Manager Jesse Elizondo at Autoworld Collision in Valencia are using CollisionLink with great success to identify and purchase OE parts and get them into more of their repairs

all. Our overall conversion rate for June was 71%, so, that’s significant.” One of Galpin’s customers using CollisionLink is Autoworld Collision in Valencia, California, a 14-year-old shop owned by Maurice Starrantino. “We’ve been using CollisionLink for at least a year, and it’s been a Godsend.

By using it, we’re able to provide our customers with OE parts where we couldn’t before. These manufacturers want to incorporate factory parts in our repairs, and this is the best way to do it. On some items such as hoods, fenders, bumpers and many sheet metal parts, Galpin can match or beat the aftermarket parts a majority of the time, depending on the brand and the repair. CollisionLink is easy-to-use and now a part of our daily operations, so we definitely rely on it and value it.” CollisionLink software operates on PCs from Windows XP on up and is completely free to body shops. It can only be used to order OEM parts. It can be used with all of the leading systems already being used by most body shops, including Mitchell UltraMate Advanced Estimating System, CCC One Total Repair Platform, CCC Pathways Estimating Solution and Audatex. If a shop has another system, CollisionLink’s reps can help them to get it set up. Galpin Motors 15505 Roscoe Blvd. North Hills, California 91343 (800) 256-6219 www.galpin.com

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Larry Williams is an innovative parts manager with national awards and over 30 years of experience in creating and managing profitable departments. He can be reached for consultation at ljoew2@gmail.com

Parts Profiles Acura of Westchester with Larry Williams

The last time I wrote about a dealership it was a California multi-line dealer near Sacramento. This time it is a single franchise dealer in the metro New York area. You would think that they had nothing in common, but you would be mistaken. Both dealers are successful, and both have the same winning philosophy; customer service. Acura of Westchester is truly unique. They are an example of the word “commitment”. Since 1986, they have taken good care of their customers, and their customers know it. The dealership is not on Main Street you have to know where it is in order to find it. Apparently, once found they are never forgotten. In 2010, they were number one in the nation for Acura new car sales. This dealer is an example of the benefits of stability. Customers see the same people, year after year. They become friends; confident that they will

always have the very best service. Their service manager has been there for 17 years, and there has only been one GM in the history of the store! As I said, this dealer is unique.

trucks going full time. In response to increasing business, this dealer is open seven days a week! “Fast paced” is the description of this parts department, something I understand is normal in this area. Usually, this results in a belief that no growth is possible, all resources are already at maximum. Jake is proof that there is always room for improvement, always room for another customer. You can always find a way to improve your operation. Acura supports Jake, delivering daily orders and implementing the “Collision Select” program, allowing Jake to compete on pricing with aftermarket and used parts suppliers. Yes, price is still an issue with some shops; forced by cut-rate insurance policies to use the cheapest parts available. These insurance companies willingly force some shops to accept parts that void their customer’s warranties. Other shops, some in their second

The parts department follows the same pattern. Jake Dildine is the parts manager, and he has been there for 18 years. His commitment to customer service is amazing. Over and over, he stressed loyalty, relationship, attitude, pride, and dedication, but never price. His crew is just as dedicated; they all pitch in to answer four direct telephone lines; keeping three delivery

generation, are strong enough to resist these pressures and insist on quality repairs. The strong partnership between Jake and these shops - always putting their customer first - contributes to their mutual success. There are over 20 million people in the area, and the pressure on the body shops and dealers after a hail storm is unbelievable. Jake and his crew take inclement weather in stride, always answering the phone with a smile and a welcoming attitude. There are five other Acura dealers within 20 miles, offering some competition, but Acura of Westchester is obviously the best choice. I am proud to include Acura of Westchester in my list of Distinctive Dealerships. Larry Williams is a former parts manager and consultant with national awards and over 30 years of experience in creating profitable departments. He can be reached at ljoew2@gmail.com.

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Service, Service, Diagnostic Di Diagnostic gnostic and an nd d Mechanical M e chanical ch aniccal al NEWS Mec echanical Mech ech ec hanical ca

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Western Edition

Ford Partners Azure on FSeries Plug in Hybrids

CALIFORNIA • NEVADA • ARIZONA

Ford Will Recall 1.22 M Trucks, Fuel Tank Straps

Ford and Canadian-based Azure Dynamics plan to convert the largest of its F-Series models into plug-in hybrids, starting with the F-550 and later adding the F-450 and F-350 models. The trucks would operate in electric-only mode at low speeds while also reducing fuel consumption at higher speeds in hybrid mode. Anticipated range on battery power, overall fuel efficiency and pricing details have not been released. Marketing is aimed at commercial fleet buyers sensitive to the rise in fuel prices.

Ford told the National Highway Traffic SafetyAdministration it will recall 1.22 million trucks to replace fuel tank straps subject to corrosion.The recall includes these units: —Ford F-150 from 1997 through 2004 —Ford F-250 with GVW of less than 8,500 pounds from 1997 through 1999 —Lincoln Blackwood from 2002 and 2003 model years. NHTSA said the trucks were manufactured from June 20, 1995 through Aug. 4, 2004. The flaw could cause dropped fuel tanks and fire hazards.

Lincoln Electric Acquires Torchmate Parent

GM Recalls Over 16K Cars

Lincoln Electric Holdings, announced Aug. 12 that it has acquired substantially all of the assets of Applied Robotics, Inc., a leading manufacturer of CNC cutting tables and accessories in North America. Applied Robotics, known in the welding industry by its brand name, Torchmate, has headquarters and manufacturing facilities based in Reno, NV. Torchmate (www.torchmate.com) offers a wide selection of CNC plasma and oxyfuel cutting tables to medium-sized fabricators.

Chrysler Recalls Up To 370,000 2008 Minivans

GM said Aug. 12 it is recalling 16,198 Chevrolet Impala and Buick LaCrosse cars in the United States and Canada to address sensor and power steering problems. There are 11,905 2012 Impalas recalled to check the power steering hose. The hose, if misrouted, could be damaged and spray fluid onto hot engine parts to create a potential for a fire. GM also said it is recalling 4,293 2012 LaCrosses to reprogram the electronic brake control module because an incorrect calibration may cause the electronic stability system to improperly detect a sensor malfunction and fail to illuminate a warning light.

NHTSA Investigates BMW for Potential Rollaways

Chrysler is recalling nearly 370,000 2008 Grand Voyager, Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan vehicles for a possible heating and air conditioning problem that could inadvertently trigger the air bag, the second related recall in nine months. NHTSA said condensation from the heating and air conditioner could leak onto a sensor module. This could lead to activation of a warning light and inadvertent deployment of the air bag. There was a recall last November to replace a heating and cooling drain tube in those model vehicles to eliminate potential condensation.

U.S. safety regulators have opened an investigation into about 120,000 BMW 7series cars regarding shifting into park not engaging, with roll away. NHTSA said it has opened a preliminary probe of the BMW cars from 2002–2008 after receiving a complaint that a 2006 model rolled away after the consumer parked and exited the vehicle. Reports involving similarly equipped cars also describing roll-away incidents were submitted by BMW. A BMW spokesman said the automaker is cooperating with the NHTSA and is not aware of any reports of accidents or injuries related to the issue.

American Honda is bringing back approximately 1.5 million vehicles to update the software that controls the automatic transmission. Included are 4-cylinder Accords from 2005 through 2010, the CR-V from

2007 through 2010, and the Element 2005 through 2008. Honda believes the automatic transmission secondary shaft bearing can be damaged if the transmission is quickly shifted.

Honda to Recall 1.5M CRVs, Elements, Accords

34 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

September 2011

I-CAR Offers New Course on Electronics Damage Analysis I-CAR has premiered several online training programs in 2011, including its newest course, Basic Electronics Damage Analysis (DAM13e). By taking this course, individuals will learn how to effectively communicate at every level of the damage analysis process, identify the basic requirements for a circuit and how circuit values are measured, as well as what other parts of a circuit are designed to do. This course provides an understanding of how electrical systems are designed to work and what can be done when these systems are damaged. Information on how to recognize collision damage to wiring, the possibilities for repair, and the tools and steps required when troubleshooting an electrical circuit problem are also covered in this course. Joyce Kasmer, I-CAR Director of Business Development said, “Understanding how to effectively communicate throughout the entire repair process lends to more accurate damage assessments, which can result in reduced cycle times and higher customer satisfaction. This online course will be beneficial to collision repair professionals who are interested in learning about specific procedures re-

lated to electronics damage analysis and how to effectively interact with vehicle owners, repair facilities, and insurance companies.” This course meets I-CAR® ProLevel™ or annual training requirements for the Estimator and Auto Physical Damage Appraiser roles and satisfies the Basic Electrical knowledge area within the I-CAR® Professional Development Program™. Once an online training course has begun, an individual has thirty days to complete the course and can re-access it an unlimited number of times until it has been completed. After completion of the course, the individual will have access to course materials for reference by logging in to their account. Information and registration for this course can be found on the ICAR website (www.i-car.com) or by contacting I-CAR Customer Care at 800-422-7872.

Advances in transportation research are increasing interest in putting cameras and sensors in and on work trucks. Scientists are using a strategy that combines tightly controlled simulator driving, closely monitored runs on closed tracks and scrutiny of working truckers on revenue runs to help researchers translate observations about driver behavior. With simulators, a computer vision system can tell where a driver is looking.Adriver’s eye position is one of the most readily quantifiable factors in truck-safety as a computer can now determine a driver’s level of fatigue.

A NTHSA team cleared GM from the need to bring back more than 266,000 2007 Chevy Tahoes and GMC Yukons. The concern was chrome plating on interior door handles that could peel or separate from the plastic base material. De-lamination could result in a sharp edge and pose a risk of laceration.“The resultant population group had a total of 746 complaint reports with 309 injury incidents and 43,619 unique VIN regular warranty claims over a combined 451,745 vehicle population,” NHTSA said in a report.

Truck Driver Behavior Now Trackable with New Tech

www.autobodynews.com CHECK IT OUT!

GM Has No Recall on its Tahoe and Yukon SUVs

Ford Minivans Not Subject to Recall, Infrequent Issue NHTSA previously said the Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey from 2004 through 2007 might have defective automatic transmission control modules, but now says “below defect trend.” Tests found 200 potential prob-

lems out of population of 125,865, for a failure rate of 0.16 percent. The concern was water running down onto the cowling under the hood and dripping onto the PCM, causing a stall and the transmission to shift badly.


Gonzo’s Toolbox

This is a new story by Scott “Gonzo” Weaver as posted on his website, www.gonzostoolbox.com. Gonzo has been serving the Tulsa area at Superior Auto Electric for over 27 years. See his book “Hey Look! I Found The Loose Nut”, which provides a Good Laugh for Mechanics of Any Age. The book is available at amazon.com. Contact Gonzo at Gonzosae@aol.com.

Is It ‘Change Is a Good Thing’ or ‘It’s Good That Things Change’? with Gonzo Weaver

A body shop dropped off a 2005 Nissan Titan XE for a trailer light problem. It was hit in the rear and had folded the bumper under the body. This particular body shop I have known for years, and they pride themselves on doing a top notch repair on every vehicle that they are associated with. This truck was being a problem though. All the systems were working except for the trailer turn signal lights. To be thorough, they went back through each and every part that they had replaced or disturbed. They found nothing, not a thing—2 days of checking it out led to a dead end. That’s where I came into the picture. As always, the first thing I want to see is the wiring diagram. You know, I’ve always said change is a good thing, this time, I should rephrase that to—it’s a good thing that “things change”—and I hope this does real soon, because, this was

about the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s not the first time I have ran across trailer lights going through computer systems but it’s the first time I ran across only the trailer turn signals running thru the BCM (body control module) not the trailer park lights, not trailer brakes—nope, just the turn signals. Right there on the print, plain as day, R-trailer turn and L-trailer turn, oh please—what were you dudes thinking? (Referring to the engineers) What was the reasoning behind this? I checked the rear wiring and all the circuits involved along the underside of the truck, all of which were in impeccable condition. I couldn’t help but stare at that BCM on the wiring diagram. I said to myself, “You mean to tell me I’m going to have to change an expensive BCM just for trailer lights? Come on, guys.” (Engineers)

The BCM is attached to brackets just above the gas pedal. Once I managed to get into position to see the BCM, I moved the wire harness out of the way to get a better look at it. All of which looked great. Another glance at the print showed that pin 51 and 52 were the trailer turn signal wires, one yellow/black and the other green/black. Using a test light I checked the leads output signal directly at the BCM connector. I was so glad to see the test light flashing with the turn signals, what a relief! At least it’s not the BCM, it’s wiring in between the BCM and the rear connector. Another long stare at the print with my head under the dash, all wedged in between the driver’s seat and my feet dangling out the door, one hand holding the wiring harness out of the way, flash light by my right ear, the test light and the wiring dia-

gram all getting cramped in what little space that’s provided; but I still couldn’t see the problem. Since I already checked the wiring running into the truck and the signal was coming out of the BCM I had to be close, real close. I was starting to understand why the body shop spent two days looking for the problem and couldn’t find it. I knew what I had to do—start hand tracing the two leads again from start to finish—one-more-time. At this point anything would be better than spending another minute “sardined” in this truck. As I moved my arm out of the way and was about to slide out from under the dash I noticed right where I had my hand holding the harness out of the way were two small in line fuse holders, almost opaque in color right on the green/black and the yelSee Change, Page 37

www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 35


NACE/CARS Program Expected to Draw Larger Crowds The keynote speaker for NACE’s Opening General Session will be Social Media Guru Chris Brogan. Brogan will headline the Opening General Session at ASRW 2011, Thurs., Oct. 6, from 8:30 A.M.–10 A.M. Brogan is a noted author and journalist; he is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Trust Agents, and a featured monthly columnist at Entrepreneur Magazine. Brogan’s blog, chrisbrogan.com, is also in the Top 5 of the Advertising Age Power 150. Brogan is a marketing consultant and frequent speaker Chris Brogan about social media marketing who educates businesses and organizations on how social software aligns with their strategies. He is the president and CEO of Human Business Works, an education and community company. Brogan’s keynote presentation will focus on small business solutions, sales, lead generation and specific

strategies—all as they relate to the use and implementation of social media. “We carefully selected Chris Brogan this year and feel his presentation will be a highlight of ASRW,” stated Ron Pyle, ASA president. “Attendees can expect an entertaining and engaging presentation and also to walk away with ideas and solutions they can easily implement as soon as they get home.” “Technology and the advent of social media in particular have changed the way we all do business, so we feel Chris Brogan is not only a timely choice for this year’s keynote presentation, but an extremely relevant one," said Harry Hall, DuPont North America Sales Manager—Refinish. “Brogan has become a leader in his field through his innate use of technology and connecting it to business, which parallels DuPont Performance Coatings’ philosophy of innovation as a leader in the collision repair industry.” BASF Back as Exhibitor BASF has also committed to a pres-

ence at the NACE show for the first time since 2008. “NACE is the premier event for the collision repair industry and we understand how important it is to represent the BASF brand among this core audience who uses BASF products,” said Chuck Soeder, vice president, BASF Automotive Refinish. “We look forward to supporting the industry by exhibiting at ASRW this October.” BASF can be found in booth N1413 at the ASRW Expo. BASF’s Felicia Funchess will also be leading two sessions entitled, “Creating a Positive Work Environment” and “Leading Change,” throughout the week’s industry education sessions. The shows’ sessions will cover a broad range of subjects including management tips and tricks, technical information, legal and HR advice, and women’s professional development. Eric Schmitz with KPA, an exEric Schmitz

pert compliance company on safety, environmental, and human resources (HR), will lead a session titled “What to Do When an Inspector Knocks on Your Door.” KPA’s environmental, health and safety services help to reduce accidents and associated costs while ensuring companies are in compliance with EPA and OSHA regulations. Autobody News columnist Tom McGee with ALLDATA will lead an information sesssion titled “Stop Guessing and Start Knowing.” Personal development speaker and lifestyle guru Richard Flint will Tom McGee also be speaking again this year. He will lead sessions entitled “The Power of Change” and “Wanted: Leaders That Lead!” His leadership session will touch on the Top 6 roadblocks that prevent leaders from being successful and how to remove them, how to interpret the redefinition of Leader, Leadership and

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Company, how to break down the 6 Secret “must haves” for being an effective leader, examining the 5 support beams that connect Leaders to their people, and identifying the mindblowing insights into working with the 3 personality types leaders are confronted with daily. Cory King with the law firm of Fine, Boggs & Perkins LLP, who has spoken at several California Autobody Association meetings over the years, will lead legal advice sessions entitled “Survival Skills for Today’s Employer: HR Best Practices” and “Survival Skills for Today’s Employer: Compliance with Wage/Hour Laws.” The events, which have consistently tracked ahead of last year’s expos, are expected to draw in larger crowds than usual thanks to this year’s new east coast location. Tickets for the Opening General Session are included in the purchase of a Super Pass or may be purchased online for $35 after the early-bird deadline of Aug. 9. For more information about the expos please visit www.naceexpo.com.

Honda Accord, Buick Enclave, Chevy Traverse get 5 stars The Honda Accord, Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse became the latest vehicles to get a five-star overall crash rating, under new stricter government tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued its revised, tougher five-star crash ratings, releasing 34 vehicle ratings. NHTSA is posting additional ratings as they complete testing of 2011 model vehicles on its safercar.gov website. The Accord got five stars in three tests: side, frontal and rollover. The Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse got five stars for side impact—and four stars on frontal and rollover—but still got the five-star highest rating overall. Two of the first 34 vehicles got five stars—the BMW 5 Series and Hyundai Sonata—and the Hyundai only reached that pinnacle after it was modified and retested. Of the first batch tested, 29—including the Ford Fiesta and Taurus, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Cadillac Escalade, Audi A4, Infiniti M37 and M56, Kia Sorento, Toyota Sienna, Honda Pilot and Chevrolet Malibu— got four stars in the overall score that takes into account frontal, side and rollover crash test ratings. The new ratings won’t appear on

vehicle window stickers until the 2012 model year. Under the old frontal tests, more than 95 percent of vehicles got four or five stars; that figure fell to 83 percent after the first batch of new tests. Grades dropped in several or all tests for many older models. The Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in the United States since 2002, got three stars, as did the Camry hybrid. The Buick Lucerne also got a three-star overall rating—after it got two stars on side impact—and five stars on both rollover and frontal crash tests. The Buick got one star on the side impact for the driver and two stars for the passenger. GM spokesman Alan Adler noted that the tests have gotten more difficult—and the vehicle hasn’t changed. The Lucerne, which is in its last year of production, got four stars on side impact last year. “You’ve got new numbers. but the Lucerne didn’t change—just the ratings,” Adler said. The compact Nissan Versa received two stars, after getting a low score on the new tougher side-crash tests.

Continued from Page 35

Change

low/black wires leading away from the BCM. AHA! THERE IT IS! Two in line 10 amp fuses to the trailer lights, Wowser!!! Fixed, done, works perfectly. The prints did not show any fuses in the circuits, it only showed the wiring leading from end to end. Unbelievable, no wonder the body shop couldn’t find the problem. I even missed it until I moved my hand out of the way and knew the correct wire colors. It’s not the sort of thing I’d expect to find— factory fuse holders in-line with the BCM—but there they were, you can be guaranteed that I made a note about this one. I won’t forget next time. It doesn’t help that the prints were wrong, and it doesn’t help that the manufacturer ran the trailer turn signals leads thru the BCM, so I guess I can officially change my status from “change is a good thing” to “good thing it changes” now do me a favor there engineers; Change it!

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Shop Showcase

Erica Schroeder is assistant editor at Autobody News in Carlsbad, CA. She loves to talk with owners about their shops and goings on in their areas. Contact her at eschroeder@autobodynews.com, or 800-699-8251

TGIF Body Shop—Complete Body Repair and Fleet Services with Erica Schroeder

TGIF (To Get It Fixed) Body Shop in Fremont, CA, is a 12,000 square foot, family-owned business that focuses on the customer just as much as the actual vehicle repairs.

TGIF on Enterprise Street in Fremont, CA

The shop has 17 employees, plus some part-time help, and is able to service about 120 cars per month. Last year the business grossed about $3 million.

Cars await welding in the bays by TGIF’s ProSpot set up

The business was founded in 1980 by Richard Mello, who started the business with his own hands and tool box, and was able to grow the shop by word of mouth.

TGIF has a storage area between their two buildings where cars await painting

Richard’s wife, Kathy Mello, took over the business and now runs the shop with son Jason Cocco. “We take the people into consid-

eration as well as the repair of the vehicle,” said Kathy. TGIF is heavily involved in their local community as well as the collision repair industry. The business supports local little league teams, several high school sports teams in the area, the Fremont Symphony, and several local business groups. Kathy is a Women’s Industry Network (WIN) member, Board member of the East Bay California Autobody Association, SCRS member and CIC member. TGIF is also a part of the Assured Performance Network, which provides independent body shops with a legal cooperative that provides the qualified shops with financial rewards from participating vendors and allows them to work together under a legal structure. When the business started to really market themselves they decided community participation would be the best way to go about gaining more customers. “We decided to only spend money on things that had a dual purpose--things that give back to our community,” said Kathy. TGIF has 4 major DRPs and onsite windshield and glass repair through Prestige Glass. They also have fleet car repair specials for businesses with vehicle fleets; they have been contracting with businesses to repair their fleets for over 29 years. Kathy said the business has primarily worked with a third-party vendor who referred fleets to them for service, but they have recently started to reach out to smaller fleets as well. They mainly do fleet repair services for construction companies, security companies and plumbing companies. “We understand that getting a car back on the road means dollars and cents more to a business than the average person,” said Kathy. TGIF has also invested a lot of training in their staff. Their techs are ASC certified, I-CAR Gold Class and Toyota Certified. The business itself has also been Green Certified since 2003.

38 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

Kathy was able to get two federal grants to provide lean and new metal technical training for some of TGIF’s staff. The identification and welding technology of new metals training was provided by the Work Investment Board.

TGIF’s entire crew, with Owner Kathy Mello center, back left

Only certain employees were provided this training and that was based on pay rates set by the county government. The company’s lean training came through a grant with MEP, the

Manufacturing Extension Partnership. A trainer from MEP came out and taught TGIF lean techniques, made a value stream map for the company and helped them to better flow their influx of cars through their two, adjoined buildings as repairs are made. TGIF also sent its front desk team to a management success school through the American Management Institute. All of this training benefits the business as a whole; and thus the business has been honored by several awards, which includes being voted the Best Body Shop in Fremont by the pubic. For more information please visit www.tgifauto.com. TGIF Body Shop 4595 Enterprise St Fremont, CA 94538 (510) 490-1342


Brown Auto Body Appreciates Mattei’s Rotary Vane Compressors by Ed Attanasio

Dana Cooper, the owner of Brown Auto Body, a busy, modest-size shop located in southwest Iowa, has been in the collision industry for more than three decades. Cooper knows the value of reliable equipment and he’s convinced there’s no more important need in a shop than having a reliable air compressor. Not only is it critical for his painting needs but he depends on it for air tools needed to maintain his cycle times. That’s why Cooper was so pleased when his Keystone rep introduced him to Mattei compressors for the first time late last year. “With a machine like an air compressor, I want to be able to buy it and never worry about it ever again. We’re fixing 30-40 cars per month here, and it’s just another thing I don’t want to have to think about. We’ve had this Mattei unit for about seven months now, and they’ve been very good about keeping us on the right maintenance schedule. I know this is important. If my air compressor goes down, we’re dead in the water. Almost everything from buffers to paint guns depends on air. It would be like trying to fix vehicles without paint or techs—that’s how important it is to have a good air compressor that won’t quit or need service all the time.” Darrin Cook, General Manager for Keystone Automotive Industries Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska has worked for Keystone for more than 22 years, so he’s seen (and heard) his share of air compressors of all brands, sizes and styles. It’s not just a lot of hot air when Cook enthusiastically lauds the quality and performance of Mattei’s rotary vane compressors. “We’ve been marketing the Mattei compressors for more than a year now and they’re super quiet, while using less energy and producing more air,” Cook said. “These Mattei units are smaller than the other brands we’ve sold before, so they also take up less space. Pricewise, they’re also in the ballpark. You’re getting a quality product, so you might be spending a little more with these Mattei compressors, but in the long run these machines will last you longer. In the past, the compressors I encountered worked hard but wore down pretty quickly. These rotary vane compressors from Mattei don’t work as hard, so they last longer, and they put out more air. They say ‘Get your last compressor, get a Mattei’ and after

SHOP & PRODUCT SHOWCASE Brown Body Shop Location: Atlantic, IA

Telephone: 712-243-4610 www.brownautobody.com Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: Three In Business Since: 1980 DRP Programs: Zero

Number of Locations: One

Combined Production Space: 4,000 square feet

It’s a small yet talented crew at Brown Auto Body, consisting of (from left) Owner Dana Cooper, Tech Doug Towne and Tech Dan Schriver

working with them for a while now, I believe it.” Mattei’s machines have been in use worldwide for industrial and automotive applications for almost a century. The company was founded by Enea Mattei, an Italian engineer, when he became fascinated by the then relatively minor compressed air industry in 1919. After 15 years of research and innovation, Mattei invented the world’s first portable air compressor and, after embracing a series of technological advances, Mattei became one of the leaders in compressed air worldwide. The company solidified their role as a pioneer in the industry. Mattei started manufacturing rotary vane compressors in 1958, and have gained popularity with body shops within the last decade because they’re efficient, durable and maybe most importantly—quiet. Cooper started out as a tech and later purchased Brown Auto Body after he had been working for 20 years, he explained. “The original owner, Pete Brown, wanted to get out, so I bought the shop and took it over in 2000. Owning and running a shop has been a ton of work, but we’ve been staying busy, even during the recession and average $2,000–$3,000 per repair without any DRPs. I’ve got two techs and an office manager working part-time, so it’s a lean operation. We serve Atlantic, Iowa (6,800 population) and some of surrounding areas, competing with about three other shops in this area.”

Cooper has been pleasantly surprised with his compressor, partially because of the fact that he wasn’t familiar with Mattei until Darrin Cook at Keystone introduced him to the company and its line of rotary vane compressors. “Darrin gave me Mattei’s literature and we researched them online to find out a little more. At around the same time, one of my friends purchased an Americanmade compressor, and I realized that it was a lot noisier and doesn’t put out quite as much cfm as my Mattei does.” After doing his homework, Cooper made the move to Mattei and he hasn’t had any regrets. “We bought Mattei’s 11 kilowatt unit,” he said. “We tested it by sandblasting a car and it performed really well. It gained psi the whole time and we didn’t have to stop to interrupt the job. And it’s so quiet! That’s a big plus. I can now stand right next to it while it’s running and still actually talk on the phone. Our old compressor was in our paint mixing room. It was so loud in there we had to scream to have a conversation—it was terrible. It was starting to leak oil and was beginning to worry about it, so we purchased it just in time. They come with a 10-year warranty and designed for 100,000 hours of use, although many go way past that, from what we’ve heard.” Cooper is looking forward to not hearing, or not hearing about, his Mattei compressor for a good long time.

Brown Auto Body in Atlantic, Iowa fixes 30–40 cars per month without any DRPs

The shop’s old air compressor was loud and starting to leak oil, so Owner Dana Copper researched Mattei and made the move to the company’s rotary vane compressors

Mattei Compressors, Inc. Phone: (410) 521-7020 email: info@matteicomp.com website: www.matteicomp.com

www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 39


Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, Welding specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his charitable works, worthy causes, and magic tricks. He can be reached at tcspeedster@yahoo.com

Hey Toby! with Toby Chess

Confusion over Certified Parts at CIC This July I did a presentation at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Salt Lake City on the need for OEM data prior to estimating and repairing today’s cars. I also included some additional discussion and presented examples of bumper reinforcements. I received a letter from a CAPA spokesperson stating that my demonstration “caused members of the collision repair industry to believe, mistakenly, that the part used in your demonstration was CAPA-certified.” I think that it is important that I give readers an accurate account of what really happened. I want to make this clear. I am not against the use of quality aftermarket parts in the collision repair process, but I am very much against being told to use substandard parts and then assuming all of the risks for their use. A couple of months ago, a shop in the Midwest received an estimate

from a major insurance company calling for a certified front bumper reinforcement for a 2008 Hyundai Sonata. The shop had ordered from the A/M supplier a certified frontbumper reinforcement, but they received a non certified front bumper reinforcement. The shop’s tech did the right thing—he compared the damaged OE part to the A/M part and showed it to the owner. The was a considerable weight difference between the two parts. He ordered an OE part and sent the A/M part to me. I purchased a new part and compared them. I found that A/M was not like, kind and quality. About the same time, I received a bumper reinforcement made by Diamond Standard for a 2003 to 2008 Toyota Corolla that was certified by NSF. Again, I compared the two. This was an OE part and it was extremely difficult to distinguish between the

two parts. I thought that it was necessary to ship both sets of bumpers reinforcements to the CIC audience, so I sent all four parts to Salt Lake City. While I was boxing up the parts, I had an A/M reinforcement sitting outside for the past year (I live in LA and we do not get much rain) and I decided to throw it away. I cut it in half and what I saw turned my stomach. The entire inside of the reinforcement was filled with rust. I included this part in my demonstration. In my presentation, I never mentioned CAPA or NSF, but a member of the audience stated that the front bumper from Diamond Standard was certified and I corrected my statement. I also thanked the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) for the effort in making sure that the parts they sell can be traced. I think that is important for you to see what I pre-

sented so you can understand why I made this subject matter part of my presentation. Let’s look at the Diamond Standard and OE front bumper reinforcements.

I proceeded to take a piece of metal out of both parts to check the metal strength with a metal analyzer from Europe (Bor-On).

The Diamond Standard part had a reading of 36.1 which translate to Ultra High Strength Steel.

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The reading of the OE part was 48.1 which translates to Ultra High Strength Steel. Both parts were ultra high strength steel, but the OE part had a higher strength. Also the OE had a series of ribs stamped into back side whereas the A/M did not. I put both parts on a table at the CIC meeting and asked the audience to look at them and select the OE part. About half of the people misidentified the A/M part as the OE. A shop owner, who sits of the CAPA technical committee, told me that the OE part was not an original equipment part, but a replacement part and I should not be calling it an OE part (the only OE part comes on the car). The letter I received from CAPA states the “CAPA has yet to see any reinforcement bars or bumper parts that meet CAPA certification standards.” A representative from a OE manufacturer stated that the OE high strength was probably needed to pass the federal safety crash standards. Let’s look at the A/M reinforcement with the rust.

The part had some sort of finish on the inside end of the rail, but bare steel on the rest of the inside of the rail. I asked a CIC participant “what does rust do to the part?” His response was that the part was weakened. You don’t have to be an engineer to understand that if the strength of the steel has deteriorted, it will perform in different way. The strength category of this steel was high strength-low alloy (slightly higher in strength than mild steel), where as the OE part was ultra high strength steel.

Let’s look at the A/M Hyundai Sonata Reinforcement.

The OE part is on the top and A/M is on the bottom. I asked another CIC participant to feel the weight difference, which was considerable, and she picked the OE because it was heavier. I compared the thickness of both parts and you can see that there was a significant difference. My question to everyone is this—If the OEMs can make a part that will meet safety standards with a lesser strength material, don’t you think that they would?As the strength of the steel increases, so does the cost. You be the judge.

greater cycle times for installing the parts, taking off the parts, sending the parts back and ordering different parts? I have been told by a number of shops that a particular national insurer will not allow a shop to substitute an OE part for the aftermarket part even though the OE has priced matched the aftermarket price. WHY? What can repairers do? Next month, you will be able to post on Facebook-type blog any aftermarket or OE parts that do not fit, have poor quality or are not of like, kind, and quality. You are probably al-

Aftermarket—.93MM / High Strength Steel

Aftermarket—27.7 / High Strength Steel

OE—1.42MM / Ultra High Strength Steel

I have a few more questions— Why do repairers have to be the beta testers for these substandard parts? Are the repairers being compensated for their time and expense in testing these parts? Are repairers being penalized for

I-CAR Board of Directors Welcomes New Board Member, James Roach, American Honda Motor Company I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair announced August 9 that James Roach of American Honda Motor Company has joined the I-CAR International Board of Directors as a Board Member. James Roach has been part of the collision inter-industry for over thirty years and has been employed by American Honda Motor Company since 1978. Currently, Mr. Roach is Senior Vice President – Parts and Service Division of American Honda Motor Company. He manages a workforce exceeding 2,000 employees which are geographically placed throughout 18 locations in the United States. Roach oversees the areas of automobile customer service, parts and accessories marketing, service marketing,

parts inventory procurement and distribution, technical operations, and the improvement of Lifetime Owner Loyalty and CSI for both Honda and Acura automobile customers. He is also responsible for the distribution of service parts and accessories for motorcycle, power equipment, and marine products. Roach has successfully integrated four previously separate business divisions into one. Through identifying gaps in communication processes, developing countermeasure plans, and introducing strategic communications channels to defined audiences, employees of the Parts and Service Division are more engaged and productivity is higher. Elise Quadrozzi, Chair of the ICAR International Board of Directors

stated, “Alongside his extensive experience at American Honda Motor Company, including operational, training, and marketing experience, Jim’s broad knowledge-base and proven leadership in the collision inter-industry will truly be of value in his role on the I-CAR International Board of Directors.” The Board of Directors sets the overall strategic direction for the organization and assists in obtaining resources in support of the I-CAR Mission. The Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from each of the following six industry segments—collision repair; insurance; equipment, tools, and supplies; education, training, and research; vehicle manufacturers; and related industry services.

OE—40.7 / Ultra High Strength Steel

ready taking pictures of these parts, so it will be a snap to add them to the blog page. More to come in the next issue of Autobody News.

Chevy Volt Sales Slow to Grow, Nissan Leaf Worse

Chevrolet has sold only about 3,200 Volt plug-in hybrids through the end of July. A survey of Volts on the market found 116 available nationwide. A new CNW marketing study suggests that potential Volt buyers are losing interest. Volt’s $41,000 sticker price is the big problem although it qualifies for $7500 tax credit. The 2012 price for Volt will drop to $39,995. GM officials remain convinced Volt will meet their sales expectations which are projected to grow to 40,000 in 2012. The Nissan Leaf trails behind with only 1,044 units sold.

www.autobodynews.com

www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 41


Handling People, Including Insurance Adjusters, Means Negotiating Effectively by Bob Spitz—Management Success

I was talking with a fairly new shop owner the other day about the state of his business and the challenges of getting a new business off the ground. During the talk the subject of insurance adjusters came up. This particular owner, like many in the business, has a passion for his art. He is a master painter and does beautiful work. Like many new operators, he has some body techs but he is still the one who does the painting. He has goals. He wants his shop to be the best collision shop in his market and I have no doubt that with his drive he might make it. The reason I say might is due to the fact that he is currently stuck working in the back and trying to run the business which includes writing his own estimates. He is experiencing his first case of true stress and it is starting to manifest itself in the way he handles people. He looks at adjusters as an enemy who is there to drive him crazy and whittle down his profits to the point where he is not making any money. I asked him if he provides a space for the adjuster to work while the adjuster is in his shop. His reply was instantaneous and filled with antagonism. “Why should I do that? He is not here to help me!” I knew immediately that he was looking at the adjuster as an adversary and not a potential ally. I was not trying to find fault with him. He is a well trained and experienced painter with a lot of knowledge and talent in that area. His problem is that, he is not trained in the fine art of handling people, which as an owner is more important than his skills as a painter. As a result he is trying to hanContinued from Page 28

I-CAR Training

offered by the trade associations referenced above. If I-CAR wants their training to be the accepted training, they need to work with the trade associations that work hard educate, assist

dle the wrong problem in his business. Mishandling adjusters will not improve his bottom line! I got him to calm down and take a look at what an adjuster does. How the adjuster plays the fine balancing act between the insurance company and the shop which has the customer’s interests as the priority. I got him to also look at that fact that he needs the adjusters’ help in accomplishing his goals and yelling at people and being belligerent is probably not the best way to win someone over. I agreed with him that adjusters are not all sweethearts. Some are a real problem. They can be difficult and unreasonable. Maybe they just got chewed out by the owner of the last shop they were in. It doesn’t matter. You need this person to help you get what you need. Maybe just offering them a bottle of water and a place to sit down for a moment to talk about anything other than the business at hand would help. Not all of them are out to get you. In fact if he would put down his sword and shield he might find the majority of them are just trying to do a difficult job the best way they know how. Interacting effectively with people is not only a skill; it is an art form that has to be mastered by anyone trying to run a business. There are many things to know about business. Understanding personal relationships and knowing how to negotiate is among the top items on the list. Very few people are born with these skills, they have to be learned. I asked him “What if you had the same ability in dealing with adjusters that you have in dealing with the cars? Where would you be?” He stopped dead in his tracks.

and speak for their members. If the cost of I-CAR training could be reduced as the result of the increase in volume through trade association participation, it would be a win, win for all. Once again, I encourage I-CAR to consider and act on the opportunity recently offered by the numerous trade associations referenced above.

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I continued, “You are a talented painter who only knows how to do the job one-way, the right way. You’re being upset with the adjuster is because you feel he is trying to get you to do the job in a lesser way—a way that will not satisfy you or the customer. You do not have the skill to get the adjuster to see it your way. This leaves you with limited choices of short-cutting, or accepting what is being offered which reduces your profit. Neither one of these is acceptable, nor should they be. You are going to do it the right way regardless.” “Two things need to happen here and happen quickly or you will burn out and never achieve your goals. The first is you have got to learn how to recruit, hire and train the right people so that you can get back out of the paint booth and run your business. You are killing yourself trying to do both. You can get short fused when you have to stop what you are doing to handle the insurance adjusters. Don’t start the conversation with the adjuster with a negative attitude.

“The second thing is you have to learn is how to deal with people and negotiate in order to get what it is you need to do the job right and put money in your pocket.” His shoulders sagged and he said to me, “Where do we start?” I am happy to report that this particular shop owner did not blow up his business and is now in a much better condition. He smiles more. He is well on the way to achieving his goals. Collision shop owners are in the people handling business. If you are not achieving your goals, feeling fed up and frustrated, give Management Success a call—we can help.

Management Success!, is a company that specializes in training and consulting the independent automotive repair shop owner. Bob tours the country as an educational speaker and writes numerous columns. Additional articles on management can be read online at www.managementsuccess.com ©2011 Management Success! All Rights Reserved.


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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 43


Ford Releases Another Crash Test Video Comparing OEM to Aftermarket Crash Parts, ABPA Responds with its own Crash Test Video Ford released their second comparative tests of Genuine Ford structural steel collision parts versus aftermarket counterparts on their Youtube account on August 8. The video is described as showing a “parts comparison performance of genuine Ford parts vs. aftermaket collision parts using computer aided simulation tests, crash sled tests, and actual vehicle crash tests data. In all cases, genuine Ford parts perform as designed. Aftermarket parts performance leads to questions of doubt concerning proper air bag deployment.” The video is hosted by Ford Repairability Engineer Larry Coan. Coan also describes Ford’s own version of the “sawzall test,” which they recreated following its publicity since last year’s CIC meeting, where a Sawzall is used to cut into aftermarket and OEM bumper beams. The test has been duplicated numerous times and depicts the difference in difficulty between cutting through an OEM bumper beam versus

an aftermarket bumper beam. The test has been called into question by several aftermarket parts advocates, the groups call the test “unscientific” and question whether it provides a true measure of how a part will perform in a crash, however the intent is not to show whether cutting a support member more easily means it will fail, but rather that the materials are different. In the video Coan states that Ford’s saw test yielded similar results to others depicted over the past year. (See also Toby Chess’ column this issue.) Ford’s comparative tests were done with 05–09 Mustang and 08-09 Focus Bumper Beams, 06–08 F-150 bumper brackets and 04–07 F-150 radiator supports, and 05–09 Mustang bumper absorbers and isolators. Initial comparisons showed that part construction and weight were noticeably different between OEM and aftermarket parts. Crash simulations between parts also showed a large difference be-

tween impact reactions. Repair costs following such crashes also revealed a difference between damage sustained from crashes where OEM and aftermarket parts were used.

ABPA Responds with Own Video The Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) responded to Ford’s video by releasing their own video and press release detailing some of their own crash test results. According to the group, the video of their crash tests illustrates the safety and quality of aftermarket auto parts. The video, which is available on the ABPA website at www.autobpa.com, showcases actual high- and low-speed crash tests. According to the ABPA, side-byside video taken during a high-speed crash test illustrates the simultaneous airbag deployment (down to the millisecond) for two 2006 Toyota Corollas, one outfitted with an aftermarket bumper reinforcement bar and the other a car company equivalent. The group uses this set of crash

tests to claim that false assertions were made “by some car companies that airbag timing is affected by using comparable aftermarket components.” The ABPA goes on to say that, “the high-speed crash data also shows the aftermarket- and the car companyequipped cars both delivering occupant safety well within the federal safety standards, with the car outfitted with non-branded car company parts actually delivering slightly better occupant protection as measured across 11 key injury criteria.” “In low-speed crash tests presented in the video, an aftermarket bumper reinforcement bar outperforms an equivalent car-company branded part, effectively absorbing impact without deployment of airbags while sustaining less damage that results in a $200 lower repair estimate.” “Time and again the aftermarket industry has demonstrated the safety See Ford ABPA, Page 62

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44 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com


BK Listings: Marketing Automotive Businesses Through Innovative Listings BK Listings, an internet marketing company that provides industry-specific listings to businesses in the automotive industry, has expanded its services to include everything automotive. BK Listings was founded in early 2010 and is headquartered in Dearborn, MI. The company started with 3 employees; a web designer, a programmer, and Owner and Founder Bradley Brennan. Brennan started BK Listings to offer industry specific and content rich profiles to businesses in the automotive industry and to offer customers an easier way to find the best shops in their area. BK Listings foGavin Crawford, cuses exclusively Web Designer on the automotive service industry—their motto is “anything and everything automotive.” “You could never include the type of information you can with us on a Google or Yellow Page ad.

They’re too general and don’t let your customers see what they need to see,” said Brennan. BK Listings allows automotive businesses to list the industry-specific information customers searching for this type of business want to see, such as which insurance companies the shop has a Direct Repair relationship with and a complete list of Alyssa Koslowsky, services provided Marketer that distinguish the shop from the competition. All of this information is searchable by users on BK Listings, so if a shop offers a certain service that people in their area want, customers will be able to search for that service and find that shop with ease. Customers can create a free login with BK Listings that will allow them to upload information about what needs to be repaired on their vehicle. This information then becomes available to shops with advanced pro-

files and they can bid on these jobs, allowing the customer to make an informed decision when choosing a shop and allowing the shop to find additional work in their area. “This addition to the site is rela-

tively new but we are really excited about its potential,” said Brennan. Customers can also submit information about a job they had done at a shop as well as shop reviews. BK Listings has expanded since

A mock listing was created for Autobody News

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www.bklistings.com • admin@bklistings.com www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 45


their founding to include listings for automotive service businesses beyond just collision repair shops, like mechanical, customization, and wheel & tire. They have also increased their staff; expanding to include three programmers, a graphic designer, a writer, and a marketer. “We are currently building a section for buying and selling automobiles to help offer another marketing solution to our dealership friends, and we plan on facilitating automotive part sales in the future,” said Brennan. BK Listings offers two types of profiles, basic and advanced. They differ in the amount of information provided about the business and the way they are searched by users. BK Listings has over 30,000 body shops listed with basic profiles. Advanced profiles, once set up, will always come before basic profiles in search results and will always display more information, so shops fortunate enough to be one of few signed up with advanced profiles in their area will enjoy increased visibility in all searches by local users. “We have decades of experience in the collision industry and know ex-

Hertz Files Premerger Notice with Federal Antitrust Regulator

Hertz Global Holdings has pushed back the deadline of its latest offer to acquire Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, but the proposed Hertz-Dollar Thrifty merger took a major step forward the week of July 10. Hertz says that it gave federal antitrust authorities the premerger notification required by the HartScott- Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, regarding its offer for DTAG. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Hart-Scott-Rodino basically created the path by which parties must inform the FTC and Department of Justice about large mergers and acquisitions ahead of time. “The Hart-Scott-Rodino Act established the federal premerger notification program, which provides the FTC and the Department of Justice with information about large mergers and acquisitions before they occur,” the FTC explains on the Bureau of Competition section of its website. The FTC says that deals cannot be closed until the one of the following happens: the specified waiting period ends or the government allows the waiting period to end early.

actly what shops are looking for; we know what customers want and we know how to bring business in. Our goal is to provide a service that allows the best shops to find the customers

in mind, and we believe together we can improve the industry as a whole.” John Germain, owner of E & F Auto in Melvindale, Michigan, has had a listing on BK Listings for a short pe-

The request an estimate form available for potential customers to fill out and have shops bid on their job

they need to survive and succeed,” said Brennan, “The collision industry is just now beginning to aggressively pursue internet marketing; we want to be at the forefront of that movement. We have the best interests of the shops

Hertz to Acquire Donlen in $930M Transaction

Hertz Global Holdings and Donlen Corp. announced July 18 they have signed a definitive agreement for Hertz to acquire Donlen. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and by the stockholders of Donlen. The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2011, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. Mark Frissora, the chairman and chief executive officer of Hertz, said, “The acquisition of Donlen expands our portfolio of transportation solutions by giving Hertz an immediate leadership position in long-term car, truck and equipment leasing and fleet management for corporate customers who need scale and sophisticated fleet management services. This range of solutions from a single provider will make Hertz unique among its peers.” Frissora added, “The integration of Donlen gives Hertz a yearly and multi-year offering that complements our hourly, daily and monthly car sharing and car rental options for customers, giving us a more stable revenue stream and new adjacent markets to leverage our existing business model.

46 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

riod of time but has already seen a positive response from the listing. “It is easy to use and makes our company more visible. We already had a website in place but the additional traffic helps with our online

marketing,” said Germain. BK Listings is currently running a promotional deal for their members; if a member refers another shop to sign up, BK Listings will send the member a check for $100. All members have to do is tell a friend to sign their shop up, if they stay on for at least 3 months, BK Listings will send the check. There is no limit on the amount of shops members can refer for this deal. Shops should email BK Listings notifying them of the referral (see below). “We have done our best to pull in every shop in America, but through the process there is the chance we missed a couple,” said Brennan. “It is very easy to add your shop if you don’t already have a basic profile listed, you can submit a request on the website or email us directly and we will add it for you.” Questions can be directed to admin@bklistings.com or bradleybrennan1@gmail.com. “I want to develop a personal relationship with every shop that is interested; we can only succeed by working together,” said Brennan. Please visit www.bklistings.com for more information.


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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 47


ALL OEM Information with Dan Espersen and Jeff Webster

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

Estimators – The Front Line in the Battle for Profitability New car in the shop – front end looks like it ran into a tree. It did! So, what’s it going to take to get it back on the road? Well, it starts with you, the estimator. As an estimator, you need experience, good judgment, diplomatic skills and accurate information. As far as experience, judgment and diplomacy go, you either have them or you don’t. I can’t really help you there. But, when it comes to information, that’s a different story. Today, every model year brings innovations: Materials technology, electronic systems, finishes, vehicle drivetrains, steering and suspension… the list goes on. Can you develop a repair plan just by looking? How about an educated guess, or calling your friend who worked on one of these vehicles once? Sorry, the old ways just don’t work anymore!

need manufacturer’s information. OE procedures and guidelines are absolutely required to efficiently and effectively repair today’s vehicles. You need it to write a repair plan. Your Parts Manager may need it to order the correct parts the first time. And of course your technicians need OE information to make accurate repairs in the shortest amount of time possible.

Back to the car in the shop You start to build your repair plan. As an experienced estimator, you probably have a good sense of how deep the damage goes. But what about that frame rail? Can you section it? (Fig-

Information is the key But not just any information. You

volvo Genuine parts

ure A). Are you sure? Can you tell what kind of steel is used in each location? Those are just a couple of factors that will make a difference in the estimate… and in the ultimate profitability of the job. Of course, profit is not the only concern. Your primary mission is to deliver a vehicle that is safe to drive. That’s really the bottom line, isn’t it? Here are some of the questions you may have to wrestle with: • How do you determine the types of construction materials? • Is the part you are repairing made from high-strength steel? Ultra high-strength steel? Dual phase steel? High strength low alloy steel? (Figure B.1). • How do you know for sure if the manufacturer says it is safe to section a particular component?

• Do you follow the insurance estimator’s procedures about where to section? If you don’t comply with the estimator’s recommendation, who is

liable for damage in the event of a future accident? • Do you have all the information you need for a safe, reliable – yet efficient – repair, including electronic sysSee Battle for Profitability, Page 50

YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE AT THE FIRST REPAIR.

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Sanderson Volvo of Phoenix GLENDALE

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Trust your order to the collision parts specialists at these fine Dealers 48 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

California

Nick Alexander MINI Los Angeles

800-800-NICK 323-583-5109 Direct www.alexandermini.com

South Bay MINI Torrance

310-939-7342 310-939-7343


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For the first time in 7 YEARS , the world’s collision event is headed east! Join the automotive service & repair industry at the only event that is specifically designed and created for YOU. As the flagship event of ASRW, NACE constantly evolves with the industry to meet your ever-changing business needs, continues to invest in the industry it serves, and is a must attend event for anyone in the automotive service & repair industry. And this year…

IT’S ALL ROLLED INTO ONE: World class exhibits // Unmatched education & training you won’t find anywhere else Live on-floor demonstrations // Opening general session // Welcome reception // ASRW Town Hall ASRW Industry Forum // Association Leadership Summit // Networking Events Vehicle Display Featuring the Muscle Car Network of Florida Co-Located With: Held During:

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www.ASRWEVENTS.com www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 49


• Will the shop make money on the job?

Continued from Page 48

Battle for Profitability

tem reset or reprogramming procedures? • Will your estimate comply with your shop’s DRP agreements if you participate in such a program? • Does your technician have the precautions he or she needs to work safely. What are the special safety concerns for hybrid vehicles? With hybrids, the safety of the technician AND the vehicle needs extra attention. (Figure C).

OE information is the gold standard for collision repair When developing a repair plan, OE repair information helps you: • Increase estimate accuracy for collision and mechanical repairs • Identify proper repair procedures to reduce supplements • Provide required documentation to customers and insurers • Increase sales and consumer confidence with a professional explana-

FIGURE C: Precautionary Statements for a 2011 Toyota® Prius®

CAUTION: Pressing the power switch with the brake pedal depressed causes the system to enter the READY-on state. This is very dangerous because high voltage may be applied to the inspection area.

NOTICE: A short circuit to ground may occur if the AMD terminal is disconnected before the cable is disconnected from the negative (-) terminal of the auxiliary battery. If a short circuit to ground occurs, it can result in an open circuit in a fusible link or fuse.

NOTICE: When the cable is disconnected from the negative (-) battery terminal, initialize the following system(s) after the cable is reconnected: Advanced Parking Guidance System.

tion of necessary repairs • Manage costly vehicle returns

Here is an excerpt of an OE repair article for a 2011 Buick® Regal® A-Pillar – Front Hinge Pillar Body Sectioning (Upper) Always refer to ALLDATA® for safety procedures, identification of material types, recommended refinish materials, removal and installation procedures. Always refer to the vehicle manufacturer for questions relating to applicable or non-applicable warranty repair information. Removal Procedure Warning: Sectioning should be performed only in the recommended areas. Failure to do so may compromise the structural integrity of the vehicle and cause personal injury if the vehicle is in a collision.

The body side outer panels are available in one-piece side frames. You can perform any one of these replacement procedures separately or in any combination, depending upon the extent of damage to the vehicle. Sectioning must take place in specified

areas only. Stay away from the door and window opening radius areas. Perform sectioning only in straight areas of the openings.

1. Disable the SIR system. 2. Disconnect the negative battery cable 3. Remove all related panels and components. 4. Repair as much of the damaged area as possible. 5. Remove the sealers and anti-corrosion materials from the repair area, as necessary. Note: Sectioning can be done anywhere in the straight area along the rocker panel.

6. On the “A” Pillar Measure down 100 mm from the door wiring conduit See Battle for Profitability, Page 60

Genuine Nissan and Infiniti OEM Wholesale Parts are superbly crafted to strict quality standards. Use of genuine OEM Wholesale Parts is a shift in the right direction toward trouble-free repairs and quicker turnaround. The following dealers proudly stock genuine parts for your Nissan or Infiniti repairs. Call your local distributor today! 2011 Juke S. CALIFORNIA

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50 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

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Gene Crozat Family Opens Newest G&C Location in Novato

The Crozat family had a grand opening recently to unveil their newest G&C location in Novato, California. From left to right, General Manager Shawn Crozat, Owners Teri and Gene Crozat, and Josh Crozat, the manager of the company’s Windsor location, were on hand for a ribbon cutting. Approximately 70 people attended the event, including dignitaries from the City of Novato. The facility has the

ability to handle 100 cars per month. G&C purchased the business from Complete Auto Body and remodeled the shop for approximately $300,000, including the purchase price of the business as well as the construction costs, and subsequently signed a long-term lease with the building’s owner. Teri is holding a plaque welcoming the business from the Novato Chamber of Commerce.

SO. CALIFORNIA

Subaru of Glendale Glendale (818) 550-1500 (818) 549-3850 Fax Mon.-Fri. 7-6; Sat. 8-4 parts@glendalemitsu.com www.subaruofglendale.net

Sierra Subaru of Monrovia Monrovia (626) 359-8291 (626) 932-5660 Fax Mon.-Fri. 7-6; Sat. 8-4 parts@sierracars.com www.sierraauto.com

Timmons Subaru

The following dealerships are eager to serve your needs. Call your local Subaru collision parts specialist today! Galpin Subaru

SO. CALIFORNIA

Van Nuys (818) 778-2005 (818) 778-2090 Fax www.galpin.com

Kearny Mesa Subaru San Diego (800) 548-9124 (858) 300-3331 Fax Mon.-Fri. 7-6 cguth@kmhyundaisubaru.com www.kearnymesasubaru.com/parts

Long Beach (888) 489-5001 (562) 426-3550 Fax Tue. 7-8; Mon., Wed.-Fri. 7-6; Sat. 8-4, Sat. No Delivery Parts@timmonslongbeach.com www.timmonssubaru.com

Marin Subaru

San Rafael (415) 257-4690 (415) 257-4684 Fax Mon.-Fri. 7:30-5:30; Sat. 8-4 marinmazdasubaru@yahoo.com www.marinsubaru.net

NO. CALIFORNIA

Shingle Springs Subaru Shingle Springs (530) 676-0444 (530) 677-6528 Fax www.shinglespringssubaru.com

Subaru of Santa Cruz Santa Cruz (800) 549-8490 (831) 420-1402 (831) 420-1923 Fax Mon.-Fri. 7:30-6; Sat. 8-5 parts@santacruzsubaru.com www.santacruzsubaru.com

ARIZONA

Anderson Subaru Lake Havasu City (928) 764-5177 (928) 764-2574 Fax Mon.-Fri. 7:30-5:30; Sat. 8-2 www.andersondeals.com www.andersondealssubaru.com

Power Subaru

Scottsdale (480) 425-2950 (480) 425-2948 Fax Mon.-Fri. 7-6; Sat. 7-4

www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 51


Social Media for Shops

How to Fix Your Damaged Online Reputation with Ed Attanasio

In an article in July’s Autobody News I wrote about Yelp and how shops have objected to the way this review site seems to perpetuate negative reviews on shops unless they’re members of the premium (paid) user program. If you missed it see www.autobodynews.com and search: Yelp. The question for many shops in this situation is: what can I do about it? Okay, let’s assume your name and the reputation of your shop has been thrown under the bus and now you want to fight back. Maybe it’s a bad review on Yelp, or maybe a disgruntled former employee has trashed you on the Web and posted a collection of half-truths coupled with some outright lies. Or, maybe one of “those customers” that is never be happy is posting negative things online about you and they are beginning to get noticed and starting to affect your business.

Okay, it looks bad and it can be very frustrating, but don’t panic— there are some strategies you can use to defend yourself online and clean up your damaged reputation in the process. To get started, you can initially do some things on your own that can distance you from the snarky online comments or bad reviews about you and your business. If you have any even rudimentary computer skills, you can help yourself considerably by making the right moves. The basic rule here is always take the high road. Don’t’ respond directly to anything in a negative or combative fashion. If you jump in the mud with your online accusers, than all you’re really doing is adding credibility to their claims. Focus on disseminating positive information about your shop and get it on as many websites as you possibly can. Put them on your Facebook

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

page and other social media sites, such as LinkedIn, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, and Netlog, to name some of many. Join as many as you can and maintain them, inviting customers and friends to join. Eventually, your involvement in these sites will start appearing in search results, and pretty soon, you’ll notice that the bad reviews will begin to migrate down the list. If you really want to get proactive in defending your company online, you can take it a step further and start your own blog. Blogs are popular, because they’re simple and posting stories and photos on there is a snap, even for the cyber-challenged. You can link your blog to your website and it will also provide a wide range of SEO advantages over your haters. For example, BlogSpot (blogspot.com) is a very popular blogging site. It’s easy-to-use and ab-

solutely free. Posting stories on your blog doesn’t require a lot of time and even with just casual computer skills you can start and maintain a blog within a short time. Now, of course, you might be asking yourself—how do I find the time to do these things online? You’re probably already working 50 hours a week—fixing cars, dealing with customers, insurance companies, vendors and employees is your priority every week, so how can you do it all? Some body shops call upon a front office employee to assume the role of the company’s IT person. But, if you don’t have anybody currently on your staff like that, you’ll need to hire a company or an individual to assist you in salvaging your reputation online and defending you in the future. Some body shops have hired public relations firms to perform these

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duties. If you can afford them, it’s a sage move. Bruce Miles is a public relations specialist who has worked for companies such as Cisco Systems, Apple Computer and a wide range of startups in Silicon Valley. He offered me some tips for how to position your shop in a good light and reap accolades that can offset any bad reviews or negative content about you and/or your business online. “Start a list of all the things you do well and leverage those items,” Miles said. “Collect testimonials from your satisfied customers and get their permission to use them. If you’re not currently helping the community that you’re doing business in, start getting involved. It’s a win-win, because it will help your business and attract

more customers. Too many small companies don’t see the big picture and concentrate solely on profit, payroll and the bottom line. Those things are obviously crucial, but establishing a solid reputation especially in your area is paramount.” Press releases distributed to the local media is one way to get the word out about all of the great things you’re doing, Miles explained. “Hire a PR person and have them generate one press release every couple months. Any positive news is good news and local community papers love to run upbeat stories, because most of the headline news out there is grim, as we know. Maybe you’re mentoring local students who want to get into collision repair? Maybe you fixed a rare,

unique vehicle? Or maybe held a dinner for the local Little League team you’re sponsoring? Good public relations specialists will find the story ideas for you, and by using their contacts with the local media, you’ll start seeing your name in print and online in a positive vein.” If you have a really negative perception on the Web you may need to go further. For many body shops, a good solution is hiring a company called Reputation.com (formerly ReputationDefender.) Located in Redwood City, California, the company sells online reputation management (ORM) and Internet privacy to companies and individuals worldwide. ReputationDefender was founded six years ago to help parents in shielding

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their children from damaging their reputations via embarrassing postings on social media websites, but Reputation.com has shifted its business model to defending adults online as well and continually monitoring web content about their clients. When damaging content is found, the company tries to get it removed from the offending websites through methods like contacting the site owners and requesting that they remove the content in question. In 2006, Susan Crawford, a cyberlaw specialist on the faculty of Cardozo Law School in NYC, says that when contacted in that fashion, “Most people will take materials down just to avoid the hassle of dealing with possible litigation.” Reputation.com also leverages the positive approach, by writing 200300 word articles praising their clients and posting them throughout the Web. By building a reservoir of positive feedback out there in cyberspace and continually acting as a watchdog, Reputation.com can help you to offset bad press or disparaging reviews that you’ve received and keep the good word coming, so that you’re ready when and if it happens again. “Be prepared” is the Boy Scout motto, but we can’t all be Eagle Scouts all the time, so when disparaging things appear about you and/or your business online, the worst thing you can do is ignore the situation. If negatives are out there and you know it, you’ll never know who’s not coming to your shop because they’ve seen a bad review. Silence is deafening and people will readily form “guilty until found innocent” opinions unless you respond. But keep it positive, build good will by doing things that benefit your community and hire an expert or a company to defend you online if you’ve really been maligned.

www.vwdowntownla.com www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 53


How Shop Owners Can Take Advantage of Salvage Auctions by Vinnie Mitz, President, Copart, Inc.

Although used car dealers and insurance companies are the types of corporations that seemingly benefit the most from the salvage auction industry, auto body shops are less obvious but equal beneficiaries. If properly utilized, salvage auctions can help body shops to supplement their existing business by increasing their repair volumes and facilitating access to parts.

Fixing the Fixed Costs Auto body shop owners have much of the same fixed-business costs as any other operation. The cost of land or rent, utilities, payroll and upkeep all add to an auto body shop’s overhead. That means that whether a shop repairs 10 cars or 50, the basic fixed cost of doing business will generally be the same. By utilizing salvage auctions, body shops have the opportunity to better utilize their fixed-cost base. One way to use the auctions is to buy repairable cars to fill in work slots.

A lot of the cars that are written off as a total loss are actually repairable. Body shops can buy these damaged cars through a salvage auction, then repair and resell them for an added revenue stream. Or, if a shop needs Vinnie Mitz, multiple parts from Copart President a car, it can buy the car, strip it of the parts it needs, and then resell the remainder of the car.

Going Virtual Top tier salvage auctions utilize online technologies that allow bidders to participate in virtual salvage auctions from the convenience of their home or office. Vehicle searching, previewing and bidding can all be accessed via a click of the mouse. Since the Internet has a global reach, it can vastly increase the size of an auto body shop’s business universe. Locating Hard-to-Find Parts Shops can also buy vehicles for parts.

Shops often fit used or recycled parts when making repairs to automobiles. They usually source them from a local or regional dismantler, but if they need a large number of used parts, it may be prudent to acquire an entire vehicle, use the parts required and then resell the rest. This method is often helpful in non-insured repair jobs. If a shop is working on a rare or exotic car with hard-to-find used parts, sourcing from a salvage pool is an option. If the shop can’t find a part on its own, a salvage pool can inform the shop about recent sales of the same rare car. The shop can then track down the dismantler who bought the car and buy the part directly. An advantage to using virtual salvage auctions for body shops is the increased reach it offers when acquiring cars or car parts. Because the auctions are online and available to anyone in the world, shop owners are not limited to the cars or parts in their general vicinity. Additionally, the auctions don’t require bidders to be physically present, which will save the shop owner countless hours of boredom

and drudgery, as well as travel costs.

A Level Playing Field Virtual salvage auctions help mitigate the shadier aspects of auto auctions, such as collusion or intimidation. Collusion can occur when multiple bidders conspire to fix the auction. It cheats other bidders out of a fair auction, and keeps cars from being sold at their optimum price. However, with the virtual auction, buyers simply enter their bids into a computer, rather than go through an auctioneer or auction manager, who may handle multiple competing bids simultaneously. By eliminating the human element in this part of the process, virtual salvage auctions create a fair auction for all bidders. Going Once, Going Twice, Sold! To participate in an online salvage auction, here are the three steps:

Step 1: Search and Preview Bidders from around the world can quickly search through all current ve-

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hicle inventories online to find exactly what they want through a variety of online search tools. Each vehicle has digital images and detailed condition information, allowing the bidders to fully preview the vehicles before deciding whether to bid. Bidders can also search for vehicles in their general vicinity and preview them onsite to evaluate the condition first hand.

Step 2: Preliminary Bidding Once a bidder has found the vehicle they are interested in pursuing, they can enter preliminary bids online or at bidding kiosks where vehicles are stored prior to the live sale. Preliminary bidding is where bidders enter the maximum price that they are willing to pay for a vehicle. The system will then bid incrementally for the bidder up to their maximum bid, even during the virtual auction.

Step 3: Live Sale After the auction organizer receives the vehicle seller’s transferable title, the car is slated for a virtual sale. Potential bidders continue to compete in the preliminary bidding process up to one hour before the start of the Inter-

net-only virtual sale. When the virtual sale starts, digital images of the car or truck for sale are displayed along with the current highest bid from the preliminary bidding period. When bidding on the vehicle stops, a countdown is initiated. If no one bids during the countdown, the vehicle is sold to the highest bidder. Now that you have the basics down for participating in a virtual salvage auction, use it to your business advantage. Happy bidding!

About Copart, Inc. Copart sells more than one million vehicles each year at more than 140 facilities throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, through its two-stage VB2 internet technology. Copart sells vehicles for a variety of consignors including finance companies, banks, dealers, fleets, rental car companies and the insurance industry. Copart’s success has earned it a place on Forbes “200 Best Small Companies” list nine years in a row. Copart was also featured on the television show, World’s Best as “The World’s Best Remarketing Company.” For more information, see www.copart.com.

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Honda Recalls 2.5 Million Vehicles for Software Issues Honda Motor Co. said August 5 it will recall 2.49 million cars, small SUVs and minivans worldwide, including its popular Accord sedan, to repair a software problem that could damage the automatic transmission, according to Automotive News. The recall includes 1.5 million vehicles in the United States, 760,000 in China and 135,142 in Canada, the automaker said in a statement. Globally, the recall affects fourcylinder Accord sedans for the model years 2005 to 2010. In the United States and Canada, the recall also includes the CR-V crossover for the model years 2007 to 2010 as well as the small SUV Element from 2005 to 2008. Without updating the software, the automatic transmission in these vehicles could be damaged if the driver quickly shifts between gears. That might cause the engine to stall or make it difficult to put the car into park. The company has said it disagreed with the influential U.S. consumer advocate’s assessment. Chris Martin, Honda spokesman at the company’s U.S. headquarters in California, said August 5 the recall was not a sign of deeper difficulties.

Martin said the current recall was the result of “extremely unusual circumstances. The far majority of our consumers would never really encounter this. It’s software programing. It’s not a weakness in the transmission per se.” No injuries or deaths have been reported from this problem, Martin said. Honda said the problems might arise if the transmission were quickly shifted between the reverse, neutral and drive positions. A driver might do this in an attempt to dislodge a vehicle in mud or snow. The automatic transmission secondary shaft bearing could be damaged in this scenario. An update to transmission control module software will ease the transition between gears and reduce the possibility of damage. Honda will begin informing U.S. consumers at the end of August. It did not disclose expected cost of the recall. The software update will take about a half-hour, but customers may have to leave their cars at Honda dealerships for a longer period, Martin said.

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Continued from Cover

North State v. Progressive

someone other than himself and what the practice of “steering” had done to his and other businesses like his. Having spent nearly 20 years litigating for and against insurance companies, I was aware of the power an insurance company can exert. However as Greg explained to me the realities of the collision repair industry, I was admittedly shocked by what I heard.

The Case of North State v. Progressive Insurance In 2007, as attorney for North State Custom, I commenced a lawsuit against Progressive Insurance alleging that Progressive engaged in deceptive business practices and interference with North State’s business and customers. The case has survived two motions to dismiss, two appeals and a separate action brought by Progressive against North State resulting in two separate jury trials. (For a summary of the Progressive v. North State saga see autobodynews.com, Cocarro Case Takes a Wide Turn...). While the case against Progressive has not yet been re-

solved and in fact we expect a jury trial to be held sometime next year, a recent court ruling in the matter has significant impact for the industry as a whole.

I. Backround: The State of the Law in New York In New York, as in most states, the insurance industry has been able to lobby state legislatures to enact “toothless” insurance laws that claim to regulate the insurance industry without actually doing so. As a result, most insurance companies believe, and rightfully so, that they can exploit the law with impunity and bully insured’s into having their cars repaired by captive and tightly controlled repair shops. Fortunately, most states including New York, also have little known but effective consumer protection laws designed to protect consumers from improper corporate behavior. New York’s “toothless” insurance statute is called Insurance Law Section 2610, known as the “anti-steering law.” It states that not only do consumers have an absolute right to select the repair shop of their choice, but that an insurance company may not recommend a repair shop without a con-

sumer request to do so. Of course, nowhere does this “anti-steering law” provide for a remedy to a consumer when the statute is violated. Rather, the law gives the power to raise a violation only to the Attorney General or the Department of Insurance, and not the consumer or his chosen repair shop. New York’s Consumer Protection Law can be found within the state’s General Business Law and specifically at section 349. The law was originally enacted to protect consumers from unscrupulous business practices but has been expanded to include any consumer oriented conduct that is materially misleading which causes harm to a party. Thus, it is here, where the interests of large corporations overlaps with the interests of small businesses, that the legal battle between insurers and independent repair shops is taking shape.

II. Progressive’s motion to dismiss In our lawsuit we alleged that Progressive, as one of the largest automobile insurance companies in the country, used intimidation, threats, disparaging statements and direct lies about North State in order to

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force North State’s customers and others similarly situated into using Progressive’s network of direct repair shops and that these actions caused harm to North State. In other words, that Progressive purposefully and improperly misled and deceived customers about both North State and its own repair shops for their economic gain and to North States economic detriment. At the close of the discovery phase in the case, Progressive moved the court for a dismissal. It did so by making two divergent but significant arguments. First, Progressive argued that its actions in connection with the way it “offered” its Direct Repair Program was not misleading or deceptive. Second, Progressive argued that even if the way it offered its direct repair program was misleading and deceptive, New York’s Insurance Law did not allow a consumer or a repair shop such as North State to bring such an action. Thus the court was forced to make three separate but intertwined decisions: First, did Progressive act improperly? Second, if they did act improperly, were those actions of the kind

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contemplated by the Consumer Protection Law? And third, if Progressive acted improperly and those improper actions violated the consumer protection law, did the fact that those actions also violate the Insurance Law matter? As explained below, the court disagreed with each of Progressive’s arguments and denied Progressive’s motion to dismiss. (Dennis Artese, Esq., of the firm of Anderson, Kill & Olick, authored the legal papers submitted on behalf of North State and the decision issued by the court could not have been possible without the immense effort and dedication of Mr. Artese and the Anderson, Kill & Olick firm.)

III. Did Progressive act improperly in violation of the Consumer Protection Law? In response to this question, North State submitted evidence obtained from its customers that Progressive used deceptive and misleading tactics in order to bully consumers into having their cars repaired at its DRP shops. This evidence included testimony from North State customers chronicling the lies and misrepresentations made by Progressive’s employees about North

State. North State also relied upon similar cases where Insurance Companies had been found guilty of violating New York’s Consumer Protection Laws as well as on the decision in the matter entitled MVB Collision v. Allstate, where a Federal Court found that actions such as disparaging statements, intentionally declaring vehicles a total loss and “steering” were deceptive practices as contemplated by the Consumer Protection Statute. (Here a special thank you and expression of appreciation must go out to the owners of Mid-Island Collision in Long Island, New York, as well as to their Counsel, for obtaining this extremely important decision.) After viewing the evidence submitted by both sides, the court held: “North State has submitted evidence that Progressive employees made disparaging, untrue statements to its insured’s concerning North State, in connection with the DRP, that caused Plaintiff to lose customers and that such evidence of misrepresentations, made in connection with its DRP, an established program involving billions of dollars and thousands of consumerinsured’s was sufficient to violate the consumer protection statute”.

Thus having dispensed with the question of whether Progressive’s acts could be deemed deceptive and misleading in violation of the Consumer Protection Law, and answering that question with a resounding ‘YES,’ the court turned to the question of whether North State had a right to make such a claim at all.

IV. Are North State’s claims barred by the Insurance Law? As stated above, Progressive predictably relied upon the argument that North State’s consumer protection action was simply a veiled “steering” claim which was barred by New York’s Insurance Law. This argument has been made by insurance companies in nearly every jurisdiction (see the California “Hughes v. Progressive” case at www.autobodynews. com) and in fact Progressive had been successful in making this same argument in New York in another matter involving MVB Collision. (See MVB Collision v. Progressive, Nassau County, New York). After viewing all of the evidence submitted in this case however, the court disagreed with Progressive and held that because an insurer’s misrepresentations

to its insured’s as part of a broad DRP is enough to violate the consumer protection laws, the fact that those misrepresentations also violate the Insurance Law does not stop the collision repairer from being allowed to bring an action against the insurance company. The court again looked to the MVB Collision v. Allstate case for guidance when it wrote: “With respect to the argument that the plaintiff’s cause of action was really a disguised steering claim, the Allstate Court held: Here, by contrast, there is evidence of a free-standing claim of deceptiveness’ that simply happens to overlap’ with a claim under the Insurance Law. The alleged scheme to dissuade Allstate insured’s from going to Mid Island involved not only steering but also, inter alia, alleged defamatory comments. Thus, because plaintiff’s § 349 claim merely happens to overlap’ with provisions of New York Insurance Law, it is not an improper attempt to circumvent the lack of a private right of action under the Insurance Law.” II. What does it all mean? So what does the North State case, See North State v. Progressive, Page 60

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Custom Corner

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This Year’s Entry for the SEMA Pinewood Derby 2011 with Rich Evans

On Creative Marketing with Thomas Franklin

Specially crafted, uniquely designed pinewood cars, built by a talented class of hot rodders, are featured in the HRIA Builders Challenge race held on July 29 in Long Beach, CA. These creations will be on display at the SEMA Show before being placed on eBay for auction.

Some readers will remember that last year I built a Pinewood Derby model car, raced it at SEMA, and took second place. I told myself last year that this year I was going to really stay withPinewood Dick Strom within the traditional Derby build using a single block of wood. A ‘Celebrity Pinewood Derby’ build is what they were calling it. It’s all about

having fun and auctioning off the cars to benefit Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp. I’m all about charities and fundraising and whatever I can do to give back. This year I decided to get creative and came up with a pretty cool design. There are rules in Pinewood Derby racing and building and so “maximum weight limit of this car cannot exceed 24 ounces, overall length shall not exceed 8˝ , overall width of the car shall not exceed 2.75˝ including wheels. The car must have approximately 3/8˝

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clearance underneath the body of the car, the car must have 4 wheels, all cars must display at least one HRIA decal on the car.” The organizers provide a basic pinewood car kit including a block of wood, 4 wheels, and two axles. “The only required component is a piece of the wood block which must be visible on the car. You are not required to use any wheels or axles provided. Any materials may be used for the body of your car.” So that’s cool, but for me, for a Pinewood derby build, I want to

stay traditional and use a hand tool to carve it out. To me that’s the fun of building a pinewood derby car. Last year I lost by like one inch, so I’ve got this crazy idea that I’m going to bring. I’m sure I’m going to raise a lot of commotion on “no, you can’t do this, or can’t do that” but I just read the rules and I don’t see anything about this. It says no rules (except the following), so I’ve got this idea where I’m going to have a pair of headlights that extend out. So the whole idea behind that is when I’m up

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behind the starting gate, the post is going to come up in the middle of the car and I’m already going to have a 6 inch lead. So I’m going to use the old school way of building this, I’m going

it to where I’m at about 23 ounces, leaving about an ounce for the paint, additional hardware, and wheels. I’m going come as close to that 24 oz. as I can. If I go over 24 ounces I can always drill some weight out. For the

to bring this car all the way up to 24 ounces, as it is laid out in the rules. So what I’m doing is carving out the basic silhouette of the body, and then I’m going to buy myself some lead weight, and with this car I’m going to make it more of a flat, roadster style. You know, kind of create my own body and have fun with it, utilize that complete piece of wood. Obviously the piece of wood itself doesn’t weigh 24 oz. so I’m going to add lead underneath the car. I carved it out and melt the lead into it and get

capsule I’m going to take half of a deep sea fishing weight cut in half. I sanded it down and used a 08115 body panel adhesive, which sticks to wood, plastic, metal, aluminum, lead, anything. It has a 24hour dry period, but you can accelerate it with a heat gun. For my headlights, I’m going to use a manual antennae that collapses (and extends). I found one with a nice little round knob on it that looks like a chrome headlight. I’ve got everything carved out, I’ve got my antennaes ready to go, I’m

Audi Genuine Parts

going to go back to the 08115 3M panel bond and I’m going to glue those antennaes in. I run that panel bond around the lead so it fills in some of the gaps. Then I sand it with 80 grit, and give it a good 3 or 4 coats of my preferred PCL Primer. I let it dry, then guide coat it, sand it with some 150 grit, re-guide coat it, and hit it with 400 grit dry. I don’t want any moisture to get into the wood. Then sealer and base. The PCL Primer I’m using is the 901 Poly Prime High Build and I’m shooting that with a SATA spray gun with a 1.9 tip. I’m also using a 3M Respirator, I’m not putting on the full paint suit because I’m only painting an 8 inch by 2 inch piece of wood. So, what am I going to do for the wheels? I’ve located some .0937 x .1875 x .0937 stainless steel precision bearings. Now I’ve got to hunt down wheels and I’m running out of time because I’m going out of town. I find a washer that this bearing will fit into. I want a bigger wheel so it doesn’t have to turn as much to get moving. I’m using a washer so there’s less drag when the car’s going down the track. The less contact with the track, the less drag you’re going to have. (Think train wheel.)

I use the 08115 Panel Bond and glue the bearing in, gluing two washers together. Next year I’ll spend a little more time on the wheels, but right now I’ve got to finish and make sure I have a car to race. So after gluing all the washers together and the bearings in. I’m using a stainless steel rod cut up to make axles about the size of a nail. I’m need spacers to keep the wheels away from the body so I’m going to use heat-shrink tubing. On the very end I use a Staples’ push pin for a hubcap because they’re chrome. I’m going to glue those in also with the 08115 3M panel bond, and let that dry. Then I’ll have the wheels ready to put on after I’ve completed my paint. After sealing it, I put a black base on it, I’ve got a my Rich Evans logo for brand awareness. It also gives the car a finished look. I’m just going with black, I’m not doing any two-tone or any heavy graphics. Plain and simple, the car looks cool, it’s coming out the way I want it to. The best features on it are the headlights and the stainless steel washers, just like a poor boy build, but, we’ll see how it performs. The day of the race I’m going to See SEMA Pinewood Derby, Page 62

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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 59


Continued from Page 50

Battle for Profitability

hole lower edge (1). Mark this cut location on the front hinge pillar (2). Mark a cut location in the straight area on the rocker panel (3) (Figure 1). 7. Cut the front hinge pillar body where sectioning is to be performed (1) (Figure 2).

8. Locate and mark all the necessary factory welds of the front hinge pillar body. Note: Record the number and location of welds for installation of the service assembly. 9. Drill out all factory welds (1) (Figure 3).

Continued from Page 57

North State v. Progressive

MVB v. Allstate and Hughes v. Progressive mean for the collision repair industry today? First, the cases show that individual repair shops and the industry as a whole now have a means to combat the illegal steering practices so long a staple of the insurance industry. By asserting your rights as a consumer under your state’s consumer protection laws, you as a business now have the means to stop improper steering as soon as you become aware of the practice. While lawsuits can be expensive, the costs of a suit pale in comparison to the amount of business that a shop loses at the hands of illegal steering. Further, now that the precedents are being set, attorneys in your state will be much more willing to bring an action on your behalf which should bring

10. Remove the damaged front hinge pillar body.

Installation Procedure 1. Cut the replacement hinge pillar in corresponding locations to fit the vehicle (1) (Figure 4). The panel should be trimmed to allow a gap 1 1/2 the metal

thickness at the sectioning location. 2. Create a 50 mm (2 in) backing plate from the unused portion of the service part for the “A” pillar area. 3. Create a 100 mm (4 in) backing plate from the unused portion of the service part for the rocker area. 4. Trim the backing plates as necessary to fit behind the panel at the sectioning joint. 5. Drill 8 mm (5/16 in) plug weld holes along the sectioning area in the service part, and at the locations noted from the original panel. 6. Prepare all mating surfaces as necessary. 7. Apply 3MTM Weld-Thru Coating P/N 05916 or equivalent to all mating surfaces. 8. Fit the backing plates halfway into litigation costs down as well. Second, but perhaps even more critical is the fact that as a result of these and other lawsuits, there are now a growing number of legal precedents that are establishing exactly what constitutes improper, deceptive and illegal steering activities in the insurer-collision repairer relationship. For example, the court in the North State case took great pains to define what it considered “improper conduct” to be and looked to the earlier MVB Collision case for help in crafting its definition. The practice is called “setting and defining precedent” and it is the way in which our laws and our society develop over time. Thus, cases like North State v. Progressive and MVB Collision v. Allstate are actually helping to define what it is an insurance company can and cannot do when interacting with See North State v. Progressive, Page 61

60 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

the sectioning joints, 25 mm (1 in) at the “A pillar” area and 50 mm (2 in) at the rocker panel areas. Clamp the plates in place, and plug weld to the section joint. 9. Position the outer front pillar to the vehicle using 3-dimensional measuring equipment (1) (Figure 5). Clamp the pillar in place.

10. Plug weld accordingly (1) (Figure 6).

11. Stitch weld the butt weld locations (2) (Figure 6). 12. To create a solid weld with minimum heat distortion, make a 25 mm (1 in) stitch weld along the seam with gaps of 25 mm (1 in). Go back and complete the stitch weld. 13. Clean and prepare all of the welded surfaces. 14. Apply the sealers and anti-corrosion materials to the repair area, as necessary. 15. Paint the repaired area. 16. Install all of the related panels and components. 17. Connect the negative battery cable. 18. Enable the SIR system.

NOTE: This repair/service procedure is excerpted from information published by the vehicle manufacturer, and intended for the purpose of promoting OE collision repair information to trained, professional technicians with the knowledge, tools and equipment to do the job properly and safely. Before attempting the repair described, refer to the complete article in ALLDATA Collision S3500. It is recommended that this procedure not be performed by “doit-yourselfers.”

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Northeast News with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

NACE/CARS Receiving Renewed Enthusiasm from East Coast Shops For the first time since 2003, the is a more family-friendly environment NACE expo will be held somewhere than Las Vegas, and therefore more other than Las Vegas. October with From Chasidy Rae likely Siskto attract attendees who can cor5-8, 2011, NACE will take place at the relate the trip to the expo with a famOrange County Convention Center in ily vacation to Florida. His absence Orlando, FL. As of July, attendee reg- from NACE in the past has often been istration for 2011 surpassed double the due to the distance between Maine registration of 2010, a fact largely at- and Las Vegas, and he likes the idea of toggling the location between the tributed to the new east-coast location. Kathleen Moyer of Rex’s Body east and west coasts. Mike Morgan of Mike’s Paint Shop and Garage Inc. in Vincennes, IN is very excited that NACE is being held and Body in Crawfordville, FL also in a new location in 2011 and hopes approves of the new location. He last attended NACE in 2003 with his son, they continue alternating locations. Luckily, this is what NACE has but in prior years, he took his emannounced they intend to do, rotating ployees and their families when the the expo to different locations around expo was held closer to home, such as the country in upcoming years in Orlando, New Orleans and Atlanta, because it “was a great morale booster order to attract new attendees. Though he and his wife attend for the shop.” Now, he hopes SEMA will follow NACE’s example of alterNACE every other year, Shawn H. Moody of Moody’s Collision Centers nating locations. Shawn H. Moody also finds in Maine is also happy for the change of scenery, pointing out that Orlando SEMA fascinating to attend when it

Shop Showcase

runs concurrently with NACE, but he feels NACE has made a wise decision by not competing with SEMA because “we need to keep our industry focused”. He is currently completing his newest facility and needs to “tool up”. He is particularly anticipating the exhibits about frame machines, CCC, measuring and resistance welders. Kathleen Moyer also prefers the separation of the two events, and she is eager to see the new products in the industry, particularly in the computer line, as she likes to keep her shop thoroughly stocked and up-to-date with the newest and most effective technology. Audra Fordin of Great Bear Auto in Flushing, NY will be attending NACE for the first time this October. She is excited to see what new technology is available or will be soon to “make the auto body shop run more smoothly with less footprint on the environment and to work on an auto body program with the Girl Scouts of America”. When discussing what NACE could do to attract new attendees, Shawn H. Moody believes NACE has made two critical decisions that, if continued, will have a positive effect on attendance: “having NACE the first week of October is perfect timing…November is too late” as well as no longer competing with SEMA. He does suggest “if you really want to restore attendance, you need to lower exhibitor costs and also bring the paint manufacturers back.” Mike Morgan contributes “there should be a national discussion on how to fairly set labor rates by some independent entity agreed upon by all”.

Overall, most auto body shop owners that do not plan to attend cite distance and cost as a reason, as well as the implicit cost of time away from their business. Domenico Nigro of Nigro’s Auto Body in Philadelphia, PA states “I think NACE would be a wonderful and worthwhile trip for my body shop business. Unfortunately, I just cannot get away from my shop for that length of time, nor do I have anyone that I can spare. This pains me because I know how helpful NACE could be.” The NACE expo is a portion of Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW) which includes the International Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE) and the Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS). ASRW is widely considered the industry’s leading event. In 2011, it will include over eighty educational sessions as well as exhibits showcasing products, services and on-floor competitions. The ASA Marketplace will showcase current car technology. Participants in NACE include BASF, DuPont and many other well-known brands. Kathleen Moyer plans to attend the expo with two employees in 2011. She has been in the auto body industry for 37 years and has attended NACE every year since the expo began. Moyer finds NACE extremely educational and claims “I’m going to try to attend as many years as I can.” Shawn H. Moody’s opinion is “We’re in the Collision Repair business so for us, the choice is clear, and it’s NACE. The educational component of NACE alone make it worth attending.”

Continued from Page 60

boundaries within which an insurance company may conduct itself.

North State v. Progressive

a collision repair business and the importance of these and other cases like them cannot be overstated. In the end, the conflict between the independent repairer and the insurance industry will of course continue. However, the legal precedents now set by North State v. Progressive and other matters are working toward establishing the legal and practical

Anthony J. Mamo is an attorney practicing in Westchester County New York. He specializes in litigation on behalf of individuals and small businesses particularly in the collision repair industry. He has been involved with the representation of North State Custom since 2005. He may be contacted by email at Mamolawfirm.com or by phone at (914) 631-5050.

www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 61


Continued from Page 59

SEMA Pinewood Derby

be in Canada so I’m sending a buddy down there to race it. Now I know some people will say “oh, you can’t do that, (with the headlights)” but when there are “no rules, except...” You have to push the limits to come up with a new design for anything. So, this year the Rich Evans entry is going to do it. Next year it might be in the rule books that you can’t, but this year I’m going to innovate. I guarantee next year, if Continued from Page 44

Ford ABPA

and quality of its products, yet some car companies seem determined to counter scientific facts with fearmongering,” said Co-Chair of the

it’s not ruled out, other people will be doing it too. My design philosophy is to pay attention, learn something new, try to better yourself at what you do. Just have fun at what you’re doing. That’s what I do. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small or big project. I’m always taking on a design challenge. I honestly think I’ve never worked a day in my life. I’m just having fun. Mine and other design creations will be on display at the HRIA booth during the 2011 SEMA Show, November 1–4, in Las Vegas, before being placed on eBay for public auc-

tion. All of the proceeds from the auction will go to the Childhelp and Victory Junction Camp children’s charities. So what can be better? Guys look into this, bid on the cars, help these charities out, and we’ll have another article for you next year on this. Hopefully next year This year I was out of the country to go build a car in five days in Canada. So I was just glad to be able to get this in for a good cause and also take a little time away from real cars and have fun with the Pinewood Derby. Thanks to all my

sponsors, I can’t build cars without you: 3M, SATA Guns, HRIA Pinewood builders, and every other builder out there that took time to take this challenge on, thank you. Visit me at Richevansdesigns. com also like my Facebook page Rich Evans Designs if you want to follow my week to week projects. Also visit HuntingtonBeachBodyWorks.com and watch for my new wheels coming out. UPDATE: Rich’s car took 2nd place in the HRIA Builder’s Challenge on July 29. First place went to Street Vizions.

ABPA Legislation and Regulation Committee Eileen Sottile. “OEs cannot credibly argue that only their branded parts can provide safety, especially when it comes to components that play a very small role in crash energy management. If car company safety systems cannot handle a wide

range of real world crash conditions and material differences in minor replacement parts then they are not robustly engineered and as such are a significant threat to the consumers.” “Rather than relentlessly smearing our industry in an attempt to gain a competitive business advantage on

replacement parts, our biggest corporate critics would do well to focus on reducing their own recalls and delivering high-quality, robustly engineered products for the motoring public.” Ford’s crash test video can be viewed at www.autobodynews.com.

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Autobody News September 2011 Western Edition