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40 YEARS

WE ST EDITIO N

AUTOBODYNEWS.COM

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

Survey Data Focuses on Auto Body Shop Employee Recruiting Methods by John Yoswick

Despite the growth in online recruiting sites and tools over a number of years, auto body repair shops continue to find word-of-mouth and referrals as their best source of new employees. In a national survey this past summer, collision repairers were asked how they’d located any new technicians they’d hired in the past 12 months. About one-third credited a referral from a current employee, and even more—40%—cited a word-of-

mouth referral from another source. About 17% found the employee through their paint or equipment

A national survey of auto body shops earlier this year found just over half said they currently had a job opening for at least one body technician. See Recruiting Methods, Page 20

Mitchell, Genex, Coventry Unite to Form Enlyte Mitchell, Genex and Coventry formally announced Oct. 13 the creation of their new parent brand, Enlyte. The three businesses have been moving toward this unification since the merger of Mitchell and Genex in 2018, followed by the acquisition of Coventry in 2020. This combination under the new Enlyte brand creates a one-of-a-kind organization in the Property & Casualty industry with technology innovation, clinical services and network solutions, all backed by an unrivaled collection of expertise across the entire claims continuum.

The Mitchell, Genex and Coventry brands will continue to operate as solution providers, making the entire collection of the companies’ trusted products and services available to all Enlyte customers. This new alignment allows the family of businesses to better serve the industry with a holistic point of view and expanded reach, while remaining focused on the individual needs of clients in the Auto Physical Damage, Auto Casualty, Workers’ Compensation and Disability spaces. “We are so pleased to share the exciting work our people have been See Unite to Form Enlyte, Page 30

Vol. 39 / Issue 11 / November 2021

CA Gov. Gavin Newsom Signs AB 471 by Ed Attanasio

Every year, thousands of proposed bills hit the books in Sacramento, CA, but only a small percentage become laws. Two years ago, AB 2454 was introduced by California Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley), and after undergoing major revisions along the way, it recently became law. It’s called AB 471 and it’s a huge win for the collision repair industry in California. AB 471 focuses on the protection of consumers and enhancing current Bureau of Automotive

Repair (BAR) programs by easily verifying and identifying auto repair shops that have proper training and certification credentials. It’s all about more accessibility and accountability, something consumers and auto body shops have been seeking for many years. In June, the California state assembly voted 77-1 in support of AB 471 and moved the CAA-sponsored legislation over to the state senate for review and consideration. Four months later, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 471. AB 471 improves the current See Newsom Signs AB 471, Page 16

Michigan to Have Nation’s First Electrified Road to Wirelessly Charge EVs, Governor Says cause Indiana is already preparing to test such technology. It’s the idea behind a new initiaImagine being able to charge an electric vehicle without stopping to tive that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plug in. It’s the kind of technology announced Sept. 21 as she helped that could help ease worries like open Motor Bella, this year’s alterrange anxiety and could really boost native for the North American Interthe transition to electric vehicles. national Auto Show being held this week at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac. A one-mile stretch of road somewhere in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties will be picked to host the Inductive Vehicle Charging Pilot. The Michigan Department of Transportation is planning to issue a request for proposal on Sept. 28. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer learns about the features It’s not clear how the in the F-150 Lightning from Ford’s Dapo Adewusi at Motor technology would work, Bella in Pontiac, MI, on Sept. 21.Credit: Eric D. Lawrence/ Detroit Free Press how soon the pilot project would be operational or Michigan could have the first how much it might cost, although wireless charging infrastructure on this type of advance has been disa public road anywhere in the coun- cussed by experts as one possible try, although the state is likely to See First Electrified Road, Page 29 be challenged to meet that goal beby Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press

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CONTENTS REGIONAL

Cars as Investments on the Rise �����������������������63

Bay Area Air District Relaunches Clean Cars

CARSTAR 78th on Top Franchise List �����������������26

CA Gov Signs Bill to Expand Inspection of Vehicle Safety Components ���������������������������22 CA Gov. Gavin Newsom Signs AB 471 �����������������1

CCC Forecasts Future of EVs and How It Will Impact Body Shops ���������������������������������������48 Chevrolet Bolt EV Battery Production Resumes ��28

Stall in September ����������������������������������������62

Mercury, CSAA to ‘Close the Gap’ on Auto

CREF Grant Applicants Need Help ���������������������24

Insurance Refunds ������������������������������������������6

Fatality Causes Volvo S60 and S80 Airbag

CARSTAR Pacific Coast Collision Center Opens in Rancho Cordova, CA ����������������������������������24 Crash Champions Adds 4 Locations in Wisconsin and Idaho �������������������������������������30 Free Trade Show Scheduled for Nevada Auto Body and Repair Shops �������������������������12 Port of Long Beach Hosts Supply Chain Summit, Begins Pilot Program for 24-Hour Cargo Pickup ����������������������������������10

Recall �����������������������������������������������������������41 Ford Begins Pre-Production of All-Electric F-150 Lightning ��������������������������������������������60 Hertz Names Interim CEO ����������������������������������20 HONK Tech Can Reduce Claim Cycle Time ���������12 J.D. Power: New Car Tech Goes Unused, People Don’t Intend to Use It ���������������������������4 Jay Leno Joins SEMA Show New Products Breakfast ������������������������������������������������������60 Kornafel Earns Advocacy Award ������������������������14 LG to Pay for Bolt Recall ������������������������������������22

COLUMNISTS Anderson - Auto Body Shops Can Take Control of Credit Card Processing Fees ���������������������34 Chess - Benefits of I-CAR’s Hands-On Spot Welding Class �����������������������������������������������52 Phillips - Marketing Effort at Tony’s Body Shop Pays Off ��������������������������������������������������������36 Yoswick - Changes Ahead for Collision Repair Shops Based on AI, New Automotive Finishes �40 Yoswick - Lawmakers in 3 States Tackle Topics Impacting Collision Repairers ������������������������45

Lordstown Motors Sells Ohio Plant to Hon Hai Technology Group, Announces Partnership to Work on EV Programs �������������������������������58 Michigan to Have Nation’s First Electrified Road

2021 Cox Automotive Service Industry Study: Parts Shortages, Staffing Concerns Hold Back Dealership Service Departments ����������56 ASA Announces New Membership Model ����������46 ASA Charts Next Steps on its Reorganizational Path ��������������������������������������������������������������38 ASE Fall Registration Open ��������������������������������61 AsTech® to Provide OEM Scan Report ���������������46 Auto Insurers Confront Rapidly Rising Claims Costs ������������������������������������������������������������61 AutoNation Appoints CEO and Director ��������������56 Average New-Vehicle Transaction Prices Top $45,000 for First Time ����������������������������������46 Axalta Expects $40M Less in Net Sales for Q3 Due to Supply Chain Shortages, Raw Material and Logistics Constraints ������������������������������57

ltedesco@autobodynews.com

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Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Stacey Phillips Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, 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. ©2021 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 ����������������� 5

Kia of Carson �������������������������������������������������� 29

American Icon Automotive Finishes ����������������� 16

Kia of Irvine ���������������������������������������������������� 35

asTech ������������������������������������������������������������ 26

Kwik Bench ���������������������������������������������������� 12

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

Larry H. Miller Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram ������� 34

AutoNation Infiniti Tustin ��������������������������������� 36

Lithia Honda Medford ������������������������������������� 28

Axalta Coating Systems ������������������������������������ 6

Malco ������������������������������������������������������������� 17

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 61

Markingpendepot.com ������������������������������������ 24

to Wirelessly Charge EVs, Governor Says ���������1

Car Pros Kia ���������������������������������������������������� 20

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������������� 63

Mitchell, Genex, Coventry Unite to Form Enlyte ����1

Car Pros Kia Renton ���������������������������������������� 26

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers �������� 63

New Hampshire, Montana Settle VW Emissions

CCC Intelligent Solutions ��������������������������������� 31

Michael Hohl Motor Company ������������������������� 42

Certified Automotive Parts Association �������������� 8

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������������� 60

Classifieds ������������������������������������������������������ 62

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������� 37

Colortone Automotive Paints ��������������������������� 29

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������ 59

Courtesy Chevrolet San Diego ������������������������� 39

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������� 56

DCH Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram-Fiat �������������� 30

PPG ������������������������������������������������������������������ 9

Claims ����������������������������������������������������������20 NICB Releases Annual ‘Hot Wheels’ Report: America’s Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles ����������63 Projected Health and Safety Requirements for 2021 SEMA Show ������������������������������������30

NATIONAL

AUTOBODY

Cox Automotive Forecast: New-Vehicle Sales

CA Insurance Commissioner Orders Allstate,

CAA Provides Legislative Update �����������������������14

800-699-8251

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

for All Program on Clean Air Day �������������������26

Advertise in our Classified Section for $50 per column inch!

Retail Spending on Cars and Parts Surpasses

DeVilbiss Automotive Refinishing �������������������� 10

Pro Spot International ������������������������������������� 11

Dynabrade, Inc ������������������������������������������������ 25

Reno Buick-GMC �������������������������������������������� 34

Robust Technology Platform Drives Today’s

Equalizer Industries, Inc ���������������������������������� 22

SATA Dan-Am Company ���������������������������������� 13

Successful Collision Repair Centers for

FH Dailey Chevrolet ����������������������������������������� 44

Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-Subaru ���������������������� 41

CARSTAR Owner ���������������������������������������������8

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������������� 55

Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet �������������������������� 16

Future Nissan of Roseville ������������������������������� 40

Spanesi Americas ������������������������������������������� 23

Galpin Motors ������������������������������������������������� 43

Steck Manufacturing Company ����������������������� 14

Garden Grove Kia �������������������������������������������� 35

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������������� 53

Glenn E. Thomas Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep ����������� 21

Sunmight USA �������������������������������������������18-19

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������������� 49

The Bay Area Automotive Group ���������������������� 47

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers �������32-33

TWN Industries Water Transfer Printing ����������� 27

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������� 52

Valspar Refinish ������������������������������������������������ 2

All Other Sales ����������������������������������������������58

Sedgwick to Use CCC Intelligent Solutions’ AI to Digitize Auto Appraisals �����������������������������58 Survey Data Focuses on Auto Body Shop Employee Recruiting Methods �������������������������1 Tesla Asks New U.S. Buyers to Wait Until April 2022 for Model Y Long Range �������������������������4 Tesla Widens Legal Action Against Rivian Over Alleged Theft of Battery Secrets ������������44 Tesla’s FSD Beta 10.2 to Rollout to ~1K New Drivers ��������������������������������������������������61 To Scan or Not to Scan? CAA Says It’s No Longer an Option ������������������������������������������42

Industrial Finishes and Systems ������������������ 7, 64

Volkswagen Pasadena ������������������������������������ 34

JEN6 Equipment ��������������������������������������������� 24

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������� 48

Kearny Mesa Subaru-Hyundai ������������������������� 45

Volvo Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 42

Kia Downtown Los Angeles ����������������������������� 38

Wrenchers ������������������������������������������������������ 15

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers �����������50-51 autobodynews.com / NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 3


J.D. Power: New Car Tech Goes Unused, People Don’t Intend to Use It While new-vehicle technology is a leading reason why buyers choose one vehicle over another, many new vehicles are equipped with some features that they want no part of, according to the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study, released Oct. 8. This ends up being costly to automakers and buyers alike. “New-vehicle prices are at an all-time high, partly as a result of an increased level of content,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of human machine interface at J.D. Power. “This is fine if owners are getting value for their money, but some features seem like a waste to many owners.” The study finds, for more than one in three advanced technologies, fewer than half of owners have used the technology in the first 90 days of ownership. Non-users most often say they don’t need these technologies. For example, 61% of owners say they have never used the in-vehicle digital market technology, and 51% of those saying they have no need for it. Owners feel similarly about the driver/passenger communication technology, with 52% saying they have never used the technology and 40% of those saying they have no need for it. When technology is effectively executed in a vehicle, it positively influences an owner’s decision to purchase another vehicle equipped with that technology. The highest execution scores in the study are for camera rear-view mirror and ground view camera, both of which are ranked among the top three by owners wanting them on their next vehicle. “J.D. Power has a wealth of transactional data showing that automakers suffer a hit to profits and sales velocity if they build the wrong mix of features on their vehicles,” Kolodge said. “The TXI research quantifies the benefits when there is alignment between what owners truly want and what the automakers produce.” Following are key findings of the 2021 study: Dealers can influence how owners feel about value of technology: Dealer demonstrations at delivery are

instrumental in keeping owners engaged with emerging technologies. For example, for safe exit assist technology, owners can get a very strong understanding of the system when they learn it from a dealer. Without dealer education, however, owners often do not fully understand the technology and its value, presenting a challenge for its overall acceptance. Similarly, when a dealer demonstrates trailer assistance technology, satisfaction improves to 8.69 (on a 10-point scale) compared with 7.83 for learning from an outside source. However, owners are more than twice as likely to learn about this technology from an outside source (71%) than from a dealer (30%). Some technologies make driving experience better, while others do not: Many owners indicate poor performance with interior gesture controls technology, which responds to hand motions instead of touch. Owners of this feature indicate an extremely high 41 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). This technology also has the lowest overall satisfaction score in the study for a second consecutive year. In contrast, one-pedal driving technology offered in some electric vehicles receives very high satisfaction levels and owners cite relatively few problems (8 PP100). Tech desires not always transferable across global markets: J.D. Power TXI studies for the U.S. and China include 21 of the same advanced and emerging technologies, but scores for owner satisfaction vary by country. While camera rear-view mirror technology receives high scores in the U.S., owners in China have the most problems (18 PP100) with this technology. For ground view camera technology, 62% of U.S. owners say they “definitely will” want the technology again, while only 24% of owners in China say the same. Tesla’s unofficial score is highest in study: Tesla receives an Innovation Index score of 668 (on a 1,000-point scale). The automaker is not officially ranked among other brands in the study as it doesn’t meet ranking criteria. Unlike other manufacturers, Tesla doesn’t grant J.D. Power permission to survey its owners in 15 states where it is sells vehicles. Based

4 NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

on that limitation, Tesla’s score is calculated based on a sample of surveys from owners in the other 35 states. Highest-Ranking Brands Genesis ranks highest overall and in the premium segment with an Innovation Index score of 634, offering a high level of advanced technologies across its product lineup. In the premium segment, Cadillac (551) ranks second, followed by Volvo (550), BMW (545) and Mercedes-Benz (523). Hyundai ranks highest in the mass market segment with a score of 519. Kia (510) ranks second, followed by Nissan (502), Subaru (499) and GMC (498). Advanced Technology Award Recipients The TXI Study analyzes 36 technologies, which are divided into four categories: convenience, emerging automation, energy and sustainability, and infotainment and connectivity. Only technologies classified as advanced are award eligible. Cadillac Escalade is the premium model receiving the convenience award, for camera rear-view mirror technology. Ram 1500 is the mass market model receiving the convenience award, also for camera rearview mirror technology. Lexus IS receives the premium model emerging automation award, for reverse automatic emergency braking technology. Hyundai

Elantra is the mass market model receiving the emerging automation award, for front cross traffic warning technology. Lexus IS receives the award for infotainment and connectivity in the premium segment, for virtual assistant connectivity to vehicle technology. Kia K5 receives the infotainment and connectivity award in the mass market segment, also for virtual assistant connectivity to vehicle technology. The 2021 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study is based on responses from 110,827 owners of new 2021 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study was fielded from February through July. The TXI Study complements the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS) and the J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study by measuring how effectively each automotive brand brings new technologies to market. The TXI Study combines the level of adoption of new technologies for each brand with the excellence in execution. The execution measurement examines how much owners like the technologies and how many problems they experience while using them. For more information about the U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study, visit https://www.jdpower. com/business/automotive/us-techexperience-index-txi-study

Tesla Asks New U.S. Buyers to Wait Until April 2022 for Model Y Long Range by Mark Kane, Inside EVs

The disproportion between the demand and supply of the Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD appears to have expanded in the U.S.

According to the online configurator, as of Sept. 27, the expected delivery time for new orders of the entry-level Model Y is now April 2022. It was March a week earlier, and February a week before that. Now we understand why Tesla will start production in Texas with the Model Y, as it’s the most wanted car in the lineup. Those who would like to get the Model Y must spend $7,000 more for the Performance version, which can be delivered in November. The good news is at least the prices stopped increasing over the last weeks. There are also no changes in the case of other models.


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CA Insurance Commissioner Orders Allstate, Mercury, CSAA to ‘Close the Gap’ on Auto Insurance Refunds California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara on Oct. 6 directed three auto insurance companies to reimburse California drivers the excess premiums they were charged from the start of the pandemic, or face legal action. The commissioner’s order is directed at Allstate Northbrook Indemnity Company, Mercury Insurance Company and CSAA Insurance Exchange. Together, these companies insure approximately 20% of all California drivers. Further analysis by the California Department of Insurance of data received directly from auto insurance companies shows these three auto insurance companies have the greatest gap between what they initially refunded drivers and what they should have refunded to provide proper premium relief to their policyholders since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Last year as the pandemic hit, millions of Californians stayed home to save lives. We drove less, lowering risks for other drivers on the road. And because of that, I ordered insurance companies to re-

turn money to drivers,” said Lara, whose action has resulted in more than $2.4 billion in premium relief to drivers—the most refunded back to drivers out of the entire country. “New data shows these three insurance companies have the largest gap between what they did and what they should have done to provide further premium relief for their policyholders.

“On behalf of consumers, I am out of patience. These insurance companies have 30 days to tell us once and for all how they are going to make it right before we take further action.” “During the pandemic, Californians drove much less but continued to pay pre-pandemic premiums for auto insurance. Insurance companies are holding on to an unearned windfall captured during

an unprecedented crisis, and they must return the excess they collected after COVID changed everything,” said Douglas Heller, insurance expert for Consumer Federation of America. “We appreciate Commissioner Lara’s persistence in holding insurance companies accountable and fighting to get policyholders their money back.” Shortly after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued “stay-at-home” orders to help stop the spread of the pandemic in March 2020, Lara ordered all property and casualty insurance companies doing business in California in lines of insurance impacted by the pandemic to make appropriate premium refunds to consumers. As the pandemic continued, Lara extended his refund order through June 2020 and beyond “as conditions warrant.” Most recently, in March, Lara ordered insurance companies to continue to provide appropriate premium refunds or credits as the department obtained further data showing the risk of loss had fallen

dramatically, and insurance companies had overcharged consumers. The department’s analysis found, from March to September 2020, insurance company groups returned on average 9% of auto premiums, but the department’s analysis found they should have refunded nearly double that amount—17%—over the seven-month period. As a result, many insurance companies overcharged consumers for their private passenger automobile. The three insurance companies named in the order have 30 days from Oct. 5 to respond. “While some insurance companies have provided some relief, our department will continue to seek out and analyze data to make sure all insurance companies adhere to my orders,” said Lara. “Protecting consumers is my top priority. We will use every means we have available to hold insurance companies accountable for their actions during the pandemic.” Source: California Department of Insurance

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Robust Technology Platform Drives Today’s Successful Collision Repair Centers for CARSTAR Owner In today’s world of “no-touch” customer service, remote learning, virtual estimating and centralized performance tracking, there is one consistent requirement—a robust technology platform. Without that strong foundation, it is challenging to meet the evolving demands of today’s—and tomorrow’s—collision repair industry. While many independent collision repair facilities are grappling with how to upgrade their computers to handle today’s data needs, implement the bandwidth needed to deliver remote services, keep their team members up-todate on training and provide the performance tracking required by many insurance carriers and OEMs, CARSTAR multi-store owner Jason Wong has developed the ideal platform combining resources from CARSTAR, vendor partners and their own network solutions. “The partnership with CARSTAR has been the key to our business’ success,” said Wong, owner of CARSTAR Auto World Collision in San Francisco, and a second location coming soon in San Jose, CA. “Being part of the CARSTAR network has given us the technology platform, operational guidance and business support we needed to grow in a very competitive Northern California marketplace.” CARSTAR, North America’s premier network of independently-owned collision repair facilities, has created a unique solution for its more than 700 locations. Powered by Driven Brands and the resources behind more than 4,000 automotive service locations across North America, CARSTAR provides collision repair facility owners the innovative technology network needed to succeed. From consulting support via CARSTAR’s operations team to proprietary data management tools to virtual customer service applications, CARSTAR keeps its franchise partners at the technological forefront of the industry. “Technology is the foundation of our ability to repair vehicles, track

performance and serve customers,” said Wong. “The CARSTAR dashboard is an incredible platform that integrates all of our systems and data in one place. We rely on it all day, every day to evaluate where we stand with each repair and each Direct Repair Program. It works with our CCC system, so it’s efficient and effective.”

Wong noted, in a business where time is money, being able to closely track hours spent on each task, reimbursement rates and profitability is critical to the bottom-line performance. He works diligently with his local CARSTAR operations team members to review all of the numbers and listens to their advice on how they can make constant improvements. The CARSTAR technology platform has also powered Wong’s ability to deliver no-contact, touchless service to their customers, essential to doing business under the past year’s California protocols. “We have been able to create a truly virtual experience for our customers, from robust online scheduling and virtual estimating tools to easy drop-off and pick-up protocols and daily digital updates on their repair progress,” said Wong. “We’ve deployed our team with laptops and Cloud-based support so they can continue to deliver excellent customer service and manage our business, from wherever they are working.” CARSTAR’s innovative technology platform features: Proprietary KPI dashboards: CARSTAR works with its franchise partners to set up and manage data-tracking systems to accurately measure and report KPI performance on a real-time basis. It also compiles data across the CARSTAR network to identify trends, compare

8 NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

metrics and identify opportunities that help improve performance and profitability. Collision University: Keeping employees abreast of current repair processes and procedures is challenging in any environment, but especially today. With Collision University, team members can access hundreds of online training courses from CARSTAR collision repair experts as well as top manufacturers and service providers. Online photo estimating: In the “no-touch” environment, handling estimates requires new technology. CARSTAR’s online photo estimating tools allow estimators to guide customers through the process of documenting their vehicle damage and submitting for a free estimate. Digital desk review: Handling insurance repairs requires a focus on the details of each carrier program and the bottom line. CARSTAR’s digital desk review evaluates estimates for thousands of repairs each

year for accuracy, compliance and unrecognized opportunities, helping franchise partners streamline the repair process and maximize their potential on each repair. Online scheduling: When a customer is ready to repair their vehicle, the CARSTAR online scheduling system can confirm their appointment, arrange for vehicle pickup or “no contact” drop-off and coordinate with the appropriate insurance carrier. “Bottom line, a collision repair facility with yesterday’s technology will be challenged to meet today’s standards—not to mention in the future,” Wong said. “CARSTAR offers independent collision repair facility owners a powerful partner that helps them navigate the new digital economy and succeed in tomorrow’s collision repair industry.” Visit CARSTAR.com for more information. Source: CARSTAR

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Port of Long Beach Hosts Supply Chain Summit, Begins Pilot Program for 24-Hour Cargo Pickup Transportation and goods movement officials and other stakeholders gathered Sept. 21 at Port of Long Beach headquarters to broaden efforts aimed at speeding up the movement of goods amid a historic cargo surge that started in July 2020. The California Supply Chain Success Initiative brought together federal, state and local leaders within the goods movement industry to develop immediate and long-term solutions to congestion such as 24/7 terminal operations, digitizing information, improved collaboration and strengthening freight policies for seaports across the country. “Many of the supply chain challenges we are witnessing were already occurring prior to the pandemic, but are now magnified due to our high cargo volumes,” said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. “We’re rolling up our sleeves and working with state and federal stakeholders to address the bottlenecks, price spikes and other issues created by congestion at our

nation’s ports.” “We are collaborating with some of the brightest stakeholders in the goods movement industry to tackle these disruptions and keep the economy humming,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Steven Neal. “We are looking at every possible solution to determine what can be done now, and how we can keep the momentum moving into the future.” The summit was co-sponsored by the Port of Long Beach, the California State Transportation Agency, the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, and the Center for International Trade and Transportation at California State University, Long Beach. The gathering was held the same day it was announced Total Terminals International container terminal on Pier T in the Port of Long Beach is making it easier for trucks to access the facility during the overnight hours in a new pilot program to widen access and speed deliveries amid the ongoing cargo surge.

The pilot program at the Port’s largest terminal focuses on the effort to reduce “dwell”—the amount of time cargo spends waiting for pickup on the dock. The terminal is taking two significant steps to increase cargo pickup in the late night, early morning hours, when there is less traffic on the region’s freeways and surface streets. As part of the pilot program, truckers will find they are never too early or too late for their appointments from 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at the TTI Terminal. For truckers with appointments during this period, the terminal will allow access whenever they arrive during that time. This widens the window typically available. Additionally, TTI is opening gates during the third shift, from 3-7 a.m., Monday to Thursday, for two-way, prearranged truck appointments to both drop off and pick up container in the same trip. Known as “dual transactions,” the practice pairs transport of a truck-hauled empty container for export with a loaded import

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container, for maximum efficiency. Visits are arranged in advance, with chassis equipment drawn from the region’s “pool” so everything goes smoothly. The new TTI truck access pilot program was developed with the intent to drive down on-terminal dwell and increase driver productivity. The pilot program will be evaluated periodically by the terminal and adjusted as necessary. To assess the program’s effectiveness, the terminal will monitor gate use, dwell time of import containers and truck driver productivity. The pilot project meshes with the recently announced joint effort with the neighboring Port of Los Angeles and the U.S. Department of Transportation to extend terminal hours to improve freight movement and reduce delays at the San Pedro Bay port complex. Source: Port of Long Beach

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Free Trade Show Scheduled for Nevada Auto Body and Repair Shops GreenUP! and Western Nevada College partnered to offer a free workshop for auto repair and auto body shops in Nevada on Oct. 22 at Western Nevada College in the E.L. Cord Automotive Technology Center. The workshop is made possible with funding provided from the Environmental Protection Agency. Topics covered will be environmental best management practices (BMPs), alternatives to harmful cleaners and solvents, electric vehicles and how to become green certified in the state of Nevada. Vendors will be present to demonstrate healthy alternatives for solvents and coating, cleaning and sanding equipment, and recycling best practices. The workshop will be held in Carson City and live-streamed so auto body shops, high schools and community colleges across the state can participate. Virtual links will be provided after enrollment and before the Oct. 22 workshop date. “There are many best practices that auto shops can engage to reduce their environmental impact,”

said Donna Walden, president of the greenUP! board. “This is one of many sectors that can help Nevada achieve its environmental and climate action goals. Since almost every adult drives, they will be glad to know that their neighborhood auto shop is taking action to make Nevada cleaner and healthier.” Dr. Kyle Dalpe, provost and

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senior vice president of finance, will give the opening remarks. “Western Nevada College has state-of-the-art auto body and auto repair training facilities and qualified instructors on our campus,” he said. “In addition to our workforce development goals, we are also

working to teach environmental sustainability to our students and the broader Nevada community.” Schedule: 8:30 a.m—Registration, vendors on display 9 a.m—Auto Repair and Auto Body Pollution Prevention 10:10 a.m—Break 10:20 a.m—Auto repair shops and auto body shops present “Why P2/ Why Green Business” 10:50 a.m—How Auto Shops Can Get Certified as a Nevada Green Business 11:05 a.m—Western Nevada College case study on aqueous parts washer 11:30 a.m—Presentation on EVs in Nevada and implications for auto shops Noon—Trade show vendors introductions 12:30 p.m—Lunch, vendor consultations 1:30 p.m—Adjourn To register, visit https://tinyurl. com/zf67p3ya For more information, email info@ greenupnow.biz

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CAA Provides Legislative Update The California Autobody Association released an update on several bills in the state legislature, as well as Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) regulations. Legislative Bills BAR AB 471—CAA supports AB 471, which, among other things, allows the BAR to enhance the Auto Shop Locator program by helping consumers to easily identify automotive repair dealers (ARDs) that have training and certification credentials (e.g. ASE, I-CAR); creates an independent panel to review citation appeals; provides for remedial training (e.g., “traffic school”) for ARDs that receive citations for minor violations which will prevent the violation from being posted on the BAR website; allows BAR to certify such remedial training providers; and creates the Vehicle Safety Inspection Program for rebuilt salvage vehicles. Status: Governor’s desk. AB 220—Would expand exemption from smog checks from pre-1976 to pre-1983 vehicles. Status: Two-year bill. AB 467—Would exempt historical vehicles from the smog check program. Status: Two-year bill. Towing & Storage AB 294—CAA opposes this bill,

unless amended. The bill treats ARDs as towing and storage yards and brings them under a new regulatory Towing and Storage Board. The bill also prohibits ARDs from charging fair and reasonable rates for any related storage fees. Status: Two-year bill. Employment The CAA has concerns about the following bills: AB 95—Would provide 10 days of employee bereavement leave without pay. Status: Two-year bill. AB 995—Would extend current three paid sick leave days to five. Status: Two-year bill. AB 1003—Would make it a crime to intentionally fail to pay employee wages. Status: Governor’s desk. AB 1041—Employment leave. Status: Two-year bill. SB 606—Workplace safety. Status: Governor’s desk. COVID-19 CAA supports the following bills: AB 62—Would provide income tax credits for cost to comply with COVID-19. Status: Two-year bill. AB 176—Business and economic

Kornafel Earns Advocacy Award The University of the Aftermarket Foundation (UAF) has presented Pete Kornafel with the UAF Educational Advocacy Award, recognizing an aftermarket leader for his dedication to the pursuit of excellence in education. For the past 25 years, Kornafel has led the industry’s scholarship program, first through the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) and then as chairman of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation’s scholarship committee. His dedication throughout the

years has led to more than 5,700 scholarships being awarded to students pursuing aftermarket careers. In 2018, Kornafel partnered with Danielle Sonnefeld as cochairs of the committee, overseeing the foundation’s ever-growing scholarship program. Recently, he transitioned to the role of past chairman of the scholarship committee and will continue to serve on the UAF board of trustees. Source: UAF

14 NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

development. Status: Governor’s desk. AB 743—Would provide business interruption insurance coverage for COVID-19. Status: Two-year bill. AB 247 & AB 1313—Would provide COVID-19 immunity from civil liability. Status: Two-year bills. SB 49—Would provide tax credits for businesses impacted by COVID-19. Status: Two-year bill. Hazardous Waste CAA has concerns. AB 1 creates a new regulatory board and increases hazardous waste fees. Status: Two-year bill. The AB 1 language was amended into a budget trailer bill, SB 158, and was sent to the governor, who signed it. The other hazardous waste com-

panion bills that are two-year bills include SB 42, Board of Environmental Safety; SB 502, green chemistry; SB 575, waste facility permits and AB 870, hazardous material. Career Tech CAA supports the following bills: AB 299—Would establish a career technical education apprenticeship grant program. Status: Two-year bill. AB 839—Would establish a career technical education incentive grant program. Status: Two-year bill. Vehicles SB 339—Vehicles: Road usage charge pilot program. Status: Governor’s desk. SB 366—Auto dismantling: task force. CAA supports this bill. Status: Governors’ desk. Source: CAA


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Newsom Signs AB 471 citation and fine regulatory program by creating an independent conference panel to review citations; allows BAR to certify providers that train auto repair dealers; and provide opportunity for repair shops to attend training for minor paperwork citation violations, similar to traffic school. CAA Lobbyist Jack Molodanof was pleased after working with Low on AB 471, but he knows there is much work yet to be done. “As they say, the devil is in the details,” he said. “AB 471 provides a good framework, but now we will be working closely with BAR to create regulations based on the legislation. It’s always satisfying to see a bill that becomes a law, especially this one that’s going to help shops and consumers alike.” Monte Etherton, owner of Fender Mender in Encinitas and chairman of CAA’s Legislative Committee, is also delighted with the new law.

“We are all pleased with the passage of AB 471,” Etherton said. “I am especially looking forward to the section of regulations which should prevent the sale of improperly restored total-loss vehicles to unsuspecting consumers. And it’s worth mentioning that allowing total losses to be sold for reconstruction drives up salvage values, which can hurt body shops because it allows insurers to declare a total loss at a lower threshold.” Pete Bezek, a regional rep for CAA, was delighted to learn about the passing of AB 471. “This is a big deal,” he said. “This is going to help the industry on many levels and the most important thing is that AB 471 deals with consumer safety. It will be better for consumers, and BAR will have more power to do what it needs to do. If you’re a good operator that adheres to the law and the regulations, it will be business as usual. But if you’re cutting corners, you’ll probably get exposed for it and fines will likely follow.” Highlights from an analysis performed by the California As-

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sembly’s Business and Professions Committee include the following interpretations of AB 471: Protects consumers who purchase revived salvage vehicles: Combines and renames the current brake and lamp program to the vehicle safety inspection program and provides BAR the authority to develop addi-

BAR-approved educational certificates. This information would be collected voluntarily from the automotive repair dealers. After this information is collected, BAR would be able to provide to consumers through the BAR Auto Shop Locator Program, a new mobile-friendly

“I am especially looking forward to the section of regulations which should prevent the sale of improperly restored total-loss vehicles to unsuspecting consumers.” — Monte Etherton tional inspection criteria thru regulation. Training/educational certifications: Current law limits the amount of information that can be collected by the BAR from automotive repair dealers. The bill allows BAR to collect information from automotive repair dealer application, including email addresses and educational and training certifications that are nationally recognized and generally accepted by the auto repair industry (e.g., ASE, I-CAR, etc.) or any

search tool that allows consumers to perform location-based searches for automotive repair dealers. BAR cite and fine program: BAR currently can issue citation and fines to automotive repair dealers who are licensed smog check stations and those who are performing unlicensed repairs. Under current authority established in Health and Safety Code section 44014.5(d)(2) and Title 16, CA Code of Regulations (CCR) section

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3392.6.1 (Star Program) and CCR section 3394.45 (Unlicensed Activity) the BAR has established an informal citation conference (ICC) process to hear appeals. The current process allows for informal appeals but is heard before a single BAR representative. This bill takes the current ICC process and expands it for automotive repair dealers that receive citations and establishes an independent panel to hear these informal appeals. The panel shall consist of three members, with one from the BAR, the public and the automotive repair industry, all appointed by the BAR chief. Remedial training/ “traffic school” model: Current law does not provide the ability for BAR to a have a citation for minor record keeping violation removed from the internet. The bill provides an opportunity for an automotive repair shop that receives a citation for documentation, record keeping or other minor types of violations, not fraud related, to attend remedial training (certified by BAR) and upon successful completion, would prevent the disclosure of

the citation on internet, similar to attending traffic school under Vehicle Code section 1808.7. To be eligible, the automotive repair dealer shall not have attended remedial training in the prior 18-month period. Salvage vehicle safety inspection: Generally, when a consumer’s vehicle is involved in accident, it is repaired by a licensed repair shop in a good and workmanlike manner which meets all safety requirements of the original equipment manufacturer. Basically, it’s brought back to pre-accident condition. However, if it is determined that the vehicle is not economically feasible to repair due to extensive damage, it is declared a “total loss” and towed to the auction to be sold as “junk” and gets a “salvage” certificate. Most of these salvage vehicles are purchased for parts and are dismantled. Some of these vehicles are purchased by “rebuilders” who repair the car as cheap as possible and then sell these vehicles via Craigslist, etc.

In order to legally revive the salvage for use on public roads, they must simply pass brake and lamp inspection and smog check and obtain a California Highway Patrol inspection to make sure there are no stolen parts. Unfortunately, many of these revived total loss salvage vehicles could have safety issues such as cracked windshields, illuminated air bag lights and no seat belts, yet still pass inspection and are sold to unsuspecting consumers who think they’re buying a safe vehicle. BAR has recognized this as a consumer safety issue. This bill combines the current brake and lamp program and re-names it the “vehicle safety inspection program” and provides BAR the authority to develop additional inspection criteria standards for safety systems through regulations and allows for electronic transmittal of the brake and lamp certificates to Department of Motor Vehicles. Every automotive trade organization in California endorsed AB 471, including Rodney K. Pierini, president and CEO of the Califor-

nia Aftermarket Parts Association; Aaron Lowe, senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs for the Auto Care Association; Gloria Peterson, executive director of the Automotive Service Councils of California; Johan Gallo, executive director of the California Automotive Business Coalition; Marc Connerly, executive director of the California Tire Dealers Association; Nikki Ayers, executive director of the Independent Automotive Professionals Association; Christina Bauders, executive director of the Automotive Oil Change Association; Ann Wilson, senior vice president of government affairs for the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association; Robert Redding, national legislative representative of the Automotive Service Association; Ray Pohlman, president of the Coalition for Automotive Repair; and Rick Johnson, executive director of the California Autobody Association.

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Recruiting Methods vendor. Less than 8% said they’d recently recruited a new employee from a local high school; even fewer said they’d recruited from a post-secondary school either in their area (less than 6%) or outside their market (also less than 6%). Among online recruitment methods, more than one in four shops said they’d successfully used Indeed, about 18% cited Facebook and 15% used Craigslist. About 4% used LinkedIn—the same percentage using an ad in a local newspaper. “We are advertising everywhere,” the manager of an independent shop in Pennsylvania said. “Our last hire is a kid in high school on co-op.” “I’ve talked to everyone I meet, and only found two unskilled trainees,” a shop owner in Michigan commented. This summer’s survey comes on the heels of one three months earlier that found about four in five auto body shops said they would

hire a qualified candidate right away; 29% said they would hire two new employees if they could. Only 21% of shops said they were fully staffed and had no job openings for any position. Six months earlier, by comparison, 37% said they were fully staffed. When asked about specific job positions, half of the shops responding (51%) said they currently have a need for at least one body technician, and almost one-third (31%) had an opening for a body helper. The other most in-demand job positions were detailers, needed by 22% of shops, and front office estimators and painter’s helpers, both positions cited by 19% of shops. Lowest in demand in terms of production positions was a structural or frame technician, currently needed by just 11% of shops. About 12% of shops said they had paid a hiring bonus to a new technician within the past 12 months. More than half of those bonuses were less than $2,000, but a quarter of them (26%) were $3,000

or more. Perhaps making the market even more competitive for auto body shops looking to find an experienced technician are job openings outside of shops—such as with remote diagnostic and calibration companies—that require a body technician’s skill set but don’t involve actual body work. Those jobs didn’t even exist 15 years ago. The data comes from two “Who Pays for What?” surveys from this year. The latest of the quarterly surveys, conducted by Collision Advice and CRASH Network, is taking place through the month of October. Shops can visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ XC67NPT to take the survey.

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The states of New Hampshire and Montana will see more money from Volkswagen related to its emissions cheating that added more pollution to the atmosphere. However, neither state got anywhere near as much as they wanted. New Hampshire says it reached an agreement with VW for installing emissions defeat devices in diesel vehicles that caused excess nitrogen oxide emissions in the state. The state alleges Volkswagen violated the Air Pollution Control Act by causing certain diesel vehicles to emit nitrogen oxides 30 times more than the legal limit. According to the settlement, VW will pay the state $1.15 million, and the automaker is required to install one additional direct-current fast charging station in New Hampshire. This is in addition to the five charging stations VW had already installed or planned to install. Volkswagen had already paid about $204 million to the state, but New Hampshire officials say this is

the first time “a state that has not adopted California’s air emissions standards has received settlement money under state air pollution laws related to a ‘defeat device’ installed by a manufacturer.” In Montana, the Department of Environmental Quality reached a settlement with Volkswagen for penalties related to emissions defeat devices allegedly installed on 2009-2016 VW Jetta, Audi A3 and Porsche Cayenne diesel vehicles. Volkswagen has agreed to pay the state a total of $357,280, or $280 per car for the 1,276 cars sold in Montana that received emissions software updates. Montana says VW sent software upgrades that dealerships downloaded to the vehicles during maintenance. Those updates allegedly made the defeat devices worse by detecting when the steering wheel of a car moved, indicating it was being used on the road rather than being tested. Once on the road the emissions controls were allegedly turned off, emitting illegal levels of nitrogen oxides.

20 NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Hertz announced Oct. 5 it has named Mark Fields as interim CEO and Paul Stone as president and chief operations officer, as the company accelerates its commitment to lead the future of mobility and travel. The moves, effective immediately, are part of a vision for an all-new Hertz that combines the iconic company’s brand strength and global fleet management expertise with new technology and innovations charting a dynamic, new course for travel, mobility and the auto industry. Fields joined Hertz’s Board of Directors in June. He also is a senior advisor at TPG Capital and former president and CEO of Ford Motor Company, where he served for 28 years. In addition, he is lead independent director of Tanium and serves on Qualcomm’s Board of Directors. Stone, who formerly was Hertz’s CEO, will partner as the company’s president and chief operations officer. He will ensure a strong focus on operations and customer service excellence. Source: Hertz

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CA Gov Signs Bill to Expand Inspection of Vehicle Safety Components Consumers in California are one step closer to achieving safer vehicles with the passage of AB 471, a measure that will expand the inspection of vehicle safety components and systems. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 28. Authored by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) and co-authored by Assemblymember Heath Flora (R-San Joaquin Valley), AB 471 combines the state’s current brake and lamp inspection program required for salvage vehicles to be registered by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), renames it the California Vehicle Safety Inspection Program (CVSIP) and includes additional safety inspection criteria and systems as developed by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR.) The bill also allows safety certificates to be electronically sent to the DMV by BAR, saving money for the state, and creating convenience for consumers, inspection stations and repair shops. “We applaud Assemblymember Low, BAR and Gov. Newsom for recognizing there is a safety concern with respect to salvage vehicles and taking action to protect consumers,” said

Rodney Pierini, president and CEO of CAWA, which convened the industry vehicle safety inspection task force. “Many of the revived total loss salvage vehicles could have additional safety concerns beyond lamps and brakes, including cracked windshields, illuminated or damaged air bags, faulty seat belts, etc. Yet they still pass inspection and are sold to unsuspecting consumers who think they are purchasing a safe vehicle. The signing into law of AB 471 will ensure consumers who purchase a salvage vehicle are purchasing a safe vehicle.” AB 471 also allows BAR to collect additional information from the automotive repair dealer application, including educational and training certifications that are nationally recognized and generally accepted by the automotive repair industry (e.g., ASE and I-CAR.) “Automotive repair professionals spend a considerable amount of time and money training automotive service technicians to properly and safely repair vehicles,” said Dave Kusa, chair of the Automotive Service Councils of California (ASCCA) Governmental Affairs Committee. “Under AB 471, these training

certifications would be included on the BAR public website to assist consumers to easily identify auto repair shops that have proper training and certification credentials. I think it’s a win-win for both consumers and automotive repair shops.” CAWA formed an advisory task force in 2019 to explore options to create a California Vehicle Safety Inspection Program. Led by CAWA, the task force includes the Automotive Service Councils of California (ASCCA), Auto Care Association, Coalition for Automotive Repair Equality (CARE), Automotive Service Association (ASA), Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Motor Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (MEMA) and the Association for Sustainable Manufacturing (MERA) and other CAWA member automotive companies. Low represents the 28th Assembly district in California and is chair of the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. The bill text of AB 471 can be viewed at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB471 Source: CAWA

LG to Pay for Bolt Recall General Motors Co. announced Oct. 12 it has reached an agreement under which LG Electronics Inc. will reimburse GM for costs and expenses associated with the recall of Chevrolet Bolt EVs and EUVs due to manufacturing defects in battery modules supplied by LG. As a result of the agreement, GM will recognize an estimated recovery in its third-quarter earnings that will offset $1.9 billion of $2.0 billion in charges associated with the recalls. “LG is a valued and respected supplier to GM, and we are pleased to reach this agreement,” said Shilpan Amin, GM vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “Our engineering and manufacturing teams continue to collaborate to accelerate production of new battery modules and we expect to begin repairing customer vehicles this month.” Source: GM

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CARSTAR Pacific Coast Collision Center Opens in Rancho Cordova, CA CARSTAR, North America’s largest multi-store network of independently owned collision repair facilities, announced the opening of CARSTAR Pacific Coast Collision Center, located at 3480 Sunrise Blvd., Rancho Cordova, CA 95742. Eddie Shadarevian, owner of CARSTAR Pacific Coast Collision Center, first got into the collision repair industry selling aftermarket auto body parts. Once he decided to open his own auto body repair center, he purchased a location he could be proud of. “We have a tremendous amount of growth happening within our community, so I wanted to ensure I built a repair center that could provide that premier level of service but on a larger scale,” said Shadarevian. “We are family-owned and operated, so it’s nice to have the support of CARSTAR to ensure we continue to stay ahead of industry advancements, but we can still provide that care to our customers that only comes from being locally owned and operated.” CARSTAR Pacific Coast Collision Center is a massive 20,000-square

foot state-of-the art facility with all new equipment. The repair center is an I-CAR Gold Class facility, with a large team of 19 highly trained em-

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cilities have been long-time small business owners in their communities, like Eddie, prioritizing their work quality and service levels above all else,” said Dean Fisher, collision group president, Driven Brands. “This is why we are so excited to welcome owners like this to the CARSTAR family, because they help make our premier reputation possible.” Shadarevian and his team are actively engaged in their community, supporting charitable causes and also sponsoring local teams, to give back to the next generation. Please join us in welcoming this incredible team into our CARSTAR family! CARSTAR Pacific Coast Collision Center 3480 Sunrise Blvd. Rancho Cordova, CA 95742 (916) 287-9333 Monday to Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m. For more information on CARSTAR, visit CARSTAR.com. Source: CARSTAR

CREF Grant Applicants Need Help For the 12th year, the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) invited collision repair instructors to apply for Benchmark Grant funds to support their programs and their students with the tools, equipment and supplies needed to properly educate the next generation of collision repair professionals. Instructors from all over the country completed the application process, representing 124 schools in 37 states. Collision repair shops and other industry supporters interested in directing a monetary or in-kind donation to a specific school in their market area can get more information at www. collisioneducationfoundation. org/directed-purpose-gifts/ CREF will announce the 2021 Benchmark Grant winners later this year. To direct a donation to a specific school on the list of 2021 Benchmark Grant Applicant Schools, email info@ ed-foundation.org. Source: CREF


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Bay Area Air District Relaunches Clean Cars for All Program on Clean Air Day The Bay Area Air Quality Management District, based in San Francisco, has relaunched its Clean Cars for All program with more than $8 million available for qualified residents to purchase a clean air vehicle. The program provides up to $9,500 for income-qualified members of communities disproportionally affected by air pollution to retire older vehicles and replace them with a new or used hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric or fuel cell vehicle, or get a transit card or e-bike. Additionally, up to $2,000 in funding is available for homecharging equipment and installation for purchasing a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle. The Air District launched the program in March 2019 as part of a broad effort to make clean air vehicles affordable options for residents across the Bay Area. Equitable access to clean air vehicles also ensures all residents benefit from lower fuel and maintenance costs as well as the improved driving experience.

The California Air Resources Board has recently awarded the Air District an additional $8.33 million to continue support for this program.

Participating residents may choose one of the following clean air transportation options to replace their 2005 or older vehicle that will be scrapped: Electric vehicles operate solely on their electric motor. Electric vehicle batteries recharge by plugging into an outlet or charging station. Fuel cell electric vehicles use hy-

drogen fuel and an electric motor instead of a gasoline engine. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles combine an electric motor with a gasoline engine. Plug-in hybrid batteries are recharged by the gasoline-powered motor during braking and by plugging into an outlet or charging station. Hybrid electric vehicles combine an electric motor with a gasoline engine. These vehicles cannot be “plugged-in” to be recharged. The gasoline-powered motor also acts as a generator to recharge batteries on hybrids. E-bike or transit card that can be used for public transportation on Bay Area transit systems. Applicants must live in a designated, eligible community in the Bay Area and their household income must fall under a specified limit based on their household size. For more program details, information about how to apply, to complete an application or to verify eligibility, visit www. baaqmd.gov/cleancarsforall. Source: Bay Area Air Quality Management District

CARSTAR 78th on Top Franchise List CARSTAR, North America’s premier network of independently owned collision repair facilities, has risen in its rank among the top 100 in Franchise Times magazine’s Top 400, the most comprehensive ranking of the 400 largest U.S. franchise systems. Recognized by entrepreneurs and franchisors as a top competitive tool of measurement, the Franchise Times Top 400 placed CARSTAR 78th on the list, up from the 92nd position in 2020. CARSTAR was the top collision repair company for the overall automotive category. For more than 30 years, CARSTAR has been known for its premier reputation fueling the growth of its strong North American footprint to more than 700 locations in 35 states and 10 provinces. The Franchise Times Top 400+ is an annual ranking of the 400 largest franchise systems in the U.S. by global systemwide sales, based on the previous year’s performance. Source: CARSTAR

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Chevrolet Bolt EV Battery Production Resumes General Motors on Sept. 20 outlined a comprehensive action plan to ensure customers can safely and confidently drive, charge and park the Chevy Bolt EV and EUV. The action plan includes both hardware and software remedies, some of which are in place with immediate effect. “We’re grateful for the patience of owners and dealers as we work to advance solutions to this recall,” said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, global product development, purchasing and supply chain. “Resuming battery module production is a first step and we’ll continue to work aggressively with LG to obtain additional battery supply. In addition, we’re optimistic a new advanced diagnostic software will provide more convenience for our customers.” New battery production LG battery plants in Holland and Hazel Park, MI, have resumed production. In addition, LG is adding capacity to provide more cells to GM. As a result, replacement battery modules will begin shipping to dealers as soon as mid-October. The root cause of the rare circumstances that could cause a battery fire is two manufacturing defects known as a torn anode and a folded separator, both of which need to be present in the same battery cell. LG has implemented new manufacturing processes and has worked with GM to review and enhance its quality assurance programs to provide confidence in its batteries moving forward. LG will institute these new processes in other facilities that will provide cells to GM in the future. Prioritized battery replacement GM will continue to prioritize Chevy Bolt EV and EUV customers whose batteries were manufactured

during specific build timeframes where GM believes battery defects appear to be clustered. The company has established a notification process that will inform affected customers when their replacement modules will be available.

“Resuming battery module production is a first step and we’ll continue to work aggressively with LG to obtain additional battery supply. In addition, we’re optimistic a new advanced diagnostic software will provide more convenience for our customers.” — Doug Parks The new batteries will include an extended battery 8-year/100,000mile limited warranty* (or 8-year/ 160,000 km limited warranty in Canada). New advanced diagnostic software Within approximately 60 days, GM will begin launching a new advanced diagnostic software package that will increase the available battery charging parameters over existing guidance. The diagnostic software will be designed to detect specific abnormalities that might indicate a damaged battery in Bolt EVs and EUVs by monitoring the battery performance, alerting customers of any anomalies and prioritizing damaged battery modules for replacement. It is GM’s intent that further diagnostic software will allow customers to return to a 100% state of charge once all diagnostic processes are complete. This new software, which will be provided to all Bolt EV and EUV owners, requires dealer installation. Owners will be able to start to schedule installation at their Chevy EV dealer in approximately 60 days.

aware of any fires that have occurred where customers followed this safety guidance, in parking decks or otherwise. GM’s instructions remain: Set the vehicle to a 90% state of charge limitation using Target Charge Level mode. Instructions on how to do this are available on chevy.com/

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28 NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

boltevrecall. If customers are unable to successfully make these changes or do not feel comfortable making these changes, GM is asking them to visit their dealer to have these adjustments completed. Charge the vehicle more frequently and avoid depleting battery below approximately 70 miles of remaining range, where possible. Continue to park vehicles outside immediately after charging and do not leave vehicles charging indoors overnight. Customers who have additional questions can visit www.chevy.com/ boltevrecall or contact the Chevrolet EV Concierge 1-833-EVCHEVY (available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–midnight ET; Saturday and Sunday, noon–9 p.m. ET) or contact their preferred Chevrolet EV dealer. *Whichever comes first. Customers can obtain a copy of complete warranty terms and details at the time of the repair. Source: GM

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First Electrified Road future for EV charging and testing has been tried in Europe. The Indiana project would use magnetizable concrete to enable wireless charging of electric vehicles, according to an Indiana Department of Transportation news release. Scott Manning, an INDOT spokesman, said the in-pavement wireless charging project in that state was launched in July, and is currently being installed at a research facility in West Lafayette, IN. “We expect to reach the second phase of the project, testing on a public roadway within one to two years,” Manning said, noting officials there were not aware of any other similar projects under way in the U.S. when they were researching it. When asked about Indiana’s project, Shelby Austin, a public relations official helping with the Whitmer announcement, said Mich-

igan’s request for proposal would effectively jump ahead of Indiana’s plans, directly to the public road phase. Following her announcement Sept. 21, Whitmer noted the significance for this type of project. “We’re rebuilding infrastructure in Michigan. Orange barrels are everywhere. It’s important that we’re rebuilding, but we’re doing it in a resilient way that supports advanced technology,” Whitmer told reporters, noting the wireless charging project is crucial to meeting the needs of fleets. In a statement later, Whitmer pointed to Michigan’s past as well as its future. “Michigan was home to the first mile of paved road, and now we’re paving the way for the roads of tomorrow with innovative infrastructure [that] will support the economy and the environment, helping us achieve our goal of carbon neutrality by 2050,” Whitmer said. The potential to charge electric buses, shuttles and other vehicles on the road without having to stop could do more than just help with

electric vehicle deployment, according to Trevor Pawl, chief mobility officer with the state’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification. “This electrified roadway has the potential to accelerate autonomous vehicles at scale and turn our streets into safe, sustainable, accessible and shared transportation platforms,” Pawl said in a news release. Whitmer’s announcement came during remarks as Motor Bella was opening. The event, although connected to Detroit’s auto shows of the past, is a significant departure from the show that used to be held downtown every January. There are vehicles on display, but the highlights are more experiential with various ride events. Press and industry events were being held the next two days, and then the show opened to the public Sept. 23-26. After the opening, Whitmer, along with Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter, toured display areas set up by General Motors, Stellantis, Toyota and Ford, checking out various rides and learning

about some cool features. Whitmer sounded disappointed when an aide told her liability concerns would keep her off the dramatic Ford Bronco ride that features a Bronco rolling up a track that appeared to be lifted by hydraulics to simulate a large hill, part of the effort to show off the vehicle’s offroad chops. At the Stellantis area, she also got a look at the new 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, being built at the company’s Warren Truck Assembly. Hearing the front seats in a model featuring the Blue Agave interior include a massage function, she said she “might just take a nap.” She also let it be known she’d wrecked her parents’ Wagoneer when she was 17, and unlike this bright white, modern version, it was, in fact, a woody.

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Continued from Cover

Unite to Form Enlyte doing to bring our family of businesses even closer together,” said CEO Alex Sun. “Uniting our teams under Enlyte will make it easier for us to help customers manage costs while delivering quality service with an expansive collection of Mitchell, Genex and Coventry solutions from first-notice-of-loss to recovery.” The launch of Enlyte includes the creation of a Customer and Market Operations team, which will bring together the casualty sales, client services and marketing teams from all three organizations. The new team will be led by Nina Smith, who currently serves as executive vice president and general manager of Mitchell’s Casualty Solutions Group (CSG). “I am excited about the opportunity to work with my colleagues to create unprecedented value for our clients and the P&C market,” Smith said. As the casualty Customer and Market Operations team from all three businesses is organizing under a

single group, the Mitchell Auto Physical Damage group will continue to develop and offer the Mitchell-branded suite of solutions as they do today, dedicated to superior service and expertise in collision repair and claims. “We are proud of our legacy brands and the teams behind them,” said Sun. “Each of the three companies will continue to develop and grow the branded solutions that our customers know, with the same collaboration and quality they trust.” The changes were shared Oct. 12 with an invite-only audience of Mitchell, Genex and Coventry customers at the 2021 Virtual mPower Conference. Attendees were given a first-look at the new brand, and heard directly from Sun and other leaders about the new organization and the promise of a future united. “Aligning under a single, unified brand, while keeping the greatness of our legacy companies, reminds us that we must continue to deliver on our strategic vision of bringing an ever-expanding set of capabilities that positively impact claims outcomes,” Sun said. Source: Enlyte

Projected Health and Safety Requirements for 2021 SEMA Show Based on current COVID-19 indicators and trends in Clark County, NV, attendees at the 2021 SEMA Show can expect face masks will be required while indoors during the event taking place Nov. 2-5 in Las Vegas, NV. SEMA Show organizers will adhere to the safety measures required by state and local health authorities. Forecasts indicate masks will continue to be required indoors when the SEMA Show is held in Las Vegas in early November. Currently there is no requirement to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for trade shows, and there is no indication these measures would be in place in November. Las Vegas’ COVID-19 health and safety requirements, currently set by the State of Nevada, are dictated by key indicators, including average number of tests per day, case rates and test positivity rates. Numbers and ratings must reach and maintain specific levels for 14 days in order for requirements to change. While key indicators continue to improve in Las Vegas, the current health and safety requirements

are not expected to change before the SEMA Show takes place in early November. Therefore, SEMA Showgoers should plan on wearing masks while indoors; masks would not be required at the SEMA Show features located in more than 1 million square feet of outdoor space. Inside the LVCC, operators have installed hospital-grade air filtration systems and earned the GBAC Star Certified rating for cleaning and sanitization for event facilities. Expansion into the new West Hall provides more show space, so there will be wider aisles and reduced crowding throughout the entire convention center. Hand-sanitizing stations will also be placed throughout the event, and high-traffic areas will be cleaned daily. SEMA Show organizers are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 landscape and will keep the industry updated of any unexpected changes. Details will be posted on the official SEMA Show website at www.semashow.com and on official SEMA Show social media accounts. Source: SEMA

ORIGINAL.

Crash Champions Adds 4 Locations in Wisconsin and Idaho Crash Champions, LLC, one of the nation’s fastest growing independent collision repair companies, announced Oct. 4 it has acquired Wisconsin’s Pulera Collision Center, located at 7110 70th Court in Kenosha, and Idaho’s First Choice Collision Repair, consisting of three locations across the Boise metropolitan area. The addition of Pulera Collision follows the company’s other 2021 acquisitions in the region, including D&M Auto Body, Milwaukee Collision and two Quality Auto Body repair shops. The addition of First Choice represents the company’s first expansion in Idaho after initially entering the market earlier this year with the acquisition of Coachman Auto Body. “These two transactions will be terrific additions to Crash’s growing footprints in Wisconsin and Idaho,” said Matt Ebert, founder and CEO of Crash Champions. “Pulera Collision is a standout in the Chicago-Milwaukee corridor, having been selected multiple times as a Best of Kenosha

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County winner, and First Choice has grown to three locations thanks to its talented professionals and an unwavering dedication to its customers. “Like Crash, both organizations share our commitment to delivering high-quality repairs and first-class service, and I am confident that we can deliver even greater value to these customers and communities as part of the Crash Champions family.” For more information about Crash Champions, visit www.crashchampions.com. Source: Crash Champions

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autobodynews.com / NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 33


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.

Auto Body Shops Can Take Control of Credit Card Processing Fees It came as no surprise to me our “Who Pays for What?” surveys have found the vast majority (95%) of collision repair businesses accept payment from customers by credit card. All of us as consumers have become accustomed to the convenience of using credit cards, and enjoying the rewards—cash back, travel points, etc.—we can receive by paying our bills with them. But have you stopped to look recently at what it’s costing your business to offer that convenience to your customers? Have you looked into what your options are for reducing or eliminating those costs? Now you might think I’m talking about shopping around among the hundreds of merchant processing options out there, most of which are all too eager to assure you they will meet or beat your current processing fees.

That is one option. But let’s look at some ways you might be able to trim your card processing costs without switching vendors. It’s a project one of my Collision Advice teammates, Mark Head, spearheaded this year. He’s a true financial specialist, working with our Collision Advice clients to dig into their profit-and-loss statements and really make sure they understand how to maximize their profitability and where they need to focus their attention. Mark first contacted our clients who are members of our “20 groups” to find out what the true cost was of their card processing, meaning the fees they were incurring monthly. As you’re probably aware, card processing fees can vary significantly. Some are based on a flat percentage. Some include a percent-

age plus a per-transaction fee. Some vary based on the type of card (Visa, MasterCard, Amex, etc.). Some differ based on whether the card was present at the time of the transaction versus a remote transaction. Did you know that? I sure didn’t! So Mark had our clients tell us which processing service they use—there were almost two dozen different vendors—and had them all use the same basis to determine their processing costs: divide the total fees paid in a given month, by the total sales dollars paid via credit card for that month. The bottom line on processing fees? “It ranged from a low of just above 1.5%—1.64%, to be exact--to more than 4%—4.2%, in fact,” Mark told me. “This is often an ‘unknown cost’ for a lot of shops. They know they pay something, but have

never really taken a close look at what it’s costing them to offer their customers that convenience. That’s what I wanted to point out to them: is it worth giving up 3 or 4% of the bill to allow customers to pay with a credit card versus cash or a check.” Remember this percentage erodes your bottom line! So what can auto body shops do about this cost? First, they may want to place a limit on the dollar amount a customer can pay using a credit card. Say a customer’s vehicle is in for a $3,500 repair, including their $1,000 deductible. Do you allow the customer to put the insurance payment into their own account and pay the whole $3,500 on their credit card? If so, you just paid $105 (if you pay a 3% processing fee) for that transaction. But what if you placed a cap of $1,000 on the amount the customer

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can pay by credit card? They still get the convenience of paying their deductible by credit card, but you paid only $30 in credit card processing fees because the insurance portion of the bill wasn’t included in the credit card transaction. In this example, the shop saved $75; multiply that by the number of credit card transactions you have per month, and it adds up to real money. There’s some indication a growing number of collision repair shops are placing such limits. One of our “Who Pays for What?” surveys in 2020 found 76% of shops had no such limit. This year, the survey found that had fallen to 61%. Limits of either $1,000 or $2,500 were the most common. But you might also consider under what circumstances you accept payment by credit card. Some insurance companies have pressed their direct repair shops to accept payment from the insurer by credit card. Shops that recognized what that 2% or 4% off the bottom line could mean for their business often found they were successful in requesting other forms of payment from the in-

surer. Some of those shops also said the insurance company allowed them to add the credit card fees to the amount they were being paid. I’ll discuss this later in this column, but I want to note here that is not something we confirmed ourselves, and neither Mark nor I are offering any legal advice here. But here’s another scenario Mark and I have been hearing about: tow companies who want to pay the bill at the shop by credit card when picking up a total loss vehicle. I just have to scratch my head thinking about any shop agreeing to that, particularly when our “Who Pays for What?” surveys consistently show more than half of shops are not marking up tow bills—that’s a topic for another column. When that tow truck driver pays that bill with a credit card and you’re not marking up the sublet tow charge, you’re not only not making any money on that tow, you’re actually losing money—the 2% or 3% or 4% you’re paying in credit card processing for that transaction. That just makes no sense.

So those are some ways—aside from shopping for lower processing fees—to limit or reduce how much accepting some payments by credit card is costing your business. But Mark also did some more digging into some other cost-saving possibilities for shops. “We found some processors allow a shop to offer what’s called a cash-discount program,” Mark said. “It implements a service fee on all customers, while giving a discount to the customer who pays in cash or check.” There’s an important caveat, Mark said: such a surcharge is not legal in 10 states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Texas and New York, though we heard recently that may change in New York. But here’s how it can work in the other 40 states. “First, you have to post signage in your office or lobby or customer area explaining that all final bills include a 4% surcharge, for example, on top of the total bill,” Mark said. “The surcharge should be whatever percentage you actually pay in fees.

And you need to tell the customer up front. That’s very important.” It’s easy for a customer to avoid paying that surcharge: they just need to pay their bill with cash or a check. Basically, the credit card fee shows up on the customer’s end, not the shop’s; therefore the shop isn’t paying a fee. Mark’s presentation on this was a real eye-opener for a lot of our auto body shop clients who really hadn’t realized, first, how much credit card fees were eroding their bottom line, and second, that they had options. I’m so grateful to him for doing this research and being able to point our clients to some of the processors offering the cash-discount program if they are eligible to use it in their state. “As shop owners, you always want to grow sales, but you need to keep an eye on costs as well,” Mark told them. He’s the kind of “numbers guy” I’m thankful to have on my team.

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Shop Strategies

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 stacey@radiantwriting.com.

with Stacey Phillips

Marketing Effort at Tony’s Body Shop Pays Off

Body Shops Giving Back

a long time ago. When I moved to Tony and Isabel Flores opened To- learned a lot. ny’s Body Shop in Oxnard, CA, in I encourage people to leave this building 15 years ago, it was their cubby or shop and go some- twice the size of my prior location 1965. Considered to be hard-workwith Stacey Phillips ing business people by their friends where to sit in a classroom and and I wanted to ensure all of my past and family, the couple taught their learn. By talking to industry partici- customers knew we moved. I didn’t children good work ethics from an pants and touring shops, it helps you want to lose my customer base. I’m build a better business. Business is no different than an insurance comearly age. pany that wants customers Their son, Jay, found they were to renew and re-sign their struggling financially and began with Stacey Phillips policy. I’m looking for cusworking at the small mom-and-pop tomers to come back and shop after graduating from college. tell their family and friends He now operates the family business about us. with his wife, Evelyn, their children, I’ve been successful with Jayson, Jaycob and Jasmine, Jay’s it so I’ve kept it going. My older sister, Maria, and his cousin, father was once told by a Adrian. with Stacey Phillips man in Argentina that if The family business is located you do the best job you can about two miles from where it origi- Tony’s Body Shop is located in Oxnard, CA, about two miles for the car you are working nally opened more than 50 years ago, from where it originally opened more than 50 years ago on today, don’t worry about and the Floreses pride themselves on providing a quality repair to custom- business; it doesn’t matter if you sell where the next car is going to come pizza, work in a janitorial company from. In essence, he meant that if ers by following OEM procedures. Autobody News talked to Jay or in collision repair, you need to un- you do a good quality job, you’ll alwithsmall Victoria Antonelli derstand basic accounting. ways be busy. It’s a very basic conabout the challenges businesses face and how Tony’s Body Shop Why is it important to create has been successful through its mara business or marketing plan? keting efforts.

cept but so true.

Q:

In addition to television, what other types of marketing have you found helpful?

A:

Tips for Busy Body Shops

There’s no silver bullet. There are many facets. As the writer Tom Franklin said, “The spider that weaves the largest web catches the most flies.” In marketing terms, it simply means that the shop that “weaves the largest web” will capture the most business. One area where the majority of shops get an “F” is having a really good website. It seems everyone you know can build a website but people who truly understand SEO are hard to find. A professional website should include a blog or content about your business, make it easy to find the address and phone number and look good on a phone, tablet and

My SEMA

Shop Strategies

Q: A:

Q: Product Innovation A: with Ed Attanasio

Many businesses struggle because they have no business plan or marketing plan. They haven’t One of the biggest issues sat down and thought things through I see in the industry is that and don’t have accurate knowledge business owners truly don’t under- about what it takes to operate a sucstand financials and know if the boat cessful business. In order to survive in business, is sinking or floating. They don’t un- derstand their true costs to operate you need a marketing plan. How with the Gary so they may be giving farmLedoux away else are you going to bring people to your front door? There is no such and not even know it. About 20 years ago, I joined the thing as luck. It’s hard work and AkzoNobel Acoat Selected program planning. You’ve either written a to learn about financials. I was ed- marketing plan and are successful, ucated about profit and loss state- or you failed the plan and are strugments, balance sheets and writing gling. Staceyplan. Phillips I recommend writing a twoa business plan with and marketing The program really helped me and page marketing plan outlining how I’m still part of it today. It allows me you are going to get customers to the to meet with other shop owners and front door. Marketing is like a diatalk about what’s happening with the mond that has many facets. industry so I know what I need to do What types of marketing to stay current. I also participated in the 3M ARMS with Mike Anderson have you implemented at Tocourse, which is an older class that ny’s Body Shop? talked about capturing jobs when they I started using television as come to your door and basic busipart of my marketing plan ness practices. It was awesome and I

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Overall, it’s important to make customers happy so they tell others about the great service they received and write a good review about it. The majority of time customers are good people and if you do a good job and make sure the car is repaired correctly, that customer will tells his or her family, friends and coworkers about their experience. I have built a tremendous following in Ventura County where I am located. In one of my commercials, we say, “Ask around. Ask your friends and neighbors The family business is run by Jay Flores, his wife, Evelyn, where the best place is to their children, Jayson, Jaycob and Jasmine, Jay’s older repair your car.” I can pretsister, Maria, and his cousin, Adrian ty much guarantee if not all writing thank-you notes to custom- three, two out of the three will point ers, spending time doing follow-up you in my direction. That doesn’t phone calls to ensure they had a happen overnight. It takes years of good experience and giving them a effort and includes everything from treat when you deliver the car. We how you answer calls, to how you give customers a bag of peanuts with repair and deliver the car. a tag that says, “Courtesy of Tony’s Body Shop.” We take a proactive What advice do you have approach because we want our cusfor shops as future vehicles tomers happy and coming back. evolve? Having good reviews is very important. People looking for a As time passes and a totaled body shop are going to Google you car is replaced with an ADAS and my business philosophy is that vehicle, I believe the claim count is customers are always right even if going to be less. As a result, shops they are wrong. You want customers owners need to focus on their capcoming back to your business and ture rate and ensure they are spendtelling others about it. Of course, ing time with customers up-front to there are exceptions when a custom- make sure all their questions and er is too hard to deal with but that needs are handled. doesn’t mean you have to fix that car A lot of people fail to write a the next time. marketing plan because they are on computer. I found it really helpful to have access to my website so I can fix an error and add content without being held hostage by a company. Marketing your business can even include simple things like

Q:

A:

DRPs that refer work to the shop. The challenge is that DRPs have evolved. In my experience, DRPs used to allow shops to provide a safe and proper repair. However, with cars like Tesla and all of the ADAS features in new vehicles, the cost of repairs has skyrocketed. I’ve found that the goal of most insurance programs is to minimize repair cost. That can be challenging

Shop has removed itself from most insurance programs that do not commit to OEM guidelines. The John Eagle Collision Center lawsuit in 2017 changed how auto body shops do business. We are held liable for all the repairs we perform, even after the car is sold and ownership transfers. In today’s world of complex cars geared to crash avoidance and occupant safety, a safe and proper repair following OEM repair procedures is the only way to continue to stay in business. Returning a car to its pre-accident crash worthiness for the safety of the customer and their family is our only option. This is why Tony’s Body Shop has chosen to be certified by many differThe team understands the importance of assisting ent vehicle manufacturers. customers with the claims process I often ask people if they with you have a car with ADAS fea- would repair an airplane or rebuild tures. Inherently, it can be viewed its engine without following the as two competing goals: lowest cost manufacturer’s repair procedures. possible versus highest safety pos- Of course not; people’s lives are at sible when OEM guidelines are fol- risk. Then why is a car any differlowed. For this reason, Tony’s Body ent?

ASA Charts Next Steps on its Reorganizational Path At the end of September, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) announced it is transitioning to a new and innovative association model leveraging its expansive history to create a single, unified industry voice. Under the new model, a 50-state regional structure will take place to represent every member with one voice. As the next phase in that announcement, ASA unveiled its new organizational map of the U.S. To see the new regional map, visit https://www.asashop.org/asa-re-

gions/ In addition, ASA accepted resumes for the various regional director positions through Oct. 8. “We’re extremely excited about the new direction, the future of ASA and the opportunities it will provide for our members,” said Ray Fisher, AMAM, president and executive director. “We are seeking successful leaders who will provide excellent servant-leadership to our members.” Source: Automotive Service Association

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Industry Insight with John Yoswick

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

Changes Ahead for Collision Repair Shops Based on AI, New Automotive Finishes

Shop Showcase

The impact for collision repairers single-car accident claims. “That’s of artificial intelligence (AI) and probably one of the things to think changes in automotive finishes were about: just because you have AI, it with Ed Attanasio among the topics discussed by pre- doesn’t mean that you’ve managed senters at the Collision Industry to make a supplement go away. Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) conference held in September in Nashville. Jimmy Spears, head of automotive for Tractable, said the with Edcompany’s Attanasio AI (machine-learning) system has become adept at quickly determining from photos if a vehicle is a total loss. “One of things that AI does a wonderful job on is triage,” Spears said. “We’re in the high 90s of callPaint company representatives say auto body shops will increasingly need to take potential ing balls and strikes: Is this car rewith Ed Attanasio refinish issues into account early in the repair pairable or is this car not repairable.” planning process For insurers, he said, the system can produce 40% of initial estimates If there’s something behind that “without any further line items” [bumper] cover that’s damaged, it’s needing to be added. An equal per- going to be damaged. But it’s better centage require review of one or two not to write [for that] and assume it. with Ed Attanasio line items---with the estimate anno- But no, supplement percentages artated as to what an appraiser needs en’t any lower.” to review—while the balance will During another panel discusrequire being handled “old school: sion at the CIECA conference, paint have it towed, take the car apart and company representatives laughed go classic blueprinting.” when asked if the industry is close About a year Tractable to AI helping with refinish color withago, Stacey Phillips announced it was working with an matching. insurer in Spain to offer “straight- “It’s a fair question,” said Dan through processing” of some claims, Benton, global product director of such as single-car accidents with no color marketing at Axalta Coating injuries; the customer uploads im- Systems. “We’re chuckling because no, we’re not. There’s just so many ages, the Tractable system prepares with Stacey Phillips an appraisal and “between eight and variables.” Jeff Wildman, the North Amer15 minutes later,” the claim is paid and “as far as the consumer knows, ican manager of OEM and industry relations for BASF Automotive Reis closed.” Spears compared it to ordering finish Coatings, agreed, noting even and paying for a drink at Starbucks just spray technique, let alone paint with Stacey Phillips via an app and just picking it up, formula, can influence color match. versus going in to order and pay and “I can give three people the then waiting for the coffee drink to same exact paint, and the same exbe made. act gun, and they’ll spray and we’ll “I’d really like to see the U.S. get three different colors, because of start to do more of that” type of auto that human variable,” Wildman said. claims processing, Spears said. Phillips Colors are not going to get easwith Stacey He acknowledged while AI may ier for shops to match, Wildman be reducing upfront time for insurers predicted. Some new vehicle manto produce initial estimates, it isn’t ufacturers, for example, seem less resulting in more accurate estimates. concerned about addressing refinish “Supplement rates are still the issues upfront. same. That doesn’t change,” Spears “I can tell you they are looking said when asked about even those at colors…that are not easy to spray

Social Media for Shops

SEMA Show Goes On

at the OEM level or at the refinish level,” Wildman said. “But their designers want these colors. As they’re now starting to paint some of these at the factory, they’re learning: ‘You aren’t kidding, these are difficult to paint.’ So they’re struggling at the factory, and we’re going to struggle in refinish with them. But they want these colors because color sells cars.” Even some “legacy” auto manufacturers, “trying to differentiate themselves using color,” sometimes haven’t shared enough information ahead of a vehicle’s launch to allow all the refinish systems to be prepared. “Mazda beat us all up pretty badly a couple years ago with some really tough colors, a red and a gray,” based on innovations in pigments and application, Benton said. “With U.S. and Western European

auto manufacturers, there’s typically dialogue going on as colors are being developed so that everyone can formulate refinish match. In this case, it was Nippon working with Mazda, and the rest of us weren’t aware of it right away. That caught us by surprise. That doesn’t happen very often. “But Mazda was able to move the needle. They actually had great success with those colors, and it really drove some market share growth. So good for them. That’s how it should be. That’s what we should be doing as manufacturers: innovating in areas of color and that type of thing.” It’s another indication, however, Benton said, color match issues for shops won’t be ending any time soon. He said auto body shops also should be aware of the increasingly functional role automotive finishes

Media and Publicity for Shops Shop Strategies

Body Shops Giving Back

Tips for Busy Body Shops My SEMA

Shop Strategies with Victoria Antonelli

40 NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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are playing, such as coatings that dissipate heat, or those that include anti-fouling properties to make them easier to clean and more mar resistant. “We’re all still trying to get more volatile organic compounds out of our systems, and we’re trying to do more to create low-energy cure technologies,” Benton said. Wildman said ADAS is impacting refinishing as well. “Today we talk a lot about repainting bumpers with sensors behind them, and how much paint can go on those, but it’s not just about the amount of paint,” Wildman said. “It’s what’s in that paint. What are the pigments? What are the metallics?” He joked Henry Ford today would tell customers they can have any color they want as long as it’s white, because lidar can’t see black. “You’re already starting to see more transparent colors, and you’re going to see reflective pigments and primers, with transparent pigment so we can see that primer with lidar,” Wildman said. “So it’s going to become a more and more important part of how you repair that vehicle.”

His advice to the industry will sound familiar: “The biggest thing is you’ve got to follow the OEM repair procedures,” Wildman said. “Typically when do you think about painting the car? When it’s in the booth. You can’t do that anymore. You’ve got to think about it upfront.” The repair planner needs to know if the bumper can be refinished, he cited as one example. None of the estimating systems have a line item for a quad coat, so you need to know upfront how to document and explain that. If the right color primer isn’t used, that could impact color matching. If a specialized toner is needed, one that might only be needed once a year, it’s not something you’re likely to have on hand—and your distributor may not either, which means it could be days away. “You’ve got to think of paint not just as an afterthought once the car is in the booth,” Wildman said. “That’s where a lot of shops run into issues.”

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Fatality Causes Volvo S60 and S80 Airbag Recall by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

A Volvo airbag recall has been announced for more than 460,000 S60 and S80 cars after a driver was allegedly killed by an airbag that exploded. Nearly 260,000 of those cars are recalled in the U.S., and the recall is unrelated to Takata, the company that caused the recalls of millions of vehicles. The 2001-2006 Volvo S80 and 2001-2009 Volvo S60 cars are equipped with driver’s airbag assemblies supplied by AutoLiv, but the defective airbag inflators that may explode are manufactured by ZF Friedrichshafen. Volvo’s legal department received an attorney letter in June 2019 which said a Volvo driver had been killed by an airbag that exploded. According to Volvo, the driver-side airbags contain FG2 twin inflators with 5AT 148 N propellant, which is used to deploy the airbags. However, Volvo confirmed the propellant

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can decay “over time in certain conditions potentially resulting in critical inflator combustion pressures.” The propellant tablets can decay and start turning to dust particles which increases the burn surface area and burn rate. Volvo says the higher burn rate can result in higher combustion chamber pressures and increased odds of the inflators exploding. The inflators are metal and a rupture can send shards of metal into occupants like a grenade. Documents submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration don’t provide details if the same inflators are used in vehicles built by other automakers. The inflators most at risk are those in Volvo cars exposed to hot and humid environments. Volvo dealers will replace the S60 and S80 airbags once recall notices are mailed Nov. 29. Volvo owners with concerns may call 800-458-1552 and ask about recall number R10125.

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To Scan or Not to Scan? CAA Says It’s No Longer an Option by Ed Attanasio

A car equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) comes into your auto body shop. You keep hearing about the importance of pre- and post-repair scanning and re-calibrations, but you avoid them like COVID. You have had to take a few vehicles to the dealership to clear codes and in most cases, it simply delays the process and impacts your cycle time. You didn’t perform a prescan and then get stuck at the end of the repair because you can’t clear a code, and you don’t even know if it was from the accident. Auto diagnostics wasn’t something to worry about a decade ago, but now it’s the hottest topic on every shop floor in the country. So many questions. Do we have to scan every car and why? Will the insurance company pay us for them? If we opt out, can we get in trouble with the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR)? Should we do the diagnostics in-house or job them out? And finally—what are the OEs saying about these scans? A recent video produced as part of I-CAR’s Repairers Real series focused on these questions and searched for answers. In short, some insurance companies have agreed to pay for pre- and post-scans and programming while a small handful are still refusing to join the party. People often describe today’s cars as “computers on wheels” and every year the cost of these systems—the software, cameras and sensors—comprise more of the vehicles’ total cost. Electronics are responsible for 40% of a new car’s total cost, according to a Deloitte analysis, up from 18% in 2000. Computing technology has impacted every aspect of automotive design, engineering and manufacturing. Car designers have a wide range of digital tools and processes that enable the OEs turn out cars much faster and with more precision than ever. CAA Executive Director Rick Johnson recently browsed through position statements by 15 major carmakers and although the language differed the message was universal.

“They all state that if you want to repair a car properly, shops have to perform all of the diagnostics required—pre and post scans and re-calibrations at the conclusion of the repair,” he said. “The fact that we’re having this conversation now is a little ridiculous because this stuff should be part of the process with every car without question.” Johnson describes a wrestling match over diagnostics that will likely end up in the customer’s lap.

County, and chairman of CAA’s Legislative Committee, said, “An auto insurer denying payment for a pre- or post-scan that doesn’t contain Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) is like your health insurer denying payment for an X-ray because it didn’t show any fractures.” Etherton was denied payment from an insurance company in June, so he filled out a Request for Assistance (RFA) with the California Department of Insurance (CDI).

“During repairs, a DTC may be set in one of the vehicle’s computer modules by common operations such as removing a headlamp, a door handle or any component that is connected to the car electrically.” — Monte Etherton “Our position at CAA is if an insurer denies payment for any diagnostic procedure, the shop needs to explain the situation to the customer and then it’s up to them to pursue it,” he said. “You need to pass the cost onto the customer rather than eating it yourself or not doing it altogether. If the insurance company isn’t willing to pay, the shop still has to do the work because in the end they’re liable.” Without a pre-scan, shops are operating in the dark, Johnson said. “If the shop doesn’t do a prescan, how will they know what was wrong with the car’s electronics before the accident, or from it? Even if there aren’t any codes in the car, the shop is going create a bunch when they fix it, unplugging headlights and airbags, etc. So, if they don’t do a post-scan at the other end, they can’t clear the codes before it leaves the building.” Some insurers say if the car does not contain—or was not impacted near—ADAS, scans are not required, but Johnson said that’s not the case. “Cars have had computers on board since the late 1990s, so they need to be scanned whether they have ADAS or not. Some insurance companies are trying to say that cars made prior to 2010 don’t need to be scanned, which is obviously false.” Monte Etherton, owner of Fender Mender Collision Repair Specialists in North San Diego

42 NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

He believes his explanation letter and included documentation allowed the CDI to fully investigate the problem. In this case the CDI was able to resolve it—during the investigation, Fender Mender received full payment from the insurer for the denied scanning operations.

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In his explanation letter, Etherton first described the entire issue succinctly. “‘Scanning’ (testing for Diagnostic Trouble Codes, or DTCs) is the process of using an electronic scanner (scan tool) to access and interpret computer module information within a vehicle,” Etherton wrote. “The diagnostic software in the scan tool checks the vehicle systems for fault codes or DTCs, and can even monitor systems while the vehicle is running to check performance. “(Unnamed insurer) has recently taken the position that they do not owe for ‘scanning’ unless damage has affected ADAS components. Examples of ADAS components are blind spot monitors, or collision avoidance sensors. This position contradicts industry standards. “Scanning with any repair is both an accepted trade standard for good and workmanlike repairs, and a recognized OEM service specification. All major vehicle manufacturers state that any vehicle being repaired by a body shop must be pre-scanned Michael

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and post-scanned at minimum. “Why? Pre-scans are required so the shop knows what DTCs exist before they work on the car. DTCs that show in a pre-scan may or may not be related to the repairs at hand. In some cases, there may not be any DTCs on a pre-scan, but it still must be completed to create a baseline. “During repairs, a DTC may be set in one of the vehicle’s computer modules by common operations such as removing a headlamp, a door handle or any component that is connected to the car electrically. “After reassembly, a post-scan is required. This will show if any DTCs are still stored in the vehicle’s computers. Codes that were set from the damage (or the repair) are then cleared with the scan tool. A final-scan is needed to prove the DTCs are cleared, thus restoring the vehicle to pre-loss condition. “The laws are clear. The shop and insurer must follow OEM service specifications, and the OEM service specifications require scanning: “1. § 2695.8(f) Insurance Fair Claims Regulations: The estimate

prepared by or for the insurer shall be of an amount that will allow for repairs to be made in accordance with accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike automotive repairs by an ‘auto body repair shop’ as defined in section 9889.51 of the Business and Professions Code, and in accordance with the standards of automotive repair required of auto body repair shops as described in the Business and Professions Code and associated regulations, including, but not limited to, Section 3365 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations. “2. § 3365. BAR Regulations regarding Auto Body and Frame Repairs: The accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike auto body and frame repairs shall include, but not be limited to, the following: Repair procedures including but not limited to the sectioning of component parts, shall be performed in accordance with OEM service specifications or nationally distributed and periodically updated service specifications that are generally accepted by the autobody repair industry.

“3. Excerpt from GM Position Statement on Scanning: General Motors takes the position that all vehicles being assessed for collision damage repairs must be tested for Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) during the repair estimation in order to identify the required repairs. Additionally, the vehicle must be retested after all repairs are complete in order to verify that the faults have been repaired and new faults have not been introduced during the course of repairs. “In their denial (unnamed insurer) attempts to put the burden on the shop by stating, ‘Shop Did Not Provide Documentation of Loss Related DTCs.’ (Unnamed insurer) is not only in violation of the law, it is doing a disservice to its customers by not paying for this legitimate and necessary process which allows the repair shop to make sure the customer’s vehicle is restored to its pre-loss condition to the highest degree possible.” Etherton is hopeful but cautious about getting compensated for scans in the future, he said.

“Everyone is on the same page with this—including I-CAR, the BAR, the CDI and all of the OEs,” he said. “Now if we can convince all of the insurance companies to come onboard, this can hopefully become a non-issue.” CAA Lobbyist Jack Molodanof has been working with the BAR and monitoring the issue carefully. “The BAR is definitely moving into the direction of citing and fining auto body shops that don’t perform work according to OEM service specifications including pre- and post-repair scans and calibrations,” he said. “They’re considering up to a $5,000 fine per citation, if they believe it’s something that is safety-related.”

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Tesla Widens Legal Action Against Rivian Over Alleged Theft of Battery Secrets by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

Tesla Inc. is widening its legal action against fellow electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive Inc., with the former accusing the latter of continuing to poach its employees and stealing “highly proprietary” technology related to batteries. Battery tech is among Tesla’s most closely-held innovations. According to Tesla, the lawsuit it filed against Rivian 14 months ago has not stopped the pickup truck maker from poaching its employees and acquiring intellectual property. To highlight this point, Tesla said this summer, there was an instance where defectors to Rivian were “caught red-handed” stealing the core technology for its next-generation batteries. Tesla said batteries are the “most essential element for any electric vehicle.” “Now apparently under pressure from investors after nearly a dozen years without producing a single commercial vehicle, Rivian has intensified its unlawful ef-

forts,” Tesla said. Tesla is particularly secretive about its batteries. Even with the company’s open patent program— which arguably helped companies like Xpeng Motors from China launch their own EV efforts— Tesla has been very careful not to

share the intricate details of its batteries, from the 18650 cells used in the Model S and Model X to the 2170 cells used in the Model 3 and Model Y and to the 4680 cells currently being ramped in the Kato Road facility in Fremont, CA. In comparison, Rivian uses 2170 cells from Samsung SDI for the R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV. The truck maker has been silent about its battery strategy, however, so it remains to be seen if Rivian’s 2170 cells are off-theshelf or if they feature proprietary

44 NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

chemistries similar to the 2170 cells produced by Tesla and Panasonic in Gigafactory Nevada. The company has also not revealed any plans to shift to another battery form factor in the future either. Rivian has so far declined to comment on Tesla’s widened lawsuit. The company is currently planning an initial public offering. Previous Bloomberg reports said Rivian is looking to raise about $80 billion for its IPO. Tesla’s initial lawsuit against Rivian, filed last year, alleged the truck maker was engaging in trade secret theft through employees reportedly being poached from Tesla. The California-based EV maker accused Rivian of acquiring proprietary information related to its recruiting process, bonus and compensation plan for sales personnel, and manufacturing project management systems. Rivian formally requested to have Tesla’s claims dismissed in court, but a California state judge in San Jose allowed the case to continue.

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—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.

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Lawmakers in 3 States Tackle Topics Impacting Collision Repairers

Shop Showcase

Lawmakers in multiple states have violations, similar to traffic school,” taken action in recent weeks on leg- as a means to avoid having such ciislation impacting auto body shops, tations made public. with Ed Attanasio including new regulations related to The new law also calls for addilabor rates, non-OEM parts and pub- tional safety inspections in order for lic disclosure of regulatory citations a salvage vehicle to be registered. against shops. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, for example, has signed into law a bill callingwith on that BuEdstate’s Attanasio reau of Automotive Repair (BAR) to create a system to give businesses receiving minor BAR citations not involving fraud a way to avoid having those made public. The California Autobody AssoLegislatures in three states in recent weeks ciation and the Automotive Service with Ed Attanasio have taken action on proposed laws related Association were among 11 trade to auto body shop labor rates, dealerships’ groups supporting the bill, which sale of non-OEM parts and public disclosure of regulatory citations against shops creates an independent panel to review BAR citations, and would allow “shops to attend compliance and The industry associations say that remedial training for minor record will help “protect consumers from with Ed Attanasio keeping and documentation citation unsafe, revived total loss salvage

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vehicles” that currently only require “a brake and lamp inspection, smog check and CHP inspection to make sure there are no stolen parts—nothing else.” At the other end of the country, Massachusetts legislator comments during a committee hearing in Septmeber could indicate repairers there are finally getting their message across about the need to address collision repair labor rates in the state. The state legislature’s Joint Committee on Financial Services held the hearing to collect testimony on a number of auto repair-related bills that propose setting a minimum reimbursement rate for labor by insurers to claimants. “Massachusetts has the lowest labor rate reimbursement in the nation,” Evangelos “Lucky” Papageorg, executive director of the Alliance of Automotive Service

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premiums go up 261%, the minimum wage increased 270% and the consumer price index increased 124% during the same period of time.” “You cannot repair today’s vehicles based on the rates that were being paid 30 years ago,” Papageorg told the committee. Frank O’Brien, vice president of state government relations for the American Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (APCIA) represented the insurance industry at the hearing. He followed up Papageorg’s testimony by telling the committee, “There is no free lunch…If you add cost to a system, it puts price pressure on the product…It’s common sense. If you add cost to the system it’s going to have an impact on price, and that impact is not going to be to lower prices.” Before moving forward with passing new legislation, the joint committee is in the process of establishing a commission to study the issue, “whether that means more hearings or visits around the commonwealth,” said Rep. James M.

ASA Announces New Membership Model The Automotive Service Association (ASA), the oldest and largest association representing the independent automotive repair industry, announced Sept. 27 it is transitioning to a new and innovative association model leveraging its expansive history to create a single, unified industry voice. Insights from industry innovation, technology transformations and public policy continue to impact the businesses of ASA members, making it imperative for the association to refine its membership offering to better meet members’ needs. Implementing a new model not only simplifies and expands member benefits around advocacy, education and communication, but will also help drive the association’s impact and influence. Under the new model, existing state affiliate agreements will be dissolved, and a 50-state regional structure will take their place. Source: Automotive Service Association

Murphy, the House chairman on the committee. “Evidently there is an issue because the body shops are all saying the same thing.” At the conclusion of the testimony, Murphy sounded skeptical about insurance industry arguments against the legislation. “I’ve heard today, and I’ve heard in the past, that any increase to the cost of the labor rate is going to automatically increase premium costs,” Murphy said. “I don’t necessarily accept that. You’re going to have to show me why increasing a labor rate is going to increase premiums, because there are other ways that money can come out of the system to not increase premiums. “The goal is not to raise premiums for consumers in the commonwealth,” Murphy concluded. “The goal is to make sure these body shops are still there to support all of the insurance companies that need these cars fixed…I think now is the time to really roll up our sleeves and get to the bottom of this issue before the industry itself, in regard to the repair facilities, actually collapses. Then you’ll have no one to fix the

cars.” In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed House Bill 2435 into law, prohibiting an auto manufacturer from either requiring or prohibiting a dealer to sell any “secondary product,” defined to include non-OEM parts. The bill initially also prohibited an automaker from requiring dealers “to provide a customer with a disclosure not otherwise required by law,” but a later amendment removed that clause. “It is important that consumers are properly informed about the parts to be used on their vehicle,” said Wade Newton of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents automakers. “This legislation with our amendment will continue to allow an automaker the ability to require such disclosure to help ensure transparency.” Pritzker just three weeks earlier signed into law another measure, House Bill 3940, requiring automakers to pay a dealer for warranty repairs an amount no less than the amount a retail customer pays the dealer for the same services.

AsTech® to Provide OEM Scan Report Repairify, Inc. d/b/a asTech®, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC, announced starting in October, asTech’s remote scanning and diagnostic service will provide comprehensive diagnostic scan reports along with official OEM tool reports, a first for the industry. asTech is a global leader in the provision of remote diagnostic solutions with a library of more than 1,000 OEM scan tools and growing. Now, following an asTech remote OEM scan, customers will have access to a copy of the official OEM tool report. asTech provides further value with a customized scan report that includes additional information and insights such as diagnostic trouble codes, repair recommendations, recall check information and professional input from the company’s team of more than 400 ASE and I-CAR certified master technicians. Source: asTech

Average New-Vehicle Transaction Prices Top $45,000 for First Time New-vehicle prices hit another alltime high in September 2021, marking the sixth straight record-setting month and surpassing $45,000 for the first time, according to a new report from Kelley Blue Book. At $45,031, the average transaction price (ATP) for a new vehicle was up 12.1%—or $4,872—from one year ago in September 2020 and up 3.7%—or $1,613—from August. The all-time-high prices accompanied the fifth straight month of a slowing sales pace. Total sales last month numbered just 1,012,797, a 7.3% month-overmonth decrease and one of the lowest volumes in the past decade. On top of supply dynamics, the vehicle mix shifted in September away from lower-priced sedans, compacts and entry-level segments toward more-expensive pickups, SUVs and the luxury market. “The record-high prices in September are mostly a result of the mix of vehicles sold,” said Kayla Reynolds, analyst for Cox Automotive. “Midsize SUV sales jumped in September compared to

46 NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

August and full-size pickup share moved up as well. Sales of lower-priced compact and midsize cars, which had been commanding more share during the summer, faded in September. As long as new-vehicle inventory remains tight, we believe prices will remain elevated.”

Incentive spending fell in September to another record low, dropping to 5.2% of ATP last month, a decrease from 5.6% in August and well below the 10.0% of ATP recorded in September 2020. Porsche, Land Rover, Genesis, Subaru and Toyota had among the lowest incentive spend last month,

all 3% of ATP or lower. On the other hand, Alfa Romeo, Buick, Fiat and Infiniti each had incentive levels above 10% of ATP. ATPs in September continued to be driven higher by strong luxury vehicle sales. Luxury sales accounted for 16.6% of total market sales, up from 15.1% in September 2020. Luxury share in September was among the highest in the past decade, and luxury buyers paid an average of $60,845 for a new vehicle last month. Further, many luxury brands, notably Acura, Cadillac, Genesis and Mercedes-Benz, achieved year-over-year ATP gains in excess of 20%. Cadillac, for example, saw ATPs jump up more than 32% in September, reaching $81,939. Consumers continue to pay nearly $100,000 for a new Cadillac Escalade. More than 3,500 were sold in September, a jump of more than 50% from August. Source: Kelley Blue Book


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CCC Forecasts Future of EVs and How It Will Impact Body Shops by Ed Attanasio

When it comes to repairing EVs, there are auto body shop owners out there who look at them differently. Some view EVs as something to invest in with little chance of making a profit. Others believe they represent a golden opportunity for shops to differentiate themselves from the pack. With any new technology, there will be those shops that will embrace it, but many will drag their feet or reject it altogether. The time to decide whether or not to jump into the EV game is now. Despite a recent ramp up in sales in the U.S., there are still only a small number of EV auto claims and repairs out there, with the majority being in California and other Western states. The latest CCC Intelligent Solutions Trends Report, “Electric Vehicles Go Mainstream, Implications for the P&C Insurance Economy,” analyzes emerging trends in electric vehicles. Senior Director/Industry Analyst Susanna Gotsch from CCC is the keeper of invaluable data and this report is surely no exception. This year, the U.S. has joined numerous countries using the pandemic as an impetus to shift their vehicles in operation from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs). Driven by new federal requirements from the Biden Administration, as well as competition with China’s aggressive goals to move to an electric vehicle fleet, automakers and many of their suppliers have announced they will be making significant investments in electric vehicles and battery technologies. Consumer acceptance of EVs is expected to grow, and sales in the U.S. have already begun to ramp up, according to CCC’s Trends Report. EVs are only a small part of our national fleet, but those numbers are climbing. Over the four quarters ending Q2 2021, EVs accounted for only 0.54% of CCC’s national industry repairable appraisal volume. However, as sales ramp further, claim and repair volumes will grow, so understanding how EVs will

change things like frequency, costs, cycle time and repair requirements is important. The simple fact is EVs are here to stay, despite all of the misinformation out there. The No. 1 complaint is EVs do not have sufficient range. Americans drive an average of 40 miles a day,

Senior Director/Industry Analyst Susanna Gotsch from CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc. recently published a report, “Electric Vehicles Go Mainstream, Implications for the P&C Insurance Economy

according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, so range is not going to be an issue, according to experts. Even the shortest-range electric vehicles can travel more than twice that distance before needing to be tethered to the power grid. The Nissan Leaf can run for an average 150 miles on a charge, while the Chevrolet Bolt EV can cover 238 miles, Hyundai Kona 258 miles, Tesla Model 3 310 miles and the Tesla Roadster 620 miles. With battery prices reportedly falling 73% since 2010, electric cars are expected to cost the same or even less than fuel-powered cars in the foreseeable future. The International Energy Agency reported by 2020, there were up to 20 million electric vehicles on the road, a number expected to go up to 70 million by 2025. People believe EVs are slower than gas-powered vehicles, but in fact, they’re generally quicker than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Others claim EVs are too expensive, but if you live in a state that’s offering an income state credit or other incentives, they’re definitely price competitive. Some folks say EVs are unsafe, but those that have been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) generally

48 NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

get good marks. Many assume EVs are greener than gas-powered autos, but some people say no. In fact, EV motors convert 75% of the chemical energy from the batteries to power the wheels, while internal combustion engines (ICEs) only convert 20% of the energy stored in gasoline. Other doubters claim EVs are expensive to fix and maintain, but that’s another misnomer. It costs less because EVs don’t require regular oil changes or tune-ups, and there are far fewer moving parts to eventually fail and need replacing. They also use a simple one-speed transmission and eschew items like spark plugs, valves, a fuel tank, muffler/tailpipe, distributor, starter, clutch, drive belts, hoses and catalytic converter. Will EV batteries end up in the landfill, people ask? The answer is a definitive no. Once depleted, EV batteries, like 99% of the batteries found in conventional cars, can be recycled. For example, used EV power cells can be used to store solar and wind energy, or they can be

broken down with their more-valuable elements reused. And finally, will EVs suck up all of the available electricity once they start dominating the market? That’s another urban tale because the U.S. can add millions of electric cars to the current power system without having to build any new power plants. Much of this has to do with the fact most electric vehicles tend to be charged at night during off-peak hours when power demand tends to be the lowest. Up until now, most of the data about EVs has been derived from one OE—Tesla—but that is changing at a rapid rate, Gotsch said. “Many OEs are going to introduce EVs to the public within the next few months and others are going to step up their production, such as the Chevrolet Volt and Bolt EV, as well as Nissan’s Leaf. There are 40-plus different companies currently in production of EVs, including Ford, Volkswagen and Kia. “In states [like California], where there is a large number of

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EVs being sold, driven and crashed, body shops working on EVs will experience a return on their investment obviously quicker than in those states where EV sales will be slower,” she said. “It’s going to be very much like the advent of aluminum vehicles that happened back in 2015 when Ford released the F-150. Body shops at that time had to decide whether or not to pursue aluminum repairs. The challenge is how will this pay off over time and will it justify the investment?” As repairers consider when they should make the investments in tooling and training to be able to repair EVs, it will be important to consider both the ramp in sales in their markets and how long it will take to ramp up capabilities to repair EVs. These are tough decisions for any auto body shop, especially when you consider all of the other rapid evolution happening in our cars today, Gotsch said. “We’re at a juncture where the technology is moving faster than ever before, with ADAS, autonomous vehicles, aluminum vehicles—EVs are just another challenge for the repair-

ers,” Gotsch said. “You’ve got to think about automotive diagnostics and re-calibrations now more than ever. Do you do it all in-house or contract with a company to outsource them? Keeping up with the technology is going to accelerate, and involves new tools, equipment and training. Also, with new technology comes the potential for increased liability.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order requiring sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035 and additional measures to eliminate harmful emissions from the transportation sector. The transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all of California’s carbon pollution, 80% of smog-forming pollution and 95% of toxic diesel emis-

“We’re at a juncture where the technology is moving faster than ever before, with ADAS, autonomous vehicles, aluminum vehicles—EVs are just another challenge for the repairers,” — Susanna Gotsch Nearly 40% of the total number of EV auto claims nationally for the four quarters ending Q2 2021 were in California, where EVs accounted for only 1.5% of its overall repairable volume. Only one other state saw a larger share of its repairable volume from EVs: Hawaii at 1.6%. California will be the country’s poster child or its guinea pig—depending on how you look at it— when it comes to the future of EVs.

sions—all while communities in the Los Angeles Basin and Central Valley see some of the dirtiest and most toxic air in the country. “California has more EVs than any other state and a large concentration of non-domestic vehicles,” Gotsch said. “When we look at things like registrations and insurance claims, we can clearly see that more and more consumers in California are buying EVs.

“For body shops in California, gearing up to work on EVs is more immediate than with other states. But the payoff is better with a faster return on investment. The shops that are looking to expand their businesses have likely already made the investment in aluminum repairs and EVs, so they will obviously have a distinct advantage.” For auto body shops that don’t have the tools, equipment and training to repair EVs, potential challenges will await them. “We found out that there is definitely going to be a learning curve with EVs,” Gotsch said. “Some shops report that it’s taking longer to fix these cars, when you include diagnostics, for example. Getting paid for the added procedures will also be more universally accepted over time. Once shops become more comfortable repairing EVs, their cycle time will go down and make these repairs more profitable.” So, if you’re an auto body shop owner and sitting on the fence when it comes to repairing EVs, maybe this report from CCC will inspire you to plug in.

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Hey Toby! with Toby Chess

Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, Training specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his work with first responders and advocacy for body shops and consumers. He can be reached at tcspeedster@gmail.com

Benefits of I-CAR’s Hands-On Spot Welding Class 1. What is the temperature at the spot welding site? Toby Chess Has 2. Why are the arms and electrodes made from aluminum and Successful Kidney copper respectively? Transplant 3. What is the voltage at the tips when welding? with David McClune 4. Which electrode is positive, the stationary or fixed? 5. Why are vise grip pliers jaws isolated? 6. What are edge distance and pitch? 7. What are some of the reasons for sparks when spot welding? 8. What are shunt pliers? Our well-known collision consultant 9. Why is pressure needed at the Toby Chess underwent a successtips when welding? ful kidney transplant on Oct 12 at with John Yoswick 10 . What is the basic spot welding UCLA Ronald Regan medical center, principle? courtesy of his brave daughter Stacy Nicole Torres, 40, who donated an The reasons to use squeeze type reorgan to her father based on their compatible genetic profile. The opsistance spot welding (STRSW) are eration required 2.5 hours of surgery as follows: for her, and 4 hours for Toby. Both • Smaller heat affect zone comare doing well and Toby no longer pared to MIG spot welds has to endure weekly dialysis. • Easy to learn • Duplicates OE applied spot welds with Richard Steffen • Less corrosion protection materials destroyed • No added filler materials used

site and pressure is relieved in the form of heat, more than 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. The pressure at the tips forces the molten metals together and the electrodes are held in place by the computer until the weld nugget solidifies. This whole process takes less than two seconds. Preparation of the panels is very

important. First, the inside mating surfaces need to be cleaned entirely, but there are a few exceptions that will be discussed later in the article.

California Autobody Association

Year in Quotes

Fig. 3

Fig. 2 Edgar Andrade

A best practice is to use a ScotchBrite on a die grinder, followed by a cleaning with a good wax and grease remover. See Fig 2 & 3.

Collision Repair Association of CA.

Pictured: Hayley Torres, granddaughter (l); Hunter Torres, grandson, (c) ; and Stacy Torres daughter and donator (r)

The resistance welding working principle is the application of current and force through the welded parts develops resistance and thus creates a nugget in the melt joint.

Transition Planning

withcontact Johnhttps:// Yoswick For more information www.kidneyfund.org/. Answer this question: why should I send my techs to an I-CAR hands-on spot welding class? Fig. 1 Most of you will say this class is needed for Gold Class renewal. There are no negative or posiTrue, but this should not be your an- tive electrodes. Electricity flows as a loop. With the arms made from swer. with Karyn Hendricks Answer the following ques- aluminum and the electrodes from tions. If you get 100%, fantastic, but copper alloy, electrons flow through if you don’t, you need to look at the those parts fairly easily. When the I-CAR resistance spot welding class steel panels are placed between the electrodes, resistance forms at the in a different light.

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I am going to use pictures from the I-CAR STRSW course I conducted at Tony’s Body Shop in Oxnard, CA. Before moving on, I want to talk about the I-CAR STRSW

Fig. 4

Fig. 5 Martin Perez Jr

hands-on class. The class starts out with a number of different scenarios designed to teach the students the proper procedures for STRSW. The techs learn how to weld different thicknesses of metal, how to weld using adhesives, pitch (distance between welds) and edge distance (distance from the leading edge inward), how different arm sets work, machine operation and most important, how to conduct destructive weld testing. The first thing is to gather all the necessary equipment and materials, such as a Scotch-Brite, weldthrough primer, wax and grease remover, two-part adhesive, acid brushes, extra mixing tips, gloves and paper towels. (Fig 4) Next, read the repair manual before starting. (Fig 5) After all the parts are marked for proper alignment, the prop is dry assembled and the location on each spot weld is carefully marked (pitch and edge distance). Figs 6 & 7 Next, the front spot weld locations are transferred to the backside of the prop. (Fig 8) The next item in the process is

the removal of the E-coat from the flanges. It should be noted Chrysler does not want the E-coat removed

Fig. 6 Jaysen Estrada

Fig. 8 Fausto Reynoso (note locking pliers are isolated with electrical type to prevent them to act like a shunt)

ings on the flanges. The more E-coat left on the flanges, the better the repairs (Fig 9). The next step in the repairs is to remove all the coatings on the mating surfaces, where adhesive will be applied, followed by a cleaning with a wax and grease remover (Fig 2). The next item in the repair pro-

Fig. 7 Gio Astudillo

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cess is the adhesive. I have tested 51 students for the spot welding class, April to July, and not one read the label to determine the work time of the adhesive. On five of the tests,

The adhesive is applied to both mating surfaces and an acid brush is used to coat the entire flanges with adhesives. See Fig 13

amps (Go to Dentfix.com for more details). This body shop has two spot welders, an I-4 (tech needs to set the parameters) and an I-5 (fully automatic). To set the non-automatic machine, the first thing is to measure the total thickness of the pieces of metal that will be spot welded. A caliper is used to accomplish this task (see Fig 16). You will divide that number

clamps used. By clamping on both side of the weld site, the weld process will greatly improve. I find a lot of techs use the pressure at the tips to draw the metal together. This is wrong because it creates larger air gaps in the weld site and the resistance in the weld site increases, causing more heat, which explodes out. Sparks will fly and if the gap is too large, a hole may occur. Fig 18

Fig. 13 Gio Astudillo Fig. 9 Fausto Reynoso

the work time for the glue was only 15 minutes. Now if you are doing a large panel, you had better find a slow-setting glue. Virtually all the techs would equalize a new twin tube of adhesive, but not after it had been opened. Again, I stressed to the techs the proper method: every time you change the tips, the adhesive needs to be equalized and after the tip is installed, run out about 3 inches bead of adhesive, to ensure the adhesive applied to the panel is totally mixed. See Figs 10 & 11.

The prop is assembled and a shunt pliers is needed for the first spot weld. (See Fig 14)

Fig. 18

Fig. 16 Edgar Andrade

by two and set the machine for that thickness (see Fig 17).

Some of the other major defects I have encountered are welds too close to the edge (sparks will fly) and welds on top of other welds. The wheelhouse arm was then installed and

Fig. 14 Edgar Andrade

Adhesive and E-coat are not electrically conductive and an electrical path needs to be established. A shunt pliers creates that path for the first weld (See Fig 15).

Fig. 19 Jaysen Estrada Fig. 17

Fig. 10 Gio Astudillo

Fig. 15

Fig. 11 Gio Astudillo

A regular locking plier is not recommended as a shunt because they do not have the ability to pass a large amount of amps the welder puts out, which will reduce the strength of the spot weld. You will notice the shunt pliers use copper feet and No. 2 gauge wire to handle the extremely high

54 NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Determine the type of weld. In this case, the machine was set for weld bonding. Next the tips (cleaned with a Scotch-Brite) were checked for alignment and adjusted accordingly. The tip pressure was adjusted to the recommended pressure (80 psi for a standard gun and 60 psi for a high pressure gun). Too much pressure will cause deep indentations in the weld, and not enough pressure will cause metal throw out. Perform test welds and do destructive testing. When everything is ready, begin the welding process (Fig 19). Note in the picture the number of

The tip alignment checked (Fig 20). A test weld was performed and the final welds were done. Jay Flores, second generation

Fig. 20 Edgar Andrade See Spot Welding Class, Page 57


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2021 Cox Automotive Service Industry Study: Parts Shortages, Staffing Concerns Hold Back Dealership Service Departments Despite current headwinds and market conditions, dealership service centers remain resilient and continue to be among the most preferred service providers. According to the 2021 Cox Automotive Service Industry Study released Oct. 11, 34% of consumers prefer dealership service centers, a 1 percentage point increase from 2018, and ahead of general repair shops. And while this is great news for franchise dealers, there is still a majority of the market dealerships aren’t capturing—translating to $214 billion in potential revenue. Dealership service centers are the most preferred because of their existing relationships. In fact, 55% of consumers say it is because the dealership knows their vehicle. On the other hand, dealerships continue to combat the perception they are overpriced and expensive. The top barriers to returning to the dealership are not only cost, but also location according to consumer rankings, all of which makes way for what owners consider easier and more convenient options, like general repair shops. On top of that, nearly one in four consumers also say their dealership service visits take longer than expected, adding to their frustration. Exacerbated by the pandemic, service departments cite part delays from manufacturers (58%) and finding or hiring the right technicians (45%) as their top operational frustrations, and both can directly impact the consumer experience, including the notion that service

departments take longer than expected. On average, dealerships cite a decline in the consumer satisfaction they deliver, with only 55% of dealers believing satisfaction has improved in the past 12 months (down from 71% when surveyed in 2018). Specific to staffing, 57% of dealership respondents say their service department is not fully staffed, and 80% expect these labor shortages to continue or worsen in the future. The majority (60%) also say the service technician is the top role they plan to grow this year, so there is a focus on investing in this area of the business. “The industry is ripe for transforming the consumer experience,” said Tracy Fred, vice president of operations for Xtime. “Despite a challenging marketplace, opportunities exist to better leverage digital tools to deliver on and even exceed consumer expectations, while also offsetting some operational challenges. Elevating the entire service experience with a consumer-first mindset and the use of technology can help raise overall profits, capture additional market share and help mitigate the frustrations service departments are currently facing.” Dealership service centers offering digital features have a more positive outlook. Of the dealers saying the experience has improved in the past year, they more often offer services like service pick-up and delivery, ridesharing, progress tracking, online cost estimates, mobile check-in and other digital services. Not only are they offering

these conveniences, but they have the added benefit of meeting consumer demand for a more digital service experience. Car owners particularly want the ability to schedule their appointment online, and it seems the dealer is striving to meet consumer needs there with 74% of dealers offering this option today. Of those owners scheduling online, 91% are highly satisfied with the experience; however, a third of consumers are unsure if their service provider offers this feature, which is consistent with the 2018 Cox Automotive Service Industry Study. Consumers also want to review and approve repair estimates online (67%) and access their vehicle service history (66%), which according to those surveyed are among the most critical digital features a service center should offer and provide an added level of transparency and convenience to the service experience.

Top performing service departments have a consumer-first mindset and use technology to enhance the experience by offering digital tools and convenience-focused services, like rideshare and reviewing and approving repair orders online. Nearly all top-performing dealers surveyed (99%) agree that improving consumer experience is an important focus moving forward. “Consumers continue to stress the importance of a digital experience, and dealerships must evolve and offer flexibility by enhancing online capabilities,” said Fred. “Meeting consumer demand for convenience by considering new service lines like ridesharing also can help combat location as a barrier. These same services can also be leveraged as new staffing strategies, like enabling Lyft for service pick-up and delivery to allow your existing staff to focus elsewhere.” Source: Cox Automotive

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AutoNation Appoints CEO and Director AutoNation, Inc., America’s largest automotive retailer, on Sept. 21 announced it has appointed Mike Manley as CEO and as a member of its Board of Directors, effective Nov. 1. Mike Jackson will retire from AutoNation on Nov. 1 as CEO and as a member of the Board of Directors. Manley currently serves as head of Americas for Stellantis and sits on the group’s Executive Council. Stellantis is among the largest automo-

tive OEMs in the world, formed in January by the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the PSA Group. Most recently, Manley served as CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. from July 2018 to January of this year. Manley holds an MBA from Ashridge Management College and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Southbank University. Source: AutoNation

56 NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

©2021 Porsche Cars North America, Inc. Porsche recommends seatbelt usage and observance of traffic laws at all times.


Axalta Expects $40M Less in Net Sales for Q3 Due to Supply Chain Shortages, Raw Material and Logistics Constraints Axalta Coating Systems Ltd., a leading global coatings company, provided an update to third quarter and full-year 2021 financial guidance given the ongoing supply chain issues its Mobility customers are experiencing, as well as continued raw material inflation and supply chain and logistics constraints. Axalta expects net sales for the third quarter to decrease by approximately $40 million relative to volume levels assumed in previously communicated guidance, and for adjusted EBIT to be reported between $130 million and $140 million, benefiting from positive business mix, ongoing price increases and continued cost actions. The prior guidance for Q3 adjusted EBIT (noted as ~20% of the full year target) was $138 million at the midpoint of the range. For full-year 2021, Axalta is withdrawing its previously communicated guidance due to the uncertainty related to these factors and expected financial impacts during the fourth quarter. Since Axalta provided its third

quarter and full-year 2021 guidance on July 26, net sales volumes have continued to be impacted by customer supply chain disruptions, most notably in the light vehicle end-market, where semiconductor chip and other supply shortages have continued largely unabated. Industry forecasts for light vehicle production now call for these disruptions to continue into 2022, and Axalta now anticipates global production impacts to total approximately 11 million units for the full year 2021, compared with the previous assumption of 7 million units. In addition, recent weather events in the Southeast U.S. and ongoing global raw material supply and logistics constraints have resulted in continued cost inflation and supply constraints in excess of that anticipated in previously provided guidance.

Despite the impact of Mobility customer component shortages and supply chain challenges, underlying demand in Performance Coatings end-markets remains strong. Inventory on hand in customer channels remains below normal levels, which Axalta expects will support a net sales recovery as COVID-19-related impacts and supply chain dynamics ease over time. Axalta expects net sales volumes in both Refinish and Industrial end-markets to remain consistent with previously communicated guidance. On a consolidated basis, Axalta believes strong global demand, supported by active growth initiatives, and a focus on addressing inflationary pressures with price increases, will support a continued recovery in both net sales and profit during 2022 and beyond. Source: Axalta

Continued from Page 54

Spot Welding Class owner of Tony’s Body Shop, was so impressed with the knowledge his techs had gained, he signed up his remaining four technicians for the same class. I hope when you need to take

(l to r) Jay Flores, Edgar Andrade, Fausto Reynoso, Gio Astidillo, Jaysen Estrada, Martin Perez Jr.

the I-CAR STRSW course, you will consider sending all your techs. It is well worth the cost to know a vehicle is being repaired properly. Did you find all the answers to the questions? If no, read the article again. Still lost? Email me at tcspeedster@gmail.com and I will send them to you.

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Lordstown Motors Sells Ohio Plant to Hon Hai Technology Group, Announces Partnership to Work on EV Programs Lordstown Motors Corp., a provider of electric light duty trucks focused on the commercial fleet market, and global technology company Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) on Sept. 30 announced they reached an agreement in principle to work jointly on Lordstown Motors’ electric vehicle programs in its 6.2 million-square foot production and assembly plant in Lordstown, OH. The parties on the same date entered into a subscription agreement, under which Foxconn will purchase approximately $50 million of Lordstown Motors’ common stock directly from Lordstown Motors at a price of $6.8983 per share, and retain these shares for a specified period. The agreement between both companies would allow Lordstown Motors to leverage the technology and manufacturing expertise of Foxconn, as Lordstown Motors pursues the production of electric vehicles at its Ohio facility. The goal of the partnership is to present both Lordstown Motors and Foxconn with increased market opportunities in scalable electric vehicle production in North America. The agreement provides as follows:

Lordstown Motors and Foxconn will use commercially reasonable best efforts to negotiate a definitive agreement pursuant to which Foxconn would purchase the Lordstown facility, excluding Lordstown Motors’ hub motor assembly line, battery module and packing line assets, certain intellectual property rights and other excluded assets, for $230 million. Both entities would also negotiate a contract manufacturing agreement, which would be a condition to closing of the facility purchase, whereby Foxconn would manufacture Lordstown Motors’ Endurance full-size pickup truck at its Lordstown facility. Lordstown Motors would also agree to provide Foxconn with certain rights with respect to future vehicle programs. Concurrently with the closing under the definitive agreements, Lordstown Motors would issue warrants to Foxconn that are exercisable for three years for 1.7 million shares of common stock at an exercise price of $10.50 per share. The parties have agreed to explore licensing arrangements for additional pickup truck programs. Following the closing under the

Sedgwick to Use CCC Intelligent Solutions’ AI to Digitize Auto Appraisals Sedgwick, a global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits and integrated business solutions, and CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc. (CCC), a SaaS platform for the property and casualty insurance economy, announced a multiyear agreement whereby CCC’s mobile and artificial intelligence (AI) claims capabilities will power Sedgwick’s auto appraisal offering and related workflows. The agreement will help redefine Sedgwick’s auto appraisal capabilities, enabling the auto claims services provider to offer clients the next steps towards a digital end-toend automobile physical damage evaluation experience, streamlining and improving their policyholder experiences. “Working with CCC to bring proven AI and mobile innovation into our process marks the next milestone in the strategic growth and advancement of our auto physical damage management solutions,” said Chris Bakes, Sedgwick managing director for auto appraisals. “On the heels of several key acquisitions, the CCC cloud will help

scale our auto business by extending our reach and our technology capabilities, allowing us to elevate the appraisal process in this industry to a new standard of excellence.” Sedgwick will leverage CCC’s suite of cloud-based AI solutions, helping its clients deliver an enhanced digital experience from first notice of loss to resolution. “Digital and AI-first experiences are being activated across the industry and CCC is proud to be powering this transformation, improving the lives of millions of drivers,” said Shivani Govil, chief product officer, CCC. “The CCC advantage combines leading AI and vast network connections to help our customers scale their business, deliver differentiated value, and achieve better business outcomes. We’re excited to provide Sedgwick with the technology and tools to support its next phase of growth in the auto appraisal space.” More about Sedgwick’s auto solutions can be found at sedgwick. com/autoappraisals. Source: Sedgwick, CCC

58 NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

definitive agreements, Lordstown Motors would enter into a long-term lease for a portion of the existing facility for its Ohio-based employees, and Foxconn would offer employment to agreed upon Lordstown operational and manufacturing employees. “We have high expectations through this partnership that we will be able to successfully integrate our resources with Lordstown Motors,” said Young Liu, chairman of Hon Hai Technology Group. “In addition to achieving the goal of moving ahead our timeline to establish electric vehicle production capacity in North America, it also reflects Foxconn’s flexibility in providing design and production services for different EV customers. This mutually beneficial relationship is an important milestone for Foxconn’s EV business and our transformation strategy.” In addition, this facility would serve as a speed to market asset that would also support Foxconn’s partner and customer, Fisker Inc. “We are excited about the prospect of joining forces with a worldclass smart manufacturer like Foxconn and believe the relationship would

provide operational, technology and supply chain benefits to our company and accelerate overall scaled vehicle production and increase employment in the Lordstown facility,” said Daniel Ninivaggi, CEO of Lordstown Motors Corp. “The partnership would allow Lordstown Motors to take advantage of Foxconn’s extensive manufacturing expertise and cost-efficient supply chain, while freeing up Lordstown Motors to focus on bringing the Endurance to market, developing service offerings for our fleet customers and designing and developing innovative new vehicle models.” In connection with the Foxconn announcement, Lordstown Motors also provided an updated production outlook. The Lordstown Motors team continues to move forward with its plan to build a limited number of Endurance vehicles for testing, validation, verification and regulatory approvals during the balance of 2021 and the first part of 2022. The company will provide an update on its production plan during its upcoming Q3 2021 earnings call currently slated for mid-November. Source: Lordstown Motors

Retail Spending on Cars and Parts Surpasses All Other Sales Automotive is the single biggest retail segment in the U.S., accounting for 20%—more than $1.2 trillion— of retail spending in 2020, according to the new Retail Trends Report from SEMA Market Research. The report highlights U.S. retail spending and includes new findings on the retail side of the specialty-equipment market, including specialty-automotive shopping behavior and trends. Retail is a huge part of the U.S. economy, representing more than $6.2 trillion in 2020. While online sales are growing, it is a small slice of the total, growing to roughly 14% of total retail sales, up from 11% in 2019. To help businesses understand automotive aftermarket retail trends by product and retail channel, as well as consumer and shopping behavior, the SEMA report contains additional findings, including: The specialty-automotive aftermarket is ahead of the curve on online sales, with just over half of the $47.89 billion spent on specialty parts in 2020 going through online retail channels. SEMA expects the share of online retail sales will level off, then return to its historical trend

of gradual growth over the next couple years. In the longer term, retailers should keep an eye on how the vehicle population evolves. Light trucks like pickups, SUVs and CUVs are expected to represent 80% of new vehicles sold through 2028. Alternative-fuel vehicles (e.g., hybrid and electric) are a small but growing share of new vehicles sold, expected to account for 25% of new vehicle sales by 2028 and 45% by 2035. In recent years, specialty-automotive consumers have most-commonly bought parts in a “mixedmode” fashion—i.e., buying both in-person and online, with smaller portions favoring exclusively in-person or exclusively online. For many consumers, high-performance chemicals along with specialty wheels and tires represent the “gateway drugs” that can lead to more ambitious modifications to the vehicle’s appearance, performance and handling. For more data on the state of U.S retail and retail in the automotive specialty-equipment market, download the 2021 SEMA Retail Trends Report for free today at www.sema.org/research. Source: SEMA


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Ford Begins Pre-Production of All-Electric F-150 Lightning As the first pre-production F-150 Lightning trucks roll out of Ford’s new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center and demand soars for the all-electric truck, Ford on Sept. 16 said it will increase investment and add jobs to boost production. Ford is investing an additional $250 million and adding 450 more direct jobs across the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center and Rawsonville Components Plant. The investment and added jobs will help increase production capacity to 80,000 trucks a year. “We knew the F-150 Lightning was special, but the interest from the public has surpassed our highest expectations and changed the conversation around electric vehicles. So we are doubling down, adding jobs and investment to increase production,” said Bill Ford, executive chair, Ford Motor Company. “This truck and the Ford-UAW workers who are assembling it in Michigan have a chance to make history and lead the electric vehicle movement in America.” F-150 Lightning, with a start-

ing MSRP of $40,000 and targeted EPA-estimated driving range of 300 miles with the extended range battery, is aimed at the heart of the U.S. auto market. Ford has taken more than 150,000 reservations for the trucks to date. “Electrifying the F-Series— America’s best-selling truck for 44 years—and assembling it at this high-tech facility in Michigan represents a significant step toward mass adoption of electric vehicles in America,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of The Americas and International Markets Group. “F-150 Lightning is intended to be more than a no-compromise zero tailpipe-emissions truck. It’s packed with ingenious features and technology that will improve over time, it’s exhilarating to drive and it can power your home and worksite.” Ford confirmed construction of the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center a year ago as part of an initial $700 million investment in the historic Ford Rouge Center, creating a manufacturing home for the F-150 Lightning. Now Ford’s pre-production F-150 Lightning trucks are

leaving the factory for real-world testing, with the truck available to customers next spring. Ford’s $250 million additional investment will create 450 additional hourly direct jobs, with most of those workers assembling the F-150 Lightning at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. Workers at Rawsonville Components Plant will assemble the batteries and Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center will increase its capacity to supply electric motors and electric transaxles for the F-150 Lightning. Ford hosted government officials including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell to celebrate Ford’s commitment to Michigan and assembling electric vehicles in Michigan as the first pre-production F-150 Lightning trucks start to leave the factory. “We’re standing on the edge of an era of electrification that will be built in factories like this one by hardworking UAW members and the innovative minds at Ford,” said Whitmer. “I am proud of Ford for committing to invest $30 billion

in electrification through 2025, including this additional $250 million today to create 450 jobs in Dearborn, Ypsilanti and Sterling Heights supporting the production of the new F-150 Lightning. I will stay laser-focused at the state level on making investments in the future of mobility and electrification too, and together, we can create good-paying, high-skill union jobs and lead the world in electric vehicle development and manufacturing.” The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is in the Ford Rouge Center, which sets the benchmark for sustainable automotive assembly. This new center supports Ford’s vision of sustainable production as a zero waste-to-landfill site. The center uses natural lighting, as well as LED lighting and the primary forklift fleet will use hydrogen fuel cells with a zero-emission profile. The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is built on the site of the old Dearborn Assembly Plant, using its recycled foundation and construction materials. Source: Ford Motor Company

Jay Leno Joins SEMA Show New Products Breakfast Jay Leno will kick off the 2021 SEMA Show as the featured guest of the New Products Breakfast on Nov. 2. Taking place before the SEMA Show floor officially opens that same day, the New Products Awards Breakfast is akin to an opening ceremony for the four-day event, where automotive innovation, technology and advancement take center stage. As the featured guest of the New Products Breakfast, Leno will inspire and motivate show attendees as the best new product award winners are announced. “Leno is an automotive expert whose high energy and passion represents that of the industry’s,” said Tom Gattuso, SEMA vice president of events. “Like the exhibitors at the SEMA Show, Leno pushes the boundaries and continually raises the bar. We’re thrilled to have him join us for the opening breakfast of what is likely to be one of the most iconic SEMA Shows ever.” Tickets to the New Products Breakfast are available to all SEMA Showgoers at no cost by visiting www.semashow.com/banquet. Tickets are free to all credentialed attendees, but must be reserved in advance

as seating is limited. In addition to a sit-down breakfast served beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, the event includes announcements and introductions of the best new product winners. Awards are presented in 16 categories and will be showcased in the New Products Showcase throughout the week of the SEMA Show. The New Products Showcase, voted on by buyers and media as the No. 1 SEMA Show destination, includes exhibitors’ new and featured products displayed in a single location. All exhibitors may enter an unlimited number of products into the Showcase, with the first entry offered at no cost. The SEMA Show takes place Nov. 2-5 in Las Vegas, NV, with the Show floor opening at 9 a.m. More than 1,300 exhibiting companies are set to participate throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center. To date, more than 40,000 buyers have signed up to attend. To learn more, visit www.semashow.com/banquet. Source: SEMA

60 NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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Auto Insurers Confront Rapidly Rising Claims Costs Sharply higher costs to repair and replace vehicles will cause insurance companies’ underwriting profit margins to narrow significantly, projects S&P Global Market Intelligence’s annual US Auto Insurance Market Report. Published by S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Financial Institutions Group (FIG) Research team, the report spotlights the unprecedented effects of COVID-19 on the personal and commercial auto insurance business. The analysis finds the benefits fromlower levels of motor vehicle travel may be as fleeting as they were significant. The number of automobile crashes is rebounding toward pre-pandemic levels, and the average cost to settle claims is rising as costs for motor vehicle body work and used vehicles increase rapidly. “Auto insurers provided estimated premium relief of as much as $16.4 billion to their customers in 2020 as COVID-19 curtailed commuting and leisure travel,” said Tim Zawacki, principal analyst for FIG at S&P Global Mar-

ket Intelligence. “In 2022, some of those customers may face higher auto insurance rates as carriers respond to a return to normal driving patterns and claims costs continue to climb.”

industry underwriting profitability, will normalize in the personal and commercial auto insurance businesses in 2021 due to inflationary pressures and the year-over-year increase in the number of vehicles

Key highlights from the report include: Greater use of technology favors more stable and predictable auto insurance results over the long term. The various ways technology will benefit the industry include increased consumer and trucker acceptance of telematics and the continued deployment of advanced safety equipment across the domestic vehicle fleet. But the industry must first navigate near-term volatility related to the pandemic. Combined ratios, the key measure of property and casualty

on the road. Over time, the outlook assumes resolution of the underlying supply chain disruptions that are driving the rapid inflation. Some auto insurers will continue to pursue sizeable rate increases in response to the adverse claims trends. The report projects growth in personal auto direct premiums written of 3.1% in 2021 and 5.4% in 2022. Commercial auto premiums are projected to rise 14.2% in 2021 before slowing to 8.4% in 2022. Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence

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The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) reminds service professionals fall registration for certification testing is open now through Dec. 31. More than 50 ASE certification tests are offered for automotive, collision, medium/ heavy duty, school bus, transit bus and truck equipment repair, and more. ASE tests are conducted days, nights and weekends at nearly 450 secured, proctored test centers. It is recommended service professionals coordinate testing with their employers and check test center availability before registering. To register, sign into myASE at https://my.ase.com/ or call Prometric at 877-3469327. Those with active automobile certifications (A1-A9) can also use the ASE Renewal App for recertification. Source: ASE

Tesla’s FSD Beta 10.2 to Rollout to ~1K New Drivers by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted a key update to Tesla’s FSD Beta 10.2 rollout, saying the new iteration of the company’s advanced driver-assist system is poised for release Oct. 8. Musk also said the program would be expanding to about 1,000 new Tesla owners who have registered a perfect 100 rating on their Safety Score. Musk said the rollout of FSD Beta 10.2 would be put on hold for several days to evaluate the expanded program. If the results of the FSD Beta 10.2 expansion prove successful, then Tesla would start to gradually roll out the advanced driver-assist system to owners who have posted a 99 rating on their Safety Score. Rollouts to owners with Safety Scores of 98 and below should follow. Tesla’s strategy for the rollout of FSD Beta 10.2 is arguably cautious, but necessary. The company’s Full Self-Driving system, even in its Beta form, is designed to be a key safety feature, after all. For Tesla to be able to release FSD to its greater fleet, the advanced driver-assist system needs to be

validated and refined. Tapping into electric vehicle owners who wish to take part in the FSD Beta program could then be a key strategy that could eventually help Tesla achieve true autonomous driving in the future. In later posts, Musk confirmed the FSD Beta 10.2 expansion Oct. 8 would be a nationwide rollout. Musk explained, however, the quality of experience among Tesla owners operating FSD Beta 10.2 would likely “vary dramatically” as the company’s neural networks simply have far more training data in some parts of the country more than others. This disparity should be addressed as the FSD Beta program expands further. The Tesla FSD Beta program has so far been extremely successful. Since starting almost a year ago, the roughly 2,000 or so Tesla owners who are part of the company’s initial FSD Beta program have not met a single accident to date. While these statistics will likely be impossible to maintain in the long run, Musk has noted in the past Tesla would do everything it can to keep the FSD Beta program and its expansion as safe as possible.

autobodynews.com / NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 61


Cox Automotive Forecast: New-Vehicle Sales Stall in September September U.S. auto sales are forecast to be significantly hampered by an ongoing lack of new-vehicle inventory. According to a forecast released Sept. 27 by Cox Automotive, the pace of auto sales, or seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), is expected to finish near 12.1 million, the slowest pace since May 2020, when much of the country was closed during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The September sales pace will be down from August’s 13.1 million pace and down from the September 2020 pace of 16.3 million. Sales volume is forecast by Cox Automotive to come in near a notably low 1 million units. The low volume expectations for September put the month on course to be among the worst in the past decade. Sales volume is expected to be down nearly 26% from last September and down 8.5% from last month. The sales pace in the U.S. market has fallen every month since reaching a peak of 18.3 million in April. “After a strong spring selling season, the supply situation has wors-

ened precipitously and is dragging sales down with it,” said Cox Automotive Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough. “The monthly declines have been large—the sales pace has declined by more than a million units in each of the past five months. Available supply on dealer lots is now 58% lower than last September, down nearly 1.4 million units.” The new-vehicle supply shortage is impacting the market in many ways. Manufacturers have cut back significantly on incentives, and transaction prices have risen as a result. In addition, the lack of new-vehicle inventory is steering many dealers and consumers into the used-vehicle market, resulting in higher prices for both wholesale and retail used vehicles. Q3 2021: The Auto Industry Finds the Bottom With lower sales forecast for September, the third quarter of 2021 is forecast to finish with auto sales down 14% versus Q3 2020 and down 22% compared to the same period in 2019. Cox Automotive will officially revise its full-year forecast, with new projections scheduled to be released

Sept. 30. The underlying economic conditions in the U.S. are currently healthy enough to support higher new-vehicle sales levels. The demand is there. Inventory levels, however, are the unique problem facing the automotive market right now, with disruptions to the global supply chain challenging all automakers, severely impacting available inventory, and pushing many would-be buyers out of the market. In recent research by Cox Automotive’s Kelley Blue Book team, nearly half of would-be buyers indicated in August they will likely step back from the market, many for three months or more. Inventory conditions, however, are anticipated to improve in the coming months. “The expectation is that OEM supply issues will improve such that Q4 should have better selling SAARs than the September rate, but that doesn’t mean good selling rates,” said Chesbrough. “Vehicles are getting produced, and some OEMs have improved their supply situation. In recent months, OEMs seem to be

managing the situation better now that they’ve had time to adjust. For example, automakers are improving their ability to redirect existing chips to the most important vehicles in their portfolios. This strategy should support better sales in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter.” September 2021 Sales Forecast Highlights New light-vehicle sales are forecast to fall to 1 million units, or down 357,000 units, nearly 26% from last year. Compared to last month, sales are expected to fall 92,000 or nearly 8%. The SAAR in September is estimated to be 12.1 million, down from last September’s early COVID recovery pace of 16.3 million and down from August’s 13.1 million supply-constrained level. No segment saw a sales increase in September with the Mid-Size Cars and Compact SUV/Crossover segments seeing the largest year-overyear decreases at -41.0% and -33.7%, respectively. Source: Cox Automotive

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NICB Releases Annual ‘Hot Wheels’ Report: America’s Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) on Oct. 12 released its annual Hot Wheels report identifying the top 10 most stolen vehicles in the U.S. in 2020. For the second year in a row, the Ford full size pick-up was the model most targeted by thieves, followed by the Chevrolet full size pick-up, which supplanted the formerly second-place Honda Civic. “Auto thefts saw a dramatic increase in 2020 versus 2019 in part due to the pandemic, an economic downturn, law enforcement realignment, depleted social and schooling programs and, in still too many cases, owner complacency,” said David Glawe, president and CEO of the NICB. “For many people, a car is the second largest investment they will ever make behind a home. No matter what kind of vehicle you have, take steps to protect your investment—lock your car and take your keys.” Thefts for all models in the top 10 were up in 2020 compared to 2019, but only Ford, Chevrolet and GMC full size pick-ups and the Honda CR-V saw double digit theft

increase percentages. In this year’s list, six of the top 10 most stolen vehicles were Japanese models. Top 10 Stolen Vehicles in 2020 (number of thefts, most common model year stolen) 1. Ford full size pick-up: 44,014; 2006 2. Chevrolet full size pick-up: 40,968; 2004 3. Honda Civic: 34,144; 2000 4. Honda Accord: 30,814; 1997 5. Toyota Camry: 16,915; 2019 6. Nissan Altima: 14,668; 2020 7. GMC full size pick-up: 13,016; 2005 8. Toyota Corolla: 12,515; 2020 9. Honda CR-V: 12,309; 2000 10. Dodge full size pickup:11,991; 2001 The annual Hot Wheels report examines vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and determines the vehicle make, model and model year most reported stolen in 2020. To guard against thefts of vehicles, NICB recommends drivers

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are smart keys; fuse cut-offs; kill switches; starter, ignition and fuel pump disablers; and wireless ignition authentication. Tracking device—the final layer of protection is a tracking device which emits a signal to police or a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems employ “telematics” which combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer. Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800-TEL-NICB (800-835-6422) or submitting a form at www.nicb.org/how-wehelp/report-fraud Source: NICB

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Wealthy people don’t just stick all their piles of cash in bank accounts and in a house. They often invest in tangible objects, be it real estate, a business or collectable cars. A new Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index (KFLII) sheds light on why we’re seeing the value of certain collectable vehicles shoot through the roof. In the KFLII, wine and watches do come before cars, thanks to the two top items boasting a 13% and 5% 12-month increase in value, respectively, versus 4% for cars. However, when looking at the 10-year figures, cars boast an enviable 180% increase versus 119% for wine and 87% for watches. This doesn’t mean the good times will roll on indefinitely. After all, some items which used to be hot have fallen out of

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fashion. According to Andrew Shirley, editor of the KFLII, there are two items which were at the top but have fallen from those spots: rare bottles of scotch and Hermes handbags. Still, it’s important to note handbags enjoy a 91% 10-year growth rate and rare whiskey sits better than anything else in the top 10 with 483% increase in the past decade. Those two items have seen a negative 3% and negative 4% growth in the past 12 months, showing the market can be volatile. We understand that for enthusiasts who don’t have piles of cash, seeing the value of a dream car skyrocket well beyond anything they can ever afford is maddening. Many hold ill feelings for those who, through prospecting, have caused what used to be within reach to become unattainable. In other words, while some are celebrating this trend there is a downside.

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autobodynews.com / NOVEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 63


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