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GEICO Settles in California Short Pay Case for $19.5 Million by Rebecca Barnabi, glassBYTEs.com

GEICO reached a settlement deal of $19.5 million in a class-action lawsuit by California policyholders over sales tax and regulatory fees of insured vehicles and insured leased vehicles when total loss was declared. The legal battle began when Cindy Ventrice-Pearson and Martisha Ann Munoz filed a class action complaint against GEICO on June 27, 2019. According to the court order, their complaint alleged the auto insurance company failed to include sales tax on leased vehicles

and regulatory fees on all vehicles, a breach of its policies with insured vehicle owners. Poonam Subbaiah filed a class action complaint July 3, 2019, in California with similar allegations. Another class action complaint was filed Oct. 23, 2020, by Kristen Perez. The court’s order states all four plaintiffs allege GEICO’s policies required an actual cash value (ACV) when an insured automobile was declared a total loss. ACV was defined as the automobile’s “replacement cost.” The plaintiffs believed the See GEICO Settles, Page 16

Tesla Stock Makes Largest 12-Day Gain in History of Capital Markets: Report by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

Tesla is no stranger to doing things widely thought of as impossible— most recently, making the biggest 12-day gain in the history of capital markets by adding almost $400 billion to its market cap. The feat, recently highlighted in a Fortune article, was something not even Tesla’s peers in the trillion-dollar club have accomplished in the recent past. Tesla shares have been on a wild surge as of late, with the company going on a tear following its impres-

sive Q3 2021 earnings results Oct. 20. Just two days later, Tesla touched the $1 trillion valuation mark for the first time. News of car rental giant Hertz’s decision to purchase 100,000 Teslas in a $4.2 billion deal then pushed TSLA shares to a one-day gain of 13%, ending the day at $1,025 a share. Despite CEO Elon Musk later clarifying the Hertz deal has “zero effect” on Tesla’s economics since the car rental giant would be buying the vehicles at full price, momentum from the contract effectively boostSee Tesla Stock, Page 18

Vol. 39 / Issue 12 / December 2021

OEConnection Acquires VeriFacts Automotive and Assured Performance Network by Stacey Phillips

In November, OEConnection (OEC) confirmed it recently acquired VeriFacts Automotive and Assured Performance Network. Both companies are based in California and provide Certified Repair Network services to OEMs and collision repair shops with customer relationships in North America.

SEMA Coverage:

“Over the last few years, we’ve been working to expand OEC’s val-

ue proposition to collision industry customers,” said OEC in a statement. “In late 2020, we entered the See OEConnection Acquires, Page 24

2021 SEMA Largest Show Since Pandemic Began SEMA New Product Winners MSO Symposium on Insurance Claims, Consolidation

p.4 p. 35 p. 36

Ford, Purdue Patent Charging Station Cable That Could Lead to EV Recharges as Fast as Gas Station Fill-Ups Ford and Purdue University researchers have taken an important early step to make recharging EVs simple and time saving. Through a research alliance, researchers from both groups are working to develop a new, patent-pending charging station cable that could combine with in-development vehicle charging technology, making it even easier for people to transition to EVs with seamless re-charging. “Today, chargers are limited in how quickly they can charge

an EV’s battery due to the danger of overheating. Charging faster requires more current to travel through the charging cable,” said Michael Degner, senior technical leader, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “The higher the current, the greater the amount of heat that has to be removed to keep the cable operational.” Purdue researchers are focusing on an alternative cooling method by designing a charging cable that can deliver an increased current. The cable uses liquid as an active cooling agent, which can help extract more heat from the cable by changing phase from liquid to vapor—the key difference between this and current liquid-cooled technology on the market. This innovation could one day deliver significantly more power than Ford researchers have successfully completed an today’s leading systems to early step with Purdue University inventing a new, re-charge electric vehicles, patent-pending method for charging stations that could one day deliver significantly more power compared to making the potential of today’s leading systems.

See Ford, Purdue Patent, Page 27

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CONTENTS CA Insurance Commissioner Demands Auto

EV Tax Credit Bill �������������������������������������������51 1Collision Continues Expansion �������������������������54

Insurers Submit Refund Data ������������������������14

2021 SEMA Show Deemed ‘Largest North

Dyi Appointed to CAWA’s Board of Directors ��������8

American Automotive Trade Show Since

Experts Warn California Port Woes Could Mean Empty Shelves for the Holidays ���������������������22

Farm to Pay Refunds for Overcharges:

ASE Education Foundation Launches Program ��27

San Diego Court �������������������������������������������26

Autobody News attended Pro Spot’s Distributor

Lifetime of Service Translates to Success for Fix Auto USA Owner �����������������������������������8 Mercury Insurance Reports 40% Spike in California Comprehensive Car Claims ��������������6 NABC F.R.E.E. Program Teaches Los Angeles First Responders How to Handle Accidents with Cars Full of Latest Tech �������������������������16 PG&E Installs Nearly 5,000 EV Charging Ports Across Northern, Central California ����������������13 Rukov Installed as CAWA’s 2022 Chair of the Board �����������������������������������������������������������18

www.autobodynews.com

AUTOBODY

Pandemic’ ������������������������������������������������������4

ASA Announces Regional Executive Director �����47

Reveals by New and Legacy Automakers ������12

ltedesco@autobodynews.com

ALLDATA Adds ADAS Quick Reference ���������������39

Insurance Commissioner Cannot Force State

LA Auto Show to Feature In-Person Global

800-699-8251

Awards Event at Top Golf, Las Vegas on Wednesday, November 3rd ���������������������������51 Axalta Launches Training Course �����������������������10 Biden Administration Acts to Help Relieve Supply Chain Woes ���������������������������������������48 CIC Panel Discusses AI in Collision Repair Estimating ����������������������������������������������������55 Ford, Purdue Patent Charging Station Cable That Could Lead to EV Recharges as Fast as Gas Station Fill-Ups ������������������������������������1 Helping Others is Contagious, and You Don’t Need to Wear a Mask ������������������������������������42

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

REGIONAL

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

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Stacey Phillips Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Norman Morano, (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bryan Malinski Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Abby Andrews Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Permissions Editor: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray Serving Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada,

Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the collision industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2021 Adamantine Media LLC.

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������������� 39

Kia Downtown Los Angeles ����������������������������� 36

AutoNation Honda Costa Mesa ������������������������ 24

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers �����������40-41

AutoNation Infiniti Tustin ��������������������������������� 35

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

Axalta Coating Systems ������������������������������������ 5

Kia of Irvine ���������������������������������������������������� 27

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 47

Kwik Bench ���������������������������������������������������� 13

Car-Part.com �������������������������������������������������� 22

Larry H. Miller Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram ������� 30

Car Pros Kia ���������������������������������������������������� 18

Malco ������������������������������������������������������������� 16

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

How Much Range Does an Electric Car Lose

The Gecko Will Pay Up: GEICO Settles in California

Each Year? ����������������������������������������������������50

Short Pay Case for $19.5 Million ���������������������1

Mitchell Providing Tech for PDR Program ����������13

Car Pros Kia Renton ���������������������������������������� 32

Markingpendepot.com �������������������������������������� 6

MSO Symposium Looks at Post-Pandemic

Certified Automotive Parts Association ������������ 14

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������������� 51

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

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers �������� 51

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

Michael Hohl Motor Company ��������������������������� 8

Courtesy Chevrolet San Diego ������������������������� 23

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������������� 47

DCH Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram-Fiat �������������� 26

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

Universal Technical Institute Launches EV Technician Training on CA Campuses ������������10

Recovery of Collision Repair Industry ������������55 OEConnection Acquires VeriFacts Automotive

COLUMNISTS Anderson - The Collision Repair Training Program We Need in Every Market ����������������30

and Assured Performance Network �����������������1 Price and Range Continue to Hold Back EV Market �����������������������������������������������������52

Phillips - How to Grow Skilled Technicians

Pro Spot Announces VW Group Approval �������������6

DeVilbiss Automotive Refinishing �������������������� 12

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

& Improve Performance in Your Collision

Repairify Names VP of Development �����������������31

Equalizer Industries, Inc ���������������������������������� 18

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������� 50

Repair Facility �����������������������������������������������32

Repairify™ Unites Company Brands, Introduces

Fairview Ford-Lincoln-Mercury ����������������������� 35

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

FH Dailey Chevrolet ����������������������������������������� 10

Reno Buick-GMC �������������������������������������������� 30

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

Santa Monica Audi ������������������������������������������ 14

Future Nissan of Roseville ������������������������������� 34

SATA Dan-Am Company ���������������������������������� 11

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

Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet ���������������������������� 6

Garden Grove Kia �������������������������������������������� 27

Spanesi Americas ������������������������������������������� 19

Glenn E. Thomas Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep ����������� 17

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������������� 43

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������������� 45

The Bay Area Automotive Group ���������������������� 25

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

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

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������� 46

Volkswagen Pasadena ������������������������������������ 30

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

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

JEN6 Equipment ��������������������������������������������� 10

Volvo Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 55

Kearny Mesa Subaru-Hyundai ������������������������� 31

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

Yoswick - Auto Body Shop, College Working in Tandem to Transform Collision Repair Program �������������������������������������������������������44 Yoswick - MSO Symposium Looks at What Lies Ahead for Auto Insurance Claims, Consolidation ������������������������������������������������36

asTech Duo, Tru-Point ADAS Calibration ®

System ���������������������������������������������������������38 Rivian Joins CIECA �������������������������������������������14 Rivian Production Capacity Target: At Least 1 Million a Year by 2030 ��������������������������������48 SEMA Announces Collision Repair & Refinish New Product Award Winners �������������������������35

NATIONAL ‘Insurer Report Card’ Open for Collision Repairers to Grade Insurers ��������������������������54 ‘Who Pays for What?’ Survey: Continued Increase in Auto Body Shops Billing for Destructive Weld Testing �������������������������������51 100-Plus Lawmakers Rally Support for

SUN Collision Repair Information Offers Complete OEM Procedures & Mechanical Insights ���������������������������������������������������������46 Survey: 78% of Vehicle-Owning Voters Support Federal Right to Repair Legislation ����������������55 Tesla Stock Makes Largest 12-Day Gain in History of Capital Markets: Report �������������������1

autobodynews.com / DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 3


2021 SEMA Show Deemed ‘Largest North American Automotive Trade Show Since Pandemic’ by Stacey Phillips

Automotive celebrities, vehicle debuts from major OEMs and the latest developments in equipment and tooling were all part of the live Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show this year in Las Vegas, NV. The four-day event took place Nov. 2-5 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Organizers said the show was “…the largest North American automotive trade show since the pandemic shut everything down in 2020.” It included approximately 1,000 vehicles and more than 100,000 attendees, exhibitors and media. “The industry was clearly excited to be back in-person at the SEMA Show, both to capture business opportunities and to network and celebrate the world’s greatest collection of innovation on wheels,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “Our industry was waiting to reconnect, and the SEMA Show was a welcome homecoming after nearly two years apart.” SEMA, a trade-only industry event, was founded in 1963 and represents the $47.8 billion specialty automotive industry. Organizers said SEMA was 100% committed to delivering a great show in 2021 with COVID-19 protocols in place, including face masks required indoors. This year, exhibits were set up in four halls, including the newly constructed 1.4 million-square foot West Hall. The Collision Repair & Refinish exhibits, typically located in North Hall, were relocated to the South Upper Hall. This section showcased collision repair products, paint booths and equipment, tools, accessories and software and management programs. A new way to travel through the show this year was using the Vegas Loop at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The tunnel system, built by Elon Musk’s The Boring Project in Las Vegas, offered showgoers free transportation underground in a Tesla to the West, North, Central and South halls. It currently consists of two approximately 0.8-mile-long tunnels and is expected to eventually connect Las Vegas casinos along the

strip to McCarran International Airport, Allegiant Stadium, downtown Las Vegas and Los Angeles. During the week, SEMA attendees had the opportunity to view an estimated 1,000 modified project vehicles—customs, exotics, hot rods, lowriders, muscle cars and more— throughout the 4.6 million square feet of convention space and 2.2 million square feet of outdoor space.

These included the top trending cars of the year, which were announced on November 1. Here are the winners: • Car of the Year: Ford Mustang • Sport Compact of the Year: Toyota Supra • 4x4/SUV of the Year: Ford Bronco • Full-size Truck of the Year: Ford F-Series • Mid-Size Truck of the Year: Toyota Tacoma One of the new additions to the show this year was SEMA Member Central, where attendees could learn about the association and its membership. Several industry events also took place during the week, including the MSO Symposium on Nov. 1 at the Mandalay Hotel, and the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) on Nov. 2 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. Prior to the official opening of the SEMA Show, at 9 a.m. Nov. 2, Jay Leno helped kick off the event as the featured guest of the New Products Breakfast, where the best new product award winners were announced. Awards are presented in 16 categories, including Collision Repair & Refinish, and were showcased in the New Products Showcase throughout the week. More than 70 free and 30 paid educational seminars took place Monday through Friday. The Society of Collision Repair (SCRS) held its Repairer Driven

4 DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Education Series, which featured industry experts. The courses are designed to deliver relevant content covering industry trends and best business practices. Highlights included the OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit on Nov. 4 and the IDEAS Collide Showcase presentations on Nov. 5. Presentations were held this year by SCRS and I-CAR throughout the week at the SEMA Collision Repair and Refinish Stage in the South Upper Hall. Topics included an I-CAR Technical Update; information about accessing Ford repair information; safety inspections, following Honda/Acura OEM procedures to replace laser-brazed roofs; and a panel on admin time and research. All of the sessions were recorded and available online at www.i-car.com/RTS. Celebrity appearances also took place. Ant Anstead, host of “Celebrity IOU: Joyride,” showcased some of his favorite vehicle builds. These consist of a custom 1962 Buick converted into an electric car in collaboration with American actor James Marsden and a Radford Lotus Type 62/2 Gold Leaf car built in collaboration with Jenson Button, 2009 Formula One world champion and Super GT Series champion. Other vehicles were on display, such as the new 2023 Nissan Z and a 1953 Corvette-inspired carbon fiber concept car by Dave Kindig from the MotorTrend show “Bitchin Rides.” Car enthusiasts had the opportunity to see a collection of more than 20 vehicles built by Chip Foose in a special section of the SEMA Show in the North Hall. Some of the vehicles in the Chip Foose Experience Exhibit included a ’56 Ford F-100 “FD-100” built for Foose’s “Overhaulin’” television series and the “0032,” which won the Grand National Roadster Show’s “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” award in 2000. There were also several Ridler Award-winning builds, such as “Impression,” “Imposter,” “Grand-

master” and “Stallion,” as well as Foose automotive design sketches on display. Another new feature in the North Hall this year was the SEMA Electrified section. The exhibit was intended to demonstrate the latest innovations and solutions for electric vehicle (EV) platforms. There were about a dozen EV projects and products on display. Some of the cars included a Solo by ElectraMeccanica; an electrified Trophy Truck built by new company Hypercraft to race in the SCORE Baja 1000 unlimited class, a 1966 Ford Bronco Roadster and Team Vesco 444 reVolt Systems’ “Little Giant” streamliner, which broke the national Electric E3 record twice at the Bonneville Salt Flats this past October. The SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet, attended by approximately 2,500 automotive icons, professionals, supporters and celebrities, was an annual celebration of the specialty-equipment industry. During the event, awards were given out in the following categories: • 2021 SEMA Person of the Year: Sara Morosan, LGE-CTS Motorsports • 2021 SEMA Manufacturer of the Year: ORACLE Lighting Inc.; runners up: KW Automotive and CSF Racing & High-Performance • 2021 SEMA WD of the Year: Turn 14 Distribution; runners up: Meyer Distributing and Keystone Automotive • 2021 SEMA Gen-III Innovator of the Year: Matt Kossoff, Driven Lighting Group; runners up: Justin Hartenstein and Keith Ferry In addition, tributes were made to the 2021 Hall of Inductees: Jessi Combs, Rick Love, Bob Moore and Carl Schiefer. When the SEMA Show closed at 4 p.m. Nov. 5, vehicles from the event paraded toward the West Hall parking lot and the SEMA Ignited after-party as part of the SEMA Cruise. For more information about the 2022 SEMA Show, visit https:// www.semashow.com/.


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Pro Spot Announces VW Group Approval Pro Spot International, a leading manufacturer of welding products for the collision repair industry, is proud to announce the approval of its SP-5.3 MIG welder, VAS 821 007, by the Volkswagen Group based in Wolfsburg, Germany, for the North American market. The Pro Spot SP 5.3 is a multi-process double pulse MIG welder that has been widely accepted since its introduction three years ago. The welder was tested with different wire types and approved for all three materials: aluminum, steel and MIG brazing (CUSI). The SP-3 is very easy and quick to use, and is unique in that it has three built-in torches always attached to a wire spool. This means no need for changing liners and wires when switching materials—just click the desired torch trigger and the welder sets the weld controller and gas automatically. For more information, contact Pro Spot International at 1-877-776-7768 or info@prospot. com, or visit www.prospot.com. Source: Pro Spot

Mercury Insurance Reports 40% Spike in California Comprehensive Car Claims Mercury Insurance is reporting a dramatic increase in vehicle vandalism and auto theft in California with comprehensive auto insurance claims up 40% since pre-pandemic levels. While the increase in theft and vandalism began when the COVID-19 pandemic started, theft of audio and other car parts, including catalytic converters, continue to rise as pandemic restrictions are relaxed. “Thieves have been waiting for this moment,” said Randy Petro, vice president and chief claims officer at Mercury Insurance. “Staying vigilant and keeping in mind good practices when you leave your vehicle can help reduce the likelihood of your car being stolen or damaged. Comprehensive coverage provides that extra peace of mind knowing you will be covered from theft or vandalism.” This year, Northern California has reported nearly twice the comprehensive auto claim frequency than Southern California, with smaller population density areas reporting a higher theft rate than areas

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with larger populations. The top five vehicles for Mercury comprehensive claims in California are the Toyota Prius, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Toyota Tacoma and Toyota Camry. “Thieves love the Toyota Prius,” said Petro. “The frequency of claims for this vehicle compared to the other vehicles on the list is nearly double. If you own a Prius, be extra careful of where you park and what you keep in it.” According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, California leads the nation in car thefts. Motor vehicle theft reports have increased nearly 24% since 2019. The top five vehicles for Mercury total thefts in California are the Chevy Silverado 1500, Hyundai Sonata, Honda Accord, Kia Optima and Honda Civic. Car thieves can strike anywhere at any time. According to Mercury claim data, nearly 22% of comprehensive claim losses occur at night. Mercury offers the following tips to help keep owners from falling victim to a potential prowler: • Never leave keys in the ignition or

the car running while unattended, not even when parked in front of your house or on your property. • Whenever possible park in well-lit, high traffic areas. • Roll up all windows, lock your vehicle and set your car alarm every time you park. • Never leave purses, wallets, cell phones, keys or packages in plain view. It doesn’t matter if the windows are rolled up and the alarm is on, a smash and grab can occur within seconds. • Never leave personal identification, such as a driver’s license or your vehicle title, in your car. • Purchase comprehensive insurance coverage to protect your vehicle in the event it is damaged due to something other than a car collision—such as theft, vandalism, fire and floods. Victims of auto theft or vandalism should contact their local police department immediately to file a report. Contact your insurance company and file a claim within 24 hours of your vehicle being vandalized or stolen. Source: Mercury Insurance

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Lifetime of Service Translates to Success for Fix Auto USA Owner When a customer visits Fix Auto San Jose, Fix Auto Gilroy or Fix Auto Sunnyvale in northern California, they experience a focused customer service, a disciplined approach to their repair quality and a commitment to delivering on their promised repair date. Little do they know that approach is founded upon generations of military and police service. Steve Springer, owner of these Fix Auto USA locations and the 2018 Fix Auto Franchise of the Year, grew up on military bases around the country as his U.S. Marine Corps father served his duty. He followed in his father’s footsteps, joining the U.S. Marine Corps in 1983 to become a helicopter pilot. Springer flew his AH-1W SuperCobra while stationed in Japan in 1988 and 1989, and in combat during Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991. “I was raised in the military, and am proud to have continued my father’s legacy of service,” Springer said. “His father was a policeman, so it’s part of our heritage. There is a DNA instilled with military service

that I appreciated—and still do. And, I wanted to fly so it was a great opportunity to become a helicopter pilot.” When Springer became a Fix Auto USA owner, he found that legacy discipline and intrinsic DNA be-

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Steve Springer owns three Fix Auto USA locations in Northern California

came the backbones of his business. Now the owner of a veteran-certified business through the National Veteran Business Development Council, he brings his “Semper Fi” attitude to work every day. “In the military, there’s no whining. No excuses. No being late.

It’s all about being responsible to yourself and supporting your team to accomplish the mission,” he said. “That’s the way we operate in our Fix Auto USA locations. We work hard, and all understand what is expected of us. We also believe in delivering on our promises—whether it’s our word or in writing.” Springer’s mission aligns with Fix Auto USA, delivering a worldclass collision repair experience across the U.S., and providing an unparalleled standard of excellence on behalf of the vehicle owners and insurers he serves. He said his military training shapes much of the work process and operations in his repair facilities. “First, you have to set the mission and share it with the team,” he said. “In the Marines, before you fly, you have a safety check, a flight plan and a focused mission. Same with our teams in three locations. We have a 7 a.m. release meeting to evaluate the work in progress, any challenges and any opportunities for improvement. We involve all of the departments, and that communication is key to getting the job done—

Dyi Appointed to CAWA’s Board of Directors Shao Dyi of Parts Warehouse Distributors (PWD) has been appointed to CAWA’s Board of Directors. “We are pleased to have Shao as a member of our Board of Directors to participate in our discussions of current and future industry issues,” said Mike Mohler, chair of the Board of Directors. “We look forward to his contributions which, no doubt, will assist CAWA in achieving its goals as an effective automotive aftermarket industry organization.” Dyi is the general manager and COO of PWD, dba City Auto Supply/AEC International, located in San Francisco, CA. Since 1986, PWD, a U.S. veteran-owned business, has serviced the San Francisco Bay Area and surrounding areas by delivering quality auto parts and providing exceptional customer service, while maintaining the “local store” experience. With three additional locations in San Leandro, Redwood City and Honolulu, PWD employs more than 100 employees and 40 contract employees. Dyi has revolutionized PWD

by enhancing operational efficiency, increasing profitability and leveraging technology to adapt to the constant volatile changes within the automotive aftermarket industry. He has maintained the “family” environment, which was always PWD’s company culture, by improving employee satisfaction and employee retention. PWD is proud to have a dozen employees who have been with the company for more than 30 years, with dozens more ranging from 10 to 20 years. Born in Taiwan, Dyi immigrated to this country and grew up in the Bay Area of San Francisco. He currently resides in San Francisco with a loving wife and three beautiful children. When not working or spending time with his family, he enjoys collecting wristwatches of all kinds.

or accomplishing the mission. It is all about a team approach.” Springer also applies his military mindset to hiring and training his team. “The military says give us good people with the right characteristics, and we’ll turn them into soldiers,” he said. “I say, give me people with the right attitude, commitment and discipline, and I’ll turn them into repair professionals. You can learn skills, but you can’t learn a sense of duty and determination.” While Springer is grateful when people thank him for his service, he pays that tribute forward to the men and women he served with in the U.S. Marine Corps. “It was a proud time for me to serve my country,” Springer said. “But you always carry the memory of the folks who didn’t come home. I lost 29 friends in training missions, all under 30 years old. It’s an honor to represent them in the way I run my business and in everything I do.” Visit FixAutoUSA.com for more information. Source: Fix Auto USA

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Axalta Launches Training Course

Universal Technical Institute Launches EV Technician Training on CA Campuses

Axalta Refinish North America introduced a new training option, the Prepper to Painter Application Course. This course, offered through online and in-person blended learning, teaches refinish fundamentals to individuals who have some auto body shop experience. Upon course completion, an existing shop prepper will be able to transition into a painting role to help busy collision centers get more cars through the booth each day. Courses are enrolling now and include three 1.5-hour webinars (prework) and five days in an Axalta Learning and Development Center, where most of the time will be spent in the shop practicing hands-on application and blending processes and techniques. In the classroom, students will also learn color retrieval and color theory basics. Cost is $1,000. Customers can visit www.axaltalearningcampus.com to enroll. Source: Axalta

Universal Technical Institute on Nov. 10 announced its program curriculum has been updated to include new Hybrid and Electric Vehicle (EV) technician coursework initially at its California campuses. This is a step in UTI’s overall EV strategy, which includes further expansion of EV content in the core Automotive Technology curriculum, enhancing manufacturer specific advanced training programs (MSAT) with several manufacturer partners, and developing other new training models and partnership opportunities to expand UTI’s overall EV ecosystem. “We expect that record sales for plug-in hybrid and fully electric zero emissions vehicles in the United States for the foreseeable future, along with major manufacturer targets for significantly reducing or eliminating sales of internal combustion engines, will continue to increase demand for EV trained technicians for years to come,” said CEO Jerome Grant. “At UTI, we are committing resources to develop new coursework and a hands-on lab experience that will be provided by

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experienced instructors. Just as we have done with the combustion engine, we intend to be at the forefront of training for major manufacturers of electric vehicles.” “We are delighted with the partnership Volvo Cars has had with UTI over the past 21 years,” said Volvo Senior Manager of Technical Training Jeffrey Jennings. “We just celebrated our 102nd graduating class at the Avondale, AZ, campus. We have most recently donated the use of 19 S60 T8 Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles and equipment for UTI’s usage in their core curriculum.” UTI has enhanced the core curriculum at UTI’s three California campuses in Sacramento, Rancho Cucamonga and Long Beach. Students have already begun completing the new EV coursework aligned to industry needs. The new EV coursework was developed in partnership with UTI’s EV Program Advisory Council, which includes major manufacturers like Ford, Volvo, BMW and GM, as well as major industry employers such as Crown Lift, and leadership at Southern California Edison,

Bosch and more. Following the rollout of the initial core curriculum update and pending regulatory approvals, a new EV course is being developed and is planned to be piloted in 2022. In addition, the MSAT programs with several of UTI’s manufacturer partners will be enhanced to include EV training and certification designed to meet their specific product needs. UTI is working closely with its partners to enhance training programs, upgrade vehicles and teaching aids, and make any other changes needed to ensure the success of these programs. UTI is also exploring partnerships and alliances with a wide array of industry participants to continue broadening EV offerings and the overall EV ecosystem. The announcement by UTI comes at a time with surging demand for new EV technology. According to a recent report by McKinsey, it is expected that by 2030, 65% of new car sales will be electric. For more information or to enroll, visit www.uti.edu. Source: Universal Technical Institute


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LA Auto Show to Feature In-Person Global Reveals by New and Legacy Automakers The Los Angeles Auto Show announced several highly anticipated vehicles will make their debut at this year’s AutoMobility LA®—LA Auto Show’s media and industry days— taking place Nov. 17-18. Catering to the tastes of America’s top car-buying market, AutoMobility LA’s lineup of world and North American premieres will feature a mix of powertrains, product segments and price points. AutoMobility LA 2021 will become a global stage for product reveals and press announcements by all-new Southern California-based brands Fisker Inc. and Mullen Automotive as well as legacy automakers such as Hyundai Motor, Kia, Porsche and Subaru, in addition to VinFast, the world’s first-ever Vietnamese automaker making its North American debut. Companies debuting their brands and showcasing their latest innovations at AutoMobility LA and LA Auto Show this year include BILITI Electric, EdisonFuture, ElectraMeccanica and SONDORS. After a two-year hiatus, AutoMobility LA and the LA Auto Show

are returning to the Los Angeles Convention Center with a diverse roster of startup and legacy global automakers set to introduce their latest innovations and offer visitors the chance to experience and test drive them conveniently in-person.

Following LA Auto Show’s two-day media and industry preview, Southern Californians will have 10 full days to explore and enjoy 1 million square feet of indoor and outdoor space filled with test drive experiences and family fun. Shoppers, enthusiasts and influencers will be able to encounter the world’s newest cars, trucks and SUVs—including electric, gas and hybrid models—as well as customized rides by local builders and tuners. “AutoMobility LA and LA Auto

Show are musts for any brand that’s looking to reach and engage the nation’s top market,” said Terri Toennies, president of AutoMobility LA and the LA Auto Show. “Our fans are eager to get back out in-person and reignite what’s become a November tradition in Los Angeles—attending the LA Auto Show. From an innovation and sentiment standpoint, I expect this year’s show to be the most thrilling yet.” In addition to test drives and courses all around the venue including Camp Jeep, Ford Bronco Build Wild Experience and The VW Roadshow, this year’s LA Auto Show is set to spotlight zero-emission vehicles in a big way with an all-new 55,000-square foot indoor track powered by Electrify America as well as the introduction of THE ZEVAS™, a signature award program that will honor the latest zero-emission vehicles available for purchase or pre-order. The LA Auto Show opens its doors to the public Nov. 19-28 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Tickets are now on sale and available for purchase at www.laautoshow.

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com/tickets. Before doors open to the public, the LA Auto Show will host its media and industry days, AutoMobility LA, from Nov. 17-18. For additional information on AutoMobility LA and the LA Auto Show, including media and industry credentials, visit www.AutoMobilityLA.com and www.LAAutoShow. com. AutoMobility LA and the LA Auto Show will be operated in full accordance with all safety protocols required by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Source: LA Auto Show

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PG&E Installs Nearly 5,000 EV Charging Ports Across Northern, Central California Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) on Oct. 13 announced it has installed 4,827 Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) charging ports at customer sites across Northern and Central California since 2018. Through its first EV charging infrastructure program—EV Charge Network—PG&E partnered with businesses at 192 locations and with 11 EV charging companies throughout its service area including in Bakersfield, Chico, Fresno, Grass Valley, Red Bluff and San Jose. Through September, PG&E has enabled charging for 5.5 gigawatt-hours of electricity, equivalent to over 1,400 traditional cars being taken off the road for a year. Through the EV Charge Network program, PG&E paid for and built the necessary electrical infrastructure from the electric grid to the parking space at each customer site. Additionally, PG&E offset a portion or all of the cost of the actual charger for all participating customers, based on the site and location. With 39% of the new chargers—or 1,859 charging ports— located in disadvantaged commu-

nities, PG&E helped to bring EV charging options to customers who might not have had them before. “PG&E’s program has helped lead to the rapid adoption of electric vehicles for our residents here at Wolf Creek Lodge. We are proud to be among those setting the pace in Grass Valley for electric vehicle use and the resulting reduction in carbon emissions,” said Bob Miller, EV project lead at Wolf Creek Lodge, where PG&E installed 30 EV charging ports through the EV Charge Network program. Wolf Creek Lodge is a cohousing community where members aim to be very good neighbors to one another and practice an environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Increasing EV adoption is a critical component to making California’s clean air future a reality as transportation is the single largest source of greenhouse-gas emissions in California, contributing about 40%. The state aims to have 100% of California sales of new passenger cars and trucks be zero-emission by 2035. The electricity fueling EVs in

California comes from one of the cleanest energy mixes in the country—about 85% of the electricity PG&E delivers to customers is from greenhouse gas-free resources. While EV adoption continues to grow in California, the lack of available places to charge remains one of the biggest barriers. PG&E’s EV Charge Network supports the adoption of EVs by increasing access to charging in locations where it has traditionally been limited and where cars often sit for longer periods of time, like workplaces, apartment buildings and condominiums. “Expanding the use of electric vehicles is essential for California to achieve its bold climate and clean-air goals. PG&E is thrilled to bring EV access to more customers through our first EV charging infrastructure program and we will continue to be an active partner in helping make EVs an option for millions of Californians. Reducing vehicle emissions is good for our state and good for the environment,” said PG&E’s Laurie Giammona, senior vice president of customer care. Source: PG&E

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Mitchell Providing Tech for PDR Program Mitchell on Oct. 26 announced PDR Testing and Certification, LLC has selected it as the exclusive diagnostics supplier for the Vale PDR Technician Certification Program. Technicians will now be able to use Mitchell’s MD-500 all-in-one solution for vehicle diagnostic scanning, calibrating and estimating. As vehicle complexity increases, diagnostics has become critical to proper, safe repair. Recognizing its importance and the need to train, test and certify nearly 30,000 PDR technicians nationwide on scanning and calibration, Vale recently made diagnostics a core addition to its PDR Technician Certification Program. Mitchell’s MD-500—which leverages Bosch’s best-in-class vehicle coverage and hardware— will help technicians quickly and accurately assess damage, complete an appraisal and perform the necessary repair work. Source: Mitchell International

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Rivian Joins CIECA Rivian joined CIECA as a corporate member. Founded in 2009, Rivian is privately held and employs 6,000-plus employees globally. The company has developed and vertically integrated a connected electric platform that can be applied to a range of applications. Brandon Chittenden, senior collision estimation analyst for Rivian, said the company’s launch products, R1T and R1S, were developed to provide performance, off-road capability and utility. Customer deliveries began in September out of Rivian’s manufacturing plant in Normal, IL. “We joined CIECA because the organization recognizes the importance of establishing, maintaining and bettering industry terminology, data exchange standards and actively participating with other OEMs to efficiently promote the movement of data,” he said. “This not only benefits our industry partners, but it also serves our customers’ needs for high-quality and safe repairs. Source: CIECA

CA Insurance Commissioner Demands Auto Insurers Submit Refund Data by Lyle Adriano, Insurance Business Magazine

A month after he ordered three insurers to submit additional auto insurance refund data, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has expanded his edict to include other insurers operating in the state. In October, Lara ordered Allstate, CSAA and Mercury Insurance to submit all data they have re-

in his statement that he would continue to put consumers first. “I have been clear that half-measures and incomplete actions aren’t enough,” Lara said. “My goal is to have an accurate and fair determination of what each insurance company’s appropriate amount of premium refund should be. In this matter, and in all matters before us, we will continue to hold insurance companies accountable and protect consumers.” Lara also commented his edict is now entering a new “phase,” which calls for all auto insurance companies operating in California to participate in the data submission. “This new phase represents a last and final warning to other insurance companies that have not adequately returned premiums to consumers. These companies must provide policyholders with a commensurable data-driven amount of additional premium refunds and promptly report their actions,” the commissioner said. “We are prepared to take any and all actions necessary to ensure consumers are treated fairly.”

9% of auto premiums, but CDI noted based on its analysis, insurers should have refunded nearly double that amount—17%—over the seven-month period. Lara gave the three companies 30 days to submit their refund data or risk facing legal action. The three submitted their data to Lara and the CDI within the month, which the insurance commissioner has favorably commented

“I have been clear that half-measures and incomplete actions aren’t enough,” — Ricardo Lara lated to the auto insurance premium refunds they gave back to customers over the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. According to the California Department of Insurance (CDI), the three insurers—which collectively insure approximately 20% of all California drivers—have the greatest gap between what they initially refunded drivers and the amount they should have refunded consumers. From March to September 2020, insurers returned on average

on in a recent release. “My top priority is protecting consumers. Allstate, Mercury and CSAA have responded to my order by turning over data on the premium refunds they provided to policyholders and their claims experience during the pandemic period,” said Lara. “My department will evaluate the data and determine how much in additional premiums each insurance company owes their policyholders.” The commissioner made clear

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NABC F.R.E.E. Program Teaches Los Angeles First Responders How to Handle Accidents with Cars Full of Latest Tech When drivers in the Los Angeles area have an accident, they rely on the community’s first responders to be there to help them to safety. And when they are driving a late-model vehicle with numerous airbags, advanced technology or electric/hybrid engines, the rescue can be more challenging. The National Auto Body Council® (NABC) First Responder Emergency Education (F.R.E.E.™) program helps prepare local first responder teams to rescue accident victims from these late-model vehicles. The program provides education and live demonstrations on working with high-strength steel, airbags, advanced restraint systems, onboard technology and safety around alternative fuel vehicles. Collision Consultants at 2627 La Cienega Ave., Los Angeles, CA, hosted first responders from the Los Angeles area at a special NABC F.R.E.E. education and guidance program on Oct. 23 to help ensure Los Angeles drivers have the best prepared response in case of an accident.

Chubb, the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, donated the vehicles for the event, including a Tesla, Range Rover, SMART car and a late model Honda. HURST Jaws of Life provided the tools and expert instructors. The NABC F.R.E.E. program provides advanced education and guidance to help first responders practice cutting techniques on advanced vehicles, addressing high-strength steel and composite materials, multiple airbags, onboard technology and changing vehicle design. The growing popularity of high-voltage hybrid and electric vehicles and the many safety concerns surrounding these vehicles makes this program a necessity. Alternative fuel systems present different challenges when first responders arrive at the scene of an accident. Electric cars, hybrid cars and natural gas vehicles have fuel systems that pose dangers for first responders if need arises to “cut” the vehicle for rescue. Source: NABC

Continued from Cover

GEICO Settles ACV of a total-loss leased vehicle includes sales tax under GEICO’s policies. Discussion of settlement began April 30. With a mediator, a settlement was reached July 29. All individuals insured by GEICO during the class period whose vehicle was declared a total loss under comprehensive or collision coverage are included as members of the class. Also included is anyone who leased a vehicle with comprehensive or collision coverage under GEICO, and the vehicle sustained damage and was declared a total loss.

The monetary value of the settlement was determined to be $19.5 million, which includes 100% of possible damages in sales tax and 50% of possible damages in regulatory fees. According to a court motion, members of the sales tax settlement will each receive $2,000. The settlement value includes attorney’s fees and costs, and other costs approximated at $4.8 million per year. GEICO also agreed to pay class counsel attorneys’ fees and costs, which class counsel agreed will not exceed more than $3.9 million. (C) 2021 by glassbytes.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. For more information contact www.glassbytes.com.

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Continued from Cover

Tesla Stock ed TSLA stock to an all-time record close of $1,209 per share Nov. 1. Tesla’s massive surge ultimately saw the company’s market cap grow from $818 billion to $1.2 trillion, an increase of about $392 billion, in just 12 days. Tesla is a newcomer in the trillion-dollar club, and each of the four companies that stand above the EV maker has experienced its own surges in the past. Apple, for example, saw a 17% bull run from June 7 to July 19 of this year, which allowed the company’s market cap to swell to $2.4 trillion. This run, however, took nearly three times as long as Tesla’s recent rampage, and it was about $50 billion short compared to the EV maker’s 12-day run. Microsoft’s closest runs came over 20 days from Sept. 27 to Oct. 25, when the tech giant surged by 11.4% and added $225 billion to its market cap. A 15% increase over the 15 days from Jan. 11 to Feb. 8 also resulted in the company adding

$240 billion to its market cap. Amazon saw a 9.4% surge over nine days from June 21 to July 5 that resulted in a valuation rise of $165 billion. Lastly, Alphabet got its quickest boost over 25 days from March 22 to April 26, when its shares surged 18%, adding $240 billion to the company’s valuation. Even with Musk’s comments about the Hertz deal not being finalized—and TSLA stock dropping 3.1% in the process—the event only erased about 12 billion from the company’s $392 billion, 12-day advance. If one were to consider this selloff, Tesla would still be particularly impressive, with the company ranking first for a 14-day surge. Overall, Tesla seems poised to set records in the segments it touches, and its stock, which now seems to sit comfortably within the trillion-dollar club, might very well do the same

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Rukov Installed as CAWA’s 2022 Chair of the Board At the annual gala dinner held during Industry Week, Michael Rukov was installed as the 2022 chair of the CAWA Board of Directors.

CAWA’s 2022 officers were recently sworn in

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as immediate past chair. They will officially take their positions Jan. 1, 2022. The dinner was seen as successful in attracting more than 90 guests and raising several thousands of dollars for the association’s scholarship programs. Past chairs of the board participated in the traditional red vest ceremony in presenting the red vest to outgoing 2021 Chair Mohler. Thanks to the Motorcar Parts of America and its President and CEO Selwyn Joffe for exclusively sponsoring the event, once again. The next event for CAWA will be the Feb. 10-11, 2022, Leadership Meeting to be held in Napa, CA, at the Silverado Resort & Spa (www.silveradoresort.com). For immediate information regarding this event, email programs@cawa. org. Source: CAWA

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Experts Warn California Port Woes Could Mean Empty Shelves for the Holidays by Cole Lauterbach, The Center Square

Government-run ports are issuing fines for lingering shipping containers on their property, the latest move to stave off a historic seaborne traffic jam of freighter ships anchored along southern California’s coast that could cause holiday shortages. Officials with the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach said in a joint statement their $100-a-day fine for shipping containers that linger past a new deadline will help free space to move along imported merchandise. “We must expedite the movement of cargo through the ports to work down the number of ships at anchor,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in an Oct. 26 news release. “If we can clear this idling cargo, we’ll have much more space on our terminals to accept empties, handle exports and improve fluidity for the wide range of cargo owners who utilize our ports.” The move came eight days after the ports announced more than 100 cargo ships were simultane-

straighten out in time for the holidays. “These are nibbling around the edges of a problem that is far more systemic and fundamental,” he said. “You have a system that is brittle, inflexible and inefficient. No amount of fiddling at the edges is going to fix that. ... It’s going to resolve itself in the coming months as demand in the U.S. wanes a bit. Pressure will be alleviated and things will be OK, but that still Los Angeles Harbor shipyard cranes and containers. isn’t going to fix the store Credit: Philip Pilosian/Shutterstock shelves before Christmas.” The backup has others advising The backup prompted President Joe Biden to order the two an early holiday shopping list. “Anything that has a computports operate around the clock to speed the unloading process. With er chip, including cars, electronics the enhanced working capacity, like video game consoles and appliPort of Los Angeles officials said ances, will continue to be difficult Oct. 27 their crews were unloading to purchase in the U.S.,” PA Con18 vessels with a total of 23 docked. sulting’s Shanton Wilcox told the Scott Lincicome, senior fel- New York Post on Oct. 12. “There low in economic studies with the will also be out-of-stock issues with nonprofit CATO Institute, echoed apparel due to plant shutdowns and others in warning the tangled web logjams at ports, which is strandof undelivered goods may not ing a lot of goods on idling cargo ously anchored off their shores, an all-time high for the two locations responsible for more than one-third of America’s imports.

22 DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

ships.” The president’s press secretary was pressed on the matter last week. “We are not the Postal Service or UPS or FedEx; we cannot guarantee,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. “What we can do is use every lever at the federal government disposal to reduce delays, to ensure that we are addressing bottlenecks in the system, including ports and the need for them to be open longer hours so that goods can arrive.” The Jones Act, a controversial limitation on port use to American made vessels with American operators, is something Lincicome said creates a shortage on the supply and demand side of the supply chain. “The Jones Act makes dredging [expanding] ports crazily expensive, meaning ports only expand when they absolutely have to,” he said. “It also makes coast-wise shipping prohibitively expensive.” Staunch defenders of the Jones Act say it protects American jobs, keeping pay rates high for the domestic maritime sector without affecting consumer prices.


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Continued from Cover

OEConnection Acquires Certified Repair Network arena with the acquisition of Summit Consulting, Inc. (SCI) to create a flexible and dynamic solution for the CRN space. “With VeriFacts and Assured Performance joining the OEC family, we will continue to enhance the value we bring to our collective cus-

dent third-party certification for collision repair providers. OEC first launched in 2000 with the mission of helping OEMs sell more genuine parts. “As the industry evolves and increases in complexity, the best way we can continue to serve our customers is by connecting the aftersales industry through solutions that help deliver efficient repair lifecycles, OEM parts and procedures, and proper vehicle repairs,” said an

“NuGen IT brings high-quality collision market solutions and repair expertise that will help expand our value to the collision industry,” — Ike Herman tomer base with the primary goal of driving safe and proper vehicle repairs.” VeriFacts, established in 2002, is an independent, third-party verification service that offers oversight, analysis, coaching, education and technology for collision repair facilities. Assured Performance Network, formed in 2003, provides indepen-

OEC representative. Based in Northeast Ohio, OEC is a leading technology provider for OEM distribution networks. The company equips many of the world’s largest automotive and heavy-duty original equipment manufacturers, their franchised dealers and distributors, and customers with online parts marketing, procurement and inventory management solutions

that facilitate efficient and accurate wholesale services. As a provider of SaaS-based solutions for OE parts, OEC focuses on data management, ecommerce, pricing, supply chain, cataloging, service and business intelligence (BI) solutions, across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. In November 2020, the company acquired SCI, a BI consulting and solutions provider for the automotive industry headquartered in Dallas, TX. Following the acquisition, SCI President Bob McDonald said, “This is a very exciting time for the SCI team. OEC has a tremendous track record of delivering value to its customers. OEC’s proven, high-quality solutions, combined with SCI’s domain expertise and BI platform, position us to deliver even more value to our customers.” Earlier that year, in July 2020, OEC acquired NuGen IT, an award-winning software firm based in Kansas City that develops management tools for the automotive repair industry. In a press release issued at that

time, the company said NuGen IT will add collision repair industry expertise to augment OEC’s growing collision business. “NuGen IT brings high-quality collision market solutions and repair expertise that will help expand our value to the collision industry,” said Ike Herman, OEC’s EVP of corporate development. “I am extremely proud of all that the NuGen IT team has accomplished and couldn’t be more excited about this next step in our evolution,” said Pete Tagliapietra, founder and president of NuGen IT, after the acquisition. “OEC has a tremendous and successful track record of delivering solutions to body shops and automakers, and I look forward to what this partnership will mean for our collective customer base.”

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Insurance Commissioner Cannot Force State Farm to Pay Refunds for Overcharges: San Diego Court by Harvey Rosenfield, Consumer Watchdog

The insurance commissioner cannot force insurance companies to repay consumers when they charge excessive rates, a California Court of Appeal in San Diego ruled Oct. 29. Rejecting the express language, purposes and intent of voter-approved Proposition 103—and two previous decisions by the California Supreme Court—the court held that State Farm will not have to pay more than $100 million in refunds plus interest to Californians who were overcharged by the company for its homeowners, condo and renters coverage.

Also at stake as a result of this decision is an estimated $3.5 billion in overcharges that insurance companies imposed on California motorists alone during the pandemic in 2020 that have not been repaid. The vast majority of insurers have failed to refund premiums that were collected based on rates set before the pandemic closed down the state’s economy and left millions of cars in their driveways. Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has repeatedly notified insurers their rates and premiums were excessive and they must refund the overcharges. The court also held that when determining whether to approve a request by State Farm General, a wholly-owned subsidiary of State Farm Mutual, to raise its rates, the insurance commissioner cannot take into account the subsidiary’s proportionate share of the investment income the company earns when it invests the funds of all its subsidiaries, including State Farm General. The ruling creates a loophole in California’s comprehensive regulation of insurance rates—a loophole only available to large, multi-state companies that set up a separate California-only subsidiary like State

Farm General, whose books the parent can cook to raise the rates to California consumers. Under the ruling, State Farm’s customers will pay $100 million more for homeowners insurance every year from now on. “Californians passed Proposition 103 to protect themselves against arbitrary rates and discriminatory practices by requiring insurance companies to keep rates and premiums fair at all times or else be held accountable by the insurance commissioner or in the courts,” said Harvey Rosenfield, the author of Proposition 103. “The Court of Appeal’s decision has stripped the insurance commissioner of the powers the voters gave him to protect Californians against excessive rates. Consumer Watchdog will ask that it be overturned by the California Supreme Court.” Decision Undermines Critical Proposition 103’s Protections Against Insurance Company Profiteering Under Proposition 103, enacted by California voters in 1988, insurance companies are barred from charging excessive auto, home and business rates. Companies are required to apply for and justify any rate changes before they take effect under a formula that limits their profits and expenses to fair levels. The law also requires companies to maintain existing rates at fair levels at all times. The measure authorizes consumers to challenge illegal rates and other insurance practices. In 2014, State Farm General applied for a 6.4% overall rate hike for its home, condo and renter insurance. Consumer Watchdog’s experts analyzed the request, determined it appeared excessive and asked the insurance commissioner to convene a public hearing. In November 2016, after a yearlong public inquiry, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones determined the rate increase was unjustified and ordered the company to reduce its home insurance rates going forward by about $77 million per year. The commissioner also concluded the company had been overcharging its existing customers since July 2015 and ordered State Farm to re-

fund more than $100 million to California policyholders, with interest. State Farm then filed four separate lawsuits in San Diego Superior Court, seeking to overturn the commissioner’s decision on numerous grounds, including that the voter-enacted requirement that an insurance company open its books and justify its rates in a public hearing infringed on its constitutional rights. The court decision addresses two of State Farm’s contentions. Refund authority: State Farm argued the insurance commissioner has no authority to force an insurance company to refund overcharges. Consumer Watchdog and the commissioner pointed out California voters changed the law to place insurance companies doing business in California on notice that they must always maintain fair rates. Further, the California Supreme Court has twice unanimously upheld the authority of the commissioner to order rate refunds and has stated the voters gave the commissioner full

authority to carry out Proposition 103’s protections. The Court of Appeal rejected these arguments. It imported into Proposition 103 a “rule against retroactive rates” that effectively repeals the voters’ explicit directions and bars the commissioner from requiring refunds. Consumer Watchdog said the court’s decision would create incentives for insurance companies to boost insurance rates unlawfully. Investment income: Insurance companies make a large portion of their profits by investing the premiums consumers pay, and the regulations that govern insurance rates under Proposition 103 look at the insurer’s entire investment income. The commissioner and Consumer Watchdog argued the formula protects Californians against attempts by an insurance company to hide its investment income, the California Supreme Court had previously upheld the commissioner’s authority to do so, and State Farm was not entiSee San Diego Court, Page 48

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Continued from Cover

Ford, Purdue Patent faster re-charging times possible if vehicle charging and other technology enhancements are made in parallel. Ultimately, this could eventually lead to re-charging EVs as quickly as conventional gas station fill-ups. The idea for this technology originated based on the Ford team’s understanding of the challenges faced going to faster charging rates, as well as Purdue researchers’ area of expertise. The teams collaborate regularly to review the latest results and give feedback on areas of focus as the technology is developed. “Electric vehicle charging time can vary widely, from 20 minutes at a station to hours on an at-home charging station, and that can be a source of anxiety for people who are considering buying an electric vehicle,” said Issam Mudawar, Betty Ruth and Milton B. Hollander Family professor of mechanical engineering, Purdue University. “My lab has come up with a solution for

situations where the amounts of heat that are produced are beyond the capabilities of today’s technologies.” Mudawar says his lab intends to begin testing a prototype charging cable in the next two years to determine more specific charge speeds for certain models of electric vehicles. “Ford is committed to making the transition to electrification easy,” said Degner. “We are glad to work closely with Purdue’s research team, which has the potential to make electric vehicle and commercial fleet ownership even more appealing and accessible.” The alliance with Ford and Purdue is part of hundreds of strategic alliances the company has with university professors around the world. Providing graduate students with opportunities to work on real world-challenges helps them develop their skills while introducing Ford to students who may choose to start their career at the company. “The research that we are conducting in a project such as this is really advanced, and we view it as a benefit for us, the future of

charging electric vehicles and as a pipeline to young talent—and we’ve seen success in doing this,” said Ted Miller, Ford’s manager of electrification subsystems and power supply research. “Students get engaged, they like the work they’re doing, and it’s a sustained investment in their laboratories, while helping us solve problems.” While the fast-charging cable won’t be on the market for some time as research continues, Mudawar has been developing ways to more efficiently cool electronics for the past 37 years by taking advantage of how liquid captures heat when boiled into a vapor. “Ford has been actively involved in battery research and electric vehicles dating back to the days of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison,” Miller said. “We’ve secured more than 2,500 U.S. patents in electrification technologies and we have more than 4,000 more pending. Working with Professor Mudawar and his students is the perfect fit to help us research the charging solutions of the future.” Source: Ford Motor Company

ASE Education Foundation Launches Program As a means to foster partnerships between businesses in the transportation industry and schools in their local communities, the ASE Education Foundation has introduced a new Adopt-A-School program. This mutually beneficial program enables businesses to provide support to local schools while simultaneously providing those businesses with access to up-and-coming service professionals entering the work force. The ASE Education Foundation has created a landing page, which explains the AdoptA-School concept and allows users to link to the free online toolkit which can help businesses launch and maintain partnerships with schools. The toolkit provides information about connecting with students, supporting a school’s training program and educators, and putting students to work in the industry while they are still in school. Source: ASE Education Foundation

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CALIFORNIA

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Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6; Sat 8-5 NEVADA

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ACURA CALIFORNIA

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Hinshaw’s Acura

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Acura of Fremont

Marin Acura

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800-77-Acura 415-927-5350

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Metro Acura

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877-770-5873 702-982-4160

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Montclair

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6; Sat 8-5 johnny@hinshaws.com

NEVADA

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-5 mike.ohare@acuraoffremont.com Pleasanton

Fife

Henderson

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6; Sat 8-4 jmoore@findlayauto.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30 wholesaleparts@metrohonda.com

autobodynews.com / DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 29


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.

The Collision Repair Training Program We Need in Every Market I know that easily one of the top challenges at many collision repair businesses around the country is finding skilled technicians, either entry-level or those with more experience. That’s why I was so encouraged and impressed by what I’ve seen at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, MO. At this stage in my career, it can be hard to impress me, but I’ve been blown away by what I’ve seen at Ranken the half-dozen times I’ve visited there. So much so, I’ve chosen to bring all the auto body shops in a number of my 20 Groups to the school to check it out. Here’s what I think sets Ranken apart from many other collision repair training programs: First, the facility is phenomenal. It’s probably equally or even better equipped than most shops in

the auto body shops that will employ them. But here’s what I love most about the Ranken program. Every student in the Collision Engineering program is on an eight-week rotation. They attend classes and hands-on training at the school for an eightweek period, learning the basics like shop safety, vehicle disassembly and dent repair—an awesome part of the program is that researching OEM repair procedures is one of the first skills students learn. During eight-week rotations at Ranken Technical College, Then they spend the next students learn the entry-level skills they need for their next eight weeks actually workeight-week rotation working in an auto body shop ing in a shop, performing skills they will need by working on the skills they have learned—along that type of vehicle. But at Ranken, with being exposed to more of the students are working on exactly the type of work they will be doing as late-model vehicles they will find in technicians. If they’re not performthe U.S. Second, when I’ve visited other collision repair training programs, I often see students working on older cars or even restoration projects. Sure, students can learn some

ing a skill within the shop to the level they should be, the shop can contact the school’s instructors and have them work with that student further. This eight-week rotation between the school and the shop continues throughout the student’s time in the two-year Ranken program. Rather than going to school for a full year, being introduced to skills they may well forget before they have a chance to practice them, Ranken students are getting a real-world chance to use, improve and demonstrate those skills. At some point in the rotation, they need to choose whether they want to become a body technician or a painter, and from that point on, that’s what their training at the school and work in the shop will focus on. As with any collision repair training program out there, a stu-

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dent who completes the Ranken program is not going to immediately be a journeyman A-tech. But Ranken graduates will be really strong B-techs. At many programs, students learn just a little about a lot. At Ranken, they come away with the specific training and hands-on experience to be productive at the basic skills needed in a shop right away to continue to progress in their career. They also start that career with a basic set of tools, and a bunch of I-CAR training credits.

The facility for Ranken Technical College’s Collision Engineering program rivals that of the best shops in the industry

As I said, I’m not easy to impress. But the quality of the welds I saw students at Ranken doing was phenomenal. One of the times I visited, an instructor was working with students on a quarter panel replace-

ment. Everything was being done exactly how the OEM procedures— which the students had access to— call for it to be done. For more information about the Ranken program, contact Shelly Jones at sajones@ranken.edu. Now you might be thinking: That’s great, Mike, but my shop is nowhere near St. Louis. So here are a few more things you should know. I have been so impressed with the Ranken facility, I moved the hands-on ADAS training we do for Nissan/Infiniti from Florida to Ranken. So come take that training and see Ranken for yourself. The school has a dorm and cafeteria for students who don’t live in the area. I know a shop owner in Colorado who, like me, was so impressed with Ranken, he’s having his own son attend the program there. If I still had my shops and I found good prospective apprentices, I would definitely have them attend the Ranken program. I’d tell them they would need to line up the grants, scholarships or loans needed initially to pay for the program

KEARNY MESA

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themselves. But I’d also have an agreement with them that as long as they were working for my company and doing a good job, I would make their student loan payments. They’d have some skin in the game up front, but also a strong incentive to stay at my company. And here’s the really good news for the industry: I want to give a big shout-out to the Enterprise Rent-ACar Foundation, because they have gotten behind the Ranken program. What’s more, the foundation is helping fund a pilot project to bring the Ranken model, including that awesome eight-week rotation system, to other schools around the country, including Contra Costa College in San Pablo, CA; Texas State Technical College in Waco, TX; and College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL. As the pilot project continues, participating schools, shops and students are perfecting an awesome model for what entry-level collision repair training should look like. Get involved if you can. I truly believe it will be a key part of improving the development of the entry-level technicians this industry so badly needs.

Repairify Names VP of Development Repairify™, Inc., a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC, announced Nov. 1 it has hired automotive training and development veteran Chris Chesney as its new vice president of training and organizational development. In this role, Chesney will establish a comprehensive training initiative for customers, industry partners, employees and the network of technicians throughout the global Repairify ecosystem. In a career spanning 50 years, Chesney has held nearly every primary role in the automotive service sector, including master technician, service advisor, shop owner and technical and management educator. He most recently spent nearly 22 years leading Advance Auto Parts’ Carquest Technical Institute (CTI), widely considered the industry’s most successful automotive technical training organization. Source: Repairify, Inc.

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Techs of the Future with Stacey Phillips

Stacey Phillips is an award-winning writer for the automotive industry based in Southern California. She has more than 25 years of experience as an editor and writer and has assisted a wide range of businesses and fields. In addition, Stacey has co-authored two books. She can be reached at stacey@radiantwriting.com.

How to Grow Skilled Technicians & Improve Performance in Your Collision Repair Facility Auto body shop owners and managers across the U.S. are struggling to attract, motivate and retain skilled technicians in their facilities. Many say this has worsened since the COVID-19 pandemic. During an Elite Body Shop Academy webinar, Dave Flockhart, chief operating officer of BETAG Innovation, talked about ways to develop and shape the next generation of high-performance apprentices and journeyman technicians to address this challenge. “The reality is, and we can’t blame it all on COVID, we’ve been thrown a curveball,” said Flockhart. “We’re all contending with the fact that claim volumes are down and driving patterns have changed, perhaps irreversibly.”

form better.” This includes implementing new ideas, systems and processes in shops. As the current population of technicians continues to age, Flockhart said it is critical to find ways to attract new and younger people to the industry to learn the trade. The furlough that occurred during the pandemic and people leaving the industry for other sectors has contributed to the current shortage of skilled technicians. In addition, many say there is an inadequate apprentice pipeline to draw from. Flockhart said shops are feeling it more acutely now and trying to recharge as people begin spending again. With increasing pressure to find skilled workers, shops have been hiring technicians from competitors for higher labor rates and/or signing-on bonuses. “We’re seeing techs walk down the road to the competitor for a small raise or a signing-on bonus,” observed Flockhart. “In the short-term, that’s fine. But BETAG’s small damage repair course is part of its Outer Panel Repair Specialist (OPRS) program in the medium-term, I think it’s a zero-sum game.” However, he encouraged repairers to come to grips with the The Focus on High Performance situation and be open to embracing Flockhart said there is a strong corvirtual claims. relation between the skills shortage “Although COVID has led to and performance. He described a series of challenges, a lot of those high-performance workers as those were in play pre-COVID and the who have a combination of knowlpandemic has just accelerated some edge, skills and process. of them,” he said. Using the analogy of a pit crew, He shared one of his favorite he shared some of the things a crew quotes from Vivian Greene as a way does to enhance performance during of thinking about the current circum- a race. He pointed out how each stance: “Life isn’t about waiting for team member focuses on a very spethe storm to pass. It’s about learning cific skill. how to dance in the rain.” “When they come together col In times of challenge, Flockhart lectively, they can deliver the whole has often found there is also tremen- in an amazingly short period,” he said. “That comes down to the same dous opportunity. “We just have to go looking for three factors: knowledge, skills and it,” he said. “We need to find new process.” ways to think and act differently as By incorporating excellent techwell as identify ways we can per- nique, consistent application, good 32 DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

communication and teamwork, Flockhart said all of the team members know what each other is doing with absolute clarity. “I think trusting, empowering, recognizing and rewarding are critical,” he said. “As a result, the team begins to behave more cohesively and comes together around a shared objective.” Although the focus and attention are typically on the driver, Flockhart said the team is critical in order to experience success. The same is true in collision repair. “A high-performing pit crew can actually win a race for a team or lose a race for a team almost regardless of what the driver of the car has done on the track,” said Flockhart. “By working together, it provides everyone with a sense of purpose and clarity around what their role is and ultimately creates a competi-

tive advantage and improves performance.” Flockhart said that collision repairers are under constant pressure to deliver, whether that’s for their insurance partners against performance metrics and scorecards, or for customers. At the same time, they need to deal with increasing expectations, demand and knowledge of what it takes to repair a car properly. “We’re under this constant pressure to perform,” he said. “When we don’t have the right people in place to do the right jobs at the right times, we drive these operational inconsistencies, which start to negatively affect the very metrics that we are striving to achieve and create a vicious cycle.” Breaking the Cycle Besides thinking differently, Flockhart encourages repairers to act dif-

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ferently. “If we keep doing the same things, we are going to keep getting the same results,” he noted. “We know we have to find ways to attract new talent, but we also have to find ways to reduce staff turnover, which is in a business owner’s control.” Flockhart cautioned shop owners and managers to not lose sight of the significant cost attached to someone leaving an organization and having to find a replacement. “The cost is approximately one and a quarter times their salary and benefits package,” he said. Flockhart shared five ways to improve a team’s performance in a collision repair facility: 1) Identify the skill gaps 2) Attract people with potential even if they don’t have the skills today 3) Create a career path for them and invest in their development 4) Ensure they have a sense of purpose and recognize their efforts 5) Reward their performance, not necessarily financially Flockhart recommends moving away from the structure of A, B and C technicians and focus instead on apprentices, entry-level journeymen and master technicians. He also encouraged owners and managers to focus on the culture in their shop so it is considered a great place to work. Although it can be challenging at times, he said business owners shouldn’t lose sight of how much of a positive impact that can make. How Work Mix Impacts Performance The typical work mix in shops today, according to Flockhart, is 6065% outer panel repair, 15-20% structural repair and 20% total loss. “The percentage of outer panel repair is increasing as a portion of the total because ADAS features are reducing impact speeds and by extension, the heaviness of the hit,” explained Flockhart. “However, severity in terms of dollars is increasing because of the cost of repairing/ replacing the same ADAS technology when there is a collision, even if it is at a slower speed.” During COVID, with less traffic on the road, the average impact speed trended upwards but this

should be an anomaly when considered over a longer timeframe, he added. Approximately five years ago, total losses were about 13-14% of the work mix, according to statistics from CCC Intelligent Solutions

“The challenge is that we have prentice and entry-level journeyman this ever-present pressure to focus techs, BETAG created a technicians’ on the repair,” he said. “I think this training and accreditation program has manifested itself and has be- for an outer panel repair specialist come disruptive in the shop. This is (OPRS) to help businesses increase productivity and repair quality. where the skill shortage comes in.” By focusing on outer panel re- Flockhart said the program aims to pair work, Flockhart said help equip the technician of tomorshops have an enormous row with the skills they need to have opportunity to become a direct impact on business performore proficient in this area mance today and improve performance For more information about metrics, increase touch BETAG, email Dave Flockhart: time and reduce cycle time, flockhart@betaginnovation.com. and lead to higher gross For more information about margins and more work- Dave Luehr’s Elite Body Shop Academy and to watch this webinar, flow. “If we can find a way visit: https://elitebodyshopsolutions. as repairers to become bet- com/academy. ter than we currently are in For more information about Part of BETAG’s Outer Panel Repair Specialist (OPRS) program includes aluminum panel repair training that section, the opportu- BETAG’s program to grow skilled nities are significant,” said technicians and perform better, visit: shared by Flockhart. He pointed out Flockhart. “It enables apprentices https://betagnorthamerica.com/tech for the first time, just over 20% of and journeyman technicians to be- nicianAccreditation.php. vehicles—one in five coming into come super productive outer panel the shop—were deemed to be total repair specialists, allowing the masDon’t Miss the Weekly Industry losses. Not only are these vehicles ter technicians to focus their skills NEWS Your Shop Needs. taking up space, but they also take on the complex repairs that demand Sign Up Free Today! up estimating time. experience.” Although shops must deal with To help find ways to attract, www.autobodynews.com the total loss side of the business, train and develop the skills of apFlockhart said they are ultimately in the business of repairing vehicles. “With some very good reasons, the focus and investment tend to center on structural repairs,” said Flockhart. “If we are going to be in the business of repairing cars, there is no question as repairers we must be able to do that properly.” However, he pointed out that structural repairs represent the smallest part of the work mix but take up a disproportionate amount of investment dollars, time, training The Best for Much Less. and technicians. 2X Free Daily Deliveries to Northern Califo California and Reno, Nevada In light of this, Flockhart recWe Offer Very Competitive Pricing and Discounts ommends shops put their focus and Professional, Friendly and Efficient Wholesale Parts Staff investment dollars toward outer panel repair to improve performance. Although it has typically been an Purchasing Nissan OEM parts has never been easier and more cost effective. Our new overlooked area over the years, factory-backed program allows us to compete with aftermarket pricing on thousands Flockhart said it represents the maof collision parts. It’s a huge benefit to your customers to offer OEM parts at aftermarket prices! jority of work now and continues to grow. Parts Hours: Future Nissan “Materials have evolved but reMon – Sat 7:30 am – 6 pm of Roseville pair methods have not; performance 600 Automall Dr. wholesale@futurenissan.com is suffering as a result,” he said. Roseville, CA 95661-3022 Parts.FutureNissan.com With OEMs incorporating more 916-677-5251 complex, lighter-weight materials in NISSAN GENUINE SERVICE AND PARTS 916-786-0743 24 hr Fax vehicles, such as aluminum, thinner steels and composites, repair methOrder Parts Online at: www.futurenissanparts.com ods have not kept up.

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SEMA Announces Collision Repair & Refinish New Product Award Winners by Ed Attanasio

If you’re the inventor of a cutting-edge piece of equipment, tool or product that can help auto body shops to do a better job, the people at SEMA will give you an opportunity every year to honor your achievement and recognize it throughout the automotive industry worldwide. These are the Academy Awards for automotive product innovators, and you can almost guarantee success for an established or growing business by capturing one of these highly-respected awards. This year, more than 1,300 products were entered into 16 different showcase categories to be considered for the SEMA New Product Awards. Each category has one winner and two runners-up. Winners were judged on a wide range of criteria, including quality, marketability, innovation, technology and consumer appeal, among others. SEMA’s annual New Product Awards competition recognizes

outstanding achievements in the development of products being introduced to the automotive specialty-equipment market at the SEMA Show. This year’s New Product Award Winners Collision within the Repair & Refinish Product category are:

clean and tidy.” The system’s ideal for technicians looking to simply rough out damage that will ultimately need

perform leverage pulls that move tons of metal fast. JVF Body Hammers and Slappies are great for knocking down crowns and releasing tension while repairing damage, and include medium-sized crease tabs as well as large and x-large Centipede and Supertabs in all the most popular shapes, sizes and materials. It also includes a designated glue pull cart and tab organizer to keep tools and tabs clean and organized in your auto body shop. One of the two runners-up awards goes to the Eagle 3D Electronic measuring system made by Celette, Inc., headquartered in Lombard, IL. It’s a high-definition laser system that shoots the target in milliseconds with the measuring results displayed in the software. It features a self-learning user interface that enables users achieve more accurately when compared to traditional technology. A 65-year-old company, Ce-

Winner: The Keco Collision Glue Pull Repair System made by Keco Body Repair Products Runner-up: The Eagle made by Celette, Inc. Runner-up: The Drain Cleaner SR250 made by Reliable Automotive Equipment, Inc. The winning Keco Collision Glue Pull Repair System includes all of the tools required to complete level 1 repairs requiring minimal body filler to finish. The company website claims “this kit handles medium to x-large damages with ease and precision. Tools are easily organized on the designated GPR cart. The tab organizer will ensure you limit lost tabs and keep your shop looking

Chris White, owner of Keco Body Repair Products, holds the trophy his company received when its Keco Collision Glue Pull Repair System was named a SEMA Best New Product Award winner in the Collision Repair and Refinish category

a filler for finishing, and features K-Beam® and Slide Hammers to provide the ability to make double-action pulls, and the K-Bar to

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See Award Winners, Page 47

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Industry Insight with John Yoswick

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

MSO Symposium Looks at What Lies Ahead for Auto Insurance Claims, Consolidation

Shop Showcase

Vince Romans of The Romans more in annual sales control about Group consulting firm has been 43 percent of the total market. monitoring the growth of multi-shop Romans predicts that will rise to with Ed Attanasio operations (MSO) in the collision re- nearly 49 percent by 2025; he also pair industry for more than 15 years, shared a more aggressive forecast and at the “MSO Symposium” held showing their market share potenin Las Vegas in early November, he tially exceeding 61 percent by that said even the pandemic didn’t halt year, though he acknowledged “that consolidation within the industry. could or may not happen.” In fact, he said,with the recent growth Another mainstay speaker at the Ed Attanasio of MSOs has been “as aggressive MSO Symposium, Susanna Gotsch as almost any year that we’ve been of CCC Intelligent Solutions, oftracking this.” fered her annual look at where In 2020, Romans said, there were things stand in terms of auto insur26 MSOs (each with two or more lo- ance claims, and what may lie ahead as the nation continues to move with Ed Attanasio through the pandemic. Gotsch said that through the first three quarters of this year, overall claims counts are up about 9 percent – but still remain down a significant 15 percent compared to 2019. with Ed Attanasio The rebound varies widely by state. Non-comprehensive claims are up 13.4 percent through the third quarter of 2021 in Illinois, 15.2 percent in Ohio, 15.5 percent in Nebraska and 16.4 percent in Iowa – yet only 1.1 percent in North Dakota, 3.6 perSusanna Gotsch of CCC Intelligent Solutions cent in Minnesota, and 4 percent in Stacey Phillips said with 30 percent with to 40 percent of workers likely to continue working at home at least Colorado. one day a week, congestion – and resulting Gotsch noted a variety of changaccidents – during traditional commute times es in driving patterns have taken will not fully rebound next year place during the pandemic. Overall cations) that were acquired by other miles driven are up so far this year – chains; those acquired MSOs had a not surprisingly after the pandemic with Stacey Phillips total of 311 locations and $801 mil- shut-downs of 2020 – and in some lion in combined sales. This year is months are approaching 2019 levon pace to potentially match that, els. But recovery in urban road sysRomans said. Through the first 10 tems is substantially slower than in months of the year, 38 MSOs with rural road systems, and even inter254 locations and $698 million in state miles show substantially larger with Stacey Phillips growth in truck miles versus passencombined sales have been acquired. Romans said there are currently ger miles. 14 private equity firms with investMost critically, Gotsch said, is the ments in collision repair businesses. continued significant drop in traffic Of those he noted, not one was in- congestion during the morning and volved in the industry when the first afternoon traditional commute times MSO Symposium was Stacey held a decade that disproportionately contribute to with Phillips ago. Today, those MSOs have com- claims counts. Looking ahead, she bined annual sales of $9.1 billion, a said, a key factor will be the degree market share of about 26 percent of to which the 30 percent to 40 percent the entire collision repair market. of workers still working remotely Looking at the industry more return to offices. She foresees many broadly, all the collision repair busi- businesses offering more flexibility, nesses that each have $10 million or with employees across many indus-

Social Media for Shops

tries allowed to continue to work from home at least one day a week. On the other hand, she doesn’t foresee a sudden drop in the increased distracted driving and speeding that has taken root during the pandemic. “People do not unlearn bad driv-

SEMA Show Goes On

Media and Publicity for Shops

Vincent Romans of The Romans Group consulting firm said multi-shop operators (MSOs) have been “just as aggressive” about acquisitions during the pandemic as before

ing habits quickly,” Gotsch said. “They learn them quickly, but they do not unlearn them quickly.” Overall, she said, she thinks it’s likely that claim counts in 2022 will remain down from what they were in 2019. “But we expect we will continue to see steady growth, month over month, so by 2023, we will likely be more on par with where we were in 2019,” she said. She said overall cost of repairs has increased “way above anything I have seen historically.” One reason: the cost of parts. CCC data shows that the average cost per part – across all part types – has been fairly stable over the past couple of decades, typically rising 1 percent or 2 percent a year. That’s changed in 2021, however, with the average cost per part being around $130, up See MSO Symposium, Page 43

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Repairify™ Unites Company Brands, Introduces asTech® Duo, Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System by Stacey Phillips

As new vehicles are manufactured with complex electronic systems that require extreme precision to function safely, Repairify’s Chief Technology Officer Maurice Tuff said the company will continue to focus on providing solutions to ensure the electronic vehicle systems are returned to OEM specifications post-collision repair. Repairify, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, recently made several announcements as part of its strategic initiative to support the collision repair industry. These include a rebranding of its company, the introduction of a new product, asTech Duo, and a process for validating if an aftermarket tool can or cannot be used in place of an OEM tool on specific vehicles within the car parc. “By growing our organization through the acquisitions of like-minded industry innovators, we have established a powerhouse of brands that are all playing critical roles in transforming the way today’s increasingly complex vehicles are repaired, serviced and maintained,” said Cris Hollingsworth, president of Repairify. “Repairify continuously provides innovative solutions to meet the evolving demands of the industry,” said Tuff. “We are now a full solution provider; once a vehicle is scanned, we identify the ADAS calibrations required and then provide tools necessary to perform the calibrations on-site, ensuring the vehicle is returned to OEM specifications.” Uniting Under the Repairify Brand Lesley Sparkes, Repairify’s vice president of global marketing, explained Repairify was traditionally the holding name for the business, which operated as asTech and owned FleetGenix. Over the last year, the company has made four acquisitions: adasThink, BlueDriver, Mobile Tech RX and RED (EU). “All our companies were strategically acquired in order to deliver an end-to-end solution and uniting them under the Repairify name gives our customers a single trusted

source they can rely on for the full repair process,” said Sparkes.

Maurice Tuff, left, and Lesley Sparkes, right, stand near the Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System

The strategic initiative brings together the company’s six brands: • asTech provides remote diagnostic and calibration services to collision repair shops. • adasThink is a platform that integrates with a shop’s estimating system to identify required ADAS calibrations based on the estimate lines and provides the documentation needed for the repair. • BlueDriver provides consumer aftermarket diagnostic scan tools and services. • FleetGenix offers mobile/remote technicians for key replacement, pre- and post-vehicle scans, calibration and personal identifiable information removal services. • Mobile Tech RX delivers an app for auto repair technicians to estimate, invoice, manage teams and capture data. • RED (EU), based in the UK, is a distributor of advanced aftermarket diagnostic tools. Tuff said the goal is to build out an ecosystem where Repairify can provide shops with a beginning-to-end solution. “This will give shops the ability to fully understand that the vehicle has been properly serviced, calibrated and is safe to go back on the road,” said Tuff. “As a result, it makes it easier on a shop to not have

38 DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

to use multiple vendors, providers and tools, throughout the different parts of the process.” Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System With the support of asTech’s 400plus ASE and I-CAR certified master technicians, the company has been offering remote scanning to customers by connecting a device to the vehicle to obtain access to the OEM tools at the data center. “Our solutions, combined with our trained technicians, keep up with the ever-changing vehicle technology so the shop can focus on the repair,” said Tuff. To help shops perform static calibrations in-house, he said asTech teamed up with Snap-On to deliver the easy-to-use all-in-one Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System. The product, which combines camera technology, targets and advanced software, is currently being used by shops across the country and was on display in November at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. “With cars becoming more so-

phisticated, more calibrations are necessary. Traditionally, shops have to send those out to the dealership and the car may be gone for days,” said Tuff. “We’re enabling our customers to do more calibrations in-house,” added Sparkes. “This greatly enhances efficiency resulting in a more profitable shop.” asTech Duo Prior to the SEMA Show, asTech introduced asTech Duo, a solution that provides local and remote scanning, diagnostics and calibrations for collision and mechanical repair as well as dealerships. “Our customers expressed the need for an integrated solution with access to both local and remote scanning options in one device,” said Tuff. “With Duo, we are pleased to deliver this choice to our customers, giving them the flexibility and convenience to safely and accurately complete repairs.” Tuff said they were finding shops were buying aftermarket tools,

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unaware if they were accurate on a particular vehicle. As a result, the company began validating when an aftermarket tool is compatible with the OEM tool and when it is not. “We made a significant and ongoing investment in validating when a local aftermarket scan can be performed versus when a remote OEM

“Customers always have the choice to use our OEM tools. Our focus remains on the safest and most accurate way to repair the vehicle. If a user would like to perform an aftermarket scan, with Duo, they know if it has been validated as OEM compatible for that vehicle before performing the scan.”

“Our solutions, combined with our trained technicians, keep up with the ever-changing vehicle technology so the shop can focus on the repair,” — Maurice Tuff scan is required,” said Tuff. “In all cases, we always leave the choice to the user which type of scan they perform regardless of our recommendation. The choice is always with the customer.” Moving forward, shops will have access to both a remote OEM scan supported by ASE and I-CAR certified technicians or a local OEM-compatible scan. Tuff said there was some concern in the market that the company was shifting away from OEM tools. “That isn’t true,” he clarified.

Currently, the company uses more than 1,000 OEM tools, and Sparkes said that number is growing every day. In October, the company began offering the OEM scan report, in addition to the comprehensive diagnostic scan report that has always been provided. “This gives shops extra peace of mind,” said Sparkes. “The delivery of the original OEM scan report will provide our customers with an additional layer of confidence and transparency so

they can remain focused on properly repairing today’s complex vehicles,” said Hollingsworth. The reports are also available in asTech Connect, which includes a mobile application for both iOS and Android. Connect allows customers to view the status of their devices, talk with master technicians in multiple languages and access invoices, reports and more. In November, Chris Chesney was hired as vice president of training and organizational development. In this role, he will establish a comprehensive training initiative for customers, industry partners, employees and the network of technicians throughout the global Repairify ecosystem. “As we look toward continued expansion of our global footprint, we are proud of the Repairify brand and the technology and expertise we’re bringing to the market,” said Tuff.

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ALLDATA Adds ADAS Quick Reference ALLDATA’s latest update makes it easy for auto repairers to instantly access Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) information, direct from the OEMs. Now, clicking on ADAS Quick Reference takes users directly to vehicle-specific ADAS information in ALLDATA Repair® or ALLDATA Collision®, the industry’s leading repair information software products. The ADAS Quick Reference feature links directly to the ADAS system/component by name, provides the location of the component that may have been damaged in a collision, identifies component removal/replacement that could result in extra labor for calibration or sublet costs and includes basic calibration information, required tools and prerequisites for servicing ADAS components. Source: ALLDATA

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Helping Others is Contagious, and You Don’t Need to Wear a Mask by Ed Attanasio

When I got my first writing assignment from Autobody News in 2006, I was excited. I was also a little anxious because I knew very little about the collision repair industry at the time. I also don’t know anything about cars, and can’t even change my own oil. So, I’ve been basically faking it for the past 15 years! At my very first SEMA Show, I met some of my fellow automotive journalists and picked their brains about hot topics to write about and other tips they were willing to share.

Ed Attanasio is now the publicist at Oscar’s Place, a donkey sanctuary in Hopland, CA

One veteran reporter painted a rather unpleasant picture of the state of the industry and all of its issues. He described insurance companies coercing auto body shops into bad— and unprofitable—“partnerships,” and midnight shops sneaking around and doing unsafe and poor-quality repairs performed by shady types not afraid to break local regulations while cutting corners on every repair. My first impression was wow— this is going to be a lot of fun. That reporter’s account of the industry turned out to be a gross exaggeration. Yes, there are positives and negatives as in any industry, but in the end, the good things outweigh the bad. I have never seen a midnight shop—because I don’t stay up that late—and most shops must perform quality work to keep the doors open. Plus, unless you’re an investigative journalist, you normally end up writing about the more successful

shops and collision-related companies out there. One thing I noticed right away is many body shops—from large MSOs all the way to mom-andpops—aren’t afraid to help local nonprofits and people in need in each of their respective communities. Giving cars to deserving people is a perfect charity model for body shops because it involves the shops, their employees, local vendors and the insurance companies that normally provide the vehicles to be given away. The National Auto Body Council (NABC) Recycled Rides program has turned into a huge nationwide effort, with collision repairers all over the country getting involved. Since its inception in 2007, they have given away more than 2,500 vehicles valued at $36 million, and more than 300-plus auto body shops have been involved. Many shop owners covet the opportunity to be involved in the program, while others do not. One shop manager told me, “We are in the business of fixing cars, not giving them away!” But then he attended an NABC Recycled Rides event at a SEMA Show one year and was so moved he changed his mind, and now the shop gives away two or three vehicles every year. When people see others helping those in need, it creates a ripple effect, and pretty soon it takes on a life of its own. Helping people is infectious and there’s no vaccine for it. Once it gets in your blood, you’re hooked. I don’t often remember famous quotes, but for some reason this one from Muhammad Ali stuck with me: “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” When I began witnessing these Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs) with body shops stepping up to help others, it made a strong impression on me. My first thought was how can I give back? I’m not rich, so donating money is not an option. So, I began looking around for things that I could do as a writer and an artist. I have been to countless car giveaways over the years and every time I cry. I am a crier, what can I say?

42 DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

One of the first ones I attended took place in 2007 in Northern California’s East Bay, when Mike’s Auto Body gave five cars to deserving families during the holidays. Eventually, they asked me to be their Santa Claus at their annual presentations, and of course, I was happy to oblige. This

Attanasio started the Pandemic Pet Project, using his art to raise more than approximately $100,000 for 200-plus pet rescues all over the world

month, Mike’s Auto Body will be giving away its 100th vehicle as part of its 21-year Benevolence Program. Over the years, I’ve interviewed a lot of people in the collision repair industry who are well-known for their charitable efforts.

Jimmy Lefler, the owner of Lefler Collision and Glass, embarked more than a decade ago on an amazing journey to help people in Myanmar, formerly Burma. Lefler, his family and some of his crew work closely with an organization, Uncharted International, that has 12 orphanages with more than 600 orphans in Myanmar. He established a home for elderly widows, a human trafficking recovery center and The Loom House, which provides jobs for the children who grow up in the orphanages and for the women who, without a job, would end up in horrible situations. Another article I wrote recently was about Kendrick Paint & Body, a third-generation MSO with eight locations in Georgia. This shop sponsors more than 40 to 50 charitable events every year, giving lunches to first responders and raising monies for organizations such as SafeHomes Domestic Violence Center, American Red Cross and the City of Augusta, just to name a few. In another story I wrote, Tim

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Morgan, COO at Spanesi Americas, founded Second Chance Ranch, a nonprofit pet rescue organization, in 2018 when he witnessed pit prejudice and felt it was just a bunch of bull. So, he purchased a 3-acre farm and converted his barn into a kennel that can accommodate a pack of pit bulls. Morgan’s total dedication to helping animals really resonated with me, so I began looking around to play a role myself in some capacity. For many years, I volunteered at the Humane Society—walking dogs and doing laundry and for a time, I went to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco to catch feral cats. One day, an angry feline scratched me so bad people thought I was in a fight. So, I decided to stick with helping dogs to avoid cat scratch fever. A lot of other people in the collision repair industry have influenced me to become a chronic giver. I started Amazing Groceries a few years back, buying groceries for needy folks during the holidays. During the pandemic, I started the Pandemic Pet Project, using my art to raise money for pet rescues all over the world.

Then, it led me to the donkeys. Randomly and wonderfully, the people at Oscar’s Place in Hopland, CA, found me and asked me to be their publicist. Most people aren’t aware of the fact thousands of donkeys are being destroyed every month to be used as medicine in other countries. At Oscar’s Place, they go to donkey auctions in Texas and California to outbid representatives from Canada and Mexico, thereby saving them from certain deaths. I tell people I have been working for donkeys for many years, and now I am working for them! If you’ve been thinking about giving a vehicle to a deserving family, organization or individual, NABC Recycled Rides is always looking for auto body shops to get involved. If you want to help your community, just look around or even better—create your own benevolence program and pick the causes and charities close to your heart. Make 2022 the year you step up and make a difference in your community and make it part of your DNA. Good things happen to good people and if you can do it, why not?

Continued from Page 36

MSO Symposium 7 percent so far this year, the largest increase CCC has seen going back to 1997. “With parts manufacturers paying significantly more for things like raw materials and shipping, the average cost per part has increased across the board,” CCC reports. But Gotsch projects that the rise in parts cost will not be the only factor raising overall cost of repairs. “We haven’t seen the same inflation in labor [rates] yet, but I think we’re going to,” Gotsch said. “Repairers, just like everybody else, are having significant wage pressures: signing bonuses, paying people with the [increasingly complex] skill sets required. It’s not just body work. It’s mechanical work, the knowledge of electronics, understanding how telematics and the systems of the car work, how to read the manuals from the OEMs. All of that requires a higher set of training and tooling. That cost will have to be passed on. So I think we’re going to see more

inflation on labor. I think that’s going to start to find its way into appraisals as well. It just has to.” CCC has also seen a change in one of its metrics related to cycle time for DRP claims. In the first three months of this year, fewer days elapsed between completion of an estimate and when the vehicle was brought in for repairs when compared to the same months in 2020 and 2019. Starting in April and continuing through July, however, the length of time between completion of an estimate and the vehicle being brought into the shop was longer this year than in the last two years. This was true for estimates for both drivable and non-drivable vehicles. Gotsch said parts delays caused by supply chain disruption could be one factor slowing how quickly shops are getting those vehicles in for repairs. She also pointed to findings by CRASH Network showing that shops’ backlog of work rose sharply in the third quarter of this year, with the national average scheduling backlog reaching an average of 2.6 weeks, a full week longer than shops reported just 90 days earlier.

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Industry Insight with John Yoswick

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

Auto Body Shop, College Working in Tandem to Transform Collision Repair Program

Shop Showcase

Collision repairers sometimes try,” even while overseeing dozens grouse about the body shop training of other degree and certificate proprograms at schools in their area. grams at the school as well. with Ed Attanasio But Justin Clubb didn’t just com- Clubb spent a lot of time workplain. He did something about it. ing with Spannagel, and helped Speaking as part of a panel connect her with contacts at I-CAR, discussion at the Collision Indus- Tradiebot, the Collision Repair Edtry Conference (CIC) on Nov. 2 in ucation Foundation (CREF) and the Las Vegas, Clubb, general manager ASE Education Foundation. of Deery Collision in Bur- Along with faculty and othwithCenter Ed Attanasio lington, IA, said he’d served for er volunteers, the two spent hours some time on the advisory council moving and sorting through dozens of totes of tools and supplies stored in the program’s shop, including 3,000 rolls of electrical tape, and more than 12 pallets of bulk tools. with Ed Attanasio “If you need 800 10-millimieter wrenches, I am your girl. I know where they are,” Spannagel said, soliciting laughter from CIC attendees. About 18 months later, she said, their combined efforts have “comwith Ed Attanasio pletely transformed” the school’s collision repair program. Justin Clubb of Deery Collision in Iowa has “We now have invested over been helping improve the collision repair train$500,000 into a state of the art faciling program at community college in his area ity,” Spannagel said. “We now have for the collision program at nearby a relationship with the industry. The Southeastern Community College. industry before was specifically tellHe came to realize, the ing us that our students were not with however, Stacey Phillips program seemed to be more about what they needed, but in some cases, “restoration” and “working on stuff we simply weren’t listening. We are that is not relevant to the collision listening now. We are acting now. industry.” We are changing as a result of that. When the school announced a We are undergoing a curriculum renew dean, Ashlee Spannagel, for vision right now. As a result, we will with Stacey Phillips its career and technical education have better qualified students, more programs, Clubb asked to meet with well-equipped students, and more her. Spannagel told CIC attendees students in the future.” at the meeting she previously knew Clubb and Spannagel agreed nothing about the collision repair in- such a turnaround requires the buydustry other than being “a frequent in—and “hundreds of hours” of with Stacey Phillips flier of Campbell’s Auto Body, be- work—by faculty and the industry, cause I kept running into things.” but Clubb especially credited Span But she had concerns of her nagel’s outlook and commitment. own about the collision program “Teach me what I need to know, when in response to her own ques- so that we can move forward and tion at an advisory council meeting, serve our local communities the way she was told “OSHA applyPhillips to community colleges were designed withdidn’t Stacey the industry.” to do,” Spannagel said, drawing ap “I knew nothing, but I did plause at CIC. know enough that OSHA did apply,” Spannagel said. “That was the Lidar coming to a car near you soon biggest thing I had to do as a leader Another panel discussion at CIC and educator, to figure out how to focused on how lidar works as part not be so ignorant about this indus- of a vehicle’s advanced driver assis-

Social Media for Shops

SEMA Show Goes On

tance systems, and what collision repairers will need to know about the technology. General Motors, Lucid and Volvo have announced some new vehicles in 2022 and 2023 will include lidar. “Most of the major manufacturers have a desire to put lidar on their vehicles by 2024 or 2025,” said Cibby Pulikkaseril, chief technology officer and co-founder of Baraja, an Australian company developing lidar systems. “It will be a major trend in automotive.”

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44 DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Aaron Schulenburg, who chairs the CIC Parts and Materials Committee, said CIC attendees have become more interested in the committee addressing the topic of parts supply chain disruptions

Whether positioned at the front roof line, behind the windshield or within the grill or headlamps, lidar needs a surface in front of it that is clean and free of abrasions. “Definitely paint is something you’d never put over the lidar,” Pulikkaseril said. Typical laminated windshields are designed to block the type of infrared lasers used in lidar systems, so any replacement windshield installed in a vehicle with windshield-mounted lidar will need to meet the proper specifications, including related to tinting. “The windshields have to be designed for lidar transmissivity, so you would not be able to just replace it with any other windshield,” he said. “You’d need to get the specified one.” Abrasions from road debris or other sources to the windshield or

other glass in front of lidar will also obscure the system’s “view” of the road ahead. “I think what you’ll see is that many of the lidars mounted to the vehicle will have ‘obscure detection,’ so it will self-report that the windshield, or whatever the lidar is going through, has stopped transmitting,” Pulikkaseril said. Upcoming CIC meetings Citing the stricter COVID-related restrictions in place in Palm Springs, CA, CIC organizers announced in November the January CIC will instead be held in Phoenix, AZ. Details are available at www.CIClink. com. One topic that may be on the agenda: the disruptions in the global parts supply chain. Aaron Schulenburg ended the Parts and Materials Committee session in Las Vegas by polling meeting attendees about whether they currently see parts delays as an issue—90% said yes—and whether they wanted “supply chain disruptions” to be a topic the committee explores at future meetings. When the committee asked that same question last April, fewer than half—44%—of CIC attendees said yes. But in Las Vegas in November, nearly twice that percentage—83%—answered affirmatively, clearly an indication of changed business conditions in recent months. “I don’t think it was a big enough issue when we asked the first time, but I think it is now, and that’s obviously reflected in the response,” Schulenburg said.

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SUN Collision Repair Information Offers Complete OEM Procedures & Mechanical Insights provides technicians with complete data related to just about any vehicle When a collision occurs, any dam- that could pull into an shop’s bay. age to the body and frame is likely to “If you were to print out the affect the sensors, cameras and other data that is in this application, it mechanical components. would be about 35 million pages,” Scott DeGiorgio, general man- he said. “It’s very comprehensive. ager at SUN Collision, said these We did some intuitive things with must be repaired and/or recalibrated the application to assist the techniso the vehicle can be returned to its cian.” preexisting condition. DeGiorgio explained SUN Collision was introduced to the market to offer collision facilities a single source of information that covers both collision, based on OEM procedures, and mechanical, using SureTrack® Real Fixes based on actual mechanical repair solutions. “Some shops are farming out the mechanical piece Scott DeGiorgio, general manager at SUN Collision, conbecause they don’t have the ducted demonstrations of SUN Collision Repair Information knowledge to do it,” said at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV, in November. Credit: DeGiorgio. “SUN ColliStacey Phillips sion assists technicians to To provide technicians with the be able to do more of that repair, information they need to properly bringing more profit into the shop.” fix a car, SUN Collision Repair In- A significant challenge for techformation was created by SUN®, a nicians is the time it takes to look up brand of Snap-on Incorporated. OEM repair procedures. As a result, The web-based, mobile-friend- DeGiorgio said SUN Collision was ly product includes all of the rele- designed to be easy to use. vant repair details based on OEM “All of the information for veprocedures. This includes ADAS hicles is laid out in the same way repair and recalibration information, across all makes and there is full OEM data for materials, paint, body access to both collision and mechanand frame, the latest recalls and ical information,” he said. TSBs, as well as insights for me- By providing it all in one place, chanical repairs. DeGiorgio said it will help shops re “You can easily access all of the duce repair times and become more procedures and specifications need- efficient. ed to efficiently repair damaged ve- “I could take a B tech and turn hicles,” said DeGiorgio. him into an A tech with this infor The database encompasses mation,” he said. “At $100/hour for complete OEM-licensed procedures a technician, I can’t have him spend for 1960-2022 automobiles and is a half-hour looking for information updated regularly by a team of ed- and struggling, so we made this as itors. DeGiorgio said the product simple and fast as possible. They by Stacey Phillips

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have all of the information they need with a few clicks of a mouse.” Since it was first introduced at the 2019 SEMA Show, new content, increased coverage and enhanced features have been added to SUN Collision. This includes an ADAS Quick Link, which provides technicians a complete picture of the ADAS repair details in a table with clickable links. “You can’t work on a vehicle anymore without this type of information,” he said. “Technology is so complex that you have to have some type of resource for this knowledge.” SUN Collision also offers advanced search engine technology using 1Search™ Plus. DeGiorgio explained technicians can easily access the relevant information they need through the search function by clicking on what is referred to as a “data card.” These are subcategories that contain in-depth specifications and procedures for the car. SUN Collision was showcased during the 2021 SEMA Show at

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the Snap-on Total Shop Solutions booth, with its sister brands: Mitchell 1, John Bean®, Car-O-Liner® and Hofmann® products. DeGiorgio and other SUN Collision representatives conducted product demonstrations at the event and discussed the significant growth of the product. SUN Collision offers comprehensive training to shops that use the software to help maximize its effectiveness and customer service representatives are available to provide support. In addition, technicians have access to a large community of technicians online to ask questions and learn about the product. With a background in the automotive repair side of the business, DeGiorgio said the company is confident about what it has built for the industry. “As technology continues to change, we are changing with it,” he said. “We’re excited about what we built and hopefully, it’s in every shop soon.”

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Continued from Page 35

Award Winners lette delivers highly productive and innovative auto body repair equipment to the collision repair industry. With everything they make, Celette designs products with the aim to offer solutions for repairing accident damages as well as to increase profitability of the body shop by reducing process time and the insurance man-hour time. The company is well-known for its worldwide Celette Technical Training Academy, and recently expanded its international footprint by establishing a new training facility in Chonburi, Thailand. Other features of the Eagle 3D Electronic measuring system features include online 3D software for vehicle database; and wireless connectivity between the laser gun, targets and software, with WiFi technology. Unlike traditional technology, the Eagle does not require reference points measurement. Leveling of the vehicle is not required and it

provides an insurance diagnosis report after the measurement to create documentation using OE data. With Eagle, users can perform a complete vehicle body measurement in less than 10 minutes with an accuracy of +/- 0.5 mm. Celette’s North American National Manager Bob Stevenson is thrilled to capture one of the two runner-up spots at SEMA because he knows the value of this coveted award. “We want to do a simple thankyou to the people of SEMA and recognizing us for being an innovative company and a leader in the collision repair industry,” Stevenson said. “We did a soft launch of the Eagle starting back in 2019 and the feedback we received from body shops all over the country has been very positive. Technicians appreciate its ease of use and body shop owners love the price, which is 75% less than the competition.” The other runners-up award went to The Drain Cleaner SR250 made by Reliable Automotive Equipment, Inc. (RAE). Founded in 1987, RAE designs

and markets equipment solutions to the ever-changing automotive market in the U.S., Europe and Asia, as it produces repair training curriculum and certification programs for use by collision repair facilities. In partnership with the OEMs and equipment manufacturers, RAE has both influenced and provided instructor-led training in OE repair procedures and their related tools and equipment. With RAE’s experience and its connection to those who engineer both the vehicle and its repair, the company has built a reputation for outstanding product performance, unsurpassed product quality and most of all, the human touch. Field Engineer at RAE Robert Gruskos made a statement immediately receiving the award. “We at Reliable Automotive Equipment and Wielander & Schill are honored to be selected as a runner-up for SEMA’s New Product Showcase,” Gruskos said. “We have developed a reputation for being problem solvers and our new Drain Cleaner SR250 definitely falls neatly into that category.”

ASA Announces Regional Executive Director The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has named Julie Massaro, the current executive director of ASA Colorado, as the new regional executive director of the Mountain region of ASA. In September, ASA, the oldest and largest association representing the independent automotive repair industry, announced it is transitioning to a new and innovative association model leveraging its expansive history to create a single, unified industry voice. Under the new model, existing state affiliate agreements will be dissolved, and a 50-state regional structure will take its place. The Mountain Region covers the territory of Colorado, Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah, Kansas and Missouri. Massaro will continue to be based in Colorado and will report to Blair Calvo, the newly promoted vice president of regional services. Source: ASA

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Biden Administration Acts to Help Relieve Supply Chain Woes By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

President Joe Biden announced the Port of Los Angeles will begin operating around the clock as part of an effort to help speed up shipping delays arising from global supply-chain backlogs. Issues up and down the supply chain, from ships waiting days longer than usual to come to port, to goods waiting at the dock to be picked up and truckers being unable to unload at warehouses, have created massive delays and concerns about inflation and the coming rush of Christmas shopping. The Port of Long Beach, which along with the Port of Los Angeles handles 40% of shipping containers entering the U.S., began 24/7 operations in September. However, shortages of available truckers and warehouse operators stalled much of the progress expected from the extended hours. Biden created a Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force in June to identify transporta-

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San Diego Court tled to a special exemption from that regulation. But the Court of Appeal ruled Proposition 103’s requirement the commissioner consider whether insurance rates “mathematically reflect the insurance company’s investment income” had to be read to allow State Farm Mutual—which had an after-tax profit of $4.6 billion in 2014—to create a wholly-owned subsidiary in California, stash its least profitable investments in that subsidiary and ignore the California business’ proportionate share of the portfolio profits—a bookkeeping trick that ignores the actual economics of the business. State Farm insured 20% of the homeowners market at the time. Court Says Voters Intended to Protect Insurance Companies Consumer Watchdog said the court’s decision adopted the insurance industry’s argument the voters intended Proposition 103 to protect insur-

tion bottlenecks across the nation and identify solutions. The Task Force has been meeting with business and union leaders to help coordinate actions by the many private firms that control the country’s transportation and logistics supply chain. To help address the problem, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union announced its members are willing to work the extra shifts created by the extended hours of operations at the Ports of LA and Long Beach. Large shippers and retailers such as UPS, FedEx, Walmart and Target have made commitments to use the extended hours of operation to unload cargo, which will allow ships to dock quicker. Additional measures across the country will be pursued in the coming weeks to address transportation congestion and delays. For more information, contact Caroline Fletcher at carolinef@sema.org. Source: SEMA

ance companies. The court asserted Proposition 103’s “focus” was “on fairness to both consumers and insurers,” and said, “We also are not persuaded by CW’s argument that ‘[f]orcing consumers to pay excessive rates would frustrate the purpose of protecting consumers from arbitrary insurance rates.’” The court also rejected the argument made by Consumer Watchdog and the commissioner that allowing companies like State Farm to evade the rules on investment income would encourage them to create artificial subsidiaries for the purpose of rate manipulation. The court asserted: “[Consumer Watchdog and the Commissioner] … do not establish that limiting rate manipulation was a purpose of Proposition 103.” Consumer Watchdog objected strongly to the court’s interpretation of Proposition 103: “The voters did not pass Proposition 103 to protect the insurance companies. They have enough money and lawyers to protect themselves. The text of the law makes clear its sole focus is to protect consumers against profiteering,

48 DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Rivian Production Capacity Target: At Least 1 Million a Year by 2030 by Mark Kane, Inside EVs

Rivian successfully launched its IPO and now has almost $12 billion, on top of $10.5 billion raised previously, to expand its EV business. According to Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe, via US News, the company has to grow quickly and reach a volume of at least 1 million electric vehicles per year by 2030. That’s a level of today’s Tesla. “We better be growing at least that quick; certainly before the end of the decade is how we think about it,” Scaringe said in an interview ahead of Rivian’s market debut on the Nasdaq on Nov. 10. Today, the company produces its EVs at its only manufacturing site in Normal, IL, acquired several years ago from Mitsubishi and upgraded. This site is technically equipped for 150,000 vehicles annually, but after an upcoming upgrade it should be ready for

discrimination, reckless insurance industry behavior and anything else that might harm consumers. “The insurance industry would not have spent $63 million trying unsuccessfully to defeat Proposition 103 at the ballot box, and countless hundreds of millions more in legal challenges to the law since it passed, if the measure protected the industry’s right to overcharge Californians, as the court suggests.” Background on Proposition 103 State Farm’s legal challenges are the latest in a three decades-long campaign by insurance companies to reverse the results of the 1988 election through litigation. Proposition 103 was approved by California voters in November 1988 after a battle in which the insurance industry spent a record $63 million, and sponsored three competing initiatives, in an attempt to defeat the grassroots backed proposal. The measure: • Mandated an immediate 20% rate rollback and refund

200,000 per year. All three types of EVs announced so far—the Rivian R1T and Rivian R1S, as well as the Rivian EDV vans—will be produced in Normal. The R1T has been ramping up since September, while the other two will follow in December. The long-term plan for Rivian is to have a total of four assembly plants around the world, including one additional factory in the U.S. and probably one in Europe and one in China. The second factory in the U.S. is expected to also produce in-house developed battery cells, potentially in-house developed. All those things sound ambitious, but let’s not forget this company is the first to launch a modern all-electric pickup truck with a 300-plus mile EPA range, not imaginable a decade ago when the first generation Nissan LEAF with a 24 kWh battery struggled with a 100-mile range—it was rated at 73 miles EPA.

• Regulates auto, home and business insurance rates by requiring public disclosure and prior approval of rate changes • Requires auto premiums must be based primarily on a motorist’s driving safety record rather than ZIP code • Applies California’s consumer protection, civil rights and antitrust laws to the insurance industry • Authorizes consumers to challenge insurance company violations of the law through civil suits or an administrative hearings process • Made the insurance commissioner an elected position Insurance companies refunded more than $1.43 billion to consumers after voters passed Proposition 103. The Consumer Federation of America has declared Prop 103 the most pro-consumer insurance law in the nation, estimating it has saved California motorists alone more than $154 billion since it took effect in 1989. Insurance policyholders have saved more than $3.43 billion since 2003 alone as a result of Consumer Watchdog’s challenges to excessive rates.


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How Much Range Does an Electric Car Lose Each Year? by Andrew Lambrecht, InsideEVs

While electric vehicles have been proven to have considerably lower ownership costs compared to their ICE counterparts, battery longevity remains an equivocal subject. Similar to how consumers ask how long the batteries can last, manufacturers often question the same subject. “Every single battery is going to degrade every time you charge and discharge it,” Atlis Motor Vehicles CEO Mark Hanchett told InsideEVs. Essentially, it’s inevitable your electric car battery, or any rechargeable Li-ion battery, will lose the capacity it once had. However, the rate at which it’ll degrade is the unknown variable. Everything ranging from your charging habits to the very chemical makeup of the cell will affect your EV battery’s longterm energy storage. While many factors are at play, there are four main elements that assist in further degrading EV batteries. Fast Charging Fast charging itself doesn’t necessarily cause accelerated battery degradation, but the increased thermal load can damage the internal components of the battery cell. The damage of these battery internals leads to fewer Li-ions being able to transfer from the cathode to the anode. However, the amount of degradation the batteries face is not as high as some may think. Earlier last decade, the Idaho National Laboratory tested four 2012 Nissan Leafs, two charged on a 3.3kW home charger and the other two strictly charged at 50kW DC fast stations. After 40,000 miles, the results showed the one charged on DC only had 3% more degradation. That will still shave your range, but the ambient temperature seemed to

have a far greater effect on the overall capacity. Ambient Temperatures Colder temperatures can slow down an EV’s charge rate and temporarily limit the overall range. Warm temperatures can be beneficial for rapid charging, but prolonged exposure to hot conditions can damage the cells. So, if your car is sitting outside for long periods, it’s best to leave it plugged in, so it could use the shore power to condition the battery.

Mileage Like any other rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the more charge cycles, the more wear on the cell. Tesla reported the Model S will see around 5% degradation after breaching 25,000 miles. According to the graph, another 5% will be lost after around 125,000 miles. Granted, these numbers were calculated via standard deviation, so there are likely outliers with defective cells that weren’t shown in the graph. Time Time typically takes the worst toll on batteries. In 2016, Mark Larsen reported his Nissan Leaf would lose around 35% battery capacity at the end of an eight-year period. While this percentage is high, it’s because it’s an earlier Nissan Leaf, known to suffer from severe degradation. Options with liquid-cooled batteries should have much lower percentag-

es of degradation. Preventative Measures To keep your battery in the best possible condition, keep these things in mind: If possible, try to leave your EV plugged in if it’s sitting for an extended period of time in the summer months. If you drive a Nissan Leaf or another EV without liquid-cooled batteries, try to keep them in a shady area on the hotter days. If your EV has the feature equipped, precondition it 10 minutes before driving on hot days. This way, you can prevent the battery from overheating on even the warmest summer days. As mentioned above, 50kW DC isn’t as detrimental as most think, but if you’re sticking around town, AC charging is cheaper and usually more convenient. Plus, the aforementioned study did not include 100 or 150kW chargers, which

most new EVs can use. Avoid getting your EV below 10-20% battery remaining. All EVs have a lower usable battery capacity, but avoiding reaching the battery’s critical zones is a good practice. If you drive a Tesla, Bolt or any other EV with a manual charge limiter, try to not exceed 90% in day-today driving. Are There any EVs I Should Avoid? Almost every used EV has an eightyear/100,000-mile battery warranty which covers degradation if the battery’s capacity drops below 70%. While this will offer peace of mind, it’s still important to buy one with enough warranty left. As a general rule of thumb, any old or high mileage option should be cautiously regarded. The battery technology available today is far more advanced than tech from a decade ago, so it’s vital to plan your purchase accordingly. It’s better to spend a little more on a newer used EV than paying for an out-of-warranty battery repair.

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‘Who Pays for What?’ Survey: Continued Increase in Auto Body Shops Billing for Destructive Weld Testing With six years of data now available from “Who Pays for What?” surveys, Mike Anderson of Collision Advice can point to some changes within the industry the survey results reflect. “This summer, nearly three of 10 shops—29%—reporting being paid to set-up and perform destructive weld testing ‘always’ or ‘most of the time’ by the eight largest national insurers,” said Anderson, who conducts the surveys with CRASH Network. “That’s more than twice the percentage—just 12%—who found that to be true back in 2015 when we started the surveys.” In 2015, Anderson said, about 81% of shops said they’d never sought to be paid for performing test welds. That’s fallen to about half that today, just 43%. “Whether through the surveys or other training, shops are increasingly understanding the requirement to perform destructive tests on welds before welding on a vehicle, and can choose whether to bill for it when appropriate,” Anderson

said. He said the final of the four 2021 “Who Pays for What?” surveys, which focuses on scanning, calibrations, shop supplies and aluminum repair, is scheduled to close at the end of October at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ XC67NPT Survey participants receive a free report with complete survey findings along with analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented. Anderson said the survey, which will take about 15-20 minutes, can be completed by anyone in a shop familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of at least some of the largest national insurers. Each shop’s individual responses are held in the strictest confidence; only aggregated data is released. The results of previous surveys are also available online (https://www.crashnetwork.com/ collisionadvice). Source: CRASH Network

100-Plus Lawmakers Rally Support for EV Tax Credit Bill More than 100 U.S. House lawmakers on Oct. 12 urged Speaker Nancy Pelosi to keep a $4,500 tax credit incentive for union-built electric vehicles in a massive spending bill. In a letter seen by Reuters, 107 Democrats urged Pelosi to retain the credit supported by the United Auto Workers union, the AFL-CIO and U.S. automakers. The $4,500 credit would provide a significant boost to Detroit’s three automakers—General Motors, Ford and Chrysler-parent Stellantis. “We strongly support leveling the playing field between nonunion and unionized workforces by including the added $4,500 incentive to support union-made EVs,” the letter said. The push was led by Rep. Thomas Suozzi, D-NY, who said the incentives “help guarantee that working men and women are an integral part of that success story.” Pelosi’s office declined to comment. Foreign automakers do not have unions representing assembly workers in the U.S. and many have fought efforts to organize U.S. plants. Twelve major foreign automakers in September urged Democrats to reject the proposed $4,500 tax incentive

and have been lobbying lawmakers to reject the union incentive. A House panel last month approved legislation to boost EV credits to up to $12,500 per vehicle, including $4,500 for union-made vehicles and $500 for U.S.-made batteries. The foreign automakers said the proposal “would unfairly disadvantage American workers who have chosen not to join a union and produce more than half of all vehicles in the United States and the vast majority of American-made EVs.” The tax credits, which are part of a proposed $3.5 trillion spending bill, would cost $15.6 billion over 10 years.The EV proposal also does away with phasing out tax credits after automakers hit 200,000 electric vehicles sold, which would make GM eligible again for the $4,500 credit. Tesla vehicles would not get the credit. Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested on Twitter the EV proposal was “written by Ford/UAW lobbyists...Not obvious how this serves American taxpayers.” Source: Chicago Automobile Trade Association

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tion with a fun night and present our Annual Distributor Awards. “With the cancellation of SEMA 2020 because of COVID, we really wanted to have a very special evening this year,” Olsson continued. “With such great successes during 2021, we are really looking forward to what 2022 will bring.”

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Price and Range Continue to Hold Back EV Market Sales of battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S. are on track to set an all-time record in 2021, with sales up more than 88% through the end of September. With new players entering the field and consumer choice expanding rapidly, the EV market is on course to grow to 400,000 vehicles this year, and Cox Automotive is forecasting EV sales to double in the next 24 months. Still, despite the rapid growth, EVs will account for only 3% of the new-vehicle market this year and, according to new research released by Cox Automotive, many barriers to EV adoption remain. The 2021 Cox Automotive Path to EV Adoption Study provides a look at the major consumer barriers that continue to slow EV adoption. It also uncovers market perceptions and customer experiences with the EV shopping and buying process. The research was conducted in June and July and included a survey of nearly 5,000 in-market consumers who owned, considered or rejected a pure battery-electric vehicle in that timeframe. Additional Cox Automotive studies were considered in the analysis. The study had three objectives: to understand the nuances of EV adoption and the key barriers to overcome, explore how the shopping experience for EV and traditional gas-powered vehicles differ, and uncover market perceptions and consumer experiences with EVs. Overall, the 2021 Cox Automotive Path to EV Adoption Study illustrates, while barriers remain, consumers in the U.S—particularly younger Millennial and Gen Z buyers—are becoming more open to the idea of an electric vehicle future. Availability of charging stations, vehicle range and battery concerns have become less of a barrier for potential buyers. Vehicle price, however, continues to be a major obstacle for many. “This latest round of EV research opened our eyes to a number of shifts in the market,” said Vanessa Ton, senior industry intelligence manager, Cox Automotive. “As the traditional barriers come down, attributes like styling and affordability

move to the front, much like traditional gas-powered vehicles. That’s an indication that consumers are looking at EVs more like automobiles, less like science projects.” During the research phase of the study over the summer, consumers had nearly 300 different models to choose from, but less than 20 pure electric models, with most being higher-end, luxury offerings. The average price paid for a new EV was close to $60,000 before rebates, and well above gasoline-equivalent vehicles. And while the number of EV models continues to grow, with new models being added every quarter, the Cox Automotive study shows the path to EV adoption remains difficult at best. The Industry Must Build Higher Consideration Among Shoppers Among consumers in-market for a new vehicle, general consideration for a pure electric model is relatively high, at 38% of all shoppers. New research from Cox Automotive, however, indicates consideration drops off notably to 21% of in-market shoppers saying they are more than 50% confident their next vehicle will be an EV. Further still, only 3% of shoppers in the study indicate that their next will, for certain, be an EV. Vehicle range and price remain the top barriers, according to this research. The study also shows that automakers and dealers would benefit from focusing on those issues as they market their new EVs. Range Anxiety Shows Signs of Waning In good news for EV sellers, the study shows some select barriers to EV adoption are shrinking. For example, two years ago, 47% of in-market consumers noted low vehicle range was a concern. In 2021, that number dropped to 37%. Notably, younger shoppers— Gen Z and Millennials—are far less concerned about vehicle range, with only 20% and 29%, respectively, indicating range was holding them back from buying an EV. Also noteworthy: In the most recent study, 57% of consumers point to a lack of charging stations in their area as

52 DECEMBER 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

a top barrier, but that percentage is down from 64% in 2019. Range expectations among consumers considering EVs continue to increase, but vehicle performance is increasing rapidly as well, which is one reason range anxiety is slowly dissipating among in-market shoppers. In 2019, the minimum expectation for range on a full charge was 184 miles, and, at the time, the average EV delivered 195 miles per charge, approximately 6% above the minimum acceptable level. In 2021, range expectations jumped to a minimum of 217 miles. Among EVs offered today, the average range is approximately 257 miles, 18% more than the minimal accepted range. “As EV battery performance improves and the charging infrastructure is slowly built up, traditional EV concerns will fade,” said Lea Malloy, head of electric-vehicle battery solutions at Cox Automotive Mobility. “Consumers are experiencing the typical learning curve with new technology. And we believe range will be even less of an issue as new generations of battery technology are launched. It is astounding how quickly improvements are being realized.” Reaching Price Parity Will Help Clear the Pathway to Adoption While range and charging station availability is becoming less of a concern for EV considerers, price remains a significant issue with half of all EV intenders. The new study shows 51% of shoppers said EVs were too expensive to seriously consider, a similar number to the results in 2019. EVs are in fact on average more expensive to purchase than their gasoline-powered counterparts. In October, when average transaction prices for a new vehicle topped

$46,000, the average EV was above $56,000, a premium of more than 20%. The research demonstrates that price parity would greatly improve serious EV consideration. Indeed, nearly 60% of vehicle intenders would consider an EV if there was no price premium, up from the 38% currently considering an EV. Further, that number jumps to 71% in a case where EVs are priced $5,000 below an equivalent gas vehicle. Dealers, Automakers Struggle to Effectively Reach Consumers Another key finding in the 2021 Path to EV Adoption Study suggests auto dealers need more help to prepare for an EV future. The study shows dealers play a crucial, influential role in the process, with nearly 80% of EV owners noting the dealer influenced their purchase decision. At the same time, in a survey of dealers reviewed for the study, 71% indicated they were “only somewhat” or “not at all” prepared to sell more EVs in the future. Many automakers continue to struggle with consumer awareness of their EV product offering, certainly a first step in consideration. While 83% of EV considerers are aware Tesla sells electric vehicles, only 44% of EV considerers are aware Ford has a competitive EV model, the all-new Mustang Mach-E, launched in the spring of 2021. Worse still, even though Nissan has been selling the all-electric Leaf model in the U.S. for more than a decade, only 37% of respondents in the survey were aware of Nissan’s EV offering. Chevrolet has similar issues. The all-electric Bolt was launched in late 2016, and yet 69% of current EV shoppers are unsure if Chevrolet even makes an EV. Source: Cox Automotive

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1Collision Continues Expansion

‘Insurer Report Card’ Open for Collision Repairers to Grade Insurers More than 1,000 collision repair professionals each year grade the performance of the auto insurers in their state through CRASH Network’s “Insurer Report Card”—and the insurance companies and consumers are paying attention. “No one sees on a daily basis which insurers really stand behind their promise to deliver top-quality repairs and customer service after an accident better than those providing that collision repair work,” said John Yoswick, editor of CRASH Network. “The ‘Insurer Report Card’ helps the repair industry get that unique perspective out to vehicle owners, and gives the highest-graded insurance companies another way to communicate what sets them apart from the companies that receive lower grades from shops.” Yoswick said Forbes Advisor, which offers independent information to consumers about financial decisions, now incorporates the “Insurer Report Card” grades into its auto insurance rankings. Insurers like Chubb and Acuity that have consistently received top grades

1Collision announced the addition of Center Collision in Tacoma, WA, and Sudden Impact Collision Center’s two locations in Glen Burnie, MD. “A good friend recommended 1Collision to me after he had a great experience in the network and after looking into it myself, I can see the benefits of being part of a much bigger organization with the support to overcome many of the common struggles in this industry,” said Kevin House, owner of Center Collision. “After extensive research, 1Collision was appealing to because of the rebate deals in place, and a great support team of people committed to helping me grow, while allowing me to stay as independent as possible,” said Dennis Marsch, owner of Sudden Impact. 1Collision and partner CSN Collision Centres, a Canada-based network, have a combined presence of more than 240 locations in North America. Source: 1Collision

tout that in their marketing and social media. The latest “Insurer Report Card” is now open to shops at www. CrashNetwork.com/gradebook It asks collision repairers to grade each company based on how well the insurers’ claims practices help ensure quality repairs and customer service. By assigning insurers a grade from A+ to an F, shops can let consumers know which insurers push for quality repairs and provide great customer service when consumers have a claim— and which may have some room for improvement. “Because each state has a different mix of insurers, the ‘Insurer Report Card’ allows repairers to grade insurers specific to their state,” Yoswick said. “As in the past, we’re asking about more than 160 different auto insurance companies across the country, making it far more extensive than any similar surveys, which generally focus on just the 10 largest national insurers.

The results of the ‘Insurer Report Card’ can help consumers know, for example, if some smaller or regional insurers they may not be as familiar with are really great at taking care of customers.” The “Insurer Report Card,” open only to collision repairers, can be completed in less than three minutes—though shops are encouraged to spend time to explain why they gave each insurer the grade they did—and all individual shop grades and identification information will remain confidential. Shops that complete the “Insurer Report Card” and provide an e-mail address will be sent the results to share with their customers, at no charge, once they are compiled. Shops can go to www.CrashNetwork.com/gradebook to grade the insurers. For more information about the weekly CRASH Network newsletter, visit www.CrashNetwork. com. Source: CRASH Network

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CIC Panel Discusses AI in Collision Repair Estimating by John Yoswick

A panel discussion at the Collision Industry Conference on Nov. 2 in Las Vegas focused on the current state of artificial intelligence within estimating in the industry, acknowledging current shortcomings and challenges, but also offering a glimpse into the coming growth in the use of the technology.

Among the panelists at the Nov. 2 CIC were, left to right, Bud Center of the CIC Talent Pool and Education Committee; Amber Alley of Barsotti’s Body and Fender; Ashlee Spannagel, dean of CTE at Southeastern Community College; and Justin Clubb of Deery Collision Center.

Jason Verlen of CCC Intelligent Solutions, for example, said AI alone doesn’t currently ad-

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dress all estimating scenarios, but it already can significantly speed many initial claims processes for consumers. Also during the meeting, Bud Center of the CIC Talent Pool and Education Committee held a panel discussion with shop managers discussing successful efforts they have made in working with schools trying to improve collision repair training in their market. Amber Alley, of Barsotti’s Body and Fender in San Rafael, CA, said she’s working with a school with a two-year program that cycles students from eight weeks at the school to eight weeks working in a shop. Justin Clubb, of Deery Collision Center in Iowa, said he brought concerns about a local community college’s collision repair program to a dean at the school, Ashlee Spannagel; she recently worked with him and others in the industry to overhaul the program’s facility and curriculum. A full write-up will be posted to the website soon

MSO Symposium Looks at Post-Pandemic Recovery of Collision Repair Industry seen during the pandemic is likely to continue, leading claims counts to continue to rise next year as they have in 2021, getting closer to a full rebound to 2019 levels by late 2022. Vincent Romans of The Romans Group consulting firm also offered his annual assessment of the consolidation trend in the collision

by John Yoswick

After being held virtually in 2020, the MSO Symposium returned to an in-person format Nov. 1 in Las Vegas, with opening speaker Susanna Gotsch of CCC Intelligent Solutions asked to tackle the question: “2022: Will the pandemic finally be in the rear view mirror?” Vincent Romans, left, of The Romans Group, and Susanna Gotsch, right, of CCC Intelligent Solutions, spoke during the MSO Symposium, held Nov. 1 in Las Vegas. Credit: John Yoswick Gotsch said with 30% to 40% of repair industry, calling MSOs “just workers likely to continue work- as aggressive” about acquisitions ing at home at least one day a during the pandemic as before. week, congestion—and result- A full write-up of the MSO ing accidents—during traditional Symposium will be posted to the commute times will not fully re- website soon, and will be printed bound next year. But the increased in the December issue of Autodistracted driving and speeding body News.

Survey: 78% of Vehicle-Owning Voters Support Federal Right to Repair Legislation The CAR Coalition has released the results of a national survey of vehicle-owning voters, showing strong support for action on federal right to repair legislation, such as the bipartisan Save Money on Auto Repair Transportation (SMART) Act. The survey by the CAR Coalition, a growing group of independent automotive parts, management and repair companies, associations and insurers committed to preserving consumer choice and affordable vehicle repair, shows: • 78% of voters support right to repair legislation that allows consumers to choose where and how to repair their vehicle; reduces design patent enforcement time from 15 to 2.5 years for collision repair parts, as proposed by the SMART Act; and makes vehicle data more readily available • 92% of voters agree consumers should be able to choose between automaker-branded and aftermarket car parts when making repairs. • 85% of voters support vehicle

data being made available to consumers and any repair shop they choose. • Only 25% of voters believe design patents should be used for common car items, like side mirrors or bumpers. “Repair restrictions on automobiles are driving prices higher at a time when many Americans can least afford it,” said Justin Rzepka, executive director of the CAR Coalition. “It’s time for Congress to get serious about solutions, including the SMART Act, to ensure consumers have options for quality, safe, affordable auto repairs and more control over their data.” The survey, conducted nationally and in select states, including Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington, found consistent strength for federal right to repair legislation from coast to coast. In states and Washington, D.C., the right to repair movement is gaining ground. Last November, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative to

mandate automakers install standard open data platforms in all vehicles starting in car model year 2022. In July, the White House issued an executive order on competition, encouraging action on right to repair. Later that month, the FTC voted to increase enforcement against restrictions that limit consumers’ right to repair, including the automotive industry. In a policy statement, the FTC reiterated its view that “providing more choice in repairs can lead to lower costs, reduce e-waste by extending the useful lifespan of products, enable more timely repairs and provide economic opportunities for entrepreneurs and local businesses.” The national survey was conducted Oct. 11–19, among 1,008 vehicle-owning voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.09% voters. For more information, visit www.CarRepairChoice.org. Sign the letter to Congress: w w w. C a r R e p a i r C h o i c e . o r g / take-action. Source: CAR Coalition

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