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‘Who Pays for What?’ Survey: Some Shops Not Measuring Steering Columns as Called for by OEMs Mike Anderson of Collision Advice gets concerned when he sees “Who Pays for What?” survey findings that suggest half of shops may not be following OEM safety inspection procedures. “Many automakers, including General Motors, Nissan and Subaru, have very specific vehicle safety inspections required as part of collision repair,” Anderson said. “Those inspections may include the removal and measurement of the steering column. We asked shops about this procedure for the first time in our surveys this year, and 50% said that
was something they’ve never billed for when it was required. I’m worried that may mean they’re not performing the necessary safety inspections.” Anderson, who conducts the quarterly “Who Pays” surveys in conjunction with CRASH Network, said he was glad to see that among those billing for the labor to measure a steering column when it is necessary and performed, 41% said they are being paid “always” or “most of the time” by the eight largest national insurers. Another 28% said they See ‘Who Pays for What?’, Page 26
Industry Veteran Leader Steps Away from 40-Plus Years in Collision by Ed Attanasio
David Mello, left, is retiring and has sold his auto body shop to Crash Champions, but by mentoring people like Sales Manager Bill Brady, right, he knows his crew is well-trained and prepared for the next chapter
David Mello recently announced he is stepping away from a long and successful career as the owner of Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA, and selling his shop to Crash Champions, which has 118 locations in 12 states and Washington, D.C. Mello exits the industry he loved for more than 43 years as a body shop owner and strong representative for the collision repair industry in California and nationwide. He has held almost every leadership position available in the California Autobody Association (CAA) See Industry Veteran, Page 24
Vol. 39 / Issue 9 / September 2021
New Hall, New Beginning, New SEMA Show by Ed Attanasio
In 2020, SEMA had to reinvent itself, and the result was SEMA360, a completely virtual show that performed surprisingly well despite all the obstacles. It was a noble experiment during highly uncertain times, but SEMA’s Vice President of Events Tom Gattuso and his team were able to save the event by quickly pivoting and literally saving the day. In 2017, the show took place 30 days after the tragedy of Mandalay Bay, so Gattuso is not unfamiliar with last minute changes, and this
year will undoubtedly be more of the same. Autobody News spoke to Gattuso about the upcoming 2021 SEMA Show.
There’s a buzz about the new West Hall, a 1.4 million-square foot addition to the Las Vegas Convention Center. How will it affect collision repair-related exhibitors and attendees?
This year, things are less uncertain, but new considerations and special circumstances are See New SEMA Show, Page 20
SEMA: Economic Outlook Remains Positive, but Supply Constraints and Inflation Loom by Kyle Cheng, SEMA
The overall U.S. economic outlook remains positive as the country continues to bounce back from 2020. However, challenges remain on the horizon: supply-chain constraints, inflationary pressure, a tight labor market and a potential COVID-19 resurgence. Supply-chain disruptions continue to affect many sectors of the economy. For the auto industry, the chip shortage is disrupting production, reducing inventory levels and driving up prices. Nearly every car manufacturer reported higher average transaction prices in June compared to 2020. While economists expect inflationary pressures like this to be short-term, it is weighing on consumer minds. Employment in the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic continues to improve, especially leisure and travel. Average hourly earnings are also up, suggesting employers are having to offer higher wages to attract workers.
COVID-19 cases have also risen in recent weeks. If outbreaks emerge more broadly, economic activity may slow down. Want to learn more about the economic factors shaping our industry? Download the new July Industry Indicators report today at www. sema.org/research. Source: SEMA
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Auto Body Shop to Fix Up Former Foundry��������14 Classic Collision Reaches Milestone with Another Multi-Shop Acquisition in PNW���������12 Hyundai’s XCIENT Fuel Cell Hitting the Road in California��������������������������������������������������16 Industry Veteran Leader Steps Away from 40-Plus Years in Collision��������������������������������1 Longtime ARA Members Partner on New Facility in Riverside, CA���������������������������������22 McDowell Appointed to CAWA’s Board of Directors���������������������������������������������������26 Monterey Car Week Celebrates Post-Covid Return of Live Auctions���������������������������������10 New Program Aims to Reduce the Supply and Demand Imbalance for Auto Technicians in Southern California�����������������������������������������6 Safelite Group Acquires Advanced Glass and Trim�������������������������������������������������������14 Volta Charging Announces New Station Installation in Renton, WA������������������������������22 WyoTech Receives $500K Donation������������������18
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Serving Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the collision industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2021 Adamantine Media LLC.
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autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
The Rise of Amazon and How it Impacts the Collision Repair Industry by David Roberts and Raul Salinas, Focus Advisors Automotive
How much attention do you pay to those ever-present gray vans emblazoned with the Amazon logo? Did you ever stop to think who owns them? And who repairs them? The prevalence of smartphones and quick internet connections has completely and permanently changed the consumer landscape. Among these changes, Amazon has risen to become a firmly established and dominant player in nearly every industry. The e-commerce conglomerate and its promise of two-day deliveries has captured the attention and wallets of an estimated 147 million Prime members throughout the U.S. With so many customers to satisfy, Amazon has had to confront unparalleled logistical challenges. The pandemic-fueled online shopping sprees of American consumers following nationwide mandatory stayat-home orders showed just how reliant we have become on modern day technological solutions to our problems. The perpetually increasing demand for delivered products has led Amazon to reduce its dependence on traditional carriers like USPS, UPS and FedEx. In fact, researchers approximate that in 2020, Amazon delivered 2.5 billion more of its own packages. This represents an increase of more than 100% from 2.3 billion packages delivered through Amazon in 2019. Its approach to generating this delivery supply primarily relies on small businesses and independent contractors to do the work with assistance provided by the advanced software and capabilities of Amazon Logistics (AMZL). Delivery Service Partners, or DSPs, usually operate a few dozen commercial vans and are paid per route completed. The owners are classic small business entrepreneurs, meeting the needs of their clients by staying focused on speed, efficiency and customer service. The commercial vans of choice for DSPs are usually from the make of Amazon partners, e.g., the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford Transit
and Dodge Promaster. DSPs are permitted to use their own fleet of commercial vans as long as they meet Amazon’s key criteria. Otherwise, most DSPs resort to renting vans from Amazon’s third-party lease partners. How Collision Repairers Play a Role The rising prevalence of privately owned DSPs has direct implications to trends in the collision repair industry. It’s a simple equation: increased use of commercial vans equals increased collision repair and maintenance.
This trend is not only implied, but something we have observed from our clients across the U.S. For some of them, Amazon DSP repairs represent one of the fastest growing segments of their business. To adopt a similar market strategy and capitalize on this growing small fleet segment, shop owners should first identify whether their shop is reasonably near an Amazon distribution center. If a collision repair shop owner operates in a highly populated Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), especially one that is growing rapidly, chances are that there is an Amazon distribution center nearby. Even if a shop owner does not operate in a top MSA, they can still take advantage of this market opportunity by identifying smaller delivery stations that are used for lastmile deliveries. Currently, Amazon is in the process of investing more resources in efforts to expand its network of delivery stations across the U.S. The Need for Speed Downtime costs money for DSP operators. A DSP driver is expected to
4 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
make more than 30 stops per hour. As a result, drivers work in an expeditious manner that can ultimately cause more wear on the vehicle. Coupled with high mileage rates— and numerous opportunities to incur damage navigating tight spaces, streets and turnarounds—DSPs find their vehicles needing frequent repairs. The speed of repairs is a vitally important variable to getting these vans back on the road and earning revenue for the owners, so pricing of repairs will reflect the premium on fast turnaround. Some shops have
even developed mobile repair capabilities that allow DSPs to minimize downtime for the vans and keep them on the road. For MSOs and shop owners, DSP repairs are a small but growing opportunity to address the needs of small fleet operators with high on demand requirements. When it comes to collision services, DSP vans generally have modest repair requirements, but the work is constant and demands rapid repairs to keep the vehicles on the road. Services typically range from small item replacements like door handles, mirrors and windows to other minor body damage. The Future of Delivery Service Partners As the public shifts preferences towards electric and other fuel-efficient types of vehicles, Amazon is both leading with new technologies and following by rapidly adopting existing models. In 2019, Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge in its efforts to be net-zero carbon neutral by 2040. Shortly later, Amazon announced its partnership with start-up Rivian, investing $7 million to produce
100,000 electric trucks. As Rivian Prime trucks start hitting the road, one can expect the current DSP program and its operating base to change. Rivian vans will roll out slowly and will likely have proprietary parts. However, it is never too late to start looking for new opportunities. In similar developments, Amazon’s Prime Air program, which is still in the works, aims to provide last-mile drone delivery directly to consumers. This shifts the balance in favor of Amazon by allowing it to control even more of its distribution market share. Who knows whether there will be networks of drone DSPs! Will drone repairs become part of the repair offerings of MSOs? Ultimately, nobody has a crystal ball, but based on what we know, DSPs are still a rapidly growing segment and there is ample room for innovative operators to broaden their offerings. Conclusion DSPs vehicles are an accelerating fleet repair opportunity with high performance requirements and likely full value pricing. As Amazon sets its aim for reducing its dependence on traditional order fulfillment solutions, one can expect its network of distribution centers and last-mile delivery stations to continue expanding throughout the U.S. As a result, more collision shop owners will find themselves repairing Amazon fleet vehicles. By proactively identifying nearby opportunities, shop owners can position their businesses to capture more volume, and ultimately hold more market share in this small but growing repair segment. Source: Focus Advisors Automotive
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New Program Aims to Reduce the Supply and Demand Imbalance for Auto Technicians in Southern California With U.S. businesses accelerating their hiring and Southern California’s economy rebounding from COVID-19 labor disruption, regional leaders welcomed Toyota-Lexus automotive technician training program to the Inland Empire. Universal Technical Institute announced the first local cohort of students have begun their accelerated 12-week training to complete eight Toyota and five Lexus class credentials preparing them to join one of the largest dealer networks in California. The Toyota Professional Automotive Technician (TPAT) program delivers specialized training on both Toyota equipment and vehicles, and helps students prepare to complete certification testing by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Students receive hands-on technical training, explore high-demand career opportunities and achieve Certified Technician status for a vast Southern California Toyota and Lexus dealer network. “Trained auto technicians are in great demand and are the key to any successful dealership,” said Joseph
Myers, technician development manager for the TPAT program at Toyota Motor North America. “We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with UTI to fulfill the pipeline of new talent while providing stable jobs and career security that aims to give vehicle owners the most satisfying service experience possible.” “These students are receiving training in automotive technology that takes dealership technicians years to finish and the job market is eager to welcome new talent,” said Migdalia “Mig” Vazquez, campus president. “This is especially true in Southern California where we have one of the most active transportation and logistics corridors in the United States.” Employers continue to express a need for hiring as the U.S. Labor Department describes a mismatch between what employers need and what trained job seekers are prepared to perform upon entering the market. “We are thrilled to have the Toyota Professional Automotive Technician program at UTI in the Inland Empire,” said Dan Johnson, senior vice president of fixed operations for
Larry H. Miller Dealerships, which owns Toyota of Corona. “We have our dealership 30 minutes away from the campus and another in the San Diego area. Business is booming and we need more technicians to take care of our customers. We look forward to hiring UTI graduates and the career opportunity we offer to those joining our ‘Winning Team.’” The Grand Opening of the TPAT program in the Inland Empire on July 30 was attended by local elected officials from the City of Rancho Cucamonga and former Congresswoman Loretta L. Sanchez, now serving as an independent director of the board at UTI. “For those of us who call Southern California home, it’s no surprise that skilled automotive technicians are valued and in high demand,” said Sanchez. “It’s inspiring to see students so focused on their trade and learning from among the best instructors―all at a campus with advanced technology, resources and equipment to create a real-life learning environment. These students will serve as an inspiration to many Californians seeking this type of educa-
tion.” Today’s rapidly changing workforce offers opportunity for skilled transportation technicians. UTI partners with students to help them navigate the competitive job market. Students who complete the TPAT program explore career opportunities, receive hands-on training on the latest technologies from Toyota and Lexus and learn from other UTI graduates and local employers about the high need and earning potential for trained technicians. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast that by 2029, total employment for automotive, diesel and collision repair technicians will exceed 1 million. To help reach that total, the transportation industry needs to fill nearly 100,000 technician job openings on average annually during this period. The Toyota TPAT program will accept applications at the Rancho Cucamonga campus throughout the year. For more information or to enroll, students should visit www.uti. edu/toyota. Source: UTI
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Monterey Car Week Celebrates Post-Covid Return of Live Auctions Serious car enthusiasts are welcoming the post-pandemic return of live, in-person auctions during the 70th Annual Monterey Car Week, scheduled for Aug. 6-15. While those live auctions and related events―including the legendary Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance―remained “on hold” during 2020, the participation in online auctions has skyrocketed, and that trend is unlikely to lose momentum soon, according to Premier Financial Services, the nation’s leading provider of lease financing for exotic, vintage and collector cars. In addition to online auctions conducted over the past 18 months by many of the well-known live auction houses such as RM Sotheby’s, Bonham’s and Gooding & Company, a growing number of “online only” auctions―including Bring-aTrailer, Cars & Bids and the most recent newcomer, ShiftGate Auctions―have been highly successful during the pandemic. “Increased participation in motorsports over the past year as a way to cope with the pandemic, combined with greater visibility and market interest in exotic and vintage cars generated by online auctions, has accelerated our lease financing volume,” said Doug Ewing, Premier’s vice president of sales. For many car enthusiasts, online auctions are a new experience, and there’s a learning curve involved. “First, you need to determine whether it’s worth the expense and time to properly research, communicate and participate successfully in any online auction,” Ewing said.
“Whether buying or selling a car, there are unique logistics involved; notably, managing the financial transaction as well as title, registration, insurance and transportation issues.” Online Auction Tips for Car Buyers and Sellers Premier asked a few of the leading online auction houses what first-time buyers and sellers need to know. For car buyers, their tips included: Be a watcher first. Every online auction has its own unique rules and culture. Before you bid on any car, invest sufficient time to learn bidding tactics, and follow at least a few transactions closely to understand the auction nuances. Do your homework. Check sale prices of similar cars on past auctions and use online resources, such as Hagerty and Hammer Price, to learn current market values of cars you plan to bid on. Don’t get caught up in a bidding war that takes you too far outside of that range. Get ready to buy. If you win an auction, you’re required to pay for the car right away. If not paying in cash, arrange for pre-approval to finance or lease well in advance. Be sure to plan for all fees, commissions and related expenses. Scrutinize the car’s condition. Some problems, such as water damage, are not always disclosed to CARFAX, and for pre-1981 cars, those reports are unavailable. For high-priced vehicles, consider arranging an inspection by a local dealer or qualified appraiser (at your expense.) Evaluate the seller. Monitor the quality of responses the seller pro-
vides to questions from bidders, and submit your own questions. Gain as much insight as possible into the seller’s backstory, including whether it’s a dealer or private party. For car sellers, online auction tips included: Select the right auction. Pay attention to types of vehicles offered, price ranges and whether auction participants are serious buyers or tire-kickers. Keep in mind that, even if you’re in the right place, not all cars are accepted for auction. Package your car properly. You may be handy with a camera, but hiring a professional photographer/ videographer who specializes in cars is worth the investment. Most online auctions offer (or require) their assistance in writing your car’s description. Understand reserve pricing. Establishing a minimum value you’ll accept for your car may protect your financial and emotional interests, but keep in mind vehicles offered with no reserve typically get more attention, and a greater number of
bids and sales. Prepare to be exclusive. Some online auctions require your car not be listed for sale anywhere else. You’ll need to remove any advertisements for your car, and agree not to accept offers outside of the auction. Be responsive and transparent. Bidders seek a level of confidence in your honesty regarding the car, and how easy you’ll be to deal with if they win. It’s critical to respond to all questions quickly, and be upfront about all mechanical or cosmetic issues. “As the online ‘Amazon Age’ continues to encompass every aspect our lives, buying and selling cars through online auctions is likely to gain greater participation across all vehicle categories,” Ewing said. “The trend should also help to increase understanding that lease financing is a viable option not only for new cars, but for previously owned exotic, vintage and luxury cars as well.” Source: Premier Financial Services
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Two Scientists Named Axalta Fellows Axalta recently announced Dr. Carmen Flosbach and Dr. Michael Koerner have been elevated to Axalta Fellow, the highest honor that a scientist or engineer can earn within Axalta’s Technology function. Through individual and collaborative contributions, Axalta Fellows have delivered commercial success with cutting-edge technologies and have had a strategic impact on Axalta’s businesses. Flosbach has been a catalyst for innovation throughout her 30-plus year career. As a lead-
ing expert in resin synthesis, she has delivered multiple new polymers for various different chemistry types including acrylic, aspartate, polycarbonate, polyester and polyurethane. Koerner is Axalta’s technical expert in waterborne coatings and rheology and has spent 34 years with Axalta. He holds numerous patents and his innovations in waterborne technology have led to, or enhanced, waterborne coating technologies at Axalta. Source: Axalta
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How Waterborne Technology Can Improve Cycle Time Performance The number of color coats required to make a refinish repair is one
it can significantly reduce sprayouts. Comprised of thousands of
primary consideration for evaluating the throughput performance
variant and prime color chips, each chip is sprayed with actual
of a refinish paint system. Yet, as most know, the most accurate
waterborne paint. “The color deck is ‘dead-on’,” says Jeff Smith of
way to vet a system’s productivity is to evaluate the entire refinish
Pro Collision, Grand Rapids, Michigan. “If the color is in the deck,
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there’s no need to do a sprayout, like we always had to perform with
clearcoat. As example, PPG’s waterborne refinish system incorpo-
our previous system.”
rates a host of features designed to speed cycle time performance. Blending Performance Given that refinishing most often calls for blending, how efficient a system can perform an accurate repair and eliminate chances for re-dos is especially critical to achieving maximum cycle time performance. PPG’s waterborne system employs an easy, one-gun process designed to achieve a fast, tight blend and accurate match the first time out. In fact, in a 2-3 coat application, it’s possible to perform a spot repair in less than an hour.
This fast blend process is aided by a very thin film build,
enabling the basecoat to dry fast. Only 2-3 minutes flash time is needed between coats and the clearcoat can be applied in 1015 minutes. The system’s EN-V® Series clearcoat line offers fast bake times as short as 10 minutes. Color ID and Matching Efficiency
To ensure color accuracy, the basecoat’s latex particles orient
The throughput of a refinish system must include its color-match-
metallic flakes smoothly to accurately match the color travel from
ing ability. Afterall, if the color doesn’t match, how fast the repair
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fast blend repair.
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Performance system covers all the bases to achieve the cycle time
PPG’s color variance team are quickly incorporated into PPG’s
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comprehensive color formula database. Formulas are updated daily through PPG’s PAINTMANAGER® XI color software. In the long run, the daily update of the database saves the technician valuable time searching for the right color formula.
Another real time saver is the Chromatic Variant Deck since autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 11
88 fires are burning in 11 Western states, forcing 8,400 evacuations Eighty-eight wildfires are burning in 11 Western states as of Monday in a fire season unlike any other in recent history. So far, the fires have destroyed 1,456,925 acres. According to Inciweb, a national wildfire tracker published by the U.S. Forest Service, the five biggest wildfires by acreage, as of Saturday, are the Bootleg Fire in Oregon, the Dixie Fire in California, the Snake River Complex in Idaho, the Lick Creek (Dry Gulch) Fire in Oregon and Washington, and the Tamarack Fire in Nevada. The Bootleg Fire has engulfed an area larger than New York City, with 42% of the fire contained as of Saturday. Containing a fire means firefighters have created a control line around an area of the fire, with the goal of the line preventing the fire from spreading. The fire inside the line may still burn, but not spread, or it could spread depending on weather conditions. On July 6, the USDA Forest Service activated an additional military C-130 aircraft equipped with Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems (MAFFS) to join two others battling the fires. The aircraft is from the Nevada Air National Guard’s
152nd Airlift Wing. Three MAFFSequipped aircraft are operating out of McClellan Airbase in Sacramento to assist with aerial fire suppression. Having military C-130 planes that can be converted into airtankers is helping personnel on the ground when commercial airtankers are fully committed or not readily available. Initially, MAFFS-equipped military aircraft were activated on June 25, the earliest activation of such aircraft in a decade, the National Interagency Fire Center reports. Since July 6, more than 401,601 acres have burned in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, 15 miles northwest of Beatty, Oregon. More than 2,000 personnel have fought to quell what is now the nation’s largest wildfire and third largest in Oregon’s history. Officials say the fire was ignited by lightning. California’s Dixie Fire in Butte County is the second largest fire by acreage. It has burned more than 181,289 acres, is threatening 10,000 homes, and after two weeks is only 21% contained. Ignited July 13, its cause is under investigation. Dixie is the largest fire burning in California. Various counties have
Classic Collision Reaches Milestone with Another Multi-Shop Acquisition in PNW Classic Collision, LLC, a leading national multi-site collision repair operator based in Atlanta, announced its newest acquisition of 14 Central Auto Body locations in Oregon and Washington. Classic Collision now operates a total of 100 repair centers in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, California, Alaska, Oregon and Washington. Central Auto Body has been providing three decades of quality automotive service in Oregon. With a footprint covering the Portland, Seattle/Tacoma and Medford markets, its top-notch technicians take pride in ensuring an exemplary experience for customers. “Classic Collision has incredible momentum in the collision industry right now, and we are excited to be part of their expansion into new markets and look forward to serving the community under the Classic name,” said Bret Bothwell, former owner of Central Auto Body. “Central Auto Body has a vital reputation in the community,” said Toan Nguyen, CEO of Classic Col-
lision. “Their high-quality, reliable repairs and superior customer service set them apart from competitors. There is significant potential in this growing market, and we are pleased to welcome all the team members to the Classic Collision Family. With the hard work and dedication from the entire Classic team, we have more than doubled the size of the company within the last 12 months. Throughout the year we will continue to advance our presence in this market and across the country.” “Welcoming our 100th shop into the Classic Collision family in a record timeframe is a remarkable achievement led by Toan, the outstanding Classic team and the trust placed in us by founders and owners in the collision industry,” said Ricardo Gonzalez, director at New Mountain Capital. “Classic’s commitment to the development and growth of its talented employees, business partners and high-quality repairs combine to now deliver outstanding service experiences for all customers in the Oregon and Washington markets.” Source: Classic Collision
issued evacuation orders, warnings and closures. More than 4,000 personnel are working to combat it. Weather conditions may make it worse, Cal Fire suggests. Chances of thunderstorms could provoke wildfires activity. Heavy rain could cause mudslides in areas where only charred dirt remains. “The fire behavior conditions that we’re facing right now are really quite unprecedented, and at a historical level,” Cal Fire deputy incident commander Chris Waters said last week. The third-largest fire by acreage, the Snake River Complex in Idaho, has burned more than 107,679 acres as of Saturday. Roughly 74% contained, it is raging roughly 20 miles south of Lewiston. Officials have claimed that lightning ignited the fire July 7, and more than 200 personnel have been fighting it since. On July 9, Idaho Gov. Brad Little issued an emergency declaration and called up the Idaho National Guard firefighters. “Wildfire is presenting an imminent threat to life, property, and the environment, and we need all hands on deck,” Little, who plans to fly over the Snake River Complex
wildfire this week, said in a statement. The fourth-largest fire, Lick Creek (Dry Gulch), has burned more than 80,392 acres in Oregon and Washington. Officials claim that lightning ignited several parts of forest area southwest of Asotin, Washington, on July 7. The next day, the fires merged with the Lick Creek wildfire. Since then, more than 200 personnel have been combating the fires. The fifth-largest fire is in Nevada, where officials say lightning ignited the Tamarack Fire on July 4. Located 16 miles south of Gardnerville, the fire had burned more than 65,152 acres since Saturday. More than 1,000 personnel are fighting the fire. The fire has destroyed multiple structures and is threatening at least 2,700 homes in Douglas County, according to Gov. Steve Sisolak, who declared a state of emergency Friday. Several counties also issued road closures and evacuations and local law enforcement are helping evacuate residents and their pets to shelters. On Friday, officials said multiple large aircraft would support personnel on the ground by dropping fire retardant.
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Auto Body Shop to Fix Up Former Foundry by Reggie Ellis, The Sun-Gazette
A local business owner is fixing up a vacant property which once made Exeter, CA, a household name in the world. On July 15, the Exeter Planning Commission approved a permit allowing an auto repair shop to take over a portion of the former Waterman Foundry. City Planner Greg Collins said Calvin Cox, owner of A1 Auto Paint and Body Repair in Tulare, will be converting the old foundry office into a 4,900-square foot office, located at 515 S. G St., and restrooms for a new auto repair shop location. “This is the first substantial applicant for that property,” Collins said. Cox plans to do both auto body repair and paint out of the Exeter location. Collins said the primary housing for the business will be the old office building of the former foundry, but the business also plans to construct a second structure, a 640-square foot spray booth, where cars will be painted. The permit initially came before the planning commission on June 17 but the item was continued after the commissioners requested proof there was no soil contamination. The site was cleared of any
soil contamination leftover from the former foundry in a 1994 letter to Waterman President Don Appling by Cal EPA’s Department of Toxic Substances Control. The letter was presented to the commission prior to its approval on a 4-0 vote, as commissioner Joe Stewart was absent. The company was founded in Exeter in 1912 by W.A. Waterman, and initially manufactured agricultural irrigation equipment for Central Valley farms out of a small brick building near City Hall, before moving to its foundry at F and Maple streets. In 1953, the company expanded into water control infrastructure products, including large and complex cast iron sluice gates, fabricated slide gates and radial gates. Waterman also has operations in Lubbock, TX, and Nampa, ID. And in 1969, then-CEO Don Appling built the company’s headquarters on Spruce Avenue that transformed Waterman from a small domestic business into a global enterprise. The new facility allowed the company to make larger gates from 60 to 144 square inches wide. By 1990, Waterman was Tulare County’s largest private employer with 470 employees. The company
Safelite Group Acquires Advanced Glass and Trim Safelite® Group, the nation’s leading vehicle glass services and recalibration company and owner of Safelite AutoGlass®, announced an agreement to acquire the assets of Advanced Glass & Trim in Jackson, WY. The transaction was completed July 30. “We’re pleased to welcome Advanced Glass & Trim associates to the Safelite family,” said Tom Feeney, president and CEO of Safelite Group. “Open since 2004, their focus on exceptional customer service and commitment to the community nicely align with our mission and values, making this acquisition a terrific addition to our business.” Safelite is known for its excellence with vehicle glass repair, replacement and recalibration services.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to utilize the skills and talents of their team while honoring their legacy,” said Feeney. “Together, we will deliver the value of personal care and memorable customer service we provide through the Safelite AutoGlass brand in every community.” Advanced Glass & Trim will leverage Safelite’s excellent operational systems, advanced safety system expertise (recalibrations), world-class distribution network, global purchasing power and strong insurance and commercial relationships. Source: Safelite Group
was such a large part of Exeter’s history that Exeter, A Festival of Arts commissioned a mural in its honor. The mural, titled “From Foundry to Field,” was painted by artist Ken Cardoza on the north wall of what is now Osborn Mortgage in 1998. By 2001, the company owned manufacturing plants in Lubbock; Memphis, TN; Boise, ID; Garden City, KS; Grand Island, NE; and in Cairo, Egypt. Waterman had thousands of employees and a worldwide sales force with representatives in 47 countries. Waterman remains one of the most recognized names in water control manufacturing in the world. Their products have been used by Disneyland, Universal Studios, Suez Canal, Nile River, Cincinnati Zoo and countless others across the globe. Operated by Waterman Industries, the foundry is where the irrigation manufacturing made its moldings and castings for water control gates and valves. The plant was shut down in 2002 as Waterman was trying to cut
costs for the worldwide leader in irrigation equipment manufacturing. More than 50 employees were laid off and the work was transferred to the company’s plants in other less environmentally restrictive and expensive states. The cost saving measure ended up costing the company more money in delays and decreased production. The company went deep into debt―$19 million―to try to make up for lost production and orders, but eventually ended up downsizing at its headquarters on Spruce Road just south of Exeter. About 180 employees were laid off Feb. 6, 2004, as the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The property was purchased by Bill Sario, CEO of Exeter-based Rising Sun Construction Company, in 2006. There has been no movement on the property since that time but it remains a viable industrial property with rail access, along Exeter’s truck route and still encompasses an entire city block on G Street between Cedar Street and Firebaugh Avenue.
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Hyundai’s XCIENT Fuel Cell Hitting the Road in California Hyundai Motor Company on July 26 announced its plan to deploy the company’s latest hydrogen fuel cell electric heavy-duty trucks in California, for two publicly funded projects to improve the air quality in the region. The demo trucks that Hyundai will bring into the U.S. are developed based on XCIENT Fuel Cell, the world’s first mass-produced, heavy-duty truck powered by hydrogen. Debuting last year in Switzerland, XCIENT Fuel Cell has proven its commercial viability through more than 1 million kilometers of driving in real-world conditions. The U.S. model provides a maximum driving range of 500 miles. Hyundai will leverage insights gained from these public projects to develop its zero-emission commercial fleet business in the U.S. and establish local partnerships across the value chain. Deploying 30 XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks in northern California by early 2023 Hyundai Motor teamed with public and private partners in the
U.S. to operate 30 units of Class 8 XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks, starting from the second quarter of 2023. This will be the largest commercial deployment of Class 8 hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks in the U.S. A consortium led by the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) and Hyundai Motor recently won $22 million in grants from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) and $7 million in additional grants from the Alameda County Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in support of this project. Hyundai’s NorCAL ZERO project, also known as Zero-Emission Regional Truck Operations with Fuel Cell Electric Trucks, will deploy 30 units of Class 8 XCIENT Fuel Cell, with a 6-by-4 drive axle configuration, to northern California by the second quarter of 2023. Glovis America, a logistics service provider, will be the fleet operator of these trucks. Macquarie’s Specialized and Asset Finance business,
part of its Commodities and Global Markets division, will finance the trucks through a lease to the operator. “We are proud to fund this hallmark deployment of 30 hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks and improve the air quality in Northern California,” said Hannon Rasool, deputy director of Fuels and Transportation Division at the California Energy Commission. “These investments will support zero-emission trucks and infrastructure development and deployment as part of the U.S. market ecosystem. Public and private project partners have come together to take a big step forward in decarbonizing freight and goods movement, as part of CARB and CEC’s clean air initiatives.” The consortium also plans to establish a high-capacity hydrogen refueling station in Oakland, CA, that will be able to support as many as 50 trucks with an average fill of 30 kilograms. Source: Hyundai
ASE Presents Chairman’s Scholarship The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) has awarded the ASE Chairman’s Scholarship for the 2021-22 academic year to Brock Voegele of Bismarck, ND. The ASE Chairman’s Scholarship recognizes the strong technical skills and foundational knowledge required to support the collision repair industry as an entry-level technician. The ASE chairman is a voluntary leadership position, and the scholarship recognizes and honors the dedication of the ASE chairman to the advancement of all service professionals. The ASE Board of Directors is proud to support recipients of this scholarship as they begin their journey as an automotive service and repair technician. Source: ASE
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WyoTech Receives $500K Donation by Boomerang Staff
WyoTech’s WTI Foundation is creating scholarships for students to pursue a top-notch education and training in the automotive technical trade. WyoTech, a Laramie, WYbased diesel and automotive trade school for those seeking diesel, automotive and collision refinishing careers, received a $500,000 donation July 29 to its foundation from the Todd family. “The Todd family has always valued education, including vocational education,” Mick Todd said in a press release. “We see this donation as furthering the development of technicians who will keep our economy moving.” The Todd family has a longstanding history of community involvement and philanthropy, with several charitable donations in Colorado and Wyoming for education. A first-time donor to the WTI Foundation, Todd is continuing the family legacy of community service through this donation. “These trades are essential to
our economy,” Todd said. “They are also high-paying jobs. Many kids have a natural aptitude for these skills, and they should be encouraged to follow their dreams and seek out careers where their strengths are best put to use.” WyoTech was founded in Laramie in 1966. The goal of the school has always been to provide a high-quality education and training programs for students. WyoTech prepares them for success in the diesel and automotive industry, where the demand for qualified technicians is growing steadily. WyoTech provides one of the best hands-on training experiences in the nation, with nine-month training programs for diesel and automotive repairs. The WyoTech
mechanic program offers seven industry certifications, including ASE certification, to advance students’ knowledge and careers as diesel and automotive service technicians. “Traditional higher education is not for everyone, and vocational education offers a viable solution for employment and career improvement for many young people in this country,” Todd said. “It should be a focus of education strategy. Providing funding for a vocational education, especially private funding, is essential.” To learn more about WyoTech and its specialized programs, visit https://www.wyotech.edu. To donate or learn more about the WyoTech WTI Foundation, visit https:// www.wyotech.edu/l/foundation/.
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Continued from Cover
New SEMA Show still present that can affect the show. West Hall was an expansion project which had plans to start construction as early as 2017. So, we have been conducting scenario plans on how to manage our use of that facility for the last four years. We got lucky because when the pandemic hit, the expansion was already underway and fully funded. So, we knew that we were going to use this new space this year, to expand our total campus and allow us the opportunity to make our floor a little more efficient to navigate for our attendees and really make a great presentation to the industry.
Is the collision repair section going to move for 2021?
Yes, the collision and tools companies are going to be located in the Upper South Hall this year. The addition of West Hall gave us the opportunity to reconfigure some of our sections and realign some of them, which enabled us to combine business categories that we think will complement each other well, as well as allowing for growth in the future. So, when we reassigned some of the show’s sections, the collision and tools categories were partnered together because of their affinity for each other, and moved them up to the Upper South Hall. It worked out very well, because we can use the adjacent meeting rooms located there for our collision-specific programming. Everything you need―products, exhibitors, educational offerings― will be right there conveniently located in close proximity. This way, both our attendees and exhibitors can be more efficient and get more business done during the four days of SEMA. The beauty of what we have set up is the fact that our tools and collision sections are right above the wheel and tire sections. Those four sections align very well and are directly adjacent to the Renaissance Hotel. Our hope is that people will be able to have a home base during the show, so that they can cover more and have a better experience. Overall, the new West Hall has al-
lowed us to spread out our campus and make navigation easier while allowing us to showcase some of the finest aspects of the collision repair industry.
Who will be there and who won’t?
One of the main changes this year will be the fact that international companies without a pathway in the U.S. will have less levels of participation as compared to the past. Conversely, we’re getting a ton of support domestically, so it depends on the company and what their travel plans are, but for the most part, we’re going to have a robust show that will be well-attended and well-received. All of the big OEs that have attended in the past are back and most of the major players in the collision repair industry are also returning. In some areas, we are designating new categories to give them a start at the show. If we see that they’re gaining traction, we’ll incorporate them into an existing area or creating a new one. It’s an exciting time, with things like ADAS and electric vehicles, so those are two areas that we are watching carefully, so that we can be there on the cutting edge with the right exhibitors and appropriate educational offerings.
Safety is always a factor, but even more so this year because of the pandemic. Please tell us how you’re approaching this huge part of the puzzle for SEMA 2021?
We take our role seriously because we know that SEMA impacts almost every aspect of the automotive industry worldwide. Many of the things that appear at a SEMA Show will affect the industry for the next three to five years, so we realize the importance of the show. The local and federal municipalities last year hindered our plans for 2020, but this year we’re seeing a different environment and we’re more optimistic now than ever. We are working very closely with the people at the Convention Center, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), the State of Nevada and Clark County, just to make sure so that we are well aware
20 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
of their plans. That way all of us, including exhibitors and attendees can make plans accordingly. Right now, we are not required to check everyone’s temperature in Clark County before entering the event. But we want to make sure that we’re adhering to everything they will ask us to do now and in the future. The Clark County Commission is calling all of the shots, so we are observing other shows, and formulating our processes based on that. As we get closer to the show date, we have a few plans holstered and ready to go. Once the Clark County Commission recommends their plan, we will start to reveal our safety and security plan. Every year, we learn more about how to promote the safest environment we can and allow people to get in and out to the show in the most efficient and convenient way possible.
What are some other changes that we will see at SEMA 2021?
Last year, we looked at the idea of making all of the aisles oneway, but we determined that it would be burdensome and not practical on
many levels. So, we decided to take some of our main aisles and broaden them, so that people can get more space and move around in a more suitable manner. So, you will find some wider aisles this year and more aisle space altogether. We are also creating other areas where if people want to step out of the flow of traffic for a moment to regroup or find that next booth, they can do that. For those who want to travel, we will now have access to an underground transit system that was invented by Elon Musk’s The Boring Company, with 60 cars running continuously. It will be able to move a lot of people to one of three stations, South Hall, West Hall and Central Hall. Eventually, this system will be operated autonomously and take people to the Las Vegas Strip, Downtown Las Vegas and the airport as well. It will take a 15– to 20-minute walk and turn it into a two- to five-minute trip, so we are excited about it.
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Volta Charging Announces New Station Installation in Renton, WA Volta Industries, Inc., an industry leader in commerce-centric electric vehicle charging networks, which has entered into a definitive agreement for a business combination with Tortoise Acquisition Corp. II, announced July 26 it has further extended its market penetration with the installation of new charging stations at Safeway in Renton, WA.
The exact address of these charging stations is 2725 NE Sunset Blvd., Renton, WA 98056. Founded on the premise that the electrification of mobility is likely to be one of the largest infrastructural shifts of
this generation, Volta Charging builds and operates a nationwide EV charging network among the best use per station for the U.S. Centered around capturing new spending habits expected to result from the shift to electric vehicles, Volta Charging seeks to transform the fueling industry by building open-network charging stations in locations where drivers already spend their time and money, including grocery stores, pharmacies and other retail locations. The charging stations at Safeway furthers Volta Charging’s mission to build convenient, simple and delightful charging infrastructure, seamlessly incorporated into a driver’s everyday experience. There are now 24 Safeway locations in Washington with Volta Charging stations. Source: Volta
Longtime ARA Members Partner on New Facility in Riverside, CA The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) congratulated two longtime ARA member facilities on a new partnership. Arizona Auto & Truck Parts/ Pull N Save and Allied Auto Salvage announced a collaboration, Pull N Save Riverside (PNSR). PNSR will continue the full-service auto parts operation under the Allied brand in addition to adding a self-service operation at this location. Michael Pierson Sr., Michael Pierson Jr., Bill Whetstone, Chris Whetstone and Rachel Whetstone Ehlers are all equity holders in PNSR and will all have major roles in moving it forward. The partnership is the result of the collaboration for which the auto recycling industry is known. The PNSR partnership maintains the independent spirit of a family-owned operation while using the expertise of each of the principals and their teams. “We are extremely excited to be embarking together with the Allied team,” said Mike Pierson Jr. “This is a new chapter in our long legacy as professional auto recyclers, and we welcome the opportunity to team
with Rachel, Bill and Chris. We could not be more pleased with this opportunity for all involved, especially our customers and the communities that we serve. Both the environment and our customers in Southern California will benefit by what PNSR will bring to the surrounding area.” “Collaboration is at the heart of this new partnership,” said Rachel Whetstone Ehlers. “We are excited to partner with the Pierson family, with whom we have been colleagues and friends for over 15 years. We respect their winning team and are really looking forward to growing together. During this creation, it has become clear that this will serve as a model for future ventures and opportunities.” “I look forward to adding Pull N Save Riverside to the ARA membership ranks,” said ARA Executive Director Sandy Blalock. “The Pierson and Whetstone families have been supporters of ARA and the automotive recycling industry for a long time, we congratulate them on this new endeavor.” Source: ARA
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Continued from Cover
Industry Veteran for more than 25 years, and has worked hard to make a real difference in the collision industry in California and nationally since day one. It all began in Santa Cruz, CA, when Mello landed a job in a local dealership’s parts department. “My dad was a dairy farmer who eventually owned and operated a creamery,” Mello said. “I always loved cars more than I liked cows, so when I was in high school, I got a job at a service station where I could mess with vehicles. “While I was attending junior college, I got a job as a parts guy at a local Oldsmobile dealership where I was making $600 a week―decent money for a kid out of school. I was promoted to the parts manager position and then was hired at a body shop. I worked there for 10 years and then in 1989, I purchased Anderson Behel, a shop that had been there since 1960.” Every time the industry changed, Mello altered his business model as well to accommodate a rapid evolution. Anderson Behel was one of the first shops in Silicon Valley to switch from solvent to waterborne paint, and saw the value of OE certifications almost immediately. Mello was never afraid to step up and represent the collision repair industry in Sacramento for many years. “I started my involvement with CAA 30 years ago,” he said. “I joined my local chapter’s board (Santa Clara Chapter) in 1992, and I’ve been on the board ever since then. I served as president in 1997, and then in 2007, I became CAA state president, which means I served for six years on the executive committee. I have also been the treasurer for our chapter probably for the last 15 years. “So, I’ve seen firsthand how the CAA can make a difference, as long as shops are willing to step up to make it happen.” Jack Molodanof, an attorney and lobbyist for the CAA, has enjoyed working with Mello, either fighting or supporting government bills on behalf of the CAA that could potentially impact the industry.
“Dave is a highly respected leader in the collision industry,” Molodanof said. “The CAA has always appreciated his very thoughtful and steady approach to solving the most contentious issues, and Dave proved that it doesn’t take a loud voice to accomplish tremendous things. He has been great to
A long-time officer at CAA on both the local and statewide level, Mello participated in CAA Legislative Day for many years. Here he represents the industry while talking with former California State Sen. Leland Yee, left, about an aftermarkets bill in 2015
work with and I am sure that he will continue being involved in the industry in some capacity. We wish him the best of luck in all his future endeavors.” CAA Executive Director Rick Johnson will miss Mello for his leadership and willingness to make a difference. “I met Dave maybe 30 years and then worked with him on CAA’s executive committee and the board for many years,” he said. “I can safely say that Dave Mello’s work with the Santa Clara Chapter of CAA and at the state level has left this industry a better place to be in. “He was always an inspiration to work with great ideas, and he knew how to rein things in when I got a little off-topic. Dave is solid and a guy who isn’t afraid to be a leader. I wish him the best during his retirement years, and we will surely miss him for all the right reasons.” Mello was always willing to mentor his people, and one great example of that is Duc Huynh, who recently celebrated his 33rd year as a body technician at Anderson Behel. A graduate of Central County Occupational Center―now known as the Silicon Valley Career Technical Education Center―in San Jose, Huynh is a Vietnamese refugee who did not know how to read or write English when he came to the U.S. at the age of 15 three decades ago. Anderson Behel is the only body shop Huynh has ever worked for.
“People don’t leave here because David is an incredible boss,” Huynh said. “Many shops have tried to hire me and I always tell them to hit the road. Why would I go anywhere else because this is the best shop in the area? David knows that OE certifications are important and that’s why we have Porsche and now Tesla. I will miss working for this kind and wise man, but I am also excited about the future with Crash Champions too.” Mariah Cardenas is the first smiling face people see when they enter the doors at Anderson Behel, and that will never change, she said. “We knew that David was going to retire at some point, but it’s hard to accept it now that it’s real,” Cardenas said. “He cared so much about everything he did, from his work with the CAA and the way he treated all of us. He led with respect and made us all feel special, which made these last 14 years a wonderful experience.” Anderson Behel Sales Manager Bill Brady will miss Mello, even though he knew several years ago a retirement followed by a sale was imminent, he said.
“We will need to learn some new processes, but with the training we’ve received every year and with all of the OE certifications we’ve acquired over the years, David has set all of us up for success,” Brady said. “When I started working at Anderson Behel, David told me that I could be employed here forever if I wanted to, and he was right. It’s been a great experience―he has been an awesome leader, manager and mentor!” What is Mello going to do to stay busy during his retirement years? “I do own a Harley Fat Boy and enjoy being a support person every other year for the Cannonball Run that covers almost 3,000 miles,” he said. “In addition, I still want to serve my community for my local Rotary Club (Santa Cruz Sunrise chapter), but at this point, I still like this industry and want to stick around for at least a little longer.”
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Continued from Cover
McDowell Appointed to CAWA’s Board of Directors Curt McDowell of NA Williams has been appointed to CAWA’s Board of Directors. The appointment was made by Mike Mohler, chair of the board, who said, “Curt comes to CAWA leadership with a diverse background in technology, sales, process engineering and management. We will look forward to his participation and contributions, as a member of the board, in assisting CAWA to achieve its goals as an effective automotive aftermarket industry organization”. McDowell has more than 30 years of business development, sales, account management, process engineering, IT and management experience. He has worked with global partners and cross functional teams to design and deploy supply chain processes that significantly reduced both delivery times and capital expenditures in both the automotive and consumer electronics. With more than 25 years of B2B and B2C e-commerce experience, he has led programs that deployed global enterprise e-com-
merce solutions for Hughes Aircraft, General Motors and Royal Dutch Shell which involved many suppliers and global ERP solutions. At ChannelAdvisor, Inc. he applied his business development, sales and supply chain experience to build a network of strategic global partners to facilitate the listing, selling and fulfillment of automotive parts and accessories making automotive one of ChannelAdvisor’s largest categories. He also managed the global partner and category management team at ChannelAdvisor to optimize strategic partnerships at the category level to optimize the company’s ability to help retailers sell online. Currently, McDowell serves NA Williams as the vice president of e-commerce solutions. He holds a B.S. in economics from George Mason University and an MBA with an emphasis in e-commerce from National University. Source: CAWA
‘Who Pays for What?’ are at least getting paid for it “some of the time.” “I’d like to see those numbers improve, but I’m also hoping the surveys raise shops’ awareness of the safety inspections they need to be doing,” Anderson said. The latest quarterly “Who Pays for What?” survey, slated to end July 30, focuses on “not-included” frame and mechanical labor operations. Shops can take the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ L3H3JQP Anderson said the survey, which will take about 15-20 min-
utes, can be completed by anyone in a shop familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of at least some of the largest national insurers. Each shop’s individual responses are held in the strictest confidence; only aggregated data is released. Survey participants receive a free report with complete survey findings along with analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented. The results of previous surveys are also available online at https:// www.crashnetwork.com/collision advice Source: CRASH Network
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Pro Spot Denver Training Center Open House Aces the Test by Barbara Davies and
Autobody News attended Pro Spot International’s open house at the company’s brand new Pro Spot Aces of Denver Training Center, located at 5280 Steele Street in Denver, CO, on the evening of July 30. “It was a wonderful event, and I am proud of our team and the Colorado crew that made this possible,” said Ron Olsson, president of Pro Spot International.
Windshield Repair Kit, the NP-3 Nitrogen Plastic Welder, Dent Pulling Stations, the i4S and i5 spot welders, PR205MV and PR220MV Synergic MIG Welders, Dust-free Sanding Stations, the PR-5 Rivet System for aluminum riveting and the SP-1, SP-2 and SP-5DP Pulse MIG Welders. “The open house was a great time,” Fahey said. “Almost every piece of equipment that we carry is on display in the Pro Spot Aces of
will be used for training. “We have brand new offices and a 40-by-40-foot training center and classroom,” said Fahey. “The industry in this region badly needed
Hands-on Training: Ryan Swanson gives Barbara Davies of Autobody News some hands-on welding instruction on Pro Spot’s Aluminum Pulse SP-5DP MIG Welder.
Pro Spot Team: The Pro Spot Team proudly hosted guests for the July 30 open house at the new Pro Spot training facility in Denver. Pictured, left to right, is Ryan Swanson, training development manager; Bob Pluth, technical services manager; Lorinda Teague, sales administrator; Keith Fahey, sales manager; Bud Larson, Pickens Technical College; Ron Olsson, president; and Dennis Rogers.
The open house began with a tour of the 6,400-square foot facility, comprised of a warehouse distribution center, office space, classrooms and a complete hands-on training center that will allow Pro Spot to better serve its distributors and customers in the surrounding markets.
Official Ribbon Cutting: Ron Olsson and Keith Fahey make it official by cutting the ribbon at the Pro Spot Aces of Denver Distribution and Training Center.
Olsson was joined by Keith Fahey, sales manager at Pro Spot Aces of Denver, as they conducted the official ribbon-cutting ceremony. As the open house proceeded, Pro Spot provided guests with live and hands-on demonstrations of more than a dozen products, including the Ion Spot anti-static gun,
Denver Distribution and Training Center, providing the opportunity for our customers to come experience and receive hands-on training on nearly every product Pro Spot manufactures.” Fahey approached Pro Spot about his future plans and interest in solidifying his company to be a part of Pro Spot. “My dad started Aces of Denver 40 years ago, and I have been in the collision industry my entire life, selling and servicing Pro Spot for 28 years. It’s been extremely rewarding being part of such a great company,” said Fahey. “I’m so pleased that my son, Luke, and long-time service technician, Steve Hoff, along with myself, can continue doing what we have been doing so long—selling and servicing the collision industry in Colorado and Wyoming with Pro Spot products.” Pro Spot acquired Aces of Denver in November 2020 and began renovating the facility, adding a training center and classrooms to the distribution site. Half of the building still functions as a warehouse service center, while the remaining half
28 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
a local training center, so Pro Spot provided it, and we’ve received an overwhelming number of positive responses. The Pro Spot Aces of Denver Training Center is like
a miniature version of the Carlsbad headquarters, and we look forward to helping all the shops in this area with their training and service needs.”
A good time was had by all: Pro Spot showed guests and employees a great time during the Aces of Denver open house. Pictured, left to right, is Bob Pluth, Ron Olsson, Johan Huwaert of Garmat USA, and Ryan Swanson.
Pro Spot currently has training centers at its headquarters in Carlsbad, CA; Nashville, TN; Venice, FL; and now in Denver, CO, providing regional locations for its distributors and customers across the country. For more information, visit https:// prospot.com/
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autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 31
Tesla Superchargers to Adopt Time-Based Pricing for Non-Tesla EVs by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati
Just recently, CEO Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla’s Supercharger Network would be opened to other electric vehicles later this year. More details about this upcoming initiative were shared in the second-quarter earnings call, including the process involved for non-Tesla EVs to access a Supercharger station, as well as the pricing for the service. According to Musk, owners of non-Tesla electric vehicles would have to download the Tesla App to access the Supercharger Network. Users would then have to indicate which stall they would be charging in, before plugging in their electric vehicles and initiating the charging session. Musk noted this Tesla App-based system would likely work with any other manufacturer’s cars. The CEO noted, however, pricing for the Supercharger Network among non-Tesla EVs would be time-based, especially among vehicles not designed to charge as rapidly as Tesla’s vehicles. Peak and off-
peak rates would be implemented as well. “There will be time constraints,” Musk said. “If the charge rate is super slow, then somebody will be charged more because the biggest constraint at the Supercharger is time, how occupied is the stall. And we’ll also be smarter with how we charge for electricity at the Supercharger.
“So rush hour charging will be more expensive than off-hours is charging because there are times when the Superchargers are empty and times when they’re jam-packed. And so it makes sense to have some time-based discrimination.” Opening the Supercharger Net-
work in China and Europe would likely be simple enough, Musk noted, as EV charging connectors are pretty standardized in these regions. This is not the case in North America, where Tesla uses its own proprietary connector. As such, non-Tesla EVs in North America would have to use an adapter. Musk then noted Tesla Supercharger adapters would be available for purchase, with some being offered in actual Supercharger Stations. “In Europe and China and most parts of the world, it’s the same connector for everyone, so this is a fairly easy thing to do,” Musk said. “We developed our own connector, which in my opinion is actually the best connector, it’s small and light and looks good and above standard. So an adapter is needed to work for EVs in North America. But people could buy this adapter. And we anticipate having it available at the Superchargers as well if people don’t sort of steal
them or something.” While numerous Tesla owners have expressed their reservations about the Supercharger Network being opened to other electric cars, Senior VP for Powertrain and Energy Engineering Andrew Baglino noted the initiative would likely pave the way for an even more aggressive expansion of the rapid charging infrastructure. Musk agreed with this point, noting Tesla has to grow the Supercharger Network more than ever before. “Obviously, for the Supercharger Network to be useful to other car companies’ cars, we need to grow the network faster than we’re growing vehicle output, which is not easy,” Musk said. “We’re growing vehicle output at a hell of a rate. So Superchargers need to grow faster than vehicle output. “This is a lot of work for the Superchargers team, but it is only useful in the grand scheme of things. Just only useful to the public if we’re able to grow faster than Tesla vehicle output. So that is our goal.”
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Mike Anderson is the president and owner of Collision Advice, a consulting company for the auto body/collision repair industry. For nearly 25 years, he was the owner of Wagonwork Collision Center, an OEM-certified, full-service auto body repair facility in Alexandria, VA.
From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson
Daily Release Meetings a Must for Successful Collision Repair Shops An Autobody News reader recently emailed me a question he had about daily release meetings at his shop. I always like hearing from shops because that’s often where I get ideas for this column. So let’s talk a little about release meetings: when they should be held, who should attend, what should be discussed. I want to start with the caveat that some people tell me they think release meetings are a waste of time. I disagree. I think they are critical for a shop’s success. And I suspect people who think that probably aren’t leading―or aren’t attending― good release meetings. When thinking about release meetings, I suggest thinking about a football game. At a football game, the play comes from the sidelines out to the quarterback on the field. The quarterback has 30 seconds to get that play off. So the team huddles so the quarterback can tell everyone the play, and the huddle ends with everyone voicing an enthusiastic “Break!” That huddle is really what a release meeting is all about for a collision repair facility. When I had my shops, we held a release meeting every single morning. My team was required to get to work by 7:30 a.m., and at 7:45 a.m., they had to be in uniform. That’s when the meeting began. Not at 7:50 a.m., not even at 7:47 a.m. It began at 7:45 a.m. Who was there? Everyone. The people who washed cars, the painters, the body techs, the parts manager, the estimators, the customer service reps. Everyone. Now, I will say I’m currently working with a shop that does $1 million a month in sales. For an organization of that size, it doesn’t make sense to have everyone come together for a single release meeting. But that company is divided into multiple teams, or “cells,” and each of those has its own release meeting with everyone on that team. In either case, the key purpose
of the release meeting is to make sure everyone is on the same page about the vehicles scheduled to be delivered that day, or on either of the next two days. So you’re looking out in advance three days. We’d discuss if there are any issues with any of those vehicles, in
Mike Anderson said a daily release meeting gets the entire shop on the same page, just like a huddle for a football team
order to take a proactive rather than reactive approach. The parts guy might say, for example, “We have all the parts for these cars, but the taillight for Mrs. Smith’s Toyota won’t be here until 2 p.m. today.” We’d make sure the painters knew everything that needed to painted that day, and in what order we wanted them painted. We’d let them know what they would be painting tomorrow, so they’d know what to move on to if they got through today’s work early. We’d make sure the customer service reps had the information they needed in order to communicate with customers. We’d review any appointments coming in that day, and find out there if there was any equipment that needed repairs or service, or any facility maintenance work needed. We’d make sure any sublet work had been scheduled to be handled by vendors. We’d discuss any warranty or customer request items we needed to process. We’d talk about who was going to be out on vacation, and make sure their responsibilities were being covered. As the only time of day when everybody is together, it can be a good time to highlight if it was an employee’s birthday or work anni-
versary, and give them some highfives. In any case, try to end each meeting on a positive, enthusiastic note, just like the chant of “break” at the end of a huddle. Here’s another thing: I don’t think the release meeting should ever last more than 15 minutes. In my shop, we started at 7:45 a.m., and everyone knew we had to be done by 8 a.m. when we opened our doors for business. A couple of cautions: When I talk to people about their grievances about release meetings, two things are the primary buzzkills. Those who show up on time don’t want to be left standing around, wasting their time, because whoever runs the meeting isn’t there. They also aren’t going to have much tolerance―nor should they―for a meeting leader who isn’t prepared. So in order to be prepared to lead your 7:45 a.m. release meeting to-
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morrow, you likely will need to have some other brief, smaller meetings throughout the day. I liked to have a meeting with some key employees right before or right after lunch to make sure we were still on track for the day. I also liked to meet with my paint team at the end of the day to see if everything got accomplished. If it didn’t, I could update their list for the next day before the release meeting. I’ve got a document I’d be happy to send you that includes a sample SOP for release meetings, and highlights the topics that should be covered. If you’d like a copy, just email my assistant Tiffany at tiffany @collisionadvice.com and put “release meeting document” in the subject line.
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Generating More Profit in Your Auto Body Shop with Windshield Repair by Stacey Phillips
When Richard Campfield was looking into starting a retail windshield repair business 35 years ago, he conducted some direct marketing to determine if it was worth pursuing. When he approached consumers with a chip or stone break, the typical response was, “It has been there for years; give me your card.” However, a consumer with a long crack asked if it could be fixed immediately.
Campfield, founder of Ultra Bond, opened a mobile service in 1986 focused on windshield crack repair and fixing the long cracks and chips that weren’t being addressed. At the time, there was not much information or technology about how and when to repair cracks. He began by trial and error and field testing followed by lab testing, to find out what it took to meet the same federal safety standard (FMVSS 205) as a new windshield and confirm the safety and efficacy of the field tests. He kept explicit details on every invoice and eventually developed his own windshield repair criterion, tools, resins and methods. In 1990, he began manufacturing and selling the tools, resins and kits to repair long cracks and chips. During his career, he has been granted 14 windshield repair patents. Since then, new vehicles have been introduced with an increasing amount of technology and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), such as lane departure warning, collision avoidance alert and heated wipers and windshields. These systems may use lidar, radar, cameras, sensors and other devices. As a result, Campfield said replacing
automotive glass is not as straightforward as it once was and the cost has tripled. Campfield recently teamed up with one of his competitors, Korey Gobin, sales manager at Delta Kits, to share information on how collision repairers can conduct windshield repairs in the age of ADAS and generate more profit in their facilities. Their presentation was held during Auto Glass Week 2021 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Over three days, a wide range of presenters discussed current trends and issues in regard to automotive glass repair and replacement. Step one, according to Gobin, is to know yourself. “Know who you are,” he said. “Know your value and what you bring to the table. A lot of people forget that.” With the addition of ADAS features in new vehicles, Gobin said there are opportunities now available with windshield repair and replacement, and highly recommended repairers consider generating more with what they already have. For those considering adding or increasing windshield repair in their auto body shops, Gobin said it is a simple and easy process that takes about 15 minutes. In addition, windshield repair has very low overhead and costs approximately $1 or less in supplies. “We all know that time is money and time is very valuable,” he said. “If you’re not doing windshield repair, you should ask yourself, ‘Why not?’” Three Ways to Generate More Profit Gobin offered three ways to generate more profit with windshield repair: word of mouth, creating a referral program and what he referred to as “old-school” methods. The best business card, according to Gobin, is word of mouth. “If you do a good job, someone is going to tell somebody,” he said. Therefore, he stressed the importance of being very vocal and letting existing customers know the business’s services. “We tend to think that everyone
36 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
knows the services we offer, but a lot of people actually don’t,” said Gobin. “It’s your job to let existing customers know the services you offer, windshield repair in particular.” Many customers also don’t understand what is involved in a windshield repair and the value of doing it, so Gobin recommended taking the time to explain.
“Instead of assuming, actually state what windshield repair is and the actual value you bring them,” said Gobin. This includes letting customers know it is easy to do and won’t take much time, and they can save money having the windshield repaired rather than replaced. Another way to generate more profit in an auto body shop with windshield repair is by creating a referral program. This involves offering customers a giveaway or reward for recommending the business to someone. “Your customers have a network they know and those are potential customers for you,” said Gobin. “It’s a numbers game; the more people you reach, the more potential customers you have, which could help generate more revenue for you.” He suggested being creative when coming up with an incentive to refer someone to the auto body shop. Examples include offering a discount on the next purchase, a free product, paying for a related product and/or a bonus upgrade. Some businesses are also finding success using “old-school” methods, such as cold calling and partnering with other companies. Gobin suggested reaching out to high-volume companies in high-traffic areas that deal with vehicles, such as car dealerships, lube shops and car washes. After explaining the value the business
can offer to them and their customers, Gobin recommended aligning with them. “Be alert and aware of what’s out there and work with them,” said Gobin. “Having these types of businesses potentially offer or mention your business for windshield repair doesn’t take away from their existing business… and can help generate more revenue.” Campfield recalled securing this type of business relationship at a carwash in 2012. When he asked customers about chips in their windshields, he received the same response he did when first opening his business in 1986: “It has been there for years.” He began telling potential customers they have already paid for the repair in their insurance policy instead of saying it was free. “The word ‘free’ often brings up skepticism, so that got their attention,” said Campfield. “I found a way to say it more effectively and they seem to be more susceptive to getting a repair.”
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About half of Campfield’s local retail auto glass repair income for decades has come from windshield cracks. “Even though it is about onethird of our business, it is half the income because the amount charged for a crack is higher than that of a chip,” he said. Through his extensive experience repairing and replacing windshields over the years, Campfield has found the efficacy of fixing cracks is there. “Structurally, it’s the most superior repair you can do,” he said. The resin for chips is limited to thin, low viscosity resin, whereas the resin used in cracks with the proper tools can be 10 to 100 times thicker. “When a consumer comes in with a chip, they say, ‘I don’t want it to crack.’ When they have a crack, they say, “I don’t want to replace it,’” he said. In either case, Campfield said always be up front with customers. “Your customers deserve respect, to be told the truth and to be given their options on whether the
windshield is repairable or not,” he said. In 2007, Campfield helped create the American National Standard Institute (ANSI)―Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard (ROLAGS). This standard has been updated in 2014 and is currently being updated again. It can be used to evaluate damages on laminated auto glass, aid in the decision to repair or replace the glass and codify the current best practices of laminated auto glass repair. Campfield said the importance of having a National (ANSI) Standard is two-fold. “First and foremost, it is to prevent consumers from being misled into unnecessary replacements,” he said. Campfield gave the example of being told a crack cannot be repaired if it is longer than a dollar bill or 6 inches. “This is not true,” he said. “The ROLAGS is 14 inches, not 6 inches.” Second, he said it requires windshield repair manufacturers and sellers to lab test their products to ensure repairs meet visual,
durability and mechanical strength restoration. This helps makes sure businesses buying windshield repair kits, tools and resins would know they were safe to use on their customers’ windshields. Some cameras have built-in windshields that must be calibrated after a replacement so they operate properly. Currently, Campfield said there is no evidence any type of repair under the ROLAGS has caused problems with ADAS. “However, to be on the safe side, the Auto Glass Safety Council is developing the ROLAGS II to address if any of the break types at certain distances from the camera[s] will cause any alteration to any ADAS functions,” he said. Campfield shared the results of surveys he has conducted over the years that demonstrate the size of this untouched market. Parking lot surveys of windshield damage from 12 states showed out of 5,523 vehicle windshields surveyed, there were 767 cracks and 2,202 stone breaks/chips. Campfield said windshields are the most frequent auto insurance
claim in the U.S. and the recalibration of ADAS has increased both the number of claims and claim costs. “Insurers favor repairs over replacements and so do consumers,” he said. For auto body shops looking to make more money, Campfield highly recommends adding windshield repair to their businesses. Gobin agreed. “It’s best to educate your customer on what windshield repair is and the benefits of it,” he said. “Windshield repair restores the structural integrity of the windshield, retains the original factory seal [which avoids leaks], enhances the cosmetic appearance of the windshield and protects the environment by keeping laminated glass out of the landfills.” For more information, email Rich Campfield at rich@ultrabond. com or visit www.ultrabond.com, or email Korey Gobin at kgobin@ deltakits.com or visit www.deltakits. com. www.autobodynews.com
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Hey Toby! with Toby Chess
Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, Training specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his work with first responders and advocacy for body shops and consumers. He can be reached at email@example.com
Deciding When Used Parts are Appropriate in the Collision Repair Process Recently, I was training in a body be addressed when you install a used shop in the Los Angeles area and no- door: ticed a used door for a vehicle repair 1. De-trimming the used door for paint access (not included) in the technician’s stall. The tech complained he needed more time to fix the door than what was negotiated between the shop with David McClune and wrecking yard. When I finished testing, I pulled out my PDR lamp and highlighted all the damage (See Figs 1 & 2).
You will also need to check the glass for the correct tint. 6. If the door has an applique, you will need to remove the old one from the used door and order and install a new one, another not-included item.
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Figure 5 shows a used front suspension received by a body shop. You will notice red coating on some of the parts. The shop was charged $60 for Magnafluxing the part. Let’s take a look at Magnafluxing and die checking. A Magnaflux test is a non-destructive testing (NDT) process for detecting surface and subsurface cracks in materials such as iron (Figs 6&7). Magnetic particle inspection can be
used only on ferrous materials like iron and steel. The Magnaflux process does
2. Removing paint finish to comply with your paint manufacturer’s warranty. Most company’s paint with Richard Steffen warranty will only cover between 12 to 13 mils of paint thickness, a not-included item. Also, check the door for prior damage repair. Fig. 2 3. Prior damage to the door is I marked all the damage on now the responsibility of the body the door other than the large dent. I shop that sells the part to the cusasked the owner of the shop a cou- tomer. ple of questions about the door. The 4. Check for corrosion and apshop and owner negotiated a $50 re- plied seam sealers. duction in price to fix the large dent. 5. Check to see if vehicle glass is with John Yoswick I used that amount to represent the tempered or laminated. More vehicles are using laminated door glass shop’s hourly door rate. instead of tempered. (See Fig 4.) Here are the questions I asked: It should be noted laminated door 1. Who is paying for the primer, glass is thicker than tempered glass. blocking and sandpaper on the entire repaired door? 2. Since you are charging one hour to fix the door, who is paying the rest of the repair time? 3. Who is going to make up forHendricks the with Karyn lost billing time? 4. What about the cycle time delay fixing the used door?
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not work on aluminum, but penetrating dyes are available to test aluminum parts in a similar way. Magnetic Particle Inspection is performed in four steps: • Induce a magnetic field in the specimen. • Apply magnetic particles to the part’s surface. • View the surface, looking for particle groupings that are caused by defects. • Demagnetize and clean the part.
testing technique, also known as liquid penetrant inspection (LPI), is a method used to locate surface breaking flaws such as cracks, porosity, laps, seams and other surface imperfections. The procedures for using these products are as follows: • Spray the part to checked with the cleaner SKC-S and wipe dry with a clean rag. (See Fig 9)
crack(s). • Follow the cleaning process with developer SKD-S2. Any crack(s) will be red in color. See Fig 10 for aluminum panel that was damaged and then repaired and welded. Notice all the cracks.
Looking at the suspension parts, the wrecking yard sprayed penetrant on the aluminum parts, but did not apply developer. They charged for Magnafluxing, but they used dye penetrant. They should have disassembled the parts when they did dye penetrant. They also should have checked the knuckle for cracks. Moving on to a used sub frame.
Dye penetrant can be used on steel as well as aluminum. Fig 11 shows dye penetrant being used on a steel brake rotor.
Dye penetrant inspection (DPI) is widely used to detect surface cracks. This non-destructive, three-part
• Apply Penetrant SKL-SP2 to the area that needs to be checked. Wait about 10 minutes for the product to wick into the crack(s). (See Fig 9) • Clean entire panel with a clean rag and cleaner. Do not spray cleaner directly to the panel, which will wash away the penetrant in the
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There are several things that need to done to this part prior to purchase. First and foremost, you will need to check for square. This can be done with a tram gauge that has adapters. (See Figs 13 & 14) Since a subframe controls camber and caster, the part needs to be
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straight and symmetrical. If you want a printout verification, you could use the Metrix Wand, Car-OLiner Point X or Chiefs Velocity. This would be a non-included item.
Next you will need to check for corrosion. If it checks out, you need to clean and refinish the part and again, this would be a non-included item. If the part has replaceable bushings, you may want to replace and again, the labor and parts to replace would not be included. Let’s look at everyone’s favor used part, the used quarter panel.
When a used quarter panel arrives at the shop, the first thing that needs to be checked is the paint thickness and any body filler from previous repairs. Most shops will drill out the spot welds to remove the outer quarter panel. Fig. 14
This is Honda/Acura’s position state-
ment: “Preparation of the salvaged/recycled parts can negatively affect installation, which may have an adverse effect upon crash energy management and occupant safety in any subsequent collision. For example: If the factory spot welds are drilled out of a rear outer (quarter) panel leaving holes in the flanges, there may not be enough flange material remaining to attach the salvaged/recycled part with the BRM-specified spot welds. This would require substitution of MAG plug welding to attach the panel. Substitution of BRM-specified welding methods is never approved by American Honda. Additionally, in cases where outer panels attach to certain ultrahigh-strength steel (UHSS) structural parts, weld method substitution may weaken the UHSS parts.” What this statement means is a quarter panel should be removed from the inside out so the panel does not have a drilled out metal. (See Fig.
16) Some more line items you would need on your estimate include: removing any attached parts, removing any foam from the used panel, removing all sealant and undercoating from mating surface areas, removing broken glass from flanges, removing finish thickness, repairing any holes from the removal process necessary for removal, repairing all hems on the used panel (including holes that occurred when removing the panel) before installation and finally disposing of the donor remains. When you add up all the associated costs, it may be more cost effective to use a new OEM panel. Furthermore, many dealers will price match. A used quarter panel will be a better option if: • Need additional attached part(s) and not just the outer panel. • It is more cost effective • OEM is backordered or not available You should understand if a vehicle
Support for the RPM Act Expands as U.S. House Members Leave Washington Until September Congressional support for the bipartisan Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2021 (RPM Act), H.R. 3281, has continued to build in the days leading up to members of the U.S. House of Representatives leaving Washington, D.C., until mid-September. Letters in support of the RPM Act from racers and members of the motorsports’ parts industry to lawmakers in Congress asking them to cosponsor the bill continue to be a key factor in expanding support for the legislation. The RPM Act now has 96 bipartisan co-sponsors, as five members of the House recently agreed to publicly support the bill, including U.S. Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Carlos Gimenez (RFL) and Victoria Spartz (R-IN). While the House of Representatives is out of session until Sept. 20, members of Congress will hold town hall meetings and meet with their constituents. Local meetings provide a great opportunity for you to influ-
ence your members of Congress. To identify your U.S. House member, visit Action Center. You can sign up on their website to receive weekly email updates, including information about events in your lawmaker’s congressional district. The RPM Act must be enacted into law to guarantee your right to modify street cars, trucks and motorcycles into dedicated race vehicles, and ensure that industry can offer parts that enable racers to compete. It is imperative that lawmakers continue to be reminded of the importance of passing the RPM Act. Click here to see the current list of RPM Act co-sponsors, and don’t forget to send a letter to your U.S. Representative asking them to support the bill and fight for it to become law. For details, contact Eric Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org. Source: SEMA
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is still under warranty, that warranty is still enforced except for the used part. That warranty falls in your
lap, possibly the insurance company and/or the parts vendor. If an attached part fails due to the used part, that part would also be the responsibility of the repair shop. You will also need to inform your customer a used part was installed on their vehicle. I found this quote on the Audi website and it should also be considered when ordering that used part: “Additionally, Audi does not support the use of parts that have been
removed or salvaged from another vehicle that was previously involved in a collision. These parts are compromised by being exposed to weathering, rust, environmental damage and heat damage from welders used to remove the parts from vehicles that were previously involved in a collision. These elements can cause Audi’s high-strength steel, aluminum and carbon fiber vehicle unibody parts to lose their structural integrity, which can cause the vehicle to not perform properly if involved in a future collision.” I believe used parts are necessary in the collision repair process, but you need to do your due diligence when you make the decision to replace an OEM new part with that used part.
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Here’s What Rivian’s First Service Centers Look Like by Dan Mihalascu, Inside EVs
With deliveries of the R1T pickup and R1S SUV coming in September and later in the fall, respectively, Rivian is offering customers a preview of its service centers. In a post on Twitter, the EV startup shared photos of service centers located in Brooklyn, NY, Bellevue, WA, Normal, IL, and San Francisco and El Segundo, CA.
While the workshop area looks pretty traditional with elevators and other specific equipment, the customer waiting areas appear airy and cozy, with Rivian saying it has “brought the inspiration of the outdoors” to its inside spaces. In several comments on the post, Rivian has offered some details about these centers and how they will serve customers.
“While most repairs can be done by our Mobile Service vans right at your home or office, we can also pick up and bring your vehicle to a Rivian Service Center and return it to you, all with a flexible loaner program.” The EV manufacturer added service centers would also prepare brand-new Rivian vehicles for delivery and install accessories on them. Unsurprisingly, the five previewed locations are located in or close to metropolitan areas. However, Rivian says as production of the R1T and R1S ramps up, so too will its network of service centers. According to the company, locations across the country are opening this year, “with many more coming online in 2022.” Asked by a commenter about its showrooms, the automaker replied 10 Rivian Experience Centers are opening across the country this year, with details on locations and hours to become available later. Until then, prospective customers will be able to get a look at the R1S and R1T in September, when Rivian kicks off its Demo Drive tour.
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How Could Gaming Change the Future of Collision Repair Training? adult coaches telling us what to do.” Gamers are more comfortable “Do we need to look differently at making quick decisions and taking how we approach training and edu- risks; things are always easy in the cation?” asked Jeff Peevy, I-CAR’s gaming world, but they’re ultimatevice president of technical products, ly designed for success. They enjoy programs and services, during the being heroes, but it’s important to July 22 CIECAST webinar. “The realize games teach them to avoid momentum of change today is so bosses, so Peevy encouraged shop much greater than it ever has been. owners and managers to “be more The way we’ve always thought and of a strategy guide than a traditional approached building training con- boss.” Additional ways gamers’ mindtent, the collection of information and how we can simulate that into sets vary from older generations training and information has to be include being more flexible, being rethought, reinvented because of the able to better move between tasks and being better at stepping outside speed at which it’s coming at us.” Before launching into “Tech- their own perspective to see situnology’s Impact on the Future of ations from someone else’s viewTraining: Welcome to the Gamer point. Culture,” Peevy briefly described The gamer generation also exI-CAR’s role within the collision pects life to be fun. repair inter-industry, as well as its “Attention is the scarcest revision that “every person in the source in the world,” Peevy quoted collision repair industry has the in- from “The Attention Economy,” by Thomas Davenport and formation, knowledge and John Beck. “Everything skills required to perform complete, safe and quality must be more engaging and entertaining in order to keep repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.” gamers’ attention.” Giving a shoutout to Using data gathered by I-CAR’s instructional dethe Collision Repair Edusign team, Peevy emphacation Foundation (CREF), Jeff Peevy which shows the average sized I-CAR’s interest in collaborating with the industry: technician age is 41, Peevy noted “Collaboration is in our DNA.” traditional gamers range in age from Addressing technology’s im- under 21 up to 51. The introduction pact on people as individuals, Peevy of games on smartphones enhanced explored the impact of electron- exposure to older and younger peoic-based games on youth during ple as well. their formative years. Based on a “Almost everyone, at some levstudy conducted by Cognitive Sci- el, are playing games, and it may not ence Magazine, people retain 10% have a direct influence on how we of what they read, 30% of what they approach training, but it certainly hear and 70% of what they do. should be something that we consid “As trainers in this industry, if er.” we don’t recognize this, we’re going According to Peevy, technoloto miss the boat,” Peevy said. gy impacts training approaches by He pointed out the difference making new demands to meet users’ gaming creates in the younger gen- training and learning needs. erations’ mindsets: “When things “Training needs to involve dego bad in a game, you hit the reset cisions, be entertaining and be fun. button; you can always start over. In It must be relevant, engaging and the real world, Boomers are devas- challenging, though doable. It would tated by a layoff, but the gamer gen- be beneficial to build training that erations bounce back quicker―they involves teams. It needs to allow simply reset and move on. They’re students to practice new knowledge also used to relying on peer support, and skills and also allow students to collaboration and coaching one an- compare their performance to othother, rather than the Boomer gen- ers.” eration, which was accustomed to Peevy believes there are practiby Chasidy Rae Sisk
42 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
Gamification is the application of gaming mechanics to non-gaming environments and is used to increase knowledge and skills for specific industry tasks. “The objective needs to be to gain new knowledge,” said Peevy. “You have the opportunity to apply this knowledge in a game and then practice your skills. You practice for accuracy and speed, and then when you apply that in the real world, you can be much more prepared, when done correctly.” Peevy mentioned the value of video-based and online training as a means of engaging collision repair professionals. He suggested online training allows for an environment that’s “more engaging and more relaxed. It’s less formal, and it’s more relatable and relevant. The interactive branching approach assesses how much you know over a series of questions and then ultimately can move you from a mainstream course design into a more basic or challenging position; it can adjust itself. Wherever you start is not important.
cal uses of extended reality, which refers to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables, including augmented and virtual reality. Through the use of headsets that create their own environment, virtual reality provides training in complete immersion. “There are no distractions,” Peevy stated. “You’re in a world that’s been created ideal for learning. You can focus on whatever it is. As we continue to learn about the practical application of this, there are ways this will become very beneficial in the future.” In augmented reality, the headset overlays digital objects in the real world. “It allows you to see the real world and see things over it that you actually can do and get a more realistic experience, so you can gain knowledge, as well as improve your skills and understanding of the topic without being in a dangerous environment,” Peevy said.
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Our goal is to bring everybody up to the same level, at your pace.” Looking at technology’s impact on training content in the collision repair industry, Peevy stressed, given the speed of technological advances, I-CAR feels “the responsibility to work with the industry and collaborate with the industry to gain knowledge as quickly as we can. When a new technology shows up on the horizon, it’s our responsibility to explore and understand it. It may never go mainstream, but if it does, we’ll do our best to prepare the industry. We won’t wait for that technology to come to us.” I-CAR is focused on providing relevant training for the many ongoing changes impacting the collision repair industry today and in the future. Peevy looked at some of the programs related to ADAS, EVs and
I-CAR’s goals of figuring out “how we can do this differently, and we’ll continue to do that. We’d love to collaborate with anyone in the industry with interest or knowledge to share. We have this massive challenge that we all have to face with speed and momentum of change.” Peevy encouraged collision repair industry professionals interested in collaborating on these exciting initiatives to contact him at Jeff. Peevy@i-car.com. A replay of the July CIECAST is available at https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=yAkM0nbzrAk The next CIECAST, scheduled for Aug. 19 at 2 p.m. EST, will feature Marc Friedman, chief strategy officer, and Shivani Govil, chief product officer, of CCC Intelligent Solutions, as they discuss “Activating AI and Network Connections.”
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Honda Embraces Long-Term Remote Work Opportunities for U.S. Associates Honda will provide some of its U.S. associates more workplace flexibility by providing long-term opportunities to work remotely. Under this new approach, eligible associates will be able to work from home or in satellite locations for all or part of their workweek. The decision marks a significant pivot toward the future as Honda adapts its policies to match evolving workstyles. Remote work is a critical recruiting and retention tool for the talent Honda needs to achieve its vision of a carbon free and collision free future and expanding life’s potential for people everywhere. With the shift toward more flexibility, Honda’s talent pool expands dramatically, increasing its ability to maintain the quality Honda customers have come to expect while innovating and transforming its broad range of customer products and services. “This expansion of remote work opportunities reflects lessons learned over the past 18 months and
a recognition of the needs of Honda’s current and future workforce,” said Rich Richardson, vice president of human resources, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Our remote work policy creates more flexibility so that wherever works get done, Honda associates will continue to collaborate with each other and create value for our customers and society.” While Honda continues to monitor the pandemic situation, the policy change is planned for Oct. 1, but associates not already working remotely can begin transitioning to their new workstyles as soon as Aug. 30. In addition to traditional onsite roles, Honda is introducing new “virtual” and “hybrid” workstyles based on an associate’s role and responsibilities. Honda is also working to understand the unique needs and interests of associates who cannot work remotely and plans to introduce new offerings to enhance the on-site work experience as early as this fall. Source: Honda
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Industry Insight with John Yoswick
—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
Why Collision Repair Shops, Insurers Often Disagree on Repair Plans
The Collision Industry Conference Another panelist, consultant and (CIC) Industry Relations Commit- former insurance executive Roger tee held a panel discussion this sum- Wright of Vector Squared, concurred with Ed Attanasio mer centered around a fundamental claims personnel often lag in their question: Why is there so often a technical knowledge as vehicle techdisconnect between auto body shops nology evolves. and insurance companies during the “In the 1970s, I started out [in repair planning stage, particularly the insurance industry] and I went to when it comes to procedures related Vale Tech and became a ‘three-week to advanced driver sys- wonder,’ and realized shortly therewithassistance Ed Attanasio tems (ADAS)? after I knew nothing,” Wright said. Michael Giarrizzo, CEO of “The collision repair shops trained DCR Systems, which operates eight me for the next 20 years. I went in as collision repair shops under partner- an insurance representative or indeships with dealers in four Eastern pendent appraiser and would listen states, sees training as the key issue to what they had to say and learn. I leading to the frequent lack of align- guess we’ve lost that, maybe.” with Ed Attanasio ment on repair plans between shops and insurers. Giarrizzo said OEM-certified shops like his continue to get significant amounts of training as vehicle complexity continues to Attanasio increase, with Ed but insurance claims personnel often aren’t getting that ongoing technical training. He equated it to a medical insurer questioning a surgeon. Oregon shop owner Ron Reichen said one “Someone handling a medical size-fits-all solutions don’t work because the claim may not have that same level time to scan and analyze trouble codes on two of education [as with the doctor], but they Stacey Phillips different brands of vehicles can vary widely have trust in that education,” Giarrizzo said. “Whether you’re up to That said, Wright said he can speed with it all or not, there’s got to understand insurance company rebe a trust level in whoever has gone sistance to what could be seen as out and invested in the education.” blanket position statements or pro Ron Reichen of Precision Body cedures from automakers. Wright with Stacey Phillips & Paint in Oregon agreed keeping said it was 2016 when he first saw up with vehicle technology is “a an automaker statement calling for challenge for us, and we’re con- all of its vehicles to be scanned after stantly training.” He said collision a collision. repairers “trying to get alignment “It didn’t designate a year or [with insurers], often find ourselves anything, just that all vehicles are with Stacey Phillips being the educators for the bill-pay- to be scanned,” Wright said. “If we er.” The shift to virtual claims settle- asked everybody in the audience ment doesn’t help, he said, because then, how many of those cars that it adds to the challenge of showing you repaired last week did you scan, or explaining what a vehicle re- it may have been maybe three or quires. four or five or one. Was it necessary He said he also sees a “one size to recall all those other cars because with Stacey Phillips fits all” approach that isn’t helpful. we didn’t do it right or safe? The time needed to scan a vehicle “No, the shop believed they and analyze the information and fixed the car properly, to OEM stanincorporate that into a repair plan dards, and all of a sudden we have might take 45 minutes on one make a bulletin that says we have to scan of vehicle and two hours on another, everything. That causes an insurer even on similar hits, Reichen said. some consternation. How can that
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be? What happened between yesterday and today?” A seemingly sudden shift by an OEM can have real financial consequences, Wright said. “For even a medium-sized insurer that has 10,000 claims a day, if you throw a number out for pre- and post-scans, you come out with about $2.7 million a day in average increased costs. Per day,” Wright said. “They didn’t price that in. Now, don’t cry for the insurers. They’ll get this all priced in with the next rate increase. But in the meantime, which can be months or years, they’re losing $2.7 million a day. That’s real money to them. “So they push back a little bit, and say, ‘Do we need it on every car? Maybe the Saturn that’s in the parking lot that got hit by a shopping cart doesn’t need to be scanned.’ It’s not that we don’t want to fix a car
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right. But it creates a concern for us.” But Reichen argued neither shops nor insurers should be deciding how to repair a vehicle. “No one knows the vehicle better than the person who built the vehicle, so from a repairer’s position, if the manufacturer says we need to do it…I’m going to follow those repair procedures,” Reichen said. He noted an empty chair is now always placed on the stage at CIC to remind attendees of an important industry constituent not generally represented at the meetings: the consumer. That began after a Texas couple won a $42 million judgment against a dealership auto body shop after a jury found the shop’s failure to follow OEM repair procedures contributed to the couple’s severe injuries in that vehicle in a subseSee Often Disagree, Page 49
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Where Film and Auto Body Shops Collide by Ed Attanasio
A few years back, a British company produced a comedy series about life in an auto body shop that dealt with all of the crazy and wacky things that can happen in this industry. The characters they created were classic. First, there was the boisterous semi-retired owner who was well-known for randomly dropping in to yell and throw things. Then, there was the manager who spends all of his time hiding from the owner while taking it out on the shop’s employees. The techs are an interesting group, all in their 40s and all working on flat rate, so it’s a dog-eat-dog environment. The painters are all spraying solvent and constantly lobbying for waterborne, and everyone there calls the front office “Drama Central.” Imagine “Taxi” meets “Cheers” with a lot of soap opera thrown in. Any of this sound familiar? It might just work, but getting any TV series greenlit in today’s Hollywood can be difficult, though many of the newer streaming channels―Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Peacock, etc.―are constantly searching for new ideas and hungry for fresh content. Maybe a sitcom about the collision repair industry could be done in an animated series, like “Family Guy” or “The Simpsons”? In 2007, a production company created a series, “American Body Shop,” for a one-season run of nine episodes. The storyline featured Desert Body & Custom, an auto body shop in Phoenix, AZ, described on IMDb as “the professional home for a bunch of twisted (and bent and sometimes, smashed) characters, including Sam, the owner; Rob, a technician whose solutions are usually much more complicated than any problem; Johnny, a displaced (and very kinky) Brooklynite; Tim, who has a penchant for inappropriate pranks; Luis, a Peruvian immigrant who feigns a lack of English to mask a mysterious personality; and Denise, the harried receptionist who can barely tolerate her coworkers.” In one of the first episodes, the shop’s owner, Sam, decides to sell the business and pursue his dream
of hiking the Appalachian Trail. In another one, the shop fails an EPA inspection and is threatened with a potential shutdown.
In 2007, a production company created a sitcom, “American Body Shop,” but after one short season of nine episodes, it was not renewed. Credit: IMDb
Eventually, poor ratings shut this series down, even though it had some excellent acting, notably from Nick Offerman, who went on to fame starring in “Parks & Recreation.” The creator, Sam Greene, broke all the rules by filming the pilot and then sending it around to the networks, which rarely works. But in this case, it did―at least for one season. Body shops have appeared in a lot of movies. In most cases, nefarious and highly illegal things happen there. There were body shops in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Mad Max” (“You bend it, we mend it.”), “Corvette Summer” and “Christine”―I almost forgot Big Pussy had a shop in “The Sopranos.” In the Canadian series, “The Trailer Park Boys,” the main characters start a body shop, Success Auto Body & Repair, in an episode titled “Countdown to Liquor Day.” After being released from prison, the boys start a body shop, figuring they learned collision repair while in prison. But, as we all know, it’s not that easy and the Trailer Park Boys failed terribly. Film producer Jose Herrera of Mio Productions in Silicon Valley has an impressive resume in film that includes producing award-win-
46 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
ning films. He believes a body shop would be an outstanding setting for either a reality show or a sitcom, and that’s why he is working on a screenplay and a treatment for a dramatic series. “The environment in a busy body shop, with a whole slew of characters who all have their own agendas, is perfect for TV,” Herrera said. “The David vs. Goliath relationship between the insurance companies and the collision repair industry is ideal for the screen because every protagonist needs at least one villain. Then, of course, you have the customers, each with their own backstory as well.” Herrera knows he wants to depict a body shop as accurately as he can, so he started hanging out in shops until the pandemic hit. “I want to pick up the vibe and meet these people. Every shop needs that one old technician who is fighting new technology and another younger one who is excited about doing things a little more out-of-the-box,” Herrera said. “New technology has changed
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the industry on many levels and a lot of shops are struggling to catch up, so that is another angle we want to include in both of our concepts.” Has Herrera thought of any particular actors or actresses to be cast in his proposed series? “We won’t have a huge budget, so we will probably be going with some new, unproven people,” he said. “In a perfect world, I’d love to have someone like Matt Damon or Matthew McConaughey as the shop owner, Bill Hader or Jim Carrey as technicians, Steve Buscemi as the painter and Melissa McCarthy running the front office. That would be awesome!”
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ADAS: Here to Stay, Not Driving Away by Rebecca Barnabi, glassBYTEs.com
“One of the most important things we try to convey [about calibration training] is the best practice, knowing your environment and really what the manufacturer needs or what that system needs to calibrate,” said Emily Jackson, marketing director of Mygrant Glass, during a special ADAS session held during Auto Glass Week. Jackson said the company has eight hours a day to train each individual. George Lesniak, director of sales and training at Autel Automotive Intelligence USA, emphasized training as well. “There are so many important things when it comes to training, let alone ADAS training,” Lesniak said. “I guess the first thing is, ADAS training is not a one-and-done. It’s not something you do once, and you’re trained.” According to Lesniak, individuals continue to learn about ADAS even after the official training period is complete. “The best practices are what help you perform proper and accurate calibrations,” he added. “It doesn’t matter what equipment you use. If you’re not following instructions to the letter and understanding why you’re performing the calibration, it’s hard to do it accurately.” Eric Newell, executive vice president of AirPro Diagnostics, said understanding systems and processes is also important for training. “And understand, more importantly, the why behind the calibration,” he said. Jackson cautioned installers should also be aware some systems are best suited to particular environments. “Do not purchase on price,” she said.
Lesniak added owners and managers should not only ask themselves, “What should I buy?,” but also, “Should I buy?” “ADAS calibration is not right for everyone,” he said. “I’ve learned that the hard way by selling equipment to people who should not have calibration equipment.” A company needs the technicians, location and equipment to perform calibrations properly. Chris Guiterrez, director of technology and innovation at Protech Automotive Solutions, agreed with the other panelists but said a prequel to training exists. “Know your audience, know where you’re at and know what you’re doing and know what you’re about to get into,” Guiterrez said. He asked audience members to describe themselves. Do they mainly install glass, mostly interact with customers or do they work with collision centers. “Your audiences are different. How you approach things is different. How you’re going to get into this whole thing is different,” he said. Jacques Navant, technical director for frogitout and Don’s Mobile Glass and chairperson of the Auto Glass Safety Council’s (AGSC) ADAS Calibration Committee, said the committee is planning CE courses for shop owners, fleet managers, technicians and insurance providers. “So we’ll be able to kind of take all the shade and shadows off of all things ADAS,” Navant said. “And really educate everyone involved.” Bob Beranek, president of Automotive Glass Consultants, began in the industry in 1973 as a tech and is the AGSC’s AGRSS Standards Committee chair. “Because ADAS is a major part of the automotive design of the
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future, we have to address it,” Beranek said “… we’re going to need to develop parts of our standard to address the issue.” Navant said the industry keeps hearing the future is now. His son is about to start driving, and he will be operating vehicles maintained to the standards set forth by the industry now. “But holistically as [an industry], we have a long way to go to catch up to the technology in these vehicles,” Newell said. Guiterrez added that not only does the collision repair industry need to catch up to technology in vehicles, “the customer is as naïve with what they have in their car like everybody else.” Nobody is ready for the technology coming out in vehicles right now, according to Guiterrez. Tara Taffera, AGRR editorial director, moderated the session, and asked the panelists what myths they would like to end. Newell’s choice was the myth that if a light does not come on in the dashboard warning
of a problem in a car, nothing is wrong. Lesniak cited myths about liability. “If you worked on the car, you’re liable,” he said. Jackson said the glass is not always the problem and warned, “Your ego is not always your amigo.” During a question-and-answer period, Taffera asked the panelists why a shop should not pursue ADAS. Newell said proper space and environment, as well as training, are necessary. “If you can’t do it correctly, don’t do it at all,” he said. Jackson said shops that want to cut corners should not pursue ADAS. “They should. Every shop should,” Beranek said. “It’s here, it’s part of us, it’s not going away,” Lesniak said. (C) 2021 by glassbytes.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. For more information contact www.glassbytes.com.
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Continued from Page 44
Often Disagree quent accident. “As repairers, that looms over us every day,” Reichen said, saying that’s why a shop can’t decide a called-for procedure doesn’t have to be done. “Common sense might say it doesn’t. But we also have to come back and weigh that liability exposure if we don’t do it.” Giarrizzo was among those during the discussion to suggest insurers should voice their concerns about OEM repair procedures to the automakers, not shops. “I could agree that some of the manufacturers’ guidelines or procedures seem like they are there to cover [the OEM’s] liability, but that’s a discussion between the manufacturer who builds the car and the folks that insure the car,” Giarrizzo said. “As a repairer, you have no choice but to follow those guidelines, period. If those guidelines need to be changed or have some flexibility, that’s a discussion for a room in Detroit or wherever
that car is built.” Wright didn’t disagree. “We [as insurers] need to trust the shop because they’re the expert. They’re the one repairing the car. They’re the one guaranteeing the repair,” Wright said. “I think the insurers need to work with the OEMs a little more in understanding the engineering behind [the procedures]. Is there really engineering that says we have to replace the rack and pinion on every single car in an accident, even when they don’t define ‘accident’?” Wright noted insurers worked with GM when the Corvette C6 came out. “We wanted bolt-on panels. We wanted sectional front and rear rails,” he said. “They wanted a low insurance rate [for the vehicle] so they put those things on that car. We worked together. “We need to work on getting the insurers and the OEMs in a room together to talk about the engineering rational for doing some of the things they [call for] so we can protect the collision repair shop. They have to fix the car right.”
GM Has Two New All-Electric Commercial Vehicles In Development by Anthony Alaniz, Motor1.com
BrightDrop, GM’s new commercial vehicle endeavor, is still on schedule to deliver its first model, the EV600, this fall. It’ll launch alongside the GMC Hummer EV pickup and before the all-electric Cadillac Lyriq crossover arrives in early 2022. However, General Motors has even bigger commercial plans as company CEO Mary Barra announced Aug. 4 it’s planning to introduce two new EVs designed to target commercial and small-business customers. Aug. 4, GM reported its second-quarter sales results, and Barra revealed the two new EVs during a conference call with analysts afterward, according to Automotive News. One will be a full-size all-electric cargo van that will wear the Chevy bowtie. The other, which Barra didn’t link to a specific GM brand, will be a medium-duty truck, though it won’t be just all-electric. The truck will pack GM’s Ultium battery technology and offer its Hydrotec hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain.
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Barra told analysts the two new commercial vehicles would “complement BrightDrop,” while growing its commercial fleet market share. According to Barra, GM will have an EV “for almost any hauling or towing job you can imagine.” GM has ambitious plans to offer a plethora of electric vehicles in North America and China—30 models by 2025. It’s not clear when the two commercial EVs will hit the market, but we don’t expect it’ll be too long of a wait. The two new commercial vehicles are just the latest in a string of soft reveals from GM. Earlier this year, Chevy confirmed there’ll be an all-electric version of its Silverado pickup that’ll be built alongside the Hummer EV. Both will use GM’s Ultium platform and battery tech, which will also underpin the new commercial models. Electric vehicles may not be mainstream yet, but one sector that could benefit from them is commercial businesses, which will be critical to GM’s overall electrification strategy.
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not installed by an Authorized Kia Dealer are covered for 12 months from the part only, and any labor charge is the consumer’s responsibility. autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 51
Stacey Phillips is an award-winning freelance writer and editor for the automotive industry. She has 20 years of experience writing for a variety of publications, and is co-author of “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops.” She can be reached at email@example.com.
with Stacey Phillips
California MSO Launches Kustomine Software to Help Collision Repairers Work More Efficiently
Body Shops Giving Back
In 1956, Bruno Sanchez opened a David, worked in my grandfather’s 2,500-square foot auto body shop shop growing up. He began running in San Francisco, CA.Stacey He named it it in 1968 and eventually purchased with Phillips Bruno and Son Auto Body Shop and the business in 1980. After opening the goal was to offer honesty, pas- a second location in Pleasanton in sion and craftsmanship. 1991, he changed the name to B&S Over the years, the family busi- Hacienda Auto Body to reflect a ness grew and was eventually re- partnership the company had with a named B&S Hacienda Auto Body. nearby collision repair facility. with Stacey Phillips We recently celebrated our 30th Currently owned and operated by David and Maria Dolores and their anniversary of that location. The three sons, David Jr., Tony and original San Francisco shop was Rob, the company has expanded to eventually sold in 1994. include six locations in the Tri-Val- My brother Tony, the general manager, started working with my ley Area of California. father in 1992. Rob, vice president of with Stacey Phillips dealer relations, joined in 1993. After earning a business degree at Chico State, I came onboard in 1999. Since my grandfather established the first location 65 years ago, we have opened six shops in the Tri-Valley area of California: Dubwith Victoria Antonelli lin, Livermore Southfront Road, Livermore First Street, Pleasanton Old Santa Rita, Pleasanton California Avenue and San Ramon. My parents are semi-retired but In 1956, Bruno Sanchez opened Bruno and still come by the shops. They spend Son Auto Body Shop most of their time doing philanwithofEdB&S Attanasio David Jr., CFO Haci- thropy work, which they absolutely enda, said the Sanchez family has love. always been committed to providing excellent customer service and qual- Q: What prompted the company to ity repair work. develop Kustomine software for the The team recently developed collision repair industry? software, called Kustomine, dewith Gary signed to empower body shopsLedoux with Jeff: I grew up in the same neigha paperless customer experience borhood as David, Tony and Robthat reduces environmental impact, bie and we had been trying to work saves time and money, and provides together for years. Finally, in 2019, cleaner data for the tools used to run B&S engaged my company to build the body shop. a better way to connect with cus Autobody News reached out to tomers from the time they initially David Sanchezwith Jr. andStacey Jeff Hill,Phillips an drop off their car through to the deinformation technology (IT) consul- livery process—from quote to cash. tant who helped develop the prod- Ultimately, we figured out how to uct, to find out more about Kustom- improve this process using modern ine and what led the team to create web development architecture and the solution for the collision repair communication methods such as industry. texting and email.
Tips for Busy Body Shops My SEMA
an estimate, they are handed a tablet, iPad or Surface computer to input basic personal information. Then, the CSR or estimator takes pictures of the damage and sends the information to the application, which we call Kustomine. Customers immediately receive a welcome message via email or text, as well as information regarding their insurance policy and rights. The estimate is also created automatically. The solution allows us to take estimate data virtually in real-time and push it to the custom CRM application. The software provides a 360-degree view of the repair so a customer can stay updated about everything concerning their vehicle. It also allows us to remarket to our customer base effectively. Q: How is it currently being used and what has the reaction been from
customers and employees? David: We rolled out the product to our flagship location in Pleasanton in December of 2019. Once we realized how successful it was, we began using it in the rest of our locations. We’ve found that it has led to a drastic increase in customer engagement. During COVID-19, we tried landing every person who came through the door. The product helped us do that with the welcome email/text and providing information about their rights. Jeff: In regard to employees, most of those on the front lines, including the CSRs and estimators, are at least a generation younger than us. Their comfort level with this type of technology is very high and they welcomed it with open arms.
OE Shop Certification
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From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson
Q: Can you share some history about B&S Hacienda Auto Body?
Q: Can you provide an overview of the software?
David: My dad, who is also named
Jeff: When customers come in for
52 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
The Dealers Above Are Original MINI Parts Distributors ©2021 MINI USA, a division of BMW of North America, LLC. The MINI name, model names and logo are registered trademarks.
Q: Who is your target market? David: Kustomine was designed for shops looking for change and/or better processes. This includes single, independent shops as well as giant MSOs. We feel that the product has great potential for the industry. We’re gearing up to launch our public beta of the cloud-based product on Sept. 1.
to people’s input and find out how to make this worthwhile for everybody.
We can track all of those metrics and figure out which ones take the longest.
Q: What are some of the benefits for auto body shops using Kustomine?
David: One of the biggest benefits is the elimination of unnecessary waste. I think that our industry does enough wasting and we wanted to address that. With Kustomine, we created a paperless, seamless process that essentially eliminated the use of paper. This is especially relevant since the pandemic. Also, shops receive 100% clean data because customers are entering it themselves. We often receive the wrong email address due to a keystroke error from the estimator or a language barrier between the customer and CSR. Through the use of this tool, we know we’ll have accurate information. In our industry, a shop typically writes an estimate and if the customer leaves, you’re more than likely not going to get the job. By touching a customer immediately and sending them useful information, we have found the capture rate is greater because of the instant communication. Nine times out of 10, it’s a customer’s first accident in seven years. Things change over time and people need to know their rights, including that they can go to the shop of their choice. We ensure they receive that information immediately. We are an OEM-centric company that takes pride in being part of more than 10 OEM certification programs. Once we communicate that to potential customers, I believe it helps them decide to have their car repaired in one of our shops.
Jeff: Kustomine securely stores all of the documentation pertaining to the repair and generates reports that are useful for growing the business. For example, you can reach all of your customers who own a certain car brand and do individual outreach. All of the information is stored on an encrypted database and travels across a secure SSL channel. Based on this information, we can create targeted communication to reach potential and current cusDavid and Maria Dolores and their three sons, Tony, David and Rob tomers and focus on process improvement. For We’re hoping to have a short example, we’ve been able to shortbeta cycle and launch version one of en the amount of time that needs to Kustomine by the end of the year so be spent on an estimate by figuring we’re ready for anyone who wants out how long it will be between first to sign up and buy a beta license. As notice of loss (FNOL) and when an a small company, we look forward estimate is turned into a work order.
YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE AT THE FIRST REPAIR. Original BMW Parts & Accessories.
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New Century BMW Alhambra 626-576-2867 www.ncbmw.com
©2021 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trademarks.
Q: What is the importance of being OEM certified? David: Without a doubt, it’s the best way to fix a vehicle. With cars being more advanced and complex to repair, it’s essential to do your pre-
crash analysis and calibration and understand what you are fixing. In our opinion, the OEM data is priceless. We do a lot of research and documentation to make sure we are repairing vehicles properly and putting them back to the OEM’s specifications. Although it can be a significant expense, we are willing to pay for it. There are too many things that could go wrong in the vehicle you are working on. Our job is to make our customers safe with every repair. This is going to become even more important in the future. Q: What type of philanthropy and community service does your family take part in? David: My parents are very passionate about community service and instilled it in us. They have been key members of the Pleasanton Lion’s Club for at least 30 years. Although it is a small group, they do a tremendous amount of work in this area. My mom also supports the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a global organization that funds Type 1 diabetes research. One of the organizations near and dear to my heart is Sunflower Hill, which is dedicated to creating places where adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, live and work. I have an employee and a friend who both have children with autism and I’m thankful that my wife and I can support that organization. We are also involved with the College is Real program, where we donate and assist underprivileged children apply to, attend and graduate from college. Some are the first kids in their families to earn their college education. Our family believes in philanthropy and loves to give back to the community where we grew up. We’ve been blessed with good fortune and want to give back.
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autobodynews.com / SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 53
Ford Statements on Electric Vehicle Sales and White House Announcement Ford Motor Company Executive Chair Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley released the following statements on Ford’s electric vehicle sales and the White House’s fuel economy announcement. “It has been said that this generation is the first to feel the impact of climate change, and the last that can do something about it. I am proud that Ford is leading the electric revolution and standing for stronger standards that protect people and the environment as we progress towards a zero-emissions transportation future,” said Bill Ford. “Ford has always been a leader in sustainability and our employees continue their tremendous efforts to leave our children and our grandchildren with a cleaner planet.” “Ford is on an ambitious trajectory to lead the electrification revolution---from being the only full-line American automaker to side with California in favor of stricter greenhouse gas emissions, to electrifying our most iconic and popular vehicles, like the F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit,” said Farley. “Customer demand has exceeded
our expectations. So, we expect to be well positioned to have fully electric vehicles account for 40% to 50% of our U.S. sales by 2030. We’re counting on strong cooperation among the Biden Administration, Congress and state and local governments, and are doing our part by developing high-quality, zero-emission vehicles that customers want.”
Background Ford is America’s No. 1 auto manufacturer and the only one to stand with California in support of stronger vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards during the Trump Administration. Ford believes making great vehicles for its customers, protecting the planet and maintaining a strong business are complementary goals. That’s why Ford has committed to investing more than $30 billion in
Repairify Awarded Patent for Remote Automotive Diagnostics Technology Repairify, Inc. d/b/a asTech, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC, announced July 22 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has awarded Repairify patent serial no. 16/202,642 for remote automotive diagnostics. The patent is directed to aspects of Repairify’s industry-disrupting technology, including systems and methods that allow ASE technicians to use a mobile device to read a vehicle’s identification number (VIN), transmit the VIN to a diagnostic database and assist in determining whether an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) diagnostic tool—or aftermarket tool—is required for proper diagnosis and/ or repair of the vehicle. As a result, automotive technicians can accurately select the correct OEM and/ or aftermarket remote diagnostic tools for the effective and safe diagnosis of vehicles. “asTech’s technology is an industry game changer by providing unique functionality to access vital OEM and aftermarket remote diagnostics data via VINs, and this
newest patent will help us in protecting that technology,” said Cris Hollingsworth, president of Repairify, Inc. “ASE technicians will be empowered to quickly access the correct automotive tools to accurately and safely address unique vehicle functionalities via diagnostics and repair data. This newest patent to be issued will be another competitive strategic step for accelerating our solutions and offerings across the entire automotive ecosystem.” The patent is expected to be directed at aspects of Repairify’s technology that serve as the brains of a revolutionary solution asTech is launching to the automotive aftermarket industry later this summer. The product will accurately address vehicles’ OEM and aftermarket remote diagnostic needs for three important automotive repair sectors: collision, mechanical and glass. These innovations further assist Repairify to expand and accelerate its proprietary tools, technology and service offerings across the Americas and Europe. Source: Repairify
54 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
vehicle electrification through 2025, and previously said it plans on at least 40% of its global sales volume being EVs by 2040. Ford is proud to be the first fullline automaker to bring all-electric full-size pickup trucks and commercial vans to customers in the U.S. The E-Transit will be available to customers later this year, the F-150 Lightning will be by mid-2022, and both will be assembled in the U.S. by UAW workers. Ford is also proud to lead on sustainability. It is committed to being fully carbon neutral worldwide by 2050, and Ford is the only full-line American automaker to advocate for one national standard to set the country on a path to a zero-emissions transportation future in alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement. Ford assembles more vehicles and employ more hourly workers in the U.S. than any other automaker. With dealerships in every state, and more than 5,300 U.S.-based supplier sites, Ford supports more than 1 million American jobs. Source: Ford
4 Added to I-CAR Board The I-CAR Board of Directors on July 29 announced the election of four individuals to fill open board seats, including two members returning for a second three-year term. The board’s election process concluded July 14 and new board members will assume their roles immediately following the Aug. 25 I-CAR Board of Directors meeting. The newly elected members of the I-CAR BOD are Barry Dorn, vice president of Dorn’s Body & Paint, Inc., representing the collision repair segment; and Jennifer Goforth, director of global aftersales mechanical engineering for General Motors Co., representing the OEM segment. Re-elected to second threeyear terms are Chris Evans, P&C auto claim consultant for State Farm, representing the insurance segment; and Sandee Lindorfer, auto claims design director for Allstate Insurance Co., representing the insurance segment. Source: I-CAR
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GM Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Airbag Failures Kill People by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com
A GM class action lawsuit alleges the sensing and diagnostic modules prevent the airbags and seat belt pretensioners from deploying in certain frontal crashes. According to the class action lawsuit, at least 1,298 people were killed or injured in frontal collisions in which the airbags failed to deploy in GM vehicles. The lawsuit alleges that statistic is based on information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 1999 to the present. According to the class action: “The ‘Class Vehicles’ herein include all vehicles in the United States that contain the SDM [sensing and diagnostic module] Calibration Defect that were (1) manufactured, sold, distributed, or leased by Defendants or (2) manufactured, sold, distributed, or leased by Old GM and purchased or leased by Plaintiff or a Class member after July 10, 2009.” The General Motors class action lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs
Jamar Chism (2012 Chevrolet Traverse), Ashley DeGruy (2014 Chevrolet Equinox), Kissy Elliott (2014 Chevrolet Traverse), William Garrison (2014 Chevy Silverado), Matthew Mastracci (2014 Chevy Silverado), Arthur Ray (2010 GMC Sierra 2500), Mark Silver (2014 Chevrolet 1500 Express) and Kenith Yates (2014 Chevrolet Silverado LD.) None of the plaintiffs allege their GM vehicles experienced any airbag or seat belt failures. But those plaintiffs allege millions of vehicles are dangerous to drive because the airbags and seat belt pretensioners can fail right when they are needed the most. The plaintiffs claim the airbag control units are defective, components GM refers to as sensing and diagnostic modules. The GM sensing and diagnostic module commands the airbags to deploy and the seat belts to tighten when the control unit senses a crash. The GM vehicles are allegedly equipped with airbag control unit software calibrated to prevent the airbags and seat belt preten-
Hyundai Trunk Latch Recall: Emergency Releases May Fail by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com
A Hyundai trunk latch recall has been announced for more than 348,000 vehicles because people could get trapped in the trunks without access to working internal emergency release latches. The 2017-2018 Hyundai Sonata, 2016-2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, 2018-2020 Hyundai Accent and 2016-2017 Hyundai Azera trunk latches may become damaged. The damage can prevent the emergency trunk release latch to fail, a violation of federal safety standards. The Hyundai trunk latch pawl can contract and crack when exposed to high ambient (room) temperatures, causing damage to the pawl and the inability to use the emergency trunk release. Hyundai says the material used to manufacture the pawl isn’t strong enough to handle high temperatures. It’s possible a Hyundai owner will know of a problem if the trunk has trouble opening. In June, Hyundai was contacted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asking the
automaker to look into a complaint from the owner of a 2017 Hyundai Sonata. The customer reported the trunk wouldn’t open and Hyundai learned the trunk latch assembly pawl had fractured. Hyundai had opened an investigation in 2017 after increased claims were filed in high temperature regions of the Middle East. The trunk latch assembly’s pawl material and shape was updated to better withstand the heat damage and fractures of the pawls. Hyundai dealers will replace the trunk latch assemblies once owner recall notices are mailed Oct. 1. The new trunk latch assembly pawl has improved material increasing its resistance to heat damage. Additionally, the new pawl contains steel reinforcement to prevent damage and fractures. Owners of Hyundai Sonata, Sonata Hybrid, Accent and Hyundai Azera vehicles may call 855-371-9460. Hyundai’s reference number for this recall is 208. In addition to the Hyundai trunk latch recall, Kia recalled more than 253,000 vehicles for the same problem.
56 SEPTEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
sioners from deploying 45 milliseconds after a crash has begun. The lawsuit says this is a serious problem where a crash involves multiple impacts and the airbags fail to properly deploy. The lawsuit alleges occupants will never be protected in certain GM frontal crashes that involve multiple impacts. The class action provides an example where a vehicle first hits a curb and then veers and hits a tree, or a vehicle first hits a speed bump and then crashes into the vehicle in front of it. These are “concatenated” crashes which involve multiple inputs for the sensing and diagnostic modules to detect during a crash sequence. “In concatenated crashes, the first part of the incident (hitting a curb) sends the SDM into its ‘wake up’ or ‘stand by’ mode. The initial curb hit does not trigger the airbag or tighten the seatbelt, but the SDM ‘wakes up’ to confirm whether further irregular signals will follow and indicate a need for the seatbelts or airbags,” the GM class action lawsuit alleges.
The GM airbags and seat belt pretensioners can allegedly only be triggered “within 45 milliseconds of a first, irregular signal. If a second signal occurs after 45 milliseconds, the SDM purposefully, by design, disregards signals that would otherwise trigger airbag deployment.” This, according to the class action lawsuit, results in a “dead zone” beginning just 45 milliseconds into a crash after which occupants are completely vulnerable. General Motors has recalled millions of vehicles due to problems with the sensing and diagnostic modules, including a recall of 4 million vehicles in 2016. The modules also caused another recall of about 88,000 GMC vehicles in 2018. The GM class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan: Chism, et al., v. General Motors, LLC, et al. The plaintiffs are represented by the Miller Law Firm, P.C., Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, Baron & Budd, P.C., and Birka-White Law Offices.
1,000-Plus Attend ASE Instructors Training Conference More than 1,000 instructors, presenters and industry guests from across the country participated in the ASE Instructors Training Conference held virtually July 26-30. The sold-out event featured training classes for high school and post-secondary instructors from automotive, truck and collision repair programs. “The ASE Instructors Training Conference is the largest training conference of its kind in the nation and this year’s event was a huge success,” said Mike Coley, president, ASE Education Foundation. “Because ASE continues to set the standard for offering innovative and informative resources for automotive educators, we had instructors from across the country participate in their choice of virtual sessions. “We want to thank our conference sponsors ASE, Advance Auto Parts, asTech Training, Daimler Truck, Goodheart-Willcox, Isuzu Commercial Truck and Snap-on, along with all our other industry partners, all of whom
gave exceptional presentations and provided valuable training that instructors could not receive anywhere else.” Conference participants were able to view sessions in three different tracks: auto, collision and truck, each track offering more than 20 hours of technical update training. Those who registered for the conference by July 30 and were unable to attend any live sessions can view the recordings through Aug. 31. All live and recorded sessions viewed will count toward the ASE Education Foundation training requirement and will be shown on individuals’ training certificates. To view the conference schedule, visit https://aseeducationfoundation.org/events/ase-instructor-training-conference To log in to view recorded training sessions and download handouts, visit https://www.eventsquid. com/event.cfm?id=13050 Source: ASE
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FTC Issues Rule to Deter Rampant Made in USA Fraud The Federal Trade Commission finalized a new rule that will crack down on marketers who make false, unqualified claims that their products are Made in the USA. Under the rule, marketers making unqualified Made in USA claims on labels should be able to prove that their products are “all or virtually all” made in the U.S. Commissioner Rohit Chopra was joined by Chair Lina Khan and Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter in a statement, which noted the rule will especially benefit small businesses that rely on the Made in USA label, but lack the resources to defend themselves from imitators. The new rule codifies a broader range of remedies by the FTC, including the ability to seek redress, damages, penalties and other relief from those who lie about a Made in USA label. It will enable the FTC for the first time to seek civil penalties of up to $43,280 per violation of the rule. While stiff penalties are not appropriate in every instance, they send a strong signal to would-be violators that they abuse the Made in USA label at their peril. “The final rule provides substantial benefits to
the public by protecting businesses from losing sales to dishonest competitors and protecting purchasers seeking to purchase American-made goods,” said Chopra. “More broadly, this long-overdue rule is an important reminder that the commission must do more to use the authorities explicitly authorized by Congress to protect market participants from fraud and abuse.” In 1994, after the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect, Congress enacted legislation authorizing the FTC to seek penalties and other relief for Made in USA fraud, but only after the commission issued a rule. However, there had long been a bipartisan consensus at the FTC that Made in USA fraud should not be penalized. The final Made in USA Labeling Rule changes course on the commission’s longtime approach. The rule does not impose any new requirements on businesses. Instead, it codifies the FTC’s longstanding enforcement policy statement regarding U.S.-origin claims. By codifying this guidance into a formal rule, the commission can increase deterrence of Made in USA fraud and seek restitution for victims.
Over the course of the rulemaking, the FTC heard from hundreds of ranchers and shrimpers concerned about Made in the USA labels that mislead consumers. The commission is pleased that in conjunction with this announcement, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the USDA will complement the FTC’s efforts with its own initiative on labeling for products such as beef, and other agricultural products regulated by the Food Safety and Inspection Service. The commission issued a notice of proposed rulemaking for this rule in June 2020. The commission received more than 700 comments on the proposed rule, most of which either were supportive, or sought changes that were not legally permissible. The final rule adds a provision allowing marketers to seek exemptions if they have evidence showing their unqualified Made-in-USA claims are not deceptive. The Made in USA Labeling Rule, which will be published in the Federal Register, incorporates guidance set forth in the commission’s previous decisions and orders and its 1997 enforcement policy statement on U.S. origin claims.
Consistent with this guidance, the rule will prohibit marketers from including unqualified Made in USA claims on labels unless: final assembly or processing of the product occurs in the U.S., all significant processing that goes into the product occurs in the U.S. and all or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the U.S. The rule applies only to labeling claims. The FTC will continue to bring enforcement action against marketers that make deceptive U.S.-origin claims falling outside the rule under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. The FTC is authorized to seek penalties for violations of the rule. It does not supersede, alter or affect any other federal statute or regulation relating to country-of-origin labels. The commission vote approving publication of the final Made in USA Labeling Rule in the Federal Register was 3-2. Commissioner Christine Wilson also issued a dissenting statement on the rule, and another dissenting statement regarding the overall meeting agenda. Source: FTC
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CCC Promotes Goodson to CTO CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc. named John Goodson senior vice president and chief technology officer. Goodson joined CCC in 2020, successfully driving innovation across the business, accelerating application of AI throughout solutions and expanding industries served by the CCC Cloud platform, which today serves 30,000 businesses. Goodson succeeds Pete Morowski, who is retiring after eight years with the company. As chief technology officer, Goodson will lead research and development, product development, architecture, security, IT operations and infrastructure, business applications and data science. This will enable CCC to continue powering mission critical workflows, intelligent automation and better experiences for clients and the millions of drivers they serve. Source: CCC
Boyd Group Reports 44% Sales Increase and Demand for Labor in U.S. As the business world continues to operate nearly a year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, The Boyd Group announced Aug. 11 sales are up and demand has increased in the U.S. for the company’s services to the point more staff is needed, and the company acquired more locations. The Boyd Group is one of the largest operators of non-franchised collision repair centers in North America, operating under various brand names in Canada and the U.S. The company owns Gerber Collision & Glass, Gerber National Claims Processing, Glass America, Boyd Auto Body & Glass and Assured Collision Repair Professionals. “Comparing the second quarter of 2021 to the same period of 2020 demonstrates how significantly the business was impacted by the pandemic one year ago and how far we have come since that time,” Timothy O’Day, the Boyd Group president and CEO, said in an announcement Aug. 11 about the company’s second quarter of 2021 results. “During the second quarter, we saw infection numbers and restrictions decrease,
while vaccination levels increased.” The company “achieved strong same-store sales growth in the quarter,” which ended June 30. “Although we continued to experience reduced demand in certain markets at the beginning of the second quarter, demand accelerated in most U.S. markets as the quarter progressed, O’Day said in the announcement. “By the end of the second quarter, demand in the U.S. was at meaningfully higher levels than we experienced in the first quarter of 2021.” According to O’Day, the company still has work to do to meet the increasing level of demand when it comes to staff and technicians. While still at below pre-pandemic levels, demand for collision repair accelerated in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2021 “in stark contrast with the second quarter of 2020 where demand was significantly diminished due to the COVID-19 pandemic and expenses were aggressively reduced accordingly,” the announcement said. Boyd’s sales increased by 44.4% in the second quarter of 2021,
Toyota Debuts Mobile Collision Assistance Service Toyota and Lexus drivers now have a new assistance service available to them in the moments following a collision. Collision Assistance, a just-intime support service, is now available to drivers within the Toyota and Lexus mobile app. The feature within the Toyota and Lexus Owners Apps offers guided instructions to help drivers navigate a post-collision repair process.
Toyota worked with CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc., a leading SaaS platform for the multi-trillion-dollar P&C insurance economy, to develop Collison Assistance. The CCC mobile technology combines guided accident documentation and access to claims and management services to assist drivers following a collision. Toyota transmits accident and vehicle telematics data to CCC to initiate the program.
Collision Assistance is designed to let the customer choose how they’d like to handle the claim and repair processes, providing convenience and safety while also ensuring owners are informed about the process through completion. “Safety for our customers is paramount,” said Steve Basra, Toyota Motor North America, Connected Technologies group vice president. “The minutes following an accident can be critical---drivers are often confused and uncertain about what to do. By incorporating Collision Assistance into our owner app, we can offer help when it is needed. We aim to deliver innovative features to our drivers. With Collision Assistance, we’re offering additional safety and peace of mind.” Collision Assistance is an extension of the Safety Connect suite of features available to Toyota and Lexus owners who have an active subscription or are within the trial period of select 2018 model year or newer Toyota and Lexus vehicles. After the driver has confirmed they are safe and without injury, the Collision Assistance app can be used to guide drivers to collect important
to $444.6 million from $308 million during the same period in 2020. The company’s cash balance was $35.6 million. Boyd acquired 39 locations, including 16 locations previously operated as John Harris Body Shops in Georgia and South Carolina. Just after the second quarter ended, Boyd followed up and acquired 39 additional locations, 35 of which operated as Collision Works in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. O’Day said, as demand continues to increase in 2021 and sales are still below pre-pandemic levels, “demand is exceeding our capacity in all U.S. markets.” The company is working on adding more staff. In Canada, however, demand remains significantly lower than before the pandemic. “Looking to the balance of 2021 and beyond, we continue to be confident that we will maintain progress toward our long-term growth targets and operational plans,” O’Day said. (C) 2021 by glassbytes.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. For more information contact www.glassbytes.com.
accident documentation, connect them to a network of auto insurers for optional claim submission and provide search capabilities to help locate a collision repair facility. The feature will prompt drivers through the entire process, from data gathering and insurance claim management all the way through collision repair. “Toyota is taking a comprehensive approach to post-collision management, and we’re proud to support its mission to deliver world-class safety experiences to drivers,” said Andreas Hecht, CCC’s OEM Services Group SVP. “By using CCC’s technology to establish a personal, near-real time connection with drivers, automakers can positively impact the often-stressful post-collision experience.” The Collision Assistance Feature is made available to Toyota and Lexus owners through the Owners App. Toyota and Lexus Owners App downloads are available for iPhone or Android smartphones. To learn more about Collision Assistance, visit Toyota USA on YouTube. Source: Toyota, CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc.
General Motors Names Global Leads
General Motors announced the appointment of Kent Helfrich as vice president, Global Research and Development, chief technology officer and president, GM Ventures; and Omar Vargas as vice president and head of Global Public Policy. Both appointments were effective Aug. 1. Helfrich is currently executive director, Advanced Technology and Partnerships. He replaces Matt Tsien, who has elected to retire after 45 years with the company. Vargas was most recently senior vice president and chief Government Affairs officer for 3M Company. Vargas held multiple government affairs positions at 3M between 2017 and 2021, including being named senior vice president and chief Government Affairs officer in April 2021. Source: GM
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