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Western Edition California Nevada Arizona



Fmr. U.S. Sen. Fred D. Thompson and Other Lawyers Allege State Farm Court Fraud in Avery v. State Farm This month a group of lawyers filed a petition accusing State Farm Insurance of defrauding the Illinois Supreme Court by covering up its “extraordinary support of Justice (Lloyd) Karmeier’s campaign and to thwart State Supreme Justice Karmeier’s Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier disqualification” from the Avery v State Farm class-action case originally tried in 1999. Lloyd Karmeier was the successful 2004 Republican candidate in the most expen-

sive state judicial race in U.S. history, which was conducted during the appeal of Avery v State Farm. The petition is based on an investigation by former FBI agent Michael Reece. Reece stated in his affidavit accompanying the petition: “The bottom line of my investigation is that State Farm used the Illinois Civil Justice League to elect Judge Karmeier and Judge Karmeier knew it.” While there are no hard and fast rules as to when a Justice should recuse himself the U.S. Supreme Court said a WV appelate court judge should have recused himself in a case because he reSee Avery Claims Fraud Page 51

State Insurance Divisions Differ From One Another in Terms of Addressing Repairer Concerns Some Success Stories For decades, shops in many states have taken concerns about auto insurer practices to insurance divisions only quite often to be told, in essence, that such regulators are there to address consumer complaints about insurers, not business-to-business issues. But even that mission isn’t being met well in some states. When John Doak took the helm of the Oklahoma Insurance Department earlier this year, he quickly announced he was reorganizing the department’s anti-fraud diviSee Insurance Commissioners, Page 15

P.O. BOX 1516, CARLSBAD, CA 92018

It’s a common complaint among collision repairers: It’s not worth contacting the state insurance commissioner’s office because they don’t do anything about our complaints. Yet in recent months, some state insurance commissioners have taken actions cheered by some shops, from radically changing their department’s focus, to issuing bulletins reminding insurers of state laws on steering or other shop-related activities. What has led to these changes, and does it mean now is a good time for shops to reassess their interactions

with state insurance regulators?

Change Service Requested

by John Yoswick

VOL. 29 ISSUE 10 OCTOBER 2011 ww

Training Schedule for the NACE/CARS Expo Oct. 5–8 at the Orlando Convention Center The 29th Annual International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) show will take place from October 5 through 8 at the Orange

Weds. October 5

Choose from 28 Training Classes Six Add-On Education Courses ASRW Industry Forum, 4:30 pm

Thurs. October 6

County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The full schedule consists of 80+ courses/classes, with some repeats. See pages 46 and 60–61.

Fri. October 7

Choose from 25 new Training Classes Muscle Car Network of FL display I-CAR Tech Showcase continues

Sat. October 8

General Session—Chris Brogan, 8:30 Choose from 16 new Training Classes MSO Symposium ASRW Town Hall, Health Care, 3:00 pm Exhibits Open at 10:00 am Exhibits close at 3:00 pm ASRW Welcome Reception See NACE Schedule, Page 46 Choose from 14 new Training Classes

Chip Foose on Bringing it to SEMA by Chip Foose

The SEMA show (Specialty Equipment Marketing Association) has always been a big part of Foose Design. I have personally been attending for well over 25 years. Some of our guys at Foose Design first attended more than 25 years ago. One of them even Chip Foose went to the very first SEMA show when it was under the bleachers at Dodger Stadium! For the past ten years Foose Design has

featured or unveiled specialty vehicles at SEMA. For three years in a row we built cars live in front of the SEMA audience for TLC’s TV Show Overhaulin’. We were proud in 2005 when Foose Design featured total of 32 Foose Vehicles at SEMA, a record for any designer/fabricator and more than any of the OEM’s that year. So, needless to say, we have history at SEMA. For SEMA 2011 Foose design will be featuring three vehicles. We are currently working feverishly like all of the other shops to make the deadline. This year we will be proudly displaying the following Foose Design vehicles: See Foose Brings It, Page 56

Join Rich Evans, Chip Foose, and Charley Hutton (and many more) at the SEMA and AAPEX shows, November 1-4 in Las Vegas. Highlights: see page 10.

Presorted Standard US Postage PAID Ontario, Ca. Permit No. 1



NATIONAL 2011 Dodge Durango Also Gets Top Safety Pick. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Aftermarket Light Distributor Pleads Guilty, Fined $200K. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 AkzoNobel Hosts 18th Annual Acoat Selected® Summer Conference. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 American Automakers Using More Aluminum in Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 ASA to Relocate Head Offices to Colleyville, Texas, from Bedford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 ASRW Continues Rotation; 2012 Location Announced NOLA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Audi A6 and VW Passat Earn IIHS Top Safety Picks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 August Sales: Chrysler Up 31%, GM up 18%, Nissan up 19.2% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Automotive Recyclers Assn Pledges $50,000 in Donated Parts to Schools Through Collision Repair Education Foundation. . . . 61 BASF Names Vitor Margaronis Marketing Director for North America Automotive Refinish, OEM, and . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

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

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .56 Autoland Scientech . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Automotive ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 BASF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 BMW of Vista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . .29 Buerge Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . . .21 Carlsen Volvo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Chief Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 Crevier BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Crystal Glass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Diamond Hills Auto Group . . . . . . . . .8 Downtown Motors of LA (Audi, VW, Porsche) . . . . . . . . . . .42 Drew Hyundai-Volkswagen . . . . . . .30 DuPont . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Elk Grove Toyota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Enterprise Rent-A-Car . . . . . . . . . . .61 Equalizer Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers AZ, CA, & NV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Galpin Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31, 37 Garmat USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Global Finishing Solutions . . . . . . . .22 GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . .50 Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32-33 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . .53 Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers .39 LKQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64

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


COLUMNS Attanasio - It’s a Perfect Pair: Honda’s Collision Select Program & OEC’s CollisionLink® . . 41 Franklin - CAA Pasadena/Foothill Chapter Hears Larry Baker & AQMD Rule 1147 . . . 24 Franklin - The Ethnic Factor in Marketing. . . . 40 Insurance Insider - Let’s Get Some Independent Testing to Move the Parts Battle away from Sandbox Bickering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Schroeder - Carrillo and Sons Collision Center —Family Buyout Continues Legacy . . . . . 12 Sisk - Auto Collision Service Underscores its Emphasis on Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Sisk - Philly’s Nigro’s Auto Body Reaches Out with Own Smart Phone Apps . . . . . . . 47 Weaver - When Something ‘Common’ Turns Out to be Not So Common . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Williams - What Happens When OEMs Really Support Body Shops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Yoswick - CIC Participants Tell Information Providers to Take the Lead in Chicken-orEgg Dilemma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Yoswick - State Insurance Divisions Differ From One Another in Terms of Addressing Repairer Concerns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Zurada - Independent Contractors in your Auto Body Shop—El Dorado or Fool’s Gold? . . 54

Cadillac Escalade and Large Pickup Trucks Top List of Thieves’ Favorite Vehicles, Claims Data Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 CAFÉ Targets Touch Off Efforts to Cut Gross Vehicle Weight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 CAPA Releases Resource for Claims Personnel, Adjusters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Chevy Sonic Earns Top Safety Pick. . . . . . . . 38 Chip Foose on Bringing it to SEMA . . . . . . . . . 1 Chrysler, GM, Forced to Curb Production in Carpet Shortage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Dick Cheney on TARP: ‘No’ to Automakers, ‘Yes’ to Banks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 DuPont’s ProfitNetTM System Part of UTI’s CRRT Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Educational Schedule, Structure Released for New MSO Symposium At NACE 2011 . 49 Fmr. U.S. Sen. Fred D. Thompson and Other Lawyers Allege State Farm Court Fraud in Avery v. State Farm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Ford Motor Company Issues Response Statement to ABPA Crash Test Videos. . . . 14 Hughes Telematics Partners with AAA Club to Offer In-Drive Connected Services to Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 I-CAR Adds Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Vehicle Training Programs to Online Catalog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 I-CAR Enhances Collision Repair Training at SEMA 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 I-CAR - Three-Dimensional Measuring Equipment—Is it Really Necessary? . . . . . 48 Insurance Institute Says Collision Severity is Down for the Fourth Year in a Row . . . . . . 19 Insurer Plans to Improve Non-DRP Services with Uploads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Japan Quake Had Little Affect on Parts Supplies. 19 Kia Sorentos Recalled for Faulty Front Airbags . 34 Knowledge is Power—Market Forces Control Total Loss Vehicle Valuations but Shops Can Profit from the Right Information . . . . 16 Live Operator Assistance Now Standard Feature of Ford SYNC Services After Trial . 59 MI Company Says Its Electro-Mag Engine gets 1000 mi/charge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 More Than 800,000 Vehicles Recalled in U.S. Sept. 12-18 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 National Geographic and IIHS Team Up on Physics Curriculum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Nearly 311,000 Honda Pilots Recalled for Front Seat Belts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Non-OEM Lighting Investigation Results in Second Guilty Plea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 OEMs Still Expanding Presence for ASRW in New Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Saab Wins Bankruptcy Protection in Sweden . 10 SCRS Offers Scrubbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 SEMA Serves Up Expanded Repairer Driven Education Sessions and Celebrity Appearances for 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Subaru Legacy and Outback Recalled for Windshield Wipers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Subaru/Saab Recalls Models for Suspension Corrosion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Subarus Recalled Because Moonroof Can Detach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 The New, Lean, Customer Centric Auto Body Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Toyota Says it Will Make Hybrid Parts in the U.S. within 4 years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Training Schedule for the NACE/CARS Expo Oct. 5–8 at the Orlando Convention Center . 1 VW Recalls Jettas With Too Long Tailpipes . . 34 VW, Suzuki Partnership on Thin Ice. . . . . . . . 25 Washington, D.C. Has the Worst Drivers According to Allstate Survey. . . . . . . . . . . 18 WIN to Continue to Expand NACE Presence With Booth, Education Sessions . . . . . . . . 45

Indexof Advertisers

REGIONAL CAA San Diego to Hold Monthly Members Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 CAA Santa Clara Chapter to Hold Annual Harding Park Golf Tournament . . . . . . . . . . 4 Caliber Collision Centers Expands CA Presence . 4 California Body Shop Owner Charged with 38 Felonies, Including Insurance Fraud . . . . . . 4 California’s Rural Road Traffic Fatality Rate Fifth Highest in Nation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 CAWA Appoints New Member to Board of Directors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Driving Deaths Continue to Decline in Arizona . 6 Fix Auto Franchise Announces Appointment of Donald P. Finley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Garmat USA Holds Sharp Shooter Contest . . . 8 Golden State Collision Centers Launches its Third Annual Boy and Girl Scouts Campaign. 6 Greg’s Auto Body in Whittier, CA, Hosts Firefighter Extrication Class. . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Parking Laws for EVs May Change in CA . . . . 6 Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes A-Plus™ University “Winning the Keys” Workshop to be Held in San Diego, CA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Toyota Renews Long Beach Port Lease for 20 Years. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Management Success . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Matrix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Mattei . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .54 MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .52 Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers .62 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . .27 Moss Bros. Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . .7 Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers .57 PPG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Pro-Spray . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 RBL Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Rely-On Technologies . . . . . . . . . . .20 Replica Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 Riverside Metro VW-Honda-HyundaiNissan-Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 Safety Regulation Strategies . . . . . .28 SATA Spray Equipment . . . . . . . . . .15 Shingle Springs Nissan-Subaru . . .49 Shop-Pro Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-Mazda-Subaru .46 Southern Polyurethanes, Inc. . . . . .13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .45 Timmons VW-Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .59 VIM Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers .55 Volvo Crash Wholesale Dealers . . .60 Weatherford BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Zurada Law Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 3

Calif. Body Shop Owner Charged with 38 Felonies, Including Insurance Fraud

A Valley Springs, CA, shop owner is in custody as the result of an investigation of consumer complaints by the Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), in conjunction with the Amador County and Calaveras County district attorneys’ offices. Larry Robbins, owner of Frank’s Frame and Body Shop, 127 Main St. in Valley Springs was arrested Aug. 11 and charged with 38 felony counts including grand theft, insurance fraud, obtaining money by false pretenses and elder abuse, according to the Calaveras Enterprise. He was held for a time at the Calaveras County Jail in lieu of $153,750 bail and was arraigned Aug. 30. “If you have had repairs done at Frank’s Frame and Body Shop, then you may have paid for parts you didn’t receive or labor that wasn’t performed,” said DCA Acting Director Brian Stiger. “We’re asking anyone who believes they may be a victim to contact the Department of Consumer Affairs” at (800) 952-5210. The investigation began when BAR received seven complaints from

Caliber Collision Centers Expands California Presence

Caliber Collision Centers announced the company acquired two new locations in Valencia and Canyon Country, CA, on September 2. The facilities, which formerly housed Valencia Coachworks body shops, are the eighth and ninth Caliber locations in the Los Angeles County area, according to the company. “We continue to expand our capacity in the Los Angeles area to meet the needs of our customers and insurance clients across this high growth market,” said Steve Grimshaw, CEO of Caliber Collision Centers. “Our acquisition of these two new locations supports Caliber’s continued expansion plans while offering our auto insurance clients best-in-class operational consistency, customer focus and cost management.” Caliber Collision Centers now operates 83 collision repair facilities throughout California and Texas. For more information, visit


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customers who thought they may have been the victims of fraud. After inspecting the customers’ vehicles, BAR found evidence that Robbins had claimed to have provided more than $16,000 in parts and labor for auto repair work that was not performed, defrauding both customers and their insurance companies. “This should serve as a wake-up call to any shops that are cheating their customers,” said BAR Chief Sherry Mehl. “If they insist on doing business in an unlawful manner, they will be caught and prosecuted.” The case has been referred to the Calaveras County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. The Calaveras County District Attorney’s Office and the Amador County District Attorney’s Office often work cooperatively in cases such as this with funding provided by a grant. BAR’s Auto Body Inspection Program enables consumers who have had collision repairs done to their vehicles to have those repairs checked free of charge by a BAR professional. To make an appointment, consumers can call toll-free (866) 799-3811.

CAWA Appoints New Member to Board of Directors

Michael Antonelli has been appointed to the California/Nevada/Arizona Automotive Wholesalers Association’s (CAWA) Board of Directors representing Vantage Marketing Global, Inc, Grand Island, NY. He was appointed by Chair of the Board, Mary Davis of NGK Spark Plugs in Sacramento, CA. “Mr. Antonelli has served on our Manufacturers Advisory Council with distinction and has a long and diverse career in the automotive industry starting at General Motors and as the founder of Vantage Marketing Global, Inc.” said Ms. Davis. “Mr. Antonelli’s breath of industry experience will be a great addition to the board of directors and we’ll welcome his contributions to the automotive aftermarket industry and its trade Association out west”, said Chair Davis following the appointment. CAWA is an automotive aftermarket trade association, which represents auto parts jobbers, warehouse distributors, retailers, manufacturers and manufacturer representatives in California, Nevada and Arizona. For more information go to CHECK IT OUT!


Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes A-Plus™ University “Winning the Keys” Workshop to be Held in San Diego, CA Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes will host the next A-Plus™ University “Winning the Keys” Estimating and Profitability Workshop Nov. 16–17, 2011, at the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa. Sherwin-Williams’ “Winning the Keys” workshop participants will obtain the skills, information and tools necessary to increase estimate profitability. Shop owners, managers, estimators and customer service representatives interested in improving their closing ratio and creating loyal customers should attend. This two day hands-on workshop covers a variety of topics, such as: ● The Customer Experience ● The Estimate – Blueprint for Profit ● Effective Communication ● Increasing Productivity and Profitability “Built by leading repair industry professionals for collision repair professionals, ‘Winning the Keys’ is custom tailored to teach attendees customer service and estimating,” said Troy Neuerburg, Marketing Manager - Business Services for SherwinWilliams Automotive Finishes. “Attendees will leave the work-

shop with the necessary knowledge and tools to negotiate profitable estimates, and implement loyalty while building sales techniques.” To register online for the A-Plus University “Winning the Keys” workshop, go to For more information on the A-Plus Network, call (216) 332-8580.

CAA Santa Clara Chapter to Hold Annual Harding Park Golf Tournament

The Santa Clara chapter of the California Autobody Association (CAA) will host their annual Harding Park Golf Tournament at the Harding Park Golf Course in San Francisco on October 19. The event is a “Celebration of SF’s Municipal Golf” and will start at 9AM. The cost per player is $185.00 and includes a meal. Registration form and payment is due by September 23, 2011. Please contact the CAA Santa Clara Chapter at for more information. | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 5

California’s Rural Road Traffic Fatality Rate Fifth Highest in Nation According to a new report by TRIP, (The Road Information Program)—a national non-profit transportation research group based in Washington, D.C—the roads and bridges that serve and connect the nation’s rural areas face a number of significant challenges: inadequate capacity to handle the growing levels of traffic and commerce; limited connectivity; the inability to accommodate growing freight travel; deteriorated road and bridge conditions; a lack of desirable safety features, and a traffic fatality rate far higher than all other roads and highways. The report, Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland, was released September 7. Despite a recent decrease in the overall fatality rate on America’s roads, traffic crashes and fatalities on California’s rural roads remain disproportionately high, occurring at a rate more than four times higher than on all other roads. California ranks second in the nation in the number of fatalities on the state’s rural, non-Interstate roads and fifth in the nation in the traffic fatality rate on its rural, non-Interstate roads.

In 2009, California’s non-Interstate rural roads had a traffic fatality rate of 2.86 deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles of travel. Of the 3,081 traffic fatalities that occurred in California in 2009, 1,164 were on rural, non-Interstate roads. Inadequate roadway safety design, longer emergency vehicle response times and the higher speeds traveled on rural roads are factors in the higher traffic fatality rate, particularly on two-lane roads. “Californians deserve to get where we’re going safely, whether driving to shopping areas, trying to connect to an Interstate, visiting a state park or national forest, or going to the wine country or skiing,” said Bert Sandman, chairman of Transportation California. “Many vital connector routes between towns and cities and between the major north-south freeways are hazardous two-lane roads,” Sandman said. “If the funding is provided, these roads can be modernized and made safer,” he said. According to the TRIP report, America must adopt transportation policies that will improve rural transportation connectivity, safety and conditions. Report is available at:

Golden State Collision Centers Launches its Third Annual Boy and Girl Scouts Campaign

Golden State Collision Centers, Inc. announced September 1 it will conduct a 3rd annual internal fundraising campaign to benefit the Boy and Girl Scouts of America organizations during the month of September, 2011. Golden State Collision Centers will donate a specific dollar amount for each vehicle repaired throughout the organization’s five locations. This campaign will continue throughout the month of September, 2011, and will be earmarked for campsite development projects in the Northern California area. “In 2009, we were approached by the Boy Scouts of America to donate a nominal dollar amount, targeted for the refurbishment of Camp Winton in Northern California. Our organization launched a month long campaign, which clearly resonated with the communities in which we do business.” said Dave Finkelstein, owner of Golden State Collision Centers, Inc. “We were thrilled to announce that over the past two years this campaign has continued to be a huge success, enabling us to contribute $11,500 to Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts Heart of Central California organizations. It is our hope that the third year of our

campaign will be equally successful and that these funds will help to provide a safe, fun and productive environment to further foster the campsite programs developed by the Boy and Girl Scouts organizations.” For more information about Golden State Collision Centers, visit

Driving Deaths Continue to Decline in Arizona

Arizona’s transportation department says that driving-related deaths continued to decline last year, according to Insurance Journal. The Department of Transportation’s “2010 Crash Facts” report shows that 762 people were killed in car crashes in Arizona last year That’s down from 806 deaths in 2009. The department says last year’s figure also represents a “significant” drop from driving-related deaths in 2006, when 1,301 people were killed on Arizona’s roads. That’s the highest ever recorded in the state. The recent data shows that of the driving-related deaths last year, 30 percent were alcohol-related. In 2009, alcohol-related fatalities made up 35 percent of all traffic deaths.


Fix Auto Franchise Announces Appointment of Donald P. Finley

Erick and Shelly Bickett announced September 7 the appointment of Donald P. Finley as President for their own multi-store Fix Auto franchisees in southern California, currently doing $20 million in annual revenues. Don Finley is leaving a job at Esurance, recently acquired by Allstate, where he held responsibility for all direct repair and independent appraisal operations. Previous that he was at Progressive for five years. Don Finley’s time with Esurance was marked with steady growth through several roles, from a field claims territory to responsibility for the National E-star Direct Repair Program for the Company. Erick Bickett—who is also the founder and Chairman of Fix Auto USA—said, “We are planning substantial growth through our Company store business. Along with increasing pre-store revenues, we plan on becoming an attractive succession candidate for our fellow Fix Auto franchisees. The move to bring Don in was in our plan to continue building our management team with the best and the brightest in our business.”

Parking Laws for EVs May Change in California

A new bill may require plug-in vehicles to actually be plugged in when they are in designated parking spaces. AB 475 updates California Vehicle Code to require cars to be plugged in and not just parked in the often-coveted spots. Assemblymember Betsy Butler, who authored the bill, said “Unfortunately, 'parking' in the spots designated for 'charging' has been a problem.” The bill allows local jurisdictions to pass their own ordinances.

Toyota Renews Long Beach Port Lease for 20 Years

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. has agreed to a $240 million, 20-year lease renewal with the Port of Long Beach, Calif. The renewal, which contains several environmental initiatives, would keep Toyota at its Pier B facilities until the end of 2028. The lease is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2009. Toyota became a port tenant in 1981. It occupies about 144 acres in the northern portion of the port near Pier B Street. The port handles between 200,000 and 300,000 Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles from Japan each year.

ZURADA LAW GROUP Attorney Martin Zurada represents businesses and individuals throughout California in a broad range of litigation and business matters. › Litigation/Arbitration/Mediation › Business Formation and Dissolution › Contracts Drafting and Review › Insurance Issues › Wage & Hour › Lease Disputes › Legal Compliance › Business Disputes › Employment



785 Market St., 16th Floor • San Francisco, CA 94103

Attorney Martin Zurada

Committed to Solving Your Legal Problems It doesn't cost you anything to pick up your phone and call me. | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 7

Greg’s Auto Body in Whittier, CA, Hosts Firefighter Extrication Class Greg’s Auto Body, with two locations in Whittier and Santa Fe Springs, CA, hosted a firefighter extrication class at their Whittier location back on May 7th. Firefighters from the Santa Fe Springs Fire Department and the LA County Fire Department, which services the Whittier area, partici-

and it caused quite a bit of passerby attention. Gunter decided to hold the class at his shop to give back to the local community. “This is something that’s good for the community,” said Gunter, “I’m very involved in the local community.”

Toby Chess leading local firefighters in the extrication class

Some of the vehicle set-ups inadvertently stopped passing traffic

Gunter and Chess set up several vehicles for firefighters to practice on, including one car piled on top of another

Firefighters lined up to thank their sponsors following the class

pated in the course which highlighted extrication techniques on newer vehicles made with Ultra High Strength Steel (UHSS) and hybrid electric vehicles. The class of about 35 to 40 firefighters was taught by I-CAR instructor and Autobody News columnist Toby Chess. “It worked out very well,” said Greg Gunter, owner of Greg’s Auto Body. “It kind of stopped traffic on our street.” Chess and Gunter had set up several crashed vehicles, including two cars turned on top of each other, the night before the class took place

State Farm Insurance and Triple A sponsored this class. For more information please visit

CAA San Diego to Hold Monthly Members Meeting

The San Diego chapter of the California Autobody Association will hold their monthly members meeting on September 27 at 7pm at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse in San Diego. The meeting’s guest speaker will be Frank Terlep, CEO of Summit Software and Mobile Solutions, Inc. The meeting’s focus is: “How to Capture, Service, and Retain More Cars, Customers, Revenue and Profit with Digital Marketing.” Frank will be discussing key topics such as 10 new digital marketing tools and technologies, “The Digital Community”, what is a “Digital Customer”?, and how Digital Marketing will improve customer retention, loyalty, and referrals. He will also discuss social media and the importance of on-line customer surveys, reviews, and comments. This is a dinner meeting; the cost of the meeting will be $40 for members who pay in advance, $50 for members who pay at the door. For non-members who pay in advance the cost is $50, and $60 at the door. For more information please contact Larry Houk at:

Garmat USA Holds Sharp Shooter Contest

Garmat USA announced on September 6 the start of a new contest for shop owners and paint techs. The Garmat Sharp Shooter Contest will run from September 4- October 08, 2011 and the Grand Prize includes a free trip to Las Vegas for the SEMA 2011 Expo. The Garmat Sharp Shooter contest is Garmat’s way of recognizing quality paint techs and shop owners that use Garmat equipment. “At tradeshows and site visits paint techs are always telling me how they prefer Garmat booths, so this is their chance to tell us why”, says Johan Huwaert, Garmat USA’s general manager. He also noted “This contest allows us to open channels of communication with the techs so they can give us feedback on what they would like to see in a paint booth.” Paint techs and their managers will have the opportunity to tell their Garmat Story, in either video testimonial or written statements. First place prizes of 2 leather jackets, will be awarded to five finalists, and the Grand Prize of a trip for two to Las Vegas will go to the contest winner.

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Fax: 951-849-9685 | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 9

SEMA Serves Up Expanded Repairer Driven Education Sessions and Celebrity Appearances for 2011 The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show will take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center from November 1 through 4. In gearing up for the upcoming show, the group has made several announcements regarding celebrity appearances and their expanded Repairer Driven Education (RDE) sessions provided by the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS). Charley Hutton, formerly body shop supervisor at Boyd Coddington’s La Habra shop and known for his appearances on the TV shows American Hot Rod, Rides, and Overhaulin’, is regarded as one of Charley Hutton the most popular painters in the custom car world. He will appear Wednesday, November 2, from 2:00–3:00 p.m. at the Collision Repair & Refinish Section Stage (North Hall #10873). Charley will do an onstage interview and a question and answer session. Working out of his shop in Nampa, Idaho-Charley Hutton’s Color Studio-Hutton has produced an impressive number of automotive refinishing projects over his career, most recently through his work using PPG Automotive Refinish. He has garnered a number of prominent honors as a result. The Society of Collision Repair

ASA to Relocate Head Offices to Colleyville, Texas, from Bedford

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) this fall will move its national headquarters from Bedford, Texas to Colleyville, Texas, where it has leased 7,487 square feet of office space. The 14,000-square-foot building the association has owned and occupied in nearby Bedford has been listed for sale; no asking price was disclosed, but the property has a taxassessed value of $1.36 million. For more information please visit


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Specialists (SCRS) also added awardwinning painter, fabricator, television personality, and Autobody News Columnist Rich Evans to an already packed lineup of activities taking place this year in the north hall of the Show. Evans, owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks and chief architect of Rich Evans Designs, is known nationally for his work on television shows such as TLC’s Junkyard Wars, Chop Cut Rebuild, and Car Warriors on the SPEED Channel; and for his distinctive custom paintRich Evans ing techniques that allow him to create some of the most striking vehicle graphics in the world, including his much heralded “Tattoos for Cars” series. While Evans has built his name on custom work and fabrication, he built his career on collision repair, and he will join SCRS at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 2, to speak about his career in the collision repair industry and the ever-changing landscape of the business and its technical side. SEMA attendees are invited to stop by the SCRS booth (North Hall # 10727) to take part in this live interview. Automotive designer and fabricator Chip Foose will also be available for a meet and greet at the BASF

Saab Wins Bankruptcy Protection in Sweden

A Swedish appeals court on September 21 gave the green light for debt-saddled carmaker Saab to reorganise under bankruptcy protection, delaying what had appeared to be the company’s imminent demise, reported AFP. “The appeals court reverses the district court ruling and allows Saab ... to reorganise,” the Appeals Court for Western Sweden said in its decision. The ruling places on hold thousands of individual requests that Saab be declared bankrupt by company employees and union members who have yet to receive their August wages. It also makes it possible for Saab’s around 3,700 employees to receive their salaries. “The threat of bankruptcy is gone and our employees will be paid... This is a good day,” enthused company chief executive Victor Muller.


booth # 21458 on November 1 from 9 A.M. to 10:30 A.M. and November 2 from 3P.M. to 5P.M. at the MagnaFlow Exhaust products booth # 23543. Foose is best known for his apChip Foose pearances on TLC’s Overhaulin’ and his unique car designs displayed at SEMA since 2005. The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) also announced that their Repairer Driven Education (RDE) series, which served as the foundation for SCRS’ involvement at the SEMA Show in 2010, will expand from two days of seminars in 2010 to all four days of the show in 2011. SCRS said the current YTD education pre-registration numbers for 2011 have eclipsed total participants in 2010 by more than 59 percent. “The increased participation in this section of the show and our RDE program is a huge indication of the industry’s excitement over being here in Las Vegas with us and the 120,000

other people who love the energy found only at the SEMA Show,” said SCRS Executive Director, Aaron Schulenburg. “A bigger, growing, thriving section, with a noticeable increase in the footprint of the collision industry in the Show means that we have done our part working with

SEMA to make this an attractive environment for both exhibitors and attendees in our industry, ensuring that both have successful and inspirational shows.” Show attendees who identify Collision Repair and Refinish as their primary business interest has seen a 47 percent increase in show registration compared to the 2010 YTD figures. For more information, complete with full expo and education session schedule, please visit

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Shop Showcase

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

Carrillo and Sons Collision Center—Family Buyout Continues Legacy with Erica Schroeder

Carrillo and Sons Collision Center, a 15,000 square-foot collision repair shop in San Diego, CA, is all about customer satisfaction and family legacy.

Owner Maria Carrillo started the business in 1981 with her thenhusband Tony at a small location off Adams Avenue in San Diego. Maria worked mostly in the office part of the business and the couple raised three sons in that shop; Tony Jr., David and Daniel, who quickly became interested in the business. “When I was working in the office the kids were with me a lot of the time,” said Maria. In 2000 the Carrillos opened a second, larger location on Old Cliffs Road in San Diego where Maria started spending most of her time. The Old Cliffs location is able to see about 115 to 150 cars per month with 13 employees.

Customers that need a shuttle home or to work after dropping their car off at the shop can choose to be driven in a ‘reliable’ Toyota Camry or this vintage Lincoln Continental.

Then, as Maria says, “Life happened.” In 2008 Maria and Tony decided to get a divorce. “I never wanted to divide the business, but that was the only option,” said Maria. Maria decided to buy her now ex-husband out for the Old Cliffs Rd location, chiefly due to her children’s interest in continuing

the businesses now that they are adults. Maria officially took over the business in July of 2010 and her three sons have been there every step of the way, ensuring that Carrillo and Sons continues to be a family-run business centered on quality and customer service. “The first few months were very good,” said Maria, “Then I started noticing a drop in sales.” Maria lost two major DRPs in the business split and was left dealing with an unexpected 30–40 percent drop in incoming vehicles. Maria said since taking full ownership of the business she has really tried to get out and learn more about business in general and the collision repair industry in particular. Maria is a Women’s Industry Network (WIN) member and also attends the California Autobody Association (CAA) meetings in San Diego. She also meets with a group of local business women in her area. “I seek advice from other business women,” said Maria. Carrillo and Sons business is centered around customer satisfaction. Maria says what sets them apart is their patience, willingness to go to all lengths to make their customers happy, and working on a job until it is right. They track CSI by surveying customers to ensure complete satisfaction with their work. “Our customer service really sets us apart,” said Maria. Carrillo and Sons’s focus has always and will continue to be taking care of their customers. “We take care of our customers, and it shows, referrals and repeat customers are our biggest source of business,” said Maria. Carrillo and Sons uses Blowtherm and Garmat spray booths as well as a Chief E-Z Liner computerized frame measuring system and PPG paints. They also offer a lifetime limited warranty on work done at their shop,


The detailing area adjacent to the shop

including; a lifetime warranty on paint and metal work, a 6 month warranty on mechanical work, and they are also willing to help customers with any parts issues by contacting suppliers.

The shop floor reminds workers of the shop’s “Commitment to Excellence”

They also offer lifetime detailing four times per year for any customer who has more than $5,000 in repairs done on a standard passenger vehicle for as long as they own the vehicle. “Our detailing services are definitely a good way of keeping cus-

Daniel, Tony Jr., Maria and David Carrillo

tomers coming back,” said Maria. “My goal is to eventually have my boys running the shop,” said Maria. Her chief reason for buying her ex-husband out, for one of the locations, was so that her sons could continue to work in the shop and have the business as their own one day.

Sons Tony and Daniel are able to do most everything around the shop while David mainly specializes in estimating. Maria has also found community involvement to be a big help in local marketing efforts. The business donates to the Children’s Miracle Network, the Boys and Girls’ Club of San Diego, the Salvation Army, and sponsors local little leagues. They also have partnered with John’s Automotive Care, which is down the street from their location, to do body work for free for some of the local charitable car giveaways. Most recently the business was able to raise over $1300 for the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego through Carrillo’s Facebook page. All their hard work didn’t go unnoticed by Triple A, which is one of their DRPs; Triple A awarded Carrillo and Sons their Outstanding Performance for quality repairs, cycle time and customer service in 2010. Only 9 shops are honored with this award annually. Customer satisfaction remains number one at Carrillo and Sons, evident from their work, to their dedication, right down to the homemade cookies in their waiting area.

True to the team spirit: “Everybody takes turns baking cookies for the reception area,” said Maria.

Carrillo and Sons Collision Center 4680 Old Cliffs Rd San Diego, CA 92120 (619) 287-7200

Free Shipping | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 13

Ford Motor Company Issues Response Statement to ABPA Crash Test Videos Ford Motor Company said that the recent report published by the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA), claiming Ford service parts are inferior to its production parts, is based on incomplete facts and only highlights the aftermarket parts industry’s lack of understanding about some aspects of the auto manufacturing process. The carmaker has issued a complete explanation. See coverage in Sept. issues of Autobody News, or online at The ABPA report, published on September 9, cites engineering test results that show significant material differences between one Ford service part and the Ford production part it was designed to replace. Based on the result of that test, the ABPA concluded that Ford Genuine OEM Collision Replacement Parts are different than the original production components. The ABPA published the test results along with accusations that Ford was ‘grossly misrepresenting the truth’ when it claimed in a video that “Genuine Ford collision replacement parts are the same as those used

to manufacture the vehicle.” Ford, however—acknowledging that the parts tested by NSF were indeed different—said the conclusion drawn by the ABPA is based on incomplete facts and that the 2005-2009 Mustang front bumper isolators tested by ABPA (through NSF) were both used for vehicle manufacturing as well as service replacement. The carmaker said, “The parts referenced [by the ABPA] were used for both manufacturing and service replacement, and were thoroughly tested and proven to meet Ford’s specifications for the Mustang. The statements in Ford’s YouTube video are true and accurate and Ford stands behind all of them, including Ford’s claim that collision replacement parts are the same as those used to manufacture the vehicle. “ABPA’s accusations highlight the aftermarket’s lack of understanding and difficulty staying current with the frequent running changes made by automakers in their quest to constantly improve vehicles,” Ford

noted. Here are the facts as presented by Ford: Many part materials are exhaustively analyzed and tested by Ford during the vehicle development process to meet internal and external requirements for safety, quality, fuel economy, cost-of-ownership and breakthrough technologies. At Job 1 (first production assembly of a new model) for the 2005–2009 Mustang, specifications called for single-density polypropylene front and rear bumper isolators. However, as the vehicle had been tested and certified using a double-density polypropylene front bumper isolator, Ford maintained the use of that material until the vehicle could again be thoroughly tested and certified using the singledensity polypropylene front bumper isolator. From Job 1 until January 18, 2007, the double-density polypropylene bumper isolator was used for both vehicle manufacturing and service replacement. Upon completing testing and proving the singledensity polypropylene front bumper

isolator met all requirements and specifications, it went into vehicle production and was used for both vehicle manufacturing and service replacement. As both double-and single-density bumper isolators were proven forward- and backward-compatible, both were available for service replacement until stock of the double-density isolators was exhausted. Ford said, “This chronology illustrates the lengths that Ford goes through to thoroughly test our Genuine Ford OEM Collision replacement parts as part of an entire system. These facts and Ford’s continuing concerns with the fit, finish, material composition and structural integrity of aftermarket collision parts reinforce Ford’s position that Genuine Ford Replacement Collision Parts are the right choice for consumers. The carmaker concluded, “As the NSF testing speaks to material differences, it would have been more complete and meaningful if the aftermarket polystyrene isolator had also been tested and compared to the Gen-











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uine Ford polypropylene isolators.” The statement refers to the relatively small difference between the single-and double-density polypropylene isolators tested by the ABPA as opposed to the more extreme difference between the OEM high density polypropylene isolators and the substitute aftermarket isolators made from polystyrene—the white “styrofoam” that coffee cups are made from.

SCRS Offers Scrubbing

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists has updated its Operations Reference Handbook, “Guide to Complete Repair Planning,” and has integrated it with “” A shop can now print an estimate to a pdf file using UltraMate®, Pathways®, CCC ONE™, Shoplink®, PenPro® or Audatex®, upload and get a free detailed P-Page scrubbing that identifies items that may be missing from the estimate referenced against the official SCRS Complete Repair Planning Guide. The SCRS guide can be read at /391c3166#/391c3166/1.

Continued from Front Page

Insurance Commissioners

sion to focus on investigating insurance company fraud against consumers, rather than the other way around. Doak fired six of the nine investigators of the anti-fraud unit, which had 142 open fraud cases, 120 of them involving complaints by insurance companies against policyholders. The anti-fraud division “had lost sight of its core mission,” Doak said, and it must now “focus on the white collar crime that threatens our policyholders.” “Investigating policyholders is not a function of the Insurance Department,” deputy insurance commissioner Randy Brogdon said. Steve Regan, chairman of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) Governmental Committee, points out that insurers still have other ways to pursue the consumer fraud or other concerns they had brought Steve Regan to the Oklahoma

Insurance Department. Regan said Doak was realigning a department that had essentially become an extension of insurance companies—without the authority to do so—rather than a regulator of insurers. Buoyed by the apparent change in focus, the Oklahoma Auto Body Association is reportedly trying to increases its interactions with Doak’s office. Meanwhile the Georgia Collision Industry Association helped develop a working relationship with Ralph Hudgens, that state’s insurance commissioner, by getting involved early in the election process last year. The association interviewed all the candidates for the office, both to understand their positions and to help make the candidates aware of the association and it’s members’ interests. When the commissioner’s office formed a property and casualty advisory board after Hugens’ election, GCIA had a seat on that board. Shop owner Bruce Halcro, president of the Montana Collision Repair Specialists, said “persistence” has been the key to his group’s working relationship with that state’s insurance division. The commissioner’s office, Halcro said, has been good about is-

suing bulletins to shops and insurers about new state laws the association has helped enact. Those laws include a prohibition on insurers requiring vehicle-owners to take their cars to a specific shop for an estimate or repairs, and a requirement that insurers establish criteria for participation in a direct repair program—and open the program to any shop meeting that criteria. This year, Halcro said, a new law was passed that prohibits an insurer from “unilaterally disregard(ing) a repair operation or cost identified by an estimating system” that the insurer and shop have agreed to use to determine the cost of repair. HalCarl Garcia cro said the association will be meeting with Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen’s office “to find out how she will regulate that.” The California Department of Insurance last year issued a memo reminding insurers of the state’s See Insurance Commissioners, Page 31 | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 15

Knowledge is Power—Market Forces Control Total Loss Vehicle Valuations but Shops Can Profit from the Right Information In my recent Industry Trends feature article, Timing is Everything: Total Loss Values and Gas Prices, I explored the impact of rising fuel prices on resale values. This phenomenon initially interested me because I had

fuel prices and resale values? 2. What can collision repairers do about the total loss decision process that is primarily in insurance companies’ hands?

First things first—the findings We selected representative vehicles from our Total Loss Valuation Data

tween the two chart figures. On the opposite end, there is a similar lag pattern with gas guzzlers, albeit with more volatility in the average total loss value price. Gas guzzler values are traditionally more volatile during fuel price fluctuations, depicting a “wait and see” mode for many owners that, unless faced with a total

A similar picture of a lag relationship between higher fuel prices and Toyota Corolla values (our fuel efficient representative) appears as well. Some may question why we used two vehicles from the same manufacturer, but because they have been top sellers in their class for a number of years and represent stable body

traded in my Chevrolet Suburban for a more fuel efficient vehicle just before fuel prices reached above $2.40 per gallon. Not too soon after, fuel prices rose to near record levels for the second time in recent history. What we witnessed in this recent rise was, in large part, due to a group of futures investors. These speculators bet on the rise of fuel prices, and their investment actions in turn caused prices to remain inflated even when the price of the crude oil had fallen and production was not an issue. In early May, the situation with gasoline futures became so intense the Obama Administration released some

Warehouse that would epitomize the hybrid, fuel efficient and gas guzzler categories—the Toyota Prius and Corolla and the Ford Expedition. Looking at the relationship between fuel price spikes and values showed an obvious trend that has been verified by other evaluation and market sources—fuel efficient cars rose in value recently. However, a second factor should be noted. There is a market reaction time, a delay between the rise in fuel prices and the rise in value of the most fuel efficient vehicle, the hybrid. You’ll note in the Prius vs. Gas Price chart that our total loss average value

loss or urgent need to sell the vehicle, may elect to hold on to the vehicle and hope for a return to more moderate gas pricing.

styles (meaning that the launch of newly restyled cars that would lower value during the test period did not

strategic oil supply onto the market to ease the spiraling price at the pumps, at least temporarily. There are a few important questions we need to answer to fully understand this chain of events and how the industry can learn from it: 1. What is the relationship between

for the Prius still shows an upward trajectory despite a lowering of fuel prices. That illustrates a market lag of approximately three weeks. If you were to visualize moving the total loss values over one column to the left, you would see a tighter correlation be-

by Greg Horn, Vice President of Industry Relations, Mitchell International


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Continued from Page 16

Knowledge is Power

take place), the Corolla is a good indicator of market forces.

What can we conclude from this data? A few important facts come to mind: 1. Fuel efficient vehicles tend to rise more quickly and reliably in value during periods of high prices than gas guzzlers fall in value. 2. During fuel price volatility, the reaction time in total loss values is less than a month, which points to the importance of the accuracy of a true market survey method for evaluating a total loss. In the traditional book value approach, the lag time for gathering the data from the gathering sources,

calculating and then publishing the data can take longer than the short value lag time we see present in the charts shown above.

What does this mean for collision repairers? While many shop owners and managers reading this article may think there is nothing they can do about the total loss decision process, there are two areas you can concentrate on. First, in dealing with insurers, you know the damage to the vehicle better than they do and what it will take to properly fix the car. A few questions you definitely want to start asking the insurance company are: 1. How are you basing your total loss decision? 2. Are you using the book value or

true market value of the vehicle? 3. How are you calculating the salvage return? 4. Are you using the “net value” of what you will receive? They will spend in the neighborhood of $175 to process the vehicle to sell at a salvage auction and may owe you for storage if the vehicle totals. These dollars add up and may tip the vehicle to the repair column. Secondly, you may be dealing with personnel in the claims department that handle multiple states and may not know your state’s total loss regulations. I strongly encourage shop personnel to become experts on the total loss and titling regulations in your state. Once you read the regulations, you will find that our cars have become more complex but our total

Washington, D.C. Has the Worst Drivers According to Allstate Survey A recent Allstate report says that Washington, D.C., has the most accident-prone drivers of the 200 largest U.S. cities. Washington, D.C. drivers have an average of one collision every 4.8 years, whereas the average U.S. driver has one collision every 10 years. Baltimore, Newark, Providence and

Philadelphia also rank high on the list. Los Angeles holds down the number 11 position, with the driving population crashing their vehicles once every 6.6 years. Surprisingly, New York City didn’t place among the top 10, being ranked at number 20 in the survey, with motorists getting into collisions on average once


every 7.3 years (guess cab drivers weren’t counted as part of the study). In neighboring Baltimore, Md., Allstate found drivers typically crash once every 5.3 years, putting them into second spot nationwide. Glendale, CA, came third, while Newark, NJ, and Providence, RI, make up the remaining top five spots.

loss regulations haven’t changed. The folks at the Nevada Collision Industry Association realized this and successfully changed the total loss regulation to simply “back out” the cost of the electronic components when calculating the total loss equation. The revision aims to put more cars back in the owner’s garage. An interesting side benefit (and a major reason I believe the bill passed) is that repairing cars is good for a state’s economy. Early calculations indicate that the annual impact of sales taxes in Nevada paid on these higher dollar amount estimates that end up being repaired will be in excess of $800,000. Not to mention, the workforce implication of selling more parts and repairing more cars is extremely positive. At the other end of the scale, Fort Collins, CO, was deemed the safest place to drive. Residents there are involved in a crash on average once every 14 years. The insurer found smaller cities with populations under 1 million people are the safest in the country.

BASF Names Vitor Margaronis Marketing Director for North America Automotive Refinish, OEM, and Industrial/Commercial Transport Systems Business BASF Automotive Refinish announced August 31 that it has named Vitor Margaronis as Marketing Director for BASF Coatings, North America. In his new role, Vitor is re-

year history that began at BASF in Canada. During his tenure, Vitor has held several management level positions with increasing responsibility in the areas of marketing, finance, logistics operations and project management. Vitor has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and an MBA in Marketing from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. “With his deep understanding of BASF businesses, customers and markets, Vitor is an excellent addition to our team. His varied and diVitor Margaronis, BASF’s new Marketing Director verse experiences across sponsible for directing the marketing BASF position him well for continued activities of the BASF Automotive success,” said Juan Carlos Ordonez, Refinish, OEM, Industrial and Com- Senior Vice President, BASF Coatmercial Transport Systems busiings North America. nesses. To learn about BASF automotive Vitor comes to the BASF North refinish products, visit: America Coatings team after a

Insurance Institute Says Collision Severity is Down for the Fourth Year in a Row

The Insurance Information Institute (III) has published updated figures showing that, as of 2010, average severity for automobile physical damage insurance claims has declined for the fourth year in a row. The Institute reports that while average physical damage claim severity had been rising steadily from 1999 to 2006, the average cost of a collision damage claim has now dropped in each of the past four years declining nearly 13 percent since reaching its peak in 2006. For 2006, III reported that the average collision claim severity was $3,189. That figure for 2010 is now $2,776, a drop of more than $400 average per claim over the past four years. To put this another way, the average amount paid per claim has dropped approximately $100 per year since 2006. Collision claims frequency however, has been on the increase over this same time period after having declined for many years. According to the latest figures published by the Institute, physical damage collision claims frequency in 2010 rose to 5.67 claims per 100 earned car years from a low of 4.88 claims per 100 car years in 2006. A car year is equal to 365 days of in-

sured coverage for a single vehicle. Physical damage collision claims frequency in 2010 was the highest in more than 10 years. In 2009 frequency was reported to be 5.73 claims per 100 car years. In 2004 and 2006, the frequency for collision claims was as low as 4.88 per 100 car years, 14.8 percent lower than the 1999 reading of 5.73.

Japan Quake Had Little Affect on Parts Supplies

Six months after the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, fueling concerns about shortages of replacement parts and other issues for U.S. collision repairers, there’s little indication any of those problems materialized. As it did last spring, CCC Information Services recently analyzed its data for the average number of days it took from parts being ordered to being received, and it saw no significant changes for the Japanese makes. “From everything I’ve seen and read, none of the automakers or their dealers experienced any significant (parts) disruptions, even on a small scale fashion,” CCC’s Susanna Gotsch said. | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 19

Insurer Plans to Improve NonDRP Services with Uploads

Ameriprise, which sells policies in 44 states (including through Costco) and is the 35th-largest personal auto insurer in the U.S., has launched a new “Shop of Choice” program to allow shops outside its direct repair program to upload estimates and photos to the insurer. “The supplement process is the most broken and we feel this will eliminate that,” Kim Flisakowski, director of claim operations for Ameriprise, said. The company says customers filing a claim will still be encouraged to use a shop in Ameriprise’s “Values in Partnership” DRP. But if they don’t, they will be given a control number and told about the Shop of Choice claims processing website, which is built around a NuGen IT system. A shop that is registered on that system (a process that takes 10-15 minutes) can then upload estimates, photos and supplements to Ameriprise, and check online for status updates. Registering does not require any parts discounts or other concessions, but does require the use of one of the Big Three estimating systems. While payment will still go through the customer, Ameriprise says it may add direct-to-shop payment to the system.

Hughes Telematics Partners with AAA Club to Offer In-Drive Connected Services to Members

Hughes Telematics is partnering with AAA Club to offer In-Driveconnected services to the automobile club’s 12 million drivers in 20 states. As previously announced with State Farm Insurance, the In-Drive system operates similarly to GM's aftermarket OnStar system. In-Drive connects the vehicle and its driver to Hughes operators in the event of an emergency or accident. Devices plugged into the vehicle’s On-Board Diagnostics port and mounted on the visor connect the driver and the vehicle to Hughes’ team of operators, who are available to help drivers coordinate emergency response and detect when a vehicle has been in a crash. AAA hasn’t finalized its offerings or come up with pricing, but indicated it would like to offer members roadside assistance, auto crash notification, emergency calling, diagnostics, and stolen vehicle location, said Kevin Link, senior vice president of marketing for Hughes Telematics. The automobile club may also use different In-Drive device models. ACP will release more information when its In-Drive program launches in the first half of 2012.


August Sales: Chrysler Up 31%, GM up 18%, Nissan up 19.2% Chrysler Group LLC’s U.S. sales were up 31 percent last month, the company’s best August since 2007, the Detroit News has reported. Chrysler’s retail sales surged up 42 percent as the automaker continued to wean itself off the less profitable daily rental fleet business. “In spite of a volatile market, Chrysler managed to significantly outperform the industry again in August with retail sales up 42 percent,” said Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for Chrysler Group. “Last month also represented our 17th consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth, and on the back of our 16 all-new or significantly-refreshed products I see that trend easily continuing into the fall.” All of Chrysler’s brands posted impressive gains during the month, which was Fiat’s best yet. The 2011 Jeep Compass was a particularly strong performer, with sales up 130 percent year-over-year. Altogether, Chrysler sold 130,119 vehicles last month, compared to 99,611 in August of 2010. GM saw an 18 percent increase in U.S. auto sales in August, despite a month rocked by a hurricane and turmoil on Wall Street. GM sold 218,479 vehicles last month and consumers

bought vehicles of all types with car sales up 18 percent, crossover sales increased 17 percent and truck sales grew by 18 percent over the same period last year. “Our balanced portfolio of trucks and fuel-efficient vehicles like the Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain are helping GM continue to gain market share, which has now increased in seven of the past eight months,” said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. “We’re carrying good momentum and we’re cautiously optimistic that we’ll see U.S. economic growth improve in the months ahead.” The Chevrolet Cruze continues its strong streak with sales exceeding 20,000 for the fifth consecutive month. “The ‘new GM’ is making the strides it promised. About the only negative signs on GM’s spreadsheet of August sales were for models being discontinued or soon to be replaced,” commented Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs. Nissan Motor Co. reported a 19.2 percent rise in sales of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles in August, to 91,541. Compared with most of its Japanese rivals, Nissan has recovered faster from disruptions caused by the March quake. | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 21

CAPA Releases Resource for Claims Personnel,Adjusters

CAPA has released a new resource for claims personnel and adjusters – The CAPA Guide to Certified Aftermarket Parts for Claims Personnel and Insurance Adjusters. CAPA’s aim is to provide claims personnel and insurance adjusters with a better understanding of the benefits of using certified parts. The CAPA Guide gives an overview of the CAPA program in a question and answer format. “The questions we asked are challenging, hard hitting and based directly on the many questions about CAPA that we have actually received from claims personnel and insurance adjusters,” said Jack Gillis, Executive Director. “Not only will this provide claims professionals with an overview to the increasingly complex aftermarket parts world, but will no doubt be a value to shops.” See CAPA will provide copies of the Guide to over 5,000 insurance claims personnel, adjusters, and claims executives. Bob Anderson, Chairman of CAPA’s Board and owner of Anderson’s Automotive Services in Sheffield Lake, OH, said, “I wish I had a resource like this when I began to deal with claims personnel about CAPA parts.”

Dick Cheney on TARP: ‘No’ to Automakers, ‘Yes’ to Banks

“Although I understood the reasoning, I would have preferred that the government not get involved and was disappointed "—Dick Cheney writes in his new memoir, In My Time. The auto industry endured its worst downturn since the Great Depression in 2008, and it became increasingly clear during the final days of the Bush Administration, that at least two of Detroit’s Big Three could no longer survive without immediate help. So the Bush Administration tapped into the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. While the former vice president did’t think the auto rescue was valid, he favored saving the banks— even though most felt they had caused the global economic meltdown. The new Cheney book sidesteps comments made by former Pres. Bush in his own memoir, Decision Points. Bush defended his role in the automotive bailout, saying: “The immediate bankruptcy of the Big Three could cost more than a million jobs, decrease tax revenues by $150 billion and set back America’s GDP by hundreds of billions of dollars.” Many are still retroactively opposed to the rescue of Detroit despite historic signs of recovery by GM and Chrysler.


I-CAR Enhances Collision Repair Training at SEMA 2011 I-CAR will return to the SEMA Show 2011, November 1–4, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. I-CAR will offer eight collision repair training opportunities, including some new programs introduced in 2011. The training programs will provide attendees with updates on current vehicle design, new vehicle manufacturer recommendations, and “how-to” information on efficiently repairing vehicles. I-CAR will be offering free informational sessions to all SEMA Show 2011 attendees. The following essions will take place at the SEMA Collision Repair & Refinish Stage: Aluminum Intensive Vehicles Structures, Automotive Aluminum MIG Welding Equipment and Techniques, Advanced High-Strength Steel Structures Design and Repair, and Advanced Lightweight Vehicle Technology and Repair. John Van Alstyne, I-CAR CEO & President said, “The SEMA audience knows first-hand that vehicle technology is continually changing and staying informed on industry trends impacts everyone in the industry, including repairers, manufacturers, suppliers, and many others.” Van Alstyne continued, “Reach-

ing the audience at the SEMA Show 2011 will allow I-CAR to communicate an important industry message. Collision repair training has a powerful impact on many areas of the automotive and collision repair industries, and aside from the important goal of ensuring vehicles are properly repaired, the benefits of relevant, up-todate training can improve both individual and business performance.” To register for I-CAR training at SEMA, visit the SEMA Show 2011 website ( You must be registered for the SEMA Show 2011. Tues. Nov. 1 / 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Exterior Panels Damage Analysis (DAM10) and Plastic and Composite Repair (PLA03) Weds. Nov. 2 / 8:00 a.m.– 12:00 p.m. Restraint Systems Damage Analysis (DAM11) and Corrosion Protection (CPS01) Thurs. Nov. 3 / 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Unitized Structures and FullFrame Damage Analysis (DAM12) and Steel Unitized Structures Technologies and Repair (SPS07) Fri. Nov. 4/ 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Advanced Material Damage Analysis (DAM08) and Recycled Parts for Collision Repair (RCY01).

Aftermarket Light Distributor Pleads Guilty, Fined $200K

Sabry Lee, a California-based distributor of non-OEM automotive lighting products for a similarlynamed Taiwanese parts manufacturer, has pled guilty to one felony count for participating in a global price-fixing conspiracy. The company has agreed to pay a $200,000 fine and assist the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) with its continuing investigation of the industry. The DOJ says Sabry Lee participated in the conspiracy from 2003 to 2005, meeting with co-conspirators and agreeing to set prices for non-OEM lighting in order to suppress or eliminate competition. The co-conspirators issued price announcements and price lists in accordance with agreements reached, and collected and exchanged information on prices and sales of aftermarket auto lights in order to monitor and enforce adherence to the agreed-upon prices. The DOJ said that the conspirators met in Taiwan, the United States and elsewhere for their discussions. Sabry Lee is the first corporation to be charged in connection with the department’s ongoing investigation into the aftermarket auto lights industry. Three individuals have also been charged.

DuPont’s ProfitNetTM System Part of UTI’s CRRT Program

DuPont Performance Coatings (DPC) announced that Universal Technical Institute (UTI) has implemented the ProfitNetTM Management System into the Collision Repair and Refinish Technology (CRRT) training program at its Houston-based campus. UTI uses ProfitNetTM as a key technology tool to train its students how to manage a collision repair facility in every aspect of the business, which includes scheduling, production, job costing and financial management. “DPC’s relationship with UTI is a long-term commitment to the educational process of preparing graduates for entry-level positions in the collision repair industry. We are proud that UTI has chosen ProfitNetTM as a technology tool to expand their training capabilities,” said Information Technology Services Manager Tom McGarry. “ProfitNetTM provides UTI students and instructors a way to measure continuous improvement and see the direct impact lean principles have on speed of the process and cycle time. For six weeks students see the results of eliminating the seven wastes, the increase in productivity, cycle time and the impact it all has on their virtual paycheck.

MI Company Says Its Electro-Mag Engine gets 1000 mi/charge Michigan’s Advantron Technologies claims it has the answers on how to really make electric vehicles work. The company has developed a patented new electro-magnetic engine technology that has more horsepower than traditional combustion engines and is a direct drive system that can be used with any vehicle. Advantron CEO, Matthew Lebenbom commented, “Our technology allows for electric vehicles not only to provide green technology to the consumer, but also the excitement and power of the combustion engine”. He goes on to point out that “ so far our simulation and testing has shown that our patent pending motor generator design will allow us to reach our goal of a 700–1000 mile range before needing complete recharging, as opposed to today’s’ current 30-50 mile range.” Lebenbom continued, “It’s our company’s technology that will push the electric vehicle into main stream America. Our technology is what makes the EV business model realistic.” Lebenbom believes that his company’s technology has other applications in the aerospace, power sports, windmills, generators and marine industries too. Advantron Technologies is looking at setting up a technical center

in Oakland County, Michigan to build the first prototype. “Southeast Michigan is where we will design and develop this engine technology and also manufacturer it,” Lebenbom continued, “The high-tech workforce that we need is right here in Michigan, we wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else”. Advantron Technologies expects to be up and running in their new facility by the end of the second quarter of 2012. In addition they will be expanding their work force with the hiring of additional engineers, mechanics and support staff. The company believes once the prototype is complete, even more customers will come forth inquiring about their technology. “Our engineers working on this technology now are top-notch. We expect the production part of this project to be just as remarkable”, commented Lebenbom. J.D. Power and Associates projects sales of pure electric vehicles for this year of 2011 to be 10,727 rising to 95,939 in 2015. Industry estimates for total light-vehicle sales are in the 13,000,000 range, rising to nearly 14,000,000 units by 2015. The current federal government administration set a goal of 1 million electric vehicles in use in the U.S. by 2015. | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 23

On Creative Marketing

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

CAA Pasadena/Foothill Chapter Hears Larry Baker & AQMD Rule 1147 with Thomas Franklin

The CAA Pasadena/Foothill General Chapter meeting was held September 15, 2011, at the Brookside Country Club, Pasadena, CA, was presided over by Linda Holcomb, President. She announced that she and a few other members of the CAA had met with an AQMD committee about Rule 1147 recently. The rule would have required many shop owners to install expensive equipment to control noxious emissions. At the meeting, the CAA members succeeded in getting the AQMD to postpone costly regulations for shops. The September 15 meeting was essentially divided into two parts. To amplify what Linda and her group had accomplished, there was an expert update on Rule 1147, by Anthony W. (Tony) Endres, president of Furnace Dynamics, Inc. His clients include companies that generate millions of BTUs monthly and yet the AQMD

rule affects body shops that generate a tiny fraction of that. Endres notes that a typical collision repair shop generates less than a pound of pollutants per month, and only about 12.4 pounds of NOX per year. Mr. Endres has challenged both the deadline for implementing the rule and the appropriateness of the rule at all for collision shops. In his update he was able to announce a five-year extension for implementing the rule for collision shops, and eventually for making shops totally exempt from the rule. The rule could have required shops to install special gas meters and retrofit spray booths with low NOX burners at an approximate cost of $25,000 for a typical shop. Endres noted the fact that the rule failed to provide for any inspector to actually read the gas meters. In his testimony before the committee, he noted that a

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simple way to identify the volume of gas use would be to look at the shop's gas company bill that specifies the number of therms used in a month. Less than 2400 therms would indicate less than a pound of pollutants per month, even for as many as three spray booths. With these convincing facts, Linda Holcomb, several members of the CAA, and Mr. Endres were able to bring about a postponement of the requirement until 2017, and a probable elimination of all collision repair shops from the requirement before then saving shops an enormous unnecessary investment. The guest speaker for the evening was Larry Baker, a two-shop owner from South Carolina and a DuPont “Executive Facilitator,” specializing in providing management solutions and systems for DuPont customers. The title of his talk was, Who's Win-

ning, Who's Losing & Why In The Collision Repair Industry, but he quickly made the point that his focus would mainly be on who is winning and why. He noted that his father managed their business from 1951 to 1975, and he has managed it since then, following a pattern of winning that yields more than $3 million a year these days. In his role for DuPont, traveling the U.S. and seeing scores of shops, Baker says he sees examples every day of shops that are winning and those that are losing, including more than 300 shops that have closed in Southern California during this recession. Baker points out what we all know: There are fewer cars to repair these days, so the name of the game is beating your competition to get more of those vehicles into your shop to repair. He says there are four aspects of a shop that have to be im-

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proved to beat the competition, and four questions a shop owner should be asking: (1) How can I better select, train and equip our staff? (2) What internal processes can I improve? (3) What additional or new value can I deliver to customers, and (4) How can I improve our financial performance and output? On better selecting, training and equipping staff, he told the shop owners in the audience that most of them already knew there were people on their staff who were not top performers. He said to compete in today's very challenging market, a shop can no longer afford to have less than top performing personnel. To win, a shop simply has to have better people than the competition. A shop owner has to face up to eliminating poor performers and paying what it takes to get the top people who can enable the shop to win. To determine what internal processes need to be improved, he noted that many shops still function on 1952 processes and technician expectations. He said that today a top technician should be able to turn out $250,000 a month for a shop. He said

the old paradigm of a manager telling a top technician how to do his job is more than obsolete. He says every tech should be capable of watching for continuous improvement and adding his or her knowledge and experience to help the shop win. On the element of a “value proposition,” Baker provided an extensive printout of items for a shop owner to consider. In his shops, he says, they don't bother to fight insurance companies or adjusters. He says the game of maximizing the estimate is not the way to win. He agrees with the “lean procedures” philosophy that there is a massive amount of waste and inefficiency in most shops. By removing these impediments to success, he says a shop should be able to provide customers with greater speed, higher quality and lower cost. Finally, on financial performance, he emphasized that a top winning shop owner should know how to read the shop's financial statements and balance sheets and how to fine-tune leading indicators—not lagging indicators—to continuously correct for changes in our volatile economy and still come out ahead.

VW, Suzuki Partnership on Thin Ice

A two-year partnership between German giant Volkswagen AG and Japan’s nimble Suzuki Motor Corp. appeared to be unraveling shortly after the Japanese company’s chairman said communications had broken down, according to the Detroit News. “Volkswagen is not talking to us,” Chairman Osamu Suzuki told Bloomberg News in an interview. “We have no plans to talk to them.” His comments follow months of disparaging remarks by VW officials about the Japanese company’s attitude and retorts from their counterparts at Suzuki about VW’s overbearing manner. “Relations between the two firms have been tense from the start and have seemingly deteriorated even further,” said Tim Urquhart, a London-based analyst at IHS Automotive. In 2009, when VW acquired 19.9 percent of Suzuki for 222.5 billion yen, or $2.9 billion, the deal was viewed as a coup for the German automaker. It was expected to gain access to the low-cost carmaking technology that has made Suzuki a leader in India.

The two companies said they intended to cooperate on technology, including hybrids and electric cars, and vehicles for emerging markets. But almost two years later, no joint projects have been announced. Surprisingly, Suzuki decided in June to order diesel engines from Fiat SpA of Italy. Some analysts sensed strains from the outset, as Suzuki stressed that it wanted to remain independent. According to Bloomberg, the latest tensions were sparked by VW’s reference to Suzuki in its annual report as an “associate” that it could significantly influence. VW sold 7.2 million vehicles in 2010, more than double Suzuki’s 2.6 million unit sales in its last fiscal year, including 1.1 million in India. “Suzuki really needs a big manufacturer behind it, so the effect of a withdrawal would be far worse for them,” said Aleksej Wunrau, a Frankfurt, Germany-based analyst at BHF Bank AG. “Volkswagen could very well step back from Suzuki and either seek another partner or start afresh on their own in Japan and India.” | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 25

Inside Insurance with The Insurance Insider

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

Let’s Get Some Independent Testing to Move the Parts Battle away from Sandbox Bickering “The Insider” is an auto insurance company executive who wishes to remain anonymous. This column reflects his opinion and not necessarily that of Autobody News’ staff or contributors.

Since the arrival of the first non-OEM crash part from overseas a few decades ago, the debate has raged on over the value, safety and benefit of using these parts. It’s important to note that the rage hasn’t come from the consumer (you know, the person that actually has the parts installed on their vehicle). So if the consumer doesn’t seem to care, who does and why? The people who seem to care the most are the companies trying to sell parts. The reason is pretty simple:

money. So the next time you see a press release, a simulated crash or a reaction to test with a reciprocating saw involving crash parts, be advised that what you are witnessing is a demonstration of big business fighting for market share and profitability. I’m sure there are some safety concerns that need to be addressed. But if there were a significant enough problem, I would surmise that a lawsuit involving a few high-powered attorneys illustrating the faultiness of non-OEM crash parts and the resulting death of a vehicle’s occupants would have happened at least once in the past few decades. If you are aware of one, please send it to Lacking

that, what we really have are two kids who can’t play in the same sandbox. The end result is a lot of propaganda, rife with chest-puffing, staged testing, wasted money, name-calling and an increased cost of parts to the consumer in order to offset the needless expenses—despite the car manufacturers trying to lead you to believe that it’s all in the name of safety. Hey, automakers, don’t waste any more money trying to convince us that the parts aren’t safe. Do everyone a favor: show us the lawsuits and scientific data illustrating the fatal consequences of using non-OEM crash parts. If you can’t, please spend your money some other way. Maybe donate it to a charity. Or here’s a suggestion: Consider reducing the price of your parts. The non-OEM parts market can be divided among the “certified” or “non-certified.” Some might argue that they are one in the same, but I can assure that they are different most of the time. I should clarify: Sometimes a certified part is placed in a non-certified box. Why? Because it’s probably more economical for the parts manufacturer to produce and stock one part as opposed to two. However this represents a very small proportion of parts. Unfortunately, certification doesn’t carry the high praise one might think. Most shops scoff at certification as nothing more than a way to charge more money. That isn’t the case. Certification provides a set of guidelines and a quality standard that the parts manufacturers must achieve. The certified non-OEM crash parts have improved as a direct result of certification. So I may have just told you everything you already knew about non-OEM parts. But here’s something maybe you haven’t thought of: Have you watched any of the recent car manufacturers’ crash tests involving non-OEM crash parts? Have you seen the now infamous reciprocating saw demonstration of a non-OEM bumper reinforcement being cut in half? Did


you find it odd that the parts being tested were never identified? Yes, they told us the year, make and model of the vehicle for which the parts were designed. But did they tell us what type of certified part was used? Was it Diamond Standard? CAPA? Platinum Plus? NSF? My guess is that we will never know. Why? Because they probably didn’t use certified parts for their tests. They used non-certified parts that are well-known throughout the industry as inferior. [Ed—See Toby Chess’ last column (Sept.) on clarifying the certification of parts tested.] Here’s another suggestion. An organization that is not connected to the parts industry should pay to have an independent company blind-test a series of parts. There should be one sample for each type of part (OEM, non-OEM, and certified non-OEM). If there is more than one certification

(CAPA and NSF, for example) for a given part, then each type of certified part should be represented. The parts should be tested by an accredited engineering company not associated with any of the OEMs, parts manufacturers or distributors. The tests should include static and dynamic testing. I would even recommend the ultra-scientific reciprocating saw test. Then we would finally be able to put an end this bickering between companies vying to discredit the other. We’d have test results that would be difficult to dispute. If you don’t support my idea, send me an e-mail telling me why. Otherwise, I will assume my throngs of devoted “Insider” followers are in full support, prepared to rally and take the hill. Charge! Got a comment or question for the Insurance Insider? Email him at: Original BMW Parts

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Industry Insight

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

CIC Participants Tell Information Providers to Take the Lead in Chicken-or-Egg Dilemma with John Yoswick

What may have seemed to some at the most recent Collision Industry Conference (CIC) as a debate about esoteric computer jargon was actually a discussion about who gets access to all the information in a shop’s estimates. Speaking ahead of the meeting, Fred Iantorno of the Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) said the way a shop’s estimating data currently flows through any of the current electronic connections in the industry—to the shop’s management system, to insurers, to parts suppliers, to rental Fred Iantorno car companies or CSI providers—can be compared to repairing a car without applying the needed corrosion protection.

“You can’t see what’s inside of these systems to see if the corrosion protection has been put there or not,” Iantorno said. “But over time, it’s like a time bomb waiting to happen. The rust will show up, because essentially the corrosion protection hasn’t been changed since 1999.” Iantorno, along with a number of collision repair trade associations and organizations, has been lobbying for a shift by the information providers away from using the older “EMS” standard for transferring estimate data to using the news “BMS” standard. Understanding what those acronyms stand for is less important, he said, than understanding the key difference between the two. The EMS file includes every scrap of data included in an estimate: the customer’s information, the vehicle information, the parts and labor information. So if a shop, for exam-

ple, orders parts electronically, the parts vendor receiving the parts list via the EMS file gets not only what parts are needed but information about the customer and his or her insurance. A rental car company also might be getting all this information even if all it really needs is information on when a customer’s car will be repaired and the rental returned. Because the newer BMS standard provides shops with more control over what data gets shared— Jack Rozint thus making it easier to protect the privacy of data for customers, business partners and themselves—collision repair organizations have for years been calling for the information providers to enable shops to use BMS rather than EMS.

And EMS was created a full decade before BMS, Iantorno points out, it’s based on older technology, making it akin, he said, to using a 1990s cell phone rather than one sold today. Asked again about BMS at the CIC meeting held this summer in Salt Lake City, Utah, Jack Rozint of CCC Information Services said his company has implemented BMS in some limited instances. “There are some large collision groups that are using it to consolidate data, and there’s a couple paint company value-added programs that are using our implementation of BMS to get repairer data to support their 20 groups,” Rozint said. “To be frank, the majority of our customers are using applications on the other end— receiving the data from the shop— that are still using EMS, so all our systems still support EMS.” See Chicken-or-Egg, Page 30

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Continued from Page 28


But Aaron Schulenburg of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists was among those at CIC who pointed out that it’s a bit of a chickenand-egg situation; those receiving data from shops, he said, can’t switch from EMS to BMS until the information providers enable shops to use BMS. “Unless somebody turns the switch first, it will never happen,” Iantorno told Rozint. “Right now, the list of applications that are BMS-capable to receive that format is a very short one,” Rozint said. “So we need the people who have the applications that are going to take in the EMS to come to us and say, ‘We want BMS implemented to replace the EMS interface,’ and we need our customers to tell us that that application is important.” But Tony Passwater, chairman of CIC’s Data Privacy Committee said CCC, Mitchell International and Audatex just need to do what companies in other industries have done to

push for a shift to new, better technologies. “They just need to say that as of a certain date, the EMS standard will be sunsetted,” Passwater said. “Starting on that date, only the BMS standard will be supported. Then the application developers aren’t going to have to make (their) systems import EMS files. And believe me, it’s a lot easier for them to use BMS. But you have to tell the application developers you won’t use it anymore. That’s as simple as it is. It is a chicken-andegg syndrome. The information providers have got to set that sunset.” Another CIC participant, speaking privately after the meeting, said he may hand out buttons for shop owners to wear at this fall’s trade shows saying, “No BMS now? No thanks.” In other news and discussion at CIC in Salt Lake City: ● Representatives of several of the paint companies say that testing of waterborne clearcoats continues, but that several challenges remain. “It looks odd when it goes on—almost white—but dries super-clear,” Bob Burgess of PPG said. “It looks

really good, but it’s not as fast (as solvent-based clearcoats).” Paul Maiersperger of DuPont concurred based on his company’s development of waterborne clears. “The durability has always been an issue, and the productivity, because everyone wants faster and faster clears,” he said. “That’s something we need to address.” ● The CIC Definitions Committee said it is doing its regular review of CIC’s definition of a “Class A” collision repair facility, considering how to address issues, for example, as whether or not a shop chooses to be equipped to do aluminum repairs. ● Jordan Hendler, executive director of the Washington (D.C.) Metropolitan Auto Body Association, was honored for her efforts earlier this year that helped prevent a teenage girl from jumping off an I-95 freeway

overpass in a suicide attempt. Hendler called 9-1-1 as she approached the girl on the edge of the overpass, then kept talking to her, pleading with her not to jump. She kept talking to the girl as another by-passer approached from the other end of the overpass and was able to grab the girl and pull her back off the barrier she had climbed over. Hendler said it took both of them to hold the hysterical girl down until emergency responders arrived about four minutes after the call to 9-1-1.

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

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8850 Grossmont Boulevard La Mesa, CA 91942


Continued from Page 15

Insurance Commissioners

regulation requiring that all non-OEM parts specified be equal to OEM in terms of quality, safety, fit and performance, and carry permanent identification of their manufacturer. “It has come to the Department’s attention that certain aftermarket bumper reinforcement bars may be significantly different in terms of like kind, quality, safety, fit and performance,” the memo states. At the time, California Autobody Association Executive Director David McClune called the memo “a first step” toward the standardized parts traceability system the association said is necessary to enable a recall of parts found to be faulty or unsafe. Though it operates essentially independently of the state insurance commissioner’s office, the Massachusetts Auto Damage Appraiser Licensing Board (ADALB) helps shops in that state deal with concerns about insurers, said shop owner Carl Garcia, who serves on the board. The ADALB consists of two shop representatives

and two insurance representatives, all appointed by the Governor, and a fifth member, appointed by the state insurance commissioner, who serves as the chairman. Garcia said one function the board serves is to oversee the licensing of all appraisers, both at shops and insurers. He said that process includes a written estimating test on the fundamentals of estimating. “If you don’t know how to use the manual and don’t understand the concepts, you’re not getting licensed,” Garcia said. “It’s amazing how many people aren’t passing the test because they don’t understand how to correctly use the manuals.” Garcia said the ADALB and insurance division help enforce such regulations as a prohibition on running drive-in claims at a shop, and a requirement that insurers send an appraiser to a shop within three business days of a supplement request, returning the completed supplement within one more business day.

ing shop associations in recent years. For the second time within a year, the Texas Department of Insurance this past June issued a bulletin reminding insurers that a one-year-old state law prohibits them from “directly or indirectly” limiting auto insurance coverage by limiting policyholders from using a shop of their choice. The bulletin also states that while an insurer is not required to pay more than a reasonable amount for repairs or repair parts, neither that nor policy language suggests that the reasonable amount for repairs or parts must be based on the amounts charged by DRP shops. Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists, said the bulletins were triggered in part by a survey of insurers the Department conducted with input from the Houston Auto Body Association. The Department asked about labor rate determination, shop referrals to consumers, DRP agreements, reimbursement caps or thresholds and other claims practices by the insurers. “The Texas Department of Insurance, and not the association, said,

Texas Among the Most Active Texas has had perhaps the most active insurance division in terms of address-

‘Hey, this is existing Texas code, and based on some of the survey answers we’re getting (from insurers), it may or may not be being followed,’” Schulenburg said.

Elected vs. Appointed What do many of these states’ insurance commissioners have in common? Many are among the 11 such commissioners in the U.S. (including those in Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and North Dakota) who are elected to the position rather than appointed by a governor. “If you operate in one of those 11 states where you have elected insurance commissioners, it seems like inquiries from individual or organization may be addressed a little quicker,” Regan said. So is working toward making insurance commissioner an elected position a worthwhile endeavor for collision repairers hoping a state regulatory body more responsive to its needs? The last time such a change was made in a state was in 1988, when California voters passed sweeping inSee Insurance Commissioners, Page 40


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Autobody News

Kia Sorentos Recalled for Faulty Front Airbags


Subarus Recalled Because Moonroof Can Detach

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration along with Kia Motors have announced a recall of more than 10,600 ‘07 and ‘08 Kia Sorento sport utility vehicles. The problem: Faulty programming may incorrectly deactivate the front passenger airbag for adult riders, according to Consumer Reports. The issue affects the Occupant Classification System (OCS) installed in 2007 and 2008 model year Sorento SUVs manufactured from June 2006 through September 2007. The OCS is designed to turn off the airbag if a child or a baby seat is in the front passenger seat. Faulty programming, however, will also prevent the passenger airbag from deploying during a collision if a heavier adult rider is occupying the front seat. (The "passenger airbag off" warning light on the Sorento’s dashboard, however, does alert drivers and occupants of the deactivation.) Kia is currently advising owners of affected Sorento vehicles to bring their SUVs into local dealerships where technicians will reprogram the OCS to operate correctly. For more information, consumers can contact Kia’s toll free customer service live (800-333-4542) or visit the NHTSA website:

Subaru is recalling 69,590 2011 Legacy and Outback vehicles because the moonroof glass can loosen and detach from the roof during driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "The moonroof glass comes loose or off," said NHTSA in its recalls summary of the problem. "The amount and position of the adhesive between the glass and retainer was inadequately applied. The moonroof glass can loosen and detach from the vehicle during driving, resulting in a potential road hazard for other vehicles, increasing the risk of a crash." It is the second recall for the 2011 Legacy and Outback this week. Earlier, Subaru recalled 195,080 2010-'11 Legacy and Outbacks because components inside the wiper motor bottom cover may overheat and could lead to a fire, according to NHTSA. In other documentation filed with the federal government, Subaru said it has received one technical report of the moonroof defect in the U.S. Subaru dealers will inspect the glass adhesion condition and either apply additional adhesive or replace the moonroof glass. The recall is expected to begin in October. Owners can contact Subaru at 1-800-7822783.

Subaru is recalling 195,080 Legacy and Outback vehicles from model year 2010 to 2011 because the bottom cover of the windshield wiper can overheat, causing the wiper to malfunction, according to Consumer Reports. If the wiper is inoperable, then it can reduce visibility and increase the likelihood of a crash, or the overheated wiper can cause a fire. The affected vehicles were manufactured from January 7 through May 20, 2011. The safety recall is expected to begin in November. Subaru will notify owners and dealers will replace the

front wiper motor bottom cover assembly for free. For more information owners can contact Subaru at 800-782-2783, or The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit The Subaru safety recall number is WVV-32.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Recalled for Windshield Wipers


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VW Recalls Jettas With Too Long Tailpipes

October 2011

Subaru/Saab Recalls Models for Suspension Corrosion

Volkswagen of America has a hot tip, literally, for owners of its latest Jetta cars. Be careful of your Jetta’s exhaust pipe, according to Consumer Reports. Last week, the German car company along with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration issued a recall for certain 2011-2012 model year Jettas. The problem: stainless steel tips added to the end of exhaust pipes may extend the length of the factoryinstalled pipes beyond design specifications. This flaw may make it possible for a person to receive exhaust system burns—say, by inadvertently brushing an exposed leg against the exhaust pipe tips while unloading the trunk after a shopping trip. Approximately 30,300 Jetta models may have had these steel tips installed at shipping ports during the vehicles’ importation into America. Volkswagen says in November it will notify affected owners to bring their Jettas into local dealerships. Technicians will inspect the Jetta’s exhaust system and, if necessary, replace the tips to bring the pipes’ length back to design specifications. For more information, consumers can contact Volkswagen’s toll-free customer care line (800822-8987) or visit the NHTSA’s website:

Subaru is recalling 295,123 2002 to 2007 Impreza, 2003 to 2008 Forester, and 2005 to 2006 Saab 92X vehicles due to corrosion, which could cause the front lower control arm in affected vehicles to break, according to Consumer Reports. The control arm could break at the hanger bracket if the bracket is exposed to salty and humid road environments, such as roadways covered in snow-melting agents. A broken control arm can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle and increases the risk of a crash. Affected vehicles were sold in or are currently registered in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnisota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. Affected vehicles were manufactured between Sept. 5, 2000 and Nov. 26, 2007. Subaru dealers will inspect for corrosion and either rustproof or replace the front lower control arms for free, depending on how much corrosion damage has already occurred. Vehicle owners can call Subaru at 800-782-2783, or visit

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and American Honda have issued a recall of 20092011 model year Honda Pilot SUVs for concerns over the sport utility vehicles’ front seat belts, according to Consumer Reports. Both the NHTSA and Honda report that the stitching that holds the driver’s and front passenger’s seat belt to their respective anchor webbings may be missing or incomplete. Such flaws may allow the seat belt to detach from its anchor during a collision and increase the risk of injury. Nearly 311,000 examples of the

popular Honda SUV may have this default. Honda says it will begin to notify affected owners on or near October 3 and advise them to bring their Pilots in to local dealerships. Technicians there will inspect the front seat belts and, if necessary, will perform the repair for free. Pilot owners can obtain more information about the recall from American Honda (800-999-1009) and from the NHTSA’s website:

Nearly 311,000 Honda Pilots Recalled for Front Seat Belts CHECK IT OUT!

Gonzo’s Toolbox

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

When Something ‘Common’ Turns Out to be Not So Common with Gonzo Weaver

Ok, who out there knows everything about automotive repair? Who out there has seen it all, and wouldn’t be surprised if something so common to do now turns out to be not so common? Well, one thing is for sure—it ain’t me. I learn something new about this crazy car business every day. Especially when it comes to the electronics in today’s cars. Even though I’ve spent a lifetime repairing these electrical nightmares that come into my shop, it still has its surprises. These days it’s not only the wiring, but some of the results I see from the scanners that can be just as unexpected. My buddy Tom’s 2005 Cadillac Escalade EXT was having some problems. It’s a well kept, clean and in great shape ride. The suspension system was sending the driver its little notice across the dash message banner, “Suspension system service needed”.

“Sure, bring it in Tom. I’ll throw it on the scanner and see what’s going on,” I told my old pal. I grabbed the Tech 2 with the CAN unit hooked up to it and headed to the car. Only one code, C0660 was stored—“Level Control Exhaust Valve”. “Ouch Tom, that’s going to mean a new pump unit, because the valve isn’t something that is sold separately, as far as I know,” I told him, “But let’s run the diagnostic test and make sure.” Tom and I are old friends, and he gets a kick out of watching the technical wizardry of the scanners, and the processes we as technicians and mechanics go through to make the repairs on these cars. He’s known me for so long he knows I’m not one to skip or guess at the repair. I like to know that what I’m doing is correct and as precise as it can be. With Tom watching over my

shoulder (as he always does), I pulled up the diagnostics for the code on the shop PC. I printed a copy to carry out to the car, and Tom read step one of the diagnostics out loud. “Perform a Diagnostic System Check. What’s that?” he asked. “Read the codes, check for anything that looks out of place…stuff like that, and verify complaint,” I told him. “Well, what do ya think?” he wanted to know. “Let’s go to step 2,” I said. Tom reads on: “Step 2 : 1.Install a scan tool. 2.Turn On Ignition, with the engine Off. 3.With the scan tool, command the exhaust solenoid On and Off Does the exhaust solenoid valve turn ON and OFF with each command? Yes or No.” After several years using a scanner it’s not uncommon to activate a

solenoid or a component this way. A lot of times I use this same test to check transmission shift solenoids, or turn on a blower motor, maybe even activate the A/C compressor. There are so many components that can be activated this way, and it makes the job a lot easier once you get the hang of using the scanner. This was no different, or was it? I found the section on the scanner and hit the ON button; instead of a “click” or a constant OFF on the screen information I got an error message. “No communication with Suspension Module”. I tried it several times, same results every time. Tom looking a little puzzled, “It should have activated the solenoid or something right?” “What was the question on 2 again, Tom?” I asked, since he was holding the paper work. See Common, Page 37 | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 35

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Continued from Page 35


“It wants to know if Yes, see Diagnostic Aids, If NO, go to step 3,”” Tom reads on, “But it doesn’t say what to do if there is no communication.” Normally, if I was activating a solenoid I would listen for that “click”, if I didn’t hear the “click” I would read the screen to see if the activation was accepted, and see if it had switched from ON to OFF, but I’ve never seen the scanner go from perfect communication to “no communication” as soon as I tried to activate a solenoid. Just to double check things, I wanted to activate the compressor from the scanner, since it was on the same page as the exhaust solenoid. I tried it, same thing, “No-Comm”. Ok, for all you techies out there— before you read the rest of this— what’s your first idea as to what’s going on with this vehicle? Is it a buss line problem, a suspension module problem, or is it merely the exhaust valve? No fair if you’ve already run across this, time to take your guess. Ok, now don’t change your answer.

Here we go with the rest of the story. I took a chance, since I had some sort of communication with the module. I thought I might as well look at the wiring diagram and see if I could activate the valve and the compressor directly at the module. On pin #B5— Dk. Blue—of the module was the ground signal from the module to the exhaust valve. I grounded the lead— “click” the valve worked, (and that was what the code was for) I then found the ground lead that activated the compressor relay; lead A10 – Lt. Blue—it too worked. “Now Tom, that doesn’t mean that it’s working back there at the compressor, just because I turned them on, is no guarantee its pumping air into the shocks. You know, I’m not a 100% sure what’s going on, let’s get a second opinion. I’m thinking, module, and if it is the module we’ll have to reprogram it. But before I condemn the module, I think we should get that second opinion.” Since I didn’t sound sure of myself, Tom said he would run over to the dealer and see what they said. I was concerned that my Tech 2 might be the problem. I couldn’t be sure

without finding someone else with the same equipment and do the same test. Not only was it for Tom’s Escalade, but also for my sake. I wanted to be sure my scanner was working OK. It wasn’t even an hour later, and he was back over to my shop. “They said it needs a compressor assembly and both shocks. Because they said the shocks are leaking.” “Leaking? Tom, has it ever dropped since the pump stopped working?” “No, never has” “I don’t think you need shocks, but I’ll have to lean towards the pump, but that doesn’t explain the “nocomm”, we both know the code said the exhaust solenoid was out—two different scanners same results there. I’m sure they’re more familiar with it than I am, sounds like we should start with a compressor. I’m not ruling out the module yet, and I’m very positive that you don’t need shocks. But, there might be some feedback signal that the test isn’t telling me about that might be the cause of the “No-comm”. Let’s change the compressor”. Got a new compressor assembly and put it into place. “Start it up Tom.”

As soon as he turned the key he knew it was fixed, the suspension message was gone, and the dash was back to normal. “Tom, let’s back it out of the way of the lift and try the scanner again.” We did just that, and wouldn’t ya know it, each and every time I activated the solenoid or the compressor it came on. The code was no longer current but was in the history file. I cleared the codes and ran thru the test again—all clear. Ok, what did you think it was? How many guessed that it wasn’t the exhaust valve that was bad, even thought that was the code. What it turned out to be was the pressure sensor mounted on the pump. When the info didn’t make it to the module, the module shuts down any and all operation— including, scanner capabilities. I wouldn’t have believed it myself, but I watched it happen right in front of me. So if you run across a suspension system on one of these Escalades, and the test asks to activate the exhaust solenoid, and the scanner says “NoComm”, check that pressure sensor for its reference return signal. You can bet I made a note about this one.


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Cadillac Escalade and Large Pickup Trucks Top List of Thieves' Favorite Vehicles, Claims Data Show The Cadillac Escalade is more than 6 times as likely as the average vehicle to be targeted by thieves and has overall theft losses more than 10 times as big, an analysis of insurance claims for 2008–10 vehicles by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) shows. The Escalade for years has dominated HLDI’s list of vehicles with the most theft claims, and 4 versions of the luxury SUV appear at the top this time. The Escalade EXT, which has a pickup bed, is ranked worst, with more than 14 claims per 1,000 insured vehicle years, or more than 8 times the average. An insured vehicle year is 1 vehicle insured for 1 year, 2 for 6 months, etc. Pickups are another favorite of thieves, and the Ford F-250 crew cab 4-wheel-drive comes in second to the Escalade for the most theft claims, with other models ranking high on the list. Overall, pickups have much higher theft losses than passenger cars and SUVs ($24 per insured vehicle year versus $9 and $12, respectively), though from 2007 to 2009 pickup losses fell substantially. The decrease may be because of the fact that ignition immobilizers, which prevent vehicles from being hot-wired, recently have become more common in pickups. The technology became widespread in cars and SUVs earlier. Still, immobilizers can’t prevent all types of theft, and even Escalades have them as standard equipment. Moreover, the devices don’t affect theft of property from a vehicle, which also is reflected in the rankings. ‘Immobilizers are a good deterrent against joy-riding teenagers, but professional thieves can easily haul away an SUV on a flatbed truck,’ says HLDI senior vice president Kim Hazelbaker. ‘A pickup that can’t be

driven away is still vulnerable to having tools and cargo snatched from its bed.’ The most targeted car, excluding luxury and sports cars, is the Chrysler 300. That’s followed by models known for their powerful engines, including the Chrysler 300 HEMI, the Dodge Charger HEMI, and the Nissan Maxima. The list of vehicles with the lowest claim frequencies is topped by the Audi A6 4-wheel-drive sedan and the Mercury Mariner, a small SUV. Each has a claim frequency of 0.5 per 1,000 insured vehicle years. The Audi has a much higher average loss per claim, so its overall average theft loss ($8) is much higher than that of the Mariner ($1). HLDI’s theft numbers differ from reports by other organizations because they are based on the number of insured vehicles on the road. In contrast, information published by the National Insurance Crime Bureau simply lists the most frequently stolen vehicles. As a result, the list usually reflects the most commonly driven vehicles, not how likely a vehicle is to be targeted. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is required by law to report theft data, but light-duty trucks with gross weight ratings of more than 6,000 pounds—a category that includes the Escalade—are excluded. The agency looks at thefts in a single calendar year of vehicles from that model year. It measures exposure by the number of vehicles produced. HLDI’s data come from insurers representing about 80 percent of the market for privately insured vehicles. The data don’t include information on thefts of vehicles that aren’t insured or are insured by nonreporting companies.

Students are getting a “crash course” in the science of physics, with controlled car collisions a dramatic and inescapably instructional part of the new curriculum. It was developed by The JASON Project in partnership with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). IIHS crash tests are the jumping-off point for 4th-10th grade students to learn concepts such as velocity, acceleration, and momentum. To help create the curriculum, a team of internationally selected students and teachers from The JASON Project traveled to the IIHS test facility in Ruckersville, Va. to witness crash tests and work with research engineers to understand, and mitigate, what happens in collisions.

The midsize Dodge Durango gets the Institute’s top accolade for good performance in all 4 safety evaluations, and for having standard electronic stability control. The Durango is rated good for frontal crash protection based on the performance of its structural twin, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is also a Top Safety Pick. A good rating for rear crash protection also carries over from the Grand Cherokee because these two models have the same front seats. In separate side and roof strength tests, the Durango earns good ratings. Top Safety Pick applies to Durangos built after May 2011 because Chrysler modified the vehicle’s side airbags to improve protection in side impact crashes.

National Geographic and IIHS Team Up on Physics Curriculum

2011 Dodge Durango Also Gets Top Safety Pick


Audi A6 and VW Passat Earn IIHS Top Safety Picks

The Audi A6, a large luxury car, and Volkswagen Passat, a midsize moderately priced car, earn the Institute’s top safety accolade following good performance for roof strength in rollover crashes. The award recognizes vehicles that earn the top rating of good for front, side, rollover, and rear crash protection, and that have electronic stability control (ESC). Both of these cars are redesigned for the 2012 model year. In the Institute’s roof strength evaluation, the roof of the A6 withstood a force equal to 4.9 times the car’s weight. The roof of the Passat withstood a force equal to 6.3 times the car’s weight. The test assesses how well the occupant compartment would hold up in a rollover crash. Vehicles with a strength-to-weight ratio of 4 or higher earn a good rating. By comparison, the current federal standard is 1.5 times weight. Institute research demonstrates that occupants of vehicles with strong roofs are much less likely to sustain serious injuries in rollover crashes. Both of these cars have ESC as standard equipment. ESC is required by federal regulation as of September 1, 2011.

Chevy Sonic Earns Top Safety Pick

The new for 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, a small 4-door car that replaces the Aveo, earns top ratings across the board in the Institute’s safety evaluations, qualifying as a Top Safety Pick. Vehicles qualify if they earn good ratings for front, side, rollover, and rear crash protection, and have electronic stability control (ESC). A federal regulation requires ESC for all cars built after September 1, 2011. The Sonic’s performance is an improvement over the Aveo, which earned an acceptable rating in the Institute’s frontal test, and only marginal ratings in the other 3 evaluations. In the Institute’s roof strength test for rollover protection, the roof of the Sonic withstood a force equal to 5.37 times the car’s weight. Vehicles with a strength-to-weight ratio of 4 or higher earn a good rating in the test. In contrast, the Aveo’s roof withstood a force equal to 3.09 times the car’s weight. The Top Safety Pick designation also applies to the structurally similar hatchback version of the Sonic. CHECK IT OUT!

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On Creative Marketing The Ethnic Factor in Marketing with Thomas Franklin

It’s no secret that large numbers of recent immigrants now live in many areas in the United States. Most gather themselves into close-knit communities where their native language predominates. Fortunately, for quality collision shop owners, few of these immigrant communities have a quality body shop in their own ethnic area. If there is a shop, chances are it’s rather primitive and not up to insurance claim quality. This opens the door for an astute shop owner nearby who will put someone on the payroll who speaks their language and can help market the shop to that community. I’m familiar with a shop that opened in a community that had large numbers of Chinese families in the surrounding area. The shop owner hired an attractive Chinese lady who spoke fluent Mandarin and Cantonese for the front desk and he also hired a Chinese-speaking estimator and parts manager. For several years this combination served him well. His Chinese personnel changed a few times, but he always kept some at his shop and enjoyed a significant number of jobs from the Chinese community. With an economic downturn, when one Chinese employee left, he didn’t replace her immediately. Gradually, as the economy continued to decline, he lost all of his Chinese employees. He intended to replace one or two but it didn’t happen and little by little his Chinese community business fell away. Employees are a shop’s Continued from Page 31

Insurance Commissioners

surance reform with Prop 103. Many long-time collision repairers in that state say the change to an elected insurance commissioner has been a positive one though hardly a cure-all. Regan said elected or appointed, the key to getting an insurance commissioner attuned to the needs of the industry are tenacity and consistency. “The most important thing is you have to ask,” Regan said, noting that a state representative can sometimes provide a good entrée into a commissioner’s office for

biggest expense. It’s understandable that adding any new employee is costly, but I’m certain that a careful analysis of the situation would reveal that the benefits of reaching the Chinese community would have more than paid for a Chinese speaking employee for this shop owner. Is there any alternative to hiring an estimator or front desk person who speaks the language of a local ethic group? Perhaps one economical solution would be to hire a technician who speaks the local language. I know of more than one shop where most of the technicians are Hispanic but where one is also used to handle phone communications with Hispanic speaking callers. Would this work for other ethnic minorities? Had the shop owner who had a Chinese parts manager used that person to also handle Chinese-speaking callers, he might have continued to pick up business from that community. Assuming a shop owner decides to take advantage of potential business from an ethnic community near his or her shop, and is willing to employ someone who can speak the language, what is the next step? Fortunately, marketing to an ethnic group is often easier than marketing to the general public. If there is an ethnic newspaper or other local publication, many people in that community will actually read it (as opposed to an increasing non-readership of general newspapers today). Ethnic readers are more likely

shops. “I hear it all the time: divisions of insurance do nothing. All that leads to really is people saying. ‘Why bother asking?’ I’d like to flip that on its head. Let’s start asking. We’ve seen some success stories. If you don’t ask, you won’t get anything.” John Yoswick, a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988, is also the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit He can be contacted by email at


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

to look at ads in the publication and respond to them. They will particularly respond to an ad or article that has a quote by someone in their community who says the body shop did an excellent job on their car and they were very satisfied. These days many ethnic communities also have radio stations and even a TV station broadcasting in their own language. Once again, this is a captive audience that is more inclined to respond to ads and messages than the general public. Ethnic minorities also tend to be very cost conscious and likely to respond to discount or coupon offers. Ad spots and program opportunities may also be less expensive. Once a shop owner has decided to pursue business from an ethnic community, he or she may find some amazing marketing bargains. But once again, it will usually be essential to hire that key employee who speaks the

language and is familiar with the customs, likes and dislikes of people in this community. One more concern. People in ethnic minority groups are often cautious about whether an offer is genuine. A shop owner has to be prepared to run an ad or make a promotional effort for a longer period of time. There is also the “rule of three.” If you see an ad or announcement or article in three different places, you are also more likely to respond. Immigrants often view the purchase of a new vehicle as a longterm investment. The ones that buy new have great pride of ownership and will probably tend to get small dents, scrapes and scratches fixed. And that is very good news for a collision shop owner who has spent the time and money needed to get a solid foot in the door of a local ethnic community. If it’s done right, it’s certain to pay off.

Company Connections

with Ed Attanasio

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

It’s a Perfect Pair: Honda’s Collision Select Program & OEC’s CollisionLink® Memorable partnerships make for great history: Hope and Crosby; Mantle and Maris; Jobs and Wozniak; Donny and Marie; Tom and Jerry—to name but a few. American Honda and OEConnection’s (OEC) CollisionLink® program can now be included on that renowned list of successful alliances. Since 2009, the automaker’s wholesale parts program, Collision Select, has connected a large number of body shops to their Honda and Acura dealerships’ parts departments Bill Lopez via OEC’s Colliis OEC’s Director sionLink parts proof OEM Program curement system. Management Through Honda’s program, the carmaker enables its participating dealers to assist body shops in enhancing their cycle times, alleviating shop returns, and streamlining parts ordering, but most importantly for repairers and parts managers, it allows shops to incorporate more Honda and Acura Genuine parts into their repairs. To further support an already healthy working relationship, American Honda is providing additional support to its dealers, through an aggressive promotional campaign known as “A Perfect Pair,” designed to provide further exposure and ultimately sign up additional collision facilities nationwide. OEC’s Director of OEM Program Management, Bill Lopez, 47, has seen the collision industry from disparate perspectives over the past 22 years. After college he worked as a Claims Manager with Farmers Insurance, where he learned estimate writing, the importance of cycle times and the issues common to insurers, body shops and their customers. He also worked in business development with a paint manufacturer, an online estimating company and even joined an internet startup for a time in Silicon Valley. Lopez manages all of OEC’s OEM relationships which include alliances with major nameplates such as Ford, GM, Chrysler, Nissan/Infiniti, Volkswagen, Southeast Toyota and the aforementioned Honda/Acura. Of this group, Honda/Acura, Ford, Nissan/In-

finiti and Volkswagen have exclusive agreements with OEC, which means their original parts programs can only be featured on a site such as CollisionLink, according to Lopez. Lopez cites several major reasons why OEC has grown at a steady rate since it re-launched CollisionLink in 2006: “Since we have data access agreements with virtually all automakers, we’re able to scrub the parts to determine that in fact they’re the right parts for that damaged car Lopez explained. “CollisionLink is built on parts efficiency and order accuracy, which leads to fewer returns. And the end result is improved customer satisfaction, between the body shops and the dealerships. Those four things make up our core value proposition.” According to OEC statistics, approximately 4,500 to 5,000 body shops use CollisionLink on a daily basis. “There are somewhere between 35,000 to 40,000 body shops in the United States currently,” Lopez said. And we know that roughly 12,000 of them do the lion’s share of the business. So we work with almost half of these major players and continue to add more all the time.” Lopez knows the ongoing struggle that exists between insurers and body shops based on his extensive experience. That's why he says he knows the value of CollisionLink for companies like American Honda and their dealerships throughout the country. “One of the major metrics that insurance companies look at closely is parts utilization.Ashop can either use an OEM part, a recycled part, an aftermarket part, or a re-manufactured part. When an estimate is written, a percentage is assigned to one of these categories. It’s called ‘part content’ and it’s one of the many metrics used by insurance carriers to rate their DRP’s performance. “If a shop has a 95% OEM parts content, an insurance company looks at that and says, ‘this shop is using a lot of OEM parts and it’s costing us money. They’re not doing a good job of managing their average repair costs, so I have to go in there and scold them.’ Of course insurance companies like to see more recycled, aftermarket, and remanufactured parts in their estimates, because the perception is that these parts are cheaper to

purchase, but OEC’s CollisionLink is challenging that paradigm.” Says Lopez, “Body shops are now telling their insurers, ‘sure, I’m using a lot OE parts in my repairs, but I’m not costing you any more, because my costs are in line with my peers. So, don’t worry about my repairs, because CollisionLink helps take advantage of all these OE programs, where I can essentially buy original parts at aftermarket prices.” Educating insurance companies of CollisionLink’s core value proposition as well as its ability to administer OE discount programs is an important role for Lopez. “A large part of my job involves educating the insurance companies about CollisionLink... I tell them to take a look at our software, because they can get more OE parts on their customers’ vehicles, thereby increasing

The parts crew at AutoWest Honda in Roseville, California uses OEC’s CollisionLink to get more Honda parts into their shop customers’ repairs. From left, Parts Technician Dave Slay, Parts Technician Scott Munsterman, Parts Manager Ron Shaw, Parts Technician Kevin Duell and Parts Technician Raymond Albright

their policy holders’ satisfaction while managing their repair costs.” Getting dealerships to jump onboard is also a huge part of the equation. Says Lopez, “It’s contingent on the dealership relationship. If the dealer responds quickly, [CollisionLink] works well and the body shop will use it. The dealerships pay for it, but it’s free to the shops, so hopefully the dealer is continually touting it and educating them about it.” Once they take the time to look at CollisionLink and the OE programs it administers, body shops see the value and will at least consider it. “When the shops realize that they can use an OE part instead of an aftermarket part at the same price and retain the same margin, now they’re listening and the

light goes on,” Lopez said. Lopez is pleased to be working with American Honda for a wide range of reasons. “Honda is an awesome company to work with, because they’re very methodical and everything they do is carefully planned and strategically positioned. We’re very fortunate to be an exclusive partner with Honda, because they are definitely in a class by themselves when it comes to collaborating with us and innovating with them. They’re world-class and sincere in their efforts to provide optimum service to the marketplace that helps them to sell more parts, but in the end, everything they do is fair and well-thought out.” The data shows American Honda is number one when it comes to selling parts utilizing CollisionLink. “Their program parts are converted at a higher rate by more body shops using Collision Select via CollisionLink. Honda has a field service team that’s 100% dedicated exclusively to the success of their Collision Select Program and that’s why they hit great conversion numbers consistently.” One Honda Parts Manager who believes in the power of CollisionLink is Ron Shaw, 49, who has been with AutoWest Honda in Roseville, Calif. since 1991. He runs a department employing 19 people and sells approximately $7 million in parts annually. Although Shaw does not personally implement CollisionLink every day, he delegates those duties to a select group of his counter people. “I have key people I rely on to coordinate a lot of the computer duties around here and they’re very good at it,” Shaw said. “Yes, there’s no doubt that CollisionLink is a useful tool. Once our body shops decide to use it, they definitely like it, but there are a lot of smaller mom and pop shops in this area that aren’t completely onboard for anything involving the computer. We try to educate all of the customers we’ve got, to let them know that if they sign up for this program and use it, they’ll be able to use more original parts. I’m sure they’re all game for that, because they want to use OEM parts whenever they can, as a rule. It’s absolutely a benefit to them, especially since they don’t See A Perfect Pair, Page 44 | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 41

American Automakers Using More Aluminum in Vehicles A survey conducted by Ducker Worldwide has found North American automakers are using more aluminum in

their automobiles. Vehicles made with more aluminum should the weight of vehicles and increase fuel economy. Aluminum in 2012 North American Light Vehicles, conducted for The Aluminum Association, estimates North American automakers will increase their use of aluminum from 327 pounds per vehicle in 2009 to 550 pounds per vehicle in 2025. The survey shows continued growth in overall use of aluminum reaching an all-time high of 343 pounds per vehicle in 2012—up five percent from 327 pounds per vehicle in 2009. The report predicts aluminum is expected to double its share of the average automotive materials mix to 16 percent by 2025, with future cars and light trucks reaching an expected average of 550 pounds per vehicle of automotive aluminum. Randall Scheps, chairman of the Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Transportation Group and marketing director at Alcoa Inc., says, “We are fast-entering a transition stage to more holistic vehicle design approaches premised on greater use of lighter, stronger and more crash-absorbent aluminum alloys replacing less efficient iron and steel. Vehicles with their size maintained but down weighted with aluminum are inherently more efficient than heavier ones.” According to survey findings, body, bumper and closure content grew by 58 percent between 2009 and 2012, with 30 percent of all hoods on 2012 vehicles being aluminum. By 2012, the survey expects 20 percent of all bumpers will be aluminum. “New, stringent federal fuel economy regulations, coupled with consumer angst about high and unstable gas prices, is leading automakers to move quickly with a total rethinking of vehicle design as they also push ahead

with alternate power trains, new technologies and advanced materials. In terms of boosting fuel economy and cutting tailpipe emissions, aluminum offers automakers the fastest, safest, most environmentally-friendly and cost-effective way to get the job done. Low-density aluminum is a game-changer and automakers are moving quickly to take full advantage of all the consumer benefits it provides,” Scheps says. Other Highlights from the Report include: The average increase in aluminum content since 1975 has been seven

pounds per year per light vehicle. Automakers will, on average, seek to lower the weight of cars and light trucks by at least 10 percent by 2025.

Market factors already in place are projected to push aluminum con-

tent to 400 pounds per vehicle in 2015/2016. Aluminum is gaining market share at the expense of both traditional and high strength steels, which are declining as a percentage of vehicle makeup. Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) also are growing at the expense of inferior steels, but gauge reduction with AHSS provides limited weight savings potential compared to using lower density aluminum. Pound for pound, aluminum replaces more than twice as much weight as AHSS.

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I have written about two dealerships recently, the Lasher Auto Group, and Acura of Westchester, and their common ground to success. They both have a positive attitude. They take pride in their work, and enjoy taking good care of their customers. They deliver their service along with the parts. Their customers know that their business is valued, and become loyal partners of the dealership. Everyone is making money and staying happy! This commitment to customer service would be impossible, however, without support from the manufacturer. In this case the manufacturer is Honda/Acura, and the support is awesome. Once there was a time when manufacturer’s parts reps considered the dealers as their customers; looking no further for more business. But times have changed. Now, Honda/Acura has a division, with fourteen field representatives, actively

helping their dealers service their collision customers. American Honda’s Collision Select Program is a wholesale support initiative, available to both Honda and Acura dealers, and supported by OEConnection’s CollisionLink product, which is OEConnection’s online parts procurement and management tool. CollisionLink is supported by GM, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, Infiniti, Lexus, Honda and Acura parts orders. Some of the major benefits of CollisionLink are: ■ Online OE parts ordering for every make and model, for any dealership selling OE crash parts. ■ Parts are automatically VIN validated or highlighted for dealers if wrong. ■ Up to the minute order tracking, confirmations and status on one screen. ■ Process parts orders using all the major business management and estimating systems.

■ No more wondering if a fax was received.And less on hold phone wait time. ■ Faster processing by dealerships means faster turnaround and cycle time. ■ Send and receive photos and schematics. ■ Gives dealers the chance to offer OE parts at competitive pricing – they see non OE parts on orders. Plus, you see when OE parts have possible discount opportunities from the dealership. ■ See Parts Price Increases (PPIs) between estimate and MSRP on CollisionLink orders. ■ Automatically detects and creates fax orders for dealers not accepting online orders. If you need more than features to be convinced that CollisionLink can help your bottom line, consider this online comment from Mike “Smitty” Smith, Shop Supervisor at Fox and Fox Body Shop and Service in Ft. Wayne Indiana. Smitty said: “Using Collision-

Link we’re definitely fixing cars faster for several reasons. One, our parts returns have gone down, because CollisionLink parts orders are more accurate, so we have the right parts when we need them. Two, using CollisionLink our dealers price-match OE parts against aftermarket, and everyone knows that OE parts fit better and install faster. Three, the parts ordering process is much faster and streamlined, freeing me up to stop potential problems. I now spend more time in the shop with the technicians helping them stay on track to repair cars that have short delivery dates. So, in all, I’m spending less time on parts management, our shop is pushing car repairs through faster, were building customer loyalty, and that’s all increasing revenue for the shop.” That’s CollisionLink. Through the Collision Select program, Honda says participating dealers are able to help independent body

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shops improve vehicle repair cycle time, reduce shop returns and administrative times, improve parts procurement work flow, and give shops an opportunity to use more Honda and Acura Genuine parts. This division is still young (it launched two years ago), still growing, but has already made an impact on the collision repair industry. It started out by asking what was needed and how they could help. Usually corporate information retrieval results in a mountain of reports, and little else. But, this time the end result was action! Whole-hearted participation in the CollisionLink program helps every one of their dealers. These dealers can now supply quality parts at competitive prices to their customers. “Quality parts” is the key phrase which results in a quality repair. A quality repair results when the parts and workmanship combine with pride of craftsmanship to create a finished product which is indistinguishable from the original. In this context, I would use the word remanufactured; rather than repaired. As close as possible, the damage is erased; as if it never happened. The vehicle owner receives exactly what they expect, and more. This theme, customer service, guarantees return business and referrals.

Speaking of referrals, both and have a body shop referral system on the internet. American Honda Motor Co.’s Body Shop Recognition program has reached 500 participants in 40 states, the company announced this spring. This site is currently being viewed more than 6000 times a month! Referrals from the manufacturer! How about that for actively supporting the collision industry The collaborative program involves OEConnection, DuPont Performance Coatings, PPG, BASF, Sherwin-Williams and AkzoNobel, which work together to create a supporting initiative for American Honda’s wholesale program, Collision Select. Both dealer-owned and inde-

pendent shops are eligible for the recognition program, but a Honda or Acura dealer participating in Collision Select has to sponsor them. Shops also have to participate in their paint company’s performance enhancement program and adopt CollisionLink. Participating shops receive a plaque and have their contact information placed on a corporate American Honda website in a searchable database accessible by Honda and Acura owners. I just read an article in the Los Angeles Times saying that the repair industry has, in some cases, benefited from the recession. No, that doesn’t mean generous insurance settlements for older cars, but rather that people are still fixing their old vehicles rather than replacing them. The average car

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in the U.S. is approaching ten years old! This has caused some shops to see an increase in their customer pay business. Once again, customer service is key. Shops that keep their customers happy are always the ones that survive and grow, no matter what the economy dictates. Once again, I congratulate the Lasher Auto Group, Acura of Westchester, and the support group at Honda/Acura Motor Company, for their success in these troubled times. I invite any others who also have a story of success to contact me, and join the Distinctive Dealerships Group here at Autobody News. For more information go to the site and check it out. Also and

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A Perfect Pair

have to pay a dime to use it.” AutoWest Honda Roseville is adding more body shops to CollisionLink all the time. “We have something in the area of 30–40 shops that we’ve signed up. Traditionally, the big box body shop chains sign up and use it enthusiastically, while many of the smaller shops have resisted using the tool. We’re able to convert aftermarket or recycled parts to OE parts about 96% of the time,” Shaw said. How is Shaw able to get body shops to use CollisionLink, especially when they’re reluctant to try it? “Our outside sales person Suzie Troth is constantly visiting body shops to tell them how much CollisionLink can benefit their business. Then it’s just a matter of them perceiving the value. We also try to educate them over the phone, stressing the ease-of-use and the fact that it takes all of the guesswork out of the process. It quantifies precisely what the parts are and what the prices are—so we can be sure we’re comparing apples and apples.”

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WIN to Continue to Expand NACE Presence With Booth, Education Sessions

The Women's Industry Network (WIN) continue to act on their mission to engage women in the collision repair industry by expanding their presence at the International Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE) in Orlando, Oct. 5-8. WIN will have a booth on the trade show floor, number #N2161, where attendees can discover more about the WIN organization, meet current members and board members, and learn how to become an active member of WIN. In addition, the annual WIN re-

ception, being held on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at the Peabody Hotel, will honor WIN sponsors and offer members and guests an opportunity to connect with the group. For more information about the reception, contact Vice Chair Jennifer Justice-Haley at WIN says its commitment to learning and development is once again evident in the sponsorship and member contributions to the Women’s Professional Development Track of classes of-

fered at NACE. These offerings are open to all attendees (women and men) and cover topics including leadership, professional development, marketing and personnel management within the collision repair industry. On Oct. 8, over 100 Girls Scouts will gather at the Orange County Convention Center to learn about the collision repair industry, meet role models and enjoy a unique experience at NACE. WIN says it's an honor to be affiliated with this event and to sponsor a

large effort to make youth aware of career opportunities within and gain some general knowledge about the industry. (For coverage of WIN’s activities at NACE in 2010, please visit WIN will also hold its regularly scheduled board meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at NACE to discuss upcoming WIN items including details on the 2012 WIN Conference set for May 6-8, 2012 in Atlanta, Ga. For more information please visit

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Continued from Cover

NACE Schedule

Note also the ASRW Industry Forum, Weds. 4:30-7:00 pm, to attend 1.Trends in Collision Repair: A Futurist Discussion (collision) and 1. The Changing Climate of Insurance Agreements (collision)

October 5

Wednesday / 8am–12pm

Title: Inspecting Repairs for Quality Control (QUA01) / Instructor: Bob Zelano / Code: IC01

Title: Steel Utilized Structures, Technologies & Repair (SPS07) / Instructor: I-CAR Instructor / Code: IC02

Title: Collision Repair for Toyota, Lexus, and Scion Vehicles (TOY01) / Instructor: I-CAR Instructor / Code: IC03

Wednesday / 8:30am-10am

Title: How to Build a Better You / Instructor: Bryan Dodge, Dodge Development / Code: WE01NC

Title: Creating a Positive Work Environment / Instructor: Felicia Funchess, BASF / Code: WE03N Title: Post Repair Problems Related to Undercarriage Issues, TPMS and ESC Lights / Instructor: John Shewbridge, Hunter Engineering / Code: WE04N

Wednesday / 8:30am-11:30am

Title: Ignite the Internet! Internet Marketing for Auto Repair Professionals / Instructor: Danny Sanchez, Autoshop Solutions / Code: WE05C

Title: Creating Raving Fans for Your Business / Instructor: Chris Chesney, CARQUEST Technical Institute / Code: WE06NC Title: The Mechanics of Estimating / Instructor: Mike Anderson, Collision Advice / Code: WE07N Title: Sherlock Holmes Diagnosis / Instructor: Jim Morton, Morton’s Automotive Technical Services / Code: WE08C

Title: Hybrid Technology (Powered by CARQUEST Technical Institute) / Instructor: George Lesniak, CARQUEST Technical Institute / Code: WE09C

Wednesday / 10:30am-12pm

Schmitz, KPA / Code: WE10NC

Title: Give Me Your Keys Please / Instructor: Tony Nethery, Colormatch Automotive Refinish / Code: WE11NC Title: Why Lean Implementations Fail in the Collision Repair Industry (Repeated on Thursday-TH10N) / Instructor: Tony Passwater, AEII / Code: WE12N Title:Design-BasedRepairs(RepeatedonFriday-FR10N)/Instructor:Richard Perry,Chief Automotive Technologies / Code: WE13N

Wednesday / 1pm-5pm

Title: Collision Repair for Ford & Lincoln Vehicles (FOR05) / Instructor: ICAR Instructor / Code: IC04

Title: Overview of Cycle Time Improvement for the Collision Repair Process (CYC01) / Instructor: I-CAR Instructor / Code: IC05

Title: Hybrid Electric & Alternative Fuel Vehicles (ALT02) / Instructor: I-CAR Instructor / Code: IC06

Wednesday / 1pm-2:30pm

Title: Building a Team That Works Without You / Instructor: Bryan Dodge, Dodge Development / Code: WE14NC

Insomniac Games / Code: WE15NC

Title: Back to Basics - Body Shop Financials / Instructor: Hank Nunn, AutoNation / Code: WE16N

Title: Winning With a Professional Road Map / Instructor: Becky Glauser, ContactPoint / Code: WE17NC

Wednesday / 1pm-4pm

Title: Winning Women Customers / Instructor: Margie Seyfer, Impact Presentations / Code: WE18NC

Title: Lean 3.0 - Flow = A Practical Path to Using Lean to Improve Process Flow / Instructor: John Swiegart, The Body Shop @, and Steve Trapp, DuPont / Code: WE19N

Title: I Object! / Instructor: Maylan Newton, E.S.I. / Code: WE20C Title: Farming Your Indsutry / Instructor: Aaron Clements, C and C Automotive / Code: WE21C

Title: Variable Valve Timing System Diagnosis (Powered by CARQUEST Technical Institute) / Instructor: Glenn Young, CARQUEST Technical Institute / Code: WE22C

Wednesday / 3pm-4:30pm

Title: Marketing for a DRP - Acquiring the Business / Instructor: Hank Nunn, AutoNation / Code: WE02N

Title: What to Do When an Inspector Knocks on Your Door / Instructor: Eric

Title: Game On: Engaging the Gen Y Customer / Instructor: Ryan Schneider,

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

Philly’s Nigro’s Auto Body Reaches Out with Own Smart Phone Apps with Chasidy Rae Sisk

Back in July’s Autobody News I wrote a shop showcase article about Nigro’s Auto Body in Philadelphia. (Go to, and search “Nigro’s”) A focus of my article was how the shop exemplifies the “city of brotherly love” motto by its exemplary contributions to charities and good causes in the region. Now Nigros’ has gone beyond and has reached out to the online consumer in an unexpected yet useful way. With regard to society’s affinity toward technology, they have developed several smart phone applications to assist in accidents and promote safe driving. The flagship app, Nigro’s Auto Body Assistance™ App, is a patent-pending car accident and emergency assistant smart phone app that provides consumers with instant access to everything they need if they are ever involved a car accident or

driving emergency. When I visited the shop in June 2011, co-owner Domenico Nigro explained that his goal is to improve the industry by helping people and disseminating information, and the release of Nigro’s Accident Assistance Application shows his dedication to this goal. Several years ago, Domenico thought it would be a good idea to create an application to assist drivers in the instance of an accident. “At Nigro’s, our customers are our main concern, and I felt as though an app such as this could take a great deal of weigh off of the shoulders of drivers.” While researching the possibility of turning his dream into reality, Domenico came upon a company, Summit Software Solutions, that specializes in building smart phone applications, and with the help of this company, Nigro’s

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Accident Assistance App came into existence. The phone application takes customers through the process of what to do in the event of a car accident. It allows users to program their vehicle information, insurance company, three emergency contacts, and a preferred body shop. Though Nigro’s hopes customers will choose their shop, they do not force them to do so, providing the option of changing that information to another auto body shop. An additional feature provides users with information about what to look for in a quality auto body shop as well as information about consumers rights after being in an accident. This easy-to-use application also provides an accident report form and the ability to save photos of the accident which can be sent to the insurance company with an easy click. After entering all of their data, users are able to click on one button in order to simultaneously contact their three emergency contacts, their insurance agent/company and their preferred body shop. The application also makes it easy to locate and contact the nearest police department, ambulance service, hospital, towing company and rental car company. According to Domenico Nigro, “we’re all about the customer at Nigro’s. Having this app makes dealing with an accident a lot easier, which in turn makes a happier customer. When our customers are happy, it helps us build strong bonds and great rapport with them. In turn, they hopefully will think of us when they need any other work done on their cars or if they know someone in need of auto body repair”. Nigro’s Accident Assistance Application was released in August 2011 for the Droid, and by now Apple and Blackberry should have the application available on their phones. Cur-

rently Nigro’s is waiting to release two more applications, the Mobile Tattle Tale app and the Teenage Speedster app, both of which are complete and planned for release within the next couple months. With the assistance of Mobile Tattletale Applications, LLC, Domenico has helped develop the Mobile Tattle Tale application which is designed to prevent teenagers from texting while driving. Upon reaching a certain speed, texting functions will be disabled until the speed is reduced below that limit. Additionally, the application will send an automatic response to incoming texts informing the party that the recipient is unable to text at the time, and it offers the benefit of sending the parent a notification if the teenager tries to disable or remove the application. The Teenage Speedster application will serve to monitor speed and will email parents the speed and location information when their teenager exceeds a specified speed limit. Mobile texters beware! “We love our community and the people in it. We want to do everything we can to keep everyone safe”, says Domenico Nigro. These three applications definitely serve to increase safety in teenager driving and to make the stress of an automobile accident less dire. Summit Software Solutions Office: 858-547-8697 Fax: 858-547-8698 or email Frank Terlep: To reach Nigro’s Auto Body: 939 Washington Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19147-3824 (215) 925-4520 | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 47

I-CAR Tech

This article first appeared in the I-CAR Advantage Online, which is published and distributed free of charge. I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, is a not-for-profit international training organization that researches and develops quality technical education programs related to collision repair. To learn more about I-CAR, and to subscribe to the free publication, visit

Three-Dimensional Measuring Equipment—Is it Really Necessary? I-CAR has been emphasizing the importance of three-dimensional measuring since its founding in 1979, but is it really required to repair a vehicle? After all, three-dimensional measuring systems are considerably more expensive compared to the much more affordable tape measure or tram gauge (see Figure 1).

Figure 1 - Tape measures and tram gauges (top) are used for point-to-point measuring while computerized measuring systems (bottom) provide three-dimensional measurements

A Real Life Experience Recently, our friend Sam (not his real name, but his story is), found himself having to get estimates for his collision damaged car. The first collision repair facility was chosen, and the vehicle was brought in for an estimate. During the estimating process, Sam asked what type of three-dimensional measuring system the facility used. The estimator promptly replied “none.” Interesting. The car didn’t look structurally damaged, I’m sure the estimator was wondering why Sam even cared. So, it was on to the next repair facility. While talking to the estimator, Sam inquired again, “What type of three-dimensional measuring do you use?” In a too familiar response, the estimator replied, “We don’t really have one.” The next stop was the last repair facility scheduled to write an estimate. Sam watches the estimate being written and asks the question, but this time, the answer is different, “We have a computerized measuring system.” The quest was over. Sam knows

who’s going to be repairing his vehicle. The question is, why is it so important for Sam to have a shop that can perform three-dimensional measurements? The answer is simple. Three-dimensional measuring provides an accurate assessment of damage. This allows collision repair technicians to document vehicle measurements before and after the straightening process, ensuring Sam that his vehicle was fixed properly. In Sam’s case, it turned out that his vehicle’s front rails were up 20 mm from specification. This wasn’t found until the vehicle was placed on a three-dimensional measuring system for repair. If a repair facility was using a tram gauge or tape measure during the repair, would this have been caught? The vehicle looked within specification, and there were no obvious panel gap misalignments or other visual indicators that provided the estimator with clues to the structural damage.

Making the Investment Even in the best economic times, a three-dimensional measuring system is a substantial investment for one piece of equipment. Is it worth it? Joe Blanton from Car-O-Liner was essentially asked this question. Is cost an issue to shop owners when deciding to make a purchase? Joe states that the value of time savings and increased productivity eventually offset the initial investment. Another reason to invest in a three-dimensional measuring system is the assurance that the vehicle has been restored to the proper specifications. Then there’s keeping up with changing vehicle technology. With advancements in vehicle design and increased use of high-strength steel, collision energy is following a different load path. The load path is essentially the route collision energy travels through the vehicle. This new path means that collision energy is traveling into areas not commonly seen before, deeper into the vehicle. Additionally, these vehicles often have a tighter tolerance, requiring greater emphasis on restoring the


original vehicle specifications for proper vehicle performance. Therefore, three-dimensional measuring can be a huge benefit in identifying any misalignment. Some vehicle makers make specific recommendations regarding the use of three-dimensional measuring equipment for vehicle repairs. General Motors, for example, states in their part-specific collision repair procedures to “use three-dimensional measuring equipment.” Chrysler states that when restoring a collision damaged vehicle, that “all structural distortion has been identified and corrected using appropriate structural straightening equipment (“frame rack”) and a three-dimensional measuring system.” Other advantages of three-dimensional measuring include accuracy, reduced time to make the measurements, and the ability to repeat and verify specific measurements so they can be documented both before and after repairs are complete. Three-dimensional measuring is also ideal for damage analysis. Providing printed out measurements with the damage estimate to the technician helps with ordering parts and calculating repair times, reducing

Figure 2 - A fixture system, such as this Celette bench, is used to perform three-dimensional measuring

supplements. According to Richard Perry of Chief Automotive Technologies, when asked what message he would like to communicate to the collision repair industry about three-dimensional measuring, he stated, “Moving forward, measuring the vehicle with structural damage during the estimate should become as common as getting the VIN. This will reduce the need

for supplements and reduce the cycle time for the vehicle’s repair.” Making three-dimensional measurements requires understanding that all measuring points are based on length, width, and height. If using a computerized measuring system, these planes are electronically formulated using the measurements of the center section, and all the other measurements that are taken are relative to those planes. Mechanical systems, or fixture systems, perform a similar function,

Figure 3 - Point-to-point measurements are often used during damage analysis to identify potential structural damage

but use the tip of the measuring pin and a vehicle reference hole to determine alignment (see Figure 2). Pointto-point measurements are very good during damage analysis to identify potential structural damage (see Figure 3). For more information please visit

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Educational Schedule, Structure Released for New MSO Symposium At NACE 2011 Details surrounding the Multiple Shop Operator (MSO) Symposium—the newest event at Automotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW)—were released, including educational content, speakers and the full schedule. The MSO Symposium will take place Thursday, Oct. 6, featuring an all-day program consisting of education and networking specific to MSOs. Sponsors of this highly anticipated event include CCC Information Services, Toyota Wholesale Parts, DuPont Performance Coatings, The Romans Group LLC, Enterprise RentA-Car and UniCure Spray booths. The MSO Symposium is hosted by Matthew Ohrnstein, managing director of Symphony Advisors. The MSO Symposium will start with a networking breakfast, followed by a full day of panelists, keynote speakers, facilitated discussions, a CEO roundtable, Q&A sessions, and a concluding networking reception. Schedule of Events: 7:30 am - 8:30 am: Networking Breakfast.

8:30 am - 10:00 am: General Session with Chris Brogan (social media guru) 10:20 am - 10:30 am: Welcome and Opening Comments. 10:30 am - 12:00 pm: Lessons Learned From The “Big 4”. Facilitated by: Matthew Ohrnstein, Symphony Advisors. Guest Panelists: Rollie Benjamin, ABRA Auto Body & Paint, CEO Cathy Bonner, Service King Collision Centers, President; Brock Bulbuck, The Boyd Group, CEO; Steve Grimshaw, Caliber Collision Centers, CEO. 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm: Networking Luncheon. Topic: “Money Talks: The Investor’s View of the State of the Financial Markets and What Does The Next Five Years Look Like For Owners of and Investors in Multiple Collision Repair Shop Operators”. Keynote Speaker: Rex Green, BB&T Capital Markets, Managing Director. 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm: Scale Matters: The Evolving Relationship Among Insurers, MSOs, Suppliers and Information Service Providers. Facilitated by: Vincent Romans, The



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Romans Group. Guest Panelists: Bill Brower, Liberty Mutual Insurance, AVP & Manager, Auto Physical Damage; Jim Dickens, CCC Information Services, Senior Vice President; Terry Fortner, LKQ Keystone, Vice President; Jim Gadberry, Nationwide Insurance, Associate Vice President; Shawn Hezar, Apex Auto Body, CEO; David Smith, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Vice President 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm: Networking Break 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm: The Art of the Deal - Acquiring and Developing New Locations. Facilitated by: Matthew Ohrnstein, Symphony Advisors Guest Speaker: John Walcher, Veritas Advisors. Guest Panelists: John Gagliano, Collex Collision Experts, CEO; Harry Hall, Dupont Performance Coatings, North America Sales Manager; Pat James, Auto Body America, CEO; Brandon Thomas, Collision Revision, President. 5:15 pm - 7:30 pm: Closing Networking Reception. “Attendees are going to get some

unique content directed at multiple shop operators who are intending to continue their growth,” said Ron Pyle, ASA president. “There will be some financial perspective, acquisition perspectives, operational- and insurance relationship-specific content, and content on how to acquire and develop additional locations if you’re an expanding MSO. It won’t be just one static format, but a variety of dynamic presentations facilitated by some of the leaders who are well-known within the industry.” The MSO Symposium is produced by the Automotive Service Association (ASA), NACE and Symphony Advisors. “We had quite a bit of input from MSOs in the development of the content. Our current NACE chairman, Ron Nagy, is a multiple-shop operator in Ohio and this is a passion of his to get this information in the symposium,” continued Pyle. Registration to the all-day event is complimentary to qualified MSOs, but is limited to the first 100 regisSee NACE MSO, Page 50



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More Than 800,000 Vehicles Recalled in U.S. Sept. 12-18

Continued from Page 49


trants (limit of three people per company). Qualified MSOs who wish to register may call (972) 536-6318 or email Attendees are encouraged to register quickly as availability is limited.

Automakers, including Hyundai Motor Co. and Subaru recalled more than 800,000 cars and trucks last week for defects including faulty airbags, according to federal regulators and Insurance Journal. Separately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a preliminary defect investigation into 205,661 Ford Motor Co. minivans for the model years 2004 to 2005 following complaints that the service jack provided by Ford could collapse when in use and cause the vehicle to drop.

One of those reports said a person died after the Ford jack collapsed while he was working beneath the vehicle, according to a notice posted on NHTSA’s website. The agency said it is investigating the issue to determine if a safety defect exists. NHTSA also upgraded two other probes into 431,000 Honda Motor Co. CR-V crossovers and 200,000 Jeep Liberty sport-utility vehicles built by Chrysler Group LLC. Mid-September, Hyundai recalled more than 205,000 Veracruz and Sante Fe crossovers for model years 2007 and

2008 due to a defect in a part of the driver’s side airbag called the clock spring. The spring develops a high resistance over time and may not deploy in a crash, increasing the risk of injuries. Subaru issued three separate recalls last week, including more than 295,000 vehicles for the model years 2002 to 2007 because a component in the front control arms can break if exposed to salty or humid environments. The Japanese automaker also recalled more than 195,000 Outback and See Recalls, Page 57


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Avery Claims Fraud

ceived $3 million in campaign contributions, then overturned a verdict against a contributor. The U.S. Supreme Court decided the judge should have recused himself because of the “serious risk of actual bias.” But the latest petition argues that State Farm attorney and lobbyist William Shepherd was on the executive committee of Illinois Civil Justice League (ICJL), which recruited Karmeier and donated (through its political action committee) $1.1 million in direct and in-kind contributions to Karmeier’s campaign. Also at the time, an affidavit in the case points out, State Farm CEO Ed Rust was part of the U.S. Chamber’s leadership team that selected which judicial campaigns to target, and Illinois was identified as a “Tier 1” state to target. State Farm donated $1 million to the U.S. Chamber’s judicial election efforts, the U.S. Chamber donated over $2 million to the Illinois Republican Party, and that organization in turn bought $1.94 million in advertising for the Karmeier campaign

In 1999, the landmark class action lawsuit Avery v State Farm rocked the collision industry with not only its staggering $1.8 billion dollar judgment but also its implications for the viability of the aftermarket industry. Louisiana resident Michael Avery and four other named plaintiffs brought the class action in Illinois against State Farm. The original circuit court jury found in favor of the plaintiffs, and awarded the $1.8 billion. This ruling was affirmed on appeal by the state appelate court, except that the judgment was reduced to $1.05 billion. It wasn’t until the case got to the Illinois Supreme Court that the judgment against State Farm was overturned. The Supreme Court found that, because of the various types of language used in State Farm’s different insurance policies, it was an error for the circuit court to certify a nationwide class as to the contract claims. The court also held that the plaintiffs had failed to establish any breach of contract on the part of State Farm, or that they had even established any contract damages. To completely twist the knife in the plaintiffs’

case, the Supreme Court further found that only one of the five named plaintiffs had his vehicle assessed and repaired in Illinois, and since he couldn’t prove he suffered damages, the class action judgment was completely reversed. It seemed a slam dunk for State Farm. In 2006 the Illinois Supreme Court was petitioned to review the case on the grounds that then-circuit Judge Lloyd Karmeier, declined to recuse himself, and then ruled for one of his biggest campaign contributors, State Farm. Justice Karmeier, who received over $350,000 in direct contributions from State Farms employees, lawyers and others, and over $1 million more from groups of which State Farm was a member or to which it contributed, won both the fundraising battle and the election. Justice Karmeier then declined to recuse himself from Avery, which had been pending before the Illinois Supreme Court during the campaign. In the appeal, Justice Karmeier cast the decisive vote reversing a lower courts breach of contract verdict of over $450 million against State Farm. The Supreme Court denied the recusal petition and did not hear the case. This month the Supreme Court was again petitioned by a group of Avery attorneys—including former TV actor, U.S. senator—and briefly candidate for the GOP nominee for President—Fred Thompson allege State Farm lied and mislead the court, hiding its “extraordinary support of Justice Karmeier’s campaign and to thwart Justice Karmeier’s disqualification.” The petition asks the court to restore at Fred Thompson least part of the billion-dollar judgment against State Farm on the grounds that months before siding with State Farm in the questioned August 2005 ruling, Karmeier refused calls that he recuse himself despite concerns that the hundreds of thousands of dollars he allegedly got directly from State Farm for his campaign could taint his judgment. State Farm’s lawyers have insisted the company itself gave no money to Karmeier, who this month’s petition asserted was recruited by the company to run for the court as a “pro-business candidate” and actually got $2.5 million to $4 million in contributions through State Farm.

Much of that money came through a political action committee (JUSTPAC) bankrolled by insurance companies and others who lobby for damage award caps, with Karmeier well aware of State Farm’s involvement in his campaign, the plaintiffs’ filing said. Such contributions “created a constitutionally unacceptable risk of bias such that (Karmeier’s) participation and vote to reverse the $1.05 billion judgment deprived (the) petitioners of their dueprocess rights,” according to the petition, which asks the state’s Supreme Court to rehear the case without Karmeier. Ironically perhaps, the plaintiffs also petitioned that Justice Karmeier not be allowed to participate in the decision as to whether or not he should be excluded. “In the final analysis, this evidence not only substantiates, but confirms, once and for all, that State Farm deliberately lied to and misled this court, and concealed information from this court in 2005,” reads the filing. State Farm said in a statement that “this case was resolved by the Illinois Supreme Court years ago, and (the) plaintiffs’ attempt to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was rejected.” State Farm responded to the charge of excessive support of Karmeier in 2005 by flatly denying “engineering contributions” to Karmeier’s campaign “for the purpose of impacting the outcome of this case [Avery].”

Background on Avery v State Farm The original complaint was filed in July 1997 in a breach of contract case in which the plaintiffs alleged that State Farm promised “to restore plaintiffs’vehicles to their pre-loss condition using parts of ‘like kind and quality,’” but, it was claimed, State Farm’s uniform practice was to specify the use of nonOEM crash parts to repair its policyholders’ cars in every instance in which such cheaper parts were available. At the core of the case in the Supreme Court appeal was the meaning of the term “like kind and quality” as used in State Farm’s insurance contracts, and whether, as the plaintiffs argued, the term meant “like kind and quality to OEM parts”—or, as State Farm argued, it meant “sufficient to restore a vehicle to its preloss condition.” However, in the circuit court, the plaintiffs also alleged that the non-OEM parts at issue in this case were ‘categorically inferior’ to their OEM counterparts. In the plaintiffs view, non-OEM parts could never satisfy State Farm’s “like kind and quality” obligation. The plaintiffs argued: “As a See Avery Claims Fraud Page 60 | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 51

The New, Lean, Customer Centric Auto Body Shop by Harry Klein, Customer Engagement Strategies,

What’s the first image that comes to mind for a customer about to walk into a body shop? Dirt? Grease? Noise? Is there a waiting area? Is it some dark, post-apocalyptic movie scene? Happily, this is a thing of the past in most shops, because many in the auto collision repair industry have awakened to the power and value of putting the customer at the center of their business strategy. There’s a Lean Production revolution starting in the industry and it’s having a profound impact for early proponents. First let’s level the playing field about Lean Production. According to the Lean Enterprise Institute, there are five principles of lean: 1. Specify value from the standpoint of the end customer by product family. 2. Identify all the steps in the value stream for each product family, eliminating whenever possible those steps that do not create value. 3. Make the value-creating steps occur in tight sequence so the product will flow smoothly toward the customer. 4. As flow is introduced, let customers pull value from the next upstream activity. 5. As value is specified, value streams are identified, wasted steps are removed, and flow and pull are introduced, begin the process again and continue it until a state of perfection is reached in which perfect value is created with no waste. Lean is becoming attractive to auto body shops for a few reasons: Industry consolidation resulting in increased competition. We’re talking about a $30B/year industry that saw revenue increase 10% from 20062009 at the same time the number of shops declined about 12%. (See this profile by searching ‘Romans Group LLC,’ at Car owners rarely pay directly for these services. Insurers specify a few shops in small geographic areas where they’ll send their policy holders. If a shop isn’t on one or more of those short lists, they’re in trouble. Auto insurance is pretty much a commodity so drivers are shopping price. Insurers need to work with service providers who can help hold the line on costs.

As a result of items 1 and 2, repair shops are in land grab mode. They’ve got to find ways to differentiate and that requires innovation. They need a new operating model that will be friendlier toward insurers, auto dealers and drivers; hold Harry Klein the line or reduce expenses, both capital and staff; increase productivity; increase quality of work; and, understand how adding value at every customer interaction is the only way to drive trust and social capital. Here’s a brief case study showing the value customers receive from lean techniques in the auto collision repair industry. A former colleague of mine—a finance guy—is one of the most customer focused people I’ve ever met. (Yes, you read that right, he’s a finance guy.) He became a CFO of a small chain of auto body repair shops. Once he better understood the industry and its not so best practices he realized that there was much to be done to improve his customers’ experience with his brand. Over time he was able to make some changes but before long the entrepreneurial bug bit. He and a partner opened a new body shop called Total Care Accident Repair using Lean Production principles at the core of their business strategy. Their shop is at 81 Brookside Circle, Raynham, MA 02767, 508.824.4091 Decrease the amount of time between receiving car keys from a customer and returning them Don’t have drivable cars sit on their lot waiting for parts Schedule repair work in the shortest window possible for the customer Provide owners with insight into repair progress online and also send status updates via text, email or phone Give the customer a delivery date and then further refine that the day before or morning of with a specific pick-up time Deliver a repaired and CLEAN car. Vacuum and wash each car as a final step for prior to delivery Deliver the highest quality work. Engage the work force by giving the responsibility for excellent and effi-


cient work and make them beholden to each other. Ensure each car is inspected one last time prior to delivery Create a customer-friendly environment, one that is clean, sunny, in a nice area with plenty of parking and a warm, friendly, professional staff to greet customers and set expectations

Jack and Brian, principals at Total Care Accident Repair

The value to the customer here is obvious. There are multiple engaged professionals committed to delivering great work for the customer (and each other) and doing so as efficiently as possible. Is it working? Absolutely. Bottom line is that from the cus-

tomer perspective Lean Production is working for Total Care Accident Repair: 99.1% rate of customers that would use the shop again or refer it to a friend. Courteousness of Staff ... 4.98 out of 5 (excellent) Explanation of Repair by Staff ... 4.89 out of 5 Quality of Repair ... 4.95 out of 5 Cleanliness of Car After Repair ... 4.92 out of 5 This approach to auto body repair is a triple win: The shop is financially on very solid ground. They are more efficient, have reduced capital costs, increased employee retention and engagement and a very satisfied customer base. The customers have a highly valued experience, one that makes the best out of a bad situation. They get their car back ASAP, with the work done properly and don’t get grease on their clothes. Insurers and car dealerships add value to their customers by partnering with a repair shop that delivers a great

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800-800-NICK 323-583-4109 Direct

South Bay MINI Torrance

310-939-7342 310-939-7343

customer experience on their behalf. In addition to customer feedback, like many shops, there are two other KPIs that Total Care Accident Repair uses: Cycle Time—the amount of time between taking a set of car keys and returning them, and Touch Time—the number of hours in a day that a car is actually being worked on. Industry average is about 2.2 hours/day. Total Care Accident Repair is on their way to doubling the Touch Time national average. That means Cycle Time shrinks, enabling more flow through production resulting in higher revenue. It also results in happy customers because their car was repaired more quickly. Cycle Time is reduced, especially for cars that are still drivable, because customers keep their cars until the shop knows precisely when they can provide an estimate and the owner brings the car in. Based on that estimate the shop can tell the owner when the work will begin AND end. Another factor in Cycle Time reduction is that work doesn’t begin on a car until all parts needed are on premises. A car sitting in a park-

ing lot not being worked on or driven is not adding value to the customer or the shop so that must be eliminated. When repair work is scheduled, Total Care Accident Repair customers are told what day they can expect to pick up their car. They are also told that the day prior to pick-up, they’ll get notified as to the precise time they can pick it up. Car owners can see photos of their car’s progress through the repair process online. They can also receive status updates via social tools and email. When a car is hours from completion, the customer is alerted as to the specific time the car will be ready for pick-up. As an added value the cars are vacuumed and washed as a final step for prior to delivery. The quality of work is phenomenal because lean production puts the responsibility for excellence and efficiency on the team doing the work. Each team member can send a car back to the previous station for work not done properly. At the final work station where the car is prepared for delivery there

is also another quality inspection. If a car is not ready to be delivered to the customer (which seldom if ever happens), the car gets the attention it needs immediately. The value to the customer here is obvious. Multiple sets of eyes ensuring quality work. Lean techniques also result in lower capital and staff costs, making profitability easier to attain and maintain. Here’s a brief comparison:

Size: Revenue: Staff: Spray Booth: Frame Machine:

your person. No post-apocalyptic movie images anywhere. Customer Engagement Strategies helps businesses grow through marketing and customer engagement programs that attract new clients retain existing ones and launch new offerings into new and existing markets. This is achieved by listening to the stories both the business and their clients/market are telling, identifying

Typical Shop 20K square feet $2–4 million 17–18, up to 30 2 @ $50K each 2 @ $50K each

All of this is great, but you know what really sold me on Lean Production and how it truly places the customer at the center of auto body repair industry? Total Care Accident Repair’s facility features a spacious, window-filled store front with comfortable seating, coffee and tea, WiFi and absolutely zero risk of getting a grease stain on

Lean Shop 10-12K square feet $2–4 million 13 1 @ 125K 1 @ 50K

and analyzing the differences and developing offerings, messages and processes that more closely align the value proposition with the target audience.

Copyright 2011 Harry Klein, Customer Engagement Strategies

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949-586-5104 Fax 949-586-7093 Fax Mon-Fri 7am - 7pm Sat 8am - 5pm | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 53

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

Body Shop Law with Attorney Martin Zurada

Independent Contractors in your Auto Body Shop—El Dorado or Fool’s Gold? Business owners who are struggling in a tight economy may be looking to shed some payroll costs by replacing employees with independent contractors. Some who pursue this strategy decide to lay off employees and hire independent contractors while others may rebrand some or all of their employees as independent contractors. This reclassification may result in lower payroll costs and more profitable workers, but is not without significant peril. State and federal governments have a strong incentive to make sure that businesses do not avoid taxes or circumvent employee protection laws by improperly labeling workers as independent contractors. Workers may also independently sue for misclassification. As a result, misclassification of any worker as an independent contractor may turn out to be much more costly than any benefits obtained through the misclassification. This article discusses the distinction between employees and independent contractors, the pitfalls associated with classifying auto body workers as independent contractors, and offers suggestions on how to set up a working relationship that is legal and beneficial to both the auto body shop and the worker. Hiring independent contractors may be advantageous to a business: Independent contractors may be cheaper, more efficient, and better motivated to work than employees due to the manner in which their compensation is structured. Independent contractors are paid based on the actual repairs they perform whereas employees are paid based on the number of hours they work. Independent contractors do not get paid overtime even when they work beyond a regular workday. Furthermore, if independent contractors fail to perform the repairs adequately they will not be paid, whereas employees must be paid for the hours they work but may be fired for poor performance. Payments made to independent contractors are ‘gross payments’, meaning that the independent contractor is responsible for paying all taxes, payroll deductions, workers’ compen-

sation, and benefits such as health insurance and vacation time out of his or her own pocket. The main disadvantage of independent contractors is that a business that hires them must relinquish control over their day-today operations and permit them to function as their own bosses. Being an independent contractor may be advantageous to a worker: Some workers like being independent contractors because they are their own boss and have an opportunity to make more money than employees. Independent contractors work any hours they want, hire other workers to help them complete jobs, have the right to refuse repair jobs they do not like, and can work for more than one business. Even though independent contractors do not get paid overtime, do not receive paid benefits, and pay their own taxes and workers’ compensation, they often earn significantly more than employees especially if they work efficiently and hire the right helpers. The main disadvantage of being an independent contractor is the economic risk of running one’s own business and the loss of legal protections that are afforded to employees. Hiring independent contractors is not without risk: Merely converting workers into independent contractors, or indiscriminately hiring independent contractors, can lead to problems. Independent contractors working for an auto body shop are likely to trigger a state or federal investigation or audit. In addition, independent contractors who have been terminated may file a lawsuit arguing that they were really employees who were misclassified as independent contractors and seek damages for failure to pay minimum wage and overtime as well as failure to provide rest and/or meal breaks. If administrative or civil proceedings demonstrate that the worker classified as an independent contractor was really an employee, the auto body shop will incur significant losses in the form of taxes, penalties, unpaid wages, interest, and attorneys’ fees. A number of factors differentiate employees from independent contractors: An auto body shop must understand the legal distinctions between


employees and independent contractors to avoid misclassifying employees as independent contractors. The distinction is often confusing because a line is being drawn in what may be a gray area. For example, everyone can tell the difference between a truck and a passenger car, but trying to conclusively determine whether an SUV is more like a truck or a passenger car is much more difficult. Governmental agencies and courts apply a broad test that examines every aspect of the work relationship to determine whether a particular worker is an employee or an independent contractor. The test consists of a number of interrelated factors that generally fall into three categories: behavioral, financial, and formal. The behavioral factors look into whether or not the auto body shop has the right to control the manner in which the worker does his or her job.

The focus is on the day-to-day interaction between the auto body shop and the worker, the type and degree of instruction being given, the manner in which the worker is evaluated, and any training that is being provided. A worker is an employee when the business has the right to direct or control the worker, and the worker is an independent contractor when such control is absent. The more the evaluations are based on how work is performed rather than end result and the more training is provided to the worker, the more likely that the worker is an employee rather than an independent contractor. The financial factors focus on whether or not the business has the right to control the economic aspects of the worker’s job. The test focuses on the investment made by the worker in the equipment used to perform the job, the extent to which the worker’s

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expenses are reimbursed, the worker’s ability to make or lose money, the worker’s ability to work for others, advertise, and maintain a visible business location, and the method of payment. If a worker uses the employer’s equipment, gets his or her expenses reimbursed, is insulated by the auto body shop from risk of loss or from opportunity to profit, works only for one particular business, and gets paid by the hour rather than on a commission basis, then the worker is more likely to be an employee. The relationship factors look at how the worker and the auto body shop perceive their work relationship. The factors include written contracts, employee benefits, permanency of the relationship, and the extent to which services being provided by the worker are a key activity of the business. A written contract stating that the worker is an employee, payment of employment benefits (insurance, pension, vacation or sick days), expectation that the relationship will be indefinite in duration rather than based on a project or time period, and activities performed by the worker being a key component of a business, will make it

more likely that the worker is an employee. Auto body workers are presumed to be employees: What the multi-factored test is getting at is whether, from a functional, economic, and formal point of view, the worker is running his or her own business or merely functioning as a small cog in the workings of an auto body shop. Even though auto body workers have some independent contractor attributes, they are very likely to be classified as employees unless the owner makes an honest, continuing and determined effort to make the workers be their own bosses. This strategy includes, but is not limited to, giving the worker a choice between being an independent contractor or an employee, giving up control over the worker’s day-to-day operations, leaving the worker free to work for other businesses and to hire his or her own employees, paying the worker based on the jobs finished (which may result in a much higher income than would be earned as an employee), and scrupulously documenting and monitoring the relationship. Categorizing auto body workers as independent contractors can be

very beneficial but is also risky and requires regular consultations with attorneys as well as a tremendous amount of discipline and legal planning. Furthermore, an auto body shop should not attempt to hire independent contractors unless it is a win-win situation for both the business and the worker. The label of independent contractor should not be used as a pretext to get rid of employment regulations but to create a genuine opportunity for a more profitable relationship between the business and the worker. Unless an auto body shop is prepared to fully accept all of the drawbacks inherent in a decentralized working environment and is ready to scrupulously document and adhere to making workers truly independent, it should not attempt to classify any workers as independent contractors. Employees can be incentivized to perform like independent contractors: Fortunately, workers can be classified as employees but paid a mixture of hourly pay and a bonus that encourages them to perform more efficiently because they receive incentives similar to those of independent contrac-

tors. Most auto body employees would be considered to be “non-exempt,” meaning that they cannot be paid a salary and must be paid on an hourly basis. However, written employment agreements with employees can guarantee payment of a lower hourly wage (at least minimum wage), appropriate overtime pay, and meal and rest breaks, while also paying a bonus based on jobs completed to the extent that the bonus owed exceeds the employees’ hourly pay. As a result, the employee would always be entitled to his or her hourly wages (including overtime) and the bonus would be calculated based on a percentage of money actually received from insurance companies for the jobs completed by the employee less the hourly wages due to the employee. For example, if an employee was promised a 30% bonus and produced $10,000 in income for the auto body shop based on jobs the employee completed in a particular month, and the employee was paid $2,000 in wages for the specific hours worked during that month, then the employee would be owed a $1,000 bonus ($10,000 See Independent Contractors, Page 57

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1-800-VOLKSWAGEN FAX: 925-934-0786 | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 55

Continued from Front Page

Foose Brings It

1957 Mercedes 300SL “Gullwing” Built on behalf of BASF Corporation the Gullwing was delivered to the Foose Design shop in Huntington Beach, California. This pristine German wonder car is going through a subtle, but significant customization process. Most noticeable, the front

Stock ‘57 M-B Gullwing, wait till you see the Foose custom version

and rear bumpers were removed and stored, being replaced by newly custom fabricated units which have been artfully re-designed into slimmer and more elegant versions. The new bumpers fit neatly up against the body for a seamless integrated look. A slight modification to the signature rear bulge above the rear wheel house brings it in line with the front wheel house bulge. Minor modification to the grille and grille shell will still focus on the elegant opening of the stock version. The nose emblem has been removed along with the rear markers with all bodywork being smoothed. New side trim, hand crafted from brass stock has been machined, milled, filed and polished before the final chrome plating. New headlight bezels have been machined out of billet aluminum and carefully fit to the front fenders, which were massaged for a seamless blend of fender to chrome ring. New headlights are being installed for a clean European look. A two tone paint job featuring BASF Waterborne material will combine an upper charcoal silver and a lower bright silver separated by an interior matching red accent line. The separation line is still in the design phase as I want to focus on the elegant body lines of this classic vehicle. We

will be installing a custom made set of springs to bring to Gullwing to just the right ride height. A custom set of Foose Wheels shod in Pirelli P Zero Nero tires will finish off the design. If you plan on attending SEMA, make sure to drop by the BASF Booth were we will unveil and feature the BASF Foose Gullwing Project.

SEMA Cares WD40 Feature Vehicle I can’t tell you much about this car, because it will be a complete surprise and will be unveiled to a live audience at SEMA. For the past couple of years, WD40 Corporation has sponsored the design, fabrication and auction of a vehicle on behalf of SEMA Cars; the Children’s Charity and the Richard Petty supported Victory Junction Camp. Previous vehicles have included a Camaro, and a Mustang, so it’s your guess what this year’s vehicle will be! All I can say is that it will be awesome and All American Muscle!! I am designing the paint scheme and coordinating the efforts on the build which is scheduled to include a full Hotchkis Suspension, Street Scene body modifications, Magnacharger, Pirelli Tires, MHT/Foose Wheels, MagnaFlow Exhaust, Katzkin Leather Interior, and of course BASF Paint. Make sure to stop by the WD40 Booth for the unveiling of this car and stay tuned to the Barrett Jackson Auction in January, Pebble Beach, Florida as this cool car goes across the blocks for the benefit of Children’s Charities. I am thrilled to be involved in such a important project with great partners.

fame purchased theirs, they asked if I would be interested in working with them. When finished mechanically, essentially a blank canvas, it was turned over to us at Foose Design for the all-important paint, interior design and the Foose one-off signature billet wheels. We selected a two-tone BASF Waterborne butterscotch pearl paint with champagne metallic overtones. The buckskin tone leather interior was fabricated by Jim Griffin Upholstery and provides the perfect contrast to the paint. The subtle but artful details such as the hand-form moldings around the Carson top and body, a Duval-style

split windshield and the copious amounts of plated and polished components set this ’32 Ford roadster

apart from all others. It features an LS-1 Chevy with an intercooled Magnacharger (not surprising, being that Jerry Magnuson is the owner and CEO of Magnuson Products!) Magnitude runs on custom one-off Foose Design wheels 17×7 in front and 20×10 in back and huge Pirelli Scorpion P-Zero tires all around. Many of the mechanical systems were designed and fabricated by Jerry Magnuson at his supercharger company, Magna Charger that builds superchargers for cars and trucks like Corvettes, Camaros, Hemi Challengers and Hemi Rams. Magnuson’s early background included working on Dan Gurney’s Eagle Indy cars, so his ability to design, fabricate and integrate mechanical systems is second nature. Unique items like the remote actuated hideaway headlights give the Magnatude sleekness and function. The innovative air inlet scoop feeds the Magna Charger supercharged engine that is monitored by a custom billet dashboard. All were engineered and fabricated at Magna Charger. We fin-

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1932 MUROC Roadster “Magnatude” Based on a design I developed some years back for Jerry Kugel, ten fenderless, and ten fendered versions of this basic design were produced. The

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So. California elegant roadster body was my design and hand-formed by Marcel De Lay. The result is a custom body that is longer, lower and sleeker than a stock ’32 Ford, but one that retains the all of the character of that iconic roadster. When Jerry and Maureen Magnuson of Magnusun Supercharger


Audi of Downtown LA LOS ANGELES 213-747-7248 213-222-1261 Fax Ask for Carlos or Fausto

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this Foose creation in person. After the Power Tour, the Magnatude was taken to the Good Guys event in Columbus, Ohio where it was critically judged and won the prestigious Good Guys Street Rod of the Year. I am proud of our work at Foose combined with the great skills of Magnuson, and especially with how well it performed on Power Tour. Hopefully the above details on the above will whet your appetite for more and you will join us at SEMA 2011. It’s bound to be another standout year. If you make it, stop by the Foose Booth out in the front and say hello.

ished it at Foose Design and debuted it at SEMA 2009. After SEMA, the Magnatude toured the country hitting the Good Guys car show circuit where it won every competion it entered and garnered the Street Rod d’Elegance Crown at the Goodguys Del Mar Nationals. Jerry Magnuson and his wife Maureen accepted a challenge from the editors of HOT ROD magazine who dared them to drive the Magnatude on the 2010 Hot Rod Power Tour, a 1370-mile cruise that encompassed eight days and seven impromptu car shows. The Magnatude, fresh off the California indoor show circuit, made the trip without incident. HOT ROD readers were thrilled to see

See you at SEMA 2011!!

Continued from Page 50


Legacy vehicles for model year 20102011 because components in the wiper motor could overheat and catch fire. Subaru also recalled nearly 70,000 Outback and Legacy cars for the model year 2011 because the moonroof glass could come loose and detach. Other automakers who issued

large recalls last week were Hyundai affiliate Kia and Volkswagen AG . Kia recalled more than 10,000 2007-2008 Sorento passenger cars because of a computer glitch that could turn off the front passenger airbag when an adult is in the passenger seat. VW recalled more than 30,000 Jetta sedans for the model year 20112012 because some vehicles had a toolong stainless steel exhaust tip that could burn a person’s leg.

Continued from Page 55

Independent Contractors

multiplied by 30% less $2,000). The employee would receive the $1,000 bonus on top of the $2,000 owed to him or her in wages for that particular month. If the employee was less productive, and produced only $5,000 in income for the auto body shop, then they would only receive wages and no bonus would be due. Thus, the employee would be guaranteed a minimum amount of pay based on the hours worked but his or her actual production would be the principal factor in how much an employee earned. This would cause the interests of the employees and owners to be more closely aligned without the risks associated with classifying workers as independent contractors. Consult an attorney to stay out of trouble: It is always a good idea to talk to an attorney to make sure that workers are not being misclassified as independent contractors and that those workers who are employees have a compensation structure and working conditions that comply with state and

federal employment laws. It is always best to seek help in the planning stages or before a problem arises but it is never too late to try to address employment and independent contractor issues.

Martin Zurada regularly advises and litigates on behalf of California auto body repair businesses, including independent contractor and employment issues. Contact him at: Zurada Law Group 785 Market Street, 16th Floor San Francisco, CA 94103 (415) 637-8483

This article only provides general legal information but not legal advice. You should consult a lawyer who will provide you with legal advice by applying the specific laws in your state to your specific factual circumstances. CHECK IT OUT!

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Shop Showcase

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

Auto Collision Service Underscores its Emphasis on Service with Chasidy Rae Sisk

After hearing good things about the service at Auto Collision Service in New Castle, DE, I decided to look into the shop’s practices to find what methods they use to ensure customer satisfaction.

customer satisfaction they desire. When asked about problems they have encountered, Pat Henry mentions that obtaining parts has become somewhat of a challenge since parts that dealers used to stock may now take several days or longer to obtain, forcing shops to deal with “super dealerships” to get their work done quicker. In turn, this strains relationships that have been built over many years with single dealerships. In reThe motto at Auto Collision Servgards to customers, he says “Cusice is that they “meet a lot of nice people by accident.” The goal at the shop tomers are not a problem; they have is to focus on the customer and make had a problem which is the accident. sure all vehicles are repaired at the Our job is to communicate with them. highest quality achievable. If the communication is there, no matAccording to owner, Pat Henry, ter what happens, you can keep the “We have always felt that you are only customer happy. If there is poor comas good as the last vehicle that you fix. munication, that is when you have a If you lose sight of that, that is when problem.” Henry also mentions the things will fall through the cracks and constant struggle to maintain a partyou end up disappointing someone. nership with the insurance companies. Here at Auto Collision Service we all “We, as an industry, need to work take great pride in what we do and we diligently in order to keep the DRPs are never satisfied with the status quo.” happy with the service we are providAuto Collision Service offers a ing to our shared customers”. comprehensive summary of their Auto Collision Service of New process on their website to aid cusCastle, DE has eighteen employees. tomers in understanding what will hapThey employ four body technicians, pen to their vehicle while in the shop. three paint technicians, two assembly specialists, one detailer, one shop maintenance specialist, a parts manager, three estimators, a bookkeeper, an operations manager and a general manager. The shop is 28,000 square feet and boasts Car-O-Liner frame machines, four rollers, mig welders, four spot welders, a drive-up rack, and a Chief drive-up frame machine, as Auto Collision Service’s shop floor stays productive well as two Accudraft paint This process includes removal of parts booths and Car-O-Liner’s Car-Oand estimate, arrival of parts, structural Tronic computer measuring system. and body repair, painting, vehicle reThe shop is I-Car Gold certified assembly, and delivery to customer. and participates in direct repair proThe website also provides cusgrams with Nationwide, Liberty Mutomers with the opportunity to monitual, The Hartford, Harleysville and tor the repair status of their vehicle, Met-Life. They enhance their revenue and an optional survey allows cusby offering storage, paintless dent retomers to provide feedback to aid pair, custom striping, customer work Auto Collision Service in adjusting and restorations. They also complete oil their procedures to best achieve the changes, wheel alignments, wiper and


bulb replacement and fluid topping. Auto Collision Service uses PPG paints in their repairs which averages

problem when we switched to PPG waterborne paints, but the help and training we received from our jobber, Kayfield Automotive Paints, has been wonderful and helped make the transition easy.” The shop was founded by Thomas Henry Senior in 1980. He opened the business in a 5000 square foot facility in nearby Old New Castle. In 1996, the business expanded to include a second shop, but due to road expansion in 2000, the Auto Collision Service’s pair of Accudraft paint booths two locations merged to become around one hundred twenty vehicles the current Auto Collision Service in each month. Auto Collision Service New Castle. Auto Collision Service believes it was the first shop in opened another shop in Georgetown in 2007 in a 8000 square feet building. Delaware to make the change to waThey are also involved with a lot terborne paints. The shop receives a mix of recent of youth programs in the area. They models and older vehicles, but they sponsored Hanby Middle School’s Aerospace Team by painting the have not had problems matching paints with older vehicles. “We anticipated a See Auto Collision Service, Page 59

I-CAR Adds Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Vehicle Training Programs to Online Catalog

Throughout 2011, I-CAR has introduced several new online training programs to the industry, including programs with all-new content and instructor-led (live) training programs that have been converted to an online delivery format. Programs that have been converted from the live delivery format contain the same content and are available 24/7, through a convenient online platform. I-CAR has recently added Electric and Electric Hybrid Vehicles (ALT01e) and Hybrid Electric and Alternative Fuel Vehicles (ALT02e) to its online course catalog. Both of these online programs are also available in the instructor-led (live) format. These programs touch on different areas of current and changing technology of hybrid electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles. Both training programs will provide individuals with an understanding of vehicle-specific repair considerations and the importance of ensuring a safe and cost-effective repair. Course Details - Electric and Electric Hybrid Vehicles (ALT01e): ● Identify terminology related to parts and understand the construction of an electric vehicle

● Understand the differences between series, parallel, and combination hybrid configurations, as well as integrated starter/alternator hybrid combinations ● Examine system design and operation including vehicles from Honda and Toyota ● Analyze collision damage to electric and hybrid electric vehicles ● Understand the collision repair considerations for electric and hybrid electric vehicles ● Know how to work safely around electric and hybrid electric vehicles Course Details - Hybrid Electric and Alternative Fuel Vehicles (ALT02e): ● Explain how to take safe measures when working on hybrid electric and alternative fuel vehicles ● Understand high voltage issues with electric A/C systems ● Identify new applications for hybrid technology and unique hybrid system features ● Understand vehicle-specific applications from popular vehicle makers, including Ford, Mercury, Mazda, Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, and Honda ● Know how to properly care for a high voltage battery prior to and during the repair process ● Identify the different types of alter-

native fuel vehicles currently on the market, as well as concepts in tomorrow’s technology Information and registration for these courses can be found on the ICAR website ( or by contacting I-CAR Customer Care at 800-422-7872.

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Continued from Page 58

Auto Collision Service

rocket ships the students launched until the program was discontinued several years ago. The shop continues to work with local vocational schools, as well as to sponsor many youth and school sports programs. Regarding current trends in the industry, Pat Henry states “One of the positive trends is the steps that are taken to further the education of technicians as well as office staff. The technology within vehicles has been changing, and if you cannot keep up with these changes, you will not be able to repair the vehicles. The economy has made this past year particularly tough, but I hope that this is a trend that will soon change. During this time, all you can do is continue to work hard; quite frankly, I do not like the alternative.” Auto Collision Services 501 New Churchmans Road New Castle, DE 19720 302-328-5611

Live Operator Assistance Now Standard Feature of Ford SYNC Services After Trial


Elk Grove Toyota ELK GROVE

916-405-4700 800-952-5307

916-405-8045 Fax

Mon. - Fri. 7am - 7pm; Sat. 8am - 5pm

In a step to further enhance the SYNC® experience, Ford is adding Operator Assist, a new free service that allows users to connect with a live person, as a standard feature of SYNC Services. Previously in beta test trial phase, the service is now available as part of SYNC Services and joins the growing list of cloud-based driver assistance features offered by Ford Motor Company. “This isn’t just about offering customers a back-up option to the services we have already. This is about giving customers a variety of choices when it comes to how they would like to receive information,” said Doug VanDagens, director, Ford Connected Services Solutions Organization. SYNC Services provides access to business searches and turn-by-turn directions, among other services. Seventy percent of all SYNC Services calls are for business searches and from those seeking turn-by-turn directions, said David Gersabeck, product manager, SYNC Services. Using advanced vehicle sensors, integrated GPS technology and comprehensive map and traffic data, the SYNC Services automated voice recognition system delivers turn-by-turn directions to the user. Further, with access to more than 14 million business listings, SYNC Serv-

ices directs users to the businesses they seek. Operator Assist works with both the business search and directions options. At any time during a business search or directions interaction between the user and the SYNC Services automated system, the user can say, “Operator,” confirm his or her request to speak with an operator, and connect to a live operator. In the event a user says an address or business that the voice recognition system can’t identify, the user will be prompted with the option to connect to a live operator. If the user confirms he or she would like to speak with an operator for further assistance, the system automatically connects the user to the live operator. “This is more than getting from point A to point B,” said Gersabeck. “It’s about delivering a level of connectivity that provides fast, hands-free connections to businesses or residences without the need for drivers to take their eyes off the road.” When a live operator assists with a search, the user can choose to receive turn-by-turn directions to the business, receive a text message with information about the business, or be directly connected to the business phone number. When a live operator assists with address entry, the user can have the directions sent directly to the vehicle. | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 59

Instructor: Robert Clements, E-Myth Benchmark / Code: WE23NC

Title: Positioning Your Shop for Success in the Internet Economy / Instructor: Maurice Sternemann, Demandforce, Inc. / Code: WE24NC

Title: GREEN - It Benefits People and Business (Panel) / Instructor: Trish Serratore (Moderator), ASE / Code: WE25NC

Title: Zeroing in on Profit Improvement Opportunities through Process Driven Repairs (Repeated on Friday - FR20N) / Instructor: Scott Peirce and John Spoto, 3M Company / Code: WE26N

Title: The Changing I.T. Environment– The Clouds Are Rolling In / Instructor: Fred Iantoro, CIECA / Code: WE27N

Title: Stop Guessing and Start Knowing / Instructor: Tom McGee, ALLDATA / Code: WE28N

October 6

Thursday / 12pm–1:30pm

Title: Accessory Belt Drive System Diagnosis / Instructor: Bobby Bassett, Gates Corporation / Code:TH01C Title: TPMS Update (Powered by CAR-

Continued from Page 51

Avery Claims Fraud

practical matter, [State Farm’s] obligation could be met only by requiring the exclusive use in repairs of factory-authorized or OEM parts.” The Illinois Supreme Court ultimately sided with State Farm as to the meaning of “like kind and quality,” noting that two main State Farm policy forms outlined the option to use non-OEM parts in the repair—or, required the insured to pay the cost of parts that resulted in “better than like kind and quality.” The inference was that better than must refer to OEM and therefore like kind and quality must not refer to OEM. Another key to the class action’s validity was whether or not State Farm’s contractual obligation was the same for all members of the class. State Farm argued repeatedly that it had many different contracts, and that certification of the class action should not be based on a uniform, singular contract with insureds. At circuit trial, the court and jury were charged with resolving the classwide question of whether State Farm, by requiring the uniform use of non-

QUEST Technical Institute) / Instructor: Jim Cokonis, CARQUEST Technical Institute / Code:TH02C

Thursday / 2pm-5pm

Title: Introduction to Lean / Instructor:Bernie Blickenstaff, Pro FinishesPLUS / Code:TH03N

Title: Crash Course in Internet Marketing! Internet Marketing for the Collision Industry / Instructor: Danny Sanchez, Autoshop Solutions / Code:TH13N

Title: Increasing Technician Efficiency–It’s a Team Effort / Instructor: Ryan Kooiman, Standard Motor Products / Code:TH04C Title: The Changing Marketplace Continues...Now What Drives the Bottom Line?–Part 1 / Instructor: Bob Greenwood, Automotive Aftermarket ELearning Centre Ltd / Code:TH05C

Title: Essential Electronics (Powered by CARQUEST Technical Institute) / Instructor: Carl Schweikert, CARQUEST Technical Institute / Code:TH06C

Thursday / 3pm-4:30pm

Title:Attitude is Everything! / Instructor: Maylan Newton, E.S.I. / Code:TH07NC

Title: Leading Change / Instructor: Felicia Funchess, BASF / Code:TH08N

OEM crash parts, and through the course of conduct it designed to conceal the true import of this practice from its policyholders, breached its contractual obligations and committed consumer fraud. The court gave the jury instructions that State Farm’s contractual obligation was “exactly the same, whether State Farm promised to pay for crash parts of like kind and quality or promised to pay for crash parts which restore a vehicle to its pre-loss condition.” This disputed instruction became a key to the outcome of the Supreme Court’s reversal. The circuit court trial began on August 16, 1999, and lasted several days, involving hundreds of exhibits and testimony by dozens of witnesses. Each side presented the testimony of experts and body shop witnesses in support of their respective positions. The class-members were awarded $1.186 billion and State Farm immediately appealed the decision only to have the Appellate Court affirm the decision in 2001, albeit with an award reduced to just over $1 billion. In 2002, State Farm again appealed the case to the Illinois Supreme Court who eventually, in 2005, voted 4–2 to overturn the Appellate Court decision in favor of State Farm.


Title: Negotiation Skills–Key to Improved Profitability / Instructor: Hank Nunn, AutoNation / Code:TH08N

Title: Why Lean Implementations Fail in the Collision Repair Industry / Instructor: Tony Passwater, AEII / Code:TH10N Title: Parts Procurement Tips for Estimators (Panel) / Instructor: Mike Anderson, Collision Advice and Ron Kuehn, Collision Business Solutions, Inc. / Code:TH11N

Title: Leading and Succeeding: Cultivating Leadership Skills That Benefit You and Your Organization / Instructor: Marcy Tieger, Symphony Advisors, LLC/ Code:TH12NC Title:Electrical Troubleshooting for the Body Shop Tech / Instructor: Jim Morton, Morton’s Automotive Technical Services/ Code:TH14N

October 7

Friday / 7:30am–10:30am

Title: The Power of Change / Instructor: Richard Flint, Richard Flint International / Code: FR01NC

Title: Simple Cycle Time Solutions / Instructor:Ron Kuehn, Collision Business Solutions, Inc. / Code: FR02N

Title: The Changing Marketplace Continues...Now What Drives the Bottom Line?–Part 2 / Instructor: Bob Greenwood, Automotive Aftermarket ELearning Centre Ltd. / Code: FR03C

Title: Gas Direct Injection (Powered by CARQUEST Technical Institute) / Instructor: Jason Virdin, CARQUEST Technical Institute / Code: FR04C

Title: Insurance and Collision Repair Issues 2012 / Instructor: Robert Passmore / Code: PCI01

Friday / 8:30am-10am

Title: Communicating With People Who Drive Us Crazy / Instructor: Margie Seyfer, Impact Presentations / Code: FR05NC

Title: Dismantle the Social Network! Social Media Marketing for the Automotive Industry / Instructor: Danny Sanchez, Autoshop Solutions / Code: FR06NC

Title: Blueprinting Basics / Instructor: Bernie Blickenstaff, Pro FinishesPLUS / Code: FR07N

Title: Practical Uses for eLearning in Collision Repair / Instructor: Dick Elder and Steve Trapp, DuPont / Code: FR08N

Title: Understanding Continuous Improvement / Instructor: Mike Anderson, CollisionAdvice / Code: FR09N

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Title: Design-Based Repairs / Instructor: Richard Perry, Chief Automotive Technologies / Code: FR10N

Title: Ready, Set, Simplify: Tips to Simplify Your Work (and Your Life) / Instructor:Becky Glauser, ContactPoint / Code: FR11NC

Friday / 1pm-2:30pm

Title: Reality Repair Shop–What Would You Do? (Panel) / Instructor: T.J. Reilly, Same Day Auto Service / Code: FR12C

Title: Immobilizer Service Opportunities (Powered by CARQUEST Technical Institute) / Instructor: Mark Olinger, CARQUEST Technical Institute / Code: FR13C

Friday / 3pm-6pm

Title: Survival Skills for Today’s Employer: HR Best Practices / Instructor: Cory King, Fine, Boggs & Perkins, LLP / Code: FR14NC

Title: Finding the Opportunity in Every Challenge (Panel) / Instructor: Aaron Clements, C and C Automotive / Code: FR15C Title: Hybrid Vehicle Service (Powered by CARQUEST Technical Institute) / Instructor: Adam Robertson, CARQUEST Technical Institute / Code: FR16C

Friday / 4pm-5:30pm

Title: Understanding Legal Structures:

The Key to Asset Protection and Tax Reduction / Instructor: Dan McNeff, Legally Mine / Code: FR17NC

Title: Leadership Best Practices–How to Inspire, Delegate, and Coach Your Team to Success / Instructor: Mike Anderson, CollisionAdvice / Code: FR18NC

Title: Confident Selling–Do You Believe / Instructor: Maylan Newton, E.S.I. / Code: FR19NC Title:Zeroing in on Profit Improvement Opportunities Through Process Driven Repairs / Instructor: Scott Peirce and John Spoto, 3M Company / Code: FR20N

Title:Customer Service Done Differently / Instructor: Tony Nethery, Colomatch Automotive Refinish / Code: FR21N Title: New Marketing Technologies to Level the Playing Field / Instructor: Joe Gibson, CustomerLink / Code: FR22C

Title: The Alignment Printout as a Diagnostic Tool / Instructor: John Shewbridge, Hunter Engineering / Code: FR23N Title: Market & Grow with Pizazz & Personality: 5 Easy Steps to Stand Out from your Crowded Market & Make Headlines / Instructor: Suzanne Shafer / Code: FR24NC

October 8

Saturday / 7:30am–10:30am

Title: Wanted: Leaders That Lead! / Instructor: Richard Flint, Richard Flint International / Code: SA01NC Title: Survival Skills for Today’s Employer: Compliance with Wage/Hour Laws / Instructor: Cory King, Fine, Boggs & Perkins LLP / Code: SA02NC

Title: Fluid Technology (Powered by CARQUEST technical Institute) / Instructor: Louie Nelson, CARQUEST Technical Institute / Code: SA03C

Title: Developing a Diagnostic Game Plan (Powered by CARQUEST Technical Institute) / Instructor: Jim Garrido, CARQUEST Technical Institute / Code: SA04C

Saturday / 8am-12pm

Title: Plastic and Composite Repair (PLA03) / Instructor: I-CAR Instructor / Code: IC07

Title:Collision Repair for Ford & Lincoln Vehicles (FOR05) / Instructor: I-CAR Instructor / Code: IC08

Title: Waterborne Products, Systems & Application (REF07) / Instructor: I-CAR Instructor / Code: IC09

Saturday / 8:30am-10am

Title:StrengthTraining–MeetingtheCurrent& FutureDemandsofYourBusiness/Instructor: LarryBaker,LVB&Associates/Code:SA05N Title: How to Build Bulletproof Estimates / Instructor: Peter Kennedy, Collex Collision Experts, Inc. / Code: SA06N

Title: Pre-Production Processes to Increase Sales and Improve CSI and Cycle Time / Instructor: Robert Ricj, Gates Business Solutions / Code: SA07N

Title: Accessory Belt Drive System Diagnosis / Instructor: Bobby Bassett, Gates Corporation / Code: SA08C

Title: CEO From the Inside Out / Instructor: Ruth Weniger, Powerful Business Strategies, LLC / Code: SA09NC

Title: Simple Front Office Staffing Solutions / Instructor: Ron Keuhn, Collision Business Solutions, Inc. / Code: SA10NM

Saturday / 1pm-5pm

Title: Hail, Theft, Vandalism Damage Analysis (DAM09) / Instructor: I-CAR Instructor / Code: IC10 Title: Corrosion Protection (CSP01) / Instructor: I-CAR Instructor / Code: IC11

Title: Vehicle Technology & Trends (NEW11) / Instructor: I-CAR Instructor / Code: IC12

Automotive Recyclers Assn Pledges $50,000 in Donated Parts to Schools Through Collision Repair Education Foundation The Automotive Recyclers Association has pledged to help provide $50,000 in donated parts to secondary and post-secondary collision school programs across the country through the Collision Repair Education Foundation over the next year. Working and communicating with the association’s members, local recyclers will donate parts to school’s collision programs and help allow the students to practice collision repair work on current model vehicles. The 71 schools that applied for the Education Foundation’s 2011 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover school grant will be provided the initial opportunity for donated parts and the program will then be offered to schools who have participated in the organizations past support opportunities. Automotive Recyclers Association Educational Foundation Managing Director Ginny Whelan said, “This is a win-win for both foundations; educating students in collision repair on the value of green recycled parts and assisting schools nationwide in need of financial assistance to improve their programs. These collision repair students are our future customers.” Collision Repair Education Foundation Executive Director Scott Kruger

said, “In speaking with school instructors across the country, one of the most highly requested items for their collision programs are current model vehicle parts for their students to work on. Automotive Recyclers Association’s pledge of working with their members and donating at least $50,000 in parts over the next year will greatly assist these collision programs and the students’ repair education.” Those interested in learning more about the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision students should visit or contact Associate Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at or 847-463-5244. To learn more about the ARA, visit or call (571) 2080428. The Collision Repair Education Foundation, founded in 1991, is a notfor-profit organization dedicated to securing donations that support philanthropic and collision repair education activities that promote and enhance career opportunities in the industry. For information on how to donate to programs supported by the Education Foundation visit | OCTOBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 61

AkzoNobel Hosts 18th Annual Acoat Selected® Summer Conference

August 17th through 20th, 2011 found members of the AkzoNobel Acoat selected National Performance Group gathering at the Marriott City Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 2011 program drew approximately 200 attendees from collision repair centers throughout North America. The AkzoNobel Acoat selected program is comprised of industry leaders representing some of the largest and most progressive collision repair centers in the North American market today. Keynote speaker for the event was Michael Fagin, Secretary, Treasurer and Counsel for the Highway Loss Data Institute. His topic for the program was “How Advances in Technology, Safety and the Disposable Car Affect Vehicle Reparability.” Michael shared research and advancements in vehicle safety that impact the reparability of today’s automobiles. Early Bird sessions prior to the program included: > Lead or Get Out of the Way – This program was led by G.B. Outlaw of G.B. Outlaw and Associates noted for enabling effectiveness in organizational change management. Outlaw’s dynamic personality and presentation style literally had his audience out of their seats! > So, You Have a Facebook Page…Now What? – Led by Helen Todd founder of Sociality Squared, a leading communication firm that specializes in social media, participants learned how to use and apply proven Facebook marketing strategies and techniques to grow a fan base and overall business with a meaningful Facebook presence. > 2011 Occupational Safety and Health Issues in the Collision Repair Industry – Led by Michael Rumley

with AkzoNobel’s Health Safety & Environmental organization. Participants were provided a clear direction about roles and responsibilities when it comes to occupational safety in the workplace. A special group tour was conducted at the 3M Innovation Center and Lab. This location houses more than 6,500 scientists and engineers in the R&D community. The work that is done in the 3M Center spans from abrasives to optics, to nanotechnology and micro-replication. Attendees were also engaged with “Walkabout Speakers” including Paul Chow and Paul Tseng with Leanstone Technology, Brad Desaulniers and Naveen Khan with Partscheck Live, Susanna Gotsch and John Buckner with CCC Information Services, and Ed Pietrzak with LKQ Corporation.

Federal prosecutors say Maxzone Vehicle Lighting Corp., a California distributor of non-OEM lighting products, has pled guilty and will pay a $4.3 million fine to settle criminal charges that it participated in a global price-fixing conspiracy (CRASH 9/5/11). Maxzone, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based Depo Auto Parts Industrial, is the second company (after Sabry Lee) to plead guilty in the Justice Department investigation, and has agreed to provide more information to the Department. Three executives, including one from Depo and another from Sabry Lee, have also been charged; two have pleaded guilty and a third is under indictment. See Sabry Lee, this issue, p. 23.

Toyota aims to make hybrid drivetrain components in the United States and elsewhere overseas within four years, after years of reserving production of those high-tech parts for its Japanese plants, according to a report in Automotive News. The decision aims to support higher hybrid-vehicle unit sales globally. Manufacturing hybrid batteries, electric motors and inverters outside Japan is seen as the next step in Toyota’s goal to fuel sales of the gasolineelectric cars through overseas assembly. “Right now, hybrid component production is too biased toward Japan,” said Shinichi Sasaki, Toyota’s executive vice president in charge of global purchasing.

Non-OEM Lighting Investigation Results in Second Guilty Plea

Other AkzoNobel News AkzoNobel Automotive and Aerospace Coatings (A&AC) announced that it has been selected as a preferred supplier by Toyota Motor Europe. A&AC will be providing more than just paint to Toyota. The relationship will include support, training, and value added activities to boost productivity and efficiency. The announcement, which follows a rigorous technical review, applies to A&AC’s vehicle refinishes brands Sikkens and Lesonal. Under the agreement, A&AC will offer the latest low VOC Sikkens and Lesonal automotive repair paint systems. A&AC’s Director Europe, Middle East and Africa, Simon Parker, noted that the process-centered environment philosophy which A&AC has developed should play an important role in delivering the improvements that Toyota is expecting from the partnership.

CAFE Targets Touch Off Efforts to Cut Gross Vehicle Weight

The U.S. government’s new corporate average fuel economy target has spurred automakers to launch a campaign to slash the weight of their vehicles. There appears to be a growing consensus that vehicle weight must be reduced 10 to 15 percent to achieve the government’s 54.5 mpg fuel economy standard, effective by the 2025 model year. This month, research firm Ducker Worldwide of suburban Detroit issued a report that forecast vehicle weight reductions of 10 to 12 percent by 2025. Meanwhile, the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich., predicted vehicles would be up to 15 percent lighter. (See related story on Aluminum usage this issue.) A typical vehicle weighs about 3,625 pounds, which means automakers will seek to eliminate 360 to 540 pounds, if industry estimates are correct. At least one automaker, Ford Motor Co., has publicly vowed to reduce the weight of new models introduced through 2020 by 250 to 750 pounds per vehicle.

Chrysler, GM, Forced to Curb Production in Carpet Shortage

Reuters has reported that at least six auto assembly plants in North America have slowed output because of a shortage of carpeting and floormats caused by a flood at a key supplier plant in Pennsylvania, representatives of the automakers said. Heavy rains flooded a plant in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, operated by Switzerland’s Autoneum Holding AG last week, the company said on the plant’s website. Chrysler was forced to cancel production shifts at a total of three plants in Michigan, Ohio and Ontario because of a shortage of carpet, a spokeswoman said Sept. 14. GM also took steps to slow output at two assembly plants, one in Michigan and one in Ontario, a spokesman said. Ford Motor Co. said it was monitoring its inventory of carpet and floormats but as of Sept. 14 had not lost any production. It was not immediately clear if other automakers supplied by the Autoneum plant had reduced production. The plant also supplies carpet to Toyota Motor Co., Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG.

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ASRW Continues Rotation; 2012 Location Announced NOLA In a continuing effort to respond to consistent participant feedback, Automotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW) is announce on September 7 its 2012 event—featuring the milestone 30th annual NACE event—will take place Oct. 11-13 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, La. The 2012 event will again follow a Thursday through Saturday day pattern, with education beginning Wednesday, Oct. 10. “Almost a year ago, we put the attendees and exhibitors in charge of key decisions about the future of ASRW, including where and when the event takes place,” said Ron Pyle, ASA president. “After multiple surveys among both attendees and exhibitors, the results were clear: our audience wants this event in New Orleans, and we’re pleased to make it happen.” Based on attendance trends leading up to the 2011 event, the move to

New Orleans is expected to draw a significant population of new attendees, as a new region of the United States has access to this international event. Representatives from New Orleans will be onsite in Orlando to formally open housing, assist attendees with reserving hotel rooms and answer questions about the city. NACE was last held in New OrCHECK leans in 1995; CARSIT in OUT! the late 1980s.

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OEMs Still Expanding Presence for ASRW in New Location

Toyota Wholesale Parts and Nissan sure our mutual customers, Toyota Collision Repair Network will each owners, are satisfied customers,” said have an expanded presence at Auto- Jerry Raskind, Wholesale Developmotive Service & Repair Week ment Manager. (ASRW), including show floor presNissan Collision Repair Network ence and innovative, interactive sup- (booth #1241) will be giving away 300 port programs. additionontomatters Nissan 370Z-inspired wireless mice to Give us yourInopinion affecting the industry. exhibiting, Toyota Wholesale Parts the first 100 attendees who visit their (booth #N1343) will sponsor the net- booth each day of the Expo. In addiworking reception concluding the tion, Nissan will be sponsoring a netASRW Industry Forum Wednesday, working reception Friday, Oct. 7 at the Oct. 5. New this year, they will also ICEBAR Lounge. Space is limited for sponsor a NASCAR simulator located this exclusive event for collision shop near Toyota’s booth. Attendees can owners and managers. “drive” the NASCAR simulator and “The presence and support of compete in a fastest lap competition. OEMs is critically important to the au“For many years, Toyota has dience who attends ASRW, and we apbeen proud to support CARS and plaud these two manufacturers for not NACE. We are also excited about this only showing their support of the proTo advertise Thelocation source timely year’s new in for Orlando. It fessional service and repair commucall Joe Momber at: gives Toyota the expanded information thatopportuevery nity, but bringing a new level of nity to showcase the support that we engagement to 800-699-8251 the show,” said Ron body shop needs! provide to our business partners, inde- Pyle, ASA president. e-mail: pendent mechanical and collision In addition, will CALL 800-699-8251 shops. Toyota and our business part- also be exhibiting on the ASRW show ners are a winning combination to en- floor.

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Autobody News October 2011 Western Edition  
Autobody News October 2011 Western Edition  

Autobody News October 2011 Western Edition