Page 1


All fired up

Alberta’s Wgee economy heats up as Fort McMurry rises from the ashes

SUNNY money

Wheeler dealers

Fortunes look bright down in Mexico

Competitors go all in on big bodyshop gamble

Drive another day Fix Auto’s Michel Véronneau and daughter Valérie work together to overcome the challenges of tomorrow

Plus 3-D measuring

excites at CCIF Toronto, AVs role into Hollywood, Pfaff opens its doors to insurers and much, much more!

Volume 17, Number 1 l February 2018




Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40841632   l  86 John Street, Thornhill, ON L3T 1Y2


ON THE COVER 23  Going Forward! Michel Véronneau and his daughter, Valérie, aim for a bright future by keeping true to Fix Auto’s core values.

Volume 17, Issue 1, February 2018

features 30  disruptive innovation The printing press, the airplane, the atomic bomb­—will the next change be on the road? 34  business switch Cobourg dealers claim their co-operative structure is the future of collision repair. 38  av report Hollywood bigwigs get behind the wheel in the autonomous vehicle race.


CCIF 2018 Toronto takes the industry by storm.

41  romans report Consolidation rates slow to a crawl as we break down the latest report.

NEWS 80  COLLISION REPAIR 89  Towing & Recovery 91  RECYCLING

departments 6  Publisher’s page  by Darryl Simmons The John Eagle Collision Case aftermath.


Pfaff Autoworks hosts a bold statement for the future.


France Daviault on the evolving relationship between AIA and the collision repair industry.

On the Cover: Michel and Valérie Véronneau. Photography by Peter Ford.


Canada’s collision repair information resource. New articles and top news stories daily. Visit

12  Who’s driving?  by Jay Perry Clarity for the future. 14  training  by Andrew Shepherd Necessary for survival. 16 Dear john by John Scetta Is your business partner a dud? 18  Prairie view  by Chelsea Stebner Get ahead of the curve: embrace scanning. 20 point blank by Sam Piercey Put your apprentices in class. 96  Recycling  by David Gold The ARA wants to hear your voice.

HAVE YOUR SAY. We welcome your comments on anything you see in Collision Repair magazine. Send your feedback to

98  last word  by Jeff Sanford General Motors goes into high-gear.

February 2018  collision Repair  5

publisher’s page

Certifiableconcern It’s once again time to open communciation


By Darryl Simmons


nyone who’s been in the collision repair industry for any length of time is well aware of its dynamic personality. We’ve survived every hurdle and transition thrown our way from uni-bodies, to consolidation, to waterborne and even the biggest one to date, the John Eagle lawsuit that turned the public microscope onto an industry largely ignored as a grudge purchase. But through it all, progressive collision repairers rose above the fray. Only half the number of shops in the country remains, compared to a decade ago, doing more

and accurate repairs. Certification is relatively easy, but the devil is in the details. In this case, it is the enforcement needed to ensure a level playing field remains between certified and non-certified shops. It is one thing to have certification based on a specific point in time. It’s quite another to enforce this when the yardsticks are moving and the only ramification for non-compliance is basically a slap on the wrist. Just when everything seemed to be smooth sailing we began to hear the first rumblings of a debates framed with a ‘If you’re not with

Decent profit margins demand investments in insurer relations, proper training and equipment work than ever. Yes, the cream did rise to the top. You did so because of the collective understanding that decent profit margins demanded investments in insurer relations, proper training and equipment. Now, certification is the new buzzword threatening to polarize the industry. Although there is no current movement afoot, there is definitely a collective unconcious of concern based on conversations I’ve had with unrelated seasoned and senior industry veterans. The concerns are but a ripple of unease, for no one is arguing that strict measures are needed to mitigate the John Eagle decision. But as in any polarizing situation, those ripples can turn into a tidal wave of discontent if and when solutions are not forthcoming. The main concern I am hearing, on the QT for no one dare say out loud they are rocking any system avoiding safe and profitable repairs, is that certification is not the Holy Grail, or at the very least, not the only answer—we have government regulations already that are designed to ensure safe


us, you’re against us’ mentality, one that is at odds with the values of respect and diversity we should be striving for. What does this mean for the industry? Collision repair facilities, insurers and manufacturers all share the same fundamental goals—to keep the industry profitable and provide drivers with high-quality, safe repairs. This must be our finest hour. We must not let the atmosphere of mutual respect, fair play and healthy competition developed over the past decade be replaced with the us vs. them reactions seen in any polarized community. It’s time to bridge all the gaps with open dialogue. Collision Repair magazine is more than your source of information. It is also your voice. Lets work together to preserve the integrity and profitability of the collision repair industry.

6  collision Repair

ASSOCIATE EDITORS ERIN MCLAUGHLIN (905) 370-0101 GIDEON SCANLON (905) 370-0101 CREATIVE DEPARTMENT MICHELLE MILLER (905) 370-0101 STAFF WRITER JEFF SANFORD VP Industry Relations & Advertising GLORIA MANN (647) 998-5677 Managing Director iMM/Director Business Solutions & Marketing ellen Smith (416) 312-7446 SPECIAL PROJECTS MANAGER MIKE CAMERON (905) 370-0101 CONTRIBUTORS TOM DAVIS, ALEX DUGAS, David Gold, Jay Perry, JOHN SCETTA, andrew shepherd, Chelsea Stebner

SUBSCRIPTION One-year $39.95 / Two-year $64.99 Collision Repair™ magazine is published bi-monthly, and is dedicated to serving the business interests of the collision repair industry. It is published by Media Matters Inc. Material in Collision Repair™ magazine may not be reproduced in any form without written consent from the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertising and disclaims all responsibilities for claims or statements made by its advertisers or independent columnists. All facts, opinions, statements appearing in this publication are those of the writers and editors themselves, and are in no way to be construed as statements, positions or endorsements by the publisher. PRINTED IN CANADA ISSN 1707-6072 CANADA POST CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL SALES PRODUCT AGREEMENT No. 40841632 RETURN POSTAGE GUARANTEED Send change of address notices and undeliverable copies to: 455 Gilmour St Peterborough, ON K9H 2J8

“We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada”

Collision Repair magazine is published by Media Matters Inc., publishers of:


People on the move Charlotte Wilson has been named the new manager of Craftsman Collision’s Calgary South shop. Previously the manager of a small team of mortgage advisors for U.K.- Charlotte Wilson based Lloyds Group, Wilson moved to Canada in 2016 and picked up a job as a receptionist at Craftsman Collision in Calgary South. She now manages some fifteen staff members. “I joined Craftsman Collision because of the way in which they conduct their business, what they offer and the work environment they encourage,” said Wilson. She hopes to help Craftsman Collision provide the best possible experience for consumers, from a properly fixed car to a comfortable waiting room. “I want to go above and beyond customer expectations,” she added. France Daviault has been appointed vice president of the Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada. Daviault will be overseeing the development of the association’s strategic plan, France Daviault ensuring efficient and successful implementation of all operational plans for membership, events, communications, research, as well as identifying future member programs and services. “One of the things we celebrate here at AIA Canada is our unique organizational culture,” said Jean-François Champagne, president of the association. “We are convinced that France is and will be a champion of our values, an enthusiast for our culture and our potential. France brings terrific experience and a deep knowledge of the association industry.” For a full interview with Daviault, turn to page 28! CSN Collision Centres has announced that Ashley Thorpe has joined the CSN corporate team as national marketing manager. “Ashley brings a wealth of experience to CSN in market- Ashley Thorpe ing, communications and as an entrepreneur,” said Larry French, vice president of sales and marketing at CSN Collision Centres. “As the National Marketing Manager, Ashley will play a key role in furthering CSN’s growth plans through effective and creative marketing strategies that demonstrate our

commitment to exceptional, value-based customer service and strengthen the trust, confidence and admiration we are honoured to hold with Canadians across the country.” Thorpe will oversee CSN’s marketing department including national branding strategies, public relations, as well as external and internal communications. Terry Fortner has been promoted to the position of vice president of insurance, sales and marketing at LKQ. Previously, he was vice president of corporate accounts, leading the Terry Fortner oversight of key accounts including insurance and collision repair. Fortner will lead the formation of corporate and strategic sales plans for LKQ’s wholesale division within North America and maintain the company’s relationships with insurance companies, while creating new business opportunities. He will oversee corporate sales, insurance marketing, and business development operations. Fix Auto World has announced that DavidMarshall and Robert Hattem will join the board of directors. President and CEO Steven Leal announced these immediate changes. “We David Marshall have made some changes to our board of directors. These changes are sure to help us cement our position as a dominant force in the automotive aftermarket services industry,” said Leal. Robert Hattem Marshall is the former Assistant Auditor General of Canada and a Deputy Minister in the Federal Government. In the private sector.Hattem has worked in sales, distribution and development for almost fifty years. Marshall and Hattem join Jorge Arruda, Daniel Hogg and Steve Leal at the board table. They will now oversee more than 2,000 franchise, retail, repair, affiliate, distribution and manufacturing locations in forty countries.

8  collision Repair


Seasons of Change Readers tell us how they adapt to industry and the weather

January is a time of change. In this issue of Collision Repair magazine, two of our readers wrote to us on how they manage change in the face of the transition from fall to winter, and simple vehicle technology to complex. Remember, our readers’ opinions are important to us. If you have questions, comments or concerns that you want to voice, let Collision Repair magazine be your venue. Submit your reader letter to Please note that these letters have been shortened and edited.

Dear Collision Repair magazine, In Atlantic Canada, we enjoy the best of all our seasons. Spring melts the snow with the most beautiful sunny warm days. Flowers poke out of frozen ground to catch the first glimpse of the spring sun. The Atlantic salmon swim up impossible rivers to spawn. We have warm summers that rival the best weather at top vacation resorts anywhere in the world. Autumn glows with the beauty of red, orange, and brilliant gold. Bountiful harvests of produce of every kind can be found in stands on street corners. Oh, those three seasons have us spoiled. Then there is winter. In New Brunswick, there are many names for this time of the year. In our business, it’s collision season. We have eight foot snow banks shouldering roads that are a combination of ice, snow, and the occasional patch of bare pavement. Over these snow packed walls we have deer jumping into traffic, snowdrifts accumulating while getting blown into white outs on major highways. 10  collision Repair

We have vehicles exiting driveways through carved out tunnels with have no ability to see in either direction. Yes, for the three beautiful seasons we have, we pay dearly. So, how do you run a collision business at an even pace throughout the calm months and shift gears to operate efficiently during the winter rush? It’s like a restaurant on a Sunday morning waiting for the church crowd to arrive. Everyone has to be ready and in their places. From these issues, we see our greatest opportunity for solutions and process improvements. This year, my staff and I decided to hire a blue printer. We have great expectations for our new friend. Throughout the years, we’ve witnessed the pattern of vehicles coming in, estimates quickly written and parts ordered. The repair process begins, and we find we have missed damage. We send the car back out and order extra parts. Then we wait on back orders or weather related shipping delays. The tech finds another job to work on and the cycle begins again. This pattern helps no one. This winter, when each vehicle gets a blueprint plan and the damage discovery goes into the full depth of the affected areas, we’ll be better prepared. Imagine how our insurance partners and customers will react to our improved cycle times! So yes, we take the winter as an opportunity to learn and grow. Just maybe we can generate some new ideas that will help us improve overall. Thanks for reading; I have to go shovel the end of the driveway again. Steve Knox CARSTAR Fredericton Fredericton, Nova Scotia


Dear Collision Repair magazine, I first started in the collision repair business in the early ‘70s. I was always interested in vehicles, much like most young men of that era were. The vehicles were more simple, and anyone with any type of mechanical ability could repair and maintain their own vehicle. We were always looking for ways to make it go faster and customize it to look more appealing. The autobody trade filled that desire for me, so I continued to work in the industry and obtained my ticket with a red seal. When I was approached at a young age by a dealership to manage their newly constructed bodyshop. I jumped at the opportunity. Being in this business for so long, I have seen many changes. Just recently we have seen a shift to certifications, which is a step in the right direction given that all parties involved should use it as a benchmark to raise and set a standard for the industry. I believe shops that have taken steps to become certified should be compensated. I recently met with one of our insurance partners and asked the question, “What standards are shops that are currently on

your program required to have?” He told me that there was no predetermined standard currently set. I see this as a huge problem in our industry. I see banner programs setting up shops and insurance companies directing work to them, and I believe that not all these shops have the requirements that are needed if they are not certified. Some shops will adapt to these changes with time, and some will just try to survive with what they have. Some will simply close their doors. I feel that the door rate from some insurance companies have not matched demands put on shops to sustain added expenses to maintain a profit. I feel insurance companies must acknowledge what is going on in this industry and be prepared to step up and compensate shops that have invested time in training, equipment and certifications. This sets the new standard that all shops must be striving for to remain in business in the future. Gerald G. Gagnon City Center Auto Body Lloydminster Alberta / Saskatchewan

Spotlight on women in the industry Dear readers: In the coming months, Collision Repair magazine and its youth-oriented sister publication Bodyworx Professional magazine will be looking at the challenges facing women in the automotive repair industry, as well as the opportunities that are available to them. To do this effectively, we need to hear from women at every level of the automotive sector. If you would like to share your opinions, stories or concerns about being a woman in a profession traditionally dominated by men, we invite you to write in. Please note that we will reach out to anyone who sends in a sensitive story that is used or referenced in our coverage prior to publication. While we read every letter we receive, we lack the space to publish them all. To share your story, please email our editor and womens’ affairs columnist Erin McLaughlin at

february 2018 collision Repair  11

who’s driving?

Clarity for the Future The benefits of providing clear goals to your staff By Jay Perry


ccording to a recent BambooHR paper, the number one factor in securing highly satisfied, loyal and engaged customers is by cultivating highly satisfied, loyal and engaged employees. The number one thing that creates highly satisfied, loyal and engaged employees is creating clearly defined and relatable company goals. We have talked about goals in the past—this article focuses on how to go about the process of developing and reaching said goals.

Remember that it can be very easy for managers to focus on operations and forget to be leaders, but the reverse is also true. Truly inspirational leaders need to spend time on operations in order to understand what is needed for further success and growth of the organization when operations are challenged. They need to be in touch with the people that are doing the work. Listening at this type of level—not trying to solve the problem—goes a long way in helping formulate realistic and relatable goals for the crew.

Truly inspirational leaders need to spend time on operations.

We want to work with the truth: goals provide the focus needed to achieve a desired result. As early in your relationship with your employee as possible, invest the time necessary to clearly describe expectations on how you want to work with your customers and with your employees. What does the day-to-day look like? What are the foundational values that need to appear each moment of the day? An example could be, be polite to the customer. But what does being polite look like if, I as your employee, interact in person or sound like if I talk with your customer? Do you have clear, natural scripting to help people get up to speed with the jargon and the whole process-flow inside your firm? Can your people understand your message of how what they do at the micro-level affects the end-result? Most companies do this poorly. The values, the vision and the mission sound lofty and are noteworthy in their resemblance to competing companies. However, if you do this well, everyone can get on the same page because they can relate to what you have described. It will be something they believe in and would describe something they want to be a part of. That’s clarity, the only way to a secure future. 12  collision Repair

Connecting the skills involved in both leadership and management takes an intentional development effort. Investing in your managers in this way can improve both morale and performance at your organization. The more you understand through listening and learning ways to communicate your message, the more clarity you will develop. The more goals you can clearly convey, the easier it is for your people to understand and in turn teach to newcomers as your organization grows. You can see there is a balance required to be good at this leadership thing. Balance of listening with the ability to speak in clear terms. Balance of managerial duties with inspirational aspects of the messaging. Balance of investigation with institution. It requires a balance of the idealistic with a viewpoint that is based in a relatable reality. This is the only way you will be the one who’s driving. Jay Perry is co-author of the book Success Manifesto with Brian Tracy, and the founder of Ally Business Coaching, a process improvement and leadership development firm. He can be reached at


TrainSmart Double down on training

By Andrew Shepherd


ecently I had the great luxury of speaking to almost 100 shop owners, managers and technicians in Western Canada. My message revolved around the two “training imperatives” facing the collision repair industry. First, the massive technical advances in electronics, safety systems, materials and production

be facing the collision repair industry in the medium-to-long-term. These include vehicle telemetry, driverless vehicles and changes in ownership patterns. These disruptions will result in “disintermediation”—changes in traditional relationships for the shop. By example, OEMs in Europe commonly act as insurers as well

Vehicle manufacturers will be increasingly driven by fuel economy regulations.

methods we’ve seen over the past ten years and appear to be only the first onslaught of change. Vehicle manufacturers will be increasingly driven by fuel economy regulations—by safety requirements—and by consumer technology demands. Where we used to deal with a handful of different vehicle platforms with very similar repair procedures, we now manage hundreds and hundreds of unique applications. A recent OEM survey, discussed at CIC in the United States, revealed that manufacturers believe that technicians need 20 to 30 hours of training per year to keep up. My informal audience surveys suggests that roughly a quarter of the shops present do any I-CAR training, and that even supplier training was minimal. Beyond losing ground to rapid technical advances, any shop not doing recognized training will be shut out of shop certification programs and insurer DRPs. The second training imperative is of a different nature, and is perhaps a bit less intuitive than the need to address the technical challenge. AIA Canada’s recent research report on disruptors facing the aftermarket suggests that largescale changes of a non-technical nature will 14  collision Repair

as manufacturers. Vehicles with sophisticated telemetry capabilities could notify the dealer, the insurer and the repairer in the instant of an accident. The car owner is more likely to be a fleet company than an individual. And, without doubt, increased computer control will result in fewer accidents, forcing repairers to expand into new business areas, such as mechanical repair and equipment retrofitting. During this period of transition, many collision facilities will generate substantial profits—particularly as those not investing in people and equipment decide to exit the industry. But there is no doubt that long-term survival will depend on training and, on a higher level, implementing a “training culture” that will allow the business to be nimble and agile in dealing with change. Andrew Shepherd is the Executive Director of I-CAR Canada, a non-profit organization that provides collision repair training and ongoing education. He can be reached via e-mail at

Dear John

Eagleeye Are you getting the most out of your strategic partner?

By John Scetta


ear John: How do I know I have chosen a strategic partner that will best optimize the performance of my business?

Strategic partners can be a solid investment for your business and represent a lot of potential for your future. They can bring your shop to the next level, implement innovative techniques and technologies as well as teach you how to better run your collision repair facility. But like all potentially beneficial investments, you need to make sure it is the right choice for you and your business. How do you make sure it’s the right choice? Largely by keeping a close eye on your strategic partner and staying aware of

best tools and equipment. A fluff strategic partner will not contribute to moving your business forward. Knowing how to identify red flags and being able to determine whether or not a strategic partner is going to have positive impact on your business before you even commit yourself to them can save you countless headaches down the line. You want to treat choosing your strategic partner similarly to how you would approach hiring yourself a new staff member. When a prospective strategic partner makes a claim, do your research—figure out if what they claim holds up in reality, and get in touch with previous and current businesses that they have worked with. Ask questions; do

If your partner is legitimately adding value, they will set you up with a measurable plan for success. the positive or negative practices they demonstrate. Let’s explore what it is I mean by this: There are two types of strategic partners—those that actually add tangible value to your business, and those that simply contribute fluff (promises that sound great on paper, but never actually seem to come into fruition). If your partner is legitimately adding value, they will set you up with a measurable plan for success, guided by your goals and shooting for an ever-improving business. They help you stay on course, all the while analyzing your business and making suggestions. They will provide you with the data to allow you to track your progress. If they’re merely fluffing up your business, they will promise you success without grounding it in a solid plan. Your strategic partner is likely adding value if they are giving you both monthly reports with specific information on how your business is doing in the short-term, as well as an overview of how your business is doing as a whole, quantifying how you’re doing. A value-adding strategic partner will bring new innovative technology and ideas to your business, keeping you well aware of the latest and 16  collision Repair

they follow through with their promises, are they reliable communicators, were their reports accurate? Ask for specific examples of how they contributed to the growth of the business. Taking steps to verify their claims by asking for references will help you iron out your expectations and figure out if you are really making the right decision. It will also just give you some peace of mind—you won’t be entering into a new partnership blindly. If you don’t think your relationship with your strategic partner is as fruitful as you would like it to be, act now, because there is no time like the present. Sit down and figure out what your expectations are, bring them to your partner, and negotiate with them. If they are not open to your suggestions, it may be time to look for a new person to work with. John Scetta is the general manager of Performance Collision & Restyling in St. Catharines, Ontario. He can be reached via email at john.scetta@


Planning For Scanning With scanning comes great potential. Just don’t fall behind By Chelsea Stebner


canning vehicles. It’s either a dreaded discussion or the next big, exciting part of the collision repair world. Depending on how you view it, it will either put you on the progress path of repair or possibly vote you off the island. I think I can speak on behalf of most shops when I say that scanning is not an option, it is part of the repair process in our world today. How we all get there is a totally different thing. And that’s a challenge. For instance, do we train a technician to be the designated “scanning expert” and purchase our own aftermarket tools? Do we sublet to a provider such as Astech or Airpro? If you choose an aftermarket tool, how do you wade through the multitude of products that are popping up, all claiming to be the one? How do we trust that an aftermarket tool provides all the data we need in order to properly pre-scan, post-scan, initialize and calibrate vehicles? Or do we sublet to the dealers?

18  collision Repair

What happens in rural areas when your closest dealer is hours away? And are OEMs releasing information to aftermarkets soon enough that the aftermarket tools are updated quickly? So many questions without answers. We are navigating new challenges with an ever-moving target. In our current situation, we need to ensure that with scanning both our insurance companies and shops understand the why, when and how. Often, it comes down to, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” As a repairer, we need to understand that the pre-scan is part of the health check of the vehicle. Knowing the situation of a vehicle’s systems before we begin a repair is the first step. Take a Ford Taurus windshield replacement. Pre-scan, the coast was clear, however post-scanning, it brought up seven different codes that needed to be cleared and calibrated. On a windshield. This isn’t going away.


We are lucky that we have been forging a partnership with our insurance company. The team heading up the scanning pilot is open to our input—they want to be a part of the solution and they understand the importance of the entire process. Education for all involved is a high priority, including the frontline insurance staff. Let’s not hold up the repair of the vehicle back to pre-

Saskatchewan repairers and our insurance companies are working hard to be leaders in this area of repair. We look forward to the upcoming changes to our repair guidelines that will include scanning and diagnostic times. We look forward to the partnerships that have the same goal: safely repaired vehicles, back to preaccident condition.

We are navigating new challenges with an ever-moving target. accident condition because of a lack of knowledge and understanding of the process. Let’s go even further. Do our customers truly understand what it takes to repair the vehicle properly? Not only must we make sure the insurance company does, but we must ensure that our customer does, too. How are you sharing this information with your customers? Do they understand the issues involving pre- and post-scanning? Other challenges: the dealer, who may or may not have any more knowledge than us in scanning and diagnostics. Are the dealers equipped with the tooling and training required?

What are you doing to navigate this part of the repair process in your shop? Adapting your training and management techniques? Researching new technology as it enters the market? Changing the way you interact with your customers? Drop me a line and let me know.

Chelsea Stebner is a co-owner/operator of Parr Auto Body, a collision repair facility located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She can be reached at

February 2018 collision Repair  19

Point Blank With Piercey


am Piercey was a true original. As the co-owner of Budds’ Collision in Oakville, Ontario, Piercey was always willing to share his opinions and experience with other members of his industry, both in person and through his popular column in Collision

Repair magazine, Point Blank with Piercey. We are pleased to share some of Piercey’s most insightful columns in this space in

support of the Sam Piercey Foundation, which awards bursaries to outstanding students in autobody and car painting. Donations and commitments can be made online by visiting and clicking DONATE NOW. This will take you directly to Canada Helps, a secure payment platform for online donations. In the Fund drop-down menu, choose Sam Piercey Foundation (a fund established by Budds’ Group of Companies). Alternatively, donations may be directed to Sam Piercey Foundation, c/o Budds’ Group, 2454 South Service Rd. West, Oakville, Ontario, L6L 5M9.

Make Noise

Got an apprentice? Get their butt in class

By Sam Piercey

Sam Piercey was the co-owner of Budds’ Collision Services in Oakville, Ontario. He passed away on July 24, 2016, as a result of complications arising due to leukemia.


s we try to find new people and bring them into our industry, we start to understand that there are very few high-tech body technicians, painters and preppers left to hire. The solution we are faced with is to grow new ones. It’s not just a case of staff on the production side, though. We also have difficulty finding qualified upfront estimators, receptionists, detailers, parts people and so on. We need to reach out to our government, our MPs and our local schools—not to mention our insurance partners—and help them to have a fuller understanding of the difficulty we’re facing when it comes to staffing. It’s not just the collision repair industry, either. These days a lot of other industries that depend on high-tech skills are having the same problems we are. Personally, I know that there are lots of university graduates out there that can’t seem to find work. They have student loans to pay for and degrees in fields that don’t have work for them. What’s wrong with this picture? High schools have always pushed the idea that university is your ticket to a good job and respect. The message has also often been, “You’re a bum if your work gets your hands dirty.” I bet your high school guidance counselor didn’t come right out and say this, but they didn’t need to. Think back to your high school days. Did your school board have a trade or vocational school? If so, I bet they used it as a

20  collision Repair

convenient place to dump students who were always getting into trouble. The school gets a bad rep, because that’s where the bad kids go, so the good kids stay the hell away from it and anything connected with it. This situation has gotten better, but it’s still a long way from being good. You and I, our insurance companies, paint companies, other partners and our associations need to start making a lot of noise. We need to get teachers to push for a change so they can steer more good kids towards the skilled trades. The government needs to inject more funds to buy new equipment and equip teachers with up-to-date experience needed for trade schools. We need to start making noise right away. Have you been in a trade school lately? They have little equipment and a slashed budget, so how can they teach students the proper repair procedures with no equipment and teachers that are behind the curve? Some tech teachers are great and passionate about what they do, and they make sure to keep their skills updated. With that said, how often have you seen a tech teacher at an I-CAR or OEM course? Some of them go, but most don’t. The situation is even worse than it sounds. Did you know a lot of the colleges are thinking of scrapping their autobody programs? They’re not getting the butts in seats that they need to stay open. If you’ve got a kid on the apprentice track in your facility, you need to make sure they get to school. They need the education and we need to keep those schools open.

PROFILES OF SUCCESS Valérie and Michel Véronneau with the team at Fix Auto Sherbrooke.

Going Forward As Fix Auto turns 25, Michel and Valérie Véronneau are looking to the future


ix Auto is, and has aways been, a proudly Canadian brand. After 25 years the banner now spans several countries though its fundamental principle remains unchanged: customers come first. It is that very principle that has allowed Michel Véronneau and his daughter Valérie to keep up with the rythym of the auto repair industry throughout their three Fix Auto facilities in Quebec for the past 25 years. Fix Auto first saw the light of day in 1992, when about thirty auto repair shops in Quebec decided to group together. Under Jean Delisle’s charge, the company’s activities quickly spread to the rest of Canada. Michel Véronneau is one of the first ten auto repairers to operate under the Fix Auto banner in Quebec. The company, now helmed by Steve Leal, has changed considerably over the last quarter century, but is poised to transform even more over the next. Michel and Valérie recognize the importance of change in a constantly growing industry.

By Alex Dugas

February 2018  collision Repair  23


Fix Auto has focused on building its service offerings. Last June saw glass service expert Jacques Brière Jr. join.

“Jean Delisle and Daniel Fauteux approached me in 1992 because my Coaticook shop already held the Fix Auto image,” explains Michel Véronneau. “In the old days, Fix Auto already had a specific vision for its facilities. For example, the shop had to have a waiting room, a room for employees as well as a variety of specific equipment. My shop already had these specifications back then and here we are 25 years later, still holding on to the same principles we held back then, to offer an exceptional service to our customers.” The Véronneau family now operates two additional facilities. One in Sherbrooke East since 2000 and one in Sherbrooke Mi-Vallon since 2006. Their business has always been a family affair. Michel’s wife,

his daughters and sons-in-law of Michel are all involved in the shops’ operations. Valérie is currently Administrative Director for all three facilities. Having a business centred around family makes it all the more easy to provide a familial atmosphere, something that has helped promote sustainability for the Véronneaus’ teams. Each employee is entitled to a day off with pay on their birthday. “This can cause some problems when we have two birthdays on the same day, though we’re always happy to oblige,” says Michel. The family also recognizes the importance of thanking their employees with special activities. One of these special activities takes place in the winter, where staff and their families can come and drive snowmobiles and four-wheel-

ers for a family BBQ. This is a fine example of a family activity that brings the whole team together. Of course, running a shop is nothing like it was back in 1992. The last 25 years have seen a tremendous number of technological advancements in the auto repair industry. “Everything really started to change during the first five years,” says Michel. “In fact, the first years were a waiting period of change and of learning. It was during these first years that insurers really started to communicate with repairers.” Indeed, the collision repair industry has changed a lot since 1992. The relationship between insurers and repairer requires constant attention. With an education in administration, Valérie, who has been with the company for 17 years, recognizes the importance of this relationship and aims to keep up with the rhythm of progress. “17 years ago, insurers referred their customers to Fix Auto exclusively. Today, a competition has formed around Fix Auto,” explains Valérie Véronneau. “We need to keep our core values, which have made our success: exceptional customer service with a focus on personal touch.” All three shops offer an innovative service that aims to personalize the customer experience. Each workshop is equipped with technical advisers, whose main task is to guide customers through the entire collision repair process. These employees must receive training on absolutely every repair process in order to explain them to customers. In this way, customers know they are getting the best service and that they can place their trust in the shop. The

“Having a business centred around family makes it all the more easy to provide a familial atmosphere, something that has helped promote sustainability for the Véronneaus’ teams.” - Valérie Véronneau 24  collision Repair

Customer relations expert Simon Nadeau takes a call from a client.


Valérie Véronneau and the twelve other members of the Fix Auto Sherbrook team.

technical advisors also provide a personal touch to the shops. This, in turn, solidifies relationships with customers. “It’s important to give a personalized experience to all our customers. This is what our technical advisers offer by guiding the customer through the repair process, which can sometimes seem overwhelming,” comments Valérie. “The ultimate goal is to make sure the customer does not think twice when it’s

time for their next repair. It’s not complicated, it’s Fix Auto.” The staff has, of course, also changed over the course of the last quarter century. Today’s shop needs to be staffed with expertise in every area of collision repair in order to provide exceptional service. Since last June, Fix Auto has been able to offer the NOVUS Glass service to their customers. “This is a new Fix Auto service that will

allow us to expand our service offering. Our technical advisors will be able to offer their expertise with the NOVUS service,” says Valérie. The future seems fruitful for the Véronneau family’s Fix Auto shops, which focus on personalized services and a true family atmosphere. This is a great example of a collective effort that reflects Fix Auto’s values. The business plans to continue to follow such values, going forward.

Valérie and Michel Véronneau with Mélanie Hétu, a customer liaison officer.

February 2018  collision Repair  25


Setting a New Course France Daviault on the evolving relationship between AIA and the collision repair industry


rance Daviault was appointed to the position of vice president of AIA Canada in 2017 after working with the association since 2014. Daviault oversees the development of AIA’s strategic plan, ensuring efficient and successful implantation of all operational plans for membership, events, communications, research and identifying future member programs and services. Aside from AIA, Daviault has lead the Advancing Women in Automotive project, spoken at Canadian universities, and has presented at conferences across North America.

Collision Repair magazine: One of your goals is to bring collision repair to the forefront of the AIA. Your organization has made great strides over the past year to include the collision repair industry (via CCIF, I-CAR and accreditation) Can you give us an idea of what you’re planning? What kind of hurdles may stand in the way of bringing repairers to the forefront?

telemetry and changing ownership patterns. At the same time, global consolidation is far more evident and immediate in this sector than in mechanical services. With that in mind, this year the focus is on emphasizing the increasing need for technical training through I-CAR, and to identify and develop national policies and programs through the Collision Council.

France Daviault: The entire automotive aftermarket industry is facing radical changes with the advent of driverless vehicles, vehicle

CRM: What kind of hurdles will stand in the way of bringing repairers to the forefront? Do you have a plan for dealing with this?

Executive Vision focuses on discussions with key players in the auto claims economy. If you would like to know what’s going on in the mind of a specific individual involved in the collision repair industry, please email editor@

FD: We’ve seen several of our Collision Council members—paint companies, other suppliers and repair networks—move toward offshore ownership, which tends to take attention away from Canadian priorities. But there are realities here that need national solutions—language, geography, regulatory concerns, unique education

26  collision Repair

systems, etc. We’re firmly convinced that a national association driving national interest will provide winning solutions to our collision sector members. CRM: Does AIA provide services to collision repairers or mechanics? Why or why not? FD: Actually, right now AIA doesn’t provide direct services to either. We are looking to change that soon, however, when we open our memberships to the entire aftermarket industry, including shops. We look forward to being able to have direct connections between both mechanical and collision repair shops, as we understand that it is the front line of the industry that is the most affected right now by a challenging labour market and emerging technologies. Because of our evolution and path mentioned earlier, I would say that we have more experience providing


“We will be working on facilitating the development of a comprehensive education strategy this year.” – France Daviault France Daviault, AIA’s new Vice-President. This year she plans to focus on the need for technical training within the collision repair industry.

a statistical picture of the mechanical sector, but over the past four or five years we have started to dig just as deeply into the collision side. This is improving year over year as the industry sees the value that the national association can bring. On the flip side, the collision sector receives many services that do not apply on the mechanical side—I-CAR training, CCIF discussion forums and CCIAP shop accreditation are examples. Perhaps there are opportunities for similar services for the mechanical sector in the future. CRM: A year from now, what will we be seeing for collision repairers from AIA? FD: AIA is very excited to be releasing “AutoConnect” next summer—a new tool that will provide detailed, local and essential labour market information to members across the countr y.

Repairers will be able to view wage r at e s , j o b d e m a n d , s k i l l d e m a n d s , etc. for their region—a critical tool in finding and keeping qualified technicians. I-CAR will be releasing far more vehicle and OEM-specific courses, as well as many more hands-on training programs. The role of CCIF as a central action lever for the industr y will be more important than ever. We will be working on facilitating the development of a comprehensive education strategy this year and we’re involved more than ever with the government in advocating for a better apprenticeship and job matching system. As a result, I see AIA as a strong voice when it comes to influencing government policy. CRM: How do you think the industry will change in the next ten years? How will AIA help facilitate such changes?

FD: We are at the same point now than when the Internet was first introduced publicly. There is frantic debate right now on what the timeline for technological changes will be. We don’t have a crystal ball, but we do have awareness and preparedness on our side. We are leading the process in terms of taking stock of what is needed to survive as an industry. Our Disruptors Report points to some very large-scale changes in the industry, and provides a road map of things to come. The next decade will bring fundamental change not just to vehicle technology but to the traditional supply chain and customer relationships. Our goal is to use our sophisticated research capacity and our direct and positive engagement with government to ensure industry sustainability—we’re in it for the long run. February 2018 collision Repair  27


Going Up?

Uni-Select, LKQ and the province of Alberta are on the rise, as powerful paint companies eye mergers BY JEFF SANFORD


he price of oil is rising and Fort McMurray is recovering—good news for Albertans. This year, the western province, which has suffered sluggish growth for the past few years, could enjoy a 6.7 percent spike in its GDP. As for the rest of the country, Statistics Canada just released a report suggesting total household credit debt rose 1.4 percent in the quarter, leaving us $2.11 trillion in debt. This is worrying—international commentators talk about a Canadian housing bubble, and these concerns are being compounded by the slow pace of income growth, which rose by just 0.8 percent in the third quarter, lagging the growth in debt. As a result, Stats Can reports that the ratio of personal debt-to-income climbed to 171.1 percent in the third quarter, up a full percent from the previous one. On average, we owe $1.71 for every $1 we make after-tax. Already in far more debt then than the U.S. which is one of the highest in the world. As well, a report from Boston Consulting Group suggests these high debt levels could affect the level of consumer spending over the years to come. Beware.

AkzoNobel The game of musical chairs among major global paint companies has worked through a series of twists over the past couple of months. The attempted acquisition of AkzoNobel by PPG was a big story this summer, but when that deal fell through, it seemed to kick-off a chain reaction. Axalta began talking to Dutch paint maker AkzoNobel about a possible merger. Axalta called off the talks when an offer arrived from Nippon Paint Holdings. But the talks between Axalta and Nippon about a possible merger lasted just a few days. When news broke that those talks had been scuttled, the share prices of Axalta fell almost twenty percent in a single day. Shares

LKQ Meanwhile, major U.S. recycled parts distributor LKQ continues its push for global domination. The company had just completed one major European acquisition of a company called Rhiag. This quarter the company has announced yet another big European deal: Major German firm Stahlgruber GmbH will be the next jewel in the crown. The company is a European wholesale distributor of aftermarket spare parts for passenger cars, tools, capital equipment and accessories. It has operations in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.

CEO of PPG, Michael H. McGarry. McGarry has been quoted as saying the company is no longer interested in AkzoNobel.

A stock analyst that follows LKQ predicts shares could surpass USD $50 over the next twelve months, following the acquisition of Stahlgruber. “In our view, the long-term network effect of this deal is significant,” according to the analyst. The analyst also thinks the company’s prospects in North America are at a good organic growth acceleration above five percent, “... driven by more cars entering the three to ten year-old sweet spot, more parts per repair, and miles driven… We also believe alternative parts use in North America will rise as insurance companies look to lower claims costs. Over the longer term, Europe could become a sizable collision market.”

28  collision Repair

in the company had been drifting upwards for months as the various rumours of deals came and went. Nippon is thought to have offered an allcash offer $9.1 billion, which was a premium to Axalta’s market capitalization of $8 billion. The offer was even less than what AkzoNobel was offering. But apparently neither was good enough. Axalta continues as a stand alone company. You can bet there will be more to this story in the months to come. Some even think PPG could come back this winter with a new offer for Akzo once a “cooling off ” period mandated by Dutch law passes. The CEO of PPG, Michael H. McGarry, has been quoted as saying the company is no longer interested in AkzoNobel. But some have speculated that’s just game talk.

LKQ President Nick Zarcone. LKQ continues to push for global domination.


Uni-Select The Quebec-based paint distributor announced sales of $395.8 million in its most recent earnings report. This is up a remarkable 24.3 percent from the same period a year ago. Consolidated sales for the third quarter were $395.8 million, a 24.3 percent increase compared to 2016. A majority of the increase in sales has been driven by acquisitions, as Uni-Select continues to buy up smaller operators. This includes the recent purchase of major European operator, The Parts Alliance. Its recent acquisitions have added sales of $84 million to the bottom line. Within the company, the Canadian Automotive Group delivered a solid performance. Sales in the quarter were $133.6 million, up from $116.3 million in 2016. The increase of 14.8 percent was a result of strong organic growth at 7.7 percent, as well as the performance of recent business acquisitions and the strength of the Canadian dollar. Management noted sales were strong through both independent parts store customers, as well as the

Henry Buckley, President and CEO of Uni-Select. A majority of the increase in sales has been driven by acquisitions, as Uni-Select continues to buy up smaller operators.

company’s brands Bumper to Bumper and FinishMaster. Both stream reported positive organic growth. According to management, the growth is a result of, “...concerted efforts and initiatives of the management and sales teams as well as the favourable Canadian economic conditions.” Ongoing investments in the corporate stores are also helping. “Once the integration of the corporate stores and the implementation of

“Concerted efforts and initiatives of the management and sales teams as well as the favourable Canadian economic conditions.” the new point of sales systems are completed, additional synergies and efficiency are expected,” said Henry Buckley, President and CEO of Uni-Select. Organic growth at FinishMaster U.S. slowed, partly as a result of this summer and a product changeover. One analyst suggested shops should be on the lookout for a “sales push from the jobber” as it works to turn restart growth.

February 2018  collision Repair  29

Future Prep

Dealing with Disruptive Innovation By ERIN MCLAUGHLIN

Lessons From the Past Every few decades, an idea comes along that radically changes the way our world works. In the middle of the fifteenth century, it was the printing press, spreading renaissance ideas and leaving scribes unemployed. More recently, the Internet has done the same, radically changing business models in every industry, mercillous to travel agents and taxi drivers. These are disruptive innovations, and the next one may soon roll through to the automotive aftermarket. In the collision repair industry, areas prone to the potential affects of disruptive innovation include technology, customer preference, safety standards as well as consumer and business relations.

30  collision Repair

Future Prep

Disintermediation and the Aftermarket Roadmap for collision sector







• Continued consolidation

• Lower operating costs • Connectivity to insured, insurer, supply chain, dealer

• Volume of repairs • Changing “customer” • Business expansion • Retrofitting? Mechanical?

Market Mayhem When industrys undergo a drastic change resulting in the removal of entire links of the production chain, you have disintermediation. For example, imagine a world where insurers became unnecessary to collision repairs thanks to the arrival of Insurobot, a new technology able to absorb their responsibilities entirely. The insurance link disapears, and the insurers look for new lines of work.

The Disruptors of Collision Repair

1. Connected Vehicles

A new breed of car is entering the market: the connected vehicle. This evolved car will make use of many different technologies, including Internet access, the ability to communicate with other vehicles and safety features. In the eyes of the collision repair industry, one of the more disruptive features the connected vehicle may have is the ability to automatically notify police, the dealership where the car was purchased and a local collision repair facility in the event of a collision. The vehicle may even be able send information to the repair facility or dealership regarding what of the vehicle is damaged and what parts will need to be replaced. Undoubtedly convenient for the consumer, but this connected technology has the potential to dramatically alter the relationship between car owner and collision repair centre. According to Andrew

Shepherd, AIA, Senior Director of Industry Programs, “If the car is in a collision, the dealer may be contacted directly instead of the repairer.” This would create an additional “middleman” communicating to the repair facility on the customer’s behalf. Dealers may also begin to recommend or choose shops for the car owner instead of the customer undertaking their own research. For shop owners, this means more communication with dealerships and less with consumers. For technicians, it will likely mean repairing even more complex computerized vehicles. February 2018  collision Repair  31

Future Prep

2. Vehicle Ownership Changing vehicle ownership has, like connected vehicles, the potential to change the relationship between shop and consumer. Currently, individuals tend to own one or two private vehicles, but this form of ownership is expected to change. Over the next few years, consumers may begin renting vehicles from rental establishments as opposed to owning their own cars. The difference between these new rental facilities and traditional car rental businesses? Convenience, largely. Fleets may have AVs that will be able to

3. Autonomous Vehicles “Massive amounts of electronics and safety equipment are being introduced to the average vehicle, and this is just the start,” commented Shepherd. Safety features will eventually evolve to full on AVs, and the impact of this will be a significant reduction in collisions by about 89 percent, according to the Conference Board of Canada. Less collisions mean less customers for repair facilities, and it also means the technology we deal with is changing substantially.

drive themselves to a requested location, meaning a renter would simply have to request a particular vehicle electronically and wait for it to show up. When accidents occur, owners of these rental facilities will deal with collision repair shops, instead of individual customers. It is difficult to speculate exactly how deeply a shift in ownership will affect collision repair shops, but it certainly means, at the very least, the face of our customer is changing.

GFS (global posistioning system) Rear camera

Video cameras Ultrasonic sensors

Odometry sensors

Central computer

Engine Transmission Brakes Suspension Tires Diagnosis Software

LiDAR (light detection and ranging)

Radar sensors

EV - No oil EV - 1 speed EV - Less wear Still needed Still needed Connected car Connected car

4. Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles will pose a challenging learning curve for technicians, with technology that is very much unlike that of a traditional vehicle. Electric vehicles will need no engine, transition, software or diagnostics. Even breaks will have less wear on them. Work on suspension and tires in the event of a collision, however, will still be needed. 32  collision Repair

Future Prep

Timeline For Change How will it play out?

Beyond 2026: Full New Mobility Autonomous Vehicles are widley used; private ownership drops every year

2019 - 2021: The Connected Car Vehicle connectivity among non-luxury vehicles becomes commonplace

2022 - 2026: New Mobility Autonomous Vehicles are a reality; transportation is mediated by digital assistance

2017 - 2018: Current Situation Automatic braking, lane-change warnings, proximity indicators using sonar and radars

Keeping on Track with the Disruptors To Shepherd, the answer to maintaining a thriving business in the face of the onslaught of disruptive innovations, is all in the training. “We’ve been singing the hymn of training for at least ten years. As the entire system starts to change, it is imperative that the shop has a training culture,” he said. Training will not only be necessary to deal with new technologies, but it also may be needed as collision repair facilities begin to offer a larger variety of services as the need for collision repair shrinks. According to Shepherd, collision repair facilities that invest in training their staff can still find success and make a profit. “This can look like a doom and gloom situation, but it doesn’t have to be,” said Shepherd. In order to survive, shops will have to adapt, and ongoing training is one of the most sure-fire ways to do so. “A learning culture turns training into knowledge, and

knowledge into profit,” Shepherd said, adding, “this is not the end of the industry. It’s just a change in the industry as we know it.” Importantly, in order to survive disruptors, we need to start acting and prepare now—because the future is nearly here. Shepherd pointed out, “We have a tendency, when technology shifts, to think it’s going to happen more slowly than it does. General Motors just announced they plan to have driverless taxis developed by 2019. That’s just twelve months from now. Look at the Internet, it changed the entire world in just twenty years.” The world is changing indeed, and none of us can afford to get left behind. In implementing training programs, and staying aware of new technology as it enters the market, we may just be able to take on the future with confidence.

February 2018  collision Repair  33

Business strategy

A New Model Cobourg dealership owners come together to invest in collision centre


By Erin McLaughlin and Tom Davis

hey say the industry has changed since your father’s days. Well, perhaps it is about to change again. A group of local dealerships in Cobourg and Port Hope have joined forces to open their very own bodyshop—Northumberland Collision Centre. Those involved with the centre believe this is the beginning of a change for the industry, a shift away from the independently owned or franchisee business, toward a new model. Located just off Division St. in Cobourg, the bodyshop is the result of a joint investment from Hank Vandermeer of Vandermeer Toyota, Bud Lauria of Lauria Hyundai and Lauria Volkswagen, Jim Proskos and Nick Palalas of Cobourg Honda, Bill Campbell and Wayne Hamlyn of Thomas Buick GMC and Tyler Campbell of Cobourg Nissan. Proskos also owns Coboug Mazda. The group initially formed through Consolidated Dealers. They say it took about two years to carefully plan out the collision repair centre. To the investment group, the benefits of

buying together rather than individually are clear. For starters, of course, the price tag of operating a business is reduced significantly when associated costs are split between several people. As well, with seven dealerships feeding customers into the shop, Campbell describes the collaberation as a “sure fire success.” He added that they wouldn’t need any customers outside those seven dealerships to keep the doors open. Members of the investment group are often asked whether they will get along, especially considering that they’re technically rivals. According to Vandermeer, each of the owners takes turns taking on the position of chairman of the group. The chairman is in charge of making various decisions regarding the running of the business. The group is also brought together by a common goal: customer retention. The idea behind the opening of the store is for the dealers to offer their customers not just a “great sales and service experience,” but a full-service experience where they can look after their customers from start

34  collision Repair

to finish. “We want to close the loop in our services—we sell the car, and we fix the car,” comments Campbell. Proskos added to this, noting, “Our circle of customer satisfaction is not complete. If a customer gets in an accident, we have no control over the quality of the experience. We want to look after the customer no matter what.” A collision and the aftermath of a collision are difficult times for car owners, and it can help immensely for customers to know exactly where to go following a collision. “It’s a great comfort to know it’s being taken care of,” says Vandermeer. The new owners want to ensure their customers are guaranteed to receive services like scanning, in an effort to ensure customer safety and high quality vehicle repairs. Thus the business will focus on pre- and post-scanning each vehicle that comes through its doors, as well as using original manufacturer parts and guidelines. “Fixing it right the first time is the number one most important part of our service,” explains Campbell enthusiastically.

business strategy

The investment group that owns Northumberland Collision Centre wants to ensure their customers are guaranteed to receive services like scanning.

[TOP LEFT] An investment group of car dealers recently opened Northumberland Collision Centre. The owners are (from left) Jim Proskos – Cobourg Mazda, Cobourg Honda Hank Vandermeer – Vandermeer Toyota Nick Palalas – Cobourg Honda Tyler Campbell – Cobourg Nissan Bud Lauria – Lauria Hyundai, Lauria Volkswagen

The group formed a little over a year ago and began to develop the project with consultation from Consolidated Dealers, along with their respective manufacturers. At 1,000 square metres, it is already Cobourg’s largest collision centre, with options being discussed for future expansion in the next two to three years. Campbell notes that expansion will likely be necessary. “We were worried we would hit capacity the day we opened our doors, given the repair centre is associated with seven franchises. The main concern is making sure we have enough space to get cars back out to customers quickly.” To further accelerate turnaround time, the facility has installed three paint booths. Kor Stoker and his son Kurtis Stoker, who owned the business (Cal Kor Auto Collision) before its transformation, will now manage the business. The pair was eager to be part of this new facility. Kurtis Stoker says, “Working with Northumberland Collision Centre, we’re in a state where we can change with the industry. The dealerships and their access to technology

The collision repair centre has three paint booths to help shorten cycle times.

will ensure we don’t get left behind.” The Stokers will, according to Vandermeer, be in charge of the day-to-day operations of the facility, and overlook the technicians. “Kor has so much experience in the industry, and that makes our job easy,” comments Vandermeer. “I think Kor Stoker’s experience in the industry is what sets us apart.” Proskos’ excitement regarding working with Kor and Kurtis Stoker echoes that of Vandermeer. He says, “With their experience, it’s them that’s going to make us successful.” Interestingly, the facility was able to hire all the qualified staff it needed, despite common issues surrounding finding technicians in the industry. On this, Campbell says, “Word on our state of the art facility got out, and this is very appealing to youth. With seven dealerships associated we have guaranteed customers, which means job stability for our staff.” That being said, staffing was still a concern in the business’ early stages of development, though this issue quickly disappeared. “We’ve had technicians lined up to

work for us since the day we opened. It’s been a pleasant surprise,” claims Proskos. Along with new employees, the team of technicians originally working at Cal Kor Auto Collision have been moved to the new facility. The brains behind Northumberland Collision Centre certainly see the benefits of their business strategy—but why are they so confident this is the future of collision repair? Campbell argues the reasoning lies largely in the growing necessity of providing customers an all-around guarantee of a positive car-owning experience—from the initial purchasing of the vehicle to having it repaired in the event of a collision. “I can’t see why dealers in any town wouldn’t do what we’re doing,” said Campbell. This form of collision repair business ownership may be the start of a new world of collision repair, very different from one of individual owners. The success of Northumberland Collision Centre will be closely followed over the coming year, as the question sits on our lips, “What’s next for the collision repair industry?” February 2018 collision Repair  35

Customers First

Ploders Collision Fix Auto Aurora, from left: Cuong Phung and Scott Veitch.

Treat Them right

Supreme Collision Centre, from left: Chris Reddick, and Cuong Phung.

Fix Auto Ajax Central, from left: Cuong Phung, Gavin D’Agrella, and Louis Tang.

Simplicity Car Care, from left: Louis Tang and Frank Ieraci, and Cuong Phung.

Bongard Collision, from left: George Petrou, Cuong Phung, Dave Corkin, and Louis Tang.

Small visits make a big impact By James Kerr


e all know that customers are the lifeblood of business, but in today’s time of lean process’, maximising every dollar and ensuring each employee is spending their time in maximum efficiency, the customer side of the business can sometimes take a backseat to getting the job done. This is not the case at Drive Autogroup. When it comes to customer service Cuong Phung, Director of Parts and Wholesale, Drive Autogroup, wrote the book! In good Christmas spirit, Cuong and his team went to each and every one of his customers and gave them a gift of the season. Among those he visited were: Simplicity Car Care, Don Butt Collision Centre, Fix Auto Ajax Central, Royal Auto Body, Bongard Collision, Ploders Collision Fix Auto Aurora, Supreme Collision Centre. All in all, that’s over 150 locations Cuong visited to bring a little holiday cheer to his customers. It’s this type of partnership that increases the bond between customers and suppliers. Remember that the industry isn’t very large, and all your customers are connected in the community. A small gesture of kindness can go a long way for any business. The support that we give each other will benefit the industry. Cuong and his team stand as a guide post for all of us to follow. The more you give in to the community, your industry, your customers, the better our future will be.

36  collision Repair

Don Butt Collision Centre, from left: Andrew Hodson, Louis Tang, Cuong Phung, Lauren Hodson, Kathy Belling Davies, and Gord Hodson.

Royal Auto Body, from left: Louis Tang, Cuong Phung, Jan Sanderse, Melinda Boucher, Robert Wagner


Hollywood entertainment companies have entered the autonomous race with in-car technologies By Jeff Sanford


he Autonomous Vehicle (AV) story continues to accelerate. A report from the transit-focused Aspen Institute finds that almost, “... four dozen cities around the world are experimenting with [self-driving vehicles].” According to the report, “An additional 22 cities have begun considering the regulatory, planning, and governance implications of AVs but have not yet agreed to trial them.” An issue that was just a trend a few years ago is now rapidly becoming a movement. One of the biggest clues to the future of AVs emerged this past month when General Motors (GM) held a highly anticipated investor presentation that touched on the 38  collision Repair

Advertisers will be able to deliver interactive, geolocated advertising based on nearby shops, restaurants and businesses.

automakers plans for self-driving cars. Many have dismissed the possibility that the major Detroit-based OEMs could keep up with nimble Silicon Valley tech firms, such as Google, in the race to build an automated vehicle. But the company has surprised analysts by being one of the fastest movers in this space. GM seems to have suddenly sped up its plans for AVs, and is leaving other OEMs like Chrysler and Ford in the dust. The company has moved quickly, buying up a ride-sharing service, Cruise Automation, which is working on AV tech. More recently, GM bought up a maker of LiDAR units—a key piece of tech for AVs. Now the company has brought forth solid plans and timelines as to its implementation of an AV strategy.


Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel says AVs represent a new type of “consumer space” for entertainment companies.

Waymo, Google’s AV subsidiary, has a deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to use Pacifica minivans.

GM’s management made it clear during its presentation that the motive for its AV strategy is purely a business one. This is about profit. According to the presentation, ride-hailing services currently in operation (Uber, Lyft) cost consumers between $1.60 and $2.40 a kilometre. The companies pay drivers equal to about “three quarters” of that revenue. By taking the driver out of the equation, costs plunge possibly to below $1 per kilometre. In an age when younger generations are choosing to live in urban cores and not buying cars in a traditional manner, this could be a big business. GM expects it will be able to generate several-hundred thousand dollars of revenue over the lifetime of each AV in a ride-share business. This is much more than the $30,000 that vehicles sold currently generate for GM, according

to numbers quoted in the presentation. It is believed that early AVs will cost upwards of several hundred thousand dollars, putting them out of range for most drivers. Operating these cars through a ride share service is one way to develop the technology while working toward a reduction in costs. It is worth pointing out that GM recently bought a company called Strobe, which makes LiDAR systems. Currently, these light-based radar systems cost about $20,000. But it is said that Strobe is working to produce a LiDAR system for just $300. These are the kinds of cost reductions that will allow the sector to blossom. There will also be new revenue streams generated by AVs. As one analyst points out, “The cars will capture information about traffic, consumer habits, how delivery services

work and what happens in car accidents… That could help GM create a massive Internet of Things platform that could be of use to a variety of businesses, including insurance and delivery companies.” Uber has signed a deal with Volvo that will deliver 24,000 AV SUVs. Waymo, Google’s AV subsidiary, has a deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to use the Pacifica minivans being built in Windsor. The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan was one of the major institutional investors buying up a stake in ride-share company Lyft. The company recently went to market for financing. In the case of the GM fleet, the company will utilize its electric Bolt vehicle. According to a GM executive speaking at the presentation, these cars will, “... need minimal maintenance and upkeep even when in constant use as part of a ride-share fleet.” So far investors seem to love the idea. Shares in GM have been on tear of late, rising 24 percent so far this year, far outpacing Ford, which has yet to introduce similar plans. Another deal announced in the past few weeks takes the AV hype to remarkable new levels. Chipmaker Intel and Warner Brothers announced a partnership to develop technologies that will bring entertainment options to the AV market. As Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel put it in an interview; AVs represent a new type of “consumer space” for entertainment companies. That is, once people don’t have to drive they will need to be entertained while travelling. Krzanich was also quoted as saying, “... the rise of the AV industry will create one of the greatest expansions of consumer time available for entertainment we’ve seen in a long time.” The Hollywood Reporter notes that some analysts predict that in-car streaming entertainment could result in as much as $200 billion per year in extra revenue.” Another Hollywood studio executive was quoted as saying, “Can the windshield be the movie screen of tomorrow?” The answer is clearly, “yes.” Advertisers will be able to deliver interactive, geo-located advertising based on nearby shops, restaurants and businesses. Passenger biometric data will recognize that the passenger is generally too hungry to wait. The passenger can be served with ads and offers for nearby restaurants. The most frenzied predictions are that the telecom companies, content providers, game developers and e-commerce companies will transact business within the car. Will collision repair centres have to develop the skills to fix video screens? Arguably, yes. February 2018  collision Repair  39

marketplace update

NewCollisionFrontier Consolidation slowing: industry icon reports By The Romans Group


onsolidation within the collision repair industry is slowing, and there is at least one “category killer” among North America’s four largest multiple location consolidators, according to the latest and eleventh annual report from industry guru Vincent Romans and The Romans Group. “MLO consolidators have altered their market development and growth strategies from primarily acquiring large multiple location operators (MLOs) as a quick way to enter new markets and expand existing first tier markets,” according to Romans in Advancing Our Insights into the 2016 Collision Repair Marketplace. The report presents the concept that consolidators’ network development strategy now includes a combination of continued aggressive organic growth, and selectively building out and expanding existing markets to include “cluster and tuck ins,” which are based more on single location acquisitions, brownfields and greenfields.

Advancing Our Insights into the 2016 Collision Repair Marketplace Industry contraction has stabilized. Consequently, we see a temporary market equilibrium resulting in a slowdown in the rate of loss of collision repair facilities nationally. The current encouraging health of the collision repair market is due in part to an increase in accident frequency and the upward trend in vehicle repair severity. Nevertheless, we remain certain of the path forward involving the continued long term, multi segmented market’s structural transformation throughout the entire auto physical damage ecosystem for all companies providing products, services, software and technology that in any way touches vehicles in the U.S. and Canada.

U.S. Collision Repair Industry Since 2006, the total growth within the four U.S. segments we track and analyze; four independent consolidators, ≥$20 million multiple location operators, MLOs, franchise and banner groups, and $10 to $19 million MLOs which we did not track in 2006, have grown from $3.8 billion to $11.7 billion in market share, an 11.9 percent compounded annual growth rate. The top ten ranking of all ≥$20M segment repairers including independents, dealers and franchisors can be seen in the table below. Under the “all repairers” column, we see there are four independent consolidators, three independent franchise organizations and three dealer groups. Within this ≥$20M segment, the four independent consolidators represent well over half of the revenue processed in 2016. We estimate that by 2021, the four consolidators could represent nearly a quarter of the market. When combined, the four segments we track and analyze could represent, on an aggressive market gain basis, up to 50 percent of the collision repair industry by 2021. The following chart reflects the ranking of the Top ten multiple location operators and networks for 2016. Industry guru Vincent Romans, of the Romans Report.

February 2018  collision Repair  41

marketplace update

Canadian Collision Repair Market The Canadian market continues to consolidate with the franchise and banner segment now representing over half of the Canadian private insurance and consumer paid auto market. When you add the ≥$10 million MLOs in Canada, the combined larger segment has a significant majority share of all the private passenger insurer and consumer-paid market. Under the “all repairers” column in the following chart, we see a combination of banner, franchise and independent groups represented in the top ten ranking category.

Since 2010, Canada has lost just over 50 percent of it collision repair locations, dwindling from 10,000 to just 4,750.

U.S. and Canada Although the U.S. has seen an increase in consolidation within the multiple location operator segments, Canada remains significantly more consolidated in the revenue generated by the combined franchise and banner and ≥$10 million MLOs. In Canada, this combined segment group represents a market share more than double that of the same U.S. segments. Within the U.S. market, the ≥$20 million independent and dealer MLO segment is the largest, while the franchise and banner network MLOs remain the dominate business model in Canada. When ranking all repairers for the U.S. and Canada, and consolidating those that operate in both countries, four operate in both the U.S. and Canada while five are in the U.S. only and one is solely in Canada. These top ten U.S. and Canada combined repair organizations have experienced a $3.3 billion revenue increase since 2012, generated through 1,049 more locations than in 2012. 42  collision Repair

U.S. Top 10 MLO/MLN Repairers - 2016 Independents

All Repairers




Auto Nation

Service King

Service King


ABRA Corporate & Franchise

ABRA Corporate & Franchise

Berkshire - VT






Group 1




Auto Nation

Fix Auto


Fix Auto

Cook’s Collision

Carl Sewell


Joe Hudson

Terry Taylor AMSI

Berkshire - VT

Classic Collision


Canada Top-Ranked Repairers - 2016 All Repairers

Franchisors & Banners

Independents & Dealers

Collision Solutions Network

Collision Solutions Network

Assured Automotive




Fix Auto

Fix Auto





Assured Automotive


Auto Canada







Auto Canada




U.S. & Canada - 2016 Top 10 Revenue Consoldated Repairers



Caliber Collision



Service King





Independent & Franchise










Fix Network



Collision Solutions Network



Auto Nation






marketplace update

U.S. and Canada Collision Repair Market Size U.S. Average Sales Per Location USD $666,000

Since 2010, Canada has lost just over 50 percent of it collision repair locations, dwindling from 10,000 to 4,750. Compared to the U.S., Canadian average annual repair revenue in 2016 was $485,474 per location, 55.9 percent lower than the U.S. average of $1,101,852. As a sign of ongoing consolidation, the average revenue per repair facility for both Canada and the U.S. has been steadily increasing over the last few years. The pace of collision industry consolidation and contraction has shown signs of slowing down over the past 18 months. MSO consolidators will continue to grow and will


Average Sales Per Location USD $1,101,852 Canada in USD $485,474

do so in the immediate future through single shop or smaller MLO platform acquisitions, brownfields and greenfields. The number of qualified and willing MLO sellers and the consolidator MLOs’ changing appetite for paying what they perceive and believe were, and still are, seller-inflated price expectations, will put pressure on any high level of activity for platform transactions in the near term. Occasionally, a large market leader or collision repair organization providing a new or extended market platform entrance, such as Assured Automotive of Ontario, Canada, recently acquired (July 2017) by

The Boyd Group, may realize higher than average platform valuations. We believe that the market segments profiled within our report will continue to gain share within the collision repair industry and expand their revenue base. This will be accomplished with growth coming from acquisitions, brownfields and greenfields and by adopting a diversification strategy that leads them to incorporate both new competitively advantaged collision repair process models or extended differentiated lines of business services.

February 2018  collision Repair  43


e m o C o t s r a e Y e r u t u f e h t s d r a w o CCIF looks t By James Kerr


he who’s who of collision repair was represented at the huge showroom of Toronto’s International Centre at CCIF Toronto 2018. New products, methods and ways of understanding were in every corner. From banners, to engineers, to paint giants, it seemed like everyone was there. In fact, a record-breaking 916 registrants attended the enormous event—up from 750 just one year ago. “We welcome you to the biggest CCIF ever,” said Brigitte Peseant, director of collision programs, AIA Canada, at the opening of the event. The number of collision repair shops in Canada has not grown, so where are these hundreds of new faces coming from? Could it be that level of engagement in the industry has risen? Perhaps more questions are being asked about the future of collision repair, and thus more answers are needed. No one can doubt the rapid pace of change happening in collision repair right now, and attendance at a big conference carries with it attractive promises about helping smooth the industry into the future. Founded on three pillars, CCIF promises to deliver to the industry profitability and sustainability; people—through recruitment, hiring, training; a stronger work-force, and information on vehicle technology. For many, it is the place to find answers. “This is our meeting,” said CCIF chairman Patrice Marcil. “This is our industry.”

(From left) Vince Maida of Desjardin Insurance; Tony Mammone, Aviva General Insurance and Michael Macaluso, president of CARSTAR Canada..

Changes Are Here, Changes Are Coming “Things go really fast with technology,” said Jean-Luc Sauirol, business manager, Alldata, during his presentation on pre- and post-scanning. “You take a week’s vacation, come back and everything’s changed.” On stage before a packed audience, Sauirol cited that by the year 2020 as much as 25 percent of a vehicle will be electronic. “That’s why we have to be into technology,” he said, addressing shop owners in attendance with on-the-ground tactics, tips and red flags to look for during pre- and post-scan procedures.

Rodica Matel, Chief Operating Officer of Wedge Clamp and Steve Celli, owner of Maaco Collision Repair Newmarket.

February 2018  collision Repair  45


New Generation

“By 2020 our workforce will look completely different,” said Marie Artim, vice president of talent and acquisition, Enterprise, during her presentation. Artim suggested shops should adopt a different approach to hiring the millennial generation. “Don’t focus on cars,” she suggested. “Encourage people to know your culture, your attitude—what makes you different.” Gabriel Merino, founder, Motivated Painters, said, “This industry needs to encourage more young people to be, and do better.” Merino is heavily involved with a social media network for an “audience of painters who are trying to become better and help each other out.” Merino said, “This industry needs more people helping each other. Collaboration is so much better than competition.” Collaboration may be a key theme of the millennial generation. With their e-commerce and ride sharing, they seem to be doing what they can to avoid the direct dollar. But with the workforce passing into millennial hands, the collision repair industry may need to come together in teaching the next generation. Jason Bartanen, director, industry technical relations, I-CAR, put it directly: “We need a lot more schools, a lot more talent coming out of schools. There’s no way to avoid it.”

Industry Investment Brad Mewes, principal, Supplement, shared a data-driven overview of company growth in Canada, focused on the consolidation trend in the Canadian market. He led a panel discussion on collision repair as a wise business investment. The panel consisted of Steve Huntzinger, co-founder and managing partner, Dunham Lane Capital Partners; Steve Leal, president, Fix Automotive Network; Michael Macaluso, president, CARSTAR North America; and Jeremy Thompson, partner, Penfund. Thompson noted: “Dollars per repair are going up. Frequency is going down, but in the investment horizon it’s not going to be an issue.” All panel members agreed the collision repair industry is a wise investment. On consolidation Macaluso said simply: “It’s the natural progression of the industry.” Perhaps the most far-reaching insight, and maybe foretelling of concerns down the road, was a remark by Leal. “The connected car to me is the biggest risk,” he said. “Who has the right to the data? That’s what I see as the challenge of the industry.”

(From left) Joe Carvalho, Economical Insurance and past CCIF Chairman; Larry Jefferies, Jefferies Consulting; Terrence Bradimore, CK Collision Centres; Tony Sutera Sardo, RSA Insurance; Tony Mammone, Aviva General Insurance; Patrice Marcil CCIF Chairman and Axalta Coating Systems.

(From Left) Jeremy Thompson, partner, Penfund; Steve Leal, president, Fix Automotive Network; Brad Mewes, principal, Supplement; Michael Macaluso, president, CARSTAR and Steve Huntzinger, co-founder and managing partner, Dunham Lane Capital Partner.

Brigitte Peasant, director of collision programs, AIA Canada and Arman Gurarslan, managing director of Arslan Automotive Canada at the 3-D measuring workshop.

Consolidators and Independents There is help for independent shops trying to find their best course through the industry, according to Dave Luehr, owner, Elite Body Shop Solutions. During his presentation he encouraged shops not to fall into the ‘victim mindset’ and see the opportunities available to them in today’s collision repair landscape. Among the secrets he shared on stage, he stressed adaptability and continued learning. “I talk to people who won’t give up what made them successful, even though it’s not working now.” Luehr went on to comment: “My grandfather used to say: ‘Just work hard and you’ll be successful.’ He was wrong. You have to work hard on the right things.” According to Luehr, the answers to thrive in today’s landscape of consolidation are out there. 46  collision Repair

Anthony Iaboni speaks at the 3-D measuring workshop.


CCIF attendants. This year, the number of attendees hit record highs.

Members of the SATA team. From left: Jason Couillard, Business Development Specialist; John Turner, General Manager; Brian Rigo, Warehouse Manager; April Chadwick, Marketing Specialist; Bob Wills, Business Development Specialist.

3-D Frame Measuring Workshop The first workshop of CCIF Toronto saw technology experts from across the industry demonstrate the principles and importance of electronic 3-D frame measuring during the repair process. “Our world has changed,” said John Marlowe, blueprint specialist representing Wedge Clamp Systems. “We live in a science-driven environment now. Everything we do must be measured and documented. We can no longer look at a car and know it’s not damaged or know where the damage is.” With collision repair technology evolving at such a rapid rate, a new way of doing things can seem daunting, especially when it carries an equipment cost. Regardless, all the companies presenting their product solutions at this seminar—Arslan Automotive, Wedge Clamp Systems, Car-O-Liner Automotive Systems, Spanesi, Chief Automotive and CARBENCH—were unified in the opinion that electronic measuring is vital to the success of a collision repair business. Presentations of 3-D measuring systems, though by very different companies, had similar goals. Each company sought to prove ease-ofuse, portability, continued support after purchase, benefits and that relevant easy-to-read reports can be generated. All of those presented use the Mitchell data template, but their systems varied wildly in shape, size and method. “Most collision centres I walk into, they think: 3-D measuring, I’ve got to get my bodytech for that. But I see more value in 3-D measuring in repair planning,” said Anthony Iaboni, owner of Collision 360, presenting on the Spanesi system, “From that repair planning process you’re giving a path for the rest of the repair. The value to any measuring system, not just Spanesi’s, is to use it in repair planning.” The complexity of modern vehicles means eyeballing damage will not tell you the whole story. Richard Perry, global repair product manager, Chief Automotive, asked the crowd: “How many vehicles have you worked on that have been worked on before? That’s why you have to scan the whole vehicle. What if you find nothing? Then you have documentation showing that there was nothing. You can’t fix what you don’t know. If you’re not measuring these vehicles completely, are you sure you found all the damage in that vehicle? Because remember, when it leaves the shop, who is responsible for it? You are.” With this seminar, the CCIF facilities the industry educating the industry, showing a clear path towards measuring future success.

Joe Carvalho, of Economical Insurance and past CCIF chairman. Terry Allen, president of Speedy Collision.

Art Ewing and Russell Duncan of Pro-Spot.

Ellen Smith of Media Matters and Domenic Ireaci, President of Simplicity Car Care.

Leigh Peters, CEO of LG Peters.

The Future of Repair It seems the next few years for collision repair are being anticipated in the minds of key industry decision-makers. With CCIF offering such an excellent turn-out for shop owners, it was a great opportunity for all levels of the industry to share. At a conference such as CCIF you have the ear of those key decision makers, and those decision makers have the ear of the shop majority. Together they have the ability to look ahead to collision repair’s future. CCIF talks about next year, five years from now, and beyond. february 2018  collision Repair  47

Industry Event

n cites e’s Mike Anderso Collision Advic deaths from a ion llis co t ou ab statistics on report. alth Organizati 2014 World He

m r o f s n a r T o t s c i t a Telem r the future fo t n e m te ta s s hosts bold Pfaff Autowork Davis By Tom


he industry is about to change. At Pfaff Autowork’s open house event, industry stalwart Mike Anderson of Collision Advice cited a 2014 study from the World Health Organization (WHO), which found that 1.24 million people die in traffic accidents each year. What is significant is that the research predicted automobile accidents would be the fifth leading cause of death by 2030. What it predicted would take fifteen years to be reached, actually took just three. “Automobile accidents were the fourth highest cause of deaths in the U.S. in 2016,” said Anderson. As a result of these shocking figures, Anderson said OEMs have four priorities: preventing fatalities, minimizing bodily injuries, improving fuel economy and creating safety and comfort features. This is how telematics enters the picture. Anderson claimed that the introduction of telematics will completely change the way collision repairers

operate their business. Telematics, which gives a vehicle real-time alerts and diagnostic information, can cut down on first responders’ time and in return reduce the severity of vehicle accident injuries. The technology includes features such as accident avoidance, accident response, claims investigation, as well as theft and fraud deterrence. The technology allows OEMs to be notified when a vehicle is in an accident and further enables them to refer the driver to a repair shop in real-time. Anderson explained that it is not a case of whether this will be introduced to the market, but when. A generational shift will be vital to this, as well as the affordability of vehicles that use the technology, he claims. Insurers are likely to offer incentives for drivers willing to be monitored through new technology. The point is—the control of repair referral—and more—could rest in the hands of telematics. February 2018  collision Repair  51


According to Anderson, OEM manufacturers will be the ones guiding this change. “Autonomous vehicles make for good news but are ‘not the priority’ for OEMs,” he explained. An example of this is Toyota’s luxury vehicle division, Lexus, which will require repairers to input a VIN number into the OEM manufacturer website and deactivate it. If the repairer does not deactivate the VIN, the consumer will receive emails that their car is damaged for each change the shop makes. Not only would this irritate a repairer’s customer, but it would also damage their relationship with the shop. Anderson claims telematics has made even the simplest of repairs more complicated. There are now new aspects that repairers need to take into account when simply changing a battery. If a repairer doesn’t follow OEM recommendations for each repair, it will now be liable for future issues with the vehicle, says Anderson. He cites the John Eagle collision case, stating liability will always transfer after a repair even if the car is sold to a new owner. “Following the OEM recommendation is vital, he comments. “Not meeting recommendations is negligence.” Repairers will also need to learn how to repair electric vehicles. “Electric vehicles will be the diesel of the future. You will see more electric and hybrid vehicles in the future and everything we’ve had to learn about repairing aluminium is coming with electric vehicles,” says Anderson. Various OEMs have released bulletins on electric vehicles and painting booths—for all electric vehicles there is a temperature limit they can be exposed to. “This will completely change painting tech-

A host of industry stakeholders attended the Pfaff Autoworks’ open house, which aims to encourage greater dialogue between repairers, insurers and OEMs.

nology in the future,” comments Anderson. He also points to the fact that OEMs have symbols for parts that need to be replaced— not repaired. It’s more important than ever to follow OEM recommendations. Anderson explains: “As you move forward, it’s important to learn about OEM repair procedures. Learn to research OEM repair procedures, and then research OEM procedures to learn how to do repair procedures properly.” Collision Repair magazine was invited to Pfaff Autoworks’ open house event to hear Mike Anderson and others speak. Key stakeholders from across the industry gathered to discuss ways to bring repairers, insurers and OEMs together. The event

Titatiumn Tools and Equipment owner Matthew Banister gets hands-on in a demonstration during his presentation.

52  collision Repair

aimed to bring all three parties together and encourage them to work towards the common goal of the consumer by way of repairing cars to OEM specifications. “This will ensure a safe repair in an economical process,” comments Jeff Pabst, general manager of the Pfaff site and founder of the event. “This annual event stemmed from an idea I had about inviting the insurance industry into our bodyshop and educating them about the way we operate and how we can communicate more moving forward.” Anderson’s talk was followed by demonstrations and further break-off talks from OEMs and suppliers. These talks included presentations from Greg Aguilera at Porsche Canada, Scott Wideman from Volkwagen Group Canada, Matt Bannister of Titanium and Dave Flockhart of BeTAG Innovation. Gary Lin of BMW Canada also presented at the open house. Speaking of the event he said: “This [event] allows participants to have a hands-on experience on how our vehicles are repaired and returned to the safety specifications, which BMW Group engineers had defined when the vehicles were originally built.” Overall, the event offered a good opportunity for collision repairers, insurers and OEMs to connect and discuss how they can work together in the future to give the end-customer the best possible repair. Collision Repair magazine enjoyed catching up with some key stakeholders across the industry, but the question remains how repairers will adapt to the rapidly advancing future of technologies.

Global View


There’s money where it’s sunny

Spotlight on Mexico By Gideon Scanlon


n reports on the international scene, Collision Repair magazine has paid little attention to Mexico. The auto repair industry in Mexico long seemed so different in structure from its Canadian counterpart, that it was not worthy of serious investment consideration. But times have changed and new opportunities are knocking in the south—is anyone is bold enough to listen? The industry in Mexico remains a very different beast than the insurer-driven model that has made this industry so stable in Canada. To start, there is no mandatory insurance. Only 1.3 of the 4.3 million car accidents that happened in 2016 were covered by insurance companies. The rest are performed by an immense—and informally trained— underground economy manned by more 54  collision Repair

than 70,000 uncertified technicians. While in Canada, repair technicians have an average wage above $40 per hour, certified technicians in Mexico can expect just $8. Differences in industry structure aside, cars in Mexico are treated very differently than in Canada. Of the 30 million vehicles on the nation’s roads, more than half are more than fourteen years-old—compare that to eight years-old in Canada, and the differences become even starker. In Mexico, most drivers will keep their vehicle running until it crumbles to dust, having never once taken it in to a qualified bodyshop. So why the change of heart on our parts? To begin with, all 1.3 million insurer-driven repairs—just 100,000 fewer than in Canada—are performed by just a few thousand trained technicians.



The information on the IBIS Report was prepared by Alexander Guillet of Journal de ‘l’Automobile.

With just 2,000 receiving certification last year, the size of the insurance-driven workforce may be dwarfed by their underground competitors, but it absorbs a vast majority of the industry’s profits nationwide. In fact, the insurance-driven side of the economy saw $1.25 billion of business in 2017—compared to Canada’s $1.75 billion. Secondly, while the uncomputerized mechanisms in the aging Mexican fleet may be easily serviced by untrained technicians, the 28 percent of drivers who are covered by insurance have much newer, and far more complex-to-repair, vehicles. Just take a look at the number of alternate fuel vehicle on Mexico’s roads.


119 million


$1.14 trillion


38 million

Collision Repair Facilities

1,369 certified 27,979 total

Number of Insurers:


Hourly Labour Rate

$8 per hour

In 2015, the government registered just 1,437 new alternative fuel powered vehicles on the country’s roads. In 2016, that number jumped more than four times, to 6,560. While the numbers for 2017 are not yet known, a strengthening economy and gas prices that ticked up precipitously in the latter half of the year— it seems likely that Mexico will see another four-fold rise in AV registrations. While not for the faint of heart, investing in Mexico’s autobody industry should be worthy of serious consideration for expansion-minded business owners. While the industry remains very different than in Canada, the country’s middle class is expanding and their taste in cars improving.

There is no mandatory insurance in Mexico. Only 1.3 of the 4.3 million car accidents that happened in 2016 were covered by insurance companies.

While in Canada repair technicians have an average wage of above $40 per hour, certified technicians in Mexico can expect just $8.

february 2018  collision Repair  55

Training Directory

Evolutionary Training Sharpen your skills, or get left behind


Students from the University of Fraser Valley painting a vehicle. Post-secondary education is a core component of training, but so is upgrading skills.

n generations past, training for a life in any trade was something done at the beginning of a career. But times have changed, and, with the digital revolution affecting every aspect of our jobs, the skills learned today will not necessarily prepare workers for the workplace of tomorrow. To stay competitive, you have to keep up, or you will be left behind. The trick to avoiding this sounds deceptively simple: figure out what skills are becoming more valuable to your industry and tailor your education toward mastering them—or go the way of the dodo. There’s no doubt that training programs are a vital component of staying competi­tive in the collision repair industry. The 2018 Training Directory makes its debut with the focus dedicated to all things training including detailed course information offered through every college, training facility, company and organization in Canada, providing op­portunity for youth as well as technicians looking to upgrade their skill set. The issue will also make a case that every shop owner would benefit from taking to heart—that by making training accessible to their employees, they will benefit their own businesses. In an industry like collision repair, emerging technologies regularly change the way work is done, and unless technicians are up-to-date, business will suffer as vehicles become more advanced and the methods needed to fix them, more expensive to come by. “The changes that have come over the last decade have been as significant as those that came in the previous half-century, and that pace is only going to hasten,” says Andrew Shepherd, Senior Director, Industry Programs Executive Director, I-CAR Canada, Automotive Industry Assocation of Canada. “The vehicles in ten years are simply not going to be recognizable.” FEBRUARY 2018  collision Repair  57

Training Directory

“The changes that have come over the last decade have been as significant as those that came in the previous half-century.” -Andrew Shepherd

Sean Slaven Owner and Ope r at or, Ab s o lut e Solutions Training C o m p a n y, S p o t We l d i n g a n d MIG-MAG Pulse, agrees that the business has changed Sean Slaven quite a bit over the years, but that it’s also come a long way from the time when some techs were un­easy with using computers altogether. “The calibre training that OEM’s and organizations such as I-CAR has helped improve the training process and helped technicians understand the why. The why is a critical element in training technicians in the repair process properly. The Training Directory helps shops and technicians find the right course.” Training is crucial to the running of successful collision repair shops, but there is little awareness among owners and technicians on how to access programs, or even of what is being offered. As the Vice President of Op­erations at CSN Collision and Glass, Jay Hayward is also an advocate for ensuring technicians stay on top of their training. “Only those who commit to continuous personal development will ensure their place in the future. The issue is often a matter of a lack-of-access. There is incredible amount of information out there, but it isn’t always easyto-find. The Training Directory and its website does that. It is also why CSN has committed

to endorsing, investing in industry offered training. With I-CAR we are taking matters into our own hands and developing the internal training that helps trainees work around their schedules, locations and needs. And we have only just begun.” Shepherd says many people in the industry grew up in their family shops and Andrew Shepherd learned it as an art, but the collision repair business has become a far more technical occupation, and the artisans must get ahead of the curve. He believes having access to, and being aware of programs, both large and small in scope, will highlight what is expected from technicians as the industry evolves. “It is critical that training ranges from the very specific, John Turner such as repair procedures for OEMs, through to the general—repair techniques, literacy and numeracy,” he says. “All of these techniques are paramount to the survival of collision repair shops.” Shepherd adds that shops should consider initiatives that promote training— from bonuses to career advancement. The Training Directory will place the

58  collision Repair

focus on what is available to technicians in a single database. Augmenting this is, a searchable online directory providing up-to-date information. “The concept is great, because if you’re not training and keeping up with the in­ dustry you become irrelevant,” said John Turner, general manager of SATA. “If you don’t know where to find the training that is available, what else can you do?” Turner says the benefit to the Training Directory and is that they create a framework for industry personnel to learn about what is available to them so they may enhance their skills-base while not having to scour the Internet and parse contradictory information. “I think with a central repository for training, where people can go and find out what type of training is available for a broad number of fields, just makes sense.” Jay Hayward Hay ward says having a central hub and a continued focus on training programs will allow people to be aware of what types of training they can pursue and is a step forward for the industry. Media Matters owner, and publisher Darryl Sim­m ons says the Training Directory and serve to improve awareness of the training opportunities available to the collision repair business and will keep stakeholders informed on the latest industry trends. “The Training Directory, presented by Collision Repair magazine, will help direct the flow of everyone in the business towards a single place where they can discover the latest developments in our industry,” Simmons says. “Whether it’s a company profile, a specific program or course, youth opportunities or someone who excels as a training instructor, we want to highlight and promote the aspects of the business that will be necessary to carry it well into the future.”” From profiles of companies offering training opportunities, to specific program or course information, the 2018 Training Directory will help businesses and individuals get the most out of the collision repair industry in the coming decades. For more information, please visit or call Media Matters 905-370-0101.

Report on Training

presented by

NSCSC offers trades exhibition hall in Halifax


ow many careers can you go through in an afternoon? The Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council (NSCSC) Trades Exhibition Hall, located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is a centre that provides prospective trades people a chance to get hands-on experiences in a number of different trades careers. The hall follows a kind of “speed dating” formula, as attendees move from booth to booth over the course of several hours, testing out a number of careers in the trades, including finishing trades, management and sheet metal working. According to Trent Soholt, Executive Director of the NSCSC, the NSCSC Trades Exhibition Hall came to be as a result of trying to make a hands-on career fair experience that replicates real-life work experience in the trade. “We [wanted] to use this as an opportunity to bring in youth who can come see this facility and try different activities to then make an informed decision as to what the opportunities are in our sector,” said Soholt. He added that the hall is a great opportunity for students, not only to get an introduction to their apprenticeship, but also to help so-

The NSCSC Trades Exhibition Hall follows a “speed dating” formula.

lidify their skills and expectations in terms of where their career could go. The Exhibition Hall was launched in 2014, and is described by Soholt as, “one of a kind.” Each career booth in the hall includes information on career paths and typical salaries. Trades workers are also present and open to answering students’ most pressing questions. The Hall was recently featured in a Career Apprenticeship Forum (CAF-FCA) webinar titled, “The Future of Apprenticeship: Career Awareness,” as part of a series on the future of apprenticeships. The hourlong session featured Soholt as a guest speaker, who discussed the success of the NSCSC Trades Exhibition Hall, and shared

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tips on how other organizations can replicate such success. The webinar discussed many useful topics. Included were tips on building one’s own successful career fair in their community, having government and industry buy-ins, finding “champions” to get involved, such as teachers, employers and labour leaders. One of the seminar’s other points was that high interaction leads to high engagement. According to Soholt, hands-on activities and interactive booths are often the highlight of visitor days. For more information on the NSCSC Trades Exhibition Hall, please visit For more information on the CAF-FCA, please visit

Report on Training

presented by

I-CAR launches new Electrical and Diagnostics courses I-CAR has announced the launch of thirteen new courses in addition to its Electrical and Diagnostics curriculum. The not-for-profit education organization said it developed the courses in response to the collision repair industry’s deep need to understand both the “why and the how” of diagnostics. A statement from I-CAR said that as the technology in vehicles has increased, identifying the required repair has become more complex. Modern diagnostic tools help, but technicians still need training to know when and how to use them. With potentially as many as 100 diagnostic trouble codes (DTC), understanding the information that is related to the current repair requires up-to-date

Development. “Technicians need these courses to get up to speed on diagnostics methods and technologies. I-CAR works with OEMs and diagnostic tool providers to ensure we get the best information out to the industry.” The organization hopes the new courses will help determine the best approach for diagnostics and train technicians, estimators, and appraisers on implementing I-CAR has introduced thirteen new courses proper diagnostics techniques and to its Electrical and Diagnostics curriculum. procedures for complete, safe and quality repairs. The courses will cover diagindustry knowledge and experience. nostics, repair and calibration “If you haven’t incorporated collision of electronic systems, mechanical access, repair diagnostics into your repair pro- diagnostics and vehicle communication cess already, it’s time,” said Josh McFarlin, network identification. I-CAR Director of Curriculum and Product For more information, please visit

SATA Canada opens professional training centre Just in time for its first year anniversary, SATA Canada will be opening a professional training centre at its Vaughan, Ontario headquarters - and Collision Repair magazine was given an inside peek of the facility. General Manager of SATA Canada John Turner, commented, “The training centre is something the industry has been telling us they have wanted for some time. MSOs, paint manufacturers, the major warehouse distributors and jobbers had all expressed an interest in an SCI training centre. The benefits of training for their customers and their inside and outside sale people are immeasurable.” He added, “For us the training centre is an opportunity to help our customers and end users with best practices, conduct R&D and to build the SATA brand.” The facility, described by SATA as state-of-the-art, is designed to be a showcase for the re-finish industry. The 2,500 sq. ft. centre contains a commercial dual bay spray booth, prep areas and classroom that can accommodate up to thirty people. As well, it will offer access the Ultra XD CTOF paint booth by Global Finishing Solutions (GFS), prep station tools and abrasives by MIRKA, IRT curing equipment and all paint brands.

The 2,500 sq. ft. SATA training centre contains a commercial dual bay spray booth, prep areas and classroom that can accommodate up to thirty people.

A full range of industry leading SATA spray guns, filters, paint suits and CSANIOSH approved respiration will be also available to trainees. Additionally, a professional instructor will be hired from the re-finish industry with a professional painting background. The centre will provide comprehensive product training for industry sales people and technicians, with a focus on the

latest technology and best practices. The trainer will be available in the field to support sales teams with onsite training and technical assistance. Training can be tailored to company demands and arranged in conjunction with internal training and company meetings. For more information on SATA Canada, please visit February 2018 collision Repair  61

» special school spotlight

Their Journey Begins Here » Information students need to succeed By Erin Mclaughlin


ith an entire world of opportunities available for young people to conquer, it can be difficult to make any kind of decision—especially when the information they are looking for is scattered across the wide, wide universe that is the internet. Bodyworx Professional magazine has found a way to combat this with our first School Spotlight special edition. All the information they need on autobody repair programs across Canada can be found within the pages of this handy little book, covering everything from personal

62  collision Repair

student experiences to course lists. With this information, we hope we can set students, and future industry leaders, off with a strong start while helping them make one of the biggest, most exciting decisions of their lives. Bodyworx Professional magazine is excited to be a part of their journey. And when they have conquered school, and are out in the industry working, Bodyworx will be there as a quarterly guide to all the how-tos, inspiring stories and coverage of the industry they will need. We will be with the collision repair industry's youth every step of the way.

special school spotlight


he British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is a visually stunning school located in Burnaby, near Vancouver. Rich with nature and opportunities for adventure, Burnaby is a perfectly picturesque place to wander through, between classes and studying. Offering two unique full-time programs, Motor Vehicle Auto Body Repair Technician and the Automotive Refinishing Technician Foundation, BCIT offers educational opportunities to help students learn the skills they need. The Motor Vehicle Auto Body Repair Technician program delivers highly technical information in the areas of metal and paint. Over the course of four years, students will learn in a real shop, getting real-life experience (6750 hours), along with in-school training (480 hours).

This school is sponsored by

Course List Level Two Apprenticeship Training (five weeks): A student in the Motor Vehicle Body Repair program at BCIT uses a lift in one of the school’s autobody labs.

The Automotive Refinishing Technician Foundation program is a 26-week course of study. The program prepares students with both the theoretical understanding and practical skills needed to use a spray gun, paint vehicles, and maintain records of materials used in accordance with various regulations. Combining theory and practical work will help broaden students’ understanding of the work they do, and contribute to their success in the workforce.

• Welding • Sheet Metal Repair • Plastics and Composites • Mechanical Components

British Columbia

British Columbia Institute of Technology


BCIT also offers a part-time course: the Vehicle Restoration program, consisting of five courses covering sheet metal fabrication, welding, surface prep, refinishing and an advanced project course. The courses are geared toward professionals, classic car restorers, customizers, kit builders and specialty car builders. For more information please visit their website at


he College of New Caledonia in Prince George, British Columbia offers the Autobody Foundation (motor vehicle body repair) program for students who are passionate about autobody repair or automotive refinishing. The programs will teach students the latest skills and help prepare them for their careers in the automotive industry. Students will have the chance to work on all sorts of makes and models—because why do one thing when you can do it all? The autobody repair program is geared toward students who have a passion for cars, are mechanically inclined and can think critically. Over the course of 30 weeks, students will learn the various skills needed in the workplace such as damage analyses procedures and preparation for filing, grinding, sanding and painting. The second program offered is the Automotive Refinishing Prep Technician Foundation program. This program allows those who are creative and passionate to build

Collision Repair Foundation: Topics • Preparing and reviewing repair estimate reports

• Mechanical components, vehicle systems, electrical and electronic procedures The autobody repair facility at College of New Caledonia. The program gives students the chance to work on a wide array of makes and models.

their skills to complement what employers in the industry need. The refinishing program has a number of interesting features for students. During the 22-week program, students will work in a simulated automotive refinishing repair shop as well learn theory and detail in a classroom setting. They will work in an automotive laboratory to acquire skills in refinishing

• Preparation for filing, grinding, sanding and painting • Repairing and replacing sheet metal • Welding

and preparation, and learn to use a number of the latest tools, plastics and composites in a safe and efficient manner. For more information please visit their website at February 2018  collision Repair  63

British Columbia

College of New Caledonia

» special school spotlight

Okanagan College

British Columbia


elowna, British Columbia—a city known for its lush local vineyards and tours is home to Okanagan College. The college currently offers a variety of autobody specific programs for students with little to no experience in autobody repair, including two “Foundation” programs, which are essentially a form of pre-apprenticeship: Automotive Refinishing Prep Technician and Automotive Collision Repair/Painting and Refinishing Technician. Okanagan College’s collision repair department also offers three apprenticeship track programs: Automotive Glass Technician, Automotive Painter, and Motor Vehicle Body Repairer. In general, the programs prepare students to work in collision repair facilities, auto dealerships and private garages. The Collision Repair/ Refinishing Prep technician, a 38-week (1,140 hour) program designed to take students with little or no previous experience in the automotive col-

Level 1 Courses include: • Tools and Equipment • Cutting and Heating Technologies • MIG Welding • Plastics and Composites Students show off newly painted car panels as part of their training in refinishing.

lision repair trade and supply them with the necessary skills for employment. Instruction in all subject matters relating to Level 1 technical training for both Motor Vehicle Body Repairer (Automotive Collision Repair Technician) and Automotive Prep Technician apprenticeship is included. Graduates of this program will receive Industry Training Authority (ITA) credit

• Surface Preparation

for Level 1 MVBR and Automotive Prep Technician technical training as well as 625 work-based hours towards their apprenticeship for one of the two trades. The program maintains a focus on developing practical skills, and includes a two-week work placement for practical experience. For more information, please visit their website at

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Alberta


t the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), keeping up with new trends and technology is one of the defining goals held by the faculty and students. “You can’t fix a car based on your own knowledge, anymore. We’re teaching students to look up OEM repair procedures, making sure things are up to standard,” commented Derek Topolnisky, Department Chair, Auto Body and Recreation Vehicle. Students learn to be able to research every car they encounter, so they can repair it according to OEM procedures. “We have to get students in the mindset of, ‘I can’t just repair this willy nilly.’ They need to know how to research,” said Topolnisky. Two autobody programs are offered at SAIT. The Auto Body Technician Apprentice is a four-year program designed for those who have experience working in a shop. Students will be trained to repair and replace damaged motor vehicle structures and autobody components, prepare cars for refinishing and apply interior

“ We’ve seen father

SAIT students have the option of specializing in prepping, refinishing, sheet metal and plastics repair or frame straightening.

and exterior finishes. Students can specialize in prepping, refinishing, sheet metal and plastic repair or frame straightening. The second autobody repair program offered by SAIT: the Auto Body General Interest courses. Structured as night courses, people interested in learning about autobody repair can sign up for an individual course without

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son duos, mother daughter duos, people who just retired, people who want to get into the trades. All sorts of people sign up for our courses.

- Derek Topolnisky on the General Interest courses committing to a four-year education. Courses offered include autobody repair, sheet metal, application of topcoats and primer topcoats, MIG welding and positioning. For more information, please visit

special school spotlight


ed River College offers an exciting program for Manitoba residents looking to become experts in collision repair and refinishing—the Collision Repair and Refinishing program. The nine-month program prepares students with basic working knowledge of different metals and spray painting. Along with that, students in this program can expect to enter the industry with an enhanced knowledge of autobody repair, collision repair and spray painting. Students will learn the techniques behind patching, finishing and preparing a panel for painting. They will be able to determine how much, and what kind of work is needed to prepare a vehicle, realign and straighten the bodies and frames of cars, as well as patching, finishing and preparing a panel for painting. Courses cover an array of relevant and sought after topics, such as estimating, communications, MIG welding and refinishing.

This school is sponsored by

Collision Repair and Refinishing: First term courses include: • Basic Metal Working – Theory • Basic Refinishing Preparation – Theory • Estimating – Theory Red River College’s autobody repair facility. Courses cover an array of relevant and sought after topics, such as estimating, communications, MIG welding and refinishing.

With a wide variety of courses, those who successfully graduate from the program will get a good grasp of their career options in the industry, as well as having laid the foundational skills to chase after whatever career aspirations they set their sights on. Red River College’s repair programs take their environmental impact into consider-

• Basic Metal Working – Practical • Refinishing & Top Coating – Theory • Vehicle Construction – Theory • MIG Welding - Practical

ation on a daily basis, and have equipped environmentally friendly, high-volume and low-pressure spray equipment, along with low V.O.C refinishing products in their classrooms. For more information, please visit

February 2018  collision Repair  65


Red River College


» special school spotlight Georgian College



eorgian College offers two programs focused on the business side of the automotive market. The Automotive Business Diploma program at Georgian College is a two-year course designed for entry-level to mid-level management positions. Also offered is the four-year Honours Bachelor of Business Administrations Degree for automotive management. The four-year degree expands beyond the two-year program, diving into top-level management and strategy. “Students gain a business education, but specialized in the automotive industry, focusing primarily on three main sectors: dealerships/retail, aftermarket and manufacturer,” said Joe Lauzon, Marketing Specialist at Georgian College. “They gain business skills as well as very specialized skills around sales, fixed operations and dealer management systems. Students have an opportunity to meet and connect with the industry to gain

Courses offered include: • Introduction to Canadian Automotive Aftermarket

• Introduction to Organizational Behaviour • Microcomputer Applications • Auto Law and Ethics • Macroeconomics

An aerial view of the 2017 Georgian Auto Show. The event attracts many industry leaders, providing numerous networking opportunities for students.

employment prior to graduation through networking events, industry conferences and up to twelve months of paid co-op work.” According to Neil Dunn, Owner of a franchised facility, the most valuable thing Georgian College teaches students is the ability to learn. “In this industry, everything develops so quickly and you have to learn to adapt with it. At Georgian, they show you how to learn,” he said For more information on the courses offered, please visit

Algonquin College



lgonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario offers the Auto Body Repairer Apprenticeship program. Individuals who are currently employed in the autobody repair trade can attend this program to complete the in-school portion of their apprenticeship. Throughout the three eight-week terms, students move from basic, to intermediate to advanced, focusing on nurturing important skill sets such as refinishing, welding, estimating and more. Not only will students learn through classroom theory, they will get plenty of practical and hands-on experience as well. Bringing both physical and mental learning into the education provides students with a well-rounded and in-depth understanding of the work they do. 60 percent of students’ learning occurs in a classroom, while the other 40 percent is spent in labs. Algonquin College students can expect to learn to deal with and excel in the fast-paced, ever-changing nature of the industry. Additionally, students will grow comfortable working

Level One Autobody Repairer Courses • Body and Frame Structure • Refinishing I • Applied Mechanical I The Auto Body Repairer Apprenticeship program at Algonquin College promotes theory and practical learning, as well as hands-on skills.

with state-of-the art equipment to repair cars in a timely, high-quality and profitable manner. Upon graduation, the apprentice may challenge their Certificate of Qualification exam once their on-the-job tasks are complete. A successful challenge of this exam will result in a Red-Seal Certified Journeyperson status. Red-Seal Auto Body Technicians can be found in a number of autobody related

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• Welding I • Applied Work Practices

areas, including positions in independent collision and autobody repair shops, dealerships, government, vehicle salvage facilities and insurance companies. For more information, please visit their website at:

« Ontario

special school spotlight

“ Having graduated

the Auto Body Repair Techniques Program at Fanshawe College, I have gained a lot of valuable skills and experience. It helped me build the confidence to go straight into the workplace.

- Alexander Glatt, Graduate (2017)

Courses offered include: • Auto Body Work Practices • Automotive Welding • Painting Fundamentals • Auto Body Basic Mechanical • Painting Techniques • Trade Techniques

Fanshawe College’s Centre for Applied Transportation Technologies is an environmentally friendly 148,000-square-foot building that features a state-of-the-art autobody repair facility.

Fanshawe College


f you’re fresh out of high school with no experience in the industry, and looking for a big community with plenty of excitement and opportunity, London-based Fanshawe College may be the place for you. One of the largest colleges in Ontario, Fanshawe prides itself on unlocking the potential of students by providing an exceptional hands-on education and access to flexible learning options. Fanshawe offers a comprehensive mix of programs that complement the changing needs of the labour market, which means students’ education will be up-to-date and highly relevant to employers. Fanshawe’s Auto Body Repair Techniques program, a one-year Ontario College Certificate, features a curriculum geared to building a strong foundational understanding of the

practical skills needed to get their foot in the door as entry-level autobody repairers. These skills include, but are not limited to, welding, refinishing, body and frame repair. During the 30-week program, they will learn how to confidently assess vehicle damage and accurately develop repair estimates using common industry software. The program is delivered in the gorgeous, bright and innovative Centre for Applied Transportation Technologies, a 148,000-square-foot environmentally-friendly building featuring state-of-the-art equipment and learning tools. Upon leaving this program, students will find themselves equipped with the real-world experience, skills and understanding necessary to thrive within the industry. For more information, please visit their website at February 2018  collision Repair  67

» special school spotlight

New Brunswick Community College

New Brunswick


he one-year program at the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) will teach students skills like priming, painting, welding and operating tools. Excitingly, students will work on actual customer vehicles, so the work they do in school is appreciated and used in the real world. The program teaches students to work efficiently in all these possible circumstances, improving their flexibility in terms of the variety of work they can take on. For example, while larger shops tend to separate the work of autobody technicians and painters, sometimes in smaller shops one person does both these jobs. Students will be able to thrive in either workflow. Graduates can expect to enter a variety of careers in the autobody industry. They work in private enterprises or are self-employed. Bodyshops, auto and truck dealerships, custom shops or trucking and bus companies are all potential places of employment for graduates.

This school is sponsored by

Courses Include • Math Foundations • Ozone Depleting Substances • Metal Repairs • Non-Structural Repairs • Painting Equipment • Welding and Cutting

NBCC students will work on actual customer vehicles, so the work they do in school is appreciated and used in the real world.

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If you want a better look into a day in the life of an NBCC student, the student for a day program, running from October to the end of May, gives prospective students the chance to sit in on classes, meet teachers and students and tour the campus and department. For more information please visit

« Newfoundland

special school spotlight

Motor Vehicle Body Repairer Courses Include:

Students will graduate with the ability to work safely, competently use tools, equipment and paint products, among other things.

Block 1 • Occupational Health and Safety • Tools and Equipment • Fasteners and Adhesives • Vehicle Construction • Pre/Post Repair Vehicle Inspection Block 2 • Advanced Level • Metal Working II (Aluminum) • Electronic Fundamentals • Position Arc Welding (GMAW) Block 3 • Non-Metal Repair • Refinishing II • Electronic Fundamentals • Electrical and Electronic Repairs • Damage Analysis of Conventional Frames and Unitized Bodies Block 4 • Mechanical Systems and Components • Steering Suspension and Braking Systems • Damage Analysis and Estimating Costs • Ozone Depletion

College of North Atlantic


ollege of North Atlantic, one of Canada’s largest trades schools, is located in St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador—right along the Atlantic Coast. The area surrounding the school is rich with both nightlife and nature, giving students a healthy mixture of school and play. But students in the Motor Vehicle Body Repairer program at the College of North Atlantic might argue that for them, school is just as fun. This program is designed for those who are creative problem solvers with a passion for working with automobiles of all styles. The instructors and students share this passion for autobody repair, making the daily learning environment exciting and fulfilling. “The instructors are really, really helpful, as long as you have interest they’ll keep with you and keep on top of you,” said

Peter Coates, a student of the program. The 34-week program will prepare students for the duties they will be responsible for as autobody repairers upon entering the workforce. They will graduate with the ability to work safely, competently use tools, equipment and paint products, conduct estimates and work with chemicals, some of the essential skills employers look for in their employees. After completing this program, students have the option of joining the college’s apprenticeship program. This program takes about 4-5 years to complete, and would lead to a journeyperson status in the trade. It entails taking advanced courses in areas like metalworking, electronic fundamentals, position arc welding and restraints systems. For more information please visit their website at February 2018  collision Repair  69

British Columbia | Regional News

Circuit Collision gives back to the community Circuit Collision is no stranger to giving back. For some thirteen years, owner Gerry Sly, and staff have been helping to feed the homeless people in their hometown of Coquitlam, British Columbia. Sly said that giving back to the community is something he takes seriously. “Our livelihood is made from our community. Whether or not most people agree with this, the homeless are part of our community, too,” he stated. Since the program’s inception in 2005, Circuit Collision has been busy on Thursday evenings helping to feed the homeless within the community. The shop cooks up barbequed hamburgers, salads and upgrades to turkey dinners for special occasions. Customers often help out as well. “Customers drop off used clothing, and one customer even bakes goods every Thursday,” commented Sly. The program hasn’t always run smoothly, however. Sly said: “When we started, nobody trusted each other. There was so much tension you could cut the air with a knife. Now, I like to think we’re comparable to a family eating Christmas dinner together.” Sly began the program after he realized that a group of homeless people were camped out in a bush across the street. Sly’s church group would have their weekly meetings in the house on the shop property. The group began to help fix items such as bicycles, or

Circuit Collision has been feeding the homeless at its repair shop for some thirteen years.

charge their phones. “Then my wife read in a local paper about a business that feeds the homeless every month, and she said, ‘we should do this, too,’” Sly explained. For years, Sly and his staff have been making a difference in Coquitlam. The bodyshop has created an environment filled with compassion, not only for their customers, but for those who are homeless as well. Circuit Collision is a prime example of how small acts can create a difference.

British Columbia looking at ways to curb distracted driving What better way to curb escalating insurance prices than cutting down on the number of vehicle accidents? That’s what British Columbia’s provincial government, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) and the province’s police are aiming to achieve with the launch of two new pilot projects that aim to cut down on distracted driving. Distracted driving kills 78 people per year in British Columbia, and is behind one quarter (27 percent) of all car crash fatalities in the province, according to ICBC. “ICBC’s rates are under considerable pressure and one of those reasons is a significant increase in crashes, many of which are the result of distracted driving,” commented Mark Blucher, President and CEO of ICBC. The first pilot—a partnership between the government and the ICBC—will include up to 200 customers using phone apps paired with telematics. The app will block the use of a handheld device when the in-vehicle technology senses that the vehicle is being driven. “Distracted driving is a high-risk behaviour that jeopardizes the

British Columbia’s provincial government, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) and the province’s police are aiming to reduce distracted driving.

safety of drivers and pedestrians alike,” said David Eby, British Columbia’s Attorney General and Minister responsible for the ICBC. “These pilots are the first step in a thoughtful examination of the role technology can play in preventing distracted driving.” ICBC and the government will be working in partnership with the police to conduct an additional pilot to test a new distracted driving enforcement technology beginning in the spring of 2018.

February 2018  collision Repair  71

Regional News | Alberta

Maaco names Albertan owner rookie-of-the-year As Maaco franchise owners travelled across the continent in order to attend the traded in the year’s annual convention in the Bahamas, one Alberta owner and operator had more reasons for smiling than just the tropical retreat. After a year in business, during which his outlet received the best overall repair ratings, promoter score and sales numbers of any new locations, Peter Flannigan, owner and operator of Maaco Airdrie, was about to be named the rookie of-the-year. “It was an honour to receive the Rookie of the Year for Canada at this year’s conference,” says the now-tanned Flannigan. “We have built a great team in the first year of operation and we are starting to see the rewards of our attention to the customer experience.” Flannigan was not the only Albertan honoured at the convention. Maaco also offered a special milestone award to the Mirante family, operators of Alberta’s longest-running outlet, Maaco Edmonton.

Western Paint moves up

The new facility features a training facility and four times the floor space for the eleven person crew.

After many years on Stony Creek Road, the crew at Edmonton’s Western Paint & Equipment have mosied on over to a new building . “We are all very excited,” says manager Gerard Gannon. “We had outgrown the old place.” Not only will the 1,000 square-metre building mean more room, but it is far more visible from the road. Gannon also hopes the new location will bring in new business. “Most of our work is distance business, a lot from the north of the province, but I am hoping that being seen by the people of Edmonton will change that,” says Gannon. A PPG Refinish partner for most of its existence, Western Paint & Equipment was founded in 1963. Its new building, 15912, 116 Avenue, opened for business on January 29.

CARSTAR Calgary locations raise $10,000 for Cystic Fibrosis Canada CARSTAR’s collision repairers in Calgary have pulled together to raise $10,000 for Cycstic Fibrosis Canada. The bodyshops joined the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders to support the local community through its ‘Catch for a Cure’ campaign. CARSTAR’s locations donated $25 to Cystic Fibrosis Canada for each offensive catch made by the Calgary Stampeders throughout the season. “We have a great partner in the Calgary Stampeders and Calgary sports and Entertainment to benefit the communities where our Calgary locations do business,” said Michael Macaluso, president, CARSTAR North America. “Through our ongoing Skate in Strides for Cystic Fibrosis, the ‘Catch for the Cure’ program, participation in the CARSTAR Walk for Cystic Fibrosis and other initiatives we can truly benefit the entire region.” CARSTAR has partnership agreements with a variety of NHL and CFL teams across Canada, but the agreement with Calgary Sports and Entertainment is unique in that the organization represents several properties across various sports. These include The Calgary Stampeders, Flames, Hitmen (WHL) and Roughnecks (NLL). 72  collision Repair

Partners involved with the donation hold a $10,000 check to Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

Regional News | Saskatchwan

Earl Cameron retires from SGI Salvage

Cameron retired from SGI after 44 years.

SGI Salvage recently announced the retirement of Earl Cameron, which became effective at the end of last year, on December 31. Earl Cameron had worked at the company for 44 years, taking on various roles throughout the company. At the time of retirement, Cameron held the position of Executive vice president of the Auto Fund, Saskatchewan Government Insurance. SGI president Andrew Cartmell, in his announcement of the retirement, discussed the course of Cameron’s long and fruitful career. “[Cameron] participated in a successful multi-agency effort to bring down auto theft in Saskatchewan in the mid-1990s. He led SGI’s participation in a major review of the No Fault auto injury program in 2000. Just three years after that, Earl had a major role in introducing the choice of a tort and no-fault injury product for Saskatchewan residents—a virtual first anywhere in North America. He was part of introducing eClaim, allowing customers to file claims online.” Cartmell continued, “Earl accomplished a lot throughout his years in Claims. But it is his work in traffic safety that I think is his most important legacy. Earl has been masterful at working with an overwhelming number of stakeholders—politicians, law enforcement, lobby groups and others. He’s helped them stay focused on saving lives and preventing injuries, and he’s been a driving force behind a lot of important initiatives such as the Special Committee on Traffic Safety, whose report resulted in a number of law changes in 2014, as well as the photo speed enforcement pilot and the dedicated traffic enforcement pilot; the motorcycle review in 2013 which resulted in a number of safety measures for bikers; enhancements to impaired and distracted driving laws introduced earlier this year, to name just a few of the highlights.” Indeed, paving new initiatives and safety measures is high on the list of priorities in the automotive industry, especially given the increased issue of distracted driving in the introduction of cellphones and other electric devices, and the possibility of legalizing marijuana in Canada. In retirement, Cameron plans to spend more time with friends, family and his wife while they’re “still young.” February 2018 collision Repair  73

Regional News | Manitoba

Regional News | Saskatchwan

FinishMaster Canada targets Manitoba with acquisition of Spectrum Coatings FinishMaster Canada has announced the acquisition of Manitobabased Spectrum Coatings. The company hopes the deal will help expand its market share across the province. “This is an entirely new market for FinishMaster Canada, and we are very enthusiastic to have 17 new colleagues,” Michel Charbonneau, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, PBE division at FinishMaster’s parent company Uni-Select Canada, told Collision Repair magazine. “A large part of our business is the independent jobber, and they are a huge reason behind our success in Canada. But, we are also looking to focus on increasing the FinishMaster portfolio of stores across the country.”

Michel Charbonneau said FinishMaster will look to expand across Canada.

Founded in 1976, Spectrum is a distributor of automotive and industrial paint with 17 sales and service professionals. The company operates three stores in Winnipeg, Brandon and Winkler, as well as a training centre in Winnipeg. Charbonneau commented: “Spectrum’s training centre will be a great boost for our customers in the province, and will give them further added value. We are thrilled with this acquisition and excited to add this experienced team to the Canadian FinishMaster family. They have developed and maintained strong partnerships with customers and are well-recognized in their markets.” He added that FinishMaster Canada will continue to look for futher expansion opportunities across provinces to increase their shop portfolio, although he did not allude to where the company would target next. “We are extremely pleased to welcome Spectrum to our growing FinishMaster and Uni-Select family in Canada. These Manitoba stores are a very nice addition to our growing corporate store network in Canada, and represent an opportunity to expand the brand’s presence nationally and grow in a key market,” added Brent Windom, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Canadian Automotive Group, another subsidiary of Uni-Select. More information can be found at April 2017  collision Repair  75

Regional News | Ontario

Joe Piercey opens new Fix Auto facility in Brantford Daryll O’Keefe, general manager for Fix Auto Ontario Region, is pleased to welcome a new facility to the Fix Auto Canada network in Brantford, Ontario. Joe Piercey, owner of the new Fix Auto location, is excited to start serving customers in Brantford and Brant County with collision repair services in their brand new, 700 square metre facility. With 30 years in the collision industry and three years as a shop owner, Piercey is happy to partner with Fix Auto. Piercey’s decision to join Fix Auto is based on values. “For us, it’s all about integrity and high quality workmanship, values we share with Fix Auto,” commented Piercey, who believes the support and expertise of joining a franchise will help him focus on the future of his family in the business. Piercey believes the management and office tools now available to him will help streamline processes and complement his growing

Joe Piercey and the new Fix Auto Brantford team.

business. Now, with the support of Fix Auto, the Brantford team is dedicated to ensuring customers receive high quality repairs and that they return safely to the road. “This is a very rewarding living,” commented Piercey in a conversation with Collision

Repair magazine. “I’m very much looking forward to getting busy and keeping busy. I’m also looking forward to building a legacy for my children.” For more information on their new location, please visit

Mountain Auto Body owner acknowledged for community service The long-time owner of Mountain Auto Body in Hamilton, Ed Cummings, was honoured at the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction 2017 Gala in front of some 800 guests. Cummings was the driving force behind the Hamilton Santa Claus parade for 35 years, starting as a motorcycle cop on crowd-control duty, and then went on to become event organizer. The parade features 1,500 people on floats and as many as 80,000 spectators each year. Cummings shared his business at Mountain Auto Body as Parade Headquarters. He helped to raise funds by organizing golf tournaments, spending the equivalent of some eight working weeks or more on the parade each year. His success led to being tapped to organize the 1996 Grey Cup parade. The Hamilton Gallery of Distinction was founded in 1984 as a ‘Hamilton Homecoming’ project. Its purpose is to permanently recognize outstanding Hamilton citizens, past and present, who have made “significant contributions” towards the betterment of the Hamilton community.

Ed Cummings, Owner of Mountain Auto Body, was honoured for “significant contributions” toward the betterment of the Hamilton community.

Myers Group opens fourth CARSTAR location The Myers Group has announced the launch of its fourth CARSTAR location with the opening of CARSTAR Orleans (Myers) in Ottawa. Luc Larocque, Manager of CARSTAR Orleans (Myers), has been with the Myers Group for more than ten years. “This community is growing rapidly, and we know there is a need for collision repair support in our region,” he commented. “I understand how far quality work goes, and the importance of offering premier customer service. I’m thrilled to extend these services into this new location.”

The Myers Group has been a staple in the Ottawa region automotive community for over 10 years.

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CARSTAR Orleans (Myers) is a 5,000 sq. ft. full collision repair facility. The bodyshop is located next to a new rental car location and will be open Monday to Friday. “Luc and his team are like-minded when it comes to bringing their expertise to growing areas,” said Greg Gore, regional development manager of CARSTAR Canada. “We consistently hear positive feedback from various customer experiences from the Myers Group, and we know they’ll bring this dedication to their new Orleans location.” For more information, visit

Ontario | Regional News

Canadian International AutoShow celebrates Hot Wheels While most children today will only have raced cars on video games, toy cars—particularly Hot Wheels—were the hook, line and sinker for many-a-career in the automotive sector. To celebrate the brand’s fiftieth anniversary, visitors to the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto will be able to celebrate the popular, and gravity-defying toy line and the longest Hot Wheel track ever built. To be housed at the Castrol Alley area of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, which runs between February 16 and February 26, the attraction is expected to draw several hundred thousand young and young-at-heart people. The most popular part of past shows, Castrol has sponsored Castrol Alley for the last 23 years. Last year, it was visited by more than 340,000 attendees. “Castrol is excited to present the total automotive journey in Castrol Alley, showcasing power, performance and entertainment,” says sponsorship manager Natalee

Indy 500 driver Scott Hargrove races for Castrol.

Davis, adding that this year’s exhibit will also feature an “ultra-sophisticated and historic Art and the Automobile display of classic cars.” With more than six square kilometres of exhibits and displays, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the Canadian

International AutoShow is not only the largest automotive expo in Canada, it is also the country’s largest consumer convention. For more information on the Canadian International Auto Show, please visit their website at

Signed and sealed: Recycler records help police arrest murder suspect The case against Bruce McArthur, who has been charged with the murder of five Toronto men, rests upon evidence provided by an auto recycler in Courtice, Ontario­—records that would have been impossible to trace had the suspected killer chosen to go to one of the province’s unlicensed scrappers. In September, when a man in his mid-sixties arrived at Dom’s Auto Parts and sold his scarlett Dodge Caravan for $125, owner Dominic Vetere did not think anything was out of the ordinary. It was, after all, a normal sale from a polite man who seemed relaxed. As with every one of his drive-in sales, however, Vetere made sure to use a security camera, sign the ownership documents, register the vehicle’s unique VIN code and photocopied everything for good measure. On October 3, as police canvassed local businesses that bought end-of-life vehicles, those records proved vital to confirming that the scarlet minivan in their yard had been sold by the man police suspected for the crime. “After checking the VIN, we were able to figure out when the sale was made. ‘That’s our guy,’ the police said as we looked back over the security footage of the sale,” Vetere recalls. “Had he gone to an unliscensed scrapper, that all that information could have been totally lost.” Not only did Dom’s Auto Parts records allow them to confirm that McArthur had been the man who sold the vehicle, they also allowed police to find the purchasers of the one part of the car that had been resold—the speedometer.

Bruce McArthur was arrested for the murder of five men in downtown Toronto.

It would not be until later when Vetere finally was told why the vehicle was of interest to the police, but he had reason to suspect something sinister had happened—not only had his staff all been swabbed so that their DNA could be discounted from evidence, but police asked Vetere to haul the vehicle off to their downtown office where they told him they were able to detect blood in the vehicle. “I have worked with police on a few hit-and-run cases over the years,” says Vetere, “but I have never had them asked to take a car—of course I said yes.” While Vetere is happy his records provided police with evidence to support the crime, the revelations about the accusations against McArthur hit quite close to home. “Andrew Kinsman, one of the guys who went missing, was an occasional client. When our staff saw his picture in connection to the case we had been helping with, it was a shock.” february 2018 collision Repair  77

Regional News | QuebÉc

Carrossier ProColor Saint-Hyacinthe Centre first in Quebec to receive Advanced-CCIAP certification Carrossier ProColor Saint-Hyacinthe Centre has made great strides. The Carrossier ProColor network, a member of the CSN Collision Centre network, recently announced that Carrossier ProColor Saint-Hyacinthe Centre has become the first collision centre in Quebec, as well as in the Carrossier ProColor network, to achieve the Advanced Accreditation from the Canadian Collision Industry Accreditation Program (CCIAP). This distinction from the CCIAP is quite significant for Robin Morrissette, owner of Carrossier ProColor Saint-Hyacinthe Centre. “This is a recognition for the efforts we have made to achieve our common goal. We are proud to join a select pan-Canadian group and have peace of mind about the challenges of new repair techniques,” he said, continuing, “We had to make major investments in training and new equipment. For example, a specific straightening bench, a wet mix dust collector and a complete reorganization of the workshop.” This CCIAP certification, which is valid for one year from the date of the audit, is accompanied with rigorous monitoring and ongoing training. The Accredited Advanced certification refers to facilities that have been audited for advanced repair capabilities, including aluminum repair.

The CCIAP accreditation certifies that Carrossier ProColor Saint-Hyacinthe Centre has the skills, training and equipment required to accomplish safe repairs.

“We must maintain a high standard throughout our entire repair process, maintain our I-CAR Gold Class status by providing specific training for each of our technicians, as well as keep our sources of information for procedures up-to-date,” added Morrissette. For more information, please visit

CAA-Quebec hails giant step to improve road safety record CAA-Quebec acknowledged measures recently announced by the Minister of Transport, Sustainable Mobility a n d Tr a n s p o r t at i o n Electrification, André Fortin, who will finally adapt the Highway Safety Marco Harrison, Director of the CAA-Quebec Foundation for code (CSR) to today’s Road Safety. standards. This is a major and unprecedented reform since the ‘80s, which certainly has potential for improving the road safety record. “It’s a giant step in the right direction,” said CAA-Quebec Foundation Director for Road Safety Marco Harrison. “The Minister is tackling two of the most glaring issues in terms of road safety: the overrepresentation of youth in road safety and distracted driving.” In recent years, the scourge of distracting cell phones has become as worrying as alcohol in the ‘80s. Its use is linked to a quarter of accidents on our roads. CAA-Quebec called for tough measures, and what is proposed goes in that direction. Indeed, the administrative suspension of the driving license from the first recidivism is enough to make even the most recalcitrant think. CAA-Quebec welcomes the increase in fines, but continues to demand an increase in demerit points, a measure that has longterm consequences. The widening of the application to all the electronic devices held in hand was necessary. Indeed, whether it is an iPod, GPS or a phone, it remains a dangerous distraction. For more information, please visit 78  collision Repair

Atlantic | Regional News

CSN-Collision Clinic donates vehicle to young mother One Newfoundland family has become the lucky recipient of a vehicle after CSN-Collision Clinic once again played the role of Santa Clause with its ‘Enriching Lives’ car giveaway program. The lucky applicant, Sarah McNiven, was presented with a fully reconditioned 2015 Ford Fiesta, the first year of car insurance, and various Christmas gifts donated by local vendors. The mother-oftwo said she will now be able to easily get her children around for school and other events. “Reliable transportation is not always easily attainable,” Sharon Wells, general manager of CSN-Collision Clinic, told Collision Repair magazine. “To give back to our local community in this way is humbling and heartwarming.” CSN-Collision Clinic said its aim is to give the gift of reliable transportation to someone who is unable to acquire one on their own at this time. To be eligible for the donation, which is now in its 14th year, candidates must complete an application on the CSN-Collision Clinic website and submit their resume and driving history. An outside selection committee then chooses the final recipient.

CSN-Collision Clinic donated a vehicle to Sarah McNiven, in the 14th year of its ‘Enriching Lives’ car giveaway program.

Baker’s Autobody owners retire after 48 years in business

John and Joan Baker celebrated 48 years in the industry at their retirement party earlier this month.

Following 48 years as the owners and operators of Baker’s Autobody in Milton, Newfoundland and Labrador, John and Joan Baker have decided to retire from the business they constructed using lumber they cut themselves. “This decision didn’t come easy, but after 48 years the wife and myself took a long time to make this decision,” commented John Baker. “It didn’t come overnight. I have to face reality, my health and my age. I just have to accept what life gives you.” The Bakers’ credit their son for progressing the business and keeping up with the ever-changing technology in the industry. Baker’s Autobody is the only aluminum-cer-

tified shop in the local area and is I-CAR trained. “As the technology improved, he wanted to follow the technology and keep going full steam and building [the business,] until we got where we are today,” said John. To officially announce their retirement, the bodyshop hosted a small company party where employees, friends and family gathered at Baker’s Autobody to celebrate John and Joan’s time in the industry. Junior Peddle, owner of nearby Clarenville Ford, is now the new owner of Baker’s Autobody, while Chad Dicks will be manning the day-to-day operations. Dicks previously worked for the company for some thirteen years, and has now joined as the manager.

CBC reports on Prince Edward Island’s auto technician shortage Business is booming for auto repair shops across Prince Edward Island (PEI), but business owners have concerns about the absence of training for people interested in the automotive repair business. “It’s the lack of trained apprentices coming into the trade and the lack of training facilities here on PEI that we can draw apprentices from,” Jeff Dalziel, from Dalziel’s Auto Body in Charlottetown, told CBC News. PEI has not offered any autobody technician training through its apprentice program at Holland College for ten years. The Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning told CBC News that PEI issued thirteen Red Seal certifications in Motor Vehicle Body Repair in the last five years. It claims the province will cover the cost of training in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia through its apprenticeship program. Currently, there are six islanders in training. Most people trying to get their certification have to travel to other provinces to do so, while some shops say they recruit workers through high school apprenticeship programs. Others are bringing trained workers to the island from out-of-province or overseas.

PEI has not offered any autobody technician training through its apprentice program at Holland College for ten years. Image courtesy of Brittany Spencer/CBC News.

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Technology driving up repair costs The use of technology in newly designed vehicles is having a significant impact on repair costs, according to one of the highlighted studies in the Industry Trends Report (ITR) from Mitchell International’s fourth quarter of 2017. Technology from parking assist sensors, wave RADAR systems and rear-end cameras to elaborate front lamp systems, is adding, on average, 23 percent to the cost of repairing cars, compared to prior generations of the same vehicles. It went on to suggest that underwriters consider this in the pricing policies for the latest generation of vehicles. The ITR includes a report from Debbie Day, executive vice president and general manager of Mitchell’s auto damage business unit on the importance of access to information on proper vehicle repair. Day writes that the John Eagle court case is a watershed moment for the collision repair industry. Day reiterates the importance of following OEM procedures, but adds that

Mitchell International has released its latest report.

accessing this data is time-consuming, confusing and often unhelpful. “Here’s what is needed—an open, secure and cloud-based system that allows the most up-to-date repair procedures to be accessed by collision repairers, so that they can quickly and accurately access the information they need from within the estimating system.” The report includes tips for engaging with claims consultants, reasons repairers should move to cloud estimating, how video chat is enabling new types of interactions in the claims process, and more information about Mitchell’s transition to a cloud-based system.

Fix Auto opens same-day collision repair centre

The Express Service’s waiting room.

Time is money—that’s something Fix Auto is looking to capitalize on following the opening of its first-ever Fix Auto Express facility in Edmonton, Alberta. A first of its kind for the network in Canada, the new shop will offer same-day repairs. “We are absolutely delighted to partner with Desmond [Ross] and his team in Edmonton on this inaugural Fix Auto Express location,” commented Peter Polito, general manager, Fix Auto, Western Region. The facility will offer customers a simplified claims process for repairs in the $3,000 and under category. A statement from Fix Auto reads: “This express location will provide a fast, affordable and high quality one-stop solution for customers with a comfortable, low-stress post-collision experience backed by the Fix Auto nationwide guarantee. To prepare for 80  collision Repair

this milestone launch, the shop has undergone some major facility enhancements.” Desmond Ross has been involved in the collision industry for more than 30 years and has owned his own shop for 25 years. Seeing the types of appearance services coming in, Ross was eager to provide clients with a same-day repair service. That service soon amounted to half of his shop’s revenue, and he realized this business model was sustainable. Ross commented, “The opportunity to join forces with the number 1 collision repair brand and to be the very first Fix Auto Express in Canada was a win-win.” The shop’s reception area received a complete renovation, giving it a clean, branded new look and feel. The shop floor, prep and paint areas have been upgraded to optimize the work-flow. The exterior has been rejuvenated, undergoing its own modernizing makeover. Polito concluded: “Being able to offer customers high-quality repair work for smaller claims in a beautiful, modern facility with the dedicated and talented Edmonton downtown express team is a huge win for our entire network.” More information on Fix Auto can be found at


Ontario to reform insurance system to combat fraud Ontario has announced it will take measures to make auto insurance more affordable for the province’s ten million drivers with the Fair Auto Insurance Plan. Announced by Ontario Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa, the plan includes significant reforms aimed at addressing fraud, and providing victims with better access to care for those injured in auto collisions and strengthen consumer protection. Sousa said the government will develop standard treatment plans for common collision injuries such as sprains and whiplash, create independent examination centres to assess more serious injuries and establish a serious fraud office to tackle auto insurance fraud.

Highlights of the plan include: 1) Implementing standard treatment plans for common collision injuries such as sprains, strains and whiplash to help people receive the treatment they need after an accident, changing the emphasis from cash payouts to ensuring appropriate care for victims. 2) Reducing diagnosis and treatment disputes between insurance companies and people injured in collisions by instituting independent examination centres to assess more serious auto collision injuries. 3) Cracking down on fraud by launching the province’s first serious fraud office in the spring of 2018.

4) The office will use an integrated and dedicated approach to combat serious fraud, with a focus on auto insurance fraud, which has been identified as one of the factors contributing to higher premiums. 5) Directing the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) to review risk factors used by insurers to calculate premiums with the goal of making sure drivers in certain parts of the province are not subject to unfairly high rates. 6) Ensuring that lawyers’ contingency fees are fair, reasonable and more transparent. The announcement of the plan follows the latest Aviva Fraud report, which found Canadians are “deeply concerned” about the amount of money that so-called “cheaters” are draining out of the automotive insurance system. The report claims that drivers across the country want to fight fraud to lower the premiums paid by honest drivers. “We are pleased with the commitment to establish a serious fraud office in the spring of 2018, as recommended in Aviva’s Fraud Report 2017. We estimate that auto insurance fraud costs Canadians up to $2 billion every year, and sadly, it’s the vast majority of honest drivers who are paying for the fraudulent minority through high insurance premiums,” said Greg Somerville, CEO of Aviva Canada.

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Bodyshop to fight $56,000 fine after refusing to hire gay man

Myron Hayduk,Vegreville Autobody co-owners and Vegreville’s mayor at the time, conducted the interview with Rambo Landry.

A gay First Nations man who was turned down for a job at an autobody shop east of Edmonton has been awarded $56,000 in damages and lost wages by a human rights tribunal. In a written decision last month, the Alberta Human Rights Commission stated that Rambo Landry applied for an administrative job at Vegreville Autobody about a year after he and his husband, an RCMP staff sergeant, moved to the area from the Northwest Territories.

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Myron Hayduk—one of the shop’s co-owners and Vegreville’s mayor at the time—conducted a 75-minute interview with Landry, the tribunal heard. In her decision, tribunal chair Karen Scott wrote that the interview started off with a routine question regarding why Landry wanted to work there, but then took a turn when Landry was asked what he would do if a customer had an issue with his sexual orientation. Landry testified that Hayduk spent an estimated 80 percent of his job interview discussing religion, marriage, race, sexual orientation and other matters unrelated to the job, according to a story published by CBC . Landry testified that Hayduk told him he did not believe in political correctness, and that straight people are bullied into accepting gay people. He also claimed and the tide would eventually turn against homosexuals. Landry, who is Dene, also described Hayduk explaining to him “natives” are in the minority in Vegreville. Hayduk also queried on Landry’s belief in God. In his testimony, Hayduk admitted saying he does not agree with political correctness, but denied making the anti-gay remarks Landry described. He said the comments about Indigenous people were taken out of context and could not say for sure whether he asked Landry about religion. Hayduk told the tribunal that he recalled asking how Landry would deal with an irate customer, but did not recall any mention of him being gay. “I find that Mr. Landry’s race, sexual orientation and marital status were factors in the respondent’s decision not to hire him,” wrote Scott in her decision. “Accordingly, I award the complainant $20,000 for general damages and loss of dignity as well as $36,000 for lost wages, plus interest.” Hayduk said he has been advised by his lawyers not to comment on the decision. Landry has not responded to an interview request at the time of this publication. “Mr. Landry describes being quite upset by these questions, stating that he felt as if he was being ‘put in a box that was getting smaller and smaller,” wrote Scott. The job went to a woman Hayduk said was more qualified. He said he did not recall discussing race, religion or sexual orientation with her in the interview. “He stated simply: ‘She looks whiter than me,”’ Scott wrote, adding that Hayduk testified he is of Ukrainian heritage. According to the CBC story, Landry testified that following the interview, he became depressed, anxious, withdrawn and that it put a strain on his marriage. He said he and his husband went 45 minutes out of their way to run errands because they were not comfortable in Vegreville. At the time of publication neither Hayduk norLandry could be reached for comment.


General Motors to use carbon fibre in next generation of pickup trucks General Motors (GM) plans to use a mix of carbon fibre, aluminum and steel in its next generation of pickup trucks, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. It is expected that the company’s higher-end versions of the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado could feature costly but light-weight carbon fibre in their truck beds. The vehicles will have aluminum doors and a high-strength steel cabin. It is expected that GM will reveal the 2019, next generation Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups within the coming weeks and start selling the models in dealerships next autumn. A carbon fibre pickup box is under development and expected to be offered on higher-priced pickup trucks in late 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported. General Motors sells about 800,000 pickup trucks each year, so collision repairers should prepare for broader adoption of carbon fibre across the auto industry. The news comes after Lamborghini announced it will move away from carbon fibre with the launch of its new Urus SUV, which will be priced at $200,000. The company claims the vehicle is the world’s first super sport utility vehicle.

General Motors’ next generation of pickup trucks could feature carbon fibre, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Automotive industry recognized in Canada’s top 100 employers of 2018 The Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, a national competition that recognizes employers providing exceptional workplaces, recently announced its 2018 winners. This year, a handful of automotive industry employers were chosen—3M, BASF, Ford and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC). Selections are based on eight criteria, including the physical workplace, the work atmosphere, benefits, vacation and training. 3M Canada was recognized for a number of qualities. Employees get paid time off to volunteer, new mothers get maternity leave top-up payments of up to 100 percent of their salary for up to 17 weeks. Fathers and adoptive parents can receive up to 100 percent of their salary for up to eight weeks. 3M Canada’s head office also has a fully equipped gym with free membership, and its London manufacturing facility has a park with two baseball diamonds, a soccer field, tennis court and a children’s playground. BASF was selected for its ongoing employee training and development programs. The company also boasts a tuition reimbursement initiative, offering $25,000 annually for graduate programs and $15,000 for undergraduate programs for their employees. “Our commitment to employees—it’s a question of attracting the best talent. To attract the best talent we have to be among the best, and remain competitive,” said Raja Ramanathan, human resources business

BASF Canada employees in the head office’s new Creator Space—an area dedicated to networking and collaboration. BASF was one of the automotive businesses selected as Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2018.

partner, BASF Canada, on where the value lies in treating one’s employees well. He continued, “Employees are at the heart of our organization. With a work culture of inclusiveness, openness and diversity, we can handle any challenge.” Subsidized access for employees to an onsite fitness facility and daycare helped push Ford into the ranks of Canada’s 2018 Top 100 Employers. Employees can participate in the company’s Ford Auto purchase program, which offers discounts on employee purchases. The company also offers ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for courses, in-house apprenticeships and skilled trades programs. TMMC employees receive a substantial amount of paid time off—25 days—after just

one year of employment. After two years, they enjoy a full four weeks, and increasing to up to 6.4 weeks off after several years of service. Retirement planning assistance and pension plans are available, along with discounts on new vehicles for employees and their family members. The TMMC manufacturing facility is one of the largest in Southwestern Ontario, with a number of amenities for staff, including an employee lounge with a games room, a quiet room for religious and spiritual practices, walking trails, various sporting areas and a community garden, as well as free membership to a fitness facility. For more information on the Canada’s Top Employers project, please visit their website at february 2018  collision Repair  83


Privatize or Pay: The Insurance Bureau of Canada calls for privatization in B.C.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada has released a report calling for the privatization of B.C.’s auto insurance market.

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), the public auto insurer for the province, saw losses hit $1.3 billion last year, according to expert extrapolations from a study of the first three-quarters of 2017. The ICBC paid out more than $3 billion for 2017 claims, but was only able to bring in about $1 billion in premiums. Particularly damaging to the company’s bottom line was an increase in large payouts. 2017 saw an 80 percent increase in six-figure claims, which were

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paid out with an average settlement just shy of half-a-million dollars. What this means in the longer term for B.C. bodyshops remains an open question. While provincial efforts to stabilize the insurer may preserve the automotive repair industry’s fiscal integrity, the Green Party, which props up the governing NDP, could leverage its position to prevent such a move -potentially triggering a market shock. In response to news that B.C.’s public auto insurer ended 2017 with a $1.3 billion loss, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has released a report calling for more privatization in the B.C. auto insurance business—effectively calling for an end to the province’s B.C.’s Insurance Corporation. Pointing to the fact that British Columbians pay higher insurance premiums than Canadians from any other province, the Benefits of Competition in the Provision of Automobile Insurance in B.C. shows that economic figures showing that a more open market would lower premiums by as much as eighteen percent—and that figure does not take into consideration any savings made by bundling home and auto insurance—which, the report suggests, could save the province’s penny pinchers a further $85 to $225 annually. With the governing New Democrats reliant on the support of the Green Party to remain in power, it is unclear if the how the government will deal with the crisis at ICBC, or if they will be able to make any moves towards privatization whatsoever. If they do, B.C.’s collision repair facilities may soon dealing with claims with dozens of insurers—insurers with a closer eye on their bottom line than the beleaguered public insurer.

New Products

Shopping Cart Refurbished Polyvance Nitro Fuzer line Polyvance has announced a major overhaul of its Nitro Fuzer line of nitrogen plastic welders. The company is introducing a fully-functional, entry-level product, the 6085. The standard 6085-C will be offered at the same price as previously, but will also include a Bumper Mate 2 workstation at no additional cost. Polyvance says the Nitro Fuzer features digital encoders to precisely control the temperature and to make switching to nitrogen gas automatic. Polyvance also includes training from an instructor with the sale of Nitro Fuzers. For more information, please visit

Polyvance has introduced a major overhaul of its Nitro Fuzer line.

AkzoNobel launches Carbeat in Canada

The company claims the tool will offer customers at automotive body repair shops simpler workflows and easier access to information.

AkzoNobel has launched of its Carbeat software in Canada. Carbeat will offer a real-time overview of the repair service, with the company claiming the tool will offer customers at automotive body repair shops simpler workflows and easier access to information, as well as allowing them to save time and money. The program will make the information it gathers available to managers, team leaders, technicians and others. The application is deployed on a large touch screen monitor designed to make using the system quick and intuitive, while providing a comprehensive overview of all the work in production. The company said this will “enhance the quality and granularity of captured cycle time data,” enabling deeper insight into ways to improve efficiency and eliminate waste. Carbeat runs from the cloud, and therefore requires zero installation or high-end technological expertise to implement and maintain.

Polyvance introduces Bumper Bag Plus Polyvance says its new 6450 Bumper Bag Plus is a versatile tool for removing dents in plastic and sheet metal. A statement from the company says the product can be used in many different areas of the bodyshop. According to Polyvance, the Bumper Bag Plus is unique in that it is soft and pliable, which allows it to conform to the shape of the object it is pressed against. It absorbs the energy of the force applied to it and prevents further damage to the area. The Bumper Bag Plus can be used to take dents out of plastic bumpers and sheet metal, adjust the fit of adjoining sheet metal panels, and even to cushion a jack saddle to eliminate the risk of damage to the sub-frame. Polyvance has released an instructional video on the Bumper Bag Plus that highlights the versatility of the product. You can check it out in the player below. For more information, please visit 86  collision Repair

The Bumper Bag Plus from Polyvance.

New Products

Miller Electric is expanding its ClearLight Lens Technology to all digital welding helmets. According to the company, the technology optimizes clarity for welding operators, so they can produce better welds with less rework.

ClearLight Lens welding helmets from Miller Electric Arc welding equipment manufacturer Miller Electric expanded its ClearLight Lens Technology to be included in all digital welding helmets. Previously only available in Miller T94 Series auto-darkening helmets, ClearLight has now been expanded to all Miller digital helmets to include Digital Infinity, Digital Elite and Digital Performance models. According to Miller Electric, ClearLight optimizes clarity for welding operators so they can produce better welds with less rework. Designed to reduce eye fatigue, the new line optimizes contrast and clarity in both welding and light states so operators see natural colour tones and get a real view of the work.

According to the company, ClearLight Lens Technology enhances clarity by allowing more colours to come through the lens. Where other lenses often produce a view with a greenish-yellow or blue tint, a ClearLight lens is designed to provide truer colours during welding. With this technology, operators see more contrast among objects in the viewing area, resulting in reduced eyestrain and fatigue. In addition, the 1/1/1/2 optical clarity rating of ClearLight lenses allows a true 3.0 light state. This brighter light state when the operator is not welding enhances the ability for operators to keep their hood down as much as possible, which improves safety and productivity. For more information, visit

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New bill in Alberta to improve tow truck driver safety Grande Prairie-Wapiti MLA Wayne Drysdale recently introduced Bill 215, the Traffic Safety (Tow Trucks) Amendment Act, 2017. The new bill will allow tow truck operators to install white and blue warning lights onto their trucks as part of an effort to make jobs safer for tow truck drivers. The UCP said the amendment is a common-sense change to help make tow truck drivers more visible as they work on Alberta’s highways. “Restricting tow trucks to just amber lights makes them indistinguishable from road signs and maintenance-related vehicles, especially in the dark,” Drysdale said in a statement. “By adding blue and white lights, it will alert drivers to the fact that the vehicle up ahead is a tow truck, and that operators are likely to be working outside the vehicle. This adds an extra layer of safety for what can be an extremely dangerous job.” Harold Fowler, owner of Harold’s Towing, said he raised the issue with Drysdale when he was Transportation Minister under the previous Progressive Conservative government. Fowler, who’s been in the towing business in Grande Prairie for 25 years, had expressed concerned for the safety of his twelve drivers. Although motorists are supposed to slow to 60km an hour and change lanes, they do neither, he said. “Our drivers have had close calls. Luckily none of our drivers have got hit, but our equipment’s been hit,” he said. “Nobody pays any attention to the amber lights; an amber light could be a slow piece of equipment

Pictured is Grande Prairie-Wapiti MLA Wayne Drysdale. He recently introduced Bill 215, which will allow tow truck drivers to install warning lights on their vehicles.

driving down the road or a wide load … So they don’t pay attention to it because they don’t realize it’s a tow truck on the side of the road.” Fowler said he believes the proposed blue and white warning lights will encourage people to slow down. The Saskatchewan government passed similar legislation in the spring after a tow truck operator was killed on the job in a roadside collision. For more information, please email

International Towing and Recovery Museum receives $9k donation The American Towing and Recovery Institute has donated $9,010 Canadian to the International Towing and Recovery Museum. The donation, which was generated from several proceeds, will be distributed between the general operating fund and the Survivor Fund. The American Towing and Recovery Institute is a not-for-profit membership based organization founded in 2013 to promote safety, education, positive public relations and networking. It promotes hands-on towing and recovery education seminars, public service announcements and works on issues of common concerns between motoring public and the professional towing industry. Meanwhile, it also offers exclusive member discounts for products and services, business consulting, expert witness, recovery bill mediation or review, networking opportunities between members and outside clients and community events. Additional information on the International Towing and Recovery Museum can be found at, while more on the American Towing and Recovery Institute can be found at

The International Towing and Recovery Institute was founded in 2013 to promote safety, education and positive public relations.

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Recycling News.................... 91 - 95

Victoria auto recycling facilities ‘swamped’ after major oil recycling programs shut down Major retailers shut down some of their auto recycling programs, including Canadian Tire, Mr. Lube and Midas.

Several locally-owned garages in Vancouver claim they have been overwhelmed by the number of people dropping off used motor oil and motor oil products after several major retailers like Canadian Tire, Mr. Lube and Midas stopped their used oil recycling programs at some locations. The BC Used Oil Management Association ensures that garages provide drop-off bins for people who change their own motor oil, so that they can safely dispose of the used product. According to the BC Used Oil Management Association, there are ten remaining garages in Metro Vancouver that continue to take used oil. Alfred Lal, owner of Vancouver West Motors, says since retailers shrank their

The problem with EV batteries: Nissan and Eaton look to reuse before they recycle Renewable energy, both at the utility and residential level, brings numerous benefits to our environment, although it comes with a fair share of challenges. With millions of electric cars expected to hit the road in the years to come, some concerns have been raised about EV battery recycling and the potential risk of a waste problem. According to Ajay

recycling programs, the increase in drop-offs has “swamped” his four-person operation. “We have limited capacity because we’re a small garage, and a lot of times I’ve had to turn people away saying, ‘sorry, the barrel’s full,’” Lal says. Ed Wong, manager at Grandview Tire and Auto Centre, says that his garage has also been affected. “We’ve always been an advocate for recycling so I’ll gladly take the oil, but it’s had a negative impact because we don’t have the manpower to manage the amount of oil that’s being dropped off at times,” he says. “I’ll come into work and there will be a whole pile of used oil outside, it’s leaking all over the pavement and then I need to go clean that up too.”

Kochhar, CEO of Li-Cycle, a Canadian battery recycling start-up, if EV growth proceeds as expected, we could be looking at approximately eleven million metric tons of lithium batteries entering the waste stream by 2030. Automaker Nissan and electrical equipment maker Eaton have teamed up to produce the xStorage Home system, which could be a solution to both problems. The system gives batteries a second life inside of homes and businesses as backup and solar storage batteries, according to the companies. In conjunction with the Nissan batteries, Eaton provides electronic interface that manages all the various functions required to interface the battery with the connected loads, the solar

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David Lawes, Executive Director of the B.C. Used Oil Management Association.

Several Canadian Tire locations in Vancouver stopped offering oil recycling services.

“I think more people need to step up to the plate and offer oil recycling, everybody’s got to do their part,” said Wong. It’s not clear why some large retailers have stopped offering to recycle oil, however employees cited environmental dangers stemming from poor consumer practices. In a statement, a representative for Canadian Tire said, “Participation varies from store to store based on their capacity and

capability,” but would not comment on why some locations stopped the service. Employees at three Canadian Tire locations said service was halted because people were bringing in oil contaminated with other products. Canadian Tire’s White Rock location continues to offer the service. A representative for Midas could not be reached for comment, but two employees

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said they were no longer offering the service because customers were leaving oil on the street in unapproved bins, leading to spills. A representative from the city said they had received multiple complaints that spills and leaks at some Canadian Tire and Mr. Lube locations had entered storm sewers, and that they asked the retailers to take measures to prevent further spills. David Lawes, Executive Director of the B.C. Used Oil Management Association, said he’s aware of the increased pressure on small garages, and his organization is working with smaller facilities to increase their infrastructure. Lal said he’s concerned about the long-term impact if people are unable to conveniently dispose of used oil products. “We’re supposed to be a green city and this is supposed to be a forward-thinking province,” he said. “I really hope people don’t start dumping it down drains or into the Fraser River.” For more information, please visit their website at


Continued From Page 91 panels and the grid. Eaton has been making power supply (UPS) systems for over 50 years, and they draw heavily on that capability for the xStorage Home. “We’re using our UPS technology as the brain, because in those critical power situations like data centres, hospitals, etc., they’re always making that trade off between whether to go to backup power or take the grid power—how best to optimize for the best quality power,” says head of corporate communications for Eaton, Jonathan Hart. “Taking that, now in conjunction with the batteries to create a fully integrated system, really optimizes both the battery performance and the interaction with the grid.” The two primary benefits for both the commercial and residential customers are renewable storage and peak shaving. Peak shaving is a response to the fact that many utilities, particularly those with commercial and industrial usage, demand charges. These are rates that vary with the time of day. For these customers, electricity costs more during periods of peak demand.

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LKQ on salvaging cars after hurricanes Last Summer, the U.S. saw some of the worst natural disasters in history. Among the industries affected by them, the automotive recycling industry stands out. More than 300,000 vehicles were declared total losses following Hurricane Harvey and Irma, said LKQ CEO Nick Zarcone. He told analysts that it was an opportunity to buy “a lot of good salvage.” “It’s not like the front end is gone or the back end is gone,” says Zarcone. He noted, however, that LKQ “can’t buy it all,” because of space considerations, nor could its competitors. “We need to have a place to put the cars,” Zarcone says. “You can’t put 40 acres of cars on a 30-acre salvage yard.” LKQ corporate accounts vice president Terry Fortner describes how the company handled quality control for the parts potentially affected by flooding. In a statement, Fortner said that when LKQ references “‘high-quality salvage’ …

LKQ CEO Nick Zarcone tells analysts that hurricanes are an opportunity to buy “a lot of good salvage.”

“we’re generally talking late model vehicles. We’re not going to sell an engine that’s been water logged.” In all, this suggests that salvage yards nationwide will be able to get in on the trend. Zarcone told insurers, “there’s not going to be massive changes, massive gains” from the new inventory but the auto recycling industry ought to benefit a little for the next several quarters. For more information on LKQ, please visit

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The 2017 ARA convention and trade show wraps up successfully in Dallas

This year’s annual convention and trade-show attracted over 900 delegates, 96 exhibiting companies, 31 presentations and 16 countries represented. Among the many highlights of the show, David Gold, from Standard Auto Wreckers in Toronto, was installed as ARA President in the gavel passing ceremony during the awards banquet. David is the fourth Canadian to hold this post. Dalbert Livingstone, from Island Auto Supply in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, attended his first Convention as an ARA Board Member and as the Regional Director for Canada. Ed MacDonald, from Maritime Auto Parts in Truro, chaired the ARA Scholarship Committee and raised over $30,000 for ARA employee scholarships. Steve Fletcher, from ARC, chaired his last affiliate chapter committee meeting and was recognized at the awards ceremony for five years of service in that capacity. The Committee had a record number of state, provincial and national associations participate in the meeting with 24 different associations present. The convention also hosted its first International Delegates Reception, which brought various countries together for networking. The Recyclers Roundtable and Open Mic session allowed recyclers to speak about issues and common challenges. Here are some of the key topics discussed at the Roundtable, with all of the subjects having their plenary sessions at some point in the Convention:

This year’s annual convention and trade show attracted over 900 delegates, 96 exhibiting companies, 31 presentations and 16 countries represented.

1. A  ccess to OEM data to better understand our inventory opportunities and sell more parts from every car. Our interchange-based data system tells us what part assemblies fit what vehicles. The rest of the industry (insurers, repairers) use OEM part numbers. Our industry is moving away from interchange on 160 assemblies towards OEM part numbers. 2. A  ccess to OEM data to assist the manufacturers in their ever-growing recall problems. 3. O  EM repair procedures specifically banning the use of all salvage or recycled parts. 4. Implications of recalls on auto recycling. 5. Complexity of vehicles and their reparability­—more computerization equals more complex materials.

David Gold, from Standard Auto Wreckers in Toronto, being installed as ARA President in the gavel passing ceremony during the awards banquet.

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Maritime Auto Parts turns 85 Maritime Auto Parts recently celebrated its 85th anniversary, and with all those years under its belt, the auto recycler and parts supplier has become an irreplaceable member of its community, according to the business. “Many generations know about our business—parents, grandparents, we’ve served them all,” commented Andrew MacDonald, owner and operator. MacDonald added that that they couldn’t have gotten this far without their own community of 20 staff. “Our employees are the reason we made it to 85 years.”

Maritime Auto Parts in the early days of its operations.

Ray Fillmore, the original owner of Maritime Auto Parts, started the business in 1932. It has since lived through an extensive number of major historical events. The facility was first opened smack in the middle of the Great Depression, significantly influencing what his customers would have been able to purchase. Filmore would have sold a number of Model Ts, Model As, Studebakers and Packards—starkly different from what you would find in a recycling facility today. 40 years and two generations later, in 1947, Fillmore sold his business to Basil MacKay and Harry Marsh. The pair made a number of adjustments to the facility, including organizing the vehicles into tows and eliminating that “junk yard” feel. Ed and Lana MacDonald bought the business in 1988, expanded and computerized the business, allowing management and sales to be done in the office. In 2012, Andrew bought the facility from his parents after working as an Engineer with Toyota. He since developed a self-service facility in Halifax, a service that hadn’t been previously offered in Halifax. The business sponsors the local fire department, and depollutes 1,500 to 2,000 vehicles a year. “We do what we can to be involved in the community,” said MacDonald. History has certainly been seen and made throughout the course of Maritime Auto Parts, which presents the question: What’s next for this business? Only time will tell. 95  collision Repair

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HearMeRoar The ARA wants to know what you have to say By David Gold


very year, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) passes the torch from one leader to another and elects a new president. This year I have been honoured with the opportunity to carry this torch. It is a daunting responsibility, but running ARA is far from a single person’s job, and much more so a group effort. We have really worked to create a united executive vision, and want to work with ARA staff as a collaborative team. The Executive Committee (EC) of ARA made a strong commitment to each other this year: to be engaged and work as hard as necessary to see

the association, and are open to anyone and everyone who feels inspired to get involved, and be heard. There’s truly nothing to lose. With all this being said, this year we want to double the ARA membership. It is a big goal, yes, but we believe it is as doable as it is necessary. We need many diverse member voices to be successful, and we want to hear them all. In our effots to fill the ARA with outspoken and passionate members, we will start with the members of state associations that are not yet members of the ARA. This includes vendors and consultants within the industry.

If someone can help shape our direction for the better, we want them to be involved. the association progress positively. With that in mind we intend on making as many tangible goals as possible in 2018. One of the goals we have discussed in detail is that we take further measures to engage the auto industries with the ARA. To do so, we want to hear more from the m_embership on how ARA can be better and more united—really united. Inclusivity is something that is very important to me, and promoting it remains a substantial goal in my professional and personal efforts. There are so many bright people out there, and our goal is to bring these people to the table through conference calls and state meetings. If someone can help shape our direction for the better, we want them to be involved. We truly stand by the philosophy that there are no bad ideas amongst the ARA—ever y suggestion we receive is genuinely heard and considered. We are in need of new ideas! New ideas mean innovation, potential and a bright future. At meetings we listen, learn, confront and discuss with productivity and progress at the forefront of our minds. We at the ARA are just volunteers who represent the entirety of 96  collision Repair

You may be wondering how we plan to accomplish this. Let me tell you. We are considering taking the Recyclers Roundtable to various town hall meetings throughout the country. Doing so, I hope, will encourage productive dialogue at the grassroots level. Dialogue is key to progress and change, so get involved. Do it tomorrow! Do it today! Do it right now! This is a real chance to make a mark in the auto recycling industry, and all the associations, organizations, individuals and businesses who are impacted by the industry. The ARA invites all comments, criticisms and suggestions. Take a moment to reach out to us directly by email, write a letter or join us on one of our EC calls as a guest. This is your opportunity to let your voice be known­—you know you have something you would like to say. So say it. David Gold of Standard Auto Wreckers is a founding member of Fenix Parts and holds the title of President for Canadian Operations. Locations in Canada include Toronto, Port Hope and Ottawa. He can be reached at 416-286-8686.

the last word

CollisionBusiness General Motors goes into high-gear Advertiser Index

By Jeff Sanford Company


3-D Measuring................................84 3M....................................................4 AADCO Auto Parts........................94 AkzoNobel.......................................7 ARSLAN ........................................ 19 Assured Automotive......................29 Audatex..........................................53 Automotive Recyclers of Canada...95 BETAG ...........................................22 BASF...............................................13 Canadian Hail Repair..................... 70 Car-O-Liner....................................44 97 Carcone’s Auto Recycling.............93 Cardinal Couriers........................... 71 CARSTAR Canada......................... 21 Color Compass..............................11 Dominion Sure Seal.......................17 Eurovac...........................................78 Finixa..............................................56 Fix Auto Canada..........................IBC Formula Honda..............................36 Garmat........................................... 73 Hollander........................................9 Impact Auto Auctions....................90 Kia Canada.....................................40 LKQ.................................................50 Martech..........................................80 Polyvance...................... ................85 PPG...........................................2,3,67 Pro Spot International..............48,49 Rondex............................................66 SATA Canada................................. 15 Stark Auto Sales............................88 Steck Manufacturing.....................82 Symach.......................................... 18 Thorold Auto Parts........................92 Tiger Auto Parts.............................. 75 UAP/NAPA......................................43 Valspar Refinish.............................BC Wurth Canada................................ 74


eneral Motors (GM) has surprised many observers by moving quickly to execute a strategy concerning ride-sharing and automated vehicles. Many previously assumed the OEM was too big and bureaucratic to keep up with the fleet-footed entrepreneurial firms of Silicon Valley. It turns out the old assumptions are not quite right. Detroit can dance when the heat is on. The automaker just hosted a presentation for investors laying out a fascinating business strategy concerning ride sharing and AVs. It’s impressive how fast the famously sluggish company has come up with a plan. Those interested in the overall direction of the industry would be wise to pay attention; it seems there’s a Canadian angle to the collision repair part of this emerging story. At the GM presentation, executives explained how the company is gearing up to deploy its all-electric model, the Bolt, in ride-sharing fleets, which will operate in urban cores. Eventually these Bolts will be self-driving (possibly by 2020) according to GM, which expects to make a huge profit off this new business line. As it is, estimates are that AV tech on these cars mean they will cost several thousand dollars. One way to make these cars profitable is to allow them to operate 24/7, which GM plans to do. According to executives at the presentation, the company actually expects to make more money per car off a fleet of expensive AVs deployed on the ride-sharing model than it does from vehicles sold to single owners. The Canadian angle to this story emerged in mid-December. The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), announced it is teaming up with the Toronto-based private equity fund, Onex Corporation, to bid for a relatively new Canadian company: Element Fleet Management. The company bought up two key rivals (PHH Arval and GE Capital’s fleet management business) in 2014 and 2015. Those companies are now part of the Element group, which offers, among many other services, fleet accident management. What makes the Element story really interesting is the deal announced shortly before CPPIB revealed its bid. At the end of Novem-

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ber, Element announced it signed a deal with General Motors to handle fleet services for a ride-sharing service GM is calling Maven. According to the press release, the service was launched in January 2016. Since then Maven has evolved into, “... one of the fastest-growing mobility brands in North America.” Element has been chosen to provide accident services for Maven. Element will take care of everything from first notice of loss to getting the vehicle back on the road. At the time the deal was announced, Julia Steyn, Vice President, General Motors Urban Mobility and Maven, was quoted as saying, “Element is helping Maven ensure our members can be there for the moments that matter by ensuring our vehicles are well maintained… Element is one of the world’s leading fleet management companies, and this experience makes them an ideal partner to support our customers.” Talk about getting in on the ground floor of a brand new business model that may be hugely profitable for OEMs in the years to come. There are those who are questioning the rush by companies like GM to get AVs on the road. Safety advocates are increasingly critical of the lax standards being applied to this new sector by government regulators. There is a worry the legislators are bending to the wishes of corporate donors. Some warn AVs are nowhere near safe yet, and won’t be by 2020. So this deal between Element and GM has a way to travel yet before it can be considered a success. One early take on the deal is this: a key company overseeing collision repair services in this new environment headquartered in Canada (Element trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange) is a good thing for the development of the knowledge and skills that will drive the collision repair industry into the future.

Jeff Sanford is a staff writer at Collision Repair magazine. He can be reached at

Collision Repair Magazine 17#1  
Collision Repair Magazine 17#1