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39 YEARS

WE STEDITION

AUTOBODY AK / CA / HI / ID / MT / NV / OR / WA / WY

SEMA Show and SEMA360: What’s the Same? by Jason Catullo, SEMA

Day-to-day business production has changed drastically during the past seven months, and specialty-equipment companies have discovered creative ways to keep operations running and adapted to an inconsistent marketplace. In the interest of serving those companies and supporting the association’s mission to help member businesses succeed and prosper, SEMA360 was created. “Each year SEMA Week creates a community exchange of innovation, education and networking that

sets the course of business for the following year,” said Tom Gattuso, SEMA vice president of events. “During this year’s SEMA Week, Monday through Friday, Nov. 2-6, the amount of content exchange and interaction between manufacturers, buyers and media will again be unmatched.” There are currently more than 600 manufacturers ready to offer an exclusive look at their newest products, highlight trendsetting vehicles and in-progress project builds, and meet with buyers through SEMA360. Gattuso has also been contactSee What’s the Same?, Page 14

Registration for the 2020 MSO Symposium Now Open The Automotive Service Association (ASA) announced earlier this month the ninth installment of the MSO Symposium would take place as a five-day virtual event the week of Nov. 9, and that for the first time ever, the program is open to the entire industry and at no cost. Registration is now open. The 2020 MSO Symposium will run as a series of 90-minute, daily webinar sessions that provide insight and guidance on the most important issues in the automotive collision repair business. Similar to years past, the agenda, timing and content is driven and directed by

industry leading members who participate on the program’s advisory board. The program features speakers like Susanna Gotsch, industry analyst from CCC Information Services; Rex Green, global co-head automotive aftermarket investment banking with Jefferies LLC; OEM and insurance company representatives; and panel participants from a variety of multi-shop organizations, both large and small from across North America. Additional information on this year’s agenda and speakers can be found at www.msosymposium.com/ See MSO Symposium, Page 6

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AUTOBODYNEWS.COM Vol. 38 / Issue 11 / November 2020

The 2020 Election and Auto: Cars.com Compares Each Presidential Candidate’s Automotive Policies A team of experts at Cars.com, a leading digital automotive marketplace and solutions provider, explored the differences in each presidential can-

didate’s platforms and looked into major impacts the upcoming election will have on the automotive market

and American consumers. The full report can be found at Cars.com/news/election2020. “The first point people should understand about the auto industry is that vehicles are manufactured for years in essentially the same form based on an enormous upfront investment—vehicle platforms last 6.7 years on average,” said Joe Wiesenfelder, executive editor for Cars.com. “Contrast this with a four-year presidential term, and it’s hard to accept any claim that a president or nominee has changed, or could change, where See The 2020 Election, Page 16

Industry Trainer, Newsletter Editor Team Up to Offer Unique ‘State of the Industry’ Webinar One-of-a-kind perspectives and the findings of unique research are on the agenda of a fast-paced update on the “state of the industry” being offered online Oct. 29 by Mike Anderson of Collision Advice and John Yoswick of CRASH Network. “There’s no shortage of great information being offered for collision repairers online this year, but the research, surveys and deep involvement with multiple segments of the industry that John and I have provide us with some information and insights to share that we think you won’t find anywhere else,” Anderson said of the webinar. In just 30 to 45 minutes, the “Industry Update—October 2020” webinar will cover some key stats and trends related to such topics as: • Shop monthly revenue changes throughout the first three quarters of this year • The impact those changes have had on shops’ backlog of work • Some unique ways shops are locating or generating added revenues • How “Who Pays for What?” sur-

veys are tracking changes in shop billing practices “Attendees to Mike’s seminars over the years, just like CRASH Network’s subscribers, expect to come away with some information and ideas really relevant to their business, and that’s what we hope to share in a little different format with the webinar,” Yoswick said. The webinar will be held at 1 p.m. EDT/10 a.m. PDT Thursday, Oct. 29. To register, visit https:// attendee.gotowebinar.com/register /528752253505368847 Collision Advice (www.Collision Advice.com) is an independent training and consulting firm featuring some of the most respected and experienced experts in the collision repair industry. CRASH Network (www. CrashNetwork.com) is a subscription newsletter offering news and information not available from other industry sources. Source: Collision Advice, CRASH Network

10/21/2020 5:57:26 PM


THE SYSTEM FOR THE CUSTOMER T H AT WA N T S

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2 NOVEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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CONTENTS 48 Clean Ocean Businesses Honored During Pollution Prevention Week�����������������������������27 California COVID Presumption Law Creates New Data Tracking Burdens��������������������������12 California Governor’s Ban on New Gas Cars in 2035 May Wallop Drivers’ Wallets: Analyst����11 CAWA Helps Tri-Valley ROP with New Scanner through the Selwyn Joffe Award�������������������22 Crash Champions Partners with Fountain Valley Bodyworks������������������������������������������10 Fisker Inc. to Establish New Technology

Average New-Vehicle Prices Rise 2.5% Year-

Program at I-CAR Virtual Meeting������������������56 Restored Vehicles to Front Line Heroes���������71

COVID-19’s Effect on New Car Sales�����������������35 Hertz No. 1 in Customer Satisfaction�����������������58 I-CAR, CREF Holding Virtual Golf Fundraiser������28 Industry Trainer, Newsletter Editor Team Up to

Hawaii OKs Autonomous Vehicles for

Middle-Aged Drivers More Likely to Crash

$22 Million Renovation Project����������������������20 Judge Orders an End to Spontaneous Breakage Lawsuit�����������������������������������������34 Lucid Motors Opens Studio & Service Center in Beverly Hills����������������������������������������������24 Norcal Autobody Celebrates Move to New Location������������������������������������������������28 Op-Ed: California’s Misguided Electric Vehicle Policies���������������������������������������������18 Tesla ‘Sabotage’ at Fremont Factory Was Due to Racial Justice Protest, Claims Say�������������32 Wildfires and Their Impacts on the Industry�������14

Than Those in Their 70s: Study���������������������68 Mitchell Delivers XR Hands-Free Solution for Collision Repair Facilities�������������������������26 More Shops Invoicing, Being Paid For Labor to Inspect Seat Belts, According to ‘Who Pays for What?’ Surveys�������������������������������68 NADA Issues Analysis of Third Quarter 2020 Auto Sales����������������������������������������������������62 NADA Show 2021 to be Held Online������������������28 Nationwide Introduces Express App������������������70 New Push for Autonomous Vehicles Bill�������������58 OEC Acquisition of NuGen IT Will Further Assist Collision Repairers to Meet Requirements of Insurers, OEMs & Customers���������������������50 OEC Appoints New President and CEO��������������11 Registration for the 2020 MSO Symposium Now Open�������������������������������������������������������1

COLUMNISTS

Registration Open for SCRS’ Education Series�����6

Anderson - Pricing Change Reflects the

SEMA Show and SEMA360: What’s the Same?����1

Absolute Need for Separate Charges

Spanesi Debuts Customer Experience���������������34

for Scanning, Diagnostics�����������������������������38

Study Details Ford’s Economic Impact in

Attanasio - BAR Auto Shop Locator Educates

ltedesco@autobodynews.com

COVID Boosts Digital Age for Auto Claims����������58

Offer Unique ‘State of the Industry’ Webinar����1

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CCG Adds 100th New Affiliate���������������������������68

Martin Named DCR Dir. of Operations����������������64

ISU Unveils Eames Complex After Completed

section of Autobody News.

Caliber Commits to ‘Restoring You’ by Gifting

From the Auto Body Shop to the Beauty Shop���43

Industrial Finishes & Systems Adds Distribution

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Beth Rutter Shares Sneak Peek of Pilot

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

Serving Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the collision industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2020 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516 Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com editor@autobodynews.com

3M Automotive Aftermarket Division��������������� 13

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers�����������60-61

American Icon Automotive Finishes����������������� 46

Kia of Carson�������������������������������������������������� 44

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 57

Kia of Irvine���������������������������������������������������� 26

AutoNation Collision Parts������������������������������� 29

Killer Tools & Equipment Corp.������������������������ 11

AutoNation Infiniti Tustin��������������������������������� 22

Larry H. Miller Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram������� 16

AutoNation Roseville��������������������������������������8-9

Malco������������������������������������������������������������� 19

BASF Corporation������������������������������������������� 33

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������������� 66

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers������������������������ 54

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers�������� 66

Car Pros Kia���������������������������������������������������� 50

Michael Hohl Motor Company������������������������� 40

Car Pros Kia Renton���������������������������������������� 48

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 52

CCC Information Services, Inc������������������������� 49

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers��������������������� 39

Certified Automotive Parts Association�������������� 6

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers������������ 69

Classifieds������������������������������������������������������ 70

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������� 71

Colortone Automotive Paints��������������������������� 30

PPG Refinish��������������������������������������������������� 17

Courtesy Chevrolet San Diego������������������������� 34

Rapid Tac�������������������������������������������������������� 53

Cutter Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram������������������� 28

Reno Buick-GMC�������������������������������������������� 16

DCH Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat���������������� 32

RGI Spray Booth Company������������������������������ 18

Eagle Abrasives, Inc���������������������������������������� 21

SATA Dan-Am Company������������������������������������ 5

Eckler’s Automotive���������������������������������������� 27

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes�������������� 2

Equalizer Industries, Inc���������������������������������� 35

Shop-Pro Equipment��������������������������������������� 41

FH Dailey Chevrolet������������������������������������������� 6

Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-Subaru���������������������� 43

FI. TIM SRL����������������������������������������������������� 14

Southern Polyurethanes, Inc���������������������������� 25

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 65

Spanesi Americas������������������������������������������� 31

Future Nissan of Roseville������������������������������� 24

Steck Manufacturing Company����������������������� 42

Galpin Motors������������������������������������������������� 59

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������������� 67

Garden Grove Kia�������������������������������������������� 26

Sunmight USA Corporation������������������������������ 45

Glenn E. Thomas Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep����������� 15

Symach���������������������������������������������������������� 12

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers��������������������������� 63

Tacoma Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram���������������� 23

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers�������36-37

The Bay Area Automotive Group���������������������� 55

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������� 62

Tsunami Compressed Air Solutions����������������� 20

Employment for Graduates���������������������������63

Industrial Finishes and Systems������������������ 7, 72

Vintage Flatz/Cumberland Products���������������� 10

Allstate to Cut 3,800 Jobs���������������������������������27

Why Dealers Are Now ‘Exercising Caution’��������64

Innovative Tools & Technologies, Inc���������������� 47

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������� 56

Automakers Report September and Q3

Your Online Presence Needs to be Refreshed

Kearny Mesa Subaru-Hyundai������������������������� 51

Volvo Wholesale Parts Dealers������������������������ 40

and Empowers California Consumers������������54 Attanasio - Killer Tools Attacks Pandemic with Mr. Fogger���������������������������������������������48 Attanasio - Online and Just in Time: SEMA 2020 Becomes SEMA360�������������������44 Phillips - The Importance of Having a Broad Understanding of Vehicle Technology������������40 Yoswick - Two Shops Walk Away from Lawsuits Against Insurers�����������������������������42

Face Masks to Fight COVID-19����������������������30 Tesla Dominated Q2 U.S. Automotive Exports, Data Says����������������������������������������64 Tesla Driver Caught Sleeping While Going 93 MPH on Autopilot�������������������������������������32 Tesla Sues U.S. Government Over Trump’s China Tariffs��������������������������������������������������70 Tesla’s Cabin Camera Detecting Facial Features to Increase Vehicle Safety�����������������4 UTI’s Blended Training Model Leads to

NATIONAL

2020 Sales���������������������������������������������������66

in Pandemic Recovery����������������������������������46

Kia Downtown Los Angeles����������������������������� 38 autobodynews.com / NOVEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS 3

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10/21/2020 5:57:39 PM


Using Texts & Selfies for Insurance Claims by Dhara Patel, PropertyCasualty360

Sometimes a simple, mature technology can reap big rewards. A case in point is property-casualty claims management, where insurers are using two established platforms in new ways: text messaging and selfies. Ubiquitous on social media and familiar to consumers, these digital tools are just now being adopted in

Insurance carriers are finding that texting conveys a sense of urgency and policyholders are more likely to respond to a text message� Credit: Courtney Keating, ALM Archives

the claims arena. And they are paying off in reduced claims times as well as lower claims costs. Since claims are a cost center and can eat into an insurer’s underwriting profit, claims managers are constantly looking for ways to process claims more efficiently. Insurers have harnessed technology to reduce paperwork, eliminate redundant data entry and expedite claims, but they have been slow to apply solutions that are outside their control and may

pose regulatory concerns. But as insurers become more confident of their data security protocols and feel they can meet regulatory requirements, text messaging and selfies are getting a second look. Text messaging can save time. Our company handles claims for Arrowhead and Brown & Brown national programs. In auto lines alone, we process 20,000 claims a year. So we know a thing or two about repeatable processes. Given that many claims, imagine how many times a claims adjuster picks up the phone in a year, and how many times no one answers. Reaching someone by phone these days can be hit-or-miss, and the back and forth of leaving messages is a real-time killer. Emails are not always answered, either. But texting has an immediacy that consumers like. Texting also conveys a sense of urgency. The rule of thumb is that the shorter the format, the higher the priority a message has in a consumer’s mind. So longer-format channels such as letters and emails may not get a high response, although they are often best for communicating formally. Text messages are opened almost immediately and are great for providing quick updates and asking policyholders to check their online accounts, where they can download important information or sign off

on a claim. We’ve found that policyholders like having the option of text messaging and are more likely to open texts than email. However, texting has its challenges when it comes to regulatory compliance. Many state regulations affect claims communications, which must be carefully structured and well documented. A claims manager can’t just text a customer from his or her cell phone. So we’ve integrated a texting solution into our claims process. It looks like a text message to our customers, but it’s generated through our claims system, and everything is documented in the customer’s file. There are several texting solutions for business available, but ensure they are insurance compliant. For example, California requires claims communications to be by “letter” or “voice,” so we’re still working through those restrictions. Selfies reduce cycle times and payment costs For personal and commercial auto claims, we’ve partnered with a vendor to give policyholders the option of taking photos and uploading them after an accident. It’s been surprisingly successful, resulting in payment cost savings, reduced cycle times— an average of 15 days to less than four—and an improved customer

experience. We used to send an adjuster out all the time for an auto claim. Now 60% of our customers are using the selfie service. It turns out they like being part of the process. We knew there would be a reduction in cycle times, but we didn’t expect the average payment per vehicle would drop too. By empowering the customer, we’ve lowered body shop costs. We send the policyholder an estimate and recommend body shops in their area. If a consumer knows from the get-go how much something should cost and gets several estimates, they generally go with the least expensive one. Texts and selfies allow customers to get more involved in the claims process, and they like that. Policyholders are providing a lot of the information needed to investigate claims and control costs. It’s a winwin for insurers and consumers. Dhara Patel is president of American Claims Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arrowhead General Insurance Agency. Arrowhead is one of the largest national insurance program managers for commercial and personal products in the U.S., with $1.3 billion written premium in 2019. We thank PropertyCasualty360 for reprint permission.

Tesla’s Cabin Camera Detecting Facial Features to Increase Vehicle Safety by Joey Klender, Teslarati

When Tesla activated the cabin-facing camera within the Model 3 and Model Y in June with the 2020.24.5 Software Update, the company admitted it would help engineer develop safety features and enhancements for the future. However, new developments have been revealed by a notorious Tesla hacker, who has shown the coding for the cabin camera, and what facial features the function will look for to increase safety. Tesla hacker @greentheonly revealed the specific things the cabin camera is looking for after finding the software for the feature. A series of facial features and head positions are described within the software, and appear to be looking for ways to make drivers more aware and increase the safety of the vehicles.

Among the detected facial expressions are BLINDED, DARK, EYES_CLOSED, EYES_DOWN, EYES_NOMINAL, EYES_UP, HEAD_ DOWN, HEAD_TRUNC, LOOKING_LEFT, LOOKING_RIGHT, PHONE_USE, SUNGLASSES_ EYES_LIKELY_NOMINAL and SUNGLASSES_LIKELY_EYES_ DOWN. The interesting developments from the newly revealed coding show that the cabin camera will now be used by Tesla to increase safety and driver awareness. One of the most obvious indications of this is the PHONE_USE code, which will likely recognize and indicate when the driver’s eyes have left the road and have focused on a smartphone instead. Interestingly, just a few days ago, Tesla received a sixthplace ranking on the Assisted Driving Grading survey from the Euro NCAP

tests. The lower ratings were due to poor scores in the “driver engagement” metric, where the Model 3 scored only a 35 out of 100. The lack of a driver monitoring system on the Euro NCAP tests significantly affected the Model 3’s scoring on the test. It seems that Tesla is already preparing for the cabin camera to capture this data to increase vehicle safety. However, recognizing any movement or facial feature that could be a distraction to driving could be used with Tesla’s in-house insurance suite to determine a driver’s rates. For example, if the cabin camera detects PHONE_USE more often than the average driver, rates could be increased because the driver is not giving their undivided attention to the road. The likely scenario is to increase the driver monitoring system, which Tesla lacked according to the NCAP tests—expanding the driver’s aware-

ness of what is going on while driving is crucial, especially with Tesla’s self-driving and semi-autonomous functionalities. There is plenty of evidence that many people who use the FSD or Autopilot features do not use them correctly because they require the owner to continue to keep their hands on the wheel and remain aware of driving conditions. However, some owners have seen Tesla’s features as an opportunity to be less responsible on the road. The company has repeatedly stated the cars are not yet fully-autonomous. Drivers are required to continue monitoring their vehicle’s performance. The cabin camera’s monitoring system could be a pivotal way to eliminate the possibility of less-than-ideal awareness while driving a Tesla. We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.

4 NOVEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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Continued from Cover

Hawaii OKs Autonomous Vehicles for Public Roads By Ryan Johnston, StateScoop

Just weeks after committing to a four-year long pilot project to turn Hawaii’s highways into data-collecting laboratories, Hawaii Gov. David Ige approved autonomous vehicle testing on public roads throughout the state until at least 2023. Ige signed Act 021, first introduced in January as HB2590, to open up the state for autonomous vehicle testing with a human driver in the vehicle. Effective immediately, Hawaii’s Department of Transportation can issue autonomous vehicle manufacturers permits to test, but the HDOT will be required to submit a progress report in 2023 that determines whether testing has been successful or not, and whether more legislation is required to ensure that AVs are safe on Hawaii roads. The policy makes Hawaii the 29th state to legislate autonomous vehicle testing, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but it’s been a long

time coming for Ige, who first signed an executive order in 2017 to establish an administrative role

in the governor’s office to act as a liaison between AV manufacturers and the state. Ige told Hawaii’s Pacific Business News in 2017 that he’d spoken with Google, formerly the parent company of AV technology company Waymo, and the video graphics company Nvidia about testing in Hawaii. Ige said that Hawaii’s remote geography provides an advantage to companies that test their vehicles there because they won’t have to

agenda Registration to the virtual 2020 event is complimentary thanks to the event’s industry supporters and sponsors. To read more information about these companies and the equipment and services they provide, visit www.msosymposium. com/sponsors To attend the 2020 MSO Symposium, registration is required. To begin the registration process, visit http://events.r20.constantcontact. com/register/event?oeidk=a07ehcob3dzaf8081d4&llr=rzo6p8n6&showPage=true Companies and organizations interested in taking part in our limited sponsorship opportunities, visit the MSO Symposium website or contact us. Any additional questions can be directed to Jennie Lenk at JennieL@msosymposium. com.

We thank StateScoop for reprint permission.

Source: ASA

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

Registration Open for SCRS’ Education Series The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) announced registration is open for the 2020 Repairer Driven Education (RDE) series, and can be accessed at https://rde.scrs.com. The RDE series will be released in conjunction with SEMA360, on the same days of Nov. 2-6. The online RDE Full Series Pass ($375) provides even greater accessibility to educational solutions, unlocking access to all sessions being offered in the 2020 Repairer Driven Education series. Unlike in-person, where attendees had to pick and choose between sessions within a time slot, the RDE Full Series Pass will provide access to all sessions produced for the program, and will remain accessible through August 2021 for continued reference. For a full list of RDE sessions and speakers, visit https:// rde.scrs.com/courses. Source: SCRS

MSO Symposium

worry about crossing state lines, removing the challenge of adhering to different testing regulations in bordering states. Ige’s administration has also committed to preparing roadways for connected autonomous vehicles, though it’s unclear when testing for that technology will begin. Through a $6 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration announced in August, HDOT will install technology that connects virtually every cloud-connected device, including cell phones and car computers, to traffic signals along Honolulu’s highways. The project, led by David Ma, an engineering professor at the University of Hawaii, will create “unprecedented opportunities,” Ma said, in traffic mobility and safety research, while preparing Hawaii for the installation of connected infrastructure.

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Crash Champions Partners with Fountain Valley Bodyworks Crash Champions, LLC, one of the nation’s largest independent collision repair MSOs with a leading presence in both the greater Midwest and Southern California markets, announced Oct. 7 the acquisition of Fountain Valley Bodyworks, Inc., the largest family owned MSO in Orange County, CA.  With the addition of Fountain Valley Bodyworks’ two locations, Crash Champions now has 25 shops in Southern California. Crash Champions is currently the fifth  largest collision repair MSO, with 47 total locations across Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri and California. Founded in 1974 by industry veteran  Dave March, Fountain Valley Bodyworks is a trusted partner of regional and national insurance carriers and known for its commitment to quality service. The company’s highly regarded shops are operated by a veteran workforce responsible for generating more than $18 million of annual sales. Based on sales per square foot, these two locations rank among the highest-performing collision repair shops in the industry. As part of the transaction, March

will retain a meaningful ownership stake in the combined organization and remain an active member of its leadership team moving forward, alongside Director Michael March and General Manager Mike Honrath. “After 45-plus years of building Fountain Valley Bodyworks into the powerhouse it is today, I knew our next chapter would involve partnering with a well-capitalized MSO positioned for meaningful near-term

ons to enhance our value proposition to our insurance carrier partners and drive meaningful market share gains in Southern California. This is a tremendous day for everyone at our company, and we are excited for what the future holds.” The acquisition of Fountain Valley Bodyworks is the sixth transaction completed by Crash Champions, and its second this year in the Southern California market. In March, Crash

“We entered 2020 with the goal of expanding our presence into the densely populated Southern California market through smart partnerships and acquisitions that fit with both our business model and culture,”— Matt Ebert growth,” said March. “Crash Champions is a brand on a mission. The leadership at Crash Champions and Fountain Valley Bodyworks have a shared vision for the company’s go-forward strategy and our operational ethos could not be more aligned. “I look forward to working with our new partners at Crash Champi-

Champions completed its merger with Pacific Elite, the largest family owned operator of collision repair shops—23 total—in California.  Additional completed acquisitions this year include five shops in  Missouri, three shops in Ohio and one shop in Wisconsin. The company plans to rebrand all its shops under the Crash

Champions name by the end of this year. “We entered 2020 with the goal of expanding our presence into the densely populated Southern California market through smart partnerships and acquisitions that fit with both our business model and culture,” said Matt Ebert, founder and CEO of Crash Champions. “Over its near-50year history, Dave and his team have built a reputation and track record of success that is not only unmatched in the market, but on a per shop basis has outperformed the entire U.S. collision repair industry. “We’re thrilled to bring this leading name into the Crash Champions family and look forward to leveraging Dave’s experience and vision to continue our growth not only in Southern California, but across every market where we operate.” Fountain Valley Bodyworks was advised by B. Riley Securities, Inc. and Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo, LLP. Crash Champions was advised by Goodwin Procter, LLP. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Source: Crash Champions

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California Governor’s Ban on New Gas Cars in 2035 May Wallop Drivers’ Wallets: Analyst by Brian Sozzi, Yahoo Finance

Drivers throughout the U.S. may want to start a rainy day car fund in the wake of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s climate-change-focused ban on sales of new gas-powered autos beginning in 2035.

Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, met with Gov. Gavin Newsom and CalFire officials Sept. 15 to review the devastation of the Creek fire in Pineridge, CA. Credit: Carlos Avila Gonzalez/ The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Veteran auto analyst Lauren Fix tells Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade the cost of new cars across the country could rise materially in the years leading up to the ban. In the mind of the beancounters at automakers such as Ford and GM, in order to offset higher outlays from ramped up electric vehicle production to meet

California’s new ban, consumers will have to bear the financial burden upfront. “If automakers have to produce electric vehicles, they have to pay those carbon credits which sometimes in the past they were buying from Tesla. That all gets figured into the price that you pay, somewhere around $2,500 a car already. So if they are going to increase the cost, that means no longer will the average price of the vehicle across the U.S. be somewhere around $34,000. It could go up closer to $40,000. Again, that makes it untouchable for some consumers, and that’s not going to help,” Fix explained. Seemingly trying to one-up France’s 2017 decision to ban gas-powered autos by 2040, Newsom signed on Sept. 23 an executive order that puts California in the position as most aggressive on future auto emissions standards. The ban will apply to new gas cars and trucks. Gas-powered cars and trucks on the road before the ban will still be allowed to roam freely. “This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” Newsom said in a statement. “For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute

the air that our children and families breathe. Californians shouldn’t have to worry if our cars are giving our kids asthma. Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse—and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.” Shares of Detroit’s Big 3 automakers—Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler—turned lower after Newsom’s announcement. Fix adds there could be other consequences from Newsom’s decisions that the governor neglected to factor in. “Think about the auto repair shops. They are going to be very busy for a period of time if this goes into place. But then they will have less customers down the road [think no oil changes for EVs] and so that could lead to an impact on the economy. It could possibly cause a large group of people to own vehicles out of state. You can buy them in other states and have licenses in Montana or Maine or Nevada, and that has been done already,” said Fix. We thank Yahoo Finance for reprint permission.

OEC Appoints New President and CEO OEConnection LLC (OEC), the leading technology provider to automotive original equipment manufacturers, has announced the appointment of Patrick C. Brown as its new president and CEO. Brown succeeds Chuck Rotuno, who was named executive chairman. These changes were effective immediately. Brown brings extensive experience running high-growth companies in the FinTech, InsurTech and automotive industries. Most recently, Brown served as president and CEO at Innovative Aftermarket Systems (IAS), a leading provider of technology and finance & insurance (F&I) solutions to the automotive industry. IAS is one of the largest F&I providers in the U.S., serving more than 6,000 dealerships across the country. Brown holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and bachelor’s degrees in economics and finance from Wingate University. He also serves on the board of All Web Leads, Inc. Source: OEC

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California COVID Presumption Law Creates New Data Tracking Burdens by Jim Sams, Claims Journal

A California law enacted last month that eases the path to workers’ compensation benefits for employees who contract COVID-19 will require an unprecedented level of documentation and communication between claims managers and employers. “I have joked that this should be called a job-creation bill because of all the data tracking that is required,” said Brenna E. Hampton, managing partner in San Diego for the Hanna Brophy law firm, during a webinar on Oct. 7. “Not a lot of people have found that funny.” Michelle Tucker, vice president of enterprise workers’ compensation operations for CorVel, said for the first time claims adjusters will have to keep track of all reports of COVID-19 infections, even those that don’t result in claims. Employers bear the burden of reporting infections without identifying employees by name, while also logging the total number of workers at each worksite and the total number of infections at each. The new data-tracking requirements are tied to the unique presumption created by California lawmakers with passage of Senate Bill 1159, which Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Sept. 17. The bill took effect immediately. It replaces an executive order that Newsom issued in March and expired on July 6. Tucker said the bill is easily the most complicated of any of the presumption laws, regulations and executive orders imposed by 19 states so far, showing once again that “in California, we like to go our own way.” She said CorVel has created a portal and forms that employers can use to report data about COVID infections. Sedgwick, a national third-party administrator based in Memphis, TN, announced a similar “intake portal” for reporting COVID-19 positive test results. The legislation limited the number of workers who will be granted a presumption that COVID-19 infections arose out of and in the course of employment. The presumption applies to all first responders and health care workers who have contact with COVID-19 patients. For

that group, the employer or insurer must approve or deny the claim within 30 days, rather than the 90day investigation period usually allowed by California law. For other workers who have contact with the public, the presumption is applied only if there was an outbreak of the disease at the worker’s job site. For that group, employers must complete their investigation within 45 days. No presumption applies for employees who work from home.

The bill’s definition of an “outbreak” is driving much of the new data-tracking requirements. The presumption comes into play only if four employees at a worksite contract COVID-19 within a 14-day period, or 4% of employees at a worksite for employers with 100 or more workers. It doesn’t matter if the worker contracted the disease at work elsewhere, which is why employers need to keep track of every employee who tests positive and report infections to their claims administrator, Hampton said. The law applies only to employers with five or more employees. Tracking COVID-19 infections is just the start of it. Large employers also need to know exactly how many employees worked at each of their facilities so that they divide that by the number of infections to learn the percentage of workers infected, which will determine whether a presumption applies, Hampton said. To make it even more tricky, the law says that the largest number of workers who were present at the worksite during the previous 45 days is used to determine the percentage. If an employee who works at multiple sites is infected, that infection is counted for each of those sites, Hampton said. In sum, the law requires claims administrators and employers to

keep track of two separate rolling numbers, each with a unique timeframe: The number of infections at each work site over the past 14 days divided by the maximum number of employees at that worksite over the past 45 days. “There’s a lot of handholding and communication required to make this work,” Hampton said. Jill Dulich, executive director of the California Self-Insurers Association, said the data tracking is a “significant challenge.” “Many of the self-insureds have thousands of employees assigned to, and rotating between dozens of locations, so determining the highest number of co-workers at each location over the 45 days prior to the last day worked is nearly impossible,” she said in an email. “Tracking the positive cases is not a significant issue and that has largely been done since the COVID onset. While everyone continues to strive to comply with the requirements, they are very onerous and proving to be a huge test for the entire workers’ compen-

sation community.” During a telephone interview, CorVel’s Tucker questioned whether California employers would be better off with a broader infection with fewer data-reporting requirements. She said employers have been pushing lawmakers to revise the law to simplify compliance. The California Workers’ Compensation Coalition, an employer group, offered to drop its opposition to SB 1159 before the legislature passed the bill if lawmakers dropped the portion of the bill that required employers to track the data used to decide if workplaces experienced COVID-19 outbreaks. The organization called the data-tracking requirements in the bill “administratively burdensome” and “unworkable for employers.” Lawmakers, however, rejected amendments offered by the group. Coalition lobbyist Jason Schmelzer said in an email that the legislature will likely do some cleanup work to the legislation, which ofSee Presumption Law, Page 19

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Continued from Cover

What’s the Same? ed by retailers and resellers whose businesses have not stopped moving forward. Neither has the association. While there’s no SEMA Show in 2020, SEMA360 was built to provide buyers with a viable marketplace that offers benefits like an in-person trade event. “Industry buyers and manufacturers have made it clear that a marketplace is needed during this challenging year,” said Gattuso. “Attendees will discover that SEMA360 has many of the same benefits and business opportunities as the SEMA Show, with a focus on new product intros, vehicle debuts, networking and educational sessions.” For buyers and media, planning for SEMA360 is similar to the SEMA Show. For instance, at the SEMA Show, attendees can view a new product display, gather specs and a description, collect pictures and press material, and connect with the manufacturer on the Show floor. The same can be done through SEMA360 in a

very efficient manner; including the direct connection to the manufacturer. Here’s a look at some more similarities between the SEMA Show and SEMA360: The dates for SEMA360 and the week of the SEMA Show are the same, beginning Monday, Nov. 2, and concluding Friday, Nov. 6. The SEMA Show is open to the trade only. SEMA360 is the same: open to trade only. The SEMA Show features qualified buyers and media. SEMA360 will feature qualified buyers and media. The SEMA Show and SEMAS 360’s main buyer benefits and takeaways are the same: finding new products and new ideas. The online platform is anchored with a robust New Products Showcase of more than 1000 products. Industry-leading education sessions will be a main focus of SEMA360 and feature the relevant content participants in the in-person SEMA Show have grown to count on to build their businesses. Vehicles, always a mainstay at the SEMA Show, are featured in a SEMA360 online Builder Show-

case and in many of the 600+ Manufacturer Showcases so buyers and media can still spot trends and see products in application. OEMs use the SEMA Show to announce new products, partnerships and initiatives. There are four OEMs ready to do the same this year. Celebrities and notable industry icons are part of the fabric of the in-person Show. SEMA360 will also feature the insights and talents of many of these popular personalities. Show-special deals will be integrated into many of the online manufacturer presentations, just as they are at the in-person SEMA Show. Networking and connecting with industry colleagues can be facilitated as they are at the SEMA Show with virtual public and private meeting rooms with video and chat capability. While SEMA360 is all online, it has been purpose-built to include the features SEMA Show visitors have grown to expect—all designed to connect the industry and help propel businesses into a successful 2021. Nowhere else will you find the level of industry participation: 600-plus

Manufacturer Showcases, a New Products Showcase featuring 1,000 products, a Builder Showcase with hundreds of vehicles, industry-leading education with 50 seminars, and unmatched networking with thousands of industry buyers and media. If you want to be part of the momentum and energy that is moving the industry forward into 2021, you need to be part of this year’s SEMA Week and you need to be part of SEMA360. Register to attend: www.sema360. com/buyer.html Register for a Manufacturer Showcase www.sema360.com/manufacturer.html Register here to submit a vehicle build www.secureprod.sema show.com/SEMAESM/ESM/Builder Showcase.aspx We thank SEMA for reprint permission.

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Wildfires and Their Impacts on the Industry by Emmariah Holcomb, glassBYTEs.com

spread awareness.

Wildfires have severely impacted businesses, homes and more on the West Coast, and according to news reports, California recorded its first gigafire in modern history this week—a blaze that burns at least 1 million acres of land.

Planning Ahead Although we are not aware of when a natural disaster will strike, it is important for industry businesses to have a plan in place and communicate it with their staff. “It’s essential for business to be prepared, have a plan in place, and ensure their staff’s safety,” said Miller. “If the auto glass business has the capability to help, the most essential thing you can do in these times is to become a community drop off location so locals can donate water, food or other goods for families that are impacted.” If your business has been impacted by the recent California wildfires, please share how you prepared your staff in the comment section on glassBYTEs.com. The fire has seriously affected other shops however. glassBYTEs reached out to multiple auto glass businesses in highly impacted areas and did not receive responses, as many phones were down. We thank glassBYTEs.com for reprint permission.

Impact Although Glass Doctor in Murrieta, CA, isn’t located in the area directly impacted by the current wildfire, the business has first-hand experience with the natural disaster. “My heart goes out to those who are currently being affected,” said Laurel Miller, Glass Doctor Murrieta franchise owner. “Wildfires are devastating and last year we were affected by a close-by wildfire.” She notes last year’s wildfire taught her there is a lot the auto glass industry can do to help in local communities. Miller said she is a volunteer on a local nature preserve board, which educates the community about wildfires to

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The 2020 Election automakers conduct final assembly in short order, even though this is where the current candidates are making most of their campaign claims and pledges.” Cars.com discussed potential outcomes covering three main focus areas for the candidates in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. Three Words Our Country Loves: Made in America The candidates do not differ much on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement under President Donald Trump. However, it will take years to see the final impact on where automakers build their vehicles. To date, there are few signs that the USMCA is bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. from abroad. Ford went from importing the Ranger mid-size pickup truck to assembling it in the U.S. However, it also opted to cancel the redesigned Focus sedan/hatchback due to tariffs. “Regardless of campaign pledges, once production begins in a plant, country or hemisphere, relocating that platform is more expensive than most tariffs, penalties or trade restrictions the manufacturer might encounter,” said Wiesenfelder. “American parts manufacturing timeframes aren’t as long as vehicle platforms, however; if either candidate focuses on lower-tier manufacturing, it is possible we’ll see more auto parts plants move to the U.S., as Vice President [Joe] Biden has suggested, referring to domestic auto supply chains.” The Future of Electric Vehicles “The clear difference and potential for swift change between President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden is their environmental stances and EVs,” added Wiesenfelder. Biden’s focus on EVs and environmental policies could also be fueled further as Democratic governors apply more energy behind these efforts on a local level; one example is California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his recent announcement to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered

vehicles by 2035. Consistently low gas prices and tepid government support are two reasons Cars.com predicted last year that EVs would struggle to become mainstream in the U.S. even by 2030. Government support is a necessity for zero-emissions vehicles

for, more environmentally friendly vehicles and programs. The Trump Administration’s rollback of environmental programs and regulations is among the most substantial since President Richard Nixon founded the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. Trump

“EVs need to be less expensive to compete. As they exist today, they will never make a meaningful dent in the marketplace without subsidies,” — Joe Wiesenfelder to achieve mainstream sales. When federal electric car tax credits were set to expire for GM and were gone for Tesla in March, the Trump Administration reportedly blocked attempts to extend them. It currently offers no other information for EV support in the future. Biden’s campaign plans involve restoring the full EV tax credit, with a target toward middle-class Americans, and increasing the EV infrastructure by building 500,000 new public charging outlets by 2030. Additionally, Biden will offer dedicated grants and funding to help manufacturers retool and build new factories “to help ensure U.S. global leadership in EV manufacturing, including EV components and batteries.” For consumers to adopt EVs, incentives will help, as will the availability of public charging stations. However, it’s worth noting that most EV buyers do the overwhelming majority of their charging at home, and well-intentioned interventions can go wrong, such as when federal tax credits of $7,500 went to buyers of $100,000 EVs, offending allies as much as opponents. “EVs need to be less expensive to compete. As they exist today, they will never make a meaningful dent in the marketplace without subsidies,” said Wiesenfelder. “Government support is necessary, and we predict a clear difference in the marketplace if Vice President Biden takes office. If President Trump is reelected, EVs could once again falter or even retreat as they did under other Republican administrations.” Gas Is Cheap, Which Means More SUVs, Fewer Environmental Programs Fuel prices remain consistently low, decreasing the interest in, and demand

exited international climate treaties and reversed President Barack Obama-era policies and regulations. Biden’s plan demands a worldwide ban on fossil fuel subsidies and targets a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050. In addition, his campaign looks to update the Cash for Clunkers program to provide consumers rebates to swap old, less efficient vehicles for new vehicles built from materials and parts sourced in the U.S. Biden’s camp also states it will commit to purchasing clean vehicles for federal, state, tribal, postal and

local fleets. Under the Trump Administration, Corporate Average Fuel Economy, a standard that regulates how far automakers’ vehicles must travel on a gallon of fuel, was decreased. Biden’s campaign points to a new fuel economy standard even higher than that under Obama. Any changes are likely to get held up in the courts for years as automakers and states push back; even without the barriers, CAFE changes take years to show results for consumers. Regardless of who enters the White House in January, impact from COVID-19 on the automotive industry is likely to continue and may require additional attention from policymakers in the future. For more information and to read the full report, visit Cars.com/news/ election2020. Source: Cars.com

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Op-Ed: California’s Misguided Electric Vehicle Policies by Brendan Flanagan, The Center Square

Some California elected officials have long been pushing electric vehicle (EV) usage as a “silver bullet” solution to addressing climate change. Which is why Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest executive order that bans the production of new gas and diesel cars by 2035 came as a little surprise to most. While this may be a noble goal, there are obvious hurdles that the state will have to overcome in order to meet it, mainly expanding the availability of EV charging stations. Unfortunately, the current approach that California is taking to expand the construction of EV chargers is ineffective, and negatively impacts working-class Californians. In August, the California Public Utility Commission approved the largest utility program ever to construct additional EV charging stations. The commission approved $437 million to go to the Southern California Edison utility company to build “thousands” of chargers, and that is in addition to hundreds of

use out of the EV chargers, despite having to pay more each month on their electricity bill. And given that EVs are more expensive to buy compared to gas-powered vehicles, lower-income Golden State residents are even less likely to drive EVs, so they would be disproportionately negatively affected by the unexpected increase in their monthly utility bill. In addition, allowing large utility companies to corner the market on constructing EV chargers will disincentivize private sector investment. It is clear to anyone on the road that the EVgo charging station located in a parking lot in South private sector effectively fuSan Francisco Bay Area. Credit: Shutterstock.com els our nation. And these private companies First, it allows big utility companies to increase the monthly bills stand ready and willing to compete on their current ratepayers in order to in the growing EV charging market. fund the chargers. And while New- For example, ChargePoint, which is som might envision a future with one of the first and largest electric solely EVs on the road, as it stands vehicle recharging networks, even today, only 5% of cars in California recently announced that they would are EVs. This means that 95% of be going public. But these companies have to Californians would get absolutely no millions of dollars that have already been approved for the utilities in previous years. But, there are multiple problems with using the “utility model” to construct EV chargers.

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fund the construction of chargers out of their own pocket, and cannot compete with large utility companies that are able to use their current electric customers to fund this cost—even though these chargers will likely bring in money for the utility company in the long term. The “utility model” unfairly chases small business owners out of this marketplace. And without private sector investment, less EV charging stations will be built. If California’s elected officials are serious about transitioning to EVs by 2035, more EV chargers will be needed. The best way and most consumer-friendly way to get more EV chargers is to work with the private market to get more private capital invested in charging. But, to do that, the state should stop approving utility companies that want to increase the bills of their customers to cover the cost of EV charging. Brendan Flanagan is a Democratic consultant and a veteran of Obama for America. We thank The Center Square for reprint permission.

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Continued from Page 12

Presumption Law ten happens when bills are passed on an emergency basis. But he said it is unlikely that lawmakers will revise the criteria for determining when an outbreak has occurred. Hampton said employers who don’t comply with the data-tracking requirements can be fined up to $10,000 for each violation. She said fines will likely be less than that for first offenses, but the number will increase quickly if multiple violations are found. She said California labor officials appear determined to keep a close eye on employers to ensure they don’t expose workers to COVID-19. She noted the Department of Industrial Relations announced Sept. 30 it is proposing fines ranging from $13,500 to $26,560 against five Los Angeles County grocery stores accused of failing to protect their workers from the coronarvirus by allowing too many customers in their stores. The rules will get even tight-

er next year. Newsom also signed into law Assembly Bill 685, which takes effect Jan. 1. The bill requires employers to provide written notice to all employees and subcontracted employees within one day of learning of any potential worksite exposure. Employers will also be required to notify the state Department of Public Health any time that they exceed the threshold for an outbreak as defined by SB 1159. Attorneys say it is important for employers remember that a presumption does not mean every worker who files a claim qualifies for benefits. John P. Kamin, a defense attorney with the Bradford & Barthell law firm in Woodland Hills, heads up a COVID-19 response team for the law firm, which keeps claims professionals abreast of the voluminous requirements. During a telephone interview, Kamin said it is crucial that claims adjusters build a timeline: When did symptoms begin? When was exposure suspected? What was the last date of work? When was a COVID-19 test done? When were

the results known? “If there are red flags on the claim, they will likely show up there,” Kamin said. He gave this example: If the employee’s last day worked was July 8, but the date they first felt symptoms was Aug. 12 and they received the positive test result on Aug. 14. The claim is not compensable because the law requires a positive test result within 14 days of the last day the employee worked. The legislation itself has built in defenses against claims. For one, an employee has to have worked away from his or her home to qualify. The outbreak criteria also must also be met, except for health care workers and first responders. But even claims that qualify for the automatic presumption can be defeated by showing that the worker had no direct contact with anyone suffering from COVID-19. For example, a clinic may have directed all COVID-19 patients to a part of the building where the claimant had never worked, Kamin said. Claims that don’t qualify for the presumption can be defeated

by a preponderance of evidence. A claim may be defeated if an adjuster can gather enough facts to show the employer was great with protective personal equipment and supervisors were enforcing social distancing rules, Kamin said. Social media can be a big help. Kamin said claimants have become more sophisticated about privacy settings in recent years, but some still post revealing information on Facebook or Instagram. Fortunately for employers, Kamin said in the vast majority of COVID-19 cases the claimant recovers and are not interested in starting a legal battle with their employers. “One of the first cases I remember, a gentleman was on a ventilator for six days,” he said. “He was so happy being out of the hospital and healthy again, he wasn’t interested in litigating the claim.” We thank Claims Journal for reprint permission.

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ISU Unveils Eames Complex After Completed $22 Million Renovation Project by Shelbie Harris, Idaho State Journal

Idaho Gov. Brad Little anticipated Idaho State University’s Eames Complex would be a significant asset for career technical education in the state, though he was blown away Oct. 2 when touring the facility for the first time since the school invested $22 million in renovations. “It’s bigger and better than I ever thought it was going to be,” Little said after touring the Eames Complex following a ribbon cutting ceremony. “I was delighted to see students here working, projects going on and the facility fully equipped. The talent being produced here will either expand current opportunities in Idaho or will attract capital and better jobs to our state and that’s definitely a good thing.” The 220,000-square foot building’s future as the home for most of ISU’s College of Technology programs now appears as bright as ever, but it hasn’t amassed this level of enthusiasm and support without controversy. A Pocatello City Council denial on a special zoning exception request from Grace Lutheran Church and School in 2010 allowed ISU to purchase the building in 2011 for $3.6 million, $100,000 less than what Grace Lutheran had offered. Then, the first incarnation of the facility was to make it the school’s highly-touted Research and Innovation in Science and Engineering (RISE) Complex, which folded in 2016 due to internal issues and alleged financial problems. But in the summer of 2017, in stepped a dedicated alumnus and his wife, William and Karin Eames— for whom the building is named— with a $2.5 million gift to kick off what would become a $22 million investment into the facility. William Eames’ pledge was the lead gift to a completed $5 million campaign. ISU garnered another $10 million for the project from the state legislature and $2 million from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation in 2018, the same year it announced its master plan for the Eames Complex. In February of 2020, ISU was awarded a $2.3 million economic development administration grant to assist in the completion of the Eames complex by building a separate onsite power generation building.

That grant is the lead development opportunity to an additional $1.3 million still needed to complete the project.

Idaho State University College of Technology Dean Scott Rasmussen standing inside the school’s Eames Complex, which held a ribbon cutting Oct. 2 to showcase $22 million in renovations to the facility. Credit: Shelbie Harris/ Idaho State Journal

ISU College of Technology Dean Scott Rasmussen said the university has plans to fund the last remaining part of the project and replenish the money with a later fundraiser. The separate on-site power generation building project is set to go out for bid around the first of January with the hope to have it done by the end of summer 2021, Rasmussen said. Over the past three years, the Eames Complex has gone through a dramatic change. The majority of the interior of the building has been completely redone, updated and enhanced to accommodate the growing needs of the College of Technology programs. The bland, warehouse feel of what was once the RISE Complex has been replaced with an explosion of Bengal Black, Roarange and Growling Gray, the official school colors— which even found their way onto the new metal welding booths, a custom job from the manufacturer, said ISU President Kevin Satterlee. “We think this facility will serve as a great recruiting tool for us,” Rasmussen added. “When our accrediting body for diesel technology visited us a few years ago they said our program was in the top-five in the U.S. but that our facility was not very mom-friendly. Unless we made improvements to our facility they said they wouldn’t be able to accredit our program. This takes us from the Stone Age and puts us well into good shape for the future.” The complex is now home to the automotive technology, auto collision repair and refinishing, diesel technology, welding, computerized machin-

ing technology and computer aided design drafting programs. The renovation project significantly strengthened numerous ISU College of Technology programs, including an increase of more than 20 new welding stations, a twofold increase in the number of mechanical lifts for the automotive technology program and four times the available working space for the diesel technology program. “All of these programs are in really high demand, especially diesel technology, machining and welding,” Rasmussen said. “We went from 40 to 61 booths in welding, which will greatly increase the number of students we can teach in this program, of which we have a huge waiting list for right now. We are going to see many synergies from co-locating programs such as on-site power and diesel technology, which have typically been located in separate buildings across town from each other.” Rasmussen continued, “We are also really excited about auto tech because we have double the amount

of lift spaces we had before, and we are going to start teaching electronic car repair.” The new facility provides students with the hands-on technical training required for their fields of study while also simulating the real-world working environments they will enter upon graduation. Notwithstanding the massive improvements to many ISU College of Technology programs, the Eames Complex still has approximately 30% of the building dedicated specifically for research and development. “The beauty of this facility now is we are teaching the hands on and the theoretical in one building and those all go together,” Satterlee said. “For me, there has never been a valid reason to think of the technical college and academic part of the college as two separate entities and this an area where we can truly show that it is all one university training students from what they want from career technical to doctoral and everything in between.” We thank the Idaho State Journal for reprint permission.

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CAWA Helps Tri-Valley ROP with New Scanner through the Selwyn Joffe Award by Ed Attanasio

Everything has changed when it comes to schools, as students and parents hope the pandemic won’t interrupt their progress. The continuing conversation about virtual off-campus learning versus in-class instruction is polarizing, leaving teachers and administrators no choice but to roll with the punches. The Tri-Valley Regional Occupational Program at Livermore High School in Livermore, CA, is in the same boat as every other educational institution on the planet, but recently they heard good news when they found out they received the Selwyn Joffe Award from the California Aftermarket Warehouse Association (CAWA.) As a result, they now have a new scan tool—a Bosch Encore Deluxe Kit—to use in both their auto body repair and automotive technology classes. Representing the automotive parts Industry, CAWA provides money, tools or equipment to high school teachers to support their automotive programs every year. “CAWA is proud to assist these automotive high school teachers, in part, to assure their programs remain viable and well-resourced for the benefit of their students and our industry,” said CAWA President and CEO Rodney Pierini. Ed Woodworth, who teaches auto technology at Tri-Valley ROP, recently celebrated his 15th year at Livermore High School. He gained industry experience working at a local Ford dealership for 11 years as a tech, and his father was also an auto tech teacher, so it’s not a job, it’s a calling. Woodworth’s department won the award, but he is more than happy to share the scanner with the school’s collision repair department. “This scanner will help us to

train our students about automotive diagnostics, which has become a major part of the automotive repair industry and something all of our students should know,” Woodworth said. “I tell my kids that if you can perform diagnostics, you can write your own ticket.

Running their departments got a reputation for being a teacher and one day I thought—I might as 100% virtually until the pandemic is in their rear-view mirror is a reality well get paid for it. “But through additional fund- that will prevent their students from ing and my outreach and partner- using their new scanner, at least for ships with companies like Auto now. “There’s nothing like hands-on Industrial, PPG and National Auto Parts, we have been able to expand learning, of course, and we want our learning opportuni- to get back to that once it’s safe,” ties for our students. I also Woodworth said. “But for now, we received help and a new are going to do the best we can.” Barnard is determined to be an friendship from Ed Woodworth and he had a list of effective instructor during these uncontacts that also jumped precedented times. “The interest in our collision in and helped. Without Ed’s help, my success would not repair department is a big plus, and we want to build on that,” he said. have happened.” Barnard’s hard work has “Once we go back to normal, our paid off and, as a result, new scanner will play a big role in Auto Tech Instructor Ed Woodworth, left, and Collision his teaching schedule is teaching our students every aspect Repair Instructor Randy Barnard, center, from Tri-Valley of diagnostics, so this award from jammed, he said. ROP at Livermore High School, recently received a Bosch scanning kit through CAWA’s annual Selwyn Joffe Award. “We now have enough CAWA is a big deal. Far right is Ron Howard, of NAPA Parts, Inc. “When I took over the posistudents for four classes, which is great. Obviously, tion, the department was in need of “Without organizations like things have changed recently with updated tools and supplies to meet CAWA or corporate sponsorships, everything being virtual. But, the the growing interest of students and there is no way that we would have interest of my students is definitely to meet ever-changing standards. been able to get this device. The a very positive thing for Tri-Valley I was thinking, how am I going to cost (about $1,800) eclipses our to- ROP and the industry in general.” pull this off?” tal budget for the school year; and that’s for everything.” Randy Barnard runs the collision repair department, teaching four classes in a rapidly-growing department. A former collision repair tech with almost 20 years of experience working at body shops, he called upon his industry contacts and with a significant investment from Tr-Valley ROP, he was able to rejuvenate the department. Barnard realized years ago he might have the ability to teach and guide people. “At the last shop I worked at, • Competitive they would need mechanical work • Daily Deliveries to the • Professionally Pricing & Greater Los Angeles Metro Trained Wholesale from time to time and the other techs Discounts Area & Orange County Parts Specialists needed help and support in this, as well as doing more complex body and frame repairs,” Barnard said. “I’m not a mechanic, but with my experiences of working on a Parts Parts Hours farm, I can figure things out. So, I Mon - Fri 7am - 5pm

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Lucid Motors Opens Studio & Service Center in Beverly Hills Lucid Motors, which seeks to set new standards for sustainable mobility with its advanced luxury EVs, announced Oct. 2 the opening of its Beverly Hills Studio & service center, representing the company’s second retail location and one of 20 Lucid Studios that will open throughout North America by the end of 2021. Customers can now call 1-844367-7787 or email sales@lucidmotors.com to book a private appointment for the Beverly Hills Studio, located at 9022 Wilshire Blvd., giving them an opportunity to view the Lucid Air and design their own. Having recently unveiled the Lucid Air Dream Edition, production of which will start in the spring of 2021, that car takes center stage at the Beverly Hills Studio, with customers able to review options for the full Lucid Air lineup of luxury, high-performance EVs. This includes the Lucid Air Grand Touring, which starts at $131,500, after $7,500 federal tax credit, and the Lucid Air Touring, which starts at $87,500, after $7,500 federal tax credit. Customers will also be able to speak with Lucid representatives about the Lucid Air, a very well-equipped model available below $80,000, with reservations now being accepted. With the full Lucid Air lineup featuring available power levels up to 1,080 hp, a quarter mile time as low as 9.9 seconds, as well as versions offering up to 517 miles of estimated EPA range on a single charge, Lucid Air is setting new standards for electric vehicle performance and efficiency. With Lucid’s unique direct-to-con-

sumer model, the Beverly Hills Studio offers a digitally-oriented luxury experience tailored to each customer’s purchase and ownership preferences, whether visiting in-person, making inquiries entirely online or combining the two. By supporting every phase of the customer journey, from discovery to delivery and the moments in between, the Beverly Hills Studio enables customers to experience the brand and its products in a location that underscores its unique design aesthetic. In experiencing the Lucid Air and touring a Lucid Studio, visitors will clearly see how the company draws inspiration from the beauty, innovation and diversity of its home state of California. Interiors for both showcase the colors and material themes that represent specific locations within the Golden State. “California has always been a leader in making bold decisions, and recent announcements around the phasing out of gas-powered cars has reinforced just how much the state embraces innovation, including EVs as a sustainable mobility alternative,” said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, Lucid Motors. “With this Southern California location as the first of many to come, now more people have the opportunity to engage in an entirely new EV car-buying journey that is as groundbreaking as the performance, efficiency and design benchmarks set by the Lucid Air itself.” In-Studio Experience Reflecting the needs of the evolving luxury buyer, the Beverly Hills Studio augments the physical experience of viewing a Lucid Air and

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options for colors, materials and finishes with an elevated digital experience that complements the purchase process and extends into ownership. As part of the innovation, Lucid’s Virtual Reality Experience combines the physical and virtual worlds with a vehicle interior model that enables customers to explore the Lucid Air inside and out. This is done via a 4K VR configurator that allows them to seamlessly finalize everything from interior finishes and materials to exterior color. Virtual Experience Digitally mirroring the luxury oneto-one Studio experience online, Lucid offers those customers who prefer to shop from the comfort of their home the “Lucid Studio Live,” a cloud-based configuration solution powered by ZeroLight’s Concierge product. From the comfort of their own homes, customers can interact with a car while a sales representative virtually guides them through key features and configuration options.

Future Studios & Service Centers A part of Lucid’s overarching retail strategy, the Beverly Hills Studio is just one of 20 Studios set to open throughout North America by the end of 2021. These locations include Miami, West Palm Beach, New York City, Boston and the Washington D.C. Metro area, with several additional locations planned in Northern and Southern California. The Beverly Hills location also represents Lucid’s first service center in Southern California, which will provide a physical location for service to area owners along with a mobile service option that will be able to complete simple maintenance requests from the convenience of their home or office. Aligning with current Los Angeles COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, customers can book an appointment to visit the Los Angeles Studio or start exploring the Lucid Air through the “Design Yours” configurator. Source: Lucid Motors

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Mitchell Delivers XR Hands-Free Solution for Collision Repair Facilities Mitchell, a leading provider of technology, connectivity and information solutions to the Property & Casualty (P&C) claims and Collision Repair industries, announced the release of Mitchell Intelligent Vision, the industry’s first Extended Reality (XR) hands-free solution integrated into the collision repair workflow. Introduced last year as a proof of concept, the solution was featured at the company’s mPower Conference, a virtual event held Oct. 13-15, and shipping is expected before the end of the year. The Mitchell Intelligent Vision solution is designed to improve the speed, efficiency and accuracy of the collision repair workflow—from vehicle check in to check out. Mitchell collaborated with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and RealWear, Inc. on its delivery, leveraging the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Mobile XR Platform and the RealWear HMT-1 100% voice-controlled headset. “XR is transforming industries across the globe,” said Brian Vogelsang, senior director of product management, Qualcomm Technol-

ogies, Inc. “With our Snapdragon technology paired with Mitchell’s expertise in automotive repair, we are excited to help transform the way

ly ruggedized headset was designed for environments like collision repair facilities where technicians need to streamline operations and enable hands-free access to much-needed repair procedures,” said Sanjay Jhawar, co-founder and president, RealWear. The Mitchell Intelligent Vision solution allows technicians to automate the collection of data—including consumer and vehicle information—for faster vehicle check in. They can also use the solution to take time-stamped photos of the damage and automatically upload them to Mitchell’s Mitchell Intelligent Vision is the industry’s first Extended cloud-based ecosystem. Reality (XR) hands-free solution integrated into the Voice activation and an collision repair workflow. XR field of vision provide quick access to critical collision repairers work—by help- OEM procedures during teardown ing them improve productivity, meet and repair, reducing research time. customer expectations and address Prior to check out, technicians can the challenges of today’s complex visually document the repair work automobiles with the new Mitchell with the Mitchell Intelligent Vision solution. Those images are then reIntelligent Vision solution.” “RealWear’s purpose-built, ful- tained in Mitchell’s software.

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The Mitchell Intelligent Vision solution will be available first to U.S. repair facilities. The company also expects to announce availability in Canada soon, having successfully completed pilot testing. “Mitchell is committed to delivering innovative, cloud-based solutions that streamline workflows and support proper, safe vehicle repair. With Mitchell Intelligent Vision, we’re again breaking new ground and taking a small but very significant step forward in bringing wearable technologies to the collision industry,” said Olivier Baudoux, senior vice president of global product strategy and artificial intelligence at Mitchell. “Through our open ecosystem and work with industry leaders like Qualcomm Technologies and RealWear, we’ll continue to advance the use of XR and XR-powered solutions to meet the needs of our customers and the market.”  More information about the Mitchell Intelligent Vision solution can be found at https://www.mitchell.com/mitchell-intelligent-vision/ Source: Mitchell

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48 Clean Ocean Businesses Honored During Pollution Prevention Week In celebration of Pollution Prevention Week, the City of Santa Cruz recognized 48 Clean Ocean Business awardees, including 10 vehicle service facilities that have been recipients since the City program began 20 years ago. The award-winning efforts of these businesses have protected the San Lorenzo River, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and local creeks over five to 20 years through practices that keep pollutants away from both storm drains and the sewer system. “We congratulate all of our Clean Ocean Businesses, with a special shout-out to our 20-year awardees. They are the pioneers who have helped to grow participation in our program that is critical for important public health issues beyond sewer system protections,” said City of Santa Cruz Environmental Compliance and Wastewater Lab Manager Akin Babatola. The 20-year Clean Ocean Business awardees are: • County of Santa Cruz Auto Services (Fleet)

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pliance program annually honors local food service as well as vehicle service facilities that have been consistent recipients of Clean Ocean Business awards for at least five years. In addition to this year’s 10 20-year awardees, there are nine at 15 years, seven at 10 years and 22 at five years. Each and every awardee is acknowledged at www.cityofsantacruz.com/cleanoceanbusiness.

“The most gratifying part of the COB process is knowing we are doing our part and making a positive difference in maintaining a healthy environment,” — Matthew Svoboda “The most gratifying part of the COB process is knowing we are doing our part and making a positive difference in maintaining a healthy environment,” said Santa Cruz High School Auto Shop Instructor Matthew Svoboda. “With commitment, dedication and intent to preserve our natural environment, our students carry this exemplary accomplishment into the future.” The City’s Environmental Com-

The City’s Environmental Compliance program is also helping to protect Santa Cruz waterways through its 12-year-old Pharmaceuticals and Sharps Disposal Program. Many medication and needle disposal options are available to residents of the City of Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz County. For more information about this collaborative program visit https://med-project.org. Source: City of Santa Cruz

Allstate to Cut 3,800 Jobs The Allstate Corporation on Oct. 1 provided detail on the impacts of its multi-year Transformative Growth Plan and record low interest rates on third quarter earnings. The goal of the Transformative Growth Plan is to increase personal property-liability market share by expanding customer access, improving customer value and investing in marketing and technology. Customer access has been expanded by merging the Esurance and Allstate brand direct operations. Improving customer value includes improving the competitive price position of auto insurance, which requires cost reductions to maintain margins. To lower costs, a restructuring plan is being implemented which will impact approximately 3,800 employees primarily in claims, sales, service and support functions. The expectation that interest rates will remain low will also impact third quarter earnings. Source: Allstate

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I-CAR, CREF Holding Virtual Golf Fundraiser To raise additional support for high school and college collision school programs, the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) will be collaborating with 90 I-CAR Volunteer Committee groups nationwide on a winter virtual golf fundraiser, exclusively sponsored by PPG Automotive. This event will be a private tournament within TopGolf’s online game, to be held Friday, Nov. 20 through Sunday, Dec. 20. Golfers will be able to play an unlimited number of rounds of virtual golf during those 30 days, while viewing an in-game leaderboard to see how they are doing compared to others golfing from around the country. When paying their $25 registration fee online, golfers will be able to select one of the 90 participating I -CAR volunteer committees, and $20 of their registration fee will be reinvested into collision schools in that specific market. Registration is now open online. Source: CREF

Norcal Autobody Celebrates Move to New Location by Mary Bullwinkel, Times-Standard

Norcal Autobody is reaching out to thank everyone who helped make possible the business’s move to a new building at a new Fortuna, CA, location. Helping them celebrate recently with a ribbon-cutting were members of the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce, along with family and friends. The construction of the new building and the relocation of Norcal Autobody to 1325 Riverwalk Drive in Fortuna is the culmination of three years of work. Business co-owner Mike Weekly said, “This would not have been possible for Norcal Autobody without Harry Hardin, the city of Fortuna and our inspector, Jeff Baldwin.” Weekly also mentioned key players in the project including Baird Engineering, Quentin Owsley and Owsley Electric, Billy Robinson and Robinson Concrete, Roy Winkelhaus and Nick Shultz, Darin Thomsen, Kevin and Neil McKenny, Abe Fockhart with AF Builders, Redwood Glass, Jeff Tehan, Ferndale Tech, Mercer-Fraser Co., Matthews

Paints and Dunaway Paint Supplies. Hardin owned the Riverwalk property, which had an unoccupied house on it. After being donated to the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department, the house was removed during a practice burn and a new 8,000-square foot steel building was erected by Darin Thomsen Construction of Loleta.

Norcal Autobody has a new Fortuna home, 1325 Riverwalk Drive, and a ribbon-cutting celebration was held Sept. 16. Credit: Mary Bullwinkel, for the Times-Standard

Hardin was and is a long-time customer of Norcal Autobody and said of the business, “I want you to be the best around.” Current Office Manager Leah Overson gives credit to the late Crystal Atkisson, the previous office manager who got the project moving forward in 2017. Atkisson died unexpectedly in March

NADA Show 2021 to be Held Online by Auto Remarketing Staff

NADA Show 2021 is going virtual. The National Automobile Dealers Association announced Oct. 12 that its annual convention and expo, previously scheduled for January in New Orleans, is moving online and will run Feb. 9-11. “Dealers are both incredibly resilient and incredibly optimistic. Their resiliency has been proven time and again this year. So too has their optimism, because throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we remained optimistic and hopeful that we would be able to gather together in person in New Orleans for the most important NADA Show,” NADA Chairman Rhett Ricart said in a news release. “But the coronavirus has been persistent, a second wave is predicted to coincide with flu season, and, as things stand, public health controls remain too restrictive to allow the Show to go forward in person,” Ricart said. “Recognizing these realities, we are transi-

tioning to a virtual Show.” NADA said in the release that among the features of the digital convention will be more than 60 educational workshops and sessions, an online expo hall and OEM franchise meetings. NADA President and Chief Executive Peter Welch said, “While we are disappointed we cannot be together in New Orleans, we are excited about what a virtual Show will mean for dealers and the entire auto industry. “And without any of the travel costs associated with attending an in-person Show, we’re very hopeful that a far greater number of dealership employees will be able to attend virtually and get all the benefits the Show has to offer. This indeed could be the first NADA Show that many dealership employees are able to attend.” Registration opens in coming weeks; more information can be found at NADAShow.org. We thank Auto Remarketing for reprint permission.

2019, and Overson said, “I know she would love to have seen it through and be here today. I am thankful to finish what Crystal started.” “This shop is dedicated to both Crystal Atkisson and Harry Hardin,” Overson said. “Because of Crystal, the project began, and because of Harry, the project was possible. We are so beyond grateful to see our doors open and the next chapter of business begin. Come by and say ‘hi’ and I’ll make you a cup of coffee.” Norcal Autobody co-owner Kevin Brett said, “We would like to thank everyone who took part in this project and helped it come to life. It has been a lot of work and we could not have done it alone.” Norcal Autobody was established in 2011 by Weekly and Brett, who have a combined 60 years of autobody experience. The business had been located at 687 K St. in Fortuna, the former location of Bob Aldrich’s Body Shop. When Aldrich retired in 2011, Weekly and Brett established their business at the same location. We thank the Times-Standard for reprint permission.

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Study Details Ford’s Economic Impact in Chicago Region as Dealers Distribute Face Masks to Fight COVID-19 A newly released study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) spotlights Ford’s longstanding commitment to building vehicles in Chicago and its contributions to the Illinois economy, including $6.8 billion to the state GDP and more than 60,000 direct and indirect jobs in the state. “Ford is proud to serve as a key contributor to the Chicagoland economy for more than a century,” said John Savona, vice president, North America Manufacturing for Ford Motor Company. “While other manufacturers moved out of the city over the years, Ford has doubled down on Chicago, investing $1 billion to modernize our operations and build some of our most iconic vehicles, including America’s best-selling midsize SUV, the Ford Explorer, along with the Lincoln Aviator and Police Interceptor SUV.” Ford’s legacy in Chicago dates back to 1905, when the company opened its first branch office. Eight years later, Ford’s first local manufacturing plant opened in what is now the Bronzeville area, where a team of just 500 assembled approximately 175 vehicles daily. One hundred years ago, Ford purchased land along the Calumet River in South Chicago and broke ground on what would become Ford’s Chi-

cago Assembly Plant. That facility, Ford’s oldest continuously operating assembly plant, has produced some of the company’s most iconic vehicles including the Model T, Model A, Thunderbird, Taurus and today’s Ford Explorer. In 2019, Ford invested $1 billion in its manufacturing and stamping plants to expand capacity for the production of the all-new Ford Explorer, Explorer Hybrid, Police Interceptor Utility and Lincoln Aviator at its Chicago Assembly Plant. With its introduction in 1990, the Chicago-built Ford Explorer helped redefine the SUV segment and 30 years later is America’s best-selling midsize SUV with a 15% retail share of segment as of Q3 2020. A newly released study by Boston Consulting Group underscores the substantial role Ford plays in creating jobs both in Chicago and across Illinois. Ford employs 7,100 people at its Chicago Assembly and Chicago Stamping plants on Chicago’s south side. The company’s manufacturing operations support an additional 23,000 supplier and community jobs, with Ford’s economic impact in Chicago totaling $2.9 billion. Ford works with 319 suppliers across Illinois, and its combined

Industrial Finishes & Systems Adds Distribution Center in Escondido, CA Industrial Finishes & Systems Inc., a leading distributor of automotive paint, equipment and supplies, announced the opening of a distribution center in Escondido, CA. “Escondido is a very strategic market from both a geographic and business standpoint,” said President Glenn Duckworth. “Escondido’s position just south of our current California locations allows us to provide exceptional service to customers in the area. We look forward to bringing our broad product offerings, technical expertise, business systems and outstanding support to customers in the region.”

The new location joins Industrial Finishes’ California locations in Rancho Cordova, Fremont, Concord, Fresno, Bakersfield, Oxnard, Pacoima and City of Industry. The addition of the Escondido location brings Industrial Finishes’ total distribution centers to 33 nationwide. The new distribution center is at 1291 Pacific Oaks Place, Suite 111 Escondido, CA 92029. Its phone number is 442-3200000. Read more at industrialfinishes.com. Source: Industrial Finishes & Systems

production and non-production purchases in Illinois exceed $2.2 billion annually. Its statewide dealership network is more than 150 strong, supporting 6,700 direct employees and another 5,500 indirect dealer supplier and community jobs. Nationally, Ford supports roughly 1 million American jobs and filters $100 billion into the U.S. GDP. Beyond economic contributions, Ford is stepping up to meet the needs of communities across the country. Ford and its UAW partners quickly ramped up production of personal protective equipment to protect health care workers, first responders and patients fighting COVID-19. Since March, Ford has produced nearly 60 million face masks, more than 20 million face shields, 50,000 patient ventilators, 32,000 respirators and 1.6 million washable isolation gowns. In partnership with its philanthropic arm, the Ford Motor Company Fund, local Ford dealerships

and nonprofit partners, Ford has distributed more than 3.2 million disposable face masks to Illinois communities since September. The week of Oct. 12, more than a dozen Chicago-area Ford dealerships were distributing an additional 200,000 face masks to schools, nonprofits and first responders in their communities. “We are incredibly grateful for our dedicated Ford and UAW colleagues working to manufacture personal protective equipment for our communities,” said John Hennessy, owner of River View Ford in Oswego, IL, and former chairman of the Chicago Auto Show. “Whether we’re distributing face masks to our customers and neighbors or raising money for our local schools through a Drive 4 UR School fundraiser, our network of Ford dealerships will continue serving and strengthening the communities we call home.” Source: Ford

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Tesla ‘Sabotage’ at Fremont Factory Was Due to Racial Justice Protest, Claims Say by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

Earlier this month, reports emerged Tesla had terminated an employee at its Fremont, CA, factory over what acting general counsel Al Prescott described as an act of “sabotage” that resulted in the facility’s operations being disrupted for a few hours. New details have now emerged suggesting the disruption may have been caused by a racial justice protest over the Breonna Taylor grand jury decision. In his email to Tesla employees, Prescott stated an employee at the Fremont Factory had attempted to “maliciously sabotage” a part of the facility. The acting general counsel did not provide many details about the incident, though he said the quick actions of Tesla’s IT and InfoSec teams helped prevent further damage to the facility. Prescott also said the employee in question was terminated over the incident. News publication Protocol was recently able to retrieve an email from a Tesla engineer telling sever-

al colleagues the disruption of the Fremont Factory was the result of a “peaceful direct action protest” following the grand jury decision to not charge any of the officers involved in the controversial killing of Taylor, a full-time ER technician who was fatally shot in her Louisville, KY, apartment on March 13 by plainclothes officers. In his email, sent Sept. 30, the engineer noted he wanted to offer a “brief explanation of my behavior that day and how my role at Tesla fits within the broader movement for racial, social and economic justice.” He also asked his colleagues to forward his message to others in the factory “to whom you feel I owe an explanation.” The engineer shared some of his own experiences with police harassment in his email as well, stating he has been pulled over, handcuffed, stopped and frisked, and even had guns drawn on him. “I have done a substantial amount of work over the years to heal from those personal traumas. Unfortunately, the events of 2020 have punctured new wounds and

old scars. But this is not about me, this is about a system that has little to no regard for Black and Brown bodies. This is about shutting down technocratic oppression in order to open up this nation’s bodily and spiritual wounds,” the engineer wrote. While the engineer did not directly admit that he was behind the “sabotage” of the Fremont Factory’s operations, he did state in his message that such acts of “protest” usually happen as a way for people to express their pain and confusion. “Direct action protests within the workplace often occur as a means of expressing the pain and confusion felt daily in the lives of oppressed people. As a Tesla employee, I often wonder where my role sits to advance the causes of Black and Brown liberation all while economically benefiting from the exploitation of historically marginalized Black and Brown labor on stolen Chochenyo Ohlone land,” the engineer added. Ultimately, the engineer said he does not know what will happen to him next, though he noted

Tesla’s Autopilot feature is not meant to be used on its own and instead requires a driver to always be present and alert behind the wheel. You’d think it would have become common knowledge after some notable accidents; however, it seems like some people are still lagging behind. Just last week, a bunch of intoxicated drivers put Tesla on Autopilot and left the driver’s seat empty so they could drink and have fun. Now, it seems a Candian driver has been caught sleeping while Autopilot drove the car at 93 mph (150 km/h). The incident was reported both on Twitter by the Alberta Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and on Canadian news. “The officer was able to obtain radar readings on the vehicle, confirming that it had automatically accelerated up to exactly 93 mph (150 kph),” the RCMP said in a statement to Global News.

The RCMP took the matter very seriously and charged the driver with speeding. They also issued a 24-hour license suspension. “Although manufacturers of new vehicles have built-in safeguards to prevent drivers from taking advantage of the new safety systems in vehicles, those systems are just that—supplemental safety systems,” RCMP Supt. Gary Graham said in a statement to Global News. “They are not self-driving systems, they still come with the responsibility of driving.” It’s no secret Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants to make his vehicles fully autonomous but with numerous incidents being reported on irresponsible driving while on Autopilot, one has to wonder if that is a safe option. However, it can not be ignored there have been times when Autopilot was a lifesaver too. Time will tell how the feature evolves and how secure it ultimately becomes. We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission.

We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.

ORIGINAL.

Tesla Driver Caught Sleeping While Going 93 MPH on Autopilot by Loukia Papadopoulos, Interesting Engineering

he hoped his actions would be “a catalyst for genuine change” within Tesla. He remarked he understood he was speaking “from a position of privilege” and “those privileges can easily be stripped away.” “To conclude, I have been asking myself: is Tesla a place where people who have experienced profound intergenerational trauma can work and thrive? I still don’t know the answer to that, but the next few days will acutely reveal that for me,” the engineer added. A Tesla employee, who spoke with Protocol on the day of the incident, noted the email’s author had been in a conference call with about a dozen engineers about the disruption. During the call, the email’s author reportedly informed the other engineers he had resolved the issue, which led to another participant in the conference to joke if the outage was a prank. As noted by Tesla’s acting general counsel, the Fremont Factory was indeed returned to full working order within a few hours.

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Spanesi Debuts Customer Experience Spanesi Americas, Inc. announced the debut release of its new 360° Virtual Tour of its North American Headquarters. Designed to feature the entire Spanesi 360° Concept, visitors are able to easily move around the facility to explore Spanesi’s equipment, products and service offerings. Spanesi developed this groundbreaking approach to better serve its customers as industry trade shows continue to be postponed, rescheduled and canceled. The 360° Virtual Tour is available through the Spanesi Americas website, www.spanesi -americas.com. Visitors are also given exclusive access to Spanesi’s offices, training classroom, Training Center, welder training area and warehouses, and will also have access to Spanesi’s live chat and technical support features, during normal business hours. Source: Spanesi

Judge Orders an End to Spontaneous Breakage Lawsuit by Emmariah Holcomb, glassBYTEs.com

U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers issued an order that effectively ends the civil class-action lawsuit between Subaru of America (SOA) and plaintiffs Lucia Luong and Brian Mann in California’s Northern District. The plaintiffs alleged the auto manufacturer was responsible for “spontaneous windshield breakage.” This order comes on the heels of a joint motion to dismiss, in which both parties met and went to two mediation meetings. The mediation resulted in new terms, to which both SOA and the plaintiffs agreed. According to the jointly filed motion, both parties agreed to end the class action lawsuit and each side would be responsible for his or her legal fees. Luong had alleged the windshields of 2015 through 2016 Subaru Outback and Legacy vehicles “contain one or more design and/ or manufacturing defects that cause the windshield to crack, chip and/ or fracture.”

Luong is an owner of a 2015 Outback, which was purchased new during that year. She claimed she noticed a crack had “spontaneously appeared” from the base of the windshield, with no visible point of impact, in March 2017. According to her complaint, she was denied warranty coverage, and the replacement windshield she received suffered from the same defect.

SOA’s attorneys responded by stating the “plaintiff and her counsel have taken an individual warranty claim worth less than $1,000 and gone nuclear with it, attempting to plead a full-blown class action lawsuit, alleging that

all windshields in all model year 2015 and 2016 Subaru Outback … and Legacy … vehicles are defective because they ‘crack, chip and/ or fracture’ ‘for no reason at all’ ….” The auto manufacturer filed previous motions  looking to end the suit. However according to court documents, its previous motions were denied. Following the denied motions, SOA answered some of the plaintiff’s claims. SOA stated it issued both a technical service bulletin and an owner notification letter after it learned about potential issues of windshields cracking in a small section of some of its 2015 and 2016 models. Therefore, the corporation believes it fulfilled its obligation to inform customers with those specific models. In SOA’s response, it denies Luong’s claim of not being notified of an issue involving her windshield and potential cracking. We thank glassBYTEs.com for reprint permission.

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Fisker Inc. to Establish New Technology Center in San Francisco Fisker Inc.—designer and manufacturer of the world’s most emotion-stirring, eco-friendly electric vehicles and advanced mobility solutions—announced details surrounding its first dedicated engineering and technology center, to be located in the Mission District of San Francisco. This facility will be the focal point and development center for the company’s software and vehicle electronics, including both in-car and Fisker data center elements. “With the development of our first vehicle progressing at speed and the company scaling accordingly, we are now establishing the facilities that can support our expansion,” said Henrik Fisker, chairman and CEO of Fisker Inc. “As a company born in California, we wanted to draw on all the diversity, creativity and technical capability this state is famous for. We’re calling the San Francisco office ‘Source Code’—which also marks the start of a naming convention for all our facilities going forward.”

“The design and development of the software and vehicle interfaces will be an important differentiator for all our products, and our new facility in San Francisco will be central to that process,”

using durability-tested platforms, battery packs and component systems from industry-leading technology suppliers and automotive firms, with specific Fisker engineering input.

Fisker’s Design and Engineering teams are developing Fisker-specific IP and customer features, consistent with the Fisker brand. In creating its FF-PAD (Fisker Flexible-Platform Adaptive Design) development process, the company has enabled itself to be platform agnostic and intends to make the final selection on the platform for the Ocean shortly, consistent with the intended start of production, projected for Q4 2022.

Many Americans continue struggling to get by following the highest unemployment rates since the Depression. Any kind of largescale purchase might seem completely out of the question to most, especially a brand new car. According to Pretected, new car ownership has plummeted 26% from this time last year and continues to drop. Extended restrictions across the nation underscore that there is no guarantee of the market’s recovery anytime soon. However, new car sales may already be primed to rebound in areas that have relied heavily on public transportation in the past. Cities that normally show some of the highest use of public transport in the country have seen ridership almost vanish through the pandemic. Many of those who are able to commute prefer not to be stuck in an enclosed bus, train or even ride-share with strangers for any length of time.

Source: Fisker

Source: Pretected.com

“As a company born in California, we wanted to draw on all the diversity, creativity and technical capability this state is famous for.” — Henrik Fisker added Fisker Inc.’s recently appointed Chief Technology Officer Burkhard Huhnke. “Having a presence in the Bay Area gives us access to the right talent at the right time.” Fisker is planning a portfolio expansion to a four-vehicle range by 2025. In addition to the Ocean SUV, the four-vehicle lineup will include a super-sports sedan based on the EMotion concept, an extreme sports crossover and a new segment-changing lifestyle pickup truck. Each vehicle will be delivered

COVID-19’s Effect on New Car Sales

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with Stacey Phillips

From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

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

Pricing Change Reflects the Absolute Need for Separate Charges for Scanning, Diagnostics I wanted to use my column this month to share with you a conversation I had recently with Jake Rodenroth of asTech. As many of you are aware, asTech recently announced some price changes for the remote scanning and diagnostic services they offer, and that’s something a lot of people have been asking me about. So I wanted to use this column to, first, provide some clarity on that, and separate the facts from the myths. Because I’ve been hearing some misinformation out there. But this isn’t really about asTech. I’m just using what they’re doing to make my second and more important point, something I’ve been preaching for years—includ—and that’s the absolute need for shops to separate out their scanning time and their diagnostic time. So let’s start with asTech’s change. I asked Jake to explain the new pricing model they rolled out. “I’m happy to explain it, but I also want to commend our company’s leadership for the research and consensus-building they did prior to making the change, and for the effort they’ve made to communicate and explain it,” Jake told me. “If you go to our website, astech.com, in the ‘resources’ section you can find a frequently asked questions document about the change, and they even established an email team, at pricing@ astech.com that can respond to any questions someone may have about the change.” The pricing change, Jake told me, was designed to make asTech’s services “competitive with other providers out there.” “When we started scanning vehicles for the collision industry, the bulk of the industry wasn’t scanning cars at all,” Jake said. “In the early days when I started with asTech, we were doing seven or eight cars a day. Now we’re well over 5,000. We hadn’t made a pricing change in four years, but decided it was the right thing to do. “Now, for vehicles where there

are no diagnostic issues—nothing the scan shows is out of whack, no steering angle sensor value that isn’t good or a seat weight sensor that is irregular—we made those scans $50. We broke up the service we do into pieces,” he continued. “The scan itself is $50. If it needs a technician or a service manual or a wiring diagram in order to figure out a possible fix, then we charge a $69.95 fee on top of that scanning charge. That brings it back to what our original pricing was, which was $119.95.” OK, I want to go on record as saying I, Mike Anderson, am absolutely, 100% in support of this. My agreement with this, however, is not because it makes asTech services competitive. The dollar figures are not my point or my concern. I support this change because it’s high time our industry separates scanning time from diagnostic time. This pricing model does that. Think about it: Diagnostic time varies. Just as judgement times varies based on the size of the damage, the accessibility to it and the substrate involved, diagnostic time varies. Isn’t the time it takes to research one diagnostic trouble code (DTC) different from researching five? And it’s not just looking up the DTC. You then have to navigate the OEM repair procedures, the flow chart, to determine what the most probable cause is. If there are four possible causes, it might be the first one you try, or the fourth one. All this takes time. I think asTech did the right thing here. But I don’t care if you use asTech, or another provider, or do it yourself in-house. What I care about, and the whole point of this article, is the need to separate out your diagnostic time from your scan time. I also think there’s another lesson for shops from the change asTech made to its pricing model. The scanning and diagnostic charges are somewhat higher for certain makes of vehicles, such as Porsche. I asked Jake why. “It comes down to the fact that

our cost of goods sold is just higher for those vehicles,” Jake told me. “It’s not only the higher expense of the scan tools, but the higher cost to attract a tech who specializes in running the tools for those European models. “The complexity of those vehicles also plays a role. From an R&D perspective, once we developed the software, we have to verify it, test the remote hook-up to the Porsche tool against a direct hook-up to the Porsche tool,” he siad. “That means obtaining both new and wrecked Porches to simulate what our customers will send us. We need to cover that cost. We’re not just throwing a higher number out because it’s an expensive car. There’s real merit to it.” That makes sense to me because it synchs up with what I’ve also preached to shops for years. You need to understand all the training

and equipment and other costs involved in earning an OEM certification, and price accordingly. I’m not focused here on whether the specifics of asTech’s pricing are good or bad, competitive or not competitive. I’m just in support of the change to separating out the scanning charge from the diagnostic charge. In my opinion, that’s a change that every shop, no matter who does that work on the vehicles they repair, needs to make.

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autobodynews.com / NOVEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS 39 8/12/20 8:36 AM

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with Stacey Phillips

Techs of the Future

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

with Stacey Phillips

The Importance of Having a Broad Understanding of Vehicle Technology Up until recently, it was common working cooperatively.” practice for technicians to plug in a It’s not uncommon to have up dongle to the OBDII—onboard diag- to 43 networks in a car. These innostics—port to diagnose a vehicle. clude high priority systems, such as As modern cars have become in- steering, braking and airbag deploycreasingly computerized with sophis- ment, as well as lower priority ones ticated electronics, that is no longer such as adjusting the seat and radio the case, according to Scott McCor- control. mick, president of the Connective “I think we’re seeing an evoluVehicle Trade Association (CVTA.) tion in the relative importance of the “Take a Chevy Volt, for exam- technicians who are working on a car ple, that can change or update its that we really haven’t had before,” electronics over time,” said McCor- he said. “They are ones who are the mick. “That might sound great if agents of change, the ones who unyou want to upgrade the electronics derstand what is going on in a vehicle in two years, but you have to realize so they can lead their teams.” that the car is a system and changing McCormick is an accomplished one piece of software in it can create executive in the automotive and aeroissues.” space fields, focused in advanced If technicians aren’t familiar manufacturing, operations, strategy with the potential problems and restructuring. For the that could affect the vehicle, past 20 years, he has been a McCormick said, they will globally recognized expert most likely not be able to on vehicle communications. repair it properly. As a reHe has degrees in mathesult, it is becoming essential matics, mechanical and aerothey have a fundamental and space engineering; a master’s broad understanding of the Scott McCormick degree in business adminisissues at hand and the nectration; and doctoral research essary skills to address them when a in Artificial Intelligence. customer comes in experiencing difAfter spending the first 25 years ficulties. of his career working as a program “In the past, technicians, for the manager at General Electric, modmost part, had a familiarity with how ernizing aircraft and transportation, cars are built,” he said. “That will be- McCormick was the executive dicome increasingly important as more rector of the Automotive Multimedia electronics are being added to vehi- Interface Collaboration, a nonprofit cles.” research organization of the world’s Auto manufacturers are produc- largest automakers. ing cars with more than 100 million He established the Connected lines of code. In comparison, Mc- Vehicle Trade Association in 2005. Cormick said a Boeing Dreamliner The nonprofit organization facilitates has 4 million lines of code. the interaction and advances the in“Every level of automation we terests of the entities involved in the go up is going to add between one vehicle communication environment. and 200 million lines of code,” he Currently, there are 24 industry segexplained. “It’s not like Microsoft Of- ments involved, representing seven fice; it’s not one package.” countries. Instead, there are disparate packIn addition to being named the ages running simultaneously. commissioner for the East Lansing, “We’re now dealing with sys- MI, Transportation Commission, tems that were once standalone ob- for the last eight years McCormick jects—a device or computer board— has been appointed by Congress to something that went into the car,” advise the Secretary of Transportasaid McCormick. “It’s coming to the tion on matters relating to the study, point where all of these devices are development and implementation of

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS.) Throughout his career, McCormick has created a variety of instructional courses that help advance knowledge and understanding in the future of transportation.

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In 2015, he was asked to develop a two-hour class for technicians coming out of trade schools and twoyear community colleges. The goal was to teach them about the changes taking place in automobiles today. In his current role as president of CVTA, McCormick launched

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the Connected Vehicle Professional (CVP) credentialing program, in collaboration with The NEXT Education, in 2015. The comprehensive education and certification curriculum helps professionals build a specific skill set in the ITS community. The goal is to ensure individuals have the foundational understanding necessary to perform tasks involving connected vehicles and intelligent transportation. This includes in-vehicle safety, infrastructure, communication protocols and security. A series of three courses—focusing on Vehicle-to-Vehicle, Vehicle-to-Infrastructure and Vehicle-to-X connectivity—were designed for vehicle technicians, insurance professionals and others looking to enhance their knowledge in this growing secSee Vehicle Technology, Page 43

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with Erica Schroeder

Industry Insight with John Yoswick

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

Two Shops Walk Away from Lawsuits Against Insurers

Shop Showcase

Two shops have ended lawsuits voluntarily dismissed its own lawfiled against insurers that had been suit against GEICO that alleged the transferred to a U.S. District Court insurer conspires with its direct rewith Ed Attanasio in Florida that has been overseeing pair shops to fix prices and boycott dozens of similar lawsuits. Leif’s. Professionals Autobody in Dun- Like Professionals’ lawsuits, cansville, PA, filed two lawsuits in Leif’s lawsuit had been filed in 2017, one naming Kemper Insurance 2017 and had been consolidated to and one naming multiple insurers, Presnell’s court in Florida. GEICO including State with Farm, Ed Allstate and filed a motion to dismiss the case in Attanasio USAA, alleging bad faith, breach of August, arguing the lawsuit failed to contract, unjust enrichment and tor- offer specific facts to support the altious interference for refusing to ful- legations. ly reimburse claimants for vehicle In voluntarily ending the lawrepairs. The lawsuits sought about suit in mid-September, Leif’s told $8 million combined. the court “current circumstances in The insurers made various ar- Portland (COVID-19, riots, unconwith Ed Attanasio guments calling for dismissal of the trolled forest fires) have negatively lawsuits. Kemper, for example, said impacted Leif’s business [and] as a Professionals already litigated its result, at present Leif’s Auto canclaims as a party in a similar law- not responsibly pursue its claims suit, brought by the Alliance of Au- against GEICO on the other side of tomotive Servicewith Providers of Penn- the country.” Ed Attanasio sylvania and other shops, that was Leif’s and GEICO are still indismissed by the same U.S. District volved in two other lawsuits. One is Court in Florida. a class action in which shop owner Professionals’ individual law- Leif Hansen is suing over GEICO’s suit, Kemper argued, was too vague, alleged refusal to pay for vehicle lacking the required “plain statement scanning for Hansen’s personal veof the claim showing the pleadhicle, which GEICO insured. withthat Stacey Phillips er is entitled to relief,” and failed to In the other lawsuit, GEICO conpoint to any action by Kemper that tends it should not have to do busi“unjustifiably interfered with iden- ness with Leif’s, despite Oregon’s tifiable contracts with identifiable law guaranteeing consumers the right vehicle owners [that] caused [Pro- to use their choice of shop, because doing so, GEICO says, subjects the fessionals] damage.” with Stacey Phillips GEICO also argued Profession- insurer’s employees to menacing and als’ lawsuit in which GEICO was other harassment by the shop. named should be dismissed because The lawsuit says Hansen and legal precedents show providing Leif’s “intentionally create an atmoservices unilaterally and then seek- sphere of fear and intimidation that ing compensation doesn’t qualify leads to adjusters’ inability to adewith Stacey Phillips one to claim unjust enrichment. quately perform their work.” It said The Hartford and Farmers ar- Hansen and other Leif’s employees gued the amounts alleged to involve routinely yell at adjusters, threaten them in the lawsuit failed to reach to have them arrested or to sue them the $75,000 threshold for federal ju- personally and carry around knives risdiction. and talk about guns. In both lawsuits, Professionals “In particular, at least one Leif’s with Stacey Phillips failed to meet the court deadline in employee has talked about ‘killing August to respond to the insurers’ mo- people,’ with the intention of frighttions for dismissal, so Judge Grego- ening the GEICO adjuster,” the lawry Presnell dismissed the lawsuits in suit states. mid-September. The company routinely obstructs That same week, Leif’s Auto adjusters’ access to inspect vehicles, Collision Centers in Portland, OR, GEICO claimed, through such means

Social Media for Shops

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as making adjusters wait for up to multiple hours to do so, or by refusing to tell the adjusters where a vehicle is located, forcing them to “wander around Leif’s premises, which are approximately 5 acres in size,” to find the car located among “hundreds” on the premises. GEICO adjusters “have experienced significant stress and emotional harm,” the lawsuit claims, and “at least one GEICO adjuster has refused to return to Leif’s premises for fear of physical injury or harm.” GEICO is seeking unspecified damages exceeding $75,000 for lost profits, damage to reputation and excessive labor costs “due to assignment of additional claims personnel.” Although Oregon law prohibits an insurer from refusing to do business with a particular shop chosen by an insured, GEICO is asking the

Media and Publicity for Shops

court to declare the insurer need not continue to do business with Leif’s, given that Oregon law also requires an employer do what is “reasonably necessary to protect the life, safety and health” of its employees. Leif’s argues nothing in Oregon’s anti-steering law “provides for any express exemption at all, let alone a specific exemption” like the one GEICO is seeking. GEICO doesn’t argue the law requiring it provide workplace safety for its employees is “inherently incompatible” with the anti-steering law, Leif’s argues, because GEICO appears to have no concern about sending its staff into shops other than Leif’s. If that’s the case, Leif’s argues, GEICO should instead seek an order halting “the violating behavior” it alleges is happening at Leif’s, rather than seeking “a judicial revision of the anti-steering law.”

Shop Strategies

Body Shops Giving Back

Tips for Busy Body Shops My SEMA

Shop Strategies with Victoria Antonelli

42 NOVEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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tor. com the well onlin com Vehi of C close of T cour to te will ture. parti tive focu inclu trific criti ed to ema expl


Continued from Page 40

Vehicle Technology tor. The blended learning approach combines online education through the NEXT Education’s platform as well as two half-day instructor-led online classroom sessions. Those who complete courses earn the Connected Vehicle Trade Association Certificate of Competency. McCormick has also worked closely with Elaina Farnsworth, CEO of The NEXT Education, to create courses for technicians and installers to teach them about the equipment that will be included in the cars of the future. Both McCormick and Farnsworth participated in the recent TU-Automotive Detroit 2020 conference, which focused on future automotive trends, including autonomous vehicles, electrification and digital services. McCormick said one of the most critical future advancements is related to blockchain. “Blockchain is basically a mathematical structure for storing data,” explained McCormick. “Everything

in blockchain is connected.” For example, a collision repair shop could log all of the repair work and use blockchain to locate a part for the specific model of vehicle in one place, and the information would be accessible to other segments of the industry. He used the example of a shop trying to locate a part for a 5-yearold vehicle. Using blockchain, “You could locate that part almost instantaneously,” he explained. “Anytime you can reduce the amount of time you are doing something, you become more efficient and effective; therefore, more profitable.” Blockchain could also be used to ensure valid parts are being used on a vehicle. McCormick highly recommends educating technicians on the use of this technology to ensure they are trained properly. “It’s a tremendously new skillset and people who have this understanding are going to be in the highest demand,” he said. For more information, email Scott McCormick at sjm@connectedvehicle .org.

SIERRACHEVROLET

From the Auto Body Shop to the Beauty Shop by Chris Buckley, KTVN News

A lot of businesses have had to get a little creative to keep the doors open during the pandemic. Matt Thurston, who worked in the auto body business for 30 years, is going back to school. Beauty school, that is. “At 51 years old, I’m a full-time student again,” he said. After three decades working with cars, he switched gears two years ago, opening up the Chop Shop Hair Garage in Gardnerville, NV, a barbershop that caters to men and boys. “We’ve had a lot of local support,” Thurston said. “We have a great car culture in the Carson Valley and this hair garage really goes with that. Our workstations are toolboxes, we have galvanized siding on the walls, and it looks like a garage.” He’d relied on licensed cosmetologists to do the actual cutting there. Then COVID hit. “When they shutdown occurred we had to layoff our employees and close the doors,” Thurston said. “And when it came time to reopen, those employees didn’t come back, and that left us without any way to

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open.” So now he’s taking matters into his own hands. He’s enrolled in the hair design course at Sierra Academy of Style in Carson City. “I never thought that this was going to happen,” he said. “I really thought we could run the business by hiring people to do the work, but it didn’t work out that way. So I’m here, doing what we have to do to be a successful business.” He’s a couple of hundred hours into the course and learning a whole new way to work with his hands. “I’m improving, certainly getting better,” he said. “They say I’m doing great, so it’s going well.” He’s currently the only male student at the school and says he’s committed to doing whatever it takes to keep the doors open at the family business. “I enjoy it, it’s a lot of fun,” Thurston said. “The people are appreciative. Everybody wants to look good; I used to make their cars look good, now I make them look good.” He’s on track to graduate in March and put those new skills to work at the Chop Shop. We thank KTVN News for reprint permission.

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with Ed Attanasio

SEMA Show Goes On

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

with Ed Attanasio

Online and Just in Time: SEMA 2020 Becomes SEMA360

ve buyer database to connect manuMedia and Publicity for Shops facturers with resellers.

You can put your gambling mo- people at SEMA were still hopeful ney back in your pocket and take a they could pull off the show for its withyou Edwon’t Attanasio have 53rd consecutive year. deep breath because But when major companies opto rush around trying to find hotel ted out and the reality began to set rooms and flights again this year. SEMA 2020 changed to in, Gattuso started looking at Plan B, SEMA360 on Aug. 5, when it was and the result is SEMA360, an unannounced COVID-19 and concerns precedented completely virtual trade over the availability of facilities and show. with Stacey Phillips services would make an in-person Gattuso has been with SEMA for nearly two decades, but these show impossible. Instead of logging countless mi- are uncharted waters for even an inles walking throughout the Las Vegas dustry veteran. He knew if the show couldn’t happen the same Convention Center and putway it has since 1967, there ting in 15- to 20-hour days, with Stacey Phillips 2-6—will was a viable alternative, but SEMA360—Nov. allow you to participate in they would have to move the annual show, but from quickly. the comfort of your office or “We knew that with 90 living room. days left, we had to make Touted as a “100% on- SEMA’s Vice President hard decisions,” he said. of Events Tom line trade-only with event Stacey that “We looked at several apPhillips Gattuso and his focuses on an ecommerce team tried to make proaches and even consimarketplace, new products, SEMA 2020 happen, dered holding it completely vehicle builds and edu- but when it looked outdoors. With health and impossible, they cation for the automotive safety as a top priority, we specialty equipment indus- started developing studied several preventive SEMA360, a 100% try,” SEMA360 is breaking virtual trade show measures to minimize risks with Stacey Phillips ground and changing the for all those at the event, trade show industry through innova- including required use of face cotion. verings, addition of hand sanitizing SEMA360 will feature a sim- stations, increased cleaning, one-way plified platform for manufacturers aisles and more. But in the end, it to showcase their new products and wasn’t going to happen, so we began innovations, as well as efficient inter- pursuing Plan B.” action between manufacturers and re Gattuso knew that without with Victoria Antonelli sellers for quality business exchange. SEMA, it would leave a void in the In addition, SEMA vehicle re- automotive industry that couldn’t veals from world-class builders will be filled easily. take place virtually; industry-lea- “Our role has always been to ding education focused on profes- represent our membership the best sional development and new strate- way we can and help them to succeed in their businesses,” he said. “The gies will be more robust ever. with Edthan Attanasio And as always, SEMA’s media SEMA show benefits the industry at contacts will report news, products large, and holding it every year in and innovations to a world-wide au- the fourth quarter is a major deal for dience, according to a SEMA press body shops. They can stay ahead of trends and acquire new technology release. SEMA has survived through that can help them for the next three the Great Recession of 2008, the to five years and even longer. with Gary Ledoux shooting at the Mandalay in 2013 “So, that’s why we came up and 9/11, but this was all-new ter- with SEMA360 where attendees ritory for SEMA’s Vice President of and exhibitors can do almost all of Events Tom Gattuso and his team. the same things they could at the ac Even while the COVID-19 pan- tual show. SEMA360 addresses that demic stretched into late July, the need by leveraging SEMA’s exclusi-

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“We are comfortable where we are with this new digital component,” Gattuso said. “Much of the work we’re doing now will be in place for many years to come and will continu-

ally bring value to the whole SEMA experience. We’re investing in our future and seeing some positive signs as a result. We will have many of the majors participating at SEMA360 and although our goals are modest, we are very pleased with the industry’s reaction to date.” The SEMA360 Education Program will still feature more than 30

professional development seminars and candid conversations with industry-leading celebrities and personalities. Attendees will be able to sign up for an unlimited number of seminars at no additional cost, when registering to participate in SEMA360. SEMA Senior Manager of Professional Development Gary Vigil said while circumstances will prevent in-person educational sessions, SEMA remains committed to helping our industry members succeed and prosper. “Each educational session in SEMA360 was carefully crafted to help attendees make smarter business decisions, and offers the exciting opportunity to hear stories and advice from a diverse collection of highly successful, entrepreneurial leaders.” Unlike the SEMA Show, where vehicle space is limited and vehicSee SEMA 2020, Page 52

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Your Online Presence Needs to be Refreshed in Pandemic Recovery by Gary Ledoux

In last month’s article I discussed how, due to the COVID pandemic and having limited mobility, more people were conducting more business online. As this article is being written, more businesses are being opened and travel restrictions are easing, but many experts think the switch to greater e-commerce predicated by the pandemic will remain long afterwards. The “new� normal is a greater reliance on the internet to find and buy products and services. Based on my last article, I looked at about 50 random body shop websites and Facebook pages. I looked for some shop websites based on a Yelp listing and never found the shop’s own site! Here is what I learned. Make sure all information is current: A couple sites showed information that was obviously old. Two noted—in August 2020—their shop was closed for the Christmas/New Year’s holiday in 2018. Spelling counts: Remember when you were in third grade taking a test and you asked the teacher if spelling counted, and she said yes? Guess what. It still does. Grammar counts: Correct grammar and proper syntax makes your message easier to read and understand, not to mention more professional-looking. Make it easy to navigate: What is important to your customer? Your shop name, location, phone number, email address, hours of operation, how to find the shop on Google Maps and services available should be prominently displayed and easy to find. Granted, other information is important, but if they can’t find the most basic information, nothing else matters. Make it easy to contact you: Make your phone number, email address or social media contact information prominent on your site. When you receive an inquiry, be sure to answer promptly. Nothing says “we don’t

care about youâ€? quicker than an unreturned contact. If you have OE certiďŹ cations, or other industry-recognized qualiďŹ cations, list them: If you are certified by an OE, are I-CAR Gold Class or ASE Blue Seal, chances are you worked hard and spent time and money getting there. Why not promote it? Customers will be looking for it. Use contrasting colors for text: Make your site easy to read. White text on an almost all-white background is difficult to read. Black on white, or other contrasting colors, is preferred. Don’t promote what the average lay person doesn’t understand: You might have just spent a pile of money for the latest whiz-bang welder or other piece of equipment and you and others in the industry might think it’s really impressive. But to the average customer, meh. It’s enough to say you have the latest equipment to handle any repair needs.

their comments or posting threads removed. This is sure to repel any potential customers. Keep your social media fresh: Be sure to post new items regularly to keep people interested. Facebook pages that look “abandoned� are a major turn-off. Mark Claypool, AAM, founder and CEO of Optima Automotive, a leader in the automotive repair industry for web design, social media management and search engine optimization also offers the following: Many collision shop websites need to be refreshed: Many look old and dated and way behind the times Make sure you have a “mobile-friendly� site: According to BroadBandSearch, an internet consultancy, in 2009, less than 1% of those people who had internet access used a mobile device, such as a phone or tablet. Today, 51.5% of internet users use a mobile device. Can your site be

viewed on a phone? Make sure your message is clear: Let people know that you are an essential business and ready to serve your clients. Make it easy to do business with you: There are a lot of people online but not everyone is internet savvy. Make it easy for your potential customer to contact you, upload a photo or request an estimate. Drop-o and pick-up procedures: If you are still using social-distancing procedures, be sure to spell those out on your site. Make sure you rank high in an internet search: Go to Google and search for a collision shop in your town. If your shop is not coming up at the top—or worse yet, not coming up at all—you may need to do some search engine optimization so people can find you. Dealership body shops need extra See Online Presence, Page 58

Use high-quality photos: Most people are very visual and photos are great. But make sure they are in-focus and not distorted. Promote your own people: While we are on the subject of photos, seeing a before and after photo of a vehicle you fixed is OK. But how about photos of your most valuable assets, and the thing that makes your shop unique—your people? Don’t confuse your customer: As far as potential customers are concerned, your shop exists to provide collision repair services and that’s what they are looking for. If you are involved in racing or some other extracurricular activity, and you want to mention it, great. But don’t let that coverage overwhelm your main message. Keep “social� in social media: Social media, especially Facebook, is meant to foster two-way communication. For the 2.4 billion people worldwide who use Facebook, nothing irks them more than to not be able to leave a comment, or to have

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with Victoria Antonelli

Product Innovation

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

with Ed Attanasio

Killer Tools Attacks Pandemic with Mr. Fogger During the pandemic, some com- use against SARS-CoV2, the virus panies have succeeded while others that causes COVID-19. have paused or closed their doors When the pandemic hit in March, completely. Those can Ledoux pivot Trueit gave his crew two weeks off, withwho Gary have been able to not only survive, but but then came up with his idea for Mr. thrive during these uncertain times. Fogger, and all of his nine employees Such is the case with Killer came back to work in order to make Tools in Orangevale, CA, and its ow- and distribute it. ner and inventor, Gerry Trueit, 72. “We wanted to create tools that Trueit’s company has concei- would enable technicians to sanived and designed moreStacey than 50 protize cars thoroughly so that shops with Phillips ducts, and estimates at least one or wouldn’t have to worry about the two are being used in every body health of their employees and custoshop in North America right now. mers,” Trueit said. “Insurance companies are allotting 60 to 90 minutes to sanitize these cars, so this has become the new normal way and will with Mike Anderson likely continue long after this thing passes.” More than two decades ago, Trueit discovered a pneumatic door skin tool, and that’s when the story began. He bought a motor home, and with his wife and Killer Tools was founded by Gerry Trueit, far left, almost his dog, they hit the road to 20 years ago to create tools and equipment that make visit as many body shops as collision repairs easier and more efficient they could. When Trueit saw a definite need “We sold so many that we were for a tool that would help the colli- forced to get off the road so that we sion repair industry as the pandemic could focus on manufacturing them,” continued, he and his team develo- Trueit said. ped a system to accommodate both “We chose the name Killer Tools body shops and their insurance part- because I would show up in a colliners. sion shop and people would tell me With a pivot move that even LeBron James would be proud of, Killer Tools developed a machine that generates ozone to completely disinfect interiors of vehicles before and after repairs. Offered in 110V and 12V, they have become top sellers. Most recently, Killer Tools also unveiled a cordless sanitizing tool named Mr. Fogger, so technicians Shortly after the pandemic hit, Killer Tools unveiled a cordless sanitizing tool, Mr� Fogger, or car detailers can sanitize touchposo that technicians or car detailers can sanitize ints and vehicle interiors more quitouchpoints and vehicle interiors more quickly ckly and efficiently using the least and efficiently amount of disinfectant. Killer Tools sells Bioesque Bo- that I always had the ‘killer’ tools,” tanical Disinfectant Solution, which Trueit said. “So, we adopted the uses thymol, an all-natural antimi- name and incorporated. Since we becrobial agent derived from the thy- gan back in 2002, we have sold more me plant, registered by the EPA for than 50,000 of these tools, and they

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keep rolling off the shelves because they work and make technicians› lives easier.” Killer Tools is now a household name in the world of collision repair, with products like The Dent Killer, a

Product Innovation

From the Desk of Mike Anderson self-leveling door lift, the family of Shark welders, Cordless Tool Garage, the Painter’s Helper and the largest variety of tram gauges in the industry. Killer Tools sells its tools through

more than 10,000 distributors worldwide. The main question Trueit asks before developing any tool is if will it be used by the industry enough to make it worthwhile. That’s why he and his team are always soliciting feedback on any tool or piece of equipment they release to the world of collision. He works closely with a skilled management team, consisting of his General Manager Mario Harders—formerly with DentFix—and a fellow tool inventor and former body man, Tim Gerhards. “We sit down and determine if there are a definite need and a viable market for any tool we decide to pursue,” Trueit said. “You can make something that works well, but if it’s not accepted by the industry, it will just sit on shelves.” See Killer Tools, Page 52

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OEC Acquisition of NuGen IT Will Further Assist Collision Repairers to Meet Requirements of Insurers, OEMs & Customers by Autobody News contributor Autobody News recently talked with Pete Tagliapietra, founder and president of NuGen IT, about the company’s acquisition by OEConnection (OEC) in July and what it means for the collision repair industry. OEC, established in 2000, is a leading parts fulfillment software solution provider for OEM distribution networks.

As a result of the OEC acquisition of NuGen IT, Tagliapietra said the companies are working together to deliver a combined technology platform that will not only facilitate a substantive step forward in refining the collision repair industry, but will also drive higher levels of efficiency over what is available in the market today. “As much as DRPs impacted the way collision repairers process damaged vehicles since the early 1990s, it is inevitable that technology and OEM-certified repair networks will impact this long-standing model,” said Tagliapietra. “The industry is moving toward a model in which OEMs will have significantly more influence on where and how to repair vehicles.” The discussion led to further questions.

Q:

How did your experience working in three different market segments lead you to establish NuGen IT?

A:

I began working in the collision repair industry at a young age doing all the tasks technicians didn’t want to do at a collision repair facility. After completing my higher education, I spent 10 years in automotive retail, specifically in collision repair management, and then had a decade of auto claims experience working for two different insurance companies. Following that, I worked for a collision repair

database and estimating system information provider for 15 years. Looking back, I realize how fortunate I am to have worked in these three market segments of our industry. My experience has given me a good perspective on how to create balance and minimize friction among those segments. In the late 1980s, I met Dayle Phillips, who became my business partner at NuGen IT. Dayle, who was employed at a leading-edge software development company, often collaborated with me to discuss possible technology solutions to an auto claims or collision repair problem. We found our skills complemented one another. I’ve never met anybody like Dayle who understands a business issue and can come up with a solution that applies technology and enhances the process significantly, eliminating the amount of human task associated with it. After 35 years of experience in the industry, I felt it would be an ideal time to start my own business in 2004. As a result, I established NuGen IT and Dayle joined the company in January of 2006. It has been an incredible run since then.

tinuously reinvested into research other formatted document. Hence, and development. We typically look an insurance appraiser or body shop at where gaps exist in the process service manager knows when the esfor collision repairers and insurers. timate is not in compliance with the Then, we identify accuracy, efficien- database, external or internal policies, cy and productivity issues, as well and procedures or regulatory requireas technology to further refine the ments. process in various end-user The technology is compatworkflows. ible with any estimating sys We rely heavily on our tem and almost any formatted business-rules-driven comtemplate. As a result, collision pliance technology to acrepairers use one compliance tool rather than purchasing complish this through the multiple tools to meet their products we develop. I believe this, along with other Pete Tagliapietra needs and requirements of their insurance company parttechnologies—such as our ability to accurately transform a PDF ners. of an estimate back into the CIECA NuGen IT’s product offerings inLegacy EMS (Estimate Management corporate robotics automation whenSystem) or BMS (Business Message ever possible. Software robots can Suite) data formats—helped set our perform the analysis function on behalf of the user, so the correct outcome is company apart from competitors. Our product offering also heav- delivered the same way every time, ily focuses on Business Process creating accuracy, uniformity and conCompliance. Business Process Com- sistency. pliance utilizes computer software to The nice thing about robotics analyze an estimate or just about any automation and software intelligence,

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Q:

What was the primary focus of NuGen IT and how has the company grown?

A:

From the onset, the goal was to leverage the CIECA (Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association) Standards the collision industry embraced. The strategy was, and has been, to offer open solution platforms to the insurance and collision repair communities. Limiting the proprietary software environment with the exchange of information between insurers and collision repairers was having a positive impact on the industry. We set out to create an open environment that would alleviate estimating system mandates for insurance companies, allowing collision repairers to select and license the estimating system that provides the best outcome for both parties. Over the years, NuGen IT con-

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commonly referred to today as machine learning, is computers can “perform an outcome” the same way every time based on the input of many different variables. Initially, we developed our products primarily for insurance companies and giving them open network capabilities to deliver an assignment directly to a network or non-network repair facility. As long as a collision facility had an internet connection and a computer, they could receive an assignment and then import the administrative data into their system(s). As our company evolved, we believed collision repairers were at a disadvantage. Auto claim process applications for insurance companies were plentiful, and we saw an opportunity to provide software applications to collision repairers that could significantly alleviate the administrative burden they are faced with. Today, our application services are offered equally to both of these market segments.

Q:

How have NuGen IT’s product offerings evolved for col-

lision repairers?

A:

On the collision repair side, we understood the great need for products to help repairers meet their internal needs, insurance and regulatory requirements. As a result, we started offering “hybrid solutions” to collision repair organizations. For example, we developed a strategic partnership with ALLDATA about eight years ago and devel-

presented the concept of Self-Management to a leading insurance company, which resulted in a pilot project with two major MSOs. The concept led to a new way of capturing and analyzing shop performance and measurement. Our compliance technology allows our collision repair customers to optimize an estimate before submitting it to the insurance company. Estimate optimization ensures it is

“The industry is moving toward a model in which OEMs will have significantly more influence on where and how to repair vehicles.” — Pete Tagliapietra oped Estimate Integration. The goal was to proactively deliver OEM repair procedures to collision repairers regardless of the estimating system or manufacturer. Shops could analyze and audit estimates to ensure they were incorporating the required repair procedures before submitting them to insurance companies. We also pioneered the concept of DRP (Direct Repair Program) Self-Management. Around 2010, we

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ing the time trying to be compliant.

Q:

How have NuGen IT’s prodCan you share information about the recent acquisition by OEC?

A:

After our two companies learned more about each other, we realized the possibilities of how combining our technologies could bring a lot more value to the market segments we serve, particularly with collision repairers. That really excited us. We felt this was an excellent opportunity to take repair blueprinting to a new dimension. Today’s collision repairers must refer to multiple information providers to get all the information needed to process an insurance claim. For example, once collision repairers receive the assignment from an insurance company through an information provider, they have to write the estimate, conduct the part search, work with a rental car company, report vehicle status and comply with Customer Service Index (CSI). This all falls into the issue of scorecarding, which the industry highly utilizes.

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By combining our companies and allowing each to do what it does best, it’s ultimately going to address the issues facing collision repairers, now and in the future.

Q:

How have NuGen IT’s prodHow is the industry changing and what should shops be aware of?

A:

As one of the people in the industry who has worked in all three segments—collision repair, insurance and information provider—I believe my experience has taught me there can’t be just one dominant force driving the industry. In the past, this has been insurance companies. The insurance industry has been a driver to how the collision repair industry operates, particularly its involvement in processing an auto claim. I see a paradigm shift occurring where we need to recognize how the three market segments need to work together. It will be not easy to accomplish and will take time, but it has to happen. We’re already seeing manufacturers develop strategic relationships with major insurers.

Continued from Page 44

SEMA 2020 le applications must be submitted by a participating manufacturer, the SEMA360 Builder Showcase will enable vehicle builders the opportunity to enter vehicles directly into the program. “We’re excited to open up the SEMA360 Builder Showcase to all the talented builders across our industry,” Gattuso said. “We wanted to put a spotlight on the trends and innovation that go into these vehicle builds every year while highlighting the people who bring the creations to life. This is truly a worldwide platform to show off the passion and creativity SEMA Week has become known for. The support we have had for SEMA360 has been tremendous, and we can’t wait to see what this new Showcase feature will bring.” SEMA360 recently published a list of things to do during SEMA360 to get the most out of this completely virtual online event.

Insurance companies will need to collaborate with OEMs and collision repairers to ensure there is more than a satisfied customer, going beyond what it is today. What we’ve done for the last 20 years is not good enough anymore. It’s my opinion that manufacturers are becoming increasingly concerned about protecting their brand, knowing when a car gets damaged, there is just as much technology and software to deal with along with the body and any mechanical repair. Collision repairers are now required to be collision repair experts, mechanical repair experts and system technology experts. Otherwise, they need to outsource some services to complete the repair. OEC and NuGen IT will further assist collision repairers to meet the requirements of their insurance partners, ensure to OEMs the vehicle is being repaired correctly, meet internal business objectives and better serve mutual customers. Looking ahead, our goal is to also help OEMs better manage their certified repair networks and provide collision repairers, insurance

“Get your workspace ready for five days focused on new products and feature vehicles. Make sure you have a reliable computer. Prepare a spot on your hard drive to download brochures and sell sheets from manufacturers. Check your internet connection. Have a camera, microphone and speakers on your computer so you can participate in optional video chats. Consider getting blue light glasses to ease the strain on your eyes. A comfortable chair will make the experience much more enjoyable. Have a plan. Remember to schedule breaks when you get up and walk around and stretch your hands and fingers. Also, block times on your calendar to participate in the seminars you don’t want to miss, and for browsing the New Products Showcase, Builder Showcase and Manufacturer Showcase pages.” No name badges, no Cirque de Soleil shows, no monster buffets and no industry cocktail parties until next year—hopefully. Say goodbye to SEMA 2020 and hello to SEMA360.

companies and manufacturers the data. This will be critical in the future. In the last 10 years, I have continued to emphasize to our employees that it’s all about the data. I believe software will continue to diminish in value/price and the value of the data will continue to increase. I am convinced data is the “newfound gold” in the collision repair industry and am dumbfounded by collision repairers freely giving it away and allow others to profit from it. I am extremely proud of what the NuGen IT team has accomplished and couldn’t be more excited about this next step in our evolution. OEC has a tremendous and successful track record of delivering solutions for automobile dealers, collision repairers and OEMs, and I look forward to what this will mean for our collective customer base and parent company.

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Killer Tools In many cases, Trueit has been able to find great ideas from body technicians that eventually lead to inventions being used today. “We have built a reputation for being a company where if you have a concept and we think it will work, we’re not afraid to pursue it,” Trueit said. “They conceive it, and we test it and then manufacture it and sell it. One technician who came up with a great idea for a tool has made more than $300,000 within the last decade. “Technicians are not afraid to think outside of the box, and most of the tools we sell were designed in order to complete a task,” he said.. “That is why I like being a part of this industry. Knowing that many of our tools are in shops is very satisfying.” Trueit prides himself on making tools that will last and withstand heavy use, he said. “We use attention to detail and stress things like quality and safety. I have had to reject several ideas beSee Killer Tools, Page 57

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with Victoria Antonelli

Product Innovation

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

with Ed Attanasio

BAR Auto Shop Locator Educates and Empowers California Consumers About 10 years ago, I wrote an artic- Google, the BAR’s Shop Locator is a le about the Bureau of Automotive “more convenient way to find shops”, Repair (BAR), an organization eve- according to Clay Leek, who overry body shop inwith California more sees BAR’s smog check, engineering GaryisLedoux than familiar with, but the general and information services division. public doesn’t even know what the “We have enhanced this feature acronym means. with a new interactive map, a series Most people encounter the BAR of filters and a mobile app, so that when their cars are smog checked, or consumers can access this informathey see a plaque on a wall in a wai- tion anywhere, all the time,” Leek ting room at a body shop. said. “People can search for locations with Stacey Phillips I used some of my near their address, their city friends and other people or their ZIP code, and then back then to find out what the Shop Locator tells the they knew about the BAR. user their proximity to the Only six out of the 30 peopshop. le I talked to knew what the “At the same time, people BAR was and what it does. can make sure that the shop with Mike Anderson I also got some pecu- Clay Leek, head of is licensed by BAR. This liar responses to my query, BAR’s smog check, allays peoples’ fears and giengineering and including “It’s law-related, ves them an additional layinformation services right?” and “Is it a bartender division, worked with er of comfort knowing that union?” they’re taking their vehicle a team to develop BAR’s new Auto Now in 2020, consuto a licensed business that Shop Locator to mers are savvier about their is in good standing with the cars, and that includes kno- educate and protect BAR.” consumers wing about the BAR and its For example, I chose the role in the automotive repair indus- Automotive Repair filter, followed try in California. By working hard to by the Auto Body filter. I then teseducate the public about what they ted the locator and quickly found a do and how they can protect con- sample of the 50 body shops closest sumers, the BAR has significantly to me, one of which was on probaenhanced its communications and tion with the BAR. To eliminate any marketing, including its website at ambiguity, the listing of the shop is www.bar.ca.gov. surrounded by a big red border with BAR’s website offers an Auto the word “Probation” listed clearly Shop Locator, a convenient and fast within the listing. way for consumers to find a licensed To get feedback from the collisiautomotive repair facility nearest to on repair industry, Leek and his team them. received input from a wide range of Originally it was designed to lo- automotive industry representatives cate Smog Check stations, but now it and body shops during their develophas been expanded to include all li- ment stage. censed auto repair businesses, incluThe BAR registers and regulates ding body shops, mechanical repair 36,000-plus California automotive shops, air conditioning, parts retai- repair dealers and mediates automolers, auto dismantlers, glass winds- tive repair complaints, saving Calihield and mobile mechanics. fornia consumers millions of dollars The Auto Shop Locator also each year in the form of direct reallows users to obtain two other pie- funds, rework and bill adjustments, ces of invaluable information—the for example. shop’s BAR license number and The BAR is one of 37 organizawhether or not it’s on probation or tions under the umbrella of the Dethe subject of a pending enforce- partment of Consumer Affairs. BAR ment action by BAR. was established within DCA in 1972 Rather than using MapQuest or following enactment of the Automo-

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tive Repair Act. In response to consumer and industry concerns about fraud and incompetence in the auto repair industry, the act established BAR as the licensing and regulating authority over automotive repair dealers. The act also gave BAR authority to license and regulate stations and individuals that perform services in the areas of lamp and brake inspection and repair. In 1982, California became the 20th state in the nation to adopt a vehicle inspection and maintenance (smog check) program. Pursuant to authority granted by SB 33, BAR became the administrator of the California Smog Check Program in 1984. For more than 40 years, BAR has helped to protect California consumers from its headquarters in Rancho Cordova and 12 field offices stationed throughout the state. The

organization serves many functions and administers various programs aimed at protecting Californians. Leek is happy with the finished product and invites shop owners and managers to make sure their shop is properly listed on the Auto Shop Locator. “I think they will like it for its simplicity and functionality,” he said. “We are really excited because by using it, consumers can stay informed and make educated decisions within a competitive automotive repair marketplace.”

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Beth Rutter Shares Sneak Peek of Pilot Program at I-CAR Virtual Meeting by Chasidy Rae Sisk

Four guest speakers attended the St. Louis I-CAR Committee’s September virtual meeting, including collision repair industry professional Beth Rutter, who spoke about the Pilot Program. Rutter agreed to share some additional information with Autobody News. The Pilot Program originated three years ago at Ranken Tech, where Collision Director John Helterbrand designed an apprenticeship program to ensure collision students are prepared to successfully enter their career after graduation. Students work with mentors at local shops, obtaining hands-on repair experience in conjunction with classroom education, as tasks begin with the most mundane and progressively advance along with the student’s knowledge and skills. “Students rotate between eight weeks in the classroom, followed by eight weeks at a shop where they implement the techniques they just learned,” Rutter explained. After safety, process is the second most important thing that schools teach collision repair students. “An educator without a textbook can’t do much, but if you can take it home, you can do a lot of work on that,” Helterbrand said. “We [must] maintain a high level of educator for students. Our program is a little harder in the sense that we make the students focus on themselves, but we make them lifelong learners. So, it’s all about taking care of the student.” A currently-silent industry partner recognized the value of Ranken’s Pilot Program and proposed expanding it nationally. “We need more than just a curriculum to address the issue of our fractured industry,” Rutter emphasized. “Recognizing that entry-level techs need a basic level of knowledge in order to be trainable and hirable, we decided to start with the colleges. “Some graduates can be hired right out of school because they’ve obtained the knowledge they need to start in a shop; others aren’t even close—collision repair curriculum isn’t consistent across all colleges,

and we are working to address that.” also make visits to the shop to check gains speed. The mission of the National Pi- on their students’ progress. “It’s a lot of work,” Rutter said. lot Program is “to be the catalyst in “Working in the shop allows “We have to implement a brand-new the development of national ‘school- young students ease into the work- curriculum, and the rules for doing to-work’ collision educational pro- place, building work ethic which that vary by state. In order to be can be tough to learn. Col- ASE-accredited, the college is regrams at the post-secondary lision repair requires learn- quired to hold advisory committee level by bringing the colliing so much that, even if it’s meetings, and that means getting the sion industry and colleges your passion, it’s still very industry involved. together in a collaborative stressful. This program al- “We’re kind of building a bridge partnership that not only inlows the students to leave as we’re walking across it, but once creases the number of qualthat stressful situation after the colleges build relationships with ified technicians available to the industry but allows Beth Rutter recently eight weeks and return to their local collision repair industry, I students to be mentored in spoke about the Pilot school to discuss their expe- believe it will take on a momentum a supportive environment Program at the St. riences with their peers and of its own.” Depending on how the school that improves the image of Louis I-CAR Com- instructors.” mittee’s September technicians and the colliWorking as an indepenlays out its curriculum, the program virtual meeting. sion industry as a whole.” dent consultant with the can take up to two years, but by With decades’ worth of colli- program, Rutter’s role includes eas- graduation, the student has a degree sion repair industry experience, Rut- ing the students’ transition from the and real-world experience. ter got involved with the program to class to shop rotation, and last year, For participating collision recommunicate with the shops and the she developed and led a one-day pair facilities, “it’s like a two-year schools. workshop for mentors and mentees interview where the student, subject “We have to get the shops’ buy- to learn effective communication. to normal employment parameters, in for mentoring the students, and She is currently building online becomes inculcated into the shop’s then the colleges have to agree to im- training for this year’s virtual world. culture over that time,” Rutter said. As with any aspect of the colli- “Students get the benefit of going to plement the curriculum we’ve devel- oped, which is ASE-accredited,” she sion repair industry, obstacles must a college that provides a robust edusaid. “There’s a lot of benefits for the be overcome as the Pilot Program cation, which helps them get hired.” schools, though. They receive a lot of support and an I-CAR curriculum, plus by the time the student finishes the program, they are Pro-Level 3 and able to obtain their welding certification as soon as they test.” Four colleges are currently participating, though three will not have seated classes until January 2021 due to COVID-related conFrom helpful direction to assistance with your next order of cerns. Students at Ranken Tech and Genuine Volkswagen Collision Parts, our team is well read on at the College of Lake County in ways to make your job easier. Illinois are currently learning in the classroom and interviewing with SO. CALIFORNIA WASHINGTON local shops that meet the program’s Galpin Volkswagen University Volkswagen North Hills Seattle criteria. 888 840-8416 206-634-8200 Mentoring shops must be I-CAR Fax: 818-778-2090 Fax: 206-547-1581 www.galpin.com M-F 7am-6pm Gold Certified, use updated tools and parts@uvwaudi.com equipment and have a mentor who www.universityvw.com NO. CALIFORNIA can “take students under their wings,” Dirito Bros. Walnut Rutter said. The current mentor shops Creek Volkswagen include several large MSOs as well Walnut Creek 925-934-8459 as a handful of independent collision Fax: 925-934-0786 repair facilities. parts@dirito.com “Once they qualify, the shop presents to the students and interviews them, so the student is hired Contact your local Volkswagen dealer or visit Wholesale.VWServiceandParts.com to place before the first eight-week rotation your Genuine VW Collision Parts order today. ends,” Rutter said. “In the next rotation, students will work in shops on “ Volkswagen” and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. ©2020 Volkswagen of America, Inc. the things they are now learning and report back to their instructors, who

56 NOVEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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Retention is another goal of the program. Nearly half of the students who graduate collision repair programs leave the industry within two years, according to Rutter. “With an industry that needs qualified techs so badly, we can’t afford to lose the ones we have because it’s too difficult to find a job,”

gram that supports entry-level technicians in the workforce, while they earn their degrees at college,” said St. Louis I-CAR Committee Chair Shelly Jones. “Beth talked of the importance of information sharing between a school, student and collision repair shop, and how she created a workshop to develop strong

“Students rotate between eight weeks in the classroom, followed by eight weeks at a shop where they implement the techniques they just learned,” — Beth Rutter she said. “We need to take care of our people, treat them well, and that starts by training these students, so they have the knowledge and ability to get hired in entry-level positions. “Then, the facilities must treat them well enough that they want to stay. If everyone does their part, it works for the entire industry.” Those interested in obtaining more information about the Pilot Program can email Beth Rutter at bethinca@cox.net. “Beth talked about her role in helping to build a mentorship pro-

communications between the mentor and mentee.” Three additional guest speakers attended the St. Louis I-CAR Committee meeting. Rob Ferguson, ASE Education Foundation, briefly discussed the benefits of schools being accredited by the ASE Foundation. Robbie Saladino, I-CAR principal, business development southcentral region, spoke about virtual live classes and shared a progress update on the committee’s goals. “We have just three goals left

to complete out of nine,” Jones said. “It has been a team effort.” Brandon Eckenrode of the Collision Repair Education Foundation shared information about the upcoming virtual golf fundraiser, which will be open Nov. 20 through Dec. 20. Golfers can begin practicing at WGT.com or by downloading the free “WGT Golf” app. “During registration, people will have the option to play in support of the St. Louis Committee. When they pick our committee, a portion of the $25 registration fee will go to support our local school collision programs,” Jones said. “Overall, the meeting was well-attended, and there were a lot of great discussions.” The St. Louis I-CAR Committee’s last meeting of 2020 will be held virtually at 8 a.m. Nov. 12. Additional information about the St. Louis I-CAR Committee and its upcoming activities can be found at facebook.com/ICARSt LouisCommittee.

Continued from Page 52

Killer Tools cause I thought that the tools would be too dangerous. As a result, all of our tools last. “We are here to repair anything we make. Our phone does not ring and I’m usually the one to answer it, which is a good thing. I tell my people that if the phone isn’t ringing, that means we are doing a good job.” The King of Killer Tools—or Head Shark—still loves what he’s doing and isn’t thinking about retiring any time soon. “We have created a niche for us by taking people’s ideas and making them happen,” Trueit said. “If we can come up with a new tool and sell it for the right price—we already have a customer base waiting to buy it.” Sounds like a killer situation.

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COVID Boosts Digital Age for Auto Claims by Emmariah Holcomb, glassBYTEs.com Some auto glass members say having digital options for customers is needed and COVID-19 increased demand. The insurance claims side of the industry has offered customers options to file and check claim status

ic, many companies preferred that their employees work in the office.” According to Morgan, auto insurance companies were faced with changing its plans when local governments started issuing stay-athome orders. She noted there is an estimated 25% to 30% of work forc-

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for claims organizations to digitize and make other changes to appeal to the younger generation of workers,” — Rebecca Morgan reports online, and experts agree on its appeal. “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for claims organizations to digitize and make other changes to appeal to the younger generation of workers,” said Rebecca Morgan, Mitchell International worker’s compensation solutions product management vice president. Mitchell International is the parent company of National Auto Glass Specifications (NAGS). “For example, prior to the COVID-19 pandem-

Continued from Page 46

Online Presence care: If your shop is part of a dealership, you should have your own web presence, not simply a sub-domain of the main dealership site. Being part of a dealership site makes it two to three times as hard for people to find you and makes it near impossible to compete with independent collision shops. If you are still wondering about the impact of the internet and how it is affecting your business, consider the following stats from BroadBandSearch: 61.4% of the world’s population uses the internet 89.4% of Americans have internet access and use it on a daily basis. There are 351.8 million registered domain names in the world. You need your customers to find just one—yours. The average time it takes a web page to load in the U.S. is 5.6 seconds. According to Google, the best performing sites take 3 seconds. Ev-

es that aim to continue having some of its staff work from home after the pandemic is over. “Companies had to accelerate multi-year plans that they had in place and boost technology and networks in order to successfully transition their employees to working from home,” she said. The industry will need to shift again when it comes to how auto related businesses recruit, train and retain employees, according to Morgan. She highlighted five changes

ery second a user spends waiting for a site to open is an opportunity for them to click off the site. If your site takes between six to 10 seconds to open, the customer is probably already gone. Facebook is the fourth most visited website in the world. Does your shop have a Facebook presence? Thinking of making a YouTube video? There are 1.8 billion unique monthly visitors to YouTube. 50% of internet users watch YouTube videos and product demos before buying anything. If you don’t have, at minimum, a website and Facebook page for your shop, you need one of each. And if you have one of each, make it a good one. Your future business depends on it.

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that companies should consider making, which included: • Having updated workplace technology • Recruiting future employees effectively • Emphasizing training or retraining employees • Developing employees • Retaining employees “In order to effectively attract, train, develop and retain employees from the younger generations, the insurance industry must update its workplace technology,” explains Morgan. “Our industry needs innovation and new technology in order to be more effective at meeting our business goals. Doubling the number of employees using the latest technology leads to an 11% increase in profitability for U.S. companies.” According to Morgan, the pandemic caused the industry to rely on technology to an even greater degree and has accelerated the industry’s need for innovation. We thank glassBYTEs.com for reprint permission.

Hertz No. 1 in Customer Satisfaction Hertz announced Oct. 14 that for the second consecutive year, it has earned the No. 1 overall ranking for Customer Satisfaction in the J.D. Power 2020 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study, which surveys leisure and business customers. Hertz also received top honors in the following categories: reservation process, pick-up process and rental car, which includes satisfaction with the overall vehicle and its cleanliness. As traveler needs shifted amid the pandemic, Hertz quickly adapted to meet customer expectations. The car rental brand raised the bar on its already high standards for safety and cleanliness by introducing the Hertz Gold Standard Clean seal. To further help customers travel safely and confidently, Hertz launched new capabilities within its mobile app this year to facilitate a touchless rental experience by enabling them to select and purchase more products and services digitally. Source: Hertz

New Push for Autonomous Vehicles Bill by Ashley Gold, Axios In a renewed push to get an autonomous vehicles bill through Congress, Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) was to reintroduce the SELF Drive Act on Sept. 23, Latta told Axios. New policy legislation is a long shot in the short Congressional calendar leading up to Election Day. But Latta’s effort shows the importance many lawmakers put on promoting a U.S. lead in the development of self-driving vehicles. “The technology is changing, and we don’t want the Chinese to lead,” Latta, ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce technology and communications subcommittee, told Axios. “We’ve got to keep moving on it for safety’s sake.” The SELF Drive Act is a federal framework for autonomous vehicle regulation in the U.S., requiring cybersecurity provisions for AV manufacturers, exempting certain national safety standards to get cars to market quicker and pre-empting states from passing safety laws regarding AVs. The revised bill contains some changes from a version that passed the

House previously, including language that committee aides say makes it more inclusive for people with disabilities. Latta said the coronavirus crisis has made the need for self-driving cars in the U.S. even more apparent, as people seek contactless ways to get around and have goods delivered. After the SELF Drive Act first passed the House in 2017, objections in the Senate over certain provisions doomed the effort to create a federal regulatory framework for autonomous vehicles. Our thought bubble, from Axios transportation reporter Joann Muller: Congress has been talking about passing AV legislation for more than two years but hasn’t been able to get it done. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Transportation offers only guidance to companies developing self-driving cars. Without federal standards, the industry is relying on a patchwork of state laws, and consumer advocates complain about safety risks of AV testing on public roads. We thank Axios for reprint permission.

58 NOVEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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NADA Issues Analysis of Third Quarter 2020 Auto Sales by Patrick Manzi, NADA

NADA on Oct. 7 issued its analysis of U.S. auto sales and the economy following the third quarter of 2020. Through the first three quarters of the year, new-light vehicle sales were down 19% relative to the same time period in 2019. In September, raw sales volume totaled 1.34 million units, an increase of 6.1% compared to September of 2019; the increase in September’s volume was due, at least in part, to the inclusion of the Labor Day sales weekend and two additional selling days compared to the same month in 2019. “While we have continued to experience a steady recovery for new-vehicle demand year since the lows of April, vehicle sales have remained depressed compared to 2019 given a variety of factors including inventory,” said NADA Chief Economist Patrick Manzi. “September’s SAAR registered 16.3 million units, the first time sales have topped 16 million units since February 2020. However, this is a decline of 4.3% compared to September 2019.” Despite a decline for all car segments, sales of pickups, SUVs and crossovers all posted gains relative to this time last year. In the first three quarters or 2020, three out of every four vehicles sold were light trucks. NADA sees strong retail sales despite an environment with falling manufacturer incentives, after peaking in April at $4,981 per unit. J.D. Power estimates that average incentive spend per unit will drop to $3,964, the first time since June 2019 when incentives have fallen below $4,000 and down approximately $300 compared to September of last year. Interest rates have also decreased, while average monthly pay-

ments have increased. According to J.D. Power, the average interest rate on new vehicle financing was 4.4% in August 2020, down a little over 100 basis points compared to August of 2019, but up by 80 basis points

from April 2020’s low of 3.6%. The average monthly payment on a new-vehicle finance contract was $582 in August 2020—up $18 compared to August 2019. Inventory continues to be a concern for dealers; nationwide, franchised dealer inventory was 2.66 million units at the end of September—up 3.6% compared to August 2020, but down 26.7% compared to September of 2019. At present, dealers has an average 50 day supply of inventory—down one day from August 2020 and 16 days compared to September 2019. On the production side, North American light-vehicle production is expected to be 1.36 million units, roughly flat compared to September of 2019, according to Wards Intelligence. North America production for the entire year is on track to total 13.4 million units—20.2% below 2019’s 16.8 million. Consumers who took lease extensions in March, April and May are expected to be returning to the new vehicle market in the next few months which should be a positive

boost for sales in the final quarter of the year. While retail demand is expected to continue to recover the remainder of the year, fleet sales will continue to be depressed relative to 2019 volumes. However, NADA sees possible improvement in fleet demand in the fourth quarter of 2020. At the onset of the pandemic, NADA reduced its initial 2020 light-vehicle sales forecast of 16.8 million units to 13 million to 13.5 million units. “Given the better than expected recovery in the new light-vehicle market, we estimate 2020 new light-vehicle sales to be higher, reaching 14.1 million units,” added Manzi. At the macro level, real GDP in the third quarter of 2020 is expected to increase by roughly 35% on an annualized basis following a sharp decline of 31.7% in the second quarter. In the labor market, job gains are expected to continue in the fourth quarter, albeit at a slower rate than in the months prior. According

to the September jobs report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment increased by 661,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.9%. However, weekly jobless claims continue to be elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels with employment potentially falling in impacted sectors such as leisure and hospitality as American consumers return indoors during the winter months. Additionally, pandemic-related job losses continue to impact lower-earning workers more significantly than higher income workers. At franchised new-car dealerships, employment has improved each month since bottoming out in April at 888,000; as of August, franchised dealerships currently employ 1,048,800 workers. For more detailed information on financial trends for the first half of 2020, find the midyear version of NADA Data 2020 report here. Source: NADA

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UTI’s Blended Training Model Leads to Employment for Graduates As the pandemic continues to deliver a colossal shock to the economy, with weekly unemployment claims increasing to 870,000 for the week ending Sept. 19 and topping an unprecedented 700,000 each week for more than six months, Universal Technical Institute’s pandemic response plan and blended training model are delivering results, with graduates finding employment across the nation. “In a time of extraordinary challenges, our students are completing their education and going to work,” said  Jerome A. Grant, CEO. “The fact that there are good jobs waiting for our graduates speaks to industry’s urgent demand for skilled technicians and the quality of our industry-aligned education model.” The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated pre-pandemic there will be more than 110,000 job openings for automotive, diesel and collision repair technicians on average annually across the U.S. through 2028. In an economic downturn, people and businesses keep their vehicles longer and trained technicians remain in demand to maintain and service them.

To meet employer demand and support students in continuing their educations during the pandemic, UTI transitioned its on-campus, in-person training to a blended format, and has built and continues to enhance a model that blends online, instructor-delivered teaching and demonstrations with hands-on training in campus labs that meet health authority guidelines. The blended model prepares UTI students for high-tech careers, requiring hands-on and digital skills, and for upskilling on the job, as employers train on new technology online and virtually. Corey Vanderploeg was four weeks from graduation when the pandemic hit, and completed his training in UTI’s blended model, using a HEERF CARES Act emergency grant to help support himself and stay in school. He graduated from UTI-Avondale’s diesel program in June and immediately went to work as a technician with Pape Machinery in Portland, OR.  “I’d spent the last five years working in dead-end jobs and, without UTI and the support I received, I’d probably be out of work altogether due to the pandemic,” Vander-

ploeg said. “There will always be a need for people who work on diesel trucks and equipment.” UTI’s  manufacturer-specific advanced courses have also continued during the pandemic, with strong student outcomes. These programs train students who have completed their core program to work with a specific manufacturer’s vehicles and technology. Employers extend offers of employment to many of these students even before they graduate and, for some of these programs, manufacturer partners cover students’ tuition. After initially putting his love of German vehicles aside and working in construction, Davidson Ansick enrolled at UTI, completed core automotive training and was selected for the Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program (PTAP.) He graduated from the program in the midst of the pandemic, crediting the instructors who supported him, and immediately went to work for Porsche of the Main Line in the Philadelphia area. “When I found out about the Porsche program and learned it was manufacturer paid and would almost guarantee a job after school, it was

an easy choice,” Ansick said. “Now I work for the best of the best.” Seth Werner, a graduate of the automotive program at UTI’s NASCAR Tech and this summer’s Volvo Service Automotive Factory Education (SAFE) program, now works as a technician for Parkway Volvo in Wilmington, NC. “I was under the assumption that as a new tech, I’d mostly be doing brake jobs and oil changes, but by day two, I was already working on more complex issues, including computer problems,” Werner said. “Studying online and in person was different, but it was definitely worth it.” Zachary Gaulin, who graduated from UTI’s Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI) in Orlando and the Harley-Davidson program and is employed as a service technician at Big Moose Harley-Davidson in Maine said, “With the increases of people riding their bikes, we’re understaffed, but I am constantly energized by doing something I love, and I’m making good money as a young person right out of school.” For more information about UTI, visit www.uti.edu. Source: UTI

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Why Dealers Are Now ‘Exercising Caution’ by Auto Remarketing Staff

Dealerships sold millions of used vehicles during the summertime, including a four-month stretch of yearover-year sales gains. However, Black Book isn’t necessarily seeing buyers and managers rushing to replenish store inventory. According to their newest “COVID-19 Market Insights” released Oct. 13, analysts highlighted a typical autumn wholesale price cooldown, explaining those softer prices aren’t always bringing the hammer down to send vehicles onto transport trucks bound for stores. “Retail demand has softened, but dealers are still in need of inventory after the strong summer sales. However, they are exercising caution in purchasing high-priced inventory,” Black Book said in the latest report. “Instead, they are being very selective with their purchasing decisions. “Lower-mileage used vehicles continue to be good substitutes for the models that still lack in new supply, like full-size trucks that have days’ supply well under 30 days,”

analysts added. Speaking of those full-size trucks, analysts noticed prices for those units finally dipped after 19 weeks of increases. Full-size truck values dipped by 0.18%. Triggered in part by that movement, Black Book’s volume-weighted data showed overall truck segment values—including pickups, SUVs and vans—declined by 0.34% last week, nearly doubling the previous week’s drop of 0.19%. Analysts mentioned that both mainstream and luxury subcompact crossovers continue to experience heavy value declines as they plummeted by 1.13% and 0.98%, respectively. Black Book also pointed out that new-model inventory levels of full-size crossovers and SUVs continue to be low too, “so depreciations are remaining fairly stable.” Those units edged down by just 0.05% this past week. On the car side, value depreciation accelerated compared to the previous week. According to Black Book’s volume-weighted data, analysts said

overall car segment values decreased 0.92% the last week, up from the previous week’s drop of 0.66%. Black Book noticed that mainstream car segments—subcompact, compact, midsize and full-size—all suffered declines of more than 1% with those sub-compacts leading the way at 1.40%. The report mentioned that premium sporty cars continue to generate interest as values for those units

“Retail demand has softened, but dealers are still in need of inventory after the strong summer sales. However, they are exercising caution in purchasing high-priced inventory,” — Black Book ticked just 0.02% lower, counter to the overall car segments trends. “Sales results at the auctions improved last week for many remarketers as many floors have now been adjusted to reflect the softening in wholesale values,” analysts said. “This was not the case for all sellers, with many of the dealer lanes seeing a lot of ‘ifs’ and high no sale

Tesla Dominated Q2 U.S. Automotive Exports, Data Says by Joey Klender, Teslarati

Data is showing Tesla held a considerable share of the U.S. automotive exports during the second quarter of 2020, with 35.4% of the total car exports during the threemonth span coming from the electric automaker. Kevin Rooke of Zap EVs indicated the U.S. automotive market exported 68,900 vehicles. Meanwhile, Tesla built 36,800 of its 90,891 sold cars at the Fremont facility in Northern California. 29,684 vehicles were produced at the Shanghai production plant. This leaves 24,407 cars that were produced in the U.S. to be available for export. Giga Shanghai did not export vehicles in Q2. However, Tesla plans to send some Giga Shanghai-produced Model 3s to Europe in the future. Tesla’s 24,407 exported vehicles make up 35.4% of the 68,900 exports that the U.S. had during the second quarter. Tesla has experienced the same tumultuous 2020 as any oth-

er company in the world, but the way it responded to the adversity is more than admirable. Despite having its American production facility shut down during the first month of Q2 2020, Tesla managed to deliver 90,891 vehicles.

Even more impressive is the fact that Tesla is beginning to change the U.S.’s massive automotive trade deficit, which has been primarily consisting of imports for many years. Rooke points out that the influx of Tesla’s exports is starting to shift how U.S. consumers buy and sell cars. Other countries, like German and Japan, who have several largescale automotive manufacturers, are heavy on exports, which contributes to a strong economy. German brands like Volkswagen and Japanese brands like Honda have been popular with U.S. drivers for

rates on a few luxury manufacturer lanes with remarketers holding firm to floors,” they added. One other trend Black Book mentioned in the latest report directly correlated with how dealers are behaving in the lanes. “A couple of weeks ago, we noticed the success the independents were finally having in being able to successfully bid against the larger buyers. However, this past week we

an extended period. However, now that EVs are becoming more popular in the automotive market, and Tesla, an American company, is leading the charge, exports are becoming a larger part of the U.S. market. Now that Tesla has one international plant constructed in China, and another under construction in Berlin, Germany, exports may slow down slightly for the electric automaker. However, there are still plenty of regions where Tesla does not have a manufacturing plant, and Fremont will be responsible for shipping cars across the water into other territories. For example, while the Model S and Model X are not Tesla’s top sellers, they are still requested by international buyers. Fremont will continue to be the only plant that will manufacture these cars for the foreseeable future, so exports will continue to be a factor for Tesla even though its international presence continues to ramp up. We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.

did see that change a bit as the larger buyers got a little more aggressive in their bidding,” analysts said. “This was especially true on the lanes where the remarketer was letting go of most any of the inventory that received a bid,” analysts went on to say. We thank Auto Remarketing for reprint permission.

Martin Named DCR Dir. of Operations DCR Systems is excited to announce Dave Martin has been named director of operations. In his new role, Martin will lead operational standards across all the company’s markets, including Ohio, New York, North Carolina and Massachusetts. Martin began working in the collision repair industry in 2001, after serving four years in the U.S. Marine Corps. As director of operations, he plans to continue building a culture that focuses on the complete repair experience using the DCR Systems Process while providing a great customer experience. For more information about DCR Systems, visit https:// www.dcrsystems.com/. Source: DCR Systems

AUTOBODY

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Automakers Report September and Q3 2020 Sales Several automakers on Oct. 1 released sales reports on the month of September and the third quarter of 2020. Hyundai Hyundai Motor America reported total September sales of 54,790 units, a 5% increase compared with September 2019. Retail sales were up 21%. Hyundai fleet sales were down 67% and represented 5% of total volume. Hyundai anticipates outperforming the retail sales industry average again in September, something it has accomplished every month in 2020. “Our outstanding product portfolio combined with stable inventory, the right incentives and the elevation of the customer experience at our dealerships has resulted in another month of market share gains,” said Randy Parker, vice president of national sales. “Retail sales in the third quarter also increased, another indication that sales are recovering from the pandemic.” In the third quarter, Hyundai sold a total of 170,828 units, a 1% decline and 161,254 retail units, a 7% increase compared with Q3 2019. Mazda Mazda North American Operations reported total September sales of 24,237 vehicles, an increase of 28.7% compared to September 2019. Year-to-date sales totaled 203,280 vehicles; a decrease of 2.3% compared to the same time last year. With 25 selling days in September, compared to 23 the year prior, the company posted an increase of 18.4% on a Daily Selling Rate (DSR) basis. Mazda Motor de Mexico reported September sales of 4,089 vehicles, a decrease 4.8% compared to September last year. Year-to-date sales decreased 28.3%, with 31,078 vehicles sold. FCA FCA US LLC sold 507,351 vehicles in the third quarter—a 10% decrease over the same time period a year earlier—as strong retail sales offset much of the ongoing softness in fleet purchases. The Ram brand remained a powerhouse for dealers as retail sales for the iconic pickup trucks rose 15%. Jeep® also posted a solid quarter, led

in large part by the continued success of the Jeep Gladiator and Jeep Wrangler. Total Gladiator sales rose 37% to 22,163 vehicles. Third-quarter total sales finished 38% higher than the second-quarter results, as FCA sold 140,265 more vehicles. Mitsubishi Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. reported third-quarter 2020 sales of 24,857 vehicles, an increase of 1.5% over the same period in 2019, and up a significant 49% over the previous quarter of 2020. This sales performance signals a continued recovery of new vehicle sales across the U.S., following a substantial disruption of business through the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and safer-at-home orders. Mitsubishi Motors Corporation recently released a first look at the redesigned 2022 Eclipse Cross, the next step in the company’s commitment to delivering a showroom full of new and extensively redesigned vehicles in the U.S. Subaru Subaru of America, Inc. reported 60,103 vehicle sales for September, a 16% increase compared with September 2019. Following 11 consecutive years of sales records, Subaru reported year-to-date sales of 436,560, a 17% decrease compared to the same period in 2019. September marked the first month of 60,000+ vehicle sales for the automaker since December 2019. As the top performing carline by volume, Outback sales increased 51% in September compared with the same month a year ago. Outback and Forester models achieved their best September ever. Crosstrek sales for September increased 0.5% over the same month in 2019 and marked the best month of 2020 for the carline. BRZ posted a 126% increase, while WRX/STI posted 47% increase in September. In addition, the three-row Ascent SUV and Legacy sedan posted 8% and 18% increases over September 2019, respectively.

ered 665,192 vehicles in the third quarter of 2020, a decrease in total vehicle sales of about 10% compared to a year ago. In a sign of a recovering industry, sales improved sequentially each month within the quarter. Industry and GM sales rebounded significantly in September, finishing the month with year-over-year sales increases. Total industry SAAR1 was an estimated 15.9 million vehicles for the quarter, up about 4 million units from the previous quarter. GM’s mid-size SUVs outperformed the industry, including the Chevrolet Blazer up 45%—its best quarter ever—and the Cadillac XT6, also up 45% compared to the third quarter of last year. Buick’s compact SUV, the Envision, was up 44%. Despite tight inventory, GM’s large pickup trucks sold well, especially heavy-duty pickups; the Chevrolet Silverado HD was up 9% and GMC Sierra HD was up 11% compared to a year ago. Total Sierra sales posted its best third quarter ever. Year to date, GM’s combined light-

and heavy-duty pickups gained 1.6 percentage points in retail market share to capture 37.5% of the segment, according to J.D. Power. GM remains focused on producing the right mix of vehicles to meet demand. Large pickup and full-size SUV plants are all operating on three shifts and at maximum overtime.

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Honda and Acura Honda brand sales climbed 11%, as trucks set a September record, with a 20.4% jump. “September marks a high-water mark for Honda sales this year with double-digit gains and our first month in positive territory since the pandemic began,” said Dave Gardner, executive vice president of national operations at American Honda. “Powered by the strong performance of our Honda and Acura SUV lineups, we’ve been building momentum throughout the third quarter and early indications from dealers and customers are that the just-released 2021 Acura TLX is a real winner. So we’re optimistic for a strong close to 2020.”

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Volkswagen The Volkswagen Group said its development in the current fiscal year has clearly felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, although business started to pick up again in the second half of the year. Worldwide deliveries in the first eight months were down by 21.5%, to 5.6 million vehicles, compared to 7.1 million in the same segment of 2019. The company outperformed the market and reported 0.4 percentage points growth in its global market share compared with the previous year, taking this share to 13%. The company expects incoming orders and deliveries in September to be up on the previous year and anticipates the upward trend will continue for the remainder of the year. As a result, Volkswagen confirmed its goal to remain profitable in the sum of all parts of the company and to report a positive operating result in 2020. “All medium- and long-term forecasts continue to involve considerable uncertainty and depend on the future course of the pandemic”, said CEO Herbert Diess.

KIA KIA Motors America announced September sales of 55,519 units, marking both the best September retail sales and best quarterly retail sales performances since Kia entered the U.S. market in 1994. September sales were led by the Telluride and Forte models with 8,829 and 7,643 units sold, respectively. Year-over-year, retail sales rose 35.3% to 53,513 vehicles, with additional September sales highlights including: An all-time monthly sales record for KIA’s fastest turning model in company history—the Telluride SUV, with 8,829 units sold. On average, Telluride models stay on dealer lots for seven days Best-ever September sales and best-ever monthly sales performance for the Sportage SUV Record monthly sales for the Seltos SUV with 5,613 units sold Highest monthly sales for the all-new K5 midsize sedan, with 5,763 units sold in September Source: Hyundai, Mazda, FCA, Mitsubishi, Subaru, GM, Volkswagen, Honda, KIA

Average New-Vehicle Prices Rise 2.5% Year-OverYear in September: Kelley Blue Book The valuation analysts at Kelley Blue Book on Oct. 1 reported the estimated average transaction price for a light vehicle in the U.S. was $38,723 in September.

New-vehicle prices increased $940 (up 2.5%) from September 2019, while rising $23 (up 0.1%) from last month. “New-car transaction prices have climbed year-over-year, but remained flat for the past few months,” said Sara Richards, an analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “This may indicate supply challenges experienced over spring and summer have been corrected and OEMs are finally able to build up stock. If automakers seek to recover sales lost earlier

Source: Kelley Blue Book

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in the year, incentives could climb dramatically and transaction prices could remain flat or even dip in the future.” Honda, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai and Kia, Subaru and Toyota all reported strong, greater than 4% year-over-year gains, despite relatively little change month-overmonth. Specifically, for Toyota the RAV4 was the biggest driver. They had a significant redesign this past year, contributing to an 18% lift in transaction prices year-over-year. Non-luxury and luxury vehicles are relatively flat month-overmonth; however, the year-overyear story is completely different. Non-luxury transaction prices are up 3.9%, while luxury prices are down 3%.

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CCG Adds 100th New Affiliate Certified Collision Group™ has added its 100th new independent affiliate location for the year 2020, continuing its five-year run of consistent and exponential growth. “This year has challenged all of us, yet we remain confident in our founding principles of leveling the playing field on behalf of the top independent collision repairers,” said Marty Evans, COO. “We are devoted to doing all we can to support our independent owner-operators who are performing best-inclass repairs and providing the industry’s finest customer service. “We continue to grow our internal team and provide exceptional products, and we do so only through the remarkable support of our current affiliates, terrific vendor and insurance partners and our founders.” Source: CCG

Middle-Aged Drivers More Likely to Crash Than Those in Their 70s: Study by Christopher Smith, Motor1.com

Young drivers think old drivers go too slow and get confused too easily. Old drivers think the young whipper-snappers go too fast and take too many chances. In between are the middle-aged drivers, which generally have the best track record of them all. However, that could be changing according to a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Data for 21 years was compiled, starting in 1997 and running through 2018. The study looks at the number of fatal crashes per 100,000 licensed drivers, with the data further broken down into four age groups: 35-54, 70-74, 75-79 and over 80. To be fair, the overall trend for the period shows a decline for all age groups, but the over-70 crowd saw a substantial drop. Fatal crash rates dropped 43% for folks in their 70s, while the middle bracket dropped 21%. Interestingly, the bulk of that decline for older drivers occurred

not in recent years, but through the first half of the data set. Crash rates for middle-age and 70-74 segments were nearly identical, with the 75-79 bracket matching the other two groups in 2012. From there,

middle-agers crept upwards overall while both 70-year-old groups held fairly steady or even declined slightly. As for the over-80 crowd, fatal crashes per licensed drivers have decreased by a full 50%, but in 2018, it remains the group most likely to be involved in a deadly accident. This is all rather inter-

esting considering the number of older drivers on the road has increased significantly  over the last 21 years. What’s the reason for this trend? IIHS points to safer cars with more advanced safety systems as well as better overall health for older drivers. Changes in infrastructure with regards to road signs and intersections are also thought to be a factor. As for why the middle-age fatality rate crept higher, IIHS notes a correlation between periods of economic growth and increases in impaired driving, notably due to alcohol. It’s theorized that middle-agers indulge in such activities more than others. It will be interesting to see how 2020 and  coronavirus  affect these trends; however, that data likely won’t be available for at least a couple of years. We thank Motor1.com for reprint permission.

More Shops Invoicing, Being Paid For Labor to Inspect Seat Belts, According to ‘Who Pays for What?’ Surveys Given that automaker procedures often call for inspections of seat belts in vehicles that have been involved in a collision, industry trainer Mike Anderson is glad to see continual growth the past four years in the percentage of shops being paid for this procedure.

of the time” by the eight largest insurers when they perform and bill for the procedure on behalf of their customers. That’s up from just one in four back in 2016, and up even from just last year when about onethird of shops reported being paid regularly.

“I think the ‘Who Pays’ surveys are helping raise awareness of the need for this procedure,” — Mike Anderson But he also says he’d feel better if the pace of growth was even faster. “This is one of the procedures I’m most concerned about,” said Anderson, of Collision Advice. “The data from our ‘Who Pays For What?’ survey in July, while heading in the right direction, still indicates to me that too few shops are researching OEM repair procedures and so are unaware of the need to inspect seat belts.” About two in five shops now say they are paid “always” or “most

Part of that change is based on a decline in the number of shops that acknowledge they’d never sought to be paid for the procedure. Back in 2016, more than 62% of shops said they had never billed for inspecting seatbelts. That’s fallen to 41% this year. “I think the ‘Who Pays’ surveys are helping raise awareness of the need for this procedure,” Anderson said. “One of the things I’ve learned in researching OEM procedures is that many automakers include two procedures related

to seat belt inspections. One may be a seat belt precaution, generally a list of what you need to look for if a vehicle has been in an accident. The other is a seat belt inspection, procedures required when you reinstall a seat belt removed as part of repairs.” The latest quarterly “Who Pays for What?” survey, which Anderson conducts in conjunction with CRASH Network, is now open through the month of October. It focuses on scanning and ADAS calibration procedures, but also surveys shop labor rates and their billing practices relative to shop supplies, like plastic repair materials and seam-sealer. Shops can take the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/ r/9LXYVTN Survey participants receive a report with complete survey findings at no charge, broken down by region, insurer and DRP vs. nonDRP. The report also includes analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented. Anderson said the survey,

which will take about 15 to 25 minutes, can be completed by anyone in a shop familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of at least some of the largest national insurers. Each shop’s individual responses are held in the strictest confidence; only aggregated data is released. The results of previous surveys are also available online at https:// www.crashnetwork.com/collision advice. Collision Advice (www. CollisionAdvice.com) is an independent training and consulting firm featuring some of the most respected and experienced experts in the collision repair industry. CRASH Network (www.CrashNetwork.com) is a subscription newsletter offering news and information not available from other industry sources. Source: Collision Advice

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Tesla Sues U.S. Government Over Trump’s China Tariffs by Martin Bigg, CarBuzz

The ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China led to President Donald Trump imposing tariffs on imported Chinese goods, including auto parts. Unsurprisingly, these increased costs have riled major automakers that rely on importing parts from

China to manufacture cars. Now, several automakers are taking action by suing the U.S. government. CNBC reported Tesla is suing the U.S. government and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer over the Trump administration’s tariffs on parts Tesla imports from

China to manufacture its electric cars like the Model 3 and Model Y. According to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. Court of International Trade, Tesla wants the court to declare two batches of Trump administration tariffs to be void, and refund Tesla the tariffs it paid with interest. The specific tariffs Tesla has issues with are known as List 3 and List 4. Since it was introduced in 2018, List 3 places 25% duties on $200 billion of imported goods from China. List 4, on the other hand, imposes a 7.5% tariff on $120 billion of Chinese imports and went into effect in 2019. Tesla’s lawsuit doesn’t specify which parts Tesla paid tariffs on or how much it paid, but the company’s lawyers argue that the “imposition of List 3 and List 4 duties was arbitrary and capricious because USTR did not provide meaningful opportunity to comment, failed to consider relevant

factors when making its decision, and failed to draw a rational connection between the facts found and the choices made.” Tesla also applied for waivers in 2019 on artificial graphite, silicon oxide and door ring tailor welded blanks. The waivers for these expired in August 2020. Tesla isn’t the only automaker taking action against the U.S. government, either. Mercedes-Benz has also filed a lawsuit accusing the U.S. government of “prosecution of an unprecedented, unbounded and unlimited trade war impacting over $500bn in imports from the People’s Republic of China.” Volvo, which is now owned by China’s Geely, has also filed a lawsuit as the automaker “believes the way to reach economic growth is to reduce tariffs and harmonize international trade.” We thank CarBuzz for reprint permission.

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Nationwide Introduces Express App To address independent agents’ need for speed and ease of doing business, in 2019 Nationwide introduced Nationwide Express®, a technology platform that enables agents to quote multi-line policies in as little as two minutes. On Sept. 23, Nationwide introduced a new Nationwide Express mobile app, which allows agents to scan a driver’s license to complete an auto quote in as little as 60 seconds. Agents can also add a renters policy with just one click. The launch of the new mobile app now puts the power to generate quotes on the go into the palm of an agent’s hand. Agents can access Nationwide Express today in all states Nationwide offers personal lines insurance, with additional features to be added this year. The Nationwide Express mobile app is available in 31 states on iOS devices. More states and an Android version coming soon. Source: Nationwide

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Caliber Commits to ‘Restoring You’ by Gifting Restored Vehicles to Front Line Heroes Living its purpose of Restoring the Rhythm of Your Life®, Caliber, with its portfolio of automotive services brands—including Caliber Collision, the nation’s largest auto collision repair company—is pleased to extend its “Restoring You” community and teammate program. In collaboration with its insurance partners as part of the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides® program, Caliber will be gifting restored vehicles to front line medical workers, medical support staff and first responders who are helping fight the pandemic. Caliber, which encompasses Caliber Auto Care and Caliber Auto Glass, in addition to Caliber Collision—with its 1,173 centers across 33 states and the broadest network of OEM-certified collision centers in the country—is committed to repairing and maintaining the vehicles of all drivers and fleet operators. During this extraordinary time, the company recognizes a particular need among medical workers, their support staff and first responders, many of whom may worry about

for reliable, safe transportation among those who have been working so hard to fight this pandemic— those in front line roles as medical workers, medical support staff and first responders. “We know that the current environment is putting a severe strain on these workers and their families, and we want to provide them with the gift of transportation through our long-standing partnership with insurance carriers and the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides® program.” As part of its Restoring You initiative, Caliber Collision in Riverside, CA, teamed up with The giftings will occur in Auto Club of Southern California to gift a vehicle to a areas with concentrated local single mother earlier this summer needs, including Dallas/ “The COVID-19 pandemic Fort Worth, Los Angeles and New has made us think differently about York Metro. how we serve our communities as Caliber invites the public to an organization,” said Steve Grim- nominate a worthy health care shaw, CEO of Caliber. “We have worker, medical support staff or seen communities banding together first responder in these markets to during this challenging time, yet we receive a refurbished vehicle from recognize that there are still needs a local Caliber center and teamhow they’ll get to work and elsewhere for daily necessities without reliable transportation. Caliber aims to help ease this hardship by gifting newly refurbished vehicles to deserving recipients.

mates. Nominations can be made at calibercollision.com/restoring-you and will be received through mid-October. Since 2012, Caliber has teamed up with its insurance partners to obtain and restore hundreds of vehicles to pre-accident condition. The company has gifted more than 500 vehicles to veterans, active duty service members and others in need of reliable transportation. Today, Caliber is directing its efforts to aid crucial front line health care workers and first responders, while inviting the public at large to participate by nominating those who have given so much to communities during this time of need. For more information about Caliber’s program for medical workers, medical support staff and first responders, go to www.calibercollision.com/restoring-you. To learn about Caliber’s history of community involvement, including NABC Recycled Rides®, visit www. caliber collision.com/about-us/community -involvement. Source: Caliber Collision

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SYSTEMS • TECHNOLOGY • SUPPORT Social distancing is not the same as disconnecting… Web-based Ordering Systems Phone and Tablet Ordering Systems Electronic Invoicing and Payment Systems Business Analytics Systems Inventory Control Systems Online Training Opportunities Video Conferencing

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How can we help you? 800.531.1305 - www.IndustrialFinishes.com 72 NOVEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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November 2020 West Edition  

November 2020 West Edition