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ASA Northwest Puts Kids First, Organizes 21st Annual Fundraiser by Chasidy Rae Sisk

ASA Northwest has begun coordinating its 21st annual Kids First fundraiser, benefiting needy families during the holiday season. “Through the Kids First program, we’re able to brighten the holiday season for needy children in our local Multicultural Child and Family Hope Center,” said Jeff Lovell, president and executive director of ASA Northwest. “Funds raised will allow us to purchase an outfit and toy for about 40 children who need our help this year—imagine the smile on a

child’s face, having Christmas presents to open!”

The association is asking for donations by Dec. 11th to allow time for ASA Northwest volunteers to purchase and wrap the gifts for the See Kids First, Page 12

AUTOBODYNEWS.COM Vol. 38 / Issue 12 / December 2020

2020 Collision Repair Industry: A Year in Review by Chasidy Rae Sisk

It’s undeniable that 2020 has been a year for the history books—the amount of change over the past 12 months is unprecedented and has been disruptive in every imaginable way. As 2020 comes to its conclusion, the world reflects on the year’s events, and a handful of collision repair industry leaders share their thoughts on the most impactful memories for their associations in 2020. The strongest force this year has been the spread of COVID-19, and attempts to curb it. This has translated into many virtual events, and Zoom has become much more than

onomatopoeia, with nearly every association adopting the new normal. “The Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation (AWAF) was able to quickly pivot to virtual events after the start of the pandemic, which enabled us to continue to serve our members,” said Susan Rokosz, the association’s president. “From happy hours to professional development events, going virtual enabled us to remain connected to our members. ‘AWAF also committed to increasing the diversity of both the membership and the board, and we are working to increase diversity in the talent pipeline for the automotive See 2020 Collision, Page 4

Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine 94.5% Effective in Phase 3 Study, Doesn’t Require Extreme Cold

Internal Memo From Bill Ford Offers Reassurance, ‘No Matter Who is Running the Country’

by Bethany Blankley, The Center Square

by Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press

Biotech company Moderna announced Nov. 16 that its new COVID-19 vaccine has proven to be 94.5% effective. The company said it intends to submit for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks and expects the EUA to be based on the final analysis of 151 cases and a median follow-up of more than two months. Known as the COVE study, Moderna enrolled more than 30,000 participants in the U.S. to test the

Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Co., emailed the Ford team Nov. 6 “a message on the U.S. Election” as protesters gathered in Detroit and tensions nationally ran high over the presidential election. Ford, 63, is known to send periodic messages when he feels such communication is appropriate. The outcome of the 2020 election remained uncertain though polls closed Nov. 3. He urged calm and reassured employees globally that, separate and apart from the political outcome, the company his great-grandfather founded has a clear vision and focus on the future. He emphasized that the company has weathered political change all over the world. “As I have said many times, we always look to establish and follow our own North Star of values and objectives that allow us to thrive— and to be stable—regardless of the political environment,” Ford wrote. “This has been a difficult and un-

Credit: Ted S. Warren/AP

vaccine. The study was conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National See Vaccine 94.5%, Page 12



Change Service Requested P.O. BOX 1516, CARLSBAD, CA 92018


certain year,” he wrote. “But no matter what results this election yields, the importance of our values—our work, our people, our families, doing the right thing and building a better tomorrow—will transcend, as they always have.”

Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford poses for a photo in Michigan Central Station in Detroit. Credit: Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press

The letter, which appears to have a 5:31 p.m. time stamp, was obtained by the Free Press shortly after it was sent. It reads in full: Dear Ford Team: See Bill Ford Page 19

11/18/2020 5:01:04 PM




IT IS TIME TO CONVERT. www.sherwin-automotive.com/sunfirepro

2 DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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CONTENTS 11 CA Counties Pushed Back to Tighter Coronavirus Restrictions�������������������������������14 Beep to Operate Autonomous Shuttles at Yellowstone�����������������������������������������������18 California Voters Side with Uber, Lyft in Battle over Gig Worker Labor Laws���������������10 CARSTAR Westside Collision Opens in

the Complete SEMA360 Experience��������������52


Bentley to Go Carbon Neutral by 2030

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

Serving Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the collision industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2020 Adamantine Media LLC.

American Icon Automotive Finishes����������������� 22

Innovative Tools & Technologies, Inc���������������� 21

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 47

Kearny Mesa Subaru-Hyundai������������������������� 18

AutoNation Collision Parts������������������������������� 17

Kia Downtown Los Angeles����������������������������� 24

AutoNation Honda Costa Mesa������������������������ 36

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers�����������44-45

I-CAR Introduces ‘Get to Gold Class’������������������11

AutoNation Infiniti Tustin��������������������������������� 30

Kia of Carson�������������������������������������������������� 38

Internal Memo From Bill Ford Offers

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

Kia of Irvine���������������������������������������������������� 31

Reassurance, ‘No Matter Who is

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers������������������������ 46

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

Running the Country’��������������������������������������1

Car Pros Kia���������������������������������������������������� 42

Larry H. Miller Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram������� 12

Car Pros Kia Renton���������������������������������������� 34

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������������� 50

Classifieds������������������������������������������������������ 54

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Colortone Automotive Paints��������������������������� 24

Michael Hohl Motor Company������������������������� 16

Courtesy Chevrolet San Diego������������������������� 35

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 46

Cutter Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram������������������� 26

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers��������������������� 33

Effective in Phase 3 Study, Doesn’t

DCH Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat���������������� 20

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers������������ 53

Require Extreme Cold�������������������������������������1

Eckler’s Automotive���������������������������������������� 25

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������� 55

New Tech for Hail Claims Launched������������������19

Equalizer Industries, Inc���������������������������������� 14

Rapid Tac�������������������������������������������������������� 27

Schedule ASE Tests Now�����������������������������������54

Fairview Ford-Lincoln-Mercury����������������������� 40

Reno Buick-GMC�������������������������������������������� 12

Set Yourself Up for 2021 Marketing Success

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

RGI Spray Booth Company������������������������������ 19

FI. TIM SRL����������������������������������������������������� 16

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

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 49

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

Future Nissan of Roseville������������������������������� 32

Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-Subaru���������������������� 39

Galpin Motors������������������������������������������������� 37

Spanesi Americas������������������������������������������� 13

Garden Grove Kia�������������������������������������������� 31

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������������� 51

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

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

Fix Auto USA Further Expands L.A. Dominance

CARSTAR 92nd Among Franchise Systems��������43

with New Locations in Century City and San Jose������������������������������������������������11 Motional and Lyft Resume Self-Driving Service in Las Vegas���������������������������������������6 Will New Privacy Act Truly Protect CA Shops and their Customers?�����������������������������������16

COLUMNISTS Anderson - Hands-On Testing Shows Limitations of Relying Solely on DTCs or Aftermarket Scan Tools�����������������������������32 Attanasio - Marketing in 2020: Will People Find You and What Will They See?�����������������40 Yoswick - Perspectives, Ideas Shared by Dealership Management Helpful for Independent Shops as Well���������������������������30

NATIONAL 2020 Autonomous Vehicle Market Update���������20 2020 Collision Repair Industry: A Year in Review���1 AkzoNobel Hits SEMA360 in a Big Way, Virtually��������������������������������������������������������48 ALLDATA Goes All-In to Support SEMA360��������35 ASA Northwest Puts Kids First, Organizes 21st Annual Fundraiser�����������������������������������1 asTech Shares Information About Its Services & Importance of Scanning During SEMA360���47 Autel Diagnostics Develops Autel Virtual for


Selling Your Business������������������������������������36

Body Crafters: A COVID-19 Experience��������������38

Lucid Motors Expands California Studios


Be Prepared and Be Ready: Tips for

Fix Auto USA Announces Six New Locations��������6

Shop in Auburn, CA���������������������������������������12

section of Autobody News.

Next-Generation Automotive

with Fully Electric Fleet���������������������������������51

Kniesel’s Collision Takes Over for Tomlinson’s


Avnet Poised to Play Key Role in

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with Maserati-Certified Fix Auto Walnut���������10

Place an ad in our

Auto Club Announces More Financial Relief�������48

CCC Introduces ADAS Insights���������������������������51 Customer Service is King: The Modern Customer Journey����������������������������������������46 Financial Incompetence is No Excuse!���������������34 Ford Fund Pledges $200K to Keep Students Learning During Pandemic����������������������������50 Grade Insurers’ Performances���������������������������14 Guild 21 Meeting to Cover ADAS�����������������������43

Manufacturers Continue to Offer Exclusive Discounts to SEMA360 Attendees�����������������52 Mike’s Auto Body Gives 2 Cars in Conjunction with Hemophilia Foundation��������������������������39 Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine 94.5%

with Shop Marketing Pros�����������������������������42 Tesla About to Make Producing 1 Million EVs Per Year Unremarkable���������������������������55 Tesla Finally Admits ‘Design Flaw’ in Model 3 Bumpers Falling off in Rain���������������������������48 Volvo Airbag Death Causes S60 and S80 Recall����������������������������������������������������54



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Autobody News P.O. Box 1516 Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com editor@autobodynews.com

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers��������������������������� 43

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Woman Who Sued Body Shop Over

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers�������28-29

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Aston Martin Repair Bill Now

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Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������� 42

Ordered to Pay $250,000������������������������������50

Industrial Finishes and Systems������������������ 7, 56

Volvo Wholesale Parts Dealers������������������������ 52

autobodynews.com / DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS 3

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Continued from Cover

2020 Collision industry.” When ASA Northwest’s ATE 2020 had to be canceled a week and a half before the event due to COVID restrictions, the association’s leaders “went into scramble mode and canceled our live event with over 1000 attendees,” said ASA Northwest President and Executive Director Jeff Lovell. “We knew we needed to keep our ASA Northwest members engaged and let them know that we are here for them, so we started having Zoom meetings, called ‘Lunch and Learn,’ with members every week to keep them updated on the latest information,” Lowell said. “ASA Northwest has adapted to the new technology and was the fi rst automotive trade association to do a full-blown virtual training event with the help of Advance Professional, CTI-WTI and Worldpac. We hosted the fi rst Virtual ATE in August with 32 classes and close to 200 attendees from all over the world, it was truly amazing to put that together.” COVID-19 also provided an opportunity for associations to fi nd new ways to support their members, outside of virtual training. “This year, our biggest impact for members was partnering with Alerus Bank, a small local bank, to help shop owners apply for and receive their much-needed Paycheck Protection Program loans,” said Diana DeLeon, executive director of ASA-AZ. “Many members submitted applications to larger banks with no success, so we were very happy to have this relationship in place to help.” “The opportunity to off er our members-only an exclusive health insurance plan was most memorable for AASP/NJ; we partnered with World Insurance, a global leader in benefi ts, and more members participating will help lower our group rate, something individual shops can’t do,” said Jerry McNee, president of AASP/NJ. “With a potential average saving of 30% and annual premiums increasing yearly, off ering an option for members to save thousands of dollars in premiums, this is a welcome benefi t, considering all other

yearly increases within our businesses—this is truly a game changer, helping our members. “COVID-19 has aff ected everyone, so having the ability to off er a health plan that benefi ts members in a positive way is outstanding.” “Since March 2020, as COVID-19 hit the United States and began to shut down the country, ARA went into high gear to stay ahead of the situation,” said Sandy Blalock, executive director of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA.) “This multi-pronged, proactive response is the most important thing ARA accomplished this year and included many parts. “With the assistance of amazing industry partners, we created an automotive recyclers COVID Relief Fund, with over $46,000 distributed to auto recyclers in need,” Blalock said. “Through active regulatory work and connections with policymakers, ARA ensured that automotive recyclers were an ‘essential business’ to continue operating through the pandemic, and the association acted as a watch dog of all COVID legislation, for both the states and federal government, as well as providing members with information to help them navigate the crisis.” ARA also “partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s COVID Liability Coalition to educate Congress about the need for businesses to have liability protections related to COVID-19, and to urge Congress to pass legislation that would protect businesses from liability associated with COVID-19,” Blalock added. “In addition to creating a COVID-19 dashboard on our website with federal and state guidelines impacting the industry, ARA put together a guide detailing important information relating to the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program,” Blalock said. “This guide provides background information on the EIDL program and also describes its costs and benefi ts.” Adapting to change was a huge theme among industry associations this year, as it has been for shops. “Just as our members did, AASP-MN had to quickly shift gears in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Judell Anderson, executive director of

AASP-MN. “Members turned to the association like never before to get the information they needed to navigate this new environment and maintain their business operations. The alliance responded by providing ongoing member updates containing ‘need-to-know’ information about COVID-19 related legislation, regulations and other measures relevant to auto service and collision shops. “We also connected shops to share experiences, best practices and lessons learned for adapting business practices due to COVID-19, and we moved networking events and educational programming to virtual platforms,” Anderson said. “Another highlight would be the release of our membership video, which features authentic and sincere testimonials about what it means to be a member of the alliance. It reinforces the work that we do each day to be their champion and their ally.” The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) had to really “think outside the box when it came to fundraising and how we can continue to support collision school programs in 2020,” said Brandon Eckenrode, director of development for CREF. “Instead of holding physical career fair events, our team quickly coordinated online presentations with companies to help instructors with industry guest speakers for their students,” Eckenrode said. “We also helped communicate which companies opened up their online technical training to help instructors with industry resources. “With regards to fundraising, we had to be respectful and sensitive of what companies were going through when asking both annual and new partners for funding,” Eckenrode continued. “Our insurance partners and their 2020 support essentially saved CREF by being able to continue to support us. Also, we got creative by utilizing our industry member partnerships with their ‘celebrity’ brand ambassadors, connections and create unique auctions and fundraiser initiatives.” CREF wasn’t the only industry association focused on the next generation of technicians in 2020. “I am proud of WIN for stepping up and continuing to focus on our goals during this unusual year,” said the Women’s Industry Network

(WIN) Chair Cheryl Boswell. “WIN ‘Resourced the Industry’ by sponsoring uniforms for 100 vo-tech women students and by conducting a survey to understand the collision repair technician pipeline and how to attract and retain technicians. “WIN ‘Strengthened the Network’ by off ering seven educational webinars, and by launching the fi rst WIN-developed technical class,” Boswell said. “In the true spirit of WIN, it was an honor to celebrate 12 scholarship recipients and three Most Infl uential Women in 2020.” In a year ravaged by turmoil, many associations are celebrating their survival and their ability to keep members informed about the ongoing changes. “Through our leadership, we managed our operations and fi nances well, like many other companies, through an unknown virus and its impacts on our members, the aftermarket industry and the association itself,” said Rodney Pierini, president and CEO of CAWA. “Our fi rst thought was how can we help the ASA Northwest members during this time,” Lovell recalled. “Within a week, we were able to turn our ASA Northwest website into a resource center for members to get information on COVID-19. Our regional allied member, Integrated Claims Management, worked with us to make sure ASA Northwest was the place to turn for information.” “One of the most important things we have been able to do is keep our membership informed of all the issues regarding running their business in the shadow of the COVID crisis,” said AASP/MA Executive Director Lucky Papageorg. “This is important because our members and their customers are our number one concern as they are the reason we exist as an association. We are here to protect their interests in the insurance claim and repair process.” “ASA Arizona made sure our members were updated almost daily with changing information as we all navigated through the unknown of COVID-19,” DeLeon added. “Offering members online meetings and networking was a success to keep everyone connected when we couldn’t be together. We took an extra step to reach out and off er all these connections and information to shop owners See 2020 Collision, Page 25

4 DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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Motional and Lyft Resume Self-Driving Service in Las Vegas Motional, a global driverless technology leader, and Lyft on Oct. 22 announced the resumption of their pioneering self-driving mobility service in Las Vegas. The publicly-available autonomous fl eet—the world’s longest-standing, which has provided more than 100,000 paid rides— consists of Motional robotaxis, operating on the Lyft network. The fl eet was paused earlier this year due to COVID-19. Now, with the addition of enhanced protective measures, the service is again operational. The fl eet’s passengers will ride in the fi rst-ever Motional-branded robotaxis, following the unveiling of the company’s new brand in August. The service resumes as consumers demand new transportation options. According to a recent report, 70% of Americans say coronavirus infection is a real concern impacting their transportation decisions, and 1 in 5 are more interested in driverless vehicles than they were before the pandemic.

“We’ve put extensive measures in place to keep our fl eet thoroughly and frequently sanitized, and our passengers safe and healthy,” said Karl Iagnemma, president and CEO, Motional. “We’re thrilled to bring the fl eet back, and very proud of its place in history. It’s the longest-standing service of its kind, responsible for introducing self-driv-

https://motional.com/keeping-riders-healthy-our-covid-19-safetymeasures/ “In these turbulent times it’s energizing to see the continued innovation made by both Motional and Lyft as we push towards delivering self-driving cars at scale,” said Nadeem Sheikh, VP autonomous vehicles programs at Lyft.

“In these turbulent times it’s energizing to see the continued innovation made by both Motional and Lyft as we push towards delivering self-driving cars at scale,” — Nadeem Sheikh ing cars to hundreds of thousands of people.” The new protective measures follow CDC, World Health Organization and government guidelines, and include a partition between the front and rear seats; vehicle operator PPE; and vehicle sanitization at the start of each shift, the end of each day and between rides. Passengers can fi nd more information on the protective procedures at

“Getting this fl eet back up and running is a signifi cant jumping off point as we prepare to launch a robust set of new features for the self-driving fl eet.” The fl eet, launched in 2018, has provided more than 100,000 rides to paying members of the public, with 98% of passengers awarding their ride a fi ve-star rating. This overwhelmingly positive response illustrates the pub-

lic’s eagerness to ride in, and trust, self-driving vehicles. Passengers are able to experience self-driving technology fi rst-hand while enjoying the comfort and convenience of a traditional Lyft ride. Many riders have become self-driving evangelists following their experience with the fl eet. After their fi rst ride, customers repeatedly bring along friends and family members on their next robotaxi journey. Government partners in Las Vegas and Nevada have been instrumental in supporting the partnership and making self-driving ride-hails a reality for its residents and visitors. The resulting success has made the service a blueprint for how commercial partners and cities can collaborate to bring reliable, effi cient and improved mobility to local communities. To book a self-driving ride with Lyft and Motional in Las Vegas, visit the Lyft app and select a Motional car. For more information, visit Lyft.com and Motional. com. Source: Motional, Lyft

Fix Auto USA Announces Six New Locations Fix Auto USA on Nov. 10 announced continued growth with the addition of six franchise locations. These locations allow Fix Auto USA deeper penetration in the existing markets of Phoenix, Northern and Southern California, and San Diego. The independently owned and operated locations to join are:

Owned and operated by Stephen Bozer and Shane Orlando.

Fix Auto Avondale, Avondale, AZ. Owned and operated by Troy Buck. Fix Auto Los Angeles—Koreatown, Los Angeles, CA. Owned and operated by Eddie Kwon. Fix Auto Phoenix—City Center, Phoenix, AZ. Owned and operated by Danny Weyand. Fix Auto Santee, Santee, CA, Coowned and operated by Alex Doria, previously a Fix Auto USA associate, and Jorge Cuevas. Fix Auto Stockton, Stockton, CA. Owned and operated by Shaun Arroyo. Fix Auto Tempe, Tempe, AZ.

“The entire Fix Auto USA team has remained keenly focused on continuing to innovate, delivering value and positioning our brand for continued long-term success. So, to see these six new locations publically signal and place their trust in our platform is profoundly exciting,” said Fix Auto USA President Paul Gange. “These locations, throughout Arizona and California, allow us to root our brand throughout the West Coast further and off er additional market coverage to those looking for world-class collision repair.”

“After spending several years helping build Fix Auto USA’s platform, we elected to venture out onto our own and launch our fi rst store. There isn’t any other way I can see opening a store but on Fix Auto USA’s proven platform,” said Doria. “Since opening our doors, the community has warmly welcomed our shop as we’re well into our ramp-up period. The future looks bright, and I can’t wait to begin considering additional locations.”“Ever since opening my shop three years ago, I’ve wanted to off er my local market a superior collision repair option. Joining Fix Auto USA allows me exactly that and much more,” said Kwon. “As I further my integration into the brand, I can see why so many operators choose to join Fix Auto USA to compete in the ever-changing world we fi nd ourselves in.” “On behalf of the entire Fix Auto USA family, we warmly welcome these operators and their staff and are very much looking forward to their success,” said Gange.

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6 DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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autobodynews.com / DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS 9

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Fix Auto USA Further Expands L.A. Dominance with Maserati-Certified Fix Auto Walnut

California Voters Side with Uber, Lyft in Battle over Gig Worker Labor Laws

Fix Auto USA on Oct. 26 welcomed Maserati-certified Fix Auto Walnut, in Los Angeles, to the rapidly-growing network. A high-line facility featuring state-of-the-art equipment, software and an expertly trained team, Fix Auto Walnut is locally owned and operated by brothers Salvador and Juan Carlos Sanchez, and managed by Danny Provenza.   “It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome Fix Auto Walnut to our growing family of operators. Salvador, Juan Carlos and Danny have built quite a reputation throughout the L.A. Metro market for providing high-quality repairs to those with Maseratis and other high performance vehicles,” said Fix Auto USA President Paul Gange. “In addition to expanding those vehicles our brand is certified to repair, Fix Auto Walnut further cements Fix Auto USA as the preeminent collision repair brand in the Western U.S.” “From the day we first opened our doors, this industry has changed dramatically. There-

by ARN Staff

fore, we made the conscious decision to adapt our business strategy, so that we could continue to thrive; that meant joining Fix Auto USA,” said Salvador Sanchez. “Being part of the Fix Auto USA family gives us a tremendous level of comfort, knowing we have immediate access to a comprehensive platform at our fingertips.” “I find a lot of comfort knowing there are other franchise partners, who now care deeply about my business and our on-going success. Frankly, the strategy of not joining an organization like Fix Auto USA is frightening,” said Juan Carlos Sanchez. “We always believed our platform would attract the best, most talented operators in the markets we serve, and the team at Fix Auto Walnut embody this immensely. On behalf of the entire Fix Auto USA family, we welcome Fix Auto Walnut as our newest location,” said Gange. Source: Fix Auto

Millions of California voted to pass Proposition 22, classifying app-based drivers as gig workers, not employees. Backed by Uber, Lyft and food delivery apps such as Postmates, Prop 22 exempts app-based drivers from Assembly Bill 5, the California law that created a stricter criteria for independent contractors. Now, Uber and Lyft can continue to label drivers as independent contractors and do not have to provide benefits such as sick leave or insurance. Opposed by labor unions, the proposition passed 58% to 42%. Experts warn it could set an expectation that large companies can circumvent the government when legislation is passed that goes against


Experts warn it could set an expectation that large companies can circumvent the government when legislation is passed that goes against their interests. Credit: Photo via Todd Lappin, Flickr

their interests. Companies supporting Prop 22 spent more than $200 million on the campaign, according to CalMatters.  We thank Auto Rental News for reprint permission.


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Lucid Motors Expands California Studios with New Locations in Century City and San Jose Lucid Motors, which seeks to set new standards for sustainable mobility with its advanced luxury EVs, announced Nov. 5 the opening of its Century City and San Jose Studio locations. While there, customers can see the Lucid Air, which starts production in spring 2021 with the exclusive Dream Edition, and they can also design and reserve a Lucid Air of their own. At any Lucid Studio, customers can review options for the full Lucid Air lineup of luxury, high-performance EVs. This includes the Lucid Air, a very wellequipped model available from $69,900, through the Lucid Air Touring, which starts at $87,500, and the Lucid Air Grand Touring, starting at $131,500. The Lucid Air lineup features available horsepower levels up to 1,080 hp, quarter mile times as low as 9.9 seconds and versions offering up to 517 miles of projected range on a single charge, making Lucid Air the new standard for electric vehicle performance and

efficiency. The new Los Angeles Lucid Studio, which joins the Beverly Hills Studio as the second Southern California location, is now open at Westfield Century City, while the San Jose Studio, the second in Silicon Valley, is located at Westfield Valley Fair. “With these newest California locations, with many more to come, more people will have the opportunity to engage in an entirely new EV car-buying journey that is as groundbreaking as the performance, efficiency and design benchmarks set by the Lucid Air itself,” said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, Lucid Motors. Studio Experience Lucid Studios augment the physical experience of seeing and touching a Lucid Air with an elevated digital experience that complements the purchase process and extends into ownership. Using a 4K VR configurator, Lucid’s Virtual Reality Experience combines the physical and virtual

worlds to allow seamless personalization of everything from interior finishes and materials to exterior color.

I-CAR Introduces ‘Get to Gold Class’

Future Studios & Service Centers These newest Studios are two of 20 set to open throughout North America by the end of 2021. Other locations will include Miami, West Palm Beach, New York City, Boston and the D.C. Metro area. Aligning with current COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, customers can go to www. lucidmotors.com to book a personal appointment or start exploring the Lucid Air through the “Design Yours” configurator.

I-CAR announced Nov. 11 the launch of Get to Gold Class, an all-inclusive package customized for shops working toward I-CAR Gold Class recognition. The new Get to Gold Class package features a customized training prescription based on shop size and existing knowledge base, turnover protection considerations, flexible payment options and discounts, and a simplified “one-stop” enrollment process. Get to Gold Class is ideal for both shops in the process of achieving Gold Class, and for those that are not currently training but are ready to commit to receiving high standards of education, professionalism and quality. For complete details of I-CAR’s Get to Gold Class Package, visit www.i-car. com.

Source: Lucid Motors

Source: I-CAR

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Continued from Cover

Kids First

Kniesel’s Collision Takes Over for Tomlinson’s Shop in Auburn, CA by Nick Pecoraro, Gold Country Media

children. Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/2020kid039s-first-fundraiser The Multicultural Child and Family Hope Center is a nonprofit human services agency in Tacoma, WA. Its mission is to “to provide

culturally relevant support services to children and families through daycare, ECEAP and DSHS contracted services. A positive relationship between teacher and student is an important factor in the social, emotional and academic development of a child. Our center strives to ensure this balance.” Additional information can be found at http://mcfhc.org/ To learn more about ASA Northwest, visit asanorthwest.com.

Continued from Cover

Vaccine 94.5% Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Moderna details the criteria used for the analysis of cases evaluated in its statement, including which number of volunteers received the vaccine or a placebo and how many days apart. The vaccine combines Moderna’s messenger RNA delivery platform with the stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike immunogen developed by NIAID scientists at NIH. “This is a pivotal moment in the development of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate,” said Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna. “Since early January, we have chased this virus with the intent to protect as many people around the world as possible. This positive interim analysis from our Phase 3 study has giv-

A longtime auto body shop in Auburn, CA, is under new ownership. Jake Tomlinson and Company, which operated for more than 25 years at 13810 Lincoln Way, is now owned and operated by Kniesel’s Collision, Inc. The acquisition was made in mid-August and is now operating under the Kniesel’s brand, which began in 1968 in Citrus Heights and has since expanded to nine locations throughout the greater Sacramento area. “We’re just trying to maintain what [Tomlinson] had going for 20-plus years and keep it as its own little niche,” owner Tom Kniesel said. Tomlinson’s niche was specializing in repair and body work for luxury rides, such as Ferraris, Bentleys, Rolls Royces and Porsches, which Tomlinson said took up about 35% of his business. “We got all the fun stuff,” Tomlinson said. “The quality of what we did attracted people from all over the country.”

en us the first clinical validation that our vaccine can prevent COVID-19 disease, including severe disease.” The NIH announced an independent data and safety monitoring board oversaw the Phase 3 trial of the COVID-19 vaccine mRNA-1273 and found “the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in adults.” In its interim analysis of 95 cases of symptomatic COVID-19 volunteers, it found that after they received the vaccine, they tolerated it well. NIH reported “a vaccine efficacy rate of 94.5%,” which it says is “statistically significant, meaning they are likely not due to chance.” Moderna says it expects to ship roughly 20 million doses of the vaccine to the U.S. by the end of the year. Next year, it expects to distribute roughly 500 million to 1 billion doses worldwide. We thank The Center Square for reprint permission.


Kniesel said it’s been a smooth transition, and aside from a new manager, the plan is to keep much of the existing staff left from Tomlinson’s.

Manager Tom Jeung, left, co-owner Tom Kniesel, center, and account manager Chad Tomlinson, right, stand in front of Kniesel’s Collision in Auburn, which recently acquired Jake Tomlinson and Company auto repair. Credit: Bill Poindexter, Auburn Journal

“It’s a beautiful facility,” Kniesel said. “It’s honestly one of the easier ones we’ve taken over. He’s got a lot of nice equipment, a nice office, nice front room, the shop’s nice. We really didn’t have to go in and do a whole lot.” Tomlinson said his Auburn

shop created countless memories because it wasn’t the typical body shop. “We weren’t aligned with any insurance companies because we weren’t willing to cut the quality of what we did,” Tomlinson said. “Lots of good memories. It was a really cool experience. We made a lot of good, close friends from all over the country as a result of it.” With so much extra time on his hands now, Tomlinson plans to catch up on some passion projects that previously took a backseat. “I’ve got lots of old cars and wooden boats and rental property, so I’m still working 14 hours a day,” he said. “We’ve got a bunch of early American stuff that I’m gonna make street rods out of. … Just fun stuff I’ve been wanting to do for a while.” We thank Gold Country Media for reprint permission.

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11/17/2020 6:36:07 PM

11 CA Counties Pushed Back to Tighter Coronavirus Restrictions by Kat Schuster, Patch

As the Golden State struggles to manage a new spike in COVID-19 cases, public health officials announced Nov. 10 that none of the state’s 58 counties would be able to move forward with reopening plans this week. Instead, 11 counties slid backwards on the statewide COVID-19 tiering system. This is the first time the state has seen such a significant backslide since the state launched the risk assessing blueprint. And as Thanksgiving looms, public health officials are urging Californians to practice social distancing as a recent increase in social gatherings appeared to be fueling the surge. “The virus is not over just because we’re tired of it,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s health secretary. “[Coronavirus] looks for opportunities to spread.” Sacramento, San Diego and Stanislaus counties all moved back into the dreaded widespread purple tier Nov. 10, Ghaly announced. Santa Cruz, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Placer and Amador slid back into the substantial red tier. Additionally, Modoc, Siskiyou and Trinity also moved back into the moderate or orange tier, he said. San Francisco officials also took it upon themselves to shut down all indoor dining after the city and county announced a 250% increase in COVID-19 cases. As of Nov. 13, restaurants will be required to shut down indoor operations once again for an unknown period of time. Ghaly said the state was the most open that it has been since the pandemic hit the state in March around the week of Oct. 27, with cases beginning to rise around that time. In California, 3.7% of tests have come back positive over the last two weeks, up 0.8. In late October, the positivity rate was just 2.5%. Hospitalizations have also spiked 30% over the last two weeks. Gov. Gavin Newsom called these numbers “sobering” on Nov. 9. For weeks, California kept this number below the 3% mark, but health officials warn the state is now in the midst of a significant surge, despite the fact the positivity rate is

lower than most other states. While this isn’t surprising since Newsom and public health officials have been warning of the upward trajectory, residents and officials continue to face the challenge of combating what Ghaly has called “COVID fatigue,” and even “COVID resentment.”

This is the first time the state has seen such a significant backslide since the state launched the risk assessing blue print. Credit: Shutterstock

As the Thanksgiving holiday draws near, Ghaly warned this year’s holiday would look very different than it last year, but the state has yet to release official guidelines. “We know that this is hard, we know many people feel exhausted, they feel isolated and they’re impatient,” Ghaly said. “We’ve talked quite a bit about COVID fatigue, I even talk about COVID resentment. We know that this is hard but we must do more.” Ghaly did review some of the most high risk activities Nov. 10, naming “eating and drinking” and having “multiple people sit at a small table” as some of the riskiest activities for transmitting COVID-19. But Ghaly did acknowledge Nov. 10 that the state and public health officials alike have worked to make the guidelines more “relatable,” versus the state’s early guidelines, which urged Californians to completely isolate. On Nov. 9, it was announced U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s candidate vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing coronavirus infections. And while Ghaly acknowledged Nov. 10 this was good news, he also echoed what Newsom has been urging all along—-it may be well into next year before the average person in California sees a vaccine. “Look, there’s a lot of different news about where we are with the vaccine, I think we anticipate that

we’re getting near approval of some vaccines,” Ghaly said. “That does not mean that we know how much of the vaccine will be available nationwide [or] how much of that will come to California.” When the vaccine is distributed in California, possibly as soon as December, first responders, senior citizens, racial ethnic minority groups, rural communities, those incarcerated and people with disabilities were among those who would first be vaccinated, Newsom announced Oct. 19. Pfizer’s chief executive has said 30 to 40 million doses of the twopart vaccine could be available before the end of 2020. This would be enough for 15 to 20 million people to get the first shot and a booster weeks later, the New York Times reported. Pfizer officials also said they would apply for emergency authorization in the third week of November, the Times also reported. We thank Patch for reprint permission.

Grade Insurers’ Performances Collision repair professionals once again have a unique opportunity to grade the performance of the insurance companies in their state, with the launch of CRASH Network’s “Insurer Report Card.” The “Insurer Report Card” asks collision repairers to grade each insurer based on how well each carrier’s claims practices ensure quality repairs and customer service. By assigning insurers a grade from A+ to F, shops can let consumers know which insurers have their eye on quality repairs and customer service—and which may have some room for improvement—when consumers have a claim. The “Insurer Report Card” can be completed in less than three minutes. Participating shops that provide an e-mail address will be sent the results, at no charge, once they are compiled. Go to http://www.CrashNetwork.com/gradebook to grade the insurers. Source: CRASH Network

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11/17/2020 6:36:09 PM

Will New Privacy Act Truly Protect CA Shops and their Customers? by Ed Attanasio

I recently saw a fi lm, “The Social Dilemma,” on Netfl ix, and it tells a frightening story. It’s a documentary-drama hybrid examining the human impact of social networking, with top tech experts sounding the alarm on their own creations. In the fi lm, they analyze how companies all over the world covet your personal information, including what you buy, what you eat and where you take your car for repairs. They use it to market products and services and try to manipulate what you do in every aspect of your life. It’s a topic in the press literally every day, so consumers are more aware than ever about their privacy and cybersecurity. Since the beginning of the year, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into eff ect, requiring, among other things, auto body facilities to protect customers’ personal information. The new law grants consumers the rights to request a business to disclose the categories of sources from which it collects about the consumer, the categories of sources from which that information is collected, the business purposes for collecting or selling information and the categories of third parties with which the information is shared. Fundamentally, the CCPA is directed at companies that gross in excess of $25 million or sell consumer data. They will now have to reveal specifi cally the data they collect, and off er consumers the right to remove it and/or stop it from being sold. CCPA was devised in order to keep consumers from being exploited and currently states like New York, Maryland and Massachusetts are coming up with similar laws to do the same. CAA Executive Director Richard Johnson has been proactively warning his organization’s membership about the eff ect of this new law and how it can directly aff ect the collision repair industry in California. “Our main concern is that unfortunately, when uploading an estimate or ordering parts from third-party

vendors, some estimate software systems may not be protecting consumer information as well as you might think,” he said. “The CCPA grants California consumers an entire set of new rights to access, delete and/or opt out of the sale of their data while placing restrictions on entities that collect, store and sell Californians’ personal information. “We are working hard to learn everything about the CCPA, so that we can successfully share the information with our members and keep them ahead of the game.” The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) estimates more than 500,000 businesses in the U.S., including more than 100,000 businesses in California alone, will need to comply with this new law. This data in question includes customer name, vehicle license number and Vehicle Identifi cation Number (VIN.) The VIN carries with it everything needed to identify the vehicle in detail. Some parties sell this information to other vendors that use

this information to other vendors that use it to produce vehicle history reports or other purposes. To address this issue, some estimate software system vendors have taken appropriate measures to comply with the new California laws and protect consumer information by creating a “secure” system. For example, CCC has developed a “secure share program,” CCC Secure Share, that is getting positive reviews from the industry. It enables body shops to quickly and easily share data from the CCC ONE platform in real time with any registered third-party app using the BMS format. Within this platform, collision repairers are able to browse through a listing of available apps and may choose to activate or de-activate sharing with those apps at any time. As an analogy, it’s similar to how a person can add or remove apps from their smart phone via an app marketplace. Johnson and CAA are concerned about companies like CARFAX,

whose vehicle reports often include information from consumers’ estimates. “They glean the data from the estimate and not from the invoice. A customer will go to a shop and get an estimate on a repair, but then they don’t get it fi xed, and it appears on the CARFAX report as a ‘damage report,’ which assumes that the vehicle was in an accident,” Johnson said. “It could be a scratch and not a big deal, but it’s listed in a damage report. “The consumer assumes that the estimate is between them and the shop only, but that’s obviously not the case. We asked CARFAX where do they get the information and they simply plead the fi fth.” Will this new law protect consumers and body shops, so third parties can’t access and profi t from their data? Only time will tell, but according to Johnson, the CCPA is one step in the right direction.


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Beep to Operate Autonomous Shuttles at Yellowstone by Auto Remarketing Staff

Stating it will provide visitors a safe, innovative and eco-friendly transportation alternative, autonomous mobility-as-a-service provider, Beep, will deploy what it says are the first autonomous shuttles at Yellowstone National Park with the National Parks Service.

Beep will operate a self-driving shuttle pilot at Yellowstone in the spring. Credit: Photo courtesy of Beep.

The pilot deployment program, which will take place in May, will test multi-passenger, electric automated vehicle platforms. To plan, deploy and operate two autonomous shuttles in the Canyon Village, Beep will work with NPS Park Planning, Facilities and Lands

Directorate, the Department of Transportation and Yellowstone National Park. Beep and the NPS will determine exact shuttle stops, route locations and distance. A Yellowstone National Park press release noted the initiative is part of the Yellowstone Visitor Use Management Program. That program works on testing various pilot projects around the park to enhance the visitor experience. During the deployment, Beep will provide services for the pilot including the autonomous vehicles, engineering and mapping of the routes, complete operational, monitoring and management for regular oversight and to support ridership demand. The program will use 100% electric autonomous shuttles that will have zero emissions. Beep said the deployment aligns with the park’s desire to improve visitor safety, access and experience. To ensure safe and reliable operation, an onboard shuttle specialist, on-the-ground staff and Beep’s global command center will support and monitor the pilot. Beep says its safety record is




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strong, noting it operates what it says is the largest and longest-running U.S. single site AV shuttle fleet, located in Lake Nona, FL, a 17-square-mile

es and procedures onboard align with best practices for ridesharing and transit. Those include frequent cleaning procedures, modified seat-

“It’s an honor to be the first in the country to provide autonomous shuttles to the NPS and its visitors,”— Joe Moye planned development in Orlando. Beep launched in September 2019 and says it has safely transported more than 16,000 passengers in its first year of operation on its initial route. That eliminated the equivalent of nearly 9,400 vehicle trips with carbon emissions that Beep says would have required 170 trees to reverse. More than seven new routes and programs are now in production, and Beep says the safety and environmental impact is building. Beep says it is the first AV service provider currently participating in NHTSA’s AV TEST Initiative public portal that the U.S. Department of Transportation launched in September.   The company says its process-

ing capacity, onboard hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. “It’s an honor to be the first in the country to provide autonomous shuttles to the NPS and its visitors,” Beep CEO Joe Moye said in a news release. Moye continued, “Yellowstone’s Visitor Use Management Program aligns with Beep’s mission to provide alternative, sustainable and innovative transportation solutions meant to transform and improve mobility for all. This demonstration will help assess how emerging technologies can enhance the visitor experience while making the roads safer and less congested for everyone.” We thank Auto Remarketing for reprint permission.



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New Tech for Hail Claims Launched The Claims Bridge International (TCBI) announced the U.S. launch of its cloud-based technology, EziClaims Suite, to assist the collision industry deliver contactless hail claims for customers. As part of the launch, TCBI is offering U.S. insurers an enterprise subscription free of charge in 2021, so they can evaluate the benefits of the technology. “With EziClaims Suite, insureds can photograph and document the damage to their vehicle on a mobile device in less than five minutes,” said Bill Park, TCBI president Americas. “They receive a simple link to a mobile-enabled website without having to download an app.” Once approved, the insured can book the vehicle into TCBI’s national network of repair shops, which are all integrated into the platform. To request a free subscription, contact Stacey Phillips at sphillips@radiantwriting.com or 858-401-2692. Source: The Claims Bridge International

Continued from Cover

Bill Ford As I write this, the results of the United States election are not fully known and still may not be for some days. No matter where you might be on the political spectrum, I think you will agree that this has been quite a year. Today, I want to share with you my perspective as someone who has been through plenty of turmoil and turbulence, and who has helped lead a company that has always risen to meet challenging times. In the 117 years Ford has been in business, we have worked with 20 presidents, with the time split almost evenly between both parties, and 25 governors in the state of Michigan. When you add political churn within the 200 countries in which we operate worldwide, shifts in the political and regulatory environment have been constant. Change is not the exception, it is the rule. Our relationships with every U.S. president since Theodore

Roosevelt have been built squarely on the credibility and independence of our company. Ford is one of the largest manufacturers and largest employers in America, and our company has always charted its own path. As I have said many times, we always look to establish and follow our own North Star of values and objectives that allow us to thrive—and to be stable—regardless of the political environment. We have also been through all manner of external challenges— economic meltdowns, World Wars, oil shocks, natural disasters and global pandemics. And in the face of every one of those threats, we battled, survived and became a rallying point for Americans and for the world. Ford steps up in times of need, and we are still very much in a time of need. Regardless of which party will control the different levers of government, a strong manufacturing base will be essential, and Ford will have an important role to play. No matter who is running the country, our responsibility and commit-

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ment to Ford’s role as an engine of progress for America and the world will not change. This has been a difficult and uncertain year. But no matter what results this election yields, the importance of our values—our work, our people, our families, doing the right thing and building a better tomorrow—will transcend, as they always have. Bill When asked for a response to the internal message, Mark Truby, chief communications officer, said, “It speaks for itself.” Bill Ford is a former CEO of the Dearborn automaker and widely viewed as a comforting presence to employees and the public during times of uncertainty. We thank the Detroit Free Press for reprint permission.


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2020 Autonomous Vehicle Market Update by Elana Ashanti Jefferson, PropertyCasualty360

A few years back, automotive technologists such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk were downright boastful about the speedy timeline in which they anticipated bringing fully autonomous vehicles to the mainstream marketplace. Today, in light of serious safety concerns and myriad social and regulatory roadblocks, driverless-car adoption appears to be progressing at a slower pace. “There was a sense, maybe a year or two ago, that algorithms were so good, we’re ready to launch at any minute,” U.C. Berkeley Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Professor Avideh Zakhor told CNBC in late 2019. “Obviously, there’s been these setbacks with people getting killed or accidents happening, and now we’re a lot more cautious.” That should be welcome news for the insurance industry, which has long been anticipating economic disruption from the rise of driverless vehicles. Scheduling setbacks CNBC reported recently that Tesla’s self-driving cars are taking longer than expected to build and release. This is after Musk told his investors in 2019 the company would have 1 million self-driving vehicles on the roads by now. But Musk’s dream continues to face delays. The “technology is coming to cars, and insurance, much more gradually,” CNBC reported, adding that insurers such as Allstate, Progressive and GEICO are taking a measured approach to covering such vehicles as the auto industry becomes ever more cautious about how far to push its autonomous-vehicle equipment as well as how much information to share with the public. Some analysts argue that regulatory and legal hurdles are holding up the commoditization of autonomous vehicles more than technological hurdles and that this landscape will “hold back autonomous cars from becoming public anytime soon,” according to Counterpoint Research. “The automotive industry is

still a long way from manufacturing self-driving vehicles anytime soon with challenges remaining in consumer awareness, standardization, economics, regulations/compliances, privacy, safety and security,” writes Counterpoint Research Global Consulting Director Vinay Piparsania. Testing uptick It’s important to note that vehicles with semi-autonomous functions are

from his test vehicles. Waymo, Autox Technologies, Nuro and Zoox all have received similar permits. “Before the end of the year, we’ll be sending cars out onto the streets of SF—without gasoline and without anyone at the wheel,” Cruise CEO Dan Ammann wrote in a Medium post. “Because safely removing the driver is the true benchmark of a self-driving car, and because burning fossil fuels is no way to build the future of transportation.”

“Before the end of the year, we’ll be sending cars out onto the streets of SF—without gasoline and without anyone at the wheel,” — Dan Ammann already widely available with such Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) as cameras and sensors. Self-driving technology also includes radar, lidar, sonar and GPS. The Society of Automotive Engineers has determined five levels of automated driving functionality, with the lowest level (0) indicating the software has no sustained control over the vehicle, and the highest level (5) indicating the vehicle needs no human intervention to operate. Waymo and other autonomous vehicle technologists have long argued this technology has the capacity to make driving dramatically safer. Consider this observation from an experienced truck driver that tests big rigs for Waymo Via, the company’s trucking division: “By working with the engineering teams and sharing all about truck behavior and the rules of the road, I’m helping the Waymo Driver see and learn what I have. It’s my job to impart the lessons I’ve learned the hard way so that the Waymo Driver is the safest it can be. That is the largest impact I can have—knowing that society will benefit from my lived experience for years and years to come.” After pushing back its original timeline, GM Cruise announced in October it plans to begin testing unmanned autonomous vehicles in San Francisco after the company received a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to remove human backup drivers

Waymo also recently announced plans to expand the availability of its ride-hailing service to the public around its testing area in Arizona. The California-based tech firm owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., is generally considered a pace-setter in the driverless vehicle space. It’s been using

a 100-square mile area in Phoenix as its testing site since 2016. “We’re just ready from every standpoint,” Waymo CEO John Krafcik told TechCrunch about launching driverless ride-hailing cars. But for now, even Waymo cars with the technology to operate without a human will host trained operators. “We’ve had our wonderful group of early riders who’ve helped us hone the service, obviously not from a safety standpoint, because we’ve had the confidence on the safety side for some time, but rather more for the fit of the product itself.” And while Krafcik appears to have the confidence of a polar bear in a snowstorm regarding the readiness of his company’s technology, neither society nor the risk-averse insurance industry seems ready to completely embrace the idea of robotic cars and trucks on the roads. Consider this comment to the most recent Waymo news by a TechCrunch reader: “Bad product. Been



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‘sharing’ the road with these moronic vehicles since they got here. You would have to be an idiot to get in one of these without a safety driver.â€? Waymo, which declined to provide an interview for this story, also appears to be working overtime to dissuade suspicion around its freight delivery business. To that end, the company shared publicly in October some previously-undisclosed details about its driverless truck technology. “The foundational systems are all the same,â€? Boris Sofman, Waymo’s director of engineering for trucking, told Fortune around the same time the company published a statement on its website stating that driverless freight-truck technology essentially mirrors its driverless car technology. Regulatory hurdles Technologists working to further driverless-vehicle development still have mountains to climb when it comes to proving to regulators and the public that such cars and trucks are ready for prime time. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety acknowledged in June that driver mistakes cause “virtually all crashes,â€? which could make automation a game-changer in road safety. But the IIHS, which is a sixdecade-old nonproďŹ t funded by auto insurance companies, also determined self-driving vehicles that operate “too much like peopleâ€? would only prevent about a third of crashes. “It’s likely that fully self-driving cars will eventually identify hazards better than people, but we found that this alone would not prevent the bulk of crashes,â€? said IIHS Vice President for Research Jessica Cicchino. Cicchino co-authored a study that analyzed police-reported crashes and found nine out of 10 crashes were caused by some element of driver error. The study determined only a fraction of crashes could be prevented by an automated vehicle’s human-imitated functions. Additional accidents would require reactivate software “programmed to prioritize safety over speed and convenience.â€? This bolsters previous research conducted by the National Highway TraďŹƒc Safety Administration that determined 90% of all crashes are

caused by human error. “Building self-driving cars that drive as well as people do is a big challenge in itself,â€? added IIHS Research Scientist Alexandra Mueller, lead author of the study. “But they’d actually need to be better than that to deliver on the promises we’ve all heard.â€? As part of the study, IIHS referenced a widely-publicized 2018 fatal accident in which a driverless Uber failed to quickly recognize a pedestrian walking on the side of the road at night in Tempe, AZ. Elaine Herzberg, 49, proceeded to cross the road, and the car was unable to respond quickly enough to avoid hitting her. “Our analysis shows that it will be crucial for designers to prioritize safety over rider preferences if autonomous vehicles are to live up to their promise to be safer than human drivers,â€? Mueller concluded. Such issues are certainly of concern to insurers, which may be why Waymo has been somewhat hushed about its insurance arrangements, a public relations strategy that’s raised eyebrows among consumer advocacy groups. Tesla, on the other hand, responded to coverage challenges for its vehicles by launching its own insurance products, which are currently available in California. “I think these companies are so litgation-averse that they will reveal details but only in conďŹ dential circumstances,â€? James McPherson, a San Francisco attorney who founded the consulting company SafeSelfDrive Inc., told The Recorder in late 2018. Insurance industry analysts predict insurers will need to develop new and creative commercial and product liability coverages for fully autonomous cars and trucks. When such vehicles do arrive, they could spur a serious constriction of the personal auto insurance market. A 2017 report released by Accenture and the Stevens Institute of Technology found an $81 billion opportunity between 2020 and 2025 for insurers to develop coverage options for autonomous vehicles. Researchers predicted that 23 million fully autonomous vehicles will be traveling U.S. road and highways by 2035, a shift that could coincide with a $25 million drop in auto in-

surance premiums. Less like humans, please Driverless cars have been touted by proponents as the safest way to counter the many human errors that cause accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, however, reports driverless vehicle technology that simply mimics human behavior will likely cause just as many crashes as people do. IIHS researchers categorize the types of driver-related accidents as follows: 1. “Sensing and perceivingâ€? errors included things like driver distraction, impeded visibility and failing to recognize hazards before it was too late. 2. “Predictingâ€? errors occurred when drivers misjudged a gap in trafďŹ c, incorrectly estimated how fast another vehicle was going or made an incorrect assumption about what another road user was going to do. 3. “Planning and decidingâ€? errors included driving too fast or too slow for the road conditions, driving aggressively or leaving too little following distance from the vehicle

ahead. 4. “Execution and performanceâ€? errors included inadequate or incorrect evasive maneuvers, overcompensation and other mistakes in controlling the vehicle. 5. “Incapacitationâ€? involved impairment due to alcohol or drug use, medical problems or falling asleep at the wheel. IIHS concluded that the complex roles autonomous vehicles must perform paired with risks linked to vehicle-occupant preferences create a conict when it comes to safety management. Digital vulnerability Particularly, as 2020 became a hacker’s paradise with the uptick in remote workers due to the global pandemic, cybersecurity concerns surrounding autonomous vehicles are rising. Hackers could potentially tap an autonomous vehicle’s computer systems to acquire private driver data or cause other harm. And this concern is but one raised by autonomous vehicle critics. Other potential obstacles to bringing these cars and

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trucks to market in a more mainstream way include: • Concerns that AV communications will fail to work as well in crowded inner-city environments. • Vehicle software and computer components could be highly sensitive to weather extremes. • AV sensors have been inconsistent in detecting large animals. • Dated map data could throw off an AV’s navigation. • Mass manufacturing of which vehicles and technology could introduce its own quality-control problems. • Government regulation and product development may not happen concurrently. The list above only begins to touch on the various moral and ethical questions raised by the potential mainstreaming autonomous vehicles. Even so, the National Conference on State Legislatures reports that the majority of states in the U.S. are currently working on some type of autonomous vehicle legislation. We thank PropertyCasualty360 for reprint permission.


CARSTAR Westside Collision Opens in Lancaster, CA CARSTAR, North America’s largest multi-store network of independently owned collision repair facilities, announced the opening of CARSTAR Westside Collision, located at 801 West Ave. K, Lancaster, CA 93534. Sarkis Zhamkochian, owner of CARSTAR Westside Collision, has been involved in the collision repair industry for more than 20 years with insurance carriers. Looking to move to the repair side of things, Zhamkochian decided to join the CARSTAR family.   “Having been in the industry for so long, I have always wanted to buy my own facility,” said Zhamkochian. “Our team here is a group of highly experienced professionals and we have quickly built a strong reputation in Lancaster as the repair center you can count on when you want a premier experience.”   CARSTAR Westside Collision is an 11,000-square foot facility, outfitted with equipment to provide premier collision repairs to every make and model, including heavy-duty trucks as well

as tractor-trailers. As an I-CAR Gold certified facility, the team at CARSTAR Westside Collision

like the Armenian Fund and local minor league baseball teams. As CARSTAR supports fundraising

has demonstrated their expertise in their repair capabilities, making them a facility the Lancaster community can trust.   “Our CARSTAR family is filled with owners like Sarkis Zhamkochian, who work hard to earn certifications,” said Dean Fisher, collision group president, Driven Brands. “This proves not only the repair capabilities within the store, but also shows their commitment to repair excellence, as they want to provide their community the best.” The team at CARSTAR Westside Collision is excited support the Lancaster community in both collision repairs and in giving back through various charitable causes,

and awareness initiatives for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the team at CARSTAR Westside Collision is excited to get involved in this cause as well. Please join us in celebrating the opening of CARSTAR Westside Collision! CARSTAR Westside Collision 801 West Ave. K Lancaster, CA 93534 (661) 726-7366 Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m. to noon For more information on CARSTAR visit CARSTAR.com. Source: CARSTAR

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2020 Collision in our surrounding states.” “2020 has defi nitely been a challenging year for everyone,” said Cathi Webb, executive director of the Northwest Automotive Trades Association (NATA). “Between COVID, the riots in Portland and the election year, we have encountered a lot turmoil here in the great Northwest. “The most memorable event for our members is the fact that the automotive industries were deemed essential businesses,” Webb said. “Our association members stayed strong and some members had their best months during this COVID shutdown. NATA members were blessed that we could all stay in business. My heart goes out to all the small businesses that had to close because of COVID and then could not reopen.” Despite everything, some associations managed to grow in 2020. The Carolinas Collision Association (CCA) was formed from

the merger of the NCACAR and the SCACAR. In addition to combining the two associations, “we added 20% new members and retained 98% of our current membership,” said CCA Executive Director Josh Kent. “We established a Code of Ethics, and we put together a consumer, legal and trade school committee.” Kent recently assumed the executive director’s role for the Tennessee Collision Repairers Association (TCRA). “We rejuvenated TCRA and added 25 more people to our membership,” Kent said. “We started a new website, added training videos and hosted our fi rst quarterly meeting this year.” “The NABA had a great year,” according to James Rodis, vice chair of the Nebraska Auto Body Association (NABA.) “We more than doubled our association size, plus added some amazing shops that are now part of our committees. Our vender committee has blown our expectations out of the water, off ering us a completely diff erent perspective. “We interviewed lobbyists this year and are proud to say we have hired Plucker/Kelley to represent

the association and push some legislation for our members and guests,” Rodis said. “Due to COVID, we were not able to have our Annual Education Day, so we opted for a great series of seven virtual events, in collaboration with KABA, that will feature great names like Kristen Felder, Mark Olsen, Tim Ronak, GM, Ford and even Rivian at the start of next year.” Legislation is always an important eff ort associations make on behalf of their members, and although 2020 presented even more challenges in this respect than normal, leaders’ devotion to doing the right thing for consumers fortifi ed them in their battles. The Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT) developed customer complaint forms to be sent to state legislators and the Texas Department of Insurance (DOI.) “Legislators need to know that their constituents aren’t being indemnifi ed properly for safe and proper repairs, and it helps educate the customer on the issue,” said ABAT President Burl Richards. CCA was also “able to pass legislation on towing and storage,

preventing changes to the wording,” Kent said. “We also created a consumer page with videos and simple education regarding a customer’s rights and the diff erence between OEM and non-OEM parts.” For Bob Amendola, president of the Auto Body Association of Connecticut (ABAC), the year’s most exciting success was when “our association’s legal counsel, attorney John Parese, helped national eff orts to successfully preserve the 1963 Consent Decree.” The collision repair industry changed and developed in a variety of ways in 2020, and the experiences gained have positioned the industry’s associations to continue enhancing their membership benefi ts, training opportunities, eff orts on behalf of the next generation and legislative initiatives as 2021 rolls around. Autobody News looks forward to continuing to provide all the latest association news in 2020. Happy holidays from our family to yours!


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Avnet Poised to Play Key Role in Next-Generation Automotive Technology by David Edwards, Robotics and Automation News

The automotive industry is undergoing an historic transformation which will fundamentally shift the way vehicles are manufactured as well as change the way we look at and use cars, and possibly all road-going automobiles. In keeping with the widespread trend, Avnet, one of the world’s leading distributors of electronic components, is taking a leading position in developing the technologies required to make the future a reality. A number of predictions are being made for the automotive industry, and many of them may have sounded outlandish in the past, but now that the public at large has accepted driverless cars as a realistic concept, anything is possible—even flying cars. Whilst staying on the ground for this article, the goal of building a new generation of cars is helping to organise resources and ideas around what is becoming an increasingly clear conceptual ecosystem. What’s also helped is the engineering association SAE’s articulation of the levels of automation that a vehicle might have, from 0 to 5 as follows: Level 0: No autonomy, purely mechanical Level 1: Minimal autonomy, driver assistance systems for some functions Level 2: Partial autonomy, but human driver remains in control in every aspect Level 3: Conditional autonomy, with some functions not requiring direct human control Level 4: High autonomy, advanced driver assistance systems that can perform most functions, but human driver in ultimate control Level 5: Full autonomy, or driverless, with all functions completely controlled by the car or computer itself According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “self-driving vehicles ultimately will integrate onto US roadways by progressing through six levels of driver assistance technology ad-

vancements in the coming years.” For Avnet, a number of key technologies are in immediate demand that fit in to all of the above categories of automation or autonomy. Autonomous driving and ADAS: Autonomous driving and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with previously basic computer vision integrating collision avoidance and object detection functions, among others, using LiDAR and radar. In-cabin artificial intelligence: As we all know, AI is involved more and more in driving, which means that electronics will become the next big technology market driver. Cars and trucks are also connecting to the cloud, and increasing availability is making in-cabin AI affordable across all vehicles. Instrument cluster, infotainment and display: Touchscreen virtual dashboards which dispense with any mechanical parts, as well as voice-activated functions, are increasingly emerging as the dashboard of choice for automotive manufacturers and their customers. Electrification: The move from petrol engines to electric is probably the change that most people will be the most prominent in people’s minds, and Avnet says electrification is likely to span more functions than currently imagined, and therefore provide more opportunities for automotive applications developers. Platforms, sensors and chips: Some experts say that in the future, vehicles will more or less build themselves. They’ll start as little more than a wheeled platform, then go from one robotic cell to another, gradually being built to a complete product. Increasingly sophisticated and application-specific sensors and chips are also being designed for this trend, which could see the end of the historic assembly line in automotive manufacturing. Toyota, one of the world’s largest automotive brands, encapsulates the changes happening in the industry in one word—CASE, an acronym for “connected, autonomous, shared, electric.” Although self-explanatory, it’s

interesting to delve into the implications of each of the words. Connected: If there are some people left who don’t quite get what the internet of things is, then con-

nected cars may help them to understand. Terms like V2X, meaning vehicle to anything or infrastructure, and V2V, referring to vehicle-to-vehicle communications, will open up new ways of driving and connect up everything into one massive matrix. Such pervasive connectivity may be what will be required to make driverless vehicles work safely in crowded and unpredictable urban environments. Autonomous: Although ulti-

mately we are talking about driverless cars, as listed above, the many levels of autonomy mean that humans are unlikely to be left out of the loop for many years to come. Many people might not be aware—especially if they don’t own or drive a newer car—that most new vehicles actually pack a huge amount of autonomous functions, from emergency braking to self-parking, and so on. It’s much more than just cruise control anyway. Shared: Older generations of drivers may find it odd to think of sharing cars with total strangers, but in this world of Uber taxis and rent-a-bikes, younger generations seem to be increasingly accustomed to the idea of not owning cars. It’s a sensible option because they probably won’t have to worry about parking and the relatively high cost of insurance and maintenance. Certainly the automakers are planning for a future where shared See Avnet Poised, Page 31

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with Erica Schroeder

Industry Insight with John Yoswick

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

Perspectives, Ideas Shared by Dealership Management Helpful for Independent Shops as Well

Shop Showcase

In a series of webinars in October, in the dealership,” Kroeger said. “I case, he said, but it fortunately wasn’t hands, they won’t keep social disdealership fixed operations and ser- bought helium replacement, and for needed. The hourly techs in the deal- tancing,” Mora said. “For the coming vice department managers shared the month and a half when things were ership’s express department were high months, we have to make sure we with Ed Attanasio their experiences and lessons learned really rough, we kept those smiley fac- on the list, given their expense and the remain consistent in enforcing PPE. during the pandemic, including per- es going. You’d be amazed how much lack of business in that department last Because we want to remain open, and spectives and ideas that could be people appreciated it. It just spring, but they were kept on I want to continue to grow. But we helpful for independent collision re- reminded everybody to smile, to instead handle all the pick- have to continue to work through this pairs as well. even behind the masks.” up and delivery of customer together.” During one of the online group Her advice as the panvehicles to keep the rest of With body shops more frediscussions, three of the four paneldemic continues? the shop busy, Mora said. quently offering pick-up and delivwith Ed Attanasio ists said they’d had personnel test “The thing I learned By June, the shop’s repair ery of customer vehicles during the positive for COVID-19. from day one is to be flexorder count was close to pandemic, they may be interested in “It got pretty scary for a little bit, ible,” she said. “You never normal, and more recently what some automakers and dealers Scott Doering of when we had a couple people who know what another [employ- Volvo Cars USA said it was a “September to re- are learning about using that service tested positive,” said Becca Kro- ee] has going on personally, customers want an member,” he said, “the best to draw more work into dealership eger, service manager at Universal or what they’re thinking. If “Uber-like experi- month for parts and service service departments. ence” from shops Nissan in Orlando. “We got right on they’ve needed to go home, offering pick-up and we’ve had since March of Scott Doering, vice president with Ed Attanasio it. As soon as we found out someone I absolutely let them. It did delivery of vehicles 2017.” of customer service for Volvo Cars had symptoms, they had to self-quar- not matter what the situation His lesson heading into the USA, said his company was about a antine for two weeks. They would was. I didn’t question them.” end of the year: “Consistency. We year into a pilot of Volvo Valet with have to be tested and get a negative Francisco Mora, service man- have to remain consistent,” he said. about 20 dealers when the pandemic result to come back.” ager for Esserman International “What happens is if people get hit, so they could ramp it up quick Each time, with she said, she went Volkswagen in Doral, FL, said man- too comfortable, they’ll forget to put ly. It has had 21,000 bookings since Ed Attanasio into the dealership herself and disin- agement at the dealership considered the mask on, they won’t wash their March. fected every service advisor’s office closing for a time after a parts counter and all the technicians’ work stations, employee, who delivers parts to techeven though the dealer had a compa- nicians, tested positive. Instead, they ny already doing that overnight. sent half the staff out to be tested and “I sprayed everything,” Kroeger quarantined for two weeks, then sent said. “I just didwith it myself because the other half out for two weeks when Stacey Phillips then I knew it was done. I felt safe. the quarantined employees returned. My biggest focus day in and day out “So I was half-staffed for a month,” is keeping my parts and service peo- Mora said. “We’ve done that process ple safe so that we can stay open.” probably four or five times when other She said early on, the dealer- people have had [COVID-19]. So a lot ship owner chose of employees have had to wear other to offer free mainwith Stacey Phillips tenance labor for all first responders. hats. I was a cashier for about a week. “It was amazing how much My parts manager was a parts counterbusiness it brought in during those person for about a week. We’ve got to times,” she said, noting that service do what we’ve got to do. The point was advisors often found other needed to stay open.” • Competitive • Daily Deliveries to the • Professionally Pricing & Greater Los Angeles Metro Trained Wholesale work on those vehicles. “We were Mora said the dealership kept with Stacey Phillips Discounts Area & Orange County Parts Specialists able to upsell. So we absolutely came employees incentivized even for the out ahead.” two slowest months in the spring by Keeping up morale has been one paying time and a half for flat rate of her focuses, asking service advi- workers, and by ensuring everyone sors at each morning meeting to share would make what they averaged the Parts Parts Hours something positive that happened the prior year. Mon - Fri 7am - 5pm day before. They’ve lunches “A lot of our employees said, ‘You Sat 8am - 5pm withbought Stacey Phillips Ask for Tom Reeser - Wholesale Manager or brought desserts out to employees. know what, the owner has our back, www.infinitioftustin.com “This is going to sound real- so we’ll have his back,’” Mora said. Parts2682@autonation.com 24 Hr Fax ly silly, but I went out and bought “They came to work when we asked a huge number of smiley face heli- them to work. They worked hard.” 714-573-5497 33 Auto Center Drive l Tustin, CA 92782 um balloons and placed one at ev- The management team went ery advisor’s office, one at the parts through the difficult process of buildcounter and on the tables in the café ing a furlough list of employees just in

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“With COVID-19 hitting, consumers were looking for different solutions. They wanted convenience,” Doering said. “It’s a user-friendly platform for our retailers, and provides consumers with an Uber-like experience, a fully-transparent experience.” Consumers can use an app or call to schedule pick-up, and the app allows the customer to see where the driver coming to get their vehicle is, and when the driver will arrive. That driver generally is dropping off a loaner at the same time, taking images of the condition of both vehicles at the handoff. Customers receive notification when their vehicle arrives at the dealer’s shop, and a similar process is used when the vehicle is ready to be returned. Dawn Matthews, service and parts director for the David Auto Group in Glen Mills, PA, said they are working with a third-party vendor to provide a similar service for their Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler customers, and agrees that transparency is the key. “That Uber-like experience, where a customer can track the driv-

er on their phone, I think customers really yearn for that,” she said. “The customer is looking for all the tools they have when they use DoorDash.” Doering said though it’s too early for Volvo to know if its valet service will positively affect customer retention as hoped, service ROs for customers using the valet service have been 21% higher compared to non-valet service ROs. “I think it comes down to trust and taking care of the customer’s problem,” he said. “If we can administer service in a way where we can be very transparent and provide convenience, consumers are willing to pay.” He said Volvo this year is providing a per-leg reimbursement to dealers to cover their labor costs for valet drivers, but is working toward implementing a convenience-fee model next year. “In every other industry, consumers pay for convenience,” he said. “People pay to have groceries or food delivered because the convenience is a value to them. Why shouldn’t that be the case with something like pick-up and delivery?”

Continued from Page 26

Avnet Poised mobility services are a significant part of the transportation systems of every advanced, industrialised country. Electric: The general public, and probably most politicians who are not supported by big oil, have been fed up with fossil fuels coming out of exhaust pipes and polluting the atmosphere, not to mention the geopolitical shenanigans oil and gas reserves cause. So, the move to electric has many advantages and the groundswell of support for the technology has become impossible to ignore for most countries’ leaders. It’s difficult to comprehend the enormity of the change happening in the automotive industry, even though it’s much-discussed and very well articulated and planned for, as outlined above. The trend has been called the greatest economic opportunity in history, and has the potential to completely transform not only the auto-

motive industry, but also industrial countries themselves, and the entire global economy. Buying an electric car isn’t just a quirky, clean-living option anymore—it’s an individual choice that has gargantuan consequences. If it was just a few people here and there making isolated purchases, it wouldn’t matter as much. But it’s not. Electric car sales are increasing every year in most countries, and in some countries, more new electric cars are being sold than new petrol cars. And although the subject of hydrogen fuel-cell versus lithium-ion batteries is outside the scope of this article, it’s worth mentioning that hydrogen holds promise for longhaul journeys, meaning trucks and other parts of the logistics chain will find the technology useful. In other words, the automobile as we know it now is almost dead. Long live the new generation of automobile. We thank Robotics and Automation News for reprint permission.

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with Stacey Phillips

From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

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

Hands-On Testing Shows Limitations of Relying Solely on DTCs or Aftermarket Scan Tools I’ve had the good fortune recently to spend some time working with Nissan/Infiniti as they prepare some new hands-on training they are developing, and it gave me a chance to spend some time scanning and learning about calibrations on their newest vehicles. That led to a couple of key takeaways that I wanted to share with you here. The first item I discovered made its way into a six-minute video that can be found on Jake Rodenroth’s LinkedIn page (https://www.linkedin. com/feed/update/urn:li:activity: 6712096365968666624/). Jake and asTech were also at the Nissan/Infiniti training pilot, and his video demonstrates that shops can’t rely solely on the absence of diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) as an indication that all advanced driver assistance systems on a vehicle are calibrated and ready to function properly. It also shows why even minor damage to a vehicle is enough to warrant a scan. “I have a 2020 Nissan Titan, my personal vehicle, with some minor freight damage on the front,” Jake said. “There are no DTCs present for the radar. But because of the damage, the radar is actually off-center. The horizontal alignment is measured in degrees, and the spec is plus or minus 3 degrees. My truck is pointing at negative 3.38. It’s out of spec according to Nissan’s manual. But it hasn’t triggered a DTC.” That’s why shops need to do

a thorough review of a pre-repair scan—not just checking for DTCs— to identify the need for something like that to be adjusted. Don’t rely just on the presence or absence of a DTC to determine an ADAS requirement. Aside from checking for DTCs, check the “values” of the ADAS components—the horizontal and vertical specifications, for example. Just like a four-wheel alignment, you can’t verify if something is properly aligned unless you verify what it is and what it should be, given any acceptable tolerance. You simply cannot determine if specific ADAS components are within specs on a Nissan or Infiniti vehcile without using a scan tool. The second thing I confirmed while I was working with Nissan is something I don’t always win friends by saying, and that’s this: What you find when scanning a vehicle absolutely varies depending on whether you are using a factory scan tool or an aftermarket scan tool. We did sideby-side comparisons on four brand new Nissans and a new Infiniti, and every single aftermarket tool we tried failed to connect with at least one or more of each vehicle’s control modules. On a Sentra, for example, the aftermarket tool we used picked up three control modules. The Nissan scan tool picked up 22. You read that right: 22. The aftermarket tool didn’t get past the gateway to be able to pick up anything more than data from the emissions-related controllers.

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There’s also another key distinction. Scanning tools aren’t just about reading a module to determine if there are DTCs. It’s about bidirectional control. Can that tool not just read the data, but can it “talk back” to the vehicle? Can it send that vehicle a command that it reacts to? “When you do ADAS calibrations, that’s all you’re doing,” Jake said of bidirectional control. “You’re telling the camera, ‘Hey, I’m going to calibrate you, and so I want you to look for a particular pattern.’” It’s a similar process If you’re doing a radar calibration. You’re using the scan tool to send the module a command to activate the radar. Because otherwise that radar doesn’t even activate until the wheels are turning. Makers of aftermarket scan tools talk about having “coverage” for a wide swath of vehicles. But does that

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mean full coverage? Can that tool not just read codes but clear codes? Can it reach all the modules on board? So while some people don’t like that I point out key differences between factory scan tools and aftermarket, I will challenge them to prove me wrong. I’ll meet you wherever you like with a brand new Nissan and the factory scan tool. You bring whatever aftermarket scan tool you like, and together we’ll do a side-by-side comparison. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for aftermarket scan tools. It’s just important to recognize the key limitations, and as with any tool, not to presume it can do things that it cannot. And when it comes to scanning and ADAS calibrations, any such limitations can have serious consequences for the driver and passengers in that vehicle post-repairs.


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Financial Incompetence is No Excuse! by Dave Luehr

Struggling businesspeople can often be heard reciting all the reasons they aren’t making enough money. When pressed, however, they rarely know how to make money. In fact, they usually can’t even tell me what their revenue is so far this month or how much they need to make to be profitable! Look, I agree. It’s tough out there. But I really believe the ones doing most of the complaining are often the ones who need to do most of the learning! In most countries, we have been given the legal right to open and conduct a business; however, we do not have the right to operate a business successfully, unless we learn business skills! More precisely, financial skills. Let me take you back to 1991. There I was on another typical gray, rainy, Oregon afternoon. I was traveling at a speed which felt dangerously high for my Mazda pickup. I knew the I-5 corridor very well from the many trips between my shop in Salem and Portland, where all the large dealership parts warehouses were. I knew where most of the cops would hide. On that particular day in 1991, though, I was looking extra hard for them because I had my name painted down the entire side of the truck, “Luehr’s Auto Body” in bright colors. Plus, I really couldn’t afford to get caught. Here’s why. You see, 30 minutes prior, I was notified by my receptionist that I didn’t have enough money in the bank to meet payroll today unless the blue 1986 Buick got picked up and fully paid for! The only problem was we didn’t have the parts we needed to finish the Buick! Thank God Ron Tonkin Chevrolet had these parts in stock. Now, if I could just get to Portland and back in just under two hours, we may be able to deliver the car, get the check and race my employees to the bank so their checks would clear! The ridiculous thing? This was not the first time this race had taken place. No, far from it. If I was going to survive in business, this madness had to stop!

The Decision This was when I decided to take personal responsibility for my financial incompetence and learn how to take back control of my business by knowing, proactively and in advance, what my financial situation was going to be each and every day so that I could make adjustments and take action in the moment to “make my month” every day. If you can relate to my story, or if you often say things like, “I can’t make any money,” I want to ask you something: how do you know? The truth is a huge percentage of the shops I talk to in North America are simply not equipped with the financial knowhow required to be highly successful in today’s challenging marketplace. They think they are not making money because the checkbook is out of checks! It is a shame shops continue to struggle with this, because it is a relatively easy fix if they are willing to put forth some effort into learning. If you are anything like I was way back in my early business days, you can—and you must—seek to acquire a basic understanding of how to operate a business by the numbers. If a guy like me, who barely made it out of high school, can run a successful business by the numbers, so can you! Here are some suggestions to get you started. The Basics While I recommend shop owners learn as much as they can about the financial side of their business, I believe they should at least learn the basics. The more advanced stuff can be outsourced in many cases to trusted partners such as bookkeeping services or CPAs. If you need help getting started or need an ongoing financial expert, we at Elite Body Shop Solutions also have advisors who can help. Or maybe you are like me? Once I learned the basics, I became addicted to mastering the financial stuff! After all, once you master the math, you can master the money! So, what are the basics? To begin with, a shop leader needs to understand these four things:

1. Profit and loss Profit and loss is the simple equation that shows revenue coming in the various departments like parts, labor, materials and sublet, then subtracts the expenses involved, thereby leaving a profit or a loss in revenue. The bottom of a P&L statement shows your net profit. Profit and loss statements are usually produced each month, after the month is over. This is a great way to analyze past performance; however, it is a history report. Smart operators also use the same basic P&L structure to analyze each job during the month. This is an opportunity to check profit centers such as parts, labor and materials on each job so shops can optimize profitability on each job before it’s too late. This practice, commonly called job costing, is a proactive approach and is a critical component of running a business by the numbers. The profit and loss statement, P&L or Income Statement is a document most shops produce monthly to show operating performance.

This document will indicate if the business is operating profitably or not; the only problem is that, as important as this information is, it doesn’t tell the whole story. 2. The difference between profit and cash It is important to know the difference between profit and cash. I know many businesses that are actually profitable, while running negative cashflow. That is something I learned the hard way back in 1991. I grew my business so fast I had too much work in process and ended up draining all my cash. In other words, I was buying parts and materials for cars I wasn’t going to begin repairs on for several more weeks. Another area that chews up cash in an otherwise profitable business is accounts receivable. I learned early on I needed to keep my paperwork and supplements in real time with the vehicle repairs so I could keep A/R to a bare minimum. 3. Breakeven


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What is breakeven? My friend Bruce King describes breakeven as the day of the month where you make exactly zero money! As funny as that sounds, he is exactly right. Breakeven is usually described as a moment in time, typically a day in the month, when the shop has earned enough gross profit from revenue to meet the shop’s indirect costs. Simply understanding a shop’s breakeven number allows proactive action from management to reach the number as early in the month as possible and to start accumulating profit during the remaining days. And, unless a shop owner knows his or her numbers every day along the way, compared to a goal, the shop is flying blind! Finally, there are several numbers that shop owners should keep track of every single day! 4. Five Numbers You Need to Know Every Day

WIP vs. Goal Scheduled WIP vs. Goal Wrapping It Up I don’t want to come off too harsh here, but it is critical for shop leaders to understand this. We work in a time and in an industry that is becoming dominated by “businesspeople” who understand how to run businesses by the numbers. Financial incompetence is no longer an acceptable excuse for poor business performance primarily because the education is so widely available. Whether a shop owner chooses to obtain some basics and then outsources the complicated stuff or wants to master it him or herself, it is time to start creating a prosperous financial future! Like I said, if I can learn this stuff so can you!


MTD Revenue vs. Goal MTD Labor Hours vs. Goal MTD Deposits vs. Goal



ALLDATA Goes All-In to Support SEMA360 by Autobody News Contributor

When it was announced the SEMA Show was going virtual for 2020, ALLDATA went all-in to support the industry’s foremost mechanical and collision repair event, developing content and activities to offer SEMA360 attendees an online experience unique to these unprecedented times. ALLDATA provided access to its subject matter experts throughout the week and offered opportunities to interact with top executives. This included hosting hourly roundtable discussions targeting issues paramount to shop owners and technicians, including “Using OEM Collision Procedures to Protect Your Shop,” “Behind the Push for Pre/ Post Scanning” and “Three Tools to Manage your Shop Efficiently.” In addition to its flagship products, ALLDATA Collision and ALLDATA Repair, the company provided attendees an in-depth look at its newest software solution, ALLDATA Shop Manager. ALLDATA President Satwinder Mangat said it is a simple management system that makes it easy for shops to generate day-to-

day workflow documents such as estimates, repair orders and invoices, with direct access to ALLDATA. “We knew that a virtual SEMA360 wouldn’t take the place of the in-person event, but the goal was to provide a forum where current and potential customers could interact with ALLDATA representatives, schedule a live demo and learn about our newest product innovations,” said Mangat. “There’s no doubt it has been a challenging year, so we also offered aggressive SEMA360 savings on our industry-leading automotive repair software products. “We’re hearing positive feedback from our customers, and we’re continuing to do everything in our power to support their business operations.” Mangat said the ALLDATA team hopes that next year’s event will be back in Las Vegas with everyone in attendance. “If not, the industry will have learned a great deal from this first-ever effort to host SEMA virtually as a result of the pandemic,” he said For more information about ALLDATA, visit https://www.alldata.com/.

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Be Prepared and Be Ready: Tips for Selling Your Business by Chasidy Rae Sisk

If you own a collision repair business, you will eventually have to ask: “Is it time to sell?” Rick Schwartz of Schwartz Advisors discussed this important decision Oct. 21 during “Tips on Selling Your Business,” part of ASA’s Webinar Wednesday series. Tony Molla, ASA vice president of industry relations, introduced Schwartz and the presentation: “While it’s not uncommon to have a succession plan in place, changing circumstances can and often do require a different strategy. It’s an individual decision that can only be made by a business owner.” Beginning by looking at mergers and acquisitions (M&A) over the last decade, Schwartz pointed out the strength of M&A in the automotive aftermarket industry. Though COVID-19 had a significant impact earlier this year, this industry is recovering faster than many others, with private equity firms investing and selling companies. “Be prepared and be ready,” Schwartz advised. “If you haven’t already, you will have to address mergers and acquisitions eventually—whether it’s your business, your competitors or others in your market. There’s a lot of opportunity to take advantage of M&A.” Although current M&A interest creates a lot of opportunities, buying or selling a business is a personal decision made by the business owner. “This might be the most important business decision you’ll ever make, so you have to be clear about what your objectives are,” Schwartz said. “If you’re ready to consider selling your business, be prepared! Business owners that do their homework before starting the sale process get better results.” According to Schwartz, automotive repair business valuations are high right now because large corporations want to grow and many are backed by private equity investors, causing a rush to consolidate local and regional chains; however, “valuations ebb and flow with the economy, and they will not always be this unbelievably high,” he cautioned. Those considering selling must

determine what they need to net, if they want to continue working, what the value of the business is and who potential buyers might be. “Buyers who see the strategic value in your business will always be inclined to pay a little more for your company,” Schwartz stressed. After making the decision to sell, you must decide if you will work for the new owner or if you will leave after a transition period. You should also be clear about which employees will continue to work for the new owner. “Your business is probably one of the most important assets that you own,” Schwartz said. “Figuring out what it’s really worth and who the likely buyers are is not easy, but it is possible to get a handle on things. This is your decision, so think through what your needs are and be prepared before you decide to start a sale process.” Before beginning the process, there are three topics that Schwartz suggests being well-versed on: your numbers, what makes your business valuable and your legal business structure. The sales process begins with the numbers, but many business owners are concerned this first step is too complicated. In addition to providing three years of financial statements, the seller must show a schedule of adjustments, identifying one-time expenses the new owner won’t have to pay for. “This is really critical in getting the optimal valuable for your company,” Schwartz explained. Reasonable projections for the next three to five years must also be included. Determine what makes the business valuable may not be as clearcut as you’d think—besides your customer list, key suppliers, physical assets and intellectual property, your employees and your own skills and reputation may be part of what makes the purchase so attractive. “A lot of times, YOU are what makes the business valuable, so how will it thrive if you’re leaving? You need to be able to show that the business will be able to survive without you, and then you need to be able to communicate this to a potential

buyer,” Schwartz said. “Knowing what makes your business exciting and valuable will help you negotiate with a buyer.” The legal structure of the business also has a significant impact on valuations and can help determine the best form of a transaction. Taxation laws also vary depending on whether the shop is registered as a corporation, partnership, LLC, etc. Selling your business is very emotional and disruptive, but Schwartz assured, “It does end. If you’re prepared and can avoid any hiccoughs, you have a shot at getting a better deal… even while you’re in the middle of the sales process, you have to continue running your business to take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace. Selling a business feels like a full-time job, but you can’t neglect your current job.” The bottom line, according to Schwartz, is that figuring out what your business is worth and sizing up your options for the future is doable. “It’s not rocket science, but it does take some thought and effort.

You have the ability to choose a path that works best for yourself, your family and your employees. Know what you want in the deal! If you only sell your business once in your life, make sure you plan for a successful deal.” ASA’s Oct. 21st Webinar Wednesday presentation was sponsored by DELL Technologies. ASA’s next three webinars include: “Tax Tips for Closing 2020: Are You Ready?” presented Oct. 28 by Eric Joern of James Hamling & Companies CPAs and Advisors; “Using Technology to Create a Competitive Advantage,” presented Nov. 18 by Chris Cloutier and Craig O’Neill of autotext.me; and “ASE Entry-Level Certification Helps Shop Owners Find New Talent,” presented Dec. 9 by John Saia from ASE Education Foundation Management. For more information or to register for ASA’s webinars, visit asashop. org/webinars. www.autobodynews.com

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Body Crafters: A COVID-19 Experience by Gary Ledoux

It’s tough enough, even in the best of times, to buy a second shop that needs updating. But when you buy that shop and a pandemic hits that keeps people at home and off the roads, that’s a real challenge. Jon Wise started his collision repair career right out of high school, at Body Crafters Auto Body in Broadhead, WI. After a few years, Wise decided to strike out on his own and open Midwest Fox Rods, a small shop in Rock City, IL, where he combined his love of building custom cars and trucks with some collision work to help pay the bills. He partnered with a technician who was supposed to specialize in mechanical work. But soon his potential partner bailed, out leaving Wise on his own. Undaunted, Wise carried on and his reputation in both collision work and custom work grew. People were coming to him for miles around for everything from quality collision repair to customizing modern Mustangs to classic Chevelles. Then Wise hit a patch of bad luck, and through a series of bad turns, he found himself homeless. With nothing else to do, and a need to survive, Wise worked in his shop 16 to 18 hours a day and slept on a couch in his office when he got tired. Eventually things turned around, his reputation grew, business improved and he hired two other techs to help him. As both the collision repair and customizing businesses improved, Wise knew he needed a bigger shop. One evening, while having a casual dinner with the people who still owned Body Crafter Auto Body, the first shop where Wise worked, a discussion ensued about how the present owners wanted to retire and get out of the business. They had been at it for 30 years and wanted to move onto the next chapter of their life, but didn’t want to sell it to just anyone. They knew Wise turned out quality work, and he let them know he needed a way to expand. One thing led to another and on Sept. 1, 2019, Wise pur-

chased Body Crafters Auto Body. “The shop was doing alright when I took it over; it was making money, but I knew we could take an already great shop and make it better,” said Wise. “The shop badly needed some updating, and new and better procedures to put cycle times where they should be.”

Wise continued, “We first retrained the young crew, basically restructuring how they worked and what their duties were so there was as little worker overlap as possible. Changing paint lines with better color match technology and clears with less bake time saved us on materials, faster color matches and cut our utility costs in half. “New LED lighting in the shop was also done, not only to brighten the shop up but cut our light bill down. Savings on clear coat alone saved enough money to pay for part of my technicians’ medical and dental insurance each month, which they didn’t have before.” Another problem was the equipment. “Some of the equipment was 20 years old,” said Wise. “The paint booth had seen little maintenance. The poor physical condition of the shop slowed everything down. We consolidated equipment and added some new pieces like a couple electric sanding stations to keep a cleaner shop and less reliance on air-powered tools.” But the biggest problem, said Wise, was “the techs were not working together and did not understand their roles.” It seems the painter was never happy with the finish sanding job the body techs gave him, so the painter would spend even more time sanding the same spot, again, slowing production to a crawl.

Eventually, Wise had to consolidate things. He laid off one tech at each shop and combined all his personnel from both shops at the Body Crafter location. The techs from the two shops learned how to work together, cut waste and be more efficient. Things were looking up. Cycle time had been cut in half, waste was minimized and the shop was making more money. And then COVID-19 hit. Just when his new business was starting to gain traction, March 2020 saw a dramatic drop in cars coming through the door. But Wise kept advertising and promoting the shop. “It was scary for a while,” said Wise. “But then things picked right up again. We are in a rural area just south of Madison, one of only three shops in this area. We have been able to pull some business from Madison and because we are close to my old shop, my existing customers followed me. It worked out.” When asked if they did anything special to generate business during the height of the pandemic, Wise replied,



“We do a lot of radio ads. In one of our ads we offered to write the estimate at the vehicle owner’s home. If they agreed to have us do the work, we would pick up the car, complete the repair and return a repaired and disinfected car to the customer. They would never have to leave their home. “Despite all the talk about staying home and staying safe, no one ever took us up on our offer. Work kept rolling in the door.” Now, a year after taking over Body Crafters, and despite the COVID-19 slowdown, Wise is setting sales and profit records for the shop. “We have only one DRP arrangement, and that’s with State Farm,” said Wise. “We have a good working relationship with them. We have plenty of collision work, and few insurance company issues.” And as for the custom work, Wise replied, “Custom work is fun and interesting, but sometimes it’s tough getting paid, so I pick and choose what I work on. Right now, I have a two-year backlog on custom work. It’s nice to be in demand!”

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Mike’s Auto Body Gives 2 Cars in Conjunction with Hemophilia Foundation by Ed Attanasio

Mike’s Auto Body is celebrating its 20th anniversary of giving cars to deserving individuals, families and nonprofit organizations, with a grand total of 92 vehicles donated since 2000. On Oct. 21, the company collaborated with the Hemophilia Foundation of Northern California, Farmers Insurance and NABC Recycled Rides to present two refurbished cars to two Bay Area families. Javier Caro Valdez received a 2015 Hyundai Elantra, and Nicholas DeFalco was presented with a 2016 Honda Fit, with trunks full of gifts, gas cards and car safety kits. All local guidelines regarding public gatherings were followed at the event, including social distancing, and the wearing of masks. The presentation also included the grand opening of Mike’s Auto Body’s newest location in Pleasanton, CA. The Hemophilia Foundation of Northern California (HFNC) serves the needs of people impacted by

bleeding disorders through enhancing quality of life by providing support, education, outreach, advocacy and research. This marks the fourth time Mike’s has found worthy recipients from HFNC through its benevolence program. Mike’s Sal Contreras has emceed its car presentations for many years, but he never gets tired of working with local nonprofit organizations to help people in need. “We are excited to work with the Hemophilia Foundation of Northern California, NABC Recycled Rides and Farmers Insurance as we celebrate our 20th anniversary,” he said. “It’s always so satisfying to see how the lives of these individuals and organizations change dramatically through the gift of transportation.” Owner Mike Rose described the program and its value to the community. “We feel very fortunate to be involved with such a wonderful program and are very excited to be able to give back to that communi-


ties that have supported us along the way,” he said. “After receiving hundreds of applications over the years and reading the heartbreaking stories, we only wish that we could do more. But hopefully with increased publicity of our program, other shops will adopt similar programs of their own.” Director of Marketing Dane Dearlove talked about all of the people needed in order to give away 92 cars over the last two decades. “One Team, One Mission says it all,” he said. “Without our business and insurance partners, as well as our managers and employees, we wouldn’t have been able to do this for 20 years at this level. It’s an honor to work with this company and these people.” After Contreras opened the presentation with an invocation, speakers included Dearlove, Vice Mayor of Pleasanton Kathy Narum, Pete Barbounis from the Hemophilia Foundation of Northern California, Farmers Insurance district managers Daniel Brown and Rachel Craw-


ford and Farmers Insurance agent Ruben Herrera. Local companies that donated products and services included National Auto Parts, PPG Automotive Refinish, Geronimo’s Detail WC, Big O Tires, All-Star Hyundai, Lexus of Concord, Four Corners Union 76, Dan’s Glass, Winter Honda, Glasstek, MAB Towing, Adolph’s Autohaus, West Coast Wheels, Pacific Rim, Vinyl Touch, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, SRS Extreme Airbag and AutoNation Hyundai. Photos in “Mike’s Auto Body” folder in Dec 20 Production: 1: Mike’s Auto Body gave away two vehicles in conjunction with the Hemophilia Foundation of Northern California. 2: Javier Caro Valdez received a completely refurbished 2015 Hyundai Elantra with a trunk full of gifts, gas cards and car safety kits. 3: Recipient Nicholas DeFalco was presented with a 2016 Honda Fit.


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SEMA Show Goes On with Ed Attanasio

Media and Publicity for Shops with Ed Attanasio

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

Marketing in 2020: Will People Find You and What Will They See? The marketing game is more import- to marketing online has to do with ant in 2020 than ever before. Are images, and Grieve went through a people finding your business online, series of examples to illustrate their with Phillips importance. and if they are what areStacey they seeing? He showed slides of shops with Are you getting leads online or di- photos of unflattering of things, sappearing altogether? These were some of the ques- such as cluttered waiting rooms, tions that were answered dirty shop floors and beatduring a presentation at up cars in parking lots. He with Stacey Phillips SEMA360, part of the SCRS warned shops should never 2020 Repairer Driven Educapost about unrelated things tion series, co-hosted by PR online—like politics, for Media Coach Eric Reamer example—and that if you and Owner Robert Grieve have photos of vehicles, you at Nylund’s Collision Center, PR Media Coach Eric must not show cars’ license a 30-year-old shop in Englehelps body numbers, a mistake many with StaceyReamer Phillips shops and small wood, CO. make. Reamer and Grieve businesses with their “Photos are more importonline presence addressed two critically ant than ever, especially in important aspects of markethe COVID place where we ting your shop—how to force Goo- are right now,” Grieve said. “More gle to attract more of the right cus- and more people are now shopping tomers to your business, and howPhillips to online and doing their research onwith Stacey win their business before they ever line. It was a preference for many step foot on the property. years, but now it’s more like a ne In this class, Reamer and Grie- cessity. ve described exactly how to jump “We believe that images are a the line in Google search results by critical piece because images such as answering the same questions your photography and multimedia have prospects are asking day. And an immense impact on the consuwithevery Victoria Antonelli once they find you—how to mer’s purchasing behavior seal the deal by appealing to because they provide a way what matters most to them. for them to make a visual Grieve specifically shaconnection with a product red valuable information abbefore they buy it,” he conout how shops can accelerate tinued. “The goal is to convisibility online and close nect to a consumer without with Ed Attanasio more sales with people al- Owner Robert Grieve them being in your shop ready leaning in to their offe- at Nylund’s Collision physically. Good images Center has been rings. will foster confidence in the doing his shop’s “‘If you didn’t know customer’s eyes and it haponline marketing pens in milliseconds.” where you’re going, it really since day one Reamer strengthened the doesn’t matter what you do to get there’ is an old saying that ap- case about images by citing the fact with Gary Ledoux plies in many ways to the way shops that 90% of all visual messages, with photos, will stick in someone’s mind, market themselves,” Reamer said. To point collision repairers in while only 20% will read your webthe right direction, Reamer initially site’s content. Sixty-three percent cited some stats to support his claims. reported images are more important One number that stood out was the to them than a product description, fact 92% of all people use Google to for example. In addition, people who with Stacey Phillips perform their searches. shop on their phones say images are “Almost every computer out the most important feature. there comes with Bing installed, but Body shop people need to think no one uses it,” Reamer said. like their customers if they want to One of the main components win on Google.

Shop Strategies

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Tips for Busy Body Shops My SEMA

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“Stop looking through our lenses and eyes and look through our existing and potential customers’ lenses,” Reamer said. One of the best ways to connect with new and old customers is by creating relevant content that meets Google’s standards. “Making Google happy is key,” Reamer said. “Coming up with original articles, for a blog or social media, and optimizing them is important. To do this right, you have to do Google-speak and play by their rules. We’re in their sand box, so they call the shots. “Google is a god online, but with a lower ‘g’. If you do everything correctly, Google will funnel people onto your site, Yelp or social media, and connect to the 4% of all customers who are out there already thinking about you.” The mission for any piece of

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new content is to get customers to share it with their friends and colleagues online. “It’s so much more powerful when your customers tell you story for you,” Reamer said. “Your website is one of the only places online where you can control everything, so determining what people are looking for is key. Maybe they want to see your facility, talk about specific vehicles, compare prices, online reviews, etc.—you want to be able to address all of their questions through your content.” Reamer explained shops don’t need to attract the masses, only the 1% to 4% of those people who are already within your potential market. It’s not rocket science, he said, but in the end, you have to learn about things such as meta tags, search engine optimization (SEO) and what

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Set Yourself Up for 2021 Marketing Success with Shop Marketing Pros by Chasidy Rae Sisk

With 2020 quickly coming to an end, collision repair shop owners should start thinking about their marketing plans for next year. “It’s easy to get so focused on the here and now that we forget about the future, but it’s time to think about what you want to accomplish in 2021 and how to plan for that,” said Kim Walker of Shop Marketing Pros. “What are your overall business goals? You need to know your goals in order to determine your marketing plans.” In Shop Marketing Pros’ newest class, Walker explains how aligning your overall business goals with your marketing plans can help increase revenue, attract new customers, increase the frequency of existing customers’ visits, improve web traffic and add social media followers. The first step in designing your marketing plan is to set some time aside to really think about what you want from your business. Sched-

ule some time in an environment where you won’t be interrupted and think about “what works for you and your shop,” Walker said. “Your tactics may be different from other shops’—everybody’s plan is going to be different, and that’s OK.” Next, evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats impacting your business. Develop related SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely) goals, but “don’t make them too easy,” Walker cautioned. “Your goals should be something you have to reach for.” Examine your marketing KPIs. These include website visitors, social reach, EMM, Google Ads and more. Calculate your marketing budget for 2021, and look at how you spent your advertising budget in 2020. Figures should be based on facts, such as your total revenue. Examine what’s working and what isn’t working—keep doing the things that generate revenue and stop doing the things that don’t. Most importantly, know your

target audience; who are your ideal customers, and how can you capture their attention? “Once you know who your audience is, figure out how to present yourself as a guide that’s going to solve the customer’s problems,” Walker advised. “Set time aside to develop your marketing plan; the more often you meet with yourself, the shorter each meeting can be!” After determining what you want from your marketing plan, it’s time to develop an action plan. To accomplish your goal, break it down into smaller, quarterly actions, and determine which tactics will be needed at each stage. Establish your core message, and take a look at your calendar to make specific plans for the slower times of the year. If you want your marketing plan to succeed, you need to get everyone on board. Educate your team to make sure they know what’s going on and understand their part in it. “Each employee is an extension of your marketing team,” Walker

stressed. “Out of sight, out of mind,” Walker pointed out. “Make it visible so everyone can see it. Put your goals on display. Include quarterly benchmarks, and have a monthly meeting to discuss the goals and your progress.” Once you’re ready to make it happen and implement your marketing plan for 2021, break your quarterly goals down to weekly action plans. “Get it planned out, put it on your calendar and invite others from your shop to join you in creating content. If you listen to customers’ questions, you’ll have content and marketing material forever—if customers are complaining about allergies, record a short video for your website and social media channels explaining why it’s important to replace their cabin air filter,” Walker suggested. “Marketing is about sharing useful information and helping customers solve their problems,” she continued. “We have to be proactive

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42 DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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because marketing fails when it’s reactive. Be thoughtful and intentional in your marketing. How do you know if your marketing plan is successful? Track your results, and conduct regular progress checks, adjusting as needed until you reach your goals.” Don’t forget to celebrate! As you reach each small goal, you should be rewarding yourself and your team. Ringing a bell, taking the team out for dinner or distributing bonuses are all great ideas for celebrating your successes, but how you take your victory lap is really about “what’s relevant to you and your team,” Walker said. “Figure out what actually matters to them, and cater your rewards to your team. “You’re going to have bumps in the road, but you need to fail forward,” Walker said. “Pick yourself up and move on—just keep swimming and be better than you were yesterday.” Shop Marketing Pro’s presentation, “Set Yourself Up for 2021 Marketing Success,” has been presented to ASA Florida and ASA Northwest. To learn more or schedule a presentation, visit shopmarketingpros.com.

Continued from Page 40

Marketing in 2020

CARSTAR 92nd Among Franchise Systems

Guild 21 Meeting to Cover ADAS

exactly constitutes of original content. “I would search your topic— ‘how to fi nd the best body shop,’ for example—online and create a better article that is better than 10 others you can fi nd. Look at what your competition is doing and do it better. You don’t have to outrun the bear, just the guy in front of you,” Reamer said. By taking some of these ideas and using them after SEMA360, shops will hopefully be able to win when it comes to Google, because what we’ve learned is that it is truly the only game in town.

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 200, the most comprehensive ranking of the 500 largest U.S. franchise systems.

Recognized by entrepreneurs and franchisors as a top competitive tool of measurement, the Franchise Times Top 200 placed CARSTAR 92nd on the list, up from the 99th position. CARSTAR was the top collision repair company for the overall automotive category. It leads the industry with a North American customer service score average of 85%, record-breaking annual sales in 2019 and accelerated growth in total locations.

Guild 21 will hold its next meeting at 2 p.m. ET Dec. 10, “The Journey of ADAS from Factory to Repair,” featuring David DeBoer, CEO of Burke Porter Group. Are you prepared to repair vehicles with ADAS and other advanced technology as we look at automobiles in 2021 and beyond? Join the December Guild 21 meeting to learn more about the future of ADAS and the requirements to ensure proper vehicle calibration. For decades, Burke Porter Group (BPG) has been a leading supplier of factory end of line (EOL) testing systems. Today, with products at nearly every vehicle OEM, BPG understands the future of ADAS and the requirements to ensure proper vehicle calibration. To register, go to https:// us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIkfuqupjIrE9ycbSIqnTExr_GKGMcuiTLw


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Customer Service is King: The Modern Customer Journey by Ed Attanasio

During SEMA360, SCRS hosted a series of educational off erings with topics that deal with scanning and diagnostics, repair procedures and marketing. One of the latter was “The Modern Customer Journey,” presented by Enterprise Account Executive/ Professional Services Bob O’Brien at Podium. Podium is a privately held technology company headquartered in Lehi, UT, that develops cloud-based software to help businesses that want to modernize customer interactions through Podium’s Interactive Management System. This class outlined the way customers are changing and how body shops can adapt to succeed, but it requires forward thinking and a proactive approach because the technology is changing rapidly. The pandemic has changed everything, but those shops that are rolling with the punches and making alterations to their marketing, adver-

tising and customer service processes will stay ahead of the game. O’Brien set the stage to open his presentation. “Within the last half decade, we have all witnessed one of the world’s most signifi cant shifts in the customer journey,” he said. “Mobility and technology are impacting how customers communicate with your business and how businesses interact with customers.” One of the largest shifts is directly connected to the fact that customers now expect immediate and convenient information delivered promptly. The average consumer will no longer sit on hold, and pretty soon the personal phone call will approach extinction, he explained. Phones are literally pocket-sized computers, off ering instantaneous searchability for anything we desire. They are valuable tools body shops can use to improve their customer service, as long as they are willing to change. O’Brien concentrated on three main points: Understanding expec-


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tations, adapting to customers and navigating the new modern customer journey. “The only constant is change,” he said. “It’s no longer all about the big fi sh eating the small fi sh. Today it’s the fast fi sh eating the slow fi sh.” Those who resist change or are slow to adapt, especially during COVID-19, are going to struggle. “There are more digital channels than ever and people’s expectations have changed as a result, notably in the world of collision repair. In the old days, customers could come to the shop, shake the manager’s hand and talk to an estimator, parts person or technician, for example.” New platforms can provide a more attractive, convenient and effi cient way to communicate, and texting is now leading the way, O’Brien said. “The surge in ‘near me’ searches illustrates that we want immediate solutions and we want them right now. Consumers are looking for new ways to leverage these devices that are in their pockets and performing

more and more tasks with them at an exponential rate.” Already popular during normal times, texting has gained even more momentum since the pandemic became a daily part of our lives, O’Brien said. “Over 90% of people now prefer texting over any other form of communication. Therefore, using phone calls and emails as your main channels of communication is becoming a liability to the effi ciency and quality of your business.” With new technology, consumers expect your shop will use the latest systems in order to provide optimum customer service. “Studies have revealed that 85% of all consumers expect local businesses to off er more convenient communication and services now more than prior to the outset of COVID-19.” Things aren’t going to revert back any time soon, and that’s why body shops will be forced to change the ways they’ve been doing business for decades, he said. “More than half of all consum-

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46 DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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ers s vide lose ple a out cust ees ery v after

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ers say that shops who will not provide pandemic-friendly services will lose their patronage,” he said. “People are going elsewhere and seeking out shops that are focused more on customer safety, such as all employees wearing masks and cleaning every vehicle inside and out before and after the repair.” Consumers are more tech savvy than ever and unfazed by new technology. “As one industry changes, everyone then drags their expectations across other industries,” he said. “If a customer loses any confi dence in a shop, more and more people are more than willing to pivot and go online to fi nd a new one.” As a result, people demand a smooth and easy process from start to fi nish. Finding a shop online, scheduling appointments, communication during the repair—consumers anticipate an “in and out on the go” approach, O’Brien said. It also benefi ts the shop as well, because the payment process and getting a positive review from customers is also streamlined. Effi ciency and convenience for the shop and

its customers has changed the consumer experience forever. Capturing online reviews is an ongoing process because people covet more recent reviews less than three months old. “Some companies proactively pursue reviews for a period of time and then stop, which is a mistake,” he said. “If you have a bunch of reviews from 2018 and then very little after that, it’s not a good sign.” People are not afraid to change their habits if they see a logical and convenient way of doing things, he said. “Consumers will pivot and go online without hesitation. You can have long-term customers who will alter their behavior if you can engage with them in a timely and easy manner.” Customer service has always been important, but even more essential in a modern world. “Customer service is overtaking price and product,” O’Brien said. “It’s the diff erentiating quality. Price and quality are still a part of the decision, but customer service is now king.”

asTech Shares Information About Its Services & Importance of Scanning During SEMA360 by Stacey Phillips

During the SEMA360 virtual show, asTech shared detailed information with attendees about the services the company off ers and what sets the company apart from others in the industry. “Most people think of asTech as providing hardware, but we’re really a service provider,” said Don Mikrut, asTech’s chief development offi cer. Mikrut explained that asTech ASE-certifi ed and dealer-trained technicians use their patented technology to run OEM scanning tools remotely and ensure electronic vehicle systems are returned back to OEM standards post-collision repair. The asTech tool is currently going through an iteration expected to be complete in late summer or early fall 2021. “One of the exciting things about the next generation of the asTech tool is that it allows for enhanced communication for the industry,” said Mikrut.

During SEMA360, 20 asTech team members were on-hand to provide information about the company and its off erings. “The asTech unit is an enabler and I think that’s one of the things we were able to share during the virtual show this year,” Mikrut said. asTech coordinated a variety of roundtable sessions throughout the week, focusing on topical industry issues. They also spent time talking about how the industry looks at scanning, and educated attendees on the diff erences between OEM data and OEM tools. Mikrut said the team received a lot of great reviews from current clients who visited the virtual booth, as well as prospective customers who wanted to learn more about the company’s off erings. “We jumped in with both feet to support SEMA360 this year,” said Mikrut. “It was sad that the show had to go virtual, but we certainly understand. We love what SEMA has done for the industry.”

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autobodynews.com / DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS 47

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Auto Club Announces More Financial Relief AAA members who insure their vehicles through the Interinsurance Exchange of the Automobile Club will receive a third round of premium refunds totaling approximately $46 million. This latest COVID-19 fi nancial relief is in addition to almost $92 million in refunds provided in May and $58 million in July, bringing the total amount returned to Auto Club auto insurance policyholders to approximately $196 million. Every policyholder with auto insurance in eff ect from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30 will receive a 10% policy refund for this period. Refunds will be applied as a credit to the member’s policy. Checks will only be issued for policies that were canceled or that were paid in full. Members do not need to take any action to receive their refund. Source: Auto Club

Tesla Finally Admits ‘Design Flaw’ in Model 3 Bumpers Falling off in Rain by Fabienne Lang, Interesting Engineering

Tesla has spoken up and admitted there is a problem with its Model 3s built up to May 2019.

Credit: loganjamal/Instagramr

The issue is that the body panel of the rear bumpers has been falling off when going through puddles of water. The issue has been known for a while now, but it took until now for Tesla to admit to a design fl aw, as per Electrek. The fl aw meant that some Tesla Model 3 owners were noticing their rear bumpers falling off when going through water puddles or when heavy rainfall was happening.

After the rear bumper issue with its Model 3s was made public, Tesla said it would look into the matter. That was roughly two years ago, per Electrek, and just this year the EV-maker admitted its design fault in the matter.

It’s an odd thing to happen, to experience your car losing its rear bumper merely by being wet. Moreover, it was supposedly tricky for certain Tesla owners to have their EVs repaired under the company’s warranty after they underwent this problem. The company was pushing back on how deep the water was when the owners drove over these puddles. From the footage you see on YouTube and on Twitter, these puddles really weren’t very big, and sometimes it was just heavy rainfall that led to the issue.

AkzoNobel Hits SEMA360 in a Big Way, Virtually by Ed Attanasio

When things change fast like in 2020, some companies adapt and succeed, and AkzoNobel is one of those companies. When SEMA 2020 was cancelled, AkzoNobel Marketing Communications Manager/ North America Jen Poliski saw it as an opportunity as opposed to an obstacle. She and Regional Marketing Support Specialist Sue Jaszkowski decided to take full advantage of SEMA360. “SEMA360 is like nothing we’ve ever experienced, with virtual booths and virtual meetings, which many believe will be the new normal,” Poliski said. “We looked at this carefully and considered our participation, but in the end, it was a no-brainer. “This is unknown territory and it was defi nitely a tough call,” Poliski continued. “SEMA has always been critical to our success at AkzoNobel and we always invest a ton of resources into it. This is where we engage with our clients and prospects, so we decided

to get involved and use this new platform to achieve our goals.” AkzoNobel has 17 team members in its virtual booth working in shifts, just like in a real booth. You can meet with any of them—virtually, of course—and discuss your refi nish needs. To check out its roundtable discussions and/or all of the AkzoNobel product brochures, visit the virtual booth or access AkzoNobel.com. During the educational offerings at SEMA360, AkzoNobel Senior Services Consultant Tim Ronak will discuss how a repairer might have to charge a higher rate just to break even on equipment or OEM certifi cation expenses, and explained how GAAP could demystify an insurer’s “cost of doing business” in his presentation, “Overcoming Insurer Objections to Payment for Needed Repair Procedures,” available to view until Aug. 31, 2021.

It’s only after a particular video of a Model 3 losing its rear bumper went viral that Tesla fessed up. Electrek got their hands on the company’s service bulletin, which stated, “In rare instances, certain components on Model 3 vehicles built at the Fremont Factory before May 21, 2019, might be damaged when driving through standing water on a road or highway with poor drainage or pooling water. “In these rare instances, the rear fascia might detach from the vehicle and harnesses and/or body fasteners/mounts might also be damaged. This document clarifi es that damage caused during these instances is covered under warranty,” it read. The good thing is, there won’t be any warranty issues anymore. So if you own a Tesla Model 3 that was built after May 21, 2019, you should be fi ne come rain or shine. We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission.


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Woman Who Sued Body Shop Over Aston Martin Repair Bill Now Ordered to Pay $250,000 by Michael Karkafiris, Car Scoops

A judge rejected claims by the owner of a crashed Aston Martin DB9 that a body shop tried to scam her, and was ordered to pay more than CA$330,000 or about US$250,000 in current exchange rates. The three-year legal battle between Jessica Liu, the owner of a crashed Aston Martin DB9, MCL Motor Cars, a dealership based in Vancouver, and Burrard Autostrasse, the body shop in question, came to an end as the owner now has to pay almost twice the value of her car. Jessica Liu crashed her 2014 Aston Martin DB9—worth around CA$200,000 at the time— in December 2015 into a rock and had the car towed to Burrard Autostrasse. Liu, who only had basic insurance, received a formal initial estimate of between CA$85,000 and CA$132,000 Canadian (US$65,000 to US$100,000) as the car had suffered structural damage. Liu paid a deposit of CA$50,000 (US$38,000) but refused to pay the remaining sum, fi ling instead a lawsuit against

the auto shop and the dealership. In her lawsuit, Liu claimed that she had been taken advantage of due to her lack of English skills and perception of wealth, and accused the dealership and the auto shop

In her lawsuit, Liu was seeking CA$300,000 Canadian (US$226,000) as compensation as she claimed she suff ered a long list of personal injuries that included depression and anxiety, sleeping disorders and low self-esteem among others. She went through four diff erent law fi rms before eventually representing herself in court. In her ruling of the case, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Nitya Iyer found there was no evidence and no legal basis for any of Liu’s claims. The judge ordered Liu to settle not only the unpaid cost of the repairs and indoor storage fees, 2012 Aston Martin D89. Credit: Stock photo courtesy of which amount to about Aston Martin US$330,000 Canadian of breach of contract and collusion (US$250,000), but to pay some of between the two defendants, Rich- Burrard’s legal costs as well. “Ms. Liu’s claim is meritless mond News reports. Since the owner didn’t pick up and she has made resolution of the the car, Burrard Autostrasse stored the issue virtually impossible,” Iyer Aston Martin DB9 indoors for pro- wrote, as reported by TheBreaker. tection and charged her CA$200 per “Objectively assessed, her allega-

Ford Fund Pledges $200K to Keep Students Learning During Pandemic by Kyle Johnson, The News Wheel

Ford Motor Company Chief Customer Experience Offi cer Elena Ford and Ford Fund made a $200,000 investment in October to support education services for students aff ected by the pandemic. The funds help students in the Dallas, Houston and Phoenix areas by covering 30,000 books and putting must-have supplies in the hands of 1,500 educators. This investment is the latest step in a partnership between Ford Fund and First Book. Since 2015, the partnership has provided 130,000 books to students across the U.S. Ford Fund’s contributions over the life of the initiative total $600,000. Elena Ford kicked off this latest round of contributions with a virtual reading for 10,000 students. She and author Andrea Beaty read the latter’s “Rosie Revere, Engineer,” which lines up with Ford’s push to encourage girls to get involved in the


STEAM fi elds. After the reading, educators received gift cards to cover books, classroom supplies and cleaning goods like sanitizer. The $200,000 donation helps students from underserved communities hit hardest by COVID-19. “We’re showing the kids that no matter where you learn— school or home—books can inspire dreams and spark interest in subjects that could be the beginning of an exciting career,” said Elena Ford. “We want kids to understand that reading is fun and rewarding and will allow them to take advantage of educational opportunities that can help them achieve personal success.” Ford Fund invests over $13 million each year in education programs and initiatives. In 2020, Ford Fund has committed almost $3 million to help communities deal with the ongoing pandemic.


tions of fraud, conspiracy, fraudulent misrepresentation, or breach of fi duciary duty are without legal foundation and she should not have advanced them. It is clear that Ms. Liu’s conduct of the litigation has been frustrating and extremely unpleasant for Burrard. “Notably, over $97,000 of this amount represented the cost of the parts Burrard purchased from Aston Martin to perform the repair. Burrard’s labour cost was about $12,000, or just under 9% of the total invoice,” the judge continued. “She claims damages for various personal injuries and for travel to and from China, along with the value of a new vehicle, $300,000 and increased costs,” said Iyer’s verdict. “The stated legal basis for her claims is coercion, breach of fi duciary duty and extortion of her as a ‘fi nancially well off ’ person whose fi rst language is not English. None of the evidence before me supports these allegations.” We thank Car Scoops for reprint permission.

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50 DECEMBER 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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Bentley to Go Carbon Neutral by 2030 with Fully Electric Fleet by Loukia Papadopoulos, Interesting Engineering

Bentley Motors has announced it plans to become a global leader in sustainable luxury mobility with what it calls its Beyond100 strategy.  The firm is promising to deliver truly sustainable luxury vehicles by reinventing its business to become an end-to-end carbon neutral organization.

Credit: Bentley

The plan includes a switch to offering exclusively plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicles by 2026 and fully electric vehicles only by 2030. 

Bentley will achieve its lofty goals through a structured, business-wide sustainability program that includes the development of

throughout all of its present and future cars. Bentley has already achieved an important milestone in its quest to

“Within a decade, Bentley will transform from a 100-year-old luxury car company to a new, sustainable, wholly ethical role model for luxury.” — Adrian Hallmark electrified models and upgrades on its operational environmental impact. In addition, by 2023, every model line will be offered with the option of a hybrid variant and Bentley’s first fully electric model will be introduced in 2025. By 2026, Bentley’s offerings will focus exclusively on plug-in hybrid and electric models, and by 2030, this will change to solely producing battery electric vehicles. Furthermore, the firm will  use only sustainably sourced materials

be carbon neutral. Its production facility in Crewe became the first luxury automotive factory in Britain to be certified  carbon neutral  by the Carbon Trust in the last year. Looks like the carmaker is well underway to a zero-carbon future.  Adrian Hallmark, chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, said in a statement, “Driving this change includes, and also goes beyond our products, delivering a paradigm shift throughout our business, with credibility, authenticity and integrity. Within a decade, Bentley will transform from a 100-year-old luxury car company to a new, sustainable, wholly ethical role model for luxury.” We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission.

CCC Information Services Inc. (CCC) announced Nov. 9 the availability of CCC® VIN Connect-ADAS, the latest in a series of innovations that support underwriting precision at the point-of-quote. CCC VIN Connect-ADAS provides a vehicle-level view of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), providing underwriters with an easy way to understand available safety features to assess risk more accurately. CCC VIN Connect-ADAS is part of a broader offering that helps underwriters gain a 360-view of a driver and their vehicle. The VIN Connect portfolio connects underwriters to ADAS and driving behavior data via a single API. CCC Quick View is a mobile app that can be presented within an insurer’s own policyholder app experience. Source: CCC



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Manufacturers Continue to Offer Exclusive Discounts to SEMA360 Attendees by Della Domingo, SEMA

Following up on previous SEMA eNews items, below are additional specials, discounts and previews from SEMA360 manufacturers. 1-800EveryRim OEM Wheels will offer qualifying companies a onetime, 10% discount valid through 2020 on any non-special order whee(s). During SEMA360, the company will be featuring its RimText system (951-RimText/951-746-8398) and online portal www.EveryRim. com. ALLDATA will offer 25% off its ALLDATA product bundles, as well as host live product demos and oneon-one interaction with account reps providing details on its OEM repair information software, diagnostics and shop management solutions. Fluidampr will have tech support staff ready to share information about their products, along with downloadable catalogs and educational materials. They will also have best-of content and influencer contributions, including videos from industry-leading engine builders Gale Banks and Mike Kojima, and two “Learn @

Lunch with Fluidampr” presentations, at noon PST Nov. 3 and Nov. 5. SCANGRIP A/S is offering almost half off the regular price of its Nova-UV S, MiniMatch, and Multimatch R. They will also feature the UV-Gun, Scangrip’s newest UV curing lamp that helps speed up the curing process in the collision repair industry, and a new and improved design for its popular wheel stand. Miller Electric Manufacturing Co. LLC will hold live training and demonstrations of aluminum welding theory and techniques. They will also cover basic and advanced machine settings using the Multimatic 220 AC/ DC and answer welding-related questions, each at 11 a.m. PST Nov. 3, 4 and 6. TWN Industries  will offer free training ($2,000 value) and $1,500 off to SEMA360 attendees for its we manufacture films and paints used to turn boring plastic dashboards and interior trim into carbon fiber or realistic wood grain finishes. Bolt On Technology will be waiving set up fees for purchases made during SEMA360. The company offers Digital Vehicle Inspection

reports to new and used car dealer service centers, auto body shops, parts vendors, import car, truck, RV, motorcycle and marine repair specialists, fleet managers and other sectors of the automotive aftermarket. The reports give drivers the ability to see photos of their repairs and read technician recommendations on a mobile device. Bishop Innovations—HOZEEZ will have a discount code available for download from its Showcase, which can be used on their website after SEMA360. The company offers HOZEEZ, which allows consumers to wash cars without the hose getting stuck under tires, and Merchandising Display to display HOZEEZ. On their Showcase, attendees will also see product videos, including one featuring a 5,000-lb. SUV driving over the HOZEEZ. Clean Supply Pro—Sanitizer and Multi-Surface will offer 35% off all products at www.TheCleanSupply.com/SEMA. The company offers hand sanitizer, sprays and multisurface cleansers formulated with 80% ethyl alcohol and health care-grade ingredients to meet all WHO recommendations.  

Autel Diagnostics Develops Autel Virtual for the Complete SEMA360 Experience by Ed Attanasio

You can explore everything that’s new from Autel Tools, including advanced diagnostics, ADAS calibration, TPMS tire service, key programming and much more.

Autel Diagnostics created Autel Virtual specifically for SEMA360

Watch video highlights of each tool line, dive deeper on our in-depth category pages and even speak live with an Autel Product Expert at SEMA360. Autel has seven people ready to answer all of your questions, including National Sales Manager & Training Director Michael Flink, an expert on automotive diagnostics.

One of their newest products in the Autel IMMO & Key Programming tool line is the IM608PROKPA, a comprehensive packaged bundle. The included Adapter Kit and XP400Pro expand European vehicle coverage and EEPROM function including 2,000 component types. “Whether you have one or multiple shops, Autel has an ADAS calibration system fit for you,” an Autel spokesperson said. “Our portable MA600 Frame folds easily for transport, helping shops affordably target a new revenue stream. The sturdy standard frame is ideal for single shops or for use with an alignment machine.” Autel is the only manufacturer to offer a complete TPMS solution to the collision repair industry. The TS508, TS508WF and TS608 feature four MX-Sensor programming methods and enhanced system status screen. The dual-frequency 1-Sensor is 99% OE-compatible with a quick release Press button so aluminum and rubber valve stems can be easily replaced. Learn about The MaxiSYS Ultra at SEMA360. It is Autel’s most

ambitious diagnostics tablet to date, featuring a large 12.9-in. tablet and the MaxiFlash VCMI, a 5-in-1 communication and testing tool. The Ultra offers the most advanced approach to vehicle diagnostics with its dynamic topology module mapping for supported vehicles, combined with its Intelligent Diagnostics feature that guides the technician from code to repair to test with detailed repair information and illustrations. “We continue to expand with our newest product line of battery testers and electrical system diagnostics,” Flink said. “The star of the show, the BT608, is a comprehensive battery and electrical system diagnostics tool featuring adaptive conductance technology to identify low-capacity batteries and thereby reduce battery misdiagnosis. The Android-based, WiFi touchscreen tablet tool displays a quick battery health status, and enables an automatic battery registration.”


Intercomp Racing will be highlighting new products that make it possible to use a mobile device as a second wireless indicator via Bluetooth on all of its wireless scale systems. Other new products include a wireless load stick and billet scale pad levelers. Additionally, the company is featuring its line of valve spring testers, shock dynos and digital camber/ caster gauges. Illinios Lock Company (ILC) will showcase its Blue Origin, Electronic Rotary Latch Series and Position Control Hinges, with product specialists available throughout the week.  Blue Origin is ILC’s latest product that allows access to the truck or cab of a vehicle via Bluetooth. Manufacturer Showcases are only available on SEMA360. Login for SEMA360 will be provided to all those who register and are approved to participate. Early registration is recommended to receive login details as early as possible. Additional details about SEMA360 taking place entirely online on Nov. 2-6 are available at www.sema360.com. We thank SEMA for reprint permission.

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Volvo Airbag Death Causes S60 and S80 Recall by David A. Wood, Car Complaints

A Volvo airbag death has led to a recall of more than 54,000 model year 2001-2003 S60 and S80 vehicles that were sold or registered in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan) and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Volvo airbag death involved a driver-side frontal airbag inflator manufactured by ZF Group that exploded and sent metal fragments into the driver. The automaker didn’t release information about the death, but Volvo, ZF and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) believe it’s the only reported Volvo airbag rupture fatality worldwide. Volvo, ZF and NHTSA investigated the inflator rupture and believe moisture affected the propellant used to deploy the airbag. Although it’s similar to stories

involving exploding airbags supplied by Takata, the Volvo airbag death involves a different propellant. Takata airbag inflator ruptures were caused by the propellant ammonium nitrate which became unstable when affected by heat, humidity and moisture. But according to Volvo, the airbags in the S60 and S80 vehicles “are from the introduction of propellant 5 AT 148 N.” It may be a different propellant which caused the Volvo airbag death, but the surrounding circumstances do involve heat, humidity and moisture as in the Takata inflator explosions. Volvo says if the propellant tablets are exposed to elevated moisture levels and frequent high airbag inflator temperatures, the tablets can start to decay and form dust particles. Dust increases the burn surface area and burn rate, resulting in higher combustion chamber pressure and increasing the risk of a ruptured inflator. According to documents filed

with NHTSA, Volvo first learned about the airbag death in June 2019 when contacted by an attorney concerning the fatality. Volvo Airbag Replacements May Take Months Model year 2001-2003 S60 and S80 owners will likely have concerns after hearing about the Volvo airbag death, but the automaker says replacement airbags aren’t ready to go. Volvo will send interim recall notices to owners beginning Jan. 4, 2021, then second recall notices will be sent when replacement airbags are available. According to the automaker, the parts should be available sometime during the first quarter of 2021. A dealership will install a new “driver airbag with a modern state-of-the-art propellant/inflator.” Concerned S60 and S80 own ers may call 866-870-2046 and ask about recall number R10058. We thank Car Complaints for reprint permission.

Schedule ASE Tests Now The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) encourages service professionals to visit the new myASE.com web portal and register now to renew certifications expiring Dec. 31. “Because we extended ASE certifications expiring June 30 to the end of December due to the pandemic, more service technicians than usual will be scheduling tests before their certifications expire at the end of the year,” said Tim Zilke, ASE president and CEO. Each order for ASE tests automatically includes the new, lower registration fee of $34. Test fees remain the same. ASE tests are conducted days, nights and weekends at nearly 500 secured, proctored test centers. Before registering, check test center availability. Source: ASE

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Tesla About to Make Producing 1 Million EVs Per Year Unremarkable by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

It’s a bit amazing that just over two years ago, Tesla was struggling to hit a production rate of 5,000 Model 3 per week at the Fremont Factory in California. The target, which proved elusive enough to warrant extreme attention from TSLA short-sellers, was achieved at the end of Q2 2018, six months behind the company’s initial schedule. Over the course of 2018, Tesla delivered a whopping 245,240 cars, a new record for the company. Since then, Tesla has steadily ramped its vehicle production capabilities, and Nov. 11, the company is aiming to deliver around half a million electric cars by the end of the year. That’s despite a pandemic that has shaken the world, which has resulted in shutdowns in Tesla’s two production facilities, the Fremont Factory and Gigafactory Shanghai. Giga Shanghai is only in its first year of operations too and is not yet fully ramped. But Tesla, if any, is a beast of optimism and possibility. It’s the one carmaker that is still growing during a pandemic, and its vehicles, particular-

ly the Model 3 sedan and the Model Y crossover, are seeing strong demand from consumers.

Credit: The Kilowatts/Twitter

With this in mind, Tesla has noted that it intends to ramp its vehicle production capabilities to the millions within the next years. It would not be surprising at all if the company announces that it would be producing and delivering 1 million cars by next year. Such an idea might sound implausible now, but so was the idea of pursuing a delivery goal of 500,000 vehicles in a year that’s weighed down by a pandemic. What is rather noteworthy is that over the years, Tesla has steadily established itself as a capable automaker that has what it takes to deliver on its goals. The company may not always be on time and it may hit snags with the build quality of its first-pro-

duction vehicles, but it does stay true to its word. The same is true for Elon Musk. FSD may have been delayed for some time, for example, but the limited beta that’s testing today is very real, and its potentials are vast. With these milestones comes a normalcy of sorts for Tesla. While the company made headlines when it first broke the 5,000 Model 3 per week barrier, for example, such things are simply unremarkable today. And that’s really where Tesla’s magic lies. The company simply has the capability to make something remarkable seem normal. This was true with regards to the public’s perception of the power and capabilities of electric cars against their gas-powered rivals. This will likely be true when it comes to vehicle production capabilities as well. This is already starting for the electric car maker. Just recently, data from the Chinese Passenger Car Association (CPCA) revealed Tesla China was able to produce 22,292 Model 3 in Gigafactory Shanghai in the month of October. This translates to a run-rate of 275,148 vehicles per year. Interestingly enough, leaks from

industry insiders have suggested that Tesla China is aiming to produce 550,000 cars in 2021, with 300,000 of those being the Model 3. Considering Tesla China’s October production figures, it would appear the company is already well within striking distance of its 2021 Model 3 production goal. It wouldn’t be surprising if Tesla hits a run-rate of 300,000 China-made Model 3s by the end of the year, and it would be quite silly to assume the company would stop optimizing Gigafactory Shanghai at that level. If Gigafactory Shanghai can build 550,000 cars in 2021, Tesla would have a pretty solid chance of producing 1 million vehicles in one year. This would no doubt be a milestone for the company. But if Tesla’s previous years are any indication, it would only take a few years before vehicle production rates in the level of millions will be considered expected, or even better, unremarkable. Once that happens, then one could probably declare the electric car age is truly beginning. We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.

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